Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Book’ Category

Writing for me does not flow as a gentle wind. It’s more like a fierce storm than rages and then calms leaving this sailor adrift for days at a time. As you may know there are many suggestions from other writers on how write and how to get organized.

To bolster my writing I bought a book on POV (Point of View), character traits, two on master plots, and… you get the picture. One common theme in them is to know your leading characters. Know everything about them. Do they play well with others? Does he or she drink or swear too much? Know them as if they were part of your family. There’s so much more information in the books from well-known authors with beautiful covers that sit on my book shelf unread. I wish I had the time to read all of them and digest their contents, but I’m writing.

If you have ever attended a workshop or writer’s convention, you’ve heard about using note cards to plot out each character and scene. This seemed a logical way to keep from reaching the magical middle of a book and run out of ideas on which way to proceed to the crescendo. With my Staples rewards (no, I don’t get a kick back) I bought some 3×5 cards and a Dry Ease message board with magnets and started plotting my story. Within the first 100 pages of writing I was moving the cards all around until they no longer reflected anything I had written, but I’m writing.

I’m not complaining, after all both my fictional novels have won awards. I just wish something in my life would just be easy. You know like eating a box of chocolates.

Read Full Post »

Calvin Ross and Balzora Poulson

When going through some boxes of mementos from my grandparents, I unfolded a piece of paper. The pencil prose was fading and difficult to make out. I found my magnifying glass and wrote it down word for word. This poem was written by my great-grandfather following the death of his young wife in October of 1900. How wonderful for his descendants that he could express his pain and sorrow with a pen.

 Less sad. Less wistful. Immortal Beauty.

By C. R. Poulson

 

Not changed but glorified. Oh, beauteous thought

For those who weep

Mourning the loss of some dear face departed,

Fallen asleep

Hushed into silence, never more to comfort

The heart of men

Gone, like the sunshine of another country

Beyond our den

How shall it look, the face we all loved

When next we meet

Will it be changed – so glorified and saintly

That we shall know it not

Will there be nothing that shall say I love thee

And have not forgot

Oh faithful one the same loved face transfigured shall meet thee there

Less sad. Less wistful. Immortal Beauty.

Divinely fair

Let us be patient we who mourn with weeping

Some departed face

The Lord has taken but to add more beauty

And a diviner grace

When through the storm and tempest safely anchored

Just on the other side

We shall find that dear face through death’s deep shadows

Not changed but glorified

Read Full Post »

Book number three is done and looking for a home. You’d think I could relax and enjoy the summer without the need to be at the computer writing. You’d think so, but book four and five stepped and are both running through my brain. Characters, plot lines, dialogue; you get the picture. Each is from a different period. She Who Speaks to the Wind is 1890s and The Judas Steer is contemporarily.

I love the research process. Sometimes I get so caught up reading, that the writing takes second place. Not only do I get material for a book, but I learn more about the places I have been or want to see.

For She Who Speaks to the Wind I bought the autobiography of the first white women in the Black Hills of South Dakota. I only got two chapters in the book and had to put it down. She was such a racist; I lost all respect for her and couldn’t continue to read her story. What a disappointment.

We always get a better perspective of the region and their history through articles written during the period. Rewriting our history serves no one. Warts and all, we are the great nation we became because of the people that came before us.

We’re still a work in progress. Greatness is nurtured and becomes lost when it is taken for granted.

Read Full Post »

The election is over, but the rhetoric remains. Remember when you were a kid and your mom told you to play nice. We seem to have lost the ability to play nice and share. Our elected officials seem unable to put aside their party affiliation and vote for what was beneficial to the nation as a whole. Remind them they work for you. I hope you voted.

We are coming upon the time of year when we are reminded of the bounty of our nation. If you have ever even visited another country, you know that the United States of America is the best country in the world. It was built on the backs of immigrants from every continent. Generations toiled the land and built the cities. It is not too much to honor them on Veterans Day and think of them as you carve your turkey. The DAR will be placing wreaths on the graves of Vets. This is the least we can do to thank them for their sacrifices.

The weekend after Halloween, a local mall had Santa. A recent poll showed that 77% of all Americans wanted stores to wait until after Thanksgiving to start marketing for Christmas. How do we convince them to cease making our religious holidays another money making event. It all starts with each of us. Voice an opinion.

Read Full Post »

Sad Eyes Peer Back

 

To him that over-cometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

Revelation 2:7 KJV

 

My grandmother was from a family of Methodist ministers and kept the faith even in times of turmoil and confusion in her life. When she was six months old, her young mother died nursing the sick during an epidemic. My great-grandfather took the train back to Ohio and left my grandmother and her sister with his in-laws.

