Tag Archives: inspiration

Your Precious Power of Enthusiasm #MFRW_author #IAN #Motivation

family diversity imageI began making presentations to writers many years ago. From the beginning, I had a mission, to share what I know about the publishing world and help writers navigate that world more effectively. The specifics of my message changed as own knowledge changed and grew.

At first, I talked about writing stories. How to create strong characters and put them in a fast-paced plot. How to make a story publishable and readable. Then I became a book editor for a traditional publisher. I learned how a publishing house really works and passed that on.

When I became a literary agent, maximizing manuscript marketability was my daily focus. I even wrote a book about it. No More Rejections: 50 Secrets to Writing a Manuscript that Sells (A revised version is now in progress.) Once again, I was passing on what I knew.

Eventually, I moved on from editing and agenting. I’d published several novels with traditional publishers by then, but indie publishing offered new challenges. I’ve brought out a memoir and four novels thus far so I blog about that experience and advise individual authors when I can.

Now, a new message is needed and, along with it, a new mission, to combat the discouragement I find rampant among too many writers these days. My message is one of encouragement for all of us to use our periods of challenge to grow our potential as authors.

As I’ve said many times before, you can and will make it through such periods because you have the skills and resources you need to do so. You can and will make it through because that is your only choice if your passion is to write and bring the gift of your writing to the world.

Talk yourself past the difficult, sometimes scary places. Say to yourself, “I will not be afraid today.” “I refuse to let anxiety infect my spirit today.” Most important of all, “I will not lose sight of my Power of Enthusiasm today.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Never relinquish your Powerful Enthusiasm.” I say, Enthusiasm is the energy you need to fuel yourself through testing moments. Enthusiasm puts your psyche on your side where you need it to be. Enthusiasm inspires you to think of each day as a jewel on the thread of your life. Never underestimate the worth of that gem or forget to admire its beauty.

Instead of giving in to doubt and fear, give yourself up to Enthusiasm for your work. Honor how wonderful it is to do something you love, to have discovered your passionate pursuit. Rejoice in the gift and blessing of that discovery as an occasion for Enthusiasm a thousand times over.

In addition to your Precious Power of Enthusiasm, loads of hard work and creativity will of course be required. A satisfying route to take, an adventure you can be proud to pursue, one enthusiastic day at a time.  Alice Orr – http://www.aliceorrbooks.com/

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My latest novel A Villain for Vanessa – Riverton Romantic Suspense Book 4 is available from Amazon HEREA Wrong Way Home – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Book 1 is a FREE EBOOK HERE.

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It’s the End of the Year & We’re All Fruit

happy-new-yearIn My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002), totally lovable curmudgeon Gus Portokalos says this. “You know, the root of the word Miller is a Greek word. Miller come from the Greek word ‘milo,’ which is mean ‘apple,’ so there you go. As many of you know, our name, Portokalos, is come from the Greek word ‘portokali,’ which mean ‘orange.’ So, okay? Here tonight, we have, ah, apple and orange. We all different, but in the end, we all fruit.

I love this movie as much as I do because I wish I was part of the Portokalos family. Those parents and siblings, those aunts and cousins, the batty grandma who faces down long-gone invaders everywhere. I consigned myself to a long-gone bad marriage in part because he had a family somewhat like this one. Though I don’t recall anyone regaling me with anything like Gus’s cranky-wonderful wisdom.

Segue to the current moment and my own attempt to regale us with some Gus Grace. 2016 was a tough year for many people for many reasons. We are sad about it and/or angry. At least this is what we allow to show on the surface. Examining my own self and being honest, I must admit that beneath the sadness and anger I feel wounded. Why? Because people I thought would agree with my version of truth and rightness did not do so.

I didn’t unfriend anybody on Facebook. At the point of a couple of possible in-person face-offs I said, “We simply can’t talk about this.” Which was graciously accepted because both of us wanted to preserve the relationship. Still, a nasty bit of residue remained and, no matter how small that bit of residue might have been, it was not insignificant. Because we had loved one another on some level. Now that love was tainted and we were mutually saddened and hurt.

I know many of you have had similar experiences on a personal level and on a wider life level as well. For the latter, yesterday we celebrated (if that’s the appropriate term) Good Riddance Day. In Times Square “participants wrote down unpleasant, painful or embarrassing memories from the past year and chucked them into an industrial strength shredder.” Feel free to do the same in your own town square. Otherwise, a back yard bonfire will suffice.

