Random thoughts, inconsistent posting
|Name 3 books that made your childhood a happier place.
Books in general made my childhood happier. We didn't have TV in our home until long after my younger siblings had left the house. Books were my salvation.
As child I have memory of reading THE FIVE CHINESE BROTHERS, The Story about PING, FERDINAND THE BULL and BLUEBERRIES FOR SAL.
At an early age I began reading all the Bobsey Twins, Nancy Drew, Trixie Beldon and A Wrinkle in Time series. As a Teen I read the Cavanaugh books and then graduated to Victoria Holt, Phyllis Whitney, Mary Stewart and Ellis Peters. I found Ian Flemming until my mother called the city library and put a "pre-authorization" to any books I checked out. I went through the Western phase where I read all about the wagon trains coming across the prairie.
Then I discovered Harlequin Romance novels. 225 pages of quick romance. They were written in a simple format but each had their own take on that format. I just read the backs and picked the format I liked. I loved it when a one night stand resulted in a baby where the mother and father later met. The father wealthy, mother barely making it and thinks if the father knows he will take the baby away. Conflict and then resolution of love. I don't read them any more. I don't find any of the formats interesting any more.
After I was married I read all the bodice rippers when they were released, Rosemary Rogers, Katherine Woodiwiss, Johanna Lindsey, Jude Deveroux, Catherine Coulter, and Catherine Cookson. These eased into Historical Romance, and paranormal.
I can't name 3 books that made my childhood happier, but I can say that in the 5th grade, my friend had full sets (at that time) of Trixie Beldon, Bobsey Twins and Nancy Drew. I borrowed 1 book, read it in a day or two and brought it back to "borrow the next." After a while her mother knew I was devouring the books, knew her daughter was finished with them and let me take two or three at a time home. I'd knock at the door and even if the girl wasn't home, her mother and father let me in to choose which books I'd read next. I think they may have been pleased at times someone appreciated the books. I finished most of the sets that summer.
|Be Careful What You Do and Say.
What if a person thought they were helping someone and it turned out the comment or the act set off a chain reaction? It changed the outcome of people's lives for the good and maybe for the bad.
Here is an example of what I'm talking about.
Karen is a very pretty teenager with a group of friends that tend to follow her style and actions. While a leader in the group, she's had a good upbringing and would never hurt anyone intentionally.
Molly, on the other hand, is less fortunate than the others in this group. While they grew up together, Molly's family fell on hard times and lives on a tight budget. Karen likes Molly and will sometimes foot the bill for her to attend functions or "dates" with the girls.
One day Karen, being kind, shows up to one of their meet ups with a large gym bag. She plops it down in front of Molly and says in a friendly way, "I was cleaning out my closet and drawers of things I don't wear anymore. Since I've lost weight they were just taking up room. I thought you might be able to use them." Molly is mortified. while she knows Karen is just being kind the other girls give a giggle.
Molly thanks Karen and when they part she takes the bag home wishing she could just throw it in a dumpster. Did they all think she was fat? On top of that, the other girls stop by her house and bring her clothes they no longer want. Molly is devastated. While the actions are with good intentions the result is a huge blow to Molly's self-esteem. They have no idea how they have hurt her.
Molly begins to purge. The action over the summer causes her to lose a lot of weight that at first her friends don't notice. They comment on how good she looks and in their old clothes. The clothes they gave her have been altered by her aunt to fit her smaller figure.
Her parents worry. They become very concerned. They take her to a Doctor who tells them she is just growing out of her baby fat. Her parents don't think so. They begin to blame each other for their lack of good parenting. The fights grow (this really was a catalyst to other issues) and father moves out and in with the now revealed younger girlfriend.
Molly ends up in a hospital almost dead from starvation. Karen and her parents show up to support the Mother who is now bitter and blames Molly for the break up. If she would have just been normal like Karen, the husband wouldn't have left. When they all leave, Molly kills herself.
The innocent gift had great consequences that Karen had no idea she set in motion. Life is complicated.
|Write about the rainbows in your clouds
Right now I have none. My week began ok then on Tuesday I got an email cutting my hours in 1/2. Now normally I'd be happy as its still summer and that means I would get more sun time. Not now since it has rained off and on almost every day for the past 2 weeks. My vacation in August which was approved as I wrote asking to work from the branch office, now is rejected. I get my vacation pay, its ok since I only get paid for the 4 hours a day I would have worked, Now I get paid for the 4 hours and I don't have to work. There is a good side to that. I get to spend a week with my daughter and not work!
