Share Your World 8/27/18

Question # 1: Do you prefer eating foods with nuts or no nuts?

Well, of course, it depends on what I’m eating. Nuts are great in cookies, candy, salads, and even ice cream. But I can’t tolerate the thought of having nuts in my mashed potatoes, green beans, pork roast, lasagna, or chicken soup (yuk).

Question # 2: Do you sleep with your close doors open or closed?

I generally leave them open. Two of those doors belong to a walk-through closet between bedrooms. I leave them open all the time because it just doesn’t make sense to keep closing them only to open them to walk through again. And, frankly, I don’t see any reason to close bedroom closet doors at all. However, when I lived in a house that had closets in the front foyer or the living room, I did close those.

I used to be a little negligent about closing kitchen cabinet doors, until my Dad got onto me about it. He had a “thing” about closing cabinet doors, and I got pretty good about doing it. Now, every time I get something out of my kitchen cabinet, I think about hearing him say, “Close those doors.” I’d give a lot to have him back here with me to tell me that again.

Question # 3: Are you usually late, early, or right on time?

I refuse to answer this question on the grounds that it may incriminate me.

Question # 4: What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?

I really appreciate Angela Fehr’s watercolor instruction videos. She’s a watercolor artist from Canada and very down-to-earth and unhurried when she explains techniques. I watched several of her videos this past week. Here’s a sample of one of them in case you’re interested:


Visit Cee’s Photography to get the scoop on how to participate in this weekly challenge.

Share Your World 8/20/18

If you’d like to take part in the “Share Your World” weekly get-together, just hop over to Cee’s Photography and get the details.


Question # 1:  Which tastes better: black or green olives?

I love both, so I can’t choose between them. However, since I do try to watch how much extra sodium I take in, I tend to eat more black olives than green.

Question # 2: What’s your favorite room in your house? 

Well, again, I can’t really choose. Depends on what I’m doing. I love my kitchen because I love the blue and white color scheme and the light, friendly atmosphere. But I enjoy my living room for a lot more hours of any given day. I have my computers, most of my books, and my watercolor materials in that room, so whether I’m writing, reading, researching, or painting, I’m enjoying the living room. The only things not in that room that I need periodically are my musical keyboard and my bed, and they both reside in the bedroom just off the living room. The only room I don’t actually enjoy is my second bedroom, which has been converted to a laundry room/storage room, and it’s a reminder of how very unorganized I am.

Question # 3: What fictional family would you be a member of?

Oh, definitely the family of characters I created in my Smoky Mountain Series novels. Of course that ‘family’ is made up of about 4 different families who are tightly intertwined. They are the kind of people I want to be and the kind of people I want for family and friends. Plus — they all live where I want to live: right smack-dab in the middle of the Smoky Mountains.

Questions # 4: What did you appreciate or what made you smile this week?

Ahhh!  There’s no need to even think about this one: I paid off the mortgage on my house this week!!!!!!!!!   Yes!!!!!!!!  And I am smiling reeeeeeeaaaaallllly big.  Thank you, God!




Share Your World 7/2/18

I haven’t taken time in the last couple months to “share my world.” So this week I thought I’d make an attempt to do so. (You can share yours too if you visit Cee’s blog where she gives the details of taking part.) Here are her questions for this week.

Question # 1: Tell us about your first bicycle or car. 

Well, I never owned a bicycle. I did learn to ride one — using my cousins’ or neighbors’ bikes, but bicycling was never one of my favorite activities. I do drive a car, although that activity is not one of my favorites either. I’m not one of those people who enjoys “going for a drive.” I simply get into the car to get from one place to another more easily and comfortably than I can get there by walking. Of course, with my air conditioner on the blitz in my current car, that isn’t too comfortable.

But I’m digressing. I’m supposed to tell you about my very first car. It was a Honda — pale yellow with gray interior. I loved it. It was used, and cost me a whole $700.00, but that was way back in time — more than 40 years ago. I vividly remember my test drive. My dad went along to give me his opinion of its virtues and problems. The car was in good shape and I drove it about three years before trading it in for a newer and slightly bigger car. I’ve owned 9 different cars since then, but I’ll always remember that little Honda with love and affection.

REDBIRD CHRISTMASQuestion # 2: What fictional world or place would you like to visit?

I’d like the opportunity to visit — or maybe live in —  a place called Lost River, Alabama. Now, in general, I don’t like Alabama. And, in general, I’m not a fan of Fannie Flagg’s novels. However, Ms.Flagg did write one novel that is an absolute delight to read — in fact I read it about once a year — and it is set in the peaceful, friendly, life-affirming community settled on the banks of a clear, quiet river known as Lost River, Alabama.

Even the mail is delivered by river in this little community. Everyone living there knows everyone else — and cares about everyone else. The weather is not too cold or too hot. The flowers, birds, and other natural wildlife are pleasant company. And the whole attitude and atmosphere is one of optimism.

I keep intending to write a review of this book for my blog, but, somehow, time just keeps getting away from me. But in case I’ve whetted your appetite for a visit to Lost River, I’ll tell you that the title of the book is A Redbird Christmas. And if you enjoy reading about second chances and happy endings, you’ll love it.

Question # 3: If you could have someone follow you around all the time — like a personal assistant — what would you have them do?

