Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Social Security

Good Tuesday morning. This is the day to get out the VOTE in the USA. Remember, if you don't cast a ballot, you don't get the priviledge of complaining about the guys in office.

There is too much apathy in this country about voting. I think it is a shame that so many people treat this right so frivolously when there are whole segments of the population that had to fight for the right! GET OUT AND VOTE!


Franklin Roosevelt, a Democrat, introduced the Social Security (FICA) Program. He promised:

1.) That participation in the Program would be completely voluntary,

2.) That the participants would only have to pay 1% of the first $1,400 of their annual incomes into the Program,

3.) That the money the participants elected to put into the Program would be deductible from their income for tax purposes each year,

4.) That the money the participants put into the independent "Trust Fund" rather than into the General operating fund, and therefore, would only be used to fund the Social Security Retirement Program, and no other Government program, and,

5.) That the annuity payments to the retirees would never be taxed as income.

Since many of us have paid into FICA for years and are now receiving a Social Security check every month -- and then finding that we are getting taxed on 85% of the money we paid to the Federal government to "put away," you may be interested in the following:

Q: Which Political Party took Social Security from the independent "Trust" fund and put it into the General fund so that Congress could spend it?

A: It was Lyndon Johnson and the Democratically-controlled House and Senate.

Q: Which Political Party eliminated the income tax deduction for Social Security (FICA) withholding?

A: The Democratic Party.

Q: Which Political Party started taxing Social Security annuities?

A: The Democratic Party, with Al Gore casting the "tie-breaking" deciding vote as President of the Senate, while he was Vice President of the U.S.

Q: Which Political Party decided to start giving annuity payments to immigrants?

A: That's right! Jimmy Carter and the Democratic Party. Immigrants moved into this country, and at age 65, began to receive SSI Social Security payments! The Democratic Party gave these payments to them, even though they never paid a dime into it!

Then, after doing all this lying and thieving and violation of the original contract (FICA), the Democrats turn around and tell you that the Republicans want to take your Social Security away!

And the worst part about it is, uninformed citizens believe it!

If enough people receive this, maybe a seed of awareness will be planted and maybe good changes will evolve.

How many people can YOU send this to?

Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to
realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first!

It is now 12 noon on Tuesday. I expected at least one American...LOL..Canadians don't count Bernita...to say that today is not the voting day....Hello! Is anybody going to vote when the real day comes or all you all ignoring it?

Monday, October 30, 2006

Good Monday morning! Blogger ate my original post, so I'm just going to give you the the little stories, and dispense with the rhetoric!

This was written by an 8 year old, Danny Dutton of Chula Vista, CA, for his third grade homework assignment. The assignment was to explain God. I just wonder if any of us could do as well???


"One of God's main jobs is making people. He makes them to replace the ones that die, so there will be enough people to take care of things on earth."

"He doesn't make grownups, just babies. I think because they are smaller and easier to make. (Yea, and way easier on the 'coming out part'!) That way he doesn't have to take up his valuable time teaching them to talk and walk. He can just leave that to mothers and fathers."

"God's second most important job is listening to prayers. An awful lot of this goes on, since some people, like preachers and things, pray at times beside bedtime. God doesn't have time to listen to the radio or TV because of this. Because he hears everything, there must be a terrible lot of noise in his ears, unless he has thought of a way to turn it off."

"God sees everything and hears everything and is everywhere which keeps Him pretty busy. So you shouldn't go wasting his time by going over your mom and dad's head asking for something they said you couldn't have."

"Atheists are people who don't believe in God. I don't think there are any in Chula Vista. At least there aren't any who come to our church."

"Jesus is God's Son. He used to do all the hard work like walking on water and performing miracles and trying to teach the people who didn't want to learn about God. They finally got tired of him preaching to them and they crucified Him. But He was good and kind, like his father, and he told His Father that they didn't know what they were doing and to forgive them and God said O.K."

This is my favorite part.

"His dad (God) appreciated everything that he had done and all his Hard work on earth so he told him he didn't have to go out on the road anymore. He could stay in heaven. So he did. And now he helps His Dad out by listening to prayers and seeing things which are important for God to take care of and which ones he can take care of himself without having to bother God. Like a secretary, only more important."

"You can pray anytime you want and they are sure to help you because they got it worked out so one of them is on duty all the time."

"You should always go to church on Sunday because it makes God happy, and if there's anybody you want to make happy, it's God.

"Don't skip church or do something you think will be more fun like going to the beach. This is wrong. And besides the sun doesn't come out until noon anyway."

"If you don't believe in God, besides being an atheist, you will be very lonely, because your parents can't go everywhere with you, like to camp, but God can. It is good to know He's around you when you're scared, in the dark or when you can't swim and you get thrown into real deep water by big kids."

"But...you shouldn't just always think of what God can do for you. I figure God put me here and he can take me back anytime he pleases. And...that's why I believe in God."

Ice Cream (This did not happen to me!)

Last week I took my children to a restaurant. My six-year-old son asked if he could say grace.

As we bowed our heads he said, "God is good, God is great. Thank you for the food, and I would even thank you more if Mom gets us ice cream for dessert. And Liberty and justice for all! Amen!"

Along with the laughter from the other customers nearby I heard a woman remark, "That's what's wrong with this country. Kids today don't even know how to pray Asking God for ice-cream! Why, I never!"

Hearing this, my son burst into tears and asked me, "Did I do it wrong? Is God mad at me?"

As I held him and assured him that he had done a terrific job and God was certainly not mad at him, an elderly gentleman approached the table.

He winked at my son and said, "I happen to know that God thought that was a great prayer.

"Really?" my son asked.

"Cross my heart," the man replied. Then in a theatrical whisper he added (indicating the woman whose remark had started this whole thing), " Too bad she never asks God for ice cream. A little ice cream is good for the soul sometimes."

Naturally, I bought my kids ice cream at the end of the meal. My son stared at his for a moment and then did something I will remember the rest of my life. He picked up his sundae and without a word, walked over and placed it in front of the woman. With a big smile he told her, "Here, this is for you. Ice cream is good for the soul sometimes; and my soul is good already."

The End.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Update on The Election

Well we made it to the weekend and Technorati finally got their system working...somewhat! I never realized that there are only 30 people working at Technorati. And they service about 58 million websites and blogs. My hats off to you guys, especially Derek. Thanks for the help!

The book we reviewed this week Jerome Teel's new one, The Election, finally showed up on the page as #6. I've got a screen shot that I'll put on the CFBA blog as soon as Blogger acts right!

I loved this book! That's my kind of reading. It has politics, intrigue, suspense...and the ending made me cry. On the Bonnie Scale, I give this one 5 out of 5 stars!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Friday Morning Email Humor

A little Friday morning humor...

Thinking of you all -

I want to thank all of you who have taken the time and trouble to send me your e-mail forwards over the past two years. Thank you for making me feel safe, secure, blessed, and wealthy.

Because of your concern...

I no longer can drink Coca Cola because it can remove toilet stains.

I no longer drink Pepsi or Dr. Pepper since the people who make these products are atheists who refuse to put "Under God" on their cans.

I no longer use Saran wrap in the microwave because it causes cancer.

I no longer check the coin return on pay phones because I could be pricked with a needle infected with AIDS.

I no longer use cancer-causing deodorants even though I smell like a water buffalo on a hot day.

I no longer go to shopping malls because someone will drug me with a perfume sample and rob me.

I no longer receive packages from UPS or FedEx since they are actually Al Qaeda in disguise.

I no longer shop at Target since they are French and don't support our troops.

I no longer answer the phone because someone will ask me to dial a stupid number for which I will get the phone bill from hell with calls to Jamaica, Uganda, Singapore, and Uzbekistan.

I no longer eat prepackaged foods because the estrogens they contain will turn me gay.

I no longer eat KFC because their chickens are actually horrible mutant freaks with no eyes or feathers.

I no longer go to bars because someone will drug me and take my kidneys and leave me taking a nap in a bathtub full of ice.

Thanks to you, I have learned that God only answers my prayers if I forward an email to 7 of my friends and make a wish within 5 minutes.

I no longer have any savings because I gave it to a sick girl who has been dying for the past seven years.

I no longer have any money at all, but that will change once I receive the $15,000 that Microsoft and AOL are sending me for participating in their special e-mail program.

I will now return the favor.

If you don't send this post about e-mail to at least 1200 people in the next 60 seconds, a large bird with diarrhea will fly over your head at 5:00pm and the fleas of a thousand camels will infest...well, you get the picture.

I know this will occur because it actually happened to a friend of a friend of a friend's neighbor's cousin, and he's a lawyer.

Ya'll have a great weekend, hear!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Old Lady Carjacking

This is a true account as recorded in the Police Log ofSarasota, Florida...

An elderly Florida lady did her shopping and, upon returning to her car, found four males in the act of leaving with her vehicle.

She dropped her shopping bags and drew her handgun, proceedingto scream at the top of her voice, "I have a gun, and I know how to use it! Get out of the car!"

The four men didn't wait for a second invitation. They got out and ran like mad.

The lady, somewhat shaken, then proceeded to load her shopping bags into the back of the car and got into the driver's seat. She was so shaken that she could not get her key into the ignition. She tried and tried, and then it dawned on her why...

For the same reason she did not understand why there was a football, a Frisbee and two 12 packs of beer in the front seat!

A few minutes later, she found her own car parked four or five spaces farther down.

She loaded her bags into the car and drove to the police stationto report her mistake. The sergeant to whom she told the story couldn't stop laughing. He pointed to the other end of the counter, where four pale men were reporting a car jacking by a mad, elderly woman described as white, less than five feet tall, glasses, curly white hair, and carrying a large handgun.

No charges were filed. If you're going to have a Senior Moment, make it a memorable one!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Election by Jerome Teel

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is reviewing Jerome Teel's latest book, The Election..


Jerome Teel is a graduate of Union University, where he received his JD, cum laude, from the Ole Miss School of Law. He is actively involved in his church, local charities, and youth sports.

He has always loved legal-suspense novels and is a political junkie. Jerome and his wife, Jennifer, have three children-Brittney, Trey, and Matthew-and reside in Tennessee, where he practices law and is at work on a new novel.


They seek ultimate power.
can stand in their way.

Ed Burke has waited a lifetime to become president of the United States. He's not about to let his nemesis, Mac Foster, stop him now...especially when he's sold his soul for the Oval Office.

Claudia Duval has lived a rough life. And finally, things have turned around for her after meeting the wealthy Hudson Kinney. But is all what is seems?

When a prominent citizen is murdered in Jackson, Tennessee, attorney Jake Reed doesn't want to know the truth. He just wants to get his client off. But as he investigates, he uncovers a sinister scheme. A scheme that would undermine the very democracy of America...and the freedom of the entire world.

The Election, by Jerome Teel, is a fast-paced, highly readable mystery filled with suspense, intrigue, and political conspiracy. Teel skillfully weaves together themes of faith, family, suffering, and providence in a way that not only compels, but enlightens."
David S. Dockery-President, Union University

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Raging River and Maxine

Good Tuesday. I spent an hour...I'm on dial-up...uploading the new Internet Explorer 7. I gotta tell you...it seems a lot faster, and I haven't had any viewing failures yet! I culd get used to this! Try it, you might like it!

Have a joke:

Three men were hiking through a forest when they came upon a large raging violent river. Needing to get on the other side, the first man prayed, "God, please give me the strength to cross the river."

Poof! God gave him big arms and strong legs and he was able to swim across in about 2 hours, having almost drowned twice.

After witnessing that, the second man prayed, "God, please give me strength and the tools to cross the river."

Poof! God gave him a rowboat and strong arms and strong legs and he was able to row across in about an hour after almost capsizing once.

Seeing what happened to the first two men, the third man prayed, "God, please give me the strength, the tools and the intelligence to cross the river."

Poof! He was turned into a woman. She checked the map, hiked one hundred yards up stream and walked across the bridge.

ROFLOL...you guys shoulda' seen that one coming a mile away!


Monday, October 23, 2006

Helicopter Problems

Good Monday morning....this post is dedicated to our wonderful creator of Internet Explorer...considering how badly it has been acting since they came out with Version 7.

Between IE and Blogger I sometimes wonder how many hours of my life are spent hurling expletives at my monitor. How many hours will I have lost, never to be reclaimed? *sigh*

A helicopter was flying around above Seattle yesterday when an electrical malfunction disabled all of the aircraft's electronic navigation and communications equipment.

Due to the clouds and haze, the pilot could not determine the helicopter's position and course to steer to the airport.

The pilot saw a tall building, flew toward it, circled, drew a handwritten sign, and held it in the helicopter's window. The pilot's sign said "WHERE AM I?" in large letters.

People in the tall building quickly responded to the aircraft, drew a large sign, and held it in a building window. Their sign said "YOU ARE IN A HELICOPTER."

The pilot smiled, waved, looked at his map, determined the course to steer to SEATAC airport, and landed safely.

After they were on the ground, the co-pilot asked the pilot how the "YOU ARE IN A HELICOPTER" sign helped determine their position in Seatle.

The pilot responded "I knew that had to be the MICROSOFT building because, similar to their help-lines, they gave me a technically correct but completely useless answer."

Friday, October 20, 2006

How Do You Decide Who To Marry?

Well good Friday folks...ahhh! The weekend is here. I get to sleep in tomorrow!

Another bright note...our CFBA blog tour this week is doing very well. Karen Kingsbury's latest book, Like Dandelion Dust has steadily crept it's way up the Technorati Popular Book list, and now sits at #3! Great job to all the CFBA book reviewers who have posted and for the ones that will go up today!

Art Linkletter once said, "Ourt of the mouths of babes..." Here's some great ones!

HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHO TO MARRY? (written by kids)

You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like
sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep the
chips and dip coming. -- Alan, age 10

No person really decides before they grow up who they're going to
marry. God decides it all way before, and you get to find out later who
you're stuck with. -- Kristen, age 10


Twenty-three is the best age because you know the person FOREVER by
then. -- Camille, age 10

No age is good to get married at. You got to be a fool to get married.
-- Freddie, age 6 (very wise for his age)


You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at
the same kids. -- Derrick, age 8 (Simple but highly effective!!)


Both don't want any more kids. -- Lori, age 8 (still weeping over this one!)


Dates are for having fun, and people should use them to get to know
each other. Even boys have something to say if you listen long enough. !
-- Lynnette, age 8 (isn't she a treasure)

On the first date, they just tell each other lies and that usually gets them
interested enough to go for a second date. -- Martin, age 10


I'd run home and play dead. The next day I would call all the newspapers and
make sure they wrote about me in all the dead columns. -- Craig, age 9


When they're rich. -- Pam, age 7 (simply brilliant!!)

The law says you have to be eighteen, so I wouldn't want to mess
with that -- Curt, age 7

The rule goes like this: If you kiss someone, then you should marry them and
have kids with them. It's the right thing to do.
-- Howard, age 8 (seems a bit harsh to me).


I don't know which is better, but I'll tell you one thing. I'm never going to have sex
with my wife. I don't want to be all grossed out.
-- Theodore, age 8 (this kid needs some counseling)

It's better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need someone to clean
up after them. -- Anita, age 9 (bless you child)


There sure would be a lot of kids to explain, wouldn't there?
-- Kelvin, age 8 (Yes there certainly would be a LOT of explaining!!)

And the #1 Favorite is........


Tell your wife that she looks pretty, even if she looks like a truck hit her.
-- Ricky, age 10 (this kid is going to be a lawyer or a politician or both!!)

Thursday, October 19, 2006



(But, there is not a woman alive today who won't crack up over this!)

I was due for an appointment with the gynecologist later in the week. Early one morning, I received a call from the doctor's office to tell me there was a cancellation and the 9:30am appointment was available.

I took it.

I had only just packed everyone off to work and school, and it was already around 8:45 am. The trip to his office took about 35 minutes, so I didn't have any time to spare.

As most women do, I like to take a little extra effort over hygiene when making such visits, but this time I wasn't going to be able to make the full effort. So, I rushed upstairs, threw off my pajamas, wet the washcloth that was sitting next to the sink, and gave myself a quick wash in "that area" to make sure I was at least presentable.

I threw the washcloth in the clothes basket, donned some clothes, hopped in the car and raced to my appointment.

I was in the waiting room for only a few minutes when I was called in.

Knowing the procedure, as I'm sure you do, I hopped up on the table, looked over at the other side of the room and pretended that I was in Paris or some other such glamorous place a million miles away.

I was a little surprised when the doctor said, "My, we have made an extra effort this morning, haven't we?"

I didn't respond.

After the appointment, I heaved a sigh of relief and went home.

The rest of the day was normal... some shopping, cleaning, cooking, etc.

After school when my six year old daughter was playing, she called out from the bathroom, "Mommy, where's my washcloth?" I told her to get another one from the cupboard.

She replied, "No!!!"

(Now wait for it, this is too funny not to be true!!!)

She yelled, "I need the one that was here by the sink, it had all my glitter and sparkles saved inside it."

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is reviewing Karen Kingsbury's latest book, Like Dandelion Dust.

