24 Jun

Kindle Me Softly

KindleWith all the free eBooks and friend’s eBooks I have downloaded over the past three years, I finally gave in and bought a Kindle. It isn’t a fancy schmancy one, just a Kindle e-reader. I’ve felt bad for not reading some people’s books and my eBook collection has grown. This doesn’t mean that I’ll quit buying paperback, but at least now I can catch up on all these books waiting to be read.

Buying books in Germany is expensive. The Kindle will help me choose which books I want in paperback. If I love the eBook, I can buy the paperback. It’s a shame it took me this long after years of eBooks collecting fragment dust on my computer.

We received the Kindle on Monday, and before fully charging it, I started to set it up. As we have learned in the past, things don’t always run smoothly. Amazon is a huge multinational corporation, which is bound to have some issues. When we got married, a former colleague of mine sent us a gift certificate from Amazon.com (U.S.). We still keep in touch. There’s no way I can forget such a kind and generous person. But I digress. It was such a thoughtful gift, but we soon found out that we couldn’t use the gift certificate on Amazon.de (Germany). If we purchased things from U.S. Amazon, we’d have to pay additional shipping costs. I contacted U.S. Amazon to see if I could have the gift certificate transferred from my U.S. account to my German account. They told me Amazon.de is a partner site of Amazon.com, meaning they operate independently, so I couldn’t do it. I did not know this. Note: For anyone who has friends and family living abroad, make sure you purchase Amazon gift cards for the country they live in.

soccer<—–This boggles my mind. My Amazon.com and Amazon.de logon information is the same. When I look up my books on Amazon.de, Fogged Up Fairy Tale, the Amazon.com reviews are auto-populated on the page.

Even though some things from the Amazon U.S. and German site can merge, wish lists and Kindle libraries aren’t included. On the Kindle, we couldn’t setup a shared family account using my Kindle library on U.S. Amazon and my husband’s Kindle library on Germany Amazon. To resolve the issue, my husband will send any eBooks on the German site to my Kindle library, and he’ll have to use his U.S. Amazon account to purchase eBooks. This was an educational experience for us.

The first book I’m reading on my Kindle is The Brubury Tales by Frank Mundo. It’s an awesome read. I highly recommend it. The story is told in rhymed verse and is “a modern version of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales set in Los Angeles just after the riots. Instead of pilgrims, The Brubury Tales follows 7 security guards on the graveyard shift, who agree to have a storytelling competition to determine vacation time.” It even sounds unique and interesting!

What kind of e-reader do you own? What are you reading now? Any book recommendations?

Amazon and Kindles,
Baer Necessities

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17 Jun

The Life of Shakespeare

Before I get to the purpose of my blog post, I’d like to congratulate the Chicago Blackhawks for winning the Stanley Cup! Even though I didn’t get to watch the game, I’m sure the fans exploded with a win at home. It was the first time they won on home ice since 1938. Here’s a video I found when the buzzer went off and they were crowned the champions.

Back when I was single living in Chicago, my family would tell me that I should get a dog. They thought that a thirty-something year old single woman without children could use the company. Since my teens, I chose not to have children and it stuck with me throughout my life. As for getting married, well, I didn’t think it would happen. I had nothing in common with anyone, I mean ANYONE, in the Greater Chicagoland area, so I grew comfortable with the single life. And a dog? There was no way I was going to pick up dog crap. Or worry about who’d take care of it when I traveled. I didn’t want to be bothered. I grew accustomed to my freedom.

“We know what we are, but know not what we may be.” William Shakespeare

Then I hit my forties. I found the man I secretly waited for my whole life. While living in another country was exciting, it could also get lonely, especially when my husband went to the States or Spain and I stayed behind. I finally came out with it and told my husband I wanted a dog. He sighed and asked, “Are you ready to pick up poop?” My shoulders lifted and fell back down. “I guess so.” Then he said, “We’re on the second floor, so we can’t just open a door and let him out. We actually have to go downstairs, outside and walk him.” I agreed. He needed more reassurance, so he asked, “Are you really ready to take care of a dog? Feed it. Play with it. Take it out.” I assured him I was ready.

Four and a half months later, five days after we got married, we picked up our little dog, Shakespeare (Jack Russell and Maltese mix). I sat in the backseat holding him against my leg, so he wouldn’t fall. As we drove home, I said to my husband, “What if he doesn’t like me?” My sweet husband told me there’s no way he wouldn’t like me.

