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Friday, December 28, 2012


As we look out upon the world we see many things, but we also see things in many ways.  What moves one person, another may not even notice.  One person may be so inspire with emotion that words flow forth to accompany the sight and feel of the moment or scene.  Others may look and just see a pretty picture or not notice at all.

I want to combine art and words.  I want to make paintings that have special meaning for me and find words to share the emotion or thoughts.  I want to take photographs and see what becomes for the picture and also the stories that they might inspire.  Could a simple picture or scene inspire a whole story?  It can that and more. 

I love to write novels, short stories, children's stories, poetry and more.  I want to combine the art and visual with the emotions seen and heard through words.

I chose this photo for a special reason.  The feeling I had from the scene and photo are complex.  The day had started out in a blaze of glorious sunshine.  It was Christmas Eve and our anniversary.  Spending the evening and next day with our daughter and her family filled us with excitement for the holiday and time together.

Hour by hour the sky filled with clouds and the day day went from shining to black and white.  One might think it brought a gloomy feel but there was no way it could be gloomy knowing what a good time we would share.  But still, it darkened as I stood out back looking up.  I then noticed how it reflected in the water before me.  There was a slight shiver to the scene as there was in the air.  I was looking down into the water at the sky above and the trees swaying in the breeze...reflections.

There has been a lot of life that has passed before this moment as I contemplated feelings viewing the scene reflected in the water and hopefully much more life to come.  The clouds may have darkened the day but reflected how life can change but still has beauty if we take the time to look for it.

There are ways to color the view and change the mood.  I experimented with the picture changing the original look of black and white of the dreary sky to colors.  I can see golden skies like a ray of hope and red and angry skies.  

There is blue with the feel the color helps to impart but all are still reflections.  Reflections of the view and reflections of the viewer.

What thoughts cross your mind as you view the reflections in the water?  What feelings might you feel as you reflect thoughts of your own?  What color takes your eye as the one for you?

This may be a short blog but it is one I write with feeling and passion.  I hope to share more of this project soon.

The new year will soon be here.  I hope the reflections you have are ones tinted with joy and foretelling of wonderful times to come and share with others you love.  I wish you prosperity and health.  I hope all of our reflections will have depth and meaning as life helps to build us and strengthen us to be able to do more and be more for the future.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Now that I do not feel as if I might not see the daylight each time I lay down to try and sleep, I can admit that I have been very sick.  I have also been fighting depression.  There are times it is so hard for me to be bright and happy and see the beauty all around me, when I felt so sick I could hardly sit up.  When I fought with all the strength I had to keep living it was hard to smile.  I will never be well and understand and accept that... but I am not dead. 

I have always felt we should try our best in every day and every way.  We all have problems, but look at the things we do have and how blessed we are in so many ways.  If we might find what we look for, I need to look for hope and goodness and not dwell on sickness and suffering.  That can be easier said than done, but I am trying.

I wrote the book I Will Not Give Up...Not Today... Life Is A Journey sharing so many things and a hope it might help others to never give up.  There are times it helps me to never give up.

There are times that certain dates bring back emotions from things and times past.  There are times, it seems as I get older, that the more people we loose from our lives the more lonely life can become....then...then I see how blind I can be at times.

There has been such an outpouring of love from so many here at home, family, friends and online there are no words to tell about it.

I can look back in time and remember.  I can remember many little things.  I see the old photos and remember the magic of waiting for Santa.  I remember the family, grandparents, parents and many others smiling, laughing and so happy.  I remember hanging ornaments that had hung on my Great Grandmother's trees, gently and with care.

I remember one year I went to see Santa and saw his beard was held on with elastic.  That would take some explaining.

I remember a Christmas when I was a teenager that stands out.  I do not recall what gifts I got that year.  It was cold.  The weather was getting nasty and the roads were getting slick.  Cold and damp,icy winds blew.  Our church had a list of what they called shut ins.  Those are people who for what ever reason, were unable to get out and around.  You may be shut in but should never be forgotten. 

Our youth group had planned to go Christmas Caroling but the weather was so miserable.  We were determined and demanded we try to make it on the icy roads.  One after another we went to the houses with our breath plumbing out in the cold night air.  When you saw the surprise on the faces and smiles all around, it did not feel as cold anymore.

One house seemed almost totally dark.  We knocked and knocked and finally the door slowly opened.  A fragile little old woman stood solemnly looking confused at the group of people before her.  We started to sing and her face crumpled as tears streamed down her face.  I was never shy and became very distressed that we had made her cry.  I ran up the steps and placed my arm gently around her saying I was sorry.  "We did not mean to make you cry.  We want you to be happy."

It took a moment before she could respond in an emotion choked voice.  "But that's why I am crying.  I did not think anyone even remembered I am still alive.  I have lost almost all of my family now as the years passed, and since I can not get around too good.... "

Emotion overtook her and most of our group too.  She stood a little straighter and cleared her throat.  "Please come in.  I never dreamed I would have guests and I have nothing to give.  Please tell me what I can give to you all."

