Thursday, November 26, 2009

Let us give thanks to God for the great and fragil gift of FREEDOM which He has bestowed upon this nation. Let us never let its light go out of the World. God bless and keep you all.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

What's Been Happening...

I have been some kind of busy since last posting, and am going to have to play catch-up. You know... with getting a new phone line to replace the one that the lightning melted. That's still not completely finished. We're going to have to talk to Ma Bell, aka AT&T, about finishing hooking up the new line and removing the temporary one. The new line had to be buried because of my all my trees. At least we got that far. Your guess is as good as mine to finishing the connection.

Also, the old power adaptor for the computer indeed did succumb to the effects of the lightning strike. Evidently the wires were so weaked that they simply broke... at the most inconvenient moment, of course. However, the Lord has provided, and all the bills are being paid. It's been keeping up with the e-mails and online communications which has been killing me. :-)

As for the Lord providing, my church has a crew of men who handle emergencies. They were my angels. Here they are, repairing the roof. Because of their unselfish generosity, I was able to afford it.

And look what a beautiful job that they did. This is Christian love in action. I cannot thank them enough. God bless them, and may we all learn from their example.

Due to recent current events, I've been applying my writing to other areas than to the Science Fiction Romance which is the book of my heart. Pray that I may be able to eventually return to my labor of love. The Supreme Poodle Pasha Zackery still rules, and his HaremKitty MaxiCat followes him everywhere... At the moment, it's my lap. With both of them and the computer, the lap's rather crowded.

Happy Writing and God be with you,

Writing to inform my friends of what is happening in our nation.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

AWOL for the Last Couple of Weeks...

This is my "excuse for being AWOL for the last two weeks. I have been living in "interesting times", as the Chinese say.

First, the plumbing backed up, roots in the drains with accompanying exorbitant bill.

Next, lightening struck near the house, throwing all the breakers, overloaded the computer's adapter, discharging the computer's battery, frying the phone line and the computer's modem. I tried flipping the breakers. Nothing happened. Hence, called the electricians, who came and flipped them making them work and also leaving exorbitant bill. Why the circuits worked for them and not me... go figure.

Ordered new adaptor for computer. Wrong one came in. Called the manufacturer..."Why don't you try the old one again since it's been sitting for a week." Hey, it worked! But, no dial tone... modem fried. Modems in laptops can't be replaced because they are part of the mother board. (**&^#! Got new external modem, with its accompanying exorbitant bill. Worked in the shop. Got home and hitched 'er up. ERROR! Black screen of death. Called computer shop back. "We're sorry, but he's gone home for the weekend." (^%$#!

Took the computer and external modem back to the shop yesterday morning. Everything worked fine. I tell you that inanimate objects are out to get us!

Then after all that, a tree limb, weighing several tons, falls on my office/studio/carport, and I have that to repair and pay for.

The last 15 days have definitely been "interesting". If I disappear again, it's because I can't pay the phone bill. On top of that, I have over a thousand e-mails staring at me. As I told one of my friends, "This has been one of those time when I've thought of the verse in the Bible where it says, "In all things give thanks, for this is the will of Christ Jesus concerning you." Well, as I stood there looking at the destruction, I said, "God, I just want you to know that it's taking all the faith I've got to give thanks, so please show me something to be thankful about." I am so thankful that He has a sense of humor because lightening hasn't struck me....yet. LOL
"Interesting" sucks!

Non Illegitimati Carborundum!
Writing Science Fiction Romance
Real Love in a Real Future

Friday, July 24, 2009

2009 PRISM Awards...

The Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal chapter of RWA is pleased to announce the final placements in the 2009 Prism Contest.

Dark Paranormal:
First Place: Mona Lisa Craving by Sunny
Second Place: Immortals: The Redeeming by Jennifer Ashley
Third Place: Hotter After Midnight by Cynthia Eden
Light Paranormal:
First Place: Wicked Game by Jeri Smith-Ready
Second Place:La Vida Vampire by Nancy Haddock
Third Place: The Trouble with Moonlight by Donna MacMeans
First Place: Siren Singing by Isabo Kelly
Second Place:Carnal Desires by Crystal Jordan
Third Place: A Mermaid's Kiss by Joey W. Hill
First Place: The Dragon Master by Allyson James
Second Place:Dragonborn by Jade Lee
Third Place: King of Sword & Sky by C.L. Wilson
First Place: "Dark Nest" by Leanna Renee Hieber
Second Place: "Kung Fu Shoes!" by Jade Lee in These Boots were Made forStomping
Third Place: "The Spacetime Pool" by Catherine Asaro in Analog Science Factand Fiction magazine
First Place: Shades of Dark by Linnea Sinclair
Second Place:Fallen by Claire Delacroix
Third Place: Moonstruck by Susan Grant
Time Travel:
First Place: Twist by Colby Hodge
Second Place:A Sexy Time of It by Cara Summers
Third Place: Madman's Dance by Jana G. Oliver
Young Adult:
First Place: Sleepless by Terri Clark
Second Place:CHOSEN: A House of Night Novel by P.C. Cast
Third Place: Cave of Terror by Amber Dawn Bell
Best First Book:
La Vida Vampire by Nancy Haddock
Best of the Best:
The Dragon Master by Jennifer Ashley w/a Allyson James
Congratulations to all who placed, and a big thank you to all who entered,all who judged, and to the FF&P board for making it all possible.
Jennette Heikes & Theresa Kovian,
FF&P Prism Contest Coordinators
And congratulations to all of my friends who won, and who have been such an encouragement for my writing. Thank you. I hope that I can get to know the rest of you soon. You did well.
Writing Science Fiction Romance
Real Love in a Real Future

