Oh my… Sports, sports, sports

Mike Staton

My name’s Mike Staton, I’m a sports fan, and I wrote this post.

The first few days of April are bonanza days for the sports fan.

Okay, I know what women authors are thinking: What? Sports! Mike has to be out of his mind. I don’t want to read about sports. I hate sports. Mike, my friend, you’ll be lucky to get one comment.

But hey… I’m a gambler. I’m willing to take a chance.

Back to the beginning. The first days of April are a jackpot for sports fans. Here’s why.

Tar Heels

The NCAA National Basketball Tournament is always a must-see event for a sports fan. This year the North Carolina Tar Heels got the trophy.

The NCAA Basketball Tournament’s semi-final games took place on Saturday, April 1, followed by the championship game on Monday, April 3. Here’s a hint why I’m a happy man: Before moving to Vegas, I lived in North Carolina for twenty-five years. And the University of North Carolina Tar Heels clawed their way to a national championship, outlasting Gonzaga 71-65.

You just can’t live in North Carolina for a quarter century and not become a fan of college basketball – there’s the Tar Heels, Duke, North Carolina State, and Wake Forest. In the workplace, many of my friends were graduates of one of those universities and the friendly rivalries always spilled into the cubicles.

Dodgers win

I’ve been a huge LA Dodgers fan since the early 1960s when I lived in Rialto, California. April is the start of the baseball season, and the Dodgers opened the season with a win.

April’s also the month when the professional baseball season gets underway following spring training and exhibition games. My teams, the Cleveland Indians and the Los Angeles Dodgers, played their first games of the season on Monday, April 3. Cleveland staged a late rally to defeat the Texas Rangers 8-5. In Chavez Ravine, the Dodgers clubbed four homeruns, including a grand slam, to overwhelm the Padres 14-3. Baseball’s best pitcher, Clayton Kershaw, got the win.

I know at least one of the bloggers for Writing Wranglers & Warriors is glad baseball season’s underway. That’s Gayle Irwin, whose husband is a big St. Louis Cardinals fan. The Cards won their first game 4-3 over last year’s World Champions, the Chicago Cubs. That makes me gloriously happy, since the Cubs beat the Indians in the World Series (the Cubs are now my team to hate, and after them, the Yankees).

Draft Day2

April also means the NFL draft. I always enjoy the draft, seeing who the Browns pick. This year the club has the No. 1 draft choice thanks to a 1-15 record. It takes endurance to be a Browns fan. Oh by the way, the draft takes place at the end of April.

And lest we forget about NFL football… the end of April heralds the 2017 draft, always a must-see for the serious football fan. The Cleveland Browns, my team since the mid-1960s, has the No. 1 draft choice thanks to a dismal 1-15 record. Yes, it takes perseverance and a touch of insanity to be a Browns fan. It’s still about two weeks until the draft. They’re going to be long days, since I can’t wait to see who the Browns draft.

Did you see that the Raiders are going to move to Las Vegas? They’ll play in a $1.9 billion domed stadium near the Vegas Strip. The Raiders have to buy the land and build the stadium. They’ll start playing in Vegas in 2019. The NFL owners OK’d the move in late March. That’s news is sure to fire me up for the draft later in April.

# # #

I’m an author with three fantasy novels to my credit – The Emperor’s Mistress, Thief’s Coin and Assassins’ Lair. The books make up a trilogy titled Larenia’s Shadow. A fourth novel, this one a historical romance, is scheduled for publication in October. It’s called Blessed Shadows Dark and Deep. All my novels can be purchased via the website of my publisher, Wings ePress, as well as the websites of Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Posted in unique | 18 Comments

The Old Man and the Fish





Posted by MK Waller

A couple of months ago, I wrote that I’d planned to write about Ernest Hemingway but decided against it. I changed my mind because I wanted to be erudite but that night just didn’t have it in me.

The truth is, I never have erudite in me. I am not an erudite person. If people read my master’s thesis, they might think I’m erudite, and maybe I was, a little, when I wrote it in 1985–I used a lot of semicolons–but overall, I am just not erudite. And I’m too tired to pretend I am.

English: Hemingway posing for a dust jacket ph...

