Category Archives: Senseless Ranting

Hollywood has destroyed the world how many times?

Hollywood Sign

Hollywood Sign (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hollywood has destroyed the world how many times?

Here is a nod from Time magazine to one of my favorite genres, with some of my favorite movies mentioned.   I just loved this article.  There is nothing more fun that a good, exciting, “the world is going to end, but I’m gonna do something about it” movie.  Heck, I got some story ideas just breezing over some of these comments!  Where’s the popcorn!

http://entertainment.time.com/2013/04/23/apocalypse-wow-10-ways-hollywood-has-ended-the-world/

 JenniFer_EatonF

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Dealing with a child with Behavioral Issues. Update. One Year Later

Parenting is an ongoing struggle, isn’t it? I have to say though, that things are much better than they used to be. I think the issues that we deal with now are “normal”.

But something happened over the weekend that I just have to share.

Easter eggs

Easter eggs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yesterday there was an Easter egg hunt at our church. Littlest Dude was in the oldest age bracket, and this is probably the first, and last year he would be able to participate. His gaze traveled across the gardens, and a smile touched his lips, seeing the multitude of eggs scattered in the grass (4,000 eggs, I was later informed)

They made an announcement for the older kids not to get the eggs in the middle of the field (Since participants ranged from 2 years to 8 years.) I reiterated the request to Littlest Dude. And then they were off!

There is nothing cuter than several hundred kids running through a field trying to find eggs.

I lost sight of Littlest Dude for a few minutes until his red shirt gave him away back in the trees.

Whew!

At least it seemed that he’s left the easy ones for the other kids. The eggs disappeared quickly, and late-comers ran toward the field, hoping to get there share.

Littlest Dude ran by a few times, bag overflowing but determined to find all the well-hidden eggs. Yep. He’s tenacious. The apple didn’t fall far from the tree on that one.

I grimaced as first-time parents strolled lazily toward the event area, obviously clueless that there may not be anything left for their children. Boy, were they about to be in for a bad morning!

People started to leave, and Littlest Dude is still out there running around, having a grand old time.

Then it happened.

He comes strolling back to us, a huge smile coating his adorable little face, WITH ONLY A FEW EGGS IN THE BOTTOM OF HIS BAG.

“Littlest Dude,” I say. “What happened to all your eggs?”

He shrugs. “A lot of kids didn’t find any, and they were sad, so I gave them my eggs.”

Need a tissue? I did.

I hope this warmed you heart as much as it warmed mine.

JenniFer_Eaton__F

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Are you a member of the SCA Society for creative Anachronism? Have you ever been to Pennsic War?

Are you a member of the SCA Society for creative Anachronism? Have you ever been to Pennsic War?

 

English: Society for Creative Anachronism part...

English: Society for Creative Anachronism participants (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you’ve never heard of the Society for Creative Anachronism, it’s…. well, hard to explain. Lots of people come together for a medieval-fest and turn a building, or a huge area, back in time. Think Renaissance Faire on steroids. But in these events they won’t even let you in without proper garb.

And you don’t just get to watch. With training, you become part of the world.

I went to an event once over twenty years ago, and it was quite a treat. It had a big enough impact on me that I still think about it, and I’ve decided to feature a SCA event, the Pennsic War, in one of my novels.

 

Kingdom of Northshield court in the Society fo...

Kingdom of Northshield court in the Society for Creative Anachronism (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here’s my problem. I’ve never been to Pennsic War. I am trying to imagine what Cooper’s Lake park in PA looks like when 10,000 (yes, that’s ten-thousand) people from around the world converge on that one campground, to watch and take part as the East Kingdom and the Middle Kingdom meet for a week of tournament and good times. Think Olympics, Medieval style.

Heavy combat, fencing, crossbows. Oh! I get tingles just thinking about it!

English: Melee fighting in the Society for Cre...

English: Melee fighting in the Society for Creative Anachronism (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thing is, I can imagine what a campground of people in Medieval garb looks like, but anything I can come up with would just be a really good guess.

