Sunday, October 27, 2013

Morning By Monet

This is his palette, his water-ey style and colors. The clouds are clumping in a pleasant non threatening manner and the light is lovely. The temperature is cool at 59 F. All in all, a lovely morning.
Today is Pot Luck Day as Sundays are going to be for months here. This week I'm bringing a casserole, last week was an apple pie. Homemade, of course. I think next week I will make mac and cheese, even though I have never made it before. I have bags and bags of macaroni that need moving from the pantry. Anyway, who doesn't love macaroni and cheese.
Then, when the Pot Luck is finished I will work on the cookies for the meeting tomorrow morning.

This Monet morning is going to turn into a fun day. I hope yours is as well.

Friday, October 18, 2013

It's is about the second time.

I am bored. It is a lovely day and I have finished everything I wanted to do. I've read several chapters in a somewhat interesting book. I've munched on pretzels, I have played computer games. I'm bored to tears.
Oh, there is alway something to do, that doesn't mean that I want to do that one thing. Don't want to and not going to.
I think I'll put on my walking shoes and take a spin around the apartments.
This is so odd as I almost never, ever get bored.
Okay, sunny lovely afternoon here I come.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Time to get back to Work.

I have two novels on the very cusp of being finished. Blackberry Murders has nothing to do with phones and plenty to do with Blackberry bushes. You may not think that is scary, but oh me oh my, will you be surprised. I have been writing on this full length novel for many years. It seems to have a life of it's own. It got totally scrambled, fried in a computer meltdown. So badly fractured that even the paid computer experts could not unscramble it. I started over again with it, and painfully rewrote 120,000 words of fun, murder, mayhem and horses.Actually it wasn't fun, but I did have a few pages of hard copy to work from. I learned a pain filled huge lesson about backing up my writing and external memory collectors. It needs one more edit and she is ready to wear her new clothes and go meet some friends at the pub.

The next full length novel at the wire is Love Arrives on Horse Back. This one has a more positive back story. I had started it aa a general "what if" premise, but I was feeling iffy about it. I thought it was interesting but would anyone else. One day months ago, I had my regular checkup with my primary care physician, he sometimes askes me about my writing. I know, knock you over with a feather a Doctor who wants to know what you are about other than symptoms! Dr. John Hou M.D. Health Care Partners, 4275 Burnham Ave Ste.220 Las Vegas, Nevada. Behind Desert Springs Hospital.
 Anyway, I told him the idea and said that I felt it was iffy. He didn't feel that way, he said write it, it will be good. My son, Brian said write it, it will be good. So I wrote it and it is under submission to a publisher. It is in the second round of submissions waiting the final very slow answer whether it will be published by them or not. I wish they would hurry up I would like to rework the final two pages, itching to re-write those pages.

That leads me to right now. Fresh new writing. All the older works are published or thrown out as a bad job.
. I'm in the first pages of a sequel to Star Hunter, my first and I thought only Sci Fi to ever be produced. But I loved the Bounty Hunters, every single one of them, and writing a ensemble of 10 or more main characters is a definite brain whirl. This time I think that Boomie will be the main focus and I'm adding a super smart Physician, who is the opposite of all big brawny physical action types of the Bounty Hunters. Oh, he is going to get involved in the action scenes all right. He might turn out to be the favorite character I have ever written, except for the fellow in Ms. Got Rocks, whom I killed off and was so sad that I did, I cried out to my sister that I murdered him and I didn't want to.
Here I am, and happy to be feeling well enough to get back to work. That old saying "Busy hands are happy hands". This is a big grin you are seeing.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

That Hardly Seems Fair.

Wouldn't you know it. I just get the good to go on the major knee surgery and I'm planning all kinds of good things to do that I haven't been able to do. Wouldn't you just know that after going to various doctors and radiology offices (6) in the past two weeks, I caught a cold and have been down for the count since Friday night.
Murphy's Law, thy name is Jacqueline.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Dancing in the Moonlight 2.0

October 9th.
Just short of three months from knee replacement surgery, I got the final word from the Doctor. I'm done, finished, cooked, repaired and can put away walkers,canes, Physical Therapy and best of all the pain meds.
I want to thank Scott, my Physical Therapist here at home for not only pushing me onto the bike, but his kind and caring self. I want to thank, as well, Catherine and Clemencia (Phys Therapist) at Desert Vally Therapy in Las Vegas for laughing at my jokes, making me cry and sweat and because they were always willing to talk about nail polish, our sons and nutty topics. And all three of them for thinking that ballroom dancing was a great idea to go do, now.
Now here I am after at least six years of incredible pain, almost pain free, with two 9 inch scars on my knees, with two metal and plastic knees that both make clicking noises and my first adventure out in public without a cane. I felt light and unencumbered. Sort of like I left something somewhere.
I have my personal card for setting off metal detectors, getting antibiotics before I get my teeth cleaned and a boatload of other things I never thought would be important to do with some plastic and metal implants.
I'm ready for ankle weights as I still have to strengthen the muscle above the knee, and dancing shoes and what the hell am I going to wear?
By the way, it snowed in the Spring Mountains last night and the sight was lovely this AM. I hope the tourists came out of the casinos long enough to look at it..It was dang cold this morning as well. I love the desert. I don't have a camera talented enough to get a pix of the snow.
I am feeling really sorry about the people in South Dakota suffering from that horrible snow storm this past week. Sorry about so many livestock that didn't make it through the storm. Horrible loss.

