W-E-L-C-O-M-E to my little corner of the planet. Take a seat, get comfy. You're among friends, so please feel free to comment. Thank you for stopping by and I hope you enjoy my ramblings. Be sure to scroll all the way down to get the daily puppy ~ they're so cute!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

"You have the power to re-write your destiny"

Really?  Do you believe that? Or, do you believe that everything is as it should be and we don't control our future?  I'm a little bit of both.  I think in order to be content (which I've always had a problem being) we must accept that everything is in place as it should be.  Yet, we can't just sit here, do nothing and not make an effort to grab some gusto for our future.  We have to put ourselves out there, make things happen, cause a ruckus...whatever it takes to get noticed and promoted in this wacky world. 

Me...I waited til the kids were grown.  I kept little corners of napkins with poetry lines on them and notes of plot lines for stories I would later write.  And, I did write them.  I just needed to de-clutter my brain from all the mom stuff that I had going on in my 20's and 30's.  Having children as young as I did blessed me in such a way in that they were grown and I was a grandmother by the time I was 40, and being able to write while I was still young enough to remember it all was a plus!   So, here I was approaching my 50's and decided it was time to take that big plunge and get those stories published.  I lurked for a long time in the writing world.  I read other author's blogs.  I followed up every lead and referral I could find for editors, agents, publishing houses.  I persistently queried (and still do) seeking representation. The big change that took place during all of my lurking and waiting for just the right moment to launch myself, was the digital book era.  When I began my fact finding mission, paper books were still the main form of selling fiction and non-fiction so I had to shift my game plan.  The starting pitcher, paperback books, was taken out early...about mid-way through the fifth inning, then rookie e-book reliever came in to finish the game.  Rookie e-book won, by the way.  It was far simpler and much faster to self-publish with Amazon than keep searching for someone in the business to help me further me from being a writer to an author.  I've not regretted it.  The stuffy world of traditional publishing just isn't for someone like me. I write fluff.  I'm controlling.  I don't take criticism or suggestions easily. I'm pretty stubborn about it all, which doesn't differ from the rest of my life much.  I'm what most would term 'hell-bent'.  I want what I want whether it's good for me, or not.  Sometimes, a higher power intervenes to slap my hands and as with a toddler trying to eat the paper wrapping of the cupcake, shouts a scolding "NO!"...you can't have it your way.  Then, I try to find a back door to have things my way.  I'm that obstinate! Or mentally disturbed, however you choose to look at it.  Either way, my completed stories "Random Encounters" and "Bright Lights, Money & Show Biz, Honey" are available electronically at Amazon.com.  If you'd prefer the paperback versions and covet poetry ramblings to maybe help get you through these cold winter nights we still have left, I always throw in "LifeLoveLust" as a bonus when you buy. 


It's a sign of more changes a-foot in Peacemakerville.  Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers has decided to revamp their website and one thing that won't be included in the new one, is a message board.  I'm sad about not having one central location to congregate electronically with other PM fans, but I understand how technology can weigh down the business process.  That part of the band's image, I feel, is very important to us fans.  We've used their message board to communicate with each other and get important information about the band since its inception.  It will be odd to not have a message board to go to in order to get questions answered, get a review of a show to fuel our passion for the music when our area has been lacking a show lately, or plan our road trips to see the band. It's always been a fun place to get together with other people who understand the power of the music.  They officially gave a last online date of 2/23, but it's still there today and past experience with them re-vamping the website says it could be as long as a week before this one officially dies and we can longer access it.  Meantime, a shout to all my RCPM friends across the world..."Life is grand, love is real, and beauty is everywhere!" ~ RC 


What's happening in your world today? Shoot me line here and let me know.  I love hearing from ya'll, or if you prefer to e-mail that's fine too.  I stay in touch with many of you in that way. I'm trying to recover from the croup, yes...again! That's one reason for being short winded today.  I'm going to get me something hot from the Keurig and take it easy the rest of the day.  Hope ya'll have a glorious day! Baseball will be here soon, spring will be right along with it and we'll start to see the yellow jonquils and vibrant tulips peeking through the hard winter ground.  I can't wait!  "Here's To Life!" ~ RC

Nostalgically yours,

*Hugs* ~ K

Monday, February 20, 2012

It's all about the music! Mostly...

