The black sheep


emailI started my day today as I always do — waiting on brewing coffee and checking my email. Authors have so much email. An average morning has around 75+. I won’t even go in to what it looks like if I don’t check it throughout the day. After a vacation two years ago I had more than 1000 waiting on me.  The thing about checking my yahoo.com email is to get there I get to see the headlines page. This morning I saw this: Islamic State militants destroy one of Iraq’s most-revered shrines.

Maybe it’s my historic preservation background, or maybe it’s just my sense of right and wrong, but this stuff, like the bombing of the Bamiyan Buddhas, or the Nazi sacking of the Amber Room in the Russia’s Catherine Palace, is repugnant. Destroying the culture and history because they don’t fit your ideology just brings the whole world down.

mind-blown-412x372I try not to look, I really do. But a headline will catch my eye. (that elephant from a few weeks ago is burned into my heart) I rarely follow that headline. One sentence is often more than enough to make me feel hopeless. If you’re like me, you’re swimming up to your eyeballs in bad news because the media uses it like a cudgel on our sensibilities. From every angle, from every corner of the world, from under every rock it seems, they find bad news to share with us. It’s a barrage. What else can we possibly feel if not doomed? If you stop to think about this, really think about it, you’ll realize it’s over the top for a reason. You also might find yourself getting angry. I do.

Pure and simple –sensationalism sells. Sponsors pay money to news syndicates in the hopes their product will be seen or heard about.  If people are watching, they’re  getting a dose of products for sale along with their fear and anxiety. Yes, fear and anxiety. Bad news makes us fear and fearful people stay close to the news. When there’s bad news, people stay tuned to be sure something terrible isn’t headed their way. Staying close to the news keeps us close to sponsor product. I can’t express how insidious this is.

Herd Mentality

Not all that long ago, researchers discovered that it only takes a minority of just 5% to influence a crowd’s direction. That means the other 95% follow without realizing they are. FOX news has this flock tending down to a science. From the way they dress their female commentators to show bare arms and short skirts(even in January) to add a subliminal sexual undertone to sharpen the watcher’s focus, to the repetition of rhetoric and precision-placed talking points that read like taglines and slogans. Sex and slogans work.

What Boomer doesn’t know these logos 1products? “plop plop fizz fizz oh what a relief it is” or “snap crackle pop” or “two-all-beef-patties-special sauce-lettuce-cheese-on a-sesame seed bun”?
Going further back, how about: “I’d rather fight than switch” or “you can trust your car to the man that wears a star”?
See it in the news: “if the glove don’t fit, you must acquit” or the “Palling Around’ With Terrorists” or “Barack Hussein Obama” as if this middle name somehow tied the man to the dictator of Iraq.

I just realized I have a load of these things imbedded in my brain. There are so many I might do a series on slogans!

Here’s a humorous peek at how we’re bombarded with a single talking point. I had to reload it because youtube had it in a playlist and it ended up being a woman playing piano. Have a laugh, then imagine they’re talking bad news instead.

Herd mentality is a double-edged sword. The roots go back to cooperative hunting– to work together to ensure survival. Today, we’re well-fed and this natural inclination for community teamwork has been hijacked and corrupted. The 5% shout the bad news and the 95% eventually have their innate empathy and compassion sandblasted away. It breaks our moral compass. This is how we get extreme behaviors in society. This is how we get “us vs them” and that leads people to hate and becomes what drives them to find the scapegoat. This is how people gather to shout raging obscenities at frightened children at the US border. This is also how people come to stand passively by while others are led to gas chambers.

Free speech is a beloved gift in this world. In fact, I’m exercising it here. But the right to wag your fist ends at the other guy’s nose. If bad news has broken the moral compass that says enough is enough, then the fear rules and the hateful herd grows.

“Neither a man nor a crowd nor a nation can be trusted to act humanely or to think sanely under the influence of a great fear.”
~Bertrand Russell (philosopher)

I would think the best way to combat bad news is to be sure good news gets talked about. I’ll leave you with some good news –LOTS of good news. Because it really is out there. Spread the word.
http://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/
http://www.pinterest.com/goodnewsnetwork/
http://www.happynews.com/http://gimundo.com/
http://optimistworld.com/
http://greatnewsnetwork.org/

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100Things.logo
For 100 days, I’ll post something from my chosen topic: Clichés.
There are 60 entries to come.

