Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Home Sweet Ho—Ahhhhh! I'm Back from Traveling and Hanging with my Mother-in-Law Again

S.R. Glitter Globe

Sure I spent over a month traveling the world. I still wasn't ready to come home. There's a crippling amount of reality in my daily chaos.

I'd been looking forward to seeing Gummy. She didn't even notice I'd been gone. Five weeks. That was a relief though. Everyone took good care of her, although she fell five times. Once for every week I was gone.

Other than some scrapes and bruises she was just fine. There's no rhyme or reason to the falls, so they're difficult to prevent. Her dementia is progressing, and she's having trouble remembering how to get into or out of the bed, or a car. 

Now I mostly lift her into my Jeep. If I'm in her room with her I center her on her bed. Otherwise she sits right on the edge and slides down the blankets to the floor. It isn't far, but it's obviously to be avoided.

Today she took little baby steps down the hallway with me. I showed up with a bag of new underthings. Some of hers got ruined in memory care laundry. Someone forgot to take their lipstick out of their pocket. It happens. 

As we slowly make progress down the hall she stops and looks at me.

          It's getting worse.
          What's getting worse, Gummy?
She tapped the side of her head.
          Your memory?
She nodded.
          Way worse. 
          The memory medicine isn't working?
          I'm taking you to the doctor this week. We'll talk to him about it. 

For a moment she looks into my eyes, standing in the middle of the hall, her expression lucid. It's times like these that dementia is at its most horrific. She knows. Even now there are times she's fully aware of the crippling loss. I look into her eyes, and it's exactly like I say in the book. It's like standing in deep water holding onto the hand of a drowning person, and unable to do a thing. Slowly, ever so slowly, I'm peeling her hand off of mine. 

I know a day is coming when she won't reach for me anymore, or I won't reach for her. 

Today is not that day. Today I sit in her room and use a sharpie marker to put her name into her new unmentionables. I lifted her into my Jeep and take her for ice-cream in the middle of the day. She likes butter pecan, but she reads the long list of choices. It stresses her out. She can't choose anymore. It's too much.

We sit in the hot summer sun, and Gummy eats a kid-sized cone. It runs down her arm because she can't keep up. She wore sweatpants. Most days she dresses too warm. The aides try to influence her, but she's always cold now. 

After ice-cream we simply sit outside and watch the world go by. We don't talk much like we used to. Every topic is a landmine. I don't know where in time she is. I don't know what percentage of fiction is mixed in with reality.

There's no bringing her back to the real world. All I can hope for is some peace for her, wherever her mind is. So we sit quietly most of the time. 

An elderly gentleman comes and sits beside her. Despite everything, she likes that. Her posture changes. She's getting hunched and tight along with weak. For a moment she sits taller, and the fog lifts from her eyes. He talks to her. He isn't a memory care patient. Gummy responds appropriately to his greeting, "Good afternoon, young lady. How are you?" For that moment it's the best thing that ever happened to her, and I'm doing some serious daughter-in-law cock-blocking without saying a word.

When he leaves he says, "I'll see you later. I'm glad I met you." Gummy briefly glows. Someone else takes his seat beside her. A woman with a Word Search Puzzle book. Gummy lights up even brighter. She's always loved those books. A stack of them used to sit beside her chair at her house, and another in the bathroom. For a moment she looks around her seat for hers.

          You have some of those books upstairs in your room, Gummy.
          I do? Are you sure?
          I'm positive. You have a pile of pens next to them. You always do them in pen.
          That's because I don't circle the word until I know for sure I've got it right. 
          Do you want to go upstairs and I'll find them for you?
          Yes. My mouth is really dry. I saw someone with a Pepsi.

Gummy loves Pepsi. She never asks for a drink. The fact that she even mentioned one means she's extremely thirsty. It takes me a while to get her upstairs. Each step is tiny. Each turn needs supervision. Gummy doesn't remember how to get anywhere. When she first got to memory care it was like walking with an energetic bird dog. I know this because my hubby used to always have a Brittany Spaniel. They dash right, they dash left, they dash between your legs, and run in a circle. All within a three second time span. Gummy doesn't move fast anymore. But she still does the same thing in slow motion.

