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Author Interview Author Recommendation CARE AND FEEDING OF WRITERS Holiday Musings

Ash Keller–Fresh, FUNNY, and Wickedly Talented. A Must Read for Romantic Comedy!

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WHAT DO YOU WANT IN YOUR HORN OF PLENTY?

Life is ripe with choices, spilled out like a Horn of Plenty. Cornucopias if you’re putting on airs. And why not? Accents and attitudes are fun. Entertaining, absolutely, but often necessary.

Who hasn’t changed their tone for that critical interview? The BE-THERE party or that dreaded public speaking encounter? (Raise a hand for keeping it real!)

But kid-me loved drawing cornucopias at the kitchen table when the leaves began to fall. Why? I could select my favorite things–grapes with fanciful tendrils, bumpy gourds, and yummy artichokes–and stuff them inside. Favorite things, in whatever color I chose, could spill out or hide in the tip.

The more the better.

ASH AND HUSBAND JAMES KEEPING IT REAL–REALLY PLAYFUL AT HALLOWEEN!

There’s nothing like a jumbo box of Crayolas and a kid–of any age–eager to decide for herself. To choose her friends. Select her surroundings. And engage fully on the path chosen or change course with unflagging courage!

DON’T TELL ANYONE ASH IS REALLY A ZOMBIE LIBRARIAN!!!

That leads me to today’s guest. The delightful and ever demonstrative, Ash Keller. Chock full of talent, brimming with personality, wholly accessible, and a consummate professional in terms of career and the care she extends everyone in her circle. She’s almost too dang fun.

Dead serious.

Ash writes romantic comedy from experience, folks, and how sweet it is.

This SASSY SCRIBE is one to watch for antics, information, and FIERCE mother-love. The bear type that roots out injustice, slays snarling or suited beasts, and plucks that thorn from your paw with the gentlest touch. (Okay, I’m thinking bear costume. I know Ash has a weakness for those lovely ones. Wild, YOU BET, and bad to the bone. I dig bears, too!)

SUPER CUTE!

The pairing of big dreams with big trouble is familiar territory for Ash. Absolutely read THE CHRISTMAS SECRET, Ash’s hilarious and so-sweet romantic comedy, one of eight diverse voices in SNOW IN LOVE: Sweet Romantic Holiday Collection.

Brought to you by Readertainment.

If you like your heroes broody and your heroines skilled, self-aware, and determined not to let moods or men ruin time spent in FORCED PROXIMITY, get thee to Amazon. NOW! The .99 cent pre-order price is days away from ending.

Do you really want to deprive yourself? I hope not if you follow this blog or happen to stop by. Whatever your catnip–GO FOR IT. Life is short and the chief reason to make this go-round count.

So, forgetting the serious, what’s your favorite time of year, Ash, and why?

Everyone loves fall, right? Sweater weather, pumpkin spice lattes, bonfires! And Halloween is my very favorite holiday. My husband and I always throw a Halloween party (except this year…Covid is a party pooper) and I have tons of fun choosing a theme every October.

CHOOSING!!! Great theme, Ash, anytime of year, but we’re racking it up for #teampumpkinspice! Here’s a how-to from one of my favorites. The Mom Life Balance!

Then again, there’s a reason spring green is my favorite color. There’s nothing better than watching the earth come back to life after a harsh winter. And it’s the best time of year to put my pink kayak in the water. 

FEELIN’ THE PINK!

But it’s hard to beat summer. Fireflies, camping, lake days…need I say more?

The only season I’m not a fan of is winter. I hate to be cold. But that’s why God gave us electric blankets, hot chocolate, and snuggly cats! (YES, YES, and–hmmm–heck, YES!)

LOVING THE ENEMY? YIKES.

This talented must-read author has another romantic comedy on Amazon that you’ll really like. If close proximity and fake relationships–putting on attitude?–tickle your funny bone, check out Not Happy Campers, included in THE FUNNY THING ABOUT LOVE. A collection of feel-good sweet, romance stories by Enchanted Quill Press. How enchanting!

What’s your favorite animal, Ash? Do you have ONE??? This choosing business is difficult sometimes.

MEET KIRBY!

I’m a crazy cat lady. It’s a good thing I’m married or I’d have enough cats to form a kitty baseball team. My husband says no more than two…so we have three.

Ha!

OMG. Crazy cat lady. Can you feel the fur, peeps? The love? There’s a reason Ash and I gravitated toward one another along with our SASSY SCRIBE sisters!

So, tell us more. I *KNOW* that can’t be all. Animal fans could use some assurance about sharing the cuddles with all God’s creatures. Empower us!

SMART CHICKS!

I also LOVE chickens and have a backyard flock. In exchange for eggs, I hand-feed them grapes. They spoil me so I spoil them. It’s only fair.

Oh, yes, bring on the feather babies. Hens are the BEST!! And with you giving them grapes, they will follow you to the ends of the earth. (Mine used to follow my shovel to get earthworms!)

What’s your biggest fantasy?

Paying off my student loans (and my husband’s!), buying an RV, and traveling to every national park. (In search of bears, I hope. Ash will keep us posted on her newsletter. Sign up for laughs and the continued assurance that what makes you smile is the way to go!)

WE KNOW THE ANSWER!

Okay. Final question. Do you feel the pressure??? Think Miss Universe and tell me, would you strive for world peace? Why or why not?

Of course. What kind of monster wouldn’t want world peace?

FULL MARKS, Ash. Direct, impassioned, and too true. That must be why you pursue precisely that in your Horn of Plenty. That is the colorful embrace of life, love, GOOD HUMOR, and those little things that bring true joy. Your example is the best and something I’m determined to promote. Why? There are so many readers, writers, women, and men who will benefit from the go-for-it spirit that surrounds you. ((HUGS)) And thank you.

It’s been a pleasure, Ash, as always. And as I always do, I ask you dear readers to communicate with Ash and myself and all the SASSY SCRIBES. We’re determined to brighten our individual corners and yours, too. So, drop us a line. Help us help you. It really can be a win/win for world peace and a lot of laughs along the way there.

Write ON!

STAY CONNECTED

 

 

 

 

Categories
Dishing with Di

Dishing with Di: Home is where you hang your heart!

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Follow that flank steak!

America is a mobile nation.  We’re a people of wanderlust.  The reasons why vary.  Some are sound, some forced on us, often as a matter of survival.  Many tribes of the first people of America roamed along with the game they needed to feed themselves.  The Pilgrims braved an ocean voyage to get here, and pioneers moved ever westward to see what was over the next hill, the next valley.  Some wanted the adventure, some were seeking riches.  For the most part, all sought a better life.

Mainers are a slightly different breed.  Don’t get me wrong. Mainers want adventures, riches, a better life, and tend to find it–they make it in their own backyard.  Mainers sink their roots deep and rarely let go.

Try keeping your floors clean in a sod house!

My maternal great-grandfather had a severe case of wanderlust.  He was born in Maine.  As a young man he traveled to Ohio, married a local beauty, and off they went to Nebraska–by oxcart.  Their first two children were born there in a sod house.  Next they moved to another sod house in Colby, Kansas where they had two more children. 

I suspect great-grandmama was pregnant on the return to Maine since her fifth child, my grandmother, was born 16 months after her fourth.  They stayed put at least another six years as my Gram’s baby brother was born in the same town as she.  But great-grandpa still had itchy feet, and while he kept the family in Maine, he moved them a couple more times until he finally settled at the farm where I currently reside.

The farm is under the stewardship of great-grandpa’s grandson who was born and raised here.  Next door is my mother’s cousin, born and raised on the farm Gram’s baby brother owned.  That’s 94 years on the same parcel of land.  Another cousin, once or twice removed but dear to my heart, lives within two miles of the house where she was born and raised.  A childhood friend has always lived within a twenty mile radius of where she was born.  Another cousin lives in her grandmother’s house, around the corner from where she grew up.

You get the idea; once those roots are sunk, they go deep.

So, what’s an Oregon girl doing in Maine?           

I asked myself just that when it seemed Spring had forgotten New England last year.  When the humidity of summer turned my brain into a gelatinous mess, I begged the question again.  And, yes, I’ve experienced summer in the South.  Still, humid weather is rare in Oregon, especially in the southern part that’s been home to me for the majority of my life.

The boy next door–hello!

But I started life in Maine.  I was born in the same city as McDreamy actor Patrick Dempsey.  A couple decades before his time, but what’s a few years. Thirty IS just a number. LoL.  But by the time I was two, my dad had gotten a job in Boston, MA.  He went past Harvard on his way to work each day.  Paul Revere’s house was around the corner; Faneuil Hall a couple blocks away, as well as Breed’s Hill. 

Before all that history could sink in, Dad was transferred to Pasadena, CA, home of the Rose Bowl, and off we went. The Rose Parade occupied most of the city throughout the year, land of palm trees, and non-snowy winters.  I never became a typical SoCal girl.  Never surfed, didn’t speak valley, but I did learn to drive on those crazy freeways, which are even crazier today.

Married, with children, and after vacationing in southern Oregon my husband thought we should move there.  I thought we should move to Maine.  (What did I say about Mainers?) But Oregon became my home and I love it.  We had a few acres where we raised yearling steer, fattening them up over the summer on the rich grass of our pasture.  Not only did I learn to install irrigation pipe, but how to balance and move those 40 foot suckers to water that pasture.  I gardened and canned and loved the view of orchards spread around me.  And, realized much of my life reflected my Maine roots.

When in Maine make tennis racquets!

I’m happy with my hands in the dirt, be it growing something edible or food for the eyes and soul.  Sure, many of those who came before me had other occupations.  My great-uncle–C.A. Thompson– ran a hand-made wooden tennis racquet factory.  (The building still stands, housing a craft store!) A grandfather, uncles, and cousins who worked in the paper mills.  A grandfather and great-uncle who delivered mail.

The Rogue River

Oregon often makes me think of Maine, with much higher mountains. We have four actual seasons, with some slight differences. 

Spring comes in March, just like the calendar says so my favorite flower, lilacs, bloom a month earlier than in Maine.  Summers can be blistering hot, but dry.  All too often, too dry as noted by the number of wildfires.  Fall is gorgeous with clear blue skies on warm days, cool nights bringing a taste of frost, and leaves turning lovely colors.  Winters are rainy and cold (a matter of perspective!) with a touch of snow now and then.  There’s always snow on the mountains surrounding the Rogue Valley, having it on the valley floor is another matter with its own set of problems.  The snow doesn’t last for months and we never have to endure Mud Season.

People wave to each other as you pass by.  Neighbor helps neighbor.  Community activities bring us together.  Just like in Maine.  Some have deep roots in the West, but it’s a fact they’ll never be as deep as the East.

“MY” old house!

My daughter grew up in Oregon.  My grandchildren were born there.  It is home.  So, why am I 3,300 miles away? This was the first move that was my choice.  Sure, I bought a house after my divorce, but I remained in the area that was home.  People talk about bucket lists, and living in Maine was on mine. 

Moving to ME for ME!

I’d thought about it for over 40 years.  Could I rely on reincarnation to make that dream come true?  Seemed a better idea to take the chance and do it now.  You’re more apt to regret something you didn’t do, than something you did.

Moving across the USA I’ve connected with a network of cousins.  I’m learning more about those who came before me.  Discovering  the joy of driving down a twisty road with autumn leaves providing a canopy overhead.  Smelling the pines as I step into the woods.  Feeling the salt breeze on my face as I watch waves crash against the rocky shore.  Watching the snowflakes drift and swirl in a winter dance.  Hearing the snowplow making the road safe for us to travel.

Hey, cuz!

Much of that I could do in Oregon, except for the cousins.  Nor had I previously heard a snowplow.  My maternal roots can be traced back to the mid-1700’s.  It is these cousins who have welcomed me with open arms.  Cousins I barely knew and have become very dear to me.  Through them my circle of friends has grown.  Plus, I’ve had time with a childhood friend, time we never before experienced except when tweens.

There’s also the matter of the series I write, Men of Maine.  Never hurts to have a fresh eye, along with the other senses, on a locale you write about. (I wouldn’t say no to spying Patrick Dempsey up close and personal ;^) Still, my heart yearns for those loved ones in Oregon, and I will return.  My roots are spread wide as well as deep.

My daughter summed it up best: Maine is my spirit animal, Oregon is my home.

Write on!

Categories
Wilhelmina Wooster

There’s Something about Rock: a MUST read from Wilhelmina Wooster who always follows the formula.

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Romance novels. . . they’re all the same. It’s a formula.
The charges are set most often at the feet of HEA writers, but no doubt mystery writers–inclined to solve the crimes they create if they hope to publish–are subject to the same shade. We follow formulas.
Well, duh.
There’s a beginning, middle, and end in books. That’s a formula, right? So is sitting down to write and getting a book out of the method engaged to produce one. You don’t get out what you fail to put in. Big mystery.
But writers, though being the same on some levels–we’re all human, at least thus far–are DIFFERENT.
We have different voices, approaches, vocabularies, sentence structure, likes, dislikes, and different experiences. But if you’re into formulas and NEED A LAUGH, take a peek at my attempt at using a Plot Generator–a ton of fun for the whole family. A great way to break from NaNoWriMo pressure and get a taste for what formula is. Not a bad thing, but necessary as writers are there to create an experience, explore conflict, and provide a resolution.
And if this is you:
… strung out on Writer’s Block, needing inspiration, a means to stop taking yourself and your writing too seriously, keep reading.

There’s something about Rock

A Frantic Romance
by Wilhelmina Wooster

Nigela Snooty-Prim is a hairless, impish and bold archivist from Tibet. Her life is going nowhere until she meets Rock Dickson, a towering, clammy man with a passion for truth.

Nigela takes an instant disliking to Rock and the nauseatingly present and blubbering ways he learnt during his years in New Jersey.

However, when a elitist tries to smother Nigela, Rock springs to the rescue. Nigela begins to notices that Rock is actually rather grateful at heart.

But, the pressures of Rock’s job as a botanical fellow leave him blind to Nigela’s affections and Nigela takes up rage poetry to try an distract himself.

Finally, when annoyingly capable trapese artist, Sir Filbert Filbert Esquire, threatens to come between them, Rock has to act fast. But will they ever find the frantic love that they deserve?

 

So, what do you think? Should I write this? Explore the possibilities? All the hooks and conflict are there. Adventure. Mystery. Romance. Are you rooting for Ms. Snooty-Prim and her clammy Rock?

My alter-ego may not be your thing–Wilhelmina Wooster is an acquired taste–but that’s what a plot generator is all about. But if you need inspiration for your mystery, horror, screenplay, romance, fairytale, meme or memoir of what it’s like being a smelly troll, Plot Generator has you covered. 

Write on!