Poppies for Remembrance

Yes, it’s July, not Memorial Day when we see poppies worn by the American Legion. But our neighbor’s beautiful poppy patch is abloom, and enjoying it led me to explore the significance we attach to this flower.

Canadian physician Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae wrote the World War I poem In Flanders Fields about red poppies blooming in the WWI battlefields of Flanders, France. Inspired by McCrae’s poem, Ms. Moina Michael published We Shall Keep the Faith and vowed to always wear a red poppy in remembrance.

This one patriotic woman’s persistent efforts led the American Legion to adopt the red poppy as the national symbol of sacrifice honoring war casualties. The United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand also adopted the poppy.

Read more about Ms. Michael here: https://www.alaforveterans.org/features/moina-michael/

It’s good to look into the origins of our traditions and consider their full meaning. Even when tearing down becomes popular, we can choose to employ history to build up.

In the World War II novels I write, this is always my goal.

The Power of Perspective

I’ve written about perspective before and probably will again, because this quality can make all the difference. Sometimes when you feel you’ve hit the bottom, you possess quite a unique vantage point. Observe:

My husband took this photo in Arizona this winter…don’t ask me how!

But what a perspective, eh? You’ve seen many of his birdie photos, but I simply have to share one more today–can’t ignore this perfect example of FOCUS

What a great example of the phrase, “Keep your eyes peeled.” Observant…undistracted…watching, waiting. LOOKING INTENTLY, INTENTIONALLY–that’s what FOCUS means.

Now for this one: The tree’s closeness only heightens our interest in a distant object–the moon is what matters, but the tree frames it in a new way. (For a guy who never has taken a photography class, Lance is GOOD!)   (:

His next one reveals the intriguing quality of the color grey.

 

You see the deer, of course. But at the same time, interesting tree bark, rocks, and surrounding earth blend shadow and substance in a pleasing way. At least I think so.

Ahh…what does this have to do with my writing? Well, perspective and focus play a huge role in All for the Cause, my next release. And the color grey?

In the chaos of battle in the Philippines, Private Stan Ford can only hope for a neutral shade in the midst of rich jungle foliage. So much green, it hurts his eyes…so much suffering, too. After he escapes capture by the Japanese during the American surrender in 1942, Stan and his buddies come across GIs being taken to a POW camp in the mountains.

What they see infuriates them. Sickens them. Strikes terror into their souls–brutality, cruelty, complete disregard for international law.

As a result, one desire enters Stan and will drive him to any length. He must do his part to rescue those men–they have become his family. But accomplishing this objective will take time…much more time than Stan wishes. Forces beyond his control seem bent on preventing the fulfillment of his desire.

But that longing never leaves…in fact, time only strengthens it. Will Stan be able to give his ALL FOR THE CAUSE? Soon, we’ll see. I know…I keep saying soon. But this book truly will soon release.

Can You See It?

I’ve learned about something new. My Iowa friend Jill came over to help dig out my water pipe after we had 36 inches of snow, and pointed out the BLUE SNOW she saw everywhere. At first I couldn’t share her excitement, because I didn’t know where to look.

But then, viola! Between the crevasses and cracks, it’s everywhere. With all the melting going on, there’s not so much now, but this morning I took some photos. Can you see it here?

Or here, even though these are just cell phone photos?

 

For me, this is a new phenomenon, and of course, scientists have an explanation:

As with water, this color is caused by the absorption of both red and yellow light, which leaves light at the blue end of the visible spectrum. When this light travels into snow or ice, the ice grains scatter a large amount of light.

Cool! Even in the midst of a massive snowfall, we can find something intriguing and (for me, anyway) exciting. Having lived in snow country my whole life, I have to wonder why I never saw this before. Maybe it’s because of the altitude here?

Whatever the reason, there it is. And like my friend asked me the other day, CAN YOU SEE IT? becomes the big question.

This question figures in many of the novels we read. The reader sees something the characters don’t, or vice-versa. In a mystery, we seldom see the whole picture until the end.

In the process of publication, things sometimes change. I should let you know that the release date for All For The Cause, in which the heroine and hero navigate many World War II questions, has been changed. You can now expect it to surface into the big, wide world in late March or early April.

In the meantime, keep your eye out for blue snow and the like!

And since few of my blogs are complete without a photo from Lance, here you go…see the blue?