June 16, 2019

A Father Remembered

photo by Bob Harkins
Our father, Leo Harkins, planted these daisies in our backyard years ago.  Our brother, Bob Harkins, retired Navy Chief, keeps them well tended.  Each time I look at them, I see the tenderness with which he planted them and remember the tenderness in which he covered his children. Thank you, Bobby, for keeping these sweet delights alive and healthy for Daddy's family.  

Happy Father's Day All

June 11, 2019

Our Version of Jack in the Box

     Lucky us at Gracious Jane Marie!  You never know when a dog head will appear, so we like to call this week's version Abs in the Sleeve.  Here we have Abby Lou in the cuff of a sweatshirt sleeve, which is part of a pile of clean laundry needing to be folded.
     
     P.S. Abby, our spokesdog for this blog, is pulling double duty as Director of Security for our Goodbye Lie historical romance series.  Since the former director, our bird named Bird, is now flying with the angels after 20-plus years on earth, the Abster is our overly zealous protector.  Her big dog mouth filled with incessant barking at the first rustle of a leaf, squeak of a door or gate hinge or the dreaded, on our part, ringing of the doorbell, is enough to drive away bad guys, plus reduce every ones ability to hear.  

June 4, 2019

Original Manuscript Unearthed

     Whilst organizing (?) the office, I came across the original handwritten pages of The Goodbye Lie, the first novel in my historical romance series. It made me smile to see where I had written Chapter 1, page 1.  But then, what else would I have put to identify this effort? 
     The gist of the opening scene is basically the same as the published version, yet many of the words are not. I have typed, here, the the first handwritten page as shown in the photo as well as the final, published first page, for comparison.
     For me, it's fun to see how the story evolved.  Hope you find it interesting, too.

Original Handwritten Manuscript - 
Chapter 1, Page 1:   

     She had been looking down as the ground slid past, the pebbles in the road a soft blur.  She was thinking hard about all she had to do in the next. her battle plan. So much to do in the days forthcoming. Thinking about ... Noir screamed.  So piercing was it, that it shocked her into nearly falling off  out of the saddle.  His sleek black coat was instantly covered in a fine mist of fear.  She heard it first coming from the right - Her head snapped up and turned seeing the fast approaching slate grey grey/black inverted tower.  It bobbed and weaved its way forward as if it were a child skipping a madly twirling rope. "Dear God protect us," Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God's love entrust me here. Ever this day" but she couldn't finish the prayer the nuns had taught her as a girl. Her thoughts froze in her mind chilled with from the horror and the sound of the app nearing tor cyclone.  The wild wind beat her as she automatically clung to Noir's mane for a life line,. This time the wild wind [illegible] and battered them with [illegible].Noir was uncontrolable with his fear, altho she didn't know what to do if she did have power over him. Through all the fury and fear she willed herself to pray for a peaceful end for them both. "Dear God, please" ... Then it was over, as she was struck from behind and thrown to the ground, crushed. under

Published Manuscript


 1882  Sultry Summer on Amelia Island, Florida


Chapter 1

       The girl's body flew through the air.
     Moments earlier, she’d been riding her black stallion down the beach. Conscious only of thoughts of her job at the local newspaper, the girl languishing on her horse's back gave no response to the urgent cry, "This way! Ride this way!" Nor did she hear the distant shouts, sharp whistle or even the pop of gunfire that followed - though her animal perked his ears at the faint warning.
     When the growl of her own hunger invaded her contemplation, the girl realized the hour had grown late. More importantly, the wind was beginning to swirl. She was alert now to her surroundings and noticed the sea birds struggling against invisible air currents. She listened hard for the usual humming of native insects as strands of her hair tangled in the blustery breeze, but all she heard was the ever-increasing whine of wind and pounding surf. Overhead, low-running clouds in a queer yellow domed sky shrouded a heavy sun dropping in the west.
     Noir's unexpected whinny stunned her, and she nearly toppled from the saddle. He reared up, forelegs scraping the air as he sought imaginary rescue. His sleek black hide glistened and the ebony animal bolted forward, taking his mistress with him. The horse was uncontrollable with fear and the girl could smell his terror despite the churn of the atmosphere. As his eyes ballooned with dread and frothy panic dripped from his mouth, his rider called to him, "What’s the matter, boy? You should be used to a little wind and rain. It's Florida, after all." She patted his powerful neck in useless reassurance only to be interrupted by a thunderous roar of nature's authority. 
     Then the girl's head snapped to the right as her eyes took in the ghastly sight of three white waterspouts sprinting just above the ocean’s boiling surface. Lightning charged the sky as pricking needles of rain began drilling the rough sea. The girl rallied all her strength. Winding the reins around her gloved hands, she held tight, flattening herself along Noir's length as he galloped full-fury, trying to out distance death. She refused to look again at the monstrous funnels gaining on them. She knew their purpose - to take them as partners in a heinous pirouette of extinction. 
     The girl gamely chose to spend her last breath in prayer, "Dear Lord, please ..."
     Then everything stilled as she was struck from behind and cast to the ground.

