The Wickedly, Worldly Way of the Written Word

Great post and I had to share.

The Serious Series Writer

I am so pleased to welcome author Susabelle Kelmer today on The Serious Series Writer.  Take it away, Susabelle!

I want to thank Susan Edwards for hosting me today on the Serious Series blog.  My debut novel, Fairest of the Faire, from The Wild Rose Press, was released this month (more on that below).  Today, I thought I’d talk to you about my fascination with words.

Sure, we talk all day long.  Words come pouring out of our mouths and brains, many times with little thought.  We talk to the barista at the coffee shop in the morning, before we are even really awake.  We talk to our families, our workmates, the store clerk, our friends.  We write emails, reports, and participate in discussions on the Internet. We text our friends on our smart phones, and fill out applications for employment, all using words.

And then there’s that…

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Wish I Could Do That – Decoupage with Peggy Jaeger.

Today I’m featuring the wonderfully talented Peggy Jaeger talking about her hobby Decoupage.

Using my creativity in a different way…

As a writer, I tell stories with words. Descriptive words, words that evoke emotion, and thought provoking words. Words are the essence of good storytelling.

But there are ways to tell a story other than just using words. Music, for instance, tells a story; art tells a story; any visual medium should tell a story.

I chose to tell certain stories through a process known as decoupage. Almost everyone knows what decoupage is. Most of us, at one time or another had to decoupage something for an art class project. At it’s purest, it’s the art or craft of decorating objects with paper cut-outs.

But what you might not know is what decoupage can represent.

I started to decoupage quite by accident. My daughter was renting a house where the previous tenants had left several objects behind, forgotten and not wanted. One of those objects was an old travel trunk. Leathered, weathered and in sad disrepair, the trunk was functional, just horrendous looking. My daughter needed extra storage for her plethora of things so I told her I might know of a way to cleanup the trunk and make it not only usable, but pretty, too.

She told me to have at it.

Since the trunk would be for her, I wanted it to be personal to her, so I decided to tell the story of her life. I used individual photographs of my daughter, friends and family, in addition to magazine photographs that followed a young girl theme. For a month I went through every magazine I had in the house and ripped out pictures and phrases that appealed to me. I also searched old family photo albums and made copies of pictures I loved. Then I set about gluing them to the trunk in a haphazard pattern of beautiful chaos. The final step was polyurethaning the entire trunk to make sure the pictures stayed in place (despite the glue) and to give the entire project a shiny, new finish. This is how it turned out:

how it turned out 3 how it turned out 1 How it turned out

 

Not too bad.

There are dozens of pictures of my daughter while she was growing up, some of her friends and family, and a variety of magazine photos all mixed together. She now uses the trunk as a showpiece in her room and to store blankets and such.

My next project I inherited. My in-laws were down sizing their house and they had an old cedar chest in excellent condition they didn’t want anymore. This is what it looked like when I brought it home:

brought it home

 

You can see, it’s plain white, but the inside is a gorgeous cedar wood – fresh smelling even after 40 years – and I knew it would be perfect in my guest bedroom.

With this project, I opted for a different theme than with my daughter’s. This project was going to depict strong, successful, sexy women from the 20th and 21st centuries, along with self-actualization and motivational phrases. Since I’d just retired from my job to devote myself to writing full time, I wanted this trunk to showcase independent and productive women. Women who were and are trailblazers. Women who strive for and achieve excellence in all walks of life.

It was a little more difficult to gather the materials I wanted for this project. It took me about three months of research. At the same time my first romance novel was being released, with the second coming out 2 months later, so I printed copies of the covers and added them to the plethora of pictures I’d found.

Here us the result of my labor of love:

 

favourites of mine  labour of love

 

 

 

 

 

In this photo you can see ElizabethTaylor and Marilyn Monroe, two 20th century icons and personal favorites of mine.

You’ll notice to the right of the Judy Garland OZ picture is a little pix that has THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME on it – my second book released May 6. My favorite movie is the Wizard of Oz, so I try to incorporate something from the book in every novel I write. You can also see another style icon, Grace Kelly, draped across a couch.

And here’s the top of the cedar chest. accross a couch

The story I told with the trunk is one I am proud of, because I was able to include myself in the overall theme of strong and successful women.

The tagline for my website, PeggyJaeger.com is Writing is my Oxygen, and this is true. I look at my need to write as I do to my need of breathing: I couldn’t live without either of them. But I do have other outlets for my creativity, as do many writers. Decoupage is just another way for me to tell a story from my heart. The pictures are my words.

 

You can decoupage almost anything. The materials needed aren’t expensive, nor are they hard to find. Any craft store will have the best glue, called MOD PODGE to use. You’ll need some foam paint brushes, the pictures or photos you want to use, and a clean area. One recommendation with the paper products is to find pieces that have a little heft to them. Think card stock weight paper instead of something like loose leaf paper. The glue will tend to ripple and crease thinner papers. When I have photographs, I also make copies of them using heavy weight copy paper.

