Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

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Free Books!

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I’m glad to share the news, and I hope all the folks I know who don’t already have these books will pick them up forthwith! (They’re free for Xmas!)

The Chrishanger

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Written by Barb Caffrey

December 25, 2018 at 6:28 pm

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OUT NOW–The Broken Throne (Schooled in Magic 16)

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Always glad to boost the signal for my friend Chris, especially as I helped edit this one! It’s a really fine novel, and you’ll love the slam-bang ending!

The Chrishanger

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Written by Barb Caffrey

November 6, 2018 at 5:11 pm

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An Interview from Sarah’s Perspective Is Up at Romance Lives Forever

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About to do a #MFRWHooks blog tomorrow for A LITTLE ELFY IN BIG TROUBLE, and wanted to remind readers of its existence…

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Folks, if you haven’t read either of my Elfy books, you’re probably wondering what in the world I’m talking about with my title. But Sarah — the heroine and love interest of POV character (and hero) Bruno the Elfy — was “interviewed” by me, and Kayelle Allen enjoyed it so much she put it up at her busy blog, Romance Lives Forever.

Now, Sarah and Bruno’s romance is a fun one to write. They’re young. They’re both badly misunderstood. He’s an orphan. She may as well be one, as her parents are useless and have hidden a great deal from her, plus they seem bent on torturing Elfys. (Bruno manages to get away, but that’s partly because his teacher, Roberto the Wise, takes his place. Long story…go read AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE for more details, hey? It’s only ninety-nine cents USD.)

So, they meet. She’s short for our…

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Written by Barb Caffrey

July 31, 2018 at 4:10 pm

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Easter Week Thoughts: Carrying Each Other’s Burdens

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It’s Sunday, and this blog still says what I want even though it’s been a week since Easter came and went this year…take a good look, and think.

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Is it possible for human beings to comprehend that other people have burdens, too?

Sure, we know our own burdens — the problems we carry mile after mile, day after day. They’ve become so much a part of us, it goes without saying…they’re just there, and we keep on shouldering them because we know no other way.

But we don’t always know what burdens the other person is carrying, just as the other person doesn’t know our burdens.

Yes, there’s a way around this problem. You can ask what’s going on. Maybe you can help shoulder the load for a while, if the other person allows it…if the other person lets you reach inside, so you can see them in the same way you see yourself.

Because it’s Easter Week, I’ve been thinking a lot about this. I know all sorts of people, and every one of them has problems…

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Written by Barb Caffrey

April 8, 2018 at 3:40 pm

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Updates, Updates…

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Folks, I’m still dealing with some stuff on this end that I can’t talk about, and that will be going on for weeks.

But I will update you as I am able.

Otherwise, I finished another couple edits last week (fortunately before the emergency I discussed in the last post), and am working on another now.

Writing-wise, I’m plotting, still, and am thinking about my stories. Not much time to do anything with ’em right now, but I am writing things down as I can as prose notes, and I hope to expand them out as soon as things settle down a tad.

And I’m thinking already about this month’s Collaboration with a Purpose blog event, as it’s about World Health Day on April 7. (I definitely have a great deal to say about that. But is much printable? We’ll see how things shake out in a few days.)

What’s mostly kept me going is the start of the baseball season. So far, the Milwaukee Brewers (my team) seem to be working well as a team despite — or perhaps because of — the additions of two outfielders, Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich. Both are great players, but you never know how team chemistry will be affected when you bring in one new player of Cain’s or Yelich’s caliber, much less two of them. Cain came up in the Brewers minor league system, and seems to be enjoying himself immensely in a Milwaukee uniform, while Yelich seems much more laid back in Milwaukee than he ever did in Miami. (I tended to see him as extremely intense, there.)

It’s good to be able to watch baseball again.

Finally, I hope to write some about some interesting books soon. One is a book about philosophy called, appropriately enough, THE CONSOLATIONS OF PHILOSOPHY by Alain de Botton; another is a book I edited, Chris Nuttall’s THE ZERO EQUATION; the third will be released soon and I have it on my Kindle to read/review, Jason Cordova’s DARKLING. (The last has been very hotly awaited, and I’ve enjoyed — in a dark way — what I’ve read so far, though I’m only a quarter of the way through. Life has just been too hectic to read it all, lately…but I’ll get it done in the next week so I can review on 4/13/18, its release date.) Books are always fun to write about, and perhaps I can say something, anything, that will make someone think or laugh or cry or even scream…again, only in the best of ways, in order to get you out of your head and away from your troubles.

Stay safe, folks. I’ll write again in a few days for World Health Day, as promised.


