WANTED: French writer for translation exchange

templa1MOTHER TONGUE has stirred up much interest in Corsica, but my fans there are clamoring for a version in French. Paying for translation is beyond the means of this semi-retired grandmother. BUT I HAVE AN IDEA!

GOOGLE TRANSLATE is a starting point but, as we all know, yields a rather fractured version of the translated language.
 alt=I would love to locate a French author who would like his or her novel or work of non-fiction or even website translated into perfect and very literate English, starting with a basic GOOGLE TRANSLATE version. And he or she, in exchange could translate my novel into perfect and very literate French. An equal amount of effort on both our parts would produce publishable versions in each others language, with credit given of course.

Please spread the word to any of your French friends or colleagues who write and are looking for an excellent, ready-to-publish English translation at no cost. Those interested can reach me via my CONTACT page.

Lyn St. James – race car driver extraordinaire!

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Visiting my “ride” before taking my laps.

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My tall handsome chariot driver!

I had been looking forward to Lyn St. James’ lecture at the Blackhawk Automotive Museum in Danville, CA in November but then she had to postpone. But an opportunity arose to see her at Sonoma Raceway during the CSRG Charity Challenge. I hung around all morning looking for her and waiting for my 3-lap ride (read “10 minutes of absolutely delicious terror”) around the 12-turn 2.52 mile road track in a 1952 Jaguar XK 120 owned and driven by James Alder. I had been at the track a few weeks earlier watching Helio Castroneves and Will Power navigate their Indy cars around the same track. Hitting Turn 1 at full throttle is fear on steroids! At least for this 71 year old Granny!

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Lyn St. James’ record setting Thunderbird

I did get a gander at Lyn’s 1989 Ford Thunderbird in which she set a myriad of speed records in the track winner’s circle and read a sign about all of her feats, but no sight of its famous female driver.2014-10-04 12.13.22 I was about to give up and strolled over to the cafe for something to eat when I spied her sitting at a picnic table signing her book for a friend.

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Lyn and me at Sonoma raceway

Breathlessly, I introduced myself and ran off into the raceway store to purchase a copy for signing. The most interesting part is that I had read up on her personal history the night before and discovered that she grew up in Willoughby, Ohio, the same small town outside of Cleveland where my grandparents had lived their entire adult lives, where my mother had been born and raised, where many of my other relatives had been prominent citizens, and where I had been baptized, had visited many times, and had even attended second grade. My uncle, Robert Shankland, a famous physicist, had, along with his uncle, served as a trustee of the Andrews School for Girls (now the Andrews Osborne Academy), which Lyn had attended from 7th to 12th grade. My uncle’s father, Sherwood Shankland, had been the school’s first superintendent. Lyn shared about how this school, which was eons ahead of its time in empowering the lives of young women, influenced her character development and ambitions. And we had a lively discussion about her visit next spring to the Museum. I hope to become involved in the preparations for this event. Finally, a volunteer activity that truly captures my attention–a combo of two loves, the excitement of car racing and my passion about the place of women in the fabric of America.

The theme of Women’s History Month in 2015 is Weaving the Stories of Women’s Lives. The warp and woof of Lyn’s story is woven with Nomex, a fire-retardant material that is used to make the suit, gloves, socks and shoes worn by race car drivers. But as her website says: “Lyn St. James’ story is not just about being a successful race car driver. It’s a story about goal setting, determination, passion and fully utilizing all her defeats and successes to break into a world no one could have imagined possible: auto racing.” The 2010 revised edition of her book Lyn St. James, An Incredible Journey, is still available. For any woman who was told as a child that she can’t be this or that because it’s a man’s prerogative, this book is a must!

Amazed by NY Times 1882 story

llewellyn J MorseI was browsing for information about my greatgrandfather, Capt. Samuel Veazie, and his ship, the Llewellyn J. Morse, and came across a true story of murder and suicide that concerned the prior Capt. of that historic ship (which starred in the role of Old Ironsides in the silent film of 1926). So amazing to see details about both Capt. Ames and his wife (the ship being named after her father, a member of the Maine legislature). I have posted the verbatim account from the NY Times of May 10, 1882 as a page on my author website.

I absolutely loved the level of detail in the article, the ship’s cargo of sugar and hemp, the description of Mrs. Ames as “one of the loveliest women in Maine”, the location of the pistol-shots, the “north” and “south” positions of the bodies in the bed. As a psychologist, I was fascinated with a possible cause for Capt. Ames “insane” behavior. The article mentions a liver disorder and sudden alarming symptoms of mental aberration. Could it have been end stage alcoholism with delirium tremons that drove him to his last desperate act? Journalism at this personal, detailed level, so common in Victorian days, no longer exists.

DSC02326Regardless, from what I’ve learned about my family history, my greatgrandfather probably become Captain of the Llewellyn J. Morse immediately after Capt. Ames’ untimely demise. I wonder if the crew, having been abandoned by their former Captain in the Philippine Islands, were fearful that yet another quite mad Down Easterner had taken the helm? This is a photo of him next to one of his wife Zilpha plus a photo of the ship and their marriage license. All on the wall of the home he built on the island of Islesboro in the middle of Penobscot Bay in Maine. Memorabilia from his many sea journey’s fill the home, now owned by one of my cousins.

Memories of Honfleur


This gallery contains 18 photos.

A dear friend was browsing through my posts and noticed I hadn’t posted on Honfleur, one of his favorite haunts in France. Mine too. Not only because I had a charming visit there in 2009 but because my great-grandfather Captain … Continue reading

Books My Great-Grandfather Read

DSC02326Captain Samuel Veazie (1844-1923) was my paternal great-grandfather, pictured here with his wife Zilpha underneath their marriage certificate on the front entrance wall of the family home he built on Islesboro in the middle of Maine’s Penobscot Bay. The traditional Maine-style home with its attached barn still stands and is being tenderly maintained by one of my cousins.DSC02358

Samuel was the first Captain of the Llewellyn J Morse and sailed it around the seven seas. Later it became part of the Star Fleet of the Alaska Packing Association, bringing canned salmon from Alaska to their dock in the Oakland Estuary.

llewellyn J MorseThis archival photo shows the Llewellyn J. Morse just after it had broken through the ice of the Bering Sea in 1923 (coincidentally the same year Samuel died). In its third incarnation, the ship became a famous film star, playing the “role” of the USS Constitution in the acclaimed 1926 silent film Old Ironsides. A clip of the battle scene from the film is available on YouTube.

DSC02317But the most treasured family artifact, in my view, is the actual book cabinet Capt. Samuel took on each of his many voyages, holding his original collection of classics, history, and the novels of his day.

DSC02318From a Common School Grammar to the works of Racine, from The Scarlett Letter to Lorna Doone, from the Aneid of Virgil to the Man in the Iron Mask, from Don Quixote to the Household Physician.

DSC02319I feel I have come honestly by my love for the sea and my love of books and am so grateful that his legacy has been preserved down through the generations. I hope to have a many successful incarnations as the Llewellyn J Morse!