Turquoise  ~  Zircon

Turquoise ~ Zircon

“If cold December gives you birthThe month of snow and ice and mirthPlace on your hand a Turquoise blueSuccess will bless whate’er you do” Turquoise           What could the earliest weapons have in common with December’s birthstone… Turquoise? It was Copper — believe...
November Topaz – Citrine

November Topaz – Citrine

Who first comes to this world below With drear November’s fog and snow Should prize the Topaz’s amber hue Emblem of friends and lovers true” Topaz                     My wedding colors was perfect for a November gemstone wedding ~ Blue/topaz and Yellow/citrine. But my...
Interview with Scott Leon Smith

Interview with Scott Leon Smith

My goal this year is to get my books and stories into audio. What I’ve discovered is…it is an adventure as crazy as anything Indiana Jones faces in the Raiders of the lost Ark. So, I do appreciate all the help I have had making this adventure easier. Findaway...
October Birthstone

October Birthstone

October Birthstone “October’s child is born for woe A life’s vicissitudes must know It lay an Opal on her breast And hope will lull those foes to rest.” Opal What a lovely stone! If a gemstone can be called innocent, the opal would be it. Opals are the most delicate...
September Gem Stone

September Gem Stone

September A maiden born when autumn leavesAre rustling in September’s breezeA sapphire’s on her brow should bindTwill cure diseases of the mind Blue Sapphire Of all the gemstones, I think the blue sapphire is my favorite. Now, I do love my own birthstone – the diamond...
July – Ruby

July – Ruby

The glowing Ruby shall adorn Those who in warm July are born Then will they be exempt and free From Love’s doubt and anxiety  ( Walker) What shall a hero give his heroine to express his passion and the promise of his heart?  A ruby, of course! But why a ruby? Why any...
May The Emerald – What a gem of history

May The Emerald – What a gem of history

“Who beholds the light of day In spring’s sweet flowery month of May And wears an emerald all her life Shall be a loved and happy wife” May The Emerald What a gem of history!! “If the diamond is the king of gems, the emerald is the queen.” Emeralds were said to be...
Becoming me

Becoming me

It really started with Faustina, my heroine in Pompeii’ Plague — not yet published because Faustina has a lot to correct about her story. It is set in Pompeii right before… during…and after Vesuvius buries the town. Since her gambling brother is...
Bloodstone and Aquamarine

Bloodstone and Aquamarine

Who in this world of our, her eyesIn March first opens, shall be wise.In days of Peril firm and braveAnd wear a bloodstone to her grave. BloodstoneWho ever heard of a bloodstone? Much less thought of it as a birthstone? Or this gem even related to March? Those were my...
Anthrax

Anthrax

I love research. And sometimes this takes me to subjects that are really scary, like anthrax especially right after 9-11. Which I did for my story Threatened Loyalties, set in Herculaneum right before Vesuvius blew its top. I kinda think I may have been on someone’s...
Forks

Forks

Yep, even silverware has a history. Now I think it started with the cavemen who discovered how sharp obsidian (volcanic glass) was. Probably like we usually do; it was found out by accident — someone likely stepped on it and cut their foot. And voila, something...
Why Rome?

Why Rome?

Just what is it about Rome? Why is this time period of this ancient world so fascinating? Maybe the intrigue is that it’s a story about us. About us as a people. As my mother did say once to me, “times change but people don’t.” And I’ve learned that she was right....
February – Amethyst and Onyx

February – Amethyst and Onyx

The February-born shall find Sincerity and peace of mind Freedom from passion and from care If they the amethyst will wear. Oh, you are gonna love this. Amethustos in Greek means ‘sober’. Thus, Medieval kings and Romans drank from amethyst goblets to prevent...
I have learned a lot about Volcanoes

I have learned a lot about Volcanoes

I studied this picture, and it took me a long time to figure out how I could be looking down on the main setting of my story in Threatened Loyalties. I knew Herculaneum was an extremely popular beach town in Ancient Rome. Just take a look at how high I was when I took...
I have learned so much about Trauma

I have learned so much about Trauma

I really have learned a lot about trauma. Life has helped, but writing Mirrored Reflections really gave it a greater reality. I now have a better understanding about PTSD and Complex Trauma. And it all started with a television show. Dancing with the Stars  was the...
What’s your gemstone?

