Monday, May 29, 2017

Let Me Tell You A Story about The Goose and Black Coffee

When Memorial Day arrives, I think of my dad and his stories of WWII. He didn't tell me many until the last days of his life, but I have a collection of them in my head and remembering them is a way for me to remember him and celebrate him along with the others who've fought for our freedom.

The Goose and Black Coffee is one of my favorites, so I'm sharing it here today for my dad and all those others. Most of what I'm sharing is correct, but this is a story from an old memory, passed on to me some years ago and from sketchy notes in his photo album. The essence of the story is the best I can do.

France May, 1944

It was a gray day and the four dogfaces were tired and cold, in need of a place to sleep out of the weather. Their stomachs growled for something to eat. As they drove down a country road, they spotted a spiral of smoke. There was nothing unusual in seeing smoke, but even from a distance it didn't look like a house was on fire. And it wasn't a field. As they came nearer, they saw that it was a fireplace. That meant they might find something to eat and a place to take shelter before joining up with their unit. They were recon, so they often were ahead of the others and more frequently across enemy lines than behind them.

At the farmhouse gate, they pulled their Jeep to a stop. This place had escaped the bombs. The barn was still standing, and one lonely goose wandered out, then flapped its way around the side of the house, which was also untouched by the war. They might have driven off, my dad said, but they couldn't resist the aroma of freshly brewed coffee coming from that house.

When they entered the kitchen, it was clear that the family had been there moments before my dad and the others got out of the Jeep. They poured themselves some coffee, and as my dad recalled, he'd never tasted anything quite a wonderful. 

Now their stomachs really cried out for something to eat and that goose was out there and this might be the last real meal any of the men would have for weeks. The goose gave its life for the U.S. Army that day, and my dad, who was always handy in the kitchen, seasoned it and put it into the oven. Now all they had to do was wait. They were dry. They were warm for the first time in weeks. They'd soon have enough goose to last until D-Day, they joked.

They kicked back and savored the scent of sizzling goose and were debating about a quick nap when the bombs started raining down on them. Like my dad said, "We were not leaving that goose or that coffee behind." 

They grabbed the partially cooked goose from the oven, the coffee from the stove and jumped into the Jeep. With the goose and coffee secured between two of them in the back, they drove off, barely escaping the bombs. 

It took them three days to find another house with a workable stove and oven, but when they did, they also found several unbroken bottles of wine. They stuffed that goose back into the oven, reheated the coffee and uncorked a little wine--maybe a lot of wine. 

Above this picture my dad wrote, "Photo below brings back memories. Had a goose in oven of home with all veggies and big post of coffee going. 10 minutes after photo we were under heavy fire. Carried that goose for 3 days with that coffee before we could do it justice."

Dad's looking kind of serious second from the left. Not the best shot of him.

Here's the "Recon Fox" that Disney presented to the 93rd Reconnaissance Squadron Mechanized that my dad was part of. I love looking through his collection of photos and notes. I find something I didn't know about each time.

Quote of the Week: "A man's country is not a certain area of land, of mountains, rivers and woods, it is a principle and patriotism is loyalty to that principle." George William Curtis 

Monday, May 22, 2017

My Short Post of the Month, But There is a Tomato Report

Cathrina Constantine has been my May Featured Follower. I hope you'll buy her book, read it and review it. The sixties! Ah, the sixties!

One of my good friends, S.A. Larson has a new book coming out. Take a look!

I read the excerpt on the author's blog and now have this book on my list. You can buy it here.

The Tomato Report

Then there's the on-going tomato saga.  No tomatoes, but one heck of a lot of shrubberies. Anyone who doesn't live in the mountains can't understand the struggle to get tomatoes before September, and that's exactly what I've set out to do. I'm challenging Mother Nature. Man is she tough!

You might notice the brevity of this post. Let me explain. I'm writing. I'm in the cave, and I am not doing as well as I'd like; however, a little setback like not "getting" the characters, or not "getting" the plot and tension, or not "getting" the whole #!$$! story together is not bothering me. Just wanted you to know.

Quote of the Week:

Keep in mind, Brevity is the souls of wit. . .or sometimes you're just short of time. Well, aren't we all?

Monday, May 15, 2017

Let Me Tell You A Story & My UnTomato Report

My mother-in-law spent her early years in a small town called New Pine Creek. It straddles the border between Oregon and California, and it can see some heavy winters. She often told the story about the winter Goose Lake froze so quickly that it trapped geese--froze their feet to the surface before they could escape.

Every time she told that story, people laughed.
"Not possible."

I have to admit I was skeptical, but she was an honest person, so I accepted her story as the truth. Well, and she was my husband's mother. 

When I found this video about geese who were frozen in a pond and held it up as evidence, that still wasn't enough for some naysayers. 

"Ponds are shallow and it's possible for them to freeze quickly. Lakes are deep, and that couldn't happen on one of them."

Ah ah, research to the rescue! I discovered that Goose Lake has a very shallow edge, so my mother-in-law's story from her childhood, was quite possibly true.

Want a little heart-warming video about a very cold goose? Here you go!

The UnTomato Report

Tomatoes in May? Not Quite, but my roses aren't too shabby this year. One reason is that we mended the fence and the deer haven't feasted on them. 1 for the gardener. 0 for the deer.

