Monday, October 16, 2017

A Little Aside

October has always held a special place in my mind/heart/spirit. I think it's my creative side that gets twanged like a harp string when autumn leaves turn, the air turns crisp, and pumpkins and gourdes are in the supermarket or at farm stands.

This October, we haven't had the usual crispness, or the leaves changing around here. The leaves have simply begun to fall. We had a long stretch of 90+ temps and sort of put a damper on my usual decorating. (More on that in my other blog.) And a few personal things going on as well has thrown me.

I took the whole day off yesterday to either explore my other creative talents, or just veg out and watch Sherlock Holmes (my latest interest).

My other creative verve is painting. I've taken pictures of the pieces I've done. Here is a sample of one of my very first ones. I call it "Sunrise on the Prairie".

The above painting I used this picture from my phone camera below to create.

I was out behind the barn back in August, where some of the prairie plants stretch out for acres. I knew exactly what I wanted to take a picture of, found the right angle, as the sun was coming up over the rise, and it turned out wonderfully. And I think the painting worked out well for a novice in water colors. I've an art degree, which I've never used really.

This next painting I did from a photo also, but from our vacation. I'm still practicing water and sky, so it's not perfect.

And it's from this picture from my vacation up to Lake Superior.
These watercolors are done on post card sized paper. Easy to send in a letter or card envelope.
I've sent the above painting to my ailing brother who had a massive stroke, he can't speak, and I'm told he can't even write his thoughts down. He's going through therapy, of course. He's 77 this year--yes quite a span of years between some of my brother's and sisters. (My father would have been 99 this year!) He was a good big brother, always taking us (my little brother and I), places. I remember holding on to his finger because my hand was so small. He called us "Clobbers", I guess because we roughhoused with him a lot. He tended to tickle me to death.

After having sent the card with my painting in it, I had word that he loved it and put it up on his refrigerator--sort of like when I was little and did drawings (I sometimes drew on walls, so there was my artwork for all to see when they passed by. My mother must have pulled her hair. I know my sister didn't appreciate when I used her favorite lipstick to draw on our shared bedroom wall!). I was happy to give it to him. He's to have surgery, but this was put off until spring, I'm told.

His daughter has also been sick. She's gone through cancer therapy--yes, all at the same time! But she is recovering, and is going back to work. She works at a grocery store where they tend to be better than most places I've ever heard of. They have a catering service, and on-line grocery shopping. She told us that they would bring her food to her door so she wouldn't have to go out. My husband saw her at the store, last week, and gave her a hug and I really hope to see her back at her job--of course not as many hours, and going at her own pace. She may go back to doing the on-line shopping (they get the orders and go through the store shopping for these people). Or she may do service counter. It remains up to her. That's a nice place to work.

They also have a dietitian. And while Dennis was there, he heard her name called over the intercom, requesting her to meet the dietitian in the health food area.

I haven't decided what picture I'll give to her, as yet. I thought maybe I'd come up with something for her this Christmas. It might give me a chance to practice a little more.

Well, that's all I have for now. I'm working on the next murder mystery. Sort of slow going, but I don't care. I've just sent in the sequel to "Spell of the Black Unicorn", which has been written for a dozen years, and I only had to go through (thankfully), and edit.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

I've had a good summer off, had a lot going on, both inside and outside. Flowers have bloomed and some still are, and others, like my sunflowers, are going to seed.

But the writing continues. I'm one of those who needs to have about 3 different stories going at once. And I've waited for publisher to send me edits of my 6th book in Sabrina Strong series to me, and finally got them last weekend, and I'm still working on them. So, concentration is on Requiem at the moment. I've also realized I need to write up a description of the book. Last night I wrote it out in longhand, feeling that it might help the germ of inspiration for me to use a pen instead of type it out. Let's see how it is, and this is quite a rough draft, but I think it gets the message across.

Bill is back, literally from the dead. Is he vampire? Human? Or something more? His objective is to find and protect the Sybil. But this may prove to be harder than ever since the demon Naamah has vowed vengeance against her and enlists the talents of a witch to help.

Meanwhile, after the takeover, Tremayne is once again in power, calling Sabrina and Vasyl to his realm. His reasons for summoning the rival rogue vampire becomes apparent soon enough. Vasyl is asked to take over the eastern half of the U.S., while Tremayne goes to take on the western half, vacated by the vanquished (and very dead), Ilona.

