A Fresh View of Spring in a Post-Covid World

A Fresh View of Spring in a Post-Covid World

Breakfast Duchess-style: Eggs overlays, sausage, home fries very well-done, and whole wheat bread. We get one order and split. SO GOOD!

We passed the one-year anniversary of COVID-19 and I hope we will never pass another anniversary like it ever again. Tom and I recently had our first and second vaccines and we’re getting out a bit more too. We go for our morning walks and a few times a week we enjoy our favorite breakfast at our local Duchess restaurant in Fairfield, CT. It’s not very busy when we go and it’s nice to get back to a routine that is feeling more like “normal”.

Covid didn’t keep us down though, Tom and I have been busy revising my books Indigo Sky (soon to be re-released as THE MEMORABLE MRS. DEMPSEY) and THE UNFORGETTABLE MISS BALDWIN. Tom is the best editor I could ask for. I can’t wait to re-release both books with brand new covers, I’ll let everyone know when they come out.

Spring is in the air and soon our flowers will bloom and our backyards will be a lovely oasis. With that in mind, here are some lovely images of spring I painted a few years back. I hope these pictures give you hope for renewal and healing as we move forward. Enjoy!

Bridge to Tranquility

New England Peace

Waterfall at Lake Mohegan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stay tuned for a sneak peek next month. 🙂

All the best,

Gail Ingis.

Gail Ingis Claus is an author, artist/painter, and interior designer.

Friend Gail on Facebook

Follow Gail on Twitter: @gailingisauthor

Follow Gail on LinkedIn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Birthday blowout!

Birthday blowout!

Birthdays, ah, we love them, but do we? They’re inevitable, some are good, some are weird, and some are long-awaited. We can’t wait to reach thirteen.

WOW, finally—I’m a teenager!

A teenager at thirteen doesn’t seem to make much difference except we begin to feel grown-up, and start to notice our parents are becoming disagreeable.
Then there’s that sweet-sixteen party for the girls, leaving the boys out in the cold unless they get invited. Well, that’s a piece of cake to figure out, we can dance with them. If they don’t know how we can teach them.

But wait, isn’t eighteen grown up? We get to drive. That’s the driving age in Brooklyn and New York City—and vote. Both driving and voting are huge responsibilities. The day my driver’s license arrived in the mail—I couldn’t wait to open the envelope—’PASSED.’

Dad danced with me when I showed him my shiny new license. “Good job, now I want you to pick up your mother at work, she gets off at 5:00 pm.” She worked on 47th and Broadway in New York at a place they make dungarees, Blue Bell. I did it! I took the Belt Parkway to the Gowanus Expressway and over the Manhattan Bridge, and I drove back the same way with my Mom in the car. “Good Job,” she said.

The other biggie, voting. We choose all kinds of governmental people, like the President of the United States. You’ve almost forgotten all the fun you had at your sweet sixteen, dancing with the boys, eating goodies and blowing candles out on your cake–and now you can vote? Have you been following the presidential candidates and the promises to their country, their philosophy, and their skills to make appropriate decisions that will affect the people and you?

Are you busy graduating from high school, and choosing a college, be it virtual or not? I don’t know—the responsibilities of an eighteen-year-olds’ are daunting, aren’t they?

Should I go on? What happens at twenty-one, turning thirty, or even forty, supposedly over-the-hill? I don’t think there’s an over-the-hill anymore. We are healthier than ever. We exercise, make our hearts more robust, and our lungs better to fight off dangerous viruses.

In this house, we’ve seen fifty, sixty, seventy, and even eighty. Life has gotten better and busier, and okeydokey as daddy used to say. We win contests for writing, for dancing, for fashion. We promote healthy products for Beautycounter, the most innovative and forward-thinking company in the USA!

Where will it all end? In heaven, I guess. I’m just too busy. Heaven can wait.

My current books

 

My Big Brother Jay Gerber – Success Written in the Sky

My Big Brother Jay Gerber – Success Written in the Sky

From the army to the skies – Jay Gerber never backs down from a challenge.

My big brother, Jay Gerber, is my spokesman for his memoir. You guessed it, I’m writing his story with him.

Jay has accomplished more in his 87 years than most people could in two lifetimes. But he’s not done yet! He wants to get it all down in a book – all his adventures, and he asked me to write it.

