Alligators Overhead Trailer

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Summer Hop and Farewell for a While

I joined Lexa Cain's Summer Hop because I'm ready for a vacation, and it gave me a great way to say goodbye to everyone for June. I'll be around to your blogs, but probably as I make my way to Oregon. I'll wave to M. Pax on my way through her beautiful state and keep an eye out for those Gangsta Cows she's alerted me to. Then I'm off Ireland for a family wedding and a revisit to a few Leprechauns.

So on with the Hop. 

Lexa Cain

I've been to a lot of summer vacation places: Costa Rica, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Mexico, Hawaii (Maui, Kawaii, Lanai, Molokai--still my favorite island), Greece, Spain, Italy, Ireland, France, Wales, Scotland (where the word isn't in the dictionary because they don't have summer) England, Turkey, Yugoslavia--interesting summer there--New York, Kansas (don't ask), Alaska and someplace else I can't remember. So what's my favorite summer vacation spot? Here it is!

Welcome to my SECRET GARDEN.

My favorite summer vacation spot is this tiny dot on the map where all things are possible as long as I want them to be. Where I'm the mistress and the servant, and where peace settles inside me with a friendly purr.
This is where I kick back and think and wonder at my good fortune to have a place on this planet to just be.
This is where I plan my stories and plant my seeds and watch my peaches ripen.

 This is where I read and consider philosophy and magic.
This is where I wait for the new birds who find my umbrella a safe nesting place.
This is where I pull weeds, turn the dirt, pick fresh produce and savor the smells of summer.

This is where the fish live in the ponds, and Albert the Cat used to contemplate their world of water. He's missed.
And, of course, this is where I come when everything around me crumbles and I need help.


Hope you'll visit all the others who are sharing their favorite summer vacation spots, and be sure to visit Lexa and her Co-Hosts: Melanie Karsak  T.F. Walsh 
Vanessa Morgan Jolie Du Pre  Stuart R. West

Bye until July!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Hats Off Corner Welcomes Erin Fanning

Good News
Baltimore had a bad start in the month of May, but then something good happened. A community torn apart came together. Over 2,500 people worked to clean up the littered streets and help local businesses reopen. 

Something in the Middle

I'm revving my motor for the AtoZ Road Trip. Hope you'll come along. I've found my dashboard buddy, so I thought today I'd introduce him. Meet Mario the Muse. He'll be on the trip with me, so you'll get to know him quite well. 

Say Hi to Mario. He loves to travel, so he'll be hitting the road a lot the rest of this year to bring you Road Side Rest Stops, Best Books for the Road, On the Road Games to keep you and the kids sane--along with other bits for us as we roll across those miles.

Hats Off Corner Welcomes Erin Fanning

First let's get to know just a tad more about this author. No matter what interview questions authors are asked, there are always essential basics. Let’s start with those: You'll notice that this author actually played the lightning round right! She answered with a single word. For that she gets a prize. 

A) Coffee or Tea? Coffee
B) Vanilla or Chocolate? Chocolate
C) Paper or ebook? Paper
D) Morning or night? Morning
E) Cake or pie?  Pie

Now that we know what’s important to know about an author, I’m going to ask one more thing. Ready? 
If you could change one thing about your writing career, what would that be?

I wrote all the time when I was young, everything from poetry in elementary school to news stories for my college newspaper, but for some reason I quit writing when I graduated and didn’t pick it up again until I was in my early 30s. So I wish I could get that time back. I would say to all want-to-be authors: never give up. Hard work, patience, and perseverance are rewarded in the world of writing, even more so than raw talent.

Now take a look at what Erin writes.

Blood Stitches
By Erin Fanning
Love and danger intertwine…

It’s called El Toque de la Luna—The Touch of the Moon. At least that’s how nineteen-year-old Gabby’s older sister, Esperanza, refers to the magical powers she inherited from their Mayan ancestors. Esperanza says women with El Toque weave magic into their knitting, creating tapestries capable of saving—or devastating—the world. Gabby thinks Esperanza is more like touched in the head—until a man dressed like a candy corn arrives at their Seattle home on Halloween. But “Mr. C” is far from sweet…

Soon, Gabby and her almost-more-than-friend, Frank, find themselves spirited away to a demon ball, complete with shape shifters—and on a mission to destroy Esperanza’s tapestries before they cause an apocalyptic disaster… And before it’s too late to confess their true feelings for each other.

Here's her super book trailer. Take a look. 

Buy it here:

Erin Fanning spends her summers on a northern Michigan lake, where her imagination explores the water and dense forest for undiscovered creatures. In the winter, she migrates to central Idaho, exchanging mountain bikes and kayaks for skis and snowshoes. She’s the author of a mountain biking guidebook, as well as numerous articles, essays, and short stories. 
Find Erin online: Website  Goodreads Twitter Amazon 

Rafflecopter Giveway: Enter to win a Rafflecopter giveaway for a $20 Amazon gift card.

Quote for the Day: If everything seems under control. you're just not going fast enough." Mario Andretti (This is my muse's cousin. Our 2015 Road Trip ought be interesting and speedy!)

Monday, May 18, 2015

Getting Ready to Switch Off

Yes. I'm getting reading to Switch Off

Photo Credit
Usually I have some good news in this spot, but today I'm changing this a bit. I'm closing shop for the month of June and since we've all been in a reflective mood lately, I thought I'd use this Monday to reflect a bit about where I am and where I'm going. 

There are several fronts to reflect on: personal life, my writing, this blog.

On the personal front, all is as good as it gets. I'm very lucky to have a family, a home, my health, and friends. I can't complain about any of it.

Photo Credit

As to the writing, there's all sorts of issues with that. I'm shredding a lot of my latest WIP out of frustration. I have a story to tell, and I'm not telling it right--not yet. The good news is that my research is turning up some fascinating history about something I know little to nothing about. 

  • Did you know that silver miners spared rats in the mines? And that was because rats were supposed to have some kind of special sensor that signals them when there's about to be a collapse. When the rats ran, so did the miners.

  • And in the lower depths of a silver mine (1000-3000 feet) temperatures could rise to 140/160 degrees F.? They had special cooling rooms where miners retreated to cool off and drink water. They could only work about 40 minutes at a time before collapsing. I'd make it to about a minute.

There's more. I'll save it for another post when I regale you with my writing success. 

By now you know I'm writing about silver mining in the 1800's. This period has always fascinated me, so reading about it has been exciting. It's getting that story to cooperate that's giving me fits.

Weary Blogger Help

As to this blog, I'm weary of it. I love to blog, but I'm tired of this one. I'm hoping that after a month away, I'll come back with some enthusiasm and some new ideas about how I want this site to look. 

This next year I'll be a co-host for The AtoZ Road Trip with a great blogger at Madlab Entertainment . I won't do much before July--maybe a couple of posts, but after that I'll be there regularly once or twice a month. It should be fun, so join us. HERE'S where you sign up. 

Some Housekeeping

I've made some more changes to the sidebars. I like to keep them up to date as often as possible. New books. New hops. New ideas.

If you'd sign up to follow me by email (top left sidebar), I'd appreciate that. I don't use the emails except to respond to comments that I think might be interesting or fun to discuss. And I don't bug people who prefer not to reply to my emails. Temporarily, I've gone back to responding on the blog in hopes some will return to see my responses.

Now with a nod to my usual posts, here's my Quote for the Day:

"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view." Edward Abbey, Naturalist