Here’s a cliché for today:

Birds of a feather flock together

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4 Us iconToday is an interview with Author Victoria Adams
http://romancebooks4us.blogspot.com/

The Romance Books ’4′ Us Annual Christmas in July Contest is almost over. We have 32 prizes for ONE WINNER! http://www.romancebooks4us.com

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Victoria is also on the Exquisite Quills blog today taking part in a fund
raiser for shelter dogs. Come see.

http://exquisitequills.blogspot.com/?zx=86208892750b2a65

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all7books-smallLove Waits in Unexpected Places - Scorching Samplings of Unusual Love Stories

Find my novels wherever books are sold.
Sample
my love stories for free!
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Flying high


dopplerIf you have yet to read about the cloud of mayflies in Wisconsin this week, the swarm was large and dense enough to be seen on radar! I can’t even begin to guess the number that all hatched at once. Mayflies live only long enough to mate and lay eggs. They don’t even have a usable mouth to eat with. Mayfly-hatch-ATM-covered-jpg

This reminds me of our last trek into the Canadian wilderness. The closer we got to the border, the more we began to notice large tracts of completely or partially defoliated trees.  Driving through a Minnesota border town, we encountered caterpillars so thick on the roads, at one intersection we actually skidded on their fleshy bodies when we stopped at the stop sign. That’s a LOT of caterpillars. The area was going through a cyclical emergence of the things and they were eating just about every leaf in sight. After, we learned they were called army worms because they move en mass from tree to tree. I recall they were bluish and a little longer than an inch. I also remember how icky it was to skid on their over-abundance on the road.

queticoTwo days into our canoe trip, we were on a particularly grueling portage with our canoes and several 80lb Duluth packs to carry on our backs. Portages, some as old as the ancient natives who lived their first, are footpaths that connect lakes or a lake to a river. To travel the many lakes in the wilderness, you pick up your gear and canoe, and hoof it across. These aren’t paved paths either. Some go through marshy areas where people have laid down treacherous log roads to walk on. Some go around gigantic boulders and over small mountains of cobble. Some wind and the forest echoes with the sound of canoes banging into trees on the turns.  Let’s just say the vast northern wilderness is not for the low-stamina individual.

This particular portage was extremely hard portagebut that meant less people would be on the wilder lake we were headed to. Less people = more animals. And who doesn’t want to see moose and bear and hear wolves and cougar? Portages can be rough on heavily-laden hikers. My own adult daughter sustained a pretty bad sprain half-way through that trip. She twisted her ankle over cobble and went down with a 70lb food pack on her back. She weathered it like a trooper and I was beside myself with worry that she tore something in her ankle the whole time.

Duluth PackSo anyway…There I was with my 80lb pack on my back trudging over rough ground. I remember there were a lot of flies. So many, I stopped to rest against a boulder and put my head net on. The wilderness is full of insects. Mosquitoes that bite your face and hands and biting black flies that make you want to stampede like elk, and the occasional cloud of midges you hold your breath to walk through. Add ticks to this party. All together they can make for a very unpleasant trip unless you spray up with bug spray. Spring and summer have way more than their fair share of these pests. September, my favorite cold month to go to the wilderness, has hardly any.

Getting to the end of that portage about 11:00 that early Ldn20060812SB_bee14July morning, I saw the splotchy white t-shirt one of the guys in our group and thought to myself he must have fallen. Drawing closer, I was horrified. His back was covered in flies — covered like this bee man from Ripley’s Believe it or Not. →
What’s more, the flies didn’t give a fig about bug spray. They came to settle on everything and on some camp sites we even had to take care while eating lest you eat one. We lived with these flies for roughly ten days, then one day they were just gone. Completely gone.

Here’s what happened~ Outbreaks of those defoliating caterpillars typically occur every 10 to 15 years and persist for two to three years. The grand emergence of these army worms triggered high numbers of flies. These are considered friendly flies. They lay their egg inside the body of the caterpillar and the larva grows eating that host from the inside out, a living tomb if you will, hence the name sarcophagus fly. Nature is amazing. Next time I’ll go in September.

More~

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100Things.logo
For 100 days, I’ll post something from my chosen topic: Clichés.
There are 61 entries to come.

