Tag Archives: United States

Telling tales – Burlington County Times: Medford

There is a really nice write-up in the Burlington County Times today on a charity event I will be speaking at this coming Saturday.

There’s even a few very unflattering photos. [Hits head on desk] Note to self: Next time think twice about agreeing to have your picture taken after a long day at work.

This is promoting Tall Tales and Short Stories from South Jersey.

Tickets are still on sale if you’d like to come out and support a great cause.

I’ll be hanging with Dawn Byrne, Joanne Costantino and Maria Gilbert March first, speaking to the Medford branch of the AAUW, the American Association of University Women, at Medford Leas on Route 70 at 11:30 a.m. Tickets for the champagne brunch are $30 with proceeds going to a scholarship fund for women returning to college. Contact Mary Ann Brookes at Mbrookes@comcast.net or 609-953-4035. Visit http://medford-nj.aauw.net

Here’s the article if you’d like to take a look.

Telling tales – Burlington County Times: Medford.

JenniFer_EatonF

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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

I got Attacked by a Turkey. Seriously! For-Real!

I swear. You can’t make stuff up this good. If I wrote this into a book, someone would whack me in reviews: “Nope, it would never happen.”

Well, I’m here to tell you, it did.  And I took a picture to prove it!

So this is what happened.  We were coming home from church and my son looks up from his phone (miracle of miracles) and says, “Umm, why are there turkeys in the road?”

Now, I don’t see the turkeys at first. I’m concentrated on the cars stopped on the other side of the road, but once we get a little closer I say, “It’s probably turkey vultures, I don’t think it could possibly be…”  Yeah, note the drop off there… as in not finishing the sentence?

That’s because as soon as I got close enough, one of the turkeys stopped attacking the car on the other side of the road, turned, and started attacking MY CAR.

Huh?  And, yes, they were actually TURKEYS. I was a little unsure until one opened up its tail-feathers like a peacock. I wish I could have gotten a picture, but I was too busy trying to not hit his mate with my car.

Here are the little buggers, on their way to attack my tires.

Turkey Attack Car 2013

Now, me and the lady on the other side of the road, lucky for these turkeys, were nature lovers, and were trying to let them pass. Of course, they did not want to pass.  They wanted to eat our tires. So we each took turns.  I would drive a few feet, and the birds would leave her car and jump over to attack mine.  As soon as she started moving, they jumped over to attack her.

Now, think this over.  I was leaving church, so there is a long line-up of cars behind me, and cars started lining up behind her in the opposite direction as well.  The guy directly behind her starts honking his horn.

She leans out and yells, rightly so: “Where do you expect me to go!”

Would you believe that guy tried to throttle around her, and actually hit one of the birds?

Big ugly stupid head!

Luckily for the turkey, he had a big breast and kind of just bounced back. (Ha!  The turkey, not the guy)

Finally I was able to get by.  When I reached the next light, the car behind me pulled up and said, “Can you believe that?  I got a picture, cause no one in a million years would believe we got attacked by a couple of turkeys!”

Yep, I agree.

But the biggest turkey was the jerk who didn’t stop. Big stupid too much in a hurry to enjoy nature idiot.

For those of you in the USA (Except for the guy who didn’t stop) Have a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving. And for those of you outside the USA, Nothing’s stopping you for giving thanks for all the wonderful things in your life, too.

And next time a turkey is in the road attacking the car in front of you…

Remember to stop.

What goes around comes around.

JenniFer_EatonF

The long and short of it – Your sentences, that is — Rule #22 of 32 Simple Rules to the Writing the Best Novel Ever

Writing_A_Great_Novel

I’m dissecting the article Hunting Down the Pleonasm, by Allen Guthrie, using it as a cattle prod to search for little nasties in my manuscript.  Yep, you can join in the fun, too.  Let’s take a looksee at topic #22

22: Vary your sentence lengths. I tend to write short, and it’s amazing what a difference combing a couple of sentences can make.

Remember to be careful with this when you are trying to create a mood.  For instance, a string of short, choppy sentences can create tension when needed.  Overall, though, a mix of lengths in your text will bring it alive.

And while we’re here – watch those overly long sentences.  If a line is over 20 words, you may want to consider breaking that puppy up a bit.

 

Jennifer___Eaton

Related articles

I Have a New Official Web Site!

Whew!  It’s been a long time coming, but it’s finally here.

For years I have been landing covetously on other people’s web sites. Boy were they pretty. “Someday I’ll have to get me one of those,” I said.

