10 Interesting Facts about Mary Allerton Cushman

I’m happy to welcome author Noelle Granger to the Power of 10 series. Today, Noelle shares interesting facts about Mary Allerton Cushman.

Here’s Noelle!

Many of you know I am writing a historical novel called The Last Pilgrim, about the life of Mary Allerton Cushman. She was the oldest survivor of the passengers on the Mayflower, who became known as the Old Comers. I have become truly lost in the history of the Pilgrims (not given this name until a very late and passing reference in William Bradford’s Of Plymouth Plantation, 1620-1647.) The Old Comers and many who followed were Separatists from the Church of England.

So here are some facts, of which there are very few as it turns out, about Mary.

She was born while the Separatists were living in Leiden, in 1616, daughter of Mary Norris and Isaac Allerton.

She sailed on the Mayflower with her parents, a sister named Remember, two years older, and a brother, Barthomew, eight years older.

Mary’s mother was pregnant aboard the Mayflower and gave birth to a stillborn son. She died, still aboard the Mayflower, in January of 1621, before suitable housing was built on the site of chosen for their settlement.

Bartholomew returned to England around 1630 and insofar as is known, Mary never saw him again.

Her father married to Fear Brewster, daughter of Elder Brewster, the religious leader of the colony, in 1627. Her half-sister, Sarah, daughter of Isaac and Fear, died as a child. Her half-brother Isaac graduated from Harvard.

Around 1636, she married Thomas Cushman, who had come to Plymouth in 1621 at the age of thirteen on the ship Fortune with father Robert Cushman. Robert Cushman was a prominent member of the Separatist congregation in Leiden.

Thomas and Mary had a prosperous family; seven of their eight children survived to adulthood and married.

She had at least fifty grandchildren!

Her husband, Thomas, took over the position of Elder of their church when Elder Brewster died.

She lived in the Plymouth Colony until her death in 1699, and was buried on Burial Hill in Plymouth. The site of her grave is unknown, but she is mentioned on the memorial erected to the Cushman family.

Burial Hill, Plymouth, MA

Cushman Memorial

One side of the Cushman Memorial

Side of the Memorial mentioning Mary

This is basically most of what is known of Mary Allerton Cushman, with the exception of the names and dates of births, marriages and deaths of her children. I don’t know what she looked like, because there are only a few portraits, painted largely from imagination, of the colony’s male leaders. Thus I’ve had to create her from whole cloth, but I want her life set against the real background of everything that is known of the Plimoth Plantation history and life there. Much of this comes from Bradford’s book – how much poorer we would be without it, but it is hard to read and understand! I also glean from information provided by the Plimoth Plantation historical recreation in Plymouth. This venue is about four doors down from the house where I grew up and I was a tour guide there when it first opened. I also use records, online sources and other books. The latter two have to be vetted for their veracity, since there is a lot of misinformation floating around!

Statue of Elizabeth Tilley Howland, who came on the Mayflower at age 13. She had 88 grandchildren. The Pilgrim women were prolific. I played her in a Pilgrim’s Progress when I was a teen.

I recognize that women in the early colonial days were basically servants – did you know they were not allowed to speak in church except for singing psalms? – but you know they had thoughts, memories and opinions of their own, and I am trying to give life to them.

Wish me luck!

Noelle’s Books

Where to find Noelle…

Blog | Book Site | Twitter | Facebook


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Living Well and Opting for Joy – A Centenarian’s Secrets

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

Yoga teacher and competitive ballroom dancer Tao Porchon-Lynch turned 100 on August 13, 2018. Just before her birthday, she shared the following seven secrets for aging gracefully:

Secret No. 1: Wake up before the sun. “I wake up before the sun rises because I like to watch it rise,” says Tao Porchon-Lynch.“ By observing nature, I can feel a life force. I look outside my window to the sky and tell myself that this is going to be the best day of my life. Then I’ll often pick up my journal and write something that comes to my mind that’s in my heart.”

Secret No. 2: Be grateful—and optimistic. Tao Porchon-Lynchsays she learned the importance of embodying both of these traits from the time she was a child. “I was raised by my aunt and uncle, and my uncle started every day with, ‘It’s a beautiful day, isn’t it?’ Now I do the same, and I do it with a smile. I believe the key to a long life is positive thinking.”

Secret No. 3: Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today. When Tao Porchon-Lynch has something to do, she says she does it right away—she never procrastinates. “I don’t want to sit there hoping, wishing, and wasting time,” she says. “I always practice my yoga in the morning and my dancing in the afternoon. This commitment is likely why I’ve received the Guinness World Records for being the oldest yoga teacher and the oldest competitive ballroom dancer.”

