Blog Schedule

I post on Monday and Thursday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Gone And Hopefully Not Forgotten

I won't be around for the month of March. I'm off to visit my sister! It's her birthday this month, so what could be better?

I will also being attending a party memorial for my childhood best friend Jay. That's him at about 12.

His memorial will bring together two other running buddies, David and John. The four of us were quite a troop.

Me and Jay were the Dynamic Duo. David, John and Jay were the Three Musketeers. When all for if us were together my mother called us the Bish Mob.

I haven't seen either of them in so long I can't remember when I last saw them.

I'll also have a chance to visit with some of my classmates and have an impromptu 45th class reunion. It's kind of hard to believe we've all gotten so old...

I suppose I'll be on Facebook now and then, and I may even tweet once in a while. But other than that, I hope to be spending time with my sister, time with former classmates, and time at the beach.

Have a wonderful March, everyone. I intend to! I'll be back just in time to start the A to Z Challenge.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Another Win and Thankful Thursday

Thanks to Natalie at Literary Rambles, for the second time in one month I've won a book! This time it's Villain Keeper by Laurie McKay.

The Blurb

Unexpected magic, villainous teachers, and dragons in disguise await readers in the first book of a delightful new tween adventure series by debut author Laurie McKay.

All his life, Prince Caden has dreamed of being sent on a quest to slay a dragon. But before he has the chance, he is ripped from his home in the Winterlands of Razzon and finds himself in Asheville, North Carolina—a land with no magic and no dragons. But a prince must always complete his quest. And the longer Caden is in Asheville, the more he realizes there is magic in this strange land after all. More important, there may just be dragons here, too. But what if Caden’s destiny isn’t to slay a dragon, like he's always believed?

Fans of Soman Chainani’s The School for Good and Evil and Chris Colfer’s The Land of Stories will be transported by this first book in an epic new series for middle grade readers about a brave young prince’s quest to find answers, honor, friendship—and what it really means to be a hero. 

Sounds like it's right up my alley!

Every Thursday, from now until I don't know when, I'm going to express my thankfulness, for at least ONE something.

I've chosen a picture of the Deep Field to remind us all of how precious and rare this tiny ball of dirt, that we call Earth, is. 

This is it. It's all we've got Let us be kind to Earth and each other. Let us be THANKFUL for what we have.

Today I'm thankful for laughter

What is it about laughter? On the one hand it can look and sound like someone weeping. And yet... we know the difference.

It can be contagious.

Sometimes we can sound a bit like apes... hmmmm.

It also makes you feel good and is good for your health. Just ask Ellen.

Today I'm thankful for laughter.

What are you thankful for?

Monday, February 23, 2015

Guest Posting at Under the Tiki Hut

Today I'm guest posting at Carol Kilgore's. Carol and I are lounging around under her tiki hut sipping exotic drinks while I pontificate about how my famous lizard hero got his name.

Marvin's enjoying hanging out at the hut too because it reminds him of the islands. You know, palm fronds shushing in the wind, Old Man Ocean muttering to himself, and plenty of tasty bugs to gobble up.

You won't need an exterminator, Carol, as long as Marvin's visiting!

Stop by and say hi!

In the meantime, here's an article that was written about me for a local weekly newspaper! Hope it's large enough for a person to read.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

C. Lee McKenzie, I'm a Winner, and Thankful Thursday

Available at Amazon.

C. Lee McKenzie has released THE GREAT TIME LOCK DISASTER,  a new middle grade novel. 

Here's a blurb: There's nothing’s more dangerous than a wizard-in-training. And Pete Riley, has just proven it. He's worked a bad time spell--a very bad time spell. No YouTube, no smoothies, no Manga. Not ever again. Not unless Pete figures out how to reverse his spell and free Weasel and him from Victorian England. 

He has until the next full moon. Only a few days.

Tick. Tock.

PLUS, Lee is having a Rafflecopter giveaway so hurry over and sign up for a chance to win

It's been a while since I've won anything. So, winning a copy of WOVEN by  Michael Jensen and David Powers King was a very pleasant surprise! (How did they decide who was getting top billing?)