Not that there’s anything wrong with my blog.  This little baby has done double-duty for a few years now, and it’s done me well. (Except for that Little Blue Lady problem, but I’ve learned to live with that.)

Don’t worry, I’m not abandoning this blog.  It’s way too much fun. But now I have a place for standard web-sitey stuff… a place for readers to go to learn a little more about me (Without scaring them with my rants about writing)  :-)

So do me a favor and hop on over and let me know what you think.  I’d love for people to look at it on different computer monitors, and on their phones.

Click around and make sure everything works well, and then let me know what you think.

You can get there by clicking the “Click to Visit” button in my navigation bar on the top far-right hand side of the screen right below my picture.

Thanks!

JenniFer_EatonF

It’s Release Day For My Book Paper Wishes! Wahoo!

I am super excited to announce the release of my sweet romance “Paper Wishes”

I have to admit that this feels a little weird in August because it’s Winter in the world of “Paper Wishes”, but what better way to cool down then cuddling up on the beach with a book that makes you think of snow!

Paper Wishes FinalPaper wishes is about a single mother who writes down a wish on a piece of paper, but quickly forgets about it.  Funny thing about wishes.  They have a way of coming true even if you’ve forgotten about them, and when her best friend Jack makes a wish that might tear them apart, a little girl’s completely unrelated wish could bring them all together… if their wishes can be twisted to make them all come true.

This theme may seem familiar because “Paper Wishes” was originally published under the name “Jack and Jill”.  The title was not picked up when Still Moments Publishing was purchased by White Rose Press.

I am thrilled that Astraea Press loved the story as much as I did, and “Paper Wishes” has been completely revamped and tightened for a brand new audience.

And at the bargain price of $0.99 I’m hoping everyone will take a chance on my little gem.

Paper Wishes Final
 To celebrate, I have an ebook copy to give away to a random commenter below.

I’ll also have a copy to give to a random person who shares on Facebook or Twitter.  Be sure to tag me so I see your post. :-)

Thanks for stopping by!

Zoom to Amazon to buy “Paper Wishes”

Zoom to Barnes and Noble

Paper Wishes FinalPaper Wishes FinalPaper Wishes FinalPaper Wishes FinalPaper Wishes FinalPaper Wishes Final

Click to Tweet: “It’s release day for “Paper Wishes” a sweet romance by @Jennifermeaton. Check it out!”

Click to Tweet: “Win a free copy of “Paper Wishes” by @jennifermeaton

JenniFer_EatonF

Aren’t stats just the coolest thing? People really do stop here. It blows me away.

I just love Statistics.  Well, I love statistics that can be handed to me on a silver platter.  I leave the figuring out the statistics and other “mathy” things to Middle Dude.  His mom is mathematically challenged.

Anyway, A year ago I started counting unique visitors to my site.  I know a lot of you are here a few times a week or more (Thanks!) but I was wondering how many NEW people come.

The statistics actually blew me away.

I started calculating in mid June, 2012, and a year later, here are my stats.

free counters

This counter says that in the past year, over 12,000 UNIQUE people from the USA have stopped by my site.  That’s INDIVIDUAL people, not repeats.  How stinking cool is that?

In second place are my buddies in Canada, over 2,000 strong.  Hello up north!

And a big howdy over the pond to the 1,700+ people visiting in the UK.

All in all, people from 151 countries have visited this site.  Part of me knows that some may land here by accident, but when they hop around to find out about me, I can’t help but grin.

When you really look into your stats, and what people clicked on to bring them here, and what they looked at once they landed — well, the internet is a pretty amazing thing.  How the heck can I have a conversation with someone in Saudi Arabia?  (I’m going to bed, she’s having her morning coffee) Weird, isn’t it?

It’s incredible to me how technology can make the world such a smaller place, isn’t it?

I don’t recommend getting too obsessed with your stats, though.  I was for a while, giving myself an aneurism every time the stats dropped a bit.  They can drive you crazy, and I’d much rather spend my time writing.

What do you think? Do you love your stats or hate them?

Click to Tweet:

Do you love your stats or hate them? Looking into your numbers can drive you crazy 

Aren’t blog statistics the coolest thing? 

How many individual people visit your website? It’s great fun finding out!

JenniFer_EatonF

If you are thinking of entering a contest – READ THE FINE PRINT

I was going to keep my big alligator mouth shut, but I can’t.  I just can’t.

A call for submissions was recently announced that is an incredible opportunity…  A contest to write a prequel to one of the classic children’s movies from the 1980′s. How cool would that be. Right?

