Kindle $.99 sale!!!!

    Kindle version on sale for $.99 starting tomorrow, 3/15 – 3/31! Pick up a copy and leave me a review!

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2019 Life-Long Learning: Learning to Move On

    Erin was a hard-working young woman who grew up helping her mother in her flower shop.  She loved her mother but did not want to emulate her. She wanted to be like her aunt, a partner in a Tulsa law firm.  And to reach that goal she planned to go to college and study law.  She had the scholarship, part-time job at the flower shop and could live at home in Mannford on the lake. She planned to drive into Tulsa to go to school. She had plans. Then her aunt offered her a law clerk position in her firm while she went to college. Life was about to change.

Erin was sexually harassed at the senior prom by a boy she thought liked her. She was a lucky one, he only embarrassed her in front of the whole class. Others were not so lucky. Once on campus, women begin to talk about a student who was raping women.  Many women were afraid to come forward and put a stop to the terror. They planned to just put it behind them and be more careful. But Erin knew the truth and had had enough.  She saw the bullying in high school escalate to rape in college and she was now in a position to help bring the women together to put an end to the abuse.  And then her best friend disappeared.

Keystone Lake is a beautiful part of Oklahoma and makes a great backdrop for mystery and intrigue.  Blooming Justice is the beginning of the series and I’m sure there will be many more stories from this part of the country.

Erin is learning that sometimes you have to stand up for yourself and others and not just put the bad things behind you.  It is a life-long learning event.

Check out Blooming Justice and if you enjoy the story, leave me a review!

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2019 Life-long Learning: Learning About Books

    I spent the day yesterday at the Enid Public Library with 40 or 50 of my dearest friends. The Enid Author Fest just completed its third year – and it was a good one. We had poets, novelists, comic book editors, and even Doc joined us.  He normally does.  He loves to be read a story. He really doesn’t care what it is about. I saw a darling picture of him being read to and I could not find it when it was time to blog.  If you have that picture and want to share, please post it in the comment section.

I’ve volunteered with the Enid Public Library for years and love to help as much as possible with the Author Fest.  The Enid Writers Club was one of the sponsors and we were thrilled to be a part of the festival.

The festival not only brought authors together for readers to meet, it also brought lovers of literature into one place.  Being around like minds can get the creative juices flowing. In speaking to my fellow authors yesterday, it became apparent that reading and writing are as viable as ever.  Anyone who thinks reading is dead, just hasn’t been talking to writers.  We love what we do, or we wouldn’t be doing it.  No one in that group is getting rich. That is not the reason for the festival.

In ancient times tribes has storytellers to entertain and keep the history of the people.  In today’s modern world, our storytellers are writers.  Whether the story is fiction or non-fiction, it begs to be told and writers bow gracefully to its demands.

I’m looking forward to next year’s Enid Author Fest.  The library is already gearing up for the next festival and we hope to see you there.

Thanks to Martha Draper and Carolyn Leonard for allowing me to use their photos.  I was too busy to take many. I got home about 6:00 pm and sat down on the sofa.  It wasn’t until then that I realized how tired I was.  It had been a long day with tons of fun.  I spent the evening eating Chinese food in my sweat pants reveling in the day.

Did you go to the Enid Author Fest this year and who was your favorite author? Leave them a review!

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2019 Life-long Learning: Learning to Relax

    I find more each day just how retired I am.  I think back to when I worked, and sometimes fell in bed at midnight exhausted, I realize just how happy I am that I don’t have to anymore.  I have to admit, I still wake up in a sweat dreaming that I’ve started a new job and can’t find anything or do anything right.  Then I wake up and think what is wrong with you?  Can you not let go of stress?

February is my birthday month.  It is also my daughter’s birthday month and we got together yesterday and treated ourselves to a massage with a woman who takes good care of her often.  It was wonderful! 

Today I met a friend for lunch to celebrate my birthday and the beginning of a new adventure for her.  She has a new job coming up and will be moving away.  We met at a little Italian place and sat and talked for two hours.  I know they thought we would never leave.  We ate too much and talked forever and had a great time. Then I came home and had a nap.  That is what you do when you eat too much! I don’t think I’ll want supper.

I could never do such things when I was working.  I had more disposable cash, but I didn’t have time to spend it – at least on me. But that is what birthdays, weekends, and friends are for.

I need to do laundry and the dishes.  I will heat up some soup that is in the frig for my husband’s dinner. Suddenly I realized I had still not written my blog.  It is a lazy weekend.  A weekend from what, I really don’t know.  I love being retired.

I should be writing.

How was your weekend and what did you accomplish?   

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10 Things to do When Your Novel has Been Rejected by an Agent

Uninspired Writers

Morning all, I hope your week has been full of success and happiness.