May 31, 2019

Long Term School Surprise


     This idea is new to me and I love it. My friend, Andrea Grossman, is doing it for her daughter and she showed me her project. (Please refer to the photos in this post.) Near the last day of the first year of your child's schooling, pre-k, kindergarten or first grade, ask his or her teacher to write a little something in the Dr. Seuss book, Oh, the Places You'll Go!, which you've purchased beforehand.  Then, at the end of each school year, present the same book to the next teacher your child has, asking for a comment/advice and their autograph. Be sure to have each instructor date their entry. Also,write the grade number and school's name so as to refresh memories when needed.  Surprise your student with the  completed book on graduation day of 12th grade!  What a wonderful gift for them and you.  
     The secret here is not to hide the book so well from year to year, that you can't find it.  That would be my luck and it would happen in the 12th year.  Should this occur, you could write your student a note saying something like, "My best intention was to give you a great book filled with teachers' signatures and advice written throughout your entire school career.  I have misplaced it, if you can imagine me doing such a thing.  I guess we'll come across it when we move, I have to clean the house or when you wheel me into that retirement home, I know you already have picked out.  Love, your Mother." 

May 26, 2019

Honoring Our Fallen Heroes

  I was standing behind a big Marine during  our annual Memorial Day ceremony at the waterfront in historic downtown Fernandina Beach, Florida. The scene before me spoke so loudly of the meaning of this most important event honoring our fallen heroes, I had to take this picture. Thank you to each man and woman who died to keep us safe.  May we all be forever grateful, respectful and reverent toward them. 

May 21, 2019

Once Upon a Bike plus Goodbye Lie Diaries- Pat




























Present Day
Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, FL

     Jane Marie writes: You know how they say: if the walls could talk?  Well, what about this old bike?  I would bet it could tell a tale or two. Where did it travel? What was the farthest distance it traversed at one time or the entire time it was ridden? How many owners did it have? How did it come to be in the rusty, beat-up stage it was when our wonderful neighbor, Peggy, asked me if I wanted it? Did I?
     I don't know about you, but while I sprayed it with an entire can of blue paint to cover the rust, I wondered these things.  Peggy even  included two metal baskets and moss basket liners. Besides painting, all I had to do was add the flowers.  Next time, I think I will look for plants that drape and hang a little more, per Peggy's suggestion but, bottom line, I like it!  Thank you, Peggy!

P.S.  I am having to water it every day because of our harsh Florida heat. I just saw on YouTube that if you line the bottom of your moss basket with a disposable baby diaper which, of course, holds moisture, it will reduce the frequency of  times you need to water!  I happen to have several new diapers left over after making a baby shower faux cake, so I'm all set. 


***
Late 1880s
Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida

Pat Dunnigan
Pat Dunnigan writes:  I don't want to sound rude, Miss Jane, but what is the matter with you? Why, with a wire brush and some elbow grease, you can clean up the rust and paint that bike a good solid black.  You might have to find the puncture in the tires but, whatever the problem is with the rubber, I can patch it.  Worst case, I would have to get new tires.  All I know is it is less than dignified, covering the handle bars and fender with all those flowers.  Flowers belong in the garden, in a flower bed or in a vase!  Ha! I'll be dipped in mud and covered with lemon peelings, if I don't sound like crabby Aunt Noreen!  Well, so what.  I still mean it!

***
Jack Patrick Dunnigan is a featured player throughout The Goodbye Lie series, but is all grown up in Amelia Island's Mark of a Man, where he shares his story with his younger sister, Marie. Often on the outs with family and folks for his unpredictable behavior, Pat's heart is kind if his actions often turn into trouble ...

May 14, 2019

Easter Flowers plus Miss Ella and the Goodbye Lie Diaries

Apparently, angels can sleep anywhere ... 
note the angel above on the old rusty fireplace grate
    The Easter lilies are in bloom again.  

