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One Little Dog

Posted by Cassi J Reed on January 8, 2013 at 11:35 AM Comments comments (0)

One Little Dog


How can one little dog, a Sheltie to be specific, mean so much to one person? Well, in my world, there is one big reason. This little Sheltie, Sophie, saved my life. I know that might sound dramatic, but really it's true. I have many people who stand by my side as well, but Sophie loves and comforts like no one can.

On September 17th of 2010, she was there with unconditional love and understanding as I crouched by my younger son's bed, sobbing, "I'm not ready for this". That was the day Patrick died. We had just gone through Shane's death eleven month's before, and none of us were ready for Patrick's. It happened anyway.


My mom was here. She helped me get through the sheriff's deputies, EMTs, and the coroner coming to do their jobs. Guy, was on the road and I had to call him and tell him. His company made him drive from Utah, all the way back to Springfield, Missouri, and then home, instead of...I don't know turning him around and having him drive home, or swapping with another driver, or any number of things. So he was gone an extra four days, grieving and trying to get home without hurting anyone in his state of mind. Patrick's friends were here for a while. We were all so in shock, I don't think any of us knew what to do and inside I was so lost and empty. 

In the days following Patrick's death, Sophie became my sole, and soul comfort. She needed to be taken out to potty, I did that even though I wanted to stay in bed, curl in to a ball, and fade away. She never let me cry for long, nosing under my arms and loving on me with her ears back as if to say, it's okay mom, everything will be okay. She knew something was wrong and never left my side. She still doesn't, we are inseparable.

Her happy go lucky attitude, her energy, her Sheltie bark, her games of stick and rock kept me sane. Her growl and the sight of her dragging a rock backwards from me to play keep away always made me smile, even though my heart was broken and my soul shattered.

Over the last nearly two years since Patrick's death, I've become so attached to this little dog. She is my life, she is like one of my children. I take her with me whenever I can, even if it means mom and I shop separately so one of us can stay in the truck with her. I never leave her alone in the truck. If she can't go where one of us stays with her we leave her home, which is a hard thing for me to do. She loves to go and it's hard to say no.


Do any of you have a pet or should I say four legged, furry baby, that you feel like this about?


Here are some pictures of Sophie:




The Next Big Thing

Posted by Cassi J Reed on January 2, 2013 at 10:55 AM Comments comments (2)

Hello all, I was tagged by Jon Michaelsen to take part in The Next Big Thing Blog Hop. Check out his blog out at www.jonmichaelsen.net. First please take a look at my next big thing below.

What is the working title of your book?

Selkie Tears

Where did the idea come from for the book?

This idea came to me after my older son was in the hospital with congenital heart failure. He was only 20, and had Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. The heart failure came about because of the disease. After a week long stay in the hospital, we were able to bring him home, but the meds he was in had him messed up. He'd had a reaction to a blood thinner and was just so restless. I wasn't getting sleep, he wasn't getting sleep. That situation was really taking it's toll. I was so tired, and getting so depressed that I felt like running away. After another week, my son's visiting nurse came by to take his blood and check and see how thin his blood was. Well, his blood was too thin, so she said take him off for a week until her next visit. Within 24 hours the restlessness he'd been suffering for nearly two weeks was gone and he was much more like himself. He was able to rest, to sleep, thus I was able to rest.

During one of those quiet times I was listening to music by Angels of Venice, a song called A Chantar Mer. It made me think of the sea and ancient things we don't understand. I set the story in Ireland because they have a legend of seal folk, called Selkies. This is when Aran, my female main character was born. She's a broken soul, she fights a deep depression that even the doctors can't figure out.

What genre does your book fall under?

I don't know, I'd say fantasy romance. It's set in contemporary times, but there are a lot of fantastical elements.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Wow, let me see.

Sean: I know he's older now, but Sean Bean is my inspiration for Sean and I'd like to see him play this character.

Aran: Zooey Daschenal, I think she could play Aran quite well.

Collette: hmmm, not sure. Someone who can be cold and bitchy. Can't really think of anyone off hand.

Daffydd: Michael Hogan. He's played on Battlestar Galactica and in one of my favorite video game series, Mass Effect.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Depression is Aran Declan's life, and somehow it's connected to the sea.


Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I don't have an agency, but I do have a publisher who will more than likely take this.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I'm not quite done with this one. A few more chapters to go to finish it up. It's been a work in progress for almost three years, now. Life has a way of stepping in and taking writing time away.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I can't really think of any. I do know of a couple that have Selkies in them, but not quite like mine.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I guess what inspired me to write this book was just several ideas that cumulated at a time when I was feeling down myself and my main character is fighting depression and a way to get through it.

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?


There is a mysterious man that haunts Aran, she must confront him as well as the family secret.

Slacking Off/Trying to get in Gear

Posted by Cassi J Reed on July 11, 2012 at 12:25 PM Comments comments (0)

I'm back. I know I backed off again from writing my blog or doing much of anything writing related. I have times that I lose all interest. I should learn to kick myself in the butt and get into gear. I also know that my boys would be so disappointed in me for slacking off. I'm disappointed in me for slacking off.

I have been trying to get my office redone. I've spackled all those little grooves in the paneling so that my walls all turn out smooth, though you can see in some light where they spackle is, but the grooves are no longer there. I ran out of one color of paint so I had to move on to my next wall it's painted a nice rusty red color. Those of you who have seen pictures of my redone kitchen will recognize the colors in my office as the same ones. One long wall (we live in a mobile home) connects my office and the kitchen so I painted the whole thing one color and then of course the rest of the room back there had to be repainted and I wasn't about to use the chocolate brown for the whole thing. That would have made it look like a bear cave. Anyway, I am getting that done.

Other events have set me back, too. We lost three of our pets over the last four to six months. First, it was the little white dove that Shane had named Bird, she just died. I have no clue what happened to her. About three weeks ago, our eight year old goldfish, Dean (named after my oldest first cousin. Patrick's idea), passed on. Last, but not least, the lovebird I took in from the lady my mom used to take care of was accidentally killed by one of our cats. No, the cat didn't grab her or anything like that. She knocked a framed picture down on top of the bird's cage and it hit her. Must have broke the poor girl's neck. I was so shocked to find her. It sucks. Even though we have Sophie and the kitties, I miss my birds and fish. Makes me tired of death, too, there has been so much of it these last few years in my life.

Anyway, I'm working on getting back into the writing life and all that goes with it. I know I've said that before. There is no set time for mourning or getting back into things, or so they say. Wish that was true...things do come up that make me say, you have got to get back to it or you'll lose this or that. Even though I know that, it doesn't stop that helpless empty feeling from sneaking back up and stopping me from doing what I know I need to do.

I do hope that those of you who read this and my other blog posts don't get bored with me writing about my journey back. Writing what I feel and think is the best way I know to get out of the slump and eventually stay out of it. I know those of you who are my closest friends will never leave me. Others can stay and see if something more comes of this blog or can move on and maybe miss out on a gem along the way. Who knows.

Hope you are all having a good week and staying cool. We here have been hotter than hot. It was 111 degrees Fahrenheit here yesterday. I spent most of the day in and out to check on my hens and ducks. They faired pretty well considering all I could do is feed them cold melon rinds and spray their pens with water.

Anyway, enough of this, let me see if I can get it posted.



Happy Birthday, Shane

Posted by Cassi J Reed on June 7, 2012 at 9:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Today would have been my older son, Shane's birthday. He would have been 23 years old. I often wonder what he'd be doing had he not had the heart trouble or even just that darned stroke. He was my studious one, and I believe he may have taken college courses online.

I always told him he'd make a great lawyer. He sure could argue a point. Maybe he'd have gone with something in the gaming industry. I know he could have done a lot, considering the aid of computers.

We always talked, him and I, even his brother Patrick about what they wanted to do. None of us were under the impression that they'd live to old age, but we did hope they would live past 20. Shane just made 20 when he passed.

I look back on their lives and think that despite the devastating disease that made their lives a bit more difficult than for those that could get out of bed and dress themselves, that these boys had a happy life. We tried to give them everything they ever needed and made a huge effort to give them what they wanted. I know some people might say that's spoiling them. Well, yes, if they were capable young men able to get out and work, or got out with friends, or even just hop out of bed on their own, yes, then they'd be spoiled. What we gave them, we gave them because we wanted them to enjoy it while they were here.

When I look at some young people today, I with they might have known Shane and Patrick, seen what they went through to do what they needed to do. Some of them might not whine so much about not having their own car, or having to get a job, or better yet, whine because they are now stuck with a child of their own because they just couldn't wait or use protection. I won't go there too much.

There are days I sit and wonder what would it be like if the boys hadn't had the Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy at all. My gosh, how life would have been different.

I can see Shane leaving to go off to college...for what study, who knows. Game design, I bet. He loved games. All aspects of them. He was always my studious, serious boy, and a little selfish. He didn't like to share, but that's ok. Bet there are a few of us out here who don't like to share either. Shane was so quiet, he was hard to figure out at times.

Patrick, now Patrick, I'm sure would have been a military guy the minute he was old enough, or maybe he'd have come home asking us to sign for him. I'd have had no problem doing that. He was my toughy. I don't have time here to write down all the pain he went through in the short years of his life. I don't mean headache pain, or scraped knee stuff, I mean strong, horrible pain. At some point, the pain became so severe we couldn't move him to get him out of bed or roll him. It hurt him to be cleaned up. He dealt with the pain like a trooper. I think he'd have made a great Navy SEAL. He could have taken whatever they dished out and then some.

Anyway, that's what's on my mind today...and every other day.

I love you, Shane. Happy Birthday, Buddy!

Chris Fiddle and Steve the Panda

Posted by Cassi J Reed on May 31, 2012 at 9:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Chris Fiddle and Steve the Panda

Chris Fiddle

When Patrick was in the hospital in 2006 with severe lung infection we thought he might not make it home. Our friends, Chris and Nicole visited him and they brought him a little stuffed dog. On the tag, he was named Fiddle. When they first brought the little dog to him, Patrick wasn't even aware he was in the hospital, let alone that he'd had visitor. That was only a day or two into a two, nearly three week stay in PICU at St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix.

When Patrick woke and was actually aware of what was going on, his first words were. "Tell Shane I didn't die." Now this refers to his friend Shane and not his brother Shane. The last his friend Shane had seen of him was on a Friday at school. By Sunday night he was in the hospital. The infection hit hard when we realized he had it. We weren't even certain what was going on until we got him into the hospital.

Anyway, back to this little dog. The second thing he did was hold that little stuffed dog and said, I'm going to name him Chris Fiddle, because Chris gave him to me. I still have Chris Fiddle along with many other stuffed animals. We got Patrick quite a few stuffed animals when he was in the hospital and having to go to Las Vegas for doctor's appointments.

Steve the Panda

After Shane has his stroke, he was never the same Shane as he was before. I'm sure those of you who have had stroke victims in their families or are even one yourself you know what I'm talking about. Of course it depends on the severity. As time went by, a year or so, Shane had quite a few mini strokes and several large ones.

After one of these larger attacks, he became odd in his thoughts. This is where we get Steve the Panda. Now, Steve is a little stuffed Panda bear that we got at Panda Express because we spent a certain amount on food. We brought it home to Shane.

Shane had him for about an hour and he says, I'm going to name my Panda Steve. We have no idea why he was named Steve, but he was. That was cool. He kept Steve close to him on his bed. One day he tells me, Steve taught him Panda. I said, really? He said yes, that way I can understand him and all other Pandas.

No matter the reason that he named that Panda Steve, that little bear was special to Shane.

Both Shane and Patrick were sensitive guys. I never discouraged their love of stuffed animals or anything else for that matter. They were who they were there was no changing that. We should all nurture our children to be the people they are, not mold them to be the person we or society wants them to be.

Patrick was the most caring, giving person I have ever met. I'm not just saying that because he was my son, but because he was. He was quite the sensitive. I don't mean in the cry baby sort of way, but in the way that he could read people.

Shane had the technical wizard thing going, and he could be a bit selfish. None of that was taught, it was just who he was. He could discuss something he was interested in for hours and never get tired of talking about it. Especially games. He loved games.

Well, I think that's long enough for today. Maybe this will make up for my missing Monday and Wednesday.


Take care and have a great day!

What keeps you creative?

Posted by Cassi J Reed on May 25, 2012 at 6:55 PM Comments comments (0)

It's Friday and I did make it back to blog. As a writer I always look for inspiration. I think reading other's stories is a great way to gain inspiration. They keep the creative juices flowing.

