Monday, April 25, 2011
Yesterday was Easter and I traveled to see old friends for the holiday. There were children there, playing fashion show, with the littlest sister as mannequin. The food, of course, was indescribably delicious and the conversation quiet and lazy in the heat of the peninsula's warmest day of spring.
The winter has been plagued by bad news from the far corners of the world, so it is no surprise that we are tired. Nor is it a puzzle that we do not understand the wars, the natural disasters, and the need to pump ourselves up each morning just to face the day.
Do you ever wonder why God allows such bad things to happen? No one in their right mind would order up a hurricane, a tornado, or flesh-eating bacteria - but all of these are with us, and the price of gas continue to rise, taking food out of our children's mouths and leaving his parents with the vague sense that they have not done enough to provide a perfect world for their offspring despite the exhaustion that leaves them on the couch.
One thing is for sure: we will always question what the Maker sends our way and hope that we can keep it all on the sunny side. Love, Terry
Sometimes I wonder what is the real news
And what the reporters, trying to keep their jobs,
Have cooked up to go with our morning coffee.
It is all so disturbing – the threats and talk of war,
The disease we bred by hand, irradidated now.
If we don’t watch out, all those old monster
Movies will come to pass and twenty foot lizards
Will lurk in the grass near the birdbath out back
Waiting to eat your cat or to take off your head.
Sometimes I wonder what people think is all right
When the sky is red with volcano dust and the seas
Spit up strange species upon the strand for us to taste –
And the spoiled mouse with two heads is the last one –
And the cow’s milk is gone bad and the meat spoiled.
How can that come to pass when God told us all
That there would always be enough to feed each Mother’s child?
But now we watch the surge of wildest sea and ask
If the children will have a world to run after all.
Sometimes I wonder what happened to our birthright
So that now we find each evening, dark with fear and
Dreams plagued with mud and fire on hill and marsh
Destroying Eden in their miserable march to the leaden sky
When what we crave is a good night’s sleep spooned
With love and trust while the stars waltz about the sky
And the Northern lights track friendly fire from desert bands
Bent on their particular translation of holy word,
And wonder why the Creator allows it all to go on.
Friday, April 22, 2011
One of the best things in my life was listening to the stories people tell me and the best job I ever had was working for the local newspaper where I got to go out into the world and listen to stories. From the number of people who still know my name more than a decade later, I must have done a good job.
I started listening to stories as a child, hanging on the grownups' words until someone hissed, "little pitchers have big ears," and the subject was dropped like a cement balloon. But I knew where the stories were and as an early reader, I had the key to the treasure house where I could hear those stories over and over
It is true I write what is generally referred to as historical fiction, but a famous warrior once said that if the author was not there when the battle was won - the thing he wrote was fiction after all. Writing and telling stories, has been my life, my love and reason to be so if you have a story to share, I would love to hear it.
In the meantime, have a great weekend and keep on the sunny side! Love, Terry
Tell Me a Story
Tell me a story I ‘ve not heard before
I promise to listen, and never to snore
To tales out of closets, and cellars and floors,
Tell me a story I’ve not heard before!
I want to see vultures wheel up in the sky,
A kid on a bike as he rolls it on by,
A story of laughter, and heartache, and pie,
Heroes that win and bad guys who die!
Please tell me a story with dark secrets rife,
A story of heaven, a tale of great strife,
A note on a pillow, a history of life,
A story of trapper, and a pioneer wife.
Do offer a memory you keep near your heart,
A yarn about people who act out their part
With verve and with passion, as life doubles art,
With stories of love that was true from the start.
I love to hear stories of people who care,
The legends of teachers who always were there,
Of firemen and doctors, and guys who cut hair,
I see all their faces and feel all their care.
There’s jokes and there’s anecdotes, I love them all,
The stories of children, the colors of fall,
I love to hear rumors, and tales that are tall,
Of monsters and ogres and days at the mall.
Please tell me a story I already know,
Stories, the crop that we nurture and grow
From the seedlings of love, and the seeds that we sow,
In the stories well told before each must go.