A group of friends and I gathered our kids, and we watched the movie.  We brainstormed, and we were excited.

Afterwards, I breezed over to the web-site and looked up the history of the time period that they provided as a basis for the world-building… and ideas started to flow.

Then I checked the fine print

As I looked over the terms and conditions, a few things popped out at me as HUGE red flags.  I thought, “Hmm, this is a major publishing house, and a big American iconic company.  There’s no way that I can be reading this right.”

So, I did the smart thing, and contacted a lawyer.

I’m so glad I did.  What they told me, horrified my socks off.  Really, it did.  Those suckers flew right across the room.

In a nutshell, whether you win or lose… if you enter the contest they have the right to use your story, and your name to sell it at any time.  Even years later… once you’ve hit it big.  They have a story by you that they own… and there’s not a dern thing you can do about it.

Here’s the worst part — We writers enter these things all the time.  We figure that if we don’t win, we can change the names and the world and sell it as something else, right?

Nope.  You can’t. NEVER. They own your story for eternity.

I’m going to give you the direct quote sent to me. If you re-write the story and publish it with different names and change the world…

“Are you sitting down? – they can sue you for using your own story that they now (and forever) own, and they would 100% win in court.”

That’s insane. And I’m ashamed.  I’m ashamed because I LOVE the brand behind this contest and everything having to do with them.  I grew up with them and I was uber-excited to have a chance at being part of it.

Not anymore.

In respect of the brand that I love so much, I will not tell you who it is.  If you don’t know, then you are not in danger, but if this sounds familiar, and you are considering it, PLEASE take a look at the terms and conditions.

Do I still think this is an incredible opportunity?  Yes, I do.  But you need to weigh the risks against your chances.

If I spend six months creating a masterpiece, and it is not chosen, I deserve the right to revise and use my story elsewhere.  In my mind there is no such thing as a story “Dependant on” the original.  Anything can be revised.

If you are going for it, good luck.  I wish you the best.

Sadly, I will not be any competition.

JenniFer_EatonF

Learning to draw Manga #3 Front View Boy

This week my son and I tackled the front view boy.  I figured I’d show you the step by step process to show you how easy it is.

First, start with a circle. Cut it into four equal parts and then cut the lower half into four equally spaced sections.  I go freehand.  Dude likes to use a ruler.

P1030642a

Next, add a frame for the chin.  Manga likes a pointy chin.  I’ll probably start putting my own spin on this soon.

P1030643b

Next, add the eyes in the third lower section.  Eyebrows on the line above, each slightly towards the outer circle.  The nose line just to the left of the center line, right on the outer circle mark, and do your best on the ears.  Dude and I agree ears are EVIL.

P1030644

Next, the dreaded Manga Hair.  I drew this directly from the diagram.  I don’t get the flow of the hair yet.  Dude does better than me on this aspect.

P1030645 Next, darken and add a little clothing if desired.  I decided to round the chin at this point as well.  Also add a shade under the chin. Once your lines are nice and dark, erase the light lines of the “cheat” circle originally drawn.

P1030647 That’s it.  Break it down a step at a time, and it’s really not that hard.

Yes, Dude is still growling at me, but I’m glad I’m doing this with him.  It’s giving him the competitive charge to try to get better than me.  Nope, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. (He writes, too.)  :-)

JenniFer_EatonF

For Memorial Day, Remember. Read this post and remember to thank someone for all they’ve done for us.

This is a story that touched my heart. One everyone should read.  I can’t tell you how much this touched me.  It sounds like another silly dog story, until you hit that hook in the end.  If this does not make you cry, and want to support those fighting to keep our freedom, then I don’t know what will.

I don’t know if this is real or fiction, but either way it packs a punch

Reblogged from Jenny Keller Ford’s post from Sept 7, 2012

***

This is a great story…worth reading.

They told me the big black Lab’s name was Reggie, as I looked at him lying in his pen. The shelter was clean, no-kill, and the people really friendly. I’d only been in the area for six months, but everywhere I went in the small college town, people were welcoming and open. Everyone waves when you pass them on the street.

But something was still missing as I attempted to settle in to my new life here, and I thought a dog couldn’t hurt. Give me someone to talk to. And I had just seen Reggie’s advertisement on the local news. The shelter said they had received numerous calls right after, but they said the people who had come down to see him just didn’t look like “Lab people,” whatever that meant. They must’ve thought I did.

