Category Archives: Greetings

Hoodoo You Do?

Voodoo ASCI copy

Hoodoo You Do?

I have just finished a book called LOWCOUNTRY VOODOOO A-Z.

You’ll see it on this website.

Now, “Why?” you might be asking, would a perfectly respectable, Christian writer for children do a voodoo book for adults?

Easy answer:  It’s history, fascinating, relevant, and…right out my back door!

I live in the Lowcountry of South Carolina; that means way down east in the land and water between the sea and the end of the wetlands and marshes and forests.  I believe my home is at sea level 20 feet, and that is only because we are on a bluff!  This area, as you know, is where so many of our ancestors first came ashore to the New World.  Some came as brave explorers…others as often fearful colonists (including women and children)…and others as unwilling slaves.  One thing they all had in common:  What they brought with them—their culture, spirituality, superstitions, knowledge, hopes, dreams, and beliefs.

The Gullah (Geechee in Georgia) came here with little but the shreds of clothes left on their backs and keen remembrances of what they had learned and left behind—their culture and beliefs.  From Africa, this was a life close to the earth, a dependency on natural roots and herbs for sustenance and medicine, and a belief system that spanned from God to boo hags.

Now, what’s a boo hag?  Well, you’ll have to read the book; this is only a brief blog!

But voodoo is more than a word.  Here in the Lowcountry, it is also called hoodoo.  It is not all about bad; some believe in spells and charms, and such to do good.  You don’t?  Well, did you ever pluck a four leaf clover for good luck?  Hang your keys on a rabbit’s foot keychain?  Avoid a black cat crossing your path?  Walk around a ladder?  In other words, the history of such things harks back to the Medieval Ages, and continues to the present.

Voodoo here, now?  Yep.  Trust me on this.  You know, we adults are just like the fourth graders I write to:  ignorant of subjects until we learn something about them.  Fascinated by the curious, weird, unknown to us.  And flabbergasted by face—especially when it’s wilder than fiction!

I had fun writing this book.  I met a lot of nice people.  And in the process of doing my research, I also came up with new book ideas:  Death by Grits, for example.  Hey, this is the South!  So don’t pooh-pooh hoodoo.  Keep and open mind and an open heart.  And if you want to see some cute voodoo dolls, go on Pinterest.  More soon on this subject!

Behind Every Great Woman

Behnd Every Great WomanMy good fellow author friend, Carolyn Wood [Maximizing Your Cruise Experience] sent me this image. While I am not a man-basher (too many fine men in my life for that), there’s nothing like being in a room full of entrepreneurial women—say at a writing conference or Chamber of Commerce event. The “vibe” is visceral; the can do/will do energy can knock your sox off.

Of course, behind every great woman is often also a mother, husband, good friend, mentor, role model, banker (if she’s lucky!) or other person, plus Lady Luck, and most certainly, the Good Lord. Nonetheless, most women are innately great, undauntable, and remarkable.

My grandmother was. She’d often take my sister and I walking through downtown Atlanta at night to her switchboard operator job at the Dinkler Hotel. In her hand she carried a large (one side taped) razor blade. Fortunately, no one ever accosted us—fortunately for THEM!

I just love looking at certain women on the news, mostly women who are the heads of nations. Or will be, like Malala Yousafzai. You know who she is. Or Alyssa Carson. You may not know her, but she’s 13 and already been tapped by NASA to be an astronaut, probably to go to Mars.

A very long time ago, when I went bankrupt due to circumstances beyond my control, my husband said, “Well, I guess you are out of business.”

“I have no money,” I said, “or office, or equipment, or vehicle, or employees, but my brain is not out of business, nor my arms or legs or fingers. My clients don’t know I’m broke.”

“Fingers?” he said.

I waggled them at him. “To write with.” And so I did. I kept writing and putting out books, shipping, and billing. That was a no-brainer. And soon, I had made my first million.

Yeah, behind every great woman is indeed herself. If you don’t believe me, just turn around…and look in the mirror.

