Flu Please Go Away

posted in: Home Life Tips, MY BOOKS, SEASONS | 0

I hope I don’t get the flu, because I’m busy fine-tuning the basic launch of JUST YOU, a February release and the first of my FRESH START series. I am so pleased with this series, shaping up now for February, June and November releases. Am thrilled with the advanced readers comments: “Loved this book”. It’s always a scary time when a writer sends their babies out into the big wide sometimes cruel world.

Hopefully, this series about three women who knew they had to change their lives and did must might reach the heart of women, touch them in some good way. I hope.

About Flu Season: Right now, a family member is doing everything she can to stay out of the hospital, because of flu everywhere. I am hearing of other areas, as well, and thought you might like some of my home-style avoid-the-flu information.

The very best first? That’s ginger root in the pot, chopped and simmered in water. A cup of that with honey is the best. One time a neighbor felt bad, but had to go to work, and I ran a cup of that out to her car as she drove to work. She heated it up there and now makes her own.

My German grandmother’s recipe, as I’ve said somewhere, used a hot cup of chicken broth, garlic, red pepper. My mother’s was to slather our chests with Vicks and wrap a warm cloth around it. As a child, I got a finger-fun of Vick’s beneath my nose one time, when I as talking back. (I put all this stuff into my books, you know.)

More of what I do to prevent flu (and I hope it does, because I really want JUST YOU to launch in February): The shot, the usual rest, chicken soup, eucalyptus oil on the tea-candle burner or in my defuser. (Remember all the essential oils one daughter gave me? I love/love/love them.)

Next, is a whole batch of hand sanitizers, which I am faithful about using those, plus antibacterial soap. BTW, when coming out of a store, I also rub it on my hands and then the steering wheel, gear shift, etc. Then Airborne or something like it, some chewable C, tea of whatever kind (and another daughter has stacked me up with every flavor/decaf/caffeinated possible). A mask if visiting clinics, etc.

The very best of this batch is that inhaler and that is a brand I like. After all, they inhaled lavender and eucalyptus during the ancient plagues, so that is good enough for me. My daughters and I made cross-country driving trips when we could, and one trip, I fixed each daughter with this brand inhaler and even wrote our names on them, cross-contamination-daughter, you know. Then one of my college-smarties said she couldn’t find hers and could she borrow mine? That one, with high grades, was absolutely notorious sometimes.

I really am hoping to avoid this bad flu, because I’m so excited about Fresh Start’s series, working with the launch of JUST YOU in February, coming right up. I’m posting more information here, my website, and on CAIT LONDON BOOKS on Facebook. Getting ready for a little contest there, you know.

And The Moral of the Story is…

posted in: FOODS, SEASONS, writing | 1

I‘m working away at editing the 2nd book of my new Fresh Start women’s fiction/romance series, which I hope to launch in February.

This 2nd book, a June release is in editing. I’m at the tail end of that and decided to update my iMac. Last night, I started updating the system, and this morning it wasn’t done. I’m a morning person, all systems go, so I was ready to put the final touches on this new masterpiece, the 2nd book of Fresh Start series. Ready to go. Yeah. My computer needed a whole lot more updating and installing time.

Thus, crocheting and checking on the computer’s updates/install. No luck.

This a.m. early, still no luck. I got so frustrated–which helps nothing in technology–so I decided to bake potato rolls, Denver Biscuits my family loves, an old time recipe from Pike’s Peak mining days.

I started my computer downloading/updating/install process yet again, and made the yeast dough, which has to rise. The house was cool, ZERO degrees out this a.m., wind chill -21, and rising takes some kind of heat, so I started the heater, and placed one bowl of rising “bisquits” in front of it.

The computer wasn’t updating and installing fast enough and I wanted to get to work, editing my masterpiece. So I started another batch of yeast dough. Another stool, more rising.

Neighbor guys who cleaned my driveway and who sometimes take away dead limbs, etc. fetched the dough through the 6-7 inches of snow I was not tromping through.

And the moral is: Some things can’t be rushed–writing/editing, rising dough, and updating/installing computer tech stuff.

 

The Aftermath

posted in: CRAFTS, DIY, FOODS, HOLIDAYS, SEASONS | 3

I’m dressed in my Ninja black, sweater and sweat pants, at my desk and starting to catch up in The Aftermath.

We had quite the season, but I’ve never been one for a show of abundance, rather simplicity. This wreath and a ceramic Santa Claus with candles is all I have to take down/put away.

Family visited and the young boys and I crocheted. One really went to town with a Tunisian hook, which is my favorite, too. He is 11. The 6-year old “loomed” with another daughter. I needed a scarf, so this one is almost done. According to The Judge, it needs to be long enough to start at the waist, wrap around your neck and hang down to your waist. I’m just crocheting to the end of the ball.