Music too helps the muse to bring those ideas to life. I love "New Age" type music. There is a broad range under that genre. Anywhere from Celtic, to ambient, to really strange, but they can help me bring scenes to life. Another great thing for me is that they usually don't have voice parts. Some do, but the ones with singing that I listen to help my scenes along.

Now, I don't know how many of you do this, but I love to play games...video games...role playing to be exact. You get to play through a story, you are the character. I love to see where my character will go and what happens with the choices I make. It's another great way to get that creativity going.

Those are only three things I do to help my muse work the magic it takes to write a story. I also do things like people watch, listen to them talk (Not eaves drop, but just listen to the way the talk), the way the move and interact with others. I also talk my ideas through with friends in writing forums.

What about you? What do you to keep your muse moving along?

Let me know.

Work? What is that?

Posted by Cassi J Reed on May 23, 2012 at 10:50 AM Comments comments (0)

I've had something on my mind for a while. It was brought fresh to my mind last night when hubby and I were talking.

What has happened to people? Now, I'm not talking everyone so don't take offense. There are so many who think they have the right to be handed their living without a day of work. There are those that have a job and if they don't get paid for sitting on their butts they feel they are being abused.

What happened to actual work? I grew up with ranchers and farmers. I grew up where my grandfather and great uncles worked their asses off their whole lives...even as boys. My grandmothers back generations worked their asses off. My grandmother on my mother's side cooked meals for at least a dozen hands (ranch workers) plus her own family every day for years. Not to mention she kept house, did the dishes, washed clothes... She didn't have the modern conveniences we have these days.

My son Patrick's best friend who just turned twenty the 6th of this month has his first job. He washes trucks at the company where Guy drives. Well, he washes trucks when he can get one of the lead men in the shop to get off their asses and drive a truck into the wash bay for him. See, he can't drive the truck because he's hired through a temp service. If he was an actually employee through the company he could drive the truck into the bay and back out to park it as long as he stayed on the property. My point is...in a twelve hour shift who ever is on duty as lead man usually can be found sitting on their butt in the office. Now, shouldn't you as lead man have your paper work and whatever done and get off your chair and be sure everyone else is working?

Get this in the company if you are a mechanic and you get a job done before your two hour limit, you have HAVE to take a break until the two hours is up. What? If you are that good and things need to be done, shouldn't you just be able to keep on working. That is what work is, right? Right?

Now, on the other hand, drivers are abused completely the opposite way. They have to make miles to get a pay check. If they are sitting in the truck waiting to deliver or get loaded...do you think they get paid for that work? No, they don't. Don't tell me that's not working or you're going to get an ear full from me. They may be sitting still, but they are with the truck (security service), they are waiting for the product to be either given to the customer or waiting for the customer to give them product (customer service) Should they not get paid for that as well as the actual driving of the truck? Not to mention they aren't home.

Even some of them however are whiners, and want something for nothing. I know plenty who aren't and work hard.

I see it everywhere. Okay, so you've had to start out a McDonalds or Burger King. You flip burgers. That is your job, you've hired on to do that job. So, do it right. Work hard at it. Maybe someone will notice and you'll move up. If nothing else you have work experience and can move on at some point. Your next application will at least say yes, I work. So, you have to clean bathrooms instead of managing the restaurant. Work hard and maybe you'll get to manage.

Sitting here today, at this very moment though, knowing there are people who were in top jobs and are now the ones flipping burgers I'm beginning to think that our way of life is changing drastically. For good or bad I don't know.

We may find ourselves back to the days of growing our own vegetables and milking our own cows or goats for survival rather than a hobby. People do that already to save money. Chickens can be fun and also productive. Nothing beats fresh eggs from a chicken that hasn't been pumped full of hormones, antibiotics and who knows what else.

Well, I better get of my soapbox now. I'm sure there are those I have possibly offended or confused. Please, if you have something to say at least be nice about it.

Have a Great Day!

Back for another try...

Posted by Cassi J Reed on May 21, 2012 at 11:05 AM Comments comments (0)


It's been nearly a year since I posted in here. Sorry about that. I can't even tell you what it's been like to live without two of the most important people in my life for the last...well, almost three years since Shane passed and nearly two since Patrick. I've had deaths in my family two close back in 1987. My grandmother on my mom's side and my brother from the same disease my boys had. That was hard and after time it got easier to live without them. This, however is a bit different.

