#This&That&TheOtherThing – #Update – #Excerpt – #TheEmissary2:ToLoveSomebody

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Thought I’d take a break from physical labor and let you guys know that my new Time Management Plan is working great, so far. Both of my venues were amenable to having me visit every other month, so that alone cut my presentation workload in half. And I’ve scheduled my regular series posts as far in advance as possible, freeing me up a bit more each week. #GrannySays is now scheduled through the end of December! WooHoo! 

THAT

Speaking of scheduling, just want to let you all know that I’ve still got some dates open for both my #TenThings series, and my #GuestDayTuesday series. If any of you are interested in doing a guest post for either one, here are some upcoming dates you can choose from:

#TenThings: July 6, August 17 and 31, and September 14.
#GuestDayTuesday: July 12 & 26, August 9 & 23, and September 6 & 20

That’s as far ahead as I want to schedule for now. If any of these dates will work for you please email me so I can hold it for you. While I may not be running these quite as often as I was, I still want to keep them going when I can. I love having guests here on TWS, and hope you’ll take advantage of one more opportunity to get your books “out there.”

THE OTHER THING

Just for kicks, I thought maybe I’d share an excerpt with you today from one of my books. I may do this now and then going forward, but not on a strict schedule or anything. Just when the spirit moves me and I have time to do so. Hope you enjoy this one, which is from the second novella in my Emissary series. This scene features the Archangel Azrael putting the first two human Emissaries to the Angels to work with his idea of what rigorous physical training should be. Enjoy! 

The Emissary 2: To Love Somebody

Three Weeks Later, on the Same Swelteringly Hot Deserted Island,
Two Exhausted, Frustrated Emissaries Dreamed of Escape,
While One Ginormous, Cranky Angel Rethought His Entire Career. 

“TWENTY-FIVE MORE and you may take a brief swim break to cool down. Then we will focus on the ground exercises.”

“Push-ups!” Dodger snarled, sweat streaming down his face. “Just call them freakin’ damn push-ups, why don’tcha?”

Jake counted off the last of his jumping jacks then flopped down on the sand, too tired to argue much less walk down to the water’s edge. Dodger dropped right beside him, every bit as exhausted and frustrated. The boy’s chest heaved, and Jake knew exactly how he felt. Time to speak up, perhaps.

“Azrael, we’ve been at this all afternoon. It could be time to call it a day. There’s such a thing as heatstroke, you know.”

“Too late,” Dodger muttered. “Already there. My blood is boilin’, and my eyeballs are melting.”

The angel snorted in disgust.

But Dodger wasn’t done with Azrael. “This is crazy. Why do we have to exercise like this, anyway? Our job is mostly mental stuff, but you’ve got us on a workout schedule elite military units couldn’t keep up with. I don’t get it, man.”

“I find it difficult to believe we are about to have this same conversation, yet again, but fine. If that is how you wish to spend your break, instead of cooling off in the ocean, I shall do my part. A strong body and a strong mind go hand in hand. It is my belief that both mental and physical training will enhance and strengthen your ability to do your job as emissaries. Do I need to keep saying this?”

Jake sat up, raising his hands over his head in surrender. “Peace, Azrael. Come on, Dodge. Let’s go cool off before he changes his mind.”

They slogged across the wet shingle and waded out just far enough to be able to sit shoulder-deep in the calm, green water.

“We’re gonna die here on this island, you know,” Dodger muttered.

“You do remember he can hear us, don’t you?”

“Let him listen. I don’t really care anymore.” He paused, then yelled out, “You hear that, Azrael. I don’t care! I’m two steps away from dead, here, thanks to you.”

Jake thought about reminding Dodger he couldn’t die, but then figured the boy might decide continuing to live in these conditions would be even worse—and he might be right.

“Okay, kid. I’ll talk to him. Even with the extra strength we’ve been given as emissaries, we have limits, and it’s probably time to ease back a little.”

