2016 Cultivating Gratitude: An Oklahoma Fairytale

new cover    Summer is almost over and fall brings out festivals and fairs.  One of my favorites is the Heavener Runestone Viking and Celtic Fest.  It will be held on October 8 & 9, 2016 at Heavener, OK.  It is a fascinating place full of mystery and fun and I can’t wait to be a part of it again.

I was so enchanted by the area I wrote an Oklahoma fairytale called Glome’s Valley.  It is a young adult novel full of Vikings, ghosts, trolls, fairies and Norse gods set in the Oklahoma forest.

Ethan was bored because he was not home enjoying summer with his friends.  Instead he was stuck in the woods with Dad as he studied the Heavener Runestone.   Then he found new friends.

The silver sword glistened in the sun as Ethan swung it at the nearest troll. He took aim, sliced the air––and missed by a mile.  He had never tried to hit anything with a sword except in his video games back home. This was different.  This was real life.  The troll laughed and charged. 

Bob suddenly appeared at the end of the bridge, head down and running full speed.  His yellow fur glistened in the sunlight, knocking trolls off the bridge as he cut a swath through them until he reached the other end.  Bob turned to do the same with the remaining trolls.

Ethan held the sword in both hands and swung again.  Suddenly the sword started to vibrate and a low sound, almost like the deep tone of a church bell, echoed through the air.   At first Ethan didn’t know where the sound was coming from.  It was getting louder and louder, and then he realized it came from the sword in his own hands.  All the fighting stopped and everyone turned to look at him, even Bob. 

Glome’s Valley is a children’s book set in a real place in Oklahoma.  If you haven’t been to the park you should take the kids and go.  You will love autumn in the forests of southeast Oklahoma.  Heavener is near Poteau and the Talimena Drive.  By October the weather will be exquisite and you’ll be grateful to live in a state with so much diverse geography.

See you at the festival!

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2016 Cultivating Gratitude: Grateful for the anthology

EWC book cover   THE ANTHOLOGY IS OUT!!!!  The Enid Writers Club has published our first anthology in both e-book and paperback.  It is a compilation of the thoughts and feelings of fifteen of our members.  Titled The Warp and Weft of Things to show the weaving of intricate threads into a cohesive fabric.

In weaving, the weft is the term for the thread or yarn which is drawn through the warp yarns to create cloth. Warp is the lengthwise or longitudinal thread in a roll, while weft is the transverse thread. A single thread of the weft, crossing the warp, is called a pick.

These pieces were picked in 2016 from a multitude of writings the members had on their computers or in drawers secreted away for just such an event. Many have taken honors at Oklahoma Writer’s Federation, Inc., our local contest, or have been previously published and used with permission. This is our anthology of works of every kind, length, and nature.

These stories, poems, and memoirs from the members of the Enid Writers Club, weave a very intricate rug. A magic carpet that will transport you to places you’ve only dreamed about. Sit back and enjoy a little bit of the talent behind the pen of these writers as they weave a story you will not soon forget.

Check it out Amazon.com for The Warp and Weft of Things.


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2016 Cultivating Gratitude: And Basil

pesto    I made pesto today!  I decided to quit letting the thigh high-basil go to waste.  After all it worked so hard to come up from the seeds that fell from last year’s plants.  Volunteers my mother-in-law would have said.  I’d put it into salads and in marinades for meat but it grew back faster than I could use it.  I offered it to friends.  No one wanted the lonely little weed.  tall basil

Of course I had to go to the store for parmesan, walnuts and other ingredients.  But I made pesto in my food processor.  I spread it on chicken breasts and baked them, then used the leftovers in pasta the next evening (with a little more pesto for flavor).

I read somewhere that you could freeze pesto in ice cube trays and then have them to drop into soups and stews in the cold winter months when no basil is growing outside your kitchen window.  Sounded like a good idea except I didn’t own any ice cube trays anymore.  Back to the store. 

Let me see, the basil comes up each year in the cracks of the sidewalk so it is free, but I go to the store for ingredients to make pesto and then again for ice cube trays to freeze it in – maybe I should have let it go to waste.  Naw.

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2016 Cultivating Gratitude: Glome’s Valley and the Heavener Runestone Park

new cover    Ethan was bored.  Summer was for fun – and fun meant spending time with your friends.  But he had no friends in the valley.  Dad was trying to decipher the ancient writing on the runestone, and Ethan was trying to find something cool to do. Just another boring summer.

“We’ll have an adventure, just us guys,” Dad said.  Then Dad got busy.  So Ethan decided he had to find his own fun and he went for a walk in the forest of southeast Oklahoma near the Heavener Runestone – not realizing he was being watched.  And not realizing the ancient forest was full of magic and creatures he had never dreamed of.

Glome had been this forest longer than he could remember.  His Viking Dad long since gone.  He found friends in the tiny fairies that glowed in the dark, Bob the huge dog who lived in the forest, and the beautiful wood nymph that was imprisoned in the flower valley.  Together they fought an ancient battle against the trolls. And then a new friend arrived.

Ethan soon found himself surrounded with more adventure than he might be able to handle, and he had to keep it a secret.  After all, how would he explain to Dad that he spent his days playing with Viking ghosts, fairies and a magic sword.

When the adventure finally meant he had to sneak out without Dad’s permission to save the beautiful princess, Ethan found out that the forest was much different after dark and he would end up fighting for his life and his new-found friends.

Glome’s Valley is a YA fairytale book set in the forests of southeastern Oklahoma at the Heavener Runestone.  The Heavener Runestone Park near Heavener, Oklahoma has a Viking and Celtic fest twice a year at the park to celebrate their heritage.  The next festival is October 8 & 9, 2016 at the Heavener Runestone  Park.  Come out and bring the kids and don’t forget to pick up a copy of the Oklahoma fairytale that is set in the same place. Glome’s Valley is available on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble (in paperback and ebook) and at the Heavener Runestone Park gift shop. The kids will love it.  Let me know what you think.

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2016 Cultivating Gratitude: The Apocalypse Sucks

1009952_10151834907161920_2018758238_n    What would you do if you were one of the last remaining survivors on earth?  What would you do if the person you were left to live with was not a friend; not someone you would have hung out with back in the day? What would you do if your last bra bit the dust leaving you to repair it with a safety pin?  Would you face the danger of the empty shopping mall for the remnants of the lingerie department?

Sandra and Molly are now stuck living together trying to survive a day-to-day existence.  But they are not alone.  There are a few people left alive in their small town, and then there are those things.

Living in the fifteen-story corporate tower they used to work in has its advantages – they are up high and can see everything.  But the climb up and down the stairs is getting to be harder and harder.  Food is getting scarce since they have looted every store left empty since the virus hit a year ago – and then the bat creature starts hanging on the window at night.  What it is and where it came from is the first question.  It looks sort of human with red skin, black eyes, huge wings, long tail, and dripping fangs.  But is it?

The Apocalypse Sucks is a story about survival and friendship written as a dark comedy.  Some things are still important even after the apocalyptic virus decimated most of the world. Humanity has changed, but the old problems still exist – problems like accepting people who don’t look like you.  Food and shelter come first, but friendship and cooperation must take place.

Molly and Sandra are now family – and nothing is more important than family, unless it is the survival of the human race.

Check out The Apocalypse Sucks published by Airship 27, with original art by Andy Fish and Zack Bruner.  A dark comedy about women, survival, acceptance – oh and about bras.

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2016 Cultivating Gratitude: Grateful for a Beach Read

SecretsofSandhillIsland_w8259    What makes a great beach read?  It has romance?  Suspense?  Is a page turner?  And as they say in the real estate world, Location, Location, Location! Secrets of Sandhill Island has all of those things.

Meg lost her fiancé in a storm when he went out fishing alone.  He was desperate for money, a baby on the way, he had to go.  It was the last thing he told her.  But was it really a storm that took him?  Now years later, the baby is a lawyer in a very prestigious firm on the mainland and manages a large charitable trust.  Meg has moved back home where she grew up, on Sandhill Island.  It seemed like a good place to hide out from her past and do what she loved, garden.

But your past has a way of haunting you.  She never felt like she belonged in the society world of Corpus Christi where her father insisted she mingle.  But with is death, she had the opportunity to take his fortune – now hers – and do some good with it. The complete opposite of her father’s evil business dealings.

Then Alex entered her life.  Alex had a past too when he appeared next door to her vegetable stand.  At first he was a good neighbor who wanted to help her rid her garden of the rabbit that was making a banquet of it. But the relationship soon took another turn just as her son announced his wedding.  Then the sparks started to fly.  Meg thought she had remained anonymous on the island, but soon found out she wasn’t hiding – everyone knew who she was.  And then the blackmail began just as a major hurricane zeroed in on the tiny island.

Check out Secrets of Sandhill Island on Amazon or Barnes & Noble in paperback or e-published.  Summer is half over, but you still have time for another beach read even if it is read under the air conditioner!

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2016 Cultivating Gratitude: I Felt a Pop

tire with bolt   I come from a long line of do-it-yourselfers. The wife and daughter of aircraft mechanics (they are a special breed, they can repair anything) and the mother of a self-made mechanic, we fix our own problems – normally. This time I drove the car to Northcutt Chevrolet where I bought it and they had me back on the road in about an hour.

This morning I ran to the grocery store.  Be back soon, just need a few things. As I drove away down the service road and in front of the new Schlotzsky’s Deli, I felt a pop.  I knew I ran over something with the driver’s side front tire.  I have a nearly new SUV that is still under warranty and has rather large tires.  When I bought it, I thought I wasn’t going like the price of replacing those tires someday as I traded in my Corolla.  I drove on down the road toward home with my small bags of groceries and could feel something was not right with the car.  There was a thump, thump, thump as I drove.  I pulled into a parking lot and looked but couldn’t see anything.  One of those grocery bags contained raw meat and it was 100 degrees in the shade.  So I took the car home to the mechanic.

I tried to explain to my husband what I felt and heard.  Do you remember the old Down Periscope sit-coms where the mechanic tried to explain to the captain what was wrong with the ship?   My dad would die laughing as the mechanic made mouth noises trying to imitate what the engine sounded like when it was broken and what is should sound like when it was running correctly.  Well add that to a game of Charades and you have a vague idea of the conversation in the driveway.  He took the car for a spin.

When he reappeared, I saw it gleaming in the front tire.  A huge bolt about the size of my thumb was sparkling in the black rubber tread.  I drove it to Northcutt’s.  Fix a Flat wasn’t going to take care of this.  When I got out of the car, the mechanic said, “You’ve got a nail in a tire.  I heard it when you pulled in.”  (Up Periscope again) When I told him where I picked it up, he said they would prepare for the grand opening of Scholtzsky’s on Monday with tires that needed to be fixed.  But then, maybe I cleaned up the road for them.

I am thankful today that they could fix the tire with a plug patch and I didn’t have to replace a huge tire that was two years old and had less than 20,000 miles on it.  Lucky me.

Thanks for your help, Northcutt.

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