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Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

Here it is – Cinco de Mayo! The one day we all look forward to all year to celebrate . . . something . . .  Mexican. It’s the fifth of May and that means . . . um . . . something happened in Mexico on this day in . . . 18 hundred something. Oh who freakin’ cares, pass me another margarita.

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

Americans everywhere are watching the clock today, waiting for happy hour to purchase that Mexicanesque drink in honor of . . . that thing . . . that thing that happened in Mexico in . . . that year . . . a long time ago. Oh who freakin’ cares, let’s down another shot of tequila.

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

Nachos, tacos, burritos, jalapenos on anything; if it even sounds remotely Mexican, bring it on. Salt or no salt, blended or on the rocks, just order it and down it and then order another one. Who freakin’ cares, it’s Cinco de Mayo.

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

So here’s what you probably don’t know:

Now get out there and eat something Mexican and overindulge in Mexican beverages. This opportunity won’t come around again for a whole nuther year.

Feliz Cinco de Mayo! Viva Mexico!!

Word of the day: Kilderkin (Totally not Mexican but I’ll bet Coleen P will find a way to use it in a sentence along with something else related to this post.)

Fun fact about me: The car I’m driving right now is the first car I’ve ever bought with an automatic transmission.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, April 2014. Photos courtesy Google Images. Video courtesy YouTube.

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It’s time to blog again and I’ve got to say, I’m a little uninspired. It’s not that I’m in a slump or anything, because my creative juicies have been overflowing. Unfortunately, not with blog ideas.

How we balanced our budget. Makes perfect sense. Photo courtesy Google Images

How we balanced our budget. Makes perfect sense.
Photo courtesy Google Images

I have a good excuse. Really, I do. I’ve spent countless hours this weekend reading and revising my recently completed fourth manuscript. I’ve been to my monthly writer’s group meeting and conducted a very productive board meeting where we discussed next year’s writing programs, our annual Christmas party and our 3-day writing retreat in 2015. Oh sure, that budget part was a little yucky, but it comes with the territory.

As far as blogging, I got nothing. I think it’s time for a vacation. I know, I know, I just got back from a vacation only a few short weeks ago, but I think people should get vacations every other month. Don’t you?

I found this article, while I was busy doing nothing on the internet. And by nothing I mean something creative like looking at You Tube videos about making homemade Christmas decorations and scanning through hundreds of Pinterest photos for inspiration. That’s something. Right?

Anyway, that article, here’s the link: (Link was removed 11/4/13 by author)

Let me know if you’d rather be in any of these places right now instead of wherever you’re at. I know which one I’d pick.

What do you do when you lose your inspiration?

Word of the Day:

Fun fact about me: I can sing about 50 commercial jingles from the 80’s and 90’s. Something else cluttering up my brain.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, October 2013. Photo courtesy Google Images.

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Ah, springtime! Welcome back birds.

Photo by P. Rickrode

Photo by P. Rickrode

Hello flowers!

Photo by P. Rickrode

Photo by P. Rickrode

And babies!

Photo by P. Rickrode

Photo by P. Rickrode
Animal Kingdom Park WDW

So many awesome things to enjoy. As I sit here daydreaming writing, I close my eyes and imagine how wonderful it would be to sit here:

Photo by P. Rickrode

Photo by P. Rickrode

and enjoy a cocktail write.

I should be doing this:

Photo by P. Rickrode

Photo by P. Rickrode

But I’d rather be doing this:

Photo by P. Rickrode

Photo by P. Rickrode
Sailing on Lake Tahoe

Or even just this:

Photo by P. Rickrode

Photo by P. Rickrode

But instead, I’m working diligently on my 2013 vacation plans current work in progress.

Nothing sabotages a writing career faster than the advent of spring. We should be writing, we want to write, creative ideas are hitting fast and furious. But the temptation to go outside and play is strong. The lure of warm sunshine and fragrant flowers calls to our subconscious. Thoughts turn to gardening, sun bathing, long walks, dining on the patio and for me – vacation!

While I’m torturing my characters with attending funerals, mucking out horse stalls, and hiding from evil step-sisters, I’m really torturing myself with thoughts of being here:

Photo by P. Rickrode

Photo by P. Rickrode
Yosemite Valley

Or here:

Photo by P. Rickrode

Photo by P. Rickrode
Cascade Creek, Merced Co. California

That’s right, I’ve been visited by the ghosts of vacations past. They remind me that instead of sitting here gathering wool writing, I could be here:

Photo by P. Rickrode

Photo by P. Rickrode

Or here:

Photo by P. Rickrode

Photo by C. Rickrode

Or here:

Photo by C. Rickrode

Photo by C. Rickrode
Big Island, Hawaii

Or here:

Photo by C. Rickrode

Photo by C. Rickrode
Maui, Hawaii

And what trip down memory lane would be complete without a visit from the ghost of Disney vacations past?