Friday, July 17, 2009

My Secret Garden – July 2009

How doth my garden grow? Until day before yesterday... it didn’t! Don't take this picture seriously. I just loved the kitschyness of it.

After a spring of rain, rain, rain, jungle, jungle, jungle, we’ve gone for over two months with less than ½ inch of water from heaven...which we have now gotten... yes, day before yesterday! Flowers, basically, had stopped; and, their leaves wilted and turned brown. Even the grass stopped growing, and I haven’t had to mow in weeks. Last night it poured and we're expecting more later. Hurrah! Just so long as it doesn't storm violently. Such are the vagaries of summer gardens of the Deep South. If we can't eat it, and it isn’t watered by God, it doesn’t grow. On my is root hog or die.

Except...we did water the vegetable garden which my roommate and I planted in my patio. I have success to report in this department. Well, qualified success. The Supreme Poodle Pasha Zackery, MaxieHaremKitty, and catnip have done their work. They have been ferocious defenders of the growing larder (they both like lasanga). This year, the deer haven’t gotten fat at our table’s expense. Houston, we have tomatoes. The watermelon, squash, cucumber and eggplant have been busts. Never made it off the launch pad. But there have been other problems in our organic garden.

First, it was the roly-polies. They are those tiny grey crustaceans which roll up into a ball when you touch them and are supposed to clean up dead leaves. Except, they decided that tiny new plants, dianthus in particular, were gourmet provinder! Sorry, the dianthus had to go... and the roly-polies returned to their proper duties.

Next, it has been the Tomato Horn Worms. They’re about the size of your little finger, and are truly voracious

MONSTERS. My roommate calls them the “pedophiles of the garden”. She says Horn Worms like ‘em “young and tender”. Yes, I know, vulgar, but she did give me permission to use the phrase. It isn’t a patch on what she really said the morning she found the top growth eaten off of all our tomato plants, so thank your lucky stars for my tender sensibilities in not repeating her exact words. Picking these worms off the plants over several days and spraying the plants with a Pears soap solution did the trick. The plants are now recovering and continuing to produce. We hear that pure diatomaceous earth works on both roly-polies and horn worms. Oh, well, next year!

Last night we had the first real rain since May. Everything has perked back up. The cashmere bouquet and summer phlox are no longer wilted, but are beginning to bloom again. The confederate jasmine has also started blooming once more. The daylilies are all rebloomers, but will take some time to recover. The next flowers to bloom on my garden calendar are the Philippine Lilies and the Naked Lady Lilies. I’ll post pictures as they open.

Happy writing, happy gardening,


Gardening and Writing Science Fiction Romance
Real Love in a Real Future

P.S. I haven't forgotten about History, Part III!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

I'm Guest Blogging...Come for a Visit!

If you've never been to The Galaxy Express, you're in for a treat. Heather Massey has created the absolutely, greatest spot on the web for Science Fiction Romance fans to get the latest news and to simply have fun.

I'm going to be guest blogging at The Galaxy Express, tomorrow, Sunday, July 12. Please stop in for a visit. Heather asked me to blog on "Parallel Universe", and she is having some awesome articles from terrific bloggers.

Actually, she named the week of guest blogging "Parallel Universe"; but, being the literal clone of my mother, I took her at her word and wrote guessed it..."Parallel Universes." *G*

Happy reading and writing,
Frances Drake
Writing Science Fiction Romance
Real Love in a Real Future

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Happy Fourth of July, 2009...

This has been around for some time, but it is always worth remembering. Thank you American Liberty Alliance for reminding me. Remember that clicking on the picture will give you the full size.

As we go into Independence Day weekend, it's important to remember the sacrifice behind this great and Historic day.

Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army; another had two sons captured. Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War.

They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. What kind of men were they? Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists. Eleven were merchants, nine were farmers and large plantation owners; men of means, well educated. But they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured.

Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts, and died in rags.

Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly. He served in the Congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward.

Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton. At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson Jr, noted that the British General Cornwallis had taken over his home for his headquarters. He quietly urged General George Washington to open fire. The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.

Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The Redcoats jailed his wife, and she died within a few months. John Hart was driven from his wife's bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill were laid to waste. For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his children vanished. A few weeks later he died from exhaustion and a broken heart.

Norris and Livingston suffered similar fates.

Such were the stories and sacrifices of the American Revolution. These were not wild-eyed, rabble-rousing ruffians. They were soft-spoken men of means and education. They had security, but they valued liberty more. Standing tall, straight, and unwavering, they pledged: "For the support of this declaration, with firm reliance on theprotection of the divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."

They gave you and me a free and independent America. The history books never told you a lot about what happened in the Revolutionary War. We didn't fight just the British. We were British subjects at that time and we fought our own government! Some of us take these liberties so much for granted, but we shouldn't. So, take a few minutes while enjoying your 4th of July holiday and silently thank these patriots. It's not much to ask for the price they paid.

Remember: freedom is never free!


Whatever you're doing this weekend, be that a Tea Party (click here for a location near you) or just time with friends and family... remember the sacrifice our founding fathers made. The American Liberty Alliance wishes you a very safe and Happy Independence Day!

For Liberty,

Eric OdomExecutive Director American Liberty Alliance


My post on History, Part III will be online next week.


Sunday, June 28, 2009

History, Part II

One of the more enjoyable things that I did, last week, was to cross index what I was reading about the ancient Mesopotamian empires with timeline reference books and the Bible. It's a really cool exercise, and I got a far better insight into the people and events which I had only read about in...well, let’s not go there.

Case in point: During the week, I also watched the movie, the 300. I know, you’re snickering because it’s based on a comic book; but, it is “sort of” about real events in a real time. Besides, it was fun. So cut me some slack already. I’ll admit it. I was enjoying the eye candy. However, I also happened to remember something that I hadn’t thought of for many years, and wouldn’t have now if it weren’t for the cross indexing which I’d been doing.

Did you ever wonder why Xerxes, King of the Persian Empire, went after those poor little Greeks? There is always a reason. Stop and think about it, and while you’re at it, check out the crazy costume. Think that the real Xerxes would’ve been caught dead in that get up? I don’t think so. LOL

Anyway, Xerxes had the world by the tail. He had the best of everything: money, power, taxes, trade routes, taxes, people, taxes, lands, money. You get the picture. Why would he ever go half way across the world to mess with some mean, freedom loving, hairy, smelly Greek savages, who hadn’t been out of their caves for more than a few weeks by Persian standards. The Greeks had nothing which the Persians needed or even really wanted. So far, I haven’t found where history gives us sufficient reason for the wealthy, urbane Xerxes to whoop up on the Greek hillbillies. This simply never made sense to me. The economics of supplying his army, by itself, gives me a headache.

So I decided to play my favorite game, “What If?” What reason could possibly pull Xerxes out of his cities and palaces and make him go to a far off land to attack some nobodies? But first, I had to get inside Xerxes’ brain.

When I started connecting the dots from my various reference books, and linked them to what I was finding in the Bible, I came up with what I think might be a plausible reason for a potentate to suddenly travel a great distance just to beat up on a bunch of squabbling rustics.

I think that it would make a pretty good plot point for a novel.

“To be continued,” she said laughing maniacally. *VEG*
Come back for a visit, and happy reading and writing,
Writing Science Fiction Romance
Real Love in a Real Future

Friday, June 26, 2009

Sick Computers... Life Without Them and History, Part I

First let me tell you why I've been AWOL. My computer had been giving me fits for two months; and after first consulting the phone company and having all my lines checked; then, calling the manufacturer and running tests; it was concluded that the baby had to go to the doctor. My hard drive was failing very s.l..0...w....l.....y. Good news! We got to it in time. No data was lost. I still have all of my research and my Work in Progress, undamaged.

Whatever would I do with myself while the baby was in the 'puter hospital?

I had fun! Obviously, I worked on my research for my Science Fiction Romance WIP by studying ancient Sumer, Assyria, and Babylonia. My primary interests were their laws and customs and how I could adapt them to the alien culture which I have been creating. Did you know that they have found the world’s oldest joke book in one of the Sumerian libraries? As you can tell, I'm easily diverted. Six thousand year old jokes, from a civilization, foreign in both time and space, and humor still revolved around the digestive tract and sex. The same tasteless jokes that eleven year olds are still telling. Who’d a thunk it? Technology changes. People don't. Or have they?
Happy imagining. Life Without Them and History, Part II coming soon. Now, I only have about a thousand e-mails to catch up on. ARRRGH!
Writing Science Fiction Romance
Real Love in a Real Future

Friday, June 5, 2009

How Doth My Secret... Jungle Grow?

