Category Archives: Florida Authors


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The first Christmas on the Creek I didn’t know what to expect. I wasn’t a baby and I knew there was no money for pretty gifts or even the fancy red apples and oranges so juicy the juice ran down your hands when you divided it into sections.  Those luxuries were things of the past.

Our fireplace was black as pitch inside and large enough I could almost stand in it with the tips of my fingers barely touching the sides when I tried to stretch the width.  We only had a small stack of split logs on the back porch so Momma kept only one piece nestled in red hot coals in the fireplace.  It was just enough to keep the chill off the living room if you stood almost or on the hearth. The rest of the house was like a freezer. We wore heavy sweaters and slept together to try and keep warm.  Momma piled the bed high with her beautiful hand-made quilts; so many it was hard to turn over. It was like sleeping under a thin mattress.  Wind whipped around the corners of the house and howled low and mournful. Frigid air whistled through the cracks in the floor. When we woke in the mornings we could see our breath when we exhaled. I was glad to go to school where at least it was warm then I felt guilty because Momma was home in the cold. She stood for hours ironing for the ladies who arrived in shiny new cars and left the baskets, filled to overflowing with clothes. They spoke just enough to give Momma orders about how they wanted their laundry done. When they picked them up and handed over the meager pay they didn’t even say “thank you.” Momma said she did not mind because it helped keep food on the table.

Christmas Eve we went to bed early, as usual, to save our firewood. I lay there with a big ache in my stomach and wondered if Daddy was warm in Heaven. Did he know me and Momma were almost out of food? I thought not because Heaven is a happy place and Daddy wouldn’t be happy if he knew our situation. Then I felt hot anger boil through my body like melted lava. How could he leave us like this? I balled my hands in to fists under the cover and clenched my jaws. I wanted to hit something… anything. Then my face burned with shame. Of course Daddy would not leave us if he had a choice. If I wanted to blame anyone I should get mad at myself for running my big mouth about sharing our food when we had plenty. I took a deep breath and silently asked God to please forgive me for being so selfish and now having mean thoughts. I sure didn’t want more bad times to come our way. What if Momma died too because of my mean spirit? Her back was toward me so I rolled over and snaked my arm around her middle. She smelled like Ivory soap.

“I love you, Momma” I whispered because I thought she was asleep. “Don’t worry ‘bout no presents, long as I have you that’s all I need.”

She patted my hand and her voice sounded choked when she said “Oh sweet girl, you are a blessing.”

She wouldn’t think I was a blessing if she knew my evil thoughts so I never told her about them.

Later, I guess she thought I was asleep, I felt her shoulders quiver and she stifled a sob. Momma was crying. Momma never cried except when Daddy died.

The next morning the smell of coffee perking tickled my nose and woke me. I smelled something else too but I couldn’t figure out what it was. Coffee was good enough! We hadn’t had coffee in over a week. I eased from the warm bed and the room didn’t feel as cold as usual as I stuffed my feet into my old black Converse tennis shoes with holes in the toes.

I found Momma in the kitchen frying eggs. A pan of biscuits was on the cooling rack and soft Christmas music oozed from the old radio on the windowsill. It set there because that was the only place it would get reception.

She turned and smiled “Merry Christmas! ‘Bout time you got up I thought you had decided to skip today.”

I headed to the coffee pot. “Where did we get coffee?” I reached in the cabinet for a mug “and biscuits?”

“I saved the coffee as a treat for today and you know we always have flour.”

“But what about the lard and buttermilk?”

“We got lard and I reckon water is gonna have to do instead of milk.”

She flipped two eggs on both of our plate then started making gravy.

The lid of her big canning pot, setting on the back burner of the stove, clattered softly as the steam hissed out forcing it up then down. The smell escaping with each bounce made my mouth water. “What’s in the pot?” I sneaked a pinch of a biscuit.

“Old Red.” She poured the gravy in a bowl and carried it to the table. I noticed she had covered it with her best white tablecloth.

“You killed our rooster?” I cried not believing what I had just heard.

“Yep, but he ain’t lonely in that pot ‘cause Pearl’s in there with’im.” She motioned for me to bring our plates to the table as she carried the platter of biscuits.

