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Saturday, April 20, 2024

Cheating Yourself

 Lavender and one of my sculptures

 For Saturday's blog, I had in mind writing about my second paranormal, fantasy romance. Something else came up though that I felt demanded more attention. 

For some time there has been concern over what AI will mean for our culture. I think Stephen Hawking, before he died, expressed concern over it being destructive for mankind. I had my doubts as a machine can be destroyed if that is so desired. What about when it's not? What about when some feel they can profit from Artificial Intelligence? Teachers right now have to express concern whether their students wrote the essays they submitted. Writers worry about books created by ChatGPT, relatively new to the game, flooding the market and kicking human authors to the curb.

Well, the genii is out of the bottle and AI is here whether some like it or not. I have heard some authors say it does a better job writing their blurbs than they can do-- and faster. 

For a long time, people have used computers to check spelling or find out if a word was used too many times. That's not the same as a whole book written by a computer and submitted under someone's name to earn money or maybe even fame. What do we do about that?

One thing to realize, if someone desires to be a creative person, I believe that using AI for an essay or a book is cheating themselves of the genuine creative experience. For students, learning to research and then writng an essay expands their abilities. To use AI instead is cheating themselves as well as the system.

As a writer myself, I don't worry about it as I think that human emotions and plots with the kinds of twists that don't come from a formula, will always satisfy more than something generated out of a system that only knows rules. 

At my age, I don't depend on my writing to provide a family's income. Lucky me. I can write for joy, which I do, and recognize that formula writing, which is what AI can do, won't do what I do. I also recognize that many readers are happy with formula writing. It's dependable at least. That's been true for a long time, since in the 1800s, readers could grab those cheap dime novels and get excitement even if it's repetitive.

Part of what decided me to write a blog about AI, where I provide no answers, is believing when we know what something is, what feeds our souls or just passes time, that will help us find meaningful material to read. Maybe it won't be my books, lol but there are plenty of good authors out there, who are writing from their souls. Just keep in mind what passes time doesn't always benefit the writer or the reader.

I decided with a kind of dark topic here, I'd have some of our wonderful flower pictures from spring, something that does feed my soul. 

Check out this link for more thinking on AI and where it's taking us.

Writer's Digest what is yet to come with AI

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Sky Daughter -- why this book?



Having written last week about mysticism vs. science, I thought I'd write a bit about my experience with mysticism. It's not so much direct although there are some dreams that I can't explain. For each of the books in what I regard as a mystical series, I did a lot of research. Some by talking to people, who have experienced things I have not, and some with what I've read through searches.

The first book I wrote about a mystical possibility has much about the human elements on how they can lose touch with reality with a desire for power. When I wrote Sky Daughter, I debated how realistic to make the 'other' side. There were different ways to proceed, but eventually I knew the answer for making this book as real as I could. 

Sky Daughter, with its romance, adventure, and mysticism  is available on Amazon:


It was in the 1990s when I first wrote this story with no interest at the time in finding a publisher. I wrote a lot back then for the pure joy of putting together characters with plots and seeing how it all worked out. Some years later, along came the option of self-publishing as an independent author and it was one of the books I reworked to bring out for readers who might share my interests in stories.

Some of the inspiration for the story came from trip we had made to Montana, sleeping in our Astro van. I had the radio on as we entered Idaho on our way home and a talk program came on. It eventually found its way into a powerful part of the plot-- not the actual speaker but the ideas. I had spent some time in various parts of Idaho and it became the perfect setting for an imaginary town that was isolated from much of the world. 

As for the rest of the story, I did create a trailer that depicts some of what came together. Such videos are fun for me to create. Check it out. Images bought from CanStock, Deposit Photos, Vikkas, or my own photos. Music I had purchased from Jewel Beat, which unfortunately doesn't still exist. Glad I bought their music when I did.

Sky Daughter Trailer

Saturday, April 06, 2024

Science vs Mysticism OR is it the other way around?

I've looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It's cloud illusions I recall
I really don't know clouds at all. 

Joni Mitchell

Mankind, no matter what the ethnicity or even gender, has always tried to control what is around them. This began very early with mystical powers to protect from evil or even nature in the form of predatory animals or a nature out of control (in human minds). Today, there is still a conflict between the two ways of empowerment... or hopeful empowerment. I almost added nature to the title but then realized it'd take a book to explore all the elements from the beginning or even for today.