Here’s a cliché for today:

A fly in the ointment

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4 Us iconToday is guest Author Carly Carson
http://romancebooks4us.blogspot.com/

The Romance Books ’4′ Us Annual Christmas in July Contest is almost over. We have 32 prizes for ONE WINNER! http://www.romancebooks4us.com

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all7books-smallLove Waits in Unexpected Places - Scorching Samplings of Unusual Love Stories

Find my novels wherever books are sold.
Sample
my love stories for free!
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/333971

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An open book


thI’ve been trimming my magnum opus, that enormous as-yet-unnamed multi-book work I’ve been writing for nearly a decade now. I set it aside unfinished roughly four years ago to delve into the romance genre. If you’re here for the first time, that’s how I became a romance writer. I wrote something else!

There was method to my madness. The romance genre was the fast track into the business. I wanted to learn how to write, edit, promote, and all the other things authors must do, because it’s all on the author’s head now. The days of writing a novel and someone else handling the rest are long gone.  I’ve learned a lot from traditional publishing to self publishing, including marketing, social media, and web design. I was ignorant of all of this before romance. The reason I went in this direction is to know what I’m doing before my magnum opus is published.

th1There are days where I can just kick myself for not starting earlier. I take that back, I started early enough, I just got bruised by the NY publishing houses when I peddled my illustrated children’s books. That set in motion years of doubt in my ability to tell a story. Silly, I know. For someone who never set out to write romance, it hasn’t been a bad experience at all. I’ve even won awards for my works. That surprised me, let me tell you.

If you’re one of the blessed people who have read all seven of my novels, thank you. I’m sure you’ve noticed that no two stories are alike. Each one is set up differently and each one empirically tests some aspect of the writer’s world. My first, Hermes Online was a hook to catch a publisher. It worked and gained a Reader’s Choice Award. When my rights revert to me next year, that one will go by the wayside.  It’s what I would call a fluff piece — an artsy-cute, hyper-sensual story– but an enjoyable fluff piece written for attention. If I re-release it at all, I will rewrite it first.

My second, Dreamscape, was a story hidden in a story to see if anyone noticed. And readers did, I’m very happy to say. When my rights return to me, I shall add the things I was told to remove. Not because I know better, but because I think my publisher’s editor was very young and didn’t know or understand the historical aspects I was referencing. I’ll also remove a few gratuitous scenes I was told to insert. Gratuitous scenes mostly add pages, not story. Then I’ll run the whole story by my editor and see what she makes of it. She understands my “voice” and knows historic detail inside out.

My third, The Witchy Wolf and the Wendigo, was testing a trend, the paranormal trend. When I first became a writer, vampire love stories were waning and anything with a wolf was riding high. Strangely, this story wrote itself and I have my own theory as to why. I also discovered secondary characters in it who wanted a story of their own. This I designed to test the efficacy writing a series. I’m two books into it now. This is important because my magnum opus is a series — 5 books and counting.

keyboardMy fourth, Loving Leonardo, was the result of this writer hearing a particularly intolerant news feed one afternoon. I actually stopped writing book two in the Witchy Wolf and the Wendigo series and immediately vented my exasperation on the keyboard. Would you believe I wrote the first draft of that entire 120356k-word, two-book story in 10 days? Apparently, indignation makes me write faster. And I’m a three-finger typist! This is my multi-award winner. I should get angry before I write every novel. :D 

Book2 in the Loving Leonardo series,  Loving Leonardo – The Quest, deals with loss amid the love, so naturally it had to be written slightly different. Of all of my novels, this one is my very favorite because I reached the depth of humanity I intended. I actually made myself cry while I was writing it. But I learned something here. When you’ve written romance with more erotic elements, your fans get ticked off if you write one with less. I had this 4-star review:

I liked the mystery they were trying to solve and the clues in Da Vinci’s work. I was disappointed because there was very little sex. Rose Anderson writes the most joyous, fun sex I’ve read and I missed it in this book.

I truly love my fans. I am sorry she was disappointed, and how wonderful the compliment here. But death and loss just don’t write well for me as foreplay. You have to make those intimate connections where they make sense or all you’ve written is erotica.  As a romance reader myself, I think erotica on top of death would be creepy. A curious side note to this: would you believe that zombie romance is now the trend? Nope, I’m not testing that. 

My most recent, Enchanted Skye, tests quill+penanother trend –the New Adult trend that sprung up after the books Twilight and 50 Shades of Grey. (Those stories were written for the 18-23 year old crowd. Yeah, even 50 Shades). My Enchanted Skye characters are young. I learned something here, older readers don’t want young. Of all my stories this is the slowest starter, even thought it’s a cute and unusual tale. Had I written it with a different pen name I believe it would do better in the bookstores. Like the reader commented above, my fans have expectations.

