Saturday, September 24, 2011

Wade House Civil War—21st Annual Weekend Event

My husband and I spent a wonderful day at Wisconsin’s largest Civil War Encampment and Battle re-enactment. This 21st annual Civil War event is located at Wade House in Greenbush this weekend.  Women in period clothing adorned with crocheted lace collars and beautifully braided hair or lovely bonnets strolled casually around the grounds. All ages were represented here and interest abounded with every generation. A President Lincoln actor did a fabulous job of expressing Lincoln’s opinion of how things stood nine months into the war.

My husband and I truly enjoyed the skirmish and the battle between the confederates and Yankees  The uniforms and battle activities made me feel as though time had stepped backwards and the struggle between two determined armies strived before my eyes. Cannons rumbled loud and clear across the small valley and through us as we stood amazed at the sights sounds and smells before us. 

Stores with unique gifts and period style clothing stood available. My husband found an awesome book for me that will assist me greatly with my next writing project., which is historical set in the mid 1860’s! The book is called Who Wore What? Women’s Wear 1861 – 1865 by Juanita Leisch.  I also found a book to help me with this same venture called Webb Garrison’s Civil War Dictionary by Webb Garrison Sr. with Cheryl Garrison. Both books have a wonderful assortment of illustrations and information I will be able to glean ideas and facts from. Well that is all for now, Porschea is demanding her walk. It is getting late here as my husband and I settle in for the night. After my attempt at tiring out our Leonberger puppy I will feast my eyes and mind upon my new book treasures! If you can make this event I’m sure you will not be disappointed! 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Green Lake Christian Writers Conference - Fiction Writing Class

It has been slightly over two weeks since I attended this excellent writers conference. I was amazed by the Green Lake Conference Center as soon as I drove through those impressive gates! My heart thudded a different tempo as I enjoyed the ride deep into the property to find a stunning conference center. The service and friendliness of the workers astounded me. One lady remembered my name as I approached the desk. She acted like it was an easy feat to  accomplish, but I was aware of the number of customers roving around. I was awed!
I even asked for a change in the location of my room. I had originally picked an out-of-the-way smaller on-site room situation. I had done that  because I knew I would miss walking Porschea and thought I might need the exercise. My authors mind imagined the very worse as I drove the roads to arrive at my room later that night. It was an older building and I wanted a more modern experience this time around. I asked for a room situated in the same building as our classes and worship services. I was treated with the utmost respect and they never made me feel small for changing  my mind. There were many volunteers helping to keep the grounds beautiful. A couple of them attended our fiction writers class!
Cynthia Ruchti was our warm-hearted teacher at the conference. She is the author of They Almost Always Come Home Abingdon Press and A Door County Christmas, which is a four in one story collection by Barbour.  She also writes for The Heartbeat of the Home’s Backyard Friends magazine which is awesome too. I am reading They Almost Always Come Home right now and her writer’s voice is amazing!  I recommend this read to anyone!
Okay I drifted!  Let’s move on about the conference shall we? Well, Cynthia is an amazing teacher. Our group was diverse in topics and levels of experience. ( I for one am not published yet. There was at least one other person published.) Our class was small as you can see in the photo, yet our subjects and ages we were writing for were all extremely different. Cynthia showed us her amazing ability as she listened to our reads. She never messed with anyone’s writers voice. Her suggestions improved each one of our works-in-progress or what we call wips! Cynthia’s quick appreciation for our distinct styles gave us room to grow, as well as her ability to gently point out areas where we needed improvement. Not only did she provide us with a lot of useful information, but she accomplished this with her unique humor! We all applauded Cynthia’s efforts. Each one of us came away in awe of how useful this class was to our unique needs and interests. I will be ever grateful for following that nudge from the Lord to attend this conference. It is held each year in August and is quite affordable when compared to other conferences available. I haven’t done the math yet, but I image if I save a little money each week that I will have next years food, room and conference fees saved up and drawing interest before too long. This conference offers that one on one attention that I really needed at this stage of my writing adventure. I will tell you more about the other teachers from this conference later….stay tuned to find out about the benefits of attending their classes! I must add that there were writers who wished to be published and others who just desired to work on their skills for private enjoyment. Poets, short story writers, memoir writers, and fiction writers all benefited from the attention and expertise this conference offers each year. Want to join us next year??? I dare you….No I double dare you!!

The Dells and Afterwards

Mt. Olympus holds many wonderful memories for me! We always love to see our grandsons, but the added delight of observing their faces light-up as they took their turn on some enormously steep slide or jumped into the 9 ft. wave still brings a smile to my face. Our youngest daughter came and enjoyed the fun also! What a blend of personalities our family holds! I still cannot believe our oldest grandson, who is not that old, actually enjoyed the slide, which seemed like a straight drop off.  I still see him in my nightmares. Falling, falling, and falling some more. He ended up splashing us with a huge wave! I don’t’ think he will ever be afraid of a ride again. Now, is that a good thing or  not!! That second contraption, which looks like a too-large triangle was my dumb attempt to experience something new! My daughter rode that ride with me. Bless her heart. I, unlike my grandson, did not overcome my fear of heights or possible dropping.  If that seat hadn’t held me tight...Oh goodness, I arrived at Mt. Olympus a coward and left there the same!  I even ran into some people I recognized while on our way around the water park! Imagine that! How often does that ever happen? Every now and then a chilling breeze hints at the winter weather that will soon visit us, for too many months. Yes, winter is just around the corner. But these memories of family and the Dell's keep me warm and full of joy! I will hold onto a bit of summer in the middle of the worse Wisconsin chill for sure!
So much has been happening. Once we took our grandchildren back home we returned to our limping puppy. She leaped too many steps at the babysitters. (They are not called leaping Leo’s for nothing!) I must stress it was not the babysitters fault! It turned out she pulled her tendon and I had to not walk her for a week!! By the second day of meds and confinement she seriously appeared to have swallowed Tigger. We did our level best to stop her jumping, which was spurred on by her frustrated energy build up!! She was so very glad to begin her walking about town adventures with me once again! Since then we have lengthened our explorations and visited many interesting streets. Porschea’s nose is ever busy experiencing the sidewalk in a way that I can’t even imagine! And may I add, in a way I do not want to imagine! We have met so many people, dogs, and bugs along our various routes. Every day is a surprisingly fun memory and learning curve with our full of personality 70 ½ pound puppy!
Work has begun in full force and the days slip by before I can even sneeze it seems! Porschea is in her second round of classes and I am enjoying a wonderful Beth Moore Bible study called Believing God! I would recommend it if you want to live a victorious Christian life! I’ve not been good about doing all of my homework but I definitely want to catch up because her studies are wonderfully thought provoking and encourage me to live for excellence and not shirk the hard to deal with issues and irritations of life! Believing God – yes that is the right stand to take in every situation!