2020: Fewer Possessions, More Experiences-Window Washing in the Time of Corornavirus

    I know all of you are as sick of the pandemic as I am.  I’m tired of being inside and I’m sick of cooking most of our meals.  I need a Mexican restaurant!  But, I’m happy to say I’m healthy.

But instead of crying, I decided to do some more cleaning today.  I have a large picture window in the dinning room.  Actually, it is three windows that open with screens and I decided some spring cleaning was in order.

Since paper towels and some cleaning supplies are in short supply, I tired what my grandmother would have done.  She was a tough little lady who raised 8 kids in backwoods Arkansas during the depression.  She knew how to make-do with what she had. We could all take a lesson there.  I was certain I had a recipe for window cleaner. When I found it, I realized I didn’t have ammonia.  So, I looked online for another and this one used vinegar.

Window Cleaner

1 tsp baking soda

1 oz. ammonia

1 oz. liquid detergent

Mix together with a gallon of water.

Or

2 Cups of water

¼ to ½ cup of vinegar depending upon how dirty the windows are (mine were grimy)

½ tsp liquid dishwashing detergent.   

I opted for the recipe with vinegar and tried using old newspapers to clean with.  I’d heard of people doing this, but I wondered if it would leave black ink on the glass.  It didn’t and the cleaner and newspapers did a great job!

After I cleaned up the  windows inside and out (and the swag that hung over it) I put everything back together and marked my spray bottle of cleaner.  There was still some left for when I get ambitious again.

When I put up the cleaner, I found I did have ammonia shoved to the back of the cabinet.  I’ll try that recipe next time.

I had to get away from the work I’m doing on my latest novel and I had to get out of the house.  It was windy but warm and the physical exercise felt good.

So, what are you reading this week (or writing or cleaning)?

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2020: Fewer Possessions, More Experiences – Experience Glome’s Valley

    I am so sick of hearing about the Coronavirus and I know you are too. Hopefully you are stuck at home and only bored, not sick.  But since we are all stuck at home, you know what you can do?  Read a book!  Read to yourself and your kids.

To help make that happen, Glome’s Valley and Return to Glome’s Valley are on sale for $.99 in the Kindle and e-published version.  You can have a lot of fun for $.99.

Glome’s Valley takes place in Oklahoma at the Heavener Runestone https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oklahoma_runestones in southeast Oklahoma. And it made a great backdrop for an Oklahoma fairytale.

When Ethan and his dad to go Heavener, Oklahoma to read an ancient runestone, he is sure he’s going to be bored all summer.  But Ethan quickly makes new friends, at least one of them a ghost.  What began as a trip to Dullville suddenly becomes a fantastic adventure.  There are other creatures living in the valleys near the runestone – energetic fairies, beautiful wood nymphs, and smelly old trolls.  Ethan stumbles into the midst of an ancient war, and the only person who can save him is his archaeologist dad and the phone app that summons Thor.

Return to Glome’s Valley takes place years later when Ethan returns to the stone and meets a new character, Trondelag, the dragon.  And she remembers him, even though he never saw her before.

Fourteen years ago, Ethan met Glome and the fairies while his father studied the Heavener Runestone. Now back, news traveled fast in the forest.

 Ethan learned that the Vinland Maps, drawn by Vikings traveling to North America before Columbus, lay hidden in a cave.

 Warned by Trondelag, the dragon, not to go up against Loki and the draugrs for a piece of paper to make him famous, Ethan decided to go anyway. And then there was Mac – his doppelganger. Would he be able to protect her?

Pick up a copy of both for only $.99 each.  Read for yourself, read to your kids, sometimes reality needs a little fantasy and now could be the time.

The two Glome’s Valley books are set in the magical forests of southeastern Oklahoma. And the forests are a different place at night!

Check out Glome’s Valley and Return to Glome’s Valley for only $.99 each.

What are you reading this week?

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Enid Author Fest 2020 Cancelled

Due to potential spread of the Coronavirus, the Enid Public Library has cancelled the Enid Author Fest scheduled for March 28. Gear up for next year!

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2020: Fewer Possessions, More Experiences – Experience a Fun Apocalypse

    I know I’m not alone in being sick of hearing about the Coronavirus. If you’re infected with the virus, you are even more sick of it! So, what are you going to do about it?

I spent part of the morning cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms. They weren’t really dirty, but it made me feel better. Then I wiped down doorknobs and light switches. I’d already taken a slightly-damp-with-alcohol Kleenex and wiped off my cell phone and laptop. Ahhhh.

But you can only clean so long before you HAVE to have some fun. And I have it.Read a book!  The Apocalypse Sucks. It is not the first post-apocalypse novel, but if you can’t make fun of the end of the world, what can you make fun of?

There’s no apocalypse handbook. Sandra and Molly were two typical office workers enjoying their lives, which consisted primarily of going to work, shopping and looking for cute guys. Then their world came to a disastrous end brought about by a fast-acting, airborne virus that decimated the world’s population.

Now the girls live in the abandoned office building which they once worked in surrounded by a new and dangerous landscape; one where mutated animals roam the streets and giant birds soar through empty skies, where frightening humanoid bat creatures have appeared to challenge humans for supremacy of the earth.

What are two attractive, intelligent, single girls supposed to do now. . . other than merely hunt for food and try to stay alive? Well, there are still malls, albeit much less crowded, and though rare, a few cute guys still out there. So even if the apocalypse sucks, Sandra and Molly are not about to let it cramp their style.

A truly unique, twisty adventure with two of the most likeable heroines you’ll ever meet. “The Apocalypse Sucks,” is a pulp mash-up readers are sure to enjoy from cover to cover.

The Apocalypse Sucks is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and fine bookstores everywhere in paperback, electronic publishing and now on Audible.com.

Check it out. What are you reading this week?

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2020: Fewer Possessions, More Experiences – Experience the Enid Author Fest

    It’s Author Fest Time! An experience like no other.

On Saturday, March 28, 2020 from 1-5 the Enid Public Library will host their annual Enid Author Fest! Approximately 40 of Oklahoma’s best authors will gather to sign, sell, and discuss their books and writing as a whole.

There will be an edible book contest, post-it note story contest, and a keynote speaker, Dr. John Otto. Per the Library’s web page:

Dr. Otto is a veterinarian from Norman, Dr. John Otto is also the author of children’s book, Sarge: the Veteran’s Best Friend, which tells the story of a real-life rescue dog who visits veterans in Oklahoma.

Dr. John volunteers with Friends For Folks and helped establish the Guardian Angels program, where rescue dogs are paired with and trained by inmates, preparing the dogs for a new home. The programs are ongoing in hopes of being implemented in other prisons throughout Oklahoma.

Come join the fun and meet the authors while celebrating books, books, books! It is free to the public and we’d love to see you.

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2020: Fewer Possessions, More Experiences – The Apocalypse Sucks

    If you can’t make fun of the apocalypse, what can you make fun of?

Some things never change – like bras wearing out – even at the end of the world. Sandra and Molly now live together in the building they used to work in before the viruses. Most of the people died quickly, but the survivors will never be the same.

My first published novel, The Apocalypse Sucks (Airship 27 Productions) is still available today and can still make you smile. Unlike some end-of-the-world stories, it is fun and terrifying at the same time. Molly and Sandra are living day-to-day with little food and their weapons handy. When the virus took out most of the world (V-Day) they survived – and had no idea why. Then the bat creatures began to appear, and life became more frightening. But the girls still have each other and their dog, Lady. But Sandra’s last bra has worn out and Molly longs for more Berry Cloud lip gloss. It could be that the deserted mall might hold them both. However, getting out of the safety of the fifteen-story building and walking that far migh mean life or death.

Prying open the door, they peeked into the deserted mall. No movement or noise. Slowly, they tiptoed inside the darkened building. As their eyes adjusted to the dim light, they made their way down the hall, as quietly as possible. Sandra told herself no one was here—however, her bow was still at the ready.

            “The bra shop is down that way,” Molly whispered.

“Why are you whispering?” Sandra whispered back.

“I have no idea,” Molly said louder, then ran around in circles, her arms in the air. “God, I’ve missed you mall! Give me Berry Cloud or give me death!” Molly squealed.

“Simmer down. You might just get your wish,” said Sandra.

“We have to pass Sephora to get to Macy’s, if I remember right. Let’s go to the back and see if there are any cases left. I’ll just die if there isn’t any left,” Molly said.

