Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Steampunk Granny Interviews Author Gail Priest

                                                            
 
If you’re a writer it can be a lonely journey because to write, you must lock yourself away from the “real” world in order for you to enter the secret recesses of your imagination. If you’re a savvy writer, you belong to a writers’ group. I met Gail Priest at the South Jersey Writers’ Group where we are both active members. Gail was also one of the authors at this year’s Steampunk Granny Authors’ Bonanza. There are so many different sides to this fabulous lady and I wanted to learn more about Gail. Join me now as I put Gail on the hot seat.
                                                          

You are quite the Renaissance woman in that you excel in everything you do. Please tell my readers about the many sides of Gail Priest.

Gail Priest: I have degrees in theatre and counseling psychology. I love teaching and began as an English teacher in 1977.  Eventually I became a guidance counselor. I left public school for a decade to pursue my acting and directing career. Even then, I still taught acting at the Ritz Theatre in Haddon Township, NJ. I also did private coaching with actors. I began writing my first play, Eva’s Piano, when I spent the summer at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts. I followed that with a screenplay, A Thing with Feathers, which I rewrote as a stage play. I went back to teaching theatre as an adjunct at Rowan University. After five years, I decided I wanted to return to full time work in education. I began looking for guidance counseling positions, but ended up spending my final public school years as a theatre arts teacher in a high school performing arts program. It was the most gratifying work because I used all my skills as a teacher, counselor, coach, and writer with those students. Now I’m back at the Rowan Theatre and Dance Department as an adjunct. It’s perfect because I still have time to write and promote my books.
                                                          


Where did you get the inspiration for your Annie Crow Knoll Series?

Gail Priest: My husband and I began renting a little cottage in a summer cottage community called Evergreen Knoll on the Chesapeake Bay in 2000. That setting inspired the Annie Crow Knoll stories. Evergreen Knoll became Annie Crow Knoll. The characters are fictitious, but the setting is based on this real and most beautiful place on the water. I’m sitting on the porch of Cockatiel Cottage right now as I answer these questions. I look out at this view, and I feel like I must be the luckiest woman in the world.

Tell us a little bit about the books and especially the newest addition, Moonrise.

Gail Priest: The series is a family saga that takes place on the Chesapeake Bay with themes of the healing powers of nature, art, and friendship.

Annie Crow Knoll: Sunrise begins during the civil rights time period on the Easter Shore of Maryland. Annie is a strong-minded girl, who battles with her secretive mother to uncover the truth about her grandmother’s suicide.  At nineteen, Annie goes against social convention and trusts and relies on Bo, her family’s African American friend and her surrogate father, as she struggles to save the fourteen summer rental cottages left to her by her parents. When the family legacy of depression emerges in her early adulthood, and Annie faces estrangement from her husband and young son, she has the chance to embrace love and acceptance from someone who has been there all along.
                                                           
 
Annie Crow Knoll becomes a place where people come to restore their spirits, heal their pain, and reclaim their lives. This is emphasized in the second novel, Annie Crow Knoll: Sunset. 

Nate Bidwell blamed his mother Annie for his parents' divorce.  Buried hurts and resentments between mother and son make Nate reluctant to risk his heart when his childhood friend Beth Ann offers him her own. Instead, he allows himself to fall in love with the fragile and dependent June, and Annie's opposition to their marriage reignites years of unresolved conflict with her only child. Nate swears that he will never return to Annie Crow Knoll, his family home on the Chesapeake Bay. He and June move to Manhattan where he opens his dream restaurant and tirelessly works to build his career as a chef. When near-tragedy strikes their lives, though, Nate is forced to return to the one place he hopes may save his wife: Anne Crow Knoll.

In Annie Crow Knoll: Moonrise, Annie Crow Knoll continues to be a place to grieve loss, accept change, and rebuild a life worth living.

Annie’s granddaughters, Breezy and Jemma, are world-class cyclists until violence at a race leaves Breezy with permanent physical disabilities and kills the man she loved. With her Olympic dream shattered, guilt and shame threaten to destroy her future happiness. Her sister Jemma escapes with only minor injuries, but the psychological damage she experiences shakes her self-worth, her Olympic potential, and her capacity to accept love. 

