Still Here! #Update

Most of Southwest Florida looks like this picture of Fort Myres

Just wanted to let you know we are still here. While the generator kept us going most of yesterday, we lost internet shortly after my last check in. Without internet, we had no way to keep up with the storm, and it was a long, scary afternoon and evening. Ran out of gas for the generator during the middle of the night, so Mark is gone to see if he can find a gas station with power at the pumps. 

Spectrum is back now, but if we can’t find gas, we’ll be without power again, and I won’t be able to get online. I WILL at least be able to check news on my phone apps as long as internet stays on. It was horrible not knowing what was going on. 

In spite of this, we are SO blessed to have been spared. I’m just seeing the most recent pictures out of south Florida and they are unbelievable. In my LONG life here, I’ve never seen such terrible devastation over such a large area. It breaks my heart! Entire communities of homes are either smashed flat or  COMPLETELY submerged beneath the flood water! 

Will check in later, if we still have power and internet.  I’m hoping it lasts long enough for me to respond to earlier posts, but we’ll see. In the meantime, please stay safe, especially those of you who are still in harm’s way as the storm moves north! 

#HurricaneIan – And Here It Comes!

Tonight will tell the tale, folks! Florida is going to feel the impact of Hurricane Ian starting after midnight, and the latest NOAA info indicates it is going to come directly across Tampa and over us in central Florida. In fact, it is going to pretty much going hit every portion of the state at some level or another. They have even predicted flash floods in central Florida, especially along the rivers, though so far, we haven’t been asked to leave. Frankly, I wouldn’t want to be caught on the highway when the winds and rains really start pounding.

I will post again (maybe) as it gets closer then check in with you after it’s all over, if we have power and internet service. That’s a BIG “if!” They are now calling Ian “The Storm of the Century” for the Tampa Bay area. It appears it will be the worst hurricane to hit that part of Florida in over 100 years, unless it loses strength. Believe it or not, that can still happen. Last night, it was a Category 4 storm and now that it is pounding Cuba, it has dropped to a “mere” Category 3, so we can continue to hope it lessens more.

Thanks for all your kind comments, and sending love and prayers and positive thoughts to everyone in the path of this destructive storm! Hope to see every single one of you safe and sound on the other side!

HERE’S TO BLUE SKIES AHEAD!

#BlogBreakThursday & #Update (Brief)

I’m not going to be around much today, since it’s this week’s Blog Break Day, but I did want to let everyone know that I have a few openings coming up for both #GuestDayTuesday posts and #TenThingsYouMayNotKnowAboutMe posts. If any of you are interested in taking part in either of these series, please email me, and we’ll see what we can set up.

I’m sorry to say, I’m still not over the Long COVID thing yet, but I really do think the episodes are getting milder, and farther and farther apart. Hopefully that means this really won’t go on forever! 

And on that note, I’ll get back to the tasks on my agenda for today. 


Have a GREAT ThorsDay, everyone!

#BlogBreakThursday and a #ThankYou

A Quick Reminder and a Thank You!

I won’t be around much today, folks, since it’s my scheduled Blog Break day for this week, but I wanted to thank EVERYONE who commented so beautifully on Debby’s #TenThings post yesterday. I was not able to respond individually, as Long COVID fatigue wiped me OUT. I slept most of the day. (Something that’s unheard of for me during normal times.) I do feel better this morning, but still not quite back, so I’ll be taking it easy today, too, and hoping to be FULLY back to normal tomorrow! Fingers crossed.

In the meantime, here’s wishing each of you a SUPER day today, and Granny and I will see you tomorrow. 

#BlogBreakThursday – #Weeding – #HaveAGreatDay!

It’s Blog Break Thursday today, so I’m off to do something productive around the house. I’m actually going to try to do some weeding, but in this heat, I’ll need a wet rag on my head under my sun hat, plus my neckfan blowing on my face, and a beach umbrella. With all of the above, I might make it ten or fifteen minutes before I give up. Guess I’ll weed FAST!

You guys have a great day, and I’ll see you tomorrow for Granny Says!

#ThorsDaySmile – #Humor – #AmLaughing

And here we go with another ThorsDay popping up again. Imagine that! 😉 This time around the god of Thunder has asked me to feature some animals of the wilder persuasion, and who am I to argue with him? It’s his day, after all. So, here are a few things I found that I hope will give you a chuckle or two! Enjoy!



That’s it for today’s walk on the wild side. Thanks for stopping by, and I hope
you got a few laughs from these!

#TenThingsYouMayNotKnow – About #D. L. Finn

Today,  I’d like everyone to help me welcome another wonderful #StoryEmpire member, author D. L. Finn. Denise  is also a wonderfully supportive blogger, and I know you good folks will really enjoy her #TenThings list! Therefore, without further ado, I’ll turn the “floor” over to her! 