For beginners, there are a plethora of website and you-tube videos to get you started. Here are a few:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGNsRu_3KLI

http://www.wikihow.com/Decoupage

http://video.about.com/familycrafts/Decoupage.htm

Story telling is what I love to do more than anything else in life. Whether I tell that story with words, pictures, sights or sounds, it’s all good. To me, a creative mind is a happy mind, and having more than just one creative outlet is a gift.

Thanks Peggy for sharing your hobby with us. Please tell us about your new book There’s No Place Like Home.

Blurb:  perf5.000x8.000.indd

Symphony pianist Moira Cleary comes home after four years of touring, exhausted, sick, and spiritually broken. Emotional and psychological abuse at the hands of someone she trusted has left her gaunt, anxious, and at a crossroads both professionally and personally.

Moira’s best friend, veterinarian Quentin Stapleton, wants nothing more than to help Moira get well. Can his natural healing skills make it possible for her to open her heart again? And can he convince her she’s meant to stay home now with the family that loves her – and with him – forever?

Excerpt:

“Remember when your cousin Tiffany got married in the backyard here?”

Confused, Moira nodded.

Quentin rubbed her bottom lip with the pad of his thumb. “When the Reverend told Cole ‘you can kiss your bride,’ and he swooped her off the ground, spun her around and kissed her silly? Remember what you said?”

“I think I said it was the most romantic thing I’d ever seen.”

He nodded. “The exact quote was, ‘I hope someone kisses me like that some day.’”

Her grin was quick at the memory. “Pat snorted and said I’d better be satisfied with licks from the horses and Rob Roy because no guy was ever gonna kiss me.”

“He wasn’t known for tact back then.” He rubbed a hand down her back as he held her. “Remember what happened later on behind the barn?”

Because she did, she couldn’t stop the heat from spreading up her face like wildfire. When she nodded again, he said, “You wanted to know what it felt like to be kissed like that and since I was your best friend, you thought I should be the one to do it, because you – quote – felt safe with me – unquote.”

“What was I? Eleven?”

“Thirteen. And I was more than willing. Almost broke my heart in two when you said afterward, ‘I don’t see what all the fuss is about.’”

“Q—”

“Hush.” He kissed her forehead. “Ever since that day, all I’ve wanted is a second chance. Now,” he pulled her body closer, wrapped both arms around her small waist, his hands resting just above the dent in her spine. “We’re both a little older, a little more mature. Some of us are much more experienced—”

“And conceited.”

“Experienced,” he said, the laugh in his voice quiet and seductive, “and things can be so much better.”

Author bio:  Peggy Jaeger

 

Peggy Jaeger’s love of writing began in the third grade when she won her first writing contest with a short story titled THE CLOWN. After that, there was no stopping her. Throughout college and after she became a Registered Nurse, she had several Nursing Journal articles published, in addition to many mystery short stories in Literary Magazines. When her daughter was born, Peggy had an article titled THE VOICES OF ANGELS published and reprinted in several parenting magazines, detailing the birth and the accident that almost turned this wonderful event into a tragedy. She had two children’s books published in 1995 titled THE KINDNESS TALES and EMILY AND THE EASTER EGGS, which were illustrated by her artist mother-in-law. While her daughter grew, Peggy would write age appropriate stories for her to read along with, and finally, to read on her own. Her YA stories are mysteries involving smart and funny 12-13 year old girls and an unusual collection of friends and relatives. They all take place in the 1980’s.

She has a Master’s Degree in Nursing Administration and had several articles published on Alzheimer’s Disease when she ran an Alzheimer’s In Patient care unit during the 1990’s

In 2005 she was thrilled to have an article on motherhood placed in the CHICKEN SOUP FOR EVERY MOTHER’S SOUL edition. She has won several awards in various Writer’s Digest short story and personal article categories over the years. Recently, she has placed first in the Dixie Kane 2013 Memorial Contest in the Short/Long Contemporary romance Category, and in the Single Title Contemporary Category, and third place in the ICO Romance Contest for 2013, and in 2014 she was a finalist in the Put Your heart in a Book contest.

A life-long and avid romance reader and writer, she is a member of RWA and her local New Hampshire RWA Chapter.

Peggy has embraced the techno age and writes for three blogs, all detailing events in her life. One titled, 50 pounds for 50 years is a personal blog about weight loss, one about her life as an EMPTY NESTER and her most recent one MOMENTS FROM MENOPAUSE, a humorous and informative guide through this time in a woman’s life.

She also has her own website http://peggyjaeger.com where she writes about everyday life and how it relates to writing. Twitter is her current obsession, but she is never far from her Facebook pages.

In 2015 she will have her first three contemporary romance novels published by The Wild Rose Press: Skater’s Waltz, book 1 in the MaQuire Women Series, and There’s No Place Like Home, book 2. Book 3 is titled First Impression. Three more are in the works for this series, in addition to her Cooking with Kandy series.

