Roses, Covid Test Results, Writing: Monday Blog Post

Photo by Randy Cockrell

Newest News:

My roses are in a second bloom, well, reaching the end of their second bloom and the hubby has been out there taking some pictures. We had a rain a few days ago and he went out early and found one of my yellow roses perfectly covered in raindrops. That’s the above picture.

I mentioned last week that I was scheduling myself for a Covid test and an antibody test. Well, that happened, and I was pleased to see I don’t have Covid and that the antibodies I am supposed to have were actually in my system. The testing process was super easy. The techs came out to the car. I waited the 15 minutes for the results. Altogether, probably 20 minutes at the office. I was reassured that my autoimmune diseases didn’t have an effect on my vaccinations. It was worth the 20 minutes for peace of mind.

 

On writing, I’m into Mystery at the Reunion, I’m into the story doing my best to add more background, develop each character’s point of view more, that sort of thing. Also on my mind is my Gulliver Station series. At the start of the year I did a little redesign of the cover of the first book, A New Start. I had so much trouble getting it uploaded to KDP that I burnt out on it. However, I think I’ve recovered my gumption and want to get into the last three books and get those covers updated. I didn’t make big changes, just minor ones. No need to go out and get all new books.

Hoping everyone is able to access a covid shot, or two if needed. The delta variant of the virus is racing through my county. New cases have doubled every week since mid-July and the majority of the people hitting the ICUs and ERs are unvaccinated. We’ll only beat this disease if we all work together. Please schedule your vaccination as soon as you can. The shots are still free!

Giveaways:

The Summer event, called the Summer Breeze Books Giveaway, is live! There are 24 prizes and $66 as the Grand Prize in Paypal dollars. Hop on over to the page with the following link and get in on the prizes. https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ to enter.

 

Where will I Be?

I found out from our local farmer’s market managers that they are going to do the Christmas Market again this year. I signed up. I don’t know if I’ll get a single day or be a permanent booth. It will run from mid-November to just before Christmas. (The above poster is from last year.) I’ll let you know when I find out the details. Stay tuned.

 

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on the regular and the SciFi/Fantasy and the Cozy Mystery newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team to be the first to read my books and hear what new books are coming. Don’t forget to follow my blog, too. Different material goes in the blog as in the newsletter. You can share both, so spread the word!

 

Newest Releases:

Creature in the Night, a short Halloween, Winter Solstice, Christmas, Fantasy story has been published. It is up on Amazon, in Kindle Unlimited or for purchase at $.99. You can also see all my books on http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads or BookBub. Your review is critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Like all of the other work I do as an author, it takes time and money. If you enjoy this Monday blog and the Friday free story and the recipe, I put up on the 25th of every month, consider donating to https://www.paypal.me/ConniesRandomThought. I appreciate any donation to help support this blog.

Fruit Trees, Covid Testing, Lord of the Rings: Monday Blog Post

Pears, taken by Randy Cockrell

 

Newest News:

This is the time of year my fruit trees produce. I’ve already mentioned the peaches, now a lovely memory. I also have a nectarine tree and this year I thought I didn’t get any. The tree doesn’t produce regularly, I think because it’s sensitive to late spring cold. However, my husband was looking on the back side of the trees and found a small bunch of weather damaged but perfectly good nectarines. They look bad but taste really good. Yay! The pear trees are also producing. These are late varieties so won’t be ready for a few weeks yet. Looking forward to those.

I’ve scheduled myself a Covid test and an antibody test as I do have two auto-immune diseases, Celiac and Hashimoto’s. I am probably still in good shape from my last covid shot in March, but I’d just like to know. The tests are tomorrow morning at 8am so I may have to go out to breakfast too!

On writing, my writer’s brain is still functioning. The hubby and I rewatched The Hobbit, and the Lord of the Ring movies not long ago. In the hobbit, I think it was, Gandalf was talking to Bilbo about the Wizards. In the movie, Gandalf told Bilbo that there were five wizards in his order, himself, Saruman, and Radagast, plus two “Blues” whose names he couldn’t remember. This tiny bit of trivia has stuck in my mind for weeks now. I don’t remember it from the book. And with only 5 in the order, why can’t Gandalf remember the two blues? Has it been so long since he’s seen them? Where did they go? What do they do? What were their specialties? Do any of you know? I don’t generally write fan fiction, but those two wizards are much on my mind. I may have to seek out a Tolkien facebook page and ask these questions. Feel free to comment below if you have answers or suggestions.

Hoping everyone is able to access a covid shot, or two if needed. The delta variant of the virus is racing through my county. New cases have doubled every week since mid-July and the majority of the people hitting the ICUs and ERs are unvaccinated. We’ll only beat this disease if we all work together. Please schedule your vaccination as soon as you can. The shots are still free!