Sabrina is uncertain of ramifications, and where this puts her in the hierarchy, but she knows her husband is now a very powerful and important vampire in Tremayne's realm. But she barely has time to get comfortable in this new position when she's attacked by Lief, who wants revenge for her having killed his mate. The V.I.U. (Vampire Investigation Unit), ignores the situation and lets Lief go. Showing that they side on the demonic side rather than vampire.

More than ever, Sabrina has to become pregnant, and when it looks as though she's about to go through with it, her spilled blood causes Vasyl to vacate and abdicate his new realm before he is tempted beyond the point of no return.

A breach in security at Tremayne Towers causes Sabrina, and others to fight off some nasty demons, but she is injured and needs a quick infusion of vampire blood to save her life. This is where Stefan Capella comes in as a major player in the Sybil's life. The secret behind who he really is is revealed soon enough, and although he brings on the charm, Sabrina isn't crazy about where this will ultimately lead.

This is what I've got so far. I'm sure it will change, and I haven't put an ending on it, as yet. Leave comments as usual. Love to hear from you.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Summer Flowers Brings Summer Writing!

You would never guess that this pretty lady above is just a lowly day lily that you see along roadsides around here. I'd forgotten how pretty the flowers are. This one I transplanted into my little garden along with my daisies--you see it in the background with the "blanket flower" below.

 Here is a new-comer to my garden, the ice plant, a succulent, which loves the sun, but I water it everyday so it doesn't dehydrate.

 And here are more succulents, the "moss rose", which can give you various different colored flowers on one plant, and I love them. I remember my mother planting these in the small area by our backdoor when I was little.

Below is another newcomer. These tiny flowers are a bit blurry because they are so small, but this is Irish moss, and it's very durable as a ground cover. I was shocked to find it at Walmart. It had another name, which escapes me at this time, but I looked it up and found out what it was under the common name--Irish moss.

Other than my gardening adventures, I've been working on my writing. Put ending on second murder mystery, but I know I've got a few little details to add to it, as I keep thinking up things I didn't put into it.

And, I've got the third book trying to germinate, plus something else that's very different for me and it won't leave me alone--a sci fi. I'm not sure if I'll attempt this. I've never written or read one before, so I'm not sure I should write it.

And on that note, the Star Trek bug has bitten me. I can't believe its inception was 50 years ago, and since then, they have made more shows and movies, and are about to release a new show, I believe. Unfortunately, I can't get the channel this will be on, but I've been watching the original show on TV, and "Star Trek, The Next Generation" on line (the ones they let you watch).

Well, as Mr. Spock would say, "Live well and prosper" all you Trekians, and fellow writers. See you when I've another update.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Out With the Old, In with the New

... and other stuff.

Hey, gals and guys, today is Saturday, and I haven't written in here for a while. A few things just kept me away. One was sales, and such on certain books, so I always go to Muse for blogs about those. I had some nice reviews, too. I'm waiting on the first one for "Party to a Murder", but it'll come. I just hope it won't be harsh (like a 3-star or worse!)

I've been busy this week, since I was on "spring break" from my work, and I needed to not only concentrate on my writing of the second book in the Lainey Q. books, but also, here I am heavy again! I'm so sick of diets that get you there, but you tire of the food quickly and really, I know that I've got flab even when I do loose ten or twenty pounds. Like most women I have it on my gut. It never goes away. What is the solution? I needed to find something. I was just listening to some wonderful music on UTube one day, and before it began they put on one of their commercials. Now, normally, I skip them--hit that skip button--and continue listening or watching a show. This time it caught me my surprise. This young lady with an amazing body was willing to share her secrets with anyone, and give away a video as well. Her name is Danette May. I went and watched her video, and did the exercises and did some others I found. Oh my god! I was sore for 3 days--still am, but I did them again, today, and found a few other moves for different part of the body--glutes, and arms. Anyway, here is the link, if you're interested. I highly recommend her, she's very energetic, and her exercises look easy, but once you do them you see that these work the muscles!

Now, keep in mind I'm 62, going to turn 63 at end of summer. If I can do these, and I don't say I do them as well as her, or as many counts on everything, so can you. I'm in good health, but I'm so out of shape it's just horrifying to me. I used to be thin. I don't like feeling the way I do, and I don't like looking the way I do. I've been looking to add something to my program, something also to get me psyched up, and this little gal has everything from what to eat to exercises that don't have you do crunches like a man, but these easy movements that you WILL feel in the areas you work.

