Tag Archive | Honeymoon Trail

Irons in the Fire

Have you ever heard the expression too many irons in the fire? Meaning too many things going on at once… I’ve always been a person who likes to keep busy. Not just busy, but busy doing things that I love to be totally engaged in. The New Parish books are one of my irons in the fire and the other is Brigham Tea Magazine. Those two irons keep me very busy and very engaged. I know you haven’t seen the magazine yet, but you’re all going to love it, when I get it up and running. There are so many articles about the west – histories of people that I’m trying not to let fade away for good, places that don’t need to be forgotten, and the awesome grandeur and beauty of the real wild west that still exists.

So, I thought I’d share a few excerpts today from all my Irons in the Fire. Hope you enjoy…

New Parish:
“Sarah thought about the day she’d been complaining about the poor dating prospects and her dream of being a mom floating away from her, when Mary revealed to her that in the community she came from, the people did plural marriages. So, any girl could get a good man and not have to worry about missing out on being a mom. Mary’s descriptions of her home made it sound like a little piece of heaven, where people lived happy lives, and found their happily ever afters.

Sarah sighed, thinking of the small rural community Mary had described, “Maybe…””

Return to New Parish:

“Hearing a light tapping on her door she pulled herself up from the sofa and walked to the door.  “Hi,” Sarah said, entering the room, “I wanted to check in with you before I settled in for the night.”

            “I’m good,” Hannah smiled at her sister who looked very tired, “go settle.”

            “I will in a sec,” Sarah shrugged, “What did you think of things today?”

            “It was all good fun,” Hannah shrugged back, then thinking of the guys she had met asked, “So what do you know about Daniel and Steve?”

            “Um, not too much.” Sarah wrinkled her nose as if a bad smell had entered the room then asked, “Why?”

            “Well they are cute eligible guys,” Hannah proposed, thinking Sarah had been out of the game too long.

            Sarah laughed, “Oh, I see. Well all the guys here are eligible, but really those two guys are unproven. So I wouldn’t give them much thought.”

            Hannah was shocked at Sarah’s comments, “Ah, I guess I hadn’t thought of it that way.” She felt a little weird with the new perspective Sarah had just put forward. It was slowly sinking in, but she knew this was going to take some time.

            “You have that deer in the headlights look,” Sarah teased her.

            Hannah laughed, “I suppose I’m allowed,” she defended, “I really hadn’t thought about that whole eligibility thing. What do you mean unproven?” she asked completely not understanding what her sister had said.

            “They don’t even have one wife,” Sarah explained with her nose wrinkled again. “Max told me that he went on a work mission, then to college, then built a house and started a ranch and his electrical business before he got married. He said it gave him time to get his head on straight and mature some so he could appreciate having wives and all the opportunities of married life.”

            “Oh,” Hannah said, feeling like the deer in the headlights look had returned to her expression.

            Sarah smiled slyly at her and said, “Goodnight.”     

            “Goodnight,” Hannah chuckled as Sarah closed the door.”

Home to New Parish:

            ““So when’s your return flight?” Samantha asked entering Brenda’s bedroom and interrupting the moment of peaceful delight she was enjoying.

            “It’s the same as I told you before, Mom, January 3rd at eleven in the morning,” Brenda returned in a we’ve already discussed this tone, and giving Wren a little scoot to get him on his way.

            “Just checking,” Samantha said with raised eyebrows. “You know how I feel about you going out there.”

            “Mom, I’m going to spend Christmas with my sisters, at one of my sister’s home. We’re going to have a wonderful time, and it’ll be good for the kids,” Brenda returned, trying to sound logical and ignore her Mom’s innuendo.

            “As long as you and Beth come back with no plans of repeating what Sarah and Hannah did,” Samantha stated firmly.

            “I’m over thirty and have four kids, Mom. Believe me, no one wants me, here or there,” Brenda sighed defeatedly and resumed packing.

            “That’s not true,” Samantha stammered, looking awkwardly uncomfortable. “I’m sure you’ll find someone wonderful, here.”

            “Really, Mom?” Brenda paused and looked at her mom with a very doubtful expression.

            “Yes, really,” Samantha returned defensively.

            Brenda sighed, shook her head and once again resumed packing. Her cell phone rang cutting off her Mom’s inquiry.

            “Hello,” Brenda answered, waving her mom off.”

Passion in New Parish:

Only in the planning stages – it’s Beth’s journey to New Parish.