Mary Mabel (L) and Jessie Poulson

Letters in my possession reflect a lonely child imploring her father to write and visit more. He didn’t. He relocated to Pennsylvania and remarried. His new wife and he had a second family. He never returned for the girls.

Her maternal grandparents raised her and her sister, Grace, in an extended family on their farm in Ohio. Sad eyes peer back from photos taken during her childhood. What was she thinking? Did she feel abandoned? Did she wonder why her father didn’t love her?

She never judged him. She never withheld her love as punishment for his lack of attention. Her love was boundless. As a true Christian would, she was there for him when he died at age ninety-three. God said honor your mother and father. She never questioned our Lord’s word.

When I started doing the family genealogy fifteen years ago, I made it a goal to find the names of all the twenty-two people in the photograph with my grandmother. She is about eight or ten years old so I knew it was taken at her grandparents in Ohio.

It took me about ten years of research to determine everyone’s name. It’s funny how you build a relationship with people you have never met. Suddenly, you feel you know them. You know their likes and dislikes. Although, it’s more likely your perceptions are wrong. Still, through my research I found that my great-great-grandfather bred Percheron draft horses. In the photo he is showing the animal for the photographer as if he were competing in the Ohio State Fair. If pride be a sin, this man is brimming over with transgressions. What I, his grand-daughter, choose to see is a man with unrelenting love for both men and animals. Grandpa Neptune was a man who provided food and shelter to four generations of his family, including his mother-in-law. He was a true man of God.

How many times do we get pictures back and never make a note of the date or who is in the picture for future reference. Okay, scrap bookers do. Anyone else?

Pictures as we know them date back to the Civil War. The wet plate process required a rolling dark room of chemicals to dry glass plate negatives. In 1885 George Eastman developed a wet plate film at the same time American and European companies invented lighter weight, less cumbersome cameras. Eastman introduced the world to film on rolls to make photography available to everyone.

Vintage print: A positive image that has been developed by the photographer from the original negative at the time the picture is taken.

Non-vintage print: A print made at a later date from the negative. Reprints can usually be identified.

Original prints may start at just a few dollars depending on the subject and period of the photo. Civil War period photos start higher as the time period and historical value are factors. The terms “antique” and “vintage” means you are going to pay more for the item. Frames can also add to the value of the piece. A bubble glass frame may have kept the encased photo from being damaged and helped determine age, but please be aware that bubble glass frames can also be reproductions.

 

Let me be a blessing in the lives of others. My transgressions were forgiven. I am loved. May I lead others to Your Grace. Thank you for providing us with those people in our life who model the principles of a true Christian. May I walk in their footsteps and exhibit those principles in each day of my life.

 

Trivia: George Eastman and his mother made up the word Kodak for his simple roll film cameras. They used an anagram set. George Eastman was creating his own publicity and decided the name should be short, pronounceable, and not associated with anything else but his product. Kodak caught on with the public, so he added it permanently to the company name.

 

Read Full Post »

I just sent my new novel Devoted to Antiquing to the publisher. It should be out this spring. Many chapters are based on historical figures, but the rest are family stories. What wonderful memories the chapters evoked.

My Greatuncle Leo died when I was very young. I have no memories of him. Leo’s wife, Margaret, was like a second grandmother. She gave the best hugs ever. City kids, we loved visiting the farm and getting cousin, Mary A., to give us a ride on the tractor.

They farmed the land Leo’s father claimed in the Oklahoma land rush of 1898. Great-granddad Phipps left this wife and oldest son, Emery, my grandfather, in Missouri while he made the run. Great-granddad carved a cave from the side of a hill and lived in it while he planted his first crop and built a home for his family. They are all buried in a small country cemetery near their land. Very appropriately, the cemetery is fenced to keep out grazing cattle.

Mom gave me the Phipps Bible along with a box of miscellaneous items when I started doing the family genealogy. There were lots of WWI era pictures and postcards.

There amongst the postcards was one that was very special. It was signed “I love you, Leo.” He and Margaret were courting, but not married during the war. Leo must have known that everyone that handled his postcard would have read it before it arrived at Margaret’s mail box. At time when men did not express their feelings, Leo did. Everyone in the county knew he loved Margaret. How wonderful.

When Aunt Margaret died she left her set of Rogers silverware to my Mom. Mom gave it to me. I only use it on very special occasions. Sometimes I open the case and touch a piece because it makes me feel like I have reconnected to my beloved Aunt Margaret.

Read Full Post »