But at first, I thought the shelter had misjudged me in giving me Reggie and his things, which consisted of a dog pad, bag of toys almost all of which were brand new tennis balls, his dishes and a sealed letter from his previous owner.

See, Reggie and I didn’t really hit it off when we got home. We struggled for two weeks (which is how long the shelter told me to give him to adjust to his new home). Maybe it was the fact that I was trying to adjust, too.  Maybe we were too much alike.

I saw the sealed envelope. I had completely forgotten about that. “Okay, Reggie,” I said out loud, “let’s see if your previous owner has any advice.” ____________ _________ _________ _________

To Whomever Gets My Dog:

Well, I can’t say that I’m happy you’re reading this, a letter I told the shelter could only be opened by Reggie’s new owner. I’m not even happy writing it. He knew something was different.

So let me tell you about my Lab in the hopes that it will help you bond with him and he with you.

First, he loves tennis balls. The more the merrier. Sometimes I think he’s part squirrel, the way he hoards them. He usually always has two in his mouth, and he tries to get a third in there. Hasn’t done it yet. Doesn’t matter where you throw them, he’ll bound after them, so be careful. Don’t do it by any roads.

Next, commands. Reggie knows the obvious ones —”sit,” “stay,” “come,” “heel.”

He knows hand signals, too: He knows “ball” and “food” and “bone” and “treat” like nobody’s business.

Feeding schedule: twice a day, regular store-bought stuff; the shelter has the brand.

He’s up on his shots. Be forewarned: Reggie hates the vet. Good luck getting him in the car. I don’t know how he knows when it’s time to go to the vet, but he knows.

Finally, give him some time. It’s only been Reggie and me for his whole life. He’s gone everywhere with me, so please include him on your daily car rides if you can. He sits well in the backseat, and he doesn’t bark or complain. He just loves to be around people, and me most especially.

And that’s why I need to share one more bit of info with you…His name’s not Reggie. He’s a smart dog, he’ll get used to it and will respond to it, of that I have no doubt. But I just couldn’t bear to give them his real name. But if someone is reading this … well it means that his new owner should know his real name. His real name is “Tank.” Because, that is what I drive.

I told the shelter that they couldn’t make “Reggie” available for adoption until they received word from my company commander. You see, my parents are gone, I have no siblings, no one I could’ve left Tank with .. and it was my only real request of the Army upon my deployment to Iraq, that they make one phone call to the shelter … in the “event” … to tell them that Tank could be put up for adoption. Luckily, my CO is a dog-guy, too, and he knew where my platoon was headed. He said he’d do it personally. And if you’re reading this, then he made good on his word.

Tank has been my family for the last six years, almost as long as the Army has been my family. And now I hope and pray that you make him part of your family, too, and that he will adjust and come to love you the same way he loved me.

If I have to give up Tank to keep those terrible people from coming to the US I am glad to have done so. He is my example of service and of love. I hope I honored him by my service to my country and comrades.

All right, that’s enough. I deploy this evening and have to drop this letter off at the shelter. Maybe I’ll peek in on him and see if he finally got that third tennis ball in his mouth.

Good luck with Tank. Give him a good home, and give him an extra kiss goodnight – every night – from me.

Thank you,

Paul Mallory

____________ _________ _________ _______

I folded the letter and slipped it back in the envelope. Sure, I had heard of Paul Mallory, everyone in town knew him, even new people like me. Local kid, killed in Iraq a few months ago and posthumously earning the Silver Star when he gave his life to save three buddies. Flags had been at half-mast all summer.

I leaned forward in my chair and rested my elbows on my knees, staring at the dog.

“Hey, Tank,” I said quietly.

The dog’s head whipped up, his ears cocked and his eyes bright.

“C’mere boy.”

He was instantly on his feet, his nails clicking on the hardwood floor. He sat in front of me, his head tilted, searching for the name he hadn’t heard in months. “Tank,” I whispered.

His tail swished.

I kept whispering his name, over and over, and each time, his ears lowered, his eyes softened, and his posture relaxed as a wave of contentment just seemed to flood him. I stroked his ears, rubbed his shoulders, buried my face into his scruff and hugged him.

“It’s me now, Tank, just you and me. Your old pal gave you to me.” Tank reached up and licked my cheek.

“So whatdaya say we play some ball?” His ears perked again.

“Yeah? Ball? You like that? Ball?”

Tank tore from my hands and disappeared into the next room. And when he came back, he had three tennis balls in his mouth.

***

http://jennykellerford.wordpress.com/2012/09/07/wet-nose/