Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Mama Said

 William Shakespeare must have endured quite an unpleasant experience for him to write 'Othello'. I do find myself referencing the characters in the play (too often!) whenever I encounter those 'types'...ones who manipulate and are destructive, and those who fall victim to them. 

How many real and current 'Iago' characters spin through that revolving door of life, targeting and playing on every stupid, vain and insecure 'Othello', while each 'Desdemona', 'Emilia', and 'Cassio' fall victim to the deceit? 

Mama said there'd be days like this...and it's been one of them. Life gives them to you; but tomorrow is another day. Insert a hopeful, happy face emoji. 




Wednesday, April 10, 2024

The Funky Broadway

 I just recently discovered there was/is a dance called 'The Funky Broadway' from the 1960s...sort of like the 'Hustle' of the 1970s. Dances that involved certain moves, performed in groups for fun. Think Bump, Twist, Charleston, Line, Square, Shimmy, Robot, Swing, etc. Each had its own era. But 'The Funky Broadway'? 

A Netflix documentary of the musical group Cowsills included a song of theirs that played over the closing credits. It's called 'Some Good Years' and it's a great, great song! Having never heard of it, I watched the Youtube video. Not only was I mesmerized by the song, I was amazed at the dancing moves of the youngest band member, Susan. While I assumed she was a naturally talented dancer at around eight years of age, she was actually dancing 'The Funky Broadway' which was apparently dance moves that originated to a song of the same name. I guess. I just read the comments sometimes. Anyway, the group's history is a somewhat tragic one, so this wonderful song seems a bit of a surprise. 

I thought I'd share the song below; while the quality of the video isn't great, the song is perfect. Be impressed by the various clips of a young Susan's dance moves. 




Thursday, February 15, 2024

Karen Carpenter is Trending...

 The late Karen Carpenter is trending on social media. Her voice, talent, and it being in the middle of her death (February 4) and birth (March 2) could be reasons; yet, I've read a younger generation is suddenly discovering her gift of a voice and talent as a drummer. 

Her voice was beautiful and unique; I've heard it described as "if silk had a sound" which is a wonderful description of what it was like listening to her sing. All of the Carpenters' songs bring such nostalgia; her death in 1983 brought awareness to anorexia nervosa. 

I find myself suddenly telling Alexa to play music by the Carpenters...




Thursday, January 4, 2024

Twelve Years


Once again, January arrives bringing an anniversary. This blog was started on January 10, 2012 as a jumpstart to selling my books, short stories, words, art, and photographs. I've marked the anniversary every year here, mentioning that I genuinely never thought it would last long. However, I'm no longer surprised that it has. That's due to the self-confidence I've gained in what I have completed during this time. Five books, four of them published, over two-dozen short stories shared, two plays, essays, poems, art, photographs, and a great deal of words from the heart. A blog and three other websites, registrations with the US Copyright Office.

What I've never celebrated is the fact I opened my Fine Art America account the same year.  Twelve years and hundreds of images and photographs later for sale on that site...and here we are. Thousands and thousands, and more thousands of photographs taken but never used. I don't really feel intimidated using my cameras anymore and will take on most projects, except weddings. Again, experience brings self-confidence; it also allows me to turn down things I don't wish to do and admittedly can't do (weddings). 

Not too long ago, someone asked me what I did with my days. With it came a snide remark that I won't mention here, but it implied something that upset me. Because "what I do with my days" is reflected in the first two paragraphs above. And that's just the so-called icing on the cake of my life. While I would love to be able to snap my fingers and have magic happen, the simple truth is I've worked hard, and quietly done so for a very long time. I've really worked my entire life. 

For this blog post, I decided to share my bio which is on my official website. A little unknown fact about my life is that in my twenties I started and owned a Communications, Public Relations and Advertising company. I also auditioned for small roles and bit parts on so many television shows and for movies during the 1980s that it's hard to recall them all. It's an "oh, yeah, forgot about that one" moment when I do. 

So below is the screenshot summary of my existence. Read between the lines. There is a lot more that isn't reflected. Thanks to all who continue supporting this little blog by reading what I have to say. As always, it's appreciated. 



Veronica Randolph Batterson is an author, photographer, artist, and playwright. She has published four books, over two dozen short stories, and has worked as a freelance writer, proofreader, ghostwriter, and editor.  Her photography is in private collections throughout the United States, and also in the United Kingdom. Frequently, she combines writing and photography for publications, has written two plays, and is editing her fifth book.  After a long hiatus from painting, she is working with acrylics again.  

Her earliest memory of drawing is as a six-year-old sketching cartoon characters for classmates; a few years later, she won her first art competition.  At age eighteen, she received her first single lens reflex film camera: a Pentax 35mm.  Additionally, she obtained her own developing tank for black and white film at that time, and learned how to make prints in a darkroom.  Her early career in front of the camera as a model later prepared her for what worked as she found herself behind the camera; however, most of her work today is comprised of landscapes, wildlife, and natural settings while using a DSLR camera.


She studied art at the University of Tennessee, and later graduated with a degree in Communications from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.  Her work experience has been in the fields of broadcast journalism, technical writing, creative writing, copywriting, and she has been a multiple business owner.  While living in Michigan, she taught journalism classes for elementary-aged school children, and started the school's first student-written newspaper.  

