Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Lisa Karon Richardson and the Smith Corona

Lisa Karon Richardson and I met in college and have been friends ever since.  She is now a published author and mainly writes historical fiction.  Her most recent publication is one of four novellas in a collection entitled Colonial Courtships.  Her novel, The Magistrate's Folly, is being published by Harlequin and will release in early 2013.  Another novella and first book in a series are planned for release next fall.  Lisa has earned a reputation for meticulous research and I know from personal experience that this reputation is well-deserved.

During our freshman year of college, student access to computers was limited to a few decrepit machines in the library which made typing papers a challenge.  With the ink barely dry on my office assistant certification from vocational school, I proudly (and naively) offered to type both Lisa and Rick's research papers for Missions class.  Of course, I procrastinated until the night before they were due, but thankfully, I was able to borrow a smith corona word processor from an upperclassman.  I'm pretty sure I typed Rick's paper first because, after all, he was (and still is) the love of my life.  That left Lisa's paper for the wee small hours of the morning.

Despite my superior typing skills, it was slow going.  Lisa had chosen to do her paper on India and her research was very thorough.  In fact, it was so thorough and the paper so lengthy that it was like typing Strong's Exhaustive India.  Okay, I admit I'm exaggerating, but at 3:00 am that is how it felt.  The situation was made worse by the fact that, in order to not disturb my sleeping roommate, I had to muffle the smith corona with a pillow each time I printed out a page.  Somehow, I made it through my first all-nighter and our papers were submitted on time.  Needless to say, I didn't offer to type any more of Lisa's papers.

All joking aside, I am glad Lisa has put her research skills to good use and I look forward to reading her novella in Colonial Courtships which I recently purchased from Amazon.  Who knows?  I may pull another all-nighter to finish reading it.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Sign of the Bluet

Thanks to my good friend and fellow writer, Lisa Karon Richardson, I am a guest blogger today on and have a post there promoting Fertility Rites.  Today's Versions of Chai post is intended to be additional content to the Inkwell one, so if you haven't already read it, I suggest going to Inkwell Inspirations first.

To explain why I considered the bluet a sign from God that I was going to survive my loss, I need to give some background on this tiny wildflower.  Bluets, or Houstonia caerulea, prefer somewhat rocky soil and tend to grow at the edge of wooded areas.  They are plentiful in the part of southeastern Kentucky where I grew up.  Something about these flowers always intrigued me.  As a kid, I thought they were forget-me-nots.  I later discovered this was not the case, but could not find out what they were called.  I used to carry one around with me, pressed in a notebook, so I could ask plant enthusiasts to identify it.  The original draft of the following poem was actually written before my sister finally identified the flower as a bluet.  In the poem, I describe the bluet as a representation of myself, which is why I knew the bluet I saw that day was a message meant especially for me.


Four petals
of misty light blue
fading to white
before a sunny yellow center
balanced on a stem
as slender as thread
a blue star in a sky of green
quivering in the breeze
a dainty ballerina
trembling on satin points.

That's me
that blue flower
growing wild beneath the world's knees
curling its toes up in the hills
hugging them close.
That's me
that tiny bit of wilderness
visible only to those
willing to give a second glance.

Bluet  Houstonia caerulea