What’s your gemstone?

January Garnet and Rose Quartz By her in January born, No gem save garnets should be worn. They will ensure her constancy Truth friendship and fidelity What does Connecticut, Idaho, New York, Vermont…Celts, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Anglo Saxons and Victorians...
The Kissing Disease – Do as the Romans do

The Kissing Disease – Do as the Romans do

As I said earlier, “ And as Romans do…it became an art or culturized. Into various forms of kissing.” They had different kinds of kisses.  Osculum was a friendship kiss …not of passion but a greeting. The infamous kiss on each cheek (Godfather kiss) ...
The Kissing Disease – Is it a disease

The Kissing Disease – Is it a disease

No. Yes. The act of placing one’s lips upon another’s does stimulate hormones and creates a delightful mood as a result of oxytocing being released whtich creates one’s attraction for more ‘good’ vibes.  Dopamine is also released which stimulaes the pleasure scenter...
The Kissing Disease – Those kissing invaders

The Kissing Disease – Those kissing invaders

Blame India.  They are believed to have started the art of kissing around 1500bc with the Vedic Sanskrit.  Buried in those writing are references to pressing and rubbing noses as a sign of affections. And then… about 500 to a 1000 years later in the Mahabharata...
The Kissing Disease – Kinds of Kissing

The Kissing Disease – Kinds of Kissing

Apparently, according to Donald Richie, kissing (touching lips) in Japan and China may have happened in private. But in public, never. That  became the ‘invisible kiss. But here in the West there was nothing invisible about it. (Wikipedia.org/wiki/kiss) The kiss of...
The Kissing Disease – Kissing the act thereof…

The Kissing Disease – Kissing the act thereof…

Kissing is the ‘complex action that requires significant muscular coordination involving 34 muscles and 112 postural muscles”  The most important muscle is the orbicularis oris muscle, which is used to pucker the lips – known as the ‘kissing muscle.” Lips also have...
Birthstones A bit of  history first

Birthstones A bit of history first

Birthstones and more  A bit of  history first Uh, books are written about the history of jewelry. So, I shall be brief. Throughout history, people liked gems a lot. They used gems to impress and control. Or defy. Empires were taken over with these little gems. Murder...
Marriage is Easy

Marriage is Easy

It’s the friendship part that’s hard Hopefully you said ‘I do’ to the person you want to spend every day of your life with. But maybe, as time went on, you started to wonder what happened to that friend? Are they still your friend? Was it Hollywood sensualism, sexism,...
A BIRTHSTONE POEM

A BIRTHSTONE POEM

Birthstones and more Coming up on a new year has prompted me to wish 2023 a Happy Birthday and a year of birthday stones. Over the many years, history has gifted each month with its special stone for the special person born that month.  Along with that gift is a...
That’s Not Me!

That’s Not Me!

The identity crisis of burn survivors ‘It was like the blast all over again. That was not Chad Michaels. He didn’t know that freak. It had to be some Halloween costume of a monster from some horror movie staring back at him. He thought of his high school senior...
Why I Write I

Why I Write I

Honestly, I don’t know why. In truth, stories just come to me, and I get to read them first as they appear on the page. Then I get to make them better and better, and then publish them for you. It amounts to a lot of questions along the way. So, I do research and find...
Why I write II

Why I write II

Times Change and people don’t. This phrase from my mother is true.(She did say this.) And it’s true. Because from the ancient world to today, people still love, laugh, cry, fight, make love, fall in love, fall out of love, struggle with love, and all that comes with...
Romeo and Juliet in ancient Rome Vows of Revenge

Romeo and Juliet in ancient Rome Vows of Revenge

The Fortuna lolled in a trough, tilting sideways. A fresh clean breeze hurried into the cabin where Lucianus sat beside the repaired bed. A rosy color of sunset washed the deck outside where sea gulls screeched in the sky. Cold waves sloshed against the oars as they...
How I end up on an 18 Wheeler

How I end up on an 18 Wheeler

John nodded. “I’ll show you the weather report once we are inside.” He motioned to the lowest step. “Step here and hold here. Put your other foot there.” He pointed to the next step. “And grab here.” She stuffed the keys in her coat pocket and grabbed the first handle...
Princes of the Road

Princes of the Road

That’s what my dad called truck drivers. Once upon a time, truckers would stop to help a car stranded on the road or pick up a hitchhiker. And like my husband, provide a way for him to see his family and/or return him to college. Times changed and these ‘princes’...
Protect Your Kids

Protect Your Kids

  “Tears jerked from her insides. “Colton let me hold the puppy and said there were more in a van. I wanted to see them. He said that was the plan all along. My mother was to bring me to the playground and let him show me the puppies.”Mirrored Reflections  ...
Healing is hard.

