Thinking about apocalypse yet?

This past month has made me think about what I need to do to make sure my family is fed. I’m already working on planning my garden. I don’t have time to start seedlings. Not at this point of the year, end of March in Wisconsin. I’ll get young plants and go from there. We don’t have a huge growing season. I usually plan to harvest by the end of August, beginning of September to get it all in before the frost.

So, my mind wandered as it so often does (I’m a fiction writer you know!) and I started wondering how to identify edible plants. Here’s one that even has pictures! Of course it does, you’re thinking, right? Well, I’ve been on plenty of sites that give you no pics whatsoever. All I read then is blah, blah, green, blah, stem, blah!

But Survival Mastery has pictures! Good ones. Not itty bitty ones that have you seeing nothing but green! Check out this awesome link.

http://survival-mastery.com/skills/bushcraft/wild-plants-you-can-eat.html?fbclid=IwAR3dpix24i3Lj8JOedXOspxn4rJ_0-H8QiRqqPZLDuiGOBkobH3_69z_ItQ

Then I was looking up gardening. Found a video (my preferred way of learning-words and watching) about growing potatoes in a five gallon bucket. Interesting because he farms in the city/suburbs. He lives in a normal neighborhood. You can see it in the video.

Interesting if you have a limited space. I tried container gardening year before last and it was a dismal failure for me. I don’t believe my containers were big enough. I never spread out the seedlings. You know, did it all wrong! It’s not like I have a tiny yard either. This year I want to make or buy raised garden beds. I’m cheap so I’ll probably try to make them. Maybe. He makes it look easy.

Here he shows building a hoophouse to cover his raised garden. Looks simple, but I know me! It wouldn’t end up that way. But I really like the idea.

I could be like my great grandpa. He wasn’t a great carpenter, but he tried. He built my great grandma a greenhouse from windows. First big wind (they lived near Chicago, you know, the windy city) and the whole thing crashed to the ground. He gave up on the greenhouse, lol. Great Grandma was happy about that!

What do you prefer to grow in your garden? Do you have a green thumb or a black thumb? Do you grow food or flowers? I’m aiming for food. I prefer my flowers to be perennials. Plant them once and forget them!

Now I really need to look up hydroponic gardening for my writing! Maybe even try it this summer!

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Saving Grace – the end of my current research!

Saving Grace Digital

Saving Grace

A Dragon’s Fated Heart book 3

The apocalypse had come and gone.

Secrets lie buried waiting to be found.

Dragons are not the only ones awakening to a new world.

Grace has always felt a bit like an outsider, even in her own family. She preferred to do things on her own, ignoring her loneliness. That all changes when Rog barrels into her life, opening her eyes to so much more.

Dragon shifter Rog has seen what problems hiding your inner dragon from your mate brings. Saving his mate from a precarious situation, he changes in front of her. Her awe and hesitant acceptance have him wrapped around her finger in a heartbeat.

Together they find a hidden, cryonic facility. Do they awaken the lost souls hidden in the depth of the mountain? Dare they take the chance of possibly bringing back the diseases to once again ravage their world?

Those are easy questions, but how can Rog explain the mating ritual to change Grace into a dragon involves himself and other dragons giving her more pleasure in a once in a lifetime experience?

Grab it now!

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Saving-Grace-Dragons-Fated-Heart-ebook/dp/B086382QBH

Amazon INT: mybook.to/SavingGraceDFHbook3

Apple/B&N/Kobo: https://books2read.com/u/31GBP7

Here’s a peak at how I used some of the research I did:

Excerpt:

One buffalo lay partially blocking the entrance. She assumed the other was behind it or on the ledge outside the mine. Shaking her head, ignoring the banter between the brothers going on behind her, Grace grabbed her knife from her sheath. It was time to skin it. Knowing the men behind her could eat the animal whole, she really wanted the pelt before they dug in.

Standing over it, she realized it wasn’t going to be easy. Larger than the cattle and deer she normally dressed, it also weighed more. Pushing on its side got her nowhere. Standing straight, Grace looked at the animal. Looking up at the roof of the mine, no hook magically appeared. She turned her head, eyeing up the brothers. They could become dragons. She’d bet it wouldn’t be any issue for them to hold the carcass up so she could skin them.

“Could you two lend me a hand?” Grace watched Rog turn eagerly toward her.

