Photos of Brady

Sunday, September 26, 2004


Good Sunday morning,

I successfully shopped til I dropped yesterday, finding great buys and fabulous clothes. I am done with the washing and ironing and have everything ready to go. I am off for a fun filled week of required training at the state capitol.

I am leaving this afternoon and won't be home until Friday evening, so I will leave you in the capable hands of my brother John and my mom, Essentially Esther.

Have a great week, and I'll see you next weekend. I'm off for my run. For those of you who have wondered, it is going well, and I was able to buy a smaller size yesterday! I have hopes that my knees will withstand the pounding and get me through the week.

Until Saturday morning,


Saturday, September 25, 2004


It's off to Springfield for me.

I found out Thursday that the training I will be attending in Jefferson City next week will not require our uniform. So, I have no decent slacks to wear either. That presents a problem.

Back to the sale racks.

This is getting tedious, as I have to get something that is stylish yet practical for my life in Smalltown. Where are the 'What Not To Wear' duo when you really need them?

Enjoy your day, and wish me shopping luck. Or miracle. That would be a better term. I'll let you kow how this goes.

Until tomorrow,


Friday, September 24, 2004


Sounds to me like we are all candidates for ‘What Not To Wear’!

Wouldn’t you just love to be nominated for the show? Having all of my clothes dumped into a shiny aluminum trash can would be worth getting an all expense paid trip to New York City for a week, getting a week in a nice hotel, shopping at all the nice stores with 5000.00 of someone else’s money for clothes they help you pick out. On top of that a makeover of hair and makeup. Wow.

Even the most hard core people who fight Clinton and Stacy to the max finally agree that they know their stuff. I’m not sure that I would fight them like that on a syndicated TV show. After all, think why you were chosen to be on the show to begin with. My favorite has to be Dumpster Girl. That episode aired last weekend, and this gal actually plucked her wardrobe out of dumpsters, castoffs from family or friends, and a local thrift store. Although it was a battle, she actually was transformed from a sows ear into a silk purse.

The painful thing for me would be the two weeks of footage they take of you unaware while you go about your daily life. OMG! Can you imagine? And your friends or family has to give a tour of your closet and drawers for the camera. Ugh. That could prove embarrassing. I have six light gray T shirts, and others in virtually every color. I used to wear them with ’mommy jeans’, now they won’t go with my new stretch midrise jeans.

This dilemma is exactly what I got into when I began watching Trading Spaces. Since then I have virtually redone the whole house, and am itching to do it all again. You make one change and the proverbial snowball begins it’s decent down the slippery slope into the money pit.

While I am a long way from fashion maven, I am finally beginning to look around the fashion magazines with more interest than I have shown them in ten years. I suppose a little enlightenment doesn’t hurt anybody.
Living here in Smalltown has dulled my fashion sense just a bit. In my youth I was a real trendsetter. Those days are past. Now I’m into ‘What To Wear’ and comfort…here on my country road.

Until tomorrow,


Thursday, September 23, 2004



I now own a brand new pair of non-mommy jeans. I tried on several pair, and finally settled on the new darker blue mid-rise pair that the fashion magazines insist every well dressed woman should wear this season. My first choice was the lighter, faded stone washed pair, but I gritted my teeth and put them back. I will save a pair of mommy jeans for bopping around the house and wearing with the old T shirts I love.

I suppose that all of this really started with the TV program I like to watch called ‘What Not To Wear’. Two style experts show up where you live, present you with a Visa card worth $5,000.00 and tell you to present yourself to them in New York for a style makeover. You have to take your entire wardrobe, which they eventually pitch into the trash can. Then they put together several looks for you and send you shopping. The hardest thing for me was getting used to the jeans. They are always the darker color, and they put them with those really pointy toed shoes. Not sure I am ready to give up my more comfortable non pointy shoes just yet. One step at a time.

Anyway, I have made the giant leap forward in the effort to update my look. This is never a comfortable process. I have watched the people going through the same process in the show, and many of them are reduced to tears as they work through the changes their wardrobes and who they see themselves as must endure to get to the swan that emerges at the end of the show. They are given a makeup and hair redo as well. The results are stunning, and evidently I have picked up more style tips than I thought.

Change is never easy or comfortable. I have shook up my life pretty good this past year. I wanted my 50th year on this planet to be the best it could be in every respect. That involved some serious changes to my comfortable life. I would have to say that the results have been worth the effort, even if it is an ongoing process. While I still have to be true to myself, making lifestyle changes and learning new things has been great.

