Saturday, June 22, 2013


Right at the moment, what I most want to be is twins.

A very special kind of twins, as it happens. I want to be both of them. The Romance Writers of America’s annual national conference is coming up, and I want to be in two places at once. It would be even more convenient to be triplets, but asking for that could be interpreted as unattractive greed. I would settle for being two.

Of course the basic problem is the old one of choice.  How we fight to maintain it! I would be furious if someone tried to restrict my right to free choice. (And they do, trust me.) The contradictory part of the whole business is that once I have taken my stand like the principled citizen I am, I discover the other half of the problem. Having the choice is splendid. Making the choice is something else altogether.

Now, I realize that deciding on which of two events scheduled at the same time is not exactly the kind of issue for which the American Revolution was fought—or any of the others, come to that—but it’s a problem for me.
One alternative would be to spend time with people who share my passion for the Celtic heritage that enriches all of us. I have newly joined the chapter, and there are many people there I would love to spend time with, to connect faces with names, to share a love of a particular kind of culture that has enriched the world as a whole.
I could spend time with other people who love Ireland!
The other alternative is to spend the evening with a group I’ve come to know well.  Old friends, in fact.  Even more excitingly, a lot of them will be dressed up in wonderful finery to dance the evening away. The Regency period, however you define it, was a brilliant and sparkling era. Technically, it took place between 1811, when the unfortunate King George III was judged unfit to rule, and his son, the Prince of Wales became the Prince Regent, and 1820, when King George III died and the Regent became George IV. More generally, the period between 1795 and 1837, when Queen Victoria came to the throne, is known as the Regency Era. It was a time of great art, great writers (Austen, Shelley, Keats, Coleridge—to name just a sampling), and wonderful elegance in manners, entertaining, and spectacular women’s dresses.

That’s what some of the other attendees on that evening will be wearing. At least one of them will be a woman I’ve wanted to meet for years.
So how am I supposed to choose?
It’s quite simple. I shall become twins. Just watch me!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

How Do You Escape?  by Lane McFarland
Summer in the North Georgia Mountains has arrived in full force as temperatures creep above 90 degrees. My outside haven awaits, ready for my fingers to dig into the lush red clay.
Stooped over, sweat trickling down my face, I diligently pluck the ever present ungainly weeds crowding my vegetable and flower gardens. If only my little plants would grow so well!
Surrounded by white Candytuft and Blue Star Creeper, Black & Blue Salvia’s tentacles thrust tubular iridescent blue flowers into the warm breeze. Ruby Spider mixed with golden yellow lilies and fuchsia-colored Phlox bloom abundantly nestled between deep purple Butterfly Bushes.

Strawberries hang in abundance, the red fruit sweetening in the warm sunshine while little green tomatoes sprout on vines weaving through support cages.
Not only are my flowers budding, but wildlife is fully awake. Delicate Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, Indigo Buntings, and Eastern Bluebirds are among my frequent garden visitors. Woodpeckers, Northern Cardinals and Yellow Finches fill my bird feeder stations.
That was until a much larger visitor stopped by...
Finding a free meal was well worth the trip up the mountainside for this black bear. He gave thanks for his good fortune; however my feeders will never be the same.
Along with living vicariously through my books’ beloved characters in days gone by, cultivating tender plants provides a much needed escape from the pressures of my job and life in general.
How do you escape the pressures of everyday life? Do you have a special place to retreat, regroup and recharge?