About Lynn Crain

Award winning author Lynn Crain has done it all in her life. From nursing to geology, her life experiences have added to her detail rich stories. She loves writing full time as she weaves contemporary, fantasy, futuristic and paranormal tales, tame to erotic, for various publishers. Her home is in the desert southwest and she’s just returned from her latest adventure of living in Vienna, Austria while her husband worked his dream job. You can find her hanging out online at www.lynncrain.blogspot.com, https://www.facebook.com/LynnCrainAuthor, and on Twitter, @oddlynn3. She loves hearing from her readers at lynncrain@cox.net.

What Summer Means to Me

Gate-ResizedEveryone has their own definition of summer and I guess I’m not your average summer person. Don’t get me wrong, I love the season as long as there are no bugs involved. I love beaches, cool summer evenings and how the desert calms as the day ends on a hot summer day. And here in Vienna, Austria, I get to walk through the vineyards on cloudy days while looking at the city.

Yet, I do have a very different perspective as I look at it from the day of my birth. See, I was born on Summer Solstice and therein is my problem. My birthday is the longest day of the year and for some, that moniker isn’t that all inspiring. Except when you spend it in Scotland.

In Scotland, on my birthday, the sun doesn’t go down until sometime around 11 pm and it makes an interesting time. Especially when one decides to stay up the whole night to see what really happens. When the sun does go down, it’s not the real down you might imagine. It just kind of dips beneath the horizon, hovers there for a few hours then rises again. You can still see the light from it but muted as it is below the edge of your world.

So then, just why do people get some all hot and bothered by the day? Let’s look at its history. The word solstice is derived from a combination of Latin words mean sun and to stand still. It comes from the fact that as the days get longer, the sun rises higher in the sky and appears to stand still. It is considered a major celestial event. However, when we in the northern hemisphere are having our longest event, those in the southern hemisphere are having their shortest day. Those in the southern hemisphere have their longest day on December 21st.

The actual solstice celebrations were pagan in origin. Pagans call the midsummer moon a honey moon for the mead made from fermented honey. Mead was part of the summer solstice wedding ceremonies then and the happy couple would ‘honey moon’ the night away. Those same pagans celebrated the day with bonfires as couples leapt through the flames in hopes that their crops would grow as high as they could jump.

Pagans also believed it to be a time of magic when the veil thinned thus allowing evil spirits to appear. They would wear protective garlands made of herbs and golden flowers from calendula and St. John’s Wort. The plants were picked on this day for use throughout the year. St. John’s Wort is still used today to chase away the devil within us.

As Christianity entered pagan areas, midsummer celebrations were incorporated to be new Christian holidays that tried to mix the old and the new. Interestingly enough, those in northern Europe celebrated the event on varying days between June 21 and June 25. It was called St. John’s Day in honor of John the Baptist’s birth and celebrated on June 24 by the Christians with St. John’s Eve celebrated on June 23. In Roman times, it was celebrated on June 24. And surprisingly enough, June 21 isn’t always the longest day of the year.

I know that solstice celebrations vary from place to place in the US. The most interesting one I haven’t gone to was one at Stonehenge. We were near the area on my birthday twice and neither time could we make as you have to purchase tickets up to two years in advance to get into the monument.

Another one I haven’t attended but plan on doing so before I leave Austria is the spectacular procession on ships down the Danube River through the Wachau Valley just north of Vienna. Apparently up to 30 ships sail down the river in a line as the river banks and hilltops erupt with fireworks and bonfires blaze. Vineyards are light up and castle ruins also host fireworks as one cruises for a 90 minute jaunt downstream. Now that would be a birthday to definitely remember!

Welcome to summer…now go out and enjoy those summer days…and catch some lightning bugs for me!

About Lynn Crain

Award winning author Lynn Crain has done it all in her life. From nursing to geology, her life experiences have added to her detail rich stories. She loves writing full time as she weaves contemporary, fantasy, futuristic and paranormal tales, tame to erotic, for various publishers. Her home is in the desert southwest and she’s just returned from her latest adventure of living in Vienna, Austria while her husband worked his dream job. You can find her hanging out online at www.lynncrain.blogspot.com, https://www.facebook.com/LynnCrainAuthor, and on Twitter, @oddlynn3. She loves hearing from her readers at lynncrain@cox.net.

