Sunday, September 17, 2017

Trixie Stilletto

Welcome to fall in the garden! Today we have Trixie Stilleto talking about her new book.

Weekly gardening tip, the resident gardener is, again, watching NFL. It may be after the super bowl before we have another tip from him.
Courtesy of The HandyMan

Without further ado.... Welcome Trixie!

Thanks for having me here, Mary and allowing me to talk about my latest release, Do Grave Harm.

All books are special. I can’t think of a single author able to put the time, blood, sweat and tears into telling a story that isn’t special to them. Though I am a terrible gardener myself, possessing one of the blackest thumbs known to the world, I know that it normally takes more than just scattering some seeds on the ground and waiting to see beautiful flowers blossom shortly after.

But some seeds do grow out of the weakest soil. They seem determined to bloom no matter what we throw (or in my case, forget to water) at them. This is how Do Grave Harm came to be.

The last ten years have been personally rough on me. The deaths of my father and my husband led the way. Then my mother, who was battling Dementia type Alzheimer’s, had to be put in a nursing facility and passed away a year later. While my mother was sliding slowly away from me, a tiny lump was discovered in my left breast during an annual mammogram. Cancer. The diagnosis rocked my world.

After taking time to process, I started a year-long treatment plan. My cancer is HER2 positive, one of the most aggressive types with a high rate of return and metastasis to other parts of the body.

I have written a variety of different romances over the last multiple decades, but had for some time been seeking a story that spoke to me and one I felt was strong enough to debut as my first mystery. I also had created a small fictional town in Eastern Tennessee several years ago for another project that didn’t work out. Blue Bald Falls embodies many of the best and worst features of small towns everywhere but particularly in the southern Appalachian Mountains. I decided to set my mystery here and make it the first story in my cross-genre series called Blue Bald Falls.

But after several attempts at finding the right characters for this story, I was about ready to give up on it again.

Then I got my cancer diagnosis. I certainly can’t speak for other cancer patients or survivors. For me, the greatest challenge (besides the side effects from the powerful drugs) was the feeling of being out of control. I’d never before in my previous fifty-six years experienced anything like it. One day, while I was waiting for my radiation treatment to begin, my character, Jennifer Atkinson, started speaking to me in my mind. She is braver, stronger and more fearless me. She is also in a pickle as murder is afoot. She can’t stop asking questions despite warnings from her best friend, the hunky police detective, Ben, and the murderer.

I hope you will take a few moments, visit my website or any of the online retailers to read an excerpt of Do Grave Harm.

Because I feel so strongly connected to the fight against breast cancer, portions of all proceeds will be donated to breast cancer charities. Each October, Breast Cancer Awareness month, I will donate 100% of the proceeds to metastatic breast cancer research. The links to this charity as well as links to the online retailers are included with the post.

Blurb
There’s nothing normal about Jennifer Atkinson’s radiation treatment, especially when discovers the
technician dead in the control room. As the gruesome scene replays itself in her mind, small details spark more questions than she’s answering for the seriously attractive Detective Ben Manteo.

Despite Ben’s warning to stay out of it, Jennifer picks up seemingly unrelated threads that weave themselves into a story of lies, deceit, and betrayal that someone will go to any length to make sure never gets told…

Note: During October, proceeds from this story will be donated to metastatic breast cancer research.

Book links
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2w68EVg
iBooks: http://apple.co/2vC6EBQ
BN: http://bit.ly/2fG5Msl
KOBO: http://bit.ly/2w3Wuxa
Charities
https://www.bcrfcure.org/founders-fund

Excerpt
Something wasn’t right. I didn’t want to panic, but I was starting to feel claustrophobic. Having a two-ton radiation machine sitting only inches from your chest will do that to you, especially when it seems you’ve been forgotten.

You’re not truly alone, Jennifer, I reminded myself. There were dozens of people down the hall in the waiting room. And this was a hospital. People were constantly moving around, even though they kept the radiation section closed off.

