Taking Texas to Tennessee – Buddy Magazine

Since not everyone gets to see the Buddy Magazine publication, I decided to post a recent article I wrote after my trip to Nashville. So far, it’s getting some good attention and feedback!

A Tale of Two Music Cities Divided

By Jan Sikes

On the heels of the Ken Burns sensational documentary about the evolution of country music on PBS, the one undisputable fact is that country music has been and is a large part of American history.

At one time during that history, Nashville was the only place to go if an artist wanted to break into the business. However, over the years, that changed and Texas played a large part in that change.

It is no secret that there has been a complicated rift between Nashville and Texas music artists ever since Waylon bucked the establishment, insisting on making music his own way and Willie took his music home to Texas.

I compare it to the famous stand-off between the Hatfields and McCoys. Shots were fired, and many folks threatened, but now the dust has cleared, and hands shaken. Judging by the recent spate of Texas Musicians who’ve made the trek to the famous city to perform on the Grand Ole Opry, I’d say there is at the least, a truce. 

Could it be that the Nashville heads are watching the flourishing Texas music industry with some envy? Or perhaps they are only seeing dollar signs.

Whatever the reason, I recently had the distinct honor of witnessing something that I believe will have lasting ripple effects for years and artists to come. I traveled to Nashville along with approximately 500 other avid Texas music fans to see our legendary Texas performer, Gary P. Nunn, make his debut on the iconic Grand Ole Opry. And, it came as no surprise that Nunn performed his two mega-hits, “London Homesick Blues,” and “Last Thing I Needed The First Thing This morning.”

But the crowning moment was when Gary P. Nunn strode onto the Grand Ole Opry stage and stood in the legendary “circle” while his fans jumped to their feet to welcome him with a Texas-size display of love for their favorite artist. The significance of performing at the mother of all country music venues cannot be understated.

While it was my first real visit to the city, I enjoyed exploring the places that created and now preserves country music history from throughout the decades.

Later that evening, Nunn had this to say about the experience.

“It’s always been on my bucket list to play the Grand Ole Opry and I never really thought I’d get the chance. It’s overwhelming.”

Add in the massive amount of folks that traveled to Music City to see him, and there was no denying that Nunn was deeply touched.

“When I looked out into the audience and saw all the Texas music fans that had traveled to Nashville to share this experience with me, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I was completely blown away,” Nunn said with misty eyes.

Me and Gary P. Nunn at the After-Party in Nashville

Texas artist, Ray Wylie Hubbard, made his debut on the Grand Ole Opry on July 17 just before Nunn’s appearance on August 3.

Hubbard said, “There are certain moments in time more powerful than others. Walking onto the Grand Ole Opry stage is one of the most powerful.”

Cody Jinks made his debut on the Grand Ole Opry on August 28. He had this to say. “I was as nervous about playing the Opry as I’ve been about any show. It’s an amazing experience that’s hard to sum up. It’s just special.”

So, why is Nashville suddenly opening its arms to Texas Music artists?

I think the answer to that quintessential question is complex and can’t be answered in a few simple words.

However, The Country Music Hall of Fame Museum in Nashville could be partially responsible for the shift.

Imagine 5,000 sq. ft. of nothing but Texas music history. That’s larger than an NBA basketball court, and that is precisely what you’ll find with the “Outlaws and Armadillos – Country Music’s Roaring 70s” exhibit which resides on the third floor of the hall of fame building in downtown Nashville.

I had the honor of sitting down with exhibit co-curator, Michael Gray, in his office at the museum to talk about how this exhibit came into being.

“There is a perceived division between Texas and Tennessee. But that relationship between Nashville and Austin is maybe a little more surprising and complicated than people realize,” Gray said. “It started before the seventies when we began to see artists insist on taking charge of their music rather than having a label executive tell them what to do. But the seventies really brought it to a head when Willie left Nashville and went back home to Texas. We all know the story of how he began to play at the Armadillo World Headquarters, then contacted his friend, Waylon and invited him down. But, also at the time, even though these rebelling artists had taken their music out of Nashville, they often had to return to Nashville to record because, at the time, there were little to no studios in Texas.”

