Instant Gram or Instagram–Let’s Learn by Cher’ley

 

This blog by Cher’ley Grogg

Q: What do you call having your grandma on speed dial? A: Instagram.

Image result for Branding Free to use imagesBranding, Advertising, and Marketing are what I think I’d like to use Instagram for.

I am going to start promoting my books, and I’ve started writing again. I’ve been on a very long break.

Where to start? Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google +, YouTube, Snapchat, Pinterest and Instagram are the most popular.

I’m familiar with Facebook as a tool for Branding, Advertising, and Marketing, but not so much with the others, especially Instagram. I’ve noticed that people have millions of followers on Instagram and I’d like to be part of that.

Image result for Instagram Free to use images

 

Why?

Follow this link to see:

10 Things you need to do when Getting Started with Instagram

I have done these things individually, now I need to do them for book promotion.

 

Cher’ley’s Books are listed below and on sale at Amazon and local bookstores.

Stamp Out Murder”.

 The Secret in Grandma’s Trunk” This is an especially good book for your Tween Children and Grandchildren

The JourneyBack 3The Journey Back-One Joy at a Time and the B&W Edition of The Journey Back

Boys Will Be Boys   The Joys and Terrors of Raising Boys-An Anthology

 Cowboys, Creatures, and Calico 

All About the Girls 5(3)

 Image may contain: 2 peopleAnd please join me on my Facebook Fan page, that’s managed by one of my most faithful fans: Cindy Ferrell

Here’s a link to Cher’ley’s WEBSITE

My Halloween trip across the land…

Mike StatonThis post is written by Mike Staton.

# ##

No, my engine in Saturn Ion, circa 2003, didn’t exploded like the photo in the story.

Instead, it sputtered and made my Saturn not drivable – twice.

In my story I posted earlier this month, I gave you a partial account my drive from Las Vegas to Beverly, Ohio – because I hadn’t concluded it.

ExplosionIn Wytheville, Virginia, it coughed, gagged and sputtered a second time. Miraculously, I managed to nurse the 15-year-old jalopy back to the hotel parking lot. The old car managed 1,004 miles before it decided it needed another mechanic to fix its health.

Luckily, on that unlucky day, Sunday, Oct. 21, my sister Jody and her husband Larry were traveling up I-77 from Charlotte and were able to stop and pick me up. So I did make it up to Beverly, minus my car.

So on Monday I called a towing service that does repair work and had them tow it to the repair shop. They finished the job on Thursday at a cost of $581. Jody drove me down to Wytheville to pick up my miscreant car, and I gingerly drove it up to Beverly, a 237-mile trip.

Mike is homeMy brain’s still good for some basic calculating… the 5-day trip ended up taking 13 days. I spent about $1,900 on hotel rooms, $1,000 on my car’s engine, and about $115 on gas. Yes, an expensive trip, but I’m the one who decided to drive a 15-year-old 2,400 miles. Got to live with one’s decisions.

But thankfully I’m at my sister’s house, which will be my abode until spring when I will begin searching for a place to live, probably in Wilmington, NC. However, if Wilmington turns out to be too expensive for me on my retirement income, I can always look at other options, including Ohio – Marietta or Beverly.

# # #

I’m an author with four published novels that include a sword-and-sorcery fantasy trilogy – The Emperor’s Mistress, Thief’s Coin and Assassins’ Lair. The fourth novel is a historical romance set during the Civil War. It’s called Blessed Shadows Dark and Deep. I’ve begun writing my second Civil War novel – Deepening Homefront Shadows. All my novels can be purchased on the websites of Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

The Happiest Place on Earth, Childhood Memories, and Disney Tips by Cher’ley

This blog by Cher’ley Grogg

Walt Disney World is said to be the Happiest Place on Earth. Some of the displays bought childhood memories to my mind and that made me happy. 

Related image   Related image  Image result for Free to use Image for Disney ears

I have a few Disney tips for adults that I’ll list here. 

