My Dad. Always Missed, Never Forgotten.

Alice White Author:

Dad’s birthday seemed another perfect time to re-blog this tribute I wrote for him. R.I.P., Dad, and a very, very happy birthday – wherever you may be.

Originally posted on Alice White Author:

I wrote this tribute to my darling Dad after he passed on November 16th last year. Fathers’ Day seemed to me the perfect time to share with you all what a truly wonderful man he was.


Peter Halliwell, My Dad

15th October 1931 – 16th November 2014


Always Missed, Never Forgotten

Nothing has seemed normal here since I got the terrible and sudden news on Sunday, November 16th, of your passing. Numbness engulfed me when the words did not ring true. The sudden overwhelming freight train of grief crept up; silent and unnoticed, then careered with full force into my heart and crushed it. Despondence followed and haunts me still. Even the most mundane of tasks takes on a surreal air, as if I am not here at all. On autopilot. Crying at the drop of a hat when the emptiness of losing you consumes me and batters my…

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Branding and the Brain—What We Post On-Line Matters

Alice White Author:

Thanks, Kristen Lamb, for another informative blog :) I have actually two foods I can never go back to. Scrambled eggs once made me very sick when in my teens, and I became averse to peanut butter – which I used to LOVE – during pregnancy. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to stomach either again. On the other hand, the smell and taste of apple crumble brings back happy memories of childhood in early autumn in England, when Mum would bake her own! I totally get what you are saying here, and can only hope that my own brand might bring some happy vibes to others :) Thanks again for the great post! xox

Originally posted on Kristen Lamb's Blog:

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We’ve been talking about social media and building a platform the past couple of posts. I know this is a topic that makes most of us break out in hives, especially when you don’t yet have a book for sale. Been there, done that. Got the t-shirt. It’s sort of like credit. You can’t get any credit because you don’t yet have any credit but you don’t yet have any credit because no one will give you credit because you don’t have credit.

My head hurts.

Thus, today is for all levels of authors. Yes, even Jane Newbie who hasn’t yet finished the first book. We are going to talk about the bare essence of branding.

In my book Rise of the Machines—Human Authors in a Digital World I go into a lot more detail about the science behind branding, but today we are going to talk about why our…

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So I tried this new-fangled “Windows 10″…

A few months ago, Windows gave me the opportunity to download their new OS for free. I procrastinated and procrastinated, then finally, on Monday evening, plucked up enough courage to download the thing.

First of all, it is an app-based system.Windows 10 Whilst I am sure this may work very well for some, I am NOT a fan. I had to go through ALL the settings and configure them so that the “apps” – which, by the way, along with its many other bells and whistles, I will never have cause to utilize – could not access any of my information – since it is automatically set up so that they can!

Secondly, you cannot get rid of “Cortana” completely. CortanaYes, you can switch her off and stop her from “getting to know you”, (that you have to switch her off instead of having to turn on the feature should tell you something), but you cannot obliterate her from your life completely. That blessed search bar, which takes up almost a quarter of your precious task bar space, won’t go away!

Thirdly, and most annoyingly, the “Mouse Delay” feature. Basically, when you type something ANYWHERE the mouse is delayed from working for a certain time afterwards, supposedly so that it doesn’t “move around” when you are typing… Like I said, annoying. It does have four settings; “Long”, “Medium”, “Short”, and “No delay (always working)”. I opted for the latter, since this feature was already driving me round the bend, and there seemed no way to get rid of it completely, but there was still a 3 second delay.


I’m a writer, and as such need my mouse to operate immediately if I make an error or need to find a passage quickly – do not need an imposed delay, which is NOT by the way present in Windows 7, ruining my flow.

So my verdict for Windows 10? In short;


Needless to say, I reverted to my beloved Windows 7 with immediate effect,Windows 7 and have a much renewed appreciation for this marvel of technology. I remember running it for the first time and loving it. This from a die-hard XP fan!

To sum up; 7 is like XP on speed with added benefits. 10 is comparative to Vista, (which I also hated),  in the annoyance stakes.

I shall never again give in to a replacement, until it is absolutely imperative!

Quite a month – quite a year, so far…

At the start of September, I had no idea what a month this would be. I was expecting most of it to be fairly quiet after turning fifty toward the end of August.

Well, expectation can be a curiously unpredictable animal.

I already posted about having the new bridge installed, and stupidly figured that would be our excitement for the month. How wrong I was!

After celebrating the first day of autumn—forever to be my favourite season—last weekend, Fayetteville hosted Bikes, Blues, and BBQ. This year, they incorporated Arvest Ballpark into the list of venues for a growing number of events. It hosted a huge car show on Saturday the 26th. We attended.

I will tell you: Although I have flown many times in big jumbo jets, I have NEVER been up in a helicopter, but at $25 for three minutes or $45 for six, darling Hubby felt this should be remedied. And so we opted for the latter option.

As the huge, red dragonfly took to the air, a wisp of wind caught my hair. With what followed, I was very glad to have sat in the back!

Hubby told the pilot to “skim the trees” and then “lean backwards and forwards”. Of course, I had no idea what this would entail. Wind as I had never before felt swept around my body like a dervish, and if not for the seat belt, I swear I might have tumbled forward.

I will admit it. I screamed. Held on tight. (And there Hubby wanted me to sit in the front? I DON’T think so!). However, having gone through it, survived, and subsequently relaxed into a “this isn’t so bad” frame of mind, I didn’t flinch the second time Hubby urged our pilot into shenanigans and very much enjoyed the rest of the adventure.

One word comes to mind when I recall that virgin helicopter flight.


Yes, I would definitely do it again. I did not take a video of OUR six minutes—with so much wind up there, it would have been foolish to have any loose objects at all, and I would likely have dropped the camera anyway—but I did manage to catch the helicopter taking off again afterwards. It’s included in this video I made of the whole car show experience.

Unfortunately, none of the videos we took of the Parade of Power—which was the next port of call—came out. But we got a good viewing spot as they all roared past.

The reason we went out on Saturday? Apart from the fact that I love bikes and cars… Sunday was our wedding anniversary. Six years married! Where does the time go? We got to view the entire lunar eclipse from our front porch for our sixth anniversary. How special is that? Again, no pictures. Neither of our cameras would have done it justice.

As the “diamond ring” melted away on the right hand side, a full moon of blood-orange tinged with black flecks faced us, emanating a halo so subtle we had to squint to see it. Then, after an hour or so of ever changing orange hues and black flecks, another “diamond ring” slowly filtered into view on the left.

That meant we were done. After almost two hours of craning our necks to see the spectacle, we surely needed some down time!

But we are not done yet!

Yesterday, I received the news that I became a Granny! On the 26th of September, weighing 6lb 8 oz., little Lexi was born over in the UK.

So, yes. September has been quite the month, all told.

And, 2015 has been quite the year. I turned fifty, obtained a bridge over our creek, celebrated six wonderful years of marriage to my darling Hubby, took my first helicopter flight, AND became a Granny! After this year of firsts and milestones, I wonder what other surprised this year has in store…

In October, I shall be attending the NIMROD conference in Tulsa—also a first—and in November, the OWL conference in Branson. I’ve been a member of OWL for a couple of years now. While I am certain both will provide their own adventures, I am not expecting anything. Least of all peace and quiet!

To Prologue or NOT To Prologue? That is the Question

Alice White Author:

Kristen Lamb gives some great insight into prologues.

Originally posted on Kristen Lamb's Blog:

Image via Flikr Creative Commons, via Mikko Luntiala Image via Flikr Creative Commons, via Mikko Luntiala

Publishing, like most other things, is not immune to fashion. This is what makes teaching craft a moving target. What is en vogue today could be passé tomorrow. And yes we are artists, but I believe most of us are artists who’ve grown rather fond of eating. This means we do need to keep audience tastes in mind when we are “creating” since they will be the ones who fork over cold hard cash.

Today we will touch on a question I get a lot from new writers.

To prologue or not to prologue? That is the question.

The problem with the prologue is it has kind of gotten a bad rap over the years, especially with agents. They generally hate them. Why? In my opinion, it is because far too many writers don’t use prologues properly and that, in itself, has…

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The Bridge Over The Creek (River) Wild

Almost four years ago, we moved into our beautiful home, which sits across a babbling creek.WP_20131212_015 Now, normally, it’s a placid, peaceful brook, but some of you may remember the various adventures involving this creek. Like the time it resembled a tsunami,

rose so high and moved so fast, even the UPS would not traverse it – let alone us. Watch the video here.

SO. We dreamed of a bridge. For four years. Saved up hard. For four years.Money

We hired a bridge builder – for $8,000 – and the bridge… WP_20150920_020our beautiful bridge… was set in its final place last evening.

Here is a video of its installation.

Loki’s Liberty

We have a large 117 lb. dog and a smaller 30 lb. dog, who get along famously together. Although, a strange dog in our yard would get, and has got in the past, short thrift from him!


While the smaller dog, Layla, is a Sheltie mix and extremely co-operative regarding behavior, (including taking less than half a day to grow to love her “kennel”), the larger dog, Loki, is a Coonhound, German Shepherd mix, and is what we like to call an ADD –  attention deficit doggie.WP_20150410_018

I shall endeavor to explain: He is a very good boy, IF you can get his attention to begin with. The problems begin when his attention is already otherwise diverted – perhaps by deer walking down the driveway, (we live in the country), or a scent in the yard that has particularly taken his fancy. At these times, nothing else exists for him, except for his current object of desire, including us!

I had seen the shock collars, anti-bark collars, etc. but none seemed appropriate for him. We have a wireless fence – with the collars – but it did not work for him either, (although Layla was very responsive to it). Loki would just learn to pick up speed where the wire would “zap” him and carry on running. He knew it would cease as soon as he crossed the barrier.

At a loss, after almost three years of ripped leather collars and one snapped steel runner, we were forced to buy a heavy-duty collar and a twenty-foot chain so that he could go into the yard safely and spend time outdoors. Anchored at one end to concrete in the middle of the front yard, it means he actually has a forty-foot circle to in which to roam around. However, I never felt comfortable putting a dog on a chain and continued to seek an alternative that might offer him a little more freedom – but in safety.

WP_20150918_007[1]Recently, I came across one of the newer remote control SONIC training aids. It also has a “shock” option, but the two control methods are completely separate. I like that! We feel the buttons could be placed further away from each other, but I shall put forth that suggestion on my review of the product. Along with a half-mile range and rechargeable batteries, the great reviews of this device impressed me enough to give it a try.

The long and the short of it is – it works!

WP_20150918_006[1]I took him around the yard, leash-less, and used sonic command number one, the lowest, whenever he got too far away. I only had to do it twice, (so far), and he went back to the porch – which is exactly what we would want him to do – and lay down beside Layla.

For the first time, I saw something I never, ever thought I would see with Loki, and it had me quite choked. He was there on the porch, just lying down, settled and calm, with no intention of absconding

WITHOUT A LEASH!WP_20150918_001[1]WP_20150918_005[1]

It’s going to be a much different, freer life for Loki now, thanks to this wonderful device, and I am really over the moon for him! :)