Monday, July 31, 2006

Decisive Day and Giving the Rest to God

I hate making decisions sometimes. When you are married, the decisions you ultimately make do not just involve yourself, but those of your spouse also. Today I made a decision about myself and my life in the future and my spouse took it quite well, in fact he seemed pleased. I wish he had been just a little more nervous to go along with how I am really feeling.

What did I decide?

I decided I wasn't giving up on my writing no matter what, and I also decided I was going to go back to school to get a criminal justice degree. By the time this degree is done I will be fifty years old. Fifty. Who will want to hire me then? Being in a wheelchair and physically disabled will not be as much of a problem as my age. So why did I do it? Because something needs to change in my life, and I need it to be a positive change, something ultimately filled with hope. So, I am trying for this, and, because I am trying for it, I am pretty sure I will succeed, because I dearly love to learn and this intrigues me.

I am scared, though. I am scared down to the very tips of my toes to the utmost tops of my hair. Hubby is pleased and happy, proud, but I am afraid really, and I am going to have to hide this fear. Why then am I writing it here? Because he doesn't read it. There is always an excuse why he can't read anything I write. So, I may as well be honest somewhere in my life, especially with my life: I am going back to school and I am afraid. I am going for a job and I am afraid. I am not giving up my writing and I am afraid.

Yeah, I guess you could say I am a little on the uncertain side of things. All I can do now is just give it 110% and give the rest to God.

Poetry Monday

The Tiger
By William Blade

TIGER, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder and what art
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand and what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? What dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And water'd heaven with their tears,
Did He smile His work to see?
Did He who made the lamb make thee?

Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

A lot has been said about this poem of late from Britney Spears to David Letterman. I thought it would be nice for everyone to actually have the full poem to enjoy and read.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

"World Peace" is on my list of To-Do's This Week?

It's Sunday and I am sitting here looking down the road at the week approaching and feeling as if, all of a sudden, I have a life and things to do. Ever had one of those days where you just sit quietly and look ahead of you and see all of the things you need to do and are probably going to succeed at doing and then you know, without having been wanting to know or expecting to know you had a life? Yeah, that's where I am at the moment. It isn't spooky or anything, like it would have been a few years ago, but it is . . . strange.

For example, I have three writing projects that are very important for me to work on and complete this week. Two short stories and my newest novel. One short story actually has a conclusion and is waiting on the editorial and second-draft writing to begin the spit-and-polish it needs before sending out to a magazine somewhere. The other short story isn't finished, but does have a good possibility of being picked up by a magazine. The novel, well, the novel just needs words down on it and progress.

On the domestic front I want to clean my kitchen and re-organize it so that when the expected company arrives in two weeks time, there will be a place to sit and eat, have tea and coffee and there will be a place to relax. In country homes this is usually the kitchen. Just because I live in a moderate city doesn't mean my home isn't a country home, so it is very important to me the kitchen is in order.

Hubby needs help with finding a job, so I will be doing a lot of computer searching and applying so that I can be of some assistance.

Plus, there is the ever-present exercise to do. Thank the good Lord it is yoga! If I had to go to the gym this week I would fuss every single day and hate any moment spent there. With yoga I can go into our room, close the door, and let the day slip away or the morning organize itself silently depending on when I actually get to do it.

And then there is cooking and preparing for the Dormition Fast which begins on August 1st. Birthday cards to secure and send out. Bills to pay. Blog posts to plan. Budgets to balance and world peace to secure.

OK, I can't do anything about world peace, but sometimes it just seems like something that should just be on someone's weekly list somewhere. What if it was on everyone's list? Would world peace be found and kept that way? It is an interesting thought.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Computer Maintenance Update

Hubby did computer maintenance today so there was no posting. More later.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Thursdays Alter Ego

Yes, I am running away from all of the mundane things I should be doing. I am running away here, to the Internet and for entertainment and information because here is some place I would prefer not to be at the moment.

Have you ever had those moments when you just wanted to run away and be somewhere else, someone else? I am having one of those days.

Today, I believe, my alter ego would be...Marquessa, a beautiful Italian lady of great title and beauty who had servants to do her bidding and all she had to do was compose the sweet directives and mysteries her friends enjoyed to read. And, could it be possible? The queen wants to hear one in court?!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Sleepy Hollow Inn, Part I

M. Davenport lives in Lexington, Kentucky and is a fledgling author. M. Davenport prefers gender to be unknown, but does wish it stated that the Davenport household is filled with the love of four cats and two dogs and six birds of various breeds. Personally, I am quite curious to see how the cats and the birds manage to get along, but according to Davenport, they do, quite well.