Repeating these things and more didn’t help. At that moment, I felt abandoned, as if no one knew where I was.

“Excuse me,” I finally called, hoping the radiation technician who’d brought me in here would answer, reassuring me.

Robert. I picture his name tag in my mind. Raising my voice, I called again, “Robert?” Nada. The room was probably soundproof with the door shut.

Panic sped up my breathing as I stared at the machine. It hadn’t moved after my radiation treatment had ended. That was the problem.

In my mind, the six inches between me and it had shrunk to three. My arms were starting to go numb, as well as my feet and legs. No one was coming to help me. I had to do something. Now.

Moving while under the machine was kind of tricky. I was a large woman, and I’d never been dexterous on my back, much to my rat ex- husband’s lament, I guess.

I kicked my legs out of their rubber support and, after several tries, scooted my butt down the metal table. Then I did an ungainly slide, like I was slipping under a barbed-wire fence. Except this particular fence was the size of a VW Beetle, and it seemed to be inching closer to me with each passing second.

When I moved enough that my head and neck were no longer in the plastic mold that kept me still during treatment, I banged the back of my skull against the table. “Ow, ow, ow,” I muttered, inching my way farther down it until I cleared the machine.

Finally, my legs dangled off the end. I sat up, took my first relieved breath in eons, and waited for my head to stop spinning. Freedom! I looked around the room, and everything seemed normal. Walking over to the plastic chair to my left, I picked up my long-sleeved cotton jersey and put it on. Since I got topless for my treatment, most of the time I didn’t bother wearing a bra when I came here. It would be one more thing to take off.

I moved to the doors. They’re made of thick steel and tightly sealed. No wonder no one answered me. They wouldn’t have heard me even if I’d shouted. I pushed on one a bit, staggering under the unexpected weight. When it opened a scant few inches, I peered around the edge. I don’t know why I was acting like a guilty person, doing something or going somewhere I wasn’t supposed to.

I hid a giggle behind a cough. Jeez, Jennifer, get a grip. Something still wasn’t right. In fact, I felt an overwhelming sense that things were horribly wrong.

“Robert?” Still no answer, so I pushed the door open a little wider. Now I could see the second lab and computer station. It was as dark as it had been when I came into the radiation lab at the Blue Bald Falls Cancer Center no more than ten minutes ago. I opened the door wide enough and stepped into the bright lights of the hall.

Robert had his head down on the computer keyboard like he was napping. The scalpel sticking straight out from the side of his neck and the blood pooling on the table down to the floor told me sleep had nothing to do with it.

***

“Are you Mrs. Atkinson?”

The man standing in front of me was about five foot ten with a stocky build and blue eyes. His hair was cut close to his scalp with military precision, but what I could see was thick, healthy, and red. He wore khaki-colored pants and a dark long-sleeved polo sweater and scuffed boots. He looked like he could’ve been a boxer or mountain climber at some point in his life. He was either hospital administration or police.

“Yes, I’m Jennifer Atkinson.” I stood with my left hand out, resisting the urge to run my right over my bald scalp. I’d worn a knitted scarf over it to treatment, but I’d stuffed the scarf in my coat pocket out in the waiting area.

He shook my hand. The warmth of his skin against mine felt reassuring. After being stuck under the radiation machine for what felt like an eternity, and then left waiting in this tiny room for even longer, I’d been so focused on eventually getting out of here that I hadn’t realized I was chilled to the bone.

Hospital security had deposited me here shortly after my scream brought about a crowd of people to the radiation lab. Since then, I’d been left alone wondering what the heck was going on and trying to keep from heaving my breakfast because I kept seeing all the blood pooling on the floor.

I couldn’t believe someone had been killed while I was waiting to begin my radiation treatment for breast cancer. I was a middle-aged divorced freelance travel journalist. I went to radiation five days a week and got chemo every third week. Until this morning, my life had all the excitement of a woolly worm climbing up an oak tree on Blue Bald, the ridge between my little Tennessee town of the same name and the state border with North Carolina.

