Thursday, April 30, 2009

What's Is Your New Book About?

Hey Bloggers!

About a month ago I finished the last book in my Chesapeake Heritage series and decided I was going to take a break and just take care of my blogs for a little while.

Wouldn't you know it? I was tired, worn out, and ready to bawl. Writing four books in just over a year really did me in. If anyone had asked me, I would have said I was going to find some nice, non-literary activities to keep me busy for a little while.

Wrong! I doubt if I had a week off rest and whatever recreation the writer's life affords when I had this dream. It was one of those vivid Technicolor epics that followed me into my waking life.

I knew the title, I could see the setting, and I had a great certainty about how the tale should begin. Long ago, I learned that an impelling message like this had to be honored. There was nothing to do but to quit the spring housecleaning and head for the computer.

So here I am. The words just keep rolling in. Every morning I sit down for my daily dictation. You have to do it. You signed on for the journey after all.

There is one problem. What to do when someone says, "Well, what is your new book about?"

I'm not going to tell. I would appreciate it if you can honor my superstition that it is bad luck to talk about a story not yet completed. Rest assured, I write every day, usually first thing in the morning, right after I read (and forget) my daily horoscope.

When I finish this new book, you will be the first to know. In the meantime, we've got a pretty day going, so keep on the sunny side. Terry

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

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Porching Revisited

Hey Bloggers,

Yesterday I posted an essay about the great American porch and its role in society. Today, Good Morning American did a bit on porching.

Talk about synchronicity. You just don't see people talking about porching that much any more... then all of a sudden the universe hiccoughs and there are porches everywhere.

Like I said, I love my porch. It becomes an extension of my living space every summer, giving me a break from the den where I write all winter long. Don't get me wrong, I am still writing. I just like to enjoy the sunshine and neighbors as much as I can.

The porch also gives me a place to give my houseplants a break from the long winter months in the sunniest windows I can find. I think they like it a lot better outdoors because they grow and gain in beauty every day.

It was neat that Good Morning America recognized the American porch. It just shows that people in this country are going back to the old days when people sat on porches and exchange greetings with their neighbors. They didn't need electricty to keep cool, there were always the peninsula breezes that make the Eastern Shore so pleasant.

If you have a porch, I do hope you use it. It is a wonderful way to keep on the sunny side. Terry

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

Monday, April 27, 2009

To Porch or Not To Porch

Yesterday spring arrived. The sun was shining and it got so hot upstairs I had to open some windows to let in the fresh air and a little pollen.

In case you didn't know, porch is a verb here on the Eastern Shore. People porch. They sit outside and talk, they visit with passers-by, they enjoy the birds and bees and the neighbor's cat.

I love to porch. There is nothing like sitting outside with my morning coffee and a good book. The sun works wonders on my skin.I feel better when the sun gets into my bones.

I know, we aren't supposed to tan these days, but in the words of an old friend, "You're going to look damned stupid if you get to the Pearly Gates and find out you died of nothin'."

I like that. I want to be like the woman in that poem who would have danced more if she had know how life would end. She would have eaten more ice cream and worn extravagant hats. That's me. I want it all.

So. Spring is here and the porch is waiting. There is nothing like porching - alone or with a friend. So, take time to sit on your own porch if you have one, or go find a friend on her porch. There's nothing like it for staying on the sunny side. Terry

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

Friday, April 24, 2009

House For Sale, Boat Included

Hey Bloggers,

I was looking through the photos I took last weekend when I got to spend time on Hooper's Island. A few years ago, the island was a place where fishermen raised their family and spent their days on the water catching fish, oysters and the famous Marylnd blue crabs. Today, many of the boats deteriorate in boatyards while those very same families are wondering how they will make out in the emerging world village. There is no work and legislators block fishing for species they fear will become extinct.

There are a couple of small communities on Upper Hooper and Lower Hooper islands. A beautiful causeway connects the two islands. You drive the main route through the village of Fishing Creek, past the Hoopers Island Volunteer Fire Company, Hoosier Memorial Methodist Church and Old Salty's a seafood restaurant seated in the island's old school. Much of Hoopersville, the lower island is untended, the tides eroding the shorelines as boats and houses sink slowly into the wetland.

There are lot of properties for sale on the island, places that are being sold because so many of the watermen and their wives are moving to areas where there might be more work.

The true depression is on the faces of these displaced workers, some of whose family members have plied the Honga River and Fishing Bay for hunreds of years. A number of homes on the island have been sold to people who can afford to live and work elsewhere. Some of the houses are simply abandoned.

Sadly, many of those abandoned houses are simply waiting, their empty windows staring out across the waters, a boat slowly sinking into the marshy yard that stays wet throughout the summer because the lawn has not been mowed.