            “Can you please stop talking about death? Anyway, if the lip gloss is gone, you’ll use Vaseline. A big jar of Vaseline will take care of you just fine,” Sandra shot back. Even though she thought it was silly to whisper, she felt like someone—or something—was listening in on their conversation.

            Molly rolled her eyes.

            “Oh, I hope there are unopened boxes in the back,” Molly said, bounding toward the open door of Sephora. Inside, the shelves had been ransacked. Lady whined as she looked at the jumble of broken merchandise, trying to decide which way to step. The door to the storeroom hung open, revealing more cosmetics chaos. Boxes were ripped open and on their sides. Gingerly, Molly picked her way through the mess, looking for anything that might say “lip gloss.” Perching on top of one box and sliding over the top, she landed behind a mountain of stock.

            “I’ve found it!” she shrieked. “Berry Cloud—a whole box full!”

            “Shush,” Sandra whispered. Molly’s face popped above a box looking at her. Something wasn’t right. Sandra didn’t hear it—she felt it. A low growl began deep inside Lady, growing as her hackles rose. She backed away from the door as Sandra raised the bow once more. Moments passed, as the women stood still as statues. Nothing.

            “We’re not alone,” Sandra said. “Lady heard it, too.”

            “Maybe the wind? There are some back doors to this place,” Molly said with a lack of conviction in her voice.

Pick up a copy of The Apocalypse Sucks and if you love it, leave me a review.

What are you reading this week?

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2020: Fewer Possessions and More Experiences – Return to Glome’s Valley

    Return to Glome’s Valley is simply that – a return to a magical place of childhood friendship.

Ethan left Glome’s Valley because summer was over, and school was starting. After his adventures in the valley with Glome and the trolls, Ethan had to say goodbye to his new friends and go back to his world. He promised he would be back to play. He never said it would take 14 years. But he did come back, and things were mostly the same as when he was a child.

Mostly.

But the valleys around the Heavener Runestone are magic, make no mistake about it. And there are always new things popping up.

When Ethan finally returned to the valley, his father had passed. So has the archeologist who helped his father translate the stone and find Ethan when he was lost in the forest. But the house where Glome and the fairies lived was still there, though in disrepair. Soon, Ethan learned there were more creatures than he knew about when he was a boy. Trondelag the ancient dragon lived in the pond next to the house, and she was a formidable ally in the war against the trolls.

Another new inhabitant of the forest was Mac – a redheaded spitfire who reminded Ethan of himself as a child. And she believed!

Check out Return to Glome’s Valley. http://tinyurl.com/ybdsqr6w

The semi-annual Heavener Runestone Viking Fest is just around the corner https://www.facebook.com/HeavenerRunestone/. Every October and April the runestone park celebrates all things Viking. The second week in April visit the park and its inhabitants. You might just find some magic and it will be a great experience in the year of fewer possessions and more experiences. It is a great way to add to the experience chest just waiting to be filled.

What are you reading this week?

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2020: Fewer Possessions, More Experiences – Glome’s Valley

    It’s Sunday and that means blog day!!!

I hope you don’t get sick of what I have to say on Sunday, but it is important to me. Fewer possessions, more experiences is the theme this year. I’ve been cleaning jewelry. I discovered that my silver was tarnishing and that is when I realized it sat to close to the humidifier. Problem solved, jewelry in the process of cleaning. I am in possession of tarnished silver soon to be untarnished silver. I guess that’s my cleaning out this week.

I thought we’d discuss an Oklahoma fairytale I wrote, titled Glome’s Valley. It is a young adult novel for kids 12-15 years old, but you can read it too. I won’t tell.

Years ago, I discovered the Heavener Runestone in southeastern Oklahoma, and I fell in love with the place. The tall pines on Poteau Mountain are magical and I’m sure there is magic all around them. Standing on the hillside breathing the scent of pine and listening to the birds – you know you are in the middle of some kind of magic.

The first time I was there, a man with a preschooler came into the gift shop where my books now sit and asked about the book, In Plain Sight by Gloria Farley. He was working on his PhD in archeology and had his son with him. I later bought that book and it was the basis of the fairytale I titled Glome’s Valley. I thought what a charmed life that boy lived following his dad on archeological digs whether or not he knew it and that was when the story was born.