I’d have them stop following me around.


Question # 4: What did you appreciate, or what made you smile this past week.

Three things made me smile this past week. One was my hairdresser, Scott Brown. Scott is one of the most pleasant, courteous people I know personally. He really cares about people. He chooses exactly what is right for my hair every time a decision has to be made about it, and he genuinely enjoys making people feel good about themselves. When I’m in the mood to change my style and I’m being super picky — which I almost always am — you know — I want this cut, but I want the back a little different — and I want the top a little different — and I want more of this and less of that — he takes it all in stride, gives me what will actually work, and tells me honestly when something is out of the question. I really like this guy.

The second thing that made me smile was some videos of the old Mary Tyler Moore Show from the 1970’s. That was a time of several important decisions and events in my life, and that whole decade has a very strong place in my memory — in mostly happy ways. One of my favorite memories is watching that show every week. This week, as a way of relaxing, I watched several hours of those old re-runs, and I was amazed at how much I laughed out loud at some of them. It was a fun experience.

The third thing that made me smile was getting back into the book I wrote for my great-nieces and nephews about 4 years go. I wrote the original story just for them, using all four of them as the main characters of the book: Taming The Dragon of Calvert Kingdom. I’m getting ready to let the book go into the marketplace now, and as I re-read it and remembered how thrilled they were to have a whole book written about them, it made me happy. I hope it make them as happy when the book is published for the rest of the world to read.




Share Your World 1/15/18

To participate in “Share Your World,” visit Cee’s website for the details.


Question # 1: Complete this sentence: I’m looking forward to….


Question # 2: What is your favorite comfort snack food? 

Chocolate chip cookies

Question # 3: What was one of your first moneymaking jobs (other than babysitting or newspaper delivery)?

Working in an ice cream stand

Question # 4:  What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week? 

As a writer and a creative writing teacher, I am constantly on the alert for really good advice on writing of any kind. I don’t want to hear cliches and worn-out rules that don’t really get to the meat of how to write better. So when I come across fellow creators who are truly genuine and transparent about their craft and how they use their gifts for that craft, I stop and listen, and, inevitably, I’m inspired. I had that experience this week when I watched an interview with author/teacher Marion Roach Smith. I’ve included the link to that video here in case some of my readers who are also writers might like to check it out.




Share Your World – 8/14/17

To participate in Cee’s ‘Share Your World,’ visit her site HERE.

Question # 1: When you leave a room, do you turn the lights off behind you or keep the lights on throughout your house most of the time?

I leave a lot of lights on in my house. When I was growing up, my dad always taught us to turn the light out in a room when we left it. He was very adamant about it. But I love light, and I find it very hard to make myself do that now. I don’t have lights on in every room in the house, but generally there’s light in my living room, kitchen, and back foyer area — as well as a light on the front porch.

Question # 2: What do you feel is the most enjoyable way to spend $500? 

Buying gifts for other people.

Question # 3: Complete this sentence: My favorite thing to do on my cell phone is…

Nothing. For me a cell phone is simply a tool to have available in case of an emergency when I’m away from home, or if I know someone will need to contact me when I’m away from home.

I have very strong feelings about the insanity of being addicted to cell phones and people who interrupt conversations with one person every time their cell phone dings and they want to see what some other person has to say. I’m fed up with being “put on hold’  every time a call or text comes into someone’s phone when they are supposed to be interested in talking to me, and I’ve about decided that the next time it happens, I’m going to terminate the conversation and walk away. And the next time I  have to stand in line behind someone at a check-out lane who will not stop talking or texting long enough to let the clerk finish that order, I may give them a good piece of my mind.

That conversation would be mild compared to what I’d have to say to the thousands of people who still text and drive. The idiots just insist that they can do both things at once, but they cannot do both things safely. Then there are those who do not send a text while they are driving, but they will read someone else’s text while flying down the road at 50 miles an hour. They all need to have their license revoked. Better that than give them a chance to murder someone with their irresponsible actions.

(Just a little venting — since this question offered such a great opportunity.)

Question # 4: What inspired you this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.

I’m always inspired by the beauty of Christmas art. This wallpaper picture especially caught my attention recently. If you enjoy this kind of photo and graphic art, you can find much more at this link to

FREE HD NATURE WALLPAPERS Christmas Nature Wallpaper


Share Your World February 27, 2017 – by Guest Blogger Mariah Jacoby

Disclaimer: The following is a blatant advertisement:

everythings-jake-amazon-cover-2-for-e-bookI decided I’d do something different this week: Instead of answering Cee’s questions as myself, I’m giving a guest blogger the opportunity to answer. Cee keeps telling us to just have fun with this challenge and even let our alter ego answer if we like. So meet Mariah Jacoby, the heroine in my inspirational romance Everything’s Jake. Here’s Mariah’s take on this week’s Share Your World.

Question # 1: Ever ran out of gas in your vehicle?

Are you kidding?  Really?  Never!  But, of course, you may not realize that I’m an auto mechanic. I didn’t start out to be. But after two college degrees in journalism and education — and a host of jobs that I just couldn’t fit into — I finally admitted to myself that I’m just a grease-monkey at heart. I love cars, trucks, vans, and busses. Anything with an engine that purrs when it’s happy makes me happy. And, in reference to the question at hand, why, I’d never forget to put gas in a car anymore than I’d forget to eat. So  — I guess the short answer to that question is — No.

