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6526. What I Learned About My Wife This Year

It is fitting that I spend this day, my 22nd wedding anniversary, with my lovely bride at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. We are here together waiting for Kylie to get out of minor surgery. We have never made a huge deal of our anniversary – sometimes a nice dinner out but often just too much going on with our four children to make it work. I’m embarrassed to say there have been years when a kiss and a card is all we could muster. Suffice it to say that there will not be a banner celebration this year, either.

Year 22 has been challenging to say the least. Not in a contentious way, I am happy to report that we have never been more united. But when I review the years, this is one that I would like stricken from the record. I wish I could pull this book off the shelf and let 21 fall lazily into 23. It proves the need for the “better or worse, in sickness and in health” portion of the vows we stood up and said when I was but a wet-nosed pup.

 

anniversary

 

Even though April’s cancer diagnosis has made the year regrettable, I have learned much about my wife and our marriage. In fact, I’ve learned things I will never give back.

 

I learned my wife has a seemingly infinite supply of tears that no words of mine can dry. My shoulder has been wetted by them far too often. I wish I had a magic word to make them stop, but only time and tenderness sooth the pain.

Likewise, I have learned my wife’s care for those she loves has no limit.

I have learned my wife is the most unselfish person I know. She has put her life completely on hold this year and not voiced one word of complaint about what she is missing.

I’ve shared the boat when the storm is high and seen her reach levels of peace that can only be called supernatural.

I have seen that she can be her loved one’s greatest advocate, stopping at nothing to get what her patient needs and letting no one interfere with her.

I know that she might not remember to take her phone off silent for days on end, but she can quickly recall exact medication, doses, and the last time given.

I have found she has strength and resolve I could only imagine prior to this year.

I have seen her ignore her own pain and seek ways to lessen the pain of her patient.

Although she hates camping, I have learned that she will sleep on an uncomfortably hard couch beside a hospital bed for nights on end if someone she loves needs her there.

Speaking of sleep, I have been reminded that she needs very little and will sacrifice it completely if she is needed during the night.

With only twenty-four hours in the day and a relentless schedule of caregiving, she seems to have created time and invented special ways to make the rest of us in the family feel loved.

I now know that her faith, hope, and love are boundless.

 

All in all, I have seen God reaffirm just how blessed I am that she had a momentary lapse of reason and chose me. I always thought I would be the elderly and infirmed patient that required her care first. I wish that were the case. When I grow old and start falling apart, I’m sure I will test her patience with surprising wimpiness and irrational demands. With what I’ve seen this year, I know I will be in excellent hands.

So today, I will whisper a Happy Anniversary to her while Kylie sleeps off the anesthesia. Sometimes through sickness and tragedy we learn things. Every day this year, I have seen the tender way she cares for her girl and learned a little more about just how lucky I am.

 

 

When I get older losing my hair
Many years from now
Will you still be sending me a valentine
Birthday greetings, bottle of wine?
If I’d been out till quarter to three
Would you lock the door?
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I’m sixty-four

 


Filed under: Learned Along the Way

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6527. Sabaska’s Quest Blog Tour with JA Campbell-review and excerpt

Sabaskas Quest Banner

Sabaska’s Quest
Series: Tales of the Travelers, Book 2

By J. A. Campbell

 JC-SQ-Ebook

Genres: YA Urban Fantasy

Published: Sept 9 2014

Untold Press www.untoldpress.com

Blurb:

Last summer, Anna’s world got turned upside-down. It’s hard to believe her travels to different worlds and fantastic yet dangerous adventures really took place. Little things, like the twinge of pain from her healing ribs, and a few relics, remind her that her journeys did actually occur. David, a ghost she met on her travels, suddenly reappears, bringing both old friends and foes back into her life. To help Sabaska, Anna must attempt to rescue captured Travelers from a Vanir stronghold, and still get home in time for school. An easy task compared to dealing with her mixed feelings for Cahir.

Uncovering a Vanir plot to find a powerful lost mage will test her strength and dedication to the Travelers. With the help of new and old friends, they set out in search of the mage. He could tip the balance of the war in either side’s favor and it’s up to Sabaska and Anna to get there first.

REVIEW: I looooved the sequel to Sabaska’s Tale! Even more action, Cahir is back (swoon) along with some new friends. A fun and easy read, great for fantasy lovers and especially if you’ve a special place in your heart for horses :) Recommended for tweens and up!

 

SQQuote1

Price: eBook: 3.99 Amazon

And all other Amazon stores. Free on Amazon Prime KOLL and Kindle Unlimited.

 

Don’t miss book 1, Sabaska’s Tale! http://www.amazon.com/Sabaskas-Tale-Tales-Travelers-ebook/dp/B00DSOCNWS

 Goodreads- book link:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23120066-sabaska-s-quest

SQQuote2

 

 

Campbell_authorpic1Author Bio:

J.A. Campbell

Julie has been many things over the last few years, from college student, to bookstore clerk and an over the road trucker. She’s worked as a 911 dispatcher and in computer tech support, but through it all she’s been a writer and when she’s not out riding horses, she can usually be found sitting in front of her computer. She lives in Colorado with her three cats, her vampire-hunting dog Kira, her new horse and Traveler-in training, Triska, and her Irish Sailor.She is the author of many Vampire and Ghost-Hunting Dog stories and the young adult fantasy series Tales of the Travelers. She’s a member of the Horror Writers Association and the Dog Writers of America Association and the editor for Steampunk Trails fiction magazine.

Website: www.writerjacampbell.com

Blogs: http://writerjacampbell.wordpress.com/blog/

http://phoenixfirewolf.livejournal.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/J.A.Campbell.Author

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/pub/j-a-campbell/35/535/b25

Twitter: @Pfirewolf

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4708012.J_A_Campbell

 

Excerpt:

“You have the most boring life,” a faint voice said in Anna’s ear.

