Friday, August 27, 2010

Calling All Quilters !

I need a Drunkard's Path quilt.

In my novel, Sweet Music on Moonlight Ridge, the little girl named Lily Claire has a red calico Drunkard's Path quilt, made by her grandmother, Granny Rilla. While writing the book, I always had the intention of making a Drunkard's Path quilt, thinking I would use it as an illustration, maybe on the title page or back of the book.

Well, events went into fast forward mode, my book was published by Chalet Publishers, with the most beautiful cover any book has ever had, and I still want the quilt.

I have wondered if any quilters would be interested in donating one red calico Drunkard's Path block; then I could assemble all the blocks and, at last, have my wonderful representation of Lily Claire's quilt! If, as Mick Jagger says, Time is on my Side, I can do the quilting and binding, or coerce some willing friend or relative to pitch in for an old-fashioned quilting bee.
The quilt would be displayed at booksignings and programs, and might one day be featured in the film version of Sweet Music on Moonlight Ridge!

Contact me if you would like to make one Drunkard's Path block, and I'll supply fabric and pattern if needed.

Jimmy Carter Wins Release of American Held in North Korea

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter is headed home from North Korea after securing the release of Aijalon Gomes. Former President Carter successfully negotiated a pardon for Gomes, an American teacher jailed in North Korea since January. Carter and Aijalon Gomes boarded a plane in Pyongyang and are expected to arrive in Boston later today, where Gomes will be reunited with his family.

Carter landed in North Korea on Wednesday on a private mission to negotiate Gomes' release. The 31 year old teacher was sentenced to eight years' hard labor after he was accused of crossing the border of North Korea illegally.

In Washington, officials welcomed the news of the teacher's release, and praised former President Jimmy Carter for embarking on the mission of mercy.

President Carter's humanitarian efforts in this case are another example of his continued dedication to promoting human rights and alleviating suffering.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Book Club reads Sweet Music

Friday afternoon our book discussion group, The Bookmarkers Book Club, met at the library to discuss this month's selection, Sweet Music on Moonlight Ridge. Everyone enjoyed the lively discussion, not least of all, myself.

I'm so glad all the attendees had remarks pertaining to various parts of the book; it seemed that each bookclub member had a certain subject or passage of the book that grabbed their attention. We all had a lot to say about supernatural occurences, Southern childhood, magic, race relations, and character analysis. I was surprised to hear a few statements that exceeded my own interpretations, especially concerning Clyde Tucker, the Police Chief in the story, and possible criticisms and justifications for his behavior.

One thing for certain, everybody loved Studebaker Freeman!

If you haven't read the book, you need to! Technically a novella, or a short novel, it's a great read for summer.
Moonlight Ridge: it's a delightful place of constant revelation and discovery, with not infrequent mysteries and contradictions.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

President Obama Praised & Criticized for Backing Mosque

The planned mosque and community center two blocks away from the site of the 9/11 attacks has drawn intense criticism from politicians including Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich. The Obama administration had previously said that the planned Islamic community center was a local matter.

On Friday, the president tackled the issue head on.
"As a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country," Obama said, according to the AP.

"That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances," he said. "This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable."

The president compared opposition to times in American history when there had been hostility towards the building of Catholic churches and Jewish synagogues.

"Time and again, the American people have demonstrated that we can work through these issues, and stay true to our core values and emerge stronger for it. So it must be and will be today," Obama said.

The developer on the project, Sharif el-Gamal, told The New York Times, "We are deeply moved and tremendously grateful for our president's words."

But Republicans were quick to attack the comments, saying that the President of the United States was focusing on religious freedom and civil rights rather than the feelings of victims' families and public opinion.

Not all the reaction was hostile. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, an independent, has been a strong supporter of the community center. He called Obama's speech a "clarion defense of the freedom of religion."

Speaking on Aug. 3, Bloomberg said that the city government had no authority to stop the planned project, and that to do so would amount to discrimination.

"The simple fact is this building is private property, and the owners have a right to use the building as a house of worship," Bloomberg said. "The government has no right whatsoever to deny that right."