I herd her with about as much success as I ever did that bird dog.

Upstairs an aide brings her a brand new Word Search Puzzle book as soon as I mention it. But Gummy gets to her room and takes two sips of the Pepsi I give her, and tries to get into bed. I end up hoisting her into the middle so she doesn't fall out. I think I might have torn something really important in my left bicep. I've got to start lifting weights other than Gummy. Within moments her eyes are shut.

It's the best day in ages. As awful as this disease is, and as quickly as it's progressing, she interacted with me and other people appropriately. I climb into my scalding hot Jeep and face the blinding sun with absolute contentment. These days are treasures. They're almost gone. For Gummy this one is gone. She won't remember, but it happened just the same.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Travel Hacks from Flights to When Everything Goes Wrong

S.R. Karfelt/The Glitter Globe

This is my travel hack #101.
Check out flights on those low-price sites. You know like Ex-PEE-DIA and KA-YAK and OR-Bitz and Travel-O-City (all spelled wrong here because I don't need crawler programs putting ads for them all over my life).
Then when you find the cheap flight you want, write down the flight number, dates, and all data, then CLEAR YOUR COOKIES. Now go to the airline site and buy it directly from them.
(If you don't clear your cookies, and you go directly to the airline, they can tell where you've been, and likely you'll not be able to see that discounted flight.)
If you buy from those discount places and anything happens to change your flight (weather, birds, passengers dragged from plane), it is a royal pain in the rear to get anything fixed or changed. The airline employee will smile sweetly and tell you that you didn't book with them, you booked with so-and-so, so go call so-and-so and let them fix it.
Meanwhile you're in a bind.
That's how you end up spending three extra days in Huntsville, Alabama—not that that's a bad thing. I always prefer getting stuck at my destination than at the airport heading out.
Anyway, this is how I get reasonably priced flights, bought via the airline.

Travel hack #102.
Book the hotels first.
They're the hardest thing to get. Especially if you're going to a conference. You almost can't book them far enough ahead.
If I'm going to a conference, I try to stay at the hotel where the conference is, if possible. If it's a big conference, the hotel will usually have a block of rooms reserved at a good price. They sell out in a heartbeat. Sometimes you can't book those way in advance.
You have to wait for them to "become available". Put it in your phone calendar so you don't forget.
It stinks to stay offsite. Getting through traffic to the conference can be a daily struggle, and after an exhausting conference, it's often too much. Parking and rental cars are expensive also.
There have been times when I've had four hours to sleep (and eat) after commuting to and from convention centers. Every day.
If I play my cards right, I usually don't need to rent a car in a strange city when I'll be spending most of my time at a workshop or conference. That's a lot easier if my hotel is convenient. Walking is my workout during trips.
Plus, I love being able to play hooky from the conference for a half hour by hiding in my room and recharging my introvert batteries.

If it's NOT a conference trip, I still book my hotels first.
Hotels are the easiest thing to CHANGE. Much simpler than a flight change. Use caution if you pre-pay in order to get the best price (as opposed to just having a hold put on your credit card).
Usually if you pre-pay, you can still move the dates around, provided you are doing so well in advance of arrival. Ask and check the fine print before you book.
(WARNING: I've lost $ on pre-paid hotels when flights were cancelled, and neither trip insurance OR the airline would cover it. #SUCKSTOBEYOU I still do it. Way cheaper.)

Don't book the hotel through an offsite booking company if avoidable. Dig around and get the phone number for the hotel itself.
The phone number should be the area code for the city you're going to, and not an 800, 888, 877, 866, 855, and 844.
The way to know for sure is to ask, when they answer, "How's the weather in San Francisco today?" Or wherever. Trust your instincts if you suspect you've reached a wily call center person.
The less third party intervention, the better off you are. NOW you have a much better chance of getting whatever you'd like to score for your room, be it a crib, a king bed, a certain floor, or a certain room. Third party bookers will usually say, "Oh, I'll put that request in, but we can't promise."
I do this for international hotels too. Although I have booked those via travel agent with great results, email (time change convenience when calling with a 12-hour time difference is an issue), or Trip Advisor. 


