Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Want To Be A 'Sanger?

What's a 'sanger you ask? Well, until I watched the reality TV series on the History Channel, Appalachian Outlaws about digging ginseng, I had no idea either.

Ok, why am I blogging about this? Because it gave me an idea about a new book - Dark Secrets that should be coming out later this summer.

I had no inkling that ginseng grew wild in parts of the United States, as well as areas of Quebec and Ontario. When I started doing some research, I found not only that it grows wild but that many states regulate the entire ginseng business from those who dig the roots to being a registered dealer. You need a license to be a 'sanger or ginseng digger. There's even regulations about how old a plant must be before it can be harvested.  How do you know a plant's age? Count the scars near the base of the stem. Each year the stem and leaves die back and leave a scar. Count these and it will give you an approximate age of the plant. The berries must be replanted near the harvested plant so more can grow.

Many of these facts are placed sporadically in my story.

There's even websites on how to dig, harvest, store the roots and when it can be sold or certified and when the actual season is. I was amazed at all the information about harvesting ginseng. I thought it was just something from China and Korea, used in herbal medicine. Boy did I get my eyes opened.

Of course my story, Dark Secrets, is a work of fiction with a few facts sprinkled throughout. The TV program portrayed the business as very competitive thus I've tried to  bring that into my story.

I enjoyed creating this story. It has a few twists and turns that I hope will keep you wanting to read more.

Dark Secrets should be released later this summer.  Watch for it!

Happy Reading!

K. R. Bailey

www.KRBailey.com


Saturday, June 6, 2015

What's Your Favorite Place?

Do you have a favorite place? Oh, I'm sure everyone does. I have to admit I have several favorites - Yellowstone National Park is high on my list of favorite places. So is my cabin in the mountains of Northern Utah. Recently, I visited the state of Kentucky and fell in love with it. I could go on and on, but today I want to talk a little bit about Colorado and the area near Glenwood Springs - Redstone and Marble.

Now why do I want to talk about that area? I have to admit its because my recent book, A Perfect Catch, talks about the area of Redstone and Marble.

Have you ever had a conversation with a new friend and you talk about one of your favorite places? Well, in my book, A Perfect Catch, that's exactly what they do. Erin and K.C. go to dinner in Park City - oh, that's another beautiful favorite spot of mine. Anyway, K.C. tells her about Redstone and why he loves it there. I wasn't sure how many of you have been there so I thought I'd explain a little about Redstone, Colorado, and the tiny town of Marble.


Redstone is called the Ruby of the Rockies and was an old mining town situated along the beautiful Crystal River.



 At one time, Redstone was a small arts community. Many of the old homes have been turned into antique and gift shops and some of them are still open.  A beautiful Inn was built as housing for a model coal mining town in the late 1800s by John C. Osgood.  The town of Redstone was his dream, and the inn and coke ovens across from the town stand as monuments to that dream.
Today, the Inn is a nice place to relax, eat or enjoy a drink, and sit on the terrace and listen to various musicians.  A few of the old miner's houses still dot the steep hillside and the small town is an interesting place to visit.

Once of my favorite places just outside of Redstone is Cleveholm Manor or many call it "the Redstone Castle". This was Mr. Osgood's former residence. At one time it was open to the public to explore, and then it was turned into a bed and breakfast. The last time I was there, it was closed to visitors, but it's still a grand place and interesting to drive by as it sits atop the hillside.


It has forty-two rooms and built in the Tudor Style with servants’ quarters, a guard house with a huge wrought-iron and rock gate, and carriage houses. You can sit on the patio and enjoy the wonderful view below of the clear flowing water of the Crystal River amidst the aspens and pines.

 
Years ago, a railway went from Carbondale just outside of Glenwood Springs past Redstone to Marble where some of the world's best marble, including the six-ton piece used for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, was quarried. The railway is not there, but along Highway 133 you can see where the railroad bed once was. Along the riverbed you can see pieces of scrap marble, and I understand it was dumped there to shore up the riverbank. Below is a picture of a couple chunks of the white marble laying alongside the road leading up to the old quarry.

The little town of Marble is surrounded by tall peaks and thick aspens as the road twists and narrows as you travel along the Crystal River. The Colorado Yule Marble Mill, located about four miles above the small town of Marble, closed in 1942 but reopened in 1990. Blocks of marble are trucked down as shown in this picture.  

I'm told this is one of only a few places in the world where you can get white marble.

