Grace's Mosaic Moments


Saturday, October 24, 2020

MAKING MAGIC WITH WORDS

Friday, October 23. Here's a peek at what I've been doing for the last ten days - doesn't look like much, but it forced all other creativity to a screeching halt. In fact, we almost didn't have a new blog this week. My daughter Susie and her three girls are part of a wedding taking place on Saturday, October 24. Although all four gowns are the same color, each is of a different design, about 6" too long, two in need of fiddling with the shoulder straps as well. And oh yes, not shown here: the eight mauve masks made from cutting up the gown on the left! Finished yesterday, I was finally able to get back to work this morning, writing a chapter on my current WIP, The Making of Matthew Wolfe (Book 1 in a somewhat new approach to a Regency series).

Update. And then the bride's prospective mother-in-law burned a hole - a large hole - in the wedding veil. Susie knew better than to ask me to fix that on top of everything else! So she borrowed my best scissors, bought tulle and fabric glue at Jo-Ann's and set about detaching the headdress and LONG, elaborate lace trim from the old veil and re-attaching it to the new veil. I am looking forward to photos of the wedding with bated breath. (The Kone/Reale families are certainly polishing their halos this time 'round.)

 

"Cut-up gown," Cassidy, Riley, Hailey, Susie

 
 
This week Susie posted to Facebook a couple of photos from out of the past:
 
Not really a teen rebel, but she sure looks it . . .

(1985?)

 
Not so many years later . . .
 
On stage at one of her many gigs

 
Our Ganesh fix for this week:
 

 

 

MAKING MAGIC WITH WORDS

 


This seems like a good time to remind everyone of the existence of my only work of Non-fiction:  the compilation of all my blog posts on Writing & Editing since I began my blog in January 2011. Hey, it's the best buy around - 771 pages, 200,000+ words FREE on Kindle Select and only $4.99 to download. Topics range from a 9-part Writing Workshop to Developing Characters, Adding Color, Writing No-no's, and that old bugaboo - Grammar. Also includes Writing a Series, World Building, Women's Fiction, and a 5-part Dictionary for Writers. And that's just in the WRITING section. There's also a lengthy section on the various aspects of EDITING, including a 7-part series entitled, Edit the Blasted Book and a 6-part series on Copyediting (which is a quite different kettle of fish). And if that isn't enough, there's a section called RANDOM THOUGHTS, which includes articles on many writing-related subjects, from "Why Read Romance" to "Writing Mistakes I Have Made."

If you're having as much trouble with the new Blogger as I am, MAKING MAGIC WITH WORDS is a much easier way to find the information you need. And yes, each item in the the Table of Contents is linked to the article for easy finding. 

 For a link to Making Magic, click here.

 ~ * ~

 

To find The Vicar's Daughter on Amazon, click here.

To find The Vicar's Daughter on Smashwords, click here.
    (Smashwords always offers a 20% free read.)

For "inside information" on The Vicar's Daughter, please check out my Facebook Author Page. Click here.

 

For a link to Florida Wild on Amazon, click here.

For a link to Florida Wild on Smashwords, click here.

   (20% free read available at Smashwords.com)

  
For Blair's website, click here.

 

Thanks for stopping by,
Grace (Blair Bancroft) 




Saturday, October 17, 2020

Gallery - a Bit of Everything

 VOTE!

If voting by mail, do not forget to sign & date your ballot.


This week's Mosaic Moments is gallery of photos ranging from "soup to nuts." Hopefully, everyone can find something that will offer a much-needed distraction from the sturm und drang of the moment. If you need a translation - well, let's just call it "from the high drama and dire events" we're all dealing with, world-wide.

So, let's start off with one for all the writers and editors:

 

I call this one "Writing 101"

Grace note:  You will note I have finally solved the mystery of adding captions in the new (and much hated ) Blogger.

 


 

The following photo was posted to our local "Neighborhood" email loop. I have seen both hawks and snakes in my yard, but never at the same time. I consider this a truly remarkable photo.

 

Longwood, Florida, October 2020

 Making the rounds of Facebook, a sentiment with which I heartily agree:


 

A few shots of the Christmas puppy that grew . . .

