Love a Good Story

Love a Good Story. Don’t you just Love a Good Story? Here’s another Good Story.

The Attractiveness of Wisdom is out!! You can get it on Amazon, my publisher, Black Rose Writing, and I have some. See the cover below. I love the cover and I hope you, too, will love it.

            Have you ever experienced a loss? Maybe you moved to another state or country and lost a few friends, your daily routine, and often your favorite food brands or the food. Maybe you experienced loss through a divorce or death. In that case, what did you lose? Did you lose yourself? HolliAnne, Hamilton’s wife, said she was tired of Hamilton controlling every aspect of her life. She divorced him. Hamilton knew he had to do something about himself, but how would he start? For Hamilton, this meant he would have to give up some of himself and create someone new. Then he met Franny. Franny’s mother was a renown ballerina. She owned the dance studio Franny was now operating. Franny tried hard to carry on without her mother. Hamilton saw the extreme fear of living without the controlling person. He saw how Franny struggled with decisions as she tried to carry on. He saw how hard it was for her to do anything without her mother present to control her life- tell her what to do, what to think, and how to handle her life. Through Franny, he saw how he controlled HolliAnne. Hamilton faced the fact that he not only controlled his now ex-wife, but he also controlled his employees, and his three children; the three people he loved more than anything else in the world.

            Read The Attractiveness of Wisdom and see how Hamilton changes himself and meets the woman whose love enables him to relinquish his need to control so that he will see how beautiful life truly is.

See!! Don’t you love the cover??

I Love a Good Story

I Love a Good Story. Don’t you just Love a Good Story? Here is another Good Story.

I Love a Good Story. Don’t you just Love a Good Story? Well, here is another really Good Story.

Hello Everyone, I’m Anna. Hello, I’m Eric; and I’m Jeremy. We are Hamilton Maddox’s sons and daughter in Judy Kelly’s novel, The Attractiveness of Wisdom.

And speaking of The Attractiveness of Wisdom, I am so excited to tell you that in about two days, the novel will launch.

Anna is correct. That is exciting news. The Attractiveness of Wisdom will be available for you to purchase and read. Eric, I can’t wait.

Neither can I. I wish you could see Anna doing her “happy dance.” What about you Jeremy?

Eric, I can’t wait either. Here’s my “happy dance.” As you know, I dance in the novel. Well, just a little. Mostly I help dad; but I still dance. Eric, is that your “happy dance?”

Yes. Wow! I’m out of breath.

Okay, guys. We want you to know how proud we are of our father. Dad used to be, well, how would you describe him, Eric?

Dad used to like to have things go his way. How would you describe him, Jeremy?

Eric, you’re correct. Dad was controlling. But not so much with Anna.

 Yes, to state it directly. Dad was controlling. He liked to have things go his way. But dad controlled out of his love for us. He has always wanted the best for us and he encouraged us, challenged us, and made us reach farther and higher.

Along with that, he taught us so much. He taught us how to do what’s right, think for ourselves, and remember not to be selfish. Since I still live at home, he is still teaching me.

Jeremy, you may be teaching him more than he’s teaching you.

In The Attractiveness of Wisdom, dad decides to change. There are several instances where he uses us to recognize the fact that he shouldn’t repeat a behavior.

Really Eric? A psychological bent, here? Eric is a psychology major, everybody.

Dad uses experiences he had with Anna and mom to help him see his need to change.

It’s a story where my father encounters something in the present that makes him think back on a similar incident he had in the past and then decides to change the present behavior. The goal for him is NOT to repeat the past. Repeating the past is something that many of us always do, even though we know we need to change our behavior. The old behavior becomes a habit. For example, if we want to stop smoking or stop overeating, we have to change our behavior toward cigarettes and food. Dad did that. Don’t get us wrong; we love our dad. He’s always taken good care of us. But the change in him is good. He is more relaxed; much less worried about everything now, than he was.