I'm a fraud. A liar, even. Is there a support group somewhere for evil people like me?  Here's how it all started:

I scored tickets courtesy of the good people at 95.3 KPND, Sandpoint, to the meet and greet and "Big Head Todd And The Monsters" sound check. Thing is, I don't know who "Big Head Todd And The Monsters" are. The radio station gave us a nifty cd/dvd that must be pretty terrific. The band came down off the stage from sound check, chatted for a few minutes, and autographed for everyone.  There was about 12 -15 of us there, I didn't count but we were a small group.  I pretended to be a fan.  I had to ask one of the real fans there who was who as there were several people milling about and I didn't even know who the band members were. Bad K!  But, there is a method to the madness.  I knew getting the tickets to the meet and greet would get me in the door first for the opening artist, Mr. Roger Clyne.  Now...normally, we would have a Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers show, but for this trip Roger did a short series (six I believe) as an opening for BHTM.  So, you see it's all perfectly good.  I had a good reason for being a fraud and it paid off in the end! I was front and center for Roger's opening of the show along with other dedicated Roger fans who sang, clapped, and very much appreciated the energy he put into his solo show. 

And then...there's Tawni...

Just about everyone who has been RCPM fan for much length of time has heard of the legend that is Tawni. She's been a faithful follower of the band from their humble beginning coming out of the ashes of Roger's former band "The Refreshments" . (To most of us, we simply refer to it all as Roger music as he's been the front man for the band since its inception no matter who the other players are and there've been a few changes along the way. We all go with the flow .)  Tawni stealthily followed Roger on his west coast trek and made every show except one. Spokane was the last stop and I'm so glad she made it! I've always wanted to meet Tawni. She's a legend in RCPM fandom and to experience the energy of a show right beside her was an honor and a pleasure.  Side by side front of stage, we had a great time tuning in to the music, singing every word to:  Marie, Green & Dumb, I Do, Mexico, Banditos, Bury My Heart At The Trailer Park, Americano!, and Wanted.   We shouted, clapped, and swayed in a trance-like state.  It was a fabulous evening and the only down side to it all was how short it was! I have seen countless RCPM shows and it's difficult to let go at just one hour, but BHTM kept him at the time limit so he had no choice.  Knowing Roger, I think he would have continued as long as we were all standing.  He's the energizer bunny of rock! A great time with great people and I can't wait to get back up and do it all over again.  

The kids are alright...

Roger is so appreciative of parents who bring the kids and he always makes a special effort to give them undivided attention. There were a few sets of parents who brought their kids, I would guess they were aged 8 -10 or so, who Roger noticed sang the words to the songs right along with the rest of us.  Second generation Peacemakers singing the words to his songs at shows! Roger took a request from one young fan and gave her one of his guitar picks as a gift.  She was thrilled! Just another fun moment from shows that make for fond memories. 

Yet more confessions of a groupie...

While I'm making confessions I might as well come completely clean.  I'm also very bossy.  Hard as I try not to be, I just am. After the Roger show, I was standing at the BHTM merch booth and telling their merch guy that "Jason doesn't do things this way."  He questioned: "Who is Jason?" (RCPM's merch guy). Then I think he just wanted me out of his way. Next, I was trying to bring order to Roger greeting fans after his set, getting people in line for photo ops, talking to other fans about his music that were new and hadn't been listening to it as long as I have.  I will work harder to refrain from such annoying behaviour in the future.  But it probably won't do any good.  I'm just that way. I like order and unchaos and I try to make it so.  

Some of the best of the evening wasn't even a part of the show...