“I’m Ben Manteo, a detective with the Blue Bald Falls police,” he said. He pulled out a wallet and flashed his badge for me.

“Yes, sir.” I fell back on my manners, calling everyone I don’t know “sir” or “ma’am,” even if they aren’t older than me. Manteo looked to be in his late forties or early fifties. Something about his eyes told me he’d lived a little longer.

“You found the victim?”

I gulped, my shakiness returning. I closed my eyes, then opened them quickly. It didn’t help. Nothing was going to erase the memory of that scalpel sticking out of Robert’s neck. “Yes, sir.”

“Mrs. Atkinson, let’s sit down. I can get you some coffee or something to drink.” His voice had a way of trailing up on the syllables of his words that told me he was native to Blue Bald Falls. The accent is part mountain, part Scottish from the first white settlers in this area, and part Cherokee.

“No, they gave me something,” I said, pointing to the nearly empty bottle of water sitting on the tasteful small end table.

“Good. Now, can you tell me everything that happened?” Manteo asked, leading me back to one of the overstuffed armchairs in the tiny room.

I sat and opened my mouth, only to shut and open it again, this time with a nervous laugh escaping. “I honestly don’t know where to begin.”

“You were here for treatment?” he prompted. He set a small digital recorder on the table and took out a notebook and pen from his hip pocket. For some reason, seeing the notebook reassured me.

I took a breath. “Yes. I got diagnosed with early- stage aggressive breast cancer six months ago. I have a year of chemotherapy and daily radiation through March.”

TMI, Jennifer. TMI.

“Sorry, that isn’t important. When I arrived, I walked back from the reception area, and Robert met me halfway up the hallway.”

“Is that the usual procedure? Someone meeting you on the way?”

“No. But things were a little odd this morning.”

“Describe odd,” he said.

“Usually there are two technicians, and one meets me in the reception area and walks me out when I’m done. But today they are in training or something.”

My throat was extremely dry. I wished I’d accepted his offer of coffee or more water. I cleared my throat again and continued.

“That’s what he told me, anyway. I’d never met him before. Usually, I have women techs, not that it matters, just that I’ve only seen women techs working here with radiation patients. It’s a vulnerable position.”

Sounds silly, I realized, but I was telling the truth. For such an unobtrusive procedure, radiation made me feel defenseless. Heck, I’d been feeling that way from the minute the doctor came in after my annual mammogram and told me they wanted to take a closer look at a spot. She’d assured me it was probably nothing. She’d kept up the positive attitude all the way through the needle biopsy. Then my world changed on a dime.

You may not have figured this out yet, but I don’t do helpless. Yet with this cancer diagnosis, no matter how much I tried to change my attitude, my life kept spiraling out of control.

“Okay. So you chatted a little? Small talk?”

“Yes. They want me to relax, and the small talk helps. I don’t even know his last name. It just said Robert on his name tag.”

“Yes ma’am. What happened next?”

I shrugged. “The treatment is cut and dry. I lay down. They line up the machine, then they leave, the lights dim, and the machine does its thing. Once it’s finished, the techs come back, help me up, and out we go. It only takes about three minutes for the actual treatment. Five minutes total.”

“What happened next?”

“He left and the machine started the treatment. When it was over, the machine should have moved partially away from me. It didn’t. I thought I heard something, but maybe I imagined it.”

Then I went on to explain how I’d found Robert at the desk and screamed. As I finished the story, I felt another wave of nausea building. I bit my lip and managed to keep my breakfast down. It seemed like I’d been here for days, but it’d only been a ninety minutes since I’d arrived for my appointment at eight this morning.

“Okay, Mrs. Atkinson.”

“Call me Jennifer.”

“All right. Let’s go over it from when you were left in the radiation room. Did you see anything before the lights dimmed?”

“No. It only took a second or two.”

“You said you heard a noise?”

Thanks again, Mary, for having me and to all your readers for making me feel so welcome!

I hope you can join us again, Trixie. thank you for visiting.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Book Club...

