Author Author! Who is the Author

As an author you always wonder if the story that has taken over your life is as important to others. You wonder if others read the story and feel the same connection as you did when writing it. You feel insecure, you feel uncertain, but you never give up.  Isn’t that odd? You never stop believing others will get the same joy from the story.

I love Hitchcock, I love old classic movies that he directed, and the actors that starred in those movies. When I was in art school ( I used to pop an old movie in my tv/player combo and let it play while painting or drawing. They inspired me with their creativity and dimension. THAT is what I brought to my novel. And I haven’t stopped believing in it.

I’ve been writing since high school where I won an award, and never stopped writing and painting my whole life. It gives me real happiness to share the beauty in what I see everyday, hoping that the people who read my novel, or look at my paintings will experience that same joy and celebration in the color, the composition, the storyline or the characters – aren’t they the same?

Blue Moon Bench – a geographical location on the Navajo Reservation. Did you know that? It sounded so romantic the first time I heard the name, it stuck. If I ever write a novel, I thought, I’d name it “Blue Moon Bench”.

Author, author, who is the author? The reader. I have written my novel for you, you ARE the author. Otherwise I wasted a good story. I hope you’ll read Blue Moon Bench, and enjoy it as much as I did writing it.

Why am I blogging publicly instead of keeping a diary? – it’s all about sharing with others.

What topics do I want to write about? – A peak into the novel, a revealing of mystery to tantalize those who haven’t read the book.

Who would I love to connect with via this blog? – All those writers who are trying so hard like me, and all those seeking the next best-selling novel. This is it!

If I blog successfully throughout the next year, what do I hope to accomplish? – Getting a real agent, publisher, and seeing Blue Moon Bench become a candidate for a Hollywood movie. Yeah baby!

blog on


Coyote Breathing – I Believe

Reason to Believe   Inspired by the WordPress Daily prompt

At the end of every day, sometimes in the middle, I go to the stats of this blog and check it see if anyone is listening. Everyday my reason to believe is that my novel is good, and that others will be purchasing it to see why I believe so much in the story, and it’s goodness, and it’s positive outcome. Some days my belief is rewarded, other days… well not so much. Maybe today will be a good day!

In the novel there is a chapter that opens where the main character has been taken out into the Arizona desert to camp. She’s a city girl relocated, and she doesn’t know what to think of the silence, the dense dark of wilderness, and of her new life in Arizona. Especially when a wild coyote tries to break into the camper.

Here is an excerpt:

Chapter 7:

The Coyote’s Breath was Hot

Utah border, northern Arizona

The dark, silent night seemed to close in on the truck like a black scourge. Holding her hand up before her face, close enough that she could feel the warmth from her palm, Jessica realized she couldn’t even see it, and that really unnerved her.

She was lying on her back, fully dressed and trussed up in a sleeping bag. Next to her, Alex was breathing the slow, easy in-and-out of someone asleep. They were camping out on the Navajo Reservation, and after finishing the dinner dishes from their meager meal, Alex casually turned off the lantern. They climbed into the back of the truck’s camper shell to lie on a soft futon designed for just such an occasion as this, and he promptly fell asleep.

Jessica, on the other hand, laid stiff and holding her breath. From the first moment they’d arrived in this isolated place, Jessica had felt uncomfortable. It was like sensory depravation for her. There was absolutely no sound except the light breeze blowing through the small bushes speckling the ground. No traffic, no people, no engines, no nothing. At one point it was so quiet she could hear the sound of her own blood in her ears, like when you put a seashell up to your ear and hear the ocean. She was a city girl in a place she could not comprehend. All around her was spooky silence, and Jessica felt displaced and nervous. The more she tried to relax, the tenser she became.

