Saturday, January 28, 2012

Honor Mother and Father

As many of my friends know, I recently published my 20th book and the sixth in what I like to call the Chesapeake Heritage series. The story of a soldier who came to the Eastern Shore to guard German prisoners of war during WW2 picks up where my novel Vienna Pride left off. Each of the tales puts the spotlight on her-story, an area sometimes neglected by the historians who did their best to tell the story as they saw it!

When I wrote Chesapeake Harvest, the first in the series, I thought it was going to be a stand-alone book, but the yarn took over and five books later I seem to have come to the end of my journey.

I have to thank my publisher and Snow Hill artist Dawn Tarr for the great covers that spotlight the first five stories surrounding the lives of one family of women through the maze of his-story, but when I came to the last cover, I went astray and chose a photo of my mother and father for the cover of First Waltz. I am getting some good feedback on the cover image - proving perhaps that a book can be judged by its cover.

My mother died when I was very young, but my father was always pretty proud of his daughter the writer, so I am fairly sure they are together up there in heaven looking down on the book and the cover image of Bob and Hazel White when they were young. I can't think of a better way to honor them.

You can find my historical novels on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and online vendors who sell e-book files. Check them out if you would like to know a little more about the her-story of the Eastern Shore, and keep on the sunny side. Love, Terry

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Thinking Ahead and the Golden Years

As I wander through what is sometimes termed my golden years, I wonder how I am going to face my old age with dignity.

I have always been what some people term "poor" and always worked hard to earn a living and pay my bills even though there was never any extra for things like health insurance,reliable cars or trips to the beauty shop. I did not, however, count on health problems or the need to greatly augment what Social Security can afford to dole out to old folks who will certainly have any number of health issues as time goes by. I for one was so busy in the present problems that I didn't have time or energy to give much thought to my old age.

While I understood the importance of work and being responsible for myself, both in finances and good health, I also spent some time writing, which turned out to be the one true love in my life. People say they like my books, but the trick seems to be selling the output when royalty checks come in single digits.

Last week I received the first copies of my 20th book. I always hoped that the extra work I did over the years would help me take care of my bills in my old age. It has not so far, but my life isn't over yet. Which isn't to say I don't get frustrated. It is hard on the ego to realize one's work is not desirable.

Nor does it help when the printer gets half the sale price and the publisher gets half of what's left, and the writer is stuck with the smallest piece of a pie that wouldn't even be there if the writer didn't trust them with his or her work.

One think I know: If my work, all those 20 books, would support me then I would no longer look to the government to help pay my bills. I just wish I could figure out the combination so I can spend the rest of my days on the sunny side. If you know the secret, please let me know. Terry

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Happy Whaaaaa???

WOW! Today is my birthday and I already have 50 greetings on Facebook before 10 o'clock (and a cake from Elliott Island!) Every decade or so one gets to experience a really outstanding birthday, and I have a feeling this is going to be one of them.

Yesterday I attended a meeting about creating tourism opportunities for Dorchester County as we enter a world that needs new solutions to old problems. Turns out Dorchester has to blow its own horn. It already has all the ingredients for day trippin' in a season where fuel use is a factor in how people spend their leisure.

As a pre-baby boomer I am now in the position to sit down and wait for the grim reaper, travel around in an RV as big as a house, or lie about my age and buy a red car. Any one of these things will keep me busy for a little while. But what is left to hold me until the end?

Suddenly the world is populated by jillions of folks who are sliding, slipping, squeaking, and stampeding our their old age. I know people like to call these their golden years, but some of us never had any gold to compare them to.

So what is going to happen to us? It is pretty clear the Social Security nirvana we were promised as adults turned out to be another urban legend. Many of us have retired from commercial work and find ourselves with scads of time on our hands and holes in our bank accounts. Some of the guys putter in their shops, the women take their granddaughters to the beauty parlor. Lots of people volunteer - doing their old job for free. But what about when you get to be really old? What will keep you interested in life?

Some folks enjoy poor health while others are getting around to the profession they always wanted to enjoy with an new significant other. I have an idea that choosing something difficult to learn may be the key to a good old age. Who wants to die with things undone, anyway?

I'll tell you a secret. All I ever wanted to do was to write, and if I get a birthday wish today, I would like to ask that my work is noticed and provides me with a comfortable decline and enough income to enjoy the view. If you would like to give me a present go to or Kindle and type in my name: Terry L. White

Special Thanks to my fans who stay up all night to find out what is going to happen next.

In the meantime, friends are coming to call today, there will be a dinner out on Friday and who knows what on the weekend. I am so blessed to have landed in this place where people are nice and they know a famous author when they see one. I have a feeling I am going to be walking on the sunny side today and I hope you do too.

