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Essential Oils and Diamond Butterfly

February 17, 2017

img_0365 A couple of days ago, I was talking to a mental health professional about how I thought part of my problems with health was because of the underlying anxiety I feel all the time. While we were talking about my husband’s death (we were married on Feb 16th) and my chronic illnesses, she handed me a cotton ball, which she laced with a couple drops of peppermint oil.

The response was almost immediate. I could feel each muscle relax. But it went even farther than the skin, muscles, and organs. I could feel the relaxation go down into the cells of my body. I felt the electrons that had been spinning like crazy, start to drop to a slower frequency. When I left our meeting, I was even smiling and holding that cotton ball to my nose.

When I drove the forty minutes home, I had one hand on the steering wheel and the other hand was holding that cotton ball to my nose. I made it home without yelling at drivers, or giving them the one-fingered salute. I think there was a silly smile on my face when I walked into my apartment. Foxy jumped and gave me the chihuahua greeting, including the waving front paws.

When I think about it, smell is one of the most powerful of our five senses even though we use visual more often or think we do. Smell is the first sense we develop and the last sense we lose.

Cinnamon and peppermint are the two smells that remind me of Christmas and magic. So now I am trying out a few other oils. Orange is a great pick-me-up. I really need that one in the morning. I’m also looking into a few that can help dry skin and kidney function.

Peppermint is still my go-to when I lie down and my brain starts to roll and spark. It calms me down even quicker than lavender–maybe because it sparks a feeling of safety.

Now here is an excerpt from my current WIP Diamond Butterfly:

The snow came down wet and heavy as I trudged down a dirt road, marked by slashes on the trees. Without those slashes I couldn’t see the road, and I still had to hike a couple of miles before I made it to the cabin at the end of the road. My baby boy’s sleeping breath warmed my neck as I carried him on my back, wrapped in a blanket. With his weight on my back, I tested each footstep. If we fell in the snow, hypothermia could be a problem. I couldn’t fall.

I had been driving down that road like a demon with the snow hitting the windshield. I should have gotten new blades, hell, new tires when I realized that I was heading for the storm. The heater kept a small portion of my windshield clear. I might not have jerked and slid off the road, barely hitting a tree if I had seen the black creature earlier. Now I was walking in the storm and trying to keep my baby warm.

The snow dampened the sound around me. I could only hear the crunch of my own boots. Even the birds and smaller animals were hidden in burrows, snoring. I opened my mouth to taste the air. I couldn’t smell or taste anything around me, just wet and more wet.

I reached back and touched my boy’s small foot. It was soft and warm. I felt a quick relief. If I could just make it to the cabin soon without getting lost, we would be fine. I took a deep breath and followed the slashes, the loaded revolver heavy in my pocket.
How did I, Nova Tewa, obedient granddaughter, get into this predicament?


Don’t forget– Dragon Boy is my new release:

If you’re down on your luck, come to Hilda’s Inn for a game of dice and cheap ale. The hundred-year-stew has been stewing for a hundred years and the fire never burns out.

Except Hilda’s Inn is under new management, and Hilda is on the run with Davi, a dragonling. There will be dwarfs, ogres, dragons, and magical trinkets between Delhaven and Koenigstadt, the king’s city.

Don’t forget that the woods are not a safe place–the Draugr is lurking and
hungry. And, he has a taste for magic

Warm days and cold hands

February 12, 2017

img_0584 Foxy, my black chihuahua terrier mix, sits with me on my overstuffed rocking chair with the front door open. She sits on my lap and stretches like a flat fur rug. I know she is starting to get older because white is appearing on her muzzle and eyebrows. When I first got her over two years ago, except for her chest, she was black all over.

She is also getting more cuddly and less active. But then, with the problems I’ve had the last few weeks, I am also getting slower.

We don’t see too many clouds except in the spring and fall in Las Vegas. So I watch the clouds curl and flow. In the higher atmosphere the I see lenticular clouds. It would be long that this storm which left us only a few drops will be on its way to Utah and Colorado. I think it stops here to dry off a little and warm up before the big show.

