Slices of Life

Fall, 2015

Moving into the most beautiful time of year in the mountains.  I spent the summer working full time to regain a little economic balance. Life is good.

Spring, 2015

I’ve had a whirlwind winter. November the lovely lady librarian and I formalized our vows in the first wave of NC Marriage Equality. It was a beautiful proposal at church in front of all our friends. We put together a wedding in a week and wrote our ceremony. I had jokingly said hell would have to freeze over before I got married again.  November 1, 2014 (11/1/14, do you see it?) arrived and with it the first snow storm of the season.

December my wife had knee replacement surgery on one knee and a procedure on the other to fix a torn meniscus. That pretty much defined our winter. I didn’t get much writing done but a lot of knitting and crochet as I moved ice packs and handed out medications.

February and Valentines day weekend we took a week off and traveled to Florida on a research trip.  I had the chance to see my son in college that I have missed for two years. We had dinner with some of my writing friends, stayed the night with my critique partner brainstorming and working on our game plan for 2015. We went to the Butterfly Museum in Gainesville; the Carriage Museum in Weresdale; I saw a childhood friend in Inverness.  We spent the weekend with Ubuntu choir friends singing and enjoying the sun at Pine Island, Bokkelia in south west Florida near Naples. My wife saw her sister in Naples. We traveled back and visited DeLeon springs having flap jacks there at the grist mill. And toured the lovely Stephen Foster park and museum. It was a fantastic trip. We camped in the back of our truck along the way. I will have to admit that getting the curtains up on the shell windows each night was a little bit like crabs F*cking in a coffin and trying to decorate. Hysterical laughter ensued with a bit of grumbling.

Now I’m back hard at work getting a couple of titles out in audio production and beginning the work on a couple of writing projects.

Winter, 2015

We had a lovely Thanksgiving with family and got ready for the long dark deep winter. LOL.  My wife had knee replacement surgery December 1st. We spent a quiet holiday in recovery mode. The kids had helped us put up the Christmas Tree during Thanksgiving. We enjoyed watching TV, physical therapy visits and changing ice packs.  I got a lot of knitting and crochet work accomplished.  She is recovering very well and had done an amazing job at rehabing the knee.  Now soon the other knee will need done.

Our grand daughter Rosalie was born on my mother’s birthday in January. Such a bitter sweet moment as they are something like 15 hours ahead of us on the other side of the world.

I’ve been working with my driving pony, training her and slogging through the snow to care for her.

We are now preparing to go on a winter retreat in Florida with the Ubuntu choir we sing with. It will be a nice break from the weather.

And yes of course I’ve been doing edits on my next book release and J.R. Lowe has been working very hard on narration contracts. Whoot!

October, 2014

We have had a busy summer. Camping and wandering. Highlights since I last posted. Dragon Con over laborday weekend in ATL and Walker Stalker October 18th ATL. These are both indescribable events and you just had to be there!

July, 2014

Already a wonderful month. Our gardens have been blooming. Different from last summer. It’s hard to believe we have been in the house a year. June was 12 moons since my move to the mountain. The winter was hard on some of our plants.

20130627_151538The dog has been a total escape artist and we received two calls while on vacation for our poor neighbors watching the house and pets to go and find him.

The straw bale garden is working along. We’ve had pea pods from our front container garden. Potatoes planted in a tree pot and tall and healthy looking on top. We shall see what potatoes it produces.

Fourth of July weekend was a fantastic holiday.  Thursday we took off work and traveled to Anderson, SC and I received my first pony driving lesson. Stellar moment. So fantastic. It is a bit of a trip, two hours away. However the trainer, Sue competes CDE (combined driving events) I learned a lot during my lesson time and look forward to continuing with her in the future.

We had a grand picnic with friends on the fourth which included rubber duckie races down their river. So much fun even if my duck – Super Duck didn’t win.

June, 2014

After a fun whirlwind of book signings I went on vacation.  It started with a business conference down in Columbia, South Carolina at the University of South Carolina campus. I had a great time riding bikes around the city.

Once the work part of our week was finished, Wed. We headed off to the Richmond, VA area. We camped overnight Wed in route. We were also able to bike greenways along the journey as we came across them to stretch out legs. Time wasn’t a crunch so we could stop when and where we wanted to.

