Monthly Archives: June 2014

Something Old…


Hmm, where’s that Nancy Drew….

Several days ago in a phone conversation with my friend, Marsha McDonald, we discussed the fact that some of the good old books we read and loved as young girls, were written in a time when the author ‘told’ us an exciting story. Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys stayed on the top of our reading pile. We loved those books and devoured every word. But ‘telling’ a story today is considered… umm, not good. ( we’re talking fiction here ) Readers today like to get into the story and really ‘see’ it.

‘Telling versus showing’.

Go on Google and you’ll find  hundreds of articles explaining the difference between the two concepts. Telling is considered bad writing in the fiction world of today—oh, Carolyn Keene, you could have gone far with your Nancy Drew series, had you only known!

Instead of a measly fifty-six books… 🙂

Authors out there who would like to have a series running fifty-six books strong, raise your hand! 🙂

So where does that leave the once great writers of the past? Null and void? Nooo…  The awards and accolades those writers worked and gave many hours of their life’s energy for, are still in good standing. Their achievements meant as much to them and their careers then, as they do to the writers of today—and do I hear a collective sighing of ‘Thank you’, to all of those early writers who pounded away on manual typewriters, or wrote entire manuscripts in longhand simply to satisfy their own creative release as well as providing reading enjoyment for the masses?

So does this new, improved writing mean that readers can now dump all their old ‘telling’ books and be glad that writing has improved so much, and reading is more fun… but wait, I loved reading those books, just like I love reading now! Don’t anybody try to separate me from my treasured old treasures! 🙂

Writing, like anything else that continues, must evolve. New writers learn the new ways. But the old ways are still there as guidelines. The old is our history; where we came from. In studying the past we learn not only what to do,  but also what not to do.

I admire the ‘beautiful bustles’ of the 18th century, but give me jeans and  tee-shirts… for everyday, anyway! And now back to my Phyliss Whitney that was published in 1968… 🙂

Take care, and God’s blessings on all of you,


Why do you do it?


One of my favorite Escobedo paintings. This image was taken on my wall. Sorry for the reflections.

What motivates you to do that thing you do? Doesn’t matter whether it’s for a living or as a hobby. Think about this for a moment and be honest in your answer. Can you be that honest with yourself?

Are you motivated by personal satisfaction? Is it money? Or is it because it’s something you have to do? Were you pressed into an occupation from an early age and it stuck  for life?

If your answer is, ‘I don’t know why I do it. I’d ( paint/write /sing/garden/sew or shop for shoes ) if I never sold a thing or no one except me ever saw my work. I can’t not do it.”

Be happy if you answer this way—and keep on doing your thing. 🙂

When creatives of any genre gather together this question often comes up in the conversation. As I got older  I lost interest in why I do what I do, I continue doing it because I want to and I no longer wonder why, I don’t care why, as long as I’m allowed to do it. 🙂

Louis Escobedo, an artist friend reminded me of this the other day when I called to congratulate him on being awarded the $25,000 Gold Medal ‘Best of Show’ award in the recent 23rd National Juried Exhibition of The Oil Painters of America. This is the second time Louis has won this award. Our conversation went something like this:

“Louis, are you excited about winning?” (Do I know how to ask dumb questions?)

“Sure. It was nice. I’d thought I might win some new paint brushes.” ( Louis )

🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂  ( Me )

“Mary, sure, it’s always nice to win awards, but I don’t paint thinking about winning awards. I paint because I love to paint. The awards are secondary. I would paint no matter what.”  ( Louis )

Louis went on to say that when you love what you are doing, you stay focused on the journey, and not on worrying about what the results may bring. All your energy is spent creating. I know Louis speaks from his heart. He’s always been that way. I think he must have been born squinting and studying values.

And Louis’ paintings reflect his energy, proving his love of the ‘thing’ he does.

Ask God’s blessings on that thing you love doing! 🙂