Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I May Be a Wimp...BUT I still wish you all a Very Merry Christmas!

A traditional White Christmas does not seem to be falling upon Galveston Island, Texas where I'm spending part of my winter.I still wear shorts and go barefoot in the sand as I hike beside the Gulf of Mexico,collecting sea shells. I've hung my Christmas ornaments on an artificial palm tree in the living room of my condo. I awaken each morning to spectacular sunrises over the ocean. In the evening, I relax,with a glass of red wine,on my western balcony as I witness some of the most incredible sunsets that I've ever seen.

Life is good...long walks beside the ocean,time to reflect and to explore the rich historical heritage of this amazing island... much of which will be included in one of my future novels.

Still,looking back...wasn't I the one who recently elaborated upon the splendors of a good old Midwestern winter? Yup...that was me... before I immigrated to the south. Before the water pipes in my Wisconsin home burst at the seams and my furnace went out during one of our good old-fashioned snowstorms...

It's difficult, sometimes, to get into the Christmas spirit on this paradise island... I'm used to frigid winters, being buried in snow drifts. How can it possibly be time for Christmas??

Christmas, this year, will be a tad bit different. What remains unchanged is the love of family and friends, wherever they may be. I'm blessed to have both Shannon's and Sherry's families celebrating down here with me. I will miss Shane's family, and my best friend,Len... but want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

Stay tuned and please stay in touch!

Janet Kay

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Traveling Back In Time ...

Have you ever felt that you belonged in another time, another place? Do you identify with people, places, and things associated with another era? If so, you're not alone! I must confess that I've always identified with the Victorian era, and with the world of Emily Dickinson. Several editors have told me that my writing style is quaint, reminiscent of the Victorian era. Is that all bad??

Anyway, I recently had an opportunity to travel back to the Victorian era, courtesy of the Dickens on The Strand Victorian Holiday Festival on Galveston Island, Texas. This annual celebration is held in the Strand National Historic Landmark District which is filled with Victorian-era buildings, brick cobble-stoned streets, gas lamps, and horse-drawn carriages. Many of the participants (including yours truly) dressed in Victorian costumes. Victorian music filled the air.

Highlights included Victorian bed races, parades, a Piccadilly circus, a living history encampment commemorating the war between the states, jugglers, magicians, Victorian Christmas carolers, Victorian arts,crafts and turkey legs! Down on the Galveston wharf, we also toured the 1877 tall sailing ship, Elissa, Texas' official tall ship.

My Texas grandchildren weren't sure, at first, if they wanted to be seen with crazy Grandma Jan in her lacy black Victorian costume and feather hat! However, once we arrived on The Strand, they realized that I obviously fit in with the other guests.

I'm inspired by all that I saw and learned at this unique celebration. That means, of course, that I'm now researching Galveston and its unique Victorian era. Someday, I hope to set a novel here on this fascinating island in the Gulf of Mexico.

You can check Dickens out at

Stay tuned and please stay in touch!

Janet Kay