What do you like to read on vacations? Some #Observations

I had a lot of time at the pool and beach daily for two months while on vacation this past winter in Mexico. The writer in me always likes to socialize and at the same time, observe. People-watching and information magnet, that’s me. I decided to look around and take notes on what genres and books people were reading while at the pool. I also noted that most readers were reading paperbacks, not on Ereaders. This is most likely a generational thing as the majority age group were fifty and over.

The Maid, by Nita Prose, seemed to be popular with a few women. And naturally. I was curious to see why so many were reading the same book, so I visited Amazon to have a look and was gobsmacked to see over 30K reviews! Most couples were reading thrillers and swapping books with other people after reading. I didn’t notice many books that weren’t written by popular trad published authors namely, Michael Connelly, Dean Koontz, Nora Roberts, Maeve Binchy and James Patterson. While there wasn’t too much nonfiction reading going on, I also noticed not nearly as many readers as in past years reading political books. Maybe everyone had had enough of doom and gloom and just preferred to stay with fantasy.

People: Scanning around the pool of average age 50 and up, but mainly 60s and 70s, these readers almost all, read paperbacks – thrillers. When I questioned a few if they prefer paper to ebook, most said they prefer holding physical books and paying for something tangible. Some with readers enjoyed reading on a step in the pool. And two people I discovered, read two of my books. I didn’t know them, but apparently, some other people previously had told them I was an author. I thought that was so cool because it wasn’t like I was pushing my books on anyone. In passing conversation, a few through the years asked if I worked. I told them I was a writer and author. They asked where they could look at my books, and, the rest was history!

What kind of books do you like to read while on vacation?


Native Spirit Oracle Card Reading

And now for something completely different. Today I’m going to share a reading I did for myself a few days ago. I think many of you who visit here know my blog can be a bit eclectic, and sometimes random when not posting book reviews, writing tips, or rants in general. And I also know that many of you know I’m quite spiritual, tossed in with a little witchy and a little psychic, as you’d know from some of my other posts, like Sisters of the Fey articles I used to write for. But today, I wanted to share a reading I did for myself with my Oracle cards. Yup, I read cards and Runes too. Surprise!



Personally, I prefer working with Oracle cards to Tarot cards, possibly because I find them easier to interpret. I have four different sets of Oracle cards, as many readers often do. Some resonate more to me on certain days than others, but my real favs are my Native Spirit Oracle cards, which I used in this recent reading. This deck really speaks to me.


I’ve been learning and working with the cards for a few years now. Until these past few weeks, I had no desire to pick up the cards, especially when my husband took ill. I didn’t need to read anything about what was in store for me at that time I knew doom was impending. But ironically, I recently have become curious again about what spirits have to tell me. Maybe I’m looking for direction, but I felt a need to pull out the Native cards only. Incidentally, I’ll sometimes bring other decks into a reading, but this time I didn’t, and the reading still took me well over an hour after setting the scene and stopping to write in between interpretations. All these decks come with little booklets that interpret the cards meaning and message, which we the reader use as guidance to help interpret what we see.


I turned on some meditation music, cleared the room of stale energy by burning sage and incense, lit a white candle, set up my altar with my husband’s photo, surrounded by crystals, then waved my selenite wand over the cards to cleanse them, and asked for my spirit guides and angels to protect me in white light and only good spirits to be around. Then I shuffled the cards. Every reader has their own style of drawing cards. We shuffle them and ask our questions. I usually prefer to use three cards, then more if I feel I need elaboration on an answer. I let the cards choose me. As I continue to shuffle and ask my question(s), a card, two, three will either fall from the pile or stick out from the rest. Those are the cards I begin with. The others, I cut the deck in half and draw from the top if I feel I need another card or so.


I felt compelled to ask the spirit guides – Where do I need to be? What do I need to do? Where do I need to go, if anywhere, to find this new life I need to begin living.


