Friday, December 28, 2007

New Contest

Myspace Comments - Im Sorry for the way my mind works. I astonish myself sometimes with the weird things I dream up. Hubby and I were having a discussion about television commercials and I pointed out how some words are so much more repulsive than others. I'm going to nominate the one that disgusts me the most.

So, lets have a contest to come up with the top most repulsive words, and then I'll create a poll to pick the winner. Let's keep it clean. This is a family channel. *lol* You can leave your responses in comments and I'll create the poll at the end of the month.

Of course, there's a prize. I don't expect you to work for nothing. The winner will receive an autographed copy of Life is a Bowl of Toilets and Clean Them. It's a short humorous book suited for one sitting. *rofl*


My nomination:

Mucus

HAPPY NEW YEAR

My Space Or Yours?.net
While I'm quite sure that I'll be sleeping the momentous moment away, I sincerely wish a healthy, happy and blessed New Year to each of you. If you are out and about, please be safe. Too many people become victims of celebratory fallout. Don't drink and drive and watch for those who do.

I'll lift my glass of sparkling cider to all of us with hopes that 2008 will welcome my new two releases kindly and that you'll buy them like there's no tomorrow.*lol* Sparta Rose coming from Enspiren Press and Embezzled Love coming from Lachesis Publishing. You can be sure I'll let you know of their release. It's been a long, dry spell.

I'll be back after the holiday with lots of good things. I'll be hosting another author tour, sharing some great blog sites with you, and of course offering up my usually witty banter. Stay tuned. We're going to have a better year. I'm sure of it.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas Everyone


It's a little after five a.m. and I'm awake. Before the stampede to the tree begins, I wanted to share what happened last evening.

It's been ages since I went to a Christmas Eve service, but something has been lacking in my spirit this year. I decided I was going. Oh, I decide to do a lot of things because they sound like a good idea at the time, then later change my mind, but something about this felt different. After our last pass through Walmart, I had my husband drive past a church that I noticed had a marquee with time of the service. I mentioned I was going.

I said, "Would you like to go with me?"

"Not really." He shrugged and kept his eyes on the road.

That was fine with me. My husband has never been to church that I know of, nor shown an interest.

As I got ready, he asked, "I'll go with you if you want me to." To which I replied, "Church isn't something you do for someone else, you do it for you."

He continued to watch television while I finished dressing. When I put on my coat, he asked again. "Are you sure."

"I'm okay going alone. Besides, you don't have time to get ready."

In the car I felt uplifted, yet sad. A whole family at home, but no one but me gave the Lord a thought. I was reminded about all the services I'd attended throughout the years with my children, when they were small, and I felt sad that I'd failed so miserably with their Christian upbringing. I can only hope that God forgives my shortcomings and they find their way to him.

So, here I was, a woman on a mission. It wasn't easy walking into a church where I'd never been, or facing people I'd never met, but I figured God wasn't a stranger and knew me well.

I sat in the closest pew to the door. No one really noticed me, except I was given a candle and program. I fumbled through the Bible looking for the verses listed, and took out the hymnal. People walked by, a few smile, but no one spoke. At one time, I considered it not a friendly group and thought about leaving, but stayed. After all, I was there for me, not them.

I glanced up as the next person walked through the door. The service was starting and the man was in the nick of time. I cannot describe the feeling that warmed me when I looked up to see my husband, Kelly. He'd followed me to church.

Although he didn't sing, he prayed, and when a very nice woman insisted we take Communion, he looked nervous. I hadn't had Communion in a very long time, but I explained the process in whispers. The line was dwindling as people commemorated the Lord, then went to the altar and knelt to pray. Kelly followed me and we partook. I thought it better if we just returned to our pew as we were almost the last in line, but he nodded to the altar and side-by-side we knelt and prayed as everyone else had.

I think I saw tears glistening in his eyes. To my knowledge, this was the first time he prayed, at least openly, and he stood. looking a little less burdened than when he came in. I suddenly had something else to thank God for. Did I get the best gift for Christmas, or what?

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Happy Holidays

Ladies and Gents,
I wanted to take one last opportunity to wish you and yours a most joyous holiday. No matter your beliefs, you are in my thoughts, and I pray that 2008 will be a wonderful year for each of us. I'm taking a few days off to wrap those last minutes presents and do shopping for our dinner. But before I sign off, I have one thing to share with you:

I heard a most inspirational radio program via (http://www.themotherdaughterclub.com) The Mother and Daughter Club and I urge you to click here and listen. Just so you aren't surprised by the topic, I'm cutting and pasting host, Kathe Gogolewski's, intro here:

Jin Dorst is not my usual author/expert this week, but I think she's a perfect guest for the holiday season. While we celebrate our joys and count our blessings, she helps us remember the things that are truly important.

Jin is a National Board Certified elementary schoolteacher, but that's not why she's on the show. She has late stage Nasopharyngeal Cancer that has metastasized and is wrapped around her bronchial tubes and esophagus, and it is in her lungs. She is refusing treatment for it.

Each of us knows that our life journey is a temporary one, but not all of us take the opportunity to seriously consider this until and unless we must. For this reason, Jin's testimony is rare. She shares what it is and has been like for her living with terminal cancer.

She tells how she brought herself out of a suicidal depression after the initial diagnosis to eventually experience a level of happiness she had never known before. After surviving a suicide attempt, she fell in love and began her life over. Now, every day, every moment, brings uncommon joy. Don't miss this one as she reminds us of all the things in life that truly matter.

Note from Ginger: I also pray that none of us have to face what Jin is facing, but if we do, I hope God grants us the serenity and peace she's found to deal with her fear. What a woman.

Again, Season's Greetings and I'll be back after Christmas with a report on what Santa brought me.

Mega Hugz
Ginger

Thursday, December 20, 2007

COMING IN JANUARY...THE STORM

Tis the Season for Melancholy


My oldest son lives in Sacramento. Way too far from Tennessee. I keep tabs on him by reading his blog. 2007 has been hard on him, and he very recently overcame a horrible bout of anxiety that kept him sidelined for most of the year. While I'm reflecting back, and trying to deal with the fact that I've suddenly become so old, I realize that it isn't something that happens just to parents. Children have their own anguish, memories, and regrets. I hijacked my son's blog, but I don't think I risk threats of a lawsuit by sharing it with you. I hope after you read it, you'll take a look at the Myspace page he created as a tribute to a dream that failed. The success he was denied by the public will always be recognized by his mom. I love him so much, my heart hurts.

SKID'S BLOG:
Okay...The other day, I noticed that a magazine called Alive & Kicking had posted all of the covers they have had over the years. A band that I used to be in was on a couple of them, so I checked it out...even added the photos to my Myspace page.

And it got me feeling nostalgic. And then it got me feeling sad. Mostly because, while I thought we were a fantastic band with a lot of fans, nobody had ever made a Myspace page for us.

And so I did...I created a Myspace page for our band...a band that broke up over five years ago.

But while I was doing it, I felt like a loser. I felt pathetic because I was spending my time showing off something that doesn't even exist anymore. And I realized that the greatest achievement of my life has been dead for a long time.

And I guess I just wanted to be remembered. I mean, as time passes, people are going to forget that we actually accomplished something, once upon a time. Since we don't play anymore, nobody buys our records...our website was removed a long time ago, due to non-payment, and even if I Google the band name, the thousands of hits that were once there are dwindling.

Its like my own personal "Back to the Future" and the photo of my past is slowly disappearing. And I will never be that guy again.

So I created a page for this band, but I felt so ashamed that I pretended that I was someone else while I was doing it. I wrote the whole thing as if I were an outsider.

I was trying to hide my ego and my embarrassment. I didn't want anyone to know that I actually spent all that time on my past...who does that?

I'll tell you who does that...a loser, that's who.

So there...I have confessed. And I don't feel any better, either.
Confessing is bullshit.

But anyway, I'm leaving the page up...and I will add to it. And I will pay attention to it, regardless of if anyone else does. But I will still pretend that I am someone else when I do it.

I have to.

Check it out...add them as your friends. They were great guys.

Magnolia Thunderfinger (http://www.myspace.com/magnoliathunderfinger)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

CHRISTMAS THROUGH MORGAN'S EYES

As I prepare myself for the holidays, I always think of family and friends that will be absent. I recall people who've passed with fond memories and wish for one more Christmas with them. Morgan Asbury is a fellow author who writes "Wednesday's Words" for one of the loops to which I belong. I was so touched by her post last week, I wanted to share it with you. Morgan has given her permission to post the following:


The next two weeks, for most of us, will be filled with joy and excitement as the end of the year festivities approach. We'll be shopping and baking and making merry. There is something uplifting about hearing those old songs by Crosby and Clooney as the snow falls and the city becomes even more festooned with lights and garlands and such. But for some people, this can be one of the hardest times of the year.

This is something I've always known, and always considered myself sensitive to. But of course, I'm even more sensitive to it now than in years past.

Last year at this time I was still in a state of deep mourning, and even as I composed my Wednesday's Words each week, trying hard to reach beyond my own grief from the death of my son, I hadn't yet shared my tragedy with you.

As you who have faithfully read my essays know, I saw a counselor for a few months beginning in the spring to help me get through the worst of the depression that I fell into. It did help enormously to have someone to talk to, and I encourage anyone who is suffering from ongoing depression to likewise reach out for help.

One of the things I've struggled with in the last month or so was the nature of how we would celebrate this Christmas.

Last year, we went ahead and bought gifts for the grandchildren, our own kids, and even for each other, but we had no tree in our home, and for the most part just tried to get through the season. There was a memorial service at the funeral home, and that helped. But mostly, I just prayed for it all to be over.