Secret No. 4: Remember the true meaning of yoga. “Yoga can be the joy of life, and it’s not just about putting our bodies into specific postures,” she says. “It’s about expressing what comes from inside of you and showing up when you meet other people to create a oneness.”

Secret No. 5: If you see a barrier, try to push past it. Yoga has almost always been a part of Tao Porchon-Lynch’s life. “I was introduced to it when I was seven years old; I wandered to the beach near my childhood home in French India and saw some boys practicing yoga on the sand,” she says. “I followed their movements and I thought that I was learning a new game. That evening I told my aunt about the game, and she explained that it was called yoga and that it was only for boys. This was 1925. I told her that girls can do what boys can do, and by the time I was eight years old, I was on that beach joining the boys during my playtime.”

Secret No. 6: Do what you love. “I became a yoga teacher after friends saw me incorporating yoga into my everyday life and asked to join my practice. What I love most about teaching is seeing a smile come onto someone’s face when they realize that they can do things that they thought were impossible, physically and mentally.”

Secret No. 7: Don’t be afraid to age. “I don’t feel any different now that I’ve turned 100. I’m not even scared. And I’ll never stop practicing yoga—it’s the dance of life! The breath is the breath eternal, which makes all things possible.”

Source: Yoga Journal September 2018



Navigating the Food Court

Shopping in the mall can be challenging, especially if you are hungry and tired.

Ideally, you should eat before going to the mall, but sometimes that isn’t possible, and you need to eat on the run. Most food courts offer a wide variety of foods from around the world. Take some time to carefully examine each menu and select the best low-fat, nutritional entrées.

Here are some suggestions…

Italian: Pasta with tomato sauce, vegetable soup, or salad with dressing on the side are good picks. The best pizza choice is vegetarian–get double vegetables instead of double cheese. Avoid garlic bread, cream-based sauces, Caesar salad, and chicken parmigiana.

Mexican: Select chicken fajitas, enchilada, beef soft tacos, or vegetarian burritos without the high-fat toppings. Avoid high-fat nachos with cheese and guacamole.

Greek: Order chicken souvlaki and a salad with dressing on the side.

Chinese: Try egg drop and wonton soups, mixed vegetables, steamed dim sum, steamed rice, or stir-fries. Avoid deep-fried egg rolls, chicken balls, chicken wings, and fried rice.

Burger Outlets: Order a plain hamburger or veggie burger dressed with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and onions. Consider grilled chicken on a bun, a stuffed pita, or a wrap. Avoid the special sauces, bacon, and cheese toppings.

Submarine Shops: Order a six-inch sub on a whole wheat bun with turkey, beef, chicken, or seafood, lots of vegetables and low-fat mayonnaise. Avoid club subs and those with meatballs or deep-fried chicken.

More tips to keep in mind…

• Take advantage of late shopping hours. Head out after an early dinner at home.
• Wear comfortable walking shoes and leave your coat in the car. You won’t be as tired or on the lookout for a snack to cool you down or revive you.
• Try shopping downtown where you can stroll the streets and eat a healthy meal at a local café.
• Bring your own food: bottled water, a snack bag of nuts, protein bar, and an apple.
• Indulge and buy a single truffle at the chocolate store. (There are several women in my circle who can limit themselves to a single truffle)

Any other tips to share?


Happy Bodhi Day!

Today, we celebrate the transformation of Siddhartha Gautama into the spiritual leader we know as the Buddha.

A bit of history…

Born a prince in Nepal, Siddhartha lived a comfortable and sheltered life. While he could easily have enjoyed those circumstances, he traveled about the country witnessing the misery of old age, sickness, and suffering. Profoundly affected, he chose to leave his palatial home and seek the meaning of life.

He spent six years living the life of an aesthetic and served six teachers. Still unsatisfied, he tried different disciplines, among them surviving by eating only one grain of rice each day.

Frustrated, he vowed to sit under the Bodhi tree until he had answers. After fasting and meditating for an entire week, he woke up on the morning of the eighth day and experienced enlightenment. Those realizations became the basis of modern-day Buddhism.

Here are ten of my favorite quotes from the Buddha…

Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.

The mind is everything. What you think you become.

You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.

Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.

We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.

Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.

All that we are is the result of what we have thought.

We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.

Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.


Growing Up

Welcome to my Second Acts Series!

Today, we have Soul Mate author Carly Jordynn sharing the transformational journey she has taken with her daughter and her new release, Forest of the Mist: Guardians.

Here’s Carly!

Growing Up may sound like a weird title for somebody in my age group, but that is how I am looking at my life right now. I am a single mom to a daughter that I adopted fourteen years ago. Back then I was immature for my age. I had freedom to do what I wanted when I wanted. I traveled. I went out on dates or with friends. If I wanted to stay home all weekend and binge watch Harry Potter, I could do that. Then I became a mom.

When my daughter came into my life it became a game changer. Don’t get me wrong, I still had fun, but I had to cut back on traveling and I limited my going out time. When she started school, it was like going through school again with her. My daughter has ADD so I have to help her with homework a lot. On any given day you could hear me say as I left work, “I don’t want to go home and do my homework!” We finally got out of elementary school and entered middle school. Oh my gosh! I hated middle school the first time around and I can assure you I am not enjoying it much this time either.

I hear myself all the time saying, “I can’t wait until we’re in high school.” That’s coming up next year and has opened a whole other can of worms. The questions! The endless questions about boys, dating, college, dances, did I mention boys? I’m beginning to think middle school may not be too bad.

So, how does this change me you ask? In several ways I get to relive the best memories I have of those times. I’m getting a refresher course in all subjects. I’ve discovered some of the classes I detested in my day; I am enjoying now. Maybe it’s because my daughter and I do it together and that makes the difference. I’m sure the fact that I’m not being graded this time around helps too  I am more patient, I find humor in some of the silliest things, I enjoy hearing her talk about her friends. I like watching her grow and mature into a beautiful young lady. We are closer now. We not only have a mother/daughter relationship, but we are also friends. I like this new dynamic to the traditional relationship.

Another way I have changed during this time is I am growing as a person. I am definitely smarter with all the classes I’ve been through…again. I find that my opinions are not as hardcore as they once were. I am more flexible in my outlook on life and towards people. I have been overweight most of my life and now I am on the path to a healthier me. I feel better than I have in a long time. My writing career is starting to really take off and that provides me with deep satisfaction. I keep telling my daughter she can do or be anything she wants to be and now I actually believe that. I have more confidence to chase my dreams as I watch my daughter chase hers.

Reinvention, it can happen at any age and proves it’s never too late to capture your dreams.

Blurb

Davy Kyle is in a ton of trouble. That’s really nothing new for Davy as he has been in trouble his whole life. Davy was born in the alternate realm, Paradise Valley. As a result, he has some freakish powers such as rapid growth in body and intelligence, the ability to create portals to transport to the alternate realms, and the ability to know what others are thinking.

During his last adventure, Davy learned he would one day have a co-ruler in the realms and her name would be Kelly. Through a bit of impromptu eavesdropping, he learned that his friends from Paradise Valley, Connor and Lily O’Brien, would name their young daughter Kelly. Shocked at this coincidence, Davy sets out to determine how Kelly will arrive in Paradise since you have to be in a coma to enter the alternate worlds.

Kelly O’Brien was a spoiled six-year-old when family friend and confidant Davy Kyle kidnapped her through a portal to an alternate reality. While there, Davy aged her to sixteen and explained that one day she would be his co-ruler there. While she understood and looked forward to that day, she asked Davy to return her to six and her parents. He did as she asked, but invoked his powers to start accelerated aging and maturity. The alternate realms recognized Kelly and helped with that aging process.

Now Kelly’s parents have enrolled her in high school in the hope she will meet somebody else, fall in love, and forget about Davy and Paradise Valley. What they don’t know is Kelly’s determination to be with Davy no matter the cost.

What Davy does to ensure Kelly’s arrival in Paradise is sooner rather than later will test the ties of his family and friends in reality and may cost him the love of his life.

buynow

Bio and Links

Carly Jordynn is a writer from Northern Kentucky who loves to weave tales of fantasy, paranormal, and romance. When she isn’t writing a book, she enjoys reading, going out with friends, hanging out with her daughter, and living life to the fullest.

Carly loves to travel. You can find her at various conferences and other author events throughout the year. Her hobbies include: travel, photography, reading, and party planning.

Carly is a member of the Romance Writers of America.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Blog



Today, tomorrow, and Sunday–December 7, 8, and 9–Travelers, Book 1 in the Forest of the Mist series is free on Kindle. Find out more here.

Joanne here!

Carly, Thank you for sharing your reinvention story. All the best to you and your daughter as you continue on this journey. Congrats on your new release.


Five Times Two—Elephants & Meerkats Share This Billing

I’m happy to welcome author Missye K. Clarke to the Power of 10 series. Today, Missye shares interesting facts about elephants and meerkaats and her novel, Jersey Dogs.

Here’s Missye!

The McGuinness cousins, Casper and Logan, have Andrea Pedregon and Katherine “Rocket Dog” Jones in their hearts they’d lay their loves down for. Part of a solid supporting cast in the Casebook series, you’ll learn how Andrea adores elephants and Katherine, mother to twin daughters, discovered she shares a nickname with a lead meerkat family a documentary series followed for four years. Read on . . . and you may grow to love elephants and meerkats as I do.

5. This Ain’t Your Granny’s Trunk! The elephant’s trunk, when full grown, alone weighs 400-500 pounds, contains around 100,000 different muscles to move, and has finger-like appendages at its tip, making it possible, if need, to hold a single blade of grass.

4. Two Knees Good, Four Knees Better. The elephant is the only mammal on the planet with four working and forward-bending knees. Unlike us, however, if one’s blown out, we can get it replaced, but they can’t, and will die, since the other three cannot support the animal’s weight to move properly with their herds and constantly seeking a fresh water source.

3. Go, Southpaws! Like you prefer using one hand over the other—Casper McGuinness and I write and play acoustic left-handed, but I digress :)—elephants are “righties,” “lefties” or “ambies” (ambidextrous) with their tusks. Whether fighting other elephants, picking things up, or bark-stripping of trees, like you prefer doing tasks with one tusk over the other. This is why, in seeing photos of these grand animals, one tusk is shorter than its twin over time.

2. Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow. Baby elephants, called calves, have hair fuzzies covering their bodies when they’re first born, but diminishes as they age. The hair acts like a cooling aid to their forms, which is suitable for the severe hot climates of Africa and Asia, even when sparse in an elder elephant’s years.

1. Move Over, Puss-Puss and Fluffy! In addition to the trumpeting sounds we’ve all familiar with in elephants, they purr much like big and domestic cats do.

In Memorandum. When an elephant crosses the great rainbow bridge, the living mammal pay homage to the bones of their dead by touching the skulls and tusks with their trunks and feet. If an elephant is walking by a dead elephant, it’ll stop in its tracks especially if a loved one had died. This silent respect for their own goes on for several minutes to as long as an hour.

Many thanks for Andrea Pedregon giving me these incredible elephant facts. And mark your calendars for every August 12th—that’s known as World Elephant Day. I don’t usually offer a pitch for anything else but shamelessly plugging JERSEY DOGS, but if you could find a worthy elephant conservation charity to donate your time and funds to, that would make my day, restore severely endangered African and Asian elephant numbers, and Andrea’s heart soar. We both thank you so much.

Onto the meerkats!

5. “Hey . . . I Thought I Heard You Calling Me!” Know how you’d recognize your friend’s and loved ones voices in a minute? Like emperor penguins and elephants, meerkats can recognize their friends’, siblings, and children’s cries, calls, and shouts, too. But unlike meerkats, who can hear these sounds upwards to a mile out, or emperor penguins, which can pick out a specific call from over 100,000 birds strong, I’ll bet you can only know your friend’s and loved ones voices from a much shorter distance and in a far smaller crowd.

4. Strength In Numbers. Sometimes referred to as “mobs” or “gangs,” meerkat clans hunt in a collaborative effect. Several spy for the prey as another section of the mob act as lookout for natural predators to meerkats: vultures, owls, another enemy clan—or some within their own with a grudge to settle. When danger’s been spotted, the lookouts either release a bark or a whistle.

3. Meet Donna “Rocket Dog.” Slightly larger than their counterpart males, meerkat clans are matriarchal, and alpha females don’t co-lead their spots, even in direct lines (mother-daughter, sister-sister, aunt-niece). Generally the mob’s built around the couple, but it’s the alpha female to whom that mob’s meerkats, male and female, answer to. If another female within the clan becomes or is pregnant, she’s either exiled or plays wet nurse to the alpha female to get back into her good graces—ifshe or her pups aren’t killed first.

2. “It’s a Bird . . . It’s a Plane . . . Take Cover!” Meerkat pups are so frightened of birds, if they even see a plane or a bat, they’ll run for the safety of their burrows.

1. More Murderous Than Humans? Depends on Motive. According to a 2005 study in Live Science, meerkats are the most “murderous” mammal known to science. Considering they kill prey in mob fashion in clans some 30-60 strong, that’s not out of bounds.

Bonus: While streaming Netflix over a decade ago—and roughly the lifespan of a meerkat in the wild—I came across Animal Planet’s ratings blockbuster documentary series, Meerkat Manor. One of the top females in the two clans being followed, tracked, and documented, was an alpha female named Flower. Her daughter was Rocket Dog. At the time when I drafting my 2ndCasebook mystery, I knew Logan’s love interest would be a strong supporting cast member, but I had no idea what her name would be. While watching an episode of Manor, if memory serves, “Rocket Dog’s Day,” I knew that nickname was perfect for Katherine Jones. If it’s good enough for another mammal, it’s good enough for a human :).

I hope you liked this “Power of 10” segment. Thank you to Miss Joanne for graciously permitting me to share this post. Please reach out via email to maroonsclue@gmail.com for questions, personal notes, or just to say hey. And please enjoy this chapter of JERSEY DOGS. For your own copy, it’s available at a fine e-retailer near your favorite reading device.

The following contains mature content and is not suitable for younger readers. Discretion is advised.

You can read the full chapter here. An excerpt is provided below:

Excerpt

“You guys know it’s almost nine,” Bobby admonished when we arrived home.

After hugs and assuring us she’d make her calls, Nana Grace loaned her Mazda3 to Jay Vincent. He let the other McGuinness drive to decompress, especially when headlights tailed us five minutes after we’d left Nana Grace’s and losing them within an hour of maneuvering Borough Park’s maze of streets. We said maybe ten words during the ride. The bomb my cousin dropped dampened his driving thrill and our moods, and despite my blooming unease, I somehow catnapped across the backseats.

The following contains mature content and is not suitable for younger readers. Discretion is advised.

“Upstairs for a few, Gramps,” Logan said, his tired tone hinting not to alert the de Franciscis of our discovery.

“Right.”

Bobby inspected his hair in the hall’s oval wall mirror. “Meant to ask you, how’d the first day go? Did you know Idrove the truck home when I couldn’t find you for the keys? You weren’t answering your phone, so Triple A had to rescue me with a spare set. Pops is epic pissed.”

The urge to tell Enzo Senior and Bobby to fuck off waned when I considered the littlest de Franciscis might be in earshot, so I settled on “Not now, runt” while I leaned on the hall closet’s doorjamb to toe off my boots. How did Logan learn our biologic mothers had been murdered? How would westay alive if the text wasn’t a sick threat? Both worries were hamsters on a wheel in my thoughts, and yet I noticed an inconsequential thing like an ogre’s morning breath unable to compete with my reeking, urine-stained socks.

“Pops knows about the fight, too. He was gonna figure it out anyway, given that ink stain on your eye and your shredded clothes.” A broad smirk scrunched Bobby’s eyes half-closed after he locked the front door. “Just sayin’.”

Mitchell called it. The second boot hit the closet’s back wall with a muted thunk. “One guess I know who the stool pigeon is.”

“Aw, that hurts, McGuinness.” Bobby feigned devastation. “I mean, shoot, Mom blew up my phone looking for you two. Especially with news about some loser tits up on campus? Pops and Junior are on a new gig in Jersey City, it’s dirty, they’re tired, and you know how Mom gets when they’re in vicious GWB traffic . . .”

I’d deal with this ass-kissing weasel later. “Ever the conscientious one, aren’t ya, Giovanni?”

Bobby’s cheeks shone bright pink through the stubble. “Take that back!”

“Sucks to be you being named after your moonshine-swillin’ granddude.” I patted his face once before he yanked himself away. “You’re overdue for a Paul Mitchell treatment, soy-boy, your five o’clock’s on the rise.”

“CASPER! LOGAN!”

Bobby smirked fresh at his father’s bellow. He saluted me with a single finger and whistled as he strolled from the entryway.

No chance for a pee break or to change clothes, I walked through the living room-dining room, past the kitchen, a right turn down the short hall, and entered Pops de Francisci’s home office. Logan in my wake, Mom shut the door behind us.

buynow

Bio and Links

An imagination too vast for conventional media and fueled by her father’s cold case homicide, Missye K. Clarke loves mapping her Casebooks and Threesome of Magic Mysteries, drafting haikus, and finding rare, original plots and storylines to craft flash fiction. The transplanted New Yorker, and creator of Maroon The Sleuth Books LLC imprint, resides in central Pennsylvania with her husband and son, a senior-but-still-rumbustious Australian cattle dog, a “Jackson 5” clutch of cats, and an occasional groundhog drop-in. JERSEY DOGS is available on Amazon, BN, iTunes, Kobo, Scribd, and most fine e-retailers near you.

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Everything I Have to Teach You About Writing, On One Page

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

I have just finished reading Courage & Craft: Writing Your Life Into Story by Barbara Abercrombie. I highly recommend this clear and insightful guide to all writers and wannabe writers. Here’s a summary page from the book: