I stopped at Hollister and inspected one of the sweaters on their mannequins. Only it wasn’t a mannequin. It was a guy waiting for his girlfriend to finish trying on clothes.
When I was pregnant with our oldest I once waited for more than an hour for my husband to pick me up from work. I called him, madder than blazes that he hadn’t come to get me. After listening to my upset he very calmly informed me that I had the car.
My mother, not wanting to lose my dad in the crowd at Disneyland, stuck her fingers down the back of my dad’s pants. She gave him several affectionate bare skin pats. Of course, my dad saw what she was doing, and walked behind her laughing. She was tagging behind the wrong man all the time. I remember this polite fellow did not mind in the least!
Dumbest Thing I’ve Done
I was displaying my art in a local festival when someone told me this fairly famous artist was also displaying his art at the festival. I went to school with the person and I wondered if he remembered me. I found his display and his father was filling in for him. I started a conversation. “I went to school with your son.” He answered, “I don’t think so.” “Yes, it was from the 8th grade on.” He looked at me and without blinking an eye or cracking a smile he said, “My son is 16.” I looked a little harder at this old man and realized I was talking to the artist instead of his father. “Sorry, I thought you were someone else,” I whispered as I slunk off.
I blurt out things sometimes like, “Congratulations on your pregnancy!” Answer: “I’m not pregnant.” That’s a hard one to get out of.
Or when I fall down I don’t first check to see if I’m hurt, I first check to see if anyone saw me.
There are stories from several authors about the escapades of boys. Some of them are so funny you will nearly bust a gut laughing. Del wrote about being a 5-year-old who ran away from home with his best friend. You can only imagine the trouble he got in. Our own Mike Staton has a few stories in it, as well as 11 other authors.
Q: What did the second hand say to the hour hand as it passed by?
A: See you again in a minute.
Q: What do you call a story that one clock tells to another?
A: Second-hand information.
Time is on My Side, Yes it Is:
Time is on my side, yes it is.
Time is on my side, yes it is.
Now you all were saying that you want to be free
But you’ll come runnin’ back (I said you would baby),…
Time is on my side. Or is it? Is time on my side or your side, while on the truck, it seems that I am constantly fighting against time. It’s time to drive (11 hours), then it’s time to sleep (5-8 hours), then it’s time to eat (2 hours). That’s 21 hours, so I have 3 hours to shower, clean the truck, relax, exercise, dance, or create. Time is not on my side.
When I’m at home I have a little more time to do what I want, but that is usually going to my various classes or clubs, and swimming. I am still sorting out my collections or hoardings that we talked about in a previous blog. Also, I have family and friends there that I really must visit with before heading back to work.
My shortest book, Four Moons and Fair Maidens still took a lot of time to get the rhythm just right. Westerns more than other books have a rhythm of their own, and it is historical so that means a lot of research. All the facts have to be exact because if they are not someone will notice.
***How is your time?*** And speaking of time, 2 anthologies that are listed below are getting ready to go out of print so if you’d like to have a copy now is the time to get them. Cowboys, Creatures, and Calico–Pawprints on my Heart.
Cher’ley’s Books are listed below and on sale at Amazon and local bookstores. Her newest book is an Advanced Coloring Book and she has one that is freshly published with 11 other authors.
Maybe we should develop a Crayola bomb as our next secret weapon. A happiness weapon. A beauty bomb. And every time a crisis developed, we would launch one. It would explode high in the air – explode softly – and send thousands, millions, of little parachutes into the air. Floating down to earth – boxes of Crayolas. And we wouldn’t go cheap, either – not little boxes of eight. Boxes of sixty-four, with the sharpener built right in. With silver and gold and copper, magenta and peach and lime, amber and umber and all the rest. And people would smile and get a little funny look on their faces and cover the world with imagination. ~Robert Fulghum
Adult Coloring Books who knew they’d catch on like they have.
Do you have an Adult Coloring Book? Have you seen them? I did one year before last for the family. It turned out even better than I expected. So I did another one this year. It is selling pretty well. What’s your thought on Adult Coloring Books?
