Sunday, 18 June 2017

Guest Author Margaret (Meg) Sorick of Pennsylvannia.


I am always sort of stymied when someone asks me to tell them about myself. I haven't exactly figured out who I am I suppose, but I'll tell you what I've got so far...

I am a writer. I write because I love to read. In fact, I'm a book junkie. I need to read. I want to climb in books and live there. I want to meet the characters, walk in their shoes, fight their battles, fall in love with their heroes...Oh I do go on, don't I? Nevertheless, I imagine I share that same enthusiasm with most passionate readers. And likewise those readers dream about writing stories of their own. Does that mean I'm living the dream?

My father was a story-teller. It's only now, looking back, that I appreciate what a vivid imagination he had! He made up a whole series of adventures involving our neighbor's cat Mopsy, and another one with a little old man and a cuckoo clock that always saved the day. He would weave a tale out of thin air. And as a result, I came about my love of stories and books, naturally.

I loved taking notes in school and writing letters to my friends who moved to Florida when I was a little girl. I kept a diary from the time I was eight years old right up to about age fourteen. I still have some of the notebooks I filled with poetry when I was a teenager. I excelled in English, ignored it to the detriment of my other subjects, yet was never encouraged to pursue it as a career. C'est la vie!

I went to college, majored in marketing, learned to write ad copy and design polls and surveys. Graduated in a time of recession and couldn't get a job. I was floundering. I ended up working in a retail clothing store, which ultimately led me to pursue a career change. At twenty-one, I found myself with such back pain, I could barely walk. Long story short, chiropractic saved the day and I found my new calling, I went back to school, started working in my field, got married, etc. Suddenly I realized it had been a year since I thought about writing.

One day, a few years ago, I was sitting in the stylist's chair at the hair salon, touching up the blonde and reading my book to pass the time. My stylist said to me "You're always reading. Did you ever want to write a book yourself?" "Sure," I laughed. "Doesn't every reader want to be a writer?" "You should do it," she said. "Hmm," I thought. "But what am I going to write about?"

I bought a nice notebook, a collection of fancy pens, started following other writers on Tumblr first and then Wordpress. After what amounted to months of reading about writing, I finally started jotting ideas of my own and four years later....

I have published four books in a series on Amazon. This series of romantic suspense novels is set in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where I live. They are stories about ordinary people with families, people who fall in love and sometimes find themselves in outrageous circumstances. Add some suspense, humor, family dynamics and good conversation and voila!. I've just finished the first draft of a fifth novel in the series, which will hopefully be ready for publication this summer. In addition, I've written a collection of short stories, poems and dabbled in both art and photography, all of which are featured on my blog. I call it my mid-life renaissance. I also write about things I've learned along the way - including errors and blunders, bits of interesting research and the things that move and inspire me. I love the idea of connecting with other creative people who are trying to live their dreams, as well. I welcome honest feedback and above all else, know that I am happy to meet you!





 
See Margaret's books here 


An excerpt from: Here Lies a Soldier - by Margaret Sorick

 Copyright held by the author. Used with permission

December 26, 1912

 

The morning after Christmas was always a little glum. Especially this year with father so ill. There’d been no money for presents and our only treat was the honey cake Mama had made for dessert. Of late, we girls had had to find ways to contribute and for me that meant work at the manor house on the hill.  

The air was cold, I could see my breath. The warmth from the stove hadn’t made it to the upper room I shared with my two sisters. I quickly washed my face and hands in the icy water from the basin and pulled on my clothes. I’d brush my hair downstairs by the stove and talk to Papa while I braided it. We’d moved a cot next to the stove so that he could keep warm over night. 

Mama had gone out already, it appeared. She cooked for the vicar in the village and would have to get his breakfast for him.  

“Papa,” I said softly. I laid a hand on his arm. He came awake coughing so I helped him to a sitting position and pounded his back like the doctor had instructed. When the spams stopped, he signaled for a glass of water. I fetched it for him and held it to his lips. 

