2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 960 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 16 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Advanced Training, Excuses, Lyme and Christmas Stories

Yes, it has been a long while since I posted. Has been a brutal few months.

Miss Tawny has completed her advanced dog training. :D

20141016_184827 20141016_185118She’s the best rained dog I’ve ever had, but there are those who roll their eyes when they hear that. I do try to walk her daily. Doesn’t always happen. I was treated for Lyme after finding a deer tick and red ring, on my stomach of all places. Nasty three weeks of antibiotics. Either I’m clear or I’m not. Could be worse. I just have to avoid walking in leaves, which is how I believe the tick found me.

20141113_094515

I’ve taken many pictures during our walks, but that will have to wait for another post. These are some of the leaves I favored.

20141111_102428

 

Since Christmas is near, I thought I’d remind you that I do have Christmas themed stories. Since some of the titles might sound not at all Christmas-y or wholesome, I thought it wise to say that yes, all these short stories are sweet, meaning maybe a kiss but nothing more. Also, my vampires are Sunshine Vampires—they don’t attack people and drink blood. They are healers. So, now that’s all straightened out, I shall tell you a bit about my stories. You can also go to the page of MY BOOKS and read more about them. My short stories also appear in themed anthologies as well as single e-book form.

I tend to have characters appear in more than one story. Edrea first appears in AUDREY’S LOVE, and then again in my revised and expanded short story, BLUE MOON REUNION. But my favorite repeating character is the Earl of Ardmoor. And he is in all my Christmas stories. With bows and wishing ribbons on his peg leg.

JOY’S CHRISTMAS WISHES

JCW_eCOVER[1]

Is Ardmoor’s second appearance in my stories, his first Christmas appearance. He helps make sure the right couple find the love and happy future they deserve, and a small child see her wishes fulfilled.

 

 

 

 

A CHORUS SINGING LOVE

chorussinging.jpg124K

Is when Ardmoor finds his own love during the Christmas season. But only after coming to terms with The Unfortunate Incident of the Summer of 1809. This is my favorite.

 

 

 

 

MIND YOU FANGS

Mind Your Fangs - 2x3

Ardmoor and his wife love to host, especially at Christmas time, and in this story they host characters from earlier stories as well as a distant relative, Lady Lydia Louvel. She is a Sunshine Vampire. She also has an unfortunate habit of allowing her fangs to drop at inopportune times. But love conquers all, even slipped fangs.

 

 

 

A WILD-BLOODED CHRISTMAS-WITH FANGS

AWBCWF WEB large

The following Christmas, Lady Annette Louvel, older sister to Lady Lydia, arrives for the Christmas season at the home of Ardmoor and his family. This is the story I had the most fun writing, and it has spawned many other stories, but as yet, only in my mind. The year has been rough for me.

 

 

 

I’ve made videos about my stories, many years old, but I like them. May give you a flavor about the story.

So, go to MY BOOKS page and MY VIDEOS page and see what you’d like. Please let me know what you liked. :)

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Gerri Bowen: Dog Graduation, Smart Phones, and This and That

So long since my last post. A lot of stuff going on, but we all have that, don’t we?

My dog just graduated from Intermediate Dog Training class. She has on her cap. She didn’t have it on for very long, though.

Tawny's Graduation20140510_185837

Tawny’s Graduation

 

She grew to love going to the classes because it was held in a store where all the employees have access to dog treats. She quickly learned that is she sat and offered a paw, she’d get a treat from strangers. It was also a good way to socialize her.

The next best thing was Gracie. She was the other dog in the class, and just turned six months old. She was the sweetest puppy. Always, always wagging her tail and smiling. She and Tawny played whenever they could.

20140510_184210_1

Tawny and Gracie

Tawny and Gracie

20140510_185347(0)20140510_185347

 

 

 

 

 

 

The bed was used as part of the training, as in, Go to the Bed and Stay!

Sometimes they did very well with that command. Tawny has learned some important commands that my other dogs never really understood. Maybe I’ve become a better instructor. I walk around with treats in my pocket so I can reward her when she listens.

The commands I appreciate Tawny learning are: Wait. Wait is such a great thing for dogs to know. Sit, stay. Leave it! Drop it! Come! Heel. All great commands. No more chasing her around the yard to get  whatever she found and is chewing.  No more of her gnawing on something she shouldn’t. I still chase her, but only so she can run, which she still loves to do.

Now, heel is where I kind of cheat. She wears a harness, not a collar, so she never chokes herself by pulling on her leash. The leash attaches to the harness has two handles, or two loops. One is at the end and the other is about twelve inches from where the leash connects to her harness. She more or less has to walk next to me when I hold the loop that is closest to her body. Works for me.

We will also go to the Advanced class, but I want to want until after the hot weather is over. That is assuming this summer will have those horribly hot and humid days where riding in a car isn’t fun, even with air conditioning.

mouth for doorI bought a new smart phone. I had one some years ago, loved it, but I was on a plan and I could not see paying almost $100.00 a month for use of the smart phone. Nice, but not worth it. I’m cheap that way. So when my current contract ended, I signed up with a plan that is just under $50.00 a month, no limit to talk, text, etc. So I bought a new phone. :)

Then I had to figure out the phone. I love my new phone, don’t get me wrong. It whistles at me, rings like a bicycle bell, and makes other fun noises. But it is so hard to figure out how to get to stuff. All the cell phones I’ve had in the past were kind of easy to operate. It was if a real person gave a great deal of thought to how to get to one place to another. Very intuitive. You kept pressing things until you knew where everything was.

Not this phone. Instructions don’t help either. I’m sure part of the problem is my age. I tend to understand what is written, and will re-read until I do understand, and am rather good at following instructions. Does not help with this phone. I guess I need to keep pushing some more buttons. :D

snow ice treesAnother thing. What is happening with the The Weather Channel? If they’re trying to wreck it, they’re succeeding. There was only one The Weather Channel. I remember you could turn it on at any time and get the weather. Now it is a Morning Show in the morning. At night you have shows about trucks crashing, or prospecting, videos of past storms, or all sorts of stuff that loosely pertains to weather.

I have cable and can get seven morning shows if I want. I don’t watch morning shows because I don’t like them. I want to see what the weather will be. If I want news I will turn to one of the news channels. They used to have a little talk between the forecasters, and that was plenty. I remember when they used to show weather from around the world, but they stopped doing that years ago.

How about going back to weather all the time?  Want to do something besides repeating the weather? Then tell us where storms come from and where they go. Educate us. We can see that the storms are blowing in from the West coast, but where were they before that? Where did they originate and why? Where will these storms travel? Why do some storms travel across the Atlantic and some don’t? How about letting us know about what is going on in Europe? South America? Far East? Australia? Our neighbor Canada, for crying out loud.

And please, please you weather anchors, stop looking at the other and telling that person what the weather is. You both work there. Face us and tell us the weather, not your co-anchor. Thank you.

Well, I guess I just ranted. Felt good. Anyone else feel this way about the sometimes-we-have-weather channel?

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Gerri Bowen-When I Saw a Soul and What I did with that Knowing

blonde on red rosesIn my former life as a massage therapist, we were required to take a certain number of body work classes for the educational requirements so we could keep our licenses current. The classes were usually four days duration, Thursday through Sunday, and were never cheap. I preferred to take classes near by so I didn’t have to pay for air fare, extra meals and a hotel room. In the early nineties that wasn’t a problem. Most were held at the old Baltimore School of Massage in downtown Baltimore, on Broadway. Before it moved to Woodlawn in the county. And was then sold to a Cruise line. But I digress.

Massage can get boring after a while, if all you ever do is the same thing, day in and day out. I welcomed the chance to learn new things, and as my client base grew, I realized I needed to learn more. So I learned from the best. Hugh Milne for Cranio-Sacral therapy, Fritz Smith for Zero Balancing, and Aminah Raheem for Process Acupressure. All energy work.