He spent a few minutes going over how to approach Azrael, then they headed back across the sand. The angel was nowhere to be seen.

Shocked, they stood under the palms looking this way and that. Surely, they hadn’t made the angel angry enough for him to abandon them in this remote spot? Had they? The only food and shelter they had was what Azrael had been providing. Hell, they could be in another dimension, for all they knew! Alone, they really might die here.

Dodger was visibly shaken, chewing on his bottom lip as he studied the shoreline in each direction, and Jake could offer no reassurances. He hadn’t a clue what they should do, other than wait. Just when he began to think maybe Azrael really had abandoned them to their fate, a voice behind him said, “Looking for me?”

Fighting mad, Jake whirled around, only to see the angel standing beside an elegant dining table set for three. A white and gold tablecloth, china, sparkling stemware, and silver serving dishes from which mouth-watering aromas rose, awaited them. He gaped in complete silence, and amazingly, so did Dodger.

“If you two are ready to cease hostilities, I am ready to admit I may have been pushing you somewhat harder than necessary. My intention was to enable you to become the best you could be, but it is possible I overdid it a bit. I am aware that at least one of you has a very high regard for food and hope this meal will prove I have not been trying to kill you. Please accept this as my peace offering.”

He paused, waiting for their reactions, and Dodger rewarded him with half a smile. “Well, it’s a good start, anyway.”

“Smells like a delicious start to me,” Jake added.

Azrael pulled out their chairs. “Come. Let us enjoy our food. We have much to discuss about what you’ll be doing next.”

Dodger stopped. “Next as in what kind of torture you’re plannin’ to put us through tomorrow?”

“Next as in I think it is possible your first round of training might be complete.”

Jake grinned and punched Dodger in the arm. “Hear that, kid? We made it through this grueling process and have survived to tell the tale.”

Dodger balked. “I heard the words ‘possible’ and ‘might’ in that sentence. Did we finish, or didn’t we?”

Azrael’s face grew serious. “You have completed this portion of your training, though there may be more to come at a later date, if needed. And you surpassed all of my expectations, by the way, which were quite high. I am proud of you both, and I am also amazed it took you until today to mount a serious rebellion. Now, I hope you will join me in a celebratory dinner. You have earned it.”

They ate a meal 5-star restaurants could only dream about serving, then toasted the sun as it slid down behind the emerald waves. For the first time in nearly two weeks, their conversation was peaceful and relaxed. It consisted of things that didn’t involve sweaty workouts under the hot sun, nor laborious mental exercises focused on helping them control their ever-expanding powers. And it was exactly what they needed.

The meal ended with a dessert so chocolatey and decadent, it nearly made Dodger swoon, then Azrael waved his hand, and voila! Dishes, glassware, leftover food, tablecloth, table, and even the chairs disappeared in a blink.

“Handy trick,” Dodger observed.

Azrael simply smiled, and Jake marveled once again at the healing power behind that gentle, pleased expression. They were, indeed, blessed—even before Azrael whisked them back to where they’d left their truck, delivered a quiet benediction over them, then rose into the starry heavens.

They stared into the night sky for some time after the angel’s departure, silent, until Dodger’s soft comment. “Sometimes I forget what a wonderful and holy miracle he is.”

The night breeze carried the gentlest whisper of a reply. “I love you, too, Dodger.”

Jake put his arm around his boy’s shoulder and they climbed into the back of their big semi, crawled into their bunks, then drifted off to sleep. In the morning, they’d be ready to hit the road again, better prepared than ever to help those who needed them.


You can download The Emissary series here:
The Emissary 1
The Emissary 2: To Love Somebody
The Emissary 3: Love Hurts


And that’s it for today’s update. Hope you enjoyed the excerpt,
and please email me if you want to set up a guest visit between now and September.
Have a great afternoon!