Still testing, I started writing a “sensual” romance last year, The Changeling, and got derailed by my dog’s failing health. I’m a linear writer, that is, the story unfolds as I walk through it.  It’s  hard to go back and find the dropped thread of your imagination. I read it twice through and finally found where I was headed. I’m happy to say I’m almost done. Just a handful of chapters now to tie everything together. It would make an adorable movie. As a reader, I know if the chemistry between characters is good, then the slightest exchange can warm your imagination. The Changeling will be my first “sensual” story. Most of my books toe that grey line between sizzling and scorching. The industry gradings go something like this Sweet, Sensual, Sizzling, Scorching, Sextreme. I’ve learned something more from Enchanted Skye. If you cross genres or sub-genres, don’t take your pen name with you. Invaluable to know.

monkey-typing-oSo today I’ll try to knuckle down and get some headway on The Changeling. I’m thinking I should take in an hour of news beforehand to raise my ire. Or maybe not. I might end up setting The Changeling aside and whipping out Loving Leonardo book 3.   :D

Below find a link to a free sampler if you’d like to take a gander at the 1st and 2nd chapters of all seven of my novels in print. And then for something sweet and completely different, look on that same link for the Exquisite Quills Holiday Anthology. I have a sweet short story there– a spin on the Christmas tale as told through the real happenings on a neighboring farm in the 1930′s. I hope you enjoy.  :D

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100Things.logo
For 100 days, I’ll post something from my chosen topic: Clichés.
There are 62 entries to come.

Here’s a cliché for today:

An open book


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Horny Hump Day
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Hump Day Blurb Share

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4 Us iconToday is guest Author Carly Carson
http://romancebooks4us.blogspot.com/

The Romance Books ’4′ Us Annual Christmas in July Contest is almost over. We have 32 prizes for ONE WINNER! http://www.romancebooks4us.com

۞>>>>۞<<<<۞

all7books-smallLove Waits in Unexpected Places - Scorching Samplings of Unusual Love Stories

Find my novels wherever books are sold.
Sample
my love stories for free!
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/333971

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Pay the piper


red1I love fairy tales. Even the name evokes a sense of fancy. What are they exactly? Merriam-Webster says this:

Fairy Tale:
a story involving fantastic forces

Well, that opens the field right up!

If you come to my blog regularly, you’ll know I’m a huge fan of metaphor and symbolism. I enjoy stretching my mind and imagination. Like parables, there are many messages hidden in our childhood nursery rhymes, fables, and fairy tales. That was the point of Aesop’s Fables, and it’s certainly the point  of Heinrich Hoffmann’s nightmare-inducing 1845 children’s book
Struwwelpeter

Long before the internet came into being, I recall reading examples. One such tale was The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe as a reference to Queen Victoria and the fragmentation of the British Empire. It sort of makes sense. At one time the sun literally never set on the British Empire. When your holdings are spread around the world like so many children, she (the Queen) didn’t know what to do. Another was a reference to L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz as having been written as a parable about populism. The Tin Man sort of hints at the dehumanized industrial worker of the 1900′s. That yellow brick road can certainly be a reference to the common image of America the immigrants of that era sought — the streets are paved with gold.

The Brothers Grimm

By the time Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm were born in the late 1700′s, the era of Sturm and Drang was drawing to a close. Sturm and Drang or Storm and Drive put emotion back into thought. Previously, the Enlightenment stripped all that away and rational, scientific thought prevailed. You might say Sturm and Drang was the counter culture of the time. On the heels of Sturm and Drang came Romantism –a celebration of intense emotion, and here we get a real feel for the minds of the Brothers Grimm.

With their keen interest in German folklore, Jakob and Wilhelm traveled extensively and everywhere they went, they collected the local stories. Much of what they found had threads of truth woven in. What’s more, most were cautionary tales filled with extreme violence. I’ve read several original versions of these fairy tales. Holy cow. I wouldn’t read them to a child. Example: Snow White dies in the end and her body is carted off by the prince and his men for a night of necrophilia. I have links to several holy cow examples below.

The Pied Piper

The Grimm’s Fairytale The Pied Piper of NG-1231Hamelin tells the story of a rat catcher who’s hired to rid the town of rats. He’s successful but the greedy towns people refuse to pay as promised. What else is he to do but return and lure the children away. It’s said the brothers drew upon 11 different versions of this story to make their own.

