Book Progress

I have got a lot of work happening on my new book and I’m having a great time writing. Here is the synopsis of the story:

                Anchor Bay – Stormy Love

               Lily Brighton was widowed the same day her husband delivered the divorce papers. T

om Chambers ex-wife is an alcoholic who doesn’t understand that the concept of divorce means she is on her own.

Plus something suspicious is happening out in the bay that may be related to the theft and graffiti happening up and down the Maine coast.

I’m at the point where I am trying to come up with a cover idea so I can do some early marketing of the book. When I get a bit closer to finishing the first draft I am going to start Instagram and Facebook author pages. These will connect me with readers and followers so I get the word out about new books, promotions and special contests. I am curious if any of you lovely blog followers are authors who have done things like this and what was the best tool you found?

One thing I am blessed with is an incredibly supportive husband who understands when I say “wait, I’ve got to work” while I’m sitting at my computer. He is cool when I have music or YouTube playing in the background, or when I am talking out loud to myself.

So this little blog is an update, a request for information and sharing a little more about me.

Cheers!

-N

 

Scent and Memories

I have begun a study in fragrance. My collection of essential oils is growing, and I’m learning about the interaction and relationships that come into play when developing a specific aroma. Blending, exploring, a little of this, 2-3 drops of that and you are remembering a walk in the forest or by the sea.

Fascinating.

I have my besties whom I have created fragrances for, that not only make me think of them, but I hope would give them a feeling they need for peace and balance. God is amazing in the way he made the natural world to compliment his treasured souls inhabiting this planet.

I remember during a trip to the Big Island of Hawaii, when hubby and I were riding a scooter and drove through clouds of scent. I had never experienced that outside of walking between the honeysuckle vines by my front door. On each side of us blooming plants climbed the sides of the volcanic rock lining the road. Visually it was stunning and then to get the whiff of strong natural fragrance was overwhelming. The combination was magical.

I love the pine forests with the pleasantly pungent aroma of the pines that welcomes you to the haven of mountains. It’s wonderful, especially beside a mountain lake.

A book I was recommended and have started reading is “Fragrant” by Mandy Aftel. It is informative in an easily read form, and the details are necessities in developing the understanding of the evolution of scent.

Did you know cinnamon is the king of spices?

Cheers!

-N

 

 

Wash your hands

Any one else have mask avoidance syndrome? You know those feelings you have when you want to go to somewhere, any activity you rarely avoid, but your first thought is “Yuck, I will have to wear my mask!” Or that incredible relief when you yank off the mask when you leave a building.

Hubby and I went to a “welcome home” celebration for the University of Arizona Women’s basketball team when they returned from playing in the national championship game. It was held outside at the football stadium and about 1000 socially distanced, fans were there. I didn’t mind the warm temps or the speeches. I hated wearing that mask.

My cardiologist’s nurse said in most cases, the mask keeps a sick person from spreading the virus, but the best way to avoid catching it is hand washing. Wash your hands all the time. If you wear gloves you wash your hands anyway and change the gloves after every use.

I think it’s interesting we have had no flu season.

When the number of cases was on the rise, just saying “herd immunity” out loud you got accused of wanting people dead.  I read recently that “the goal of Covid precautions is to reach stable “herd immunity” so now what?

In 2020 co-morbidity was the name of the game. The number of dead, the percentage in all age groups stayed at a stable level from previous years. Old people, people with pre-existing conditions and cancers all had the same number of death rates. The Covid cases and deaths weren’t in addition to the other causes but in place of those causes. If you look at the causes of deaths the numbers of cancer, heart disease, stroke, accidents, etc., went down. Instead these were listed as co-morbidity with Covid.

What we need to learn is this…If you are sick, stay home, socially distance and wear a mask to protect others if you must go out; wash your hands often and well. The Japanese do this readily. You will see individuals of all ages in masks, going about their business. It is a country where the work/school culture is you don’t call in sick. Compound fracture, heart attack, open bleeding wound, giving birth – ok – go to the hospital. Cold or flu, wear your mask and show up.

Cheers!

