2018 Clearing My Life: Two New Reads!

Check out my two new reads!

Peggy Chambers "Views from the Hammock" site

      I’m clearing my life of unwanted clutter and offering up new and inventive ideas this year.

I’ve put out two new books in the last six months. Sometimes months of hard work on individual projects end up coming to fruition at approximately the same time and that is how it worked for me.

In the fall I released a fantasy YA book, Return to Glome’s Valley, which takes place in the valleys of southeast Oklahoma near the Heavener Runestone.  It is the sequel to Glome’s Valley and takes place 14 years later when Ethan has become a man.  He returns to the place he played as a child and finds escapades and secrets that only an adult could handle. Some mysteries should remain simply that. There are new adventures for some of the old characters and you might meet a dragon. It is available on Amazon at

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2018 Clearning my Life: Probates, Self-publishing, and a Great Weekend

    My mother died of cancer 18 years ago, one day before seeing her great grandson born.  She tried desperately tried to hang on to see that little bundle of joy, but nature had other ideas.  The next day I became a grandmother.  I couldn’t attend the birth because I needed to help my dad, who had Alzheimer’s and heart disease, plan a funeral.  That morning I put my husband’s pickup in a ditch when I hit the only patch of ice in the whole town.  They say things come in threes.

In my quest to empty closets before my kids must tackle the mess, I began going through some of the things related to the death, burial and probate of my parent’s estate.  Why I kept all the paid bills from the probate I’ll never know.  It might be a good idea to keep them for a year or so after the probate, but 18 years?  I mean really. But they went into recycling today after I picked through making sure there were no Social Security numbers on the papers.  I shredded the ones that did.

I also found a couple of boxes of my father-in-law’s things. In one were two flashlights that still worked after sitting for 14 years!  I need to send a letter to Duracell Batteries congratulating them.

I just wanted to let you know I am still working on clearing my life.  There remain seven boxes in the front bedroom closet that I will tackle this summer.  I hate to think they are seven boxes of pictures.  I have two sisters who might be getting packages in the mail! I think my closets have been storage bins long enough.

Yesterday the Enid Writers Club and the Public Library of Enid and Garfield County hosted a writing workshop with Jennifer McMurrain http://www.jennifermcmurrain.com/ as speaker.  She talked about being Indy Strong – or being a self-published author.  Jennifer has created her own publishing company – LilyBear House http://www.lilybearhouse.com/ – and she is the author of 17 books, short-stories & novellas as well as has participated in several anthologies.  She writes for Chicken Soup for the Soul and is an Amazon Best-Selling author.  She lives in Bartlesville and was kind enough to travel to Enid for our workshop.

I’ve known Jennifer for several years and always marvel at her energy.  Mother of a grade-school aged daughter and soon to be mother of number 2, she takes her job as novelist seriously.  She writes every day and she self-publishes those works.  She also is involved as a beta reader for Andrew Kaufman – Amazon award winning author. I’d like that job!

As usual, I learned tons from Jennifer – mostly I learned I need to find some of that energy too.  She is gentle and caring and always lends a hand to other authors.  I can’t wait to see her again at the OWFI Conference coming up in May.  If you’ve never attended an Oklahoma Writer’s Federation, Inc. conference check them out https://www.owfi.org/. They have great speakers and you are bound to learn a lot and meet some very interesting people, like Jennifer.

Are you writing this week?  Tell me about it.

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2018 Clearing My Life: Easter Weekend

    I had a great time at the Meet the Artists! event at A New Chapter Bookstore and Café yesterday.  Music by Chloe-Beth, coffee and tea from the bookstore and even cookies!  From 4-6 the public shuffled in and out and were entertained by the music of Chloe-Beth (much of it original).  Families came and brought the kids.  The relaxed atmosphere brought music and literature together in a cozy environment.  Friends bought books and drank coffee and tea and enjoyed the early spring afternoon.  

    Enid has a lot to do for a small town and plenty to get involved in; some for pleasure others for need.  The Garfield County Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children (CASA) hold an event each year on the Courthouse square.  The wooden children in the picture represent the 246 cases of abused or neglected children in Garfield County reported to authorities each year.  Many are never reported. The numbers incline or decline depending up on the year, but Enid is not a metropolitan city and Garfield County is not an especially large county.  I think that number is much too high, but CASA is working hard to reduce it.  My husband and I adopt one of these wooden children each year and dress it, take it to the Courthouse lawn with all the others and hope that the money collected will be enough to help with this worthwhile project.  