I believe in the power of rituals. Let’s each of us burn or shred or holler our frustrations into the night. Then, could we please go back to being friends together or colleagues or just folks who respect one another as individuals who may differ in some ways? Because if we do not do that, what we sacrifice is the love I mentioned. The world will be worse off for that loss. The world is always worse off for the loss of love.

I understand that our hurt places are still tender to the touch. So we don’t want to touch them. But, in my never humble opinion, we must. We can do it overtly by a phone call or a private online message something like, “Hi. I know we had that thing over you-know-what but I miss you.” Or you can borrow my usual less bold approach and behave as if nothing happened. Smile and chat and hope your missed friend smiles and chats in return.

Why bother? Because the end of a year is an opportunity for new beginnings or re-starts of old beginnings. Because, according to mythology, at the New Year we must do everything we can to summon the return of the light out of winter’s darkness. Maybe, if we adopt that timetable, by springtime we will have salved past hurts with the balm of present friendship. Because what truly matters after all is this. In the end we are all fruit. So there you go.  Alice Orr – http://www.aliceorrbooks.com/

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A Villain for Vanessa – Riverton Romantic Suspense Book 4 and my other books are available from Amazon HEREA Wrong Way Home – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Book 1 is a FREE EBOOK there also. All written as a peach, I hope.

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Your Brain on Doubt & What to Do About It #MFRWAuthor #Inspiration

flat-tire-image“I’ve watched you grow smaller,” an observant friend once said to me. “as if you are deflating.”

I was stuck in a period of deep doubt about almost everything. I didn’t know what to do with my life or my work or me. “I’m between things,” I’d say to anyone who appeared to care. Actually, I wasn’t anywhere. My friend was right. I’d deflated and needed desperately to pump up again.

Unfortunately, a deflated spirit lacks not only air to breathe but the will and stamina to refill its lungs in the first place. Doubt had taken those good things from me. I was a flat tire. More to the point, my brain was a flat tire, and flat tires don’t get us anywhere.

We all end up in the hardly-moving lane now and then, and doubt is often the vehicle that takes us there. Especially doubt about ourselves. Doubting seems to be an inevitable consequence of living. The trouble is it can zap the will to live, and the joy of that life, flat out of us.

I’m re-inflated at the moment. The last thing I want is another blowout, or even a slow leak into a bad-year tire again. How did I get from flaccid to full-up? What can I do next time I misplace my air lock valve? Here are five specific remedies for my self-doubt days and yours.

Specific #1. Get out from under the comforter. My comforter is blue, the color of melancholy. I hide there and bring other comforts with me – unhealthy food, binge TV and the occasional bourbon coke with a splash of lime. I must drag my bemoaning behind from under all of that.

Specific #2. Cut the to-do list to size. Nothing lengthens a ride in the doubt mobile as fast as piled-on expectations. What needs to be done feels like being expected to prepare a holiday feast by suppertime. How about toast instead? I think I can manage a slice, maybe even multi-grain.

Specific #3. Create a feel-good list instead. What makes me feel better? What ACTivities? I must stand up, get dressed and move. Yoga on the purple mat I bought myself last Christmas. Or a walk around a block or two without my comforter, like Linus’s blanket, trailing behind.

Progress Report. I’m out of the bedroom (#1). I’ve been to the kitchen where I consumed some multi-grain nutrition (#2) and came up with a feel-better action plan (#3). Time to suit up, but first a stop in front of the bathroom sink.

Specific #4. Stare straight ahead. What do I see? I see the hero in my mirror. I wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t already survived many comforter-craving moments. I chose the choices and did the work that got me to this place, which makes me the hero of my own life story.

Specific #5. Produce a memory of the hero in the mirror. Deep breathing in a yoga pose or puffing down the street, I recall a time I lifted myself toward where I needed to be. I watch, hear and, most important, feel the moment. “I did that,” I say, because I did. No doubt about it.

Alice Orr – http://www.aliceorrbooks.com/

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A Villain for Vanessa – Riverton Romantic Suspense Book 4 and Alice Orr’s other books are available from Amazon HEREA Wrong Way Home – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Book 1 is a FREE EBOOK there also.

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Binge Watching and Binge Reading – Riverton Road Monday

Alice's Nancy Drew TitleI not only love writing series. I also love reading series. This love affair began in my childhood Nancy Drew Books days. Of course reading under the covers with a flashlight. What better way could there be to experience The Secret of the Old Clock?

