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Posts Tagged ‘photograph’

For those of you who like Egyptian myth and lore, a poem of mine called “Immortality” is now up at EMG-Zine, an online science fiction/fantasy magazine: http://tinyurl.com/vonnie-immortality  This magazine always has interesting art, non-fiction articles, poetry, and stories. Check out their archives for many of their past themed issues. (I have a poem in their Raven, Dragon, and Spider issues).

And speaking of poetry, I’m busy writing a few more poems to compliment the short stories in my soon-to-be-published collection of fantasy work called: The Greener Forest. The titles of some of the finished poems: Goblins, Dark Fairy, The Greener Forest, and On the Edge. Well, I guess you get the idea – there are fantastical creatures of all sorts mingling with the regular folks in these poems and short stories.

 Also, get ready for several posts with pictures and information from this fall’s FaerieCon. I met some wonderful artists and writers, and sculpted my own goblin.  And speaking of poetry and FaerieCon — award-winning writer, Jane Yolen, read a number of her marvelous poems. Not only did many of the audience members (me included) have tears in their eyes when Jane read her poetry — but facilitator, Wendy Froud, was on the verge of crying, too.

Good writing is a powerful thing indeed!

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I saw my first palmetto bug a couple of weeks ago while in Augusta, GA. The foul creature scurried from under the screen door, across the floor, and to a corner of the RV. After the initial screech, I  fumbled for something (anything) with which to kill this giant cousin of a cockroach. Without fly swatter, household insecticide, husband, or faithful black-mouthed cur nearby — I resorted to cornering the palmetto bug with a broom handle, and then, dousing it with multiple squirts from my Skinsensations Insect Repellent.

 By the time husband and Sandy the Black-Mouthed Cur finally returned from their walk, the palmetto bug appeared to be in the last stage of a 10 minute wriggly-leg death. With a swift stomp, husband put the insect out of its misery, and all returned to normal. Or so it seemed. But in my mind, there were more palmetto bugs lurking in the shadows, under the RV’s couch, behind the shampoo bottle in the RV’s shower, and in dozens of other nooks. And those skulking palmetto bugs had witnessed my assault on their brother, and were now plotting their revenge.

Now, home at Wood’s Edge in the outskirts of The Shire, I am still uneasy. Stinkbugs, large black ants, box elder bugs, water bugs, crickets, and other six-legged creepers seem to be everywhere. They climb on the window screens, rush in the garage, and try to sneak inside the house every time a door opens. I’m concerned that a stray palmetto bug (or 2) has hitchhiked a ride north on the RV and spread the word. Now, the local insects have been alerted to my murderous ways and watch me with growing intensity…

People always ask me where I get the ideas for my stories — I usually answer, “Life.” In this particular case, I could answer, “Palmetto Bugs!”

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vwc-b-cvr[1] My ghostly holiday eShort, Bells incorporates some of the Christmas traditions of my extended family. Gatherings of friends and family to share in a holiday meal is a tradition that I’ll be celebrating several times again this year. There are always too many of us to sit around one table, so we spread out across the house sitting where ever we can locate a chair or stool or nook by the window. We share memories, the latest news, dreams for the future, love, laughter, and sometimes, tears.

 When I was young, my father, Nathan Winslow,  meticulously put up a HO gauge train garden. He even got my grandfather, an accomplished oil painter, to realistically paint plaster mountains. His was a train garden of exactness and beauty. My husband’s family also put up a train garden. The George Crist family Christmas train garden was so exciting for my husband and his brothers when they were boys, that they’d ignore the gifts and rush for the trains.

My husband, Ernie, and I continued the train garden tradition. On Christmas morning, our kids would run to see the trains. When they became older, they’d help their dad throughout December fix up the train garden for their younger cousins to see when they came to visit. Last Christmas, Ernie and I were lucky enough to have our grandson with us at Christmastime. And little Nathaniel was inspired to crawl his first few feet trying to grab a miniature train that circled around under the Christmas tree.

Sleigh bells on door knobs, watermelon pickles, patched-together trees, and carols playing in the background are other traditions mentioned in Bells we continue in my family. Another Christmas tradition is baking cookies. I baked them with Granny and Mom. My kids baked them with me, and maybe my grandson will sprinkle some colored sugar on my cut-out cookies. (For ”Granny’s Sugar Cookies” recipe, see end of blog).

 I encourage each of you to celebrate the holidays with those you care about. Make good memories and establish family traditions, remembering you’re born into a one kind of family — but you can also build a family of dear friends. And especially at this time of year, treat others with a little more kindness and love. For as Aesop so wisely wrote in his tale of “The Lion & The Mouse” — No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.  Update: Bells can now be read in Owl Light, one of my books from Cold Moon Press.

Granny’s Sugar Cookies:

1) In a large bowl, cream together: 1/2 cup margarine and 1 cup granulated sugar. 2) Blend in: 1 large egg. 3) In a separate bowl, sift together: 2 cups flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. 4) Next, add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and blend well. 5) Chill for 1 to 2 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Dust a pastry cloth with flour and roll dough out to 1/8″ thickness with a lightly floured rolling pin. Cut out holiday shapes with cookie cutters. Put cut-out shapes on a cookie sheet that’s been coated with a vegetable shortening spray (allowing room between cookies). Decorate with colored sugar. Bake in oven for 5 to 8 minutes. Remove cookies from oven when edges are lightly browned and using a spatula, scoop the cookies onto a rack to cool. Watch Granny’s Sugar Cookies carefully during baking, as they burn easily.

I usually double this recipe. Granny’s Sugar Cookies are a family favorite and disappear quickly! They also freeze well in sealed containers.

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