Archive for the ‘theater’ Category

LETTERS

August 8, 2017

Just Sayin'

When is the last time you wrote a letter? When is the last time you received one? In our age of texts and emojis, letters have dwindled. When I wrote WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE, I was able to study over 600 letters written by my parents serving in WW2. Who preserves texts, even for the life of the phone? I decided I’d write a novel totally in letters. The result is JUST SAYIN’, a middle-grade novel in letters. The postmark and setting are Hamilton, MO, where I grew up.

HAMILTON FIRE–help please!

May 13, 2017

Ham fire

Getting ready for our pilgrimage to my hometown, Hamilton, MO, I ran across these pictures. On the back, they’re labeled: Hamilton, but no dates. I’m hoping some of you native Hamiltonians can fill me in on the details and dates. I do know that one big fire that destroyed most of the buildings on Main Street turned out to be arson. And I’m thinking there were two fires. I know I’ve seen a picture of a big white building ablaze, and on the back, the photo read: Hamilton Theater burns. I also remember the fire department using water from the swimming pool to help put out a big fire. It’s a mystery I’m hoping someone can solve and set me straight.

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/

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.

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

SNEAK PEEK

October 31, 2016

osd-2

This is the last page of my new Christmas book, and I can’t wait any longer to share it–sorry. Yes, I guess I’m giving away the ending. But you knew that already, right?

WRITING . . . Larger Than Life

September 10, 2016

LargerThanLifeLara

LLLaraI love how every book finds its way. I have writing friends who won’t start a story until they know the ending. Many of these “plotters” plot out their entire books, outlining each chapter, every scene. Other writers, the “pantsters,” write by the seat of their pants, unaware of what lies ahead in plot and resolution. Most of the time, I think I fall somewhere in between. Like a plotter, I’m uncomfortable not knowing where a story is heading. I can’t visualize and build to a climax. But I’m just as uncomfortable writing without the surprise and discovery of a pantster.

LARGER-THAN-LIFE LARA “came” like no other book I’ve written. I woke at 3 am and could hear a tough kid saying: “This isn’t about me. This story, I mean. So already you got a reason to hang it up.” I knew enough to get out of bed and write. With no idea of the plot, I felt I knew this strong, defensive kid who would tell me LARA’s story, but didn’t want to tell me hers. Each morning I couldn’t wait to write and see what would happen next. I was two chapters into it before I realized the subtle theme of bullying inherent to the story. I was over halfway through the book when I realized the narrator, who was learning how to write, was teaching the reader everything I know about writing a story. I had to go back and label chapters: Character, The Beginning, A Frozen Moment, Setting, Opposition, Conflict, Rising Action, Climax, etc.

Which kind of writer would you be?

RULES OF SCHOOLS

September 2, 2016

Cassie Classic

It’s here. School. So I asked kids what rules reign at their schools:

“No crossing your eyes on purpose.”

“No pouting.”

“Don’t pick on kids who are bigger than you.”

“Thou shalt not suck on a marker…because the colors will come off on your teeth and everybody will know you did it. Plus, they don’t really taste than good.”

 

KIDS STILL SAY . . .

August 31, 2016

E in boxKid in a Box — a vain attempt to keep them from growing up

Here are some more insights from children I interviewed:

Me (to boys K-2nd): Who’s the boss at your house?

  • “My dad’s the boss of our house because my mom said so.”
  • “My mom is the boss of our house. She’s so good at it she’s even the boss of her work.”
  • “My dad really is the boss of our house . . . till Grandma comes over. Then he’s just one of us.”

Me (to girls K-2nd): What was your mom like when she was your age?

  • “I don’t know because I wasn’t there, but my guess would be . . .pretty bossy.”
  • “They say she used to be nice!”

Me: Why do you think we even have mothers?

2nd-grade boy: “She’s the only one who knows where the Scotch tape is?”