Tag Archives: Recreation

Okay, I know it’s gross, but it’s just what we do at Christmas! And we’ve got givaways today!

Guess What?  Tonight at 6:30 PM Eastern Time I’ll be signing copies of “Tall Tales and Short Stories From South Jersey” at Audubon Library, 239 Oakland Avenue, Audubon, NJ. Stop on by if you are in the area!

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Wow!  Today I’m just full of surprises! I’m actually posting here today, with some great memories of my own family Christmases growing up…. as well as other wonderful places you can visit! — And a book signing!

Yes, I’ve taken up my marketing manager’s offer to clone me! (Mgr for Tall Tales and Short Stories from South Jersey)   The process was a little scary, but yes! For the next twenty-four hours there are two of me!

(Yes, some of you can run.  I’d be scared, too.)

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First of all,  Kaiden’s Seduction is reviewing “Make Believe” today.  I hope they liked it!  (Let me know in the comments below.  I’m still afraid to read reviews without someone filtering them for me)

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Also… you can find me at two great places on-line today!  If you want to learn about training your dog to do amazing feats of bravery, check out my guest post about me and my pepped up poodle, Chloe on Brinda Berry’s blog.

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And… Tis the season for holiday fun!  This is part of the Still Moments Publishing Christmas Blog hop!

https://i0.wp.com/3.bp.blogspot.com/-yPIjlUkkOBQ/ULendHhtymI/AAAAAAAAEqk/W6SX-ChNsy8/s320/ChristmasBlogHop.jpgWe’ve got great giveaways!  By commenting below, you are automatically entered to win some great jewelry pieces. (Hello… awesome present ideas!)

Hop on over to the Still Moments Publishing website for a list of contributing blogs for more chances to win!

Oh!  Don’t forget to click on “Enter to Win” for a chance to win my Christmas Anthology “For the Love of Christmas”

Whew!  That’s a lot of promo-stuff… And I gotta post too!  Oh!  The pressure!

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Sooooo… Christmas. I have so many Christmas Memories, and I treasure all of them fondly. One of my favorites is making a gingerbread house.

This was a Dad activity.  I’m not sure why Mom didn’t get involved, but my dad was TOTALLY into it.

One year, we decided to make REAL gingerbread.  It didn’t work out too well.  We baked it in the oven and everything… but the walls cracked.  Our house was not buildable… so Dad glued it together with epoxy.  (So funny)

This tradition actually carried on. (I’m not sure which came first) But Dad would always “build” the house for us out of graham crackers.  Yep… just pop them out of a box.  And yes, he glued it together with epoxy (which is like crazy glue).  We all KNEW not to eat the house part.

Then, of course, came the frosting glue, and more candy than any house could possibly hold.  Our tradition was to try and make the house more hideous than it was the year before… but it still had to look like a house.

Yeah… that’s where I got my strange sense of humor from.  People would look at our “masterpiece” and pretend it was beautiful.  It wasn’t.  That’s the point.

Today, when I build our gingerbread house with my kids, I don’t mind when the snowman falls over, or when Kid #2 leaves a trail of candy “poop” behind the reindeer.  It’s all good fun.

Oh, yeah, and that big gob of brown icing?  It’s a dirt pile.  Me and my boys will swear to it.  (With incredibly large smiles on our faces) — Don’t tell their daddy what it really is.

What odd but incredibly fun Christmas memory do you have?

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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”

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Hop on over and send me some love!

Brinda Berry’s blog – Writing a novel is like training your dog.

 Still Moments Publishing – Christmas Blog Hop

 Kaiden’s Seduction  Review of Make Believe!

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Did anyone save Jennifer? Who will take home a free copy of the Make Believe Anthology?

Oh, Okay.  I will let you go.

Whew!  Thanks.  That gag was really starting to hurt!

I’m sad

Hey!  I’m the one who’s been tied to a chair for three days.  What’s your problem?

They like you.

Huh?

They like you.  Did you see?  All those people came to beg and plead… and now I can’t explode anything.

Awe, it’s okay Little Blue Lady.

No it’s not!  No one likes me!

Umm, well, maybe if you didn’t always try to blow everything up…

No one likes me.

