Memorial Day! Monday Blog Post

MemorialDay2016

Newest News:

I have resolved my video issues with my multiple cameras and Windows 10. Not exactly sure how I resolved it but it seems to work and yay! I have a new vid on YouTube for my newsletter. I’m taking that as a win. Want to see it? Sign up for my newsletter! See the instructions below.

Giveaways:

The Spring Into Reading giveaway closes in June. I have links to it on my facebook, twitter, and website pages. This giveaway I offer a free ebook or for second prize, a $5 Amazon card. There are other prizes as well. Over a hundred prizes plus a grand prize. It’s not hard to enter and there are multiple ways to enter. You could easily win a prize. If you haven’t entered yet, please enter today and every day.

Shout Out:

Today is Memorial Day. Lots of posts on Facebook about how it’s all about the dead today. I had planned a meme card with a pic of me and my hubby in uniform and Happy Memorial Day in tasteful lettering in the upper left corner. But after all the posts I’ve decided not to post anything. My family has been fortunate not to have lost anyone in a war. Grateful, actually, since my father and his brother served during the Korean conflict. I served during Vietnam as did my husband. My two brothers just after that and my daughter served in the Air Force. Now my niece, in the Air Force, and my nephew, in the Army are serving. I suppose I could construct a meme card with a flag or a candle and honor the day but I’m ticked that the posts imply I shouldn’t honor my warrior family just because we didn’t die in combat. So. Here I am. Honoring my warrior family.

Garden News:

I haven’t taken pic but my peach tree branches are just bent to the ground with the baby fruit. I need to get out there and remove the crowd so the remaining peaches get huge! Yep. I should do that. Tomato plants I planted last week are thriving. Need to dig out my bean seeds and get those in the ground. Watering, watering. It’s spring and no rain forecast until July. How’s your garden growing?

Where Will I Be?:

Mystery Con Flyer

June 3rd and 4th I’m at the Scottsdale MysteryCon, Death and Deception in the Desert. Did I mention this is a reader conference? It’s all about the mystery reader so you really need to register. I’m giving a presentation at 3pm on Saturday on cozy mysteries. The conference is THIS WEEKEND! Tickets for both days (Friday evening author book signings and Saturday presentations) are only $39. I do hope you can make it. Here’s a flyer telling all about it. Register in advance on the site so we know how many are coming to lunch, then email me or comment here that you registered. I’ll put your name in for a drawing of a special prize for one person on both Friday night and Saturday at my presentation. The prize? A bracelet, hand made by me, with Kindred Spirits as the theme. I’m done with the book marks. I’ve made the bracelets. I’m the last presentation of the day on Saturday in my room, so if you want any of my books autographed, buy them at the book seller and bring them to the presentation. Can you make it? Email me.

Color Color Arched Book Logo w Event Date 2016

July 23rd is the Payson Book Festival, partly funded by the Arizona Humanities. I’ll be at my table all day, ready to talk to YOU! I hope you can make it as we will have over 70 authors attending as well as music, food, author presentations and workshops. It will be stupendous! www.paysonbookfestival.org and click on the Meet the Authors tab.

Want more details about these events? Click here for more information.

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up prizes on both the regular and the Brown Rain newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. My next newsletter is being drafted so sign up today. Be prepared for fun and contests!

Newest Book Release:

Draft front cover: Kindred Spirits

Draft front cover: Kindred Spirits

Kindred Spirits released on March 14th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, Gumroads  or Chatebooks today! You can also see all of my books on www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads. It’s a big help to me in the book rankings each vendor uses to promote the books on their sites. Thanks in advance.

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr

Spring has Sprung: Monday Blog Post

Unknown Desert Flower

Unknown Desert Flower

Last week has been a crazy week for me. So much work on writing and my volunteer efforts with the Northern Gila County Fair and the Payson book festival has just left me reeling. Author applications are flooding in for the book festival. On the fair side, a great deal of coordination is taking place for advertising, promotion, and multiple events coordination. Plus for both efforts, volunteers are needed in multiple capacities. Do you live in the Rim Country? I could use your help! Call me.