I was relieved she had quit crying because I had joined her with my own tears.  "If we can see you smile and you tell us your favorite song, we would love to visit and sing it for you."

"Silent Night.  I think my favorite Christmas song is Silent Night."  After she had said those words I remembered my grandmother telling me it was her favorite song.  Every Christmas we would sing it together.

We sang many songs and visited before I asked her where she puts her tree.

"I don't have a tree.  There is no one to see it anyway."

When we left her house, that haunted me.  I talked to the other kids and told them she just had to have a tree.  We all went home to get decoration donations and one boy knew they had a small tree they were not using since they got their big new one.

We made it back in record time and what a sight it was, seeing all of us determined to make Christmas come alive.  We had decorations, cookies, candy and even eggnog.  We were too young to realize the pain that can come with age and loss.  We were excited and it seemed contagious as she began to giggle and smile.  She declared it was the most beautiful tree she had ever seen.  I told her she was and would never be alone because there are all of those who love her and she was with them in their hearts.

"That may be true, but most of the people I knew and loved are all gone now."  A sadness seemed to spread over her face.

"They are not really gone...just gone ahead.  Love never dies.  It lives in our hearts."

She told us she would never again forget or hate Christmas and she loved her little tree.

There are times we never realize how much and how blessed we really are.

Holidays can bring happiness and smiles, laughter and cheers but it also can bring memories that leave a tear for one reason or another.

This time of the year I think of our niece and her daughter so often.  A beautiful family gathered and wrapped their presents early and had a few more to go. The mom left for work as dad prepared supper for the three small children. Christmas would soon be there and there was so much love and joy.

Dec 14, 2009, A knock at the door changed their lives.  An accident on the way to work took their mother and wife and our niece.  Her gifts from loved ones sat under the tree.  I will not go into the details of that Christmas.  I will think and remember all of the love and laughter and smiles Teresa gave to us all.

Dec 23, 2011..... The daughter of Teresa had been challenged through most of her life with juvenile diabetes.  She never gave up and was such an amazing child.  Her determination and confidence were impressive.  She did more than talk about what someday she would be or do.  She did and lived and everyday touched the lives of all who knew Her.  On Dec 23 she left this world.  When you see a young person so filled with life and then..... she is gone.... but she is with us always.  Just as I had told the woman so many years ago..... I could now better understand even my own words.

This is what I wrote then

This is so odd.  As I was writing this, little Mackenzie was leaving this life behind and we had no idea.

To all of those loved ones who have gone on ahead we hold you in our hearts with love.  May God grant us the peace and healing to find joy and know there is hope in life.  May we see the smiles and feel the warmth of our loved ones and know how blessed we really are.  May we have eyes that see others to take the time and share a kind word or what ever we can do to make their day a little brighter or their Christmas one to remember.  There may be Silence in the night but may there be peace in the heart.

Friday, November 30, 2012

I Am Back... And The Story Goes On

I am kind of excited as I write this third part in this blog for my birthday.  It is not just because I love to tell about the books even though I do.  It is not just because it is my birthday.  I think it has something to do with the feeling that no matter what there are many things more that I will do in this life.  I want to be able to eventually get well enough to get out and go places and do things.  I want to be able to meet people and feel the sun shine on my face and a gentle breeze on warm days.  I want to see smiles on the faces of my family, friends, and even new people that I might meet.

When I published that first book I told my family, if I managed to survive I was going to one day fill a whole book shelf with the very best books I could write.  They smiled tolerantly and with worried expressions were concerned with living and staying alive from day to day.

It seemed as if I have fought for so many years to stay alive.  Even with the excitement of the book Danny I had the idea for the book I Will Not Give Up...Not Today...Life Is A Journey and could not get it out of my mind.  I was not sure what I wanted to write because the idea of writing my own story had never entered my mind.  It was more the opposite.  There are some things in life we may survive but do not always want to focus on and dwell with such intensity as to find words to describe and explain.  We lived it once and do not want to live it again.

Why then did I write the book?  I felt I had to write it and hope it would do more than entertain or tell my story.  I wanted and want it to help others.

When I wrote the other books I wrote and rewrote and edited.  I added or deleted and worked for a long time.  I even went back to school before I finished the first novel to try and learn more to make my writing more than what I had been able to accomplish.  When I wrote this book it was different.  It was very different.  I was not creating a book, I was sharing heart and soul.

There were some things I was unable to remember.  The day of the head on collision I could remember up to when the car was not stopping.  Then nothing.  I could remember hearing voices.... then nothing.  I remember the paramedic asking me if I was on any drugs.  I had never done  He seemed desperate and kept asking.  I thought about prescriptions and mentioned the thyroid.  Then I heard the words bleed out.  He did not know if we would make it in because he thought he had a bleed out.

I had worked in hospitals before and knew what that meant.  Then it dawned on me.  I had and have a lot of pain in my back and arthritis in joints.  I also had an irregular heart beat and family history of blood clots.  After an incident with my heat they wanted me to be on blood thinners.  I had no insurance and could not afford to go regular for visits and blood tests.  BC powders helped with the pain, swelling and the aspirin in them worked as a blood thinner especially since I used quite a bit of aspirin.

