Creative spaces

HUBBYS DESK

Because my home is the place I create my fiction, write my blog, record voice-over, and enjoy my sewing projects, I have tried to find the best use of space. The room that used to serve as my sons bedroom was converted into the all-purpose office/craft room. Suffice it to say it is not very spacious. When hubby and I are both working it is crowded and congested to say the least. Millie, our German Shepherd dog, always seems to want to take up floor space in the middle of the room and is often nearly run over by one of our chairs.

BUSY DESK AREA

In Catalina, Arizona where we make our home, is a wonderful thrift store called The Golden Goose that benefits from its proximity to a well-heeled community called Saddlebrook, and benefits us middle class types with nice stuff we can afford. A couple of weeks ago, while making a quick stop to look for a bike rack for my car hubby spotted a desk.  It was oak, with a hutch and a plethora of storage.

NOT ROOM ENOUGH TO SEW

I will add here the desk I am currently using in the office was not comfortable for him to use. He is 6’3” and he doesn’t fit. With this new desk he was sure he would fit easily.

So after discussing it: replacing two pieces with this one, where it would go, how would it be best used by us, and how the room could be adapted, we agreed that if the desk was still there – on payday – we would get it if we could afford it. The follow-up trip to the Goose showed the desk was still there, was affordable, and the purchase was completed!

Once it came to our home the process of sanding and staining the desk and hutch by hubby began.  For myself, it was a purge of the room, cleaning out drawers, shelves and cabinets.

MESSY SEWING AREA

I like a purge! It is interesting, occasionally disturbing, what you find when you empty out a drawer or file cabinet.

BOOKCASE IS MOVING TO MAKE ROOM FOR THE DESK

I’ve learned after four decades with this man I can never set up his space the way he would. So the old desk and printer cabinet was moved out, and his work station was moved into place, and everything that was on it is stacked on top for his perusal. He can organize it however he wishes.

THE BEAUTIFUL DESK

One thing I will add…pretty sure I burned some calories doing this. Lots of sweatiness. At one point we were working together, lots of sweat, and I got a whiff of BO! I did the stealth sniff and I knew it wasn’t me. I was helping hubby put up the camera we use when the grandson is here and was in hubby armpit range. The man wasn’t just ripe, he was spoiled! I bailed on him.

CUTTING TABLE

So here enjoy the before and after shots.

LOOK AT THAT FABRIC!
HUBBYS NEW SPACE
THE BOOKSHELF MOVED HERE (LEFT SIDE)

It’s wonderful to have useful work space for both of us. Ever in Tucson come on out to Catalina.

Cheers!

-N

Working From Home

I’m on a mission to find a way to supplement income by working from home. I have a great set up established with everything I need in my home office. Proofreading, editing, data entry, billing – I’ve got it covered.

OFFICE STYLE

Anyone of you fine readers been successful at something like this? Did you go it on your own or use a company that specializes in helping set you up?

I feel my 30+ years of office/administrative experience in a variety of settings gives me a heads up on what’s involved in that type of work.

 

 

So…

Step one is keep auditioning for VO work, keep blogging, and writing at least 2000 words a day on my current book.

Step two is finding an individual or business who can use my help. Any ideas or referrals?

Step three is stay positive.

 

SoAZ TOO HOT!

Just an aside here: it is the first of September and the high was 106°.

Don’t mention pumpkin spice anything to me. It’s time for the temps to fall along with the season.

A DRY RED NO PUMPKIN SPICE

Cheers!

-N

Revelations

Small revelations about myself have been bombarding me for a week or so. They run the gamut of emotional, physical, spiritual and everything in between. It’s pushed me to find a quiet mind place – place to dissect, delve, scrutinize, explore, eliminate, examine – you understand.

I’m not a huge self-discovery person so when a few things pushed at me I pulled them in and had to take a look.

First – alone time. Due to the extensive travel during my childhood with my Air Force father a type of wanderlust was created in me. Never one to want to be in one place for more than a few years (typical of duty stays in the military) I looked forward to the next place. As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs this kept me from developing friend making skills because, heck, you would move on soon enough. What it did create was contentment to be alone. There are good times for this, but when you are married, have children, working full time, and nearby family it might have instilled resentment that I would retreat, hide, mind wander and make myself comfortable with myself and not be available. Both of my kids are like this as well, especially my daughter.