If you're ever in Glenwood Springs. Colorado, take a small roadtrip along Highway 133. Follow the beautiful Crystal River. Stop in Redstone and do some exploring, perhaps take time to get a drink or a snack in the old hotel and travel back in time as you visit Marble. It's one of my favorite places. What's yours?

I hope this gives you a few tidbits about the Redstone and helps you better picture the small town Erin and K.C. talk about in my story, A Perfect Catch. If you haven't picked up your copy of the book, it is available in both ebook and print formats through Amazon.com.

Happy Reading!

K. R. Bailey
www.KRBailey.com

 
 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

If Walls Could Talk

I love speculating about old homes. Think of the stories they could tell us about the lives of the people who lived there many years ago.

A few weeks back my husband and I went for a drive in southern Idaho and I took these two pictures. These old homes fascinate me.  One is just sitting there empty, and it made me wonder what happened. Did the family move away? Did they just grow old and die and no one wanted the home? What did they do while they lived there? Did they have a big family?

So many questions went through my mind. The home felt empty and lost in this world and I just had to snap its pictures.

A few miles down the road I saw this old home and thought it interesting. It has been renovated and looks like someone still lives there. I still wondered about its history and the family who originally built it.
Why does one home get remodeled and continue to be lived in and the other doesn't?

Can you feel the difference? One has life, the other feels empty.
Wouldn't you just love to hear the stories about the lives of those who worked here, baked bread, ate together as a family in days gone by?

The other day I was doing some research on Cripple Creek and found this picture of an old house in that area. I wonder what secrets it could tell us.

I know most of the stories are long dead and gone, and probably we won't ever get to hear them, but I still wanted to share one of my passions with you. I'll keep wondering, and when I do hear stories about families of the old west and early days of settlers, I'll listen closely and enjoy them while I picture the old homes that were built with loving hands, hours of work, to house a young family or a hard-working settler with big dreams.

What about you? Do you ever wonder what stories you'd hear if the walls could talk?

Happy Reading!

K. R. Bailey

www.KRBailey.com

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Reach For The Sky!

Dare to dream. Dare to reach for the sky.

The first step on the road to success is to DREAM IT.

Creating goals - both business and personal - are very important.  Do you want to succeed?  Take a moment and do this.

1.  Write down your goals.  Write down what you want to achieve, both in the short-term and long-term. Get on the right track - DO THIS! I know, I hate writing down goals too, but I think it is important to identify what it is you want to achieve.

What do you want to accomplish?
When do you want to achieve this?
Will you allow others to help you?
What do you want for yourself and your family?

BE HONEST ABOUT YOUR GOALS!!!
(Taken from Choice Financial training manual)

By making a commitment to succeed, you're making a statement to yourself and others.

I remember hearing this and it struck a cord.  I'd like to share it with you.

If you want to do something bad enough
  No one can stop you.
If you don't want to do something bad enough
   No one can help you.
     -----James Owens

So true.  Here's another saying:

You can achieve anything but sometimes it comes at a cost.  ---Annie Oortman

When you say yes to something, you say no to something else.  Unknown

Make a choice to be successful.  There's still time this year to accomplish something you've wanted to do.  For me, obviously, it's finishing a book or perhaps a set of short stories.  Right now, I'll take the challenge with you and make a commitment.  Will you join me?

Happy Reading!

K. R. Bailey

www.KRBailey.com

Monday, February 23, 2015

I have news!

My newest story, A Perfect Catch, is now available on Amazon.com in kindle format.

Here's a short excerpt:


They pulled the chairs closer to the fireplace. K.C. sensed that Erin relaxed as she stared into the flickering flames. He watched the way her delicate fingers held the coffee mug. He fantasized about her fingers with their neatly trimmed nails. Desire coursed through him, and he longed to hold her hand and kiss her palm, perhaps feel them running over his body.

            He wanted to touch her, to connect with her. When he reached for her hand, he was pleased she let him hold it and clasped her fingers in his. Her skin was soft and warm, her hands small and delicate. She smelled of powder, her hair filled with the scent of lilacs, and he ached to run his hands through her sun-streaked brown hair.

            “You look deep in thought,” Erin said.

            K.C. glanced at their clasped hands then looked at her. “Thinking I’d like to kiss you.”

            Erin attempted to pull her hand away, but he held tightly.

“Don’t pull away from me.” He waited, and when she didn’t move, he leaned over and placed a soft kiss on her mouth.