Today I am ready to take on the world. I have a brand new crown on my tooth and I bought designer things on the 75% of racks yesterday. Nothing more empowering than a good bargain that also happens to be designer fashion!

Happy Thursday from me…here on my country road.

Until tomorrow,


Wednesday, September 22, 2004


Ho hum.

The good news is that I 'm off today to go back to the dentist for my permanent crown. I am on my third week of antibiotics for the abscess on the other tooth, and hoping that the therapy works.

The bad news is that I'm spending the day off at the dentist. Oh well.

I have an important errand while I'm in the big town. I read an article in Oprah's magazine about choosing the right pair of jeans for your body type. I was shocked to find out I have been wearing what they call "mommy jeans." Gads. So, I have the info tucked in my purse, and somewhere I will find the perfect jeans for my figure. I have serious issues with the midrise cut they want my type to purchase. That will mean a new type of seat covers. (Underwear, unmentionables, insert your term here). It is a vicious cycle.

Well, I need to get out the door. Have a wonderful day, and I'll update you on my day tomorrow....here on my country road.

Until tomorrow,


Tuesday, September 21, 2004


There is a snap to the air and the leaves are turning loose of their lofty perches in the trees to drift earthward. I love the autumn because usually it is the end of oppressive summer heat and drought. This year it has been an odd summer. Cooler than usual, wetter than normal, but it will not be a portend of a colorful autumn.

We haven’t had rain since July. Normally we get rain in the spring and then the first of June we have drought until fall. This year that was not the case. We had so much rain and cooler temperatures until the end of July. Ever since I had the sewer connected at that time, no rain. The red clay is set up like adobe bricks.

Everyone was hoping for an extremely colorful autumn due to all of the extra rain. Not only will this not be the case, but many of the trees are dead and dying in the woods all over the area. The leaves that are falling are brown. The only color is a few yellow ones. It is seldom that autumn comes together like it used to. We no longer have four distinct seasons where climate conditions are predictable.

Even though there won’t be vivid autumnal color in the surrounding countryside, at least the temperatures are cooperating. I love the brilliant blue of an azure September or October sky. The clouds are always so much whiter against it, and with the cooler air, I always want to run into a pile of crunchy leaves. Want to, but don’t. Now I know there are snakes in there!

My schedule is too busy for bon fires or weenie roasts, but I miss that. I guess I will have to read about the rest of you enjoying that in your area of the world. I also have many great memories of that as a kid. Collecting bright orange, yellow and red leaves, acorn clusters, touch football games, and roasting weenies over a makeshift fire.

The days are getting shorter every day, which tells me that winter is just around the corner. Tonight is my night to walk and run outside, and I will get to enjoy the harbingers of autumn….here on my country road.

Until tomorrow,


Monday, September 20, 2004


Once again I find myself at Monday morning.

I had a wonderful weekend, so there is nothing to cry over. Fall is here is so many ways, yet I was able to do a little sunbathing both Saturday and Sunday. We have had no rain since July, and everything is very dry. The grass is dying and brown, many trees in the big woods are also dying. Where other areas are under water from the hurricanes, the Midwest is enduring drought.

Saturday was beautiful. I only saw one snake on my walk, and thank goodness he was already dead. I waited until late morning to walk, and it was very hot, so yesterday I went out earlier. After a three week hiatus to allow my right knee to heal and strengthen I began running again.

When I hurt my knee John wanted me to write his coach and ask him about the best way to heal it. I eventually hired Dr. Mike as my coach as well, and I have been very pleased with the results. At first I thought it was too easy, but he was building my knees up so that I could endure the running. Finally, I had come to the day where I would test the knees and see if I would be able to take it. Eureka! I am glad to say that I was able to do 40 minutes of walking/running intervals. No pain, thank goodness. The trick is to take it slow, follow Coach’s instructions and not get impatient. Hard for a gal like me, ha.

Anyway, I am glad to report that this morning my knees feel great. I am only supposed to do 30 minutes of brisk walking on the treadmill tonight, no running until tomorrow. Anyway, I am on track and all is well. It will be interesting to see what the schedule will be for next week. I have to be out of town on business the whole week, so it will be hard to get a workout in. The good thing is that there is a gym at the Academy, so I can at least stand in line and wait for a treadmill.

