2020: Fewer Possessions, More Experiences – Dancing with Dragons

  I was reminded this week how feelings and experiences can come back to bite you when you least expect it.  Things you thought were over and done – you thought you dealt at the time – suddenly are there again.

I’ve had three back surgeries – the last one eleven years ago and then another this summer.  I’ve recovered well, though my daughter says I walk funny.  I say, I’m doing the best I can.  But it occurred to me that the last surgery took place one year before I was laid off at the base and began a new career late in life.  That job also didn’t last because the company left town and I once again had to land another job.

It’s been twenty years since I lost my parents.  They were both sick at the same time and I tried my best to look after them until the bitter end.  I hope my children don’t go through that, but they might.

In the shower this week, (why there, I have no idea) old feelings came slamming back.  I felt I’d been trying to slay dragons once again and I have no idea why.  Maybe the back surgery brought it all to the forefront.  Maybe it was because my dad had open heart surgery in August. It’s been said there are anniversaries for feelings. There have been several lately when I think about it.

But with a lot of prayer, I feel like I’m going to get better.  I am keeping the dragons at bay, or maybe learning to dance with them. Dragons can be a formidable opponent or gracious ally depending upon how you look at them.

Writing about my feelings helps me get them out in the open sometimes so I can examine them. It may bore the reader but helps the writer.

But this writer has been working on two manuscripts this week in spite of the dragons.

What are you reading this week?

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2020: Fewer Possessions, More Experiences – Strawberry Sundae Delights

    I received word this week that my novella, Strawberry Sundae Delights, releases September 2! I’m so excited to continue the saga on Sandhill Island.  This novella will be e-published as part of the One Scoop or Two Series for The Wild Rose Press. Check out the other novellas in this series too.  https://www.thewildrosepress.com/series/one-scoop-or-two.

Sienna works for her aunt on the island where she grew up.  As a teacher, she’s free in the summer and needs a summer job and her aunt needs her help. Then she meets Jake.

Schoolteacher Sienna Schultz is still stinging from a bad breakup with her fiancé when she finds herself unexpectedly infatuated with a new man. While working her summer job at her aunt’s ice cream shop in the small tourist town of Sandhill Island, she meets Jake White, a college student from Corpus Christi who is working on a shrimper for the summer. Sienna is not ready for another relationship, but Jake is difficult to resist.

Sienna’s peaceful summer is shattered when a series of suspicious events unfold. Her aunt’s suppliers refuse to sell to her, putting the future of the shop in jeopardy. Then, when the store is vandalized, they wonder if someone is out to harm not only the business, but Sienna and her aunt as well.

Jake offers to help uncover who’s behind the incidents, which brings the two of them closer together. Can Sienna trust him…or is she headed for another heartbreak?

Strawberry Sundae Delights is available for pre-order on Amazon digitally (https://www.amazon.com/Strawberry-Sundae-Delights-One-Scoop-ebook/dp/B08DZC5X6D/ref=sr_1_1?crid=24T8F6YN6MRB5&dchild=1&keywords=peggy+chambers+books&qid=1596381611&sprefix=peggy+chambers+%2Caps%2C547&sr=8-1. Check it out and leave me a review.  Authors live for reviews!

What are you reading this week?

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2020: Fewer Possession, More Experiences – Stone of Thor

    Many years ago, I fell in love with the lore surrounding the Heavener Runestone and the YA novel Glome’s Valley was born. Since that time, I’ve written a sequel, Return to Glome’s Valley.  I loved the characters and the setting, and the saga of Glome and the Heavener Runestone lived on.

Then at an author fest I met Jeff Provine of Okie Comics. He publishes (and writes most of the stories) for Okie comics – comics by Oklahomans about Oklahoma.  I talked to him about writing a comic about the Glome’s Valley story.  He liked the idea, but the books were too long to make into a comic book.  After that I wrote a short story for him, Stone of Thor, based on the books and characters.  I had so much fun!

I entered the short story, Stone of Thor, in the OWFI annual contest and won second place in YA short story category. But the fun was just beginning.