I do believe everything is as it should be, but sometimes I need a little kick in the behind to remember it. I pulled up in front of Knitting Factory in Spokane fully expecting my usual handicapped parking space right in front of the tour bus.  To my surprise, that space was no longer designated as handicapped and was already taken. I circled the block thinking there must be a handicapped space somewhere close cursing to myself the whole time, but there was not and I had to park across the street in a paid lot. It wasn't that far, so I wasn't too upset. I got the few things I needed to take in with me without carrying a cavernous purse like I usually do. When I was waiting at the corner to cross at the light, none other than Roger walked up to make the trek too! I accosted him to come back to my truck with me to autograph a very delicate item (the news ad I purchased reflecting an article featuring "The Refreshments").  He politely agreed and we chatted for a few moments prior to getting back to the crossing and going our separate ways before the evening started. I'm always amazed at how polite and receiving Roger is of fans, and willing to accommodate requests if he can. As is his usual first class cowboy gentleman way, he wasn't the least bit testy about me invading his personal time before he had to get ready for a show.  I let Roger know there would be a glowing review at my blog and invited him to read all about it, however he politely declined saying he never reads that stuff.  I encouraged him reiterating it would be positive, but I'm fairly certain I was not able to convince him of that.  In the inner circle of Peacemakerdom, I would be termed a kool-aid drinker.  People can call it anything they like, all I know is the music is a deep personal happiness, a zen like state, that I've received no other way.  Fellow fans around me singing along, Roger on stage sweat dripping from his hair and soaking his shirt and he still gives it every ounce of energy he has whether it's a few dedicated die-hards at the front of the stage or the venue filled with hundreds. At one point I closed my eyes, swaying to the music and almost felt my feet lift off the ground. It's that powerful! Definitely a heaven sent gift that everyone should partake in. Roger always invites everyone to be a part of the congregation, and I do too.  The full band will be appearing May 22nd at Knitting Factory Spokane and if you haven't already met me there, I invite you to.  It's going to be another rockin' good time!

Just a short reminder, the paperback cover of "Bright Lights, Money & Show Biz, Honey" with Roger's silhouette on the front is a limited edition.  He signed my copy for me at last nights show *big grin* and you can get yours at my website or the e-download exclusively at Amazon.com, just click the link at the top of my blog and it'll get you there. 

Adios, mi amigos!  Hug everybody today and share the love the universe has given to you.

*Hugs* ~ K

Sunday, February 12, 2012

"An Enigma"

Encarta dictionary defines an enigma as:

"Somebody or something that is not easily explained or understood"

I spent almost two years termed "an enigma" by the medical community. These weren't healthcare professionals with little or no experience.  I have a team of five dr.'s who scratched their heads at my test results and didn't have a definitive diagnosis to give so that effective treatment could begin.  I could (and have) written volumes about that period of time when I knew whatever I had was progressing and the damage could not be repaired.  I lived in fear that I would die before there was a diagnosis and treatment.  I'm stoically silent about it most of the time. I'm not a whiner and I know there isn't anything anyone can do to help, and I don't need pity.  The darkest part for me, no one else understood the magnitude of despair. I went so far as to get all of my affairs in order so that when whatever I was suffering from took me, at least my loved ones wouldn't have to deal with too much. Almost four years into my illnesses now, I've since gotten diagnosis and am on treatment for RA, lupus and fibromyalgia.  The FB writers group Talking Fiction was created for authors to have a place to go for support, tips, ideas from other writers and has been a valuable resource for me.  I've met online some very talented writers that I admire and am honored to have an association with.  Terry Crawford Palardy is one of those writers and I'm thrilled to feature an interview with her.  She has the courage and knowledge to write a book titled "Multiple Sclerosis: An Enigma".  That title is what caught my eye and got my attention. I'd been called an enigma for so long, I wanted to read about her experience and it was like living my life through someone else's eyes.  Finally, someone who understands the sometimes so impersonal process we've been through to get a diagnosis and treatment.  Just to clarify, I don't have MS, however the symptoms and diagnosis process is similar to what I went through.  Autoimmune diseases are still a mystery to the medical community today.  Here is some of her story, and links to her pages to find her books.  She graciously sent me her book and it moved me to tears, but at the same time gave me a strength I didn't know I had.  If you or anyone you know has an autoimmune disease, this book will empower you!