I want to say a prayer for the ghost houses and the unloved boats. It doesn't seem right, but perhaps the greening of America will restore the fishing and bring those fisherment back to the waters of Fishing Bay. One can only hope.

That's all for today, keep on the sunny side! Terry

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

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Good Day Bloggers,

Did you ever really look at driftwood and the quiet beauty of the wood?

I have an idea that while we often think we are in charge of our lives, the winds of change are scouring and shaping us into new and different beings.

When I look in the mirror, I see an old woman. My features have blurred and my hair can't decide how to behave. Unlike men, who can grow beards to disguise the troubles life has etched on their mugs, I can only tie back my thinning tresses and look upon the countenance time gave me.

Inner beauty does not seem to come through the mirror, and so the question of who is fairest of them all becomes moot. All one can do is to hope that the metamorphases of age reflect a beautiful and instructive life.

Driftwood, after all, echoes the past life of a tree that blossomed in spring and harbored the mockingbirds and jays and owls that called to me in day and night.

I hope the next person sees me as driftwood, stripped to the quiet beauty that remained hidden in my youth, and that the tide washes at my feet carrying bits of sea glass and shell to wear in my hair.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ghost Houses

Good Day Bloggers,

This past weekend I spent a couple of days on a nearby island at a friend's house. We wandered about, picking up sea glass from the windswept beach, admiring the emerging plants in Linda's gardens, watching the drama as two two osprey males courted one femals, and poking around ghost houses.

I have always enjoyed riding in the countryside and looking at abandoned houses. I want to know why someone left a perfectly good house to rot into the marsh. I want to know what happened. Did the owners die? Did they move away to find greener pastures? Did they have kids in the city who got to busy to go to the country and keep the house up.

One of the things Linda and I did over the rainy weekend was to watch movies. It was cozy in her living room with the stove going. Outside the wind moaned through the screens, and the bay was the color of pea soup gone bad - with occasional patches of agitated white froth - surely better to watch than to experience.

One of the flicks we watched was a movie called Grey Gardens, the story of a ghost house. Mother and daughter (Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore) sank deeper and deeper into disfunction over the years in this presentation of what turned out to be a true tale of the fate of two women who somehow allowed a beautiful 10 bedroom mansion to turn into a rubbish-strewn hulk shared with maurading raccoons and feral cats- and how they were rescued by the late Jackie Bouvier Kennedy .

There was just such a house on the island I visited this weekend. The lawn was overgrown and marshy from not being mowed regularly, and while the windows all were draped, one could just make out precious trinkets and a grand piano waiting for a mistress who will never return. The photo above shows one of the abandoned porches, chairs at ready for a hot afternoon drink with friends. (In this case, the owner is sick, and the house waits for her death - and perhaps a new owner.)

So, this time I learned what happened at the ghost house to cause it to fall into disrepair, although it is a stretch to say no one lives there. An osprey has built its nest on the chimney, so hope remains.

So. That is the story for today. I am going out to admire my own gardens and do my best to stay on the sunny side. Hope you can too. Terry

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

Tuesday April 21, 2009

Good Day Bloggers,

Promo 101 Virtual Blog Tours has offered a number of interesting blog stops in April.

Early in the month, we visited with Dyan Garris as she promoted her book Money and Manifesting. Hear the interview with Annie Smith on April 2 at
Listen to the show or download the show later.

Darryl Hagar, author of The Man Overboard, writes aout a broken relationships, nearly losing custody of his son, and alienation from his family and friends. The book is now available as a trade paperback. Watch a video from one of Darryl's speaking events at or hear an interview with Mr. Hagar at

Dan Fogelburg has enjoyed a busy month of blog stops and interviews starting with an interview with Fred Migliore. The interview filled two CDs. Sales benefits the Prostate Cancer Foundation. Fans will enjoy the chat as Mr. Fogelburg talks about the thoughts beyond the music. Purchase the CDs at To buy your copy -

Remember, comments are always welcome on 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"
Follow Promo 101 Virtual Blog Tours –'Promo 101 Tours

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Runaway Hearts Read on Radio For The Blind

Greetings Bloggers,

A couple of years ago I found myself writing a history of Dorchester County in verse. Well, I had been compiling pieces of the book, and finally got it together to present it to my publisher as a book called Runaway Hearts. A couple of weeks ago the book was read on Radio For The Blind and I will eventually have a CD I can copy and pass around.

I didn't mean to write a book of poetry. I write novels. Poetry is for love-sick people and it is rarely punctuated. My taste in poetry ran about a hundred years behind the pack. But there it was.

Okay, why Runaway Hearts? Well, like us, each of the characters in the book are running either to - or from something. Notable among the collection is the story of Harriet Tubman, who was born near Cambridge where I live.

