• Tag Archives The Notice
  • Running Photo Blog ~ White Clay Creek

    I have gone back to my regular routine of running in White Clay Creek Preserve, near my home in Landenberg, PA. 

     

    Actually, walking and running. My sister wants to get in shape for summer, and due to arthritis and other painful issues, she can’t run. So we began walking together once or twice a week, carrying hand weights.

     

    Below are some of the sights from the past week.

     

    Today I walked with sis. We drove past this vineyard on our way to the parking lot.

     

     

    Following are photos from today’s walk.

     

     

    We walked along a section of the Penn Del trail and passed by the ruins (not pictured) of what once was the longest covered bridge in Landenberg. The bridge burned down in 1960 and was never rebuilt. The fire is generally thought to have been arson.

    According to an author friend who is doing research for a new book on the history of Landenberg, the bridge in question was built in 1874, and was 75 feet long and 14 feet wide.

    My online friend–he runs the Landenberg community Facebook Page–told the group that Landenberg once contained more covered bridges (a total of 10) than any other town in America.

    Chester County, where my family has lived since the early part of the 20th century, was the county with the most covered bridges, and the state of Pennsylvania held more covered bridges than any other state in the Union.

    As I have mentioned before, I get much of my inspiration for writing while running the trails next to the White Clay.

    Following is a scene from my book, The Notice, which makes mention of the bridge in question, along with the small church and graveyard just down the road. The church, London Tract Meeting House, was built around 1730. (I can’t remember the exact date off the top of my head.)

    London Tract Church is nicknamed Ticking Tomb Church, because one of the graves is said to emit a ticking sound. There’s a legend regarding this grave, but I can’t remember the details. It’s on google if you want to find out more.

    The sophomore asked if I wanted to see the area where she’d grown up.

    So we went for a drive. She directed me out Route 24 a little way, and then down various back roads, still in the late afternoon sun. We crossed into two other states and back before traveling down other creepy, overhung, winding roads and ending up back in the sticks somewhere.

    We drove by her parents’ house. I thought it looked like a mansion, high on top of a hill. I asked if she wanted to see them, and she just laughed. She said no, they didn’t need to know she was here, not right now. I got the impression they didn’t get along but I didn’t ask anything else. We rode around for a while, up and down hills on snaky little twisty back roads bordered by a creek, with old, rusting guardrails alongside. We passed road kill in various stages of decay, being fought over by vultures. More vultures circled lazily, high above an open field.

    We drove around for at least forty-five minutes, through woods and fields full of deer, cornfields and a few little churches, (none of them Catholic). We passed fieldstone houses and barns that looked hundreds of years old. A few stood so close to the road, it seemed they could have been touched by putting a hand out the car window. It was obvious some had once been inns or hotels. They were huge and rambling, maybe a little overgrown but still inhabited. Old structures stood in the middle of nowhere. Their fieldstone walls had been built up high, but now they were crumbling and not holding back anything anymore. We passed another strange sight. It was a fieldstone wall built into the side of a steep bank, with a tiny, arched, cave-like opening that may or may not have led somewhere.

    Horses, cows and sheep grazed in meadows next to long stretches of thick woods. Pastures full of cows bordered neighborhoods on the tops of hills, with huge houses, much bigger than the ones in my neighborhood. I’d never been through such a place in my life. The whole area came across as a different world, but what really stood out to me were all the bridges. They were everywhere, coming one after the other around every turn we took, and they were all shapes and sizes. Some were ancient covered bridges, so old I was surprised they were safe. I asked the sophomore why there were so many bridges. She replied that there was no way in or out of the area unless you crossed the creek. It wound in and out and around, and you had to cross it to get through the actual town. When I asked her nervously if we were almost there, she just laughed and said we’d been through already. I asked her when, and she replied that it wasn’t really a town, just a wide place in the road. An old store stood there, along with a church and another ancient bridge.

    I had no idea where I was. Up until then I hadn’t even known such places existed, especially that close to my hometown. Mom didn’t take us on vacations. She made it a point to expose us to what she deemed “culture,” and dragged us to New York City every summer to visit the Museum of Modern Art, the opera, science institutes, and off-Broadway plays. I hated every damn minute of it. I never complained, but unfortunately, with the exception of New York City, my only travels consisted of trips to the beach with Brad every summer. But I’m getting out. I’ll see the world…and I’ll forget her.