Ten Things You May Not Know About Me
by D. L. Finn

Thank you for having me here today, Marcia. 😊 I love Ten Things You May Not Know, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it!

  1. I write poetry in as many places as I can. Airplanes, on the beach, in the forest, and my favorite is when I am riding with my husband on the Harley. I have other places in mind that I will explore, like underwater or in a cave.

  2. Over the years, I’ve collected various things. They include books, record albums, teacups, teapots, and my first love, rocks, and crystals! I’m always looking for a heart-shaped rock to add to that collection. Now my family is trained for that and finds them for me.

  3. Although I’ve been writing since I was a teen, I finally put my work out there in 2015 when I tripped over my black kitty, Coco, on Friday the 13th and broke my foot. This amusing incident left me with enough time to pursue my passion. I consider black cats, and Friday the 13th is lucky for me.

  4. I find a lot of peace meditating in nature. I’m usually able to see nature’s energy, typically green or purple. I love to see the energy over water, like the ocean, where it glows.

  5. I’ve had an out-of-body experience as a teenager while in the hospital. I could see myself and was told I still had things to do, and I needed to go back. That voice was certainly right. I can still see that moment even today. It reminds me of how important we all are.

  6. I always thought it would be cool to be a bush pilot and live in Alaska. Although I ruled nothing out, I found my way into living in the forest but never got a pilot’s license. I got to fly in a water plane and stand on the outside while it was in the water on an Alaskan river. It electrified me to be in that moment, and also got to explore the Hawaiian skies in a helicopter. I still have more sky things to do, like a hot-air balloon or skydiving. I love that bird’s-eye view!

  7. Being born in the tiger year makes sense that I’m a cat person. Although I love all animals, I have a few other favorites, like dolphins, bears, and red-tailed hawks. They seem to find me when I need them, and I pay attention to their messages.

     

  8. I love the world within our world or what lives in the ocean. Being underwater is peaceful and beautiful to me. I have always wanted to scuba dive and almost took the class offered at our local college, but the great white shark scares me a lot. I’m less likely to swim off the Northern California coast thanks to the movie Jaws. Although that doesn’t stop me from snorkeling in Hawaii or still learning to scuba dive in the future in Lake Tahoe.

  9. Music has been a big part of my life. I’ve been to many concerts over the years and seen some amazing acts. My first experience included Heart and the Eagles at a “Day On The Green” in Oakland, CA, in the 70s. Over the years, I’ve seen Rolling Stones, Tom Petty, Fleetwood Mac, Aerosmith, AC/DC, REM, B52s, Journey, Pink Floyd, Ozzie Osborn, Blondie, The Pretenders, U2, and I could keep going. The list is long.

  10. I adore all things Disneyland and have lost track of how many times I’ve been there. It’s where I spent my 50th birthday surrounded by family and Mickey. My first ride is always Pirates of the Caribbean or the Haunted House. Yo-ho, I am a kid at heart.

Blurb:

Newly married Rachael Battaglia finally had it all. The only detail that stained Rachael’s perfect wedding was a gift she received. It was the exact present that her late ex-husband had given her on their wedding day — a snow globe. That marriage was not what she had envisioned, and she endured years of his abuse and charm until one night she escaped with two kids and one on the way. Now Rachael was headed to Hawaii with an amazing man and her chance at happiness. Unbeknownst to Rachael, she had an Angel on her side, although this Angel might not be able to save Rachael and her family from the evil that surrounded them. This is a tale of love, past relationships, things unseen, and redemption. Will Rachael find her happy ending, or will this evil thing get its way?

You can buy This Second Chance HERE


D. L. Finn is an independent California local who encourages everyone to embrace their inner child. She was born and raised in the foggy Bay Area, but in 1990 she relocated with her husband, kids, dogs, and cats to Nevada City, in the Sierra foothills. She immersed herself in reading all types of books but especially loved romance, horror, and fantasy. She always treasured creating her own reality on paper. Finally, surrounded by towering pines, oaks, and cedars, her creativity was nurtured until it bloomed. Her creations include adult fiction, poetry, a unique autobiography, and children’s books. She continues on her adventure with an open invitation to all readers to join her.


Check out more of D. L. Finn’s Books on her Author Page HERE


Reach  D. L. Finn on Social Media here:

Twitter
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D.L. Finn blog
Author Amazon Page

 

 

#TenThingsYouMayNotKnow – About #GwenM.Plano

Today,  I’d like everyone to welcome one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet online to The Write Stuff:  my good friend and fellow author, Gwen M. Plano. Gwen,  the floor is all yours!


Thanks so much, Marcia. It’s a pleasure to be here today!

