Jake, The Best Tomcat Ever, Is Gone

When Jake got so very sick, I had to take him into emergency care on a Sunday. That day I got so much help from friends, family, and readers, followers and many more! I’m so very grateful! When we left that vet-urgent care, there were good news, and not-so-good news. I had opened a Go-FundMe fundraiser for Jake. I am a very loving and caring cat-mommy, but unfortunately not a rich one. The pandemic hit me hard, and I didn’t know how to take care of my boy.

Jake’s tail wound was severe, but it had been taken care of and got better. He slowly started carrying his tail high again, full of pride, as he always did.

Unfortunately, his respiratory infection did not improve at all, but worsened. At the follow up appointment I was told that it’s essential, Jake starts to eat again, or organ failure and suffering to death would be the immediate results. By that time, Jake weighed less than a Yorkshire Terrier, but was double the size.

Three days later, I had to clearly see, that Jake decided to leave me. He did not start eating and stopped drinking too. I did, whatever I could to convince him to stay longer with me and Tjara, but Jake decided, it was time for him.

Jake crossed the Rainbow Bridge and left me here…

I tried to keep you all updated on the GoFundMe page, and I can assure you, that all funds are going towards Jake’s final vet bills. I cannot express how much all your help means to me! Thank you very much for your generosity and your compassion!

https://gofund.me/aa38124e

The Oscars 2022 – Fashion Post

Welcome to my annual Oscars-Fashion critics a la AJ. As usually, I’m not discussing movies, performances, or anything else for that matter. I looked at the participants and their gowns, and I’m presenting my personal opinion here, nothing more. Your taste might very much differentiate, but we know this will happen. I hope, you’ll have a little bit of fun with this post.

What to wear What not to wear

Mila Kunis rocked the red carpet in a silk Zuhair Murad, elegant, stunning, flattering. Now, H.E.R. is a bit different… what on Earth happened here? It looks like the designer grabbed some fabric and draped it around her, somehow. She looks a bit like spilled lemon juice.
Reba McEntire in Pamela Rolland is the epitome of feminine. The emerald green makes her positively beam. Venus Williams is nicely dressed, but her overly revealing cleveage makes her look cheap. A little more would have been well adviced here… and I’m talking about a bit more fabric around the ample bosom…
Sofia Carson reminds me very strongly of Audrey Hepburn in this breathtaking Giambattista Valli dress. Maria Menouos, in my opinion, looks more like a lime colored rubber boot with the most senseless decoration ever seen. She’s a beautiful lady. I have no idea what her stylist had for breakfast…
Alana Haim looks stunning in her silver colored Louis Vuitton dress. Simple, beautiful, ladylike. (And I hope she’ll forgive me the typo below the picture) Jada Pinkett Smith wasn’t that lucky. Her stylist made her look a bit like a moss covered tree stump. Far too much fabric… What for? She doesn’t need it!
Jessica Chastain looks radiant in her lavender Gucci dress. She really glows with the flow. Now, Maggie Gyllenhaal… The cut and style of this dress would be elegant and figure flattering. But the gold applications, unfortunately, make her look a bit like a royal tea cozy.
Wanda Sykes looks cool and stylish in her ivory suit, feminine and impressive, while Ariana DeBose looks a bit like she decided on something that was made for a far bigger person. She almost falls out of her trousers and I’m not sure about all that extra fabric around and behind her. It doesn’t visibly serve a purpose. Too much red, too much everything.
Uma Thurman wears an accentuated ensemble in black and white, elegant and feminine. Zendaya, I believe, tried the same with her Valentino deux-piece, but to me, her design looks incomplete, and makes her look a bit sloppy and pale.
Rachel Zegler looks all the classic beauty she is in her black Dior gown. And then, there’s Billie Eilish… Billie, Billie, Billie… really? You look like you’re wearing the bed canopy from Dracula’s castle. Even a scarecrow has better taste than that!
Kristen Dunst in Christian Lacroix is glowing, a classic beautiful lady in red. I’m, in fact, a bit shocked about Nicole Kidman, who is rumored to have impeccable taste. In that gray ballooning frock she looks a bit like an 18th century lampshade.
Zoe Kravitz in Saint Laurent looks elegant, beautiful, simple and cute. I’m not sure about Julianne Hough though. I consider her one of the most beautiful women in every room, but that yellow gown makes her look a bit pale, and the dark red lipstick ages her. In my opinion she looks drawn and tired.
From what rumors say Kristen Stewart got quite a few negative headlines for her Chanel outfit on the red carpet. In my opinion, unjustly. Kristen Stewart was never one known to be traditional, and I think, with legs from the ground to the neck, and her positive radiance, she looks sexy and stylish. Well done!

