North Carolina

Marine Raiders Memorial March

On March 10, 2015, a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter crashed into the Santa Rosa Sound in Navarre, FL during a night training mission, killing seven Marine Raiders and four Louisiana Army National Guardsmen.  To honor the fallen, several Marine Raiders and Special Amphibious Reconnaissance Corpsmen from Camp Lejeune, N.C.  will set out on a relay type ruck march that would take them  770 miles – starting from the crash site and ending at Stone Bay Rifle Range, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Camp Lejeune is literally on the other side of the river from my hometown.  Artillery shells blasting, pictures shaking on the walls – this is a daily occurrence.  Helicopters from New River Air Station routinely buzz the top of my house (or at least it sounds like it).

So when a Marine falls, it affects our whole community.  They are our neighbors and our friends.

Early Sunday morning (approximately 4:30 A.M.), the Raiders arrived in Sneads Ferry. They made their way down Hwy 172, escorted by local law enforcement officers and fireman. I can’t explain what it was like to see them carrying their rucksacks, marching in the dead of night -in the memory of their fellow Marines.  I was honored to be one of those to welcome them home.

On Monday, the Raiders will finish the last leg or the march.  For more information, click on the links below:

Marine Raider Memorial March


Brothers In Arms Foundation

Marine Corps Times


Fort Macon Photos

This past weekend, we took a little day trip to Morehead City and  Atlantic Beach.  While there, we visited Fort Macon State Park.

I love history and find sites like these quite fascinating.  As such, I took several photos and thought I’d share them.  If you write historical fiction, maybe these will help.

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scale model of Fort Macon

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Fort Entrance

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Not sure what it was called historically but basically it’s the Mess Hall

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Bunk Room

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View from Bunk Room

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bread oven

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View from the top of the Fort

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View from the top of Fort Macon

For more information about Fort Macon, click here and here.  



Monday Mini Virtual Vacation

Living in Coastal North Carolina has its advantages: mild winters with an occasional cold snap, fresh seafood and sandy beaches. If you’re like me, no matter how mild, winter has worn out its welcome and a warm weather vacation can’t get here soon enough. While I can’t do anything about the temperature, I thought I’d share a little virtual sun and surf with you.  Enjoy!


3 Budget Friendly Writers Conferences in North Carolina

“Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.”    —George Orwell

Okay.  So – maybe I didn’t find the process of writing a novel to be horrible but it was exhausting and yet, exhilarating – kinda like how I imagine a mountain climber would feel when they reached the summit Mt. Everest.   Seriously, I was on the top of the world!

While I love writing, it requires solitude – a lot of it – and that can lead to a creative drain. When we don’t recharge our batteries, our writing will suffer.

One way to avoid this is to periodically surround ourselves with like-minded individuals. A writers conference is the perfect event to make these connections.  Not only do we get the benefit of learning from the experts, we have the opportunity to forge relationships with other writers – people who get us and our struggles.


For many people, attending a week long conference is out of the question due to work, family, and monetary considerations.  However, smaller conferences are often presented by local writers groups.  These are typically one or two days long and very affordable.  If you’re in the North Carolina area, you might be interested in attending the following:

February 27, 2016:  Book’em North Carolina Book Fair and Writers Conference  This conference is held at Robeson Community College in Lumberton, N.C.  FEE:  FREE

March 18-19, 2016:  Pamlico Writers Conference is held in Washington, N.C.  at the Turnage Theater.  FEE:  $49.00 non-members $39.00 members

April 16, 2016:  Carolinas Writers Conference is held at the Lockhart-Taylor Center in
Wadesboro, N.C.  FEE:  $30.00 and includes a catered lunch.

Both the Book’em NC and Carolinas Writers Conferences are short drives from northern South Carolina.  And for those writers in south eastern Virginia, the Pamlico conference is only a two hour drive.

Thanks for stopping by and if you know of a budget friendly conference, please feel free to add it in the comments.

My Perfect Day

Perfect days are hard to come by – but when they come along – you gotta dive in head first. Saturday was beautiful – sunny, highs in upper 70’s and a wonderful sea breeze.  After being stuck inside all week, I had to be outside.  I started with a visit to the river.  

The hermit crabs were doing their thing, crawling over the rocks and each other.

100_1432While the North Carolina coast doesn’t get to experience much in the way of the changing of leaves, nature didn’t totally forget to paint our little corner of the world.  We get wildflowers and berries and on occasion – something other than pine tree needles.

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Boaters took advantage of the day, too.  And while I’m sure this sailor was disappointed at having to be towed in, I loved watching the activity. 


Sailboat being towed – New River

I met up with my writers group for lunch – that’s always a good time.  

And then I took a detour – went back to my childhood and visited some precious memories.

I grew up on the water.  My father was a commercial fisherman.  I spent my summers hanging out at the fish house. After “heading” shrimp (actually de-heading them is more accurate), I’d go home, get into a swim suit and go back to the fish house where we kids would climb onto the shrimp boats and jump off the sides – swimming in the slough.

My father is retired now.  My brother, however,  is trying to keep the family tradition alive.  He works as a school teacher, serves in the Army Reserves and in his spare time is repairing a boat my father and uncle built some 33 years ago.  


My father overseeing my brother

There’s still quite a bit of work to do.  The outriggers need to be painted, the fish hold needs some work and the wench needs to be repaired.  But when they finish, she will be beautiful.




the wench


The view from the cabin


a brown pelican

My perfect day reminded my of a line from one of my favorite movies:

Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

                                                                                                                           -Ferris Bueller

Here’s hoping that you can slow down and enjoy a perfect day!