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These last few days

July 20, 2014

raven crossstitch 6 2014These last few days have been extremely stressful. It feels like I am being sucker-punched over and over. So that is all I am going to say about this foray into medical other than I hope I can stay well as I help the hubby.

So when I am really stressed, I cross-stitch. My writing has taken a major hit–sorry– and I hope I’ll be able to concentrate enough to write something after Monday. The cross-stitch piece I have been working on– I think I have said it here– is a stylized Japanese raven with Katana. I am posting a picture that I took when it was half-way done. For my sins, it is hard to tell what it is, but every stitch is stitched which makes it more a tapestry than a normal cross-stitch pattern.

My hubby and I will have to make some hard decisions after Monday. Wish us luck, good thoughts, and if you pray– please keep praying for the hubby.

Update – on the illness

July 14, 2014

So I won’t say much here except that we haven’t found out what is causing the extreme weight loss and muscle loss in the hubby. He is getting some tests done this week, but still feels worse than last week. I am worried, of course.

It is escape time for me. I usually read books like Kate Paulk’s Con series. If you haven’t read it, you should. It is about a snarky vampire who is a sci-fi/ fantasy con-goer. It is a humorous glimpse into the con fans. Plus it is a rousing story. I have been asking her for another story in the series.

Also Pam Uphoff’s Wine of the God series is another bunch of escapist reading that makes me happy because even in the midst of the sex and violence, her characters show independence and grow as people. Just a hint, the sex in these books are enabled by an aphrodisiac wine that causes extreme lustiness. Even her sex scenes are humorous.

I am writing — or back to Dark Moon Rising. I was so consumed with getting the hubby to several doctors (three in the last week) that my writing has suffered. I am also revising Conjure Man so that I can get it up on D2D (Draft 2 Digital). It is similar to Smashwords, but their meatgrinder is easier to use.

My other stress relief has been working on a cross-stitch Japanese stylized raven with Katana. Every square has floss in it. I have been working on this piece for a year now. I do an inch square while watching some Netflix.

As for my illness, I have been extremely stressed so I keep taking my vitamins in hopes that I don’t flare. So far I am doing okay.

In the middle of illness

July 10, 2014

My hubby has been having health problems for a long time, so this week I got the go ahead to start the diagnosis process. We have seen two doctors in two days and today we are seeing the third doctor. Wish us luck. I have hinted about the this problem off and on for the last year.

It means that I will be pretty spotty about posting here. Thanks. And I will get back to my short story when I have a moment to think.

Two days into Camp Nano

July 3, 2014

So I started “Dark Moon Rising” a couple years ago after I finished “She Called It, Wolf.” I am doing some editing towards grounding the characters into their surroundings by using the five senses. It was an obvious tip I received from one of my classes with Dean W. Smith. If you want some good grounding in writing stories. He is the best for that type of instruction.

I noticed as I was editing the first 9,000 words that I like to use “he knew, she realized”, and other filler words. Also, I was talking to another writer who easily writes 85 to 100 thousand words. I don’t have that much in me for stories. My stories are 500 to 30,000 words (shorts and novellas). When I stretch to 50 or 60 thousand words, I find it hard. I know I shouldn’t have a problem if I use the try/fail cycle (another DWS tip). Plus as I am looking at the storyline, I am better now than when I first wrote the first story. Yeah! It is good to see some progress.

Now if I can write well enough for readers. I am improving. I hope to be a better writer before I die.

Thanks for all the fish

July 1, 2014

It has been a crazy week and I apologize for no posts this week. Today I start Camp Nanowrimo again (April and July). I am working on “Dark Moon Rising,” the sequel to “She Called It, Wolf.” Then the dentist– for a cleaning and an X-ray.

My teeth are not holding up to the medication that I have had to take for the last decade. So maybe tomorrow I’ll have a better post. I’ll be changing my excerpt to another day. I find myself so busy that Friday turns into a no-writing day more often than not. So maybe tomorrow.

If you are interested in doing Camp Nano, the link is here.

Thursday Promotion: Erika T Red #AmazonCart

June 19, 2014

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Old book  – new cover.

Since the summer 0f 2013, (also known as the summer of collapse in my private thoughts), my books have not done well in this new era of high gas prices, food, and shelter. As an incentive, to making my books more attractive I lowered the prices and am busily changing covers.

If you make your own covers and are not an artist, I suggest using I found this particular site last year when I decided that my covers needed to look more professional. I pay for the use of the image with a credit system. There is also a free area. Then I add the lettering. (Plus I give the artist a cover image credit in the book.)

I have changed this cover approximately two other times. The first cover was from one of my personal photos. Then I used CreateSpace’s cover maker, which gave me the next image. As you can see the newest cover does have a zing to it that tErikatredebook smashwordshis one doesn’t.

Also, many of the visual artists on this site are freelancing and are in the indie market. I try to support people who are in basically the same marketplace.

I am learning slowly that a cover is the first thing that readers see and the first marketing tool.

Erika T Red

Erika is a normal girl, trying to save money for college when she walks into her destiny in the form of a wolf, raven, and a dying god. She learns life is not fair, but it can have some benefits along the way.

Barnes & Noble

You can also find this book in other outlets such as Apple and Scribd.



Farbiorn Neilsen leaned against the dark rocks, slicked with light rain. He peered through them to the scene below. An old man with a bandage around his eyes was carefully led to the center of a clearing in front of a small wooden shack. Around him were warriors dressed in leather jerkins. One or two of them carried swords. The rest carried wooden spears.

He shivered. Farbiorn did not want to go back to that clearing. Just minutes before, he had been forced into the shack. The warriors had held his head so that he was forced to face the old man, eyes to eyes. If the old man had uncovered his eyes, then Farbiorn would not be the same. He knew it in his gut.

In a last desperate effort, Farbiorn struggled free. He didn’t know how he had gotten away from the warrior, but he had run as fast as he could into the rocks. He had slid down, listening to the hard beat of his heart, had listened to the harsh breath coming from his mouth. Just a moment and he would slip into the forest before the warriors could find him.

Only this morning he had been in the fields. This spring had started early. His father, Neil, had gone to the village to get a midwife. His mother was giving birth. His sisters were helping his mother through the pain. He could hear her groans outside as he tried to think of the planting. She was too old for this birthing. He knew she was going to die.

He had soothed the ox by touching its face and slapping his sides. Then he put his work-hardened hands on both handles of the plough.

“Get up,” he said.

He had not noticed the warriors as he concentrated on the first row. The ox walked at a slow pace as he held the plough in the soil. When he reached the end of the row, he turned the ox around for the next one. It was then he looked up. It was then that he saw them.

They had his young sister confined between two of them. “Come with us,” one said. “Come with us and we won’t hurt her.”

The soldiers didn’t lie. Not this time. If he didn’t go with them, they would hurt and rape her. Erik would still have been forcibly taken to his doom.

Farbiorn nodded to them. He unhooked the ox from the plough and led him to the small corral by the cabin. He waited for the warriors to let his sister go. She ran into the cabin. He saw his white-faced young brother watch as the warriors took him away.

It seemed like a dream. Even to save his family… could he look into that old man’s eyes? Glued to the rock, Farbiorn watched the warriors take the blindfold from the old man’s eyes. One eye had an empty socket. The other eye was a brilliant blue. He shuddered. His whole body became cold. He could feel that eye looking, looking, looking. There. He heard inside his head.

He is there.

This time the warriors tied him tightly. He could not move or blink. The old man looked deeply into Farbiorn’s eyes. Farbiorn had light blue eyes, but as the old man stared deep into Farbiorn’s eyes, his eyes changed to one empty socket and a blue eye. When he was finished, the old man had two light blue eyes.

The old man fell to the floor. His breathing slowed and then stopped. The warriors watched.

“It is done,” no-longer Farbiorn said. “I am Odin,”

He looked at the old man. “Get rid of this dead meat.” He turned and walked into the small cabin.



Blast from the Past 5/03/2009: Confession

June 18, 2014

As a young adult I wanted to perform: music and/or acting. However, I was so shy that when I stood in front of an audience I would freeze up. One time I tried to sing in front of a small audience, which included members of my family. My voice lost its luster and I sounded like a frog croaking.

I confess that it was very hard for me because I burned to perform. I think that is why I love to write. I have an audience, but it is not face-to-face. I don’t even have to think about anyone else while I write.

When I was about nine years old, I would edit my grandfather’s poetry. We used to write back and forth so that I could tell him how his works sounded to me. Many times he would thank me publicly for my help. Even then I would be shy from the attention.

To be born with the need to perform, but to be unable to perform: how can I explain this need without sounding sentimental or corny? To stand before a crowd and feel the adulation … many artists have given their souls, their families, and their very lives for that feeling.

I confess… I confess… give me absolution from my dark need.


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