And the decades-long stand-off between Nashville and Austin grew exponentially with artists like Willie, Waylon, Bobby Bare, Gary P. Nunn, Jerry Jeff Walker, Michael Martin Murphey, Marcia Ball, Joe Ely, and many others who had a burning passion to create original music without boundaries.

Austin filmmaker, Eric Geadelmann, memorialized Texas music history in a series of documentaries, “They Called Us Outlaws,” which tells the story of Texas music directly through the artists themselves. The idea to create the “Outlaws and Armadillos – Country’s Roaring 70s” exhibit came from these documentaries.

Gray said, “Eric Geadelmann met with us about six years ago here at the hall of fame and shared that he was going to produce this documentary series about the outlaw movement in the 1970s. The Hall of Fame became an official partner with him on this series. We opened up our archives to him to help him make his film. We had an exhibit at the time in that exact same gallery that was all about the late sixties and early seventies in Nashville when Bob Dylan came to record along with all the folk and rock artists that followed him here and opened the city a little bit. So, as that exhibit grew to a close, we decided to do an exhibit that went along with Eric’s film. And that was how it all started.”

Gray went on to explain how trips back and forth between Austin and Nashville set it all in motion. And they weren’t just satisfied to explore and feature the music artists, but also the great visual artists who helped create a brand. Among those were Jim Franklin, known far and wide for his outrageous poster designs for the Armadillo World Headquarters, Micael Priest who designed the first poster for Willie Nelson’s 4th of July picnic, and Ken Featherston who created iconic posters for various Austin events and venues.  

Franklin designed the logo for the “Outlaws and Armadillos Country’s Roaring 70s exhibit.”

Over time, the Nashville museum curators met with numerous people in Texas as they gathered donations from family members, friends of these legendary artists to be used in the display.

The result is a comprehensive tribute to that special period of time when music artists embraced a newfound freedom of expression. This was the true emergence of singer/songwriters. No longer was the artist required by label heads to sing someone else’s songs. They took this creative power to write, publish and produce their own music. You only have to look back to recognize that the music speaks for itself.  

Not only is The Outlaws and Armadillos exhibit a fantastic display of artifacts, but it is educational as well. And it brings together the undeniable fact the impact the Outlaw Movement had on the direction of Country Music forever.

A large part of the exhibit is in photographs from music historians such as Chet Flippo, Ron McKeown, Joe Nick Potoski, Dave Hickey, Michael Bane, Jan Reid, and Kimmie Rhodes.

The exhibit is so large it is next to impossible to see everything in a few hours. I would like to have had the entire day to spend absorbing the rich and vibrant history of the Outlaw Movement.

The bottom line is that there is a shift. The tale between two cities seems to be morphing, and no longer are the Texas music artists looked down on by Nashville as the ugly stepsisters of country music.

In fact, the tale of two cities, in which music amounts to a way of life for a substantial number of the populace, is often reduced to a simple division of Nashville executives and Texas artists, when the story of the relationship is more complex and diverse.

While the ending to that story remains to be written, for now, the plot, premise, and characters are taking a new direction, carving out new roads, and taking millions of fans along.

Our beloved Texas music artists are getting to enjoy a monumental juncture in their careers by walking onto the Grand Ole Opry stage, as honored guests, and standing inside the historic and coveted circle. The place at the table has gotten much bigger, and I say it’s high time!

And, as each of the artists I spoke to expressed, there is nothing that compares. It is a dream come true. And for Texas music fans, it’s a great opportunity to explore Nashville and the rich music history it has to offer, like standing in the footsteps of so many greats who left a clearly marked path for others to follow.

An undeniable shiver ran up my spine when I stood in the middle of the famed circle on the Grand Ole Opry stage and imagined Hank Williams singing, “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.”  

When Nashville invited, Texas responded. By taking Texas to Tennessee, and Nashville opening its arms to iconic Texas musicians, are we perhaps seeing the end of the musical gulf that has separated the two for so long? Stay tuned!