Giveaways:

The Summer event, called the Summer Breeze Books Giveaway, islive! There are 24 prizes and $66 as the Grand Prize in Paypal dollars. Hop on over to the page with the following link and get in on the prizes. https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ to enter.

 

Where will I Be?

It’s peach harvesting time in Rim Country. Photo by Randy Cockrell

I found out from our local farmer’s market managers that they are going to do the Christmas Market again this year. I signed up. I don’t know if I’ll get a single day or be a permanent booth. It will run from mid-November to just before Christmas. I’ll let you know when I find out the details. Stay tuned. https://www.paysonfarmersmarket.com/

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on the regular and the SciFi/Fantasy and the Cozy Mystery newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team to be the first to read my books and hear what new books are coming. Don’t forget to follow my blog, too. Different material goes in the blog as in the newsletter. You can share both, so spread the word!

Newest Releases:

Creature in the Night, a short Halloween, Winter Solstice, Christmas, Fantasy story has been published. It is up on Amazon, in Kindle Unlimited or for purchase at $.99. You can also see all my books on http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads or BookBub. Your review is critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

Thank you for reading my blog. Like all of the other work I do as an author, it takes time and money. If you enjoy this Monday blog and the Friday free story and the recipe, I put up on the 25th of every month, consider donating to https://www.paypal.me/ConniesRandomThought. I appreciate any donation to help support this blog.

All About Bob, An Excerpt for You, What I’ve Read: Monday Blog Post

It’s peach harvesting time in Rim Country. Photo by Randy Cockrell

Newest News:

I haven’t been totally idle with my writing. You may remember a series I started which I call “All About Bob”. The only relationship each book has to the other is that the main, teen, character is named “Bob” in one form or another. I got the idea from a writing class prompt and the idea stuck with me for a long time. I’ve been writing the stories, on and off, for the last 3 years. The final of the five novelettes is nearly done. Each book deals with some sort of problem a teen may have. I’m hoping, when they’re all finished, that I can get them edited, then released one after the other, one per month. The below excerpt is from It’s All About Home, the last of the five books in the series.

 

Berta Tinker adjusted the pack on her back as she walked from the high school to the elementary school where her little brother went. She ran through the list in her head. Pick up Landon. Take him to the library and get their homework done. Be outside the library at six, that’s when it closed, for dad to come by and pick them up. Go to the campsite, set up the backpacker stove and make soup for dinner. Feed herself, Landon, and dad. Clean up the mess. Hopefully dad remembered to fill the five-gallon water jug so there’d be water to wash the bowls, spoons and pot. Brush teeth. Read by lantern till bedtime.

At midnight dad would drive to the diner where mom waitressed to pick her up after she closed up the place. Everybody sleep in the car at the campground till morning. That’s when mom would drive dad to his job, line cook at a different restaurant. Start the day all over again.

She was sick of it, Berta thought as she walked to the elementary school. Ever since her father had been sick and lost his job, they’d ended up living in the car. It wasn’t fair, she fumed to herself. They used to have a house. She remembered her pink bedroom with the white desk and matching chair. The frilly bedspread, her toys and even her own tv and game console. Now, she jerked the pack straps in frustration. Now all she had was a sleeping bag and some personal items like her hairbrush and a plastic garbage bag of clothes.

Berta arrived at the school and waited, fingering the necklace her grandmother, mom’s mom, she thought to herself, had given to her for her thirteenth birthday.

“You’re getting to be a young lady now,” Nana had told her when she had opened the little box. “I think you’re old enough to take care of this. My grandmother gave this to me when I was thirteen.”

Berta, named for her grandmother Roberta, was delighted with the gift. It was a gold initial, an R in script, on a fine gold chain. She’d had her grandmother help her put it on and had hardly had it off in the last three years.

The school dismissal bell rang. Landon came out with two other boys, in about the middle of the flood of kids. The three were laughing and gyrating around like demented things, Berta thought. She rolled her eyes. Landon was always laughing. And unlike her, could make friends anytime and anywhere.

She was glad he could, actually. This was the third town in nine months and still her parents couldn’t get jobs good enough to even get them an apartment, let alone a house.

That’s our introduction to Berta. What do you think? Leave your comments in the comment box below.

I’ve been reading different things this summer. I’ve just finished the Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2020. Loved it! First of all, there’s a great introduction by Diana Gabaldon. Yes, the Outlander author! Her love of science fiction and fantasy is obvious. The stories are terrific, covering all sorts of topics from prisoners to fairytales. If you can get a copy, you should. Some great new authors in there.

Hoping everyone is able to access a covid shot, or two if needed. The delta variant of the virus is racing through my county. Hospitalizations have jumped three-fold and the majority of the people hitting the ERs are unvaccinated. We’ll only beat this disease if we all work together. Please schedule your vaccination as soon as you can. The shots are still free!