When I wrote the short story, Jeff helped me hone it into something that would work for comics.  We went back and forth several times by email and he made it better each time with suggestions and taught me along the way the art of comic book writing.  It is a whole new ball game from novel writing. Getting that short story into those tiny panels and making it not only concise but exciting is an art.

Then came Mike Kennedy.  He illustrated the story and brought it to life with his art.  It was so exciting to see how someone else imagined your story, your characters, and the setting.  I am amazed.  Mike is no light weight.  He recently illustrated a comic book cover for Marvel comics and teaches art. I’d hit the jackpot.

This week I saw the pages for the comic book that will come out online in September and will hopefully be printed as well.

Check out Mike’s art in the above picture and be sure to look at www.okiecomics.com online.  Jeff and several artists/writers have put together comic books you can order or see online.  Stone of Thor is coming out this fall.

What are you reading this week?

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2020: Fewer Possessions, More Experiences – Wylder West Series

    Many of my books are published by The Wild Rose Press (TWRP).  I also write for other publishers, but one of the things that The Wild Rose Press does is offer out stories to be written.  For instance, the Deerbourne Inn Series that I wrote a novella for last year took place in a quaint Vermont Inn and many of their authors wrote stories surrounding the inn.  I jumped on that band wagon and wrote Witches’ Cliff.  The way this is set up, the publisher creates a setting and then invites their authors to write a story (any genre) around that setting with a word count limit.

I also wrote a beach-read for TWRP coming out this summer.  That manuscript needed to be set on a beach and involve ice cream. It is titled the One Scoop or Two Series.  I wrote Strawberry Sundae Delights and it is soon to be released.  I’ll be sure to let you know when that happens!

I’m always working on a novel or two and sometimes get bogged down getting it finished.  The series that TWRP comes up with seem to get my creative juices flowing.  You work with other authors, and their ideas spark yours.

Their latest creation is the Wylder West Series.  I’ve only written one western short story and it was about the Cherokee Strip here in Oklahoma. The Wylder West Series takes place in 1878 in Wyoming Territory in the town of Wylder near Cheyenne.  So, my brain began to go to places it had never been.  What if we mixed time travel with the wild west? (I thought of the old movie, recently remade, Wild Wild West. I loved the mixture of genres.  When the giant  mechanical spider came across the desert near the railroad chasing cowboys, I was in love.)

It will be a while before my story is ready.  So far it is one chapter and a nugget in my mind.  But I’m excited about the research and collaboration with other authors.  I’m creating new characters with exotic backgrounds.  At the moment I’m struggling with the antagonist and the role he plays. All stories need conflict.

The great thing about the series and the creative juices is it normally flows over into my other writing.  It will help me get the novel finished I’m currently working on.

So, wish me luck and keep an eye out for the Wylder West Series coming soon.

What are you reading this week?

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2020: Fewer Possessions, More Experiences – Writers!

    Writing stories of experiences or making your own seems to be a natural thing for humans.  Many never do it, though they think of it, and many do it without ever sharing what was written.

My experience this summer has been spinal surgery.  Lots of fun!  But in my journey toward healing, I’ve met some extraordinary people.  And they write! I decided not to use names because I didn’t ask permission for this blog.

After my surgery at the Oklahoma Heart Hospital South, in Oklahoma City, I met a nurse who had written a children’s book about a child who’s family lives in two different houses due to divorce or separation.  Children all over the country deal with this problem most of their lives.  It’s common, but is a problem that needs to be dealt with and she did it in a kind and common-sense manner.  The boy in the book talked about the good things at both houses and it was obvious that the parents put the child first. A beautiful story about life.

While still at the hospital, the Chaplin came in to check on me and pray with me if I wanted.  He asked if I had questions before he left.  My eyes were drawn to the pins on his lapel – of a Star Trek emblem.  He was a trekkie! I asked him about it, and he was a sci-fi fan.  And with a little prodding I found he was a writer.  He had a manuscript in the bottom drawer somewhere that no one had ever seen.  I encouraged him to get it out and refresh it.  He seemed pleased to tell someone that.

