Anyway, I hope you enjoy this updated version of the book's prologue. Please let me know what you think.
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Anyway, I hope you enjoy this updated version of the book's prologue. Please let me know what you think.
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Watch out, fame and fortune, here I come!
I have also been talking quite a bit to the man who is building my castle or, rather, "Lord Randall Castle." (It is not really mine or a castle. It is more of a very large, windowless, storage building that I dubbed a castle when it had an accidental moat before the footers had been backfilled. The fun thing is that my friend who is building it is actually helping me pretend it is a castle by planning to add a top floor with windows, a catwalk and turrets. Yes, real turrets. Isn't that FUN?! I very much enjoy people who facilitate my dreamy-eyed delirium, therefore we have been talking quite a bit as the building of our castle progresses.)
Floor one of the castle is just about finished after two summers of non-stop building. I had better get cracking on my story about it! Every good castle needs at least one legend. On the other hand, my computer's circuit board is cracked (surmised by my engineer friend) and writing on it has become more and more challenging through the course of time. Ah, challenges. What would life be without them? Probably very boring.
You have already read my story's prologue [CLICK HERE] (which has been modified only a very little). Would you like a sneak peak of its awesome new cover? It was done by cover artist Emily Lam in anticipation of finishing the story sometime soon. Here it is!
Looking at the book cover is really inspirational because it makes me want to read it. I already know but I wonder what happened inside that castle. Don't you? Can you guess the genre? Yes, I am branching out into Historical Fantasy. Let me write a little more and I will try to give you a "sneak peak" of what is to come.
Saturday, September 28, 2013
|My next-door neighbor's house|
|Genesis 9: 11 "I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth."|
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
No matter what I did, I could not get an avocado seed to grow... except once. I guess it was about 17 years ago. A root began to form from the bottom of a seed, which itself began to split. The root was about half an inch long and I was sooo excited! Then, somehow, despite my excitement, I allowed the seed to get too dry and it died in its jar of water. Arghh! Small success that it was, I determined that the next time my seed started to sprout roots, I would just plant it right away.
Next time? What "next" time? That was the ONLY time! Still, I kept trying to sprout a seed to get an avocado plant to grow. When I was living in the Austin, TX suburbs, my neighbor had a huge avocado plant that she had sprouted from a seed. She gave me some of her tips. Still, it did not work. Then, I moved back to Wisconsin and took a break from cooking for a few years. No cooking means no avocado seeds. No problem.
This last July, some family came to visit my house for the first time and my daughter and I made guacamole for them. We used two avocados. I remember looking at those seeds in defeat, wondering if I should even bother to try. Clearly, I am not meant to ever sprout a seed. I almost threw them both in the trash, but something stopped me. Perhaps it was the potential represented by the seeds. I don't know. What I do know is that I stuck toothpicks in their sides and stuck them both in little containers of water.
Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, I used those flimsy, flat toothpicks instead of the sturdier round ones. The toothpicks holding up my avocado seeds kept falling out or breaking off! I felt very frustrated but determined that one of the seeds looked like it was beginning to form a nub on its bottom, out of which I believed a root would grow. I decided to stick it in some dirt and see what would happen. After all, I figured, that was better than certain failure from having the seed drown or the root break off when it fell down or something along those lines.
Together, my daughter and I poked some holes into an empty, plastic sour cream container, filled it with dirt and planted the seed with the nub on it. Then, for no apparent reason, we also planted the other seed in dirt. But the only container I could find for it was an empty yeast jar. It was glass, so we obviously could not poke drainage holes in its bottom, and its mouth was almost exactly the size of the seed itself, so we could not even test the soil's dampness with a fingertip. Despite that I doubted the seed would grow, it got planted.
I put both seeds on my front porch and watered their soil whenever I watered my other porch plants... about once a week. Once a week does not seem to be enough watering for avocado seeds on my front porch. The seed I thought had the best chance to sprout looked like it was thinking about forming a crack to let out a sprout, but nothing ever came. The other seed looked like nothing was either happening or ever going to happen. Still, I watered both seeds every time I went out to water my other plants.
Then, in August, the very week that I was due to leave to drive my daughter to college, I saw a mini-miracle that had been 20 years in the making. My seed, the one in the yeast jar that I thought had no chance to ever grow, sprouted a shoot. It turns out that because the jar had no drainage holes, the seed was effectively sitting in mud for the entire time it was on my porch. It had the moisture and nutrients it needed to form a massive root system (that I had to pry out of the jar using a table knife so I could plant it). I did not see the roots forming because of the yeast label. (I had not bothered to clean it off the jar because I thought the seed would just die, anyway.)
different angle to our method (like using a yeast jar full of mud instead of clear water and toothpicks) to make things finally work out.
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
(Don't you just hate a complainer?)
1. I have this "pro se" (means I am doing it myself) lawsuit I have filed against that person who conned me out of money I cannot afford to pay my credit card. (If I could, I might just save myself the heartache, pay it, then re-learn my lesson about lending money to supposed "friends.") It is a living nightmare. (The woman should be sued. Oh, wait. That is what I am doing.)
I cannot write much on this topic until there is a resolution, but you can see the little I have already written here: http://awritersblot.blogspot.com/2013/06/the-long-con.html
2. I have started a new blog, which requires some attention as it is an advice column of sorts for those "standing" for marriage restoration. Find it here: http://standingjournal.blogspot.com/
The new blog comes with a video segment, posted to Youtube, that takes considerably more time to create than it takes to watch. The experience of filming it leads me to wonder how soap operas produce such long shows on a daily basis.
3. I am looking for a job through an employment agency. (Disabled or not, I have bills to pay and I like to eat every day.) I am having considerable difficulty finding an open position I can adequately perform and that an employer will hire me to do.