It was the beginning of him becoming a mature teenager—oh, I know that’s an oxymoron–but the high school at Carson Long Military Institute taught Jay a thing or two. Then off to college, then into the army, then back to university and successful completion of medical school. He did a short stint as a podiatrist but was too busy making movies, flying, then sat in his own Piper Cherokee 180, and filming football for NFL Films. Not necessarily in that order. And somewhere in-between he married a gorgeous blue-eyed blond, My fabulous, amazing sister-in-law and friend, Barb.

His love for flying and football always took center stage, and his knowledge in technology and photography is embedded in his DNA.

Jay has earned many accolades over the years.

At seven-years-old, he built his own planes from balsa wood and tissue paper. It all began after a trip with Dad to the 1939 World’s Fair Aviation Exhibit. He built the planes while I watched as he glued the pieces together and smelled up our shared bedroom. No, we don’t remember getting a hit from the glue. Back then, the glue was handy to put things together. Then he added rubber bands and threw the planes up in the air till they ran out of the twisted rubber bands and crash-landed. He didn’t care if they got damaged—he fixed them and threw them back into the air again. I asked Jay to build one for me so we could fly them together.

 

 

This model planes grew in size, then he installed engines and even created a control shift like the stick shifter in Dad’s 1938 Plymouth. He landed the plane by doing something with that stick, remote control is what it’s called. The planes kept growing until he eventually bought a ready-made plane that he sat in and flew. Jay was fortunate to own a Piper Cherokee 180 and then a Cherokee SIX 260. He certainly earned his wings including the private instrument, commercial, and twin ratings.

He sold the Cherokee SIX to a ham radio retailer. As part of the sale, he received a ham radio station. This led to his extra class license as an N3AW and a ham radio contest station where he competed in many worldwide phones and CW [Morse Code] contests.

“Very few people build their planes anymore. Many of these ships come pre-built as carbon fiber fuselages and foam core covered wings…and are beautiful…we have to do a lot of work to install all the motors, radio equipment, and servos (surface control devices) which are very costly,” Jay said.

And at the ripe young age of 72, Jay learned to play the piano. Well, it’s about time he learned. I’ve been playing since the age of 7. I asked Jay was he jealous of me playing the piano? “Nope” because he played clarinet and sax, and had a band when he was in college.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, what would retirement be without adding a few rounds of golf into the mix as well? Leave it to my brother — he’s an expert on the links too.

He’s been honored by the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) for his brilliance in all the above. For most of his career, he worked for the NFL in their film and technical division.

Franco Harris, Steelers running back & President George Washington

 

Jay is also the guy who filmed the famous Immaculate Reception play during the Steelers and Raiders divisional playoff game on December 23, 1972, at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh. At the airport, there’s a statue of Franco Harris, who caught the football, next to one of George Washington. You all know who that is, right

The time Jay and I spend together is the best part of writing this book. All the memories of our childhood, teenage adventures, and the joyful and poignant changes that adulthood brings. Through it all Jay has always been my big brother. My first hero. And my dear friend.

 

Jay filming for NFL Films

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is us! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gail (Gerber) Ingis is an artist, interior designer, and published author. Her historical romances Indigo Sky and The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin are both available on Amazon. Gail is currently writing a memoir with her brother Jay S. Gerber. He’s a man that rose from rags to riches, find out how in his memoirs, maybe by the end of this year.

My current books

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coronavirus Versus Us – Just a couple of lovebirds taking it one day at a time

Coronavirus Versus Us – Just a couple of lovebirds taking it one day at a time

This is us!

That’s Tom on the left. 🙂

It’s a scary time out there for all of us, especially those of us in our golden years. We’ve been through a lot in our time, war, unemployment, illness, divorce, death of loved ones, but we continue to march on because that’s what we do. We are the generation who have learned to make the most out of every day we have. And these days, it’s even more important. Like everyone else, we want to do our part and stay healthy and not overburden the medical system. We’ve done all our shopping and stocking up on supplies. Although it’s tempting to get take-out food from restaurants, it’s probably better to cook at home. Except we couldn’t help getting our breakfast “to-go” this morning from our favorite eatery:  Duchess Diner in Fairfield, CT.

Breakfast Duchess-style: Eggs over easy, sausage, home fries very well-done, and whole wheat bread. We get one order and split. He gets the bigger portion. SO GOOD! – Duchess Diner in Fairfield, CT.

We will keep going on our morning walks, and we decided to have some alternate fun beginning in the garden on those almost warm and sunny days, maybe take out our favorite swing. The plan is to give our little Honda Insight a fresh waxing and make it sparkle.

Happy Birthday, Ed! That’s his granddaughter Carley. She’s hanging out with him for a while.

Runners and walkers love to come to our neighborhood to enjoy the views and the ever-changing spectacular designs of God. We also get visits from foxes, bobcats, coyotes, and packs of deer, eight of them were on Ed’s lawn the other morning. I guess they heard it was Ed’s ninety-fifth birthday and came to offer good wishes. Maybe they were the ones who tied the birthday balloons to the lamp post? (Psst…actually it was Diane, who lives down the street.) Ed is made of sturdy stuff too! He was a navy man in WWII and he walks every morning, our inspiration.

I’ve done a few things in my life too. In 2009 I decided I wanted to write the love story about the artist, Albert Bierstadt. And I did, not before taking enough workshops and courses that would have given me a Masters in writing. I’m eighty-four and I’ve written two historical romance novels (yes even us old folks remember what it’s like to fall in love). And, now, I’m writing my memoir. What a trip down memory lane. Some of it is fun, some not so fun. But that’s the thing about life, you take every day as it comes. Yes, Tom and I are holding hands and are doing well.

I did mention we were going to do something funt?  Today was Hat Day! I wish you all good health and happiness in these coming months. May this time bring us closer together and may we make some good memories pitching in to do our part.

Farewell till next time.

Gail Ingis is the author of INDIGO SKY and THE UNFORGETTABLE MISS BALDWIN. You can find her books on Amazon.

My current books

Tenacious . . . Who Me? Why Not?

Tenacious . . . Who Me? Why Not?

This blog is a revision and a reminder that The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin will be published a few days from today. I’m preparing a letter with the link to the Amazon review page that will post just after midnight for my ARC readers. There’s no point in posting the link here as it will only be active on the 10th at publication.

Launch day! Tuesday, September 10, 2019

 

My heroine, Allie Baldwin, in my historical romance, The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin, launching Tuesday, September 10th, has a passion – to help win the vote for women.

That’s not news, thirty-four years later women got the vote. But in 1886, a battle that had been going on for almost fifty years was denied over and over and over again.

As a reporter for the New York Sentinel, the newspaper her father owns, Allie is determined to do her part and attend a rally. Not any old rally, but one for suffrage, featuring many notable women speakers. She is willing to forego marriage to do her part securing votes for women. But her father not only disapproves of her going he also threatens not to print anything Allie writes pertaining to the rally. Her father’s objections don’t stop her. She concocts a disguise and makes her way to New York City Hall where more than a hundred women and men have gathered to listen to the suffragettes.

I would have done the same, but it would have been my mother arguing with me. She would have told me to stop this behavior, to grow up, and don’t think of hiding behind a cloak. “If you go,” she would have said, “I’ll find out and you’ll reap the consequences.”

My father, unlike Allie’s, was a dearheart, I could do no wrong in his eyes, and most of the time he couldn’t figure out why my mother was so strict with me. By the time I was born, the 19th Amendment had passed only fifteen years before, and women’s lives had indeed changed. I had a working mother, she was a jobber and bookkeeper. She wouldn’t have allowed me to go to a rally yet she benefited from women like Allie.

This is why we shouldn’t take the vote for granted. It is one of our most important rights, don’t you think so?

Votes for Women

Recently, tennis trailblazer, Billy Jean King spoke at the United States Tennis Open on opening night at the Billy Jean King National Tennis Center, Flushing Meadow, Corona Park, NY. She said, “In 1920, women got the right to vote, and while we’ve come a long way, there is still so much more to be done until we truly have equality for all.”

I hope there are many more Allie Baldwins’ out there, willing to keep working for equality in all arenas. I was lucky enough to have watched the original tennis match between Billy Jean King and Bobby Riggs on TV, along with a million others. We all cheered for Billy Jean, She changed the women’s world and gave us all new life. What’s really interesting about a story that takes place in 1973 is that all those issues have suddenly bubbled up again: “Equal pay, sexism, gender equality, sexual equality—all these things are live debates again,” screenwriter Simon Beaufoy told TheWrap’s Steve Pond in a video interview at the Toronto Film Festival.

My pin! Billie Jean changed scads of things, she’s like my Allie. 

With the approach of the 100th  Anniversary of Woman Suffrage – there will be many events around the country to celebrate and educate. Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, Norwalk, CT is planning several, including Women in Office and the 19th Amendment celebration and talk by Connecticut’s Secretary of State, Denise W. Merrill on Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, 2-4pm. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here. Secretary Merrill’s talk will be followed by a self-guided tour of the museum’s featured exhibition, From Corsets to Suffrage: Victorian Women Trailblazers, as well as tea and light refreshments.

Coincidently, I just had the most delightful visit from Sharon Pistilli, who is running with three other candidates to make the town where I live, Fairfield, even better. I will remember to vote on Tuesday, Nov 5, 2019, from 6am-8pm. It’s my right and my privilege.

The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin is available for pre-order on Amazon and iBooks, Kobo, Banes and Noble Nook. Order now and the book will appear in your e-reading device on launch day, Tuesday, Sept 10, 2019.

Read about the passionate, tenacious Allie Baldwin:

Opposites attract in this gilded age historical romance when a young American suffragette eschews marriage until a handsome detective is hired to protect her from a dangerous stalker.

Flowers, Books, and NANOWRIMO

Flowers, Books, and NANOWRIMO

Flowers for that added love and color from Tom

November is an exciting month for writers and authors. NANOWRIMO. Every November – newbie writers and multi-published authors from all over the world make a commitment to write a 50,000-word novel. The GOAL is to write 50k words for the month. Essentially a first draft. Some might go on to write more words but the goal is to get that 50k. I’ll be joining in the fun on my own, as I revise my WIP (Work in Progress) The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin.

For the writers out there you know the saying that “good writing is all about rewriting.” I’m currently on my tenth draft of my next book. This one’s a big revision – more than fine-tuning the romantic bits and bobs. Writers are always looking to improve our craft. With that in mind, I signed up for the Westport’s Advanced Fiction Writing Group. This is a great critique group led by the talented editor, Adele Annesi. The critiques are mega helpful. I also took an amazing online course October 1-4  with New York Times Bestselling author, Kristan Higgins, Setting as Character. Fantastic. If you’re interested, you can check out the online courses on the CTRWA (Connecticut Chapter of the Romance Writers of America).

But writers also know that in between the rewrites you need to regenerate your imagination and your body. I like to play my guitar—I’m working on building those old calluses again. And my piano too, even if it’s only to tickle the ivories for a few minutes. Walk every day with Tom Claus (my hubby) and Ed, our ninety-three-year-old inspiration, and ballroom dance with my instructor, Henry, sometimes with Tom, that’s the best, really gets my heart pumping. And of course, Tom gives me flowers to inspire me as I write.

Oh, was I talking about writing?

My work-in-progress or WIP, The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin has taken about two years (and counting). One day at a time, one scene at a time. I am also constantly reading one of my hundreds, but who’s counting, craft books, like all those Thesaurus books and Emotional Beats by Nicholas C. Rossis. Which sometimes sends me down a different path in my writing. I will let you know when my Gilded Age Mistresses: The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin is ready for you.

I will be delirious when I type THE END.

Gail Ingis Claus is an author, artist/painter and interior designer. Her upcoming romance The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin will be released in spring 2018. Her current historical romance, Indigo Sky can be purchased on amazon.

A work of art

 

 

Fast and Furious Flash Floods

Fast and Furious Flash Floods

The emergency notice came loud and clear on my cell phone, Flash Flood WARNING. I didn’t have too far to go from the building where I had been at a meeting. My car was innocently waiting for me under the torrents of rain, so I held my so-called raincoat tight, pulled the hood over my head, mocking myself for leaving my umbrella behind, and raced to the safety of my sweet little Honda Insight. And got soaked.

This wasn’t the day to be driving that small driving machine that still gets fifty-six miles to the gallon, more than my son’s motorcycle. Once in the car, I raced up the hill out of that parking lot that was sure to flood in another five minutes. Traffic was heavy on the avenue, all heading to Connecticut’s truck highway, the infamous Turnpike, I95, the least likely to have a flash flood. It was around 4:30 pm, traffic is usually mega heavy, heaven only knows why the vehicles were not horizontally stacked.

Traffic was moving steadily, but slowly. I got into the middle lane, the safest that would be the last to cover over with water. But it was moving too slow for me, so I maneuvered to the left lane that was practically empty of cars and water. I kept up my speed watching for any sections that were filling with that stuff falling from the thick black clouds.

I only had to go five exits, about thirteen miles. Moved back to the middle, noting the water beginning to fill in my current position, and hung there till I got close to the next slowpoke. I moved back to the left lane that now had one of those tour buses illegally in front of me, but thrilled to have it carve the way. Almost at my exit, I moved over and out of the now backed up traffic. It was easy to leave the highway and onto the road home, praying that I wouldn’t drown on any of the streets.

I ran into one significant puddle, but my little car behaved like the Little Engine that Could. It took me straight home with nary an incident. I got the mail and pulled into the garage.

WAIT! I’m not done. On my way up the stairs from the garage, I could see that Tom was outside doing something. I stopped, went back down the steps and turned into the basement, the floor was filled with about an inch of water.

“Oh no.” I traveled all that way, no problem, and found the flash flood inside my basement. Soaking wet through my raincoat, my jeans wet too, I forgot about my condition, put on my snow boots that I keep in the ready and headed to help fix the situation.

Yup, water was filling our basement, the drain outside the back door was clogged. Asked Tom where our wet vac was, got a couple of pails to bail out that water like I was in a sinking boat, while Tom was building a dam to try to stop the water from running into the drain and wishing I had sandbags.  I started vacuuming out the water, my priority, and Tom was building a dam, his priority. We survived, both of us soaking wet, but in spite of all this, my Geraniums were blooming in their pot on the deck, a little bit of pink sparkling reminding me that mother nature is amazing.

And how was your rainy day?

Gail Ingis Claus is an author, artist/painter and interior designer. Her upcoming romance The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin will be released in spring 2018. Her current historical romance, Indigo Sky can be purchased on amazon.

A work of art

My Wild Walk on the Beach

My Wild Walk on the Beach

Rockaway Beach Morning Shoreline by Maureen E Ritter

I was alone. A sultry day in July, the sun was blazing, the temperature in the nineties. A walk on the beach sounded like a great escape. Sneaking away from my family was no big deal.

Jumping into the soaring waves was refreshing, revitalizing, invigorating. I waited for the next wave, then the next. Giggling at the cool spray that tickled my skin. The heat no longer bothered me after each successive splash of cold water coated my arms and legs. Suddenly, I found myself overcome by a giant wave. Unexpected. Scary. Gasping for air and flailing my arms I couldn’t stop the pull of this force of nature.

Would someone see me and come to my rescue? I hadn’t noticed a lifeguard. Who thinks about that when there’s so much fun to be had. I tried to drag myself out of the frothy water, onto the safety of the beach, but my strength was fading fast. The undertow pulled me farther and farther away from shore.

Rockaway Beach

Desperate. Frightened that I would drown, I fought the waves with all my might, dragging myself back. Finally, I managed to stand and slog my way through the shallows to shore.

I was eight years old.

Since that day, I have told this story hundreds of times. I promised myself I would never take the power of nature for granted ever again. I was pretty tall for my age and was a good swimmer, but it didn’t make a difference. I was at the mercy of the tides. Since then, I never go into the ocean when the waves are bigger than me.

Those lovely old cottages

Jones Beach undertow

My family had a cottage just up the street, in Rockaway Beach, Queens, New York. The experience put a damper on my love of the ocean. The almost-drowning is what I think of whenever I see a gigantic wave today.

I spent many a summer at Jones Beach watching my own kids jump in and out of the waves. I didn’t want to stop their fun or diminish their pleasure, but I was ready at a moment’s notice to leap to the rescue if one of my kids needed me.

Nature is beautiful but it’s also untameable. Wild. Have a safe summer.

Gail Ingis Claus is an author, artist/painter and interior designer. Her upcoming romance The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin will be released in the fall of 2018. Her current historical romance, Indigo Sky can be purchased on amazon.

http://amzn.to/2j0LXLE

 

Pin It on Pinterest