Post (c) Doris McCraw


For those who are old enough, Carly Simon had a hit back in the day with the song ‘Anticipation’.  The words tell the story of someone who is anticipating a relationship. Listening to it the other day the thought ran through my mind that it is the feeling of what may come that is the joy and agony of life. Sometimes the excitement drives us further than we expect, but can also stymie us to the point of doing nothing.

Merriam-Webster define anticipation as:

  1. a prior action that takes into account or forestalls a later action hired more security guards in anticipation of a large crowd  :  the act of looking forward; especially :  pleasurable expectation looked forward with anticipation to their arrival

  2.  visualization of a future event or state :  an object or form that anticipates a later type

For creative people, I do believe anticipation is necessary to move us forward. We anticipate our work, be it story, painting, photograph, will have an impact of the world around us.  We hope our works will be popular, or at least liked by the people important to us.  It that doesn’t happen we can become discouraged, want to give up or move on and try something else.

The reality is, we want ourselves and that part of us, our creative endeavor, to be validated by the world around us. We want to know that we are seen, heard and appreciated. Too many times we get hurt and then hide the hurt so others don’t know the power of their reaction. We ourselves can be guilty, many times without realizing it. We are caught up in our own hurts, our drive, our lives. 

Perhaps it’s time to take back our power, live in anticipation and take the time to support the dreams of others as best we can. Life is short, but the anticipation of what may come, now that can keep us young.

For those who don’t remember the song, or would just like to hear it again, I’ve posted the link below. Enjoy and don’t let the anticipation get away from you. Follow the dreams you have, make them come true. Anticipate the best, it just might happen. After all as the beginning of the song says, “we can never know about the things to come, but we dream about them anyway…”


Doris Gardner-McCraw – pen name Angela Raines
Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women’s History

For a list of Angela Raines Books: Here 

Photo and Poem: Click Here
Angela Raines FaceBook: Click Here

Let’s Talk Passion

Post copyright Doris McCraw/Angela Raines-author

edit hhj spc

According to Merriam-Webster a simple definition of passion isa strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something. 

Can you imagine living with enthusiasm and excitement for everything you do? It would be fun doing the dishes, cleaning house, visiting a sick friend, gardening or just plain being. Perhaps over time, we’ve become frightened of passion, of giving something our all. Maybe we’ve been burned too many times.

The key is, it is our passion and what other people say or do has nothing to do with how we feel inside. If we are frowned upon when we laugh out loud, who ultimately loses if we bow to peer pressure? I’m not advocating doing things that harm others. I’m talking about the reason we get up in the morning, the things that make us happy. Telling the story of the women doctors is a passion. I love speaking and writing about them, and the research is a passionate challenge to me. March 19, I’ll be in Victor, Colorado sharing my passion with others about these women.

I don’t have children, I don’t like snakes, but that does not mean I should keep someone else from being passionate about them. Maybe they don’t like cats. That’s okay. Some people love to sing, others to write music or jokes or books. If we don’t enjoy what we are doing, if we can’t find the passion and excitement, why do we continue? Life is precious, don’t waste it. I’d like to share some of my favorite quotes about passion:

There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living. Nelson Mandela
Passion is one great force that unleashes creativity, because if you’re passionate about something, then you’re more willing to take risks. Yo-Yo Ma

Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion. Martha Graham

and perhaps one of my new favorite:

There isn’t any great mystery about me. What I do is glamorous and has an awful lot of white-hot attention placed on it. But the actual work requires the same discipline and passion as any job you love doing, be it as a very good pipe fitter or a highly creative artist. Tom Hanks

What we are passionate about, I think, helps define who we want to be and our ability to try and get there. So here’s to a life lived with passions, following dreams and sailing our own ships.  I will leave you with a link to a song I’m passionate about. Listen to the words, be inspired and follow that passion.