About Woven:

Two unlikely allies must journey across a kingdom in the hopes of thwarting death itself.

All his life, Nels has wanted to be a knight of the kingdom of Avërand. Tall and strong, and with a knack for helping those in need, the people of his sleepy little village have even taken to calling him the Knight of Cobblestown.

But that was before Nels died, murdered outside his home by a mysterious figure.

Now the young hero has awoken as a ghost, invisible to all around him save one person—his only hope for understanding what happened to him—the kingdom’s heir, Princess Tyra. At first the spoiled royal wants nothing to do with Nels, but as the mystery of his death unravels, the two find themselves linked by a secret, and an enemy who could be hiding behind any face.

Nels and Tyra have no choice but to abscond from the castle, charting a hidden world of tangled magic and forlorn phantoms. They must seek out an ancient needle with the power to mend what has been torn, and they have to move fast. Because soon Nels will disappear forever.

Available at Amazon.

Every Thursday, from now until I don't know when, I'm going to express my thankfulness, for at least ONE something.

I've chosen a picture of the Deep Field to remind us all of how precious and rare this tiny ball of dirt, that we call Earth, is. 

This is it. It's all we've got. Let us be kind to Earth and each other. Let us be THANKFUL for what we have.

Today I'm thankful for mockingbirds.

Hubby and I have a special fondness for mockingbirds. They are a portent of spring. When they start singing you can almost feel that their songs are lassos, or sky hooks they are throwing out to pull Spring up from the southern climes. On a sunny morning they will find the highest point on a tree and while they are singing, they will LEAP up into the air and flutter back down to the perch. Then a few moments later, again, LEAP. It's as if singing their joy isn't enough, they must leap for joy as well.

I had a dog named Chester that I dearly love who was devoted to me. He would have given his life without a thought and on three occasions proved himself ready to take on anything or anyone to protect me. And yet he wasn't in the least bit mean or aggressive. Chester loved exploring and seemed connected to nature in a special way. He played tag with the deer. (For TRUE!) On the day he died we came home to see a fine looking stag standing across the street staring at our yard. He stood there for a good five minutes before moving on. In all the years we've been here that's the only time a stag has done that.

The other thing that happened was that a mockingbird sang in our yard ALL. DAY. LONG. He went from tree to tree to tree and sang and sang and sang. It was as if he was singing about the joy Chester brought us, singing his praises. We'd had mockingbirds sing in our yard before he died and after, but never as long as that one bird sang.

Today I'm thankful for mockingbirds. They are starting to sing Spring into being.

What are you thankful for?

Monday, February 16, 2015

Titles to Write By

"Titles" is an occasional blog post in which we play with a single word and turn it into, what else, titles! Afterwards the object is to pick one of them and write a little something.

It was Ray Bradbury, in his book ZEN IN THE ART OF WRITING, who taught me about making lists of words and turning them into titles. If you haven't read it I highly recommend it.

Today's word is: Mockingbird

There are signs of spring happening in our yard. The most delightful one being the mockingbird that's been singing every day for the past week.

Also, I'm going to assume most everyone knows about the "new" novel by Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird.

So these are two reason for choosing the word. And now... let's play!

Mockingbird Smockingbird
Why Mockingbirds Sing - I have a sweet little story about this called Gift to a Bird.
If I Were a Mockingbird I'd Fly Away
Mockingbirds Forever!
Mockingbirds Rock!
I'll Be Your Mockingbird
The Mockingbird Tree
How High Flies the Mockingbird?
For the Love of Mockingbirds
MockMock the Mockingbird
Six Buzzard Feathers and a Mockingbird's Tail... Oh wait, that one's taken.

Have you ever heard this song before? Do you like mockingbirds? Have you heard any bird song lately? Got a mockingbird title or story?

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Alternatives and Thankful Thursday

Alternatives is a recurring post in which I give synonyms for an over used word. Click on the tab above for a "complete" list of over used words.

Today's word is: - Get codes for Facebook, Hi5, MySpace and more

Easy can be used in an abundance of ways. 

Easy as in: "That test was a breeze to get through!"
Easy as in: "They say she's a wanton hussy."
Easy as in: "He was a push-over and fell for the scam."
Easy as in: "The teacher is too lenient with his students."

Depending on how you use it, this list may come in handy for finding another way to say the same thing.

a breeze, abandoned, accessible, acquiescent, affable, agreeable,  amiable, apparent, artless


calm/calmly, can of corn, carefree, casual, charitable, cheap, child’s play, cinch, clean, clear, clear-cut, clement, comfortable/comfortably, comfy, contented, conveniently, cozy, credulous, cushy

debauched, deceivable, defenseless, dew-eyed, distinct, downhill, duck soup, dupable,

easy as one-two-three, easy as pie, easygoing, effortless, elementary, evident, exploitable

facile, fast, fictile, flowing, fluent, fluid, forbearing,

genial, gentle, genuine, good-humored, graceful, gradual, guileless, gullible,


idiot proof, inconsiderable, indulgent, informal, innocent

kid’s stuff

laid-back, lax, lenient, libertine, licentious, light, like rolling off a log, like taking candy from a baby, little, loose

malleable, manageable, manifest, merciful, mere, mindless, moderate

naïve, natural, nonchalant, no bother, no problem, no sweat, no trouble, not burdensome, nothing to it

obliging, obvious, open-and-shut,

painless, palpable, paltry, patent, peaceful, perspicuous, picnic, piece of cake, plain, plain sailing, pliable/pliant, promiscuous, pushover

quick, quiet

ready, relaxed, royal

safe, secure, serene, simple, simple as ABC, simplified, slight, slutty, smooth sailing, snap, snug, soft, spontaneous, straightforward, susceptible

tolerant, tranquil, transparent, trouble-free, trustful/trusting

user friendly, unaffected, unambiguous, unceremonious, unchallenging, unchaste, uncomplicated, unconcerned, uncritical, undemanding, unequivocal, unhurried, uninhibited, uninvolved, unmistakable, unproblematic, unreserved, unrestrained, unsophisticated, unsuspecting, unsuspicious, untroubled, unwary, unworldly,


wanton, wide-eyed, wieldy, whorish


Every Thursday, from now until I don't know when, I'm going to express my thankfulness, for at least ONE something.

I've chosen a picture of the Deep Field to remind us all of how precious and rare this tiny ball of dirt, that we call Earth, is. 

This is it. It's all we've got Let us be kind to Earth and each other. Let us be THANKFUL for what we have.

Today I'm thankful for HEART.

Because it's so close to Valentine's Day, it seems appropriate to give my wonderful Random Followers a few heart-felt Valentines.

Valentine Wreath



Antique Valentine 1909 01

Card; valentine card - Google Art Project (540150)

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

What are you thankful for? Is there an alternative for easy that you particularly like?

Monday, February 9, 2015


Definitions is an occasional post in which I delve into the meanings of words that are obscure, interesting, or new to me.
 Quote from a counted cross-stitch picture given to my father.

I haven't done one of these in a while. While watching the movie Topsy-Turvy, which is about Gilbert and Sullivan, a dynamic duo who co-wrote numerous humorous operettas during the Victorian Era, I heard the word, effulgent, used in a song.

Effulgent? Sounds like it may be related to effluent. However, the definition has nothing to do with sewage or human waste.

It came into use in the mid 18th century and comes directly from the Latin effulgent meaning, shining brightly, radiant, beaming, dazzling, brilliant. You get the picture.

Of all the lights in the night skies, Venus is the most effulgent.

As he bowed to the applause, his face was as effulgent as the sun.

And here's the song from the Mikado (as sung in the movie Topsy-Turvy) in which the word is used. Listen carefully it comes soon in the first verse. I rather like this song...

Ever heard of the word effulgent? Can you use it in a sentence?