This year, we'll do better. I've decided that the answer for us is a slight change in tradition.

The last Christmas we had Anthony with us was the Christmas of 2005—the Christmas before last. When the kids had been small, and we lived right next to the Quarry where my husband works, securing our Christmas tree had simply been a matter of Dad and kids trekking to the bush behind the house, onto Quarry land (with permission, of course), to chop down the best candidate for the job. We began that tradition with our firstborn bundled up and in a sleigh. As the kids got older, Mom bowed out of the bush-tromping, electing instead to stay home and have the hot chocolate ready for the triumphant return. The Christmas before last, we drove to that same Quarry (where hubby still works and we still had permission), and Anthony and David and I spent a good and funny couple of hours once more in the quest for the perfect tree.

I doubt very much that we'll ever have a real tree again.

This year, I bought an artificial one. It's sitting right here in my office, still in the box. We'll set it up, and decorate it, likely on Sunday. And when we do, there will be all new decorations upon it.

No, I haven't tossed out the old decorations. I'm keeping them, with the hope that there may be a time when I will be able to bear to display them again. A family that's been a family as long as ours has accumulated several ornaments with sentimental value. But I'm taking this one step at a time. For this Christmas, at least, they'll stay tucked away.

Another event that is taking place this week that will by happy coincidence help with the re-establishment of our celebration is that our firstborn and his family are moving into a new house.

They'd been looking for a new house for a long time. Both my son and daughter-in-law swear they had been to every open house in their city in the past several years. The minute they stepped foot in this particular house, they both knew it was theirs.

When we visited with them a week or so ago, I suggested it would be nice if they were to host Christmas this year in their new house, and they agreed.

We'll do some things the same as always. There'll be the usual treats and feasts; gifts will be exchanged; and I'm sure that New Year's Eve will see this old couple perched in front of the TV as always, watching a ball drop in far away New York City.

But some things will be different, too, as we very deliberately seek to establish new traditions—ones that aren't wrapped in old memories.

If there are people you know who will be struggling to get through this holiday season without newly lost loved ones, take a moment, if you will, and pay attention to them. Don't insist they do what they always have done if they're struggling with the holiday; you have no idea how powerful those special memories can be. For some, the old traditions may be what they want more than anything. For others, though, the answer may lie in taking a fresh approach. Yes, there likely will come a time when those old memories can comfort and heal, but that time may not be now.

But mostly, what you can do is just be there. Of all the elements that go into celebrating this time of year, the one I cherish the most is time spent with those I love. It's that human connection that forms the base of every experience, and every emotion. It's what keeps us grounded when the world around us seems to be spinning either too fast, or in the wrong direction.

It's what Christmas is really all about.

Please visit Morgan's Website for more information. You might want to contact her and wish her a happy holiday. She certainly put mine into perspective.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Tag, I'm It!

Okay, Carol Shenold tagged me and now I have to play. This is a wonderful way of getting to know people and also sharing your blog information on the web.

Rules for people I tag: Link to the tagger and post these rules on your blog. Share 5 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird. Tag 5 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

1. My final goal in writing is to have ONE book published by mainstream, and I ain't getting any younger.
2. I still believe in Santa Claus.
3. I cry every time I watch "It's a Wonderful Life."
4. I think my sisters are prettier than I am and it makes me mad.
5. I've believed in ghosts ever since I smelled Bengay on the staircase the night of my grandmother's funeral.


I'm tagging the following people:

Vicki Gaia
Cheryl St. John
Dorice Nelson
Anne Whitfield
All of them are linked in my faves, so have at it.

A Week Away


It can't be a week from Christmas. I'm not ready. Wasn't it just last night that kids were at the door, yelling, "Trick or Treat?"

I remember when I thought time was at a standstill. I couldn't wait to be eighteen, and then twenty-one. It took forever to get there, but what happened? After that, my life became a slip-and-slide. I'm hurling down a narrow sheet of plastic at breakneck speed and, flat on my back, I can't see what's at the end. I'm staring up into space, watching the scenery spin by, and praying I don't hit anything... or break anything.

Seems funny that I used to chuckle at inferences of being old and breaking a hip, but I see that more as reality with each passing day. I've never fallen so much in my life. This year alone, I fell done the stairs three times. Luckily, I have enough padding to protect my osteoporific bones, but my pride was severely injured. I don't care how old you are, the first thing you do when you tumble is quickly look around to see if anyone witnessed your clumsiness. :)

I didn't even have a chance to say I was sixty-one before I turned sixty-two. So...before my next birthday creeps up...Hey everyone, I'm sixty-two. Yuk...that leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

A few months back, when I looked in the mirror, I told myself I didn't look so bad for an old broad. Well, my friends, that too has changed. I'm looking pretty broad for an old hag. :) Honestly, why didn't someone warn us about all the baggage that comes with aging. Yes, I know... I keep writing about it. I can't help it. I'm shocked every time I glimpse myself. I have no idea who that fat, old, wirey-haired woman was that I saw in front of my reflection in the doors at Walmart yesterday. Whew! I hope Santa brings her a makeover.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

ARE YOU A BUCKET FILLER OR A DIPPER?


Author Unknown, Source Unknown - This is something I found on the internet that I found extremely touching, and oh so true.

You have heard of the cup that overflowed. This is a story of a bucket that is like the cup, only larger, it is an invisible bucket. Everyone has one. It determines how we feel about ourselves, about others, and how we get along with people. Have you ever experienced a series of very favorable things which made you want to be good to people for a week? At that time, your bucket was full.

A bucket can be filled by a lot of things that happen. When a person speaks to you, recognizing you as a human being, your bucket is filled a little. Even more if he calls you by name, especially if it is the name you like to be called. If he compliments you on your dress or on a job well done, the level in your bucket goes up still higher. There must be a million ways to raise the level in another's bucket. Writing a friendly letter, remembering something that is special to him, knowing the names of his children, expressing sympathy for his loss, giving him a hand when his work is heavy, taking time for conversation, or, perhaps more important, listing to him.

When one's bucket is full of this emotional support, one can express warmth and friendliness to people. But, remember, this is a theory about a bucket and a dipper. Other people have dippers and they can get their dippers in your bucket. This, too, can be done in a million ways.

Lets say I am at a dinner and inadvertently upset a glass of thick, sticky chocolate milk that spills over the table cloth, on a lady's skirt, down onto the carpet. I am embarrassed. "Bright Eyes" across the table says, "You upset that glass of chocolate milk." I made a mistake, I know I did, and then he told me about it! He got his dipper in my bucket! Think of the times a person makes a mistake, feels terrible about it, only to have someone tell him about the known mistake ("Red pencil" mentality!)

Buckets are filled and buckets are emptied ? emptied many times because people don't really think about what are doing. When a person's bucket is emptied, he is very different than when it is full. You say to a person whose bucket is empty, "That is a pretty tie you have," and he may reply in a very irritated, defensive manner.

Although there is a limit to such an analogy, there are people who seem to have holes in their buckets. When a person has a hole in his bucket, he irritates lots of people by trying to get his dipper in their buckets. This is when he really needs somebody to pour it in his bucket because he keeps losing.

The story of our lives is the interplay of the bucket and the dipper. Everyone has both. The unyielding secret of the bucket and the dipper is that when you fill another's bucket it does not take anything out of your own bucket. The level in our own bucket gets higher when we fill another's, and, on the other hand, when we dip into another's bucket we do not fill our own ... we lose a little.

For a variety of reasons, people hesitate filling the bucket of another and consequently do not experience the fun, joy, happiness, fulfillment, and satisfaction connected with making another person happy. Some reasons for this hesitancy are that people think it sounds "fakey," or the other person will be suspicious of the motive, or it is "brown-nosing."

Therefore, let us put aside our dipper and resolve to touch someone's life in order to fill their bucket.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Laughing Through Tears


Recently, I heard from my sister that my brother, Butch, and his wife, Karan, had gone on a trip to Puerto Rico. I was shocked, not only because my brother is not a 'travelin' man, but Puerto Rico? The man rarely travels ten miles from home. The next time I talked to my sister, she told me my brother was having a hard time getting back into the states because he didn't have a picture ID. She gave me all the details, but I think this email I got from Butch sums things up much better than I can:

I guess you heard the whole ugly story of the kayak ride from Hell. The way I was guilted into even doing the trip. I can still hear the tears in her voice,” We always do what you want to do but you never do anything I want to do.”

Well was I surprised when I thought I was going for a boat ride only to find out I was to be the skipper of a two man kayak with a two left handed crew. After we circled around the bay a couple of times to get to a ship where we to rendezvous with the rest of the Kayakers, we headed towards the opening of the mangroves, which is a code name for swamp, I should have known something was rotten in Denmark when they suggested we douse ourselves in the Kirkland brand of insect repellent they had on hand. Little did I know that we really didn’t need it due to the Tropical rain storm that kept the mosquitoes grounded.

Keep in mind that this once in a lifetime adventure can only take place at night in order to see these wondrous little glowing sea creatures. Yes It started to pour down about the time one of the guides decided to tow us after we grounded into the first available shoreline. I thought to myself, “thank God I’m so f***ing tired I don’t think I’ll have the strength to kill seaman 2nd class Karan, if and when we get back”

We started out in tow with what I thought would be an event less final paddle into the mangroves, (swamp). Everything was going OK, if you call a downpour in the dark without windshield wipers on my glasses OK, when about 100 yards into the mangroves,(swamp) the guide says we have to pull over to the side to allow a motor boat to go through. I immediately said to myself and Karan, “ Are you f***ing kidding me?! We f***ing could have taken a f***ing boat?” To which she says “I didn’t know!” At this point I thanked her profusely for doing such extensive research on this excursion. But then I realized she probably thought that a nearly 60 yr. old obese asthmatic trooper like myself could handle a mere 1.6 mile paddle through a swamp, excuse me... mangrove.

