Wow, 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.
Author Kaye Spencer made us a little intro for youtube. Watch the new trailer here:
Less than one week left!
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
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
I’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:
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a 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. http://romancebooks4us.blogspot.com/2013/12/timing-is-everything.html
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!