Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Coffee Anyone?

Coffee is big business these days, with all the fast food joints coming out with their own versions of sweetened coffees piled high with whipped somethingorother, sprinkles and a bezillion calories.

I will admit I am the first one to accept a cup of coffee when offered, I started drinking the stuff when I was a little kid. What a treat it was when grandma mixed a little coffee with a lot of warm milk and a spoonful of sugar. I loved the taste of the brew then and still do today.

Did the coffee keep us awake? I can't remember. I can't remember a lot of stuff these days, but I still like the smell of coffee brewing and the rich taste of a warm mug full of coffee with cream. I never got in the sugar part of the deal, which is good since I ended up with diabetes.

Unlike a lot of people, I do not have to have hot coffee. Coffee is good at any temperature. I expect that stems back to my waitress days when I grabbed a sip as I raced between the kitchen and the customers.

I started my day as a newspaper reporter at 6 a.m. writing for a 9 a.m. deadline. Many times I had been up the night before until 9 or 10 p.m. or later covering municipal and school board meetings. People relied on the paper to give them the scoop on what public officials were doing and the paper I worked for had the news on the street before any of the others on time. I am sure I could not have done that without the help of coffee.

Today I have nearly weaned myself off caffeine, which is supposed to be hard on one's body, but I still adore a good cup of brewed decaf coffee. You can't tell the difference - honestly.

Coffee is part of a writer's life. I can't imagine existence without it, hot, warm, cold or iced. Wouldn't you like some right now? Terry

Terry L White -Author of the Chesapeake Heritage Series
"Travel Through Time With Terry"

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sunday Morning

Good Sunday morning,

I am reminded of the Sundays of my childhood when going to church was a highlight of the week. Now I know a lot of people did not feel that way, but I always enjoyed both the stillness of church, and the joy of the singing.

Singing harmony was never a problem. The piano player was a strong musician - we couldn't afford an organ back in LeRoy, PA - and every hymn had its prelude, during which you could hear the bass and treble notes. You just chose your part and followed along with the words.

This did not exactly serve me later on in my life when people expected me to learn music, but it worked just fine when I was a youngster singing to the greater glory.

I can't recall that the religion practiced back at that little Church of Christ was particularly harsh. They taught the Golden Rule and the 10 Commandments were mentioned, but I think everyone there knew kids were kids and pretty much every sin could be forgiven.

As an adult, I see all sorts of prejudice in the world and it makes me sad. It seems to me folks should celebrate their differences and share their strengths.

Ponder on it, and keep on the sunny side. Terry

Terry L White -Author of the Chesapeake Heritage Series
"Travel Through Time With Terry"

Friday, February 20, 2009

And Winter Lingers

Hello Bloggers,

It is hard for me not to whine today. We had a bit of decent weather when it looked as if winter was wandering off and spring was on the way. Unfortunately, the weatherman has changed the scenario again. This morning the temp was below freezing and falling.

I never did like winter, nor going out in the cold, but this is going to be one of those days when I can't avoid the frigid winds off the river. We have a river on the East side of Cambridge - the Choptank, so named because the winds whip the water to a frenzy - making for wonderful sailing, but not today. Today I have to go out, and I don't want to.

The old folks used to go out oystering in this sort of weather, bless their hearts. I can't imagine what that might have been like with the spray freezing on one's face and on the lines as the sails were adjusted. Cambridge was built on sailing and the fishery, although that has dwindled, like many other ways to earn a living. Those fishermen were hardy guys, I guess they just went to work whether it was cold or not.

That seems to indicate I need to quit whining and put on some extra clothing. One of the things on the calendar is a visit at a medical adult day care to entertain the clients. The other thing is a birthday party for my publisher. I can't imagne blowing off eiher of those. Guess I just have to grin and bear the cold weather and be glad it is nice and warm in my study.

So. If you are in a warm climate, congratulations. If you are living, like me, on the frozen tundra if Maryland, hang on and look for the sunny side.


Terry L White -Author of the Chesapeake Heritage Series
"Travel Through Time With Terry"
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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

How Do You Know It Is Spring?

Hi Bloggers,

A week or so ago the groundhog predicted six more weeks of winter, and I respect the little guy, but I am not convinced he is the final authority on the subject of spring.