Welcome to “MOMENTS WE LOVE” Blog Tour! @BalroopShado @4WillsPub #RRBC

It is my pleasure today to host Balroop Singh and her newest book of poetry!

Moments of fragrant love that stand frozen in time, of dreams that dare not unfold, of passion that fleets by, of erratic joy that we meet at the crossroads of life, butterflies of time that add color to our dark moments to scare the demons away – I have gathered all of them in this book. Some of them whisper softly to create a magical aura while spring of life sings with them, trying to wipe silent tears. Mother Nature steps in with all her grandeur to breath quiet messages of tranquility.

Each poem would soothe your emotions with élan and add a dash of color to your life. Life – that doesn’t halt for your sad moments; that just floats by. You just need to dive in to soak in myriads of moments to discover how it could ignite positive tones. All the poems in this collection are imaginary but inspired from people around me, some of whom chose to share their frustrations and tremors with me. Sometimes I could read between the lines to pen my thoughts down.

Memories and moments merge here

Today when I return to share

The glow of rainbows

Embers of emotional entreaties

And smoldering debris.

Buying links:

US UK DE FR ES IT NL JP BR CA MX AU IN

Excerpt from Moments We Love:

Thaw

The warmth of walking beside you

Just like wrapping that old blanket

The wait for your cold arm

Yearning to reach me

That ear shattering peace

Eased by the doves above

Icy winds – a somber reminder

Of fragile emotional embankments

A laconic reply – a clear message

Yet those sunbeams

Dappling on the alienated path

Alluring us toward each other

Embers are alive within

Mist around the eyes is receding

As I could hear unspoken words

Echoing smoldering emotions

Which were buried

At the behest of hubris.

© Balroop Singh

Author Bio:

Balroop Singh, a former teacher and an educationalist always had a passion for writing.  She is a poet, a creative non-fiction writer, a relaxed blogger and a doting grandma. She writes about people, emotions and relationships. Her poetry highlights the fact that happiness is not a destination but a chasm to bury agony, anguish, grief, distress and move on! No sea of solitude is so deep that it can drown us. Sometimes aspirations are trampled upon, the boulders of exploitation and discrimination may block your path but those who tread on undeterred are always successful.

When turbulences hit, when shadows of life darken, when they come like unseen robbers, with muffled exterior, when they threaten to shatter your dreams, it is better to break free rather than get sucked by the vortex of emotions.

A self-published author, she is the poet of Sublime Shadows of Life,  Emerging From Shadows and Timeless Echoes – her widely acclaimed poetry books. She has also written When Success Eludes, Emotional Truths Of Relationships, Allow Yourself to be a Better Person, her latest poetry bookMoments We Love has just been released.

Balroop Singh has always lived through her heart. She is a great nature lover; she loves to watch birds flying home. The sunsets allure her with their varied hues that they lend to the sky. She can spend endless hours listening to the rustling leaves and the sound of waterfalls. The moonlight streaming through her garden, the flowers, the meadows, the butterflies cast a spell on her. She lives in San Ramon, California.

You can visit her blog at: https://balroop2013.wordpress.com

To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the author’s tour page on the 4WillsPublishing site.  If you’d like to book your own blog tour and have your book promoted in similar grand fashion, please click HERE.  

Thanks for supporting this author and her work!  

#TarotTuesday – Ten of Cups

Welcome to another Tarot Tuesday!

If you are just joining me, let me explain the inspiration to begin these posts. In Texas, and all across the country, Taco Tuesday is a popular day when Tacos are usually 99 cents. So, I had the inspiration, or Angel nudge as I like to think of it, to create a Tarot Tuesday. Each Tuesday I will post a different Tarot card and give its meaning. I pray and ask for the right card that will bring a universal message.

I decided to create a short video to show you how I shuffle the Tarot cards to choose one for these #TarotTuesdays. If you are curious, it’s only a little over one minute long.

Today the card I pulled is the Ten of Cups!

The Suit of Cups Tarot cards deal with the emotional level of consciousness and are associated with love, feelings, relationships and connections.