Thursday, we were able to visit with friends that we’d not seen for many years and on to the campgrounds in the middle of the night. Then on to a Women’s Music Festival at Camp Out VA over the Memorial Day weekend. It was a great time enjoying different kinds of music from the various artists. I attended a Drum circle and a guitar workshop hosted by the artists attending the festival. The weekend was wrapped up with a sweet Memorial Day tribute to our service women and men down at the lake.

Monday morning we took off headed for Colonial Williamsburg to bike around that historic city. We traveled on to the South Hampton Area of the lower barrier islands and camped at a state park for the night.

Tuesday we meandered on to Chincoteague Island and set up camp. We had a lovely bike ride over to Asateague island and spotted some wild ponies. It was a delight for me. We did have a horrible storm blow through that night and thought we might end up at sea tent and all. LOL

Wednesday we took an “Eco tour” with Captain Barry.  A fantastic fun day learning about the local ecology. In the afternoon we visited the library and toured the local pony center seeing all kinds of Marguerite Henry, Misty and Breyer memorabilia.

100_3428Thursday morning we visited the Wildlife centers on Asateague Island. Saw more wild ponies. We drove on up to the north end of the island controlled by Maryland. A whole different management style there. I see the ponies evolving differently as well.

We made it into Washington DC by evening and took a hotel room. It was an interesting time that still makes me smile. We nicknamed the hotel…Hotel California. Long story there.

We took the Metro subway with our bikes down to the Capital Center riding in the evening mist and taking pictures of all the buildings lit up so beautifully at night. Topped the evening off with pizza and beer.

Friday morning we rode our bikes down to the White House and around that area of the city. We packed up and went out to the National Cathedral to see that beautiful building and grounds. Then back to the Lincoln Memorial park, to the Vietnam Veterans wall and on to the WWII memorial.

Leaving was sad somehow. We had to consider it a scout trip for a longer holiday there in the future…both Chincoteague and Washington.

We camped one last night that shall always be remembered by images of honey wagon and drunk women in the shower room…not us.

Saturday we stopped at the lower end of the Virginia Creeper and rode our bikes about six miles before traveling on home.

The most stunning thing about the vacation was the relaxed exploring. We didn’t plan much far ahead. We just let the week unroll as it did moment by moment. Outstanding.

May, 2014

April flew by with finalizing the plans for release of “Dragon Guardian”. I hardly had time to breath sweating that final deadline. Now May is here and on a professional level I’m participating in book signings and promotion of the book while I write the next one, edit another and work revisions on a third.

2014-05-01 15.21.59On a personal front, as this is slices of life. I am working hard to bring our garden home into spring. We’ve finally settled on a name for the cottage after celebrating our first year here… Misselthwaite after the Secret Garden.

I’ve planted a yellow rose to take the place of a bush that didn’t make it the year prior to our buying the house.  We’ve cut back a substantial amount of brown leafed ivy that didn’t make it through the winter. Never fear, new ivy shoots in all four varieties are making their appearance.  We’ve cut back a free range oak tree that sprouted up underneath the dwarf spruce. I hated to do it but the spruce was crying with the invasion.

We have began the curing of six straw bales for our vegetable garden. We went to the farmers market last Saturday and purchased six special varieties of tomatoes and peppers. We have other seeds planted to sprout in varying degrees of success or lack there of.

We had Daffodils bloom in late March/April and one single white tulip by the stairs to the porch. Late April/May the purple iris’ have bloomed. Rhododendrons have bloomed bright pink, just this weekend.

I planted pea’s in the front planters to vine over the railing and give us lovely pea pods to eat. I also container planted some small red new potatoes. We shall see what comes of that.

MARCH, 2014

Spring has sprung. We’ve bought new bikes and had a couple of rides. I’ve planted seeds for peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, flowers, herbs. I’m researching Hay Bale Gardening. Lived through the most disastrous moment a mother can face. Your child’s been involved in a crash and is in ICU three hours away. My other child and family arrived from Japan. Yes my grandson thinks G.G.’s house is the best place on earth. We had a cookie adventure and an animal adventure while he was here. That’s as it should be right?

I’m spending a lovely weekend at the Fontana Village Resort. The mountains are intensely powerful. Even thought we are entering March, the trees are still bare other than the pine and fir. We are well above the frost line I am sure. Looking out of the massive glass windows of the lodge you can’t help but be a little breathless at the magnificence of the mountain ridges. I know why they call it the blue ridge.

