Friday, January 17, 2014

From Books to Bullet Holes

It’s a glorious world!  I've started a read and critique group here in Garner, NC called the Indian Creek Writers’ Guild.  We have two writers plus myself to start with and I expect it will grow as more people realize they have something to say and want to share that something with others. 

I’m back in the writing community and all’s right with the world again. Yaay!

While we’re on the topic of writing, there are a lot of fine historical novels on the shelves that take us to places and times that are unfamiliar to us.  The stories bring these times to life for us.  

I want to tell you of a real life historical event that is still with us here in Garner.  I found a church, the New Bethel Baptist Church, that reminds me a lot of the church I left in California--small to average congregation, varied ages and ethnicities, music with drums, piano, and guitars, and friendly people. However, New Bethel Baptist has one thing my former church does not have--a bullet hole from the Civil War!  

Here’s a quick history of the church.  Built between 1805 and 1811, the one-room church was called Wake Bethel.  In April 1858, the church opted to build a new church and call it New Bethel Baptist Church.  It was still a one-room building.

Then, on April 11 or 12, 1864, General Sherman’s troops marched through and shot up the town including firing several shots at the church.  One very noticeable bullet hole was found just under one of the front windows.  

The church was rebuilt in 1930.  The board with the bullet hole was preserved and used as part of the casing on one of the inside doors.  As I sit in a pew, I can see the bullet hole, a very vivid reminder of the Civil War, a war which is no longer just words in a history book.  

There are signs indicating battlefields from the war scattered around this area that we hope to visit come warm weather.  

Here’s to a living history!

Quote of the Day:  The subject of history is the life of peoples and of humanity.  Tolstoy, War and Peace.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Ready - Set - Go!

I wish a very Happy New Year to each and every one of you.  May 2014 be a year of accomplishments that bring you joy and satisfaction.

Did you make any resolutions for the new year that you've already slipped up on?  Don’t worry, you’re not alone.  What I’m trying very hard to do is eat up all the goodies left over from Christmas so I can be done with them and get back to sensible eating.  Don’t ask me to throw them out, I already threw out a tray of bar cookies made with nuts, chocolate chips, coconut, etc.  So good, but so waist-full.  

We had a great Christmas with family this year, the first time in a long time that we've been able to be with family for the holidays.  I highly recommend it. We moved east to be closer to family and that move certainly paid off this year.  

Now that Christmas is put away, company is gone, goodies are almost gone, the water in the bird bath is frozen, it’s time to get down to whatever it is you most like to do.  For me, it’s writing.  I vow here and now that before the year is over, I will finish my novel, Willard Manor.  I expect you, my faithful friends, family, and readers, to hold me to my promise.  

What that means is I can’t spend half a day on emails and the other half a day playing Solitaire or Mahjong.  I’ll have to actually type, think, and type some more.  I thought I had the book done last year, but people told me what I already knew--that it didn't “work.”  So a major rewrite is in order.  It won’t be difficult, I just need to actually sit down and Get Started.  

What is it you want or need to do that requires the hardest step of all--getting started?

Quote of the Day:  He who has begun has half done. Horace, Epistles.