In order to choose my hotel I always look at reviews on Trip Advisor. I look at pictures on Trip Advisor too. Not the professionally angled photos of the hotel website, look at traveler's photos.
There will always be some bad reviews. Life isn't perfect. Read those three star reviews with a jaded eye. Three star reviews are the best ones to read.
Also, three star hotels in international cities are PRICELESS GEMS. Especially those little independently owned ones. Five stars are insanely priced. Three stars offer comfort and service at an affordable price.
Now get on Google Maps. Look at your hotel from the Earth View. Look around the block. Look at the neighborhood. See if you're within walking distance of where you want to be. Can you run to the drugstore? The Colosseum? Or get lunch outside of the hotel? How far is public transportation? Do you see a taxi stand nearby?
(Business hotels/Some resort hotels are created so you can't leave, you are stuck in that hotel and getting out is a challenge. Sometimes it's worth being held hostage, sometimes not.)

Once I book the hotel, I put all the information in my phone so I can give the address to the customs agent, taxi driver, or try to google map it (ahahahahaha) and use public transportation upon arrival. Then I often print a map to stick in my backpack, so I'll know how to get from the hotel to the convention center/beach/friend's house/whatever.

Why do I print a map too?

Because I'll have that map when the data cell phone package I purchased ahead of time and set up my mobile phone doesn't work once I get to Rome, and I have to call someone back home to go to Verizon Wireless when it opens, and fix it for me (because I can't call either BECAUSE MY PHONE ISN'T WORKING).

Travel Tip 103.
Trip Advisor.
If you're not familiar with them, Trip Advisor is a site where people review restaurants, hotels, CITIES, tourist destinations, etc. etc.
It's my travel go to. I've been standing on a touristy street in Germany, and looking through the Trip Advisor app to decide where to go for dinner.
That's how I found Schweine Janes in Dusseldorf. You might consider it a hole in the wall place, but you also might notice the line stretches down the street and around the corner.
Trip Advisor is how I found a houseboat to stay on in Amsterdam. Last minute and cheap.
Trip Advisor found me a little ranch in Tucson with the most exquisitely decorated casitas you can imagine. Not last minute, but close, and reasonable especially considering how I could walk out the door and hike the Saguaro National Park all day.
Trip Advisor reviewers give you tips you'd normally have to get through experience. Like how to buy your tickets to the Colosseum in Rome ahead of time, and how you'd better, or you'll spend your day in Rome standing in line.
After the Rick Steves Travel Book to narrow down a hotel in a foreign city, it's Trip Advisor that will tell you which one of those places are for you—which ones might have a bike you can borrow, or a balcony that you really want (and you'd give up a bigger room for). They also help you narrow down WHERE in a city you'd be most comfortable staying.
The hotel reviews might suggest where to go for dinner, and where to pick up the bus/taxi/train.
It's free. It's priceless.
They're not paying me to tell you about it, but they probably should.
It's that good.

Travel hack 104.

What flight. What seat. What luggage you will carry on and what you will check through baggage claim. What you will eat. What you'll need on the plane.
What you'll need when you get off the plane.
What you'll do if your baggage doesn't come.
Carry all your paperwork. Also have photographs of it too for when you lose it. Email it to yourself.
Have all your cords.
Have a portable phone charger and adapters.
Know the address of where you're going. That way you can tell the taxi driver/customs agent/GPS/whatever.
Know what kind of transportation you'll take.
Know how you'll get local currency. (ATM airport.)
Know how you'll keep your valuables safe from pick pockets.
Know that your shoes are appropriate and comfortable.
Know that you can survive if your luggage went elsewhere.
Know where the embassy is. Have the phone number in your phone.
Know that you have a color copy of your passport somewhere that isn't WITH YOUR PASSPORT.
Double and Triple check all the details.
Have looked at a map and know the general direction of everywhere you're going.
NOW. Most importantly.
Everything will change now.
Roll with it.
Prepare to roll with it.
You've done all you can. You're good. Now is the fun part.
Drop all expectations.
Have a blast.

Anyway, this is what works for me. I plan, try to spend my money wisely, get comfortable knowing what's coming, and then fly by the seat of my pants to a new adventure when it all changes.
Hope these hacks help you.
Feel free to share your own!