HOLIDAYS, 2013

The holiday season is in full swing. We had my daughter visit for Thanksgiving and started the tradition of going to view the winners of The National Gingerbread Contest hosted by The Grove Park Inn in Asheville. We woke Wednesday morning to Snow Everywhere…several inches and the first snow fall of the year. My daughter didn’t appreciate my enthusiasm as I proclaimed it a Thanksgiving Miracle.

We then prepared and pot lucked Thanksgiving dinner at the Franklin UU church. My Apple Pie Sangria was a big hit and the Turkey wasn’t half bad either.

We had the opening Christmas Party of the Season at Friends house on 12/1/13 and then a function at the college for the Chancellor’s Christmas party on 12/2/13. We’ve been to holiday craft fairs. I purchased a beautiful basket weave Reed woven heart and a lovely purple glass dangle repurposed from a glass grape centerpiece that was popular back in the … what… 70’s?

The Christmas Tree is up and shining bright and beautiful. We hunted it live on the farm and had it cut. We’re shopping and shipping, crafting and baking. We have plans with friends for a Christmas Ornament/Decoration Craft Day. We’re baking cookies soon to take to a charity event where boxes of cookies are prepared and given to those that need a little cheer.

The Deck was Completed in November and awaits our electrician work and then we get the hot tub moved. Should have hot tub deliciousness by January? February? March?

We were able to tour the Biltmore Estate house. It is a wonderful tour. I have to resist all the stories that come into my mind from that era.I guess seeing it through a writers eyes makes it all the more interesting. We hit it at a time when the audio tours were free. That really added so much to the experience. To have lived like that, Kings in that era really.

Busy fun times for all.

FALL, 2013

Here we are fall again coming to the mountain. I’ve had a busy summer. Here are some of the highlights, outside stellar book releases.

Biking around the area and meeting wildlife.

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This Elk was at the Cherokee Res where we biked down the trail next to the river.

We’ve taken Brewster to dog parks around the three county area. We’ve been to parties, dances, had friends over for dinner. We’ve enjoyed the night life of Asheville restaurants and movies. Biking the Biltmore Estate.

DRAGONCON Labor Day Weekend, 2013

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SUMMER, 2013

The new house is wonderful. Hardwood floors, a full basement shop, a craft room and spare bedroom upstairs, an office with twin bed on the main floor. It is open and beautiful.20130814_143231

We had a french door installed in the back of the den to open onto the deck.

The best thing about it are the gardens surrounding the house. Something is blooming throughout the spring and summer, Daylillies, callalillies, hydrangea, a ton of flowers I don’t even know the names of and butterfly bushes.

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The hydrangeas start out white then turn blue and finish the season a violet color. Breathtaking.

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Butterfly bushes in a middle purple color. I’ve collected cuttings in yellow and dark purple for next year to add to it.  I’ve also planted parsley all over to feed the caterpillars.

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This is the beautiful waterfalls in my new home area of Western North Carolina.IMG_20130511_101854_597

I’ve been exploring my new home in Waynesville, NC with “The Lady Librarian”  One Saturday we went waterfall chasing through the back roads and by-ways. It was breathtaking.

SPRING, 2013 A NEW RIDE and the Natchez Trace Camping Trip

Jude on the Ferry

My New 1400 Intruder. I rode the Natchez Trace this summer with my friend Sandi. We had a great time following the trace from Nashville, TN down to Mississippi and then to the coast and over the beach route.  It was a wonderful trip I will long remember.

RESEARCH, Spring 2012 I’M GONNA BE A BIKER

My Motorcycle Ta’Lula a 750 Vulcan

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The Dog …

BREWSTER, 2012

loveable…nuisence….farting Dog who SHOULD be in Japan! LOL

He is a lab great dane cross. And yet, he theoretically should be in Japan

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with these people {daughter (taking picture), Son in Law and Grandson whose grown a whole lot bigger since this picture was taken}

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PEYTON, 2011

My cat, Peyton. She got her fame being in the movie book trailer for Dar’kind Promises.  She was inspiration for one of Zelia’s feline forms.

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She is reading my twitter page with the cover for the Once

A Twisted Tale anthology on the screen.

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