Written by Barb Caffrey

April 4, 2018 at 4:57 pm

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Easter Saturday, and Stuff…

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Folks, it’s the day before Easter. In the Christian faith, Easter is the day Jesus rose again, and thus gave hope to humanity that our sins would be forgiven and we’d ultimately ascend to Heaven if we only believed (and did our best). (Yes, this is a major oversimplification. But it’s the best I can do right now, which I’ll get into in a bit.)

So, when Easter is about to be celebrated, it’s usually a time to count our blessings. And indeed, I try hard to do that.

However, a couple of days ago, one of my family members fell hard on the concrete, face-first. There are multiple fractures involved, and while it could’ve been much worse (the doctors involved feel the relative lack of injuries are damned near miraculous), this has necessitated a stay in the hospital for my family member and perhaps may lead to either long-term rehab in a facility or at best, long-term rehab with home-health nurses coming in multiple times a day.

I have tried to keep my siblings in the loop. I have tried to keep my close friends in the loop. And I’ve also tried hard to help in whatever ways I can.

I still have to get my work done. I still have to do some writing, or I don’t feel much like myself. I still have to deal with my own health issues, and I have to make long-term plans.

But saying that is very difficult, because I don’t feel like I should be dwelling on myself when my family member got badly hurt.

How does these two things relate? I honestly am not sure. It may just be the juxtaposition of the timing and my family member’s injuries that’s getting to me. Or it could be that I feel like I’ve failed in some way, because I can’t do any more than I already am.

I’ll do what I can to hold the happiness of Easter in my heart, even though I’m more of a spiritual seeker than a Christian at this point. (I believe in Jesus, though. No question about that.) We all need hope, and we all need to believe that no matter how dark our lives may be, there is light at the end of the tunnel — and it’s not an oncoming train.

Anyway, I thought I’d give an update, as I know I didn’t write the blogs I’d intended due to my family member’s injuries. (I had wanted to write a Brewers preview, and also discuss the Milwaukee Bucks a bit as they’re going to make the NBA playoffs this year again and might just do a bit better than last year…but if I do that at all, it’s going to have to be a bit late, as my family member will need weeks if not months of recovery.)

I will keep writing, I will keep editing, I will do my best, and I will keep trying.

But there’s a reason Three Days Grace’s song “The Mountain” appeals to me…just sayin’.

How have you dealt with close family members and their illnesses or injuries? Do you have any tips for me? Tell me about it in the comments.

Written by Barb Caffrey

March 31, 2018 at 4:09 pm

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Sunday Thoughts — Advice for the Downtrodden

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Folks, it’s Sunday, so I’d like to reflect a little bit on what’s been going on, both with me and the world (as far as I can tell, at least from this little corner of it), as I have a tendency to do on what most of the Westernized world considers to be the Sabbath.

Right now, I’m working hard on three different edits. I also have several writing works-in-progress I’m trying to devote some time to, and I also do what I can to help family and friends enjoy life (or at least not hate it quite so much) by reminding them that they, too, are valuable.

Life shouldn’t just be about work, you see. As wonderful as work can be — and I do enjoy, very much, my work as a writer and editor — it isn’t enough to give you personal satisfaction at a deep level.

Caring for others matters. Even when they can’t show you, it still matters. Because it’s done not to help you feel better, but to help them feel better. And virtue, sometimes, has to be its own reward…even if it does not seem like it at the time.

But how do you keep caring, keep trying, and keep reaching when you feel like your own, personal well of inspiration is dry?

I don’t have the answers to that. But I do know that if you give yourself some credit for all the effort you put in, even on the worst of days, you can get up the next day and try it again.

Everything you do matters. Whether it’s tangible or not, whether others realize it or not, it still is important. And I believe we were put here on this Earth to realize that very fact; that we are meant to not only improve ourselves, but to help others, and to feel less alone while doing it.

I may not be putting this the world’s best way, mind. I’ve still been fighting the vestiges of bronchitis, and also have been working a great deal (thus the not-so-much blogging I’ve done over the past week to ten days).

But I know this to be true: You do matter. To yourself, to the Deity, and to your friends and family, whether it seems like it or not. And whether they can show you…or not.

And you need to keep doing your best to use your talents productively, while encouraging others to do the same thing, because that, too, makes a positive difference in this world.

So if others are telling you that what you are doing doesn’t count, don’t listen.

And if you feel like your life is over, please believe me: it’s not.

Your viewpoint, your inspiration, your drive, your passion, are still there, whether you can feel them today or not. And you will use them to their utmost tomorrow, after you’ve rested.

Please, folks: Believe in yourselves, and believe there is a purpose for you being here. Do not believe in those who tear you down, and do your best to rise above, and keep rising no matter what negativity finds you.

That’s the best way to do good in this world that I know. And while doing your best, you may just find your way back to personal and job satisfaction…just a thought.