I have been remiss …

In posting any more crafts for the month of July, but I hope you have been working on your Story Box! The reason I am so remiss is that I have been working so hard on two projects myself! First, the publication of the newest book in the Phillip’s Quest series, “Across the Elusive Sea.” You have been looking at a cover for quite a while and I promise you that it will be even more fun than the first two books: “Winterfrost,” and “Above the Stars.” If you recall, “WInterfrost” introduces my friend, Phillip Tuber(a farmer gnome from the land of Twistedoak), and sends him on his journey, with his friend, Edward the Squirrel, to the land of ice and snow — Winterfrost! “Above the Stars,” tells of the many adventures Phillip and Edward have trying to get to Azur, the Blue Wizard’s castle and to the Carnelian Sea! Don’t forget about “Stinky” the Dinosaur and Chaspére, the lizard who’s a wizard! Now, they’re on a great pirate sailing ship, the La Fortuna, where they come in contact with sea monsters and sea creatures — including the mermaid, Kala! The excitement continues! My other project has been working with the Little Free Libray initiative. Have you seen one? They are popping up as fast as the ‘shrooms in Twistedoak. Write by the Rails is a large group of writers and authors from Prince William County, Manassas, and Manassas City, Virginia, who has been building these libraries to install in certain locations. The first one will be installed at the New School, a school for literature and the arts, on August 8th. So, we have been busy. Check out littlefreelibrary.org and writebytherails.org to see these wonderful programs.

This is our Alice in Wonderland library! Enjoy and will catch you later for some of Roscoe’s favorite cookies!

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This WbtR Little Library will be installed at the United Methodist Church in Nokesville, VA

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August is almost halfway gone…

“Good grief, Charlie Brown, it’s almost time for school!” Certainly, that phrase was said over and over again, by the wonderful Peanuts’ kids. And here we are again, almost mid August.

I don’t know about you, but my summer has definitely been eventful–in a good way. Every time I look at my blog page, I am more and more aware of how far the internet stretches. I see people from all over the world that have looked at my page. I wish I could meet them all. Regardless, thank you!

I think it takes a year for things to really start to percolate for a writer. As some of you know, my year–Phillip’s one year anniversary was July 7th. Since then, things just started to rock ‘n’ roll. <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/061593739X&quot; title=“Phillip’s Quest, Book I: Winterfrost”>Winterfrost” has received new energy and new followers. The Gnome Gnewsletter was published and accepted by most. Personally, I would recommend a newsletter for any author. It allows one to get the word out to those who are not a fan of social media–yes there are some “un-fans.”

It certainly takes a village to market a book. So, I was able to put together a team of unbelievably professional women to help me out. From one of the sweetest and most brilliant ladies I know–Ms. Katherine Gotthardt, who helped me when I was a floundering guppy (floundering flounder?), to the amazing Bethany Joy Carlson, of The Artists’ Partner (my personal cheerleader and marketing guru), to the wonderful Jessica Parker and her team, at BookLogix Publishing Services, I couldn’t be in better hands.

So, Phillip will be ready for his next adventure without the bumps and bruises he suffered before. Can I just tell you how important it is to find the right people!

Our next endeavor happens September 1, 2014. The Kickstarter Campaign begins for Phillip’s Quest, Book II: Above the Stars. Don’t let anybody kid you, it is definitely laborious. But, with the support of a great team, it can be done. We have put in many pledge rewards. There are different rewards listed for the level of pledge you make. When I say “pledge,” I mean MONEY! As I said, producing and marketing a book takes some outgo of cash to pay the team members and help defray other costs, so anything you can spare to keep Phillip’s Quest, on the shelves is very much appreciated.

September 18, 2014 will be the closing night for Virginia’s <a href="http://fallforthebook.org/2014/08/10/haute-cuisine-at-the-hylton/&quot; title="Fall for the Book”>Fall for the Book festival. The event starts in Fairfax, Virginia on September 11th at George Mason University and ends at the Hylton Center for the Arts in Manassas, Virginia–you can follow all the activities on their app. The event is a Haute Cuisine event and will have food tastings, demonstrations and discussions by a variety of chefs, foodies, cookbook authors and Cluadia Lefeve, a fellow author and friend. Oh! And me! From the recipes of “Winterfrost”, and “Above the Stars”, to the recipes from my Mom’s table. I was and am honored to have been chosen to participate and will be serving; Ivy’s Tater Dumplings, Phillip’s Mater and Hazlenut Sauce and one of the recipes from the new book!

This week, I was able to start scheduling my signings for the Christmas season and was thrilled when the owner of <a href="http://www.thethingsilovemanassas.com&quot; title=“The Things I Love”>The Things I Love, an exquisite shop in Old Towne Manassas, allowed me to do that on December 5, 2014, during the Tree Lighting Festival. This store and the downtown area comes alive and turns into a Winter Wonderland. I am thrilled, to say the least. Then, on Sunday, December 7th, I have another signing at <a href="http://www.flowergallerymanassas.com&quot; title=“The Flower Gallery”>The Flower Gallery. Another magical shop where I will be part of their Holiday Open House. Such a special opportunity and I am grateful.

Not to leave out one of my favorite events for November! I will again be reading to the children at Mayfield Elementary School–as I did last year.

So, this summer has flown by, but what a great summer it has been. Thank you to all my gnomes, fairies and angels! I’ve loved every minute.

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You meet the best people…

When you are doing something that you’re passionate about. I have met the most wonderful people since I have embarked on my writing experience.

I already have a group of the best friends, ever. BFF’s for sure! But, through Phillip and his friends, I have come to know and consider as friends, a group of artists that bring their passion on board and are willing to share! I think, the biggest component is the sharing! The sharing of experience and expertise. For every story shared, their creativity is put out there and all you have to do is be in their presence to suck it up!

I belong to a wonderful writer’s club, Write by the Rails. I cannot tell you how much I have learned from the people in the group and how much I enjoy being with these creative, intelligent and loving people. Everyone brings something different to the table. Writers of every genre. Writers who are as eclectic as this blog site. That they are willing to get out there, is what makes this group work.

I am doubly blessed though because of my jewelry artist experience. This, too has allowed me to meet wonderful artists from all over the globe.

Thank you, to all of you! You have added to my growth as a writer, artist and human being!

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Sometimes Baby Boomers Bomb

When it come to new technology and social networking, Baby Boomers, I have found, generally bomb! Ka-boom! There’s an old saying that I learned when I was going to Al-Anon, for my ex-husband, many years ago, Keep It Simple, Stupid!  My advice for the day.

Why does everything you touch, when it comes to technology have to be so fracking confusing. For example, I was asked by a thirty-something publishing agent, “What is your social platform?”  Like in have I received any gold medals??? Well, uh, no.  Had no clue what he meant.  Just ask,” Are you connected with any social media sites?”  Oh, you mean like FB? Okay, I can answer that.  And then the “blog” word came up.  “Oh, yes,”she said (what the frack is a “blog”).  Thank goodness for the wonderful, ever patient, loving thirty-somethings at “Write by the Rails.” They set me up!  Solved.

Next, the switching, updating of OS.  Hey, I’m impressed that I, at 63 even know what that is! Please, I’m a good girl, I do everything they tell me to, so why, oh, why, doesn’t it work!!!  Helllllp me! And so, someone wrote a book…”Everything you Need to Know…”  and this 900+ page book explains everything that is not in a device manual.  SO why bother having a manual???  Just get the book!!!

God bless technology, (I wonder if He uses a Mac or a PC,) and the people who develop it.  Next stop, for me (help me, Nick) it’s Instagram!! And a gracious good evening to all.

The Week That Was!

What a great week!  Besides the freezing cold and snow that surrounded most of the Eastern seaboard, except Florida which, as everyone knows, is really another country, it was an exciting week. (Trust me, it doesn’t take much!)  The wonderful writers/bloggers in Write by the Rails, started their blog tour. The reading has been excellent…some anecdotal, some about their books, all good!  I learned how to get up and running with my blog and web page.  Thank you Katherine Gotthardt!  I’m always excited to meet new people, especially those that are willing to teach.  So, that’s my first bit of excitement.

I live in a condominium and am President of the association.  It’s been seven years of hard labor, but has been worthwhile.  We still struggle, however, with the drug element brought in by some tenants.  Fortunately, I’ve built a pretty good rapport with our local Police Department and have come to know some of the officers, personally.  They really are a great group and I appreciate all they do to help our little community out.  This week, our security cameras picked up a real life COPS episode!  Talk about exciting!!!  You go guys and dog.

Have had friends in and out, all week.  God bless them! They know that when the weather is bad, I’m in. I love that our friends feel so comfortable in our home.  They are all family.  It’s a good thing.

Last but not least, getting an “A” grade from my cardiologist and presenting him with a signed copy of PQ. It wasn’t so long ago that I was in terrible pain and he sat with me when I was so miserable that I didn’t know what to do. He was so happy with getting the book and being able to share it with his girls, 9 and 11, after he read it first!  Phillip, you did good!

And last but not least, the thing that bella Napoli is known for and part of my life’s blood, pizza!  Thick or thin?  Chicago or New York? Sausage or pepperoni? A topic for another blog but, it’s all good!

Told you…it doesn’t take much.