We had a cheeseball competition. The judge isn’t declaring winners, because she doesn’t want to lose her cheeseball “abundancy” with chips. She was into the refrigerator, prior to our pasta dinner. The butcher here has great Italian sausage, perfect for browning and sauce.

Here’s my 2-cheeseball recipe: 4 cartons cream cheese, carton sour cream, carton blue cheese, handful of shredded cheddar, 2 handfuls of mixed colby etc., sprinkle of garlic power, dash salt (next year I’ll use parmesan in lieu of salt), worchestire, and after forming and chilling overnight, pat ball with pecans. The judge said I needed to cut the pecans smaller, but that certainly did not slow her down.

That daughter loaded up on my Denver biscuits, a recipe from the miner’s Pike Peak’s days. (It’s really a potato roll.) I made 4 tons of that, 1 ton for her to take home, a bread bowl of dough for another daughter. The recipe is good for a refrigerator roll, to take out as needed, and sometimes I take just the dough to neighbors’, so they can make hot rolls for breakfast. Always a hit with real butter.

Note: Leggos are no fun to step on.

I’ve just sent book 1 of a new series to my beta readers and hope they like it. JUST YOU is in the works and soon for pre-order. JUST LOVE book 2 is being edited. I usually print out the mss and red ink the edits before sending on. A screen edit is ok to a point, but hand editing, away from distractions is best for me. Then correct, and go over.

I am absolutely thrilled with the reception of THE ROSE BASKET: NOVELLA now on sale in ebook and print.

And I’ll finish my scarf tonight… All in all a good holiday and I am back to work now. I hope you had a good holiday, too, complete with family/friends.

 

Time for Thoughts

posted in: FOODS, HOLIDAYS, REFLECTIONS, SEASONS, writing | 1

Like everyone else, I’m deep into the holidays and the end of the year whatevers. I’ve just had a little renovation, which put me behind, but then, I’m always behind, aren’t you?

At the end of the year, I think back to days of yore. Huh. Cannot remember how many quarts of green beans I’ve canned from a huge garden. I canned everything in sight, just like my mother, who was lucky enough to have plenty of trout, salmon, steelhead, etc. to can. Her panty was a thing of beauty, all organized, fruits/jams/meats/whatever. And yes, since we are German descent, jars of kraut. She stopped crocks years before that and made kraut in jars. I did the jar-method, too, but no longer doing any of that. I miss Mom.

My stack of crocheted dishcloths is going out the door/mail as gifts. I make lots of mistakes, but people seem to like them anyway. This year I found a new InstaPot delivered to my porch, thanks to one daughter who has 4 children and works and is mad about the fast convenience. Mm. We’ll see, she says…

I‘ve just sent out notice to my beta readers about a first book of a series, and I long to edit the 2nd. The holiday time-crunch is upon me, however, and I need clear thinking room for the edit. I truly hope they love it. So a new series in 2018, along with more Tallchiefs in that series. Talk about writing plans!

For a limited time, His Christmas Present, a 2-fer, and The Rose Basket: Novella are on sale for .99. The Rose Basket: Novella is a romance-humor story also in paper and makes a nifty gift. Because it’s short, my sister is enthused.

At the end of the year, that precious space in which to reflect, you’ll hear more of my stuff, like how I polish antique furniture and burn candles and generally think about the past and the future. It’s a really important time for me and I hope you, too.

But for now, I’d better get busy. Take time for these reflections and yourself, will you?

My Life Today

posted in: CRAFTS, FOODS, HOLIDAYS, SEASONS | 0

While I’m waiting for my meatloaf to finally be ready, I’m thinking about the holidays and how I feel, and the general roll of my life. It’s a huge meatloaf to give to a college student headed into finals.

My basic meatloaf recipe is whatever: hamburger, oatmeal, diced tomatores, eggs, onions, green pepper, Worcestershire. Bake. Top with mixture of catsup/chili powder, spread over meatloaf, bake more.

Aren’t these presents pretty? My daughter is an excellent “wrapper”. I loved the wrapping job more than the actual presents. I’m not a Christmas decorator, table-gorgeous sort of a girl. I’m a low-abundance Christmas person, rather enjoy giving whatever is useful and this year, more of those colored dishcloths I make during stress times. They are what they are, mistakes and all. And I truly do not enjoy weaving in the ends, so I don’t and now I’m looking at a mountain of dishcloths that need the ends woven in. I also bake, but not so enthused this year.