    The area surrounding us seemed surreal. I was reminded of that painter Brad’s mom liked, the one who painted farms, a lot of barns, all in muted tones. The image of a huge pig flashed through my mind and was gone as fast as it came. We crawled down another winding road along the creek and then on through some kind of deserted little crossroad next to an old stone church and a graveyard. The place was enclosed by a fieldstone wall, half falling down. The gravestones slanted this way and that. Next to the road stood a tall stone with a plaque mounted on it. I pulled over hastily to read it, thinking it might tell me where I was, but the words that jumped out of the dimness were “Indiantown,” and “William Penn,” along with the date: 1683. Then the sophomore began talking about the graveyard. Apparently, one of the graves was haunted. She called it Ticking Tomb, whatever the hell that meant.

    The words Mason-Dixon jumped out of her chatter, but all I noticed were the lightning bugs, flickering and flashing among the gravestones. Then I let out the clutch and we squealed away. The whole thing was giving me the creeps. As I sped on, she warned me not to turn off toward what looked like a place I could pull over. I need to take a leak. This place is creepy.

    The sophomore told me to keep straight on the road, or else we’d come to a dead end where stood the ruins of another covered bridge. It was burned down by arsonists fifty years earlier, and never rebuilt. She said it would have taken us to the next state again if we could have driven that way another quarter mile. I went on straight, still needing to take a whiz. Then we came to yet another little one-lane bridge, looming in the dim light of dusk. It humped in the middle and I was almost afraid to go up it, not knowing what might be lurking on the other side. MaybeBilly Penn’s ghost, or some pissed off Lenape holding a hatchet.

    My hair seemed to stand on end. I shivered, even though it was eighty-five degrees, as we finally went on. After the bridge the road narrowed even more. It became mostly gravel and I hoped Brad’s car didn’t get hit by tar chips. I can’t afford a new paint job. I navigated potholes, stepped on the clutch and shifted into low gear to get the Trans Am up a steep hill that was bordered on either side by high banks and more trees. They arched gloomily over the road in the twilight before it widened a little again, and we went down the other side. Where the hell are we? This place is creepy as shit.

    I asked her if she knew where we were, and she laughed again as we continued on up another hill, passing more cornfields on the left and dark woods on the right. She told me to take the next right. Go out the back way; we’d be back on the highway in ten minutes. It was getting dark as I turned at the stop sign, and we went on down another stretch of road. It was perfectly flat, bordered on either side by nothing but meadows and cornfields and one old farmhouse, way back at the edge of the woods. Damn…what a place for a race. Wish I knew about this a few years ago when Ceej and that little punk bastard were racing. This place would have been perfect. That little stuck up punk…wonder whatever happened to him…

    Her next words—something to the effect that the place had been known as the Flats for as long as anyone could remember, and that her uncle used to race his ‘68 GTO there before he went on to be killed in Vietnam—made my hair stand on end again. But then I saw the sign. Some state park buried out there in the boonies.

     

    The above scene is told from the POV of protagonist Jason, who while a high school senior had a fling with a mysterious older woman known as the sophomore. (For more on the sophomore, please read book 3 in my series).

    Though told from Jason’s POV, I wrote what I saw as child in my own hometown, and what I see today while running. Some readers grow impatient with my dreamy flashback scenes, but I want my grandchildren to someday read my vision of the town where their great-great grandparents lived.

     

    Here are some shots from the past week or so.

    White Clay Creek
    View of White Clay Creek. Taken in Delaware.
    A bridge in Landenberg Pennsylvania
    This is the bridge that Jason was nervous about crossing. It does hump in the middle, and it’s difficult to see what might be waiting on the opposite side. Located on Sharpless Road, a short distance from London Tract Meetinghouse.
    White Clay Creek Preserve, Landenberg, PA
    Snowdrops next to Sharpless Road.

    Sharpless Road, Landenberg. This is the other side of the hill that Jason and the sophomore drove down.

