2019 Life-long Learning: Graceful Arts Gallery

    I was invited to have a book signing at Graceful Arts in Alva, Oklahoma https://www.gracefulartscenter.org/ last Friday night. It was a First Friday Event in Alva. Christmas abounded in the decorations, food, music and great people. I found it a joy blending with the artists and musicians.

Alva combines the rural farming community with the university at NWOSU. That combination creates a lovely small town with friendly people and a slow pace. I was checked out by the local English Department from the university and treated like royalty. I’d love to return when I have a new book.

I found pottery by local artist Nancy Russell, wife of author Sheldon Russell, and realized she had a tile for sale engraved with the runes from the Heavener Runestone. It matched the runes on the stone I wrote about in Glome’s Valley and Return to Glome’s Valley. I had to have it! I put it in the place of honor on the hearth, but it needs to be hung in my writing room near the books that accompany it.  

The NWOSU choir came by and serenaded us with Christmas carols a cappella style and it was lovely! They were my first Christmas carols of the season and put me in the mood.

We met artist Carla Miller who had paintings hung in a section of the gallery. I especially liked her home-town painting of the white chapel with sunflowers out front. We also met Jay Heinrich, leather artist, from Oklahoma and his wife. We could have talked all night.

Many people from the community and university came and ate snacks, drank wine and hot spiced cider, and made us feel welcome. We’d love to go again. Dr. Jo Decker has a lovely gallery and makes everyone feel at home. We did.

Thank you, Graceful Arts, and we can’t wait to come again.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

2019 Life-long Learning: Books for Christmas

    Thanksgiving was a success. I blew my diet, but I’m back on track. And I can’t believe it is the first of December! The Christmas season is here. There will be decorations to put up, cards to sent out, gifts to buy and then wrap – and more food again. What will you do for those you love? You want a gift, but you have no idea what they need.

They need books. Most everyone loves a good story – kids do, and so do adults. And local bookstores are full of them.

On Friday, December 6, 2019 I will be signing my books in Alva at Graceful Arts on Alva’s First Friday event. The shop will be open from 6-8 and Christmas will be celebrated with music, art, and food. Come join us if you’re in the Alva area. Not only will I have my books for sale, there will be artists of all kinds in the gallery and you are sure to fill your Christmas list.

On Saturday, December 14, 2019 I will be signing my books in Enid at Putnam 6 bookstore in Sunset Plaza from 2-4. Come see what Chloe has to offer in her bookstore and maybe pick up a few for yourself while you Christmas shop.

If you are more into the online shopping idea, you can find all my books on Amazon in paperback or e-published for that person who only reads electronically. You can always buy them a gift certificate so they can download the books of their dreams. You can find mine at https://www.amazon.com/Peggy-Chambers/e/B0069EINPK?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1575218680&sr=8-1

Buy some for yourself while you’re at it. And once the Christmas shopping is done, you can curl up by the fire with a hot chocolate and your new book – an adventure into another world. Then it can snow, and blow and you won’t care.

Shop books for Christmas. And be sure to pick up something for yourself while you shop.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

2019 Life-long Learning: The Holiday Season

    Sitting down at the computer to come up with a Sunday blog I realize ONE MONTH FROM TODAY IS CHRISTMAS EVE! I can’t believe it. I’ve been immersed in the family gathering around my table on Thanksgiving and it hadn’t occurred to me how close the Christmas holiday came just behind it.

Relatives are coming from out of state and my house will be full. I have a turkey thawing in the frig and I’ve gone over the shopping list dozens of times.

Tuesday evening my sister and her husband come from out of state;

Wednesday both sisters and I will make pies, sandwiches for lunch, turkey goes in the roaster before bed late that night;

Thursday morning we finish making the sides and the family gathers at noon to strip the bird clean;

Friday we recover and if anyone wants to eat, the frig is that way;

Saturday the guests leave, and I pass out for a few hours.

