Medicinal Magic

I’ve been fighting a sore throat, usually the first sign that I’m coming down with a cold. Which got me wondering about Rose and what she would do in my circumstances.

Enter Vicks.

My grandfather—the original Harold—thought Vicks VaporRub could cure anything.

And why not? When it was first marketed just after the turn of the century, when Grandpa Harold was a young boy, it was sold as “Vicks Magic Croup Salve.”

Now, who can argue with magic??? Continue reading

First Meetings (part 3)

If you’ve just joined us, Rose and I have been talking about how she and Harold first met, an exercise suggested by the editor to whom I pitched my story idea at the recent writers’ conference I attended. It’s turned out to be a rather long, drawn-out story. You can catch up with Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

ROSE: I’m afraid this is taking much longer than you had expected. Shall I go on?

TM: {nods} Please. You had just fainted when you saw the mess on your hands. Continue reading

Aside

First Meetings (part 2)

If you recall, Rose and I have been talking about how she and Harold first metan exercise suggested to me by the editor that heard my story pitch. When we left Rose last time, she had stopped mid-story for a glass of lemonade.

I don’t know about you, but the wait has been excruciating.

Finally, I’ve pinned her down for more…

 

After some coffee—strong, because that’s what Rose thought I meant when I said something “stronger”—we settle on the porch swing. The sun is low on the horizon and I’m wishing I’d brought a sweater with me. Evenings get chilly in a hurry this time of year.

ROSE: Now, where were we?

TM: You had just found yourself face to face with—

ROSE: Oh, yes! Well, I wasn’t sure what I was face to face with. This… thing… covered in muck and blood stood outside a dilapidated shed. Continue reading

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First Meetings

I recently attended my first writers’ conference. One of the many firsts I experienced while there was pitching my story idea to an editor, Brenda Copeland. In the midst of my rambling, often incoherent, story pitch, she asked me a question I couldn’t answer; “How did these two characters meet?”

It’s an important question, given the disparity in their social classes, Harold being from what some would call the ‘wrong side of the tracks’ and Rose being significantly higher up on the social ladder. So, I decided it was time that Rose clued me in. We sat down and had a little talk…

TM: Since we’re exploring your former life, do you mind if I ask how you and Harold met? You have to admit, you two aren’t the average farm couple.

ROSE: Hmmm… The day I met Harold… {smiles, nods her head} At the time, I thought it was the worst day of my life. Continue reading

A Day in the Life

I have this awesome resource: the diary of an Iowa farm wife from 1928-1931. She doesn’t write much in her daily entries; they’re usually less than three sentences, but taken in aggregate over the years they paint a fair picture of life on a farm.

Some days are more exciting than others, though, as witnessed by this succession of entries: Continue reading