Day Seven – Final Day of Art Challenge

geraniumsI was challenged by my friend, Willena Jeane Belden, to post a painting a day for seven days. This is digital art. I just published “The Missing Butler and Other Life Mysteries” (A Collection of Short Stories). These are illustrations from that book.

Day 7: Skipping ahead to the last story in the book – The Red Geraniums – A young girl runs away from her incestuous father. She finds refuge in an orphanage run by nuns. She only wants to stay and become a nun, and never have to deal with her fear of men again, but the head nun insists she must leave at age sixteen and take a husband.

Yesterday, I goofed, and entitled my post Day Seven, when it was only Day Six. But, this is the last day of the challenge.

Day Six – Art Challenge

I was challenged by my friend, Willena Jeane Belden, to post a painting a day for seven days. This is digital art. I just published “The Missing Butler and Other Life Mysteries” (A Collection of Short Stories). These are illustrations from that book.melons

Day 6 – Auld Lang Syne – (sixth story in the book) A middle-aged woman meets her ex-lover in the local grocery store.

(Note: This is an okay drawing. Capturing melons was hard for me, considering I love melons and not beets so much and the beets came off excellent. At least I think the beets is one of my best works. One day I will try again on the melons.)

Funny true story, which I wrote into the story – I stopped by a roadside stand about 15 years ago and was looking at the cantaloups. I asked, “Are these organic?”

His response was, “No, dear, these are cantaloups.”

Silly me.

Day Five Art Challenge

14542411_1780565798886464_1191854482821613060_oI was challenged by my friend, Willena Jeane Belden, to post a painting a day for seven days. This is digital art. I just published “The Missing Butler and Other Life Mysteries” (A Collection of Short Stories). These are illustrations from that book.

Day 5 – the fifth story – The Wickham Just your average field trip for a trio of teenagers from the planet Roma. They visit earth in the 1960’s (earth time) to retrieve the planet’s most authoritative piece of literature. They find it in the unlikeliest of places, the set of Star Trek. Star Trek meet Pride and Prejudice.

Day Four Art Challenge

catingrassI was challenged by my friend, Willena Jeane Belden, to post a painting a day for seven days. This is digital art. I just published “The Missing Butler and Other Life Mysteries” (A Collection of Short Stories). These are illustrations from that book.

Day 4 – the fourth story in the book – Nine Lives – Max, a kitten, is curious about Oliver’s past lives. The rumor was Oliver was Buddha in one life.

A snippet from this story:

Oliver took another slurp of milk. “I go back, way back. Ever hear of the pyramids?”

Max shook his head.

“Well, they’re in Egypt, a far piece from here. That was where I spent my first life. Barely weaned when an Egyptian princess took a fancy to me. In the nick of time, too. I was orphaned.”

“Oh?” Max questioned in awe.

“Yes, my mama was hit by a huge obelisk. Faulty construction. Happened back then, too.”

Max looked puzzled. “It’s a huge pillar. Well, never mind. Not really pertinent to the story. There were human lives lost, too. Not that there wasn’t law suits. Shifty lawyers back then, too. But being a cat, I had no recourse. All I cared about was that I lost my mama, along with all my brothers and sisters. But, like you, being the runt, I tagged behind. That saved my life. Maybe it was karma. I don’t remember my lives before being a cat. Maybe it was just dumb, blind luck. I didn’t think so at first. I just curled up into a ball and whimpered until someone picked me up. It was the princess who saved me from a life of begging.”

“A real-life princess? Wow,” said Max. “Was she beautiful?”

“No, not in the least.”

Day Three – Art Challenge

IMG_0981I was challenged by my friend, Willena Jeane Belden, to post a painting a day for seven days. This was a Facebook challenge, but am moving it over to my blog. Willena Jeane Belden’s blog can be found here:  https://willenajbelden.com/

This is digital art. I just published “The Missing Butler and Other Life Mysteries” (A Collection of Short Stories). These are illustrations from that book.