The beginning of the holiday season is next week. We eat too much, clean too much, spend too much, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been to the grocery store. But I am so thankful that I have people who want to come and be with me. There are many who don’t. I can’t imagine not having the stress of the holidays and being alone with a TV dinner. I am lucky. I am thankful. My family means everything to me, the ones close at hand and the ones far away.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. I hope your holiday is full of family stress (the good kind) and too much food. No food fights! Stay warm and bathe in the warmth of those around you.

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Holidays!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2019 Life-long Learning: If Dogs Ran the World

    On Sunday mornings I write a blog. I sip my coffee and try to get my brain in gear and today, I seam to be a blank slate.

I read the paper and came away with the same feeling I always do. I hate politics! I don’t know how to say it any better. I hate the backstabbing, power grabbing, caring about only themselves, not the people they serve. I’ve concluded that I can’t fix any of it. The political arena is just a place to promote self and forget about anyone else. Me, me, me. I prefer the comics and even they can be political sometimes.

Then I read on and found there were good people doing good things for others, not just themselves. They’re not on the front page and maybe they don’t need to be. But deep inside the paper are articles about food pantries, homeless shelters, and opportunities for those in need of services – and those in need of serving. I much prefer these pages. I need to do more. I try in my own little ways to help sometimes, and sometimes I get knocked down, but still I try.

I’ve been around for 66 years and I’ve traveled abroad some. I’ve stepped outside my little community and I’ve realized that people are people wherever you go. They need love. Maybe they didn’t get it as a child. Maybe they are unable to feel it due to the bad things done to them. I find it hard to believe that people are born that way. But the world is full of hate and it is killing us. Can’t we all just get along, seems a Pollyanna type of comment. The answer is, no we can’t. But we all need the same thing, acceptance and love.

My dog taught me that.

Maybe what the world needs is more dogs in charge. They are loyal, loving and protective. My little beagle mix is scared of her own shadow. She barks big in the house when someone approaches but hides behind me when a toddler gets too familiar. But I am sure she loves her family. She has a lot to teach the world.

I think dogs should be in charge of the world. They might be able to straighten this mess out. No impeachment proceedings, no bombings, no starvation or crime. Just a belly rub and a full bowl. She might run on that platform – belly rubs for all! (like a chicken in every pot).

I’m about ready to let the dogs of the world run this place without human involvement and see if they could do a better job.

What do you think? Could dogs do a better job than humans?

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

2019 Life-long Learning: International Digital Awards!

    Last week as I cleaned out emails from places and people I didn’t know, princes from far away offering me their fortune, sales of items I didn’t know I needed, and promises of things I’d never have, I must have missed an important one. Because later in the week, I received an email from Oklahoma Romance Writers of America about a contest I entered last summer. I was a finalist! I know because they sent me a digital badge to add to my promotion of the book.

I’m a skeptic. I wrote her back. What’s this? Normally I just hit the delete button. It has caused me problems in the past. I’m sure I deleted a note from a long-lost cousin once telling me that his brother died.

She replied, “You’re a finalist in the OWRA International Digital Awards!”

What? It started to dawn on me. I did remember entering that contest last summer. I’ve won a few contests for my writing, but as a rule, I sit idly by watching my contemporaries win. I was astounded. Not that I thought Witches’ Cliff didn’t deserve to be honored, but because there are so many good writers out there. I know some who enter and win every contest that comes down the pike. Not me. I often enter and wonder what it is that judges are looking for.

Then the second email came. This time with an explanation. I was a finalist and they sent a list of all the winners. https://okrwa.com/contests/international-digital-awards/winners/

My novella, Witches’ Cliff, won fourth place in the International Digital Awards, in the short paranormal division. I was beyond excited. I had decided to enter more contests this year and now, I will keep that promise to myself. It was fun and it made my day to think that someone liked my work.