I’m starting a new contest. One focused on reviews. Reviews, you say. What’s up with that? Well, in the publishing world, reviews are everything. They are a measure of my audience involvement. My several ratings on Amazon and other book sellers is predicated on my ratings. How many, how good are they? It’s a thing. Other places actually count the number of ratings I have. If I don’t have “enough” reviews, they don’t want to take my ads or other promotional materials. So for an author, reviews are a big deal. So here’s the contest. If you have read or read one of my books, drop a review for it on your platform of choice. It doesn’t matter to me where you put the review. It also doesn’t matter to me what kind of review it is. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love a good review but that’s not what I’m asking for. I’d like an honest review from you on how you liked my book, whichever one you read. Back to the contest. You write a review. Put it where ever you’d like. Send me a link to your review. In a couple of weeks I’ll do a random number generator choice of the people who’ve done a review and you win! Prise? An ebook of mine of your choice. Contest ends April 10th. I’ll announce the winner here on this blog and on my newsletter on the 11th.

Just so you know—my next author interview is romance author Arlene Hittle on April 6th. She’s a wonderful author and her books are sweet. You’ll want to hear what she has to say.

On the gardening front, the tomato seedlings are still doing well. A front is moving in and Tuesday is forecast as turbulent. What do I mean? I mean I have no idea what will happen in my town. It could be rain. It could be snow. It could be nothing at all. Tuesday is hiking day for us. Our group, the Payson Packers, C Group, is planning to drive down to Roosevelt Lake for a hike there. Forecast for that area is dry. I shrug. I’ll have to see what the morning brings both for my garden and for the hike.

SpringIntoReadingGiveawayPromo

The Spring Into Reading giveaway has started. I have links to it on my facebook, twitter, and website pages. I offer a free ebook or for second prize, a $5 Amazon card. There are other prizes as well. Over a hundred prizes plus a grand prize. It’s not hard to enter and there are multiple times to enter. You could easily win a prize. Enter today and every day here.

Mystery in the Woods draft is FINISHED! I am ecstatic. I do have to let it “rest” for awhile before I pick it back up and do a heavy re-write and edit. I am hoping to release it in 2016. In the meantime, I’m outlining the next cozy mystery, Mystery at the Book Festival. It’s the 28th of March and I plan to start writing on April 1st. So I guess I’d better get my outline done.

Take a look at the places I’ll be, below. I’ve ordered owl charms, associated with Kindred Spirits that I’ll attach to new bookmarks. I’ll be giving these away to purchasers of books at the below events. The April 16th event at the Tempe Library is free but the June MysteryCon is a 2-day event with just a $35 entry fee for BOTH days. Sign up for that now. Mention my name on the registration. I may have a special gift for people who’ve registered in advance and visit me at the event. I need to know in advance, though, so register today. Look at my website, Where Will I Be tab for specifics.

Where will I be? Here’s the scoop.

April 11th at 3pm Arizona time I’ll be on the January Jones Sharing Success Stories web talk radio show. Have you heard me there? Don’t miss out.

TempeBookFestival2016

April 16th I’ll be at the Tempe Public Library book festival where I’m on a panel talking about Science Fiction and World Building. I’m looking forward to meeting you there. I have a nice giveaway for purchasers of any book.

Mystery Con Flyer

June 2nd and 3rd I’m at the Scottsdale MysteryCon, Death and Deception in the Desert. I’m giving a presentation there as well on writing a mystery.  Tickets for both days are only $35. New! I’m offering a prize or two to people who register in advance and mention my name in the registration. I do hope you can make it to that one. Here’s a flyer telling all about it.

July 23rd is the Payson Book Festival. I’ll be at my table all day, ready to talk to YOU! I hope you can make it as we will have over 70 authors attending as well as music, food, author presentations and workshops. It will be stupendous! www.paysonbookfestival.org and click on the Meet the Authors tab.

Want more details about these events? Click here for more information.