Social Media Links:

Website: http://peggyjaeger.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Peggy-Jaeger-Author/825914814095072

Twitter: https://twitter.com/peggy_jaeger

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/peggyjaeger/

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00T8E5LN0

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13478796.Peggy_Jaeger

Buy Links for THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1J1f3OZ

The Wild Rose Press: http://bit.ly/1GmM1Je

Barnes and Noble Nook : http://bit.ly/1JjMUG7

 

 

 

Wish I Could Do That – Vegetable Gardening is Not For the Faint of Heart.

Today on Wish I Could Do That I’m featuring Susabelle Kelmer.Vegetable Gardening is Not For the Faint of Heart  by Susabelle Kelmer cabbage

I sit here in late spring, listening to thunder while rain only flirts with us as “verga” – that rain that will fall but never reach the ground. This is my fourth year gardening in Colorado. I spent the first fifty years of my life in Missouri, more than half of them, gardening in one fashion or another. We always had a huge vegetable garden at home, and as an adult, I planted a vegetable garden in every yard of every rental house I ever lived in. In my early forties, my mother and I had an organic “community supported agriculture” operation on a piece of land south of St. Louis. We grew it all – beans, tomatoes, melons, cucumbers, squash, herbs, and chickens!

I learned a lot from those years of gardening. What works, what doesn’t, all while sweating it out under the hot, humid, pollen-filled Missouri skies.

Then I moved to Colorado. It is cold here. Not all the time, of course, but it is cold. Winter exists until Memorial Day. Snow doesn’t melt from the highest peaks until late July, if at all, although snow doesn’t stay around long on the plains where I live. Snow reappears up high in late August. I live along the front range, about six miles east of the mountains proper, but still 5,000 feet above sea level. We get snow, and bitterly cold temperatures, from October until end of May. “Spring” doesn’t arrive here until after Mother’s Day.

But yet, I garden. I garden because it is my habit. I also garden because I am good at it. I can’t grow everything I corn-pumpkinscould grow in Missouri. Tomatoes are stunted, and melons never get bigger than goose eggs. Water is limited, because, despite all the snow, there is very little rain. Ambient humidity rarely rises above 15%, thus the thundering overhead while the rain never makes it to the ground. After three years, I’ve kind of figured it out. I grow a lot of kohlrabi and cabbage, squash and beans, kale and pumpkins. I grow immense pumpkins. We eat well come summer, even if summer takes its time getting here.

Vegetable gardening is like any high drama – there are the highest highs, and the lowest lows. A random 30 seconds of hail can devastate everything. But a hot summer and a warm fall can yield pumpkins weighing over twenty pounds. There is loss, but there is glorious victory as well. The villains are well-known, if unpredictable, and in the end, our heroic efforts mean we get to eat what we’ve grown.

Such drama! Such good eating!

Susabelle Kelmer is a wife and mother living at the base of the Rocky Mountains in northern Colorado. She believes in romance, second chances, and the magic of moonlight. When she isn’t writing, she works with students with disabilities in the college environment. You can find her books and blog at www.susabelle.com.

The Renaissance faire is filled with characters and romance, but will it lead to Storybook Love? perf5.000x8.000.indd

Schoolteacher Connie Meyers is suddenly a young widow, her husband killed in a horrific car accident. Heartbroken to find out he had gambled away everything they had, she moves to her sister-in-law’s Midwest home to rebuild her life. A trip to the local Renaissance Faire with her nieces leads to a summer job as a costumed storyteller.

Avowed bad boy and fair performer Gage Younglood is infatuated with Connie at first sight. Despite his deliberately commitment-free life, and Connie’s don’t-touch-me attitude, he soon has her in his arms, realizing quickly she is also in his heart.

When she is threatened by her late husband’s bookie, he steps into the role of protector, his fate forever sealed with hers.

Buy now on Amazon! http://www.amazon.com/Fairest-Faire-Susabelle-Kelmer-ebook/dp/B00XCXYLSO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1431812679&sr=8-1&keywords=fairest+of+the+faire

Excerpt:

“Who said anything about a relationship?” he said, standing up so he could tower over her again. “I’m just trying to have a little fun. You know, fun?”

If he’d been an animal, she was sure he’d have had hair raised on the back of his neck, he seemed so angry, and it struck her painfully. She hadn’t wanted to anger him or hurt him. She turned away from him and closed her eyes to tamp down the tears she knew would come if she let them. She crossed her arms over her chest, to hold in the pain. Being tired made her much too vulnerable.

“Yes,” she finally said. “I know about fun. Life isn’t always fun, though.”

“Princess.” His voice was soft, tender. “I won’t hurt you. It’s not in my plan.”

Despite herself, she felt the shivers of desire race down from her shoulders, down her arms and legs, and back up to that secret, soft place at her core. She bowed her head and gritted her teeth, hoping for the feeling to go away.

“And what is your plan, Gage?”

“It’s a simple plan. I want you to feel good. I want to feel good, too.”

 

Find Susabelle on the web:

Website – http://www.susabelle.com

Blog – http://journal.celestialchicken.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/SusabelleKelmer

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SusabelleKelmer

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/susabelle