Showing posts from March, 2023

Defending the Castle: Part VI: Breaking the Siege

Before we get started—note that today is Transgender Day of Visibility. Please take this time to write letter to a legislator, or just talk to people, or join a march. I've been having fun with the adventures of James Campbell with Aunt Gertrude MacDonald at Campbell Castle! Follow the links to Parts I to III , Part IV, and Part V . This week I didn't get any inspiration from the #WritePhoto prompt, so I turned to my own photos of castles in Scotland. When last seen, the motley crew of defenders of the last free castle in Scotland (maybe) were working out how to withstand a siege--or to end it--with a few antique weapons and a set of over-sized chess pieces. Photo by Rebecca M. Douglass About 850 words. Part VI: Breaking the Siege Gertrude MacDonald was peering over the parapet, only half hidden behind one of the crenellations. James Campbell came up beside her.   “Careful of showing yourself. Their weapons have a crazy long range.”   “Perhaps.” S

Release Day Spotlight: Revelation of Love, by Patricia Josephine Lynne

  The third book is out at last! Blurb:   Their voices guide us. Or deceive us. But is there more to Light and Dark? Influencers are the voices that whisper in our ears. Tiny Angels and Devils sitting on our shoulders and guiding our choices. They are sworn to thwart the other. It is their duty. According to the angels. Sacrificing his angelic powers, Kemuel becomes a Light Influencer to discover why they are disappearing. As well as securing the mortal’s soul for the war. But with each Light choice, the mortal’s soul grows ever darker. What piece of the puzzle is Kemuel missing? Why would a Dark Influencer choose Light? The truth requires great sacrifice.   Links: Amazon Books2Read   WHAT REVIEWERS SAY ABOUT THE SERIES: Most of us know the concept of having a little angel on one shoulder and a little devil on the other, swaying us to do either good or evil. We've seen it in cartoons. Well, Josephine takes that idea and fleshes it out by

Audiobook Review: Surfacing, by Kathleen Jamie

I tend to wander through the non-fiction audio section of my library's Overdrive and tag books that I might enjoy listening to while I do my daily walks. This was one of those selections, an excellent choice for walking.   Title: Surfacing Author: Kathleen Jamie. Read by Cathleen McCarron Publication Info: Books on Tape, 2019, 6h 45 min. Original hardback, 2019, Sort of Books, 240 pages. Source: Library Publisher's Blurb: An immersive exploration of time and place in a shrinking world, from the award-winning author of Sightlines. In this remarkable blend of memoir, cultural history, and travelogue, poet and author Kathleen Jamie touches points on a timeline spanning millennia, and considers what surfaces and what reconnects us to our past. From the thawing tundra linking a Yup'ik village in Alaska to its hunter-gatherer past to the shifting sand dunes revealing the impressively preserved homes of neolithic farmers in Scotland, Jamie explores how the changing natural

Visit me at Smorgasbord's Posts from the Archives

Big thanks to Sally Cronin for featuring one of my older posts at her Smorgasbord Blog Magazine . Drop over and see what she selected, and stick around to see what great posts she's found from other bloggers--you might find a new favorite to follow!

Photo Friday: Valley of Fire State Park

As far as I can tell, in the aftermath of my April 2021 Grand Canyon rafting trip, I never did share a post on an amazing spot we visited on the way home--Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada. That conveniently gives me a photo post for this week! This was a quick overnight stop on our way home--we pulled in mid-afternoon and nabbed just about the last campsite at the Arch Rock campgound. I was traveling with my brother- and sister-in-law. My vehicle is the small one :)  Note that the campsites had nice shade structures over the tables--much needed, even in late April. I did a quick exploration near our camp as the sun dropped, enjoying the low light and some great treats among the rocks. The Arch Rock for which the campground is named. Atlatl Rock is a large pictograph panel, with a set of stairs allowing for close views. Note the hunters and the bighorn sheep. The other campground is named for this rock. The artist's model.   We were up early to drive out the Mouse's Tank road

