Worthy to be Remembered

karen in her hat small

 

By Karen Wills

For many years, when our extended family gathered for Thanksgiving dinner, I elicited groans, especially from the younger crowd, by insisting no one eat until I read a section of William Bradford’s account of the Pilgrims’ first winter in what he called, “the desert wilderness.” I did so because I felt, and still do, that we should acknowledge not just the Puritans’ capacity to give thanks, but their character and endurance. 

     William Bradford, who sailed on the Mayflower and became the second governor of Plymouth Plantation, began a journal in 1620. He did much more than merely document events; he showed the fiber of his companions. Here, in part, is his account of the misery of their first winter in America.

     “So as there died sometimes two or three a day in the foresaid time, that of one hundred and odd persons, scarce fifty remained. And of these, in times of most distress, there was but six or seven sound persons who to their great commendations, be it spoken, spared no pains night nor day, but with abundance of toil and hazard to their own health, fetched them wood, made them fires, dressed them meat, made their beds, washed their loathsome clothes, clothed and unclothed them…all this willingly and cheerfully, without any grudging in the least, a rare example and worthy to be remembered. Two of these were Mister William Brewster…and Miles Standish, their captain and military commander… And what I have said of these I may say of many others who died in this general visitation, and others yet living, that whilst they had health, yea, or any strength continuing, they were not wanting to any that had need of them. And I doubt not but their recompense is with the Lord.”

Thank you, William Bradford.

     What historical figure or figures are you thankful for?

     

 

Happy Birthday, America!

eppersonBW  By Deborah Epperson

I have a large American flag mounted on the southern deck of my house.  I enjoy watching it wave in the wind, but sometimes the wind whips the flag up and it gets wrapped around the pole.
twisted flag

COURTESY BREDT BREDTHAUER

In the past, I’d run outside, take down the flag, and unknot it so it could once more fly free in the wind. An hour later, the scene would repeat itself. Some days, I’d make five or six trips outside to untangle the flag.

A few years ago, I was in a car accident and ended up with a broken ankle. The first month I was home, I was in a wheelchair, and that’s when I noticed a funny thing about Old Glory. The flag got tangled up as usual, but because of my broken ankle, I couldn’t go untangle it. Later that day, I noticed the flag flying free again. I watched the flag closely over the next month. Some days, it would get so wrapped around the pole that I thought it would never get untangled by itself, but it did. Sometimes, the flag would stay tangled up for days at a time, but eventually, it would work its way free and fly high and proud once more.

The actions of the flag serve as a perfect metaphor for what historically goes on in a democratic republic like ours. At times, everything seems tangled up. Fear whips us into such a frenzied state that we’re willing to trade constitutional rights for an elusive promise of safety. We’re told that we are a country split in half. Blue against Red. Democrat verses Republican. Pro Choice verses Pro Life. Conservatives against the liberals. Hawks against Doves. The list goes on and on. Sometimes we wonder if such a snarled web can ever be untangled.

In the 50’s, we got twisted up in McCarthyism and the Cold War. In the 60’s, Americans were divided over segregation and civil rights. In the 70’s, we struggled with Vietnam, Watergate, and the resignation of a President. As a country, we were as tousled as that flag, and at the time there seemed no way to get beyond the forces that divided us.

Eventually, we have always discovered a way to untangle ourselves, to make peace with our neighbor, and to fly proud and free again just like Old Glory. Throughout our history, Americans have always pushed through the fear to come back to our roots and to the basic principles of individual freedoms and justice for all. After watching that flag and reviewing our nation’s history, I’m sure in time we’ll do it again. 

flag on deck with credit



Have a wonderful 4th of July and remember that while the day can be a festive holiday for us, it can be a frightening time for our pets. Please take precautions to keep your pets happy and safe.
Thanks for stopping by,

Deborah

Hope & Joy in a Classic Tale

By Janice McCaffrey      a christmas carol

While pondering the upcoming holidays my stream of consciousness meandered over past memories and future dreams. A few quiet moments of reflection led of course to Dickens’ ghosts.  My favorite version is The Muppet Christmas Carol with Michael Caine.

I love the little mice bookkeepers working dutifully and diligently in the cold office under the supervision of the kind-hearted Bob Cratchit performed by Kermit. Best of all though is the interplay between Rizzo the Rat acting as sidekick to Gonzo while he narrates the story as Charles Dickens himself.

