#BlogBreak – Be Back Soon!

Just a reminder that I’ll be on my weekly Blog Break today, so won’t be around to comment on things or check out my favorite blogs. And we have another very busy weekend scheduled, too, though I’ll try to keep an eye out for things I really don’t want to miss.

Have a great Friday, everyone, and an even better weekend! 

#WooHoo! – Shrinking #CompterWoes – #Update

Just a quick update on a more positive note than some I’ve had lately … today marked a MILESTONE in the Saga of the New Computer: I finally got my printer hooked up and working. There were several things impeding that process, not the least of which was that it wouldn’t accept the Wi-Fi password, but a call to a VERY nice young lady at Spectrum helped me figure that one out. And I have actually printed out THREE documents this afternoon, hence the happy dance above.

I’m still not out of the woods yet, as I try to find a graphics program that does more than the pathetic Paint that comes with Microsoft Office, yet doesn’t cost as much as many. I won’t be using it professionally any more, so I don’t want to lay out another huge chunk of change, but I DO need something whereby I can make headers and do some photo retouching. If any of you has a good suggestion, I’d be love to know. I’ve got a list I’m planning to check out tomorrow, but would be interested in hearing any success stories you might have. (I’d prefer something that resides on my own computer, rather than an online site.)

Thanks so much for all the kind and supportive comments on my previous posts. Haven’t been able to respond to all of them, but I read each and every one, and they ALL helped me keep my sanity! With any luck, a few more days will at least get me out of Crisis Mode here, and I can take my time with other apps and programs I might want.

Thanks again for being part of our wonderfully supportive writing and blogging community, and always being willing to offer a friendly word of understanding.




#GuestDayTuesday – #AmandaJaneRoss via #DarleneFoster

Good Morning, Everyone. I’m very happy to share a wonderful post with you today, featuring Darlene Foster’s beloved character, Amanda.  I know you are going to thoroughly enjoy the things Amanda shares with you, so let’s get right to it. Amanda, it’s your turn, now!

Hi! This is Amanda Jane Ross.
            Thanks for having me as a guest on your blog, Marcia. You probably already know that I love travelling to interesting places. My curiosity gets me into trouble sometimes, but I always meet interesting people and learn fascinating new things. What you maybe didn’t know is that I enjoy collecting recipes from the places I visit. I’m an only kid and my parents work a lot. So I do much of the cooking. They are happy to eat whatever I make them.
            I like to read, and I read a lot. Can you believe, I even read cookbooks? And I love visiting graveyards. My friend Leah thinks I’m a bit strange.
            Leah Anderson is my BFF and we travel together. We met in the United Arab Emirates where we had a great time. We got lost in the desert, were chased by bounty hunters and even encountered a sandstorm, but I got to ride a camel named Ali Baba which was so cool.
            Leah thinks I’m a bit too impulsive and curious. I like helping people, like the young girl we met in Spain who needed help to get her pony back from nasty horse thieves.
            Leah invited me to visit her and her parents in England, that’s where they’re from. Wowza, was that ever exciting. We visited amazing places like Windsor Castle, Hampton Court and the Isle of Wight. I loved being up close to all that history I’ve been reading about since, well – since I could read. We had to find a missing vintage novel which took us to some creepy places.
            So I invited her to visit me in Alberta. I thought it would be boring but she loved it! Go figure. We went on a cattle drive and bought cowboy boots together. The Calgary Stampede was fun and so was visiting the dinosaur museum in the Badlands. Too bad about that mean cowboy who wanted a rock I found and followed us wherever we went.
            Then, we all went on a cruise down the Danube River. I can’t believe I was able to tear Mom and Dad away from work to go on a holiday with Mr. and Mrs. Anderson. We saw so many great places in Germany, Austria and Hungary and I ate tons of apple strudel. We all had a good time but I had trouble keeping that precious violin safe for the homeless musician I met. It was hard to know who I could trust at times.
            Leah didn’t come with me to New Mexico because it was a school trip. I went with a new friend from class, Cleo, who was spooked about seeing ghosts. Some weird things happened on that trip and now I’m not sure if I believe in ghosts or not.
            I was excited about going to Holland to meet Leah and her dad. We saw lots of tulips and windmills and found an abandoned puppy! Then Leah sent me a postcard from Malta. I had a funny feeling she was in trouble so I went there to help her out. Malta is a great place, you should go there sometime.  We’re going to France next. I love adventure but I promised Leah I would stay out of trouble this time.
            We’ll see.

You can buy Amanda’s latest adventure,  Amanda in France, HERE


Author Darlene Foster

Darlene Foster grew up on a ranch in Alberta, Canada, where her love of reading inspired her to see the world and write stories about a young girl who travels to interesting places. She is the author of the exciting Amanda Travels series featuring spunky Amanda Ross, a twelve-year-old girl who loves to travel. All ages enjoy following Amanda as she unravels one mystery after another in unique destinations. Darlene has a house in Spain where she writes full time. When not travelling, meeting interesting people, and collecting ideas for her books, she enjoys spending time with her husband and entertaining rescue dogs, Dot and Lia.