Kylo, September 2020

On Mommy's thigh, October 2020

Halloween Decoration, 2020


 And finally, a series of photos from the very first "event" I've attended (not counting family birthdays & a one-time hand-chime performance at church) since last March. On Saturday, October 10, Susie, Riley, and I attended a Fossil, Gem & Mineral show at the Sanford Civic Center. (Complete with temperature checks at the door and masks, though social distancing was on the honor system.) Frankly, if I had the money, I could have spent thousands of dollars in the 90 minutes I was there. A truly "Wow" experience. Below are a very few of the myriad items on display or for sale. 

 

Alligator w/Susie's arm to show size

 
Crystal, c. 12" wide


Our family lived in Venice, Florida, for 25 years. Venice boasts of being "the Shark's Tooth Capital of the World." Therefore, we were astonished to discover that the two tables of shark and megalodon teeth on display were from the Carolinas! 

Average length: 4-5"

 


 

Susie and I went "halves" on a piece of Coiled Ammonite from Madagascar that had—fortunately for us—been cut in half. Although only one tiny bit of red can be seen in the photo, when it is turned in your hand, a whole host of bright red streaks appear, a truly amazing phenomenon. The streaks are not just red, but "lit up" like a red light at a traffic stop.


 

And then, having spent all my cash on the Ammonite, I spotted a piece of driftwood. (Well, truthfully, I suspect it may have begun its life in the desert rather than near an ocean, but I fell in love. Fortunately, the vendor took credit cards.) It took me about eight tries to get a halfway decent photo of it.


 

 ~ * ~

 


 

To find The Vicar's Daughter on Amazon, click here.

To find The Vicar's Daughter on Smashwords, click here.
    (Smashwords always offers a 20% free read.)

For "inside information" on The Vicar's Daughter, please check out my Facebook Author Page. Click here.

For a link to Florida Wild on Amazon, click here.

For a link to Florida Wild on Smashwords, click here.

   (20% free read available at Smashwords.com)

  
For Blair's website, click here.

 

Thanks for stopping by,
Grace (Blair Bancroft) 




 



Saturday, October 10, 2020

Running off at the Keyboard

 My son sends me some of the political videos produced by the Lincoln Project, a group of REPUBLICANS opposed to Donald Trump. They are all brilliantly done, but below is a link to one of their very best—a devastating parody of "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina" from Evita. The gist:  Trump's self-centered recklessness that exposed so many non-medical personnel to Covid-19.

For "Don't Cry for Me, White House Staffers," click here.


RUNNING OFF AT THE KEYBOARD

 I am keeping my long-standing practice of not naming names when criticizing an author's work, but this one may be hard to disguise.

I am also aware of the absurdity of a "niche" author criticizing one of the most best-selling authors in the world, but having just suffered through his/her latest book, I couldn't let it go without comment.

 

Yes, details are what make a good author's work rise above the rest. The color, the descriptions, the "little things" that embellish the plot and characters and turn them into real people, people the reader cares about. But when those details run to 900+ pages and include minute details to the point of the nonsensical, repetitions galore, the plot nearly lost beneath a deluge of minutiae, I suffer. I can only assume the author's creative imagination soared to the ridiculous, including every possibility that flitted its way through his/her mind, and neither common sense nor editor said, Nay. 

At 400-500 pages (maybe even 600), this would have been another brilliant book by an undoubtedly brilliant author. As it is, trying to plow through all those details to find the "meat" of the story was agonizing. In spite of the fact that I love the main characters and solving the mystery was truly challenging, I had to force myself to finish the book, reading several "lighter" works to give me a change of pace during a waterfall of words that seemed to take forever to decode.

I suppose this particular author is so famous that his/her editor just rolls over and plays dead, but . . . ! I can only hope that if enough people complain, some attempt will be made to corral the next book in the series into a more readable form.

Or perhaps I'm merely one of lnly a few who is offended. Maybe I'm wrong. I welcome comments, both yay and nay. 

~ * ~

To lighten the world we've all been living in for the past six months, Edith Maxwell, a Facebook friend and author, has been posting photos of her kitten, Ganesh.This has to be the world's most photogenic kitten. Here are a few samples to make you smile:

Ganesh





 ~ * ~

To find The Vicar's Daughter on Amazon, click here.

To find The Vicar's Daughter on Smashwords, click here.
    (Smashwords always offers a 20% free read.)

For "inside information" on The Vicar's Daughter, please check out my Facebook Author Page. Click here.

For a link to Florida Wild on Amazon, click here.

For a link to Florida Wild on Smashwords, click here.

   (20% free read available at Smashwords.com)

Grace note:  The Vicar's Daughter and Florida Wild are both available on Smashwords affiliates, such as B&N, Apple, & Kobo. 