I had planned to go to the NW Book fair this Sat but since we weren't able to go out of town last weekend, this weekend was Mr. Perfect's target. I wanted to go as it would be my first time and I wanted to see the success of it as I might want to peddle my book next year. That's not going to happen. (me going that is)
I had to give up going to my monthly "Ladies Night Inn" and try making a new appetizer of tator tot, bacon and a mix of brown sugar and cayenne pepper (I might have used Chili pepper as I like the flavor more). Anyway, that's out for this month and next month. (see above)
My only Rainbow is a weekend with friends. I will enjoy the time but I would rather be there with my laptop and notebooks and just write!
The next time Mr. Perfect has to go out of town, I will ask the house's owner if she (and husband if he is willing) to go and I will drive. Leave Fri AM and come home either Sunday Afternoon or Monday morning so I can go to work for 4 hours (for their sons). 1-5.
I'm a little depressed. I like my job. Its boring at times and I could do it from home if they would let me. I get the feeling they don't think I bring enough business in. However, I have lots of repeat business that they think they will get even if I'm not here......Hmmmm? How much did they get before I did this? They think now that they are getting repeat business through out the year it will sustain them?
Enough. I'm not seeing any rainbows. The Rain has stopped outside. I see a patch of blue. Its 12:00 and I'm going to eat my lunch and come back here to write for a little while before I have to put the nose to the grindstone. Unless I get a nasty email saying WHERE IS MY DAILY REPORT????
| Have you ever had a red carpet moment? Not like an actor but a Wedding, Prom or something that made you feel important or special?
I thought about this and wondered if I'd had any moment like that. One time came to my mind. Last November.
I had a finished MS and my family had read it. They loved the story, and I trust them. They would tell me if things didn't work, but I still wanted it edited and that would be more than I could afford.
I talked to the wife of a co-worker who comes to pick up her husband and reads a book until he's ready. We chit chat and she told me her friend is a retired school teacher. I asked if she would ask the woman if she would be willing to read my MS and make notes on it. I didn't have much money but if she'd give me an idea, maybe we could work something out.
I got a call from the wife. "Tina, Chris said she talked to the girls in the book club and we'd love to read your MS as our November project." I was thrilled. I made the required copies and sent them home with my co-worker with a note : Please get your red pens and pencils out. Make notes of mistakes, questions you might have that don't get answered, anything that you have to read twice to understand." There was a questionnaire that said, Is the plot clear? Do you understand the goals of the main characters? Are the motivations clear and reasonable? Is there enough conflict to keep you interested?
I was nervous all month. I got updates from the wife. She told me she finished it in two days. HMM wonder if it didn't need any corrections. I thought it would take a week to read and make notes of things that needed attention. She then told me the English teacher and leader read it and loved it. "She couldn't put it down." That was encouraging.
They'd set the date of the next meeting and I arrived early (it was my first time and I didn't want to be late by getting lost.) As each woman entered and was introduced to me, I got hugs and expressions of , "I loved your story." "You're the author of the story? It was amazing! It should be a movie!" That was a little shocking, but I began to feel like I was at a book signing. All 8 of the women had nothing but good things to say about the manuscript and my writing. There was only one question they all had. Why did Tim Die? Hmmm I guess I didn't clear that up. I made a note to do that.
As the evening went on the women responded with the parts of the story they liked and the characters. I basked in the warmth of their adulation. I've never felt so validated before. I created something that 8 (at that time and two ladies took copies home to read) absolutely loved and would buy it if it were published.
When I began to look over their MS for corrections I noticed that there were a few red lines or pencil marks in the first three chapters or so. After that, nothing. I asked the ladies at the next book club meeting (they invited me to join them) why? They all said they got so involved in the story they didn't stop to do any corrections. They said, "Don't change a thing." That made me feel even better.
That's my story.
| A Page from History.
It hard to believe that it was in the mid 1990's that I became interested in researching my family history. I had only a few bits of information about my ancestors from my mother. She told me my Great grandfather served in Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders and that he and and my grandmother lived in Sundance, WY before moving to Portland, Oregon in the early 1900's.
