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Books Conventions Laurel on Life Podcast

1st Jigsaw Puzzle International Convention!

Meet the JPiC Founders!

Find out all about this amazing premiere event from its founders, Karine Déry and Alex Ouaknine!
Audio only version of my interview with Karine Déry and Alex Ouaknine!

Show Notes:

  • how many people are currently JPiC Club members?
  • How was the idea for this convention born?
  • What kind of programs do you plan to have in Las Vegas? A typical day for a convention attendee . . .
  • Logistics question for those who travel: will there be a holding place at the LVCC for people to send their displays/puzzle collections/books?
  •  Who are your commercial sponsors / speakers / panelists so far?
  • Tell me about the link between jigsaw puzzle pieces and AUTISM and controversy over its use as a symbol (infinite symbol / butterfly . . . )
  • Which organizations will be at the convention in support of the Autism community?
  • What do each of you get from assembling jigsaw puzzles?
  • What about the pandemic? Is there a plan B for the convention (virtual?)
  • How can people find out more about JPiC?
Karine taking a well-deserved rest on top of her 6,000-piece Jigsaw Puzzle!

Jigsaw Puzzle Organizations mentioned by Anne Williams:

  • Association for Games & Puzzles International (AGPI)   www.gamesandpuzzles.org   their next convention is May 2022 in VA
  • Puzzle Parley,   www.puzzleparley.org    next convention is July 22 – 25, 2022 in Sturbridge, MA  (focus on wood jigsaws) . . . list of OVER 80 wooden puzzle makers!
  • Benevolent Confraternity of Dissectologists (BCD)    www.bcd.co.uk   has many meetings in UK each year.

More Links:

https://jpic.club/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/jigsawpuzzleinternationalconvention/https://www.pinterest.com/jpic2022/_created/https://twitter.com/JPiCclub

Meanwhile, I’m working on a new science fiction series and building puzzles!
(Photo Credit: Elise Sunday)

Find my other work here!

Please subscribe to Alligator Preserves on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts, and tell your friends about it! I’d love it if you “liked” the episodes you listen to, and I’d love it even more if you’d post a quick comment!

Categories
Books Laurel on Life

What Can We Control?

Not much, but maybe . . . enough.

“Raindrops on Roses” and Wildfires in Forests…

That is not my favorite song this year. But while I’m saddened by the flash floods, the mud slides, the fires raging out of control, the ongoing political turmoil, the conspiracy theories, the persistent pandemic, I’m reminded that the radius to the edge of my circle of influence remains a stone’s throw away. As I stand in the center of my circle, I can choose either to complain, to feel trapped, helpless, and defeated . . . or to feel inspired to put more effort into those things within my ability to control, if only slightly.

  • I cannot control the weather.
  • I cannot control our government.
  • I cannot control those with opinions contrary to mine.
  • I cannot control this dastardly virus.
  • I can make the area around our home safer, I can minimize my carbon footprint, and I can remember I won’t melt in the rain (even on my witchiest of days!).
  • I can research issues and candidates intelligently and exercise my right to vote.
  • I can choose not to engage with those on social media platforms whose goals are to spread unsubstantiated falsehoods and provoke hatred, fear, and anger. 
  • I can follow the guidelines recommended by legitimate professionals to keep myself healthy and to encourage others to do the same.

I’ve been working for hours in our garden and around our home recently because the unusual amount of rain this year where we live has caused an explosion of weeds–some lovely, most not so. How I wish I could wave my witchy wand and send the downpours to surrounding fires. 

Here’s my latest YouTube video in which I share our garden and the magnificent efforts my husband invested to create the perfect place for veggies to conquer weeds (with help, of course)! Dirty Hoe Days!

I choose to be inspired. How about you?

🙂

Meanwhile, I’m working on a new science fiction series! (Photo Credit: Elise Sunday)

Find my other work here!

Please subscribe to Alligator Preserves on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts, and tell your friends about it! I’d love it if you “liked” the episodes you listen to, and I’d love it even more if you’d post a quick comment!

Categories
Laurel on Life Writing

“A Catwalk to Nowhere”

in the Tiferet Journal!

Spring/Summer 2021 Edition of Tiferet Journal
  • Delighted to have my essay “A Catwalk to Nowhere” published in the Spring/Summer 2021 Edition of Tiferet Journal! I hope you’ll consider subscribing to this literary journal!
  • Click here to check it out!
Meanwhile, I’m working on a new science fiction series! (Photo Credit: Elise Sunday)

Find my other work here!

Please subscribe to Alligator Preserves on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts, and tell your friends about it! I’d love it if you “liked” the episodes you listen to, and I’d love it even more if you’d post a quick comment!

Categories
Author Interview Books Writing

Meet Author/Publisher Kelly Lynn Colby!

Enjoy this lively visit with talented author/publisher Kelly Lynn Colby!
“Audio only” version of our visit (click above)!