Bleed out...aspirin.

I guess since I have been sick for some time again now and felt so fragile, many things and memories have flooded my mind on this day.  This is also the time of year that was so difficult after the cancer surgery.  It may seem odd sharing them here and in books but after that surgery I knew I wanted to write to reach out.  I wanted to have words that did not echo in silence as I sat here alone.  I did not want to live, only to die with hopes and dreams dwindling in the recess of my own mind never to be real.  I want to do more than live... I want to be alive.

Writing I Will Not Give Up was more difficult than any thing I have ever written.  It was not just thinking of those times but finding words for things that had no words.  How do you describe an emotions so intense that just memories of the time brought tears after all of these years?  There were times as I sat here typing that tears ran down my face.

There was one moment that was like a nightmare.  The doctors said they hoped I never remembered all of the accident.  It was my mind's way of protecting me from something so traumatic.  As I was searching for the words the sight and sounds and FEELINGS became so real.  I not only remembered, but it was if it was happening all over again.  As if in slow motion, my face was smashing into the glass and my body twisting and wrenching as it raked my face over the broken shards.

I was determined to be real and tell it.  I wanted to not just tell what happened but what happened inside me and inside my heart and mind.  There were times that I have said you have to learn to laugh or you might cry all the time.  But there were also times I did not want my family to see.  There were times I was so afraid.  There were times I felt so hopeless.  There were times I cried.  As I typed away I cried but I kept typing.

I know this book is not edited properly.  It is not edited at all.  I know the sentence structure is not perfect because some of it is not sentences but feelings and emotions.  I have and do try to create the best books and stories that I can.  That is why it is taking so long on Danny.  As it is being edited I am a bit slow in working and reworking until I am satisfied.  With I Will No Give UP....I did not create a book or write a story.  I did not want to change and edit it to be ....  I wanted it to be real.  I managed to write it but have not been able to go back and reread it myself.  I lived it and now I have shared it but I could not read it.  That is alright because it is not written for me but I hope there is the one or ones who might be able to use it and have hope.  I hope they can share that hope with others and know there is tomorrow.

Our children and nieces and nephews had asked me to write some of the stories I had told through the years.  I have done it having fun but do not remember them all so I gathered a few and write the book A Tale To Tell.  There is a ghost in everyone and it is a lot of fun but as with the children's book there is more to the stories than just the fun of the Tale.

The Midnight Hour is one I like involving a young man who feels the pressure to do something he knows is wrong to try to fit in.  Peer pressure can be immense on our young people.  It may be part of growing up but it is evident even as we grow older.  What he finds in the Midnight Hour is more than a ghostly tale in a haunted cemetery.

Each story is different in it's own way in that book and each of my books is different.  The one thing that is the same is my desire to do the very best that I can and to never give up.  I have only just begun.
I just had to show you the books.  When I said I did the covers it is my way to share my art and paintings.  When you hold the paperback copy you also have one of my paintings.

Well, time is passing and the day is too.  I have enjoyed sharing my birthday with you all.  I want to thank you all for the best wishes here, on Facebook, Twitter and the many other places and phone calls today.

Here are so of mine that I want to share that are not connected to the books but carry a wish...

Some day I want to find a way to make a book of photos and paintings mixing the art and the words. 

The first phone call I got, was one that made me smile and warmed my heart.  A young voice cheerfully chimed out "Happy Birthday Mamaw!  I love you."  It was followed by my wonderful daughter.

I am going to have a good time and will be back tomorrow.

More Words about Words and the Stories That They Tell

I thought I would write a little more before I called it a night.  I have been thinking back to two years ago.  I knew little to nothing about publishing books but tried to learn as much as I could.  I felt desperate to have the chance to try with the things that I had written to see pages become books.

I had the two novels in print form and worked to make them into ebooks.  My family encouraged me to turn the poem/story I had written so many years before into a children's book.  My husband could hardly wait to see it as a book.  He had seen the way it affected people of all ages through the years.  I have said it is a little book with a long reach.

I still have to smile as I think back so long ago with what inspired the story to begin with.  Our boys were young and came home from school complaining that they were having to study poetry in school.  They seemed to feel abused with the very thought.  I laughed and asked them why?  When they explained that all poetry was awful and went on to make faces and comments I explained that poetry can tell a story or create feelings and emotions.  Poetry can do so many things you would never realize.

They scoffed and gave me one of their little boy looks of disbelief.  We were out in the yard at the time and I thought of the bonfires we had had and how much they loved stories.  I decided to write a scary story in a poem.

I tried to do more than that.  I tried to write a little poem that could be used by people of all ages and in different ways with every line of the poem.  When read simply it entertains young children but does not really scare them when at the end it mentions it might have been a dream.  It does however open the door to communication of all different subjects from fears such as fear of the dark to dreams that might cause fear.

I love when I talk to the children and read the story.  After I read it they always begin to ask questions, tell their own thoughts, express fears or feelings and more.