Err, ah, I meant my garden... It’s supposed to be a garden? Isn’t it?

June is the month of unbridled growth in the US Deep South and I can’t keep up with it! Never have, and probably never will. I might as well face facts. The grass is going to remain above my knees this month. Perhaps I can catch up next month.

The overwhelming color in my garden is VIRULENT JUNGLE GREEN! Of course there are other colors too. Lots of other colors! I have many aims in my garden: twelve months of bloom; gaudy color; good smell; feed the birds; feed the butterflies; and above all... be able to survive without any effort from me!

Remember that if you want to see a larger version of any of the pictures, simply click on the picture.

New Gold Lantana attracts butterflies and humming birds. Be careful of lantanas, because the berries are extremely poisonous. This variety has almost no berries. It was developed at Mississippi State University and exceptionally well suited to mid-latitude growing zones. It’s a good, hardy plant.

Homestead Purple Verbena also attracts butterflies and hummingbirds. Very hardy. Mow it after its first bloom and it will bloom again.

Butterfly Weed, also known as Pleurisy Root by herbalists, is... you got it... loved by butterflies and hummingbirds. Slow starter, but very hardy after established. The North American Indians used a tea from its roots as an expectorant.

Multiple Daylilies, old fashioned orange (single and double), yellow, pink, peach, orange, bright red, deep black red, purple, and all sorts of multi-colors. With new hybridizing, they come in almost every color, are fragrant, and the band ought to play ruffles and flourishes in their honor.

Oakleaf Hydrangea, wild, all through my woods. A very large, stately shrub.

Old Fashioned, Heirloom Hydrangea, you know, the type that your great grandmother had, and were used to decorate for your grade school graduation. They can be anywhere from blue to purple to pink, depending upon how the mood strikes them.

Buddleias, both pink and blue, have a wonderful, delicate fragrance, and of course... are loved by butterflies and hummingbirds.

Gardenia fragrance can be almost overwhelming, so I recommend not planting them too close to the house. They can get pretty large and need pruning... which for me is a pain. However, the cuttings root easily. I love them.

Magnolia Grandiflora, wonderful, lemony fragrance, and I just found a new tree growing on my hill this spring. Whoopee! I need all of these large evergreen trees that I can get.
Cashmere Bouquet can be a spectacular garden THUG. It’s decided to take over one of my beds and... everyone loves it! I guess I’ll let it stay. The flowers were used for the perfume and soap which our grandmothers loved. The flowers do smell wonderful. However, don’t mess with the leaves. They stink worse than a skunk!

White Yarrow is a lovely white light in a deep green jungle. Before the advent of modern medicine, its leaves were used to stop bleeding.

My roommate decided to engage in biological warfare for the vegetable garden. Besides planting the garden in the patio under the bedroom window, so that the Supreme Poodle Pasha Zackery can guard it, and he has been diligent, she has planted catnip among the tomatoes, peppers and squash. Now, Her Serene Highness Maxine, the royal Harem Kitty, has taken up residence in the middle of our vegetable garden. No one, but no one is allowed to approach her catnip. Heaven help the deer this year.

After days and days of rain, it has been an absolutely gorgeous day here. I wish the same for you.

Happy gardening, happy reading, and happy writing,


Writing Science Fiction Romance
Real Love in a Real Future

Monday, June 1, 2009

Change Is Good...

I hope!

I've enjoyed the Reflection Nebula, NGC 1435, as my blog header since December. However, it's June now, and I feel the overwhelming urge to rearrange the furniture. MORE COLOR! Therefore, I'm replacing "Reflection" with the Fox Fur Nebula, from the NGC 2264 region of the Monoceros (Unicorn) constellation. Click on the picture below for a larger view. I use it as my screen saver. Thank you NASA and Hubble!

Monoceros is just to the south of Orion and Gemini, winter constellations, and just below the star Procyon (click on the Labels below the post for maps). If you decide to start looking for it, now, during the early Summer, the only way you might be able to see it is to look low in the West, for a brief time after sunset. Sorry about that!
I just decided to make the header more colorful. There are so many beautiful astronomy pictures available, so get used to change. It's the X-chromosome, ya know.

I hope that you like it.


Writing Science Fiction Romance

Real Love in a Real Future

Thursday, May 28, 2009

My Followers...

I just want to take this opportunity to thank all of you who follow my blog. Please accept this bouquet from me. It's very important for me to know you. I follow almost all of your blogs. When I don't know (or can't remember... CRS Syndrome, you understand?) where we've met, it leaves a hole for me. If we haven't talked, please go to my Profile page and e-mail me. I'd love to know more about you.

Loving talking to you all,


Writing Science Fiction Romance
Real Love in a Real Future

Sunday, May 24, 2009

A Memorial Day Prayer...

Hear, O Soldier who sleeps!
O Soldier who faithfully awaits the final trumpet
of your Commander-in-Chief!
Hear O Soldier who sleeps!
We honor you for defending us and the freedoms
which we hold dear.
Remember as you dream, O Soldier,
That there are those who still honor your sacrifice...
and your Commander-in-Chief.

The Meaning of Memorial Day

If you have the inclination, and would like to help our servicemen and women, and their families, the following links are all highly rated by charity watchdog organizations:

National Military Family Association
Fisher House ~ helping military families


Writing Science Fiction Romance
Real Love in a Real Future

Thursday, May 14, 2009

My Secret Garden, April and May 2009

By the end of April, my German Bearded Iris had faded (but only for the time being, since I have rebloomers). Now, my Amaryllis have come in and are still blooming. My Daylilies have just begun. They'll reach their peak about the first of June and continue until Fall. But, that'll be for next month's blog.

As far as blogging about about my garden in April... once had to suffice, both then and now. I am too busy working. Spring is work time. All flowering shrubs such as forsythia or azaleas must be cut back within six weeks of their blooms ending so that the blooms for next year aren't obliterated by the prunning. Same for wisteria. This doesn't even cover the grass which just topped my knees.

There are also the flower beds to be cleaned. When you live on dirt which could truthfully be spelled c-o-n-c-r-e-t-e, one must weed while the gound is soaked by the Spring storms or it doesn't do a bit of good. Roots left in the ground multiply. And, for heaven's sake, don't forget preventing errosion! Holes must be filled, and liriope planted on hillsides. The liriope comes out of the beds which are being cleaned, and... it's a never ending circle.

Then there is the vegetable garden. This year we moved it under the bedroom window because of the deer. We had very fat dear last year when the garden was away from the house. We got three tomatoes, and the deer got the rest, as well as the squash, the peppers, the eggplants, and the mellons. I hate Bambi! The Supreme Poodle Pasha Zackery has his work cut out for him this year. Keep the deer away or no lasagna, dog! Don't tell me that you weren't warned.
And MaxieCat, don't even think about letting up on Chip and Dale! The first time that I see one of my plants disappear down a hole, you are getting the terrible lecture, cat!
And people wonder why my children don't respect me!

Hoping your Spring is wonderful too,


Writing Science Fiction Romance
Real Love in a Real Future
5/19/2009 Garden Update:
The Peonies have finished blooming and the Confederate Jasmine is in full fragrance. Gee it smells good around here. :-)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Editing Letter

Lara Zielin has nailed it. This has to be one of the most clever vids that I have seen. Lord help me, and gentle reader please forgive me. I hope that this doesn't totally screw up the load time of the page. I have unbelievably slow dial-up, and it takes me forever to download a vid, so I will give you the YouTube link in addition to embeding the vid here. Here, gentle reader, is what writers endure...

Have fun. Happy writing,
Writing Science Fiction Romance
Real Love in a Real Future

Friday, April 24, 2009

As One of My Writer's Group Says...

Folks, Just remember as you read this, this person probably drives
AND votes!
And may have already reproduced…

Thank you Rickey and Bill,

Sometimes Writing Science Fiction Romance
Real Love in a Real Future

Monday, April 20, 2009

Let’s Play “What If?”

All of the anniversaries on this date got me to thinking. As a writer of Science Fiction Romance, when I start thinking, I start playing “What if?” Want to play with me? Then bear with my wandering mind. I’ve been playing with a scenario for a future work.

First Anniversary on this Date:
On late night April 19th and early morning April 20th, 1775, the American Revolution began with the Battles of Lexington and Concord. These were plain farmers and businessmen telling the Brits to quit bullying them. As a revolution, the American Revolution is an anomaly in all of history. It’s the only revolution in the history of the world which did not lead to the wholesale slaughter of the defeated parties. They simply told the Brits to go home. Would that all family squabbles were handled so well.

Several years later, 1789-1799, the French Revolution began in economic turmoil and lead to a blood bath in which several hundred thousand people perished in the arms of Madame la Guillotine. Granted, circumstances were different; but, the French Revolution followed the classic course for most political revolutions: protest; rebellion and change; execution of opposition; dictatorship. The same pattern followed in Mexico in 1910, Russia in 1917 and in China in 1949, all times of economic upheaval. Seven million died in Mexico, and only God knows how many millions died in Russia and China. Domestic violence sucks!

Second Anniversary on this Date:
On this day in 1889, Adolf Hitler was born. In 1933, again a time of economic uncertainty, he became Chancellor of Germany. In less than a year, with barely a whimper of protest, he replaced a democratically elected government with a totalitarian regime in a country that had a long history of education and culture. Fast forward fifteen years and he was responsible for the direct murder of over 17 million people... just as statistic unless you were one of them.