He heard her quick intake of breath before she pulled her hand from his hold. “It’s late.”

He watched her stand abruptly, and for just a moment, regretted kissing her. When she paused before walking away, he saw the slight blush on her cheeks and relished the feel and taste of her on his mouth.

“Goodnight.” Her voice was businesslike, and she hurried from the room.

He realized he was in trouble. This woman was so different than most of the fluffy, soft, perfumed ladies he dated, and yet he was drawn to her brusque ways. He loved watching the way she smiled or how her face lit up when she talked about fishing. She wasn’t as buxom as many of the women he spent time with, but she had all the right curves. Even though she didn’t try to be, she was all woman.

He sighed.

Why in the hell did she have to be the one he knew would get hurt by what he had to do?

*****

A Perfect Catch should be available in paperback shortly.  I'm also working to have it available in other formats and hopefully that will happen this month.

Happy Reading!

K. R. Bailey
www.KRBailey.com

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Go For It!

I'm often asked what advice I'd give to someone. After thinking about it, I'd tell them - Go For It! Whatever you've dreamed of or wanted to achieve, the world is an open book and you are your only limitation. None of us know what tomorrow will bring so use today wisely. Take a small step toward achieving greatness.

On of my favorite sayings is:

If it is to be
It's up to me.

It's so true. No one can tell you what to do. Oh, sure, you have bosses where you work and you probably should heed what they tell you. But only you can take control of your own destiny. So do it!

I always wanted to be an author. I let a lot of years go by without doing anything about it. When I finally made up my mind to do it, I can't tell you how excited I was to get my first acceptance letter (email in my case) from an editor. Holding my first published book was a feeling I can't describe.

Remember though, I said got for it - you need to take the steps along your journey alone, and it's not always easy, but it can be very rewarding once you start to succeed.

I also didn't promise you'd get rich - no one knows if what you've wanted and strived for will bring you riches. Satisfaction, yes. A sense of self-worth, absolutely. But wealth? So many things determine whether you'll get rich.

I've accomplished my goal of being a published author and the feeling of satisfaction is great. Does that mean I'm done. Heavens no. I have more books to publish, best-selling lists to hit, and so many more goals so I'm not through. I try to do something each day to move forward.

I hope you can accomplish whatever you want to do. It's a new year. Make the decision. Take the first steps to accomplish whatever it is you've wanted and dreamed about. You can do it! So go for it!

Happy Reading!

K. R. Bailey
www.KRBailey.com

Saturday, January 10, 2015

A Smile For the New Year

Just wanted to start the new year off with a few smiles.
A friend of mine sent this to me and I wanted to share it with all of you.
 
Gotta love them...


Wouldn't it be great if we could put
ourselves in the dryer for ten minutes;
come out wrinkle-free and
three sizes smaller!

Last year I joined a support group
for procrastinators.
We haven't met yet!

I don't trip over things,
I do random gravity checks!

I don't need anger management.
I need people to stop pissing me off!

Old age is coming at a really bad time!

When I was a child I thought Nap Time
was a punishment ... now, as a grown up,
it just feels like a small vacation!

The biggest lie I tell myself is ...
"I don't need to write that down,
I'll remember it."

Lord grant me the strength to accept
the things I cannot change, the courage
to change the things I can & the friends
to post my bail when I finally snap!

I don't have gray hair.
I have "wisdom highlights".
And I'm very wise.

My people skills are just fine.
It's my tolerance to idiots that needs work.

If God wanted me to touch my toes,
he would've put them on my knees.

The kids text me "plz" which is shorter than please.
I text back "no" which is shorter than "yes".

I'm going to retire and live off of my savings.
Not sure what I'll do that second week.

When did it change from
"We the people"
to "screw the people"?

I've lost my mind and
I'm pretty sure my kids took it!

Even duct tape can't fix stupid ...
but it can muffle the sound!

Why do I have to press one for English
when you're just gonna transfer me to
someone I can't understand anyway?

Lord, Give me patience
and give it to me NOW.

Of course I talk to myself,
sometimes I need expert advice.

Oops! Did I roll my eyes out loud?

At my age "Getting lucky" means
walking into a room and remembering
what I came in there for.

Chocolate comes from cocoa which is a tree ...
that makes it a plant which means ...
chocolate is Salad !!!
 
I hope this brightened your day.
 
Happy Reading!

K. R. Bailey