Not much to go on I began to look at every list I could find of Teddy's men. Months of reading books in the library. (Internet wasn't that advanced yet.) I finally discovered a small book with his name listed under Torrey's Rough Riders.
Torrey, trained the cavalry before they were sent south to Florida to fight in the Spanish/American war. Finally Roosevelt said, "Send them. As long as they can ride and shoot that's all the training they need." So Off on a train to Florida Walter Robinson went.
Upon reaching Florida, the train was in a wreck and the men ended up camping in the swampy Everglades. Walter contacted Tuberculosis. Six months or so later he was released from the army and sent home.
I don't know what they did back then. I've researched what they did in the 1940's. They quarantined the person. Usually sending them to a hospital or a ward of some kind keeping them away from family. I think he came home and Great Grandma Carrie took care of him, with the help of his army buddy Sam.
Sam moved to Wyoming from Texas to be with him and support his family. In 1898 my grandfather passed away an alcoholic probably due to the disease. My grandmother married Sam Redifer (a younger man)and he took over the raising of my grandfather and his brothers.
They continued to live in Sundance and for a time were caretakers of a out post. It was a General store/hotel and post office all in one building. Family members of Sam came from Texas to visit and said they found the place crawling with bed bugs and lice. They didn't stay long.
Carrie and Sam moved back to Sundance to be near her family. It was at this time her brother-in-law attended a church meeting in Nebraska on one of his travels. He took their paper and read it, then brought it back to his wife and her family. They sent to Portland, Oregon where the paper came from and received the regularly printed subscriptions.
In it they read about how the power of God changed peoples lives. Drunks gave up the bottle, men addicted to cigarettes no longer had any desire to smoke. There were criminals that were changed and repented of their criminal activities. Some never even had to serve jail time as they began to make restitution. Healings and miracles as well as personal testimonies were printed. The paper was passed from family to family to read and they felt a longing to be part of these people. To experience what they had. Grandma's parents decided they were packing up and moving to Portland.
It didn't take much persuasion for her daughters to pack their families and join their parents and brother.
Three sisters and their families arrived in Portland and attended the church services. Their lives were changed and they made their home from then on in Portland. Out of those three sisters families one grandson became the Overseer of the church organization. There are still family members involved in all aspect of the church work. Including me.
I have a heritage that cannot be ignored. One that I am responsible to continue. In my own lifetime I to have seen miracles and God work in miraculous ways.
I have included a story about Walter's grandparents moving from Mt. Pulaski, IL to Linn Co. Kansas and how they found their new home.
"The War is Over"
| What is your favorite restaurant?
What can I say... I have eaten in some great restaurants and some pretty stanky ones. My all time favorite is Ruth's Chris Steakhouse.
When I lived in MN, Manny's the butterknife steakhouse was the old people's hang out. The rich and famous/old money went there. As a treat to me my Mr. Perfect took me there for an anniversary dinner. It wasn't a good experience and the steak was not butterknife tender. Far from it. It was over crowded and very noisy!
We discovered Ruth's Chris. From the first visit it has been a joy to go there. We had a fabulous waitress and she gave us good suggestions. Each time we returned we asked for her (Lisa, I think her name was it was over 10 years ago. We moved to Portland, OR in 2006) and she would get me the Hearts of Palm salad even when it wasn't on the menu any more. We made reservations for our birthdays, anniversaries, and the kids got to choose their favorite place to eat. It seems they liked Ruth's Chris just as much as we did. (And still do)
When we moved to Portland, Oregon, we went once or twice the first two years. (economy has limited our visits to this type of restaurants) We found that the change in region does make a difference. At first they didn't serve the rolls hot. That was changed the last time we were invited to go there with friends.
I was introduced to Ahi Tuna and it has become my all time favorite food. I had ordered it the first time I was in this area and they encrusted the meat with so much peppercorn and spices it didn't taste good. It took away from the flavor of the meat. The last time we went there, the waiter told me I could request it with moderate spices. When it arrived, it was much better. I missed the wasabi paste ad shaved pickled ginger I love to eat with Ahi. I have eaten it at Portland City Grill and they do a fairly passible job with the presentation.