 

So I’m wondering. Have you been to Pennsic War? Or maybe another smaller war-like event?

Here are my questions.

  1. Does combat start on Friday, or is that just revelry like the opening ceremonies and the good stuff starts on Saturday?
  2. Do most people stay at the campground?
  3. Are there ever any non-SCA campers there? Are they freaked out?
  4. What is it like back at the campground? Do people stay garbed and “in character” for the whole week or two weeks?
  5. Do combatants get hurt?
  6. Fencing competition: Do girls fight girls and guys fight guys, or can a championship match be a guy and a girl? (Sorry that was a spoiler)
  7. From the event I went to, I imagine the rivalry feigned and in good fun. But is that still true? Any side-duels that might not exactly “follow the safety rules”?
  8. Anything you can give me would be helpful. I want this to be authentic, and do the event justice as the catalyst to send my heroine on her journey.

Oh! Do you have pictures? More pictures will be helpful.

And, as a side note, if any SCA member would like to read the SCA excerpt when I’m done to make sure I “got it” I would be eternally grateful.

Huzzah!

(Yeah, that was probably lame. I’m sure I spelled that wrong.)

Find out more about this cool organization here: http://www.sca.org/

JenniFer_EatonF

 

 

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What do you think is the right price for an ebook?

There has been a lot of talk about this lately. I’ve heard both sides, and I completely understand all sides of the argument. For now, I’d like to take off my author hat, and speak as a consumer.

A few weeks ago, my son just HAD to have a particular book on release day.  I cringed when I saw the $14 price tag.

$14 For an Ebook?

Huh

Initially I told him he had to wait until it went on sale. But eventually I caved. The kid’s not asking for a video game, after all. It’s a book. Still… $14 for memory space?

As an author, I totally appreciate the time and effort in creating a book, and yes, I did pay the price. But I can’t help but feel a little scammed when there are so many great books out there without a “Best-Selling Author” tag that are $4.99 or less.

Today, I ran across the same problem with a book that I was really interested in.  I came across a blurb for it on an agent’s website when it initially sold. Today, it came up recommended on Goodreads.  I was all ready to buy it. It sounds great.

But at the $9.99 price tag, I hesitated.

English: A Picture of a eBook Español: Foto de...

And the hardcover is $13.59. Does anyone else see a problem with this? Why spend $9.99 on an ebook when you can spend a few dollars more and get something you can hold?

I’m wondering… if Amazon hadn’t driven prices down so low on ebooks if I would have even blinked about spending $10 on a book that I wanted.  If all books were around this cost, I wouldn’t have a choice, right?

 

But this is my worry.

How many people out there are like me, and want the book, but decided to pass and get two other books for 4.99 instead?

Where, as an author, I’d like to see average book prices be higher, I have to worry and wonder about houses that charge so much more than other books on the market.  I suppose if they are throwing big marketing dollars at the book, that people will be influenced to buy no matter the price.

But what about the people like me who stumbled across the book by accident and just want to read the story? Are they risking turning them away?

This is one of the quandaries that keeps me in limbo about whether or not to submit to certain houses. I don’t want people to say, “Why is your book so expensive? All these other books a five bucks.”

I’m wondering what you think. If you are an author, try putting your author hat aside. Think as a reader, or a consumer/buyer of ebooks.

What do you think is the right price for an ebook?

And maybe another question:  Should ebooks be premium priced for the first several months, and then the price drop once the paperback comes out? Or would fewer books even get to paperback if less people are buying?

What are your thoughts?

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Post #662, 663, 664, 665… Oh No! What blog post is this? Nope Not gonna do it. Quick! Call in the Rabbi!

What is that I hear out there in the Blogosphere? Murmurings of dismay and fear:  “Why didn’t Jennifer skip post #666 and go from #665 to #667, the way some building elevators go from floor #12 to floor #14? No one would have noticed.”

Here’s my word associations about 666: the Number of the Beast; the Sign of the Beast; the anti-Christ; the Apocalypse; Revelations. It’s also the subject of “The Devil’s Highway,” a song by The Snake Brothers, a local Pine Barrens-based New Jersey folk/country/bluegrass/ roots band.