Brigham Tea Magazine:

Tea Time

When the first pioneers moved west and settled along the Arizona Strip, rations could get a bit scarce. Some reports say that the Mormons learned about Brigham Tea from friendly Indians and that it was previously called squaw tea. I don’t have any concrete evidence of how they found out about it, just that they did, and they drank it.

In our day, there are so many teas to choose from, that everyone can find something they like. I think it’s good that we have a wide variety of tea to choose from, and a wide variety of people to get to know, and wonderful places to explore. I’ve found that people gravitate toward what they like, whether it’s tea, or friends, or places. There are times when we want what’s familiar and comfortable and other times when we want to try something else, that’s new or different.

Heroes of the Past

Jacob Hamblin Part 1

In researching the people who lived out here in the wild west, back when it was very wild, I’ve found that there were many who were real life heroes, who lived lives like Daniel Boone and Davey Crockett – they were true to life characters that John Wayne would have played in his best old cowboy movies.

One of the real-life heroes that made his mark on the Arizona Strip was Jacob Hamblin. Most of the research I’m using in this series of articles is from the man himself, through James A. Little. Little spent time interviewing Jacob Hamblin and recorded what he said in text form. I find Jacob Hamblin fascinating…  He was born in Salem Ohio on April 6, 1819. When he was just a few months old his family moved to another county in Ohio, Geauga, and continued the family business, farming. When he was a young man, around 17 years old, his family moved again – this time to the Wisconsin Territory in Spring Prairie. He homesteaded eighty acres of his own land there, next to his father’s homestead of the same acreage.

Pipe Springs National Monument

A while back I visited an amazing place, not too far from where I live, called Pipe Springs National Monument. The discovery of Pipe Spring by the white man, happened when Jacob Hamblin and his group of explorers found it back in 1858. I could see why explorers in the desert would be drawn to this place. It was, and is literally an oasis in the middle of the desert.  It has tall trees and lots of green around. The reason for the green is the natural spring that’s been quenching the thirst of the land, Native Americans, pioneers, and many a weary traveler for as long as recorded or verbal history can tell. It’s truly like stepping back, into the past.

The first actual settlers to the area were James Witmore and his brother in law Robert McIntire, in the spring of 1863. They lived in a small dugout house near where the fort was later built. They raised cattle, until 1866 when the settlement was ended with an Indian raid that took their cattle and their lives.

A Day in the Life of a Sister Wife

The moss ladened trees of Savanah strolled through Sarah’s mind as she sat on her balcony overlooking the mesas just past the desert prairie. Her new home in Arizona was a stark contrast to her old one in Georgia. Her new life was hugely different as well. If anyone had told her a couple of years ago that she’d be married to a cowboy who’d already been married twice, she’d have told them they were nuts. Sarah chuckled to herself thinking, “Yes, Max has been married twice. But, the thing is – he’s never been divorced.” Thinking back to the day she met her sister wives, Sarah remembered that she’d liked them instantly. That like had grown into a deep love and respect very quickly,” she smiled. “The like had taken a while with Max.”

The mug of hot chocolate warmed her as she braced for impact. She knew tomorrow would be a supreme test of her “mom” skills. Both her sister wives, Myra and Del, were going to be busy and gone all day, Myra had a meeting with a local art gallery and Del was going to her pre-natal checkup and then on to do some much needed shopping. So, Sarah would have her own baby, Parley (six months old), the family toddler Annie (18 months old), and two four year olds, Mia and Rosie to take care of, along with breakfast, lunch, and dinner to prepare for the whole family, which consisted of about seventeen people, if no one brought friends home for lunch. Sarah had always liked the fact that everyone came home for lunch, it was something she looked forward to each day, her feelings about tomorrow’s lunch held a little more stress.

 

There are many more irons in the fire for me. I hope you’ll all enjoy the ones I’ve shared…

New Parish Available Now!

New Parish by Julie Worthington on Amazon.com –

https://www.amazon.com/New-Parish-Julie-Worthington/dp/1732224005/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1535156774&sr=8-1&keywords=new+parish+by+julie+worthington    

Also available at:

Barnesandnoble.com

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/new-parish-julie-worthington/1129421210?ean=9781732224001     

Bee’s Grocery (in Centennial Park)

Changing Hands Bookstores in Phoenix and Tempe AZ

Coming soon to many new bookstores!