My sleep schedule has been interrupted by my symptoms. My usual sleep schedule is between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. The prickling in my neck, plus the hot and cold sensations that seem to start at bedtime and keep me awake. I have been waking up at 4 hour intervals. So at 2 p.m. in the afternoon (sometimes earlier) I am so tired that I take a long nap. Needless to say these patterns make it hard for me to think and to write creatively.

Inside it feels like someone has put their foot on the pedal and is revving the engine.

So I am hoping that the sonogram biopsy will be the start to getting my engine to a low hum. This constant revving is tiring.

Now for a little promotion time.

Plus here is the first in the series, Hilda’s Inn for Retired Heroes:

Water leaks and other misadventures

February 7, 2017

Public Doman – Pixabay

Yesterday morning, I found water all across my cabinets and under the sink. It was like a mini-flood came rushing through my apartment while I was sleeping. I usually start the dishwasher in the evening because I don’t use the water saver function. It takes a few washes and a lot of hot water to get the dishes clean enough for me.

Apparently the water backed up in the pipe that allows air in–it was this little problem that flooded my kitchen and made me get down on my hands and knees to clean up under the sink. Every box I had under the sink was soaked with water. Since most the stuff under the sink was cleaning supplies and were already things like plastic, I was able to rescue most of it. I did take out two sacks of wet boxes. Frankly that amount of work especially when I am going down on my knees and back on my feet, or even bending over, is exhausting.

Since I am also getting over a health misadventure, it was even doubly exhausting. I kept telling myself that I couldn’t allow black mold to grow in this apartment. So I did it anyway and paid the price.

I spent the rest of the day reading and cuddling the doggy. I was a reader before I tried my hand at writing. Before I even wrote short stories and novels, I used to write poety. I have a couple of poetry books on Amazon, if you are interested. I was even published in the Acumen, a poetry journal that has featured such poets as Seamus Heaney. I still keep my hand in occasionally. But, politics got into poetry long before it got into stories and novels. Nowadays you have to have a Master’s Degree or better in English literature or Creative Writing to even get published in some of the prestigious journals. Plus you have to be supported by the NEA (National Endowment of the Arts) Arts) to make even a living at writing poetry. Since I do not want to starve in a garret for my art, I write it as a hobby only.

Even before poetry, I was a storyteller to my younger brothers and sisters. I would sit on the edge of the bed and tell “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” in many different voices.  Sometimes I would make up stories about adventures before my brothers fell asleep. Sometimes I would adapt the stories of Robert Lewis Stevenson. My storytelling sessions would end with lullabies. I wonder if that is why my brothers think of me fondly.

So as a taste of my newest book and my storytelling skills, I am posting a small excerpt from Dragon Boy:

dragonboy2016Delhaven castle

The Draugr’s eyes popped open. The darkness covered him like a blanket. The mage had tasted good, so good. At the first bite, the mage’s magic had poured into him and he awoke. He was the spy-master, but he was not.

The light that had seeped through the cracks in the door was gone. He sniffed, looking for the leather, metal, and bright souls that meant the guards were near. He wanted to rip them to pieces and eat every juicy bit. They wouldn’t still this craving though. He needed to eat another mage, well-steeped in magic, to keep himself awake.

He sniffed. A small sparrow was nestled in a tree outside the courtyard door. He smelled the sour sweat of Lord Barton as he slept in his chamber in the floor above. Guards in leather, carrying swords at their hips, stood at the entrance to the Lord’s rooms. A slight stench of magic came from there. To the Draugr, the magic was too little to sate his hunger.

Then he caught the scent of the dragon boy. It was so delicious. He remembered smelling him in the place where he had caught and killed the mage. Then he was more interested in killing his maker.

Now he was free. The thought of eating a fully magical creature tugged at him. His stomach growled. He fought the hunger. As the spy-master, he knew of other mages hidden in the population. They spent their time on the docks. But the compulsion to follow the dragon became more intense. His body had other ideas.

His mind fought, but his hunger became more insistent. His will power wasn’t enough to override his body. He ran and crashed through the main door of the castle. He heard the running feet of the guards. But he was already gone, running through the sleeping city. As he passed the burning street-lamps, a wind blew out the wicks, leaving darkness behind him. His mind gibbered to his body that someone, especially with swords, could follow him by the sudden darkness. He ran faster.

A gleam of eyes glared at him from atop a wall. The Draugr stopped and grabbed a cat. It screamed as he ripped it open. He buried his face in its intestines and ate. The blood dripped down his face as his legs pumped and he almost flew. The dragon’s scent led him to Delhaven’s main gate.

The gate was locked and the gate guard dozed in the shack next to it. The Draugur opened the shack’s door and ripped off the guard’s head before the guard could scream. The Draugr munched on the head for a moment. The keys to the gate were on the dead guard’s belt. He took them, dropping the head beside the body. After eating a mage, non-magic folk didn’t have enough nourishment.

He took a deep sniff as he opened the gate. Yes, that way. He could smell the dragon and fire magic. Oh yes, he knew he was a Draugr and ate human flesh. He had enough of a mind to be repelled at the idea. Still, if he wanted to live he would have to eat. The dragon would last for a long time and its magic would bring him back to life. He’d be a walking monster with a mind. If the muscles in his face worked, he would have smiled.

The forest outside the gates welcomed him. He didn’t get tired and he could walk forever. The dragon would have to sleep sometime.

Deep in the forest, sniffing the trail of the dragon and fire mage, the Draugr felt the first sun rays. He looked around for a place to hide. There were no caves, no under hangs, just trees and more trees. He covered his hands and face in mud and rolled in leaves. He wrapped his ragged coat around him to keep out the sun, then he slid down under a tree with his back against the trunk. The leaves and branches would protect him or they wouldn’t.

He fell asleep as the world lightened. The one spot of skin on his ear lobe bubbled, burned, and blackened. He slept on.

Have Some Promo – Free Range Oyster

February 4, 2017

According To Hoyt

Have Some Promo – Free Range Oyster

Once more unto the breach comes the promo post! Reports of my demise may have been slightly embellished. On the contrary, the Oyster Clan has recently grown by one more minion. Granted I may look somewhat dead now, but I assure you I still have a pulse. But! Back to the matter at hand: BOOKS! In my hiatus I’ve received several new submissions. We have a new series launched, a series finished, a couple others continuing; life is good in indie Hun fiction land. Go grab a book and a nice cuppa, and enjoy the lovely winter weather from the comfort of your couch. If you’ve already read everything on offer, give a shout in the comments for some recommendations. As always, future promo post entries can (and should!) be sent to my email. Happy reading!

Jason Dyck, AKA The Free Range…

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Life, Universe, and my two cents

February 2, 2017

I could talk about a group of people who are determined to burn down the United States, but I won’t. If you stop and think for a minute it would be obvious that it is a massive temper tantrum and I don’t acknowledge such things–even when it is a toddler.

I could talk about religion, but I won’t. I am not an atheist, but I do have different beliefs that put me at odds with a lot of different religious systems. If you need traditional religion and the communal support it provides, I wish you well.

I could talk about books and how the traditional publishers are burning down their establishments by overpricing ebooks and making their authors write to themes like Nazis, fascism, and socialism, but I won’t. There are others who write better and more eloquently about these topics.

One thing I do know about is health. I know that Obamacare has made it much harder for me to see my doctor. It has made it much harder to get help when my body decides to collapse. Many days I feel like I am rushing towards a goal and then hit an invisible wall that punches back. The Affordable Care Act, informally known as Obamacare, has made it impossible for an individual to pick the health care they need.

For instance I have looked for an endocrinologist for two years who could look at the goiter in my neck. The four thyroid hormones have looked good, but the thyroid showed multi-nodules on the sonogram. Whenever I have talked to a specialty doctor about taking my care they either wanted a recommendation from my primary care doctor or they would not take my insurance. There are only two or three doctors in the valley who specialize in thyroid related diseases. I can’t get any of them to look at my case because they can’t even take cash– if they did they would be in violation of Obamacare.

So my illness the last week when I couldn’t keep anything down and I finally got to the point of only drinking liquids, could be a thyroid problem except no one will look at it. Not even after I have talked to multiple doctors–VA primary care, ENTs, anyone who would send me to an endocrinologist. No One.

Instead I am supposed to collect my own poop to see if I have parasites.

Why? Because the doctors have to check these little boxes on their computer monitors so that they will be in compliance with Obamacare.

This is the reason why I want to see Obamacare repealed. I want to see a better system of course, but not at the expense of the patient. Since I am on the front line of health, because of a chronic illness, I see what works. Mostly Obamacare doesn’t work. When I had a suspicious breast sonogram, I was denied a CT scan. Why? The expense.

But they would be willing to give me birth control, even though I am a 55 year old menopausal woman. The irony is bitter.

So these are my reasons for hating this new system. Even though in theory I can pick my doctor through my plan, Obamacare says I can’t. So federally I can’t. So why aren’t those women screaming — “not my body!” at Obamacare?

On the other hand I am still alive, kicking, and writing.

The following is my most recent book:

So who or what is Davi Dracson?dragonboy2016

If you’re down on your luck, come to Hilda’s Inn for a game of dice and cheap ale. The hundred-year-stew has been stewing for a hundred years and the fire never burns out.

Except Hilda’s Inn is under new management, and Hilda is on the run with Davi, a dragonling. There will be dwarfs, ogres, dragons, and magical trinkets between Delhaven and Koenigstadt, the king’s city.

Don’t forget that the woods are not a safe place–the Draugr is lurking and
hungry. And, he has a taste for magic.

Raise a glass of cheer

January 26, 2017

CC0 Public Domain  Pixabay LunaSeaArt

Even with two to three appointments weekly, I have been able to finish a book that has been in the works for a year. Last year I had made a goal to write four books. I wanted to publish all four in the same year, but I got sidetracked.

But, this is no time for excuses. It is a time to be happy that once again, I have been able to finish a novel and despite my illness, I have been able to write coherently. So today I am celebrating the finish.

There will be other goal posts and other finishes. I started on the third book in the Hilda’s Inn series. I have one book in edit for EJ Hunter, plus I am re-editing She Called It, Wolf. Also there is third in that series that came to me in a dream. So I keep writing.

I counted the novels I have finished since 2010–seven novels and approximately eight novellas and short stories. It’s been an interesting run. I can see the difference in my writing from the first one “Shira, Hero of Corsindor” to the present one “Dragon Boy.” I am sure that I could stretch more in my writing skills as I continue.

So where do I get my ideas? I don’t know. I just look in a direction and try to understand the character. Then I try to write the motivations and actions to the best of my ability. I have taken writing classes. Dean W. Rusch actually gave me the most practical instructions in how to make my writing more real.

I sincerely hope that reading will stay. That imagination will never go out of style.

* * *

Here is my spiel for Dragon Boy:

dragonboy2016So who or what is Davi Dracson?

If you’re down on your luck, come to Hilda’s Inn for a game of dice and cheap ale. The hundred-year-stew has been stewing for a hundred years and the fire never burns out.

Except Hilda’s Inn is under new management, and Hilda is on the run with Davi, a dragonling. There will be dwarfs, ogres, dragons, and magical trinkets between Delhaven and Koenigstadt, the king’s city.

Don’t forget that the woods are not a safe place–the Draugr is lurking and
hungry. And, he has a taste for magic.


How am I doing?

January 17, 2017

So last week derailed me somewhat. I didn’t do enough writing and every time I sat down on the chair, I suddenly had the need for lunch or for coffee. Also, I had this urge to walk the dog. I think that thought was being telepathically transmitted by Foxy. She loves her walks.

My goals for this week are in this order– run around Las Vegas and reach all of my appointments on time. Pick up a package and then spend a couple of days fixing errors in Dragon Boy.

Afterwards formatting and then publishing this book.

I am sure that I will have some time to write new words in between getting this book out.

In my other series, EJ Hunter, I have the second book written, but not edited. Also the third book in the series came to me in a meditation. So I know that I won’t be dropping that series. I won’t compare myself to another writer, but I realized yesterday that I am not writing enough.

When I am on a hot streak, I need to write until it is finished. When I am on a cold streak I need to write. I am a much happier person when I write.

I am a little behind in my goals. I’ve also been hit with things like jury duty– if I was in better health I wouldn’t be worried about it. But it is very strange that I have been called during flu season when my immune system is suppressed. I tried to talk to them about it, but I have to get a “doctor’s note.” They made me feel like an elementary child who lied all the time.

Thank you all for caring about the characters and caring about my health. Since the move, I have been healthier and I’ve been writing more.