The house sitting on the outskirts of the sleepy little town of Richmond, Kentucky would make a perfect bed and breakfast. I knew it the moment I laid eyes on it. It was a massive Victorian era structure with a tower and enough land for wonderful, old fashioned garden parties. I could just see the evening garden parties with ladies and gentlemen in period costumes floating among the torch and candlelight on warm summer evenings. The majority of the land was screened from the road leading to Lexington proper and I-75 by a collection of pines, black cheery, and oak trees. An old iron fence did its best to keep things out and the trees in, although when I saw it, the thing had nearly fallen flat to the ground, yet defiant to the very end. Seeing it as I did in the moonlight, I could also see Halloween parties and me there on the expanse of front porch in my favorite costume of a vampire lord. It would not matter if people mistook me for the legendary Dracula: People just did not comprehend there were other vampiric lords besides him. The house would be a good investment, and just before dawn I made my requests known to my friend and protector, Micky Smith.

Despite having lived for 251 years, I needed income, just like everyone else. In order to remain hidden, and hidden well, you needed a cover whether you were a vampire or a human on the run. How many people would it surprise to know not all vampires were rich and had magnificent fortunes tucked away in unexpected places to fall back upon? Most of us of the vampiric kind, struggle to make ends meet just like those who work and toil during the day. True, I had enough money to purchase the house and enough left over to get it going fully, but I was no where near "comfortable" in means.

Besides that, I also had to pay homage to the elegant and beautiful Alison Reese who ruled over a good portion of the Small South as Kentucky, Tennessee and Georgia were known as in the make up of the vampire world of North America. I was coming into the Small South from the Northern Territory and I had to pay tribute to her before officially opening my establishment. It has been done this way for centuries, and, I suspect, it will continue on for centuries to come.

Alison Reese had set up court in a refurbished plantation in Tennessee just outside of Knoxville as the crow flies. I sat there in the ballroom of the mansion and waited like everyone else. Humans mingled with vampires of high and low rank. The humans received wine and water in classic crystal goblets, and we vampires were served small sherry glasses of blood mingled with just the right amount of wine. The blood was of the porcine variety, which made sense - part of Alison Reese's income came from the sale of pork and beef to the markets of the day walkers.

To be quite honest, I was very used to the Northern Territory which was run very much like a business. Here everything was run in Old Southern style where nothing was rushed and it mattered if Alison Reese approved of you or not.

A footman dressed in vintage livery tapped a long staff upon the floor and those who had been sitting rose. Alison Reese floated in dressed in an antebellum gown of lavender and black. Her blond curls were done up in royal fashion and she even wore a small diamond studded tiarra. Seeing her, feeling her presence even before she entered the room, you knew you had met pure royalty, vampiric or otherwise. Her lavender eyes scanned the room quickly and quietly, sizing us all up openly. She seemed to linger over a human male dressed in a three-piece suite of fine silk. As he bowed before her I could see the coldness of her gaze settle upon him and I was very glad I was not him.

The order of business was simple. There was an introduction, the presentation of gifts, and then other business that required her direct, personal attention. Hopefully I would not require anything of her personal attention. Upon seeing her I had a healthy respected fear of her. The less I had to do in her court the better.

There were four new comers ahead of me. They presented her with chests of coins, stocks, and beautiful clothes. The vampire ahead of me merely offered himself to her service which she accepted with the slightest of inclinations of her head. Standing there before her as I now was, I was actually sad at having to part with the little bauble I had kept with me for over 150 years. It was a necklace of the finest gold and sparkling rubies accented by too many diamonds to count. I had received it from Queen Victoria herself as a present and now I presented it to another queen. Everyone praised my gift and waited for Alison's approval.

She extended her pale hand and I placed it directly upon her palm. Her fingers glided over it adoringly. She looked to me and gave me a soft smile and a gentle nod of her head. It was done. I could open up my beautiful bed and breakfast now, which is what I directly returned to Kentucky to do.

That was in 1999.

The Sleepy Hollow Inn became a big success for little Richmond and even was placed in the tourism map. It was a great mystery how some of the men and women awoke with bite marks upon their necks. It just added to the mystery of the place. We were booked for months in advance.