Dancing in the Moonlight from Sept. 14th

I spent yesterday looking at Web pages for a ballroom dancing teaching studio in Las Vegas. I found one that appealed to me after watching hours of video of dancers, instructors, recitals and international competitions in Las Vegas.
Today I picked out shoes, cant dance in my beloved Crocs. Well I could but that might be to awkward with the non-slick soles. The shoes were less expensive than I expected, but not inexpensive, either. I chose a blush color, I wanted the silver ones but I never wear anything silver, so blush it is or will be when I am ready for dancing. Sunday will mark the two month anniversary since the new knee was implanted. It will be several more months before I'm really to go hippity-hopping on the dance floor. But wishful thinking was fun and got me to do some exercises which I have been slacking off doing.
I think the hard part is going to be finding appropriate outfits for my fat figure and age. But what fun it will be looking. A woman can dream can't she?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Celebrating Sunshine

The sun is out. The air conditioning was off until 3 PM. Wonderful temperature. Tomorrow promises to be even better. The awful humidity will be gone by Monday and we can get back to being a desert.
You know, I have mentioned that we get a monsoon every summer and how I love it. Usually, it is a dynamic exciting 4 or 5 days. This summer the thing just won't go away. We are approaching 20+ days of high humidity and/or rain, thunder and misery. That is just my opinion about the entire thing.
We certainly need the rain, but jeez Louise, let's have some in the winter, okay.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

It is Friday already?

I did another I Love Lucy and did get this published on Friday. Pretend, it is good for you.

What happened to the week? Seems all I have accomplished is going to Physical Therapy and sleeping. I don't think I have been doing that well, either.
Southern Nevada is in Monsoon season, and usually this is a favorite time of year. Not this year. It seems that it is lingering, and after the Carpenter One fire the thunder and lightening are not the lovely fun natural fireworks. The humidity has been especially high and we, Southern Nevadans, are not used to that kind of stuff. I, personally, would like to give it back to New Jersey and New Orleans. This week we have on the menu the dregs of two tropical storms out of the Gulf of California in Baja Mexico and one that came all the way across the South from the Gulf of Mexico.
This morning is hazy but full of our famous blue sky.This afternoon back to the thunder storms, without rain usually.
I'm melting and cleaning my son Craig's homegrown beeswax. After it is cleaned I'm making votive candles and lip balms. The wax is coming out a lovely white creamy shade. I'm very happy to get this gift from him.

I had planned on making Bread and Butter pickles but I forgot to buy the cucumbers. I warned you, I was an I Love Lucy person.The next opportunity to go to the grocery is next Tuesday after P.T., then I will be doing B and B pickles. A couple jars will go to my son for part of his birthday gifts.

I did get the cantaloupe and it is in the freezer in the easiest recipe ever for something that is amazing on a nasty winter's morning. I'll share.
Freezer Cantaloupe

Cut up a ripe cantaloupe into serving size chunks or what size that will fit your container.
Pack melon loosely into a freezer container, in amounts for a family size serving.
Prepare frozen orange juice per package directions and pour over the melon to cover.
Leave room for the juice to expand as it freezes.
Freeze. Defrost a little bit before eating or not.

Have a wonderful, fun weekend.

Don't Tell Me Seattle Slipped South.

Good Gravy, this is the strangest monsoon season. Yesterday, it rained a bit here and was grey and overcast all day and night. I woke this morning at 4 AM to rain, steady earth soaking rain.
It is like living in Seattle, not the Mojave desert. Certainly we get rain, but not frequently do we get an inch of rain in 20 minutes like on Thursday.
I live next to a weather recording station. We have had .44 inches of rain since midnight and it is a lovely 68F.
I am not complaining oh no. I am expressing surprise.

Thursday, August 29, 2013


The children are back to school. I live next to a middle school. All summer I have had a creeping feeling that something was amiss. Monday, I solved the mystery. School bells, announcements over the PA system and most of all the children noises were back and I felt much more content.
The mid level school children are very quiet in the morning on the way to school, but Lordy, Lordy come 2:30 in the afternoon and they are full of piss and vinegar. I missed that all summer.
Living in the desert, Autumn is very different from Alaska. Labor Day weekend it is not uncommon for it to snow on the mountains and hills surrounding Anchorage. The colors are turned over night to yellow and red.
Here, in the Mojave Desert, this year we're having higher humidity and the temps are lower. Everything is pretty much the same as last week, except another variety of mimosa tree is blooming and my nose is back to plugged and running.
The mountains are not clear to see with the humidity haze. I can just see the Sheep Mountains, and Little Black Mountain and Sunrise, at this minute I cannot even see Sunrise.
I think you need more pictures.
This is Elk Creek at Elk Creek Campground, Happy Camp California. If you need a very friendly rustic camping place in Northern California with nice Camper and Motor Home spaces this is the place for you. There are some tent camper spaces as well. Call 530-493-2208 for reservations. Roberta Collum is the owner. California does not allow fishing in the creek. There are lakes further up the mountain for fishing. After this weekend you will be certain to get the space you want. The spaces are not concrete. Propane available.
Same spot. I was watching a family of Wood Ducks shooting the little rapids. I watched for the longest time but could not get a photo of them. This is in May of 2010 or 2011. This is pretty close to the natural swimming hole.
That's it for today.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Oh My Gosh! I Forgot.

