Precious Details

santa-bee - CopyWow, no one ever explained to me that when you’ve reached the age of “over the hill” time accelerates on the downward slope. I swear I just cooked a Thanksgiving dinner the other day and today my calendar says it’s the 7th already. Today is full of things that need doing and tonight the first of a string of holiday parties.  It’s a good time to recycle something! I have just the thing. A few weeks ago, author Victoria Adams hosted me on her blog as part of the publicity for our Exquisite Quills Holiday Anthology debut. Here’s a replay:

A retelling of the Christmas Miracle, and how I came to write it.

I’m often asked how I come to write the stories I do. That answer is hard to pin down because I write all sorts of things from children’s early readers to historical non-fiction. I suppose writing is just the natural progression of a story collector. I’ve been collecting stories ever since I was a child. I especially love when older folks share their memories — I could listen to seniors reminisce for hours. With an active imagination and background in history, I can fill in the blanks and I see their life and times unfold right before my eyes.

Like so many of my generation, I grew up listening to my elders at the kitchen table. Nowhere else in the house was suitable for such discourse. Important conversation could only occur there – a habit harkening back to the days when the hearth was the center of all activity. Melmac coffee cups and chromed percolator, those ritual items of adult conversation in the 1960’s, sat beside ashtrays of Pall Malls whose tendrils of eye-stinging smoke swirled to the ceiling When my parents, aunts, uncles, and friends got together, they discussed everything from politics to the day to day business of their lives. They also played pinochle and laughed and told stories.

I’d sit there on some aunt or uncle’s lap soaking up stories like a little sponge. More often, I’d be somewhere on the floor listening quietly and drawing pictures amid the jungle of legs. I still remember bits and pieces of some of the stories shared at the table, and I’ve collected stories ever since.

When my husband and I moved our little family to this farm house years ago, we immersed ourselves in the land and the history. Everyday details of the area, including adjacent farmsteads, were stories waiting to be discovered. I knew about the man who went to California as a miner ‘49’er and came back after striking it rich. I know there are three children buried along the back road because the farm was quarantined when they lost their lives during the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic. I know about the pioneer cemetery where five children are buried after the morbid sore throat ravaged the family in the 1850’s. I know about the grisly murder of a farm hand and the lime pit on the hill that dissolved the body. I know about the hidy-hole secret in the house next door that hints at Underground Railroad activity. And I wonder about the molar we found in that house’s cistern. From the older folks who remember when rural electrification came through my area in the late1930’s comes one of my favorite stories — How the Christmas tree was lit for the first time when electricity finally came to the country. This is the basis for Star of Wonder. The rest is a tribute to the Christmas story. As with all of my stories, Star of Wonder has its share of metaphor.

Many of our oldest neighbors have passed on, but I still have their stories. I cherish and share the details of their lives wherever I can. And through their retelling, those lives are remembered. I encourage everyone to ask questions of their elders. The details of their lives are as precious as the time left to tell them. Make their stories yours and share them. And then share your own.

EQ coverGet your free Exquisite Quills Holiday Anthology Vol.

Author Kaye Spencer made us a little intro for youtube. Watch the new trailer here:


Less than one week left!
002x846q 100 Things Blogging Challenge! For 100 days, I’m posting a little something from my chosen topic of Words & Quotes of Love. There are 4 entries to come.
Here’s another from the Bard. I just love this one:

“No sooner met but they looked; No sooner looked but they loved; No sooner loved but they sighed; No sooner sighed but they asked one another the reason; No sooner knew the reason but they sought the remedy.”

~ William Shakespeare

holidog1I’ve been posting one vintage holidog2card each day and plan to keep it up from now until January. Today I’m posting a pair with puppies.

Cool camera.



b1e43-eqpicStop by the Exquisite Quills blog today for an interview with erotic romance author Jane Leopold Quinn.

Several promotional opportunities for romance authors can be found on my Exquisite Quills group blog. Join us tomorrow for our Sunday open promo ~ Set the Scene in Six

loveWaits.cover.swI’m not blogging much because I’m taking a holiday break, but you can still discover my books and a little bit about me. Just click on the Links tab above to see my book trailers and other blogs filled with snippets, insights, challenges, recipes, writer tips, chatty things, and more.

