Blog Schedule

I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Missing in Action

I know it's IWSG day. But I'm missing in action. Health/back issues, not me, the hubby. One doesn't realize how much one does until that person is not able to do it. 

Please send prayers for healing.

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

IWSG, Being Thankful

Posting the First Wednesday of every month, the Insecure Writer's Support Group, is the brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh. YOU can sign up HERE to participate.

Every month a question will be posed that may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Remember, the question is optional. You can write about anything that relates to your writing journey.

Let's give a warm welcome to our co-hosts:   J Lenni Dorner, Sarah Foster, Natalie Aguirre, Lee Lowery, and Rachna Chhabria!

This month's question is: For how long do you shelve your first draft, before reading it and re-drafting? Is this dependent on your writing experience and the number of stories/books under your belt?

Usually I let the first draft rest for a couple of weeks before I delve into revisions. But that's when I'm seriously working, which I haven't been, in which case a story can sit around for years and years and....
***
I have nothing to say. I feel myself falling away from this wonderful, supportive blogging community. I am uninspired, lazy, procrastinating, and generally in a long slump. I should care, but I don't.


"The trouble is you think you have time." – Buddha 
That's me... I think I have time.

I could say something about it being my birthday this month and that maybe I'm feeling like I'm getting too old to bother.

Oh woe is me... Pay no attention to these moanings and groanings. But that's kind of a lie as I've just written it out here and have posted it. (Hypocrite!) Am I looking for sympathy or what?

***
Being Thankful
On a bright note, today I'm thankful that we've had more much need rain. Although we're getting a bit tired of the days and days of overcast which covered the lunar eclipse. 
Our yard is blooming and the grass is green.
There are a couple of Cooper's Hawks nesting in a tree in our neighbor's yard. We've been enjoying watching their comings and goings (and the talking they do to each other) and are looking forward to see how many babies they have. This is the second year we've had a nesting pair in the same tree. Last year they had one baby.
(Not my photo)
Cooper's Hawk on Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge (26108620533)
What are you thankful for? Do you let your story rest before beginning revisions/edits? Are you in a slump?  

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Bad Fairy Strikes Again, Book Tour, Elaine Kaye

***NEW RELEASE***

***99 CENTS***

 

 Series: A Bad Fairy Adventure (Book 2)

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Pages: 60

Ages: 7-12

 

BLURB:

Will Thistle ever escape the nickname Bad Fairy?

Thistle Greenbud thought the nickname Bad Fairy was behind her, but she can't escape it. Someone is spreading a rumor about her that just isn't true and can ruin all of her hard work in getting into Advanced School. What fairy would do such a thing?

As if that's not bad enough, Thistle's dad goes missing. Not a single fairy in Tinselville has seen him. He's vanished like pixie dust. Her mom is distraught, and Thistle is worried. Where could he be?

Thistle and the Flutters, along with Dusty and Moss, are on both cases. Can they find out what happened to her dad and solve the Bad Fairy rumor? Thistle hopes so!

 

BOOK LINKS:

Amazon / Nook / iBooks / Goodreads


Thistle’s Chocolate Chip Sunflower Seed Cookies:

Ingredients:

½ cup softened butter

6 tablespoons white granulated sugar

6 tablespoons packed brown sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 egg

1 cup + 2 tablespoons flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

½ cup roasted, salted, shelled sunflower seeds

 

Instructions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Mix the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar in a large bowl until creamy.

3. Add the vanilla extract and egg. Mix.

4. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix well.

5. Stir in the chocolate chips and shelled sunflower seeds.

6. Drop the mixture by full tablespoon onto greased cookie sheets.

7. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.

8. Makes about 36 cookies.

9. Let cool.

10. ENJOY!

OKUM SOKUM!


You can watch the book trailer HERE

EXCERPT:

My name is Thistle Greenbud. Sometimes I’m known by other fairies in Pine Cone Grove as Bad Fairy, but I’m not all that bad. Honest.

Today is the Spring Festival, which is a celebration that happens every May. Dancing and singing fills the air while fairies enjoy the festivities. This year, the flower fairies are hosting the festival in Petal Patch. Mom and Tumble, the pixie Mom hired to help out at home, are as busy as bees preparing for the fun. The kitchen table contains all kinds of goodies, from my favorite chocolate chip and sunflower seed cookies to dripping bites of honeycomb, and jugs of different herbal teas.

