Showing posts from September 20, 2015

There’s no place like home—Tricia McGill




FOSTER MOM? or not

After an abnormally hot, dry spring and summer, we on Puget Sound had a freaky, one day  wind and rain storm. It reminded me of another storm when I tried to be a foster mom.
Orphans of the Storm Wind out of the south, whitecaps washing over the floating bridges, the ferry system shut down—a Pacific Northwest storm. And one post-storm spring morning while driving to work and listening to NPR, I heard that the previous night’s gully washer caused another problem:  squirrel’s nests knocked out of trees leaving a surfeit of orphaned babies.  An animal welfare organization who shall remain nameless put out a call for foster parents. Wow!  That sounded like fun, I thought.  I could do that.  I loved squirrels. I wrote the organization’s phone number down. At work, I found a place where a box of the family Sciuridae could sleepwhile I worked, and where I could retreat to give them little bottles of food and some TLC.  Then I called the rescue group. “I heard about your need for squirrel b…

Deadly or a Curative-poisons in medications, by Diane Scott Lewis

Poisons and poisonous plants have been utilized for centuries in medications. A Persian physician in the tenth century first discovered that poisons such as mercury could be employed as curatives, and not just on the tip of an arrow to kill your enemy. But poisons had to be managed carefully.
Plants, long the healing forte of the wise-woman in England, were a common ingredient in medicinal “potions,” though so many had deadly qualities. The foxglove, with its beautiful hooded, purple bloom is fatal if eaten.

But eighteenth century British physician, William Withering, used infusions of this plant to treat dropsy (now known as edema). Later, the plant was used to create digitalis for heart failure.

Rosy periwinkle is also toxic to eat. However, in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine, it’s used to treat diabetes and constipation.

More well known is the Opium poppy, used to make morphine (and unfortunately heroin-the killer of many an addict). Morphine is invaluable as a pain reliev…

From Pantser to Plotter by Victoria Chatham

Every writer falls into one of these categories, some writers may be comprised of a little of both. When I started writing I was definitely a pantser, the type of writer who sits in front of a computer and goes with the flow. As long as I had my characters, the rest would take care of itself, right? Well, not exactly.My first book held marked similarities to raising my first child. Regardless of what I thought, I hadn’t got a clue what I was doing. To say I struggled with that first book is putting it mildly. At one point I had followed every lead my heroine gave me and finished up writing about her grandmother in pre-war Montreal and how, pregnant and alone, she ended up in war-torn France fighting with the resistance forces. Great stuff, even though I’m blowing my own trumpet here.
However, that was not the story I was writing. I was writing a contemporary western romance.and badly at that. Had I taken the time to consider more than just my characters I would have saved myself a gre…

Am I allowed to laugh while at the festival of the dead?

Am I allowed to laugh while at the festival of the dead?

They say Madness merely depends on which end of the knife blade you’re staring at, and who’s holding the gun to your head. Or so said my mother, before we lost her on that first night of our holidays. She’d taken up jogging the day before she disappeared and to this day we still don’t know where she is.  I was ten at the time and had poked my head around the corner, everyone else was asleep. I asked her where she was going. Thinking it odd that she would be up by herself, getting dressed. She was crying and tried to hide her tears as I asked. She assured me everything was okay and as she patted my rear to the direction of my room, I remember seeing Dad staring through the partly open window of that Mexican beach house. He had a strange look on his face as Mom ran off and it wasn’t from Montezuma’s revenge either.  I’ll never get adults; life as a kid seems so easy. Only mom never came back. I cried for days. Dad said she was just…

Writing tips I've learned from my long ride by Sandy Semerad

     It's been a lengthy journey, going from news reporter to author. I'd like to think I've learned a few things along the way, although I have often pondered this question: 
   Has working as a reporter helped me write better novels?
I hope so, but it’s been quite a ride. It didn’t start off as I intended.
As a child, I made up stories in my head, but as a reporter, I had to stick to the facts—“just the facts mam.”
In my early years, as a wet behind the ears journalist, I struggled to write a proper lead sentence with who, what, when, where, why and sometimes how. Or at least I was told that was the proper way.
I’d lose sleep, agonizing over the five w’s, not to mention the how’s. With perseverance, I learned to please my editors and meet my deadlines.
I still think it’s important to know the rules, particularly the rules of grammar, but it’s equally vital to find your own voice. Breaking the rules might be part of that process.
As for my journey as a writer, I have evolved.…

How The Ghost Dance Originated by Ginger Simpson

Writing historical westerns with a smidge of romance and sex is my passion.  Although I've drifted away from the genre from time to time, I keep getting called back by my characters.  Yes, you know I hear voices  and amost of them have a twang. 

 I just submitted two re-releases to Books We love, and as you probably guessed, they are historical westerns.  My nose is always in a research book because when you write about historical facts, you'd better get them right.  Here's a little info on the kind of stuff you find when you're looking.  You may not always use the information in a book, but learning is always a good thing.

While researching history, I've turned again to my wonderful "America's Fascinating Indian Heritage" published by Reader's Digest.  I cannot tell you how many times I have counted on this historical guide to help me get my facts straight...and to learn.

In 1881, Sitting Bull and his Sioux tribe surrendered to the U.S., closing t…