My unusual love stories are in both ebook and paperback and can be found wherever books are sold. Get your FREE sampling of all seven here:

>>Subscribe to this blog for all my news<<


rb4ua guest Blog with Denise Alicea.

RB4U is participating in author Nikki Barrett’s READER APPRECIATION GIVEAWAY — Lots of prizes. Enter today!

This week I had my blog day on Romance Books ‘4’ Us. Come see how much I love snow.

And…our new contest has approximately 30 prizes for one winner, including a $75 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. I’m adding a free book from my backlist to the loot. Read the pages and find the dancing Santas!



About ~RoseAnderson

Rose Anderson is an award-winning author and dilettante who loves great conversation and delights in discovering interesting things to weave into stories. Rose also writes under the pen name Madeline Archer.
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13 Responses to Precious Details

  1. Rose, I loved your EQ anthology story. So O’Henry. And sweet. The vintage cards are so cute too. I’ve seen something like them in Glendale, AZ where they have a few blocks in town with old Victorian houses – not the gingerbread type. They’re little bungalows and I fell in love with them. They’ve been made into shops.

  2. I’m experiencing that warp speed effect myself these days. It’s hard to believe Christmas is just over two weeks away. We got the house lights up! The neighborhood is ablaze with colored lights. I always appreciate my neighbors who go to the effort. There are patches of light and darkness in our neighborhood. When I walk at night, I can’t help but wonder about the houses with no lights. Perhaps Christmas isn’t part of their belief system, perhaps they’ve suffered loss and don’t have the heart, perhaps they are struggling to feed their families and don’t have enough money to buy lights and pay the extra electricity charges… I send a blessing their way. Rose, your vintage postcards remind me of a world of happy memories that seems more like fiction than reality in today’s world. Thanks for sharing them with us!

    • Growing up in Chicago in the 1960s, we had entire neighborhoods dedicated to themed decorations — candy cane lane, reindeer lane, Santa Claus lane, etc. If a house sold, the decorations went with it. Cars of families would slowly troll to take in the sights.

  3. mikey2ct says:

    Ah, melmac! I haven’t seen that word in print for a while, along with green stamps. I remember going to the movies where they gave away a dinner plate this week and a saucer the next week. Gas stations (remember when you pulled in to a pump and someone ran to wipe your windscreen ?) were a steady supply of green stamps for people who could afford a car.

    • My husband’s grandmother sent her kids to the theater for the nickle shows. Blue stem cut glassware were the gifts at the door. So were complete sets of dishes. With her four kids she amassed two full sets of china and a few dozen blue stem wine glasses. My sister-in-law has the dishes and we have the stemware. It goes out on the table every Thanksgiving. We add to the set whenever we can.

      I remember the guys than ran out to pump gas and while they waited for the filling, they checked your oil and did your windows. As for Green Stamps…our family with its four girls and one boy took turns to get something out of the Green Stamp catalog. As the youngest, I had to wait forever for my turn. I was 10 when I got a black filigree kitchen clock. LOL To me it looked like it was wrought iron. In actuality it was a cheap piece of plastic. The family thought I was nuts.
      Remember the premiums that came in detergent boxes? There were glasses and hand towels. I think the detergent was a brand called Duz.

  4. jdfaver says:

    Great details, Rose. You made me get all misty-eyed for all the wonderful little details that now reside in the scrap heap of my memories. Thanks for nudging them and shaking off the dust.

  5. Lots of wonderful stories based on Christmas Memories–my favorite will always be Truman Capote’s. Cried when I read it! But yours come close. Like you, I loved listening to stories of the older generations. I’ve used some of them in my short stories as well.

  6. Marianne Stephens says:

    It’s so important to listen to older people…they lived history that we’ve only read about. So many stories to hear and remember as we age. Personal descriptions are so much better than accounts written in books by researchers. Nice post and something to think about.

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