Straightening from her hunched position over her math test, Anna looked wildly around, her heart racing.

“Right here,” the voice said again.

Turning, she shrieked as a gray man solidified next to her in the aisle. Her pencil snapped in her hand. She picked up one of the broken ends and held it like a weapon.

“Now, is that anyway to treat an old friend?”

Anna stared at the gray man a little longer, took in the tight pants, belt full of pouches, and cloak. She sighed. Being able to see through him should have been her first clue.

“Anna, is there a problem?” Her math teacher, Mr. Frank, sounded annoyed.

Anna looked around. The entire class stared at her. “Uh.” She glanced at David, the apparition, and then back at the class.

“Well, they can’t see me right now, of course.” He sounded smug. “Would you like them to?”

“No,” she muttered, answering both her teacher and the ill-timed specter. “No. I’m sorry, Mr. Frank. I just thought I saw something, like a ghost, and it scared me. I’ve been reading some scary stories recently and I guess they got to me.” It sounded lame, even to her, especially in the middle of a midterm math test.

“Very well, Anna. Please keep your hauntings to yourself in the future.”

Several people in the class snickered. Karen, her best friend, shot her a concerned look before going back to her test. Anna shut her eyes for a minute, wondering what the gossips would say about the incident. “We can talk later,” she muttered at the ghost.

“Of course, Anna.” His cultured voice sounded amused and apologetic.

She shook her head, not really angry with David. He had saved her and Sabaska’s life over the summer and she could survive a few days of ridicule so he could have some amusement. And he was right; her life was boring. Especially after last summer. She pushed those thoughts away, took a deep breath, and forced herself to focus on the test.


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6528. Poetry Friday with a review of Pug and other Animal Poems

Poets have been writing poems about animals for centuries and though they have written about cats. dogs, tigers, dinosaurs and countless other animals in hundreds of different ways, poets still find ways to write poems about creatures (wild and domestic) that are fresh, amusing, insightful, and memorable. In today's poetry collection you will meet an interesting variety of animals in a series of poems that are presented alongside Steve Jenkins' extraordinary artwork.

Pug and other animal poemsPug and other animal poems
Valerie Worth
Illustrated by Steve Jenkins
Poetry Picture Book
For ages 6 to 9
Farrar Straus Giroux, 2013, 978-0-374-35024-6
The world is full of beautiful and amazing animals, all of which perceive and interact with their environments in distinct and fascinating ways. When they encounter humans many of them run away, preferring not to get too close to us. Others are more curious, and they observe us from a safe place to see what we are going to do next. Then there are the animals that like to connect with us, like our pet dogs and cats.
   In this special poetry picture book Valerie Worth takes us into the lives of eighteen animals, most of which are wild creatures, and some of which share our homes with us. Some of the wild animals that we meet on the pages are creatures that we see in our yards and parks, or we catch a glimpse of them flying above our heads.
   The first animal we meet is a fox, a creature that we see only brief glimpses of, if we are lucky. It is such a reclusive animal that it is “Nearly a / Myth.” We may see its “Fiery tail” streaking by and perhaps hear the rustle of its “flickering / Feet.”
  Rabbits, though cautious, are less retiring and if we are quiet and still we can see them in the evening in the garden feeding on tasty nibbles of weeds and grass. They are pensive animals and seem to spend their time “in / Peaceful thought.”
   Quite different to these wild animals are pugs and dachshunds, dogs whose very appearance makes us smile whether we want to or not. Pugs have “googling / Eyes,” and “wrinkled / Brows” that give them a somewhat worried expression. They are solid, tough looking little dogs. Dachshunds are quite different, being long with little legs “Front and Back,” but “nothing / Propping up / The middle.”
   Throughout this book Valerie Worth’s expressive and image-rich poems are paired with Steve Jenkins’ extraordinary cut paper artwork.  The striking language and gorgeous images give readers a picture of animals that they will remember long after the book has been read and put away on a shelf.

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6529. Caption contest results!

Here are the results for the caption contest from Sunday:

These are the entries that made me laugh the most:
 

Sam 8:51am
Is the Shark gone?

Andrea van der Wilt 10:15am
I know what you did to my toys last summer.

Kim English 11:15am
Whatever you found in the Haliburton suitcase, it's not mine.

Chris Owens 1:55pm
On the eighth day, God made Transformers.

LynnRodz 5:13 pm
"Shh! I'm not here and you don't see me.

Craig 5:42pm
I sure hope Santa didn't get hurt in that wreck.

AJ Blythe 9:08pm
It looked bigger on ebay.


Julia Munroe Martin 6:40am
Why is it always the last freakin' place you look.


Special recognition to linked entries that defied the rules but are too awesome not
to note:

jennyferguson 11:53am
Yep, I'm a Jedi.

Jed Cullan 11:56am
Apple are sponsoring the next Star Wars movie, so they are to be known as an iJed

Jed Cullan 11:57am
iJed. uJenny.




FINALISTS
SiSi 5:27pm
Toys are not us. We are not them.


Rena McClure Taylor 11:26pm
The eyes have it.


Eileen 12:00am
Nobody puts Baby in a corner.




And the winner is Rena McClure Taylor!

Rena email me with your mailing address and what kinds of books you like to read and we'll send you your prize!

Thanks to all who entered! It was such fun to read all the comments.  I'm continually amazed by how smart and funny my readers are.

 

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6530. Frankie goes home - the true story of a lucky dog.

As many of you already know Terry (my husband) is a freelance photographer.  He is usually out and about photographing sporting events or fetes but a few weeks ago he was asked to cover something completely different.  This is the headline that subsequently appeared in the press

A runaway dog has been dubbed a real-life 'Littlest Hobo' after covering an epic 120 miles across five counties during two months on the run. 

and this is the story, with thanks to Terry Fisher for the photograph and to the Western Daily Press & Western Gazette for the words.

