Alligators Overhead Trailer

Friday, July 29, 2016

Cherished Blogfest

Gram's Teapot, My Cherished Item

Her name was Lillian Francis Murray. Born in 1894, she grew up in Kansas, but spent her summers in Kentucky on her grandfather’s horse-breeding plantation. She was an excellent horsewoman, she baked cakes (no boxes involved) that rose higher than anyone else’s. Her quilt stitches were perfect. If she mended anything, you couldn’t tell there had been a crack or, in the case of clothes, a hole before she took a needle to the fabric. She was a “Waste Not Want Not” thinker, and she scrubbed everything to a shine--including one always slightly scruffy girl-child. I can still hear her say, “Cleanliness is next to Godliness.” 

I knew her as Mom. She was the person who picked me up when I cried, or who I ran to with a skinned knee. Oh, I had my mother, too. I was the only kid in the neighborhood with two moms. One went to work every morning. The other one stayed home with me. 

She taught me how to cook. She taught me how to sew. Mostly she taught me never to even think about shirking work unless it was Sunday. On that day, she’d sit in the living room and listen to my grandfather play his violin, we’d have a light “supper” and then maybe go to a movie, or friends would come over to play cards and talk. On the summer Sundays, she’d send me with my wagon to pick up ice at the corner market, and then I’d gather the neighbor kids to churn homemade ice cream. Grandpa would always take the last part of the churning duty because none of us had the muscle to crank it when it was nearly frozen.

She didn’t own a lot of things that were only for decoration. I remember everything having a useful purpose. And this teapot had a very useful purpose. It came into our home before I can remember. It was always either in the hutch next to the kitchen table and ready for use or on the table itself and filled with sweet-smelling tea. 

I’ve accumulated many valuables over time. This teapot is probably the least valuable in terms of money, but if there’s a fire, my grandmother’s teapot will go with me before any of the other things. It represents her and brings her voice to me just as I heard it in the days I was at her side.

Thanks for the Cherished Blogfest and a chance to visit my gram again. I even made tea in her pot today, so I could extend my visit with her.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Prop Me Up and Other Miscellany

Three plucky sleuths. A crumbling skeleton. A buried treasure.

Most of you know I'm about to turn a book loose in the world, so if you're a writer, you understand my state of body and mind. I'm booked pretty solid through August and probably September, but believe me, I'm eyeing November or December for some down time. 

To add to the confusion, Blogger ate my Blog List last week and then did some nasty things to my posts, so I had my head into html again--not fun in the summer, well anytime really. Apologies for not getting around to everyone's blog as usual. I'll be catching up soon.

My Email Connect ( EC) is growing. And in August I'll be featuring my sixth author. Who I pull from the hat is always a surprise for my EC followers, and I'm really enjoying reading, reviewing and featuring writers like this. If you're interested in what's going on behind the scenes, sign up and join us for my launch month. It's going to be special with more gifts--dragon related, of course. And more about my copywriting course. I'd love to have you as part of the group.

The Beginning of New Paths and Native Landscaping

I've turned to landscaping as one way to hoist myself off the writing chair and change a garden to native plants. We have a vacation home that my in-laws built back in the seventies, and it needs mega work. Great! Another project. But I'm enjoying the creative part (moving rocks and digging holes for new plants--creative?) while my husband shakes his head over the construction issues. 

I took a quick break and went to San Francisco for a SCBWI mixer at Books Inc. (the oldest bookstore in the city, btw) And I'm really glad I did. I met a lot of booksellers as well as authors and illustrators. I've been trying to do more volunteering for the organization, so I hope to be at more mixers like this one. 

Well, I'm off to check on my book blog tour. Today I'm visiting these amazing bloggers.
 Alex Cavanaugh
Yolanda Renee
The Silver Dagger Scriptorium (sounds ominous, doesn't it?)

My Quote for the Week: "Whenever you do a thing, act as if all the world were watching." Thomas Jefferson (This one seemed appropriate on many levels.)

Monday, July 18, 2016

Anyone Want Some Lobster? Liebster?

Sign of the Green Dragon is HERE today. 
Stop by. Say hi. Enter to win a GC to buy more books. 

Lobster Liebster Award
Thank you Yolanda for including me. Here's the answers to your questions.

