Trick or Treat! The Tale of #Boojum and Hootin’ Annie

Happy Halloween, Everyone! 

Since I’m still not quite ready for Prime Time, as they say, I’m going to share a link with you that was posted on Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo blog a bit over a year ago, when she was doing a feature on Living Lore. It’s an excerpt from Wake-Robin Ridge Book 4: The Light, which I’m wrapping up today, if all goes well. (A big “if” lately.) The tale of Boojum and Hootin’ Annie is part of Appalachian folk lore, and I hope you’ll enjoy hearing Rabbit’s version, as told to his dad while carving pumpkins. Here’s the link to the post as it appeared on Sue’s terrific blog. Check it out and share, if you like. And Happy Halloween! 

Living Lore: Marcia Meara’s ‘Rabbit’ tells the tale of Boojum and Hootin’ Annie

Still Running Behind but Sharing A Great Link, and Wishing You All A Happy Halloween!

I know I keep saying I’m getting better, and I honestly think I am, but I’m nowhere near back to where I want to be. I’m trying to stick to doctor’s orders and not push myself, even though it’s hard for me to slow down. I’m sorry to say, though, I’m still not ready to get back to our normal routine here on The Write Stuff, for which I apologize heartily! No #ShareAReview for today, though I’ve got one scheduled for next Tuesday, so stay tuned for that. And I HOPE to have a #FirstLineFriday this week, if all goes well. It will be extra fun, because our friend Harmony Kent is offering one of her books as an additional prize choice. Fingers crossed I can get it put together in time, so I don’t have to bump that one another week, too. 

This morning did get off to a great start when my good friend from Wales, Trish the Trout, alerted me to a super post about everyone’s favorite reviewer, Rosie Amber. Most of you are probably familiar with Rosie and her fantastic blog, where she hosts book reviews from a whole team of folks. I’ve followed Rosie Amber for a long time, though I’m way behind these days on visits to all of my favorite blogs. Today’s post on Jennifer Alderson’s  blog is filled with lots of great info about Rosie, her Book Review Team, and more. And as a lovely surprise, guess who I found mentioned in her answer to “Who Would You Like to Sit Next to on a Long Flight? Well, I’ll let you scroll down and see for yourself. 😀 All I can say is, “Rosie, Dear Heart–I’m packed and ready to go when you are!” 

Here’s that link again: RIGHT HERE! 😀

Such a treat, and such a boost to my day! These last three weeks, I’ve needed all the boosts I can get, and it’s amazing how many of them I find from my online friends! You guys ALL rock!!!

Here’s wishing each of you a wonderful, productive day, and remember: DO NOT FALL DOWN! Been there, done that, and don’t recommend it for anyone! 😀

My 2020 Event Dates/Locations

Had a request for my event schedule for next year, so here are the dates, at least. Only three  subjects/talks are for sure, the Book Release Open House on 1/11, the spring tea, and the autumn tea. The other events will be announced as I decide what I’ll be talking about. And the teas are also the only events I do that aren’t free and require a reservation. (To be sure we have enough food for everyone.)

I’ve listed each month. All the Enterprise Museum events are in black, and the DeBary Hall events are in red. Subjects are not set yet, hence the TBA designation. But I can tell you that all of my nature talks are from 1:00pm to 3:00pm, and both teas start at 11:00am, because they include lunch. 

Phone numbers for each venue are at the top of the schedule, so if you miss later posts updating subjects, etc, feel free to call either location directly for the latest news on what I’ll be talking about there.

As soon as I have more info, I’ll update you guys. Thanks for asking, Patt. I’m really looking forward to the new “season,” and have some fun ideas I’m working on.

Marcia Meara 2020 Event Schedule

Enterprise Museum: 386-259-5900
DeBary Hall: 386-668-3840

January 11- Enterprise Museum: Book Release Open House 1:00-4:00 FREE/Refreshments
January 25 – Enterprise Museum – TBA 

February 8 – Enterprise Museum – TBA
February 22 – DeBary Hall – Springtime Tea 11:00am Price TBA/Reservations Required 

March 7 – Enterprise Museum TBA
March 28 – Enterprise Museum TBA 

April 11 – DeBary Hall 1:00: TBA
April 18- Enterprise Museum TBA 

May 2 – Enterprise Museum TBA
May 9 – DeBary Hall TBA
May 23 – Enterprise Museum TBA 