Did you know I wrote a Nancy Drew once just for the thrill of being Carolyn Keene for a month or two? It went to #2 on the kids’ bestseller list. Talk about fulfilling a childhood dream. I loved doing it. But I only wrote one. I don’t know why since I enjoyed being a teen again.

The title by the way was Danger in Disguise – and I’m flabbergasted to find it still available. D in D is even an eBook though I wrote it long before that format existed. If you don’t believe me – check this out. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HB62LKI.

I digress. Because what I’ve really been thinking about is how binge television-watching may be conditioning all of us to be ripe for binge book reading too. As in series – series – and more series. This is great news for writers. But it’s great news for readers also.

When I get my teeth into a story that carries me along lickety-split and absorbs me with its absorbing characters – it puts me in a foul mood to read THE END. I want to stick with this story. Most of all I want to stick with this experience. I want to be carried along and absorbed some more.

We’re all getting a succulent taste of this these days via television series. Look at the excitement accompanying anticipation of every new Downton Abbey season. In fact some of us have been so afflicted with separation trauma at season’s end that we binge the whole thing again.

We not only binge that preceding season – we often return to previous seasons and binge those too. Some of us even search out full seasons of Upstairs Downstairs just so we can remain in that delicious Brit place of “Blimey” and “Egad.”

We have been captured. We have been seduced. We have been immersed. We have lived in that delightful though obviously idealized milieu for episode after episode and we can’t stand to leave it. That milieu is what I’ve written about in previous posts as “the world of the series.”

We not only want to spend a bit of watcher time there. If the truth were told – many of us would love to live there and fantasize doing so. I’ve heard there are Downton Abbey parties where people dress in pre- or post-World War I posh and affect lock-jawed nasal accents.

My granny was British and tried to make me British as well so I’m all for this. She and I would have tea at four with little sandwiches and cookies – or biscuits as she called them. She taught me conversation. First I’d talk then she’d talk while I listened instead of itching to talk again myself. Those were the rules.

I digress yet again because what I’m really all for is the long game of story-loving and storytelling. This is the antidote to the here-this-nanosecond-gone-the-next attention span. Or maybe it debunks the myth of that phenomenon. Maybe the internet and the screened device haven’t rendered us all incapable of long-haul commitment after all.

My vote goes with debunking the short-span myth and hanging on to my devices too. What glass-half-empty person said we can’t have it all anyway? I’m definitely down with the have-it-all faction – for my stories if nothing else. I say old chap. Might you jolly well feel the same?

Alice Orr – http://www.aliceorrbooks.com.

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A Vacancy at the Inn  – coming soon – is the first Christmas Novella of my Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series featuring the Kalli family – and now the Miller family too – in stories of Romance and Danger. A Wrong Way Home is Book 1 of the series. A Year of Summer Shadows is Book 2. A Villain for Vanessa will be Book 3.

All of my titles are available at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B000APC22E.

 

Go Confidently – Ask Alice Saturday

Go Confidently Coffee Mug imageQuestion. What is your most important advice at this moment?

Answer. “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined.”

 That message is printed on the mug I gave away to ten of my newsletter readers. It’s the same mug I have my coffee in every morning. Not the exact same mug of course. I sent brand spanking new clean ones to the winners.

I wanted to share this particular gift because of what it means to me. I read that Thoreau quote every day and on many of those days I need to be reminded of his words. Whatever path we each may have chosen – life can be daunting. I definitely feel daunted sometimes.

It’s easy to forget how essential it is to “Go Confidently.” Even easier to feel we’ve misplaced our confidence altogether. That’s when we must behave “as if.” Act as if you are your most confident self. Ham it up even. Until you convince others and maybe yourself too.

We must also figure out exactly where “the direction of our dreams” may lie. Most of us have done that already but some are still sheepish about saying the words. As if we might shatter those dreams and prove them illusive after all. Shout your dreams to the universe. Do it now.

Plus we often tend to tell ourselves on some level that we don’t truly deserve “the life we’ve imagined.” Or at least we don’t have a chance of achieving it. I disagree. We each deserve fulfillment and we’re more likely to find by going confidently in our dream directions.

A lot of advice to gulp down with a cup of coffee. That’s why this is an extra-large mug.  I find having these words in front of me every day keeps me mindful of keeping my mind full of the positives. I hope it does the same for my ten contest winners and for you too.