Rescue dog Frankie slipped his lead on his very first walk with his new owner James Brooks, 56, who posted an appeal on a lost dog website.

Over the following weeks the Labrador-cross was spotted in 14 towns and villages across Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, West Berkshire, Somerset and Dorset.

The three-year-old was finally captured after taking refuge in a cowshed after being bitten by a badger. Bedraggled Frankie was battered, bruised and emaciated following his adventure but is now on the road to recovery after being reunited with James.

His epic tale mirrors the popular Littlest Hobo TV series of the 1960s, 70s and 80s where stray Hobo the German Shepherd travelled from town to town despite attempts to adopt him.

Mr Brooks said: "We were only able to track him down thanks to talking to people to spread the word, people phoning me and messages on the website."He crossed five counties during his time away. He has certainly got a great story to tell, if only he could talk."He was in pretty bad shape when we got the call from the vets to say they thought they had our dog, but it certainly shows he is a strong one.

"I don't think there is any doubt that he will be able to enjoy long walks."

Mr Brooks, his wife Emma and daughter Becky, 16, adopted Frankie from a rescue home in Derby, on June 27, as a companion for their black Labrador Jay. But when Mr Brooks tried to introduce the two pets, Frankie – who had anxiety issues – slipped his lead and darted into a field near their home in Stanford in the Vale, in the Cotswolds.

The family spotted him in nearby villages over the following days but were unable to catch the frightened dog, and posted an appeal on www.doglost.co.uk. Sightings immediately flooded in from Wicklesham, Faringdon, Longcot and Woolstone in Oxfordshire, before a horse rider spotted him in Upper Lambourn in West Berkshire.

The daring pet – which has distinctive horizontal ears – was next spotted by builders in Baydon, Wiltshire, who fed him sandwiches. He crossed main roads and farms until he was seen in Lambourn, West Berkshire, rifling through a skip in mid-July.

Miraculously the Labrador-German shepherd cross even returned home at the end of the month, but ran off before baffled Mr Brooks was able to catch him. "I was sitting in the garden and I heard the metal gate rattle," said Mr Brooks. "I went to look and I couldn't believe it – there he was running off. "We even cooked sausages in the garden to see if we could tempt him back."

The trail went cold for three weeks before, incredibly, a report came in from Bruton, Somerset, to say a very skinny Frankie has been spotted on August 14. Five days later a dairy farmer found him cowering in a shed in nearby Sherborne, Dorset, and took him to a vet, who diagnosed Frankie with blood poisoning after a badger or fox bite to the cheek.

Staff at Kingston Veterinary Group nursed him back to health – thanks to donations from local animal lovers – and were able to track down Mr Brooks through the lost dog website.

The family took him home last Thursday and he settled in immediately "We are taking him for longer and longer walks and he is putting on much-needed weight. Of course, we have now had him chipped."


I'm so pleased the story had a happy ending – how different it could have been.  Thinking about Frankie and dogs in general inspired me to share a few pretty book covers with you. I hope you enjoy looking at them.


All featured books are available (unless sold) at March House Books


We've been enjoying some beautiful autumn days in the UK but on the other side of the world, it’s the beginning of spring.

Here are two spring time photographs of our gorgeous granddaughters enjoy the sunshine. They are just getting over a nasty bout of flu so it’s nice to see them looking so well.

Zoe Rose

Lilly Grace 

Photograph's courtesy of our daughter in law Karen Fisher, you can see more of her work at; Family Tree Photography

Have a wonderful weekend, thank you for your visit. I look forward to coming over to say hello to you all.




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6531. Friday Linky List - October 3, 2014

Today's list may be a little short because hubbie and I are vacationing (finally) in St. Lucia... I'll post some photos when I can! Meanwhile, here are a few...

Darcy Pattison will offer online video writing courses through Udemy.com's platform. Read more about it HERE. (She's good - this is worth your time to have a look.)

From PW: Hachette U.K. Creates Unified Children's Division - This is big news! Perhaps this will give them a stronger platform from which to compete with the bookseller-who-must-not-be-named.

Love the PW cartoon "Tales From the Slush Pile"? They finally have a landing page for the creations of Ed Briant - GREAT!

From Huff Post (via my agent) - 10 Gorgeous Quotes From Banned Books

From The New York Times via PW: Turning a Book Tour Into a Literary Circus (and a Hot Ticket)

Our new office:



At Boingboing via my hubbie - the Real Life Sherlock Holmes

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6532. Review: A Princess by Christmas by Jennifer Faye

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

The Christmas deluge begins!  I decided to give A Princess by Christmas a read because I have enjoyed other Jennifer Faye titles, and how can you go wrong with a prince?  Or a holiday themed romance?  The story doesn’t stray outside of familiar tropes, making it a little predictable, but it’s still an entertaining time killer. 

The only stumbling block for me was the set up.  I still don’t understand why Alex had to leave his island home in order to throw the press off of his brother’s trail.  He did all of his breadcrumb tossing from his laptop, so it didn’t really  matter where he was.  Regardless, Alex has left home without his security detail, to make sure that his brother’s indiscretion never makes it to the papers.  There are subversive elements in his homeland, and they won’t hesitate to use Demetrius’  elopement against him.  Who wants to be ruled by a reckless, impulsive king?  Demetrius is next in line for the throne, and to save his family’s reputation, Alex plans to send the paparazzi on a wild goose chase.

When Alex arrives at Reese’s small inn, he’s dismayed to learn that there are no rooms available.  Even though he’s already paid for his stay.  Reese is stressed out as it is; there’s a wedding party renting the entire place out, and though that’s good news, with the bank is breathing down her neck, it’s got her running on all four cylinders.  Her father left her and her mother saddled with an overwhelming load of debt, and she despairs at keeping all of her employees on the payroll through the holidays.  Her mother remembers taking Alex’s reservation, but didn’t enter it into the computer.  Instead, she ran Alex’s credit card, and just kind of forgot about their pre-paid guest.  To make up for it, she suggests, much to Reese’s dismay, that he stay in their small apartment.  Reese concedes that she has to make good on their promise to provide him with a room, though she’s not looking forward to giving up her room and sleeping on the couch until a room is freed up for Alex.  The money finally persuades her; it will keep the bill collectors off her back for a while.

Both Reese and Alex are harboring poor opinions of love.  Reese’s world fell apart when her father was killed in a car accident on Christmas Eve. The real kicker; he was abandoning them, and on his way to start a new life with his mistress.  He left behind two broken hearted women and a massive wall of debt that he incurred preparing for that new life.  Reese had to quit school and give up her dreams to take care of her devastated mother.

Alex is suffering from horrible guilt.  He feels responsible for his mother’s death, as well as his father’s broken heart.  He thinks that love leads to heart ache and makes you weak, and so he’s determined to never fall in love himself.  Reese changes his mind, though it takes a long time for him to accept that true love is more worthwhile than blind devotion to duty.

A Princess by Christmas is an emotionally satisfying book that even manages to work Dr. Seuss in the storyline.  Add to that a fantasy come true and a beautiful island kingdom, and you have a sweet read.

Review copy provided by author

From Amazon:

A royal kiss under the mistletoe 

Prince Alexandro Castanovo arrives in snowy New York intent on protecting his royal family from scandal. And when Reese Harding—down-to-earth and heart-stoppingly beautiful—finds room for him at her inn, it seems like the perfect twist of fate. 

Not long ago Reese’s world came crumbling down, shaking her foundations. But this enigmatic stranger intrigues her! She’s learned to be wary of secrets…but when she discovers Alex’s true identity, might there be enough magic in the air to make this regular American girl a princess by Christmas…?

The post Review: A Princess by Christmas by Jennifer Faye appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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6533. My tweets

  • Fri, 00:25: I just clicked on a link about MINI PIGS and now I want one. The internet is evil and I am so weak... but MINI PIGS!!!

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6534. Social Media Marketing Tips - Twitter Dos and Don'ts

Social media marketing, as part of your content marketing strategy, is a crucial element for your success. According to Mashable.com, "Social media marketing refers to the process of gaining website traffic or attention through social media sites. Social media marketing programs usually center on efforts to create content that attracts attention and encourages readers to share it with their

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6535. KidLit Online Magazine - Guardian Angel Kids - October 2014


Come explore the wonders of down under in this month's issue of Guardian Angel Kids Online Magazine - www.guardian-angel-kids.com.

Theme: 
Aussie Animals 

Featured Story: 
Kangaroo Clues by Margot Finke

Poems: 
A Spiny Guy by Ann Ingalls
Platyplay by Ann Ingalls 

Nonfiction articles: 
What is a Quokka? by Shari L Klase
Australia’s Endangered Animals by Sherry Alexander
Jellybean Joey by Laura Thomas

Activity: 
Koalas Are Not Bears! by Barbara Cairns


Enjoy this month's issue with your young muse at www.guardian-angel-kids.com/.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Multi Award-winning Children's Author

Ignite curiosity in your child through reading!

Connect with

A Sandy Grave ~ January 2014 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ 2014 Purple Dragonfly 1st Place Picture Books 6+, Story Monster Approved, Beach Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Powder Monkey ~ May 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Story Monster Approved and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Hockey Agony ~ January 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Story Monster Approved and Reader's Farvorite Five Star Review

The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.
~ Literary Classics Silver Award and Seal of Approval, Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention and Dan Poynter's Global e-Book Awards Finalist

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6536. Some Luck by Jane Smiley (in Chicago Tribune)

I was privileged to review this National Book Award long list selection for Printers Row Journal. The piece begins like this, below, and continues here.


Life is one thing and then another, one day and soon the next, ambition superseded by surprise, desire thwarted by the reality we didn't forecast. Sometimes we get out in front of life. Oftentimes, we don't.

So here's the question: Where, in all of this, is the plot? The conflict and the climax? The sure cause and the clear effect? The resounding resolution? Life is successive and iterative; it is not inherently themed or arced.
How audaciously delicious, then, that Jane Smiley has turned her considerable talents to a trilogy called "The Last Hundred Years" — and that she means it. One hundred years, one hundred chapters, the first 34 of which can be found in Book 1, titled "Some Luck." It's the Langdon family saga, the story of an Iowa farm and the people who inhabit it, the fences that stitch, the horizons that beckon, the love that lives in plain sight and inside a child's biscuits.

"Some Luck," simply and impossibly enough, is the story of what happens next.

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6537. What I Learned About My Wife This Year

It is fitting that I spend this day, my 22nd wedding anniversary, with my lovely bride at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. We are here together waiting for Kylie to get out of minor surgery. We have never made a huge deal of our anniversary – sometimes a nice dinner out but often just too much going on with our four children to make it work. I’m embarrassed to say there have been years when a kiss and a card is all we could muster. Suffice it to say that there will not be a banner celebration this year, either.

Year 22 has been challenging to say the least. Not in a contentious way, I am happy to report that we have never been more united. But when I review the years, this is one that I would like stricken from the record. I wish I could pull this book off the shelf and let 21 fall lazily into 23. It proves the need for the “better or worse, in sickness and in health” portion of the vows we stood up and said when I was but a wet-nosed pup.

 

anniversary

 

Even though April’s cancer diagnosis has made the year regrettable, I have learned much about my wife and our marriage. In fact, I’ve learned things I will never give back.

 

I learned my wife has a seemingly infinite supply of tears that no words of mine can dry. My shoulder has been wetted by them far too often. I wish I had a magic word to make them stop, but only time and tenderness sooth the pain.