We hope you will appreciate dad’s story and what he went through. He did it for us, his children, and mom, and he did it mostly for himself; to make himself a better person. He has always been an understanding, loving and thoughtful father, but the change has made him a much better person. We know you will not only enjoy the book, but appreciate the many themes and topics in the novel as well. Maybe you want to make a change in your life. You can make that change by doing what my dad did.

Please let us know what you think. Judy said that this novel is a bit different, and she wasn’t so sure the audience would understand her purpose. Judy is a devout Christian, and The Attractiveness of Wisdom is Christian based. However, you will see that these values apply to everyone. Anna, Jeremy, and I think you will understand her purpose in writing this wonderful and fulfilling story. It is quite clear to us. Email us and let us know how you received the novel. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Eric, Anna and Jeremy Maddox

LOVE A GOOD STORY

I

I Love a Good Story.  Don’t you just Love a Good Story? Here is another Good Story.

I am George Maddox, Hamilton’s father in Judy’s novel The Attractiveness of Wisdom. I can’t wait for it to be published. I’m eager to read it.

But while we’re waiting, I thought it would be nice to learn something about the town of Stevensville. For example, how did the town get its name? I have to admit that I didn’t give it much thought in the past, but now I’m a bit curious.

I did some research. But there’s not much research. Stevensville is part of Kent Island in Talbot County, Maryland. Kent Island was formed into a county in 1642. The Island is named after the Kent family. Robert Kent 1647 – 1683; Robert Kent (Jr.) 1674 – 1701, and Eleanor Kent.

Francis Stevens (or Frances Stephen, there were at least two spellings of his name) was born about 1697. He was a carpenter and had five children. It seems that Francis bought the land now known as Stevensville. He gave to his eldest son, John, and his heirs the dwelling planation and land, 255 acres including “Steven’s Adventure.” I couldn’t find out what that was. To his second son he gave 150 acres, “Little Ease,” adjoining a larger tract, also “Little Ease” on Coxes Creek. I couldn’t find what “Little Ease” was either. To his young son Francis and heirs, 225 acres, part of “Ten Stoornwells” near the head of Wye River. Francis was to live with Benjamin Weeks during his minority. He gave his daughters Mary and Sarah jointly and their heirs 200 acres, part of “Comon Garden” at the head of Farly Creek in Cecil county. The eldest daughter Mary was to live with John Wells and the youngest daughter Sarah was to live with Edward Brown. (All of this information is taken from the records.) The town is named after Francis Stevens who bought the land, and from the records, paid heavily (for the time period) for the land. The area was called Stevensville because the Stevens family owned it and lived on the land.

I wish this could have been more exciting, but sometimes some things are just what they are. Nonetheless, I have always lived in Stevensville from early childhood to high school. I went away to the university, but returned after I graduated. I met Mary at the university and brought her back to Stevensville after I asked her to be my wife. Mary and I brought up our two sons, Taylor, and Hamilton, in Stevensville. The boys are grown and live with their own families, in Rockville, Maryland. Mary and I still live in Stevensville. Even though I had a rough upbringing, my life with my family was a joy. It just goes to show you. Your life is what you make it.

The Attractiveness of Wisdom will be out in about five months. I hope you get a chance to read it and get to know the Maddox family. I think you will love what you read and plead for more. After you have read it, I would like to hear from you. Feel free to contact me and let me know what you think.

I heard from the grapevine that there is another novel after The Attractiveness of Wisdom.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079v33BJQ

Love A Good Story

Love A Good Story. I just Love a Good Story.
Don’t you just Love a Good Story? Here is another Good Story.

 

The other day I had a conversation with my father, Hamilton Maddox, the main character in Judy Kelly’s novel, The Attractiveness of Wisdom. He suggested I send out the next blog and express my views from our conversation. My father encourages me and my brothers to say what we think, and say it respectfully, but also show how deeply we care about what we think. My father is now a vice president of his university, and he has always believed that one should speak his thoughts, but one’s opinions should be based in fact.