Welcome, Terry :-)  Let's start with some basic information about you:

I read in your Amazon author profile, you have been a teacher prior to retirement. This is very close to my heart as my daughter teaches high school math and I believe it takes a special person to do that in that you really do have to love it.  Do you miss working with young people?

Yes, I do miss being in the classroom for discussions with my students. They are so openly honest in their observations and remarks, and they are not afraid to disagree or to build upon another students' comments. They have so much energy ...each grade level (and I have taught everything from first grade through eighth) has their own way of interacting with each other.

And as much as I miss my students' voices, I miss my colleagues more. I was blessed to work in a school where everyone cared deeply about education. I worked with colleagues who were co-leaders, who helped "unpack" the state standards and make them fit our very well designed curriculum benchmarks, rather than trying to make our school fit their model. In many instances, we far exceeded the state goals, and did not want to lessen that advantage for our students. And so we worked carefully to stretch each core discipline to include literacy, and to enhance a wider breadth of subject matter. It was exciting, and is what kept us energized in the face of all the national teacher criticism that filled the media. We knew we were good. And we defended our successes.

Did you get bit by the writing bug, or is writing something you've always done matter-of-factly?

I began writing holiday poems in elementary school, and wrote some letters to the editors in college. As a soccer mom, I wrote sports articles for my son's team, and that led me to write a column about life in our small town for our local newspaper. But real training as a writer began when I was invited to write a semi-annual column for the Phi Kappa Phi Forum, titled Education and Academics. Those columns allowed me to question the changes and new mandates imposed by federal and state governments. I was able to confront the "poor mouth" budget battles that we faced each year. My voice became more clear, and recognizable to many who followed my work. The editors gently molded me into a more formal writer, one who didn't use so many contractions, and who knew the MLA and AP writing style manuals. But more importantly, they gave me a platform and let me run with it. Those columns are now in a book, my first self-published book, which is in print and on Amazon kindle now.

You have such a varied repertoire, do you remember the first thing you ever wrote, i.e., short story, poetry, novel?
I do! I was very competitive as a student in fifth grade, and our teacher, Miss Phillips, appreciated reading poems that I would write and share. One of my classmates, a boy named Tommy who had red hair (he will always be "a boy named Tommy who had red hair" in my memories) also wrote poetry, and so we started a contest. I think it was a tie, as judged by a wise teacher, and mine was about Christmas, and I think his was about baseball. I don't remember what I wrote, and any thoughts of saving papers for later was futile, in a house with so many sisters and brothers.

Like many up and coming artists, I need an income while waiting to support myself with writing. My day job is in the wonderful and exciting world of insurance, so I have to find time away from a 35 hour a week job to write.  Do you find now that you're retired, you have more to write, or just more time to write?

I thought I would be writing reams daily, but I find myself more often reading, and as often reviewing others' work. As a teacher, responding to students' writing had to be clearly delineated with rubrics and standards, and often defended in parent meetings. To take a subject like English, which involved so many sub-skills (reading, writing, grammar, spelling, even penmanship) at so many different levels, and then distilling all of those measures down to one letter grade for a report card was very subjective. But now, I read, and I comment, and I try to teach lessons missed or forgotten, and the authors, so far, are receptive to my help. And I am able now to "grade" the way I always wish I could have graded in school ... I give five stars if the piece has achieved that, and I don't give stars if not. I say, "not yet."

I spent the first five months of retirement gathering and polishing and publishing pieces I'd written through the years, and put six books into print in that short time. My most recent book, "Multiple Sclerosis: An Enigma", took the longest, as I was actually writing it from scratch, with only some notes in a journal to guide me through time. I did have some editing help at a writer's site called FanStory, where writers write and read each others' writing and critique it, from poetry to nonfiction to fiction. I built my story chapter by chapter, week by week, and then rebuilt it as a continuous story before publishing. It took about three months, and covers brief passages from early life, but focuses primarily on the four and a half years from diagnosis to publishing.
I have a long list of books waiting for me to find time to read them.  I'm always intrigued by what other authors read and to see if it's a far cry from what they write. What are you reading now and what's on your 'to read' list? Do you have a preference of genre to read?

