All About Family

Here in the US we just celebrated the lovely holiday of Thanksgiving. It is a great time to be with family and friends, be active (weather permitting), relax, laugh, play games and eat well. This year I had a portion of my family join me in my little home in Sacramento, California. It was fun to decorate, cook and get into the coziness of the coming winter. The weather was perfect for outdoor activities, getting to around 65ºF during the day with sun all around.

Before the Run to Feed the Hungry 5k (we walked it! So fun.)

My little, holiday decorated dinner table.

The next day we headed over to a cute town in the foothills of the Sierra Mountains called Sutter Creek.  Adorable.  Great local stores filled with fun items, wine tastings and happy people.  We sat outside along the creek and had a great lunch in the sun.  A very fun two days.

The remainder of this long weekend I have been teaching myself how to promote my book; “The Jade Serpent.”  Quite a learning curve, but I am starting to get a bit of an idea.  You may see an ad out there on Facebook and Amazon now.

Now to cozy up in front of the fire – the rains have returned and it is a deluge outside – so I think I’ll do a bit of reading.  My sister turned me on to these two books:

Now to decide which to read first.  Have a lovely Sunday!

~Gretchen

Diving into Myanmar History

As I wait for final proofs on “The Jade Serpent,” I have started outlining my next project – a nonfiction story about the history of Myanmar intertwined with my year of teaching in that very complicated country.

With current news of the mass migrations of Rohingya into Bangladesh (NY Times), women and children barely able to walk from sheer starvation and desperate fear, it feels important to share my experience with the kind, loving people I encountered as well as show the realities of bias and strong-armed governments.  I am looking forward to this next year of reflection and research.  You can follow my non-fiction blog as I develop this book here.

I will also be starting Book Three in the “Treasure Chest Mysteries” which has a preliminary title of “The Black Tortoise.”  It will take place in the exotic country of Vietnam:

Join Koen and Titanus as they journey deep into the heart of Vietnam, where conspiracy and danger await at every turn.

 

Clyde Rice – Artist Retreat

Hi All – just a quick shout-out to tell you about a beautiful place in Oregon where you can let all your creative juices over-flow.

Check out The Clyde Rice estate – it is a 10 acre, gorgeous place on the Clackamas River in Oregon – just 15 miles from Portland. Has three bedrooms and lots of space to be creative – and super cheap to rent.  Think workshop space, brainstorming sessions, private pondering, exquisite landscapes to paint and write about.  It is idyllic, serene and cozy.

Clackamas River

CR 1CR 2CR 3

To rent the place or learn more click here.

Draft One of Book 2 – DONE!

ouroboros_maya_by_elgallomalo-d33edxpThe Jade Serpent, book two of the Treasure Chest Mysteries is finished.  Well, the first draft is at least. 🙂  I am so excited to have it outside of my head and ready to begin polishing.

I am now giving the adventure a rest while I concentrate on the story board drawings.  In a week or so, I’ll revisit and start the editing process using The Plot Whisperer Workbook and Autocrit.

For now, looking forward to expressing creativity in a different medium for awhile.  I’m playing with water color, acrylics, colored pencils and…this coming weekend…pastels.  Fun.

soft-and-hard-pastelsHappy creating everyone!

Gretchen

Launching a New Mystery Series for Children

What started as a fun book for the birth of my great nephew, has turned into a book for all to enjoy.  From a happy Amazon customer:

I love this book! My children love this book! We can’t wait for the next one!

Available now – the first book in the new series: The Treasure Chest Mysteries – on Amazon:

Seven year old Koen has just received an old chest for his birthday. He doesn’t think much of it until one night it starts making noises and flashing lights. The adventures begin when a magical mouse draws Koen deep into the chest and its treasure-filled history.

Cover Trade