As you recall in a previous blog, I am in my first year of college in New York. This year has been difficult for me and many other university students. Not only have I missed my father, Hamilton, and my brothers, Eric, and Jeremy, I have also not been able to attend college in the traditional way. Learning via the computer has caused many hardships for both students and teachers, but making teachers return to work in the middle of a pandemic is unconscionable. It is not only unjust or immoral, it also deepens and widens the chasm between parents and teachers.

During my first college year, the pandemic pushed its way into our lives causing havoc, chaos, pain and resulting in death for some. My student life had begun, and I looked forward to going to the library to do research, staying up late completing homework, making new friends, and getting to know my teachers and friends. But then we had to go home and complete our coursework on Zoom on our computers. I had always looked forward to college life. My father first was a professor of journalism at a university. He rose to the dean, and now he is a vice president. I loved the stories he told us about his students, their hardship, the trouble they got in and he had to bail them out, and the articles they wrote for the newspaper, school magazine and community magazines. He made college life seem so glamorous to me, and I couldn’t wait to be a student at a well-known university.

The glamorous life of a college student is not the same on Zoom. Students, high school and college, use Zoom at home. They are at home sitting behind a computer answering questions, doing math, history or writing paragraphs and papers. There is no interaction with other students, and not much with the teacher. I think back to my high school years and what it would have been like in high school if I had to continue my education on Zoom. High school is a time for us to get to know who we are and what we want for ourselves. We validate who we are in high school. We test things and determine our limits, we discover our need to be part of a community, to have a social life, and we begin to see what beliefs and values we hold for ourselves. High school is not only a time for academics, but it is a time in our lives where we make the greatest growth in ourselves as we see who we are against our friends and family. High school is an extremely valuable step in our lives. The past year, many have had to skip that step due to the virus.

Even though I loved the college life I had so far, and I see the great need for high school students to be with each other, I would not want to make my professors risk their lives by going back to work in the middle of all this. It is too much to ask a person to take such a risk. Teachers and professors are not front-line workers. The profession of teaching is not one where teachers risk their lives. They are not doctors, nurses, EMTs, police officers, or firefighters who are trained to protect themselves against contagious diseases and viruses and know what precautions to take. They are teachers. They have earned degrees in English, Science, History, Social Studies, Math, and other subjects. Teachers work with students in close proximity, their minds on getting across the concept, helping students to understand, and teaching them how to maintain skills.

Many teachers have families. This risk would also put their families in jeopardy. How can we ask them to do that? How can we demand that teachers not only put themselves in jeopardy, but also put their families in jeopardy? Many teachers also have small children. What happens if a teacher is ordered to return and her child’s school does not make that order? How will those teachers take care of their families? Their situation is more complicated if they are single parents. Making a demand that teachers return to work without consideration of their families or abilities to return under these circumstances is purely unjust.

I think about what would have happened to my family if my father had to put himself and all of us at risk. You will recall from a previous blog post, that my mother was sick, and my father had to take care of us most of the time. I ask myself what would have happened to my brothers and me if my dad had been ordered to return to work amid a horribly contagious virus. We would have been worried about him, about my mother, and we would have been worried about what would happen to us. We would have worried about who would take care of us. Would we still be able to attend college? Where would we live? Would we have had to stay with our grandparents in Stevensville? My father believed that a family must do what it must do to stay together. Would we have had to split up?

If that had happened to us, I would want someone to be responsible for the consequences. Who would that have been? Would it have been the parents who put pressure on the school systems to open the schools? Would parents hold themselves responsible for negative consequences should teachers contract the virus and don’t make it? Would they hold themselves responsible if a teacher was fired because she couldn’t find someone to take care of her children while she was under a demand to take care of other people’s children? Why wouldn’t they, when they were the ones who made the demand? My father said that there was a division between parents and teachers. Parents want their children  taught one way, usually against learning theory, and teachers want to teach another way, according to the way children learn. Insisting that teachers return under adverse circumstances would not bring the groups together.

