Where Were You in 1976? Whatever Were You Thinking?

I’m only one inconsequential person who lived through the 70s. Many of you were there, too going through some of the major events of the decade with me with the same or different experiences.

oregon trip 201320130914_1106231R

My new book, A New Home for Wynn,or at least that’s what it is now, is shaping up. My ten-year old heroine starts out on all the wrong feet at her new school in the southern Willamette Valley in a fictitious town named Pine Forest, OR just before the 1976 election.

oregon trip 201320130915_0044168R
This picture is located at the mouth of the Klamath River, where they wrestle still with a salmon issue battling it out water rights with the Central Valley of CA, where I live.

I chose this location because twenty-five years ago I wrote my first boring novel about this little girl (me, of course). I had recently moved from Cottage Grove, OR, so my heart still lived there even though I had moved on. On November 1st I resurrected the book that I wrote during summer vacation of one of my first years of teaching. At the time I wrote this I taught fourth grade. Elementary teachers teach writing like we know what we are talking about. The text-book tells us what to say and do,  and I taught writing to kids. As I judged kids essays and graded their journals, I sometimes (not often) wondered if I was legitimately qualified to do so. I wondered if I could stand the scrutiny of publication. Proudly I finished the book, and put it away. Overwhelmed by the edits I knew needed to follow, I decided not to push for publication, but I cherished the experience, and the work itself.

Twenty-five years later it's on it way to PA with me. And yes, it weighs a ton! :)
Twenty-five years later it’s on it way to PA with me. And yes, it weighs a ton! 🙂

I went on about life, but the book remained clipped to my wooden clipboard, its original floppy disks long gone. When NaNoWriMo came up this year, I decided to participate, in spite of the fact I am traveling twice during the month and will be out of commission along the way. I needed something I thought I could rewrite quickly.

WRONG!

And right, because I had the germ for my story, but not the details that will make the book a breakout novel. Yesterday I figured out how to interject the important issue that was part of my book from its inception, but was overshadowed by the girl’s (my) problems with her (my) father — and husband and any other male that  who happened across my path that and rubbed me the wrong way.

Hal, his granddaughter, Amy, and me sitting in Robert Morris' pew in Philadelphia.
Hal, his granddaughter, Amy, and me sitting in Robert Morris’ pew in Philadelphia.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t hate men! I had the most wonderful grandfather in the world, who looked something like my mother’s cousin Hal, pictured above. He adored me.  So he’s in there, too, you just wouldn’t recognize him as a grandfather because he’s 11 ish. I think Hal adores me too, but he just met me four years ago, but that’s another story I can tell you more about after I see him for the third time in my life tomorrow morning at 9:00 am PA time.

But here’s what’s missing – YOU!  I need opinions from all over the United States and beyond about what you were doing in the 1970s and what you thought about the Endangered Species Act of 1973. My heroine and her grandfather-type friend are assigned reports, debates and all kinds of assignments to involve them in the white spotted owl issues in Oregon at that time. By the way, those issues were not resolved at the time, but they were quite heated.

Palmer's white spotted owl
David A. Palmer, Easton

People all over the country at that time became involved citizens protecting the earth from industrious invaders. What were your experiences?

Click the express yourself link below and share your thoughts with me.  When the book comes out, (and it will – I guarantee it –  my word is my bond) if I use your name or quote you in any way I will send you a free copy as a thank you gift, unless you’d rather have a check for $1,000. You know I’m kidding don’t you? About the check, I mean. I’m hoping it will cost me thousands just mailing copies of the book because so many of you respond!  🙂

Click here to express yourself. 

If you have longer stories, you can reach me at tchistorygal@gmail.com.

Also like me on WP, FB, Twitter, and LinkedIn. I rarely check the others, but I do check those.

Books You Must Put Down and Movies That Transport You Out of This World

To be honest, if I’m reading fiction, I can’t put the good books down. If I’m reading non-fiction I have the opposite reaction. The better it is the sooner I put it down and start practicing what I just read.

Because I chose to take part in NaNoWriMo this month, I’ve read non-fiction, how to books to improve my fiction writing as I write.  Along with that I began blogging again, although not at the frantic daily pace I did three years ago when I started.

Writing the Breakout Novel

The first book I began, and hope I’ll finish is Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass. If you write seriously, you’ve probably read it, but I’ve done other things. His writing style is professorial with honest suggestions, examples, and a summary at the end of each chapter, so you don’t forget the main points. The problem is that I get a few pages into each chapter and I go to my new novel, and begin revising – from the beginning.  I may never finish either my novel or the book.  The good news is that this book is making a difference in how I write fiction.

Every Writer Needs a Tribe

This morning I just downloaded a free non-fiction book, Every Writer Needs a Tribe, from Jeff Goins who I know from My 500 Words. One of my favorite writing friends, Tonia Hurst, invited me to this writing group on Facebook.  This book is very short, 42 pages, and talks about building a writing platform. As a blogger, I have a platform that is pretty scattered, and Goins advises against that, but as most of what I’ve posted on this site has been about blogging, I think you all should know about this book.

The two movies I’ve seen in the last couple of weeks I recommend that you not get up in the middle and walk out. Both of them are still showing, at least in Visalia, where we get a smattering of the current movies.

The Martian, unbelievable as a science fiction should be, enables you to suspend reality and live on Mars with the astronaut that gets left for dead when the rest of the crew takes off to avoid certain annihilation by a fierce Martian storm. (Whew, try saying that sentence without taking a breath.) The photography and Photoshop tricks used to make this movie are every bit as enjoyable as the plot and the acting, both of which helped capture this movie a 93% approval rating.