Well on with the story. Yes there’s more. We pull over into the tree line to allow the boat to go through. While we are getting gouged by dead tree limbs I decide to straighten the the kayak out so when we depart we will be heading in the correct direction. As I am leaning to my left to paddle, Karan is trying to keep the limbs off her head. At this point the guide tells Karan to lean, so she promptly does lean to her left causing the craft to flip over into what they told us was suppose to be 3’ of water. It turned out to be about 8’ deep slimy nasty salt water in which I lost my glasses and wallet. Since they don’t carry flashlights as it would detract from the wondrous sea creatures, A cursory search for my wallet containing my only ID to board the plane and a newly-ATM-acquired $200.00 in cash was not performed. But I probably couldn’t see it any way since I lost my glasses.

After spraining my left wrist hauling my fat, slimy body into the uprighted kayak I was asked if I would like to continue on the trek. Well you can imagine what my response was. It was not pretty. And I am just now starting to talk to Karan again.

Love you, Captain Butch

Ginger here again...I do know that he got home because sis scavenged around and found an old passport and faxed his picture. I can't wait to hear more about his adventure. His luck sounds a lot like mine has been recently. :)

Friday, December 14, 2007

ARE YOU SURE THIS IS THE ONLY THING SANTA LEFT ME?

Sharing, but scroll down beneath the picture...It's a scan and I couldn't crop it for some reason. Sorry.


I'd like you to meet Justin and his new sister Suncee Rea. These are children of my heart, mothered by someone who was almost my daughter-in-law. Because we love her so much, hubby and I consider her our 'adopted' daughter, so I guess these are are 'adopted' grandkids. I just got pictures today and I wanted to share. I told mommy, Tabatha, that I wanted a girl for my brithday, and she tried really hard. My birthday was November 12 and Suncee Rea was born on the14th. Dang, she should have pushed sooner. *lol*

Justin is four going on 44. To prove that, I want to share the story his mom told me:
Justin needed a haircut, so his mom took him to one of those inexpensive, quick in and out places. She asked for a trim, but in the end, she described his appearance as a child going through chemo. Mother and son were both upset. Justin, who is very opinionated and comes up with things his mother can't believe, looked in the mirror and said, "I look like a jerk." Tabatha, having just had the baby and being very hormonal, started to cry because she felt so bad for Justin. He got down from the chair, patted his mom's hand and said. "Don't cry, Mom. We'll show these bitches. We just won't come back here anymore." Tabatha almost fainted. She's been very careful with her language around him and swears that is not a word she uses. I'll bet they won't go back there again. *lol*

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Introducing, Tabitha Shay

I'd like to welcome Tabby to my site. Now that you know a little about her, I've asked her a few questions to help you know just a little bit more:

GS - If you could become a witch for one day, like your character, what changes would you make in your life?

TS - Ooo, that's a toughie. My life has been blessed with a wonderful husband and great kids, so I think I'd give myself the ability to write the best story ever and it it become a best seller. Laughs.

GS - What is the best time of day for you to write and how do you organize your promotional schedule around it?

TS - There is no best time for me to write, but I like to have peace and quiet when I'm writing so I try to choose those moments or hours. I promote when the opportunity comes my way no matter what else I'm doing or where I'm at, I stop and promote. Heck, last night I was chatting on the phone with my hubby's niece and I took the phone and promoted, hopefully I made a sell....giggles.

GS
- As an e-published writer, it's inevitable that you will one day face someone who intimates that you have not truly achieved a milestone in your career--that e-publishing is not a major accomplishment. What would you say to this person to convince them otherwise?

TS
- Ho, I beg to differ. It's a Big accomplishment. E-published authors go through the same routine the other author goes through, we have to query, sub a synopsis and three chapters, wait to be rejected or accepted and pray like mad for a positive reply. There's nothing easy about it and I consider myself lucky to be an E-published author, plus I fully believe it's the "Biggie" for tomorrow in the world of publishing. This is the age of electronics and things, they are a changing.

Thanks for such great answers, Tabitha. If our visitors have anymore questions, they can ask them in comments. Also, please feel free to visit Tabitha's site at:

Tabitha Shay

Tabs next visit is at Sloane Taylor's blog at Sloane Taylor's Myspace

Thanks to everyone for visiting.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Welcome Tabitha

It's very early and Tabitha is probably still sleeping or up pounding her keyboard to finish edits on her upcoming release, but I wanted to set the stage by sharing a little bit about her. I took the liberty of highjacking this from her website:

Tabitha Shay spent fourteen years in nursing until a near fatal accident changed her life and sent her back to her first love; writing romances. She has spent more than thirty years writing novels and spinning tales for her family's entertainment. For three years, she's been a member of the Oklahoma Writer's Federation, Inc. Tabitha has served as Chairperson for two of those three years. Her first novel, "Witch's Brew" won Second Honorable Mention in 2006 at the OWFI Convention and "Witch's Heart" took First Place in 2007.

She is hard at work on the twelve-book series of the Winslow Witches of Salem and promises many surprises along the way, more romance and of course, more trouble for her witches. Tabitha lives at the foot of the world's highest hill in Poteau, Oklahoma with her husband and two dogs, a poodle named Snuggles and a shi'tzu named Buttons who is the spoiled baby of the family.

I'll be back in the morning to interview Tabby for you. See you then.

Ginger

Monday, December 10, 2007

COMING TO MY BLOG ON WEDNESDAY- TABITHA SHAY





I'm the third stop on Tabitha Shay's Blog tour. Join us and find out what makes this creative mind tick. See you on Wednesday, December 12th.

Ginger

Peace, Love and Friendship - NOT

Friends,
I would like to explain the nasty posts that are appearing on my blog. They are related to a video trailer that I completed for a book, Of Atlantis. I was hired by a third party (publisher) to review a blurb and create a trailer, which is exactly what I did. I've never met the author and know nothing about the publishing of the work. That's not my call. These facts seem too complex for the minds of the people engaging in this vendetta. How they think that attacking me is going to resolve anything about the book is beyond my comprehension.

Evidently they're angered by the publishing of the aforementioned book for reasons unknown to me, other than they feel it duplicates a previous work. That's not my responsibility, nor can I take back what I've sold to someone. The publisher has informed me and also posted on youtube that they invested $500 to assure this work was not plagiarized. Since they have a legal investment, I can only assure they are being truthful. Still, I've become subjected to cruel and hurtful remarks, both here and on my youtube account. They are not only attacking the video for Of Atlantis, they are leaving negative and nasty comments on my other work.

Since these cowards cannot quell their anger at their intended target, they choose to hurl unfounded attacks at me. I could delete the remarks, but I prefer to leave them to show you how small-minded and mean-spirited people can be, even at a time of the year when we are supposed to be reminded of friendship, love and peace.

All I can say in closing, is that I hope your positive remarks will overcome the negativity, and that if I were looking for fans of my work, these are not people I would want in my camp under any conditions.

I've explained my position to them for the last time and suggested they pursue appropriate avenues, but I guess it's easier for them to vent on my dime. What they expect to achieve, I'm not entirely sure.

Ginger

Sunday, December 9, 2007

MY CHRISTMAS STORY FOR YOU


Make a Joyful Noise

Anne Collins curled up in her over-stuffed easy chair and glanced at the daily newspaper. The glass of wine on the end table reflected the crackling fire beyond the hearth. Her workday had prompted her to fill a much larger goblet than normal. If one more person mentioned having a ‘Merry Christmas’, she thought for certain she’d lose control. This year, the yuletide held no reason to celebrate. Her husband, Daniel, lay in the hospital, hanging by a thread, and being festive rated last on her ‘to do’ list.

Warmth spread throughout the room as the logs on the grate crackled and popped, chasing away the chill brought on by frigid temperatures and two feet of snow outside. Anne grew comfortable and tossed the paper aside. She picked up her white zinfandel and sipped it while reflecting on past holidays.

She always considered her life was full and blessed…until the diagnosis. Daniel never smoked a day in his life. How did he end up with throat cancer? Surely there were plenty of murderers or child molesters God could punish. Why her husband? He was the epitome of everything good.

Tears trickled down her cheeks, and she took a tissue from a nearby box and blotted the moisture from her face. Hell couldn’t be any worse than watching Daniel waste away, suffering with every breath. The radiation and chemotherapy burned his throat and made it impossible for him to speak. She hadn’t seen his smile for weeks.

This was the first time in their married life that she’d picked out and put up a Christmas tree without him. The anger festering inside made her want to rip it down, burn the gifts, and rant at the Lord for the unfairness, but…

A blast of cold air blew into the room as the door opened. “Hey, Mom, sorry, I’m late, but I stayed after school to finish up a science project.”

A smaller version of her mother, fourteen-year-old Casey slugged inside, stamping her feet on the rug in the foyer to clear the flakes from her boots. Peeling off her coat, she tackled the layer of sweaters beneath. “Boy, it is freezing out there.” She opened the hall closet and hung everything inside, then turned to her mother with an arched brow. “Do you realize it’s the second week of December and we’re the only house on the block without decorations outside?”

Anne took a sip of wine, hiding a grimace. “I know, dear. I just haven’t been in the mood this year.” She looked at her daughter and sighed. Casey was the only reason Anne hadn’t cracked under the stress.

Casey crossed the room and perched on the chair’s arm. “I can help put up the lights, Mom. All we need is a ladder. Dad left the little hooks up from last year.”

