To Heather Hobbs: FINALLY! The Long Awaited Response to the Liebster Award Nomination!

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LIEBSTER AWARD!!

I was flabbergasted when Heather, at  HeatherHobbsBlog, nominated me for a Liebster Award, back in June! I didn’t have but a couple of dozen people following me at the time and I really never expected that anyone would be all that interested in my blog. To say I was tickled pink would be an understatement!

Heather does a fair bit of reading and I always like checking out her ‘Recaps”, and her “Classic Remarks” on older books (her last was on Dr. Seuss and Roald Dahl!). You should visit her blog!

I hate that it’s taken me so long to do this. Working on two novels and trying to get a book of poetry together has me so busy that I just haven’t had a lot of time to buckle down and do my part for the Liebster, and for that I’m really ashamed. But now, by golly, here it is: the long awaited response!

First, a bit of explanation:

The Liebster Award is passed around the blogging community as a fun way of getting to know each other. Here is how it works – once you get nominated:

  • Thank the nominator and link back to their blog
  • Answer 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you
  • Nominate other bloggers that you think deserve the award
  • Write 11 questions for your nominees
  • Let them know you’ve nominated them

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Here are the answers to the 11 questions that Heather asked me:

What is your favorite book or book series?

  • Well, about a hundred years ago that would have been the old Nancy Drew classics (Heather should appreciate those!). Now, though, I only have 3 collections, and they are, all of them, my favourites:  Harry Potter, naturally, Lord of the Rings and a growing collection of poetry by Roger Moore. My single favourite book has always been, and still is, the Bible. I just can’t help it!

If you could do anything (other than your current job), what would you do for a living?

  • I’m doing exactly what I want to be doing: writing, painting and sculpting.

What is your favorite book-to-film adaptation

  • Jane Austen’s books have been brilliantly adapted to film. Oh! And I’m crazy about Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing”, with Emma Thompson, Kianu Reeves, Kenneth Brannagh and Denzel Washington…it was hilarious!!

What is your least favorite book-to-film adaptation?

  • Goodness. The book may be better 99% of the time, but I can’t really think of any film adapted from a book that I could call my least favourite, although I can think of one or two books that were terribly written, but that made excellent movies!

On average, how many books do you read per month?

  • It varies from month to month by a lot. I may go several months without reading anything other that my own edits, then I mayn’t write a word because I’m reading! During the months that I read, I can consume up to 40 books a month, as it only takes me about 8 hours to read a 300-400 page novel, and about three hours to read a 200 page book.

What is your favorite thing about blogging?

  • Although I do like sharing my progress, processes and thoughts along the journey of writing, my all-time favourite part is ‘meeting’ and talking with so many talented, dedicated and just plain interesting people. I like to think that I’ve made as many friends on this particular blog in the past year, that I have in my entire 62 years of life!

What is the most challenging thing about blogging?

  • Balancing my time. I will either miss posting for days on end, or I will post eleventy-seven times a day! One of these days, when I have a lot to say, I’ll remember to schedule the darn things!

Why is your blog focused on the topics you’ve chosen?

  • I’m a writer and a reader. I write about books, whether mine or someone else’s. But then again, sometimes I just write to see myself put words on paper…erm…the screen!

How often do you blog?

  • I try to make sure I post to one of my 5 blogs at least every 2 days.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

  • For decades I’ve dreamed of traveling to Europe. I want to visit the lands of my grandparents (England and Ireland) and make an unexpected phone call to some of my friends in Wales or Belgium and also Australia and New Zealand. Then I want to visit Hawai’i again, see Alaska and finish traveling across the US and back up to Canada (there are people I’d love to meet in-person, everywhere!). I suppose the easier question would be, “Where would you not go?” 😀

Tell us one fun fact about yourself:

  • I love being old! When you’re old, you can flirt and pretend that you’re just looking to adopt that fine looking young feller! Plus, I get to call out, “Hey, kid!” to a 50 year old!!!

So there you have it! Now, I’m supposed to nominate a few other bloggers for the Liebster Award, but how in the world do you choose from 100+ great people?? I know a lot of them specifically state that they don’t really have time to participate, but I can’t remember which ones they are – so I’m just going to take a chance here.

As for the questions, I’m just going to pass along the ones up there that Heather gave me (I’m anxious to know everyone’s answer to the last one!!)

I’d like to nominate:

Anne at Inked Brownies and Danielle at Books, Vertigo and Tea, who have a couple of awesome – and most times hilarious! – book review blogs between them, and Julie at Cookie Crumbs to Live By, whose spiritual posts keep me on my toes.

I would really like to also nominate Roger, Roger Moore – Poet and Meg, at Meg Sorick Writes, for their fantastic poetry that never ceases to amaze. Of course, with their schedules, I don’t know that they would have time for it. Meh – I’ll let them know anyway!

