Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Green Show

This month the Main Street Gallery in Cambridge is honoring the environment with a 'green show'. This exciting display features upcycled and recycled materials in projects that span the green spectrum.

Green paintings take center stage. Jewelry made of nails is selling like hotcakes and a wonderfully glittery mermaid presides over a unique selection of art done by talented artists with the environment in mind.

My 'Material Girl' (above) is made of newsprint, house paint, broken jewelry and some pot scrubbers from under the sink. I liked the project because it used a lot of leftovers from my crafts stash. My fond hope is that someone will take her home, because I can't quite think where she would fit in my collection! As if...

I do hope that the show, which is open Wednesday through Saturday, will make people think. So much of what we 'consume' here in America constitutes waste - materials that could well be recycled into something beautiful and useful.

It is, after all, what art is all about.

Keep on the sunny side, Spring is here! Terry

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Steamboat's Comin'

Good Saturday Morning,

I just finished the galleys for Chesapeake Visions, the fourth in my series of historical novels set on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. (The covers were done by Snow Hill artist Dawn M. Tarr) I chose the steamboat theme because steamboats were the major form of transportation during the Civil War era - right up until the Bay Bridge was built to span the Chesapeake Bay and make travel to the Eastern Shore a bit easier than it had been for the past couple of centuries.

Writing is the best thing in the world to me. I just love sitting down and seeing what the universe has to say through me. I look back at my work at times and can't help but wonder where it all came from. In the case of Chesapeake Visions, I will tell you the inspiration came from a wonderful friend who is blind.

Thinking about my friend and the difficulties she gallantly copes with every day of her life, I was prompted to write the story of a woman who was blind from birth, a child of the planter's gentry found in the agricultural history of the Eastern Shore.

Imagining Jewel LeCompte and her fate as emancipation freed her slaves paved the way for a story that might be even more compelling of that posed by the other farm families who had to pay their slaves to do the same work they did before the Civil War. Jewel had to learn to work, and she had to work without the benefit of sight. I thought it was a great story and I hope my readers do as well.

The histories behind the history books always hold a great charm for me. What did the farmer do without slaves? How does a blind woman work in her kitchen? Can she learn to read, and how? Will she find love - or will it find her?

I am looking forward to seeing this last book in the Chesapeake Heritage series in print and that it will one day be recognized for the history behind the history it illuminates.

Happy reading! Terry

Saturday, March 6, 2010

To E-Book or...

One of the first things I did when I got online for the first time was to find people to talk with from around the world. That first year I had pen pals in Australia, Japan, Indonesia, England, Turkey, Canada, all over the States, and in various other places in the world.

I thought it was great! You can still do that, but a lot of sites that were free back then have deteriorated into matching sites that charge for their services. Seems like we are going backward in that respect and that the matching sites are standing in the way of progress.

I believe it is a good thing to try to get to know people who live in different places. I know when I did, the biggest thing I noticed was that people are more alike than they are different.

One of the nifty people I met was this fellow from Canada who used to be a newspaperman. We had a lot to talk about, and I enjoyed his company. Our conversation often drifted to the art of writing and he suggested I write a mystery - these being more salable than the historical novels I loved to write.

Challenged, I wrote every night, every morning before going to work, and all weekend. It took me 28 days to pen Imagine, a whodunit in which the mystery revolved around the introduction of computer technology in a small-town police department. It wasn't very good, but my publisher liked it and it remains an e-book to this day, even though it is woefully dated. She even suggested I continue the tale as a series, but I didn't much like the genre and I went back to my beloved historical fiction.

Still, Imagine is out there for anyone to download into their Kindle or other reading device. I guess a copy sells every now and then, but it is darned hard to sign a download, so I don't get many requests for my signature.

I am still not convinced e-books are the wave of the future, but if anyone knows how to get noticed as the author of e-books, I hope you will let me know.

Have a great day and keep on the sunny side! Terry