2022: Enid’s Fly Film Festival

I attended Enid’s Fly Film Festival https://filmfreeway.com/FLYFilmFestival yesterday. The eighth for Enid, but a first for me. I went with friends on Saturday morning to Enid’s Gaslight Theater and it was cool and comfortable inside the theatre. Drinks and snacks were available and there was plenty of seating.

I love to support the local arts and yesterday was so much fun. I was only there for the morning films, but they were great. It seemed each one was better than the last. I saw short independent films, and you could tell by the audience if the film company was present. I was unable to stay for the longer feature-length films though I wanted to. I watched the credits as they rolled by and recognized at least one writer.

These films are created over the year and then entered for a contest. The categories were Best Short Film, Best Oklahoma Short Film, Best Student Film, Best Documentary, and Best Feature Length Film. I wasn’t present at the Awards Ceremony and didn’t see who won, but I also didn’t get to see all the nominees. Maybe next year.

The film community gathers for parties after the day of films and I’m sure they earned the right to party after a year’s worth of work on films.

I look forward to next year and spending more time at Enid’s 9th Fly Film Festival.

What are you reading/writing/viewing this week?

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2022: Blooming Greed

It’s raining in Oklahoma! And finally cooling down those intense temperatures. I looked out the front door and saw a large garter snake on the sidewalk trying to get out of the flooded flowerbeds that were cracked and dry last week. Hard to blame him. But rainy weather is a good time to write, and I’ve been working on my third novel on Sandhill Island. I’ll work some more on that today.

But let’s talk about novels available now. Blooming Greed is the second in the Keystone Lake series. I really loved writing these books having grown up on Keystone Lake with a friend’s family and then later owning property there as an adult.

Oklahoma, though in the middle of the country, has many lakes. And being a big fan of water, it seemed a great place to set a novel.

Erin Shipley grew up on Keystone Lake before moving to Tulsa and becoming an associate attorney. Now, she’s back, representing a client who is concerned about the flooding and property values around the lake. Properties underwater are being bought and sold for pennies on the dollar by someone called T & H Realty. When her friend’s uncle, Jeff, dies mysteriously on the lake, Erin wonders if it has anything to do with the real estate scam and launches an investigation. The dam is old and zebra mussels are clogging it, not allowing enough water to flow out. If the dam breaks, it will flood downtown Tulsa and areas around it. But that’s not the only danger…whoever killed Jeff isn’t finished with their diabolical plan, and Erin and those she loves are at risk from more than just a dam break.

If it’s raining where you are or the intense heat is keeping you inside, a good book should be your best friend. Pick up a copy of Blooming Greed and let me know how you like it. Blooming Greed (The Keystone Lake Series Book 2) – Kindle edition by Chambers, Peggy . Romance Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

What are you reading/writing this week?

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2022: Rendezvous With a Writer

A few weeks ago, I got a message about the death of Jim Christina of The Writers’ Block online radio show on LA Talk Radio. Jim had become a friend over the years as he interviewed me several times when I had a new novel published. “Let us know when you have a new book, we’ll talk,” he’d say. I believed him and emailed them with a new publication and was always welcomed. Hopefully, I didn’t overstay my welcome. But he always made me feel at home.

It’s interesting to get to know someone online and never actually meet them in person. I became friends with his wife, Gerry, and his co-host, Bobbi Jean Bell. They were delightful and always made me feel welcome. They read my books and were truly interested in them. But time marches on and Jim was suddenly gone.

This week, I was once again contacted, this time by Bobbi Jean. She and her husband, Jim, had decided to take the slot on LA Talk Radio where she’d once co-hosted with Jim. They wanted to continue the work of supporting writers and have changed the name to Rendezvous with a Writer https://www.outwestshop.com/pages/rendezvous-with-a-writer. I thought this was a wonderful idea and a great way to honor Jim and continue his work. And Bobbi Jean asked me to help by co-hosting part time. I could ask writers to come on the show and help her interview them. I said yes!

This type of work is new to me. I hope I can do a good job in supporting other writers. I want to live up to the memory of Jim and his promotion of other writers.

I agreed to interview Rene Gutteridge Rene Gutteridge on October 20, 2022. What a way to hit the ground running! I am a big fan of Rene’s work. She is a novelist and screenwriter and has a new movie recently released, Family Camp. Family Camp (2022) – IMDb. I met Rene a few years ago at a conference where she presented programs on screenwriting and quickly became a big fan.

Join me on October 20 with Bobbi Jean Bell and Rene Gutteridge as we talk to Rene about her talent as a writer and check out the new online radio show, Rendezvous with a Writer. I think Jim Christina will approve.

What are you reading/writing this week?

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2022: Ian’s Magic

It’s the dog days of summer! It’s been a while since we’ve seen temperatures this high and I’m ready for fall.

Back to school is getting close and kids will be reading. If they’ve had a break from that over the summer, it is time to get them ready to start again. Your local library is a good place to begin. They have summer reading programs and tons of books on the shelf. And they have air conditioning!

If your favorite child likes magic, I have a good one. Ian’s Magic is about a boy who can perform feats of magic if his math problems are correct. If not, things don’t work out well.

Ian knows a lot of kids don’t like math, but he does and he’s good at it. But he’s not the only one. His brother doesn’t like math and has seen what Ian can do with his magic and he threatens to tell everyone. Brothers!

Ian Conner learned in the first grade he could perform magic using math. And this year, the prize for the annual math contest is $500! Ian really wants to win, but he knows classmate Thomas Martin will be stiff competition. Thomas wins every year. And this year he has a college tutor helping him prep for the contest!

Ian decides to study accelerated math, hoping it will help him win. But when the day of the competition arrives Ian must make a difficult choice – hope his studying helps him win fair and square – or cheat using his “math magic” to win the contest.

Pick up a copy of Ian’s Magic and sit under the air conditioner with a glass of lemonade. It’s fun and a good way to get your kids ready to go back to school. https://tinyurl.com/yxnszumv

Ian’s Magic by Peggy Chambers, Paperback | Barnes & Noble® (barnesandnoble.com)

What are you reading/writing this week?

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2022: 100 Years and Counting

I’ve been writing. I’m working on the third Sandhill Island novel and as always, I love being back there. It helps to soothe my need for the sea.

But in between bouts of writing, I’ve been working on a project for my writing club.

I am a member of the Enid Writers Club, the oldest writing club in Oklahoma. We’ve been in existence since 1923. No, I haven’t been there the whole time, but I have been a member since 2009. I love this club and the people who are in it, and I want what is best for it. So, to celebrate this momentous achievement we are celebrating for a whole year. The actual date is January 6, 2023, and we will celebrate up to and beyond that date.

The club was founded by Professor RJ Wolfinger of Phillips University. In the years since Professor Wolfinger was teaching on that campus it has been sold to Northern Oklahoma College. My club and I have been in touch with the college and asked about placing a plaque on the campus in celebration of this milestone. And they said yes!

And one thing led to another. We have contracted with noted Oklahoma artist, Nancy Russell, of Alva/Guthrie and she is sculpting a plaque with our logo on it. She presented us with a maquette of the sculpture, and we were so excited! It will hang on the former Phillips University, now NOC, and we will have an unveiling sometime later this year or the beginning of 2023.

We have other plans for the year to celebrate, one being a writing workshop held at St. Matthew’s Episcopal church in October with three outstanding speakers, Rilla Askew, Stephen Jones, and John Biggs. There will be more to come when we have the plans in place.

We’d love to have you help us celebrate as the year goes along. I’ll keep you informed.

What are you reading/writing this week?

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2022: Of Celebrations and Surgeries

This week, following a 50th anniversary celebration, my husband had his third shoulder surgery.  Yes, I said third, on the same shoulder—in a year. I guess the older you get the more your body refuses to heal correctly.  The surgery didn’t hold the first time.  His body reacted badly to surgery the second time and they had to quit before they could finish, and the third time was the charm, we hope. 

He had outpatient surgery in Oklahoma City at the OU Health Center.  They were very professional, and things went as they should.  Now he has another five weeks of recuperation in a sling followed by physical therapy—again.

I hope things work out well this time.  He’s a trooper.  He says his pain level is low and he’s used to the sling now.  I keep thinking the longer he is in a sling and not using the arm the more the muscles will atrophy. But I guess physical therapy will take care of that. He’s been saying he has one and a half arms.  For a do-it-yourselfer, he has had to ask for help a lot and that is not his style.  He hated that more than the recuperation.

But we are getting back to normal.  I wrote for a few hours yesterday.  I should have taken my laptop to the hospital and done some writing while I waited on him but didn’t want to carry it.  I took a book and read instead.  I’m not sure how good the writing would have been with me under stress. But even bad writing is writing.

Now, we are back on track for healing and writing.  I’m working on another Sandhill Island novel.  The last, I believe.  It might be time to put the little island to bed and move on to other things.

What are you reading/writing this week?

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2022: 50th Anniversary

June 24, 1972, I married the love of my life at the ripe age of 19.  We were broke, living in his parent’s rent house, with a baby on the way and no idea what to do with it.  But we persevered. 

            We met our senior year in high school and began dating soon thereafter. Then after our freshman year of college we married. The baby came much too quickly, and we were both terrified.  But she soon taught us all we needed to know about how to parent her. Four and half years later we did it again—this one a boy.

By the time we were 25 we had two children and a mortgage on a cute little three-bedroom house where we lived for the next 20 years. The children thrived in spite of us, and we worked sometimes daylight until dark or later.  We tired to work opposite shifts, so someone was home for them, and we had two grandmothers and a babysitter in town to fill in the gaps.

Later in life we both went back to school to finish what we started and encouraged the kids to not follow in our footsteps. We knew the hardships of marrying early and being poor.  I think they listened.

But I wouldn’t have done it any other way.

It has been 50 years since we married in that chapel and began being parents within the first year. We took a little trip with some cousins to celebrate the event and hired some work done around the house to make life easier for us.  We never would have done that 20 years ago. The do-it-yourselfers have finally succumbed to having the work done for us and giving our aging bodies a break.  

