Friday, December 30, 2011

Discover wonderful ROMANCE from these AMAZING authors.

To help spread the word on new and old titles, a group of authors are opening up their blogs to other authors, allowing them to post blurbs and buy link information on their various titles. If you are a guest blogger and would like to post your blurb in the comments section, feel free but please keep the blurb PG13 and for those that do post, your submission gives me permission to reciprocate in kind. Think of this as a day-long massive blog hop. What I need: your PG13 blurb, a buy link and your blog url.

For subscribers and readers, what better way to ring in the new year than to introduce you to a wonderful cast of writers with a varied menu to choose from. Bon appetit!

To begin the blurb hop, I am posting two of my most recent books. I look forward to seeing whate everyone else will post. Enjoy:

On Timeless Wings of Gold:

They say an eclipse yields a powerful force, an energy that can be harnessed by those with magic in their souls. On such a day when the sun disappears behind the shadow of the Earth, a mighty wizard evokes the elements of nature. With ancient, Celtic incantations, he sends an angel upon the wings of time to tempt a fallen king.

Angel Cashion is struggling to make ends meet and saving for when she can own her own repair shop in hopes of fighting her ex for custody of their daughter, but she is whisked away from home by a quirk of fate. Torin O’Faelain has spent the past two years enslaved by Vikings. A man of strong principles, Torin is committed to finding his way back to his native land and nothing will stand in his way, not even an angel from the future, but love and fate intervene.
BUY LINKS; Kindle or other formats
The Keeper of Moon Haven
On the southern fringes of the Mendip Hills sits the Castle Hamingjur, an abandoned structure most fear haunted. Yet, on the rare occasions when the Hunter’s Blue Moon occurs, the Keeper occupies this mysterious castle where he guards the bridge to Alfheim Haven.
Noreen Willshire discovers more than fairytales hidden between the pages of Beletania’s diary. She opens the ancient book and finds a pathway to a Faery Realm where all manner of mythical creatures reside. In her naïveté, she summons the Keeper before his scheduled time in the human realm. In that brief moment, the mysterious wizard touches her soul with more than magick. She promises to return the diary during Mefylleth, a time when the barriers between the two realms melt away, but danger stalks her path. Torn between her desire to make a new life for herself in America and her growing love for the Keeper, she must bridge the gap between magick and time to follow her heart.
BUY LINKS: Kindle or other formats

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Sagging Middle Woes

And no I'm not talking about my spare tire though I probably do need to make dieting top priority on my New Year's resolution list. Ugh.
I'm talking about the middle of the story that usually has writers pulling their teeth, their hair and anything else worth pulling. I'm a pantser, a term fondly applied to writers who pen manuscripts by the seat of their pants with little to no structured planning. Yep, that's me.

I'm working on a book now that has my muse screaming in frustration, but I know why. This is the first book I've done where I've written the sagging middle before the lead-up that follows the beginning. In essence, I wrote the beginning with no trouble. And then I rewrote the beginning. And then I rewrote the beginning again. I've rewritten the beginning five times now. But I'm happy with the fifth attempt. However, in doing this, I jumped into the sagging middle and floundered.

To make the story flow better, I just kept adding meat and cheese, sandwiching in scenes that happen before the middle. When I finally got it all put together, I realized I'd written that middle section first. Doing so kept this part far from sagging. I think the flavors all mesh now and I've written the perfect hamburger. I just need to put the ending bun on top and I'll be finished. Dinner served.Yay! (oh wait, what happened to that diet I just talked about?)

So what do I do to keep the middle from falling flat? First, I try to include foreshadowing and hooks throughout the beginning that have to be addressed along the way. Second, when I put my characters into situations where they have to react, I try to figure out more than one direction for them to go. I try to throw out the first solution because if I thought of it right off the bat, it will probably be the solution readers are expecting. I want to give them the unexpected if possible. Third, I try to keep those pages full of action. If it sags too much, kill a character. Ha ha. And if you can't kill 'em, put your hero or heroine into yet another impossible situation. But in all honesty, to sustain a story from beginning to end without the sagging middle, a writer has to have well developed characters with internal and external conflicts that drive the story forward. Without goal, motivation and conflict, it's hard to have a story at all.