"Thank you, my dear," he rasped. "How's my girl?" 

I smiled. "I'm good, Papa. How are you feeling?" 

"Right as rain, Love. Right as rain. I'll be on my feet again before two shakes of a lamb's tail," he said with a reassuring smile. "Now tell me... How many pages did you read last night?" 

Papa was adamant that we girls continue learning. He had hoped that we would be able to train to become teachers or nurses. Of course, that supposed we wouldn't find husbands. And I always teased him that he thought the three of us were going to be 'left on the shelf.' 

Conversation with my father was always easy. Most men would rue the lack of a son to carry on the family name. Not so my Da. He loved his three daughters more than the best of the sons he could've sired. My younger sisters hadn't yet lived up to his expectations, but they were still young. Clara was just 14 -three years younger than me, and Grace another year younger than her. They would, in time, flourish under Papa's guidance. Which was why he just had to get better. He just had to... 

I sat on a stool beside his cot and brushed out my hair while I told him all about the book I was reading. I plaited the long dark tresses into a single thick braid and then wound that into a bun. There was just enough time to fix tea and a slice of toast for the both of us before I bundled into my coat and set out for Prentice House, the manor on the hill. 

The day dawned grey and cold, with just a hint of snow in the air. At least I was assured of abundant warmth in the Prentice home. The family had a houseful of guests for the holidays. Normally, I worked with the cleaning staff, but with the extra mouths to feed, I'd been reassigned to help in the kitchen. 

When I entered through the servants' door on the ground floor, the kitchen was already bustling with activity. Simmering pots of porridge, fresh loaves from the oven, pans of eggs, sausages and bacon were keeping warm until the guests assembled for breakfast. It would be up to Nancy and me to wash and scrub all those pots and pans as they were emptied onto platters to be taken up to the dining room.  

I hung my coat and scarf on the peg, tied my apron around me and got to work. The butlers and maids scurried about delivering and returning dishes for refill. My hands were raw from scrubbing and scouring by the time the last pan was clean. We had a precious hour to rest before we'd need to start on the pans that were already in use for the next meal. Nancy and I helped ourselves to a cup of tea and sat side by side at the servants' table in the dining area next to the kitchen.

"What'd you do for Christmas, then?" she asked.  

I looked into my cup, embarrassed. "My ma made us a stew. We had a honey cake for dessert. That's it." I shrugged. "How about you?" 

"Made a goose, my ma did." 

"Shut up, Nancy. You're lying," I snapped. 

"It's true," she boasted.  

I ignored her and sipped my tea.  

We sat in uncomfortable silence till the tea was gone and our break was over. I stood, pushing my chair back and taking my cup to the sink to wash. Nancy was always putting on airs. A goose, indeed. Likely as my Da being elected Prime Minister. 

Mrs. Cooper was herding the rest of the girls into position when the head butler appeared in a panic. "Quickly!" he gestured, as he gasped for breath. "It's a disaster! The table...  it's collapsed... food everywhere... hurry!" 

Every free hand was put to work cleaning up the mess as the Prentice family and their guests looked on. Mr. And Mrs. Prentice appeared embarrassed and horrified, while their two haughty daughters looked like they'd just sucked lemons expecting them to be sugar cubes. Only young Hugh Prentice gazed upon the scene with a twinkle in his eye and a smile threatening on his lips. When he caught me looking at him, he set the smile free and winked. I averted my eyes, blushing, but couldn't keep my own smile from turning up the corners of my mouth. I busied myself with the cleanup until every scrap and spill was dealt with. And as I stood, wiping my hands on my apron, I looked up to find the blue eyes of Hugh Prentice still staring at me.
 
 
 
 
 
Thank you Margaret for being the guest this week on the Scribbler.
 
 
 
And a special thanks to you - the visitor. It would be nice to hear from you.
 
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