Okay, well, whatever… so I guess I need to send someone a copy of the make Believe Anthology, huh?  So, who was it?  Who pleaded the best to set me free?

They all did.

All?  Umm, I don’t think that will make my publisher very happy.  You need to pick just one.

That’s my problem.  I liked a lot of them.  I liked them enough to let you go.

Awe!  Super thanks to everyone who helped set me free!

Okay, let’s take a look at this.  Who was the most creative?

Oh look!  Vanessa Chapman wrote a poem.  That’s creative.

Yeah, it reminded me of a song.  Shall I hum it?

Ummm… No.    Hmmm.  You talked to Wendy Reid for a while.

AAAA!  Wendy Reid scared me!

Ha!  Really?  You should read her book if you want to see scary. [Jennifer Shivers]

I think she likes you

Huh?

Nevermind

Ummm… okay, so… What’s this with Heylookawriterfellow?

Mike Allegra?  He’s an abomination!  He lured me to his website, and made me feel welcome… but it was all a distraction while he tried to set you free! And I was going to buy his book!  He’s a children’s author, you know… and he has this great post on…  Wait!  No!  Ban Mike Allegra for tricking me! Heylookawriterfellow is not my friend!

Well, I kind of liked Mike’s distraction… it stopped you from setting off firecrackers under my chair for a while.

And what’s with Widdershins?!

Oh!  Widdershins is a fellow alien.  I must make a note to friend Widdershins on Facebook.

Ha!  What else do we have here?

Richard Leonard tried to convince me that there was something wrong with Mars.  Pfft.  I checked.  Sandy and red as usual.  It’s fine.

And Jmmcdowell threatened to dump nuclear waste on Mars… Like it wouldn’t explode on the way… silly archaeologist.

Oh!  I have an idea!  To be totally fair, l let’s take our top picks of the most creative and let people vote, okay?

Oh!  Then can we vote on how I take over the world?

Umm, yeah, I guess, but for now let’s see who wins the contest, okay?

So, here we go!  The finalists are below.  Please vote for your favorite.  The highest number of votes gets a copy of the Make Believe Anthology and can do their very own review of my debut story “Last Winter Red”.  So let’s get voting for your favorite!

And then will you finally give me an interview?

Ugh… Here we go again.

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Please vote for your favorite in the form below! You can see their full entry in the comments from October 3rd’s post

In review…

Vanessa Chapman – Poem “Ode to the Little Blue Lady”

Wendy Reid – Scared the pants off the Little Blue Lady (Maybe I should rephrase that)

Heylookawriterfellow (Mike Allegra) – Kept Blue Lady occupied on his own site to give Jennifer time to escape.

Widdershins – Fellow alien, keeps humans as pets

Richard Leonard – Planet Mars Is Dead.  There’s nothing to go back to.

JMMcdowell – Dump Earth’s garbage, politicians, has-been entertainers on Mars. Ticking time bomb.

(By the way, convincing all your followers to vote for you is completely and utterly not fair … but I have no possible way of proving you did it, so… umm… never mind… I shouldn’t have even said anything.)

Voting closes tonight (Saturday, October 6th around 10:00 PM Eastern Standard Time)

Good luck to the finalists, and thanks again everyone for convincing the Little Blue Lady to set me free!

New Award! Sisterhood of the World Blogger Award.

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I was just granted the Sisterhood of the World Blogger award from the lovely and talented Emaginette.

Thanks so much girlfriend!

Okay so, of course I need to do something for this.

Seven things about myself, huh?

Hmmm.  Let’s think of something different than I’ve said before.

1.  I’m writing this at 11:50 PM.  My bedtime is 10:30.  My doctor hates my blogging schedule

2.  I spend more time grooming my dog than I do grooming myself

3.  My kids (6,8,11) are all better at math than me.

4.  My husband has not read any of the stories I’ve had published.

5.  I don’t have any shoes on right now.

6. My iphone ruined my life.  Now I can’t get away from my blog.

7. Chocolate is the only necessary nutrient in my diet.

Okay!  I need to nominate people!  Hee Hee Hee.

I don’t know that there are any criteria for this, so I’m gonna nominate the top commenters on my blog.  How’s that sound?

Here you go… in no particular order….