English: Hemingway posing for a dust jacket photo by Lloyd Arnold for the first edition of “For Whom the Bell Tolls”, at the Sun Valley Lodge, Idaho, late 1939. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Public domain.

So I’m going to write a little bit about Hemingway, but in a non-analytical, non-literary, non-scholarly, generally shallow way.

My working vocabulary has never been large, so I used thesaurus.com to find both synonyms and antonyms for erudite. I didn’t approve of the antonyms, so I put a few touches of my own on some synonyms, as one knows if one read the preceding paragraph.

(Using one in place of you and I smacks of scholarship, but it’s the only thing in this post that will smack of it.)

The antonyms I objected to are uneducated, ignorant, and uncultured. They don’t necessarily apply. I have a couple of degrees and I know a few things about Hemingway. As to culture, I make no claims, except to say I like opera, at least the old-fashioned ones with melodies, and I am never tempted to laugh when the soprano starts to sing.

Anyway, I was reminded of Hemingway today while reading The Art of X-Ray Reading: How the Secrets of 25 Great Works of Literature Will Improve Your Writing. In a chapter devoted to Hemingway, author Roy Peter Clark, says, “Writers of my generation–the baby boomers–grew up being told that Ernest Hemingway was a great writer. We read his books, such as The Old Man and the Sea, as early as junior high, and our first inklings of authorial style came from the legendary writer’s pellucid prose.”

After quoting part of a review by Ford Madox Ford and then the opening paragraph of A Farewell to Arms, he continues:

I can say that as a young reader and writer I did not get Hemingway at all. My negativity may have been nothing more than a 1960s rebellion against the sensibilities of our parents. . . . 

While some would claim that the passage above [from A Farewell to Arms] is strong, clear, lean, direct and pure, all I could see was dry, repetitious, undecorated, and dull, a movie star without makeup.

Well. I liked The Art of X-Ray Reading–I enjoy reading literary criticism and analysis, so maybe I’m a little cultured. But when I reached that passage, I absolutely fell in love with it. Because I didn’t get Hemingway at all either.

No, I lie. I didn’t like Hemingway. I’m a baby boomer, too, but my distaste for his books had nothing to do with the generation gap.

I didn’t like him because of all the fishing.

American author Ernest Hemingway with Pauline,...

American author Ernest Hemingway with Pauline, Gregory, John, and Patrick Hemingway and four marlins on the dock in Bimini, 20 July 1935. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In my junior American literature class, we read “Big Two-Hearted River.” I’m sure it was a truncated version. But it seemed interminable. Nick, the main character, goes out into the forest to fish. He walks, sees a grasshopper attached to his sock, takes a nap, wakes up sore, sets up his tent, eats (pork and beans, spaghetti, and canned apricots), drinks coffee, kills a mosquito, and goes to sleep, all methodically, every move described in detail. But most of what Nick does is fish. Fish, fish, fish.

San Marcos River above Fentress, Texas. © MK Waller

My grandfather took me fishing a couple of times, and I liked the way he did it. In the evening, he set out trotlines across the river, and early the next morning he went out again to run the lines. Looking back, I see it as inhumane, and I wouldn’t do it today. I think trotlines are illegal now, so he wouldn’t do it either.

But the thing is–my grandfather didn’t stand out in the middle of the river, baiting his hook with grasshoppers, and hoping to catch one fish at a time. He used Crystal White Soap and caught lots of fish all at once. Fishing wasn’t so much a sport as an art or what might now be called a practice: he was meticulous, every movement deliberate, as methodical as Nick. But not nearly so boring.

Regarding the story, it might have helped if I’d known that after serving in World War I, Nick is trying to adapt to life at home, where no one understands what he’s experienced. But I was a sixteen-year-old girl, so it probably wouldn’t have, not really.

Years later, I took a graduate seminar in the novels of Hemingway and Faulkner. It’s amazing what a little education can do. Close textual analysis under the direction of a formidable scholar and professor (and a thoroughly delightful man) forged in me a sincere appreciation for the novels.

Excluding The Old Man and the Sea.

I expressed my negative feelings (quietly) to a classmate. She asked if this was the first time I read the book. I said yes.

“That’s the problem,” she said. “If you’d read it in seventh grade, you’d love it.”

Sure. Old man, boy, boat, sea, alone, forty days and forty nights, catch, sharks, dreaming of lions.

