Going on a road trip sounds like such a fun idea, at least we thought it did. We planned, got things together weeks in advance. Actually, more like months. (For my husband, he’s dreamed of doing this for years.) Who knew the one thing we would absolutely need, the plates for the RV, wouldn’t be ready before we left. Call it a hold up in paperwork from the dealer.The temporary plates expire halfway into our planned trip. A complication we weren’t expecting. Our plans shifted at the last minute, destinations had to change, and new lists were made, some before we left, and others along the way. Still, with all the lists life is what happens in the middle of the best-laid plans.
Can I insert here, Major Learning Curve!!! No amount of planning keeps you from forgetting something. I know right where I left it at home too. Nor does it help with the actual set up the RV, and remembering all the little tricks and steps. Although, I’m sure in time it will become old hat to us. If we can ever stay out long enough to acquire the skills needed and a Ph.D. in road travel. In the short time we’ve been on the road we have gained a thorough knowledge of rest stops along the way, though.(Our inside joke,)
On our first day, we left too late to get a campground they were all full. We slept in the Cracker Barrel parking lot with a few other folks in RVs. Who knew it would be one of the coldest days in Colorado this year. Let’s call it a frosty morning upon waking up and leave it at that.
On Day two, we got to our first destination the beautiful city of Santa Fe, NM. where the old and new meet in a very eye pleasing way. I love the adobe homes there. After a few snafus, we had our new home safely tucked in a great spot for the next three days. One of our changes in plans. The park was so peaceful and we were so rattled it seemed like the perfect place to light for several days. We actually thought about turning around and going home. I know it’s crazy and at this point, we were almost there ourselves. I also tried to exercise in the motorhome on my mini tramp, which was equally interesting, I now exercise outside.
On the day we left the beautiful park, Rob and I got faulty directions and crossed wires, that sent me on a nerve-wracking trip about sixty miles round trip out of my way, which made yesterday’s uneventful day of travel truly a beautiful experience for us. We aren’t going anywhere today. It’s nice to do nothing every once in a while. Tomorrow we’ll see where the road takes us or as my kids use to ask us constantly are we there yet?
This will be home for me for the next several weeks as we take a bit of time to travel. I’m in search of the town that I dreamed up in my head. Now, I understand that Blue Cove is a figment of my imagination, but I hope to find a few places that will inspire me to keep writing, and thinking about my characters. They need to see new things right along side of me.
We wanted to travel to Northern California up to Oregon, but there are a few too many fires in that area right now. We thought about the East Coast, but there is a hurricane on the way to the Carolinas. I wonder what that says about our trip at this point. My husband has drawn up several plans only to have to remake them. I think in the end it will be a surprise for both of us. I haven’t been out of Colorado in quite a while so I’d be happy to go and see almost anything except for fires, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, and most natural disasters in general.
I hope you’ll settle in with me, as I blog in words and pictures over the next several weeks what it’s like to live in a house on wheels. I am excited to have the freedom to travel, and see a few sights from this great country. I’m sure there will be a learning curve, but I hope to meet some new folks along the way. Let’s put it this way, if I don’t my husband will shut off his hearing aids, and our trip might be cut short. I’m social, a bit of a chatty Kathy, and him, well, not so much.
I have a new book that will be released October 17. The Final Flashpoint is book six in the Blue Cove Mystery Series. I never intended to write a series when I wrote The Harvest Club, but I enjoyed my characters, and they seemed to hang around waiting for me to write another story. Their story. They’ve become a part of me, occupying a bit of the real estate in mind, and I am still here six books later.
Those who read my books like the characters too. As a matter of fact, I’ve had people come up to me at various events and tell me not kill off the heroine or hero, Jessie and Matt or they will be mad. I have no intention of killing them. I would rather let them ride off into the sunset. I am that attached to them.
