And the Travel Mishaps Continue

  • June 01, 2020
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Seriously. Another desert??? Okay, I’ve really, really learned my lesson! Never pay discount for travel. I chose some space junker with a decent hyperdrive that dumped me here instead of Endor. I guess it could have been worse: I could have ended up on Hoth without winter gear packed.

Those Jawas charge a fortune for sunscreen. Good thing I still have the robes from Vulcan…

 

 

Postcard by cjrobbins at Redbubble. Buy it here.

 

 

When Travel Plans Go Awry

  • May 24, 2020
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For those who love Star Trek, you’ll understand my frustration. I booked a shuttle to the planet of Risa but got taken to Vulcan instead…

For those not sure why I’ m annoyed, watch Star Trek: The Next Generation, season 3, episode 19, “Captain’s Holiday.”

I have other trips planned and hope they go more smoothly. But I will never use an Andorian travel agent again!

 

 

Postcard by doctorheadly at Redbubble. Buy it here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fiction Writers: Will You Include the Pandemic or Not?

  • May 17, 2020
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notebook and pen photo

It’s a dilemma, one I faced when writing Magical Ties. The book takes place on Long Island but at one point, the main character, Emily, travels to Manhattan. In a post-9/11 world, I struggled with whether to mention the changes that horrific event created. Ultimately, Emily traveled only to a train station on East 14th Street, so it was unnecessary. And yes, that was deliberate on my part.

In these uncertain times, I’m left with a struggle that’s similar but much wider in scope. I’ve already started book two of Emily’s adventures (but early enough that I can change things). The question is, should I?

Placing characters inside the pandemic or its aftermath can either draw readers in (“Yes, I can relate”) or alienate them (“I’m reading to escape, dammit!”). And the weirdness of time factors in as well. Which will date the story faster? If we can get past this as a painful and difficult period in the world’s history, putting the pandemic into our stories will eventually date them. But if our lifestyles are permanently changed, not mentioning it will also date the stories. (Anyone else feel mildly uncomfortable watching old TV ads that feature large groups of people with no social distancing?)

I don’t have an answer. But I welcome comments.

 

Mother’s Day

  • May 10, 2020
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As is my tradition, I’m repeating this post:

My Mom and Writing

Magical Ties Sale Extended!

  • May 04, 2020
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I’m extending the Kindle sale of Magical Ties through the month of May. Enjoy!

mybook.to/MagicalTies

Magical Ties on Sale This Week

  • April 26, 2020
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It’s a tough time right now, no need to explain further. So, I’m reducing the Kindle price of Magical Ties for a week. Hope you enjoy.

Working from Home for the First Time? Read This.

  • April 20, 2020
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I’ve freelanced as a full timer at various points in my life and have only one piece of advice: Set limits.

I recently spoke with a friend who is currently working from home, and she sounded overwhelmed.

“There’s so much work. I’m trying to catch up but…” It sounded like all she was doing was working.

I’ve been there. My home office consisted of one corner in my living room. Having my computer on a desk meant that work was always just there. There was no respite. Everything sat in plain sight, condemning me after I stopped. I’d eat a meal and then gravitate toward the work.

So, I bought a computer cabinet that didn’t look like a computer cabinet. It looks like a lovely armoire. When closed, it’s easy to imagine that there are folded quilts inside. It gave me the space I needed in my head.

Set limits. Make sure you set your timer as well. Take breaks. Pretend you’re in the office. But do feel free to wear sweatpants.

 

 

Happy Holidays!

  • April 12, 2020
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Photo by slgckgc

Photo by Sister72

Books From My Library: A List to Soothe, Inspire, and Keep You Going

  • April 06, 2020
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Many people are familiar with Little House on the Prairie as a TV show but haven’t read the Laura Ingalls Wilder books on which it was based. The books reflect the time period more accurately, and the simple, clean prose brings me into their characters’ lives so easily each time I dip into them. When they didn’t have something, they made do. When troubles came, they weathered them. The Long Winter is a testament to surviving blizzards, no school, and food shortages (spoiler: they all live). And for those who get hungry at some of the food descriptions, check out:

The Little House Cookbook: Frontier Foods from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Classic Stories, by Barbara M Walker.

For simpler choices in cooking, I love The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen, by Donna Klein. I’m more likely to have onions, carrots, and lentils in my kitchen than cream to make butter with.

Feeling introspective? In need of meditation advice? Journey of Awakening, by Ram Dass, is a good place to start.

And finally, for amusement, This Time Together, by Carol Burnett, is an especially good read if you can’t focus. Each chapter is a standalone piece and short, with sections that had me laughing.

What are you reading to stay relaxed and positive?

 

So, What are You Doing at Home?

  • March 29, 2020
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For obvious reasons, many, many people are now staying home. Some are working from home but others aren’t.

So, what are you doing with your time? If you say you’re eating a strict diet and rigorously exercising while keeping your home pristine, I’m going to call bullshit. C’mon, people lie to their co-workers when asked what they had for supper the night before. “What did I eat? Oh, I had grilled salmon with broccoli,” when in reality it was Funyuns and a beer. Let’s be honest here.

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