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Interesting article on publishing trend.

Created by Peggy Gaffney Nov 19, 2009 at 12:36pm. Last updated by Peggy Gaffney Nov 19, 2009.

Peggy Gaffney at Stitches East

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Jerry Labriiola/Brian Jud Annual Writing Contest

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Meeting tomorrow night

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My Freind Kathleen teaches How to Be an Amazon Bestseller!

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Richard O. Benton posted a blog post

Richard O. Benton posted a blog post

Hilly Smedge

THIS STORY IS some about my family and my life, the trouble I got into and choices I will shortly make that will change my life, one way or another. I’m finally and truly in love. I see no way free of this dangerous course I follow. I am at a crossroads.Do I tell the truth, there to reap the reward or suffer the consequences, or do I hide my past and hope he never finds out? I write this to paper first. Having written it, I will examine it like I’d had a conversation with a friend and make my decision.I entered the world in 1837, born to Charles and Eunice Smedge. We were Smedges, but not the landed and wealthy Boston Smedges. Uncle Barton G. Smedge spent much of his life disapproving of his brother Charles and his progeny after my father married Eunice O’Brien - love being what it is - the daughter of an Irish longshoreman.We Charles Smedges were the despicable offshoots, Pa told me when I turned thirteen and became an adult in the family’s eyes, of the smart and powerful Barton Smedge clan. Pa chafed, living in Boston. He couldn’t wait to get out of town and out from under the eye of that pillar of Boston society and his devious and hateful wife Sarah.I asked Pa what despicable meant and he told me Barton Smedge just got too big for his britches and tossed away any family didn’t meet his ideas of what constituted Boston’s upper class. Snobs, he said, and a lot more. He didn’t say criminal, but I got that thought of it from how he said it.When Pa read about land opening up in Oklahoma, he threw what money he had into passage through the “civilized” lands east of the Mississippi. We traveled by train to St. Louis. There we bought a wagon and supplies. The town of St. Louis had built up its stock and being in the right place became a major gateway to the west.In Boston, Pa gathered their bags and Ma, a strapping woman of gentle nature but of strict upbringing, assembled their four small children, keeping us close as a brood hen. Once on the train Ma and Pa never looked back. That all occurred in 1843 after I turned six.We took the Santa Fe Trail and followed it to the newly opened territory. What a sight to see that broad expanse of good land spreading out in front of our eyes and to look from one side to the other and see hundreds of wagons lined up for the land rush.At the starters cannon shot the mad scramble began. Pa had traded up for some better horses along the way and beat out about a third of the rush. We set our stakes down over a hundred and sixty acres of decent bottom with a stream cutting through it and hills on either side. Pa spent the next three months building us a cabin and corrals, the boys and me helping where we could with Ma overseeing the home front.Meanwhile Pa made sure nobody encroached on his land. That took his gun and a lot of watching. Eventually enough law came to the region that he could relax and farm. Even so, the wild land took constant taming and his rifle stayed handy and loaded.Pa made a name for himself as a decent man who’d help his neighbors at the drop of a hat and that earned him the kind of friendships that meant protection. It’s like he had their back and they had his.“There’s safety in numbers so long as everyone’s thinking in the same direction,” he told me often enough.By 1856 we’d got established and producing and well enough off. We had livestock, both cattle and sheep, enough for our purposes. We also produced wine from vines; a special grape Pa bought in St. Louis, not knowing then if he could use the seed. We set our arbors sideways to the constant wind and it worked.