Tag Archives: fun

Jumping Frogs and Canteloupes.

I grew up and still live in the suburbs. All the conveniences of city life are right down the road. Major sports teams, museums, and restaurants are all within minutes and there is never a lack of new places to explore. As a kid I watched as new development took over the spare lot, and kick-the-can games got re-located to the school baseball field. Independent shops got swallowed up by malls and the corner ice cream store became a real estate office. Making life easier seemed to be the goal. Suddenly everything was open on a Sunday. At the time we thought it was great!

But I am genetically wired to love small towns. Both my parents were born and raised in little farm communities and grew up ice-skating on frozen rivers.  Even though my dad could not wait to escape, he had lots of stories about hiding in bushes when his girlfriend’s father caught him on the front porch way past curfew. So when I moved to a small town in Central PA in the late 80’s, I was drawn to the slower pace, the town square, and the corner butcher. I was intrigued by the news stories highlighting the daily activities of the citizens (who won the blue ribbon at the fair), and I was hooked when I saw my first Halloween parade. Kids in costumes riding their bikes, families walking toddlers in decked out strollers, and fire engines tossing candy into the streets. I was home.

I loved the years I lived in Carlisle PA. and I loved the sense of community. When my husband, daughter, and I returned to city life to be closer to family, I kept searching for that same feeling, same sense of connection. Block parties were the best I could do until I discovered the allure of festivals – the floats with high school queens and bad for you funnel cakes.   It started with the Duct Tape Festival, grew with the Milan Melon Fest, and became addicting with the Port Clinton Midnight Walleye Drop on New Year’s Eve. At each I found people with no other agenda than to have fun and relish a silly tradition.

In this year of 60 things to do before I turn 60, there were three festivals that made the list, three that I had wanted to experience but had always missed. The Medina Ice Sculpture Festival and the North Ridgeville Corn Fest each lived up to their names with beautiful works of cold art and dozens of fresh roasted ears. Both drew people to communities that benefited from the hordes of people flocking to their squares. But the grand-daddy of them all was the Valley City Frog Jump. I marked it on my calendar months in advance, determined not to miss this one day extravaganza of all things frog.

My friend Pattie, her 5-year old daughter Carolyn, and I arrived early to ensure that spots would still be available. Also in tow was my daughter Julie, our official frog handler. But something took over as we approached the registration table. I decided I wanted my own frog. I knew if I remained a spectator that I would later feel cheated I did not compete. So eight bucks later my frog, appropriately named “Sixty,” was rented and being held until it was my turn.

I knew this event was special when the competition started by the singing of the National Anthem. What better way to kick off an athletic event of this magnitude! Everyone in the park, those close to the jumping and those buying frog cookies, stopped, and with hands over hearts joined in the singing. Afterwards I walked the area outside the competition ring and smiled as I looked around at the families showing off their prized amphibians, kids playing frog corn hole, and basketball. Some of the critters had escaped and kids bounced through the grass retrieving their athletes. Carolyn found her challenge with frog putt-putt as we patiently waited for our ‘flight,” or division to be announced. As she found the bounce house, I stood on the edge of the observation area, looking to glean some tips.

The rules were simple. When your flight was called you reported to the holding area to receive your frog in a bucket. Warnings were given to leave the lid on until you were called to the jumping area, and those who ignored the warning found themselves startled by escaping jumpers. Once in the center of the parachute, the frog was to be placed in the green circle. After placing the 4-legged star in the ring, the handler could no longer touch the critter, only encourage by slapping the cloth behind the bug-eyed athlete. The frog would be given three jumps. Then a team of assistants would run out and measure the distance, scooping up the contestant in one hand. Winners of each flight would compete in the finals at the end of all the rounds. Like I said…simple.

Tucked in my pocket was a pair of gloves as I had been warned that frogs always pee in your hands. But as I waited my turn, I realized I would be booed out of the ring if I wore them. I decided to suck it up and peeked into the bucket, bonding with my entrant. “Sixty” stared up at me, almost daring me to remove the lid. I felt a moment of panic…worried that he would jump into my face! But before I had a chance to talk myself out of the whole thing, the referee was handing him to me and directing me to the brightly colored parachute cloth.