While in physical therapy for the last 3 weeks, I met a young man who was hanging out at his father’s physical therapy clinic.  He was thirteen, an athlete, and hung around in the morning after football practice – then went with his mom later in the day.  He was very easy to talk to. One day I noticed he had written a book that was for sale at the clinic – and of course I bought it.  We had something in common.  We were writers.  Once we started talking about writing he instantly asked me what genre I wrote.  Well, I have several. The next day I brought a copy of all my books for him to choose one. He didn’t pick the one I expected for a boy his age.  But I hope he enjoys it.

Writers are everywhere.  Since the dawn of time writers have been carving on cave walls and telling their stories – some true, some not.  But they had a story to tell and they told it.  I hope these three talented people continue with their writing and get that story out there for the world to read.

So many books, so little time.  What are you reading this week?

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2020: Fewer Possessions, More Experiences – The Summer of our Discontent

    It’s been three weeks since my spinal surgery and I’m feeling human.  I walk and practice my physical therapy exercises and I’ve even had to get back into cooking.  I’m doing well.

It’s been a strange and hot summer.  No trips. My husband had his first cataract surgery (and another looming in the distance) and my surgery.  The world is in the middle of a pandemic and we can’t travel outside our own state comfortably.

We renewed our passports recently because they were about to expire only to find we can’t travel outside our country because no other country wants us.  We might be infected with Covid-19.

My blogs this year were about having more experiences and I was thinking travel.  Well, the world had other ideas.  I’m experiencing what it is like to have surgeries and be stuck in the house. But I’m getting some writing done! Pandemic or not, the world goes on.

I’m almost finished with the second in the Keystone Lake series, Blooming Greed. I really need to drive to Keystone lake in eastern Oklahoma and get a tour of the dam, but I can’t right now. They may not be giving tours at this time.  I’ll call first. In all the time I owned property at that lake, and saw the dam in flood stage and drought, I never toured the dam itself.  I’ve done about all the online research I can do.

This is the summer of our discontent. I’m not alone in my complaint.  At least I’m not sick in a hospital with a tube down my throat. I’m not unemployed with small children because my place of business is shut down. I am really doing fine, just had my plans disrupted.  So, I write.  Maybe I will write better because I’m desperate.  And when I can’t write, I read.  So many books, so little time.

What are you reading in this our summer of discontent?

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2020: Fewer Possessions, More Experiences – Big Magic!

    I’m reading a new book, Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray Love.  You might like it.  It is about living the creative life and is mostly geared toward writers, but also other artists.

Some of it gets a little out there for me. The idea of your muse being a magic being who hangs around your shoulders pushing you forward – I’m a little too practical for that.  But I do agree with most of what she says, and she is a great proponent for living the creative life.  Creativity comes in all shapes and sizes.  Some people say they don’t have it, others can’t live without it. But I believe most people have a creative spark within them, they just shove it down while they work hard at other things.  Take it from a practical person, the creative spark is in there.

I spent a lot of years living and working in an environment that didn’t help support my creative muse.  But I’ve always loved the feeling of creating something, whether it was a craft, a flower arrangement, sewing a garment, or something else that didn’t bring home the bacon.  It was my outlet after a long day of keeping my nose to the grindstone.

But with retirement brought the opportunity to do as I please.  No more 8 to 5 (or 12-hour days) only to come home, cook dinner, clean up, and deal with growing children.  I was too tired to hardly fall into bed sometimes let alone create something.

Now, I can write and create all day long. And yet sometimes I don’t finish a project because I get bored with it, lose track of where it’s going, or get side-tracked with another. Melissa Gilbert is great at showing you why you need to keep pushing forward and learning more and more about your craft.  So, what if your creation isn’t a NY Times Best Seller.  What you create is a part of you.  And it should be finished so you can get on to the next.

Check out Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert if you’re interested.  It might encourage you to let that creative spark bloom again.

What are you reading this week?

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2020: Fewer Possessions More Experiences – Surgery!

