Saturday, October 31, 2015


I make lists. I like to read lists. Evidently many people do since almost any magazine a person might pick up probably has an article with a list of something. Either a list of things to get done before Christmas or a list of items to never forget when leaving for a trip to the beach, like sunscreen.
The personal lists I make are usually practical, you might say. Things I need to get done around the house. Things I'm thankful for or lists of potential gifts for friends and family. But the lists I like to read are sometimes just interesting and not especially useful.
For instance some time ago I received an email with a list of these United States and what each is famous for. I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the list. But diamond lovers and fans of the old Marilyn Monroe movie, Diamonds Are a Girls Best Friend, might find the first one interesting.
Arkansas – only state with an active diamond mine.
Arizona – only state in the Continental US that does not follow Daylight Savings Time.
California – state whose economy is so large that if it were a country it would rank 7th in the entire world. (Aside: also in about the same condition as some of those countries.)
Connecticut – home of Yale University, where the Frisbee was invented.
Georgia – State where Coca-Cola was invented
Iowa – Winnebago campers get their name from Winnebago County. And also the only state name that begins with two vowels.
Louisiana – has parishes instead of counties because they were originally Spanish church units.
Maine – so big it covers as many square miles as the other five New England States combined.
Michigan – home of Gerber, is the baby food capital of the world.
Missouri – birthplace of the ice cream cone. (personal aside: Hail to Missouri!)
Montana – a sapphire from Montana is in the Crown Jewels of England.
That's a dozen, only thirty-eight to go, despite the confusion of some officials in high places.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Open to More Learning

I have numerous writing advice and teaching websites bookmarked on my computer. I get caught up in what I'm doing and don't go to them as often as I probably should. One of those excellent teaching sites is by an author/teacher named Kristen Lamb. In one of her recent blog posts, she succeeded in convincing me that I must work harder to write so that flashbacks are mostly unnecessry. I KNEW that flashbacks can interrupt the reader's immersion in the story. But like many I believed they were almost a necessity. I. was. wrong. Now to get back to my work-in-progress and weed out those pesky things as much as possible! Thanks, Kristen.

Not Really Gone!

Can't believe I haven't posted since last December. I guess I hibernated during that long cold winter. And now we seem to have jumped right into a long hot summer.
We did have a little bit of spring. Thankfully, the two outdoor booksignings I've done for the new book, were during those not so hot days in May.
Trail Days in Damscus, Virginia was a fun event I'd never done before. The energy level was over the top, of the tent! Talked to a bunch of hikers who hike the Appalachian Trail. Some were through-hikers, who hike all of the over 2,000 miles of the AT. Others call themselves 'section hikers' who hike the trail in sections, as time and money allow. All I spoke with were extremely nice.
The other booksigning I did, also in May and also the first time I'd participated, was Plumb Alley Day in Abingdon, Virginia. This is a unique event. A four block section of Plumb Alley is blocked off for a one day unusual kind of 'yard sale' for whatever you have to sell. It's sponsored and administered by the Abingdon Kiwanis Club to benefit children.
Another exciting first for me was my interview on WJHL TV's  Daytime Tricities broadcast last week. Ann was an easy-to-talk-to interviewer and I thoroughly enjoyed my brief appearance.
I have a couple more events scheduled and others in the works. Stay tuned.