Author Archives: lbergman1althouse

Hangin’ Out

Book Lovers’ Fairs or Expos are great opportunities for networking in ‘author world,’ showcasing your  writing talents and generally, having a lot of fun.  Meeting fellow authors is a marvelous trip.  Most writer’s are unique in so many ways I truly appreciate.  Although I look forward to meeting and hanging out with a crazy, diverse bunch of writers, some of the moments I anticipate the most at a multiple-author, book event are spying the adorable, animated characters milling around and rushing to hang out with them.  They’re there to bolster the childrens’ books or advertise something out in town.  Either way, I’m thrilled to see them.  I’ve grown very respectful of mascots over the years.  They don’t talk, have a pleasant demeanor, a delighted, if not goofy, look on their face, transmit infectious energy and throw out happy waves to everyone.  They’re big and have even bigger heads, with shoes to match.  I get so excited to see them, I want to be them.  Yes, my mind has gone there.  The thought of becoming a big head with big shoes bounces in my brain quite often, but the dilemma is what head would I choose.  I’ve envisioned a Bluebird because they’re happy, have wings and uncommon as a mascot.  Bees are disappearing, so maybe I should be a honeybee to bring attention to their plight.  I’d still have wings, but I’d also be adorned with antennae and yellow is a good color for me.  I’ll think on that a while.  I guess my message to everyone with this little bloggie blurb is stay positive, have fun in whatever you do and respect the ‘clean’ fun others are having even if it’s not your cup of tea.   Book signings,  Literary Symposiums and Writer’s Workshops are on the schedule for me over the next six months, and I plan to have a huge amount of fun teaching or learning at all of them.  I just hope some big-headed mascots will be close by to hang out with.  Bye, Bye, now!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Linda Bergman-Althouse

author of “Save Them All

DON’T FORGET TO CHECK OUT THIS YEAR’S AUTHOR’S HOLIDAY GIVE-AWAY BASKET AND GET ENTERED BY DECEMBER 10TH!

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Backyard Fatality

As much as I love nature and nature loves me, I can’t seem to escape the occasional backyard fatality.
Their hunt is aggressive but manners demure, it wasn’t a cat, that’s for sure.
Feline free roamers with pure criminal intent are not nature to me.
Wildlife has little defense against efficient sport killers as these.
With cats, death is usually quick and quietly carried away.
They leave no trace, there is nothing to know, no guilt to pay.
No . . . this was a hawk, Sharp-shinned or Cooper’s variety,
Who must also eat, so I reluctantly accept occasional loss and know it must be.
Nature circles where I live; my grounds, my mind, soul and in my heart.
Disjoined bed of feathers, tragic scenes such as these give way to guilt’s start.
Which to save . . . not for me nor others to say, it’s always nature’s way.
I try to keep them all safe with cover and food; the doves, cardinals, flickers, squirrels,
Wrens, bluejays, titmouse, robin, thrasher, chickadee, opossum and sparrows.
But there’ll come a day when one is not alert or fast enough to out sway,
And I shall gather up all that is left of one I encouraged to stay.
I’ll always love nature and nature will love me,
Just wish I could escape the tormenting backyard fatality.

 

by Linda Bergman-Althouse, author of “Save Them All

DON’T FORGET TO CHECK OUT THIS YEAR’S “AUTHORS HOLIDAY GIVE-AWAY BASKET” AND GET ENTERED BY DECEMBER 10TH!

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Words With The Tiniest

One of my hummingbirds spoke to me the other day.  Of course, it was in sign language, but none-the-less, communication, although not in oral or written form, was received and understood.   I daily enjoy the three or four hummingbirds who have selected my sugar-water feeder as their favorite in the hood whether  I’m watching them, one at a time, perch and drink during my breakfast, while lunching on the deck or as I’m passing by the patio door.  I wish they would come in together to partake, but they don’t all get along.  So, I watch them run each other off quite a bit.   On Wednesday I was doing all those domestic, cleaning chores we never look forward to doing when I needed to rinse out a rag at the kitchen sink.  While there, one of the female hummingbirds zipped in front of the kitchen window and hovered eye-to-eye with me.  “Well, Hello” was what I said.  I wasn’t quite sure what she was up to yet, as that was an unusual place for her to be.  Although, the kitchen sink window was some distance from the feeder, I didn’t think too much about it.  She stayed in position the entire time I rinsed out the rag and then the sink.  About five miutes later, during another pass I made at the sink, she did the same thing.  I walked to the patio door and there she was, still eye-to-eye and less than eight inches from the glass.  I looked up at the feeder and received the message, silent but clear.  “You are my human, so please do something about this mess!”  Although the feeder wasn’t empty, it was low and two dead wasps were floating in it.  When I opened the door, she sped to a Bradford Pear branch to watch “operation change out.”  She waited in the tree the entire fifteen minutes it took to drag the patio chair over for the climb, clean the feeder, mix and cool the sugar juice before hanging it back in place again.  Before I could get back in the door, she was right next to me.  I heard the buzz first, and when I turned my head, there she was and right at eye level again.  If possible, she looked a little less intense, and I think she was giving me another message.  “You’re welcome,” I said as she buzzed up to the feeder and wrapped the tiniest feet around the red, circular perch.  Her tiny, tube beak sucked so much fluid in one draw, I was afraid she might get a head rush and fall off the perch.  Isn’t nature simply wonderful?  So, stay alert.  The world and all it’s living things are speaking to us.