Giveaways:

The Summer event, called the Summer Breeze Books Giveaway, is now live! There are 24 prizes and $66 as the Grand Prize in Paypal dollars. Hop on over to the page with the following link and get in on the prizes. https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ to enter.

 

Where will I Be?

I have no plans at present for any other in person events. Any I was thinking about joining I’m now reconsidering due to the uptick in the Covid 19 Delta variant illnesses spreading across Arizona. See you in 2022!

 

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on the regular and the SciFi/Fantasy and the Cozy Mystery newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team to be the first to read my books and hear what new books are coming. Don’t forget to follow my blog, too. Different material goes in the blog as in the newsletter. You can share both, so spread the word!

 

Newest Releases:

Creature in the Night, a short Halloween, Winter Solstice, Christmas, Fantasy story has been published. It is up on Amazon, in Kindle Unlimited or for purchase at $.99. You can also see all my books on http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads or BookBub. Your review is critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Like all of the other work I do as an author, it takes time and money. If you enjoy this Monday blog and the Friday free story and the recipe, I put up on the 25th of every month, consider donating to https://www.paypal.me/ConniesRandomThought. I appreciate any donation to help support this blog.

Spring Giveaway Winners, An Excerpt for You: Monday Blog Post

Mushroom Season in Rim Country. No idea what this mushroom is, do you? Picture by Randy Cockrell

Newest News:

The Spring Author/Blogger Giveaway has officially ended and I have two winners for my part of the event. My prize number one, an ebook copy of Slave Elf, was won by Jory. My prize number two, a $5 Amazon gift card was won by Richard. The overall event Grand Prize winner was Emy. I want to thank all of the hundreds of people who participated and I hope that you enjoy your prizes. Our Summer Giveaway has started, check out the info below to enter.

Writing has been slow for me. I have been involved in several other things in my life and the writing, unfortunately, has fallen off. I haven’t forgotten it though. I’m still mulling over Mystery at the Reunion. How can I make it better? I may just have to throw myself on the mercy of my editor and get some advice. How about a short excerpt? This is Dwight, Jean’s ex-husband.

 

He circled the glass on the bar in the moisture under it, idly watching the spiral circles it made on the glossy top. Dwight sipped again. How had he gotten here? Dawn had left him. That was the start. Too much time at the local bar. Crown Royal wasn’t exactly cheap. Then the gambling at the Off-Track Betting shop. That didn’t help matters. Especially since he was losing. OTB didn’t give credit, so he found himself in a little neighborhood still mostly Irish. There was a helpful young man there that would take his bets on the cuff. Dwight sighed and rubbed the spot just above the bridge of his nose.

What the hell had he been thinking? Now he was ten grand in the hole and the bookie wanted his money. Dwight sipped again, his stomach in a knot. He didn’t have ten grand. Hell, he had all he could do to pay the rent on the low-end apartment he was living in. Damn! He drank the last of the Crown Royal and signaled for another. He really couldn’t afford to come to the reunion despite the fact he wanted to see all of his old friends from Afghanistan. While the place had been a living hell, he’d made good friends with the people in Combined Joint Force Command squadron AG2017. They were good people sharing a hard, miserable assignment. His arrival in Las Vegas reminded him a lot of Afghanistan. Hot sun scorching everything it touched, even in April, dust, blinding light, it was not a pleasant reminder.

The bartender brought the drink. Dwight nodded his thanks. He was about to pick it up when a hand fell heavy on his shoulder. His heart nearly stopped.

“Dwight! Old buddy. What brings you to Vegas?”

Dwight turned to see who belonged to the deep voice. “Duncan?” His heart skipped a beat. “A long way from Boston.”

Duncan sat on the stool next to Dwight and waved over the bartender. “Irish Whisky.”

The bartender nodded and moved off.

“I’m here ‘cause Jimmy noticed you leavin’ town.” Duncan shook his head. “And you owin’ all that money. It made Jimmy think you were skippin’ out on your debt.”

“No, no, Duncan. I’m here to attend a reunion. Old military buddies from Afghanistan. I’m just here for the weekend. You know, catch up with old friends.”

Duncan nodded. “I hear ya. My brother, Mike, joined the Army. He got sent to that pit. Died when his hummer hit an IED.” Duncan said all of that while staring into the bottles on the bar back.

“I’m so sorry for your loss, Duncan. Too many young men and women died there.”

Duncan nodded as the bartender brought him his drink. Duncan peeled a twenty from a roll he’d taken from his pocket and dropped it on the bar. The bartender grinned. “Any change?”

Duncan shook his head.

“Thanks, buddy.”

Duncan nodded and the bartender moved off. “I’m sorry you had to serve there.”

“Two tours, with my wife.”

Duncan’s eyebrows rose. “No shit?”