Harriet was a slave. She stole a bunch of her peers and walked them up to Canada, eluding slave catchers with the help of sympathizers and Quakers along the way. Harriet was a Union Spy, a battlefield nurse and corresponded with John Brown and Queen Victoria.

The art for this edition came from several bound copies of Peterson's Magazine, a publication something like Woman's Day. The years are 1867, 1874 and 1875. Each issue included recipes, clothing and craft patterns, advice on nursing, a short story and at least one engraving. I scanned the engravings and cropped out pieces that went along with the poetry's theme. (Grandma attended the Spiritualist Church, I guess she knew where I was going before I did.) Even the windmill on the cover is pertinent, because mills like that were common on the peninsula.

Isn't it odd how life hands you stuff and you lug it around for years before it makes sense with your life? I think so.

So. That's my story for today. Enjoy, and keep on the sunny side. Terry

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

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Painting the Town

Hello Bloggers,

A year or so ago a fire ripped through downtown Cambridge, destroying a couple of storefronts and damaging several businesses. Cambridge was shocked. The downtown was humble, but part of a large historic district. Imagine the shock when first seeing the destruction.

The buildings were propped up and individuals in the community came forward to beg that the facades of the damaged buildings be restored. The buildings were shaky, a million tons of water is hard on brick and mortar. The facades were propped up and the storefronts covered with chip board. We just had to make the best of it for the next few years until restoration efforts could be funded. In this economy! Quite a task indeed.

Luckily, one of the artists in the Wednesday Morning Artists saw a way to take the pain out of the event and carry the downtown into a new and better future. She mobilized the community and by the end of summer the chipboard used to keep people out of the damaged buildings had been turned into a block-long mosaic! Nearly all of the materials were donated, hundreds of people stopped by to stick one - or a hundred- pieces of glass, tile, or broken dishes on the mosaic. People spent eons grouting and polishing.

The result is both interesting and beautiful, and while the art project is still somewhat hidden by the props that keep the facades standing, you can walk under the arcade for nearly a block to see what a community can do when disaster strikes. Plans are afoot to place the mosaic once the materials are no longer necessary to protect the void in our downtown.

This summer we hope to do another mural on another wall so Cambridge can show our community pride again. If you get the opportunity, do visit. If not, keep on the sunny side! Terry

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Salute to the Cover Artist, Dawn Tarr

Hello Blogger,

You know, I often talk about my writing and the process of finding an idea and then bringing it to life as a book. I sometimes fail to mention what a great effort goes into the art for the covers.

My publisher has done most of my covers, but when I decided to expand my Chesapeake novel into set of four, I asked my friend Dawn Tarr ( do the covers. The image you see above is the cover for book three, Chesapeake Destiny.

Dawn is struggling with the economy, just like all of us, and has had to put her art to one side and take a job at Curves. She is a ravishing redhead with a diva's figure that can only be enhanced by a tone-up. I just know she will find something good to do with the experience. She is just that sort of girl.

Dawn was the inspiration for Chesapeake Destiny, the story of a woman who frees herself from an unhappy marriage and finds real love with an itinerant painter who shows her how beautiful she - and life can be. All this is set against a backdrop of post-Revolution Maryland. I loved writing the story and I was absolutely knocked out when I saw the cover Dawn extracted from the story. I personally think she is a genius and want to tell the world.

I have several of Dawn's paintings, and I find them very pleasant to live with. They really set off my walls and give me a good feeling about being a woman and diva in my own right. So, carry on and let your own diva out and, as always, keep on the sunny side! Terry

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

Monday, April 13, 2009

Where Do They Come From?

I know, I have been among the missing lately. Can't say as I have a good excuse except that I keep waiting on spring to heat up enough for tank tops and shorts. I love the moderate heat of late spring, the gilded days when you can sit on the porch well into the evening and watch your flowers grow. As yet, it has been too cold and much too rainy to do that yet.

The only thing left to do is to stay inside and write. So, with the weather too old to sit outside and read, I have started not one, but two books. Now, I am superstitious enough not to want to tell you anything about these books other than how I came to start them.

The first came as a result of another book I wrote years ago. It is supposed to be a sequel - or maybe not. I haven't decided if I have enough momentum to do another series. The Chesapeake series about wore me out since I wrote four books in something less than two years. These volumes are about a single farm (and family) on the Eastern Shore of Maryland during the period from colonization until after the Civil War. I suppose I could have gone, but like the old saying goes: the flesh was weak.

The second book idea came from a dream. I woke up and I had a name and a few pages of story in my mind. It took me three different times to get the computer to save the darned thing, there was so much energy attached to the whole thing. It happens.

