Friday, June 26, 2015

FRIDAY STIR FRY - What a Week!
I don't usually get into political or religious discussions because there is no sense in it. You can't change people's minds no matter how hard you try. But, so much has happened lately, I really feel the need to express my opinions. And it is my blog after all.

Today when the news came over the radio, that the Supreme Court decided to extend marriage rights to all people, I was ecstatic. I have many friends whom this issue affects. I can't tell you how happy I am for them today. Not only can they proclaim their commitment to each other, they also are now granted the same rights as other married couples. Insurance benefits, hospital visits and end of life decisions just to name a few. Things the rest of us have taken for granted.

And in another decision, the Court upheld the Affordable Care Act. Anybody who knows me at all understands how much I hate our health care system. There is no reason a person should have to file bankruptcy because they get sick. No reason for a person to not seek medical care because they can't afford it. Our health should not be at the mercy of for profit insurance companies and hospitals. There is still a long way to go on this issue, but at least one good change has been upheld.
Now, to that other flag. Man, oh man, so much controversy. It is sad a tragic event caused this debate, but that seems to be the way of our world. And living in a somewhat southern state, there are opinions swirling around these parts like a nest of mad hornets. There is talk about heritage and history, discrimination and hate, gun control and mental illness. We shouldn't forget our past or we are destined to make the same mistakes. But, we also shouldn't glorify a piece of history that caused so much pain to a large part of our population. It is unfortunate this flag, in some people's hands, promotes hate.

As wonderful as our country is, we still have a lot to learn about getting along with each other.

Friday, June 19, 2015

FRIDAY STIR FRY - An Author Spotlight

Please help me welcome Michele Stegman to my blog today.
Don't you just love the cover of her new novel?

Her people conquered his country. How can they overcome the distrust they feel to find love? 
In 1067 England, Madeline, a Norman, wants a big, brash, never-defeated-in-battle, Norman knight. What she gets, by order of the king, is a wiry Saxon who once studied for the priesthood instead of warfare. But is this gentle man she is falling in love with entangled in the rebellion now sweeping the land?
Ranulf wants to marry the girl next door. What he gets, by order of the king, is a lush, strong Norman woman who just might be a spy reporting his every move. He wants her in every way a man can possibly want a woman. But can he trust his heart to a woman who might have been sent to root out the struggle for freedom his people are engaged in?

I love to interview authors and find out a little more about them. Here are some fun questions for my guest. 

Do you listen to music when you write and if so, what is your favorite playlist? 
I love music. I play piano for church. I go to the opera. But when I write, I turn off the music. Music, for me, is so full, there is so much going on in every measure, that it becomes a distraction. Now, for inspiration to write, that's another story! Classical music and some movie themes paint pictures in my head, and sometimes that leads to a story idea.

 What is your favorite food and what food would you never eat? 

I don't eat coconut, coffee, chocolate or liver. I just don't like them. I think coffee is the most disgusting tasting stuff! How can people drink it? I sometimes like a little mild milk chocolate, but not much. As for my favorite food, that's just about everything else. Seriously, I guess if I had to pick I would say bread. My husband and I both love good bread. I bake it myself two or three times a week. It seems that even if I have just brought home a big load of groceries, if we are out of bread, there's nothing to eat in the house. When I take loaves out of the oven, I often say to my husband, "There's food in the house!"

What is the best advice you've ever received about the writing process? 

I used to think I needed to wait for inspiration to write. Well, that helps, but getting the words down takes work. I like this quote from Pearl Buck: "I don't wait for mood. You accomplish nothing if you do that. Your mind must know it has got to get down to work."

 Tell us something interesting about yourself? 

I am a hand spinner and weaver. I enjoy taking raw fleeces just as they come from the sheep (shearing doesn't hurt the sheep), and preparing them for spinning, and then spinning the wool into yarn. I then weave the yarn into shawls or scarves, or I knit or crochet it into other garments.

Thanks so much for answering those questions, Michele. Now, enjoy an excerpt from Conquest of the Heart

 He let his gaze travel back to his bride walking stiffly, reluctantly, toward him. For once, Ranulf felt speech was beyond him. She was so much more than he had expected. So beautiful. So clean. She  glittered like a bright jewel in a dung heap. For Etherby, no matter how much he loved it, was not much better than one right now.

 If only he could say to this magnificent woman, "Go away. Come back in a year. Give me time to build the castle the king has ordered, tear down this rotting hall, teach cleanliness to servants to whom filth is a way of life. Then you won't have to grit your teeth and square our shoulders as if going into battle as you come to wed me." But it was already too late. She was here. The wedding was now. And he felt as randy as a billy goat.

He would begin building the king's castle immediately. The work would distract him from Lady Madeline's seductive lure. She would find no treason with which to fill the king's ears, and, like his mother's attitude toward his father, he was sure the lady would be glad not to have him in her bower, not the way he felt now, the things he wanted to do to her.

 I hope you enjoyed this visit with a talented author. Please check out her links below.
You can contact Michele on her website,, or on her Facebook page,

Buy links for Conquest of the Heart



Michele Stegman has always loved history and she lives it every day. She spins, weaves, makes her own soap and bread, and lives in a 175 year old log cabin with her husband, Ron, who is the basis for all her heroes.

Friday, June 12, 2015


I rent my house. I know all the detractors out there who say I'm wasting my money, I should buy a house. No, I shouldn't. I'm single and don't have the resources, the tools or the skill to make repairs. Because I rent, when something goes wrong, all I have to do is call my landlord. And, I'm lucky, he gets right on things. I know some landlords aren't that cooperative.

I let some things go too long this time, though. It's just such a pain to have him come over and do repairs. He's a man after all and they are really good at making a mess. I have to leave the back door unlocked because he doesn't have a key and in my neighborhood that's asking for trouble. I had about 3 pretty major things that needed attention, from a leaky faucet, to a rotting bathroom floor, to the kitchen ceiling falling in.

All week, he has been there. My kitchen table and chairs are in my office, along with the curtains, pictures, etc. He decided to put up sheet rock. And of course, like I pointed out being a man, didn't think to put anything over the kitchen door opening when he sanded the mud. Yep, now I have sheet rock dust everywhere. My first thought was my lap top, my writing instrument, my lifeline to the world. Luckily I'd closed it the night before, but there was dust laying on it. And I feared there was dust in the ports. But, all seems okay. I haven't been able to cook either because of the mess. Although, to be honest, I haven't minded that so much.

I probably shouldn't be complaining, after all, things are getting fixed. And this too shall pass. But, you all know, I love to bitch.

Have you lived with construction work and how did you handle it?

Friday, June 5, 2015


So much has happened this week. Much more than usual in my normally calm life.

First, I received my proof copy of Beyond The Horizon from Create Space. I'm not gonna lie, I shed a little tear. To finally hold my book in my hands was the most amazing feeling. I checked for errors and finding none, I approved it. So my book is now available on Amazon for Kindle and in paperback. If you want to purchase, just click the cover on the side bar.

My 60th birthday was this week. I know, I can't believe I'm that old either. I don't think I look a day over 59. My son and daughter in law gave me a die cutting/embossing machine for my other love, scrap booking. And the writer tee shirt I ordered for myself came in. I received some flowers from a couple of good friends. And best of all, I've had the last three days off work. I haven't been a bit bored. I've gone to cafes, coffee shops and the library. I've done some much needed cleaning and some much needed writing. I could so totally not work.

And speaking of writing, I'm finally getting back to my work in progress. Although, it's been a bit tough. This thing starts out pretty good then goes every which way. Going to take a lot of patience on my part to get it back on track. But, it will happen. I need to get another book out there.

Now, I'm going to enjoy the rest of my time off.

What do you like to do when you have some time off?