Anyway, I'm not here to harp at you all about how sad I've been or how difficult it's been to get going again. I'm here to say, hey, I'm going to really try this time around to get back into the swing of the life of a writer.

So, my first step was to post a new little short I wrote and published with a friend who I actually met doing freelance editing. Dawne' Domonique introduced us. I still do editing for her, but am also one of her authors now. That is, if I get my butt out there and tell people I have a story available.

I'm also on the verge of losing the home my other three books found because of no sales. That's not the publishers fault, it's mine for not getting myself out there. I'm hoping with my site and my "brand" Under Dragon's Wing I can get my self out there.

I don't know exactly how. I guess just post my web address everywhere and keep everyone informed on my writing projects. I'll give it a try and see if I can get out there.

I know consistency is best in this e-pub world. I'm not a fast writer and I like having a friend I can send my chapters to for moral support. I'm a bit introverted and it's funny even though through writing I'm behind the scenes, I'm still unsure. I feel like skittish colt.

Well, I'll try to get back here with a new blog on Wednesday and then on Friday. If I can stick to a Mon., Wed., and Fri. schedule that will keep me coming back here to my site and updating on anything, everything. Don't think my blogs will be only about writing. I'm sure they won't be. I have animals to write about, crazy neighbors, and just whatever, too.

Until Wednesday...have a great time!


Summer Solstice

Posted by Cassi J Reed on June 21, 2011 at 11:02 AM Comments comments (0)

It's the first day of summer. It's hot and sunny here where I am in Arizona. Just like it should be here, right? The temperatures here have been kind of whacky and really actually cool for this time of year. Still, even though it's 80 degrees at 8:00am that's not as hot as it can be or has been here. Anyway, I hope everyone's start to summer is a great one.

I have some news over on my books page. I have a new cover for one of my coming soon books, Fire for Ice and a release date on Gypsy Curse. Check them out. They will be available at www.purplesword.com.

If I can get myself situated into a schedule I'll be doing a blog on Mondays. I know, I know, this is Tuesday and I'm just finally deciding. So, take a look at my book page for the new updates. I'm trying to get this site completed. I should have a links page soon, some images to share, my works in progress so you can be aware of how those are going. I have too many of them, but I will be working on them before I start anything new. That is, if my muse will keep to those. Muse can be quite stubborn and if something new pops into his head, he's got to push it into my already crowded brain. I have way too many character living there already. :lol: 

Well, look for a new blog on Monday, June 27th.

Have a great day! 8)


Taking Flight

Posted by Cassi J Reed on June 7, 2011 at 2:52 PM Comments comments (0)

Hi all,

Well, I've just starting to get back into writing. It's been way too long, but I've finally decided to spread my wings and step off that cliff. So, here I am.

I'm lucky right now to have two coming soon books. They are re-releases and that at least gets me back into the game.

I'm also an editor at Moongypsy Press and that has kept me busy. As a matter of fact, I just ended up redoing a manuscript that got messed up as far as formatting. Our poor formatting person about tore his hair out before sending it back and saying, tell the editor to fix this.

I learned more about Word than I had before, and that's a good thing. I know how to see the editing marks in it now and can see how badly a manuscript can come across when formatted.

Authors, if there is one thing I've learned after removing a million extra spaces in an eighty thousand page book, it's this: Let word end your sentence and bring it back to the left of the page.

Only when you are starting a new paragraph, then hit enter.

Also, DON'T tab, let the formatters do the tabs. A good publisher friend of mine told me she prefers the author's to not use tabs.

I know a lot of us type in Word or other word processing programs like we'd write on paper, or for those of us who remember what a typewriter is, we manually work the tabs and what would be a carriage return to get back to the left side of the page.

Word processing programs do a lot of that for you, sometimes without you even realizing it.

Anyway, enough of that.

Today would have been my older son, Shane's, 22nd birthday. I sure do miss him and his conversations. He could talk up a storm. We always told him he should be a lawyer. lol He could talk you to death.

Well, that's it for my first blog here. Look for more. I'm going to try to do blogs on a regular basis. They won't always be about writing. They'll be on whatever I have on my mind that day, week or whatever time frame I decide.

I'll keep you posted on that.

Have a great day!