There are many, Gloria Farley for one, who believe that the sandstone monolith named the Heavener Runestone was carved by Vikings who visited Oklahoma long before Christopher Columbus discovered the new world. And that person claimed the valley as his own by carving “Glome’s Valley” into the stone. I was hooked.

Glome’s Valley is the story of Ethan, a young boy who is stuck in the forest with his dad during the summer while he studies the runestone. He’s bored without his friends to play with and begins hiking the area only to bump into another boy about his age – dressed as an ancient Viking. It is soon apparent that Glome isn’t a normal boy with a normal life. He’s a ghost who has inhabited the valley for centuries and his companions are fairies and wood nymphs in an eternal battle with the trolls who live nearby. He’s thrilled to have another boy to play with and Ethan begins to live the life of a Viking in the forest with his new friends. He’s thrown into an ancient battle while his father looks for him. Viking lore always included Thor and Loki and they make an appearance in Glome’s Valley, too.

Check out a copy of Glome’s Valley, https://tinyurl.com/ycxychjm set in Oklahoma. It is just about hiking time!

What are you reading this week?

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2020: More Experiences, Fewer Possessions: Show Australia Some Love

     My publisher, The Wild Rose Press, came to their authors in mid-January with an idea presented by one of their Australian authors. He suggested an anthology of short stories of every type and genre with proceeds going to the Australian Red Cross for wildfire relief. It didn’t take long for writers to send in short stories.

I am honored to be a member of this fine group. When all was said and done, there were so many donations, it created three volumes. My short story, Deadly Homecoming, can be found in Volume 2. The marketing and art department quickly put together covers and the formatting began. The entire project took less than a month and is now ready for purchase on The Wild Rose Press website or Amazon in paperback and electronic publication.

Proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund.

Australian Red Cross does not endorse individual views expressed in this publication, and acts in accordance with it’s Fundamental Principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality and independence.

Pick up a copy of the books and prepare for some great literature. And your donation will go to a very worthy cause. https://www.redcross.org.au/bushfirefunds

You can find the books here:

WILD ROSE PRESS STORE (print only):

http://bit.ly/AUSBURNS1

http://bit.ly/AUSBURNS2

http://bit.ly/AUSBURNS3

AMAZON (ebooks – individual):

http://bit.ly/ausburns1e

http://bit.ly/ausburns2e

http://bit.ly/ausburns3e

AMAZON (print books – individual):

http://bit.ly/ausburns1p

http://bit.ly/ausburns2p

http://bit.ly/ausburns3p

AMAZON (all books in series on one page):

http://bit.ly/ausburns123p

http://bit.ly/ausburns123e

Show Australia some love and enjoy some great stories.

What are you reading this week?

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2020: More Experiences Fewer Possessions – Blooming Justice

 If you’ve cleaned out your closet this week and need a good read, check out Blooming Justice. It is a great experience. Curl up with a blanket and read.  Spring is coming.

Erin grew up in a loving home – just she and her mom after the death of her father. They had little money, but they were happy. She had friends, family and a plan to go to college to become a lawyer. Todd grew up with a bully for a father, a scared mouse for a mother, and a brother who left home as quickly as possible. The two things they had that Erin didn’t was money and power. They could not be more opposite.

Erin quickly realized she was out of her league when she accepted the date from Todd and showed up at the senior prom in a borrowed dress. She was bullied and sexually harassed at the prom in front of the entire senior class.

Once at college, Todd escalated from bullying to rape and Erin began to hear about it on campus. She wasn’t certain at first who they were talking about and then it became obvious. Todd was on the University of Tulsa campus too and he was the main topic of conversation some nights in the girls’ bathroom at the library.

After the incident at the prom, Erin grew up quickly the first year of college with a new job in her aunt’s law firm, leaving home, and learning about the law. She still maintained her friends, but she had changed.

Stuck on the same campus as Todd, Erin decides it is time to turn persecution into prosecution with the help of her aunt, an attorney in a prestigious Tulsa law firm after her best friend, Bernadette, goes missing.

Blooming Justice is the first in the Keystone Lake series set in beautiful, green, eastern Oklahoma. It is a new twist on an old story. Money and power do not keep you from justice and Erin will prove it.

 

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