P.S. To sign up for my newsletter and be eligible for my next giveaway go to my website at www.aliceorrbooks.com.

RR

 

A WRONG WAY HOME – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book 1 – the eBook – is FREE at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00T9RVGGC. It is also FREE at Barnes & Noble and iTunes and KOBO and other online platforms. A YEAR OF SUMMER SHADOWS – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book #2 – is available at those same platforms including http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ZBOTH5O. These are my 12th and 13th novels and I’m headed confidently toward finishing number 14. Alice Orrwww.aliceorrbooks.com.

 

Open for Business – Orr What? Wednesday

Open SignFall is here. New beginnings. I need that. Summer was jam-packed and fun-filled. The grandkids were here. Birthdays were honored with lots of chocolate cake. A 43rd wedding anniversary was celebrated. A vacation trip was made. Lots of excuses to be slothful on the work side.

Now slothful must end as we all open for business again. A hint of sharpness in the air and an equally sharp jab in the psyche tell us this is true. For me that means being on here with messages more regularly and reaffirming my writing discipline too.

We can find lots of excuses for avoiding the latter well into the new season. My go-to excuse is to blame the story I’m writing. I tell myself something is standing in the way of my getting on with it. I stop in my tracks and stare at that barrier as if it were impenetrable.

Have you ever experienced this road block syndrome? I’ll bet you have. It happens to everybody. And not just writers by the way. By the grace of God I’m not going through this myself right now. I’m shedding the summer slow-down for sure but I don’t feel blocked.

Unfortunately a dear friend of mine does. I hope she won’t mind if I pass on to you what I said to her not long ago – with some edits. Just in case you might be facing a road block or end up facing one in the future. Here’s my advice about that.

Believe me. You will get yourself and your work together. In the meantime you must not let yourself be encumbered by worry and agitation. Getting and staying unencumbered are among my personal themes as we begin this rejuvenating season. I invite you to share them.

Those two things in particular – worry and agitation – are what we need to jettison. We all carry too much of both and are equally weighed down and worked up by them. That’s not good for our work or for ourselves as humans deserving of joy in this life.

You will find the inspiration you need. You will find the pieces of your story because they are in your imagination waiting to be found. And when you put them together they will fit. Put each piece into words with passion in them and they will fit perfectly. Or perfectly enough.

I don’t mean to go all Pollyanna on you and pretend this is an easy task. Creativity is a re-assemblage of elements already within us into something new. This exercise may have a high PITA factor but it is definitely worth the effort.

So – Do It Anyway. The result will make you glad you did. The result will be that you’re Open for Business.

RR

A WRONG WAY HOME – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book 1 – the eBook – is FREE at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00T9RVGGC. It is also FREE at Barnes & Noble and iTunes and KOBO and other online platforms. A YEAR OF SUMMER SHADOWS – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book #2 – is available at those same platforms including http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ZBOTH5O. These are my 12th and 13th novels and I’m currently open for business on number 14. Alice Orrwww.aliceorrbooks.com.

 

Real Life Heroism & Why I Write Suspense – Riverton Road Monday

Heroism imageI write suspense because I’m inspired to tell heroic stories. This inspiration doesn’t come from my personal experience with the kind of plot situations I write. I’ve never chased down or vanquished a murderer. As far as I know I’ve never met anybody who has.

My inspiration comes from the day-to-day heroism I witness in real life. Over and over I see and hear about people stepping into danger. Observing these everyday heroics – and sometimes living through them myself – helps me write my more outlandish heroism more realistically.

I’ve observed and experienced how we step up to perilous challenges one toehold at a time. We don’t often leap into the abyss. Leaping is common to the old fashioned storytelling we find in movies starring John Wayne et.al. I try to avoid writing old fashioned stories.

The exception to the non-leaping pace of real life heroism happens when somebody is under immediate threat. Somebody we care about or could care about simply because they’re human beings as we are. Then we may leap into the abyss in order to yank them out of it.

I think of these instances as fireworks heroics complete with crashing sound effects and cascades of colored light. They’re real but rarely necessary or so we hope. Everyday heroics are less spectacular but equally or even more amazing – partly because they are much more frequent.

What amazes me is that day-to-day heroism doesn’t involve split second no-time-to-think-about-it action. Day-to-day heroism is thought about and thought through upfront. The possibility of disaster is well understood. But we act anyway.