Angela Raines is the pen name for Doris McCraw. Originally from the mid-west, Doris now calls the Rocky Mountains her home. Doris is a writer, historian, actor,and teacher. An avid reader Doris loves to spend time in history archives looking for the small, unknown pieces of history. Many times these pieces end up in her stories or poems.  Like her author page to stay on top of her work. also make sure to check out her haiku and photographs at

“One Christmas Knight” Medieval Anthology

“Angel of Salvation Valley”





Glancing Back, Looking Ahead

Gayle_BozemanFamilyChristian_smallThis post by Gayle M. Irwin

This weekend is my 35th high school reunion. Actually, I have two reunions: one in Iowa and one in Wyoming. My parents and I left a 14-acre farm near a small Iowa town the summer of my senior year. We moved from the Mediapolis area, in the southeastern part of Iowa near the Mississippi River, to Casper, Wyoming; I went from a graduating class of 84 to one of 600+ – “sticker shock” best describes the experience. At first, it was an adventure, but the closer graduation came and I still had only about six strong friendships in that class, the more homesick for my smaller community I became. However, I endured, and I proudly marched next to a young woman I’d come to consider my best friend, to receive my Natrona County High School diploma in Casper, Wyoming, May 1979.

Gayle with Stacy and CindyGayle and two of her former NCHS classmates — “we’ve come a long way, baby!”

I’ve wanted to return to Iowa for one of the high school reunions in Mediapolis, but I’ve not had the opportunity. I would have gone this year but with the passing of my father-in-law and an anticipated fall excursion with my own father, I had to pass again. However, this Friday evening I will join that same friend I “marched” with in 1979 as we attend the 35th reunion of the our graduating Casper class. I still don’t “know” many of those “kids,” but I know a few more than I did back then, and though not everyone I still consider myself friendly with will be there, it’s fun to think I’ll see some familiar faces and share a memory and laugh or two – as well as a few cocktails! I will toast my Casper class and also my Mediapolis compatriots as the memories – and wine – flow.

30th ReunionGayle & some former classmates, NCHS 30th class reunion – Casper, WY, July 2009

A lot has happened in my life these past 35 years. I began writing during my teens, but it wasn’t until I was in my late 20s that anything significant occurred – my first job with a newspaper; my second was even more significant: the editor and reporter for the West Yellowstone News, a position which allowed me to write about important ventures in Yellowstone Park, such as the reintroduction of wolves and a visit by President Bill Clinton. And, I’ve grown even more since then, having authored and published five books and having articles published in magazines and newspapers, regionally and nationally. And, in August, I’ll have a story in another Chicken Soup for the Soul (My Dog Did What?) – my fifth acceptance into this world-renowned compilation.

Chicken Soup_DogDidWhat_Cover

I may not be a Stephen King or J.K. Rowling, or be as acclaimed in my publication endeavors as my friend Nina McConigley (her short story collection is nominated for a PEN award), but as I glance back upon the past 35 years (actually 35+ since I began writing television scripts about my favorite shows, like Bonanza and Starsky and Hutch, essays about the environment, and poetry about doe-eyed, unreachable romance), that phrase “you’ve come a long way, baby” hits home. As I look ahead, I anticipate more books and stories, hoping to inspire, encourage, and educate.

Gayle_Mary_reading eventThat road opens in the coming months as I prepare for three speaking engagements in August and begin conducting monthly presentations at my local library in September. Those sessions will include my dog Mary, who is trained as a therapy dog. I’ll be joined by my friend Chris Lenihan, an educator in the Casper school district, who also has a dog certified as a therapy pet. We will take our canine friends to the library to conduct various programs and then have the kids read to the dogs. Many libraries around the country have a Read-to-the-Dog program, and we hope to launch something similar in our community, but also combine it with topical programs relevant to the kids and our community. I’ll write more in the fall about pet therapy and our programs after we’ve had a session or two under our belts. Meantime, it’s time to celebrate – 35 years since I graduated high school… gosh, I’m OLD!

Do you attend your high school reunions? What significant things have transpired in your life, personally and professionally, since your graduation? As you glance behind and look ahead, what are some goals you have for your life? I am making my bucket list this summer, including visiting some national parks with my dad in September that I have not yet seen. What about you – what’s on your bucket list?

For you ’70s buffs, here’s a YouTube link to the Starsky & Hutch theme song:

And, a YouTube tribute to my all-time favorite western, theme song sung by Lorne Greene:

Gayle M. Irwin is writer, author and speaker. She is the author of several inspiring dog books for children and adults, including Sage’s Big Adventure, Walking in Trust: Lessons Learned with My Blind Dog, and Devotions for Dog Lovers: Paws-ing for Time with God. She is also a contributing writer to editions of Chicken Soup for the Soul, including the latest dog book The Dog Did What?to be released August 19, 2014. She also writes for WREN (Wyoming Rural Electric Network), Crossroads, and Our Town Casper magazines, as well as for the Casper Journal and River Press newspapers, and she’s had articles published in Creation Illustrated magazine. She’s also authored a guidebook for owners of blind dogs, available on Kindle. Learn more at

SageBigAdventureFront-small   Walking_FrontCover_small   Dog Devotion Book_Cover_Final   Blind Dog Ebook Cover_updatedMay2014


Castles… of anticipation?