Nothing but fish, fish, fish.

And that’s my shallow, non-erudite dissertation on Hemingway.


(Does anyone out there appreciate how difficult it is to compose a blog post with fifteen pounds of cat lying across your forearm, elbow to wrist, whence he has access to keys that can wipe out everything? If Hemingway had used a computer, with all those six-toed cats, he’d never have published a thing.)

American Author Ernest Hemingway with sons Pat...

American Author Ernest Hemingway with sons Patrick (left) and Gregory (right) with kittens in Finca Vigia, Cuba. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


My memory of “Big Two-Hearted River” was helped along by Sparknotes.

MK Waller–who used to be,
and still is, Kathy Waller–
has published stories
in Austin Mystery Writers’
Murder on Wheels (Wildside, 2015)
and on
Her story “I’ll Be a Sunbeam” will appear
in Kaye George’s anthology DAY OF THE DARK,
to be released by Wildside Press
on July 21, 2017,
exactly a month before the
August 2017 solar eclipse.
She blogs at Telling the Truth, Mainly.

Posted in Authors, Humor, Literature, unique, writers, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

April showers bring May flowers?


Have you ever wondered where some of the old sayings came from?  I have.  I recently looked up April showers bring May flowers and here are two lyrics from well-known performers.

Here’s two from well-known singers–

Life is not a highway strewn with flowers
Still it holds a goodly share of bliss
When the sun gives way to April showers
Here is the point you should never miss

Though April showers may come your way
They bring the flowers that bloom in May
So if it’s raining have no regrets
Because it isn’t raining rain you know, it’s raining violets
And where you see clouds upon the hills
You soon will see crowds of daffodils
So keep on looking for a blue bird
And list’ning…

Al Jolson

When April showers may come your way
They bring the flowers that bloom in May
So when it’s raining have no regrets
Because it isn’t raining rain you know
It’s raining violets
And when you see clouds up on a hill
You know they’ll bring crowds of daffodils
So just keep looking for a bluebird
And listening for his song
Whenever April showers come along
And when you see clouds up on the hill
You know there’ll be crowds of daffodils
So just keep looking for a bluebird
And listening for his song
Whenever April showers come a-long…

Judy Garland 


I have a published poetry and am interested in where different ‘sayings’ come from.

I write the First Lady Mystery Series and also publish children’s picture books under the name of Barbie Marie.

My website is:Barb’s Books   Please follow my First Lady blog: First Lady Blog  Facebook page



Posted in Blogs, Calendar, celebrities, Childhood Memories, history; origins; name changes, unique | 18 Comments

Casper is the Place to Be!

IMG_1658by Neva Bodin

Wikipedia says an annual solar eclipse took place February 26, 2017 in South America and southwestern Africa. I saw no publicity about it. However, there is plenty of warning (information) in our fair city of Casper, Wyoming about the eclipse happening here on August 21st. Casper is in the direct path. This will be the first total solar eclipse in the US since 1979. The next one will be in 2024. The website— https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/how-often-solar-eclipse.html –is counting off the seconds, minutes, hours and days.

According to Mashable.com, NASA will life stream images of the solar eclipse. Bing images show the path and times it will be visible across the United States. https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=solar+eclipse+2017&id=22D8BF2464165D466D3D141574CCFA4991BA4B33&FORM=IQFRBA

The moon will pass between the earth and the sun, obscuring the sun for a brief period and darkness will descend on a portion of the earth. Must have been scary for early peoples.

EclipseI found multiple past myths and legends that have originated from the scariness: in Vietnam a frog, in Norway a wolf, and in China a celestial dragon devoured the sun causing an eclipse; Hindu religion thought a deity’s head flew off and devoured the sun; Korean folklore suggests mythical dogs stole the sun; ancient Greeks believed there was an angry god; the Tewa tribe of New Mexico believed an angry Sun left the sky to go to a place in the underworld. Many other peoples believe there will be tragedies and disasters during an eclipse. In India, some believe food cooked during an eclipse will be poisonous. However, in Italy, people believe flowers planted during a solar eclipse will bloom with brighter colors.

One of our local journalists made known his fear in a recent column that our city would run out of beer and toilet paper during the solar eclipse. I tend to believe that. I will stock up ahead of time.

