A Weekly Offering of This n That

Rainy Day is my alter ego. She is the little angel that sits on one shoulder and whispers in my ear to forgo that 6" piece of triple chocolate fudge with the four scoops of ice cream on it; she is also the little devil who sits on my other shoulder and convinces me that I can eat just one bite of each and be satisfied, and then laughs with such great abandon when in fact, I eat the whole thing, she falls off my shoulder. Mostly, Rainy Day helps me see the humor in living and, mostly, she encourages me down the right path. Not necessarily the straight and narrow one (how fun is that?) but the path that offers the most adventure and fun.

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Big Freeze is Over (for now)

The last few days, we've had some serious cold—it didn't get above freezing until a couple days ago when a nice early morning (3:00am) wind got rid of the clouds and brought some warmth. We were fortunate here, we had no snow, just cold. Lots of cold.

Still, cold is a good reason (at least for me) to stay inside and work on projects. Which is what I did, most of the time. I mean, one does need to go forth for victuals now and again, doesn't one? Or learn to eat from an empty plate ;-)

At the horrible prospect of losing some of my most favored Gentle Readers, I will confess that yes, I stayed inside; I also got all my Winter Gifts finished, wrapped, and ready to deliver or mail. I'm sure there will be some I've forgotten about, but the panic is over. I even have my tree up, but won't turn the lights on until Friday. After all, I do not want to be responsible for the deaths of those cute baby reindeer! (I know. Most of you long ago gave up believing in elves and reindeer, and even Santa Clause, but I not only still believe, I see no reason to change.)

Oh, and I also managed to speak the right incantation, and the Christmas cactus allowed one bud to open, which I photographed and now have ordered my cards, which I will pick up today or tomorrow. In other words, Gentle Readers, I am, basically, ready to sit back and relax while many of you haven't even thought about the fact that the Winter Gift Season is rapidly approaching ;-)

For those of you still in need a few giftees, may I suggest a couple of books? Books make ideal gifts, and they last forever. One size fits everyone, they are easily shared, and can be read and enjoyed as often as wanted.

I'm partial to an anthology of short stores by S & H Publishing, Inc., called Short & Happy (or not). The book contains 36 short stories by 25 authors (including yours truly) from 7 countries. It can be obtained from your favorite bookseller, or directly from the publisher at http://sandhpublishing.com/Anthology.html — there is also a trailer for one of the stories by Maria Elizabeth McVoy on this page.

And, of course, if you have yet to buy your own copy of Madame Dorion: Her Journey to the Oregon Country, you may buy that from your favorite bookseller or, again, order it directly from the publisher at http://sandhpublishing.com/Madame_Dorion.html.

If you want even more books, after all does one ever have too many? go to http://sandhpublishing.com/index.html and check out the many books available.  

 For reviews of either book, please visit either GoodReads.com or Amazon.com.

Now, I'm going to get another cup of coffee, and enjoy the sunshine from the warmth of my office. Y'all have an exceptionally fine and wonderful week and be sure to stop by next Monday to see what Rainy Day has been up to. It will be news for us both, I'm sure ;-)

Monday, November 17, 2014

Short & Happy (or not)

No, I am not referring to the status of my height, nor to the status of my emotions. Yes, I am short and yes, I am happy ;-)

The reference is to the latest book, an anthology published by my publisher, Short & Happy (or not) edited by Richard Bunning and Dixiane Hallaj. The book launch was Sunday, back in Purcellville, VA. Alas, too far for me to attend, so I'm doing the next best thing by 'launching' it from Living With Rainy Day.

This is a collection of 36 short stories by 25 authors from around the globe. From one Washington to the Other Washington, from Canada to Australia, from the UK to Greece. I'm pleased to say I know four of the authors in this book, and of course, I know me, so I guess that makes it five authors, eh?

Most of the stories are under 3,000 words—perfect to read as you wait for your appointment, or ride the bus to work, or while on your lunch hour. All of the stories are well written and will surely give you a few minutes of enjoyment, and perhaps, a few hours of escape. The stories appeal to all ages, from new adults to the silver-haired set.
Dixie Hallaj, my Publisher, signing a book for Purcellville mayor,
Kwasi Fraser with fellow author Bobbi Carducci looking on. Mayor
Fraser bought the first book of the Launch!
Short & Happy (or not) is available through the S & H Publishing, Amazon, and your local bookseller (they may have to order it for you). So far, all reviewers have given it either 4 stars or 5 stars. The contents of these stories will give something for everyone. One of the authors has produced a trailer for her story. Check it out here.

And the book is a perfect something for everyone's Winter Stocking. Beat the Black Friday rush, buy this collection of Short & Happy (or not) stories for your friends, your family, shucks, buy one for your dog, too. S/He will enjoy the delectable taste of the paper with the overtones of ink, if not the actual words themselves.

Monday, November 10, 2014

A Double Feature

The Awakening

I belong to SCBWI – Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, and the other day, another of the members posted on FB that she would appreciate it if some of us would post the blurb and cover photo on our blog. Since I know that many of you like YA stories, and even more of you have YA people on your gift-giving list, I thought it would be nice to give you yet another idea for your shopping list.