This is the scenario with which I am playing:
I have a planet in the distant future which is rather similar technologically to our own. It has had every advantage which freedom can offer. Why would its people suddenly turn their backs on the freedoms which they have enjoyed for centuries? What type of people would the villains be? What steps would they go through to accomplish their coup with the minimum of initial bloodshed? What would they do to keep power? What type of person would the hero be? What would the heroine be like? What are the good guys doing? What would the villians throw at them? Could they rescue their world? What would it cost them to do so? What other questions do you think that should be asked for a rip roaring good story?

Happy “What if-ing,”

Writing Science Fiction Romance
Real Love in a Real Future

Friday, April 17, 2009

I Am Disturbed

Dear Friends,

Recently, I have observed something that disturbs me very much. Perhaps I have been living in a bubble of civility, but that’s the way I like it, so that is the way I live it.

There are multitudes of law-abiding citizens of the United States who are dissatisfied with what the government of this country is doing. I’ve never seen anything like it. Recently, these people, through word of mouth and the Internet, began to make contact with one another. They decided (again through word of mouth) to get together on the day upon which they paid their taxes, and let their elected representatives know that they were not pleased with those representatives’ conduct. That’s cool. People have been doing that in America since before the country became an independent nation.

Thousands of people, all across the country, brought their families, met, voiced their opinions, broke no laws, and, from what I saw, didn’t even leave a shred of trash behind when they went back to their jobs or homes.

What disturbed me was the conduct of the mainstream news media. I have seen them report on groups of five to ten screaming people as if they were many hundreds present. Day-before-yesterday, there were thousands and thousands of polite people gathered all over the country, and except for one network, the mainstream news media barely commented upon it... except to make crude jokes about law abiding citizens. How very vulgar!

No wonder the mainstream news media ratings are declining. Vulgarity should never be rewarded. After all, next to being boring, vulgarity is the second most unforgivable sin.

No one should ever be belittled. Everyone has the right to say what they think... so long as they do it civilly and don’t harm anyone else. It’s called FREEDOM OF SPEECH. It’s guaranteed in our Constitution.

Let’s keep it that way.

Writing Science Fiction Romance
Real Love in a Real Future

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Susan Boyle

I will rarely post about pop culture. I am so not there, but I have to pass this on.

The lady in this picture is Susan Boyle. Twenty-four hours ago, she blew the world away with her incomparable voice. Click on her name and enjoy.

If you want to see what others thought of her singing, Entertainment Weekly has a great article and viewer comments. Check them out.

It's so wonderful to have the cynical world slapped up side the head every so often... myself included. I wish this lady the world.

Keep the wonder in your heart.

Writing Science Fiction Romance
Real Love in a Real Future

Saturday, April 11, 2009

He Is Risen

So, what’s this Easter, or rather Resurrection Sunday, all about?

For two thousand years, Christians have generally celebrated the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth on the first Sunday after Passover.

What does this mean to Christians? Why is it so important?

Simply put, Christians believe that God is so holy that there is no way for any man to approach Him on his own merits.

Therefore, because God loves each of us so much, He Himself, as Jesus of Nazareth, took on a human body, lived as a human, and died as a human to reunite us to Himself.

As a sign that Jesus was the Messiah, the Chosen One, and the Creator of the Universe, with the authority to do this, Jesus did not stay dead, but came back to life three days after his execution.

This is the Christian’s guarantee that there is life beyond death. This is the Christian’s guarantee that Jesus will raise those who love Him to new life in His perfect time. This is the Christian’s guarantee that when he or she must stand before the all-holy, Creator of the Universe that He sees Jesus rather than that person’s screw-ups. In perfect love there is no fear.

The only requirements for anyone to be a Christian are: 1) to accept that God did this for them; 2) thank Him for it; and 3) ask Him to live fully in one’s life, everyday. It’s a choice that only an individual can make. It’s just that simple, and it’s just that hard. Nothing else has any real importance.

That’s why Resurrection Sunday is so important to Christians.

He Is Risen.

Wishing you every blessing.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


As of sunset this evening, one of the world's great religions will begin observing possibly the oldest feast to freedom that we know of, Pesach, or as is more commonly known, Passover.

For almost four thousand years the Jews of the world have been asking, "Why is this night different from all other nights?" It is the night on which they remember the joy of gaining their freedom after four hundred years of slavery to Egypt, and the sorrow of the cost of that freedom to their former masters. Freedom is never free.

Through these people, the world has been given the inestimable gifts of the concepts of freedom with responsibility, and the rule of just law rather than the rule of might. We can only say, thank you to our Jewish friends.

