Category: writing



As you might know, I read a lot of other blogs. This particular one by author Ann H. Gabhart, features some things close to my heart. My daughter Tara and St. Jude Hospital. Here is a little tease:
“But before we head out on a new trail, we’ve got a few more birthday noise makers to blow and one more story to share.

Did you ever have your own bicycle? I didn’t. I had a hand me down that needed tires, my inspiration for Jocie’s old bike in Scent of Lilacs. Tara left this story in a comment on a post here, but I wanted to share it again.

“My best birthday memory. As a second child I spent a lot of time in hand me downs. Clothes, shoes, bicycles. My older sister had a very different style than I did, so her old blue bicycle with a banana seat was not my favorite. Every trip to town for groceries would see me at the Western Auto adjacent to the grocery store, riding around and around a little yellow BMX bike. Every year, I participated in (and rocked!) the St Judes Bike-a-thon in our tiny, tiny town and I wanted nothing more than to NEVER have to ride that hand me down blue bike again to do so. I have NO idea how many miles I logged on that little yellow bike just riding up and down the aisles until Mom was done at the grocery store.”
I would love it if you go over to Ann’s blog and read the whole story.

You might like to check out some of Ann’s books and her knowledge of the Shaker religion while you visit there too.

I would like to point out, Tara might have preferred to use her motorcycle to log St. Jude miles as the years progressed, but that yellow BMX covered many, nt just for St.Jude, it was well known on the byways around Sunrise Ridge for several years.

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A Day in the life of the Bathroom mirror

“Oh, NO! There’s that clock”, says the mirror, “here they come!” In seconds, bright light illuminates the room, sparkling off the mirrors flat face.
The man ignore it as he reaches sleepily for a washcloth, razor and shaving foam. Hot water steams the shining surface as he washes his face. Using the wash cloth, he wipes the mist from the glass, then fills his hand with thick foam as he begins his daily routine. Lathering the thick cream over his face, he grimaces at the mirror. Picking up the razor, he begins to glide it over his cheeks, neck and chin, alert to the contours he feels.

Now, he reaches for his denture cup, pouring out the overnight solution. Paste on the toothbrush, he cleans the partial plate, rinses it, then begins again with toothpaste on his remaining teeth, splashing the mirror with toothpaste and water as he does it. Another rinse and the partial is fitted in his mouth and a smile reflects back at him.

Five or six strokes of the comb through his thinning hair and he walks off, ready to face the day.

The woman of the house follows, wrapped in a cocoon of terry cloth, still dripping a bit from the shower. She ducks down to return with a blow dryer in hand. the view is of one possessed as she wields the buzzing dryer in one hand and a hairbrush with the other, coaxing the unruly wet mop into a semblance of order.

She notices the spattered face of the mirror and reaches down again, coming up with a spray bottle. A spritz or two, a swipe with a towel restores a clear view.

She puts away the brush dryer, glass cleaner, denture cup, shaving cream and razor. With a frown, she winces as a slight tug removes the offending gray hair. Rushing, time is short, a dash of blush, a squirt of perfume and she is away.

There comes a lull, then invasion as two young ladies rush in, scattering make-up and hair products across the counter. After Quick work with soap, water and toothbrushes, they start the real preperations. Giggles, chatter and a short argument punctuate the transformation of one fresh washed face into a white mask with black eyes and lips. Teased hair is semi-tamed with a pick and liberally coated with pink and blue sprays. Stiff hair, stark faced, she studies the look. A satisfied nod says she is ready to go out to face her day.

The second, conforming to a different fashion ideal, brushes her long straight hair, places a colorful barrette, examines then adjusts. A touch of lip gloss, a hint of blooming color on her cheeks. One can hardly tell anything has been added. These two finish their work, pack up their supplie and move along.

Here’s the boy, dirty faced, called in from play even this early in the day. He splashed some cold water over his face, creating streaks in the dirty film. Splattering muddy drops all around as he shakes murky liquid off like a wet puppy, he grins flexing minute muscles. then checks for signs of adolescence, is that a pimple? Does it look like a few whiskers? No toothpaste for him, swishing Scope instead, contorting his face. Then he attempts to spit, imitating his favorite baseball star.