As soon as we got home, I put him down, and he started exploring the place. He didn’t whimper or shake, he wasn’t scared at all. Shakespeare went into the living room, where we had a bed for him, and he went right into it and laid down.

ourshakespeare

I never thought I’d fall in love again and marry, so you can imagine my surprise to have fallen in love a second time with this furry one. This video is from the first week we had him home.

Shakespeare knew his name since day one. Early on, he was up to no good, thinking he owned the place and talking back.

He’s like the child I never had. He’s my little buddy. Aside from my husband, Shakespeare’s the only one I talk to in English on a day-to-day basis. He hates being alone, so he’s usually following me around or laying right next to me on the couch. When we go on our walks, people stop and take notice of him. The old ladies walking their own dogs say he’s süß (sweet). At times he is sweet, but sometimes he’s trouble, like the below picture shows.

Shakespeare up to something

Shakespeare and I spent last summer in Spain with my in-laws. They have a pool and Shakespeare couldn’t get enough of swimming. He loved jumping in. After some time, I thought it was time to take a break, but he didn’t feel the same way.

One of the many funny things about Shakespeare is his singing. The only time he sings is when I put on a recording of my grandmother singing opera. As soon as he hears it, his tail wags, his head twists, and he sings along.

Lately, Shakespeare started chasing after cars while on his leash, and letting out a screeching bark at some big dogs as if he’s going to tear them apart. I read online that I should break him of the habit of chasing cars as soon as possible. They gave some recommendations, but suggested a dog therapist who specializes in these things.

We have a new dog watcher, and she likes Shakespeare. She calls him her shadow, because he follows her around once we leave. Little does she know that Shakespeare is a needy dog, probably because I baby him. She has her own dog, and a business as a dog healer. We told her about his issues, and she gave us a few possibilities as to what could be wrong. I explained to her about a time when a big dog came charging at us, and I picked him up. She said that was wrong of me to do because I elevated him. It made Shakespeare think he’s superior to the bigger dog, and could be the reason why he goes after the dogs. We left her place, and I felt bad that I might have been the cause.

In the car, my husband said he disagrees with her. I did the right thing by picking up Shakespeare. It’s a natural reaction, and I protected him from getting injured because the dog came at us in attack mode. We do know we need to do something to stop him from going after cars and big dogs, but we also don’t want to change his personality. Our dog watcher says that when he jumps up on our leg, it’s showing disrespect. But I believe it’s part of his personality. When my husband leaves for work, Shakespeare walks into the hallway with him, and then jumps up on my leg for me to pick him up. My husband kisses me goodbye and that’s exactly what Shakespeare wants. Then we stand by the window to watch my husband leave. It’s a ritual. So we need to find a way to teach him to stop chasing cars and big dogs without changing his personality.

Any ideas as to what we should do? What do you love about your animal(s)? 

Pets and Love,
Baer Necessities

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10 Jun

Author Interview with Mary R. Woldering

WelcoWoldering (1)me to my first author interview! Mary R. Woldering was kind enough to take the plunge with me. She is backstage, so please give a warm welcome to Mary, Mary, bo-bary, Banana-fana fo-fary, Fee-fi-mo-mary, Mary!

1.  Describe yourself in 150 words or less.

Writer of Mystical History series Children of Stone. Costumer, student of wisdom, never a master, companion, old soul, Wise MaMa, Crone (not your sweet lil’ old granny) – I’m brash, volatile, vital & out of control. I’m wise in life but the lifelong search for peace has not cooled my jets. I’m a spiritualist and spirit hunter but down to earth and often salty. I thirst for more life and new adventures. At one time I was cataloguing what I called “past lives and connections.” I still have all the notes. I’ve written them into a series.

My old identity song was “Little Old Lady from Pasadena” except I would never drive a car that fast.

In my Children of Stone series, I teach what I have seen in my dreams… many times what I saw became prophecy.

100 years ago I would have been in a madhouse.

2. Tell us about your published books.

I have published the first 2 of a possible 6 or 7 book series. Walk into history with MARAI: a humble, goddess-worshipping shepherd who becomes a god!

Voices in Crystal (CHILDREN OF STONE Book 1)Woldering (4)
And
Going Forth By Day (CHILDREN OF STONE Book 2)

Woldering (3)Remnants of an alien race of gods, wizards, shape-shifters, heroic mortals, immortals, slowly transform into the gods of ancient days. Like ancient superheroes, they wander through the reality of legend, RESHAPING myth and history.

And It just MOVES!

It entertains, it romps, It leaps, IT HOWLS and it’s just plain fun.

3. Did you go the traditional route or did you DIY publish?

I tried traditional in the mid 1980’s and got tired of the rejections. I realize now, the novel was not ready…and I was not mature enough or settled enough to write it…so it’s a good thing.

4. Where was your favorite travel destination and why?

I like travel PERIOD. If I have the funds and the companionship, I like just about any place. It’s more about who I am with and the situation surrounding the journey than the location.

5. If you were a picture, which room in the house do you want to be in?

The living room. I have so much living left to do!

6. Is there anything in particular that you refuse to write about, such as sex or mannequins?

Refuse, no. Be any good at is different. I really would have trouble with standard Christian fiction or HARD erotica that lasted more than a few pages. Also sunny HEA Romances would be tough because I’m always finding something dark or complex…really anything FORMULA.

7. Do you belong to any critique groups?

Northeast Cleveland Writers Group (Kevin Chapman, moderator) That may not be the exact name of the group. It meets monthly and they help me + beta read.

8. Name one thing on your bucket list.

The only thing is getting my books published and to sell well. The DREAM was for them to be made into a movie with Jason Momoa playing Marai before he gets too old. My first star I had picked out is too old now.

Maybe I would like to go to Egypt and the Middle East if there is any of it left by the time there is peace (if that will even be in my lifetime).

9.  In regards to writing, what are you working on now?

Book 3 Children of Stone – Opener of the Sky

I also asked Mary to send me any kind of picture she loved, and she sent me the below picture. It’s a drawing she did several years ago of a dream image of Marai. This is a great picture because it’s not only a drawing, but one she did herself.

Woldering (2)And if you still feel you don’t know much about Mary, watch this video of Wild Child by The Doors. Mary says, “the song is about ME “Wild Child” because she’s still inside me.”

To learn more about Mary, please visit her Author Website, Amazon Author Page, Goodreads Page, and Facebook Page.

Interviews and Getting to Know You,
Baer Necessities

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03 Jun

A Sundry of Subjects

Anthology


 

In April, I kicked off National Poetry Month with an idea regarding an anthology. I figured if I collect enough interest, I would publish an anthology regarding violence through Baer Books Press, and all proceeds would go to Futures Without Violence. By the beginning of May, I collected only a handful of poems, so I extended the deadline from May 31 to June 30. BAM! Toward the end of May, I received a huge interest in participation. I can’t wait to share these compelling poems written from experience, emotions, and thoughts. The subjects range from bullying to domestic violence, identity confusion to world events, suicide, war and more. My hope is that this anthology will at least change one person’s life for the better.

Do you feel there’s an increase in violence worldwide?

Giardiniera

Better to have eaten giardiniera than to have never eaten it at all. If you’ve ever lived or visited Chicago, and had a beef sandwich, then you know about Chicagoans and their Giardiniera. Some even think, the hotter the better. Giardiniera is a variety of vegetables marinated in oil, vinegar, and a few spices. Since they don’t have it in Germany, I had to make some myself. It’s great on salads and sandwiches. I’m not one for the hotness, so I left out the hot peppers and put in bell peppers, celery, carrots, cauliflower, olives, onion, garlic cloves, oregano, pepper flakes, ground pepper, apple cider vinegar, and olive oil. I let it sit in the refrigerator for a week so all the vegetables can mix for a heightened flavor.

What do you think of Giardiniera?

Author Interviews

Flavor of the week is ? I’d like to start doing author interviews every so often on my blog. It’s a good way to help an author, and to get to know them. There are many bloggers out there offering author interviews, so the questions I plan on asking aren’t all about writing. They are about promoting the author, but also letting the audience get to know the author aside from their books.

Do you participate in author interviews?

 Forgotten Books

Books we have forgotten. I love the site Forgotten Books, because it gives me the opportunity to read an old classic. Many of us want to read a classic, yet we don’t take the time to go and buy it. Well, Forgotten Books offers a free downloadable book every day! I signed up to receive an email each day. There are so many books I downloaded that I never heard of, and some great classics. Below is a screen shot of the books I’ve received from this site:

books

Are there any legal sites you use for free books?

Weavesilk

Classic sites such as StumbleUpon amaze me. I often browse around StumbleUpon for writing ideas along with helpful information regarding gardening or cooking. Yesterday, I found an “interactive generative art” site called Weavesilk. By clicking on the screen and moving your cursor from one point to another, you can create a picture. It lets you pick colors, undo, and save the picture. Yesterday, I created the below.

weavesilk

Do you know of any other WOW sites that amaze you?

Assortment and Themes,
Baer Necessities

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