I have 47,000 words written and am pretty much done with the middle. I'm now at the crucial black moment. This will be a difficult section to draft. My story takes place at the beginning of a hurricane and while I want to keep the facts as true to the real event as possible, I don't want folks to die. Unfortunately, folks did die in this tragic hurricane. I'm currently doing a ton of research on Indianola, TX, a ghost town that was once a city to rival that of Galveston. At the time my story takes place, the port town boasted a population of about 5000.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

What makes a hero?

How many times have you studied a friend or an acquaintance for certain characteristics and thought - dang, no one would believe a character could be that flaky? Or maybe you've read a character that just couldn't possibly exist in real life. Funny how truth is often stranger than fiction. I love watching TV shows that work with criminal profiles, but I find it hard to believe that there are that many folks out in the world that are seriously messed up. I know. I tend to look at the world through rose-colored glasses, hense why I write romance.

When I first started writing, I went to several workshops on character development. One of the key points mentioned was, "You don't want to do that. It won't endear your audience to your hero or heroine." Okay, so most readers love a tortured hero, but he can't drink to excess, sleep around, or smoke. Now granted, in real life if someone has a violent background, no family love, or has been betrayed in some way, he/she is likely to turn to a vice for solace. It's human nature.

I think rules have changed with the popularity of e-books. Authors have come a long way to break these steadfast rules set by the 1980s and 90s romance authors. There are still some taboo areas. Most authors avoid putting a cigarette in their hero's hands. For a contemporary book, it just makes him seem stupid (unless part of his growth is his willingness to break the addiction). However, for a historical, to have the hero smoke is true to the times.

So - what makes a hero? For me, heorism comes when unsurmountable odds are surpassed in his/her bid to do the right thing no matter what it might cost. Personal sacrifice makes him/her that much more memorable. In order for this to occur, though, the author has to have put in place internal as well as external conflicts. The character has to have believeable reasons for making those sacrifices. Otherwise, what's the point?

Friday, December 23, 2011

B is for beets

Beets are an odd vegetable root that are pretty much an aquired taste. Did you know you can make wine from beets? Not sure I want to try, but ...

So what do beets have to do with writing? Writing is like art. Readers have different tastes, different standards for appreciating an author's work. I know there are a lot of "best sellers" out there that were simply not my cup of tea. I couldn't make it past the first three chapters and yet others raved over the work.

For the author, when composing a manuscript there are many craft issues that help the piece flow better. While a lot of these craft issues definitely make or break an author's chance for success, many of them are very subjective. Like beets, some of the things are just a matter of taste.

World building is one of them. Too much description slows the pace in my opinion while not enough leaves the work flat and unappealing. But who's to say what's too much or not enough. See what I mean? Subjective.

Then there's passive versus active writing. I strive for active writing, but I've seen a lot of books make 5 star reviews that used a lot of passive construction. Again, I guess this is all a matter of taste.

In art, the most successful artists are those that know the rules of good composition, color theory and use of media, but break them with exciting results. Gotta love the rebels of the world.

So yeah, barkeep, pass me another shot of beet wine, while I ignore certain rules and embrace others. I've a book to write.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Rats in the Belfry

Okay, maybe not the belfry, but definitely my pseudo attic. I appreciate the beady-eyed monsters need to stay warm and cozy when winter arrives, but seriously, they could have chosen someone else's home.

Their are several tools that a writer can't live without. Two of them? The computer and the Internet. My lovely houseguests dined well last night on my Internet cable. Toucha my cable and die! I would make a lousy hit woman, but I do declare that these miscreant's days are marked.

