Archive for the ‘humor’ Category

LITERARY LOVERS’ MARCH MADNESS

March 20, 2017

I love March Madness, except for the fact that Mizzou didn’t make it this year. (We’ll get ’em next year!) So, look what someone else is doing–a Literary-Lovers’ March Madness. And LARA and I made it to the second round. LARGER-THAN-LIFE LARA contains just about everything I know about writing. And since everyone has been bullied and has bullied in some way, readers get the subtle anti-bullying theme. I don’t think I’ve asked anyone to vote for me since I ran for office at  Missouri Girls State…and loss. Round 2 ends Thursday. Here’s the link if you’re up for it: http://readthearc.com/literary-lovers-madness-round2/

BOOK RELEASE DAY!

March 7, 2017

with-love

It’s here! And as if that weren’t enough for me, it’s getting two starred reviews–Publisher’s Weekly and Booklist. I’ve waited so long for this. I thought about dozens of pictures I could post, along with witty, but poignant things to say. But here I am, speechless and grateful, hoping that you like my story.

Check out giveaways at https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/38952.Dandi_Daley_Mackall  If you’re on GoodReads, will you add the book to your favorite lists and to your shelf as to-read? Thanks!

WHAT’S IN A LETTER?

March 6, 2017

These are only a few of the WW2 letters I inherited from my parents, Army doctor and Army nurse, newlyweds shipped to different countries for the duration of the war. They wrote each other 2-3 times a day and prayed for mail call and the (too often unreliable) delivery of their most precious, vital, real connection–their letters. It was all they had to help their marriage survive. They wrote on whatever was at hand–V-mail (infuriatingly short), bummed stationery, and even abandoned German paper, though only when necessary. One letter was written on a small, brown paper sack. They had worked out a clever code to foil the censors and to arrange rare rendezvous. (Took me a while, but I cracked their code.)

I fear we’re losing our letters to texts and emails. I admit that I rarely write letters, though I’m delighted whenever I receive one. Think of all the great historical and literary collections that wouldn’t exist if their writers had I phones. I can’t even imagine writing WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE without my trunkful of letters. Tomorrow is the official release date for the book!

I’ll be answering questions on Goodreads all week. Please join me there, okay?  Here’s the link: Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/38952.Dandi_Daley_Mackall

http://www.dandibooks.com/with-love-wherever-you-are/

 

LARTZ, the Army Artist

February 18, 2017

Through letters and stories, I came to admire the doctor/soldier named Lartz. I believe he was Frank’s best war buddy, his quiet and uncompromising friend, even in the midst of some pretty crazy colleagues. These two sketches hung in my dad’s den as long as I can remember. I don’t think I ever asked where they came from because they were permanent fixtures, like wallpaper. I learned more about the pictures from the letters left in their Army trunk. In one letter, written shortly after arriving in England, Frank mentioned that Lartz was working on a charcoal drawing of Helen, working from a photograph. In a later letter, Frank complains (in good humor) that Lartz made him sit for over an hour to do a charcoal drawing of Soldier Frank.

Does anybody else have old photos or pictures around, things you wish you knew more about? People you suspect are in your ancestry, but you don’t know who they could be? I think we should all write dates and info on the back of every photo we take.

Uncle Jack the Spy

February 6, 2017

Move over, 007, and meet John “Jack” Daley, my dad’s big brother. Uncle Jack signed up in 1939, when the government appealed to accountants to help organize the armed forces from the inside out. The select group of pencil pushers were called “Thirty Day Wonders” because that’s how long they committed to serve in the US Army. Only the “wonder” came months later, when thirty days stretched to ninety, then to a year. None of them got out of the Army for years, so Jack was still in service when his little brother joined him in Europe. In WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE, it’s fun to see Jack pop up unannounced and know everything, but tell little. He became part of the OSS, Office of Strategic Services, the first organized effort by the United States to implement a centralized system of strategic intelligence. The OSS was the predecessor to the Central Intelligence Agency and the U.S. Special Operations Command, including the US Navy SEALs and the Green Berets. Even though he delighted in dragging his little brother into a couple of dangerous adventures, I remember Dad saying that his brother was the most generous person he knew.

As for the German stationery with the hateful insignia, it helps to know that Jack the Spy likely swiped it from from a Nazi and put it to better use.

https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/100384.Most_Anticipated_Christian_Fiction_2017

http://www.dandibooks.com/with-love-wherever-you-are/

Aunt Dot, Army Nurse

February 3, 2017

Happy February! I’ve decided I’d like to introduce you to some of the characters that populate WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE. This is 1st Lt. Dorothea Daley Engel, my Aunt Dot, the same one who sent her younger brother the cartoon. When the Japanese overran and bombed the Philippines, Dotty and a few other nurses cared for their patients in the jungles. That’s where she fell in love with “Boots,” a soldier she’d met before, but only gotten to know when he had malaria. As she wrote to her brother: What kind of world is this when the one you love contracting malaria is good news?” Her heroism earned her the Medal of Honor, which was presented to her by President Roosevelt and pinned on her by Eleanor. She never talked about it and didn’t even tell her family about the ceremony until it was too late for them to attend . . . except for my Uncle Jack, the spy. He’s next on my agenda of characters.

http://www.dandibooks.com/with-love-wherever-you-are/

https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/100384.Most_Anticipated_Christian_Fiction_2017 Please add WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE to the list! Thanks again!