We step up – one fully aware step at a time. I’m not suggesting there’s no fear in the mix. Quite the opposite. The heroism arises from the fact that fear is definitely in the mix and we step up all the same.

Something horrible happens or is likely to happen. We’re shocked and frightened. We weep or curse or throw something or go out and drink too much or all of these. Then we grit our teeth and wade in to do what must be done. We may complain and let loose the less attractive aspects of ourselves but we wade in anyway.

Grace – which doesn’t always need to look entirely graceful – under pressure. This is the heroism I find inspiring. This is the heroism that inspires me to write suspense. Calamity happens. My characters are taken aback for a bit. Inevitably they stand up and step up – one often uncertain and always precarious action at a time.

What will happen to them? We don’t know. Will they triumph? Not always. Will they overcome in the end? If so – how will they manage that against the formidable odds I’ve mounted against them? We must read – or write – the story to find out.

Meanwhile I watch the people around me and feel the experience of my own existence. I ask those same questions about actions and outcomes. I see stories unfold and the courage it takes to get life done – sometimes only by the skin of our teeth.

Between and among the folds and the courage and the skin of our teeth lie the greatest of all page turner yarns. I may amplify the details but basically I pay attention and allow myself to be inspired.

What results is a suspense novel – with some romance thrown in – because hardly anything is more dangerous than falling in love.

RR

A WRONG WAY HOME – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book 1 – the eBook – is FREE at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00T9RVGGC. It is also FREE at Barnes & Noble and iTunes and KOBO and other online platforms. A YEAR OF SUMMER SHADOWS – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book #2 – is $2.99 at those same platforms including http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ZBOTH5O. These are my 12th and 13th novels and they are all about heroism. Alice Orrwww.aliceorrbooks.com.

 

Let’s All Be Free at Last – Ask Alice Saturday

Celebration image 5Question: It’s Independence Day. What do you want to be free of as a writer?

Answer: I wish for myself and all of my writer friends to free ourselves from the tyranny of our expectations.

I launched a book several days ago. Yet my celebration of that accomplishment is shadowed by my disappointment with myself. What did I not do well enough? What did I do too much?

I’m not saying a thorough debrief isn’t called for at the end of any major undertaking. Of course we should evaluate. Of course we should learn from our mistakes.

What I am saying is this. I find myself and too many other writers failing to congratulate our achievements. Failing to say – “I did that just right.” Or even – “I did that just right enough.”

Someone else had to remind me. “Look how far you’ve come in the past year. Look how much you’ve learned.” Typically I responded with a litany of my sins of omission. The things I’d left undone.

I was altogether wrong in that. A backward glance was in order. As I have absolutely no doubt it is also in order for you. Where were you a year ago today? Where was your career twelve months in the past?

Stop a moment right now. Take out a piece of paper and a pen. Cast yourself back a year. Ask yourself this question. “A year ago what were the 3 things I most wanted to accomplish in my writing career?”

Don’t overthink it. Let your first 3 thoughts be your best 3 thoughts. Write each down and leave a generous space blank after it. Put the paper aside and come back here with me for a bit.

In my opinion the worst of our sins of omission is committed when we fail to relish our experience. Stop another moment now and consider what it is we do. We set down words in a configuration that is brand new. Entirely our own creation.

We invent stories. We articulate thoughts. We build pictures from syllables. And if we are doing these precious activities as we should – we enjoy most of it.

This is a gift we’ve been given. A gift worthy of recognition and reveling. When we fail to do so we’ve fallen victim to the tyranny of our own expectations. We have forgotten to honor what we did accomplish by wallowing in what we haven’t yet accomplished.

Return to the piece of paper and your 3 hopeful ambitions for the year just past. After each one record every step you’ve taken along the path to that goal. The short steps – the long strides – the hops and hobbles in between. I’ll do it with you.

Fill the blank spaces. Carry onto the back of the page and across the desk and up the wall. Crowding the room with a record of our writerly deeds. We’ll read them over. Recognize and revel. Then we will have triumphed over tyranny and be free at last. Happy Independence Day.

RR

My current novel is A Year of Summer Shadows – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book 2 – available in eBook and paperback at amazon.com/author/aliceorr and other outlets online. A Wrong Way Home – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book 1 – the eBook – will be free for download soon at those same outlets. These are my 12th and 13th novels and I set myself free at last to honor them both. Alice Orr – www.aliceorrbooks.com.