Let’s cut the Crap – http://letscutthecrap.wordpress.com/

Jenny Keller Ford – jennykellerford.wordpress.com

Vanessa Chapman – vanessachapman.wordpress.com
Ravena Guron – ravenaguron.blogspot.co.uk/
Congrats, guys!  And Thanks for Contributing!
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Scoping out locations for your novel #2: Road Trip! (The Airport)

While I was researching sites in Southern New Jersey, I needed a farm that was close enough to point A and also within 20 miles of an airport.  I found many farms in South Jersey, but one was perfect.  It was right smack dab between the two other locations, and it was surrounded by woods (which I also needed.)

I was alone with the kids that weekend, so I figured we’d make a day-trip out of it.  I didn’t tell them where we were going.  What we did is drive the route that my characters from “Fire in the Woods” would be running. We went in reverse order and visited the airport first.  My oldest son and I jumped out of the car.  At that point, I told him that I was scoping locations for my book.

Yes, the Monomaniacal Middle Grade Reviewer was totally into it.  The two younger ones were already “over it.”

I was a little nervous, because I had already written a lot of my story just from Google Earth and other sky maps.  Would the location be as good in real life?

The first thing that struck me was the chain link fences surrounding the runways.  I guess I should have thought of that.

“No problem,” I whispered.  “The tanks with just run right over those.”

“Tanks?”  my son asked, a big smile on his face.  “What are you gonna do, Mom?”

I just smiled.

He laughed.  “You’re gonna blow it up, aren’t you?”

Yeah, my son knows me pretty well.

I couldn’t get out to the runways, although I probably could have gone inside and asked for a better look, but I didn’t have my business cards or anything.  I could see all I needed, though.  Long runways, surrounded by a thick forest on one side, and a lot of trees on the other… out in the middle of no-where.  It was perfect.

There was something else fun, too.  A big re-fueling tank.  Ah, the joys of hundreds of gallons of gasoline, just sitting there, waiting for me to…

Yeah.  This location was perfect.

We were only there for a few minutes, snapped a few pictures, and then it was off to the farm.  Excited now, I was hoping the farm would be as good.

Have you ever visited a location for your novel?  How did it go?

Flash Fiction Friday on Wednesday – Flight

Setting the timer for five minutes.  Topic:  Flight.  Go.

Flight.  Simple.  Clean.  Emotional. 

I spread my wings and open myself to the wind.  The sky pulls me up, gathering me within, taking me to heights most only dream of.  I flap my delicate yellow wings, directing myself, soaring above the houses and gardens.  The gardens—the wonderful flowers.

The breeze abates, and I glide downward … settling, nuzzling into the heart of a red-pedaled saucer.  Its nectar—sweet and simple—nourishes me, makes me thankful for all that is good in my life.

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Flight.  Simple.  Clean.  I spy a yellow butterfly sitting on a red flower.  I swoop down, and snatch it from its perch.  It crunches in my beak.

Sweet, simple.  It nourishes me, makes me thankful for all that is good in my life.

Into the sky I soar.

Time:  Four minutes, sans cleaning up typographical errors.

I think that one will fall into the “poetry” category. Dunno.

A new Award! The Creative Chaos, Versatile Blogger and Illuminating Blogger Award.

I would like to thank My Pen and Me for bestowing on me the Creative Chaos Award.  Isn’t it pretty?

This is an award I’ve never seen.  So cool to come home to a surprise today! And this one asks to do some new stuff, so I’ll accept this one officially just for the fun of it.

But Wait!  Laith has also bestowed on me the “Illuminating Blogger award”

Hold the press!  Kelly Ann at Oh My Muse gave it to me again on June 8th!

And low and behold, another one in, the lovely Ms. Sarah at WordEncounters has granted me the honor of Versatile Blogger (Grins)

This must be award week!  Thanks so much guys!

First Task: Three weird things I do:

1.  I lay in bed and stare at the ceiling fan if no one else is up… or if they are up and I can get away with it.  Great time alone for thinking without the kids ruining my karma.

2.  If I have to do something important, and I need to go to the other side of the house to do it, I hold my hand on my head until I get there.  This is because 9 times out of ten I will be stopped by my kids, or my husband, or my dog… and I will completely forget what I was supposed to do.

3.  I have conversations with my dog.  And she talks back with my voice.  What?  Doesn’t everyone do that?  Funny thing is, my husband does it too, now.  He will have whole conversations with the dog, and I will do her voice.  Funny.

Second Task: You must tell why you look at the “glass half full” or “Half empty”

Answer:  I am a totally half-full kind of girl.  No matter what the topic.  My husband is a half-empty, and it drives him nuts:  “Can’t you ever be negative about anything?”  My answer?  “What’s the point?  It won’t make it better.  Make some lemonade golly gosh!”

Third Task: You find yourself in a desolate place when your car breaks down. You have no cell phone service, no Wal-Mart, and only a candy bar for food. It is 150 miles to the closest town. What color are your underpants and why?

Answer:  Ummm… probably white, unless I was feeling frisky and hauled out the plaid or flowered ones.  Why?  I don’t really give it too much thought, to tell you the truth.  I just grab what’s on top.  Then again, you never know… I may be making that all up 🙂

Fourth Task: Nominate 5 people who recently followed your blog.

Okay:  Here are the last five people who followed my blog as of the day I wrote this (June 4th 2012)  Congratulations on winning the Chaos Award.

Reading Pleasure: http://readinpleasure.wordpress.com/

Feeling Chipper:  http://feelingchipper.wordpress.com/

Amelia Curzon:  http://ameliacurzonblogger.wordpress.com/

Let’s Cut the Crap:  http://letscutthecrap.wordpress.com/

Tracy Staedter:  http://tracystaedter.com/

For illuminating blogger, I’m going to go with  Adriana Ryan.  I’ve really been enjoying her blog lately.

Versatile?  What the heck, lets hand that over to :

http://vanessa-chapman.com/

http://emaginette.wordpress.com/

http://juliereece.com/

Enjoy guys!  and Thanks for following!

Flash Fiction Friday on Tuesday – Hold on Until the End

Five minutes on the clock… GO!

[Content removed due to publication]

Please see “Tall Tales and Short Stories of South Jersey” Anthology to view this story. (Available from Amazon.com)

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Hmmmm… I might just be getting the hang of this.

Canine Good Citizen

This is my “Hundred and One-th” post.  I find that incredibly amusing.  When I started this blog 7 months ago, I had no idea what I was going to write about.  Now you can’t shut me up.  Who Knew?

Anyway… on with today’s rant.

Canine Good Citizen
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In a few different “I accept this award” Q and A sessions over the past month or so, I mentioned I had a Poodle, and that she was training for the AKC CGC test.  A few of you have asked how my little mischievous puppy was doing.  Well…

Today, after six weeks of training and practice sessions, Chloe passed her Canine Good Citizen test (Just barely… she refused to lay down for some reason, but the trainer finally got her to do it–It still counts, though!)

For those of you who are unfamiliar with this huge honor… The Canine Good Citizen is an award given to a dog by the American Kennel Club.  Now, not just any dog can get this.  You actually have to be tested for it by a representative from the AKC.  You have to meet their very stringent criteria.  It is the behavioral training “Bar Exam” for the canine community.

For weeks, we’ve been learning to walk correctly, how to meet a stranger properly, how to react to metal pans being flung against the floor, how to stay and come when called, and how to react with people and other animals, and how to act while left in a room without your owner for an extended period… tons of things.  Ten tests in all.  It’s an awful lot for a puppy that is not even a year old yet.  She even reacted well when the “test” dog snarled at her.  Yay!

We are very proud of our little girl.

Why do this?  Well, for one thing, I… um, Chloe is very competitive, and her litter mate, Kairos just won a ribbon for “Best Gun Dog” in a show, so we had to beat him at something.  (Yay, Chloe!)

Waypoint's Kairos: Pretty Boy with a ribbon

Waypoint's Chloe: Pretty Girl & Canine Good Citizen, in her ribbons

After the test, we celebrated with a romp around Pet Smart shopping for a new toy.  We walked in, I unhooked her from her leash, and she had a great time shopping.  She stayed right by my side.  Sans leash.  And everyone stopped to congratulate her when they heard the news.

Good Girl, Chloe.  Good Girl.