Day 3: From the third story in the book – Ninety-Nine Bottles of Beer Ralph only wants a vacation that won’t turn into a disaster.

Day Two of Art Challenge

mermaidsI was challenged by my friend, Willena Jeane Belden, to post a painting a day for seven days. This was a Facebook challenge, but am moving it over to my blog. Willena Jeane Belden’s blog can be found here:  https://willenajbelden.com/

This is digital art. I just published “The Missing Butler and Other Life Mysteries” (A Collection of Short Stories). These are illustrations from that book.

Day 2: From the second story in the book – The Mermaids – A middle-aged woman finds solace in her new above ground pool. Within its confines she discovers she can imagine all sorts of things. Her neighbors wants what she has.

Day One – Seven Day Challenge

butlerI was challenged by my friend, Willena Jeane Belden, to post a painting a day for seven days. This was a Facebook challenge, but am moving it over to my blog. Willena Jeane Belden’s blog can be found here:  https://willenajbelden.com/

This is digital art. I just published “The Missing Butler and Other Life Mysteries” (A Collection of Short Stories). These are illustrations from that book.

Day 1: The Missing Butler It is Inspector Brown’s first day as chief inspector when a portly woman storms into his office with a pan of brownies proclaiming a butler fellow robs her blind, and then she drops dead.

 

NaNoWriMo

nanowrimo_2016_webbanner_winner_congratsThis one has been a struggle. It wasn’t until the last two days of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) that I finally got going in the right direction of the novel I’m working on. That was after reading some passages to my husband who said it needed something, which it did.

After meditation on Tuesday morning, my muse bonked me on the head with a totally new idea of where to go with the story, and yet another layer to add during Wednesday morning meditation. By noon on Wednesday I had my fifty thousand words in. There is much more to write, but at least I’m happy now with what I’m writing.

Last night I read the revised parts to my husband, and he said he liked it. So pleased with that.

I add almost given up on it, but at the last moment, said, no, I have to do this.

The Missing Butler and Other Life Mysteries

The Missing Butler and Other Life Mysteries is out on Kindle, Nook, iBooks, Kobo, Smashwords, and other epub formats.

This short story collection has a total of fifteen stories with illustrations by the author. Most of the stories fall under the category of humor as do the whimsical illustrations.

  1. The Missing Butler It is Inspector Brown’s first day as chief inspector when a portly woman storms into his office with a pan of brownies proclaiming a butler fellow robs her blind, and then she drops dead.
  2. The Mermaids A middle-aged woman finds solace in her new above ground pool. Within its confines she discovers she can imagine all sorts of things. Her neighbors wants what she has.
  3. Ninety-Nine Bottles of Beer Ralph only wants a vacation that won’t turn into a disaster.
  4. Nine Lives Max, a kitten, is curious about Oliver’s past lives. The rumor was Oliver was Buddha in one life.
  5. The Wickham Just your average field trip for a trio of teenagers from the planet Roma. They visit earth in the 1960’s (earth time) to retrieve the planet’s most authoritative piece of literature. They find it in the unlikeliest of places, the set of Star Trek. Star Trek meet Pride and Prejudice.
  6. Auld Lang Syne A middle-aged woman meets her ex-lover in the local grocery store.
  7. The Plans A man appears before a judge, after being picked up for dancing on the grave of Jim Morrison, and tries to explain his plan to free Henri, a giraffe, at the Parc Zoologique de Paris?
  8. Jury Duty A woman laments being called to serve on jury duty.
  9. Murder Under the Oaks: The Co-Joined Twins Caper The Carpenters spent most of their lives restoring an old house, a fixer-upper, until fate played its hand.
  10. Conversations in a Coffee Shop A woman revisits her past while sipping coffee in what used to be the the town’s movie theater where she went to college.
  11. Master of the Stacks Michael retraces his life, from childhood through his death, and how the library played such a large part.
  12. Man’s Best Friend A Dachshund puppy finds his best friend and hero at an amusement park
  13. When in Paris A couple save up for their dream, a trip to Paris. On their last night of the trip, they get lost.
  14. The Lost Moment A Woman observes another couple in a restaurant while reflecting on her own inability to have a meaningful relationship.
  15. The Red Geraniums A young girl runs away from her incestuous father. She finds refuge in an orphanage run by nuns. She only wants to stay and become a nun, and never have to deal with her fear of men again, but the head nun insists she must leave at age sixteen and take a husband.

My Vision Board

When the words quit coming, I usually take a break and work on some form of art. Sometimes I’m designing the covers before even starting the book. And, I put them on the Kindle app or iBook app to see how they look. Below, I’ve stuck them in the order of intended publication. Two are already published, Jessica Lost Her Wobble, being the first, and The Color of Cold and Ice being second. The next intended publication is The Missing Butler and Other Life Mysteries (hoping for December). The Innkeeper on the Edge of Paris, possibly by next summer and Sally before the end of 2017.

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Bucket List

My bucket list is minimal. As far as my writing endeavor is concerned, one of my goals was to have my books make it as a book club selection. Jessica Lost Her Wobble achieved that. Another goal was for my ebooks to make it to OverDrive. OverDrive is ebook checkout for libraries. Both books made it to Kentucky Unbounded Libraries OverDrive program yesterday, and today I saw where one is already reached the status of On Hold. So someone is hopefully reading it.

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Day One

nanonovemberbannerThe first day of NaNoWriMo, and I sit here looking at my computer screen,

Chapter 1. 

I’m reminded of the a writer in the movies sitting before his typewriter – Writer’s Block. Well, in all fairness to myself I have 224 words. And, the first two words are controversial, very controversial. You aren’t supposed to use very. Extremely (And, as Stephen King says, the adverb is not your friend) controversial. Those two words could get edited out; however, your first line should be an attention grabber.

I slept in this morning – 7 AM. I thought it might give me that extra edge to write. So, far, No. I’m sure while I slept other NaNoWriMoers were writing away, in the vicinity of thousands of words already. Still, I have faith. I’ll get there.

NaNoWriMo

Not single word, of course, or even an outline, or really any kind of plan for this year’s NaNoWriMo, except that I plan on writing about a woman I met when I was 8. She was 103 at the time, and was born into slavery. Several years back I did do quite a bit of research on her, but still it will have to be fiction. But I did work on a cover today from one of the three pictures I found of her. She is 101 in the picture. I searched on Amazon and Goodreads and found nothing else with the title of “Sally”. That was quite a surprise.

kindle-cover-sally

More of What I’m Working On

My husband got me an apple pencil for my birthday. I downloaded the app, Paper 53. I’m finding it works close to using a real pencil on paper. Well you don’t have the actual sensual smell or touch of a real pencil and paper, and you can only use it with Bluetooth, but…it’s portable and saves on trees and is far less intimidating than my fear of ruining a beautiful piece of paper.

It is perfect for compiling a collection of pictures to go with a book of short stories I’m working on, The Missing Butler and Other Life Mysteries.

14542533_1780566095553101_5487525710669476682_o 14468740_1780565845553126_5573655480204616114_o14542411_1780565798886464_1191854482821613060_o

Books Now Available on Smashwords

I have both of my books, The Color of Cold and Ice and Jessica Lost Her Wobble on Smashwords. I have listed both as buyer sets the price. Feel free to get them for free. I hope you will leave me a review on all of the various sites, Smashwords, Amazon, Goodreads, etc. But at the same time, only read my books if they call out to you. Life is too short, and we should all be reading what makes us happy, makes us think, or expands our minds and our hearts. Thanks, J. Schlenker

