The Statue of Liberty with Barbara Edwards

Everyone intends to visit the Statue of Liberty. Not only is it impressive and a huge part of our history, but it’s part of our American Dream. You know: Give us your tired, your hungry, your huddled masses yearning to be free. My grandparents followed that invitation and here I am.

The statue’s in a metropolitan New York a major population area, withing driving of three huge airports and a short hop by train.

Why did it take me so long? I hate to drive in the city. So I put it off until the day my husband said he’d bought tickets for a tour. Another of my least favorite ways to travel, but hey, we’re already going.

It turned out to be a lousy day weather-wise. Pouring rain and cold kept us under overhangs and huddled in our raincoats.

The first stop was Liberty Park in New Jersey. This was my first surprise. I didn’t have to contend with the city traffic and parking is a huge lot. We entered a converted rail station where the emigrants took to the rail to cross this country. Chicago, St Louis, Baltimore, New Orleans could all be reached by those with a ticket and a little name tag with a destination fastened to their coats.

The ferry took me to Ellis Island. The place is a huge echoing building with areas describing the medical quarantines, the long lines, the luggage or lack of, and pictures of the ships.

Can I share with you my heart wrenching moment? I stood in the emigrant center. A huge room where every person had to register at one of the desks. A clerk phonetically wrote the name  in a ledger and  made sure you had enough money to find shelter.

All four of my grandparents walked through that room. Crossed the marble floor. Found a home and a dream. I cried as I had my husband take my picture. Because of them, here I am.

We crossed the short channel to the Statue. As many of you know, repairs are underway. I didn’t need to climb to the top to be happy I’d come.

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A trip to Niagara Falls

I mentioned our recent trip to friends and had to explain. Visiting Niagara Falls wasn’t at the top of my list of places to visit. I felt that it was kind of old-fashioned. A place people used to think romantic for a honeymoon. Like many Americans , I’ve seen those pictures. Yawn.

So it was a side-trip.  A lucky choice.

Niagara Falls is the most impressive view I’ve seen on the East Coast. It ranks up there with the Rockie Mountains and the Grand Canyon. Since we had the time, we chose to do the local tour. My husband likes the convenience of someone else finding parking, getting tickets and generally explaining the features.

Our first stop was the power plant. Huge turbines turn on both the American and Canadian sides.

Niagara Falls carries one fifth of the world’s fresh water supply. Of that, fifty percent of the water goes through the electric turbines not over the Falls. I can’t imagine what a full flow would look like and neither can anyone alive since the last time one hundred percent went over the Falls was in the 1880s. Electricity is supplied to the entire East coast of the United States from this place.

We stopped at the whirlpool where water is forced through a narrow gorge before reaching the river. The waters churns like an old-fashioned mixing bowl.

We descended to the Cave of the Winds and looked up at Bridal Veil. It’s too early for the decks to be erected and we walked as close as allowed.

I didn’t see the rainbows since it was cloudy but the birds were too numerous to count. It seems that any fish caught in the current gets ground up by the turbines and the birds gather to feast.

From the observations tower we could see the boats being readied for tourists. The Maid of the Mist isn’t in the water during the winter, but my husband vowed to return to take the voyage under the Falls.

I walked out on the Three Sisters, a set of small islands extending into the river above the Falls. Because of the location, it feels like the water will wash over your head at any second, a wonderful and scary place to take a picture with your feet at the edge of the rolling water.

Niagara is a small city with the biggest surprise being the Seneca Casino in the center of town. It seems the New York constitution doesn’t allow gambling in the state so they land was deeded to the Indian tribe who built the glass structure.

Another place to visit on another day.

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Social Media makes me crazy

Did you notice that every time you learn a new method to use social media it changes?

I hopped on the Triberr train and it changed two weeks after I got it to work. Okay, I’ll grudgingly admit it is better. The problem is it took me hours to learn the new stuff.

Then there’s Goodreads. I happen to like the site. It’s fun to find my friends and their books, to see what everyone is reading, and even sign up to get their blogs. But I think there’s a lot more that I haven’t had time to explore.

Its the same with Amazon Central. I have my author’s page, but am I using  it effectively? I don’t know. I do reviews as I read books and post them. Does it mean anything? I don’t know. I hope so. I know I like to have a nice review posted for my work.

My recent adventure is with FaceBook. Why do they change things that work for me? I sort of followed the directions and updated my stuff, but it doesn’t have the pizzazz of many others sites. Sigh.

But. And this is a big but… I have the most fantastic banner photo posted. It was done by LK Hunsaker,

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Do you have psychic ability?

I’m truly curious about how many authors can claim psychic abilities. I’m going to be on a panel addressing this area and woke this morning wondering if I have to admit I have some psychic talent.

It’s like rattling my closet skeletons. I’m so nervous. People will think I’m weird. I’ll be pointed at on the street and have to move or change my name. Boy, am I going off on a tangent.

Writers are the most accepting people in the world. We understand what makes people different and value all the quirks. It all adds to the characters and plot we create.

I use psychic abilities to round out my characters, but it’s usually a secondary part of their personality. Annie knows her child is threatened. Rachel senses her twin’s feelings. That’s recorded and researched ability. Lily sees auras, but not on everyone or even when it will reveal the villain.

I don’t share those talents, but I do know how it feels to have that unexplainable episode occur. I am puzzled, even confused. For a minute I question why the people around me didn’t see or hear that ‘other’.  I always have a lag time. My reality has to accept the unreality as real.

Confusing? Oh yes. I think my mother had a talent, too, but she died young and I didn’t know enough to ask. She always explained to me that it was all right. I remember once waking from a vivid dream of a recently deceased person who grabbed my arm. I had a finger pattern of bruises on my bicep. Mom said I was the only one she could reach and to pray for her soul. Scary now that I look back.

I have vivid dreams that sometimes do come true. I also dream my story before I start writing. Along with a few other things I didn’t mention.

Let me know what you think. Do you use psychic abilities is your stories? Do you have one?

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Ancient Blood

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At My Place with Cathie Dunn

I hope you’re enjoying a similarly sunny spring.
I’ll be sharing  the description of Rhodes End, the setting for my paranormal romance series with The Wild Rose Press. Enjoy discovering the setting.
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