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. If you are a Brown Rain series fan, I’ve created a list just for you! If you join my regular newsletter, that’s all right too as I’ve put sign-up prizes on both. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. My next newsletter is being drafted so sign up today. The YouTube video I just made about Kindred Spirits will be in the newsletter. Just a note. I’m going to be sending out newsletters more frequently. Be prepared for fun and contests!

Kindred Spirits released on March 14th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, Gumroads  or Chatebooks today! You can also see all of my books on www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads. It’s a big help to me in the book rankings each vendor uses to promote the books on their sites. Thanks in advance.

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr

Wild Ride: Monday Blog Post

VetFest table for Connie Cockrell

VetFest table for Connie Cockrell

I have to say, this has been a wild ride of a month for me. So much is going on in all aspects of my life. First, it’s National Novel Writing Month. That means I am being committed have committed, to writing 50,000 words this month. This annual challenge gets thousands of authors all around the world pumped up and super excited to just write. I tend to write 2k words per day, a little over the 1667 words per day requirement to meet the 50k goal by the end of the month. This is important for me, especially this year, because…

From Tuesday the 17th through Thursday the 19th, I’ll be in Laughlin, Nevada to attend for my first time, the Arizona Fair Commission Conference. The reason I’m going? Because I serve on the Northern Gila County Fair board. For the first time in a very long time, the board has decided someone should attend. That turns out to be me! I’m supposed to attend workshops and presentations and attend the associated trade show where I can sign up acts, carnivals, and whatever else, for my fair next year. I’m a little nervous about all of the responsibility. Good thing the other board members are a phone call away.

This last weekend, Saturday, November 14th, I was in Avondale, AZ to sell and sign books at their VetFest. Avondale’s Western Avenue is being updated to be beautiful and visitor friendly. It’s a lovely spot. Besides a full-blown craft show, there were at least 17 authors there to talk to readers and sell a few books.

Some of the VetFest Authors

Some of the VetFest Authors

I sold two and lost at least two sales because my Square application couldn’t connect to the internet. That was very disappointing. I have a picture above of my table at the show. Also offered, veteran support: ID’s, services, and so much more were available for visiting vets. See http://www.historicavondale.org/vet-fest.html for more pictures of the entire festival.

I’m teaching a writers workshop on November 20th, in Camp Verde, AZ on critiquing which means I’m ditching the banquet at the Arizona Fair Commission conference so I can be back on time. If you live in the area, call the Camp Verde library to sign up. There’s still time! I have an entry for this event on my Where Will I Be tab on my website.

No Author Friend Boost this week. I’m working on National Novel Writing Month. I’m doing well, a little ahead of plan, as I know I’ll lose writing days while in Laughlin. I’m working on a Zoe Ohale novel so if you’ve liked the flash fiction story I posted about her not too long ago, I have a short story about Zoe in the upcoming Forward Motion Anthology, and now, this!

Promo for Winter Wonderland Giveaway

Promo for Winter Wonderland Giveaway

Santa’s Authors Christmas 2015 Giveaway also known as the Winter Wonderland of Books Christmas Giveaway started 1 November. I have a link to the giveaway on my website, https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/. There’s also a Youtube video at the bottom of the page to watch. You will love this. Fifty authors have put up all kinds of prizes from books to jewelry to Amazon gift cards. Go ahead and log in. You’ll find links to all of the author’s social media. Click on a link, enter to win. The more links you click, the better your chance of winning. The grand prize is $200 of Paypal cash, good anywhere on the planet. Good luck! Thanks for participating.

I’ve also started my Christmas candy making. One of the things I make is miniature peppermint patties. I’ve been having a horrible time making the fondant that is the center of the candy. You can read all about it on the 25th in my post on Chicklets In the Kitchen, blog. Have you started your holiday prep?

I’m also busy getting my books up on another new site, Chatebooks.com. You can find my books by searching on my name or here’s a direct link. https://www.chatebooks.com/index.php?route=product/search&search=Connie%20Cockrell  I’m very excited to be able to provide multiple platforms for readers to find my work. Chatebooks, as the name implies, is only for ebooks. To get a paperback copy of my books, go to Gumroad.com/ConnieCockrell or to Amazon.com. Both of these platforms can sell both ebooks and paperbacks.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today. How about you, is November starting to feel like a marathon? Post your comments below.

