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. 😀

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.

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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. 🙂

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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.

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Tawny and Gracie

Tawny and Gracie

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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. 😀

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?

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 🙂

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Gerri Bowen: Good News, Unexpected Restrictions, & Advanced Planning

My expanded version of BLUE MOON REUNION is now out! That’s my good news. It was the first short story I had published, and was in an anthology, Blue Moon Enchantment. All stories in anthologies have word limits. Now that my publisher has published them separately, some seem very short to me. BLUE MOON REUNION always seemed too short to me, so I was able to expand it and get it published. For those who have read AUDREY’S LOVE, you will recognize some names. Sir Robin, my hero in BLUE MOON REUNION, is grandson to Vincent of the Great Mustache. 🙂

My new cover:

BMR WEB largeBuy Links:

 http://amzn.to/16LFZQR

Smashwords: bit.ly/1ch5prC

Barnes&Noble still don’t have the new one up. 😦

My Unexpected Restrictions? I read through the booklet I was given, to help prepare me for my surgery, and the weeks after. I was tempted to cancel the surgery.

For 2-8 weeks after surgery, I will be allowed to sit for no more than 10 minutes at a time, and then just to dress, eat, and use the toilet. Then I can either do a little walking or recline on my back! No bathing until my stitches are removed, and that is on the 16th. Eleven days without bathing? Heavens! No bending. No twisting. No reaching. I may lift something that is directly in front of me, but only if I can lift it with one hand.

So we come to Advanced Planning.

Everything I think I’ll use can-wise, plates, bowls, will be placed on my kitchen counters so I don’t have to bend down and retrieve stuff. The top shelf on my refrigerator will have to do since I won’t be able to bend down to reach for anything. I’ll leave the top of my waste can open, so I don’t have bend down to open it.

It took me several days to figure out how I can bathe without bending, twisting or getting my stitches wet. 🙂 I have one of those spray hoses that hooks up to my shower. Generally I’ve used that to help me clean the shower. I’ll use that, although cautiously, since I can direct it away from incision site. No way to wash my hair, so I’ll try some dry shampoo. I hope this all works.

As for computer time… I bought a lap top cushion desk. If someone is around, I can ask for their help in handing me my laptop. And plugging it in. And then lifting it away. Can you understand why I was tempted to call this off?

Driving in a car? I must be in a reclined position. If I’m in the car for longer than 15 minutes, we must stop and I must walk for 5 minutes, and then continue on. There is a special protocol for getting in and out of the car, too. Can we say p.o.? I will do my very best to be compliant. It will not be easy, though. I’m sure I will be grumpy. I’m sure there will be pain pills.

I doubt I will be on computer very much, but who knows? I have a few reviews I’d like to complete, and a gazillion books to read. I also bought some movies to watch. As with other horrible things that I’ve experienced, I’ll have to plan on how I’ll use this experience in a story. Someday. When I can once again bend, twist and plant myself in front of my desk computer.

Surgery is scheduled for September 5th.  A week from today. If you don’t hear from me for a while, you’ll know why.

If anyone has been through this, and has some helpful tips, please let me know. 🙂

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Gerri Bowen-This and That: Book Sales, Back Surgery, Puppy and Ants

First, I had a pleasant shock when I received my royalty statement for January through March. Audrey’s Love was released February 3rd. From that date through March 31, 711 copies were sold! 🙂 Call me pleased. I wish I knew what I had done so I could continue this success. Reviews came quickly, and from strangers. I didn’t know how all these people heard about it. Not sure if it being a time-travel was part of that success or not. It was also a medieval romance.

eCoverFinalLG-AudreysLoveLove’s Blood was released June 4th, so I’m curious what the numbers will be for this one. No reviews up yet for Love’s Blood. As far as I know, none have been sold. I won’t know until the next royalty statement, April through June, which I won’t get until September. Love’s Blood is not a time travel; a romance, paranormal, shifting, wood nymphs and beings stuck in animal bodies type of story…but definitely not a time travel. It’s one of my favorites. I love my characters Koozie and Dromo. Koozie is a Raven and Dromo is a Cheetah in this book. They are in other stories I’m writing, and those I have planned, but will appear as other animals.

CoverFinalLG-LovesBloodSome of you already know this, but I’m having back surgery September 5th. Long overdue. I’m tired of some days spent hunched over and walking with a cane. Either in pain or in a stupor because of muscle relaxers and pain medicine. If you’ve noticed I’m not online as much as I was, it’s because I can’t sit at the computer for very long. Many emails and blog posts are unread because it hurts to sit and read. I haven’t been able to write, either. A big, nasty, bummer!

The worst part for me is forgetting not to do things, as in bending over or weeding, or picking something up, or moving furniture.

I happen to like to move furniture. Always have. My mother would come home from work and I’d have the furniture moved around in various parts of the house. This has continued throughout my life. My husband would come home and be amazed how I could move certain pieces from one level of the house to the other. He joked that I must have levitated them, because he couldn’t figure out how I’d moved sofas and bookcases by myself.

Alas, my moving furniture is at and end. For the most part. Those little pad things are great. However…

Ants. I had to deal with a sudden any infestation yesterday. This year is horrible for ants. Is is bad for you, too? I assume all the rain we’ve had has contributed to the problem. The thing is, I don’t leave crumbs around. I’ve had to deal with ants before, so I’ve learned to rinse dishes immediately, pick up and wipe up after animals and grand-twins. Not easy! Cats and dogs don’t see crumbs any better than the grand-twins. I don’t leave anything opened. So why did they come in? I assume it was the rain.

Unfortunately, their trail was under something. That something was a three shelf wooden unit, and had to be moved so the trail could be cleared. I moved it slowly. Logically, I know it shouldn’t matter, but I figure if I move something slowly rather than just jerking and pushing, but tug a bit, turn and ignore it, and then go back and tug some more, it won’t hurt my back. So I tugged/moved the shelf thing. Moved everything off the floor in the pantry and kitchen, and then cleaned the floor until no more ants were seen. I did not move the refrigerator. I was tempted, but I knew that was a definite no-no. Besides, no ants were seen creeping out from under there. Ants are still gone today.

Weeds. I was doing so well with weeding this year, and then my back went out. I think it’s the weeding that gets me, not the furniture moving. No matter how gently (yes, the if I pretend I’m only going to pull this one weed so it won’t hurt me ploy) or inattentive I pretend to be, those weeds just draw me in with their taunts. Look at me! Look how many inches I’ve grown overnight! Look! Now there are ten thousand of us!

I actually spent some time this morning trying to figure out a way to weed without using my back. My favorite position was lying down on my stomach, head to the side, and with a hand shovel, getting those weeds. Except it’s really wet and muddy. Nor could I figure out a way to move forward, backward or to the side without involving my back. So that’s out for now.

Puppy is doing well. Has finally figured out it is a Good Dog that pees and poos outside. Bad Dog pees and poos inside. She still won’t go out by herself. So every morning, between 4:30 and 6:30, we make the trip outside and walk until her business is concluded. I’ve tried putting her out by herself, but she waits on the porch for me to join her. When we are outside, she constantly looks to see if I’m still there. If she doesn’t see me she runs to my door. Then I waved my arms and call her name and once she sees me, comes running, so very happy she’s found me.

The cats don’t yet realize they have claws and could do serious damage to puppy’s nose. I’m waiting. Puppy is in for quite a surprise.

That’s it for now. I hope all is well with you!

 

 

 

 

 

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Gerri Bowen: My New Puppy

IMG_0701Meet Miss Tawny. She’s my new puppy. I got her from Missions Of Mercy Rescue in Hanover, one week ago today. She’s four months old, weighs 17 1/2 pounds. Tawny is said to be a Red Heeler mix. One of the vets said Tawny might be part hound, too. As I understand it, Red Heelers were bred in Australia in the mid 1800’s from herding dogs and Dingos. Ranchers wanted a herding dog that could stand the heat.