“Yeah. We left our son with the grandparents and spent a year there. Then two years later, another tour.” Dwight shook his head Why the hell didn’t they go separately instead of leaving Jim all alone twice. It must have made sense at the time.

“That’s a shame. The little man must have missed you.”

“Yeah. He did.” Dwight sipped his drink.

“Despite that, Dwight, you gotta pay up. By the end of the month.” Duncan drank his whisky down in one gulp and slapped the glass down on the bar with a thump that made the bartender turn to look.

“I’m trying to get the money together, Duncan. Tell Jimmy that. I’m good for my debts.”

Duncan nodded. “Good to know, Dwight. But if we don’t get the money by the end of the month,” he cracked his knuckles. “Well, I’ll have to have a more…personal discussion.”

Dwight could feel his blood pressure rise. “Understood. I’ll get it to Jimmy as soon as I can.”

Duncan swung off of the barstool and with a heavy hand, smacked Dwight on the shoulder. “Remember what I said.” He moved off as Dwight nodded.

Dwight realized he was holding his breath after Duncan moved out of sight. He took a deep breath and swallowed his drink in one gulp. He signaled for another. The bartender brought the bottle over and poured. He eyed Duncan’s empty glass.

“He’s gone. Won’t need another.”

The bartender nodded and went back to the other end of the bar where he was chatting up two young women.

Dwight drummed his fingers on the bar. He needed to make some contacts this weekend. He needed a new job, one that paid more. That didn’t answer his immediate problem, though. Where was he going to get ten grand in two weeks?

That’s our introduction to Dwight. What do you think? Good guy? Bad guy? Glad Jean divorced him? Leave you comments in the comment box below.

Hoping everyone is able to access a covid shot, or two if needed. The delta variant of the virus is racing through my county. Hospitalizations have jumped three-fold and the majority of the people hitting the ERs are unvaccinated. We’ll only beat this disease if we all work together. Please schedule your vaccination as soon as you can. The shots are still free!

Giveaways:

The Summer event, called the Summer Breeze Books Giveaway, is now live! There are 24 prizes and $66 as the Grand Prize in Paypal dollars. Hop on over to the page with the following link and get in on the prizes. https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ to enter.

 

Where will I Be?

I have no plans at present for any other in person events. Any I was thinking about joining I’m now reconsidering due to the uptick in the Covid 19 Delta variant illnesses spreading across Arizona. See you in 2022!

 

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on the regular and the SciFi/Fantasy and the Cozy Mystery newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team to be the first to read my books and hear what new books are coming. Don’t forget to follow my blog, too. Different material goes in the blog as in the newsletter. You can share both, so spread the word!

 

Newest Releases:

Creature in the Night, a short Halloween, Winter Solstice, Christmas, Fantasy story has been published. It is up on Amazon, in Kindle Unlimited or for purchase at $.99. You can also see all my books on http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads or BookBub. Your review is critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Like all of the other work I do as an author, it takes time and money. If you enjoy this Monday blog and the Friday free story and the recipe, I put up on the 25th of every month, consider donating to https://www.paypal.me/ConniesRandomThought. I appreciate any donation to help support this blog.

Fire Update, Mystery at the Reunion, Giveaway Ending: Monday Blog Post

Waiting for the Mail?

Newest News:

Last week I talked about the Backbone Fire https://www.facebook.com/BackboneFireInfo, just 13 miles from me. Two small towns, Pine and Strawberry, were evacuated to the town where I live. Saturday, word came down that Pine evacuees could go back to Pine but the danger level is at SET. Strawberry is still on evacuation orders. The fire is still a threat to Camp Verde, and the multiple neighborhoods that dot the forest northwest of us. Last Friday, all of the National Forests and many of the State Forests were put on Level 3 fire restrictions, meaning they’re closed. No camping, hiking, smoking, fires, shooting. Closed. Please, please, please, if you live in the west or are just visiting, fire is our greatest enemy. Obey all fire restrictions, our property and our lives depend on it.

It’s the weekend as I write this blog. I’m pondering my story, Mystery at the Reunion. I love the story but it’s just too short. I’ve thought about other side stories (plot lines) that I could put in the book. One thought was to follow Karen back in Grayson but that really doesn’t fit in with the theme of the book which is Las Vegas. Could I involve one of Jean’s old buddies as a sidekick? Probably not as I’ve pretty much set up her ex-husband in that role. His second plot line is miniscule but really, not worth expanding. What I need is a new direction. Probably using the already introduced characters. One that is with Jean to distract her, lead her in the wrong direction or one that is really trying to help but is perhaps not helpful? Perhaps a totally new character? But who might that be? A Vegas resident? An attendee at the reunion that Jean just met there? It’s a struggle to be sure. I hope my editor has an idea or two.