I remember on time I read it to a whole class of first graders.  When a whole class sits quietly the whole time I consider that a great compliment to hold their interest.  My grandson was in the class too and it warmed my heart when he came up and put his arm around me and said "This is MY Grandma!"

When I had finished reading the questions and comments brought the room to life.  I had a wonderful time.  I love to see the expressions on their faces and hear the excitement in their voices.  When I see their eyes light up it always makes me smile.

I explained that I bet they knew making good grades was important.  They all agreed.  I told them there was something even more important.  Several of them frowned and looked confused.  Finally one of them asked what that was.  "To learn...  You don't realize it yet but your teacher is giving you a gift that will last you whole life.  She is giving you something special that will be like magic helping you to do things you could never dream of with out that gift."

They could hardly wait to find out what the gift was.  The gift of learning opens doors to the world and gives you a chance to reach out and be more than you ever dreamed in the first grade.  What they learned was more than a grade on the paper.... it is a gift in life.

We talked about writing.  I showed them the novels too.  They all agreed that they could never do anything like that.  I told them that my grandson and I were working on a book together.  A story has a beginning, middle and end.

I worked to do the art work with pastels and charcoal and hoped to bring the characters to life.  I wanted the pictures to have appeal and depth but still carry a child like fun aspect to the characters and scenes.  I did many of the pages so in book form the left page was a picture but it flowed and matched the page on the right to give a full scene.

Every page in the book is a full page art work.  It took a lot of work and time but I love the way it turned out.

There are aspects of the simple little story that allow the parent to teach in many ways.  The sights of the field in the day as compared to the view at night was a fun project many little ones have found fun and a source that initiated many conversations with them sharing thoughts, feelings, fears, and questions.  I have known many children who were afraid of the dark.  When the story speaks of shadows cast in the moon light, I have seen the look of surprise as I showed a child the beauty of the night.  Is it dark outside?   Yes….and no…especially if the moon is full on a clear night filled with stars sparkling to infinity.  It is not so much that the night is dark as it is different degrees of the light and what we can ind is not nearly as fearsome as they thought.

The witch does cause freight.  She and her sister are so ugly, dress differently, and act differently but at the end we realize that neither of the witches did any harm.  Different is often something that others fear but it is not always bad. 

Halloween is a time for fun when the children can delight in a safe scary story or tale to be told and retold.  This is a tale they can enjoy for years to come and they would be able to see different things in the simple words as they grew older or experienced more things in life.

At one point a young man we knew visited.  I could tell he had something on his mind.  I read the story to the younger children and saw a frown and look on his face that I recognized showing there were things he wanted to share.

Later as the children roasted their hot dogs we stepped off to the side and he smiled.  "I know you have said the little story was something we never really out grow, because it can have meaning more than we realize.  I see so much more in it now than ever before.  When I used to hear the first line about it was the dark of night and the moon shone bright casting shadows on things below.... I used to think that was all it was saying.  Now I think about my life and realize there are shadows sometimes and it is really hard to know what is waiting in the future.  Sometimes it can seem really dark."  He went on as if it had opened a flood gate talking from his heart line by line applying the little poem to life, and comparing it from when he had first heard it as a young child and then as it held meaning to him being a young adult.

By the time the evening was over he seemed somewhat relieved.  He seemed to have worked his way through finding his own answers to some questions he never had to ask as he contemplated the meaning the different lines one by one.

When we were working to clean the limbs from our back yard we often would light a fire and roast hotdogs and marshmallows.  It was years later when our children were grown before they realized we were actually cleaning the yard.  I had to laugh at them when they realized it.  At a family reunion they were all gathered talking when I saw them looking at me and laughing.  When I questioned them my daughter finally admitted "Mom, all those years we thought we were having bonfires and we were really cleaning the yard.  I never saw it until after the ice storm and we had gathered the broken branches in a pile and I could hear you saying...If we only had a few branches we could have a bonfire and roast hot dogs.  We raced to get as many as we could."

I had to laugh and explained a little more.  "If I had told you all to clean the yard, I can only imagine how much enthusiasm I would see.  My way the yard was clean, we had a bonfire, I did not have to cook supper and we did have some really good times."

We always had extra children visit.  We would often have the grill fired up and a whole yard full by the time we lit the fire.  I loved to get their imagination going and often would think up a story or two to tell.  Then I would tell them it was their turn.  We would play a little game I had made up and called pass it on.

There is wooded area around our yard so it was easy to start it out with "A long time ago in some woods just like these....(Pause for affect and make it a little more spooky gazing out into the woods)  A boy and girl walked down a path like that little on right there.  As they walked deeper into the woods do you know what they saw?"

Usually by then all eyes were either on me or the woods as they shook their heads no and one would ask what they saw.  I would laugh and tell them I had no idea.  "It's your turn.  What did they see when they walked down the path in the woods?"

One by one they would go around the circle telling a little piece of the story they made up until it was time to let the next one take over and tell a little more.  They passed the story from one to the next until it finally came to an end.

