Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Completed the Goodreads Giveaway and logged into Pottermore

This summer has been a busy one, as an author, a Mom, a Harry Potter Fan.  I'm sure that I have been driving people batty with my constant chatter about my having completed my second Duffy Barkley novel, and having been involved in a book giveaway contest on Goodreads in the hopes that a few more people would hear about my book and maybe the winners would give me a good review or a like somewhere, as that seems to be better than gold in the writerly mind.
 I posted about the competition, and kept checking on it, hoping at first that I'd get even 100 people who cared enough to fill in their address and enter.  100 more people knowing about my Fantasies and even expressing interest, that could not be a bad thing.  So I was waiting and surprised when the number crept up to 300/

 Then the other waiting, and refreshing pages, and driving my friends to distraction, had to do with Pottermore, and my insistence that if it was from JK Rowling, It had to be good.

I started on Harry's July 31, birthday, spending sleepless nights, chatting on twitter with other like-minded, sleep deprived hopefuls and managed to find the magic quill that unlocked the invitation to be one in a million Beta testes on the opening of the site before it goes public in October.

But then nothing.  Just waiting for my "owl" the invite to begin, and that email kept not coming, even as I chaffed at the bit and joined the #NoOwlParty on Twitter/
 and in the wonderful, real world, where, more important than anything, I am a Mom, to a recent High School grad. and a soon to start Senior Year, son - life was moving too fast.  The kids who had been in and out of our home for years were fading out of town to colleges and jobs and life needed to hit a pause where I could say, "Hey, It's been great, and sure it's changing, but we are still together, supporting and loving you."

So I managed to throw together a long weekend up at Howard Prairie Lake with family and friends.  We swam, and told bad jokes and hiked and boated and got filthy and stank of sweat and campfire smoke, and came home filled with fresh air and light.

Angel Fire

I took this picture of the kids by campfire and lantern light and found angels hovering near-by.

Morning View from my tent

It was 40 degrees hotter, and 4,700 feet higher in elevation than where I live, and it made me puff and pant for every breath when I tried to be active, unless I was in the water.  But every aching calf muscle is so worth it.
 The way the light sifted down through the dark forest and illuminated this little infant tree was glorious!

I didn't get an owl, bringing me my invite to Hogwart's but this little Chip or Dale sure tried to get the message through to my ice chest that he was hungry.

Mt. McLoughlin over Howard Prairie Lake

Then when I finally came home, refreshed and happy and back in touch with what mattered, I found that 503 people had entered the giveaway and The ones who won were from across the United States and one in Great Britain.  So today I was glad to get 10 books sent out, to the five winners, each getting both Duffy Barkley books and my best wishes.

Been waiting on an owl to Bring me my Pottermore Welcome.

 And with the teacher's back to work, and the young adults beginning new careers and starting college I decided I would have time to pick blackberries and raid the farmer's market and bake pies

BUT my OWL Came!!!  
And Here IT IS!!
 So suddenly I had no time, staying up all night and blearily exploring pottermore.  It is a strange blend of new and interesting reads about the characters and places I love in Harry potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, and very simple old school, preschool video games which remind me of 15 years ago when my kids were playing fisher price castle and pirate computer games, looking for map pieces instead of the chocolate frog cards and galleon coins I am searching for now.  I am an adult - but pottermore brings me a very childish delight as I get my Owl and my wand and
My Wand, proof I'm not a Muggle, just a Potterhead.

Got Sorted into Hufflepuff where you can find me, if you look for StarDawn199

Author of Duffy Barkley: Seek Well but currently seeking the formerly untold Ghost Plots of JK Rowling

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Goodreads giveaway

Caesar, a green wing macaw
 I have not written here this last couple of weeks as I planned.  There has been a death in the family, as I write about at my other blog, Echo's Voice.

Yet I wanted to share  that I am giving away 5 sets of my Duffy Barkley Novels through Goodreads.com and I wanted you to have a chance to enter before the contest ends on August 27th


 So I am posting the link and some of my pictures and calling that good enough this time.  The pictures are from my home area or from a trip to Guatemala that is featured in the second book, Duffy Barkley: Seek Well
Blind man's bluff in Guatemala

My brother and I in Guatemala

Smith River, CA

Jed Smith State Park

My son's puppy was wore out playing at the river

Patrick's Creek

Cold enough to take your breath, warm enough to stay in for hours

Ever Green

Sunset from my Porch
Enjoy the end of summer, and I'll be back soon.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Choosing Happiness While Writing in Summer

Water under the bridge
I have to admit that I often write less when I am happy.  I feel my satisfaction in the life I am living and try to escape it less, or to understand what is not working less.  When life is good, I relax and enjoy it unless I force myself into anti-procrastination mode and make myself sit at the keyboard or drag a pen nib across the spiral notebook pages while I am at the beach or river.
Soaking in Greyback Creek
This August has been a peaceful, busy, happy time for me, and therefor it has not been very productive.  I have been selling some of my novels and doing a book giveaway on goodreads at 

but I have mostly been having company, my sister-in-law and her family
a girl I was best friends with 30 years ago in High School and her family
a boy and his Mom who are non-blood family nevertheless

And being with friends who are tourists to our area has given me the excuse to play tourist myself and visit the places which lured me into moving here 22 years ago anyway.

Brookings Harbor

Brown pelican
So I have been enjoying the cool summer weather of the coast and even though I signed up for CampNanoWriMo with every intention of writing another 50,000 words in August, I have failed in that. Most of my writing has been twitter feeds and facebook posts and a couple of blogs.  But my creative well should have enough of beauty filling it now that it will not soon run dry.

I wrote before about the Mother and baby Grey Whale who moved into the Klamath river.  Baby has gone back to sea but the Mama is still here, 54 days later.  She has been fascinating and an amazing chance to see such a creature but she is also becoming a concern because her own health depends on her getting back to Alaska, and because the people here are starting to think they know her and trying to swim with her or kayak up to her has become  re-occurring issue.

 So I am still waiting on my chance to get in to Pottermore as a beta tester for the site, and seeing the school year looming ahead.  I know that the summer is winding down, but I have to say it has been a great one.

Spending time in Fern Canyon always leaves a lingering peace in my soul

Ocean World in Crescent City

Babysitting the grand-puppies

Summer Band Camp Concert