Like Making a Quilt

Hughs Wordquilts

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Mom was a quilter.  In my book about her life (When Love Prevails, Kindle Store) I recall her experiences with her Grandma Mary when she was a girl.  Quilting was one of the things she learned from her, and mom became known for her quilts later in her life.

Whenever my wife, Sharon, and I would visit her at the Bridgewater Retirement Community, mom would always show us the latest quilt she was creating.  Many of her quilts were auctioned at the annual Fall Festival to raise auxiliary funds.  She practiced this craft even after she lost much of her vision through macular degeneration.  Her fingers, and her memory became substitutes for her eyes.

One thing I learned about her was that she really was an artist with her quilting.  Gathering odds and ends of fabric, varieties of colors, sometimes containing images or designs, she would piece together a quilt…

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Like Making a Quilt

IMG_4033

Mom was a quilter.  In my book about her life (When Love Prevails, Kindle Store) I recall her experiences with her Grandma Mary when she was a girl.  Quilting was one of the things she learned from her, and mom became known for her quilts later in her life.

Whenever my wife, Sharon, and I would visit her at the Bridgewater Retirement Community, mom would always show us the latest quilt she was creating.  Many of her quilts were auctioned at the annual Fall Festival to raise auxiliary funds.  She practiced this craft even after she lost much of her vision through macular degeneration.  Her fingers, and her memory became substitutes for her eyes.

One thing I learned about her was that she really was an artist with her quilting.  Gathering odds and ends of fabric, varieties of colors, sometimes containing images or designs, she would piece together a quilt that told a story.  Some of the story might be things or people  each piece of cloth brought to her mind.  My brother and I are both visual artists, and we got it honestly–our talent comes from the same genetic well that resourced mom’s quilting.

In recent years I have turned to writing as a primary artistic venture.  Crafting a novel is much like crafting a quilt, or a painting.  Novels are made up of bits and pieces of life that flow from people, circumstances, places and experiences over the years.  When I embarked on my fourth novel (a work in progress at the moment), my muse presented me with a story that turns around a mountain community instead of the seacoast.  “Dinkel Island Smalltalk” didn’t seem inclusive enough now, so I expanded my WordPress blog site into a new domain:  Wordquilts.com.

Writing a book, whether a novel or nonfiction, is like making a quilt.  I’m in the early stages of the new novel now, but I have a theme, and a design, and lots of pieces of life to work with.  I even have a current social issue around which to wrap my story.  The title may change as the wordquilt comes together, but for now it’s titled, “Fear No Evil.”

I’m excited!  Can’t wait to see how this wordquilt comes out!

 

Toc-Tic Time

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Like it or not, it’s that time again.  Time to enter the cave of early darkness that gets compounded with colder temperatures and questionable precipitation impact.  Only two more days–really, just one-and-a-half.

I’m talking, of course, about exiting daylight savings time and re-entering standard time, with accompanying seasonal changes.  I listen as the clock on my office wall ticks away the minutes toward the inevitable Saturday night switch.  “Spring forward, fall back,” goes the rhythmic reminder.  Tic-toc, tic-toc.  The clock’s relentless movement reminds me that I’m a tic-toc person being forced into a temporary toc-tic world.

“Get over it,” says the world around me.  Good advice.  I should be “over it” after four score years.

“Are you nuts?” somebody says.  “Daylight savings time isn’t natural.  It’s just something somebody made up–perhaps a riddle about the old adage, ‘It’s later than you think.'”

Yeah, I know all that.  I know, too, about the cows who have to be milked no matter what the clock on the wall says.  I come from a dairy family.  I did my stint in the milking stall.  I never heard the cows complain about the time on a clock!  They don’t care whether it’s tic-toc, or toc-tic.  Every day’s the same…a swish of the tail says, “Just feed me and get this over so I can get back to the pasture.”

To me, it’s all a matter of perspective.  I like to live on the side of energy, forward movement, and light.  I enjoy the longer days, shorter nights.  My post-cataract eyes cope with driving in the dark.  My body chemistry, however, seems geared to DST.