I was talking to my daughter in Connecticut on Saturday morning when their power went out. Ivan had arrived. They live a half mile from the coast, and she said that the storms raged for several hours. I called later in the afternoon to check on them and the power was still off but the storm had passed. They were out in the yard picking up limbs. She said it was so scary, and they couldn’t imagine being in the Gulf Coast when Ivan made landfall last week.

Well, this is kick butt Monday. All of my energy is focused on having a great day, regardless of the challenges. I hope that all goes well in your little corner of the world, and that you begin the week on a positive note.
Happy Monday from Smalltown…..here on my country road.

Until tomorrow,


Saturday, September 18, 2004


Happy Saturday morning to all from my country road.

The sun is streaming through the trees in the big woods, and the sky is blue. It promises to be a wonderful day here in Smalltown. I have light duty today, I suppose. Housework, editing and typing, and walking. This evening I will be going to the birthday supper that Mom is having for Davey's dad. It is always fun to get together and celebrate these little occasions.

First thing I will make some coffee and go down to the garage to let Scaredy out for the day. He is adjusting to life without his brother Tiny, although I know he is lonely. We have a good routine, and he never fails to be here is the evening to greet me when I arrive home from work. On the weekends he stays on the porch where he can hear me inside the house.

Scaredy is doing well on his thyroid meds. He still gets agressive with Paddy from time to time, but it is something we all have come to deal with. He is just a jealous fella I suppose. I stick up for her when she wants me to, and other times she fights in her own defense.

I think the first thing is making a pot of coffee. My eyes don't want to stay open, and if I drink enough of that, it seems to help. Have a wonderful day, and hopefully I can do a little blog reading today. I am woefully behind, but at least I do have a book to show for it.

Until tomorrow,


Friday, September 17, 2004


Yesterday I worked in a town it takes me an hour and a half to drive to. I knew before I arrived that there had been a murder there the night before, but as is usual in a very small town the employees of the city hall where we worked were talking about it all through the day.

I was unaware of the facts until just before noon. It seems that a teenage boy killed his brother with a deer rifle after an argument that ensued during a drinking party at their house. The mother was unaware of what had happened, as they kids at the party helped drag the victim to the creek and left him there.

I sat at my desk and watched the mother come in with her daughter. They are simple country people. They disappeared behind the door of the police chief’s office for questioning. A short time later we heard screaming and crying. The mother evidently did not know that her two sons had been in an argument or that one was dead and the other in jail as a result.

I was struck by the fact that a mother woke up and didn’t see her sons yet didn’t think that odd. Later one of the city employees told me that the boy that had been killed had been a bad sort involved with drugs and had been in trouble continuously with the law. The town felt that the boy who had shot him should be given a medal for ridding them of such a bad influence.

How sad.

Life is full of such things, yet it always strikes me as a sad commentary on humanity. I would rather look for the good in people instead of the darkness.

Today I will do that, and hopefully will find someone who is making their world a better place. Have a wonderful day, and may you also find goodness instead of the reverse.

Until tomorrow,
Becky Strain


Thursday, September 16, 2004


Like everyone else this morning my thoughts and prayers are with the people of the Gulf shores. It looks as though the damage might not have been as devastating as they first feared, but the sun isn’t up yet. I am hoping that the damage will be less and the recovery quick. I know that there will be loss of life and injury, and beach erosion and damage of property. For this we are all praying and hoping for the best.

I am waiting to hear from John and Barb, as I heard that Lake Ponchatrain overflowed it’s banks and flooded on their side. I hope no one was hurt and that the damage isn’t as bad as the reports indicated.

I admire the resolve, faith and determination of the storm victims. Although we are far away, our hearts go out to the whole Gulf coast, the residents, and the emergency workers who will be working so tirelessly to ensure the safety of the people and their property. Like others who have written about the hurricane as it approached, I am always touched by the victims who are thankful for their lives, their families, and their faith in God for bringing them through. It is good to see that amid the devastation, there is joy in the morning.

Until tomorrow,


Wednesday, September 15, 2004


I think that something in the universe was messed up with me being off on Monday and then having my kick butt day yesterday. An hour into my workday the world was trying to kick mine. I have to say that I did rally, however. I didn’t take that lying down, and I kicked right back. Today should be better, but I expect fallout. There always is. Working with other people who don’t like the rules and regs of policy always creates a problem. Since I spent many years pushing the supervisor myself, I can understand why it happens. The problem is that now I am a supervisor and I see why things work the way they do. Funny how that works.