I said I would post pretty pictures, then I forgot. I blame the heavy duty pain meds. That is my story and I'm sticking to it.
So here we go, some photos.

The cat looks like Ranger, but he wouldn't give a mouse's patootie about dust bunnies.More likely HE ate the cleaning fairies.
Okay, here are some more.

Klamath River, Siskiyou County, California. Pink Daffodil or Mike's black pickup truck, take your pick. I'm looking for the Asiatic Lilies photoa. So far can't find them.

Mike and my two sons on the gold dredge. Klamath River, California. How about some tree moss on Douglas Fir. Elk Creek Campground, Happy Camp,California.
Will search for the lilies and show them another day.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Been there, Done that.

Been gone awhile. I had knee replacement surgery on the 15th of July. Talk about your basic fiasco this time was and still is. The first knee surgery 18 months ago was a dream compared to this nightmare. Different surgeons and hospitals, etc. I had the most lovely view from the third floor of Southern Hills Hospital in Las Vegas. The staff there were terrific and the only thing weird was the food. Even had WiFi and all the comforts of home (sort of). No one could fault the night staff on the third floor, they were very caring and good.I thank them all. Then the story gets stickier. But I ended up with a great roomie at TLC rehab center after I walked out on the first one and threw a mild snit fit about her noise. The new roomie was and is a real character, turns out we live about less than a mile apart, I can practically see her house roof from my living room. The most interesting thing, she has been an Avon lady for 43 years. Yes, 43. Just amazing. She has been in the hospital and rehab for almost all year and her husband is running her Avon business. She is home now, at last, and I wish her the best and have to call her tomorrow with my Avon order. So, I met someone new, and that is always a good thing. The rest of the adventure has been bordering on nightmare. My son has been an angel, picking up my laundry and returning it clean. Taking out the garbage and making sure I have food and getting pastry surprises even when I don't want them. So a big thank you to Brian. He, of course, is really relieved that I can do all the personal cleaning and getting into and out of shower on my own.
I loaned out my camera so I'll have to get you a picture of some flowers grown by Craig two years ago almost. The weather has been so overcast and T-storms, that there isn't much to see anyway. The pictures of my knee is too gory to put on the blog. So you get flowers. Not that bad of a deal.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Happy Reading Camper.

Last night Debbie Macomber's latest book popped up on my Kindle. Lost and Found in Cedar Cove. I love her writing.
I was surprised, I thought this book was being published around the 25th of July. I'm really glad it is here.
I don't have a scanner to give you a shot of the cover. It is the Debbie Macomber lovely covers.
Excuse me, I am going to read, now. Have a great day.

Saturday, July 13, 2013


The Canyon Fire is 45% contained. Yay!!!

The Fire Update Sat. Morning

I didn't get to watch the news last night, so really nothing but personal observation. I was out and about on the west side of town and the east as well and kind of every place in between. The smoke was in the main confined to the mountain ridges. In some places it looked as though it might have been raining hard. There was lots of humidity, lots for us. At 7AM yesterday there was 66% humidity. I know, if you live in New Jersey you are saying, "I'll take that." To us cactus patch dwellers high humidity is 12%. Several days ago, I could not see the mountain directly in front of my window. Yesterday afternoon, I could see all three of them. Little Black Mountain, Sunrise Mountain and Black Mountain out the kitchen window.
I have some night pictures. I'm not sure if they are taken by my son Brian Colt or of our favorite lady photog Laura Billman. But anyway. They know who took them, thanks guys.
The last I heard the spokesperson for the emergency crews said they thought the fire would be under control by the 19th of July.

These are Free Come and Get 'Um.

These books of mine are free this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. July 12,13,14. That is right zero, zilch, nada, freebie books, how good is that?

 Spill the beans, Jacqueline, where, how and what kind of books are they.

Here is the link to MS. GOT ROCKS
Do You Love a Story With Romance, Adventure and Hunky, Handsome, Mysterious Heroes?
Look no further. Rocky Clancy will rock you. Rock with her adventures from Alaska to California.

Follow Rocky as she leaves her beloved Alaska to make her fortune on her father's gold claim in California. Her attempts at earning a living are seriously and dangerously complicated when her gold claim is jumped by the most gorgeous man ever born.

Her new found BFF is a world class bad girl, and that hunk of a guy is not what he first seems. To make everything worse, the Feds suspect she is up to no good on a world wide scale and Mother Nature is not happy with her, either.
Her gold claim produces a whopper nugget and exacts a horrible price in exchange. Rocky's life is at the lowest point. At least, she thought it was, with the Feds poking around her ranch, and everything in her life going topsy turvy. The devastating point is the news that her BFF is the most wanted criminal in the world. Mr. Tall, Dark and Not As He Seems doesn't know what to make of Rocky, is she an international bad girl or a unknowing gold dredger trying to reconstruct her life? Whichever, he fights the urge to get closer and and closer to the fire that is the red-haired Rocky.
Rocky is a full length novel. About 275 pages depending on your reader. Friday, Saturday and Sunday it will be free, regularly priced at 3.99.