Question # 2: Which are better: black or green olives?

Now, that’s a hard one. I love both. I enjoy the smooth, sweetness in the black olives, but sometimes I crave something salty, and you can’t beat the green olives for that, especially since they add just the tiniest bitter bite along with the brine. I  especially love olives on pizza. Neil Warner and I have been having pizza together every Friday night for the past month — when we work on the books for his auto repair business. It’s sort of like a non-date, which I hope will eventually get us to a date date — if you know what I mean. But that’s all in the book.

Question # 3: If you were a great explorer, what would you explore?

Chrysler Manufacturing plant, General Motors manufacturing plant, Toyota manufacturing plant, and Neil.  Oooops, I guess that didn’t come out exactly right. What I mean is that I’d like to get to know Neil even better — learn what all makes him happy and sad, what his dreams are, what I can do to be number one in his life. He’s probably someone you’d consider just an ordinary guy: late thirties, slightly overweight, kind eyes, a mega-watt smile — and he looks sexy in his green coveralls with a dab of grease on his chin. (sigh). I think I fell half in love with him the first day I met him because he was so kind to me, giving me a chance to prove myself even when he knew he was taking a chance where his business reputation was concerned. Yep, I think I’d like exploring that man more than anything else.

Question # 4: Quotes List: At least three of your favorite quotes?

I’m going to share just one quote: It’s my favorite of all time:

“To thine own self be true.” (William Shakespeare as the character Polonius in Hamlet)

I’ve finally followed that advice. One day, after a horrible relationship failure, I got up from my bed where I had lain for an hour bawling, looked into my bathroom mirror, and got real with myself. I said, “All right, so maybe you’re not a femme fatale who can bring men to their knees. But you’re a gentle, kind, loving, hard-working woman of God. And, dang it, girl! You’re also the best darn mechanic that this town has ever laid eyes on!” (Everything’s Jake, p. 89).

That’s when I really started enjoying my life completely, and that’s also when I opened the door to the love relationship I’d wanted my whole life.

Bonus Question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m grateful I discovered the truth about Carter Sanford and what he wanted from his relationship with me. And in the weeks to come, I’m looking forward to becoming the one woman Neil Warner can’t live without.

If you’d like to find out how successful I am in that endeavor, be sure to read my story. You can find it in paperback or digital at Amazon.




Share Your World 2016 – Week 30

Cee’s “Share Your World” challenges are a good way to get to know other bloggers better. If you’d like to participate just follow the link to her site and get the details.


Question # 1: Do you prefer a bath or shower?

A shower. I feel much cleaner after a shower than after a bath, and showers are quicker.

Question # 2: If you had an unlimited shopping spree at only one store, which one would you choose? 

Well, since we’re supposing/wishing/ imagining, I’ll have to say that the store I would CHOOSE is one that no longer exists. My favorite store in the whole world was a huge department store in Nashville, Tennessee for many years. When I was much younger, my family and I lived in Nashville, and one of our favorite treats was shopping at Harvey’s Department Store.

Naturally, they had some of everything — except foods such as fresh meat, produce, and dairy.They did have food gifts, however. And, of course, they had a ‘bargain basement’ for the shoppers who wanted merchandise that was more economical. We generally shopped in all the departments, depending on our needs or our current financial situation.

In the basement, they also had the most terrific lunch counter. It was a complete square, centered around the open kitchen area so that customers could watch their food being prepared. They had the best chicken salad sandwiches!

There was also another restaurant on the fourth floor, but it was a fairly high class place. Called the Carousel Room, it offered an enormous variety on the menu, and it was famous for it’s special recipe apple pie. The name was chosen because Fred Harvey, the stores creator, had a special love for carousels and carousel horses. In fact the carousel horse was his trademark. Gaily decorated horses, purchases from a number of retired carousel owners throughout the country, adorned the front of the store just above the awnings and also decorated several areas throughout the interior of the store.

Some of my fondest memories with my family are connected with our shopping excursions at Harvey’s, and I wish so much that it still existed so that I could shop there again.

Question # 3: If you could be one age for the rest of your life, what age would that be?


Question # 4: List at least five movies that cheer you up.

  1. Desk Set
  2. It’s A Wonderful Life
  3. The Bishop’s Wife
  4. Christmas In Connecticut
  5. You’ve Got Mail
  6. My Future Boyfriend

    (I guess you noticed that 4 out of the 6 are Christmas movies. Can’t help it. Whenever I’m feeling a little blue, I generally put on Christmas movies and Christmas music. Cheers me up every time.)

Bonus Question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week ahead?

I’m very grateful for all the people who have been willing to give me rides to so many places while I am without a car. Even looking for a new car requires help from someone to take me from dealer to dealer. So the generosity of my family and friends is a great blessing right now.

This coming week I am looking forward to trying out a new hairstylist. Normally, the thought of having to change stylists and find someone new who will do what I want and need where color and cuts are concerned would make me a little edgy. But ever since I talked with the gentlemen who owns a new salon in my hometown, I have felt very positive about him. So I’m expecting good things. Who knows: I may actually be beautiful when I leave there!!!