When I got home, I went out for my walk in an attempt to maintain my training schedule. I thought that it would help relieve the stress of the day, and thank goodness it did. I walk a 2.2 mile course of country road, and after the several snakes I have had in the yard this year, I watch carefully. This is the time of the year that snakes crawl out onto the road to soak up the warmth of the pavement. I had just made the turn from my drive up my country road when I saw one laying right by the driveway. It was the same kind of snake that Rocky killed in my yard Saturday. Thank goodness someone had already run over it with their car. I walked my route, watching for snakes and bucking a strong headwind. By the time I was finished I was really tired, but not stressed anymore. As I walked down to see Davey and his family, I called Rocky on my cell phone to tell him the snake was there. He had been trying to figure out what kind it was. In no time he was carrying it back to their house and into the back yard. From where we were sitting at Davey’s house we could see him looking at it. He had run off a bunch of pictures from the Missouri Conservation site. I walked home and was checking my email when I heard someone knocking on my door. It was Rocky. He had a printout of the kind of snake he believes it to be.

Wouldn’t you know. A rarely seen snake that only comes out at night. Evidently they don’t know the track record of my yard. Everything comes here. Anyway, it has the coloring of a copperhead, but more gray on it. It is a rat snake. They are born in the fall of the year, and the parents are 24-48 inches long. No wonder these young ones are so big. They are a foot long, however small they are. Anyway, it is dead. That makes two now. How many young do snakes have? They are live born, not hatched, so I am not sure how many more there are out there, plus the mom and dad.

You have to be very watchful….here on my country road.

Until tomorrow,
Becky Strain


Tuesday, September 14, 2004


Good morning, starshine.

This song comes to my mind every morning now when I get up at five a.m. No longer does the early light of predawn wake me with the birds. Like me, the birds want to sleep longer and the predawn light has yielded to starlight.

We are edging closer to the shortest day of the year, and with that I always want to sleep longer. A strange phenomenon. The things is, my eyes want to keep time with the darkness. When the sun goes down my eyes begin to droop. If I wake in the morning before the alarm goes off and it is still dark, I thankfully roll over and go back to sleep. When the alarm begins to blare a few minutes later I want to cry.

Once I am up and get the blasted thing turned off, I make a pot of coffee and turn on the computer. Although it is a struggle, here I am. Bright eyed and bushy tailed. Today is my kick butt Monday, as I was off yesterday to go to the dentist. I suppose it will feel more like I can do it once I drink my coffee.

I would rather go back to bed for another half hour, but neither my pride or my schedule will allow that. Anybody can be a wimp. I am just going to grit my teeth and keep going. I look forward to retirement, when I can sleep when I’m tired and work when I’m not. If I want to read until midnight or watch a late movie I could do so without guilt or being wiped out in the morning.

But I digress. For now I am off to get a cup of good hot coffee, listen to the early news about Ivan and await the dawn…..here on my country road.

Until tomorrow,
Becky Strain


Monday, September 13, 2004


Today I am off work to return to the dentist. I will be getting more antibiotics for the abscess and enduring a crown preparation for another tooth. The excitement never ends.

I made good progress on my book this weekend. Six chapters are totally done and in the manuscript box, and five more are edited and all I have to do is type in edits and print. That will leave just eighteen more to go. The later chapters are in better shape than the first ones as I kept thinking I would edit later. I did a better job of editing in the last half of the book, so maybe I'll be done by next weekend.

I have to leave in forty-five minutes, so will wish you all a great kick butt Monday. Today I feel so much better that I think I can do it myself! Go get 'em, face the world with a big smile. I'll be smiling at my dentist.

Until tomorrow,
Becky Strain


Sunday, September 12, 2004


Yesterday I began the daunting and time consuming job of editing the first draft of my book. I was hopeful that I could get it done in a week or so but if yesterday was any indication, this is going to take a while.
I wrote the query letters for agents and am ready to send those out, but I can’t do that until this editing is done. If they want to see the manuscript, it needs to be done. Well, it was made even more difficult by the new printer. The page setup is different by a line or two on every page, which knocked every page off. I spent a long time just removing page numbers, and moving the copy. Then the edits could be typed in and the new page numbers inserted.

I have learned an awful lot with this first manuscript, and the next one will go much smoother. The new printer is much better now, and I think the page wave thing is over. I left them in the tray while I went on to the next chapter, and when I pulled them out they were flat. I also downloaded the user’s manual from the HP website, and printed that off. Now I have enough information to help me if there is a problem.