Believe it or not, this tale is based on an actual occurrence in 1284 in which most of the children in Hamelin disappeared. I came across many references to the whys and wherefores of how such a thing happened — a death metaphor for children dying from bubonic plague or other childhood disease, or a disease called Huntington’s chorea that makes people dance (as in the medieval Danse Macabre). I even came across one reference that says the kids went on a crusade to defend Christendom and never returned. The earliest reference is quite disturbing:

In the year of 1284, on the day of Saints John and Paul on June 26, by a piper, clothed in many kinds of colours, 130 children born in Hamelin were seduced, and lost at the place of execution near the koppen.

Jeeze. How do you make a fairytale out of that??

Just so you know, today is Rat Catcher Day. Keep your kids inside.

More~
http://www.nationalgeographic.com/grimm/archive.html

The Grimm Truth About Your Favorite Fairy tales

The Dark Side of the Grimm Fairy Tales

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100Things.logo
For 100 days, I’ll post something from my chosen topic: Clichés.
There are 63 entries to come.

Here’s a cliché for today:

Pay the piper


۞>>>>۞<<<<۞

4 Us iconToday is Author Desiree Holt’s blog day
http://romancebooks4us.blogspot.com/

The Romance Books ’4′ Us Annual Christmas in July Contest is almost over. We have 32 prizes for ONE WINNER! http://www.romancebooks4us.com

۞>>>>۞<<<<۞

all7books-smallLove Waits in Unexpected Places - Scorching Samplings of Unusual Love Stories

Find my novels wherever books are sold.
Sample
my love stories for free!
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/333971

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The profession of hope


Tractor_Trek_Web

 

 

 

One Saturday several years back, my husband and I went for an early breakfast in town. Coming home down our back-country road, he saw something in his side view mirror. Suddenly pulling over, he said, “You’re going to enjoy this.” A few seconds later an old tractor passed us by. Spiffed up and shining, it had a sign on it declaring it was on a Tractor Trek. Another tractor followed, this one with a sign that said the make and year. We sat and watched about 70 vintage tractors go by, the oldest from 1938.  I did enjoy that parade of farm machinery. I love parades even more than I love historic details.

Years passed and we didn’t see the Tractor Trek again. To my delight, this spring, the local township bulletin gave us advanced notice about the route. Social butterfly I, I decided to invite friends to watch and share breakfast after.  I woke early to cook pancakes and bacon, then we drove to the optimum spot to watch and parked off road. We sat in our chairs and sipped our coffee while we waited.

The large, loud, diesel-belching machines Tractor_Trekcame rumbling 20mph down an old railroad berm, a now trackless right-of-way from days gone by. Our seating directly across gave us a perfect up close and personal view of these old and steady machines as they turned the corner for the first part of their 50 mile trek.

Like the last time, nearly all were spiffed up and shining. Others were sun-faded. The oldest were mostly red with names of the company that built them — Allis-Chalmers, Ford, Ferguson, Champion, Massey Harris, John Deere, plus other names I didn’t recognize. I saw single names on one tractor and combined names on the next suggesting these old companies merged or disappeared when more aggressive marketing took over. 

hnews_sun_718_tractortrek2Side by side, the 1930′s, 40′s, 50′s, 60′s machines were dwarfed by the few models of the 1970′s. Some of the 1940′s, 50′s, and60′s tractors had hubs jutting out from the side. I don’t know what they’re called but I do know what they’re for. A few well-placed belts could relay power from the tractor to run another machine. Some tractors had awnings to offer some shade. I saw another with a patio umbrella that collapsed — 50 miles in the hot sun wasn’t going to be fun for that guy. One tractor had a rumble seat reminiscent of a queen seat on a motorcycle. It was occupied by the farmer’s wife. That had me wondering the purpose of it. For company?

A lag occurred after the first 20 or so tractors went by. One of the organizers pulled up in his truck and waited with us in the shade. The 20 or so farmers farmers climbed down from their seats and chatted with one another while they waited on the other drivers to catch up.

The organizer explained how often people complain when the trek crosses the main roads or drives those roads for a time until they meet up with another back road route. When you’re doing a speed of 20mph or so, it’s important to keep the trekkers together. The farmers endure obnoxious drivers who shout obscenities  and flash rude gestures. I mean really, is that necessary over a few minutes of your time? Just pull over and watch history as it passes you. We’ve lost the awareness that begins on the family farm and ends on the dinner table. Because our food comes neatly packaged from agra-biz and feedlot, people fail to see the connections. 