AWBR x 600This post is by Nancy Jardine

Castles, anticipation and dreams are my topic today. I’m in a state of flux concerning my new writing progress, finding that there are so many lovely things to distract me from penning my latest novels. Who wouldn’t take advantage of a bit of sunshine and disappear outside on a fine crisp end-of-winter day? (you may remember I live in Scotland and we don’t always have much of that going on).

Yesterday (Friday) a fantastic little castle popped up on my front grass. One minute there was a flat piece of coloured plastic covering the lawn (in truth read 90% moss) which I had magically cleared, the previous day, of howling-wind debris. sky 6

I have a stately silver birch that’s some 60 feet high which loses a LOT of twigs and branches over the winter, but this past winter has excelled itself in terms of the amount of storms we’ve had with gales of 80-90 mph. We don’t tend to call them hurricanes in my part of Scotland– just strong winds, though the purists of weather reporting might say differently. Having spent around two hours raking the grass free of sharp twiggy bits and bobs, and tidying the area on Thursday in anticipation of a fine Friday, since my son- in-law had a day off work and was hoping to erect the newly arrived bouncy castle, it was incredible to see this bright castle appear in around 10 seconds- I kid you not!

Technology can be so incredibly efficient nowadays. The blower/ generator appliance worked extremely well; the packaging information on the new ‘toy’ telling us it would, but call me a doubting Thomas till I saw the effect with my own eyes.  The anticipation of seeing my granddaughter’s face when her Dad went to fetch her was almost too much for me. She loves to jump, like most toddlers, and her sense of adventure is very great already.

b Castle 2 Dscn5390

It made me reflect on my ‘armchair’ adventures as a youngster. Bouncy castles hadn’t been invented back then and my ‘toys’ were of the smaller variety. I didn’t have a castle, and not even a proper big Doll’s House (at least not that I recall) but what I did have as a 7 going on 8 year old was a shelf of books. Lots and lots of books. My castle adventures jumped out at me from the pages of my books and I loved them all.

I probably started reading Enid Blyton books at around the age of 5 or 6 and read the ‘first reader’ ones which were more like fairy stories-but quickly moved on to her other series books.

I loved the Adventure Series the best of all because they were such exciting escapism for a child brought up on a peripheral Glasgow housing estate where the bulk of the residents didn’t have a penny to their name.

Image taken from Amazon
Image taken from Amazon

Enid Mary Blyton was an extremely prolific British author who wrote around 800 novels (she also wrote as Mary Pollock after her marriage to Major Hugh Pollock). Her writing has been through the mill over the decades as she was castigated for being elitist, sexist, racist and even xenophobic, but for all those potential aspects her writing transported many children, like me, to a world of adventure that wasn’t right on my doorstep. The Adventure Series were the biggest and thickest books of them all, absolutely fabulous to bring home from the Public Library, and as I walked home the couple of miles with my dad he’d steer me away from the street lighting poles that I was headed to collide with since I devoured many pages before reaching my house. I was already in the dream world of the story.

The Circus of Adventure, The Ship of Adventure, the Island of Adventure, the River of Adventure… The Castle of Adventure. As a young reader I was desperate to get my hands on all of the series and their magic never failed me. The Castle of Adventure transported me to a fantastic setting, the anticipation of the escapade so exciting. Barely a page or two into the Castle of Adventure came the words…

“I say! Look at that castle on top of the hill! Just look at it!”

Dinah looked. It certainly was a most imposing and rugged castle. It had a tower at each end and had very thick walls. It had slit windows- but had wide ones too, which looked a little odd.”

“Is it a really old castle?” asked Lucy-Ann.

“No-not really,” said Mrs. Mannering. “Some of it is old, but most of it has been restored and rebuilt, so that it is a real- mix up. Nobody lives there now. I don’t know who it belongs to, either – no one seems to know or care. It’s shut up ….     …is very dangerous. They say that part of the castle is ready to slip down the hill.”