“What do you need?” Rog strode over, Hark on his heels.

“I need the buffalo strung up, but there is no place to do it.” She glanced down, then back up, looking into Rog’s eyes. “Do you think your dragons are strong enough to hold them up while I skin them?”

“Of course.” Rog puffed up before her eyes, strutting over to look at the buffalo.

Grace could barely contain a giggle.

“Whoa. Just wait a minute. You want our dragons to hold up the buffalo while you are in front of us, wielding a knife?” Hark looked at Rog. “She could just as easily gut us as the animal.”

Rog frowned, scowling at his brother. “I trust her.”

Grace preened, then realized she looked like Rog a few minutes ago. “I wouldn’t. I want a buffalo pelt more than I want scales to keep me warm.”

Hark laughed. “Hear that, Rog? You’re out of luck.”

Her cheeks bloomed with fire. Grace ducked her head, not looking either one in the eye.

Rog growled, advancing on his brother.

If they fought, and it looked like they might, the buffalo could be destroyed. Grace grabbed Rog’s arm. “Wait. Half an hour tops and I’ll be done. Please.”

Hark grinned, dancing toward the mine entrance.

Rog glared, but didn’t move. “Fine. Stand back. I need to shift.”

Grace moved toward the side, giving him room. Her eyes widened.

Rog stripped his clothes off, stretching when he was done. Then suddenly a dragon stood in his place.

Grace swallowed. Her throat suddenly dry. Maybe she should be the one worried.

The dragon watched her. His gold eyes gleamed. His tail twitched, swishing back and forth.

Hesitantly she stepped forward, hand out.

Rog, she could tell it was him, even in this form, rubbed his head against her. Nudging her closer, until she stood against him.

Her hand touched his scales. Grace sucked in a breath. They were warm to the touch. Softer than she’d thought. They reminded her of hard leather.

Rog nudged her again, pushing her away. He twisted and picked up the buffalo. By one leg.

Grace laughed. “No, you have to hold both legs. Both rear legs.”

Rog cocked his head, gave her a toothy grin and grabbed both legs, swinging it in front of her.

She could read the mischief on his face. Grabbing the front leg, Grace stopped it. “Now lower it, please.”

Rog dropped it down so the front feet rested on the floor. Jiggling it so it looked like it was dancing.

Shaking her head, she couldn’t keep the grin off her face. “Oh, you’re nothing but trouble, aren’t you?”

The dragon snorted, echoed by one behind her.

“You pegged him. Trouble.” Hark laughed. “When will you need me to hold the other?”

“Once the skin is off, and I’ll gut it and carve a couple of flank steaks for me and I’ll be ready for the second one.” She patted the dragon’s leg. “Then it’s all yours.”

“Great. I’ll change when you get to that point, so you can start on the second one.”

“Thank you.”

“Just don’t get me with the knife.” Hark flicked her nose and headed outside.

Grace cut a slit down the stomach, then around each knee joint. She then slit from the center cut up each limb to the knee. She sliced around the neck. Grace figured she could strip the head later. From the rumbles emanating from the belly of the dragon, he needed food. Better the buffalo than her.

Quickly fleshing the skin from the body, Grace stripped the skin off. Hopefully she didn’t waste any meat, leaving any on the skin. It would just make it harder to tan later. “I wish I had some salt to keep them moist.”

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Saving Grace

teaser

Saving Grace

A Dragon’s Fated Heart book 3

Saving Grace Digital

The apocalypse had come and gone.

Secrets lie buried waiting to be found.

Dragons are not the only ones awakening to a new world.

Grace has always felt a bit like an outsider, even in her own family. She preferred to do things on her own, ignoring her loneliness. That all changes when Rog barrels into her life, opening her eyes to so much more.

Dragon shifter Rog has seen what problems hiding your inner dragon from your mate brings. Saving his mate from a precarious situation, he changes in front of her. Her awe and hesitant acceptance have him wrapped around her finger in a heartbeat.

Together they find a hidden, cryonic facility. Do they awaken the lost souls hidden in the depth of the mountain? Dare they take the chance of possibly bringing back the diseases to once again ravage their world?

Those are easy questions, but how can Rog explain the mating ritual to change Grace into a dragon involves himself and other dragons giving her more pleasure in a once in a lifetime experience?