I love the sound of chimes, bells, rain, ocean, flute, fairy songs, and soft breezes. I love the feeling in my house when there is no sound-no TV, stereo, electronics. Just the random outside noise of birds, dogs barking, the kids next door playing in their pool. I also enjoy my rock & roll, jazz, pop music playlists on my apple music – loud.

But like everything else, the when and where of these live inside me.

I have a friend who is retiring and said she wanted to come hang out at my house with me once she is free from the work day drudgery. I like it, and I know she will respect that sometimes I just have to be alone. My dear friend who moved to St. Louis (actually Edwardsville IL) understood this wonderfully. It’s a true blessing to be in tune with another human this way.

Hubby gets me, most of the time, and gives me space when required. It’s how we’ve stayed together for forty years – yep that’s right. The only human who doesn’t get this is my precious grandson. He is five, busy, silly, active and fun. He can’t understand why Nannie (me) won’t come play sometimes. I explain it, he says okay and is back in ten minutes with something new.

Writing for me is gradually coming together after fits and starts, and my current work is progressing. The first third is written, the next third is plotted and I know the end goal for it. It’s fun and plays in my head like a movie. I’m really digging my blog and have thought of reading it on a  You Tube channel as a companion  vlog, sort of twin telling. We’ll see. I keep pluggin away at the voice over auditions and know that once I get that first job things will fall into place. There is a lot of competition, but I’ve a great space for it, my own little sound proof studio, for learning the software and equipment to record, edit and produce really good work. Anyone have a VO job for me?

So I am slowly coming out of a gloomy funk thanks to weird physical stuff that I had no idea of the source of and it scared me, a lot. Kind of got a bit depressed with that, missing my BFF, needing to hide, and letting God fill me up.

I’m getting there.

Cheers!

-N

I need a schedule

Greetings lovely blog followers!

Wanted to share something I have discovered about myself. It appears I require more than just spontaneous efforts in writing, blogging,  and voice over for successful results.

So…

I’ve begun to schedule specific days each week for that work. Mondays and Fridays will be for writing. Wednesdays will be blogging day, Tuesdays and Thursdays are VO days.

So…

This schedule will begin next week. I may have a bit of trouble staying on it next week since the grandson will be here until the 8th. Yet I am determined to persevere.

Cheers!

-N

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

For Your All Hallows Eve – A Haunting

Michael
By Nancy Vaughn

This story began when I found the grave of Michael, a little boy I used to babysit who died in a tragic car accident. I was a freshman in high school and I was stunned at the loss. Michael was the sweetest and kindest little guy there ever was. He always seemed to need something, but I never understood what it was. There was always a sweet sadness about him. His parents were divorced and had moved on with their lives. Michael and his sisters lived with their mother. His mother was a beautiful woman who worked hard and tried to take really good care of them. She also enjoyed going out to meet men, and there were plenty of them in at the Air Force base in Tucson and the Army fort in Sierra Vista. On her way back from taking her boyfriend back to Ft. Huachuca she lost control and the car flipped and crashed. His sisters and his mother survived but he was thrown from the car and killed instantly. It was 1970.

In 1983 my husband, my two children and I moved into a trailer space in a park that was next to a cemetery. I have to admit to a fascination with cemeteries inherited from my mother’s side of the family. We always were visiting old graveyards on road trips. So after we moved there I used to wander through the one near my house looking at the names and dates. It was an older cemetery with green grass and huge trees and dozens of beautiful statues. I remember when I discovered the part of the cemetery designated for the children. It had a peaceful, comforting feeling and a beautiful statue of a child angel was centered in the middle of the resting places of the lost children. Most of the graves had flowers and tokens laid on them. I used to take flowers from some of them and put them on the graves that had none. That was when I found Michael. His grave rarely had flowers. I began to go see him as often as I could. I also started taking my own flowers to him.

We had gotten this cat, a beautiful silver/grey cat with brilliant green eyes that we named Betsy. She and I never liked each other. I couldn’t figure it out. Betsy and I tormented each other regularly. I don’t know why but we just didn’t get along. One night after going to bed my husband and I heard a low growling sound like a cat squaring off with another cat. Betsy was in the living room at her usual post on the back of a chair. Her cries got louder and then I heard the footsteps. The steps were walking toward our bedroom door. It was a mobile home so footsteps were easily heard. The steps came to our door and stopped, then they walked back down the hall toward the other end of the house. Then I heard the cat again. This began a pattern that went on for weeks. Betsy was even weirder to everyone than before. She tended to sit, looking suspiciously at everything. She never wanted to be around people as it was, but now she was even more reserved.

I talked to my husband about it and he had no explanation for the sounds and the way the cat was behaving. He always did a better job of handling her than I ever did and he is a die-hard sceptic.

Then things got more interesting. Everyone was in bed when the footsteps started. We lay there listening to them and they came to a stop outside our door. Chuck got up and opened the bedroom door expecting to see one of our kids, maybe sleepwalking, but no one was there. I could tell he was bothered. We lay back down trying to fall asleep when there was a loud bang in the bathroom. It sounded like someone big had fallen in the tub. We sat bolt upright and he got up again and rushed to the bathroom. Nothing. It was dark and empty with no sign of anything that could have fallen into the tub. He came back, got into bed and we lay there thinking.
“What do you think a ghost is?” He asked quietly.
“Don’t know.”

The banging in the bathroom continued along with the cat growl and the footsteps. We quit reacting to it and I didn’t find out until much later that my daughter, who was ten at the time had heard the sounds as well. She would cover her head and talk and pray herself to sleep. She never said a word to us at the time. I had told some members of my family and a few friends about the sounds but they laughed it off. We had trouble laughing off the experiences we were having so we quit talking about it.

That is until my middle sister suggested it might be Michael. She also remembered him and his story and had been his babysitter occasionally and had gone with me to see his grave. We were sitting on my back porch talking, listening to music and drinking. We both heard a loud thump and a bang on the washer which was just inside the back door.
“There your go, now you’ve heard it for yourself.” I said.
Her eyes were wide, her mouth open and she just sat there. I got up and went inside to check, as usual there was no sign of anything out of place. It was at this point she told me that on one of her visits to Michael’s grave she thought she saw something around the top of the child angel statue in the cemetery. She said she saw an angel fly up the statue and away into the sky. As we talked about it my heart warmed to the idea that perhaps sweet little Michael was reaching out to me. Maybe he needed my comfort.

I told my husband about what she said and how I felt about it and he warned me to leave that stuff alone. I just couldn’t stop thinking about it, thinking about Michael. I made my first mistake by calling out to Michael to tell him he was loved and remembered. One night after that I had fallen asleep and I’m not really sure how late it was but I felt my covers being pulled. I am not a heavy sleeper and it woke me. Sometimes when my husband rolls over it will pull the covers so I yanked them back and tried to go back to sleep. My eyes flew open as I heard the sound of laughter. It was a child’s giggling laugh, then the covers started to be tugged down. I wanted to explore this so I didn’t wake my husband. This began the fun play each night. The problem was I needed my sleep. I had two kids to get to school and myself to work. One night when I was awakened from a deep sleep by the play I said “Michael stop, I need to sleep. Please.” I heard one more giggle and then it stopped.

Chuck and I had a timeshare vacation planned for Puerto Vallarta for a week, and my kids would be staying with my parents who lived in the same trailer park. Because we had Betsy I asked my dad to stop by the house to check on her and the house. We had been broken into a few months before so I felt safer if someone was around regularly as a deterrent. Little did I know my dad’s world would be rocked by his experiences. When we returned home and everything looked fine a first glance. Then I noticed there was tape over the knob on the stereo and the cable box connector was disconnected and on the floor and every door was closed. I looked through the house to see if there was anything else out of order. We called dad to thank him for his help and he said he never wanted to do it again. I asked him to come over and tell us what happened. He insisted we come to their house, so we did.

Dad said that the first night he came by he walked around the outside of the house and it was fine. He came inside and walked through the house. When he opened the bathroom door he found that the toilet paper roll had been completely emptied on the floor. However Betsy wasn’t inside there. The door had been closed firmly. He cleaned it up, replaced the roll and then left. The next night he did the same thing. Betsy was sitting on the chair, so he went to the bathroom to find the door closed again. He opened it and flipped on the light to find the toilet paper roll was again emptied. Then the bathroom light went off. He turned it on, picked up the paper and didn’t put on another roll. He left feeling very strange. He didn’t go back the next night. The next night was one that gave him his first real scare. As he approached the house he could see that there were lights on in the house. He came close to the door and stopped. Before he opened the door he said a prayer. When he opened the door every light in the house was on. He hurried through the house turning off lights and opening closed doors and after putting food in Betsy’s bowl he left never looking back. The last night he came over the lights were on again and the doors were closed. To his horror the TV was on and so was the stereo. He once again went through the house quickly opening doors and turning out lights and turning the TV and stereo off. Just as he closed the door the stereo and TV came back on. He was scared and a bit pissed so he got electrical tape to cover the power knob on the stereo and disconnected the cablebox to the TV. He never ever came over if we were gone.

One Christmas I invited a dear friend to spend the night of Christmas Eve and spend Christmas day with us. After we were all in bed the nightly activity started. My friend was staying on the foldout couch snuggled down for the evening. I heard Betsy start her growl and then I hear my friend hush her. Then the footsteps started. I asked Chuck if he thought I should check on her but he said to wait a little while. I was asleep by the time it all stopped. The next morning I got up to start coffee and get breakfast ready. I found her sitting up, her knees pulled to her chin and looking as if she hadn’t slept. I asked her if she was ok and she said she wasn’t going to stay again that night as planned. When I asked her what happened she said that when Betsy started to growl the room became ice cold. She snuggled down trying to get warm and when she heard the footsteps she covered her head, drew up into a ball and tried to sleep. She felt someone sit on the end of the bed but she was so frightened she couldn’t look. “What is wrong with your house?” It was then that my children started telling us their experiences with child’s giggling, cold air, footsteps and Betsy’s cries. Chuck told me if it was Michael (remember he was skeptical) I should tell Michael he needs to go be with God. That God wants all children with him. I did what Chuck suggested. I would tell him we would never forget him but that his place was with God and the angels.

We heard no more laughing and other activities seemed to slow down. I hoped Michael had found peace and comfort. We went without anything happening for several weeks until a very unsettling thing happen one night. I was sleeping when I woke to the feeling of my covers being lifted off my feet. They weren’t being pulled like before but lifted. I kicked out and it stopped. This began a nightly occurrence and then one night I felt a hand grab my ankle! I kicked and cried out. This woke Chuck and stopped the contact. I began to pray every night about it. I didn’t think it was Michael anymore but my openness to contact with Michael had made me a point of contact a spirit conduit. Whenever it would happen I would say no and kick out and it would stop. I thought I could get it under control.

My first aggressive attack happened when Chuck was working an evening shift for a guy. Everyone was in bed and I had fallen asleep. It was probably around 11pm. You know that feeling when someone gets in bed but you are asleep and yet you can still sense it? This is what happened. I was dreaming he was home and getting into bed. After a few minutes I rolled onto my back and it was then I felt pressure on me. It was as if someone was pressing me into the mattress. Pressure on my shoulders and neck. I started to fight it. My eyes were open but I saw nothing. I just felt the heaviness. It was as if a 300lb offensive lineman was astride me and trying to stuff me into the mattress. As I fought it I started to call out to God and Jesus-I needed help or I would die. A sound like a low breathy moan filled the room, then the pressure lifted. I caught the glimpse of a dark shape fly out of the room through the ceiling.

One of the last attacks happened when Chuck was there. It began as the others had and my cries and fighting against the pressure woke him. He could see me pushing against something invisible that was so strong I could only lift my head an inch off the bed. He saw tears in my eyes and he sat up and yelled “Stop it! Go away!” It was gone. He held me as I finally calmed and fell asleep.

I decided we needed to bless the house. I went to a Christian bookstore and found a pamphlet with a prayer used to do battle with evil and bless the home. I also found a bottle of holy oil to use over all the doors and windows. After coming home and telling Chuck and the kids what we were going to do we spent an hour going to every inner and outer doorway and all the windows praying the blessing for the house and all living in it and calling the warrior angels from heaven to cover the house with protection. After this was done I stood outside and said goodbye to Michael and anyone else cast out and asking them to leave this place of the living and go to the place waiting for them.

I did have a couple of experiences where I would wake on occasion to see a dark shape over me but I was never touched or heard anything. After continuing to pray to cast out whatever was lingering and to prevent anything from coming inside these spirits left and have never returned.

The End
01 Dec 2014

I’m looking for cash

So much of my thoughts right now is on how to work from home. If you google that phrase you will get pages of suggestions-much of it the same kind of thing. I want to work from home for two reasons. First I want to be available if my daughter needs me to care for my grandson, second I want to bring in extra income, but not full time, to help with fun expenses like travel and hobbies.