Friday, May 19, 2017

The Fantasy Vs. Reality of Book Release Day

karfelt, love in the time of dementia, fantasy
I've Finished the Book!
Make sure the minions don't disturb me for a bit!
Who am I talking to?
And I have no minions!
*looks for some on Amazon*
*too expensive*

The book is finished. It's been rewritten EIGHTEEN times. It's gone through TEN edits after that. It's been formatted by the interior people, and endured another SEVEN tweaks.

The process took NINE MONTHS. It feels like giving birth for real. Now the book is ready to make its debut in the world. There it goes! My baby is heading out into the wide world at long last. Now it is time for glorious celebration. This day has been a dream for months. Some books take years. It takes a long time to birth a book!

Now is the time to relax. Plan a special lunch. Maybe have a party?

Only there can be no party. This book took nine months. Nobody even remembers me. Plus this house hasn't been cleaned in that time either. Also, that glance in the mirror that made me gasp out loud? That's not going to be fixed with expired mascara. If I believed in reincarnation, it might be faster to fix that way.

This writer is not fit for public consumption I'm afraid. After all the night writes, rewrites, edits, half-assed marketing attempts, and trying to fake having a real life (pretty sure nobody bought it), all I've got is a hot mess.

karfelt, dementia, book
My Editor and Me
Reality Bites
That's why I usually write Fiction

No. There's more than a hot mess here. There is a BOOK! It felt like shoving boulders up a mountain with my head, but look at how beautifully it turned out!

book release, amazon, barnes and noble

We don't judge a book by its cover though, even if it fits the book perfectly. So here's a glimpse inside.

It was so worth it! Let's have another one! Hey, Editor! Come here a minute. I have an idea!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Another Little Piece of My Heart—Sharing Stories with the World

The Glitter Globe/S.R. Karfelt

NOBODY TOLD ME love in the time of dementia has been magicked into a book. 

That was easy enough. I'm laughing as I say that, and lying too. After the interior people and I went through seven versions of it, I looked back into my files to see how many versions I'd worked on. There were eighteen before I sent it to the story editor. That feels a bit shameful. It's because the idea for this book came from a series of social media posts that were eventually edited out of the book.

After those versions, the book went for story edits. That meant another ten versions of the story. My editor for this book is my daughter. Yes, she edits professionally. The two of us working on a book together, a book near and dear to both of our hearts, was quite an adventure. There were flaming emails, texts, and editorial comments in all versions. There were also tears. 

In the middle of writing this book about dementia, we were living it heart to heart. Me with my mother-in-law, and my editor-daughter with her grandmother. It wasn't the easiest project to tackle, but after nine months I think we've created something special.

S.R. Karfelt, non-fiction, books
The Glitter Globe/S.R. Karfelt

You'll see the blurb for NOBODY TOLD ME telling you what the book is about. What my editor and I both know is this: NOBODY TOLD ME is about is love, life, laughter, and loss. It's indicative that it took nine months to create. In the end it came into fruition from sheer determination and plenty of grace. 

I can't think when I've worked harder on a book. When I at last approved the final interior, I hopped into my Jeep and went for a freedom ride. It involved a new outfit for Gummy, one of those Starbuck's dessert-in-a-cup drinks, and a giant new pocketbook. After spending the past nine months cramming my things in and out of a small purse, I decided to take up the necessary space in the world. Maybe that's indicative too.

On release day for NOBODY TOLD ME, I'm planning a quiet little luncheon for the main characters. That would be Gummy and me, and possibly some side characters if I can manage to have actual food at this luncheon. Too much activity overwhelms Gummy now. We'll celebrate the birth of my first Non-Fiction book with no fanfare. I'll put a copy of it in Gummy's hands and tell her, "This is the book about us that I've been telling you so much about!" She will smile and say, "WHAT? NOBODY TOLD ME!"

Thursday, May 4, 2017

NOBODY TOLD ME—love in the time of dementia by S.R. Karfelt

Karfelt, memory care, Nobody Told Me
The Glitter Globe/S.R. Karfelt

So, I love telling Gummy, my mother-in-law, about my trigger finger.

I hold my right hand up, and my middle finger just curls into position because of a tendon problem.