Sybil has prophetic dreams. Her latest involves her sister Emerald. John wants to make a difference as a doctor and save his marriage. Allison, John’s wife, wants to ignite the spark that was never in their marriage. Mark, Allison’s brother, a struggling musician, wants inspiration. The cold changes…
book cover (1)
“Jessica Lost Her Wobble” is psychological in nature. At mid-life, Jessie, the main character, after many upsets, moves to an island for contemplation of her life and to make a new start. While there she reflects back on her beginnings. Her friendship with a young girl opens up a new world for her and helps her explore her own soul. Jessie reinvents herself, but all is not as it seems.
“Jessica Lost Her Wobble” was chosen as a book club selection for Novel Tea Book Club in August, and is an upcoming book club selection for Jewel City Book Club.

What I’m Working On

the-innkeeper-on-the-edge-1Chapter 1

     “I don’t want to make anyone sad, not even you.” Those were the words she started with, the only words she could think to write. A ton of possible words, explanations, and reasons bombarded her brain before she actually sat at the kitchen table to compose a letter.

     She wanted to write about the accident and how it had inwardly changed her and how she should have acted sooner. But in front of the blank white paper she froze. Instead of pouring out her heart to Nick, her own thoughts and feelings, the ones she hid in her locked journal, she looked out the window in a daze fixated on the rain hitting the pane. Nick’s words reverberated in her head, the ones he used so often, “Isa, you sadden me.”  Those words rested like an anvil on her heart each time he sarcastically spit them from his mouth. Those words came after every argument.

     What was the point in writing anything? She couldn’t express herself like the authors she read. She was a reader, not a writer. Besides, she and Nick were beyond what words could fix. The marriage was broken. So, she wrote,

“I don’t want to make anyone sad, not even you.”

                     Isa

     She left the note on the kitchen table, ripped the pages out of her journal, burning them one by one, watched the ashes disintegrate down the garbage disposal, picked up her suitcase holding a week’s worth of clothes along with a new journal and her laptop. Tomorrow she would begin divorce proceedings. She would return for the rest of her stuff when she figured out what she was going to do. But she already knew what she was going to do. She had been Googling Europe for months, in particular, France.

Woke up to a Great Review

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

The Color of Cold and Ice is a novel by J. Schlenker. This is her second novel. I read and reviewed her first novel Jessica Lost Her Wobble. She asked me to read her second novel and review it. I am so glad I said yes. This is a wonderful story of a group of strangers in New York City who come together because of a coffee shop called The Java Bean Factory. The characters are very realistic as are the incidents in the plot. The story is interspersed with chapters on colors. Colors are personified and each color tells about the attributes it has. Color plays an important part in the lives of the characters. The story mainly takes place in the winter, around Valentine’s Day, in New York City. It then expands to Amsterdam and Poland.
Sibyl had a vision to own a coffee shop and with the help of her lawyer husband, Clark, and her sister, Em (short for Emerald), she made her vision become a reality. When she purchased the shop, Em gave up a job she hated to come help her decorate the shop and get it running. It became a lifesaver for Em when her husband was killed in a freak accident. Sibyl also had dreams that foretold things, like Michael’s accident and 9/11. Some dreams were just dreams but all involved color and cold.
John Gray was a GP who had his own practice plus all his student loans and bills. He had worked ER and loved it; but it didn’t give him time for his family. His wife, Allison helped him start his practice but she was a stay-at-home mom with their two children, Molly and Little John. John stopped at The Java Bean Factory because the line at other coffee shops were too long. He thought he recognized Em; but wasn’t sure. Actually, he was the doctor who saved her son Chad’s life after the accident. John loves his job and his family; but something is missing.
Mark is Allison’s little brother. Where she is slightly OCD, he is the exact opposite. He is unmarried but has had several long term girlfriends who were all different and a little flaky. He loves music but hasn’t been able to make much of a living with it. He is still trying to find where he belongs in life.
Their lives collide in New York but one thing resounds with all of them- color. They also are fans of Van Gogh and his colorful paintings. All this is woven together in a lovely story that tears at your heart and makes you laugh at the same time. I totally recommend this book to everyone.