That same week I saw a flock of robins on the courthouse lawn. They were in my own back yard yesterday. I stood on the porch and noticed the trees are budding out in shades of red and that new green that only occurs when spring is on the way.

The days are getting longer. Dawn is staining the sky when I wake, and lingers into the supper hour. I like that. Sunshine makes me feel better, makes me want to shake off the drowsy curse of winter and want to clean the corners -- truth is, I can now see the dust in the corners.

So, I wish you spring - whatever that means to you. Look for the sunny side, sit in on the porch and enjoy! Terry

Terry L White -Author of the Chesapeake Heritage Series
"Travel Through Time With Terry"

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Is Chocolate a Veggie?

Hello Bloggers,

A while back I wrote a song called the Ode to Chocolate and fellow writer Glenda Baker added a verse that reminds us all that chocolate is made from a bean, and is therefore a vegetable.

All I know is that chocolate must be the food of the gods and I am very glad it is available to all of us mortals.

Chocolate is a precious thing - so much so the ancient Aztec Indians used the beans for currency. Can you imagine?

I think it could be a good idea, although I don't know how it would work when paying one's taxes. Do you think the government can process truckloads of chocolate coming in from every quarter? I don't think so. Besides, how could you make sure everyone was paying their fair share? How could you be sure that the people who receive the chocolate aren't sneaking just a little bit?

Chocolate as currency doesn't seem like the best idea. It is, however, a really neat snack. After all, chocolate is supposed to trigger the brain's chemistry so that the consumer feels a sensation similar to love.

Why don't we use all the chocolate taxes and send them to the war zones around the world and calm things down? That might work.

I could go on all day, but my serious writing calls. On that note, I will say so long for now, do keep on the sunny side folks! Terry

Terry L White -Author of the Chesapeake Heritage Series
"Travel Through Time With Terry"

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Celebrity? Who Me?

Hello Faithful Followers,

Last night I attended the Visionary Valentine bash at the new Main Street Gallery. I expected the usual opening night with the usual art by the usual artists, but was I ever wrong. The visionary valentine art was donated by a number of artists I know and envy, their work is wonderful. I was sure I couldn't compete, so I donated a piece I created for the event and called it good.

I was greeted with the news that my Queen of Tarts doll was the Grand Prize in the night's raffle series! There she was in all her tacky glory, bathed in light on a pedestal in the very middle of the room full of beautiful paintings, sculpture and basketry. Wow! Someone noticed my work! I was over the moon to say the least.

I struggle with art, or rather, art has its way with me. I can't draw all that well, and while I am fascinated by watercolors, I am not the sort of person who can contain her work in the four sides of a frame because the paint keeps running off the edges. My art reflects life through words and luxurious fabrics and beads. I like to make quirky jewelry and dolls, and I love to write because books can hold entire worlds.

My dolls have been on display here and there in town, but they never caused much fuss before now, so when my little queen was singled out, you know I was excited. I still don't know what to say, except to thank the committee and take a bow.

The queen was awarded to her new owner at the end of the evening, and for a moment I forgot I was too warm in my unaccustomed jacket and pumps, I forgot there were too many people for my taste, and I forgot I hate having my picture taken. I stood beside the architect who won the doll and smiled for what seemed like a lot of cameras! People said I done good.

So that is what the fuss is all about with the big stars of the silver screen. If one does something special, one is noticed. I get it. I am not sure I want more of it, but what fun it was to experience celebrity at least once in my life. I knew I could do it.

Today, I start a new doll and work on editing the next book. Life is good. I just hope none of those photos get out - someone might recognize me. I like the sunny side for a little while, but I have work to do. See you in the newspapers! Terry

Friday, February 13, 2009

Feng What?

Howdy Bloggers,

About a year ago a friend of mine took exception with the chaos in my home and proceeded to improve the feng shui of my living space.

I will admit that I have a lot of stuff. I am a writer, so I have lots of paper and pens and old manuscripts and computer discs that won't run on any of today's computers. That was one thing.

I make dolls, and they are very fancy so I have tons of fabric, stuffing, permanent markers and yarn (to make wigs) for the edgy mermaids and other characters my fingers produce. That was two things.

I am a musician, or have been in at least one of my personal incarnations, so there are a couple of guitars, a piano, a violin, a bass fiddle and a couple of shelves of music I can't read. That is three things.

I make beaded things like necklaces, earrings, lanyards for badges, sea glass pendants and all manner of other whimsies and whimmidoodles. That is four.

I also cook, and while I turn out pretty plain products, I have a full complement of new and vintage cookwear vieing for space in a kitchen with seven windows, three doors and hardly any cupboards. That is another thing.

I love movies, and have shelves and shelves of the same in vcr and dvd formats. That is some more things.

Did I mention books on every surface? Things.

I belong to the Wednesday Morning Artists, and I am trying to be an artist and have stuff like brushes, paints and pencils - not to mention more papers - hanging around the place. Things.

Well, my friend urged me to de-clutter and I believe that helped the look of my house. Then she made some suggestions of where to put what so as to manage the energy of my home better. She may have waved a magic wand.

All I know is things are neater and I seem to prosper in spite of myself. I believe I believe in feng shui. How about you?


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Missing Person

Wow! I have been tres busy this week what with delivering all sorts of handiwork to the new gallery in town - they took all my novels as well! - and visiting with good friends from New Orleans. Friends have a home in town and visit a couple of times a year, so time with them is precious. You may find my absence present during the next couple of weeks as I try to squeeze in all the fun stuff during their visit.

I am reminded of the cartoon featuring Maxine that offers the suggestion that we should not let old age get us down because it is so difficult to get back up again. I tend to agree. Which is why I try to keep busy with a number of things as I grow older. The trouble is that I sometimes can't keep up with myself.

This week, there will be lots of talk and laughter, not to mention safaris into wildest Walmart to pick up things for Jewel and Don, who have been on the road for a couple of weeks visiting their children at various points around the country. Apparently Denver was warmer than the Eastern Shore. That report was a surpries.

At any rate, I just wanted to let you all know I am out here and keeping busy so you shouldn't worry about me if you find I didn't post for a particular day. I am going to do all the stuff I can while I can still do it. I am sure Maxine would approve.

So. I'll be in again soon. Have a great day and keep on the sunny side! Terry

Terry L White -Author of the Chesapeake Heritage Series
"Travel Through Time With Terry"

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Which Autobiography?

Hello There,

Yesterday I delivered my Visionary Valentine to the new Main Street Gallery down on Race Street in Cambridge. My donation was a doll called the Queen of Hearts. You remember, the bad girl I posted about last week? She, and her ladies in waiting, Goldie and Michelle, will be unveiled at the gala this coming Saturday night.

The arts coordinator and I really hit it off and I ended up coming home to gather up several other displays - earrings, pendant, whimsies, and my novels(!) for the gallery gift shop. I was delighted with the reception my work gathered. My only problem is the coordinator asked me for a biography. Hmmmm.

I have several biographies, but which one to use? I should think the autobiography should probably embrace the making of the Queen who is a focal point in the silent auction, but I am one of those individuals who do all sorts of things - all art. Once, long ago, a friend told me I would only ever write one poem, and you know what? I believe she was right.

I am a creative person. I write novels, poetry, songs and sometimes grants and other boring stuff. I can't sit still, so I make bead jewelry, crocheted winterwear, and quirky dolls - like mermaids, faeries, rag dolls, santas and character dolls like the ones I delivered to the gallery this week. It is all the same poem.

What does your poem look like? Think about it and keep on the sunny side! Terry

Terry L White -Author of the Chesapeake Heritage Series
"Travel Through Time With Terry"

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sci Fi Movies

Hello There,

Gosh, I love the weekends when SciFi channel shows movies with the most remarkable films. Don't you just love the giant bugs? The movie industry has been creating bigger and badder bugs ever since I was a little kid.

Makes you wonder what goes on in the minds of the people who make these flicks. I know I would hate to be scooped up by a giant spider, injected with her eggs, and wrapped up in layer after layer of sticky silk. Makes my skin crawl.

The thing about scifi movies is that they are not nearly as scary as monster movies, you know the ones, where demented or infected people actually go off the wall and mutilate other specimens of the human race. Those pics are really scary. One of those defectives could really hurt you and they aren't so far-fetched that one can't imagine one such living next door.