Micky ran everything during the daylight hours, and I hosted in the evenings. I was the story teller, the one dressed in period costume to make all giggle nervously at the ghost stories and tales of lost love and sadness. We were a good team. Micky received good pay for his trouble and I was at peace and mostly ignored by the residents of Madison County until someone didn't wake up one morning because they didn't have any blood left in their body. The thing is - I didn't touch them. Not once.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Recipe Tuesday and the Tuesday Reminder

As the series of days-of-the-week posts progress, I would like to know what all of you think.

THE KENTUCKY MOUNTAIN GIRL NEWS is open for submissions. No payment is given, just a bi-line which helps all of us beginning writers to have our name and our work somewhere posted for the ever-growing portfolio that a lot of editors seem to be looking for these days. Send an email to for writer's guidelines.

Tomorrow we have new fiction from a new writer, M. Davenport. You'll like it. This will be the first serial I have accepted from outside, so to speak, and I believe you will find it very entertaining a little quirky.

Oven Pockets

This makes clean-up a breeze and the food wonderful. Quick and simple, which makes summer cooking a lot easier.

On a piece of tinfoil large enough to hold a good single-serving piece of chicken, drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil.

Season the chicken on both sides with a little salt and pepper.
Add 1 clove of garlic
Add I Tbsp of butter or margarine.
Close the tinfoil like a grannysmith apple turnover (tee-pee style, not tented)
Place in a pre-heated 400 degree oven
Bake until done all the way through.

This way you can make individual servings of garlic chicken and it won't be a mess to clean up and you don't have to stand over a hot stove. Serve with a nice fresh salad and some good iced tea or lemonade and you have a wonderful summer meal.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Poetry Monday

Teasing the Water
By H.A. Handy

Upon the sloping shore
Water laps like icy tongues
Licking and lapping
Hungry for what it can taste
To drag back into the depths.

My toes wriggle in the sand
Playing with the water-tongues
Coaxing them, teasing them
Waiting for the wave to come once
Twice more to cover my feet.

Above the sky turns bluer still
High noon done come and gone
Shade covering me at my spot
Birds diving and singing
I stand still, teasing the water with my toes.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Good News of the Writing and Posting Kind

Beginning this Wednesday we will be delighted with a wonderful serial by a new writer by the name of M. Davenport. Other than that I am afraid I can give you no more details.

Also, beginning next week there will actually be something close to an actual schedule for everyone to keep track of regarding what is going to appear on The News and when such as poetry and ponderings, as well as fiction and other pieces of note.

The NWP is also beginning to be quite firmly moving forward. Here is to keeping fingers crossed and wonderful bottles of ink that may rarely go dry!

NWP is being done in a totally different fashion - I am using the dip pen and the bottle of ink I mentioned earlier. Every word is truly a labor of love and the words are much better. Yes, I am still using a thesaurus, what writer doesn't? However, the words I am choosing are different, better, or feel better. Sometimes the feeling is just as important as what goes down I am discovering.

Have a good day all.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

New Writing Project
4,659 / 100,000


Yes, I know, today is supposed to be fiction day but have been typing like mad to get all of my words in and now I can say there is indeed progress.

New Writing Project

4,659 / 100,000

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

A Tale of Two Imps - from Cheyenne

Cheyenne here folks.

I’m going to tell you a very quick tale. It’s not a tale of woe, not really, so there’s no need to fret about that. It is, however, a tale of two imps.

The first imp is Tempit. He’s a nasty little thing, full of sand and gears and numbers. His face is sealed behind a pane of glass that flashes 12:00 again and again and again, and his chest is round and elegantly embossed with vine-like filigree numbers, 1 through 12 evenly spaced around the edges. Spinning arms adorn his hands, whirling like helicopter blades on the back of his wrists, and more than one fat black moth has tried to get at the delicious silks wrapped tightly around him, at the silver threads gleaming against the golden numbers of years gone by, only to die screaming a quiet, terror filled shriek as the sweep hand on his back spins round and around.

Tempit, you may imagine, has a love of time. He steals it every chance he gets, from each and every person he comes across. He delights in hearing us go on and on about how “There just isn’t enough time in a day anymore!” His job performance is measured in seconds stolen and minutes wasted, and he is very good at his job.

Occasionally, however, he cant seem to steal enough time, or not from the right people. He has that problem with everyone now and then, and he accepts it, a little – one must be Zen about these things, after all. He can’t steal each and every minute, not unless he wants to be out of a job completely. But yesterday, The Editor – our own beloved Editor – made excellent use of her time, and Tempit was not able to steal even one brief second away from her.

So he called his buddy, Migrat.