Ruth's Chris steaks are tender and done to perfection. I have to say that in all the years we have eaten at these establishments there has never been an issue with the steaks. If it isn't quite right they will take it back with no problem and fix it. I've never felt there was any retribution from the chef.
One time (in MN) Mr. Perfect walked to the podium to report in (He'd heard Ruth had been in town) and asked if Ruth was there. The girl looked at him and asked, "Do you know her?"
Mr. Perfect nods, "Of course, heard from her just this week. She told us to come in." She'd done an advertisement on the radio.
The girl went away and I chided Mr. Perfect for his teasing. The girl came back shortly, took us to our table and we were treated like royalty. We had two wait staff and were given an extra dessert instead of us sharing a creme broulee. Mr. Perfect thanked the staff and said the next time he saw Ruth he'd mention what a great staff she had. They all smiled as we left thanking us for coming.
I almost felt bad about it, but it was perception. I was sorry to hear Ruth died from throat cancer due to smoking. She did have that kind of voice.
As a side note: The Flame Room at the downtown Minneapolis Raddison Hotel was our first restaurant of choice when our daughter was very young, 4 or 5. It wasn't the food although they had something I remember ordering each time we went. It was the entertainment. A high class restaurant, they hosted the GOLDEN STRINGS. Cliff Brunzell was the leader and what fun they had and we had.
|What is your favorite magazine? Why? Do you read it on-line or off-line?
When the magazine sales people arrived at the door they always had some story why you needed to buy from them. Some kids were easily turned away. Most salesmen where trained and wouldn't take NO for an answer. They continued to press their sob story, or tap your need to help the underdog. Most middle class people understand struggle. They know the need to better one's economic situation want to help the under dog. The Middle Class is tapped for that very reason.
The Poor have no money and wouldn't spend it unless its the Publishers Clearinghouse lottery where you buy magazines to enter the contest to win a million dollars. Even though they say you don't need to buy to enter. The Rich have already bought their allotment of magazines and have no need to buy into the paper trail of recyclable literature.
I have on occasion subscribed to TASTE of HOME magazine with its recipes I hardly ever made but cut out and filled a recipe box full. I also bought the Pillsbury recipe booklets. In fact, I had a garage sale and now have them all put there to get rid of. FREE! If you have any need for Christmas recipe booklets or such I probably have a bunch to ship to you.
I do get Reader's Digest. I don't know why. I think it was a gift. I do the WORD Power page. I'm usually at the top or just miss it by one. I like that. I like learning new words and I even throw them in my writing now and then.
I have bought for many months, off and on, Writers Digest and Every Writer or what my eyes see when I visit Barnes and Noble. There are others but since I don't go there as much as I used to, I don't buy as often or see what is published.
|Do you believe in any conspiracy theories? Which ones and why?
This had me thinking as I do believe in some "conspiracy theories." Most of these theories are based on some kind of fact. Much like the legends of long ago. The stories are exaggerated, and added to as it is heard and passed from person to person.
In this day and age with the media, both facts and fiction can be found at the tips of our fingers. These theories are hashed and re-hashed in the media. Jesse Ventura, a retired professional wrestler, the one time Minnesota Governor (and not a bad one), and actor had a show on TV called Conspiracy Theories. I liked watching it. I liked how he either debunked them or brought to the viewer the parts that were the truth.
The term Conspiracy Theory is an explanatory proposition that accuses two or more persons, a group, or an organization of having caused or covered up, through secret planning and deliberate action, an illegal or harmful event or situation. (Wiki)
I loved this explanation in Wiki-"Originally a neutral term, since the mid-1960s it has acquired a somewhat derogatory meaning, implying a paranoid tendency to see the influence of some malign covert agency in events. The term is often used to automatically dismiss claims that the critic deems ridiculous, misconceived, paranoid, unfounded, outlandish, or irrational. A conspiracy theory that is proven to be correct, such as the notion that United States President Richard Nixon and his aides conspired to cover up Watergate, is usually referred to as something else, such as investigative journalism or historical analysis. Despite conspiracy theorists often being dismissed as a "fringe group," polling suggests that people from a wide variety of economic and cultural backgrounds continue to believe in certain conspiracy theories."
