Sunday, April 17, 2022

Happy Easter: We Used to Send Postcards

We used to send postcards...a lot, and it was a fun way to let people know we were thinking about them when we traveled. But I do not recall ever sending one at Easter time. Below is an Easter postcard sent from Norway, addressed to my grandparents in America in the early 1900s. The scribbling on front was probably my mother's doing or that of one of her five siblings.

I've never saved postcards for long. Have you? Perhaps I should have. I did find an old collection of greeting cards once in a drawer. Some were for Easter, not the Easter bunny kind for kids, but those celebrating the resurrection of Christ. For some reason they were never sent. To be frank, the holiday never really caught on with Hallmark or other card makers as it had with the other holidays. Not that it never caught on with me. I still attend sunrise services. But I sometimes blame the loss of Easter on the school system when spring break stopped falling on this holiday. Just a theory. Perhaps, it was one too many Christian celebrations to keep in the mix, I'm not sure, but let's face it, both Christmas and Easter can easily be celebrated without any reference to Christ.   

I come from a family of Lutherans, both German Lutherans and Norwegian Lutherans. My closest German ancestors pretty much lost their faith, despite one Rader ancestor who had ridden horseback all over Missouri evangelizing his neighbors and extended family in the late 1800s. The Rader family made history in that state and left quite a legacy. One town bears the family's name to this day. 

My Norwegian side held firm to the faith, even those who boldly tried less traditional worship in other churches, like Baptist and Pentecostal types. My grandfather was a diehard Lutheran though, having been the only Lutheran Gravseth to travel to America. Religion divided my grandmother and him quite a bit over the years, as she did leave the Lutheran church. From the old country (i.e. Norway) their families sent religious postcards during the holidays, like the one below, and I have to think it may have been the one time their faiths were united.


Sharon M. Himsl
Published: Evernight Teen 

Saturday, April 9, 2022

The Classics - CLOSING LINES: The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper


"It is enough," he said. "Go, children of the Lenape, the anger of the Manitou is not done. Why should Tamenund stay? The pale-faces are masters of the earth, and the time of the redmen has not yet come again. My day has been too long. In the morning I saw the sons of Unamis happy and strong; and yet, before the night has come, have I lived to see the last warrior of the wise race of the Mohicans." (Published 1826)



I love the classics, don't you? Comment if you wish, or read for inspiration. Writing styles were different back then, perhaps too wordy for some. But weigh this against a world without computers, internet, television or cell phones to see the difference. I think we read to experience this difference. We write to capture it as well.  



Sharon M. Himsl
Published: Evernight Teen 


Thursday, April 7, 2022

IWSG: A Plug for Audio Books

Thank you IWSG for this April 6 posting and your co-hosts Joylene Nowell Butler, Jemima Pett, Patricia Josephine, Louise - Fundy Blue, and Kim Lajevardi

Hello! I've been offline for awhile, so I was pleased to find this group is alive and well. You never cease to amaze me. May this be one of your best writing periods in life yet. We certainly have been through a lot these past two years!

Regarding the suggested topic of the month, I'd like to put in a plug for Audio Books in general. For some reason they fell out of favor with me after my children were grown and gone. Fondly, I remember traveling to the library and checking out DVD books before embarking on the many road trips we took over the years as a family. As we were a day's ride from family across state, we listened to quite a few books on tape. 

One of my favorite memories was listening to a radio version of the first Star Wars movie, broadcasted on NPR. (We had either taped these or ordered a DVD; can't recall). I was later surprised at how much detail was missed in the movie itself. The audio version had added a whole new dimension to the story and characters, and to this day, I almost love the radio version more. 

I think a good point can be made for what makes a good audio book and what does not. You've all experienced the fiction book that is easily skim-read, you know, the kind with little holding power word-wise. But there are others you read word for word because they paint such vivid pictures in your mind. These and nonfiction are the best on audio. 

So back from that period when audio books existed in my life, I have turned a corner and started listening to books again. Thanks to Amazon's 'Audible' offerings, I recently signed up for the $7 version as an experiment. Since my husband and I now live an hour away from major services, we find ourselves on the road at least once a week. I've started with the purchase of nonfiction books, since we have different tastes in fiction, but I'm contemplating earplugs and book downloads to my Smart Phone when I'm outdoors gardening.

 I'm hoping this will increase the yearly number of books I read, which has been pitifully small. My only complaint is the cost of Audible for the full version, which is $14.95. I may eventually opt for the full version, since selection is otherwise limited. It does however add to the cost of a book if you don't read a lot, so as I said, this is an experiment for me. But then the to read more.

I'm curious as to the cost of making an audio book and if authors in this group have been successful. And, how on earth do you do it? What are the do's and don't's of this process? It's my understanding, your readership needs to be pretty high for audio books to be profitable. Nevertheless, I do see a lot online, so I'll see what others have to say.  

All the best, Sharon

Sharon M. Himsl
Published: Evernight Teen 

About Me

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You could call me an eternal optimist, but I'm really just a dreamer. l believe in dream fulfillment, because 'sometimes' dreams come true. This is a blog about my journey as a writer and things that inspire and motivate me.