I laid the first 3 cards face down, then flipped them over one at a time to interpret the messages. I then ultimately, ended up with five cards. The 4th one I drew because I felt I needed more clarification from one of the answers, and the last card literally dropped off the pile, so I had to add it to the story. Below you can see the 5 cards that came to me. And then I’ll share my interpretation.


Oracle cards



The first card on top left is Flowing River, next, the Wounded Healer, and The Trickster. And I’m adding here that the Wounded Healer card comes up for me every single time I use this deck. The next card came, The Shapeshifter, which I chose to elaborate on the Trickster’s message. And then of course, the extra card that fell, I laid on top again over the Shapeshifter. And here’s how it went with my interpretations:


Flowing River:  “Forgive yourself and let go.” The rivers are flowing and the flow of life are opening for me. I am no longer swimming against the current. Forgiving oneself and letting go is one of the hardest things for me to do, but spirit is telling me it’s time to stop blaming myself for the more I couldn’t do to save my husband. Logically, I know it was no longer in my hands but God’s, yet, it’s a tough thing this guilt.


The Wounded Healer:  Healing energy and life force are flowing to me, so says this card. I’m told I’m a healer who helps others, whether or not I know it. What needs healing now in my life is a process currently being worked on, “The cracks can be where the light enters the soul. You are a healer in the most profound sense of the word.” What needs healing in my life is being addressed by the “inner realms”. “Your strength lies in the difficulties you’ve overcome.” I discover this while I’m seeking how I can help myself, I’m told I’m helping others.


I’ve been told by two mediums that I was a doctor in another life and I worked with the Native medicine men in another. It makes me wonder why I’ve always been so fascinated and interested in health and medicine, especially naturopathic. Perhaps this is why this Wounded Healter card always visits me every reading.


The Trickster: Immediately, this card made me think of Murphy’s Law – Murphy the trickster who likes to show up particularly in Mercury Retrograde periods, which we are currently in now, and wreak havoc on most communications, reservations, appointments, technology – you get the drift. Things are not as they seem or should be in this time. This Trickster warns not to take everything at face value and to search below the surface, but also to look for the humor in difficult situations. This card asks that I step out of old routines that are keeping me stagnant. It suggested I howl like a cayote to release stagnant energy, particularly more powerful during a full moon. I did. I then asked spirit what did I need to beware of, so I shuffled the cards and asked the question and 2 more cards popped out. The Shape-Shifter popped out along with another – Gathering Your Tribe.


The Shape-Shifter: ” Let go of attachment to your identity. See the world around you with new eyes.” That really got my attention because that’s exactly how I feel since my husband died, that I’m seeing things from different perspectives. I’ve been observing the world around me with different eyes. SS says it’s time to manifest my dreams, And for the 3rd time in this reading I got the same message on this card, “This card chose you because it wants you to kow that you’re past doesn’t need to equal your future. Shut off your beliefs and limiting decisions that held you back from fulfilling your highest destiny.”


Gathering Your Tribe:  I am loved and I deserve love and support in various forms, they are flowing to me.  Speak truth and once again there’s a repeated message: “Diminish your time with those who do not empower or believe in you.”  It says if this card chooses me “sustenance in all forms” is flowing into my life. “Your people are those who resonate with you.” It says it’s my time to put my needs before others. (At this point I looked up to the screen where I was playing the meditation music on my screen, waves were crashing and a huge beautiful orange butterfly rested on a rock.) The message was telling me that my tribe are my people, and that’s what I always say to all my warrior friends. And then this last quote blew me away, “Sometimes your friends are more your family than your blood relatives.” Fact. And finishes with suggestions -“take classes, share meals, take time to find your people. You will live longer.”


I hope you enjoyed my sharing of my Oracle reading. I don’t do it often, but when I feel the cards ‘calling me’, it’s time for a reading.




Do Your #Kindles and Readers Runneth Over?

