I won’t go into why my husband and I decided to take our youngest granddaughter out for the day, I’ll just say it had more to do with her being our granddaughter. I’m so glad we did though.
I’ve had Mia out we with me for the day before and I enjoyed it tremendously but yesterday was something that Buddy and I hadn’t been able to do with her before. She’s not quite four, her birthday is in May, but she is one of the most amazing young people I’ve ever been around. Don’t get me wrong, we do spend time with our grandchildren, but not often with them just one at a time. Even more rarely do we have them for as long as we had Mia yesterday. OK, I have to be honest here, unless it is an emergency we rarely have them for more than a few hours. We aren’t babysitters and don’t intend to be. We want to be the grandparents that the kids have fun with and not just someone who has to be around them.
We’ve had the older ones out more than Mia because, well she was so young and she is very attached to her parents. She’s getting old enough to start breaking away from a lot of that and yesterday we had an opportunity to even the field with her.
There is a restaurant that Buddy and I like and to go to and it is pretty much an all-day thing. At least it is for me. This is a trip that usually involves me finding neat places to take pictures. Believe me, it drives my husband nuts. Fortunately, he is usually a good sport about it. Sometimes he can be an ass too.
“Really Cathy, another one?” I’ve heard more than once in more ways than one.
Since we stopped for a late breakfast we decided to do something else close to the restaurant we were going and just let Mia see some new things. The restaurant where we were going was close to the Shiloh National Park, so we decided to take her there. I know many of you may know what that is and for those who don’t, well this next sentence may not make sense. Those of you who do know what this park is may be wondering why we would take a three-year-old there. The answer to that is simple, because it was there.
Of course, this is not a park with a playground, well not for most children anyway. Mia as I said, is amazing. She took to the place like a duck to water, and I almost mean that literally. It sits right on the Tennessee River and this kid loves water, any water. She also has a bit of the, I’m going to put this in a more diplomatic way, and say she has a bit of the old pioneering spirit in her. We had to explain to her several times that if we saw any deer the only shots that we would be taking would be with a camera. I have to say, I don’t think this is a young lady who would have problems shooting Bambi’s mother or daddy. She is already developing an interest in hunting.
Shiloh National Park has a lot of cannons. When Mia discovered these and found out what they were her immediate question was, “can we shoot them?” Once she was told she couldn’t, climbing and posing on them was her next best thing to do. This child is afraid of nothing, and I do mean nothing. Well, her Aunt Suzie did tell her once to be careful of owls because one might snatch her up and fly away with her, so she is cautious of owls. My money would be on Mia. The owl would never have a chance against this kid. It is ironic of me to say here that this kid is a hoot, and she is.
So, what does this little ball of fire look like. Not what you would expect. She is all girl when it comes to her appearance. Everything she wears has to match including her nail polish. Yes, she has to have her nails done. Oh, and God help you if you so much as even think of not putting some type of bow in her hair. Yesterday the only thing that wasn’t matched to her outfit was her boots. She did know that she might be out in the mud, so nothing would do but that she wear her cowboy boots. She did bring an extra pair of shoes in case she needed to bring it up a notch in the way of her appearance.
I’m not sure who had more fun yesterday, her or her granddad and me. I can tell you, I can’t wait to do it again.
I’m always fascinated how people are drawn to big old houses. People think that these are the ones with all the stories. Yes, if you want stories of large parties, one rich person hobnobbing with another rich person, and yes sometimes intrigue. But if you really want to find a place with a story to tell, find the places you might not normally look at.
Smaller houses, even one or two room shacks, the old stores and abandoned buildings along the highway, or even an old bridge. Don’t look for your stories in cemeteries unless there is a reason to go there for something in particular. Big mansions are great places to explore, I’ve done a couple myself, but rarely will you find a story that is new or different in these places.
An old farmhouse in the middle of nowhere had a family who once lived and if they were lucky, they managed to make a decent living. A lot of times they didn’t. They struggled, suffered, and died in those little houses. If they were lucky, they raised families that grew up in those houses and ultimately just decided that wasn’t the life for them and moved on. If they were unlucky, the whole family came to an end inside the wall of the house.
Old abandoned stores on the backroads used to be the meeting places for people to gather and talk. The local news was passed on in these old dilapidated places. Children reached for penny candy out of old jars while their parents popped their little hands because they might have the penny to spare. Women bought their sewing supplies in these places while stocking up on the things they couldn’t raise themselves, most always counting the pennies making sure they didn’t overreach what was in their tiny little change purses. Men bought their seeds for planting if they hadn’t stored any from the last harvest, but they usually tried to save what seeds they could. You needed a part for that broke down old tractor sitting in that old barn, that was on its last leg maybe, had to be ordered from a catalogue. God help you if it broke down during planting season or when it came time to harvest. If you didn’t have the money to order that part, then you might be out of luck all together.