With a furtive glance, he picks a towel from the hamper, smearing muddy drops, and towel fuzz across the reflection. He skitters out, returning seconds late to douse himself liberally with his father’s aftershave, once again rushing away.


Some time ago, the Quilt in a Day forum had a contest. Simply put, you had to name and describe an ice cream flavor, using quilting terms. The quotes in the body are for quilt terms and quilt block names. I let imagination take over and this result was my entry:

In honor of talented ‘sewing’ instructor, author, ‘quilter’, and owner of “‘Quilt’ in a Day”, Eleanor Burns, we would like to introduce, “Sunbonnet Sue ‘Light'” our newest ice cream. So much like ‘hand made’, you won’t believe a ‘machine’ was involved! A perfect new ‘angle’ for a sweet treat.

We all ‘cotton’ up to something good and this new reduced calorie flavor is sure to go around the ‘block’. Just a bit will prove our brand is a ‘cut’ above the rest. It will beome a real ‘star’ when served at your ‘log cabin’!

‘Double’ delicious, with reduced fat and calories, a ‘delectable mountain’ of “Sunbonnet Sue Light”,’fabric’ated of creamy ‘traditional’ fresh vanilla, ‘bound’ together with succulent ‘strips’ of chocolate, ‘charmed’ with ‘bright’ cherries, ‘soft’ marshmellow, and ‘pieces’ of almond will not cause any guilt in your day.

From ‘king’ to those in the ‘crib’, all will agree to our tasteful ‘blend’.

Don’t go to the ‘mat’ for a great snack or dessert idea, just ‘pick out’ our new “Sunbonnet Sue Light” at your favorite store, for a simple but elegant ‘finish’! It will become a ‘top’ choice in your freezer.

This was a lot of fun to enter and the prize of a quilt book from Quilt in a Day was a great added bonus


Years ago, I learned this adage: If you don’t feel close to God, who moved? Can a cat, sent by God, help bring people back into God’s grace and appreciate His mercy?

In ‘The Cat That God Sent’, author Jim Kraus brings Petey, a stray cat, into the lives of the Church of the Open Door in the small town of Coudersport PA. to help answer that. Pastor Jake Wilkerson, homeless young woman, Tassie, Dr. Emma, the local vet, Speedy Davis, the local hermit, as well as many others are reached by things that happen, associated with Petey.

Events unfold that bring out the dark secrets in several lives, and proves that God did not move.

The book moves well, keeps the reader interested and ends on a note that made me want a sequel.

I received this book free from Abingdon Press to read and provide an honest personal review. I chose to give it 5 stars and would recommend it to others.


I would like to introduce you to Author, Linnette R Mullin. Linnette is married and a mother of 4 busy boys who still found time to write a Christian novel, “Finding Beth”, which is now in the publication process. I am really excited to get to interview her and hope you all will check out her blogs, follow her on Facebook and be ready to enjoy her book when it arrives on bookshelves.
Here is a blurb about “Finding Beth”:
Fearful she’s about to make the biggest mistake of her life, Beth Gallagher runs to the Smoky Mountains to seek God’s will regarding her impending marriage. Through the aid of a new friend, Adam Blythe, she finds the answers. Will she have the strength and resolve to follow through? And, if she does, what might it cost her?

Adam Blythe gave up hope of ever finding a woman who would love him for himself rather than his heritage. Healing from a broken relationship and committed to caring for his ailing mother, he finds his heart irrevocably entangled with Beth – a woman already spoken for… a woman needing protection… a woman living hundreds of miles away.

Kyle Heinrich is used to getting his way. When his docile fiancé, Beth, leaves town without a word only to return a changed woman and with another man at her heels, he refuses to give her up. She will be his! One way or another…
And here is my interview sith Linnette, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did chatting with her.
Mary:
Linnette, as a busy mom, could you tell us what inspires your daily path?