How many times have we heard it, read it and said – My Kindle is ready to burst with books and my wish list is ever-growing. But yet, we’re compelled to purchase that next book. It’s ingrained in us avid readers and writers when enticed by a book’s lure, we must have it. It’s no different from any other desire or addiction – we just have to have it when we’re captivated by a book. And of course being a blogger and writer and constantly being introduced to new shiny books – it’s like Christmas, but always.


Books give us something to always look forward to, and they’re a great escape from reality, which is always a welcome break – especially now in our dystopian-like times. Whatever the occasion or mood, there’s something for everyone to read. Whether taking in lessons from a nonfiction story or escaping into a steamy beach read or going into an alternative dystopian universe, there are so many places books can take us.

But how on earth are we supposed to choose what we read next? I know I always have good intentions and try to create a strategy for my next read. I’ve always got 2 books on the go. One on my Kindle and one in paperback. Usually the one on my Kindle is a novel in one of my favorite genres – historical fiction, family sagas, memoir and chick-lit are my favs, depending on my mood, ( My mood of course dictates what I feel like reading and there-in lies how good intentions for next planned read to go awry). My paperbacks are the majority of my books pertaining to writing and resource guides. For me, I need tangible books where I can mark-up, dog-ear, and refer back to sections easier than digitally when it comes to books on writing and reference books.

So, as I said, I will have my next reads planned before I finish a current read but that could change on a whim. When another jewel crosses my path, I might be swept up in a moment of great anticipation that may not allow me to get through another book before I can sink my eyes into the newest one. I’m like those little kids on Christmas morning unwrapping gift after gift with new enthusiasm for the current one almost forgetting about the one I just opened 2 minutes before. I’ve shuffled my planned reads around so many times with good intentions for my next to read books I don’t know how many gems are awaiting their turn to be read anymore as each new book adds to the load, further burying my good intentions.

The book problem becomes like the toy maker who pulls out another new and shiny object – another shiny book with a tantalizing cover and enticing blurb to draw me in, and oooh, magically intrigued, I want to read this new one next. It’s like the thrill of the next chosen read gets overshadowed by a newer thrill of another discovery and before we know it, that book we were dying to read 3 books ago gets toppled over with more new books we want to read. This is the only way I can explain it.

If only we could spend a year with no responsibilities or cares and just read! I can’t conceive the thought that I could actually plow through all the books I currently have, and how many hundreds or thousands more to come. But like a brand new pretty pair of shoes that I probably don’t need, there’s always room for one more book!


Please feel free to share how you handle your own toppling book piles, and how you choose your next reads!




Have Your Life Experiences Helped Determine Your Favored Genres?

What makes us gravitate to certain genres?


I’ve always preferred reading nonfiction to fiction since as far back as I can remember reading. I had a fascination with anything ‘true story’, going back to the days my mother left her rag magazines openly displayed on her bedroom night table. I do believe one of them was in fact called ‘True Confessions’.

I grew up as a child who felt compelled to keep up with the goings on in my growing up life, feeling as though I lived on a perpetual wheel of a ‘need to know’ basis. So, I’m pretty sure my curiosity about life and people began at an early age. I needed to know the truth and the whys about things. My chosen genre of reading preference came natural to me. I loved to learn fascinating stories about people, their dilemmas and resolutions. and I’d imagine myself – inserting myself in other’s stories forcing myself to think about how I would deal with that situation.

My hobby of studying people came to me by the time I was 7 or 8. And my mother was a fascinating subject to begin with. I was approaching 9 years of age, and when having to spend ‘electronic-less’ weekends at my paternal, orthodox grandparents’ house, I began reading the newspaper—mainly, the advice columns by ‘Dear Abbie’ and ‘Dear Ann Landers’.  I was fascinated by the idea that any random person could write a letter to these famous ladies who appeared to have all the magical solutions for people’s problems.

As the years progressed, to add some spice to my reading pleasure, I moved into reading women’s and historical fiction, and the odd book in the Chick-lit genre as a ‘great escape’ type of read. Of course, I do love me a good thriller too. After all, I do like to learn what motivates the antagonists too, to learn what spurs their evil ways. Even as a child I’d opt for a paperback over comics any day. People have always fascinated me, and I had developed a passionate curiosity of people and what makes us all tick. I’d take a true story over a fairytale anytime.