Before writing "Multiple Sclerosis: An Enigma", I was reading a lot of books that dealt with chronic illness and patient assertiveness. I'd read Richard Cohen's two books, "Blindsided" and "Strong at the Broken Places". I read "The Empowered Patient", "MS for Dummies", and several others. But my next book will be a mystery. I'm reading a lot of mysteries right now, and reviewing them at my blog. Most are books that I've been able to get on Kindle, but I also have been buying used books that are things I've wanted to read for a long time.

But for true reading pleasure, I like biographies, and histories. A favorite author presently, one whom I've heard speak about his books locally, is Stephen Puleo. He writes of local history, and my two favorite books of his are "Dark Tide, the story of the Molasses Flood in Boston", in which he focuses on the ordinary people and what happened to their lives, families and businesses. He also tells the story of molasses, it's value in making munitions that were being sent to the allies during the World War (I) and the economic results of America entering and ending the war, and  "A City So Grand", Boston from 1850 to 1900 during which time Boston was a center of abolitionist movements, the first city to develop a fire alarm street box system, and a city that increased its geographic real estate by filling in the back bay and developing neighborhoods to house the gentry who would keep the city a focus of economic growth. I love the way he writes about people, not just events. I would like to be able to write as well some day.

Let's talk about chronic pain and deterioration diseases.  I have RA, lupus, and fibromyalgia (a tri-fecta!) and I remember before I got my diagnosis, was at one time termed "an enigma", which is one reason your book "Multiple Sclerosis: An Engima" got my attention.  Autoimmune diseases are a mystery to many people including the medical community and I stopped trying to explain it some time ago, yet you seem to be a crusader.  What keeps you going? Do you ever get tired of trying to get people to understand the uncertainty and frustration? 

What keeps me going is the need to create awareness of these illnesses, the changes they cause in people's lives, and the invisibility of their symptoms which can leave the patient feeling like a fraud (me) or being ignored by those from whom they need the most support (not me.) I also want the rest of the world to recognize that each of these is not a small deal, but rather large in our lives. I am angry that the treatment for multiple sclerosis recommended by the medical community places all responsibility on the patient, providing only minimal "training" and support for that treatment. I don't believe for a moment that student nurses are given only one session on how to safely and effectively inject medication into a patient, yet that is what is expected of the multiple sclerosis patient and family.

I don't get tired trying to convince people who need convincing - my father taught me long before I knew I would have this diagnosis that it makes no sense to keep beating yourself against a stone wall...turn and go around it, in a new direction, where you can use your skills to their best advantage. That is what I am doing in this book. There are many other ways to approach these conditions, and I would advocate self-assessment for patients. A change in menu, a change in lifestyle, a change in location...all offer something better, but the only thing the medical world promotes is more medication. It doesn't have to be that way. My story gives some of the reasons to make other choices.

You're account of MS in your book "Multiple Sclerosis: An Enigma" is a powerful first person account of living with the symptoms for many years and finally getting a diagnosis. It was especially poignant to me to read of 'mourning the loss'.  The loss of the ability we had before, the loss of hope in having a normal life hereafter. It's gone, we can't bring it back. It is very much like someone died and we grieve the loss.  It took a long time for me to get a diagnosis and it was somewhat anti-climactic in that...it didn't change anything.  All of my symptoms and limitations were still there, and there still is no cure. The only thing that changed was, I no longer was thought of as a lunatic for all of the various symptoms I suffered that didn't seem to connect to each other, and was able to get on medication to help the symptoms, sometimes, as there is no magic formula.  Some meds work one day, and the next they do not. I continue to take the cocktail of shots and pills daily, but I understand you have changed your treatment plan.  Do you see any hope that the mystery of autoimmune diseases will be solved anytime in the near future?