 

How to Be Kind to Your Author Self – Ask Alice Saturday

Question: How can I take better care of myself as a writer?

Kindness imageAnswer: You can be kind to yourself as a writer by changing your attitude about the hard times in your career.

You can and will make it through whatever hard times you may have in your writing career. You can make it because you have the skills and resources you need to do that. You will make it because that’s your only choice if your passion is to write and bring your writing to the world.

Your first step is to fight back fear. You must struggle against fear as relentlessly as the heroines of your stories struggle against the obstacles they confront in their journey to survive and go on to thrive in the end. Will yourself through the scary places.

Every morning say to yourself – “I will not be afraid today.” “I refuse to let anxiety infest my spirit today.”

Fight back fear by changing your thinking about now and the future – about today and tomorrow – especially in terms of your goals for yourself. Stop thinking about your goal as far away. Stop thinking of your progress as painfully slow.

That kind of thinking ends in discouragement and drains your hope. You lose what Ralph Waldo Emerson called The Power of Enthusiasm. Never let go of your Powerful Enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is the energy you need to fuel you through testing times.

Get your psyche on your side. See your goal as right here with you today. See yourself as progressing toward that goal today. If you see any progress at all – even a small step – then this is a successful day. A day when you’ve made progress toward your goal.

Do this every day. One day at a time. Set a goal for each day. Know what you want to accomplish that day. Make sure it’s a realistic goal. Don’t defeat yourself before you start by filling your plate impossibly full.

If you want your psyche on your side make sure your To Do List is on your side. Beware the tyranny of the To Do List. It’s the monster you create for yourself all by yourself.

Set a reasonable realistic self-sensitive goal. Pursue that goal that day deliberately – with intention without anxiety or rushing. Haste really does make waste. It wastes your ability to experience your achievements and savor them as they happen.

Do each day intentionally and well. Think of each day as a jewel on the thread of your career. Place it artfully and never underestimate its worth. Most important – never forget to admire its beauty.

RR

My next story is A YEAR OF SUMMER SHADOWS – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book #2 – Mark & Hailey’s Story. Available May 15th at amazon.com/author/aliceorr. This is my 13th novel and I was kind to my author self the entire time I was writing it.  Alice Orr – www.aliceorrbooks.com

Gramma’s Dandelion Wine

I don’t know how my proper English grandmother would feel about being represented by a recipe for spirits. I found it in her notebook recorded in a lovely but substantial hand. Substantial enough to be read many decades after it was written.

The ink is faded of course. Real ink like the kind that used to come in bottles and inkwells. The pages are soft with age and worn off at the corners. I touch them carefully for fear they will disintegrate into powder.

The pasteboard covers are separating at the spine. The original brown was probably dark but is now a dusky shade. She wrote “Cook Book – Mrs. Boudiette – 467 Holley Street – Watertown NY” on that cover – referring to herself in properly modest fashion without her first name.

This inscription tells me something about the age of the notebook. Grandma lived on Holley Street long before they moved to the tall brown house on West Main where I spent the happiest hours of my childhood with her in her kitchen during the 1940’s.

I run my finger over the letters she wrote. My hand touching the place where her hand had been. She died when I was only seven years and three days old but she has been deeply entrenched in me ever since. Everything good that has happened in my life began somehow with Gramma.

Only two dates are eMe & Grandma Gardeningntered in her notebook. November 1, 1927 after her recipe for Apple Jam. March 9, 1931 on the page with Tasty Salad.

Other entries include “How to Remove Ink from Clothes” and “Receip for Tanning Hides.” Bless you Gramma for that.

And here is her Dandelion Wine.

Alice Jane Rowland Boudiette’s Dandelion Wine (In Her Own Words)

 6 quarts fresh heads of dandelion blossoms in stone jar or granite. 1 gallon hot water poured on the blossoms. Put aside for 3 days and nights, then strain through a cloth. Now add 3 pounds sugar, juice of 2 lemons and 3 oranges. Add one-half yeast cake. Pour mixture into a stone jar and let it stand 4 days and nights. Then strain again through a cloth. Bottle. Let stand in bottles with corks set in loose until it stops working. Otherwise it will blow off or break bottles. After it stops working cork tightly and store where cool.

Shared by Alice Jane’s Granddaughter — February 21, 2015 – The picture is of me and Gramma in her garden when I was two and a half years old. Find my books at amazon.com/author/aliceorr.

Alice Orr – www.aliceorrbooks.com.