There are so many that I’d like to mention, but I really need to get to bed. After all, it’s 8:00a.m.

 

 

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To smile, to cry, to say goodbye… ‘a smile in one eye, a tear in the other’

I read a book last week, perhaps you saw the post. The title quoted the author’s wife, who observed:

“…a smile in one eye, a tear in the other.” – Ralph and Ginger Webster

I understand the concept. Life has a way of coming at you so quickly that you haven’t the time to make a decision what emotion to dwell on.

Hopefully, our emotions are worked separately throughout life. We smile, we cry…and in the end, we say goodbye. It doesn’t always happen that way…sometimes birth and death happen at the same time. If we’re lucky, we survive with only a scar around our hearts and more sweet memories than sad…or bad.

Sometimes, old memories are so overshadowed by a dull ache, that the urge to run away from the pain never really relinquishes its grip; even I, an incurable optimist, succumb at times. You would think that having 10+ children and more than 50 grands would cure my melancholy for once and for all. For the most part, it does.

But now my children have gone on to live their own lives, with kids of their own. I expected this. I told my babies as they were growing up that becoming an adult was just the natural, inexorable way of things – that they wouldn’t always need me right there with them. For many, many years I even told them that one day, when I got old, I planned on running away, because once they had grown and gone, I knew I would be lonesome, what with so much quiet and all.

My last baby is now 25. My one child left is now a man. He went off on his own a lot of years ago, too. I’m happy that all my children are content. I’m sad that they’re gone. And I can’t even call my mom when I’m feeling blue, because I said goodbye to her and my father fifteen years ago.

Can I run away now?

Connecticut held me tight, once I moved away from North Carolina, for even though we lived a hundred miles or so away from real mountains, we had beautiful, high hills..and when the snow covered them in the winter, it was a balm to my heart. But, ahhh…those Smoky Mountains!

I fell in love for the very first time in my life as a young girl, there, in those ancient mountains. Married him, too. But he was a Vietnam Marine Corps veteran and battle fatigue and shell shock…PTSD…took him away from everyone, including me. Only the mountains could hold him, but eventually even they weren’t strong enough to battle a weakened heart, and God called him home. He was barely 50 years old.

My nowadays husband spent his 22 married years in the Smokies, too. And he lost his wife there. She was only 42.

I miss my old mountains. But I’m not sure where I want to run away to any more. If I was all alone, without a husband, I’d probably go back home to the mountains, but I wouldn’t want to go where my husband had his wife. I wouldn’t want to intrude on those memories. And my memories are my own, as well.

Mama and Daddy are buried there, too.

I always love to visit my Smokies, to breathe the clean mountain air and hike from one mountain top to another. All quiet and whatnot. Peaceful.

I still have my memories, whether I turn back time in my mind here in Florida, or if I go home in the flesh to do it.

But I miss home.

Going home sounds like such a good idea, even if I must face having a smile in one eye and a tear in the other.

 

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….young….

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….not so young….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…and then.

just.

gone.

Going Home…

...gathering up the courage to plop your fanny down into the icy water...pushing off, knowing that the next icy cold plunge would take your breath away. Then climbing back up to the top and doing it all over again...

…gathering up the courage to plop your fanny down into the icy water…pushing off, knowing that the next icy cold plunge would take your breath away.
Then climbing back up to the top and doing it all over again…

 

Just a thought…”

One may not be able to turn back time, but “going home” always brings back memories. Hopefully good, sometimes bittersweet…but always worth the effort.

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Thoughts & Inspiration – God, Bob Ross & Roger Moore

"Happy little clouds"!

“Happy little clouds”!

My husband got into an accident a few days ago and wound up with five fractured ribs. While this may have been great inspiration for the writer of a medical novel, it better suited me to take a few days off from writing. So I  spent this week contemplating life, art, God, writing and Roger Moore, poet 😏

Now, the day after hubby got busted up, I took a walk to the corner store, about 3/4 mile away. I’ve not spent much time outside lately because of a nagging, sometimes debilitating health issue, so I was really soaking up the sun and fresh air on my way there. The sky was beautiful behind the various types of clouds floating around, and the sun was wonderfully brilliant, though it hurt my eyes even with my ‘blu-blocker’ sunglasses on.

Nature is beautiful; regardless of 97° heat and humidity, it never ceases to be awe inspiring. The slight whooshing sound as a breeze travels through a stand of Australian pine, cicadas singing so loudly that you can barely hear yourself think, watching the changing shapes of the clouds looming over the tree tops and the rainbow colours that appear where the clouds drift in front of the sun…well, let’s face it – God is indeed the Master Artist.

On my way back home, I couldn’t keep my eyes off the sky. With the sun at my back, it was much easier to study all those wonderful, blooming, bright white clouds that were slowly mixing with the angry looking storm clouds heading in from the west. Iridescent pastels and golds never disappear, even when they are overlaid with a myriad of values of grey.