  
For Blair's website, click here.

 

Thanks for stopping by,
Grace (Blair Bancroft) 



Sunday, October 4, 2020

The Election Looms

 Special Note:  After considerable soul-searching, I have decided to go ahead with the blog prepared for this week. With all respect and sympathy for our President, we cannot ignore that the election is only a month away. So at the risk of violating the old adage about not kicking someone when they're down, here is what I wrote earlier this week:


VOTE!

Looming above all the world's disasters at the moment, even the Covid-19 pandemic, is the crisis of the U. S. Presidential election on November 3, 2020. Why is it more important than the great challenges of our time, from the pandemic to racism to global warming, the economy, and on and on? Because unless the United States of America ousts its current president, none of these problems stands a snowball's chance in Hell of being solved. 

As most of my readers know, I am a faithful choir member at my church, and even though we have been on hiatus since March, most of us have continued to attend church online. On Sunday, September 28, however, several choir ladies debuted our hand-chimes group, playing SIX numbers for the live in-church service. I mention this only because of the odd incident that occurred the next day. Coincidence? Very likely, but I have to tell you, as I look back on it, it feels like the closest I've ever come to divine revelation. Here's what happened:

Last Monday afternoon, I was heading for my sewing room to make masks for some choir members, yet somehow, instead of turning left into the sewing room, I turned right into my office, a rush of thoughts insisting on being put down in black and white that very minute. Less than ten minutes later, my fingers had completed thirteen reasons why we should vote Trump out of office. Where those words came from I have no idea. They just poured out, with only a bit of re-arranging of the order. I immediately posted them to Facebook, only later wondering about the oddity of their creation. 

As an author, I know how hard-won each sentence can be, yet these thirteen points rushed out like I was taking dictation. So no matter what your political views, I suggest they are worth considering before you vote—whether by mail, by early voting, or on Election Day. Consider the good of your family, your neighbor's family, your country, the good of the world. And vote Trump out of office. 

 

VOTE NO TO TRUMP!


Because . . .


1.    He is the the most serious threat to Democracy since our country was founded.

2.    He sincerely believes the office of President of the United States gives him the power of a dictator.

3.    He has taken the most powerful country in the world and reduced us to an isolated island eyed warily by nearly every nation in the world.

4.    He offers the world’s worst dictators his friendship, while alienating nations who have been our allies for hundreds of years.

5.    He is encouraging genocide - using far right agitators and vigilantes to put down protestors, the majority, Black and Hispanic.

6.    He is encouraging genocide - by ignoring the devastation of the Coronavirus which targets more Blacks and Hispanics than Whites.

7.    He’s lies. Over and over and over again.

8.    He distorts the truth. Over and over and over again.

9.    He has no interest in anything but what benefits himself. The rest of us can go hang.

10.    He has NO respect for women, seeing them as fit only for the bedroom, the kitchen, and decoration for his ego.

11.    He is a draft-dodger, who gives only lip service to respect for our troops. Behind the fa├žade, he considers them “losers” for being willing to give their lives for their country.

12.    We’ve reached the point where our Intelligence services are not telling him everything they know, as they cannot trust him not to blurt out Top Secret information to the whole world.

13.    He cheats on his taxes, paying what I, a long-time widow pay to the IRS, not the share a so-called “billionaire” should be paying to help support his country.

We all know this list could be endless, but as of September 28, 2020, this is enough for now.

~ * ~

And for today's light moment . . .

This was "Bless the Animals" day at my church. Our organist posted the photo below to Facebook - his faithful Pearl waiting for the service to begin. (Note the empty choir chairs. Sigh. Only today's instrumental soloist visible at the far back.)



Added after church:

            Pearl & Fr Trey



  

                                                                             Pearl & proud owner, Tim



 To find The Vicar's Daughter on Amazon, click here.

To find The Vicar's Daughter on Smashwords, click here.
    (Smashwords always offers a 20% free read.)

Grace note:  The Vicar's Daughter is now available on Smashwords affiliates, such as B&N, Apple, & Kobo.

For "inside information" on The Vicar's Daughter, please check out my updated Facebook Author Page. Click here.

For a link to Florida Wild on Amazon, click here.

For a link to Florida Wild on Smashwords, click here.

  
For Blair's website, click here.

 

Thanks for stopping by,
Grace (Blair Bancroft)