A suitable solution would be to poll the teachers to see which ones can return and which ones will encounter hardships. The school system will need to arrange classes based on those who are able and want to return and those who can’t. Those who can’t, shouldn’t be fired. Parents, including those who are also teachers, must see to their children. Many parents are not working during the pandemic, and those who are not, must help their children. This is a time when we all must come together to agree and do what is needed. But forcing people to do a job under such adverse circumstances, regardless of the reason, is not the right thing to do.

Last night, on the news, there was a story about a mother who tried to keep her job and help her son who is in the 4th grade. Her work hours were cut, and it allowed her to spend time helping her son with his schoolwork. She and her son moved in with her father so she could help him. You have to have a lot of admiration for someone who steps up to the plate.
I thank you for indulging me. I know I’m young, only beginning my life, and don’t understand a lot of things. I know I have much to learn. It is not my intent to harm anyone, or insult anyone, but I do want to share my feelings. If you would like to respond to my comments, I would love to hear what you think.                                                                     

   www.blackrosewriting.com/book/judy-kelly/literaryfiction

Love a Good Story

Love a Good Story – Happy New Year

I Love a Good Story. Don’t you just Love a Good Story? Here’s another Good Story.

I wish you all a Very Happy New Year!!!

The thing about wishing a happy new year is that the new year itself is not responsible for happiness. One Christmas song begins with, “Have yourself a merry little Christmas.” This means we can do it ourselves. Our Christmas will be merry if we make it that way. The year, old or new, is “time.” What happens during that time, the new year, is how we choose to act or respond during the year; how we make the year. Just like we can have ourselves a merry little Christmas, we can also have ourselves a happy new year. Last year, and in fact the last four years, many said were filled with hatred, anger, violence, anxiety and fear. We certainly had much of that. But the past year was also filled with so much love and joy as many people cared for one another. The care and love that we saw, and many experienced, outweighed the ugliness we saw and experienced.

We can choose to focus on the good, the love and compassion, or we can choose to focus on the ugly or mean spirited. Just like we can accept for ourselves a blessing or a curse. During 2021 and for years to come, make the year what you want it to be. Make for yourself a Happy New Year. Fill your year with love, happiness, calmness and bravery.

https://www.Amazon.com/blessings-curses-judy-kelly/dp/1612969895/ref=_1_1?ie=utt8&qid=1518099

Love a Good Story

I Love a Good Story. Don’t you just Love a Good Story? Here’s another Good Story.

As we look forward to change in the next four years, read about Olivia Douglass in Blessings and Curses, an uplifting, inspiring story about a woman who came out of the darkness into the light.

https://www.Amazon.com/Blessings-Curses-Judy-Kelly/dp/1612969895/ref=sr_1_1?ie=utt8&qid=1518099

Love a Good Story

Love a Good Story. Don’t you just Love a Good Story? I Love a Good Story. Here’s another good story.

        I’m George Maddox, Hamilton’s father. Hamilton is the main character in Judy’s newest novel, The Attractiveness of Wisdom, coming out soon. I asked to come back because I wanted to talk a little about the fires in California, specifically the destruction of the vineyards in California.     I know many people don’t sanction the drinking of wine; some have even said it’s the devil’s work. However, wine has sacred beginnings for many of us. It was very important during Biblical times and was consumed during important events. Jesus drank wine. During the last supper, an extremely important event, Jesus asked us to remember Him in the form of bread, representing His body and in the form of wine, representing His blood. The making of wine has been and still is a prodigious contribution to our American life.