Book Club Selection

14138000_10153707187202027_2183443769872558021_oI was so nervous, as public speaking is one of my biggest fears. Yet, I believe, it turned out well. Jessica Lost Her Wobble, my first book, published in December of 2015, was chosen as a book club selection for the Novel Tea Book Club which meets at the Boyd County Library in Ashland, Kentucky.

In honor of the occasion, I gave the book, the Kindle version, a new look. I am still in the process of updating the print copy. I made some minor changes within the book, added a couple of quotes relevant to the book, and added Discussion Questions. I hope to have the print version changed by mid September or sooner, as well as adding the book to other venues other than Amazon.

Now, I’m ready for more book clubs. So, if you know of any, let me know.

One big change is the cover. I was able to add another badge – a five star award from Readers’ Favorite.

book cover (1)

Vellum

Other than giving Jessica Lost Her Wobble a facelift (changing the cover a tad, adding some quotes at the beginning, and a Reader’s Discussion at the end), I am also working on a collection of short stories and using my iPad drawings to go along with them. I’m doing this with a program called Vellum, which I love. I just wish it did pdf’s. I so hope that is in the works.

My Book is on Nook

Cold and IceI just like saying that. I’m happy to announce that my book (The Color of Cold and Ice) is now on Nook. And, also it is on Kobo, iBooks, Kindle, Scribd, Smashwords, Draft2Digital, Inktera, Tolino (A German reader – must have liked my last name) and some others. It has been submitted to Overdrive. Overdrive is an application for checking out ebooks from your library. If it is not listed for your particular library, please ask them to request it. Thanks!

Follow UP

Here is my review of Grind by Edward Vukovic which I posted on Goodreads and Amazon. A fantastic book!

The cover drew me in – so well designed. I’m not a coffee drinker, yet reading this book could almost make me become one. I was mesmerized by the poetic flow and rich descriptions in the book, so much so, that I almost lost track of the story. However, midway through, I was very much engrossed into the characters and found the book hard to put down. The reader is enriched by the subtle ritual of the coffee drinker, not much unlike a Japanese tea ceremony. The descriptions were so defined that at one point my mind drifted, thinking of the popcorn that we might have during a movie later that night. I read on only about three pages onward and found a popcorn scene. Was it intuitive? Did the smell of popcorn seep through to the surrounding pages? The author does a superb job. As a writer I was greatly inspired by his work. If this book would get in the right hands, I could see it as a bestseller.

Grind

29233502._SY180_I chose this book to do a review of. Although I don’t drink coffee, don’t even like coffee, the cover drew me in. Tea drinker. The cover was a little reminiscent of a Japanese tea drinking ceremony.

I am not far into the book, perhaps fifteen percent. I’m savoring each word as the author, Edward Vukovic, is adept at showing, not telling.

The book can be found on Amazon.

 

Reader’s Favorite Review

Jessica Cover PaperbackReviewed by Deborah Stone for Readers’ Favorite

Jessica Lost Her Wobble by J. Schlenker is a unique love story with unexpected twists and turns. Jessica, more commonly called Jessie, is a woman in her mid-forties with a lot of baggage. Her self confidence is low and she is unsure of everything and everyone in her life. She meets Amy, a much younger woman, a girl really, and Jessica begins to learn how to live again through this new and liberating friendship. Jessie moved to America from England when she was a teenager, married the wrong man, and is now divorced and the mother of two children, Josh and Gina. Her marriage is over, her son has died, she is somewhat estranged from her adult daughter, and she is trying to figure out what her life is all about and where to go from here. She has moved away from the city to an island where she wants to just blend in and find herself. What she finds are friendships that help her to see herself in a different light and perhaps even a romance, if she can allow herself to be loved. Her life is finally coming into focus and she sees a real possibility for happiness…or is it all too good to be true? The past is not done with Jessie yet. Will she have the strength to survive both physically and emotionally when she is forced to relive the most painful moment of her life, just as she is beginning to have hopes for a future?