I am reading of many other choices, explained by many other voices advocating for patient education and patient support rather than just diagnosis and prescriptions.  I am living a change right now, having stopped the medication that I believed was pushing me deeper into depression. My course of disease is said to be benign (for now) and unpredictable ahead. I am taking good care of myself in terms of nutrition, and almost as well in terms of exercise. I will follow the research and share what I learn at my blog. Many respectable researchers are now questioning the "faulty immune system" theory of multiple sclerosis, leaning instead towards viewing it as a metabolic issue, dietary in its base, and rapidly increasing in numbers due to the typical North American menu.

I am a history teacher (among other subjects) and I know that American medicine has come far, but it is important to remember, with humility, its beginnings. Leeches for bloodletting, amputation, and lack of effective hygiene were the cause of many deaths during the civil war. Keeping patients in dirty, closed quarters led to complications then untreatable. Elizabeth Blackwell and Dorothea Dix brought fresh air, sunshine, and clean sheets to hospital beds long before doctors and researchers could see and understand microscopic bacteria. "If we do not learn from the past, we are doomed to repeat it," is often quoted. Medicine as a culture has to learn from the past. What we think is right today may be laughed at in the future. It is humbling to think that way, but it is honest.

My background is in education, not medicine. Injecting myself every night for four and a half years with a solution that burned and caused swelling, a solution that crossed my blood brain barrier and entered the central nervous system to act as a decoy and perhaps interrupt and capture some of the immune system's cells to keep them from harming the myelin around the nerves frightened me into a depression that required medical help to escape. Yet my doctors persisted in their belief that this was a good treatment for me. I didn't have the courage to speak up and tell them that I disagreed with their medical education. Many patients accept the doctor's education and training as a guarantee that it is right. People believed the doctors who applied leeches knew what they were doing. It is my belief that people can self-assess if given the freedom to do so. That is my purpose in publishing this book. 

Thank you,Terry! It's somewhat comforting to get information and emotional support from someone who has been there.  The diseases, I can deal with. The daily cocktail of meds and shots, I can deal with.  It's the medical community's attitude that very often perplexes me and frustrates me so it's a little validating to know I'm not the only one. I applaud Terry's ability to take her healthcare into her own hands and do what she feels is right for her. If you or someone you know has an autoimmune or metabolic illness, this book will be invaluable to you. Look up Terry at any or all of these links:

Terry Palardy
Amazon Author's Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00580PJ9Y
Website: www.beyondoldwindows.com
Blog: http://terrysthoughtsandthreads.blogspot.com
Facebook: Terry Crawford Palardy, and Terry's Thoughts and Threads, and Multiple Sclerosis, an Enigma
Twitter: @thoughtsthreads
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5057459.Terry_Crawford_Palardy


A very happy birthday shout to my big brother, Michael in Oklahoma.  No matter how young he thinks he is, he'll always be older than me! :-D

Hugs to everybody today! Pitchers and catchers report to training next week and I can see Spring on the horizon.  Sunny days are on the way :-D 

Inspiringly yours,

~ K

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Super Sunday

Who's on first? A baseball reference on the big football day :-D

We never get a second chance to make that oh-so-critical first impression.  That first spark, or fizzle. It could be a chance meeting stepping over each other to get in the Starbucks line first when you're running behind in the morning; meeting future in-laws for the first time, or that business meeting set up by your associate that you thought was going to be a sleeper, but turns out introduced you to Mr. Perfect.  Ok...that last line is a stretch (women will see the humor in that) but you get my point.  Once. That's all we get to make someone stop and think: "I really want to get to know him/her better" or "Gawd! Good riddance that one is out of my way!".  Veronica Walters made the first impression to upstage all first impressions.  Her "Random Encounters"  were just that...random, once, and most important of all...silent.  How did she lure her intended random partner into such a tryst? More importantly, why? Why did she risk so much for one quick silent encounter with one man, one time? That question is answered, along with a story within a story that has a sizzling sexual secret all its own.  E-downloads of  "Random Encounters" are available exclusively at Amazon.com or if you prefer the comfort of paper and book with a spine you can crease, order at my website and you get my award winning poetry ramblings "LifeLoveLust" for free. 