As a wine maker, I can tell you with certainty that wine is not the problem. In fact, it’s beneficial because red wine has a high level of antioxidants, has positive links with cardiovascular diseases and several other diseases, and helps with circulation of the blood. White wine promotes digestion and relaxation and protection of lung tissue. Wine is made from grapes, the main ingredient and a large portion of wine. Wine is not made for people to over consume. Wine should be consumed in small portions and most often used on special occasions to accompany a dinner or a special lunch; it is used to sip on during a reception or gatherings, during a congratulatory event such as a raise, new job, birthday, or a move to a new place. It is the “extra” during dinner or lunch or on any special occasion. It is not meant to be gulped daily and in large quantities.

            I want to mention the hard work and diligence that wine makers put into the making of wine. For winemakers, wine making is a business. Like all businesses, it feeds the family, enables a family to live comfortably, provides for family health needs and enables the children to attend a university. This is the same with everyone, I’m sure. Unlike a steady office job where we know that for as long as we show up and fulfill the supervisor’s expectations, we can expect a payday that comes at the same time monthly, winemakers don’t have the expectation of a regular payday and even though a worker may show up, if the weather is troublesome, the employee may not be needed that day.

Wine making demands sun, and lots of it. The workers must endure a hot sun daily. Think what a hot sun, regularly, will do to a person. But people must work. They must provide for their families. My workers could go into a shaded area I provided when they needed, and they drank gallons of water and other beverages good for hydration and electrolytes. They also wanted to work in the vineyard. To me, these are special people who love others enough to endure the heat in order to contribute to their community. My workers were also good-hearted people and I’m sure the wine makers in California were also good-hearted people.

            I can barely watch the destruction of the vineyards in California. It’s gotten so bad for me that Mary makes me cut the TV off or leave the room when the news programs show pictures of the devastation. I worked my entire life in a vineyard growing wine. I began as soon as I graduated from college. That was all I ever did. My heart can’t stand it to know that the future of these wine growers, is obliterated. All the hard work put into what they did up to the fires is wiped away. Many didn’t get a chance to sell or ship off the wine they had ready before the fires destroyed everything. How will these families eat? Where will they live now? Is there any chance that their children can have a college education? Mary, my loving wife, and I pray for these people and give thanks to what was given to us. If this had happened to me, Mary, Hamilton, Taylor and I would have had to live on the streets somewhere. And in Stevensville that would have been a real challenge. I beg you to speak to your senators and representatives and let them know that they must do something to prevent these fires from happening. Every year this happens!! There must be something wrong with us if we don’t see this coming by now! (Mary asked me to remove the last two sentences, but I’m upset with this and I want the readers to know that.) We must be prepared. We must help them. We must pray.

            The wine makers are not the only ones who lose their homes every year in these fires. Many other people have also lost everything. We’ve never had to, but I can imagine how difficult it must be to have to start over again. I remember how hard it was for me to get started. That’s something I’ll never forget. The disappointment one feels when things don’t go as planned, the loss of money already invested, the lack of help, and the look that some give as they turn away, can make a person feel out of his/her element and give up. In my lifetime, life was just hard. It was difficult to do anything. Looking at what we have now, many people, especially young people, don’t understand how difficult life was sixty, sixty-five years ago. But these are modern times now, and life is easier. So put yourself in the place of a winemaker, or some hard working citizen who has to suffer the destruction of their home – the place where memories were stored, where pictures around the walls and on table tops told the stories of children playing baseball, on a hockey team, playing the trumpet in a band, leading cheers, where the dining room table and mixed-matched chairs once belonged to grandparents, where a flowered vase represented a birthday gift, where a son or daughter broke the leg on the couch and tried to fix it back so no one could tell, where children’s toys and homemade clay figures filled mantels and tables, where a scrapbook held a marriage certificate, graduation diplomas, and degrees, where happiness and some sad times abounded, and where mom and dad and sons and daughters grew together as a family and individually. Where would you start to rebuild your history? Why would you want to? What good would it do? How would you go about rebuilding? What would you include? After you answer these questions, then think about all these people who are displaced. What are they doing? Where are they now?