Movie Mom Magic

I’m late, I’m late, I’m late. I swear I should be the rabbit in Alice but the plain fact is I wasn’t keeping track of the time. And that’s a problem…however…I do know that this month we’re talking about moms and movies. So let’s get right to it.

I love movies. I’m what many would call a movie fanatic. I’ve seen tons, love a few, hated a few and there were many that were just middle of the road. Movies with moms though are different because well, moms fight for their kids. They’re supposed to…there is a saying about a mama bear…anyway, here’s my top ten in no particular order.

Terminator 1 and 2 ~ In the first movie, the only thing we see of a child is Linda Hamilton clutching her belly and talking to her baby. In movie two, she’s a kick-ass mama willing to do anything to save her young. And she does.

Alien and Aliens ~ In the first movie, you really don’t know a thing about Ripley except she’s lucky. I’ll never forget her saying to herself as she’s slowly putting on the spacesuit…lucky, lucky, lucky…sends a chill down my spine every time. In Aliens, if you’ve seen the director’s cut, you find out that she had a child and Ripley’s first name is Ellen. No wonder Newt finds a special place in her heard.

Avatar ~ This whole movie is about family and right and wrong. It has a kick-ass plot and a mother who knows best. Mo’at knows that her daughter Neytiri won’t be happy with anyone but Jake Sully. It just takes the whole movie for her to see it.

While You Were Sleeping ~ This is one of my all-time favorite movies. I love it. And what’s not to love. It’s a case of mistaken identity to the max and has a mother and a grandmother to boot.

Serenity and Buffy ~ I know, I know…one’s in space…the other here on earth. But they are both by Joss Whedon and therefore awesome. While Serenity has no moms and Buffy’s is totally clueless, it again has some kick-butt women who seem to have it altogether – at least by the end. (Are we noticing a pattern here? LOL!)

Kill Bill 1 and 2 ~ Nothing says mama like someone who is looking for her child. Beatrix Kiddo, more commonly known as the bride, saves herself but barely by revealing the father of her child. When she wakes from her coma, she is determined to find said child and kill anyone who betrayed her or gets in her way. While this is an over the top movie, it still has a strong heroine and an over-the-top plot.

Forrest Gump ~ I will be the first to admit that this is not my favorite movie but you’ve got to love his mom. She did everything she could to make sure that Forrest had the same opportunities as everyone else. And whether by dumb luck or actually doing it all right, he ended up pretty good.

Juno ~ This is a pretty intense movie about a really intense thing but it is the best movie you will ever see on the subject of teen pregnancy. Juno’s stepmother gets right on top of things and never once condemns the girl about how she got where she was. She just did the right thing, took her to the doctor and asked her what she wanted to do. Pretty cool if you ask me.

The Incredibles ~ No list is complete without Helen Parr known as Elastigirl. While her life is incredibly complicated, she has what it takes to keep not one, not two but three special children on the straight and narrow while teaching them to do the right thing.

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy ~ Sorry, I know there’s no moms here but this is one of the best series ever. There are lots of women in the stories and they all play a big role, from Arwen saving Frodo to Galadriel giving him exactly what he needs to complete his quest.

Now I have one last mom to mention but it’s from a TV show. That ‘70s Show mom, Kitty Foreman, not only gives permission for her son and friends to hang out in the basement making it the best place ever, but she allows one friend to stay when he has nowhere to go. There are times when she’s saccharin sweet but the moment she called her husband by his own crazy one-liner, dumbass, I’d wished I’d had her in the ‘70s when we had the basement. She was awesome.

So, who are your favorite movie and television moms? Beside your own of course…I’d really love to hear what you have to say!

See you all next month.

About Lynn Crain

Award winning author Lynn Crain has done it all in her life. From nursing to geology, her life experiences have added to her detail rich stories. She loves writing full time as she weaves contemporary, fantasy, futuristic and paranormal tales, tame to erotic, for various publishers. Her home is in the desert southwest and she’s just returned from her latest adventure of living in Vienna, Austria while her husband worked his dream job. You can find her hanging out online at www.lynncrain.blogspot.com, https://www.facebook.com/LynnCrainAuthor, and on Twitter, @oddlynn3. She loves hearing from her readers at lynncrain@cox.net.

Being A Keeper

It goes without saying that this is the month for love. If you read any of this month’s posts you will see why we write romance, why Valentine’s Day is awful and that marriage is good for you.