“You killed our hen too! Now what are we gonna do for eggs?” I could not believe she would do something I considered plain dumb.

“Sit down Caroline and let’s thank the Good Lord for this here breakfast we ‘bout to receive.”

I knew better than to disobey her even if I did think she had somehow lost her mind. I sank onto the chair and bowed my head. I kept thinking about those two chickens in the pot as she said a humble prayer.

When she said “Amen” she took two biscuits and put them on my plate beside the eggs and smothered them with brown gravy then she did the same with her own. “Eat ‘fore yore food gets cold.”


“Caroline, you worry too much. The Good Lord always takes care of us. Ain’t you got food to eat this morning?”

“But what about tomorrow?”

“Tomorrow has got enough worry of its own so don’t borrow it for today. It’s Christmas, relax and enjoy what we got. Them two old chickens cost more to feed than buying eggs, now eat.”

We had just finished our breakfast when a man knocked on the door and asked Momma for our chairs. When she carried two and had me drag the other two to the door I knew for sure she had lost her mind. Maybe the cold done froze her brain.

I helped her make the chicken and dumplings without asking any more questions. She had already killed the hen and rooster and gave away our chairs so I might as well enjoy what we had left.

I heard people laughing and talking outside and Momma looked at me. She nodded, “It’s time” she said as she lifted the big pot from the stove and carried it to the door.

Once outside I saw that the men had made long tables by balancing them on sawhorses with chairs crowded around both and the women had covered the tables with sheets. Every family on the Creek had brought something to share for our Christmas dinner. The huge bowls of collards had steam wafting from them. We had black-eyed peas from one garden, lima beans from another, squash, fried okra and any vegetable or whatever someone had to share. There were huge platters of fried chicken, biscuits and cornbread. Someone had even brought two chocolate cakes and pecan pies. I held my breath unable to believe my eyes. The men had dragged logs and huge limbs from the woods behind our homes and had a huge bonfire snapping and crackling not far from the tables. It was against the fire department rules to have a bonfire inside the city limits but no one bothered to check on the Creek.

We all ate our fill and afterwards, the adults relaxed and drank coffee as they visited; telling stories of past years and swearing this was the best party yet. The children played Keep-Away with a bright red ball that someone probably got from Santa. We played chase and hide-and-seek; everyone was laughing and happy.

The sun was sliding behind the trees and the sky was light gray streaked with rose and yellow when Pastor Jones took out his guitar and began to strum the strings. Hot tears filled my eyes and I quickly turned my back and stepped into the shadows so no one could see me cry. Momma seemed to always know what I was thinking and how I was feeling she came up behind be quietly and patted my back. “Don’t be sad Caroline, he’s here. He’s right here with us in spirit.”

The men played their instruments and we sang Christmas carols and hymns late into the night as the fire hissed and popped and slowed burned itself out.

That was the best Christmas I can remember. Even though there were no fancy gifts wrapped in pretty paper we all had the best gift of all, the gift God gave us, the gift of love. This was the true meaning of Christmas; it should be sharing what you have and laughing and enjoying being with family and friends.


Thank you for stopping by, I hope your Christmas is filled with love and happiness and we all remember the real reason we are celebrating. God gave us His Son so we can be part of His family and share His love with all.

Please stop back soon. God bless.


Christmas on the Creek



     I recently read an article that talked about writing being work and I have to agree one-hundred percent.  If you think writing a novel is easy then I would think you haven’t written a novel then had to rewrite it and then rewrite it again.  Writing is not a hobby or play.  It is a job just like any other career.  If you want to be successful you must take it seriously.  I must confess that I have not taken it as sincerely as I should.  I have been just plain lazy and I have no excuses that are acceptable.

     So you say “I have this great novel in my mind if I could just find time to put it on paper.”  Well, so do I and probably over a thousand others.  I know one thing for certain; as long as it stays in your mind it will never become a bestseller.  We will never “just find time” we must make time.  Remember we all get the same amount of hours in a day the difference is what we do with those hours.  How do we manage our time and why can’t we find time to write.  I can’t speak for you that is something you will have to do some soul-searching and answer for yourself.

     First, I believe that God should always come first in our life.  He should have the first and best part of our day.  Then we schedule other activities.