June 6 – Enterprise Museum TBA
June 13 – DeBary Hall TBA
June 27 – Enterprise Museum TBA 

July 11 – DeBary Hall TBA
July 25 – Enterprise Museum TBA 

August 8 – DeBary Hall TBA
August 15 – Enterprise Museum TBA
August 29 – Enterprise Museum TBA 

September 12 – Enterprise Museum TBA
September 26 –  Enterprise Museum Autumn Tea 11:00, Price TBA/Reservations Req’d

Good Morning & An Update


(For Mae)

Happy Freya’s Day, Everyone! (Okay, Friday is actually named for the Norse goddess Frigg, but Freya and Frigg are considered by most to be the same goddess. That being the case, I’m going with Freya, because, you know. It sounds nicer. 😉

At any rate, I hope your day is a good, productive one with plenty of smiles. 

As you may have noticed, I don’t have things back on my preferred schedule quite yet, and I apologize for that. The truth is, I’m still not feeling 100% after my fall of two weeks ago. I’m vastly improved, for sure, but I’m still suffering some recurrent dizziness and fatigue. This isn’t uncommon when you’ve received a concussion and can continue for several weeks before finally disappearing. And while the ER doctor said he didn’t THINK I had a concussion, he also told me to watch for the signs of one. (Along with the signs of brain bleeds and swelling, and various other things. I spent a lot of time watching, believe me.) Bottom line is, concussions are often missed, and based on the types of symptoms I have going on right now, it appears I’m still recovering from one. Frankly, I’m just grateful I’m not still recovering from a fractured skull. 

And all of this is by way of telling you that, as you’ve no doubt noticed, #FirstLineFriday has been put off for another week, due to a couple of bad days Tuesday and Wednesday that pushed me even farther behind on my overall work schedule. But NOT to fear! I am much better than I was, and I know I’ll be catching up soon. I’m just trying to do what my  doctor suggests and not push too hard, though it’s against my nature to be idle very long. So, I work a bit, and then I rest a bit, and by and by, I expect the time spent working to increase until life is once again as normal as it gets around here.

Thanks so much for your patience and your well wishes, and all the kind things everyone has sent me. I appreciate each and every one of you more than you can imagine! Will be resuming my usual blog features, etc, one at a time until all is running smoothly again, which I hope won’t be too much longer.

And now we’ve come full circle: Happy Freya’s Day, Everyone! 😀 ❤

#NewRelease – Katherine, Tudor Duchess by Tony Riches

Today, I’m delighted to share Katherine, Tudor Duchess, the latest release from Tony Riches, author of the best-selling Tudor Trilogy.  If you have read any of Tony’s work to date, you won’t be surprised to learn that this book is a #1 Hot New Release on Amazon. Anyone who loves historical fiction will certainly want to check it out! And just look at this gorgeous cover! Please remember to pass on Tony’s news far and wide, too. Thanks!

BLURB: 

Attractive, wealthy and influential, Katherine Willoughby is one of the most unusual ladies of the Tudor court. A favourite of King Henry VIII, Katherine knows all his six wives, his daughters Mary and Elizabeth, and his son Edward.

When her father dies, Katherine becomes the ward of Tudor knight, Sir Charles Brandon. Her Spanish mother, Maria de Salinas, is Queen Catherine of Aragon’s lady in waiting, so it is a challenging time for them when King Henry marries the enigmatic Anne Boleyn.

Following Anne’s dramatic downfall, Katherine marries Charles Brandon, and becomes Duchess of Suffolk at the age of fourteen. After the short reign of young Catherine Howard, and the death of Jane Seymour, Katherine and Brandon are chosen to welcome Anna of Cleves as she arrives in England.
When the royal marriage is annulled, Katherine’s good friend, Catherine Parr becomes the king’s sixth wife, and they work to promote religious reform. Katherine’s young sons are tutored with the future king, Prince Edward, and become his friends, but when Edward dies his Catholic sister Mary is crowned queen. Katherine’s Protestant faith puts her family in great danger – from which there seems no escape.

Katherine’s remarkable true story continues the epic tale of the rise of the Tudors, which began with the best-selling Tudor trilogy and concludes with the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.

