Spring Calls

Spring came on forever,

Said the Chinese nightingale

Vachel Lindsay

I couldn’t stay in the house this afternoon.  White clouds were sailing past like galleons in a blue ocean.  Leaves called, illuminated by the strengthening sun.  Good-bye, computer.  Good-bye Facebook and Twitter.  Good-bye email.  Hello Spring!

Stepping into the unaccustomed brightness of the day, I gazed upon clumps of yellow daffodils and green buds folded in prayer.  Too, I noted the detritus of last year’s foliage on the Japanese maple, the flower stalks left in autumn for birds, and, over the lawn, spidery birch twigs winnowed by the wind.

Filled with energy and purpose, I found gloves and garden shears.  As I removed mats of withered gray leaves from the maple, I saw the tiny spears of what will be this year’s bounty.  So, with a philosophic turn of mind, I pondered how our lives can seem to resemble the seasons. Like trees and plants, we too must rid ourselves of outworn thoughts and ill-fitting opinions. Properly done, the process should reveal a new and better image of our developing selves.  We may no longer be twenty-one and full of life’s sap. (Yes, that’s a kind of joke)  If we have progressed into a richer maturity, we will, perhaps, better recognize the out-moded and useless, even while retaining what is treasured and lovely.

Then streaking through the sunny sky came the bouncing drops of a surprise shower.  Seeking refuge on the porch, I considered my roaming thoughts and let the joy of the day seep into me. A book read and loved in youth came to mind.  Bess Streeter Aldrich’s novel titled, Spring Came on Forever, and, of course, the Vachel Lindsay poem that inspired it.  Tears, clear and ephemeral, filled my eyes, and I murmured those words from long ago.

One thing I remember:

Spring came on forever,

Spring came on forever,

Said the Chinese nightingale.

Published in: on March 29, 2011 at 12:08 pm  Comments (4)  
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Volunteer for Glory is now Available!

The release of my book has been a long time coming, but now that it’s here, it seems like yesterday when I wrote “The End” to Volunteer for Glory’s first draft.  The genesis for Volunteer came in 1974 when I dreamed of a beautiful, dark haired girl. Despite the vagueness that often accompanies such nocturnal adventures, I knew her husband and lover were soldiers in the Civil War. When I considered this as a book, the setting was sticking point because I knew so little of that time. Could I change the era, I wondered?  My characters resisted, declaring this is when they had lived. My arguments were wasted, so off I went to our small public library, since this was before the age of personal computers. I would conduct an overview only. No commitments.

After reading the first pages of the first book, I was hooked. I devoured every source on the subject. I ordered additional volumes from nearby libraries.  I bought others. I wrote letters. I accessed the Official War Records of the War Between the States in Portland State’s military history section.  Serendipitously, I discovered and was given an official atlas detailing the Atlanta campaign.

The Civil War became the setting that drove the novel’s theme. Stuart (Rachel’s husband) would join the volunteer cavalry; Jared, her second love interest, would march with the infantry.  Left at home with a new baby, Rachel would wait for a husband enthralled with dreams of glory.

Resurrected after its long entombment in a file box, Volunteer for Glory has been edited and, in some small ways, revised. It has now been published in e-book format and a Print On Demand book will soon follow.  Dreams do come true. For my characters, and for myself.

Description: When Stuart, Rachel’s dashing young husband joins the volunteer cavalry after Fort Sumter, she know she will have to find the grit and determination to bear their coming child and survive on the small Illinois farm. What she doesn’t expect is to fall in love with Jared Westbrook, a handsome young neighbor. The daughter of a Boston minister, she tries to deny her feelings for him and focuses on remaining faithful to her husband. While the men fight through the bloody battles of the Western campaign, they are molded by their wartime experiences. Sensitive, poetic Jared finds he can be a formidable line officer. Stuart pursues an old dream of glory. United in war, the two men are divided by love for the same woman. Who will Rachel choose? Or will the war itself make the decision for her.

Buy it at Smashwords

Buy it at Amazon.com (Kindle)

Published in: on March 20, 2011 at 8:59 pm  Comments (6)  
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Countdown To the Release of Volunteer for Glory

If I were a dancer, I’d be dancing!  If I were a prancer, I’d be prancing! The cover for Volunteer for Glory is here, and I have an author’s page on Facebook!

Puddletown Publishing Group’s launch party is scheduled for March 20th, the date of publication not only for me but for Pat Lichen, Roxanna Matthews, and Susan Landis-Steward.  I will refrain from dancing and prancing, though I will read a very short section of Volunteer, indeed as my fellow authors will from their novels.  A splendid date!  A splendid year!  And many heartfelt thanks to my friend, Lisa Nowak, for guiding me through the intricacies of Facebook and blogging.

Published in: on March 15, 2011 at 12:57 pm  Comments (2)