Share Your World 2016, Week 3

I haven’t had much time or opportunity to blog since the first of the year, so I’m going to jump into this third week full steam ahead with Cee’s ‘Share Your World’ post. Hop over to her blog and get the details if you’d like to take part in the fun. It’s a great way to get to know some of the other wonderful people in the WordPress family.

Question # 1: What is your favorite piece of art? (It doesn’t have to be famous.)

My favorite piece of art is a marquetry picture my father created for me showing Jesus Christ standing at the front of a boat in the midst of the storm, stilling the storm. Dad used so many different kinds of wood in the piece, and if you’re familiar with marquetry, you know that none of the wood is painted. It is left in its original shading, and it’s the different colors of the wood itself that gives the picture its color.

He made it some 30 plus years ago, and it still hangs in my living room for everyone to see. It has faded a little over the years, but I’d rather have it the way it is than to hide it away to keep it from fading and not share it with others who can be encouraged by it.

Question # 2: What made you smile today?

When I looked out my door at about 5:30 this evening, and saw the clouds with the red sunset reflecting off of them, I immediately smiled and told the Lord He had done a good job again. I didn’t get a picture of those clouds, but I’ll include a picture that I took previously of some other clouds in a similar state.

Question # 3: Which place do you recommend as a “must see”?

Definitely the Smoky Mountains. You can see this beautiful section of the Appalachian mountains from a number of different states in the southeaster U. S. And even a dozen pictures could never do them justice or show you their complete beauty, because every view from every direction at every elevation on every different day is unique.

Question # 4: Finish this sentence: “When I was young, I used to ….”

CEMETERY - JEFFERSON STREET - PUBDOGWhen I was young — really, really young — I used to think kindergarten was a cemetery.  When I was 5 and 6 years old, I was thrilled with the idea of education. I read a lot and I wrote a lot. In fact, I asked my mom and dad to show me cursive letters and taught myself to write in cursive before I started first grade.

But back then kindergarten was a new concept. It was just becoming popular with many school systems, and in our area, people began to talk about it because it was coming to our school. It didn’t get added to our town’s educational system before I started school, though, so I went straight into the first grade.

But I was fascinated by the concept of ‘little’ kids being taught before they got to first grade, and as I listened to people talk, I’d wonder just how it worked. I finally decided that I knew what it was all about. I had been to a very few cemeteries by that time, and I knew what a garden was. So I decided that kindergarten (note the similarity to the word “garden”) was a big place outside with all these stones spaced evenly around the grounds, and the teacher sat on a big stone to teach, while all the kids sat on smaller stones learning their lessons.

I pictured this type of scene many times as I contemplated this new phase of education, and I probably would have continued in my fantasy for a couple more years if it hadn’t been for having a younger sister. Kindergarten finally arrived in our town, and as my little sister prepared to take her place as one of the privileged 5-year-olds who got to enroll in this advanced educational experience, I mentioned to my parents that I understood what kindergarten was.

Well,  you can imagine my surprise when they cleared things up. But I was also more than a little disappointed — because I had been pretty proud of myself to think I had figured out what this brand new educational program was all about. Occasionally now, when visiting a cemetery, I’ll think about those years, when I was so young — and so smart — and so hilariously wrong.

Bonus Question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to this week?

I’m very grateful for my wonderful 6′ 7″ friend, Kent. I have two round fluorescent lights on my kitchen ceiling, which is very, very high. They don’t usually go out at the same time, but this week, they did. I had to get them replaced immediately or have a dark kitchen.

My step stool won’t get me high enough, and I used to climb up on my kitchen table and do the job, but my table has a shaky leg right now, and I didn’t have time to wait for it to be repaired. So I called up my friend and asked him if he would come once to take the bulbs down (because I didn’t remember what size they were and had to take them with me to get the right size) and then come back again once I had the new ones.

He readily agreed and managed to come both times in one day to put up my new lights. Now my kitchen and I are bathed in glorious light once more. Even if my friend were not 6′ 7, he would be very tall in my eyes anyway.

HEALING FOR YOU COVER - EDThis coming week, I am looking forward to getting my book Healing Is For You! onto the Amazon Kindle Store. I know there are so many people who need help from the Lord for their health, and I’m hoping that having my book available in e-book format will make it much easier and less expensive for them to get help through what they learn in the book.




Share Your World, 2015 — Week # 28



Question # 1:  What is your favorite comfort snack?

I have 5 favorites.

Peanut Butter
Chocolate & Peanut Butter
Cheese & Peanut Butter  (If you’ve never spread peanut butter onto a slice of cheese, you can’t imagine the treat you’re missing.)

Question # 2:  If you had to spend one weekend alone in a single store but could remove nothing, which store would you pick? (except food or beverage)?  

A book store for sure.

Question # 3:  What was the largest city you have been to?  What is the one thing you remember most?

If we’re  measuring size by population, I guess the largest city I’ve been to is Philadelphia.  I had a wonderful time there, but there are two things that vie for the most memorable — neither of which had anything to do with my main reason for being there.

One of those things is the outlandish number of one-way streets in the middle of the downtown business district.  One day my husband and I were headed out to the airport to pick up a delivery for a friend, and caught in some heavy traffic congestion, we needed to turn one direction or another. There was a policeman directing traffic from the middle of the street, so we pulled up, rolled down our window and asked him whether the next street over was a one-way street, or if we would be able to take it to get on our connecting street. He thought a moment, and then said, “I don’t know if that street is one-way or not.”  Now, in my opinion, when a city has so many one-way streets that even her policemen directing traffic don’t know where they are, they have way, way, way too many of them.

