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Saturday, September 21, 2013

2013 Montezuma All-Iowa Writers' Conference

Thanks a million to J.O. and Debbie Parker and Our Front Porch Books for once again today hosting an outstanding conference for writers.

They put in so much effort to present an awe inspiring program of writers and editors from a wide range of experience. 

Always more to learn, but by the end of a day listening to success stories and aspirations, we all went home filled with new determination to persevere.

Children's picture book author Maribeth Boelts shared the inspiration for her stories.


Kevin Hansen's popular blog has morphed into two books he called a sort of Chicken Soup for the Troubled Soul. His persistence and PR resulted in astounding success in bringing interest in his project from Dr. Phil and numerous other national media.


And these were only the first two hours of a day-long event. Watch my blog for more to come.

Friday, September 13, 2013

This is your lucky day

Friday the thirteenth.

When I was a teen, our wonderful youth leaders at Edgewater Presbyterian Church in Chicago taught us a lesson to live by.
Something that others might consider "unlucky" can just as easily be "lucky."  

Gene and Francis Blackwell taught senior high Sunday School and led our Sunday evening fellowship group. Once a month we would have a "social", a party, with games and food and lots of fun.
  • It became a tradition that whenever the second Friday fell on  the thirteenth the party was themed "This is Your Lucky Night."
  • One of our favorite games was quick drawing of mystery phrases, a game that was later marketed as Pictionary.

Over the years, Friday the thirteenth became one of my favorite days of the month. Pogo and other characters from the comic strip by Walt Kelly would often make a point of telling each other what day the thirteenth fell on: "Friday the thirteenth fell on a Tuesday this month," they would point out, or words to this effect.

But today,
Friday the thirteenth falls on A FRIDAY,
and for that reason, I will tell you,
"This is your lucky day."
By the way: seventeen month ago, on Friday the thirteenth of April, 2012, I posted a similar post. Goes to show you that I really do like to celebrate this day.
Any superstitions you like to "celebrate"? Any that you carefully follow? 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Rising From the Shadow of the Sun--a review

World War Two
I finished Ronny Herman de Jong's book RISING FROM THE SHADOW OF THE SUN.  I recommend it to readers who want to know more about the Second World War. As someone who recognizes that we need to understand our history is order to avoid repeating it, I was intrigued with Ms. de Jong's book.
The first half is her translation and edit of her mother's diary and recollections written during World War Two in the Dutch East Indies. Netty was raising two small daughters as part of the Dutch colonial community of the Indies. Her daily routines were described in letters back to the Netherlands. When Hitler's army occupied the Netherlands, it was impossible to contact them, so she wrote her letters in a diary. Soon the life in Java deteriorated under Japanese rule as the men left or were imprisoned and the women and children were moved into smaller and more crowded housing. Before the war ended, Netty and her two daughters were interned in conditions that almost ended in their death. Others around them were dying daily, and Netty's one consolation was that each day's passing might bring them closer to release.
The second part of the book describes Ronny's life after the war, becoming an American citizen and a writer.