Who hasn’t looked at clouds and seen pictures! I saw a porcupine, a pig, a woman’s head with one of those Greek  goddess style upswept hair-do’s and at the top of a particularly spectacular configuration, I even saw a replica of one of those huge statues of Christ the Redeemer, like the one in the Andes Mountains, between Argentina and Chile, just south of Mt. Aconcagua (nearly the same as the one we’ve seen on television during this year’s Olympics in Brazil). I mean, watching these clouds billow into forms just made me smile.

They seemed like such happy little clouds…hmmm.

Does anyone remember Bob Ross? He was a wonderful artist, well known even to this day because of his decade long television series, “The Joy of Painting”. He was then, and still is today (although he passed away from cancer many decades ago), famous for adding, as he put it, “happy little clouds” and “happy little trees” to his paintings (Melody Sheep/PBS did a music mix, “Bob Ross: Happy Little Clouds” here). Studying the sky that day, a random, perhaps nonsensical, thought occurred to me that God was ready for another assistant to share His status as Master Artist, so He invited Bob Ross to join his wife in heaven, just so we might all still be able to enjoy his happy little clouds!

I seem to be able to find inspiration in abundance, through my own thoughts and memories or by sheer chance…like when I’m “introduced” to people via social media or through my blog here. Sometimes it’s because of personal interaction with others, sometimes it’s because I have been touched by another’s writing.

My most recent ‘for instance’ was day before yesterday when I really spent time reading the works of contemporary poet, Roger Moore (no, not the erstwhile “007” – – – the other Roger Moore!). I was so entranced that I Googled him and wound up reading far more than he shares on his blog. In fact, I found myself so engrossed in his short stories, prose and poetry that before I knew it, I had spent 3 hours in the the company of his work…and gained much inspiration for my book(s).

Now, Roger Moore, art, ‘happy little clouds’, memories and God are not the only places I find inspiration. I don’t just follow bloggers, tweeters and posters…I read what you all write. I have found that my time on the internet would be very dull without you!

Storms

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Life can bring one storm after another, accompanied by both destruction and newness. But storms, in and of themselves, are neither destructive, nor creative…it is, rather, the way they are viewed by man, that dictates such perceptions.

Storms are, by their very nature, a study in ambiguity and contrast.

Where trees may be uprooted, waters erode and hail beats down, there behind it comes new growth. Even the destruction of homes by hurricane, tornado or flood, is followed by rebuilding…and usually the new construction is improved over the old so that it may withstand future storms.

Life’s storms, in the form of ill health, consequences of poor choices, divorce or death, is very much like Nature’s version…in both destruction and new construction.

Illness feels horrid. We can either remain sick and give up, or we can discover the cause for it and either treat it if it can be, or learn the work-arounds. We can make our mistakes and whine about the consequences, or learn how to avoid a repetition from them.

When the storms in our hearts are the result of death, we can lose ourselves in sorrow, anger and bitterness…or we can learn to appreciate the life that we yet have…and hope in, what some call superstition, but what many of us know as Hope and Faith.

There is so much that mankind is still ignorant of, with regards to the “is that all there is?” of life. Life is…and storms are…energy, and energy cannot be destroyed. This is a fact of physics.

Let us reroute our energies when the storms of life assault us. Let us acknowledge the destructive forces as merely a part of birth or rebirth. After all, if not for the destructive forces of nature, the very soil that supports life on earth would not exist.

Just sayin’.

 

Time…

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Time.

We are conceived. We are born. We live…then we die.

Linear.

This seems to be an established fact. But is it? What are facts, but once-upon-a-time theories. ‘The world is flat”. That was a ‘fact’, too, until someone proved differently. ‘The sun travels across the sky as it orbits the earth’…another ‘fact’, until it was proven otherwise.

It really didn’t take all that long for mankind to realize that much of what he believed about life was based on theory, rather than ‘fact’. And science is proving, or disproving, facts and theories every single day.

So why is it so difficult to believe that the only things we “know” about Time, might, as yet, simply be accepted theory?

Stories about time and space, whether as a fantasy, or as related in a textbook as an example, have always fascinated me. But when you combine time, space, myth, faith-based belief, fantasy AND physics into one story…now, that’s the stuff of a good book…if, of course, that’s a genre that interests you.

In “Folded Dreams” (the follow-up novel to ‘Folded Dreams – the Beginning’), all of these elements (plus a bit of theory regarding the neurological aspects of the brain’s potential) are represented…with a lot of poetic license taken…(ahem…) hence, the designation of ‘fiction’.

In this book, an inter-changeability of time and space, the wide ranging beliefs regarding the spirit, its origin and state of “be-ing”, seemingly…and actual…paranormal and extraterrestrial visitations, ‘claire’ gifts, and out-of-body/near-death experiences, all come together to form a really good reading experience, or so I’ve been told (honestly, even I like it, and I’m my own worst critic!).