I have always loved to color. I had fun with my kids, grandkids, and now great grands. There’s an art in coloring. Today people have discovered that it gives stress release I reckon it always has been, sometimes the youngin’s would sit for a long time as they colored page after page. It was a cheap, and creative way to entertain them.
What’s the difference between Adult Coloring Books and children’s coloring books? When I did mine, I looked for images that were a little more intricate. The massive amounts of pelicans feeding against the backdrop of the boat and the foreground of the water intrigued me.
This photo of Del fascinated me because of the reflections in the sunglasses. I thought of them like a puzzle, as the person colored the glasses the reflections would pop out.
I put a lot of thought into each image, would it look good in black and white, would it be challenging and relaxing at the same time?
On August 6th 2016, my post for this Wranglers Blog was about attending a wedding on the west coast of Scotland. Today’s post is also about my attending a wedding, but this time I’m so excited that it’s on the west coast of the US!
I’m extremely delighted that I’m writing this entry from a delightful holiday rental house in Kinneloa Mesa, near Pasadena, Los Angeles, California. I’m here with a family group of 7 from Scotland to attend my niece’s wedding that’s taking place later today in Pasadena (3rd Sept). It’s no great stretch of the imagination that coming all the way across the Atlantic, and all the way across the US to the west coast to be present, isn’t exactly practical on a day trip.
Am I just here for the wedding? That would be a huge NO. I confess that attending the wedding is intermingled with a whole load of sightseeing and other wonderful reasons – one of which included an excellent short meeting with Mike Staton, fellow contributor to this Writing Wranglers and Warriors Blog.
Meeting Mike, and his friend Sharon, was amazing after being fellow contributors for a couple of years on this Wranglers Blog.
When first invited to my niece’s wedding, my OH and I got out the map to see where we’d be going. Los Angeles wasn’t completely new to us since we’d taken our daughters to Disneyland back in 1989, having driven down from the San Francisco area. However, apart from the Annaheim/Long Beach areas, the rest of Los Angeles was totally unknown territory. We decided that a mini road trip would be fabulous before the wedding, giving us a few days to explore the Pasadena and Los Angeles areas after the event.
It was just way too tempting not to include a brief look at Las Vegas and ‘the Strip’. ‘Must sees’ were The Hoover Dam; Bryce Canyon (since friends and relatives who had already visited had raved over it); Zion National Park. We decided that seeing those involved quite long drives but were do-able. It made great sense for us to fly in to Las Vegas and fly out of Los Angeles, the rest of our tourist itinerary squeezed in between.
We set off to The Hoover Dam immediately after and what a magnificent structure that is. I’ve visited Hydro Dams in Scotland but they are teensie compared to the immense scale of The Hoover Dam. The tour was really informative and paid great tribute to the thousands of people who built the dam, the generated electricity sustaining so many people and states around it for decades afterwards.
To the newbie like I was, my evening experience of the Las Vegas ‘strip’ was an amazing and fun spectacle. What was doubly amusing was walking past the lookalikes of buildings I’d seen on my trip to Rome earlier this year. The restaurants we visited had spectacular food. My NY steak in The Capitole Grille was so immense that I was unable to finish it and that rarely happens with me and steak!
Phantasmagorical! We just had to spend one of our 3 Vegas nights in The Excalibur– a building of supreme extravagance and glee. The sum total of my gambling was losing a dollar bill at the bar in the main reception area. Those machines with a barrage of images and information on ‘how to play’ were mind boggling to the exhausted traveller and I’m afraid to say – it just ain’t for me!
Our trip to Bryce Canyon was awesome, using the word in its original intent. Every single step along the rim pathway gave a new view. It was so easy to imagine the hoodoos as watching people and many of them together as objects. Sitting on the stone benches just to breathe in the scenery was awe-inspiring. Unfortunately it was also very hot so spending too much time wasn’t practical. I loved every bit of it!