     I can find all kinds of endeavors to do instead of writing.  I say I love to write but now I must search myself and see if that is true.  If it is true then why don’t I make more time for it? 

  • One reason could be fear of being rejected.  If I don’t finish the novel it won’t be turned down.
  • Fear of being ridiculed; if this has ever happened to you about something you wrote whether as a child or adult then that fear is real.  You never want to subject yourself to it again.
  • Fear of not being the best.  Not everyone can be perfect and there are a lot of novels out there that lack perfection.
  • Fear of failure.  You tried writing before and your manuscripts were not accepted by a publisher.  Well you finished it didn’t you?  So you aren’t failing maybe you just need to try a different hook.
  • Pure honest to goodness laziness.  I really don’t believe this applies to many or any of us.  There is always an underlying reason for our lack of production.

            If we really and truly want to write we simply must sit down and put words on paper and forget all the other bunk.  So what if others laugh?  They ridiculed Noah and look what he did (we’re still talking about it today.)  If you must have perfection then keep writing until you achieve it.  If your fear is failure well so long as you are putting words on paper you are not failing. There are as many reasons for not writing as there are people who want to write.  Each of us must decide which apply to us and do our best to overcome whatever it is.  No one can or will do this for us it is up to us to write or not to write.  The road to being an author is not an easy one.  We hit some huge bumps along the way but we must persevere and overcome those obstacles.

     Thanks for stopping by, until next time keep writing and before you know it that novel you had in your mind will be a completed manuscript on paper.

 God bless.



Have you ever been jealous of the successful authors? I ask myself this question. I try very hard to never be jealous of or envy anyone else. But when I look at some of the last years earnings for some authors and they are way in the millions, like $78,000,000 I think man it would be so nice to earn that kind of money. But is that jealousy? I certainly hope not. And then I wonder why some make it and some don’t. Is it because some are lazy and some work harder? I don’t think so.
As you well know, I believe God gives each of us a means, call it talent if you wish to make our living. But He leaves it up to us to find that talent and develop it to succeed. And again that depends on what one calls success. Some  go farther than others but does that really mean some are more successful than others. Certainly they are by the world’s standards. But do we want to pattern our lives after the world or after Jesus? Remember Jesus didn’t even have a house of His own to live in while He was here on earth. But wouldn’t you call Jesus successful? I sure would. When He said in John 19:30 “It is finished” He had successfully done the job He came to do, there by being a success.
Some authors seem to manage their time better than others and it is so true some write more novels than others. So should we be jealous of them? I don’t think so. Instead of worrying about what they have accomplished we should set our minds on reaching our own goals. We have heard it said that God will not put more on us than we can bear but we should remember that is success as well as trials and temptations. Ask yourself if you are ready to handle the success that the authors who make millions have. Are you strong enough to resist the temptations that come with wealth? Would you prefer wealth to good health? Do you write because you want to and must write or do you write hoping to get rich? Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against wealth and hope to obtain some myself one day but I have to ask myself if that is why I write and the answer is an emphatic “No.” I write because I love to write.  Am I successful? I feel I am. Think of all the people who say “One day I’m going to write a book or poem or whatever.” And if you are doing it then call yourself a success! You are doing what so many dream of doing but never get around to it. Some say they will write a blog some day but if you are blogging now you have beat them to the punch and have succeeded in writing a blog.
I conclude that like beauty success is in the eye of the beholder.
Thanks for stopping by and until next time think about what you consider success. And keep writing even if you are the only one who sees what you write.

Why Do We Write

  I’m alive and kicking but the weather we’ve had the last few days left me with no desire to be on the computer.  I preferred to sit on either my front or back porch and watch the leaves shiver and the wind make the huge limbs dance.  It is an awesome sight and very peaceful.  I also love to sit there and watch it rain.  True every now and then the wind would whip a mist my way but that’s a small price to pay. But now I’m back in the office.

