Darkness, Death, Life, Travel, Writing

Hello, Darkness, My Old Friend

Where does time go? You wake at four, five, or six in the early morning, darkness is all around you, and then BAM! The darkness of the night gives way to the rising sun. You realize it’s another day!

Disclaimer: This is a long post…plan to read for about fifteen to twenty or so minutes.

This past Wednesday (January 15) was filled with travel back to Winston-Salem, NC (an hour and half one-way trip) to pick up my MAC. It was FIXED!!! Happy Face was me! Read on to learn how I got a happy face!

Pam's face being licked with love.
Smiles of Love

DARKNESS FALLS UPON

Since December 9 or was it 10? I forget—I’ve lost track of time. My MAC became ill. It lost it’s ability to connect to WiFi. UGH! Computers, in this time of darkness, don’t seem to function well if they can’t connect. The cord was cut and I hadn’t planned for it to be.

Oh, I thought about it a lot—cutting the cord. It was the holiday time and what free time I had was being devoured by the darkness of monsters stealing me away to fix problems after problems after problems. I couldn’t afford to be bothered with fixing a MAC when the nearest service tech was in Winston-Salem. I had things to cook, gifts to finish, and Christmas was coming.

Fast Forward

After surviving the holiday time, I made the move to talk with Apple on January 03, which is my Dad’s Birthday and one of my favorite authors, J. R. R. Tolkien. This year would have been Dad’s 100th Birthday—Happy Birthday, Dad!

The Apple Gurus told me I would need to make sure my computer was backed up.

Do you think it was? Well, of course not. I didn’t have WiFi. My particular MacBook Pro doesn’t have an Ethernet port. I didn’t own a Thunderbolt, but I did own an Insignia. So, I proceeded to use it. What do you suppose happened?

More Troubles – More Darkness

Good guess. It didn’t work either. So, I spent two weeks trying to manually copy my files. Then, my mind did a wondrous thing. It remembered I owned a WD Passport that surprise, surprise, would hold my backup of my MAC.

After another four days, I managed to get my MAC backed up, called Apple, and got an appointment scheduled for Tuesday, January 14.

Albert and I made our trip down to Winston-Salem and found the wonderful tech, Mike, at I.T. Worx. And, Mike said he felt he could fix my issue, but I’d have to leave my laptop with him along with my back up. I was giddy with anticipation and hopeful he knew what he was doing.

The next day – January 15, we traveled back to Winston-Salem (did I mention it is an hour and one-half drive one way? It is all real miles in that hour and one-half too). Anywho, we got to the approved Authorized Apple Service provider and Bingo! My MAC was ready. Mike did a very nice quick check with my Insignia adapter and DVD external drive. Mike was happy. Albert was happy. Again, my face WAS happy!

During the Darkness …

I learned during the disconnected period (the darkness) that I get far more done disconnected!

My MAC being sick forced me to reopen my PC, which I had not opened since June 2019 when I closed my technical writing business. That one act required one week just to update the PC!!! DOUBLE UGH!!! (I know, the multiple exclamation points aren’t necessary, but I like ’em right now. Snicker)

By design, I do not have social media apps on my cell. My phone does the basics of calling, texting, and email. This forced me to disconnect from the likes of FaceBook, LinkedIn, and of course my website.

The timing could have been better (snide remark from the peanut gallery). Book Two – DarkShadow was released the beginning of November and I had planned to begin marketing the release of my new book to let others know another book from The Chronicles of Eldershire was available on Amazon in print and eBook formats.

The darkness stopped me from letting people know. Like KC in DarkShadow, I was in the dark too!

What Else Happened?

Darkness is or can be a friend! Being dark allowed me to reconnect with many friends in special ways and find new friends too.

The month of December started off with the typical season of celebration—holiday gatherings, the annual Christmas parade followed by smaller gatherings with friends and family. St. Paul United Methodist Church Choir had its annual Christmas Cantata on December 15. The Cantata has become a tradition serving as our family and friends’ official kick-off to the days of Christmas.

