An Inspiring Story for Black History Month

There are many stories shared each year in honor of black history month, in the schools, local libraries, in blogs and elsewhere.  But to my knowledge I have never heard anyone mention these inspiring ladies.

This is a story of two sisters.  Bessie and Sadie Delany.  I first heard of them years ago when I read their book Having Our Say:  The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years, co-written by Amy Hill Hearth.  The title gets your attention right away–“First 100 Years”.  Wow!  It’s amazing in itself that they both lived past the age of 100 (Sadie, 109 and Bessie, 104) and were in relatively good health up until they died, but there are much more impressive facts about these amazing ladies.

Both accomplished much, especially considering the time, their sex, and their race.  You can read more about them online, but I suggest picking up the book I mentioned above.  It tells their whole story, up to when the book was written and published, and it will inspire you.  Just a couple facts:  Sadie earned a master’s degree in education in 1925 and was the first African-American permitted to teach domestic science at the high school level in the NYC public school system.  Bessie graduated in 1923 from Columbia University’s School of Dental and Oral Surgery and was the second black woman licensed to practice dentistry in the state of New York.

Neither woman ever married, and they lived together most all their lives, until Bessie passed away in 2005.  They took care of themselves, did daily exercise, and ate garlic every day.  Their story is inspiring, and they both had great attitudes and outlooks on life.

Another book I read from them was The Delany Sisters’ Book of Everyday Wisdom, also a great read (I own both it and the aforementioned book).  I’ll include links to where you can purchase them on Amazon, but your local library might have a copy.

More books were written, which you can read about in this Wikipedia article:

Links to the two books I mentioned and suggest:

Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years

The Delany Sisters’ Book of Everyday Wisdom




2018 Reading List

So, last year my reading goal was 48 books (up from the year before, which was 24–I got 31), and I got very close with 47.  In the past I could read more, some years around 75 books.  I’m trying to work back up.

So for 2018, I’m raising my goal, but I decided to raise it by a smaller amount, just to be more realistic.  I’m also doing one thing I did last year, which is choosing books from different categories, but what I’m doing differently this year is I’m not assigning certain books to certain months.  I’ll just choose 4 for one month at a time, and if I finish those, I’ll add a fifth.

I’m also not starting on this list until February because I was behind on my Christmas reading and have other books I had started but not finished that I really wanted to finish in January.  They are:

1.  A Holiday for Murder–Agatha Christie (finished)
2.  Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets–J.K. Rowling (finished)
3.  King of Hearts: Agape–Toby Hibbs (still reading)
4.  The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe–J.R.R. Tolkien (still reading)
5.  Steering the Craft–Ursula LeGuin (reading)

Now, my 2018 reading list, by category:

New/Never Read–

*A Room With a View–E.M. Forster
*Serenade–Mariella Hunt
*Whisper of Souls–Michelle Zink
*Bleak House–Dickens
*Lord of the Rings–J.R.R. Tolkien
*Mansfield Park–Jane Austen
*Little Dorrit–Dickens
*The Museum of Extraordinary Things–Alice Hoffman
*The Grave’s a Fine and Private Place–Alan Bradley
*The Alienist–Caleb Carr
*Cranford–Elizabeth Gaskell
*The Book of Bright Ideas–Sandra Kring

If time–
*Eight Cousins–Louisa May Alcott


*Tess of the D’urbervilles–Thomas Hardy
*The Old Man and the Sea–Ernest Hemingway
*Chronicles of Narnia–C.S. Lewis
*Harry Potter series–J.K. Rowling
*The Thirteenth Tale–Diane Setterfield
*Dandelion Wine–Ray Bradbury
*The Secret Life of Bees–Sue Monk Kidd
*Rebecca–Daphne DuMaurier
*Devil in the White City–Erik Larson
*The Haunting of Hill House–Shirley Jackson
*The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie–Alan Bradley


*Diary of a Young Girl–Anne Frank
*The Hiding Place–Corrie ten Boom
*Papa Hemingway–A.E. Hotchner
*Capital Gaines–Chip Gaines
*An Irish Country Childhood–Marrie Walsh
*Audrey Hepburn:  An Elegant Spirit–Sean Ferrer
*Janette Oke:  A Heart for the Prairie–Laurel Oke Logan
*Lenten Lands–Douglas Gresham
*Having Our Say–Sarah Delany, Elizabeth Delany, & Amy Hill Hearth
*A Country Year–Sue Hubbell
*Myself When Young–Daphne du Maurier


*Putting the Amazing Back Into Grace–Michael Horton
*Hinds Feet on High Places–Hannah Hurnard
*The Habit of Being:  Letters–Flannery O’Connor
*The Discipline of Grace–Jerry Bridges
*The Power of Myth–Joseph Campbell
*Orthodoxy–G.K. Chesterton
*The Pursuit of God–A.W. Tozer
*Gracefully Insane–Alex Beam
*Celebration of Discipline–Richard J. Foster
*Secure in the Everlasting Arms–Elizabeth Elliott
*Uninvited–Lysa TerKeurst
*The Pursuit of Holiness–Jerry Bridges

Postscript:  I realize some of the books on my lists are series and therefore are multiple books, and if I read them, each book will count as one, but for the sake of my list I had to list them as series.