  1. Go during offseason
  2. Go when school is in session 
  3. Buy your tickets (looks like a gift card) ahead of time over the phone or online if you can. (You don’t need the Magic Band-it’s the same as the ticket.) 
  4. Get your FastPass, you just sign up for 3 things you want to do each day. Get the Fastpasses for events that have the longest lines.
  5. You don’t have to be there at rope drop (the beginning of the day)
  6. Plan at least a day for each park or plan which one you really want to see
  7. Buy your gear from off-property shops
  8. It’s okay to wear Micky or Minnie Mouse Earsmickey mouse ears hat png #51
  9. Wear fun t-shirts and Disney Clothes that you bought off-property
  10. Signs direct you into each of the 4 Parks
  11. Take photos of your parking spot, make a mental note of the surroundings, the lots are big. 
  12. Your bags will be searched, so have them open and ready 
  13. Snacks and drinks can be brought in, but they are heavy
  14. Bring  backpacks 
  15. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes (I took 3 pairs to the motel) 
  16. The Park photos are very expensive, take your own as much as possible, offer to take photos for others and  usually, they will return the favor 
  17. There is a lot of walking, so don’t take too much that’s going to bog you down–take breaks often
  18. Rent your wheelchair, scooters or strollers off-property if possible
  19. Take pain medication with you, even if it’s aspirin, you will probably need it.
  20. If you have little children, they will be happier if you go to fewer places and give them more breaks, and leave earlier than you plan. Better to have happy children than to see everything. Know ahead of time who they really want to see and go there first. 
  21. Know ahead of time what you want to see the most and go there first. 

There’s so much more I can tell you about the Happiest Place on Earth, but I’ll save some Disney Tips for my personal blog, but feel free to follow me on my social media (links at the bottom of this blog) and ask me any questions you’d like. 

The childhood memories I mostly had involved climbing trees. I loved the solitude of being up in the top of a tree, reciting the poem “Every Time I Clim a Tree” or Aeroplane.

Mike Staton left a comment on my last blog about leaving a comment on one of my books, so I instantly went there to read it. It was wonderful, and this got me interested in reading some of the reviews on my other books and on my novel “The Secret in Grandma’s Trunk” a man named Alan left a review about this story taking him back to his childhood memories and how good that made him feel and how the book reminded him that people wouldn’t be around forever, so we should enjoy them while they are. My youngest grandson is always saying “Let’s make some memories Grandma. ” 

The Secret in Grandma’s Trunk  

 

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I loved my trip to Disney World. My husband and I added to our memories. Avatar’s Flight of Passage on a Banshee was our favorite experience. We stood in line over 3 1/2 hours for a ride that lasted five minutes, but we instantly wanted to ride it again and the next time we go back we will put that as our first destination. 

Walt Disney was brilliant and he said, “I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse.” 

***What is your “Happiest Place on Earth”? Do you own a pair of Micky Mouse Ears?***

 

Cher’ley’s Books are listed below and on sale at Amazon and local bookstores.

Stamp Out Murder”.

 The Secret in Grandma’s Trunk” This is an especially good book for your Tween Children and Grandchildren

The JourneyBack 3The Journey Back-One Joy at a Time and the B&W Edition of The Journey Back

Boys Will Be Boys   The Joys and Terrors of Raising Boys-An Anthology

 Cowboys, Creatures, and Calico 

All About the Girls 5(3)

 Image may contain: 2 peopleAnd please join me on my Facebook Fan page, that’s managed by one of my most faithful fans: Cindy Ferrell

Here’s a link to Cher’ley’s WEBSITE

Ankou and Samhain #folklore

We’re moving ever closer to the night where we’ll have to light incredible bonfires to keep the ghoulies and ghosties away. Or, we can follow tradition and not light any fire and go to bed early to avoid the scary creatures altogether…

Samhain – the Celtic precursor to the modern Halloween – is full of fun folklore connotations. You can learn more about this festival over on newgrange.com.

The Festival of Samhain marks the end of the year (Celtic calendar) and the beginning of the new year.