It’s Easter Sunday and many of my readers are home with family and friends celebrating this holy day.  I met a friend in the grocery store yesterday as I prepared for our small feast for two.  Her family combines Easter with a family reunion each year and the dinner will be for over 200 in a hall that is rented.  No one has a house big enough for that.  But whether your celebration is for 2 or 200, I hope you have a great Easter.

Happy Easter everyone.  What are you doing on this holiday?

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2018 Clearing My Life: Meet the Artists!

    I recently met an incredible talent right here in my own hometown.  Chloe Beth Campbell (stage name Chloe-Beth) has a voice like an angel. She writes and performs her own music and released her first CD on her 18th birthday titled Remnant. She has gigs all over town – and some out of town – and I am sure she will go far in her singing career.

We decided to incorporate our art in a Meet the Artists! party at the new bookstore in town, A New Chapter Bookstore and Café.   On Saturday, March 31, 2018, 4-6 pm we will be together as she performs her music and sells the new CD.  I will be promoting my newest book Stones of Sandhill Island – which incidentally is about a jazz singer.

There will be local pastries and coffee/tea and an afternoon of fun. Local talent and a locally owned bookstore team up to make your spring an enjoyable one.  Take home a book to read or CD to listen to on your patio.  Spring is here, and you want to make the most of it before the hot Oklahoma winds run you back inside.

Meet the Artists! March 31, 2018 from 4-6 at A New Chapter Bookstore and Café, 232 West Randolph at the corner of West Randolph and North Washington, in downtown Enid.  Come join us!

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2018 Clearing My Life: I’m So Busy!

    I’m still cleaning white woodwork.  The more I clean, the more dirt I find. Cobwebs love the lattice work. Eventually, cleaning will have to be painting, though I try to deny it. The white, while clean and crisp, only remains that way for so long.

I guess spring cleaning is like that.  I’ve been clearing out some closets and even got my husband in on the game.  He was working on the office yesterday bringing me tidbits of our life.

“Look at this from 1000 years ago!”

“It’s trash.  The kids don’t need to have to throw that away when we’re gone.”

I’ve also cleaned out flower beds and marveled at Mother’s Nature’s resiliency.  Even after a mild winter with ridiculous cold snaps and little moisture, she brings back the flowers.

That’s one goal of mine this year, clearing my life of clutter. But it is not all I am doing.  As usual I’m writing more than one book (editing a couple) and have feelers out for publishing another.  I’m a writer and I can’t not write. It’s an obsession that must be fed.

I spent an hour with L A Talk Radio The Writers Block this week as we talked about my two new books, Stones of Sandhill Island and Return to Glome’s Valley. If you are interested, here is the link to the interview. http://latalkradio.com/content/writer-031518%20#audio_play. Jim Christina, Bobbie Jean Bell and Richard Paolinelli are great hosts who read your book and then discuss them with you.  Listen in to their Thursday night radio show.  They always have entertaining guests and they make them feel at ease.

Mark your calendars for March 31, 2018 from 4-6A New Chapter Bookstore and Café is hosting me and the uber talented Chloe-Beth Campbell as I showcase my books and she performs and sells her new CD.  Chloe-Beth is a marvel.  She released her first CD on her 18th birthday and I’m sure this girl will go far.  I am thrilled to be sharing this event with her.  Come down to 232 West Randolph in downtown Enid for the book signing/performance. There will be locally baked pastries and fresh coffee/tea from the café.

Today I’m back to a little more writing and cleaning – my daily life.  I had no idea I’d be this busy in retirement, but it is because I have time to do the things I want to do instead of the things I have to do.  I love being my own boss.  I plan to stay busy as long as I have breath to do it with.  Sitting in a rocking chair and watching soap operas has never been my style.

Whether you work outside the home, run your own business or work for someone else, are you busy? What have you done this week?

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2018 Clearing your Life: L A Talk Radio, The Writers Block Interview

    Sitting out here on the prairie writing stories, I’ve made some friends in California.  Thursday March 15, 2018 at 7:00 PST (9:00 CST) I will be a guest on The Writers Block radio show.

LA Talk Radio the Writers Block http://www.latalkradio.com/content/writers-block interviews writers every week on their radio show and I’ve been lucky enough to be invited back.  To steal a phrase from their website; internet talk radio is the wave of the future.