The thing is, somehow people often came together to try and help one another back then. Your neighbor from down the road might let you use his or he and others would come and help you using just their hands. As isolated as these places might seem to us as we drive by them now, back then word got around when a neighbor was in need.
More and more as time passes, we’re losing all signs of what was once there. Just as we are losing all these wonderful old places, whatever they are, we are losing touch with where a lot of us originally came from. If you have older relatives somewhere, go visit them. Let them tell you about your family’s past and how it was for them and the people before them. You might be surprised at what you find out.
I don’t think there is nothing I hate more than formatting a manuscript. If anything can go wrong, it will. My problem always comes in because I started using the format from Createspace. It has been a nightmare ever since I started using it. Well Createspace no longer exist and now I’m having to try and unscramble the mess it makes if I want to revise a book. Right now, it is extremely important that I get two books revised.
No, it wasn’t that there was anything wrong particularly in the way they were except something had to be added. I’ve got a project that meant I had to come up with a bit of a backstory for another character. That part was easy but once you do that the formatting process starts all over again. I hate doing that.
I don’t know why some of it comes so easy for me, but others simply drive me insane. I can knock out ten thousand words in a day with a clear and concise story line, all while making it fit into about eight different short stories but when it comes to the f’n numbers of the pages Word starts playing ‘hide the pea’ on me. My mistake was using a preformatted template. Never again. I can start from scratch and have no issues. Explain that one to me please.
Anyway, this is important, and I have to get it done.
I’m faced with a dilemma with this in another way. Both Journey Into Nightmare and Nightmare Express aren’t really just short stories. Nightmare Express is actually the history in a very short version, if I had tried to do a book on his, or Jude for that matter, we’re taking about as much as ten books maybe the size of ‘War and Pease.’ Hey, these guys have been around for a while.
When people read Journey Into Nightmares, they became so enthralled with John they wanted to know more about him. I came up with the idea of adding his story to the end of short story. The fact is all the stories lead into one another in one way or the other. I just didn’t know how else to list is and be as honest as I could with the people who bought the book. At this point I have no choice but to try and find another way of doing this and instead of calling them short stories, which each could stand alone they are going to be, oh look a chicken, chapters. Something bright and shiny caught my attention, oh look another chicken, yep, it happened again. My phone rang. Hey, it is bright and shinny when a call comes in. Look, I have three daughters and that can make for a lot of distractions at times. I would share with you what was so important to one daughter that she felt the need to call twice in minutes of one another, but you really wouldn’t want to know. No, nothing like that, just the title of a very distant relative.
Anyway, back to the whole counting pages crap and hoping I have hair left on my head by the time I’m finished.
I spent a good portion of the day yesterday taking a way through a cemetery. I’m not talking just any cemetery, but one that takes you on a walk through time and history, Memphis history. Also, a part of my husband’s past. The first part I will talk about but the second I won’t. No, it wasn’t anything bad, it just brings tears to my eyes even tonight. I will say that real love, no matter who it might be for, has no end.
Back to the first part. Elmwood Cemetery in Memphis will take you back over a hundred and fifty years and depending on the part of the cemetery you’re in you open a kind of time capsule for the different eras. Not only does it take you through these capsules of time but also to different parts of this country and even parts of this world.
It will also take you down different paths that divide the social economic structure of our civilization. The divide in religion may not be so apparent here, however. Nor, is it apparent who might have died by the hand of another or who might have been the one who took a life.
There is an audio tour you can take by stopping off at the little cottage visitor’s center on your left just after you cross the bridge leading into the cemetery. On your right is a lovely little chapel where all kinds of services take place. It’s really quite lovely.
What’s kind of sad is that as you get further and further from the front of the cemetery the less cared for it looks. I can say they do keep good records there and if you need to find a grave, they can and are more than willing to help you find it.
Is it a place you should visit? Yes. Like I said, you do see a lot of Memphis’s history buried here, and I have to say it is an extremely complicated, often tragic, and wonderfully glorious history to Memphis. We may be on a lot of worst top ten places now, but we have been in the past and managed to come back. I have no doubt that this city can do it again. When it does, I can only hope that Elmwood will be able to carry on the tradition of telling the story of how the Phoenix rose from the ashes once again.