Why is this important?

Well, if you believe the stories about the Ankou

Ankou is the personification of Death in Breton mythology, making an appearance in the folklore of Cornwall, Wales and Ireland. He is the fae version of the Grim Reaper, he’s also known as the grave watcher, and often appears as a skeleton in a black robe, carrying a scythe. In Ireland he has a black coach pulled by four black horses which he uses to collect the souls of the recently dead.

As for the scary part pertaining to Samhain: according to Breton folklore collector Anatole le Braz (1859-1926):

“The last dead of the year, in each parish, becomes the Ankou of his parish for all of the following year. When there has been, in a year, more deaths than usual, one says about the Ankou: On my faith, this one is a nasty Ankou.”

In a short story by Wyndham Lewis, The Death of the Ankou (1927), a tourist in Brittany perceives a beggar to be the embodiment of the Ankou. (Another fun read, there.)

Of course, the Ankou is slightly different in my own writing. He can appear like a scary skeleton in a black robe, scythe and all. But he can also look quite civilized with an actual face and wearing a black suit (of any era).

I’ll be doing a proper post about Ankou and deathfae on my blog on Sunday if you’d like to know more.

In the meantime, why not take advantage of the discount running on “Once…” during October?

 

I hope you learned something new, got a good fright and perhaps even something new to read.

 

Ronel Janse van Vuuren is the author of New Adult, Young Adult and children’s fiction filled with mythology and folklore. Her dark fantasy stories can be read for free on Wattpad and on her blog Ronel the Mythmaker. She won Fiction Writer of the Year 2016 for her Afrikaans stories on INK: Skryf in Afrikaans. Her published works can be viewed on Goodreads.

Ronel can be found tweeting about writing and other things that interest her, arguing with her characters, researching folklore for her newest story or playing with her Rottweilers when she’s not actually writing.

All of her books are available for purchase on Amazon and other online retailers.

Connect with Ronel:

Amazon : Twitter : Pinterest : Google+ : Goodreads : Ronel the Mythmaker : Instagram : Newsletter

The Wild Hunt and Samhain #folklore

It’s that time of year where everything is eerie and the ghoulies and ghosties come out to play.

Okay, not in my side of the world where things are warming up and the sun sticks around longer than the night. But in the northern hemisphere… Ah, now there things are getting dark and dire as the time for the veil between worlds gets thinner and thinner as Samhain approaches.

Samhain? you might ask. It’s the precursor for what is now called Halloween.

If you want to check out the Celtic roots of Halloween, read this awesome article over on newgrange.com.

Now that we know that during Samhain that which divides our world from the Otherworld is at its thinnest, we also know that spirits and whatnot can pass through to ours.

Like what?

The Wild Hunt, for instance.

Belief in the Wild Hunt was once widespread across most of Europe. Common belief held that it was led by a supernatural master (Odin in Norse lore, King Herla in Britain, Gwyn ap Nudd in Wales, etc.) with a special prey in mind (Odin sought the Fairy Wood Wives, Gwyn ap Nudd herded the souls of the dead to the Underworld). The Hunt generally comprised spectral huntsmen on horseback accompanied by a pack of fairy hounds (usually white with red ears). It could fly through the air, pound over the earth, or hover just above the ground during its hunt.

The Wild Hunt is called many different things and described in many different ways depending on time and place.

On the Isle of Man, a band of 13 hunters rode out on frosty, moonlit nights on the Manx Fairy Hunt, as described in Thomas Keightley’s The Fairy Mythology (1828).

