Thursday, January 28, 2021
Saturday, January 23, 2021
by Judy Ann Davis
There is a Polish proverb
that says, “It’s better not to begin, than having begun, to leave unfinished.”
So why do I write? I think it’s more than just having something to say. I’m a daydreamer. I’ll admit it. I often have a story to tell. I like to create, and my mind is always churning out scenarios. Writers have ideas that won’t leave them alone. Or more personally, I have characters stomping around in my head who won’t leave me alone. They go to sleep with me and wake up with me in the morning.
I also have found when I
write, I enjoy the research, and I try to incorporate something unique in my
manuscripts. My current work has one of the characters losing one of her
mother’s Edwardian aquamarine earrings from 1910, with the stones originating
from Santa Maria, Brazil. The earrings are unique and irreplaceable. What a
great time I had looking at old jewelry. (Do you see any possible
procrastination in that activity?)
I only have one New Year’s “writing
resolution” for 2021. Like the proverb above, I plan to finish what I start. (Now
on to the edit phase of a current work-in-progress!)
Did you make any resolutions this year? If so, will you share?
Coming soon: VALENTINE'S DAY!
"Can one sweet kiss revive an old romance?"
Friday, January 22, 2021
by Rain Trueax
took down the last of Christmas-- the tree-- on Epiphany, which seemed
an appropriate time given the story of the Wise Men. At
first our home seemed incredibly sparse without all the greens, but
I've settled back into it. I love this simple little house and feel
grateful many times just walking into a room that is so us. It is full
of art and furniture collected over many years with no idea it'd end up
here when it was purchased. It's not finished as in changes may come,
but that's the beauty of life. We can change.
this week, I got curious regarding how many books we had together read
in 2020, our way to escape into other worlds. My husband and I began reading aloud,
taking turns, last January and it has proven a good experience.
Previously, Ranch Boss (need a new name for him that relates to the desert since our son is running the ranch) had
done very little reading aloud; so it was a new experience for him,
which he came to like. We often talk over what we read when we are
finished with the snippets. People did this for many centuries, once
books were available (before that maybe they related myths), but then
other entertainments became more appealing. I think this is one that
bears a new look as a way to share. It might seem odd that a romance writer would choose all nonfiction, but I think it's really very typical and the ways we do research.
choices were all nonfiction, some originally published as articles in
literary or nature magazines. Many were kind of memoirs-- sharing a
small part of the authors' lives. They are set in the Southwest with a
couple of exceptions. Most we had already owned. A few led us to buy a
book that carried on a theme. A couple I had to buy that I knew I owned
in Oregon, but a used version was cheaper than asking our son to find
them and mail them down here. I didn't think to write titles down as we
finished them last year but we searched them out. They are not in order.
Two of them we mailed to our son for him to read (the first two below).
The Happiness Equation
The Dude and the Zen Master
The Desert Year
The Hidden West
Home is the Desert
One Life at a time, Please
Book of the Hopi
Pumpkin Seed Point
The Desert Smells like Rain
The Dancing Healers
The Theft of the Spirit
was surprised to find we had read 14 with one more that we started in
December but didn't finish until the new year. I might write more about
it-- unless something else comes up for next Saturday.
Wednesday, January 20, 2021
When I was a child, my siblings and I impatiently waited for the last week of January because it usually meant the promise of snow days. As the end of the month neared, we crossed our fingers and prayed for a snowfall deep enough to close Palmersville School.
When snow fell during the night, Mama would turn on the radio the next morning and tune into the local WCMT station. We'd huddle with bated breath waiting for the radio announcer to belt out, “Weakley County Superintendent Biggs Danner has announced, there will be no school in Weakley County.” When we heard this, we shouted, squealed, and danced a jig. Well...everyone except Mama.
In addition, Ralph had converted a lid from an old wringer-washer into a circular sledding machine by removing the knob. The circular top was impossible to steer, spinning its passenger around and around. as it swiftly descended the wooded hill and raced toward the frozen creek at the bottom. All the rider could do was get a good grip, pray, and hang on.
