About Me

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I have discovered that walking a very narrow path leads to broad places of peace, contentment, and provision. I work as a freelance consultant in the areas of cultural heritage, public history and museums, From 2009-2016, I was the executive director of the Bolduc House Museum in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, (now called New France - the OTHER Colonial America, an eighteenth century French colonial historic site and National Historic Landmark.) My PhD is from the University of Leicester's (United Kingdom) Department of Museum Studies. My research looked at the interpretation of diversity at the American Historic House Museum. I also developed and facilitate an inspirational program for Christian grandparents, Gathering Grandparents.

Monday, July 30, 2012

When Art Succeeds by Lesley Barker

When Art Succeeds

You see me
in bone and skin
in this time
this where

Not so

I'm swirling in some distant space
The entrance is 
This word
That picture

By Lesley Barker

I need more energy at the end of every day to progress on Stuck in the Mud. But sometimes, poems just happen.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Purple Prompt

Our writer's club met yesterday evening. We shared prompts for 10 minute writing exercises. I wrote this in response to the prompt: "Write about something that makes you think of purple."

Three year old purple mischief on foot, Audrey, able to scale the cherry wood mantel in the 30 seconds it takes me to check the bread in the oven and return to the living room. Even her flip-flops are purple as is every shirt, skirt, and accessory. Why then did she, ten years later, dye her hair green, and twenty years later, live in a yellow house? When she is old will she again wear purple?

Are you looking for prompts to motivate you to write spontaneously? Check out this blog.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Talley Ho!

There's a new writer's club in town that meets twice a month hosted by our museum so I attend every meeting. The first monthly meeting is for critiques. The second monthly meeting is for practice - where each of us brings a five minute writing challenge. Last week was for critiques so I read the first section of the first chapter of Stuck in the Mud and asked the others whether what they heard would make them want to keep reading. It did. The best thing about this is that it is motivating me to keep writing. Talley Ho!

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Monkey in the Middle

Yesterday one of my sons called to tell me that the pastor of the church he has been attending with his girlfriend announced that he was stepping down because of a year-long affair. This man's messages have been the topic of many other conversations between us. My son has spent the past several years re-evaluating a faith in God damaged by the divorce his father and I experienced.

Yesterday I also learned that another pastor who recently stepped down from his senior pastor role is now a full time counselor. This man's message caused my other son to walk out of his father's church as a junior in high school when this pastor's sermon asserted that children of divorced parents will always become "statistics." Except for the occasional wedding, he has not attended church since that day. Now this son claims to believe in no God. When I advise him to pray about some challenge or other his response is, "Why should I pray - I don't believe there is a God!" "Good point, I forgot," is my typical retort.

Yesterday this same son posted a link on his Face Book wall to an article from chicagoist.com about the Wisconsin state senator, Glenn Grothman, whose new bill connects "nonmarital parents" i.e. single ones with child abuse and neglect. My son's comment, also on Face Book, is: "Well, that's offensive."

When God is the rope in a divorce tug of war the children end up at the frayed edges when the rope finally breaks. When God is the ball some "monkey in the middle" frequently keeps the kids from catching it.

Both of my books touch this wound - Terry's children, in Pastor's Ex-Wife, believed their father who demonized her. Much of the story deals with how Terry coped or caved with the absence or silence of her children. Stuck in the Mud, the one I am slowly not getting done now, is told from the point of view of a child whose disappointment with her father resulted in a faith-less life.