Linnette:
That’s a loaded question, Mary. I tend to float (sometimes race) from one day to the next and do my best not to lose my sanity. LOL I love my boys with a fierce love. They are a huge part of my joy. My love for my husband is quieter, deeper – as it should be. My family is the most important part of my life, but the backbone of it all is Jesus. My need for him grows stronger with each passing year. About the only time I miss attending my wonderful Church on Sundays and Wednesdays is when I’m too sick to get out of bed or I’m visiting my family and friends in Missouri. Worship – the singing and the preaching of God’s Word, is vital. I could not survive life without this beautiful, life-giving means of grace.

Now, if you meant what inspires me to write, that’s another whole question!

Mary:
You have several blogs, one about your battle with Lyme disease, http://linnetteslymelife.blogspot.com/ Was this your first foray into writing for the public?

Linnette:
No. Back when Yahoo had free websites, I started my first. It started out as a sort of family blog, actually. I knew nothing about blogs at the time. This website became my segue into writing my first novel (which is in the drawer for now) – Coming Home. Since then, I’ve had articles and devotionals published in various venues. Lymelife came much later.

Since you mentioned that I have several blogs, let me say that if you go to http://www.LinnetteMullin.com you will find all my links across the top of the home page. It’s my one stop shop.
Mary:
I know with a family it must be hard to find time for yourself, do you have any ‘tips’ for us?

Linnette:
Take things a day at a time and sometimes a moment at a time. Don’t beat yourself up for not always writing when you plan to write. Some writers may think I’m too lenient with myself, but when you have a large family and most of you deal with chronic illness, you have to be easy on yourself or you’ll live in a frustrated state on mind which brings it’s own set of troubles.
Mary:
Would you like to give us a hint about any new projects you are working on?

Linnette:
I would absolutely LOVE to! “Loving Tiffany” is book two in my “Flying with Broken Wings” series. Tiffany is Beth’s best friend. (Each book I write will stand on its own.) This is a story that my readers, and Tiffany herself, demanded I write:

Loving Tiffany:
Tiffany Nash: After suffering a lifetime of abuse from every man who should have loved her, Tiffany finds herself longing to be truly love and cherished, but will she ever be able to trust even a good man?

Michael Olivier: Afraid to love again after the betrayal and heart shattering death of his high-school sweetheart, Michael finds himself drawn to the feisty woman (Tiffany) but he can’t seem to break down the barriers around her heart.

Wealthy Reece Carrington: Tiffany’s new boss and admirer, is out to make an alliance that will convenience them both. If he’s lucky, he’ll catch her heart along the way to providing the security she seeks.

Then, there’s God. Can Tiffany trust a God who demands her all? Can she afford not to?
~

Mary, I have to tell you that when I’m writing Tiffany’s story, my heart burn as if it’s Tiffany’s beating inside my chest. It’s been an incredible experience so far and I can’t wait to see what God’s going to do with this book!
Mary:
I got to read “Finding Beth” in the early stages and was very impressed with the story and Linnette’s ability to make her characters come to life. I will be posting updates on publication and I hope you will be waiting along with me to read this new book! Thank you for joining me for this interview, Linnette. I certainly wish you success with “Finding Beth” and “Loving Tiffany”.

Linnette:
Thank you for the fun interview, Mary!

Mary:
Linnette can be found on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/?ref=tn_tnmn#!/pages/Linnette-R-Mullin-Writer/23510882491?fref=ts or at her website: http://www.LinnetteMullin.com. Take a minute to check them out, please. You will not regret it.


For the backstory, please go here: https://oldentimes.wordpress.com/2011/06/25/flour-sack-feed-sack-treasure/

Since that post was written, I have discovered some ‘history’ regarding some of the quilting treasure. Part of it belonged to the great-great-great grandmother of a young girl who attends my church.
At the request of this young ladies great-great grandmother, I have made a collage of some of the ‘treasure’ to present her and written the accompanying letter:
Dear Morgan,

Right now, perhaps, you are too young to understand this treasure.
Years ago, ladies made quilts to keep their families warm. People could not go to the store and buy things, like we do now, so every scrap was used for something.
In winter, when things were slow and there was not so much work to do, quilts were made. Often this had to be done at night after the rest of the family was in bed, using a coal oil lamp for light. It was very hard work.
In this frame is a quilt block, in the pattern called Dresden plate. This one is made with old feed sack fabric, some of what is called ‘shirting’, possibly dress fabric and cotton broadcloth.
The pattern pieces with it were cut from cardboard.
They would be traced on the fabric, then it was cut out in shapes and sewed together by hand to make blocks.
These would finally be sewed to make a quilt top, layered with a batting and back and stitched together to make a warm quilt.
The strips are for a quilt called ‘Double Wedding Ring’, quite often made years ago by a mother, aunt or grandmother as a wedding gift for a bride and groom. A treasure for all their lives.
This one seems to have pieces cut from clothing, possibly that of the bride or groom’s family. I left one upside down so the hand stitching would show.
Now I know, you are asking, why is this a treasure for me?
This Dresden Plate block and the pieces for the Double Wedding Ring were made by your great-great-great- grandmother. The fabric is old and valued in quilt making today, a rare and wonderful find.
I received it as a gift and now I am giving it back to you.


The challenge is to tell a story about the picture in approximately 100 words. Here is how to find other entries. http://www.inlinkz.com/wpview.php?id=232846
This weeks picture by Renee Heath gave me lots of thoughts before I came up with this.
On the boardwalk (historical)
Bump, thud, bounce!
I stopped, looking past the boardwalk,
Out to the sandy beach.
In that moment, my 90 years fell away,
I became a tender and frightened lad.
The beach I saw was covered in blood and broken bodies
D-Day! The horror of those moments
Never goes away.
I turn the wheelchair away from the scene
Cannon, long silent, thunder again in my mind.


It’s another Friday and the Fictioneers are up and typing. http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/2013/01/16/18-january-2013/#comments

The prompt this week was really a challenge, but I tryed. This is the prompt:
<img src="https://oldentimes.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/friday-fiction-01-18-13.jpg?w=112" alt="Friday fiction 01-18-13" width="112" height="150" class="aligncenter size-thumbnail wp-image-5159″ />
and here is my piece: genre? historical
1937
Sarah set down the phone, her hands shaking.
She could not talk now. Tears fell.
She’d opened the box as soon as the postman left.
From Poland, it had come.
Inside, a wax encrusted menorah and a photo.
A photo of Max, her love,
On the back, one scrawled phrase.
‘Gestapo are coming’.
Behind her the crackling radio
Reports an invasion.
What has happened?
Who sent this?
She will never know.


I have been remiss about playing the Friday Fictioneers recently. Click here to see the rules http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/2013/01/ and feel free to join in.

This is the photo prompt, supplied by Lora Mitchell fireworks-lora-mitchell2 friday It’s a New Year Reality

We huddled as the bitter wind found every open space in the blankets.

No fire allowed here under the bridge, on this holiday eve,

Maybe it would be better to be arrested for tonight.

No job, no home and now no heat.  I think

If it wasn’t for losing the children snuggled close to me

I would turn myself in!  Or jump in the river.

The shelter will not allow our fourteen year old boy.

Finally! The fireworks begin!

A new year, ha, I wish I had some hope,

At least now we can light our fire.


It isn’t even daylight, the old wood stove is hot

We won’t be serving breakfast, but there’s coffee in the pot

Chickens are a boiling, for dumplings later on.

Granny’s rolling pie crust, on this cold winter dawn.

Turnips are a-simmering in a big pot with their greens

A hunk of ham for flavor.

The scent of yeast dough fills the kitchen

When I turn the dough to bread.

It’s Christmas and the family is waiting to be fed.

The tree is decked in paper,

Odd shapes the kids have cut,

The fragile foil star,

Twinkles in the coal-oil light.

We gather round to share the joy.

It’s Christmas once again.