If you have a story, please tell me the tale,
Don’t skip any parts or die on the trail,
Weave in the sachem, the goofy, the frail
And tell it quite often – as memory may fail.
Please tell me a story, I ask this of you,
Don’t leave out a thing that goes in the stew,
Don’t leave out your feelings, or anything new –
For the best part of stories is listening to you!
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Good Day Friends,
Today I am sharing a poem I wrote called Gaia's Dream. Today we have instant access to every sort of bad news due to the flood of technology that puts the sadness of storm and quake at our morning breakfast table - just as if these stirrings of the earth have not been with us forever and ever since the world was born.
I sometimes wonder if we forget that our souls are safe - no matter what Mother Earth may send to test the limits of our patience and compassion.
Yesterday my friend Lisa and I painted my porch and sealed up a hundred years of cracks and crannies in the ancient wood. The railings are crisply white, the floor a green reminiscent of the army blankets on my childhood bed - itchy wool redeemed by virtue of warmth in winter's gale where all dreams took place under the summer sun.
On the next block are a conversation of cats, stalking one another through the new spring lilies. There are squirrels mining last year's pecans, and puppies with leash in mouth, walking themselves.
The world, you see, turns through no fault of our own. All we have to do is trust. That said, I wish you a beautiful spring day... and a walk on the sunny side.
Humans are so doggoned cockeyed!
We settle on the edge of the fault,
On the banks of the river,
On the cusp of the storm,
And then we wonder why
The basement floods,
The tree falls,
The heart breaks, and
The yard blows away …
And then we wonder just what
We did wrong,
Think of this:
The earth does not move
For love nor money.
She is a beautiful woman
Who turns in her sleep
Warm in the knowledge
Her children will rest
In her bosom
No matter what she dreams.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
From my next book: Gaia's Dream
On the Works of Other Poets
I sometimes sit and read other poets’ verse
And it occurs to me that there are as many
Views of the sunset as there are eyes to see.
I do not speak of the funny lines
That celebrate the child within, but instead of
The daffodil in the forest, a souvenir of
Some pioneer’s woman who wasted space
In the yard for that which her children could not eat.
I do not speak of the alphabet rhymes
Crafted to teach her child his letters one by one,
I do not call up the dance in giddy sunshowers
Waiting for true love to come.
I want the words that carve the stone of poverty,
The rock of war, the pangs of birth
And the joy of watching the sun emerge from
A formless gray blanket of swirling mist.
I want the words that call up the shades of men
Who died to save the world we love.
I want to hear the clang of sledge on iron,
The rasp of saw on hardwood flesh,
The sing of line the fishers cast,
The thespian’s song as he works his art,
The plane in the sky, the cop on his beat,
The cook at the grille, the sweeper of streets,
The cry of the newborn, soon silenced at breast
The secret of love kept deep in your chest,
The hope and the fear and a rest in the shade,
The debt and the prize with taxes prepaid,
The chatter of children, the purring of cats…
I want to hear these in the mind’s ear – and more
Recording our time with the splendor of yore,
A ransom of thought, and a pathway to freedom –
Hard won and hard fought…
I want to feel rainbows that lodge in the heart
The shifting of dreams that leave with no mark
I want to hear giggles of babies at play
The song of a thrush at the cool break of the day.
The masters of verse have harvested these
In a wealth of lost words that leave us a scene,
A look at the world that they so strongly weaved
In a place lost in warstorm, in dismal dark scenes.
I love the old poems, that tell who we are
The ones that inspire to follow love’s star –
The song of the sachem and the prayer feather beat
The march of time that flows down each lonely street,
The clatter of cans on trash pickup day,
The carillion that rings out and calls us to pray,
The teakettle’s whistle, the somber dark hearse
The snips, and the scraps – all the bones of great verse.
I may not be famous, I may not be known
But I will leave words to show how I’ve grown
In a world not always quite gentle or wise
But a place I have seen through the word weaver’s eyes.
The world that that God gives us to save and to mend
In the hope of sweet rest
When it comes to the end.