I hope you’ll pick up a copy of The Final Flashpoint it should be on Amazon for pre-orders soon. I’m excited about this book and loved it from the first scene to the last. I may say this a lot, but this one is my favorites. At least right now it is.
Revenge-The Final Flashpoint
Jessie rolled onto her side and drifted off to sleep. A swirling mist drew her to the edge of the woods. She couldn’t see anything through the dense fog, only a narrow pathway twisting around the trees. Enticing, the foggy haze seduced her to move one step closer. Jessie paused. She didn’t want to go in alone. Panicking, she started to turn back before it was too late.
“Jess,” Matt’s faint voice called out to her. He sounded wheezy and breathless, and she could hear the pain in his voice. Where was he? She glanced around, hoping to see his familiar face.
“Jess…” The call came again. She shivered. Matt was in the darkness, and death had come to play. The faces of those tortured young men danced in the mist before her. Her feet refused to move. She was paralyzed with fear. The silence around her was deafening. “
Jess,” he screamed out her name once more, trusting her to aid him. Tears filled her eyes, spilling down her cheeks. This time there was no way she could help…
I have been pushed through a rough patch in life lately. It seems when things happen they come in a clumps; never in ones or twos, but in several, leaving me feeling numb and slightly overwhelmed. I am not complaining because I know I am not the only one in the world to face a time of sorrow and loss. It has however given me a fresh perspective as I face things happening around me. I try hard to stay out of politics. To be sure, I know what I think, but how I do. may not be how you do, and I don’t want to risk friendships over politics by any means. So this note comes with a warning if you feel differently about what I am about to write I am only stating something from the sadness I feel inside of me and it’s not meant to tell you what to think, but what I’m thinking.
I almost cried when I heard that our country is thinking of separating children from their parents at the border as a deterrent. Life separates us too soon as it is. I yearn for more time with those who I have recently lost. One last look at their face, a few more kind words spoken in loving ways. And listening to them, really listening to what they are saying. The trauma of separation is a lot to handle as a reasoning adult, but is so much harder for a child. Ask my husband who lost his father at an early age.
I can still remember the photos of children that I saw walking through the Holocaust Memorial who had been separated from their parents one or both, facing certain death. I cried photo after photo. Children should be protected, but never taken from parents who care for them and love them. A foster home is for a child in need of loving attention not for children who have parents who would risk all in their love for them.
Life is tough enough without adding more to the load humanity is carrying. I guess I believe in my heart like he said that if I show mercy, mercy will be shown to me. I remember when I held my first child in my arms and the overwhelming love and sense of fear I felt at the same time. I would have done anything for him and my others as they came along. Much like my Irish and Scottish ancestors I would have left my own country to give them a better life if necessary. (No, they didn’t all come here legally.)
I read this from a letter / Life Lesson by David Weismann: “I don’t try to distinguish the authentic needy person from the phony. I don’t worry about enabling alcoholics and drug addicts or about being scammed or hoodwinked. Of everyone with a hard luck story or an outstretched arm, I assume the best, not the worst.
Are there times when the people I give money to are phonies? I’m sure there are. But who am I to second-guess the truth of another human being’s circumstances? What if I’m wrong in my assessment and the person really is hungry or really has no place to live or really can’t find a job and is unable to pay the rent or doesn’t have the money to pay the fare to visit a sick parent?
I consider myself very fortunate. I live quite well. I’ve been blessed. I’ve really never known what it is to not have enough food to eat or not to have a roof over my head or not to enjoy many physical comforts of life. God has been good to me. But I also recognize that there but for the grace of God go I. And I don’t know how I would manage if I went to bed hungry every night or had no place to live,”
Thankfully, I have never known true hunger or want nor have my children. I want to keep my arms open wide to bless others in the manner I have been blessed. I will err on the side of compassion and want to believe that others would do the same for me.