Migrat is a pained thing, miserable and wretched. His skin is two and a half sizes too small, and his bones grind against each other instead of gliding. His eyes bulge and his ears bleed, and every nerve in his head is pressing against the inside of his skull. His chest barely has enough room for him to draw breath, and it is almost fortunate that, being an imp, Migrat doesn’t need to eat, for his belly would be hard pressed to hold a drop of water or a crumb of bread. It would be most fortunate, if he was not always beset by thins maddening hunger. Migrat is a creature that knows nothing but pain, and unlike most imps – Migrat loves to share.

Which is why I am here today, telling you all that the Editor has been abed most of the day with horrible migraines after having a most productive day yesterday. Fortunately, Migrat lacks patience, so she should be up and about – if not entirely right as rain – upon the morrow.

Kind thoughts, well wishes, and prayers are, as always, encouraged and appreciated.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Yoga and Suddenly Me

I have been doing yoga for about six weeks now. I confess I haven't done it every day as I know I should be doing, or the very minimum of once a week. Yesterday I did yoga, more as a desperate plea for movement and feeling better - just to feel better. I didn't do the complete routine I have, but it made me feel good. It wasn't the sort of "feeling good" I have been used to with exercise. It was a heart-warming, soul-filling good that I had just done something good for myself and that I had actually enjoyed every moment of it.

When it was all over, and after I had a few moments just to myself, I sat down on the foot of our bed and thought about it. In the past I have promised myself that I would do something to get in shape, start it, and then stop it. This is a point of contention between me and Hubby, especially in an argument (he loves to bring this up). Yesterday, sitting on the foot of the bed and feeling my back more relaxed and my shoulders less stressed - I looked up and saw myself looking back at me.

For the first time in a long time I sat there and looked at me. Did I like the person looking back at me? Yes, I decided. I like that person. Still, the person looking back at me was not in the best of physical condition, but that still didn't make her un-pretty. There was a real beauty underneath it all there, and, quite suddenly, I wanted to make that beauty come out. I wanted to see it. I wanted to experience it. I suddenly felt myself ready. Does that make sense at all? I'm not sure if it does to me or not, but I knew I was ready. It was time. No matter how much I would say it or had said it in the past, it really was time to let that beautiful person I saw just underneath my eyes come out and see the light of day.

In accepting this and knowing all of the work it was going to take, I also realized that I didn't need to hide any more. It was even more surprising to realize I had been hiding a big part of me for most of my life - the pretty side. It has always been more important for me to get the story down, to make a living, to help my parents, to help Hubby and my friends, but never did I fully give time to myself. I always kept time for myself to a minimum. Yesterday I felt important to myself. It was a surprisingly wonderful feeling. It was also in that moment I realized I didn't have to depend on make-up to make me feel pretty. It, the make-up, was just something to help me bring out my eyes and to accent the already full lips. The person looking at me, which was me, was actually very physically pleasing in appearance. I was pretty and there was no need to let it hide in my eyes.

Self-esteem is another word for all of this. I saw self-worth looking back at me from my own eyes. It was startling. It was good. And now I have the strength to go on - letting the prettiness out and letting myself be worthy of everything there is out there for me.

Friday, July 14, 2006

One of THOSE Moments

Sitting quietly before the computer screen with the TV going in the living room and the dogs either snoring or making yummy chew noises on something they probably shouldn't be chewing on, I realized today that there was a lot on my plate as far as life was concerned.

The writing and creativity has truly jumped a hundred leagues. The days of the week are filled with things for me to do. Yoga truly IS important to me. Despite some bad days, I am really quite happy now. It has taken a long time to reach this point and I am going to try my best and enjoy everything about it for as long as I possibly can.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


originally uploaded by hahwriter.
I am just trying out a few things with my new Flickr account.

It's Official

It is official - the new novel has begun.

Last night and today I read for research because the main character is a big fan of . . . Traci Lords. You know her, right, or have heard of her? The teenager who got caught up in the porn industry and has struggled out of it to be accepted (for the most part) as a legitimate actress?

When I first hit upon the idea of making the person my main character admired an actress I actually did a lot of thinking about who would be a wonderful person to admire. I thought of all of the usual ones - Fay ray, Marlena Dietrich, Lauren Bacall and all of them would have been wonderful, but these people have been used a lot. I wanted someone different, someone people wouldn't expect and came up with Traci Lords, and, yes, I did so because of the "porn queen" image I had heard about.