Hi there, I am Rabbi Ilene Schneider. Here’s what I know after Googling 666: all of the above. Plus there are as many interpretations as interpreters. Plus, the number is possibly gematria, a method of hermeneutics that assigns a numerical value to letters of the Hebrew alphabet. [Gematria is the reason the number 18 is lucky in Judaism – It’s the numerical value of the Hebrew word “chai” (pronounced like “hi,” but with a guttural “h,” not a soft “ch” as in “China”); as in the toast “l’chaim;” as popularized in the song “To Life, To Life, L’chaim,” in “Fiddler on the Roof.”]

English: Jersey Devil strip from 1909 Français...

English: Jersey Devil strip from 1909 Français : Dessin du Diable du New Jersey en 1909 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I also learned that the number may be a mistranslation and it should be 616, coincidentally the route number for Church Road, a south Jersey street that’s not very apocalyptic, except where it intersects with a traffic circle in Cherry Hill. Had New Jersey traffic circles been around in the 14th Century, Dante would have modeled his Circles of Hell on them.

The explanation I favor for the confusion between 666 and 616 is that the Greek name for Nero (as in the Emperor, not the protagonist of “The Matrix”) when transliterated into Hebrew is equal to 666, while the Hebrew transliteration for the emperor’s Latin name is equivalent to 616. It does make sense that the writer of Revelations would have considered Nero the anti-Christ.

County Route shield

County Route shield (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And, yes, there is an Atlantic County Route 666 in New Jersey, just as The Snake Brothers sing. I know. I looked it up. The road passes by Estelle Manor, site of the long-abandoned Estellville Glassworks. The town has been suggested as the birth place of the Jersey Devil, the only state demon in the U.S. “Devil’s Highway” is more likely to refer to our native boogie man (or part kangaroo, part goat, part horse, part dog, part bat, complete with wings and horns) than to Satan. (I think it’s far more likely that Mother Leed’s 13th child was born near Leed’s Point, although the monster has been sighted throughout southern New Jersey.)

So am I afraid that I am now cursed because I wrote blog post 666? No more than I worry about Friday the 13th, a number that is actually good luck in Judaism (the age of legal maturity; Maimonides’ list of the attributes of God, to name two reasons). There are too many real dangers out there to worry about whether numbers have a cosmic significance. But they are fun to research.

swish swivel sparkle

Rabbi Ilene Schneider, Ed.D., one of the first women rabbis ordained in the U.S., has finally decided what she wants to be when she grows up. She recently retired from her day job to devote herself to writing. She is the author of the Rabbi Aviva Cohen mysteries, Chanukah Guilt and the award-winning Unleavened Dead; the 3rd, a work-in-progress, is titled Yom Killer. She also wrote the nonfiction Talk Dirty Yiddish: Beyond Drek.

Website: http://rabbiauthor.com

So what do you think? Are you superstitious about # 665 +1?

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How a simple change of attitude can change your life. You cannot change others, but you can change YOU

I came across this training session today. Most of these things I roll my eyes at, but this one I thought was particularly good.  This is a segment of a seminar given by Zig Ziglar, who I’d heard of, but never listened too.

Now, to be honest, his method of presentation is a bit off-putting to me, so if the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, I suggest just closing your eyes and concentrating on what he says.

This is not targeted at authors. I think this can benefit many people in many ways.  The last 45 seconds or so, in particular, packs an extra-special punch.

This is about nine minutes long. I suggest taking a minute to listen. People spend big bucks to hear seminars like this, and here you have it for free.

http://www.ipcoutlook.org/mart/53792F.shtml

In general, I am a huge optimist. I’m glad I can smile at how wonderful the world is when people around me are hemming and hawing over their rejections and writer’s block. Negativity loves company, but that’s not the company I want to keep. It sucks creative energy.

If I ever start to get negative, I’m coming back to this post to give a listen.

A positive attitude can snowball into positive results.