I’d like to thank you all for your suggestions and tips for the new laser printer. I think it is going to be great, and now I will just buy a little inkjet to use for the times I need or want color.

I also received several helpful emails concerning publication for the book. Thank you for the information, and when I get a little further down the editing road, I will begin checking into the information you sent.

For now, I need to get back to the subject at hand. Editing is not my favorite part of the process. I’d much rather write. The creative part is always more fun, but if you want to be a writer, you have to take the good with the bad. Have a wonderful Sunday. It looks like I will be stuck here at the keyboard….here on my country road.

Until tomorrow,
Becky Strain


Saturday, September 11, 2004


Today we pause to remember the events three years ago that changed our lives, our country and our world.

The tragedy that took so many innocent lives defines who we are today and who we will become as a result of those events. The enemy still lurks, but we believe in a God who has already overcome the world.

We honor those who gave their lives on that fateful morning three years ago.

God bless the families and loved ones who were left to go on, and may it comfort you to know....

We will always remember.

Until tomorrow,
Becky Strain


Friday, September 10, 2004


Yesterday evening when I arrived home after work, I found my new HP laser printer sitting on the front porch. I carried it in the house and set it on the floor until I had the time to set it up. After doing chores and visiting with Mom and Rocky, Davey and his folks, walking, and having dinner, I finally got around to opening the box.

I had never had a laser printer before, so I was taken back to see it was only black and white. Hmmm. First predicament: Do I keep this and get a lesser quality color inkjet printer for those times when I need color, or do I pack this all back up and go back to an inkjet printer of good quality? Since I needed to print off my book for editing, I decided to keep this and see how it goes before making a final decision.

After getting the setup done and the printer installed, I printed off fifteen chapters. Fast. Man oh man. Maybe I’ll just keep this after all. The problem? The pages don’t lay nice and flat like they do with an inkjet printer. Now what? Will an agent care that the pages are wavy? I guess I can put my big dictionary on top of the manuscript to mash it down flat again. Always a problem.

Second predicament: No owner’s manual. Who ever heard of an electronic gizmo arriving with no owner’s manual? Even if they don’t tell you anything useful, I like to have them. I suppose I will have to send HP an inquiry as to why my expensive new laser printer arrived with no manual. I hope I have the same good result that John had with his digital camera debacle.

The good thing is that even if it is only black and white, I have a printer again. It is amazing how many times a day I print something off. I believe I will see if my HP inkjet printer can be easily repaired before making a decision about buying another one. I had just put new print cartridges in it, too. Rats.

At any rate, I am back in business. I have written query letters to send to agents, which is the first of many steps to publication. Say a little prayer that someone will want to represent me and my manuscript. For now, it is hurry up and wait…..here on my country road.

Until tomorrow,
Becky Strain


Thursday, September 09, 2004


I tried to post this yesterday morning, but alas, Blogger was down.

Last night I had to walk later because of various and sundry reasons too complicated to go into this early, but what resulted was a pleasant surprise. I started out just shy of sunset. The advancing sun quickened my step, as in the country the snakes come out on the country roads at dusk to absorb the heat. We are experiencing cooler than normal temperatures, and I didn’t want to ‘get on a snake’ as they say here.

The wind hand picked up a bit, so I had some resistance. I was also wearing shorts and a T shirt, so I was chilly. The view however, priceless. The sun was setting in a cloudless sky, but the colors was not lacking. Hues of purple, violet, red and pink lit up the horizon. There is nothing more peaceful than that.

I spent the day with my boss. We had to drive up to Jefferson City to pick up my new state van. We had a great day. We laughed, talked, caught up with each other’s lives and visited with the brass of our division when we got there. It was fun. I always get home between 4:30 and 5:00, but yesterday it was pushing 6:00. By the time I did my little chores and changed, checked with the parents, and hit the road the day was almost done.
After being in a car for six hours, it felt good to stretch my legs. The bad thing is people here don’t slow down for those of us who exercise. I had to hold on to my cap as pick up trucks tried to blow me off the highway. I left my house, walked down my country road to old Holloway drive, down past the old drive-in and turned left onto the highway. I walked way out toward the Antique Barn before it dawned on me I was cold and a long way from home yet. Turning, I walked quickly back the way I had come, turned up the hill that they cut through from our country road’s dead end to the highway and back up past Davey’s house. The frogs were singing around the little pond over the rise in the big woods, the locusts were tuning up, and Davy was getting ready to go to bed. Mom and Rocky were watching TV. Just past the vacant lot belonging to my older brother George there is a little micro climate that is very chilly. The temperature drops right there. Always has. Funny about things like that. Then I saw my little house.

