Saturday, October 26, 2013

Do You Believe in the Paranormal ~ @oddlynn3 #rndrobn1026 #LynnCrain

Welcome to this month’s round robin with a great group of writers. It’s October and time for all things paranormal. The weather has changed here in Vienna and out my office window I can see the fall colors in abundance. I just got home yesterday from the States and I do apologize for being late because I’m still a little jet-lagged...make that I apologize in advance if something doesn't make sense.

But back to the topic of the month and that’s all things paranormal. I got a great beginning to the subject when we landed yesterday in a fog bank. Yes, it was like the legendary London fog and total pea soup. I was thankful that by the time we got in the taxi that you could at least see a hundred feet in front of the car as there was zero visibility from the plane window. The pilot gave us a little warning but my husband said that he didn’t explain it well because the German version was a little disconcerting. Still, I think it is an appropriate beginning to this month’s column.

The question is have I or anyone I know ever had a paranormal experience? I can say that with an absolute yes. I live in a very old building here in Vienna. People have been coming and going, dead or alive, since it was built in 1867.

We haven’t figured out yet just how the original apartments were configured. We believe that many of the floors on our side of the building were single apartments or at the very most, two apartments. We’ve seen a few of the larger apartments when they’ve been updating them and they could hold at least a couple of families.

In my particular apartment on the fifth floor, although they say it’s the 3rd floor because the garden level doesn’t count and ground level is considered the earth level, we are not alone. I became first aware of this by noticing the French doors keep coming unlocked. What I mean by this is that we can stop one of the doors from moving by pushing the lock down into place in a hole in the floor. It makes it so the door doesn’t swing and we do it because once the dog discovered the door moved, he wanted to play with it.

There are many days where the lock has been activated yet when I return the doors are open and able to swing. At first, I thought that the dog found out a way to unlock it but soon realized that if he had, it would involve a lot of jumping on the door which would make a lot of noise. I chocked this up to any number of things in the beginning: the floor was warped, I hit the door accidentally thus loosening the lock and so on.

Now some people would say this isn’t an event but it happened even before we got the dog and I again thought it was something I did. But another event convinced me otherwise. It was not long after we got our puppy and in the beginning, he would sleep in his little crate right next to my side of the bed. Once in the middle of the night, he started growling as if something were in the room with us. Again, we explained it away because we had the light on for him and there is a lot of shadow play in our room.

Matter of fact, if the small light on my side of the bed is on, the room can be absolutely eerie. Yet, that wasn’t the last time our young pup would do this. There have been at least 3 other incidents and none of them involved light of any kind. He would start growling and we’d wake up, let him out of the crate and he’d bury himself under the covers peering out to see if it were safe to come outside.

One of the times, he woke me up from a dead sleep and I just lay there, assessing the situation. I felt I wasn’t alone in the room but when I looked nothing was there of course. The presence wasn’t malevolent but it was there and it made the hair stand up on my arms. From that moment on, I had to acknowledge that we had someone else in the house with us.

Now, I take a different stance on things like this and many people have thought me odd. I talk to my ghost. I don’t know its specific gender but I do know it means no harm. So when odd things happen in my flat, I’ll ask if it did them and what’s wrong. It’s my feeling when ghosts act up, they are like a child where something has gone awry and they want what everyone wants, comfort and acknowledgement. I’ll talk to it when the doors come unlocked, when it wakes me at night or when I feel its presence anytime of the day or night.

Yes, I know this is odd but I truly feel ghosts are real and are but just one of the many paranormal phenomena that inhabit this world with us. As they say, I am a true believer and have had many experiences in my life in regards to the paranormal. And it might have to do with an experience I had as a young girl with angels. You heard me right, angels and while that’s a story for another time, just know that without a doubt I believe they exist as well. Matter of fact, the television show Supernatural is one of my all-time favorites as the subject matter delves into the paranormal world.

So, now it’s your turn…have you ever had a paranormal experience in your life? Leave me a comment and I’ll give one lucky person a copy of my ghost story on October 31 or Halloween. Have a great week and see you next month with another round robin. Also, look for some changes to this blog as I am going to start Weird Wednesdays where I tell the world about odd things I find here in Vienna. And I’ll also be starting to post with the Weekend Writing Warriors on this blog my next book in the A Taste of Vienna series.

Thanks for stopping by. Don’t forget to drop by the other great writers in this round robin. First go to Rhobin Lee Courtright’s blog as she’s the one after me. You can find her here Here’s the complete list of all the participants for this month. Please visit each and every one of them as we all tell you about our paranormal experiences. I’ve only included myself so you all can see the order.

See you all next month!


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Let’s Start At The Very Beginning ~ @oddlynn3 #rndrobn0921

Welcome to our monthly Round Robin with the Night Writers gang. Follow the trail this month and you’ll see us all talking about new beginnings. Sometimes they’re fantastic, sometimes they’re so-so and sometimes they are downright disastrous. Follow the link at the bottom to go to the next author and see their take on new beginnings.

The Sound of Music has always been one of my favorite movies of all times and the Do-Ra-Mi songs the best ever. See when I was in 3rd grade I was So, a needle pulling thread. I can remember the day, my favorite dress and the song I loved so much. I don’t remember much about the performance but I do remember I was happy it was all over.

So moving to Austria in May 2011 was a new beginning to an old song. True, I live in Vienna, which is a long way from Salzburg but I was in the same country where one of my favorite movies actually took place. Now I didn’t know when I would be able to see any of these things but imagine my surprise when my in-laws came to town and wanted to do a tour of the country including Salzburg. What was even more exciting for me, I got to walk the steps where the song actually was filmed, Mirabella Gardens. I really wanted to do the Sound of Music tour but they wouldn’t’ let us take pup Harry, so that’s left for another time. Here are a couple of things that we saw.

The story of Sound of Music is all about new beginnings for a family who didn’t believe in their country's decisions any more. Now that wasn’t my case. I do believe in the US and all it stands for but I also know that goodwill needs to be spread across the globe. So when my husband got the choice to move here, in many ways it was a no-brainer.  While here, I’ve interfaced with people from many nations. I live in a building with three embassies, Albania, Dominican Republic and Paraguay. Also in the same building are the OSCE  residences of Finland, Ireland and Spain. Up the street is the Turkish embassy and down the street is the huge embassy of France.

Sure, I didn’t, and still don’t, like the fact that I’m far away from my family but this time has provided many new beginnings in the form of my writing. Since my time here, I’ve been able to consolidate my social media and get totally on track with it. I’ve also started a whopping 13 books, finished 3, reworked some older ones and have been with a new critique group.

New beginnings can come in many forms and none have to be as drastic as what the von Trapps and I’ve done. One doesn’t have to move far away to get a new beginning. Every time we read a book, it has to start at the beginning. Every time we, as writers, write a book, it has to start at the beginning. And every time we start a new character that character has got to start somewhere be it a murder scene, something totally unexpected or just a normal but different day.

Beginnings abound every day. We as writers just need to embrace those new beginnings and use them to our best advantage. What about you? How do you embrace new beginnings?

Now let’s keep this round robin going. Please go to Connie Vines blog and see what she has to say about the subject of new beginnings.

Thanks and see you all next time!


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Meeting A Real Life Character ~ @oddlynn3 #rndrobn0824

Welcome to another Round Robin with a fantastic set of authors I met while being a part of the Night Writers blog. Just follow the trail for some interesting tidbits on the subject of meeting real-life characters, how they are or aren’t different from preconceived notions, and how they might be bigger than life. Would you put them in your books?

Living in Vienna, I am surrounded by real life characters. Everywhere I walk or look, there is a character staring back at me. From the statue of Strauss to the Russian memorial, there is or has been someone very important walking the steps I’m taking on a daily basis.

I’ll be honest, I had some preconceived notions of the historical people and places that are in Europe. I have to say some of those notions are true and some are far from it. Take the last Empress of Austria, Elisabeth commonly called Sisi. She’s known as the reluctant Empress because she loathed the decorum and the pomp of being a royal. I found this completely fascinating as most royals who lived during her time loved the lavish lifestyle and found it suited them.

Not so with Elisabeth. She detested the situation as she felt she was sold into slavery by her arranged marriage. Another fascinating part of this woman was the fact she was assassinated in 1898 by a man who was looking for the fame of doing something important.

This woman shattered all my notions about royalty in an era of indulgence. While she did keep a low profile, she also seemed acutely aware of those beneath her in station and abhorred the class situation as a whole. Many of her views were not unlike most royals today who feel that their lives are in service to and for their subjects.

While in the states, I have met my share of famous people who were real life characters in themselves. Some were so eccentric that it made me wonder just what was wrong with Hollywood or other venues that support this type of weirdness. Sorry, folks, while I do believe to each their own, I also believe some things are downright strange and never should see the light of day. Lifestyles are extravagant and some are just downright eccentric. I’ve been disappointed many times by thinking they were one way only to find them not even like what I’d thought. Some changed my views on fame so totally, it made me wonder if pursuing the bestseller list was even a good thing.

Yet, with all these people I’ve seen, met or just researched, I know I would use them in my own books or base someone else on them. Currently, I have started two separate series. My series, A Taste of Vienna, is all about being here in this interesting and some days fabulous city. The first book in this series, A Viennese Christmas, is available now at Smashwords, Amazon, Nook, All Romance eBooks and more.

Another series I’ve started is Hollywood hunks based upon what happens when a small town boy hits the A list in Hollywood. You can look for this one is the near future at one of my traditional publishers. I’ll keep you posted.

Now let’s keep this round robin going. Please go to Connie Vines blog and see what she has to say about the subject of meeting a real life character.

Thanks and see you all next time!


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Vienna and Things I Do To Relax ~ #rndrobn0713

Good morning everyone!

Yes, it is already morning for me here in Vienna, Austria. The sun is streaming through my window and it looks as if it is going to be a mighty fine day though a bit warm.

First, let me apologize for my dust. I’m in the middle of a renovation on this blog so the header’s kinda ugly and the colors are an experiment to see what I really want while making it a pleasant experience for you. But one thing that will definitely happen is that the background image will change monthly to a new picture of Vienna I’ve taken over the past couple years. The plan is to keep the colors the same. We’ll just have to experiment with how that works.

I also plan to post on Saturdays, Tuesdays and Thursdays here from todayon. I realize I’ve been lax and do have so much to share on what’s going on in Austria. I tweet most days at least one thought about being here. Hopefully, your Viennese fix will be fulfilled with all these new additions.

Today, I’m doing a round robin with a group of talented writers that I met when I was with Night Writers. We’ve decided to do this since the blog is no more because we love that we can still connect and help one another out. So...please click through all of us and enjoy the posts...I’ll be giving you the link for A.J. Maquire at the end of this post.

I’d like to talk about how I relax and rejuvenate here in Vienna. There are many ways one can do that. In the spring, summer and fall, there are a variety of festivals one can go to throughout the city. Here’s a picture of a concert we went to at Schonbrunn Palace in June. It was put on by the Vienna Orchestra and it was wonderful. Just lots of people.

In the spring, right before Easter, I love going to the many Easter egg pavilions and seeing the wares there. The eggs are so elaborate and beautiful and expensive. But I have a few I sent home and a few here with me so I can remember this wonderful time.

Also, in the spring there are more flowers in this city than I’d ever seen anywhere. They are in every park and people have them in flower boxes out the windows. It even grows down the walls from some apartments. It’s an amazing sight to see.

Some weekends, we’ll go outside of the city to see the various different areas close to home. One of my favorites is a place I’ve talked about’s a Roman ruin that I just can’t get enough of and I visit as often as I can. It’s fantastic.

Another way that I relax is I do a spa day. There are tons of local spas and one has their pick of many. Normally, I’ll go have a facial, a manicure/pedicure and a massage. Nothing beats a good girl day even if I have to do it alone.

Fall is another time I really enjoy here. The trees out my office window are wonderful and I so enjoy walking in Prater park. The weather is cooler and the whole vibe of the city has changed from summer to the slowing down the season brings.

Now, one of the best times I have is in the winter. We have the various Christkindlemarkts that are absolutely fantastic. I love the snow and the season. I love taking walks even when it is cold though I might complain about the temperature occasionally. The first snow is beautiful and I love watching Pup Harry as he has great fun.

As indicated, we mainly walk everywhere or take trains to nearly all destinations. It seems no matter where we go, walking has become the great relaxer and that’s good since we don’t have a car. This was a personal choice as we could have brought one but decided to see the wonders of Vienna without one. This choice has been a blessing in surprise as both of the husband and myself have gained many health benefits from all the walking.

By this moment, I’m sure you’re wondering what all this has to do with writing. Well...suffice it to say...everything. It has great impact with my A Taste of Vienna series as it all takes place in or near the city. How I relax here, how I travel here or how I live life can be great inspirations on what to put into the novels. The first one, A Viennese Christmas, is talked about in the post immediately before this one.

The most important thing I’ve discovered is that I love writing about Vienna in either a fiction or a nonfiction way. There is always something going on here as well as new additions every day.

Don’t forget to go to the next great author in this round robin. A.J. Maguire can be found here and her post will be just as wonderful as learning about Vienna.

Thanks and we’ll see you all on Tuesday...have a great weekend!