I will have to ask you though not to be as stupid I was yesterday. I had packed up my expensive camera equipment to do some videos and take some pictures. I pulled that wonderful equipment out and something very important was missing from the special backpack I carry it in. No, not the camera, lenses, or filters. Nope, just the f’n batteries to the damn thing. I ended up having to use my phone for all the videos and pictures I took. Now ain’t that a kick in the pants?
I just posted that I was returning to school, well that’s not happening. The assistant professor who is, doing whatever it is he does, refused to allow me into the class I requested even after I was given a permit to audit the class. I thought it was because of my age and in a way, I believe that is true.
You see it was an independent study class. For those of you who don’t know what that actually is, and I have to be honest here, I didn’t. The really stupid thing about this was that no one at the U of M that I talked to could explain it to me either. Now when I went to register and pay the fee for auditing this particular class, I wasn’t told that this would be a problem. I just needed to get a permit to audit it.
This person is a graduate student, or whatever, working on whatever it is that he is working on for his masters or whatever it is he is trying to get and I’m sure he felt that I was not a good fit for his needs. You see one of the things the students do is assist him while they are supposed to be able to choose the subject, they are interested in. Yeah, right.
Now while I was trying to get this permit this assistant professor is shoving me off into a class that I had no interest in. It was of no use to me and not something I was interested in. Even after I got the appropriate permit for the class I requested from his own department, this (person) started sending out emails to everyone I think and shoving me back into this class I didn’t want. Oh, the subject was Introduction to Films. Please. I was well aware of what that class was and sitting in a room watching movies, and in some cases, just certain scenes I have watched. I can tell you why they are significate because I have seen a lot of them. It is a class where you can push someone off to the back and ignore.
Now after about 40 emails back and fourth between then and me not one time was I given a straight explanation regarding what an independent class was, I finally had to look it up on the internet, and had I been given the option of choosing another class I wanted it would have been different, but I wasn’t. This person kept pushing back into this one class.
There were other options I would have considered had someone been honest, or maybe just been more informed, with me this wouldn’t have turned into something that became something beyond a disappointment. I couldn’t even get a straight answer from the president’s office. I finally told the person I talked to there that I was done and hung up. Afterwards I looked up what an independent class and sent the definition to the president’s office so they might avoid this issue in the future. It won’t help I’m sure because to be honest with you, I got the feeling this place is run with the left hand not knowing what the right is doing and vice versa.
The kicker is, that once I understood what this class was, I knew it wasn’t the place I needed to be. If I had been told this over a month ago when I was signing up for this class, I would have shrugged my shoulders and would have looked at something else I might have been interested in and pursued that.
So, if you’re an older person who is considering maybe taking a class or even going for a degree, do you’re research carefully. Make sure you have all the answers you need and remember you have the right to follow through with whatever you might want to do. Don’t let anyone stop you. This hasn’t me.
I’ve learned more yesterday from my husband and daughter than I probably would have in any class that place had to offer me. I’ve been teaching myself a lot of things over the past few years, I guess I just need to continue to homeschool myself.
Understand, I’m not saying this is a bad school, I’m just saying they may need to look at their auditing program and the way they handle possible older students.
Now I’m just going to fall back on my southern upbringing and say, “Well, God bless them.”
I have been asked many times why I separated the two words instead of combining them in the way they should have been in the way they should have been in this instance. I’m going to try and explain this in a way that will make some sense while trying not to give too much away regarding the story.
We all have our bloodlines going back through time, but it also goes forward. You have a child, that child becomes a part of your bloodline, it’s just your bloodline moving forward. Let’s face it folks it takes two, under whatever circumstances we produce that child, to make that happen. Here’s the thing, that child is the product of both the mother and father’s bloodlines.
If there is a bond between two people who are meant to be together, but something happens to keep these two people together or a piece is removed from those lines then the resulting bloodlines become broken. That is what the title of the series represents in one instance. The curse from the first book is a result of one such break. I stayed with that theme in the second book because again two bloodlines are brought together but in this case it has more to do with the people that are produced by two different bloodlines. The same in the third book. Two different bloodlines but in this case of something bring these two together when a young woman brings it to the door of her cousin’s house one night.
Two families coming together can be a good thing, friendship, love, even a child. It can also bring together hatred, violence, and death. Think of the Hatfields and the McCoys. The bloodshed from these two families coming together resulted in pretty much all of the above, blood lines. They will forever be joined together but never bonding together. Romeo and Juliet are another good example, although they are fictional, blood lines. A tragic separation of the two families in both cases. My Blood Lines series simply takes that kind of thing into consideration. I simply couldn’t put the two words together and be true to the series.