     That is a direct ripoff of the calla lilies are in bloom again, Katharine Hepburn's famous line from the 1937 movie, Stage Door.  It may be several weeks past the blessed holiday of Easter, but any time a flower blooms, it is miraculous! And these wonderful lilies bloom annually, with no effort on my part. This is another miracle! - jmm 


***

The Goodbye Lie Diaries
Late 1880s
Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida

Miss Ella Dunnigan
Miss Ella writes: Oh, how lovely, Jane Marie.  In my time, my lilies have already bloomed. Ours are planted by the front steps to Dunnigan Manor.  They are so welcoming during the Easter holiday activities. Every other year, I lift some of the ever-increasing bulbs and give them to neighbors and friends. What a delight it is to take a slow buggy ride around town to witness so many of them in bloom. 
     Your sleeping angel is very precious, indeed.  She tells a tale of silent and safe contentment as she rests beneath the heralding flowers symbolizing purity, hope and the renewing life of spring.  Her placement is perfect.

*****

Miss Ella is matriarch in the Dunnigan family. Featured in each of the novels in Jane Marie Malcolm's  The Goodbye Lie series, she is the backbone of the clan, but don't tell her husband, Michael. 

May 8, 2019

Mom's 7 Minute Boiled White Icing

Mary Jo Malcolm
photo by granddaughter, Ava
     Did I ever mention I think Mother's Day should be celebrated on the birthdays of a mother's children as well as our national holiday?  After all we put our moms through in their lives, one day a year just doesn't seem enough time to honor them. Just a thought ...   
      My mother-in-law,  Mary Jo, has made what she calls 7 Minute Boiled White Icing and it is her son's favorite.  Because of that, I make it for  Bruce for his birthday every year.  Slathered over a chocolate cake, it forms a crust once spread. When you cut into it, the soft gooey vanilla flavored frosting awaits.  Somewhere in a past website or blog post, I have put up this recipe.  I thought I would again, in honor of Mother's Day. 
     Hope you can read old fashioned writing because it's in Mary Jo's own hand, which makes it all the more special. (Being able to read recipes and love letters written by sainted relatives is another reason to teach cursive in school!) 




Sorry, I cut off the left side of the back of the recipe card when I snapped this picture.  It says: Stir until icing is thick enough to spread  (or until it forms soft peaks). Add vanilla just before it is spread on the cake.  (Spread immediately on cooled cake. Oh, I always make a double batch!)


Happy Mother's Day!

May 7, 2019

We Have a Winner!

     Lookie here!  I won the monthly drawing for this huge and heavy basket of goodies from our local and completely wonderful Nassau Health Foods Organic Market and Mustard Seed Cafe!  It is located at 833 T.J. Courson Road, just in front of our island Walmart  in Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, Florida. 
     The following description is taken from their pamphlet/menu: Filled  with natural and organic groceries, dairy and frozen items, Nassau Health Foods has a large selection of national brand nutritional supplements and herbal remedies. 
     If you're in the area, stop by to say hi, browse the place or have a bite of breakfast or lunch in their cafe for conscious eating. Call them for details at 904 277-3158 or visit Nassau Health Foods website.
     And THANK YOU for my basket!  Can't wait to dig in! (If I'm not sure what any item is, I will give it to my daughter, Barbra.  She speaks health food.)

May 1, 2019

Awards/Achievements

Please try to control your admiration as to 
the heights of glory which 
Jane Marie Malcolm has reached.
Presented to Jane Marie with admiration from Martha Bear, Teddy O, Airbourne, grasshopper advisor, Spew, the vomiting kitty, Art, the bearling who likes to draw on walls, and  all the critters who add humor and delight to Jane Marie's books, short stories and blog.  They want her to continue writing about them,  so gave her this 
one-of-a-kind Elbow Lickers' Award.

Recognized by somebody as one of literature's
best chapter-enders,
Jane Marie proudly wears crown and sash.

ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT FILMING
Jane Marie featured for four seconds on the
 Entertainment Tonight 
television show, dressed in period gown for
 Gone With The Wind 50th Anniversary costume ball in Atlanta, Georgia.


Jane Marie is a deserving member of the 3 Second Memory Club, featured in
 Amelia Island's Mark of a Man, set in 1898. This club is ever-growing to present day. 

Just another crowning ...

April 23, 2019

Why and How of Writing


 Goodbye Lie series

Two questions I'm oft times asked at book signings are:

What made you write books?   
     It is always much fun for me to meet new people, especially those who like historical 
fiction. 
     The quick version to why I write is my husband lost his job (the company downsized) and we moved to Arkansas to open a fine dining restaurant with friends with money. (We were the sweat equity.) I was heartsick over leaving Fernandina.  I thought writing a book would be a great way to remember the town. Well, you're supposed to write what you like to read, i.e., historical romance/suspense. Since I'd already taken docent training at the local Amelia Island Museum of History and Victorian Amelia Island was the perfect setting, I began writing one book,The Goodbye Lie to put in my granddaughter's hope chest, for posterity. It was much fun for me and so involving, I had to find out what happened to the other members of the fictional Dunnigan family. That's why I wrote two more with the forth in the works. Oh, after the first book, we moved back to Amelia Island, and my husband, Bruce Malcolm, became the mayor!  

