There’s an old saying, ‘It’s better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all’. Every time I think of leaving beautiful Scottsdale, Arizona, I feel the sadness ooze through me. I ask myself it it would have been less painful to never have come to this place we don’t want to leave so we wouldn’t feel the unbearable sadness of having to leave the desert and mountains and our friends behind.
Of course deep in the core of me I believe it’s better to have loved and lost than to never have loved, just as I know, a taste of living in Arizona this winter was better than feeling the continual hunger to come back here. But we all know we can’t just eat one chip.
I’ve been to many places in my life, had fantastic times, felt sad to leave, but once at home it was good to be back in my own bed. But from the first time I visited this state, for only one week, I felt the pull; a pull that tugged so tightly at my soul when leaving, I didn’t want to go home.
Since the first time I left Arizona, not one day had ever passed that I didn’t imagine myself there or wish that I was there. Now that I’ve had 2 glorious months here, it is infinitely harder for me to leave.
I’m a firm believer in the ways of the universe, and what you focus on is what comes to you. I don’t know how or when, but I know nothing is more at the forefront of my desires than to live here. So I’ll have to believe when the divine timing is right, Scottsdale, Arizona is where I’ll be laying down my cowgirl hat.
Jerome, Arizona is an old mining town, population of a meager 450 people, but it wasn’t always so lightly populated. It’s approximately a 2 hour drive northwest of Scottsdale in the Verde Valley. The tourist map recommends it as a must-see place to visit.
My husband and brother-in-law are fascinated with anything cowboy, so we decided to take a little road trip up there, one warm, but mostly overcast, cloudy day.
Jerome sits up on a cliff known as Cleopatra Hill. The elevation is 5300 feet. It was a lot colder up there than where we’d come from in Scottsdale. I can tell you that the one lane up and one down the mountain was a pretty narrow ride with barely a guard rail or lights. I remarked how I’d be scared to drive in or out of Jerome at night or in the rain, or worse, the snow.
A Brief History:
In the 1880s, Jerome was a billion dollar mining town full of ore. For 70 years, the two copper mines made hundreds of millions of dollars for investors. The town was named after a New York Lawyer, Eugene Jerome who formed the United Verde Copper Company.
By 1920 the population began to rise to 15,000. It hosted saloons, hotels and the town brothel, and of course a county jail. Through the years, many buildings had burned down from the two fires of 1894 and 1899, but were rebuilt.
The mines yielded millions of tons of copper, silver and gold. In 1938, an underground blast rocked Jerome’s foundation and much of the business district slid down the hillside 225 feet – most notably, the county jail. This event was the beginning of the downfall of Jerome, resulting in its becoming a ghost town.
With the depression and the advent of World War II, and fluctuating copper prices, the mines finally closed in 1953. By then, the remainder of the townspeople left, leaving a mere 50 people residing in Jerome.
Through the later decades, Jerome was rediscovered by artists who moved there for its magnificent views and cheap real estate. Now there are galleries, a few restaurants and gift shops and a few bed and breakfasts which are said to be haunted.
The town is quite small and doesn’t appear that much has been updated in decades.
There are a few updated bar/restaurants, and now ‘family’ saloons. The town brothel had been turned first into a restaurant, and has since become a store named ‘House of Joy’, carrying nostalgic items from the days of its original ill repute, full of girlie photos, flapper hats, pins and badges from earlier wars, and some old signs.
But what I found most interesting in there was a table with small cardboard boxes, each filled with coins representing various states’ brothels in the mid and southwest.
These coins were what gentlemen would purchase when entering a brothel that gave them access to a lady for the evening. Each coin had engraved the brothel name and state where it was from, and every one of them had engraved on the flipside, “Good for one night.” One could purchase these coins of choice as a souvenir for $3.00. I couldn’t help but wonder how much they paid for the service when purchasing these coins back in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
I wandered into some other gift shops and found items from natural stones to old signs to Tshirts, and found them all rather expensive compared to any other tourist place I’d been to in Arizona. I couldn’t believe that this tiny town with nothing more than a beautiful view and a bit of history charged such high prices for souvenirs. I didn’t see anyone walking around with bags.
I realize it’s now a small tourist town and everyone has to make a living, but it’s not like there’s a waiting list to get there. To me, these sky high prices were like ‘shooting yourself in the foot’ (a fitting phrase), by being a little more competitive, price-wise, I think that tourists like myself would have liked to pick up some souvenirs.
All in all it was an experience to go to Jerome and see a bit of this history. It felt strange being in that little store that was once a brothel and looking at some of the old hotels and remnants of burnt out buildings from the fires.
On the way back, I managed to capture some gorgeous sunset photos:
Friend and author Dan Alatorre is a diverse writer who runs a most interesting and entertaining blog. Dan’s blog is full of tips for writers, and he makes up some really neat writing challenges to throw in the mix.
Dan incorporates his natural sense of humour in all his posts, no matter how serious and informative the post is, that’s just Dan.
Today I’m reposting Dan’s 10 tips on doing author interviews.
“I can hear your collective groans from here. Stop it.
As an author, you will occasionally get to do interviews. As the shy, retiring type that most of you writers are, you won’t want to do them. As a marketer, you do want to do them! Interviews raise awareness of your product – the book you want to sell – but don’t be fooled. The TV stars you see being amazing in interviews on late night TV or the Ellen show didn’t just fall out of bed and hit a home run, being all charming and spontaneous and witty.