We are now retired, and I know we have been blessed. Not many marriages last that long these days due to divorce or sometimes death.  I can’t imagine life without my husband, but I know one of us will probably go down that path someday. 

Happy 50th Anniversary sweetheart. I love you.

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2022: James L. Osburn – Happy Father’s Day

It’s Father’s Day and since I wrote about my husband’s days as a father last year, this year I’ll talk about my dad.

            My father was born on a farm deep in the Arkansas Ozarks during the Great Depression. He was the youngest of five children.  With a ninth-grade education, he joined the Air Force during World War II and was trained as an aircraft mechanic.  Afterwards, on the GI bill, he acquired every license the FAA had available. He married my mother as soon as he returned from working on bullet-riddled aircraft on Guadalcanal and they had three daughters.  He hired on at Vance AFB in 1960 to teach maintenance. He spent some time in Houston with NASA as Director of Aircraft Maintenance. Then later returned to Vance and retired in 1989 after becoming the Director of Aircraft Maintenance for them.

            When he wasn’t working, his favorite past time was fishing.  He built a pontoon boat from plans he found in Popular Mechanics magazine out of Styrofoam pontoons with a wooden deck and only one seat—for the captain.  The rest of us stood.  We named it “Happiness is . . .” after Snoopy and the Charlie Brown series.  It brought the family together and soon he bought a place at Canton Lake for our weekends away from work.  It was the beginning of my love of the water. We ate gallons of fried fish and hush puppies because of his passion for fishing. (I’m the middle kid in front of him).

            Toward the end of his life, in the hospital for heart surgery while my mother suffered with lung cancer and chemo, his dementia increased.  His doctor smilingly told me Dad thought he had once worked for NASA.  I informed the doctor that the frail old man in the chair who couldn’t remember what he ate for breakfast that day did work for NASA and that was the one thing he still remembered.  It was the highlight of his life—next to his family.

He died fourteen months after Mom, his mind confused and broken.  He had survived the Depression, war, and long working hours. But all good things must come to an end.  His body had endured enough, and it was time.

I love you Dad and thanks for raising me. I know I didn’t always make it easy.

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2022: A Lazy Week

It’s been an uneventful week. I like those now and then. Next Sunday is Father’s Day and the following is a milestone anniversary for my husband and me. Fifty years—and they said it wouldn’t last!

This morning we took the dog for a walk around 8 o’clock. I planned to do it earlier but didn’t make it. It seemed less humid. It’s that time in Oklahoma when the temperatures soar just in time for harvest. It has quit raining and may not rain another drop until October. Welcome to Oklahoma. But that lack of moisture leaves the tornadoes with no fuel.

The cottonwood is about finished with it’s blizzards. It normally snows between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Now it is time to clean out the air conditioning system.

I mentioned earlier we had sprung for a water well and sprinkler system for the yard. We are loving having water at the touch of a button, and the yard looks better for it. I’m sure the well water is better for the plants than the city water was.

My husband will be having surgery number three on his shoulder soon. That will keep us indoors and under the air conditioning. While he’s recuperating, I’m working on the third Sandhill Island novel. This time there are smugglers!

So, you can see, the Chambers household is staying in under the air-conditioning and recuperating. What work is done, happens before the heat of the day or afterwards. We’re boring like that. But we still accomplish a few things.

I think in this heat a salad for dinner might be the ticket.

What are you reading this growing/week?

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2022: The Accidental Gardener

Several years ago, my aging neighbor across the street brought me some strawberry plants in a three-pound coffee can. He could grow anything, and they were overrunning his little area where they were planted. I was excited to grow strawberries in the front flower bed. They lasted a year and fed the birds. I was not a successful strawberry farmer.

But inside this coffee can lay the hidden roots of another plant that soon came up on its own. I showed it to the neighbor, and he said, “Oh those things are all over the place, I can’t get rid of them.”

I thought it was a Hosta. I had a few Hostas in my garden, some more successful than others, so I transplanted it to a shady area and fed it, watered it, and watched it grow. But it never spread as he said. I did a little research and found that some Hostas like shade and others prefer a little sun, so I moved it. It came back up the next year and did the same thing. It grew a little and then stopped. Maybe a little more sun.

Last fall I moved it closer to the front of the flower bed where the sun was stronger and again this year it popped up. My Hosta, an accidental gift from a neighbor, was still alive. The neighbor didn’t fare so well. He passed away. And though I couldn’t grow the strawberries he gave me; I could grow the Hosta.

Then it did a fabulous thing. It bloomed! And it wasn’t a Hosta at all but a Calla Lily! This is the third year I’ve had it and the first time it has bloomed.

When we went to South Africa, there were gardens of Calla Lilies outside out hotel. My daughter had Calla Lilies in her wedding bouquet. I’ve always loved them, but never grew any. Now, thanks to the generosity of a neighbor and an accidental planting, I’ll have some of my own.

Who knew I could grow a Calla Lily?

What are you reading this growing/week?

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