Barbara K. McNally’s “Wounded Warrior, Wounded Wife”

My thanks to fellow author Dean Robertson for this guest contribution that first appeared in its entirety on her site in December, 2016. This was a book I loved as well… Dean’s thoughtful review speaks volumes!

unspecified-1A more unlikely group of healers you couldn’t ask for. There they are, laughing and lounging at a luxury hotel in Southern California, where they have come from all over the country for a few days of rest and rejuvenation that they badly need and have certainly earned… Continue reading

Runnymede – … a night of Funny-mede

fireflies-and-rubies The Middleton High School Class of 1976 cried for a ’40th reunion…’ in January, 2016. Not much time due to Charleston, SC becoming the hot event destination with brides flocking in their bridal gowns like our local egrets. But, as the heirs of the Reunion Committees resigned, we went into War Room mode, rolled up our sleeves, pulled out my weary duct taped folder of years of searching for classmates and met to discuss logistics at Bobby Bernstein’s office.

Strategically, Bobby strolled to the kitchen fridge and brought a cold bottle of Chardonnay and one glass. He sat it in front of me at the head of the table and gave me a healthy pour. What came next befuddled me as we had to choose the date to back into for location, catering, rentals and of course, hunting classmates. We knew it would be sometime near hurricane season. A non-negotiable for a Charleston Fall event.  Continue reading

Peace Out, Chaz

Chaz sleeping-editI owned the most gentle and eager to please mutt, Chaz. Back story: I am not a dog person—I’m a cat girl! Chaz migrated from my ex-husband’s home to my home sometime early 2000s. Eventually, my son graduated high school and Chaz remained in our home. My husband did the walking, feeding, playing and even showers with him once a week. I did potty duty during the day but it was on a leash and only as long as it took to get the deed done. Continue reading

Where were you when…?

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In the five decades I have lived and experienced, there is a common question among all generations…. Where were you when….? Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima? I am a baby boomer but I was not alive during the Great Depression or the Great Wars. My first deep childhood memory was the assassination my President, John F. Kennedy.

Looking back from my kindergarten eyes, I didn’t totally understand what had happened when sent home early from our school day. A couple days later, I watched my mother staring at our black and white t.v. in her ironing room as I quietly leaned against the doorway. The sobriety of his casket being pulled by a team of horses was eerily quiet. I’ll always remember where I was on November 23, 1963 and November 25, 1963. Continue reading

#IamCaitlyn

While I was diving in Roatan, I’d check my email for news from home. Unfortunately, one morning I opened my iPad and saw a horrific picture of a dog with her muzzle taped, preventing her from eating, barking or drinking. She was immediately taken to an emergency veterinarian center to be treated; they named her Caitlyn. The situation got global attention. Some may say… it’s just a dog. But it goes deeper…AR-150609329

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Christmas Traditions

Big Ass Santa GlassWe are in the last ten days of Christmas countdown. I see blogs, Facebook posts and other personalized media expressions of Christmas traditions. But to be politically correct (which I resent having to qualify such a simple term), it is understood that it reaches across the lines of many faiths and traditions. I look back into my own Christmas experiences and recall things that saturated my five decades of Christmas. One of my new adult favorites? Taking my Big Ass Santa wine glass off the top shelf!

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Is There a Halo in Your Life?

Let's_All_Go_to_the_LobbyLast Saturday night, my hubbie declared it Movie Date Night. Don’t get me wrong– I love date night– but he isn’t the best movie picker. We like to go to a locally owned and managed theater. A glass of chardonnay and some popcorn is my idea of an adult snack bar. So, at 9:00 a.m., we got on his Ipad and picked St. Vincent starring Bill Murray. I didn’t really understand the synopsis of the movie but I knew wine would make it all better, whichever way it fell. Continue reading

Her Grandfather’s Gun

I kept the postcard on my desk of this painting by my friend, John Carroll Doyle. It reminded me of the challenges of growing up in a career Navy family. The world lost the presence of John Carroll on November 12, 2014 and his artistic visions. I was not only privileged to be his friend, but he extended many opportunities to drop-in his studio as he painted. Nothing on canvas was placed without conviction and a deeper message. Her Grandfathers Gun-site_1 Continue reading

Laying the Keel

I launched my debut novel, Ameera Unveiled, on July 25, 2013. Subsequently, I’ve been pushing her into the internet waters. What an endless sea of opportunity to navigate! As the captain of this ship, I am blessed to have the support of BQB Publishing and their managers. Shari Stauch of Where Writers Win keeps me on task and sets my course for the next portal of call. Being new to marketing and social media, sometimes it is a slow and tedious assignment.

But since the launch, I’ve been researching a new idea using my childhood experiences as a Navy dependent. I am laying the keel for my next project. keel1

My writing room is littered with my father’s military record, the shadowbox with brass plates of ship assignments, and personal possessions that would have been on his desk or dresser. His dress blues hang on a doorknob proudly displaying five gold hashmarks. I’ve been privileged to make new friends with veterans through the VFW and American Legions. I loved attending Liberty Call with the Goose Creek Tin Can Sailors. They’ve embraced my request for stories of their glory days. I’ve climbed and descended into the bowels of the USS Laffey at Patriots Point. The smell of grey paint and fuel refreshes my childhood memories of visiting my dad’s floating office.

My new Orders? Start writing it. In my mind, I stand across the word-processing shipyard and watch as the keel is laid. I’ve set my compass and now I have to follow my heart on where the story will take me…research floor

Finding Personal Independence: Under the Sea!

I look over my shoulder and six months of 2014 are riddled with footprints in the tides of my life. Without being a Debbie Downer, it’s been a personal roller coaster for my family and friends. But, in the greater scheme of things, I’m a big lover of interpreting life through the eyes of sociology, philosophical standards and gender roles.

With that in mind, when I took on the challenge of telling my protagonist’s story in Ameera Unveiled, I decided to share the challenge of facing forbidden zones, of growing up at the end of the Baby Boomer Era, and of approaching empty nesting. In spite of so many broken social barriers before 1958, there were still prejudices, expectations or even complacent pools directed at various communities. sponge bath

In that light, I explored my character’s desire to recognize and release herself from the shackles of generally accepted standards as a female through no fault of any one message. Ameera faced many unknowns which included risk and vulnerability, conquering single parenting, dance and fear of spotlights. She wanted to find freedom… Continue reading