People are renting out their home for prices ranging from the area of $800 to $8000 a night we’re told. The city is wanting to know who is renting out their property and apparently have to approve/inspect it or something.

Many countries from around the world have called our airport re landing their private jets. The city managers/business people are having meetings re feeding and transporting and entertaining the sun-struck visitors. Some felt they would want limousines or fancy treatment; others felt they already had that and wanted to see the old west which many feel we still personify. I think they should transport them from the airport in a stage coach, that carries bottled water of course. A nice blend of new and old—no?

We will stay home, with plenty of beer and toilet paper, and hope the day isn’t cloudy, listen to the expected melee of the city, and jealously guard our property. Our deck should make a perfect viewing place. I have already bought the viewing spectacles.

Posted in unique | 13 Comments

Early Days On The West Side of Pikes Peak

Post (c) Doris McCraw


With the release of the latest Pikes Peak Library Districts History Symposium book, “Disasters of the Pikes Peak Region”, I thought I’d share a bit from my chapter, ‘ The Cripple Creek Volcano: a thirty-five million year disaster’.

goldfield east of Battle Mountain

Goldfield fromeast side of Battle Mountain. Cripple Creek District, Teller County, Colorado.     October 7, 1903 (USGS image)

Early Days in the Region:
Some of the earliest people in the region were probably the Utes and various other Native American tribes. There is little written about that time and what is known is mostly supposition. It appears there may have been found some artifacts from the native people around the Mt. Pisgah area and that it may have been used as a signal mountain for those early inhabitants. Between 1842 and 1844 Capt. John C. Fremont explored the region and his travels around Pikes Peak took him into the Cripple Creek area. As the ’59r’s headed toward South Park and the mines up there, they traveled just north of the Cripple Creek area.
During the 1871 Hayden survey there was some gold specimens found by a member of that survey, but nothing of any impact came from that find. In 1874 H.T. Wood, of the same Hayden survey party, returned to the Cripple Creek district and he along with other prospectors set about trying to find gold. Wood organized the district under the name of Mt. Pisgah. The hunt was on to find the source of the gold ‘float’ that lead to one of the first ‘runs’ for gold in the Cripple Creek-Victor district. Despite this groups quest, no one was successful in finding the source.
In 1884 a second discovery started yet another rush to the area. In this rush there were as many as 5,000 people, looking for their own pots of gold, who came to the area in search of that elusive prize. The founder of this rush, one ‘Chicken Bill’ as he was known, was found to have ‘salted’ the area and barely escaped lynching. For those who don’t know what ‘salting’ is, it is the process of adding gold or silver to change the value of the ore with intent to deceive potential buyers.


mt pisgah

Mt. Pisgah near Cripple Creek

Early Settlers:

One of the early families that moved into the Cripple Creek area was the Welty family. At the time the Welty’s arrived in the area, it had not been surveyed for homesteading, so technically they were squatters.. Welty and his sons built a cabin and corral near to the stream, around the year 1871.
The next family to arrive was the Womack family. The Womack’s purchased the Welty squatter rights for $500 and claimed a second homestead two miles south of the Cripple Creek stream with Womack’s son Robert (Bob) building a cabin at the bottom of a ravine the Hayden Survey called Poverty Gulch.
Although other families squatted or homesteaded in the region by the mid 1880’s most of the settlers had left and/or returned to their places located on the plains east of Colorado Springs. This eastern plains as part of the Pikes Peak region had become active in the cattle and sheep industry which was thriving in the 1870’s. The abandoned homesteads were purchased by the Pikes Peak Land and Cattle Company, a partnership composed of three local residents and Phillip Elsworth, an eastern glove manufacturer. When Elsworth visited the area in 1885 he felt his partners had misrepresented the companies holdings. He forced them to quit claim their shares and then put the land up for sale. It was purchased by the Denver real estate firm of Horace W. Bennett & Julius A. Myers for $5,000 down and $20,000 if and when it could be paid. These same two men would be in the right place at the right time when the real gold rush began in the Cripple Creek-Victor Gold Mining District.

pikes peak near colorado city 1870

Pikes Peak from near Colorado City 1870 (USGS image)

For those who are interested the book can be purchased from Amazon here: Here

Doris McCraw who also writes under the pen name Angela Raines is an 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: Here

Every step you take should be a prayer.
And if every step you take is a prayer then you will always be walking in a sacred manner.
Oglala Lakota Holyman.