I happen to believe the Bilderberg Group is doing things in the world that manipulates economy and population. The more I have followed their actions and what people have discovered, the more I'm convinced of their involvement in the above situations. Am I fanatical about them? No. Will my belief or disbelief change them or what they are doing? No. Will I run around spreading stories about them? Not really, but I will share what I learn about them for those who wish to know. It wouldn't surprise me a bit to find my observations come to be true. If not, well I was wrong, it sure was fun in the mean time.
As the Wiki article states, the term Conspiracy Theory has gotten a bad reputation. Here is another excerpt from Wiki. "most of its operations, the CIA is by definition a conspiracy, using covert actions and secret plans, many of which are of the most unsavory kind. What are covert operations if not conspiracies? At the same time, the CIA is an institution, a structural part of the national security state. In sum, the agency is an institutionalized conspiracy." Let's for a moment bring this into this moment in time and substitute THE IRS for CIA. We have a complete description of a Conspirator and it isn't followed by Theory. Although its not been proved in court yet, all facts are pointing to the IRS being a Conspiracy Theory. Innocent until proven guilty is the motto even when all the fact to this point indicate there is something very fishy going on.
The more I read on Wiki about this subject the more interested I became. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conspiracy_theory ) Here is the link. The ideas written on this page begin to trigger ideas. The backgrounds of many books are based on these very things. There is a whole list of theories you can look at. This list could possible become the outline of a best seller. Many authors have taken these Theories and written stories based loosely on some of these Theories. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_conspiracy_theories )
Take a look through the list and see if there isn't something that jumps out at you and says, "Here write about me!" (( *figurative hand waving in your face* ))
| I need some suggested plots. I have a goldmine town, Characters of assorted economical prosperity. MC is a woman of Chinese/Scottish parents. possible: She is a reporter going undercover- to this town to report on the treatment of Chinese miners/workers. * Prominent man whose wife is very ill. Dr gets her hooked on opium from the Chinese connection. Man needs nanny for children. Spies woman in town asking ? and offers her $ to be a nanny. She accepts- Ok now what? I can think of life conflicts for this situation but might be the ultimate goal here? Can anyone come up with a mystery to find? Just a love story is boring to me, I want a challenge. The treatment of Chinese in this time was worse than the Mexicans today. They had no rights in the USA. I'm tapped out of ideas. anyone?? anything other than I've described I'm open to. Thanks group!
OPT #1 MC finds out there's more going on than just exploitation of the Chinese workers: the mining corporation is deliberately creating dangerous working conditions to save money. MC wonders where the money saved goes, and finds out it's used to finance a massive clandestine operation, smuggling opium from China into the US. Her goal becomes twofold: blowing the whistle on the working conditions, and exposing the smuggling operation. Obviously, this is going to piss off both the mining company and the Chinese maffia bigtime.
To give her a personal conflict as well: she becomes romantically involved with the man who hired her as a nanny, gets pregnant, gives birth, and then finds out her lover (and the father of her child) is the guy in charge of the smuggling operation. That leaves her with a tough choice: does she make a run for it with the kids and the man she loves, or does she turn him in to the authorities, thus losing the man she loves and depriving the kids of their father? I don't like the lover bit. I want her above that and someone the reader can sympathize with. OR she could be just overhear something she shouldn't? Employer begins to see her not Chinese when she dresses up for a dinner to introduce the children. The guests think she is Scottish when she puts on a slight brogue and she is accepted by the men and women. Employer is confused as he sees the Chinese others only the soft brogue and assume otherwise. She is sending articles back to Editor and Employer is reading them with interest. Now what?
OPT #2 MC goal is to write a story on mining and miners life in Oregon. When she has to ride in a wagon load of Chinese Miners she sees a life different than her own upbringing. The mistreatment of the Chinese brings her to begin to educate the local and regional population about the Chinese and what they bring to America (I don't know what it will be during that time)
when she is mistaken for a Chinese prostitute and offered a job (by a wealthy mine owner who wants to "reform" her) she decides to use him as a profile. what she learns is while he is an upstanding citizen, member of the Scottish Rites Free Masons, he has a dark side. He is a drug dealer and a brutal mine owner. Willing to kill to get any claim that is yielding gold. He will send his men to intimidate, steal and hold hostage anything he can, to get what he wants.
When she discovers his dark side and see's it in person she is scared.