After everything is packed, Mom, Tumble, and I carry a basket as Dad pulls our wagon, leading the way through our small grove. We pass homes made of pinecones, twigs, and tree bark. Each one is decorated with colorful streamers in honor of the festival. We follow the pebble-covered streets. The sun filters through fern, bushes, and vines that hide our grove from human eyes.

“Come on, Orla,” Dad shouts to Mom. “I see a good spot to display your goodies.”

Mom shakes her head as Dad bounces like a flea.

We laugh, trying to catch up. Today is going to be so much fun!


Get Book 1 for 99 CENTS!

BAD FAIRY: Amazon / Nook / iBooks / Kobo

 


***GIVEAWAY*** 

PRIZES: 3 signed paperback picture books (Pea Soup Disaster, The Missing Alphabet, Slow Poke), three handmade bookmarks, plus a goodie bag and worksheets.

Eligibility: International

GIVEAWAY LINK: https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/76132e0224/?


a Rafflecopter giveaway

 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Elaine Kaye is the author of A Bad Fairy Adventure series AND A Gregory Green Adventure series. She first created Gregory Green after her son, who loved her homemade pea soup, thus inspiring the story Pea Soup Disaster.

Kaye has worked as a library assistant and teacher’s assistant in elementary schools in the Sunshine State. She currently lives in Florida, but she has called Michigan; Honolulu, Hawaii; and Okinawa, Japan home. She is a grandmother of three boys.


My review: This second in the series of Bad Fairy Adventures is a bit more serious than the first. Thistle's father has gone missing. Fairy dust is being stolen. And there's another rumor going around about Thistle that simply can't be true! How is she going to discover the truth about it all? That, of course, is what this story is all about.

The lessons remain the same; friendship and acceptance are what is important.
 



Wednesday, May 5, 2021

IWSG, Being Thankful

Posting the First Wednesday of every month, the Insecure Writer's Support Group, is the brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh. YOU can sign up HERE to participate.

Every month a question will be posed that may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Remember, the question is optional. You can write about anything that relates to your writing journey.

Let's give a warm welcome to our co-hosts:  Erika Beebe, PJ Colando, Tonja Drecker, Sadira Stone, and Cathrina Constantine!

This month's question is: Have any of your readers ever responded to your writing in a way that you didn't expect? If so, did it surprise you?

I am often surprised that people seem to like my writing. Sometimes I thinks that's just false-modesty. Other times I'm truly baffled. But always, always, ALWAYS, I'm humbled and honored and grateful for the many kind words.

***
On the 19th of this month I'll be participating in a book blog hop to help Chrys Fey's mom, Elaine Kaye, promote Bad Fairy Strikes Again, her newest addition the the Bad Fairy series! 
Hope you will stop by.

***

With it being spring and all, and birds fledging right and left, 
I thought this would be an appropriate quote.
Riding on a Bird (SM sg929)
You've got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.
Ray Bradbury


***
Being Thankful
Today I'm thankful that after a 3 day stay in the hospital last month
 -- due to Crohn's Disease -- I'm doing well! No surgery required!!
I'm also thankful to Mother Nature for the much needed 6 inches of rain we got at the end of April

What are you thankful for? Have your readers ever surprised you? Have you read any of  Elaine Kaye's books?

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

IWSG, Wild Swans, Being Thankful

Posting the First Wednesday of every month, the Insecure Writer's Support Group, is the brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh. YOU can sign up HERE to participate.

Every month a question will be posed that may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Remember, the question is optional. You can write about anything that relates to your writing journey.

Let's give a warm welcome to our co-hosts:  PK Hrezo, Pat Garcia, SE White, Lisa Buie Collard, and Diane Burton! 

This month's question isAre you a risk-taker when writing? Do you try something radically different in style/POV/etc. or add controversial topics to your work?

I've been working on and off on a book for almost 20 years that is radically different from anything I've ever thought about writing. I mean...writing an historical fantasy about Tibet on the eve of the Chinese invasion is pretty different from my usual tropical settings. I've done tons of research and I'm still very attached to the story, and those few who have read it think it's a good story. But will it ever get published? I don't know... I'm currently stalled out with edits and revising. 

***
I hope everyone had a blessed and happy Easter!
***


April already... Where did March go? 
Oh...got a new roof put on because of damage done to it during the hellacious hail storm of May 2020. 
Got my first COVID vaccine shot - Moderna. 
My sister turned 75, which is just weird... 
And, we lost two greats, Larry McMurtry and Beverly Cleary. But aren't we blessed to have the books they left behind?
Also in March I read Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China...

...the heart-wrenching and horrifying biography by Jung Chang about her, her mother and grandmother who lived through Japanese occupation, WWII, the Chinese civil war, Moa's rise to power and the Cultural Revolution. BLOWN AWAY. I learned a whole lot about what was going on there. I think this is a book high school juniors and/or seniors should read as part of their history classes. I think it's a book everyone should read because how in hot f**k does a leader brainwash and indoctrinate a country of (at the time) nine hundred million people and get them to do the horrific things they did to each other? Because, you see, it wasn't a military force that terrorized the people. It was the people who terrorized the people. It was children who terrorized adults.

"An engrossing record of Mao’s impact on China, an unusual window on the female experience in the modern world, and an inspiring tale of courage and love, Jung Chang describes the extraordinary lives and experiences of her family members: her grandmother, a warlord’s concubine; her mother’s struggles as a young idealistic Communist; and her parents’ experience as members of the Communist elite and their ordeal during the Cultural Revolution. Chang was a Red Guard briefly at the age of fourteen, then worked as a peasant, a “barefoot doctor,” a steelworker, and an electrician. As the story of each generation unfolds, Chang captures in gripping, moving—and ultimately uplifting—detail the cycles of violent drama visited on her own family and millions of others caught in the whirlwind of history."
***
Being Thankful
Today I'm thankful that I didn't grow up in China in the 1960s. Yes, the 60s were tumultuous and unsettling here in US (three assassinations, riots all over the place...) but I'll take that any day over what was happening in China. 
Today I'm also thankful for the rain we had in March. 
Not a lot, not enough, but at least some.
It's dry here, folks.

What are you thankful for? Every take a risk with your writing? Have you read Wild Swans? Do you have favorite McMurtry of Cleary book?

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

IWSG - Snowvid 2021 - Being Thankful

Posting the First Wednesday of every month, the Insecure Writer's Support Group, is the brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh. YOU can sign up HERE to participate.

Every month a question will be posed that may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Remember, the question is optional. You can write about anything that relates to your writing journey.

Let's give a warm welcome to our co-hosts:   Sarah - The Faux Fountain Pen Jacqui Murray, Chemist Ken, Victoria Marie Lees, Natalie Aguirre, and JQ Rose!

This month's question is: Everyone has a favorite genre or genres to write. But what about your reading preferences? Do you read widely or only within the genre(s) you create stories for? What motivates your reading choice?

I read just about anything, except horror. I don't read much in the way of mysteries, but I do like me an occasional Tony Hillerman or Carl Hiaasen. In fiction I like a good historical romance, some science fiction and fantasy, the classics, literary and humorous novels, the occasional western and, of course, children's lit in all shapes and sizes. In non-fic I enjoy biography, autobiography, true crime, and history, philosophy, and books on religion/spirituality. I also like short story anthologies when I find a good one. In choosing what to read, it's sometimes because I know/like the author. Otherwise, I read the blurb, I check out the first page or two (or first chapter or two), or I ask people who have read the book what they thought. I've always been eclectic in my reading because a good book takes me to different places around the world and universe that I would otherwise never be able to visit personally.
***
Snowvid 2021 
or
The Great Texas Snowmageddon

By now, I'm sure most of you are aware that Texas took it on the chin during the days of February 11 through February 19. I won't get into the politics of why things got so bad for so many. Suffice it to say incompetence, mismanagement, money and greed had a lot to do with the power problems which led to deaths and to an incredible amount of water damage due to burst pipes. Many roads, like the one we live on, have been turned into wash boards.

Hubby and I were extremely blessed (it's almost embarrassing to say) in that we had power and water throughout. Plus we have a gas stove and were fairly well prepared with water and food set aside. (His experiences of winters in Ohio and my experiences of growing up in the Virgin Islands proved beneficial.) I personally know SO MANY people who lost power and water, anywhere from a few hours, to dealing with rolling black outs, to having no power for a few days, to having no power the entire 8 days. Areas just 35 miles northwest of where I live had ice an inch thick with 8 inches of snow. They won't be getting power back until sometime in March because of all the power poles that snapped under the weight of the ice. 

In the aftermath many homes and apartment buildings in my town have water damage and repairs are going to take time. It's a mess...

Let me say for the record, I've been through cold weather here. In December of 1989 we got down to 4 degrees (we got down to 6 with a wind chill of -8). In January of 1985 there was a blizzard that dumped 13 inches of snow. One time we had three ice storms before Thanksgiving. In between those times we've had other snow falls of 2 to 4 inches. We've had other ice storms. And hail storms. What makes this event so different is the duration. All of the others have lasted only 2 to 3 days. Usually it snows and the next day it melts away, even that 13 inches. But this was 8 solid days where the temperature never got above freezing. 

People here mostly have all electric homes. If they have a fireplace it's decorative - for ambiance don't you know. Our homes aren't built or insulated the way they are up north, to hold in heat. They're built to keep them cool in the summer, to wick heat away...

These pictures don't really do it justice, and I know many of you deal with ice and snow all winter long, but this is Texas and it was weird. The spookiest part was how quiet it got with no one out driving around and all we could hear was the trees crackling as the wind blew through their ice coated branches. 


Bird feeder with the first beginnings of a coating of ice.
Yard after the first snow

Sage in second coating of ice.
Two foot long icicle.


Chimenea with 4 inches of snow.
Never, in the 35 years of passing by this low-water crossing almost every day, have I ever even seen ice along it's edges. 
Let alone the whole pond frozen over. 
Granted, it's a shallow pond, but still, it covers a pretty large area and it was ice from bank to bank.
The heart of Texas, battered, but a survivor, like this prickly pear.

Being Thankful

I am extremely thankful and blessed that we came through this unscathed.
I am also extremely thankful for warm days and sunshine.

What are you thankful for? Are you an eclectic reader or do you stick to one or two genres? Or do you read the kinds of stories your write?

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

IWSG, Black History Month, Being Thankful

Posting the First Wednesday of every month, the Insecure Writer's Support Group, is the brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh. YOU can sign up HERE to participate.

Every month a question will be posed that may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Remember, the question is optional. You can write about anything that relates to your writing journey.

Let's give a warm welcome to our co-hosts:  Louise - Fundy Blue, Jennifer Lane, Mary Aalgaard, Patsy Collins at Womagwriter, and Nancy Gideon!

This month's question is: Blogging is often more than just sharing stories. It’s often the start of special friendships and relationships. Have you made any friends through the blogosphere?

Okay, I am totally indebted to many, many people, all of whom I have met through blogging and I would like to think that I've made a few friends. I have been blogging long enough that some of those friends have died or I've seen how lives changed when a family member died.

All that said, I've been terribly flakey for the past year. I don't think I've been the friend to many who have been such wonderful friends to me. I have become a lazy, procrastinating, do-nothing who doesn't even get around to leaving comments on the blogs of those who leave comments here! 

I've really been quite bad about it, and I apologize. I keep telling myself I'll do better next time, but I just can't seem to shake myself out of this rut of my own creation.

Do not feel sorry me. I have only myself to blame.
***
In honor of Black History Month, here are a few Virgin Islanders who have been on the world stage.

First and foremost is:
Marcella Nunez-Smith, MD, member of President Biden's COVID task force
Not only was she born and raised on St. Thomas, she graduated from my tiny high school, All Saints Cathedral School. We - all Virgin Islanders and those from my alma mater - couldn't be prouder.



Terence Todman, (1926-2014)  U. S. Ambassador, had quite a distinguished career. Born in St. Thomas, he served in the military in Japan between 1945-49. His ambassadorships were diverse.
Terence Todman and Ronald Reagan
Chad: 1969-72
Guinea: 1972-75
Costa Rica: 1975-77
Spain: 1978-83
Denmark: 1983-89
Argentina: 1989-93

Barbara Christian was born on St. Thomas in 1942 and died in 2000. She was a professor of African-American studies at the University of California at Berkeley and the first African-American to be granted tenure at the university.  She was a pioneer in contemporary American literary feminism.


John Lucien was born on Tortola in the BVI in 1942 but was raised on St. Thomas. He not only had a beautiful voice but was a most excellent jazz bass player. This is someone I knew personally. Unfortunately he left us too soon in 2007.



Alton Adam
s was born on St. Thomas in 1889, before the islands were bought by the U. S. from Denmark. In 1917 he became the first black bandmaster in the United States Navy. He was also a composer and his music was performed by the likes of the John Philips Sousa's band.
AltonAdamsPortrait1922

There are so many others... 
Lt. Ronaqua Russell, the first black woman aviator in the Coast Guard to receive the Air Medal for her bravery in rescuing people during Hurricane Harvey.
Tim Duncan of baskeball fame.
Emile Griffith, boxing champion who was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame

Being Thankful
I'm thankful to all my blogging friends who have stuck with me even though I've been extremely flaky and unreliable.

What are you thankful for? Ever heard of any of these Virgin Islanders? Got any suggestions for getting out of this do-nothing slump?