June’s Highs and Lows

June was a month of many miles: physical and emotional. A wedding, a funeral. Harsh realities and re-envisioned dreams. First times, and also, some repeat situations.

I’d like to revisit some of June’s milestones in the next few posts and I’ll begin with a geek moment.
On June 14th I took my eldest child (son with autism) to Springfield, Illinois to see the Dana-Thomas House. No, we didn’t travel all the way up from the Gulf Coast to visit the house—we were only an hour and a half away staying with family—though I would if I could for Frank Lloyd Wright. This was my son’s favorite spot, the Lego model of the home in the carriage house. 100_3029

It was my first time in a Frank Lloyd Wright residence. I was able to go to the Guggenheim Museum when I was in NYC last year, so that was my first FLW building, but his homes! I’ve been collecting books about and drooling over them for years. 100_3052

The home was everything I expected and more. My favorite rooms were the library and concert hall, both in The Gallery wing. The built-ins in the master bedroom and dining room were gorgeous and the bowling lane in the basement wasn’t too shabby either. 100_3044

If you want to learn more about this historical home (with a great gift shop) visit http://www.dana-thomas.org for more information.

P.S.
Remember, you can find a featured story or essay on my “SHORTS” page. The current one is “Midsummer Ado”, a historical fiction piece perfect for this time of year.

2012: The Year of Firsts

It’s been an eventful year. High and low points abound but this time around, I’m thinking firsts. Several of my firsts happened while in New York City this spring including:

  • Taxi ride (No, I’d never been in a taxi cab!)
  • Train trip (Full size, not a Thomas the Tank Engine ride along.) 100_1034
  • Subway experience
  • Broadway show
  • Eating sashimi
  • Times Square and all other things New York City

My literary related experiences were memorable as well. Several of the events were the cumulative efforts of the previous year(s), but here they are:

  • Acting as a World Book Night giver (I handed out twenty copies of Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson to the Baker High School softball team on senior night.)100_0927
  • Being acknowledged in a novel as having helped with the writing process by the author (Want by Stephanie Lawton, my friend and Write Club confidant.)
  • Submitting a novel, CORRODED, to publishing companies (No news from any of the four, yet.)
  • Writing conference (Multi-day, not just a single workshop.)
  • Guest blog post on another website (Nerdy Book Club, for the win!)
  • Purchasing e-books (My first was Shayla Witherwood: A Half-Faerie Tale by Tamra Torero.)

Then there’s the most recent happening—the big finale happened this morning. Drum roll, please.

  • I joined a choir.

I can hear the snickering from here, folks! I come from a musical family but have always sung off key, or so I thought. Turns out I just couldn’t hit the normal notes. Tenor (back row, with the men—and two other ladies) is what I sang for the Christmas Cantanta during our chapel service. I wasn’t perfect, but I got most of the notes, but maybe not in the right spots… Well, I tried.

Ricky Nelson Remembered

Last month, I posted more information about the vacation I took in the spring, focusing on the Friday morning I spent at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

This time around I’m going to focus on my night out in Morristown, NJ.
Those who know me—or have been following this blog for long—realize that I love Rick Nelson. Ricky is the King around here, not Elvis. And The Beach Boys trump The Beatles any day.

CORRODED, the novel I’m seeking publication for, is heavily influenced by Rick Nelson. If you haven’t already, check out my soundtrack here. Yes, Corroded begins and ends with Rick Nelson, and noticeably, the main character is named after one of his songs.

The reason I went to NJ/NY when I did was for a Ricky Nelson Remembered concert. As an early birthday gift, my sister bought tickets—Golden Circle, baby! Please excuse my geek moment.

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Before the show, big sister took me to get my hair done at a local salon. At thirty-five years old, my virgin hair was highlighted for the first time. Foil wraps anyone? After the show, I met and collect autographs from bassist Tommy Vee (son of the legendary Bobby Vee) and original Stone Canyon Band member David Morgan (who I called “Mr. Morgan” because a SCB member is HUGE in my book.) After standing in line, I got my turn to chat with Matthew and Gunnar—friendly as always for another fantabutitus moment. Enjoy the goofy pictures.

Vacation Reflections

Back in May, I posted about a trip I took the month before. I had every intention of writing more posts about the events and experiences but got caught up in other things. So, a few months later, here’s one of the highlights.

The Cathedral of St. John the Divine in the upper west side of Manhattan and is the largest cathedral in the world. It was amazing, inside and out. My sister, who’s been in Notre Dame, was thoroughly impressed with the brightness and beauty. I loved the Poet’s Corner (hello, Hawthorne!) and the way so many religious and historic icons were worked in to the décor.

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Adding to the experience was the youth choirs singing in the main area. The side chapels were just as awe inspiring as the central one. I was disappointed that the chapel housing the memorial for Madeleine L’Engle (one of my favorite authors) was closed for repairs and the library in which she was the writer in residence for many years was closed for a meeting as well, but we had one of her fabulous granddaughters as our personal tour guide. Thank, again, Léna Roy!

 

Hangin’ In

Whoops. It’s been over a month since I’ve posted a blog. Much of what’s happened already feels like distant memories. Here’s the quick recap.

 
The end of April I spent several days in Morristown, New Jersey, and New York City with my big sister. We went to concerts, a Broadway show, and sightseeing in places like the Guggenheim Museum and Cathedral of St. John the Divine (which was a special treat because I got to be with buddy Léna Roy, again.)

Word of advice: if you ever make it to NYC, go to the Russian Tea Room and order cheesecake. I’ll blog more about my adventures on the vacation in the near future. Lots of adventures to share!

 
May brought another birthday—I’m older and wiser now—plus I was re-elected as president of Mobile Writer Guild for another year. The new board members are beginning to plan the next season’s events and it sounds like it’s going to be better than ever.

 

Besides the above, I’m still homeschooling the kidlets and trying to keep up with family and friends.

 
Oh, and writing! I’m about one third of the way through my rewrite of Corroded. Hope to finish this draft by the end of June. Then, I’d like to find a new set of eyes to give it a read through before I think about querying. It’s been a labor of time and love.