We were supposed to have a yard sale last spring that may or may not ever happen. Periodically, I have to go dig out something from it, i.e. soon some Christmas greenery. Reclaiming my own yard sale stuff, do you ever do that?

My newsletter will be coming out soon and you may wish to SUBSCRIBE to it. I am hoping that people will enjoy my new novella (because I enjoyed writing it so much), THE ROSE BASKET.

I’m also planning to make potstickers for chicken soup, freeze and give as gifts. I usually make those during a good movie. Lately, I’ve been on a series binge and really, really loved Offspring, set in Australia, about a woman obstetrician, her offbeat family and friends. I need to write a piece for writers on that show as it is well constructed character-wise, cliff-hangers, etc. Very well developed, sometimes humorous or life-serious. Gunsmoke series was terrific, so far as cast and stories. There are some horrible, poorly done westerns on TV now; just wish they’d go away.

The Longest Day movie with John Wayne was spellbinding. Not only the story line, but the amazing number of real stars and pop singers of the era featured. A young Sean Connery.

My meatloaf and baked potatoes are ready to take out of the oven. Better go.

Big Plans Today

posted in: HOLIDAYS, SEASONS | 0

I absolutely love fall color in the Ozarks. We have many visitors to the hills in the spring to see the white dogwood blooms and in the fall to see the fiery color. This is my favorite tree outside my window. It held baby robins early in the spring, and when the wind blows, I can tell generally how much by the flutter of the leaves.

One daughter who lives in California wanted to see pictures of the fall, so I sent this one.

I’m editing heavily now, sitting a lot, too much, and with the new stats on blood pressure lowered, I’m working not to be on the 46% of Americans with high blood pressure. Sitting is not good for blood pressure. However, I have not been able to write while pedalling or standing. I’m a formal, sit-up-straight desk-writer.

But Fall/Winter/coming holidays–and I am one of those who waits until Thanksgiving is over before starting on Christmas–I start laying out projects. (As if I don’t have enough already.)

My plan today is to organize this box of exercise equipment, resistance bands and weights for some indoor work. These resistance bands are unused, stored under a bed, except for one which I use and sometimes pack for trips. I also use a small ball with sand in it by my desk and a body ball for a workout on the floor. I like both. The sand-ball is easier on hard-working hands. It’s bigger, so a less tighter grip.

Again, the resistance bands have been stored. Today is the day for working with the instructions and the other bands. You’ll notice that the wrappers are still on the 5 pound weights. I use the smaller ones. The DVD instruction video with a small woman bouncing around with the 5 lb weights defeated me.

My similar to a recumbant bike machine is stored in the garage. I like that in hard winter.

We’ll see….

Frost in the Ozarks

posted in: REFLECTIONS, SEASONS | 1

Twenty degrees. Does that sound cool enough?

After days of perfect 70-degree weather, but with high winds, this morning Jack Frost gifted us with a gorgeous blanket of frost.

Note: Does anyone remember Jack Frost?

Bye-bye African Violets

Yesterday, I salvaged whatever “porch” plants I could and needed inside shelving for them. Sadly, these African violets weren’t doing their best for some time now and after years, I’m giving them up–or maybe not until next year.

In addition to repotting, working with shelf space, I brought some firewood to the house, but still have to load my insert. There truly is nothing like wood heat, though I don’t light my fire very often.

Anyway. I love fall and all the gorgeous colors. This year isn’t exactly prime as we had a really dry summer. I love how sunlight dances over the white limbs and orange leaves of the sycamore trees, and that little gift of green right on top. The wind has been so strong, I haven’t gotten out to take fall shots, but I will and I’d better do that soon.

While walking by the lake the other day, I did not have my camera, and wished I could have taken shots of the big sycamore leaves floating on the sunlit water.

Speaking of shots, this a.m. I spent time with getting a selfie Facebook ID shot. Check it out?

And I’m so glad people love my Basket Series. I’m writing another series now, but this graphic (I do my own) says it all:

http://amzn.to/2gurfFn
The Rose Basket: Novella

Never totally happy w/my work, I should have outlined THE ROSE BASKET. I love my baskets and they were used in the covers and on my graphics.

I‘m hoping to do a big chunk of editing today, so I’d better get started.

 

Thank You for Being My Friend

posted in: Life Happens, REFLECTIONS, Uncategorized | 3

The River of my life is rich. I think of all the wonderful people I’ve known, each giving me so much, teaching me how to be better.

Yesterday, a dear friend passed. I was lucky enough to visit in her final hours. She knew me, said my name, and raised her hand for mine.

Her journey through cancer has taken two long years, and just two months ago, her beloved husband of many years passed.

I feel her near me now.