-N

 

December Is Moving On

The morning is going easily by, it started with a morning temp of 25° – BRRR.

It’s hubby’s last of four days off before his next four on; his work shift is four 12hour days. Long work days but the four days off is nice. We enjoyed our coffee together, chatting about the day to come. We’ve moseyed through the morning, hubby went to men’s group, and then we had a walk to the mail box (we are rural so it isn’t out front.) Millie came with us which made her excessively happy.

I have a young woman coming at noon to try on a wedding dress I made alterations to, it was her late mother’s dress so I hope she is happy with the way it turned out. I had such a wonderful experience with it and hope I can get the chance to do more things like this. I have two machines: a sewing machine and a serger, and they give me the tools to do most any type of sewing I desire.

One of our Christmas traditions is that hubby is responsible for filling the stockings. He takes this job very seriously and it is always a combination of toys or gadgets with lots of candy. Also there is always a Lifesaver’s book inside. As he starts to add things I hear him chuckle as he is thinking of their reaction to what he has picked for them.

Since we will spend Christmas eve with our daughter, and he is working Christmas day I hosted a get together for my besties and their spouses last weekend. I made shepherd’s pie with ground elk instead of beef, and homemade soda bread. I can’t have beef unless it is very lean like veal. It turned out pretty good according to all who sampled it. We also did an ornament exchange which was so fun with lots of laughs. We each brought a wrapped tree ornament, then drew numbers to pick in order. We only had one trade, and all were happy with their ornament.

Covid-19 struck me in the job hunting department. I sent in a cover letter and resume to Biosphere 2 for a cashier position. However because of the virus the attendance is down so no hiring right now “but they will keep my information.” Dang virus!

I got a good report from my vascular surgeon, and now I only have a few more follow-up visits. My incision looks good and not so noticeable. I was a bit self-conscious.

So all you fine folks are caught up on the Catalina AZ news.

Cheers!

-N

 

 

 

Ready for the update?

Hey gang! Here’s the news – Hubby spent the night on the side of the road, dry camping in our wee trailer, Daisy.

DAISY THE WEE TRAILER

Buddy’s wife brought him back home where buddy grabbed a few hours of sleep, then left before dawn for the two hour trip to the Willcox AZ area. The guys met up, went out to the field and got their limit! I’m quite proud. They were set up to meet at NAPA auto in Willcox to get the truck fixed and are heading home. HALLELUJAH!!

I’m feeling pretty well, not getting quite so tired. No sign of the A-Fib so the medication is working. I’m looking forward to getting out of the house – you know being normal – breathing fresh air, hearing the neighbor’s kids and barking dogs.

My neighbors have been so wonderful, checking on me and reassuring me I can call them “anytime” if I need anything. I am blessed.

So that’s the latest for me. I hope and pray that this sparse Thanksgiving season will be the  end of a spell of disconnection and separation for us humans.

Here is a gift of love to bless you as we enter this holiday season. I grew up singing the soprano and alto parts of this beautiful acappella version of Number 6:24-26

Cheers and enjoy!

-N

Trouble Since Wednesday

Well folks, I had the surgery done (18th) and it went well. I have quite the battle scar on my right neck. I was doing fine until Saturday (21st) morning when I was transported to the emergency department with Atrial Fibrillation. My heart beat was pounding so hard, fast and slow, all over the place that I felt like my chest would explode. Blood pressure was up too. It took a couple of hours with the paramedics and ED staff to get it under control, and I was sent home with a referral for a cardiologist 😣

Today: I’m feeling better, and helped hubby a bit as he got his stuff together to go hunting for a couple of days with his buddy south of Tucson. About an hour after he left I got a call to say he was broken down on the side of the road, in a rural area.😣

So buddy’s wife is on the way to get them, and bring them home. Early tomorrow they will go back in buddy’s truck to pick up our trailer, and get our truck towed to be repaired.

Some bad news – with AFib alcohol is off the menu. 😥🍷  So I’ve been looking into the Mediterranean Diet which comes highly recommended for my health issues.