Are you a member of The Insecure Writers Group Book Club? No? I'm shocked. 200 of us are. Join up and get in on the discussion of our first book this month,

Chapter After Chapter: Discover the Dedication & Focus You Need to Write the Book of Your Dreams

Quote of the Week: "The Earth laughs in flowers." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, May 8, 2017

Newsy, Reedsy, and IWSG

This is going to be a newsy post. There's so much happening that's exciting. Did you see this? #IWriteBecause is a Reedsy idea. Authors are invited to submit a 30 second video, telling why they write. Reedsy will donate $10 for each video to the Room to Read Organization. Take a look at what Mark Dawson says about why he writes. There are a lot of other videos posted and they're fun to watch. 

Help Reedsy's #IWriteBecause to trend today on Twitter. Here are a couple of tweets you can post with a quick copy, past, Tweet.

Why do you write? Tell us & Room to Read gets $10. #IWriteBecause @ReedsyHQ @RoomtoRead

Do you write? Why? In a 30 sec. video, share your reasons & @ReedsyHQ donates $10 to @Roomto Read.

Oh, and Reedsy loves #IWSG. You will, too, because if you're a #IWSG member, you get 25% off all kinds of amazing help with editors, designers and marketers that authors need to publish their books. Why are you still here? Go to REEDSY and get your deal. . .just kidding. Read the rest, then go.

You are a #IWSG member, aren't you? No? It's not too late to sign up HERE.

Of course, I know you want my Tomato Report. Can't leave before that. So here 'tis.

My Tomato Report: They are stable and about half an inch taller than last week. I'll have to pinch back the first cluster of blossoms, and that's the hard part for me, but Tomato Bob says I must. Tomato Bob knows all. Just look at his harvest!

Quote of the Week: 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Please Pass the Repellent!

Thank you Alex J. Cavanaugh

Remember, the question is optional! 

May 3 Question: What is the weirdest/coolest thing you ever had to research for your story?

The awesome co-hosts for the May 3 posting of the IWSG will be Nancy Gideon, Tamara Narayan,Liesbet @ Roaming About, Michelle Wallace, and Feather Stone!


This WIP stinks.
I'll never be a perfect writer.
Everybody writes better than I do.
Why did I ever think I could write a good story?
Nobody likes what I write.
Nobody will ever read this, but me.

Please pass the repellent.  It's really called Buzz Off!

Everybody's WIP stinks at some point.

There are no perfect writers, just people practicing.

Everybody writes differently. Appreciate your uniqueness.

If you thought you could write a good story once, then you probably can, unless you stop trying.

Not everybody will like what you write, but a lot of people will.

Somebody will read it if you put it out there. Otherwise, you are 100% right.

The answer to the question of the month is I can't answer it. If our democracy fails and a totalitarian regime takes over and monitors our searches, I'll be arrested based on my research history. They'd pegged me as an arsonist, a gun runner, a juvenile delinquent dodging the police, a failed suicide and a potential rapist. Then there are the drugs and the illegal smuggling operations and the armed robberies that I'm probably planning. I should start writing picture books. They won't arrest writers for looking up bunnies, will they?

Can a lost hero find redemption?
If you've missed the news, HERO LOST, the IWSG anthology is officially launched and available in Print and Ebooks in all formats. Get your copy now!

So there you have it. Another first Wednesday and another #IWSG post to kick off a new month. Enjoy May. Buy Hero Lost and if I'm arrested for suspicious online searches and need character references, I hope I can count on you.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Featured Follower, Cathrina Constantine & Are U Ready For IWSG Wednesday?

I took April off from a lot of my usual activities to let my wretched hand/shoulder heal. It's now much better, and I'm back to typing with all of my fingers! One day I'll have a Story To Tell about this.

But today I'm featuring another author. Here's Cathrina Constantine 

Featured Follower for the month of May.

Her newest book has one of those covers that makes you stop, look and want to open it. Here's my Amazon Review.

Some Stellar Reviews. 

"The gritty realism of the many struggles she deals with makes this book so compelling. Plus, just when you think you might be reading a romance, the author takes a completely surprising turn. This book is more of a coming-of-age story that keeps you guessing until the end!" ~ Stephanie Faris, Best Selling Author.

"From its psychedelic beginning to its sweet, poignant ending I loved this story." ~ Nana Prah, Best Selling Author.

If you hurry, you can enter to win a copy on her 

Speed Interview with Cathrina: Her FAVORITES

  • Song ~ Just about every song gets my heart pumping and my feet tapping, it's almost impossible to pick just one. For this moment in time, I'll say, Rolling in the Deep by Adele.
  • Movie ~ Soooo many, so many. I'm a movie fanatic. I think I've watched Harry Potter a zillion times.
  • Author ~ I have an ardent desire for dozens of authors. They all helped to light the flame of my imagination and my writing. I'm sorry, I can't pick just one...
  • Time of Day ~ That's an easy one, the early morning when the birds are just starting to sing.
  • Book ~ The Bible.
  • Place to think~ Taking a walk in the woods behind my house.
And there are some little tidbits about this author. Want to ask her more about herself? Leave that in your comments.

Thanks Alex

It's just about time for another #IWSG Wednesday. Are you ready? Clock's ticking and the first Wednesday of May almost upon us. Here's your optional question: What is the weirdest/coolest thing you've ever had to research for a story? Or you can just go ON and ON about your current insecurity. :-)

A lot of you have heard that Joylene Butler has a new book out, but that just before launch day she took a tumble and broke some bones. Surgery during a book launch? I don't think so. Here's her book. It looks like a super read.

Nook. Kindle

Quotes of the Week: I had to post two today, variety being the spice of life!

"Every year, back comes Spring, with nasty little birds yapping their fool heads off and the ground all mucked up with plants. Dorothy Parker

If you've never been thrilled to the very edges of your soul by a flower in spring bloom, maybe your soul has never been in bloom. Audra Foveo