Posted in colorado, Colorado Facts, Colorado History, Cripple Creek, Pikes Peak, unique, Victor | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments



Since all three people in my writers group attended the Left Coast Crime Conference in

Stephen Buehler - Hands around knee

by Stephen Buehler

Hawaii this past March, I asked this question during one of our meetings: What did you get out of the conference? (In a recent blog, here’s what Sarah M. Chen said.)

I mentioned in an earlier post that I was going to the LCC conference without having a current book out. My last published short story was in an 2013 anthology which I brought to sell but it’s hard to sell a book when you are  only 1 in 12 writers. They want to read something that’s all your, like a novel. (I do have a short story coming out in April in the LAst Resort, SINCLA anthology and I feel good about that.)

Feeling anxious that I had nothing current to promote I wasn’t sure how much I would enjoy my time in Honolulu.

Here’s what I brought back:

Sunset in Hawiia

Sunset in Hawaii

First – I was in Hawaii!!! Yippee! Though I didn’t take full advantage of staying at a hotel by the ocean I was finally taking a vacation! My last one was 12 months ago – last year’s LCC in Phoenix. It feels good to get away from your hometown and your problems and normal responsibilities. I did find that I missed Seymour more than I thought and looked forward to seeing him on my return.

Seymour 10-9-15 tongue in


The overall best thing I brought back was knowing that I meet a lot of new writers and readers. For the past few years, I haven’t attended Bouchercon (which is 3 times the size of LCC) and many writers/readers go to both. It’s an event I’d love to go to but I can’t afford it at the moment. At LCC Hawaii, I was able to meet those writers that I missed that had attended Bouchercon. I enjoyed making new friends to share ideas with and to cheer on.

Another good thing – I was on a panel, Performing Sleuths, Standing Ovations, which gave me and my writing more exposure. The topic dealt with main characters/sleuths that are also performers. Mine is a magician. Others panelists created protagonists in a rock band, a mariachi band and a classical violinist.  Afterwards people said they enjoyed it. I had a chance to let more people know that I’m a magician and am writing a novel about a magician. Self-branding.

Perfroming Sleuths panel

Performing Sleuths Panel (I’m in the middle)

Late one night, I performed magic tricks for a bunch of writers and it went over very well. Just for this conference I put together a routine with a new Sherlock Holmes theme and it went over beautifully.

There’s nothing better in the world than being surrounded by authors and readers of crime fiction.

In summing up: I may not have had a big breakthrough at the conference but all the smaller ones added up to make me glad I went.

Another thing I brought back – a heck of a lot of bookmarks!

What have you brought back from a conference?

*                                        *                                              *

Stephen Buehler’s short fiction has been published in numerous on-line publications including, Akashic Books. His Derringer Nominated short story, Not My Day appeared in the Last Exit to Murder anthology. His short story, Seth’s Big Move will appear in the LAst Resort anthology in April 2017. He is currently revising his novella, The Mindreading Murders, into novel length. It’s about a magician, psychics and of course, murder. He is also currently seeking a home for his mystery/comedy P.I. novel, Detective Rules. By day he is a script/story consultant, magician and lives with a dog named Seymour.  www.stephenbuehler.com


Posted in Branding, Dogs, dogs, Hawaii, Magician, Stephen Buehler, unique, writers conferences | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Prepping for Publication

One of my promises to myself this year was to release books under my name instead of hiding behind secret pen names. Having books out under my name have the added bonus of me being able to market them, talk about them, show my parents I am actually writing and publishing. To that end I am preparing a book for publication! The Princess Prophecy will be the first of many releases for this year if I can stay on track and get all the work done.

The obvious first step was writing the book (novella actually). Check. Finished writing that last year and of course procrastinated doing anything else with it because releasing it into the world under my name is scary. To prepare for publication I am working on revisions. I’ve read through the story, noted where things don’t work and I’m in the process of keying those changes into Scrivener.

The next scary step is to send it to my editor. She’s super busy so I might not be able to release the story by the end of April like I’d hoped but that’s okay. Once it’s in her hands I know I will be releasing it as soon as I make the necessary corrections.