I have written books after visiting a place, picking up a rock, and hearing a particular comment from another individual. I don't know where books come from - only that they are give to me to transcribe from somewhere out there. Yah, yah! I know. You think I am crazier than a loon.

Perhaps. But I don't think I am the only writer to experience this sort of manna. One has to be open to the process and magic happens. AND, if you don't act on the impulse, the idea will fade away like the manna in the Bible.

I don't know how you write, but this is how it works for me. All I know today is that at this point in time, I have not one but two stories tugging on my shirttail.

So. Keep on the sunny side. I got work to do. Best, Terry

Terry L White -Author of the Chesapeake Heritage Series
"Travel Through Time With Terry"
Follow Promo 101 Virtual Blog Tours –'Promo 101 Tours

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Treasure in My Backyard

I don't know folks, but spring always takes me outdoors and into the back yard. My front yard is only a couple of feet deep and I try to make the most of the little patch of ground there. A couple of years ago six or seven neighborhood children decided to help me make a flowerbed in the front and I add a new plant every now and then so it looks nice from the street. Gotta think about curb appeal.

Out back, though, I try to cultivte as much habitat as possible, and as a result have lots of shade and any number of small critters that make it an interesting place to sit and enjoy.

I can't name all the birds that find refuge in my giant hedge of yew, boxwood and privit. Looks to me as if the hedge was planted and replanted over the years, and I suppose it looks a bit messy to the unenlightened, but I truly enjoy the privacy and variety available in my woody kingdom.

At the back of the yard, an enormous pecan tree holds court, anchoring the yard with lots of shade. Various sorts of vines - from Virginia creeper, a couple of types of ivy and the occasional poison ivy plant weave a complicated shade pattern, keeping the yard cooler than those around me. Last year, the neighbor to my right added an 8-foot fence, affording still more privacy and shade. The viney sorts have already naturalized the fence, adding to the interest and habitat for blue jays, doves, mockingbirds, cardinals, wrens, finches and a number of other species.

Don't speak of the squirrels. They chew holes in the house, invade the attic, and strip the phone wires so that they no longer work. I can't like them and do not find them cute. You can have them.

Other than the squirrels, I do love my back yard and even though it takes a lot of pruning and clipping to keep the jungle at bay, I really love my backyard and consider myself blessed.

So. I'm going out to inspect my violets. There are so many I can see them from my kitchen window. So. I wish you habitat, birds and violets. If you can't get them, keep on the sunny side. Terry

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Waiting for Violets

Hello Bloggers,

I snapped a photo last spring of the lush bouquets of violets growing in my back yard. The entire yard was full of both the white and dark purple blooms and I admit I postponed the first round with the lawn mower until the violets finished blooming.

You just don't get violets that often in life, and I figure I can wait a week or so for them to pass naturally.

Life just doesn't offer enough violets. Think about it. You can fall in love and the guy opens the car door for maybe two weeks, then the 'violets' are out of season. You can buy a used car and 30 days later you run out of 'violets'. Your mom cooks dinner and you wait for dessert and eat the rutabagas and brussels sprouts, the cake is served, and boom ... no more violets.

I think you have to wait for the violets in life.

Just remember, there are people out there who don't get many violets in their lives, so give them a call or send an unexpected card - snail mail - not over the Internet. They may be waiting for a violet or two and not even know it.

Clouds are predicted, but I hope you have a pretty day and keep on the sunny side. Terry

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Writing a Series

Hello Bloggers,

Today I would like to say a word about writing a book series. My first effort, The Bride of the Condor series, was an accident. My first draft of the story of Qwana, last priestess of the Moon Goddess, was far too long. Back in the day, publishers called a book that long a doorstop. I used to love those wonderful stories that went on for pages and pages. An awareness of resources and the lack of reader time made that sort of publishing unrewarding, so my publisher (who was doing e-books at the time) suggested I divide the books up into sections.

All I had to do was to try to divide the book into three somewhat equal parts and to create transitions between those parts so that people would want to come back and read the next installment. She says I done good. Perhaps.

The next thing I knew she had read Chesapeake Harvest, my novel set in colonial Maryland on the peninsula known as the Eastern Shore. I thought I was finished with the Chesapeake, and three books later, I again hope I am finished with that series. Unlike Sue Grafton, who pursued her mysteries throughout the entire alphabet (!) I can't seem to think of plots for too many books all set in the same place. At any rate, I have finished the fourth book in the Chesapeake series, bringing the women in one family out of the Civil War and into a world without slavery. Enough history for now, I said!

So what happened next? I am afraid to say, but it has to do with another series. I am not going to reveal any more, because I may never get past the first book, but I will let you know if I can push past my own aversion for a set of books with one theme and pen the next and next and next books. Wish me luck.

. . . and keep on the sunny side! Terry

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