Movie: Frozen River

I never would have seen Frozen River had it not been nominated for an Academy Award in 2008. I’ve seen it only once (TV Stevie sees every nominated film he can, and I happened to catch this one with him), but the images and messages have stayed with me. The film was nominated for Best Actress and Best Original Screenplay. It won several other awards, mostly for Best Actress.

I never realized the underlying story until I overheard a TV program my husband was watching about female directors. Frozen River  was mentioned as being a film about motherhood. When I heard that, all the images came crystal clear.

Mexico isn’t the only point of entry for undocumented immigrants. When the St. Lawrence River freezes, it becomes a smuggler’s route between New York State and Ontario/Quebec–especially since the Akwesasne nation (St. Regis Mohawk tribal land) straddles the river between the two other countries.

Two single mothers–one white, one Native American–both desperately poor, want better lives for their children.  They live on the New York side of the Frozen River. This unlikely pair team up  with disastrous consequences. There is a happy ending, just not in the traditional sense.  The film ends on a note of hope. Yes, their partnership brought dire consequences, but in the end, the same partnership will help them create the better lives they want for their children.

The movie is dark. Grim. Yet as a mother, I identify with their anguish.  We will do anything for our children.

 

 

Mommy Files: Learning the Language

One of the best things about being the mom of very young children was observing them learning the language. Figuring out how to use words when they didn’t have the vocabulary immediately at hand to communicate their meaning.

X-Chromo was a genius at this.

Two occasions come immediately to mind. She was about the same age for both.

One morning I was getting her dressed and gave her two choices of an outfit to wear. “This one or this one,” I said as I held up two dresses. “The housekeeping,” little X replied.  I was confused. She pointed to the one she wanted. “The housekeeping,” she repeated. Duh! She attended a center-based daycare /pre-school and the dress she wanted had an apron on it. Aprons were part of the housekeeping center.  She couldn’t think of the word, but she knew where it belonged.

Another morning, we were standing in the kitchen, preparing to leave for the day. “Squirrel!” she started yelling out the window. “Get off my summertime!” Again, it took me a moment. “Summertime” was the swimming pool we had in the back yard while the children were growing up. She couldn’t think of the word, but understood it was something we used only in the summer.

 

 

 

Release Day! (And A Free Book!)

At long last, release day for Besieged by the Moon is almost here.  There’s still time to preorder to get your copy first thing Wednesday, April 21.

This was a challenging book to write, but I’m proud of the finished product. I’m grateful my publisher and editor allowed me to reset deadlines on multiple occasions.  Thank you Debby and Char for helping me make Besieged the best story it could be.

To my reader: thanks for your patience. Enjoy!

P.S. Betrayed by the Moon the first book in the trilogy, continues to be FREE  through the 20th.

Bonus Blog: FREE BOOK

My amazing publisher has made the first book in the Service for Sanctuary trilogy FREE stating today, through April 20.

Service for sanctuary–that was the werewolves’ deal for over 200 years.
Now the government is changing the rules,
leaving Ethan Calhoun fighting for the only way of life he’s ever known—
and Selena Wolfe fighting for her life.

Get your free copy of Betrayed by the Moon now.

 

Memory: Driving a Stick

This past year I purchased a brand new car. The vehicle is only the second one I’ve purchased where I was the original owner.

The first time I purchased a bare-bone “starter” vehicle: a charcoal gray hatchback with a standard transmission because back then, an automatic transmission cost more, and I was on a tight budget.  The only problem was I didn’t know how to drive a manual transmission. I figured the best way to learn was to buy the car. Then I wouldn’t have a choice.

There were some funny moments those first couple of days. My younger brother still tells stories of me rolling backward at a traffic light on I-690 and panicking about it. But I did learn. And I loved driving a stick. There had been one or two occasions in the past when the ability to do so would have saved me some grief. It’s a handy skill to have.

Even after I mastered the ability, I encountered some amusing moments –that weren’t so amusing at the time.

My boss at the time had some fancy-schmancy sports car–low slung and long in the front. She was also very tall, maybe close to six feet. I am barely five feet tall. She needed me to drive her car . . . I don’t remember the details. The gist was “you know how to drive a manual transmission, my car needs to be someplace I can’t take it, please do this.”  Except even with the seat pulled all the way up, I couldn’t reach the clutch. I was nearly fully reclined, barely able to see over the dashboard, driving in the city (i.e. lots of stop-and-go traffic), driving a hideously expensive sports car that didn’t belong to me.

That was a moment.