July Photo Album

I realized something last night. Amidst all this eye trouble I’ve been having (it is getting better, FINALLY!), I have been throwing myself a major pity party. Seriously, even though I had so much fun over the weekend, I spent most of it feeling sorry for myself because I haven’t been able to read clearly or wear my contacts. Granted, being able to read and write is a HUGE part of my life, but I can still do it. It’s just been a little off. So I apologize for being such a stick in the mud.

My Fourth of July weekend was incredible. Three of my friends and I took a day trip up to Texoma for some hiking, visiting camp, and all around lakeside shenanigans. It was one of the funnest days ever.

IMG_3796

IMG_3801

IMG_3860

IMG_4100

I love nature and I love hiking. I would take a day in the woods over a night in a club or a hotspot any day. During our hike, we went to the Cliffs, which are made entirely of sandstone.

IMG_3847

IMG_3857

We all carved our initials into the stone.

Several meters and three bottles of Gatorade later, we decided it was time to cool off at the lake.

IMG_3923

IMG_3934

Afterword, we were heading back up to the main camp and we stumbled across a turtle who was struggling on the side of a rocky hill.

IMG_4022

So we took him to a shallow pool that feeds into the lake.

IMG_4028

IMG_4029

IMG_4035

IMG_4062

We also paid a visit to our friends, Darwin the Lizard and Killer the Ball Python.

IMG_4002

IMG_3978

Finally, we returned to the lake to enjoy the sunset.

IMG_4197

The next day, my dad, my sister and I drove back up to Lake Texoma for a JB and the Moonshine Band concert. It was probably the most Texan thing I’ve ever done in my life.

10404282_10203351574963754_6415338466184404588_n

10516705_10203351576843801_6200294959694409325_n

10517508_10202494760786072_1420146496179758152_n

The bar there was a boat. It was awesome.

10521374_10203351580003880_5340695707572328879_n

Then the next day, two of my sunflowers bloomed!

IMG_4265

IMG_4272

IMG_4275

I also saw a dragonfly.

IMG_4326

Finally, the first review for Between Worlds is in and it is AWESOME!

10450807_10203364098716840_6008972723114936638_n

That’s all, folks! How was your weekend?

Advertisements

Books, Wine, and Fish Fry

Yesterday, my sister and I ventured back up to Lake Texoma.  Initially, we’d just planned to attend the Locust Community Volunteer Fire Department Fish Fry (try saying that five times fast), but then we decided, hey, it’s such a cool area, let’s just spend the day there.  She’d never been to Denison before, so I got to show her around and introduce her to the people and places that I’ve been privileged to meet this year. 

We also wandered around a few shops, including an antique store with, according to the people who work there, several ghosts! 

Image

 

The first thing I noticed was this Ouija board.  Now, I do not mess around with Ouija boards.  My friends and I used to, but then something really weird happened with what we think may have a dark entity, so that was the end of that.  Call me crazy, but I firmly believe that if you call something, if you ask it to come, it’s going to come.  To that, I say “No thank you.” 

There is a Ouija board in the new book, however.

ImageImageImageImage

Then, we walked over the The Book Rack, where the ladies proudly display books written by local authors.  They are just the best! 

ImageImageImage

I’ve got to say, seeing your book on the shelf of a real bookstore is pretty cool.  

After that, we meandered over to the local winery for more of their amazing Rose of Ivanhoe wine.  Forget California Wine.  Homestead Winery in Denison, Texas is where it’s at!  We also wanted to try something new, and since my sister isn’t old enough for a wine tasting, I took one for the team and helped myself to four samples.  Their White Zinfandel, while a little too sweet for my taste, was incredible.  It tasted like Honeysuckle!  I told the lady behind the counter that, and she said, “A lot of people say that!”  

We ended up with another bottle of Rose of Ivanhoe and a Cabernet, which is amazing.  I’m telling you, forget all the big corporations and brand names.  Small, local businesses who really love what they do and put their heart and soul into it are where it’s at.  If I do another book release party, I’m buying all my wine there.  Support your local businesses! 

After we had our wine, we headed over to the Locust Community Volunteer Fire Department Annual Fish Fry!  As a volunteer department, they don’t get paid, so they host events like this to raise money.  It’s such a worthy cause and such a fun event!  The food is amazing, you’re right there on the lake (although it’s very low this year), there’s a live band, auctions, raffles, and my sister and I each got a t-shirt!  

ImageImageImageImage

All in all, a pretty good weekend.   

 

Road Trip Weekend

My weekend of miniature road trips began last Thursday.  I drove out to Denison (around Lake Texoma) to meet a friend for a celebration of art and wine.  All the stores and art galleries stayed open and had wine and refreshments set out for visitors.  I had no idea what to expect, I just knew there would be art and wine.  That was good enough for me.  

I arrived at Denison’s Main Street about thirty minutes early, so I decided to park my car and walk around a bit.  As I strolled, I remembered that I had been baptized in a church in Denison, so I called my mom to find out which one.  Denison is a pretty small town, after all.  It was probably within driving distance.  She told me I was looking for St. Luke’s Episcopal.  I typed the name into my GPS and lo and behold, the church was exactly one street over from where I stood.  

It wasn’t open, and I’d forgotten my camera battery at home (dumb!), but I did get a few pictures on my iPhone. 

ImageImageImage

I hope to go back sometime to visit when the church is open.  Maybe I can even attend a service there.  It’s such a cool and apparently historic building!  

After my quick trip to the place of my spiritual rebirth, I headed back into town and explored a few of the stores until my friend joined me.  

ImageImage

One of the stores I stopped in was called The Book Rack, a huge independent book store that sells both new and used books.  I got to talking to the two ladies working there, and, long story short, they want Cemetery Tours for their store!  I’m so excited!  They also offered to have me come back sometime in the summer to do a book signing!  I really hope that happens, because that would just be so cool!  

After finally meeting up with my friend, we perused a few more galleries and stores.  I ended up with three new books, one from The Book Rack and two antique books to add to my collection.  I met several artists and witnessed some incredible works.  I didn’t sample any wine, sadly, as I had a long drive home, but that’s alright.  My friend and I also stopped in a huge antique store.  We are both big believers in ghosts, so we had a fun time exploring and searching for spirits amidst the artifacts. 

ImageImageImage

Around that time, we began to hear thunder rumbling in the distance, so I decided to head out before the weather got too hazardous.  I did get some pictures of the small town sunset, though.

ImageImage

Saturday was another busy day.  I was up uncharacteristically early, 7 AM, to help with my friends’ yard sale.  It was fun, but oh my goodness, I am so sunburned.  I didn’t even think to put on sunscreen!  It’s still March and it was so early!  Alas, two days later, my poor skin is still simmering.  Lesson learned. 

I also spent some time planting sunflower seeds.  Unfortunately, the next day, I went out to water them and discovered several little holes where an animal (okay, a SQUIRREL) had dug up the seeds and left behind their empty shells!  How are you supposed to protect your poor baby seeds from squirrels?!  I’m going to have to get clever, I think.  

Later Saturday, however, my best friend texted me and asked, “How do you feel about the lake?” 

There is only one appropriate response when a friend asks you to go to the lake, and that response is “Yes.”  So, we drove out to the lake. 

ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

As much fun as I had, however, yesterday, everything caught up with me.  I slept 12 hours straight before finally dragging my achey, sunburned self out of bed.  Then, I really didn’t do anything except watch Catching Fire and color.  It was pretty nice.  

Today, however, I am very ready to hit the ground running.  I’ve received my first copy of my rough draft from one of my beta readers, so I need to go over her notes.  I also need to get back to writing the new manuscript.  Then, of course, there are emails to answer, reviews to post, and goals to set.  I’ll tell you this much, the life of an indie author is NEVER boring!  

I hope you all are having a fantastic Monday and last day of March!  Beware of April Foolers!  

 

 

Good Weekend!

One of my goals in life is to make every day either good, fun, productive, or a combination of all three.  This weekend was just that.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but in college, I spent three years as a lifeguard and camp counselor at a summer camp at Lake Texoma.  On Friday, I got to drive up to visit.  It was so great to see my friends, former campers, and all the year-round staff.  I miss all of them so much.  It was also wonderful to be back in an area that is so near and dear to my heart.  I love everything about Texoma, from the smell of the trees, to the herons on the lake, to the clear sky at night.

Image

The new Chapel on campus. It is simply beautiful.

Image

Creepy abandoned cabin in the woods. This scene has provided me with a lot of inspiration over the years.

Image

I love the lake at dusk.

Image

Our Labyrinth.

ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

Although being at camp was probably the highlight of the weekend, I also FINALLY got to see Monsters University today.  It was super cute, everything I hoped it would be.  I love Monsters, Inc. so I was really excited when I heard they were making a prequel.  Mike and Sully are just the best.

The most exciting news, however, is that I purchased my website domain for my publishing company today!  I am proud to announce that Wind Trail Publishing is (almost) officially in business!  My friend and graphic designer is currently helping me out with a logo that I sketched out.  I can draw, but boy, am I dumb at things like computer graphics.  I’m meeting with him and his wife tomorrow to discuss not only the logo, but the cover designs for the book that I have been working on.  I am not lying when I say I have the most amazing team of people who are willing to help me out.  I am really very fortunate to have all of them.  As always, I will keep you updated as I continue on this crazy road called publishing.