Welcome to Mary's Garden. I would like to send positive thoughts out to our friends in the areas hit and currently being hit by Harvey and Irma. Please take care and be safe.

Today I had to borrow a garden tip because my resident gardener is too busy watching NFL to come up with one. So here goes, it's from The Daily Times, New Philadelphia, Ohio, April 23, 1924:
GARDEN HINTS
Buy vegetables at the store. Hide them in the garden like Easter eggs and claim they grew there.

If you're interested in joining my online group, visit Mary's Book Group. New friends, new books, giveaways...
www.facebook.com/groups/MarysBookGroup
It's not to late to register for Utah Readers Luncheon
www.utahreadersluncheon.com/
If you're attending SL Comic Com, please drop by and visit me at the Eborn Books Booth.
saltlakecomiccon.com
Fall Sale! (Ebooks)
Chick Magnet $.99 at Amazon
Watching Jenny $.99 at Amazon
Innocent (Book II The Beckett Series) $.99 at Amazon

Thank you for dropping by Mary's Garden, I hope you enjoyed.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Welcome Sherry Lewis!

Welcome to fall in the garden. Well almost fall anyway. Time for for me to check in with the resident gardener, who is so not me.

Gardening Tip of the week:
If you've got a rock garden get rid of it, it will never grow!

Please welcome Sherry Lewis back to the garden!
Sherry Lewis is the national bestselling author of more than 30 books in the romance and mystery genres, along with several non-fiction books on the craft of writing. Her most recent release, Dead on Arrival is available in paperback and Kindle format on Amazon. A proud mother and doting
grandmother, she makes her home along Florida’s Emerald Coast with the two least cuddly cats on the planet. Her writing workshops have been popular for more than two decades, and her books are sold around the world. She is listed on Romance Writers of America’s Honor Roll.

Thanks for having me here, Mary. It’s always fun to spend time in the garden with you and your readers. I appreciate the opportunity to talk a little bit today about one of the biggest problems facing writers and other creative types, and that’s being blocked.

Of course, since I’m a writer, when I think of being blocked, I think of it as “writer’s block,” which is a term we hear frequently. Some people believe it’s a real thing, and some don’t. Or, if they think it’s a real thing, they also think it’s something you can easily move past.

Years ago, in the early days of my career, I would have told you the same thing. That was back when I thought this whole writing/creative thing was a question of mind over matter. For many years, I foolishly (and I guess egotistically) thought I could write through anything. I was convinced that if I just focused hard enough and willed myself to push through with enough willpower, I could always come out on top.

 And then life threw me a curve ball, and I found out just how wrong I was.


If you participate in some artistic endeavor long enough, whether writing books, writing a blog, making YouTube videos, painting, writing music, etc., you will experience blocks. I wish I could tell you otherwise, but it’s a given. Blocks appear in all shapes and sizes, and they come at us from a variety of different angles. Sometimes we’re blocked for a few days. Sometimes we’re blocked for much longer.

When you’re feeling blocked, being told you’re just not trying hard enough to get past it can be disheartening and make the block even worse. You’re already struggling, thankyouverymuch. You don’t need other people telling you that your struggles aren’t real.

Sometimes, of course, the blocks might be man-made and relatively easy to work our way past. At
times we might feel blocked because we’re perfectionists and we just won’t let ourselves move on until what we’ve already created is perfect. (Of course, there’s really no such thing as “perfect,” but there’s nothing wrong with a creative person wanting to do their best—as long as if doesn’t stop them from working at all.) Sometimes we may feel blocked because we’re moving in the wrong direction with a particular piece of work, or because something deep inside knows you’re not being honest. As writers, it’s important that we tell our characters’ truths, and when we fail to do that, the muse can, and often does, stop showing up for work. We have to be in touch with our own truths, as well, which is often difficult when your art, your music, or your writing becomes work. The pressure to make a living can stop a creative person cold.