     The manuscript is going well.  As a matter of fact so well that I was up until five o’clock this morning working.  You know how those days are when everything is falling right in place and all the characters are taking over and showing you what they want to do and how they want to act.  You keep working and completely forget about time.  This is one of the reasons we write.  Oh yeah, we also enjoy the other times but there are times when I just can’t seem to get it right, when I want the character to do what I want him/her to do instead of what they would usually do in said situation; times when I try to force the story.  Let me tell you those are not fun and you darn well know how much time you have struggled.  But we keep writing because there is something deep inside that tells us to write and we can’t resist.

     When did you realize you had the “Writer’s Bug?”  I was still in middle school and I knew as sure as I was born that I had to write.  Granted what I wrote back then wasn’t even good enough to be called trash.  But I kept at it and as the years passed I got better and better.  Then I got married and had two wonderful sons and caring for my family pushed my writing to the back burner.  But the desire was still there.  Once you realize you have the bug it never leaves.

     I was and am also an avid reader.  As I’ve said before I believe you don’t have to be a writer to be an avid reader but you must be an avid reader to be a good writer.

     I believe God gives each and every one of us a talent then He leaves it up to us to find and perfect it.  My talent is writing and I thank God for it.  I’m still working on the “perfect” part but I’m enjoying the trip.

     These are my thoughts for today.  Thanks for stopping by and until next time keep writing even if you are in the slump period.  We must take the bad along with the good.  God bless.

A Mother’s Love


They walk out of the free clinic hand in one.  One glance at his face tells her that he is just as afraid as she is.   Neither of them say a word.  They simply hold hands and walk a half block then plop down on the bench to wait for the city bus.

     They had just heard the news that should make them happy but instead they are scared out of their minds.  She wants to blame him.  He said this could not happen that he knew what to do; he would be careful.  But it had happened and she had known for almost three months but would not admit it even to herself.  Sometimes she hoped that something else was wrong; maybe she had cancer.  Then she would scold herself for such an idea.  She had refused to say the words. 

     But the doctor had said them. “Congratulations you’re going to be a mother.”

     How could that be?  She had just turned fifteen four months ago and she had so many dreams; so many things she wanted to accomplish.  She wanted to go to college and get out of the desolate community where she had been all her life.

     He turned to her and said the unspeakable word that she has let run across her own mind more times than she cares to admit.  “Abortion, that’s the answer.  That’s what we’ll do.  I’ll use some of the money I’ve saved for college and…”

     She shakes her head vigorously and her hand covers her belly in an automatic protective motion.  She already has a mother’s instinct.  “Never,” she says surprised that her voice comes out in a harsh whisper when her mind is screaming.  “That’s murder; a sin!  Sin’s what got us in this mess to begin with.”

     He starts to deny it but she holds up her hand and stops his flow of words.  “Yes it is.  We both knew it was a sin to have sex outside of marriage.  The pastor said so and you were sitting right there beside me and heard him the same as I did.”

     He is silent again and keeps glancing down the road; hoping the bus will hurry and come.  He wants to get as far away from that clinic as he can.  But he can’t escape the doctor’s words that keep screaming in his head.

     She sees the big blue and gray bus two blocks away when he finally takes her other hand and turns her so they are face to face.  “Okay… okay we’ll get married.”

     That’s what she wanted to hear.  That’s what she has hoped for weeks he would say.  But when she looked in his eyes she doesn’t see the undying love forever he had promised.  Instead she sees fear and doubt and underneath it all a shadow of dread and disappointment.

     He sees his dreams of college and a better life fly away.  He’s worked hard all through high school to keep his grades up hoping to qualify for an academic scholarship.  Just in case he did not get one he has worked every vacation, weekend and holiday and saved every penny.  Now when he is only a few months from graduation his dream is being jerked away.

     She can’t do it!  She can’t destroy him.

     “No.”  She shakes her head just as the bus squeals to a stop and the door glides open.  “I don’t want to marry you. Stay here I don’t want you with me.”  She drops his hand and stands up.  She walks to the bus then says over her shoulder as she climbs the steps.  “I don’t love you.  I never did.”  She hates the pain that flashes across his face.  More lies she thinks as she hands the driver her school identification which allows her to ride the bus for free.  Tears stream unchecked down her cheeks as she stumbles down the aisle and finds a seat.

     The driver cusses under his breath.  He’s had this same route for over fifteen years and has picked up way too many young girls from this stop who have the same look on their face as his new passenger.