4. On top of all that (as if it weren't enough), my computer is having power issues. At first, I thought my power cord was broken (again) and I bought a new one. But I just got the new cord in the mail yesterday and I am still having the same problem. Now I know what the problem must be (well, one of the problems):
I use an old laptop (I cannot afford a desktop) and I must have bumped it because the power cord does not charge the machine unless I hold it in the plug in just such a way. If I had any money, I would either have it fixed or buy a new computer... Ah, for the good old days when my husband was around to open up the case and fiddle with the insides of my laptop to make it right again.
The above are my excuses for not writing recently. There are always excuses to avoid things that consume time and pay nothing, but rest assured that there should be some more stories coming soon. I am thinking of this blog and I do still owe its readers at least one story about driving my daughter down to her university for the Fall semester. So keep checking back from time to time (or just subscribe so that new posts will show up in your feed). Here is a photo from our long drive to whet your appetite for my next short tale:
Sunday, September 1, 2013
I decided use the drive as an opportunity. An opportunity for what? Well, we could have a mini-vacation by visiting for a few days with my family. Also, I wanted to "bug bomb" my house before winter and being gone for a week was a good time to do it. So we packed up the car, covered the dishes... and went out to lunch.
Sure enough, Anne and I both remembered at lunch the things we had forgotten to pack. We returned to the house for the forgotten items, the dog and to set off the bug bombs. Just as we were about to set off the bug bombs, my mom called to see where we were on the road and when we would be arriving at her house. She wanted to know if we had plans for dinner or if we could come down to my brother's building lot for a barbeque picnic. I told her to count on us being there for dinner in 3.5 hours.
We locked the door behind us as we left the house, bug bombs spraying poison into the air. Then proceeded to our nearest service station to wash our hands. That is when we discovered we had forgotten one of the most important items of the day's drive -- the dog leash!
We could not go back into the house to get it, so I decided to just buy a new one when we were stopped to wash our hands. Believe it or not, the service station did not sell them. Inwardly, I debated: Should we go to Walmart to buy another leash and, thereby, arrive later than promised to the picnic? Or should we drive the 3.5 hours there without a leash in the car?
It was a serious debate and I almost risked it. I have made this drive countless times and rarely had to stop for the dog. But my final decision was to err on the side of caution, stop to buy a leash and try to make up the lost time by taking a 1/2 hour "shorter" (dependent on traffic) route through Milwaukee instead of my usual route.
ALWAYS ERR ON THE SIDE OF CAUTION! Snickers needed to stop THREE TIMES on the 3-hour drive. It seems that something (maybe the excitement of a family trip?) had given him a case of diarrhea. As it turns out, that day, his leash was the worst thing to have forgotten.
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
(Wow! That was a long sentence!)
Yes, I did say I would be driving my daughter to her university for Fall studies. Last Spring, we anticipated that she would be studying in England this Fall, but the requirement was that she needed to find a summer job to pay her airfare for the trip. She did not find a job, I am still looking for a job, my books sell an average of 1/2 a copy per month, her student loans will not cover the flight for a study abroad and her dad (to whom she does not speak but I had no problem emailing) messaged from his I-phone that his funds are too stretched for him to help her, so she is not going. Needless to say, she is very disappointed. In addition to the missed chance to study and travel Europe with her friends, she is especially disappointed that she will not get to attend and work at the convention for the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who. What a missed opportunity!
As for me, I continue working on renovations to the house while the weather is still warm enough for me to keep my windows open. Just the other day, I finally stained my bare-wood kitchen cabinets. (That was a smelly job.) Painting will probably wait till I get back home in a couple of weeks.
Also, I have a pending small claims suit that I have filed against someone who was obviously not as good a friend as I thought. I refer to it here: http://awritersblot.blogspot.com/2013/06/the-long-con.html , but I cannot really say much until it is resolved. However, I can tell you that I was VERY EXCITED last week to receive an express letter from the Judge Matthis Show inviting me to be one of their plaintiffs!! Oh, I was so excited to maybe be on television. I called the show right away and left a voicemail to say YES. (Just think of the advertising potential for my books!) Then I got on Facebook to tell my fans... and I saw that the "defendant" had private messaged me some defamatory comments indicating she would not go on the show with me. I did not respond or repost them. I just let it go.
A few hours after receiving and ignoring the private message, I went back to my Facebook fanpage to find a new thread of comments under a post I made about my homemade granola (which, by the way, was very yummy). The comments had NOTHING to do with granola! Apparently, the "defendant" had posted something offensive that incited instant ire from one of my fans. (Sigh. My chance at television celebrity blown.) Here is the thread if you are interested: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=10152141724213378&id=353289498377
The original comment was removed before I saw the thread, but I later saw it in an email and it really was not nice. What WAS nice is that a fan saw it and took up for me. I greatly appreciate my fans defending my reputation (and publically posted my thank you the next day), especially when they don't even know the story behind an attack. That, in itself, makes me feel quite like a celebrity. It is even better than the few fans who message or email my estranged husband that he should stop his adultery and honor his wedding vows. (Poor guy. LOL I sure do love my fans!)
The next day, the representative who had contacted me about the show returned my call. She offered to contact the "defendant" to try to talk her into coming on the show, so I gave her the phone number I had. Then I got excited again. Yesterday, the rep called me back. She could not reach the other party involved. In fact, she said, the phone number I gave was not working. Ah, well. I guess I will just have to be on television some other time.
When I get home from my long trip to drive my daughter to school, I will be looking for a job. (Even authors need to pay bills and eat.) Hopefully, I will have a story or two about the trip to share with readers. I should definitely have some news on the small claims case. Meanwhile, I am smiling ear-to-ear that I almost got to be on National TV.