Here is the link for BANGLES AND BRIGHT LIGHTS   

JoJo Lucas is one of the top dancers in the Tom Kats Male Dance Revue at the Wild Kats Theater in Las Vegas. JoJo is blessed with the body of a quarterback and the intelligence to know what he wants in life and what he does not. He wants to be a one woman man, in a business where every woman is supremely beautiful and he can have his choice. 
Mimi Moro is the almost frumpy costume designer at the The Four Aces Casino, she designed and fitted what little costume JoJo wears. Her goal is to design fuzzy bears and bunny rabbit hats for the shows and stay in love with Carlo. The co-workers have met briefly at work, but Jo Jo is involved with Autumn and Carlo is the always absent man for Mimi. Then, Autumn dumps JoJo at the most intimate time (ahem) and a week later Mimi finds Carlo with the Glorious Gloria and that is it for Mimi. Weeks later, when Mimi gets back from Europe,JoJo and Mimi connect over the pizza at Whole Foods. She know instantly he is the one as soon as she looks in his grocery cart. He knows she is the one when, she bites into her artichoke pizza. Loving under the desert stars seals the deal for them. There will be another wedding gown for her to design, one just for her, at last and some interesting play clothes for JoJo to enjoy.
Bangles and Bright Lights is a sensuous  playful, romantic behind the scenes look at the real people who make the City of Illusion work and how they love in Sin City.

BANGLES is a short story of 75 pages depending on your e-reader. Now is it free, regularly priced at 1.99.

Both books are available at  in all e-reader formats, tablets and your PC. There  are no print editions.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Blackberry Mystery

Disney Studios.

I am editing a full length novel I wrote some time ago. There are two bad guys. Or what I wrote to be bad guys. In the first five chapters of it, they are reminding me of the Apple Dumpling Gang. I have either a very strange dark comedy or a very, very strange mystery on my hands.
Photo from Disney Studios.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Update on Fire Carpenter 1

Top and lower photos courtesy of Laura Billman of Pahrump, NV  Mid photo courtesy Brian Colt of Las Vegas NV. The photos are showing the west side and the east side of the Spring Mountains. Pahrump is West. Las Vegas is East.
As of 5 pm this afternoon, the fire is at 20K acres and is now 10% contained. The good news is no homes have been lost, the really bad news is that one business has been burned out.
Wind is at 35 mph. This morning and early afternoon the wind has the smoke over the mountains South to North. Right now I look out my window and the air is filled with yellow, gray smoke. I cannot see Sunrise Mountain and just barely can see Little Black Mountain, which normally are clear as bells view of mine. The wind is coming out of all directions.
There are now 500 total people working on the fire. The monetary cost is 5 Million. The human cost is incalculable.

Carpenter Canyon 1 Fire Update.

This is Carpenter Canyon Fire Monday afternoon. Wind blowing smoke north on the ridges of the Spring Mountains. Photo compliments of Brian Colt.
This is the picture from the other day from the Pahrump NV. side of the Spring Mountains. The volume of the smoke looks about the same. Photo compliments of Laura Billman.

The fire is 15 per cent contained. It is now 15,000 acres.

I am sitting at my computer looking North. The sky is Las Vegas blue except for a huge bank of smoke on the left running S to N. Nye County must be covered by now. OMG.

I just received this night photo from the Pahrump side. Again the photo is compliments of our friend Laura Billman from Pahrump NV.

Th humidity is coming up in the next few days that will help. The Feds have sent in a air tanker. But that doesn't make it any easier to go up and down those canyons trying as best the firefighters can to save those homes. Carpenter 1 Fire is now the #1 priority fire in the nation. We wish we weren't.

Thanks to Laura and Brian for the photos.

Monday, July 08, 2013

It Rained Sunday.

It rained for all of about 3 minutes and it was lovely. Big fat raindrops knocking the smoke from the air and raising the humidity and lowering the temperature. I opened the door and windows and enjoyed. I know I'm nuts, but I really like monsoon season here. I do not like the lightening setting off fires, but other than that I like monsoon.
There was street flooding warning just to the east of the "Strip" in the area of Gi Gi's cupcakes.

 Next time you are in Las Vegas go to Gi Gi's cupcakes and have a mini cupcake or even better a regular size one. I didn't get one today, but I heard reports that the Orange Cream with Butter Cream Frosting was delicious. I like Cravin' Cakes cupcakes even better but they do not have a storefront. Cravin' Cake has the best butter cream frosting in the world and was voted the best wedding cakes in Las Vegas.

I think I am giving a tour here

I finished writing the novel Sunday afternoon. This book just went on and on. I really am glad to stop writing on it. I have been doing a sentence by sentence of the cover blurb since then.

Mostly yesterday, I felt an sense of unease. A nap didn't help, a chocolate candy didn't help, a cup of tea didn't help, mopping the kitchen floor certainly didn't help. Still feeling I don't know what. Foreboding, just general unease. Probably the humidity, I will be back on the beam later.