J. Schlenker has delivered an intriguing love story with some surprises. The story draws you in and holds your interest to the end, the very unusual end. J. Schlenker’s characters are well developed, realistic, sometimes quirky, and all very relatable. I couldn’t wait to get to the end to see how things turned out, but yet hated to get there and have it be over. This was a very enjoyable read and the ending took me completely by surprise…which I will not divulge. J. Schlenker has succeeded in drawing the reader in and holding them there while entertaining and educating, surprising the reader with unexpected twists, and ultimately making the reader sorry that the book has ended.

Book can be found on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Or ask your local book store to order.

Birthday Bash

Time to settle back down to real life today. My birthday was Saturday. We started celebrating on Friday, margaritas and flan. On Saturday a day out, Mediterranean, a birthday cupcake, and sushi, a strange combination of food. Also, getting my hair cut. The stylist told me I looked like Debbie Harry/Blondie. I was thrilled to no end even though she is seventy-one, eight years older than me.

The typewriter was a gift from my mother on my eleventh birthday. It was my first charm on my charm bracelet. Since I can officially call myself an author(?) my husband cleaned it and got a chain for it so I could wear it as a necklace. The carriage actually moves back and forth. They certainly made things well back then.

Crazy

This is crazy. I still have loose ends to tie up on The Color of Cold and Ice, published on Amazon only a few days ago. I still need to get it on iBooks, Nook, Overdrive, etc. Yet, I’m working on a cover for the next book, The Innkeeper on the Edge of Paris, the book that needs tons of rewriting and editing. Somehow, though, for me, I need to envision the completed product while I work. Also, today I like this design, but I will probably want to change it a few more times before the book is complete. This is just a mock up. My husband has a better quality picture that he took of the inside of Orsay on his computer.

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Arrived

IMG_1150The newest book, my second book, has arrived. I placed it on top of my first book on my makeshift desk (my husband plans on making me one from scratch at a later date, but for now this one is just grand), a table I removed from the living room for the purpose.

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And, the view isn’t bad. Plenty of deer to watch when I look up from the keyboard.

 

New Release: Book Review: The Color of Cold and Ice by J. Schlenker

The Page Turner

Cold and Ice

  • Publication Date: July 20, 2016
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01ITYEIJM

The Book Blurb:

Sybil has dreams; the prophetic kind, although interpreting them correctly is another matter. Her latest dream involves her sister Emerald, who wants to pursue her art once more and move on with her life after losing her husband. John, once felt he was making a difference as an ER doctor, but finds himself slipping away in his Manhattan practice as well as in his marriage. Allison, John’s wife wants to change her ho hum existence with John into something spectacular. Mark, Allison’s brother, a struggling musician, wants to quit rambling in life and find his purpose.
The cold changes everything.

About J. Schlenker:

J.

J. Schlenker has been featured on my review blog before with her award-winning  Jessica Lost her Wobble. That was her first book and to me, they just…

View original post 461 more words

Coming Soon

The Color of Cold and Ice (3)  Currently working on “The Color of Cold and Ice”. Mainstream Fiction. Should be out in one to two weeks.                                                                                                   If anyone would like a copy to review, please contact me.                                                                                                                                                                                             Blurb: Sybil has dreams; the prophetic kind, although interpreting them correctly is another matter. Her latest dream involves her sister Emerald, who wants to pursue her art once more and move on with her life after losing her husband. John, once felt he was making a difference as an ER doctor, but finds himself slipping away in his Manhattan practice as well as in his marriage. Allison, John’s wife wants to change her ho hum existence with John into something spectacular. Mark, Allison’s brother, a struggling musician, wants to quit rambling in life and find his purpose.

The cold changes everything.