Dark was settling around me as I came up the walk. Scaredy was safely locked in the garage for the night and Scrappy and Paddy were in the window watching me. As I unlocked the front door I heard my 18 pound Scrappy jump to the floor. When I opened the door, both cats were there to greet me. After a bottle of chilled water, I checked my email, got a nice hot bath and went to bed.

MMMmmm good. There is no place like home…..here on my country road.

Until tomorrow,
Becky Strain


Tuesday, September 07, 2004


Saturday Rocky and I went to a nearby town to get a few groceries. Mom was sick, and I thought that if we went together, he could pick up a few things to get them by so she wouldn’t have to cook. He and I still aren’t feeling very well either, but we are better than she was.

We did our shopping and made the trip back. It was a beautiful day, and I was looking forward to getting everything put away and taking a little nap before I began typing the last two chapters of my book. I grabbed as many bags as I could and started up the drive to the walk. I was just getting ready to step onto the sidewalk when I looked down. My foot stopped in mid air. I stepped back and looked down again. Cleverly disguised in the grass and weeds was a snake! Now to be perfectly honest, it was only as big around as my finger, but I knew it was long, and I knew it was not a harmless snake.

“Rocky!” “Snnaaakke!”

I jumped over where it was laying in the grass, sunning itself. The weather has been a bit cooler, and I suppose it was a survival thing. Anyway Rocky came up to see what all the fuss was about. In the filtered sunlight, it looked like a copperhead. The pattern was the same, and although I couldn’t look at it close enough to determine the shape of the head or tail, Rocky did. We had this running conversation about the thing as I edged further and further up the walk toward the porch. I set down the bags and my purse, and scanned the grass around the walk while he determined whether to kill it or not. (Like there was an option?) Anyway, he finally killed it and carried it across the road into the big woods.

I stayed inside the rest of the day.

The last time I saw a snake up by the front porch, it was a big copperhead. No doubt about it, I had a great deal of time to make sure. Triangular head, stubby tail, mean looking, copper as a new penny. Since I am such a chicken, I had to watch as it crawled away. I couldn’t kill it, much less step off the porch. For a month after that I walked around the yard or over to Mom’s in my combat boots. In the heat of July, I looked ridiculous, but not as ridiculous as carrying the hoe with me everywhere I went did. Combat boots AND a hoe. I looked like the Grim Reaper’s country cousin.

Anyway, both Rocky and I survived the ordeal even if the snake did not. Later that evening I went out to the kitchen to make dinner. I noticed Rocky out in my yard scanning the weeds and grass. Uh-oh. I went out to see what he was doing. He had been looking on line to see what kind of snake he had killed. He was also looking for brothers and sisters, cousins, aunts and uncles. Thanks goodness his search came up empty and he went on home again. I returned to the safety of my little home.

Once again, peace reigns….here on my country road.

Until tomorrow,
Becky Strain


Monday, September 06, 2004


It’s Labor Day.

A day of rest for the American work force.

Instead of painting the bedroom ceiling or some other big project, I am going to just rest. Wow! What a concept. I have already been out for my morning walk and am getting ready to tear into my HP printer to see why it isn’t working so I can print the last two chapters of my book. That is something I can do in front of the Today show with another cup of coffee.

Speaking of the book. As promised, here are the stats:

Twenty-nine chapters.

415 pages.

103,646 words.

Name- was Lake House, now Silver Lake. Or Sunset at Silver Lake. I can’t decide.

Status- DONE! Whoo-hoo!!!

Left some room for a sequel, as I really, really like these characters. Am trying to figure out the fastest way to publish, maybe even e-publish. Will keep you informed. Thank you for your encouragement and support.

Have a wonderful day,
Until tomorrow,
Becky Strain


Sunday, September 05, 2004


Sunday morning.

The second leg of a three day holiday weekend, and I am getting ready to type the last chapter of my book into the word processor. Hurray! Once that is done, I can begin the process of renaming it. Someone else stole my title. Sometimes this is a good thing. You never know why things happen, but for whatever reason I have it to deal with. I will post final page and word counts tomorrow, and what I choose for the title. Wish me luck.