Yesterday I was given the task of creating a 16 page publication that had to be in the printer's hands by 8 this morning. I had 5 files to upload to an ftp site, the largest of the files was 45 MB. I didn't go into panic mode until around 8:00 PM after I called my Internet provider and even she wasn't getting a signal. It took another hour for my husband to discover the source of our Internet woes.

I went next door and begged the password from my neighbor so I could use their wireless. I found a spot in the kitchen that was closest to their house and opened up the laptop. I was able to get e-mail and basic service but the signal wasn't strong enough to sustain a hold on the ftp site. In trying to finish the layouts, I had to refer to the information on my e-mail by going to the laptop in the kitchen, writing down the corrections and returning to my main computer in the office. What a pain.

Geek son to the rescue! Being very tech savvy, he just happened to have more cable in the house. He was able to rig a single line for my husband. When DH finally realized that I needed the computer worse than him, he took it off his and hooked me up. Saved. I was able to upload my files. By that time I was exhausted. Today, DH ran new cable and called the exterminator.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A is for Acting

I do something sorta strange with my art students that helps them with a difficult pose. When they can't nail down a figure's pose the way they want it, I have them get in that position and "feel" the pose. Often times, they discover that why the drawing looks odd is because there's no comfortable, physical way the figure can move like that.

I tend to write the same way. When I come up with a difficult scene, I actually get up and go through the movements each character might make. Where are their hands? What are their facial expressions? I mumble lines while I'm walking. Of course, it's rather humorous to be caught doing that. My friends think I'm in pain when they pass me and my face is all scrunched up in a wierd way. Too funny.

I reserve the physical acting part when I'm alone at my computer. Otherwise, my family might have me committed. This trick does work to help solidify a scene, though. I'm a true believer in visuals.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Ciara Gold's Date Nut Cookies

I remember many things about my grandmother. One, we always visited her during Christmas or Easter. Two, she always made the most fabulous cookies. Below is one of the recipes she made during Christmas and one of my favorite cookies. She was a special lady who always believed in me and I miss her a lot.

Date Nut Cookies

In a skillet, combine the following ingredients. Use medium to low heat and stir often until a thick, spreadable paste forms.

1 lb chopped dates

1 cup pecans

½ cup sugar

½ cup water

Cream the following ingredients:

2 cups sugar

1 cup shortening

Add to the creamed mixture and mix:

3 eggs

2 tablespoons molasses

Add dry ingredients and stir until soft dough forms:

4 cups flour

1 tsp soda

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp salt

Divide dough into thirds. On floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness. I use floured wax paper as I use the paper to roll it up later. I roll it so it forms a shape that is about 14 - 15 inches long and about 6 inches wide. Scoop one third of the date mixture onto the dough and use a knife dipped in water to spread evenly over the dough. Gently roll dough over mixture until a long log is formed. I use the wax paper to help me do this. Then, tuck in the ends of the wax paper, roll wax paper around the cookie log, and place it in the freezer. Repeat these steps twice more for a total of three cookie roll logs.

After it freezes hard, slice the roll into 1/4 inch thick cookies. Bake at 350̊ for 9 - 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Sunday, December 11, 2011


I'm the world's worst at keeping up with this blog, but I thought I'd start something new. Let's see how far I go with it. Anyway, thought today I'd talk a little about researching since I'm deep in the task as we speak.
Research is one of the key ingredients for taking your novel from humdrum to engaging. True, there are so many factors to consider when writing, but without those little juicy tidbits that come from hours of research, your novel is likely to fall flat.

I'm going to use my newest novel as an example. On Timeless Wings of Gold is a time travel that takes place in both the past and the future. For future events, I had to use my imagination as the future I envisioned happens in 2024, which is not to far distant. Technology is moving so fast, it's a bit overwhelming to predict just how advanced society will be so I blended what I know now with what might possibly be in the future.

The past was easier to deal with because I had a lot a research on which to base my vision. I bought several books on Viking history and summer before last, had the wonderful opportunity to visit Scandinavia. Four years ago, I also spent time in Paris where I got to tour a wee bit of Normandy. The Vikings came to Normandy so I felt this was the perfect setting for my story.

When digging for facts, a lot of the information posted is basically the same. What I desired were the little known facts, things that can enrich the story. I found two things that thrilled me. The first was an obscure mention in a forum of how the Viking people cared for their teeth. True or not? Verified? I don't know, but it was plausable enough that my group of people could use it and not raise any red flags with historians.  The next bit of information that sparked my interest was a detailed account of how the Viking people put on their shoes. The shoes were in fact flat pieces of leather that wrapped around the foot then secured by ties.

So how does one go about finding these tidbits as I call them? For one, you can't just stop at the first article on a given subject. Second, you have to use different key words when searching for information.

I'm researching the hurricane of Indianola that occured in 1875. Doing a search on the hurricane yielded some information but when I typed in weather for Indianola, 1875, I got a whole new batch of articles that yielded even more information. Be tenatious in your search and don't forget your local libraries. I also spend a lot of time in Half Price Books and I now have a fairly large collection of resource books to supplement what I find on the web.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Sharing a wee bit of my Christmas

Thought I'd share my Christmas tree with you. The house smells wonderful since putting it up last weekend. We put the tree in what we call, the Buffet room. The wall behind is a painted mural I did when my son was about 3. He's 22 now. The floor is painted cement but I plan to carpet or tile it soon. The paint is old and chipped. It used to be a back porch until the previous owners walled it in and made a room out of it.

Each year, I pull out the ornaments I made when I was 16. They're almost 40 years old now and I need to some mending but all in all, they've weathered the time well. I made them from blown eggs. I cut out an opening and inserted a small picture, then beaded the outside. I had more fun doing these. The top is from a goose egg.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Release Day!

On Timeless Wings of Gold released today. This is the sequel to On the Silver Edge of Time.  You can read the first chatper on my website. Okay, I know this is short post but .....  I'll post an excerpt later. Right now I have a deadline to make. But here's a buy link to the book at AllRomanceEbooks.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

New Cover for November Release!

And once again, Amanda Kelsey has created a wonderful cover for On Timeless Wings of Gold! This book will release on November 7 so in anticipation, I'll leave you all with the blurb and excerpt:

They say an eclipse yields a powerful force, an energy that can be harnessed by those with magic in their souls. On such a day when the sun disappears behind the shadow of the Earth, a mighty wizard evokes the elements of nature. With ancient, Celtic incantations, he sends an angel upon the wings of time to tempt a fallen king.
Angel Cashion is struggling to make ends meet and saving for when she can own her own repair shop in hopes of fighting her ex for custody of their daughter, but she is whisked away from home by a quirk of fate. Torin O’Faelain has spent the past two years enslaved by Vikings. A man of strong principles, Torin is committed to finding his way back to his native land and nothing will stand in his way, not even an angel from the future, but love and fate intervene.
“Ye’re a bold one and have much to learn. Come.” He placed his large hand at the small of her back and gave a gentle shove. If he had to suffer her presence, at least she could perform duties befitting a woman. “’Tis time you earned your keep. A fine meal would no’ be amiss.”

“You want me to cook?”


She snorted. “Unless you have a ready supply of frozen dinners and a microwave, don’t get your hopes up.”
He had no idea what microwave meant but didn’t feel inclined to ask.  Her tone implied an aversion to domestic chores, something he’d have to cure her of right soon. 
They reached the hut, and he hesitated. “Did ye leave behind a husband? Wee bairns to care for?”

Instant pain filled her eyes. She turned her back and lifted the flap. “Nope. Not even a goldfish. At present the only love in my life is T-Bone.”

An odd stab of jealousy hit him at the mention of a love interest. He shook it off as nothing more than weariness. When she would enter, he stayed her hand. “Nay. I would set rules afore ye abide in my home.”
She dropped the rawhide and held up her hands. “Fine. Whatever floats your boat. I’ll play your way until it no longer suits me.”

The girl’s nonchalance and dismissive words stirred his anger. Suddenly having his own slave gave him a sense of power he hadn’t expected. Under Erik’s rule and now Rurik’s, he’d forgotten how it felt to be in charge, to make decisions and have no one gainsay him. “Slaves canno’ choose when to quit being a slave.”

“Did someone forget to oil your squeaky parts?” She tugged at her ear as if her hearing had deceived her. “You keep spouting the same nonsense.”

Nonsense? Did the girl not understand that certain things could mean life or death in this harsh land? 

He grabbed her chin, forcing her attention. “Ye’ll obey my every command or find your stay most unpleasant. I ken that certain tasks might prove difficult, but I’ll no’ tolerate laziness or lack of respect.”

Angel’s eyes widened, and she nodded. “Yep, you definitely need the squeaky parts oiled,” she muttered beneath her breath.

Not fully understanding, he ignored her odd comment. She twisted from his grasp and followed him inside, her manner more subdued. If she only knew how her presence frightened him. Already, he felt protective of her, even attracted to her. The witch had cast a spell, one not to his liking.
“Only a weak man uses his physical strength against a woman.” She stroked her jaw with nimble fingers. “Are you weak?”

By the saints, she dared much. “Do you accuse me of being less of a man?”

“Touchy.” She glanced off to the side. “I’m not handling this—you very well. You’re overreacting to everything I say. Usually, overreaction is a symptom of fear.”

That she touched upon the truth made his insides curl.

A curtain of black hair swept across her back as she tilted her head and laughed. When she quieted, she pierced him to the core with her dark, brooding eyes. “I’m just as frightened as you. I suppose that gives us common ground on which to proceed.”

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Update on writing

Thought I'd pop in and give an update of what I've been up to. Basically, a little bit of everything. Currently I'm working on two westerns at the same time while editing a book by a friend. I know - I should be working on my fantasy, the sequel to The Keeper of Moon Haven and I will. It's halfway written but I need to be able to concentrate, to be able to give it my all. The fantasies and sci-fi's require more from me with regard to imagination. The westerns require more from me with regards to research so there it is in a nutshell.

And then there's the historical western/fantasy that bridges both genres. Ha ha. Yep, I started working on it also and have about 12,000 words. So - I'm thinking I might not have much coming out in 2012 but look out 2013. "Grin"

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Month long contest at the Writer's Vineyard

To celebrate their fourth year, the authors at the Writer's Vineyard are holding a Mega contest to give away over twenty of their top rated novels. From Sept 5 through Nov 28, we will hold a drawing every Monday. The post for each Monday will announce which book is being given for that week, the rules, and who won the prior week. Come join us. Lots of ways to win, and while you’re there, scan through our posts. We discuss the good, bad, and ugly of writing and the publishing experience.

Second Book giveaway (Follower drawing)

Prize: E copy of DRAGON KING from Ciara Gold at
Type contest: Random drawing from subscribed followers of the TWV blog
How does contest work: Simply subscribe as a follower. Go to left side of blog screen near bottom, and sign up as a follower by Friday midnight

How do I win: A winner is drawn at random from all followers Saturday.
Winner announced: Next Monday winner will be posted and asked to send email.

So hurry on over to the Writer's Vineyard and become a follower. Mine isn't the only book you could win this month.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Hill Country Book Festival

I usually attend book festivals of this nature with no expectations of whether I will sell books or not. In fact, if I sell none at all, I'm okay with that because I do a lot of PR. I pass out bookmarks and explain excitedly that books and samples are available for the Kindle and Nook, etc. I figure is most buyers are like me, they want to go home and test out the book first before buying. But yesterday was great. I sold a few books and that's always a great feeling. I shared a table with wonderful author, Linda LaRoque and I met four other romance authors as well. Tiffany Green, Fleeta Cunningham, and Golden Keyes Parsons. Photos aren't the best but I was using my phone. Check out Linda and I. We make a cure pair, don't we?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Penny Ehrenkranz stops by!