The New FantasylandWalt Disney World

The New Fantasyland
Walt Disney World

So as spring makes it way into my little corner of the world, I shall savor it’s presence and bask in the rebirth of creativity and as new life springs forth from the earth. My mood word count will improve and my house will get cleaned muse will awaken and all thoughts will be of vacation writing “the end.”

Here’s hoping you all have a very productive springtime!

Word of the day: Raffish

Fun fact about me: One summer I worked at a B & B.

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So it seems as though the end of the world year is upon us. There being only a very short amount of time left upon this earth calendar year, I feel as though I should openly express my gratitude for the wonderful things I have enjoyed since January 1st of this year.

But, before I get started, I must congratulate Pat O’Dea. She is the lucky winner of my sweet surprise from last month’s blog! Congratulations, Pat!

Now, let the gratitude begin:

First, I am grateful for my family and friends who have circled the wagons when I needed protection, smiled when I needed encouragement, scolded when I’d strayed off course, and just plain been available when necessary.

Second, I’d like to thank my cyber friends, new and not-so-new. I’ve managed to get through an entire year of blogging, albeit only once a month, but, since that was my goal, I can proudly say that I accomplished it. Next year, should there be one, my goal is to increase my blogging presence with twice-montly posts! I know you’re all dancing with glee!

2012 was a year of great expeditions, great acquisitions and great accomplishments! In March I was able to visit with treasured friends at our annual Nascar weekend in Vegas.

Nascar & Yosemite 038

In June my wonderful husband and I were able to enjoy seven amazing days in the Western Caribbean!

Western Caribbean cruise 2012 091

We climbed ancient Mayan ruins, went cave-tubing in Belize, boarded a pirate ship and swam in the warm clear waters of Grand Cayman and zipped through the jungle in Roartan on 4-wheel quads!

Western Caribbean cruise 2012 163

In July we moved into our new home, in September I traded in my old Subaru with 214,000+ miles on it for a brand new 2012 Nissan AWD Rogue and in October we visited one of our favorite places, Disney World!

WDW 2012 036

While there, I thoroughly enjoyed my very first trick-or-treating experience! Having been denied such “normal” childhood activities, I was overjoyed when I learned that Disney encouraged kids of ALL ages to trick-or-treat. Here’s my husband and I getting ready to embark on our redneck tourist trick-or-treating journey:

WDW 2012 071

WDW 2012 072

Aren’t we OMG hideous! We looked ridiculous, but we had a lot of fun.

All in all it’s been a pretty awesome year. When it’s all said and done, I have no regrets, lasting memories, more friends than I started the year with, and positive goals for the new life year ahead.

Thank you everyone from the bottom of my heart for your support throughout this year. I hope to see you all again in the upcoming months should we all survive the prophesied apocolypse! Have happy and safe holidays and feel free to share your accomplishments and gratitude in the comments below! I’d love to celebrate with you!

Word of the day:  Moppet

Fun fact about me: I totaled my very first brand new car before I even got my license plates! (That’s not really such a FUN fact is it?)

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It’s that time of the year again – time to be thinking of warm places, beaches, sun tans, getting a new tattoo, and adult beverages! It spring time! Time for spring break.

Cabo San Lucas

This month I’m hosting my very first guest blogger, author and good friend, Loucinda McGary, otherwise known as Aunty Cindy from Aunty Cindy Explains it all www.auntycindy.blogspot.com. Aunty Cindy and I will take you on a virtual spring break to Mexico! We hope you enjoy the ride.

Cindy is a chapter mate of mine at the Sacramento Valley Rose writers group. She writes contemporary romance with paranormal elements set in exotic locales. Her interesting characters quite often have unique talents.

She recently took the plunge into the world of Indie publishing, with her novelette, The Sidhe Princess, a prequel to her debut novel, The Wild Sight. Today we will be talking about her latest release, High Seas Deception.

Everyone who visits today can take advantage of this coupon offer of $1.05 (35%) off the already incredibly low price of $2.99 toward the purchase of High Seas Deception from SmashWords. Use coupon code UT63X when you order (expires March 10th). One lucky visitor will receive a certificate for a free download (Amazon, B&N or SmashWords). But you must leave a comment to qualify.

High Seas Deception is a story of intrigue and suspense set aboard a cruise ship. Cindy is no stranger to cruising the oceans of our great planet. In January she completed her 22nd cruise. Her frequent voyages to foreign lands provide much fodder for her stories. High Seas Deception is no exception.

