No More Gaming for Me

  • July 13, 2020
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During this time when a lot of people are indoors, playing games via computer or phone is a great way to pass the hours.

Not for me. I recognize and accept that I become addicted. I don’t use that word lightly. I would play one game for hours, days, months, until I wasn’t doing anything else. Eventually I would realize that I wasn’t even enjoying the game, but I couldn’t get myself to stop. Then I’d delete it. And then another game would grab my attention. I’d convince myself that this time it would be different. I’d play just a little each day and not let it rule my life.

It would get to the point where I played a game before even getting out of bed in the morning. And play for hours until it was time to sleep.

The last game did me a favor when it began running ads I felt were horrifying. I contacted them and their response was, “Well, we use an ad agency and have no control over the ads.” I suggested they use another ad agency and they replied, “All ad agencies are the same.” Since I have friends playing games from different companies who have never seen the ads I described, I highly doubted that, but further communication with the game company showed me that they had no intention of changing. (Game companies, take note: Political ads driving lies and fear have no business popping up in the middle of a game.)

Still, they did me a favor. Their actions made it easier to delete the app. I knew I’d lose all those thousands of play time rewards (that I earned, dammit!) but did it anyway.

Within days, I completed a short story for an anthology. A story that had lain dead in the water for months because I had no brain cells left for it. I felt happier. It’s true that for a couple of weeks I kept flipping screens on my phone looking for “something.” That’s when I realized the habit I formed.

I’m okay with listening to friends enjoying their games. My writing is the best game I can play, and in turn, my friends listen to my voice rise with excitement after getting through a difficult scene.

Happy 4th Weekend!

  • July 06, 2020
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Middle-Earth: On to Bree

  • June 29, 2020
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Stayed at The Prancing Pony. The food was good, bed was soft. Probably will stay a few extra days. Friendly people!

I couldn’t resist and bought another postcard. 🙂


First postcard by OtterSquad at Redbubble. Buy it here.

Second postcard by ErikaRaeHeins at Etsy. Buy it here(it’s a set).

Father’s Day

  • June 22, 2020
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As is my tradition, I’m repeating my Father’s Day post:

My Dad and Writing

Vacationing in Middle-earth

  • June 21, 2020
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It’s been a while since I visited Middle-earth. I went via portal to The Shire. Of course, I couldn’t fit inside a Hobbit hole, but they had outdoor accommodations for me, and a wonderful meal. Yep, off to a good start. Hope you can meet me there!

Note: Coming home briefly, I made scones that reminded me of having afternoon tea in Hobbiton. The recipe can be found here. Raspberry jam is a wonderful touch.

Postcard by ErikaRaeHeins at Etsy. Buy it here (it’s a set).

Resting from Otherworldly Travels

  • June 15, 2020
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I’m just taking a little break . My next trip will be through a portal to a place I haven’t visited in years and I’m looking forward to it. 🙂


What They Don’t Tell You About Traveling in a TARDIS

  • June 08, 2020
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My travels continue. I met four of the doctors in different timelines and they all fly this thing like a bucking horse. Every trip needs motion sickness pills.

Tip: Should you ever travel this way, make absolutely sure you opt for the extra accident insurance!

Wish you were here.



Postcard by Dream-Coat at Redbubble. Buy it here.



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.


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