Summer Whimsy

It’s been a while since I’ve mentioned Fernando, so here’s a mini health check:

My wild fern is doing well. Continued growth–both on the trunk and on the ground. There are hot, rain-free days ahead, so I’ll need to keep a close eye on Fernando, to make sure it stays hydrated.

Fernando

Fernando


As you can see from the photo, my daughter is adding a fairy garden to the area. I think Fernando approves.

How is your creative inspiration holding up in the summer heat?

A New Avenue

One aspect of being a professional writer is getting out of your comfort zone. Public speaking, business calls, and adding more outreach to an already public podium (you can find me on carriedalby.com, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest…) have become part of my life.

Starting in July, you’ll also be able to hear from me directly in your inbox. I’m in the process of building a monthly newsletter, which might take the place of one blog post a month, but I’ll still post a few of those each month, too. I’ve added a nifty NEWSLETTER page on my dot com where you can go to sign-up for the mailing list, but you can also click HERE to join.

Literary News

Literary News

My literary newsletter is free, shareable, and will feature stories behind my novels, highlight what I’ve been reading (in case you don’t follow me on Goodreads), and other tidbits. Basically a shiny version of what you might find on all of my various sites, compacted into a easy to read e-mail. Sound good? Be sure to sign-up soon so you won’t miss an issue.

As always, if there is ever a topic or question you’d like me to cover, feel free to comment, send a message, etc. to let me know.

Scents of Wonder

I’ve been thinking about smells lately. Not necessarily bad odors (though with three kids in the house, there are plenty of those), just the power of memory in regards to one of the main senses.

Childhood, in a jar.

Childhood, in a jar.

To me, a fresh box of Crayola crayons or a container of Play-Doh is childhood.

Camel cigarettes smell like corruption.

The scent of brush fire is fear.

And this…

The battlefield of clear skin.

The battlefield of clear skin.

…is high school.
Open a bottle of Sea Breeze and all the insecurities of my teen years rush back to me. Or did they ever leave?

What smells trigger your memories, for good or ill?

Summer of SurPRIZES

Carrie Dalby:

Check out this awesome contest on my friend’s blog.

Originally posted on MeLeesa Swann:

I’ve decided to shake things up this year. I’m feeling a little adventurous. This summer is now deemed the Summer of SurPRIZES. Every month, I will host a new contest on my blog. Prizes will vary and so will the method of winning.

So, for our first contest, we have an amazing prize. I have an autographed copy of one of my favorite books, MARROW.

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MARROW, is a newly released superhero book written by Preston Norton. Definitely one of my new favorites. If you’re interested, here’s a link to find out more about the book.

EEP! I’m so excited!

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Now for the rules. In order to win this copy, just click on the Follow Blog widget to the left of your screen and register to follow. All new followers beginning today will be entered in the contest and winner will be chosen at random.

Don’t worry. The contest will be…

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Memorial Day Musings

Let’s give thought to the often over-looked wars that had American casualties, like the Spanish-American War.

Even before they officially left, numerous soldiers—mostly volunteers—died in Florida at the campgrounds they gathered in before shipping off to Cuba. Inadequate space (in recently drained swamps), food, and medical supplies, as well as racial riots among the troops themselves, pushed the numbered deaths of U.S. soldiers higher on our own soil than those sustained during the ground and naval battles in Cuba/Puerto Rico.

During my pleasure reading nearly eight years ago, I happened across a few pages in a biography (Lady from Savannah: The Life of Juliette Low) about the deplorable conditions our troops suffered in during their few months in Florida. I immediately knew I had to write about it. After gathering information for nearly five years, I then spent three years getting the story down properly. Come January 12, 2016 you’ll be able to read the collective soul of my journey into 1898, appropriately titled Fortitude.
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As for today, let’s give pause to those who gave all to protect liberty—whether in this century or in decades past—while we continue to pray for peace. Peace for those left behind, and for the world at large.

Knowledge is Kindness

Over the past few months, I’ve come to an understanding. It’s nothing earth shattering, and I’m sure these things have been said before, but I needed the time to mull things over for myself.

Now I can share: I’m less likely to take offense to things people say if I know the individual.

Why is this? I’m empathetic to where they come from and realize that they have a valid reason for thinking the way they do, even if I don’t agree with it. The better I know the person, the more leeway I give their opinions.

Take the same words, said by someone I don’t know, and my first reaction is to be offended. For example, a friend says something that I disagree with. I’ll usually stay out of the conversation, and maybe even think “bless your heart” (a slight assimilation to southern living). But if one of their other friends steps in to agree or expand on the topic toward their angle, I get defensive about my ideals and think “how can she listen to people like that?” Or “I can’t believe there are people in the world that buy in to that propaganda!” And, well, you know… I’m sure you’ve thought similar things.

But don’t worry, I get over it.

And now, more than ever, it doesn’t bother me beyond that initial gut reaction.

It rolls off—the natural man is conquered, at least on this front.

After all, I don’t want to give other people’s words power to corrode my mood for the day.
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With all the contention in the world right now—even in our own communities—I think the best way to peace is to get to know each other. That’s the easiest way to combat judgmental behavior. After all, the majority of people want the same thing (peace, helping those less fortunate, etc.), we just have different ideas on what we think is the best route to get there.

Knowledge can equal kindness. Who do you need to understand more?

Inspired by Setting

While visiting with family a few weeks ago, I was blessed to experience several days of spring in the Midwest. I’ve been to central Illinois in the summer and winter, but this was our first trip this time of year. Many of the trees that were in full-bloom in the deep-south over a month ago were in their glory up north.
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Farmers and gardeners down south have their crops in the ground, but the Amish farmers were beginning to plow their fields—with horse power, of course.
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Trees that are fully green at home are just coming into their foliage there.
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Beauty can be found wherever you look.
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And so can corrosion.
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When possible, take time to visit new places. If that’s not an option, try viewing your regular piece of the world through new eyes. What details have you never noticed before?