Hoping everyone is able to access a covid shot, or two if needed. The delta variant of the virus is racing through my county. Hospitalizations have jumped three-fold and the majority of the people hitting the ERs are unvaccinated. We’ll only beat this disease if we all work together. Please schedule your vaccination as soon as you can. The shots are still free!

Giveaways:

Our Spring giveaway will end tomorrow or maybe sooner. Then, the summer giveaway will begin. So hop on over to the page with the following link and get in on the prizes. https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ to enter.

 

Where will I Be?

On July 17th, starting at 9am – 3:30pm I’ll be at the Payson Book Festival! Yes!! That’s correct! The Payson Book Festival is a GO! You’ll be able to visit us in person, meet authors, and have some fun picking out your next books to read. See more at http://www.PaysonBookFestival.org.

 

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on the regular and the SciFi/Fantasy and the Cozy Mystery newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team to be the first to read my books and hear what new books are coming. Don’t forget to follow my blog, too. Different material goes in the blog as in the newsletter. You can share both, so spread the word!

 

Newest Releases:

Creature in the Night, a short Halloween, Winter Solstice, Christmas, Fantasy story has been published. It is up on Amazon, in Kindle Unlimited or for purchase at $.99. You can also see all my books on http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads or BookBub. Your review is critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

Thank you for reading my blog. Like all of the other work I do as an author, it takes time and money. If you enjoy this Monday blog and the Friday free story and the recipe, I put up on the 25th of every month, consider donating to https://www.paypal.me/ConniesRandomThought. I appreciate any donation to help support this blog.

AZ Creates Podcast Appearance, My Garden, A New Story Idea: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

This is the week! My Youtube podcast interview with Laurie Fagen and AZ Creates, will be posted at 7pm on May 27th! I thought it was a great interview. Even better, once the link is up, you’ll be able to see it at anytime that’s convenient for you. I’ll have the link on my website. First on my blog, then in my media page for viewing at any time. I’ll post it on Facebook as well. Join me for my interview!

Garden Rose with Shower Sprinkles

This is the time of year everyone talks about their garden. Whether it’s a container on your balcony or a quarter acre in the back yard, we are all excited about the growing season. I need to spread my new garden dirt and go down to the garden shop and pick up some small plants. Some fencing too, if we want anything to survive the chipmunks and squirrels. My herbs are doing very well. I have ground lamb to turn into mini-meatballs for tonight’s pasta dinner and my oregano will be just the thing to mince up and include in the meat and sauce. Yum. I’m looking forward to that.

Lonely Old Woman From DepositPhotos.com/53251343 x1 2015

Anyone listen to their local FM Radio? I do. And Saturday I had it on while I did up the breakfast dishes. A song which I’m very familiar with came on the air. You may know it, Only 100 years. I had to look up the proper title and band, which is Five For Fighting and the song title, “100 Years”, from their album, The Battle For Everything. The song, always kind of melancholy and sad, brought me to tears over my dishwater. A sign of old age I suspect as when it first came out in 2004, I was not as emotional about those 100 years. I bring this all up because an actual story idea, probably a flash or short story, popped into mind with the song as the base of it. Over twenty-four hours later and the story is still bubbling in my back brain. It may turn into something or not. I’ll have to take some time to put words to screen. Is there a song that just brings you to tears? I’d love to hear why. Share in the comments if you like.

Hoping everyone is able to access a covid shot, or two if needed. We’ll only beat this disease if we all work together.

Giveaways:

Our Spring giveaway is now live. New with this giveaway is a video graphic to show the books and prizes. How cool is this! Big thanks to Lynn Lamb, one of our administrators, for this lovely graphic. Check out the link at https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ to enter.

Where will I Be?

Artists on AZ Creates! for May

An established novelist from Payson is one of the guests in May for the final season episodes of AZ Creates!, a YouTube web series television show highlighting artists and authors. Other interviewees include creatives from Chandler, Tucson and Scottsdale.

In Episode 16, which premieres May 27, the Creative Connection artists are actors Harold and Maedell Dixon of Tucson. Husband and wife, both have performed off Broadway, where Harold also directed. They’ve worked in theatre, television and films, and both are long-time Actors Equity members.

Also on that program is author Connie Cockrell of Payson, who has written 20 books, is in five anthologies and published online. Following a 20-year Air Force career, she writes in many genres, and will be discussing her cozy mystery series.

In the program’s regular arts events segments, called “Something to Look Forward To,” co-host and graphic designer Cathy Beard of Chandler will highlight in-person and virtual art happenings from around the state.

The featured nonprofit for Episode 16, the Arizona Professional Writers will be highlighted.

The programs all close with a “Creative Quote of the Day.”

Episode #16 on May 27. All episodes are available on the AZ Creates! YouTube channel on demand, along with other video content.