Don’t forget to check out my “Author’s Holiday Give-Away” below and enter before December 10th.  Your biorhythms just might be in line for you on this one! 

Linda Bergman-Althouse

Author of “Save Them All

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Author’s Holiday Give-Away Is Back!!

It was so much fun last year, I have to do it again!!

“AUTHOR’S HOLIDAY GIVE-AWAY”

Date: From 22 September to 10 December 2008

Time: Ends midnight, December 10, 2008

Location: USA

Everyone who purchases a copy of my novel “Save Them All,” directly from author (address below) or through PayPal will be entered in my “Author’s Holiday Give-Away” drawing for the goodie basket below.

The winner will receive a green and gold harvest basket filled with a blue plaid fleece throw, a crazy cute pink poodle, an over-sized mug with Sen-Cha tea, a happy snowman, festive reindeer hand towel, a spiral “fat book” for note taking, a wildlife print pen, an aquamarine cushion grip pen, some sweet treats and a signed copy of my novel, “Save Them All” with wildlife bookmark to gift one of your favorite people.

The contest begins on Monday, September 22, 2008 and will end midnight on December 10, 2008 when the winning name will be drawn.   The winner will be notified by email on December 11, 2008 to let her or him know their prize basket is in the mail.

For your copy of “Save Them All” and an automatic entry into the “2008 Author’s Holiday Giveway” drawing, please send check or money order in the amount of $21.95, which includes shipping, to:

Novel / Save Them All
130 Aldersgate Road
Jacksonville, North Carolina
28546

ENTER!! It’s definitely a lot of fun for me, you receive a GREAT read that has created “Colbi Moment” fans in pockets all over the states (& UK, Denmark & Zimbabwe), and I still believe your ODDS of snagging this basket and it’s goodies are much better than powerball, your state’s lottery or even a scratch off card!!

Just ask Bea B., last years winner.

Good Luck and have Happy & Safe Holidays!!
Linda Bergman-Althouse

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Write What You Know

“I’m thinking about writing a book, but haven’t figured out what to write about yet.”  That’s a statement made to me quite often when I meet people during signings, a writer’s workshop or readings.  It has always puzzled me.  I guess it’s the ‘what came first, the chicken or the egg?’ thing.  Usually something happens that I’m reacting to (good, bad, ugly, whatever) that compels me to write.  So my response, which I feel a person is looking for, is “probably the wisest thing to do is write about what you know.”  Everyone has an interesting story, if not quite a few.  Really. If it’s not their personal story, it’s something they’ve heard  or witnessed.  Some people have exceptional interpersonal skills and can word weave captivating and unique relationships that are intriguing to read, while others have a gaming mind that can fill us with suspense or terror.  There are still others who can inspire us by sharing personal experiences where they’ve gained or lost (either way, learned from) that give us knowledge we can use to enrich and improve our lives.  Maybe written emotional purging is cheap therapy we engage in that will indirectly enable others to also derive benefits.  Writing doesn’t always have to become a book, though. I’ve completed only two books, but additional personal experiences, causes and concerns or longings have become stories, articles, poetry or even a blog post.  After advising an aspiring author to “write what you know,” I follow  up with, “ask yourself why you want others to know what you know; to awaken them and hope for deep thought, provide information, education or entertainment?    The answer to “why do you want others to know what you know?”  will usually drive you in the right topic direction.   Try not to throw up roadblocks, such as “nobody would be interested in that” or “there’s nothing special about me or what I know.”  I’m always surprised (but not shocked) by what others don’t know.  What our brains contain may seem second nature to us but brand new to those who’ve walked a different life’s path.  There is so much to know and life to live, how can anyone possibly know and have done it all.    So if you truly want to write a book, go for it!!  Teach me to maintain beehives or tell me what it’s  like to to be a bike courier in New York or if you’ve been married eighteen times, I’m curious enough to want to know how each began and how each ended or if you haven’t lived on land for the past fifteen years, maybe it’s time to drop anchor for a while, steady yourself next to a 60 watt bulb and write about every wind and wave that kept you out at sea.  Someone always wants to know what you know.   Who?  Now that’s a marketing question.

 

 Linda Bergman-Althouse,  author of, “Save Them All

Dinah, from the Outer Banks Wildlife Shelter says Hello!

