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The Muscatine Journal Features C.L. Gillmore ~ Returning to Her Roots


MUSCATINE, Iowa – An author’s bond with her past prose helped forge her role as a professional wordsmith. Now, she’s returning home to Muscatine to reconnect with friends and family – including one friend who might just bring back a flood of memories.

When Cheryl Gillmore Kobel returns to Muscatine for her 45th class reunion, her classmates can read about what she’s been up to – under her pen name of C.L. Gillmore.

Read the full article here.

The Colors of Life…

Excerpt from the novel Uncommon Bond by C. L. Gillmore

As I sat down at Paul’s desk in our home office, I saw the reflection of my face in the blank computer screen. Who was that older woman staring back at me? The hair was still blonde, the eyes still green but the face just didn’t seem to match. I certainly didn’t feel 60. I didn’t think I acted 60 and until today, I didn’t think I looked 60! But in just a couple months, 60 would indeed happen to me, Rose Allison Flynn.

I typed in my password and checked emails and Facebook messages and was proud of myself for getting so electronically savvy in such a short time. I had used computers at school for several years but only to perform school-related tasks. Some historians have said that the advent of home computer and Internet use is as big a change as was the automobile. There is no doubt that my life has been changed by computer use, but then again, over nearly 60 years, I’ve seen a lot of changes.

The biggest change for me was living in an empty nest. I found myself at a fork in the road and at a place where I could decide on a new direction. That I was even aware of this choice is amazing in and of itself. I think many women just continue down the path of least resistance, the path that is familiar. It doesn’t seem to matter that the path has become so familiar that all the surroundings have lost their color, their smell, their flavor, their appeal. Society tells us that this is how it should be as one settles into the final phase of life, especially for women. Just when we need a boost, a change, some color, we are told that this is normal and this is how things should look.

Except for the garden on my patio, I had been walking down this colorless path for a very long time. I wondered how many thousands and thousands of women were walking the same path. Women just like me who never made their own plans and became part of someone else’s dreams. They accept this without realizing they have a choice for something different, or maybe they don’t want the choice, choosing instead the familiar.

But I know there is a choice and the choice is a personal decision. Change is difficult. Scary. And the older one gets, the harder it is to even see a need for change, let alone make that change. It may be impossible for some to choose another path simply because of the way they’re made inside. One has to have felt that difference a long time ago, somewhere along the line, even though it might have been buried in the day-to-day existence. One has to have been that person long ago who asked, “Why don’t I fit into this family? Why can’t I think like they do? Why am I able to go places in my mind when others can’t?”

These are the people who give up good jobs to pursue what they “like” to do instead. These are the people who leave everything familiar behind and move across the country, the world, to places unknown in search of a new direction, a new path, to see color once again. These are the people who look at their marriages of 30 or 40 years and decide for happiness instead of routine familiarity. I think these kinds of people are like the explorers and the pioneers. They are wired differently. I knew early on I was wired differently.

Sometimes fate or providence or divine intervention or just plain luck happens and events are set in motion that defy time and explanation. I got an opportunity to step out, and reach out to something and someone who became the trigger for my remembrance of something more, something that was left behind a long time ago.

Without a real plan for what could happen, I made an effort and reached out for a chance meeting with someone who gave me a glimpse of the color again, if only for an instant. But in that instant, I saw it. I remembered it. And I wanted it. Someone stepped back through time and into my life again…and everything routine, mundane and colorless changed.

This someone knew about my plans, my hopes, my dreams. This someone knew the person I had been when I started out. This someone knew me and because of that, I could clearly see a different path that I wanted to walk down. A path that was filled with the colors of life once again. He had been my friend, my soul friend, a kindred spirit. He had been my lover.

Forty years ago.

His name is Jake Richardson.

* * * * *

Leave your keyboards and pick up your eReaders…

UNCOMMON BOND…a social media romance. “A simple message from a long, lost love…a not-so-simple decision…” Television was the only screen in the house when Rose and Jake first fell in love. But Rose left Jake. Pay phones became cell phones, letters became email and computer technology put Rose and Jake face-to-face in a love story that is electric, passionate and fated. Leave your keyboards and pick up your eReaders for this adventure in romance!


Uncommon Bond – Trailer


Music and a Memory…

Excerpt from A Friend Request by C L Gillmore

Rose recalls her mother’s love of music:

“I loved music…all kinds of music and I knew that love of music came from my mother. She sang and played the piano and encouraged me to sing and take piano lessons whenever we were somewhere long enough. It was one of the few things we did together. She would play the piano and I would sit next to her and we would sing. She had a beautiful voice and I loved to watch her hands on the piano keys.

She had such pretty hands with long, graceful “piano” fingers, as she called them, and could stretch her thumb and pinky to easily span an octave or more on the keyboard. I looked down at my hands and stretched my thumb and pinky. I had her hands and her piano fingers. I had her voice too.

I sang and played in high school and now I was doing even more in college. This was a good memory of my mother for me. I was grateful now that I could play and sing. I was grateful to her.”

Designs our Lives are Weaving …


“You were there when I needed you. You stood above all of the others with your strength and you guided me. To each of you I offer my being, my love and all that I am.” – Deidra Sarault


We need both the rough times and the soft shoulders of a friend. They contribute equally to the designs our lives are weaving. The rough times press us to pray, to reach out to others for solace. And our pain gives others the chance to heal our wounds. We are all healers offering strength. And we all need healing…

Gary Wright – Dream Weaver


Big Green Tractor…

From A Friend Request, sequel novel to Uncommon Bond …

During psych class on Wednesday morning, in between note taking, Jerry managed to draw a map for me so I could find the rehearsal barn— complete with farmhouse, barn, silo, tractor, cornfields, and a large brown cow. Clever. It made me smile. When class ended, he tore the map out of his notebook and handed it to me. I folded it and tucked it inside my purse.

Later in the student union I ordered my usual grilled cheese and fries and waited for Jerry. I usually got there first and knew when I heard “Light My Fire” by the Doors playing on the jukebox that Jerry was there. He always played that song when he came in. It was playing now.

Jerry was dressed in his usual bell bottom jeans, black t-shirt and Army jacket. Since Illinois temperatures were a little cooler in October, he’d switched from sandals to boots. He sat down, grabbed one of my fries and noticed the map on the table. He grinned and asked, “So, what do you think?”

“I think maybe you should change your major from business to art…or architecture.”

“Nah, probably not. I’d get caught up in the colored pencils and shit and never get anything else done but the coloring part. Then they’d fire me and I’d have to pawn my guitar to buy cigarettes and beer.”

“Well, I’d still check the catalog next semester for Colored Pencil Stick Figures 101 if I were you. You could be looking at your future, especially if you have to pawn your bass.”

“Thanks, Rose. I’ll keep that in mind.” Pausing to long enough to eat another fry. “So, can you find this place or not?”

“Yes, I’m pretty sure I can follow the map as long as your left and right are the same as my left and right…and I remember to turn at the big brown cow and stop before I hit the green John Deere tractor in the cornfield. If either of them move though…I’m screwed!”

Jason Aldean – Big Green Tractor

Vinyl voices filled our apartment…

From A Friend Request, sequel novel to Uncommon Bond…

Through the years our apartments were filled with sounds of the latest hits on the radio or by the vinyl voices of Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Tony Bennett or maybe Jim Reeves drifting from the record player. My mom saved up enough money over the months from her checks as a waitress and then secretary to buy a stereophonic record player. Stereophonic sound and records specifically recorded in stereo was quite an innovation back in the day and we were on the cutting edge!


One Saturday morning Mom brought the stereo home and I helped unpack it from the large cardboard box. The turntable case was avocado green and the speakers were covered in a matching tweed fabric. It had a diamond needle and I remembered thinking how expensive that sounded. We carefully followed the pictures on the instruction sheet and strategically placed the turntable in the middle of the wall in our small living room. Next we arranged the two speakers at equal distance on each side for optimum division of sound. The first record album we listened to on the new stereo was Nice ‘N Easy by Frank Sinatra. Frank sounded like he was performing right in our living room!

Nice “N” Easy – Frank Sinatra

You’ve Got a Friend…

Excerpt from A Friend Request…sequel novel to Uncommon Bond  

There were a lot of kids I knew from high school attending Illinois State. There were also a lot of new kids from surrounding Illinois and out-of-state towns that I didn’t know. That was one of the reasons I was going to the Battle of the Bands “mixer” at the Student Union tonight. But the main reason was Jerry Parker.

I met … Jerry the first day of classes last month. He was one of those new kids. We both had Psych 101 at 7:20 a.m. in the huge, tiered lecture hall. He came strolling into class that first Monday morning 15 minutes late! The professor had already taken roll and was explaining the syllabus when Jerry stopped by his desk, pointed to his name on the roster and then headed for the nearest empty seat…right next to me.

Tall and thin with long dark hair almost to his shoulders and sporting wire-rimmed glasses, Jerry wasn’t that clean cut, all-American preppy kid that I was used to seeing in Macomb. Instead he was dressed in faded bell bottom jeans, an army jacket with a black t-shirt underneath and sandals. Somehow it all worked. He had that hippie look. Whatever it was he had working for him, it was working on me. I liked him the minute I saw him. Jerry was 19.

He appeared a bit disheveled and disorganized as he slid into the desk chair next to mine. He shoved all but the psych book underneath the chair and then picked up several cigarettes he’d dropped, shoving them back into the pack he kept in a pocket of his army jacket. Once he was settled he looked over and checked the page number I was on, turned in his book to that page and then flashed this wide, friendly grin at me and said quietly, in almost a whisper…

“Hi! I’m Jerry Parker and you are?”

And with those few words…my friendship with Jerry Parker began.



James Taylor & Carole King – You’ve Got a Friend


Slow Dancin’…Swayin to the Music

Excerpt from Uncommon Bond by C L Gillmore

a social media-based romance–

“I loved to slow dance with Jake. On slow dances with the band, he would set the lights, leave the lighting booth and lead me to the dance floor. He was such a good dancer. He knew how to hold a woman in his arms, where to put each hand, how to apply just the right amount of pressure to …lead her. To lead me. I remember fitting perfectly up against him, molding into his body as we danced. Feeling the effect I had on him as he pulled me closer. There was something about him. His manner, his touch, his sureness, the way he looked into my face. I knew I was safe with him. He would always keep me safe. He told me his mom taught him how to dance, but that his dad showed him how to hold and dance with a woman. I knew when he held me in his arms and we danced close together that he knew what to do with a woman’s body when he danced with her…with me. It was lovely…more than lovely.

Johnny Rivers – Swaying to the Music