Saturday, April 5, 2014

A to Z Blogging Challenge (E)

This is part of the A to Z Blog Challenge.  Look at the "A" post on April 2 for further explanation.

I am featuring this blog because the moderator is an accomplished writer of the romance genre, AND she publishes her own e-books! Marie Force says she is "the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling, award-winning author of 30 contemporary romances". Anyone who has been turned down by traditional publishers has thought about going it on their own.  One major problem is knowing how. That's where this blog is helpful.

With 173 followers to date and a sparse posting schedule, this blog is still a great place to gain wisdom. I was educated while reading the last two posts which were in December 2013 and November 2013. I learned some of the unforeseen problems that can face self-publishers of e-books when some authors slip unwanted content in on retailers.  One retailer pulled all e-books as a result such an event.  I won't tell you which one, because I don't spoil plots!

Along with free support for self-publishers, Marie offers e-book services. For a fee, she will turn your manuscript into an e-book ready for sale.

Friday, April 4, 2014

A to Z Blogging Challenge (D)

This is part of the A to Z Blog Challenge.  Look at the "A" post on April 2 for further explanation.

D is for Don't pet me, I'm writing

Today, this blog has 1016 followers.  I chose to feature this blog largely on its title. It evokes visual images which is a skill, as a reader, I look for in an author. Once I got past the title and bit into the meat of the blog, I found it juicy, but tender, and full of quirky humor. Entertainment aside, there are gleaming nuggets of golden wisdom for writers of all levels of experience. 

As I reread the last paragraph, it sounds as if I'm describing a delicious steak being eaten in a deep, dark gold mine.  Oh, well, I'm tired, and the grand-babies just arrived.  I'll finish this up so I can bounce the 7-month-old and chase the 3-year-old.

The moderator of Don't pet me, I'm writing is Tawna Fenske. Ms. Fenske states she is "an author of quirky romantic comedies".  Her newest book and the third installment in a series will be released early May 2014.  The first post on the blog, during my visit, was about entering a drawing for an ARC (author review copy) of her new book. Just agree to leave a review on Amazon and/or Barnes and Noble to be entered in the drawing.  If the book is as entertaining as the blog, I will certainly enjoy it.  I recommend this blog for some light reading, because I left no longer weighed down but with my spirits lifted.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

A to Z Blogging Challenge (C)

This is part of the A to Z Blog Challenge.  Look at the "A" post on April 2 for further explanation.

C is for The Crime Writers' Chronicle This blog currently has 43 members. This was surprising to me, because this is a professional looking site with contributing, published authors. I may come out of this "A to Z Blog Challenge" experience with a different opinion on what makes a successful blog.

The Crime Writers' Chronicle blog has regular contributing authors that have been published. The site is a conglomeration of resources, advice, education and plain entertainment.  They use guest writers that depart their wisdom to those of us that aspire to their accomplishments. The links  are enlightening as well as resourceful and will be a staple in my writing future. If your genre is not fiction and/or mystery, no worry, because the mechanics of writing and researching a subject are discussed in detail. 

To join, a reader can use their Google account information.

A to Z Blogging Challenge (B)

This is part of the A to Z Blog Challenge.  Look at the "A" post on April 2 for further explanation.

B is for My Name Is Not Bob.

I know it doesn't start with a "B", but I love the name and I couldn't help myself.  This blog, as of today, has 1753 members! I can only hope mine will reach a fraction of that number! Hey, but I'm off topic . . .  The moderator is Robert Lee Brewer and is located in Duluth, Georgia. It is a public blog with a subtitle that I like: "Writing poems, making books, changing diapers, and living thankful."  

The last post is from January 19, 2014.  How can that be with so many followers?  Maybe there are more current pages.  I'll check . . .  Well, the pages are in alphabetic order, so I can't tell when they were written.  

The content includes challenges and contests for writers as well as original writings and discussion of favorite books. The style leans more toward poems, but I see no discrimination.  

I like, what do you think about Bob, er, I mean Robert?

Look for my "C" post tomorrow, rather, today since it is past midnight.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A to Z Blogging Challenge (A)

From what I gather (since I did not read the original post) the A to Z Blogging Challenge started on April 1st and goes until April 26th. On each day blog at least 100 words representing one letter per day. Write about something to do with A on the 1st day, B on the 2nd, C on the 3rd . . . , and Z on the 26th. If I'm wrong, could someone let me know, please?

Anyway, I decided to make a theme out my contribution to this experience. I will choose another writer's blog|Google Community that covers the letter theme for that day.  For example:

A is for Academic Writing Resource.
As of today, this site has 134 members. It is a public community whose subtitle reads, "Academic research and writing help by our expert writers." The physical location of the moderator(s) is/are the United Kingdom. The description for this blog is, "Get your custom paper writing done by our expert writers on any topic such as Thesis, Dissertation, Essay, Assignment, Coursework, Research paper, Term paper and Case studies." Eh, are those the topics or the styles?

While there are plenty of writing services offered, there are also tips as in the this post: "Step by Step Guidelines to Write Premium Quality Essay Papers | Education."
Is this cheating? What do you think?  Should people write their own Theses?

Next Post: B is for My Name Is Not Bob.

Quotes Of Faith


God, I don't know if I know you or not.
They say you are as close to me as I am to
myself. But you might as well be a stranger
in the mist. If wishes were real, you would
be more real to me than flesh and blood.

Could it be that here is where I lose the
trail: I look for you the way I picture you,
rather than the way you really are?

Do I look up when, perhaps, you have no
direction? Should I even look- can the eyes
see the eye? Am I looking for color in a
song; or sound in a sunset; or trying to
cup-in-hand sweetness and sorrow?

Am I searching for something when
perhaps that "something" is the search?
Could it be that while I walk in flesh, you
will never be a destination- only a journey?

What if I found you? That would be
heaven! But can heaven be on earth? Can
east be in the west?

When does the quest cease to be the
question and become the answer?

Or, perhaps, that is it: the question is the
answer, the search in the discovery. I'm
going, I am already there- as "there" as
any traveler can expect to be.
God does not believe in our God.
- Jules Renard

We know God easily if we do not constrain
ourselves to define him.
- Joseph Joubert

Omitting God leaves man on top... But of a
diminishing universe.
- Frank Sheed, Theology & Sanity

I went to heaven and saw God.
Wow, would you believe: She's black.
- Graffiti at a woman's lib convention

One's religious attitude is to be found at
the point where he has the conviction that
there are values in human existence worth
living and dying for.
- Rollo May, Ma's search for Himself

The book of Genesis says that God created
man to his image and likeness. It seems
that the most perduring heresy in all of
Christian history has been this- that man
has reversed Genesis- man has made God
to his image and likeness.
- John Powell

God is inexpressible. It is easier for us to
say what he is not than what he is...

Nothing is comparable to him...

If you could conceive of him, you would
conceive of something other than God. He
is not at all what you have conceived him
to be.
- Saint Augustine

I think a scientist has a real advantage in
any struggle to conceive and believe in
God. For he is expert in seeing the
unseeable and in believing the essentially

Now, no scientist has ever seen an
electron. "Electron" is simply the name for
a consistent set of things that happen in
certain circumstances. For a while,
physicists thought that the electron was a
particle. Then they realized that electrons
are wave motions. Today they think of
electrons as being both (or either) particles
and waves. Yet nothing seems to them
more "real."

All this may seem ridiculous to you. But
just as there are various complex ideas
about the electron- it is sometimes one
thing, sometimes another; it can't be seen,
and can't be precisely located- so there are
various ideas about God. He, too, I think,
can neither be seen nor precisely located.
- Dr. Warren Weaver, Mathematician
We know God easily if we do not constrain
ourselves to define him.
- Joseph Joubert

People who tell me there is no God are like
a six-year-old boy saying there is no such
thing as passionate love - they just haven't
experience it.
- William Alfred
When we ask, "why am I?" "What should
become of me?" "What is the meaning of
my life?" - then we are exploring . . . the
region of our experience where God may
be known . . .
- Langdon Gilkey
There lives more faith in honest doubt . . .
than in half the creeds.
- Alfred Tennyson
When faith becomes blind. It dies.
- Mohandas Gandhi
Without a consciousness of truth itself,
doubt of truth would be impossible.
- Paul Tillich
Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that
faith is his twin brother.
- Kahlil Gibran
Wonder is the basis of worship.
- Thomas Carlyle
Science ... tells us that nothing in nature,
not even the tiniest particle, can disappear
without a trace. Nature does not know
extinction. All it knows is transformation...

And everything science has taught me...
strengthens my belief in the continuity of
our spiritual existence after death. Nothing
disappears without a trace.
- Wernher von Braun
Someday, after mastering the winds, the
waves, the tides and gravity, we shall
harness for God the energy of love, and
then, for the second time in the history of
the world, man will discover fire.
- Teilhard de Chardin


I cannot walk or run or fall into a foreign place.
There is no where you are not there,
No action is outside your grace.
When all who dare to hope despair,
I'll lift my eyes to see,
There's nothing I cannot do,
with your gift of faith to me.

Faith is without a friend or foe,
Nor a likeness on this earth.
Faith is a powerful force of old,
And nothing compares to its worth.
Without faith life was barren and hard,
The cause I did not know.
When you came to me, you set me free,
And allowed my faith to grow.
It quickly became apparent to me,
It was faith the substance I lacked.
I was blind before you allowed me to see,
my past pessimism I now retract.

Oh God, my God how sad to see,
My friends and loved ones who are not free.
If I do not say one thing,
Can they see in me the faith you can bring?
You love them like you love me too
I am not special in that way to you.
If I can be free and happy this way
I pray they too will find you some day

Favorite Poe

If you have not read Poe, I hope his poem "The Raven" will cause you to pick up his writings

MUCH madness is divinest sense
To a discerning eye;
Much sense the starkest madness.
'T is the majority
In this, as all, prevails.
Assent, and you are sane;
Demur, -- you're straightway dangerous,
And handled with a chain.


by Edgar Allan Poe

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
"'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door-
Only this, and nothing more."
Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow;- vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow- sorrow for the lost Lenore-
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore-
Nameless here for evermore.
And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me- filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
"'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door-
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;-
This it is, and nothing more."
Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
"Sir," said I, "or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you"- here I opened wide the door;-
Darkness there, and nothing more.
Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "Lenore!"
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Lenore!"-
Merely this, and nothing more.
Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
"Surely," said I, "surely that is something at my window lattice:
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore-
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;-
'Tis the wind and nothing more."
Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and
In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door-
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door-
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.
Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore.
"Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou," I said, "art sure no
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the Nightly shore-
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!"
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."
Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning- little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blest with seeing bird above his chamber door-
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as "Nevermore."
But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered- not a feather then he fluttered-
Till I scarcely more than muttered, "other friends have flown
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before."
Then the bird said, "Nevermore."
Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
"Doubtless," said I, "what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore-
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
Of 'Never- nevermore'."
But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and
Then upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore-
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking "Nevermore."
This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamplight gloated o'er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamplight gloating o'er,
She shall press, ah, nevermore!
Then methought the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose footfalls tinkled on the tufted floor.
"Wretch," I cried, "thy God hath lent thee- by these angels he
hath sent thee
Respite- respite and nepenthe, from thy memories of Lenore!
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!"
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."
"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil!- prophet still, if bird or
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted-
On this home by horror haunted- tell me truly, I implore-
Is there- is there balm in Gilead?- tell me- tell me, I implore!"
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."
"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil- prophet still, if bird or
By that Heaven that bends above us- by that God we both adore-
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore-
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore."
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."
"Be that word our sign in parting, bird or fiend," I shrieked,
"Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken!- quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."
And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamplight o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted- nevermore!
-- THE END --

Friendship -Poem by Carol Elaine Faivre-Scott

Each of us has a hidden place
Somewhere deep within ourselves;
A place where we go to get away,
To think things through,
To be alone, to be ourselves.
This unique place, where we confront our deepest feelings,
Becomes a storehouse of all our hopes,
All our needs, all our dreams,
And even our unspoken fears.
It encompasses the essence of who we are and what we want to be.
But now and then, whether by chance or design,
Someone discovers a way into that place we thought was ours alone.
And we allow that person to see, to feel and to share
All the reason, all the uncertainty
And all the emotion we've stored up there.
That person adds new perspective to our hidden realm,
Then quietly settles down in his own corner of our special place,
Where a bit of himself will stay forever.
And we call that person a friend.

-Poem by Carol Elaine Faivre-Scott


How To Be Happy by Robert Louis Stevenson

  1. Make up your mind to be happy. Learn to find pleasure  in simple things.
  2. Make the best of your circumstances. No one has  everything, and everyone has something of sorrow  intermingled with gladness of life. The trick is to make the laughter outweigh the tears.
  3. Don't take yourself too seriously. Don't think that  somehow you should be protected from misfortune  that befalls other people.
  4. You can't please everybody. Don't let criticism worry you.
  5. Don't let your neighbor set your standards. Be yourself.
  6. Do the things you enjoy doing but stay out of debt.
  7. Never borrow trouble. Imaginary things are harder  to bear than real ones.
  8. Since hate poisons the soul, do not cherish jealousy,  enmity, grudges. Avoid people who make you unhappy.
  9. Have many interests. If you can't travel, read about new places.
  10. Don't hold post-mortems. Don't spend your time brooding over sorrows or mistakes. Don't be one who never gets over things.
  11. Do what you can for those less fortunate than yourself.
  12. Keep busy at something. A busy person never has  time to be unhappy.


Shannon could hear the footsteps behind her as she walked toward home. The thought of being followed made her heart beat faster. "You're being silly," she told herself, "no one is following you." To be safe she began to walk faster, but the footsteps kept up with her pace. She was afraid to look back and she was glad she was almost home. Shannon said a quick prayer, "God please get me home safe." She saw the porch light burning and ran the rest of the way to her house. Once inside she leaned against the door for a moment, relieved to be in the safety of her home. She glanced out the window to see if anyone was there. The sidewalk was empty. 

After tossing her books on the sofa she decided to grab a snack and get online. There she could talk to strangers without being afraid. After all, none knew who she really was and couldn't hurt her. She logged on under her screen name ByAngel213. Checking her Buddy List she saw GoTo123 was on.

She sent him an instant message:

ByAngel213: Hi I'm glad you are on! I thought someone was following me home today. It was really weird!

GoTo123: LOL You watch too much TV. Why would someone be following you? Don't you live in a safe neighborhood?

ByAngel213: Of course I do LOL I guess it was my imagination cause didn't see anybody when I looked out.

GoTo123: Unless you gave your name out on line You haven't done that have you?

ByAngel213: Of course not. I'm not stupid you know.

GoTo123: Did you have a softball game after school today?

ByAngel213: Yes and we won!!

GoTo123: That's great! Who did you play?

ByAngel213: We played the Hornets LOL.. Their uniforms are so gross! They look like bees LOL

GoTo123: What is your team called?

ByAngel213: We are the Canton Cats. We have tiger paws on our uniforms. They are really kewl.

GoTo123: Do you pitch or what?

ByAngel213: No I play second base. I got to go.. My homework has to be done before my parents get home. I don't want them mad at me Bye

GoTo123: Catch you later.. Bye

GoTo123 decided it was time to teach Angel a lesson. One she would never forget. He went to the member menu and began to search for her profile. When it came up he highlighted it and printed it out. He took out a pen and began to write down what he knew about Angel so far. Her name: Shannon, Birthday: Jan. 3, 1985 age:13 State where she lived: North Carolina Hobbies: softball, chorus, skating and going to the mall. Besides this information he knew she lived in Canton. She had just told him, He knew she stayed by herself until 6:30 every afternoon until her parents came home from work. He knew she played softball on Thursday afternoons on the school team and the team was named the Canton Cats. Her favorite number 7 was printed on her jersey. He knew she was in the seventh grade at the Canton Junior High School. She had told him all this in the conversations they had on line. He had enough information to find her now. "She'll be so surprised," he thought, "she doesn't even know what she has done."  

Shannon didn't tell her parents about the incident on the way home from the ball park that day. She didn't want them to make a scene and stop her from walking home from the softball games. Parents were always overreacting and hers were the worst. It made her wish she was not an only child. Maybe if she had brothers and sisters her parents wouldn't be so overprotective.

By Thursday Shannon had forgotten about the footsteps following her. Her game was in full swing when suddenly she felt someone staring at her. It was then that the memory came back. She glanced up from her second base position to see a man watching her closely. He was leaning against the fence behind first base and he smiled when she looked at him. He didn't look scary and she quickly dismissed the fear she had felt.

After the game he sat on a bleacher while she talked to the coach. She noticed his smile once again as she walked past him. He nodded and she smiled back. He noticed her name on back of the shirt. He knew he had found her. Quietly he walked a safe distance behind her. He didn't want to frighten her and have to explain what he was doing to anyone. It was only a few blocks to Shannon's home and once he saw where she lived he quickly returned to the park to get his car. Now he had to wait. He decided to get a bite to eat until the time came to go to Shannon's house. He drove to a fast food restaurant and sat there until time to make his move.

Shannon was in her room later that evening when she heard voices in the living room.

"Shannon, come here," her father called. He sounded upset and she couldn't imagine why. She went into the room to see the man from the ballpark sitting on the sofa. "Sit down," her father began, "This man is a policeman and he has just told us a most interesting story about you." Shannon moved cautiously to a chair across from the man. How could he tell her parents anything? She had never seen him before today!

"Do you know who I am Shannon?" The man asked.

"No" Shannon answered.

"I am your on line friend, GoTo123."

Shannon was stunned. "That's impossible! GoTo is a kid my age! He's 14 and he lives in Michigan!"

The man smiled. "I know I told you all that but it wasn't true. You see Shannon there are people on line who pretend to be kids; I was one of them. But while others do it to find kids and hurt them, I belong to a group of parents who do it to protect kids from predators. I came here to find you to teach you how dangerous it is to give out too much information to people on line. You told me enough about yourself to make it easy for me to find you. Your name, the school you went to, the name of your ball team and the position you played. The number and name on your jersey just made finding you a breeze." Shannon was stunned.

"You mean you don't live in Michigan?"

He laughed. "No, I live in Raleigh. It made you feel safe to think I was so far away, didn't it?"

She nodded.

"I had a friend whose daughter was like you. Only she wasn't as lucky. The guy found her and murdered her while she was home alone. Kids are taught not to tell anyone when they are alone, yet they do it all the time on line. The wrong people trick you into giving out information a little here and there online. Before you know it, you have told them enough for them to find you without even realizing you have done it. I hope you've learned a lesson from this and won't do it again."

"I won't," Shannon promised solemnly.

"Will you tell others about this so they will be safe too?"

"It's a promise!"

That night Shannon and her dad and Mom all knelt down together and prayed. They thanked God for protecting Shannon from what could have been a tragic situation.