August 26, 2013


This summer I came across a file of family mementoes that included two tributes my father had written to honor fellow workers at their retirement parties. His job was hard manual labor--working to maintain the turbines that supply electric power to our area. The men he worked with over the years had a special camaraderie heavily seasoned with "powerhouse" humor. Both show through in my father's writing as he sent two friends off into the world of retirement.

I reflected, as I read his words, that people who didn't know my dad would have been surprised to learn that he read a lot. I remember complete sets of Rudyard Kipling and Mark Twain on our bookshelves, alongside the encyclopedia set that played a big part in our dinner table discussions. Those same folks would never have suspected that my father had a flair for composition. In those two tributes, he managed to honor the personality and character of each man and also point out their foibles with gentle humor.

Over the past weekend, I discovered a delicious piece of writing by my mother. Although she graduated high school with a scholarship to a local college, she couldn't afford to buy the textbooks and so didn't use the scholarship. Years later, when her children were mostly grown, she enrolled in another local college and began taking night classes. For one of her English classes, she wrote a humorous essay titled, "Food for Thought." It makes clear that eating out with six children is an adventure full of surprises.

So, both my parents had a way with words. Maybe there is a writing gene. My five siblings and I have inherited it in different ways. Some of us are eloquent speakers (not me!) and some lean toward the written expression of how we feel or what we believe. Like my parents, we all love to tell a good story--and none of us are above embellishing it a bit!

August 15, 2013


I recently posted something about serendipity and since then I've thought about how much it plays into things--at least for me. I have no idea what gave me the plan to introduce WHISPER ISLAND by having someone portray Primmy. Imagination? Inspiration? Probably both. But when I mentioned the idea to my friend Joyce and asked if she thought her granddaughter Deanna would be interested in a little acting gig on the Outer Banks, she jumped at it, as did her daughter Nancy, Joyce's sister Brenda, and the very talented young lady, Deanna.

Primmy and I enjoy a good laugh.
They were all on board and laid plans to meet in Rodanthe for the book's official launch on July 10. What a week we had! Deanna, besides being a poet, singer, musician, artist, is also a very convincing actress. She put across the character and voice of Primmy, the main character. More than that, she answered questions as if she were the character and made it clear that she'd read the book and understood it.

I'm so fortunate to have had her innumerable talents in North Carolina and again for two signings in Kansas City. I look forward to more outings with Primmy--and to more visits from my Serendipity muse!
"No, you can't be a Life-Saver. It's too hard for a girl. Drat!"

Primmy and her new friend on the Outer Banks.

August 6, 2013


A friend of mine recently returned from a trip to England and was sharing some photos from the trip. Many of them were signs she'd seen along the way, and we teased her about her choice of significant photo ops.

I've rethought that. After my trip to the Outer Banks to launch WHISPER ISLAND, I looked over my photos and found that I'd captured several pics of signs that had caught my attention. They all seem to capture the spirit and ambience of the place where I shot them.

Ocracoke is a small island, but the main road gets lots of traffic.
This sign reminds folks to be extra careful as they pass through.

Lunch at water's edge at the Jolly Roger in Ocracoke was fun--until the storm set in. Maybe the pirate on the sign knew something that we didn't.

In case you didn't get the message, this gull made sure you kept your casting low.
Parents at the Gulf Coast Cafe get fair warning to mind their kids.
This sign by the front door of our little cottage-by-the-ocean says it all!