Thursday, November 28, 2013


Need I say more? So far it is only available via Smashwords, but should soon be up in more locations as well. Will keep you updated, and will eventually be through the holiday madness and able to think clearly enough to update better :)

Monday, October 14, 2013

End Page

Well, I finally did it. I finally got to the point where I could say my book is ready. Could I still change things? Probably. Maybe there are even still things I should change. But I've pared down pages, removed superfluous words and weary phrasing. I have made the whole thing as real as I can, for now.
So what now? Well, there is still a little over a month until my birthday, so the next step is choosing the best avenue for publishing, making sure I have an eye catching cover design, getting the text properly formatted, and putting it out there for all the world to see.
I know that circulation depends on visibility. Many authors get outsiders to write reviews, and spend countless hours on self promotion, but I don't have a whole lot of time for that. Right now I just want it to be officially available, and let the chips fall where they may.
And then? Well, on to the sequel. I'm actually into the next story already. Time to see where it takes me :)

Thursday, October 3, 2013

This One Goes Out To Those Who Miss Cheb...

When a person travels the world, journeys to distant lands, makes a home on foreign shores, they change. They become a part of a new culture. It is not the culture of their homeland, or the culture of their makeshift moment home. It is something separate and distinct, uniquely individual.

I have been blessed to share in the mixing of worlds, and have walked these roads with a plethora of beautiful people. A couple nights ago I had the pleasure of chatting with one of the ladies I traversed with on my first trip to the Czech Republic. She makes her home in the icy north lands of Canada, but for an hour or so, we transported one another back to a time when a trip to Austria, where we laughed our way through a Sound of Music tour, was a matter of an afternoon's train ride, and where entertainment could readily be found in something as simple as a trip to the grocery store.

The call came at a time when I was already thinking about this post, and brought the time I lived in Cheb, Czech Republic vividly. So this post goes out to my first year ladies: Nicole, Naomi, Crystal, and Tammy. My second year additions: Laura and Roshani. And my third year team member: Karina. To those of you who still harbor a warmth in your hearts for this beautiful, crazy, amazing town, this one is for you.

There is nothing like wandering around ancient cobblestone streets. I have countless touristy photos of Cheb, but when I visit now I try to capture the smaller details, as well as angles I haven't shared before. That being said, I still have to throw in a classic Bartholmeus Cappuccino shot ;)

Those first three were from my first visit back when I got to hang out with the ever popular socialite, Tammy. She was in the midst of saying goodbyes as she prepared to venture back to US soil, and I was thankful she could squeeze me in for an afternoon.

My second trip I had a meeting set up with one of my former students. Due to train schedules, I had to get to town a couple hours early, so I took advantage of the sunny day and ran around, snapping shots of my favorite places.

I don't think anyone can deny that living in a town with a castle is cool. When I first learned that the wall beneath the castle was a legal graffiti wall, I found it odd. It seemed disrespectful to allow vandalism in such close proximity to an ancient piece of art. Then I realized just how genius the idea was. Not only is it an ever changing work of modern art, it also makes it far less likely that anyone will do damage to the castle. It's a glorious juxtaposition of old and new that I positively adore.

The square is another place that is magical to me. Here are a few bits and pieces from that area.

Yeah, I had a little too much fun, per usual. Whoever knew I'd turn out to be such a poser ;)

I love me a good cathedral, and Sv. Mikolas is a real stunner.

Here are a few more of the castle...just because...

And now, for those who haven't been in Cheb for a while, there has been a crazy new development on the far side of the river. I only rushed through it quickly, but I was very impressed.

I rushed back up near the train station to meet my friend, just barely having a chance to catch a photo in the monastery garden.

My last visit to Cheb was just in passing on my way to and from Frantiskovy Lazne. During my first "layover," it was pouring down rain, so I went crazy shopping in Rossman, randomly buying a bunch of makeup. I'd just gotten a fancy new haircut, not to mention the fun clothes from my mom-in-law shopping trip, and was feeling the need to be more girly. On the way back, it was late, and in order to avoid spending too much time at the ultra dodgy train station, I spent time in the square, where I felt more comfortable.

Ah, Chebicek, it was lovely to see you again, and fun to share you with those who know you well, and those who are seeing you for the first time. I hope these pictures can help inspire you all in one way or another. Until next time...

Monday, September 30, 2013

Oops, Where Did September Go?

So I totally thought I would manage to get more posted his month. I scarcely scratched he surface of our trip, and still have endless photos to share. But life is what it is. Fall has come to Oregon in full force, bringing with it the beginning of the holiday season, which is joyfully a busy time in retail. Add a rise in work responsibilities, and the slow burning effects of jet lag, I've gotten lazy in the evenings and fallen behind.

September is coming to a close, and I still have a number of goLs to reach. My book has made a little progress, but there is still a considerable amount of rewriting to finish, as well as cover art and a final decision on publishg media to make. I remain determined to finish it up before mid November, as well as needing to get some crocheting projects underway for the shop. Life doesn't let up much, but I like the fast pace, and look forward to seeing what the season will bring, although I wouldn't mind if the stormy weather cleared up ;)

Friday, September 20, 2013

A Glimpse into the Garden

Amazing how quickly life gets busy, and all those little things that aren't on the must do list get pushed aside. I still have loads of pictures to share, but I have this feeling that they're going to be spread out farther than I had hoped at first.

I've shared quite a few photos of the garden in the past. If you're curious, click on the links to "cottage" posts at the bottom of the page to review what it used to look like. This has been a project that has been going on for around ten years, so we were really glad to help make more strides forward.

The fruits of our labor were very much appreciated. We raided the peach tree, the plum tree, and even found a few blueberries and a strawberry or two. Near the end of the trip I also had my first experience with fresh hazelnuts.

We made some new friends while we were at the garden. The first one was not the least bit bothered by having us take a closer look.

Those random bugs in the second picture found a heavenly elixir on those plants and stayed in the same positions the entire time we were in Czech. Very strange.

Our final friends were by far the cuddliest...

The babies were really skittish at first, and even puffed up and hissed at me, but the Mamma Cat walked back and forth between me and them many times to show them that I was safe. Eventually they warmed up to me. One of them started licking my hand, and let me pick it up, although it was still nervous. Unfortunately, the next day when I went to find them again, they had disappeared.

Now for some pictures of all the hardcore work that we participated in, beginning with the dirt that we ran through a giant sieve to clear out the rocks so it will be good for growing things.

When I was wandering amidst the other gardens I took pictures of the flowers growing there, which gives a little idea of what might happen in "our" garden someday.

Now, for a final look at the cottage, which is really the star of the show :)

Hope you enjoyed a little time in the garden :) It was a lot of work, but was definitely worth it.