So, check it out. Witches’ Cliff https://tinyurl.com/y3fktu44 is a short novella written for Halloween, but great for any season. A modern-day witch goes to a quaint Vermont Inn to speak with her ancestors about an age-old problem. Along the way she meets another witch who is not so kind and she ends up fighting for her life.

Pick up a copy and let me know if you like it. It will make my day.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

2019 Lifed-long Learning: Pool Time

    Stepping down the steps I sank into the tepid water – that felt cold against my skin – waist deep. Cool, I think. Yet chill bumps run up my arms. Standing and looking around I think I see snow outside the window. The last thing to dip is not as easy. Breath in – I dip to my neck – and shudder.

Winter outside and an indoor pool full of women ready for the Y Aqua Aerobics class. I can do this. I used to teach in this pool and several others around town. I used to do a lot of things. Now, I’m retired and the swimsuit and the body underneath it have changed.

When my kids were small I managed the Olympic sized pool owned by the City of Enid. I taught swimming in the morning to most of the kids in town, and then in the afternoon I managed the pool for the public. I lifeguarded only when we were shorthanded. But I was certified if needed.

Recently the Y decided to cancel my Core Strength class that I’d attended for 10 or 12 years. I had a lot of good friends in that class and it was a regular thing twice a week. I had to do something for this aging body and the pool seemed like the place to go. So, I donned my old-lady swimsuit and joined the girls in the pool. Girls?

It was a difficult transition. Monday and Wednesday morning Aqua Aerobics and then Yoga on Thursday. And I found I still felt at home in the water. Others do too. There are two women who come to the pool on a walker, park it on the pool deck and then climb in to work out with the rest of us. There are all ages, sizes, and skill levels with one goal. Fitness.

It takes a certain type of courage to come to a pool on your walker. I call that determination. I bow to a person who is that committed. And I decide to ignore the chill bumps and get to work. I’ll warm up.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

2019 Life-long Learning: A Halloween Read!

    It’s Halloween! I love this time of year – the pumpkins, the falling leaves, the cool weather, the Halloween stories! And I have one for you.

Witches Cliff is a novella available on Kindle for only $1.99. https://tinyurl.com/y3fktu44 A fast read about a modern-day witch at a cozy Vermont inn. It’s romantic and it’s exciting with just enough fantasy thrown in to keep you interested.

Penny goes to Vermont to seek the wisdom of her ancestor. Jeff has asked her to marry but she is unsure. And then she meets Liam. Romance was not what she had in mind for this weekend and she’s not the only person attracted to Liam.

In 1692 Salem, Massachusetts held the witch trials and many innocent women died. During that same dark time the tiny town of Willow Springs, Vermont had their own slaughter at a local cliff. Penny Winter’s ancestor was one of those witches.

Years later Penny’s mother moved to Salem with her new baby to avoid the long memories of her neighbors. Penny learned the wiccan ways from her mother and became a professor of history at a local university. And then she met Jeff.

With no relatives to depend upon, Penny returns to the town where her grandmother died to seek her opinion of the man who has asked her to marry him. She once again encounters a Willow Springs witch. It’s Halloween and Penny desperately needs to talk to her ancestor before she marries, and it has to be at the cliff where grandma died. But she is not alone.

The charming inn where the story takes place is the setting for all the Deerbourne Inn novellas published by The Wild Rose Press. You should check them out. A big little story set at an old charming inn. The Deerbourne Inn has a rich history and you will love reading about all the people who come and go through its doors.

Check out Witches’ Cliff for just $1.99 and all the other novellas in the Deerbourne Inn series. It’s Halloween, time for a witch read!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2019 Life-long Learning: Learning Story Structure

    I’ve learned a thing or two about writing. I will always have more to learn. But when it comes to story structure I’ve learned from the best. William Bernhardt has a series of books on story structure, characterizations, etc. I am also a big fan of Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat series and Donald Maass’s Writing the Breakout Novel. Like I said – the best. Without them, I could never have written a book that covered several years in a woman’s life. So, if my writing doesn’t come up to their standards (or yours) I only have myself to blame – not them. But I constantly study and try to do better.

