When my husband was a little boy, according to court documents, his mother, a widow, left him and his sister in the care of “vicious and immoral people, without proper food or sanitation.” Due to her neglect, the county removed her youngest two children—my husband and his sister—from the residence and she lost all parental rights. The older daughter, thirteen-years-old and pregnant, was sent to a state school for girls, where her baby was born and placed for adoption. An older son, age sixteen, joined the army. My husband and his sister were ultimately separated from each other. When he was two and a half and she was five, they were adopted by different families. They never saw their mother again. Continue reading Women and Children in Need
My greatest challenge in writing the Velvet Bridge was to tell the tale in such a way to expose the flaws in my protagonist, Mattie Featherstone, and not leave the reader disliking her. Even though the behavior and life decisions Mattie makes in the beginning are below the standard of acceptable behavior and decency, particularly for a mother, my job is to make sure the reader loves her anyway. Continue reading Reflections of Real Life in Fiction
Jo had planned to spend the weekend in Dallas with friends, until Sean walked into the house early that Saturday morning completely unexpected. The guest he brought with him set off alarm signals, activating motherly instincts Jo had never experienced. Continue reading Mother of The Groom
Every Thursday evening Harrison’s mother played Bridge, either in their own living room, or in the home of one of the other club members. Regardless, Harrison had time on his hands, free time for a few hours, time he could spend doing whatever pleased him. And time spent away from his widowed mother pleased him tremendously. It wasn’t that he didn’t love Lucy, but—being her only child—that weekly freedom from his mother’s short leash was the best part of Harrison’s life. Continue reading A Full Grown Man
As a genealogist, I often discover occurrences where the facts beg to be more closely examined. Odd circumstances poke at my natural skepticism. Actual recorded facts, or the absences thereof, nag at me and I wonder what happened? Why? In order to ease frustration accompanying the realization that some things can never be known, I simply don my fiction writer’s cap and let the process begin, for there is always a story there. Continue reading There is A Story There
Gretchen was unaware when she locked the door of the hair salon she managed that a terrorist of the worst kind roared murderously down the interstate, not ten miles away, toward the farm she rented with her mother. The late afternoon sun would be casting long shadows across the backyard where her six-year-old daughter would be playing, perhaps gathering the eggs from the hen house. No, Gretchen did not know that today was the day of her nightmares, the imaginary day she never talked about to anyone. Continue reading Child of Mine
When I was a young girl, I read a story about a woman and the actions she took, simple as they were, to hold her home together. For some reason that story has remained with me. The message of the story is still relevant today, I think, for it speaks to the importance of the image we present to those in positions of authority over us, and the powerful influence that image holds, good or bad.
There’s still value to be found in putting our best foot, or face, forward. Of portraying ourselves in the best light possible, no matter our circumstances.
Time was, a man’s good name was the only collateral he needed at the bank. It was his bond, and his best asset was a good wife. Times have changed, but the importance of good impressions remains. Continue reading Anna
She filled an empty shoe box
with all his old love letters.
She tied it up in yellow ribbon
to hold them all together.
Sometimes when I’d visit,
she’d take them from the shelf
and one by one she’d read to me
the words of love he’d left.
Then with trembling hands,
she’d return each one to its place.
As she caressed the satin ribbon,
a smile would touch her face.
I was only a child back then,
and could not comprehend
the meaning of the phrases
or how long she had treasured them.
Recently, those old letters
fluttered across my mind.
Suddenly I wanted very much
to read them line by line.
She’d been gone for quite a while,
her belongings scattered about.
I was stunned when I discovered
they had thrown “that old box” out.
There was no room for “all that stuff—
just a bunch of musty ol’ papers.”
So, they burned them every one,
her box of his love letters.
I wish I could have saved them,
I’ve regretted it ever since.
Her name was Emma, and his was Ernest.
They were my mother’s parents.
Long ago in pagan times,
When God was still a woman,
The fertile Earth was cultivated
With a reverence now uncommon.
The abundance of the Goddess Mother
Established harmonious equality.
Life increased with balanced purpose,
Oblivious to male superiority.
Suddenly a flash of light
Sparked a Semitic mind.
A thought envisioned One Manly God,
The Creator of all Mankind.
Divinity revealed masculinity’s prize,
The universal Power of God.
Adam’s myth drew a celestial breath,
Eve’s, God’s afterthought.
The Almighty God and the Earthly Kings
Saw a chance to Capitalize:
The lowly sinner could be redeemed,
If he was mercifully Christianized.
While the Puritan Ethic of honest toil
Fills the coffers of Godly Kings,
The Worker is promised a heavenly home,
If to the cross he clings.
Man knows fear as never before,
Under the hand of Almighty God.
Woman is charged with unknown sins,
As down to Hell they trod.
Once, an archaic thought formed chosen words,
Through the trickery of subtle deceit
And Humanity was eternally duped,
Enslaved by its own conceit.
Anita Stubbs, 1992