Tag Archives: Christmas

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?

Why do we put Christmas Trees up in our homes at Christmas?

It’s a given, right? We put up a Christmas tree hoping the Big Guy will visit. We put out cookies and milk, and carrots for the reindeer.  Oh, yes, we like to bribe the big guy with chocolate chips, don’t we?

But there’s a little more to it than that. The Christmas tree is an extension of an advent wreath. The evergreen branches are a symbol of everlasting life. The lights we place on the tree symbolize Jesus, the light of the world. So what is a Christmas tree, then but a big old birthday candle!?

In some cultures, the tree symbolizes life itself. It is the light of faith, hope and love.

So remember on this, one of the most holy days of the year, to remember what really matters in your life.

Peace, hope, love, family.

It is the season of giving, but there is no better gift in life than family. Call someone you love today, and wish them a Merry Christmas. Give someone the gift of joy.

And for those of you reading this over seas, serving your respective countries to protect the ones you love at home… an extra special hug.

We appreciate you, and you are missed.

_____Merry_Christmas

Why do we put up Christmas wreaths on our doors?

Don’t ya just hate it when your kid asks you a question and you think, umm, because we do, that’s why.

I never remember questioning anything when I grew up. We just did certain things at Christmas. I looked forward to it. But I never really asked “why”.

Did you as a lot of questions, or is this just a quirk of the new generation?

Anyway, this is the reason behind hanging a Christmas Wreath on a door, courtesy of our pastor. (I’ll paraphrase)

A Christmas wreath, in essence, is an advent wreath without the candles. it is a circle–without beginning or end, compromised of evergreen branches.  It symbolizes God’s everlasting love for us, and our hope in everlasting life with Jesus.

Wow. Pretty cool, huh?

So next time you see a wreath on a door, take a moment to remember the true meaning of the Christmas season.

Merry Christmas

A Different Kind of Christmas Story. Well, kind of anyway

Here’s a Christmas story with a twist for you. (Well, there’s a Christmas tree at least) Check out Book Three of the Whispering Woods series by Brinda Berry.  Catch it while it’s hot!

swish swivel sparkle

Senior year should bring fun, friends and happiness. Not portals, treachery, and murder.

Seventeen-year-old Mia Taylor, gatekeeper to an interdimensional portal, wants nothing more than to heal from her romance gone wrong. Illegally falling for her co-worker Regulus had been a huge mistake. But when Regulus goes rogue to hunt down a murderer, Mia must forget her broken heart and use her unique abilities to save him.

Sound Cool?  Need more to tantalize you?  Here’s a mini excerpt:

Jingle Bells

I detested planned surprises.
I could read the expectation in the air from the shimmery orange vibe that glowed like a Cheetos binge gone bad.
A few months ago, my friends had discovered my secret. The secret I’d hidden so teachers and doctors wouldn’t treat me like an amped up sensory perception freak. So friends wouldn’t ask.
Synesthesia. The condition sounded like the name of an electronic punk band. I’d made the full round of emotions about my sensory perception and being able to find portals. First, I’d hid it like you hide an ugly rash. Later, I’d learned to trust my friends with my secret. I’d even embraced it.
Now, I was back to wishing for normal.
Working with Regulus and Arizona was like playing Pop Goes the Weasel—a surprise around every corner. And did I mention I hate surprises?
Give me predictable any day. Then I could be ready. It’s why I made sure I knew the contents of every box under the Christmas tree.

Hop on over to Amazon to pick up your copy of Watcher of Worlds

What’s the Funniest Thing You’ve Found When You’ve Editied Your Manuscript?

Manuscript bloopers. Aren’t they a gas?  I sometimes look forward to that first read-through after I’ve finished a novel, just to see the funny things I accidentally typed.

What’s even better is when I completely read over them and send the novel out to beta. Boy do my beta-partners get a blast out of that!

Here’s J.K. Ford to talk about some of her bloopers.

If you write at all, you’ve had your share of manuscript bloopers, whether it’s a novel, term paper, short story or newspaper article.  Manuscript bloopers come in the form of misspelled words, incorrect words in wrong places, nouns doing odd things they can’t do, misplacement of words and dangling participles.  Here are five examples of manuscript bloopers from my own writings. Go ahead.  Laugh.  I did.  After I bonked myself on the head.

