Fribble's Blend

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Location: Jefferson City, Tennessee, United States

Published by: Hard Shell Word Factory ( and Awe-Struck E-Books (

Monday, January 31, 2005

Have You Ever Read an E-Book?

You might not think so, but if you've been around computers very long, you may well have. The early programs had extensive instructional material with them -- some may still today -- and since the operator of the computer read them onscreen, they could be thought of as electronic books.

But right now, you can have a book e-mailed to you, and you can read it on your computer, your PDA, maybe even your cell phone.

I write romances, and you can get some of them on a site that is devoted to files that can be read on a Palm Pilot. If you have some other platform to read on, such as your computer, you can go to Fictionwise, the premiere site for e-books and find a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction there. My publishers, Hard Shell and Awe-Struck have a wide variety of their own publications on their sites.

You can pay for the books with your PayPal or credit card, and in many instances have the book in your inbox almost instantaneously. YOucan do the whole transaction in your jammies and slippers!

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Blatant Self-Promotion (BSP)

I mentioned last week (or maybe longer ago) that I was going to start publicizing my novels on this blog once a week. I've decided that Saturday would be the day. I have been bolstered by the blogs that are nothing but advertising -- health products, insurance, other products.

I write romances. The ones that are available now are electronically published, with a few print copies for people who read paper books. I've already told you about ONCE AGAIN A PRINCESS which is published by Hard Shell Word Factory .

My other publisher is Awe-Struck E-Books and the first book of mine that they published was THE HARDEST STEP. The challenge that I gave myself was to break the rule of having the hero and heroine meet in the first chapter. They meet on the telephone, which evens the playing field, so to speak, because the heroine had been crippled in an accident and is just now at a point in her recovery that she is considering going back out into the world to find a job. Understandably, she is apprehensive.

The hero is a self-assured construction engineer who is a bit of a world traveler, new to town and needing someone to steer him to places he needs to go. She seems to have all the answers for him, which stirs some feelings of gratitude. He'd like to take her to dinner, but she tells him very little about herself. Yet all the clues he runs across lead to the same place, a group home.

Awe-Struck books publishes some books about physically challenged protagonists. One of the co-owners is a man who is a retired college professor who had polio as a child and is suffering the long-range effects of it now. He told me that there is one scene in the book, when I write about the physical stress the heroine experiences, that was so on target that it raised the hair on the back of his neck.

So, THE HARDEST STEP is not just to get over the accident and out into the world again. What is it?

Friday, January 28, 2005

Woodman, Spare That Tree!

Or not, as the case may be.

We live on about two acres of old Tennessee farmland. We have a lot of trees around the house, in various sizes and health. Two years ago Mother's Day, at about eight o'clock in the morning, we had a frightful storm, and one of our trees was struck by lightning. The trunk of the tree at about forty feet was shredded, and over the years, the part of it that decided to lie done and rest has broken from the rest of the tree. It has been perched over the driveway and we've decided that it would be better that it come down in a controlled manner than elsewise.

At that particular place, two trees are growing together, their branches intertwined like two lovers resisting the force that wants to tear them apart. It is an inspirational contortion of living maple trees.

The people who lived here for well over a hundred years had a notion that metal should be allowed to return to the earth when it was no longer of use. Every time we dig in the garden we find bits and pieces, but the piece that gets most noticed is the chain that rests, partially seized, in the spot where the two trees meet, a few feet above the ground, as though a shade-tree mechanic has been working on a tractor there and has just left the chain there until he gets a drink of water from the well.

So in a few weeks, if the woodman who gave us a quote this morning comes back, you'll be able to drive in, up the grade past the two trees, assured that the broken part of the tree won't fall on your car. He'll spare the trees, just take the dead part out.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

All Sewn Up!

Last night I was cutting out the pieces of a jumper I am making for my trip in March. The sound of the shears bumping against the top of the table every time I closed them took me back to when I was a little kid, tucked in for the night, and my mother would be in the dining room, working on something for my sister, me, or herself.

We raised chickens at the time, and more than once I heard my mother tell my father to be sure to ask for matching feed sacks, and that it took three sacks to make a dress.

It's a little easier now. I have a very good sewing machine, and some of the fabric I have is a long way from being feedsacks. But I get a charge out of making a dress that is just for me, tailored to my figure quirks, colors that I like, rather than when someone who makes clothes for WalMart thinks is popular.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Last Sunday was terribly cold, so much so that not many people came to church. Our church is small, anyway, with only about 75 members. As an average, most churches only have a quarter of their members in attendance on a usual Sunday. We generally have half our people there. But with the cold, we had 18, among them three little kids -- we usually have 8, nine if you count the new baby -- but he wasn't there.

Anyway, with so many people wearing coats that they wanted to hang up in the vestibule, there wasn't any place for the kids to put their coats, and they couldn't reach the hooks the adults use. So today my husband decided that the little board with hooks on it that is beside one of our back doors was expendable. It gave him a chance to drive his "new" truck up to the church. After all, work and his rechargeable drill were involved. He offered to let me go with him. After all, he'd forgotten to get his level--which he probably can't find now that he's cleaned the garden shed. I have a keen eye for level and plumb.

He persisted in telling me everything about driving the '88 Ford Ranger, standard shift, carburetor-equipped rust bucket, as though I were going to drive it someday. As if!

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

There's Hope!

The sun is out today, the temp is about 38. Ice is melting, snow and frost are disappearing. The steering column isn't squeaking quite as badly.

We have some hot water.

And I've lost 3 pounds since my husband bought the bathroom scales.

Life could be better--but not usually in January.

Monday, January 24, 2005

It Only Gets Worse

My husband drives a Dodge Intrepid -- a poorly named vehicle if ever I saw one. It has been so cold that the steering column squeeks when he makes the slightest turn of the wheel. It is also making a high-pitched sound that he says he can't hear. He has difficulty with the higher pitches lately -- at least that's what he claims as his excuse for not answering me.

Friday afternoon he took the garbage to the dump and came back with a '88 Ford Ranger. In lieu of turn signals, it has flashing red lights, because it was owned by a fireman. The only thing the truck has going for it is that it is nearly the same shade of blue that the carport roof is.

Just when I thought life would get back to normal today -- once we get hot water back, that is -- the power went off just as husband was taking our tomato soup off the stove. We had to listen to Fresh Air by hand-crank radio, and eat lunch by candlelight.

But I say, "Bring it on!" even at the risk of quoting a Republican. Let the weather be bad, cold, rainy, icy, so it will get it out of the system before March 9. I have places to go!

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Another Word About the Inauguration

I heard last night on the news that President and Mrs. Bush danced at only one of the balls, and that for all of nine minutes! Ladies, are you with me on this? You know what I mean, I'm sure.

First of all, she had to have wardrobe for the Ceremony itself, then, as usual, it is a matter of national attention what the First Lady wears to the balls. I'm sure she felt as though the whole country was watching over her shoulder as she tried to make her decision.

Nine minutes! Grounds for divorce!

Maybe he's not a good dancer. But he could take lessons. He would only need to count to four....

Friday, January 21, 2005

The Dog Ate My blog, Again

Yesterday I vented all my ill-feelings about the Inaguration in a long, angst- and anger-filled blog. I must have said a forbidden word, because it wouldn't post. Which doubled my anger, or tripled it, because the day before I made a garment for myself that didn't fit, and was also angry at myself.

As if it does any good for me to be angry at anyone. Not even my family takes me seriously. Mom's in a snit? Haha!

So today's garment is not going to be as much trouble -- at least I don't think so. A little complicated, but I rise to the challenge. Do you suppose any of the women at the balls last night made their own dresses? Ha! I feel superior -- because I could have, and I have the yardage to do it!

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Weird Weather

Our weather today is what it should have been for January in Tennessee. Cold and dull. When the weather was warmer than usual a few weeks ago, I had the feeling of dread. There is such a thing as the Law of Averages, and it will jump up at the least opportune times and inconvenience you.

Why am I worried about it? Well, I'm going to California in March. I'm going to Long Beach to stay on the Queen Mary for a few days. I'm the President of the Electronically Published Internet Connection, a group of writers, publishers, editors and other industry professionals.

So I am afraid that on March 9th (or worse yet 10th) Tennessee is going to be paralyzed by a blizzard and I won't get to go to the conference. There is historic precedent for this. There was a really bad storm on March 9, 1996, the year we moved here. I hope it doesn't happen again. I've made one new dress already, have another garment cut out, have a list, checking it twice...

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Rising to the Challenge of Winter.

It is extremely cold here today. When I got up this morning, it was 10 degrees above 0, and we had no water except for the cold faucet in the kitchen. The hot faucet in the bathroom was set to drip all night, but the hot water froze anyway.

This is the second time this winter we've lost water. We had hoped that the increased insulation put into the house when the kitchen window was replaced would have eliminated this problem, but it didn't. We have worked things out over the years that we've been here that it is only a minor annoyance, but it is an annoyance, nonetheless.

I think there is only one house that I have ever lived in where the water didn't freeze during the winter, and that was in Chillicothe, Ohio. But that was during a period of mild winters -- and we weren't there long.

Even one very bad winter in Florida, the housing on our well got so cold, it split, and the submerged pump sent water spewing into the air, where it froze. It was a beautiful sight -- but it cost us a mint to have it fixed!

I guess the moral is, wherever you are there are challenges.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Feeding The Masses

Well, it was only one mass, namely the family. Tomorrow is my husband's and my wedding anniversary. Forty-one years. So Friday our daughter called and said everyone was coming over for dinner yesterday.

The first issue was the definition of "everyone." Everyone could include a lot of people, because over the years several of our children's friends have sort of adopted us as extra parents. That makes a housefull! Luckily, that was not the case. This time it just meant daughter and her boyfriend, granddaughter and her boyfriend, grandson, and our younger son. The older son already lives with us.

Anyway, our house is not build for six extra people for dinner. It means clearing one of the commercial tables of detritus, rounding up more chairs, and clearing the menu with vegetarians and non-vegetarians. It's a wonder we survive.