Without further ado, let’s get on board ship, have a celebratory drink (make mine a double) and chat with Aunty Cindy:

Hello, Aunty and welcome to my blog. I’m very honored to have you as my very first guest blogger.

Cindy: Thanks a bunch, Patricia! I’m tickled PINK to be the first guest on your wonderful blog and I appreciate the opportunity to talk about my newest release, High Seas Deception. But I’ll also be happy to answer questions about any of my other works, or writing and publishing in general.

High Seas Deception takes place on the Mexican Riviera, the west coast of Mexico. Why did you choose Mexico for the location instead of someplace in the Caribbean or the Bahamas?

Cindy: You know that old saying “write what you know?” Well, that was the case in me choosing the Mexican Riviera as the setting for High Seas Deception. As you and most of my friends know, I’ve been on twenty-two cruises to date. Fifteen of those have been to the Mexican Riviera. But never fear, I will be setting future books in the series in the Caribbean and other great cruise locations (I’ve actually never been to the Bahamas, yet)!

High Seas Deception involves another of your famous Irish heroes. Why Irish?

Cindy: Two words — cute accent. But seriously, being Irish myself, I’ve always had a preference for dark haired, blue-eyed lads (think Pierce Brosnan), and my readers seem to enjoy them too. However, my current work-in-progress (WIP) will have a non-Irish hero. I hope readers will enjoy his story just as much as my Irish lads. 

In HSD your heroine works security on the ship. Why did you choose a security guard role instead of a more glamorous cocktail waitress or cruise director position?

Cindy: My hero, Malone has a blatant disregard for rules if those rules hamper his objectives. The end definitely justifies the means as far as he is concerned. I thought it would be fun to match him up with a woman who has a great sense of justice and following the law. Skylar turned out to be a good foil for Malone, and they both learned and grew from being with the other.

Again, in future books I’ll have characters with more “glamorous” cruise ship jobs. Matter of fact, the heroine of my WIP is Skylar’s roommate and assistant cruise director, Avery Knox.

The plot revolves around a “package” that your Irishman is trying to intercept before it reaches Los Angeles. What can you tell us about this “package” and why someone is trying to smuggle it into LA?

Cindy: Without giving away any too many spoilers, “the Irishman” (as Malone is called) is a mercenary with a reputation for being both ruthless and deadly. He’s a bit of a James Bond type who is adept at extricating himself from dangerous situations.

There is a smuggling ring on board the cruise ship Intrepid that serves as a ‘middleman’ in transporting illegal things between Mexico and California. Malone is hired by a third party to retrieve a package which could prove lethal in the wrong hands. Of course, the problem is that almost everyone is “the wrong hands” and they all would like to possess the contents of that package.

So, veering away from the book for a moment, of all of the cruises you’ve taken, where has been the most interesting place you’ve visited and why?

Cindy: They have all been fun and interesting in their own ways. I’d say one of the most interesting places I visited was last September on cruise #20. We sailed out of New Orleans and visited Belize, Honduras, and the east coast of Mexico. We took this cruise specifically to see Mayan ruins, and we toured a fabulous site outside of Belize City called Altun Ha.

If you ever have a chance to visit this area, do not miss the Mayan ruins! They are spectacular. Here’s one of my pictures from my visit.

Thank you, Cindy. It’s always a pleasure to hear about your travel adventures and your books. What can we look forward to following HSD?

Cindy: Right now, I’m working hard on Book 2 in the Adventure Cruise Line series. The tentative title is His Reluctant Bodyguard and features Avery Knox from High Seas Deception as the heroine. I hope to have the story completed and the book available online by the end of the summer. This will be a real challenge, so please keep your fingers crossed and good thoughts coming my way to help me achieve this ambitious goal. I know I can count on you, Patricia, to offer encouragement and well-placed threats along the way!

It was a pleasure having you as my guest. Good luck with the next project and have fun on your next high seas journey. If folks want to know more about you and/or your books where can then go on line for that information?

Cindy: I’ve just revamped my website, so I’d love for everyone to pop over there and tell me what you think, http://www.loucindamcgary.com

I also have my own personal blog at: www.auntycindy.blogspot.com/
And you can find me on FaceBook: www.facebook.com/loucinda.mcgary
and Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/LoucindaMcGary

I love hearing from readers and other writers, and heck, ANYBODY! So please pop on by and say hi.

Don’t forget to enter the following coupon code UT63X when ordering your copy of High Seas Deception from SmashWords only.

So tell me readers, Aunty Cindy is partial to Irish heroes; what types of heroes do you like to read/write about? Where’s your favorite beach vacation spot?

Word of the day: Exonumia
Fun fact about me: When I was a freshman in high school I could run a mile in less than six minutes.

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