“Speculation,” he said to us back then, and looking at the side hill on which those champagne grapes grew so abundant, I had to smile. Early in that year everything looked so good, so permanent, but it was not to be.At nineteen I’d been working Ma and Pa’s land-grab section for all my early years farming and I developed some hefty muscles on account of it. As a flaxen haired gal, not bad to look at, a little hefty in the shoulders from all the work and kind of trim in other areas, when I took my baggy overalls off at night, then I could see the girl right there in Ma’s ivory carved hand mirror.I hadn’t caught a husband yet and back in the frontier days, you got one of them as soon as you could – if you could – and didn’t complain about what you got. Every woman needed a man to care for and every man needed a woman. A woman could cook and produce children and raise them to use for the farming us pioneers were about in those days. A man tended the farm and protected the ladies and the home.Now, you could meet a fella at the harvest dances, but they held them in town. We farmed about ten miles north of Nowata, and though we provided all the wine the saloons bought while stills on other hills provided the hard stuff, I didn’t get in town much, so for me the husband thing didn’t happen. Pa said there weren’t enough boys near my age and he was death on the idea of any man his age hooking up with his daughter and calling him Dad, so I spent my time working the farm.I became a lady of ill repute - according to the standards of the day - quite by accident.Back then we had an Indian problem. The savages had some idea that we shouldn’t be there, that the land belonged to everyone. Well, people from the east pushed to the west on the government’s promise of land for all, and if all you did was grab it and hold it, it didn’t set well with the Indians. They saw their traditional hunting grounds swallowed up and government telling them always to move north and west, but above all, to get out of the way.After awhile, the Indians got the idea that any promises the US Government made weren’t worth a peace pipe or their handshake, and their paper treaties were worthless, so they stopped being nice about it. I don’t mean we did anything. Not Pa and Ma and me and the boys, but them as came after us. They didn’t understand the Indians like we did. We got caught in that grinder in my nineteenth year. Ma caught a fever and died. Pa took it like a man but something inside died with her. I could feel it.Shortly after we buried her, the savages started pushing back. They raided sparsely settled areas on the Oklahoma frontier and killed the men and women and stole the children and burned their homesteads. During the tenth of July raid Pa, Ezekiel and Henry, the sixteen and seventeen year old boys, though they accounted well for themselves, were arrowed down by Cherokees.I stayed alive because I hid in some rocks above the house I’d played in during my early years. Shooting straight from the cabin window, Johnny, the oldest boy brought down six Indians before they put an arrow through his eye. I cried, but I could do nothing but save myself.The cavalry eventually arrived and the war raged in pockets here and there, but I had nothing left. The Indians had run off the cattle and slaughtered the sheep and wrecked the corn bin and fired our fields. Dazed and destitute of body and mind, I walked the property for two days and never realized I neither ate nor drank.Finally Will Huggins, a rancher and friend from the south of us rode up and found me wandering to no purpose. His wife nursed me back to physical health, but they could do nothing for my horror.After a week I wandered away from them, from the land I loved and from the frontier altogether. I don’t recollect how I got to Abilene in the Kansas territory, but I ended up there. I only knew farming and the thought of it made me retch. I turned to work in a dance hall. I found all the men I’d lacked on the farm and an insatiable desire rose in me and I immersed myself in the bawdy world of drink and sex.Ten years I plied my trade, putting my money away until one day I started down the stairs to work in my frilly finery and stopped in the middle of them, and as if by the turning of some magic switch it came to me I didn’t want this life anymore. I wanted to go home.Working in a brothel taught me a lot. I got over my hate for the Indians and my fear of being helpless. People passing in and out of my life knew lots of things and I remembered well enough to make good moves in the direction I felt compelled to travel. I’d left a piece of me in Pa’s Oklahoma section and I knew someday I’d have to go back to it.It’s 1866 now. The war is over, Kansas got statehood in 1861 and West Virginia and Nevada followed shortly after. Some say Nebraska’s next and Colorado won’t be far behind. There’s talk about Oklahoma becoming a State and joining the Union. I’m back on the farm I left so many years ago. My old neighbor Will Huggins bought the property after I left. In his advancing age he didn’t want to look after so much land, so I offered him a fair price and he gladly sold it back to me.That Bertrand Smith is a handsome man. He’s the new lawyer in town. He just left in his horse-drawn rig to file the papers. Bert has taken a shine to me and he’s coming back. He’s single but not for long if I can help it. I got to level with him, though. Hilly Smith, yup, sounds good. Here’s hoping.See More

Peggy Gaffney posted a blog post

Peggy Gaffney posted a blog post

SUSPENSE FOR THE DOG LOVER - KATE KILLOY MYSTERIES

The first in the series of Kate Killoy mysteries.Kate Killoy & her fiancé Harry Foyle must face… International intrigue and mistaken identityA Dog Show and Kate’s first fashion showThink  ‘Die Hard meets Best in Show’Five stars on AmazonAvailable everywhere.See More

Laura Stroebel is now a member of Connecticut Authors and Publishers

Laura Stroebel is now a member of Connecticut Authors and Publishers

Richard O. Benton posted a blog post

Richard O. Benton posted a blog post

Looking Down

It is best to keep in mind that this experiment in storytelling requires the reader to accept the premise of a disability as tailored throughout. It might require a paradigm shift, i.e., instant suspension of disbelief at the get-go. Above all, keep in mind that it’s fiction. Now you are as prepared as you’re going to be.ΩΩΩ"I LOOKED AT Sally and what did I see? I saw Sally, looking at me.”I think okay but I mutter or blurt in rhymes and it’s a rare condition and I can’t help it. The medical community calls it Rhymosis. I kid you not. Not the nose thing. That’s Rhinitis. Actually, wish I had that instead. At least it’s treatable. It affects everything I say. You think it’s humorous, but it gets old.“Know what I mean Jellybean.”Sally and I love each other and we’ll probably get married as soon as she decides she can put up with my malady. We also love to climb and we had never been to the Grand Tetons before. This would prove to be the final test, although I didn’t know it at the time.The mountains stood before us, majestic, silent, ancient and hoary and the big smiles on our faces the genuine article. Anticipation translated to the here and now. Hot dog!“Sally’s my love We fit like a glove.”There I go. Tom, our guide, said to stick with him and listen before we make any stupid moves. He lacked social skills, but came highly recommended. We said okay. Actually, I said,“Hey friend We’re here to the end So tell us true And we’ll stick with you.”He smirked. Thought I was kidding. He’d find out. Probably get old with him before we got to the foothills. We hiked our packs onto our shoulders and set off, bundled against the chill, Sally to my right and Tom up ahead, leading the way. For a mile or so, the terrain gentled and caused no strain. Sally carried twenty pounds. Us men carried forty.“Easy enough In case it got rough.”Eventually we started to climb and slowed to pick our way. Tom knew the land and pointed out things to watch for. Sally smiled at his attentiveness. I didn’t think anything, being more interested in the sights.A canyon opened before us and the trail narrowed. “Careful there,” said good guide Tom and I blurted,“The hills are rough The going is tough But we’ll prevail Or fall on our tail.”For all his social ineptness, Tom took his work seriously. He came to an opening across our path; maybe fifty feet deep and three across, motioned us to stop and then jumped across, agile as a mountain goat. He held up a hand for me to hold back and asked Sally to cross first. He held out his hand and she grasped it with her gloved one. I muttered,“Fair maiden needs care So guide Tom is right there.”He called her to jump on his signal. She looked scared…“But did As he bid.”Another blurt, but in low murmur and only to myself.Once over, the guide called to me to leap and I did, but the ground crumbled as my feet caught the edge and I began to fall backwards. Sally screamed. Tom pivoted and grabbed for any piece of clothing he could get, clutched the bottom of my coat and planted his feet hard. With my jacket a fulcrum and my feet slipping on dirt, I yawed over the chasm and crashed to earth on the lip of the far side.Sally reached down, got a fist full of hair and pulled me onto firmer surface.“Ow! The hair, the hair It just isn’t fair But this isn’t a boast Without you, I’d be toast.”I know Sally tried to help save my life, but it came out anyway. Turning onto my knees, I gained my feet, grateful that Tom wouldn’t need to fish me, doubtless dead, out of the fissure.“Tom, I almost fell To save me was swell But I’m stupid as hell To almost fall in that well.”The guide said “Nada,” and gave me a big macho smile that ended it. Then I noticed something else. Sally looked us both over as if comparing. Could it be…?I’m not the jealous type, but Sally could be getting tired of my unintentional poetic outbursts. Handsome Tom the mountain guide, rugged and virile…I wondered. I had to redeem myself in Sally’s eyes. But how?We climbed steadily, sometimes leaning against almost vertical gray walls to keep our balance. The trail narrowed in these places and Tom had us tie ropes to our waists. For Sally, he’d hook an end of his rope to her safety “harness” and I would do the same on her other side. We’d then feed out ten or fifteen feet for each of us. Tom eased through the passage with care and then had Sally work her way past the same stricture while he gathered line and I paid it out, keeping Sally’s lifeline taut.Although always last in line, being last also seemed best. Should Sally misstep and fall, she had us both to catch her, with her weight distributed between us. Should I fall, there would be two to bear my weight and pull me up, I hoped. More important, should I not make it because of an accident, Tom could get her back to civilization.The views became breathtaking as we moved upward. It would be too dangerous to go into the snowline, but we’d gained a couple of thousand feet and did not want for spectacular sights.Tom mentioned just ahead a flat shelf held a view he liked. When we got there, we turned to look. Sally gasped at the beauty. Tom looked at her intently and I thought, possessively. Sorry, I couldn’t overlook that look and it unsettled me. Still, I tried to be cool.As I looked down from my high point, what I saw nestled between overpowering mountain heights gripped me with the power of magic. The mountains came together and a river, fed from three extraordinary, thundering waterfalls, began to wend its way toward Wyoming's Jackson Lake. My debility kicked in. I spouted something to commemorate this wonderful view.“The view is ocular Our eyes binocular The scene is wet But better yet The mountains I see Are for you and me.”Hoods up and cheeks red, we reveled in delight as we felt our hardworking muscles euphorically deliver the rewards of glistening youth.Then it happened. Coming around a sharp bend on a narrow section, I felt something in my feet, a vibration. Tom felt it, too, and laid his ear against the cold stone face as if listening. His face worried, he looked up.“Avalanche!” he cried. High up in the snowpack, a section of the mountain took on a cloudy look and I saw movement. Tom glanced around wildly, looking for something. I understood him instantly.Then he lost it. “We’re gonna die!”His pitiful panicked cry transformed him into an ugly thing. What happened to handsome, rugged and virile? For me his light went out.Behind me, the mountain rose sheer for fifty feet and then took a sharp angle upward. That’s it! Already in motion, I said,“Quick, that place among the rocks Will save our clocks I’m saying we’ll make it I wouldn’t fake it Save your breath To avoid your death!”The rumbling grew and grew. I saw Sally grab Tom’s rope and yank, turning him toward us. Sally and Tom ran right behind me as terror gave wings to our feet. We arrived and I shouted:“Paste yourselves against the wall Or you will surely fall Do not look askance Don’t invite grim happenstance!”The words tore from me and were lost in a crashing whiteness that vaulted over us. We became one with the mountain. We shook in sync with the avalanche as the roar of snow overwhelmed our ears and threatened to take us on a two thousand foot journey to oblivion.The whiteness and roar seemed to last an eternity. Then, just like that, it ended.Sally’s face, white as the snow that attacked us, softened as she realized we still lived. Tom, too, white with fear, regained his manliness. I, curiously, felt wonderful. During this trial, something happened to my sense of well-being and I felt serene.What pleased me most came from Sally, a fitting end to this awesome saga, to find no one but me in her thoughts.“My dear, you couldn’t be braver You are my true savior My mind is made up You get the winner’s cup I am no longer harried It’s time we got married.”See More
 

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Richard O. Benton posted blog posts
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Richard O. Benton posted a blog post

Hilly Smedge

THIS STORY IS some about my family and my life, the trouble I got into and choices I will shortly make that will change my life, one way or another. I’m finally and truly in love. I see no way free of this dangerous course I follow. I am at a crossroads.Do I tell the truth, there to reap the reward or suffer the consequences, or do I hide my past and hope he never finds out? I write this to paper first. Having written it, I will examine it like I’d had a conversation with a friend and make my…See More
Jul 8
Peggy Gaffney posted a blog post

SUSPENSE FOR THE DOG LOVER - KATE KILLOY MYSTERIES

The first in the series of Kate Killoy mysteries.Kate Killoy & her fiancé Harry Foyle must face… International intrigue and mistaken identityA Dog Show and Kate’s first fashion showThink  ‘Die Hard meets Best in Show’Five stars on AmazonAvailable…See More
Jul 7
Laura Stroebel is now a member of Connecticut Authors and Publishers
Jul 7

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My Old Farmall

Posted by Richard O. Benton on July 22, 2017 at 9:13am 0 Comments

BACK IN ’38, same year as I was born, Pa bought a Farmall tractor, brand new. He got a good price from Jed Wright, who owned the West Torrington Sales Company. He told Pa the company be changing the design and likely going to name them with letters instead of numbers. Pa didn’t care about that. He’d heard from Hezekiah Brown who had a big farm up in Goshen that the F-14 tractor was a tip-top fine machine…good enough for Pa.

We jawed about it days when we worked the fields together…

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Pigeon Cove

Posted by Richard O. Benton on July 22, 2017 at 8:58am 0 Comments

TODAY’S MY BIRTHDAY and I’m twelve. Mama promised me I could climb the hill early if I wanted and I wanted so I did, like in my dream. The most amazing thing just happened.

I’ve got a secret. I want to shout it to the world, but inside I know I shouldn’t tell, not even Mom, ‘specially not Mom. I don’t know why, well, maybe I do. But I got to tell somebody, so I’ll tell you ‘cause you’re my best friend, but you got to keep it a secret, cross your heart, okay? C’mon, cross your…

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Hilly Smedge

Posted by Richard O. Benton on July 8, 2017 at 7:22am 0 Comments

THIS STORY IS some about my family and my life, the trouble I got into and choices I will shortly make that will change my life, one way or another. I’m finally and truly in love. I see no way free of this dangerous course I follow. I am at a crossroads.

Do I tell the truth, there to reap the reward or suffer the consequences, or do I hide my past and hope he never finds out? I write this to paper first. Having written it, I will examine it like I’d had a conversation with a friend…

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SUSPENSE FOR THE DOG LOVER - KATE KILLOY MYSTERIES

Posted by Peggy Gaffney on July 7, 2017 at 10:46am 0 Comments

The first in the series of Kate Killoy mysteries.…

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Looking Down

Posted by Richard O. Benton on July 1, 2017 at 7:59am 0 Comments

It is best to keep in mind that this experiment in storytelling requires the reader to accept the premise of a disability as tailored throughout. It might require a paradigm shift, i.e., instant suspension of disbelief at the get-go. Above all, keep in mind that it’s fiction. Now you are as prepared as you’re going to be.

ΩΩΩ

"I LOOKED AT Sally and what did I see?

I saw Sally, looking at…

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Members Book Page

If you look at the members book page, the books have all disappeared. This is not something I have done, but, as I have been told, an adjustment on the ning. site. I have been told to wait till this is fixed and the books will come back. So please be patient.

Peggy
 
 
 

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Surviving Remnant Released

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