#This&That&TheOtherThing – #Update

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Happy Tewe’s Day, everyone. Hope you all had great weekends. Mine was busy, busy, busy, but a bit more upbeat than the last few have been. My computer is still working, though there’s a problem with the co-ax cable which causes us to lose WiFi if it gets bumped even slightly. We’ll replace with new cable the next time it goes out.  For now, I’m back in business. And therein lies the rub. (Some famous guy once said that in a play, you know.  😀 ) 

THAT

The said “rub” mentioned above: I’ve been told by several people including friends (you know who you are), family, and even my family doctor that it’s possible … just possible, mind you … I’m trying to do too many things at one time. Huh. I never knew that would become a problem. Guess I figured I could handle as much stuff when closing in on 80 as I’ve been handling all my life. Apparently that was a Fool’s Dream. (Who knew?) Consequently, I’m busy trying to work out a schedule that lets me do as much as I can manage without pushing myself over the metaphorical cliff.

With that in mind, some things will have to go. Others I’ll mostly just need to cut back on the frequency of. (My beloved Wildlife talks may have to be cut to one a month, instead of two, for instance. Twenty-four a year is becoming problematic, so we’ll see if twelve works better.) But rest assured, I’m NOT giving up entirely on anything I either love to do, or need to do, especially my current WIP! It’s right at the top of my list, and Rabbit is getting antsy, since he’s full of things he wants me to write down for him. 😊

Our weekend home and garden projects are still a “need to” situation for now, but once most of them are completed, those can be cut WAY back. I do need to do at least a bare minimum of typical household chores fairly often, too, darn it.( Laundry will not wash itself, no matter how nicely I ask! 🙄 )

But saddest of all, I may have to cut back on the frequency of some of my blog posts (and even temporarily, some of my blog visits). To help prevent too much of that nonsense, however, I’m going to go ahead and schedule most of my regular “series” posts (#GrannySays, #ThorsDaySmile, etc) through the end of the year, though #MondayMeme is on a break for now. This will give me time each week to handle the guest posts I still intend to run any time I have folks who’d like to visit. (I do have openings for both #TenThings & GuestDayTuesdays, and will post a list of those dates later.) And on weeks when I find extra time available, I may throw in some bonus posts of my own on various topics, just for fun. No  promises on those, though, as I’m going to behave exactly as I’ve been advised to!

THE OTHER THING

Last of all, this is idea is already starting to work. I’m in a much better frame of mind today than I’ve been in for several weeks. Having a plan in place always helps me relax, and even if I’m still working on the implementation of it, I know I’m on the right track.

Thanks to all of you for your understanding and patience, and especially to those of you who’ve been extra supportive of me lately as I’ve stumbled around trying to make all the things I want to do work as easily as they used to. That’s not likely to be possible any longer, but that doesn’t mean I have to give up on everything I love! Not at all! I just have to be prudent and use some common sense. I can do that, no matter what anyone thinks. I can! Honest. No, really … I mean it! 😂😂😂  I’ll just pay more attention to the things Granny Says! 😉

Thanks for Sticking With Me Through This LONG Post!


STILL LOVE ALL YOU GUYS!

#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.

LOVE YOU GUYS!

 

 

#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!

 

#This&That&TheOtherThing – #BlogBreaks – #UpcomingPosts – #DarkPlaceMinions

Happy Tewe’s Day, everybody. Hope all is going well in your corner of the world. Just wanted to give you a quick update this afternoon, so here goes:

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Had a lot of fun Saturday at the Meet the Author tea, met some brand new readers, and enjoyed seeing some old friends again. If you’ve never done something like this, I can tell you it’s well worth a go. It’s fun. You make new readers. And you have a chance to sell a few books, too. (Plus the food is usually wonderful!) I think you’d enjoy it!


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My special guest for tomorrow’s #TenThingsYouMayNotKnowAboutMe post will be Teri Polen. Teri’s a great friend and a supporter of her fellow writers and bloggers, and I’m delighted to have her visit us. You won’t want to miss her post, I guarantee, so hope to see you tomorrow!