Placing him in the circle, I quickly stood back and watched as the long-legged guy took off. In his three jumps he covered 9 feet, 2inches, flying through the air in three great arches. I broke into a smile, clapping at his success, proud of his distance. It wasn’t the longest, but it certainly not the shortest! I had known him for less than 30 minutes but felt an odd sense of maternal pride! Sixty was quickly put back into the bucket and returned to the rental table, where he was then taken back to the cool waters of the river bank. Job well done!

After bonding with some anti-bacterial gel, we headed to the food stands to enjoy a celebratory lunch. Unlike many events, the choices were not local food trucks or vendors who travel fair to fair. Rather, each stand benefited a local church or athletic team or scouting group. Alice, Marge, and Judith sold cookies carefully decorated as frogs and slices of berry pie. Ed and Joe were in charge of the roasted chickens and rib platters. There was Italian sausage, popcorn, and ice cream. All homemade… all local…all simple. Which is the whole point.

It is that flavor, that simplicity that makes me love these festivals. Yes, they are a bit quirky, yes they are silly. Whether prom dresses are being made out of duct tape, or kids are bowling with cantaloupes, what these festivals have in common is the desire to connect and have fun! Simply have fun. While I appreciate the advantages of living near the energy of a city, it is the energy of people that draws me to these small town celebrations. They feed my soul.

The summer is far from over. Hot air balloons, baskets, and grapes are all waiting for their day. I will watch queens get crowned, try to dunk the high school football player, and eat funnel cakes.   I will chat with the church ladies who have crocheted dozens of dish towels, play bingo, and watch sack races. I might even get my caricature drawn. At the end of the day I will return to my home in the suburbs, content in the knowledge that despite the pace of my daily life, I can always take a break and rent a frog.

Susan Emmerich is the author of A Girl on a Bike: Musings on Life, Loss, and Hot Flashes, now available from Second Wind Publishing and amazon.com She can be found riding her bike around Cleveland OH making observations on a most interesting life.


Filed under fun, life, musings, writing

Wives are Awesome

Recently, I’ve begun to notice some changes in how men and women view marriage later on in life as opposed to how they viewed it when we were in our twenties. I can recall being fresh out of college, wide eyed and expectantly waiting for the next stage of my life. For me, like most young women, that meant marriage.

I, like many of my friends who were of the female persuasion, spent countless hours pouring over bridal magazines, researching reception sites, wandering through craft stores in an attempt to get some ideas for centerpieces and favors, and even trying on dresses as though we were already engaged. One friend in particular actually purchased a wedding gown before she met the man she was going to marry, so certain was she that the dress she found was “the one.”

Our male counterparts, on the other hand, spent their days avoiding anything at all to do with marriage. In fact, most of them avoided any discussion of marriage as though the mere mention of the word would cause their favorite appendage to fall off. Some of them commonly referred to the institution as antiquated and not for them, even hinting that monogamy went against their most primal urge to repopulate the earth with as many offspring as possible. One more than one occasion, I distinctly heard a young man (who had taken the plunge) refer to his wife as “the old ball and chain.”

What twenty-something man, after hearing that statement, would have any desire to be married?

Then something happens. One by one, these men lose the battle against marriage. One by one, they each walk down the aisle and pledge their love and fidelity to their bride, not knowing what the future will bring, but unwilling to lose the woman walking toward them in the white dress.

Flash forward to twenty years later…

Some of these marriages have remained in tact and some have fallen apart. What I find interesting is that despite the current status of their marriage, when asked if they’d “do it all again,” men and women, generally speaking, have very different responses. More often than not, it is the women who answers with a resounding “NO!” Even “Hell, no!” Whereas the men grin widely, then vehemently and enthusiastically nod their heads in the affirmative.