AZ Creates! is a half-hour video web series to highlight artists, writers, dancers, musicians, film, theatre and TV creatives, and other artistic people in Arizona. Fagen, an artist and crime fiction novel writer, designed the program to connect art patrons with artists, and to work on a positive project during the COVID-19 pandemic. Fagen is resuming her work on “Bleeder,” book three in her mystery series.

Sponsors for the show are Sibley’s West, an Arizona and Chandler Gift Shop and Times Media.

Subscribe to the AZ Creates channel on Youtube.com at www.youtube/c/AZCreatesShow, visit the Art Online AZ Facebook and Instagram pages or email AZCreates.ArtOnlineAZ@gmail.com for details.

On July 17th, I’ll be at the Payson Book Festival! Yes!! That’s correct! The Payson Book Festival is now a GO! Details are being resolved, but you’ll be able to visit us, in person, meet authors, and have some fun picking out your next books to read. See more at http://www.PaysonBookFestival.org.

 

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on the regular and the SciFi/Fantasy and the Cozy Mystery newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team to be the first to read my books and hear what new books are coming. Don’t forget to follow my blog, too. Different material goes in the blog as in the newsletter. You can share both, so spread the word!

 

Newest Releases:

Creature in the Night, a short Halloween, Winter Solstice, Christmas, Fantasy story has been published. It is up on Amazon, in Kindle Unlimited or for purchase at $.99. You can also see all my books on http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads or BookBub. Your review is critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

Thank you for reading my blog. Like all of the other work I do as an author, it takes time and money. If you enjoy this Monday blog and the Friday free story and the recipe, I put up on the 25th of every month, consider donating to https://www.paypal.me/ConniesRandomThought. I appreciate any donation to help support this blog.

St. Patrick’s Day Giveaway Winners Announced, Camp National Novel Writing Month, Petrified Forest: Monday Blog Post

Ruins at Petrified Forest

Newest News:

We have winners! See below under Giveaways to find out who won.

I did not achieve my goal number of words for Camp Nano but since I did finish Mystery at the Fair and wrote more of It’s All About Home, I’m counting it a win.

Petrified Wood 2021

I mentioned last week that we were heading out to the Petrified Forest on Thursday. The day was perfect. A sunny warm day with a light breeze to enjoy while we explored the several small hikes around the petrified wood. I’ve been to this park 3 or 4 times and I love it every time I go.

Please be careful out there. Weather can turn nasty, accidents can happen, illness can overtake us. Till we can meet in person, stay at home when you can and wear a mask when you go out.

Giveaways:

The St. Patrick’s Day giveaway over. The Grand Prize winner was Linda. My first place winner was Richard and the second prize winner was Eunice. I hope everyone had fun with the giveaway and will enjoy their prizes. Don’t forget to join our Spring giveaway, link just below.

Our Spring giveaway is now live. New with this giveaway is a video graphic to show the books and prizes. How cool is this! Big thanks to Lynn Lamb, one of our administrators, for this lovely graphic. Check out the link at https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ to enter.

 

Where will I Be?

It’s getting close!!!!! On May 13th at 2pm Arizona time, I’ll be on the podcast with Laurie Fagan on her show, AZ Creates. It’s a lovely podcast and as soon as I have the link for my interview, I’ll put it up. In the meantime, enjoy her show at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teajmtQ4-90&feature=youtu.be. Note, Karen Landau is a mystery author right here in my town! How great is that!

On July 17th, I’ll be at the Payson Book Festival! Yes!! That’s correct! The Payson Book Festival is now a GO! Details are being resolved, but you’ll be able to visit us, in person, meet authors, and have some fun picking out your next books to read. See more at http://www.PaysonBookFestival.org.

 

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on the regular and the SciFi/Fantasy and the Cozy Mystery newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team to be the first to read my books and hear what new books are coming. Don’t forget to follow my blog, too. Different material goes in the blog as in the newsletter. You can share both, so spread the word!

 

Newest Releases:

Creature in the Night, a short Halloween, Winter Solstice, Christmas, Fantasy story has been published. It is up on Amazon, in Kindle Unlimited or for purchase at $.99. You can also see all my books on http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads or BookBub. Your review is critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Like all of the other work I do as an author, it takes time and money. If you enjoy this Monday blog and the Friday free story and the recipe, I put up on the 25th of every month, consider donating to https://www.paypal.me/ConniesRandomThought. I appreciate any donation to help support this blog.