The Intern entertains entirely differently. If you love Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway, you will already love the film. No man is as perfect and loveable as the senior intern played by De Niro, but every romantic wants to believe in him.  I saw this chick-flick with four other retired, successful, busier than working-women friends for our birthdays.  We all loved the movie. The Rotten Tomato website rates this movie as a 60%, but if you believe chivalry didn’t die with your grandparent’s generation, this movie is for you.

Those are my recommendations for you. What do you recommend for me to make it through NaNoWriMo?

Word Press Photo Challenge: Treat

It’s a treat to thrash Bob — hard!

Bopping Bob.
Bopping Bob.

In only two months I’ve gotten so much better at it. When I started fighting Bob, I could barely tap him in the chest for 15 seconds. Now I can beat on him for a minute without being out of breath. (OK I exaggerate a LITTLE.)

I’ve learned to sock him in the solar plexus.

Watch out, Bob!
Watch out, Bob!

I can back arm him and thoroughly box his ears.

Two months ago my husband and I began training with our best friend’s daughter, Melissa, a five foot two powerhouse who has competed successfully in at least one national fitness competition. When we started I couldn’t plank, not for a second. Now I can hold still, not without a lot of groaning, for at least 30 seconds after doing two rounds of other serious exercises.

Melissa and her friend, Bob

Some things I still can’t do. While V is doing serious pull-ups, I’m stretching trying to hang from a bar without pulling anything up. I still have to have my tippy toes on the ground, though, and even that hurts. the other day I stretched out with my feet on the ball and my hands clenching a couple of hanging rings. I swear I lifted my body about an eighth of an inch. I was so proud I called over to Melissa to watch.

But put me behind a pair of rope handles, and I can drive those ropes into submission. Melissa tells V to watch my great form. I am so proud.

So what does all this violence do for our bodies? Melissa says our core will get stronger. So far I have only gained weight – about 4-5 pounds. My clothes still fit , and my body still looks roly poly in the mid-section, but I’m definitely able to do more harm to Bob that I ever thought possible, and that’s a treat!

BTW, I thought Melissa named Bob after her dad, but everyone on YouTube seems to call him Bob, and here I thought I was pounding “Bob,” (which I would never have dared in real life!)  🙂

For more treats click here.

Considering Your Costume Choices?

People enjoy Evengeline’s Costume Mansion in Sacramento year round, but I’d bet it’s packed today, the day before Halloween.  You might be planning to wear a sexy costume like the mannequin pictured here.

The new Marsha ???
The new Marsha ???  I photoshopped her arm joint seams, but she still looks rather … dead.

My husband, Einstein’s look-alike, wants to dress as Father Guido Sarducci. Good choice for him, don’t you think?

Father-Guido

People don costumes for many reasons year-long, and sometimes we copy them for Halloween. Here are a few costumes I’ve seen in my travels. In Hawaii we accidentally toured a park during a religious building dedication. Participants in the ceremony wore native costumes. Native dress for the men included tattoos.

I got a little shaky taking this picture. hahaha I had my zoom extended out to 270 mm, and I was in too much of a hurry! hahaha
~~~~ I got a little shaky taking this picture. I had my zoom extended out to 270 mm.  You would have shaken too!

The girls that sang had their costumes wrapped around them.  It reminded me of a church play, where the church costume designer didn’t really go all out with the costumes, but the cute factor was still there.

The women didn't get as into the total costume as the young man did. Does it look like he's glaring at me?
The women didn’t get as into the total costume as the young man did. Does it look like he’s glaring at me?  It was a very solemn ceremony.

Performers wear costumes on stage year-round, not just for Halloween.  Trick or treaters may buy costumes like these , but nothing matches the storytelling, grace and beauty of the Hawaiian dancer.

Luau Kalamaku in Kauai

Mexican folklorico dancers wear colorful dresses with circular ruffled skirts which they swing and raise to show off their legs as they do tap dance-like percussive steps called zapateados.

2013 CCSS Folklorico Dancers

Different street dancers in wide assortments of costumes entertain daily passersby in large cities like these we saw in San Francisco.  Dancers from Thailand depict combat with short and long sticks. Agile dancers, as short stick fighters do, stay close to their opponents. The teut-teung drum keeps the beat during the energetic dance.

SF Thai Dancer229

Do you have your costume picked out for tomorrow? Hope you have a Happy Halloween and don’t get too scared!

Mapping Back to TCHistoryGal.wordpress.com

Good morning everyone. This is your troubled WP friend, Marsha Lee, streaming thoughts, good and bad for everyone to see.

Streaming or screaming, Marsha? I can't tell.
Streaming or screaming, Marsha? I can’t tell.

 

I received an answer to my cry for help from the Jonathan S the Happiness Engineer from WP. It looks like with one simple click I am back in business on this site – now that I started a new one. I guess I am happy now.

Honey are we having fun?
Honey are we having fun?

I’ll keep this one going as my fun, social site, so I don’t lose my friends. Thank you Ute, Dianne Gray and Naomi for writing to me on my new site. You made my day!

What are your favorite social activities?
What are your favorite social activities?

The new site, TCHistoryGalProductions.com, will be my professional writing site.

How to write and read millions of books in 10 minutes a day.
How to write and read hundreds millions of books in 10 minutes a day.

TCHistoryGal.blogspot.com is my site for local history.

Photo courtesy of Ellie Cain
Photo courtesy of Ellie Cain

How many websites have you started either accidentally or on purpose?  Have a great week!

Kind regards,

Marsha Lee 🙂