Book Review: The Bears Ears: A Human History

I'm headed to the Bears Ears National Monument in a few weeks, so I figured I should do some more reading about the area. It's not new history to me, but a refresher never hurts, and many details were new. Title: The Bears Ears: A Human History of America's Most Endangered Wilderness Author: David Roberts Publication Info: 2021, W.W. Norton. 336 pages. Source: Library Publisher's Blurb: The Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah, created by President Obama in 2016 and eviscerated by the Trump administration in 2017, contains more archaeological sites than any other region in the United States. It’s also a spectacularly beautiful landscape, a mosaic of sandstone canyons and bold mesas and buttes. This wilderness, now threatened by oil and gas drilling, unrestricted grazing, and invasion by Jeep and ATV, is at the center of the greatest environmental battle in America since the damming of the Colorado River to create Lake Powell in the 1950s. In The

Audiobook Review: Nation, by Terry Pratchett

I guess this is classified as Young Adult? Who cares--anything Pratchett wrote is worth reading. And more YA lit should be like this: long on thought, short on romance.     Title: Nation Author: Terry Pratchett. Read by Stephen Briggs Publication Info: Harper Collins, 2008, 9.5 hours. (367 pages in hardback). Source: Library Publisher's Blurb: Alone on a desert island — everything and everyone he knows and loves has been washed away in a storm — Mau is the last surviving member of his nation. He’s completely alone — or so he thinks until he finds the ghost girl. She has no toes, wears strange lacy trousers like the grandfather bird, and gives him a stick that can make fire. Daphne, sole survivor of the wreck of the Sweet Judy, almost immediately regrets trying to shoot the native boy. Thank goodness the powder was wet and the gun only produced a spark. She’s certain her father, distant cousin of the Royal family, will come and rescue her but it seems, for now, that all she

#WritePhoto: Siege

We are back with #WritePhoto, and another installment of the adventures with Aunt Gertrude MacDonald at Campbell Castle! Follow the links to Parts I to III , and Part IV . And no, I have no idea where this is going, but I intend to have fun along the way! Image by KL Caley Participating this week on time for the #WritePhoto blog hop at KL Caley's New2Writing blog. Every Thursday a new photo prompt. Post stories, poems, whatever by the following Tuesday and link back to KL's page.     V.  Dying of Boredom   “They’re pulling back!”   The entire crew at Fort Campbell, as they were now calling the crumbling Campbell family castle on its remote lake in Scotland, gaped as the alien airship pulled back and stopped firing at the rebels. Their defense had worked. Water balloons and dung balls had defeated the invaders…   No, not defeated. James Campbell watched the airship pull back beyond range and settle to the ground. A row of four-armed soldiers p

Writer's Update: Does giving away books do any good?

How goes the battle? First things first:  what's going on with the writing? Sad reality: making major improvements in a manuscript is... hard work. And I'm not always up for that. I'm really trying, though, and still hope to have some real progress before I leave for the desert at the end of the month. I won't promise to have a finished revision, though. Some days it progresses, some days it doesn't. The business of writing: promotions Last week was the Smashwords "Read an ebook week" sale. I put nearly all my books on sale at up to 50% off, and selected three to be free, in addition to the two BookElves anthologies in which I have stories. Here's the result: I gave away 13 books for free. I sold none. Will those 13 free books get me any additional readers? That's the hope, but I have my doubts. How many books are on your ereader, picked up because they were free and it was easy? We do what we can to encourage people to move on to the next boo

Time to get Political

It has always been my policy, here on this blog and on social media, to stay out of politics. I'm generally here to talk about books and travel and fun stuff. But at some point in your life you may be hit upside the head with the need to speak up. That time has come. Not just for me--for all of us. Because even aside from my personal stake in what's happening in too much of the US, I also believe that if it becomes the norm to take away the freedoms of some groups, it will eventually bcome the norm to take the freedoms of all, and I feel that our nation is teetering in the balance. For the moment, I'm not talking about the loss of a woman's right to control her body (I should have been talking about that for the last two years), or the rights of people of color to not be beaten and killed by the police (also shame to me for not talking about this). For today, I'm talking about LGBTQ* rights, including the very right to existence. Does that sound extreme to you? Thin