The most exciting part of the ride was halfway down the hill where the sled or top met a gnarled root protruded from a tree stump. The ice-covered root became a launching ramp for the sled and propelling the sled and top through the air. Staying on the sled was much easier than clinging to the washing machine lid, once it struck the root.
Gripping onto the lid for dear life, we struggled to stay upright. Ofttimes we were flung off at that point, spoiling the fun. Dizzy from the ride, it took a couple of minutes to get our bearings after the ride ended—that is if we made it to the bottom of the hill intact. The ride on the washing machine lid was comparable to a tilt-a-whirl, except it was free and we could ride as many times as we desired. At least until we tired of slogging up the hill with the lid tucked under one arm.
After we'd drunk it and warmed up to the Warm Morning wood stove, she might send one of us out to pack snow in a large mixing bowl, for snow cream. We were instructed to scoop it from either the truck hood or the the top of the well house.
“Just be sure there's no soot in it,” she'd holler from the back door, noting which way the wind was blowing the smoke from our chimney.
When we brought the snow in, she stirred in sugar and vanilla, then milk. She always used evaporated milk to make it creamier. Mm...I can almost taste that snow cream now.
Which January memories pop into your mind? Please share them with us. We would love to hear them.
Saturday, January 16, 2021
I probably should have called it Quotes I Can't Live Without because these offer inspiration for different areas of my life.
Some I read when I need a booster shot of inspiration for tackling difficult projects.
Others I read when I need a chuckle.
Still others I read when things don't go my way.
Then there are those that inspire my writing. Perhaps a quotation perfectly fits something with which my heroine is struggling. Or maybe a quotation clarifies why my villain is a villain.
Sometimes, I read something funny someone said, and I'll have a character speak that in conversation. Since I write romance, I thought I'd share some profoundly emotional quotes that define Romance because I describe the kind of romance I write as "profoundly emotional."
Love and RomanceAnd ever has it been known that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation. —Khalil Gibran
True love stories never have endings. —Richard Bach
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Thursday, January 14, 2021
And Texas only has two meteorological seasons, summer and winter. I dream of moving to a place where it snows. Not those killer blizzards that I couldn’t begin to know how to negotiate, just some light snow that would make it seem like a good day to stay inside by the fire where it’s cozy and dry. Yes, I know that’s a fantasy, but it’s mine. Please don’t hate me if you’re snowed in against your will.
Imagine my delight when the meteorologist began talking about a possible snow fall. Really? A snow day? My inner child and inner school teacher, let’s be honest, kicked in. How fun. A snow day. Then, the weatherman began hedging. Maybe it would miss me. Those North and West of me would get some. I scowled at the green patch on the map that was splotched right over my house. Still, I remained hopeful that Sunday would be Funday.
And you know what? In midafternoon, it began snowing. Lovely, big flakes. True, not much was sticking. But it was so pretty. I watched out my sliding glass door, fascinated, joined by a very puzzled Maine Coon Cat. It had not snowed an inch since 2015, and not more than an inch since 2010. But it did snow in 2021.
Of course, I had to go out to see it. I bundled my very senior dog, Otis, up into his bear suit (he’s very cold natured and sort of, well, bald in places with age) and my younger dog, Zoe into her sweater, blocked Ranger the Main Coon Cat from going out with us, and bounced out the door. Zoe is pretty Zen. She runs out into the rain and does her thing, doesn’t get cold easily, and is not easily impressed. She didn’t seem to even notice the snow that much. Otis, however, was not a fan. He is almost completely blind, so he was very confused. What the heck WAS this stuff? We didn’t stay out long.
Then I had to go out the front door, sans dogs. My house looked so pretty with the snow still falling and just enough to cover the ground blanketing the yard. As soon as I walked on it, the snow became slush and my grass showed through, but I managed to get the required, “Hey, it’s snowing in Texas” pics. I used the snow on my car to make a snowlady. Her name was Lola and she was wearing holly berry red lipstick.
The snow didn’t last long. Some parts of the area where I live got up to seven inches. Some didn’t see a flake. By the evening in my neighborhood, the snow was no longer falling and by Monday, it was gone. But what a glorious, fun Snow Day it was.