I want to thank Judy Kelly for allowing me time to talk to you about this. I hope you will get her book when it comes out, The Attractiveness of Wisdom. Thank you for listening. And if you haven’t already read Blessings and Curses, I think you should. AllAuthor did something really nice for Blessings and Curses. See it below. Isn’t that nice? I like that.

http://www.amazon.com

Love a Good Story

I Love a Good Story. Don’t you just Love a Good Story?

Here is another Good Story.

Hello. I’m Anna Maddox, Hamilton’s daughter. Hamilton Maddox is the main character in Judy Kelly’s new novel, The Attractiveness of Wisdom. It will be out in a few months. Please get it and read about me.

My father grew up in Stevensville, Maryland. I love that place and am always so anxious to visit my grandparents who still live there. As you know from reading The Attractiveness of Wisdom, I love history and Stevensville has many antique shops that include so many items from the past. Sometimes, when I visited an antique shop, I would pick up an item and imagine myself there. I often wondered what it was like living during earlier times, especially being a woman. My dad told me I wouldn’t like it because I like to think for myself and come up with my own solutions. In earlier times, many women were “directed” by their husbands.

I guess I am lucky. My father showed me how to be strong and think for myself. He decided I would have my own thoughts and make my own decisions, if he could help it. So, he guided me, showed me how to be goal oriented, protected me and showed me that some choices would lead me away from my goals. My mother was ill when I was growing up and wasn’t able to talk to me about makeup and show me how to put it on; or talk to me about clothes and what to wear. After watching some of the girls in my classes in middle school and even high school, I thought being a woman meant making yourself attractive for boys and later men. My father didn’t do that with me, instead, he showed me how to read, evaluate, and think.

I didn’t really know I was different until I reached high school. That’s when I saw the other girls knew how to flirt with the boys and I didn’t. Other girls had dates and I didn’t. I didn’t realize it, but I became angry with my mother for being sick and with my father for reasons I didn’t know or understand then. One evening, when I yelled at my father, I asked him if he thought I was pretty. I had begun to think that the reason he didn’t show me how to use make up was because he didn’t think I was pretty enough, and the mascara, or eyeliner, or lipstick wouldn’t enhance my looks in any way. I don’t think I will ever forget that day. He took me by the arm, and we went into the bathroom. He faced me toward the mirror and asked me what I saw. Before I answered he said, “I see the most beautiful young lady I have ever seen with beautiful blue eyes the color of the sky that say when she’s happy or sad or when things are funny to her. I see a young lady whose smile is so deep and warm and filled with love. I see a young lady whose personality always draws people to her and makes people feel loved and comfortable and safe in her care. That’s what I see every time I look at you.” My father’s comments brought tears to my eyes and he pulled me into his strong arms, and I knew my father told me his truth. After that, I tried not to argue with him anymore.

It has occurred to me that fathers love their daughters and see it as their job to teach their daughters what to do. When will it be that women won’t need to have their fathers tell them that they are okay because society will be so that it will be “okay” for everyone? But for now, fathers must teach their daughters certain things so they can make their way in a man’s world. Sometimes that training can be difficult, but for me, I feel good that my father thought I would be someone to do something important in this world, and because he valued me so much, he readied me for the opportunities and challenges that would lead me there. This is the man who is the main character in Judy’s story, The Attractiveness of Wisdom.

Be sure to look at the pictures of the antique shops in Stevensville (below). Do you see the saddle, also in the picture above?  Can you believe that? And what about the bike? Judy has been a long-distance bicyclist for many years, and a lover of plants and flowers. I’ll bet you she would love to have that bike where she could grow some of her plants. Sadly, many of the shops had to close due to covid-19. But you can get your copy of The Attractiveness of Wisdom when the novel comes out. Please do. I would love to hear from you.