Other preparations for publication include Facebook ads to gain mailing list subscribers. To increase visibility I will also be attempting the A – Z Blogging Challenge again this year. Since my April release is science fiction romance my theme for the challenge will be speculative fiction. Why not science fiction? Or science fiction romance? Because I have a lot of releases planned and most fall into the broader speculative fiction category.

And now I will do the cover reveal for The Princess Prophecy!


I will be back later with the description. Right  now I wanted to show off the cover. There will be other stories in the series that I can’t wait to work on.

What do you like to see from authors leading up to a book launch?

Check out my website: http://www.cindycarroll.com
Follow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/CindyPCarroll
Like me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorCindyCarroll
Follow me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cindypcarroll

I have a new story out in an anthology! The Newcomer has twelve science fiction short stories from authors across the globe.

From a young couple struggling to look after their baby to a new captain’s reluctance to take command of her ship, and from a sun-addled stranger’s appearance in town to the emergence of a sentient AI, the twelve tales presented here explore the central theme of an arrival by someone or something new. There’s even an alien puppy.

The stories are:

Tithe by Griffin Carmichael
Exodus by Alec Hutson
First Bonding by Tom Germann
Ice Dreamer by J J Green
The Nanny by Cindy Carroll
Right Hand by Jonathan C Gillespie
What Make is Your Cat? by Richard Crawford
Kaxian Duty by Cherise Kelley
Lessons Learned by J Naomi Ay
The Humra by Laura Greenwood
The Hawk of Destiny’s Fist by James S Aaron
Repulse by Alasdair Shaw

Posted in A to Z Blog Challenge, Publishing | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

Procrastinate? Who Me? by Cher’ley

     This blog by Cher’ley Grogg

A farm boy accidentally overturned his wagonload of corn on the road. The neighbor who lived nearby came to investigate. “Hey, Willis,” he called out, “forget your troubles for a spell and come on in and have dinner with us. Then I’ll help you get the wagon up.” 

“That’s mighty nice of you,” Willis answered, “But I don’t think Pa would like me to.” 

“Aw, come on, son!” the neighboring farmer insisted. 

“Well, okay,” the boy finally agreed. “But Pa won’t like it.” 

After a hearty dinner, Willis thanked his host. “I feel a lot better now, but I just know Pa is going to be real upset.” 

“Don’t be foolish!” exclaimed the neighbor. “By the way, where is he?” 

“Under the wagon.”    




What to do When Life Gets in the Way!

I chunk it out–doing as much as I can in one setting, and then returning as often as necessary. Admittedly, I procrastinate, which drives me crazy. I AM NOT A PROCRASTINATOR. I Am Not a Procrastinator. I am not a procrastinator. I like to have everything done ahead of time, but life happens.

If I were not a procrastinator, I would not have almost 2000 emails in my email InBox, and none of them are spam. Maybe I will get some of them sorted later tonight. After I … But, on more important issues, (like writing a blog post), I typically do not procrastinate, except for this one.  I had most of it done, but here I sit in a rest area in Texas, in the middle of nowhere finishing my blog.

In 2016 I made a decision to not start on any new projects, and I didn’t (except for a short story for Prairie Rose Press), but neither did I finish any that I had started. So this year I will be doubling down. It will be easier since I will be writing more blogs for Writing Wrangler and Warriors. That forces me to be sitting at the computer. It’s amazing that sometimes the busier a person is the more they can get accomplished.

stop wishing, start doing royalty-free stock photo

 Ways to Overcome Procrastination

1.-Set Goals -A necessary component of effective goal-setting is to choose a goal that is challenging enough to be interesting but not so difficult as to be unattainable. There is a risk of fatigue through time invested or effort expended toward your goal, and disappointment if the goal is too challenging and or not met.

2.- Plan for Interruptions-One of the easiest ways to do this is to plan breaks. Only check Facebook or Twitter when on a break. (Set time for your break-15 minutes, ½ hour, all day), whatever, but stick to your goals. Unexpected interruptions- regroup. Make your next project shorter so you have more time to finish the one you’re on.

3.-Set deadlines for at least a day ahead of time, perhaps 2 days or a week. (I always figure this blog is due at least a day before it actually is due–then I post it early and set the scheduler)

Here’s a link to 15 more ways to help with Procrastination.

