Archive for June, 2014

A Change of Pace

June 27, 2014

CHANGE OF PACE–BLOG HOP

This week I’m participating in a “blog-hop.” That’s okay I didn’t know what one was on Monday either. Several blog authors are participating by answering a set of four questions and then linking to others answering the same ones, so enjoy. Here are the questions:

1. WHAT AM I WORKING ON?
A) Currently I am working on a book for Arcadia Publishing. It is part of their Images of America series. I’m writing on Parker, Colorado, my hometown. It will have about 180 historic photos. I have about half that many so I have to play detective to get more. I just signed the contract in late May and have a November deadline so I’m doing the hustle.

2. HOW DOES MY WORK DIFFER FROM OTHERS OF ITS GENRE?
A) My work is pretty close to others in this genre because it’s history or thrillers. Standard rule is you shouldn’t be messing around with the facts. If I want to mess with facts I write fiction. I like writing fiction for just that reason. The joy of writing thrillers( these aren’t the gory kind) is that I can take facts and twist them about 90° to serve my own purpose. My second thriller about a serial killer, will be out in paperback as a Christmas release. Writing in both disciplines keeps me interested and aware.

3. WHY DO I WRITE WHAT I DO?
A) It keeps me from going bonkers. I’m easily bored with the humdrum of the world. I’ll admit it, I just turned 70. I’m not ready for retirement, rocking chairs or any other sedate activity. I love to learn new things. I’m scarily imaginative, that keeps me writing fiction. I write thrillers because it’s a legal way to polish off the folks who irritate me. I write history because I have always been fascinated with history.

4. HOW DOES MY WRITING PROCESS WORK?
A) My writing process is probably different from many writers. I taught myself to write in the evening back when I had small children. I could go and sit down at the computer after supper and write until bedtime around 9 pm..
I don’t outline a lot. The word outline brings back visions of college papers and I hate that. I usually jot down some notes so I know where I’m going—that doesn’t mean I know the ending and it isn’t chiseled in stone. If a better idea comes along, I’ll change in a heart beat. I try to write daily, if I don’t succeed I don’t kick myself around about it, I just try to make up for it the next day.
I started blogging as an assignment by my publicist. The blogging lasted longer than the publicist. Now I really enjoy it. I love writing.

Check out Margi Evans’ blog at http://www.themisttrilogy.blogspot.com for her insights about these questions today!

You might also enjoy: dailypost.wordpress.com and writingthroughthefog.wordpress.com

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WESTERN JUSTICE

June 20, 2014

 

The world has evolved and many folks don’t understand why those living in the western United States bear a resemblance to their ancestors regarding justice and gun control. I can’t explain it all, but I can shed some insight on the subject. As my readers know from other blogs, Westerners if nothing else are fiercely independent. Part of this independence comes from the reality of frontier life. Separated from the rest of “civilization” by miles, pioneers and pioneer life required a self-reliance like no other lifestyle. If you needed help, you might be able to ride your horse or drive your buggy to the nearest neighbor two or three miles away—a trip which could take over an hour or more. If you needed a law enforcement officer, the nearest county seat could be thirty to fifty miles or more away—a trip which required a day or more by horseback.

Some things haven’t changed a lot. In my case, the county seat is thirty-five miles away. Until very recently the county had a sheriff and two deputies. Some years ago when my house was burglarized it took three hours for the deputy to arrive. There wasn’t any hurry, the burglar wasn’t there. When a relative died there wasn’t any hurry, they weren’t going anywhere: it took two and a half-hours.

In my corner of the world there’s something called Range Law and it is good. It says that if you stumble onto Fido tearing the leg off of a new calf you can send Fido to Dog Heaven without searching for his owner. Forget that Fido’s owner may believe that all dogs should run free, you have a right to protect and defend your property.

Unless you’ve walked miles fixing barbed wire fence in 100° heat or fought a war, you might not understand about Western Justice. The principle is based on fending for yourself and common sense. This isn’t the city out here. Sometimes a gun is necessary and common sense is always needed. We don’t use guns for killing people, they’re needed for protecting ourselves and our property.

THE END OF THE SAGA BUT NOT THE TUB

June 13, 2014

 

If you are still with me here, I finish my story about the Queen Anne Roll-top Inkwell tub as I think it’s interesting and I hope you will, also.

Almost from the moment my brother-in-law learned of my tub purchase, he began to harass me about the tub. Men from the auction assisted us in getting the tub loaded in my brother-in-law’s pick-up. As my nephew and brother-in-law dumped my precious tub in my yard, they made deprecating remarks about taking it to the dump and making it into a flower planter in the yard. But I held fast.

For ten years, the tub sat forlornly in my yard. Occasionally I looked at it lovingly and when I supervised my grandson, he liked to have me help him into the tub where he would walk around in it pretending it was a boat or some other vehicle of his imagination. I can’t begin to count the number of hailstorms that the tub experienced or the cold, freezing blizzards it suffered. But it remained unblemished. The inside did suffer a case of rust, which came out with considerable elbow grease and a coating of salt and lemon juice.

At last the tub and its purchase is vindicated. When we decided to remodel our bathroom the Queen Anne took its rightful place. After my son sandblasted the outside and gave it a coat of flat black paint moving the behemoth into the house was a major challenge. Weighing in at around 700 lbs., my daughter pushed while my son pulled the tub up the stairs and into the living room. (I held the door open.)

After sitting in the living room for about a week, my son and daughter moved the tub into its new home in the remodeled bathroom. (They made sure I wasn’t home when that happened.) We had problems finding new clawfeet and a fixture appropriate to the tubs age, but the Queen Anne Rolltop Clawfoot Inkwell tub has started a new life back where it belongs in my bathroom—not as a flower pot.

A BATHTUB SAGA

June 6, 2014

 

Once upon a time, a company called American Standard had a manufacturing plant in Denver, Colorado. Local plumbers and jobbers supported them like my father who did construction work to make ends meet. In the 1900’s, American Standard manufactured two lines of bathtubs. The top of the line called a Queen Ann Roll-top Clawfoot Inkwell tub and a less expensive one. On May 19, 1913, my Queen Ann rolled off the production line. I know all this because some dedicated worker stamped all this information on the bottom of my tub. And although I’m sure that this worker long ago went to his heavenly reward, I am so grateful that he did his job.

Most of the 150 tubs in this line were destined for installation in the Brown Palace Hotel in Denver, according to a company spokesman. Others were purchased by those able to afford the high-end tub. The pure luxury of this tub is that it’s like having a swimming pool in your bathroom because it is 5 ½ feet long. No bent kneed bathing here.

Whether my particular tub was installed in the Brown Palace or not, I have no way of knowing. My involvement didn’t occur until about ten years ago.

A decade ago at my husband’s urging, because he thinks I sometimes work too hard, I attended a farm auction in eastern Colorado. My brother-in-law was acquiring tractors at the time, and convinced my husband and I to spend our Saturday at the auction. The men wandered off to look at equipment as I strolled through rows and rows of household goods. I spotted a darling slipper tub which would have fit in the basement bathroom and decided to see if I could buy it. I should add here that I’d been hoarding $25 my mother had given me as a birthday gift.

When the auctioneer arrived at the tub, the price got out of hand quickly and eventually sold at $250. “Well,” said the auctioneer, “does anyone else want one of these remaining tubs?” I raised my hand. He continued lowering the price until he reached my magic $25. “You spoke first,” he said, pointing at me. “Which one do you want?” His assistant turned over the remaining three tubs. There was my lovely 5 ½ foot tub– not a chip, not a scratch, missing clawfeet, but perfect in every other way. And that is how my antique tub made it “home.”