What I learned in those classes changed how I perceived things, allowed me to question what it was I thought the world contained, how we are affected by energy and how we can effect a change with energy. Much more, but to list everything would make this blog way too long. :) Some on my best work came the day or two after I had a class. As it is when people with the same mind-set, goal or belief get together, the energy produced can be wonderful. Or terrible, depending on intent. Think: a miracle witnessed, or a massacre.

I was taking a Cranio-Sacral class, I forget which one, and one morning we did a meditation on the chakras. It took all morning. We partnered up and sat on the floor, lights dimmed, candles burning, and did an unhurried meditation, beginning with the first chakra. My partner was unknown to me prior to this class. Nothing special about her. Well, she was a physical therapist, and at that time P.T’s and massage therapists weren’t friendly, turf wars and such. I wasn’t very hopeful about this meditation thing, but I noted my observations as I received them. Then I got to her fifth chakra, the Heart. I am still overcome when I think of this, all these years later.

It was slow at first, and I didn’t understand what I was seeing. It was white, like a cloud, and emanated from her chest. Is that what I think it is? And then as if in answer, it grew bigger, much bigger. I knew I was crying because it was so beautiful, and so very unexpected. I remember thinking that for someone so normal, her soul was so beautiful. Then I realized we all must have a soul like that. A tons of bricks.

I call that thought up from time to time to remind myself while watching news or reading on Facebook that while yes, that person acts and sounds like a raging lunatic, they also have a beautiful soul inside. Not easy. I’m no saint.

So what did I do with what I had seen? I used it in a book, years later. The following excerpt is from Love’s Blood. Britta is the heroine and is sitting with Karin, waiting with her for the Death Goddess to come and claim her. Dromo is the Cheetah and Koozie is the Raven.

CoverFinalLG-LovesBlood Britta looked farther into the hall when Karin dozed. It appeared to be a large hall. It was dark, so she couldn’t tell if there was another level. She sat in a passageway that ran
along the outside wall, but at the far end was another, smaller room.

She was used to people living in buildings on the ground, having seen where her cousin kin lived. It appeared the Dane tribe built houses like the Saxons, but this one
was bigger, longer. Not like the huge house of stone and marble where the Da entertained guests, or the stone guest house outside the mist wall, or the houses in
Pennge. This might be similar to the houses in the village outside the misty veil, but only because they were low to the ground and had thatched roofs like this one.

Best if she never made mention how she and others lived at Breen. How could she
explain that? Still, didn’t the Dane or Saxon ever build houses large enough for all to feel
free and comfortable? Had it not occurred to them? She might mention it when she
better understood the language.

She could hear conversations coming from the large hall, and half the time
understood what was said. Not that anyone spoke to her. Nay, she was ignored. No
doubt because she was sitting next to Karin, keeping vigil. Other than the times
someone brought food to her, none ever looked at her.

The girls and Lars avoided her. She never saw Erik. If Dromo hadn’t shown her
where to take her ease, she wouldn’t have known where to go—even how to ask where to
go.

Being left alone, she had all the time she needed to help Karin ease into her next
cycle. Time too, for learning the language. Koozie and Dromo kept her company, helping
her with the Dane words, telling her stories about their other lives, but often times they
would argue quietly between themselves about grandparents. When that happened
Britta chanted softly to Karin, for two reasons; it kept her from overhearing what was
obviously a private, ongoing argument, and it appeared to ease Karin.

It was dawn when Karin’s soul slipped out of her body. Britta smiled when Karin’s
soul lingered, had to laugh when she felt Karin’s shock upon realizing that what she had
told her was true. Britta felt warmth encompass her, heard Karin’s request of a chant to
assist her on her way. As she chanted, Britta saw Karin’s soul grow to huge proportions as it twisted and swayed, testing its freedom out of a body, all the while swelling as the
chant grew more intense, more commanding. “Farewell sister,” Britta heard. Then Karin
was truly gone.

2021426_blogI hope you enjoyed the excerpt. Below are some links should you care to purchase the book.

