Reading can be difficult for a child, but not being able to read can even be more problematic for an adult. Imagine a woman, widowed, who couldn't read. My grandmother faced it with apparent ease.
Family lore has it that as a child, my grandmother had had a health problem that had seriously affected her. Her parents took in an orphan to help with basic chores, and one of the chores was to assist grandmother.
My great grandmother was a schoolteacher, and she wouldn't have thought that reading was beyond her daughter's capabilities unless something had happened.
I remember writing a poem, and reading it to Grandmother and she insisted I read it to my mother. It was rather a depressing, fatalistic poem.
Now I know why Grandmother seemed so excited about the poem. Her granddaughter could read and write.
When Annie leaves home in search of her sister, Barrett goes after her to bring her safely home to her parents. After he finds her, he suggests that they pretend to be married so they can stay in an inn. But, because he values her sensibilities, he plans to fake an argument so they can request separate rooms. A gentleman to the core. Unfortunately, it doesn't work.
Mrs. Claus liked the bedroom scene and it didn't make her blush, although it wasn't apparent because she naturally has beautiful rosy cheeks.
Mrs. Claus also appreciated the underlying theme about women's self-defense. She's all about strong women in fiction. Now, she's wanting to take some martial arts classes and I agreed until I realized how jumpy she can be. I'm imagining some pain and not looking forward to it.
Also, I didn't appreciate the unkind joke Barrett's brother plays on him in the beginning of the story. My brother would have been pushed against the wall as well.
I'll give this a 5 of 5 stockings review.
Katherine's plan to hire the man who liked to spend the night in the tavern, and sometimes sweep up in the morning, probably wasn't the best of ideas. But it worked because she checked his references.
Brandt kidnapped her as she'd requested, but he didn't see any need to do anything illegal such as ask for a ransom.
After a few nights with her, he decided on marriage as a way of keeping her away from her evil stepfather. The ransom would have been easier.
Rodolph believes there should have been deer in the countryside which would have added a pastural moment when the couple was hiding away in the stable. He thought the emphasis was far too strong on the horses, and wanted to see two deer fall in love. He's such a romantic.
This is the story of the third sister in the Rogues and Goddesses series. Three years after its release, it's still a favorite in the Claus household. Bellona is the sister who likes swords and small weapons, and accidentally stabs the duke in the hand.
While I don't advocate violence, I will admit that Mrs. Claus is a bit jumpy too, so I can relate to someone being easily scared after hearing a sound in the darkness.
Bellona also doesn't want to see animals trapped in the forest, and Rudolph really identified with that.
I will give this book a five stocking review.
Personally I like Foxworthy, and I've known some men like him. They usually get coal in their stocking. In his case, I'd give him something that Rebecca would like.
This does touch on an eating disorder, and that put a more serious note into the story. I've known people with that kind of issue and know it doesn't always end tragically, and I appreciate that this story had a happy ending. There's no doubt in my mind that this woman, back in her safe environment, would have recovered and as the marriage progressed, she would have been able to tackle any problem.
I liked that Foxworthy was willing to change his life to help her recover, so I have to give this a five stocking review.
And my bet is that Foxworthy had to listen to a few more verses from the Good Book because I don't see him as ever becoming the perfect man Rebecca expected, but I do see him as a good husband to Rebecca.
Beatrice the Beast is a bit of a scatterbrained romantic, and an artist, and I could just imagine her boyfriend's face as he realized there was a nude painting of him hidden somewhere in London. He couldn't find it to destroy it. That had to hurt.
Mrs. Claus has promised that she would never do such a thing, but she did ask for some paints and canvas after reading the story. She did not get them in her Christmas stocking.
Mrs Claus suggested a five stocking review, and wishes that a replica of the painting had been included in the book. So, I'm giving this a four stocking review as I don't think Mrs. C. should be given such ideas.
In a season of peace and goodwill, sometimes I forget about the peace and goodwill and focus on...whatever pops into my mind.
Looking back, I remember waiting for about a year for a snow so I could take this picture. The trap is probably about the same age as Santa, and I had to have help to get it set. I couldn't do it.
Santa could have probably gotten a toe broken. And while the snow appears fluffy, the air was cold. Very cold.
This just proves that Santa is an extremely good sport and enjoys a bit of a jest. I did get presents that year and no coal. If Santa had broken a toe, I would have had a medical bill in my stocking.
1. You can revise a project forever. Don't fall into that trap. No one gets out with the same book, and you might learn more from writing several stories than turning story A into story B.
2. It's almost a contradiction of #1, but write the book of your heart and revise it to get the book that is a better story.
3. Write something that makes someone feel an emotion or link to your character. It isn't always easy. Want proof, try it. And if you prove me wrong and discover it's easy, I'm fine with that too. The world needs as many good stories as it can get.
4. Writers who write a lot don't always remember their stories or characters' names, but it's okay. They've documented them on the page. They can go back and look them up. But for that moment when they were writing, that character and story should have been as alive to them as anyone with a birth certificate.
5. Writing fiction is all about reality. Creating a world in the imagination. Your characters need body language, pauses, expressions and maybe a few aches and pains.
Elmore Leonard's rules:
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