Showing posts from February, 2015

Making Movies is Fun!

My stepson and his girlfriend are on the plane back to the U.S.A. after a couple of days in Cairns, diving and soaking in that tropical paradise.  They spent almost six days with us first, and, of course I took hundreds of photographs and we also had some cheesy ones made like the one below. And of course, we had to get photos with the koalas. 

And so, of course, I had to gather a bunch of the best pictures I took and create a video of them. 

Making this kind of video in PowerPoint is really easy. Easy? It took me all day, getting the timing and transitions right, but it was fun.  The newer versions of PowerPoint let you create a MP4 video straight from the presentation. Then you can upload it to Facebook or YouTube.  Some videos can be uploaded straight to Blogger but the one I made was too large so I'll embed my Youtube video here.
I have a tab on this blog about making videos from PowerPoint.  I'll add some more tips and tricks from time to time....

What a year 1867 was....

What would it be like to drift through the mist and turn up in Scotland of 1867?  Black men were voting for the first time in the U.S. and many more British men were given the vote that year.  Ireland was in turmoil. The Suez Canal had just been completed. Alaska was purchased that year and the Department of Education was formed in the U.S. Canada was becoming a nation. Jesse James was doing his thing. Andrew Jackson was president of the U.S. Victoria was Queen of England. Karl Marx published Das Kapital that year.  Edgar DegasÉdouard ManetClaude MonetPierre-Auguste Renoir, and James McNeill Whistler were painting. People were traveling everywhere by train and the telegraph was allowing them to communicate with people on different continents. The Industrial Revolution was in full swing. The world was full of possibilities... That's when "Whiskey for Tea: A Tale of Scotland" is set.  Hold on. It's a wild ride.

Jan 8th-African American men granted the right to vot…

Showing Off Our Corner of Australia

Both my writing and by blog (and even my cooking, come to think of it) have been totally abandoned this last week.  We've had house guest from the U.S. staying with us, and we've attempted to show them a little of our corner of Australia in just five days. I think our efforts were successful and they were enchanted with our home away from home. We certainly enjoyed ourselves, but we’re ready for a weekend in which to rest up!! I have hundreds (yes, hundreds) of pictures to process and share.
They landed in the monsoon rains accompanying a cyclone that thankfully fizzled before it reached us. We had a couple very wet days, however.  Ironically, now that our guests have left, the weather looks to be absolutely beautiful for the next week. But hey! It was an adventure!!
Silly CNN told the world that Queensland is in Tasmania.  Actually, the city of Brisbane (placed correctly on the map) is in the state of Queensland, which is a very large state. All the towns shown on this map are…

Learning to be Victorian

In my last book, I studied Paris and tried to learn how French women acted and thought.  Someday I'll do a blog to review some of the books I read for that research.

Now my girl is going back in history to the Victorian era and has to figure out how to fit in....quickly!

Not only that, but she's a modern day costumer, sewing for Ren Faires and Re-enactments  So I am now deep into research of the Victorian era. And what a time it was. The Photograph and the Telegraph had just been invented and so, if science let you communicate with people on the other side of the world, why not another world? Spiritualism was blossoming. And travel. Trains were coming into their own.

I'm ordering the following book, which outlines how every-day Victorian women lived.

How to Be a Victorian: A Dawn-to-Dusk Guide to Victorian Life [Kindle Edition]
The author of the book above made this video about Victorian hairstyles.

And I just ran across this cute video about a lay's toilette in the 1860s, w…

Be My Valentine

February 14.
I met my husband 14 years ago today. We've had a wonderful time and are looking forward to many more great years of adventure and love. Happy Valentines Day, Dan, my love.

One year ago today, Dan landed in Australia. Even though I knew I'd soon be following (and here I am), I was still very sad. Our only Valentines Day apart.  I made him this video because I was so sad.

Happy Valentine's Day, Sweetie. And many more.....

God Save Grandma

Is Queen Victoria my great-great-great-great Grandmother? Possibly. I'm giving this bit of family history to the main character of my work in progress, Whiskey for Tea. 

The story goes that one of Q.Vicky's sons, Bertie's (Edward VII or "Edward the Carcasser") illegitimate sons was given an inheritance and set out for the gold fields of California. On his travels thorough the U.S., his riverboat stopped in Ft. Smith Ark. and this guy got into a card game. 

Yup. He lost everything. So he stayed in Ft. Smith and married and had children (I knew my Great Granddaddy, who was supposedly his son. Didn't know the story back then, so never talked with him about it. So that's the story.

Riverboat at Ft. Smith, Ark.

I just stumbled onto a treasure trove of Queen Victoria photographs and will share some here. My book takes place in 1867.

This is Queen Victoria as we think of her.... .This photograph was taken in 1887, 20 years after my book takes place.

Victoria in 1854, …

Whiskey for Tea

I have such a cool concept for my new book! Or at least, I think it’s cool. Do you? Note: Whiskey is spelled whisky in Scotland
First, the book is about a girl from Oklahoma (surprise!) who goes to Aberdeen Scotland to visit her oil patch father and gets lost in the fog and ends up back in 1867 Scotland. As you might guess, the story has many more twists and turns to get to this point.

One is that the main character’s family has a legend that they are descended from King Edward Vll through an illegitimate son. And, by the way, King Edward Vll is often known as “Edward the Caresser” or just Bertie. He was Queen Victoria’s son and kind of in the same circumstances as Prince Charles is today. He grew old waiting to be king.

And so it begins....

Well, I am so excited! 

I was just asked to give away some of my books at the Grand Lake Boat Show, and since it's hard for me to promote my book, living in Australia, I am so taking them up on this offer. I may even go out to Zazzle and make some bling to include in the give-a-way. 

What do you think? Should I?

And some co-workers just asked me about my book and I think what came out of my mouth was better than any of the descriptions I have written, so I may have to re-write my book description. The story of how it came to be really is interesting.

What does go on down on the boat docks after the day people go home and only the people in the live-a-boards stick around and party?  

I Live in the Land Down Under

My husband, my self and our three dogs are currently living in Brisbane, Australia. We moved here for my husband's job. I am also working here, at a contract job that will be over at the end of May. We're not sure how long we will stay in Oz, but it's a beautiful place. I'm trying to soak up this culture and capture its beauty while I can.

So, today, I'm going to share a few of my photographs of Australia with you.

When we first arrived we went antiquing. I wondered what that experience would be like over here. Great. One undeniable fact about Australia is that it's British as all get-out.
Bush Turkeys are everywhere. All animals are protected, but around Thanksgiving and Christmas I was wondering how they taste.
We love going for walks in the botanical gardens. And they have a thing over here for botanical gardens.

This is our house in Australia. Not a typical Queenland house, but we are really enjoying it. Especially the pool One of the best things about where we l…

Have you read my new book?

Check out my new book is, published and available on Amazon. 

The idea started when my husband and I had a wooden boat on Grand Lake. Our boat was a day boat and we took day trips to the lake to enjoy it. But we heard the stories of what happened down there after we left. And we wondered about the history of our old 60s Chris Craft and wondered what it's stories were. From those wonderings came this book.

I'm very proud of "On the Dock: A Tale of Grand Lake." It's gotten some good reviews.

Susan Vineyard brought Grand Lake to life with this delightful love story. Dive into this novel on any beach or dock, or just read it at home snuggled up, and the pages will take you there!