I’m querying at the moment, which means I am receiving rejections in interludes, from agents I’ve submitted to. It’s such an odd experience, and I wanted to share some tips of how to handle your novel being rejected.

1. Allow yourself to be sad
Writers are constantly advised to develop a thick skin, and I agree. It’s a tough industry, one where we will come up against rejection, negative feedback and criticism. This doesn’t mean you can’t feel sad though. Allow yourself the negative emotions that come wit a rejection; sadness, disappointment, frustration, worry…go through them, but do not dwell on them for long.
“i give myself a good cry if i need it. but then i concentrate on the good things still in my life. i don't allow myself any more self-pity than that 2. Treat yourself
You should only treat yourself when you’ve had success, right? Wrong! Writing, editing, revising and re-writing a novel is a gruelling task and a huge achievement. Crafting a submission and…

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2019 Life-Long Learning: Loving a Pet

It’s Sunday and that means it is blog day for me.  The main thing on my mind today is the weather.  I am SO SICK OF WINTER!  The dumb groundhog lied to us again.  Valentine’s Day was beautiful here in Enid, Oklahoma with temperatures near 70°. We grilled a steak out and then the next morning when my husband went out to put the grill up, here is what he found. 

I shouldn’t complain, it is not nearly as bad here in Oklahoma as it is back east and up north where they are buried in feet of snow.  We got a little snow. I was unaware as I left my house on the north end of town yesterday and headed south, but there was snow the further south I went.  I slid a little.  I’m very protective of my old body and try to be careful.

Today is sunny and supposed to get near 40° and that means it is bath time for my indoor dog.  The rest of the week is supposed to be cold and snowy again.  She gets a bath about once a month and I’m a week late already.  I’ll put her out for a while to be sure everything that needs to happen outside has happened; and then in the nice warm bathtub (to be scrubbed down after) I will bathe her.  She’s not crazy about it, but if she lives in the house, she has to be clean.  Besides, she’s been scratching more than normal lately.  Probably dry winter skin and a month’s worth of dirt. 

This little indoor, 40-pound, mixed breed dog has stolen my heart in ways I wasn’t planning on allowing.  We had a 70-pound Golden Retriever when the kids were young who was like the third child in the house.  He didn’t get monthly baths like he should have, and he was outside more than this one.  He got baths, but you haven’t lived until you’ve bathed a dog that size in the bathtub with a shower door on it.  I was younger then.  But that one stole my heart too – for 14 years before he died just as the kids were leaving home.  I wanted no more dogs.  But I got one and I don’t know what I’d do without her. She will be 9 years-old in March.

So, while the sun is out and it is a little warmer, she gets her bath today.  She always acts like she hates it, but it is obvious she feels better afterwards and is frisky until a nap overtakes her.  I may need one too after all that activity.

Have your pets stolen your heart?  Tell me about them.

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2019 Life-Long Learning: Learning Through Travel

    In the early 1980s we traveled to Jamaica – and met a couple from Tulsa who became good friends. It was our first trip outside the United States, and we were not yet 30.  We left the kids with Grandma and embarked on a week-long island adventure.  Babes in Toyland.

Recently a long-time friend who I just reconnected with on Facebook posted pictures of their trip to Zimbabwe.  It rang some bells for me.  I too, had to post a picture. We journeyed 8000 miles in the year 2000 – yes 19 years ago. It was a dream of my husband’s since he was a boy.  I was amazed at the culture, animals and kindness of the people we met.  It was the first time I’d crossed the Atlantic.  

After my husband’s trip I said I wanted to climb the pyramids on the Yucatan peninsula. I’d read a book and seen pictures and since I doubted I’d ever make it to Egypt, the pyramids in Mexico were a good second choice.   I loved the trip and I climbed the pyramid at Chitchen Itza. Going up was not as frightening as the trip down.

Then we decided we could fly to Hawaii and we went to the farthest island in the chain, Kawaii. I loved the quaintness of the island where there were roads that often were only wide enough for one vehicle at a time.  We took a helicopter ride to the center of an extinct volcano and viewed tiny waterfalls flowing under the road with children playing in the water.  

Lately we’ve been staying closer to home.  The older we become the slower we move.  But I’m getting restless.  Today is my 66th birthday and I’m ready for something exotic. We’re talking about Washing DC in the fall.  It can be exotic, especially during election time!  But I’m looking forward to the architecture.

I’m currently reading Grandma Gatewood’s Walk, the Inspiring Story of the Woman who Saved the Appalachian Trail by Ben Montgomery. She hiked the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine at the age of 67 – over 2000 miles on foot!  I feel like such a slug as I sit on the couch writing this blog.