(Taken from Amazon ‘Look Inside’ facility)

Subconsciously, as an adult I now wonder if that’s why I love visiting old castles and adore history. At the time of reading ‘The Castle of Adventure’, a couple of my school friends were vying for the same library books. The Castle of Adventure story fuelled my imagination and that of my friends as well, because close to where we stayed was an old and rambling estate. It was supposed to be ‘out of bounds’ but that didn’t stop the local kids from venturing into its creepy unkempt depths.

1st March garscadden

A very grand house named Garscadden had once been there, though by the time I came to live in the area at the age of  7 some crumbling remains were all that was left of the house walls and the beautiful sweeping lawns seen in this image of 1870 were long gone, taken over by natural woodland plants.

The official entrance gates to the estate were called –The Girnin’ Gates. Girnin’ means moaning and whining and that’s what those creaking old gates would have done had they been opened, though in the early 1960s the rusty iron gates were always shut fast with massive padlocks. One story associated with the name ‘girnin’ is even more interesting.  The gates were topped with two iron lions’ heads. When it rained, instead of the water running away down a drain it appeared to run out of the eyes of the lions – as though they were “girnin’. To a young kid that was scary and exciting at the same time!

My friends and I entered the estate over crumbling gaps in the boundary walls and though it was a creepy thing to do we played ‘Castle of Adventure’ scenarios. We hid behind piles of rubble and jumped out at the unwary scaring the heck out of them; howling banshees were actually pretty common visitors as well. If the nearby burn had had more water in it we would have reenacted our own scenarios of The Ship of Adventure and The River of Adventure- such was Enid Blyton’s influence in sparking our imaginations. It was our dream world where we also became the leading ladies of the castle. We took tea on the lawns (when we cleared enough of the brushwood away), sipping our tea from ‘acorn’ cups and ate our ‘meringues’ from our docken leaf plates.

Confession time. For ages I thought that word was pronounced ‘mer- ing- gus’ since that was how I read the word as a young reader long before learning any French. It took quite some time before I realised that the sweet treat that my aunt bought me at the baker’s shop – the crumbly white cake filled with rich thick cream – was the very same treat that the Blyton characters delighted in.

I now realise where I get the compulsion to use exclamation points from! It seems Enid loved them, too, and perhaps the anticipation I have as a reader, that a story will meet my expectations, also comes from the thrill of working my way through her fabulously long and exciting ‘page turners’.

AS a writer I’d love to think I’m creating enough tension and anticipation in my own work to satisfy my readers. Success comes in many forms and only this morning I found out that my ancestry/ dynasty based mystery/thriller- TOPAZ EYES – has garnered enough votes to get to the FINALS. My anticipation is now extremely high since I am invited to the Award Ceremony in London at the end of May when the Final winners are announced for all categories. That is a dream come true, to even get to such lengths in a national UK competition. I would like to heartily thank all of my lovely friends who voted for me and Topaz Eyes in that first round of voting to get me to the finals. In my eyes you are all stars!

My anticipation is also mounting with regard to my next historical romantic adventure which is launched on the 25th March and I must get my metaphorical skates on and do the prep necessary for that. I’m off to dream some more…and maybe do a little new WIP writing.

ps-The following sites have a little more information on the Garscadden Estate I loved to dream-play in, if you are interested.

Have a great weekend!

x600Nancy’s Novels are available in print and ebook formats from Amazon US author page, Smashwords, B&N, Waterstones, W.H. Smith and many other retailers.

Find Nancy at:   Blog    Website   Facebook  Goodreads   About Me   LinkedIn   Twitter @nansjar  Google+ 


The Times They Are A’Changin’!

Gayle_BozemanFamilyChristian_smallThis Post by Gayle M. Irwin

We’re six days into the New Year: 2014 already – WOW! Last year marked 15 years since I moved from Montana, leaving a landscape that truly doesn’t leave my heart and putting behind me the everyday grind of being a small town journalist – reporter, photographer, editor, copywriter, page and ad designer, as well as receptionist, bookkeeper and other things I’m sure I’ve forgotten (or want to!). For a brief time, I picked up the career again like highway litter cleaner, but I only had to serve in two of the aforementioned capacities. Still, it was a grind, especially when towing the police scanner around on my designated “work weekends.”

