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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Revving Up The Creativity

I used to cook quite a bit but that cooking was a little different.  Our dog ate home not commercial - well balanced, scrutinized by a vet, but home cooked just the same.  Since Rourke passed after a happy fifteen years, I haven't cooked much of anything, my husband is a great cook so I eat well.  But even though I don't cook, or didn't - we're not sure how this is going to go, don't get me wrong, I do other things, like - clean the house - yuck.  Ok and a bunch of other stuff I won't bore anyone with.  But none of it including and especially, the cleaning, take any creativity and sometimes you need something creative that isn't writing fiction just to get back to the writing with fresh enthusiasm.

So today I had the urge to cook.  It was time to get down to basics and I'm not being literal here.  I hauled out my well-worn copy of a Betty Crocker recipe book that a friend gave me for my nineteenth birthday - and no, I'm not going to say how long ago that was.  But I will say it's holding together nicely all things considered.  So with book on the counter, I turned to a blast from the past, a one skillet recipe - a past favourite - not favourite to eat, although it will suffice, favourite to cook - translation, relatively easy.

Then, I ran into a problem, the bluetooth wasn't working.  I had to listen to my music through the speakers of my phone.  I know, I could have fiddled and fixed it but my tomato sauce was already in one hand and the music is important.  When I cook, I listen to music and yes, I'll admit it, I dance.  To be fair, I'm alone in the kitchen, there's no one to be traumatized by me waving a wooden spoon in the air or even me dancing out of synch although I swear I'm completely in step.  Yes, stay clear of the kitchen when I'm cooking, you might be whacked with a wooden spoon while I'm doing a spin - accidentally, of course.

Back to the cooking, when the majority of your creativity is pored into writing the latest story, the fourth and last in my Al-Nassar brothers' series,  it's refreshing to do something else that doesn't involve writing to rejuvenate and breathe new fire into your story.  Now after making a batch of skillet spaghetti - one of my specialties and no, in case you were wondering - restaurants will not be knocking on my door to get that well and time-worn recipe.  But they won't go away hungry and they will appreciate the glass of wine
that came with that dish.  That is provided they agreed to stay and give an extra hand with the mess that followed.

Cooking, knitting, painting - what sparks your creativity?

Ryshia






Monday, July 11, 2016

They're In The Mail

A reprieve in the postal situation in Canada that was threatening a mail shutdown, gave me enough wiggle room to get the signed books off to Goodreads winners this morning.  I believe the man having trouble with the photocopier was decidedly frustrated with the amount of time the transaction was taking.  But he'd already taken a fair amount of the clerk's time before my arrival and she seemed prepared to ignore him.  Meanwhile, he kept shooting frustrated looks our way, getting closer, scowling borrowing and not returning the stapler - which took more time as the clerk hunted for it.  Scowling some more, moving back and forth.  All, it seemed in a bid to get some help.  But it appeared the clerk was determined to remain focused on my mailout.  So there wasn't much I could do.  And with ten
packages all heading off to different corners of the world, it was taking a bit of time but I'd done everything I could to speed things up, the labels were written up and the packages organized as much as I could, by region.   But it all ended well, another clerk stepped in to give more assistance to the inexperienced photocopier and twenty minutes later - I can safely say the books are in the mail!

Later in the day, an afternoon jaunt headed straight into a prairie storm on a drive into the country just outside the city.  It's  the kind I remember as a child always capped off a series of hot summer days.  Recently, our summers have been up and down, hot one day, warmish the next.  But this storm came on like we'd had 30 C for a week, thunder that made me jump, and blinding rain and hail.

The storm started without much warning and ended in true prairie fashion, the air cool with the remains of the hail and everything
looking fresh and shiny.

Meantime, it's mailing list Monday over on Facebook's Harlequin Intrigue site.  My newsletter, The Walkabout is featured.  If you want to be the first to hear my book news or have access to my contests that might not be featured elsewhere, sign up now.  I'm thinking of another contest - specifically for the newsletter crowd.  Vintage anyone?  Don't miss out - The direct link is:  The Walkabout.  


Ryshia
www.ryshiakennie.com



Sunday, July 10, 2016

Timing is Everything

This week my timing was incredibly off.  A contest I had running on Goodreads ended at the same time that Canada Post labour negotiations appeared to hit the rockiest ever - lockout, strike were words hot in the air - oh my, what is an author to do.  I hope everything works out fairly for both sides but in the meantime I have a pile of signed books that need to get in the mail and start making their way to a few cool sounding spots in the world.

So what to to do?  I'd sat on my hands for as long as I could and on FridayI heard what could only be called, a miracle!  The union proposed a cool down period - 30 days, more than enough time, if I'm first in line at the post office on Monday, to get my books jaunting across the globe and reaching their destinations before everything again threatens to shut down.

But then, you guessed it - the  "but only if" clause kicked in and not everyone's happy.  Now I don't know if there will be mail on Monday or if the mail in Canada just ground to a halt.  My fingers are crossed for the former.  But - no worries, all you winners of Suspect Witness and you know who you are, if the post office doesn't come through, this author has decided to get creative.

Who said travel had to be a long trip.  This time, a day trip, a slip over the border and a visit with the United States Postal Service in a little Montana town not too far from home should do the trick.  A win all around, I get a jaunt, short - so no suitcase needed, and the contest winners get their books.  Not sure what customs is going to say about this when they ask the reason for the trip...sigh.  

Surely they'll agree - Problem solved - almost...  Still, fingers crossed that Monday's news makes this week's proposed trek null and void.

Ryshia

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Suspect Witness - Giveaway

Check out my latest contest at Goodreads - June 20 - July 4.  You could win one of ten signed Suspect Witness with matching bookmark - plus a special little gift tucked in with each book.  Check it out here:







 
 


    Goodreads Book Giveaway
 

   

        Suspect Witness by Ryshia Kennie
   

   

     


          Suspect Witness
     
     


          by Ryshia Kennie
     

     

         
            Giveaway ends July 04, 2016.
         
         
            See the giveaway details
            at Goodreads.
         
     
   
   



    Enter Giveaway



Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Fitness & Exercise Motivation

Fitness & Exercise Motivation
by James Atkinson

“Fitness & Exercise Motivation” begins with a bang as it opens on a classic demotivating day - cold, grey and rainy.  It’s the type of day that is so dreary that it can easily make you want to stay, if not in bed, at least indoors.  But that isn’t where the book takes you, instead it shows you what you can and will do if you want to succeed at getting fit.

The latest on fitness from fitness guru James Atkinson, is a surprise in that it’s not so much about how to become fit as it is about how to acquire the motivation needed to become fit. He doesn’t pull any punches as, with touches of humor, he leads us along the path of mental training, the key to success.

A certified fitness coach, trainer and bodybuilder, the author knows what he’s talking about when he discusses the trials of establishing a fitness program. With powerful examples taken from his own experiences in the military and body building, he gives vivid examples of how mindset can make or break fitness goals.

Well worth a read to get motivated or just keep on hand to reread at the end of a week long training session to keep yourself motivated for the next.


Ryshia








Note to all you readers:  If you like to review the occasional book yourself, check out this week's Choosy Choosy Bookworm link and then scroll down to my books, Suspect Witness  and Legacy of Fear.  Both books are available for a short time in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Every Life Is a Story

Today, I went for a bike ride along the bike path that winds through city following the path of Wascana Creek.  It's rather like being in the country when you're still in the city.  The  bullrushes crowd along the shore of the creek and birds perch on stalks of plants I can't identify.  The sky is that crystal clear blue that prairie skies are known for.  I pass a couple of women chatting as they walk their dogs, both of them wearing matching pink harnesses - the dogs that is.

The path winds along, I pass another biker and two joggers before I hit the hill that leads to the overpass, taking me over the road that rings around the city.  A semi passes and reminds me that all that nature I just left was still part of the city.

The path leads on and just across the road is the cemetery.  It's a place where my dad, grandparents and a few aunts and uncles now rest.  It's also a place that holds so many stories.  
There are sad stories here, heartbreakers like the cluster of baby graves.  But there's also lives well worn, savoured and enjoyed before a day was called.  There's the couple that were 102 and 101 when they called it a day.  There's the husband who died in 1965 and the wife who waited fifty years after that to join him.  There's the grown daughter who's name is inscribed between that of her parents' and beneath her name is something else, an image of a dog.  I'm not sure if the dog was quietly buried there as well, I like to imagine he might have been.  A lovely tribute even if a major infraction of cemetery rules.

I walk between a row of headstones, pushing my bike along, making sure that I'm the required distance from the headstones so, as my mother used to say, I don't step on anyone's feet.

In an older section, there's headstones that have been there so long that age and time has begun to dull the inscriptions.  And then there there's the imaginative inscriptions:

"He hit a home run."
"Somewhere my love."


There are secrets hidden here, some of them buried forever and maybe too dark to ever be told.  And others are just waiting to tell their story.  The stories are told in the cryptic words on a headstone, some say not a whole lot and others describe a life.

The graves are a reminder that every life has it's own unique story and oddly, there's inspiration in that.

Ryshia