I do also enjoy watching certain themed types of TV shows to satisfy my entertainment and curious pleasure. I love an engaging storyline that makes me think, as opposed to watching mindless TV. Thinking is how I relax. Although I do know that thinking is an action word, my relaxing is me always doing something, keeping busy, even while watching TV. My go to favorites:  documentaries, historical WWII era survival stories, family sagas, medical and legal dramas. Why do I gravitate to such shows? Because these kinds of shows all encompass a sense of the human condition. These may seem like differing genres, but in effect, all these genres tie in with human relationships, saving people, injustices, compassion and sometimes redemption.

I also enjoy watching police serials such as Dateline and Twenty/Twenty. As sad as these shows can be to watch, they ignite the element of human nature and emotion, demonstrating what makes people motivated to do the things they do, for both the good and the bad.

I suppose it’s plain to see I enjoy writing about what I also like to watch, read and observe. So, depending on the genre of our choice, we often write about things we’ve seen and observed and translate into a story that fits best in our preferred genres of writing. For me it’s truth and why that captures my attention.

One doesn’t have to go much further than their own couch to study people. There is much to be learned from human behavior from watching TV. Crime, justice, medical shows all involving the human condition–reasons for actions, actions despite consequences, desperation inspired crimes, manipulation – it’s all connected to the human spirit. And I just find human beings fascinating to study.



© D.G. Kaye and DGKayewriter.com, 2014 – 2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to D.G. Kaye



The R’s of Life – Chapter Seven – Reading, Riting and Rithmatic = Reasoning | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life


Reblog and featuring

Today I’m reblogging another fascinating chapter of Sally Cronin’s newest book – The R’s of Life. This article encompasses factual information on literacy and changes in education systems through the years. A fascinating read!


The R's of Life


Reading, Riting and Rithmatic


When I was handed over at the tender age of four years old to Mrs Miller, the infant class teacher, I could already read to a basic level. With two older sisters, I was lucky enough to know my letters, and had already enjoyed a number of fairy tales and other illustrated children’s books.


In those days the aim of early education was to give you a solid grounding in the Three R’s which included Reading, Riting and Rithmatic. Obviously spelling was not part of the offering! I would say that based on my memories of the time, we spent the next two years, reaching the required standard in those three subjects, before moving onto basic geography, history and biology.


I also seem to remember, that there were not many children who by the end of primary school, had not reached a reasonable level across most subjects; enabling them to move onto secondary education. Nearly sixty years later, I find myself wondering at the numbers quoted for illiteracy in the UK and US indicating that education has not progressed as far as it should.


The Literacy Trust states that one person in six in the UK is living with poor literacy. Continue Reading 


Source: The R’s of Life – Chapter Seven – Reading, Riting and Rithmatic = Reasoning | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

What do we get from #Writing #Book #Reviews?

book review by DG

We’ve all come across many blogs posting reviews of books read. And as writers, we all know that receiving a great review inspires us and helps keep us motivated in knowing our words were inspiring and/or enjoyable to readers. There are many benefits to writing a book review for a book we enjoyed and sharing it on our blogs.

  • We are sharing valuable information for other readers to learn about that book. Perhaps they aren’t familiar with the book and our review has piqued their curiosity.

  • We are validating ourselves by sharing our interest in a subject someone else may be interested in, thus forming a common bond with a new reader.

  • We attract more book readers to our blogs.

  • We may attract those authors to our blogs, who may in turn review one of our books on their pages.

All these factors go back to the old adage” ‘Sharing is caring’. I know the value of a good review as a published author. That’s why I always make it a point to write a review on Amazon and copy and paste it to Goodreads so my followers there can see it and decide to read that same book based on my review. On Goodreads many book lovers read our reviews. And consequently, I’ve noticed many authors sending me messages from there, suggesting another book they’ve read that I may enjoy on the same topic.