The young women return to their childhood home on the Chesapeake Bay to heal and reclaim their lives, and with their parents and grandparents, struggle to make sense of life after this tragic and irrational incident. 

Annie Crow Knoll: Moonrise is a story about the power to reinvent life after surviving loss and trauma. (This novel can be read as a stand alone.)
 
                                                         

You also wrote a play, Eva’s Piano. Could you tell us about more about the play? What do you enjoy more writing books or plays?

Gail Priest: Eva’s Piano revolves around middle-aged siblings whose mother has just died. As Joy go through her childhood home in preparation to sell it, family secrets begin to weaken her already tenuous relationship with her brother.  Complicating matters is a handsome, but much younger, neighbor who is falling for Joy and making romantic advances by encouraging her to act our scenes he’s written in an original play. The lines between memory, fantasy, and reality become blurred.

I don’t honestly have much of a preference between writing plays or novels, except a play is shorter and is all dialogue, which is my strong suit.  It seems that the characters decide whether their story is going to be told on stage, on screen, or in a book.

Where do you do your best writing?

Gail Priest: I prefer to be near nature. At home, I have an office that overlooks our back yard with bird feeders. We get lots of birds, and we have rabbits and chipmunks. When I’m able to be at the cottage, I prefer to work on the front porch where I can best enjoy the view of the water.
 
                                                            

What are you working on now?

Gail Priest: I’m busy marketing Moonrise. It takes a lot of time and effort. I am in the very beginning stage of mulling over my next story. I’ve worked on an outline and some character backgrounds. I’m looking forward to actually beginning the writing process.

As an author, how important is it to blog?

Gail Priest: I think it’s very helpful for building a platform and following. I’m miserable at blogging. I only do it sporadically, and it’s something that will require more of a commitment from me. I admire writers like you, Marie, who blog consistently. It takes real discipline.

As an author, do you find that belonging to a writers’ group is helpful?

Gail Priest: Yes, I have found the writing groups I belong to are very helpful. The South Jersey Writers’ Group is how I met you, for which I am very grateful. SJWG has a supportive membership. It’s been a positive experience for me. I also belong to the Eastern Shore Writers’ Association and the Chesapeake Bay Writers. There are several on-line writers’ groups I belong to as well. The networking made in these groups is essential, especially for independent authors. Writing is a rather isolated activity. Connecting with other writers, being able to ask questions, and having a chance to help one another all contribute to keeping the home fires burning.

How do you promote your books? Is it book signings, ads or social media?
                                                             

Gail Priest: I do it all. I’m learning every day how to do it better. I read a lot of blogs and articles on promotion. With each book, I’m gaining ground, but it’s not for the thin skinned or weak hearted. I came up with a statement that helps me. “I am productive without attachment.” Although I can get discouraged, if I keep that statement in mind, I am able to stay on task, no matter the results.
 
                                                            

What advice can you give to a young person who is thinking of writing as a career?

Gail Priest: Read, go to plays, and see films. Take writing classes. Keep yourself open to inspiration from unexpected places. Stay open to opportunities. Surround yourself with supportive, positive people. Let go of the ones who put you down. Stop the negative self-talk. Consciously attract what you want. Take a break when you need one.

Thank you, Gail, for taking this time to share with my followers. If readers are interested in ordering Gail Priest's books, you can find them here, here and here.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Steampunk Granny interviews Psychic Medium & Author Tracy Farquhar

                                                           
 
My friends and I, who are psychics, have been taking classes at the Spirit Light Services. I was so impressed with Tracy Farquhar that I invited her to be one of the vendors at my Steampunk Granny’s Authors’ Bonanza. Not only is Tracy a professional Psychic Medium and Channeler, but she is also an author. Luckily for all of us, who want to learn more about the universal collective, Tracy has agreed to this interview.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. Were you always sensitive to the spiritual world?