Ever wonder why that is? Why is it that two people who had pretty much the same experience wind up with such differing opinions as to whether or not they’d do it all again?

Well, you know me. I’ve come up with a theory: WIVES ARE AWESOME!

Mind boggling, huh? But seriously. Wives. Are. Awesome.

Just ask any man who has one or who has had one in the past.

From the moment the vows are said and rings are exchanged, all the little things that they used to worry about, all the details that make a household run, simply…vanish. See, this is what Wife does.

Allow me to explain.

From the moment Husband wakes up in the morning, practically every detail is taken care of for him. He takes a shower. His favorite shampoo is there on the shelf, simply waiting for him to use it. He steps out of the shower and wraps himself in a towel that is clean and fresh. He dresses himself in clothes that have been laundered and pressed for him, then steps into the kitchen for a cup of coffee, which was prepped the night before and set to begin brewing in the morning at just the right time.

Let’s say he goes to the bathroom and then reaches for the toilet paper. It is there on the roll, just waiting for him to use it. Now, of course men can buy the toilet paper but it is the wife who puts in on the roll because – let’s face it – the mechanical aspect of removing the empty roll and replacing with a new one has confused the modern man for YEARS!

But I digress….

Throughout the day, there are countless items that have been prepared by Wife in order to eliminate the need for Husband to have to think about. In some cases, it is so extreme that Husband can simply ask a question about a random item of clothing, pair of shoes, or an odd piece of paper and Wife will respond in kind with the items exact location.

Sure enough, Wife is correct.

I’m not sure why this entire process happens and I won’t even try to explain it. I will, however, tell you that, in my experience, men come to cherish, even rely upon this set up. So much so that after divorcing, it is the Husband who remarries quickly, finding that the marriage he once avoided is something he doesn’t want to live without. It seems Husband has gotten so dependent on the “being taken care of” aspect of marriage that he can’t wait to dive back into the marriage pool.

Women, on the other hand, begin to cherish their independence and fill their minds with the things they didn’t have time to do before because their minds were already full with taking care of their households. Now, often times for the first time ever, Wives find they have time to actually take care of themselves, a foreign concept to most, after having spent years caring for everyone else. Even my own mother has yet to remarry, still relishing her independence and autonomy whereas my father was remarried within a year of divorcing.

Is this a bad thing? Maybe. Maybe not. In my father’s situation, he remarried quickly and is still married to my stepmother, a wonderful woman, to this day. Both of them are quite happy.

What I can tell you is that for every happy ending like my father’s, there are countless other men who have leapt into a second marriage without even considering what went wrong with the first marriage. And this does not bode well for anyone involved.

And take my mother. She is very happy living by herself but for every woman like my mother who is happy being independent, alone but not lonely, there are countless women who find themselves in the same situation but aren’t happy.

So what’s the answer? I’m going to have to stay right in the middle on this one and say that I think it varies for every person. If you were to ask me “Will you ever marry again?” what would I say?

Well, I would ponder the question for a moment, then grin at you and say, “Sure! If I can find myself a wife!”

Donna Small is the author of two novels, Just Between Friends and A Ripple in the Water. Both are available from Second Wind Publishing. She lives in Clemmons, NC with her two daughters where she is at work on her next novel.


Filed under fun, Humor, life, musings, writing

IDEAS by S.M. Senden

People often ask where I get my ideas.

I can’t say that there is one well from which I draw when it comes to ideas.  There are many places inspiration can come from; most of them have some relationship with one another but none is exclusive.  Here are a few of my best sources.

Read.  The more you read, the more you learn, and the more you come up with questions that send you onto something else to read.

Research. The more I read, and research, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I want to know.  So many times in my research I find a nugget of truth to build a story upon.  I love to read old newspaper articles.  Not only do they provide ideas, but also a wealth of information about an era or place.