Healing is hard.

First comes the pain. Then the pain of caring for the wound. Then the pain of healing that wound. Then the itch as the body covers the wound with a scar.   What I have learned writing Beauty and the Beast, is that both can be physical and emotional. It’s the...
Dealing with Trauma – PTSD and Complex PTSD

Dealing with Trauma – PTSD and Complex PTSD

This is the most difficult research for a book I have ever done as a writer. I have started a new book, a Christian Contemporary Romance, and it is kicking my butt. The hero is a veteran who is burned by a suicide bomber and now suffers from grief and PTSD...
A story a father’s love…but which father?

A story a father’s love…but which father?

Julius is raging….life has been unfair Just when Calgacus thought life was perfect….he learns it’s not. Truth hurts. Gnaeus Julius Agricola cannot alter the past that trained him to become a polished Roman senator. As Rome expected, Julius married Domitia, regardless...
Rage is out of control

Rage is out of control

Rage is out of control:  Yep, this is Julius in most of Red Fury RAGE. Book 2 of my Agricola series. Yep, he’s pissed. Why? Because of Book 1 Red Fury Revolt You see, he fell in love with a Britanni woman in book one–Red Fury REVOLT and they had a son. And that...
Red Fury Revolt

Red Fury Revolt

A 20 Year Affair – Red Fury Revolt Yep, I did some math recently, and ouch. Julius, Calgacus, and I go back twenty years. It all started in Annapolis, MD at an antique bookstore. I bought a book. Yep. I bought a book about historic women in history. I have it...
History its value

History its value

I was listening to Levi Lusko as he talked about “You Have a New Memory.” He talked about just how tricky memory is. How bad can be good? And good can be bad.  How dangerous forgetting our past is. I am disturbed about all these historical statues being taken down as...
Life for the Rich in Rome

Life for the Rich in Rome

Life for the Rich in Rome | JF Ridgley – Author :  Life in Rome was never easy for anyone. Yes, we all know the plebs and barbarians had it rough. But well, so did the elite. In some ways, their lives were even more difficult. You see, at least the plebs and...
For the Family

For the Family

For the Family Book :  A short story of this woman. Viciria- the mother of this man, Marcus Nonius Balbus. Balbus was proconsul of Rome, a senator, and the ‘first citizen of Herculaneum.’ Balbus and his family, two daughters, wife, mother and son’s statues were found...
Vesuvius and Herculaneum

Vesuvius and Herculaneum

To many these are just pictures of an ancient city in the area called Campania that is old. A moment caught in modern time because we can take pictures. In fact, these are MY pictures that I took when I was there. In fact the big pic on top is the settings of my novel...
Oh! Those Kids!!!

Oh! Those Kids!!!

Kids! Just what are you going to do with them? Me? I write about them. They are fun, but sometimes I do not like what they are doing. Take Birth of a Bully. That was a hard write in many ways. Bullies are not born really. They are made. By a parent usually who is a...
Red Fury Rebellion…the year of Four Emperors

Red Fury Rebellion…the year of Four Emperors

Galba    Otho    Vitellius   Vespasian I am not going to lie to you. I am having too much fun with these guys. And Nero. But as I research each of these men, I have found corruption more rampant than anything in any of our recent elections. Rome was a mess and it had...
Happy Birthday to Rome

Happy Birthday to Rome

Even after 2774 years!! So why celebrate Rome? Why not. After all, that time period really did give the world so much. And you ask….and what is that? Let’s take a basic look at just what Rome has given us. It started much like the American pioneer, the first peoples...
I’VE BEEN HERE.  “CAHOKIA MOUNDS”

I’VE BEEN HERE. “CAHOKIA MOUNDS”

And it’s not in Missouri but in Illinois just across the river from St. Louis. There REALLY used to be a racetrack there and a civilization that existed up to the arrival of Columbus. Okay okay…it’s not Roman but it’s just as grand. And there is a museum now...
Trucking 101