Give it a try. You may be surprised.

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Apparently, I’m Weird. Who Knew?

Apparently, I’m weird. Okay, Okay I’m not talking about the little blue alien living in my computer. I’m talking about real-life stuff.

Have you ever had someone tell you that your life is implausible, and would never happen?

I’m writing a MG Contemporary, and to keep myself from going off the deep end and blowing stuff up, or having a sea dragon pop out of the ocean, I am grounding the story in my own personal experience.

This is how I found out I’m weird.

I have critique partners telling me that no kid could sail a boat on their own.

Ummm. Huh?

Sail Boat

Sail Boat (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I grew up living in a house on the water. We sailed every weekend. We went fishing for our supper. My father loved the water and everything having to do with it.

We all learned to sail from the time we could walk and get a life-jacket slapped onto us. Now, that’s not to say that I, personally could have sailed a boat. I much preferred to catch fishies and scoop up crabs. But my brothers and sisters could sail, and not just small Sun Fish sailboats. Big sucker sailboats.  But apparently, my family is weird.

I was also told that a mother that is afraid of the water would not allow her family to be totally in to boating, leaving her discluded from family activities.

Ummm huh?

My mom could not swim. She was terrified of the water. Did that stop us from living five steps from a dock with boats? Umm, No. It was a very rare occasion that she would step foot on the docks, and even more rare for her to get on a boat, but she did it for my dad once in a while. (But he had to go really, really slow or she’d scream bloody murder)

So Mom and Dad were weird, too.

I suppose I am a product of weirdness.

Everyone says write what you know.

This is what I know.

A Nonsuch 30' under sail

A Nonsuch 30′ under sail – much like the boat I grew up on (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But apparently what I know is weird.

Have you ever come across this? –

People thinking something you’ve written is implausible just because they were raised differently?

JenniFer_EatonF

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The view from the backyard. All the cousins playing

Yesterday I shared a video of my pup Chloe playing in the front yard with her birth mother.  Very cute.

Here is what the backyard looked like for most of the day. Eight dogs and a bunch of kids. I’m sure all of them fell asleep the moment they got into the car to drive home. Ah, family get-togethers. There’s nothing like it. :-)

Those two smaller dogs are three-month-old puppies. They certainly hold their own, don’t they?

Holiday Get Togethers are For Everyone in the Family

You might think I’m nuts, but when I invited my family to my house for Christmas dinner, I had them bring Everyone in the family. That included everyone’s four-footed children.

Twenty-six people and seven dogs over 50 pounds each (except for the puppies) Yes, chaos ensued for a bit. But those pups sure did appreciate it. they had a great time, and my Chloe was sad to see them all go.

The nice thing was that no one had to rush home to feed their dogs or let them out. My yard may never be the same, but who cares?

Here is a precious moment that came out of the event. This is my Chloe taking some time out away from the other dogs to play with her mother, Mitsy.

Chloe is the silver with the pink bows.  And Yes, dogs do remember their birth mothers.

How cute is this?

Happy Boxing Day! Boxing day? What the stink is boxing day?

Happy Boxing day!

Boxing day means a lot of different things, all depending on where you are.

Happy Boxing Day jpg

In the USA, we don’t really call it boxing day, but it is the day you take back all those boxes to the store… the day you get rid of the presents you didn’t want (Yes, I am looking at YOU Mr. Scrooge!)

Ha!  The day after Christmas was the most fun for me when I worked in retail. I loved working the return tables.  The lines were always out the door, and the day just flew by (yeah, I’m weird that way)

I’ve heard that in Europe, Boxing Day is the day that servants get to celebrate Christmas with their families. It is an old tradition handed down from long ago. Since servants had to serve their families on Christmas Day, they took the day after off to have their own Christmas.  They called it “Boxing Day” because they frequently took home a box from their employer that either contained a present, or leftovers or other goodies from Christmas for their own Christmas take-two on December 26th.  Sounds like fun to me!

Anyone else out there celebrate Boxing Day? What does it mean to you?