IMG_0712She looks like a fawn to me. A fawn with a long tail. The tip of her tail is white. You can’t see it, but the white on her feet is speckled. She had a brother and sister who were all white with brown speckles.

IMG_0703IMG_0708This is the pond she stepped/fell into almost as soon as she started exploring the back yard. It did not have the little white fence around the perimeter at that time. Tawny climbed back out herself, but kept trying to jump back in. I bought her a wading pool the next day.

IMG_0714Snook and Tawny. It didn’t take long before Tawny started chasing Snook around the yard. Today she started biting at his throat to incite him to chase her. After a few rounds of chasing, she jumps into the wading pool, drinks, and jumps out again.

IMG_0713Snook is patient and gentle with her. He was sad after my Minnie died. Tawny now gives him a reason to race around the yard again.

IMG_0710Snook likes to jump up and drink from the waterfall.

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IMG_0706Tawny and I both prefer to sit in the shade when possible. She keeps trying to eat the bumble bees. She is successful at eating lightning bugs at night, jumping up and catching them in her mouth.

My cats refuse to enter my part of the house while I have this new creature. Today though, for the first time since I brought Tawny home, they all remained downstairs, although in elevated positions, while watching Tawny being led around on a leash.

They no longer look at her with the WTF is that thing? expression. Sophie is the bravest of the cats, and she has allowed Tawny to smell her. Sophie even rubs against Tawny, I think to show the other cats that a) Sophie is the bravest or b) this creature is a dog, just keep a close eye on it and all will be well.

Not much else to tell. The house training is ongoing. Some days are perfect, some not so much. Tawny is terrified of getting near or in a car. I assume because of the long transport ride from Texas to the rescue site. I have to pick her up and place her in the car when we go anywhere. I’m sure that will pass. I hope.

Meanwhile, it’s nice to again have a dog of my own close-by. I love my animals, but I will always be a dog person first. I’m sure many can relate to that. 🙂

There have been many mentions of the beautiful back yard. It is my son-in-law who is responsible for all the beautiful flowers and grouping of plants. He is a natural at this. (I am allowed a portion near my side, as my son-in-law knows how easily I can get carried away with flowers) 

 

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Gerri Bowen and guest, author Susan Waterwyk

My guest today is Susan Waterwyk, author of Lantamyra: A Tapestry of Fantasy.

I came across mention of Susan’s book on Twitter. Bought it, read it and loved it. It is an epic fantasy, taking you to another world, a better world. I didn’t want it to end. The good news is, is that Susan is working hard on the second part/sequel.

I forgot to mention Dragons. Dragons play a large part in Susan’s novel. I happen to love stories that have Dragons, and I know many others do as well.

Here is the cover for Lantamyra: A Tapestry of Fantasy. She painted this herself.

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And below is a blog post from Susan. I think most writers can identify with her on this, and I know for a fact that writers of a certain age can definitely relate to this.

The Four Horsemen of a Geriatric Apocalypse

I hope to soon publish a short novel (60,000 words) that continues the story of my lengthy first novel (172,000 words).  I feel forced by Time, Money, Stress and Age to offer my new novel quickly before one of the Four Horsemen of my geriatric apocalypse tramples me into dusty death.

A Tale of Two Words will take up where Lantamyra a Tapestry of Fantasy left off with the living world of Earth awakening and catastrophically harming the populations with earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions and terrible storms. The world of Lantamyra offers sanctuary for the few fortunate refugees chosen. The six Keepers of Akosh, ancient beings that have the power to terraform living worlds, will guide the Gathering of refugees. When the Keepers, dragons and crystalships come to Earth to get the families, they will encounter government police forces trying to stop them, and desperate criminals trying to grab power and gold. I hope the fast pace, intrigue, and action can captivate the 21st century Sci-Fi reader.