Maybe it will rain today and make my day.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Sunday Morning, Oh Sunday Morning and Carpenter Canyon Fire

Oops, now I will be singing that song all day. Just some updates on things happening around my old homestead in Nevada.
The bad news is the Carpenter Canyon Fire is 0 per cent contained, with over 10,000 acres burned. There are about 500 firefighters working through horrid conditions to get the monster under control and out. I believe that there were 200 homes evacuated. That may be incorrect, but the other data is from yesterday afternoon. The wind in the valley has dropped this morning, but the top ridges are still getting the 20-35 mph winds. Bad new is T-storms predicted for the Sheep Mountains, the dry kind, of course. That is what started the whole thing in the first place.
The good news is that the temp this AM is 88 F and is going to be cooler. I'm talking Mojave Desert cooler here, so read that cooler than 117 F. Today, is supposed to get to the 105-108 area. Cooler, I say.The humidity is still high, it is morning so that is normal we are at 22% right now. In case you haven't noticed I'm a weather follower. I live next to a weather station, so I can personally check how accurate the forecast is. Even I can stick my head out the door and agree it is durned hot out there.

The other good news is that I woke this morning with the ending of Love Arrives on Horseback spelled out in my head. I got up and started writing. I have less than 3K words to get to goal.
The bad news is that now I have to edit. I have already gone through most of it once. I've run a spell check then went back and spell checked the spell checker with my dictionary.
Making progress.
Good news today is flower day here at the Sr. Citizen complex. One of the local gourmet grocery stores loves us. We get flower deliveries every Sunday. This is what they do rather than throwing out the bouquets that didn't sell on Saturday. There are always plenty of good flowers and I have come to love flower Sunday.
Have a great Sunday, I need coffee.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Nitty Gritty Writing

Getting down to the nitty gritty of the new novel. I have about 3000 words to go, the cover is finished and I have part of the cover blurbs finished. The permanent title is Love Arrives on Horseback. Only in my own mind is it finished.

The blurbs are what describe the book and entice the reader to want to enjoy what a writer's imagination has concocted for the reader's pleasure. It is the hardest part of writing a novel. If I think about it, that should be the easiest part.
 It is only a couple of paragraphs about something that you have lived, eaten, slept with for months. I am a writer, a wordsmith, a singer of stories. What is wrong with me that suddenly I can't write myself out of a paper bag? I am there right now.

But that is alright, I will have written the finish of the book by midnight tonight and the blurb, well, I'll just keep plugging at it. I can hardly wait for you to see the smashing cover I have for it. It is a Wow.

If you want to see the blurb that I just finished writing for Ms.Got Rocks, it is here.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Very Scary Carpenter Canyon Fire

As of this afternoon, the fire had burned 9000 acres of the only forest southern Nevada has. The temp right now at 930 PM is 100 F, and the wind is at 20 gusting to 25-35 mph. You can imagine at the top of those ridges the wind is blowing harder that that.
We went out for ice cream a little while ago and could see the fire on the top of the ridge at Mt.Charleston. I have been in floods, major blizzards, ice storms, lots of earthquakes and wind so hard that you were moved out of the way. But seeing that fire on that ridge was/is one of the scary-ist things ever.
I live about 30 miles from the area of the fire. That should give you some idea how huge it is. I did not get a photo. If you have ever been in the Las Vegas area you have seen that our mountains go straight up and straight down. There are very few roads up there. The roads there are closed, except for emergency vehicles. If you are a praying person, give a shout out for the firefighters up there.

Carpenter Canyon Fire Outside Las Vegas, Nevada.

The Las Vegas Valley is filling with smoke. Carpenter Canyon is on fire. It is hotter than the hinges of Hades here and today the wind is kicking in at 35 mph. Though it is cooler at 105+ than last week it is still a witch with a B for the firefighters.
This fire isn't as big as the monster by Prescott AZ, thank God. But Kyle Canyon and Mt. Charlie (Charleston to you) are in danger and all the little communities up there in the resort area.
Last night on the TV news, there was a picture of a helicopter taking water out of the Mt. Charleston Ski Resort pond where they store the water to make artificial snow.
It is so pretty up there in that area. If I can get the picture on here I will try. Our friend Laura Billman took it on the other side of the Spring Mountains in Pahrump, NV. I could watch the smoke all day out my kitchen window.The wind has shifted and so we have the smoke.
If you look really closely you can see the flames. Someone reported that the bunch of smoke was at 30,000 ft., where it started to anvil out.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

This May be Weird. Tall, Dark and Handsome.

I was visiting my usual blog haunts this AM. Author Jill Shalvis asked this question of her readers. Was your first love a good thing or did you want to key his car for him? Plus, has the reader re-connected with their first love.
I did not key his car, we were 13 and 14. No cars for us.

So here goes. I would like to contact my first love. 
Howard Crosswhite. Attended Livermore, California High School in 1954. My name then was Jackie Ayen.

If you know him or are him. Hi. Please comment.

If you like good romance novels give Jill Shalvis' books a try, you won't be sorry.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

I Just Learned Something Exciting to Me.Thank you, Amazon.

The Armed Venus or Amazon in the National Museum in Washington, DC.

If you are an Indie writer, one of the things you do is create your own book cover, or hire someone to do it for you. An author then hopes to recover the cost of the pro when the book sells.
I am not in that cash range, yet.
However, yesterday I got a e-book called Free Kindle Book Paula Neal Mooney. First, I am right there for anything free. Come on, you know you are too. Second, I spent hours and hours yesterday afternoon making a new cover for Ms. Got Rocks. I tensed up so that my back ached.
I reminded myself that I was not out in the 107F heat digging ditches. So shut up and do it. I did.
I started reading Free Kindle Book Covers when I went to bed at 1AM. By 1:15, I was out of bed looking at the Kindle Publishing Web page and making a new cover in about 15 minutes and it was terrific. The pre-made covers have wonderful art work. I was terribly impressed, and today I'm going to start finding what I want for the "Love Arrives" covers. I have never met Miss Mooney, but should I ever, I shall throw myself at her feet and hug her lovely feet. I did not get paid for this post. Before I start working on the new cover I will jump over to the book page and leave a 5 star review.
If you write you need to look at this book.

