Wednesday, October 05, 2016

This Election...

I am not sure what to think about this election cycle, or if it really is a cycle.

It seems more like a long endurance run.

Heavens! When did the last election cycle end? I feel like all I've seen for the last 10 years are election commentaries, election pollsters, election ads and on and on. I think we the American people should put a stop to some of this bull and cut the election cycle back. Two years is just too.

I understand that I am supposed to be a good American and a good Christian and vote, but can I just say UGH?

There's so much mudslinging and lying, I feel like I'm watching a pig wrestling match. My apologies to the pigs.

Speaking of Pigs.

How is it we can drag something up from 20+ years ago and talk about how that proves a candidate is engaging in a war on women,  but we can't bring up what happened four years ago or last year or three months ago, or last week, even, cause it doesn't matter now, it's over?

I could barely stand the last Presidential debate, I sat there looking for something presidential and got tired and finally turned it off. I watched the Vice-Presidential debates and cringed. One person in the debate gave me hope that there are still decent politicians in the mix. He was eloquent and didn't spend his time interrupting and spouting talking points with facial expressions that could turn a worm's stomach. I'll let you decide who I'm talking about.

All I know is, there is an election coming up and I am supposed to vote for candidate who will best serve our country. What in the world does serve our country? I see more people only pushing for what satisfies them and the American people be damned.

I almost dread this upcoming election. But I will go vote. I will do my civic duty. A part of me wants to write in a name. (Please don't write me about how that will be awful because I'll be giving the vote away. I've heard it all.) I've been watching. I've been reading up on the candidates. Hopefully I will make an informed conscious decision because I took the time to look into it instead of just picking candidates because I heard their name or figure it's time to pick them.

I hope everyone else takes the time to know who and what they are voting for. I know I'm asking for a lot, but it could happen. (paste Big Grin here)(or weeping).

Until then, here is my latest attempt at cartooning.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Been doodling

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Mountain Cabin

thought I would share a little bit of drawing I've been doing.

Cha... cha... cha... changes

Wow. Heading for the big 50... thought sure life would go on pretty much as it had. I'd tend to my world and my garden. I continue to write, and be around my children and grandchildren, but I'd be a year older. Life would continue as it had. My address would be the same as it had for the past twenty years. I would only be a year older. Maybe a bit grayer.

Maybe things would get better with finances, maybe I'd color my hair, (okay that might be a given). and I would be right here. Right here, where I planned to live out my life. Right here with my husband and family and friends. A year older, and hopefully wiser.

But... life happened along the way, and now... I find I may not get to live in my comfortable rut. Now, thanks to finances and my wonderful hubby, I may be pushed to move to a new state. A new world, as far as I'm concerned. Perhaps it will be wonderful, perhaps it will hold the key to new dreams.

Perhaps I'll hate it. Who knows?

For now, just the thought of moving out of my comfort zone, moving away from my family, scares me. So, I'm praying hard.

A part of me wants to pray nothing changes. And my life goes on as it has. Me working through the moments of my days in rote, since I know it so well. But I remind myself, it hasn't always been easy here, either. I just know my way around better.

A part of me prays I'm ready and willing to take the risk and believe that God has my life cradled in his hands.

And he does. He carries me no matter where I go, no matter what path I choose.

Now I have only to remember that. In case my life is uprooted. In case the changes that seem to be in the wind come to light.

We'll see... 

Wrote this five years ago and thought I would post it now, because the changes did happen. 5 years ago we moved to Arizona. But five years later, we are living back in Colorado. Not to say a lot didn't happen in those five years. Perhaps I'm a bit smarter and wiser. I lost people I loved. Lost my dog. Felt like I lost bits of my sanity and then gained some. I had to come back to a house that needed special care after having renters. Not fun.

Finished a couple of books. Had them published. Still wishing people would pick them up and read them and then leave a review.


Life still happened. Good and bad. And strangely I feel as though I am living in a bit of Deja Vu. I guess moving back into a house you lived in for 20 years can make one feel that way.

Who says change has to be so scary? (okay sometimes it's downright terrifying.) And who says once you're gone, you can't go back home?

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Rewriting History

I love researching for my Historical Novels. It can be interesting, and there's so much I don't know. But sometimes… history can be a pain in the backside. It doesn't always fit my storyline.

Go figure.

For my WWII Trail of the Sandpiper series, I wanted the submarine to be the Nautilus, I needed it to be the Nautilus, but I would have had to rewrite history.

I hunted ways to make the Nautilus fit into my story's time frame, but none of them would float. It would have been nice to have the Nautilus because there are tinges of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea in the second book of the series -- Rescued.

I realize sometimes you just have to make stuff up. Isn't that what fiction writers do? So why can't I just rewrite history? Others have. Well, I think one does have to abide by historical facts, (to some extent.) I can put characters in historical time lines, but I can only do so much. Unless I'm writing a story about jumping through time and changing the past, present, and future, I have facts to follow.

So I gave my submarine another name, Nandus. one that fit with the subs in Narwhal class during WWII. The Narwhal was in the area of New Guinea, where my story takes place, but it didn't fit the time frame either. And since Narwhal was a close sister to the Nautilus,  I decided making up a fake submarine would have to do.

The Narwhal class of subs, were all named after fish so my little Nandus is named after one too.


It's the summer of '42. The world is at War and Japan's Imperial Army is moving across the island of New Guinea. 

After their mission is attacked Justine is left with seven children to lead to safety through enemy lines. She leads them to a cave and goes back for her husband when she is taken captive. Upon her escape with the help of a friend, Virginia, she starts back for the children and runs into Lt. Tyler Merrick. She hopes he will help her. But he's drunk and doesn't believe there are children. He thinks Justine is the rogue spy he been sent to find.

Justine goes for the children and returns to an even angrier Lt. Merrick. He wants to tie her up. She hopes to win his trust. Because if they can't stop fighting one another, they will never get off the island alive. 

The Imperial Army is moving across New Guinea. Tyler and Justine have managed to evade them, but they fear it isn't because of their own abilities.

Tyler wonders why the Japanese haven't taken them as prisoners. Is it to find the Sandpiper? Or the Nandus? Without a radio they can't reach the ship or let them know where they are. Meanwhile, the Japanese have been moving them like pawns, killing off members of the team as they go. 

Justine leads them to a place of safety until they hopefully raise the ship, but how long can they fend off the enemy once they attack? They've yet to get off the island, and there is still an ocean to cross to reach the safety of home. Justine fears someone else will die before they can escape and she's just as certain it will be her. 

Saturday, October 31, 2015

War and Pestilence

War and Peacestilence

At the time the US was drawn into the war in 1941 the country was on the tail end of the Great Depression. In truth, it was the war that put the country on the path to financial recovery.

But it sent thousands to their death, many in island places we call exotic paradises, and hope to visit one day for vacation. We can visit these places having been vaccinated to hopefully protect us from any virus or disease we might confront.

But that wasn't true for the soldiers in WWII. In 1942 the US Government vaccinated all personnel for tetanus, thyphoid, smallpox, cholera, and yellow fever, which help eradicate many of the disease and kept outbreaks of the disease from spreading through the ranks like in prior wars.

Having prepared their army with every medical advance in their arsenal, the government sent them to war. Some headed to Europe to fight against the Nazis and others headed to the islands of the Pacific to face the Japanese.

Those fighting in the South Pacific, soon found out it was nothing like home. At home they fought Tuberculosis, and Polio, Flu, and other diseases that scared them, but diseases they understood and knew some precautions to take. In the South Pacific, they marched into jungles ready to fight the Japanese unaware they'd battle extremes of heat and incessant rains that would give them rashes and jungle rot so bad they itched and bled profusely and could become gangrenous

They fought all kinds of bugs and disease carrying vermin and ended up with; dengue fever, malaria, hepatitis, dysentery, Leishmaniasis (black fever, sand fly disease), cholera and Scrub typhus (brought on by mites).

Living conditions, and tainted drinking water caused cholera and dysentary, which would inflict the already fatigued soldier with diarrhea and cause dehydration. Canvas water bags (lister bags) treated with clorine were hung around camp to give a fres supply of water, and many soldiers learned (some the hard way) the importance of a clean canteen and a clean mess kit.

Some soldiers got Dracunculiasis, or guinea worm disease, from drinking water infected with water fleas carrying the the guinea worm larva. The soldier would have no systems initially, but after about a year they would develop a painful burning feeling, usually on their lower limbs. The worm would then come out of the skin over a the next few weeks. This disease was usually deadly, but could you imagine trying to figure out why your skin was blistering only to learn it was from a drink of water you took almost a year before.

We know about these diseases, but people today can still get them from visiting countries where these diseases persist.

But in WWII many hadn't even heard of Dracunuliasis and for every two men saved on the battlefield two or more might die from disease.

Soldiers especially if taken prisoner and fed a staple of rice, also fought Beriberi, a vitamin B1 deficiency that caused a loss of feeling in hands and feet, vomiting, coma and even death.

Those who contracted Malaria carried it for years after, as their wasn't much to then to stop the disease from revisiting when it wanted.

Another disease that lasted years after the war, was PTSD, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (or Syndrome,) even then we didn't talk about it as much as we do today. Like a mental malaria PTSD hung around and attacked uninvited long after the soldier had returned home, leaving soldiers to relive the atrocities of war over and over again. Pulling them from their now quiet existence back to the battlefield. And yes, like to today, there were those who took their lives to kill the echoes of war in their heads forever.

In Betrayed -- Trail of the Sandpiper  Book #1, I talk about some of the pests and bugs on the island of New Guinea. And show some of what Trauma does. Lieutenant Tyler Merrick lives with reoccurring dreams from child hood and Pearl Harbor. And Justine Whitcomb is haunted by her own memories. Remember PTSD doesn't just hit a soldier who's been to war.


Justine Whitcomb, who, after the missionary compound where she lives is attacked, is left to get herself and several children off the island of New Guinea. Escaping might be easier done if she didn't have to get through Japanese lines and fight Lieutenant Tyler Merrick of the US Navy in the process.
Lt. Merrick is on a mission to find a rogue spy and Justine's independent nature and knowledge of the island has him believing she just might be the spy he's after. Were it not for the children she's protecting, he would've followed his instincts and taken her prisoner already.

Now she wants him to follow her through the jungle. He not certain he's ready to trust her. But, if they can't put their fears aside and learn to trust one another, they might not get off the island alive.

Share on Twitter

Justine has seven children to get through enemy lines. Does she have to fight the US Navy too? Betrayed #ChrisFic

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Been Doodling

Thursday, August 20, 2015

War and Brothels

War and Brothels

As a wife and mother of military men, this subject is one that isn't so dear to my heart, but I do find it interesting and think it is important to look at.

During WWII and probably every other war, when thousands of men left home to fight and had to leave the calm of home and family, it is know fact that many found solace in the arms of other women, and more often than not those women were hookers.

In WWI many soldiers dealt with lice and bugs and trench fever among other things, but the multitudes of men caused an uptick in sexually transmitted diseases. So many men found escape from the horrors of war in brothels, the French set up the red light districts and hookers who worked in the brothels were checked for STD's before they could work there. 150,000 British soldier received care for venereal infection in France. It is said that 171,000 men visited the red light district in Le Havre 1915 alone.

In WWII the Japanese had Comfort Women. Some of these women were lured by the prospect of jobs in laundries and restaurants, most were kidnapped from their homes in the countries Japan occupied and forced into sexual slavery. Japan had well-organized and were open to prostitution at home and decided they should have it on the field as well. The Comfort Women were employed to keep the Japanese soldiers happy, which in turn was to keep them from raping other women and should stave hostilities.

While some Japanese hookers chose to continue servicing the Imperial Army their numbers were few. It is said some 20,000 (at the beginning) to 350,000 plus women forced into brothels for the Japanese throughout Asia and the Pacific Islands. So you could well imagine that kidnapping women and putting them into sexual slavery didn't promote goodwill.

When the bases opened on Oahu and the Hawaii islands, prostitution was legal. While the islanders and the vast number of Asian settlers to the islands found prostitution to be a necessary evil, views on open prostitution had been tempered by the 'social purity movement', and laws were put in place, (that were loosely enforced) to keep the women in line. It became unacceptable to work as a prostitute unless you worked from a brothel (or boogey house). Independent hooking was suppressed.

Local Police regulated the brothels and it was said that they meant the incoming ships and unescorted woman who were possible madams there to ply their trade, were handed a list of rules or "Ten Commandments" she was to obey;

She may not visit Waikiki Beach or any other beach except Kailua Beach [across the mountains from Honolulu].
She may not patronize any bars or better class cafes.
She may not own property or an automobile.
She may not have a steady “boyfriend” or be seen on the streets with any men.
She may not marry service personnel.
She may not attend dances or visit golf courses.
She may not ride in the front seat of a taxicab, or with a man in the back seat.
She may not wire money to the mainland without permission of the madam.
She may not telephone the mainland without permission of the madam.
She may not change from one house to another.
She may not be out of the brothel after 10:30 at night.

It is said these 'commandments' were enforced with a heavy hand. Hooking on the island was a lucrative business. Some women made $25,000 to $30,000. Madam triple that or more. After Pearl Harbor, many women went back to the mainland and others became nurses, leaving just when the island was flooded with men.

When the ships came in the lines were long. Locals knew what the lines were for, but said little about it. Many just walked through the lines as they went about their everyday lives. 

The women began to make so much money they began to go against the "Ten Commandments" and spend it in society. When the police tried to enforce the rules, the women ran to the Military. At that point, the military (though they wouldn't admit to it) somewhat took over the brothels that lines Hotel Street. They said that the women could be in society and the military even took over the weekly testing for STD's. The women stood up as well saying they were working for the war effort. Which angered the local police. You can read more about it here.

I remember walking around the streets of Ephesus as a teenager and finding a foot engraved into the stones of the old road that gave directions to the nearest brothel for the sailors arriving at the port there.

Giving credence to the old adage that "Next to motherhood. Prostitution is the oldest profession."

Justine Whitcomb, who, after the missionary compound where she lives is attacked, is left to get herself and several children off the island of New Guinea. Escaping might be easier done if she didn't have to get through Japanese lines and fight Lieutenant Tyler Merrick of the US Navy in the process.

Lt. Merrick is on a mission to find a rogue spy and Justine's independent nature and knowledge of the island has him believing she just might be the spy he's after. Were it not for the children she's protecting, he would've followed his instincts and taken her prisoner already.

Now she wants him to follow her through the jungle. He's not certain he's ready to trust her. But if they can't put their fears aside and learn to trust one another, they might not get off the island alive.