Jim Christina, Bobbie Bell, Richard Paolinelli, and Gerry Christina in the office, welcome writers of all genres with open arms. It will be my second interview with them and they always make me feel welcome.  We’ll talk about my two new books, Stones of Sandhill Island and Return to Glome’s Valley.

Other than the fact that the hosts are genuine and kind, one of the best things about the interview is they have read my books!  And they can’t wait to talk about it.  I sent them copies to read in advance and they’ll have questions ready that I might not be prepared for.

Many years ago, when we were young, my husband was in radio.  But things have really changed! The internet has transformed everyone’s life with information at your fingertips twenty-four seven, but the old-style radio sitting at a microphone reading copy is no longer the way it is done.  I’ll sit in my writing-recliner surrounded by my books and try to sound intelligent while they make me feel at ease. I love talking with the hosts of The Writers Block.

Join us on Channel 2 http://www.latalkradio.com/Channel%202 Thursday at 7:00 PST (9:00 CST) with a cup of coffee and listen in.  The hour will be fun and informative, and you too will become a fan of LA Talk Radio the Writers Block. Come join the fun.

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2018 Clearing Your Life: Enid Author Fest!

   Yesterday was the second annual Enid Author Fest at the downtown library.  Over 40 authors were in attendance and there were panel discussions with the authors, readings by the children’s authors and even Doc, the reading dog, made an appearance.  (Doc can’t read, but he loves someone to read to him. He has his own story time at the library on Tuesdays at 4:00, come read to him!)  

It was a great opportunity to see people you only get a chance to talk with at festivals and conferences.  I had an opportunity to have lunch with my friend and Enid Writers Club member, Ann Ritchie.  She invited Sheldon Russell, author of the Bridge Troll Murders, and his wife Nancy.  Nancy is a sculptor and we talked about Viking Runestones. It is always fun to meet someone new.

Terri Sauer, children’s author of Wordy Birdy, presented a reading of her book along with the bird himself.  Many of the children’s authors read from their books and entertained the readers who attended.  

I was a participant on a panel with two other suspense authors, Dennis McDonald and Nancy Chastain and we talked about our writing process to a small group who was interested in how our stories came together.

I can’t wait to do this again next year and hopefully grow it until we need a new building.  By the way, I bought new books even as I try to cull out some old ones.  Sigh.

See you next year in March for the third Enid Author Fest!

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2018 Clearing Your Life: Enid Author Fest!

    Saturday, March 3, 2018 over forty of the state’s finest authors will converge at the Enid Public Library. The festival, in conjunction with the Public Library of Enid and Garfield County, Friends of the Library, and Enid Writers Club, will host the second annual Enid Author Fest!  Festivities begin at 1:00 at the downtown library 120 West Maine and end at 5:00. The public is invited to meet and discuss all things literary with the local authors.  Their books will be available for purchase at tables set up in the downstairs area.

Panel discussions will be upstairs in the Great Plains Room with the adult authors and readings of children’s and young adult books will take place in the Youth Services area on the first floor.  There will be raffles for door prizes and the event is free and open to the public.

Here is the list of when your favorite author speaks:

Panel Discussions

Great Plains Room, floor 2

Mystery Authors 1:15-2:00

F. L. Wylie

Mary Coley

Marion Moore Hill

Sheldon Russell

Fiction Authors 2:10-3:00

Nancy Chastain

Jennifer McMurrain

Peggy Chambers

Dennis McDonald

Non-fiction Authors 3:10-3:40

Ruth Ann Replogle

Toni Huffman

Susie Moore

Non-fiction Authors 3:50-4:40

Patricia Campbell

Charles Sasser

Ronald R. Switzer

Kent Frates


Youth Services Area, floor 1

Children’s Authors

1:10       Tammi Sauer

1:30       Gaye Sanders

1:40       Una Belle Townsend

1:50       Marcia K. Grogan

2:00       Sandy Tharp-Thee

Young Adult Authors

2:10       Susan A. Meyers

2:20       Veronica Fuxa

2:30       J. O. Young

2:40       Bill Eckel

2:50       C. M. Healy

Children’s Authors

3:00       Barbara Lowell

3:10        Mariana Llanos

3:20       Barbara Hay

3:30       Deanna Atkinson

3:40       Sandra Lawson

3:50       Paula L. Davidson

4:00       Ann Ritchie

Be sure to join us this coming Saturday and bring the kids.  Show your support for local authors and meet some like minded people at the second annual Enid Author Fest!  Books make great gifts and remember to leave a review if you enjoy the book.