Play the ‘What If’ game.  This was a game someone told me about years ago when I was beginning to write. You begin with an idea.  I will use one that I recently read about. A family has been living in an older house, built somewhere around 1900.  One day one person got curious about the grate in the hall by the entrance.  It looked like it would be a vent to the HVAC, however they did not have central air.  Removing the grate revealed a deep, dark place below the floor.  One of the family members went down there and discovered an abandoned sanctuary with a large cross on the floor.

Now ~ here is where the ‘What If’ game gets fun.  What if there was a hidden treasure down there?  What if there was a catacomb of bones down there, or tunnels that lead to more secret chambers?  What if they entered an alternate reality, universe or era?  What if they discovered a body?

The ‘What If’ game takes your imagination for a long journey that is rarely dull.  It also can provide for a number of good story lines.

Dream.  Sometimes when I am working through a story I will set it into my mind to look for a solution as I sleep and dream.  Often dreams will provide answers.  More often a good nights rest will allow the ideas to come through as if they had been there all along.  Rarely do nightmares provide a story line, but it has happened.

Have No Fear of looking like a geek.  Arm yourself with paper, and a writing implement that works, so you can scribble down the stray thought that had been elusive and comes when you are thinking or doing something other than writing.  Sometimes a conversation will bring that key phrase or idea sought after for a character, situation or event.  Scribble down the idea, but be sure you can read your writing later on!

There are many more I could list, but these are some of the best ones.  Feel free to employ any of these ideas and methods.  Happy Writing!

Author of Clara’s Wish and soon to be released ~ Lethal Boundaries.

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Not Seen in Bookstores by Noah Baird

I recently read an article on the plight of the independent bookstore. The point of this particular article, similar to other articles I’ve read, was independent bookstores were having difficulty competing with Amazon.com. Our local bookstores are turning into Amazon showrooms. People (I’m not referring to them as ‘customers’ on purpose) are going into bookstores, browsing books, and then buying the books off of Amazon at a lower price.

I have to admit I am guilty of this also. However, I usually make a point to buy a book in the store; partly because I feel guilty, but mostly because I won’t get the book from Amazon for another week and Daddy needs his fix.

As a first time author, a counterpoint to the fall of the independent bookstore is it is often difficult for new writers to get their book on the shelves of an independent bookstore. The explanation I’m given usually covers one of the following reasons:

  • There is not enough shelf space for every new author. Translation: “We are only going to carry books we think are going to sell.” Which means they are going to carry the same books Barnes and Noble sells, but don’t have a Starbucks.
  • New authors don’t have a large enough fan base to warrant carrying the book or hosting an author event. This is a b.s. excuse. People pick up books from authors they’ve never heard of. Most people don’t care if it’s the writer’s first book or fifteenth; if the book looks interesting, then they will buy it. Secondly, I realize a very small percentage of a bookstore’s customers are writers. But there is a larger percentage of customers who want to be writers. People who are interested in writing will go and listen to writers, regardless of genre or popularity.
  • They won’t carry books from a particular publishing company because of return policies. I don’t know enough about return policies between booksellers and publishers to write anything intelligent. However, it seems like the bookseller knows which publishers have return policies they like. Usually, if your book wasn’t published by one of them, then you are out of luck. In my experience, they won’t investigate what your publisher’s return policy is; they just deal with the one they know about. I am not a publisher nor a bookstore owner, but this seems like a navigable obstacle. Both parties are in the business of selling books. It seems logical that a compromise could be made to aid in that goal.
  • Sometimes they are willing to take the books on consignment in return for a larger percentage of the purchase price. Translation: “I want you to write the book, get it published, haul it over to my store, and give me a larger portion of your royalties for your work.” This is always my favorite.

I have to admit, I was surprised by the responses I was getting from my local, independent bookstores. I wasn’t deluded enough to think they were waiting for me, but I assumed there was more of a symbiotic relationship between the stores and the writers. In hindsight, I was under the impression bookstores liked writers. And I think most of them do, but they are more interested in making a profit than establishing relationships with local writers.

