Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sometimes "liberation" isn't "freedom"...



I like to say I was liberated long before the Women’s Lib Movement ever gathered steam, but many people question that statement. I considered myself liberated because I made the choices which best suited what I wanted from life. Those included being a traditional cookie-baking, bread-making, floor-scrubbing wife, and a stay-at-home mother (until early widowhood sent me back into the working world).

I felt no need to carry a protest sign or lie down in front of a car when more prudent actions provided more benefit to everyone concerned. Burning my bra wasn’t an option—frankly, it did more for me than its ashes would have done in the public forum. Screaming for retribution for every real or imagined slight only lowers credibility, and I respected my own.

In short—I knew who I was and what I was (gender: female and proud of it) and did not choose to align myself with those who wanted the protection that goes with being the “fairer sex” but sent the opposite signals.

Now before anyone gets fired up, may I just say I believe women are entitled to equal rights in all things based on our common humanity. But there is a right way to remedy inequalities and a wrong way. Just recently I was treated with discourtesy and disrespect by the representative of a company with which I’d done business. It was a case of “Me big smart man, you dumb old lady”.  I simply didn’t do any more business with them, nor have I recommended them as I often do when I have a good experience. It was totally unnecessary—and beneath my dignity—to make a “federal” case over someone’s bad manners. 

I write characters who are “liberated women” because they think for themselves and give themselves permission to make individual choices—not join a herd of sheep. They’re not perfect—far from it!—but they soldier on and hope for the best in all things.

  • Lost one job because her employer died
  • Had to walk away from another when she was expected to turn a blind eye to illegalities
  • Put cardboard in her shoes and did without enough food to provide for her young niece for whom she was guardian
  • Put her pride in her pocket and reapplied for the job Alan Ashley had offered her ten years earlier and which she had turned down because she didn’t want his money or his bad temper
  • Guarded her secrets even when it meant giving up the love she’d never expected to come her way

  • Stayed with an unfaithful husband in a bad marriage (which she had every right to leave) for 30 years because she believed in the institution of marriage
  • Re-invented herself as a professional after being thrown over for younger woman
  • Had the courage to take a second chance on a love relationship
  • Stood up to her adult daughter who wants to take over where the ex-husband left off
  • Refused to take the opportunity for revenge
  • Took seriously “Honor thy father and mother” until compelled to protect her own physical safety
  • Worked hard for everything she had and didn’t complain about the necessity of doing so
  • Dared to dream of her prince charming
  • Dared to refuse the prince what he felt his due when it didn’t coincide with her moral standards
  • Took a child not her own and gave him all the love she’d been denied

  • Dug in her heels when threatened just for wanting what was hers
  • Knocked down more than once but refused to stay there
  • Proud—but not too proud to accept help
  • Took herself and her son out of a bad marriage to save them both
  • Started over not once but twice
  • Refused to budge from her deeply-held beliefs
  • Recognized the easier way as the wrong way
  • Knew forgiveness didn’t equate weakness

  • Admitted to wrong decisions
  • Ready to move her life in a new direction
  • Refused to play the blame-game
  • Knew how to apologize and mean it

All of these women could be criticized for the decisions which didn’t fit the liberated theme. But they made the decisions which were right for them. Can you be any more free than that?

                 ~~~

Get hooked on a good clean read!

All series books also sold separately.                                     Visit my website at Someday Is Here.

Friday, November 28, 2014

The Human Condition: Triumph and Tragedy



The human condition, triumphant and tragic, is the stuff of stories. Today’s Friday Five features thousands of human beings who died (or survived) in various disasters. Each one of them has a story. They lived, loved, hoped, cried, worked, and fully expected to see their efforts come to fruition. Sadly, they did not.
One hundred two years ago, on April 15, 1912, the RMS Titanic sank two hours and forty minutes after striking an iceberg. Survivors totaled 705, 31% of the passengers and crew aboard, and 1,523 people died in the frigid waters of the North Atlantic.
The fascination with the ship continues to this day. A search of Amazon revealed 413 books on the subject. At least nine films portray the end of the majestic ship.
In 1985, Robert Ballad of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute on Massachusetts, discovered the ship’s final resting place and put to rest many of the questions surrounding its fate, including the commonly-held belief that it sank in one piece.
 In 1963, Indian Orchard, MA, opened the first museum dedicated to memorializing the event, but there are others. In addition museums in England and Ireland (where many of the passengers originated) also honor the victims.



3.      Books on the Titanic


5.      Museums

6.      Forums


Lesser known tragedies which seemingly haven’t caught the public eye include:






I used an institutional fire to ramp up the drama in Where Is Papa’s Shining Star?