My Son-in-law, main driver of our trip, drove us down to Pasadena via Zion National Park which is equally as impressive as Bryce Canyon. In its own way, the rock formations of Zion are massive, striking and very memorable. I was so relieved to have been driven through what is a pretty difficult little road to manoeuvre through. (I took loads of photos but still need to process them)
My husband’s brother (been in the US since 1973), father of the bride, had told me that the drive from Bryce in Utah, to Paadena via Arizona on the highway might be a bit boring but I can say with all honesty that I didn’t find it that way at all. I was fascinated by the ever changing scenery.
Downtown Pasadena is beautiful, the City Hall building outstanding in the strong sunlight. The Argentinian restaurant, Malbec, was definitely worth a visit last night before we attended the post Rehearsal Dinner cocktails at another venue.
I’ll be getting ready to don my wedding finery mid-afternoon but a bit of sun soaking and a dip in the neat little pool first sounds just the ticket!
We’ve still got 2 days (Mon & Tues) after the official wedding events are over. What should I try to squeeze in? – Given that the young things of our party (my daughter, S-I-L, my nephew and his wife) have done the Hollywood Studios yesterday. I’m loving my US trip!
This past weekend my oldest daughter volunteered in a face painting booth during our city’s annual Cornfest—yes, it is just what it sounds like a celebration of sweet corn.
The event is held at a local park, it has a nice little craft/shopping area, a cute little petting zoo, the obligatory carnival and the “Kiddie Corner”. Now, the Kiddie Corner is where the face painting booth is located along with other fun “kiddie” stuff like a bouncy house and a mini golf.
Here is the problem. I told my daughter that the booth was in Kiddie Corner, and she took it to mean a literal “corner”, so when I dropped her off at the gates she started looking for a booth that was in a corner.
Needless, to say after two laps around the Cornfest she still hadn’t found her booth and she was mad (did I mention that it was lightly sprinkling? So she was a mad, wet teenager). She called me to help her find the booth.
I met her at the entrance and we started looking for the booth. Within two feet I spotted the kiddie corner and the face painting booth in all its glory. She’d walked by that booth at least twice and didn’t see it. Most likely because the booth itself wasn’t in a corner, and it didn’t fit the picture she had in her head. And, how many of us are guilty of this? Allowing an image we have in our head hold us back or prevent us from going forward?
I hugged my wet, grouchy (the I had to ask my mom for help kinda grouchy) and left her to paint faces.
This post by L.Leander, Author of Fearless Fiction
Last weekend we had my husband’s son and family at the lake for the weekend. Altogether there were eleven of us. Lucky for us, we have the best couple that camp next to us and they offered their camper to the kids so they wouldn’t have to pay for tent camping. They also offered their camper in the woods for the overflow. That became a necessity, as we have redone our camper and there is now no room for guests to sleep.
It was a scorching hot, muggy weekend, but since all campers had a/c we made it through. Ralph’s son has five children, ranging in age from two – nineteen years old. It wasn’t too hard to find things for everyone to do because our campground has everything. The sixteen year old loved the golf carts and became the official limo driver. She even took our little Patty dog on rides and Patty was in seventh heaven!
The baby (boy) was teething and cried almost constantly but we managed to get through it. The next child is 6 (boy), and he just wanted to do things with his dad (mostly swimming). Next is a boy whose only want was to fish with dad (which they did and he caught a tiny fish and threw it back) and the next two are girls, 16 and 18. The nineteen -year old brought her fiancé and his mother.
Ralph cooked all weekend and enjoyed it, but got a little tired after the second day. His son was in charge of the campfire and it never went out. I ate my share of marshmallows and am not sure I want them again for a while.
It was Christmas in July at the campground and one campsite won the best decorated. We had a golf-cart parade in the afternoon on Saturday, and there was also a hayride. Add the swimming pool, hot tub and ice-cream shop and everyone was happy.
I learned a couple of unusual campfire cooking tips from our daughter-in-law that I’ll pass along just in case you camp or know someone who does.
Omelets in a Bag
Use sandwich size re-sealable bags. Put a couple of eggs in the bag and squish the eggs a bit. Add anything you wish for your omelet such as tomatoes, ham, mushrooms, onions, green peppers and whatever else you like. Drop the bag in a large pan of boiling water (no more than three or they will touch and ruin). When the eggs are done, lift out of the water, open the bag and put on a plate. Yum!
Small Chocolate Chips
Slice banana lengthwise, spread peanut butter on each side and fill with chocolate chips. Wrap in heavy tin foil and put in the campfire. These are delicious, but since the bananas got left home, we made up a new recipe that was just as good.
Tonka Pie (Pudgy Pie) Banana Delights
Butter two slices of bread and put in the pie maker. Spread the inside of the bread with peanut butter. Add Banana Crème pie filling and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Sit pie maker in campfire until done. Delish!
The weekend wound down on Sunday and as everyone was packing the baby found a big mud puddle. Before we caught him he had mud all over his new shoes, in his hair and was soaking wet. It was so cute, but meant his dad had to take him to the outside shower, clean him up and put new clothes on him.
I doubt whether the family was as tired as Ralph and I were – Monday we rested all day. Since we lead such a quiet life this was quite a change!
Wherever you are, I hope you are enjoying the days of summer. School is right around the corner and after that, cold weather. We are planning to enjoy every day we have left!
Tomorrow, I’m embarking on a journey part of which was roughly trod by the Ancient Roman Armies of General Agricola in AD 83/84, and of the Roman Emperor Severus in AD 210, when they came to explore my part of north-east Scotland.
The route shown on the map follows the current rail line from Aberdeen on the east coast of Scotland to Kyle of Lochalsh on the west coast. I’ll be making a return journey by train from Inverurie all the way to Kyle of Lochalsh—though how far the Ancient Romans marched beyond Inverness is still anyone’s guess.
Archaeologists have confirmed evidence of Ancient Roman Marching Camps at regular intervals from Aberdeen to Inverness. These camps lie roughly along the same route as the railway, some being only a few miles from the rail lines. Between Inverurie and about 16 miles south of Elgin (the angle change on the map above) the camps were large enough to shelter upwards of 20,000 men. After that ‘angle change’ (Camps of Muiryfold and Auchinhove) the Roman camp sizes get smaller, meaning they sheltered fewer and fewer Roman soldiers, as they progressed along the coast of the Moray Firth towards Inverness. Why they got smaller is open to conjecture and I’m having a lot of fun writing my version of the advances of Agricola’s forces in Book 4 of my Celtic Fervour Series of historical adventures.
Current archaeological digs are underway to find out if there’s any evidence of further Roman Camps beyond Inverness and I’m very keen to hear the updates of these because it might be important when I eventually get around to writing Book 5!
I’ve driven the same route to Inverness and beyond many times, since the main trunk road (A 96) also roughly follows the rail lines, but naturally I’ve not been able to appreciate the landscape in the way that I hope to do tomorrow. From the comfort of the train, I’m really looking forward to seeing the terrain in a more detailed way and doing a bit of imagining of what it was like some 2000 years ago – during the eras of my historical novels. Now, you might be asking yourself -Why isn’t she just taking the train to Inverness? Why go all the way to the west coast?
Tomorrow’s train journey isn’t on just a regular service train. I’ll be journeying in a vintage railway carriage that’s probably almost as old as I am!
In Scotland, like many other countries, we have many heritage societies. One of them is the Scottish Railway Preservation Society. This was formed in 1961 at a time when many rural railway services were being axed by the government and the enthusiasts who formed the society were determined to preserve as much of Scottish railway history as they could. By the mid-1970s, my husband and I were enjoying the society’s special tours all over Scotland, some of which were steam hauled on shorter routes and some by diesel engines for longer treks.
Tomorrow’s special tour will use a restored diesel engine and the restored carriages will be Maroon Mark 1 stock, which were probably built in the 1950s. The return journey is expected to take approximately 12 hours with a stop at Kyle of Lochalsh of 1 ½ hours. Just enough time to stretch our legs and have a wee wander, though it might include a coffee stop since the inevitable Scottish rain is forecast for the west coast! I’m looking forward to having an elegant lunch and dinner on the train as we ply forth and back along the spectacular Kyle Line – named as ‘One of the Great Railway Journeys of the World’ passing moorlands, mountains, rivers and lochs.
