Tag Archives: USA

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

Advertisements

I am so stinking glad this election thing is over

Well, at least I’m hoping it is over when you read this. I am scheduling this and going to bed.

Personally, I am surprised that they are still having the election. Many parts of the East Coast of the USA are still underwater. Thousands (tens of thousands if not 100,000 are still without power) If the election rides on any of these coastal states, I wouldn’t be surprised if the “loser” calls foul.

Anyway… the reason I’m glad it’s over is because I want to get back to normal. I want to be able to turn on Facebook and not look at political propaganda. (Seriously, guys… you’re not changing my vote) I am tired of getting calls from Bill Clinton and other politicians I’ve never heard of before (Oh yeah… by the way… those of you who start your conversation with “For those of you suffering in the wake of Sandy…” SHAME ON YOU for using this disaster for your own political gain.

I am tired of people in the cubicle next to me putting down one of the candidates, spouting that their way is the only way. I am tired of people bashing former presidents saying “Sure the economy was better, and everyone had jobs, but he blew his nose in a purple tissue! He can’t be trusted!”

I am tired of hearing people shout out that things I feel strongly about are not as important as the issues they are concerned with.

OMIGOSH! My employer yesterday actually sent out something on company email bashing one of the candidates politics. — Now, I happen to agree with what they said, but outright bashing one candidate’s stance in hopes of coercing employees? How wrong is that?

Ugh. It is just insanity, and I’m tired of it. I hope everyone voted. Voting is important. It is the only way to voice what we want in our government.

But today, as you discuss with friends… don’t berate someone if they didn’t vote for the same person as you. Everyone has a right to their own opinion. Don’t drive wedges where they don’t belong.

And most of all… and it doesn’t matter who you voted for… support the candidate who won. No matter your personal opinion, they are going to be the president. You can still voice your opinion with your senators and congressmen/women. (umm–congresspeople?). They will take your votes to their branches of government.

And if you still feel the need to spread any annoying anti-somebody propaganda… please send it somewhere else. It’s not going to change anything for another four years anyway.

Goodnight.

Jon Gibbs’s Ten things I wish I knew… Final Thoughts – Thanks Jon!

Here are a few quotes from Jon Gibbs that I thought were good little snippets everyone could use.

Thank you again, Jon, for your words of wisdom, and for going out of your way to help aspiring authors to Learn from your Mistakes

1.        Dealing with shyness – He is shy.  He is afraid of public appearances.  To get through it, he imagines his grandmother saying “Okay go home – you will disgrace all your ancestors but that’s fine.”  It helps him to trudge on.

2.       Figure out what works best for you and then do that a lot

3.       Write what you like, even if it seems out of date.  If you enjoy it, someone else will, too.

4.       Winning a contest (small) and putting it in your query letter makes you look like a newbie.  Major awards are okay, though.

5.       Writer’s digest may seem good, but you have to pay to submit.  Don’t pay to submit.

6.       Slush readers trash “Dark and stormy night” openers and don’t read to the next line.

7.       Jon learns more about writing listening to others critique his writing.

8.       Young Adult needs a romantic element to be marketable*

*This is what a publisher told Jon when he was selling Fur Face as YA.  However, a friend of mine was just asked by a publisher to remove the romantic element because it made them uncomfortable.  You never know.

Jon Gibbs is the author of one of my son’s favorite books:  FUR-FACE, which was nominated for a Crystal Kite Award.

Jon is an Englishman transplanted to New Jersey, USA, where he is an ‘author in residence’ at Lakehurst Elementary School.  Jon is the founding member of The New Jersey Author’s Network and FindAWritingGroup.com.

Jon blogs at jongibbs.livejournal.com

Website: www.acatofninetales.com

Jon Gibbs’s Ten things I wish I knew before I was published #7: The Dreaded Excusitis

Beware Excusitis, or Failure Disease.

“I would have been published, but…”

“I would have finished my novel but…”

Avoid people who are negative, because you may get caught up in it.  You know that negative guy in your writer’s group who thinks the whole industry is out to get them?  The one who self-published a book of haikus about his cat’s hair balls?  Can we get rid of that guy?

Focus on what you want… your goals, and don’t let anyone drag you away from them.  Surround yourself with positive people who will be there to pick you up when you fall.

Remember: the gut wrenching stab of a rejection letter is nature’s way of telling you that you are still in the running.  By in the running, I mean that you still care.  You still want to succeed.  The people who don’t give up are the ones who are the most successful.

Also, if you get rejections, don’t always think “it’s not me, it must be them”.  Remember to change your query or manuscript to get the best results.  If you are using the same query you wrote a year ago, maybe it is your query?  Maybe your synopsis is really poor?  Think that over.  Maybe you can make a small change that will fix everything.

For instance, Jon Gibbs was sending Fur Face to YA publishers.  After a long time, one of them was nice enough to tell him “This is really good, but it’s not YA.  It’s middle grade.”  Jon had no idea.  He submitted to a MG publisher, and Abracadabra!  Publication.  Sometimes you just need to change your thinking a bit.

Note:  The above are Jon Gibb’s main speaking points, with my rambling opinions attached.

Jon Gibbs is the author of one of my son’s favorite books:  FUR-FACE, which was nominated for a Crystal Kite Award.

Jon is an Englishman transplanted to New Jersey, USA, where he is an ‘author in residence’ at Lakehurst Elementary School.  Jon is the founding member of The New Jersey Author’s Network and FindAWritingGroup.com.

Jon blogs at jongibbs.livejournal.com

Website: www.acatofninetales.com

Jon Gibbs’s Ten things I wish I knew before I was published #5: Please Sir, May I have another?

Writing and Critique groups are like potato chips – you can never eat just one.

Each writer’s group you find will offer something different.

For example, in my area there is a writer’s group that looks for odd places to write.  They set up folding chairs by the lake, for instance, looking for inspiration.  Is that for me?  Ummmm.  No.  I like my solitary computer, thank you.  But this works for some people.

Some writers groups charge a fee, but they give you great speakers in return.  If you think that the speakers are of value to you, then it is okay to pay extra.  If you are looking just to meet people, you might not want that extra perk.

Look around, and join a few if you can.  The worst thing that can happen is you make a few friends.

Note:  The above are Jon Gibb’s main speaking points, with my rambling opinions attached.

Jon Gibbs is the author of one of my son’s favorite books:  FUR-FACE, which was nominated for a Crystal Kite Award.

Jon is an Englishman transplanted to New Jersey, USA, where he is an ‘author in residence’ at Lakehurst Elementary School.  Jon is the founding member of The New Jersey Author’s Network and FindAWritingGroup.com.

Jon blogs at jongibbs.livejournal.com

Website: www.acatofninetales.com

Book Banning

I recently read an article on why China’s internet censors ban the word “salt”

(Because the government is trying so squash rumors that extra salt intake will protect you from radioactivity)

It led me on a rabbit trail to banned books in the USA.  Now, I expected to see a list of really old books.  Huck Finn was on the list, for instance.  I would expect that… back from the days when people didn’t know any better.

But there were quite a few contemporary novels intermingled with classics like “Catcher and the Rye,” “Of Mice and Men,” and “To Kill a Mockingbird” that really surprised me.

I guess these books are not banned in the sense of the government coming in and taking them off the shelves (which can happen in other countries… we don’t have to worry about that here in the USA)  So I suppose they are saying that certain novels are “banned” by certain groups of people…. Which I would translate to “I don’t like this, so no one else should read it either.  Please don’t read it.”

I remember this happening a few years ago when Da Vinci Code came out.  Controversial?  Sure it was.  But it was FICTION.  The problem was that it was fiction researched so dern well that people believed it.

Oddly enough, Da Vinci Code was not even on this particular list.

Here are the contemporary novels on the list that really jumped out at me.  Get ready to say, “Huh?”

Harry Potter—Not just one.  The whole series (Use of anti-religious themes and use of witchcraft and sorcery)

Golden Compass (Anti-religious themes)

Hunger Games (Sexually explicit, violent, unsuited to age group)

Twilight. (Sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, violence, unacceptable for age group)

Hmmmmmm.  Let’s think about this for a minute.

Think

Think

Think

 

Had enough time?

Soooooo….. anyone else want to trash their current WIP to start writing something controversial?

Hmmm.   Let’s see.  Who can I REALLY offend?

Someday these groups will realize that if you “ban” something, it will just make people want to read it more.  It’s human nature.

Someone ban my novel.  Please?

It’s too…. Ummmmmm…

Extra-terrestrial.  Yes!  That’s it!  Other planets are BAAAAAAD!

Yes!  We must ban this!

Note:  Please censor yourself while making comments.  Do not come out and bash any particular group who may not have liked one of these novels.  I honestly don’t know who banned which, and I don’t care.

Proof is in the numbers that banning does not work… that’s the point of this article.

Where the Heck is Everybody? Oh! There you are. This is So Cool!

One of my favorite little tools in WordPress is the Map feature.

It tells you where your traffic is coming from.  I expected hits in the USA and Canada, but beyond that was a little bit of a surprise.  There are a few of you out there that I “talk” to all the time, and I never thought about asking where you are.

Here is my hit map for a random day.  Pretty neat, huh?  Not world-wide dominance by far, but really interesting.  I mean, Saudi Arabia?  What’s that all about?

Actually, hoping around blogs I did start chatting with someone in Saudi Arabia, so I at least know where some of those hits are coming from.  Everyone give Anastasia a big hug.  She’s over there in Saudi and misses the simple comforts of home… like basic things we take for granted every day. (Like driving, or riding a bike)

If you want even more detailed standings, and you have a self-posted web-site, you can use tools like ClusterMaps for an even more detailed map.  (This will not work on WordPress)

So, what about all those other countries?  I know you follow, because the hits in places Like Saudi-Arabia, Pakistan, Australia, and New Zealand come up every day.

Who are you?  Where are you?  I’d love to meet you!