I published my October newsletter. Did you miss it? Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I make special offers to my newsletter people that I do not make on the website blog posts. If you like the content, please encourage your friends to sign up, the newsletter is sharable, send it to whomever you think will like it. Don’t delay signing up. You’ve already missed out on two great offers. The November newsletter is coming out soon. Sign up now so you don’t miss out.

Mystery at the Fair released July 15th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords , Gumroads  or Chatebooks today! You can also see all of my books on www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com, Books tab. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads. It’s a big help to me in the book rankings each vendor uses to promote the books on their sites. Thanks in advance.

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr

Monday Blog Post: Things are Moving Fast

Peach, Tomato, Seedlings, Connie Cockrell

Peach (very top) and tomato seedlings by Connie Cockrell

We’re trimming up around the yard. Last week hubby trimmed some diseased branches from a tree in the back yard and took out a tree that was growing too close to another and leaning over the house. The fact that it was a juniper with a pollen pod on the end of each needle and spewing pollen all over the place was an added bonus. I have managed to get 4 of the 12 rosebushes trimmed and did another run of pulling mint out of my deepest square foot garden bed. Onion and parsley I planted last November are coming up. A bonus, a peach pit that had been composted, sprouted in another of my garden beds. I thought it was a weed at first until I realized the pit was still attached. It has transplanted nicely into a small container where I will try and keep it alive. A friend gave me a small container of mystery tomato seedlings, just getting their first set of new leaves. She had no idea which seedlings were which and at this stage they’re pretty hard to differentiate. However, I selected six seedlings at random spots in the container, hoping I get six different tomato plants. I’ve passed the seedlings on to another friend. There’s no sense in us buying seedlings when we have free ones available.

My book signing on March 21st at the Scoops Ice Cream store here in Payson was slightly disappointing. However, I did sell 3 books and garnered 3 sign-ups for my newsletter. My mom came with me and we had a chance for a nice chat.

The month has progressed quickly. I can’t believe it’s already the 23rd. I’ve prepped my scene cards for April’s Camp NaNo. I’m starting it with the 3rd book in my Brown Rain series. Then I’ll move on to cleaning up random stories I have started but not finished.

The Payson Book Festival planning is moving right along. You can see the information on www.PaysonBookFestival.org if you’d like. Kick-off pricing on author tables is now over. There’s still time to sign up for a table, though. You can share a table, too, to make your costs less. Fill out the Author Registration and get that in to us so we can reserve you a table. Author registration closes at the end of April so we can put the program together. You’re not an author? Then mark your calendar to come to Payson for July 25th to meet us. We’d love to chat with you.

I submitted my short story, After Math, for line editing. I’m looking forward to getting it out to emagazines.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

Lost Rainbows released January 25th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today!

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr

Monday Blog Post: March is Here!

InD'Scribe Conference

InD’Scribe Conference

Big news, I’ve signed up to attend my first ever writer’s conference. It’s called InD’tale Con and is being held in Palm Springs, CA on September 17 – 20, 2015. I’m pretty excited. I’m catching a ride with another author from Payson and I expect we’re going to have a lot of fun. If you’re around Palm Springs at that time, stop by my signing table and say hi!

I’ve also arranged a book signing for March 21st at the Scoops Ice Cream store here in Payson. I put info out on the radio, the newspaper and put up posters all around Rim Country. If you’re in town on the 21st between 1 and 3pm, stop by to grab an ice cream and chat. You can find both of these events and the July Book Festival on the Where Will I Be? tab on this website.

I’ve managed to create a couple more chapters in my All About Bob story. Poor Bob. I’m being pretty mean to him. I’ve also begun the planning and outlining for my next Brown Rain book, not sure what I’m calling it yet. Rest Stop, has come to mind. Anyway, in this book Alyssa will be the main character though Kyra will have a lot to do as well. I’m planning to write it during April’s Camp NaNo. I still need to edit Mystery at the Fair. I’d like to release that in May, and have it ready for the summer reading season and for the July Book Festival and the September conference.

