June Nights

image001A Northern Wisconsin perfect balmy June night

stars glimmering across the sky, a gentle breeze rattling the Quaking Aspen leaves, and sighing through the pines. I want it to stay like this forever; my shadow is cast across the freshly mowed and fragrant lawn as I stare into the face on the laughing moon so huge above. There goes the Big Dipper but who are those stars- or are they planets? I don’t remember the names of the constellations any more because no one talks about them like my mom and dad did long ago. “There’s Orion, see his belt?” mom would say, her warm breath on my upturned face. A loon cried and mom answered back as we meandered down the road in front of the farm. “See Venus and there’s Jupiter, aren’t they lovely?” In the field a sleeping cow moaned, probably irritated by our chatter. The sweet soft smell of our Bridalveil Spirea bush is mixing with the last few blossoms of the lilacs but it is still too chilly for the hungry mosquitos.

When my mom was my age I had graduated from HIgh School and was not paying much attention to her. I regret that now. My life seemed so important in 1973 and now, well I just wish I had my mom to tell me the secrets of the universe again before she tucked me into my bed upstairs in that room, right up there where my grandson lies sleeping soundly tonight. I pause to rest on the wicker settee on the fairly new deck, thinking about how my eyes don’t see the stars and the moon like they used to. Long ago there was much less sound, cars never raced down our road and you never heard a far-off blaring radio, just perhaps the heart beat of a family drum on Little Round Lake. There was no pink tinge to the southern horizon from the Casino lights.

I stand up and spin around in my pj’s there on the deck for a few seconds in the moonlight, dancing like a young girl again, smiling at my foolishness. My eyes roll back sheepishly as I discover I locked myself out again and my husband is sleeping- so I climb through the window I forgot to lock. “Silly old woman; look at her,” I heard my father say with a smile from somewhere far away beyond that starlit night. “Goodnight guys!” I wave through the kitchen window.

Let The Secrets Die (Coming soon)

Andi MarpleWriting a book is time consuming, brain wilting and exciting. I love the feeling of creating people and having them walk in my mind like fully clothed ghosts while I change their faces, clothing and personal characteristics at whim! These ghostly figures wander through scenes, whisper words, change their minds, laugh, cry and then wisp away in the mist. The brain is a crazy place.

Then I create a gridwork, a frame for my thoughts that has time and place fixed where I hang the characters I have created. This group of characters are stuck in 1971 wearing tie-dyed tee-shirts and bell-bottomed jeans.  I chose a time when women were no longer wearing granny dresses but avoided the Mod Squad looks. I remember the innocence and the gullibility of being eighteen but now I have the grit and grime of forty-four years of living to dig through. They are perpetually living at the Linger Inn and Hagie’s Store on Lake Makwa in northern Wisconsin. That was the year that the Fishing Hall of Fame in Hayward, Wisconsin began as an idea.

I love being older and writing from that point of view. I can empathize with all the characters except for Sven and Elin but they passed away and don’t talk much in the book. I try to remember my mom when she was my age but she would be 104 by now. My dad surprised me by being 111 years old this year! I remember what they said and how they viewed certain events and I try to incorporate that into my writing.

I am looking forward to writing “Done Running” – the next book in Jewell Johnson’s life.

High Winds, Stormy Weather

I was thinking in terms of sailing, a sport I have not enjoyed but have watched, read and heard much about. There are times in our lives when the breeze is gentle, the currents soft and the sun is just at our shoulder. Those are the times when we gather strength and courage by resting. Then there are times when we put our shoulder to the wheel to hold the wind in our sails and we crash through stormy seas, up and down with the rain and water splashing on us.

Sometimes it is like that but I think we take for granted those pleasant times of resting. and we aren’t really thankful enough for them. They may even be too brief to really enjoy much but they can give us the time to regroup and recoup. There is always a little storm brewing somewhere and we need to be prepared! Lash down the stuff in your life that will blow away and hang on for the ride!


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