I loved to see the way their eyes would light up as they became a part of it and realized they were making a story.  They could do it too.  Words can have power in more than just what they tell but also in what they inspire.

I have it in my mind to never give up.  I could hardly wait to work revising and editing the next novel I have written I want to publish called Danny. 

I am still not sure about the cover??????

  A young child trapped in a nightmare life had a special friend.  His friend told him, that he could call him Danny.  Danny was his only friend.  No one but Steven could see or hear Danny.  Was Danny a friendly ghost there protecting, or was there more to this entity than anyone might suspect?  Steven began to think Danny might be a Guardian Angel but angel or evil…only time would tell….. because Steven would tell no one and betray his friend, and that friend was there to stay.
          Steven eventually made two new friends at school who shared so much in their disturbed and distraught family lives.  They were about to share more as things began to occur beyond their control.
           Sneaking through the darkness of night, Steven went to his friend Jimmy’s house.  The drama that occurred at Jimmy’s house was mild compared to the conclusion of the activities he had left behind.
          Tragedy and chaos, murder and an end to life as Steven had known, erupted in his household in the dark of night. 
           They found themselves speeding down the highway with a man of questionable character as they left a life behind that felt like a nightmare with no hope.  Where they would go was a question only the future and life could answer.  The real life nightmare they left was more than they could imagine as the night of changes swiftly developed in all directions. 

         Three young boys fled in the night.  It was a night that would change their lives forever.  If it was a new beginning or a nightmare of a different kind, only time would tell….and we can not forget Danny.  He would not want to be left behind.  “You can call me Danny.”

I could hardly wait but then a strange thing happened.  I felt compelled to write a book I never wanted or intended to write that was nonfiction.  I felt I had to share some of my own story.  I needed to find words for things I could hardly think about let alone talk about.  I wanted to find words for feelings that could still make me cry.  I had to find a way to explain things that were feelings, fears, hopes and dreams.  Since I still do not know what my own future will be and we never know the number of our days I did not feel I could wait.  If I could write from the heart and it helped even one other person to see hope and not give up the book would be worth it.  Even when I talk about writing the book it evokes emotions for me.  The hour is late and I am very tired so I think I will continue this tomorrow.  Tomorrow is not only a new day but a day to mark not only my birth but a new beginning.  I think of each and every day as a special day for new beginnings and who knows what we will find.  I will be back.  I am determined to share the passion of my heart about the project of my writing.  I Will Not Give Up...Not Today... Life Is A Journey..    and so it is and so I titled the book that is me.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Tomorrow is my Birthday and this is on my mind today…..

This blog has special meaning for me as I look back through the years and think about the future.   My books and things that I write are things that I want to continue to create and share.  I want to use the writers group that I started to help others with whatever projects are in their hearts to write or do.  I want to reach out to others and tell them to never give up.  The thing that makes it most difficult to achieve what we have in our hearts to do is the ability to believe.   I have heard so many times to watch what you wish for because it might come true.  If we look for failure and believe there is no way we can do this or that….. It is probably true because how can we succeed when we already believe in the failure or the dream?  If we believe we can do something that still does not make it a guarantee to be doable.  We have to be willing to work, learn and never give up to succeed.  That is something I hope to share with young people too.
On my birthday tomorrow, I did not get a special promotion set up for my books and have not been able to be online much lately….. but I am not giving up.  I am here and every day is special.  My books are my way to reach out to others and have a voice.  They are my dream I can hold in my hand and hope to find ways to let others know they even exist.   They make me smile.

Thanksgiving has come and gone for another year but there are always things in our hearts and lives we will be thankful.   I am thankful to see another birthday.  There are times some may hate to admit how old they are but I feel as if every year is a blessing and I try hard to have the chance for many more.   Tomorrow is my birthday.   There are more things than I can list that give me so much joy and I am thankful to have been blessed with in my life.
            One of the things that delighted me is to see one of my dreams become a reality I can hold in my hand.  I always wanted to see one of the things that I have written published.  I wanted to hold a book in my hand that was mine from cover to cover.  I wanted to use the things that I write and create to reach out in many ways.

I have tried with each of my books to write stories that will be interesting and entertaining.  I also wanted to write in a way that the reader could feel a part of the story.  I wanted to find words that could help them to see, hear, feel and know the characters in the stories.  I wanted to bring fictional people to life.

I was going to try the traditional publishing route but time became an important issue.  I was sick and quickly getting so much worse.  They told me I had cancer and I knew what I faced.  I wanted to see at least one of my stories as a book and could not wait.

I had to decide what story I would choose.  I love Journey Home.  That was the first novel I wrote and will always be special to me.  Life Goes On is a novel that tells about a family in crisis.  If I could only have one I thought that was a story that would be a good read but one that might have meaning to others in many ways.

I wrote a story about a family in crisis when the father lost his job.  There are times we do not realize how wonderful life is until some unexpected thing changes everything we know.  How we handle those changes in life, can have far reaching consequences.  The choices we make can affect more than our own lives but lives of others around us. 

When the father lost his job, they lost their home and had to live in the only place they could find that they could afford.  That place was a rundown apartment made from an old home that had once been stately, but through the years became a part of the inner city scene of crime and desperate times for so many as they tried to survive.  The new friends in the neighborhood and school were the nightmare some parents have and others have to live.  The family they had known and children they loved seemed so different they felt they had lost all they knew and valued.  The feared they were losing their children to the streets and people they did not understand. 

When we think that life can get no more difficult we are often surprised when we find even more challenges and obstacles we must find ways to overcome or survive.  When the father could not find a job and they could not pay the rent even on that lowly apartment they began to feel despair and hopeless.

When there seems to be no hope we may find a lifeline and a second chance but life is often so complicated nothing seems easy.  When they were offered help from a distant relative to relocate and have help in rebuilding their life it seemed like their only chance.  Convincing 3 children to move to a new part of the country with people they did not really know leaving behind all that was familiar to them and what friends they had would not be easy.  Making it work would be the biggest challenge they faced in many ways.

Each member of the family would find challenges never before faced and the choices they made could have life altering consequences if they were to survive in the individual lives and as a family.  Learning what family really is would be something they would have to find in their hearts and lives.

This is not a story where they faced difficulties and each made the right decision to live happily ever after.  This is a story I tried to create as complex and intense as life can often be.  They do not always make the right choices but learn how to stand up and go on to make life, family and future their goal.

Since I published this book I have had numerous people demand to know who they really are.  I have explained that it is entirely fiction.  One woman demanded over and over to know who they “really” were.  She claimed they were too realistic to be fictional.  She wanted to know what happened later in their lives.  I took that as a compliment.  I will have to wait until I have time to write the next book to see where the story takes me with the characters and their lives.

After I survived the surgery and had the whole upper lobe of my lung removed it was a difficult time.  I was and will always be hooked to oxygen.  At first I thought of it as a life line but as time went by began to feel as if it was more of a leash.  Leash or lifeline I did not give up.  I felt compelled to not waste a minute and was so unsure of how long I might have as a future.  I decided to publish Journey Home.  I love that book.  I think of it as the longest short story you will ever find because it started as a project inspired from helping my daughter to write her own short story for a class she had at school.  She was so determined I should write my own.  As I began to work on the story it took a life of its own and the characters too.  I loved writing the story and page after page it developed until I had almost 600 pages. 

I wrote other blogs telling all about it and going back to school at ASU to help me to be more and be able to do more to make it the best book and story possible.  Life got in the way but it did not stop it.  The time had come to work and make it a book I could hold in my hand and share with the world.

After doing several paintings I decided to use the one you see as the cover for the book.  I love hearing from the people about it and so far no one I have heard from has seen the end coming.  I have read some really good books that I have enjoyed but half way through you know who did it.  I have also read some that have the story so disjointed hiding the ending it takes away from the story.  I wanted the reader to be able to go there and feel what they felt and know them but just as life can have some surprises so does the story.

You can hope that a person, who feels so alone, can find a way to enjoy the warmth of love and friendship and friends that are true in heart and not in reality something to fear. You can find someone who strives and tries to build a life even when life has left so many heartaches. You can hope she finds a way to survive what is lurking, following and finally intent to destroy her. When you can find a story that takes you to the places, lets you feel a part of the story and really get to know the people there..... You might have a copy of Journey Home. 

In the story Lara’s inheritance required her to reside in the old family home she had grown up in.  The will also included a man she had never met and was suspicious of his involvement with her uncle.  If things seem too good to be true it makes it even more difficult to know who to trust, but there are times we cannot accomplish some things alone.

Lara knew in her heart someone was stalking and watching her.  They did little things she could not prove to others but made it evident to her they were near and not giving up.  If her apartment was broken into and nothing done but the kitchen chairs all pulled back she could not call the police to say someone broke in and stole nothing, damaged nothing and she wanted action.  Even her friends thought her imagination as an author was part of her problem.

Moving to another part of the country to live in the isolated old home might be just what she needed to get away from her problems and find a way to get her life back in order.  It also might be the end of her life with things, people and events she had no way to anticipate.  Finding the truth might be all that saved her but she could not do it alone.

When darkness came and she gazed out the window there was no way for her to know who or what was looking in, and what more they had in mind.

There is more to home than a location and an address.  Home is in the heart and the journey to find it for Lara, might be one she did not live to accomplish.  This 480 page novel is one I hope you enjoy with an ending you never forget.

I have shared things about my books in other blogs but am getting tired.  I think I will go ahead and post this and try to finish it later.  This is a special time for me and I hope each and every one of you has a wonderful day.

I hope if you get the time you might stop in my fan page and share some of the things I worked on there including the photos of my art and paintings. 

 I hope you have a good time there and also my author page.
  I will be back soon.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


What am I thankful for?  I have been seeing so many comments in different places and from different people expressing the numerous things they are thankful for.  Some have even asked that I join in and daily post what I am thankful for as they are doing on their facebook pages.  I have no objection to that, but have felt an unnerving quiet as of late.  A strange feeling, almost of sadness or quiet acceptance enveloped me for some time now. 