This is such a happy card! The keywords are: Divine love, blissful relationships, harmony and alignment. All good stuff!!

The Ten of Cups embodies emotional contentment, particularly in your relationships and family. You have created an abundance of love and happiness in your life, and you now share this love with others, expanding your heart even more. This card often appears when you are surrounded by your loved ones with whom you share a powerful and deep connection. You appreciate and support one another, and together, you help each other reach your highest potential. It brings you so much joy to see your loved ones succeed and live happy lives.

The Ten of Cups is the ‘happy family’ card, suggesting that your family relationships are harmonious and loving right now. No one is fighting or causing any tension; all family members are getting along with each other and sharing in the love that surrounds you. This card may appear in a reading when you are spending more time with family, perhaps on a holiday, reunion or event, where you can rest and relax together, creating fun and happy family memories and strong bonds.

The Ten of Cups is a positive card for romantic relationships and may indicate either a new and blissful relationship or a long-term commitment, such as engagement, marriage or starting a family together. 

The Ten of Cups encourages you to follow your heart and trust your intuition to lead you to the opportunities aligned with your Highest Good. Your feelings and emotions will guide you. When something feels fantastic, do more of it; and when something doesn’t feel right, do less of it. 

This card could not have been more appropriate for me as I have just returned from a family trip to Arkansas with my two daughters, all the grandkids and the granddogs. We had a great time and it was as the card said, harmonious with everyone getting along, even the three dogs. 🙂 What about you? Can you relate to this card within your own family? I want to hear about it!

Thank you for joining me! See you next Tuesday for another inspiring message from the Universe via the Tarot Cards!

As always, I use the Rider-Waite Radiance deck and BiddyTarot.com for interpretations.

Exquisite Pain

They stood, forehead to forehead and toe to toe.

“I love you, Kyle,” she whispered.

She lifted her head and met his smoldering amber eyes.

“I love you too, Julie.” He claimed her lips with tender yet insistent passion.

Shivers of ecstasy engulfed her, starting at her head and ending with her toes. This was it! This was what she’d dreamed of but never imagined could happen. After all, she’d never considered herself the stereotypical desirable girl that men lusted after. And especially for a man like Kyle, with his wavy brown hair, chiseled body and sexy smile.

She pressed her warm body against his growing need.

“I could stay like this forever,” she said.

Kyle chuckled. “I don’t think I could. I’d die from need and want.” He ran his hands down her back and cupped her buttocks, pulling her even closer.

He claimed her mouth again and she parted her lips, inviting his tongue inside. She wrapped her arms around his neck and entwined her fingers in his hair, letting the silky texture tease and tantalize.

“Okay! That’s a take. Great scene, Chris and Linda!”

Linda stepped back and cleared her throat. She avoided Chris’s gaze.

And then it hit. First in waves, then a crescendo of pure agonizing, exquisite pain. The kind of pain that only love can bring.

She reminded herself, it’s only pretend.

“Dammit,” she muttered.

This came in a dream. I experienced the exquisite pain that only love can bring. In the dream, it ended with a different scene, but with the same conclusion. I don’t have any idea who these characters are. I’ve never seen either of them and yet I was inside their heads. It makes me wonder sometimes if we travel to other dimensions when we sleep and dream…

All images courtesy of Pixabay.

PLEASE NOTE: I am away for the weekend with my family and may not able to respond to your comments until Monday.

Review of A Soldier’s Children – Jan Sikes

Thank you, Mark Bierman, for this wonderful review of “A Soldier’s Children!!!”

Mark Bierman

The Blurb:

At the tender age of fourteen, Jennifer shoulders the full responsibility of running a household and caring for her seven-year-old sister. It’s bad enough that their father is lost at war in Afghanistan, but troubles multiply when their so-called mother abandons them for another man. Hardships and struggles are constant companions. Family is whatever Jennifer can make it. That’s the way the cards have been dealt, and that’s the way she’ll play them.
This strong young girl meets every obstacle head-on, while never losing hope for a better tomorrow.

