Please welcome Ruth Ramsey to the StudioBlog. She’s come to chat to us and show an excerpt from her book, Candle of Dreams. It’s a pleasure to have her here, so, without any more chattering, let’s go! Zooooom!

Studioenp: Pepsi or Coke—or something else?

Ruth Ramsey: Coca Cola, definitely. Back in the eighties, they introduced the new Coke. It tasted like Pepsi. I went into mourning until they brought the classic stuff back.

 

Studioenp: Used to be our go-to drink, too. Especially on a hot day. Can’t beat the bubble burn! Which season do you like best and why?

Ruth Ramsey: I like fall. I love all the fall colors, and the first, crisp bite of cool air after a long hot summer.

 

Studioenp: Exactly the same here! Really can’t beat that first brisk change in the air. Smells clean, doesn’t it? What’s your fondest childhood memory?

Ruth Ramsey: Time spent with my grandma, who encouraged me to write and draw and who was my biggest fan.

 

Studioenp: Aww, grandmas—they’re so great, aren’t they? Do you have a best friend? Let’s be really nosey: who is it?

Ruth Ramsey: I have been blessed to have several “best friends” over the years. Our friendships have spanned decades. One of them is in Heaven now. Her name was Patty, and we were friends for almost thirty-seven years. She was a foster mother for twenty of those and cared for over two hundred children. I have several other friends who are close to me. One is a sister-friend, Shirley. My newest close friend is author Caroline Giammanco, who has encouraged me as I entered the writing world. I think we may have the longest Messenger thread in the history of the world.

 

Studioenp: Hahaha @ the Messenger thread, but so sorry about your friend in Heaven. Thank goodness for fond memories. And all those children! Wow. Do you have any quirks?

Ruth Ramsey: I’ve always marched to my own drum, even when I stumble. I do have a quirky sense of humor.

 

Studioenp: A great way to be. Post-It notes or notebook?

Ruth Ramsey: Both. I love Post-Its. I’m a teacher and I use them for everything from notes to bookmarks; however, there is just something about a new notebook…

 

Studioenp: Yes! That first fresh page. Dare we call it beautiful? What do you do to relax?

Ruth Ramsey: I read, play silly Facebook games, talk to friends, talk to my Yorkies, and sleep. If I’m feeling creative, I draw or crochet.

 

Studioenp: LOL @ silly Facebook games. Been there, done that…still do it. Perfect three-course meal?

Ruth Ramsey: Anything that is tasty, fattening, and filling.

 

Studioenp: Yes! What type of music do you enjoy?

Ruth Ramsey: I enjoy a range of music from classical to country to Celtic. I also like music from the sixties.

 

Studioenp: Em used to listen to a lot of sixties in her early twenties. Reminded her of childhood and family parties. Do you dance like no one’s watching?

Ruth Ramsey: I have three left feet (ask my theater buddies), but I do dance on occasion and I don’t care if anyone is watching.

 

Studioenp: Hooray! That’s the way to be. Glad you enjoy a bit of a jig. Sadly, we’ve come to the end of our chat, but it’s been great having you here, and we wish you well for the future.

Dear readers, we are gathered here today to marvel at the excerpt from Candle of Dreams. As usual, the goodies are over there on the table. Tea, coffee, and for a super treat, hot chocolate. Along with that, have a feast of virtual cinnamon buns and cherry-topped muffins with loads of icing. You’re welcome.

Blurb for Candle of Dreams:

Like moths to a flame, three people are drawn inexorably into a web of dreams and a love that beckons and lures them onward even as it threatens to consume them all.  Set against the backdrop of the last year of the Dust Bowl, Candle of Dreams, is the story of Matt, Cora Lee, and Micah, and the events of a summer that are burned forever in their hearts and memories.

Excerpt for Candle of Dreams:

 

Micah

 

Sister won’t talk to me. She sits in a pool of injured silence and looks out the window of our shared apartment at the people passing in the street and pretends I am not there. She’s acted that way ever since I came clean about something I did long ago when we were teens. I figured that because what happened was so long ago, it wouldn’t make a difference now. I was wrong. She acts as though it happened just yesterday and is madder than an old wet hen. What I did didn’t keep her from having a happy life. She married a man who treated her like a queen and gave her everything she wanted. Her children adore her and take her on trips with them and are constantly calling to see if she is okay. It’s more than I ever had by far.

 

Coral Lee has always been one to hang on to things long after they needed to be let go. It seems she never let go or got over it either. How was I to know she hadn’t? I guess I never got over it myself, because what I did has bothered me all these years. I finally told her about it, so I could get it off my chest and clear my conscience. She met my confession with total silence. Now she sits there and broods. Sometimes the tears slip out the corners of her eyes and she dabs at them with the lacy handkerchief we were taught to carry when young, while her free hand clutches the small pile of letters I gave her when I confessed.

 

“Come on Coral Lee,” I plead. “Please forgive me. I was young. Young people do stupid stuff.”

 

She stares at me blankly and turns away. I don’t know what to do. My Joe was killed in the war fighting at Iwo Jima. We spent such a short time together, and we never had kids. I never cared to remarry. So here I am, childless, with only my sister left. She’s all I have, and she isn’t well.  I am the younger, but I care for her as though she were my child. I look at her frail figure sitting in the chair and wonder if I will lose her too. I wonder if clearing my conscience was worth losing her trust. We’ve never enjoyed an easy relationship. We have always been too different. I may have wrecked all the careful work I have done to build what rapport we’ve had.

 

Why did I do it? Why does anyone do anything? The young do things without thinking. I was no different.  I go about the business of seeing to her needs in the new, painful silence between us. In the silence she preserves so carefully, regret rises up like a tide to swallow me.

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