New Cover for the Novel.This is What I Made Yesterday.

Meet Callaghan, you guys. He lives in the adventure romance Ms. Got Rocks. The novel needed a new cover. I spent all afternoon working on this. Someday when I am rich and famous, I will hire someone else to make the covers.
I love this man's eyes.
Here is the link for Ms. Got Rocks.

Monday, July 01, 2013

Put on Your Monday Shoes.

Photo courtesy of

I know it is hot and icky. I know, I have just been out in the stuff to pay bills. I know, I have a heat headache to prove it.

But I will suck it up and get my Monday boogy shoes on.

My sister just finished reading Ms. Got Rocks, and she loved it. She said that this one was much better than the last one she read. I thought she really liked the last one. Oh well, I want to improve, so that is good Monday news.

More good Monday news. The lady across the way had successful cataract surgery, that is great. She is one of those 91 year old ladies who makes the Every Ready bunny exhausted. She was doing her laundry when I visited her. Even that common chore must be so much easier now that she has one eye that works. Very happy for her. Try measuring laundry soap with your eyes closed, to say nothing of sorting colors.

I think that is all the good morning news from here. Oh, I almost forgot, it is supposed to be cooler tomorrow. Around 102F or so.That is very good Monday news.

Have to get back to writing, work, work ,work isn't that what Mondays are all about.
Stay cool, be cool.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Roundng the Final Bend.

Happy smiling Sun courtsey of Picsburg

Last night, I ended my writing session with 72,036 words completed with 211 pages. That makes me only 7,964 words to the length of book I want. The story is not complete. But, I have to start at the beginning and add the embellishments. The descriptions and stuff that I don't put in when I am writing as fast as I can. I think I write too sparse. Wordy, perhaps, but descriptive sparse. For example: what color is the woman's hair? The manuscript leaves that up to you right now. She has a general body shape and that is it. Poor girl, having to go through this much story and not have anything but a body.  Then I must leave some words for when I edit the works, hate something and give it a good toss out of play.  Of course, if I go over the 80,000 words that is okay, too. I just have to have a goal somewhere. I mean, if I didn't have a pre-set stopping point I would go on and on. Which is precisely what happened to this short story that is now a full blown novel.
Next on the agenda:
 Write descriptives and surroundings.
Write the finale.
Copy edit.
Content edit.
Copy edit.
Someone else copy edit.
Cover art x 2 or 3. Book simmers on the back burner.
Final cover approval.
I will copy edit and story edit. Read it backwards. Start at end and move to beginning.

I do have a Final Title. It is now "Love Arrives." Unless someone has used that one, or someone comes up with something better.this is the third title. It started out as "1864", then "Love Arrives on Horseback", now" Love Arrives". I still kind of like the Horseback one better.
I don't think this is going to be ready to go by the 14th of July. Today, I will get on the word processor and start the fun part. I have nothing else planned to do, except to stay out of the excessive heat. Forecasters say another 117F.
Bring on the ice tea and watermelon.
Have a terrific Sunday, you guys.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

It Must Be in the Water.

I went to school in a small town in California. Livermore was a cow town then, now it is a vineyard town, a national laboratory town and nothing like when I was a kid.
Jack London lived there before I was a little kid, before he went to Alaska and before I read his books at about 10 years of age. I remember clearly, lying out in the cow pasture looking at the clear blue sky and watching an airplane fly over. I said to myself.
                              "Someday I'm going to Alaska."
And I did go to Alaska, and lived there for 21 wonderful years. I consider it my home. Jack didn't stay that long.
At the time I went to High School, the little town had maybe 15,000 to 20,000 people. There are now 4 published authors from that little town, I went to school with two of them. Judy Yuskus and Judy Merkle Riley. I haven't read anything by Judy Yuskus (I don't know her married name), but Judy Merkle Rily wrote wonderfully detailed historical romances.

I am certainly not comparing my writing to London or Riley, but isn't it interesting that such a tiny town would produce so many writers. Three of those in two adjacent High School classes.
It brings to mind Truman Capote and Margaret Mitchell.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Hot Time in the Big Town Tonight & Colder than a Brass Monkey's Knuckles.

Images thank you to : for cool snowflakes and
our blazing sun thank you to

Just in case, you didn't know. I live in the Mojave Desert. Once a person is used to the way it looks, you discover that the desert is ever changing and really beautiful in a thousand ways. I am always amazed at the lovely flowers produced by the such heat and little water.

Probably not today and this weekend. We are catching the heat coming in from the east with the high pressure. June here is usually fairly warm, sometimes hot but not awful. But awful is as awful does for the now and the weekend. Today the temp. will be 115F or 46.1 C., possibly a record for us. Saturday and Sunday we are going to be enjoying 117F or 47.2 C. Definite record breaking temps. for those dates in June. Twice in the past 70 years it has been that hot. Death Valley, practically just over the mountain ridge, will be 127F. I have never been in 117F, so of course, I will go outside for a few minutes and catch some rays. For about 2 minutes.

I have been in the other extreme in weather. When I lived in Alaska, I was outside working in an airplane, when the temp was -70F or 56.7C. I was in the interior of the plane, checking on some dogs that were flying through to New York. They were toasty warm and sleeping. I never ever want to be outside in -70F again. Your nose freezes shut and your eyeballs feel really strange and your lids want to freeze up or down. My earrings froze in my ear lobes and my lipstick wasn't that nice smooth stuff any more. Do not stick out your tongue. Never, ever.

Just because I am a weather freak I want that experience of temperature extremes. Believe me, if I could get to Death Valley for 127F, I would be there in a New York minute. The humidity here will be under 15%. There won't be our usually gusty wind.

I do wish I were at my son's apartment. There is a lovely swimming pool that hardly anyone uses and I have a new swimming suit.

Met. report finished. Back to our regular programing.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Everlasting Earth Worm.

I got the steamships going in the right direction last night. The right direction being off into the sunset somewhere out of the darned story.

For a novella in the original concept and the way I blocked it out on paper, it should have ended precisely 38,302 words ago. I write about 380 words per page, doing the math that is 100.79 pages ago. Talk about your basic long winded writer. Maybe this book wants to be serial. I've always wanted to write a serial.

This huge novella is reminding me of the story my Uncle Erle used to tell us kids. It was The Everlasting Earth Worm. No matter what happened to the worm it always grew back and longer. Uncle Erle in all his creative genius could come up with the most horrendous adventures to happen to the earth worm. Every time he told the story, it changed. Uncle was a physican, but he should have been a children's story writer. He was right up there with Maurice Sendak.

No photos or drawings today I couldn't find an earthworm growing, or steamships steaming into a sunset. I'll try to do better tomorrow.

Someday I hope to tell you this epic novella is finished. Right now you can look at my other finished books at Amazon.    Ms. Got Rocks.  Star Hunter - Bounty Hunters in Space.  Fablous Forty- short story romance about an author finding romance again after she is bit over 40. Also a bit on the erotic side. Also pretty funny, if I do say so myself.  Bangles and Bright Lights. Short story. A erotic romance set in Las Vegas. Featured backscenes of Las Vegas shows and the people who make my home city the destination for fun, and maybe some sin, in the nation. I love the dog in this one. Newton the Corgi.

All of these are for e-readers only. Fire up your Kindles, come and get them.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Story Goes Where it Wants to Go.

The story I am writing now is a romance in the setting of the Civil War. Now at 190 pages, I feel as though I am writing an engineering thesis. How did I get myself into deciding that Polly needed to convert all her ships powered by sail into steam powered vessels? I know, who cares?

I'm presently asking myself, couldn't I have left well enough alone and gone with the hugs and kisses and frolicking in the moonlight. I now possess the exact date the first steam ship crossed the Atlantic, I'm certain you are
U.S. Pacific Mail Ship California.
Courtesy of
I know that steam ships sailed all over the East Coast rivers, canals and more into Canada through the St. Lawrence River, before venturing into the oceans. Are you still there, or just yawning?

I'm going to dig myself out of this today. What was it again, that I majored in at college. It wasn't steam shipping, I remember that much. Bring on the romance.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

They are engaged.

The characters in the latest book are engaged. Keith finally got around to asking Polly to marry him.He waited until Chapter 25. She surprised me by saying yes. Then, I started writing about what to wear to the wedding. I found some bridal veils that I like. Which one do you like?

 The first is The Bel Aire by Advantage I like this one very much.

The next one is what I would have chosen for my wedding. This is the Mantilla Bridal Lace from
This next one below is so stunning I can barely look at it without getting all teary eyed.
It is the Quixotic Cap from
I could not resist this lovely fascinator hat and veil. This would be lovely on anyone, but especially Polly with her dark hair, This is the "Be the Headstrong Bride at
This one is more traditional. It reminds me of Letecia's veil. She had such a beautiful wedding. She and Ray are still married, the veil must have done the trick.This is the Sims 2 veil from

 This veil is all about the cap. I think it is the modern version of the Juliet Cap. It is from a website about crochet, take a peek even if you do not want a Juliet Cap. That would be so special to crochet your own cap. Please enjoy looking at this beauty. It is from

This was most fun. Tell me which one you like.


Monday, June 24, 2013

I Forgot to Remember

I am ready to make the Watermelon Pico de Gallo using the recipe that I got from Pioneer Woman's blog, I went shopping and left the list at home. I guessed at what really is a jalepeno pepper, they were next to the Habeneras and they were mixed up the the stack. I didn't get the cilentro, the green,red nor the yellow bell peppers. Instead of Pico de Gallo with my Gallo tonight I am having watermelon chunks and green salad.

Sometimes I think I am the clone of I Love Lucy.
I shall get that shopping list tacked to me for Tuesday and start over. Please note, I did not forget the nail polish, a girl has to do, what a girl has to do.

When does Downton Abbey begin the new season? I'm withering away without Downton.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

It is Barely Spring.