Writing is fun and when I get to publish a new book its out there for folks to buy and enjoy. I like both of those. The thought that someone would honor me by purchasing one of my titles is humbling. I also love that the reader is going to get caught up in the characters and historical trip the story takes them on – especially when I read a review saying they were digging it! However I am no Stephen King or Janet Evanovich – not yet – so I keep writing.

My blog is such a release for me, relaxing and an immediate gratification as I watch the blog stats after it is published. It is a creative outlet for me, and I like that my followers are coming to know me through this venue. But, I’m not as widely read as I would like, so the $$ support from possible sponsors isn’t where it needs to be, but I keep blogging.

Nancy history: Just out of high school I got a job as a media buyer for a small advertising firm. It was a great job, I met amazing and interesting people, and my creative side was jumping with joy every time I saw a television spot or heard a radio commercial I placed for a client. I was able to be part of some of the production for these as well. It was so cool. With one of these spots I was asked if I was interested in being the voice talent! This led to a couple of years doing radio commercials for a variety of local businesses. A local DJ at KWFM Jim Ray and I had a series of spots for Summit Hut, a local outdoor sports outfitter. It was so popular that we had listeners calling the stations to ask about the “couple” on the spot. Jim and I had a good time with that one.

This leads to my next adventure in cash:

I am delving into the voice over business. I have recorded some audition pieces, but the equipment I have is fairly basic so I am purchasing enough sound equipment and devices to produce professional auditions. So we will see if my studio time and theater work from a few years ago will serve me well in this venture. Keep your fingers crossed!

Cheers!

-N

Book review for a very fun book

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2799908701

Nancy Vaughn’s Reviews > The Mint Julep Murders

The Mint Julep Murders by Angie Fox
The Mint Julep Murders (Southern Ghost Hunter, #8) 
by

Angie Fox (Goodreads Author)
54921934

Nancy Vaughn‘s review

Apr 26, 2019  ·  edit


This one was good! Really good. It had some scary parts the others in the past had lacked. The typical Verity humor is there, but there was a lot of character growth in this one. The Verity, Frankie, Ellis triangle is in full force with a twist in it. Verity is hired to look for ghosts by a woman who wants to open a haunted house – huh? Yeah that’s what Verity thought. An injured Ellis and an anxious Frankie come along for different reasons. This location is chilling. The ghosts and humans made alike had intense interactions. Frankie made an important discovery about himself, and Verity was given an insight into Ellis. I liked this story, and the fact we were left with a place we might revisit in the future.
Cheers!
-N

Meet Mitch and Amanda at a special price

Greetings all!

Tomorrow my very first ebook entitled Blame It On Whiskey will be discounted for seven days! Everyone come meet these two interesting people and read their story.

The tale is set in the late 1800’s, and begins with a twist.

There is lots of history, a fair dose of romance, plenty of action, and you might learn a bit of Spanish in the process of reading this story. So a question…what would you do if you came face to face with a band of Apache warriors who have escaped from captivity?

Synopsis:

It is June 1886.

A handsome, rugged man and a beautiful, self-assured woman try to resist the temptation of vague and erotic memories from a night of whiskey fueled passion, while they deal with beginning a life with a complete stranger.

These two proud, confident individuals are thrust into a set of bizarre circumstances including a face-saving wedding farce, a kidnapping, epic storms and Apaches.

 

For a short time only at $ 0.99 on Amazon. Click the link below.

What a Scare!

Several months ago, after my annual eye exam, I was told by my optometrist he was referring me to a glaucoma specialist!!  😨

I have never had any indication of an issue, no high pressures or eye pain, so I was confused. I didn’t quite understand the issue, but accepted his recommendation.

I put it off for several months because of the distractions of life, and finally saw the doctor Tuesday. According to Dr. Kay I am at risk of an acute glaucoma attack. 😱I have what is called narrow angles in my eyes which can occlude the drainage of fluid and this would raise my pressures to a point of sudden loss of sight.

I was horrified and distressed.

With writing, blogging, quilting/sewing, and reading – losing any of my vision would devastate me. After watching a video explaining my condition and the treatment suggested I was a bit easier. It still scares, the idea of a laser making a tiny opening in my iris to drain excess fluid.

So, next week this will happen. One eye will be done on Thursday, the other on Friday. I pray for no issues, and will share the update you beautiful followers.

Cheers!

-N