From the perspective of one who has been working (playing) at pursuing success in writing, I've learned a few things along the way.  I wouldn't have it any other way for myself.  I'm a 'learn by doing' kind of person.  It sticks with me that way.  A reason why when raising our children, we let them make their own mistakes (thereby learning from them).  Hovering parents who stand over the school admin's shaking their crooked little fingers in the faces of principles and teachers to get their point across that their perfect little angel couldn't possibly have been as bad as they say, are wrong.  Plain wrong. Those parents are a subject matter I do not want to get started on in this arena.  Suffice to say, they are not doing their children any favors by fighting their battles for them.  Let's move on...

Back to writing.  I've spent an extraordinary amount of time perusing the internet looking at other authors art.  I follow countless blogs, authors helping authors, reviewers helping authors, I have many writer FB friends which I'm grateful for as I wouldn't have found their writing any other way. My LinkedIn connections have been invaluable. The internet is saturated with sites featuring writers trying to make it in a nearly impossible field of mazes.  I've found some amazingly good stories by unknowns that makes me stop and scratch my head...why don't they have the ultimate dream of a publishing contract with the big boys in New York?  Alternatively, I've seen some crap that also makes me stop and scratch my head...what in the world gave this person any idea their writing is worth the internet space it's taking up?  Now...it's not that I think my writing is the be all, and end all.  In fact, I've been pretty clear about my writing.  I think I'm average. I don't believe I should have any more (or less) of a chance of getting that big boys NY contract than the next average writer.  It comes down to taste.  Taste in subject matter (genre), in story structure, how long or short the story is, how much the reader wants to get invested in the book.  Maybe they only have a few hours on the weekend free to read something to escape from the realities of a hectic life.  My books fit in that niche perfectly. Not so long that you have to read in several steps, but just enough to have a little break from the stresses of everyday life.  So, what are you reading today? Thriller, murder mystery, fantasy, erotica so hot it would singe the brows if the book gets too close? Hmmm? Gimme a shout! I want to know :-)  


Are you a diffuser?  No, not the ones in decorative glass with scented oil you place around the house to freshen up the air. In life, we have instigators and diffusers.  We can make the conscious choice to either fuel a bad situation, or help put an end to it and stop the bickering.  I'm talking about personal relationship situations, of any kind whether they be co-workers, relatives who tend to be heavy on the drama, or online discussions where some people make it impossible to agree to disagree. You know the ones...they not only want to be right, they want you to like it!  I've normally been one to take the high road. I've too much pride and self-respect to let it show someone got the best of me.  However, just a hint...usually when I give any rebuttal (which is rare) and I end it with the code words 'have a nice day!' just picture me with my three finger wave, middle finger extended in a nonverbal but peaceful gesture.  It means, don't go away mad...just go away. 


SO CLOSE! A reminder that tomorrow February 6 is the last day for "Stuck Outside Of Phoenix" , Art Edwards & Nico Holthaus to raise enough money to get the kickstart campaign funded.  I wish I could give them all the money they need for their project, it would make me very happy!  Please...if you only have even a few bucks to give, pledge it.  It all adds up collectively.  If you have more than a few you can spare, very cool! It's going to be a great independent movie project that starts  here and you can be a part of it.  As of this morning, they only need a little bit more to get their total raised, so if you have a little bit, please give.


Whew! Long winded today, aren't I? That's what happens when there's a dry spell and inspiration has been lax. I promise I will get back to doing some artist interviews and features, hopefully next week, and I'll feature someone exciting I know you'll love to read about! I have many in the wings, I've just been a little out of sorts with being so sick for couple months.  I'm doing better, thank you all for your kind concerns and well wishes, and I'm getting back to my sassy self, so look out!

Hug somebody today! I have my darling Lhasa Apso Stanley here next to me and we're comfy cozy with lots of hugs.  I've got my Keurig, too :-)

Randomly yours,

*Hugs* ~ K