I don't worry so much about scifi bugs. They may be big. They may look mean, but they are gone when you shut off the tube and go make tuna sandwiches.

OK, so you don't like bugs. You don't have to. Just stay on the sunny side if you can. Cheers! Terry

Terry L White -Author of the Chesapeake Heritage Series
"Travel Through Time With Terry"

Saturday, February 7, 2009

A Writer's Home

Good Day,

Today I thought of myself as a writer and looked for some clip art that might illustrate how I feel about the craft.

Becoming a writer must have started when I was a child, because I can remember a day when the newspapers on he back seat of the family car became an object of interest. I clearly recall a day when I sat on the floor during one of my father's endless journeys and stared at the black squiggles on the paper. Suddenly, I saw the word 'familiar' very clearly. I can't remember what that news story was all about or if the word I saw was really there, but from that time on I could read and words were the most important thing in my universe.

Perhaps I was born to be a writer. It certainly seems to have been my calling in life and I have done a lot of it. My house is full of words and books and I like it that way, although it is not always comfortable for others.

It has been said that writing is a solitary occupation, and I suppose that is true. It s difficult to concentrate on another person when one is writing. Writing a story can take you out of the mundane world of diry floors and the necessity to cook dinner. This is not to say I have not washed the floors and boiled the beans - far from it. I just did those things in a trance, anxious to get back to the story being spun out in my head.

As such, I would like to apologize to the characters in my life who have come away still hungry from my table. I cannot change my nature any more than they could choose theirs. And so, I say, blessings upon you fellow travelers. I hope your story is engaging and full of wonderful adventures. Stay happy and keep on the sunny side. Terry

Friday, February 6, 2009

Visionary Valentine

Happy Friday Bloggers,

A month ago I was asked to create a submission to a fund-raiser at a new art gallery in Cambridge. The theme for the event was Visionary Valentine. How was I supposed to respond to that particular request? I am a writer, but I do a number of other arty things to keep sane and while away the hours I don't spend in front of the computer.

I'm old and on a fixed income, but I was raised in a situation where there just wasn't a lot of money for toys, so I started making my own. I make a mermaid doll that creates a lot of attention, so I thought my visionary valentine could be a doll. Heck, I have loads of materials available to make dolls, so it seemed like a good solution to my problem.

I got out some things: sparkly velvet, lace, and speciality yarns. I hand-sewed every stitch. The result was a doll I call The Queen of Tarts. This dandy little gal will be auctioned off to some lucky winner on Valentines's Day at Cambridge's Main Street Gallery. She is pretty unusual, so I hope she will bless the gallery with a good sale price.

I made the queen a couple of ladies in waiting, but they aren't nearly as tarty as the queen! Maybe they can go in the gift shop for sale to the tourists that are finding Cambridge more and more as fuel shortages demand day trips for travelers from the western side of the Chesapeake Bay. Cambridge is within spitting distance of Baltimore and Washington. It is also a deep water port. Visitors are likely and welcome.

That's it for today, just thought you might want to see what I do in my 'spare' time! Keep on the sunny side folks, Terry

Terry L White -Author of the Chesapeake Heritage Series
"Travel Through Time With Terry"

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Life in the Computer Age

Hello All,

I was just thinking what great strides have been made in communications since I was a little kid.

Probably my first memories of the joys of writing center around the stacks of paper scraps my grandmother brought home from her job at Vail Bleu Press in Binghampton, NY where she ran a linotype machine. She was a typesetter in a factory that printed textbooks, and I guess the paper she brought home was trimmings from the books the press produced.

The next thing relating to writing that I remember clearly were the yellow pencil and pulp paper tablets - you know - the ones with the lines far apart. The school system gave use one of each on which to do our homework. I drew pictures, and made paper dolls for my girlfriends. Everyone wanted them. I can't remember if I ran out of paper before the end of the month, but paper and pencil were definitely important.

When I was in my 30s, I tried keeping a journal, but the wrong person read my comments and that changed the course of my life. I ended up divorced and writing my memoirs on a legal pad, in pencil. My significant other at the time bought me a very used typewriter, and I hacked at that monster for years, turning out one manuscript rife with erasures and mistakes in grammar and spelling.