My Thoughts:

I found myself emotionally invested in the characters, anger at their dead-beat mother who abandons her children to fend for themselves. Who does that? I know the mother was mentally distraught over the death of her husband, but I found myself unable to forgive her actions.

Despite my disgust for Mom,  I couldn’t help but admire the…

View original post 386 more words

#TarotTuesday – The Emperor

Welcome to another Tarot Tuesday!

If you are just joining me, let me explain the inspiration to begin these posts. In Texas, and all across the country, Taco Tuesday is a popular day when Tacos are usually 99 cents. So, I had the inspiration, or Angel nudge as I like to think of it, to create a Tarot Tuesday. Each Tuesday I will post a different Tarot card and give its meaning. I pray and ask for the right card that will bring a universal message.

Looks like we finally get a break from all the Wands. 🙂 Today we have a card from the Major Arcana – The Emperor!

The keywords for The Emperor are: Authority, establishment, structure, or a father figure.

I studied this card for a long time before going forward. He has a tough exterior and in some ways seems unapproachable. He represents a father figure. The mountains behind him indicate a solid foundation, but the trickling stream also indicates he is still an emotional being, it just may take a lot of digging and trust to open up his softer side. Interesting to me that he is cutting his eyes to his right side, which going with the right brain/left brain theory, he is looking to the creative, subjective and thoughtful side. Somehow, that also balances out his tough exterior. I think it is also noteworthy to point out that he is wearing a suit of armor under his robes. He is invincible.

The Emperor represents a powerful leader who demands respect and authority. Status, power and recognition are essential to him, and he is most comfortable in a leadership role where he can command and direct others. As a leader, he rules with a firm but fair hand.

If the card represents you, it indicates that you have a clear vision of what you want to create, and you organize those around you to manifest your goal. You listen to the advice of others, but you prefer to have the final say. Conflict doesn’t scare you, and you won’t hesitate to use your power to protect those you care about. In return, those people will repay you with the loyalty and respect you deserve. Claim your authority as leader and influencer and don’t let others put you down.

The Emperor reflects a system bound by rules and regulations. You create law and order by applying principles or guidelines to a specific situation. You have the ability to create calm out of chaos by breaking down any problem into its parts and then mapping out the actions you need to take to resolve it.

The Emperor card also signifies world knowledge and expertise. Through the course of your life, you have gained valuable wisdom and life experience, and now you enjoy offering guidance, advice, and direction to someone who might benefit from it. You may be a teacher, coach, boss, or just a good friend who likes to take what you have learned and pass it on to others.

I can’t say that this card resonated with me on a personal level, except for the last paragraph. I do love to pass on any bits of wisdom I’ve learned in my lifetime of mistakes and missteps. How about you? Do you relate to this card?

Thank you for joining me! See you next Tuesday for another inspiring message from the Universe via the Tarot Cards!

As always, I use the Rider-Waite Radiance deck and BiddyTarot.com for interpretations.

Welcome to “THE MEREST LOSS” Blog Tour! @StevenNeil12 @4WillsPub

GUEST BLOG!

Today, I welcome Steven Neil to my blogsite to tell you about his latest book.

And, there are Giveaways!!

Steven is giving away (3) Signed Paperback copies of “THE MEREST LOSS.”  For your chance to win, be sure to leave him a comment below.

Take it away, Steven!

A story of love and political intrigue, set against the backdrop of the English hunting shires and the streets of Victorian London and post-revolutionary Paris.

Character Studies

I always draft character studies of my main characters and keep them close when I am writing. The more detail the better and the more likely it is that continuity errors can be avoided. Here are some extracts for three characters in my 19th century historical romance novel The Merest Loss.

Harriet Howard b. 1823

Harriet is born Elizabeth Ann Harryet. She is the daughter of Joseph Gawan Harryet, self styled Squire but actually a boot maker and son of a Brighton hotel owner. Joseph Harryet inherits wealth when his father dies and the hotel is sold.

     Elizabeth has a private education and is coached to achieve her father’s ambition for her that she should enter society and marry well.

