Summer approaches and a Monday Blog with Dove Calderwood, Nature photos and new releases.

Summer arrives in a few days. Millions of Americans will spend countless leisure hours in the great outdoors, enjoying nature in all of its glorious splendor. Along the way, we will capture millions, if not billions, of pictures of nature scenes, that capture our hearts or makes us breathless.

National Nature Photography Day was created to both promote conservation, and to celebrate the enjoyment of nature photography. Your environmental awareness just might be contagious, helping to preserve the natural wonders of the world for many generations to come. While this day is titled "National", there is worldwide interest in celebrating this very special day.

There are almost unlimited ways to celebrate National Nature Photography Day. Armed with a camera, you are ready to participate.

  • Go out and explore the world of nature. Take in a park, creek bed, along the lake, or nature trail. Bring your camera along. Yes, cell phone cameras are perfect for this day.

  • Hold photo competitions. Obviously, the subject matter is nature scenes.

  • Participate in efforts to preserve nature.

  • Along the way, make sure to soak in all the peace and serenity that nature provides.

Happy National Nature Photography Day! My picture was of Half Dome in Yosemite Park. I'd seen the picture plenty but when I went to Yosemite with my son in 2018 and saw the real thing, it STILL looked unreal and like a photo or a backdrop scrim for a show. The urge was to reach out and touch it even though it was miles away. The second was an awesome sunset seen from my old (and recently sold) house The color was so impressive I chose it for the theme in the Great Room of my new house. I asked you, my followers to send me your favorite nature photo. I love it when You all share!

Amber Daniels I'm in Oklahoma right in the middle of tornado alley and we are just wrapping up our storm season. That is a squall cloud that ended up dropping a tornado 2 towns away about 30 minutes after I took this picture

Edwin Downward A trail is missing.Beside a creek that's caught between a tidal river and high spring runoff. On a normal day the you can walk the trail to the lookout point on the distance.

Mamaw Namid Reviews My daughter took this picture. 💗💗💗

Guy Donovan I took this one last March a few miles south of Wellton, AZ. No filter(s) needed down there.

And a beautiful daylily by Lois Athena Buhalis

Ana's Dream of Flying first appeared in Dreamtime Dragons in 2017. It was the first time I'd ever published a short story. It's mostly based on tales a good friend told me and some of the stories from my own childhood. What was so ironic was when we first became friends and started trading stories that we discovered we may have had the same nun as a teacher in 4th grade. I was living in Charleston, SC and had a particularly harsh teacher who was always on me about my behavior and listening to complaints about my grabby nature from other students. She suddenly got sick. Some students said she'd gone crazy over some of the badly behaved boys in class. Later my friend told me of a nun with the same name and description who had come from South Carolina to teach in Memphis. Most of the time she seemed stressed and on edge. She didn't last long. We had no proof, but we guessed it was the same nun. Ironic and fun! The human description of the "dragon" came from a night terror my son had at age 2. He says he doesn't remember it now. Before that the spirit had been a shared vision; tall and sorcerous. He was an elegant wizard who could transform and fly. I forgot what we called him other than the Red Man or Mister Man. Originally we said he was of Lemuria or Mu and his mate was Hagare a female who also transformed. Taking dreams and merging them with reality. Also a throw in of music from the era and the unfortunate lives people of color experienced during segregation in the US -- A girl whose dreams helped her rise and fly above her world through her art. Want to see how the story turned out? Order a copy now and it will be delivered wirelessly on July 10, 2020

And now let's meet...

Dove Calderwood

1. What made you want to be a writer?

Honestly, I’ve just always been drawn to stories and storytelling, ever since I was very small. I basically taught myself how to read at age 4 using Hooked on Phonics, simply because I wanted to know how.

2. When is the release of your next novel? Name genre or if it’s part of a series. If your book is part of a series tell the readers about the others that are out for sale.

I don’t have a release date as of now, but I am working on a sequel to my first novel, Eighteen Lives, titled Eighteen Deaths.

3. How important is it to read books when you want to be an author?

I wouldn’t say it’s required, but I think it’s very important. Some writers don’t like to read something while they’re writing, so their work doesn’t start to take on characteristics of whatever they’re reading, and I can understand that. So, it’s not for everyone, that’s for sure!

4. Do you remember the first book you read?

I wish I did, but I’ve read so many books in my life so far that it’s frankly hard to keep track of them all.

5. What book are you reading now?

As of late I haven’t been able to find time to read much, unfortunately. I’ve been frantically busy both personally and professionally. Hopefully hat will change soon, fingers crossed! I miss having time to read.

6. How did you come up with the idea for the book or series, especially the title?

Hopefully this doesn’t come off as crass, but the idea came to me randomly in the bathroom around May 2009. The first title I thought of was The Day I Die, but when I finished the first draft, I decided to title it Eighteen Lives.

7. Which character do you identify with most in your novel?

Heather, for sure. She’s much like me in a lot of ways, though I wouldn’t say we’re exactly alike in every way. She’s a lot braver than I am.

8. How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Well, clearly the more supernatural elements aren’t based on reality, but Heather’s experiences in school, and her friendship with Alex, are rooted in my own high school experience and my relationship with my best friend Kasia Mordecai

9. To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?

I can’t really afford to travel much, though I wish I could

10. Tell us how the atmosphere needs to be for you to be able to write. Example, music on or quiet etc.

I need a quiet room with minimal distractions, and music playing. It helps me tune out the world and get in “the zone”.

11. Which part of the publishing process do you dislike the most? Which aspect do you love?

Editing!! Oh, did I answer that too fast? hahaha! It’s a necessary but exhausting part of the process. As for my favorite, I’d have to say when it’s done and ready to be shared with the world.

12. What is the worst thing you’ve had to overcome before publishing your novel?

Writer’s block and self-confidence, for sure. I still struggle with those sometimes.

13. When you need some extra encouragement who do you turn to?

My friends and family.

14. How do you market your book?

Mainly through social media and bringing it up when I can in conversation

15. Have readers ever contacted you? If so, tell us the best thing they’ve said to you.

No readers that I didn’t know beforehand.

16. Who do you trust to read your finished books before publication?

Editors and writer friends. I don’t really like to let non-writers I know read my work before it’s finished, because I want them to see the best possible version of the story.

17. Tell us all about your very first book signing.

It was at my local Barnes and Noble shortly after Eighteen Lives was released. It wasn’t quite as successful as I was hoping for, but I wouldn’t call it a failure either.

18. Is there a message you’d like to send through your book?

Lack of effective communication can tear everything apart.

19. If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?

Grace Victoria Phipps. I’ve pictured her as Heather since I started writing it in 2009. She might be a little too old to play an 18-year-old now, though.

20. Is there one writer, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?

Stephenie Meyer, hands down. I know, I know, Twilight. But you know what? I unashamed to admit that I love the Twilight series both then and now. Those books and movies gave me something to look forward to during a time in my life where it was hard to feel enthusiastic about anything at all. So, I’d want to thank her for that. And maybe pester her a little about Midnight Sun, hahaha!

21. What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

So many! I’m a Netflix junkie.

22. What music do you hear in your latest book?

Music with heavy emotional and dark subject matter. Helps me get into the emotion of some scenes.

23. Do you have hobbies other than writing?

I love to play video games. I’ve spent entire weekends at home doing nothing else, hahaha!

24. Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?

Possibly something to do with music. I love to sing.

25. You only have 24 hours to live - how would you spend that time?

I’d spend every second I could with the people who mean the most to me, and do all the things I love most one last time.

26. What’s the biggest thing you learned during writing and publishing your first book?

It’s not a quick process.

27. What kind of advice can you give to aspiring authors?

I know it sounds cliché, but don’t give up. It’s a difficult road, and there will be plenty of doubts along the way, but keep pushing through and eventually you’ll make it to the other side.

Tell us how we may get a copy of your book. (Kindle, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, paperback etc.) Social media links and websites?


Barnes and Noble:

Social Media Facebook:




The Children of Stone snippets continue!

This week: Chapters 21 and 22. We've now arrived at Ineb Hedj and Marai is looking for a place to live while he looks for Houra and learns how to contact the priests so he may hand over the Children of Stone.

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