The Awakening, by Dorine White will be available 2 December 2014. Here is the cover blurb, and the cover:

"Nightmares really do come true, and for fifteen-year-old Kyler Birkwood, they are just beginning. Raised on a farm by his Aunt Martha, Kyler has no clue about the magical heritage swimming through his blood. When he discovers evidence of a mythical creature, a terrifying beast thought only to exist in fairy tales, his safe world shatters.

"Left at a school of magic to hunt for clues, he is overwhelmed and disbelieved. As loved ones begin disappearing and Orcs roam the land, Kyler must undergo a journey that takes him from the High Courts of the King to the unknown forests of the East. His magic just awakening, Kyler is the lone hope for a world that will not listen."

This looks like a fascinating read. That's a hint, in case any of you missed it ;-)

Now, back to our regularly scheduled blogging and

Soldiers of Fortune  

When I was a freshman in High School, my mother married my stepfather. That was a heck of a shock to me. I mean, I knew him, sort of liked him, but Mom and I had lived alone for several years, and we had a more or less truce between us. Then she brought a man into the mix. Yuck.

Anyhow, we moved from Portland, Oregon (where I was a Freshman in High School!) to Seattle, Washington, where I was immediately demoted to a ninth grader in JUNIOR high. I felt like I'd been tossed back into kindergarten, and needless to say, I was not a happy camper, no matter how one looked at it. There were no rose colored glasses through which to view my then miserable life.

School got out at 3.30 and if I took the bus, I'd get home sometime around 4.15-4.30. But, if I walked, and walked really, really fast (would you believe a 12 minute mile?) I could be home by 4.00. I walked. Really, really fast. Because, you see, at 4.00 was the one escape I had — a tv show, Soldiers of Fortune starring John Russell and Chick Chandler. I loved that show. The fact my hormones were waking up probably helped, too. I was in lust with both actors.

Anyhow, I would come home, watch the show, and then do my homework and go traipsing about the woods down the hill. Home still wasn't great, but it was bearable, and some day I, too, would grow up to be a Soldier of Fortune. Or a Mountain Man. Or maybe Sacajawea reincarnated.

Every couple of years, for the past few, I've looked to see if the old series had been made available, and the other day, I found it. All 52 episodes, on 5 discs, for a price I could afford. Can you guess what I'm now watching? I've now seen 5 episodes, and yes, they are as bad and as wonderful as I remember them. The fun thing is, they are all new. I remembered the show and the actors but can't for the life of me remember any of the stories. They were all filmed on a Hollywood lot, but they used a lot of travel footage and cut it in. This was the first show to do that.

John Russell went on to do the series, Lawman. I know I watched it, but it didn't have the impact that Soldiers of Fortune did. At least not for me. I'm not at all sure what Chick Chandler did after the series. But I did discover that his first name was Fehmer, not Chick. And the hero of one of my as yet unpublished short stories is Russell Fehmer, in my attempt to do homage to my all-time favorite tv show from my high school years. (If you check out the filmographies of both Chick Chandler  and John Russell  at IMDb.com you will see they both had lots of work during their careers.)

If you like adventure, b/w tv, and aren't really picky about the quality (the studio who bought and remastered them did a pretty darned good job) you might enjoy this bit of nostalgia from 1955-57, check it out. The plots are simple, there are no commercials, the acting is OK, but, heck, it's still a lot of fun!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Remember Old Time Radio Drama?

I do. And I write them, now and then, and surprisingly, old time radio shows are making a comeback--in the internet. And also surprisingly, mine get picked up by the wonderful folks at Radio Heyday, and produced.

Many years ago, I read a marvelous book by one of my favorite authors—Cloven Hooves –by Megan Lindholm. It is a story of Love (with a capital 'L') but not a romance, which I seldom read unless it is cross-genre into something I do read. The book was not well-received by many people as Megan touched on a topic that offended some. But, as you, Gentle Reader know, some people have very tiny, tight, and small minds and they could not see the beauty of the story, only their own tiny, tight, and small version thereof.

Megan no longer writes using her name, which is too bad. I miss her stories. She now writes under a different name, and her stories are equally as well done, but they are different from her earlier ones.

However, this blog is not about Megan, it is about my new radio drama, Grizz. It, too, is a Love story, though very different from Megan's. This is the story of two women, or females if you prefer, who find love and acceptance in each other's company. One woman is Homo sapien; the other is not.

Friends, true friends, come in all shapes, sizes, and species, and like gold, are to be found in some unexpected places. Spend 20 minutes and listen to a story of Love and Friendship written by yours truly, and produced and acted by the marvelous folks at Radio Heyday.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Gentle Readers everywhere, I present Grizz for your listening pleasure. Pictures provided by your own imagination.

And if you enjoyed Grizz, please check out the other dramas on Radio Heyday, especially the Show Archive where another of my stories is located, The Cure. Fill your mp3 with some great stories, expertly presented by Radio Heyday!