     That night over spaghetti with watered down sauce with no meat she starts to cry.  Her mother gave birth to her when she was only sixteen.  She has worked two jobs as a maid for as long as the girl can remember but there is still never enough money for the bills and necessities.  Is this all she has to offer her baby?  A life time of need, uncertainty and doing without.

     Then she remembers the brochures the doctor had given her.  She had crammed them in her battered purse without even a glance.  Now she leaves the table and goes to the bedroom she shares with her mother.  They have always had a one bedroom apartment.  She retrieves the papers and sat on the bed as she reads them.  The first two talk about abortion so she tosses them in the trash as though they are too hot to touch.  The other one is about adoption.  She reads it twice.  Then falls to her knees and prays, crying out to God to show her if adoption is the answer.  Should she?  Could she give her baby to strangers?

     When she told her mother what was going on they cried together.  Then they agreed adoption was the best thing to do.  Rich couples who had everything this world had to offer except being able to conceive a child were willing to pay all her bills if she gave her baby to them.

     She was sure she had found the solution when she, her mother and the boy met the prospective parents.  They seemed like very nice people and assured her they would give the baby their very best.

     And then the baby started to move.  

     Her love grew as the tiny body formed and grew just below her heart.  She knew she had to give it away but she wished the day would never come.

     No matter how hard she wished her water broke and labor pains ripped her apart.  As agreed the adoptive parents were in the delivery room.  They tried to hide it but she saw the joy on their faces when the doctor held up her tiny son and his healthy cries ricocheted around the room.   When the nurse placed him in her arms her heart was filled with so much love and joy mixed with grief she felt it would burst.  For a minute she could not breathe.

     The adoptive parents vowed their love for him but how could they possibly love him as much as she did?  They had not held him all these months sleeping against their heart or felt him kick so hard she was certain he had caused her internal injuries.

     The attorneys said she had forty-eight hours in which she could change her mind.  She knew she wouldn’t; knew she couldn’t.  She loved him too much to condemn him to a life of poverty.  She would use the time to tell him how much she loved him.  She held him all night pouring out her heart to him even though she knew he would not understand and would never remember.  But she hoped that somewhere deep inside he would somehow know she cared. She counted his perfect pink toes and kissed each tiny finger.  Taking deep breaths she sucked in his smell so she would never forget.  The fuzz that covered his head tickled her cheek as she snuggled with him.

     The hour came way too soon.  She was allowed to dress him in the soft one-piece pajamas covered with pale yellow ducklings.  Her fingers trembled as she pulled up the zipper.  She kept glancing at the papers their lawyer had placed on the stand beside her bed.  The attorney the couple had hired for her had read them and assured her all was in order.  She wrapped her son in the soft, expensive blanket they had brought then turned and placed him in the waiting mother’s arms.  Quickly she picked up the pen and with a shaking hand signed her name.

     They walked hurriedly to the door and disappeared down the hall.  She stuffed the corner of the pillow in her mouth to stifle the scream that tore at her heart and soul.  She had just shown the most unselfish love she could ever show her son.

Is Being An Author All In The Mind

     You can call yourself an author even if you have never published one single word.  But does that make you an author?  I suppose in this world where we live you can call yourself anything you want but it simply does not make it true.  Then I ask myself “Where does being an author begin?”  It does not start with education because you can spend years in school studying the art of writing and still not put a story to paper.  I believe being an author starts in the mind.  I know it did for me.  Even when I was a little girl I wanted to write novels.  I was and still am an avid reader which I think is important to being a good writer.  You can be a reader without being an author but you can’t be an author unless you are an avid reader.  My love for the art grew in my heart and mind.  True, then you need an education so you can prefect the art but it must first start in your mind.  The plots for my novels start in my mind then grow in my heart.  I know and love my characters which I also feel is important.  I’m so excited about the Southern Drama I’m working on but I’ll leave that for another blog.  I want the world to know the people in my novels.  You can’t just sit down and write a novel; you must think about it.  You must glen every bit of knowledge you can about the people in your novel.  And where does that knowledge come from?  Your mind, no one else can give you the answers.  So, being an author is all in the mind.  Some say it is a lonely career but it is also exciting to watch your novel take form and grow as your characters become real to you.  If they aren’t real to you, trust me, they won’t be real to you readers.