In my novel Blooming Justice, set on Keystone Lake in Oklahoma, I covered a three-year period with a young girl graduating high school and beginning her college years. She grows up a lot in that formative time. She is sexually harassed at the senior prom when she accepts a date from a boy she barely knew but was extremely attracted to. She knew better. She was smart and had her feet on the ground, but in a moment of fairytale weakness, she said yes and then paid the price. But she learned.

Once in college she again ran into Prince Charming who wasn’t nearly as charming as she originally thought. He had a dark past and it was coming out.

When you first meet Erin, she is 18 and graduating from high school. She has her life ahead of her and she has it all planned out. She secured a scholarship to the University of Tulsa and can live in her hometown of Mannford only thirty minutes away. Her dad died when she was young, and her mother was a hard-working single mom. Erin is sure Mom can’t survive without her. She’ll stay home and save money and look after her mom. But does Mom need to be looked after?

Soon, Erin will begin to hear rumors of college women being raped – and she knows who’s doing the deed. Now working part time in her aunt’s law firm, she has an opportunity to help stop the madness. But does she have the courage?

The book covers three years of a young woman’s life from high school to law school. Formative years. Erin will not only study hard but will try to make the campus safe for the women who attend TU and bring Prince Charming to justice.

Bringing justice can be hard, but to Erin it was worth it. Pick up a copy of Blooming Justice and let me know what you think of it.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2019 Life-long Learning: Peggy Jaeger, I’ts a Trust Thing!

Peggy Jaeger is a romance novelist and I am happy once again to have her as a guest on my blog.  Here is her latest work.

I’ve always vowed to never self publish one of my books. I’ve got nothing against indie publishing or indie authors – in fact, I hold them in the highest regard because they work so hard at every aspect of getting a book into the hands of readers. They are the writers, the cover designers, the copy editors, the content editors, the formatters and the marketers.

All I ever wanted to do was write and self publishing felt like it had an insurmountable set of tasks to learn and conquer.

I changed my tune when one of my traditional publishers decided to drop a series I was writing for them. The first book, DIRTY DAMSELS, had been published but they’d decided not to pursue the series DotComGirls any further. I already had the second book written, edited and awaiting a release date; the third was plotted.

What to do? I didn’t want to submit the books to another publishing house, even though this publisher told me I could, because it would be another year or so of emails back and forth, contract negotiations, and more edits.

I loved the second book and wanted to share it with the reading world, not shove it into a computer file to be forgotten.

The answer was obvious when I thought about it. Publish it myself.

Here’s the clinker: I knew nothing about self-publishing. I have many indie authors as friends, but I’d never asked them how to do the work of getting a book into print with a publishing house behind them. I called a few of them, got some preliminary ideas and then set about to learn everything I could.

The result is that the second book in the DotComGirl series, IT’S A TRUST THING, will be released on Amazon Kindle and KU on 11.1.19

Nell Newbery has trust issues. It’s hard to trust when you’re the daughter of a fallen financial scion who bilked people out of billions. Nell’s done everything in her power to keep away from men who see her as their ticket to fortune and fame. All she wants to do is run her ultra-successful business, HELPFUL HUNKS, in peace.

But it wouldn’t hurt to find a guy who doesn’t know a thing about her father’s felonious past; one she can give her heart to and trust it won’t come back to her battered, bruised, and broken.

Is Charlie Churchill that guy? On the surface he seems perfect, all polished manners and quiet mirth. Nell’s convinced he knows nothing about her, other than she likes superhero movies and views junk food as a food group.

Can she trust him to be what he appears to be? Or is he just pretending?

For Nell, trust is everything in life…and in love.

Excerpt:

He opened the passenger door for me and I got in.

“You never answered me,” he said when I was seated. “Would you like to do this again?”

I’d lived my entire adult life taking chances in my professional life but shying away from them in my personal one. The reasons to avoid becoming involved were valid ones, in my mind, and they’d served me well.

But there was something so different about this man, something that wanted me to finally give in and take a chance that he wouldn’t be like all the other men I’d gotten close to. He wouldn’t use me to his own end; he wouldn’t betray me; he wouldn’t lie to me about who and what he was.

And dammit, I deserved to have some fun.

All this ran through my head as he stood, patiently waiting for my answer.

It really didn’t take much effort on my part to make a decision. With a half grin and my gaze staying zeroed in on his, I reached into my briefcase and pulled out one of my business cards. While the driver waited, I wrote my private cell number on the back of it. There were only five people on the planet who had this number.

Now, Charlie did as well.

As I handed it to him, I cocked my head and said, “Maybe next time we can get through an evening without me needing first aid or being mugged.”

His jaw wide smile made my stomach muscles flutter. He leaned in, gave me a quick peck on the cheek and said, “Where would the fun be in that?”

I decided to go exclusive with KINDLE and KU first and do only a digital release because I still have along way to go in the learning process for getting a book into a print copy. I’m learning that now, so hopefully something in the future I will be able to release it as a print book.

For now, I’m happy to just have it go out into the romance reading world.

I guess you should never say “never” when it comes to publishing!

Check out Peggy on social media:

Website/Blog: http://peggyjaeger.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/peggy_jaeger

Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00T8E5LN0

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Peggy-Jaeger-Author/825914814095072?ref=bookmarks

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/peggyjaeger/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13478796.Peggy_Jaeger

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/peggyjaeger_author/

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/peggy-jaeger

You-Tube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDR8RRIlssIyS0FYZWeGqsg/videos?view_as=subscriber

Thanks Peggy!  Always great to have you as a guest once again.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

2019 Life-long Learning: Kansas!

    It’s fall vacation time! This week my husband and I traveled north to the great state of Kansas. Our cousins from Texas joined us. We saw the sights in Wichita and Kansas City and everything in between. We may have eaten and drank too much, but we had a good time.

In Wichita we had a great Airbnb with room to roam and I’m not sure we’ll ever be happy with a hotel room again.   We traveled to Old Town and saw breweries, museums,     the Frank Lloyd Wright Allen house (someday, I’m going to get inside that place!). Wichita is only a couple of hours drive from Enid and I don’t know why we don’t go there more often. It is a fun trip. I understand there is a Dillard’s Outlet store there, though I never found it.

Then we traveled even further north to Kansas City and another great Airbnb.     I’ve lived my life in Oklahoma an have no idea why it took me so long to get to Kansas City. Again, it’s not that far. My cousin was at the wheel and seemed calm and cool under the pressure of big city (especially downtown) driving. There was the occasional GPS glitch, but we managed to get where we were going. We visited Union Station and found it was still a working railroad station.       We took a trolley tour of the downtown area, ate at Arthur Bryant’s BBQ, which is the first and most famous BBQ in Kansas and had been visited by many famous people. We just wondered in off the street and they still let us in. We visited the downtown area and shopping in a district I couldn’t afford, then on to other places of interest. Kansas City boasts more working fountains than Paris, France and there are many beautiful parks, monuments and architecture. Again, we ate too much.

Back home we attended Enid’s First Friday October Fest and showed the relatives downtown Enid on a Friday night. I don’t know if they were impressed after Kansas City, but we still had fun. Then on Saturday we travelled to Oklahoma City’s annual Greek Fest. More eating! Opa! We loved it and waddled home. The cousins headed south to Texas and we went back to Enid. Today, I wash laundry and rest.

I was a great time and I want to do it again. I like traveling in the fall or spring when the weather is nice. Of course, it rained a little, but didn’t dampen our spirits. What did you do for vacation this year?

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment