Free Writing Workshop in Enid Saturday, July 21!

Saturday July 21, 2018 Enid Writers Club will host a free writing workshop at the Enid Public Library, 120 West Maine, Enid, OK 73701, from 1-4:30.  Please join us in the Great Plains Room upstairs in the library for an afternoon of fun and learning as Nikki Hannah, of Tulsa, and Vickey Kennedy, of Norman, dazzle us. Come see what they have to say.

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2018 Clearing Your Life: Book Sales and Vacations!

  It’s summer and time for family vacations – and book sales! I’ve put the two Glome’s Valley books on sale in Kindle form for $.99 each for the rest of the month just in time for summer vacations.

If you need a family vacation that is within our great state, the best place in Oklahoma this summer is the Heavener Runestone Park for camping and family fun.

Located in beautiful southeast Oklahoma (10 miles south of Poteau) is the mysterious sandstone monolith with Viking runes said to have been carved before Columbus discovered what is now America.

The Heavener Runestone sits in a rocky valley as a testament to the one who carved it.  Maybe it was Glome.  The Elder Futhark runes say “Glome’s Valley” as if someone was claiming the valley for their own. Today the stone is encased in glass to preserve it and a park has been built around it.  Twice a year, the second weekend in October and April, the park hosts a Viking Festival to commemorate the Vikings that may or may not have been in the valley a thousand years ago.

My first visit to the park, I was entranced by the beauty and mystery of the area and those feelings led to an Oklahoma fairytale, Glome’s Valley.  I was visiting the gift shop when a man came in with a preschool boy and he wanted to see the book In Plain Sight by Gloria Farley.  Ms. Farley was one of the biggest proponents of the school of thought that Columbus was not the first European to land on this continent.  I overheard the visitor at the gift shop say he was a PhD candidate and he had his son with him as he studied the stone. I thought what a wonderful way for the boy to grow up with his dad studying the history of the area – and a story was born in my mind.

I wrote the first book for my grandson, who was in grade school at the time. In the story Ethan was hanging out with his dad for the summer, as Dad studied the Heavener Runestone, when he met the Viking ghost named Glome.  They had many adventures in the valley. Later I wrote the sequel, Return to Glome’s Valley, and by then Ethan had grown up to be working on his own PhD in archeology like his dad.

It is amazing as an author what sparks your imagination and makes the cogs turn as a story is born.  But sharing it with readers is as much fun as writing it.  Pick up a Kindle copy of Glome’s Valley and Return to Glome’s Valley for only $.99 each for the rest of July. You and the kids could read the books, written where Glome and buddies had their adventures, in the tent after dark. But if you miss the Kindle sale, the paperbacks are available at the park gift shop too.

Take the kids to visit the Heavener Runestone Park soon.  It is worth the trip.

Happy vacationing!

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Dive into Summer!

Welcome to the #DiveIntoSummerHop with @thewildrosepress we’re giving away some great prizes to celebrate summer!

How to enter for a chance to win 
#Comment and #TagAFriend you think would be interested in participating in our hop! 

Get lucky this summer! Dive into Summer hop runs July 9th, 2018 through July 16th, 2018
Following all authors participating in the hop and @thewildrosepress is required for entry.

*Instagram is not sponsoring or affiliated with these giveaways in any way*
#InstagramHop #IGHop #AuthorsOfIG #AuthorsOfInstagram #AuthorLife #wrpbks #twrpbks #readroses #bookstagram #booksofinstagram #booksofig #bookworms

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2018 Clearing my Life: Audible.com

    I love to read.  Like a lot of bookies, I could read all day and night, if life didn’t get in the way.  If you don’t believe me, check out the number of bookcases, full to the brim, sitting in my house. And then there is my Kindle.

But I know some people find reading tedious, or maybe their eyesight is failing so reading has become something they can only do in short stints, or maybe not at all.  I’ve got the answer for them.  www.audible.com from Amazon now has streaming books.  Unlike the CDs you used to buy and stick in the CD player, you can now listen through your computer, phone, e-reader, tablet, or any other device.  Some of us old people find this fascinating.  The younger ones, not so much.

But so far, I have two books on audible and another one on the way.  Secrets of Sandhill Island is now available on audible.com and so is The Apocalypse SucksStones of Sandhill Island is in the production mode.  It is just another way to enjoy books. You can even share them with the other people in the car.  While the kids are plugged into whatever movie, game or activity in the backseat, Mom and Dad can listen to a book in the front on the way down the road to Grandma’s house.  Ah summer vacation!

Check out my books on Audible and all the others that are available.  Audio books have created a new line of actor/voice-over opportunities for those so inclined and it makes books available to people who can’t or won’t read.  It’s a brave new world out there.

Go enjoy a book.

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2018 Clearing my Life: Blooming Justice Cover Reveal!

    I am still in the editing phase with the uber-talented Ally Roberts, of The Wild Rose Press, on my latest work in progress, Blooming Justice.  However, the equally talented design staff at Wild Rose Press, specifically Kim Mendoza, once again did me proud. She has designed all my covers at The Wild Rose Press and is a wonderful artist. This is my cover reveal for Blooming Justice, the first in the Keystone Lake series.

Erin Sampson always wanted to be an attorney like her aunt. But until she experiences a real taste of injustice, she has no idea what the legal field is all about. After being sexually harassed at the senior prom by a boy she went to school with, she finds out he has escalated from bullying to rape.

Working in her aunt’s law firm while going to college, she has an opportunity to help find justice for all the women who deserve it. It is a long way from her mother’s flower shop to a law office; and a long way from the little town by the lake she grew up in to the Tulsa County Courthouse. But Erin will do whatever it takes to end the terror and protect the women on her campus.

I have started working on book two, and book three is in the planning stages.  However, if you are a Sandhill Island fan, don’t worry, there will be more of that little island to come also.

I am so impressed with the cover for Blooming Justice I just wanted to show it to you, and I hope you like it as much as I do.  There will be more to come this year as the book is ready for release.

Happy reading!

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2018 Clearing My Life: Another Road Trip Down

    My husband and I went on a road trip to Osage County, Oklahoma Friday – such is the life of retirees.  If you’ve never been in that area of the country, it is the rolling hills in northeast Oklahoma near Pawhuska.  We were on a quest.

Recently we both read the book Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann. https://www.amazon.com/Killers-Flower-Moon-Osage-Murders-ebook/dp/B01CWZFBZ4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1529854292&sr=8-1&keywords=killers+of+the+flower+moon+by+david+grann The Stillwater Library invited Mr. Grann to speak at several of their workshops and I was pleased to have attended one.  Mr. Grann is a New York Times Best Selling author with several titles to his name. After reading the book it became an obsession to find out all I could about this part of Oklahoma history that was not taught in the classes I took in school.

After the Trail of Tears, the Native Americans were moved from their homes and placed on reservations in Oklahoma before it became a state.  The rolling Osage Hills were considered land unwanted by farmers – until oil was discovered there.

In the 1920s the Osage tribe became some of the richest people in the world due to the oil beneath their feet and soon members of the tribe were cheated out of their headrights to the oil.  Many were murdered or just disappeared.  The FBI was in its infancy before J. Edgar Hoover came into power and his agency was put in charge of finding out what happened to the Osage members.  

Osage County is the largest county in Oklahoma.  It is northwest of Tulsa, green, hilly and  picturesque. It can be one of the hottest areas in the country when real summer hits.  When we were there on Friday it was lovely.  The weather in the 80s, the grass was green, and the hills rolled as we traveled down two-lane highways getting the flavor of the countryside. There were oil wells around every corner – many still operating – others idle with parts missing.  Horses roamed the hills and small towns dotted the landscape.  We drove to Gray Horse, Oklahoma and found the cemetery where many Osage are buried and found several headstones with the date of 1923 etched into their surface.  It was a bad year for the Osage and that date populated the tiny cemetery.  The cemetery was peaceful, and we spent a lot of time roaming around reading names and dates.