Marci laughed as Jason hip-bumped around the room, signing an old Aerosmith tune.

(Really?  He signed a tune?  Interesting.)

 

David shuffled to the bathroom and let out a long yarn.

(The imagery here is too comical for me.  Poor David.)

Standing at the window, Eric’s hands rested on the sill.

(Don’t you hate it when hands can’t decide to stand or rest?)

Lily laid back and sighed as her eyes following her father around the room.

(I’d do a bit more than sigh if my eyes were out of their sockets and following someone)

“Where is that blasted hat at?”

(I NEVER place participles at the end of a sentence.  Ever.  It’s like a huge pet peeve for me, and yet I found one!!  Agghhh.  To tell you the truth, I think my son snuck in and added it when I wasn’t looking just to make me cringe and turn 10 shades of red.  And yes, he would do that.)

Give you E-Reader a Christmas present. J.K. Ford’s One More Day Anthology is now on sale for just $3.99!  Click here to BUY IT NOW!

What are some of your manuscript bloopers?

About J.K. Ford:

As a young Army brat, Reader’s Choice award winner J. (Jenny) Keller Ford, traveled the world and wandered the halls of some of Germany’s most extraordinary castles hoping to find the dragons, knights and magic that haunted her imagination. Though she never found them, she continues to keep their legends alive.  Her story, The Amulet of Ormisez, is available as part of the MAKE BELIEVE anthology. Dragon Flight, is part of the One More Day anthology.  When not at her keyboard breathing new life into fantasy worlds, Jenny spends time collecting seashells, bowling, swimming, riding roller coasters and reading.  She works as a paralegal by day and lives on the west coast of Florida with her family, three dogs, and a pretentious orange cat who must have been a dragon in his previous life.

Write a Story with Me Part 26: Help for Mom with Susan Rocan

Yay!  It’s Write a Story with Me day!  We started back up Christmas Day, so if you missed out, hop on back to fill in the blanks.  That battle is still brewing… Enjoy the ride!

Now remember, we’ve got a battle on the verge of rocking.  Marci is tied to a table in her father’s ship, her sister is flying out in space, and the very lives of the faeries are on the line.  Mommy is in labor and in big trouble.

What’s gonna happen? Let’s find out!

26 – Susan Rocan – Mother/Birth string

Janelle had heard rumors that ‘the girl who brought us the leaf’ was in trouble. After completing her first round of queenly duties, albeit reluctantly, she now had the chance to slip away and see things for herself. If she could do something to help, she needed to repay her debt.

Heading straight for Marci’s window, she eased the unlocked casement forward just enough to squeeze through into the dark room. It appeared no one was home.

Suddenly, Janelle heard a moan coming from the parents’ room. She peeked in and saw Natalia on the floor beside her bed, holding her huge belly. Understanding dawned and Janelle hurried out the window to the home of an elderly woman down the street. Morana was old enough to remember the before-time, old enough to know the fae folk were not the enemy The Establishment believed them to be. She was also a midwife.

“Sorry to disturb you on this blustery night,” Janelle whispered in Morana’s ear.

The old woman rose, rubbing her arthritic joints. She reached for her glasses on the nightstand and peered at the glowing figure before her.

“What is it, my dear?” Morana asked in creaky voice.

“I need you to help someone in trouble and, please, don’t ask any questions or tell anyone what you’ve done.”

The old woman nodded as Janelle helped her into her cloak. With a few words, Janelle wove a spell into the fabric so Morana would not be seen by the night patrol.

Write a Story with Me is a group endeavor just for the fun of it.  A different writer adds a new 250 words each week.  It is the ultimate Flash Fiction Challenge!

If you’d like to sign up, come on over.  There’s always room for more!