My thoughts bumped over the moral of the story and what it means in today’s world. I got stuck on ‘don’t be stingy’ but wanted more. So what else is Dickens telling us?

On enotes.com’s website where they proclaim “We’re the Literature Experts” I found an article by Christian Themes (literary essentials: Christian fiction and nonfiction) titled     A Christmas Carol Themes. Let me paraphrase:

Scrooge’s initial penny-pinching reflects the values taking hold during the Industrial Revolution. Dickens illustrates what happens when individuals view relationships and other people through their financial worth. The author exposes the tremendous gap between the rich and the poor.

Then he illustrates a solution, individual redemption. The world becomes a better place almost immediately after Scrooge changes his outlook. The story implies that a renewed connection to humanity is, in fact, the very essence of redemption. His change is not introspective and personal; it is outward-looking and social.

While the results of Scrooge’s change didn’t alter the social structure itself, the compassion he showed to individual people did change the social relationships they shared. Despair turned to hope. isolation to belonging, and unhappiness to joy.

Wow! And I thought it was just fun to watch.

Yes, it’s a Christian based tale, but certainly can be applied to all of us no matter our beliefs. Let’s follow Scrooge’s example, enhance our relationships, and join Tiny Tim in his prayer.

tiny tim 2

 

“God bless us, every one!”

 

February Book News

candy conversations

 

Once in a Blue Moon news!

Once in a blue moon means it’s a rare occurrence. How about once in a blue blood moon? January 31, 2018 not only brought us a lunar eclipse during a blue moon, it was during a blood moon when the moon is closest to the earth. As of Jan 31, my three new e-books became available on Amazon. It’s my once in a blue blood moon event.

The books were brought to completion with the help of my dedicated critique group, my husband Tom who formatted and uploaded the books, my sister Bev for cover design, and a wonderful professional editor, Kathy McKay. Her last name is the same as the protagonist, Kelly McKay, who lives in my medical thriller series. It must have been destiny for them to meet.

A romantic medical thriller set in Alaska and two books in my medical thriller series are now available.

 

 

 

A fourth book, Fatal Feast, will be submitted to Kindle Scout publishing contest later this month.

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B007BI6SW8

I thank Montana Women Writers and Authors of the Flathead for their support.

Betty

January Book News

2018 bk news
Montana Welcomes 2018

January Book news from Betty Kuffel

Happy New Year to all!

After writing diligently for many years, I’ve made progress toward completion PyreCoverKAand final editing of three novels. The first is Deadly Pyre, book one in the Kelly McKay medical thriller series. With Debbie Burke’s success and assistance, I submitted Deadly Pyre to the Amazon Scout program.

Kindle Scout is a reader-powered publishing contest for new books. If a book is selected, it will be published by Kindle Press with favorable royalties and a small advance. You can check out my book and see how the program works by clicking on this link: https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/UP3KDBM7PVVU

I would appreciate your nomination. It would help my success, and if chosen, you’ll receive a free e-book copy.

My second book in the series, Deadly Spin is set in Alaska and is also ready for publication. If Deadly Pyre is not chosen, my plan is to indie-publish both of them later this month.

AKFlilghtCoverK7In a few days, Alaska Flight, a romantic medical thriller will be available on Kindle. My husband is in the process of formatting and uploading the manuscript to Kindle. When it’s ready, I will let you know.

 

My fourth book is Fatal Feast a biological thriller set in Montana. I have nearly finished a major rewrite following input from two beta-readers. I will be submitting it to a professional editor in about a week, so watch out! It will be finished soon, too.

Deb Burke blogs regularly on Kill Zone and wrote an excellent article about Kindle Scout that you may be interested in reading. https://killzoneblog.com/2017/04/kindle-scout-a-two-year-performance-review.html

I would also suggest you follow her blog at: http://www.debbieburkewriter.com

Deb’s Scout winner, Instrument of the Devil is on sale for the month of January for $.99. It’s action-packed. Her second book in the series is ready to publish. Both are great reads.Instrument of the Devil

For more information on Kindle Scout check out this link: https://kindlescout.amazon.com/about

Note: Tom will format and upload manuscripts to Kindle and Create Space for paid members of Authors of the Flathead. He does not do covers, so you need to have one ready if you want him to help you indie-publish.

Join Authors of the Flathead at: https://www.authorsoftheflathead.org

Check out the weekly meetings and join the group of writers helping writers.

Best wishes and happy writing in 2018.

Betty