Thanks for stopping by.

Live Like You’re Dying

      Our pastor taught today from Philippians 1:21, about living like you are dying.  It really was food for thought.  What would you do if you knew this was your last day?  Would you treat your family the same way you usually do or would you be especially nice to them?  Would you wear the outfit you have saved for a special occasion; and maybe use the good China and silver?  How about calling an old friend that you have not seen in years and have good intentions of getting in touch with but somehow never do?  Maybe you would relax and take a ride in the country or play a game with your children.  There are so many things that I believe we would do differently if we knew today was our last day.

     It’s not that we don’t love our family or that we don’t think of old acquaintances.  No, we do but we assume that we have plenty of time and can do it later.  We tell ourselves, once I have the house or the car paid off or enough money in the bank I’ll do so and so.  You promise your children that you will play with them later.  And you meant to call your parents but so many things got in the way and before you knew it the day was gone and still you didn’t call.  While you were working you remembered the happy times you spent with your siblings but you decided to wait until later to pick up the phone and let them know you are thinking about them. 

     We make so many excuses but one day there will be no time left for excuses.  We will wake up and realize our kids are grown or our parents died sooner than we expected.  We should live every day as though it was our last; tell people you love them, hug your children, talk to your parents and siblings.  Go on, take that outfit out of the closet and get all dressed up.  Take that long walk with your spouse; stop and enjoy the pretty flowers or the blue sky.  Remember God never promised us tomorrow and today just might be your last chance to do all the things you meant to do.  And above all remember to thank our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ Who died on the cross so if today is your last day on earth you still have a chance to be reunited in heaven.

Thanks for stopping by.  I appreciate you reading my blog.

Soon To Be a Memory

     When I started this blog I wondered what I should write about.  Oh trust me I would love to be spurtting out wonderful information about how to create strong characters, outline a manuscript, the best way to get published or any of the informative blogs on the business of being a successful author.  But you know what?  There is probably at the very least a million people already blogging with that kind of talk and they most likely know more about it than me.  And besides it just isn’t my forte. Instead I would rather write about more interesting subjects, like how long it takes for a black wall to fade to gray or how tall grass can grow in a year.  You know?  The truly interesting stuff.  When you read my blog you  might never be able to guess what subject I will write about next.  Soooo… let’s get started with the story for today.

     Remember a couple of weeks ago when I felt I really needed to go and take a picture of the little house on Main Street (pictured above) before it became history?  I am so glad that I followed my feelings and went because today I rode past there and they are demolishing the little house.  I’m thankful that I have the pictures to show what used to be there when they decide to build a large housing development in its place and the little house will be forgotten.  I like to think that if it could talk it would have had some wonderful stories about a happy family.   So I will keep looking for abandoned and forgotten houses and buildings and keep taking the photos so at least someone will remember them.

Have a blessed evening and please come back soon.

Florida Clouds

     Our son and his wife moved to Texas Tuesday so he can continue his degree at seminary.  We helped them pack and saw them off and on their merry way.  Believe me we were tired after all the Christmas celebrations and then helping them so we took yesterday off to rest and just do as little as possible.  We went back over to their house today to clean it and get it ready to rent.  As we were getting ready to leave I looked up and was blessed to see all these beautiful clouds so I just had to share them.

God bless and y’all come back again real soon.


I have to wonder if I have writer’s block or if it is just that time of year.  I know that I’ve been busy with the holidays and Christmas shopping.  However, it seems I’m finding it hard to even start decorating for Christmas.  I’ve done most of my shopping and have almost everything wrapped.  But when it comes time to sit down and work on the manuscript I make all kinds of excuses for doing something else.  I know I have to be tough on myself and quit being lazy.  This novel will not get out there so others can enjoy it if I don’t write it.  I have the complete outline in my head but just can’t seem to get it on paper.  Okay, I promise tomorrow morning without excuse I will sit here and work for a minimum of two hours.  That should get the old juices flowing.

Have a blessed evening and thanks for stopping by.  I promise I will even get back to The Farmer’s Daughter.