Last night I sat reading Traci Lords: Underneath It All totally caught up in the frank manner the autobiography was written and finished it off today. I felt ashamed of myself for thinking of her initially as "a porn queen" and realized I had fallen into the age-old trap of thinking little about her, almost as if she herself were fiction, someone made up. By the end of the book I had an admiration of her and highly recommend this book to all to read.

Traci Elizabeth Lords (originally born Nora Kuzma) is frank and honest about her life. She speaks openly about her rape, how men molested, abused, and used her; as well as her struggle to over-come what had happened to her and regain control of a life that seemed shattered and fractured beyond repair to an outsider's eye. She was fifteen when she began in the industry under a false name, got hooked on drugs, and her last porn was the only one she had done legally at the age of eighteen.

She takes you through her recovery and lets you explore with her the trials and tribulations of over-coming all of the horrors that life can deliver and help you see a vibrant and tough woman who decided she was going to survive and actually did so and in the process secured happiness in her life, which was not easy at all, and success in her chosen field, which, again, was not easy.

A friend of mine and I once guessed that perhaps porns had been her "break," but I had not read her book at the time and I have to admit I was stunned to even admit I had thought like that before.

Yes, it is official that the novel has indeed begun, especially the research, but what is even more official is that my main character indeed chose a wonderful role model. It is also official that the fictional character in my head taught me a few lessons and I am most grateful to him for that. Truth really is stranger than fiction.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


Do We Ever Know?
By H.A. Handy
Copyright (c) 2006 by H.A. Handy

Prayers are answered
Battlefield to hospital
Classroom to end of life.

Are we ever too old to pray?
Do we ever truly stand aside,
Saying fully in our hearts -

I can do this alone,
There is no power out there to help me
There is nothing I can turn to?

Do we always not wonder?

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Female Stars 1920-1958 and Polynesian Weapons

OK, it is time for me to begin the new novel. (The short story is finished and will be heading out to the whims of the world soon. Will keep you updated as to where it is going.) Since a new novel is beginning, so is the research. Here are a few questions that if anyone has any knowledge of or ideas, or even something they like, please leave me a comment so I can journey forth in blissful research.

What female movie star or starlett do you think of as being most elegant in the years 1920 to 1958?

What do you know of Polynesian weapons?

Monday, July 10, 2006

Finding a Little Control in the Middle of Chaos

It has always been hard for me to have any control in my life where I felt I was in control. Growing up in hospitals can do that to you. First your parents have control over you, and thus, in the middle of it, you know you have choices and can make decisions regarding little matters, but when the child is quite sickly and in and out of hospitals on a regular basis, can't move without excruciating pain, the control leaves. You have medicine forced upon you. You can't go running through the house because you're too sick and, well, it hurts too damn much to breathe, much less walk - so you are resigned to a room and that room depends on where your Mom or Dad puts you for the moment. In you are lucky, as I was, they would ask sometimes if you would like to be brought into a different room, or outside with them in the summer. Sometimes you even got to sit outside by yourself and play with your cat. Somehow you figure out how to feed the birds, and since you have to sit quietly to keep the pain away, you learn that by sitting quietly the birds come to light upon you and they are light and their feet and toes are very sharp because that is how the sit upon the limbs of trees, so they grip your toes in that same manner. You learn not to flinch, because that is a different pain and it is a magical one because something that flies through the skies actually came to sit on your foot and hop up your leg, turning its dark eye this way and that. But let the cat come or the door open, or your Mom call from inside the house to inquire how you are and the bird, sometimes several of them, flit away to land on a walnut tree limb and look back at your suspiciously, but if you're quiet and patient...they come back.

Then, when you're too sick to stay at home you end up in the hospital. There even your parents don't have a say over you. The nurses move your body and cause pain, or they stick you with needles and draw blood, or give you shots that make it feel like you're dying and floating away. There isn't any way to go outside. There aren't any cats to purr and comfort you. There isn't any television you can watch because your parents don't have the money for it, and you have to try and eat food you can't really put in your mouth. You go where someone else wants you to go, and heaven forbid if you have a book to escape from the pain. The light goes out at eight or nine o'clock in the evening. There isn't any more reading. There isn't any more escape. So you just lay there, and if you're lucky you can be by a window and look up at the stars and wonder if there could possibly be life out there, and, if so, what type of life would it be. If you're not so lucky, maybe you can imagine and make the imaginings come to life to help distract from the pain and help lull you into sleep.