1. What WIP are you working on now or tell about another hobby you have.

I’m almost done with my edits on a young adult novel. This one will be a bit of a departure for me with multiple POV characters, but my agent’s interested, so that’s a step in the right direction. Fingers crossed.

2. Do you find subjects for blogging difficult or overflowing

Both. At times I can’t decide which topic to choose, but at other times, I don’t have anything I want to set down. I think I just burn out occasionally.

3. Your favorite fictional character. Why?

Maybe Sherlock Holmes could qualify. I love his brilliant mind, but also his vulnerability with his addiction. He’s complicated and fascinating.

4. Your favorite author. Why?

That’s a hard question, but I’ve always loved Margaret Atwood’s work. It’s her prose that grabs me and holds my attention. Her stories sneak up on me and always surprise me.

5. Your favorite genre. Why?

I don’t have a favorite genre. I read just about everything, but some with more enthusiasm than others. I’m more drawn to literary work than thrillers or romance, but a steady diet of Rushdie would put me into a coma. I love quirky fun stories, so any genre with that involved is a favorite.

6. Blog hops pro or con—productive or a waste of time. 

I do some hops because they offer me a chance to meet other bloggers. I think we become rather incestuous otherwise. You know, a close set of bloggers that can anticipate each other’s posts. I don't think they're a waste of time, but time-consuming, and if they’re interesting I don’t mind that.

7. Biggest regret or best decision you’ve ever made?

The best decision I ever made was to buy where we live today. We’re in a quiet space, but still within a short distance of our small town and San Francisco. The beach is about twenty minutes away and Lake Tahoe about four hours. It’s a unique place and I’ve always loved being here.

8. What is the meaning of success to you?

Finding happiness in what I’m doing.

9. Do you write reviews for books you read? Why or why not?

Yes. If I can read the entire book, and if I can give it at least three stars, I review it. Because I’m a writer, I understand how important those reviews are. I really want to support others, but I don’t want to hurt them by giving them a one or two-star review. After all it's only my personal opinion.

10. Biggest social media success or failure?

I didn’t do diddlly with my one attempt at a Facebook ad, but I mishandled it. I'll try again.

11. Please share a paragraph or two from your current WIP or your favorite quote.

From Retro Girl:

Lula didn’t drive the direct route home. She drove to the lake instead and parked. She let her head rest against the driver’s window and stared at the calm blue water. This was a place she’d seen since she could remember, and it looked the same as always. That confused her because it shouldn’t. Nothing in her life was the same, so this lake should be different, too.

Didn’t the universe know about Blossom? About the totally changed Win and Marty? About Lucia Banes whose shattered foot had healed, but whose heart had been remolded into something unrecognizable?

She touched the lucky rabbit’s foot charm and stroked it’s misshaped edges. Her heart on a chain.

Thanks again, Yolanda. Appreciated your thinking of me.

The Liebster Blog Award rules are:
  • Write a blog post about your nomination, displaying an image of the award.
  • Thank the person who nominated you that includes a link to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions the person who nominated you asked you in his/her blog post.
  • Nominate 5-11 other starting bloggers who you think deserve this award and come up with 11 questions of your own for them to answer.
  • List these rules in your blog post.

My nominations for the Lobster Liebster Award:

So many people have been tagged on this one that I think I'm just going to let any of you who want to join in, do so. Here are my questions:

  1. If you had only one good deed you could do in this world, what would that be?
  2. What is one fictional character you'd like to be? How come?
  3. What's your fondest memory from childhood?
  4. Is there any story you wish you'd written? Which one?
  5. If you're a writer, what genre do you wish you could write, but just can't?
  6. Are you going to participate in the A to Z 2017? Why or why not?
  7. What makes you happier than anything else in this world?
  8. What is the meaning of success to you?
  9. When you were in grade school, what did you want to be when you grew up?
  10. Is there anything you want to do, but are afraid to try? 
  11. Please share a paragraph or two from your current WIP or your favorite quote.

Quote of the Week: "Life is like a suitcase. You can squeeze a lot into it." Yoko Ono

So are you going to take on the Liebster this time around? Have you been doing some other hops to extend the blogs you follow? How's July treating you? Will you stop by my next tour stop and say hi? Hope so.