She held her breath and tried to listen for sounds outside the truck, but could only hear Alex’s steady breathing. Damn, why couldn’t she sleep like that? She tried to relax her body, but the more she tried to let go, the more she tensed up. Her eyes were adjusting to the dark, and indistinct shapes showed in her peripheral sight. All right. Think it through. What are you afraid of? The only large animals around are coyotes, and they’re actually afraid of man. Alex says they’ll run if they see you.

“Ahh…” another thought rose up in her mind, “…but what if the coyote was rabid?”

She looked to her right at the camper window, half opened, leaving only a screen between her and the outside. She began to get dizzy with holding her breath.

Oh, my, God, Jessica thought, I have to get my fear under control. This is awful.

She began to apply a technique she’d learned in Buddhism. Calming the mind, keeping it focused on one thing – her breathing. The idea was to get her breathing to slow, her mind to relax, and the fear to dissolve.

Suddenly, to her utter astonishment, a real coyote lunged through the screen of the window and was attempting to jump into the camper shell. The coyote wasn’t able to get his whole body through the window on his first leap, but it was obvious that he was determined to reach his prey. He dangled awkwardly over her, riotously yelping and barking, all the time slinging flecks of rabid foam all over her hair and face. She could hear the sound of his back claws frantically scratching the metal of the truck’s body.  She knew he was trying to get a good foothold so he could make it the rest of the way into the camper to attack them. Jessica was frozen with fear. The coyote’s breath was hot and stank of something wild and foul, and his sharp teeth seemed to get closer to her exposed head with each jerk.

Jessica sat straight up, jerking away from the animal. She couldn’t stop the scream that billowed up out of her chest, and it woke Alex with a start.

“What?” he asked, bleary eyed. “What happened? Are you OK?”

Buy the novel and find out why her faith and love wins out in the end.

I hope you enjoyed the excerpt. To read the novel you can download it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and the iBookstore. The third edition is soon to be released. I can finally afford a professional editor! Blue Moon Bench by D L Blanchard

So, I believe my novel is a good book, and at the end of the day, I just know if I stick with it, others will believe that too.

blog on

It’s Not an Ending Until It’s Over

A response to the Daily Prompt: Happy Endings

I had a really hard marriage (won’t go into details… just know it was awful hard) and while I was married I became so distraught I had to find an escape. That escape was my novel “Blue Moon Bench”.

Each day I’d get up (I was a stay at home wife), do housework, chores, errands, then I’d sit down and write on my novel. I was living in Tucson, Arizona where my husbands work took us,  and sorely missed Flagstaff in northern Arizona. So my novel was staged in the place I missed most in the world. Before marriage I’d been in Flagstaff, single, living alone, on the ski patrol, dating three different guys all at the same time trying to decide who to chose as my next boyfriend. I was happy. I mountain biked, hiked, skied, painted (I’m also an artist) and wrote short stories and articles.

So I remember I decided to write about what I loved; Northern Arizona. The beauty, the culture, the Native Americans and their life style and beliefs, about the people I missed giving them new names, and about the mysteries of the southwest right in my previous backyard, the Grand Canyon. I wrote and wrote and wrote until my first novel was over 100,000 words long (in case you don’t know the longest a first novel is recommended to be is 80,000).

My happy ending was when I received that novel for the first time 10 years later in the mail in print! There it was, all those years of work and sweat and belief. Even if no one bought it, it was all wrapped up in that beautiful cover, smelling like new paper and ink, looking beautiful and professional. What a day that was! A very happy ending.

However, I’ve realized that it’s not over yet. I’m having it professionally edited so my embarrassing grammatical/typos go away (I can afford that now).  So stay tuned for the next happy ending: I get to sell it in a real book store and not just online. It’s not an ending until it’s over.

You can read my book here:

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New Mystery Sensation

New Sensation

Long ago in the advertising world they used to use the term ‘new sensation’ for products they wanted to hype – get people to connect with – be attracted to. New was always good, something that created a sensation was exciting and ‘in the news’.