I am not giving up in the struggle to go on in life, although I will admit that I have felt unwell for so very long now.  I have some days that are better than others but every day is such a challenge.  I understand depression, as I have felt the devastating oppression a person can feel when lost in that state.  I know what it is to feel so lost and alone.  That was not what it was this time.

Each and every person has their own beliefs and faiths.  Believing in my heart that there is a God, and I am never truly alone, has helped to bring me safely through in this life and given me the strength to go on.  I am thankful to the depths of my soul.

If it is not depression.  There is still the question of what this odd almost paralyzing malaise might be.  There are so many things that I want to write and even more that I want to do.  Every day things in home and life seem more than what I can accomplish.  The feeling is not one of distress or anguish but quiet....very quiet.

A friend and relative of ours was facing her last days as the cancer she had fought for so long had finally won, and it was only a matter of time.  I remember when they told her she had cancer... and they told me I had cancer.  She held my hand as I told her we would not give up.  It is never over until it is time, and it is done, and we could make every day special.  She was a little tiny woman in size but in heart and attitude she was awesome.  Time passed and we continued to try to keep heart and see each day as a blessing.  When it became apparent the cancer was winning and the days were numbered, I held her hand in mine and she smiled.  She was weak, but there were no words needed.  Two old women who had faced so much in their lives and together shared a bond needed no words.  When she or I would say "so tired.." we knew that others would never fully understand those simple words unless they too had felt that kind of tired.

She passed from this life to the next and this is what I made for her.....

When the strife and trials of this life are over and it is time to go on beyond,,,, beyond the aches of the body and pain of the soul, to a place ....beyond the comprehension of what we know of this world to the beauty ahead, the peace and
tranquility, the answers to the problems we ponder in this life ..... beyond the anger or hurt to love so pure and sweet that it is, and surrounds, and becomes a part of us as we with it. A place where loved ones wait to join us and welcome us home.

I will admit that I am tired.  I am still trying, but I am so very tired.  She is ever in my heart and mind this day as they lay her to rest.

When I look at the title of this blog it says Thankful.  I am thankful, but not for one thing.  There are so many things I am thankful for it would be hard to find words to tell all about them.  I am thankful for those in my life and the love and heart we share.  I am thankful for all of those through all the years sharing friendship, encouragement and support.  I am ever so thankful for all of those friends who are with me now in heart if not in person and inspire me so much. 

I am thankful for the love of my family.  That is not one that I can explain in only a paragraph or even a page.  That is a subject that fills my heart.

I am also thankful for the many friends I have met here on line.  That may sound strange and I have had so many people make comments such as "They are not real friends, they are only internet friends."

I have to smile as I think....  To me a real friend is someone who cares about you.  They may be far away or maybe you have never met in person, but they know you and care about you.  You might have people who smile to your face but behind your back, what they say might almost bring you to tears if you thought they were really your friends.  You might have people that when ever they need something they love you dearly but when you need something they are busy.  You also might have those who care about you no matter what and never forget you.  You have a friend.

I am thankful for all of those thought all the years have and are my friend.  I am thankful for all of those with me and around me now who are my friends.  I am thankful too for those dear friends I have never met and may never meet in person but they are my friends.

I want to mention Twitter. @LindaJNance I did not know what to think about twitter but decided to give it a try.  I have met some of the nicest people there.  I thank you one and all for all of the help in retweeting the things I have shared even when I was unable to be there and return the favor.  I want to thank all of those who did not forget me.  I not only noticed all that you do and thank you but it touches me so much.  Someone cares.

Facebook has been amazing.  It has given me a place to share so many things and meet so many wonderful people.  I have the fan page and also the writer's group page where we can share things helping one another not only about the projects we are working on but interesting facts that might help others along the way with what they are working on.

Linkedin, Google+ and so many other places are fantastic with so many interesting people.  I wish I could do more in all of them.

There is also this blog.  I titled it More Than Just A Story In A Book.  When I first started this I had no idea what I was doing.  I was fairly new to the internet and had never blogged before.  I had the book I had published Life Goes On out and decided to create a blog.  I knew that I want to share many other books I have written and will write but also more than that.  I wanted to be able to share me behind the books.  I wanted to share some of what was in the books not just the words or story of the book.  I was not sure exactly what I wanted, but I wanted to be able to have a way to reach out that was real and was me.  The books are my dream come true but I am more than the books that I write.  I am more than a woman that writes. 