Likewise, I have learned my wife’s care for those she loves has no limit.

I have learned my wife is the most unselfish person I know. She has put her life completely on hold this year and not voiced one word of complaint about what she is missing.

I’ve shared the boat when the storm is high and seen her reach levels of peace that can only be called supernatural.

I have seen that she can be her loved one’s greatest advocate, stopping at nothing to get what her patient needs and letting no one interfere with her.

I know that she might not remember to take her phone off silent for days on end, but she can quickly recall exact medication, doses, and the last time given.

I have found she has strength and resolve I could only imagine prior to this year.

I have seen her ignore her own pain and seek ways to lessen the pain of her patient.

Although she hates camping, I have learned that she will sleep on an uncomfortably hard couch beside a hospital bed for nights on end if someone she loves needs her there.

Speaking of sleep, I have been reminded that she needs very little and will sacrifice it completely if she is needed during the night.

With only twenty-four hours in the day and a relentless schedule of caregiving, she seems to have created time and invented special ways to make the rest of us in the family feel loved.

I now know that her faith, hope, and love are boundless.

 

All in all, I have seen God reaffirm just how blessed I am that she had a momentary lapse of reason and chose me. I always thought I would be the elderly and infirmed patient that required her care first. I wish that were the case. When I grow old and start falling apart, I’m sure I will test her patience with surprising wimpiness and irrational demands. With what I’ve seen this year, I know I will be in excellent hands.

So today, I will whisper a Happy Anniversary to her while Kylie sleeps off the anesthesia. Sometimes through sickness and tragedy we learn things. Every day this year, I have seen the tender way she cares for her girl and learned a little more about just how lucky I am.

 

 

When I get older losing my hair
Many years from now
Will you still be sending me a valentine
Birthday greetings, bottle of wine?
If I’d been out till quarter to three
Would you lock the door?
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I’m sixty-four

 


Filed under: Learned Along the Way

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6538. Friday Feature: Your Book Here


I woke up this morning to see my blog didn't post, and for very good reason. I never scheduled a post. Hmm… I had booked a bunch of Friday Feature spots in advance and didn't realize that I'd run out of them. I've been a little busy lately promoting two new books, editing for clients, and drafting a new book, so I guess that's how this slipped through the cracks.

So today, I'm asking you to let me feature your book. That's right. I want to have you on my Friday Feature. Got a book out? Looking for some exposure? Friday Features are whatever you want them to be—a simple feature with buy links, an excerpt, a giveaway, a guest post, etc. You name it. All you have to do is email me at khashway@hotmail.com and we'll get you scheduled.

In the meantime, let's talk about what your reading right now. I just finished:
I got this ARC at BEA and just got around to reading it. Of course I see the cover has changed and is now blue, but this is what mine looks like.

Next I'll be reading:

I also got this at BEA and Lisa is a great friend.

How about you?


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6539. Rick Horgan Named Executive Editor at Scribner

ScribnerRick Horgan has been hired to serve as vice president and executive editor at Scribner, an imprint at Simon & Schuster.

Here’s more from the press release: “In a distinguished career that has spanned decades, Rick Horgan has worked with more than 400 authors and edited—across a variety of genres—more than ninety national bestsellers, including the recently published The Good Spy by Kai Bird. Horgan’s books have won numerous awards and honors, such as the Pulitzer Prize for Tom Reiss’ The Black Count, and the PEN Literary Award for Marshall Jon Fisher’s A Terrible Splendor.”

Some of the authors he has worked with in the past include Bill Gates, Condoleezza Rice, Jay Leno, Maria Shriver, Pete Sampras, David Baldacci, Jeffrey Archer, and John Lescroart. With this new role, Horgan will acquire both commercial fiction and nonfiction manuscripts. In nonfiction, Horgan will focus on memoirs, politics, sports, current events, biographies, and business books.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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6540. Perfectly Miserable: Review Haiku

WOW I could not stand
a single part of this memoir
or this woman.

Perfectly Miserable: Guilt, God, and Real Estate in a Small Town by Sarah Payne Stuart. Riverhead, 2014, 320 pages.

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6541. My tweets

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6542. Pitch Plus Five Contest Winners!



First I want to offer my congratulations to ALL of the Pitch Plus Five participants! You've all done an amazing thing by entering and opening yourself to comment and critique. Those who didn't win, or didn't make it past round one or two, remember that it's nothing a bit of hard work and perseverance can't change.

I'd also like to offer congratulations to Kristen Scheer, author of LEGAL MOXIE which was withdrawn early on. Kristen signed with the amazing agent, Laura Bradford! Always great to share good news. :D

A huge THANK YOU to all of our amazing blogger, author, and agent judges who took time from their hectic schedules to help out our fifty writers.

Now...

The four runners up are:


  • THE TROLL DIARIES by Jennifer Park. Jennifer has won a one chapter critique from Christa Heschke of McIntosh and Otis!
  • TWICE DEAD by Caitlin Seal. Caitlin has won a one chapter critique from Alex Slater of Trident Media!
  • NOBLE VIRTUES by Ashley Horn. Ashley has won a one chapter critique from Victoria Lowes of the Bent Agency!
  • APOTHECARY OF FORBIDDEN CLOCKS by Carolyn McDowell. Carolyn has won a one chapter critique from Jordy Albert of Booker Albert!

The GRAND PRIZE winners are: 

  • THE BLOOD ROSE REBELLION by Rosalyn Eves. Rosalyn has won a three chapter critique from Melissa Nasson of RPC and a free query pass to the currently closed Ammi-Joan Paquette!
  • TIMEKEEPER by Tara Sim. Tara has won a three chapter critique from Lara Perkins of Andrea Brown and  a free query pass to the currently closed Ammi-Joan Paquette!

