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.

TOMORROW IS THE DAY

Christie Atwood is coming to visit, and I bet she can make you laugh. Her book - Three Feet Under - Journal of a Midlife Crisis is sure to help you identify with some of your very own issues. I hope you'll join us.

Ginger

A New Day, A New Attitude


MySpace Comments - Angels



I found this today and it reminded me that I'm far too thin-skinned and get my feelings hurt easily. What has transpired to upset me is not worth the stress and strain. I'm reminded by this graphic that those who truly know and appreciate me will do exactly what this verse says. So, I'm here to stay and I guess you'll have to put up with me and just puff away at the things I say with which you don't agree. *VBG*

Ginger

Sunday, November 11, 2007

I Learned a Very Important Lesson

For years, I counseled students with issues. The one piece of sound advice that I preached was, "if you encounter problems with someone, talk it out. If they don't know how you feel, they can't address your concerns." So, when I ran into a little discord with someone, I did try to do that, but I evidently should have tried harder. Instead, I found solace in other people reaching out to me and offering consolation and support, further evidence that I was the wronged one. Well, my friends, it cost me dearly. I'm not going into grisly details, but suffice to say it has altered my outlook on the future and made me question if what I do is really worth the effort. So if you come looking and the blog is gone, you'll know I found my answer. Learn from my mistake. Don't commiserate via email. It's a dangerous thing to do...I know firsthand.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

JUST GREAT!

If you read my previous post, you'll understand this comment. My daughter-in-law tells me what I have sounds like 'shin splints'. Now if I get jock itch and athlete's foot I'll have all my sport's diseases covered.

MySpace Graphics - Hi, Hello & Hey
MySpace Layouts - Hi, Hello & Hey<

Friday, November 9, 2007

WHAT THE HECK???

MySpace Graphics - Attitude


When we come into this world, there should be a handbook rolled up in our little palm so that we have an idea of what to expect. Every milestone has been somewhat of a shock. I shall explain from the female's perspective, since I can't speak with authority for the other gender:

As a young girl, you wake up one day, get dressed, and discover that you have embarrassing bumps in your t-shirt. What fit perfectly snug against you one day, now looks like someone has glued peas to your chest. When you're cold, it's even worse. It really doesn't matter what you wear, the evidence of blooming is ever present. You try to ignore the boy's snickers.

As a teenager, you've gone from a t-shirt to at least a training bra, but now you face having a period every month. If your mother didn't tell you the facts of life, you go to the bathroom, discover blood, and think you're dying. If she did explain mother nature's calling, then you just FEEL like you're dying.

As an adult, you most likely give birth to a child. No one can describe the pain associated with that. The best I heard was a joke that said, "Take your bottom lip and try and pull it over your head." I think it's more like trying to get a school bus out of the garage using the doggie door, but that's just me.

As a middle age woman you notice lines and wrinkles beginning to appear. It happens overnight just like the t-shirt bumps. One day you have smooth skin, the next you don't.

Then it really becomes tense. Your breasts, once perky and upright, have developed magnets that seem to be attracted to the toes of your shoes. Whatever held up the skin on your neck has disappeared and someone fan-pleated your lips. Mother Nature thinks your hair needs a frost job, and the color isn't at all attractive. As a protective device, your body begins building a shelf to catch the boobs that are headed south. As if that isn't enough, your legs have more blue lines than a road map.

At fifty-five, you become eligible for a senior meal at Denny's. You order it and pray someone will card you. They don't.

Of course, this is just a 'thumbnail' of the horrors of aging, but wouldn't it have been nice to have a warning? Now I'm facing sixty-two. The year went by so fast, I didn't even get to say I was sixty-one. It's scary.

I went to the doctor today because my legs and feet have been swelling. Of course, I've put on a few pounds because I sit at the computer most of the day instead of exercising. I get up everyday and say, "Hmmm, jogging or checking my email... sit ups or writing another chapter?" Well you can imagine which I choose. So today, the doc tells me I need to walk more and he gives me a RX for a very strong water pill. I was so depressed over being weighed that I resolved to start walking.

There's a little park not far from his office. I pulled in and got out of the car and decided to walk the one mile track there. Let me just say... you should not try to walk a mile on your first attempt if the most exercise you've had recently is moving your fingers over the keyboard. Halfway around I thought I was going to die. Literally. My legs turned leaden, sweat was pouring from my forehead, and every step was torture. At the half mile turn, I spied my car. I focused on it, and forced one foot in front of the other until I got there. I collapsed in the seat. I had to rest a minute before driving, but once I got off my swollen feet I felt pretty satisfied that I'd actually done a half mile. I decided to go to Walmart and do some shopping. I'm pretty sure I did another half mile there.

So....it's 2:00 A.M. I just woke up with leg cramps that rival childbirth. I have never had my big toe lift off of the floor and point at me. Try walking like that. Try climbing the stairs to the kitchen to get some orange juice to restore the lost potassium with Charlie horses in both legs and your big toe standing at attention. Oh Lord. I'd rather have the swelling.

So, I've had my orange juice, I've bitched, but now I'm afraid to go back to sleep. What if it happens again? Growing old isn't for the faint of heart. I need a muscle relaxer. :) Actually, I need a good stiff drink. I can't wait to see what's in store tomorrow. Happy Birthday to Me, Happy Birthday to Me. Happy Birthday dear Ginger... Happy Birthday to me. And many mooooreeee. *lol*

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Don't Forget


Please come back on November 14th to chat with Christie Atwood.

