Saturday, June 11, 2016

Excerpt from Light Over Water, now at a reduced price for a limited time! Link is below...

From Chapter Ten - Beyond the Pale of Law

Off to their right on a high rise stood the crumbling fort, settled like a patient bovine on its haunches.  Another partial brick building stood closer to the woods, thought to be either a barracks or a powder house.  Down a gentle slope, closer to the shore, lay a jumble of granite rocks.  These were supposed to be the foundation for additional battlements connected to underground tunnels from which guns could be fired without being seen.  The project was abandoned sometime after the Civil War and the granite stood untouched; seemingly forgotten and definitely too heavy to be taken.
          It was to these rocks that Aubrey led Alison.  He went to the one farthest from the fort and brought her around to see its end.
          “Look,” he said, grinning and pointing.
          Alison peered at the rock and gasped.  Chipped away from its end was the clearly defined head and shoulders of a man.  She could see the rock chips and dust scattered around its base on the grass, attesting to the hours of time spent here.  “Oh my, Aubrey!” she exclaimed.  “It’s…it’s amazing!”  Kneeling down she examined it more closely.  Despite its rough surface, the head was rounded and shapely.  She could make out features; the eyes downcast, the mouth unsmiling but somehow determined, the jaw strong.  “When did you do this?  Where did you learn how to do this?”
          He shrugged.  “I’ve done it since I was a kid.  Just takes a hammer and chisel and some good stone.”
          “But this must have taken months!”
          “Oh, aye.  Granite’s hard,” he nodded.  He was studying her as she ran her hand over the shape of it.  “I tried to make it look like Sam, but his face seems kinda distant in my mind.”  He smiled apologetically.
          Alison rose, stepped back from it and brought her hands to her heart in a stricken gesture.  She turned to Aubrey, searching his face and whispering, “You did this for me?”

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Excerpt from Some Smaller Grace... Link is below

Questions at Her Grandparents' Funeral 

 It didn't take a trained ear to realize the organist was abominable. Yet a veiled glance about the church suggested to Jill that no one was paying particular attention to the music. There was a low undertone of voices, which gradually died down as Pastor Thomas took his place at the pulpit.

 "They should have gotten a better organist," Jill whispered to her mother at her side. 

 Marta lifted one side of her mouth contemptuously. "Their musical taste is about like their taste in food. They probably think she plays like Bach himself!" 

 Jill leaned away from her mother and fiercely willed herself not to cry. Again she chewed the inside of her cheek, which was beginning to feel raw. She told herself over and over that they would care about the music, seeming unable to shake the thought from her mind. She held her bunched up handkerchief to her eyes to catch the tears forming there. Jill hated her mother at this moment. 

 The music died away at a small nod from the pastor. He asked them to stand and sing together from the words printed on their program. As they began the hymn, Jill was carried back to her grandmother's kitchen. She closed her eyes. 

She could see the sunlight filtering through the maples that encircled the farmhouse. As it shimmered across the cupboards in the early morning, her grandmother hummed and sometimes sang, "There is sunshine in my soul today, most glorious and bright." 

 She would beam at Jill as she flipped pancakes on the griddle, or dipped homemade bread into French toast batter. She remembered the question, "Is there sunshine in your soul, Jilly?" and her grandmother's husky laughter as a sleepy seven year old answered, "I like it dark." 

 Now the words caught in her throat like dust. Her soul felt like charred blackness, as though the best in her life had been consumed. At this moment, with the music flowing around her and the memories it brought crowding her mind, she thought nothing mattered. Her grandparents had worked hard all their lives, with what to show for it? The spoils of a farm to be squabbled over by a daughter who despised them. Would her own life yield up such dubious results? Her career seemed a pipe dream, music a waste...…/…/B004V5I4MG

Christmas 2018

Christmas 2018     God has made so many promises to us and has proven himself faithful time after time. In a year defined by upheaval...