Here and now I count the days that the novel “Blue Moon Bench” will be a New Sensation – and all of those things. Why, because I believe my readers of this novel will enjoy the story, the excitement and the mystery. AND…. it has really has something new.  A new look at this country as a melding of ideas and beliefs; the main couple are Tibetan Buddhist living a normal life in the southwest, studying the Native Americans – and find a connection between the two. How can it be more of a “New Sensation”? (she asks biting her lip). I mean, it has everything that Daniel Steele, Nora Roberts and all the great classic writers have. I just haven’t yet been rejected by enough publishers. Please help me feel like I don’t need to give up!

Read the book, learn about the southwest, and the mysterious cave that connects the east and the west (based on a true story). I can’t yet talk about the true part of the treasure cave, or it’s owner and how the Smithsonian plays a part. But read the book and tell me what you think.

Edition 2 is for sell for only $2.99 on Smashwords, but buy it on Barnes and Noble and Amazon for $6.99 for your e-reader/tablet. Coming soon in paperback.

Thanks for visiting BlueMoonBench! Please don’t forget to book mark us.

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A Writers Here & Now

Write Here, Write Now

Be in the present. Let go of the past. Live in today. All those are quotes from meditation teachers who help us let go of our egos and confusion so we can become enlightened. I’m a writer; a Tibetan Buddhist, and I’m working hard at getting my novel published. Is that the same?

Writers used to write great books, submit them to agents hoping to get representation. Or, they would send the manuscript to 50 publishers just to get turned down. J.K.Rowlings the author of the Harry Potter miracle was reportedly turned down by 250 publishers. What if none of them had bought her novel? What if she had given up? And why did so many reject her stories? There is a disconnect in the writers writing what is in their hearts which is often very different; and the publishers being willing to publish only something that is proven to be sellable; and the public wanting something that IS different.

Today, J.K. Rawlings would have probably self-published her novel, not very many would have sold, and the world would have been a completely different place. Her stories have deeply affected the young peoples market, which before almost didn’t even exist. It changed how adults read because they are no longer afraid to pick up a novel for young people and enjoy it.

Or maybe she would have been a best selling e-book. Maybe she would have had a blog and not given up. Maybe she would have stuck with it and written Daily Prompts on WordPress.

Wait, am I J.K. Rawlings? Are you? Aren’t we all just trying to get our stories heard? I love the premise, storyline, characters and outcome of my novel. I love that the main couple are Buddhists that use meditation as a tool to overcome stress and fear. I love that no one else has done what I’ve done; written an adventure novel with romance, murder mystery, history and creativity all in one. It’s a damn good novel, a good read (after the last edit is done of course).

And I’m certain all others who have written novels, or blogs, or poetry feel the same way. Is there room in the world for every thing that is being written today? God, I don’t know. I just know that I’m out there with everyone else trying to offer a great story so they can share in my enthusiastic connection with Arizona, Native American culture and mystery, and romantic adventure with a Raiders of the Lost Ark twist.

And I won’t give up. I am J.K. Rawlings in that way. Write here, write now: and don’t give up.

Midnight & Self Publishing

Stroke of Midnight

The match that lit the candle almost burned out, and then I passed it on to the next person. My candle sat cuddled in my two hands as if I were beseeching it to answer my prayers. “May there be peace on earth, may all beings be well and happy, and may there be an end to war, strife and disasters.” I looked around at the other 70 or so people around me, also engaged with lighting of their own candle. They were also making private prayers. At the stroke of midnight we each get up and offered our candle to the a large and beautiful altar with Buddhist statues, abundant offerings and large, clear crystals.

This is an annual ritual in the Tibetan Buddhist community I belong to. It’s a very different way to spend New Years, and does involve some alcohol, lots of food, but mostly it involves thinking of others. I like that.

So what does that have to do with aspirational prayers for the year? Plain and simple – I’ve written this novel I’ve self published and am trying to do a final edit so I can take it to print. A lot of work. Long ago I promised to offer all proceeds to the temples badly needed renovation (central air and heat, upgraded electrical, new kitchen and plumbing for those living there and for events like this). This year I added a prayer for this novel to be a success so it can benefit that effort. Would you like to help?

Please join me in that prayer so it may help this pure intention inspired by the communities commitment to compassion for so many others throughout the year.

Wanna buy the book? Search for Blue Moon Bench on any major book source such as iBook, Amazon and Barnes and Noble. It’s not been through a last edit, but if you find errors or have any suggestions, just let me know. It’s a great adventure book about interesting and diverse people, including the main couples involvement with Tibetan Buddhism and kindness towards others. Their just American born people like myself, trying to make our way through a life that has difficulty and great blessings bundled together. A murder mystery in the southwest with intrigue, romance and mystery.

Hope your new year is perfect, and that you will be free of suffering.

D L Blanchard

UnPlugged – Letting Go!

Bloggers, Unplugged

What is it like having spent years, literally years, writing a novel you believe in and then having to convince others of it being worthy of their time? Writing and rewriting: copywriting it, creating a cover, getting it ready to ebook publish it, with formatting and hard work; then getting it ready for print. Re-reading it and re-writing it again. And then you have to sweat and labor at trying to get people to read it! Imagine that. I believe in my storyline, my characters, the premise, the motivation. I worked hard. I’m a published author, I’m a good story teller, it has all the elements. And yet… I have to find ways to market it myself. It’s exhausting!

And now… I’m going unplugged!

I lived in northern Arizona for almost 17 years. It was like being on vacation every day. I remember having a window in my shower, and one summer day I came home from a hike, took a shower with the window open. The smell of the Ponderosa pine tree outside the window drifted in along with the warm summer breeze. It reminded me of summers spent with my family on vacation in California. That feeling of expectation is in the novel.

I’d get home from work in Flagstaff and ride my mountain bike before dinner, whizzing up a canyon single track trail to a water tank that all the wildlife used every day. Deer, moose, wild pigs, and small animals like raccoons and rabbits. Sometimes the wildflowers grew so high I could reach out my hand from my bike and swirl their tops as I passed. A friend of mine told a story of how one day as he rode that same single track, a herd of moose came from out the woods and for a few moments he rode with the moose as if he was part of the herd! What a beautiful place. That experience of beauty is in the novel.

It’s all in the novel. The Native American culture, the suspense of the southwest, the beauty of the land and it’s mystery. It’s all in the book. I opened my heart, my imagination, my love for that part of the world to share with others — unplugged.

I’m letting go.

The novel’s sales are intended to benefit the Tibetan Buddhist center which is in horrible need of renovation. The electrical wiring is out of date, the heating system groans, the air conditioning consists of window units in each of the nuns rooms even in 100 degree heat. The kitchen air conditioner just isn’t sufficient enough and it’ always sweating hot there. I wanted to help.

I’m letting go.

Buy the book, don’t buy the book. But I’ll sleep good tonight knowing that I tried every day for years to send people to the website, encourage friends to read it, invite perfect strangers to give it a review on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or iBookstore so others might be encouraged to read it.

I believe in the novel. I’m letting go of the worry. I believe it will win the interest and gain in popularity. Especially if I pray. I have asked others to pray.

I’m letting go. But I’m not giving up. Read Blue Moon Bench. You won’t be sorry.

Amazon; Blue Moon Bench

Barnes and Noble

On any mobile device just search for Blue Moon Bench Blanchard
And thank you for letting me become a little unplugged. It felt good.

Suspense Novel with Buddhist Characters

When asked why my main characters in Blue Moon Bench are American born Tibetan Buddhist’s, the answer is because we write what we know. I am an American born Tibetan Buddhist and I was interested in making the idea of that less scary for the average reader who might have been brought up Christian, and is uncertain about the whole idea. And for those who find the idea appealing, I hoped they would enjoy reading how other American Buddhist’s live.