Tracy Farquhar: Actually, I wasn’t aware that I had any particular gifts growing up, but I was extremely quiet and sensitive, to the extent that I was sent to the school psychologist in 6th grade since they felt I was too shy. It turned out I was psychologically fine, but I feel my sensitivity to energy caused me to avoid crowds and pull back from people. I grew up in a family who was interested in metaphysical phenomena and the spirit world, so it was always something I was open to and fascinated with. It wasn’t until I started taking a night course in psychic development at a local community college in 2005 that I found that I was pretty good at the practice readings and I began to develop a passion for the work and a real interest in developing my skills. At that time, I worked in an art college, so I had lots of students around who were willing to let me do readings for them. After a few years of practice, I became a professional, offering private readings and parties part time, while I was still working the full time job. I became a full time entrepreneur 3 years ago when I rented a small office in an artists’ cooperative where I did individual readings and taught workshops. Just last July, I moved my business, Spirit Light Services, into a larger space where I offer readings plus workshops, classes and group events both presented by myself and other practitioners.
 
                                                              

Tell us about your shop Spirit Light Services? What type of classes do you offer?

Tracy Farquhar: The Spirit Light Center is a spiritual gathering place where I offer individual psychic and mediumship readings in addition to workshops in psychic and mediumship development and other spiritual and metaphysical topics, plus Spirit Galleries (group mediumship readings), live channeling events, and workshops by other practitioners such as Vedic chanting, essential oils, various spiritual practices, meditation, angel work and more. I also have another practitioner, Shalini Breault, who offers Raindrop Therapy (a healing session with essential oils), Reiki and Private Crystal Bowl Healing Sessions. My intention was to create a center for like-minded people to gather, learn, grow and receive healing energy and spiritual guidance on their path. Everyone who comes into the space remarks how good the energy feels here, and so I feel my intentions have been met!
 
                                                                 

What is the difference between Mediumship and channeling?

Tracy Farquhar: Mediumship is a connection with spirit energy. A medium is able to raise her vibration to the level where she can connect with non-physical beings and convey messages to their loved ones. In a mediumship reading, I receive information from spirit mostly through images and feelings (clairvoyance and clairsentience), which I then translate into language to convey the message to the person or audience. And so there is a deliberate translation of what I am receiving into language to explain it clearly. Channeling is a more direct connection with non-physical energy, where I invite that energy to speak through me. There is still an element of translation going on, as the non-physical energy transmits information through vibrational frequency which is then translated by my brain into language, but the energy speaks directly through me. I am still conscious, present, and aware, but my consciousness steps aside and I am not creating the experience with my own thoughts and words.
                                                              

 
You were a recent guest at the Authors’ Bonanza in Audubon’s Treehouse. I bought your book, Frank Talk, and I’m reading it now. Who is Frank?

Tracy Farquhar: Frank is a non-physical collective from another world. They are a group of 8 beings from another planet who began channeling through me about 7 years ago through an interesting series of events outlined in the introduction to the book. I began receiving some very intelligent, compassionate and uplifting information through automatic writing which was completely different from my usual writing style and which conveyed information I knew nothing about consciously. After putting the channeling aside for several years, I picked it up again a few years ago and began verbally channeling this collective in front of small groups. It soon became apparent that they wanted to write a book, and so the book Frank Talk: A Book of Channeled Wisdom was completed and self-published in December 2014. In the book, Frank talks about their world and the challenges they have overcome with the intention to inspire us to take similar action with some of our own earthly challenges. They also provide a fascinating perspective on our world through the eyes of a distant civilization.

I haven’t taken the class yet, but maybe you can explain about the Infinite Possibilities class that you offer at your shop.

Tracy Farquhar: The book Infinite Possibilities: The Art of Living Your Dreams is Mike Dooley’s NY Times Best-Selling book about deliberate living and the use of the Law of Attraction to fully realize our creative powers in the manifestation of our lives. I had been studying this work for several years when I became a Certified Infinite Possibilities Trainer in June 2012, and to date I’ve taught around 25 workshops. It is an incredibly empowering, life-changing program which helped me to realize my dreams in ways I could have never imagined, and so it’s something I’m extremely passionate about teaching. I’ve seen so many people change the course of their lives, accomplish amazing things and experience incredible happiness through this program, and it’s such an honor to share Mike’s work.