But we do! We have conversations about what people are doing in their lives. Then we talk about places we've been, and people we've descended from. Surprisingly, the youngsters sometimes listen.

Then they all leave, and we remember everything we were planning to ask them about.

Thank God for email!

Friday, January 14, 2005

The Latest Affront!

There are times when it should be legal to shoot your husband. You should get a free pass from any judge for responding with lethal force to certain provocations.

Such as calling you "the wife" when you are within earshot. For not stopping painting and getting down of the ladder when you've fallen on your knees on concrete and have subsequently passed out on the sidewalk.

Okay, so what he did today might not be a hanging offense, but it comes close. We're on a tight budget. And he bought a new bathroom scale. One of those fancy battery operated gizmos that shows your would weight in all-too-legible numerals.

Unfortunately, men stick together. Of course, there is always the chance that I'd miss, and with his failing hearing, he'd never even hear the bullet whiz past. Hm...

Thursday, January 13, 2005

I Feel Like Royalty

I love electronic publishing! We get our royalty checks every quarter for the previous quarter, rather than the way print publishers pay. They pay by the half-year and wait ninety days before getting out their abacuses.

Anyway, I got a check today. Not a big one. In fact, I'm pretty much disappointed with myself that I haven't done enough promotion to get a larger check.

But on the other hand, my other publisher has been working on the books and in announcing which books did well in the last quarter and last year, my book ONCE AGAIN A PRINCESS got a boost in November. The significance of that? Well, I started doing this blog late in October. ***Somebody*** might have read my references to my book and bought it. Thanks!

Okay, so this is how you find me: You can go to and search for Jane Bierce. I've got five books there, all or which you can get electronically, and some of them you can get in print. They are ONCE AGAIN A PRINCESS, TIME OF POSSESSION, DEARLY BELOVED, COLD NIGHT BEAUTY, and FINISHING TOUCH. You can read a chapter of each book for nuttin', nada, freebie! If you like collections of short stories, I have a story in MILLENIUM MAGIC.

Now that I have hit you over the head with my promotion, I'll give it a rest and maybe promote the books I have with another publisher next week.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005


The furnace man is here, working away at putting a new bearing in the furnace. This is a hard job--he had to bring his father with him. Add to that that my husband is going to "help" also, this fifteen minute job will take until suppertime.

No problem! It is 64 degrees outside at the moment. So what if it is January!

With all the other trouble going on in the world, what's a furnace bearing?

Monday, January 10, 2005


No heat yet -- hoping for sometime tomorrow after the UPS man goes by.

Still have a cold, but the tastebuds are back.

Finished a dress I was making myself for the conference in March.

Gorgeous cardinals and blue jays are frequenting our yard, especially lovely in the last rays of sunlight in the afternoon.

Who misses the show? Not me!

Friday, January 07, 2005

Then the Furnace Went!

I'm not crazy about our furnace. We had it put into the house a few years ago. The house had never had a furnace before, and I thought it was a good idea, though expensive. The trouble is, the furnace is not tucked away somewhere. We don't have a basement-- just a crumbling dug-out space. So the furnace is in a hallway, not easily closed off. When it is running, I can hardly hear myself think.

Then last night it began making a whole new noise, one that seemed to be shaking the fillings out of my teeth. The guy came this morning and assessed that it needs a new bearing, and that can't be delivered before Monday morning.


Thursday, January 06, 2005

There's a Doctor in the House!

Okay, so it's only knock-off Dr. Pepper. But I drank it! I tasted it! I must be cured.

I've got a lot of work to get caught up on, so before I hit that brick wall where my body figures out it has way too little fuel to do way too much work and decides to go back to bed for a few days, I'd better start checking things off my list.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

There is a Reason Why We Can Taste!

For the first time in my life, I have suffered through a cold that has laid waste my tastebuds. Oh, woe! What a dreary world I am living in!

Some experts will tell you that your tastebuds are a line of defense against eating spoiled food. That may be how they started out, but at some point, human beings became more discerning. They learned strawberries and olives, chili and lasagne, French vanilla and spumoni -- to say nothing of wine and Columbian coffee.

Now, for the fourth day running, I can't tell the difference. Mint tea tastes the same as plain water. The Buddy-Bar I had with lunch, usually a welcomed treat, tasted like cardboard. Oh, the pain of it! No peanut butter, no chocolate, no crisp wafer...I might as well be,, maybe not.

It dawned on me that another reason we can taste is so that we will eat enough food to sustain us. It is important to e-n-j-o-y food. I will remember that as the lesson I learned from this cold.

Now, if I can just curb my appetite so that I don't get my "love-handles" back, this can be a win-win situation!

Monday, January 03, 2005

Winter Joy

One of the few bright spots of this time of the year is seed and plant catalogues. And one neat thing is that those seed people trade their address lists, so you get catalogs you've never heard of before.

I love the "organic" catalogs. You can learn so much from them. And one of the books that came last week had a really cute gardening hat. A little pricey, but cute!

Now I have something to look forward to - gardening. I can hold on a little longer.