The second thing I remember is from another time in the car, as hubby and I were coming from an outlying town back into downtown Philly. We were on a 6-lane highway, and as we came around a very long curve, we noticed a man standing just off the road on a lay-by — but actually quite close to our far right lane of traffic. He was standing, facing the traffic, and just swinging his arms out and in, out and in, as if he were doing calisthenics.  He looked to be wearing tan shorts, but no shirt. Imagine my chagrin — and my huge eyes — when we got closer and discovered that he was NOT wearing tan shorts after all, but was stark naked.  But he never missed a beat in his exercise routine. The last I saw of him, as we took our turn rounding the bend, he was still going strong. There was, however, a police car coming from the opposite direction — hopefully to assist him — uh — if you know what I mean.

Question # 4:  Finish this sentence:  It has recently come to my attention that ….

It has recently come to my attention that I don’t know everything.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m grateful for a very considerate cousin who came to my home and cut down a huge growth of thick vines that had climbed into my siding and spread itself across the a large area of the back of my house and around my electrical wire service connection. I could never have cut all that down myself.

This week I’m looking forward to spending some time with my step-mother before she returns to Colorado for another year of Bible school and ministry preparation.

To take part in the fun of sharing your world, visit Cee’s blog.


Share Your World, 2015 – Week 24

ILLNOS05 - SEPIACee’s ‘Share Your World, 2015 – Week 24

1. What’s your favorite charitable cause and why?

Well, to begin with, I am extremely wary of charitable organizations in general. I’ve learned that in a majority of cases — no matter how altruistic the original motives were for founding the organization — once a group of human beings begin to control it and experience the power and the monetary benefits of that control, the organization becomes something less that what it was intended to be. There are a very few organizations that are considered “charitable” that I do support, however, and I’ve listed two.

The Salvation Army — because they genuinely care more about the needs of hurting people, both physically and spiritually, than they do about their own comfort, their own power, and their own financial advancement. I find that so many charitable organizations have an agenda that includes careful planning for the folks in charge to line their own pockets and advance their own careers, with only a partial amount of attention and money going to actually meeting the needs of those whom they claim to be representing. The Salvation Army’s only agenda is to lift up hurting people, feed them, clothe them, give them a safe haven, and restore them to the solid, healthy, productive person God intended them to be.

Another cause that I readily support is the work of children’s orphanages and children’s homes that are honest, above-board, and totally open to public scrutiny, making it undeniably clear that they devote the vast majority of time, effort, and money to the children themselves and their betterment, rather than to lining the pockets of the ‘administrators’ of said programs.

I probably sound cynical as I give my reasons, but I have had good reason to question the motives and the outcome of so many organizations who try to make their work sound good to the general public, but at the level where the rubber meets the road — in the everyday lives of the people who are supposed to be helped — there’s a different story to be told.

Question # 2: What color do you feel most comfortable wearing?

I seem to look best in blue, brown, pink, yellow, and red — and sometimes green.  Well, dang, I look good in anything!  So I guess I don’t have a “most comfortable” color.

Question # 3: If you had your own talk show, who would your first three guests be? (guest can be dead, alive, famous or someone you just know)

1. Chuck Norris: He’s one of the most straightforwardly honest American’s that I know — and a straightforwardly, honest Christian as well. He has great wisdom and intelligence, as well as creative ideas for helping other Americans — especially youth — to recognize and appreciate — and protect — our heritage. I would like to sit with him in an interview and let him expound on those subjects for a couple of hours and let the world benefit from his wisdom.

2. Author Harper Lee the way she was in the 1980’s. I would like to have the opportunity to sit and talk with her when she was in good health, both physically and mentally. Since there is great speculation right now —  and investigation— concerning whether or not she is even mentally healthy enough to permit the publication of the newly discovered book, I wouldn’t want to subject her to an interview in such a questionable state. However, could I interview her as she was in the 80’s — when she was refusing to be interviewed and refusing to allow anyone to know about her personal life or to know whether or not she had written anything else that was special to her — I would treasure the opportunity.


Because I do not believe that any writer capable of such a wonderful work does not write a lot of other stories as well. We know there was one other book  To Set A Watchman — written prior to To Kill A Mockingbird and told from the perspective of Scout as an adult —  then  laid aside in order to write basically the same story from the point of view of Scout as a child. But there must have been other books — or at least other stories. I’d like to know about them and about the true reasons for keeping them hidden.

3.  Author Margaret Mitchell.  I guess I’m just into authors today, but I have always felt a great sadness that Margaret Mitchell died before she could give us her own sequel to Gone With the Wind. I’m certain that her own sequel would not have been anything at all like the attempt made with the book titled “Scarlette” several years ago.

Gone With the Wind is such an ‘American’ novel, and it says so much of importance while, at the same time, entertaining us.  (In much the same way as Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird does). And I suppose I have always been so deeply saddened by the thought that a great creative mind didn’t have the opportunities to share all the wonderful works that were resident within it before it was snuffed out. I’d like the opportunity to bring it back to life and give it another chance to give something to us, the ever-hungry-for-more reading audience.