Show Notes with Links:

Kelly’s page-turner: The Collector
Meanwhile, I’m working on a new science fiction series! (Photo Credit: Elise Sunday)

Find my other work here!

Please subscribe to Alligator Preserves on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts, and tell your friends about it! I’d love it if you “liked” the episodes you listen to, and I’d love it even more if you’d post a quick comment!

Categories
Laurel on Life

Lions and Lambs

March comes in like a . . . 

https://www.farmersalmanac.com/the-truth-behind-in-like-a-lion-out-like-a-lamb-2867 ]

I wanted to make more of the lion and lamb juxtaposition this month by sharing a Bible quote many of us “remember,” but guess what I discovered! We misremembered, or perhaps were misinformed. ‘Twas not the lion that snuggled up with the lamb, but rather, “The [big bad] wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. – Isaiah 11:6 KJV“–I found this correction on several sites including the William Branham Historical Research page. 

In any case, the idea that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb is strictly secular, although Jesus and astrology are mentioned in this piece about folk wisdom in The Paris Review (do check out the gorgeous painting in this article).

https://www.farmersalmanac.com/the-truth-behind-in-like-a-lion-out-like-a-lamb-2867 ]

Let’s blame our misremembering on several things: aging, folklore, and Daylight Saving Time. Boy, do I hate that lost hour. Isn’t it about time to feed this outdated practice to the lions?

By the way, my friend John Stewart shared his favorite comment about the lion/lamb/kid “actual” quotation: “The leopard may lie down with the kid, but the kid won’t get much sleep.”

HA! Indeed!

We did experience a lionish day here in Colorado this weekend, which was not surprising–or shouldn’t have been a surprise to anyone–and I did something I haven’t done in a very long time. I closed my computer, snuggled on my couch under a fuzzy blanket, and read for hours. I also made a discovery. Truman Capote is why I haven’t been discovered yet as an author. Yes, I’ll blame it all on him. How had I never read Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Three Stories before this weekend? It’s been in my book collection for decades! How am I supposed to compete with him?

It’s just not fair. What film producers do with works of art is also unfair. After reading the plot of the 1961 film starring Audrey Hepburn, I don’t think I want to watch it. If you’ve only seen the movie, I would strongly suggest you read Capote’s original.

And now, I’ll step off my soapbox and greet The Ides of March with enthusiasm! The sun is shining, the snow is melting, and wait! Are those lambs bleating in the distance?

(check out my catch-up video from the past few months–about 18 minutes long–here: What Have YOU Been Up To These Past Several Months?)

Meanwhile, I’m working on a new science fiction series! (Photo Credit: Elise Sunday)

Find my other work here!

Please subscribe to Alligator Preserves on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts, and tell your friends about it! I’d love it if you “liked” the episodes you listen to, and I’d love it even more if you’d post a quick comment!

🙂
Laurel

Categories
Author Interview Books

Kathleen Kaska Knows Sherlock Holmes!

Award-winning author Kathleen Kaska entertains me with Sherlock Holmes trivia and updates on several other works in progress!
Audio-only version of my visit with Kathleen Kaska!

Show Notes with Links:

  • Kathleen Kaska returns for an interview about her latest release: The Sherlock Holmes Quiz Book
  • She talks about her life as a multi-genre author
  • Here’s a link to our visit from February 2019 when we discussed her awesome book A Two Horse Town: https://youtu.be/wkqtbNjBDcM
  • She has three books of “triviography” on her favorite authors and characters: Agatha Christie, Alfred Hitchcock, and Sherlock Holmes (the character!)
  • Kathleen discusses her research methods and her biggest challenge
  • She discusses what makes Sherlock Holmes seem so “real,” and the idea that his character is portrayed with an imbalance between logic and emotion
  • The many “Hollywood Holmes” characters and her favorite
  • We discuss fascinating facts about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and what he has in common with Kathleen
  • Kathleen talks about animal rights activism and the remarkable book she wrote about “The Man Who Saved the Whooping Crane,” and I tell her about my ducks
  • She gives shout-outs tells us about several books currently in progress and the Sherlock Holmes society she established ten years ago
The author with her latest release

Discover more about author Kathleen Kaska, follow her, and order her books here:

Cheers to you, author Kathleen Kaska! Brava!!!
Meanwhile, I’m working on a new science fiction series! (Photo Credit: Elise Sunday)

Find my other work here!

Please subscribe to Alligator Preserves on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts, and tell your friends about it! I’d love it if you “liked” the episodes you listen to, and I’d love it even more if you’d post a quick comment!

?
Laurel

Categories
Laurel on Life

Feb ruuu ary!

Do Not Rue the Month!

 February is a month during which we honor Black History and consume too many “I love you, here’s a box of candy” chocolates. It’s the shortest month, even in a Leap Year. In some geographic locations, it’s the tipping-point month between winter and spring. It’s the month in which New Year’s resolutions are conveniently forgotten. It’s the month with the weird ‘r’ we rarely pronounce, and if we do, we feel just a bit pretentious.

Feb ruuuuuuuuuu ary!

According to a post in The Conversation, “While January takes its name from Janus, the Roman god of beginnings and endings, February comes from the word februum (purification) and februa, the rites or instruments used for purification. These formed part of preparations for the coming of Spring in the northern hemisphere.” Click on The Conversation link to discover more bizarre rituals we never learned about in grade school!

Spring is coming. As I look out onto the disaster of a yard slowly sluffing off snow–the beautiful sugary coating that has heretofore hidden months of duck detritus–my thoughts take me to the garden beyond. Mike has great plans for our garden this year: more raised beds, an efficient watering system, trellises, and a place to sit while our ducks pluck bugs and weeds. I’m excited. Yes, there will be lots of work to do before we can reap our rewards, but there is joy in the planning and the anticipation.  

Spring is in the air, and so is hopefulness. The planet has endured a year like no other, and there are signs of healing. I hope this newsletter finds you prepared to continue the vigilance needed to stop the spread of the persistent pandemic, and even more prepared to welcome the surprises that spring will soon reveal (soooooo much duck “stuff” under our snow)! I hope you’ve found ways to learn new things, read more books, and reevaluate how you will choose to fill your days. 

And PLEASE (as always) post some positive reviews on Amazon for authors of books you’ve enjoyed, and tell your friends about them!

Please subscribe to my mid-monthly newsletter for more updates on literary events and news from other authors!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Hugs and kisses (but only with a mask)!
I’m working on a new science fiction series! (Photo Credit: Elise Sunday)

Find my other work here!

Please subscribe to Alligator Preserves on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts, and tell your friends about it! I’d love it if you “liked” the episodes you listen to, and I’d love it even more if you’d post a quick comment!

🙂
Laurel

Categories
Books Writing

A Waterwight Christmas: Beyond Book III

A new take on a story old as time!

I hope you might listen to this special Christmas story!

With Christmas Eve just a week and a day away, I decided to listen to the story I wrote a year ago about what Christmas day might be like in the aftermath of events in my Waterwight trilogy. It was a fun way to bring back favorite characters from the series . . . and I discovered that I missed them! Spoiler alert–if you listen, you will discover some plot details.

To prevent spoilers, you may want to read the series first! It’s available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle versions, and Book I is available in audiobook with narrator Sandra Murphy.

We’ve almost made it to 2021. Hang in there, my friends.

I’m working on a new science fiction series! (Photo Credit: Elise Sunday)

Find my other work here!

Please subscribe to Alligator Preserves on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts, and tell your friends about it! I’d love it if you “liked” the episodes you listen to, and I’d love it even more if you’d post a quick comment!

Categories
Books Laurel on Life

Do You TikTok Too?

I may have lost my mind!

Yup. I’ve gone and done it.

Don’t judge me! Or do. It’s all okay. As this most insane year comes to an end, my goal is to find something beautiful and something to make me laugh every day. If I can make you laugh . . . or smile . . . too, then what I’ve done was worth doing!

Enjoy my duck wrangling adventures. I even talk about them in my latest book collaboration Peace by Piece: 10 Lessons from a Jigsaw Puzzle!

Peace by Piece: 10 Lessons from a Jigsaw Puzzle!

“Pair it” with a real jigsaw puzzle for a holiday gift this year! It’s filled with humor and life lessons and puzzle lore and, you know it, ducks!

We’ve almost made it to 2021. Hang in there, my friends.

Hope you all have a “5-egg day” today!

Find my other work here!

Please subscribe to Alligator Preserves on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts, and tell your friends about it! I’d love it if you “liked” the episodes you listen to, and I’d love it even more if you’d post a quick comment!

Categories
Books Laurel on Life

Read a Book!

or two or three or . . .

Author Laurel McHargue is working on a new science fiction series!
(Photo Credit: Elise Sunday)

Check out the many multi-genre offerings from award-winning author Laurel McHargue HERE!

If you enjoy an author’s work, would you let them know by taking a few minutes to leave a review? Positive reviews on Amazon and Goodreads are important…and so very appreciated…by indie authors (like me)! Thank you!

In honor of those looking for a quick, fun, unique “escape” this holiday season, co-authors Laurel McHargue and Nadine Collier are offering their book Peace by Piece: 10 Lessons from a Jigsaw Puzzle! as a free Kindle download from November 25 through November 29. They hope you will enjoy this jigsaw-inspired self-help book and will find humor and helpful suggestions for ways to cope with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. (If you enjoy this free gift, please share with a friend and post a quick review on Amazon!)

Peace by Piece: 10 Lessons from a Jigsaw Puzzle! (available SOON in audiobook!)
Happy Thanksgiving!

Find my other work here!

Please subscribe to Alligator Preserves on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts, and tell your friends about it! I’d love it if you “liked” the episodes you listen to, and I’d love it even more if you’d post a quick comment!