Sometimes we get blocked because we’re afraid of failure. (If I don’t write, I can’t submit, and then I can’t be rejected.) Or because we’re afraid of success. (I want to sell this book more than anything in the world, but what will happen then? Can I write another one? Or am I a one-book wonder?) Many of us can freeze in our tracks over the fear that we’ll expose ourselves as frauds. I’ve found myself facing this particular one at various points during my career, and it came as a total shock to learn that almost all writers—even the super-successful ones—admit to struggling with this “secret” fear.

Often, the muse will stop speaking to us because we’re pushing too hard, trying to meet deadlines—our own or those established by a publisher. There’s a lot of pressure on writers these days to churn out books and self-publish them fast, fast, fast… But maybe that’s not the way you write best. You know it. The muse knows it, but you want to do everything “right,” and so you cave into the pressure.

Maybe you’ve scheduled your books too close together, so you haven’t given yourself time to breathe between manuscripts. Maybe blogging every day isn’t right for you. Maybe once a week would work better. All work and no play can make a creative person feel stifled It can leave us feeling as if we’re writing or creating the same thing again and again rather than doing something new and interesting and truly creative.

Sometimes the block might spring up because life has gotten in the way. It takes a certain amount of quiet reflection for me to write clearly and succinctly, to slide deep enough into a character’s skin to feel what he’s feeling and think what he’s thinking. I’m not creative in other ways, like painting or writing music, but I’m sure those creative endeavors work the same way. Maybe your creative outlet is knitting, or crocheting, or cross-stitch, or crafting, but life simply won’t let you get to it.

There will be times when you can make adjustments to life and times when you can’t, and when you can’t and the creative inspiration won’t come, the last thing you need is someone standing beside you telling you that your inability to focus, to think, to create, is a failure on your part.

Sometimes a major life event will knock us for such a loop, it will take months, or even years, to bounce back. (Bounce is entirely the wrong word here. It’s more like a long, slow, painful crawl, but the point is that you can recover with time.) The death of a loved one, a serious illness, an unexpected (or even a planned) move. Losing a job or starting a job. Having another baby or learning you can’t have one. It would be wonderful if we could just keep plugging along, shrugging off the junk life throws at us, but often those things will bring life as we know it to a screeching halt for a while.

No matter where the stumbling blocks come from, they’re real, and they’re debilitating, they’re frightening and they’re frustrating. And working your way through them, over them, around them, and back from them can take some effort. But just because a block is real and ugly and threatening your attempts to finish a project or start a project, or that block is taking a huge swipe at your career, there is a way around almost anything the world can throw at us. I believe that as firmly as I believe in the blocks themselves.

I’ve experienced many kinds of blocks over the course of my career—the most debilitating when my younger daughter attempted suicide a few years ago. My career—which had been sailing along quite nicely to that point—took an abrupt nose-dive when my ability to write disappeared for a while. I honestly believed I would never write again because the voices in my head went utterly quiet—and for a writer, that’s a frightening thing. I couldn’t read. Couldn’t write. Didn’t even want to write for a very long time. But little by little, the desire began to blossom again, and little by little, I’ve worked my way back to a regular writing schedule. Because of my experiences, I very much want to help other writers who find themselves blocked—whether by just one scene, by some major life event, or by anything in between. Is getting around a creative stumbling block a question of mind over matter? Sometimes. Sometimes we can make an adjustment or two and sail on by as if nothing ever stopped us. But sometimes it takes a lot of self-care and patience to get ourselves working again.

This is such a big topic, it’s impossible to do it justice in a single blog post, so if anyone is interested in learning more, please join me in October for an online workshop about blocks of every kind and the tactics I’ve learned over the years for getting past them. Registration for the workshop also entitles you to a critique of 10 pages from a work-in-progress. To learn more, visit my author website (www.sherrylewisbooks.com) or my website for writers (www.dancingoncoals.com) and click on the Workshops for Writers tab.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Welcome Charmaine Gordon

Welcome to the garden! Hope you're enjoying the last of the summer, or winter, depending on your location! As I've said before, I love my garden, but I have a black thumb. I've asked the resident gardener of our household, my hubby, for a tip:

Should you encounter a blo snake, let it be. It will eat any other snakes and rodents and then move on.
Not that I know what kind of snake this is...
We have a guest today, please welcome Charmaine Gordon.