(Ok now what? If I chose this path what needs to happen? so it isn't predictable or blase'?)
Opt#3 Maybe a miner (or a group of miners) was/were outright murdered, and the murder was lazily covered up by a local law enforcement that doesn't place value on the lives of Chinese immigrants. So on top of covering the generally poor working conditions for the miners, maybe the MC can chase evidence for the murder all while she's investigating the working conditions? It could give her a consistent goal to pursue throughout the novel, and it offers the potential for a clean conclusion. Also, there's a chance her nannying boss discovers her research and freaks out. To cover her tracks and hide her identity as a reporter, she can pretend she was collecting this incriminating info to blackmail him for money. This ploy can keep him scared and quiet and buy her some time before she runs the story. That one may be a little out there, but it's an interesting idea that a buttoned-up reporter comes to town to do an investigative piece, and ends up hooked on opium, blackmailing a crime lord.
Other possible conflict: it turns out the editor of the huge city paper she was planning on publishing the story through has a financial stake in the mining operation and won't print her story. Additionally, he threatens to end her career if she takes it elsewhere, so she has to make the decision of whether running the story is worth it, and if so, how she's going to find someone willing to print it. (I'm liking this one too)
More ideas- I love the idea of her editor underestimating her and then panicking when he realizes what she's really doing. I imagine her receiving a string of frantic telegrams at one-hour intervals the day her mailed first draft/outline/notes reach him.
She will have to be careful as she is "undercover" at the MMC house as nanny and dealing with his wife's addiction. I think she will have to have someone who sends the wires and picks them up for her. Someone wiley and street smart. an accomplice
|Prompt: What's the most spontaneous thing you've ever done?
I thought about this for a while. I'm a spontaneous type a person. If something comes up that is better than cleaning house or doing something I'd rather not do, I'll jump on it and go. I may just jump in the car and drive around to Saturday markets so I don't have to sweep and mop. I saw a writing group was meeting across town and wondered what that group would be like. I answered YES and showed up. I got to read some of my work, got great feedback. I went to a Saturday writing/reading critique the first time and decided to join them as often as I can.
Along this same line, so show how spontaneous we are, we named our boat KNOCKOFF EARLY Mr. Perfection would call and say, "Get the boat ready, I'm going to knock off early and we'll go to the river." I'd run quick to the corner market and pick up a qt of some salad and a pack pop. I'd heat the hot dogs and wrap them in foil then put everything we needed in the boat. My daughter (then 6) would be ready to go and watching for his van. I'd have his clothes ready and in about 10 min or less we'd be on the road to the St. Croix River. I miss those days.
Now we are older, economics have changed a little and we both work. My daughter lives 1800 miles away and my son (now 30) works at the same place as my husband and I. We have to plan time off. My boss has retired but he and his wife have been friends of our parents since my husband and I were children. (That's a whole' nuther story) They have a place in Central Oregon and we often go there for a weekend.
When the pipes burst in Dec and the place flooded I worked over there instead of here in Portland. It was hard to do my regular job on the phone then have to run down stairs to haul stuff out of closets, or wet stuff to the dumpster. When it was done we were able to just relax. I love sitting out in the hot tub in the winter and the snow is falling. There are nights when the sky is so clear the stars are visible by the billions. I've seen pictures of a sky filled with stars, but not like this with my own eyes. Most times the sky is clear but you can only see just the regular stars you see from your backyard.
These two nights I sat in the hot tub in amazement as it seemed I could see beyond the stars. The darkness and vastness of space made me feel small and yet to know that as small as I am in comparison to the vastness of space God sees ME. He cares about ME and what I'm thinking, my wants and my desire to do His service and to see him face to face some day.
Words & music by R. Goodman)
When I think of how He came so far from glory
Came to dwell among the lowly such as I
To suffer shame and such disgrace
On Mount Calvary take my place
Then I ask myself this question
Who am I?
Who am I that The King would bleed and die for?
Who am I that He would pray not my will, Thine Lord?
The answer I may never know
Why He ever loved me so
That to an old rugged cross He'd go
For who am I?
When I'm reminded of His words
I'll leave you never
If you'll be true I'll give to you life forever
Oh I wonder what I could have done
To deserve God's only Son
To fight my battles until they're won
For who am I?