Life is filled with beginnings and endings; ebbs and flows, and ups and downs. It sounds so philosophical and wise. Unless, of course, I’m the one in an ending and don’t see a beginning close at hand, or I’m in a down that sees no up in sight. I’ve told myself many times this to shall pass and it usually does. But, sometimes it means saying goodbye to what I’ve known, and heading down a path that is new and foreign to me. Goodbyes are never easy. I find them hard to do even in the best of circumstances.
Over the years I’ve had to face my comfortable beliefs being challenged by new ideas, and change. Thankfully, I didn’t freeze in time. I’ve seen my faith reduced to its simplest form, to Love, which is one of the hardest things to do, and yet the greatest. I have had to say goodbye to friends, to a way of life that was familiar, and to start over again.
And so it begins again, another goodbye. A little over a week ago my big brother passed away. Anyone who has ever lost someone they love, knows how hard it is to say goodbye to them. A big brother is someone special to have on your side. Eight years older than this pesky sister I followed him around whenever he was home. On more than one occasion I would sneak downstairs to watch him and his friends dance. He loved to dance and was often found among the dancers on Denver Bandstand back in the day. I was his greatest fan. He was my handsome big brother and I loved to be around him. He played the guitar, sang, and was in a band when he was young.
My brother was an Eagle Scout, had a photographic memory, and was a coach. He was a husband, father, and grandfather. He was witty and fun to be around. Somehow I must find the way to say goodbye and I’m not ready to. I want to have one more conversation, and see him one more time. I want to hear another one of his witty comebacks. I have a hope of seeing him again, but it’s the here and now that hurts like crazy. I have to figure out how to do life without a big brother and I’m not sure I like the idea. Rest in peace big brother you will be missed.
Writing is more than simply putting words on a page. It has been an adventure in finding my voice and putting it down on paper. It’s about letting my characters become a part of me while still remaining myself.
I have been on a writing marathon the last few weeks. The story is building to the point I have to finish it to see how it all turns out. Putting words on paper and watching the story come to life is therapy for me. I get lost in what I am writing and yet at the same time I find myself coming through the words on every page. It’s a strange world of wonder and pure magic to me.
When I write in my own strange way I am trying to make sense of a world that often makes no sense at all. It’s not tidy, wrapped up in a bow, but often unpredictable and crazy. Life, like my books, has lots of plot twists and turns. I can’t say I understand them, I don’t, many leave me shaking my head. But writing allows me to quiet my mind so that I’m free to hear the whispers of my heart.
Getting the beginning just right takes work, winding my way through the middle of the book often times seems messy, but the end results can leave me feeling satisfied and almost euphoric. The perfect title is the icing on the cake. After i write the words The End, I walk away for a day or two until the urge to create begins in me once again. I’ll go down another road, around the curve, and weave my way through another adventure.
“The statistics of illiteracy in our country haven’t changed much in the past ten years. According to a study by the U.S. Department of Education, 32 million adults or approximately 14 % of the population can’t read. Another 30 million adults read at or below a fifth grade level. While approximately 63 million read at levels between sixth to eighth grade. On a global scale, illiteracy affects 774 million adults aged 15 or older. Among developed nations, the U.S. ranks 16th for adult reading skills. Between 40 and 44 million adults, or roughly 20 to 23% of adults in the U.S., are limited to reading at the basic or below basic proficiency levels. ” Credit Donkey
I am grateful for a mother who read to me and encouraged me to read. I can still remember the many times I went to the bookmobile parked in the school parking lot and checked out books. I would carry several books home every two weeks, which gave me hours of entertainment. I still read at least one to two books a week. That is why I am happy to be one of the many authors who will be a part of the Colorado Book Festival at the Denver Public Library on March 3. We will be there to celebrate reading, writing, and literacy in America one book at a time.
I’ve only been writing for about six years professionally, although I’ve dabbled in it most of my life. I enjoy writing fiction, the most. I love how the right words placed in the right order can bring a scene to life on a page. I enjoy watching my characters develop, they are like familiar friends to me. I find the twists and turns in the plot intriguing. Once I let the characters loose I can’t wait to see where they take me. I’m hooked from the first words on the page and I have to keep writing to see how the story ends. Layer by layer I build it until I come to the happy conclusion.
Recently I got to hear the audible of “Dance with a Devil”. What an experience for me. Hearing it read in character was both unique and awesome. Some of the scenes were scary. Strange, I never thought of them that way when I was writing the story. I must detach myself as I write. The audible will be available sometime this year. Book six is with my editor now and seven is in process.
2017 was a good year. I had two books published, Dance With A Devil and Only A Shadow. I attended the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Conference and had several book signings. I also enjoyed attending a book club who has read all of my books. I love to hear folks talking about the story as they see it.
2018 is off and I’m running. I have a big event in March which I’m excited to be a part of. It is the Colorado Book Festival. I am one of many authors involved. Writing and reading go hand in hand. I feel strongly about literacy programs. Teaching people to read is the first step in opening a whole new world to them. Statistics tell us we must work harder. Books are inexpensive, great entertainment, and a vast treasure of knowledge. “The Second Annual Colorado Book Festival showcases the writing and books by Colorado authors, with programs about reading, literacy and, not least, the nitty-gritty process of writing something good. It’s your chance to talk with authors, attend reading and writing workshops, enjoy panels with experts in the field, tour the iconic architecture of Denver’s main library including its massive art collection, and purchase books autographed by the authors.
The day-long program is free to the public.”
Finally, can I say in my daydreams, spring is coming to Blue Cove. there’s a case to be solved, and love is in the air. I wonder who will be the next to catch the bug. It’s a mystery…
I confess I love the holidays. It’s not because of the presents, although they are nice. I find the season is filled with joyous reflections of my past and present. Roots from my past that have made me who I am. Every time I pull out my holiday decorations it is like taking a trip down memory lane, reminding me of the special people and moments I have known in life; moments that years and age have caused me to cherish.
From the little bird nestled in the tree branches, which belonged to my grandmother, to the ornaments which hung on my mother’s tree, a few now hanging on mine, I’m reminded of my past. My grandmother was a fiery Irish woman named Norma Patterson. She ran a boarding house with many interesting guests. One of which was a war hero from WWII. A visit to her house, where my grandpa was the amazing cook, was always an adventure. He made the best Peanut Butter Cake with Peanut Butter frosting ever. Their big three story house sat on a corner lot in Denver. Its large wood curving staircase that we slide down on more than one occasion, was the perfect place to explore and of course tell ghost stories. There was an awesome player piano in the entrance, and a formal parlor across the hall where a large Christmas tree waited each Christmas Eve with lots of presents under it. With there open house policy we never knew who the new people would be that joined in our celebration.
My mother Ethel Campbell was Scottish. Her father and his twin brother were born in Scotland and came to America as small boys. Her father died in an accident at a young age. My grandma Ada had to work hard to keep her children together. They were poor, but they were happy. My mother was the sweetest person I have ever known and all of my favorite childhood memories center around her. She was the mother who stayed up all night to make a special outfit to wear for that all important occasion or cookies for the class party. My father, a bit of a stinker, if I do say so myself, was not easy to live with. Yet he was generous to those who were in need. Something he learned from his parents. They were married over fifty years. Dad told me she managed somehow to raise good kids and to make him look good. Christmas and everything else special we enjoyed as kids was because of her. I always knew she loved me and I could go to her for anything.
Memories of raising my kids and seeing their kids are all reflected in my holiday decorations too. My kids were the best thing I’ve ever did in my life and my grandkids, are well, if you have them you know just how I feel. Everywhere I look it makes me smile. All the special memories I have are wrapped around people, the love I’ve known and the love I’ve shown. Whatever you celebrate may it be a happy and joyous time for you and those you love. From my house to yours, Happy Holiday, Happy Hanukkah, and Merry Christmas!