It is spring for a little while longer. I was thinking this morning about the things I miss about seasons and places I have lived. Spring is wild Dogwood blooming along the Klamath River in California. Winter is Birch and Aspen trees covered in ice after a big storm in Anchorage, Alaska. Trees looking for all the world to see God's frosting job. Autumn is the smell of I don't know what that smell is, but I think you know what I mean. It just smells different. Then the crunch of dried fallen leaves. And then tomorrow we arrive at Blazo season in the Mojave Desert, actually starting tonight. I love the soft warm or hot night air, I love the chuckling song of some bird that lives in the palm trees. They merrily laugh to each other as dusk falls. Other than that summer pretty much sucks in the desert. The other seasons make up for it.
Have a wonderful, safe summer were you are. I'm enjoying the air conditioning,and iced tea.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

R.I.P. Mr. Flynn

Vince Flynn passed away today at age 48. Prostate cancer took this most talented writer.
If you have not read any of the Mitch Rapp books by Mr. Flynn, get off your rusty-dusty and go get them.
All you men reading this get that PSA test done, don't delay.

Watermelon Pico de Gallo Salsa by Pioneer Woman.

You must see this Watermelon Pico de Gallo on The Pioneer Woman's blog. Love her sense of style and her recipes. Today is Watermelon Pico de Gallo Salsa. Here is the link. I will be making this over the weekend for son and me to gobble down during our weekly Scrabble battle against the computer.

I did it. I made the goal yesterday of writing 5000 words. I even went over a bit. I did 5004 words. By 10:30 last night, I could think of nothing for them to do but hold hands and stare at each other. I gave up. This morning that will get erased and I will find them something more interesting to do. Maybe, they should make Watermelon Pico de Gallo. That could prove challenging, as the book is set in the mid 1860's in early spring in Massachusetts. No watermelon and definitely not cilantro or jalapeno peppers. Maybe they should parch corn or shell peas, well, that sounds as boring as staring at each other. I will think of something.
If I can actually write 5000 words in one day, there is not a reason for not scheduling myself to one day a week of 5000 words. Usually, I do at least 2000. I don't think I am capable of 5000 each and every day.That would make my output 17000 words a week. I always wonder how Nora Roberts manages her publishing schedule. She is a writing machine, and I mean that in the very best way. After all she created Roarke, I mean, come on!

Today's picture is from the area where the next book is set. This is the Klamath River, Siskiyou County,California. The next into the batter box is a mystery thriller.
Our cat Ranger, practicing what cats do best.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

  I thought you might like to see the bridge over Hoover Dam near Boulder City, Nevada. I don't know how many feet it is in the air but that puppy is way off the ground. At the moment I took the picture we were even with the actual dam to the left of the picture. Notice the utility standards are on a diagonal, leaning out over the canyon the dam is constructed in. Lake Mead is right behind us. This is approximately 25 miles from where I live in Henderson.
  The Mojave desert looks pretty much like the background mountains. Anyway, if you get to Las Vegas and get bored with the city, take the bus tour out to the dam and don't miss Boulder City, it is very, very cute, but the Alpaca Store doesn't carry yarn. But is worth a visit, great buy on handbags and gloves.
  The new water park is now open in Las Vegas, so if you bring the kidlets, ask any Taxi driver to take you there. Wet and Wild is the name of it.
Okay, tour is over.
  I didn't even get close to the writing goal yesterday. Therefore, today it is get as close to 5000 words as I can. I have never written that many words on a manuscript ever. I'll let you know how close I get.
  I had my final pre-op Doctor appointment yesterday. Since the orthopedist re-sked my op date, I have to do all the durned tests again. Fortunately, my doctor comes equipped with good toys. Got the Ekg and the blood work done right there in the office. The blood tech, don't ask me to spell phlebotomist (I did not either look that up, so there) my Kindle dictionary doesn't have it.Anyway, I got diverted. She couldn't get the blood to come out of one arm. She wriggled the needle around, but no luck. The other arm was being as nasty but finally it went. If I had known that I was going to have blood tests I would have drunk a gallon of water before I went. The one hour bus ride would have proved difficult. LOL.
On to writing onto 1864.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Searching for a Title

That search had me listening to country music yesterday. I listened for about 4 hours. Normally, country music is not my hot spot for ears. But, if you are looking for inspiration for anything having to do with any and all phases of love country music is the go to spot. I love the tone of Blake Shelton's voice, though I must admit that his lyric "you make my speakers go boom boom" doesn't exactly fit the cover of my book. I do like that song alot. Every time I hear it, I chuckle.
Still there is no permanent title for the book. The working title is 1864. That screams book about the civil war.
The little green and red orchid opened three blooms yesterday. Total is now eight on it.
Today, I have to really stick to the word processor. I just made the writing goal yesterday. I will try for 1/3 more words added on to today's goal. So I had better get to it.

Sunday, June 16, 2013


I'm re-opening the blog. It has been a long time and much has happened. One constant has been the need, not urge, physical need to write, I am blessing Amazon and for making it possible to publish without waiting years and years going through the legacy process.

I am finishing all the manuscripts that I have holding in the wings and getting them published. That is mostly for my fun and enjoyment, but they are selling. There are just two left and then I can start writing on the new stuff in my head.

I am now living in the Las Vegas, Nevada area and very happy with the little city of Henderson.

My orchid above is my latest plant and it is a beauty. Since the picture was taken it has opened two more blooms.The background color doesn't really show here. It is yellow green and the red is cherry red. I have another orchid with the opposite coloration. I call them the Yin and Yang orchids.
Welcome back to the blog. I hope we can be friends.