Trucking 101

Where would we be without truckers? We do not even want to consider that idea. Just take a scan around your house, the room you are in, and what you are wearing. Yep, that came on an 18-wheeler to the store you bought it or to you directly. They keep us functioning,...
Christmas and Saturnalia

Christmas and Saturnalia

Well, the shepherds were not likely out in the fields watching sheep on December 25. That may be true. But when the Christians were presenting the religion to the Romans, they adopted Saturnalia as the day to honor the birth of Christ.  Why Saturnalia? It was the...
Celtic influences on Christmas traditions and roots

Celtic influences on Christmas traditions and roots

Borrowing from Irish Central, I have learned about how the Celtic people have influenced our Christmas ho Christmas has become so universal that we almost certainly forget its roots. Yet many of the holiday’s ritual are centered deep in old Irish and Celtic...
The art of Historical Fiction

The art of Historical Fiction

Like painting, writing is an art. Learned art. Learned by play, by rewrite, by frustration. However, it is what keeps us drawing and writing. An artist learns to mix colors, first possibly by wanting a blue, and then realizes it’s not right. So, they add white; it’s...
Working With Slaves

Working With Slaves

I do not condone slavery in any of its insults to humanity. But slavery is a fact of history and I, a writer of Ancient Rome, must deal with it. In fact, use it. It is a fact of life to, at least, make it as acceptable as possible. My characters do not insult them...
Keeping Us Surviving

Keeping Us Surviving

THANK YOU America is going through a tough time right now. And if we never noticed before, it is the truckers on 18Wheelers, train engineers, doctors, nurses and all other hospital and nursing home staffs, store clerks who are keeping us surviving. We also must thank...
Open, Honest, and Messy

Open, Honest, and Messy

Yes. Love can be that way I was recently surprised that my idea of complicated situations in love is not original as I discovered binge-watching Amazon’s newest series Modern Love. I felt each touched on real life and love in today’s world.  It was  cute, funny,...
And Where Are You From

And Where Are You From

Truckers talk funny. The long hours of bringing you nearly everything in your house, somehow makes truckers very creative.  Our cities’ names are not their cities’ names. They do love to nickname. For example, I used to live in ‘Bright Lights’ and now I live in ‘Mile...
The Horrors of Editing

The Horrors of Editing

My excuse….I had just started publishing books and, being an ‘Indie’ who is not really ‘attention to detail’ as I should be. (I’m more right-brained/creative than left-brain/ATD.) This fact allowed me to remain oblivious of many things as the need of reviewing what...
Dangers of Editing

Dangers of Editing

OH MY. I’m seeing that learning can be quite an embarrassing experience.  What I thought was a polished manuscript of my second ever published book,  I have discovered recently that it was not polished.  What I thought was so professionally edited…twice, it was not....
Bears

Bears

THE OTHER BEARS OUT THERE Thank God for the police officers who try their best to keep order on our highways and byways. We call them officers, cops, police officers. But in the world of Trucking, they have different titles.   I had to smile when I started learning...
Nero’s Stadia

Nero’s Stadia

Where were the Christians executed? After Rome’s Great Fire of AD 64 In the Coliseum or  Vespasian’s Amphitheater Or In the Circus Maximus Answer-  Neither….  It was in Nero’s Circus The Vespasian hadn’t built his great amphitheater because he wasn’t emperor until AD...
Trucker Talk 101

Trucker Talk 101

Well, most of us out on the highway know truckers, who drive 18-wheelers or semitrailer trucks, talk.  We also know they have their own lingo, which I’m new at as many of you out there driving in the hammer lane. Well I drive mostly in the granny lane except when I...
Humboldt Bay and the Madaket Maritime Museum

Humboldt Bay and the Madaket Maritime Museum

Yeah, lots of things happen on piers. People come and go. People meet other people. They learn something they didn’t know. And as for Allyson, she spews out her frustration, unbeknownst that Steve is watching her back that late at night.  Thus, the setting of my new...
The Roman Domina

The Roman Domina

This lady fascinates me. In our modern world, we encourage our young girls to challenge their world. Stand up. Be counted. Not be run over my others, especially by men.  And we tend to look back at women in history as weak and submissive. I don’t see Roman women in...