They were about to leave for the office the next morning when Sam Bernard arrived. He didn’t return Lenore’s greeting. “I need to speak with you, Alan. Privately.”
“We’ll step into the study.”
“It’s about Bobbie, isn’t it?” Lenore clutched the banister for support.
Alan slipped his arm around her. “ Is it about Bobbie, Sam?” “I’d prefer to speak with you privately,” the attorney hedged. “If it concerns Bobbie, Lenore must know.”
“Alan...”
“Let’s have it, Sam.”
The attorney stepped closer. “Last night there was a fire at the Home. No one got out.”
Lenore crumpled to the floor.
****

Mrs. Swane knocked on the study door. “She’s awake. I think you should go up.”
“All right. Has she said anything?”
“She blames herself, of course. Have you found out any more?”
“I spoke with the fire marshal. He said it was the furnace. Lenore had mentioned that it frequently gave trouble. I’d planned to speak with Miss Ervin about it today, when we went to get Bobbie, and offer to replace it.”
“The county was responsible.”
“The county has no money.”
 “You did all you could, Mr. Alan.”
 “Did I? I’ve been sitting here wondering about that.
” “Go up to Miss Lenore. She needs you.”
*****
He found Lenore curled on the loveseat before the fire, clutching a china doll in her arms. “This is all I have left,” she murmured, breaking into tears as Alan joined her. “Bobbie asked me to bring her doll home to wait for her here. It’s her most precious possession, the last thing her father ever gave her. She named it for him...Alberta.” Lenore buried her face against the doll. “I left her to die. I left my little girl to die.”
Alan gathered her in his arms. “You couldn’t know. I’m so sorry, my darling Lenore. She was the daughter I never thought to have.”
“All those children...Constance...she was my friend, the first I’d had in such a long time.”
“I told the fire marshal that I’d see to the burial. They deserve more than a pauper’s grave.”
“Do you think she knew, Alan?”
“It all happened very fast.”
“She was so brave. She never complained about anything. That awful little room where we lived, cardboard in her shoes, being taken to the Home. She never complained about any of it.”
Alan winced at the pictures her words painted in his mind. “She learned that from you, I’m sure.” “Sometimes it was as if she were taking care of me.”
“You took care of each other.”
Lenore shook her head. “No, I didn’t take care of her. Oh, Alan, I left her to die.”

 
In Finding Papa’s Shining Star, I wrote a ferry sinking in the English Channel after some consultation with a good friend in England.

Annie thought there would never be another day so long or so cold as the one she spent huddled on the pier at Calais. The day which had begun with so much joy and anticipation had ended abruptly in a shuddering moment of smoke and flame.
The four of them had just strolled out onto the second-level deck when the tremors of an explosion deep within the ferry billowed upward. Helpless as feathers in the wind, their bodies skidded on the buckling planks. Annie thought she heard someone call her name. Her last glimpse of Lenore was of her clinging to Alan as they teetered against the shattered metal rail.
 She would never forget the screams of terror, at least one of which was hers, or the way her body flailed about, weightless, until crashing painfully into the cold Channel water. She’d lost consciousness briefly, regaining it when someone hauled her upward into a smaller craft.
Not understanding the words spoken to her, shaking violently with the icy chill of the wind against her drenched body, she could only stare in horror as the ferry stood on end for a brief second before disappearing beneath the sparkling water.
When David found her among the survivors milling about the pier, he wrapped her first in a blanket, then in his arms, murmuring words that she comprehended no more than the ones from the men who had saved her.
Fortified by several mugs of steaming coffee, her body grew still. Only then could she manage to ask, “Mum and Pa?”
“Not yet, sweetheart.”
Later, when a French official approached and offered them transportation to a hospital, Annie refused. “I can’t leave,” she said. “I have to wait for my parents.”
“They’ll be brought to the hospital, too,” David said. “They’d want you to be looked after.”
“No!” The word echoed like a gunshot in the cavernous building. “No, I’m all right. I have to stay here.”
****
Late in the afternoon, they began bringing in the tarp-wrapped bodies and laying them out in the warehouse next door. “I can’t,” Annie moaned when she understood that the man wearing a Red Cross armband was asking people to accompany him there and identify whom they could. “Oh, David, I can’t do it! They’re not…they can’t be…”
“I’ll go,” he said, pressing a kiss on her forehead. “Will you be all right here by yourself?”
She nodded, pulling the damp blanket closer around her. “Please, David, don’t find them. I couldn’t stand it.”




Get hooked on a good clean read!

 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Wednesday Roses of TWRP



Only three authors responded to the offer for some free Wednesday promotion, but I’m pleased to present:

Rolynn Anderson, who bills her books as suspense spiked with romance and heart-rending, heart-pounding contemporary suspense, is the author of
·        Lie Catchers (4.5 stars)
·        Last Resort  (4.3 stars)
·        Fadeout       (4.4 stars)
·        Swoon          (4.8 stars)









Here’s Mackenzie Crowne who shares A Case for Calamity (4.9 stars) Will her lark gone bad be the sweetest calamity of Jane’s life?


Visit Mackenzie’s Amazon Author Page for a looooooooong list of books!













Finally, meet Ashantay Peters who has a brand-new release just in time for Christmas:  Dickens of a Death. She invites you to do Dickens Days—a lethal holiday event for the unwary. It sounds scarier than it is. I write humor—well, deadly humor.

Find Ashantay, who bills her books as romance and mystery with a touch of humor at www.ashantay.com










I'll be giving each one of these authors her own Wednesday beginning next week!