Wednesday, July 8, 2015

A New Place to Find One Writer's Journal

Follow me to One Writer's Journal's New Home

Join the fun at One Writer's Journal on my new website. Click directly to my latest posts here. 

Same journal. Same writer. Different place. Hope to see you there.  

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Summer Celebrations and Winners

It's time to enjoy those great summer days with the kids and with my reading friends.

And the Winners Are

I usually make you wade though whatever I post here and get to the bottom of the page before I announce the winners, but this time I'm letting you know right off the bat. First place winner is Diana J In Maine. She says she never wins anything, but now she has. She gets the lovely Shaker box and chose The Innocent

I haven't heard from the second place winner yet, but it's John D. He wins the Bread and Bun Warmer decorated with the Shaker Tree of Life and his choice of one of my books. Then, most of the time when I do a giveaway, I pick a "just because" winner to win one of my books. So I did that this time and Peggy C. is my just because winner this time. If I don't hear from John or Peggy by Wednesday, I'll draw another name. 

Thanks to all of you who joined in with my giveaway fun. I loved your summer stories and I'll be sharing more soon. It was also fun reading some of your favorite things about summer. Tomatoes out of the garden, visits with grandparents, swimming, reading in a hammock, just enjoying the day. 

Here's what one of you said. Bjm probably spoke for a lot of us on this one about her grandmother.

"Many years ago when I was a young girl I would go stay with my Grandmother at her river cottage. My Grandma was and still is my very favorite person. She hunted, fished etc. I remember so many young people coming to see her every weekend. She was so well liked by them. I could go on and on about her and all the fun and quality time I had with my favorite person.The sad thing is I don't think I ever told her that."

Well, on second thought I couldn't say my aunt who was like a grandmother to me went hunting, but I do have great memories of time spent with her.   
Busy Summer Days

Summertime is such a busy time. Even though my children grew up years ago, married and have their own families, summer still seems to fill up with dozens of things to do. Vacations. Grandkid visits. Flowers to plant. Vegetables to gather and cook. Oscar to give a bath after he gets hot and sits down in the cow's pond. That happened today when the grandkids came out and we took a long walk. I forgot to guide Oscar around the pond. He was not a happy dog when he had to suffer through a hose down. Then halfway through, he gave a mighty shake. So guess who else got wet? 

Let's Talk Shakers

One of the reasons I have busy summers is that I've had a new book come out in July the last few years. Sometimes I have a deadline to finish writing a new book too. Both things are good - very good, but it keeps me hopping in June and July. With the new book, I have blogs to visit to try to get the word out about the new story. (You can watch for notice of some of these on my Facebook page this month to give you more chances to win a book.) Then I have my own  celebration contests like the one I just finished up to share the fun with you, my reading friends. 

And next Sunday I'll have my Hometown Book Launch at my town's library. I started having book talks to celebrate a new book when Scent of Lilacs came out in 2005. I've kept up the tradition with each new book since then. So if you're in the area, come on down to the library next Sunday afternoon and we'll talk new books and Shakers. You might win a door prizes and for sure you can snag some chocolate. I will be signing books after my talk and a Q & A session. We usually have fun.

That Announcement I Promised

I jumped the gun when I promised a surprise announcement this post. I'm going to have to wait until later in the week for that. But soon. Maybe I'll give away another book or something to make the wait worth it.

As always, thanks for reading. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

In the Good Ol' Summertime

Tomatoes and Butterflies

Only a few more days to enter my Celebration Giveaway for my new book, The Innocent. Entries have to be in by midnight EST Saturday night, July 3, 2015. For more details, check it out on my website. I invited those who entered to share a summer story or something they especially love about summer and I've gotten some great stories and favorite things. I shared some of those favorite things on my Mailbag Tuesday feature on my Facebook page. One thing most of us could agree on was how we love those tomatoes from the garden in the summertime. And I might add seeing butterflies when I go walking in the fields. I'm always wishing I could see more. 

Some of you shared how summer was for you when you were a kid and I'm going to share Sandi's tonight. Sandi has a way with words. She'll have you running along with her in her summer fun and I would guess that many of you might have known similar summer  memories from when you were kids. I know I did.

Summer Memories from Sandi

We were a poor family...but only in terms of money. I was number six out of eight children. Our house was small and in the summer, my mom would, often, open the door and yell..."scat." She didn’t have to tell us twice because she had quite a list of things we could do inside–like dusting or washing dishes or cleaning under the beds–jobs no kid would want to do.

What we lacked in toys, we made up for in imagination. One year we had a zoo–with every bug we could catch lined up in jars for all of our paying customers to see...however, no one showed up in spite of our advertising. (Or perhaps it was because of our advertising). 

We younger kids were delighted when we’d find a dead bird or even a large bug because then we could get our older sister, who had plans to become a nun or a majorette, depending on the day, to come out and do a funeral service. She’d read scripture and we’d sing and wail a little if we felt a particular affection for the deceased. (The wailing was usually reserved for one of our many pets). 

We spent several days building a Ferris Wheel–needless to say, that went about as well as the bug zoo.

The grape arbor held endless possibilities and served as a grocery store (with cans we took out of the trash) or a fort that had to be defended against the Indians...or cowboys or just each other. We had an old shed on the property and one day one of the oldsters from the County Home (which was about a mile up the road) moved in. We didn’t notice until he had thrown nearly everything out onto the lawn and was sitting on a rock smoking a stogie (cigar). He was an interesting old guy and we learned several new words much to my mother’s chagrin and ours, if she heard us repeating them. 

My brothers had a basketball hoop (a bent hanger) attached to the shed and one day the ball landed on the roof–I watched as they climbed up to get it and both fell through at the same exact same moment. I can’t remember which was more exciting–watching them land or the chaos when my parents found out what had happened. They had plenty of kids, but only one shed.

The days seemed endless back then. My grandmother lived very close to us (on the same lot) and although we weren’t allowed to "pester" her, we’d go and sit on her porch with her, when invited and she was a wonderful source of love and entertainment. She had a very deep belly laugh and if she laughed, we laughed, so we’d go through all kinds of antics to make her giggle–which was fun all in itself.

We would catch lightning bugs at night and Dad would put up a tent and we’d declare that we were going to sleep in it–we’d make it about two hours before someone would bring up a story about a ghost or a mass murderer who had been seen lurking in our neighbor’s garden... Then, we’d all run screaming into the house and climb into our safe warm bed until the next time. Ghosts were one thing, but mass murderers were pretty scary.

We had none of the things kids have today. One bicycle was shared by all and I don’t think any of us had been to a real swimming pool until we were almost grown. The closest we got to water outside was if we turned on the hose and sprayed each other. We had a wagon and we’d take turns being the pusher or puller. Dad made us a seesaw/merry go round and it was great fun until someone would get in the way and...well, that’s another story.

I don’t ever remember being bored. When Mom would get out the Sear’s catalog and start thumbing through it for school clothes, I knew it was almost over. Oh well, there was always next year and time truly does fly...when you’re having fun.

More Stories to Come

Thanks for sharing your childhood summers with us, Sandi. I'll share some more of the stories in the weeks to come. 

Also watch for a big announcement Sunday. Of course, I am announcing the winners of my Shaker prizes in my Celebration Giveaway, but there will be another announcement as well about a little change going to happen here.

As always, thanks for reading.