Anne shook her head. “We’ll do just fine without lights, Casey. Besides…” She stared into her lap.

“Dad’s going to get better and come home, so why are you acting like he’s gone?” Casey stood and pulled her lips into pout. “You know how much he enjoys the holidays.” Her chocolate eyes glistened in the firelight and her tone demanded an answer.

Anne rose, walked the mantle and picked up the filigreed picture frame. Looking upon Daniel’s smiling face sent pain stabbing at her heart. The photograph had been taken the year they went to Maui. Now, he barely resembled the man she saw. It’d been weeks since he’d even acknowledged her presence in the hospital room.

She put the photo back and turned to her daughter. “Casey, I just can’t muster up any Christmas spirit. Your dad isn’t doing very well and I don’t feel very festive.” She returned to her chair and downed the rest of her wine, hoping it would numb her worried mind.

Casey peered down at her. “I know if Dad was standing here, he’d be disappointed that you’ve lost faith. Why have we gone to church all these years if you can’t trust God to take care of things?” She spun and stomped out of the room.

Anne pondered the question. Why couldn’t she trust God? The answer was easy. He’d allowed Dan to get sick in the first place. She stood and wandered into the kitchen, her wine glass in hand. After pouring a re-fill, she gazed out the window over the sink at the drifts of snow in the backyard. The old tire swing Casey used to love still hung from a giant branch now devoid of leaves. The setting sun was lost behind a gray wintry haze, and everything looked frozen. While her mind questioned God’s motives, Anne watched until the last trace of daylight disappeared and darkness fell.

She picked up her wine and started to turn from the window, but a flash of light caught her eye. Too bright at first, it soon softened, and Anne blinked in disbelief.

The shimmering outline of an angel, dressed all in white, appeared just outside the glass. A glowing halo shone brightly above her head, and the assuring smile on her face sent a peaceful feeling coursing through Anne’s body.

The entity raised her arms, and as if by magic, an orb of light floated from her hands and rose into the heavens. Anne’s gaze followed the star’s trail as it climbed higher, illuminating the yard, the trees, the swing, and the old storage shed in the corner where Dan kept the gardening tools. Anne thought to call her daughter to witness the scene, but couldn’t find the voice to do it. She stood rooted to the spot, her eyes fixed on the wonder outside.

The heavenly creature floated a few feet above the ground and gestured toward the sky. The gray haze was gone and a canopy of stars twinkled above. One stood out above the rest, sending a blaze of light flashing to the ground. In the snowdrift just beyond the trees, Anne beheld another wonder. Unveiled one letter at a time, an invisible hand seemed to etch the glowing word ‘believe’ into the blanket of white. Anne gasped, trying to call out for Casey, but the image, along with the angel, vanished as quickly as they’d appeared. The stars still twinkled brightly overhead, but the yard turned dark again.

Casey sat in the desk in her room. Christmas music played softly on her radio, and she struggled to concentrate on her homework. She felt hopeless. How could she possibly focus on school when things at home were so depressing? She couldn’t bear to think of life without her dad, and it hurt that her mother had all but given up on his getting better.

With a sigh, Casey stood and walked to the bookshelf across the room. She searched the shelves until she found her Bible. She thumbed through the index, looking for verses pertaining to hope and found Proverbs 3:3-4. Turning to the passage, she read:

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.

She’d barely finished when she heard a strange noise coming from downstairs—a heavy thumping sound. She put her bible back in its place and tilted her ear to listen. She heard it again. Casey opened her door and the sound became louder. “Mom, what is that,” she called out.

When her mother didn’t answer, Casey went to investigate. The noise had stopped but she couldn’t find her mom. She walked through the entire house to find it empty. A half-filled wine glass sat near her mother’s chair, but no sight of her mom.

The thumping began again. Close and right outside. The porch light cast a strange-looking shadow on the front window. Casey grasped the knob and opened the door just a crack. She saw a ladder and a pair of legs from the knees down—her mother’s legs.

“Mom, what are you doing up there?” Casey walked to the edge of the porch and peered up.

Her mother, bundled against the weather, hammered at the wooden eave. “I’m putting up Christmas lights. Some of the hooks are loose and I’m tightening them. How about if you get a coat on and check the bulbs in the next strand while I finish hanging these.”

“But… I thought…” Forgetting the cold, Casey picked up a coiled cord and began unraveling it.

“I know, I know. I lost faith for a while, but for some strange reason, I’ve found it again. I have a strong feeling that Dad is coming home and we need to be ready.”

Casey smiled up at her mother. “Let me get my coat and I’ll be right back. Tomorrow we can put up the manger scene in the yard.”

“Good idea.” Anne went back to pounding.

Casey paused for a moment and looked to heaven. Her mind wandered to her last week's Sunday School lesson. Make A Joyful Noise Unto the Lord - Psalm 100. "Who would've thought hammering could qualify?" she muttered, feeling a sense of peace for the first time in weeks.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Only 16 days until Christmas

Merry Christmas
More Free Graphics at pYzam.com



Just feeling a little holiday-ish and thought I would send you something cheery. It's been dark and drizzly here in TN all day. Makes me wish I had a fireplace to snuggle up next to.

I just wanted to remind everyone that Virginia's Miracle is available at Eternal Press for a quick and cheery holiday read. It's guaranteed to get you in the mood, or my name isn't Fred Flintstone. :) I just wish I could get my family to read it and let all the petty crap go. Life is too short to hold on to anger. :)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

DANGER IN HER ARMS

As promised, here's my latest creation for Phyllis Campbell's upcoming December release. I so love doing these.

Biting My Nails


I know her... even met her in person, but it's hard not to be in awe of someone who has achieved the status in life that you seek. A few years back, I had the privilege of meeting Harlequin Author, Cheryl St. John, at a Romantic Times Conference. It was my first venture into the world of authors, having just become a new one myself. Of course, I was internet published, which some people still view with a critical eye, but Cheryl made me feel welcome, equal and I loved her bubbly personality. Meeting her was a highpoint of the conference.

She sent me an email the other day and said she enjoyed my Embezzled Love video trailer and hoped to read the book. I kiddingly offered to send her a pre-edited word copy and she accepted. If she likes it, she's going to write something for inclusion at the beginning of the printed copy. I'm so excited, yet nervous to have such an accomplished person (over 30 books out)read my work. I don't think I was this nervous when I sent my debut novel to Romantic Times for review. I got a four-star one from them so I'm hoping Cheryl enjoys what she reads. This one isn't a run-of-the-mill romance. It's a fictional story based on what really happened to my sister, and it was difficult to write because I saw her live the nightmare. I'm very fortunate that Lachesis Publishing believes in letting someone write outside the box.

I urge you to check out Cheryl's blog. The link is under my favorites here. Right now she's doing the Great Christmas Tree Tour of 2007 and you'll get a good laugh when you see my bargain basement attempt at the Christmas spirit among all the gorgeous ones posted. Hey...what can I say, I live in one room and there isn't much space. My ornaments have disappeared over the years and the ones I have left are broken. My poor little reindeer are all missing one or both of their antlers, and mice in the attic gnawed through my stocking. But...my tree still looks slightly better than Charlie Brown's. :)

Now I'm going back to work on my next video trailer. I'll post it when I'm done. It's another exciting release by author, Phyllis Campbell. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

CRABBY OLD MAN - Sharing a Poem

I was really touched by this poem and felt the need to share it. I've been thinking a lot about my own age recently, and having a hard time believing that I just turned 62. In my mind, I'm not anywhere close but my body is saying otherwise. This reminded me so much of my grandfather who passed years ago from Alzheimer's...alone, in a rest home. We only pray that he realized that we loved him, visited, and mourned his passing. I'm going to try hard to see the person behind the mask that nature slaps on us. :)

The Crabby Old Man

When an old man died in the geriatric ward of a small hospital near Tampa,
Florida, it was believed that he had nothing left of any value.
Later, when the nurses were going through his meager possessions, They
found this poem. Its quality and content so impressed the staff that
copies were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital.

One nurse took her copy to Missouri. The old man's sole bequest to
posterity has since appeared in the Christmas edition of the News Magazine
of the St. Louis Association for Mental Health. A slide presentation has
also been made based on his simple, but eloquent, poem.

Crabby Old Man

What do you see nurses? ....What do you see?
What are you thinking......when you're looking at me?
A crabby old man,.....not very wise,
Uncertain of habit ........with faraway eyes?

Who dribbles his food.......and makes no reply.
When you say in a loud voice ....."I do wish you'd try!"
Who seems not to notice ....the things that you do.
And forever is losing .............. A sock or shoe?

Who, resisting or not...........lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding ..... The long day to fill?
Is that what you're thinking?.......Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse......you're not looking at me.

I'll tell you who I am .......... As I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding,.......as I eat at your will.
I'm a small child of Ten.......with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters ........who love one another

A young boy of Sixteen ....with wings on his feet
Dreaming that soon now..........a lover he'll meet.
A groom soon at Twenty ........my heart gives a leap.
Remembering, the vows........that I promised to keep.

At Twenty-Five, now .......... I have young of my own.
Who need me to guide ....And a secure happy home.
A man of Thirty .......... My young now grown fast,
Bound to each other ....... With ties that should last.

At Forty, my young sons ...have grown and are gone,
But my woman's beside me.......to see I don't mourn.
At Fifty, once more, ......... Babies play 'round my knee,
Again, we know children ....... My loved one and me.

Dark days are upon me ...... My wife is now dead.
I look at the future ............I shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing......young of their own.
And I think of the years...... And the love that I've known.

I'm now an old man........and nature is cruel.
'Tis jest to make old age ........look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles..........grace and vigor, depart.
There is now a stone........where I once had a heart.