As “all around journalist” at the West Yellowstone News during the mid-1990s, I conducted ad and page layout the old fashioned way: Pagemaker software, yes, email no. The layout was done by hand and I drove the 16 to 20 rubber-cemented pages compacted in a box and sitting in backseat of my car for 250 miles one way so those pages could be printed on newsprint. What a difference less than two decades make – so many other incredible changes such as email means no driving half-days and no enormous graphics paper or stinky rubber cement! Although those days of being up 36+ hours and driving two-lane roads, even in winter, are behind me, I am sure the experiences helped polish me, shape me, for the journey I’m on today.

My husband and I bought a Kindle Fire for Christmas – we also have an older Kindle I purchased used from a friend a few years ago. Such an amazing invention! And all the others: Ebooks, Smartphones, laptops, tablets, Facebook, Twitter – not even in a writer’s vernacular 15 years ago!

woman readingPublishing, too, has changed. I recently watched a newscast about a couple on the verge of foreclosure who began writing and publishing ebooks — they even made bestsellers lists… and they are self-published! Gives me hope (of course I don’t write steamy romance — but maybe I should!). Self-publishing, both print and ebook format, opens the floodgates wide for book publishing opportunities, and blogs, websites, online magazines and ezines significantly increase ways for writers to make a living. Freelance work may still be competitive, especially for printed magazines, brochures, and newsletters, but if that’s what a writer wants to do, that’s the direction s/he should pursue – and that’s just the pathway I plan to travel in addition to creating more Kindle books and trying more online writing ventures.

During the Christmas holiday, I explored children’s magazine options, and in the coming weeks I plan to query and/or submit to a few. I’ve also registered on a few websites for freelancers, including Elance and Flexjobs. The competition looks tough, but if one doesn’t try, the projects certainly won’t happen. Writer’s Market Guide still has its place on my bookshelf and I’ll be exploring the 2014 edition this month, but the Internet is now also a major pathway for writers to explore for work, both as a freelancer and as a book author. I am excited for what 2014 may bring – I only hope I don’t wrap myself up like a pretzel along the way!

What are the dreams, hopes, and goals you have for this New Year with regard to your writing career? The times they are a’changin’, but in many ways writing-wise, for the better!

As this New Year sprouts before us, may our writing endeavors bloom with luster!


Gayle M. Irwin is writer, author and speaker. She is the author of several inspiring dog books for children and adults, including Sage’s Big Adventure, Walking in Trust: Lessons Learned with My Blind Dog, and Devotions for Dog Lovers: Paws-ing for Time with God. She is also a contributing writer to editions of Chicken Soup for the Soul, to articles in Creation Illustrated and Our Town Casper magazine, and in the Casper Journal and River Press newspapers. Her future plans include creating newsletter and brochure content for businesses and writing more magazine articles. Learn more at

SageBigAdventureFront-small        Walking_FrontCover_small        Dog Devotion Book_Cover_Final

Outside the Lines

doris curiosity







Post written and copyrighted by Doris McCraw

Remember when young and being told you needed to color within the lines, the sky was blue not purple? It was the way for us to understand the rules. But once you knew the rules, purple skies were okay?

Purple Sky

As the study of history and the people who lived it continues, the number of people who colored outside the lines, and made the sky purple grows. The movers and shakers knew the rules, but found them too confining or restrictive.  If the Founding Fathers and Mothers had not colored outside the lines, America might not be here today.

The wonderful women doctors I have researched all colored outside the lines. Women did not go into medicine, did not look at cadavers, etc. Yet because these women dared, those who followed have made great contributions to society.

Women have always written, but for years it was inappropriate to use one’s own name. Many writers such as Helen (Hunt) Jackson, Martha Finley, Mary Abby Dodge and Mary Ann Evans became well-known and respected for their writings, but under pen names.  When Jackson published “Ramona” under her own name she broke a tradition that had held nineteenth century women to different standards than men.

Portrait of George Eliot by Samuel Laurence
Portrait of George Eliot by Samuel Laurence (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Perhaps some of the most well-known rule breakers were people like Galileo Galilei,  Cleopatra, and Hatshepsut. They all challenged the status quo. Although their fates were not always favorable, if they had not taken the actions they had, life might be very different for all of us.

Galileo Galilei
Galileo Galilei (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When we get the call to try something different, maybe we should give it a try.  The story we think wouldn’t sell because that is not what is a best seller might turn out to be the story that someone needs to hear or read to start them to their own journey outside the lines.

Traditions and rules are great. Many are beloved and should remain, but for the right reasons, not because it has always been done that way. Follow the rules because they are right for you. If they are wrong, coloring outside the lines is acceptable in fact maybe even desirable.

For more of what I do:

“Film & Photography on the Front Range” can be purchased online at:

Haunted New Orleans by Barb S.

This Blog by Barb Schlichting

Many strange things happen New Orleans and these are just a few of the happenings that are fun to share in October.

New Orleans is one of the most haunted cities in the country, partly because the King of France used the swamplands to build the city. The Natives had used it as a burial ground.MARIE-LEVEAUX

With the construction of the city, along came the first civilians, who were mostly criminals. Many believed in the dark side of the occult and voodoo. Enter the voodoo queen, Marie Laveau. She was born to a colored lady and a white man, so she was considered, ‘free’. Marie made her living as a hairstylist, and had at least fifteen children. She became quite well-known for her voodoo, and had many followers. She also incorporated many symbols from the Catholic church as part of a, ‘cover-up’ attempt to hide the practice. Her daughter, Marie, carried on after her death in 1881. Many believe that her spirit and those of her followers roam the cemeteries on St. John’s Eve.


Chicken manChicken Man/ Prince

Prince’s grandmother taught him about the magic power of herbs; she
revealed to him ancient secrets of Haitian Voodoo that had originated in the native
slave homeland of Africa and how to use them to help others.



Sallie Ann Glassman

Counted as one of the twenty most active Voodoo practitioners in the United States, Priestess Manbo Sallie Ann Glassman is known for promoting positive thoughts through her Voodoo faith. She is also a historian on Voodoo tradition and its roots in Hatian Vodun.

Glassman, a thoughtful and articulate Jewish woman who first began studying New Orleans Vodou in 1975.

Ms.Sallie Ann Glassman is the author of Vodou Visions, published by Random House in May, 2000, which has received acclaim from Vodou practitioners around the world.



I  ran across this fascinating story of the Devil Baby, here’s a bit of it, but you should read the whole story of the Devil Baby

Devil baby

That is the history of the Devil Baby, but the story does not end there. It is said that Marie Laveau and Madame LaLaurie shared the care of the unwanted child between them. Sometimes the child would be kept with Marie at her home on St. Ann; other times, Madame played host to it, and, it is said, she even had a nursery made for it on the second floor of her home.Servants and slaves who caught glimpses of the baby began to whisper tales back and forth; when any came to the ears of either woman, the reaction was brutal and quick. Most of the gossips said that Marie and Madame used the baby to call to its true father, the Devil himself. But no one had any proof, and no one wanted to get close enough for it.When Madame LaLaurie was chased from New Orleans after a fire in her home led to the discovery of horribly mutilated, tortured and dead slaves, the care of the “Devil Baby” fell to Marie – a duty she is said to have shared with her eldest children.For a few years, the fact that such a monstrous being was kept in the heart of the French Quarter was the subject of continuous gossip. The pitiful and chilling wails were not of this earth, and whenever the rain would fall, it seemed, the baby would moan and howl incessantly, to the great disturbance of French Quarter residents.One rainy day, however, there were no howls and shortly afterward the Laveau family was seen, all dressed in black, gathered in St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, where they were laying someone, or something to rest. Could it have been the Devil Baby? Most people assumed this to be the case.But if Marie Laveau buried the Devil Baby back in the 1800’s, then what’s howling and terrorizing tourists and locals alike all along Bourbon Street to this d

Do you have any ghost stories or legends to share?

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Don’t Worry be Happy by Cher’ley

This Blog by Cher’ley Grogg

Sometimes Birthdays are not always Happy, but we have other days that make us Happy. Today I want to say for the month of October Happy something:  Happy Birthday Brenda (today,my daughter), Shirley (my daughter-in-law), Sherry (Shirley’s sister), Vicky (my friend), Linda (my friend), and Dennis (my friend), to name a few.

Then there are Anniversaries (mine is the 10th). Happy Adoption of a Shelter Dog Month and Breast Cancer Awareness Month, some special days are:

October 2nd is National Custodial Worker Day, My husband’s favorite is October 4th National Frappe Day, (just found out-for our anniversary day) October 10 National Angel Food Cake Day, the 11th is, It’s My Party Day, October 30th is Mischief Night and the 31st of course is Halloween. If you would like to see more Holidays check out this link. Holidays in Sight

The Show “Happy Days” made people happy, hopeful and entertained. I hope my books do the same thing.

Here’s an excerpt from my novel “Stamp Out Murder”, this is found in Chapter Six. James stops to pick up two old Geezers who are walking along side of the road.

  “Howdy young fella, Old Bib-overalls said as he climbed into the truck. “You headed to town?”
  “We better walk, there ain’t enough room for Lester.”

  “This flips up.” James gave the console a push and it disappeared into the back of the seat.
   He stretched his lips into a thin smile and involuntarily let his breath out making a loud sigh as the door finally shut. However, Les didn’t trust the shut, so he opened and shut it again and again.
   “It’s shut.” James put the S-10 into gear.
   “Where you headed young fella. Oh, I already asked you that. We’re heading into town too. We’re going to sit close to the library, so we can see the folks lining up for the Haunted River Ghost Walk.”

Moment of Frustration Day should be celebrated because it can bring your frustrations to the surface and you can deal with them. Then you will be Happy.

Are you frustrated? ‘Cmon, let it out! We’ve got some suggestions on how      to ease that moment of frustration in a harmless, healthy manner. Here are      just some of them:

  •   Go for a walk When faced with a frustrating situation, walk away from the   situtation. Time and distance, will often help to eliminate the frustraion.   The walk allows you to think about how to resolve it.
  •   Take it outside and yell. Go out the back door, and do a little yelling.   We suggest you do it away from others. Afterwards, you will feel much better.
  •   Let your feelings out… If you need to cry, then cry.
  •   Think…. consider what will ease or eliminate those frustrations. How can   you resolve the problem?
  •   Talk… let your feelings out to someoneyou can confide in. If it’s a frustration   about a person, talk with them. Let them know how you feel.
  •   Seek help. Use a frined, a family member, or a professional to help you.

I couldn’t end a Happy Day Blog without this song. “Don’t Worry, Be Happy“.

**What makes you happy and what is your Happy Day-birthday or other?**

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

Fans of Cher'ley Grogg,AuthorAnd please join me on my Facebook Fanpage, that’s managed by one of my most faithful fans: Cindy Ferrell

Here’s a link to Cher’ley’s WEBSITE

The I’s Have It- Inspirations, Impressions, and Intentions by Cher’ley

This Blog by Cher’ley Grogg

Next week I’m serving on a panel at the Creatures, Crimes and Creativity Writer’s Conference. This is a conference with writers and fans both in attendance. I’m excited because one of my favorite authors is giving the keynote. Keynote Author Jeffery Deaver International best-selling mystery author. Joining him is Christopher Golden New York Times Best-selling Horror and Fantasy writer, Author
John Gilstrap New York Times best- selling thriller writer, and Author Trice Hickman Award winning best-selling suspense writer. I will be among some famous and talented guests.
I am serving on two panels, one is “Where do Ideas Come From?” Which is what I’m talking about today. Often I’m asked, “Where do your ideas come from?” It’s not easy to say, “This is where I got that idea.”


My original inspirations came from my desire to give something to my grandchildren and from my husband who encouraged me. I started writing when my granddaughter was 5 years old. My grandsons, who were eight and ten weren’t very interested in reading and I wanted to give them a story that would be fun and full of adventure. I finished the first story, but I have never gone back to edit it.

Writers draw inspiration from hundreds of things.

  • Overheard Conversations
  • People Watching
  • Art
  • Music
  • Religion
  • Family
  • Their own life
  • Fears
  • Love
  • Pets
  • Nature
  • The Success of Other Writers
  • The Pain from Other Writers


Vincent van Gogh, The Starry Night. Oil on can...

Van Gogh is a well-known painter of French Impressionism. “Starry Night” portrays his impression of a starry night.
When you look at “Starry Night”, you know this is not the exact image of “A Star-filled Night”. It’s a painting with vague impressions of the real thing. Writing is like that too. You get an idea, a vague impression of real life. I doubt if anyone wants a chapter encasing a dull family dawdling around the dinner table discussing their day. Yet, we know they have to eat and something exciting could happen at the dinner table. What if little Johnny choked on a chicken bone? We could use the dull time to express Suzie’s hate of doing chores, which will lead to her running away. The idea is to start with an impression and see where it takes you.



