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Showing posts from July, 2014

Stone Walls

How are you with rejection?

For many of us it depends on the rejection we receive. I applied for a job recently, and while I would have liked the position, I knew it was something of a long-shot. I qualified, and would have done well, but I lived far away (the job was in England, and I live in America). The rejection was expected, though it was still disappointing.

Rejection of my books hurts a bit more, but once again sometimes you know someone won't like the story. Recently, one of my extended family members purchased two of my books to support me. She told me later she didn't really like the storyline, but I was thrilled she read Azure Maris.

When you put your heart out on the line, there is always the possibility it will be stomped upon, kicked or shot. We take that risk simply by living. Though we can protect ourselves, we often realize that in protecting ourselves, we leave important parts of our life underdeveloped like love, empathy and trust.

We like to think of ourse…

Woven Revolution: Athena

The average person who learns about Lancaster PA, thinks of buggies and bonnets. While the Amish and Mennonite communities are quite strong in Lancaster, they are not the only Protestant groups in the community. Their English counterparts, Baptists, are alive and well.

Pennsylvania, however, was not founded by Anabaptists or Baptists, but by Quakers. In Colonial Lancaster, a group of Irish Quakers had residence. They are a small group, though little is recorded of them. Like the Anabaptists, the Quakers are pacifists, but during the American Revolution, a few Quakers opted to fight, one of them was Nathanael Greene who became a major general in the Continental Army.

Business in Lancaster
Athena MacGuire, is many things, but she is uncertain of who she is. She is an Irish Quaker in Lancaster, an unmarried woman and the owner of her own business. During the Colonial time period, women did own businesses: some ran inns, some ran millinery shops. Others were dressmakers, and still others …

Bleep Free Guarantee

My local Christian radio station has this as their motto: bleep free guarantee. Their reason is two-fold: (1) whatever is played or discussed is squeaky clean, and (2) it is safe for everyone to hear.

I have mixed feelings on this, but I understand their reasoning.
The concept of the wise monkeys is that they see no evil, speak no evil and hear no evil. Honorable deeds, of course, but I tend to see the Christian community taking this concept to an extreme. In some communities, it shows up in banning gossiping - not malicious intent, but anything evil about someone else, even if that evil is criminal.

For others, it is the inability to have any swear words or euphemisms in conversation. For this crowd, there are lists of bad words that we cannot speak in public, private, or even think. Some words even make no sense whatsoever or exclude certain songs from being sung, even innocuous ones that deal with the ox and the ass.

For the last group, anything that smacks of sin is abolished from…

First of the Month Book Review - July

This month's review is called the Daughters of Gaia: Women in the Ancient Mediterranean World by Bella Vivante.

I stumbled across this book while researching a story set in Ancient Greece. It's a good, interesting read that provides an overview on women's lives in the Ancient Mediterranean worlds.

While it does delve a little bit into the daily lives of the women, the primary focus of the book is how the women related to the world around them. Many of the cultures, especially Greek and Roman were fairly patriarchal in their outlook. Rome was a little more relaxed than the Greeks, but not nearly as relaxed as the Egyptians.

When I started my research, I disliked Ancient Greece because it was male oriented. To be a woman in Ancient Greece was not an easy task. If I could travel back in time, I would rather visit Ancient Egypt than Ancient Greece, but through this book, I found both some interesting facts, and new found respect for Pythagoras.

Vivante's theory (and others…

Woven Revolution: Helene

When I was growing up, New England was considered the bastion of freedom, especially during the American Revolution time period. It was from there that the first winds of change blew. The Puritans, in their quest to worship as they pleased, sailed from England to the New World to establish a colony based on religious freedom.

That was what I was taught.

That was not, in reality, what happened.

Colonial Tolerance
Let me honest here: none of the American colonies were especially freedom loving. There were stipulations placed upon members of society that went against what we would hold dear now. As a woman, I would have had no right to vote, but neither would a free African, the native tribes, or any white man who owned no land. When they speak of freedom, the Founding Fathers spoke of a limited freedom, but within that limitation the Middle Colonies were some of the freest colonies, especially in the form of religious freedom.

Pennsylvania and Maryland were both founded by groups the Ch…

Read Often; Think Deep

I'm currently working my way through updating one of my books. The process is long, and I remember why I prefer editing on the computer as opposed to in a book form. I love writing as much as I love reading. Writing takes more time and effort because I'm creating the words, but reading is both educational and entertaining.

Because I writer murder mysteries, historical novels and fantasy, I tend to read those same genres. When I can mix up my genres (fantasy mystery or a historical fantasy) it's even better. Over the past three weeks, I've heard some interesting comments, and it makes me wonder: does Christian media inhibit the ability to appreciate art as well as think deeply?

Bear with me here - it's an honest question, and I'm not certain, in fact, I know I don't have the answer to it.

Lack of Reading
The first portion of this question goes back to interview I heard on my local radio about the lack of reading among children and teens. Now, the big point t…