Each post holds a bit of one author’s perspective and those perspectives are all true. But beyond all the wonderful things said about love and romance, we all write it because we love the simple joy of it.Valentine-Couple-Resized

There is nothing more basic as one girl and one boy getting together to share a lifetime full of happiness and love. Sure, there are bound to be bumps in the road, and they can take many forms, but the message in most of our stories is geared toward that happily ever after. Today, the HEA has a sister and that’s been named happily-for-now.

I’m not so much into HFN but I get it. In today’s fast paced world, people move around, people change jobs and their perspective changes. Things that worked before don’t always work in the new place and some of those that go by the wayside are those relationships that maybe started as an office romance. For me, the real story is getting that relationship to work. And I know it can happen because I’ve had friends who are married after doing those distance marathon relationships. After all, love conquers all.

Now there have been other twists in the romance world. Bet many of you didn’t know that in days gone by, science fiction and fantasy really didn’t have romantic relationships. Sure, there might be a girl and guy paring but it wasn’t the norm. Relationships did happen more in fantasy because of its very nature of sword and sorcery. After all, people did have Tolkien to read and in those books relationships abound.

But in science fiction, since it was a male dominated world, for many years romance was strictly taboo. People did not have relationships in space nor did they have sex or children or anything people would do in a normal life on earth. This gave me pause and then I’d snicker only to go into a full out laugh. What?!? No relationships in space?!? Who were these people kidding? Well it turns out they were kidding themselves. People will fall in love no matter what the venue. People are meant to be in love and form long term relationships and commitments. It makes us feel better and whole. I had quite a few closet sci-fi romance stories because that’s one of the genres I love to write. What is more exciting than to be in love and working in space…I can’t think of a thing.

For many years, it was thought that only humans could feel love. Even our closest relatives on the humanoid family tree didn’t form long term relationships. Theirs all happened in a completely different hierarchy and love wasn’t even a component of the system. But recently, someone hooked up a dog’s brain to a monitor and found that the same portions of their brains light up as our own when they see their humans. And that tells me that love is universal. There is no stronger bond than a dog and its master.

Today, the state of romance is a good one. Romance is still the number one top seller of all books in all forms. Love is still a money maker in terms of weddings and honeymoons and all the trappings associated with becoming a unit. Like purchasing homes and having children. These are things of a lifetime commitment that people do to fulfill their dreams.

When I was growing up I was determined I was never going to marry someone like my Dad. Don’t get me wrong, my Dad’s a great guy but he was a farmer and a construction worker. I wanted something more refined and exotic. Then my mother got ill with Alzheimer’s and I watched my father care for her every day. It broke my heart and when we were talking to the minister about what to say at her funeral, my father explained his love for her in this one sentence, “She was a keeper.” I knew then I had been wrong about my father for all those years. I wanted a man just like him. I wanted someone to tell others I’d been the keeper.

Thank god I’m lucky enough to have found that man. And what about you all? Have you found the love of your life? Do you believe that romance is an everyday occurrence?

About Lynn Crain

Award winning author Lynn Crain has done it all in her life. From nursing to geology, her life experiences have added to her detail rich stories. She loves writing full time as she weaves contemporary, fantasy, futuristic and paranormal tales, tame to erotic, for various publishers. Her home is in the desert southwest and she’s just returned from her latest adventure of living in Vienna, Austria while her husband worked his dream job. You can find her hanging out online at www.lynncrain.blogspot.com, https://www.facebook.com/LynnCrainAuthor, and on Twitter, @oddlynn3. She loves hearing from her readers at lynncrain@cox.net.

Resolutions or Goals

Well, it’s a New Year and time for resolutions.

I don’t know about you but the older I get I’ve decided that resolutions need to be repackaged and branded differently. I mean, how many of us stick to those things we want to do? Resolutions sounds old and tired. And maybe it’s because of what the word means.

According to Merriam Webster the word resolution means: the act of finding an answer or solution to a conflict or problem; the act of analyzing a complex notion into simpler ones.  Well, I don’t know about you but that’s not really what I had in mind when writing down my resolutions. I’m not looking for the answer, the answer is what I’ve written down such as write a 50K book a month.

Now, if I’m smart I do the second part of the definition anyway. I’ve taken that problem and I’ve broken it down into the parts that will fulfill my commitment to the resolution. Only by doing one step at a time will one actually do what’s required to complete the resolution.