Part One – Jennifer M. Eaton

Part Two – J. Keller Ford

Part Three – Susan Roebuck

Part Four – Elin Gregory

Part Five – Eileen Snyder

Part Six – Mikaela Wire

Part Seven — Vanessa Chapman

Part Eight — Ravena Guron

Part Nine – Vikki Thompson

Part Ten — Susan Rocan mywithershins

Part Eleven — Kate Johnston  AKA 4AMWriter

Part Twelve — Julie Catherine

Part Thirteen — Kai Damian

Part Fourteen — Richard Leonard

Part Fifteen — Sharon Manship

Part Sixteen – Shannon Blue Christensen

Part Seventeen — Bryn Jones

Part Eighteen — Jennifer M. Eaton

Part Nineteen — Shannon Burton

Part Twenty — J.Keller Ford

Part Twenty-One — Susan Roebuck

Part Twenty-Two — Elin Gregory

Part Twenty-Three — Aparnauteur

Part Twenty-Four — Vanessa Chapman

Part Twenty-Five — Ravena Guron

Part Twenty Six — Susan Rocan

Don’t forget to stop by next week to see what happens next.

 Kate Johnson —- TAG!  You are “It”

I’m back! The blog tour is finally over. (Thank Goodness) – What I learned. And an ebook #giveaway for #FreeFriday #freestuff

Omigosh.  I can’t believe it’s finally over.  This may have been the most painful thing wonderful experience I’ve ever had as a writer and I hope I never have to put myself through this can’t wait to do another one.

I just came off a month-long blog tour.  45 stops in 30 days.  The over achiever in me says “Yes! Awesome! Bring it!”  But the real-person side of me just wants to take a step back and sleep.

So, what did I learn?  A lot.  Would I do it again?

No._00000

Well, at least not in the same way.

Did we get the word out?  Yes.

Did we sell books?  Yes.

Was it worth it?  I’m not really sure yet.

I don’t think I am going to take on a blog tour this aggressively again. Will I be aggressive?  You betcha! But the rest of my life shouldn’t suffer for it.

Before I dig into the things I’ve learned, let’s discuss the result…

Don’t get me wrong, this was not an overall bad experience.  My fear is, though, that I may have lost some of my following because I was not “here”.  That is what is really bothering me.

Soooooo… In the future, I will not be wreaking havoc across the internet for thirty days straight.  I will take it easy so I can still enjoy my life, because I can’t write when I’m stressed, and that just doesn’t work for anyone, does it?

I’m going to cut back a bit on blogging too, so I have enough time for my extensive goals for 2013… but I have some great things planned.

Mondays will be my days for posting about whatever pops into my head… The fun rants on my writing, my world, or whatever.

Tuesdays will continue to be Write a Story with Me, which is still going strong, and new people are signing up.  This has been a HOOT!

Wednesdays and Thursdays I will take off, unless I have a book review or something exciting that I can’t wait until Monday for.

Friday is something brand new I’m going to try out as a gift to everyone who’s supported me through all this.  #FreeFridays will feature a different author every week with a giveaway. They may give away a book, an ebook, chocolate, dogs, cats, whatever. But it’s a chance for them to promote their book, and a chance at a freebee for all those who comment.  Should be fun.  By the way… since this is the first #FreeFriday, everyone who comments today will have a chance to win either For the Love of Christmas or Make Believe on ebook. (your choice)  Yay!

Saturdays will be open to my whims, and I may not always post.  But for the next month I will be featuring the continuation of author/Editor Danielle Ackley McPhail’s advice on the do’s and don’ts of how to submit your manuscript.  It’s great stuff we can all learn from.

Sunday will return to Sunday Snippets, where I will showcase a snippet from my current work in progress, and invite you all to do the same.  It’s a time to share a little, and see what you guys think of it.  I’ve thought of making this a weekly blog hop, but it will be very informal, and I won’t kick you off if you post more than six sentences.  Yeah, I’m nice that way.  If you want to sign up, click here and be sure to hop around to other people’s sites to see their snippets.

Okay!  Now that all of that is out of the way….. What I learned:

A few things to keep in mind when you set up your own blog tours:

1.       Just because a person says they will host you, and you do the interview, doesn’t mean they will post it.  Just say’n.  Be ready for it.  It’s embarrassing to send people to a post and have it not be there.

