Tag Archives: womenwritersover50

Promises, a new novel by Casey Curry

Casey Curry, author

Casey Curry, author

Let me introduce you to, Casey Curry, wife, mother, and educator who has just published her first novel, Promises.  Curry is a master at weaving together fragile family alliances and with four aspiring African American daughters growing up in a military family all over the world, Curry has tons of material to not disappoint her readers.  Like her protagonist, Pamela Sloan, Curry is a woman over 50, and the wife of a naval officer who takes us on a thirty year journey full of family secrets and promises.

I mention that the daughters are African American because it was that one fact alone that piqued my interest enough to read the book.  It made me realize how little I knew about Black families in our military.  Truth is, I had not read much about military families in general, and must confess, had only seen films about families coping with war and death as a young adult – starting with WWII, Viet-Nam, and now Iraq.  Films or TV series that stand out are: Coming Home (1978); MASH (the 70’s); even Hogan’s Heroes from the 60’s and all those had an all white cast – or at least that’s how I remember it.  It wasn’t really until Glory (1989) and Red Tails in 2012 that Hollywood portrayed African American families in the military.

Casey Promises CoverSo, Curry’s book allowed me to enter a world I knew very little about.  What did I find?  Having grown up with two sisters, I found the relationship between the siblings to be not all that different from my own EXCEPT mine didn’t involve military espionage, family sacrifices, or vacationing on the Vineyard.  Interwoven between the daughters’ stories is Pamela’s story, their mother whose past is nothing like her daughters.  Raised by a father because her mother was either absent or should’ve been, Pam managed to marry well while her half-sister struggled as a poor single mother with an ungrateful and selfish daughter.  The contrast between Pamela’s tight knit family and her sister’s rather sad existence with her spoiled daughter is significant and what stories are made of.

I think Casey’s story will resonate not only with readers who have struggled with an empty nest or who are military wives but with women of all ages who have struggled to protect their family.  The whole time I was reading Promises, I kept thinking this would make the perfect Lifetime channel movie – one of my guilty late night pleasures.

Casey Curry is the Director of Creative Writing at a fine arts magnet school in Tampa, Florida where she teaches poetry and fiction to high school students. She holds a B.A. from Hood College in Frederick, Maryland, and M.Ed. from Norfolk State University in Virginia. She is a 2012-2013 National Arts Teachers Fellowship (NATF) winner. The novel, Promises is her second book, and was born out of the NATF project, formerly funded by The Surdna Foundation. Ms. Curry is married to a retired Naval Officer and is the mother of three adult daughters. Her youngest daughter, Tori Rose, was the inspiration for her first book, I Remember You Today, and died of a brainstem tumor at the age of three.

The Perfect Pouch to Stash Your Stuff

Annice

Annice

Ladies, (not only women over 50), have you ever left your cell phone on a restaurant table?  Or how about searched for your glasses when they were already on your head functioning as a headband? I’m sure none of you have ever lost your keys even though you threw them in your purse – that infamous black hole where objects vanish.

If you’ve ever done any of these things, you will surely identify with our beloved Nora Ephron when she says, “I am living in the Google years, no question of that.  And there are advantages to it. When you forget something, you can whip out your iPhone and go to Google.  The Senior Moment has become the Google moment, and it has a much nicer, hipper, younger, more contemporary sound, doesn’t it?”  I Remember Nothing.

Eleanor at Woolworth 'Walk

Eleanor at Woolworth ‘Walk

So, now you’re wondering what my memory has to do with the perfect pouch.  For starters, it’s attached to my body.  It is a perfectly designed, handmade pouch that clips to your jeans or any pants/skirt via belt loops.  It’s stylish and sized perfectly for your cell phone, car keys, and lipstick.  I love it, and so do all my friends who’ve received them as gifts who in turn buy them for their daughters.  It’s my gift du jour and I have designer, Kathleen Lewis, to thank.

 

Kathleen Lewis

Kathleen Lewis

Kathleen Lewis has spent over forty-five years creating art with fabrics, fibers and other art mediums in Asheville, NC. Kathleen can take a piece of fabric and change it into something totally different such as a whimsical owl to carefully stitched bags, one-of-a-kind hats, and beautiful hand-dyed clothing.  I can’t thank her enough for that perfect pouch.  

Please take a look, and if you’re in beautiful downtown Asheville, NC you can find them at Woolworth Walk, (the chicken salad is pretty good there, too.)  eleanor standing

Visit Kathleen at:   kathleenlewisdesigns.com/ 

To Shop or Not to Shop On-line: What do you do?

Annice

Annice

To Shop or Not to Shop On-line – That is the Question? I am not an on-line shopper – at all.  However, after spending an evening with several female friends (they know who they are) I’m wondering if I should be.  Over dinner, they listed all the advantages:  time saved; never running out of things; catching some great deals; and of course they never pay shipping.  So there I sat eating my Salad Niçoise at the Laughing Seed with two nicoisewomen I admire and respect trying hard to figure out what’s up with me that I don’t shop on-line.  Weeks rolled by, and I forgot all about that conversation until I grabbed my must-have Deva (curly) hair product only to realize I couldn’t squeeze out one more drop, and I did not have another one stashed away in my closet.  I’d have to live with a bad hair day for sure.  Digging deeper into this 21st century  phenomenon, I started thinking about my big aversion to shopping on-line is and why I find it all so overwhelming.

Deva

Deva

For starters, I’m on the computer much of my day at work, and then again in my spare time at home working on my book whenever I can, so getting back on the computer to shop doesn’t excite me.  It’s not that I’ve never shopped on-line.  I admit to buying presents at holiday time for out of town family and friends because I hate packing up presents not to mention the waiting in line at the post office during Christmas time. Another reason I hate shopping on-line is all the popcorn, bubble wrap, shredded paper and boxes I have to deal with from my husband who does shop on-line. The packaging spills all over the kitchen and then it piles up in the garage where I then have to nag my husband to break it all down and schlep it to the recycling bins across town.  All that packaging can’t be good for the environment and then what about the carbon footprint?  Besides, I still like to touch things and try things on and neither my feet nor my body always fit into the same size.  And returns?  I really hate that too, re-wrapping and taking it to the post office.

Last Saturday, I was out doing errands – a lot of errands.  I think I spent close to 4 hours driving all over town to Trader Joe’s, Pet Smart, the dry cleaners, and worst of all to the Mall to get the Deva product I had run out of, and then finally to the kitchen store to get the Veggetti Spiral Vegetable Slicer Cutter (millions sold in Europe) and I got to thinking veggie cutterabout my two smart friends who said they save SOOOOOOOOOOO much time, and what about the price of gas? It’s a dilemma for me.  So, what do YOU do?  Any advice?

The End of My Writer’s Retreat

ANNICE

ANNICE

I never expected to finish the revision of 25 chapters in five days.  Of course, I must admit I’ve been revising for ten years so I guess it’s not all that surprising.  But who cares?  It’s done – 311 pages.  Now, all I have to do is make copies and give it to my devoted writer’s group for one last look.  I can tell you they’re probably sick of it but they’ve never had all the chapters together to actually read it through like a real book.  I know there will be changes, albeit minimal ones.  I’m terrible with comas and sometimes I get mixed up when to use italics for newspaper quotes and when I should just use quotation marks.  I used to know those things but have learned to rely on my group for that.  As for commas, Peggy is the comma Queen so she’s got that covered.

bird eggsIf you recall, there was a dove nesting on a planter on the steps of the condo where I’m staying.  Yesterday evening, when I was leaving, I was delighted to see the dove resting on its nest.  I tried to be quiet when I closed the door behind me but apparently I scared her off, and she flew away leaving behind two perfect white eggs.  I don’t know much about birds but prayed she wouldn’t view me as a predator and abandon the nest.

The next morning (Day 5) when I arrived, I was a little apprehensive about what I’d find.  Thankfully, the dove was back on its nest incubating her eggs.  While she still has a ways to go, I couldn’t help but see the symbolism in this bird’s nest and the finishing of my book.  So, here’s to hatching birds or books or whatever else that needs hatching.

The End

The End

Day 2 of My Writer’s Retreat

Annice

Annice

Day two of my writer’s retreat.  Well, that’s what I’m calling it even though it’s not exactly what I planned.  I was supposed to go to Bowers House, a Writers Retreat and Literary Center in Georgia, but given that my husband is still recovering from major back surgery, I felt uncomfortable being so far away – just in case.  So, feeling deprived and sorry for myself, I decided to take the week off anyway and just write at home.

It’s not that I can’t write at home, I do it all the time, but I also do the laundry, organize drawers, clean the closets, clip my dog’s nails – you get the drift.  Did I say I also check my kitchen cupboards to see if all my exotic spices are still in the house just in case I get inspired to make an amazing Indian dish?

While I was gearing up for my make-do “retreat,” my writing mentor and dear friend, Peggy, was going out of town to visit her children the exact week I had to cancel Bowers House.  I know Peggy’s place because my writer’s group meets there every other Tuesday.  It’s only ten minutes from my house but it feels like miles and miles away.  It’s quiet, serene, with cream colored furniture, and best of all there is Gracie,  her pure white cat who thinks she’s a dog.

Gracie

Gracie

Wouldn’t Gracie need someone to take care of her?  Yes she would.  What an amazing swap.  I get to write at Peggy’s place all day and leave when I’m ready.  So far, I’ve been going around 10:00 and returning around 7:00. Gracie is happy and I’m ecstatic.  In two days, I’ve revised 12 chapters, and hopefully, I can finish all 25 of them by the end of the week.

In addition, I have given up all household chores, including cooking, so we’re either eating out or bringing in, and the only thing I do in the morning before I leave is walk Terra, our dog.

Oh yeah, look at this little jewel I see in the morning.  A dove has decided to build a nest in a planter near Peggy’s front door.  I’ve watched it grow in just two days.  What a perfect metaphor for my writer’s retreat!

Creating a Nest

Creating a Nest