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Southern born, Southern reared. It's a quirky place and we are unique folk... These are my people and these are my stories.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Merry Christmas (Day 2)


Our family room boasts the "big tree." Originally my mother's, now ours. This is what we call the "Children's Tree." It is housed within the "Children's Room" as far as Christmas decorations are concerned (you'll see what I mean in days to come). This tree is filled with Santas and snowmen and anything we think will make a child's eyes grow wide with wonder. 

This year, after I'd finished decorating the room, our 2-year-old grandson Vonche' came over with his mommy. As soon as he saw the tree, he ran over, pointed to this ornament and said, "Wooooooooow!" For the remainder of the evening, he'd periodically stop what he was doing, return to the tree, and stare.

Oh, to be a child at Christmas again!

This rather large ornament was found in a church's thrift store in a small town on the way to Cedar Key, Florida. I think I paid $2 for it, but for me, it's worth a million for the memory it now holds.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Merry Christmas (Day 1)


Last year I posted the stories behind 25 Christmas carols. This year I would like to share some of our holiday "treasures" with you. This ornament is from our "family tree" (one of the two in the living room). It represents our miniature dachshund, Poods, who my constant companion. She even sits with me, in my office chair, while I work. (I should thank her in my acknowledgements at the beginning or close of every book.)

We found Poods running down the road one evening at 10:30 at the end of a hot July day. She was starving, dehydrated, and bleeding from a few places on her body. We brought her in, fed and bathed her. She curled up in our daughter's arms and slept for a good long time. We posted a sign in the front yard but eventually took it down, then took her to the doctor for a once-over. He estimated her to be 3 to 4 years old. 

She is the most amazing pup, but fiercely protective of me. (And she's torn between being protective of our grandson and jealous of any time I give to him.) At the time of her joining our family, we had two other dogs and a cat. Now, it's just Poods and the two old folks. She is my "littlest love."

Monday, November 17, 2014

And the winner is ....

Susan Simpson!

Congrats to you ... look for an email with details on your Amazon gift card!



Tuesday, November 4, 2014

November Writing Contest (Repost)

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED.


"When You Find the One"
Original Oil Painting. Used with Permission of the artist.
c 2014 Karen Winters Fine Art
www.KarenWinters.com

We're excited over here at Pen In Hand about my upcoming novel, Five Brides, which will be released June 2015 by Tyndale Publishers. So excited, we're going to start looking at a few special painting between now and then, talk about your stories, add bits of trivia about weddings, etc.

How to Enter This Month's Contest

1.  Share this on Facebook or Twitter and link  my name to your shares.
2. Write a 250 word (or less) story, poem, or song  based on the painting above  and submit in the comments section below.
3. Be sure to put your name on the bottom of the submission in case your entry comes up "anonymous."
4. Check back November 15, 2014 to read the winning entry. (Jot a note in your calendar! The winner may be you!)

Example:

Mama slowed as we approached the storefront bay window showcasing the bridal gowns, like an apparition stood beyond the glass.

Or Daddy.

She neared it, drawing me with her. I looped my arm into hers, feeling the autumn air growing cold as winter around us. Mama let out a long breath, but I couldn't tell if this was a happy sigh or one of her weary ones.

"Mama," I said. "Did you wear a dress like this one when you married my daddy?" I allowed my eyes to scan upward to the red crepe balls hanging motionless but adding a pretty touch nonetheless. To the folds of the pale gold drapes and then back to those that swept the skirt of the dress Mama couldn't seem to take her attention away from. "Mama?" I asked again.

"Yes," she finally said. "Exactly like this dress. Nana and I shopped all one day and half the next until we found the right one."

I pondered a moment. "I guess that's important, huh? Finding the right one?"

"As important as finding the right man to marry," she said, "is finding the right dress to marry him in."

"Where's your dress now, Mama?"

"Had to sell it, little 'un."

This time I sighed too, squeezing her arm with mine. "I sure do miss him," I said. "There won't be another one like my daddy."

"Nope." Mama swiped at a tear. "He was one of a kind."  ~~Eva Marie Everson

Okay! Your turn! Have fun ... winner will receive a gift certificate to Amazon.
~~~~~~~

A note on the painting: It's for sale, so if you are interested, you can contact the artist at the website above. Karen Winters kindly gave permission to use this once, but not for anyone to copy it, change it in any way, etc. I'm so appreciative of her generosity ... let's all be respectful of this incredibly talented artist.

Monday, October 13, 2014

And The Winner Is ...


ANNOUNCING THE WINNER OF THE OCTOBER WRITING CONTEST:

Will he ever understand? John’s attentiveness is wonderful but it’s not enough. It’s not about tea and gorgeous views. It’s about opening up. It’s about letting me in. It’s about sharing all of him with me. It’s about true romance. Both of us becoming one flesh. I want—I need more than the smell of exotic spices when he holds me. More than the joy I feel at the sight of him. More than the beautiful words he whispers to me. I must be a part of him, all of him. I long to know the pleasures he derives from his work. My desire is to share what he feels whenever he’s conducting his business. Perhaps to join him in his enterprise as one who helps it thrive. This is what I want. To be his equal, his partner in marriage and business. To be his life-long companion in everything. ~~Bruce Brady

Monday, September 29, 2014

October Writing Contest

"A Passing Storm" by James Tissot


HOW TO ENTER:

1. Share this on Facebook or Twitter and link my name to your share.
2. Write a 150-word story based on the painting above and submit in the comments section.
3. Be sure to put your name on the bottom of the submission in case your entry comes up "anonymous."
4. Check back on October 15, 2014 to read the winning entry.

EXAMPLE:

The tea had grown cold but, after the storm, the weather remained humid. The heaviness in the air had been born out of more than precipitation, however. My husband’s impatience had sparked another argument; my words in return had done nothing to ease the turmoil. Now, an hour later, the tea could no longer be enjoyed and, while I pretended to sleep on the divan, Harry stood just outside our yacht’s living quarters, looking in. I couldn’t see him, but I could sense him—the smell of his aftershave blending with the scent of sand and seawater. I would, I decided, let him believe that I had fallen to sleep easily, that his words had no effect on me. I would let him believe that, like our final destination, my love remained just over the next horizon. Then, perhaps, he would see things my way. Then, perhaps, my intense ardor for him might lessen. ~~ Eva Marie Everson
Okay! Your turn! Have fun! Winner will receive a gift certificate to Amazon.

CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED!!! WINNER ANNOUNCED 10.13.14

Monday, September 1, 2014

14 Days, 37,209 words to go

Don't panic! I'm writing away like a crazy woman!

And enjoying the research more and more every day.

So, what's happening now? Well, Betty just got a marriage proposal, which she accepted. Ah, romance.
Evelyn didn't get a marriage proposal, which of course nearly broke her heart.
Inga is still in a world of trouble and Magda has enjoyed New Year's Eve 1952 with Barry and his family.

And our Miss Joan? Well, she's headed off on a slow boat to Europe where she will meet the man of her dreams ...

"Love is in the air ... exciting and new ..."

Meanwhile, check out some of the websites I've been to today:

1953 Quick Facts (wait till you see the price of gasoline!)

Car of the Week (1950 Buick Super)

And, can you name the handsome gents in this photograph? This contest is harder than before, but it comes (again) with a free book when Five Brides releases to one lucky winner! The shot is from a movie released in 1952.