My Body, My Temple

I believe I am an open-minded person. I’ve never disliked anyone for their beliefs, race, politics, religion, or way of life. I try to give everyone the chance to show me their kindness, openness, and how they feel.

If the people I am around are bettering the world, kind to those around them, and they have a different view on things than I do, I don’t say anything unless we can have an informative sharing conversation. But I’ve learned the hard way there are some people who only believe in what they believe in and can’t or won’t ever see my perspective. Because I don’t like confrontation, I always bow out of the conversation. That doesn’t mean I then go somewhere else and bad-mouth them. I don’t. My husband and I or my children and I might have a discussion about the other person’s beliefs and try to see things from their side. And sometimes we do and sometimes we don’t. But that’s as far as it goes.

If you have received or plan to receive the Covid vaccination, I hope you have an open mind to those of us who have weighed all the information and have chosen not to get the vaccine. We are not ignorant, we are informed. If you do not have a closed mind continue reading, BUT don’t leave mean comments. 

My husband, and both my daughters and their families have talked about the Covid vaccination. We have all done research and talked to people in the medical field and have talked to people who have had the virus and people who have family members who died of car accidents, suicides, or natural causes who are fighting to get the “covid” cause of death off their loved one’s death certificates.    

People say, how could you not vaccinate for Covid. It’s like saying you wouldn’t vaccinate for Polio, Small Pox, TB or other deadly diseases.

This is my reasoning. 

Covid is a VIRUS. It mutates and changes. If you want to keep from getting covid and all it’s mutations, you need to get vaccinated every time the virus changes. Every 6 months to a year. That would be putting a vaccine that was formulated in a few months into your body without knowing if it will or will not protect you. Or what the side or long-term effects will be on your body and mind.

 Polio, Small Pox, TB are DISEASES. Scientists and doctors spent decades to refine the vaccines that work so well against these, that there are few cases of these diseases in the world. Because—they are diseases that stay the same and don’t mutate and don’t need the vaccines to be constantly updated.

This virus hit the U.S. heavy one year ago. Scientists and governments waited 6 months before they started working on a cure. What took decades for doctors and scientists to research for other vaccines, they came up with in 4 months. And began giving it to the oldest members of our society and the immune impaired members. A vaccine that we have heard and read many reports on that is not safe. The scientific world doesn’t even know what the effects of this vaccine will do to the population. We have been told by a person who knows a researcher that when the vaccine was given to 100 rats, 90 of them died. There is a report here about 100 people who were vaccinated in Washington state testing positive for Covid.

My husband and I are healthy, thank goodness. We both could easily live 40 more years given our family genetics. Hearing about the side effects that could occur from the vaccinations, not just death, which is happening in women, 4:1, over men, but the long-term side effects the makers of the drug believe will happen, we would prefer to continue our good health on our own and not have it accelerated by a drug that isn’t even FDA accredited.

This is a link to world-wide information about the vaccine and its statistics:

https://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/can-we-trust-americas-covid-19-vaccine-injury-statistics

It seems to me with so many other things dividing us these days, why do we have to have a new divide: vaccinated vs unvaccinated.  It should be each person’s prerogative of how they wish to take care of their body and how they want to live. Like religion. If you want to be Catholic, Buddist, Baptist, or whatever, I don’t care. And if you want to be vaccinated or not vaccinated, I don’t care. It’s your body and soul you are supporting. But please, don’t treat me differently because I want to be the keeper of my body and not get the vaccine.

If you believe the vaccine is a cure-all for the virus, then coming in contact with someone who is unvaccinated should only affect that person, not you.

As I have said many times, this world is losing its common sense.

Please, no mean comments. This is just me getting something off my chest without having to be confronted by anyone.

Exploring New Cultures Through Reading

I have always been interested in other countries and cultures. Reading has been the way I learn about them. As a teen I read a lot of what is called Gothic Romance. These were set in England, India, Northern Africa. The places where the English ruled because the books were usually about an English governess. I enjoyed reading about the places and the people.

That could be the reason I write Native American characters and culture into my mystery books. They aren’t another country. They are right here living on the same continent as I am, yet their culture is different and they have been treated poorly. The one thing you will always find my books showcasing is injustice. I have deep need to show injustices.