But inside this old carcass ..... A young guy still dwells,
And now and again .......my battered heart swells.
I remember the joys.............. I remember the pain.
And I'm loving and living.............life over again.

I think of the years ..all too few......gone too fast.
And accept the stark fact........that nothing can last.
So open your eyes, people .........open and see..
Not a crabby old man.....Look closer....see........ME!!

Remember this poem when you next meet an older person who you might brush
aside without looking at the young soul within.....we will all, one day,
be there, too!

The best and most beautiful things of this world can't be seen or touched.
They must be felt by the heart.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Is It Just Me?


Is it just me or do some of you wonder about weird things. For example, those of you who watch soap operas... On All My Children, Zach and Greenlee are trapped in an old bomb shelter. They were walking in the forest and fell through the roof. They've been there for days. There was mention that it was stocked with plenty of food, water, a flashlight (yeah, batteries don't corrode after thirty years), and a first-aid kit. Of course the bandaids were a lifesaver since Zach had just been hit by a car and was suffering major injuries. *lol*

For those of you who don't know the characters, Zach and Greenlee hate each other. She, a five-foot tall, petite-framed woman, was supporting this six-foot, hulking guy through a wooded area, to leave him on the doorstep of a cabin she saw in the distance. That's when they suffered the fall, and she hurt her leg. Of course, her limp has mysteriously disappeared. It's your typical run-of-the-mill drama, he's delerious, kisses her because he believes her to be his wife, recovers, throws hateful barbs at her, she pouts, sews up the gash on his forehead... but they never go to the bathroom!!!

Okay. So they're stuck in a 9 x 12 room, shelves on the walls, old mattresses on the floor, but neither one of them has had to pee or poop. These are the stupid things I wonder about. Do you?

I guess the writers COULDN'T very well add this dialogue:

Greenlee: "Boy, I feel like I'm going to explode if I don't pee."

Zach: *scanning the room*. "Just go squat behind that stack of crates of there. I won't look. I promise."

Greenlee: *reluctant look on her face, but urgency showing as well. She walks across the room, unbuttoning her pants.* "Remember, you promised. Stay where you are." *She sinks behind the wooden veil.*

*You hear the sound of water splatting against the ground. It seems to go on forever*

Zach: "Boy, you weren't kidding. You did need to go.*

Greenlee: "Zach!"

*A few minutes later, Greenlee rises behind the boxes. "Boy, do I feel better." *She walks back to the mattress and sits.

*Zach sniffs the air, wrinkles his nose and curls in lips in distaste.* "What's that smell?"

*Greenlee lowers her head.* "I had to poop, too."

Zach: "Great! We already have no air and now I have to contend with that stench."

ROFL...Okay, I guess that would be really crass, but don't you just find yourself wondering about bodily functions at times. These days I can't finish my visit at Walmart without using the bathroom, so I know I couldn't spend days in a bomb shelter without facilities. I just thought I'd share my weirdness with you and see if I'm alone. :)

Monday, December 3, 2007

You're Invited


December 7th from 8:00 CST until we wear ourselves out, Eternal Press is hosting their launch of the December releases. Come read excerpts, meet and chat with the authors and perhaps even win a prize or two.

Here's the link:
Eternal Press Reader's Loop

Hope to see you there.

Ging

Saturday, December 1, 2007

You've Been Elfed



Life is all about BUTTS
you're either covering it,
laughing it off,
kicking it,
kissing it,
busting it,
or behaving like one .....
Pass this on to as many people as possible, but you can't send it back to the person who sent it to you. This person was Elfed by someone else.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

THE GOLDEN COMPASS - ALERT

I routinely use SNOPES.COM to verify validity of emails before I forward them. I'd not yet heard about the new movie scheduled for release next month, The Golden Compass, but I wanted to share with you what Snopes had to say. I"m not advocating for religion rather knowledge. Too often we are willing victims of hidden agendas. I like to make my own choices and not be blindsided. How about you?

FROM SNOPES.COM:
The Golden Compass

Claim: The 2007 film The Golden Compass is based on a series of books with anti-religious themes.

Status: True.




Examples:

[Collected via e-mail, October 2007]

There will be a new Children's movie out in December called THE GOLDEN COMPASS. It is written by Phillip Pullman, a proud athiest who belongs to secular humanist societies. He hates C. S. Lewis's Chronical's of Narnia and has written a trilogy to show the other side. The movie has been dumbed down to fool kids and their parents in the hope that they will buy his trilogy where in the end the children kill God and everyone can do as they please. Nicole Kidman stars in the movie so it will probably be advertised a lot. This is just a friendly warning that you sure won't hear on the regular TV.


[Collected via e-mail, October 2007]

I don't just generally dismiss a movie or book just because someone 'says' it's meant to be something else...but this is worth knowing if you plan to see it (or plan to take your kids).

"Hi! I just wanted to inform you what I just learned about a movie that is coming out December 7, during the Christmas season, which is entitled THE GOLDEN COMPASS. It stars Nicole Kidman and it is directed toward children. What is disturbing to me is that this movie is based on the first of a trilogy of books for children called HIS DARK MATERIALS written by Philip Pullman of England.

He's an atheist and his objective is to bash Christianity and promote atheism. I heard that he has made remarks that he wants to kill God in the minds of children, and that's what his books are all about. He despises C.S. Lewis and Narnia, etc. An article written about him said "this is the most dangerous author in Britain" and that Pullman would be the writer "the atheists would be praying for, if atheists prayed." Pullman said he doesn't think it is possible that there is a God and he has great difficulty understanding the words "spiritual" and "spirituality." What I thought was important to communicate is what part of the agenda is for making this picture. This movie is a watered down version of the first book, which is the least offensive of the three books. The second book of the trilogy is THE SUBTLE KNIFE and the third book is THE AMBER SPYGLASS. Each book gets worse and worse regarding Pullman's hatred of God. In the trilogy, a young girl becomes enmeshed in an epic struggle against a nefarious Church known as the Magisterium. Another character, an ex-nun, describes Christianity as "a very powerful and convincing mistake." As I understand it, in the last book, a boy and girl are depicted representing Adam and Eve and they kill God, who at times is called YAHWEH (which is definitely not Allah). Since the movie would seem mild if you viewed it, that's been done on purpose.

They are hoping that unsuspecting parents will take their children to See the movie, that they will enjoy the movie and then the children will want the books for Christmas. That's the hook. Pullman says he wants the children to read the books and decide against God and the kingdom of heaven.

If you decide that you do not want to support something like this, I suggest that you boycott the movie and the books. I googled a synopsis of THE GOLDEN COMPASS. As I skimmed it, I couldn't believe that in a children's book part of the story is about castration and female circumcision.

Origins: The Golden Compass, a fantasy film starring Nicole Kidman that is scheduled to be released into theaters on 7 December 2007, has been drawing fire from concerned Christians. The film is based on Northern Lights (released in the U.S. as The Golden Compass), the first offering in Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy of children's books, a series that follows the adventures of a streetwise girl who travels
through multiple worlds populated by witches, armor-plated bears, and sinister ecclesiastical assassins to defeat the oppressive forces of a senile God.

Books of the trilogy have sold more than 15 million copies around the world, with Northern Lights winning the Carnegie Medal for Children's Literature in 1995 and in 2007 being awarded the 'Carnegie of Carnegies' for the best children's book of the past 70 years. The Amber Spyglass, the final book of the series, won The Whitbread Prize in 2001, making it the first children's book to do so.

The series' author, Philip Pullman (who has described himself as both an agnostic and an atheist), has averred that "I don't profess any religion; I don't think it's possible that there is a God; I have the greatest difficulty in understanding what is meant by the words 'spiritual' or 'spirituality.'" Critics of Pullman's books point to the strong anti-religion and anti-God themes they incorporate, and although literary works are subject to a variety of interpretations, Pullman left little doubt about his books' intended meanings when he said in a 2003 interview that "My books are about killing God" and in a 2001 interview that he was "trying to undermine the basis of Christian belief." (In 2002 conservative British columnist Peter Hitchens labeled Pullman "The Most Dangerous Author in Britain" and described him as the writer "the atheists would have been praying for, if atheists prayed.")

Bill Donohue, president of The Catholic League, has condemned The Golden Compass as a "pernicious" effort to indoctrinate children into anti-Christian beliefs and has produced a 23-page pamphlet titled The Golden Compass: Unmasked in which he maintains that Pullman "sells atheism for kids." Donohoe told interviewer John Gibson on 9 October 2007 why he believes Christians should stay away from the film:
Look, the movie is based on the least offensive of the three books. And they have dumbed down the worst elements in the movie because they don't want to make Christians angry and they want to make money. Our concern is this, unsuspecting Christian parents may want to take their kid to the movie, it opens up December 7th and say, this wasn't troubling, then we'll buy the books. So the movie is the bait for the books which are profoundly anti-Catholic and at the same time selling atheism.
Other reviewers, however, have described Pullman's works as being more generally anti-religion rather than specifically anti-Christian or anti-Catholic:
In "His Dark Materials," Pullman's criticisms of organized religion come across as anti-authoritarian and anti-ascetic rather than anti-doctrinal. (Jesus isn't mentioned in any of the books, although Pullman has hinted that He might figure in a forthcoming sequel, "The Book of Dust.") His fundamental objection is to ideological tyranny and the rejection of this world in favor of an idealized afterlife, regardless of creed. As one of the novel's pagan characters puts it, "Every church is the same: control, destroy, obliterate every good feeling."
Last updated: 23 October 2007

The URL for this page is http://www.snopes.com/politics/religion/compass.asp

Sources:

Gibson, John. "The Big Story with John Gibson."
Fox News Network. 9 October 2007.

