2018 Clearing my Life: Sandhill Island

    Sandhill Island is a magical place.  The lives of the people on the island are linked to the sea and her bounty.  Meg grows a garden in a salty environment, Alex paints the ocean with Meg’s produce for medium, Paul fishes for shrimp, Sam cooks for his neighbors and tourists, and Billie sings the blues.

Having lived by the sea all their lives, these people know her moods and are affected by the environment around them.  The sea sooths their souls. But like the sea in all her moods, the people are not always calm and serene.  Sometimes lives are turned upside down.

In Secrets of Sandhill Island, Meg grows her garden while hiding out from the past and that of her family.  The father of her son died before they could marry and start a life together leaving her to raise the boy alone with a tyrannical grandfather making their decisions for them. Now that Jon is grown and Meg lives on the island alone, her past begins to catch up with her – and it is not all good.  There is a lot of money in Meg’s family and money brings out the worst in most people.

In Stones of Sandhill Island Billie sings the blues because of her love of music but also because of the loss of her family.  She comes home to take care of her ailing mother and Sam hires her to sing at the restaurant on the weekends.  But her past also followed her from Corpus Christi.  The man who caused the accident that killed her family wants redemption and is willing to go to any length to get it.

Sandhill Island is a real island in my mind.  There are lots of islands off the coast of Corpus Christi and cities dotting the Gulf of Mexico.  But Sandhill Island is the most beautiful and interesting.

Pick up a copy of Secrets of Sandhill Island http://tinyurl.com/gnjp94b (coming soon to audio) or Stones of Sandhill Island https://tinyurl.com/y9qp6qzp  and immerse yourself in the lives of the inhabitants. They ebb and flow like the sea and you will be caught up in their lives like a rip tide.  You won’t be able to get away from Sandhill Island like the inhabitants who live there.

It’s almost time for a beach read.

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2018 Clearing your Life: Happy Mother’s Day!

    I’ve been a mother for a long time and I may slowly be getting the hang of it.  I married young and had my first child much too early, but we persevered (That’s me in in the middle with the blooming belly).  Because as a parent, what else can you do?  The child is dependent on you.  And you will find you are also dependent on the child.  The bond between mother and child never ends.  I can’t imagine the pain of losing one, but I’m lucky to have never had to face that obstacle. 

I had two children, one girl and one boy, and then decided I’d filled the house up and it was time to quit.  They were the best thing I ever did with my life and somedays I wondered why.  If you’ve raised teenagers, that sentence needs no explanation.     

My life without my kids would have been flat.  They brought joy and tears, but it was never dull.  I had one that was a daredevil, so we often saw the inside of an emergency room. One was driven to dance and sometimes needed to be carried to the car with bleeding toes.

I worked outside the home, raised kids, and always put something on the table for dinner – it was not always delicious, but it was supper.  My kids knew they were loved and had a home to come to, and an ear to listen.  Sometimes Mom would blow, and the household wasn’t happy, but she was always there.

    Today my kids are middle-aged which makes me old, but we are still a family.  Last night my grandson graduated from high school and heads to college in the fall.  I remember this stage in life when my kids were that age.  A child in college, one in high school and my parents retired and left town six months out of the year.  “Here’s the key, look after our house and pay the bills from this checkbook. We’ll call later.”  I had lots to do with a job, teenagers and aging parents.  But I would do nothing different.  It was life.  It was family. And it was what I wanted to do.

Today, I’m a grandmother, mother, wife and author.  My latest adventure on this planet is writing stories – some true, others not.  But still it is another adventure.  I’m lucky to have been able to live my life the way I wanted; marry my sweetheart, have a career, look after my parents, but most of all be a mother. 

I wouldn’t have it any other way. Happy Mother’s Day! 

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2018 Clearing my Life: The Apocalypse Sucks

    Years ago, I had an imagination flash and wrote a post-apocalyptic short story called Bra Wars.  A publisher who is no longer in business liked it and wanted 4 or 5 more stories in the world I created to e-publish.  I wrote them.  Eventually the short stories turned into a book titled The Apocalypse Sucks, a snarky take on civilization after a virus decimates most of humanity.  I mean if you can’t make fun of the end of the world, what can you make fun of?   Eventually that book found itself in the hands of the uber-talented Airship 27 Productions and with the help of Andy Fish http://www.andytfish.com/ and Zachary Brunner https://www.facebook.com/zachbrunnertattoo/ on cover and inside illustrations, it became a pulp fiction novel.

That book is still in print, e-published and on audio.  You can pick up a copy of the audio version on Amazon’s www.Audible.com. This week I received and newsletter from the publisher and found out something amazing.  The Apocalypse Sucks still lives!

