Happy Thanksgiving & Catching Up a Wee Bit

Just touching base with you guys to let you know I’m still alive and kicking down here. My health issues are easing as my stress levels have been dropping, so I think the blog break has been good for me. Still not quite ready to jump back in until I see my doctor Tuesday and get a bit more info on what’s ahead. Hopefully, though, the news will be good and I won’t be MIA much longer. 

I did get some bad news this week. Some of you know my daughter and her family moved to Denver a year and a half or so ago, and they were planning a ten-day visit over Thanksgiving, which we were very much looking forward to. Erin, being a pretty smart gal, had isolated them for the whole week before departure date (and they’ve been extremely cautious, anyway) and then they went for testing on Monday, hoping they’d get the results back before they left. They did. Erin and my grandson were negative. Myres, sadly, was positive for COVID. So the trip had to be cancelled and the four of them are in total isolation at home, with Myres staying in the guest room for the ten day period. So far, he has what he describes as mild cold symptoms going on, so we are hopeful he doesn’t get any worse. And I’m praying my daughter and the kids (7 and 2) do not get sick. If they are still doing well by Thanksgiving Day, that’s what I will be most grateful for in the whole, wide world.

So, Mark decided to go ahead and take off all week as he’d planned to do , and he and I will have a very quiet Thanksgiving. We are hoping that if all is well by Christmas, they might come for a shorter visit the day after Santa’s arrival. 🙂 Then we can have a slightly belated Christmas with them when they get here. But everything hinges on how well they do. 

On a more positive front, I’ve made some decisions on my current Riverbend WIP, and am now planning a series of Riverbend novellas because they are much faster and easier to write than a full-length novel, and right now, fast and easy works better for me. My energy levels aren’t where I’d like them to be, so instead of one long book, I’m going to tackle each subplot as an individual novella that I can later combine into a print book. 

And while I’m on that subject of tackling, I haven’t yet combined the Emissary novellas, but I think I’m about ready to put those together, too. (Note to self: Discuss cover for print book with my wonderful designer and friend, Nicki.) 

And that’s about where things stand right now. I’m looking forward to getting back to “normal” around here and resuming my favorite features once again. I’ll probably start with a #WildlifeWednesday, since I had one almost ready to go before deciding I needed to take a break, so stay tuned. And as always, I will reblog the Story Empire posts Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, plus a few others as I can, here and there. 

My best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate it, and a wonderful Christmas season ahead for everyone! Thank you so much for your patience! I’ll be back just as soon as possible! 

In the meantime, here are a few autumn images from the mountains that always lift my spirits! Enjoy! 🙂 ❤

Temporary Change In Posting Schedule

Just a quick heads up so you won’t wonder where I’ve disappeared to. Mark and I have both been under the weather with a bit of a cold (nothing serious, I promise!) and though he is much improved, I’m still dragging.  I’ve fallen even farther behind with things  that aren’t optional, so I’ve decided to give myself a bit of a break for a week or so with the things that are.  My regularly (mostly 🙂 ) #ShareAReviewDay, #ThorsDaySmiles, and #FirstLineFriday posts are on hold as of now and through all of next week. I do have a guest poster next week, but it’s already been scheduled, as have my upcoming posts on Story Empire, so those will run as planned. Hope you’ll tune in for each.

I’ll try to resume my normal schedule here on TWS  during the week of March 23, assuming I’m feeling much better. Will give you a heads up when it’s time to submit any reviews you’d like to share after that date. 

I may pop in with a short post here or there during this interim, if I feel well (and energetic) enough for it. And if you need to contact me, please feel free to do so. I’ll still be sitting here at my desk most of the time, trying to attend to some of the things that have fallen through the cracks as I’ve been plodding my way through this “bug.” Progress is slow and often interrupted by naps, but I’ll be able to respond either here or via email. I just don’t feel quite up to assembling any larger posts yet. Thanks so much for understanding.  

Here’s to your health! (And mine!)

Nothing like a cup of “Earl Grey, hot” to soothe what ails ye. 🙂

 

#Updates #BuildingALocalReadership #ScheduleChange

Just a quick post to let those in this area know that I’ve made some changes in my presentation topics. The dates are still the same, but I split one of my programs into Part 1 and Part 2, and that necessitated moving a few things around. Here is the info on the next two events I’ll be doing, followed by an updated schedule through October. 