You have a new book in the works. Can you tell us about it and when it will be available to purchase.

Tracy Farquhar: As an Infinite Possibilities trainer, I’ve attended almost all of Mike Dooley’s Train the Trainer conferences all over the country and have been a speaker and volunteer team member in most of them, so when I self-published my first book, I made sure to give Mike a copy, not really thinking that he would have the time or motivation to read it. But as it turns out, he DID read it, he loved it, and we wound up doing a live webinar together last summer, where I channeled Frank and Mike posed questions of them. We loved working together, and so we decided that our next project would be a book that we co-authored in the same format, with Mike posing questions which Frank, channeled through me, would answer. It has turned into an amazing work with fascinating information and inspirational messages, and I’m very excited that it will be published by Hay House next spring!

Why is it so important in today’s world to get more people involved with the idea of Infinite Possibilities?

Tracy Farquhar: I feel that there are amazing advantages to the technological advances we’ve made in recent times, in that they allow us to experience an understanding of how we are all connected in ways that were never available to us before. But we are also constantly barraged with cultural demands on how we should live our lives, what we should look like, what we should aspire to and how we should feel. This is extremely disempowering, and can lead us to believe that our lives are out of our control. Infinite Possibilities can help us understand that while we can’t expect to control people or events outside of ourselves, we can always choose how to respond to those things, and that the energy of our thoughts and beliefs has an enormous effect on not only our perception of reality, but also on what we draw into and deflect from our lives. Learning how we can create a different reality through the energetic power of our thoughts and beliefs is not only life-changing for an individual, it is what can alter the course of our world.
 
                                                               

What advice can you give to an aspiring psychic or medium?

Tracy Farquhar: Like any other craft, ability or gift, practice, practice, practice! It’s important that you build your confidence in your gifts and learn to rise above any doubts, fears or worries about being “right.” The only way to do that is through continued practice. It’s a good idea to find a group or class where you can feel supported and understood, especially if you don’t have a lot of support from family and friends. And it’s highly recommended that you have some sort of meditation practice, in whatever way that works for you, so that you can learn to quiet your thinking mind, come into a sense of peace with yourself, and practice an internal focus which you need when connecting to universal knowledge and spirit energy and conveying that information to your clients. Be gentle and kind to yourself, know your limits, and remain open to various ways to expand, grow and evolve your skills. Most of all, set the intention to uplift, comfort and guide your clients to the best of your ability, as this is what the world needs most. Allow your heart to guide you and you will find your own unique path!

Thank you Tracy for being my guest today and if any of my readers are interested in getting in touch with Tracy you can find her here and here.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Walking a New Path

                                                            

I am not who I was when I was young. Back then, I was afraid to spread my wings. Although, by nature I’m a wild spirit, I’ve always minded my adults and followed the rules...followed the rules even though they made no sense to me.
I grew up in a family that was tied to the paranormal world. We all saw what was on the other side of the veil. We took these visits for what they were...communication between two worlds. The dead had stories to tell and we were their willing students. There was only one rule. Don’t let the neighbors know. We had a grocery store in South Philadelphia and the customers might have been spooked about talks of ghosts...and angels.
                                                            

Busy with living life: working, raising a daughter and later grandchildren, I kept my gift under wraps sharing the messages only with my siblings and parents as they shared their experiences with me. What would the staff at the museum have thought about me if I told them about the ghosts that walked their hallways? What would they say if they knew that one of the mummies behind the glass display would greet me each day when I ran up to the second floor to say hello before heading to the Changing Exhibit.
I was too busy working to be with people like me. I was too busy working and had no time to take classes in developing my psychic ability to its fullest. I was too busy surviving life to do ghost investigations even though I always knew when a spirit was present. I knew they were there whenever I entered a home or building. The spirits know when you can sense them. People like me are like lightbulbs. We shine and the dead see us.
                                                               