     

    This morning, sis and I drove home on the above road. (Sis didn’t really know it existed!) It’s one of my favorite places to run, since the view from the top of the hill is stunning no matter the season. Note the slight tinge of red buds in the trees.

    Besides the benefits to my health, running also takes off any load of worry or anxiety I may be having. And it’s also a great way to get inspiration.

    Below is an abandoned farmhouse nearby. We walked past it today. This is what it looked like last summer.

     

     

     

    Related Posts:

    Photo Blog ~ Running as Therapy and Inspiration

    I Love Dogs

    Shameless Self Promotion

    Above is a one minute video. Check out what people are saying about The Notice, and if you want to find out more, go to the sidebar on your right for a free preview. Only $2.99!


  • The Notice is Free on Kindle!

    As some of my readers know, The Notice — book 2 in my series, and free through Sunday — was nominated by the Conservative Libertarian Fiction Alliance for 2016 Book Of The Year.

    From the CLFA official press release:

    (April 5, 2016) – The Conservative Libertarian Fiction Alliance (CLFA), a network of authors, readers, editors, publishers, reviewers, artists, and cultural leaders who read, write, and promote pro-liberty fiction, has released the list of the ten Finalists for the 2015 CLFA Book of the Year award. They are (in alphabetical order by author’s last name):

    The Notice by Daniella Bova

    The Cinder Spires: The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher

    Son of the Black Sword by Larry Correia

    Honor at Stake by Declan Finn

    By the Hands of Men Book Two: Into the Flames by Roy M. Griffis

    The Devil’s Dictum by Frederick Heimbach

    Amy Lynn, Golden Angel by Jack July

    Amy Lynn, The Lady Of Castle Dunn by Jack July

    Her Brother’s Keeper by Mike Kupari

    The Violet Crow by Michael Sheldon

    (All titles are available in the Amazon Kindle store.)

    To qualify, books had to be novel length (minimum 50k words) fiction first published in the calendar year 2015. Self-published, small press and traditionally published works are all eligible, including e-book and audio formats. Authors need not be members of the CLFA or even consider themselves to be politically aligned with the CLFA in order to be nominated and win. Books were nominated by members of the CLFA closed Facebook group. The top ten nominees are the finalists.

     

    Voting has begun, and is open to the public through June 30, 2016. Please check the CLFA website for more information, links to all the nominated works, and a link to the ballot if you wish to vote for your favorite book.

    And here’s more good news: The Notice, kindle edition, is free on Amazon through Sunday, June 19th. Click here to download your copy.

    There’s still time to read it and vote if you like it. 🙂

     


  • The Notice ~ A CLFA 2015 Book Of The Year Nominee!

    A proud moment for me. The Notice, Storms Of Transformation Series, Book 2, has been nominated for Book of the Year by members of the Conservative Libertarian Fiction Alliance.

     

    From the official press release:

     

    (April 5, 2016) – The Conservative Libertarian Fiction Alliance (CLFA), a network of authors, readers, editors, publishers, reviewers, artists, and cultural leaders who read, write, and promote pro-liberty fiction, has released the list of the ten Finalists for the 2015 CLFA Book of the Year award. They are (in alphabetical order by author’s last name):

    The Notice by Daniella Bova

    The Cinder Spires: The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher

    Son of the Black Sword by Larry Correia

    Honor at Stake by Declan Finn

    By the Hands of Men Book Two: Into the Flames by Roy M. Griffis

    The Devil’s Dictum by Frederick Heimbach

    Amy Lynn, Golden Angel by Jack July

    Amy Lynn, The Lady Of Castle Dunn by Jack July

    Her Brother’s Keeper by Mike Kupari

    The Violet Crow by Michael Sheldon

    (All titles are available in the Amazon Kindle store.)

    To qualify, books had to be novel length (minimum 50k words) fiction first published in the calendar year 2015. Self-published, small press and traditionally published works are all eligible, including e-book and audio formats. Authors need not be members of the CLFA or even consider themselves to be politically aligned with the CLFA in order to be nominated and win. Books were nominated by members of the CLFA closed Facebook group. The top ten nominees are the finalists.