Question # 4: List:  What are at least five places you’ve enjoyed visiting?

Well, you all know what’s going to be at the top of my list, so here goes:

1. The Great Smoky Mountains
2. Sanibel Island in the Gulf of Mexico
3. New England
4. Charleston, South Carolina
5. New Harmony, Indiana

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m grateful for the opportunity to spend time with my step-mother, who is home from having spent the past year in Colorado Springs to attend a Bible College. She will be going back for another year, but we will get to spend a good deal of time together this summer.

This week, I’m looking forward to being involved in a minsters’ conference at my home church. Generally, there are ministers from various places around the world as well as several different states. It’s always a blessed time of worship, prayer, and fellowship around tables piled high with great food.


Share Your World, 2015 – Week 11

Come on — hop over to Cee’s blog and find out how to join in the fun of sharing your own world. You know you want to. You’re just itching to answer the question about ketchup and mustard, aren’t you? Then go ahead!


CHURCH PEW - biggerQuestion # 1: List 2 things you have to be happy about.

1 — I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
2 — I get to tell other people almost every day how loving and merciful Jesus is.



Question # 2: Do you prefer ketchup, or mustard, or mayonnaise?

Now, for me, this is sort of an unfair question, because I like all three. It just depends on the mood I’m in. I don’t use one or the other all the time on any particular kind of sandwich — with the exception of tuna. I do stick to mayonnaise for tuna. And I never use mayonnaise for eggs. But just about anything else — sandwiches, eggs, cheese, french fries, steak, and corn dogs — may get a healthy dose of ketchup one day and mustard the next — or often a dose of both those condiments mixed.



Question # 3: If you were to paint apicture of your childhood, what colors would you use?

Blue, Yellow, Red, Green, and White


RAINDROPS AND A CLOUD - CLIPART- showerQuestion # 4: Do you prefer a bath or a shower?

A Shower. It’s quicker and cleaner.


Bonus Question: What are you thankful for from this week, and what are you looking forward to in the week ahead? 


I’m very, very, very thankful that my knee is showing almost total manifestation of its health again after the fall two weeks ago.

This next week, I plan to tend to a couple things in my yard. I really do not like yard work, and I will be very proud of myself when I get that done, so that will make me happy.



Share Your World, 2015 — Week # 3

SMILEY -- NO CIRCLEI missed participating in Cee’s Share Your World Challenge last week, so I’m going to get on the ball and try to post my answers on the first day this week.

Question # 1: Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?

This question was a serious challenge for me — mainly because when you think about the opportunity to invite anyone in the whole world, you naturally turn your mind toward someone you’d never have the chance to invite except in this rare situation. You don’t consider the ordinary, everyday people.  Not that they are not just as important, but because you can invite them anytime — right? — so you don’t want to waste this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity on someone you can call on the spur of the moment anyway.

Several people came to mind — people who are my favorites in their various fields of endeavors — but, alas, they all seem to be gone from the earth. My favorite authors, my favorite preachers, my favorite world leaders, my favorite musicians, my favorite artists, and my favorite teachers. They have moved on to greater rewards than having dinner with me.

But the more I thought about the question, I decided that I’d probably most enjoy having the wonderful friends I’ve made through blogging these past three years. Those people who have interacted with me online in a caring, encouraging, loving manner, and whom I have grown to genuinely care about in a very personal way. Every one of those people is bright, creative, interesting, encouraging, and stimulating to me personally — and to my own creativity. So, without further ado, I’d like to issue the invitation. Every single one of you who genuinely considers that you and I have become firm friends and family through the amazing technology made available by WordPress, would you please come to my house for dinner?

Question # 2: When did you last sing to yourself?  To someone else?

Yesterday and yesterday.

 Question # 3: If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?

The ability to make decisions without looking at the situation from every possible, conceivable direction and without envisioning myriads of scenarios and asking pounds of questions concerning possible outcomes, both positive and negative. Sometimes I stop and chastise myself with words like, “For heaven’s sake, stop thinking so much and just make a decision!!! Yes/no; black/white; do/don’t: Just pick one!”

Question # 4: What, if anything is too serious to be joked about?

People losing their memory and their mental faculties is a deadly serious thing as far as I’m concerned. I cared for two different family members who lost their ability to think and reason and eventually their ability to communicate. I know other people who went through the same experiences. It was a horrifying, humiliating, debasing experience for them, and it is a far too serious and painful thing to be joked about.

I am astounded and angered at all the people in this world who seem to love to make jokes about having what they term “senior moments,” or about how elderly people say and do ridiculous things because of mental failures. I have seen scores and scores of those kinds of jokes on social media throughout the world. I delete every one of them when I see them because they don’t deserve to be left online as far as I can control it. And I’m totally fed up with people in my own personal life who find the subject an excuse for comedy. I can guarantee that if they ever truly had a memory loss or a malfunction of their minds, they would not laugh at all.

Moreover, words have power. Even medical science has proven time and time again that the words we speak affect our physical bodies. People may think they are joking, but the more they say their memory is bad — “I can’t remember things anymore,” or “I have a terrible memory now that I’m older,” or “I have senior moments all the time now.” — the more their memory will deteriorate. And the more people say “I can’t think straight anymore”  — or worse yet — “I’m going crazy” — the more their physical brain will begin to comply with their own words. And pretty soon, they won’t be laughing either.

