Reading a Dog’s Mind

Reading a Dog’s Mind

Reading a Dog’s Mind

Reading a dog's mind

I have two spoiled rotten labs (mixed breed, part Rottweiler, part Labrador Retriever). While they are brothers, they are entirely different in so many ways. Duncan is pure black, still pounces around like a puppy, loves playing fetch, and loves to bury his nose against my leg while he is getting petted. His brother Gavin is reddish yellow, trudges along like an old man (I don’t think he would run, even if a tiger was after him), turns up his nose at a ball, and sits stoically in front of me while he is getting petted.

 A couple of days ago, a thunderstorm moved through the area. Gavin calmly lay on the living room rug, barely raising his head as lightning lit the sky. Meanwhile, Duncan went nuts. He raced under the table, wrapping my computer power cable across his chest as he did so. Fortunately, all that did was yank the cord from my computer. He then proceeded to ram his nose against me to get my attention before zooming around the room several times. I tried petting him to calm him down, but the boom of thunder sent him scurrying straight toward me, almost knocking me from my feet.

I had seen enough. Deciding to avoid any damage or injuries, I pointed towards their kennel and shouted, “Bed.” Slowly, they both plodded toward their safe place. Once inside their kennel, the two dogs stared into each other’s eyes, and I could read their thoughts.

Gavin was clearing telling his brother, “If you hadn’t freaked out, we wouldn’t have been sent to bed. I had to get off the nice, comfortable rug because of you.”

To which Duncan replied, “I did not freak out. I was very calmly telling our master, ‘RUN, RUN, WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!’ Don’t blame me for us being sent to bed.”

I love the personalities my dogs bring into the home.

Reading a Dog's Mind

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Who is Elaine?

Who is Elaine?

Who is Elaine?

Who is Elaine in Shadow World Chronicles?

I was chatting with a couple of online friends the other day. While one has read all of the Shadow World Chronicles, the other has only reached the farm incident in the first book. Unfortunately, his glasses broke and he is now forced to wait until his optometrist opens back up before he can read again (Don’t ask me how he manages to chat online. I assume he just enlarges the font.) During the course of the conversation, my friend who has read the series mentioned how she was feeling very frustrated with a particular person and was about to, “Unleash her inner Elaine.” This comment puzzled my other friend and he asked us who Elaine is.

For a moment, I sat speechless, unsure of how to respond to such a question. A full explanation would spoil some of the story for him, but dodging the question would leave him frustrated. After a moment, I offered the following: “Elaine is a powerful figure in my books. She is a leader who knows what she needs to accomplish and is willing to confront any obstacle that stands in her way.” My friend seemed satisfied with the explanation, but I was left wondering if I could have provided a better response.

So, here is my question to you: If you were placed in a similar situation, how would you explain who Elaine is? Post your answer in the comments below.

Who is Elaine?

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Saying Good-bye to an Old Family Friend

Saying Good-bye to an Old Family Friend

Saying Good-bye to an Old Family Friend

Saying goodbye to an old family friend

The old maple tree in our front yard has been there for our family through the years. It was there when we bought the home and moved in; its stately branches stretched out in all directions, providing shade for the entire yard and much of the house. It was just the right size for climbing and swings and games of chase around its trunk. Our children measured their growth and courage by how high they could climb in its branches.

 Then, all of that began to change. Holes began to appear in its trunk as rot slowly ate into the heart of our tree. At first, we tried to ignore them, thinking they would go away or that they wouldn’t continue growing. Finally, the truth became too obvious to ignore any longer. The hole where one of the tree’s largest branches had been had grown large enough for a small child to fit inside, and it reached down deep into the trunk of the tree. We knew that a strong wind could break the trunk, sending our tree crashing onto the road next to our home.

We let our children, who are grown now, know that our tree had to be cut down. It was a hard conversation to have. There were a lot of memories involving our tree, but it was the right decision to make.

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Bonfire created with trunks and pieces of old tree

After removing all the branches, there was still the trunk to remove. We had to get someone with a bigger chain saw for that. He cut it down cheap, but he wanted a pretty good amount of money to haul it off. There was a simple solution to that: bonfire at the homestead. It took several fires, but finally it was all gone. Well, almost gone; we still had the stump to remove. Fortunately a team with a stump grinder had another stump to remove in the neighborhood, so they offered to grind ours as well for a fraction of the normal price. When they were done, all that was left was a huge pile of dirt and wood chips.

Stump grinder

Next, it was simply a matter of laying a few (89) stones and hauling in some dirt. Plant a few bulbs, and the results will soon be a butterfly garden where the tree used to be. You may ask, “What about a tree for the next generation to climb?” Well, we thought about that too. We just planted three red maple trees around the yard.

Butterfly Garden

So, our faithful old friend is gone, but it still remains in our hearts. And, even though we will miss our friend, life goes on and the samplings of today will become the faithful old friends of tomorrow.

Saying-Goodbye

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In Our Thoughts and Prayers

In Our Thoughts and Prayers

In Our Thoughts and Prayers

You're in our prayers.

While I have been very busy with other tasks lately, I get to return to my writing in two weeks. In the meantime, let’s all keep the men and women who are fighting this virus in our thoughts and prayers.

If you need something to do while you are stuck at home, check out my books. I’m hoping to have the final book of the Shadow World Chronicles done before the end of the year, so you will want to read the others so you will know what is happening.

Also, if you sign up for my mailing list, we will send you an update as soon as the next book is available. Just fill in the form on the right.

You're in our prayers

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Art Contest Results

Art Contest Results

Art Contest Results

Shadow World Enflamed Contest

We appreciate the submissions for the Art Contest, but we feel like we didn’t do a good enough job of communicating what the theme of the different sections were. Consequently, none of the artwork appropriately conveyed what we were hoping to portray. We are going to put the contest aside for a while until after the holidays and then we will try to give more details of what we are looking for in the artwork for the book.

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Last Day of Book Art Contest 2

Last Day of Book Art Contest 2

Last Day of Book Art Contest 2

Last day for Book Art Contest 2

Today is the last day for Book Art Contest 2. If you would like the chance to have your artwork included in the new release for Shadow World Enflamed, this is your last chance to enter. 

Winner(s) will be announced on Thursday, November 14. Each winner will receive an autographed copy of Shadow World Enflamed as soon as it is available for release.

As a reminder, the section page titles are “Preparation”, “Invasion” and “Treason”. Just to make sure you know, as you create your artwork, this is a fantasy book with dragons, demons and modern technology.

So hurry and get your artwork ready to enter, then go HERE to let us know you want to enter. We will send you a link to an online folder where you can upload your artwork. We are excited to see your creation(s).

Last day to enter Book Art Contest 2

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