Everyone here on our country road is sick with the mysterious virus I have had for over a week. It just doesn't seem to go away. Anyway, I am trying to feel better, so that when the typing is done I can paint my bedroom ceiling and clean house. Pretty ambitious for a gal that doesn't feel well, but these long weekends are few and far between.

Whatever your plans, enjoy. Someone eat a grilled burger for me and some baked beans and potato salad. I will be having something healthy.

Until tomorrow,
Becky Strain


Friday, September 03, 2004


Good Friday morning!

It appears that we have made it through another week, and a three day holiday weekend awaits. Originally I had planned to go out of town, but since I am sidelined with a bottle of antibiotics I am staying put. The dentist gave me several options for this abscess, and I took the aggressive antibiotic treatment before exploring the other three which all include surgery.

Thank you for the well wishes and congratulations on finishing my book. Now to the grunt work. I have to finish getting the last two chapters into the word processor before I can begin editing. Once that is accomplished, I can begin going through the process of finding a publisher. Or an agent. Anyone out there have any experience with this sort of thing? I have a book from Writer’s Market that gives quite a bit of information, but lacks the things I need to know. Would the cost of an agent be worth the money for an unknown author?

All things I should know. The manuscript requirements also vary from publishing house to publishing house. It is confusing to a first time writer. I do have my work cut out for me. Evidently writing the book is the easy part. Although there are times that is debatable.

For now, I am resting a lot, drinking lots of water, and loading up on copy paper and black ink. Eight hours is all that separates us from the holiday weekend. I hope that today is truly that TGIF celebration we strive for. Have a great one, and a safe Labor Day weekend.

As for me, I am going to watch the grass grow and the clouds drift by….here on my country road.

Until tomorrow,
Becky Strain


Wednesday, September 01, 2004



After thinking that I would not meet the deadline I set for finishing my book, I set a new one. I agreed with many of the emails and comments I received from the blog family encouraging me to take it slow and get it done right. I felt much the same way.

Yesterday I felt some better and work was slower in the morning than it has been for a long time. I pulled my legal pad out of my bag and began to write. Things went smoothly and everything just seemed to flow. In the afternoon I had a couple of hours to put in on it as well. I was writing the last part of the chapter I was working on when it occurred to me I was done. All I had to do was go with the flow instead of what I had planned in my mind. The book finished itself. Oh I am sure there are ways it could be better, or different, but some things should be left alone. At three minutes after three in the afternoon I put down my pad and pencil, hardly believing it. The examiner that works on my crew has been reading it along and has been bugging me to finish it. When I put down my pencil she knew. Talk about joy in the camp!

I felt silly. After extending my deadline and removing the pressure of finishing yesterday, I did just that. I can’t tell you the feeling I have. Can you believe it? I have written a book! Like all good news, it is meant to be shared. I took my cell phone and went out of the office and called the person who encouraged me to begin a book to begin with. Thank you Matt for all of your encouragement, advice and direction. This book was born in Hawaii, and six months later it is a reality. I would never have tackled this without you. It was wonderful to share the moment.

There were other people I wanted to tell, my Mom and Rocky, and my friend Diane. All have been tremendous encouragers and editors. Their help and cheerleading have been like pouring fuel on a fire. Work, however got in the way of those calls. I don’t think I really thought it could be done until I had finished twenty chapters. I don’t have the last several chapters typed yet, but I think it will end up being twenty nine or thirty chapters and around 105,000 words. I will let you know the particulars when it is all typed and counted.

Lastly I owe a debt of gratitude to my brother John, who introduced me to the world of blogging and encouraged me to write. I never thought people would read what I had to say. You have accepted my writing and me with open arms, encouragement and patience. Without you the readers, I would have never started a book, even though it has always been a dream of mine to be a writer. It is good to push the envelope, step out of the box and look at things from a different perspective. Things happen when you do.

I’m a writer! Although the book is far from publication, the draft is done. The first leg of the journey is finished. The title has changed due to James Patterson’s book The Lake House being released in paperback this summer. Oh well. Now mine is titled Sunset At Silver Lake. Or maybe just Silver Lake. I haven’t decided yet. I have a little time to figure that out. What do you think?

Today I am off to the dentist to see about my tooth. Not a good celebration for a new writer to mark the finishing of her first book. Hmm… Maybe I could just rewrite this ending. Ha. In the meantime….time to celebrate…here on my country road!

Until tomorrow,
Becky Strain