Thursday, December 20, 2018

Holiday Greetings

Before I begin telling you how I feel about Christmas I want you to know that I am behind on Journey of Honor because of illness and a divorce in my family. Chaos, in other words, has taken my ability to focus.
I hope you will understand and continue visiting my site and waiting for Journey of Honor to reach the Oregon Territory.

As the Christmas season rolls around my first thoughts are of the birth of Jesus. I love the Christmas hymns. I love the Christmas story. My favorite person who is often overlooked in the birth of Jesus is Simeon. Simeon was a very old man, God told him that he wouldn’t let him die until he held the newborn king. So, Simeon spent day after day near the temple waiting for families with new babies to come and pay taxes. He watched carefully realizing the parents of the Christ child would be poor. One day a young couple entered the temple with their baby and a scrawny bird as an offering. Simeon’s heart leapt—this baby was The King . He boldly approached Mary and Joseph and asked to hold the baby. He then told them their son was the Messiah, something they thought was only known to them. He told them he was able to die and enter the kingdom of Heaven because he had fulfilled the prophecy. He was going to Heaven with glory because he had fulfilled the prophecy of the Lord. This story is from “The Indescribable Gift” by Richard Exley. Simeon’s story be found in Luke 2:21-38

My next set of thoughts becomes a reflection of the hustle and bustle of commercialized holidays. I have always loved the beauty of Christmas—the decorated trees, colored lights, brisk weather, music, and the promise of some little something in a nicely wrapped box.
These days the joy is diminished, but I still believe in magic. I love the idea of someone making wishes come true. We can all “pretend” to be elves by visiting school classrooms with stories, hugs, and offerings of love. We can drop gifts off in designated places. I love to see children interacting with Santa. Their innocence is contagious. My granddaughters keep me smiling and believing. As they get older, it will fall to me to make sure they carry the love and magic of Christmas in their hearts.  I will always believe in the spirit and magic and love of Christmas.

Wishing each of you the blessings of the season.

Until next time....Journey onward to a new year,
Love, Nona

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

September/October News

September was a busy, busy, busy month. The highlight was a five day Immersion with Margie Lawson. We met at the top of her mountain in Colorado. Donna, Julie, Mary, Peggy, Vanessa, and I showed up with laptops and binders expecting to work, how much work Donna and Vanessa knew because they had attended Immersion before. The rest of us had no clue. 

Immersion is working to improve a manuscript using rhetorical devices, finding words that need to be axed, adding high impact phrases, and other choices to add punch. Immersion is not an editing course. It is so much more . . .

It is working nine to twelve hours a day on a manuscript. It is sharing. It is feeling like a champion one moment and like your face just slammed into a brick wall the next. It is having great meals and snacks at Margie’s cabin. It is reaching a level of fatigue you never knew you could reach and still keep on working. And, it is meeting new friends. We named our group Lightning on the Page. It was suggested that we call ourselves Chick Peas, because I discovered Hummus, and I ate it every chance I got.

I think we all remember rhetorical devices such as Simile, Alliteration, and Hyperbole. Do you recall things like:

The dirty dog died in Dallas (alliteration).
The mumps made her cheeks look like a chipmunk had hidden its stash in her mouth. (simile)
I am so hungry I could eat a horse. (hyperbole)

But, have you heard of other devices such as Anadiplosis—repeating the last word of one sentence at the beginning of the next sentence.
Anaphora—Repeating a word or phrase at the beginning of three or more successive phrases or sentences.

There are several more rhetorical devices that punch up and maximize an author’s words. 

 Enjoy some photos from my stay on the mountain. Beauty at every turn. History in the Rockies. 

I hope I can attend another Immersion with my next book. Learn more about Immersion with Margie at
Journey of Honor is moving along well. I expect to type The End soon. Then, it goes to Pamela Thibodeaux for first round edits. Then, I make repairs based on Pam’s suggestions. Then, it goes to Alicia Dean for the last edits. Then, I make changes again and again and again. Then, Journey of Honor will be available for others to enjoy. It’s been a long journey.

Have a wonderful Fall Season. Watch for creatively costumed creatures when your door bell rings on Halloween. Enjoy the cooler weather. Enjoy Friday Night Football.

Until next time...Journey Onward to your destination. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Back to School

Every year while the summer heat is at its most exhaustive temperatures my thoughts turn to Fall and returning to school. I love the anticipation and excitement of the children in my life despite their claims that they don’t want any part of school.
As a writer I am all but addicted to pristine notebooks, colorful pens, reams of paper, and folders. Shopping for school supplies is one of my most treasured activities. 

I volunteer at my granddaughter’s school helping teachers, reading to the kids, and just passing out hugs and words of encouragement. The little ones make my heart swell. They don’t know how much good they do me when they hand me a perfectly colored picture or something they’ve written for me.
I will share some of my favorite school memories in the blog post, but I hope you get as excited about the process of school as I do. Children are our futures, we owe them a few special words every now and then.

The quote for the month on the blog is one I kept taped to my desk when I was in college. It is attributed to Pearl Bailey who turned down several honorary degrees in order to attend college and earn the degree. Her fame never humbled her and her take on knowledge and learning was simply magnificent.

Until Next Time......Journey onward, my friends—

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

When I was a young girl preparing to return to school at the end of the summer I looked forward to purchasing school supplies. It wasn’t as extensive or expensive as the supply lists these days, but it was just as special to be sure.

First, we had to find an empty cigar box at the grocery store. The best ones still smelled of sweet tobacco. The typical supplies included an eight pack of waxy crayons with their unique scent, a jar of thick white paste that wasn’t our own until we pulled the little paddle out and ate some of the sticky goop, two pencils, a pair of blunt tipped scissors, and a red Big Chief tablet. It was so hard not to write on any of the pages until the first day of school.

Every year until I graduated from high school my mother made me five new dresses during the summer. One for each day of the week. As I grew older I was self-conscious because they were homemade rather than store bought. I got one new pair of shoes. And, a Toni home perm that I detested. I looked like a blonde Little Orphan Annie.

During the earliest years I walked to West Elementary in Levelland, Texas. On the way, I passed a florist shop. It was like finding treasure each time the window displays were changed. I remember each season being represented by the flowers and greenery. The walk seemed endless, but it wasn’t likely as far as it seemed.

When I was in the second grade I had some coins in my pocket and the school store across the street called to me like a siren. I was forbidden to go to the store, it was for the junior high students. But . . . I was in the crosswalk on my way to buy some candy and my dad was driving home for lunch. Oops! He picked me up, took me home, spanked me, and took me back to school. I was devastated. It was the only spanking Daddy ever gave me. It was also the time I learned that I never wanted to disappoint him again. 

I was ten when we moved to a new house. I don’t remember if I had to change schools, but I had many new friends in the neighborhood. When I was twelve we moved from Levelland to Lovington, NM where I would graduate.

I always enjoyed going to school. Probably still would if I decided to take a few more college courses.

I imagine all of us have special memories of the end of summer and the return to school. 

Do you?