As I have had this desire to be able to reach out beyond the pages of the books or the limits of my surroundings and have a voice that would never die, I have tried many things.  I got a message from a woman who had bought my children's book for her daughter.  This is what she wrote on Amazon

She read the book to her daughter and liked it so well, they shared it with her teacher and she in turn read it to the whole class.  For so many years I have used this little story to reach out to others in many different ways depending on the person, age and or need.  Every line in it can be used in more than one way.  Just as what we see and live in life may often have different or more meaning as we get older or see more the little story has the ability to be more than just the words on a page or story in a book.  That is what I had hoped but when I heard from her I had to smile and feel as if it was a dream come true.  It was not that she bought the book.  Of course I would love to sell a million of every one of my books but it was that the book had conveyed meaning and interest to her and her daughter... and her teacher.... and the class.   She had talked to the school and mentioned to me that she and they understand that I do get tired but would love if I could write a letter to the class of children.  I can hardly wait.  Who knows what all those little ones will do in their lives or write or create.  I am just so excited.  I will write again and share all of this as it progresses. 

Well, I am again tired and going to close for now.  I will say that I am Thankful.  I am thankful for each and every day and for what ever I am able to do in those days.  I am thankful for more things than words could tell, but I am going to continue to try to share some of the wonderful things and people that make me smile.  I hope each and everyone of you has a wonderful day.

I want to take the time to say, "until we meet again" to Aunt Georgia.   It is not good bye but until we meet again.  I hope you will remember with the kindest thoughts and prayers those who feel the loss of her with us here in this life.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Telling Tales Through The Years

We had such a wonderful time last night.  We shared the evening filled with spooky tales, stories and moments presented by numerous people. 

There is a place in Jonesboro, Ar that is so outstanding in what they do.  They offer a place and times for people to gather and enjoy the arts in many forms.  We have gone and listened to music you wish would never end, as the evening is amazing for all.  The entertainers do more than play their music, they join with such passion everyone becomes a part of it all.  There are special events of so many different kinds that allow everyone to view, hear and become a part of it as artists show their creations, writers share their words and works, and musicians play a variety of music to delight and entertain.

TheArts@311 is a musicians/artists collective. It is a meeting place for artists and those who appreciate and want to support the arts locally. A warm comfortable and friendly place for friends, family and neighbors to join in the fun.  It is a place to meet and make new friends that are having a good time at 311 South Church Street, Jonesboro.  Jonesboro and Northeast Arkansas have an incredible amount of talent. Music, fine arts, visual arts, and writing, that is shared in a friendly atmosphere. TheArts@311 hosts these local professional and semi-professional artists for performances and exhibitions. There is a stage with equipment for music performance and the space is perfect for exhibitions of visual and fine arts. The stage can be cleared for theater and dance performances. The goal is to promote the artist,  That is what they do and what they did last night and we were there.

They had such a fantastic collection of individuals reading and telling stories and tales... truth or fiction?????  Why knows with tales told in the dark of night with a chill in the air?  I know it was so much fun for all.  Those who spoke, captured and enthralled all as they told their tales with passion and vividly presented stories with the audience hanging on every word.  You did not want to miss a moment.

There was one.... I can not say how well it was presented, but it was done by the author of a fictional short story she wrote and always enjoys telling..... me.  I had such fun but was nervous.  There is a difference in speaking to a group of friends or family and going up on the stage....lights are magically creating a scene and the microphone is ready.  They had the lights.  It was decorated with unique style, special effects bringing you all into a world of the unknown with tales to be told.  It was so perfect and when they said my name and introduced me, for a moment my heart skipped a beat.  It was time.  All eyes were watching and the room was silent.... the moment had arrived.

I chose a short story from one of my books that I especially enjoy.  When I started my back felt rigid with the tension and I hoped I could find courage to tell the story with the passion I had written in the words and not just read it.  I wanted to carry those who heard it to the time and place and let them share the adventure.  In moments I felt the tension ease as the story began to flow and I filled with the excitement of the moment.

I have shared many stories this time of the year to many groups of people.  One of those I especially enjoy, is reading the story of the Children's book The Pumpkin Field.  Last year I was dressed as a witch and had fun each and every time.

I read to the school children and received the greatest compliment I think an author can get for a children's book.  As I read the story, page after page, the children sat in utter silence listening to every word.  They did not fidget or whisper.  They watched and listened as the witch told the tale.  What bigger compliment could a person have than to share their words and have them received like that.

I have read in groups at parties and loved the excitement and comments the little story inspires as we talk for hours about what their thoughts, fears, ideas and stories of their own.  Reading at the Libraries is always a fun time. 

I have read for my grandson's class.  It felt wonderful to see him smiling as he told them "That's my Mamaw.  Seeing the children smile, laugh and ignite with excitement at the thought that they too can write stories and learn to do many things.  I have told them that grades are important but learning is a gift that lasts a lifetime.

Last night I was so nervous but having such a good time with good people. Last night I was able to tell a tale and share one of my stories another time for another year.  I listened to others who amazed and entertained me and all of the others with not only the fascinating stories but vivid presentations.  The atmosphere was perfect in the event presented by Rev-Rick Bowen.  I wish I had been able to get pictures but we were having such a good time we got caught up in the moment having such fun.

I would love to see this painting I did enlarged as a wall size print.  I think it would make a wonderful Murial or background for a Halloween scene.  I used it on the cover of the book of short stories.

I hope you all have fun tonight and stay safe.  I hope the children have safe and happy times making memories of their childhood to last a lifetime.