Once upon a time, before I lost my voice on stage, someone encouraged me to write. She said ,"After all the scripts I'd memorized over the years, surely I knew enough to write." So I wrote , not realizing that series are important. Single books may fascinate the reader but they want more about the characters. I wrote Reconstructing Charlie followed by Sin Of Omission, followed by The Catch and the wrap-up book, Together Again. What a delicious experience that led to my short stories in one volume, The Beginning. . .Not the End;Rivers Edge Trio about a town who expects kindness to all who visit and live there-two volumes of each series. Now I've learned that series are very important to a writer and their readers. Sales can blossom when your readers love the characters.

As for me, I married a pilot during the Korean War, had many children, moved around a lot until we finally settled in the New York area. A friend suggested I spread my wing and go to the big city to seek work. And I did and somehow, daytime drama liked my face followed by commercials and movies where I met Harrison Ford and shared a hot dog during a break;sand Happy Birthday to Melanie Griffith in Working Girl, sand with Carrie Fisher in When Harry Met Sally and more but the most fun was when Anthony-call me-Tony Hopkins took me to lunch during the break for lunch on The Road to Wellsville. Also a special treat when I did a Saturday Night Live bit with Robin Williams. What a sweet time.

http://authorCharmaineGordon.wordpress.com/
twitter @CharJGordon
FaceBook https://www.facebook.com/charmaine.gordon.1232

Instant Grandpa
Summer at the Jersey Shore just got hotter… Take one widower grandfather, add two little grandkids, and widowed grandmother with a small granddaughter. Mix well. Stir in sun drenched beach days and moonlit nights. What have you got? A kite flying high with a new tail; an author writing a book to sort out emotions; a talented boy with his mother returned to claim the prize.

This is merely the beginning of three short stories; funny, romantic and they will give you a lot of pleasure. One has a therapy dog as a major character and the last is a show business tale true to all I know from my years in New York. Enjoy, my friends.
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/324575

The Beginning... Not the End - Mature Romances featuring Sexy Seniors. No Time for Green Bananas Celeste Hamlin, seventy-five year old widow, has a goal... conquer the six mountains in the Saranac Lake region before deciding what to do with the rest of her life. Sixty-two year old Professor Paul Harris, meets the dynamic Celeste, and recalls the last words his wife said before she passed. “Find another love and begin again.” Will they begin again? She Didn't Say No Grace didn’t say no to the Big Man On Campus, Scott Dwyer. And then her life changed... Years later, a too-close encounter of an unpleasant kind with a skunk and Scott’s German Shepherd reunites the former lovers. What happens in between are their stories of beginnings and endings and love lost, then found. Dr. D and the Dad A trip over a mound of sand on the beach begins a journey for Diane O’Rourke and Tony Flannigan. She’s a pediatrician, a bit over weight; he has a foster care home with three children under his sheltering wing... and a dark secret. Can they overcome the past and make the future work for them? They might just find the initial trip was well worth it.

Links:http://www.amazon.com/Beginning-Not-End-Collections/dp/0615996086
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-beginning-not-the-end-charmaine-gordon/1119046084
https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thebeginningnottheendvolume2-1466471-149.html
http://www.amazon.com/Beginning-Not-End-2-ebook/dp/B00JFJXIME
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-beginning-not-the-end-charmaine-gordon/1119046084

Thank you for visiting Mary's Garden, Charmaine, it was a pleasure having you.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Excuses, excuses, excuses

Welcome to my garden. It's nice and toasty in the garden, I love to sit out and enjoy. But don't ask me to weed or do anything. I'm not a gardener. My husband keeps up the flowers and things we enjoy. So for the tip of the week, I'll ask the pro of the household:

If you really don't like getting your hands in the dirt, hire someone.