WHY CAN'T WE HAVE SOME CONSISTENCY?

This question niggles at me every time I have to deal with yet another ATM transaction machines in a retail store. I guess consistency in the types of machines would translate to a monopoly, and Lord knows we can't have that. But, I'm getting old and I only have so much space left in my brain for storage. Hence, the 'old dog/new trick' analogy is making a lot more sense to me these days.

Don't you agree, though, that it would make like much simpler if we could be uniform in SOME things. In California, the freeway lanes reserved for Carpools are called just that...CARPOOL LANES. In some states they're called Express Lanes, and in Tennessee they are called HOV Lanes. I just recently learned HOV lanes don't require High Octane fuel. I had steered clear of them since I use the lowest grade gasoline available. *lol* I finally figured out HOV means High Occupancy Vehicle. Now I'm challenged to discover how many people you must have in your car. A volkswagon full of clowns...three people, two. Me and a blowup doll? *lol* See, we aren't even uniform in that. In my old home state it's two, in some places it's three. I can just picture the committees that make up these rules. "Well, Let's show California we can go them one better. We'll require three adults, a child and a dog."

I guess I'll have to slow down and read the signs when I pass. You can't just assume you know the answer, can you? I'm beginning to understand why people just stay home. It's easier. Besides, I don't have a dog. :)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

READERS' STATION NEWSLETTER

Hey Everyone,

I'm sharing the link with you to the Readers' Station November Newsletter. Check it out. Some of your favorite authors *hint hint* might be mentioned.

Readers Station
Don't forget to order your copy of:
Journeys of a Lifetime –
An Anthology by Members of the Readers Station

We invite you to come aboard the Readers' Express as it pulls out of the Readers' Station. Will you be on board to experience a new adventure? Our tour guides will transport you to other places, times and worlds - for trips of a life time. We transport you on these adventures through our books. The Readers' Station gives fiction and non fiction readers of many genres and topics the chance to learn more about books and the authors who write them.
NEW RELEASE NOVEMBER 2007
The tour guides of the Readers’ Station are happy to announce the release of our anthology – Journeys of a Lifetime. The name was chosen by visitors to our website and our message board and it embodies the idea behind our group. We extend an invitation to you to visit our website and message board.

Journeys of a Lifetime

Join our special tour guides and travel to places you have only dreamed about. See the Taj Mahal, visit Australia, Ireland, New England…

But, this is a magical journey, so you never know what might happen. You could find yourself in the past, in the future, in a fairytale, waiting for a train in a depot or even inside a skyscraper being controlled by a computer that’s gone mad.

This anthology includes contributions by Elena Dorothy Bowman, Bryn Colvin, Nikki Leigh, Dorice Nelson, Nora Peterson, Ginger Simpson, Donna Sundblad, Angela Verdenius and Anne Whitfield. These women are from the United States, England and Australia. They write a wide variety of genres and topics.

For more information, visit
www.readersstation.com.
The book is available on Amazon.

ETERNAL HEARTS BY JEAN ADAMS



Another production by Trailmix Videos *VBG*

Monday, November 5, 2007

WELCOME BLOG CHAIN-EES

Hello,
Welcome to my world. Don't mind the clutter and dust. Feel free to explore and don't worry about leaving fingerprints. I'll tidy up after everyone leaves. There's cyber snacks in the back room, help yourself.

A little about me. I've been writing since 2000, with my first book published in 2003. I'm addicted and can't stop, and I don't believe there are help groups for us junkies. I went to Overeaters Anonymous once to see if I could do the twelve-step program which is similar to AA, but I just couldn't wrap my mind around God having to worry about whether or not I ate a Big Mac or not. I figured he had bigger fish to fry. So, I'll just keep taking my daily fixes of 'authordom' by doing things like blogging and creating new stories, and hope someday I'll overdose on fame. Right!

I look forward to visiting the blogs on my list, but I wanted to leave a welcome note before I trek off and start leaving my witty comments.

Thanks for coming!
Ginger

p.s. If you wonder why there are so many videos here...I'm showcasing them for my friends and my new business venture "Trailmix Videos"

THIS MUST BE PHYLLIS CAMPBELL WEEK *lol*




Another great trailer from Trailmix Videos. *VBG*

Saturday, November 3, 2007

HER NIGHT OF SEDUCTION - Phyllis Campbell

Boy, that new video company is sure pumping out some interesting trailers. TrailMix is their name. *lol*

COVER AND TRAILER AWARDS - VOTE NOW

Hey everyone. There's a great place on blogspot.com where you can vote for your favorite book covers and video trailers. I'm not naive enough to think I can win, but I entered Sparta Rose in both. The cover is delicious and the trailer isn't bad, although I did that one myself. It hardly stands up to the other professionally and more perfectly done videos there. Please vote your choice. I'm there for the free promotion. *lol*

The New Covey Awards

NOTE:
Voting for the trailers won't commence until they've received 30 entrants or November 30th, whichever comes first.

Romance Reviews

The Romance Reviews

Manic Readers

Manic Readers

She Writes

Historical Fiction Books

Readers and Writers of Distinctive Fiction