And I haven't forgotten our two winners from the first the first rounds by popular vote! 

The runner up is: REGINA'S HEIR by Rachel Green! Rachel, besides having a fabulous last name, has won a critique from Angela Ackerman!

The winner is: THE SECRETS WE SHARE by Laura E. Adams! Laura has won a critique from the New York Times best selling author, Jennifer Nielsen!

It's been a fabulous contest. I've loved interacting with all of you on Twitter and seeing everyone being so supportive of one another. That's what this is all about.


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6543. Bristol Comic And Zine Fair -It's Tomorrow So Pop By And Buy Some Black Tower Goodies!



Bristol Comic and Zine Fair
Saturday 4th October
12 – 6pm
FREE ENTRY
The Station, Silver Street, Broadmead, Bristol
 Okay, folks, here it is! You never asked for it but yer gonna get it! 
 A run down of some of the goodies you'll find at the event on Saturday, 4th October THAT'S TOMORROW!!!!! -from the UKs largest Independent Comics publisher -Black Tower Comics & Books!

 

Journey Of The ID:The Dr Morg Trilogy

Journey Of The ID:The Dr Morg Trilogy
The Dr Morg Trilogy


EXCLUSIVE Trans-metaphysical hallucinogenic cover variant (Bristol events ONLY)
A4
Black & White
Paperback
52 Pages
Price: £7.00
Metapsychophysics meets comics. Its the next natural evolutionary step in comic books! For the first time all three parts of the highly acclaimed Dr. Morg Trilogy are combined into one volume: WORDS WITHIN WORLDS, AFTER ORWELL and the final THE DEATH OF DR MORG!

The Collected Ben R. Dilworth


The Collected Ben R. Dilworth
A4
Black & White
Paperback, 
84 Pages
Price: £8.00 
 
Collecting together the best selling illustrated prose of Ben Dilworth. In Osaka Brutal, the Haiku Gold Belt holder presents his own personal Haiku. In Aesop's Fables the childhood favourites become rather darker and threatening. In Western and Japanese Yokai, Dilworth looks at a mixture of strange, sinister and deadly demons and spirites each story illustrated.


The Dark Night Detectives

The Dark Night Detectives
A4
Black & White
Paperback, 
50 Pages
Price: £7.00 

 
Its a world where if you stand up for what is right you'll be lucky if its just a beating you get. 
A world where people are starving (if poor) and the rich live in luxury.

A world where you have to have birthing Rights.

Where sacrificing someone to the Devil is acceptable -as long as they pay the wages. 
A world where if you DO NOT take that bribe you WILL be made an example of. 
Some of Ben Dilworths most provoking and dark work in ages. 

The Iron Warrior Vs Big Bong


The Iron Warrior Vs Big Bong
A4
Black & White
Paperback, 
16 Pages
Price: £5.00 

 
In the 1940s, deep in the South American jungles, Rodney Dearth,inventor and adventurer, is searching for the lost explorer Percy H. Fawcett and City Z. Then he hears the stories that terrify his native bearers. There is a city -guarded by Big Bong! But Dearth is not afraid -he has his own creation to protect him -THE IRON WARRIOR!

 Ben Dilworth continues the adventures of the Iron Warrior, created by William A. Ward,presenting an action romp featuring one of the UKs most violent characters -tongue firmly in cheek.  We think! 

GoBo

GoBo
A4
Black & White
Paperback, 
23 Pages
Price: £6.00 

 
GoBo -He's Pink!

He's Pan-dimensional.

As he'd/it would say: Go toho jo ko li lo yo to-po!

The Small Press best seller of 2009 is resized and reprinted along with a whole new Go Bo as he explains Einstein's Universe in Sub-Dobundian!

Be part of the Go Bo craze!

Sadly, due to disruption in interstitial time and space GoBo cannot now make an appearance at the BCZF.  He apologises but hope you all "go ho ji ko lo no bobo!" (have fun)
But there is MORE!!


There will be issues of Penguinflight-Black Tower Dark Hope -another Bristol Event Only publication!

And -and- going for £1.00 each are Black Tower Blockbuster! -Bristol Events only tasters to the Black Tower Universe!



I dread to use the word again ....AND also EXCLUSIVE Ben Dilworth full colour A4 illoes that are Bristol Event Only specials.

There is more but I don't want to cause a transorgasmic explosion in Bristol at the moment -too many police with guns!

So, be there. Buy Black Tower.  Or be cuboid!! 

Trust the man with the pink thing on his head. 

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6544. EVERBLAZE Official SoCal Launch Party Details

Wow--we are less than five weeks away from the release of EVERBLAZE!!!!

(*cue all the jumping and flailing and scrambling and panicking*)

So keep an eye on this blog--and the rest of my social media--because I have ALL KINDS of fun updates coming for you, including the pre-order swag giveaway you're all so eagerly waiting for, and my Fall tour dates.

But while that's all getting finalized, I wanted to share one event that's already set: The Official EVERBLAZE Lauch Party!!!!  Here's all the deets:


And in case that graphic isn't loading for some reason, here the details are again in plain text:

Monday, 11/3/14
7:00 pm
Barnes & Noble Montclair Plaza
5183 Montclair Plaza Ln.
Montclair, CA 91763
909-399-1966

And yes--you're reading that date correctly. The official Launch party IS the day before EVERBLAZE comes out. So that means--if you come--you can buy your copy a day early!!!!! 

As if that weren't incredible enough, let me give you another AWESOME reason to be there. Everyone who comes to the official launch--and buys a copy of EVERBLAZE--will also be given one of these amazing Black Swan mirrors:



For those who don't live in SoCal, I *will* be raffling off a few of these mirrors at each of my tour stops. Plus there will be a few online giveaways during the weeks after release to give everyone a chance to enter for one. But this Launch Party is the only time they'll be given out to everyone at the event. And they'll be given out first come, first served, while supplies last. So if you're worried about getting one, better get there early. :)

There will also be some very special RAFFLE PRIZES! And CUPCAKES!! And SWAG. And BOOKS!!! So many shiny copies of EVERBLAZE!!!! And I'll be signing ALL of them!!!!! Who doesn't want to be a part of that?????