I’m ready for some joy and fun. No more stuff to deal with. I’m hoping to get busy with some writing this week while I do the recuperation thing hiding out in my house. Some precious friends are bringing me Thanksgiving dinner.

Cheers!

-N

 

 

You Tube Science

When I am writing, whether its blogging or fiction writing I have a second monitor that is always playing YouTube science videos, primarily space videos. The images are so amazing, brilliant in their composition and striking in the thought of how distant these objects are from our little planet.

The video narrations stir my mind with observations of the surface of Venus or the formula for a black hole. I love this stuff and it gives fuel to the muse. I would love to get a narration gig for science videos.

So I sit at my desk,

MY WORK DESK

my coffee on the warmer, the dog and cat are resting, my hubby sleeping after his 4pm-4am shift, and the magnificent creation of the universe pushing my writing mood.

I will be doing some VO auditions this afternoon, but right now my fictional characters are calling out to me with more of their story to be told. Since this is my place, inhabiting the story this morning, so it means I am in Coastal Maine. How fun it is to travel anywhere I want, and live an exciting, adventurous, and romantic life vicariously through my fictional people.

I’m still trying to get some freelance clerical and/or writing opportunities to work from home, along with the VO work. If you know of someone who needs a virtual admin assistant, proofreader, copy writer, or a voice artist send them my way!

Cheers!

-N

http://www.nuancevoicing.com

What’s New?

I don’t know.

While I sit here, thinking, I have a video playing of the Marginal Way in Ogunquit, Maine. Ogunquit is my spirit place, the place I dream of living, the desire of my heart locale. I visited it once and it left it’s indelible mark on my psyche.

Marginal Way foliage.

Such beauty, color, texture, vibrancy and history.

Me in Perkins Cove, Maine

For a reluctant desert dweller videos of this kind help my mental and emotional escape.

🌊💚🏊‍♂️🏄‍♂️

We are in the height of heat here. Normally, June tends to be the worst for us heat wise, however this year, 2020 – the year from hell, it hasn’t been that way. Typical weather for summer (laughs at the irony – SoAZ is a place with a nine month summer) June is hot, boiling, melting, followed by July which is hot but has nearly daily monsoon rains, then August which is hot and continues monsoon season rains into September.

But not this year! Yeah June was hot and dry; July was hot and dry; and now August is burning and mercilessly dry.

Anyone need a seaside care taker for their house? Can I bring my books?

Can I get a lobster roll?

Maine Lobstah roll, fresh that morning.

Yes, chips please. The cutest teenage girl served me and told me her dad brought in the lobster that morning. So, so good. Pretty sure I would be completely happy living where I could get fresh sea food daily.

So what’s new? Got a new (to me) desk from our local amazing thrift store The Golden Goose, hubby is refinishing it in a lovely dark chestnut and I am purging the office. I like purging the office😁. This new desk will replace two pieces from the office, with lots more storage, and will be put in my library. The room I’m in now will be just for sewing, crafts, and voice-over work. I’ll post pics once completed.

We will see how desk sharing works for hubby and I, well I hope, since we often aren’t working at the same time. The biggest issue will be keeping the desk clean. I am a clean desk-everything in it’s place person. Years of office admin jobs have made me this way. I like things filed, in folders, organized, labeled, and stored. If I need to find it I want to go directly to where it is. Hubby – not so much. He likes piles and stacks. No clear surface is safe from his stuff.

We’ll work it out.

My annual summer in southern Arizona rant

It’s July in Southern Arizona and I have reached my breaking point.

108 degrees today. It may be a dry heat but it is still hot! I laugh when I hear, “Albany is roasting in dangerous 96 degree heat!” Okay, so I’m told, “yeah, but they have humidity.”

Heat index equation temp/humidity = how it feels.

96 with 50% humidity = 108 (Albany)

108 with 20% humidity = 109 (Tucson)

BOOM! we win.