     The young Elizabeth is beautiful, capricious, and precocious. She has a touch of arrogance about her. Whilst disguised as a boy, aged thirteen she has an encounter with a livery yard owner and attempts to secure a hunter hireling from him:

     ‘Well find me something else and be quick about it. I am Squire Harryet’s son and he wishes me to hunt in his place. We are guests of the Duke and I am keeping him waiting. And you sir are keeping me waiting.’

     As she becomes a young woman she retains her flamboyance but adds charm and humility to her personality. She is a talented mimic and has a wicked sense of humour. She has ambitions to be an actress.

     When she meets Jem Mason she is infatuated with him and runs away to live with him in London when she is still only fifteen.

     She is the heroine.

Jem Mason b. 1816

Jem Mason is born in Stilton, Cambridgeshire and is the son of John Mason; horse dealer to the gentry and very wealthy as a consequence.

     Jem is educated at Huntingdon Grammar School and later given private tuition. He is a talented rider from a young age and destined to become a successful jockey.

     Jem is handsome, elegant, well-dressed, slim, tall, gifted and athletic. He is also witty, smart, charming, and charismatic and has an easy, confident manner.

     He smokes cigars and drinks champagne. He likes the opera, ballet and the theatre.

     One story told about him is that when walking the steeplechase course at Stratford, in company with other jockeys, they come to two options: a five-bar gate and a bullfinch (a tall birch hedge which is jumped through rather than over). One of the jockeys asks Jem whether he would have the fence or the gate.

     ‘I’ll be hanged if I am going to scratch my face. I’m going to the opera tonight. I shall have the gate, forty miles an hour, and defy any man in England to follow me’

     The Sporting Life described him as ‘a lath-like elegant figure, beautiful seat and hands and a very quick eye.’

     When Jem and Harriet (then Elizabeth) meet they are immediately attracted to each other.

Major Francis Mountjoy Martin b. 1808

Francis Mountjoy Martin is the son of Charles Fuller Martin, former Sherriff of Calcutta who was by all accounts a rather eccentric character. Francis and his brother are reputedly the sons of an Indian mother.

     Francis is public school and Eton educated and becomes a Guards officer. He is the perfect gentleman. He is stiff, polite and very correct. He is tall, chivalrous and well-spoken. He is also quite shy in company and can speak with a stammer. He is artistic and also a musician and plays the violin

     In the novel he is an operational officer in the British Secret Service. He works for Nicholas Sly, Head of Espionage, French Operations.

     He is Harriet’s cover story and she lives under his ‘guardianship’ in London. It is believed that he is the father of Harriet’s son. It is ambiguous whether Harriet and Francis have a relationship or whether it is a business arrangement.

     He apparently provides a home and a trust fund for Harriet as he is not free to marry. This lends credibility to her wealth. In reality the money is provided by the British Government which is grooming Harriet to seduce Louis Napoleon.

     He acts as a sympathetic mentor to Harriet as the novel develops.

PURCHASE LINKS:

AMAZON UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Merest-Loss-Steven-Neil-ebook/dp/B077D9SHB5

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Merest-Loss-Steven-Neil-ebook/dp/B077D9SHB5

Amazon France: https://www.amazon.fr/Merest-Loss-English-Steven-Neil-ebook/dp/B077D9SHB5

Amzon Au: https://www.amazon.com.au/Merest-Loss-Steven-Neil-ebook/dp/B077D9SHB5

Amazon Ca: https://www.amazon.ca/Merest-Loss-Steven-Neil-ebook/dp/B077D9SHB5

Follow Steven Neil on https://twitter.com/stevenneil12 for information on how to purchase the paperback through an independent bookseller in the UK.

Bio

Steven has a BSc in Economics from the London School of Economics, a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing from the Open University and an MA in Creative Writing from Oxford Brookes University. He has been a bookmaker’s clerk, bloodstock agent, racehorse breeder and management consultant amongst other professions in his varied career. He is married and lives in rural Northamptonshire, England. The Merest Loss is his debut novel.