Why am I all fired up about excuses? Me! I have been using the excuse that I do not have time to write. I have family, I have lots of friends, I work full-time and also the fact I take public transit. When I get home in the evening, I make dinner and then I'm exhausted. The last thing I want to do is write for an hour. Well I do want to write, I just have no brain cells by then.

Let me give you a bit of backstory around 2005 all of our kids had finally left the nest, my husband was making good money and we decided that I would quit my job and write full time. And it was wonderful. I never thought I'd go back to a day job. I would be able to help with grand-kids and write a few hours a day--yeah I know, not full time. Anyway, I was starting to have a bit of following and life was good.

In 2010 my husband was laid off. He was 61 so too early to retire and too old to start a new career. The industry he was in had gone to part time jobs with no insurance. That wasn't going to work for us. He tried for a year and could not find employment so he took early retirement at 62 and I went back to a day job. That's when the excuses started. I think I was just bitter and mad. Not at my husband, but at circumstances.

I know some author's write early in the morning, and my excuse for that was; well I'll be too tired for my day job. Early last week I was frustrated with the fact I wasn't getting any writing done. This wasn't a new dilemma, since I've gone back to work I've been writing in spurts. Writing days at Barnes and Noble with my critique partner, or when my husband is gone golfing on the weekends. Or during my annual writing retreat I do with two author friends. I have been completing a book a year. If I am lucky.

So what brought this new frustration on? Last month I went to the Launch Party reader's event that Brenda Novak threw for her new book and readers. And many of the attendees (readers) were interested in my books. That lit a fire under me. I wanted to write more. I still had the same excuses, but there was one I really couldn't justify. WHY couldn't I get up an hour earlier? A year ago my hours were an hour earlier, so why not get up at that time again?I decided to give it a try. And like magic I've averaged a little over 1000 words a day, during the week. And I've been able to write an hour or two on the weekend. Why? Because I'm excited about my writing again. The more I write the more dedicated I am to finding more time to write.
met

I hope it continues. I am not going to jinx it by saying I will. I am going to do my best to write everyday before work. And on the weekends if I'm too busy with family or friends or both, I won't have to feel so guilty about it. And the best part, maybe I'll get two books done per year.

What do you use excuses for? What are you doing to overcome those excuses?

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Grammar

Welcome to the Garden! Let's ask our resident Gardner, my husband Ron because it's certainly not ME!, what his weekly tip is:
Gardening tip of the week:
If you stop to smell the roses, you might get stung.
(Yeah I know and he's all mine.)
Today's subject--Grammar!

Mary’s Garden where imagination blooms.
The After Work Cook Blog: theafterworkcook.blogspot.com

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Mary's Ramblings....

Welcome to Mary's Garden. I'm trying to think of a garden tip of the day. I'll ask the residence expert, my husband. And here is his expert advise. "Talk to your plants, encourage them to grow and make them feel as if they're the only plant in the garden."


Brenda Novak's Launch party. A few pictures from the Wine tour.
Getting ready to go on our adventure to wine country!

Time for lunch at Cooper Winery

One of my new friends!

A few pictures from the Mimosa Brunch.
Ready for brunch with my new friends. Judy, Sabrina, Glennis, Lynnell. 
Brenda, her assistant and her daughter.


Two Cool couples. Suzanne and Amy and husbands.
Brenda, Me and her grandbaby Ella.

Judy, Glennis, Me, Suzanne

A few pictures from our Annual Backpack Fundraiser.
Bella is thinking about helping.
We even had the hulk.


Lots of good food.

Many Helpers
49er fans


Everyone who helped

100 backpacks! 50 to go to the Navajo reservation and 50 to a local school district.
She's done!


And I'm proud of my grandson who's trying to build a name as a guitarist. He started a YouTube Chanel a few days ago, he has three cover songs. Here is one of his covers. Please feel free to share it.  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXheYkd2vtFMw7g2wgWh7Ag