Here is the amazon link : http://www.amazon.com/Loves-Blood-ebook/dp/B00D73OCYM/ref=sr_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1370535016&sr=1-7&keywords=Gerri+Bowen

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Loves-Blood-ebook/dp/B00D73OCYM/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1370871969&sr=1-1&keywords=Love%27s+Blood+Gerri+Bowen

Barnes&Noble: http://www.amazon.com/Loves-Blood-ebook/dp/B00D73OCYM/ref=sr_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1370535016&sr=1-7&keywords=Gerri+Bowen

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/search?query=Love%27s+Blood

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,000 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 50 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Christmas! And All Good Things

snow ice treesIt’s nearly Christmas. If you celebrate Christmas, I hope all your preparations are coming along nicely. Presents bought and wrapped. Dinner planned. Guests invited. Decorations for home and table looking beautiful.

SONY DSC

I’m fortunate to live in a warm, comfortable home. I will be seeing family on Christmas day. We will enjoy  good food and much laughter. The children will get nice presents. So will our dogs and cats.

fruit pies

But please, do remember those less fortunate. They are all around us. Any little thing you can give is good, because it all ads up to something big. Toys for Tots, and The Salvation Army do good work. Some grocery stores have bins where you can donate can goods or toys. This is also a good time to go through your clothes and donate items you no longer wear, but are still in good shape. Coats for children as well as adults are always welcome.

reflected rose

This is also the time of year when Christmas stories are popular. Many to choose from. I don’t have anything new published this year, but if you haven’t read my older ones, give them a try. All about love, forgiveness and acceptance. With humor. All are “sweet”.

In order, because they follow from year to year: Joy’s Christmas Wishes; A Chorus Singing Love; Mind Your Fangs; A Wild-Blooded Christmas-With Fangs. Look on My Books page here on my blog.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Recovery, Good News, and Musings

I’d say recovery is complete from my back surgery. A few rough weeks with nerve pain in my legs, but Medrol dose packs helped. (May I just say that labor was more bearable than the nerve pain.) Unfortunately, I needed four of the dose packs, for which doctor was hesitant to approve. So with the last one, I was also told to take four other pain relievers. It all worked. I believe it was the accumulated pain meds by the end of the day that contributed to my falls. I fell twice, and the last time was a doozy. Black eye and all that. No permanent damage, but I stopped all the pain meds. My balance is not good, and now I need to use a cane at times. It forces me to slow down.

A big test comes this Saturday, when I drive for a little over an hour to get to my writing chapter’s annual Christmas party. Sitting and driving for over an hour used to really aggravate my back, so I’ll see. Hopefully, all will be well.

My good news! I applied for and was accepted into PAN on November 27th. What the heck is that? Published Authors Network. I am a member of RWA, the Romance Writers of America, and the organization has writers of all levels. Those who want to write, those who have written but haven’t yet been published, and those who have been published. As well as PAN, there is PRO. Pro membership signifies you have completed a manuscript, sent it out, but it wasn’t accepted. I had been a member of PRO for many years. It’s actually a big deal, because completing a manuscript, and editing into  good shape is harder than you think. Being eligible for PAN means you have earned $1,000.00 on one book in one year. The book that earned me PAN is AUDREY’S LOVE.

eCoverFinalLG-AudreysLovePuppy Tawney is doing well. Unfortunately, she chews anything and everything. I find the weirdest stuff in the backyard. Gloves, a stocking. ??? Toys I can understand, and I’ve told my grandchildren not to leave their muddy shoes where Tawny can reach them. Or their toys. They forget.

One of my cats, Sally, collects little socks that litter the floor of this house. I have to find them before Tawny finds them and eats them.

Three Cats 01Sally is in the middle. Sophie is on the left and Loupie on the right.

Tawny still hasn’t learned to walk on a leash yet. Okay, she can walk near me as she lunges ahead. Unfortunately, whenever I try to walk her, my back hurts after.She’s only 34 pounds. I keep trying different harnesses, because just a leash on her collar is pointless; she slips out and laughs at me as she dances around me in circles. My fingers are just not as nimble as they used to be, which ticks me off as I try to unsnap the collar and get it back on her. She needs training, but I am hesitant to sign up this time of year. Really, the least of my worries. :)

IMG_0701

Posted in Uncategorized | 16 Comments