Of my Four Horsemen, I believe Time is the strongest one of all because Time is automatic law. It tic-tic-ticks away each and every day until (as MacBeth claims) “all the fools have lighted way to dusty death…” I have been called a fool for spending seven years writing a fantasy novel. Tolkien only needed ten years to produce the Lord of the Ring Trilogy. I wanted my first book to have true quality and be worthy of reading, and I learned that there are two things you cannot hurry: art and old people. So, seven years, four months, and eight days ticked away before my first book was finished and self-published.

The next malicious horseman is Money. We had a fair retirement package when I started writing. Cruel taxes and Wall Street muggings left us precious little to survive on. Still, with penny-pinching perseverance and help from a wonderful daughter. We survived to see Lantamyra published. We have just enough money left to finish and publish A Tale of Two Worlds before we have to climb into the lifeboat and pray for rescue.

Stress is the cruelest of the Four Horsemen making you fetch the whip that he’ll use on you. Preceding each lash is a comment. “You are wasting your time.” Crack! “You’re a fool to believe you can finish it.” Crack! “95% of self-published books are ignored…” Crack! “and you believe yours will be in the top 5%?” Crack! Each lash of stress bled living energy with worry and fear, worry for my family and fear of losing my meager home in the Sierra. Stress deprives one of hope until the hair turns white, the body withers and cripples.

Age is the only horseman to feel compassion, and yet it feels like the sympathy of the undertaker, who speaks softly in the living room while waiting for you to pass away in the bedroom. I had just become a senior citizen when I started my story in 2005. My hands were useful, my body strong for an old woman. Art is created with living energy, and the artist pours his soul into the work. The true artist will not give up even if he has to pour every bit of life into the work, think Mozart, Van Gogh, or Emily Bronte. The work must be done! It must be created. By the summer of 2008 the stress of watching our life savings being bled away by the Wall Street vampires caused my body to suffer and fail. I spent six months in bed or lying on the sofa suffering pain and stubbornly refusing drugs and refusing to surrender. I would dictate scenes to my husband, and he and my daughter would type them for me. Disconnecting the television and refusing to read the fear-mongering and hate-inciting excuse for modern journalism helped relieve the stress, and I slowly found the strength to walk and work in my garden once again. Unfortunately, I had aged ten years in one. My hands were permanently disfigured by arthritis, so my husband and daughter still need to do most of my typing. But with age comes wisdom and if the old can get the young to sit still long enough and listen to (or read) a story then they might be able to give them the gift of wisdom. It seems a daunting task considering the fact that the young grasp for thrills before wisdom.

So before the horseman of Age tramples me down for the last time. I will try to give the young readers of the 21st century a short novel (don’t want to blow any mental fuses) with lots of action, adventure, and life-sucking vampire ghosts, and awesome gigantic carnivorous dragons that have a higher IQ than the geniuses of Earth. I will show them how intelligent women and noble men can control a world without war, without clear-cutting every forest for profit, without spraying tons of poison on their own food supply and killing the birds and helpful insects in the process. More importantly they will get to experience the thrill of graphic horror of a wasteland after Mother Nature has torn apart the world. And just maybe they will grasp the three pearls of wisdom presented in the book: “Nothing haunts the world more than the words of the dead.” “The one who gives you dreams tempts you; the one who sells you dreams controls you.” and “Tomorrow is the prize of the survivors…”

If the Four Horsemen of my geriatric apocalypse can remain on the hill a little longer, then I will do my best to give my readers A Tale of Two Worlds.

Some photos from Susan.

April 2012 033This is what Susan sees every day.

Congratulations Susan--It's a book! 001This is Susan.

Solstice 2005 016 (2)Isn’t this magnificent?

Easter 008Susan and her love-her husband.

Solstice 2005 015 (2)More magnificence.

mama deer 010 (2)Easter 2005 032Easter 017 (2)(1)April 2012 050Lovely.

Now, how to find Susan?

Her Blog: http://wp.me/p3Cg07-j 

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6544594.Susan_Waterwyk/blog

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009KWM4LW/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/@waterwyk

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/susan.waterwyk?fref=ts

 

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