Mark it To Be Read on Goodreads!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51618932-saving-grace

This is the book I’ve been doing all the research for! The buffalo skinning, cryonics, cryogenics. It all culminates here. You may not see everything I looked up, but it was an integral part of creating the book.

My research also helped me start the next book in the series, Indra’s Obsession.

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Deer Among Wolves

Deer Among Wolves
A World in Ruin Book 1
by Rebecca Fernfield
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic Survival
An extinction-level plague was only the beginning
Sixteen years have passed since an unstoppable plague ripped through the world killing billions.
A few desperate, mis-matched groups of men, women, and children found their way to a small town and learned how to survive, then thrive.
Now death is stalking them once more!
Newly appointed First Officer, Jude Sinclair, is under pressure when death follows a group of struggling survivors into town.
As the townsfolk sicken then die after a short, painful illness, Jude is desperate to learn how to stop the disease and save the town from extinction.
Deacon Carlisle lost everyone he loved to the plague and then ruthless survivors, now all he wants is to protect his new family and escape the infected town, but the unthinkable happens when his son disappears.
With the sickness claiming lives, and the boy missing, Jude and Deacon must rely on their own ingenuity to discover the truth, and save everyone they love.
Does Jude have what it takes to protect the town from its invisible enemy?
Can Deacon rise to the challenge of saving his son?
What is the truth behind the deaths and the boy’s disappearance?
‘Deer Among Wolves’ is book 1 in ‘A World in Ruin’, a series of action-packed and intriguing tales of life after the apocalypse.
British author, Rebecca Fernfield, is a lapsed medievalist who spends her days plotting the overthrow of evil regimes and devising intricate plans to rescue their victims. She’s also given to flights of fancy about the end of the world and what she’d do if supermarkets suddenly ran out of chocolate, wine and other essentials. She lives among the flatlands of the Humber estuary where Vikings and Saxons once fought and where, sometimes, on foggy mornings, you can still hear the echoes of clashing swords.
$25 Amazon
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

 

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Virus and research

Hopefully none of you had or get the norovirus I had. Ugh. A solid week of living in the throne room. Upside, I lost 8 pounds. Down side, it’ll all come back due to losing it to dehydration.

It is the commonest cause of gastroenteritis, which is the inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract and includes symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fever, and dehydration.

And the transmission, ewww! We cloroxed the house down to the remotes. I’m taking even longer to wash my hands than normal and we’ve always gone through the soap. Now it is antibiotic soap.

So while I was recuperating I delved even deeper into cryogenics or as I found out cryonics. Because in Saving Grace, they find a hidden cryonics lab in the mountains.

And in it are frozen people!

Cryonics

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Technicians prepare a body for cryopreservation in 1985.

Cryonics (from Greekκρύος kryos meaning ‘cold’) is the low-temperature freezing (usually at −196 °C or −320.8 °F or 77.1 K) and storage of a human corpse or severed head, with the speculative hope that resurrection may be possible in the future.[1][2] Cryonics is regarded with skepticism within the mainstream scientific community. It is generally viewed as a pseudoscience,[3] and its practice has been characterized as quackery.[4][5]

Cryonics procedures can begin only after clinical death, and cryonics “patients” are legally dead. Cryonics procedures may begin within minutes of death,[6] and use cryoprotectants to prevent ice formation during cryopreservation.[7] It is, however, not possible for a corpse to be reanimated after undergoing vitrification, as this causes damage to the brain including its neural networks.[8] The first corpse to be frozen was that of Dr. James Bedford in 1967.[9] As of 2014, about 250 dead bodies had been cryopreserved in the United States, and 1,500 people had made arrangements for cryopreservation of their corpses.[10]

Economic reality means it is highly improbable that any cryonics corporation could continue in business long enough to take advantage of the claimed long-term benefits offered.[11] Early attempts of cryonic preservations were performed in the 1960s and early 1970s which ended in failure with companies going out of business, and their stored corpses thawed and disposed of.

 

I obviously had to change it up a bit for my story. Frozen people were put in their ‘coffins’ still alive and frozen. So, I took a bit of creative license! That’s why it’s fiction. I did a bunch of research on cryogenics & cryonics that helped.

Cryonics works by preserving people’s bodies in ultra-cold temperatures in hopes of reviving them in the future when better technology and medicine exist. Another far-cheaper method, costing generally just a few thousand dollars, is getting a high-concentration aldehyde brain preservation. Transhumanists hope that revived brains can be placed in robotic or genetically engineered human bodies in the future.

