Happy Chinese New Year! It’s the Year of the Rat this year, so best wishes to all the Rats.
Dusty Old Thing recently published an article by Rose Heichelbech about The Fierce Female Librarians Who Delivered Books On Horseback During The Great Depression. While everyone’s heard of the Pony Express, this is a rarely-told story. If like me, you’d never heard it, here you are!
The New Deal’s Book Women
In the middle of the Great Depression, not only was America grappling with the tightening of just about every single household budget, but the nation was also poorly connected. At the time most rural areas were without basic services like electricity and running water. As such, these remote areas were often devoid of public institutions like libraries.
Some of the most isolated areas were nestled in the Appalachian area of Kentucky, among other locations. One of the many public programs initiated by FDR’s New Deal was the Works Progress Administration, which funded the Pack Horse Library Initiative. The…
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So true, especially about not writing as often as we’d like to. I know I wish I had more time for writing.
Being a writer, published or otherwise, is amazing. Writers are world builders, character creators, storytellers, daydreamers! We live in a haze of ideas and inspiration and intrigue. But let’s be honest, despite the perfect writing environment non-writers may think we live in, there are plenty of unglamorous times.
That’s right. It’s not all tidy desks and cosy coffee shops. There’s all this too:
Writers don’t write as often as they want to
Let’s be honest here, life just doesn’t work that way. Life gets in the way of writing all the time. And let’s be even more honest…there are definitely times when we could write, but the temptation to nap or catch up on our favourite TV show takes over.
Writers aren’t full of interesting party conversation
You’d think that saying, ‘I’m a writer, don’t you know?’ would be a killer icebreaker at a party, leading into long witty…
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Suddenly the torches lining both walls all lit up as one, startling the young girl. She hadn’t known quite what to expect when she opened the old crypt door, but sudden light sure hadn’t been on the list. Aryn blinked her eyes as she waited for them to adjust to the light. When she could finally see, she brushed away a cobweb she hadn’t noticed before then crept inside. She had only gone a few feet down the hallway when the crypt door slammed shut behind her, making her jump yet again.
Flustered, Aryn ran back to the door to see if it would open. At first she worried she would be trapped, since she couldn’t find any handles, but after a few moments, her wits came back to her and her thieving skills kicked in. Admonishing herself for panicking and losing control like that, she studied the door, lightly feeling along the designs carved into it, and found the hidden trigger that would open the door.
Heaving a sigh of relief, Aryn returned to making her way down the hallway. It was dusty and littered with rat droppings, as well as the occasional stone that had fallen from the ceiling. After a few minutes, she reached the point where it branched off. She pulled a crumpled piece of old parchment from the leather pouch on her waist and unfolded it. After consulting the fading map on the parchment, she followed the hallway that led to the right.
The torches on the walls continued to light up on the their own as she walked along the winding hallway, following the map as it led her further and further below the ancient city.
As time wore on, Aryn’s anxiety about this treasure hunt grew. She had no idea where the map had come from, after all. It had just been slid beneath the door of her room at the Golden Dragon Inn along with an unsigned note promising that it would lead to great treasure.
So why had she accepted the challenge? Curiosity? Greed?
As the large chamber at the end of the map finally came into view, Aryn’s second thoughts about the quest were pushed aside.
She stepped into the room and the torches on the walls lit up, revealing all the ornate decorations along the walls and the large sarcophagus at the center of the room. Aryn stood just in the side door and gazed longingly at all the gold and bejeweled decorations that lined the walls adorned the sarcophagus. She longed to be able to take it all with her, but she knew better. Not only could she not carry it all herself, but she knew all too well that there would be traps in the room to stop someone like her from robbing it. There was only one treasure she was interested in taking , and that was the one that was mentioned in the note – the supposedly lost diadem of Queen Marina that had been missing for hundreds of years. If the what the note claimed was true, and the diadem had been hidden in this room, then it could be worth a fortune.
But first Aryn needed to get into the room. And that meant she needed to make sure there were no traps to stop her, first.
She reached into the leather pouch at her waist where here tools were kept.
“Time to get to work,” she told herself.
This post is part of the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, “the first 3 words of the first full sentence” (the book I used was The Hobbit)
The source of peace is within us; so also the source of war. And the real enemy is within us, and not outside. The source of war is not the existence of nuclear weapons or other arms. It is the minds of human beings who decide to push the button and to use those arms out of hatred, anger, or greed.
~ Dalai Lama ~
Australia has been battling bushfires since September, and there seems to be no end in sight. As of this morning more than 12 million acres have burned which is roughly the size of New Hampshire and Vermont combined.
Eden, New South Wales ~ January 5th, 2020
Fire-spawned thunderstorms over New South Wales, January 5th, 2020
People being evacuated in Omeo, Victoria ~ January 5th, 2020
As of yesterday, 24 people have been killed, and at least 6 are missing in Victoria. It’s feared that half a billion animals thus far have perished including 30% of the koala population.
A severely burned kangaroo shaking hands with a teen after being given water in New South Wales.
If you’re in a position to help, here are some organizations you can donate to.
Australian Red Cross: https://www.redcross.org.au
NSW Rural Fire Service: https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au
Queensland Fire: https://www.rfbaq.org/donate-to-rfbaq
The Salvation Army Australia: https://www.salvationarmy.org.au/donate
World Wildlife Federation:
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Wishing one and all a very happy New Year. May 2020 be a great year for you and bring you lots of joy and prosperity.
(all images found on Pinterest)