Writer and editor displays her work and interests

Highlighting Non-visual Pleasures

Music merges hearts, souls, cultures, and creativity. Visit my two-year adventure producing Culture Quest for the Tape Recording and Conversation Club. Throughout the world, music is a driving, dynamic force bringing people together in unpredictable, harmonious ways.

Fragrance has fascinated me since I sneaked into my grandmother’s dresser to test all her colognes. I always got caught. Christmas trees don’t smell like they used to, but thank goodness, food still smells wonderful.

I market a line of flameless candles with eighty fragrances, some of which are available in women’s and men’s lotions, soaps, and sprays. Current favorites we use in our home are lavender, baked apple pie, newborn nursery, and weathered leather. Orange, magnolia, enchanted mist, and vanilla suede earn rave reviews.

The women in my family all prepared good meat and potatoes fare for the table. Grandma Brandt’s specialties beyond that were pies and candy. Grandma Dickinson’s were rolls, yummy and cinnamon, enchiladas, chicken and dumplings, and cookies. My mom created a steak and sauce combination I’ve never tasted anywhere else. I’ll show you how it’s done in my upcoming recipe book.

Here are a few columns I wrote about cooking for Consumer Vision magazine–just to give you a taste.

Books don’t have to be seen to be enjoyed. Good writers have to be good readers. How else would they know what works and what doesn’t–what keeps readers turning pages? I read by listening or by touching Brailled pages. When my friend Bonnie narrated my own book, Chasing the Green Sun so I could offer it in audible format, she read it from a Braille display containing electronic text.

I like stories with more adventure and conflict than high fashion society and romance, although I went through Danielle Steel and Jacqueline Susann phases. My sighted girlfriends shyly snickered as they read me passages from “Peyton Place.” Blind folks were somewhat sheltered by lack of reading availability in those days.

Here’s a short list of some of my faves.

  • James Michener takes a patient reader for those long novels, but history comes alive. I loved “Texas,” “The Drifters,” and many others.
  • John Steinbeck takes you for a short but poignant read in “The Red Pony” and “The Pearl.” “East of Eden” and “The Grapes of Wrath” draw unforgettable pictures of people in changing times and trying circumstances.
  • Stephen King captures the “What if” fascination in “Pet Sematary” and “11/22/63.”
  • Catherine Cookson pits strong yet vulnerable women against flawed folks and circumstances. She allows them to get where they need to go through adventures and awakenings in a fascinating culture and time different from our own.
  • Nicholas Evans captures the West–the animals, the disasters, and the conflicts. I read everything he publishes.