Where do I begin to become a writer?
     So many people have stories to tell and they want to do so, but don't know how. I can only give them my experience, so I simply say, "Just go ahead and give it a try." Begin with short stories. If they are related, they could turn into chapters in a book.  A whole book can be daunting, so try this way.  Find a good friend you trust enough to read your efforts and ask him or her for suggestions on improving your writing and story-line. If you agree, follow their suggestions. If not, and you think the words are best left as originally written, just keep going. Remember, you have to have a thick skin. Remember, too, not everybody will like your style or subject matter.  If you're extremely lucky and determined,  you may eventually get your story out there for the public to discover. But, the bottom line is: Write for the love of the sport. That's what I do.
         

April 14, 2019

A Major Award from Peeper!



Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida, a sittin' on the Atlantic Ocean, USA

Late 1880s
     Grandmother Peeper writes:  I am Peeper Clegg. I am one a the favorite stars a readers a Jane Marie Malcolm's old- timey, ta her, Goodbye Lie books.(Jane Marie calls 'em novels in a series.)  They are writ about where I live now and where she lives in the future, the 21st century, sakes alive!  
     So, I must be truthful, here. 'Twas Jane Marie who begun the 3 Second Memory Club 'cause she's always sayin' how she don't recall nothing.  That ain't entirely a fact.  She remembers enough ta write good books.  I'm certain sure she cain't never forget my glorious and very interestin' ways, so that helps her fill up her pages.  
     Anyhow, she told me ta tell folks ta click right where it says Join 3 Second Memory Club  ta find out all about the club, but here is a sample: There are no applications, no rules, no meetings, no dues, just a kindred of like-minded souls with great long term memories and next to zero short term memories. Warning! If you remember the name of the club,  you’re over qualified but you can still read Jane Marie's blogs and books until you lose your memory.  
     Since Jane Marie is oft times busy writin' her next book in the series, she's acallin' it Sand and Sin, and makin' her recipes, many a them she gets from me, I  gave her the guilts by telling her she was lettin' folks down fur not havin' a official proof a membership to the 3 Second Memory Club.  So, whilst the peach cobbler was a-coolin', she slowed down and created her own certificate and had me ta sign it. My friends want ta be members and are askin' for somethin' ta frame and hang on their wall. Once again, ol' JMM came through fur us.  She said ta copy, paste and print the picture below then fill in your own name. Spread the word cause there are lots of us forgetters out there in this century and in Jane Marie's time, too. 
     Now where did I put my sewin' basket?   



April 2, 2019

Hands of Love plus Goodbye Lie Diaries-Entries by "The Girls"


Present Day
Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, Florida

     To me, this is a perfect picture of love.  It came about when I saw my Bruce's hand print on our blanket where he had straightened the bed covers, smoothing the wrinkles in the nap. Like a refreshable Etch A Sketch, our granddaughter, Ava, and I have drawn pictures in this same nap, at our annual Grammy Camp. And so it came to me to place my hand on this most impressionable blanket, along side that of my dear husband's.  I had to photograph the result and share with you other romantics out there.  💑  Jane Marie


****************************
*The Goodbye Lie Diaries

Late 1880s
Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida

Breelan
Breelan writes - At the sight of this powerful image, romance with the man I love fills my entire being.



Carolena


Carolena - To discover his hand print and then compliment it with your own, tells a story of love for a lifetime. 


Marie




Marie - Ahh ...  I want a good man of my own ...




****************************

     The Goodbye Lie Diaries on this blog are written by the  The Goodbye Lie series characters, themselves, and what characters they are! Set in the late 1880s on Amelia Island in north Florida, these girls are siblings in the Irish Dunnigan family. Each sister has a distinct personality and look and each has a novel telling her own story as part of the series.  Read the tales of the Dunnigan girls as follows: 

Breelan- The Goodbye Lie
Carolena - Amelia Island's Velvet Undertow
Marie - Amelia Island's Mark of a Man
             (brother Pat shares this novel)

   The Dunnigans welcome you to their family. Hang on tightly! There's a whole lot of bouncin' goin' on!
                        -Jane Marie Malcolm (author and close friend to the Dunnigan clan)


March 26, 2019

More Decorating with Jewelry


     As I say with so many things, "Why not?"  And so it goes with these pretty bracelets, made for me by my  wonderful sister and expert jewelry maker, Nancy Kamp.  Since I only have two arms, this is a reasonable and most perfect way to display them to myself, family and visitors.  I change out decorative jewelry around the house all the time.  It's far batter than letting it sit in the dark of jewelry box.  Thank you, Nancy!

