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.

Teaching An Old Dog ~ @oddlynn3 #LynnCrain #PCers

Autumn-Tree-RS4Web-600x514There’s a saying that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Well, I’m here to say that learning, be it a human or a dog, is a life-long experience and one that can’t be turned off. Fall is the time for new classroom beginnings. It’s a time to reflect on if a class will help you do something better. Writers by nature know that learning can enhance what they put down on paper, or screen in this case.

I love to learn and I love to help other writers do the same. This year, I decided that since my husband was going to be on a five, yes count them as I did say 5, week business trip spanning November and December.

At first, this made me want to cry because I’m in a city where I know few people and most of those are associated with his work. Many of those will be with him on that same trip. Then there was the fact that one of the most important holidays, American Thanksgiving, would occur when he was gone. It’s been years since I spent a Thanksgiving alone and I didn’t want to make this the first but again, I have little choice in the matter. So far, it’s just me and Pup Harry but I have hope that it will turn out to be something better.

By deciding to start taking some classes, I had to see where I stood and where I wanted to go. My field of study when I was in college was Nursing and Geology then I added computer science by getting a professional certificate and almost a Masters degree in Computer Management. I was just a couple of classes shy when I realized that being stuck behind a computer coding or managing the geeks, this is said in a good way with utmost respect, wasn’t really what I wanted to do.250x226

This time around, I knew that it had to do something with my writing. It could include writing classes themselves or classes on research. I signed up for a lot of them…probably way too many…but so far, it’s been fun. The first writing class was one where I had to write and revise a whole book in a month. That one is still going pretty well but I have to admit, I was totally burned out after the writing part and have been very slow in the revising part.

The other classes I’ve been doing are more on the science side since that appeals to me. The plan is to start going back to write the things I love and that is sci-fi/fantasy with or without romance. Then there’s all things paranormal as well. I can practically write those with my eyes closed but I have some ideas where I felt my science needed to be a little stronger. Therefore with that in mind, I’m taking Immunology, which is kicking my butt, and Epidemics. Both are reminding me of the things I’ve forgotten over the years about the human body and all the biology involved there. I’m also taking a water class, some planetary astronomy classes and a few more thrown in.

The point is that like I previously said, learning is a life-long process. Whether you know it or not, learning happens every day. You won’t notice it until you realize you’re doing something slightly different than before. Usually, it’s because it’s more efficient and your subconscious helped you to make it a part of your conscious being. Biology is interesting that way and immunology is reminding me just how interesting.Vienna-Fall-Resized-4-Web

If I can learn new things via the classroom route, anyone can. This can keep you more engaged with new things, reinforce older learning and keep one’s mind sharp, fresh, new. How are you all doing with your fall regime? Taking any classes? Truly, I’d love to hear about them. You can reach me at lynncrain@cox.net with all the great things you’re doing this fall. See you 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.

Another Corner, Another Café

First, I really apologize for getting this late. I don’t have the excuse of kids going back to school or any of the other things others might have. See, I decided to take classes myself this year and I had my first test, or quiz as they call it, of the course yesterday. More on that next month.

Beer-ResizedThis month, it’s all about food or things that go along with food. Living in the city of Vienna has given me a completely different aspect of food overall. People here take their meals very seriously and many summer nights can see them lounging in the cafes talking about the latest something or other. Most of the conversations are in German but those that I do manage to understand are on subjects we all hold near and dear: home, family, school, work and more.

Sidewalk-Cafe-ResizedDuring the summer season, the doors are thrown open and the inside comes out. Most all restaurants and cafes have outside eating areas and those that don’t are at a loss for customers. The space can be fancy or not, big or not, but all of them have a sense of something special that is so hard to define. Never have I found a place like these in the States. I’m sure they exist but it won’t have the same ambiance as the places here.

 

From your seat, you can see marvelous things like bike races along the Ringstrasse. If you go further afield away from the hustle and bustle of the downtown, you’ll see the vineyards that dot the Vineyard-Resizedhills around the city. It can be on a narrow street, where you wonder just what is happening at either end or it can be in the center of a platz where you wish the people would move along.

Dessert ResizedNo matter where you are in Vienna, you’ll find a café and more delights than you ever imagined!

 

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.

Life’s Perspectives

The 25th is a hard day for me. It didn’t dawn on me until this month just exactly why. My father passed away on this day in March of this year. He was my biggest fan and since his passing, my life perspective has changed a little. Or a lot. Depends on the day and my thoughts.

PopsWhen one starts out with a writing career, we’re all new kids, full of wide-eyed wonder at all the shiny, interesting things we see on the journey. Not once do we worry about where the ideas will come from, how we’ll get them down on paper or in the computer or even what a plot structure really is. Sure, we’d learned those things but the freedom to create is more important than the mechanics at that point.

Don’t get me wrong, we want to do it right but we definitely want to do it our way. But soon, we learn that our way isn’t the only way and there are many out there who can teach us more. So we become like a sponge, absorbing all the things around us that have to do with writing. Sometimes so much so that we forget an important part of writing itself. And that’s the living. In order to write, we need to live. We need to have our ups and downs to gain the experience of getting something written with the ‘wow’ factor.

Writing is all about living and how to do it well. When my mother was ill with Alzheimer’s, I gave up writing because I felt I needed to spend as much time as possible with her. Then my Dad took me aside and told me she’d kick my butt for giving up my dream. So back to writing I went and it was shortly thereafter I was published for the first time in ebook form and thankful he’d pushed me to do the one thing I truly love.

More recently, we’d talked again about how I’d slowed down on my writing. The move to Austria had been hard on me, things at home weren’t going like I thought they should, and I was still reeling from an ex-crit partner’s scathing tirade of what my writing lacked and other faults. My father again told me to get my head out of my behind and questioned me on why I really cared what someone else thought. He reminded me it was just one person and he was sure I’d offend a few more with something else along the way. Life isn’t without controversy or so he thought.

Frankly, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry because he was right. I’d never let it worry me before and I’d kept plugging away. Things can always be fixed but not getting them down is more of a problem. Sure, I needed to do an in-depth study as to why those words affected me so much but I shouldn’t stop writing because of it. Again, he was the man who had supported me as a kid with only a high-school education. He was a farmer’s son and a heavy equipment operator but he knew things I didn’t. His life perspective was for me to be happy and do only what I loved doing. Something that had been denied him all his life.

Florida-Photos---Me-and-DadSince he passed, I’ve written more than I’d written the previous three individual years. His words lit a fire in my soul again to write and get my stories on paper. There are times when I’m consumed with the woulda, shoulda, coulda routine but I know that our last days together were exactly how they were meant to be. Each day, I put more words down on my stories, I write blogs or plan bigger and better series. And for that I am grateful to just one person.

This one’s for you, Dad ~ I’m living the dream!

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.

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