The Storybook Shoppe

StorybookshoppeIs it just me, or are there indeed fewer and fewer places to shop for lovely books for children? Well, how would you like to shop here? Not only is The Storybook Shoppe a fairytale of a name, don’t you think, but the brave new owner is Sally Sue—now don’t you want to buy your kids’ books from her? I do!

This store is located in Old Town Bluffton. It is small, intimate, charming and packed with good reads for children of all ages. Since I count myself as a child, this means me! And, of course, all my grandkids.

Once upon a time (hmm, that sounds like a great opening for a book, doesn’t it?!), there were independent bookstores galore with amazing children’s sections. Almost every town had a school supply or teacher store. And, way back, department stores had striking children’s book departments. Today, not so much.

There’s just something special about a children’s bookstore. It smells so good and clean—not like the dank and dusty books, san dust jackets, you find in some libraries. It’s almost always bright and sunny, or is that just the glow from those amazing covers? And it’s friendly. They call a person selling you a book you will love “hand-selling,” but I think that’s a misnomer; it should be “heart-selling.”

So visit Sally Sue, bring a kid, take your time, browse, sit on the step and read a chapter, let the kid sprawl beneath the table and be transported into the land of bunny rabbits or space creatures. Take home a stack of books; after all, it’s almost hammock-reading time. Donate a book to a school. Give the gift of books, if only to counter tv and technology.

Inhale deeply; one day you may wish to recall the scent of sensibility—a bookstore devoted to children’s literature.

Support Sally Sue, she needs us, brave entrepreneur. And savor the opportunity to revisit books from your past, as well as to introduce these blocky stacks of pages with covers to a kid, who may go, “Wow! I love this thing, never saw one before—what is it?”

You’ll probably find me there, somewhere under the table or on the top step, reading. You’ll probably have to call my name two or three times before I tear myself away and look up.

Lucky is as Lucky Does

Lucky is as Lucky DoesI believe that it was Alfred Einstein who said, “Chance favors the prepared mind.”  Indeed it does.

Have you met kids (and adults) who complain that others are lucky, implying that they are not?  Yeah, we didn’t all win the Superball yesterday, no doubt, but we can be luckier than we think.

Luck…kismet…serendip…fortune—whatever you call it, it is far more in your reach than you might expect!

Some lucky tips for getting lucky:  (Uh, you know what I mean!)

  • Expect to be LUCKY. The more positive, self-confident, self-assured that you are, the more likely you are to do or try new things that lead to good luck. Be open.  Be willing to try.  To change.  Luck is often just around the corner, but you gotta turn the corner!
  • Beckon luck your way! If you keep your circle of acquaintances small, you might not network enough to encounter new friends, experiences, chances, even obstacles, to bump into good luck. That new friend, husband, date, business partner is just waiting for you to crook your finger at them.  Crook it!
  • Silver Linings Playbook: “What bad luck!” I thought. “I did not win that writing award.”  So, I submitted my book elsewhere, and won a much bigger, more prestigious award!  Transform bad luck into good luck by believing that it can happen.  All those failures and “mistakes” are how most scientists make great discoveries, inventors create amazing new things.  I goofed, made a wrong turn, embarrassed myself—lucky me…look what wonderful thing happened next!
  • Listen to luck. Trust that still, small voice you hear in your head and heart—it’s whispering luck to you! Don’t do this, do do that, skip that one, try this one—chance really does favor the mind that believes, prepares, and even recognizes good fortune when it comes its way.

Honestly, some days I think I can’t lose for winning…how lucky is that?!

Welcome!

Author writing children's mystery books blog middle gradesI’ve been a writer for more than 30 years—time flies when you’re working your fingers across the keyboard to the bone!

Today I write from my laundry room perch in Palmetto Bluff.

I’m seeking conversation with others who love books, reading, writing, kids, food and such. Of course I’m trying to sell books—I have at least 6,000 in print, ya’ll! But more so, I love to share what I’m working on, what I know about writing and publishing—in real time, as if we were having coffee together. You know who you are: moms, grammies, teachers, everyone with a book hidden in them, and all who love to help children navigate today’s world.   Tune in! Stay in touch! Let’s talk!

—Carole Marsh Longmeyer