Thursday, June 20, 2019

Thursday's Trivia

Did you know...that German Silver contains no silver. It's a nickel, zinc, copper alloy.
Thanks, Shane.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Tuesday, June 18, 2019


Greetings. How was your weekend and how is the beginnings of your week?
Have you noticed your groceries going up? We sure have. This apple rang up at $1.52. If I wore dentures, they would have dropped right out of my mouth

The day lilies are still blooming.


Thanks, Rye.

Stranger Than Fiction
I mentioned in a previous post that my daughter and SIL have bought their first house. It's over  a hundred years old.Why is this important? Because it means the house could have had many residents in its lifetime AND that it needs a lot of work. The floors and the staircase are rotten so the SIL has been tearing them out and replacing them. One day, he was working on the staircase and guard rail and removed a support-post. He noticed when he removed it that it rattled. Curious, he cut it open. Inside was a cigarette butt and knife wrapped in plastic. If the stairs hadn't been removed it would have never been found.
Feel free to write a story--no longer than a paragraph--in the comments section, on why you think the knife was hidden and what you think happened.

Thursday, June 13, 2019


We interrupt Thursday’s Historical Trivia for exciting book information from Ronel Janse van Vuuren on her new release Dark Desires.
Blurb Dark Desires
Iron and fae aren’t friends. But Tasha has no choice but to be in the human realm: her very life is at stake.
High School isn’t much safer than Faerie, though. Clicks, falling in love and navigating day-to-day activities are dangerous enough without the added dread of being unmasked as being otherworldly.
But when something happens and everyone reveals their true selves, Tasha has a choice to make: will she save them from the curse upon them and reveal her true nature, or will she let them die and stay safe?

The Power of Short Stories

Studies have found that the average attention span of people have dropped from [insert stats]. Not only do our books have to compete with various forms of technology, other activities and other books, they also have to compete for the full attention of the reader.
Your book needs to stand out.
We all know that. We write the best books we can, put them through various rounds of editing to bring them to industry standards, we have them professionally formatted, and we have eye-catching, genre-specific covers made for them.
But that is the bare-minimum, the cost of entry.
Now your book is bought. The reader starts to read. Life happens. Your epic saga is abandoned. Perhaps forever. Why?
“The first page sells this book. The last page sells your next book.” – Mickey Spillane
If you haven’t made that crucial emotional connection with your reader, they won’t invest their time and energy to read your book. and, as the quote above explains, if they don’t finish this book, they are less inclined to buy your next book and the next.
How to bridge that gap?
Short stories.
“Dark Desires” at around 5k can be read comfortably in one sitting, gives the reader a satisfying journey, showcases my writing style and World, and makes a lasting impression on readers.
The upside: at the price-range (99c) a lot of people will give a new (to them) writer a chance; at the time-to-read range (less than an hour) a lot of people will give a (new to them) writer – and genre – a chance; stories rejected for anthologies can be rewritten, edited and published in this format; stories accepted for print for which you have your rights back can be published in this format; e-book royalties are reasonable; your entire catalogue can (and should!) be listed in the back for the reader to check out; it doesn’t take as long as a novel to write and publish.
The downside: unless you sell thousands of copies, your overhead might stay higher than your profit; readers can come to expect short reads from you, meaning you’ll have to constantly produce shorter works, leaving your longer projects on the back burner; instant gratification (faster turn-around than a novel/novella that can lead to abandonment of longer projects); only available in e-book unless you create an anthology of previously published short stories and then publish as a paperback; short stories are usually perceived as literary fiction and thus doesn’t sell as well as a full-length novel.
Personally, I like to see the glass as half-full of water and overflowing with air.
As for Tasha from “Dark Desires”: would her story have benefited from being longer? No. Can she have more adventure – in any length? Yes. I believe her story is so much more powerful because of the brevity.
Why not get your own copy of “Dark Desires” and we can discuss this point?
Author Bio Ronel 2019
Award-winning author Ronel Janse van Vuuren mainly writes for teens and tweens, though she is known to write mythology-filled short stories for anthologies aimed at older readers. Her dark fantasy works, usually full of folklore, can be viewed on her website and on Goodreads.
Ronel can be found tweeting about writing and other things that interest her, arguing with her characters, researching folklore for her newest story or playing with her Rottweilers when she’s not actually writing.
All of her books are available for purchase from major online retailers.
Sign up to be notified of new releases, giveaways and pre-release specials – plus get a free eBook – when you join Ronel’s newsletter.
Connect with Ronel online
Ronel the Mythmaker, Website of Dark Fantasy Author Ronel Janse van Vuuren: 


Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Wacky Wednesday

Frank trying to see what's going on next door.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019


Last week, Birgit asked for a closeup of the garden angel/fairy. I've never been able to decide which she is, angel or fairy. What do you think? Like me she's nearly twenty years old.  Not buying that I'm almost twenty?  Ha. Ha. I don't even buy that myself.
And her pal.
Can you see the visitor? Here's a couple of hints. He's between the bee balm and the day lily, and he buzzes:)
AND a couple of toss ins.
What's blooming in your garden?


Thanks, Rye.

Caren and Cody reviewed SHARDAI. A huge thanks to them.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Weekend Wishes

FYI. The lovely and talented Jacqui Murray, author of Survival of the Fittest is reviewing Silverhills today (June 7, 2019) at her blog.  Thank you, Jacqui.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Trivia on Thursday

Did you know that the originator of the Purple Heart was George Washington?

*Information gleaned from Ron Chernow's Washington A Life.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

IWSG Wednesday

The first Wednesday of every month is officially IWSG day. Members post about their doubts and fears, discuss struggles and triumphs, and offer words of encouragement to others who are struggling.

Thanks, as always, to Alex Cavanaugh, founder and Ninja Captain extraordinaire. And co-hosts: 

Diane Burton, Kim Lajevardi, Sylvia Ney, Sarah Foster, Jennifer Hawes, and Madeline Mora-Summonte.

FYI: The IWSG monthly question can be found under the IWSG Sign-up tab on the Insecure Writer's Support Group Blog.

June 5 question: Of all the genres you read and write, which is your favorite to write in and why?

Sigh. If I could answer that question, I wouldn’t have books out in the YA Fantasy, YA Paranormal, Historical Romance, Paranormal Romance, and metaphysical genres. I’m a dabbler. Though, I have decided to limit myself to Western/Western Romance. We’ll see how that goes. I do feel it's better for an author to pick one or two genres and stick with it, at least until established, instead of frog-hopping from genre to genre as yours truly has done:) What genre do you read or write?

Tuesday, June 4, 2019


“The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.” -Albert Einstein 
Don't ya love Albert Einstein?

A Walk In the Garden.

As I may have mentioned before, I call the monarda/bee balm, bad-hair-day flowers. Ever woke up and felt like your hair looked like this?;)

What's in your garden?

Author D.L. Finn reviews Shardai

Friday, May 31, 2019

Weekend Wishes


Shane and Birgit

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Did You Know Thursday

I'm currently reading an eight hundred plus page book on George Washington written by Ron Chernow. Because of that I foresee a lot of Washington trivia in your future:)
Did you know that Washington was a keen hunter and developed the dog breed known as the American Foxhound?

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Monday, May 27, 2019


Occasionally, a sentence will leap out at me from a book I'm reading. This one came from Alexandra Bracken's The Darkest Legacy.
"Everyone's entitled to stupidity, but they really abuse the privilege don't they?"

Friday, May 24, 2019

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Did You Know Thursday

Did you know that George Washington was a member of the secret society of Freemasons? He was one of the first apprentices of the Fredericksburg lodge.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Tuesday, May 21, 2019


Digging his way to China.
Frank is the only cat I know that's trying to dig his way to China.
First he dug up the Irises.

Then he pushed the bricks out of his way that were positioned behind the Irises to keep him from digging under the fence...and dug his way out.

 I'm still trying to figure out how he moved those bricks. Though we did have a cat (who inspired Shardai) that would drag around a five pound weight by the rope it was attached too. Oh yes, and periodically knocked over the sectional couch.


AND.... Still growing. The bee balm is up to my chest. It's time to stop streaking skyward and concentrate on blooming:)

AND....I spent my weekend with this little guy and his sibs and mom, while the HH and our son went to see the Cubs play in Washington D.C. Cubs won one. Lost one.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Art and Offline

My daughter's current painting.

I'm going to be offline for a few days. I'll be back the middle of next week. Leave the light on for me and have a great weekend.