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2018 Clearing Your Life: Of Dust and Books

I have white woodwork throughout my house and it looks clean and crisp – until it doesn’t.  I like the tons of natural light in my house and the openness of the floorplan, but dust settles where dust wants.  Today I’m cleaning woodwork.  First vacuuming, followed by scrubbing and eventually some of it MUST be repainted.  It is amazing how quickly dirt piles up on that tiny quarter inch of wood. No, I’m not taking a picture, you’ll have to imagine.

    But I also do other things in my life besides fight dirt and clutter.  I’m a writer and I am involved with all things writerly.  Next month on March 3rd the Enid Public Library, in conjunction with the Enid Writers Club, will present the second annual Enid Author Fest at the library https://enid.okpls.org/2018-author-fest/ .  On that Saturday afternoon, more than 40 Oklahoma (and surrounding states) authors will converge on the main floor of the Enid Public Library.  Upstairs there will be author panel discussions about books and the genres they write.  The children’s department will also have readings from YA and children’s books.  Books can be purchased from the authors downstairs at their tables and the public can browse, meet and converse with the authors or wander upstairs to listen.  I am truly looking forward to this annual occasion once again.  I met so many people last year and hope those same will return and bring friends.  I hope this festival eventually outgrows the library and is forced into moving across the street to the new Enid Convention Center in years to come.  I want it to become something the city and the authors can point to and say, “I helped create that!” And I want the public to enjoy it as much as I do.

I enjoy watching the arts showcase their wares and Enid has a very active artistic culture.  We have a new bookstore in town, A New Chapter Bookstore and Cafe just joined our city.  They are located at 232 W. Randolph at the corner of West Randolph and North Washington just a few blocks from the downtown square and the library.  We also have an annual Fly Film Festival in August that takes place over a long weekend.  Creative Arts of Enid continually puts on workshops for the public and there are many I am forgetting.

Come to Enid on March 3rd and checkout our beautiful library and the authors that will be there.  We can’t wait to meet you.

Now, back to my dusting and de-cluttering.

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2018 Clearing Your Life: Negatives and Positives

    Going through receipts and trying to get organized this week, I found there was no more room in the file cabinet.  Something had to go.  Over the 45-year marriage we’ve taken a lot of pictures and many of those in the first 35 years were film.  That meant we have a lot of negatives.  And we’ve kept them all. I pulled out several envelopes stuffed in the file cabinet with pictures and negatives – many of which were not needed.  Some from a time I took a photography class and others of the kids when they were young.  The stuff from the photography class had to go.  One more thing cleared out this week, I mean, who saves their negatives in a file cabinet? I felt I needed to report in about my progress. But, I had a better story to tell you than just my clearing out negatives this week. There were also positive in my life and those of others.

My children grew up in a house with animals.  We had cats, dogs, fish, birds and my husband had a small cow-calf operation.  We even had a horse for a while.  They learned to love animals and it became evident this week that that love still blooms. 

  My son found a small dog in the middle of a busy four-lane street that runs through town limping and barely avoiding traffic.  He scooped him up, called animal control, and took him to his vet.  The leg was out of joint and it had no tags, so it needed medical attention and at least a rabies shot.  After the visit to the vet, Animal Control called to say the owner was looking for the dog and gave my son a name and address.  An elderly couple was searching for their equally elderly dog, half blind, half deaf and lost.  My son had just the dog and took him to the couple.  They were elated to be reunited with their long-time companion.  With two dogs at home and several cats, my son really didn’t need another, but he was willing to take the dog in if the owner could not be found.    It was a good ending to a story.

Several years ago, my daughter decided she wanted a therapy dog for her mental health practice.  She picked the most adorable pup in a mixed-breed litter that someone was fostering, and he grew up as she took him to puppy training classes. And he grew, and he grew.  That wonderful dog became a part of a family with two small elderly dogs but never did become a therapy dog.  He never out-grew the puppy side.  He is the size of a Great Dane now and is a loveable pet but would scare many clients with his deep bark and size.  So, he is a pet.  After the small dogs died, she brought home another from an adoption event so the first would not be alone.  The second is a digger, but mild-mannered.  Another addition to a house with two cats, two dogs, and a possible lizard in my grandson’s room (I haven’t seen him in a while, I guess he’s still there).  The house is never without animals. 

I’m sure it is the fault of the children’s parents that they grew up to have such love for animals, but they provide good homes for them.  They are pampered and loved.  It is a good thing they both have big houses.

A positive to go with my negatives. Now, back to my de-cluttering.


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