“…he heard the cry of huntsmen, the thunder of horses’ hooves, and the trumpeting of horns. He wondered why the hunt was out at night in such frost. It crossed his path several times and under the light of the moon, he saw the riders as clear as day. There were 13 huntsmen on horseback, dressed in green…”

In the Highlands of Scotland, the formidable fairy Sluagh, is often described as the souls of the unforgiven dead. They would take to the air in a great flock, hunting mortal souls to join their number. They also enjoy shooting cats, dogs, sheep, and cattle with elfshot (poisoned darts). An account in Alexander Carmichael’s Carmina Gadelica (1900) describes a sighting of them in the Outer Hebrides:

“…on hearing the call, the dogs ran outside, and when the men had gathered their wits, they followed. In the bright blue night sky, they beheld a multitude of spirits with hounds on leashes and hawks perched on hands. The air was filled with music, like tinkling bells, mingled with the shouts of the sluagh calling to their hounds…”

Of course, the Wild Hunt was often associated with demons and witches as Christianity spread over the globe. Not that they were particularly sweet and cuddly to start out with…

Just like everything else, they’ve been relegated to the realm of fancy. But as recently as the 1940s, the Wild Hunt was heard passing by on Halloween near Taunton, Somerset.

In my own writing, the Hunt is slightly different. There are steeds (the spectral horses mentioned in folklore, though mine can take any shape it pleases) and the Pack (which can be the huntsmen or the hounds – they can take either shape at will). They can also manipulate the emotions of mortals and fae alike.

You can check out a short story featuring them in the Clarion Call Anthology FairyTale Riot! that will be released at the end of the month. I had loads of fun writing my short story.

I hope you learned something new, got a great scare and possibly a great read for the darker months ahead. I’ll be doing a proper post about FairyTale Riot! over on my blog on Sunday (with a review) if you’d like to check it out.

Ronel Janse van Vuuren is the author of New Adult, Young Adult and children’s fiction filled with mythology and folklore. Her dark fantasy stories can be read for free on Wattpad and on her blog Ronel the Mythmaker. She won Fiction Writer of the Year 2016 for her Afrikaans stories on INK: Skryf in Afrikaans. Her published works can be viewed on Goodreads.

Ronel can be found tweeting about writing and other things that interest her, arguing with her characters, researching folklore for her newest story or playing with her Rottweilers when she’s not actually writing.

All of her books are available for purchase on Amazon and other online retailers.

Connect with Ronel:

Amazon : Twitter : Pinterest : Google+ : Goodreads : Ronel the Mythmaker : Instagram : Newsletter

FLASH FICTION: SILENT CALL, BY STEVIE TURNER

SILENT CALL, BY STEVIE TURNER

 Afterwards he wasn’t sure whether the seagulls screeching for breakfast or the stiff breeze had brought him to his senses.  Either way, when consciousness prevailed, Gareth found himself in a rather terrifying predicament.  He could not look down because the gag in his mouth was tied to a cold pole behind his head, but he soon became aware that his ankles were secured rather too tightly to what felt like railings behind him, leaving just his hands free.

The early morning mist rolling in was leaving an unusually cold calling card across his lower quarters.  Gareth felt down under his shirt, and found to his horror that the ends of the shirt just about covered his embarrassment.  He swallowed in fright; he still had the bow tie around his neck, but where were his pants and trousers and the rest of the tux that he’d spent an arm and a leg on?

The Esplanade was deserted. Daylight was just breaking, and somewhere in the vicinity a church bell dolefully chimed four o’clock; even the dog walkers were not out yet.  Gareth shivered and reached up into his shirt pocket.   At least he still had his mobile phone.

Debbie would chuck his engagement ring back at him if she ever found out.  His dad was too ill, and no way was his mum seeing him without any pants on.  There was only one thing for it…

His fingers were cold and stiff as he dialled 999.  A female voice answered almost immediately.

“Which service?”

The gag made speech impossible.  Gareth tapped 5 and then another 5.

“Okay, this is re-routing to the police, who hopefully can trace your call.”

He could see the coppers trying not to laugh as the squad car drew alongside.  Gareth closed his eyes to block them out.

“Had a good evening, Sir?” 

At last the gag was loose and he had to look at his rescuer.  If he’d had even one shoe, he’d have tried to crawl into it.  He croaked back an answer.

“No, not really.”