Ten Things You May Not Know About Me
by Gwen M. Plano

  1. When I was about 5 or 6 years old, I told my mom that I wanted to be a priest when I grew up. She explained that I couldn’t because I was a girl. This upset me, but decades later, through unexpected circumstances, I ended up studying with seminarians and earning a degree in theology and a degree in pastoral counseling – the same degrees that priests earn. 
  1. Dad taught me to drive when I was 11 years old. He thought I was mature enough and, on the farm, this was an important skill. As it turned out, the following year, I had to drive my mom to the emergency room (about 13 miles away). This action probably saved her life. 
  1. While a student at the University of San Francisco, I saw the Grateful Dead perform in Golden Gate Park. This was before they were famous. Attendees just sat on the grass or danced ecstatically. I did both, and the Dead remain my favorite band. 
  1. One evening my boyfriend and I walked through the Panhandle. We didn’t get far before flashing lights stopped us. Two police officers got out and questioned us about what we were doing. They concluded that we were clueless and harmless and told us to get in the cruiser. They drove us back to campus and instructed us not to walk at night in that area. This would be my only ride in a police car. 
  1. That same year, I enrolled in Speech. For the final exam, students were allowed to choose their topic to present to the class. I decided to do something different. I brought my Gibson to the classroom and sang an original song. To my surprise, everyone loved it – even the professor. She said this was a “first” for her. 
  1. In 1970, I attended grad school at Purdue University. I lived in a farmhouse about 15 minutes away from the campus. One night I saw two UFOs, as did the locals. Terrified, I called the police. They asked if I had been drinking, which I hadn’t, then they told me to call the airport. That responder told me to call the Air Force Base, which I did. The Airman said, “We haven’t seen anything unusual.” I still wonder about his response. 
  1. I lived in Japan for five years, and during that time, I became proficient in Chanoyu (Tea Ceremony) and Ikebana (flower arrangement). I also studied calligraphy. These ancient arts are a form of meditation, and their silence remains with me today. 
  1. In the 1990s I was an administrator at a Jesuit university in Connecticut. On weekends, I’d take groups of students into the inner city, where we worked in soup kitchens and other sites. When school was out, I led student volunteers into poverty stricken areas of Mexico. We lived with the people and helped as we could. One trip is particularly memorable. It was during an election and riots broke out in the area and guns were used. I huddled with the students, and thankfully, the next day was quiet. 
  1. On the yummy side of the world, I love dark chocolate and when I write, it is my constant friend. And…I never count these calories. 
  1. To conclude, nature is my greatest solace and I bring it into my home – with plants, crystal clusters, and images of beautiful settings. Being in nature calms my soul.

BLURB:

The Culmination, a new beginning is the third book in The Contract thriller series. After an assassination attempt on an Air Force base in northern California, tensions mount. Heads of state meet to craft a denuclearization agreement. The meetings between these nuclear powers take a murderous turn. A nefarious conspiracy re-emerges and leads the characters into the heart of the Middle East, where they encounter the unexpected and find a reason for hope.

A review by Mae Clair: 5 out of 5 stars
A Political Thriller with Strong Characters

Book three in a series, The Culmination reads easily as a standalone novel. A political thriller, that addresses denuclearization, tensions in the Middle East, and the fate of refugees, much of the story echoes current headlines. The plot is complex involving multiple heads of state, along with the strategical give and take of political maneuvering on a global level. The author clearly put an extensive amount of research into this book, and it shows. Adrenalin-fueled scenes alter with more cerebral moments, and even a few romantic interludes.

I especially loved the evolution of the relationship between the two central characters, Margaret Adler, VP of the United States and Ivan Smirnov, acting President of Russia. During the course of the novel those titles change, and we learn more about each, including richly developed backgrounds. I was thoroughly invested in the difficulties Margaret and Ivan faced, both on personal and political levels. Their scenes together were among my favorites of the book. There’s also a young refugee child who factors into the story and who stole my heart.

A unique combination of character-driven and plot-driven fiction, I recommend this compelling tale to readers who enjoy strong character development and complexly-plotted intrigue.

You can Buy The Culmination HERE


Author Gwen M. Plano

Gwen M. Plano, aka Gwendolyn M. Plano, grew up in Southern California and spent most of her professional life in higher education. She taught and served as an administrator in colleges in Japan, New York, Connecticut, and California. Gwen’s academic background is in theology and counseling. She is now retired and lives in Arizona with her husband.

Gwen’s first book is an acclaimed memoir, Letting Go into Perfect Love. Her next three books (The Contract co-authored by John W. Howell, The Choice, and The Culmination) are political/military thrillers. Action-packed, they span the globe and involve multiple Heads of State and the threat of World War III. Her conclusion – only love can change the fate of humanity.

When Gwen is not writing, she’s out and about in the beautiful northern Arizona mountains, where she finds inspiration.


You can find Gwen’s Books on Amazon here:

Author Page for Memoir
Letting Go Into Perfect Love
***
Author Page for Thrillers
The Contract
The Choice
The Culmination

You can reach Gwen on Social Media here:

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