Mental failures are absolutely nothing to joke about, and people with good minds should appreciate and be so grateful for them that they speak about being blessed with a good mind instead of saying every negative thing they can think of to try to get a laugh out of somebody.

Bonus Question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m very grateful for having the opportunity this last week to spend a little time with some truly great friends whom I had not seen in years.

This next week, my spring term of creative writing classes begins, and I am very excited to meet my new students and help them on their way to a more disciplined and more expanded use of their gifts and talents.



Share Your World, 2015 – Week # 1

It’s a brand new year of Share Your World. Why not participate if you have the time. It’s easy, and it’s a great way to get to know fellow bloggers better. Cee Neuner  is the hostess, so just hop over to her blog and check out the details.

Question # 1: How do you get rid of pesky telemarketers?BLUE TELEPHONE

To begin with, now that I have Caller ID, if the number looks suspiciously like a telemarketer, I don’t even answer the phone, and they seldom leave a message. If I do answer, and I learn that it’s someone marketing anything I’m not interested in, I politely interrupt them and say, “Let me save you and me both a lot of time. I’m not at all interested in your product/service.”

If they are polite, they say “Okay” and terminate the call. If they are not polite and try to get pushy and argue with me or try to put pressure on me to listen to them anyway, I then — also politely — say, “I’m hanging up now. Thank you. Good-bye.” And I hang up. I understand that they are just doing their job, but once I’ve made it clear that I’m not interested, they owe it to me to stop tying up my phone and accept my refusal. If they will not, then I feel I’m totally within the realm of good manners to sign off and terminate the call myself.

COFFEE MANQuestion # 2: What are you a natural at doing?

Two things: Eating and Talking — sometimes doing both at the same time, although doing both simultaneously can get a little messy if I’m not careful.



BARBER CARTOON - BLUEQuestion # 3: How often do you get a haircut?

Depends on the mood I’m in. I’ve always been a person who liked to change my hair — sort of like with my blog. I get bored easily. So when I get my hair cut short, I generally go for a trim every couple months until I’m tired of that style, and then I let it grow out. Once it’s longer, I don’t get it cut until I feel the style is sagging because of not having attention, and then I go for a trim. I guess you could say I’m pretty laid back about haircuts. But I do trim my bangs and the top section myself almost every month because I don’t like the bangs hanging on my eyebrows. And I’ve also noticed that when I’m feeling blah or just out of sorts with myself, getting a haircut gives me a new lease on life, so I have been known to get a new cut just because I needed a change.

APE WITH BANANA - WP CLIPARTQuestion # 4: What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word “fun”?

Writing and Playing Word Games, like Bananagrams.   (If you’re not familiar with Bananagrams, I’ll tell you that it is a word game similar to Scrabble, in that each player works with letter tiles to create words.) I also love teaching, and 90% of the time it is total fun for me as well. But, honestly, if I had to choose just one single thing that gives me pure pleasure, I would have to say writing.

CARTOON WRITER CLOTHED - editedBonus Question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m grateful for all the wonderful Christmas gifts I received. I was so blessed by people who generously put great thought and effort into my gifts. This next week, I am looking forward to spending some extra time writing on my newest novel Prissy On The Prowl.



Share Your World, 2014 – Week 46

Share Your World this week has us traveling. Visit Cee’s photography blog to learn how to participate in the fun.

Question # 1: On vacation, what would you require in any place that you sleep?

Scrupulously clean bed linens and scrupulously clean bathroom. (And they are extremely hard to find anywhere.)

Question # 2: Music or silence while working?

Ear 2
When I’m cleaning house, washing dishes, or fixing things, I like to listen to music. But when I’m writing or preparing a lesson, I have to have ABSOLUTE quiet.

Question # 3: If you were to move, and your home came fully furnished with everything you ever wanted, list at least three things from your old house that you wish to retain.

Well, I’m going to assume that we would all take things like our personal photos, books, cooking utensils, computers, etc. So I’ll refer mainly to furniture items. I wouldn’t move without taking the maple secretariat that was my mothers, the book case my father made me, the fold-down oak table that was my great-aunts, a chair that has been in my family since I was six years old, and the child’s padded rocking chair that my parents bought for me when I was 2 years old.  None of those things are worth any significant amount monetarily, but they are priceless to me.
Question # 4:  What’s your least favorite mode of transportation?

Flying. I don’t have any particular fear concerning plane crashes, but I do hate to go through all the lengthy, aggravating processes of security, and, most of all, I hate the idea that I am imprisoned with a crowd of strangers in a rather cramped, artificial environment, and I have absolutely no say in when I can get off.

I realize that on a train or a bus, I have no real say either, but there’s some subconscious sense that, as long as I’m on the ground, I could manage to get someone to stop if I really had to. Ships don’t bother me as much, because on a ship, I can get outside and walk around on deck and feel I have more control.