He glanced down as the tie wraps were cut away, and then stepped free of the iron railings.  If he’d had the time of his life at his stag party, the memories were now lost in a haze of alcohol.  His so-called-friends had spiked his beer, he was sure of it. 

He was handed a blanket and sank down gratefully into the squad car. Now all he had to do was to find a pair of trousers and get home before Debbie logged into Facebook. 

THE END

An adventure becomes a misadventure

Mike StatonThis post is written by Mike Staton.

Some might call my journey to Ohio the trip from hell.

My windshield wipers went haywire in Arizona and cost me $307 to repair. On Thursday, the car threw a sparkplug and shook like it was in its death throes. It’s Sunday and I’ve been staying in a Comfort Inn in Shawnee, Oklahoma, for the last several days while the 15-year-old car gets repaired. I won’t get the car until Tuesday – and that’s if a simpler repair works. If not, I won’t get the car until this weekend.

2003 saturn ionA trip from hell. Naw. It’s a risk I took driving a car I bought new in 2003. Before I left Henderson, I could have bought a newer car, one only two or so years old. But I liked not being responsible for a monthly car payment. I expect the repair bill will equal about a year’s worth of car payments. Lol.

Since I am chained to my motel room, the lobby with the endless supply of coffee, and a next-door Denny’s restaurant, I’ve been doing quite a bit of Facebook journaling about my trip – and watching baseball and football on the TV.

wind farmI’m moving back East. Initially, I’ll be staying at my sister’s place in Beverly, Ohio, for several months. I haven’t seen her and her husband since 2015. Then, as it begins to warm up, I’ll start apartment hunting in Wilmington, North Carolina. Nothing fancy… a one-bedroom place will do.

I took out Mutual Funds to pay for furniture for the apartment as well as a tooth implant and crown. Unexpectedly, I’ll also be using it for car repairs. Oh well….

texas cattle ranchI haven’t done any sightseeing – except through the windshield. I’ve been impressed with the miles and miles of turbine windmill farms in Texas and Oklahoma. The Comfort Inn’s front-desk person told me that a trip on backroads around Oklahoma City will reveal even more wind farms. I’m left shaking my head when I think of my former home – Nevada. It’s perfect land for wind farms… Mojave Desert terrain complete with lots of winds.

When in Texas, I saw wind farms to the left and a giant cattle farm to my right (the farm smell was noticeable). The steers were grazing in pens. Maybe the next time I eat a steak, I’ll be eating one of those steers.

Get off I-40, and you can sometimes travel portion of what used to be Route 66, especially along stretches connected by towns and small cities. It seems each town as a Route 66 museum complete with a vintage 1950s car on display. Route 66 has become mythic. The highway makes people think back to a more innocent time of cross-country travel with mom-and-pop hotels and restaurants.

rt 66 museumHopefully, when I do my next blog entry in late October, I will be in Ohio, and I can tell you how rest of the trip went.

# # #

I’m an author with four published novels that include a sword-and-sorcery fantasy trilogy – The Emperor’s Mistress, Thief’s Coin and Assassins’ Lair. The fourth novel is a historical romance set during the Civil War. It’s called Blessed Shadows Dark and Deep. I’ve begun writing my second Civil War novel – Deepening Homefront Shadows. All my novels can be purchased on the websites of Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

The Historical Western Romance or Hunks on Horses by Cher’ley

This blog by Cher’ley Grogg

I did not know there were lyrics, but as soon as the song started my four brothers and I ran to our TV sets. 

 I have loved Westerns since I was a young child around 8 or so. My dad loved Westerns and Real Crime books, so these are what was handed down to me. Zane Grey was my hero. Some of the first TV shows  I watched were Bonanza and Gunsmoke. I knew I never wanted to be a love interest for any of the Cartwright boys because these women were always killed off. Then there was Kitty who stood by Matt year after year without ever getting a ring. A couple of years ago I wrote a short story for Cowboys, Creatures, and Calico and discovered I loved writing Historical Western Romance. I loved writing the strong female character. I can’t wait to see what she will do next. And of course, there are Hunks on Horses.

