I was watching the clouds one rainy afternoon. And as they sailed swiftly across the sky in an ever-changing variety of shapes and squiggles I remembered a quote from Thomas Browne. In 1635 he wrote, “Nature is the art of God.” I thought, I believe it because right now, the entire sky looks like His own personal Etch a Sketch. I mean, first there was a hole in the clouds that morphed into a five-pointed star before it got sucked into a shrunken pinpoint that was suddenly the eye of an alligator that chased a hump-backed snake. Highly entertaining. Almost started singing, “I know an old lady who swallowed a fly . . .”
Can’t tell me that God doesn’t have a sense of humor. The alligator made me wonder briefly if animals ever marvel at God’s Etch a Sketch? After all, my two pooches are pretty smart and I do catch them scanning the sky every so often. Speaking of pooches, who cannot see God’s hand in all of creation: from the perfection of a playful puppy’s soft, furry paw to the swiftness of a hungry cat’s claw . . . to the flawless symmetry of a daisy or black-eyed Susan. Happenstance? Occurring by chance? I think not. After all, according to Genesis 1:24, “. . . and God said, let the earth bring forth every kind of animal — livestock, small animals, and wildlife. And so it was . . . and God said it was good.
Seen my books? “The SEED” a Novel of suspense that placed as a top ten finalist and was nominated to be put on a college required reading list. And the Johnny Vic historical adventure series (mixing treasure hunting, adventure and American history!). Go to http://www.annrichduncan.com.
So, I’ve come to realize . . . what I used to hate in school? It’s actually the most fun part of writing a novel. What is it? Research! For instance, the other night, I needed to have John Victor and his friend drive away from the friend’s home. Could have made it a “nothing” scene, but turned it into a humorous situation — with details. I don’t know much about cars, so I looked up a 1954 vintage Chevy Bel Air. And had the guys “discussing” the “female reaction” to cars. And, of course, my treasure hunting hero loves hiking and rock specimens — so I looked up some interesting minerals known to be situated in the local of the story. Found Wulfenite. Neat! “Research” is even more fun if it takes you somewhere. Like, with my Johnny Vic adventure featuring Lake Champlain, I went to a museum in the Vergennes area. Got the, “Wow, you’re a writer doing research?” reaction from the staff. Not familiar with John Victor? Look for his first adventure, entitled, “The SEED” at my website: www.annrichduncan.com. You can find the Johnny Vic historical adventure series there too.
It’s coming soon. The “real” John Victor sent two gold nuggets–and more–to be given away to readers. It’ll start with a few stories about Scottie’s adventure in Alaska with our intrepid hero. Like his visits to Tok, Chicken, and John’s gold mine. Just view the photos of the beautiful Alaskan countryside and read the stories, then send a comment. One entry per comment. Multiple comments allowed. There will be one winning entry per story. (watch for the announcements of the winners — if your name was drawn, send us your address and we’ll ship the prize to you!) Nuggets! Coins! Gems! All found by John! Who is John? He’s the inspiration for the heroes in my books, including: The SEED, Travel With Johnny Vic, Johnny Vic’s Nautical Adventures, and Johnny Vic’s Plymouth Adventures. Find them at www.annrichduncan.com. Check back to see when the contest will begin.
So, I filled in for the boss at the radio station Saturday to do a live radio “remote” of the Memorial Day parade in Fair Haven, VT. Was doing a non-stop play-by-play description of the laying of the wreath. And boy! Did I sound emotional!! Trouble is, I was emotional for the wrong reason—I’m allergic to bees, you see, and I didn’t have an epi-pen with me, and well, seven bees decided to have a conference on my bare arm. Yikes! I’m quoting Isaiah, describing a local hero who is laying the wreath beneath the flag, and I’ve gotta simultaneously search my bag for benedryl–just in case–while doing the play by play. Way I see it now? God has a sense of humor. He just wanted to be sure I had the proper quivering voice during the broadcast. After all —I’m sure the men and women we have been honoring this weekend went thru more horror and fear than the bees could instill in me. And they chose to go through it. Soon as I thought about those sacrifices and thanked God for what our heroes must have endured, the bees chose to jump up and fly away. Speaking of heroes, there are lots of heroes in my books! The SEED, a novel of suspense about unethical biotechnology and GMO’s; and the Johnny Vic historical adventure series that includes stories about Horace Greeley, George Washington, Calvin Coolidge, Benedict Arnold, Governor Bradford, and more. Make it your choice to check them out! www.annrichduncan.com.