Whenever I tell people how I feel about plane travel, they assume I must have claustrophobia, but I don’t have any particular problem with being in small enclosed places in general. Elevators don’t bother me. Neither do telephone booths. When all is said and done, I think it’s primarily a control thing. I don’t really like traveling in any vehicle where I cannot control when we start, stop, get in, or get out.
Bonus Question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m very grateful that I finally sat down and studied the tutorials for YouTube and Vimeo and learned how to make the videos and post them to those two networks. I’m even more grateful that I was able to learn how in a relatively short time.

This week I am looking forward to all the delightful anticipation of celebrating Thanksgiving and preparing for Christmas — including getting my lights up on my house and putting up my little tree.



Share Your World, 2014 – Week 44

ME – WITH MOM – IN MY FAMILY KITCHEN AT THE AGE OF 2. These were struggling years while Dad was in college. Our kitchens got a lot nicer as the years went by, but the love stayed the same.

Question # 1:  What is the most vivid memory of the kitchen in your childhood?

When I was growing up, my family moved several times, and each one of the houses — and especially the kitchens — have great memories for me. Mostly I remember that the kitchen was the hub of our home. It was always bright and cheerful, redolent with the scents and sounds of favorite foods being prepared: chicken sizzling in the skillet, a chocolate cake baking in the oven, warm tea in a glass pitcher, to which we added a cup of sugar and stirred briskly (the scent of that tea as I stirred in sugar for Mom still comes back to me when I have a cup of tea some 50 years later), and, of course, the freshly brewed coffee.

But more impactful than anything else was the presence of my parents. They loved each other deeply, and loved my sister and me as much or more. We always knew that, and we felt it all the time, but never more pointedly than when we all hung around the kitchen just “doing stuff” together and then sat down together for our meals and shared our lives in happy conversation.

Perhaps it sounds like a TV sitcom right out of the 1950’s and 60’s, but it’s true, nevertheless. I take issue with some of the critics of those old sitcoms, who say they never gave a true picture of what life was like for the average family. It’s true that some of them carried a few aspects farther than reality — for example when the moms on those shows cleaned house in high heals, full make-up, and jewelry. But much of the love and interaction between family members was very realistic, and it was what a great many “real” families were experiencing at that time in our history. I’ll always be grateful for it in my life.

However, those more general memories aside, there is one memory connected with one particular kitchen during my growing up years, that stands out dramatically. While we were living in Nashville, TN, we lived just 12 miles from what today is Smyrna Airport, but at that time was actually Sewart Air Force Base. It was an active military base in the 1950’s and 60’s, and jets flew out of Sewart several times a day, every day, on maneuvers — as well as trips to specific destinations. They flew low enough that the noise literally vibrated the houses in our subdivision.

I remember the first night we lived there, about 1:00 a.m., I was blasted out of a sound sleep by this horrendous “Whoooom!” and the vibrating of my bed. I finally got used to that part, but one day my mom had just taken a glass baking dish full of barbecued ribs out of the oven and set it on the counter to await our evening meal. A few minutes later, we heard it: The “Whoooom!” The house vibrated, the kitchen vibrated, the cabinet vibrated, and the baking dish of ribs vibrated right off the counter and into the floor, where — you guessed it — it broke into several chunks of glass and meat all rolled into one. Thanks to the United States Air Force, I think we ended up having tuna that night.

Question # 2: As a child, who was your favorite relative?

Other than my parents and my one sibling, my grandmother on my mom’s side was definitely my favorite. She was always so full of love for each of us — all 22 grandchildren — and she was very animated in that love. She made us feel special and adored all of our lives. But second to her was one particular aunt — my Aunt Nora — who was actually related only because she had married my Uncle Don. But she was so pretty and dressed so stylishly. She always seemed cool and reserved and just a little “set-apart,” and, in my little-girl dreams, I wanted to be like her.

Question # 3: What did you like or not like about the first apartment you ever rented?

The first apartment I ever rented was terrific. It was in Jacksonville, IL, and I was so blessed to find it and to be able to afford it. The only thing I was not completely happy about was the fact that it had a gas furnace, and I really don’t like gas. I much prefer electricity for heating and cooking. However, at the time, the gas furnace seemed fairly minor compared to all the positives.

The place had a roomy living room, and an adequate kitchen with stainless steel sinks and a garbage disposal. It had two good-sized bedrooms and a large bath. It had more than ample closet space — including a “Fibber McGee” closet with several levels inside. It was one of four apartments in the building, and all of my neighbors were wonderful. Moreover, it was close to town, and I could walk to the school where I taught if the weather wasn’t bad. Even after all these years, I sometimes feel a nostalgic longing for it — and for those neighbors.

Question # 4: What kind of TV commercial would you like to make?

I’m sorry, but I just cannot think of one kind of TV commercial I’d enjoy making. I suppose if I had the opportunity to make one on behalf of chocolate, I’d be willing, but I can’t say that I WANT to make one at all.

Bonus Question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

My Writing Poetry class came to its conclusion for this term on Monday, and I am very grateful for the privilege of teaching those students. They were so genuinely excited about the class and worked so hard. And they were very appreciative of everything I did as their teacher. I’m truly privileged to have these opportunities.

This coming week, I am looking forward to some serious writing time of my own. Now that one of my classes is finished, and the other writing class is closing in on its last four weeks, I am able to focus a little more on a couple of novels that have been patiently waiting on me to get back in the saddle, so to speak.


Check out Cee’s Blog if you’d like to take part in “Share Your World.