Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Lisa Karon Richardson and the Smith Corona

Lisa Karon Richardson and I met in college and have been friends ever since.  She is now a published author and mainly writes historical fiction.  Her most recent publication is one of four novellas in a collection entitled Colonial Courtships.  Her novel, The Magistrate's Folly, is being published by Harlequin and will release in early 2013.  Another novella and first book in a series are planned for release next fall.  Lisa has earned a reputation for meticulous research and I know from personal experience that this reputation is well-deserved.

During our freshman year of college, student access to computers was limited to a few decrepit machines in the library which made typing papers a challenge.  With the ink barely dry on my office assistant certification from vocational school, I proudly (and naively) offered to type both Lisa and Rick's research papers for Missions class.  Of course, I procrastinated until the night before they were due, but thankfully, I was able to borrow a smith corona word processor from an upperclassman.  I'm pretty sure I typed Rick's paper first because, after all, he was (and still is) the love of my life.  That left Lisa's paper for the wee small hours of the morning.

Despite my superior typing skills, it was slow going.  Lisa had chosen to do her paper on India and her research was very thorough.  In fact, it was so thorough and the paper so lengthy that it was like typing Strong's Exhaustive India.  Okay, I admit I'm exaggerating, but at 3:00 am that is how it felt.  The situation was made worse by the fact that, in order to not disturb my sleeping roommate, I had to muffle the smith corona with a pillow each time I printed out a page.  Somehow, I made it through my first all-nighter and our papers were submitted on time.  Needless to say, I didn't offer to type any more of Lisa's papers.

All joking aside, I am glad Lisa has put her research skills to good use and I look forward to reading her novella in Colonial Courtships which I recently purchased from Amazon.  Who knows?  I may pull another all-nighter to finish reading it.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Sign of the Bluet

Thanks to my good friend and fellow writer, Lisa Karon Richardson, I am a guest blogger today on and have a post there promoting Fertility Rites.  Today's Versions of Chai post is intended to be additional content to the Inkwell one, so if you haven't already read it, I suggest going to Inkwell Inspirations first.

To explain why I considered the bluet a sign from God that I was going to survive my loss, I need to give some background on this tiny wildflower.  Bluets, or Houstonia caerulea, prefer somewhat rocky soil and tend to grow at the edge of wooded areas.  They are plentiful in the part of southeastern Kentucky where I grew up.  Something about these flowers always intrigued me.  As a kid, I thought they were forget-me-nots.  I later discovered this was not the case, but could not find out what they were called.  I used to carry one around with me, pressed in a notebook, so I could ask plant enthusiasts to identify it.  The original draft of the following poem was actually written before my sister finally identified the flower as a bluet.  In the poem, I describe the bluet as a representation of myself, which is why I knew the bluet I saw that day was a message meant especially for me.


Four petals
of misty light blue
fading to white
before a sunny yellow center
balanced on a stem
as slender as thread
a blue star in a sky of green
quivering in the breeze
a dainty ballerina
trembling on satin points.

That's me
that blue flower
growing wild beneath the world's knees
curling its toes up in the hills
hugging them close.
That's me
that tiny bit of wilderness
visible only to those
willing to give a second glance.

Bluet  Houstonia caerulea

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Rick McGee: writer, illustrator, skunk promoter....

Advance sales have officially started for my poetry chapbook and the front cover image has been loaded on the site!  Here is a direct link to where you can preorder a copy that will ship in February:  The number of preorders directly affects how large the total print run will be.  My goal is to have 105 preorders so the total print run can be 500.  Please spread the word!
As I mentioned in my last post, I would like to honor some of the people who have supported me with this project.  First and foremost is my husband, Rick McGee.  For the two of us, it was a case of love at first word and 17 years later, the words are still flowing.  But enough about that....  Rick is a renaissance man who has many talents in addition to writing.  A few of these artistic talents are showcased in a comic book about an orphaned skunk named Ramone Cologne.  I've posted a picture of the front cover of the first issue:  A Skunk's Tale.  So far, two issues have been published and a third is currently in progress.  To find out more or order copies of the books, visit

There are so many good things I could say about Rick that it is hard to narrow them down, but one of them is the discipline he shows in his work.  I have watched him spend countless hours drawing, painting, and writing.  He doesn't just talk about all the creative things he wants to do.  He does them!  And often he does so while I am sitting on the couch being lazy.  Somehow his dedication hasn't rubbed off on me yet, but occasionally, it motivates me into action.

Thank you Rick for supporting me and being my inspiration!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Publication Update and Preorder Info

Since my last post, life has been a whirlwind.  I know my blog has been pretty much silent for the last year.  Part of that time, I was in the dark room being developed, but several months ago, I emerged into a life that is colorful once again.  So many things have happened this year:  I ran a 5k, became a mother to two foster children, and of course, my long-time dream of publication is now coming true.

Amidst all the spinning plates, I somehow managed to meet my contract deadline and the publication of Fertility Rites is on track.  Advance sales officially start on Monday, October 22nd; however, the chapbook is already available for preorder at  Just click on "Preorder Forthcoming Titles" on the right-hand side of the page.  The books are listed alphabetically by title and Fertility Rites is listed on the second page.  Preordered copies of the book are supposed to ship on February 1st.  Unfortunately, they don't have a thumbnail image of the cover up yet, but hopefully, it will be on Monday.  I'm posting the image of the front cover here so you can see what it looks like.

The cover was designed by Tonya Leigh Morgan who also designed the Versions of Chai logo.  Once again, she has taken my wisp of a concept and turned into much more than I ever thought it would be.  She is a very talented artist and I am truly blessed to call her my friend.  In addition to Tonya, there are others whose help has been invaluable to me on this project.  First of all, none of this would be possible without the support and encouragement of my husband, writer and illustrator Rick McGee.  I know I can face anything with him by my side.  Over the next few days, my blog posts will honor Rick and some of the other writers who have supported me:  Julie Hensley, Lisa Karon Richardson, Katerina Stoykova-Klemer, and Eric Scott Sutherland.

To the few followers of my blog, you may wonder what has happened to some of my previous posts.  As you know, I had posted rough drafts of several of the chapbook poems along with commentary.  The poems themselves have been removed, but the commentary remains.  If you want to read the poems in their final versions, you will have to buy the book!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Fertility Rites to be Published!!

I am pleased to announce that Fertility Rites has been accepted for publication with Finishing Line Press!  At this point, I am still waiting on the official contract and publication timeline, but I hope to post more information soon.