Katherine, Tudor Duchess  is Available in eBook and paperback here:
 Amazon UK and Amazon US
Also on Goodreads
(Audiobook edition coming in 2020)


Author Tony Riches 

Tony Riches is a full-time UK author of best-selling historical fiction. He lives in Pembrokeshire, West Wales and is a specialist in the history of the Wars of the Roses and the lives of the early Tudors. Tony’s other published historical fiction novels include: Owen – Book One Of The Tudor Trilogy, Jasper – Book Two Of The Tudor Trilogy, Henry – Book Three Of The Tudor Trilogy, Mary – Tudor Princess and Brandon – Tudor Knight. For more information about Tony’s books please visit his website tonyriches.com and his blog, The Writing Desk and find him on  Facebook and Twitter @tonyriches

Week in Review

I missed sharing Joan’s latest Weekly update post Friday, because I’m just so far behind. But, better late than never. (I made that up, you know. 😀 ) Check out these great links, and then pass ’em on, please. Thanks, and thanks to Joan as always for compiling such great writing links! 🙂 ❤

Joan Hall

I have thousands of digital photos in my archives, most of which were taken outdoors. (Quite a few of my iPhone photos are of my cats, but that’s a different story.) Since I’ve tried to keep in the theme of mysterious and spooky this month, I wanted photos to match. However, I learned something. Most of my pics were taken on days when there was bright sunshine. Kind of hard to see anything scary in that.

A couple of weeks ago, hubs and I had gone out to dinner. On the way home, we saw a gorgeous sunset. I was driving, and I couldn’t resist pulling onto a side road to take a photo. This is the result:

Okay, the colors on the horizon are beautiful. Nothing spooky. But then I noticed the sign, “No outlet.” A dead-end road. On the left, you can see the lights of a house…

View original post 353 more words

Enough, Already! Or, What Do Fire Ants, Cellulitis, and Ascending Lymphangitis Have In Common?


Fire Ant
(There are several varieties, but all look similar.)

I’ll tell you what they have in common: a second trip to the ER in eight days and  a ninety-minute IV hookup! Yep. I’m not sure I’ve ever been treated in an ER before, and now I’ve had to visit one twice in just over a week! Saw the same doctor, too. We’re on a first-name basis, now.  And what caused this week’s drama? A stinkin’, vicious little  invasive critter known as a fire ant!


Note the BIG Jaws on the head, and the
pointy STINGER on the other end!

Fire ants aren’t content with just biting you, like most ants, oh no. They bite in order to hang on to your skin while they STING the hell outta you with the HARPOON in their posterior region! Fire ant bites cause a red lump with a “blister” (a/k/a pustule, ick) on top. The sores  itch like fire–hence the name–and on many of us can last ten days or longer before finally shrinking to nothing and disappearing. You can end up in the hospital if you are allergic to them, or, like me, accidentally scratch them open and they become infected. Often seriously so

Tuesday afternoon, I realized that the one on my arm was not looking good. I treated it with some  antibiotic ointment and crossed my fingers. Yesterday  morning, it was looking much worse, but I couldn’t get in to see my doctor. Within a couple more hours, it was a mess, and I had red streaks about 6 inches above the bite, running in several directions. This is what we used to call “blood poisoning” and it was NOT to be dismissed lightly. Today, it’s known as ascending lymphangitis, or an infection spreading upward through the lymph glands, toward the heart! (BTW, “cellulitis” just basically means “infection of the cells.”)

No way I could wait for my doctor to be available. 

Back to the ER I went, where they admitted me immediately and said they needed to get antibiotics in my system as fast as possible, thus the IV. On the happy side, the red lines started fading within a couple of hours, and the rest of my medication can be taken via the usual route, by mouth with a glass of water, over the next week. 


Typical Fire Ant Mound
(Though They CAN be Smaller, Too)

I’m reporting this in detail because I want those of you who live in areas where fire ants have taken over to be very aware that their bites can be more than just a painful annoyance. The current thinking is, do NOT puncture the blister on top of the bite, and if it accidentally gets broken open, clean immediately, and treat with antibiotic ointment. If it starts oozing and hurting, get medical treatment before you end up with streaks running up your arm. Lymph gland infections can lead to all sorts of problems, including organ failure, and they spread very quickly. 

Speaking of spreading, these nasty little ants have been doing so (especially in the southeast) for years, via the usual methods, plus the ability to make large, floating mounds of nothing but THEM, and drifting along on water to reach their next area to colonize. They move this way often after storms and flooding.


Nuthin’ Here But ANTS, Being Carried Along
on Top of the Water. Soooo . . .