Makes you think! Keep on the sunny side, folks! Love, Terry
Friday, April 8, 2011
Good Morning to the Land of Pleasant Living. I have been lax about posting about my work until this morning when I read Susan Logan's post on Facebook that says the site is sorting your contacts and if you don't talk to every one of your contacts daily, your posts won't go out to your list. Point taken. Thank you Susan!
Last year, I published either three or four books - depends on how you count... as Vienna Pride didn't see print until just recently. Also published last year was Chesapeake Visions, Drama Queen Rules and Myth to Me.
Myth to Me was a special project in which I brought together a volume of poetry - some collected over the years, others written brand new for a new online friend who also helped subsidize the publishing costs for a print-on-demand publisher. I can't tell you how fulfilling it was to see this book in print and my thanks go out to Bill who encouraged me daily. Thanks as well to Claudia Conlon who took the beautiful cover photo of one of the sea walks at Fire Island.
Myth to Me is a collection of poetry that reaches into the legends we create from out own dreams when nights are long and winds grow cold into the very soul. The inner light reflects love, sorrow, pain and delight, reaching out to touch the searching heart with compassion and understanding. Here's a sample.
I’d nearly forgotten how good morning could taste,
There are birds out there, celebrating – or gossiping!
Or, maybe they just tend to business straightaway
So the rest of their day is free.
To fly would certainly make me lose my concentration!
Hey! Maybe they have the idea they can
Hustle the sun up sooner or something.
But the sun moves by its own lights.
See how gently it handles spring
Coaxing each leaf to unfurl its banner –
Green canapés and coupolas for spring.
It did rain, but it isn’t now.
The car tires shlusch through the puddles --
Where red maple flowers float through the night --
First one, then more,
Armored for the day in steel, on rubber wheels.
I still have time for my rich black cup,
To smell its hot perfume,
And watch the morning waken up –
I had nearly forgotten how good it could taste.
I think you might like the book, and invite you to check it out at ebooktime.com or Amazon and Kindle. In the meantime, keep on the sunny side. Love, Terry
Monday, April 4, 2011
I have been a writer for most of my life and the handwriting is surely on the wall for what we have come to know and love as 'books' will be a thing of the past in some not so distant future. The time has come to welcome e-books to the masses, but will they read our stories?
Today, millions of writers are struggling to get one of thousands of print-on-demand publishers to put their work between shiny paper covers. These publishers will set up your work for any of thousands of book printers scattered across the literary landscape.
But here comes the clincher: After a great deal of research, I have learned that the authors who come out of the pack tend to be those who pay through the nose for publicity packages that get their books noticed at e-book stores and online catalogs. I have an idea that some of these authors may not be too happy about the amount of sales they got for their investment, but at least they were doing something positive.
It seems to me that the problem is no longer learning how to best tell a story - but how to get noticed in the greater scheme of things. We are constantly reminded to find our bliss and the promise is that good fortune will find us, but the queue is getting pretty long and I am getting a bit long in the tooth for fame, so I don't know. The tree has fallen, but is there anyone left in the forest to hear it and read the stories.
If any of you know how to break through the publishing barrier, maybe you can give me a thought... and keep on the sunny side!
Saturday, April 2, 2011
I'm writing today to introduce my latest novel Vienna Pride, which is now available at Amazon.com and Kindle, Barnes and Noble, www.writewordsinc.com and other outlets on the Internet.
Vienna Pride visits the new 20th century on the Eastern Shore of Maryland where canned foods from the lush area farms literally fed the world. The history of the area is fascinating and intricate, following indentured servants and German prisoners of war, farmers, trappers, watermen and all of their women. Vienna Pride is the name of a food label that never existed - but which pretty much explain how people felt about their work and what that work produced.
In this story, Mary Elliott, descended from the indentured Mary Charles met in the first of my Chesapeake novels: Chesapeake Harvest, goes to work at a cannery in spite of her parent's protest. Stubborn and set on what she sees as her destiny, Mary inadvertently puts herself in harm's way while a stalker haunts the cannery for his victims.
Set in 1918, the story picks up on world issues such as WW1 and the Spanish Influenza. I hope you like it and that you keep on the sunny side. Thanks,
Terry L. White