What is cryogenics?

(from https://www.express.co.uk/news/science/733717/What-is-cryogenics-how-does-freezing-dead-body-work)

Cryogenic freezing is the process of preserving a dead body with liquid nitrogen.

Advocates believe that scientists will one day work out how to warm the bodies up and bring them back to life, by which time doctors might be able to cure cancer and other diseases which are untreatable today.

Currently, cryogenic freezing can only happen once someone has been declared legally dead.

Since cryonics isn’t as well known as cryogenics, I went with the word cryogenics rather than cryonics. My descriptions mixed the processes together, so I took that risk since I was writing a fiction novel and not a scientific paper. But the more I read, the more I think I’ll change it. I’m currently editing so it is the perfect chance to correct the wording. In the interest of using the correct word and not offending any scientists that may like to escape in a post apocalyptic world with dragon shifters!

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Not learning a thing! Knee deep in edits.

I haven’t been looking up anything lately! And I’ll tell you why.

I finished a short story for a charity anthology. I sent it out to beta readers then off to my editor. Then I finished a novel, sent it to beta readers and then off to my editor.

Here’s my process.

I write and write and write. Look up things, odd things, lol, as you’ve seen. Then write some more. Read it over. Change things. Read it again. Cross my fingers. Ask if anyone will read it for me. Writer’s call them beta readers. My first short story I only had two. My novel I had seven volunteers. Once they are done, they give me notes on grammar, punctuation, time line and whether they liked it or not. For my novel they also had to make sure it fit in with the rest of the series. Like I said, volunteers. The most awesome people on the planet!

Once I have my beta readers info back, I go over my story. Rewrite and update and tweek. Then I send it to my editor.

She finds more errors, lol. She sends it back. I fix it. Send it back. We do this three times!!! Once I get it back the last time, I read over my story again. Occasionally I find something neither of us caught. More often it’s perfect.

Until a reader spots an error! LOL.

Hopefully I have a cover already. Sometimes I’m frantically hunting for one still. This time I have one. The short story will have an anthology cover. My novel cover is yummy!

Once I get my final copy back, I upload to Amazon. They’ve a format to follow and it does take me one to two days to ensure it’s perfect. I submit it and it usually goes live in about four hours. Then I upload to Draft2digital and it goes out to all of their distributors. I can take a day to a week to get up on all the sites.

Then I spread the word! Maybe not as effectively as I wanted, but still, I get readers. Luckily I have some followers.

So, since I’ve been knee deep in editing and will be for the next couple of weeks, I won’t be looking up stuff.

I’ll post when I do! It’s bound to be something off the wall and relating to cryogenics. Catch my next novel, Saving Grace to find out how I put together all of my latest research. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51618932-saving-grace It is scheduled to be live March 26.

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How to stay warm in a power outage – or even if your heater just goes out.

I haven’t been looking up much for the past couple of weeks other than how to build a preorder form for book sales for upcoming book signings and recipes. Pretty generic stuff for me, lol.

But today. TODAY. *sigh* I live in Wisconsin. Not too cold normally. Sure we hit below zero once and a while, but I also whisper ‘thank God I’m not in Canada’ lol. I’ve friends there. Snow to the roofs of their cars right now. Butt hole cold. Brrr.

But today. We ran about 8 degrees. Not too bad. But the house was getting colder and colder. I wear faux fur moccasin slippers but they weren’t doing the job. Not even with thermal socks on.

It was just my husband and myself home. The Daughter and Granddaughter (henceforth D and DG in perpetuity) were at her boyfriends for the weekend. Is it only me, but do most 20 somethings live at home? Back to the story.

Now, I like it cold in the house. With the crazy weather changes I’ve been popping migraine pills like candy. But, it’s getting a little too cold. The temperature outside dropped again. Even my husband asked if I was cold because he was.

THEN he says, maybe I forgot to turn the furnace on.

Me: WHAT?

H: Oh, I changed the filter while I was cleaning up downstairs. (washing machine overflowed all over the floor-it’s been a good weekend!) I had to turn it off. Let me see if I forgot to turn it back on.

He moseyed on down to the basement.

I heard a click and the heater kicked in.

H: I turned it back on.