I was raised a Catholic. I went to twelve years of Catholic school, but I’ve always questioned what was preached from the pulpit. Something wasn’t right. The words from my religion and, the words of the ministers and preachers from other religions sounded empty. The laws of religion were so heavy that it crushed my spirit and I was too weak to lift my head to see the GOD that would speak to me from when I was a very young child. I never felt GOD inside a church. It was always when I was in a moment of awe that I felt him standing behind me with his hand on my shoulder.
The magic of a sunrise or a sunset, the birth of a child, the sound of nature outside my window, walking on the beach, music...these were moments that I felt the presence of GOD. I would ask my questions and GOD would answer. When I hugged my infant daughter to my heart, I would hear GOD speak about his creations throughout the universe. Over the years as I aged to where I had become more independent, I was able to rip off the chains that bound my wings. With retirement, I had time to write and create a series based on dreams that I’ve had since I was very little.
I love writing. I will always write, but my soul is evolving and I find myself studying the mysteries of the universe. I am a religious person. I am loyal to the GOD who created me, but I have discovered that GOD doesn’t belong to or subscribe to any organized religion. I have become closer to the Creator by taking the shackles off.
                                                             
                                       
I surround myself with like-minded people who want to learn about the Universal life force. My friends and I are on a journey that will take us away from dictations that call for us to hate another human because they are different.
I’m not who I was when I was young. I have spread my wings. I have stopped following the rules. There are no rules. There is only universal love for all things. I am on a new journey. I will take you with me, if you like. I’ll tell you what I’ve discovered in my writings.

Steampunk Granny Interviews Author Michael Stern

                                                              

I recently hosted a Steampunk Granny Authors’ Bonanza at the Treehouse in Audubon New Jersey. Most of the authors belong to the South Jersey Writers’ Group, but some of the writers were friends that I had previously interviewed. At the event, I was introduced to Michael Stern, a published author and husband of author LC Bennett Stern. I had previously interviewed Linda for my blog and you can check it out here. I guess great talent runs in this family and I was excited to learn more about Michael’s books. So, join me now as I chat with Michael Stern.

Michael, tell my readers a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to write.

Michael Stern: I’ve always enjoyed stories, fact and fiction, written, televised and verbal. And I believe that everyone has a story to tell. After a long and varied business career, I have had the wonderful opportunity to join the family of writers to offer my stories to the universal collection of creativity. And hopefully provide some other storyteller with the motivation to try their hand.

Quick bio—easy. I’m a native of Garden City, New York, a graduate of Cornell University with Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. I live with my family including a fellow writer, L.C. Bennett Stern, know to me as Linda, or Wifey, in Riverton, New Jersey. In my career, I’ve had many experiences, some of which really happened. I was executive director of a humane society, sold mortgages, operated a medical laboratory, drove a cab in New York City, and sold Good Humor Ice Cream.
                                                                  
                                                                                        
Linda told me for years that I should write something. The opportunity came in a sad way. Seven years ago, my father passed away. Originally, I intended to write anecdotal memories for my family. When I began to go through his papers, waiting for me there was my story to tell. Dad lived to almost 98 years old, and with almost a century to talk about, and with so many important events he experienced and shared, I began to fashion the story of his generation. Born in the early years of the 20th Century, struggling through the Depression, fighting the war, the generation that returned built the most impressive democratic movement and the most dynamic nation in the world. He lived long, as a participant, not a spectator, and is one of the many unsung and unnamed heroes to whom we owe so much.

What genre do you prefer to write; History or Science Fiction?

Michael Stern: I have studied history since I was a kid. Even my science fiction is stocked with history. But writing about history, whether fiction or non, keeps my attention. It’s my hope that history lovers will find my efforts worthy.

Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

Michael Stern: Inspiration comes from living. All around us, stories call out to be written. Even a garage door, or a chain link fence have stories awaiting a writer to give them voice. At the same time, when my brain is in gear, words find a way, so I guess my inspiration is floating out there somewhere. Reading helps too. A single word can set off a story. That’s why I know everyone can tell a story. For example, a friend responded to a comment I made on Facebook about aging, and she responded with “I’m right behind you.” I wrote a short story for Halloween with that line.

Can you give us a short synopsis of your books?

Michael Stern: Thus far, I’ve written and published four books. The first, REFLECTIONS ON A GENEROUS GENERATION, is mentioned above. By the end of September, I expect to have the fourth book of my Quantum Touch series available. The series tells the adventures of Fritz Russell, a high school history teacher, whose classroom door enters a time travel portal to the past, as well as a tunnel in present time.
                                                               

In the first book, STORM PORTAL, he discovers the portal, meets Robert E. Lee the day after Appomattox, and to assure the principal that nothing unusual was happening, they walk together into the Oval Office and meet the president. Setting off alarms in government security, the president recognizes the potential value of the portal. As Fritz attempts to unravel the portal’s mystery, the nation’s security apparatus gears up to protect the president and the country.
                                                               

Book two, SAND STORM, establishes the value of the portal under fire, as the president asks Fritz to help eliminate a rogue Middle Eastern country’s nuclear weapons program.
                                                              

SHADOW STORM, the third book, a hidden enemy casts an ominous grip on world affairs. As violence escalates and Fritz becomes a target, the portal may be the only way to end the danger, identify the source, and bring peace back to the globe. The next book, STORM UNLEASHED, ends the waiting, as a conspiracy is unmasked, but not before constant violence erupts, while the president and Fritz work together to fight back.

Do you and your wife ever consider co-authoring a book?

Michael Stern: At this time, Linda and I haven’t discussed the possibility of co-authoring a book, but YA Never Know.

What are you working on now?

Michael Stern: My current work in progress is twofold:  the final book of the series, book six. With the fourth book about to release, the fifth is written, has been through the first edit and rewrite, with more to come, and the last one is about halfway written. I am also writing a book called Sarah and the Dragons. Sarah is rescued from a storm by two dragons, and the real storm begins when they take her home.

I would like to encourage those who are reluctant to try a paragraph, then a page, then another. You might like what you see. But be careful, the bite is contagious and chronic.
                                                              

I appreciate the opportunity to talk with your readers, and should anyone have a question, please ask away. My email address is sternmike52@gmail.com. I am a regular Facebooker and my author page is https://www.facebook.com/cabinfevercommunications My Amazon author page link is  https://www.amazon.com/Michael-R.-Stern/e/B008OP4DVU

 
It was a true pleasure to learn about your books, Michael, and I will definitely have you as a guest for Granny’s next Authors’ Bonanza in early December.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Candles, Books, Tea, and Frogs...Oh My!

                                                          

We like to celebrate life in grandiose ways, but it is the smaller celebrations that bring us so much joy. This weekend was a true celebration and it was because I spent it with friends and family. My neighbor and adopted niece, Isabella, who I have been babysitting and teaching since she was three months old, has just turned seven.
                                                                  
 
I’ve been reading to Isa since she was three months old. She is now entering second grade and is reading at a fourth/fifth grade level. Her younger brother is following in her footsteps. He enjoys having me read to him.

Books are the fastest gateway to universal knowledge. When you read to a child, then teach them to read, you allow them to use their minds. This is the most powerful gift to give to a child! Knowledge gives a person the gift of discernment. When we teach a child to read, they gain the ability to find the truth hidden within the lies. Happy Birthday, Isa.
Speaking of books
This weekend was the Authors’ Bonanza that I hosted at the Treehouse in Audubon New Jersey. We have many talented people in the South Jersey Writers’ Group and many of them had recently published a new book. I also had friends at the event that were not part of the writers’ group, but were also published authors.
                                                             

Check out this link to learn more about the authors. It was a success in spite of the ungodly heat and, I plan on doing another Authors’ Bonanza in early December.
Tea Party
Many of you know about my psychic abilities and my love of ghost investigations. I have many friends with this special gift. We call ourselves the “Golden Seers.” We ladies are on a journey to learn more about the Universal Collective and to tap into the spiritual realm.
                                                          

I hosted a Tea Party for my friends and it was fabulous. The afternoon was filled with topics on Angel Card Readings, spirits and, secret gardens.
Speaking of gardens
Rita, Blanch and I were already Pros at making garden ornaments. We'd been gathering items from various yard sales and thrift shops. After a leisurely lunch, the Golden Seers began a new garden project. My basement was a flurry of glue guns, beads and glassware. Luckily, I did not glue myself to any of the projects. Here is one of the completed items created by my daughter.
                                                              
Speaking of gardens part 2
I was born and raised in South Philly. We did not have gardens in our back yard, nor did we have a pond. Our yard was nothing more than brick and cement as witnessed in this photo with my mother and brother.
                                                                

After moving to Audubon New Jersey, I made it my life goal to plant as many trees and pollinator attracting plants as possible. My husband is worried that I’m trying to create my own rainforest. I am! This year, our pond has been the pivotal point of the garden. We have guests. Frogs! One of the frogs is huge and has earned the name, KONG.
                                                                 
                                                        
Did you know that bullfrogs can live a long time? Did you know that they can get big enough to eat birds? We have 16 fish in our pond, 3 large frogs; Kong, Hopper, and Tiny. We have migrating birds stopping at our feeders and, we have lots of hawks.

We, as a species, are destroying too many natural habitats, but although the rest of the world appears to be circling the drain, my home will always be a refuge for wildlife.
                                                          


How about you? What are you doing to protect the birds and the bees? Send me a photo of your garden.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Looking for Ghosts and Linking Apps

                                                             

Last night a fellow ghost investigator and I joined the owners of “On Angels’ Wings” Marti Haines and Marcia Balint Moore for an investigation at the Historical Selma Mansion. I had been to this mansion one time before with another investigative group called Keystone Spirit Seekers. The mansion is extremely active and the spirits, for the most part, willing to interact with the living. In the earlier investigation, I was able to connect with a young boy named Robert and you can read all about this adventure here.
                                                               
Last night, the spirits were in a playful mood, but not as engaging as I had hoped. The equipment confirmed that they were indeed there, but they would hop to the other room as soon as we checked the area. Remember that your personality is the same when you’re dead as when you were alive and, if you’re a practical joker…you’ll be one as a ghost.
Later that night, Marti and Scott had observed a shadow figure rushing down the stairway towards the basement. They weren’t sure exactly what they were dealing with so they asked Rita and I to take a break outside while they investigated. All was good, but the spirit was a bit grumpy…I don’t blame him because it was stifling in the house. Unfortunately, little Robert was not in a chatting mood, but I’m not worried. I’ll be back there again. On a side note, the Historical Society needs donations to bring the Selma Mansion back to its original beauty. Here is the link to help out.

Speaking of Links

I belong to the South Jersey Writers’ Group and one of the many benefits is our monthly meeting for Bloggers. At this meeting, people who blog regularly and people setting up a blog for the first time share information that will help them with their sites. Officiating over these meetings is Glenn Walker aka Saint Glenn.

                                                            

We call him Saint Glenn because there are a few of us bloggers that are totally tech challenged. Glenn would patiently work with each and every one of us until he either blacked out from exhaustion after we asked the same questions over and over and over, or we actually got it right. Unfortunately for us, Glenn and his lovely bride, Jen, are moving to Florida. This is great news for them…a tragedy for us….but there is a light at the end of the tunnel…

Queen Victoria

Victoria Marie Lees, who is a member of the writers group, has stepped into Glenn’s shoes. Victoria is the perfect choice as Glenn’s replacement because she is so very personable and willing to help her fellow bloggers. You can read her work here and here.
                                                            
                                      Erika on the left & Victoria on the right             
Ema Timar aka Erika Berger is now known as Ema the Great and you can read her work here. Ema is not only proficient in technical knowledge, but the perfect sidekick for our new queen of blogging. Ema has helped me with a very big problem…
                                                           
                                         Marie           Erika                  Victoria

I was unable to add links to my posts on WordPress. Since I write for a popular pop culture site, this was a big inconvenience. The good news is that Ema the Great showed me a well-guarded secret that only the most trusted warriors are privy too. I can now add links with no stress or hair pulling. Thank you Ema and thank you Queen Victoria. Saint Glenn has been notified that he will find us at his door in sunny Florida if we ever need his saintly advice.