Right around that time is when my MAC computer went south for the winter and darkness began to descend—but a strange thing happened. I was cut from the daily grind of social media. Suddenly, I felt free.

Sadly, other forms of darkness crept into my life during Christmas week too. Those days were touched with the passing of two women who made their mark on my life by being the mothers of two dear friends—Shirley Grubb (mother to Jane) and Thelma Davis (mother to Linda). Our families’ hearts are with Jane and Linda as their loss is felt by all who knew their sweet mothers.

Knitting Came Next…

Because of the darkness, I had time to keep my hands busy with other tasks. Beside cooking, something I enjoy and try to do daily, other, albeit, older hobbies came back in full force because I had time. I had time to think, reflect, act.

I’ve been a knitter since I was five or six—not a spectacular knitter—it is a hobby that I have tried to build and improve my craft all my life. I became a knitter because of a gift given to me on my fifth birthday (I think. It could have been my sixth). I received a Barbie Doll in a tube canister that contained a set of knitting needles and yarn.

The significant thing was my Barbie had no clothes. I had to learn to knit to make her a dress. I did. My beautiful Barbie couldn’t go around without clothes. When the dress was done, I was proud. I had an happy face.

My pride shown on my face while caring my Barbie, showing her off around the neighborhood. It was 1959, and little girls always had their Barbies with them. Since then, I’ve knitted off and on again.

Blowing Rock, North Carolina

On Thursday, December 19, after being in the dark (social media wise), Albert and I decided to make an unexpected trip to Blowing Rock, NC. We got on the road and found The Hemlock Inn—a must repeat place to stay. We were in Blowing Rock all of 24 hours, but what a fun time!

After checking into our room, we decided to walk up to Main Street and see what we could find for lunch. We were only one block away, not far from the main sitting area folks use during warm weather to watch people scurry by while shopping or doing work and errands.

We walked the length of Main over to the Speckled Trout for a lovely lunch. There is something about trout—rainbow at that—we love. Then, we stopped along, dropping into various shops while on a mission to find a yarn shop. I needed to purchase a nice pair of crochet hooks for a friend’s Christmas wish.

Tourists We Are

We found a shop, but learned upon entering that the “thread” in it’s name was dealing with fabric and not yarn too. Silly me. Though, I will say, I loved the fabrics there. I also saw a very cool kit used to make bowls out of fabrics. I think it may be a new craft I’ll want to learn.

After looking around, and trying to find a yarn shop on my cell, which I am not very savvy doing, I began to wonder why a town like Blowing Rock, which is supportive of artisans of all strips, wouldn’t have a yarn shop. I knew I was missing something.

We visited several more shops, and then walked back to the Hemlock Inn to rest a bit and see what we could find in the way of where we’d go for dinner. While relaxing in our beautiful room, I searched through the Hemlock Inn Welcome package. It had in it a tourist brochure! My friend, Rosa, would be proud of this town. I opened the brochure that gave me all of the essentials—maps, shops, places to eat, and lodging info.

Dinner Plans in the Darkness of the Night

Did you notice? I didn’t reach for my cell. Instead, Albert and I chose to search the old fashion way for what was available in the area during the holiday season. I was still in the clutches of darkness—and it seemed to be serving me well. I found there was a Mellow Mushroom restaurant across the street from the Speckled Trout. Yes!

Besides, I love being mellow (think “Have You Ever Been Mellow” sung by Olivia Newton-John) and I love mushrooms…what else is there not to love about Mellow Mushroom. By the way, I’m sure you took note that I evidently don’t look around my surroundings very well. We had walked past Mellow Mushroom TWICE and never noticed it. Triple UGH!

My love of Mellow Mushroom grew exponentially when I learned how allergen conscious they are with food allergies. They have recently created a special app to help their allergic sensitive customers find foods they can enjoy. It would be wonderful if more restaurants did this. (Side note: Olive Garden does this too!)

Food Allergies can Cause Darkness in One’s Life!