It'll be the perfect way to kick off launch week, and I AM SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!! I hope to see you there! Mark your calendars for 11/3/14. It's going to be EPIC!

If you have any questions, feel free to ask away in the comments section below.

And ....  that's it for now. But like I said in the beginning--stay tuned. I still have lots more events and giveaways and amazingness coming your way!! The next few weeks are going to be so much fun!  

((Team KEEPER Group Hug))

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6545. A Halloween horror story : What was it?

We’re getting ready for Halloween this month by reading the classic horror stories that set the stage for the creepy movies and books we love today. Check in every Friday this October as we tell Fitz-James O’Brien’s tale of an unusual entity in What Was It?, a story from the spine-tingling collection of works in Horror Stories: Classic Tales from Hoffmann to Hodgson, edited by Darryl Jones.

It is, I confess, with considerable diffidence that I approach the strange narrative which I am about to relate. The events which I purpose detailing are of so extraordinary a character that I am quite prepared to meet with an unusual amount of incredulity and scorn. I accept all such beforehand. I have, I trust, the literary courage to face unbelief. I have, after mature consideration, resolved to narrate, in as simple and straightforward a manner as I can compass, some facts that passed under my observation, in the month of July last, and which, in the annals of the mysteries of physical science, are wholly unparalleled.

I live at No. — Twenty-sixth Street, in New York. The house is in some respects a curious one. It has enjoyed for the last two years the reputation of being haunted. It is a large and stately residence, surrounded by what was once a garden, but which is now only a green enclosure used for bleaching clothes. The dry basin of what has been a fountain, and a few fruit-trees ragged and unpruned, indicate that this spot in past days was a pleasant, shady retreat, filled with fruits and flowers and the sweet murmur of waters.

The house is very spacious. A hall of noble size leads to a large spiral staircase winding through its centre, while the various apartments are of imposing dimensions. It was built some fifteen or twenty years since by Mr A——, the well-known New York merchant, who five years ago threw the commercial world into convulsions by a stupendous bank fraud. Mr A——, as everyone knows, escaped to Europe, and died not long after, of a broken heart. Almost immediately after the news of his decease reached this country and was verified, the report spread in Twenty-sixth Street that No. — was haunted. Legal measures had dispossessed the widow of its former owner, and it was inhabited merely by a care-taker and his wife, placed there by the house-agent into whose hands it had passed for purposes of renting or sale. These people declared that they were troubled with unnatural noises. Doors were opened without any visible agency. The remnants of furniture scattered through the various rooms were, during the night, piled one upon the other by unknown hands. Invisible feet passed up and down the stairs in broad daylight, accompanied by the rustle of unseen silk dresses, and the gliding of viewless hands along the massive balusters. The care-taker and his wife declared they would live there no longer. The house-agent laughed, dismissed them, and put others in their place. The noises and supernatural manifestations continued. The neighborhood caught up the story, and the house remained untenanted for three years. Several persons negotiated for it; but, somehow, always before the bargain was closed they heard the unpleasant rumors and declined to treat any further.

It was in this state of things that my landlady, who at that time kept a boarding-house in Bleecker Street, and who wished to move further up town, conceived the bold idea of renting No. — Twenty-sixth Street. Happening to have in her house rather a plucky and philosophical set of boarders, she laid her scheme before us, stating candidly everything she had heard respecting the ghostly qualities of the establishment to which she wished to remove us. With the exception of two timid persons,—a sea-captain and a returned Californian, who immediately gave notice that they would leave,—all of Mrs Moffat’s guests declared that they would accompany her in her chivalric incursion into the abode of spirits.

Our removal was effected in the month of May, and we were charmed with our new residence. The portion of Twenty-sixth Street where our house is situated, between Seventh and Eighth Avenues, is one of the pleasantest localities in New York. The gardens back of the houses, running down nearly to the Hudson, form, in the summer time, a perfect avenue of verdure. The air is pure and invigorating, sweeping, as it does, straight across the river from the Weehawken heights, and even the ragged garden which surrounded the house, although displaying on washing days rather too much clothes-line, still gave us a piece of greensward to look at, and a cool retreat in the summer evenings, where we smoked our cigars in the dusk, and watched the fire-flies flashing their dark-lanterns in the long grass.

Of course we had no sooner established ourselves at No. — than we began to expect the ghosts. We absolutely awaited their advent with eagerness. Our dinner conversation was supernatural. One of the boarders, who had purchased Mrs Crowe’s ‘Night Side of Nature’ for his own private delectation, was regarded as a public enemy by the entire household for not having bought twenty copies. The man led a life of supreme wretchedness while he was reading this volume.

A system of espionage was established, of which he was the victim. If he incautiously laid the book down for an instant and left the room, it was immediately seized and read aloud in secret places to a select few. I found myself a person of immense importance, it having leaked out that I was tolerably well versed in the history of supernaturalism, and had once written a story the foundation of which was a ghost. If a table or a wainscot panel happened to warp when we were assembled in the large drawing-room, there was an instant silence, and everyone was prepared for an immediate clanking of chains and a spectral form.

After a month of psychological excitement, it was with the utmost dissatisfaction that we were forced to acknowledge that nothing in the remotest degree approaching the supernatural had manifested itself. Once the black butler asseverated that his candle had been blown out by some invisible agency while he was undressing himself for the night; but as I had more than once discovered this colored gentleman in a condition when one candle must have appeared to him like two, I thought it possible that, by going a step further in his potations, he might have reversed this phenomenon, and seen no candle at all where he ought to have beheld one.