Happy Passover
Let Freedom Ring
Shalom aleichem


Saturday, April 4, 2009

After the Storms

After the training storms of the past weeks, the last few days have been positively breathtaking. The rain washed most of the tree pollen away, so everything is no longer coated with yellow. Granted, my yard is getting a little weedy, but since I can’t see it most of the time, I can ignore it. It works for me.

I do most of my writing sitting in my desk (aka the bed) with books scattered all around me, computer on lap, and the Supreme Poodle Pasha Zackery snuggled either beside me, across my shoulders, or around my feet, depending upon the temperature of the moment. Since the temperature has been especially pleasant, I’ve had the windows open wide and have been enjoying the spring scents and breezes. I’ve also been enjoying the colors. The Indica Azalea, Formosa, outside my window is in its full fuchsia glory. My room will remain hot pink for yet a few more days. The azalea is so desperately in need of pruning that it tops the eaves, and all I can see are fuchsia blossoms, chartreuse leaves, and cerulean sky. Well, not quite. Today, I see visiting mockingbirds, cardinals, bumble bees, and Tiger Swallowtail Butterflies. No interior decorator ever made more beautiful drapes. And for sure, no manmade drapes ever smelled so good. I dread pruning that azalea. There go the drapes.

Beyond the fuchsia azalea, are: blue, woodland hyacinths; lavender, woodland phlox; lemon yellow, pseudacoras iris; purple, William Setchell Iris (very old German Bearded); mauve, Persian Berry Iris (German Bearded); yellow, Well Endowed Iris (German Bearded); and yellow and white, Champaign Elegance Iris (German Bearded). All of these have such wonderful fragrances that my art students used to beg me to bottle them. I just might have to do that someday. :-)

As some of you know, and the rest of you have deduced, I used to teach art. I love wonderful art and while I was skulking, lusting after, looking for pictures of Iris I found prints of watercolor paintings by Clif Hadfield at the Cooley’s Gardens website. These are gorgeous watercolors, and I thought that you would enjoy seeing the rest of them. They aren’t expensive if your looking for something like them. Just click on Clif’s name to see more of his paintings. Click on Cooley’s above to look at their Iris collections.

Another incredible website is Schreiners Iris Gardens. Isn’t spring inspiring.

Be inspired.

Write inspired.


Writing Science Fiction Romance

Real Love in a Real Future

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I Know. I Am so Twisted!

Happy April Fool's Day
Not writing much of anything right now.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Springtime in "My Secret Garden"

That's what my art students used to call my yard. It was their "Secret Garden" too. This is my absolute favorite time of the year, and I want to share it. My brother took this picture of a Japanese Magnolia in New Orleans last month.

Spring has finally come to my garden, and I am waxing eloquent. We still have chilly days mixed in with our warmer days, and rainy days always come between the sunny days, but you get the picture. Since January, we’ve had days that were warm enough to open the house and turn on the attic fan. The next night we are sleeping under quilts. Nothing is dependable. Go figure.

The songbirds have returned, and have been singing their fool heads off (under my window) since before daylight. The tree tops have turned bright chartreuse green, forming a lacy background to the drifts of white and pink dogwoods, magenta redbuds, and purple wisteria floating beneath their cathedral-like canopy. How do you like that for a run-on sentence? I warned you that I was waxing eloquent. Help me find some more adjectives, or just deal with it. I love this time of the year and it’s my blog so you can just suffer through my euphoric purple prose. Be glad that it’s about horticulture, not... errrah, those birds are singing awfully loudly...

Because my camera cord is misplaced, I snagged a few pictures from Google Images to show how things look. These pictures are from all over, but it really does look like this.

Here are a list of the things presently blooming in my yard: Rome Hyacinths (blue, pink and white); more Narcissus (yellow and white); Snowflakes (white); Redbud (magenta); Dogwood (pink and white); Wisteria (lavender); Carolina jasmine (yellow); late Forsythia (yellow); early Azaleas (read and white); early Iris (white, yellow and purple); Bridal Wreath Spirea(white); Woodland Phlox (blue and lavender); Homestead Verbena (purple). Every one of these, except for the dogwood, is very fragrant.
It’s lovely here. Wish you could share it.
Writing Science Fiction Romance
Real Love in a Real Future
P.S. This evening when I went out for the last time with His Highness, the Supreme Poodle Pasha Zackery, the fireflies were having a party in my trees. How much better can it get? Stars and fireflies. May spring come soon for everyone, and may you have plenty of fireflies to light your evenings.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Computer Maintenance Day!

Today is Computer Maintenance Day. I have removed my old security system. I have installed my new security system. I am now downloading the updates to the new system. This is taking FOREVER! I am going stir-crazy!

I can't say that I blame the security system. Most of the problem is this dinosaur dial-up connection that I have. Being the only connection on a 70 year old phone line is not conducive to being at the top of Ma Bell's DSL list. I've been asking when she would install the new line for years(all my neighbors have it). "We expect it to be available for that line within two years." Yeah, right! That was five years ago.

