now browsing by tag


The Magic of Chapter 9

Pin It

Some of you sharp-eyed math whizzes will notice that there are more than 15 books here. After his death, other writers took over the series. I believe there are 40 Oz books in all.

For all the fact that I’ve always loved to write, you never really know your style for writing a book – until you actually start writing it. Some authors’ books take place over days and weeks. For myself, I find it hard not to account for every minute of every day. Especially with Hazel’s birthday shortly on the horizon, and the reappearance of her mother, leading to the necessary “my-work-here-is-done” disappearance of Ruth!

So how, then, to get the Hideaway in ship shape, especially when it was in such terrible shape to begin with? Days and days of scrubbing and dusting and scraping and painting? No! With MAGIC, of course!

And not only for time’s sake. I love magic and have always firmly believed in it. I’m sure I’d be hard pressed to find any of you who haven’t seen the movie “The Wizard of Oz,” and perhaps more than a few of you who have read the book.

For some reason, I secretly think I’m the only one who knows of the other stories, although I’m sure that’s not the case! But under that illusion, guess what?! L. Frank Baum, the author of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” wrote 14 more in the series! So, 15 altogether! You heard it here first, folks! The “Oz” books were the Harry Potter of their day.

I loved those stories.

9ozma2Dorothy goes back to Oz and has many more wonderful adventures, and becomes good friends with Ozma of Oz. It’s hard for Dorothy to leave! But she must! She can’t abandon Aunt Em and Uncle Henry and have them wonder where she is forever and ever! So Glinda the good witch promises to look in her magical book at Dorothy in Kansas at a certain time every day, and if Dorothy wants to come back to Oz, she will make a sign and Glinda will transport her.



I cannot tell you how many times my 10-year-old self stood in my room and made that sign, HOPING. Not because there was anything I wanted to escape, I had a wonderful childhood! But because I wanted to see Oz so badly.

So, Magic. Always.

The Portal is based on a piece of furniture I fell in love with at a store nearby. I couldn’t afford it, so I reluctantly left it behind, and when I went back, it was gone! I was so sad, kicking myself that I hadn’t done SOMETHING to get it. But the next time I went back, it was there again! Like MAGIC. Like it was meant to be! I put that piece on layaway and months later, there it was in my living room with the wonderful old dollhouse given to me by the delightful Doris (also a work in progress that will be featured in a future book) resting on top. The Portal is in the very same place that it resides in the book: right next to the fireplace. Some day I’ll paint it to match the text in the book.


An illustration from the first book.


Thank you for the dollhouse Delightful Doris Nielson! I can hardly wait to show it to you when it’s done! If you look closely, you can see the mini Portal in the living room.








There you have it. Except for one last thing: When I changed the story from Ruth’s point of view to match more of a nearly eight-year-old Hazel, I had to lose some words I dearly loved because they wouldn’t come out of an eight-year-old’s mind. Like STOIC. There, I said it! STOIC! It’s what Iowans are when they wave! Stoic and wonderful.

Like magic!

Tomorrow. Nina’s art for nine, or “Sometimes You Have to Let It Go.”

Pin It


Behold! For $34.78, a little magic can be had! Wrongs can be righted! Romance can blossom (in your head)!

I took my busted computer to the delightful “Computer Works and Vinyl Signs” place in Humboldt, Iowa and they fixed my computer. Same day! Plus, I had some witty banter with the fixer himself, who unprompted by me stated that even with all the numbers he works with all day, he believes in magic because sometimes inexplicable things happen. Kismet, so do I!

When he called to tell me he’d worked some magic and my computer was fixed, he asked how the problem occurred in the first place. I explained that the device that reads the ancient memory card from my equally ancient camera wasn’t being recognized.

“So I searched for solutions online,” I told him.

Where would we be without the internet, I wonder? In this case, I wouldn’t have had a broken computer. Then again, I could never have asked the internet how to fix the USB problem in the first place…Ooh! It’s like the movie “Inception”!

“One piece of advice said ‘Shut everything down, turn off your computer, and unplug it,” I huskily continued, “But I decided to follow the ‘Destroy your hard drive’ advice first.”

He laughed. I laughed. My mind wandered as to where we would honeymoon…

Sadly, I was on a Skype meeting with my brothers at the time of our phone conversation, so our romance was cut short! ‘Twas tough, especially after having gotten so close, I mean, he knows my password. You can’t get much closer than that! Then again, I know how to wreck my hard drive now, so…

For my second live Ustream event I hit the right button to record, and oh joy! I was able to duplicate the skillful repartee of my first unrecorded event! The camera LOVED me! “Turn this way! Turn that!” it said, so I DID.

But apparently, after you film you’re supposed to “Save” it somehow or other. Whoops! Once again my flawless performance shall never be seen. Let’s hope third time’s the charm.

In the meantime, I ordered a new adapter for my olde camera, because I took some “after” pictures of the doll I worked on. She turned out great! Here she is:


Note her now clean face. I used a toothpick to get in between her eyelashes. Yes, she looks funny bald, but once I re-glue her wig…

All in good time, I guess.