The Payson Book Festival planning is moving right along. You can see the information on www.PaysonBookFestival.org if you’d like. Kick-off pricing on author tables, half price now ends March 15th. Hurry, sign up for a table, you can share a table, too, to make your costs even less. Fill out the Author Registration and get that in to us so we can reserve you a table. They’re going fast at this great price.

I’ve sent my short story, After Math, to my content editor. I hope I’ve rewritten it enough to change the feel of it and make my main character the girl I had in my head. I’d like to get it circulating, maybe even sold.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

Lost Rainbows released January 25th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today!

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr

Monday Blog Post: Rainy Weekend in Central AZ

Rainy day, Birdbath, Central Arizona, Connie Cockrell

Rainy day at the Birdbath in Central Arizona by Connie Cockrell

We’ve had four days of rain here in Payson, Arizona. This is very unusual weather. I’ve used it to my advantage though. I made a lasagna Saturday instead of my usual spaghetti and remembered to take pictures of the process for my post on the 25th of this month on Chicklets in the Kitchen blog. I also finished up a 3 day mini-workshop held by Holly Lisle. My flash fiction Friday post is the result. Be sure and check it out on Friday.

Lost Rainbows is moving along as a serial. I’m posting the 3rd installment on 4th here on my blog and the 2nd installment on the 4th on Wattpad.  (www.Wattpad.com).  I’m ConnieCockrell on that site. A new chapter will be released each Wednesday for 16 weeks. Enjoy.  I’ve also managed to create a couple more chapters in my All About Bob story. Poor Bob. I’m being pretty mean to him.

The Payson Book Festival planning is moving right along. You can see the information on www.PaysonBookFestival.org if you’d like. We still have a Kick-off pricing on author tables, half price now through mid-March. Hurry, sign up for a table, you can share a table, too, to make your costs even less. Fill out the Author Registration and get that in to us so we can reserve you a table. They’re going fast at this great price.

I’m still working on the Northern Gila County Fair. (www.NorthernGilaCountyFair.com) We have to do a lot to catch up but we’ll be starting the sponsorship drive soon, decisions are being made about events to be held, the new volunteers are getting into the swing of their responsibilities and we’re getting ourselves organized. The volunteers are very enthusiastic so I think we’ll have a great fair year.

The Book Festival and the Fair are still taking a lot of my time I still need to edit my November story, Mystery at the Fair. I’m working hard on my short story, After Math, so I can re-start submitting it to magazines. I’m keeping pretty busy, hope you are, too.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

Lost Rainbows released January 25th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today!

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr

Monday Blog Post: Am I Catching Up?

February, Gardening, Parsley, Connie Cockrell

February Parsley by Connie Cockrell

 

I had a great time speaking on the 18th, last Wednesday at the Arizona Professional Writers monthly meeting.  I talked about my adventures as an Indie author, provided a hand-out with a ton of great links and sold a few books. Many thanks to everyone who came.

Also on the 18th was the first installment of Lost Rainbows as a serial. It’ll be posted on my blog and on Wattpad (www.Wattpad.com).  I’m ConnieCockrell on that site. It goes live on Wattpad  Wednesday, the 25th.  A new chapter will be released each Wednesday for 16 weeks. Enjoy. I’m also posting my monthly contribution to Chicklets in the Kitchen on the 25th so it’s another banner Wednesday for me. I’ll be showing you how to make gluten and dairy free oatmeal-raisin cookies. Yum! Please feel free to share those posts with friends and family.

The Payson Book Festival planning is moving right along. We’ve begun the Sponsorship drive and you can find a form on www.PaysonBookFestival.org to contribute if you’d like. We have a Kick-off pricing on author tables, too. Half price now through mid-March. Hurry, sign up for a table, you can share a table, too, to make your costs even less. Fill out the Author Registration and get that in to us so we can reserve you a table. They’re going fast at this great price.

The warm weather here has caused the green onions to come up and self-seeded parsley to start sprouting.