***Do you say, “I am not a Procrastinator”? Then… you end up being late on your projects or deadlines? How do you handle Procrastination or Interruptions? ***

Cher’ley’s Books are listed below and on sale at Amazon and local bookstores. And she has a new one that is freshly published with 11 other authors.

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)

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
Posted in unique | Tagged , , , , , | 18 Comments

Step Lightly

IMGP6484By S. J. Brown

Now that spring has finally arrived everyone is heading outdoors.  There are so many places to explore and discover.  Before you venture out there are a few things to remember. 

Don’t forget your bug spray.  There are hundreds of little critters out there that would like to take a ride on your clothes or boots. 


Stay on paths and trails so you don’t trample on delicate plants and flowers or encounter a venomous snake. Watch where you step, many birds like puffins and killdeers make their nest on the ground.


That little fawn you find laying in the weeds most likely wasn’t abandoned.  Mother deer will leave their young hidden in overgrown weeds when they go off to feed.  When predators are near the mother will try to lead the threat away from her baby, to a mama deer you are a threat.   


One of the most important things to remember when you go for a hike or into any natural area is that Mothers will fiercely protect their babies.  A seemingly docile duck or goose can become very aggressive when you get just a little too close to their baby.


You may be able to defend yourself against a single goose, but they tend to stick together. You are no match for an entire flock.   A single flap of a goose’s wing will leave a welt and will sting for quite a while.  They can cause some serious damage with their beaks as well.


Many wild animals are deceptively quick.  That lethargic looking bear can charge suddenly and most likely will outrun you.


Most of the dangers you may encounter in the wild can be avoided.  Simply be aware of your surroundings.  Observe wild creatures from a distance and respect their space.  Remember you are a visitor in their world.

I hope I have given you a few hints that will make your next wild excursion a pleasant one.  Thanks for stopping by.


Connect with S. J. Brown on Facebook and be one of the first to see what she has been up and view her Sunday Shares.

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/sj.brown.3367

S. J. Browns coloring books feature sketches based on her photographs.

CBCover Acover

Cover 3-26-23Back Cover 4-24-2013Close up and Close Encounters is available on Amazon  at


Or get your autographed copy at S. J. Brown website http://www.sjbrown.50megs.com

S. J. Brown’s children’s pictures books are only available through S. J. Brown.

You can order your copies from her website S.J. Brown

Cover All the Birds I See Cover



Posted in animal behavior, animal stories, Animals, author, Authors, Bear, birds, Blog, books, Close Ups & Close Encounters, critters, Deer, Ducks, environment, photographer, photographs, photography, photos, S J Brown, s. j. brown, unique, Walking, Walks, Wild, wild geese, Wildlife, wildlife photographer, wildlife photographs | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Mirror, mirror on the wall… tell me what the future holds

Mike Staton

Mike Staton wrote this post.

Futurists have a tough job.

They have to predict what life will be like decades into the 21st century based on technological changes occurring now. They use their extrapolating skills to envision how technological changes will influence society – the sociological and economic impact on our children and grandchildren later this century or even into the 22nd century.

How well did the futurists of the 1960s see America of 2017? Did they see the fractured, paralyzed nature of today’s political system? Did they see how miniaturized computers would become and how computing power would shoot up beyond their wildest dreams? Did they envision laptops and cellphones that are more wildly powerful than the room-size computers of their time?


In the earlier Industrial Age, no one worried about safety guards — or pay raises, vacation pay, sick leave, retirement pay and healthcare benefits. That’s why our great-grandfathers initiated the union movement.

Walter Cronkite narrated a 1960s show about what lay ahead for rest of the 20th Century and into the 21st Century. The extrapolations were not always prescience. That’s why I said futurists have a difficult job. We don’t have colonies on the moon and Mars. We don’t have high-speed trains speeding through the American heartland. Nuclear power isn’t king. Fleets of hypersonic passenger jets aren’t winging through our skies.

Still, I see trends today that scare the bejeebies out of me. And to be honest, I hope I’m wrong. Local news stations have been airing what they think are cute stories – like the one about a wheeled robot that carries groceries home for a shopper. Think of the ramifications for society as things like this become pervasive in American society.