Hitchens, Peter. "This Is the Most Dangerous Author in Britain."
Mail on Sunday. 27 January 2002 (p. 63).

Hoyle, Ben. "Pullman Writes a Book That Will Shed Light on Darkness of His Beliefs."
The [London] Times. 1 August 2007 (p. 9).

Lurie, Alison. "His Dark Materials."
The Guardian. 3 December 2005 (Review; p. 12).

Meacham, Steve. "The Shed Where God Died."
The Sydney Morning Herald. 13 December 2003.

Miller, Laura. "Far from Narnia."
The New Yorker. 26 December 2005.

Pauli, Michelle. "Pullman Wins 'Carnegie of Carnegies.'"
The Guardian. 21 June 2007.

Wartofsky, Alona. "Philip Pullman's Trilogy for Young Adults Ends with God's Death, and Remarkably Few Critics."
The Washington Post. 19 February 2001.

Sunday Mirror. "Kidman Movie Is 'Atheist.'"
21 October 2007 (p. 24).

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

LIFE IS LIKE A ROLL OF TOILET PAPER



Because the closer you get to the end, the faster it unrolls. How true is that? It seems like just yesterday I made a life-changing decision to have my stomach stapled. But indeed, it was August 1991. I didn't do it for vanity reasons but to improve my health and increase my longevity chances. It wasn't an easy decision, but I figured the benefits outweighed the risks, and I was right...at least for a while.

I lost over 110 pounds and I managed to keep it off or at least maintain for several years. Now, after all this time of eating smaller amounts, bypassing things I used to gorge myself on like pizza, hamburgers, fries, and thick, thick juicy steaks, the weight is coming back. What do I do now when I've undergone the most drastic measure left to someone with a weight problem? Short of becoming an avid exercise buff, which I won't ever be, I'm lost.

What they don't tell you in those pre-surgical seminars is that after a period of time, your body re-sets its thermostat at a lower caloric intake level, and everything beyond that turns to fat. On me, it applies itself to my legs and butt. :) One of the side-effects I've suffered all these years is vomiting. It comes when I least expect it, and has hampered my ability to be sporadic and free. I'm actually even afraid to eat out because that's when it seems the worse. I'm sure it all has to do with nerves. Anything stressful brings it on, and the stress from my recent disappointment has caused a major flare. Most of the people I know who've had the procedure suffer the same problem.

Why am I sharing such a personal side of myself, you might ask. Because if there are any of you out there considering the surgery, I want you to ask all the right questions. Not just ones that pertain to five years down the line, but far beyond that. The organization that did my surgery is long defunct. Before my surgery, I saw countless albums of success stories, people who went from fat to fabulous. I should have asked to see them ten years later. I doubt they could find many among those models that could still say positive things about the procedure. I'm sure that there are those who managed to stay slim, but unfortunately, I'm not among those ranks.

My surgery was called gastroplasty...not to be confused with the bypass surgery they're doing these days. Buteven that has it's downside. I friend of mine who has battled her weight for years had the gastic bypass done last year. Her problem isn't keeping the weight off, it's keeping it from coming off. She went from over 200 pounds to 108 and just recently got back up to 114. The 'new' stomach banding isn't without its own risks and problems. My brother-in-law had that done, and has lost weight, but he, like me, has to excuse himself from the table and head for the nearest toilet.

I'm not telling you NOT to do what you feel you need to do. Just make sure you ask all the right questions so you don't have unpleasant surprises down the road. Would I have still done it knowing the things I know? I'd like to think so, because I really enjoyed feeling good about myself for a while. But at this stage of my life, I'd have to think long and hard because I'm pretty sick of looking at the inside of the john... or as my husband says...'selling buicks.'

I fully understood going in that it was a tool and not a cure, but now the tool is working against me and I'm not sure where to turn. It's a pretty helpless feeling.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

GLOBAL DEVELOPMENTAL DELAYS


This is my grandson Spencer. He's five-years-old, but acts more like three. He's been diagnosed with GDD with Autistic tendencies. Until you see him flap his arms or hear his stimming noises while he plays, you might think he's quite normal. In some ways, he is. He loves to be loved.

Did you know that ten years ago, Autism was diagnosed in 1 in 10,000 children and today it's more like 1 in 150. Doctors don't know what has caused the sudden flare in numbers, but researchers believe it has something to do with the MMR vaccine given to our children. Of course doctors are still insisting that it's 'genetic' so who do we believe. Something had to cause such a drastic increase in numbers.

I thank the Lord that Spencer isn't affected with complete and encompassing autism. The stories of those children locked within themselves is heartbreaking. Although all of Spencer's growth milestones have been delayed, his speech has been the most affected. When I first started as his care-giver, I experienced how heart breaking it was to try to communicate with him, to deal with the frustration in his eyes when he couldn't make me understand what he wanted, but thank goodness, he's putting more and more words together every day. To see the joy on his face when I 'get' his meaning, is the greatest gift a grandmother could ever get. I pray every night that he'll keep improving and someday mainstream into regular classes at school. I remember the stigma attached to those in special classes, and I don't want him to suffer that.

I'm angry. Why? Because of circumstances I can't control. Last year he was in a wonderful pre-kindergarten class that helped him make such great progress. I had great hopes for him, but this year, because of his age, he had to move on and now he's regressing. His delays and disability aren't as serious as the children with whom he spends his days with, and now he mimics what they do. How do I teach him not to bang his head, to make strange noises or spin in circles? He's such a loving little boy and I want to make a difference in his life. I want him to be considered and treated like a normal child. But the schools aren't equipped to deal with all the different spectrums of the autism umbrella.

I can't consider homeschooling because I'm not equipped to teach him. So what do I do besides pray. I do that every night. Right now, he's learning to say his name and I'm waiting for the day when he can respond to all those people who notice what a loving little guy he is and ask him for it. Spencer Charles Jones He's the light of my life.

Friday, November 23, 2007

I REMAIN UNSCATHED


This could have been me, but I have no bumps, bruises, or broken bones. After all the hoopla about going shopping at four am, I ended up hugging the toilet most of the night and was too sick to step foot out the door. I can't believe my rotten luck. Now I have to wait for another whole year to engage in the back-biting, pushing, and name-calling that marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. It just isn't the same on any other day.

I tried ordering things on line last year, but it just didn't work for me. There isn't that feeling of urgency, excitement, or the adrenaline rush. For me, shopping amongst the crowds is like having exciting sex but without the sudden onset of leg cramps. But to each his own, I say. If logging on and paying shipping and handling to avoid the crowds is your bag, then go for it. I prefer the hand-to-hand combat method.

I'm sure I caught a bug from picking up Spencer at school. He hasn't felt too swell today, either. But of all the times to get the flu. I cannot believe I missed out on twelve really good washcloths at Kohls for only $2.99. Drat the luck! The good news is that I still have money in my checking account. :)

Hugz
G

Thursday, November 22, 2007

IT'S ALMOST MIDNIGHT

The left-over turkey is in ziplock bags, the ham is in one, too. We threw out the remaining stuffing and cranberry sauce to save us from finding 'lab' experiments in a a couple of weeks from now. I'm about to take a Zantac for heartburn and turn in for the night, but I wanted to make a last post before I head out in the morning on a dangerous mission.

THAT'S RIGHT!




I'm heading out with the throngs of other people on what always proves to be the busiest shopping day of the Christmas Season. Call it insanity, because it is. The pushing, the shoving, the name calling...the fighting over items when only a few remain on the shelf. What about that represents good will towards men? I know...if you'll notice most of the people out there are women. The men are smart enough to stay home. :)


So, if you're out in the trenches in the wee hours of the morning, standing in line, in the freezing cold, waiting for the doors to open and the crush to push you inside, then you understand the attraction. It's like a drug and I get my fix once a year.

Thanksgiving is over...onward to CHRISTMAS! Good night my friends. If I survive, I'll write and tell you about it tomorrow. *lol*

Ginger

WE'VE HAD OUR FIRST THANKSGIVING EMERGENCY

Happy Thanksgiving...I hope your day is progressing in a restful and peaceful manner. I'm sitting at my computer because my daughter-in-law is preparing our feast. Rather than join her in the kitchen and be frustrated because she doesn't do anything my way, I'm steering clear and occupying myself. Of course we've already had our first emergency of the day... a misplaced potato peeler! Oh my gosh! She tore the kitchen apart, put each of us under a hot light for questioning and practically frisked us for it. When I saw she was near tears, looking at the pile of potatoes in the sink, I stepped in and pulled out the antique approach to peeling...an actual knife. I think I've single-handedly saved the day. We still haven't found the peeler, but there have been some neighborhood thefts recently. Thank goodness they didn't take our gravy ladle. Who knows the stress that might cause. *lol*

Hope you have a wonderful day, avoid indigestion, and find many things for which to offer thanks.

Hugz
Ginger

Monday, November 19, 2007

IT ALL ABOUT BLOGGING


MySpace Comments - Friends<
I found a very interesting comment on my blog. Helen Ginger from Straight From Hel tagged me. As I understand it, this honor is described as a 'meme', but it really isn't about me, it's all about blogging. Since this is my first attempt, I simply followed the instructions, copied the five questions I found on Helen's blog and I shall answer them below. I believe my duty at the end is to tag another three people. Tomorrow, we're gonna play Red Rover, Red Rover. *lol*

1. How long have you been blogging?

Not long at all. Only since the very end of September. I began in 2004 with a monthly newsletter and my membership grew to over 550. Although I enjoyed producing a monthly rag, I hated the bounced emails, the constant changing of them, and just the general headaches. So, when blogging became all the rage, I decided to give it shot. The downside was losing all my subscribers, but I found a way to add a subscription link and I actually forced everyone to sign up. Not really, I thought I could import my addresses but found I couldn't, so I spent three nights typing in addys complete with those stupid spam guard letters and numbers. When I went to bed last night, I swore they were tattooed on the inside of my eyelids. I'm happy to say that most of the people I subscribed, confirmed and have signed on for another round of torture.