OK, I’m doing it. I’m going back to school. At my age this is probably one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. Let’s face it folks, I’m a one stop shop here. I can’t just write the book. i also have to do the cover and the book trailers.
What I’ll be doing here is called auditing a class. Even though I’ll be doing the same things as the other students, at least that’s what they tell me, I just want be getting credit for it. I’m OK with that for now. Who knows, I may become inspired and decide to continue on and who knows where that might lead. Right now, at this time, I just want to get better at some of the things I do.
I feel like maybe I should have taken a bit of a different route, but right now this is what I want to do.
Making a book trailer or anything like that isn’t easy. I’ve been teaching myself as I go with very little help. Oh, you can go on YouTube and get a lot of videos on how to do this or that. The problem with this is that if you don’t have the same equipment as they do then it’s kind of pointless. One of the problems is most of them will tell you don’t use that, use this instead while the other person is saying use this and not that. Talk about confusing.
People talk about Boomers, we’ll get into the Boomer thing at a later date, but some of these millennials are nuts. I don’t care what it is they are into they are all in and that’s it. When you have someone nearly thirty and all they can think of is some online game to the point that they have it not only on a computer made simply for playing games, but they have televisions all through the house with this game on it, there is something wrong. Sorry if I offend anyone here and I know that isn’t the case with most young people, but just because you’ve managed to run into a few older people who are totally asses, doesn’t mean we all are either.
We all can learn new things and that’s what I want to do. The scariest part of this…is that I will be in a room with a bunch of young people who I will have nothing in common with outside of what we will be studying in this class. I will bet that I will never be asked to join them at Starbucks. Don’t worry, that won’t hurt my feeling. I certainly won’t be asking them to sit down with me for a good shot of whisky, and I do like really good whisky, because they are all going to be too young. No, I don’t drink often or much, but you get my point here. Like I said, scary.
So, cross your fingers, pray that I can do one of the two things my daughter told me, and I don’t get lost on campus. I think I may need a motor scooter.
As for the Image, I just wanted to have some fun.
For those of you who have might have been following my website I’m sorry if I have let you down. Truthfully since Weebly has declared that most of the “people” who look at a website are robots they have made the whole process pretty much pointless in my opinion. The way it was explained to me by someone who works at Weebly, anyone who visits someone’s website from another social media site is considered a robot my numbers and well as everyone else’s I’m assuming have gone down. This was because if someone clicked on a person’s website and didn’t buy anything it was making people mad.
OK, I can get that. Problem is however to expect someone that decides to take a look at your website just to see what it is doesn’t mean you’re going to make a sale or anything else. It does mean however that it increases your chances of being seen and you knowing it. That alone can give someone enough encouragement to continue to blog along and hope that the tide will turn in your direction. What is happening now just flat sucks. It’s demoralizing and counterproductive.
Tell me, why am I paying the amount that I am for nothing? That’s what it seems like.
So, here is what I’m going to assume. There are still people out there who do look at my website and are just not getting counted. I didn’t start this to sell my books, just to entertain, inform, and maybe get you to take a look at buying one of my books from where they should be bought, and that’s not on Weebly.
As for what is going on…I’m having to make up my mind about something that if I do this it will be the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. No, I’m not telling and no, my husband and I aren’t having issues, well no more than any other couple that is. I still love him, he still loves me, at least I hope he does. We still have three beautiful daughters, somewhere. I may have misplaced one or two lately. And some lovely, if precocious, grandchildren.
No this has to do with a book I’ve been working on for a while and it should have been done some time ago, but things happen. I may fill everyone in on this at a later date, but not now. I do intend to try and have the ending resolved and the book finished by the end of this year.
I am hoping that my husband and I can get away to the Smoky Mountains this spring so that I can continue some more in-depth research into the background for the book as well as another I am working on.
As for now, I’ve enrolled at a local university to help me with some other things that I do. Namely my book trailers and photography. Hey, I’m a one stop shop. There is also a project I’ve been busy with and please cross your fingers and say a little prayer for me in hopes it results in a really great outcome. No, I’m not telling what that is either. Not now anyway.
God bless the ones of you who do read my blogs and support my website, whether you get counted or not. If you do, please just hit the like button at the bottom or leave a message. I’d love to hear from you. Thank you for being there.
The way Weebly has made me feel. I'm over it.