Remember if any of you are planning to come to the springtime tea at DeBary Hall, you need to call and make reservations. The little parlor area in the mansion will only seat about 20 folks, so don’t wait too late! 🙂 I know most of you aren’t in central Florida, but for those who are, hope to see you at some of these. Thanks!

2020 EVENT SCHEDULE

CONTACT INFO:
DEBARY HALL: 386-668-3840 – 1 Tea & 5 Nature Programs
ENTERPRISE MUSEUM: 386-259-5900 – 13 Nature Programs & 1 Tea

Note: Planned topics may change. If in doubt, call ahead for updates.

*********************************************************************************************

 JANUARY
     January 11 – EM – CFFW Alligators & Crocodiles
     January 25 – EM – Book Release Open House

FEBRUARY
     February 8 – EM Furry Critters #2, PART 1: Raccoons (New 2020)
     February 22 – DH – Springtime Tea

MARCH
     March 7 – EM – Furry Critters #2, PART 2: Opossums and Armadillos
     March 28 – EM – Florida’s Fantastic Owls 

APRIL
     April 11 – DH – For Goodness Snakes!
     April 18- EM – Vultures and Crested Caracaras (New 2020)

MAY
     May 9 – DH – Furry Critters #1 – Squirrels
     May 23 – EM – Florida’s Fabulous Felines: Bobcats and Panthers (New 2020)

JUNE
     June 6 – EM – Lizards and Skinks (New 2020)
     June 13 – DH Furry Critters #2 – Raccoons (New 2020)
     June 27 – EM – Florida’s Fabulous Woodpeckers (New 2020)

JULY
     July 11 – DH – Furry Critters #2, PART 2: Opossums and Armadillos
     July 25 – EM – Furry Critters #3:  Foxes and Coyotes (New 2020)

AUGUST
     August 8 – DH – Florida’s Fantastic Owls
     August 15 – EM – Turkey and Quails (New 2020)

SEPTEMBER
     September 12 – EM – Goin’ Batty (New 2020)
     September 26 – EM – Tea

OCTOBER
     October 10 – EM – Exotics Running Wild! (New 2020)

#Goodbye2019 and #Hello2020 #Updates

Glory be! As I take a look back over 2019, one thing stands out to me above all else. In spite of new health issues, a serious fall, and a jam-packed schedule, I managed to end the year still standing! (And still crazy, after all these years!) Yep. I’m here, I’m mostly healed up again, and while I’m glad to see the backside of 2019,  I’m eager to tackle 2020 with optimism and hope, ready for the adventures that lie ahead. Hope you guys are, as well.  

On the blogging front, I’m also ready to start resuming many of my regular features. I think I will bring them “online” one at a time, and I’m going to start with #FirstLineFriday this week. If you aren’t familiar with that, it’s pretty simple. I give you a famous first line and you EMAIL me with your guess as to the book it opens. The first five correct answers win a download of any of my books. Sometimes, we have an author offering a free download of one of their books as an additional prize choice. The full details can be found in the header above by clicking on General Blog Rules and Various Feature Instructions. Tune in Friday at 8:00 EST for this fun challenge (which ends at NOON), and don’t forget, it’s about more than winning a prize. It’s a chance to study some of the best opening lines out there, and learn ways to improve our own. Hope to see you there.

Next week, I will bring back #ShareAReviewDay Tuesdays. Full instructions for that are in the same link mentioned above. If you have a new or favorite review you’d like to share here, email me with the items listed in the header bar above, and I’ll set up your post and schedule it. I only do two per Tuesday, morning and afternoon, to maximize exposure time, and I set these up in the order in which I receive the requests. I’ll notify you via email as to the date your post will be going live so you can check it out (to be sure I didn’t make any errors) AND respond to comments on your review. Looking forward to getting this one going again!