     Hey, Gummy. Look at the problem I'm having with my hand.
     Shame on you! (But she laughs.)
     No, seriously. The doctor says it does this from over-use! (I flip it up and down.)
     I'll bet it does! You're awful! (She holds her middle finger up.)

We sit side by side in the memory care unit of assisted living showing each other our middle fingers and laughing.

Since Gummy has such advanced dementia, with almost no short-term memory recall anymore, this joke never gets old for her. Sadly, I've not gotten tired of it either.

Fact is my trigger finger is from writing this book about us. Not from typing, but from scrolling the button on top of the mouse miles a day during all the back and forth edits with my editor.


Writing about your mother-in-law is worse than dangerous.

It's terrifying.

Gummy and Me B.D. (Before Dementia)

NOBODY TOLD ME love in the time of dementia

by. S.R. Karfelt

Saffi falls in love with and marries her mad scientist, never expecting to find the most profound friendship of her life with his mother, Gummy. She doesn’t particularly care for the woman, and the feeling seems to be mutual.

Thrown together by circumstance, they forge a bond based on necessity, animosity, and begrudging respect. Neither knows it will last long after they no longer recognize each other. Memory loss changes more than the person who can’t remember. It changes those who can’t forget.

Nobody Told Me is the story of a complicated and powerful relationship—the love between two women who love the same man and the struggle to hold on as dementia erases past, present, and future.

This is the easiest book I've ever written. All I had to do was tell the truth. 
This is the hardest book I've ever written. All I had to do was tell the truth.
NOBODY TOLD ME love in the time of dementia is my first Non-Fiction book. It's not something I planned to write. It happened because writing is how I cope. When I became the caregiver for my mother-in-law, writing became a way to vent my frustrations. It also allowed me to reminisce about our shared past and explain to myself how the two of us ended up where we are now. That's with one of us drifting into the void, and the other pacing, trying to make sense of something so senseless. 

Dealing with change has never been my strong suit. It's not that I don't like change. There are times I can grab my purse and head off into a whole new life and not look back. This is different. It's the kind of change I can't delude myself about. It's not going to have a happy ending. It's not okay. It's not something I can run away from. Dementia has to be stood and faced, and most days it's like looking into the abyss.

Gummy and I face it the same way we entertain each other in memory care, with our middle fingers up. That's all we've got, I'm sorry to say.

The book releases May 19th. It's available in all those bookish places that deal with hardcover escapism and caffeinated bliss. It's in all those virtual stores too. Get your middle finger primed, and let me know what you think. Don't overuse it though. It can freeze like that. Ask Gummy.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Why Hello You Tall Cool Drink of Water—A Nomination You Want to Kiss on the Mouth

An Actual Photo of Me Kissing My RONE Award Nomination CATEGORY: FICTION/PARANORMAL

One of my books has been nominated for a 2017 RONE award.

I just can't even. It's such a thrill when someone notices all the work you put into a book. Night writes. Six months of hard time. EDITS. SO MANY EDITS.

After all the work that goes into a book, in the end you dress it up with a pretty cover, pack it a lunch, kiss it goodbye, and send it out into the void.

     "I love you!" you say as it hurries away.

     It doesn't even wave farewell.

You wait. But it doesn't write. It doesn't call. It's gone. Forever.

For a while life feels so empty.

Eventually you head back to the writing world, chop another bit of your heart out, and do it all over again. But you never forget the bits of yourself you've sent into the world. You always wonder about them.

     How's it doing?
     I hope it's okay.
     I've heard nothing bad, so probably it's okay.

Then one day your publisher sends you an email with news!

WHAT?! *you hyperventilate into a paperbag* BITCH WITCH! It's so good to see you again!

You beautiful cranky witch you! I've missed you! I think about you all the time! Look at you!

Here she is, my Bitch Witch, nominated for a RONE AWARD. She's in the Paranormal (Long) Category. This part of the contest needs votes from you.

If you enjoyed Sarah Archer. If you like to read stories about darkness and light, head over HERE and GIVE HER A VOTE!

You'll need to register at the site. That's how they make sure everyone only votes once.

Give her a hug, maybe a smooch if you're so inclined, or a VOTE!