Diwali or deepavali photo with female hands holding oil lamp during festival of light

Back to exploring new cultures through reading. I have read two books in Sujata Massey’s 1920s Mysteries set in India. I’m learning so much about the different cultures and castes that lived in that country at that time. Earlier in the year, I’d read a self-published book that was set in India. I hadn’t realized how badly some men treat their wives and it is normal. Glad I don’t live in that country. And I feel for the women who are trying to get equality in life, work, policies, and laws.

After those books, I moved on to one that I thought would be interesting and indeed it probably would be but I got tired of all the bantering back and forth between the two main characters and not getting into the meat of the mystery.

Now I’ve started a book set in Hollywood, not another country, but it’s in the view of a black woman who has fallen down the actress list. I’m seeing a different view of things through not only her losing her looks and trying to stay afloat but how she interacts with others.

I’ve also read many books written and about Native Americans to try to help me write my characters who aren’t ensconced in the life every day but I want them to reveal tidbits of that culture to my readers and help them see they are just as human as the rest of us.

Are you reading books about other cultures? Do you enjoy learning new things and understanding people better?

Grateful

Cautious, the shop cat.

Most people talk about what they are grateful or thankful for during the holidays. For me it’s starting a new year. I like to sit back and be thankful or grateful for the people around me. My husband, who is always entertaining and makes me laugh. Our oldest granddaughter who is living with us. While she pretends to be hard and uncaring, she is thoughtful and fun to watch give her grandpa as much harassing as he gives her. ;

I’m also grateful for the daughter who lives down the road and helps me with my technical things and designs my awesome book covers. Her 6 kids are all fun to be around. My oldest daughter who is always willing to give animal medical advice (she trained as a vet tech).

Then there is my HUGE group of writing friends that help me get through the ups and downs of being a self-published author and all the things we need to keep up on in the business. They are my moral support and my guides in this strange world.

The other thing I am the most grateful for is where we live. When my hubby suggested we move way out in the boonies, I was skeptical at first. But I have discovered my inner hermit and I love being here and not going anywhere for weeks at a time. Though I do miss my writing conferences and monthly lunches with writer friends. But that’s about it.

With the Pandemic, we only use our masks when we go to town and if I can keep the grocery list to a minimum, hubby will do the shopping. 🙂

Where we live has fantastic sunrises (I can’t see the sunsets because of our hill). I love my horses, the dogs, the cats and the wildlife that parades around here on a weekly and some instances daily basis. Yes, I am one content woman. 🙂

Jan and Patty

Yes, I am grateful for many, many things. My good health, wonderful family, and awesome friends. What are you most grateful for?

My #2 Happy Place

While I am a HUGE homebody and love being at home more than anything else, I love going to the Oregon Coast. In fact, I try to go a couple times a year for week long writing retreats.

This week I am at Rockaway Beach trying to get at least half of the next Shandra Higheagle book written. I’m getting close!

The week started out with wicked waves and wind. The trees were practically leaning sideways and the old log home that I stay in creaked, moaned, and screeched as tree limbs scraped across the windows.

The waves were not only the largest I’ve ever seen here, they were rolling north rather than straight at the shore. The water level, even at low tide was washing clear up to the edge of the embankment. I didn’t feel safe to walk the beach on those days.

water lapping at the steps to walk onto the beach

Then the wind calmed and the water went back to normal and I was able to take a couple of walks each day. The walks are my reward for getting so many words written in a session.

This photo shows the end of rainbow out in the distance after a night of pouring rain, thunder, and lightning.

This next photo looked like a petrified seagull digging its way out of the sand. What do you think?

The other photos were a bit of color and I always see beached jellyfish. I can see a story in just about anything I look at. I haven’t decided if it’s a blessing or a curse. LOL

I don’t know where the colorful leaf came from but I like the colors. The Jellyfish seemed to me to be looking for a hiding place in the kelp.

Down the road in one of my mystery books, a story that came to me while I was walking on the beach another trip, will be used as the premise/plot in a mystery book.

I need to get back to my writing. I have 8,000 more words to write today so I can go home tomorrow with the number of words I wanted to get done on this trip.

Here is a parting photo:

Fall Trip to the Steens Mountains

Our granddaughter had this past Thursday off from school for the end of the 9 week period. I told her we were going to the Steens to take photos of the trees changing.

We were about a month too late from the looks of the naked trees. The good thing is Aspen trees are pretty even when they don’t have any leaves.

Aspen trees at Fish Lake

Our first stop was the Peter French Round Barn near Diamond, Oregon. It was built in the late 1880’s by Peter French a cattle baron of the time and area. They used it to continue to train horses to ride and drive wagons during the winter months. Because I had been there several times before the only thing I took photos of were the pair of barn owls roosting on the main center pole of the building.

From there we continued to the mountain.

At Fish Lake, we stopped an took photos of the water, the trees, and the ambiance. It was a peaceful and a beautiful day.

Fish Lake

The canyon where we usually stop to take photos of the golds, yellows, and reds on the aspen trees was a barren sight. The trees had already lost their leaves.

Alas, we were too late. This canyon is usually filled with color.

Traveling on, we stopped and took photos at Kiger Canyon. It’s named for the wild Kiger mustangs that were found in the area in the early 1900s.

Kiger Canyon

Then on up to the top. Here we looked over the edge at the Alvord desert below, some irrigated fields, and the road on the SE side of the mountains. Here while our granddaughter tried capturing photos of a small bird, I found a rock with half a dozen ladybugs wandering around on it.

View from the top.
Lady bugs on the rock

Moseying on, and heading down the south entrance road, we stopped at one of my favorite spots about halfway down a canyon. There is a small trail and some interesting rocks and vegetation.

I liked this dead looking tree.

And to cap off our day of traveling the loop on the Steens, we must have seen nearly a hundred wild horses. It is the most I’ve ever seen on a trip up to the mountain. They were scattered all along the ridges and gathered near watering holes.

Wil horses on one of the hills.
Granddaughter taking a photo

I need to get our granddaughter’s photos put on the computer so I can see what kind of photos she took. She tends to like to take photos from ground level or of interesting things, I wouldn’t think to photograph.

She would squat down and get certain plants in the photos or rocks. She would also hold the camera near the ground. She has made some awesome photos on other occasions.

It was a fun day. I hope you enjoyed my little photo collection of a Fall trip on the Steens Mountain Loop.

It’s November!

My! Where has the time gone? I saw my last post was about October… I’m slacking! In defense, I’ve been trying to get several large projects finished.

One is the latest Gabriel Hawke book which is with a critique partner and a beta reader. Waiting for it to come back, I’ve been updating the Isabella Mumphrey books to make the insides as shining and spectacular as the new covers!

I’m having a “Where in the world is Isabella Mumphrey?” Facebook party on November 14th. Come on over to the party and join in the fun. I’ll be giving clues to find my character Isabella Mumphrey, famed anthropologist and Indiana Jones fan who uses a survival tin like MacGyver.

At the party I’ll be revealing new covers, picking winners for prizes throughout the two hours, answering your questions and will give out to larger prizes to two people who discover where Isabella is. To join the party just go here and say you’re going to attend! https://www.facebook.com/events/471554667120961

I’ve also been busy working out the kinks in my new mystery series that will be coming in 2021, while also starting the next Shandra book and gathering information for the next Hawke book. Yes, I have been occupied!

Took this photo while scouting the area where the latest Gabriel Hawke murder happens.

And I’ve been working on the binding on one quilt and piecing together another one and coming up with handmade gifts for the grandkids for Christmas. Life is never boring for me!

This is the quilt I’m putting the binding on.

Come hang out at my party on the 14th! I’d love to visit with you!

https://www.facebook.com/events/471554667120961

It’s October!

I don’t know why but I’ve always loved the month of October. I think it’s the cooler weather, pretty leaves on the trees and bushes, and gearing up for the end of the year holidays.

I have my house decorated inside and out with fake Fall leaves, pumpkins (scary and plain), and lights and candles. I’m not a huge fan of it getting dark earlier. That means the feeding has to be done earlier and that cuts into the afternoon writing and sewing time.

Yes, you saw sewing. This time of year and through the winter, I tend to sew in the later afternoon and evening. It just feels like I need to stay busy but my brain is fried from writing during the day and sewing is kind of a no-brain work thing. Especially when I’m sewing or cutting pieces for quilt tops.

This is what I’m working on now.

I picked up the “fat quarters” while I was in Hawaii last year. I have always like batik fabric and wanted to make a quilt out of it to represent our 40th Anniversary trip.

We have four cats who stay in my hubby’s shop. I check on them and feed them every morning and evening. Cautious- seen below, is so named because he usually is cautious about people. Lately he’s been coming down off his high perch and greeting me when I feed.

Our daughter raises IPP pigs (Idaho Pasture Pigs). She has a litter that were born not too long ago. This is a photo of one that I thought was cute.

On the writing front- I finished Turkey’s Fiery Roost, book 6 in the Gabriel Hawke series. It is off to critique partners and a beta reader.

Now I’m formatting Collateral Love, novella 4 in the Tumbling Creek Ranch series. That will be publishing for a low price next week, so stay tuned or get on my western romance newsletter list- https://bit.ly/2JVGe4j

And I’m getting excited about my cover reveal party for the new covers of my Isabella Mumphrey Adventure series. That party will be happening in November. Stay tuned to learn more about that.

This month, October 24th, the Cowboy Kisses Authors will be having a Facebook Party on our Facebook Page. I’m scheduled for noon Mountain Time. We’ll be giving away books, prizes, and having fun. Drop by if you have a chance: https://www.facebook.com/groups/CowboyKisses

Looking forward to the rest of this month. I’ll keep you posted of all the fun going on.

Where is Summer Going?

Thinking about how much I still need to get done and this is the last month of summer, I’m glad Covid cancelled my conferences! I know, I shouldn’t say things like that, but I figured my year, after conference cancellations would be filled with more down time. Instead, I feel like I am just as far behind as I would have been had I gone to conferences and judged at county fairs, like I normally do in the summer.

George saying “Hi”

Between animals, family, and writing, I have been so busy, I can’t believe we just entered the 8th month of the year.

August. For us, usually, the last summer month. Come September we have one week of hot weather then it starts tapering off in heat and light to where we are ready for the cool weather, long nights, and less work. 😉

This summer, I’ve written a book and a novella and if all goes well another book will have been written by the end of August. We’ll see. I will be busy the end of this week and most of next week with little writing getting done.

My 15th book in the Shandra Higheagle Mysteries released., Capricious Demise has a unique murder method and a surprise ending. So far the reviewers are liking it. Here is the info and cover:

Capricious Demise

Book 15

Shandra Higheagle Mystery Series

Vengeance…Envy…Murder

Shandra Higheagle’s deceased Grandmother enters Shandra’s dream, showing her two lost children. Her grandmother never comes to her dreams unless there is a murder to solve. But whose? The children? Or someone related to them?

Ryan is called out to a suicide, that isn’t. While contacting next of kin, he finds the victim’s husband also murdered and their two children missing.

Using her dreams, Shandra helps locate the missing twins whom they take into their home as foster children. The hunt for the reason the parents were murdered becomes urgent when the children reveal they may have seen the killer.

Universal buy link: https://books2read.com/u/b6ZJOA

I should have another release to tell you about when I blog again. Yes, it has been a busy summer!

My Birthday Month is Here!

It’s hard to believe that nearly half a year has gone by and most of it has been CRAZY! It’s June and that means it is my birthday month!

I was excited to have book 5 in my Gabriel Hawke Novels, Fox Goes Hunting, the book inspired by my birthday trip last June to Iceland, released this month. It came out on June 1st. Has had some great reviews, ones that made my day when I read them. I also received replies to my newsletter saying how much the readers enjoyed my stories to help them through these difficult times. Those made me choke up!

Then on June 1st I received an email from the Selfie Book Awards- this is a contest for self-published books. Murder of Ravens is in the top 5 finalists for that contest. I’ll find out later in the month who wins. The books were read by librarians and people from the book publishing industry. The reason I placed my book in this contest was the prize- $4000 worth of promotion.

I don’t have anything exciting planned for the rest of the month other than get the next Shandra Higheagle book finished and off to Critique Partners. Then I’m thinking about working on a novella in the Tumbling Creek Ranch series. Just to “clean my writing brain” from one mystery character to the next before I write the next Hawke book. We’ll see. It will depend on if the premise of the next Hawke book starts invading my thoughts more than writing the contemporary western romance.

I’m anxious for the weather to make up its mind if its going to be cold and rainy or hot and melting. LOL

Enjoy the beginning of June. Get out get some sunshine, check out the pretty flowers, and drink in the air. And if you can hike in the woods, go for it.