If a farmer is lucky he’ll have a 35 years in 2549070851_b35c163a38the field. Weather being the unpredictable thing it is, some of those years will be bad ones. These grand old implements were the farm family’s great hope and you could see it reflected in the obvious care and upkeep that paraded by this past Saturday. Farming has always been a profession of Hope. With their new tractor they might plow that extra acreage and make enough money for better drainage, get the new barn roof, or even send their kids to college. Tractors brought hope for the future.

The United Nations (UN) has dedicated 2014 as the International Year of Family Farming. The idea behind it is to highlight just how important family farming is in feeding the world and assuring food security. After decades of failed attempts to eradicate hunger, governments, development agencies, research institutions, etc, see family farming as necessary to alleviate global poverty and hunger. 

۞>>>>۞<<<<۞

100Things.logo
For 100 days, I’ll post something from my chosen topic: Clichés.
There are 64 entries to come.

Here’s a cliché for today:

Bet the farm


۞>>>>۞<<<<۞

4 Us iconToday is Author Renee Vincent’s blog day
http://romancebooks4us.blogspot.com/

The July contest is on. Come see! http://www.romancebooks4us.com

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all7books-smallLove Waits in Unexpected Places - Scorching Samplings of Unusual Love Stories

Find my novels wherever books are sold.
Sample
my love stories for free!
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/333971

۞>>>>۞<<<<۞

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Posted in Past Posts - you'll never know what you'll find | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Fun Day Sunday


funday smileIf you’ve been here before then you know Sundays on my blog are all about wonder and smiles. In honor of mentally kicking back once in a while, Sundays are Fun Days! Each Sunday, visitors will find a fun, interesting, or unusual something here. I’m a nerd with a complex sense of humor and absurd wit. It could literally be anything.

I don’t use Facebook much. I don’t like it. But Facebook is part of my author promotion, so I go there. I have fingers in many pies — so many pies. The other day I saw a short video there, a clip of a young woman singing a song. I asked my son about it. This type of singing is a trend. Figuring all trends wind up on youtube, I looked it up and sure enough saw other musicians in action. In the process heard the words to an old song, one I hadn’t heard in ages.

I’ve mentioned before that I had a stint as a DJ in college. Long story. Add to that, I grew up with Lawrence Welk, Sing Along with Mitch, and had parents who preferred polkas(dad) and Frankie Lane(mom). I also have a very talented piano-playing sister. I love music of all sorts. Proof: My itunes has about 8000 songs.

So anyway…I heard a song titled When I’m Gone. Apparently it was a top 100 hit last year. It was a first for me,  guess I don’t get out much. lol Somewhere in the depths of memory I realized it was a spin on an old Carter Family song from the 1920′s: You Will Miss Me When I’m Gone.  If you don’t already know, the Carter Family was a family of country folk singers. (June Carter went on to marry Johnny Cash.) I really like the modern rendition, especially the instrument that accompanied the voice. The singer of this modernized version is an actor named Anna Kendrick and her instrument is a cup. Lovely voice.

Here’s the same song with a lot of cups.

I’ve discovered the catchy song is popular around the word. Here’s a lovely version in Gaelic~

So now I have an urge to add cup to the rest of my percussion instruments. I just might. :D

۞>>>>۞<<<<۞

100Things.logo
For 100 days, I’ll post something from my chosen topic: Clichés.
There are 65 entries to come.

Here’s a cliché for today:

Into his cups


۞>>>>۞<<<<۞

My Saturday & Sunday Happenings

Sexy Snippets & My Sexy Saturday
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Seductive Studs and Sirens & Weekend Writing Warriors
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A Saturday Teaser
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Sneak Peek Sunday
http://calliopeswritingtablet.blogspot.com/

Sunday Snippet
**promo op for all romance authors**
http://exquisitequills.blogspot.com/

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4 Us iconToday’s guest~ Author Beverley Bateman
http://romancebooks4us.blogspot.com/

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A wolf in sheep’s clothing


What does an immortal Native American shaman do when the grave he’s sworn to watch over for all eternity disappears under urban development?

witchyAshThis was the thought that popped into my head after stumbling across a campy book at an art fair regarding a local urban legend – the Wisconsin wolf-man. Over the decades, eyewitnesses claimed they’d seen a wolf walking like a man, and some of these people weren’t the sort you’d doubt. I wouldn’t have normally given such a book a second look, but the locations it mentioned weren’t far from my home. What’s more, these sightings weren’t just modern urban legends, they went back to pre-settlement times. Historical tidbits will grab my attention every time.

One account in particular, captured my imagination as a writer. It occurred more than 70 years ago at a nearby convent that has ancient Native American burial mounds on the premises. I knew that Wisconsin was once filled with burial and effigy mounds so I filed that juicy tidbit away. A night watchman saw a wolfman kneeling atop a mound there. Not sitting like a wolf. Kneeling like a man. Naturally believing his own eyes, the watchman came home rattled. Here’s the strange part – not only did he share the frightening experience with his family, he swore them to secrecy fearing he’d get fired if word got out — e.g. people would think he’d been drinking on the job.

A little research uncovered Native American lore about wolf men guarding the graves of warriors. I was reminded of Anubis the jackal-headed Egyptian god of the dead, Cerberus the three-headed dog of Greek mythology, and the Sumerian goddess Bau. That got me thinking about the dog-headed guardians of mythology around the world. I saved that bit too. Before long I came upon more. The pieces fell into place and I crafted a story with a spin that included the ancient connection to the mounds as well as the modern legend.

Written in two books and leaving the story some room for more, my tale concerns an immortal Native American shaman of the Middle Woodland period of the Great Lakes Mound Builders (Hopewell culture). Of course there is a counterpoint — another creature of mythology — the wendigo. Here’s the opener for my tale:

Book 1 – Ashkewheteasu

The True Beginning
Ten years ago, a reporter for a small-town newspaper heard word of strange sightings of a wolf-like creature roaming the Wisconsin countryside. Authorities had determined what these eyewitnesses had actually seen was a lone wolf broken off from a pack from the north. However, the witnesses were adamant that what they’d seen had been no ordinary wolf. This wolf walked like a man. Similar sightings were mentioned in ancient Native American oral traditions. In those tales, dog men or witchy wolves looked after burial mounds in much the same way jackal-headed Anubis guarded the tombs of ancient Egypt. And early French explorers knew of them too. They’d called these wolf-men the loup-garou.

Blurb:
What does an immortal Native American shaman do when the grave he’s sworn to watch over for all eternity disappears under urban development?
His purpose of guarding his wife’s burial mound gone, Ashkewheteasu seeks to end his immortal existence. In his despair, he assumes the form of a wolf and steps in front of a moving car and into the life of Dr. Olivia “Livie” Rosalini. The veterinarian saves the animal’s life, and in the process saves the man within. Unbeknownst to Livie, the dog she’s taken into her home and grows to love is a magical being seeking to win her heart as a man.
While Ash is learning a new world filled with new love, friendship, and happiness, an old menace makes plans to steal it all away; just as he had 3000 years before.

My son’s friend designed the wolf-headed shaman on both covers.
Apparently the body model is another friend
ww1&2.with.border (3)
More~
The mounds of my area
http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/Lands/CulturalRes/mounds.html

Here’s an interesting take on the ancient symbolism of dogs
http://zoneofthefree.blogspot.com/2009/12/ancient-symbolism-of-dog.html

Tomorrow ~ Fun Day Sunday!

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100Things.logoFor 100 days, I’ll post something from my chosen topic: Clichés. There are 66 entries to come.

Here’s a cliché for today:

A wolf in sheep’s clothing

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Saturday & Sunday Happenings

Sexy Snippets & My Sexy Saturday
http://calliopesotherwritingtablet.blogspot.com/

Seductive Studs and Sirens & Weekend Writing Warriors
http://theancillarymuse.blogspot.com/

A Saturday Teaser
http://ifollowthemuse.blogspot.com/

Sneak Peek Sunday
http://calliopeswritingtablet.blogspot.com/

Sunday Snippet
**promo op for all romance authors**
http://exquisitequills.blogspot.com/

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4 Us iconToday is Author Sharon Hamilton’s blog
http://romancebooks4us.blogspot.com/

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all7books-smallLove Waits in Unexpected Places - Scorching Samplings of Unusual Love Stories

Find my novels wherever books are sold.
Sample my love stories for free!

۞>>>>۞<<<<۞>>>>۞<<<<۞

trrbanner

Posted in Past Posts - you'll never know what you'll find | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments