#weekendcoffeeshare 8/12/2017

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Good morning to everyone! If we were having coffee this morning, I’d ask you to meet me at our local coffee shop. It has a wonderful patio area and the owner sets up a wonderful buffet for the #weekendcoffeeshare people. Today’s offerings are the best blueberry muffins I’ve ever tasted and banana bread that I’m going to taste. He is also going to offer us bread pudding! Yes, bread pudding for breakfast which is very decadent!

There is a nice selection of tea, including a wonderful raspberry tea, along with a selection of green tea and two black teas including one called “Paris.” Coffee this morning is a regular coffee along with expresso and a nice cafe latte.

Let’s all sit down and talk! I would love to hear how each and every one of you are doing. It’s been sort of an odd weather week where I live here in Kentucky, U.S.A. It’s still rather hot during the day, but one can tell that fall is coming. The summer flowers are definitely fading. The nights are getting cool. We’ve had so much rain this summer. We’re way above our average. There is a feeling of fall in the air. September and October really dry out if it is a usual weather year. There is nothing about 2017 that has been normal about the weather here. Have you experienced the same where you live?

How has your blogging and writing been going this week? I haven’t been blogging as much as usual. That’s because I’ve been trying to finish one part of the novel I’m writing. I did finish it, but it just means I’ve now started on the next part that is the actual “meat” of the book. I hope to finish this part before I go to Florida for the winter. I’ll leave here for Florida in early November. The part of the novel I’m working on now requires about 60,000 – 70,000 words. That’s what I’m facing between now and early November! I won’t be blogging as much as usual!

The other really important thing I’m doing between now and when I leave for Florida is training my little dog, Hanna. When she came to me, she was a blank slate. No one had done anything with her. Hanna is now five months old and doesn’t even know how to walk on a leash. I’ve trained dogs before, but when they were much younger and amenable to training than Hanna. So I’m employing professional help! Hanna starts private obedience training classes on Tuesday with a very good dog trainer in my area. She will learn the basics like how to walk on a leash and socialization skills. She is so very shy. She was clearly not around people at all until she came to me. She will have as many private lessons as she needs. Then, she and I will join a puppy obedience class for more socialization and to learn the basic obedience commands. After that, if there is time, she will join an adult obedience class.

Hanna and I have work to do!

As you can see, I’m going to be busy between now and when I leave for Florida in early November.

Tell me what’s going on with all of you in the comments. You’re my friends and colleagues!

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#weekendcoffeeshare – 08/05/2017

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I’m sitting in the coffee shop where we’ve been having our #weekendcoffeeshare, with my friend, Jenn, going over today’s menu with the owner. We’re early so we can get the menu worked out for our colleagues. I’m reflecting back on the week.

“Here they come,” Jenn said.

I could tell she was excited. So am I..

Our blogging friends, and friends of theirs, came in,

“Come on in,” I said. “The owner of the shop has prepared the best cinnamon rolls for us. There is hot tea – green, black, and herbal. The specialty coffee today is chicory. Have a seat anywhere.”

I’m so glad to see all of you today! I hope you’ve been well and that you’ve been prolific in your writing. This has been the busiest and most frustrating week for me. I guess we all have them.

The first order of business each day is training my new puppy, Hanna. She will be five months old in just a few days. She’s smart and trainable, but I don’t want to put too much on her all at once. Slowly, but surely, she is responding to her name, housebreaking, and a plethora of words and commands. She went through a period of trying to be the “alpha” around the house. I stopped that quickly! I bathed and groomed her for the first time this week. Hannah is having a lot of “firsts.”

I fear my writing has suffered this week. I haven’t written as much as usual. I love blogging here on WordPress, but I’ve had to work on my novel, which is not on this platform. I’ve gotten some done on my novel. I’m rewriting some material, which is hard. But, I think changing my style and doing some rewrites was definitely in order. However, I haven’t been very prolific. Some weeks are better than others, I guess. ¬†How has your writing gone this week? Very well, I hope.