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Tree Rustling

 I grew up in trees. Every time I went outside to play as a child (which was nearly every day, no matter the heat or height of snow), I found the most comfortable place to be was in a tree.  The strong limbs of apple, mulberry, persimmon, cherry and walnut held me closer to the clouds quite often.  That’s one of many reasons why I always feel so disappointed in humans when I see a loaded log truck; “pine and hardwood bodies stacked one on top the other, lying in state on eighteen wheeled steel sided hearses, heading for dissection at a sawmill.  The procession of death trucks loaded with stunted conifers saddens and maddens me.”  (excerpt from my novel, “Save Them All“)  Now, I’m hearing I have more to be sad and mad about.  A few weeks ago, while listening to Public Radio, I learned that some of those tree carcasses I’m mourning as they pass me may have been stolen and that the crime of tree rustling (or poaching) has become a nationwide epidemic. The radio broadcast discussion, by investigators committed to terminating this emotional and financial tragedy, spoke of trees being rustled in the northwest, but now I’ve read Michigan, Vermont, Kentucky and Arkansas are being hit as well.  Naturally I’m wondering about my state, North Carolina.  The staggering number of log trucks I see on NC Route 53 from Jacksonville to Wilmington every day is obscene; and that’s just one road.  An aerial view of this area must  be heartbreaking and just plain sickening.  I realize for every valued commodity, somebody will want to steal it.

I also know killing trees is a business for some, but the notion that unscrupulous sorts could be stealing trees had not yet come to mind for me.  Normally what rustlers do is find someone’s land that is mainly woods, trespass on the land, and steal the trees. If they’re caught by somebody who gives enough whoop to stop and question them, they generally just say they were hired by a neighboring landowner and “accidentally” cut down the trees.  The lame apology does not replace the trees that are decades old or lessen the emotional distress of the owner who may have “loved those trees the way only someone who grew up with them could” (Saulney). The rustlers are slick, just like in the old west when it used to be cattle they were after.  They sneak onto the property, cut the trees, remove them quickly and usually have a buyer waiting for them.  From what I’ve read, the penalties for this type of crime are no more than a modest fine and a slap on their chainsaw wrist, but that’s not enough to deter a criminal who gambles on not getting caught in these remote areas.  I’m (almost) sure the first time they’re busted isn’t the first time they’ve stolen trees.  I haven’t heard much talk in our area about tree rustling, but that does not mean it doesn’t exist.  I just want people everywhere to become aware that tree rustling is happening and possibly more close to home than we know, if it hasn’t happened where you are already.  Ensure your land is surveyed, so there is no question whose trees are whose, and keep an eye on your property, especially if you have large parcels of woods that aren’t regularly visited.  Older land owners are more vulnerable and susceptible because they may not be working their land or monitoring it as close as they used too.  I treasure trees for all the wonderful things they do for the environment, our wildlife, aesthetic value and for more personal reasons, too.  I know others feel the same.   Let’s keep a sharp eye and ask a few questions, might save someone great heartache.

 Linda Bergman-Althouse

Author of “Save Them All

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Ceiling Walker

Here I am and as always, a little bit of the different.  I’d love to say my absence of blog entries since April is due to my involvement in the mission for world peace, or I’m  sitting in a large tree to keep loggers from cutting it down and turning it into a tablet, or I’m off saving polar bears, but unfortunately it isn’t anything quite so noble.  Nope, instead I’m trapped in a technical writing project I agreed to do for the state.  Technical writing is so vastly different than creative writing for me that the only way to “get’erdone” is to keep my head in it.  Between wildlife ‘baby’ season and “use a #8,  3/4″ Flathead to fasten cockpit hatch track to deck surface and don’t forget to caulk every screw with 920 sealant,”  blogging was shoved, hesitantly, to the back burner.  Today, I felt an urgent need to escape everything technical (at least for a little while), so I took a walk on the ceiling.  I’m sure you’ve all done this as a child.  I just never out grew it.  Remember putting a mirror under your chin and walking around on the ceiling from room to room?  When my  schedule (albeit, self-inflicted) doesn’t allow me to get away and the world feels a little too tight, I can appreciate the vast open space of an uncluttered ceiling. The colorless nothingness is inviting when your brain is over-stimulated with inflexible sequenced procedures and so over-stuffed it requires a true rest of absolute down time for sifting.  If you have a mirror out now, don’t forget to lift your leg high when you pass from the living room to the kitchen or garage so you won’t trip over the door entryway .  Hardly any of my rooms have overhead lights, so there was no physical effort demanded to jump over a light fixture like I did as a child.  Walking on the ceiling may be less adventuresome now because the meaning and goal have changed, but certainly no less valued.  I took a few minutes to sit down, rest a spell and admire the emptiness.  When finding that peaceful and quiet environment you need to achieve unencumbered moments meant to restore you is inconvenient or downright impossible for whatever reason, you might try walking on the ceiling.  Just fly away anyway you can!  Talk to you soon.   

Linda Bergman-Althouse, Wildlife Rehabilitator

and author of “Save Them All

 

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