I hope, you’ll permit me a few words about the gentlemen on the red carpet. I’m very much for unique individuality and the freedom to express yourself. But I’m also one who considers some traditions useful – even tasteful. I, therefore, hope, you will forgive me my comments on some ‘individual’ taste…

Bradley Cooper, in a classic, elegant tux as usually. It gives him positive glow and he looks attractive, handsome, and sexy. Wesley Snipes? Not so much. In this purplish/burgundy ‘something’ he reminds me a bit of a three week old radish that got forgotten in the vegetable section of a refrigerator… Oy…
Jason Momoa wears a classic all-black tux, his long mane is tamed, as I hear, in a french braid, and he wears glasses. he looks strong, masculine, and charismatic. And then, there’s Timothee Chalamet…. *sigh* Please, Timothee… you look like you had a hell of a hangover Saturday night and forgot half of your clothing. Get yourself a few muscles, and we’ll talk about this style, but chicken chest and no shirt don’t go well together. Huge fail!

I hope, you had fun with this post. Let us know your thoughts in the comments. We are curious about your taste!

(All pictures are curtesy of Google.com and usmagazine.com)

Writer’s Tools – Fountain Pens

How many times have I mentioned, that I love beautiful pens, all kinds of pens, ballpoint pens, special pens, light pens, exclusive pens, unique pens… I’m like so many other writers. One of the bestestest sentences a man can tell me is: “I saw this beautiful pen and knew, it is for you.” (And, of course, hand me an exclusive Cartier Ballpoint pen, nicely surrounded by gift wrap and a bow!)

But today, I’m not talking about ‘regular’ pens, I’m talking about Fountain Pens… they’re the most elegant writer’s tools, in my opinion (not exactly counting the quill, since that one got out of style quite some time ago – considering how many birds had to sacrifice their feathers for those, that development wasn’t that bad, I assume).

As many of you know, I write the first draft of my books by hand. I use some scrapbook or paper notebook, a cheap pen, and start scribbling. Considering I have so many great pens, it’s actually a pity I don’t use those, but, of course, they have to be saved for special occasions; also, I’m scared to death to take them anywhere with me to avoid losing them. That makes me a pen-hoarder (or collector, if you will, but the expression doesn’t change anything on the fact that I’m irrational when it comes to pens).

My writing process already takes quite a while, and I’m certainly not stupid enough to believe writing the first draft with a fountain pen would speed up that process in any kind of way! But that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t want to write with one occasionally…

It took me a moment to return to reality, after this blog post, since my writer’s fantasy ran wild circles when I saw the beautiful fountain pens… Just a small selection here… these are modern, stylish, fun… but not particularly elegant though… (I picked them from the Gouletpens.com website)

A few of them have true potential, I have to say. Check out these three, Two Pilot Fountain pens, and a Visconti, Homo Sapiens… how beautiful!

But the truly breathtaking fountain pens I found on a website The Gentlemen Stationer. The owner of the blog, Joe, writes about his experiences with different pens – and Fountain pens, and describes in detail what to expect, weight and measures, and shows pictures. I’m not going to re-write, of course, Joe did the work. He even describes the prices, and doesn’t forget one of my favorites, the ‘Montblanc’, an exclusive, status-symbol-like Swiss brand in excellent quality.

However, I will add a Fountain pen I had the unbelievable luck to write with a couple times: A Cartier Fountain pen, very exclusive, absolutely stunning, but it was still an exquisite feeling to write with it. The pen is heavy, but feels like home, even in my slightly smaller hand, even though it’s obviously made for a man.

And the price? Yes… that’s another thing… Well, if you must know: You won’t get it below $1200. Is it worth it? In my heart and collection? Yes… – In my head? No way… I would be so scared to break or lose it, I’d never use it… But I still can admire – and dream, right?

What’s your dream? Let us know in the comments.

Join The Paranormal Romance Guild

The ‘Paranormal Romance Guild’ is a writer’s guild, offering promotional services and author services for its members.

As a premium member, you can get interviews, reviews, beta-readers, Featured Author posts, giveaways, Blog Tours, critiques and much more!

We care for our members!

MISSION STATEMENT

The sole purpose of the Paranormal Romance Guild (PRG) is to support and promote all authors of the paranormal romance genre and their works through its website and events.