Why write about this? Because I woke up one morning last week thinking about it. On a simpler scale than major scientific achievements but instead thinking how life, surrounded by nature, seems so basic and simple. Eating from nature. Enjoying time in nature. And finally, dust to dust. But what about the magical side of life where so many people believe in a god who will fix whatever went wrong, who directs their choices for good. 

Some think of magic as all about a set of rituals possibly designed by a shaman or even witches. They don't recognize religious rituals or traditions as the same thing. It's a way of giving up power in one sense but also of gaining power as that mystical being will make it all better without much sacrifice. Of course, at one time, it took sacrifice. Now, it's more about physically better or worse if you don't follow the directions.

As for science today, well, it improves our lives in many ways, like electricity. It enables travel in ways earlier generations could only achieve if wealthy. But the word science is often used in other ways, to control by projections. I am married to a scientist and he constantly looks for answers  to all kinds of problems, how things work,even when now retired... not that scientists ever retire in my experience. 

For many people today, science is "the god". It will resolve problems before we even knew they were there. The word science is used by those who seek control over human behavior and often based on projections more than pure science which is observable and repeatable, like our electricity. If the word science is used all must bow before the wisdom-- even when it's later proven to not be true. 

As for mysticism, well, it depends on how it's used. Many consider witches to be evil, but the creed of witches is what they do will come back three times; so do good. Whether all who do spells think that way, well, who knows. If there is power in those spells, the ones believing in a god also have an answer-- the devil. Not that we have good and evil within us depending on how we use it, but some spiritual being with only evil intent. 

So, what do I have faith in? I am no mystic, have never done spells unless prayer can be considered one. I am also not a scientist. I am just one who questions and have since being a child. Too many questions I've been told. Oh well, not likely to change now... 

Saturday, March 30, 2024

Spring in my part of the world.


Part of the reason I have been reluctant to post my opinions regarding recent political action in my country, the US, is that people read here from around the world. Are they interested in political issues from other countries? Maybe they are, since the US often can influence problems for other nations. I don't really know, which is why I have looked for perspective on what readers like to read.

Personally, I read political blogs and sometimes get angry at what I read as I think the opinions are very biased. I don't generally comment there what I think as I feel-- well, it's their blog. Not everyone wants a conversation.

On the other hand, I do enjoy hearing what others think, even when it irks me. I do not believe we all need to agree. Sometimes when we see things differently, we just agree to disagree.

When we vote in a government election, we often don't particularly like the outcome, but respect for it is part of living in a Republic, which elects  representatives to make important decisions. If we don't like the outcome, work harder next time to see someone we would prefer.

Recently when I was watching a podcast interview, which was mostly liberal, I was surprised when the guest, a black rapper, said something I thought was very astute. He was being pressured to say he'd vote for the interviewer's choice. He refused and would not say for whom he would vote and instead said he votes policy over person. I really like that as I've often said I vote issues (sometimes believing what I should not have) and I have to balance the most important ones to me as I am not a "one issue" voter.

Calling myself an independent voter (unaffiliated in some states), I never agree with all of one side of the partisan divide completely. I have strong opinions but they just don't all totally fit into either political party. I try to read a variety of opinions on what I consider important as again reading only one side seems unlikely to know enough about what should be done. Some call that wishy-washy. but I see it as logical. Reading a differing viewpoint won't automatically change my mind but it at least lets me understand good people can see things differently based on many reasons.

Anyway, I hope I continue to have readers from around the world. I think that is healthy as we are not enemies or all friends. We are humans with often the same needs but different ways of getting there.

Saturday, March 23, 2024

Seeking Perspective

  first sunset of spring
The perspective I am seeking is for this blog. When I began blogging, readers commented. I made friends that way. Currently whether the blog gets 500 readers or 50 and both can happen as well as thousand or more, few comments happen. 

There are possible reasons for that. Some have let me know that they tried to comment, and it was rejected. I also know that others come in from phones where making comments might be more difficult. Some may simply have no interest in commenting. Whatever the case, it has been hard for me to know what people want or do not want in this blog. 

If I wrote a mainly journal type blog, I would feel the negative should be along with the positive. I do not but enjoy reading those types of blogs, like online diaries (which I am sure leave out a lot). 

My blog is about ideas, which are my ideas, but I think about many things that are around the world for their impact. I have tried to keep that mostly positive. We have enough that depresses us without my adding it here.

When I do that, however, it leaves out a LOT of what I think, my ideas about what is happening in the world and in my own country. Might be that I am wrong,and others would like to hear my take on what I have read- even when it's depressing.


As a possible way to figure this out, Ranch Boss (who does all my techie stuff) learned how to put a like/dislike button on this blog. It has to be along side due to the way blogger works, and it is set at the top of the column.

What I would appreciate is if those who come here would read the current post and then go back up and click like or dislike. I will not know who you are as we kept this simple without email addresses, after all, why would I want that? I wouldn't email anyone whether they liked that I wrote or did not.

So, for those who don't like to comment would simply click on their preference for that day's blog, it would help me. It can be done again the next time a reader comes, and I will keep track of preferences as my way of seeking perspective as a writer. I might still write things that have proven unpopular, but at least I'll know *s*

Saturday, March 16, 2024

More than you might think

Image we photographed at the Arizona State Museum

When I wrote the original eight Arizona historical romances, they came widely spread apart in years, some closer to one story or another, but not ever together even though they share characters.

Forced to re-edit them, I did it over a year, which meant I saw elements in them that fit together in a cohesive sense. There are, of course, the themes, but there were other aspects that were a key part of what made them work for me and hopefully for readers.

One of those big elements was how important family was in all the books. Now, that can be in a negative sense, with parenting fails, but also in a positive on where family helped everything to work for the characters. 

Looking then at my Oregon historical romances and I saw the same importance of family as key to the stories.

Some might think romances are all about a couple, but that's not the case with  the best stories out there where it's family, friends, couple, and yes, setting that make the stories work.

Maybe, I put that in those books because I've felt family is important in my life, that who my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and even ancestors, which I might never have known, were part of how I became who I am.

But, that led me to look at my own contemporary romances. There I see less of the family element and more of strong friendships, which have also been important in my life. I think that with families so often apart over jobs or even personality elements, modern Americans may rely more on strong friendships, which can be as close as blood kin. 

What this led me to recognize in the books I have written, how much I consider community, in one form or another, as key to our satisfactory personal life. 

When I put something in my books, it's because I see it as important as something that goes beyond the romance, which is, of course, central, to the rest of what life is about. 

Friday, March 08, 2024

EMBRACING THE DREAM -- new release

 Based on my own experiences, one of the difficulties of writing any kind of promo for a coming book, comes down to what do you reveal that interests a future reader and what will give away secrets readers want to discover for themselves? This is multiplied when it is a series.

Embracing the Dream has a continuing cast of characters, including the hero and heroine; but stands alone if a reader doesn't care for series stories. Because it is a novel, it has a lot of complexity -- my favorite kinds to write. It, more than some others, presents challenges to not give way what should be discovered -- the real fun of reading.


Have you ever had a dream that seems beyond your reach? Well, that's Grace, who fell in love with Rafe when she was a girl. She could never have him as he was married and even after his marriage imploded, he still saw her as too young. Reluctantly, going off to the university, she took control of the wealth she inherited and tried to make a life for herself.

Still, she can't let go of that dream and when she learned he had returned from fighting as a Rough Rider in the Spanish American War, she put aside everything else to head back to Tucson. 

Rafe, a one time deputy to her father, had come to Tucson to bring Grace home to her family. Everything falls apart as Rafe’s ex-wife is murdered, his son kidnapped and Rafe accused. As a Yaqui, life isn’t easy for Rafe in Tucson. It’s about to get a lot harder. 

From then on, the story moves north out of Tucson as Rafe wants to find his son with Grace determined to help him-- whether he wants that or not.  The rugged Central Arizona country is filled with many dangers. Rafe’s dad had trained him in back country Indian trails. With action, romance and the love of family, the story moves to a violent conclusion back in Tucson.

You can find Embracing the Dream as an eBook at


and elsewhere at: