Snow: Be Careful What You Wish For

I couldn’t wait for snow. My favorite season is Fall followed by Spring, and 2017 Indian Summer went on for weeks. So when the first snow fell I celebrated.

IMG_1123Days later and shoveling the driveway twice, I’m ready for Spring.

My Sheltie and I walk in the dark…

IMG_1136.jpg

this type of dog breed adheres to a schedule and she refuses to adapt to daylight savings time, which means we slip and slide along the crisp snow covered sidewalks and streets.

Spring (i.e. April) I await your freshness and warm sunny days.

Fisherman sailboats 11.24.13. John's Pass FL

Advertisements

Seasonal Meaning

IMG_1783

I love to place words in an order to make a story come alive and having a sweet-happy-ending gives the tale a happy-happy-joy-joy feeling to the reader. The best time to market my books is during the holiday season, but the days are filled with friends, work events and family. As a result forgiveness is the theme for my seasonal blog.

I forgive my friends and myself for not being a good friend to the people from my past life…distance does not make the heart grow fonder. How about you? Do you have friends you’ve lost contact with and this season want to reconnect? Facebook may make it seem quick and easy, but face-to-face is more important-right?

Work events are what they are-I like to dress in evening/formal garments and chat with strangers. I hope the new acquaintances forgive me for not listening to their blah blah blah while I create new characters by using their behaviors and sometimes-odd physical anomalies.

Family, whew this is a deep well and  I don’t want to expose all of my vulnerabilities. My father and I are close; he was my mentor, guardian, teacher, confidant, and stable platform that allowed me to grow as an individual. I recently learned my siblings  might not have had the same perception of our family as I do. I’m not sure how to describe the heartbreaking lack of familial connection over the years. I guess I’ll just say I forgive them.

Happy holidays to all and to all a forgiving new year!

 

Book Signing for the Introvert

Hi all,

Whew, tomorrow is my book signing at the Allen County Library.  My nature is to stand in the middle of the crowd watching how people interact and, of course, to create stories from those observations…but as an author I need to market.  Yeah, I know, the dreaded market word (to some not all).

For the past ten years my cheeks heat, my stomach rumbles and my heart pounds at a rate I should be fainting, but I stand or sit and try to sell my books. I love to write which entails merchandising. Most of all I love talking to fans about books, my books especially, including plots, characters and future stories.

If you’re in the Fort Wayne, Indiana area please join me at The Allen County Library-Main Branch for a chat or to gaze upon my red face. 11.11.17 from noon until 5pm.

 

Stalker150x225

MysticLove_w8541_100

 

Black Widow, a Cocktail

Seasonal greetings! I’m sharing a recipe, one of my favs, to help you celebrate your upcoming holidays.

1/2 oz strawberry vodka

1/2 oz white rum

1/2 oz triple sec

cranberry juice

1 lace of licorice.

  1. Pour vodka, rum, triple sec into a glass.
  2. Top with cranberry juice and stir.
  3. Fold licorice three times and cut at each end so the spider will have eight legs. Use the legs to decorate inside of the glass.

(If you don’t want to invest in strawberry just use regular vodka and add strawberries or strawberry flavoring.)

This is an adult beverage but can be made as a mock-tail….substitue Strawberry Vodka with juice and leave out the rum.

black widow

 

 

 

Venice: City of Romance or a Murky Mess?

My husband and I just finished our tour of Italy. The one place I wanted to spend quality time was Venice, a city that survives all odds. Built on a eries of low mud banks constantly beaten by the tidal waters of the Adriatic the brigthly colored facades still stand in their architectural glory.

DSCN1013

And I wanted to walk in the same footsteps of William Shakespeare centuries ago.

DSCN1019

After boarding a ferry we went from the train station across the Grand Canal to Piazza San Marco. The boatmen had a muscle building tasks of tying the old-school rope instead of nylon. The earthy scent and squeaking of the line as the man wrapped it around a dock post helped distract from the constant downpour of rain.

The croweded pathways didn’t detour me from appreciating the streets made of water, or the black gondolas as the black and white striped shirted gondolier manuevered visitors through the narrow watery alleys.

DSCN1008

Much to my disappointment many of the churches and museums didn’t allow photographs. The art work of Venice and architecutre of the buildings cannot be adequately described…you must see them in person.

Oddly enough my favorite store consisted of Murano glass products. The beauty of the clear and brillant glass made by Venetians since 1291 helped me to decide on gifts for many family members.

Our time in northeastern Italy and the capital of the Veneto region was too short. I wanted to spend more time exploring and maybe going over to the glass factory in the small cluster of islands, Murano.

 

all rights reserved jj Keller

 

 

 

Italy: Amalfi Coast

If you’ve seen a painting or print of Italy, generally the scenery is of houses built into the mountain side. The Amalfi Coast has this spectacular landscape admired by most who venture along the rough, wicked turning roads to get to the quaint seaside towns. My husband and I joined two other couples in a van driven by an energetic Italian. The wheels of the van barely touched the asphalt surface, but the fear wasn’t enough to keep me from admiring the scenery. I couldn’t look past the terraces lined with lemon trees.

Crags of misshapen olive trees bursting with soon-to-be-harvested olives dotted the landscape breaking up the vibrant yellow. Houses, seemingly built into the sides of the mountain, glistened in the noonday sun.

We jolted to a stop for a thirty-minute sightseeing walk through Amalfi, where the infamous lemon liqueur is made. Our taste buds were not disappointed…and the next leg of the journey was not as shocking with a bit of 32 proof in me.

A troop of school girls in matching outfits rushed through the streets handing out flyers to a play being performed that night. Visitors and locals interacted despite the language barriers. Coins, EUROs, were exchanged and merchandise moved.

Our next stop was at Positano and lunch at Chez Black a few feet above Mermaid Beach. We tried the buffalo mozzarella and swordfish, both were excellent. Well worth the winding staircase trip to get to the location.

What do you think of the magnificent blue waters of the Amalfi Coast?

Italy: An Experience

Ciao! My husband and I returned from our Italia vacation. The international travel was from his bucket list and although the country isn’t a fav of mine, I am a fan of distinct architecture and classic art work.

Our pilots, on air Italia, were exceptional…coming and going. We prepared for the extended flight, but jet lag zapped our energy straight away. After a sluggish first day, we walked and walked, climbed and slid on the wet stones…loved every minute. Our hotel, while the small room had a water spotted ceiling and no air conditioning, the location near the Trevi Fountain couldn’t have been better…and was guarded by the military,

IMG_1593

because of this building.

Trevi Fountain, just a few steps away, is the largest and most famous fountain since 1762. Central Figures are Neptune flanked by two Tritons-one trying to master an unruly seahorse, the other leading a quieter beast. Symbolizes the two contrasting moods of the sea.IMG_1471.JPG

The Pantheon is my favorite building in Rome (outside the museum). Roman temple of all the Gods designed by Emperor Hadman in AD 118. The temple is fronted by a massive portico, with a screening by a cylinder fused to a shallow dome. The oculus lets the only light inside. 7th Century Christians made the structure into a church and today is lined with tombs and monuments to Raphael. There is a strict dress code and they didn’t allow women with no shirt sleeves or dresses/skirts above the knee to enter. IMG_1455.JPGIMG_1453.JPGAmazing!

After a late dinner,DSCN0962.JPG

we retired. Tomorrow we travel to the Amalfi Coast.