I had a conversation with a friend where we have agreed to disagree. This thought came to me this morning. Let’s turn off the news for a short time. There’s only one subject in the news these days. Let’s now get to the topics that aren’t taking up the news anymore such as homelessness, rampant drug use, teen and young people suicides. There are all getting lost in the Trump Twitter wars and misdirecting us from important work. We maybe can’t change what is happening with our words so we need to get back to caring for the people by our actions. And working on things we can do something about such as helping food shelves, working with the Back Pack Programs in schools, helping the homeless find housing and skills, packing for Feed The Starving Children , programs for intervention for youths so the suicide rate goes down, intervention for depression and mental health and drugs, caring for the elderly and more and teaching kids how to have respect for others and this beautiful earth that is God’s Creation. Take your eyes off the news and look around at your neighbor, what you see happening in your city. Rural is different than city. What are the needs of your area? It’s not helping us stressing out and battling each other over the headlines. Stand up for what you believe, step in to change what you can, watch your words because the person we alienate with them might be the person that needs our help or we may need theirs some day. Put the headlines back on the issues such as these. We will get through this divide together but we need to not get lost in the rhetoric and bring our focus back to what is needed, right here, right now, in our communities and with our neighbors.
Today I have Lisa A. Kelley and her Cozy Times Chronicle. We will find out a little about life as a book reviewer. Lisa is on my blog and I am on hers with Fuchsia’s Cozy Times Chronicle. Make sure you read both of ours to find out the lengths we go to read books.
Editor: Lisa A, Kelley Staff Reporter: Lisa A. Kelley Staff Photographer: Lisa A. Kelley
The Glamorous Life of a Cozy Mystery Reviewer/Blogger
I get out of bed at the crack of 7:00, sometime 8:00, okay . . . sometimes’s 9:00 AM. I go through my morning grooming routine, which takes a solid five minutes, unless I’m in a hurry. I change into my work clothes, a fresh nightgown and my not always so fresh slippers a.k.a my scuff scuffs. It’s on to the kitchen to prepare a healthy breakfast of Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pies and my drink of choice for the day. Today it is Hawaiian Punch.
Armed with my nourishing meal, I head to my office, also known as my living room recliner. I power up my laptop, and check my schedule. I am now in my blogger/reviewer/social media networking zone. My job (volunteer work really) . . . I read, blog, review, blog, Facebook, blog, Tweet, blog, and repeat. Seven days a week, with the exception of holidays and sick days, I am plugged in.
Of course I do get out of the house. Sometimes I work in my mobile office, as I was doing when writing this article. My mobile office, a 2004 Chevy Malibu named “The Reverend”, is spacious, and offers a wonderful view of wherever I may be parked at the time, waiting for a sibling while they are at an appointment.
And there you have my glamorous reviewer/blogger life.
You know what? I love every single second of it!
Brick and Mortar Forever!
There is nothing like a real life, walk in the front door, pay at the register bookstore. I adore them! I could spend every day in one. The only thing holding me back is, my town, Dover, DE, capitol of the first state doesn’t have any bookstores. They’ve all closed down. And they were very small, without big selections. Over half of the stock of one of them was used books. (I’ll spare you my germ phobia.)
My sister(s) and I will day trips to our favorite Barnes & Noble, which is a hour and a half away from us, in another state. We do have one a bit closer in state, but it’s part of a huge mall, and the parking is a nightmare! (I digress). When I walk into “my” Barnes & Noble, I feel my worries and stress just fall away. My sister(s) and I stake out our favorite table at the café, and prepare to spend a day in paradise. It’s nothing for us to get there when the doors open, and stay until 2 or 3:00 in the afternoon. (One day I’m expecting them to start charging us rent.) Settled at my table, a stack of books and magazines surrounding me, and a cold root beer sitting before me, I am whole. I am at peace. I am home.
I enjoy surfing though Amazon, and Barnes & Noble online, but nothing can compare to the feeling, the smell, the sight of a real bookstore. Forever may they stand!
Pets in Cozy Mysteries
I love the wonderful pets that are featured in cozy mysteries. The adorable cats and dogs (mostly) have such big personalities. Some even have sleuthing talents just like their owners.
While a lot of cozy pets are completely fictional, many are based on real life pets of the authors. Some are even based on, and named after reader’s pets!
I would love to have my Emma Belle a.k.a. Emmy show up in a cozy. However, there are a couple of issues. While Emmy is a little ole love bug, all she does is sleep. And when she’s awake, well, she has the most disinterested, bored look on her face. Think Garfield the cat’s expression on a dog’s face, and there you have my girl. Every scene with Emmy in a book would read something like, Emmy was asleep as usual or Emma looked at me in that bored way.
No, my fur baby just doesn’t seem to be cozy mystery material. That being said, I couldn’t love her more if I tried.
You can find Lisa at:
And in honor of guesting on Lisa’s Blog, Today January 25, all my books on Kindle are .99. One day only. To find them click this link. Julie Seedorf, Amazon Author Page
Thank you Lisa for being here.
It might seem like a writer’s life should be easy and free of stress because all we do is sit and write everyday, but there is so much more to a writers life and what we do. If we don’t take the time to spread our wings and experience something new it is hard to write, especially if we are not refreshed and replenished.This past weekend my friend Donna, a friend of over twenty-five years, and I decided to have a girl’s weekend and try something new. I would love to share our experiences with you.
Another friend of mine from my high school days by the name of Charlotte Laxen is a watercolor artist. I admire her work and her talent. She was teaching a beginner watercolor class at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum In Chaska Minnesota. Donna and I decided to spread our wings and bring out the inner artist that lives in each of us. Early Saturday morning spring finally arrived in Minnesota, and encouraged by the sunshine, we made the 90 mile trip to the Arboretum. We both were a little nervous because we weren’t sure what to expect.
The setting for the class couldn’t have been more perfect because even in the early spring the grounds were beautiful. Our painting classroom was on the second floor and we could view the arboretum grounds. The class was limited to ten people so it was not intimidating. We quickly bonded and felt at ease with the people in the room and made some friendships that will go on after the class.
We studied the different levels of color on our papers, the different weight of paper, how to use our brushes and experimented with different brush strokes. The classroom was full of laughter and joy. The seven hour class seemed to fly by. I found another love and realized I have an artist in my soul and it needs to come out. Charlotte also offered inspiration about her life and dreams which inspired all of us going into the future. Now let me clarify, I don’t know that I will ever be good at watercolor but it feeds my soul and that is what is important.
My grandchildren’s mother offered us the use of her home while she was gone. We arrived to find flowers, wine, wine glasses, a welcome note and boxes of chocolates on our pillows. She made us feel very welcome and special.
Of course part of a great weekend is food and we decided to try places we had never been so we picked Turtle’s Bar and Grill in Shakopee for dinner. I might add at noon we ate at the Arboretum and the food was outstanding. We planned on taking in the movie “Hello My Name Is Doris” with Sally Field after dinner and when we arrived at Turtle’s the place was packed and we didn’t think we would be out in time. We were amazed,not only by our waitress, but by the service. We had our meal within fifteen minutes.
We loved the movie. Sally Field was outstanding. The movie was funny, moving and actually had a good message for what happens in our lives.
The next morning we visited my son and grandchildren and were treated to breakfast and then we continued on to the Spring Arts and Craft Show at Canterbury. In the three hours we tried some food, oohed and aahed over the artistic people and artwork, which refreshed my creativity and made me want to find a talent and join the craft circuit. Another dream for my life? I ran into my Sisters In Crime friends Jessie Chandler, and Brian Landon and his fiancé. I need to copy Jessie’s excitement and sales talk. I loved their enthusiasm so much I taped it for a reminder for me. Of course I bought some of their books.
We couldn’t end our weekend at the Craft Show so we stopped at Mazopiya, a natural foods market in Prior Lake and picked up some healthy food to take home.
Of course our eating had to continue and we stopped in New Prague at the Fishtale Bar and Grill, another place we have never visited. I ordered some soup which name I didn’t know what it meant and couldn’t pronounce, but it was a cream soup with dill and something about a dill pickle and potatoes and green beans in it and it was delicious along with my burger. Donna had the Jambalaya with fish and sausage. Regretfully it was time to travel on home.
However, when we drove into the community of Waseca and past the Dairy Queen we made one more stop. We topped off our weekend with a Chocolate Shake for me and a Chocolate Sundae for Donna. Yes, we probably came home a little heavier and tired but we had a rejuvenating weekend of mind and friendship. In fact we are plotting our next journey into learning something new and trying new places and of course food.
This was our journey and though the way I described it may seem boring, I want to encourage everyone to try something new, take time away to rest and replenish and find that which feeds you. Try something you think you might not like and you may find it is exactly that which nourishes you into tomorrow. You don’t have to be good at it, it just has to feel good to you. You can never go wrong either with a weekend of laughter and bonding with friends.
My quote from my gratitude journal today: You may be disappointed if you fail but you are doomed if you don’t try. -Beverly Sills