About the Author:

USA Today and New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury is AmericaÂ’s #1 inspirational novelist. There are nearly 5 million copies of her award-winning books in print, including more than two million copies sold in the past year.

Karen has written more than 30 novels, nine of which have hit #1 on national lists, including award-winning Oceans Apart, One Tuesday Morning, Beyond Tuesday Morning, the Redemption Series and Firstborn Series, and several other bestsellers, one of which was the basis for a CBS Movie-of-the-Week and Gideon's Gift, which is currently in production as a major theatrical release for Christmas 2007.

Karen lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, Don, and their six children, three of whom are adopted from Haiti.

About the Book:


Jack and Molly Campbell enjoyed an idyllic life (Great house in a fancy neighborhood, high-paying job, and a beautiful little boy) in their small hometown outside Atlanta with their adopted 4-year-old, Joey. Then they receive the phone call that shatters their world: a social worker delivers the news thatJoey'ss biological father has been released from prison and is ready to start lifeover butt with his son. (It's discovered that Joey's birth mother forged the signature of Joey's birth father, making it afraudulentt adoption.) When a judge rules that Joey must be returned to his father (a man who cannotseparatee love and violence), the Campbells, in a silent haze of grief and utter disbelief, watch their son pick a dandelion and blow the feathery seeds into the wind.
Struggling with the dilemma of following the law, their hearts, and what they know to be morally right, the Campbells find that desperation leads to dangerous thoughts. What if they can devise a plan? Take Joey and simply disappear....LIKE DANDELION DUST

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Email Mantra

I got this quite a while ago from my homegirl Debra Brand! Sorry Deb...I found the draft just lounging around!

Sometimes friends have to tell you things you might not like to hear, but need to. If you are one of those people who like to forward every e-mail you get, please repeat the following ...

1) I will NOT get bad luck, lose my friends, or lose my mailing lists if I DON'T forward an e-mail!

2) I will NOT hear any music or see a taco dog, if I do forward an e-mail.

3) Bill Gates is NOT going to send me money. Victoria Secret doesn't know anything about a gift certificate they're supposed to send me.

4) Ford will NOT give me a 50% discount even if I forward my e-mail to more than 50 people!

5) I will NEVER receive gift certificates, coupons, or freebies from Coca Cola, Cracker Barrel, Old Navy, or anyone else if I send an e-mail to 10 people.

6) I will NEVER see a pop-up window if I forward an e-mail! (If you do, you have a virus or trojan.)

7) There is NO SUCH THING as an e-mail tracking program and I am not STUPID enough to think that someone will send me $100 for forwarding an e-mail to 10 or more people!

8) There is NO kid with cancer through the Make-a-Wish program in England collecting anything! He did when he was 7 years old. He is now cancer free and 35 years old and DOESN'T WANT ANY MORE POST CARDS, or GET-WELL CARDS!

9) The government does not have a bill in Congress called 901B (or whatever they named it this week) that, if passed, will enable them to charge us 5 cents for every e-mail we send.

10) There will be NO cool dancing, singing, waving, colorful flowers, characters, or program that I will receive immediately after I forward an e-mail. NONE, ZIP, ZERO, NADA!!

11) The American Red Cross will NOT donate 50 cents to certain individuals dying of some never-heard-of disease for every e-mail address I send this to. The American Red Cross RECEIVES donations.

12) And finally, I WILL NOT let others guilt me into forwarding at email by telling me if I don't I am not their friend or that I'm a bad person.

Now, repeat this to yourself until you have it memorized, and send it along to at least 5 of your friends before the next full moon or you will gain twenty pounds in the next three months! (No, not really! If you believe that last statement, go back and read this message again!)

Monday, October 16, 2006

TV Commercials

Hey we're back to another new week. The most notable new out there happens to be the rockin' and rollin' in Hawaii. They had an earthquake there yesterday that measured 6.5 or 6.6 depending on whoes fact sheet you look at. To my very good friends there...Stay safe, and watch for aftershocks!

And to my friend Rula...sorry girlfriend I need to have some fun for a while and not think about school. But on a brighter note, my buddy Stephen bought the Self-Editing book!

This is a really cute little story sent by my favorite joke person, Ric

A fifth grade teacher in a private school asked her class to look at TV commercials and see if they could use them in some way to communicate ideas about God.
Here are some of the results:

God is like..BAYER ASPIRIN...He works miracles.

God is like...a FORD...He's got a better idea.