Oh well, I defraged after removing the old program. I checked the 'puter for stray files. I found a few files, verified that they could be removed(the techie was great), and then removed them. I then installed the new system, and am getting the updates now. As soon as the updates are finished, next week, I'll defrag again. That way everything will be all right-and-tight with no wasted space on the hard drive. While I do this I keep a written log for emergency reference. It's saved my a$$ets more times than I care to think about, and I heartily recommend it for everyone messing with a computer.

Gee, that program only has 14 more hours to go on the download. I think that I had better leave the room before I write something that I would later regret. :-)

Happy computing,


Writing Science Fiction Romance
Real Love in a Real Future

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Night Sky: March 2009

In the spring of any year, not just the Year of Astronomy, there are lots of things to look for in the night sky. It’s a great time for the backyard astronomer in us all. Among the notable astronomy events are: Venus is leaving the evening sky; old constellations are at zenith; new constellations are visible; and the Vernal or Spring Equinox is about to occur. If you click on the pictures in this post, you will be able to see them in a larger size which will be easy to view and read.

Venus has been incredibly beautiful all winter, so please forgive me for not posting about a lovely event several days ago. On February 27th there was a close conjunction of Venus and the New Moon immediately after sunset. Unfortunately, we had cloud cover, and I forgot about it (What can I say, I was writing.). This picture, courtesy of Starry Night Astronomy Program, this is what it looked like right after full dark.

Keep Venus in your viewing schedule for the rest of the month. It’s leaving the evening sky on the March 27th when it has an inferior conjunction with the Sun. That’s fancy astronomer speak for crossing between the Earth and the Sun. DON’T TRY TO LOOK AT IT if you want to keep your eyes working properly. Venus will once more be visible as the Morning Star in April. (If you want to go out into a chilly morning to view it, more power to you. At that time of the morning, I’m usually writing for all that I’m worth, a mug of hot cocoa in one hand, a computer cuddled in my lap and the Supreme Pasha Zackery snuggled on my feet.) Your trivia for the day: Venus is moving toward the Earth when we see it in the evening. It is moving away from the Earth when we see it in the morning.

Taurus (Aldebaran), Orion (Betelgeuse), and Canis Major (Sirius) have been glorious in the winter sky. They are presently at their zenith in the evening and will soon be moving into the west. Before they leave us, there are several other constellations which I should like to bring to your attention. Directly to the north of Orion, and joined to the horn of Taurus is Auriga. It is shaped vaguely like a pentagon and has one bright star, Capella. This is another of the stars which Anne McCaffery uses as proper names for characters in her Science Fiction Romances (we writers steal wherever we can). Immediately to the east, almost the fourth corner of a diamond formed by Auriga, Taurus, and Orion is the constellation Gemini, the Twins. Their feet point toward Orion’s head. The two bright stars which form their heads are Castor and Pollux, the brothers of Helen of Troy and the navigators on Jason’s voyage to find the Golden Fleece.

There are two new constellations which are just coming into view in the east during the early evening. Cancer, the Crab, is just east of Gemini’s Castor and Pollux. You may not be able to view Cancer because it has no bright stars. I have a hard time with it. However, the next constellation, Leo, is just rising above the horizon at dusk. As the evening progresses, Leo is very easily recognized as the backwards “?” mark in the sky. Leo’s brightest star is Regulus, one of the ancient king stars and the heart of the lion. Look a little further down to the northeast, and you will see a small triangle of stars. Those stars are the haunches of the lion. The bright object immediately south of Leo’s haunches is Saturn. It’s not as bright as it sometimes is because its rings are not tilted far enough at this time for our viewing.

Last, but not least of the March astronomy events, is the Vernal or Spring Equinox on March 20th. This is the “moment” when Sun’s rays are directly perpendicular to the Earth’s surface at the equator, and when we count spring as beginning. It is also “commonly called” the moment when the Sun crosses the equator from the Southern to the Northern Hemisphere; however, that is a fallacious statement because it is the tilt of the Earth, not any movement of the Sun, which causes the event. Language makes it impossible to escape the ideas of our ancient ancestors. In any case, equinox simply means equal hours of day and night. This only occurs two times a year, on the spring and fall equinoxes. Most ancient calendars were calculated as beginning on the Vernal Equinox, and astrology still works on this basis, even though the signs in modern astrology are now totally out of sync with the astronomical positions of the stars. If you would like to make an interesting observation, keep a log of sunset and sunrise times and the resulting increase/decrease in hours of daylight where you live. You will be surprised at how fast the change occurs.

Have fun, and happy viewing,


Writing Science Fiction Romance

Real Love in a Real Future