Another time Amelia had noticed something outside, a bird, a butterfly, a dream – who knew? Whatever it was, it lured her outside, down the drive, and up the road. That was fine, nothing wrong with that, except that it was a hot summer day, and the further she went, the hotter she got, and the hotter she got, the more clothes she took off. Since she didn’t wear underclothes, she was soon down to nothing. Old August Miller had gone out for his mail and saw her, wandering around dazed and wearing nothing, but a pair of tennis shoes. He walked up to her and said, “You better go back home Missus before you get sunburned.” He had the foresight to point her towards the house. She fled home to her sanctuary, leaving behind her clothes for Wendell and Anna to pick up on their way home that night. Just another story to spread around the town.
Amelia died at the mental hospital; they held the funeral there and buried her there. That may well have been the best day of Anna’s life, all fourteen years of it. She insisted on looking at Amelia in the coffin and touched her face with one finger. She wanted to be absolutely sure that Amelia was dead. Wendell had given her the oddest look. Thinking back, she supposed she believed things would be different once Amelia was dead, but nothing changed. Perhaps she had thought they would change into a real father and daughter, just as once she had dreamed that Amelia would become sane, and become a mother, but nothing happened. They fell back into their old routine. The days came and went, the seasons rolled around.
Driving in the dark, the cold dark of December was bad enough, but driving to a funeral in the dark was worse, unless the worst thing was feeling nothing, or feeling empty, and then complete relief.
Wendell was dead. Amelia was dead. They were both dead now, and there was no grief. Anna didn’t feel the great surge of joy at Wendell’s death that she had felt at Amelia’s death. No, she just felt nothing.
Ten years ago, Amelia had died. Anna had tried hard not to let Wendell know how glad she was that Amelia was dead. He had looked so dazed and lost, but she was glad, and she couldn’t deny that she was glad because she was safe. He obviously was grief stricken and cried at the funeral. She did not. There were no tears for Amelia, but she would always remember Wendell crying. Anna had never seen him cry before.
Hello Fellow Bloggers:
Just a note to let you know I am running a “Countdown Deal” with Amazon.com for .99 cents on all of Gwen’s Books. (Just Three days left till 8/7/14). A great chance to read her books at a great discount! Good summer time reading.
Notes from Alexis: Laughing about her “weeping and wailing’ about “what and if, to write next.” Not only did she write 20 novels, she also wrote over 20 genealogy books. Will wonders never cease.
Well, I have another hummingbird story for you. Saturday morning I heard one sing. Well, sing might be a little strong. It sounded something like the swishing sound one makes when walking through tall, dry grass. It took me a while to identify it and where it was coming from- seeing the little bird with — his mouth open, throat throbbing – helped coordinate eye and ear.
I have now given up all thoughts of gargling with sugar water to improve my voice. If it won’t work for birds, how can it work for people?
I had spent a day in town with S.F. and between her and your Aunt A. I have become a born-again ‘weed’. Those two are such frail, delicate, helpless clinging vines, that I have decided to stop babying myself and toughen up. Both of them are tough—minded broads, and their helpless acts blew my cool.
I have been working in the garden, and there can be nothing in the world harder than ‘stooping’ labor. I just feel awfully sorry for myself, which amuses Dad. What is embarrassing is that I should be so out of shape, that a few weeds could put me down. I am determined to be as tough as weeds.
I loved your computer story. Mine is not so interesting. I did, however, wake up the other day and knew exactly how to write the last section of the ‘Guide.’ I went into the computer, and I’ll be darned if it didn’t all un-roll before my wondering eyes. I still have to work out the details, but at least now I know I can, and I sure didn’t know that before. If I get cracking, I should finish the first draft this week. I am still finding tidbits for Part I.
Also, I am into the end-of-the-book-blues. I just hate to finish a book, so sad. And there is no way I can convince myself there will ever be another one. Each one is the last. The very last. I just know it, and it’s enough to make a body cry.
Then I get a letter from my pen pal (you) and you have 100 lbs of plaster, while I am left bereft and Bookless. Is there no justice? Dad finds my weeping and wailing funny and doesn’t believe for a minute that I won’t start another book. Where does one go for sympathy?
I have some fun clippings for you, and it’s a good thing, because my brain has shrunk from all that weeding and fuming at the ladies.
Notes from Alexis: She awoke with a new life plan, and as always with her, she fulfilled her plans and more.
I got up this morning with the future of my writing outlined in my mind. The fact that the direction I propose to take seems impossible shouldn’t deter me, or be allowed to influence my decision too much.
Along with the change of direction in my writing, has come the most serene feeling imaginable. I am going to write non-fiction. I’m really glad I wrote “EAB” and I think I’ll probably finish it, but from now on I am going to concentrate my time on nonfiction. I am the happiest there.
I enjoyed “Always Going” the most of any of my writing, with the possible exception of “Circumstance of Birth.” The short stories come next, and I see now it is because they are true, or as true as I can get them.
I started a “Guide Through Datastar/Reportstar” and have just loved it. Something as dry as a teaching manual for a software program has absolutely delighted me.
This morning I awoke knowing I wanted to write a biography of the town – Menard, Texas, to be exact. I have been thinking about the town ever since I got the maps of the area, and this morning I could see that was what I had been thinking about and wanting to do all along.
It seems ridiculous for me to be thinking of such a thing at my age, but there it is… I awoke, turned about in a new direction, and I will not be satisfied until I have done it. I will need to go to Texas for research and to see again the places I need to write about.
‘Preposterous’ is the word that first comes to mind, followed immediately by ‘inevitable’. The decision feels so right – and I feel so good about it. I had to laugh, because I believed this morning when I awoke that the ‘Guide’ would support me in my old age. How very curious.
I have the kind of feeling of ‘relief’ that one has after making any momentous decision. I’m so glad I wrote the fiction, and I may continue to write fiction, along (I don’t want to limit myself) but it will always be secondary for me. I had to do it to prove to myself that I could, but I don’t love it like nonfiction. (she went on to write 20 fiction books and over 20 Genealogical books)
The computer has been a ‘changing force’ in my life, beyond anything I could ever have imagined.
Notes from Alexis: The new book has a name, animals are funny, and secret erotica rooms amaze her.
Yes, you most certainly can take me out to a birthday lunch! So very pleased that you are coming down, and so glad you told me ahead. I do love to check the days off. I quite enjoy that sort of thing.
We had a week of nice/bad weather. That is some part of every day was nice and some bad, but the cherries and plums went ahead and bloomed anyway. One apple, the Rome, blossomed out yesterday, and we are holding our breath for the McIntosh. Rain clouds are banking in the west, and the neighbor’s father is trying to make it rain by watering, so maybe we can get this storm out of the way before you come down.
I haven’t totally recovered from the last brain crash, but ‘I’ve begun tackling Reportstar’, again, I gave in. Whether I’m in there working at the computer, or not, my brain just keeps whirling, and gives me no rest, so what the heck. Better to conquer and forget, right?
Wow! Your news about a guy running a porno gig, boggles the mind. I once knew an old reprobate who collected porno books and statues, only he called it ‘erotica’. He was very proud of his collection and said he had built a secret room behind a bookcase where he stored it all. This was back in the fifties, when that sort of thing was illegal, back in the dark ages. What happens to the finest collection of secret erotica when shops open up downtown? When secret rooms are no longer meaningful and dangerous? Does it all turn to dust? (Sadly, as everyone knows – it went online)
We got to see a funny sight yesterday. The little girl across the street, was riding Buttercup (her horse) around in her yard, and over in our yard a big jackrabbit was watching the whole thing with such curiosity. Finally, the jackrabbit, couldn’t stand it any longer, and came over into the driveway and stood up on his hind legs, so he could get a better view. He just couldn’t figure out what that girl and horse were doing. Aren’t animals, funny?
I think I have come up with a name for my latest book, ‘If Wishes were Horses’. It is proceeding at a fast pace (Phase I), and I’m three or four chapters behind in writing, and two behind in typing. It is really important to get all these thoughts down as fast as possible, before I forget them, because this is all about the time sequence, the characters, and plot.
There will be time later to work them all up into readable prose, hopefully with style. I have fallen in love with all the characters, but I have some serious problems in being able to let the reader know what I know. This book is such a different book, in presentation, from EAB. I have to give a great deal of consideration to voice and person. Quite a challenge, causing me much loss of sleep. Well, not sleep exactly, but night rest. I sleep, but I write all night long.
Dad went back to work without a pain, and immediately got stomach pains and knee pains. Someone told him his stomach pain was not ulcers, but hernia, so he is going to the doctor and find out.
Will close for now and save all the rest for our visit. I have decided to make the grand gesture and clean the stove. I only got two windows cleaned but if the weather stays nice or gets nice, then I’ll make a stab at the others.