Who Is Mistral Dawn?

Mistral Dawn is a thirty-something gal who has lived on both coasts of the US but somehow never in the middle. She currently resides in the Southeast US with her kitty cats (please spay or neuter! :-)) where she works as a hospital drudge and attends graduate school. Taken By The Huntsman is her first effort at writing fiction and if it is well received she has ideas for several more novels and short-stories in this series. Please feel free to visit her on FaceBook or drop her a line at mistralkdawn@gmail.com

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

When The Stars Align... 😉

 


Hey Everyone! 😊

This is a story about something I was able to help make happen just by making a couple phone calls and talking to people. I'm not telling it to toot my own horn, but to illustrate that we all, no matter how busy we are or how little money we have, have the ability to at least try to help make the world just a little bit better than how we found it. And I'm also telling it to help remind us, myself included, that we really can rely on and help each other out. Because, when I did what I did, I put into practice something I learned years ago when working with animal rescues: if you ask people, you'll be surprised how often they say yes. 

There's a group I volunteer with that asked me to teach a computer class for people looking for a job. I told them I'm not a teacher, and they told me it doesn't matter because they weren't going to pay me. So, I said, "Fair enough," and agreed. And I've been teaching a couple people in this class for a little while, now. But mostly it has been older people in retirement who have felt isolated with the virus, and not so much people looking for work. Which is fine, even though it's not what the group was trying to accomplish. 

So, there was this one lady in my class, who I want to go have drinks with someday and just listen to her talk. She's in her 80s and started off knowing nothing about computers, but she took to them like a duck to water. I kept telling her she must have been one of the people who invented the internet and just forgot to tell me. She thought that was funny. But I'm not sure it's a joke, because I'm pretty sure she'll be teaching me soon.

Anyway, she decided she was going to check out the world of online gaming, about which I know nothing. I'm not a gamer. So, she came into class, one day, and started off with this laundry list of questions about WoW and Fortnite, and I had no answers. So, I told her I'd find a better teacher for her and have them call her and got her user ID from the games. 

A couple days later, I walked down to my neighbor's apartment and asked to speak to her teenage son. I told him he was going to be volunteering to teach computers to an elderly person. Fortunately, his mother approved, so he had no choice about being voluntold this way, and the gaming classes commenced.

After a couple of lessons, he informed me that the lady is awesome, has a very cute great granddaughter about his age, and that he's in love. I'm not sure if it's with the old lady or the great-granddaughter, but I figured either way it's a good outcome.

So, me being me, I couldn't leave well enough alone. The lady had friends in her retirement home who wanted to learn about computers. And I knew the local schools have required volunteer hours for students. So, I called one of the schools and gave them the phone number for the management office of the retirement home and suggested they set up a program where the kids can teach computers to the residents and have the work qualify for their volunteer hours. And the school did it! 

The lady told me they already have a waiting list both for the residents and the kids. The residents benefit by being able to connect with other people and not feeling so lonely, and the kids enjoy being able to game and have it qualify for their volunteer hours. Win-win.

The only problem? They just don't have enough computers yet. So, once again, I picked up my telephone, and I called a couple of local newspapers and asked if they might consider doing a story about the program. I also suggested they might want to ask the local business community to donate the necessary equipment and setup. And one of the reporters I called wrote back to tell me they think it's a good idea, they just have to get approval. So, we'll see.

And you know what the best part is? It's kind of hilarious, but I never left my living room for any of this except the conversation with my neighbor's kid. All I did was make a couple of phone calls and talk to people. And, really, when it comes down to it, isn't that all team-building and networking is, at their base; talking to people, finding out what each one needs, and finding a way to make sure a project fulfills all those needs while still accomplishing the goal?

Think about it.

Peace!




Monday, June 21, 2021

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. Several, actually. Basically, I think all these videos when viewed together paint a fairly accurate picture of how the system is rigged against non-oligarchs in the US. But watch them for yourselves and form your own opinions. Peace!






















Sunday, June 20, 2021

Easy Pasta Primavera #Recipe!

 



Hey Everyone!! :-)

With the warm weather here, I thought I'd share one of my favorite spring and summertime recipes with you. Enjoy! :-)

Ingredients:
2 cups frozen peas
2 cups chopped broccoli
2 large tomatoes chopped
1 zucchini or yellow summer squash sliced
1 red bell pepper chopped
1 16oz package sliced button mushrooms
1 small onion chopped
1/4 cup oregano chopped fine
1/2 cup basil chopped fine
6 cloves garlic minced
1 bag bow-tie pasta (or whatever shape of pasta you like)
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp butter
3 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Boil water in a stockpot and add salt. When the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook until it's al dente. Remove the pasta from the water, drain it, toss it with some olive oil, and set it aside.

Put the butter and olive oil into a skillet and heat it until the butter melts. Add the onion and cook it until it starts to caramelize. Add the garlic, bell pepper, mushrooms, and zucchini and cook them until they soften. Add the broccoli, oregano, and tomato and stir the contents of the skillet together. Add the vegetable stock and stir to combine. Add the frozen peas and stir in the cream. Stir in the cheese and taste. Adjust the salt and pepper as necessary. Continue cooking until the sauce starts to bubble, stirring continuously. Remove the skillet from the heat, stir in the cooked pasta and basil, and serve piping hot.

Buon Appetito! :-)








Saturday, June 19, 2021

Changes...

 


Hey Everyone! 

Look at this, a Saturday post! But don't get too excited, I'm posting because I have bad news. Or, at least, I hope you'll regard it as bad news. I certainly do.

This post is to let you know about some changes that are coming to this blog in the very near future. Unfortunately, I've come to the conclusion that I can no longer sustain the level of maintenance and attention I've been devoting to this blog for the last several years. It simply takes too much time, and I no longer have that time to give to it.

So, what does that mean, specifically? It means that I will no longer be tweeting out posts and book tweets every day. I may send the occasional tweet, if something big is happening and I have time, but I will not be scheduling multiple tweets over several days for every post. Naturally, this means I will be spending less time on Twitter, overall. 

Also, I will be posting less going forward. You may have noticed repeats on some of my posts, recently, and that is due to the fact that I just don't have the time to compose new posts for every day of the week. I just don't. When will these changes go into effect? Well, I've already scheduled tweets through mid-July, so those will be tweeted, as usual. The work for them is already done and there's no reason for me to undo it. Also, I have posts for this blog scheduled through the first week in September and, for some days, even further into the future. Those posts will post as scheduled. And, if I have time, I may add more posts to those I already have scheduled. Maybe. 

Once I have something major to tell you all, like if I can ever finish writing my next book, I will most definitely post about that. I'll also send news like that in a newsletter. So, if you're worried about missing something important, just subscribe to this blog and/or sign up for my newsletter, and you'll receive notification of something new in your email.

Why am I making these changes now? Well, the major reason they're happening right now is that my day job is requiring more and more overtime. And, to be honest, I'm not making much money from book sales, so I have to keep the people who sign my paychecks happy. Also, I really do want to finish the third Petri book, and I'm starting to think that will never happen if I keep spending every spare second tending to this blog.

So, there it is, folks, the whole story about what's going to happen here. I'm sorry to have to do this, I'll miss talking to you all every day, but I hope it will help give me more time to do the things that really matter... like writing books. 😉  Thank you all for sticking with me, and I hope you'll continue to enjoy the posts I am able to post going forward. 

Peace and Happy Reading!

Mistral












Friday, June 18, 2021

#June2021 #IndieBooksBeSeen #Indie #Author #Books #Monthly #BookReview!



Hey Everyone!! :-)

It's the 18th again, so time for my #IndieBooksBeSeen monthly indie author book review!! Enjoy! :-)

Never The Twain by TE (Tom) Hodden:

Have you ever experienced FOMO (fear of missing out)? Callie seems to have that problem in spades, never quite being able to make up her mind about what it is she really wants. Fortunately for her, she may not have to. She may be one of those lucky people who really can have it all. Or can she?

It's hard to describe this book without giving too much away. I will say that the shifting realities and the switches between who is dead and who is alive were both clever and entertaining. If you enjoy mind-bending, alternate reality fiction, and good storytelling, this is a book for you. Five stars.




















Thursday, June 17, 2021

#APC #Spotlight: BloodLoss: A Fraktioneer Novella (The Fraktioneers) By Lu Whitley!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Lu Whitley in my APC spotlight, today! Lu is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and her paranormal, dark fantasy, urban fantasy, horror-fantasy novella, BloodLoss, looks great! Here's the description:
Join your favorite Book Boyfriends, Jaromir Ragnarsson & the ever-wonderful Stein, nearly 400 years before the events of BloodMarked (The Fraktioneers #1) in this all new prequel novella!
Cursed to live in the shadows, Jaromir Ragnarsson wanders the world, searching for a sign. What he finds wasn't exactly what he had in mind.
Nearly four hundred-fifty years after a fateful meeting with a Wyrd woman changes his life, Jaromir is no longer alone. His adoptive son is the light of his long life, and he believes he will do anything to keep him safe.
When that belief is tested, will he have the strength to do what is necessary?
Even if, no matter what he chooses, he loses?
If you think this sounds like something you might enjoy, go ahead and grab your copy here:





Thank you all so much for stopping by! Happy reading! :-)









Wednesday, June 16, 2021

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 1327


Hey Everyone! 😊

Agent Thoth discusses more of the trials and tribulations associated with living with hominids. Incidentally, if you've missed Agent Thoth's earlier entries, you can find them here: Thoth's Journal


Department for the Preservation and Confirmation of Intelligent Life (DPCIL)
Agent Thoth's Personal Log

Day Thirteen-Hundred-Twenty-Seven:
In a continuation of my behavior modification experiment, I once again attempted to wake my hominid-servant during the middle of her normal sleeping cycle. This time, I initiated my campaign from a room other than her sleeping room, so as to thwart any attempts she might make to strike me with her sleeping cushions. 

To begin, I vocalized at the highest decibel level I was capable of producing in the room next to my hominid-servant’s sleeping room. Once the sounds of her movement indicated she had returned to consciousness, I progressed to knocking items off the horizontal platforms she has scattered about. My reasoning was that this combination of noise would make it seem as though I had been injured. And, for all her faults, my hominid-servant is most diligent in caring for my health and well-being.

I was correct insofar as my assumption that the disturbance I created did rouse my hominid-servant and induce her to investigate its source. However, when she emerged from her sleeping room, her demeanor was such that it seemed she was far more irate than concerned for my welfare. The expression on her face indicated to me that discretion might be the better part of valor, at that point, and I ceased my efforts and retreated to beneath a convenient piece of furniture.

My hominid-servant spent several more minutes retrieving the items I had displaced and returning them to their prior positions while sweeping my place of concealment with baleful looks. It goes without saying that I did not venture to emerge. When she was done, she returned to her sleeping room and to her slumber.

I cannot say whether or not persistence on my part would have resulted in actual violence at the hands of my hominid-servant; however, I can say that it is now clear to me that any further attempts to modify her sleeping schedule can only be made after further reflection and study on the matter. At the moment, I am leaning towards the conclusion that it might simply be best to let sleeping hominids lie.


Uncooperative hominids! 😉 You may have noticed that Agent Thoth has a new look. I hope you like his new picture as much as I do, but I'd love to hear your thoughts, either way. Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments. 😉 Happy reading, everyone!