Reach Darlene on Social Media Here:
My Amazon Author Page


#TearingOfHair and #GnashingOfTeeth – #ComputerWoes – #Update

Just a quick update on my progress–or lack thereof–with setting up my new computer. Yeah, it’s plenty fast, but heck if I can find everything I need, even when it’s actually ON the thing. Plus, many (probably most) of my programs are gone, due to being incompatible with Windows 11, so I’m trying to find possible substitutes for them. Every file I ever had is still here, but the list is astonishingly long, and finding things is tough. And worst of all (so far), my printer doesn’t seem to work on this computer, even though the pc says it’s the default printer. If I can’t figure that out, I’ll have to buy another. *sigh* (Not like I haven’t already spent a lot of money on this.)

But never fear! I WILL get things sorted out one way or the other. It’s just going to take some time, and that means less time I have for blog stuff. I am scheduling all guest posts, etc, first and foremost, so that those run for you guys, no matter where I am in this process. But what I may not be able to do is spend very much time responding to comments and/or checking out my favorite blogs. I’ll do my best, I promise, but getting my pc in order is critically important, so I have to keep working on that every chance I get. 

I know you guys will bear with me as I work through this process, and sooner or later, in the famous words of a certain Terminator, “Ah’ll be baahck!” In the meantime, thanks for your patience!

NOTE: Sorry I should have mentioned that my wonderful SON (in his early 50’s now) has helped me hugely, but he doesn’t live here. He did give me some great pointers over the phone, and is hoping to visit us before too long. I also know I can call Best Buy, but I wanted to be sure I’d done everything I could before doing so. (It’s a good way to learn as I go.) I considered myself fairly savvy about my OLD computer, and earned a living with digital art for some time, etc. But I skipped about five generations of pc’s between it and the one I have now, so everything on this one is quite different. I’ll get there, though. THANKS!


#TenThingsYouMayNotKnow – About #JohnW.Howell

Good Morning, Everyone! Today I’d like you to help me welcome a great friend and supporter of writers everywhere, #StoryEmpire member John W. Howell. I think you’ll really enjoy John’s post today, so let’s get things rolling!

Thank you, Marcia, for having me on your #TenThingsYouMayNotKnowAboutMe feature. When we initially talked about doing this, I explained to Marcia that the first item on the list would be the fact that I have evolved into a close imitation of Howard Hughes. You may recall in his later years; he became a recluse. Marcia being the kind and generous person she is, thought that would be an excellent beginning to the list. So, with that encouragement, here are the #TenThingsYouMayNotKnowAboutMe. You will note the Howard Hughes one is not there because you already know that one.

Ten Things You May Not Know About Me
by John W. Howell

1) Detroit, Michigan, is where I grew up in an area that was a melting pot of cultures. This upbringing gave me the experience to conclude that we are all made up of the same hopes, dreams, and expectations.

2) My father died when I was ten years old. He was an exceptional human being, and his example of making the most out of your talent has inspired me throughout my life.

3) I was raised by my mother and sister. My mother had to go to work, but my sister was six years older than me, so she filled in when my mom needed to be elsewhere. I feel blessed that I carried away from our home an appreciation for the female perspective.

4) My mom paid for the first year of college, and then the rest was up to me. I appreciated the help and embraced the idea that I would work and learn. I held several part-time and summer jobs and managed to get through.

5) My first working position out of college was for Procter and Gamble. My responsibilities were to represent the company brands in an assigned territory. In addition, I had the pleasure of introducing products still on the shelves today.

6) I changed companies after three years when it became clear a promotion was not in the works. After twenty years, I took over as the company head. It looks like I made the right choice.

7) I retired once at 51 years old and went into consulting. After five years, I went to work at one of my clients and spent fifteen years working on some exciting new products.

8) I retired a second time when I was 70 1/2. I enjoyed what I was doing, but it became time to go. 

9) My first book was published when I was 71 by a traditional publisher. After waiting for over 18 months for the second to be published, it became clear that I needed to go out independently. I self-published the following five books.

10) I’m looking forward to my 81st birthday. I still blog six days a week and am getting ready to publish my seventh book. Once that is done, I will be publishing a Top Ten Things Not to Do handbook, which will take some of my best posts and put them in a collection.


James Wainwright picks up a hitchhiker and discovers two things 1. The woman he picks up is his childhood sweetheart, only Seventeen years older. 2. He is no longer of this world.