THE OTHER THING

For those of you who might be wondering, the effects of my run-in with those Minions of the Dark Place (fire ants) are gradually improving day by day. Today marks Day #10 since the little bastages hurled themselves at my feet and ankles, and left me with a total of 48 nasty bites. (I’ll spare you the foot photos today! 😁) They should be mostly gone in another week to ten days, and I will have lived to tell the tale. Again. In fact, I’m thinking fire ants will likely make a brief appearance if and when I return to my 4th Riverbend tale. Haven’t decided whether to finish that one or not, but if I do … expect  Minions. 


And that’s it for now! As you were, folks, and I hope to see you here tomorrow
and Friday. (Taking my Blog Break on Thursday this week.)
Until then, have a great rest of your day!

Quick #Update and a Smile – #TenThingsYouMayNotKnow – #Humor

 #TenThingsYouMayNotKnowAboutMe: For those of you who haven’t yet chosen a date for your #TenThings post, here’s a list of the remaining open Wednesdays. (You’ll notice they run clear to the end of the year, so you can grab one far enough out that you’ll have plenty of time to put your post together.)

OPEN DATES:
July 6
August 3, 17, & 31
September 14
October 12 & 26
November 29 & 23
December 7 & 21

And for those of you who enjoy my  bi-weekly #MondayMeme posts, I’m sorry I didn’t get one put together for today,  but here’s something to help make up for it a bit, I hope. It sure made me laugh, anyway! 

Have a great week, everyone!

 

#Updates – #TenThingsLists – #RiverOfLakesHeritageCorridor – #NationaScenicByway – #FloridaWildlife – #FloridaBirds

Hi, Everyone! Just wanted to let it be known that I’ll be gone for several hours tomorrow. For the first time in THREE MONTHS, I’ll be giving a wildlife talk at Enterprise Museum, and I can’t wait! Boy, have I missed chatting with everyone, and sharing some laughs, while talking about our fabulous wildlife down here. Wish me luck. I’ll probably be pretty whipped by the time I get home, but it will be SO worth it to be getting back to the things I love to do! Yay!

Also wanted to thank everyone who has responded to my announcement about taking part in the #TenThingsYouMayNotKnowAboutMe feature here on TWS. I’ve already filled up several dates, but here are the Wednesdays still left open, if you want to join in the fun:

March 30
June 22
July 6 & 20
August 3, 17, & 31
September 14
October 12 & 26
November 29 & 23
December 7 & 21

The rest have been taken or removed due to conflicts with my own schedule, but that still leaves us with 14 Wednesdays from now until year’s end. Would love to have someone scheduled for every one of them, so give it some consideration and let me know if you’d like me to hold one of these days for you. (First-come, first-served basis). I’ll check my emails as soon as I get home tomorrow and get right back to anyone who has contacted me.

Thanks to those who jumped right on this, and to each of you who’s thinking about joining in. It’s gonna be fun!

And now … I’ve got a talk to be ready for, so back to thinking about the celebration of the River of Lakes Heritage Corridor and  National Scenic Byway. *goes off mumbling  “Alligators and foxes and manatees, oh my!”*

#ThankYou and #Update Redux

I just want to thank everyone who responded to my Tuesday “Checking In” post. Your support and encouragement have done wonders for my mood, and my mood improvement has done wonders for my health. As we all know, attitude is everything, even when dealing with physical issues. And the good news is, yesterday, I felt like I finally turned a corner with this cold I’ve been coping with for almost three weeks now.

Notice I called it a “cold?” I refuse to even entertain the possibility it’s been another case of that other word that starts with “C!” I am not going there, regardless of the extreme fatigue that accompanied my sneezing, coughing, and general discomfort. Nope. Been there, done that, and refuse to ever acknowledge it again, though I will always be cautious about being around others when I’m under the weather with anything that might be contagious.

And all that being said, the important take-away is the phrase “turned the corner.” I actually had a lot of energy yesterday, and an unexpected decrease in other symptoms, too. Got stuff done, and felt good about the day. But not to worry. I’m easing back into things carefully, and it will take some time for me to get back to my writing and my normal blog visits and comments. I am trying to read posts I’ve fallen behind on, though for now, will probably be limiting myself to a Like and a Tweet here and there. I know you’ll all understand, and I appreciate that enormously.

Thanks again, and PLEASE stay safe and well, you guys! (I will, if YOU will.)

(Me, being healthy and energetic!)

Thank You & Going MIA Again!


Just want to say a quick thank you to all who offered support and commiseration yesterday. I was really freaked out, as you may have surmised.  I’ve done all the things suggested, including a few I already knew, and the good news is that (SO FAR) my computer is running fine today. John, Windows Defender told me there were no problems at all and that my system was good to go. I’ve saved the instructions, though, just in case it goes off the rails again.

The bad news (you knew there had to be some, right?) is that I still have a program to give Saturday, and a whole lotta people have reserved seats. But, more bad news, I’m only 2/3 done with the slideshow. URK. That means I will be MIA from the blogging world in general until I finish this presentation. Hopefully, it won’t extend beyond today, but it has to be done, even if it spills over into tomorrow. I will take a break later this afternoon to “Like” and Tweet where I can, but that’s about all I’ll be able to do until this project is ready for Prime Time.

The other good news, is this is the last new program I have to create for this year! I’m not doing any talks in December, and hopefully that will give me time to get a few more new ones ready before the new year arrives. 

Thanks for your understanding and your help, and hope to be back by tomorrow. (So I guess that means I better get ON IT right now!! I think I hear a crested caracara calling me!) See you soon!

 

 

UPDATE: Still Here, and Still Crazy After All These Years!

Yep, in spite of the fact that I’ve not left my house in over 8 weeks, nor seen the face of a single friend, nor been able to do much writing thanks to COVID-Brain, I am definitely feeling lucky. I’m still HERE! As of today, at least, I still get another chance to do it all better! And that, my friends, is a daily miracle we often forget, and honestly, one I’m surprised to find myself enjoying: the miracle of life in all its guises. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. WOOOO and also HOOOO!! 

To bring you up to date, I am no longer having any symptoms of this dreaded, miserably wretched, murderous virus we’re all sick of hearing about. I do have a greatly reduced energy level, but I’ve even seen some improvement in that area, too. I know the fatigue-related stuff can go on for an extended period, but I’ve learned how to go on, myself, right alongside it. In other words, it might slow me down, but it’s not going to stop me. 

I do plan to return to blogging (and visiting the blogs of my friends) by October 1. I’m giving myself the rest of this month without any firm commitments as to the blog or my current WIP, just keeping the posting and writing flexible and simple for now. But come October 1, I want to get back to my regularly scheduled programming, as they say.

I will be putting out a call for those who’d like to take part in #GuestDayTuesdays to share promotions, new releases, and various other topics. I’ll be continuing with my new #GrannySays series, and will start back sharing weekly roundup posts from Story Empire and Sally Cronin’s Smorgasbord. I’m not going to continue with #FirstLineFriday for now, though that might return in the future. But I do want to run some special “events” now and then, such as #ExcerptWeek, and a few new things I’m going to fit in here and there.

I’m very much looking forward to resuming these features and adding some new ones, and to finishing my current WIP, Riverbend #4, Working title A Need to Burn, and just may share some excerpts from that, along the way.

And finally, I’d like to thank all of you for your support and encouragement over the last weeks. Our blogging and writing community is the absolute BEST, and I appreciate each and every one of you! 

Stay tuned, my friends, and remember, “Life Finds a Way.” (Recognize that? Hmmm. Maybe a new series for this blog: “Who Said It?” That could be fun!)

Now go forth and live YOUR life! And be sure to stay Safe and Well! (It’s much more enjoyable that way.)