More and more American corporations are bringing robots into the workplace.

Anyone thinking of setting up a grocery delivery system better think again – unless they can afford to buy a fleet of robot deliverers. And if you hope to get hired to be a deliveryman, you’d better reconsider. Not a real danger today, but what about ten or twenty years from now?

In Nevada right now, entrepreneur Elon Musk is building a huge battery factory for his Tesla electric car company. If he succeeds with his car endeavor, America will see an earthquake like shift in what kinds of vehicles travel on the nation’s highways. Musk doesn’t plan to stop with electric cars. He intends to make many of them self-driven. Let’s extrapolate what this could mean for America of 2037.


Future shock: Robots bring us our food at our favorite restaurant.

Will teamster/truck driving jobs exist twenty years from now? Will there still be taxicab drivers? How about bus drivers? I’m serious. Who needs them when self-driving vehicles exist?

No doubt home-delivered pizza will taste just as good in 2037 as today. But how it gets from the pizza oven to a customer’s kitchen table could be radically different. As is already starting to happen, the pizza will be ordered using an app on the customer’s smart phone or whatever device has taken its place. AI robots prepare, cook and package each pizza. Delivery robots take the boxed pizzas to a self-driving delivery vehicle. When the delivery vehicle arrives at your address, a delivery robot takes your pizza right up to your door and puts it in your hand. You’ll pay using an updated version of today’s check-cashing card. Slide it into a slot on the robot and the sale is officially concluded.


Ready for robot chiefs and cooks?

Efficient, isn’t it? Cuts out lots of jobs – sales clerks, bakers/cooks, delivery drivers. No need to hassle with salaries and the fringe benefits, things like vacations, sick days, healthcare insurance, 401K payments.

And those pizza boxes? How will they be made in 2037? When I first started working for a training company in the 1990s, paper manufacturing companies like Georgia-Pacific used analog control panels and often relied on entry-level workers to manually open shipping boxes for copy paper, household towels, and bathroom tissue rolls. When I left the profession in 2009, operators were running converting machines like winders, wrappers and case packers and their conveyor lines from digital computer touchscreens. Robotic palletizers and stretch wrappers were already in use at some converting plants. Twenty years from now more advanced wheeled or leggy robots will oversee the winders, package wrappers, case packers, palletizers and stretch wrappers. The shrink-wrapped cases will be loaded aboard self-driven semis. The robots will come with multiple arms and a variety of tools easily attached to those arms. They’ll not only operate the converting machines, they’ll fix broken equipment. No need for operators or maintenance folks in this brave world of 2037. Again, why fret about pay raises and costly fringe benefits? Perhaps the corporate bigwigs will still need human engineers to program the AI software for the robots. Let’s hope so.


Coming to a street near you. A robot with legs perhaps transporting mail, groceries or gifts ordered online.

There’ll be 370 million of us in 2037. That’s lots of families – and that begs a question. What kinds of jobs will remain for men and women? Lawyers and doctors? Okay, but not everyone can be a lawyer or doctor. The robot revolution in the workplace is going to cause societal upheaval. We need to start planning for it now, not let the 1 or 2 percent and their politician cronies lead us toward a Soylent Green future. Soylent Green is a movie from 1973. Here’s a synopsis from IMDb: “A tale of Earth in despair in 2022. Natural foods like fruits, vegetables and meat are now extinct. Earth is overpopulated and New York City has 40 million starving, poverty-stricken people. The only way they survive is with water rations and eating a mysterious food called Soylent.” Remember the movie? Soylent’s secret ingredient? Yes… us.

The drive to robotize the workplace makes me uneasy. I worry we’re going to revert from economic capitalism to a bastardized version of a medieval fiefdom – a 2 percent aristocratic class and the rest of us peasants. What’s the solution? What’s your thoughts?

# # #

I’m an author with three fantasy novels to my credit – The Emperor’s Mistress, Thief’s Coin and Assassins’ Lair. The books make up a trilogy titled Larenia’s Shadow. A fourth novel, this one a historical romance, is scheduled for publication in October. It’s called Blessed Shadows Dark and Deep. All my novels can be purchased via the website of my publisher, Wings ePress, as well as the websites of Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Posted in unique | 16 Comments