God is like...COKE...He's the real thing.

(This is great)

God is like...HALLMARK CARDS...He cares enough to send His very best.

God is like...TIDE...He gets the stains out that others leave behind.

God is like...GENERAL ELECTRIC...He brings good things to life.

God is like...SEARS...He has everything.

God is like...ALKA-SELTZER...Try him, you'll like Him.

God is like...SCOTCH TAPE...You can't see him, but you know He's there.

God is like...DELTA...He's ready when you are.

God is like...ALLSTATE...You're in good hands with Him.

God is like...VO-5...Hair Spray He holds through all kinds of weather.

God is like...DIAL SOAP...Aren't you glad you have Him? Don't you wish everybody did?

God is like....the U.S.POST OFFICE...Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet nor ice will keep Him from His appointed destination.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Ten Dollars

Well it's Friday again! Praise the Lord! I need the sleep-in tomorrow!

This week's Christian Fiction Blog Alliance book tour for Violette Between,by Alison Strobel is a resounding success! Violette Between is #1 on Technorati Popular Books!

Thanks goes out to all of our CFBA members. We are now 75 members strong!

Here's a money joke...It tickled me, so I had to pass it on!

Fred and his wife Edna went to the state fair every year. Every year Fred would say, "Edna, I'd like to ride in that there airplane." And every year Edna would say, "I know Fred, but that airplane ride costs ten dollars, and ten dollars is ten dollars."

One year Fred and Edna went to the fair and Fred said, "Edna, I'm 71 years old. If I don't ride that airplane this year I may never get another chance." Edna replied, "Fred that there airplane ride costs ten dollars, and ten dollars is ten dollars."

The pilot overheard them and said, "Folks, I'll make you a deal. I'll take you both up for a ride. If you can stay quiet for the entire ride and not say one word, I won't charge you, but if you say one word it's ten dollars."

Fred and Edna agreed and up they go. The pilot does all kinds of twists and turns, rolls and dives, but not a word is heard. He does all his tricks over again, but still not a word.

They land and the pilot turns to Fred, "By golly, I did everything I could think of to get you to yell out, but you didn't."

Fred replied, "Well, I was going to say something when Edna fell out of the plane, but ten dollars is ten dollars."

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Well today is Thursday. We New Yorkers are mourning the loss of Cory Lidle. His private airplane ran into a high rise building in New York City, on Wednesday. He was a pitcher for the New York Yankees, and he had been here in our town of Binghamton as a minor league player with the Binghamton Mets until he signed with the Yankees. So it is doubly sad for our town. My heart-felt sympathy and prayers go out to his family.

On a brighter note...This week's Christian Fiction Blog Alliance book tour for Violette Between,by Alison Strobel is doing great. It is #2 on Technorati Popular Books! Hopefully at #1 by the time you read this!

Here's the rest of Things we learn from movies!

*One man shooting at 20 men has a better chance of killing them than 20 men firing at 1 man.

*If being fired at by Germans, hide in a river - or even a bath. German bullets are unable to penetrate water.

*Laptop computers are powerful enough to override the communication systems of an invading alien civilization.

*Most people keep a scrapbook of newspaper clippings - especially if any of their family or friends have died in a strange boating accident.

*All computer disks will work in all computers, regardless of software.

*Police Departments give their officers personality tests to make sure they are assigned a partner who is their total opposite.

*When they are alone, foreigners prefer to speak English to each other.

*If you are a hero, you never face charges for manslaughter or criminal damage despite laying entire cities to waste by your actions.

*You can always find a chainsaw when you need one.

*Any lock can be picked by a credit card or a paper clip in seconds - unless it's the door to a burning building with a child trapped inside.

*You can tell if somebody is British because he will be wearing a bow tie.

*When driving a car, it is normal to look not at the road but rather at the person sitting beside you or in the back seat for the entire journey.

*Taxi drivers don't require exact or even approximate payment - the first bill you pull from your pocket is always correct.

*Having a job of any kind will make a father forget his son's eighth birthday.

*Honest and hard working policemen are traditionally gunned down three days before retirement.

*The more a man and a woman hate each other, the more likely they will fall in love.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

It's that time of the week! Time to do a blog tour! This week's tour is Violette Between.

Between Here and the PAST,


a place of longing for what has been rather than hoping for what could be!