One more thing: Thanks to the folks who read into the small hours just to find out what happens next. You rock!

Monday, January 16, 2012

On Learning to Sit Still

I don't know about you, but there are times in my life when I wonder just exactly what is going on and if I am making any progress at all. This is an especially frequent occasion when winter grips the land with icy fingers and the trees clatter and clack to a music I cannot hear.

The thing I often forget to take into consideration is that the world continues to turn, despite what may seem like a dismal lack of progress. It is only after the fact that I realize the time that seemed so empty was in reality full of things to be noticed from my place of immobility.

My cat, who has surely superhuman intelligence, knows the value of sitting still and he does so at every opportunity. He understands, you see, that sitting upon his person affords us both a bit more warmth in a chilly world. For Shadow, sitting still rules!

On warmer days, sitting still allows me to trace the progress of seeds I plant, a task I enjoy very much. Plants grow quickly - and slowly at the same time. One cannot see the progress as the tiny seedling bursts out of the seed and reaches for the sun, but the little plant grows nonetheless.

With this realization I have come to understand that all things are possible given faith and inner stillness. As such, I wish you a good day and a walk on the sunny side. Love, Terry

On Learning to Sit Still

I have spent all my life
Hurrying to get things done:
There were dishes and papers,
And cakes decorated in tiers.
I have spent all my life
Waiting for things to happen:
There were births, and deaths,
And fireworks on rainy nights.
I have spent all my life
Trying to understand:
There were people, and ideas,
And dogs that ate shoes.
I have spent all my life
Looking for answers:
To questions, and mysteries
And why my son won’t call
I have spent all my life
Watching for signs
Like falling stars, and clovers,
And letters from sadder times.
I have spent all my life
Working to stay alive:
And sold my breath, my youth,
And jewels made of glass.
What’s next?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Word Tree

Several years ago I was persuaded to join a group of artists who meet each week to explore the world of marketing our various arts. As a writer, I was not at all sure I belonged in the group, although I was pretty sure that I worked every bit as hard as the other (sometimes well known) artists in the group. It was a good thing to do and over time I have explored other art forms that I might not have tried otherwise.

It is a great group. We meet each Wednesday morning over coffee to discuss what's happening in the world of art, where to hang the images we capture with brush and camera, what charity we support and who sold a piece - despite the depression.

Cambridge, a town of rich history and present poverty, is working with the Main Street initiative to breathe life back into the once-busy downtown. Every second Saturday sees a constant flow of visitors to Race Street where a number of art galleries open their doors to spill light on the sidewalks and welcome visitors who come to see the art we shape and weave and paint.

Usually I sign my books, which are mostly historical fiction, but I do other things as well. Sometimes I even paint, as in the case of the photo for this post. Oddly enough, words got in the mix. Look closely and you'll see what I mean. I guess a tiger can't really change its spots, the words are there despite my best intentions.

I hope you enjoy my words and that you always walk on the sunny side. Terry

Tree Words

There are words in the trees,
The branches scribble them
Across the sky
While God trims the deadwood
And the wind blows hot
On summer mornings before
The rain falls to water
The grass; and my prayers
Rise to heaven on the
Wings of jays and cardinals
As I plot my day
Through moments of
Inspiration and regret.
What words are these
That scroll the dreams
Of common man who fails
And falls on his way to
Understanding love?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

First Waltz, The Beat Goes On

The new year has started in a good way for me! I am happy to introduce First Waltz, the sixth in my series of historical novels focused on the women of the Eastern Shore.

First Waltz is based on the true story of a young soldier who was ordered to serve in Cambridge to guard the German prisoners of war who spent the balance of the second world war in a field where the Little League games are now played.

Henry Snyder falls in love with nursing student Susie Snyder at their first meeting at a church dance. Susie, who wasn't supposed to attend the dance, vows she wants nothing to do with the handsome lumberjack from upstate New York, but Henry is persistent and won't give up his suit. When the war ends, Henry returns to his mountain home, but he can't get the lovely Susie off his mind - nothing will do but that he return to Cambridge to claim his bride.

But how will Susie fare in the lonely, snowbound mountains when Henry goes off to work in the lumber camp? How will the couple face the winds of change during the 1950s as they nurture their growing family?

First Waltz is a love story that reminds us it takes two to make a successful marriage and life.

When the time came to choose a cover for this book, I went through some old photos and chose a portrait of my parents during the latter part of the 1940s. I think they would be pleased.

And I hope you enjoy the book and always walk on the sunny side. Terry