My food allergies are soybean and sesame. If you read labels, you know soybean (aka vegetable oil, mayonnaise, chocolate, salad dressing etc.) is in EVERYTHING! (I need to do a post on this topic regarding soybean and its by-products in food and non-food products too).

Anyway, the tourist brochure was educating me about all the places that I was finding that were within walking distance. The Hemlock Inn was proving to be a perfect place to stay.

Then, there it was! Bingo! A Yarn Shop! It was listed amongst the shops interwoven in the streets of Blowing Rock. The best part was its name: The Unwound Yarn Shop! Albert and I decided we would find that yarn shop the next day. It was already six in the evening. Darkness had descended upon us again.

We went to Mellow Mushroom where we enjoyed a Greek Salad, a House Special pizza, and I had a much needed Black and Tan.

Sunshine After the Darkness

The next morning, after packing the car and checking out of the Hemlock Inn, we thanked Donna, the owner, and told her we would be returning. Albert and I walked up to Main Street and visited The Spice & Tea Exchange (a wonderful store we had found during a prior trip). We purchased a large quantity of spices and teas to use for gifts and in our kitchen. After asking about where the Unwound Yarn Shop was located, we were directed back to the Thread Shop.

Walking along the streets, we stopped in several pottery shops while trying to find the Yarn Shop. Each time we asked, we were directed to the Thread Shop. Don’t get me wrong. I love fabric, but I was running out of time to find the crochet hooks. The last shop we visited, we saw sitting on the shelves some pottery bowls that were designed to hold yarn while a craftier knitted or crocheted. I had a good feeling about this shop.

The clerk was able to point out where we needed to walk to find the Unwound Yarn Shop. Success! When I walked into the store, I knew I had found yarn Nirvana. I was in heaven. Albert saw right away he would need to give me some time, so he said he’d go find some coffee.

Spirit Dolls Find Me!

And, of course, an hour later, I had bought a set of crochet hooks and knitting accessories I needed, and yes, I bought yarn, too. The items for me would go into my Christmas stocking. The clerk was winding my yarn into convenient balls when a nice looking couple came through the door.

After watching the lady find a beautiful wrap of yarn, I started a conversation. Her name was Louise and she makes spirit dolls. (Visit her site). Her husband, Matthew, joined us in our conversation and before we realized it, we had been there another hour.

It was almost one o’clock and neither of us had had lunch. We walked out and caught up with Albert. The four of us then walked over to the Six Pence Irish Pub where we enjoyed a lovely lunch until three in the afternoon. Did I mention that Louise & Matthew are wonderful people?

Before we parted, we made a commitment to connect again after the holidays. The darkness was starting to subside. The serendipitous nature of our meeting is expressed in the view that I wasn’t supposed to find the yarn shop until we could meet Louise and Matthew—Kindred spirits always!

Albert and Pam in front of Hemlock Inn.
Albert & Pam outside Hemlock Inn — See the carved owls?

Darkness Fading

Yesterday, January 16, my MAC was fixed and so now, I’m here working on my blog—darkness is slowly receding. I’m in the shadows, but I see a spot of light. I must believe!

My new rule of thumb—don’t get overly connected. Use social media to help connect, but keep it real, in person when possible. I will use my blog to talk with you, my readers, but I won’t rely on it to do what I need to do—connect with real souls!

Today, I created a 2020 Writing Schedule to blog and to begin Book 3 of The Chronicles of Eldershire. The working title of Book 3 is BELIEVE!

My challenge to You is to Keep Me Honest!

  • Write me using email. My author email is info AT pambnewberry DOT com
  • Leave comments below when I blog, if the comment option won’t work, email me!
  • Join my email list to receive my quarterly newsletters and receive a FREE eBook The Gist of It!
  • Help me stay connected with you by letting me know what you are reading, what you want to read, and check out my resources for my books, readers, and writers.

Thank you!