February, Gardening, Spring Onions, Connie Cockrell

February Spring Onions by Connie Cockrell

The fruit trees are starting to bud out too. Several flowering trees in the neighborhood are already blooming. It’s too soon, of course. If my fruit trees bloom now, they’ll get frost blasted for sure and I won’t get anything. I keep telling my trees to go back to sleep. I don’t think it’s working. We haven’t had rain in a long time, I may have to water. Ack!

I also volunteer for the Northern Gila County Fair. (www.NorthernGilaCountyFair.com) We’ve come very close to cancelling the fair because we didn’t have enough volunteers. Fortunately, we did a big newspaper and radio push and several people stepped up to help us out. Yay! The 61st Northern Gila County Fair is a go!

The Book Festival and the Fair have been taking a lot of my time this month and I haven’t done much writing because of it. But this week has no appointments so I think I can get back to my writing. My All About Bob story has been languishing long enough. I also need to edit my November story, Mystery at the Fair and finish editing my short story, After Math, so I can re-start submitting it to magazines. Lots of writing still to do, so I’d better get cracking.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

Lost Rainbows released January 25th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today!

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr

Monday Blog Post: Big News February 18th

Connie Cockrell, speaking, Soroptimist meeting.

Connie Cockrell speaking at the December Soroptimist meeting.

I’m speaking on Wednesday at the Arizona Professional Writers monthly meeting. It’s held at the Payson Public Library Community room at noon. I’ll be talking about my adventures as an Indie author and will bring some books for signing. I hope to see you there.

Lost Rainbows is up on both Smashwords and CreateSpace so you should be able to find the book on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple and other sites, see the final paragraph, below. But I’m also experimenting with making the book a serial. I’ve set up the 18th as the first installment of the book. It’ll be posted on my blog and on Wattpad (www.Wattpad.com). Wattpad is a Reader/Author connection website, not social media but a place for readers to find great new authors. Since Lost Rainbows is a novelette for younger readers and Wattpad has the same demographic, I thought this site would be the best place to serialize the book. A new chapter will be released each Wednesday for 16 weeks. Enjoy.

The Payson Book Festival planning is moving right along. We’ve begun the Sponsorship drive and you can find a form on www.PaysonBookFestival.org to contribute if you’d like. We have a Kick-off pricing on author tables, too. Half price now through mid-March. Hurry, sign up for a table, you can share a table, too, to make your costs even less. Fill out the Author Registration and get that in to us so we can reserve you a table. They’re going fast at this great price.

I released February’s newsletter yesterday and it was chock full of great information. I put a coupon in there, too, for newsletter recipients only. Don’t miss out on these great values, sign up for the newsletter on my blog, www.conniesrandomthoughts.wordpress.com. You’ll get the scoop on what I’m writing much earlier than I post it here.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

Lost Rainbows released January 25th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today!

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr

Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour: Work/Life Balance

Balance by roguerider via www.deviantart.com

Balance by roguerider via www.deviantart.com

Writing can be all consuming. I get a story in my head and I want to start writing and keep on writing. But, I can’t write all the time. If I did, where would my ideas come from? So it’s important to get up away from the computer and interact with other human beings.

During the day, my hubby and I tend to do our own thing, though we generally go shopping together. He’ll do household maintenance, go hiking with friends, or play around in the garage. I’ll work on my garden or work on my volunteer stuff or do crafty things. I generally write in the afternoon. In the evening, we watch favorite TV shows.

Other interactions, we go hiking on Tuesday with the local hiking club. Exercise is important for people who sit in front of the computer for hours a day. Monthly I have Bunko, serve on the home owner’s association board, volunteer for the fair, volunteer for project management, and daily we walk the dog, meet with friends, and have fun in general. All of these things help me stay grounded and provide fodder for story ideas.

Fortunately I’m retired so I don’t have to try and write around a demanding work schedule. I’m not sure if I could have done any writing with the job I’d held so I’m glad I don’t have to try. Also, my daughter is a grown woman, so I don’t have to try and write while a baby is demanding attention. Though, I remember doing college homework with her as a toddler. Much fun.