Now that I’m retired and not making enough money for the trips I want to take, I could become a travel writer. You know, where they pay you to travel and write about it?  If my husband didn’t want to go, I could mail him a post card and check in on him and the dog now and then.

I think it is time for more adventures.  I don’t know how long I have to take advantage of them. Do you think anyone will hire me as a travel writer?  I long for adventure.

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2019 Life Long Learning: It’s a Party!

    Book releases can be life-long a learning process. Hopefully I did it with some finesse.

Last night 25 of my dearest friends joined me for a release party for my new novel, Blooming Justice.  You know they are good friends when they take time out of an early Saturday evening to show up at a local pub and join you for appetizers and celebration.  I sold out of my first batch of the book.  Some cousins came in from Texas! (surprise!) 

Blooming Justice released this week and I wanted to celebrate in style.  I asked Callahan’s Pub to set up tables upstairs and put out some food – and the rest took care of itself. I saw some people I hadn’t seen in years and met some spouses of others I knew from my writing club. It was very exciting. Friends, relatives and avid readers came together to celebrate, and I went away happy and very tired. I can’t figure out why I’m so tired, I really didn’t do that much.  It must have just been the excitement.

To see the work you, your critique group, and your editor put in for over a year now published in a bright shiny cover is a dream come true.  And to celebrate that feat with friends and family made it even better.  Now I have to finish the sequel!

Thank you so much to everyone who helped me celebrate.

What do you think of release parties for new books? Would you attend one? 

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2019 Life Long Learning: Counting vs. Working

    My sixth book will be released this week from my uber-talented publisher, The Wild Rose Press.  I am truly excited to show you Blooming Justice about a subject as current as the daily newspaper and I hope you will enjoy it.

Six books is a lot for me.  I looked up Stephen King and depending upon who you believe, he has either 88 or 58 published.  Maybe it was 88 written and 58 published.  I have a few that never made it to the publisher too. I think I counted 28 from one of my favorite authors, Anita Shreve.  I also found out she passed away last year, and I was unaware.  Maybe I was writing.

But I’ve never been very good at math and I doubt that numbers matter with this subject.  What matters is creativity.  Sometimes I have it and sometimes it eludes me.  I keep a mental file of ideas for stories and some of them come to fruition.  Others don’t.  My imagination works much harder than my fingers sometimes.

I find that when I’m publicizing a new book, my writing falls off and that has been the case this year.  While I was preparing to announce Blooming Justice, the others I’ve been working on suffered.  I need to get back to the keyboard.

But this Wednesday the 30th is the release day for Blooming Justice and Saturday night February 2, I am hosting a release party at Callahan’s in downtown Enid at 5:00.  Come by if you are in the neighborhood.  There will be appetizers on the table, and we can celebrate number six.  I’d love to see you.

I’ve learned that numbers don’t matter, but I still need to get back to the business of writing.  My creative side is missing out.

Check out Blooming Justice releasing Wednesday, January 30, 2019!

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2019 Life-long Learning: #MeToo

    I hesitate to use a hashtag for a cause that is as important and confrontational as the #metoo movement for a book promotion. But Blooming Justice is about a young woman who helps to bring a rapist to justice. So I believe it fits here. The story is as old as mankind and as current as the nightly news. 

I’ll bet not one woman reading this blog (and some men) can say they have not been sexually harassed, or worse, at some time in their lives. Many, like Erin in Blooming Justice, just decide it is not worth it and let it go. They get on with their lives and don’t look back. Bullying is about power and so is rape. Rape is not about the act of having sex but about making someone do the thing they don’t want to do and the humiliation that goes along with it. 

In Blooming Justice, Erin knows Todd from high school when he bullied for fun – before he escalates to rape.  She knows him because he sexually harassed her in front of the entire senior class.  She decides to just move on with her life. She wasn’t hurt, only embarrassed – and mad. Then she runs into him again on campus and starts hearing stories from other women he’s hurt. Sometimes you need to do more than just let it go if not for yourself, for the next person who will get hurt.  Sometimes you need to stop the violence.

Erin is luckier than Todd. She has a loving family and a mother and aunt who would die for her if they needed to.  Todd’s family hardly know he’s around and when he is, the harassment runs rampant.  He hates his parents and acts out by hurting others.

Erin’s aunt is an attorney in a very prestigious law firm in Tulsa and gets her a part time job at the firm while she goes to college at TU. Erin finds she is in the right place to make a difference when Todd begins to hurt the women on her campus. And this time she pushes back.

Set in Oklahoma on beautiful Keystone Lake, Blooming Justice releases on January 30, 2019 but is available in Kindle format for pre-ordering on Amazon now.  Check it out and let me know what you think.

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