Luckily, most of the interviews you get to do will be by email or some other written version. (For some sample interview questions I put together, click HERE. Many are the typical stuff you’ll be asked; some are just me.)
Why is that lucky? Because radio and TV interviews are hard.
First, you will probably have to contact people to do an interview regardless of the medium; they don’t come out of the woodwork to track you down just cos you published a book. According to some radio people I spoke with, authors are alwaystrying to get interviewed – and trust me, doing radio is tough. Quiet spaces while you think of an answer seem like HOURS, and you react by trying to answer quickly – and usually too fast – so it isn’t your best answer and you aren’t happy with the result. The nervousness is noticeable in your voice. You sound like a gerbil.
TV is the same except they get to SEE you becoming a gerbil. That’s just… painful. . . “
Today I’m going to share a great website with you called Nosegraze.com. Ashley runs a fabulous blog there which is like a help site for all bloggers. She’s a web developer who, besides selling services such as coding, web design, themes, plugins, and so much more, blogs about wordpress and issues we can run into, as well as tricks of the trade to show us how to get the most out of our blogs.
In today’s post that I’m sharing, Ashley is talking about the importance of setting up a mailing list on our blogs.
3 Full-proof ways to grow your email list:
“I don’t care how hot Bloglovin’ or Feedly are, or even Twitter/Facebook/Periscope or whatever new social media is all the rage. The #1 subscription avenue you should be promoting is email. Above all others: email. Email is the best and most reliable way to get people to read your content. People check their email all […]” CONTINUE READING
My friend and blogger extraordinaire Hugh Roberts has a diverse blog where he writes and shares some fantastic short stories, creates some fun and interesting blog challenges, he’s on the Annual Blogger Bash committee, and he also offers up some great advice in his latest series on how to become a successful blogger.
Today I’m sharing Hugh’s post on How to Ensure Readers Will Keep Coming Back to your blog.
How To Become A Successful Blogger: Part 3 – How To Ensure Readers Will Keep Coming Back
“If we were inviting people around to our house for dinner, a party or just for a coffee, most of us would want to ensure that our home was clean, tidy and looking good, right? If that’s the case for our homes, then shouldn’t it also be the case for our blog?
After writing a new blog post, WordPress allows us to preview the post before we publish it. If you haven’t noticed it then the ‘Preview’ button sits right beside the publish button. I’m always surprised by how some blog posts look as if the author never previewed the post before publishing it. One of the most common errors I see is when large gaps appear between paragraphs or when there is a large blank space at the end of the post. Another error is a sentence being interrupted by an image or photo.
Another off-put for me is when there are large blocks of text within a post. . . ” Continue Reading
Deb is a vivacious, giving person who is always happy to share good tips and her time to help others:
“It would be wonderful to have a special button on your keyboard that would read your writing and correct every error, typo, wrong word, omitted word, added word, or verb tense. It would be really amazing if the “edit key” would automatically rewrite awkward sentences, paragraphs, or chapters. There are software packages that attempt to go beyond the rigidity of spell/grammar-check, but do they do a better job?
No, not really, or only marginally. The computer or software package would have to comprehend the content, distinguish whether the entire piece has a theme, rewrite sentences and paragraphs to support that theme, and draw a convincing conclusion.
How can the basic rules of grammar or spelling downloaded into a software package cover all the exceptions to the rules in language and enhance the quality of the writing? It is not possible. . . “Continue Reading
I came across a fantastic article from the blog of author Anne R. Allen. I subscribed to her blogs well over 2 years ago, and I can tell you that Anne runs an always interesting and informative blog for writers. Besides her interesting articles, written by her, and sometimes by her co-host Ruth Harris, Anne also shares links at the end of her blogs for a writer’s ‘FYI’ on current events in the publishing world, contests, submission alerts, etc.
Anne wrote a post about the importance of building an author and blogging platform for writers. Anne goes into detail about some of the nitty gritty items many of us may tend to overlook as insignificant, and explains why they are not insignificant.
Have a look at a partial statement I’ve copied here, then be sure to click on the ‘Continue Reading’ link for so much more.
. . .When should you think about your platform?
Definitely as soon as you’re ready to send out a story or submit a manuscript to an agent. I’m not saying you’ll automatically get rejected if you have no platform, but editors and agents will Google you, and if they can’t find you on the first SERP (Search Engine Results Page) they may send an automatic rejection. Not all agents and editors are that harsh, but I’ve heard from many who are.
“They’re looking for someone with visibility and authority who has proven reach to a target audience.”
This is especially true for nonfiction authors. But no matter what you write, agents, editors, reviewers and even bloggers you’re querying about a guest post are going to put your name into Google and hit the “search” button.
But there’s something quick, easy and relatively painless you can do right now to raise your search engine profile that won’t take more than a couple of minutes from your writing time.
Ready for it?
Comment on blogs.
With your real name. (Or whatever name you write under.)
Yup. Comments on high-profile blogs that are on Google’s radar get your name onto that search page. (Also on not-so-high-profile blogs that have been set up by somebody schooled in SEO.) . . . .CONTINUE READING