My husband and I also like to travel, especially car camping. Travel to new locations, camping in a tent, meeting new people is a joy and recharges those writing batteries. I’ve had many an idea for a story from new locations I’ve explored. The only problem is that writing while travelling can be difficult. I’m more interested in seeing new things or staring into a camp fire than writing.

So that’s my work/life balance. A little of this, a little of that and a dash of writing.

 

The Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour is sponsored by the website Forward Motion (http://www.fmwriters.com). The tour is you, the reader, travelling the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. There are all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s always something new and different to enjoy. If you want to get to know the nearly twenty other writers check out the rest of the tour at http://merrygoroundtour.blogspot.com!  Up next: Jean Schara!

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr

After the Fair

I’m exhausted.

The fair ended on Sunday with a whimper. Well, a thunderstorm and then a whimper.

After spending at least 12 hours a day since September 3rd working on it and on my feet for pretty much the entire time, a thunderstorm at Sunday noontime washed it out.

All of the vendors fled at the storm. No food or other vendors were left at all. My daughter volunteered her time to sell fair T-Shirts. When the storm hit she was under a canopy in the vendor area while I was in the exhibits tent. While I was scrambling with the rest of the volunteers to rescue exhibits from the flood of water cascading into the tent on all sides, I worried about my daughter in an open sided canopy with the rain drumming down.

I texted her. “Are you OK?”

She replied. “Yeah. The funnel cake people are leaving.”

What could I say? “OK.”

As soon as the rain let up a little, I grabbed a cart and ran to her spot. She was huddled in the middle of the canopy’s area, box of T-Shirts on the table beside her. As far out of the rain and rain splash as she could get, she was playing a game on her phone, feet propped up on the second chair out of the stream of water flowing through her area. I grabbed the box and put it on the cart, draping a borrowed rain jacket over the T-shirts. She headed for her car and I pushed the T-shirt box back to the exhibits tent. What a great daughter.

Also, major kudos to the volunteers. No one gave up. We stayed the rest of the afternoon. Wonders! We still had fair goers! They came, a couple at a time all afternoon between showers. How marvelous. Undeterred by a little precipitation, they came out to see the Zane Grey Award winning miniature garden, the prize winning photographs and my favorite, a junior entry collection of miniature cat figurines. The young girl who brought it in had put the collection in a bird cage with miniature birds perched on the outside of the cage. I couldn’t resist the humor of the entry.

This is what a county fair is all about. It showcase’s the tremendous amount of talent in the area. The fair is also, well, a repository, or an homage to the skills needed to support ourselves through life. Skills in feeding ourselves by crop raising, gardening, cooking, canning, and baking. Skills in clothing ourselves or in making necessities with such skills as sewing, quilting, wood working, or using cast offs to make new items are demonstrated. Then there’s the art. Really! So many artistic people submit entries!

You might have intuited by now that I love the fair. I cannot tell you how many people came through the exhibits and exclaimed, “I never thought of doing that!” This is exactly what the fair is meant to do. It spreads ideas on new ways of doing things. Attendees search out new varieties of plants. (New this year in the gardening section was Bitter Melon. It created quite a stir.) There are of course the bragging rights. My jam is the best. My cake was the lightest. My photograph was the best. I’m growing the newest variety of tomato.

Monetarily the exhibitor doesn’t make any money. Even if the jam maker gets a blue ribbon, she’s spent more money on the jam than she gets back in prize money.  But that’s not the point. The point is to share. That’s why many times an entry requires an explanation or a recipe. Prize winners will stand by their entry and tell others how they grew the plant, techniques they used to take the photo, equipment and skills they used to make the rocking horse. And we haven’t even touched on the livestock area of the fair!

The fair is about expanding the knowledge base of the local community. It’s about widening the expertise of the population. The Northern Gila County Fair is scheduled for the first weekend of September every year. When is your county fair? What skill can you share with your community? Visit your fair. You’ll be amazed at what you will find and every year is different.

Just a reminder, my latest book, Recall, is on Amazon.com at http://www.amazon.com/Recall-Connie-Cockrell/dp/1484886224/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1375657368&sr=1-2

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr