Monday Morning Musings

Coloring books for adults is the latest craze to spread like spilled milk, and Sunday there was an article in Parade Magazine quoting experts who said how good it is to color. It relieves stress, relaxes us and can even make us smile. Gosh. I’ve known that for years. Sketching and coloring was a favorite past-time for me and my mother and my sister whenever we were together. If we went to the lake, we would sketch scenes and then color them in after we got home. These are a couple of pictures I scanned from my sketchbook.


Now you can buy coloring books just for adults. No, they don’t come with brown paper covers. Who remembers when the racy magazines were hidden under the counter in the drug store and came covered? Just a couple of the books mentioned in the Parade article: Magic Garden (Barron’s) and Mandala Magic   

Or you can just get a sketch book and create your own pictures to color.

Week two of the Drama Camp at the Winnsboro Center for the Arts starts today, and then we have our show next weekend. It has been so exciting to watch the kids tap into their creativity to write songs and scenes and figure out costumes and props and set and everything else that goes into mounting a production. Administrating the camp keeps me busy for months, but all the work is worth it when I see how much fun the campers are having. Here the kids are writing a song with singer/songwriter George Gagliardi, one of the camp leaders. George made a list of ideas the kids gave him, then they all worked with those ideas to come up with lyrics. Quite an interesting process, and they wrote one song in a half hour.

writing songs

Needless to say, I have not had time to research for a strong woman to feature this week, so I will leave you with another short excerpt from my book, Evelyn Evolving. It is for my mother, who was one of the strongest women I have known. And I just found out that the chapter this is taken from was a finalist in the East Texas Writers Guild First Chapter Contest. Woot!!!

finalist badgeEvelyn Gundrum sat in the shade of the sweeping elm, digging in the sandy dirt with a tarnished silver spoon Miz Beatrice had given her. She also had a blue plastic bowl. It was cracked, but still held dirt if she balanced it carefully. When she was allowed to go outside, Evelyn liked to play in the sand near the front porch, methodically filling the bowl, dumping it out, then filling it again. Her sister, Viola, thought that was silly. She preferred to stay on the porch with her dolls, closer to Miz Beatrice, who sat on the porch swing, slowly pushing it back and forth with one toe on the faded wood planking.

Only four years old, Evelyn didn’t remember why they were living with Miz Beatrice or why they didn’t call her mother. She had vague recollections of living somewhere else before, but she got confused easily and Viola had to explain why they were supposed to call this lady Miz Beatrice. Wasn’t she their mother? “No,” Viola had said. “Our mother brought us here months ago. Beatrice is a friend.”

“Why did Mother give us to Miz Beatrice?”

“I already told you.”

“Tell me again.”

Viola sighed. “Okay. But this is the last time. Promise you won’t ask again.”

“What if I forget?”

“Then you forget. I’m tired of telling you. After Daddy left, Mother went to Detroit with a man named, John.”

“Why did Daddy leave?”

“I don’t know. Now hush so I can tell you the rest. Mother was going to come and take us to Detroit, too, but something happened. So she couldn’t. So she took us here and wants us to live with Miz Beatrice.”

“Will it be forever?”

“I don’t know.”

That conversation had taken place weeks ago, and Viola had said she didn’t want to talk about their mother anymore. So this was the last time Evelyn should ask any questions about her. Viola told Evelyn to just be happy they had a home and food to eat. Evelyn decided she probably shouldn’t ask any more questions about their father either.

Today, Evelyn looked at Miz Beatrice slumped on the porch swing and noticed she had gone to sleep. Lately she’d taken to sleeping frequently during the day. That was odd. Only babies took naps. Right? Miz Beatrice didn’t eat much at dinner or supper anymore either. Viola thought maybe they were running out of food. She always worried that they would run out of food. But Evelyn had a feeling something wasn’t right inside Miz Beatrice. Once she had walked past the open bathroom door and saw Miss Beatrice hunched over the sink. She was coughing hard, holding a rumpled handkerchief over her mouth, and Evelyn was sure she saw blood splatters on the white handkerchief before Miz Beatrice noticed her and closed the door. Evelyn didn’t know what the blood might mean, but she did know it was probably not right that it was on the handkerchief. The fact that it was scared Evelyn so much she didn’t say a word about it, not even to her sister.

Then again, maybe she should tell her now. If Miz Beatrice was sick, Viola should know, so she could help figure what to do if the lady died.


That’s it for me. I do hope your week has started off well. Leave a comment and share any plans for the week you might have.

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