P.S. Note the crown on the top of the lampshade. My granddaughter, Ava, and I made it at our last Grammy Camp. Fun, fun stuff!  Click on the link for instructions to make your own crown. ->Grammy Camp- Crowns Abound

March 19, 2019

Spring's Frying Pan


     As you may know, I seasonally change what I hang on the gate of our Stately Martha (Bear) Manor.*  While some hang flowers or seaside verses, I  say, "Off with the shamrock and up with the frying pan!"  The paint has chipped a bit, here and there, but it has endured the brutal Florida sunshine and not faded too much.  The best part for me is visitors recognize my tall decorative sticks as the palm trees they are supposed to be! 

****************************************
Martha Bear (who sees with her heart because she has no eyes), Captain Fancy Patch, himself, and Swiney, his piggy companion

     *Martha Bear is a featured player in my Goodbye Lie  historical romance series set in the late 1800s in Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida.  She makes cameo appearances in the books and is also the star of The Great Amelia Island Sniff Off, a 15 minute story read by Captain Fancy Patch of the Rosie Freckle, anchored off the northern tip of the island.  Click on the link to enjoy the family friendly silly story!

March 16, 2019

The Irish Dunnigans Approve

     The Dunnigan family in my Goodbye Lie series highly approves of me sharing with readers a photo of my very own  Saint Patrick statue, actually made from peat*! (I have to brag that we got it in Dublin, Ireland! What a treat of a trip that was for us.) Michael Dunnigan, the patriarch in the novels,  is second generation Irish, so Saint Paddy's day is one of his favorite holidays.  
label on the bottom of the statue

*Peat- I had heard the word peat, but didn't know exactly what it was.  Wikipedia says: Peat, also known as turf, is an accumulation of partially  decayed vegetation or organic matter.  It is unique to natural areas called peatlands, bogs, mires, moors, or muskegs.  It is often cut out and dried for use as fuel and in gardening.


Many an Irish cottage burns peat in the fireplace. I was given incense-like cones made of peat to light. They made our own seaside cottage smell with the realism of an Irish home. Very, very cozy.

March 12, 2019

God Never Fails to Impress plus Goodbye Lie Diaries - Peeper

Dancing Girls

(Impatiens Bequaertii)

flowers that look like something else



Laughing Bumble Bee Orchid

(Ophrysbbomyblifora)

flowers that look like something else



Swaddled Babies

(AnguloaUniflora)

flowers that look like something else



Parrot Flower

(Impatiens Psittacina)

flowers that look like something else



Flying Duck Orchid

(Caleana Major)

flowers that look like something else



An orchid that looks remarkably

like a tiger

flowers that look like something else



Happy Alien

(Calceolaria Uniflora)

flowers that look like something else



And his friends…

flowers that look like something else



Angel Orchid

(Habenaria Grandifloriformis  )

flowers that look like something else



Dove Orchid Or Holy Ghost Orchid

(Peristeria Elata)

flowers that look like something else



White Egret Orchid

(Habenaria Radiata)

flowers that look like something else



The Darth Vader

(Aristolochia Salvadorensis)

flowers that look like something else



An Orchid That Looks Like A Ballerina

flowers that look like something else



Monkey Face Orchid

(Dracula Simia)

flowers that look like something else

Hooker’s Lips


(Psychotria Elata)

flowers that look like something else


Moth Orchid

(Phalaenopsis)

flowers that look like something else

What a wonderful world!

A friend sent these beautiful photos to me by email and I had to share. If anyone knows who created this email, please tell me at graciousjanemarie@yahoo
 and I will happilycredit them. 👍

***********

The Goodbye Lie Diaries


Peeper
Late 1800s
Fernandina on Amelia Island
Florida

Grandmother Peeper writes:   Them is some perty flowers there, Jane Marie. I hope whoever made them pictures steps forward sos they get the high praise they deserve.  Aunt Noreena, next door, keeps ordering them orchid flowers from somewheres about once ta year and once ta year she kills 'em dead.  She needs ta stick to plantin' weeds.  They will grow - even fur her.

(Peeper and Aunt Noreen, aka Noreena to Peeper, are recurring characters in my Goodbye Lie series.  Their constant, and often funny, squabbling has gone on for so long, nobody can remember who began the fussing. -jmm