So, I’ve been working Second Shift now since late January. Transferring from one station to another. Learning to master a wire brush machine. Attempting to MollyDag (spray paint). Working at masking. Actually, I like masking. I’ve come to the conclusion that masking is a lot like writing. What is masking? It’s the application of special sticky tape to parts of an airplane engine, to protect that particular area from the Mollydag or any other coating(s) that must be applied to the part. Sounds simple but it’s not. You have to be precise. Lives depend on it!!! Gotta be good with a razor blade. Gotta have good hand/eye control. Otherwise it’s bandaid time. I only needed three bandaids tonight. (My trainer has four.) But why’s masking like writing? Well, when you write you have to choose the right words. With masking, you have to choose the right tape. Duh. Then you add more (tape or words), and cut some out (tape or words). Yikes . . . there’s a bubble in the tape! Rip it off. Start over. Yikes, there’s a scene that just doesn’t have pizzazz and your reader’s gonna get bored. Hit the delete. Start over. Or wait . . . maybe I can squooosh the tape a bit. And that boring scene? It just needs a . . . umh . . . how about a razor wielding maniac? Actually I might become one if I don’t go to bed. Good night. Don’t miss my books. There’s a novel of suspense and a YA historical adventure series. At: www.annrichduncan.com.
So . . . Bridge Theater/Whitehall Recreation Association has received a grant and they want another Johnny Vic historical play!!! This one’s going to be a hoot. The history of a well-known historical site. The Rock of Ages. Knock knock Rocks. Moregone the Evil Math-a-Magician. A host of fun characters. And a patriotic tribute to the U – S – of – A. Hmmmmm. I need some talking rocks. How the . . . . . . . ????? Oh well. Curious about Johnny Vic? It’s my historical adventure series that has been endorsed by the Teaching American History Program Director at Castleton State College, inspired a tile wall at the Ticonderoga Elementary School, and netted me a slot as an approved visiting author through the New York State BOCES Arts in Education Program. Oh! And not to brag, but Johnny Vic netted me a literary agent, too! Check ’em out at www.annrichduncan.com. Performance dates? To be announced.
So, it seems only yesterday that I agreed to design a float for the local July 4 parade. And now, it’s just around the corner. Hmmmmm . . . floats. What a great word for summer. There’s root beer floats. Parade floats. Floating on the lake. Having someone float you a loan. But, yikes, I’ve gotta WORK for my current float. Yikes, it’s 80 degrees inside WITH AC! The theme is Happy Birthday. After all, Poultney, VT is celebrating its 250th anniversary, and Horace Greeley was born 200 years ago. My focus? Horace Greeley. Yep. Horace. The most influencial journalist of his time. After all, as a board member of the Horace Greeley Foundation I’m helping to celebrate his 200th anniversary. So, I’m creating an oversized Northern Spectator. That’s the local (Poultney, VT) newspaper Horace worked on as a boy. Even as a teen, he had become one of the most influential writers (and speakers) locally. Remember those kleenex flowers we made as kids? I’ve gotta make about 60 of them to cover a replica of Horace’s top hat. Am trying to decide which Greeley facts to add to the “newspaper” . . .
He was born in February of, 1811. He started the New York Tribune. He ran for the presidency against Ulysses S. Grant. He was an influencial abolitionist and fighter for women’s rights. He got Abraham Lincoln to go against slavery. It’s long been determined that his influence put politicians into– or out of–office. Yes, there’s a lot of information about Horace Greeley. Oh, did I tell you we’re having our annual Horace Greeley Writers’ Conference on October 15? Check it out at the Horace Greeley Foundation’s website: www.thegreeleyfoundation.com. Oh, did I tell you that my first Johnny Vic historical adventure book has a story about Horace? Check it out at www.annrichduncan.com.
Oh well, gotta go. Gotta get back to the Kleenex. Only 30 more flowers to fold. Then I’ve gotta spread the petals on all 60 of them. Yikes . . . wish I were drinking a root beer float on a float on the lake. Lake St. Catherine.