Did you make a reading list for 2018?  Want to share?


My Wish List

How many of you like making lists, as I do?  I have lists of all kinds, in all places–online, in journals, notebooks, everywhere.  So, since my birthday is coming up in about a week, I was thinking I would share my wish list.  Now this is not intended for anyone (of those that know me personally) to buy anything for me.  Just thought it would be fun to share some of the things that are on my wishlist.  I’ll keep the list relatively short at 15 items. Some of you may notice, so I may as well go ahead & say it:  yes, most of the things on this list are writerly  or bookish things, excepting the washi tape, bullet journal & cat stuff. Obviously I’m a writer, and a lover of cats and crafting as well!

Now, if any of you have wish lists you’d like to share, feel free to share them in the comments.  I’d love to see what’s on yours!  And if you have any comments on the items on my list, share that in the comments as well.  Thanks for reading!

And don’t forget, if you haven’t already entered my Etsy giveaway, you have 4 days left to enter.  Just go to this link, and do the entry methods listed, and it should open up more methods for you so you can get in as many entries as possible!  You can win $25 to spend in my Etsy shop.

Now, on to the list:

  1.  Penguin Classics Mad Libs
  2. Cute Kitty Ring!
  3. Bullet Journal Template Stencils
  4. How Cool is this washi tape–
  5. Literary Listography
  6. Bodleian High Jinks Pencil Case (How cute is this!)
  7. My Writing Life–Writing Prompts to Chart Your Life as a Writer
  8. Write a Note Sticky Notes (Another one from the Literary Gift Company, but they have such awesome stuff for writers & book lovers)
  9. Writer’s Necklace–I’m Just Taking Notes
  10. Frostbeard Soy Candle in Bookstore Scent
  11. Cat File Folders
  12. The Writer’s Coloring Book
  13. Drawn From New England:  Tasha Tudor, A Portrait in Words and Pictures
  14. Henri, le Chat Noir: The Existential Musings of an Angst-Filled Cat (I love Henri!  Have you seen his videos on YouTube?)
  15. Writer’s Block:  Charlotte Bronte (Jane Eyre)

Short short story assignment

Hello.  It has been a while since I posted.  I had lots of “stuff” going on and really just got out of it for a bit.  I know I don’t have many followers at the moment anyway, but I hope to start blogging regularly now.  And what I thought I would do some of the time is to share some of my writing.

It might be flash fiction, like what I’m about to share, poetry, writing exercises I do, and so on.  What I’m sharing today is from a writing course I’m taking at the moment through Nanowrimo.  It is on Coursera.  The assignment was to write a short story with no more than 600 words.  It was to have movement, a beginning, middle, and end, and use nouns and verbs as the building blocks.  The assignment after that was to cut the story in half.  I didn’t exactly do that because mine wasn’t anywhere near 600 words to begin with. But I did edit it in some of the ways suggested, such as cutting out modifiers, extraneous words, and so on.  I’m happy with how it turned out, and I hope you like it too.

Note:  For some reason it is not keeping my format with my tabs.  If anyone knows how to fix this, please let me know.  Thanks.


Final draft of my short short story:

He stands at the grave, silent and still. Tentative. He doesn’t know I’m watching. I don’t make a sound.

Now he makes a movement. The same one he makes every time he comes here. He turns, as if to leave, then turns back. Places a single red rose on the tombstone. Straightens. Begins to speak, hesitates. “I…I miss you.” He’s relieved, I think. As if he’s been holding it in for an eternity.

I don’t hide when he turns. He doesn’t see me.

He comes every Tuesday, and he performs the same set of actions each time he visits. Next, he cries. Kneels. Or rather, crumples, and sobs. I am intruding on his grief, but I cannot look away. I am compelled to watch him. His pain is my punishment. I must watch. Besides, I have nowhere I have to be.

I want to go to him, comfort him. But I can’t.

After sobbing, he stands, brushes the dirt from his knees, and wipes his tears with the underside of his shirt sleeve. He always dresses the same. Pleated, black dress pants. Crisp, white button up shirt, tucked in, top button open, no tie. Black blazer, also open. Shined black loafers.

He speaks of his week, of his nine to five job and its tediousness. Of the paintings he’s working on in his spare time. His therapy. “Better than seeing a shrink,” he jokes.

