Contest For Writers

© Barbara V. Evers, All rights reserved.

This week has been really busy for us since our daughter got married on Friday. Lots of fun and excitement and not much time for blog posting. For that reason, I’m going to let my writing blog (An Eclectic Muse) do double duty:

I’m running a contest this week, deadline midnight (EST) Monday, April 10.  Each entrant will receive a copy of 10 Grammar Rules Every Writer Should Know.

One lucky winner will receive:

  • Writer’s Editing and Critiquing Tips pdf
  • 25% discount off of a proofreading or edit of your manuscript OR 50 pages edited for free
  • A copy of the Fall/Winter 2016 moonShine review

Odds of winning are very high right now! Check out the post for entry details. Please enter and share this post!

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Inspiring Women: Remembering My Aunts

Last week, my Aunt Vivian passed away. She was 92. The picture below shows my mother’s family when I was a little girl.  Aunt Vivian is standing, fourth from the left. (I’m the kid seated to the far right on the front row.)

Back row L-R: my parents, Bob, Vivian, Great Aunt Locky, my grandparents, Wayne, Deloris, Bill, Barbara

Back row L-R: my parents, Bob, Vivian, Great Aunt Locky, my grandparents, Wayne, Delores, Bill, Barbara

As I prepared to attend her memorial service, the realization floored me that all of my aunts are gone from this world.  This led me to reflect on each one of them and their impact on my life. I had four aunts, three by marriage.  I knew some of them better than others, but each one of them was important to me.

We lost  Aunt Margaret, my father’s sister, first. She went early in life, and I’ve missed her laughter.  To this day, I can still hear her, probably because she brought fun and laughter everywhere she went. We carried on a pen pal correspondence when I was young and she never spoke down to me. Margaret remembered us at Christmas, too.  Her gift box, which arrived soon after Thanksgiving, contained beautifully wrapped gifts with tags that gave cryptic clues about our presents. It was delightful torture trying to figure out what was in the gift. I still have the sewing basket she gave me when I was ten and that year’s gift tag with its clue (see below). Aunt Margaret, also, played and taught piano. I took lessons for nine years, although not from her since she lived a long way from us, and she was a great encouragement to me.

An early family photo. Margaret is on the couch between my grandfather and her husband, Cody.

An early family photo. Margaret is on the couch between my grandfather and her husband, Cody. I’m on the floor on the left.

auntmargaretclueinside

The clue on my gift one Christmas.

 

About ten years later, I lost my Aunt Barbara, which, again, was way too soon. I identified with her because of our shared name. In our family, we had Aunt Barbara, my mom who went by Babs but was Barbara, and me. Her husband, my Uncle Bill, still reminds me that I have his favorite name. I didn’t know Aunt Barbara well, but I remember her as a practical and elegant woman who was kind to me. My best memory of her is odd.  We were visiting their home and my stomach started bothering me.  She gave me Mylanta, which I had never had.  My cousins wrinkled their noses and warned me it tasted awful. I liked the chalky flavor. I don’t use Mylanta very often, but I can’t see a bottle of it without thinking of Aunt Barbara.

My Aunt Delores succumbed to cancer several years later, yet, she too, went before her time. I remember Delores as  movie star gorgeous–elegant and graceful. She had two sons, and the youngest was the only cousin close to my age on either side of the family.  She always spoke to me as if we knew each other well.  We didn’t, but I appreciated her ability to make me feel comfortable and welcome in her presence. She was married to my mother’s younger brother, Uncle Wayne. Mom was very close to Wayne, so maybe that’s another reason I felt a closeness with Delores.

Which brings me to Aunt Vivian, the spitfire. Even the comments made at her service reinforced this part of her nature. She was married to Uncle Bob, an incorrigible jokester, so I think either he picked a spunky woman or she developed her spunk to contend with his antics. Vivian outlived her husband, a son, my parents, and her other two sisters-in-law. During her service, several people spoke. Her granddaughter’s words reminded me that Vivian shared something unusual with me:  raising grandchildren. However, Vivian’s significance to my life holds another place in my memory. During a family get-together when I was in my late twenties, she said to me, “When are you going to publish your book?” Surprised, I asked her how she knew that I write.  Her answer became the first lines in my writing bio:

Barbara V. Evers, began story-telling at the age of four.
She couldn’t read, so she roped others into taking dictation.

I have no recollection of dictating stories to Vivian, but she remembered it over twenty years later, enough to believe that I would be published. I was thrilled when I could finally tell her about my first publication.

Today, two of my uncles remain, Uncle Bill and Uncle Wayne, Mom’s oldest and youngest brothers respectively.

As we grow older, we begin to realize the impact of various people in our lives.  Each one of my aunts affected me in some way, either large or small, as did (and do) my uncles.

I was blessed to know them and find it hard to believe most of them are gone. I’m just glad they were part of my life.

Do you have family members who have made an impact in your life? If they’re still with you, make sure they know how much you value them.

 

 

 

Mercy’s Rain Delivers Redemption

MercysRain bookcoverIf you’ve been following my story over the last few months, you’ve read about my own experiences with date rape, teen pregnancy, teen marriage, domestic violence, and divorce. The story isn’t over, by far, and I plan to return to it soon, but today I want to share with my readers the book, Mercy’s Rain by Cindy Sproles.  It’s available through Amazon this month for .99, and that’s a deal you don’t want to miss.

Why Mercy’s Rain?  This is the review I wrote on Amazon after reading this book a few months ago:

Mercy Roller has a lot to overcome. Her life has been one torturous event after another in the name of God. The giver of such providence? Her father, the Pastor, a man whose demons kept him on the edge of violence. One fateful day, which should have been a thankful day, the tables turn and Mercy finds her father at her mercy. What she does and how she comes to deal with her actions and her past is a moving story that will bare the soul of an abuse victim without making the reader feel overwhelmed by the violence. Cindy Sproles has managed to weave a horrific story into an uplifting one, picking only specific moments of violence to share in a way that sheds light on the characters without bringing the reader to their knees in despair. This is a story of redemption and forgiveness developed so well that you don’t see the author, you experience the characters and their lives.

As someone who knows the struggle of dealing with domestic violence, I thoroughly appreciated Cindy Sproles’ efforts to focus on the characters while giving us a great story to read.  She does justice to the topic of domestic violence without sounding preachy or pumping up the violence to the point of becoming inflammatory.

If you don’t want to read about domestic violence, I would still recommend this book to you.

Have you read Mercy’s Rain? Please leave a comment on this post and tell others what you thought about it…or let us know what great books you have found on this difficult topic.