Here’s what Airship 27 said about my little book:

PEGGY RULES THE AUDIO WORLD – A fun fact. While tallying sales from our books, Kindles and audio books for the first quarter, we discovered the one audio book that got more downloads than any other was THE APOCALYPSE SUCKS by Peggy Chambers.  Way to go, Peggy!  Obviously, you’ve a few fans among the audio book lovers out there.

The blurb on the back of the book tells the story:

There’s no apocalypse handbook.  Sandra and Molly were two typical office workers enjoying their lives, which consisted primarily of going to work, shopping and looking for cute guys.  Then their world came to a disastrous end brought about by a fast-acting, airborne virus that decimated the world’s population.

Now the girls live in the abandoned office building which they once worked in surrounded by a new and dangerous landscape; one where mutated animals roam the streets and giant birds soar through empty skies; where frightening humanoid bat creatures have appeared to challenge humans for supremacy of the earth.

What are two attractive, intelligent, single girls supposed to do now. . . other than merely hunt for food and try to stay alive?  Well, there are still malls, albeit much less crowded, and though rare, a few cute guys still out there.  So even if the apocalypse sucks, Sandra and Molly are not about to let it cramp their style.

A truly unique, twisty adventure with two of the most likeable heroines you’ll ever meet.  “The Apocalypse Sucks,” is a pulp mash-up readers are sure to enjoy from cover to cover.

The Apocalypse Sucks is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and fine bookstores everywhere in paperback, electronic publishing and now on www.Audible.com.  

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2018 Clearing my Life: Gambling on Wine

    I’m not a gambler.  My version of gambling is – do I have to shave my legs today?  What are the odds of my pant leg hiking up, so anyone will notice.  So, with that mindset, I went to the casinos this weekend.

My husband’s cousins from Texas came to town and we tried to show them a good time.  The first day we took them to Bricktown and walked until our feet were screaming.  The cousin’s Fitbit said she had the best day ever!  We rode the water taxi, visited a winery/tasting room, roamed the Festival of the Arts, ate too much, got sunburned, and enjoyed the beautiful weather. 

The second day was once again wineries in northwest Oklahoma. We tasted and purchased a lot of Oklahoma wines. I was amazed at some of the wineries that showed up in the middle of nowhere and were wonderful. My husband’s family is originally from the Fairview/Isabella area and we went to the old cemetery where the cousins used to be dragged by their mothers when they were boys. We found lots of headstones with names they recognized.  It’s a tiny rural cemetery and a pickup pulled in and a woman got out.  “What are you doing?” she asked kindly but firmly.  Turned out she was a shirt-tail relative we’d never met.  

Today it is casinos in the Ponca City area with a steak dinner promised.  On Saturday after the Bricktown tour on the way home to Enid, we stopped at Lucky Star Casino near El Reno.  Big gambler that I am, I put a $20 bill into a slot machine.  I managed to bet on it for about an hour and came home with a voucher too small for anymore bets.  Oh well, I could have bought more wine instead of pugging the machines, but I didn’t. I was on vacation.

We promise not to eat so much today.  We might not last at the gambling casinos. The cousins are high rollers unlike my husband and me and they are used to the life style.  But I could feed the machines $20 bills, or I could hand them over to a winery and put on weight.  Either way, it will be fun just because of the company. 

We are reconnecting with family after almost 30 years and we know we don’t have as many years ahead as we did behind.  We’re making the most of the adventure.

Wish me luck at the casinos today and I’ll try not to eat and drink as much today or get sunburned.  But those casinos can really make the Fitbit happy.  Some of them are huge!  Maybe I’ll get a little exercise.

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2018 Clearing my Life: Island Life

    Victim mentality is an acquired personality trait in which a person tends to recognize themselves as a victim of the negative actions of others, and to behave as if this were the case.

Billie Stone felt she was a victim of life.  A beautiful woman with the voice of an angel living on an idyllic island with the artistic mother she loved. Even with the beauty around her she felt alone after her husband and son were killed in an accident. Her music was the only thing that got her out of bed some days – that and her aging mother. And she wanted her life back.

Joe Franks felt like a victim of life when everything he’d ever worked for was taken from him and he was forced into pizza delivery to make ends meet.  He never meant to hurt anyone on that dark Texas highway. Suddenly the minivan was in front of him and he couldn’t avoid it.  He went to prison, lost his house, car, and job. Society was determined to keep him down.

Who was the victim and who was the victimizer? 

Franks saw Billie as the lucky one.  She had a job she loved, a beach house on an island to live in, and he wanted his life back. So, the man who killed her family approached her wanting her help – and when she wouldn’t give it, he tried to take it from her.

Stones of Sandhill Island picks back up where Secrets of Sandhill Island left off.  Some of the same characters make an appearance, but the main character – Sandhill Island – is once again in the forefront. The island is home to a handful of inhabitants who are wooed by her beauty and live their lives loving the calm and isolation it brings.  The people are kind – except when exploited – and take care of each other and their island. 

Billie Stone would get her life back if it killed her.

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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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