Veronica is currently working on her next novel.  While her two latest books, Williamsburg Hill and Daniel's Esperanza, can be found at Novel Bookstore in Memphis, and at select bookstores around the country, all four books are available via Amazon.  A quote from Daniel's Esperanza has become the unofficial slogan for the state of New Mexico, having been used by numerous sources in publications, memes, books and on inspirational websites. Her photographs and other merchandise are for sale at www.veronica-batterson.pixels.com through Fine Art America; she maintains a website at www.veronicabatterson.com; and a separate blog via  www.veronicarbatterson.blogspot.com.  She can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads.

A 30+ year volunteer in the communities in which she has lived, she created the Mid-South Arts Against Hunger annual food drive campaign benefitting the Mid-South Food Bank in Memphis, served as chair of the Art of Giving fundraising event which benefits Baptist Hospital's Camp Good Grief, and has served on the planning committee for the American Cancer Society's Imagine Ball.  A former member of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), as well as the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), she has been featured in such magazines as Seventeen, appeared in the movie, A Winner Never Quits and enjoyed an early career as not only a model, but also as an actress and spokesperson. In May of 2019, her photography was exhibited at WKNO's Gallery Ten Ninety-One in Memphis. In June of 2019, her work was featured for sale at Palladio Interiors, also in Memphis. She has made donations of her art to organizations such as the League of Chicago Theatres, Auditorium Theatre in Chicago, American Cancer Society, Baptist Memorial Hospital, Association for Individual Development, and the Orpheum Theatre in Memphis.  

After living in various cities, including Detroit, Chicago, and Denver, Veronica currently resides in Memphis with her husband. 



Sunday, December 24, 2023

Christmastide

 


I thought I'd make this post an excerpt of the current book I've been working on. The chapter is titled "Christmastide" and I'm sharing a very small part of it here. It works for the season a bit. 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays...Peace and Light to all. 





Christmastide 


By Veronica Randolph Batterson 

©Veronica Randolph Batterson



December 26, 1872



The fire blazed in the hearth, warming the room while the flames licked the bottom of the pot filled with simmering potatoes and leeks. The aroma reminded Josephine that she had not eaten, but for some stale bread and moldy cheese, in nearly four days; the journey had been arduous and its secrecy nearly cost her everything. A much longer journey loomed.  Was he safe? Or had he been discovered by those looking to do him harm? It had been over four months since she last saw him. 

Hunger stabbed at her belly as she watched the woman ladle the soup into a bowl, sloshing the contents as she set it in front of Josephine. 

“This’ll do ye well,” the woman started, “nothing good ever came on an empty belly.” Then she moved to serve the group of men two tables away. The driver, shotgun rider and scout ate ravenously, pulling apart bread and drinking ale, greedily waiting for the mince pies which would follow. 

Josephine ate, relishing each bite as if it would be her last; unlike the men, she was certain to be tasting the food and not just inhaling it. Yet feeding extreme hunger was not the same as feeding for two. And Josephine had not kept much down over the course of the last few months, even though she, too, was hungry. The woman serving the food noticed.

“My mama always swore by honey. A spoonful here, a dollop there. Fixed most things that ailed a soul. Got some hidden in the back,” the woman whispered, sliding the pie in front of Josephine. “If that ain’t fixing ye, a good dram of whiskey never hurt.” 

The woman’s kind eyes watched Josephine with concern as she moved to serve the other customers. The savory and sweet taste of the pie was satisfying and filling. It was not met with the usual waves of nausea that had plagued Josephine at most attempts to eat. 

The front door of the establishment suddenly opened bringing bits of snow, colder air and a fur clad man the size of a giant through it. He shook his shoulders and stomped his feet, shaking off the outdoors before striding over to the woman at the hearth and giving her a hearty hug, lifting her from her feet. 

“Oh, ye nearly scared me to death,” the woman exclaimed breathlessly, eyeing the wrapped parcel the man held out to her… 



(To be Continued…)



Tuesday, November 7, 2023

I Like...

 One of the best covers of any song is Katie Melua's version of The Cure's classic Just Like Heaven. It's shared below. While it has nothing to do with the words I've written in this post, I do like it. A lot. 


I Like…


A book that I don’t wish to end but can’t stop reading until it does

The smell of coffee in the morning and my need for it 

The familiar things being comforting

My dog sleeping at my feet

Snow falling in the evening when I’ve no reason to be outdoors in it

The nostalgia of hearing a song and what it meant to me a lifetime ago

Wandering antique stores…remembering and imagining.


The scent in the air announcing rain before it actually happens

The way the afternoon sun angles, hinting autumn is near while the calendar says summer

Bonfires, and fire pits in crisp air,

And fireplace glow

Scents of pine, and cinnamon, and nutmeg,

From candles burning and ovens baking

The way a grocery store smells weeks before Thanksgiving through Christmas,

Apples and pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns

Leaves falling, carpeting the earth’s floor, crunching under our feet

That everything is haunted in October.


I Like…


Bookstores and public libraries

Freshly baked bread, the smell and taste of it

Drinking hot chocolate and finding different ways to make it

Always learning

The joy of travel and the greater joy of returning home 

Sleeping in my own bed

Finding art in everything…the way tea pours, the curve of a vase, the shape of a tree,

Music and the peace of mind it gives me listening to it

Writing…composing my thoughts, creating with it

Wine in the evenings

My cameras, capturing magic, freezing time.


I Like...


Spruce trees covered in snow, the branches sloping from the weight of it,

Strands of multi-colored holiday lights woven around it reflecting and muted through the whiteness

Decorating the Christmas tree with ornaments from my travels 

Holiday movies and shows of my youth, shown every year, watched every year,

Wearing hats and jackets and coats, the more variety the better

Anticipation…of good, of normalcy, and receiving it

Daydreaming

Never being let down

Unexpected kindness

Peace.








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