Thursday, September 30, 2010

Walking at Balduck!

Walking at Balduck Park

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Looking for something a little different in a walking location? If you don’t need miles of trails and are satisfied with a shorter walk, Balduck Park may be just the ticket. Balduck Park is located at the intersections of Canyon and Chandler Park...Read more »

Firefly Beach, by Luanne Rice

Firefly Beach (Hubbard's Point / Black Hall series)Firefly Beach by Luanne Rice

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This story was excellent and emotionally engaging--I really enjoyed it. It centers around the relationships of a woman and her sisters, mother, and a boy she met through strange sad circumstances as well as how the past comes back to haunt and maybe free them. The editing and grammar were particularly poor, though. I don't want to say too much about the plot because I hate spoilers, but the story is good. I would give it a four or 4.5 for plot and a 2 for editing.

View all my reviews

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Thursday, September 09, 2010


I'm not 100% sure this counts.  I wrote it down for the ROAK blog here, where you can read my story in situo.

Here is a story that is not exactly a random act of kindness, probably. I was driving home from work and decided to stop and visit my parents, who were elderly at the time. That was random, I guess. It put me in the right place and time.

It was early spring. The leaves had not come out yet, it was cool verging on cold.

After I visited with them, chatted etc and left, I had driven only a short ways when I saw a girl, or young woman, laying on the pavement half in and half out of the road, on the yellow line dividing the road from the pavement. She was not moving. People were driving past, not stopping. I was afraid she'd be hit there.

I pulled up behind her and turned on my flashers and got out and checked her pulse. She was alive, but unconscious. I tried to flag down some cars--no one would stop.

I ran across the street and knocked on a door. The person opened the door looked out, and slammed the door in my face. This happened twice more before someone would talk to me. "Call 911," I said, and returned to the girl. 

I got a blanket out of my trunk and covered her. She was dressed in light indoor clothes and it was chilly.  Then I tried flagging down more cars for help, since I am not a doctor. A can finally stopped, and the man who got out asked if I had HIT the girl! He did know what to do medically, but he set up some flares.

911 came and took the girl--almost took my blanket. She was still alive. I never found out what had happened to her. I hope my attempt at helping did actually help.

RAOK #3 Random Acts of Kindness on the Trail

I hiked the Northville-Placid Trail, 135 miles through the Adirondack Wilderness, alone. It's a scary thing to do for anyone, and even more so for a woman alone.

Before the trip, I drove up north into the mountains and hung two bundles of food high in the trees to restock my provisions en route.

When I arrived at the first bundle, it was safe and I continued on my hike.  But when I reached the second bundle, completely out of food, the bears had gotten the bundle and had eaten every item of food except one can of tuna that had huge teeth marks in it. Needless to say, I was worried. Carrying a large pack through the wilderness with tent, sleeping bag, spare clothes and other necessities uses a lot of energy, and I got very hungry.

I ate the tuna from the dented can and continued on to the next lean-to.

As a woman hiking alone, I normally did not stay at lean-tos. Rather, I hiked back into the woods and pitched my one-man (one WOMAN) tent out of sight in the trees. However, now I needed help!  At the lean-to, I told me story and was give a little bit of food by the other through-hikers. No one had much to spare, because most people planned to carry exactly what they needed. If you carry enough food on your back for many days, along with clothes, tent and bedding, you do not want anything extra.

The next day, I was fortunate to meet a man who was very strong, and who planned well for possible emergencies. He had plenty of extra food, was kind, generous and not aggressive, and paced his hike to match mine.  He provided food for me to complete my hike all the way to Placid. I was very grateful.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Adding new art to More Scribbles

I've added more of my new art to my art blog, more scribbles. If you go there and click on a thumbnail and then on the image, you can see each one quite a bit larger.

Frog Haven

I got this note from a friend with whom I'd shared my novel, Frog Haven.  I was gratified to get it, because I had just received yet another rejection from a literary agency.  I was very sad and depressed.  The letter cheered me up.

Dear Mary,

Thank you for writing and sharing with me Frog Haven.  Sissy is a heroine.  I was worried for those kids.  Is she you?

I know that many of the places you mention are real--for example, there is Union College in Schenectady, I think.  

I don't like rules about some things, like what I put in my body. About staying up or not.  I'm really undisciplined.  I'm obeying some capitalization rules for that character, Sissy's father.

I loved your novel.  It's the first novel I have completed in many years. Thank you again.


Here is part of my response:  

SIssy is based on me as a child and parts of the story are real.  There really was a cabin in the woods near where I lived when I was a kid.  The ponds are real, the starling, and many of the characters are real.  Actually, all of the characters are based on real people, to some extent, but the work is a work of fiction.  And all the things people said to each other and did in this story are entirely made up.

There was a LEGEND (kid story) that there was a dead guy in the cabin and supposedly some of the kids had seen him.  I had NOT!  I based the story on that legend.

Union College is really in Schenectady.  Saratoga Springs is a real place with a fountain in the river and leaves covered with crystals.