There's no better way to reassure a writerly heart.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Fly the Unfriendly Skies—Atonement for United Airlines

The Glitter Globe, Man dragged off plane, United Airlines forces man off plane
The Glitter Globe/S.R. Karfelt

You have been weighed.
You have been measured.
And you have absolutely, been found wanting.

That Knight’s Tale quote pretty much sums up the public’s consensus toward United Airlines, after they had a customer forcibly removed from one of their airplanes today. The crime? They wanted his seat. The one he paid for and was sitting in. They wanted to give it to someone else.

The fact that he’s a doctor who had patients to see, and didn’t want to give up his seat, is irrelevant to me. It shouldn’t matter if he was a rich guy heading off on vacation for the thirteenth time this year, or if he was a poor man going to his father’s funeral. He bought and paid for a ticket, and he was sitting in his seat.

It seems a good deal of the internet is playing judge, jury, and executioner on this topic. Maybe because we’ve all had our share of flying problems.

Traveling takes a lot of juggling, and effort. By the time a passenger gets to their seat and they’re ready to go, it’s not a good time to expect them to change their schedule and rework their plans. 

When something goes wrong in my life I tend to hurry up to see the bottom line. How soon can this be fixed, and what will it take? That’s where my mind usually goes. That’s what I’m going to do for United Airlines. Free of charge. In my opinion, if nobody dies, it is recoverable.

The man dragged off the flight, his family, and any close friends who travel with him the rest of his life, should get free First Class. Forever. Likely he’ll tell United to suck it, and sue them anyway. Few would blame him. Still, at least it would show the desire to make amends on the part of the airline.

It seems like whoever dragged the man from the plane might have been local police. I imagine they were doing their job. Some guy won’t get off the flight, they’ll make him. Unless they’re some type of mercenary or airline police, United can and probably will go all Medea and blame the Po-Po.

I call bullshit on United blaming the police.

If I promise one of my kids that they can ride shotgun, and another kid hops in the seat. It’s my job to fix that. I don’t call the police on that kid. Bad call on the part of United if they did.

If the airline had offered enough incentive, someone would have gotten up voluntarily. If they promise me a free round trip ticket anywhere United flies, and they’re going to get me on another flight that day, I’d give up my seat in a heartbeat!

From stats I’ve seen flying around today, United appears to not force people off airplanes very often. I don’t care. Unless the person is a nuisance, it needs to not be happening at all. Not after the passengers are seated. That’s bullshit.

Why is overbooking a thing anyway? You sell the seats you have. If someone doesn’t show up you keep their money. If they bought a ticket that allows them not to show up at the last minute, I’m going to bet that ticket costs so much that the airline still comes out better financially.

What I’d like to see is an airline with the gonads to STOP OVERBOOKING. That’s my writerly advice to United. Shite-can the lip service and actually make this right. What people want from an airline is safe and good service. The real kind. Not the cleverly packaged bullshit kind. Genuine. Service. 

Be real, United. Make it right. 

Friday, April 7, 2017

Acting Like a Witch—Actresses and Audiobooks

One of the projects I've been working on this year is having my book, Bitch Witch, made into an Audiobook

What an absolute blast it's been!

Over thirty actresses auditioned for the part. I spent weeks listening to every audition. Since I got to have first and also final say, I narrowed the field down. It was tough because the talent out there is overwhelming. I wanted ALL of them, but there could be only one! I had to satisfy myself with stalking most of the actresses on Vimeo or other places. My editor and publisher gave advice and listened to selections, helping me finally choose one.

My top pick for this project was Liisa Ivary. It's pronounced like Lisa with one i, even if she's Liisa with a double ii. She's a veteran audiobook actress, and she blew me away with her narration. I've never been a big audiobook listener before. But the night she sent me the completed project, I stayed up all night listening to her bring the book to life. I can't think when I've been so thrilled.

You might think every writer thinks that their books would make a good movie. You'd be wrong about me. I don't think that the Covenant Keeper books would make good movies (although I'd love someone to prove me wrong). The reason being that I can't picture how the heart thing could translate effectively to the screen. I picture it being one of those movies where the actors try to convey something profound with cryptic and meaningful looks. One of those movies where I mutter to the screen, "What? WHAT? What are you trying to tell me?" 

No, I think that the Covenant Keeper books would make an EXCELLENT video game. It's a huge world, and behavior makes the heart stronger or weaker. Plus Kahtar dies and is reborn again and again. It's an excellent video game world! 

do think that Bitch Witch would be a fun romp of a movie. I think that the world is currently suffering from a severe lack of movies that are fun romps. Have we ever needed a laugh and that lit-up happy feeling those movies provide more? Liisa Ivary drives home to me that Bitch Witch can do that. You've got to hear her play Mindy Millerton, she nails it. Every character came to life, and I relived that story in a way I wouldn't have thought possible. Bitch Witch makes a great audiobook, and I dare to think it would make a good movie too.

Several of the trade reviewers of Bitch Witch said the same thing. Check that out.

We can hope.

In the meantime, listening to the story will bring it to life and allow you to cast the characters in your own fertile imagination.

Liisa's narration made me laugh out loud again and again. It was like listening to a new story for me, and I wrote it! It's available at all audiobook retailers. Leave a review, and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Tucson, Arizona—If You Like Escapism With Your Vacation

Author Karfelt,
The Glitter Globe/S.R. Karfelt

Let’s keep this free and easy., Arizona, Saguaro National Park
Saguaro National Forest East/Arizona

Just like there are different types of people, there are different types of vacations. My favorite kind involves someplace beautiful with absolutely no plans. Throw a convertible into the desert, and we’re good. Know what I did in Tucson? Nothing. I hiked about eight miles a day and drove around in a convertible until it is now impossible to ever comb my hair out again.

Cactus, National park, Karfelt,
Riding the Desert in a Convertible

Since it is no fun at all to take the Interstate from Phoenix to Tucson, I simply drove off the highway and found a side road—with the help of one ancient useless GPS and two phones (Google works better than the map app in my opinion and with my IQ level).

The Glitter Globe, Karfelt
The Glitter Globe/S.R. Karfelt
Since none of my technology could alert me to the fact that there was a big Renaissance Fair going on, and that ALL THE PEOPLE were going, including a guy in a huge boat with fishing poles, I drove most of the way to Tucson slower than I hike. That’s pretty profound. If you’ve ever hiked with me you will understand. I might possibly be the only person to hike DOWN into the Grand Canyon slower than up. It’s a vertigo thang.

S.R. Karfelt, The Glitter Globe
Crested Saguaro/Arizona
This trip to Tucson I stayed at Rincon Creek Ranch. It’s south of the city and a bit out of the way, and absolutely spectacular. This is the second off the beaten path place I’ve found thanks to Trip Advisor. A ranch bordering the Saguaro National Park East is quite different than a Houseboat in Amsterdam, but they’re equally amazing in all the right ways. I found the EXACT kind of vacation I long for—the kind that refreshes the soul and recharges the mind.

The Glitter Globe, Karfelt
Rincon Creek Ranch/Vail, Arizona

Rincon Creek Ranch offers several spectacular casitas to choose from. The décor almost inspires me to update my rickety old spider-filled house in the woods, instead of spending my money escaping it. Since I spend most of my at-home days going through the writing portal into other worlds, what difference does it really make? Plus The Shire has some of the highest taxes in the United States. If they hear me run the vacuum, they raise my taxes.

So I’ve decided to embrace the squalor., hiking, The Glitter Globe
Tucson, Arizona

Someday I probably won’t come back, because I fall in love with new places very easily., The Glitter Globe
Rincon Creek Ranch/Appaloosa
The casitas at Rincon Creek Ranch have different décor to choose from. I stayed in the Appaloosa. It has a western theme, with a copper tub, and stone fireplace, and leather couches, and a bedroom that you just want to use your cowboy in. Mine had been off traveling for business, so we met up in Arizona for equal parts smooching and hiking.  

The Glitter Globe
Tucson, Arizona

That’s my idea of vacation. Yours might be different. If you’re home raising kids, or can’t take off on a vacation this year, maybe everything sounds great. I’ve had plenty of years like that. All vacations require patience, even if it’s just waiting for the opportunity to go on one.