I realized my impression that independent bookstores were kindred spirits to independent writers and musicians was wrong. I’ve been to countless indy music stores, and they were full of music by artists you’ve never heard on the radio. This is an interesting parallel; discovering an indy musician not heard on the radio, or before they became big (aka – sold out) is considered a testament to your taste. The same is not true for indy or small press writers. If a writer is not carried by one of the big publishers, then you aren’t truly vetted, and therefor aren’t worth reading. Regardless of the fact that there are countless books by independent writers which are excellent, as well as some really crap books published by the large presses. The reality of it is, some independent bookstores have become arbitrary gatekeepers; Saint Peters of Nightstands. My issue with this attitude is our work isn’t measured for quality, but weighed for the popularity of the writer and the size of the publisher.

The irony of this attitude is studies indicate the reason potential customers pick up a book is the cover. Most people decide if they are interested in a book within 10 seconds of picking up the book. Within those 10 seconds, a customer decides to make a purchase based on two pieces of information: the cover and the synopsis. Reviews and blurbs are also influential, but really confirm the customer’s impulse to buy the book. The price of the book is a distant 4th. The author’s name does influence the decision if the author is well-known; a Stephen King fan will pick up a new Stephen King book. Otherwise, an author’s popularity or the publishing company are not considered. Interestingly, when asked after making a purchase, a customer often does not know the name of the author of the book they just purchased. It isn’t until they have read the book that they commit the author to memory. Yet bookstores behaving like high school girls ordaining popularity based on factors transparent to the customer remains pervasive.

I think this the wrong attitude for bookstores to have. Several years ago, I went to Florida for a business trip. My flight had a long delay in Philadelphia, so I finished the book I brought with me faster than I anticipated. After I checked into my hotel, I wandered out to grab a bite to eat and pick up a new book. The hotel was in a funky beach town with several shops across the street. As I cruised around enjoying the sights, I noticed one street had two little bookstores. One bookstore was hosting an event for a local writer I’d never heard of. I went into the bookstore hosting the author event only because it had something more interesting going on than the other store. I bought three books- two by the author the event was being held for.

I was going to buy a book that day. I bought more books than I planned (which isn’t unusual), but I bought them from the store that had something going on that day. All things being equal, one of those stores was going to make a profit that day. The store with the author event got it. I would like to reiterate I had not heard of the author before that day. He was local author with a regional following. Since then, I have bought every book that writer has published to date, several from a small bookstore that will order books for me. A sale, is a sale, is a sale. A win for the writer translated to a win for the bookstore. That win transferred to another bookstore who made sales on books it didn’t carry.

I’m a bibliophile: I love books, I love bookstores, and I love writers. As a reader, I am concerned with what is happening to local bookstores. As a writer, I’ve embraced Amazon. I may be just a number at Amazon, but at least I’m acknowledged there. And for a first time author, that gives me a fighting chance.

By the way, the author in Florida was Tim Dorsey. If you’ve never heard of Tim Dorsey; mix Carl Hiaassen with the TV show Dexter and give it a bunch of Red Bulls and vodka.

Noah Baird is the author of Donations to Clarity, which often is not found in an independent bookstore.

Donations to Clarity

Donations to Clarity


Filed under books, fiction, fun, Humor, marketing, musings, writing


    Since we’re coming up on a holiday of thanks, sharing with friends and family and good food, I wanted to share some of my Good Food Memories.

    I have heard that scent is very important to memory, but I find that food also is helpful in recalling things of the past.  For instance, I cannot eat a corn dog without recalling a memory from a carnival years ago.  And those big black and white cookies?  Fuggidabout it!  I will always remember my first trip to a real New York Deli!

     The smell of popcorn takes me back to the Saturday morning movie matinees where I think every kid in town went.  I have great memories of seeing all the Edgar Allan Poe movies with my brother and cousins and a theatre full of screaming kids.  And there are some shocking food memories, too.  Such as the time my cousin was eating a Bid Daddy candy bar.  You remember those hard caramel candy bars on a stick that you’d bite into and it felt as though it was going to pull the fillings right out of your teeth?  Anyway, he bit into the candy bar and pulled it away from his mouth to find his front tooth sticking out of the top of the bar.