How many of you have made a career in freelance or staff writing? I have, but in the past. During my time teaching, for a time, I had too careers. Professor and freelance writer. I wrote for online and offline magazines and websites. I’m thinking of launching that career again. Freelance writing is different now with more competition, but that doesn’t bother me. The only thing that does bother me is that it would be a huge time commitment. I would enjoy the extra income at this point in my life. Living on a fixed income in retirement doesn’t really suit me. If I do this, I’ll be blogging here on WordPress, writing a novel, and freelancing. Even to me, that sounds exhausting, but fun! What say you? I’d love your comments.

I just got back from our local farmer’s market. This is the prime time of the year for good vegetables where I live in Kentucky, USA. People line up to buy them. My haul included green beans, more tomatoes than I can possibly eat, corn, and green peppers.

I am suspicious that fall is coming early to my part of Kentucky. Even the fall flowers, like the black-eyed susans are just about finished blooming. The summer flowers are completely done. Things are starting to look fall-like. I’ve noticed the sharp shadows at the end of the day where the angle of the sun has changed.

It’s been great to be here this morning. I’d love to hear from all of you!

 

 

#weekendcoffeeshare – 07/29/2017

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Good morning, everyone! Thanks so much for meeting Jenn and I at our local coffee shop. I think it is so much nicer, since it’s summer, to sit outside here on the patio than it would be to sit inside my house! There is room for all of us here. The proprietor has prepared hot cross buns for us today, along with other pastries. They are to die for! Choose your drink. You can choose from a wide selection of coffees and teas.

Come sit! I’m glad to see all of you. I haven’t been able to be with you for a couple of weeks. I have been terribly busy.

Good friends are a wonderful thing. Yes, this is related to how busy I’ve been. Most of you know that I’m writing a novel. One of my best friends, and a colleague when I went through the doctoral program, is reading my novel. Right now, he is only reading it for content, though he will probably do the first edit on it. After reading the entire first part of my novel, he was able to give me a completely new perspective on the content. After thinking about it, I decided to take his suggestions and I am doing a significant rewrite. As I write, it is sounding better and better all the time. I am grateful for my friend! This means it will take me a little longer to write the book, but I feel like it will be a better book.

Then there is Hanna, the new puppy. She is absolutely delightful. The sweetest, most affectionate puppy. She’s now 4.5 months old. Hanna is in training to be a dog. ūüôā We are currently working on housebreaking and leash training. At some point, we will move up to crate training and I will try to desensitize her to riding in the car. Every time she gets in the car, she get sick. Very sick. We have to work very hard on this!

Hanna and I had company for two nights this week. My cousin’s little dog stayed with us since my cousin had some business to attend to. Max is a breed about the size of Hanna’s breeds. They got along famously and loved to run together in the backyard. Hanna was a little jealous though! Max is now back home.

My morning glories are finally blooming! I’m waiting on the moonflowers, planted in the same spot. The insects, those darn Japanese beetles, have been hard on them this year.

The weather here has not been particularly good for growing anything. It has been so wet, So much rain the forest looks like a jungle. Not much humdity at times. Intense humidity at other times. Cool days followed by really hot periods. Unusual for my area.

I would love to share a cup with each of you. Please tell me what’s up with you in the comments! See you next weekend!

 

#weekendcoffeeshare is sponsored by Parttimemonsterblog where you can join the linkup. Join us on Twitter at #weekendcoffeeshare.

The King’s Legend

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“Ian, I’ve always loved the coast of Brittany,” she said as the sailed along in their boat. There was no wind at that time. They were in a deck chair, relaxing, as the Captain they had hired took care of the boat. She was in Ian’s arms and had never been happier. The sea, the bay, and Ian.

“Can we stop and see the Merlin and King Arthur sites?” she asked.

“Of course,” he replied, as he directed the Captain.

Ian and the girl met up with a tour group going to the forest of Painpont, all that’s left of King Arthur’s Forest. A mystical, magical place. A small group was going to the Merlin site, where the wizard was imprisoned by Viviane in a stone. What they found was a shrine to Merlin and a feeling that seemed spiritual.

The group of five felt drawn to the stone. They reached out and touched it. When they did, there was a curl of smoke and they were all gone.

169 words

Photo credit to The Storyteller’s Abode

 

#weekendcoffeeshare 7/15/2017

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Good morning, my friends! Thanks for meeting Jenn and I in our favorite coffee shop again this morning. The owner agreed to supply us with his raspberry scones again, but offered to add bread pudding with caramel sauce for us. I don’t know about you, but bread pudding may be my favorite thing in the world! There is also a selection of hot teas, chai latte, expresso, cappuccino, and just about any kind of coffee you desire. Grab something and join me!

If we were having coffee this morning, I guess I would tell you that this is a good news/bad news day for me. Some of you may recall that my precious pup, Betsy, was ill with a genetic illness the last time we talked. We tried and tried, but Betsy passed away from that illness, breaking our hearts in the process. I don’t want to relive it, so I won’t get into the details but I miss her so much.

Since I’ve always needed a dog in my life and I knew my precious Betsy was going to leave me, I had been researching dog breeds. I happened on a breeder of Havanese and Lowchen dogs. Small dogs with big hearts, playful, affectionate, just what I needed. There had been an accidental breeding between a Havanese male and a Lowchen female and two female puppies had resulted. Turns out, they were beautiful. ¬†I bought Hanna (pronounced Hannah) and she has been home with me for two days now. I’ve posted her picture at the bottom of this weekend coffee share. She’s beautiful, four months old, and we’re trying to deal with her severe separation anxiety. If anyone has any tips, I’m surely open for suggestions!

Also, last time we talked, I told you I would be taking a short trip to Tennessee to be with my friend, Marty, as she underwent a surgical procedure. She had surgery and is doing very well. She is feeling much like her old self and the effects of her illness seem to be subsiding. I’m so glad about that.

All of this has put a hold on my writing. I’ve written some for this blog, but my other writing goals have not been met. I have to rectify that this week.

I’d love to hear what’s up in your world! Please stay and enjoy coffee, tea, and these wonderful pastries. Good to see you all!

This is Hanna at four months old!

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#weekendcoffeeshare 7/8/2017

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Good morning everyone! So sorry I am a little late. I am glad we decided to meet in the coffee shop for our #weekendcoffeeshare this morning today. I am busily getting ready for my trip. I can spend a short time with you. Then, when I leave, you can hang out here as long as you like. I see the owner did as I asked and prepared his special raspberry scones for all of you plus cold as well as hot beverages. Great!

Yes, I am taking a short trip to my friend’s house, Marty, who lives in Tennessee. She is having some surgery and I am going to help out and just spend some time with her. I am sure I will write some while I am there, but it will be sporadic.

I would be so interested to know how your writing is going? I am going to try something new when blogging. I have opened a new blogging site. It is hidden from the public for now, but I will open it up at some point. It is going to be only fiction and consist of short stories, novellas, and something new for me, serialized novels. These are works I am going to try to sell. When I open it to the public, I will be very interested in your comments! The only works I won’t be selling are short stories that are characterizations of figures in my novel. They are simply to stimulate interest in my novel. So watch this space! Tell me what you think!

I hope writing and life are going well for all of you! I must go for now. Enjoy the beverages and scones and I will look forward to your comments and hope to see you again next weekend for our #weekendcoffeeshare.

 

 

#weekendcoffeeshare 07/01/2017

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Good morning, everyone, and welcome to the Fourth of July weekend if you are in the U.S. If you’re not, welcome to my #weekendcoffeeshare on this first weekend of July! Grab some coffee or tea and whatever pastry looks good to you this morning and join me in my writing room. I’m looking forward to visiting with all of you this morning.

Thanks so much for joining me for the #weekendcoffeeshare today. I wasn’t able to be with you last weekend. It’s been a busy time at my house, some of it good, some not so good, but life got out of control last weekend. If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the main reason for that was my little dog. Betsy has always been so healthy – I thought. Seems I was wrong. Her breed is plagued with genetic health issues. I had hoped she had escaped, but it was not to be. She is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and has developed a condition called¬†Syringomyelia, a condition of the spinal column. I won’t go into it anymore than that except to say it is always fatal. We can give her a normal life for a while by managing her symptoms but only for awhile. She is only four years old. So a difficult week became a difficult weekend.

How is your writing coming along? When something upsetting happens to me, my creativity takes a nosedive! I’ve written a little this week, mostly for this blog. But, my novel is sitting, simmering, on the back burner. I have so many ideas in my head for it and so much of it mapped out. I hope to get back to it this coming week.

I do have some other things to do this coming week. My BFF is having surgery on July 10 and I am traveling to be with her. I’ll be getting ready to travel this coming week. I’m anxious to see her and help her as she goes for her surgery and starts the recovery process. She has been sick for one year as the doctors could not really figure out what was wrong. It is an unusual condition. Hopefully, not too serious from a surgical standpoint. We live a little over 200 miles apart. I’ll be able to write a short #weekendcoffeeshare next Saturday and then I’ll leave for a few days.

I don’t know how many of you share my problem, but let me just say that sleep is so very important. I am a long time insomniac. My insomnia has been particularly bad recently. I actually got a decent night’s sleep last night and feel so much better today. I can feel those creative writing juices kicking in again!

If we were having coffee, I would tell each of you to have a good upcoming week and I hope you write well!

#weekendcoffeeshare – 06/17/2017

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Good morning, everyone! It’s so busy around here, I’ve just put out some pastries here on the table and the coffee machine is by the door. There is also hot water for tea. Please help yourself! I’m so glad to see everyone this morning!

I guess the big news this weekend is that it’s Father’s Day. I hope that those of you who are fathers are having an awesome weekend with your children.

I suspect I’m not the only one who feels like this, but Father’s Day is a little difficult for me. My dad has been gone for a long time – over 33 years. He passed away when he was younger than I am now – too young. Of course, I remember everything about him and our relationship. I was much closer to my dad than to my mom. He was usually jolly and he taught me so many things. My dad was from Sweden and emigrated to the U.S. Not long after he emigrated, he joined the Navy because World War II was just starting. He was in the Navy and the war until the end.

He was injured. His ship was almost sunk in the Pacific theatre. He watched the carnage on the beaches of Normandy. When he finally came home to my mother, he was shell-shocked and a changed man. Gradually, he became somewhat like himself again. He never ever talked about the war except a little to my mom who told me about it. It took them a long time to have me, but they finally did. My dad was the best father a girl could have.

I miss him every day – still. As I get older, I think I miss him more. I hope you’ll excuse my nostalgia this weekend. Father’s Day is one of those tough times.

I think I got my writing “gene” from my dad. He was a beautiful writer in his spare time, as was his father. My grandfather wrote in Swedish. Both wrote personal essays and what these days we call op-eds. Writing has come naturally to me since I started writing as a child. Did anyone in your families write?

One of the other things going on with me is that we are having our house appraised. The appraised is on Wednesday. Sometimes, appraisers just look at the outside of your house, but we have requested that he come inside as well. This means a whole lot of work getting the house ready. I will be doing a lot of that over the next few days!

Mid-June is a lovely time here in Kentucky. The flowers are just starting to bloom and show their colors. We have a lot of bright blue skies and sun. It is one of our best months. June and September are my favorite months in Kentucky.

I’m finally over bronchitis, which I still had the last time I wrote a #weekendcoffeeshare. It lasted six weeks! I probably kept the drug companies in business. I hope all of you are well!

That’s it from here this weekend. I have to get to work! I’d love to hear what’s going on with each and every one of you!

#weekendcoffeeshare – 05/27/2017

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Good morning, everyone! I’m so glad you’ve decided to come for my #weekendcoffeeshare today. It has been such a rainy, stormy week that I was afraid some of you wouldn’t be able to make it. There is even a forecast of storms today! Jenn is with us today and we have some goodies for you.

I found the most wonderful cinnamon buns in a bakery in Lexington, so I brought them home just for this #weekendcoffeeshare. Please help yourself and I’d love to know how you like them. As for coffee, I have a wonderful breakfast mix in addition to a more robust mix. I also have half caff and decaf. There is cream, sugar, and even some of that evil sweetener we aren’t supposed to have! As for tea, I have a wonderful hot cinnamon green tea, along with the hot cinnamon black tea, and a tea from Paris I hope you enjoy. I have a special surprise – an oolong tea that I don’t usually have, but it is from India and is awfully good. Enjoy and come to my writing studio whenever you want.

Just take a seat anywhere here in the studio. I’ll have to warn you that I have a one-track mind today. For several weeks, I have done very little except work on my novel. I have gotten a lot of words written, but I’ve read as much about novel writing as I’ve written. There is one thing I know for sure. It is hard! If you haven’t been schooled on the intricacies of writing a novel, school yourselves! I’ve been reading about structuring the plot, writing characterizations, and even things like what makes a good villain and writing good settings for the story.

I’ve found out that it isn’t as simple as writing your story down on the computer screen or on a piece of paper. You have to write about the feelings of the characters and know how to convey those feelings to your reading audience. You have to make your characters likeable so your readers will keep on reading. If you have a villain, you have to make that villian unlikeable.

You have to develop subplots that pull the reader away from the plot, but then take them back in. Everything must tie in together, which is quite a feat.

Can you tell that my novel is all that has been on my mind? I have been blogging less because of it, but that is going to change. I’ve found out that blogging a little gives my mind a rest from the intensity of writing the novel.

As many of you know, we have a teeny little home in Florida. I just wrote a blog post about an event that is happening near where we live there, although I turned it into fiction. It is for a flash fiction challenge.

I try to catch some news every day. I always want to hear the science and environmental news. It seems that the U.S. political news is overwhelming everything. Then, of course, there was the terrible terrorist attack in Manchester, England last week. The terrorists have to sink to killing little girls. It’s so disgusting I can hardly watch the coverage.

I hope all of you are doing well personally and that your writing is going well. I read the stuff of writers on WordPress all the time. It astounds me at how the quality of the writing is so high! Thank you for coming to my #weekendcoffeeshare! May the muse be with you!

#weekendcoffeeshare – 01/08/2017

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“Hello, Jenn! Come in quickly! It’s so terribly cold!” Jenn is joining me today for our #weekendcoffeeshare. It’s only 6F degrees this morning and I can hardly believe anyone at all will get out and trek to my house for coffee and tea!

“My car doors were almost frozen shut,” Jenn said, “but I was able to get them open. I don’t think this kind of cold is supposed to last very long.”

Where Jenn and I live, in the Ohio Valley in Kentucky, this kind of cold in winter is not particularly common. We usually have some of it but not a lot.

Jenn and I went about the business of preparing a limited coffee bar as we didn’t expect many people this morning. We set up a couple of kinds of coffee and tea, including a wonderful Indian Chai tea I had happened to find, hot chocolate, and some fine apple cider I had heating on the stove. I was gratified that some people did come by and just hoped they weren’t frostbitten. We all convened in my writing studio with our hot beverages. Most seemed interested in the hot cider this cold morning.

One person spoke up about her heat going off during the night. She is staying elsewhere until the HVAC people show up and is terribly worried about her pipes freezing, with good reason. Another person said his car wouldn’t start and caught a ride with someone else. All the problems associated with bitterly cold weather. Some of the reasons I have such a fervent desire to move to a warmer climate. I truly dread leaving my friends and what little family I have left here, but the benefits of moving are starting to outweigh the costs for me.

I’m going to have at least two realtors take a look at my house and give me their opinion on a selling price as that will determine whether I can move or not. I hope I have time to accomplish that reasonably soon. I will also look at homes in my desired destination as, of course, real estate prices there play another role. If I can move, it will be almost 1000 miles away, so it is a big move and I have to be sure. It’s a move I feel I need to make if I can get it to financially make sense. Given the political situation in the U.S., things are changing, including interest rates, so many factors have to be considered. My house was renovated last year. That is another consideration. Lots to think about!

On top of the cold weather, we had a big snow yesterday and, on the mountain where I live, we got more snow than in the valley below. Several inches. I detest snow and cold which means for four months or so each year, I’m miserable. Not a good thing, particularly at this time in my life. I guess the good news is that I get a lot of writing done! Writers need experiences, however, and I would certainly have the opportunity for more experiences if I moved. I hope there are many novels to write in my future.

I hope all of you have recovered from your holiday celebrations and that you really enjoyed the holidays with your families and friends! Now I hope you’re getting back to the business of being normal without too much adjustment.

That’s about it for today’s #weekendcoffeeshare. I have to get busy here as I have lots to do. I appreciate your stopping by. See you next week!