2. What inspired you to start a blog and who are your mentors?

As an author, you have to establish a fan base and I like to know mine. I love interacting with people, and blogging makes that easier. The newsletter was fun while it lasted, but this allows people to comment back to me and let me know what they think. I can also invite other friends to come and share information on days when I'm just too lazy to blog myself. Mentors? I didn't know many people who blogged until I started myself, so I guess I'm my own mentor.

3. Are you trying to make money online, or just doing it for fun?

You can make money doing this? Since I had no idea, I suppose I should be truthful and say I do this for the fun of it. I also write because that's what I love to do. If I was in it for the money, I'd have hung up my keyboard a long time ago. Despite all the promotion I do, my last royalty check barely covered a Happy Meal.

4. What 3 things do you struggle with online?

a) The biggest struggle for me the lack of tone in email. There is none and it's hard to keep from adding my own. You know we all have those days when we're pissy and it's very easy to beat myself up with my own attitude. I think I'm insecure and I need my Mommy!

b) The next hardest thing for me is saying no when people need help. I'm not a computer geek by any means, but I seem to have a tad more expertise than some, and I find myself fixing boo boos, moderating, doing videos, and tons of other things that take time away from my writing.

c) The final struggle for me is finding time to visit all the networking sites and being able to keep my own pages current. We have BEBO, BOOKFACE, BOOKPLACE, MYSPACE, SHELFARI...just to name a very few. It's almost impossible to be visible on all of them if I want to keep up with my blogging. I've yet to find a happy medium and I'm driving myself nuts. Good thing it's a short jaunt.

5. What 3 things do you love about being online?

a) It takes away my feelings of solitude. Since I retired from my academic counseling job, I'm a stay-at-home "Nee Nee" to a five-year-old grandson. I hunger for adult conversation, and email and my networking sites is how I get my fix these days.

b) I'm a closet comedienne and I love to make people laugh. I have a serious side to my blog, but I also like to blend in a lot of humor. Everyone needs a chuckle now and then, and if I can brighten someone's day, I do. Blogging gives me a chance to laugh at the world and myself.

c) One of greatest thing about being online is learning new things. Of course then this takes me back to one the struggles of being on line...saying no to people. I've learned to do video trailers, even started a little side business called, TrailMix, Videos. Setting up a Myspace page wasn't a daunting task, but you'd be surprised how many people can't figure it out. I've mastered moderating yahoo groups and setting up my own, and it seems that either people are playing dumb or they really find it a challenge. Nonetheless, I guess I'm destined to be a patsy for anyone in need. There's a lot of satisfaction in it. Makes an old gal feel smarter than she really is. :)

I guess now, what I need to do is tag three more people for you to meet. Hmmm, let me see:

Yvonne Perry is is a wonder. She's one of the busiest people I know but manages to organize and involve people in great blog chains that connect one to another. I've met some great people and drifted to spaces I would never have found on my own.

Vicki Gaia is a good friend and fellow author I met on a critique group. I admire her positive attitude and spirit, and she's been a tremendous help in honing my work for submission to publishers.

Anne Whitfield is another good friend and fellow author who started a Historical Fiction critique group and invited me to participate. I've made great progress, good friends, and turned out some pretty decent books thanks to Anne and her group. I owe her a lot.

So there you go. This was fun. Thanks to Helen Ginger for recognizing my site and awarding me the 'meme'. I titled this "All About Blogging" but it really was all about ME! Hope you enjoy visiting the other sites and learning about how other people blog. Probably not as crazily as I do, but as entertaining I'll bet.

Ginger

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

Myspace Comments - Happy Thanksgiving
Since I know that some of you will be traveling for the holiday, I wanted to take a moment and wish those of you who celebrate, a very special day. May this Thanksgiving Day find you all with loved ones, enjoying the season, feeling warm and toasty, and patting a stomach full with the Lord's bounty. When I offer thanks on Thursday, you'll be among the blessings that I mention. From our house to yours, Happy Turkey Day, and stay safe.

Ginger

Sunday, November 18, 2007

IT'S BECOMING PAINFUL TO WATCH TV


I've always been very open to suggestion and even had to stop watching Marcus Welby M.D. in my youth because I manifested the same symptoms the morning after I viewed an episode. Now don't class me as a hypochondriac... there's a vast difference between inventing illness and mimicking one.

I thought I had a pretty good handle on that problem, but now I have to worry about the side affects of the medicines I take. You know all those things they babble at sound faster than the speed of light at the end of the recommending ad. Would you rather have RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome) or a severe gambling problem? I'm not sure. Depends on my luck, I guess.

Although I don't suffer from the condition, I'm thrilled that those with genital warts are trying to protect their partner by taking a little pill a day, but how happy will they be when their mates suffer a stroke? How about that commercial that shows someone slumbering restfully after ingesting just one little tablet? How peaceful can you sleep when complex behaviors such as “sleep-driving” have been reported by people taking the drug. I kid you not! And what about this epidemic of penile flacidity? Is that even a word? Has this always been a problem and if so, why are we forced to hear about it now?

I take medication for atrial fibrillation that comes with a warning list a mile long. I can't take over-the-counter cold medicines because I might have a stroke, and if I combine it with a certain anti-depressant, I might become suicidal. Next thing I know, I won't be able to have sex on a night with a full moon in any month beginning with J.

What happened to the days when we didn't have to hear about feminine itching, hemorrhoids and especially sexual dysfunction. Do we really want to see a couple who has that problem, see the twinkle in their eye and know their business? I don't. I'm an author and I believe in a good romance, but I like something left to the imagination. Don't you?

Friday, November 16, 2007

GET IN THE HOLIDAY MOOD

MySpace Comments - Happy Holidays

THIS JUST IN FROM Melinda Porter, HHRW President. Since I know you guys really like to play in contests, I thought I would forward it on. It sounds like a lot of fun. Get busy!

Join Melinda and 13 other authors as they celebrate the season of Carols:

Put a little ho-ho-ho into your holidays by playing WHAT'S THE NAME OF THAT CHRISTMAS CAROL? This scavenger hunt is certain to bring back fond memories, is something that might bring you and your loved ones together in the grand game of carol identification, and just might land you one of our 21 prizes. That's right, 14 authors and 21 prizes! You don't have to be perfect in guessing, but getting them all right will get your name entered into our final grand prize drawing, making it a chance at 22 prizes. Here is what you need to do to enter:

1.) Just visit each of the following authors' websites & find the line from that author's chosen carol. If you end up somewhere other than the author's contest page, just look for a link to the contest page, there'll be one.


Alisha Paige
http://www.alishapaige.com/page/page/4367788.htm

Kyann Waters
http://www.kyannwaters.com/

Skhye Moncrief
http://www.skhyemoncrief.com/

Tarah Scott
http://www.tarahscott.com/CONTESTS.php

Anna Kathryn Lanier
http://www.aklanier.com/

Jacquie Rogers
http://www.jacquierogers.com/contest.html

Sky Purington
http://www.skypurington.com/contest.html

Nancy Brandt
http://nancysbrandt.com/?page_id=167

Denise McDonald
http://denisemcd.wordpress.com/contest/

Bess McBride
http://www.bessmcbride.com/gpage4.html

Donna Micheals
http://www.donnamichaelsauthor.com/ContestsEvents.htm

Hywela Lyn
http://www.hywelalyn.com/contests.htm

Heather Hiestand
http://www.coffeeonsundays.info

Eilis Flynn
http://www.coffeeonsundays.info

2.) Make a list of the author's name and the carol's title. And make certain to check it twice!

3.) E-mail your list to happyendings2007@aol.com by midnight CST on Christmas Eve.
Prizes will be awarded by Jan. 1, 2008--due to the craziness of the holidays. Please do not worry we have forgotten.

Good luck, thanks for playing, and Happy Holidays!

Thursday, November 15, 2007


MySpace Comments - Friends


I'm in the processing of switching over members from my newsletter to my blog and I'm excited that so many have chosen to stay with me. I sometimes don't think people realize how stressful being an author can be, and without the support and positive feedback I've received from so many of you, I think I would have hung up my keyboard a long time ago. You are what keeps me going, so please know how much I appreciate each and every one of you.

Now to share a little bit of disappointing news with you. Because of a personal choice, I'm no longer with Highland Press. Sparta Rose will not be released by them in 2008 as I had anticipated, so receiving the 200 postcards, printed T Shirt, refrigerator magnets and wall calendar all displaying the beautiful cover that I no longer have made this a bittersweet day. I have asked for and received back all rights to my book, and I'm sharing this because I had asked so many to visit the New Covey Awards and vote on my cover and trailer, and it is no longer there. It has also disappeared from most other places I recall posting it. I'm so sorry for the inconvenience, but believe me, this was a very difficult and painful decision. My request was handled graciously and professionally by Leanne, the owner of HP, and I will be forever grateful to her for believing in Sparta Rose.

I have submitted to another publisher with hope that they will recognize the value of my work as Highland did when they offered my contract. The good news is that I still have Embezzled Love to look forward to in 2008 from Lachesis Publishing. The primary edits are done and it has been forwarded on. I'll keep you posted on the progress.

Again, thank you my friends for staying with me and believing in what I do. I love to write and I hope it shows. I plan to have some very interesting people on the blog, and of course you will always be subject to my poor attempts at humor.