WHO WE ARE

The Paranormal Romance Guild, AKA (“PRG”), was formed by the banding together of paranormal romance genre readers and writers, through the internet, with the sole purpose of supporting and promoting authors of the paranormal romance genre through the organization’s website and special events. The Paranormal Romance Guild (PRG) was officially organized and recognized on October 31,2009. PRG is a non-profit organization. All fees and dues collected are to sustain operations of the PRG. No assets of the corporation are to benefit the officers or members.


The ‘Readers’ membership is an unlimited free membership that allows you to read what is going on within the guild. It is easy to sign up – and you can later still upgrade your membership.

The Paranormal Romance Guild accepts a limited amount of writers from other genres as well.

SIGN UP HERE

Spring Is In The Air

This one here, it is for Lisa

And she knows I’m teasing her

I’m glad you finally woke up

After winter went out in a blur.

**

The past weeks when it was colder,

you were tired and also sad.

But when the sun came out today

I almost thought you had gone mad.

**

Suddenly you turn from a grumpy,

tired lady, within only a short whirl,

in a colorfully dressed and beaming

almost dancing teenage-girl.

**

The outside world got more attractive

And I can see, you’re breathing life!

Go on like this, dear friend ‘in crime’

And soon enough you’ll be a wife!

**

But joke aside, it does get warmer,

We all should laugh more, and should smile.

It’s spring time, a very special season,

To feel refreshed, and show some style.

**

The world awakens, first blossoms grow

Birds are singing, happiness we can find

All over the place, so let’s agree,

We love to leave the cold behind.

*****

(Copyright: Aurora Jean Alexander, March 2022)

Picture courtesy of Pixabay

Preparing For More ‘Council Of Twelve’ Adventures


Last week, as of Tuesday, I surprisingly found myself in a situation when I suddenly had a lot of time at my hands, but unfortunately, my books were as far away from me, you could have counted the distance in lightyears…

What do you do, when you’re a writer, you cannot stare into your phone all the time, you have certain limitations in movement, pen, and paper – and feel the need to continue your work? Right, you ask for pen and paper and start drafting.

  1. Make a list of the published, written, and WIP titles of ‘The Council of Twelve’ series
  2. Plan the two last books in the series
  3. plan the second and third of the collected ‘The Council of Twelve’ novelette books
  4. Start drafting character sheets for the two last books in the series’ new consort characters
  5. Find names for the very same two consort characters
  6. Draft a character description of one of the most unusual novelettes that will be part of the collections.

I did all that by hand, considering to type it into my OneNotes at a later time – and then decided I wouldn’t. Why should I do that? I wrote it once, and I got the notes. I would have to work out the characters eventually, but at this time these are new ideas, which means, they go into the OneNotes ‘New Ideas’ folder and will stay there, until I’m ready to take on the challenge to start writing these books.

So I took pictures of my notes and moved them into the app.

And once more I’m grateful for today’s helpful and supportive technology. Remember typewriters? Oh yes, we could type there, with ‘blue sheets’ in between, and if you permitted yourself one typo, everybody could see it. And we could use copy machines. But then we still had to keep the paper. Now I can take a picture and move it to wherever it’s needed. I’m lucky. I’m happy, I’m relieved…

The Council of Twelve series is still progressing… but I also permit myself the thought to develop ideas outside of the series. There’s still a lot of work to be done, but I don’t want to ‘end up’ only to be defined by one style, by one genre, or by one series. I know I can do more than that, and that’s what I’m working on.

When you’re writing in your genre and feel like peeking into another one, which one would that be – and why? Let us know in the comments, we’re curious.

The Power Of Your Nose – Writing Improvement

Writers (and other humans) tend to suffer from insomnia, fatigue, depression, headaches, digestion problems, anxieties and other ailments, due to sitting too long, constant overflowing of their brain and thinking, and for other reasons, basically too many to count.

However, there is a possibility to help with some of these ailments in a natural healing way. My experience showed me some improvement in my general well-being, which helped me to better writing as well. I’m talking about essential oils. We breathe, and the smell of some essential oils help us with some of our ailments.

We just need to remember: Too much of a good thing can be bad.

Let’s have a look at what I found:

CITRUS

These light oils often have fruity scents that are characteristic of the rinds from which they are extracted. They can be described as tangy or tart, fresh, clean, vibrant, invigorating, exciting, energizing, and uplifting.