I will also be adding some new features over the weeks ahead, and will be continuing my #MondayMeme feature (memes about writing/reading/books) and #ThorsdaySmile (memes about anything I find amusing). So, stay tuned for things to get back to normal around here. Or as normal as it’s ever been, anyway. 😀 

Don’t forget, you are also welcome to email me about promos, new releases and other news you’d like to share. If possible, we’ll help you get the word out. That’s what this blog is all about. Authors helping authors.

And last, on top of the blogging and my newly revised and SUPER busy schedule of local events, I’m planning to–wait for it!–write another book!!! Yes. The writer in me is dying to get out, and so happy to be working on something new. So, be forewarned: Jake, Dodger, and Azrael are about to have another adventure as I get going on The Emissary 3. And when it’s done and out in eBook format, I will combine these three novellas into a set and publish them in print, too. 

SO! Lots to do in the next twelve months. Roll on, 2020! I’m ready for ya!

Wake-Robin Ridge
A Boy Named Rabbit: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 2
Harbinger: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 3
The Light: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 4 

Swamp Ghosts: A Riverbend Novel
Finding Hunter: Riverbend Book 2
That Darkest Place: Riverbend Book 3 

The Emissary: A Riverbend Spinoff Novella
The Emissary 2: To Love Somebody 

Summer Magic: Poems of Life & Love 

Marcia’s Amazon Author Page

You can reach Marcia via email at marciameara16@gmail.com or on the following social media sites:
The Write Stuff
Facebook
Pinterest
Twitter: @marciameara

A Quick Update & Sharing a Guest Post

Just wanted to touch base with you guys and let you know that I’ve been feeling better for the last 3 days than I’ve felt since I fell. I’m hopeful this is a trend that will continue, and I’m going to do my best to get this week’s normal features back up and running. Bear with me if I fall short of that, but I’m optimistic!  And thank you ALL so much for your kind words and support. I appreciate it more than you know!

Also today, I want to share another guest post I did over two years ago on Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo  blog. Yes, I know that’s two in a row, but this post is one that means a lot to me, and I like to think it will inspire a few of you who are sitting on the fence about pursuing your dreams of writing–or of anything else you’ve put off for too long. I hope you’ll take a minute and check out the following link. And as always, feel free to share with the Immediate World. 😀 

Guest author: Marcia Meara – Attitude really IS everything!

Well, Amazing the Things You Learn Around Here!

After more than a week of trying my best to figure out how to be able to access everything on my own blog again, without having to sign in via a comment somewhere, I discovered that everything works fine with Chrome. GAH.

Now I know it’s slower and possibly clunkier, but I prefer Internet Explorer. It might even be because that’s what I learned on. So I’ve resisted all the calls to change to Chrome–even  though there are a couple of websites I like that won’t work without it–but now I’m going to have to use it to post and comment on my own blog. Like it or not, I guess I’d better get used to it. 

Chrome, huh? 😦

 

Update#2 on My Family – #HurricaneFlorence

Now THIS is the way to ride out a hurricane! First you find a place where the beaches are calm and sunny, and you can stay in a condo with a gorgeous pool. Of course, it must be well out of the dreaded Cone of Uncertainty predicted for any hurricane that happens to be threatening a given area.

Then you take your boogie board to the beach in the morning, before the temperatures reach brain-baking levels, and later, head back to your air-conditioned quarters until it cools off enough for a lazy afternoon dip in the pool.

When the all clear sounds, you return to your home with your fingers crossed that your neighbor (who chose not to leave) has been truthful when she said there are no ugly surprises awaiting you.

Yep. The evacuation orders for Charleston have been lifted, and as far as we know, all is well with my daughter’s house. This isn’t the way they prefer to plan a vacation, but they made the best of it, enjoyed the infamous Emerald Coast of the Florida panhandle for a few days, and will soon be home again.

I can now breathe easy knowing I have fulfilled my sacred duty as a mom to issue hour-by-hour updates and warnings throughout the entire ordeal. 😀

On a serious note, as rivers continue to rise, especially throughout a wide swath of North Carolina (where many people no longer have homes to return to), the danger of record-breaking floods is still a huge problem. Please keep those good folks in your thoughts and prayers. And thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your thoughts and prayers for Erin, Myres, Kaelen, and Reya. It meant a great deal to me to know so many people were thinking of them throughout this ordeal. THANKS! 🙂 ❤

A New Meme & Catching Up

Wow, the last week has gone by in a blur of electricians, stucco men, and dental appointments. The good news is, my dentist said everything is healing just as it should, but will continue to be painful for a while yet. I can live with that, as long as nothing’s wrong.

The other good news is that MUCH progress on our home repairs is being made, but we have some time to go yet, even though it has been THREE months (and five days, but who’s counting?) since Hurricane Irma came calling. The roofing won’t even begin until after Christmas, so it’s bound to be 2018 before it gets finished up. And just think. Many, many people were left far worse off than we were. So in the spirit of being grateful for what we have, I’m reminding myself how lucky we were.

Today is the first day since the storm I’ve actually been able to start back to work on my 4th Wake-Robin Ridge book. We are waiting on inspections, so there was no hammering and drilling and sawing going on. Yay! I hope to pick up speed on this one as repairs get completed and my jaw stops throbbing.

Last, I’m sharing a meme I made some time ago for a sale. I changed the bottom wording so I can use it at will, and thought I’d use it as another example of a simple graphic made from a portion of my book cover, with a quote from the story added. Hope you guys are giving serious thought to using more images with your books. It’s eye-catching and fun, so give it a try!

Have a great weekend, everyone, in case I’m not around much. Mark and I are still tearing out plants killed by the storm, and doing some long overdue work inside, as well. This ol’ place is getting quite a facelift. When the new roof and new paintjob are done, it’s going to look brand new, just like it did in 1978, when it was built. (Wish I could say the same for me! 😀 )

I’ll be checking in as I can, and I hope you are ALL getting caught up in the magic of Christmas!

Bob the Skull says, “Ho, ho, ho? Has anyone seen that
Dresden guy in the last 3 years?”

That Darkest Place

Good Morning, and a Quick Apology

The Little Statue That Could
The tree trunk landed on top of this, and she is wedged
in good and tight.  Her hat is dented on one side, where the
oak is bearing down on her, but
she hasn’t succumbed to
the pressure yet. I’d really like
to save her, since she seems
to be trying so hard to
save US.
~~~

Things sure look brighter after a good night’s sleep. Well, except for where an entire tree is blocking the light from my windows and front door, of course. But that’s all been turned over to the insurance company, and I’m expecting them to send out an engineer to take charge (and get a general contractor on this) soon. We will need a tree removal service, mason/block layers, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, and roofers. Ack! This will be a slow process, but at least it’s underway. Sort of. And of course, once they have tarps in place and the tree removed, there are sure to be homes more severely damaged that will be a higher priority for a little while. But it’s moving forward, and I can breathe again.

I do want to apologize if I miss responding to any of your lovely, supportive, and encouraging posts, either on the blog or on Facebook. I have received hundreds of emails, too, and while I’m trying to answer everyone, everywhere, I fear some might be missed in the process. Just know how very much I appreciate all your love and support. There’s something strengthening in knowing others care, and I am blessed to have you all for online friends. Continue reading

Foxy Business and Brief Update

In answer to several questions I’ve received, yes, that is a fox in my current header. Why is it way up there in a tree? Because it is a gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) as opposed to a red fox (Vulpes vulpes.) Yep, a whole different animal, and one that is very arboreal. In other words, unlike the red fox, it’s an excellent climber, and often naps in the treetops. Both foxes are native to North America, and I’ll be doing a future post on the differences between the two when I’m feeling well enough to get back to blogging again. (Look for it on #NotesFromTheRiver).

Good news: I’m feeling VASTLY better today than yesterday, though still not at 100%. Last night, for the first time in over 2 weeks, I was able to sleep without taking codeine-laced cough syrup. Thankfully! I hate that druggy feeling when I’m on that stuff. Bad news: As I say, I’m still not at 100%. But I finally feel like I’m on the way. I am still resting/napping throughout the day, so I’m not really “back” to my blogging and writing yet, which means a bit more delay in publishing That Darkest Place. But I don’t think it will be too much longer.

Hopefully this will be “out there” soon:


Thanks for all your support and well wishes. It’s lovely to be missed!
🙂 ❤