Being a Vajrayana practitioner is such a special thing, I also wanted to show how it can work it’s way into a daily life, and how it’s really not completely different than other beliefs that believe thinking of others and compassion as the practice of truth. Jessica and Alex are simple people who use meditation, mantra and practice as a way to reduce stress, and to turn to something higher when you become fearful or things are out of your control and dangerous.

The story is built around Jessica and Alex’s relationship, how they interact as two people very much in love, and how their day to day living turns to something very uncertain very quickly.  Woven within the context of this story is the beauty of the Buddha dharma. I really hesitate to mention prayer, or faith, or religion – because this isn’t a book about religion with a storyline, it’s a book about a story with some religion tucked in.

One thing about the cave at the end (not to much detail here because I don’t want to spoil the story), is that it’s based on a true story. When I first conceived the book, I created a website with the name Blue Moon Bench, a young man contacted me and told me his father was treasure hunter. More about that later, but one of the interesting things this young man shared was the story in the Phoenix Gazette about his father and his adventures did actually say ‘Buddha’ like images were found in this cave in the middle of Arizona! So it was a perfect fit for my story so I wrote it in.

If you’d like to learn more about Tibetan Buddhism and what it’s about, I’d suggest you visit, a website with content written by Jetsunma Ahkön Lhamo, a very high tulku (recognized high Lama choosing to take rebirth in a specific place in the world) and my Root Lama. It’s got some really beautiful and profound teachings, and is rooted in Tibetan Buddhism in the Palyul tradition.

I’m not a teacher, nor did I try to even begin to convey that in the book, and that’s why I kept their practice and beliefs very basic and simple – based on the four basic truths of  Buddhism, things that I know the Buddha taught. I hope when you finish reading the book, the idea of being a Buddhist will feel more comfortable for those who might find it odd, or not American. And for those who have an interest, don’t stop exploring and asking questions. It can change your life. It did mine.

Eh ma ho!

Blue Moon Bench in Print

Good news. I’ve successfully uploaded and set up Blue Moon Bench to be published in print! I’ve just received my first printed copy for proofing, and I can tell you I had tears in my eyes which was a surprise. I think seeing all the hard work in print was such a relief, confirmation that it was really going forward, and the excitement to see the outcome of years of work. It’s not possible, at least for this writer, not to tear up a little.

I’ll post on here where it’s available to order, and hope to see sales soar! I’m confident (ok, that was a pep-talk for myself to not get discouraged).

As I’m doing the last proof read, knowing this is ‘it’, I’m elated and nervous at the same time (is that possible?). The plan is to get the last version to press, I buy a number of copies, and then begin finding local independent book stores to pick up the novel and promote it.

I really believe others will enjoy learning about the story of “What happened that night on Blue Moon Bench.”

Me? I just want to see others enjoy reading it so they review it, and recommend it, and copies sell, and the temple (Kunzang Palyul Choling) benefits from that sale.

Don’t want to wait? Download the e-version on Kindle, iBookstore, Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Just search for Blue Moon Bench Blanchard.

Happy reading!

Asking for Reviews

It’s hard enough to write a book, sweat, worry, rework, rewrite, restructure. Get critiques, hire an editor, and finally you get finished. It takes three years to write, five more to finish edits and all the other things. Then you copyright it, design a cover, create a blog, social media….. you believe in what you’ve done,.. but no one has reviewed it!!!!

Do any of you writers out there have any suggestions on getting your novel reviewed? I’ve had a few friends read the novel, say it’s great, but I haven’t gotten any reviews even on Barnes & Noble, iBookstore, or Kindle.

Reviews….. ahhh … to have some reviews (even negative so I can respond).  Surely other authors have never gone through such stress. I believe in this novel! READ MY BOOK! You’ll love it, I promise.

Then….. write a review.