During monsoon season here in SoAZ we can have the following equation: 108/40% =137

Cry me a river, Albany. Granted that humidity level lasts for a few hours at a time then will drop back down to 20 or 30% but we were still feeling it here, and it does it almost daily. Do you know how hot every surface in a car gets when it is 108 degrees? People keep oven mitts in their cars so they can touch the steering wheel.🔥 Forget trying to sit on leather seats while wearing shorts! 🤬 The vehicle paint manufacturers had to come up with different paint so new cars don’t have the painted surfaces faded and peeling after a year. OK, so you stay inside during the snow – well we stay inside during the hot.

We had fires in the mountains next to us nearly all of June, with hot shot crews climbing all over in that heat fighting fires. I’m sure they figured they were in hell.

But it’s a dry heat.

But it’s still damn hot!

When hubby retires I hope we will downsize a bit – sell this place, and move to cooler climes. I’m thinking Ogunquit, Maine. My work: blogging, writing, voice-over can all be done from home so I can go anywhere as long as I have internet.

Fiction/children’s/biographies
Non fiction

I just need a space big enough for my books.

I love my books. This is not all of them.

Nothing in here is newer than 1950.

Hubby said a small house with books on all the walls. That works for me.

So – it’s time for a rain dance. I look forward to October. I keep doing my thing and enjoy hearing from you lovely followers.

Cheers!

-N

My Amazing Village – Great Neighbors

Last Friday hubby and I drove to Phoenix so he could help Melissa put down new flooring on the stairs and a powder room, while I occupied Charlie. We got there around 1pm and they got to work straightaway. Charlie and I made Chocolate Chip Banana bread, then once that was done and cooling he and I left for my sisters house so Charlie could swim (burn off energy) and visit with them. She has a wonderful kids room for her grand kids and when Charlie saw it his first expression was “Whoa, wow!” He proceeded to be occupied for a while as us grown-ups chatted.

I did a Marco Polo message to Melissa asking if they were ready for our return and was told only if we brought food! I can do that – it meant a Whataburger trip.

What I love best about her place is the nearly next door proximity to a Whataburger.

So Charlie and I headed toward home via the Whataburger stop – drive thru only – and while we waited for our order Charlie got more and more annoyed that everyone else seemed to be getting their orders “Too long!” “Nannie where’s ours?” After at least 5 minutes of this grumpyness we got the order and drove home.

The next hours were spent eating, Charlie playing on the iPad, and Melissa and her dad getting a lot done. It was dark and I worried about our dog Millie. We left her outside for the day because we were going to be home that night and we didn’t need a big dog and Charlie underfoot during construction.

My niece Trinity called her mom Heather (who is my go to house/cat/dog sitter) because she has a key to our house to ask if she would go over and let Millie in. Heather went over and Millie was no where to be found. She always comes when you call. Heather called me back very upset and I told her I would call my neighbors to see if they might have spotted her or had her. Heather headed home with the statement she was going to drive around the neighborhood looking and calling.

I called Sandy, then Jayne, left a voice mail for Jan, and then called Sylvia. Sandy also contacted the neighbor behind her. Sylvia went outside where her husband and son where hanging out. While she was telling them about Millie they heard a bark in the direction of our house, it didn’t move around the acre, but seemed to be coming from one spot. We share a property boundary with them. Sylvia called me to tell me and I gave the guys my okay to check. They looked into the back yard and said the barking was coming from our back porch. As she was telling me this, Sandy called to tell me she saw the guys and heard Millie’s bark.

I called Heather again to ask if she could go back and see if she could get Millie from under the porch. She was able to get my very scared girl out, with lots of hugs, and inside the house. The porch is enclosed with one small opening, but when she pushed her way in it prevented her from getting out. We don’t know how long she was there, but there had been a quick thunderstorm come through late afternoon with strong winds and noise which make her very nervous. We think she hid from it.

Millie was well and truly traumatized by this and it has taken several days for her to relax completely. We took her for a drive to Tractor Supply where they love up on her and give her treats. Then spent lots of time cuddling and spoiling her.

All this to say I have the BEST neighbors ever! We have all lived in the neighborhood for decades. Hubby and I won the neighbor lottery. I cannot express how grateful I am to know I can call when I need help, and they are there for me, and they know the same from me.

Cheers!

-N