There's also things to eat that help you lose weight, and lately, if you've seen it on Dr. Oz, or just somewhere in a magazine, they say eating certain fats can help you slim down too. Danette called them "Fats to burn belly fat" in this video. Non-fat is no longer good for you. They usually add more sodium and a few other things that are not good for you.

Here they are:
1). Coconut oil -2-4 teaspoons a day (you can supplement it for olive oil in cooking)
2). Raw & unsalted nuts--I prefer walnuts because of their many benefits.
3). Avocados (which have good fats in them, like "good" monounsaturated fat. If used in place of other fats, it can help against hypertension.

I've been buying avocados lately, and want to use them more, because of the benefits. I slice them into salads.I'd like to try making my own ranch dressing out of them. Because of the mild flavor, you barely notice them in a salad. You don't even have to have tacos to enjoy them!

Well, I'm going to go into my summer feeling better, and hopefully looking better. I've got 8 weeks to get tighter abs and everywhere else I'll be working on. I'm determined to keep this up. I've tried yoga but it wasn't getting it done for me. I needed something more aggressive and I think I've found it.

Well, I've got a lot to write this weekend, and hope to get further toward the climax of "Invitation to Kill", and I need to do other things as well, like go to the grocery store. We're lucky that a HyVee is one of our stores we go to, and they have a dietitian who is very friendly, and we talk to her all the time. I've found out what to take for fiber, and also probiotics. I've talked Dennis into taking probiotics, because he has so much trouble with his gut (angry gut), and we're at the point we no longer think it's the gluten thing any more. I've discovered a drink as well, called Kefir,(the video here explains why it's better than yogurt), which is touted as having the best source of probiotics. I asked Lisa (nutritionist), and she showed me the bottles in their health food department, and even opened one so I could try it. At first it's really somewhat sour, because it's fermented. But once I got past that flavor, the strawberry in it came through. I was able to drink it while we shopped thanks to Lisa.

Well, I think I've covered too much here. Even if you check out just one thing, please do, I think you may benefit from something I've covered today.

Have a good weekend!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

It Was Worth It!

Let's see. I've been writing my fantasies now for 4 decades. I began writing in high school. Told by my English teacher (who taught creative writing class), that my grammar and spelling sucked (not her words exactly). Nothing about whether or not I had talent, nor did she give me encouragement. She told me that I should find other employment when I told her I wanted to become an author.


grumpy cat, Will Smith / Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, I ain't even mad. I am.:

I wanted to kill her in terrible ways. 
In the library. 
With an ax.
artnet Galleries: Perfect Balance by Kelly Reemtsen from Adler & Co. Gallery:

In my head, of course. Possibly on paper.

And I've decided to murder a terrible teacher in a future book.

Funny Cat:

Not this next murder mystery, but the third one after I finish WIP. In this current one, Invitation to Kill, a teacher is murdered. His wife is also murdered. And another innocent is also killed. We've got a serial killer on the lose in a college. You won't believe who it is!

My first murder mystery is now out. Party to a Murder, about a seventeen year old young adult who discovers she has a penchant for poking into murders and solving them when she begins to look into the murder of a girl she went to school with. She is murdered with a knife. Much like the picture on the cover.

Lainey Quilholt has to wonder why people--especially the girls--hated Arline so much. And why was her ex-boyfriend continuously asking her out for a date when they were an item all during high school, and rumor had it they were going to get married.

It all begins when Arline and AJ (boyfriend) went to a cabin up north for a few days with her best friend and her boyfriend. On the last day Arline's girlfriend died from accidental drowning. After that, nothing was the same. Her car was totaled in an accident on the way home. She is later seen in a brand new car and shopping in the mall and in the small town where they lived. What could that be all about? Where did she get the money?

Just a few of the questions that Lainey asks, especially after the big fight between Arline and her ex one night at a party in the local woods--which neither one of them were asked to join.

After the two split, no one ever saw Arline again, until the next morning. Her body is discovered by joggers along a trail in the woods.

Who brutally murdered Arline Rochell and why?

Lainey begins puzzling these questions out, and how fortunate for her, her aunt is dating the local sheriff, Weeks, and he is willing to share a few things about the murder, and even allows her to take a look at Arline's apartment where someone has ransacked it, looking for something. They didn't find what they were looking for. But Lainey sure does. Incriminating pictures, which she takes to Weeks.

Other clues she follows include the graduation necklace that was found clutched in Arline's hand in her death grip. Other clues pull both her and Weeks along in the investigation, until Lainey suggests a re-enactment, which at first the sheriff doesn't go for, but then, the one missing thing--Arline's cell phone--becomes central in finding the murderer.

