Have you noticed that the closer the time comes for Thanksgiving Dinner, the less there is to eat?
You hear, “Don’t get into that, it’s for Thanksgiving.” Aromas fill the house as things are prebaked and stored for that eventful day. Pecan pies, pumpkin pies, cakes, homemade rolls. Our mouths are left watering while our stomachs remain empty. Sometimes we’re even banned from the kitchen.
I’m the cook and I’m experiencing this. I was removing the broken bread toasting in the oven in preparation for the dressing, and I realized how hungry I was. Can’t take time to prepare for regular mealtime. Guess I’ll snag cheese and crackers with a glass of iced tea, or there’s leftover chili from three days ago.
Happy Thanksgiving. It will come, and the wait will be worth it.
Setting: A B&B in Wisconsin. Time: Dead of wintertime. No, I don’t remember the title. No, I don’t remember the author. I do remember it was a cozy mystery complete with winter sports and a dead body. What I do remember is the main character who owns the B&B is a gourmet chef who moved from a fancy New York hotel restaurant to open this B&B.
She went into great detail describing her salad specialty garnished with a thin, fresh slice of Vidalia onion that was on the menu for her guests that night. Whoa. Vidalia Onions, grown only in Georgia, are available from April until early September. Unless she’s a magician as well as a gourmet chef, this is where her research is lacking. Fiction writing gives the author a great deal of latitude, but a little research is still essential. I like Vidalia onions! To me it was a glaring error that should have been caught in editing, and this is all I took away from the novel.
In her defense, maybe she copied the recipe from someone who was preparing this particular dish during the Vidalia growing season. In any case–faux pas.
Let’s examine when we are happy? Morning, night, or noon? Maybe it’s not a time; maybe it’s an activity that we’re engaged in.
When I was walking the dog at noon today, it occurred to me that I was happy. I was interrupted while writing a post for my blog, but C. S. Lewis said that the interruptions were as important as the writing. I’ve never been very tolerant of interruptions, but now I know what he may have meant.
Leaving my workstation (ok, my recliner), I went outside with a dog who was requesting a walk. The wind was invigorating, and the sun was trying to make up for its chill. I stopped to wonder why I felt a particular sense of pleasure. What had I been doing when I was interrupted? Writing. So, I concluded that writing must have been what was making me happy.
The piece I was working on was describing the sounds of harvest. Fall being my favorite season brought many thoughts flowing from memory to fingertips: farmers reaping in the fields; colors brightening up the wooded areas; cooler winds bringing out new fall clothes; families gathering for Thanksgivings; children anticipating Christmas.
My unfinished novel calls to me. I’m eager to join my characters in their world as together we complete the story and fulfill their destinies. I’m looking forward to seeing my last novel finally published, and the eye-catching cover beckoning readers.
The interruption I experienced today speaks volumes to me. We need ‘time out’ to make room for other ideas, new stimulation. One should not become so focused on the road ahead that we blind ourselves to new incoming thoughts and motivation.
Spent three hours at the Book Inn on the square in Fayetteville, TN, during the annual Host of Christmas Past. Sold and signed some books, and I began to get the Christmas spirit. Thanks to Pam Howell, owner of the Book Inn, for allowing my display. All my books are available in her store.
November 4, 2019
A grateful ‘thank you’ to Sandy Williams, News Editor at the Elk Valley Times, for the article announcing my attendance at the book signing at The Book Inn in Fayetteville, Tn. Thanks, Sandy.
LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS!
October 29, 2019
I’ve had several compliments on the looks of my website. First, let me say that I did not do it! The credit goes to Julie May at Anything Creative. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. She’s preparing a Facebook business page for me, and I’m excited to see it. Will post when it’s available.
October 25, 2019
Just finished thank-you letters to those who signed that they viewed the exhibit where my book, The Patchwork Princess, the Adventures of Ra-me the Traveling Troubadour Book 1, was exhibited. This show was the NABE Book Showcase Exhibit at the 2019 Pacific NW Booksellers Showin Portland, OR. I also sent complimentary copies of the Ra-me Trilogy to two children’s book houses and one email in addition to the other letters.I like working with NABE (National Association of Book Entrepreneurs) because of their personal follow through.This is the third time I’ve exhibited with them, and I’ve signed up for one more in Pasadena, CA.
October 24 2019
Had a booth in Bell Buckle, Tn, along with 760 other vendors. Attendance was over 150K for the two days. (Which probably isn’t bad since it was the Tennessee/Alabama game weekend). Sold some books. More importantly, I made some contacts. Scheduled a bazaar and a book signing. My novel was purchased for review and possible tap for a book club study. Fun experience.
OCTOBER16 – I’ve lowered the price of my books to begin the Christmas Season. (I know it’s early–forgive me.) Ra-me’s adventure books will be $10 each, signed hardcover, free shipping. The novel is $15.99, signed paperback, free shipping. The Ra-me Trilogy Coloring book is $5.00, paperback, signed, free shipping. See my Bookstore.Thanks
LATEST REVIEW FOR DANGEROUS LEGACY, THE SECOND SON. “I AM FASCINATED BY ANYTHING WWII AND THIS SOUNDS LIKE A GREAT BOOK SET IN THIS ERA. i’LL BE ADDING THIS ONE TO MY LIST RIGHT AWAY! THANKS FOR THE GREAT REVIEW.” NICOLE BOYD. POSTED 08 OCT 2019, 11:39
DANGEROUS LEGACY. VIEW ON BOOKSHELVES – ON AMAZON
Been busy, but that’s no excuse for not entering something. Truthfully, I’m wondering what has been stimulating enough to pass on. I’ve written thank-yous to the attendees where my books have been exhibited in a couple shows in the Northeast, Burlingame, CA, written introductory letters to bookstores in the Miami area where my two of my books are to be exhibited November 22-24.Am preparing to attend the Webb Arts & Craft Fair in Bell Buckle, TN, along with about 160 other vendors, October 19-20. Usually expect 100,000 to 150,000 attendees. Should be fun!
Mudcat the Pirate, Adventures of Ra-me the Traveling Troubadour Book 3 has also received the Pinnacle Achievement Award: Congrats, Mudcat.
Dangerous Legacy, the Second Son was reviewed and awarded a 4 out of 4 rating from the OnLineBookClub.org. It also has 5-star ratings on Amazon.
On the Home front: Flew with my family to Fort Sill to attend my grandson’s Boot Camp Graduation. I’m very patriotic, and this was a moving experienced. I had experienced it before with our son.
July 18, 2019
I listened to a webinar yesterday. Usually, I do learn something from each one I schedule. However, this presenter wanted too much from me. I was supposed to come up with what I want my readers to learn from my writing, why I write the way I do, and what causes me to write on the subjects that I do: stress what I might be an expert in. It was too complicated for me. I write what I enjoy, and I hope that my readers will enjoy it, too. My children’s books do have life-lessons, but I didn’t set out to preach lessons to them. It is just how the characters in my stories act and react. I’m telling a story.My novels have conflict, bad people and good people, but happy endings prevail after the dust settles. If I say something that points to good behavior, I’ve exceeded beyond my expectations.
July 12, 2019
Yesterday my offset printed copies of Blaze the Dragon, Adventures of Ra-me the Traveling Troubadour arrived. I was pleased with the books, especially the way the colors popped! You can purchase one from me at my Bookstore.
June 28, 201
Been a while since I added anything. Busy time of the year. Our two oldest (and only) grandsons graduated from high school, and we wondered where the time went. Although identical twins, they have chosen different paths. We’re so proud of them both. One is now at Fort Sill, OK, in basic training. He will pursue medical training in the Army. The other is enrolled in the University of Alabama to become an English professor or an editor. For graduation gifts one wanted a trip to Atlanta to watch the Atlanta Braves play; one wanted a trip to New York to see the Broadway play, Dear Evan Hanson. I bet you can guess who wanted what. Our granddaughter completes her nursing degree in July, and she is giving a sigh of relief. She’s done so well in the past four years, and she wants to start her career in the ER. Love our family!
May 6, 2019
My book, The Patchwork Princess, Adventures of Ra-me the Traveling Troubadour has been chosen one of the NABE Pinnacle Book Achievement Award Winners in the Children’s Fairytale Category for Winter 2019. I am happy about this.
May 3, 2019
I was upset that the publisher priced the hardcopy and softcopy of Mudcat the Pirate so high. I want people to buy it! They wouldn’t come down, so I “rebranded” it. Another publisher offered to put out this same book for a lower price, so I hired them to do this. Old Mudcat will live a long time, hopefully, and I want him to get out and entertain folks! I own the complete copyrights to the manuscript, so I could do this. It’s just another marketing tool.
April 17, 2019
I’ve had an idea of putting together some of the illustrations from my Trilogy, the Adventures of Ra-me, the Traveling Troubadour, into a coloring book. (Hey, Disney does it!) It’s been work, but fun. When it’s finished, it will only be available from my website.
April 15, 2019
You think taxes are complicated! You should try sorting through all the material that comes from publishers for marketing. They all , more or less, offer the same things at the same prices, but who can be trusted to have your back. All I wanted to do was write. This may be enough to make me close up my computer! But before I throw in the towel, I’m going to try some things during 2019.
Besides being advertised on line with several outlets, including Amazon, ingram, Barnes and Nobel, I will send my books to the list below, except for the ones with an asterisk. Those I will attend and do book signings.
April 1-4 The Bologna Children’s Book Fair, Bologna, Italy April 13-14 LA Times Book Fair at USC April 17-19 Oregon-Washington Library Assn. Show, Vancouver, WA August 3* Back to School Bash Lincoln County H.S., Fayetteville, TN September 20-21 California Book Trade Show, Burlingame, CA September 21-22 Toronto Children’s Book Festival, Toronto, Canada October 5* Swiss Pantry Festival and Open House, Belvedere, TN October 6-8 Pacific Northwest Booksellers Show, Portland, OR October 19-20* Webb Arts & Craft Show, Bell Buckle, TN October 24-26 California Library Association Show, Pasadena, CA November 21 Miami Book Fair, Miami, FL
March 12, 2019 – Added a new page called ‘Bookstore’ which I hope you will visit.
March 11, 2019
Stepping out into new territory. Went to the printer today to get some flyers and posters done to be sent for four upcoming book shows in the northwest. Dragged in a talented family member to do the designing. (Nameless at his request!) Work looks super good. He’s designing a banner to use at our booths for the shows that we’ll be attending this summer and fall.
February 25, 2019
Have you seen the Wild Canaries? They’re back, playing hide-and-seek in the golden dandelions and lemon buttercups.
February 21, 2019
Rain, rain, everywhere. The picture below is how 3 ponds turned into 1 at our farm! Our house is on a hill, so it won’t get this far.
February 18, 2019
Well, they slipped it in on me! Blaze the Dragon, the Adventures of Ra-me, the Traveling Troubadour-Book 2 is now available online at Amazon, Barnes and Nobel and other on-line outlets. Just search for Blaze the Dragon by Connie S. Arnold. (That’s how I found it!) I won’t have my offset copies to sell until June, when they will then be available directly from my website. Pictures are now on the Book page.
If you haven’t yet bought The Patchwork Princess-Book 1, I do have my supply of offset hardcopies now. They look great! Just write to me on my Contact page. I can accept payment through PayPal at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks to all!
February 14, 2019
Blaze the Dragon is in the hands of the designers, and it should go live next week.
January 17, 2019
So now Ra-me is happy. I sent his third story, Mudcat the Pirate, off to the publisher yesterday. What he doesn’t know is that this may be the last tale he gets to tell. I don’t have the color illustrations yet from Blaze the Dragon, but the illustration department said it would be about two weeks. I get anxious, but it takes time.
December 30, 2018
Ra-me finally got the story of Mudcat the Pirate told to me in a way that I can wrap it up. He’s anxious for me to send it to the publisher, but I’m afraid it will have to wait until the illustrations from his Blaze the Dragon story are finalized. He’s getting ahead of himself.
December 22, 2018
Worked on Mudcat the Pirate yesterday and finished the first draft. And, is it rough! Ideas are good, but the writing is certainly awkward. Lots of work to do.
December 16, 2018
I continue to get good response from The Patchwork Princess. This book will be included in a Canadian Children’s Book Trade Show the second quarter of 2019. Exact date yet to be set. We still plan to do the Party/Book Launch and signing early in 2019. Will tell you when. We were disappointed that we had to postpone, but still excited to do it.
I’m reviewing the initial illustrations for Blaze the Dragon, and they look exciting. Ra-me has made this a different kind of love story.
Ra-me continues to tell us good stories. He has nearly finished telling us the story of Mudcat the Pirate.
November 23, 2018
Day after Thanksgiving, and I have lots for which to be thankful. My family is healthy and happy which is one of the greatest blessings. The Lord has been so good to us.
My first book, The Patchwork Princess, has been loads of fun, despite the hard work. I find that I’m actually enjoying some of the marketing. Marketing wasn’t a task I was ready to tackle. I guess it remains to be seen if it pays off, but there’s a lot of competition at this time of the year. An event is planned for December 8, which the planner is calling “Children’s Holiday Fairytale Party” and should be a lot of fun. It is also a book signing, so I’ll be there with books and pen! But this book is alive, and hopefully will live on for years to come.
I’ve had great support from family and friends. Posters have gone up announcing the party. Characters from the book have been tapped and should appear ‘live’ at the event. A troubadour song has been written for the occasion, and hopefully, will be performed. I had a fun interview with the local Elk Valley Times newspaper with reporter, Laurie Caruso, and the article will be out before the event.
A competing publisher, not mine, invited me to include my book at their booth in the Bologna Children’s Book Fair April 1-4, 2019. Their scouting professionals had seen/read my book on Amazon, and they thought it might do well. The Fair is an annual event for new books. I certainly was amazed, and I’ve given them my permission. I sent off a copy of the book to them today. You can Google them at Bologna Book Fair 2019. Forgot to say that this is Bologna, Italy.
Due to circumstances beyond our control, the signing party had to be postponed. The tentative date will be set sometime in February. It’s a little disappointing, but the good side is that the second book of the trilogy, Blaze the Dragon, should be available to be included in the book signing event. I’m learning more about marketing that I ever imagined. But along the way, I am meeting some new, wonderful people. And, the people I do know, have really supported my efforts.
I am in new territory, and you would never recognize me if you saw me here. So, I will need to explain why I’m doing a website. My bucket list included ‘write a book’. So I did. You can see the info under BOOKS. If you stick with it, anyone can do it even if you only write a page a day.
I have enjoyed the journey thus far. The children’s book, The Patchwork Princess, didn’t require much research. I just reached back into the memories that I’ve carried with me from childhood of my reading about medieval knight days. But I did create Ra-me, the traveling troubadour, to carry the story. His message to us is that everyone is beautiful regardless of what they look like.