2.       Confirm, and make sure you get confirmations.  I sent out interviews and sent confirmation emails, but in one instance I didn’t get a response for the confirmation.  Not sure what happened to my emails, but the host never got either, so the post ended up late.  My fault for not following up better on that one.

3.       There will be posts that it seems no one has read.  I try to tell myself that not everyone who reads posts comments. I hope some people read some of those guest posts, because I thought they were pretty good! Try to keep your chin up.  No all stops will look as successful as others, but you won’t know unless the host lets you know the number of hits.

4.       Some tour stops will be AWESOME.  Make a note of those people and become buddies.  Luckily for me, I’m already buddies, so everyone else has to suck up to them J

5.       Scheduling, doing the interview/post, telling people where you are that day, and following up and answering questions on all those other sites is time consuming and exhausting.  Be ready for it. No matter how well you think you have prepared… well, you know how it is.

6.       Don’t forget about Facebook.  I forgot about Facebook.  Oh well.

So, there you have it.  The good, the bad and the ugly – and what I learned through all this monotony.  For the most part, it was fun, and if I were a full time professional writer, and didn’t have another job, a part time job, a poodle that needs to be brushed, three kids with homework and a husband, it would have been no problem.  But for me, I think a more leisurely pace will be the ticket for the next one.

Thanks for sticking with me! And Here’s to an AWESOME 2013!  What do you have on tap for this year?

Don’t forget one commenter below will get their choice of For the Love of Christmas or Make Believe on ebook!

It’s GREAT to be back!

JenniFer_EatonF

Wrapping up my Thirty Day Blog Tour. Whew!

Wow. You are not going to believe this. I find I am having trouble from believing this… but today is the LAST DAY of the Make Believe and For the Love of Christmas Blog Tour.

Wow._I_mean_really_Wow._00000

Thirty days of insane romping through the internet stratosphere. Dang.

Please hop on over to Ravena Guron’s site, where I will be wrapping up my tour with my youngest host, a teenager and super-talented aspiring novelist from the lovely land of the UK. See you there!

Enjoy!

ChristmasFiligree

Make BelieveFor The Love Of Christmas CoverWhy all the hullabaloo? Well, it’s to promote my two new releases “Make Believe” and “For the Love of Christmas”

That’s why!

And don’t forget to click on “Enter to Win” for a chance to win your choice of the two titles! Yay!

Oh, I almost forgot… A few random commentors along the tour path will win their choice of anthologies, too. So be sure to hop on over and say “Hi”

ChristmasFiligree

Hop on over and send me some love!

Ravena Guron’s site

ChristmasFiligree

Visit my Anthology buddies! They are celebrating too!

Jenny Keller Ford

J.A. Belfield

Kelly Said

Lynda R. Young

Terri Rochenski

Janelle Lee

Dani-Lyn Alexander

JenniFer_EatonF

Related Articles

http://ravenaguron.blogspot.com/2012/12/shiny-new-ideas.html

Musical Playlist for an Anthology? Huh?

Double shot today!

Over at Happy Tails and Tales there will be a review and musical playlist of each story in the Make Believe anthology.  What is a musical playlist?  DUNNO!  I’ll be heading over myself to find out! – But you have to tell me if it’s safe first, because I hear she’s doing a review also.

Also you can read my thoughts on whether Christmas is worth it over at Dani-Lyn Alexander’s site.  See ya there!

Enjoy!

ChristmasFiligree

Make BelieveFor The Love Of Christmas CoverWhy all the hullabaloo? Well, it’s to promote my two new releases “Make Believe” and “For the Love of Christmas”

That’s why!

And don’t forget to click on “Enter to Win” for a chance to win your choice of the two titles! Yay!

Oh, I almost forgot… A few random commentors along the tour path will win their choice of anthologies, too. So be sure to hop on over and say “Hi”

ChristmasFiligree

Hop on over and send me some love!

Happy Tails and Tales

Dani-Lyn Alexander’s site

ChristmasFiligree

Visit my Anthology buddies!  They are celebrating too!

Jenny Keller Ford

J.A. Belfield

Kelly Said

Lynda R. Young

Terri Rochenski

Janelle Lee

Dani-Lyn Alexander

JenniFer_EatonF