August 28th was the 50th year anniversary of the “I Have a Dream” speech by Martin Luther King. An intention is a dream. Intentions let you and others know what you plan to do. Set an intention to beserious about your dreams. He met with Lyndon B. Johnson, who also had a dream or an intention.

President Lyndon B. Johnson and Rev. Dr. Marti...
President Lyndon B. Johnson and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. meet at the White House, 1966 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What Writers Do-adapted fromLiteracy Onlline

  • identify the purpose and audience for their writing
  • think carefully about the possible content of their writing
  • gather, select, and organize ideas and information, either in their minds (to be drawn upon when required) or by recording them using graphic organizers such as word lists, flow charts, and mind maps
  • make connections between the ideas and information, ask questions about them, visualize them, analyze them, synthesize them, and evaluate them, in order to decide which ideas and information to include
  • visualize a structure or sequence that conveys their intended meaning
  • decide on the text form that best meets their purpose
  • discuss their planning with other writers and get feedback about it.

If you want ideas, just Google for images for ideas and you’ll get something like this: About 331,000,000 results (0.32 seconds). Ideas are plentiful, putting them together takes Inspiration, Impressions, and Intentions.

Where do your ideas come from? What is your dream for your life?

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

Fans of Cher'ley Grogg,AuthorAnd please join me on my Facebook Fanpage, that’s managed by one of my most faithful fans: Cindy Ferrell

Here’s a link to my WEBSITE

Satisfaction by Cher’ley

This post by Cher’ley Grogg

Chocolate in almost any form is great! Cake, candy bars, cookies, fudge, cupcakes, chocolate milk, chocolate ice cream and my favorite chocolate yogurt. (Fudge Recipe at the end of this blog) Chocolate activates endorphin in our brains and this causes us to have a feeling of satisfaction.

Another form of satisfaction is being in contact with people who would love to read your book.

If you have a computer, phone, Kindle, Ipad or anything electronic and if you are my friend you know I just did my first Kindle book give-a-way. I set my goal at 50 and I gave-a-way  209.  I am very satisfied with that amount.

This was my process:

  1. Decided the date and how many days
  2. Started contacting people with blogs (by contacting I mean begged)
  3. Changed my mind twice on the date
  4. Contacted more people with blogs
  5. Set the date with Amazon
  6. Contacted more people with blogs (finally reaching about a dozen)

Satisfaction comes from having friends who care and want to help each other. Here is a list of my wonderful friends who featured me on their blogs.

Drumroll-In please, in no particular order: 

I want to thank each of these lovely people for featuring me on their blogs.

 Linda’s Blog

 Nancy’s Blog

Kate’s  Blog

 Mike’s Blog

Neva’s Blog

 Doris’s Blog

 Allan’s Blog

Ginger’s Blog

 Lisa’s Blog

  Janet’s Blog

Hilary’s Blog

 Cher’ley’s Amazon Page 

I attended and shared each blog as much as possible. I also had several friends who shared the links that I put up on my various social media pages.

The next thing I did was to check to see what my give-a-way tally was about 3 or 4 times a day.

I checked twice a day to see how I was ranking in sales in the Action and Adventure category. I ended up ranking in the top 100 of ebooks sales.

It was a hard/easy process. I was excited through the whole process. It was also nerve-racking and time consuming. I don’t know yet if I will do it again. I am hoping to get some sales and some reviews from the give-a-way.

I want to thank everyone for bearing with me on the continual posts about my “Free Kindle Book” and thank everyone who downloaded it. I am grateful and satisfied.

**Have you ever put your book up for free? How did it go? What gives you Satisfaction? **

Easy & Delicious Fudge

Easy Chocolate Fudge


  • 6 minsCooking:
  • 5 minsLevel:
  • EasyCooling:
  • 120 minsYields:
  • 24 servings



LINE 8- or 9-inch square baking pan with foil.COMBINE morsels and sweetened condensed milk in medium, heavy-duty saucepan. Warm over lowest possible heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat; stir in nuts and vanilla extract.

SPREAD evenly into prepared baking pan. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm. Lift from pan; remove foil. Cut into 48 pieces.

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.

Fans of Cher'ley Grogg,AuthorAnd please join me on my Facebook Fanpage, that’s managed by one of my most faithful fans: Cindy Ferrell

Here’s a link to my WEBSITE