Let’s be honest, how many of you book lovers go to Amazon to purchase a book and feel compelled to read a few reviews on the book while you’re there to help decide if you want to download it?


I’m no different. I love feedback. I even read some of the crappy reviews. Why? Because if I see a book has mostly 4 and 5 stars, I’m compelled to read a 1 or 2 star review (there’s always one) to see what one person out of so many didn’t like. Does that deter me from buying the book? No. But curiosity gets the best of me, and usually the bad review is ridiculous and doesn’t say much more than, “I don’t like this genre or the author” or something of the like. Those kind of reviews aren’t helpful and certainly the majority of people that read didn’t feel the same way. (Which brings to mind my first crappy review I ever received on my first book, a memoir, saying the book was all about me, well, no shit Sherlocke, it’s a memoir) But I digress.


What I want to say is, I never realized the power of sharing some of my many reviews of books here on my own blog. You may have noticed I’ve been pulling a few reviews out of the Amazon archives and have been posting at least one a week here. I realized that by sharing my written reviews on book sites on my own blog, the value I’m adding to a book I’ve enjoyed by helping that author get some added exposure for a worthy book.

I can say with the utmost enthusiasm that there is nothing more rewarding for an author than to find their own book posted on somebody else’s page with a five star review, why wouldn’t I want to do the same with the books I’ve enjoyed.


Here’s what I’ve noticed lately by posting reviews of books on my blog:

  • The book has attracted comments from readers who enjoy the genre.

  • In turn, the author of the book usually pops by and interacts with the commenters.

  • Subsequently, by attracting more readers, that book gets more people interested in purchasing it.


Sharing is all about giving back. And for those who know me well, know that I’m all about the universe – the law of attraction, and we must give to receive, not ask. I’ve noticed my own books being posted on quite a few blogs lately – some quite by surprise, and some where I’ve been invited to post as a guest. From the posts, I’ve met many new authors and bloggers through their comments, and subsequently have formed friendships with, some even telling me they’ve just purchased my book.


All of these components help build our blogging/writing/reader community. And who wouldn’t want that? For what other reason do we write and blog other than to share our thoughts, ideas and work and hope to engage like-minded readers and potential new friends. So please, consider writing reviews and sharing them for the authors whose books you’ve enjoyed, and to let others know you found a book interesting to read and why.


Tips for writing a review:


It’s easy to write a review. You can copy and paste your review from Amazon to your blog. You can also copy and paste the book image to your blog and add the link to the purchase page. Copy and paste the book’s blurb so the reader can get a sense of the premise of the book before reading your review. And if you’re feeling a bit more ambitious, you can write a few sentences as an intro to the review. How easy is that?

The right way to #write | Daily Echo — Sue Vincent

Reblog and featuring

Today I’m reblogging a wonderful article written by Sue Vincent.

Sue speaks about “Is  there is a right way to write?” Sue also talks about what readers are looking for in our writing.


A Quote from this article:

“Writing styles change as quickly as any other fashion. What was acceptable in a Victorian parlour might be deemed unacceptably wordy or ponderous today. There are some basic rules that must be learned and obeyed, of course, in order to make anything readable and there are logical reasons behind them that simply have to do with the way that words can flow. Having said that, were we all to adhere to a single accepted format, the literary world would be a very boring place. A writer’s style is, and must be, as individual as a voice.”


Sue Vincent ~ Echoes of Life, Love and Laughter (by Sue Vincent)


“For a writer, the best thing in the world is to know you have been read and that what you have written has been enjoyed or has struck a chord with a reader. Most of the time, we just don’t know… a book goes out into the world and we hear very little. Sales don’t matter in that respect… you still don’t know. The odd review or a comment always feel like a gift. . . ”  Read More by clicking the link below:

Source: The right way to write | Daily Echo 


D.G. Kaye © October 2015

#Scrivener, #Audits, #Revisions and #Publishing

I can hardly believe it’s the first real day of summer today. I ask myself where March, April and May disappeared. It seems the days pass so quickly when so many things are going on, and when we come up for air, we try to account for all the days that have gone by.



This past week in particular has been absolutely hectic. I have been working on my latest book off and on due to unforeseen circumstances that seem to have been circling me since I returned from my winter vacation. Throughout these busy months I was caught up in the worry of my dear aunt who passed a few weeks ago while trying to get back to my latest book and working on revisions intermittently.

When I finally put my head to the grindstone and got into third round revisions, I discovered that I was not happy with this book and sent it to an editor friend with a great pair of eyes for a beta read. Sometimes, it’s very hard for writers to find what they feel isn’t right when they’re constantly going over their own work. My friend gave me a lot of positive feedback, helping me figure out what needs to be moved and changed etc., but then it dawned on me. Bingo! My book wasn’t one book, but two. I thought I could meld past and present ideas together but it wasn’t sitting right with me. So, I’ve decided to separate it into two short novellas, which of course entails more writing and revising, thus this book will not be ready for edits until later in the summer.

This realization sent me scurrying through my Word files trying to pick out what should be moved, deleted, etc. But it became a daunting procedure. This is when I reminded myself of how badly I NEED TO LEARN SCRIVENER.

I promised myself after my last book that I would master the beast. But after watching a few tutorials, reading many publications, and reading ‘Scrivener for Dummies’, I couldn’t wrap my ahead around it fast enough, and found that I need to dedicate a few solid days to learning it. The program sits inside my computer, I have tried to fiddle with it, but I felt it was eating my precious time while so much was piling up that I’d just continue to use my prehistoric method of sorting chapters until I could dedicate the time.

good monring stress


So after much frustration, I printed out the manuscript draft and begin separating the chapters, sprawled out on my floor. And that is where they are currently residing, for the past four days. Why you may ask? Because once again, life has interrupted my flow of thought by Revenue Canada coming down on me for an audit. As if I needed something else to do!

As many of you know I moved at the beginning of the year, which left my income tax files buried in boxes at the back of a storage locker. I had to find the boxes and files and start digging for all receipts and files for not only 2014, but 2013 also. Fun wow! Not!

I lamented to my accountant, “Why on earth do these people pick on me, a tiny author, working her butt off trying to make a living with her costs to publish and advertise, far outweighing the income. And he answered, ‘Precisely, because they go after the small guys claiming write-offs and they want proof that they are not being scammed.”

So I once again dropped the book writing and revisions and spent the better part of this week searching, sorting, and photocopying receipts for the accountant to help me get this situation rectified and out of my hair. My dining room floor is carpeted with income tax files, and my living room floor is blanketed with book chapters. Thank goodness my place is ‘L’ shaped so we can walk through the kitchen to get to the bedroom. I ain’t moving that stuff until I can deal with it all. So needless to say my social interaction and blog reading has suffered once again. It seems when I finally catch up, something else lands on my lap. Oh, and I will add that for the fourth time in one year, MY LAPTOP DIED AGAIN. Surely I am being tested!

Here are a few tips you can all take from this:

1. If you’re writing a book, make it a point to learn scrivener (something I will be doing before this year ends!)

2. Make sure you keep all your receipts and files pertaining to income tax intact and accessible because you never know when Rev Canada or the IRS will call your name.

3. And never put off for tomorrow, what you can do today because you never know what else is coming.

I’ve recently been reading from a few author friends that they have been taking technological vacations, ie: time-out, or vacations sans laptops. I envy the way they can just ‘say no’ and take a breather without worrying about how much more they will have to catch up on when they return. I am going on a MUCH NEEDED vacation in two weeks and have been threatening myself that I will also go away without my laptop. The thought terrifies me, yet sounds so inviting. In fact my friend Sue Dreamwalker has dared me to do it, and I’m thinking I just might!

If any of you have discovered an orderly way to play catch up after taking a techno break, I’d be more than happy to hear your suggestions.