Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Another good place to sketch...

I found the Social Security office to be a great place to sketch. Once, many years ago, I sat there with one of my daughters for three hours. I had brought a book along, but I doubted I would get a chance to read it--and I didn't. There were too many other distractions in the waiting room. It was fortunate I brought along my sketch book. The Social Security waiting room was just as good as the beach for sketching--nobody moved much at all.

My daughter and I chatted with a veteran who was trying to get disability payments so he could go to school. He needed a pen to fill out a form and he could not find a pen in the waiting room--so I gave him one I had gotten from one of my writer friends and I told him to keep it, but he didn't. So I really did not get the chance to advertise another romance writer. Still, it was interesting to hear someone else's life story. I can always use another character in one of my books.

Perhaps the Social Security office isn't as slow as it once was. Nowadays, people have the opportunity to complete many transactions online. Still, that day I had good company, interesting conversation, and some practice in quick sketches. It was a good day. 😊

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Ocean Waves

I've always lived near the ocean. I love the smell of briny air--whether it's winter, spring, summer, or fall. I believe a walk on the beach is the antidote for many ills. "The vast majority of water on the Earth's surface, over 96 percent, is saline water in the oceans." ( Of course, humans cannot drink ocean water, but the ocean provides fish, lobsters, clams, shrimp, mussels, and other delicacies humans enjoy.

I feel like I'm standing at the edge of the world when I'm at the beach. However, I would never want to live on the beach. I know the power of an angry ocean and the damage it can do. It is far, far better to live on high ground.

Since I'm a Jersey girl, water figures prominently in many of my books. I got the idea for Sea of Hope while walking on the beach one day. Heaven's Blue came about when my sister's job inspired me to write about a mosquito researcher. Irons in the Fire resulted from frequent rides in hubby's motorboat.  In Daddy Wanted, the heroine's hobby is surfing. I never tried surfing, but I've spend hours watching surfers catch waves--and when there's a storm coming I always go to the beach to watch the daredevil surfers brave the awesome power of the ocean.

Humans are supposed to care for the earth and the environment. It's a job given to us by God. We haven't done very well in obeying that command. The beaches in New Jersey are being swallowed up by the ocean. The storms are becoming more violent. The earth is warming, the ice caps are melting, and I worry that I might soon be living on oceanfront property. As much as I love a walk on the beach, I don't want the ocean at my door.

But I still find the beach a wonderful place to spend an afternoon. I can watch the gulls and the fishermen. I can pick up shells and marvel at their beauty. I can make up more stories to write. It's a great place to relax and simply be.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Old Editions, Inflated Prices

 There are book dealers on Amazon selling my books for outrageous prices. The paper edition of PATRIOT'S HEART is available--brand new--from the publisher for only $13.99. Why pay more for an older edition?

While THE KEEPER'S PROMISE is currently out of print, I plan to reissue it. Even so $60.49 is an awful lot for a paperback. Maybe a hundred years from now, someone might be intrigued and think it's a rare thing, but I doubt it.

I do appreciate book dealers. I've bought some rare out-of-print editions on Amazon, mostly reference books. I often visit used book stores. But I really wonder about these inflated prices.

Still, it's nice to think that someone believes my books are worth so much. However, I'm not the one who will benefit from the sale. 😟

Thursday, September 20, 2018

My Instagram Presentation

I belong to the Art Society of Monmouth County. I joined in order to have some place to display my paintings other than on my own walls. It's a great group. Yesterday, I gave a presentation about using Instagram to promote art. Our meeting place does not have a projector, but I used the television connected to my iPad. 

Many artists are very successful in using Instagram to promote their work. Of course, authors use Instagram, too, and just about everybody else. 😁 Marketing is very important and can be exhausting, but social media is a useful tool in this endeavor. While it's fun to have a show in a gallery and enjoy the reception, an artist can only reach a small group of people. Instagram has 700,000,000 users every month. It's worth signing up and following some like-minded folks. 

Check out what has to say about using Instagram as a promotional tool and remember that their advice can also be used for writers.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

My Big Summer Plans

I had big plans for the summer. After teaching for twenty-five years, I got into the habit of packing everything possible into a few short months. I'm retired now, but I still want to do as much as possible while I don't have to wear a coat and gloves.  I wanted to go on exciting day trips plus visit both of my sisters. I was going to get back to sketching at least once a week. I intended to lay on a blanket on the beach. I planned to read twenty books. My garden needed a makeover and I was determined to make it beautiful. I was going to crochet several prayer shawls.

Oh, and I was going to finish the book I'm writing.

Then the heat and humidity invaded New Jersey. It was unbearable. New Jersey felt like Florida. I can't stand heat or humidity. The mosquitoes love heat and humidity. They turned out to be more vicious than usual. If I stepped outside for five minutes without insect repellent, a horde of mosquitoes feasted on me.

While it is true I may have overplanned, I did accomplish a few of my goals but not all. I visited one sister. I read a couple books. We went on several jolly day trips with Daughter #2. I crocheted several shawls, but I made very little progress on the garden. I went to the beach once but it was like an oven so I didn't stay long.

I realized I was killing too many people in my novel and went to a brainstorming session to decide what to do. I got plenty of suggestions and now I am still fixing that book. That's progress of a sort. Besides, it was cool inside the house with the air conditioning running.

I think I put too much pressure on myself and on the season. Summer is simply too short and my expectations are unrealistic, but the cooler days of autumn have arrived and the mosquitoes will soon depart. Maybe I'll get to do a little gardening before it snows. 😆

Thursday, September 06, 2018

An Explosion of Crochet

If you’ve read this blog, you know I like to crochet. I started when I was seven years old. I made afghans, scarves, hats, baby sweaters, baby blankets, and crocheted ornaments. Every now and then I’d pick up my crochet hook at various times and start a project. However, it wasn’t until my dear friend came to me one day and asked me to teach her how to make baby hats that I really started to crochet with a purpose. I realized I had a skill that could offer comfort to the suffering.

What followed was an explosion of crochet projects. I haven’t stopped yet. I started a prayer shawl ministry at our church. If you’re interested in using your skills to offer comfort to others go to for more information.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

eBook Bonanza and Giveaway

Pelican Book Group is featured at My Book Cave for a fabulous Christian eBook Bonanza and Giveaway from August 30 until September 20, 2018. There are many temporarily discounted titles, including PATRIOT'S HEART. You can enter to win one of 3 ereaders and 7 gift cards! No purchase necessary to enter the giveaway, but check the books on sale and buy the ones that interest you.

Visit MY BOOK CAVE now!