As mothers, we shared so much. As women involved with life, we shared more. I could always count on her to be my friend, someone to lean on difficult times. I hope I equaled the exchange, when she needed me.

In her final journey, she crocheted little hearts for her nurses. How thoughtful! One of my daughters is a nurse, my mother was one, and I know they give so much and are repaid so little. That isn’t why they are nurses, of course, and my friend would have been a lovely patient, no matter the painful circumstances. Now they have those little hearts to wear with their badges.

This morning, I drove through heavy fog above the waterways. I felt my friend nearby, enjoying the drive and the morning.

I’m sitting and beyond the window is a huge lovely red rose. I know she’s enjoying it, too.

You’ll always be with me, my friend. Thank you for being in the river of my life.

Fall is Writing Time

posted in: Uncategorized | 0

If you’re like me, you’re settling back from keeping up the yard, relaxing a bit, etc. and moving more into fall. My mums are set to bloom yellow and orange. Farmers Markets are stocked with apples/pumpkins/squash. (I love spaghetti squash.)  I made this Fall-theme graphic long ago, but still love it–mainly because I think of how my grandsons loved crawling all over those major pumpkins years ago. I’d take them on day trips, swimming, pumpkin patches and this day was so much fun. And here it is, Pumpkin time again. Check out those sassafras leaves. I have a stand of those near my woodpile. The tree leaves are from a tree right in front of my picture window. That tree tells me so much through the seasons. Do you have a favorite tree?

Fall is Here!

I’ve just finished the first book of an unnamed trilogy and looking at titles and cover ideas for all three. Like any writer, I stored stacks of them, with story ideas. I call those my toy boxes. I can pretty well generate a storyline from a live scene or a word. While writing for 2 publishers for most of my career, I had to always have a story idea at the ready.

Several readers noted that they liked how I used my personal things in the stories and on the covers. It’s nice to know what readers like, so if you have time, I’d love to hear from you. The story I just finished uses my mother’s antique single bed–which I have, called “the high bed” by my daughters. I’ll get that shot for you.

Writers discuss writing techniques. I plan to write a How-To, a compilation of tips gathered over years of writing and working with top editors. Someday. However, the most recent chat concerned a book/story’s overall Tone and Mood. I’m not hearing a lot of that particular thing, so FWIW to anyone writing fiction:

A journalist friend just relayed to me her difficulty in changing to fiction. I write fiction. Fiction has character depth. So here is a light version of the importance of Mood/Tone of the whole story, which is little discussed:

Character mix. To me, the character mix defines the story, the bad guys making the good guys look better, so contrast. Much the same as when painting, darks offset the lights and vice versa. If you have all dark/moody characters, you’ll have to work hard to light up. Peripheral characters highlight the dimensions of the major characters–

  1. Mood/Tone. In suspense and mystery there are all sorts of devices, i.e. ticking clock, endangering the sweet and/or innocent/child, revenge, needs, etc. The overall tone can be light/dark/mixed/humorous/romantic/emotional. BIG NOTE: Characters are people, so they all have emotions of some kind. To stick with the overall tone of the story is ultra-important and balance a mix to get what you want.
  2. Which brings us back to Character Mix.

Every one of my stories and characters after years of writing is different and that keeps writing interesting for me.

Yep, thrilled to be starting another series. Pretty much excited about everything this Fall. I’m a cool weather person who loves dark days. Love them. Do you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Busy Fall

posted in: MY BOOKS, SEASONS | 0

Two of my favorite things: flowers and baskets. This basket will be on the cover of a novella, coming soon, The Rose Basket.

Coming Soon, The Rose Basket

Several of my faithful readers have mentioned how they like my incorporation of things I own into my books’ story lines. I get lots of ideas from my things, things I see, places I’ve been.

I couldn’t find just the right oak strip basket, created here in the Ozarks, so made do with a thrift-shop basket, some plastic roses, some graphic roses I shot on a California street, and my own rose cuttings.

This basket shot will be on the cover of The Rose Basket. I’d love to get my mother’s doily beneath it. We’ll see. I’m also working on covers for my Tallchief series now in re-release.

Every fall/spring, etc., I take my camera for a drive and really enjoy the day out. Fall is gorgeous, fiery, here in the Ozarks.

THE ROSE BASKET novella is an addition to my Basket Series, women’s romantic fiction. ARC/beta readers have already commented how much they love the story, and I hope you will, too. Expected pub date, mid-October.

Currently, I’m working on a new series and need to take a shot of my mother’s single antique four-poster bed. My daughters called it “the high bed”, because well… it is high.

I’m energized in fall and I hope you are, too. Time for baking, making Christmas presents for those I love, writing, and more. And now, I have to wash my car. Just… Must.

Best,

Cait

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