Cozy Imaginings

I suppose the fact that I have a vivid and active imagination isn’t a big surprise. Most fictions writers do.

One of the ways my imagination works often results in a kind of fun game. It’s something I’ve done since I was a little kid, and I’d have to amuse myself as we drove back and forth from shopping or one of the many activities I or my six sisters participated in.

0_6730f_ddb9f7d9_origIt can be triggered by something as simple as seeing a charming house like this one on the left, with its windows lit warmly from within…

54049280

Or driving by an historic and lovely library…

pg304-6543Hill-304Or spotting a cozy home when I’m driving in the around town or in the country…

Without much effort, I can create an entire story in my mind about the people who live or work there.

Sometimes even a bend in the road makes a scene blossom, shifting my thoughts to a more personal connection. At those times, I often feel a sense of longing or nostalgia and a vision of what my own life might be like in the imagined setting.

Almost like an alternative reality daydream.

This happened to me a couple weeks ago, on my drive to work. I saw a road curving off to the left , the leaves of the trees on either side brilliant and lit with the morning sun, and the farmer’s fields all around warm in the glow.

It’s a road I’ve seen many times before, but the angle when I looked at it, or perhaps the way the sun dappled the leaves, set off the imaginative machine inside me.  I didn’t stop to snap a photo that day, because (as is usual) I had no extra time to spare in getting to work.

imageBut I stopped to take this picture on the left a day later.

The atmosphere had changed…it was misty that morning, and far less golden as the sun slowly rose, but it inspired me nonetheless.

I could suddenly picture a cozy home499b724fb9ca8231ab5f5765ef4366e1 (like this one on the right, perhaps)  just out of sight down the road and imagine living in it – only not the real me, but a fictional me, from the alternate reality, where I live out in the country, like when I was young. In this world, I am a homebody, gardening, baking, and wandering around outdoors, rather than going to work every day and busy with a multitude of tasks, chores, and responsibilities I have to accomplish.

It’s a pleasant fiction, and it makes my heart pang for a second.

Okay…so I’m ready to hear from you – am I odd to have imaginings like this, or can any of you relate (whether or not you’re a writer)? Please let me know in the comments. I promise I can handle it if you think I’m just odd, LOL. 🙂

Happy Friday – and Happy Night Before Halloween!

Pumpkin Stand

imageIt’s that time of year again…pumpkin stand time! I love seeing places like the one pictured as I drive back and forth to work – regular homes in the country – who put out their surplus of pumpkins for sale to anyone who wants to stop and put their money in the bucket.

It’s all done through an honor system, which I love as well. I’ve lived in or near the country all my life, and I wouldn’t trade it for all the glamour, shopping, and entertainments more metropolitan areas can offer. I’m definitely a Country Mouse! 🙂country mouse

A Few New Posters – Please Vote!

So – here are a few posters that have been made for Moose Tracks on the Road to Heaven. I’m asking that you vote in the comments for which you like best; please explain why. I’ll be having more posters done, and I want to incorporate your suggestions and ideas!

That said, if you’ve read Moose Tracks and want to suggest a quote to be made into a poster, please do so as well in the comments! I’d love to hear your thoughts. The quote chosen has to be fairly short, obviously, but it can be several sentences long. 🙂

Okay, here are the latest three posters:

CFoHWhKUgAE-G8b    1.

Forest poster 1    2.

CGJEesxWkAA0pIM3.

 That’s it for now – tell me what you think, please! 🙂

Foreword Review!

Moose Tracks on the Road to Heaven

Reviewed by Maya Fleischmann
April 29, 2015

A woman discovers her rich relationships in this exquisite exploration into themes of time and connections, love and loss.

Moose Tracks on the Road to Heaven tells the story of protagonist Elena Elizabeth Wright Maguire, who reexamines her life and relationships after she is involved in a minor car accident.

M. Reed McCall skillfully transitions between different periods with segues that invite further exploration into memories triggered by a comment made in the present. For example, when Pa says he can hardly wait to put Christmas decorations around the house, the narrative flashes back thirty-two years to the Christmas Eve when Elena was almost seven years old. This movement in the narrative not only serves to keep the story flowing but also creates an intriguing and natural flow in the stream of connections that Elena makes as she unravels the journey she has made in her life.

McCall captures the unique voices of different personalities and their relationships with one another with evocative and heartfelt precision. This creates a vivid image, not only about Elena, but also about the people around her and the place she lives. This is clear in Pa’s letters to Elena, which offer wisdom, and in radio disc jockey Willard T. Bogg’s announcements on WGRR FM 103.9 about the events in Moose Junction. Elena’s transformation to a mature woman is contrasted with her past idealistic and youthful eighteen-year-old voice in a diary entry about her love, Jesse: “I can’t wait to give Jesse the card and giant Hershey’s chocolate bar I bought for him. I’m SO in love!!!”

While the narrative itself is deeply moving, the black-and-white photographs scattered throughout further contribute to the story’s heartrending quality by lending a unique sense of reality to the story and giving it the feel of a personal history unfolding, adding to the book’s allure and effectiveness.

Moose Tracks on the Road to Heaven forges a path straight to the heart.

**For a limited time, Moose Tracks on the Road to Heaven is still on sale for $2.99 for Kindle and Nook!

Spring Signs

imageGeese are flying north again…

I captured these pictures as I drove into work, with the geese flying in their distinctive lines above one of the Amish homes and barn along the way. The snow is slowly melting (from the valleys at least. Our home, which is in a community at a much higher elevation, still has so much snow the grass isn’t showing yet).image

I love these signs of springtime! 🙂

Sailors Take Warning….

imageIt’s been awhile since I blogged. Much is happening with some family members and other elements of life outside of teaching and writing that has been taking up more of my time that usual. Punctuating this is a fall I took on the ice that caused me to crack my head hard enough to require a trip to the ER. Ultimately, I’ll be fine, but I’m not as young as I used to be, and the goose egg on my head and lower spine, combined with lots of achy stiffness, is slowing me down.

But this is a pic I snapped this morning on my way out the back door to drive to my teaching job 30 minutes away. The “rising sun” sky here looks a lot more gold than it looked to the naked eye: it was much more crimson and ruby, and the old saying sprang into my head. “Pink at night, sailors delight. Pink in the morning, sailors take warning.”

Of course this means we’re supposed to watch out for bad weather. I don’t think there is any in the forecast until Saturday, but I guess I’d better go check.

What do you think of old sayings? Do you have any favorites or any that seem to be more “true” than others? Please share in the comments – and thanks for stopping by! 🙂