Writer's Dreams

A Writer's Path to Happiness

The Unquiet
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The Unquiet:

I sat down to read The Unquiet knowing I h'd have to get up and fix dinner in a couple of hours. I figured I could set it down and finish it the next day. At 2:47 AM I closed the book. (Hubby found his own dinner.) Yes, The Unquiet is one of those books you don't want to start until you know you can read it all the way through.

I would rate The Unquiet 5 out of 5 stars. It's now one of my top ten rated paranormals and has earned a special place on my keeper shelf. I'll be waiting impatiently for Jeannine Garsee's next release.



Charlotte Parker

Gulf
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Just so I have it in writing: On a 72 par course I shot a 69. It will never happen again and I'm framing that dang score card.

Sorry about that
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Didn't mean to leave you on the Coast, but I've been trying to figure out how to get the photos from the trip downloaded onto this computer. The camera is only four years old but it's program is for the old Windows system and doesn't want to work with the new one. But I think I have it figured out now and will start posting soon about the vacation again with photographs.

Day Six
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Day Six

Napels, the Amalfi Coast.


So much to tell you about in a short space, so forgive the format.

The Treasury of Saint Gennaro: ancient documents, jewels, paintings.

Napels Natural Archaeological Museum: artifacts from Roman Empire and Pompeii. So many museums, so little time.

Pompeii at the base of Mt. Vesuvius, a once thriving empire, was left in ashes after the volcanic eruption in 79 AD. Lots of walking, kids. It's a lot larger than you think.

Then there is the Amalfi Coast, beautiful seasides, cottages and small mansions built side by side along the cliffsides.

Sorrento is a sophisticated summer resort town. Pretty Positano, a haven for artsy types. The maritime vilage of Amalfi is brimming with history. And the isle of Capri is perhaps the gem of them all, with sweeping vistas, lively cafes and blooming gardens.

It was a full day, and let me tell you, there is not a flat piece of land anywhere to be seen. Stairs, hills, Sometimes I felt as if I were hiking Mt. Vesuvius instead of around it.


Spent most of the remaining day with my feet up and my eyes closed.


tomorrow:

Rome

Day five
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Day 5 of Europe Trip

Day at Sea. This will be a short post. Not having a port to escape to I slept until around nine and when to the restaurant for breakfast. I tried my hand (or should I say feet) at climbing the rock wall. I made it to the top, but my knees may never forgive me. It looks easy. It isn't. Gravity hates fat people. LOL


Afterward I walked the pool area, had the drink of the day, Blue Hawaiian Cocktail. White rum, bue Curacao, Pineapple juice, sweet and swour mix, orange juice. Ewwww. Tried the Shot of the day, Beam Me Up
Scotty. Baileys irish creme, creme de banana. Yummm.


Took a nap. LOL


Watched the men's belly flop competition. So funny. Some of those guys really caused a splash. Really.


Went to the Captain's Welcome Aboard Reception. It was nice, free drinks and little finger foods. But there were too many people who let this invitation only event go to their heads. Silly people, you got an invite because you are a Diamond or above member. Get over yourselves.


Tomorrow, Napels, Amalfi Coast.

Day Four of European Vacation
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October, 23, Day 4 of my European Vacation

Dumbrovnik, Croatia is a place with an old world feel to it. It's known as The Pearl of the Adriatic Sea. One of the world's most unique cities. Not just because of its marble squres and Venetian palaces, or it stunning Barioque churches with satues of Saiint Blaise. What makes Dubrovnik so special is its remarkable past. For centuries this bustling seafaring port ruled itself as the Republic of Ragusa. made up of merchants and diplomats, the city-state thrived on maritime trade and even rivaled Venice. Ragusa was not only prosperous, but also artistically and socially progressive, abolishing slave trade early on. After a very long run, the Republic fell to Napoleon's troops and ultimately became a part of Croatia.

Today, the sheer beauty of its impeccably preserved old town never ceases to amaze me. Though it's been destroyed many times, neither earthquakes nor a seige could ever shake the spirit of its people. Walking along the wall gives a spectacular view of the old city. Placa is the main pedestrian promenade, lined with shops and cafes. And beyond the walled city, there are ample beaches, dense woodland and lush islands to explore.

Walking within the old city my writer's mind kept seeing people dressed in earlier time period clothing, walking the marble streets, going from shop to shop. What a place to set a historical or time-travel romance. Something about the city has kept the atmosphere. You close your eyes and you swear, if you peek, you'll find yourself transported back to the 13 century.

Tomorrow, a day at sea. Oh, God help me, look at those cookies.

Day Three
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Saturday, Octover 22
Ugg, we waited for an hour for the bus to the ship. We finally crossed the street and got in line for the People Mover. We stood in line for another hour only to find out the line was for people wanting to store their luggage. Turns out we could have just walked into the building and caught the People Mover. Oh, well, live an learn, right?

It's amazing when you compare the USA with Europe when it comes to public transportation. Here in Europe there is always a way to get where you're going, and you don't have to own a car. In Italy I see a lot of scooters, of course, but most people use the People Movers, trains, buses, or their own two feet. In America we must have a car if we don't live along a bus line or take a taxi. But most American's would rather die than take a bus. I hate to admit it, I hate buses. But I digress.

We got off the People Mover at the port, walk (and walk...did i mention Eruopean people do a lot of walking?) to the Port entrance, then have walk at least a friggin' mile to the check-in area for Royal Caribbean Cruises. We can see the Voyager of the Seas out the window. Whew, that ship is BIG. Anyway, since we're Diamond Plus members our check is is quick and flawless. We walk (here we go again) out the building, up a ramp that has three levels, all steep. We finaly are on the ship and find ourselves in the Royal Promenade. Really impressive. It's lined with all kinds of shops, windows filled with grand jewelry, clothings, chocolates. Toward the end is a food court area, but not like any shopping mall food court, mind you. Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream, Coffee House, then there is the jewelry cases filled with food. From six in the morning till eleven a.m. is pasteries, biscuit sandwiches, and other finger style breakfast foods. At eleven it changed over to sandwiches, cakes, pies, and the most glorious cookies you ever put in your mouth. They had one called Mississippie Mud Slide, oh man, they are so good.

Sorry, got carried away on the food. Our room was really nice. Very large, huge bath, huge walk in closet, pleanty of storage space, queen sized bed, a couch, twoi chairs, coffee table and a large balcony. There was a basket of goodies on the counter, several bottles of free water (you're very grateful for this once you see the price of any drinks on the ship), and an invitation to a private party with the captain. We spent the rest of the day exploring the ship, such things as the ice skating rink, the rock climbing wall, pool area, finding the restaurants, movie theater and live theaters. Again, whew, this ship is big.

Tomorrow we will be iin Dubrovnik, Croatia.

Day Two of European Trip
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Friday, October 21

Woke at 4 am. Can't do much at that time of morning, so I rolled over and tried to go back to sleep. Didn't work. We finally got up around six and took our showers. I walked into the huge bathroom with it's old claw-footed tub, no shower curtain. I tried to be careful and keep the water from going all over that room, but it was a total loss. It took me about fifteen minutes to soak up the two inches of water off the floor. How expensive could it be to buy shower curtains? Come on! As I was finishing up I realized there was a drain in the far corner of the room and I could have "swept" it toward it and maybe not ended up with a backache. Of course my wonderful hubby managed to take his shower without getting a drop on the floor.



We went down to the resturarnt. Lots of cold cuts, hard bread, cereals and pasteries. We had decided to go out and find a hot breakfast when one of the waiters told us to go into the next room is that is what we were looking for. Since it was free we decided to check it out. Okay, more like it. They even had American style toast. Stomach full, we left for a day walking Venice.


I know you don't want to sit here for an hour reading our every step, so, I'll condense the day.


A gondola ride was out of the question since a cold front had come in during the night. It was windy and a bit cold on the waterfront. We took a water taxi to the stop closest to St. Mark's Basilica. Nice walk, the architrcture is really beautiful in Venice. Some buildings older than America. The Basilica was packed, people standing shoulder to shoulder. We left thinking we'd come back later, but never made it. Venice has too much to see and do in only a day. We walked to the Bridge of Signs and crossed over to see the infamous prison. Depressing place, to say the least. Next was Marco Polo's house. As affluent as it was for the time, I'd have to say it didn't look all that comfy. Toilet sitting by the bed waiting for late night urges looked something short of a throne, the bed draped in what looks a lot like modern day curtains. Okay, except for all the gold spun into the material.


We stopped for dinner (yeah we skipped lunch) at a place on the main strip. The food was to die for, the price wasn't. It ended up costing us 134 Euros. A Euro breaks down to about $1.45. You do the math. But again, the food was sooo good. I almost didn't mind the cost. (Almost.)


We shopped some of the street vendors. Masks, jewelry, some fake, some real. As the sun set we went back to the hotel and watched a little TV that we couldn't understand a word spoken. Just before we turned in for the night we found an English speaking channel but it was all news.


Time for bed. Tomorrow we have to drag those suitcases to the water taxi then to some business square where we'll catch a bus to the ship.

My Trip to Europe
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As requested by some of my friends, I will start posting a day by day of my trip to Europe.
Thursday October 20:
Got up early (You all know how I hate morning) and helped drag suitcases to the car. Off to the airport. Oh joy, 23 hours in three planes and same amount of airports. Flights to Dallas and NYC were eventless. (though the flight out of NY was late one hour.) Now the trip from NYC to Italy was a nightmare. The plane was filled with a sports card company taking their employees to Europe for a week (all young male yuppies). Over 90% of them drank their way to Europe. They were loud and rude to the poor steward. Asking every thirty minutes what the score was in the ball game. They were from Texas. We landed in Milan, Italy and made a mad dash to catch a scheduled train (the train station is below the airport) for a two hour ride to Venice. We got there one minute before train left. When they say it leaves at seven a.m., believe it. Europe is seven hours ahead of us here in New Orleans. So what would be two in the morning here, was nine a.m. in Venice. The city was alive and bustling...awake. My luggage was not the only thing dragging the cobbled streets. The Hotel Continental was only two blocks away from the train station, thank God. Hubby and I booked this hotel because it was one of very few who had a lift (elevator). We walked into the marble lobby. Only way I can describe it is I think they carved that room out of a very large block of marble and cut out window space. Whew. Beautiful, but geesh, a bit over-done. Turns out it was built a few centuries ago as a home. Anyway, the bellman took us to the lift, we got off and walked to our left, then to our right, up four steps, turned left, down fours steps, down a long hall, two more steps. Okay, getting out of there without a map was hard that first day. Anyway. The bellman flung open the windows, then the shutters. OMG We are on the Canal. Gondolas passing by, men singing, some yelling. Know what? I didn't care. I crashed and didn't wake up until four the next morning.

The End
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November has been one hell of a month for me.

1. My chance to work and learn from a publisher was dashed. I'm over that, though.

2. Now here is the heartbreaker. Sapphire Blue Publishing is closing their doors at the end of this month. Sapphire Blue was my publisher. To say I'm down in the dumps is an understatment. I loved being one of their authors. Maria and Tina made me feel like part of a family. They always took time to answer any question I tossed their way and never made me feel stupid for asking.

They gave us back our rights and the rights to the cover art (at no cost to the author).

What next? To be honest, I'm not sure. I'm a writer. I will write. But will I sumbit again? I'm thinking of hiding myself away and writing like a fool. Writing until I have something great enough for one of the big guys in New York. Am I good enough? I don't know. I want to be. My heart is there. I have the determination. Talent? That is to be seen, I guess.

Time to give myself my hour of pity party time. Then back to work.

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