Catherine Castle takes over my blog today to talk about an inspirational journey. Take it away Catherine!
A few years ago we took a trip to Michigan. While we were there we visited the Music Museum just outside Traverse City. This museum has a fantastic display of mechanical musical instruments, but I’m not going to talk about them today. While the music was toe-tapping and made me smile, something even more interesting caught my eye.
On our way into the guided tour area we passed two mosaic-like pictures hanging on the wall. One was a picture of President Woodrow Wilson, the other a shield composed of stars and stripes. The guide directed our attention to them, pointing out that each picture was composed of hundreds of soldiers standing on marks to form the shapes.
I stepped close to the glass and peered at the photos. Sure enough, I could see the heads of the people. The guide pointed out hole in a line and another spot where a man leaned against his comrade, ready to faint away. The soldiers had to stand out in the hot sun for hours while the photographers lined everyone up just so to take an aerial photo. Sometimes a fellow or two didn’t make it to the end shot. The guide also pointed out another man who didn’t quite match the line he stood in, offering the suggestion that he was pulled in at the last minute to plug a hole caused by the collapse of someone else.
The photos were done by commercial photographer Arthur S. Mole and his partner John D. Thomas. Mole and Thomas went around the country to military camps creating people pictures. The largest “living photograph” was an American shield taken in 1918 at Camp Custer, Michigan. To form the shield 30,000 military personnel stood on ground markers that stretched out a quarter of a mile from the 70 to 80 foot tall tower where the camera was perched.
The photos fascinated me. Hundreds of people crammed together creating a picture that could only be viewed aerially. Although each individual was interesting in his or her own way—possessing unique personalities, different jobs, and distinct lives—an aerial picture of one single person wasn’t very exciting—just a dot on the beige background. But when all the men and women stood together, just so—in their proper spots—they created something unique and out of the ordinary.
So it is with words. A single word can be interesting—at least they are to me. As a teen I read the dictionary like others would read a novel. As an adult I’ve had a multitude of discussions with my husband about word definitions, discussions that always end in one, or both of us, thumbing through the dictionary to see who is right. But a single word is just … a single word. As interesting as any word might be, string several together and something even more attention-grabbing is created—a means of communication. Put pages upon pages of sentences together and you create a book—a fantastic vehicle that transports readers to other places, other times, and provides mental photos to review whenever they choose to do so.
I’ve never seen photographs like the ones I’ve posted here from the Music Museum, but I don’t think I’ll be forgetting them any time soon. Like a good book, that won’t fade from my memory, these photos are impressed on my mind.
How about a peek at my latest sweet romance while you contemplate words and pictures?
One date for every medical test—that’s the deal. Allison, however, gets more than she bargains for. She gets a Groom for Mama.
Beverly Walters is dying, and before she goes she has one wish—to find a groom for her daughter. To get the deed done, Mama enlists the dating service of Jack Somerset, Allison’s former boyfriend.
The last thing corporate-climbing Allison wants is a husband. Furious with Mama’s meddling, and a bit more interested in Jack than she wants to admit, Allison agrees to the scheme as long as Mama promises to search for a cure for her terminal illness.
A cross-country trip from Nevada to Ohio ensues, with a string of disastrous dates along the way, as the trio hunts for treatment and A Groom For Mama.
With a sweep of his hand, Jack spread the photos out on the table in front of Allison and Beverly. “Here’s a few I just grabbed from the database. Any of them interesting?” He studied Allison’s reaction. She didn’t bat an eyelash as she scanned the men’s pictures. Then, without warning, she scooped them up and shoved them at him.
“I told Mama I wasn’t going to do this. It’s a stupid idea.”
“I’ll admit it’s not the ‘some enchanted evening, see a stranger across the room’ romantic way to find a husband, but it’s not totally unacceptable. Several of the couples my company has brought together have married.”
“And lived happily ever after?” she retorted.
“It’s a new company, Allison. I don’t have the stats yet.” He pushed the photos across the table. “Just take a peek. What harm can it do?”
Beverly grabbed the photo of a particularly handsome man. “How about this one? His coloring complements yours. You’d have beautiful children.”
Mama!” Allison snatched the photo away. “We’re not going to discuss my possible, yet unlikely, progeny in front of Jack.”
A flash of Allison kissing this guy flew through his head. He grabbed the photo from her. “He’s not your type anyway.”
“And just how do you know?” she asked.
“I dated you, remember? You ditched me for some suave, corporate hotshot. At least it’s what you said.”
“Allison!” Beverly exclaimed. “You never told me that.”
Allison shot him a fierce scowl. “I’m not comfortable discussing my love life with you, Mama. Besides, what’s done and over with should be buried . . . in the past.” She picked up another photo. “What about him? Or him and him?” She pointed to two nerdy-looking fellows. “They seem corporate.”
Mama leaned over and checked out the pictures Allison had indicated. “Too ugly,” she said. “He’s got to be handsome. Like Jack. I want to know my grandbabies will be as beautiful as you two.”
He grinned. “Thanks for the compliment, but I know I’m not your daughter’s type.” He laid a sheet of paper on the counter. “Fill this out. Then I can get a better idea of what you want in a husband.”
“I don’t want—”
“I know,” he interjected. “But, for your mom’s sake, just pretend you do.”
Multi-award-winning author Catherine Castle has been writing all her life. A former freelance writer, she has over 600 articles and photographs to her credit (under her real name) in the Christian and secular market. Now she writes sweet and inspirational romance. Her debut inspirational romantic suspense, The Nun and the Narc, from Soul Mate Publishing, has garnered multiple contests finals and wins.
Catherine loves writing, reading, traveling, singing, watching movies, and the theatre. In the winter she loves to quilt and has a lot of UFOs (unfinished objects) in her sewing case. In the summer her favorite place to be is in her garden. She’s passionate about gardening and even won a “Best Hillside Garden” award from the local gardening club.
Learn more about Catherine Castle on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to check out Catherine’s Amazon author page and her Goodreads page. You can also find Catherine on Stitches Thru Time and the SMP authors blog site.