So, here we are.  Tomorrow night I’ll heave a sigh and set my clocks back an hour.  Toc-tic.  I’ll begin counting down the days until the winter solstice when daylight begins to consume more of each day.  I’ll anticipate the return of tic-toc time in March.  After all, toc-tic time is just a temporary interruption!

Revisits!

Hughs Wordquilts

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Return of Bliss

Since I switched to Kindle Direct Publishing, I’ve been revisiting my novels in the Dinkel Island Series.  This weekend a Second Edition of Book 2, RETURN OF BLISS, has gone live in both e-book and paperback formats.  There’s a new cover, extensive rewriting, and a new organization to the story.

If you’re new to the Dinkel Island Series, this book would make a great starter.  Things are alive and active in the quaint Chesapeake Bay community.  Crime and grief seem to lurk in the shadows.  A cold case from a Maryland abduction with connections to Lighthouse Point is stirred to new life.  The discovery of a mysterious cache’ of money in Tranquility Bay tweaks the suspense.  Ed Heygood is now retired and moves back to town at Stan Grayson’s invitation.  Both men are now widowed and ripe for new relationships–romance is in the air.

Sarah Jones keeps…

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Revisits!

IMG_6600

Return of Bliss

Since I switched to Kindle Direct Publishing, I’ve been revisiting my novels in the Dinkel Island Series.  This weekend a Second Edition of Book 2, RETURN OF BLISS, has gone live in both e-book and paperback formats.  There’s a new cover, extensive rewriting, and a new organization to the story.

If you’re new to the Dinkel Island Series, this book would make a great starter.  Things are alive and active in the quaint Chesapeake Bay community.  Crime and grief seem to lurk in the shadows.  A cold case from a Maryland abduction with connections to Lighthouse Point is stirred to new life.  The discovery of a mysterious cache’ of money in Tranquility Bay tweaks the suspense.  Ed Heygood is now retired and moves back to town at Stan Grayson’s invitation.  Both men are now widowed and ripe for new relationships–romance is in the air.

Sarah Jones keeps the grapevine hot with each new development.  A new crime spree has the Old Geezers, as well as everybody else in town, speculating about what’s going on.  When a gospel group presents a program at the Wesleyan Brethren Church, one member helps solve the riddle of the mystery money.  Will bliss–restoration, completeness, wholeness–return?  Will the cold case be solved?  What will happen with the mystery money?

Return of Bliss is a story of redemption and hope rooted in Psalm 30:5, “Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning.”  What joys will unfold?

If you’ve read the first novel, you’ll meet some new, colorful characters in this one:  Cybil Froster, Pastor Kate Sheppard, Molly Pringle, Herb Melloman, Doc Patcher, Darrell Tellerson, Jimmy Charles, Ben Wartman–to name a few.  Who are they?  Lots of folks from the first story are also still present.

Return of Bliss will be available in an e-book special offer November 1-5.  Why not pick up a free copy for your e-reader, tablet or I-phone?  When you’ve read the book I would invite you to send a review to Amazon.  This helps me know how my writing is being received, and helps browsers to decide about checking out the book.  Amazon has a link for doing a review on the order page.  

Next up:  I’m starting on a Second Edition for Book 3, Secrets at Lighthouse Point.  Once that’s complete, I’ll be tackling Book 4!  I can’t wait to see what new things will be going on next with the Dinkel Island folks!

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Try a Different Door!

Hughs Wordquilts

IMG_4767My publisher went out of business in January!   That means my books went out of print, and out of distribution.  It was a door suddenly slammed shut in my face–totally unexpected, although there had been signs, had I been more perceptive.

So, what now?

I had three novels in print, one of which was a second edition.  I had worked with my wife on a nonfiction book we published two years ago.  On top of that, I’d spent much of the previous year writing a biography that I anticipated getting published.

Boom!  It felt like hitting a brick wall.

My first thought was to seek a new publisher.  Major problem:  I had no money to invest.  Some people suggested crowd funding.  I wasn’t so sure, but took a shot at it.  Nothing!

Backstory…I’m an artist as well as a writer.  When I started writing I stepped away from painting…

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