James began a road trip alone in his 1956 Oldsmobile. He stops for a hitchhiker only to discover she is his childhood sweetheart, Sam, who disappeared seventeen years before. James learns from Sam falling asleep miles back caused him to perish in a one-car accident. He also comes to understand that Sam was taken and murdered all those years ago, and now she has come back to help him find his eternal home.

The pair visit various times and places and are witness to a number of historical events. The rules dictate that they do no harm to the time continuum. Trying to be careful, they inadvertently come to the attention of Lucifer who would love to have their souls as his subjects. They also find a threat to human survival and desperately need to put in place the fix necessary to save mankind.

The question becomes, will James find his eternal home in grace or lose the battle with Satan for his immortal soul and the future of human life with it? If you like time-travel, adventure, mystery, justice, and the supernatural, this story is for you.

You can download the Kindle version of Eternal Road  The Final Stop HERE
You can purchase the print version of Eternal Road The Final Stop HERE

Author John W. Howell

Award winning author John W. Howell began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories.  His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the adventure, while the final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, was launched in September 2016. Circumstances of Childhood in October  2017.  The Contract in, 2018. Eternal Road – The final stop in 2020.  The sequel to Eternal Road should be available in September of 2022. All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions. John also writes a daily blog, Fiction Favorites, HERE.

John lives in Lakeway, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

You can reach John on Social Media here:

Blog: Fiction Favorites
Amazon Author’s Page
Story Empire Blog





#This&That&TheOtherThing -#ComputerWoes & #HappyDays


As I posted last week, we had very poor Wi-Fi signal in our house, and we relocated the modem to fix the problem. It did. For a whole week, we had Wi-Fi in every room! And all it cost us was some labor.


Alas, on Friday morning, I started losing the internet connection. Things got worse and worse, and finally, my ancient pc just quit, and we lost Wi-Fi and all else, even though that should have stayed on. I was gone Saturday, but Sunday, we tried everything we could think of. The old pc would come on, but internet/ethernet/whatevernet was GONE. Period. As was the fan in the old computer. So we headed over to Best Buy to get a new one.


The display of computers at Best Buy left me in shock! The were so SMALL, compared to the corpse of mine. When asked how old my dead PC was, I really wasn’t sure, but guessed it was over 5 years old. Maybe 6 or 7. Then later, I realized I wrote WRR on that computer and that was in 2013. My final calculation was that it was somewhere between 12 and 15 years old. No wonder I didn’t know what new ones looked like! But the upshot of it all is, we got the new computer, started setting it up, and in the process discovered the co-axial cable was kinked, which may have been why we lost the Wi-Fi, too. It came back on as soon as I sorted that out, and so far (knock wood, fingers crossed) we have a strong signal throughout the house. 

And I have the new pc set up (IT’S FAST, FAST, FAST compared to my dinosaur), and running now. Easiest set up I ever did. Sadly, I’m no where near done reinstalling a lot of programs that I’d collected over the years. Some of them may not even be compatible with this computer. But I’ll replace them with whatever works. In the meantime, I’m online, I’m able to access my blog, email, Amazon, and all the biggies. And if the bridge don’t go, the creek don’t rise, and the Wi-Fi continues to function, I’m BACK!!

Whew. Just in time for Wednesday’s Ten Things post, too. But, I’m afraid I’m likely to be very busy over the next few days, getting as many of my favorite programs back as possible. In the meantime, you guys have a wonderful rest of the week ahead! (NOTE: I almost lost my mind not being able to access the WORLD online! Missed you all, and I’m so happy to be back. Hopefully it lasts!!)

#Reminder and #SillyPoetry

Just a quick reminder that tomorrow is my Blog Break day for the week, so I won’t be around much, if at all. (I’ll also be gone a good bit of the weekend, as I have a wildlife talk to give Saturday, and more house and yard projects scheduled for Sunday.) 

Also, some of you might remember I was having some very expensive problems with phone and internet connectivity, etc, recently. I’m happy to report that since we moved the transmitter, we are now receiving a signal throughout the house, and no longer racking up horribly expensive cellular minutes. It’s kind of like real estate, I guess … everything is about location, location, location! And here’s a silly bit of doggerel that came to me last night while I was thinking about just that. 

Wi-Fi … Why Fi?
Better yet, Where Fi?
Down low won’t fly!
It’s all about High Fi!

Told ya it was silly, but it made me smile, so I passed it on!
Have a great Freya’s Day, everyone!

#ThorsdaySmile – #Humor – #AmLaughing

I’m always happy when #ThorsDay rolls around, because 1) the weekend is almost here, 2) it’s time for some chuckles, and 3) … THOR! Yes, a huge blonde Viking of a man makes me smile like crazy. That’s just how shallow I am! 😂😂😂 So with that thought in mind, here are some things I hope make YOU smile, too!

And for this last one,
feel free to insert your own caption:

And there you have it, folks. Some old, some new, some crazy, some true! 
It’s all good, as long as there were some you enjoyed!