Unexpected Death, Camp National Novel Writing Month, Petrified Forest: Monday Blog Post

California Poppies Bloom Along the Streets

Newest News:

A women’s group I belong to had an unexpected shock last Sunday. A member of our group died unexpectedly, and she was only found as her family called the police to do a welfare check, as no one could reach her. She was found, deceased, in her home. The majority of the women in that group are over 60, a couple are over 80. The friend’s death has hit us all pretty hard. First of all the member who passed was a bundle of energy, joy, and willing to share everything she had with others. Hers is a great loss to not only our group but to the community as a whole as she was a very active volunteer. On the other side of that has been a hard look at our own mortality. While most of us have husbands and partners, a few of our group live alone. What to do if something happens? We’re mulling that over. Perhaps a quick check in spot to let everyone know we’re still up and moving. We don’t know and the shock of our friend’s passing makes it difficult to think about our own “what if” scenario. I ask you to look at your lifestyle. Are you proudly independent? Good. But what will happen if you fall in the shower, or, like another friend of mine, trip over your dog going down the stairs? Will someone come calling or looking for you that day? The next? Have a plan. “Help. I’ve fallen and I can’t get up,” isn’t funny any longer. It could and has happened in my own social circle more than once. Like a good scout or 4H’er, Be Prepared!

My story and my poetry suffered last week. I did nothing. Ambition had fled. However, I’m more encouraged for this week to come. Several thousand words on my story, and catching up on my poems a day are on my list of things to accomplish.

Petrified Wood from April 2019

Thursday the husband and I will travel to the Petrified Forest, here in Arizona. We’re caravanning with other local hikers. I’ve been to the forest a few times now, but several in the group have never been. It will be our first trip away from home since March 2020. I’m looking forward to it. Do you have travel plans for the summer? Let us know in the comments.

Please be careful out there. Weather can turn nasty, accidents can happen, illness can overtake us. Till we can meet in person, stay at home when you can and wear a mask when you go out.

Giveaways:

The St. Patrick’s Day giveaway over. As soon as the administrator pulls the winners, I’ll let you know who won.

Our Spring giveaway is now live. New with this giveaway is a video graphic to show the books and prizes. How cool is this! Big thanks to Lynn Lamb, one of our administrators, for this lovely graphic. Check out the link at https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ to enter.

 

Where will I Be?

On May 13th at 2pm Arizona time, I’ll be on the podcast with Laurie Fagan on her show, AZ Creates. It’s a lovely podcast and as soon as I have the link for my interview, I’ll put it up. In the meantime, enjoy her show at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teajmtQ4-90&feature=youtu.be. Note, Karen Landau is a mystery author right here in my town! How great is that!

On July 17th, I’ll be at the Payson Book Festival! Yes!! That’s correct! The Payson Book Festival is now a GO! Details are being resolved, but you’ll be able to visit us, in person, meet authors, and have some fun picking out your next books to read. See more at http://www.PaysonBookFestival.org.

 

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on the regular and the SciFi/Fantasy and the Cozy Mystery newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team to be the first to read my books and hear what new books are coming. Don’t forget to follow my blog, too. Different material goes in the blog as in the newsletter. You can share both, so spread the word!

 

Newest Releases:

Creature in the Night, a short Halloween, Winter Solstice, Christmas, Fantasy story has been published. It is up on Amazon, in Kindle Unlimited or for purchase at $.99. You can also see all my books on http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads or BookBub. Your review is critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

Thank you for reading my blog. Like all of the other work I do as an author, it takes time and money. If you enjoy this Monday blog and the Friday free story and the recipe, I put up on the 25th of every month, consider donating to https://www.paypal.me/ConniesRandomThought. I appreciate any donation to help support this blog.

APW President, Camp National Novel Writing Month, Earth Day: Monday Blog Post

In my new role as President, Awarding Marie Fasano with the APW Communicator of the Year Award

 

Newest News:

I attended the virtual annual Arizona Professional Writers meeting on Saturday and was elected President. I’ve been serving as membership chair for the last two years. It was my turn, I guess, as two of our officers, long time officers, decided to step back and let others take the lead. I’m happy to do it but the previous president was terrific and her shoes will be hard to fill.

Spine Poem

There was no progress on Camp Nano last week and even my daily poetry writing took a hit. That’s because of all the meetings from last week and because book festival business picked up now that we’ve decided to go ahead with an in-person event. This week is lighter, meeting wise, and I should be able to finish the story if I stick to it, by the end of the month. It will be nice to have some finished things to move into the editing phase and perhaps, actually get some things published.

Thursday is Earth Day. I plan on attending a local rally to remind folks that clean air, water, and soil are not nice to have, they’re essential. Are you doing anything for Earth Day? A trash walk? A rally? Share if you can.

Please be careful out there. Weather can turn nasty, accidents can happen, illness can overtake us. Till we can meet in person, stay at home when you can and wear a mask when you go out.

Giveaways:

The St. Patrick’s Day giveaway over. As soon as the administrator pulls the winners, I’ll let you know who won.

Our Spring giveaway is now live. New with this giveaway is a video graphic to show the books and prizes. How cool is this! Big thanks to Lynn Lamb, one of our administrators, for this lovely graphic. Check out the link at https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ to enter.

 

Where will I Be?