What'd ya think? Sounds interesting, doesn't it?

Yep. I've got this and other books available. So glad I never listened to my English teacher in high school. You were soooo wrong!

So here's to Mrs. Penson, who is long dead now, you were wrong.

I've got plenty of books yet to write and I plan on writing until for whatever reason, I can't write. You see, Mrs. Penson. Writing became a passion. My only real passion in life where I can't not do this. I worked at my spelling, the grammar is better, and your advice, I'm happy to say, I never took it. Someone tells me I can't do something, by god, I'll prove to them I can. Unless it's something physically challenging, and forget jumping out of planes, or skiing down a hill. 

Writing the mystery has always been one challenge I'd wanted to try and master. Have I mastered it? I don't know. You tell me. If you buy the ebook, I'd like to see what you think, so go ahead and make a review on Amazon, if you would please.

I thank you.
Ƭɦҽ Ꮥʈɽαɲɠҽɽʂ:

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Rubber Band Theory Part 2

Well, I really didn't think that putting a book out as FREE promotion would work. My first novel in the Sabrina Strong series went free and there were a lot of hits on it. I was able to see that during that non-selling portion it went to #200. I don't count it as anything but people grabbing a free-bee. But some good results happened.

One was that within about a week the other books were selling, not just in the US, but in the UK, Canada, and apparently in Denmark--I guess that's what "De" means in the Amazon area on Novel Ranks. And I sold numerous copies of the ebooks at regular price.

Secondly, I finally got a few more reviews. And these were nice reviews from one person who FINALLY got what I was doing with the series. Sheesh. You'd think I have to have a few pages in the beginning to explain to people who are dense as to why each book goes the way it does! Anyway, she gave me excellent reviews and I thank her for that.
Some times you experiment and things don't work. And then other times they work out pretty good. This is an example of when something can work. And since I have a publisher who has ways of getting the word out better than I could (without the money to back it up), I've found that the books are selling well. Better than I could have imagined, and I'm happy about that.

Last week the weather got so warm and gorgeous, I set aside my writing, and enjoyed it. How many times can one say they sat outside in shirt sleeves and shorts in the middle of February in northern Illinois enjoying 60's. I wanted to sun myself, and I got a little caught up with some yard work as well.

This week reality kicked back in and we're back to where we should be in temperatures, but I know it will be short lived because all the spring-time birds are back, including the sand hill cranes, which don't usually make it until March. So, now that I've no real excuse to not work, I'm gradually trying to get back into the swing of it. Had a few ideas pop into my brain this morning for my current WIP, and although these were good I see I need to ponder and mull about them. And I'm hedging on continuing where I am at in the story, because there are later scenes  coming up that have me chomping at the bit to write, and some have been written into a separate document, and maybe these notes I've made could become new scenes. This book is going together like a patchwork, I guess. Nothing wrong with that, as long as the end result is seamless.

Well, that's all I have for this installment.

Oh, nearly forgot. I was feeling under the weather, yesterday. Early morning, I sneezed and felt it in the back of my throat. I knew that if I didn't act on it I'd get hit full blown with something, so I took an aspirin--just one--and later had my tea infused with elderberry, and had another cup later on as well. I had chills throughout the day and resisted this urge I have to clean. It's a burst of energy (I don't know if anyone else experiences this at all, in my case I want to clean the house). I knew if I spent my energies on doing that, I'd become sick for sure. I think it's your body trying to ward off whatever, and if you don't stay home, and rest, you will be screwed! I stayed in my office/room and I had to double up my layer of clothing (put on yoga pants underneath my sweats and two shirts plus a Dickie underneath the sweatshirt). I kept wiping down places where I'd touched, used a different toothpaste from my husband, and hope he doesn't catch whatever I had.
This morning I was much better, and although I know I'm not quite 100% I'm still better than I was. I do believe that the claim on elderberries is spot-on. I've used it whenever I felt I was coming down with something, and so far, this year, I haven't caught a cold or the flu--and I drive a transit bus where just about any germ can come from anyone who gets on the bus. Even if you can't gather and dry the elderberries yourself, the already made form is available in some stores where health food, etc. is sold. I take the tea from the elderberries I gathered and dried and put them into a Ball jar and store it in the fridge. Supposed to last at least a year. At least until they come ripe again in late August!

Okay, now I'm done. Have a good writing week!