New Parish – Coming Soon! Summer of 2018! Brigham Tea Magazine – Heroes of the Past

Have you ever wondered what your life would be like if you chose to do something completely different? Sarah did…

In New Parish she finds a life that’s so different than she’d ever imagined she’d have.

Excerpt from New Parish:

“The cool air and busy sidewalks were almost enough to distract her mind from the pervading thoughts of how much this plural marriage thing could go wrong. She wanted to believe that things could be as wonderful as Mary said they were, but she knew how people could be, especially men… her thoughts went to, “Maybe I should just drop the whole thing,” then the idea of dating again entered her thoughts which almost made her nauseous. Then the thought of giving up on her dream of having kids and a family came to her mind. A tear rolled down her face, which she quickly brushed away, that thought was the saddest one she’d ever had…

            Sarah looked up at the sky and saw a plane flying west, she knew she would be on one soon… flying west. She breathed out a sigh and with a new resolve walked back to her apartment.”

Brigham Tea Magazine:

The next section of Brigham Tea Magazine I want to share with you is Heroes of the Past… enjoy the slideshow.

Brigham Tea Magazine – Tea Time

For the next few weeks a section of Brigham Tea Magazine will be spotlighted… We’re starting with Tea Time.

Plans and Goals for Next Year…

I’m not skipping holidays I promise, (I love Thanksgiving, and especially Christmas!), I’m just getting a head start on a couple of New Year’s resolutions. I’m the kind of person who likes to plan things way ahead of time, I’m okay with serendipity when it happens, but I’ve never trusted it. I’ve been working on a few plans for next year, for a while now… so, I thought I’d share some of them with you.

New Parish will be published next year!!! Probably mid-summer, I’ll let you know as things progress. I’m so excited!!! Getting to share New Parish with everyone is a wonderful dream come true. There are still so many details to work through, but it’s finally happening, and I’m enjoying the journey.

Something else that I’m planning for next year is a new magazine! It’ll launch the first quarter of next year… details coming soon! The name of the magazine is Brigham Tea Magazine, it’s been in the planning stages for a while, and has become an almost all-consuming project. I’m not obsessed, really… Brigham Tea Magazine is a fresh new look at the West. Its readers will find unknown gems of the past and previously hidden treasures. Brigham Tea Magazine is for everyone who lives in, or loves the West – its culture, history, places, legends, and the western spirit

Horse Apples…

We’ve all had to navigate the challenges of life. Sometimes that navigation can get a little complicated, or interesting, or even dicey. Most of us have a starting point that determines where we are and an ending point of where we want to go, life’s challenges are the things that get in the way of us making progress from where we start and where we want to go. I often ponder these things as I go out into nature. I like to go on long walks, this activity helps me with finding solutions to the challenges that get in the way of my end goals.

One morning while out for one of those walks, I happened upon a trail of what’s known out here as horse apples. That’s cowboy lingo for what a horse drops behind them, just in case anyone didn’t know. As this was a particularly long trail of horse apples I had to work out how to maneuver around them without having any of the stuff joining me on my way. After I had a good laugh and got through the obstacle the horse apples presented, I started pondering that situation. Some of the challenges we face in life can be just like those horse apples, a long trail of stuff you have to get around and not have it come along with you afterwards.

I guess our biggest problem is the surprise horse apples, you know those that you don’t see in time… In New Parish there’s a time when Sarah finds herself in that sort of trouble.

Excerpt from New Parish:

““Sarah and I came to visit with you,” Brother Michael greeted the cowboy.

            “Welcome, welcome,” Max smiled and walked over to shake hands with Brother Michael. Then turned toward Sarah and smiled, “I’m glad you’re here.”

            Sarah nodded and looked away, his presence created an inner turmoil she didn’t like. She awkwardly, for some reason didn’t know what to do with her hands, she tried folding her arms then placing her hands on her hips then decided to just put them in her pockets.

            “Myra said you have a mare close to time,” Brother Michael said obviously trying to smooth the situation.

            “Yeah, she’s over here. Want to see?” Max pointed toward the stall he’d emerged from. “She’s about a week out.”

            “Yes,” Brother Michael replied motioning for Sarah to go ahead of him.

            Sarah gathered herself together as best she could and began walking toward the stall which looked like it would be too close of quarters for her and the cowboy. With her focus on the stall she didn’t see what was on the barn floor just ahead of her. The second step she took, her foot stepped into something soft and slimy. Her foot slid forward and upward the rest of her went backward and downward… hard. As she lay there on the floor of the barn with the aroma of what she’d stepped in wafted strongly around her she thought, “It just figures!”