Hi Jami, thank you for hosting me today and giving me an opportunity to talk about my new release, Love Delivery. 

1.      When did you first realize you were a writer?
When I was in grade school, I entertained myself by crafting books. I’d write them by hand, illustrate them, and bind them with cardboard and ribbon.  By the time I got to high school, I was convinced I would be a writer when I “grew up.” I guess I always thought of myself as a writer, although I didn’t become a published writer until I was in my 40’s.  Life and ignorance of the process got in the way.  When I was younger I tried submitting some of my stories, but of course, I aimed too high. When I was rejected, I was crushed and put aside my dreams.  Later, when the Internet became part of my daily life, I learned so much about the publishing world and it didn’t take me long to become a published author.

2.      Can you describe your "cave?" (your writing area)
I’m lucky to have my own space.  It’s a small office, but it’s got everything I need, including a door to keep my animals out if I want to work without the dogs wanting to be petted, or the cat walking across my keyboard.

I have both a desktop and a laptop.  I tend to write more on my desktop and edit on my laptop.  My desktop is in my office.  I have a wraparound desk on three sides of the room and a window which looks through my greenhouse out to my garden and wooded area.  I have shelves on three of the walls filled with reference books, my published work, and various pieces of art which my daughter and friends have crafted.

I tend to work in quiet and don’t like to have the distraction of music.

3.      What comfort food sees you through the rough spots of writing?
My favorite foods are ethnic foods…Thai, Chinese, Mexican, and Indian.  But when I’m working, I tend to snack on cheese and crackers, nuts, fruits, and raw veggies.  I guess I don’t turn to comfort foods when I’m stumped. Instead, I get up and go for a walk or do something else creative like a crochet or sewing project.

4.      What advice would you give first time writers looking to be published?

I believe you need to have faith in yourself.  When I was younger, the support systems available to young writers weren’t available to me.  I didn’t realize that even the very best authors get rejected…even after they’ve been published numerous times. 

Study other books written in the genre you want to write in.  Take classes, either online or at your community college.  Interact with other writers either in person or through forums. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

I’ve found over the years that it’s often a case of being in the right place, at the right time, with the right story.

Above all else, persevere.  If one editor doesn’t love your story, another one might.
5.      You have a new release coming out soon, what makes Love Delivery stand out above other sweet romances?

I think what makes Love Delivery stand out is the fact the main characters are just ordinary people, doing ordinary jobs. 

Ann works as a waitress in a donut shop.  She’s happy with her single life and her cat, Mittens, but she finds herself interested in the handsome man, Tom, who makes deliveries to the shop.  Tom is also attracted to Ann, but unfortunately, Tom comes with some baggage including five cats, Maria, his vicious ex-wife, and Maria’s adorable daughter he calls Kitten. 
When Maria, a newly hired waitress in the donut shop, learns Ann and Tom are beginning a relationship, she does everything she can to tear them apart.  Ann starts to have doubts about her budding romance, but Tom is determined to make it work, despite Maria’s interference. 

6.      Can you share for our readers a short excerpt?


Ann pushed open the door, and the bell jingled like an added alarm to wake her up. Sometimes she wondered how she could function this early in the morning, but a job was a job. At least waitressing in a donut shop was honest. Maybe someday she’d go back to finish college and do something rewarding with her life. Then again, maybe the man of her dreams would walk through the door this morning and sweep her off her feet. The closest thing to a dream man in her life was Tom, the delivery guy, looking like God’s gift to women. She sighed. It didn’t seem fair. He would never find her appealing with the figure she inherited from her mother. The only attractive thing she could find when she looked in a mirror was her startling green eyes.

Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz has published hundreds of articles and short stories in print magazines and on-line. She writes for both adults and children. Her fiction has appeared in numerous genre and children’s publications and non‑fiction work has appeared in a variety of writing, parenting, and young adult print magazines and on line publications.  She edits for three small independent publishers.  Visit her web site at  Her writing blog is located at

Love Delivery , Lady-in-Waiting, and Mirror, Mirror are coming in 2011 from MuseItUp Publishing. Her YA chapbook, Dragon Sight and her anthology A Past and A Future are available at Sam’s Dot Publishing.  Funny Dog, Boo’s Bad Day, and Many Colored Coats, all picture books, and Ghost for Lunch, a sequel, are schedule for publication with 4RV. Her MG novel, Ghost for Rent, is currently in transition from previous publisher to a new publisher.

A Past and A Future, a short story collection

Dragon Sight, a YA illustrated chapbook

Love Delivery, contemporary romance, August, 2011

Lady in Waiting, historical romance, coming November, 2011
Mirror, Mirror, time travel romance, coming December 2011

Funny Dog, picture book, coming May, 2012
Ghost for Lunch, MG novel, coming September, 2013
Many Colored Coats, picture book, coming October, 2014
Boo's Bad Day, picture book, coming June, 2015

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Blogging today at Texas Druids

I found a group of lovely ladies on a Kindle forum and one of them suggested a special blog series to revamp interest in historical western romance. Today's my day so come join me at the Texas Druid's blog.

In fact, scroll back and look at some of the other great blogs on the subject. My topic was researching to add that rare piece of artifact that makes the reading more interesting. With that in mind, I'm going to post a bit more here on my Oklahoma trip -- oh, and if anyone follows the link from Texas Druids to here, be sure to read the previous two posts.

When I saw this interesting item, I thought at first is was a washing machine, but not, it's an ice box. Ice was stored on top and food in the bottom. Ice blocks were imported from up north via ships and packed in salt and saw dust to keep from melting. Folks would go to ice houses to get their smaller blocks of ice and would use an ice chipper to break off small bits for use in drinks.

After our time at Kingfisher, we traveled on to Fort Reno. There wasn't much there except good information.  All that remains of the fort is one main building, but it was still interesting.

Our true find would be the next day when we found Fort Gibson.  But that one will require several blog entries as I took a million pictures. (Not really, but I did take a lot of photos)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Fort Supply was closed the day we went

But we saw other fabulous things along the way.

On route, I decided to follow the Chisolm Trail and we ended up in Kingfisher for lunch. They had a wonderful museum with all sorts of fun relics. Check out the washing machine.

They had 2 log cabins, one with a wooden floor and one without. I can't imagine living directly on the dirt floor.

Another fascinating display was the jail. Just nothing but an iron cage set out in the middle of town. No privacy at all. But I bet it curtailed a lot of mischief. I know I wouldn't want to be locked up in that jail.

I took tons of pictures for reference, but mostly I enjoyed spending time with my mother.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Oklahoma was a treasure trove

I'm back and full of ideas. Thought I'd spend time outlining the highlights of my trip to OK. We started out on Tuesday, July 6 for Grapevine, TX where we spent a pleasant evening visiting with my cousin. The next morning, we got up bright and early and headed fo Lawton, OK where I wanted to see historic Fort Sill. We got there around noon and went to the Comanche National Museum and Cultural Center first. This museum had lovely displays to inspire any writer. Check out the Cook's wagon.

After a quick lunch, we visited Fort Sill. Since this is a real working military base, we had to give them ID and check in with the guard. Not all the buildings in the museum quadrant were opened but we visited the ones that were. The building I found most interesting was the jailhouse as the doors to the cells were only about a foot and a half wide.

We cut our time short at the fort as it was so unbearably hot, but we saw what we came to see and left around 2:30 to venture onward to Woodward, OK.

I'll post more later. My camera died after Fort Sill so I had to take photos with my mom's camera which I downloaded to the laptop. I'll have to post from it.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Working on a ton of projects

I'm actually working on six projects at once. I've never done that before. Slowly but surely I hope to have at least one done by end of summer.

Tomorrow, I'm going on a fact finding mission. I've a hankering to write another western and I started a story for Will, Julia's brother from Julia's Golden Eagle. To write the story I envision, I need to do research on forts in Oklahoma and on the Cheyenne Indians so tomorrow, I'm bound for Oklahoma. Too fun!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Regeneration, the Nano Way

Here's the scenario: It's war and a soldier is shot. Not only is his wound becoming infected, but he's suffering from internal organ damage.
Right now the chance of survival would be iffy and even if he lived, there'd be scarring and some lasting effect. But, think about in the future when doctors could just apply nanotechnology. It would repair the damaged organ, kill the infection, and even assist in healing the open wound by growing back new skin.
That's crazy, right? I mean, you can't just fix what's broken. You can maybe stitch it together, but it'll never be what it was, right?
Right now nano-focused science is now moving small solutions into the big picture of life. Nanoscale technology and science is being developed in the areas of military, space, consumerism, and healthcare.

In fact there's research going on for nanotechnology gel that promotes nerve cell regrowth. Reading this, my fictional brain went on overdrive, thinking about the direction this all would take. Imagine nanotechnology that would promote the regrowth of limbs, organs, and bone.
What do we think about when some says nanotechnology? Well, I don't know about you but I think of the evil robot from Terminator 2. They used nanoscale metal and circuits that molded into any shape. In a sense, that's exactly what nanotechnology is. nano is a Greek word that means one billionth the size of something. So, a nanometer is one billionth of a meter. The tech part would be a combination of the individual scale objects combining together for a common, larger purpose.

But, you really have to envision beyond metal and circuits and beyond the visually large object. Most likely, you will never see any nano size tech with your naked eye. It'll always be on a teeny little thing.

This is especially true in the realm of healthcare. Most of the nano research direction in healthcare involves organic nano material. Nano particles. If successful, they will carry drugs, enzymes, and cell substances to get to work on an infected/impacted area. I can see them ultimately containing accelerant substances that will speed up the recovery and repair work from months, to only days. Maybe even hours, depending on the severity of the problem.

I was so excited about this prospect that I worked the science into my new SFR release, Duty and Devotion. Nano health really lent itself well to the military setting. I made sure to add limits because, well, that's life. (I mean come on the future's still gotta hold challenges to solve.) So, in my future nano world organs, bone and skin can be regenerated from nanotechnology but only if some part of the original substance remained.

Older sister Nettie, one of the main characters in Duty and Devotion ended up in a serious war accident and was rushed to the medical ward to be fixed. The scene below is her waking up and hearing from the doctor what they were able to fix...and what they weren't.


The nurse brought a tray of food in. At least, she said the goopy gelatin like substance was food. All three were dubious about the truth of that as they poked at it.

"Out, out," the nurse chided them, pushing and prodding both Kaitlin and Oliver out the door. She pointed at Nettie and then at the food. "Eat it."

Nettie continued to poke at the pile, relieved when the physician strolled in, James behind him with his clipboard. He winked at her and leaned against the far wall.

"Good morning. How are you feeling?" the physician asked.

"Felt like I just had a hot flash. I tell ya, I'm falling apart." Nettie pushed the rolling tray aside. He smiled and tapped the electronic chart. "Okay. What's the damage and what were you able to fix?"

The physician's smile wavered. He took a seat on a tall rolling chair beside her. "Well, that's the question of the hour isn't it? I'm proud to say we were able to save most of your internal organs, re-growing replacement tissue for those partially damaged. And as you can see, we were able to reattach your leg with nano nerve and skin engineering."

"But... " She urged him on.

"But, your ovaries and fallopian tubes were too damaged to fix. It's a very sensitive area and there was nothing left to rejuvenate."

Nettie felt stunned and her mind went blank. "What? What does that mean?"


If you want to learn more about nano tech, here's some links for you to start:

If you want to learn more about me, stop by my blog: Adventures of a Sci-Fi Writer

Duty and Devotion is available at Desert Breeze, All Romance Books, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Sony, Kobo, and the Apple iBookstore.