I was scared to death I was going to break my first computer, which represented freedom from paper and ink tapes, since one could make corrections forever before I printed a copy of my opus. Hoorah. Did I break the computer. NO... did technology catch me up and rear-end me when I was working away? Heck yes!

Employment at a small-town daily taught me to write fast - and to write clean. It also hinted at something I could hardly believe: the fact that computers in two different places could communicate with one another! Wow.

The next thing I knew, I was online and not only selling on ebay, but writing novel after novel in my spare time. Once, on a dare, I wrote an entire novel (a mystery) in only 28 days. It can be done. My publisher took it right away, said it was in really good shape. I don't know.

I work with my spell and grammar check turned on and always try to repair things flagged, but the gremlins still get in my work and my books in print still have errors - I guess the computer geeks are still trying to get the bugs out.

I just hope I don't have to get back to those legal pads and yellow pencils. So, write on and keep on the sunny side! Terry

Terry L White -Author of the Chesapeake Heritage Series
"Travel Through Time With Terry"

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Hibernation Anyone?

Hello Bloggers,

I have a regular meeting mid-week with the Wednesday Morning Artists, and I find that I would much rather stay home, and maybe even stay in my jammies all day long. Cold country mammals have the right idea. Hibernate.

I can't mention this too often. Hibernation is an idea whose time has come. Just think of all the energy we could save if we decided to legalize hibernation. It would take far less energy to heat our homes, we wouldn't need to worry so much about clothing fashions, and those who chose to hibernate would wake nice and slim each spring. What could be better?

I am not ranting against the WMA. They are a wonderful group of men and women who take on projects to make the city of Cambridge a far more interesting and lovely place. Their first project was an enormous mosaic constructed on the masking walls in front of two burnt-out businesses. Their summer opus will embrace the history of the city, including the passage of heroine Harriet Tubman from nearby Bucktown to immortality. They do good work.

All I am saying is what is wrong with a nice winter's nap? We can look for the sunny side again when the weather warms up. Terry

Terry L White -Author of the Chesapeake Heritage Series
"Travel Through Time With Terry"

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Chesapeake Legacy in Print

The print version of Chesapeake Legacy, the second book in the Chesapeake Heritage series arrived yesterday. I was so excited when I opened the book and saw how different the book looks in print.

Working on a computer screen day after day seems to do something to my eyesight. I am having a time getting the bugs out of my work, and finally called in some friends to read the manuscripts and help me produce clean copy for the final editions. The first book in the series is out there with way too many errors and I want to apologize for that.

People have the idea that an editor cleans up a manuscript for her writer, but nothing could be further from the truth. The author is responsible for the state of one's work and I am here to tell you it is a long and dangerous journey. In taking that journey, I have learned the value of more eyes on the manuscript - and that different readers find different sorts of errors.

I am grateful to all of my first readers and hope to be able to present my readers with better books in the future -- with a little help from my friends!

So, humble pie is on the menu today, along with joy that the second volume of my series is in print.

Oh yes! Don't forget to look at the great cover! Dawn Tarr is such a good artist. I am so glad she is doing the covers for this set.

I sure hope you have a great day. If you see the groundhog, remind him that he is good eating and stay on the sunny side. Terry

Terry L White -Author of the Chesapeake Heritage Series
"Travel Through Time With Terry"

Monday, February 2, 2009

Happy Groundhog Day!

Happy Groundhog Day Bloggers,

The ancient Celts spread the belief that shadows cast in winter predicted more days of darkness and cold. The cute little groundhog was an accidental player in the drama that somehow got scooped up and made famous for the fun holiday we all know and love. They say he saw his shadow, so winter will be with us for a while.

I think the groundhog must have made a mistake. Just last Thursday I was out and saw an entire flock of robins on the courthouse lawn. Robins are sposed to be the authority on the arrival of spring. So, just which critter are we supposed to believe?

If you know, I hope you will blog me back and start a dialog. In the meantime, I have a book to edit and cookies to bake. Take care of yourselves and stay on the sunny side. The groundhog could be wrong after all. Terry