Sometimes I don't feel very far away from that time in my life when there was constant chaos around me and no place or chance of escape or to have a chance to take some control over it. Recently that feeling, which I hadn't realized was always present before, actually has begun to fade. I look around me and see things I can change and correct; actions I can do to make things happen in favor of this or that.

When did this feeling start to change? When I began using a dip pen and a bottle of ink to tell stories. Suddenly there was control in the middle of chaos, and I was the one in control.

Slowly it is spreading to other areas of my life. My friends and family are quite happy about it all, but they can't understand how something so old fashioned can help you regain part of yourself, especially the important part that says you can make a difference in your environment, and especially in your own life.

Yes, I am finding a little control in the middle of chaos, and also discovering the chaos really isn't as chaotic as I thought it was. Imagine that.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Progressive in Being Peaceful Department

Today was one of those writing days that don't come by very often. I sat at the kitchen table and dipped pen into ink, literally, before applying the pen to the page. The scritch scratch of the pen was the only sound to be heard except for the occasional snore of the dogs or them shifting positions. The scenes were brisk in my mind and came out, I think, quite well onto the paper. The words kept collecting and collecting until, at last, the thing was finished. Two weeks of working on a short story and it was finally done. When I wrote the last night, punctuated it and leaned back into my chair more comfortably I felt as if I had just written a short story! Now begins the typing.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Holiday Blues

The Fourth has come and gone and now the normal week tries to impose itself back upon us. Today is the day when there should be some fiction isn't it. I don't want to work on fiction just yet, but it has been requested that "The Child's Voice" be continued - so, we will continue it come tomorrow or Friday. I'm just not ready for the holiday to be over y'all. I guess most of you understand that. I ask your forgiveness now and promise to try and do better.

Holiday Blues

The Fourth has come and gone and now the normal week tries to impose itself back upon us. Today is the day when there should be some fiction isn't it. I don't want to work on fiction just yet, but it has been requested that "The Child's Voice" be continued - so, we will continue it come tomorrow or Friday. I'm just not ready for the holiday to be over y'all. I guess most of you understand that. I ask your forgiveness now and promise to try and do better.

Monday, July 03, 2006

The Fourth of July, Independence Day

I have always been a patriotic person. Despite the problems this country has had to face or had to go through, I have been here pulling for her and doing my part by voting, even when I didn't believe voting actually made a difference any more.

Maybe it is because of the era and family I grew up in. My Daddy was a World War II veteran and a hero to me. He fought against one of the greatest evils I had ever read about - Hitler - and I admired him for that, even when he said he did not want my "admiration" because all he had done was been scared and had to kill people who were just like him, scared and young and just trying to do the right thing for their families. In everything he did, my Daddy was a very honest man, and he is still my hero.

Now, in looking at this country and where it is in relation to the world powers, I am still a patriot. I still admire the things we have accomplished as a nation and I am hopeful for the future of it. At the same time I admit it has problems. Big problems. But if the people stand firm and actually work for what is right and good for all citizens, then there is a good possibility things will work out just as it should.

Sometimes, when I look at the Independence Day holiday I still wonder if we are as independent as a people and a nation as we should, or could be. Still, I don't believe I would live any where else because I have the freedom to put my words onto a screen and share them with the world in relative peace and comfort that someone is not going to come and knock down my door and take me away because I said something the government didn't like.

Although I am not part of "the press" as a whole or as the world sees it, my own opinion is important to me and being able to express it is a privilege I will never take for granted. It is the independent, sometimes individual voice that rises in freedom and encourages others to be free, even in the same nation, or perhaps somewhere else. Having the ability to say what you like is important, far more important than most people of America would like to accept.

So, on behalf of all of those out there who do not say it enough: God bless America, and may our flag forever wave over the home of the brave and the land of the free.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

A Writing Dream Come True

Yesterday I received something in the mail that has pretty much made my year: three vintage dip pens in splendid condition.

Sometimes when you are a writer, a story teller, you get an image in your head of what you would like to write with ultimately. For me it has always been a dip pen. I could see myself easily sitting at a desk dipping my pen into a bottle of ink and writing upon beautiful paper.

Last night, I not only got to write in this fashion, but I got to do so in my paper diary/journal.

The very sound of the pen scratching across the paper was beyond beautiful. The pen itself was light and easy to hold which kept my hand from becoming excessively tired, and the image I had of myself so long ago came full force into reality and caused me to catch my breath.

What lies ahead in this writing, story telling craft I do not know; however, I do know that writing has changed forever for me and creating poetry and short stories have also changed. My very life feels as if it has changed, and I am thankful for it.