If you know of anyone who might like to read my daily blogs, please refer them and have them mention your name. I'll be happy to send you a little trinket. Perhaps a defunct postcard or magnet. *lol*

Hugz
Ginger

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

CHRISTIE ATWOOD'S IN THE HOUSE

MySpace Comments - Hi, Hello, Hey & Aloha


GLAD YOU COULD MAKE IT!




I'm so happy to have Christie Atwood here. I had the good fortune to meet her through author Nikki Leigh who is putting together some very interesting promotional ideas. I got to preview Christie's amazingly funny book, and I recognized myself in many of her journal posts. Part of the deal for hosting her was that I got to ask her my choice of questions. Below are the ones I selected, along with Christie's responses. She's one funny woman and I'd love to meet her in person one day. Welcome to my blog Christie and thanks for joining me. Maybe I can sneak in an extra question and ask her why she thinks bra manufacturers believe that DD cups sizes can be supported with straps made of dental floss? *smile*



Ginger –
I’m so excited to get to visit with you! Especially since it sounds like we have a style of writing in common. (Although you probably know how to do all that fancy stuff like putting nouns and verbs together correctly…)
Perhaps there’s a collaborative effort in our futures??
Well, let’s get to your questions for me:

1. What was the first thing about your body that made you realize you were getting older?

Let me think … It’s actually been a gradual process so it’s hard to remember what was first. Or maybe that’s just my pre-senility crisis setting in.

When I turned 30, I worked in television for a while and you know what they say about the camera adding ten pounds? It does! And what was worse, the show I hosted used three cameras, so it added 30 pounds to my hips that I’ve never been able to get rid of. That was the first realization.

Then when I turned 40 I made another scary realization. I had all the same equipment I had when I was 20, but now it had all shifted one foot lower.

I also found that, although I could do many of the things I did when I was 30, I tended to make a lot more noise as I did them. Getting up from looking on the bottom library shelf began to sound like someone undergoing torture during the Inquisition…

2. How did you handle it? Do you try to disguise it, make the most of it, or just plain throw up your hands and surrender?

I realized it was going to happen whether I liked it or not, so I might as well celebrate it.

I’ve decided that we need to make Thomas Hancock’s birthday a national holiday. He’s the guy who invented elastic.

I also celebrate by being immature, wearing my chicken suit as often as possible, and refusing to own normal shoes. My latest Converse tennis shoes are cartoon-colored. Before that I wore bowling shoes all the time, but the terrible irony there was that I had to quit bowling. Whenever I went, the employees always thought I was trying to steal shoes.

For Mardi Gras I wanted to make a t-shirt that said, “Look low boys, I’m over 40.” (Okay Ginger, that might be just a little too much information. You can leave that out if you think it will scare your wonderful guests!)

3. What possessed you to write a journal about age?

It started when I realized that, as I wrote my regular humor column, a common theme kept appearing. That theme was my aging process. It sneaked its way into columns with topics such as a sudden appreciation for fiber, the lack of interest in Britney, and the fact that I kept the ER on my speed dial.

I realized that lots of people are experiencing this same theme. And I realized that one person going through the episodes of midlife crisis alone is just depressing. All of us getting together and making fun of these episodes is really funny.

What I really love is when I’m doing appearances and I see people in the audience nodding and giggling. Not only do I appreciate it much more than those who are nodding off and gagging, but it also reminds me that we’re in this club and all we have to pay to get in is some gray hair and a couple of wrinkles. And I don’t think that’s all that bad. Although, I will admit that I’m not thrilled to have wrinkles and zits at the same time. That just doesn’t seem fair.

4. You mention that your mother and father both write. Can you tell us a little about them and how they influenced you?

Mom and Dad owned a weekly newspaper when I was growing up. That meant I spent the first part of my life in the bottom drawer of the file cabinet. That was my bassinet.

They gave me one of the old typewriters, a cast iron Royal, when I was six. I set up an office in the hot water heater at home and wrote almost constantly in there. I still get nostalgic at the smell of gas and the sounds of heating water.

Mom’s a terrific writer. She’s written stories and articles for major magazines like Redbook and Reader’s Digest. She taught me that the written word is one of the most powerful tools in the world. Well, that and a Black & Decker chainsaw – but after the infamous “pine tree incident”, she’s promised not to play with that anymore…

Dad was born in 1913. Nope, that’s not a typo. He’s 94 and hasn’t retired. (He’s scared to go home and be with Mom everyday.) He still works with the written word as the owner and sole employee of Gabour Printing Company. He never takes time off work – except at lunchtime when he goes to the senior citizen center for lunch. He works as a volunteer serving the “old people”. Geez, I hope I’ve got those genes!

Needless to say, those two people continue to be an incredible inspiration to me, not only in my writing, but in my life.

5. If you had to warn one woman about the perils of approaching midlife, what would you tell her is the most devastating thing to expect?

The word ma’am. Especially when you think the young fellow is checking you out.

Or when you walk by a construction site and no one acts crass and disgusting by whistling at you.

Or when you write your number on the bathroom wall and all you get is a call trying to sell you life insurance…

Or are those things just me???

I think everyone approaching midlife should be warned that they’ll develop an uncontrollable urge to buy a red car, a desire to wear more elastic waistbands, and an appreciation for the fathers on primetime shows instead of the latest young hunk who plays the son. You’ll also learn how to pretend you know where you’re going when you’ve been trying to find your car for over 20 minutes in the mall parking lot.

6. Are you a stand-up comedienne?

I was. In fact, I was such a good stand-up comedienne that now I’m a writer…

I liked stand-up. The more the audience drank, the funnier I got. Unfortunately no one could physically drink enough to actually make me hilarious, so I thought for the general health of the public I should get out of the field.

Now I teach lots of seminars and workshops and my humor works really well there. Nobody expects an instructor to be funny, so they’ll laugh at anything. Now that’s good for the ego! Also, I get to throw hecklers out if I want. That’s just an added bonus.

7. I researched the publisher of your book, Morris Publishing. As an author who is published by several different e-pubbers, I wondered what influenced you to take the 'self-publishing route'?

I loved the folks at Morris Publishing. They did a great job with the production of my book and they were wonderful to work with.

I tried to go the traditional publishing route at first. I wanted to have an instant best seller and say things like, “J.K. dear, would you pass me the martini pitcher?” or “Mr. Grisham, please stop bragging on my book. You’re embarrassing me.”

A couple of publishers were interested in my book, but each wanted me to do things that I just wasn’t sure about. They wanted things like changing the book from nonfiction to fiction and changing the main character. But it was my life!

I was confused. I just really wanted to give the book one try like it was. Plus I knew that I didn’t have the ability to write this as a novel with a real plot. I haven’t got the attention span. I get distracted just… What was I saying?

Oh yeah … I decided to go ahead and publish the book myself to prove that it was marketable and to show that I could promote it effectively. I did it and sold out of my first printing almost immediately. (Having a big family can come in handy.)

Then I printed again and ran out again. Then I remembered to send it out again to a few publishers with my new self-publication information and sales figures. I sent to three publishers I’d never sent to before and all three responded! It was pretty exciting.

I chose one – Cardoza Publishing – and was thrilled to give up all the details of distribution and stocking and living with boxes of books in my house!

My latest three books are nonfiction business books and I am doing those through a traditional publisher also. They’re Succession Planning Basics, Presentation Skills Training, and Manager Skills Training. This publisher, ASTD Press, is even doing amazing things like buying ads!

8. What have you found to be the benefits of self-publishing? The disadvantages? Would you recommend it?

Self-publishing gave me a wonderful understanding of the business side of writing. It was invaluable experience that helped me learn to work more effectively with my publishers, bookstores, and the media.

I’m so glad I tried it and quite honestly, if I write a book that I think would be best sold as a “back of the room” book at my speaking engagements, I’ll probably do it again. It’s a great way to get a book out there where it’s totally up to you to determine whether it’s a success or not.

The hard part was the distribution method. It’s really expensive to go through distributors! They take about 55% off the top. Then there are postage costs, promotion costs, and the cost of persuading cousin Lester and his three remaining teeth to help you pass out bookmarks. It’s a tough lesson, but it was still fun and I’d recommend it to persons who can stand a little rejection and a lot of sweating.

The one caveat would be – Make sure that the book is a quality product. Get an editor to review it. Get some objective opinions to ensure it will appeal to your target market. Be sure you have it done right – cover design, paper quality, layout and design, ISBN number, bar codes, copyrights, promotions plan, etc. If it’s done less than professionally, you’ll find yourself in the house with boxes of books that you have to use for ottomans.

9. What do you think of Nikki Leigh?

I’m so glad you asked! Don’t you think it’s a little suspect that she is always in such a good mood? I think that some sort of substance abuse might be involved. Probably dark chocolate…

Okay, let me say something here. I’ve never worked with a promotions person before and I really like it! It’s fun having someone to bounce ideas off of. And it’s nice having someone else take the reigns on the publicity and being able to focus on writing and just being myself.

But I still think she’s too happy…


Christie, thanks for letting me ask all these nosy things.

They weren’t nosy! They were pretty darn impressive – especially since you did homework and actually knew stuff about me!

And thanks for listening to my answers. Usually only the psychiatrist does that … and that’s only because I pay her. And fifty minutes into the session she’s always scratching at the door trying to get out.

Thanks Ginger! I really enjoyed the visit. Let’s get together again soon!

Thanks to you to, Christie. I use humor to deal with life and finding out about you and your book was a real pleasure for me. I intend to follow your career and hopefully one day we can meet. I love people who take a humorous approach to life. Come back anytime.

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