I laugh, silently.

“Where shall we go tonight, my angel?” he asks next.

Hearing his pet name for his love makes me want to weep.

“My angel.”

I see it carved on the tombstone, beneath her name.

My name.

Tuesday was our date night. He still goes, alone. A restaurant, and either a movie or a walk in the park. My heart breaks because I cannot go with him. And because he keeps doing this. And mostly because I know he will eventually stop. And it will be the right thing. We will both be free. For now, I watch, and I listen. I cannot give him comfort.

Instead, I whisper his name. Whisper, “I love you.” Whisper, “Be free.”

What I’m currently…

Reading and Watching.  Thought I’d share.



1.  Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone–J.K. Rowling (This is a re-read, although it’s the first time to read this particular version–the British version & also Gryffindor special edition. 🙂 Was a gift from a friend!)

2.  King of Hearts: Agape–Toby Hibbs

OK, so this is my brother’s book that he wrote.  Finally getting around to reading it.  Yay.

3.  A Treasury of Victorian Murder Compendium–Rick Geary

This is a graphic novel, which is not something I read often, but this is really cool!

4.  A Poetry Handbook–Mary Oliver

5.  Influencing Hemingway–Nancy W. Sindelar

6.  The First Year:  Fibromyalgia–Claudia Craig Marek

7. A Praying Life:  Connecting with God in a Distracting World–Paul E. Miller


Watching (the current & most recent I’ve watched, in movies & tv): 

I’ll include my rating on these out of 5 stars.

1.  The Ring Two (2005)

3 stars

2.  Paranormal Activity:  The Ghost Dimension (2015)

3 1/2 stars

3.  Miss Potter (2006)

2nd viewing

4 stars

4.  Northanger Abbey (2007)

2nd viewing (love the guy playing the “romantic hero”, Henry Tilney

3 1/2 stars

5.  Underworld:  Blood Wars (2016)

Love this series, and this one was well done, but I don’t like it as much as I do the Resident Evil series (of which I gave 5 stars to the finale), so I’m only giving it

3 1/2 stars

6.  Mr. Holmes (2015)

Second viewing. Super cute movie!  Love the actors in it, too!

4 stars

7.  Sleepy Hollow (the series) 2014-

I’m only on Season 2, Episode 4 (watching on Hulu), so if you’ve watched past that, no spoilers, please!  LOVE this series!

8.  Ripper Street (series–watching on Netflix)

One of my top favorite shows ever.  Am currently up to Season 3, episode 4, so again, no spoilers.

9.  Doc Martin (series, watching on Netflix) 2013-

10.  Intruders (series, on Hulu) 2014-

Looks like this one got cancelled.  I just have one episode left.  It’s a bit chaotic and crazy, but I’ve been enjoying it, so I’m bummed it doesn’t go on after the 8th episode, & I’m gonna be really bummed if I’m left in confusion after the 8th episode!

11.  Dark Shadows (the old series with Jonathan Frid–watching on Hulu)

Currently up to episode 258.



Inspirational & Motivational Quotes

I was searching this morning for some motivational quotes to put on a bullet journal page where I’m keeping track of my daily walking/steps.  Now, as I’ve mentioned before, I have moderate to severe fibromyalgia.  Everything I do or don’t do causes pain, but exercise does help.  It’s the doing it part that’s the killer.  And you have to start slow and work your way up to more, or you will set yourself up for failure.  It can be done, despite what I feel at times.  I just have to make myself do it, telling myself that it will be worth it.  And it will be.

I thought I would share some of the quotes that are helpful to me or that are some of my favorites.  You can plug them in for whatever goals you’ve set for yourself!  If you’d like to, share in the comments what goals you are working on that you need some extra motivation for!  Also, what motivates you?

It’s a slow process, but quitting won’t speed it up.

Success doesn’t come from what you do occasionally. It comes from what you do consistently.

Will it be easy? Nope. Worth it? Absolutely.

Love this one!

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” –attributed to George Eliot

And this:

“Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one’s own sunshine.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

One day or day one. You decide.

Sometimes when you’re in a dark place, you think you’ve been buried, but actually you’ve been planted.

“Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it; boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” –Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

My writing mentor once sent me a paper with that (above) quote on it.

“If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astonish ourselves.” –Thomas Edison

“I do not think there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance.  It overcomes almost everything, even nature.”–John Rockefeller

“Pursue, keep up with, circle round and round your life, as a dog does his master’s chaise.  Do what you love.  Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still.” –Thoreau

“The heights by great men reached and kept, Were not attained by sudden flight, But they, while their companions slept, Were toiling upward in the night.”–Longfellow

“Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside them was superior to circumstance.” –Bruce Barton

Until you cross the bridge of your insecurities, you can’t begin to explore your possibilities. –Tim Fargo