 

In the Army Now!

February 1, 2017

cartoon

In case you can’t read the punchline, it says: “It isn’t necessary to hang up your medical diploma, Lieutenant.” This is a cartoon sent to my dad, who had only recently gotten his medical degree and joined the Army. His sister, Dorothea Daley Engel sent it, and I’ve included several letters to and from my Aunt Dot in the novel, WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE. She was Army nurse stationed in the Philippines when Pearl Harbor was bombed. Immediately after, the bombs landed on her outpost. Surviving nurses had to carry the wounded into the jungle.

But I’ll fill you in on these “characters” through the month of February, so please stay tuned! And don’t forget to check my new website. http://www.dandibooks.com/with-love-wherever-you-are/

And it would be wonderful if you hopped on over to GoodReads. If you haven’t been there and you like to read, you’ll love it. If you have been to GoodReads, you’ll already know what I’m going to ask: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30974604-with-love-wherever-you-are?ac=1&from_search=true  That’s the link. If you know a shortcut, please clue me in. Anyway, if you could put With Love Wherever You Are on your shelf and add it to your favorite lists: Anticipated Releases, Literary Fiction 2017, Most Anticipated Christian Fiction 2017, that would be great-Thanks!

WAR MEMORABILIA

January 30, 2017

I continued to delve into the treasures of the trunk. Besides the myriad of letters, I unearthed a note sent to Mom from Dad. I could have picked it out as his from a hundred notes. “Happy Birthday, darling, to the best wife I have.” Dry wit from a man who would remain happily married for over fifty years.

There were postcards and war rations and a few things I won’t post for fear of having the items misunderstood: a propaganda pamphlet in appalling English, with Goebbles; Nazi stationery neither of my parents could bring themselves to write on.

I recognized one postcard from Dad’s longtime buddy, Bob Balfour, who served with Admiral Halsey. The card was sent from the U.S.S. Missouri, postmarked Sept. 6, 1945, just after Japan surrendered. Aboard (besides Balfour), were high ranking admirals and generals from China, the Soviet Union, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, France, the Netherlands, and, of course, Japan. General of the Army, Douglas MacArthur, stood before an array of microphones and declared before the world the hope of mankind that a better world would arise out of the blood and carnage of the past–“… a world founded upon faith and understanding, a world dedicated to the dignity of man and the fulfillment of his most cherished wish for freedom, tolerance, and justice.”

http://www.dandibooks.com/with-love-wherever-you-are/

THE TALKING TRUNK

January 24, 2017

On my knees in front of the open trunk, I stared at the stacks and stacks of letters, most written while both of my parents served overseas A few of the letters had been penned from the States, as they waited in different staging areas of the country. I picked the nearest stack and carefully wriggled one letter from the boot strings. The envelope said it was from Lt. Helen Eberhart to Lt. Frank Daley. My hands shook as I lifted out the letter are began reading.

One sentence (“I miss you so much, my darling.”), and I had to return the letter to its envelop, into its stack, its home for over 70 years. I couldn’t hear those voices–not yet.

Fortunately, there were other treasures in that chest, discoveries that intrigued me, rather than sent me into tears. Each soldier had been given a Bible, and President Roosevelt sent a letter to each soldier. In case you don’t have “eagle eyes” (an expression Dad used frequently), here’s what it says on that Bible page:

THE WHITE HOUSE, WASHINGTON  To the Armed Forces:

As Commander-in-Chief I take pleasure in commending the reading of the Bible to all who serve in the armed forces of the United States. Throughout the centuries men of many faiths and diverse origins have found in the Sacred Book words of wisdom, counsel, and inspiration. It is a fountain of strength and now, as always, an aid in attaining the highest experiences of the human soul.

Very sincerely yours, Franklin D. Roosevelt

And yet, there were even more intriguing artifacts to discover in the old, but enduring Army trunk….

STORY

January 10, 2017

When I was a kid, my two favorite words were “‘Member when. . .?” The words came out soft as clouds and steeped in magic, words that could unlock the past and let me in. I was blessed to be born into a family of great storytellers. My mom, Helen Eberhart Daley, had 10 brothers and sisters, who married and gave me dozens of cousins. At our yearly reunion, those words, “‘Member when…?” sparked and fired around the dinner table, ushering in tales of ships crossing the ocean to America, of horse trading and working the land, of love and loss.

And of war. Five of Mom’s brothers fought in WWII, and so did she. That’s where Nurse Helen met the dashing Frank Daley, an Army doctor. I grew up on their true stories of war, sacrifice, and love. March 7th is the release of WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE, A Novel based on their amazing true story. It’s a book I’ve been writing since childhood, when I steeped myself in their memories. My hope is that their story would honor them and others like them. I’ll be blogging about the stories behind the story. Hope you stay tuned!

I’m glad that while I could, I pestered my parents for “‘Member whens.” And now, my grandkids are pestering me.

PLEASE CHECK OUT:  www.withlovebook.dandibooks.com

 

Ellie-Nee book gig