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I love the picture that conjures up, of Dr. Wessels up to his knees in the creek, with a line of box turtles and snappers waving their little turtle heads and singing, “As I Went Down To the River To Pray”. As long as the Holy Spirit doesn’t descend on any of them in the form of an eagle, it’s a happy little scenario.

What I mean, of course, is that we are kindred spirits in that we both brake for turtles crossing the road. Then we differ. I favor moving them to the side of the road they’re facing. He favors taking them someplace where there is no nearby road. I’m like, what if they have wives and children waiting for them? Like, “Daddy went out for a pack of cigarettes and never came back.” He believes that is unlikely.

The Southern Indiana Writers had a book signing yesterday. Many of us came, but few of the people who showed great enthusiasm when I told them about it actually showed up. We did sell some books, but not many. Maybe a library is not a particularly good venue for us. We’re working with Magdalena’s on an event for July that sounds like a lot of fun. More details as they emerge. It was kind of pathetic–Karen was standing there trying to work out the details with us and we were all talking at once, mostly at cross-purposes. It’s like herding cats. We WILL work it out, though.


writing prompt: Write a scene where somebody has to baptize a turtle.

I’ve often posted about Magdalena’s restaurant and coffee shop, and now I’m posting again, this time for a reason and not just because I happen to be there.

One of Magdalena’s employees, Cheryl Leuthart, has been in the hospital since DECEMBER. It’s been one thing after another…and she has no insurance. So Magdalena’s is putting on a benefit buffet, donating all the food and service and all the proceeds to Cheryl.

WHEN: Sunday, January 25, from 5-7pm

HOW MUCH: $10 in advance

$12 at the door

Children 12 and under, half price

Call 812-738-8075 if you want to reserve a place or to learn more.

My mother and I plan to be there for part of it. If you’re in the area, please consider coming, too.


I was planning to take macaroni salad to a friend’s church dinner today, but it started pouring down snow and now it’s raining cold rain that’s just WAITING for the temperature to drop so it can freeze. Charlie’s very happy, because he loves macaroni salad. I usually don’t, but I like this.


  • Macaroni cooked 8 minutes and drained
  • mayonnaise (NOT salad dressing!), not too much
  • sweet pickle relish
  • salt, pepper, celery seed
  • onion powder (because Charlie can’t eat onions–real is better)
  • Diced or sliced celery

Finally–and I want all you A NIGHT AT THE OPERA Stateroom Scene fans to say this with me–aloud, you know you want to–



Writing prompt: Shove all the characters in one of your stories/books or in one of your favorite stories/books into one small room and have them interact at close quarters, with all their personalities and narrative thrusts clashing right up against one another.

I didn’t go into town today–just so cold, and I had a yearning for the home fires. So I’m going to stay online until I get my pictures loaded, and anyone who wants to call us can just lump it.

sparkleFirst, here is a picture of Janet, one of my dear friends at church. I call her “Sparkle”, not because we share the same taste for glittery jewelry, but because she makes me happy. No matter what’s going on in her life–and she’s had some hard times–she can always dig up a smile for me, and she can usually come up with some comment that makes me laugh. You can’t see what a sweet smile she has, because she was pretending she was avoiding my camera, but maybe you can see the gleam of mischief in her eyes.

Okay, so now I’ll try to post my pictures of Corydon, which I took yesterday. Charlie says it snowed big-time at home, and covered the grass. I didn’t see that in Corydon, so I don’t think it snowed THAT hard in town. Corydon is so small, you wouldn’t think it had room for weather variations, but it does seem to. Friends have said they can sit in the sun on their ridge and look over to my ridge and watch it rain. Cool!

Anyway, here is my lair at the library. This isn’t the entrance, and has a big sign on it saying “Please use other door”, but people come in it sometimes. Maybe I’ll start snapping their pictures when they do it. Maybe I’ll get a Junior Library Police badge in my Ovaltine. Maybe not. The black thing close to the doors is one of Corydon’s many historical markers. The bigger black thing toward the edge of the photo is a clock. I totally LOVE having a town clock!


Here is my other lair, Cafe on the Square at Magdalena’s.

And here is Joy’Z, the terrific diner that’s losing its space due to a rent rise that’s impossible to meet.


Finally, here is the Square. Beautiful place. The small stone building is Indiana’s First State Capitol Building, which has been restored. The tee-ninesy building beyond it is a storage shed. The big brick building behind it is the Court House. All the trees are strung with white lights, all switched on at the Light Up Corydon celebration at the end of November. The gentleman in bronze is former Indiana Governor Frank O’Bannon, who was from Corydon.


So that’s my little town. See why I love it?

I just had an ugly thought: What if the owner of the building where Joy’Z is has had an offer from Wal-Mart, who wants to put a “neighborhood grocery” in there? Great. I needed something else to keep me up nights.


writing prompt: Would your main character be for or against the scenario I’ve just outlined? Why or why not?

Katya (The Good One)

Katya (The Good One)

Al (The Bad One)

Al (The Bad One)

I was on my way out of the house when I caught one of the cats peeing in the front closet. This cleared up a point of contention between my husband and me, as he’s been accusing MY cat of being the Secret Pisser. So Katya has been VINDICATED and CLEARED OF ALL CHARGES.

After I cleaned up the mess and freshened the air, I left. Came back because I forgot my keys and left. Came back because I forgot the book I wanted to give Butchie and left. Stopped off to visit with Mom and have a cup of her good coffee and pick up some letters she wanted mailed and left.

I went to the Cafe on the Square and got a little writing done but Charlene Burke, the new friend I met yesterday, turns out to be an art-quality beader, and I had to go to her blog and then to her flickr sets to look at her beading creations. Drooling on the keyboard….

Gave Butchie his copy of GHOSTS… ON THE SQUARE… AND ELSEWHERE.

Then I met Joy and T and Joanna of Southern Indiana Writers for lunch at Magdalena’s and arranged for a signing there from 9-noon on November 28, the day after Thanksgiving. Pray for us. The others had to move on, but I came to the library and arranged for us to do a signing here on Saturday, December 13 from 1-4 pm.

SWORD AND SORCERESS XXIII is out and available!! I should have some copies at the library signing. Wheeee! Here is a review that I think I may frame! The author of it, by the way, is no relation to me, despite the same last name.

And now my time at the library is over and I must go home, having written a mere 712 words so far today on my NaNoWriMo book. I am, however, up to 29,000 words, so I’m fairly well on track.


Writing prompt: A person or animal accused of doing something wrong is vindicated. A simple plot, but a good, tried-and-true one.


Here is where I ramble on about whatever happens to fall through my mind. I also have a professional site, where I post about my books, stories, news and appearances. Every month, I post a “Hot Flash” there–a story or prose poem of about 50 words. I hope you enjoy your visit. –Marian Allen

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