 

I found this quote on the blog by Lyn Horner:

 Hunks on Horses Quoting Constance Martin from a 1999 piece she wrote for Romantic Times, “Heroes in these novels seek adventure and are forced to conquer the unknown. They are often loners, slightly uncivilized, and ‘earthy.’ Their heroines are often forced to travel to the frontier by events outside their control. These women must learn to survive in a man’s world, and, by the end of the novel, have conquered their fears with love. In many cases the couple must face a level of personal danger, and, upon surmounting their troubles, are able to forge a strong relationship for the future.”

Del, Me Whiskey 20180317_170250

From the same blog group :

Here are a few of my favorite, but there are many more. On this blog they give a list of books that have Western Jargon. I have several of these reference books.  Do you think the Hunks on Horses used this kind of language? I think of the Hero as being a little more refined than most of the cowboys.

  • A hog-killin’ time – a real good time
  • Ace-high – first class, respected
  • An invite to a dance – could mean shooting at a man’s feet to make him dance
  • As different as whiskey and tea
  • Bad plum – bullet
  • Bellerin’ like a . . . – yelling, howling, complain loudly
  • Bellyaching– complaining (still used today)
  • Belly-up – dead, died; also belly up to the bar (stand up at the bar and drink)
  • Get a wiggle on – hurry
  • Go to blazes – go far away
  • Gol-Darn – softer version of obvious blasphemy
  • Goner – lost, dead

And More reference books for Western Writers

I hI had so much fun with my brothers playing Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, great memories. My poor youngest brother had to be Trigger since he was the next in importance to Roy and Dale. I have a book written by Roy Rogers Jr. and we met him in Arizona. 

***What part did Westerns play in your life? What was the first Western you read? What was the first TV Western you saw?

I have published one Western Novel and I’m working on 3 more Four Moons and Fair Maidens by [Grogg, Cher'ley]

Cher’ley’s Books are listed below and on sale at Amazon and local bookstores.

 

Stamp Out Murder”.
 The Secret in Grandma’s Trunk” This is an especially good book for your Tween Children and Grandchildren
The JourneyBack 3The Journey Back-One Joy at a Time and the B&W Edition of The Journey Back
Boys Will Be Boys   The Joys and Terrors of Raising Boys-An Anthology
 Cowboys, Creatures, and Calico 

All About the Girls 5(3)

 Image may contain: 2 peopleAnd please join me on my Facebook Fan page, that’s managed by one of my most faithful fans: Cindy Ferrell
Here’s a link to Cher’ley’s WEBSITE

Rejections are Opportunities

DSCN3932by Neva Bodin

(Published late on the 3rd at my state)

“A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” This quote by Richard Bach, who wrote “Jonathon Livingston Seagull” is a hopeful one for writers to remember. That novel had multiple rejections on its way to success.

It is so easy to step off the journey of writing that all-American number one best seller we have in our head, after we get to chapter 23 (or before) and realize we still have a ways to go, and a whole lot of editing to do!

One workshop leader said he edited everything eleven times after writing it. That is work.

And hearing our work needs work is so disheartening. It’s like heading down a merry path full of birdsong, and running smack into an unending 50 feet high concrete wall. It seems too big a hurdle. But one that we can get through, by chiseling out one brick, or word, at a time. Perseverance is an attribute all writers need. I stand by another “p” word: procrastination. Doesn’t get me anything but frustration, but it seems to be hard to shake for me.

We need to treat rejections and critique’s as our opportunity to write better. To be more creative, to break out of our preconceived notions of what we can do, to realize our creator thinks we can do better. However, we may feel wounded instead. That’s okay. Feelings will come without permission. But feelings aren’t always right.

We need to talk to our negative feelings, and talk them into being positive feelings. If our first work needs work, great. Now we have an opportunity to be even better.

Many, many great novels, movies, etc. were rejected multiple times before becoming huge successes. Perhaps, they wouldn’t have been as successful if not for those rejections.

And remember, publishers can be wrong.