    I spent a couple of days this week at the Oklahoma Heart Hospital South.  No there is nothing wrong with my heart.  But my spine is another story. My neurosurgeon works out of that hospital and he gave me some new scaring, my third back surgery, and I have some new fusion in the L4 L5 area.

I have degenerative back disease and my discs are not has healthy as they might be. It affects how I walk, and no amount of  core strength classes can save it.  I mean exercise helps, but eventually, it requires repair.  I have a lovely set of walker, grabber, and back brace paraphernalia to wear and use.  I’ve received countless messages and a vase of flowers from friends and I can’t cook for a while! It’s not all bad. And I met some nice people at the hospital. A couple were writers!

If I sound a little groggy it is because I am but I’m trying to maintain. I’m reading a new book, Big Magic, by Melissa Gilbert.  You might like it.  It is about living the creative life.  I can read it while I take it easy.

What are you reading this week?

 

 

 

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2020: Fewer Possessions, More Experiences – Beach Read!

    Sandhill Island is a mythical place – a place in my mind.  But I could live there.  I would love the slow pace and the self-reliant people who live near and on the water.  They have adventures, romances, and lives of every type.  They are islanders. As I write about them I can smell the salt air, and hear the relentless waves washing up on shore.

The first novel, Secrets of Sandhill Island, (http://tinyurl.com/gnjp94b) is about Meg and her search for the truth about her lover and her father.  She’s lived a lifetime raising the son who never knew his father and now it is time to love again as soon as she finds out who is trying to blackmail her.

The second novel, Stones of Sandhill Island, (https://tinyurl.com/y9qp6qzp) revolves around Billie Stone, who sings the blues – on and off the island.  She lost her husband and son to a drunk driver and now lives with her mother back where she grew up – on Sandhill Island.  She struggles to live her life and learn to love after losing everything in life.  And she packs in the audience when she sings at Le Chez after leaving her jazz career in the big city of Corpus Christi.

And soon to release, a novella about the only ice cream shop on the island. Strawberry Sundae Delights involves new characters who live on the island and work at the only ice cream store there – Auntie’s Ice Cream Shack – Home of the World-Famous Strawberry Sundae. Courageous people live on Sandhill Island even if they only sell ice cream for a living.  There can be danger around every corner.  The story is part of the One Scoop or Two series for The Wild Rose Press, but if you have read the first two books, you’ll want to see what happens next.

Check it out and keep an eye out for the third Sandhill Island Book, Smugglers of Sandhill Island, my WIP.

What are you reading this week?

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2020: Fewer Possessions, More Experiences – Witches’ Cliff

IT’S HOT OUTSIDE! And I’m not talking about the political scene.  The temperatures in Oklahoma have reached the century mark and the humidity is trying to keep up with it.  If you’re going outside, do it early morning or late evening.  I’m sure it’s the same wherever you are.

So, to help cool you down, I’m suggesting a great fall tale about fantasy and love at a quaint Vermont inn.  Witches’ Cliff is a short novella sure to make you say ahhh.  It is current and sweet with just enough fantasy splashed in to make you believe in witches at Halloween.

Penny Winters flees to her birthplace in Vermont to consider the marriage proposal she left behind in Salem. Complicating her already difficult decision, she is smitten when she encounters handyman Liam on the porch of the quaint Deerbourne Inn.

A modern-day wiccan, Penny intends to contact her distant great-grandmother, who died on the cliffs when Willow Springs held witch trials. Penny needs advice, and the best time to connect to her ancestors is on Halloween. But she is not the only witch in Willow Springs, and they both have their eye on the same man. And who is the old woman who keeps appearing, telling her to go home?

Penny comes to the cliff to seek Grandma’s advice. But Halloween is an important holiday for a witch, and she is not alone on the cliffs that night. Penny will have to battle not only for Liam’s attention, but for her life.

Witches’ Cliff is available electronically for only $1.99 or in paperback from The Wild Rose Press at https://www.thewildrosepress.com/product/witches-cliff.  However you prefer to read, grab a lemonade or iced tea and check out Witches’ Cliff.  Vermont in the fall is sure to cool you down while the romance and suspense heat you up!

What are you reading this week?

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