Things were in this state when an incident took place so awful and inexplicable in its character that my reason fairly reels at the bare memory of the occurrence.

Check back next Friday, 10 October, as the events of the narrator’s night unfolds.

Featured image: Hotel Meade by Nomadic Lass. CC BY-SA 2.0 via Flickr.

The post A Halloween horror story : What was it? appeared first on OUPblog.

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6546. Nobel notes

       So, at the earliest, we'll learn who this year's Nobel Prize in Literature laureate is next Thursday (we'll learn on Monday whether they'll be announcing it on the 9th; if they remain silent, then we wait another week, the announcement then likely to come on the 16th) -- but we learn already that the winner-announcement has become such a circus that Swedish Academy point-man Peter Englund has announced (at his weblog) that, unlike in previous years, the announcement-ceremony will not be come one, come all, as he is barring the general public (and "skolklasser, föreningar etc" ('school classes, clubs, etc')). The bus-groups that apparently joined in have proved too much for the Swedish Academy, so only: "media och branschfolk" (journalists and those in the trade ("branschfolk" -- what a great word !)) will be welcome for the spectacle.
       You can, of course, watch the spectacle live on their excellent webcast, as I will be doing -- but it seems a shame that they don't try to accommodate the eager crowds. Why not take advantage of the interest and play to the crowds ? Yes, Englund opening the doors to the Börssalen and then making his little speech makes for a good show -- but why not gather the crowd out front and have Englund stride to a window (or balcony, if they have it) and reveal the winner to the cheering (jeering ?) masses that way ?

       I discussed the betting-situation a few days ago, and action has picked up since then, with more names being added to the various lists, and some shifts in odds (which one shouldn't read too much into, but are certainly worth paying some attention to). A reminder, again, that it's unlikely a winner has been selected yet (though one might be in the next few days), so for now we can only really guess at who the finalists might be.
       So, the betting observations:

  • At Ladbrokes the top seeds have flipped places: Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o (whose name they still can't spell ...) is now the 4/1 favorite, with Murakami Haruki at 5/1. Ismail Kadare is now also listed -- and, at 10/1 among the favorites. Another new name is Patrick Modiano -- last seen as a 100/1 longshot in 2013, now popping up at 16/1 Meanwhile, Peter Handke has moved up from 50/1 to 16/1 -- but he's been getting lots of coverage for his recent International Ibsen Award debacle win, which might have contributed to that.

  • PaddyPower doesn't seem to have had much movement.

  • Unibet odds have also been pretty stable, except that a few new names have popped up, such as Paul Muldoon at 18/1
       (Unibet also offers specialty bets, like what country or continent the winner will be from. 30/1 on the winner being 25 or under is not a good bet/fair odds.)

       In trying to figure out who might be in the final running -- i.e. on the Swedish Academy's shortlist -- I think several of those listed on the betting sheets can be counted out:
  • Joyce Carol Oates and Margaret Atwood: I don't see an English-writing North American woman winning two years in a row; I think the Swedish Academy wants a bit more variety than that

  • Peter Handke: the Ibsen Award to-do -- and the fact that he won it in the first place, another Scandinavian international literary prize worth mega-bucks (2.5 million Norwegian kroner, about US$390,000 at the latest exchange rate), probably put him out of the running (at least for the prize itself; he might well have made the shortlist, which they determined before all this blew up)

  • Amos Oz: the political situation (and his remarks) were probably too heated around the time they settled on the finalists (late spring) for them to have wanted to deal with all that fall-out

  • Bob Dylan: come on people -- Bob Dylan does not belong anywhere near this discussion, this year or any year (despite the annual crackpot claim to the contrary)
       I'm not sure about Adonis this year -- again, the politics might be too messy for them to want to get involved -- or Ko Un, the perennial Korean contender (since former winner Le Clézio has repeatedly gone on record as a fan of Korean literature and may well have nominated a Korean writer -- but most likely someone else, dividing whatever Korean support there might be at the Swedish Academy).

       Based on the limited buzz and the odds, I could see a shortlist that includes: Ngũgĩ, Murakami, Kadare, and Alexievich; possible other finalists: Modiano, Roth, Kundera, maybe even Handke (who, as noted, however, seems extremely unlikely to be considered prize-worthy this year). Maybe Nádas Péter ?
       Of course, several of my favorites aren't even being mentioned (or bet on) much this year: Mahmoud Dowlatabadi and Juan Goytisolo above all others (they seem the two most worthy possible winners, in my eyes), but also: Javier Marías (who at least rates odds, albeit not great ones), Krasznahorkai László, Mikhail Shishkin, Ibrahim al-Koni, or Ayi Kwei Armah.

       More thoughts soon.

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6547. Love is Forever - a book review





Quote of the day:


"If tears could build a stairway,
And memories a lane,
I'd walk right up to Heaven
And bring you home again."
                     -anonymous

Featured book of the day:


Title:  Love is Forever
Author:  Casey Rislov
Illustrator:  Rachael Balsaitis

Let's take a peek inside shall we?


















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6548. Beautiful German books ?

       The German have a prize for the most beautiful books of the year and, ridiculously, call it, in semi-English, The Beauty and the Book.
       They've now announced their ten finalists -- and I have to admit to being rather unimpressed by the selection.

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6549. Frank – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Title: Frank! Written and illustrated By: Connah Brecon Published By: Running Press Kids, September 30th,  2014 Themes/Topics: running late, excuses, making time Suitable for ages: 3-7   Opening: Frank was late.                         … Continue reading

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6550. Lolita in Persian

       At Sampsonia Way Yaghoub Yadali reports on Lolita in Kabul, as Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita has been translated into Persian but could not be published in Iran -- and instead has now been published in Kabul.
       Good to see the flow of literature between these countries (and Tajikistan too).

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