Alison Strobel graduated with a degree in elementary education, and in the summer of 2000 she moved from Chicago to southern California where she taught elementary school for three years. It was in Orange County that she met her husband, Daniel Morrow, and the story developed for her first novel, Worlds Collide.

Violette Between is a poinant story of a true artist. When the love of Violette's life, Saul suddenly died, she died too. Then she meets Christian, who also is morning the loss of a loved one.

As Violette and Christian begin to feel something that they both thought was impossible. Tragedy strikes again. Christian finds Violette on the floor of his waiting room, that she had been painting to look like a New York rooftop restaurant.

As Christian holds a vigil at her bedside, begging her to come back to him, Violette is in a coma, traveling to a place where she meets her beloved Saul. And she finds that she may not want to come back!

What would it be like to choose a place between the past and the present?

Violette Between is a powerful character study of a woman finally relinquishing the past to move on, only to be thrust into the quandry of reliving that life and needing to make a choice.

For Christians, this will definitely make you think about heaven and the consequences of eternal life.

"Delving into the underside of complicated relationships, Alison Strobel takes readers to unexpected places, but doesn't hesitate to deliver redemptiom when needed."
---Melody Carlson, author of Finding Alice

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

It's Tuesday, and I'm ready for Friday! I don't want to learn anything...I want to laugh! Here, have at it!

News Flash...Google bought YouTube for $1.65 billion...that's right...with a 'B'!

Here's some things we've learned from the movies!

*During all police investigations, it will be necessary to visit a strip club at least once.

*All telephone numbers in America begin with the digits 555.

*Beds have special L-shaped cover sheets which reach up to the armpit level on a woman; but only to waist level on the man lying beside her.

*The ventilation system of any building is the perfect hiding place. No one will ever think of looking for you in there, and you can travel to any other part of the building you want without difficulty

*Should you wish to pass yourself off as a German officer, it will not be necessary to speak the language. A German accent will do.

*A man will show no pain while taking the most ferocious beating, but will wince when a woman tries to clean his wounds.

*Kitchens don't have light switches. When entering a kitchen at night, you should open the fridge door and use that light instead.

*If staying in a haunted house, women should investigate any strange noises in their most revealing underwear.

*Cars that crash will invariably burst into flames.

*Stripping to the waist can make a man invulnerable to bullets.

*If you find yourself caught up in a misunderstanding that could be cleared up quickly with a simple explanation, for goodness sake, keep your mouth shut.

*Any person waking from a nightmare will sit bolt upright and pant.

*A cough is usually the sign of a terminal illness.

*All bombs are fitted with electronic timing devices with large red readouts, so you know exactly when they're going to go off.

*When in love, it is customary to burst into song.

*When confronted by an evil international terrorist, sarcasm and wisecracks are your best weapons.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Monday, Monday...sheesh...I'm back where I started! Hope everyone had a great weekend. They're calling for snow here, on Friday! I guess the heat is gone!

Today we are continuing editing lessons from the book Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King.

These lessons will be shortened overviews of the chapters and by no means should be a substitute for buying the book. I'm rereading but not posting a lot of good stuff!

Let's continue. We've been working on Dialogue Mechanics.

Here are some dialogue faux pas...

"I hate to admit that," he grimaced.

"Come closer," she smiled.

"So you've changed your mind," he chuckled.

To use verbs like these three for speaker attributions is to brand yourself as an amateur...And to stick your character with an action that is physically impossible. No one outside of hack fiction has ever been able to grimace or smile or chuckle a sentence!

We're all in favor of choosing exactly the right verb for the action, but when you're writing speaker attributions the right verb is nearly always said.

The reason those well-intentioned attempts at variety don't work is that verbs other than said tend to draw attention away from the dialogue.

There are other ways to keep your speaker attributions transparent. Don't open a paragraph of dialogue with the speaker attribution. Instead, start a paragraph with dialogue and place the speaker attribution at the first natural break in the first sentence. ("I disagree," he said. "Plungers have...)

Place the character's name or pronoun first in a speaker attribution ("Dave said"). Reversing the two ("said Dave"), though often done, is less professional. It has a slightly old-fashioned, first-grade-reader flavor ("Run spot, run" said Jane.)

After all, "said he" fell out of favor sometime during the Taft administration...LOL!


First check your dialogue for explanations. It may help to take a highlighter and mark every place where an emotion is mentioned outside of dialogue.

Cut the explanations and see how the dialogue reads without them. Better? Worse? If it's worse, then start rewriting your dialogue.