          

 

Small Town Life

The stark contrasts that exist between living in a big city and living in a small town have been written about throughout the ages. Sarah, the main character in my book, New Parish, grew up in Savannah a somewhat small town, then moved to Atlanta, a very big city, after college, then moved out to New Parish a very, very, small town in the western desert.

Living in New Parish is great, there’s a wonderful family environment, everyone waves at you when you’re out and about, and the scenery is fabulous. Sometimes for me the lines grey a bit, between the New Parish I write about and the “New Parish” I live in. It’s easily done, because I write about the things I love from real life, the people, the scenery, and the loveliness of life in a small town. I asked a young person here, what are his favorite things about living here. He had a long list, but one of his favorite things was that it was a small town, and far away from the city. It’s one of my favorites too…   

Sarah’s New Parish and mine have many similarities and I can’t wait to share them with everyone… when my book New Parish is published.

An excerpt from New Parish:
“As they emerged from the park, Sarah saw something that made her blush with excitement and a weird frustrated awkwardness that she didn’t know quite how to deal with. She didn’t want to see him, not him…

            “Howdy,” Max drawled, “How’re you?” he asked as his beautiful blue eyes pierced into the depths of her soul.

            Sarah found herself without the capacity to speak, it was like when she’d seen him the first time… then the rush of memory of what had happened that time came to her mind. She felt sick…

            Mary came to her rescue, “Hi, Max. We’re all doing good. These are Sarah’s parents, David and Samantha Nichols.”

            “Howdy,” Max smiled at them and tipped his somewhat dingy cowboy hat.

            “That’s a beautiful animal!” exclaimed David admiringly.

            “Thank you,” replied Max, “I raised him from a foal.”

            “How wonderful! Was it difficult to train him?” David asked, curiosity showing in his face.

            “No, not really,” Max answered, “he was pretty clever from the start.”

            “What are some of the things you’ve trained him to do?” David asked, reaching up to touch the horse’s nose.

            “Aw, well,” Max scratched his chin where a few days of whisker growth was shadowing his ruggedly handsome face. “He can cut and rope and ground tie, he’s not too fancy really, but I like him alright.”

            Max ended with a big smile which totally threw Sarah’s exertions to control her emotions into a whirlwind of things she didn’t want to deal with. She wished her dad would stop asking the cowboy questions and this random visit would end… she was having to rein in her thoughts continually but things like, “he’s so awesomely handsome,” and “those eyes” kept breaking through the barriers she was trying very hard to build.”

Families Are All Unique

There are many different types of families. The “traditional” family with a dad and mom raising a kid or two, the large family with a dad and mom and four or more kids, single moms with a few kids, or single dads with a few kids. There’s also grandparents raising grandchildren, two dads raising children, or two moms raising children, even a dad and several moms raising children. There are probably many more types of families than I’ve mentioned here, my point is that, all families are different. There’s nothing wrong with being different, America was founded on principles of being different, in many ways. Freedom to choose who we live our lives with is, (should be), an American right.

In New Parish Sarah finds very large families, these families are full of love, kindness, and caring. She sees women being happy, fulfilled, safe, and secure. She sees happy children who are nurtured, well taken care of, and bright with life. The dads might be a bit busy and tired on occasion but they seem very happy to her too.

Sarah makes lots of new friends and falls in love with the absolute beauty of the area. She thinks it could be perfect, except for that darn cowboy….

Excerpt from New Parish:

“Sarah coughed to cover an escaped giggle, her mom’s expression was completely humorous. First she looked taken aback, then she looked like she might have understood what Mary had said, then she simply looked confused.

            As they emerged from the park, Sarah saw something that made her blush with excitement and a weird frustrated awkwardness that she didn’t know quite how to deal with. She didn’t want to see him, not him…

            “Howdy,” Max drawled, “How’re you?” he asked as his beautiful blue eyes pierced into the depths of her soul.

            Sarah found herself without the capacity to speak, it was like when she’d seen him the first time… then the rush of memory of what had happened that time came to her mind. She felt sick…

            Mary came to her rescue, “Hi, Max. We’re all doing good. These are Sarah’s parents, David and Samantha Nichols.”

            “Howdy,” Max smiled at them and tipped his somewhat dingy cowboy hat.”

I can’t wait to share the whole book with everyone!