The weather was beautiful as we trekked across northwest Oklahoma that day. The sun shone, and the winds were light. The cemetery was well taken care of by the people proud to call this place their own.  I thought it ironic that an oil well lay idle just up the hill from the cemetery.  

We enjoyed some time in the Osage Tribal Museum in Pawhuska before heading to Gray Horse.  It is just up the road from the stately Osage County Courthouse. Check it out sometime.

Our history, like many others, is not always as accurate as it should be, but the people are resilient. It was a beautiful day in the state I call home even if some of its history is lacking.

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2018 Clearing My Life: Father’s Day

             It’s Father’s Day!  I hope all the fathers out there who are celebrating with their families enjoy their day. We drove to our daughter’s in Oklahoma City for lunch and a little celebration.  It was just the four of us since the kids have all grown up, but the dogs made Papa feel welcome. Everyone was smiling just before I snapped the picture.

Our parents are gone, and the grandkids are not little anymore.  Life changes but we still get together for holidays. Today the restaurant was full of families, fathers, grandfathers, and a few great grandfathers. Babies played with spoons and grandpa; and dessert was free to all fathers today.  The cheesecake was delicious even if it wasn’t mine.

I got my husband a book and some coffee.  There are a lot of books in this house and it is just one more, but we both love to read.  And coffee is a staple. I think he liked both.

We’ve been married a long time and are parents of two children who went out and brought home more.  Kids tend to do that.  And with the newcomers came grandchildren and the family grew.  Even if it was just the four of us today, it was a fun time.

I hope your Father’s Day was a good one.  Tell your dad you love him and thank him for all the time he spent with you.  Happy Father’s Day.

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2018 Clearing your Life: Weeds, Weeds, Weeds!

If you read this blog regularly or follow me on Instragram, you may be sick to death of reading about my gardening – complete with pictures.  Here we go again.

It’s summertime (well, not by the calendar) and the livin’ is easy – or not. I get so excited at the beginning of each spring and buy countless plants.  Some come up from last year to add to the drama, and then the heat and bugs hit.  I’m currently doctoring a spider bite on my hip, so this morning I had the good sense to use bug spray before wading into the vegetation. 

Facebook had a post making the rounds recently about a black swan that pulled weeds from a garden.  I want to know how it knew the difference between a plant and a weed.  Sometimes I don’t.  But there it was, pulling away.  A friend suggested I needed one of those.  He was probably right.  Anyone know where I can get a weeding black swan? And what do they eat, in case it stays around?

As I transplanted ground cover and pulled crabgrass from the garden this morning my friendly yellow bird (I think it is some kind of Wren) came by to mention that the hummingbird feeders were empty.  I don’t feed hummingbirds evidently, just friendly yellow birds, aunts and the occasional wasp.  But I guess they need to eat too. I told him I’d get it done later. I had a blog to write.

 

I also have a nearsighted Robin that wants to come in the house.  It taps on the window, or bangs against the glass as it flies up out of the hedge and tries to join me in the bedroom where I write.  The other day it sat on the door to my husband’s pickup and tapped on the glass.  He said he thought he heard it at the bathroom window.  It seems to be attracted to glass.  Or maybe it heard about the air conditioning.

Anyway, I’m gracing the pages with pictures of my flowers this morning.  Notice I didn’t show you pictures of the weeds or failed hostas that come up, fall over and die.  You only get the good stuff.

Do you garden? Here’s to #oklahomagardening and the gardeners who try to make it work. 


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2018 Clearing your Life: Nescatunga Arts Festival!

    I was a vendor at the 49th annual Nescatunga Arts Festival yesterday. https://www.nescatunga.org/   It was a beautiful day on the downtown square in Alva, Oklahoma – not nearly as hot as Friday – though windy.  My daughter and I set up the canopy and then anchored it against the Oklahoma wind with four, gallon jugs of sand.  Otherwise the canopy might have ended op on top of the courthouse.  But we managed to keep the canopy upright. 

                                                                            

The day was lovely.  The small town of Alva has been having this festival for 49 years and they’ve got it down.  There was live music all day long.  The sponsors came around offering coffee and doughnuts in the morning to the vendors.  Later in the day, they sent the Rainbow girls around to table sit for you in case you needed a break.  The grass on the lawn was like a putting green, there were small bleachers set up for the music and dancing on stage and three different tents sold food.  We opted for the Taco salad which was wonderful.  Later in the day, my daughter checked out the cookie tent and found they were 2 for 1 so they could shut down.  


                              

We were set up beside an African potter and artist.  They were from Tulsa with Etudaiye Pottery and Fine Arts.  I bought a lovely soap dispenser molded in the shape of an elephant tusk. Their art work was fabulous.  I wished I could have afforded more. 

There were jewelry makers, leather workers, yard art and other things I didn’t get a chance to see.  My daughter made friends with a couple from Edmond – where she lives – that had paintings they made into t-shirts, mugs, puzzles, etc. 

I saw old friends and made new ones as I talked about my books.  The day could not have been better.  You could even use the facilities in the courthouse instead of those blue port-a-potties (which might have blown over anyway).

I woke at 5 am to make the trip to northwest Oklahoma and then was taking down the canopy by 3 pm.  It was a great day and I can’t wait to see what they have planned for the 50th anniversary.  I know it will be great and I hope to be able to attend again.

First weekend in June – Nescatunga Arts Fest – put it on your calendar for next year.  Come to Alva for the fun, art and camaraderie. 

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2018 Clearing your Life: Estate Sale to End all Estate Sales

    My mother used to call it “junkin’.”  She and a friend used to “go junkin’” on a regular basis and after she died, I inherited some beautiful glassware.  Mom knew a good piece of glass and she kept track of what she spent and what it was worth.  When my sisters and I had an estate sale for Mom and Dad’s lifetime of accumulation, we first called in an antique dealer who was a friend of my parents and asked him for appraised value of the pieces.  We kept the good stuff in the house and the junk in the garage.  It was an exhausting yet fun couple of days and we got rid of a lot of things.  (We also took home a lot of things).

Mom’s been gone 18 years and Dad 17 and I have a houseful of stuff of my own.  But still I was talked into attending an estate sale yesterday with a friend.

I had no idea what I was about to encounter.

Our little estate sale didn’t hold a candle to the one I attended.  1120 Winona (over by the Champlin mansion if you’re from Enid) was a huge, fabulous old house built in the early 1900s and I was only allowed in the downstairs area.  There were rare books (some in Greek and Russian), handmade rugs, glassware from the ages, and art from around the world. 

The owner of the home was from Russia but had lived in California, Oklahoma, and exotic places around the world.  Her daughter lived with her for a time and was the US Ambassador to Tunisia. Her mother accompanied her on that tour.  The mother outlived the daughter and stayed in her house in Enid until she died at the age of 103. As world travelers, they had filled every nook and cranny with treasures. 

The basement was finished with hardwood floors and a fireplace.  The upstairs had beautiful oak floors and woodwork and a butler’s pantry where the glassware was stored.  There was a downstairs bedroom with a fireplace and a sunroom next door, and the garage had the old-style steam heat radiator up against the wall.  There were fireplaces on all floors that I could get to on both ends of the house.  And the most intriguing thing were the bright turquoise walls.  The lady from the estate sale said that was the Russian influence.  I’m sure if the house was mine, the turquoise would have to go.

I spent $21 and both things I bought were for someone else.  I’m cheap and kept asking myself where I’d put that thing I was holding in my hand once I got it home.  I wanted a glass sangria pitcher, but my china cabinet is full now.  So, I left it for someone else.

I hope the home goes on the market and I can tour it when they have an open house.  All proceeds were going to a couple of charities. Those charities were about to receive some huge checks.

Someday my children will need to clean out my lifetime of treasures.  I doubt my estate sale will be as glamorous as the one I attended yesterday. 

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