More about SRPS HERE if you’d like to see some more images.
I’ll also be having a wee read since I’ve just stocked up my kindle with new books. My publisher, Crooked Cat, has a SUMMER SALE going on this weekend (7-10th July) All Crooked Cat ebooks are 99c/99p across the Amazon network – including my own, so if you fancy reading about the Romans who trod that pathway noted above, you can get my Celtic Fervour Series for less than $3! Or if you’d like to try my stand alone mysteries you can get them for the same price if you’re really quick! Just click the link HERE to reach my amazon page or type in Crooked Cat on Amazon to choose from around 150 multi-genre titles.
Have you ever taken a rail journey like the one above – for pleasure and more?
Whatever your weekend is like- happy reading!
Nancy Jardine also writes time travel historical for Middle Grade so if you know any good readers of approximately 10 years and above they can enjoy an ebook version of The Taexali Gamefor only $1.99!
Nancy finds all historical eras totally fascinating: research a delightful procrastination! Her week is taken up with grandchild-minding, gardening, reading, writing and blogging. Catching up with historical programmes or TV series and watching the news is a luxury – as are social events with friends and family but she does a creative job to squeeze them in.
This post by L.Leander, Author of Fearless Fiction
As a 60’s child I was immersed in the music of the time and it’s still my favorite music. Is there anything better? Bob Dylan, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Little Richie, Peter, Paul and Mary, and way too many more to mention. This music filled us with food for thought (what do some of Dylan’s lines really mean?), sun-filled days (the Beach Boys), and of course, Monday Monday by the Mamas and the Papas. The first part of the song has lyrics that are everlasting and show off John Phillips writing excellence.
The harmonies, Mama Cass’s strong lead voice and the cohesiveness of the band led the group to win a Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for this song on March 2, 1967. Also, Monday, Monday was the group’s only number-one hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. (Wikipedia)
As a writer it’s good to look at and listen to favorite music, as it can give you the feel for the plot and movement of your words. I have to write in complete silence, but I do research before and after I write. I often listen to favorite tunes to get a feel for the passion and reasoning the song presents so that I can make my own story flow. It’s also a good way to hear how songwriters create a plot.
As a songwriter myself, I often spend a lot of time reworking a song to get the story told in under 4 minutes – not an easy feat. As an author I have more time to play with, but I must be careful to fill in the cracks and keep the writing smooth and the plot in the forefront.
I love weekends. Although my husband and I are retired, Monday is the start of a new week and all the things to look forward to. Mondays give us time to plan our week, do some new things, or sit back on the deck and watch the birds and squirrels eat the food we put out for them while I read and my husband putters in the flowers.
I have always liked Mondays. No matter how the weekend goes, Monday is the start of a new week and new adventures.
So, thanks to John Phillips for writing a song that will stand the test of time and be recognized for years to come. Even though the song has a feeling of uncertainty, the music is so uplifting that you can’t help but think of Monday as an exciting day of the week.
What about you? Which is your favorite day of the week? Why? I’d love to hear your comments!
Watch these videos on You Tube and check out the books on Amazon:
Metaphors Are Fun, Creative, and Therapeutic indeed.
Lenny: Hey, maybe there is no cabin. Maybe it’s one of them metaphorical things. Carl: Oh yeah, yeah. Like maybe, the cabin is the place inside each of us, created by our goodwill and teamwork. Lenny: Nah, they said there would be sandwiches. (Simpsons)
The use of metaphors enriches a writer’s story. Metaphors are the cherry on top of a banana split. Some people eat the cherry first, but many save it until last. The metaphorical cherry is the very last tantalizing bite of a delightful desert.
Hugh Laurie is the king of TV medical metaphors. “The liver is a cruise ship taking in water. As it starts to sink, it sends out an SOS. Only instead of radio waves, it uses enzymes. The more enzymes in the blood, the worse the liver is. But once the ship has sunk, there’s no more SOS. You think the liver’s fine, but it’s already at the bottom of the sea.” (Dr. Gregory House in the “Locked In” episode of House, M.D.)
