Guess Who’s Coming to Visit

I hope all of you had a nice Thanksgiving. I did. I had guests in for the day, but since my guests had four legs, I didn’t have to do a lot of preparation. Some friends of mine were going to be out of town so their dogs came over to visit with mine while they were gone. It was warm enough that I could leave the door to the dog lot open and they could all come and go as they pleased. All in all, it was a lovely quiet day.

My sister had guests for Thanksgiving too, her four grandchildren and their parents. Since the children range in age from 2 to 8, I’m sure her day wasn’t as quiet as mine, but I know she enjoyed it. Since they were all from out of town and staying with my sister and her husband, my sister decided to give the parents a gift. She offered to watch the kids all day Friday and let the parents have the day to do as they pleased, whether they wanted to join the hordes in the stores or find a quiet spot for lunch.

And since I hadn’t seen her grandchildren since last summer, my sister decided a visit to my house was in order. A shudder of panic passed through me when she called to say she and her husband would be arriving in about an hour with all four kids.

Let me explain a little. I may be a retired teacher, but I taught high school. I’m one of the few adults who actually likes teenagers, but I am not and never have been a little kid person.  I can take them one at a time, and even enjoy them for a limited amount of time, but four at one time? Just the idea of that strikes fear in my heart.

My house is not kid proof by any stretch of the imagination. There are too many things they can use to hurt themselves, and just as many things that they can ruin. I have notes on index cards scattered all over my den and office and plot outlines on my white board. I have folders filled with maps, calendars, and more notes all over the work table in my office. And I have a shredder. Disaster in the making.

After the first moment of panic, I realized that I had two things in my favor. I knew my house better than they did and I’m taller. Within minutes I had gathered notes, index cards, pencils, and pens and stashed them on top of plates and bowls on the top shelves of my kitchen cabinets. My clipboards, tablet, and kindle ended up on a hidden shelf inside an old TV cabinet in the living room. My folders were stacked and stashed at the back of one of my file drawers. And the shredder cord was disconnected. I took a picture of my whiteboard just in case someone found the eraser and pens. My flashlights were buried under the kitchen towels in a drawer. (We have a lot of power failures in this area. I have flashlights in every room. Last time they all came, one of the kids decided to remove all the batteries and bulbs to see how they worked. Took forever to get them all sorted.)

My sister took the whole crew to their very favorite place to eat on the way over here – McDonald’s. They all came in with their happy meals so we cleared the kitchen table and let them eat their lunch. After we cleaned up, my sister pulled out a big plastic box full of art supplies.

I have to admit, my sister’s smart. She’d bought several children’s coloring books, cut the pages out, and put them in that box, along with a huge box of crayons and three canvas rolls of colored pencils. (Yeah, my sister’s an artist.) Each of the four kids dug through the box to find a picture to color. As soon as one was done, they pulled another one out and started again. They spent a couple of hours coloring away while my sister, her husband, and I visited and kept an eye on things. Most pleasant couple of hours I’ve ever spent around little ones. And best of all, no damage was done – to them or to my stuff.

So, lesson learned. Get a big plastic box. Fill it with pages of coloring books and tons of crayons and colored pencils so the next time someone calls and tells me little ones are on the way, I’ll be ready. Just clear off the kitchen table, set the box in the middle, and relax. It’s handled.

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Tired of the Turmoil

Sometimes life is like a lazy river, drifting by peacefully. And other times it’s like the rapids with the turbulence sending you first one way and then another. This fall has been the rapids, and I’m ready for some calm waters.

I’ve seen a lot of elections – remember I’m a member of the slide rule generation – but I’ve never witnessed anything like this one, and I hope I never do again. In the past, my friends and I would talk about the candidates, argue for our choices, debate the policies each party touted, and have a good time doing it. Not this time. This year I’m afraid to find out who my friends may be supporting. I’m afraid I’ll see them differently  I don’t even know who my relatives are voting for, and I don’t want to know. And my friends and family must feel the same way as no one’s asking me who I’m voting for or what I think. That’s sad, and a little bit scary.

The campaigns and all the surrounding controversies have become all-consuming. Inboxes overflow with dramatic appeals for donations and over the top condemnations of the opposing side. This election has been deemed entertaining and engaging by a lot of the media, but I’ve got another word for it – unsettling,

Personally I’ll just be glad when it’s over, when I no longer cringe whenever the commercials start on TV. I record everything I want to see on TV and watch it later, including the news, just so I won’t have to sit through the political ads. I’m not even answering my phone these days unless I know who’s on the other end. I don’t want to hear anything else either party has to say.

I’ve “unsubscribed” to everyone who’s been flooding my inbox with doom and gloom political e-mails. I’m shredding political mailings without reading the first word. At this point the campaigns are wasting their time and money on me. I’ve already voted. I’m done.

Time for me to get out of this turbulence. Time to head back to Terah.

 

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The Warrior Elf is Now Available

As of this morning, The Warrior Elf is live, but not linked to my author page or the rest of the series. Hopefully everything will be set up by this weekend. In the meantime, the link I provided should take you to the book.

I’m really going to get paranoid about saying anything concerning a publication time frame. Things had gone fairly smoothly until I announced in June that I hoped to have it out later in the summer. That’s when things started going screwy. Technology is great, except when it isn’t. Anyway, I guess you could say we made it, but August 30 is really pushing the “end of summer” idea.

As with The Fourteenth Key, there’s a character list at the front of the book, as well as maps of Terah, Calandra, and Camden. Hope you enjoy it.

 

 

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The Warrior Elf

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I’m pleased to say The Warrior Elf  is now in editing. I don’t know when it’ll be released yet, but it should be ready later this summer if nothing major happens.

I haven’t written the blurb yet, but I will tell you that, as the name implies, Rhianna plays a major role in this one.

If you’d like to be notified when it’s published, let me know  at mcknzmorgan@gmail.com and I’ll send you an e-mail when it’s available. This won’t put you on a newsletter list or anything like that. The only time you’ll hear from me will be when the book’s published.

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Covenant College Series by Amanda Lee

I had planned to spend this past weekend writing. I’m getting near the end of the fourth book and I wanted to see if I could get the first draft finished before the end of the month. I really did have good intentions. Then, Friday night, on the way to bed, I picked up my Kindle. The next book on my list was Amanda Lee’s Awakening. I like the Midwest Witches series, so I thought I’d give this one a try even though vampires and werewolves aren’t really my thing.

Big mistake. I don’t know why but the books in the Covenant College series turned out to be quite addictive. I read all weekend. I’ve finished four of them, only one more to go. I keep telling myself I’m going to put them down and get back to writing, just as soon as Zoe gets through this bit. And so it’s gone, all weekend long.

With a bit of luck, I’ll get the last one read today and be able to get back to writing, but my plans to finish the rough draft by the end of the month may have just gone down the drain. Normally I would thank an author for a series that grabbed me like that, but I have to admit, I wish I’d waited until my book was done before picking it up.

If you haven’t read the Covenant College series, and you’re looking for an escape, give it a try. But if you have anything on your agenda that you really need to handle, you might want to save it until after the work’s done. Wish I had.

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Google is a Voter’s Best Friend

I’ve heard quite a few people say they don’t know who to vote for, who to believe, and if you take voting seriously, that’s a very real problem. Most of what comes out of a candidate’s mouth during speeches and debates is what their polls have shown their target voters want to hear, and it changes depending on their audience. So how do you know what they really think, what they really believe?

These candidates have been around for a while, some in politics, some not, but all have been in the public eye at some point or they wouldn’t have had enough support to run for office. Figure out what you care about, what matters to you, and then start searching Google. Find out what they said before the campaign ever started, back when they had no agenda to fill. Look at their actions and see if what they did backs up what they’re saying now.

Democracy works, but only if the voters take the time to make informed decisions. It’s easier today than it has ever been, because Google remembers everything. You don’t have to comb the archives in the library to find out who did what ten years ago. Just ask Google.

 

 

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The Chronicles of Terah on Sale

Starting Wednesday, January 6, I’m going to have all three books in The Chronicles of Terah series on sale for $0.99 each at Amazon. They’ll only be that price for about a week, so if you’ve been thinking about getting any of them, now’s the time to do it.

The Master’s Chair

The Dragon’s Flame

The Fourteenth Key

Enjoy!

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