Wednesday, July 18, 2007

A day in history......

65 years ago today, I was born. July 1942. The U.S. had joined the Allies in battles against Nazi Germany and Japan. The attack on Pearl Harbor was recent history. My Grandma's favorite actor was Franchot Tone. Anyone remember him? My mother's favorite actor was Clark Gable, destined to be replaced in a year by that young upstart Robert Mitchum. Dad was soon sent off to the Pacific and my Uncle Kenny sent to Europe to do their part in the war.

Except for my grandpa and youngest uncle, the early infancy and toddler years were spent in the company of females. Mom, Grandma, Aunts, and their female friends were my daily role models. Mom and Aunt Maxine raised chickens for eggs and food. Grandma and Grandpa raised a huge Victory Garden and canned the vegetables. All family members at home shared in that bounty. Those were years of rationing -- gasoline, butter, sugar -- because our soldiers needed the rationed items worse than those of us who were safe at home. Citizens in our small town had to be practical and frugal in those times or go hungry. The wage earning men were gone to war. Most women did not work outside the home. So the women in my family did the best they could to keep everyone healthy and fed until their men returned from war.

65 seems old, but in the grand scheme of life it's but the blink of an eye. More than six decades have passed so swiftly I can scarcely believe it. Today I will celebrate those years in contemplation, thinking about the loved ones who are long gone from my life -- Mom, Dad, two sets of grandparents, Aunt Maxine, Uncle Kenny, Uncle Jerome. They made my history what it is today. I'll also give thanks for the family members still with me because they are a large part of my history also.

Happy birthday to me!!

Friday, July 13, 2007

An era has passed......

William Screech died today at 7 a.m. UK time. Unknown to most of the world, William made a rather large impact on my life. We had been email friends for several years.

William was born with cerebral palsy and lived in a nursing home. He had a fine, curious, interesting mind living inside that frail body. He eagerly followed British, American, and international politics. He fought injustice from his wheelchair or his hospital bed. Despite his own health problems and struggles, he figuratively rode the white steed of advocacy, a knight in shining armor writing wrongs through articulate emails to the news media and politicians.

I'll miss William's emails, his spirit, and his commentaries on the world. He was a strong-willed, outspoken man who didn't allow his his physical afflictions to diminish his intelligence. I admired that about him.

William was a Christian who grieved for those who did not follow the teachings of Jesus. He believed in Heaven. Today William's crippled body is free of earthly bonds. His muscles are no longer spastic and stiff. His legs are strong. He has no pain. William's spirit is free. He's joyful in his new home, as he always knew he would be.

I'll surely miss your interesting emails, William. I'll miss your presence in my life but will not wish you back. I know where you are today, you're finally happy. Give God a wave for your American friend while striding the streets of Heaven.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Book sales and a new work schedule

I haven't posted to my blog in awhile. Summer is here with all its attendant weeding and watering, picnics and other social activities that must be sandwiched into my new work schedule. My job is interesting and my boss a delightful woman, but I'm having trouble getting back into a routine after several years of retirement.

Two writing projects have been on hold for months now. The research I had started when this job materialized is still lying dormant in the storage container. How did I ever manage to write three books and co-write one book while working? It's a mystery to me!

The Alley of Wishes recently sold a couple or three copies on Amazon. I hadn't checked sales there for awhile so was pleasantly surprised to find a 200,000-plus ranking a week or so ago. I recently attended a neighborhood picnic where people asked me about my published books. Talking about myself and my books one-on-one is not a strong suit with me. I envy people who can get right out there and hustle their work. Book readings and signings are a different story. In front of a crowd I turn into a HAM who delights in the discussion.

Sales of My Name is Esther Clara have waxed and waned and is currently in a wane cycle. It's being considered for a Kansas Notable Book Award this year. I'd like to see it get the award because that would honor the protagonists, my maternal grandparents, but the realist in me has doubts. I'll know soon.

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I enjoy good writing by writers and poets who are not famous. My mother said I was born a hundred years too late. The older I get, the more I realize how right she was.

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