GAH. I never would have thought about the heater being turned off. Never even crossed my mind. Since he was leaving for work in about an hour I would have been home alone with no heat. Temps haven’t warmed up at all. They tend to drop even lower at night.

But then my brain wouldn’t stop asking, what if the heater had gone out? Last time we all shared body heat, lol. Me, H and both my D and son. They were little, in grade school and we had a king size bed. We had the heater replaced in two days. Always in the dead of winter.

But again, I was alone. No body heat. No pets, even. So I started looking up what to do.

  1. Block all drafts from doors and windows with towels. Makes sense.
  2. Keep curtains closed unless the sun is shining to help warm the room. Closed because it’s now night.
  3. Move to one room. Pile blankets and pillows and even a mattress if there’s room. Flashlights, extra clothing, even gloves and hats. Keep the doors closed to keep heat in. Doable.
  4. If you have a tent, sleep in it to protect you from the weather. Yuck, mine are spider and dirt filled, but maybe I should clean them up for future winters. Hmm.
  5. Don’t keep opening the refrigerator & freezer.
  6. Turn on the generator (I don’t have one, but have been thinking about getting one). Keep it outside and well ventilated.
  7. Use the fireplace (Again, I don’t have one)
  8. Use portable heater but keep a window cracked so you don’t kill yourself from the fumes. (This I have! I just don’t know where it was moved to-need to find it)
  9. Go to a hotel, especially if it is a long power outage. That would depend on whether they have power and heat also.

Then I checked out the Urban Survival Site for 17 ways to stay warm.

Layer your clothes, use hand warmers. Close off unneeded rooms. Huddle in one room. Duct tape and plastic up windows. Close curtains, use towels to stop drafts. Invest in solar heater, fireplace and generator. Drink warm liquids, pile on blankets. Use heated water bottle, exercise, put up a tent and drag out your sleeping bags.

Not too different. But how are you supposed to cook? I would imagine I’d have to drag out my grill. But it would have to be outside. But if you didn’t have one? Here’s a handy dandy heater.

An empty never used paint can is best, but who has that? Not in an emergency! You can use a vegetable can. Here are the steps from the Urban Survival Site:

Materials and Tools:

Tin Can Heater Materials And Tools

  • 1 empty 1-quart paint can with lid or empty food can
  • 1 roll of toilet paper
  • 1 bottle of 70% isopropyl alcohol
  • A flathead screwdriver

Assembly:

Tin Can Heater Assembly Process

  1. Use a screwdriver and your hands to remove the cardboard tube from the center of the toilet paper roll.
  2. Once the tube is removed, squeeze the roll so it collapses in on itself.
  3. Slowly insert the toilet paper roll into the can.
  4. As you approach the end of the roll, you might need the screwdriver to get it past the rim.

Tin Can Heater Setup Process

  1. Make sure the toilet paper is below the rim of the can.
  2. A large tile at least 1-foot square should be placed under the can.
  3. Slowly pour the isopropyl alcohol onto the toilet paper wick until it is saturated.
  4. Light the top of the can,f but be careful if you place the can in a bright area. The flame can be difficult to see.

Tin Can Heater Lit

Place the can in a safe location. The can will get very hot, so extinguish it and let it cool before touching. The lid can be slipped over the top to put out the flame. Seal the lid with light taps from a hammer and store where you store other flammable materials like kerosene, gas, oil, and propane. Before using again, top off the can with more isopropyl alcohol.

I bet everyone has those materials at home! But will you remember it? And what if you don’t?

You can build a heater from a clay flower pot. Prop the pot upside down on non flammable materials so you have room to put about 4-6 tea candles underneath. Eventually it will begin to heat the area around it. Easy peasy!

In case of any power outage, make sure you have plenty of water! Start to fill your tubs immediately so you have enough to make it through the outage. Hopefully it won’t be necessary, but you never know.

Here’s a couple of video’s showing how to build them.

Here’s a clay pot heater. From Canada, lol.

And this lead to how to build a 72 day candle. Who doesn’t have a tub of crisco!  8 hours a day for 72 days using a 6 lb can of crisco and a candle or two!

Here is a simple solar furnace. Huh, who knew! I’m still a little unsure of a couple of steps so may hunt out other videos to make sure I have them correct.

But luckily my heater is on. I just always have those ‘what ifs’ that run through my head!

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