     

    As you can probably tell, I am beyond excited. I am also humbled and thankful to God to be nominated along with the above authors. And I’m eternally grateful to all of my friends in CLFA, who have provided more love and support than I ever thought possible.

    May the best book win!


  • The Notice is Free on Kindle

    The Notice, Book 2 in my series, is free on Kindle through Sunday.

    The NoticePlease click here to download from Amazon.

    I’m happy to report that the promotion is going well. Thank you to all who have read my books, and to all who clicked the Amazon buy button! I appreciate each and every reader.

    Please click here to read my monthly newsletter for December, and click the subscribe button! All subscribers receive a free download of my short story, The Protest, a tribute to the U.S. Military.

    I’m looking forward to a productive New Year. More news coming soon on Book Three of The Storms Series, Cadian’s Watch.


  • Photo-Blog ~ Running as Therapy and Inspiration

    I began running 7 years ago. It’s therapy for me, and also a source of inspiration for my writing. Yesterday’s run was exceptionally beautiful, so here it is, captured in photos.

    When I began running 7 years ago, I usually went to nearby parks and ran laps. This was because I was a beginner, and I needed to develop stamina. But running the same laps over and over quickly became boring, no matter how pretty the parks were. I needed a change and a challenge, so I began running in White Clay Creek Preserve, 5 minutes from my home by car. Actually, I can, and have, run to the park from my home. This occurred while I was training for the Delaware Half-Marathon, when I had to run 8, 9 and10 milers on weekends.But I’m training this year. I’m too busy writing the last book in The Storms Series to train, though once the book is published (I’m shooting for May), I may decide to train for a fall race.

    The linked article has the history and a map of the area. The park is huge, and encompasses acres of Pennsylvania and Delaware. There is quite a bit of history. I grew up in the area, and sometimes I take it for granted. However, it must have been hiding in the back of my mind, since the park is featured in the Storms Series.

    Yesterday’s run began at parking lot one, the closest to my house. I clipped on my old iPod shuffle and began running on the Penn-Del trail, listening to Bruce Springsteen. The trail runs along an old railroad bed. The trains stopped running back in the 1940s. To my left was the White Clay, running slowly, and to my right was a swampy place, with cattails and other stalky grasses. Beaver are building a dam here. Again, it’s strange the way this park figures into my writing. The railroad bed and the beaver are mentioned in book 2 of my series, The Notice.

    About half a mile down, the trail takes a turn to the left, leaving the swamp behind, and continues next to the White Clay. For the next mile or so I ran along the trail, stopping at intervals to take photos.

    White Clay Creek Preserve creekbank White Clay Creek, Pennsylvania Fall in Pennsylvania Landenberg, PA

    IMO, this Fall has been exceptionally beautiful. The foliage is bright and clean and colorful, without a hint of drabness. 

    Running next to the creek is soothing and therapeutic. The iPod’s volume is on low, so the running water filters through, along with the sounds of birds, squirrels and the leaves crunching under my feet. It smells good there. I lose myself in visions of scenes I want to write. The music also inspires. If I get tired I shuffle the iPod until Santana begins playing, making me run faster. (IMO, no running playlist is complete without Santana’s Jingo).

    Finally I emerged from the trail onto Sharpless Road, an isolated country lane. Nearby is London Tract Meeting House, also known as Ticking Tomb Church, because of the legend of the  Ticking Tomb. Please click the link for the legend, and a possible connection to “The Telltale Heart” by Edgar Allen Poe. The area was  the home of Native Americans of the Lenni Lenape tribe until it was sold to William Penn in 1683. (The church and the plaque commemorating the sale of the Indian lands to Billy Penn is featured in another scene in The Notice).

    Once on Sharpless Road I turned right, away from the church. I hadn’t run up the following hill since last spring, so I decided to try it.

    uphill

    I didn’t make it. I slacked all summer long, and I didn’t have the stamina to run to the top, so I power walked. My goal is to run up this hill the way I used to by the end of the month.

    Here’s the view from the top. It’s always worth the pain of the hill.

    Landenberg, PA

    I continued on this isolated road, one of the prettiest in Landenberg. Cornfields were here until recently.

