Spring Sunrises and Reading Plans

We are all more than ready for springtime and fresh starts this year.

Though we are all fatigued, we must keep in mind COVID precautions for a little longer if we wish a return to safe social freedom. Thankfully we readers have a pastime we love, in which we have been able to indulge in spite of restrictions.

Spring seems a time for resolutions, a celebration of optimism and ambition. Those traits are essential for authors who take the leap and publish independently. Self-publishing today is a respected endeavor. Competition is fierce in the industry. Many highly talented authors strive to reach readers by bringing their work to light through their own efforts.

So many authors, so little reading time . . . to fit into days filled with additional commitments – but here is a short list of authors – some of whom are independent publishers – whose works I hope to explore at some point when I can fit them in with new works by my longtime favorite authors – and my two or three professional positions. . . whew!

Falling Into Magic has been hiding in the depths of my inbox for some time, so you’ll see my review of it first.

Since I received a real life review copy of Rapier Wit in the mail, I imagine it will be read before long. I must admit hard copies are my preference.

Working on the computer is an advantage – reading is much more rewarding when I can turn pages.

But don’t wait for my reviews. Follow the links to order these books and explore them on your own.

There are so many great titles . . . I feel so guilty not keeping up with reading requests. I’m simply unable to fulfill them all, but the least I can do is feature them so others can check them out and let us know their favorites. Comments are invited as long as they are respectful.

Elizabeth Pantley’sFalling Into Magic

Joanna Carnes’ Death at Whispering Lake

Duffy Brown’s – Wedding Day and Foul Play

Cam Lang’s – The Concrete Vineyard

Jennifer Oakley Denslow Rapier Wit

Tell a Story – To Build a Brand or to Entertain . . .

I’m studying content marketing. After becoming successful at content writing, I decided I needed to expand my knowledge of the broader topic of content marketing. I still pursue fiction writing, but for the time being, must focus on writing which brings more immediate profit. I truly enjoy helping businesses build brands through well-researched creative writing.

The first lesson in my content class, via Hubspot, was actually focused upon the topic of storytelling. What better way to build a brand than to tell a story. The focus is on reality rather than fiction, but the key is still to entertain – to capture attention, captivate the reader in order to cultivate engagement.

How appropriate that at a time when I’m so focused on the art of story-telling, I discover the existence of National Tell a Story Day – A day to read a story from a book, tell one from memory, create one from your imagination. 1425 was the year the term story was first used to mean a fictional anecdote. The account I read didn’t say what the title of the story was.

But it did share a fascinating bit of trivia:

The first novel written on a typewriter is said to be Mark Twain’s “Adventures of Tom Sawyer”. Though further research says it was “Life on the Mississippi”.

And a cute joke accompanied the account:

The gossipy bank employee was a real story teller. (No groans please – we all need to enjoy a bit of innocent humor now and then.)

Celebrating National Telephone Day

I’m so attached to real books and adore old school phones . . . are these preferences simply due to childhood memories – or is their allure due to a different factor?

There’s something about holding a real receiver in one’s hand that’s so relaxing . . . Maybe it just evokes the spirit of the 1960s – a time when worries, at least in my community, were less.

Anyway, today celebrates the invention of the telephone, when Alexander Graham Bell, when he summoned his assistant Watson to the telephone, the first “official” communication recorded for posterity. Bell was a teacher at a boy’s boarding school. – something of which I was not aware.

Also not widely publicized – is the fact that several others submitted patents for telephones shortly after Bell’s – but Bell’s was the first. He later became a benefactor and friend of the remarkably resilient Helen Keller.

I’m not a fan of smart phones, so far carrying my computer and a flip – researching and typing on a tiny touch screen just doesn’t work for me. And the new phones are too large to fit easily in a pocket.

And 24/7 availability isn’t healthy.

But it is difficult to imagine life without phones of some sort. Access saves lives, connects friends who live at a distance, makes many things more convenient.

Great News – Chocolate May Improve Close-up Vision – So Don’t Worry – Enjoy that Morsel of Chocolate With Your Favorite Mystery

It’s official?

Extra, extra, read all about it. A story of a study I spotted recently, in Woman’s World Magazine, (the study reportedly published by Jama Opthamology), seems to support the concept that consuming chocolate with 72% cacao or higher boosts near vision for at least two hours.

Chocolate as a food group?

I eat chocolate every day. It’s one of the basic food groups as far as I’m concerned. I’ve always been certain it possesses some necessary nutrients, and in recent years experts are beginning to agree. Dark chocolate has been recommended for a few years now, in small doses, to support heart health.

So now, it’s just as exciting to hear it may help our reading ability, according to this Forbes Magazine post.

Chapters and chocolate malts?

I can’t imagine living without books or blocks of chocolate. Lately, I’ve been craving chocolate in liquid form, as a malt. So this photo appealed to me. I can’t wait till the next time I can travel to a town a little distance away, where I know a shop that still does a classic malt. I can’t think of a place in the nearest town that knows how to make one.

The sunny spring days we had this past week invite me to venture to the town where my malt shop is set, grab a cacao rich drink, drive to my favorite park – the one with the lovely flowering shrubs and sculptures – and strategically placed seats for relaxing – enjoy the double treat of a rich chocolate drink and my latest favorite mystery book.