However, I’d rather call them goals as opposed to resolutions. Resolution implies that there’s a problem to fix instead of a task to be completed, a goal to be reached. I commit to complete the items on my list and believe me, my list is long this year and the majority of it involves completing various writing projects.

Still, no matter what I call it, I have to apply one major principle to get them complete: I have to sit my bottom down in my chair and write. Each and every day. And so far, so good…how about you?

Have you written down your goals for to yourself? Are you working on them every day? Are you on the right path to your happiness? I can truthfully say this year, I am. And I will complete each and every one.

See you all next month!

About Lynn Crain

Award winning author Lynn Crain has done it all in her life. From nursing to geology, her life experiences have added to her detail rich stories. She loves writing full time as she weaves contemporary, fantasy, futuristic and paranormal tales, tame to erotic, for various publishers. Her home is in the desert southwest and she’s just returned from her latest adventure of living in Vienna, Austria while her husband worked his dream job. You can find her hanging out online at www.lynncrain.blogspot.com, https://www.facebook.com/LynnCrainAuthor, and on Twitter, @oddlynn3. She loves hearing from her readers at lynncrain@cox.net.

The Joy of November

Every fall or early winter, life takes a different turn for me. The air starts cooling down and the weather changes, sometimes drastically. Living in Austria, a place with four seasons, I am reminded why people have gone crazy from gray days. The first year I was here, I read that the winter had the most days without sunshine since World War II. All I could think was wow.

Today, I look outside and see the clouds gathering because it’s supposed to rain. It’s another gray day and frankly, all it makes me want to do is grab a good book and curl up on the couch. Or for me, I grab my tablet and curl up on the couch. LOL!

Still, being a writer makes these days hard as our observation skills are not as tuned as normal. When I write setting, I try to make the weather a living thing. It is really when you think about it. I remember a line once from the movie Twister that I always thought fascinating; Jo’s talking and she says, ‘You’ve never seen it miss this house, and miss that house, and come after you!’ Weather is like that and one can use it in stories as character when needed.

Everyone remembers the famous first line: ‘It was a dark and stormy night’ from but how many of us really remember what novel it’s from. I didn’t and had to look it up: it’s from the 1830 novel by Edward Bulwer-Lytton called Paul Clifford. While you might not remember the author or book, you most certainly do remember the weather of the opening.

You’re probably wondering just why I’m talking about the season and the weather this way. While this is my favorite season of the year, it is also one of the hardest for me. During fall and the beginning of winter, I’m moody, I write dark things that I normally wouldn’t write and all I want to do is laze around, not doing much at all. Hence the above sentence telling you about curling up on the couch and reading.

Some people have what’s called Seasonal Affect Disorder and it was noticed in places that are dark for large portions of the year. In Alaska and other places around the world, people use special lights, like grow lights, to give them back what they are missing from the sun. Now, I wouldn’t say I’ve gone that far but I can certainly commensurate with those people. I will go days without even wanting to do something productive then a switch is flipped and I’m baking up a storm. Believe it or not, it is also one of the reasons lots of babies were conceived during this period as there wasn’t much else to do when the world got dark.

I’m better around lots of people doing things like writers’ meetings but not having many friends in Austria, and no family, is really taking its toll on me during the fall and winter seasons. So, I’ve learned to take my joy from other things. Like writing. It’s during this time that I write, besides the dark parts, some of my more happy stories like those set around Christmas. That holiday has done more for me during the winter months than any other.

Thanksgiving here is something new here whereas at home it’s a major tradition. In Austria, we’ve actually started the American tradition and invite many friends to our home. We love doing it and were amazed last year when we discovered a full sized turkey will fit into our small oven. We did dressing and pumpkin pie as well as other traditional American dishes as we shared one of our most precious holidays with people who didn’t know a thing about it prior. Sharing one’s traditions is a good way to learn about people and have them learn about you.

So, today, I will watch those clouds outside my window, looking for the dragon or train or plane…aren’t clouds amazing that way? And I’ll hope for the sun to come back soon. Until then, I’ll write the dark parts of my stories as well as some of the happy parts too.

But how about you? Just what do you do to keep the seasonal blues away? Do you write? Read? Do you bury your head under the pillows and wish it would suddenly be spring? One lucky commenter will get a copy of one of my happier stories, A Viennese Christmas.

Have a great month…and see you all next!

About Lynn Crain

Award winning author Lynn Crain has done it all in her life. From nursing to geology, her life experiences have added to her detail rich stories. She loves writing full time as she weaves contemporary, fantasy, futuristic and paranormal tales, tame to erotic, for various publishers. Her home is in the desert southwest and she’s just returned from her latest adventure of living in Vienna, Austria while her husband worked his dream job. You can find her hanging out online at www.lynncrain.blogspot.com, https://www.facebook.com/LynnCrainAuthor, and on Twitter, @oddlynn3. She loves hearing from her readers at lynncrain@cox.net.

The Wonder of Fall

Hi everyone!

I’m the new kid on the block and I hope to keep each of you entertained during my day each month. I’m Lynn Crain and I write…well…a lot of stuff. LOL! I mainly write sci-fi, fantasy and romance. This includes all their subgenres as well. I do the occasional contemporary when the mood strikes me but overall I love the odd stuff. But on to the reason I’m hear.

Every year while I was living in southern Nevada, the seasons would come and go. Little changed during spring or fall because when you live in the hot southwest, there are truly only two seasons: hot and cold. I’m a seasons kind of girl and had begged my husband to find me a place with seasons. I wanted colorful leaves, I wanted snow and I wanted to see the new life that spring brings.

Well, I’m here to say that the adage ‘Be careful what you wish for’ is so very, very true. My husband was offered a wonderful job that we just couldn’t turn down. There was just one minor glitch…it was in Europe…Austria matter of fact. My husband beamed as he took the job as he’d finally moved me to a place with seasons. Never mind that he also separated me from those I love most…but…that’s another story.

We moved in the late spring of May and I was gone most of that first summer as we hadn’t completely closed up the house. I had to go home and finish that so when I came back, the coolness of the coming fall could be felt in the air. While I was gone, our air conditioner or rather heat pump, was put in so we had a special unit that would heat or cool the main rooms. This was good as I can go either way depending upon the season.

One morning, I woke up and stumbled to my office and gazed out the window. A slow smile spread on my face as I saw, really saw for the first time in years and during the right time, the colors of fall. Our flat overlooks the Schwartzenburg and Belvedere Palaces’ gardens. We’re 4-5 stories up and the view is spectacular.Fall-Resized

Bet you’re wondering just how a building can have 4.5 floors. Well see, there are garden flats in our building and the windows are at street level and slightly below. That gives us the ½ floor. The ground floor is considered floor 0 or earth and the second floor is called the first here. You have no idea how long it took to get the floors right, to understand the dates or to even say hi in German, the language spoken here.

But I didn’t care a twit about all that. I would cope as outside my window were brilliant mauves and golds, reds and even some greens still left on the trees. Fall is when the world winds down so it can get its second wind. It’s laying in the foundation for spring when all the beautiful flowers would blossom and share themselves with the world.

Fall and winter are my two favorite seasons. I love how life seems to slow down a little as kids go back to school, as we get more organized and structured for the cold months ahead. Fall is also new beginnings. Kids go to school for the first time, whether it be college or kindergarten, there’s still a moment or two of angst from both the parents and the child. Moms, who have been waiting for the freedom school brings, can get back to their reading, writing, designing and shaping the lives of their families.

Now while I don’t get that very much any more, I was incredibly amazed when all my kids, grandkids and even my daughter-in-law went back to school. It was fun to watch each of them. My oldest son seemed more jazzed that he got to go back to school. It’s been a while for him. The youngest is excited that he’s finally found something to do. The daughter-in-law needed to learn medical coding/billing so she could go work for a doctor she knows. The twin grandsons were the most excited and they literally bounced to and from that first day. And I know if I find some online classes, I’ll be right there with them. LOL!

How does your household and family react to the season change and new beginning? Do they love it? Hate it? Don’t forget to leave a comment and be entered into our monthly giveaway.

As for me, I’ll be sitting in my office, typing away and watching the leaves turn to those brilliant shades.

About Lynn Crain

Award winning author Lynn Crain has done it all in her life. From nursing to geology, her life experiences have added to her detail rich stories. She loves writing full time as she weaves contemporary, fantasy, futuristic and paranormal tales, tame to erotic, for various publishers. Her home is in the desert southwest and she’s just returned from her latest adventure of living in Vienna, Austria while her husband worked his dream job. You can find her hanging out online at www.lynncrain.blogspot.com, https://www.facebook.com/LynnCrainAuthor, and on Twitter, @oddlynn3. She loves hearing from her readers at lynncrain@cox.net.

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