Writing is my passion, it’s how I make sense of the world, and it’s fun. But, without having readers like you that share your thoughts, your reactions, I wouldn’t know what I need to do to improve! Thank you for reaching out to me and supporting my writing.

Update on My Writing Journey

Thanks for reading. If you like this post and want to support it, forward it to someone who’d like it or, even better, buy them a book!

If you’re seeing this post for the first time, you can read prior posts on Pam’s Blog. To receive email notices of the next post, use the sign up form in the right column (on desktop) or below (on mobile).

To receive Pam’s Newsletter (sent out quarterly or less), join and get a FREE eBook – The Gist of It!

Write on!
Pam

This post “Hello, Darkness, My Old Friend” was first posted on Pam’s Blog on January 17, 2020. Happy Birthday to my friend, Rosa!

DarkShadow - Bk 2 COE, New Novel, Writing

DarkShadow – A New Book & Being Grateful

DarkShadow is here!

DarkShadow, Book 2 of The Chronicles of Eldershire is available on Amazon now!

Think of me as as your soul angel. I will be with you always, by your side, holding your hand. I am your spirit guide.

Mr Scruffy

The Chronicles of Eldershire - Book 2 DarkShadow cover
Book 2 DarkShadow is available in eBook and print formats. Visit Pam’s Amazon Author Page for other book details and information about Book 1 of The Chronicles of Eldershire

DarkShadow Description …

Assumption is a flaw we all have. There are times it serves us well, but taking for granted you know what is happening to you can sometimes cause you to be wrong, all because you make an assumption.

KC is suffering from headaches; some would say they might have been severe migraines. She sees things that aren’t there, hears voices, and in general, she thinks, or is it assumes, she might be going crazy. When she seeks help for her affliction, KC comes to understand assumptions can be dark and dangerous and can cast shadows on her life.

Return to the magical Land of Eldershire with Mr Scruffy, Iolair, and Gavin as they join with KC in a quest to rid Eldershire of a chilling and most despicable creature ever to walk amongst them—Nukpana Fraener.

Life is full of dark shadows. Some linger, others come when least expected. With a sense of purpose, one can overcome the dark shadows that threaten to take you away.

An unknown voice

New Characters & Old Ones Too

In book two DarkShadow, KC rejoins with old friends and develops new friendships! New characters that members of the VIP SQUAD mentioned they liked are the Lemmketeers and Vivette Chouette. These and others may be found on the Characters of Eldershire page (Caution: May contain spoilers).


The Lemmketeers

The Lemmketeers is a group of four brother lemmings.

A Lemming (small rodent) can change size at will and are dressed in an official Eldershire uniform (think Three Musketeers). Their main adornment includes an ankh and a silver sword along with a draped tabard emblazoned with the Tree of Life accented with each of their individual life colors.

The four Lemmketeers are

  • Lafayette, full name is Sir Lafayette de Marquis, embraces the color of love—royal blue accented with gold
  • Crab, full name is Sir Gareth de Claytor, embraces the color of anger—red accented with black
  • Logan, full name is Sir Logan Ó Ayrshire De Auchinleck, embraces the color of mystery—magenta accented with green
  • Tonner, full name is Sir Frederick O’ Tomhrair, the descendant of Tomer, embraces the color of energy—orange accented with yellow

Vivette Chouette

Likewise, Vivette Chouette, an owl and an old friend of another character you meet in DarkShadow, becomes a friend and companion to Mr Scruffy. After that, who knows, you may see more of Vivette in future stories. Stay tuned.


DarkShadow Formats

DarkShadow is on Amazon in print and eBook. Please let me know if you have issues or troubles acquiring your print or eBook format.

In the coming weeks, I will be working on posting a variety of posts regarding characters in The Chronicles of Eldershire along with other tidbits, such as books I’m reading, inspiration for characters, and what I’m planning to work on next. Maybe you’ll be inspired and will share what you find interesting.

I hope you are as excited about Book Two – DarkShadow as I am!

Pam

It is hoped that you are as excited about Book Two — DarkShadow as I am! In this time of expressing gratitude, I appreciate each of you and let you know how grateful I am for your support. “Thank You!” Pam said while sitting at her desk.

Thanks for reading. If you like this post and want to support it, forward it to someone who’d like it or, even better, buy them a book!

If you’re seeing this post for the first time, you can read prior posts on Pam’s Blog. To receive email notices of the next post, then sign up using the form in the right column (on desktop) or below (on mobile).

To receive Pam’s Newsletter (sent out quarterly or less), join and get a FREE eBook – The Gist of It!

Pam's Quill & Ink Bottle

Write On!
Pam


This post DarkShadow – a New Book & Being Grateful first appeared on Pam’s Blog on Tuesday, November 12, 2019.

DarkShadow - Bk 2 COE, Garden, Life, Writing

Write for Love – It is not always possible

Why do I write?

My brain is a miraculous thing. There are times I marvel at my thoughts. That’s why I write!

Today, I didn’t get to write like I wanted to do, but I did do some busy prep to help my websites stay approved and accessible.

Because of the time involved, I didn’t get to put down those thoughts that woke me at 5 a.m. this morning. But then, whoever has the chance to write their words without interruptions, they are very lucky souls.

Goals

Next week, I had a goal. It was to send out book two – DarkShadow – a work in progress – to my editor. Sadly, I haven’t gotten the last act written. Though, I know what I want to do, say, have happen, and explore.

The first fifteen pages are crafted, edited, and sent off to my writing leader for the writing retreat I am going on next week. My editor, well, she will get Acts One and Two when I go on the road. Act Three will not be finished as planned. So goes the writing life!

Writer’s Retreat

Where am I going? — Nimrod Hall. It is like the emblem of ancientness of Virginia. I am so excited and freaking scared.

How will I do? Will I fit in with the other writing gurus I will be connected with in real time? What can I offer that is important? I mean, after all, most of them are probably good writers. Me, not so much. Not even close. I’m a wanna-be writer that took it on the cuff to try to learn an elusive craft.

Oh, I’ve been traditionally published — academic publication as well as a book that was billed as a supplemental reader. The challenges I faced during the writing and publication of the supplemental reader were unbelievable. It was put on me, and my co-author friend, to market our book. We did a tremendous amount of editing and design work. That wasn’t really all bad until you realized how much of the royalties would go to the publishing company.

Self-Publishing

Having felt that pain, I realized that self-publishing was the way to go for the time on task. Why should I give 90% of my royalties to a publishing company when they didn’t even do the marketing, let alone, the editing, the design, the whatever.

So, I bit the bullet and wrote my stories my way. And, I feel good about what I’ve written. Oh, I used editors, beta readers, and I modified my stories according to feedback. Are they literary award winners? Absolutely not. I didn’t write for that goal. I wrote to tell a story. Did I succeed? I hope so, but only my readers will tell me. Some have, some haven’t.

Now, I’m writing my second series, and I find that I am just as weak-kneed as when I started my first book. I’m scared. I’m alone. And, I hope that my writing reaches someone. That is the goal. That I touch someone’s soul in that special way. That he or she will want to read more of my writings.

Will I succeed? I pray so. I’ll only know when the reader lets me know. Those moments are rare, but I cherish each one!

Motto – Write!

Write on! That is the motto! Live strong and prosper is the reward!

Thanks for reading. If you like this post and want to support it, forward it to someone who’d like it or, even better, buy them a book!

If you’re seeing this post for the first time, you can read prior posts on Pam’s Blog. To receive email notices of the next post, then sign up using the form in the right column (or if you are on mobile, scroll down until you see that sign-up form). If that fails, write me, I’ll get ya signed up.

To receive Pam’s Newsletter (sent out quarterly or less), join and get a FREE eBook – The Gist of It!

Until next time, I am
Pam

Pam in her garden.
Fun Image: Pam in her garden enjoying a break!

The blog post “Write for Love” was first posted on Pam’s Blog on July 12, 2019.