      At one point in my life I got very much into baking and very much into baking sourdough bread.  I had my sourdough starter which I mixed with water and flour, put in a Styrofoam cooler with a small light and a thermometer to keep it at the perfect temperature and I grew my sourdough starter.  The bread was great and it was really fun getting that starter up and running.  Then there was noodle making, and clay pot cooking and fun with filo and wonton wrappers.

     I remember all those endeavors with great fondness and there was great fun involved with my family, friends and loved ones.  What fun food memories do you have? 

      I wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving and hope you make some new fun food memories this holiday.

Nancy A. Niles is the author of Vendetta: A Deadly Win and Lethal Echoes.

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Stories to Scare the Young by Claire Collins

Claire Collins is the author of Fate and Destiny and Images of Betrayal.

His ears strained to pick up any strange noises in the surrounding forest. An owl called out asking who he was, but he didn’t respond. Each step brought him closer to the sounds he heard a few moments ago.

His father saw one when he was young, and enjoyed reliving the story as the young ones grew older. He believed his father, but he also wanted to learn about the legend himself. Part of him believed it was just a tale to scare the young, but part of him thought the lore might be true.

He crept forward, cautious not to disturb anything in the woods by his movement. If they were out there, he didn’t want to alert them to his presence. Dad said if they see him, they would eat him. He thought that if he saw them, the fright would scare him so bad that if they wanted to eat him, he wouldn’t be able to put up a fight anyway.

A flickering campfire, circled in by rocks glittered through the trees ahead of him. The air smelled strange, a bitter and musky scent wafted through the air from the fire. He crouched behind a tree, waiting. Watching.

A shriek of laughter split the air and he wanted to turn and flee, but his feet wouldn’t move. Two creatures ran up the hill towards the fire, their grotesque features displayed by the flickers of the flames.

Afraid, he spread his wings and took flight, anxious to get away as fast as possible. His father wasn’t just telling stories. He could barely breathe as his heart threatened to break free as he made his escape, flying into the air over the heads of the creatures,

It was true. Humans were real.


Filed under fiction, fun, Humor, writing

Fishing Klinic for Kids in Minnesota by Christine Husom

A number of years ago, a retired police officer came up with an idea to help keep kids out of trouble later in life. His idea was, if they learned to love the art and sport of fishing, it could be a lifelong hobby and provide an alternative to hanging out in the streets. He started by teaching community education classes, then realized fishing in the lake would be more meaningful and fun. And getting whole families involved would be even better. So the Fishing Klinic for Kids was born.

This year marked the 14th annual event in Sturges Park on Buffalo Lake. The town of Buffalo, Minnesota overlooks the lake, the center of many activities. The Fishing Klinic is the largest event of its kind in Minnesota. I have volunteered the past two years and am amazed how much there is to do and what a draw it is for people of all ages.

There are a number of sponsors, and the event is free of charge. We have over 1,000 kids, plus their parents and grandparents who attend each year. I helped coordinate the registration booth where the kids pick up a card with a list of vendors. After they visit eight booths they can go fishing. Last year we gave each of them a tackle box. This year they got a backpack and a flashlight. In addition to the nice gifts, they are about 1,000 other prizes they can win.

Some of the things to do are: take a pontoon ride, learn to caste, have a pony ride, watch a dog training demonstration, explore a fire truck and a police car, watch someone hand-tie fishing flies, see a demonstration from the Minnesota Raptor Center, listen to professional musicians, watch karate and dance demonstrations, get your face painted, eat a variety of vendor foods, watch minnows race, participate in a casting competition, take lessons from fishing professionals, learn ethical sportsmanship, and much more.