    Country Cornfield

    Landenberg, PA

    At the bottom of the first hill two hunters had parked. Deer hunting is permitted in the park, both archery and shotgun. My husband still gets his hunting license every year, however, he doesn’t go out like he used to. When my children were young I felt like a single mom at times, due to his habit of spending every late afternoon deer hunting. He’s a pretty good shot with bow and arrow. We always eat the deer he shoots.

    These days there seems to be an outcry against hunting, and sometimes, hunters. It’s rather frustrating. I’ve seen comments online referring to people like my husband, son and brother-in-law as “rednecks.” People seem to believe the hunters are dangerous. Um… excuse me? This is country life. If you don’t like country ways, move back to where you came from. In the seven years that I’ve been running regularly in the park, never once have I been scared by a hunter. Not once. I’ve seen plenty of hunters of course, but I’ve never felt threatened in the least. The only people who have ever frightened me are dog owners who ignore the leash rule. I was even bitten once by an unleashed dog. Unlike some dog owners who seem to think rules are for other people, the hunters are considerate of others. I trust the hunters much more than the dog owners.

    After passing the spot where the hunters had left their trucks, I came to the smaller hill on Sharpless Rd, and began running up it.

    Landenberg, PA

    This is one of my favorite stretches of road, since this is the place where the idea for the book that would ultimately become a trilogy came to me while running in July of 2009.

    While running along after praying the Rosary I was at a loss as to what would become of America. I felt terrible sense of fear and dread at the thought of Socialized medicine and other such threats to freedom. Again, this was in July, and the fields were full of corn.

    White Clay Creek, Landenberg, PA

    It was here that the idea exploded, just as I crested the hill. The tops of the corn blades were visible through the trees at the top of the bank, and by the time I was on the other side of the hill the idea was firmly planted in my mind. I went home that day and began writing about a young pregnant woman hiding in the corn, and my life was never the same.

    Sharpless Rd. Landenberg, PA

    Above are more fields which will, most likely, be sprouting corn next April. Then I came to the end of Sharpless Road and turned right.

    The Flats,Broad Run Rd., Landenberg, PA

    The Flats, Broad Run Rd.

    Above is the last stretch of road, nicknamed The Flats. I have a vague memory of hearing that it was once used for drag racing, way back when.

    Of course, like so many landmarks near my home, the Flats also made it into the Storms Series. By the time I got there I was feeling tired but also renewed. Like I said, running is therapeutic, especially with so much beauty to gaze upon while doing it. And it’s also inspiring. The combination of running, music and the White Clay Creek just do it for me. I feel like the words will come bubbling to the top when I sit down with my laptop.

    My run ended back at parking lot one, below. I’ll be going back tomorrow for more therapy and inspiration.

    White Clay4


  • Tears Of Paradox & The Notice are on Sale!

    As a thank you to readers and friends, Tears Of Paradox and The Notice are on sale for a limited time. Get them on Kindle for just $2.99 each.


    I’m getting excited about the Holiday season. This is a time for joy, happiness and giving. I’m extremely grateful to everyone for their support, and wanted to show my appreciation. 

     

    Tears Of Paradox by Daniella Bova
    Click here to buy Tears Of Paradox at a special low price.

     

    I’m very happy with my progress on book three, Cadáin’s Watch. The story is unfolding almost exactly as I planned, with a few unexpected twists here and there. Writing is extremely rewarding. I’m very thankful to God for making it possible for me to write. With Thanksgiving coming soon, the perfect way to give thanks is to offer my books at a lower price.

     

    The Notice
    Click here to buy The Notice at a new low price.

     

    And remember, my short story The Protest is absolutely free for readers who subscribe to my email newsletter. Visit my website and click the link to subscribe! And please forward this blogpost to a friend!

     


  • Thanks, Readers

    This week three great things happened with regard to my writing.

    First, my 20 year old niece finished reading The Notice, and told me the end made her cry. (In a good way). Here’s a screen shot of  our back and forth texts:

    11006453_1164886873537370_2995655905847841072_n

    Second, a longtime twitter friend, who is also an author, finished reading Tears Of Paradox. She also gave me great feedback, saying that my writing gave insight into the lives of practicing Catholics. Reading her review was the highlight of my day yesterday.

    Third, this morning at Mass, I ran into a lady who has read both Tears Of Paradox and The Notice. She told me she absolutely loved book two, and could not put it down until she finished. Hearing feedback like this makes all the hard work worth it.

    I am so grateful to the folks who enjoy my work. Almost everyone asks me this question: “Will Jason and his father finally meet in book three?” The answer is: Yes, they will. I truly hope I can do this reunion justice.

    I have done lots of research and planned many plot lines for book three. I don’t know the title yet. Titles are very difficult for me. I have written less than a chapter so far, but I plan to hit it hard over the summer. I am not the fastest writer, but I am a thorough one.

    In the meantime, if you are a reader who has enjoyed my work, please tell a friend. I’ll sign off with the following video. Click here, please, to watch and listen to the man who inspired much of my work. You Tube does not allow certain videos to be embedded.

    This song is part of my inspiration for Michael Sean, Jason’s father, This particular version is from a bootleg which was released with Springsteen’s Darkness On The Edge Of Town boxed set. My husband gave it to me as a gift a few years ago. This 1978 show must have been magical for people lucky enough to have been there.

    Here are the lyrics:

    “It’s Hard To Be A Saint In The City”

    I had skin like leather and the diamond-hard look of a cobra
    I was born blue and weathered but I burst just like a supernova
    I could walk like Brando right into the sun
    Then dance just like a Casanova
    With my blackjack and jacket and hair slicked sweet
    Silver star studs on my duds like a Harley in heat
    When I strut down the street I could feel it’s heartbeat
    The sisters fell back and said “Don’t that man look pretty”
    The cripple on the corner cried out “Nickels for your pity”
    Them gasoline boys downtown sure talk gritty
    It’s so hard to be a saint in the city
    I was the king if the alley, mama I could talk some trash
    I was the prince of the paupers crowned downtown at the beggar’s bash
    I was the pimp’s main prophet I kept everythning cool
    Just a backstreet gambler with the luck to lose
    And when the heat came down it was left on the ground
    The devil appeared like Jesus through the steam in the street
    Showin’ me a hand I knew even the cops couldn’t beat
    I felt his hot breath on my neck as I dove into the heat
    It’s so hard to be a saint when you’re just a boy out on the street
    And the sages of the subway sit just like the living dead
    As the tracks clack out the rhythm their eyes fixed straightahead
    They ride the line of balance and hold on by just a thread
    But it’s too hot in these tunnels you can get hit up by the heat
    You get up to get out at your next stop but they push you
    Back down in your seat
    Your heart starts beatin’ faster as you struggle to your feet
    You’re outa that hole and back up on the street
    And them South Side sisters sure look pretty
    The cripple on the corner cries out “Nickels for your pity”
    And them downtown boys they sure talk gritty
    It’s so hard to be a saint in the city.

    Lately, the title of this song describes me, trying to live my life and be a good person. Being a follower of Christ is difficult at this time, with all the unrest in America and the world. Times are hard all over. It’s so hard to be a saint in the city that is this world. But just the same, we have salvation, if only we stay with Him.

    all-things-work-together-for-those-who-love-god-all-we-have-to-do-is-love-and-live-for-god-he-is-with-us-and-promises-he-will-give-good-to-us-and-has-a-plan


  • Gratitude

    My free book promotion for The Notice is running through Sunday.

    My first free promotion, last year for Tears Of Paradox had a total of 300 downloads. I expected about the same for this promotion. Imagine my surprise yesterday when I saw that the Notice had been downloaded over 400 times on only the first day of the promotion.

    Now this may be a drop in the bucket to what a well known and traditionally published author would get in free downloads, but to me, a struggling unknown independent, it means a lot.

    IMG_1566

    I decided to check my Amazon ranking last night, just for fun. I was met with the above sight. The Notice is #2 in Christian Fantasy free books in Amazon’s Best Sellers.  It’s also #2 in Religious Science Fiction, and #568 in free overall. Again, this may seem small when compared to traditionally published authors with houses that help with marketing, but for lil ole me it’s a big deal.

    So, I feel the need to say thank you. Thank you to God for his grace in allowing me to pursue this dream. Such a thing seemed out of the realm of possibility a year ago. It’s reality today. I couldn’t have done this without Divine inspiration and help. I admit that.

    Matthew 19:26New International Version (NIV)

    26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

    Speaking of inspiration, I must mention someone else. Tears Of Paradox and The Notice were written during a period of darkness in my life. I found comfort, understanding and inspiration in the music of Bruce Springsteen, particularly my favorite album, Darkness On The Edge Of Town.

    My genre is Classic Rock, and while I listen to many artists, some of whom also inspired characters and scenes in my work, DOTEOT (and Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ) spoke to me in a way I can’t really describe with words.

    I’m working on finding a “song” for each character in this series. Following is Something In The Night from DOTEOT, which, to me, is protagonist Jason’s “song.”

     

    I’m riding down Kingsley, figuring I’ll get a drink

    Turn the radio up loud, so I don’t have to think,

    I take her to the floor, looking for a moment when the world seems right,

    And I tear into the guts, of something in the night.

    You’re born with nothing, and better off that way,

    Soon as you’ve got something they send someone to try and take it away,

    You can ride this road ’till dawn, without another human being in sight,

    Just kids wasted on something in the night.

    Nothing is forgotten or forgiven, when it’s your last time around,

    I got stuff running ’round my head That I just can’t live down.

    When we found the things we loved, They were crushed and dying in the dirt.

    We tried to pick up the pieces, And get away without getting hurt,

    But they caught us at the state line, And burned our cars in one last fight,

    And left us running burned and blind, Chasing something in the night.

    I had the extreme good luck to be in the audience at Citizen’s Bank Park on September 3, 2012, (Labor Day) when Springsteen performed a 5 song set from DOTEOT. H/T SomewhereInJersey75 for the following video. (I was in the nosebleeds).

     

    I’ve seen numerous rock concerts since my first trip to the Spectrum in 1978, but this was my all time favorite. It was also my last Springsteen concert. My husband admires Springsteen’s music, but has become less than a fan over the past few years, for which I do not blame him.

    Still, I’m very grateful to Springsteen. His music helped me through an extremely difficult period of my life.

    Finally, to whoever reads this blog, and whoever reads my books, my online writing buddies who help me everyday, or anyone who encourages me in  any way… I am grateful to you, too.


  • Music – An Inspiration

    I’ve been working on a project in my mostly nonexistent spare time: Deciding on “songs” for the characters in my series of books.

    Most writers find that their characters (both good and bad) become real to them. Mine have to me. In my mind each character has a distinct personality, part of which pertains to music.

    I must admit that deciding which song fits each character is turning out to take longer than expected. I’m trying to find songs that the characters would listen to while at the same time conveying the personality of the character. My favorite music genre is Classic Rock, so many characters’ songs will reflect this, though I do include other genres for characters who would, if they were people rather than fictional characters, listen and identify with different music.

    Some characters were easy to assign a song. Reese, for instance. Reese is a secondary character, but still very important to the overall series. Reese is someone who knows exactly how he feels on a minute to minute basis. He’s also an Iraq War Veteran and no nonsense auto mechanic. Reese’s song is Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Gimme Back My Bullets.”

    Other characters weren’t so easy. After some thought I decided on Led Zeppelin’s “Battle Of Evermore” for the character I call the Battling Angel.

     

    The sky is filled with good and bad
    Mortals never know.

    Oh, well, the night is long
    The beads of time pass slow
    Tired eyes on the sunrise
    Waiting for the eastern glow

    The Angel is in the service of St. Michael the Archangel, and is sent to warn and protect main characters Jason and Michelle.  St Michael, of course, is in the service of Christ, who I wouldn’t dream of assigning a song. He’s my Boss. He gives me assignments. I just do my best to carry out His orders.

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    I’m beginning to note ideas and plotlines for book three. While writing Tears Of Paradox  and The Notice, (coming in mid-February) I relied heavily on prayer and reflection. I wanted Christ to be at the helm, and I tried to write what I felt He would want me to write. I’m going to do the same thing while writing book three.

    I plan to complete the entire character/song list within a few weeks and then include it in a second blogpost. I already know protagonist Jason’s song, but I still haven’t decided on a song for another pivotal character, Brad.

    Following are the words to Michelle’s song, The Scarlet Tide, as sung by Alison Krauss. This is from the movie “Cold Mountain” –a terrific film.

    Well I recall his parting words
    Must I accept his fate
    Or take myself far from this place
    I thought I heard a black bell toll
    A little bird did sing
    Man has no choice
    When he wants every thingWe’ll rise above the scarlet tide
    That trickles down through the mountain
    And separates the widow from the brideMan goes beyond his own decision
    Gets caught up in the mechanism
    Of swindlers who act like kings
    And brokers who break everything
    The dark of night was swiftly fading
    Close to the dawn of day
    Why would I want him just to lose him again

    We’ll rise above the scarlet tide
    That trickles down through the mountain
    And separates the widow from the bride

    Michelle is separated from her husband, not knowing what the future holds. She’s also, for all intents and purposes, in the middle of a civil war. This is one of the songs that inspired The Storms Of Transformation series, book three of which will be set in the North Carolina Blue Ridge, in roughly the same area as the fictional Cold Mountain.

    More in a later post.


  • Almost There

    I’m can’t believe I’m almost ready to publish my second novel.

    What a roller coaster ride the past 5-6 years have been, since I really got to work on writing. I have always created and always wrote, but never thought I would write a book. I began creating around age ten, when I learned to sew on my mom’s Singer sewing machine. I learned to sew clothes and made a stuffed hippopotamus from a Simplicity pattern. The material had a pink background and was dotted with what looked like candy. I think the hippopotamus may be in my mother’s attic.

    I sewed by hand and machine for many years. When my five year old cousin’s stuffed Minnie Mouse frayed, I mended it for her. I don’t really remember learning to knit, I only know that I learned before age ten. I think my mother taught me. She was a great knitter in her younger years.

    When my daughter was born I sewed special clothes for her, cute little sunsuits, hats and dresses. This continued. I sewed a First Communion dress for my daughter, who was very particular. She did not want satin or frilly lace. The dress had to fit her specs: cotton cloth with a sailor collar, Irish lace and a few tucks, nothing fancy. She picked it. There was a bit of a ruckus about shoes. My daughter loved fancy black patent leather Mary Janes. She wore them from age two on; they were a mainstay. At First Communion time we decided to just let her wear the black shoes instead of buying new white shoes that we knew she would never wear again. I think she may have argued a bit, but we ignored her. That was a mistake. In the group photo of the First Communion class, my child was the only girl with black shoes. The sewing for my daughter went on through High School. I sewed all of her Homecoming and Prom gowns. I did not offer to make her wedding gown, and she did not ask me, thank God.

    The sewing continued for nieces. Here’s a picture of a baptismal gown I sewed. Both nieces wore it. I made a fancy satin appliqué Communion dress for my nieces.

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    Over the years I’ve made many quilts. Here’s one of my favorites.

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    I learned to hand spin wool on my spinning wheel and knit it into garments. I’ve created lovely embroidered linens and cross stitched pieces, and knitted scarves, sweaters and afghans without number.

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    My home is filled with beautiful stitchery. I’ve also knitted baby items for donation to moms in need and created quilts for my children and other members of my family. I do it because I love them.

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    The cross stitched bear above hangs in my sewing room. He’s one of my favorites.

    I don’t know why I waited until I was in my forties to begin writing seriously. I wrote on and off throughout my life, in diaries and journals, but even though I had a secret dream of writing a book, I never took myself seriously until the idea for what ultimately would become the Storms Of Transformation series practically hit me over the head. It was a turning point in my life, one of those occasions that you remember in detail. I remember exactly where I was when the idea slammed me. The idea of NOT following through and at least trying to write was out of the question. I had to do it. I think my ideas have merit. I hope others like my work, but even if that isn’t the case, I won’t stop. My grandchildren may read my work someday. If America continues  on its current path, at least they’ll know I tried.