Praemonitus, praemunitus!
or
Forewarned is forearmed. 

*NOTE: This has been a Public Service Announcement.*
😉

#ShareAReviewDay Tuesday – TheGlade by Harmony Kent

So happy to get back into the swing of things with a wonderful–and wonderfully funny–review of Harmony Kent’s apparently very scary book, The Glade. This is the kind of review most of us would love to get, and I know you’ll enjoy reading it. I did! Please pass it along far and wide so the rest of social media can enjoy it, too. Thanks!


The Very Scary Book Cover!

REVIEW:

Colm Herron
5.0 out of  5 stars
This book scared the pants off of me

(i) I didn’t enjoy this book
(ii) I highly recommend it
(iii) I didn’t enjoy it because it scared the pants off of me
(iv) This author, Harmony Kent, the lady who wrote The Glade, has a lovely charming face. I saw it. There’s a kind of kindness about it too … something good and wholesome
(v) And then you start to read The Glade and discover what goes on behind that charming face. You’ll be drawn into a plot that will probably frighten you half to death. Helen and her husband Geoff get away from stress (ha!) by renting an idyllic country cottage and that’s how they discover the glade
(vi) Ah yes, the glade. Don’t go there. It’s terrifying enough to read about it. No need to go there. Better not
(vii) Did I tell you that Geoff gets murdered and Helen gets blamed? No? Well, I’m telling you now. And her friends rally round. As well as her enemies. But which are which? That’s the question: which are which?
(vii) I’ve given away too much. And the little cottage in Donegal that my wife and I were planning on renting for two weeks next summer …. well, I’ll have to think about that.

BLURB:

“Readers who like to curl up during the long winter evenings and feel the delicious chill of fear running up and down their spines need only turn to The Glade to have all their expectations fulfilled.

“The Glade is a horror story in the mould of Stephen King, and rendered the more so by its faint echoes of Pet Cemetery and the even stronger resonance of the pervasive malignancy of It.”—Review by Brian O’Hare

This gripping, edge-of-your-seat mystery/thriller will have you thinking twice about booking that idyllic cottage in the country. Nothing in this woodland paradise within the Forest of Dean is what it seems. 

The Wenstrops have it all: health, wealth, and happiness. Until everything falls apart. Helen gets arrested for murder, and yet is either unable or unwilling to give a defence. During her detention, vital evidence goes missing and tensions run high.

Meanwhile, in the woods, malignant forces gather power. 

This sensational second novel by acclaimed author Harmony Kent will have you alternately laughing, crying, and gripping the edge of your seat as this roller-coaster ride of a plot unfolds. It will keep you guessing through its many twists and turns, and hijack your attention right up until you turn the final page. This book has it all: murder, intrigue, the supernatural, a broken marriage, a love affair, courage against impossible odds, suspense, and high drama. 

“Expertly written, the book keeps you guessing at every turn. What can I say? You really have to read this book … if you’re brave enough!”—Review by Fantasy Queen

The Glade is an IndieB.R.A.G.Medallion honoree, and an Official Selection for the New Apple Book Awards 2015.

Praise for Harmony Kent: 

“Kent gives the reader mystery, intrigue, sex, action and characters risking their lives for a greater good. Kent’s writing is an immersive experience.” T. Dewhirst (Rabid Reviews) 

“With a very contemporary voice, Ms. Kent has found a place in this genre as she easily entertains and captures the reader…” J. Malinoski 

“Kent…is a master of her craft. There is magic in her writing.” J. Brooke 

Buy The Glade HERE


Author Harmony Kent

After spending around thirteen years as an ordained Buddhist monk, living in a Zen Buddhist temple, and six years after a life-changing injury following a surgical error, Harmony Kent returned to the world at the tender age of forty.

Now, she is famous for her laughter, and has made quite the name for herself … she’s also, um, a writer … and fairly well known for that too. She’s even won a few awards. Harmony lives in rural Cornwall with her ever-present sense of humour, adorable husband, and quirky neighbours.

Harmony is passionate about supporting her fellow authors.

Find Harmony on Social Media here:

Website | Story Empire (co-authored) | Amazon Author Page | Goodreads
Twitter: @harmony_kent
LinkedIn: Harmony

 

 

 

Happy News! #MondayBlogs #amwriting

Happy Monday, Everyone. That’s possibly contradiction in terms for some of you, but for me, this is a happy day, indeed.  I am finally feeling well enough to get back to my WIP, which I had hoped to send off to editing a week ago, but which is still (sadly) lacking a final chapter and epilogue. SO, feeling up to writing–looking forward to it, in fact–is a big step forward from where I’ve been for the last week.

When they tell you a blow to the head can scramble your brains, they aren’t kidding. While I didn’t have any memory lapses, I’ve had trouble concentrating and have done some really odd things over the last week. But finally, I seem to be able to organize my thoughts and think creatively. Maybe. 😀 

I do want to let you all know that I’m taking things one step at a time, with the first one being to finish this long-overdue book. I do have a guest scheduled tomorrow for #ShareAReviewDay, but I’m not ready to commit to any other specific blog features, like #FirstLineFriday. I might put that off another week. A tortoise once told me slow and steady wins the race. 🙂

As I return to my normal blogging routine, I’m planning to make a change or two. For some time, I’ve featured mostly writing-related memes on Mondays, but I’d like to expand that to include more than memes. Articles, tips, shared posts, etc, related to writing might become part of Mondays going forward. We’ll see how that goes. #ThorsDaySmiles will stay focused on anything I think might make you smile. Smiling is good. Laughing out loud is even better. And because I enjoy it so much,  #FirstLineFriday WILL resume, I’m just not sure when. 

So with those thoughts in mind, off I go to work on that last chapter of The Light, and to think about what I need to do to get this one “out there.” But I’ll be at least a bit more visible here from now on, I think. 

Thank you all for your support, healing thoughts, prayers, and encouraging words over the last week. I may or may not be able to respond to you individually, but please believe I read and appreciated every single comment! 

Hope you all have a great, productive week! Go get ’em, guys! ❤ ❤ ❤

(And btw, does anyone know why all our sweet little hearts turned black all of a sudden? I mean, it’s really pretty sinister looking now, isn’t it??? 😀 )

Update: Laughing at What Ails Ye – It’s Good for Body and Soul!

It’s been my lifelong belief that you can handle anything thrown your way once you reach the point where you can laugh about it. Laughter is a saving grace we have all been blessed with, but the importance of which is often forgotten. I honestly do not know how anyone who can’t laugh at themselves, and at life in general, can survive, though I see plenty of evidence today that many people have lost the ability.  My heart goes out to them, for they apparently lack one of the greatest survival tools of all.

😀 😀 😀

Granted, as I was lying on the floor Tuesday, in blinding pain and with the mounting fear that I had fractured my skull in the worst fall I’ve ever taken, I was not laughing. Nope. Way too soon. Nor did I laugh while struggling to get to my feet and into some clothing,  so I wouldn’t have to go to the ER in my nightgown. Still too soon. I did start making a few feeble jokes with the good folks in the ER. Maybe not too soon for a dark chuckle or two, but definitely too early for anything resembling clever humor. 

And so it went for three days, as I reflected on how lucky I was to still be alive and possessed of functioning brain cells, though a few of those may have abandoned ship in the great tumble. But actual humor was still a struggle. It kept being drowned out by the mother of all headaches, some pretty extreme fatigue, and  a lot of overall shakiness. But guess what? It’s baaaa-aaaaack!

😀 😀 😀

Yes, my sense of humor–weird and slightly twisted as it often is–has returned! I’m laughing again this morning! And after a conversation with my very good friend and cover designer, Nicki Forde-Ficocelli (who says she is going to paint a flowered helmet for me), I realized I’m laughing all over the place. It was the vision of me wearing said helmet while riding around on a tiny tricycle a la Arte Johnson from the old Laugh-In show that did me in, and is still making me giggle. (Hey, I never said all my jokes  were genius quality!)

The upshot of this is, I’m feeling much more stable on my feet, much more certain that my life will return to something resembling normal, and pretty darn sure that no matter what’s going on, if I can find something about it to make me laugh, I can survive!

My sense of humor has stood me in good stead for 75 years, and hopefully, I’ll get a bit more mileage out of it, yet. And my hope for you is that no matter what life throws your way (or where life decides to throw YOU), you’ll be able to find the humor in the situation at some point. Laughing will save your sanity, and it has the added bonus of making everyone around you wonder what the heck you’re up to. Try it. I heartily recommend it. 

😀 😀 😀

Our regularly scheduled programming will resume on Monday! Have a great weekend!