Lemon

Orange

Grapefruit Bergamot

Lime

Tangerine

Citronella

Lemongrass

Mandarin

Litsea Cubeba

Tagetes

Most often top notes

  • Energizing
  • Uplifting
  • Emotionally balancing to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety
  • Deodorizing
  • Cleansing; popular addition to antibacterial oil blends
  • Refreshing
  • Stimulating for mental and spiritual vigor

FLORAL

These scents are often reminiscent of the flowers from which they are extracted and can be described as being feminine, powdery, subtle, modest, romantic, and even poetic. They are often sweet-smelling and create a feeling of cheerfulness. Floral scents are considered to be classic and timeless.

Chamomile

Geranium

Jasmine

Lavender

Neroli

Rose

Rosewood

Ylang-Ylang

Petitgrain

Most often middle notes

  • Comforting
  • Promotes rest
  • Sometimes sleep-inducing
  • Mood balancing

HERBACEOUS

Essential Oils that have herbaceous scents can be further described as smelling green or grassy. These Essential Oils often have mild floral yet invigorating spring-like scents that are associated with lush, wet foliage. They are reminiscent of the aroma of fresh leaves, moss, mown grass, herbs, and trees.

Chamomile

Angelica Root

Clary Sage

Eucalyptus Radiata

Fennel

Hyssop

Marjoram 

Melissa

Rosemary

Thyme

Oregano

Bay Laurel

Catnip

Sage Dalmatian

Parsley

Tea Tree

Yarrow

Most often middle notes

  • Calming
  • Promotes positivity
  • Encouraging
  • Emotionally balancing
  • Grounding

CAMPHORACEOUS

These Essential Oils have strong scents and are known to be beneficial for clearing the respiratory system due to their clarifying, penetrating, energizing, purifying, and almost medicinal aromas.

Camphor

Cajeput

Eucalyptus

Pennyroyal

Laurel Leaf

Lavandin

Most often middle notes

  • Stimulating
  • Refreshing
  • Focus-enhancing

MINTY

Essential Oils with a minty scent are strong-scented and are distinctly known for their bracing, fresh fragrances. They are reputed to be clearing and cooling when used in aromatherapy and topical applications.

Spearmint

Wintergreen

Peppermint

Can be top, middle, or base Notes

  • Motivating
  • Cooling
  • Invigorating
  • Mentally clarifying

SPICY

These Essential Oils have exotic, warm, intense aromas that are often reminiscent of baking and other warm memories. With strong scents, they are commonly used to stimulate energy and focus.

Aniseed

Basil

Black Pepper

Cardamom

Cinnamon

Coriander

Cumin

Ginger

Nutmeg

Allspice

Cassia

Clove Bud

Middle or base notes

  • Bracing
  • Rousing
  • Crisp and penetrating
  • Lively

RESINOUS/MUSKY

These Essential Oils exude deep, rich scents that are smoky, woody, earthy, sweet, leather-like, and warm. Their mellow, alluring, and long-lasting fragrances lend a reassuring quality that makes them ideal for use in spiritual practices.

Benzoin 

Elemi

Frankincense

Myrrh

Peru Balsam

Middle or base notes

  • Grounding  
  • Promotes relaxation and sense of inner calm
  • Emotionally balancing
  • Uplifting
  • Known to be commonly used for intimacy enhancement
  • Tend to be associated with a casual feeling

WOODY/EARTHY

These Essential Oils have deep, warm, lingering scents.

Often described as smelling “brown,” these oils are reminiscent of the scents of a forest floor or damp soil. Their fragrances are soft, masculine, musky, and sensual. Their alluring, seductive, and hypnotic qualities create an atmosphere of mystery.

Cypress

Juniper Berry

Pine

Sandalwood

Fir

Cedarwood

(Atlas & Virginian)

Palo Santo

Rosewood

Patchouli

Vetiver

Valerian

Carrot Seed

Most often middle or base notes

  • Grounding
  • Uplifting
  • Emotionally balancing  
  • Promote feelings of comfort, security, and well-being
  • Often considered to be aphrodisiacs

I copied the above mentioned information from a website I consider an excellent source for beginners.

https://www.newdirectionsaromatics.com/blog/products/categories-of-essential-oils-their-benefits.html

But please, read about how to use them, the disclaimer, and the side effects. Essential oils are a wonderful addition to our life and can help us, not only with our writing, but they shouldn’t be used thoughtlessly or without limits.

Picture courtesy of https://health.clevelandclinic.org/essential-oils-101-do-they-work-how-do-you-use-them/