The website Metaphorology speaks of some psychologists who have been using the term “metaphor therapy,” and they help patients choose better metaphors. For example, a dentist who felt timid, and was unable to express himself in a group was likened to soft clay.
With the therapist’s guidance, he questioned this metaphorical view and replaced it by seeing the clay harden into something else. Steel was the new metaphor he decided on; battleship steel, to be specific, and he even imagined the rivets in it. Within days, he went to a convention with hundreds of other dentists, and when an issue came up that was important to him, he spoke up. He never did this before, not even in a small group.
Metaphors speak for themselves. Aristotle describes a metaphor: Those words are most pleasant which give us new knowledge. Strange words have no meaning for us; common terms we know already. It is a metaphor, which gives us most of this pleasure. (Aristotle’s work on persuasion of the Rhetoric)
In other words, metaphors should strike up a memory, bring a smile, or add depth. A tool that is well used by many writers and overused by others. An overused metaphor is eating sugar by the spoonfuls. The sweetness coats the tongue and causes gagging sensations.
***Try one of these exercises and post your results in the comments section. Describe yourself using a metaphor. Describe your weather using a metaphor. Describe the dearest person/thing in your life right now, this minute, using a metaphor. What are some overused metaphors–How could they be made fresher? (I have written a small book on metaphors.)***
Cher’ley’s Books are listed below and on sale at Amazon and local bookstores.
This post by L.Leander, Author of Fearless Fiction
It’s time for planting and all around us are farms with tractors making rows and planting seeds. The smell of the fresh dirt never ceases to make me feel good – a deep earthy scent that you know will soon yield crops.
We have many Amish farms in our community and we see them with teams of horses and discs as they prepare their own fields for planting. It’s like being in a time standing still but I’d venture to say a lot more work than the farmers using machinery.
We’ve been planting, too. Last year my husband planted a wildflower garden for me just like one my mother had at our farm when we were young. It was such a good feeling to see and smell the flowers and watch them sway in the breeze and open up to the sun. This year we cleaned up our rock garden at the lake and totally planted all wildflowers. I can’t wait to see it bloom. Our tulips are up and beautiful as are our daffodils. Some of last year’s flowers are popping up through the ground and each day they get a little taller.
Ralph has planted his favorite (hollyhocks and sunflowers). Last year he had twelve, eight, six and four foot sunflowers that were grand. They are majestic and this year he planted all the seeds he took off the heads, plus more packages. We may end up with a back yard full of sunflowers!
When I was a young wife and mother I loved putting up food for the winter, but I wasn’t so good in the garden. The want-to was there, but I didn’t seem to have the know-how and a lot of my plants died. Thank goodness for a mother-in-law who grew a huge garden and gave me lots of fresh vegetables and fruits to can.
I’m lucky to have a husband with a very green thumb. We’ve given up planting vegetables and fruits and switched to flowers. I do a lot of the prep work and I love raking and clearing the spots for seeds to be sown. I even got to plant a few seeds of my own, with Father Nature standing over me, of course.
Now all there is to do is wait. Flowers, vegetables, fruits – all reaching to the sun and begging for gentle rain. I can’t wait for the corn to be ripe because in our area there are big corn roasts almost every weekend when it’s ready. Nothing better than getting an ear of corn from the roaster, dipping it in a can of melted butter and standing around with friends laughing as the butter drips down your arms 0nto the ground.
I’m ready to enjoy summer (already have a hoarde of books to read, writing, knitting, coloring, journaling and sewing). We are moving to the lake lot next week and won’t move back home until October 15. What I most look forward to in the summer is the sound of loons on the lake, geese returning home, red-winged blackbirds, hummingbirds, woodpeckers, cardinals and blue jays all chattering at the bird feeder, plus the squirrels and chipmunks yipping and gathering peanuts in their cheeks. Throughout all this gentle patter I sit on the deck, watch the lake, and listen to children laughing as they play in the water while I read. Ah, the glory of it all!
L.Leander is the author of the Inzared series (available on Amazon):