Writing, Research, and Louis L’Amour

I’ve been revisiting the Sacketts stories, written by Louis L’Amour. I admire his writing style and think we have a lot in common in that area. He did in depth research and experienced as much of what he was writing about as possible. He wrote from a place that was real in a fictional way. He brought his stories and characters alive with his knowledge of what things were like and how people would react in certain situations. He wrote realistic fiction, that had loads of realisms woven into the tapestry of the story. This isn’t a book review of Louis L’Amour’s work, its simply my admiration of his skill and ability to do what I strive to do with my writing.

There are so many stories to tell, and so much rich history to draw from on the Utah Arizona strip. They have a wide range of culture, myth, and legend that needs exploring in it’s whole. Not just the bits and pieces others have written about without any experience in the area. As Loius L’Amour wrote the Sackett story he went back to when the first Sackett came over to America and then followed them through several generations, that’s what I want to eventually do with New Parish. There’s so many stories to tell, stories of bravery, courage, challenge, and downright hardship that it’ll take some time to tell them, but I’m on a great adventure to get the job done.

Excerpt from New Parish:

“Sarah decided to get an email out to Hannah, before things got too far out of control for her. Writing to Hannah sometimes helped her calm down and see things in a clearer perspective.

Hi Hann

So, I went out to New Parish and had a really good visit, I asked so many questions you wouldn’t believe! They were very open and honest with me about everything. I met a lot of people who were very nice. I got to know Brother Michael’s wives a bit and they’re great. I tried to sort out which kid belonged to which mom and I’m still not sure on most of them…

I met a guy that was so incredibly handsome I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw him. Too bad he’s one of those macho jerks we both avoid like the plague. He’s a full on cowboy, yeah I know you’d like his horse. LOL

It’s weird now to be back in Atlanta, I feel sort of out of sync like here or there, one, is surreal. I have to decide what I’m going to do, I can’t focus on work or anything really, so I have to figure this out soon. I’m going to check with mom and see if the condo is available soonish…

How’s school? How’s work? Any cute guys?

Love ya

Sarah”

 

Prickly Pear

Prickly Pear Cactus, or formally called Opuntia, is abundant out here. It’s one of the many things that have more than just an aesthetic value. I love the beautiful roses that sit on top of them during the spring time, but I’ve learned that they are used for many purposes other than the simple admiration of the flowers on their tops. They’ve been used to make wine, jelly, and even candy. I’ve heard that the wine is very nice with a hint of grapefruit flavor, and the jelly has an orange blossom, honey flavor. I haven’t tried these delicacies for myself yet, but maybe someday. The prickly pear cactus is a very fitting plant for this area, the beauty of the prairies and mesas can be admired but there are many beautiful places here that have been changed from desert prairie to lovely communities filled with homes and families.

I live in one such community, and write about a fictional community, that has gone through that metamorphosis. A thousand acres of desert prairie was taken, and with much encouragement, changed into a lovely community that has become home to a couple thousand people. The desert prairie that was filled with sage brush, sand, and prickly pear cacti, and lots of other desert flora and fauna is now a well kept neighborhood with paved streets, sidewalks, schools, and even a small grocery store. In my books, New Parish is the community that mirrors this place, this history, and this culture. It’s my goal to infuse my characters with as much life and flavor of this real place as possible.

Excerpt from New Parish:

“She looked out the window and saw breathtaking mountains and mesas covering the countryside. The deep earthy colors of the mountains were so amazing Sarah couldn’t believe her eyes.

            “Wow,” she whispered.

            Mary looked back at her then to see what she was looking at and said wistfully, “Yeah, I’ve always loved them, they make me feel safe.”

            Upon entering New Parish Sarah saw very large houses with well kept yards, some had walls made of large earth colored bricks or white picket fences around them, some were bordered by just the sidewalks that ran along every street. Brother Michael pointed out the schools, there were three, one for each division of education, elementary, middle, and high school. The buildings looked new and well cared for. The playground and grounds of the schools were very well kept, “they all looked immaculate” Sarah thought as they drove by. Next Brother Michael pointed out the community park, it looked like an elaborate English garden with at this time of year barren trees, bushes, and flower gardens all around, it had park benches and picnic areas ever so often and there was a place in the center with swings, slides, and one of those large playground merry go rounds. Sarah’s thoughts turned to wishing she could take her own kids to play and picnic in a beautiful place like that, she quickly shoved the thought away, “focus!” she told herself.”