I have truly enjoyed being part of this rewarding event. For more information about it and the sponsors, go to: www.fishingklinicforkids.com. Fishing is understandably a popular sport in Minnesota–we have a few lakes and rivers. Fishing is one activity, but are any number of wholesome activities to engage children in from a young age. What are some things that are popular in your area? I’d love to hear about them.

Christine Husom is the Second Wind Publishing author of the Winnebago County Mystery Thriller Series; Murder in Winnebago County, Buried in Wolf Lake, and An Altar by the River.


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The Fun Side of The Rapture

There’s a lot of noise about The Rapture happening today (or tonight or early in the morning or next year, depending on what religion or deity you hang with). As with politics, I’m not going to throw my religious beliefs into cyberspace where they will ignite some people like gas poured onto a fire.

I am having fun, though. I’m scheduled to attend a post-Rapture party – if I’m still here, that is. I passed on the post-Rapture looting, mainly because I just don’t have room in my house for anything else. There is a post-Rapture Zombie Fest that I thought about, but most of the zombies I know I wouldn’t hang out with anyway.

Rapture, zombies, apocalyptic events – it’s an interesting time to be in the world. It’s also a very distracting time since the world is a serious place. Awful things happen all the time. Sad things invade your life unexpectedly. Fun is not in the vocabulary of the world.

From space, Earth looks blue and mildly depressed. And a bit dismal. And molting.

Tilt your head and it looks different. Soft and inviting, Earth almost looks cuddly. Turn your head 180 degrees and it looks like Linda Blair.

Distractions. It’s all about distractions, and, I am easily distracted. So, instead of writing this weekend, I’ll be focusing on rapturing. Maybe, though, I’ll write a story about a rapture that didn’t happen. It could be a romance or science fiction or drama or humor or horror or thriller or just about any genre out there. It might even have the makings of a best seller.

Of course, it will all be a moot point if the world ends today (or tonight, tomorrow morning, etc.). Until then, however, I plan to watch events unfold and have fun with it.

Until next time I blog, if we’re all still here, I bid you an irreverent adieu.

J J Dare is the author of two published books, several short stories and about thirty works-in-progress.

Current enthusiasm is co-authoring at Rubicon Ranch


Filed under fun, Humor, musings, writing

New Releases From Second Wind Publishing. Let’s Party!

SecondWind Publishing is pleased to announce the release of three new thrillers: One Too Many Blows To The Head, by J.B. Kohl and Eric Beetner, False World by JJ Dare, and Daughter Am I by Pat Bertram.

What is more exciting than three new releases from Second Wind Publishing, LLC? Four new contests!

Eric Beetner is having a Free ebook giveaway of the latest thrillers! Tell us an experience based on one of the new releases, and you might win that ebook. Click here for information.

J.B. Kohl invites you to “Tell Me About it. Maybe I’ll Give You A Book.” Write a 500 word short story about a flawed character. Click here for information.

JJ Dare is sponsoring a “False World” Story contest. All you have to come up with is 50 words. Click here for information.

If writing isn’t your thing, Pat Bertram is having a Treasure Hunt! Click here for information.

What is more exciting than four new contests or three new releases? Two great games to play! Click on the photo to find the game.

And what is more exciting than four new contests, three new releases, two great games to play? One free download! Click here to get a free download of the Second Wind Publishing Mystery Sampler ebook.

If you prefer to read online, click on one of the covers above to read the first chapter of the novel.


Filed under books, fun, writing

Time Warp

I’ve wrestled with what I should write about today.

The words don’t always immediately fly from my fingers, although when they do, it’s a fantastic feeling.  I’m not a big fan of writing about writing so if you’re really interested in how I write and what makes my fingers itch, you may have to go to the archives.

Instead, today, I’d like to give you a glimpse into my world by sending you on a little trip over to my regular blog. Don’t worry, you don’t have to pack a bag or arrange for a pet sitter and the transportation from here to there won’t be painful. If you don’t like the ride, you can easily return back here.


Claire’s WordPress 

Claire Collins is the author of Fate and Destiny and Images of Betrayal.


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