On May 13th at 2pm Arizona time, I’ll be on the podcast with Laurie Fagan on her show, AZ Creates. It’s a lovely podcast and as soon as I have the link for my interview, I’ll put it up. In the meantime, enjoy her show at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teajmtQ4-90&feature=youtu.be. Note, Karen Landau is a mystery author right here in my town! How great is that!

On July 17th, I’ll be at the Payson Book Festival! Yes!! That’s correct! The Payson Book Festival is now a GO! Details are being resolved, but you’ll be able to visit us, in person, meet authors, and have some fun picking out your next books to read. See more at http://www.PaysonBookFestival.org.

 

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on the regular and the SciFi/Fantasy and the Cozy Mystery newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team to be the first to read my books and hear what new books are coming. Don’t forget to follow my blog, too. Different material goes in the blog as in the newsletter. You can share both, so spread the word!

 

Newest Releases:

Creature in the Night, a short Halloween, Winter Solstice, Christmas, Fantasy story has been published. It is up on Amazon, in Kindle Unlimited or for purchase at $.99. You can also see all my books on http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads or BookBub. Your review is critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Like all of the other work I do as an author, it takes time and money. If you enjoy this Monday blog and the Friday free story and the recipe, I put up on the 25th of every month, consider donating to https://www.paypal.me/ConniesRandomThought. I appreciate any donation to help support this blog.

April’s National Poetry Month, Giveaway is Live: Monday Blog Post

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Newest News:

April. It isn’t bringing any showers for Central Arizona but it is bringing both National Poetry Month and Camp NaNo.

First, the poetry. I’ve been posting on my Facebook page, if you haven’t been there, some of the poetry I’m writing daily. Today’s poem was a form called the 5 W’s. Who, What, Where, When, and Why. Here it is:

The Toad

Eating bugs with a quick flick of his tongue

In my back yard

In the sunny afternoon

To keep nature in balance as he eats his lunch

Probably not Pulitzer Prize winning material but it is fun. You can follow my Facebook page for the daily posting.

That leads us to Camp NaNo. I have made it my mission to finish Mystery at the Reunion. Well, I did. The problem is that it’s not a full novel. It comes in as a Novella, not as long as I’d like it to be. My plan is to finish editing it (I do at least 3 run throughs before sending it to my editor) then send it to him. I’m going to ask for a developmental edit, to see if he can think of ways I can add to the story without making it full of exposition and wasted words. I hope so. Otherwise, I’m just going to release it as a novella and call it a day.

Also as part of Camp NaNo, I’m finishing the fifth book in my All About Bob series. Once I get that done and Mystery at the Reunion published, I’ll start putting out the All About Bob series. This is a planned, five book series, YA, Contemporary, and novelette/novella length stories. So it’s possible I can put out six books this year. About time is all I have to say. Probably you too!

Please be careful out there. Weather can turn nasty, accidents can happen, illness can overtake us. Till we can meet in person, stay at home when you can and wear a mask when you go out.

Giveaways:

The St. Patrick’s Day giveaway over. As soon as the administrator pulls the winners, I’ll let you know who won.

Our Spring giveaway is now live. It was a struggle as while my website was accessible to readers, the update function on my side was broken. It’s taken several chats with GoDaddy techs but it seems to be fixed for now. New with this giveaway is a video graphic to show the books and prizes. How cool is this! Big thanks to Lynn Lamb, one of our administrators, for this lovely graphic. Check out the link at https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ to enter.

 

Where will I Be?

On May 13th at 2pm Arizona time, I’ll be on the podcast with Laurie Fagan on her show, AZ Creates. It’s a lovely podcast and as soon as I have the link for my interview, I’ll put it up. In the meantime, enjoy her show at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teajmtQ4-90&feature=youtu.be. Note, Karen Landau is a mystery author right here in my town! How great is that!

On July 17th, I’ll be at the Payson Book Festival! Yes!! That’s correct! The Payson Book Festival is now a GO! Details are being resolved, but you’ll be able to visit us, in person, meet authors, and have some fun picking out your next books to read. See more at http://www.PaysonBookFestival.org.

 

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on the regular and the SciFi/Fantasy and the Cozy Mystery newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team to be the first to read my books and hear what new books are coming. Don’t forget to follow my blog, too. Different material goes in the blog as in the newsletter. You can share both, so spread the word!

 

Newest Releases:

Creature in the Night, a short Halloween, Winter Solstice, Christmas, Fantasy story has been published. It is up on Amazon, in Kindle Unlimited or for purchase at $.99. You can also see all my books on http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads or BookBub. Your review is critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Like all of the other work I do as an author, it takes time and money. If you enjoy this Monday blog and the Friday free story and the recipe, I put up on the 25th of every month, consider donating to https://www.paypal.me/ConniesRandomThought. I appreciate any donation to help support this blog.