All posts by katemcginn09

I am a writer who lives in Wisconsin near the Mississippi River. I write stories filled with mystery, suspense, and romance with a sprinkling of humor added to the mix. My stories are about strong women who deal with danger, heartache, and life with dignity and grit.

What Kate’s Reading…

Check out this 3-volume short story anthology by authors from the One Million Project!

LINKS

myBook.to/OMPThriller

myBook.to/OMPFantasy

myBook.to/OMPFiction

Snapshots of a Lovely Woman

I’m of an age now.  An age which brings with it the loss of youth in not only the mirror but in my world-view of myself. Mother’s Day is fast approaching, and not only am I a mother, but I still have my mother in my life. I’m very fortunate in many ways.

The past month has been very difficult for me. I’ve had a front-row seat watching my mom’s physical and mental decline, losing a bit more of herself day by day. Over the past few years, her mobility decreased rapidly, but her spirit remained high. Even during her fight against breast cancer, she swore to anyone who would listen that she would fight it. Sure enough, when she awoke after surgery, she stuck out her tongue at us. She’d found a way to make the solemn and frightening event emotionally lighter. In the last month, her memory has been failing, and simple tasks require step-by-step instructions.

IMG_7410My mom was born in the middle of the Great Depression on a July day so hot, my grandfather had to buy two fans for the hospital room to keep his wife and new baby girl comfortable. Mom grew up on a 560-acre farm in a house without running water, electric lights, heat or an indoor bathroom. The family used an outhouse. Kerosene lamps were used for light. They had an icebox, not a refrigerator like we have now, and every few days a new block of ice needed to be purchased to cool their perishable food.

From kindergarten until the fourth grade, Mom attended a one-room schoolhouse.  She wrote about her feelings concerning school in a short autobiography published for her family, “I hated school so my mom would take me inside the building, and the teacher would hold me until she knew my mom had gone.  I would then go outside and cry.  I did the crying for quite awhile.”

As a teenager, Mom detassled corn working in fields with

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Mom is #20, back row, first from left.

mile-long rows of corn under the hot summer sun in order to earn money. She was an awesome basketball player, was voted the “Carnival Queen” in high school, and graduated third in her class. She would laugh when she told others of her prestigious class ranking, informing her listeners that she’d graduated in a class of three students!

 

She never left the state of Iowa until she married my father, a native New Yorker. After their wedding, they moved to New York City. What an adventure for her! She’d never eaten pizza, flown in a plane or seen so many people from so many different cultures. But being my mom, she made friends quickly and my dad’s Irish immigrant family welcomed her.

IMG_7436There are many, many stories about this wonderful lady and her life, but I offer you a sliver, a snapshot to avoid this becoming a novella. I share these small glimpses into Mom’s life with supreme gratitude for her patience and loving care of me over the years. I wouldn’t be the woman I am without my parents.

So, on this Mother’s Day, I return back home again to honor my mother, care for her needs and grab every moment I can to laugh with her and show my love for her just as she always did for me.

Thanks for reading…Kate

Absences and Apologies

This past month has been trying, to say the least. I can’t IMG_7108 1divulge the personal matters I’ve been concerned over, but I do wish to apologize for not being around for my fellow writers and my readers.

My writing has been sporadic due to these circumstances, but happy to say another first draft chapter is completed.  All I can promise is I will be working on this book whenever I am able to write, edit, re-write, etc.

I miss reading my fellow indie writers works in progress (WIP), and I’m hoping I will have more consistent time to pay homage to the great authors I think of as friends. If you are religious or spiritual keep everyone I hold dear in your thoughts and prayers. If not, try to send some good vibes their way.

So, keep smiling! Keep reading and know I appreciate all of you! ~ Kate

Sometimes We Have to Let Go

I’ve always been pegged as a serious person by my family.  They had nicknames for me — ‘Queen Katrina’ and my fav — ‘Doom and Gloom’.  I am aware that I can be very intense and analytical at times, and I suppose it’s those same qualities which made me a good nurse. But I’m also fun-loving and like to joke around, oftentimes at my own expense.

Sometimes, you have to let go, joke around, and get a little crazy.  Other medical people will tell you, when things get heavy all you want to do is scream or cry at the pain and heartache you’ve had to witness, it helps to lighten the mood.

Yeah, sometimes the humor is dark, and given the circumstances, how could it not be so?  I spent some time away from my home, recently.  I had some eye-opening experiences while I was away which saddened me.  I needed to come to terms with how I looked at a person I loved as well as what type of role I now play in their life.  I wasn’t sure I was ready for the changes.

I needed something to lighten my days.  Snapchat became my way of goofing around as I stumbled through the unpleasant realities I faced.  I figured I’d share some of the photos of myself that made me smile and chuckle.

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Sometimes you just have to let go…and smile.

What Kate’s Reading…

Well, this week another friend passed away from rotten miserable cancer. I hadn’t seen her for quite a while but kept in contact through social media. A little over a month ago, she notified everyone that she had stage 4 liver cancer. She didn’t ask for anything, as was her usual, just that everyone knew and would think about her. I […]

via No Time Like Now — by Michele Potter — theonemillionproject

One Million Project Fiction Anthology

I am proud to be a part of this worthy project! This is the last of the three-volume anthology that I highlighted for the #OneMillionProject blog site. There are so many wonderful stories in this volume (time for a plug for me!!!) including my story “Not Mama’s Little Girl!”

Let me know how you like it!

theonemillionproject

The recent publication of the three-volume short story anthologies from the One Million Project was the culmination of over a year and a half of work and coordination of over one hundred writers, editors and publishing professionals. Each week, I will highlight each of the anthologies to give readers a taste of how fabulous these books are. PhotoFunia-1517878513(1)

This anthology contains a variety of fictional works, poetry and even a few non-fictional stories. Step back in time to 1746 with author Sheena Macleod’s Ghosts of Culloden a haunting tale of the last battle fought on Scottish soil. If you have ever considered your dog to be a member of the family, you will cry your heart out when you read Fluffy by Tyke Evenese. I love the poetry of James Cleveland Turner, a former CIA officer whose short story in rhymed verse is similar in style to the rhyming verses of Doctor…

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The Empowerment Program Empowers Homeless Women

This is a fabulous idea! This organization hires homeless women taking them out of the shelters to train them to make jackets that are given to the homeless.

They also provide training for other careers for those who wish to move on once they are established. We need more ideas like this one. Check out the video and consider donating to help this worthwhile program.

https://www.facebook.com/attn/videos/1703232489712203/