Twitter

@stevenneil12

IAN author page

https://www.independentauthornetwork.com/steven-neil.html

To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the author’s tour page on the 4WillsPublishing site.  If you’d like to book your own blog tour and have your book promoted in similar grand fashion, please click HERE.  Thanks for supporting this author and his work! 

Welcome to the #RRBC October-Ween Book, Blog & Trailer Block Party!

Hi and “WELCOME” to Rave Reviews Book Club’s BOOK, BLOG & TRAILER BLOCK PARTY  “Writing and Music!”

AND THE WINNERS ARE:

$10 AMAZON GIFT CARDS!FORREST STEPNOWSKI AND MARK BIERMAN

ONE (1) eBOOK “JEWEL”CASSIDY SALEM

ONE (1) eBOOK “A SOLDIER’S CHILDREN” – MIRIAM HURDLE

ONE (1) eBOOK “VOODOO OR DESTINY: YOU DECIDE”WATCHINGTHE DAISIES (BRIGID GALLAGHER

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL FIVE WINNERS!

If you are new to my blog, I do hope you’ll take a minute to look around and if you like what you see, please follow me!

Since this is a month-long book, blog and trailer block party, I decided I’d give your eyes a break and let your ears do the work at this stop today.

Below you’ll find a short excerpt from “JEWEL” and one from “A SOLDIER’S CHILDREN.”

am SO super proud of these short stories as JEWEL won the Grand Prize in the recent 90-Day Alpha/Omega Beginning to End Short Story Contest sponsored by the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB!

A SOLDIER’S CHILDREN received an honorable mention!

Now, here is an excerpt from JEWEL!

Excerpt from A SOLDIER’S CHILDREN!

And now just for fun, a tune I wrote and recorded several years ago. Enjoy!

Once again, thanks for stopping by and don’t forget to share your thoughts and comments at the bottom of this post.  Good luck on winning my giveaways!  I’ll see you at the next stop of this awesome BLOCK PARTY!

#TarotTuesday – Six of Wands

Welcome to another Tarot Tuesday!

If you are just joining me, let me explain the inspiration to begin these posts. In Texas, and all across the country, Taco Tuesday is a popular day when Tacos are usually 99 cents. So, I had the inspiration, or Angel nudge as I like to think of it, to create a Tarot Tuesday. Each Tuesday I will post a different Tarot card and give its meaning. I pray and ask for the right card that will bring a universal message.

Within each suit of cards (Wands, Swords, Cups and Pentacles) there is a total of 14 cards. It was with much amazement when I pulled yet another card from the suit of Wands. So far, that makes eight Wand cards I have pulled since beginning these posts. That only leaves six more. 🙂

Here is the SIX OF WANDS!

The Six of Wands depicts a man wearing a victory wreath around his head and riding a decorated white horse through a crowd of cheering people. His horse represents strength, purity and the successful progression of an adventure, and the group of people marks the public recognition for the man’s achievements.

The keywords associated with this card are: Success, public recognition, progress, and self-confidence.

The Six of Wands appears when you have reached an important milestone or achieved a significant goal, and you are confident, self-assured, and successful. You harnessed your strengths and talents to bring about a happy outcome in your endeavors. It suggests that not only have you achieved your goals, but you are also receiving public acknowledgement for your efforts. You may have recently received an award, acclaim or recognition from your peers for your work. It may even be just a pat on the back, but this attention is a big boost to your confidence.

The Six of Wands also encourages you to put yourself out there and be proud of what you achieved. Shout your successes from the rooftop and set it all out there for others to see and cheer you on. Be open to receiving love and support from your biggest cheerleaders, who are energized by seeing you succeed. Now is your time to shine!

In all honesty, I never tire of the Universe’s timing. Having recently won three awards for short stories, this card could not be more timely for me. And, I am celebrating!

Tell me how this card speaks to you! I want to celebrate your successes!

Thank you for joining me! See you next Tuesday for another inspiring message from the Universe via the Tarot Cards!

As always, I use the Rider-Waite Radiance deck and BiddyTarot.com for interpretations.