As long as you have your highlighter out, mark every -ly adverb. How many are there? How many of them are based on an adjective describing an emotion? You can probably do without most of them.

How about your speaker attributions? Any physical impossibilities? Any verbs other than said? Remember though, there are occasional exceptions, even innocuous verbs like replied or answered lack the unobtrusiveness of said.

Can you get rid of some of your speaker attributions entirely? Just drop them and see if it's still clear who is speaking.

Have you started a paragraph with a speaker attribution?

Name before noun ("Renni said") rather than the other way around ("said Renni")?

Have you referred to a character more than one way in the same scene (using different forms of their name)?

Ellipses for gaps, dashes for interruptions, right? (I'm very bad at this one, right Mimi?)

How often have you paragraphed your dialogue? Try paragraphing a little more often and see how it reads.

And now for a little fun!


You are driving in a car at a constant speed. On your left side is a big drop, and on your right there is a fire engine traveling at the same speed as you. In front of you, running side by side, are a pig and horse.

You cannot overtake them.

Behind is a helicopter chasing you at ground level.

What can you do to safely get out of this dangerous situation?

[answer at end]

I was listening to a lady who called a radio pastor.

The pastor was a wise, grandfatherly gentleman who has that calm reassuring voice that can melt all fear.

The lady, who was obviously crying, said, "Pastor, I was born blind, and I've been blind all my life. I don't mind being blind but I have some well meaning friends who tell me that if I had more faith I could be healed."

The pastor asked her, "Tell me, do you carry one of those white canes?"

"Yes I do," she replied.

"Then the next time someone says that hit them over the head with the cane," he said. "Then tell them 'If you had more faith that wouldn't hurt!'"

[Answer: Get off the children's merry-go-round]

Friday, October 06, 2006

I made it...Another week down the tubes! I don't know where the time goes!

I do know that Dark Hour by Ginger Garrett is sitting at #2 on Technorati's Popular Book List. And her first novel, Chosen is sitting at #7...The blog tour is a resounding success...Go CFBAers!!!

Today we are continuing editing lessons from the book Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King.

These lessons will be shortened overviews of the chapters and by no means should be a substitute for buying the book. I'm rereading but not posting a lot of good stuff!

Let's continue. Today we'll be working on Dialogue Mechanics.

A quick review of yesterday reveals that if you're like most beginning writers, you write sentences like, "You can't be serious," she said in astonishment.

And you probably write them without thinking! What could be easier than simply to tell your readers how a character feels? If she is astonished, you just say so. It saves time and trouble!

It's also lazy writing. When your dialogue is well written, describing your characters' emotions to your readers is just as patronizing as a playwright running onto the stage and explaining things to the audience!

If your dialogue isn't well written--if it needs the explanation to convey the emotion--then the explanation really won't help.

Perhaps it's a lack of confidence on the writer's part, perhaps it's simple laziness, or perhaps it's a misguided attempt to break up the monotony of using the unadorned said all the time, but all too many fiction writers tend to pepper their dialogue with -ly's.

Which is a good enough reason to cut virtually every one you write.

Ly adverbs almost always catch the writer in the act of explaining dialogue--smuggling emotions into speaker attributions that belong in the dialogue itself. Again, if your dialogue doesn't need the props, putting the props in will make it seem weak even when it isn't.

There are a few exceptions to this principle, and almost all of them are adverbs that actually modify the verb said, such as "he said softly" or "she said clearly."

To be continued...

And now for some more ways to annoy people!

Sing along at the opera.

Mow your lawn with scissors.

At a golf tournament, chant "swing-batabatabata-suhWING-batter!"

Ask the waitress for an extra seat for your "imaginary friend."

Go to a poetry recital and ask why each poem doesn't rhyme.

Ask your co-workers mysterious questions, and then scribble their answers in a notebook. Mutter something about "psychological profiles."

Stare at static on the TV and claim you can see a "magic picture."

Select the same song on the jukebox fifty times.

Never make eye contact.

Never break eye contact.

Construct elaborate "crop circles" in your front lawn.

Construct your own pretend "tricorder," and "scan" people with it, announcing the results.

Make appointments for the 31st of September.

Invite lots of people to other people's parties.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Lesson 12: Dialogue Mechanics

Well, it seems like I've been so busy all week that I've lost track of days. This is Thursday...Yes, I'm sure of that, I just don't know how I got here!

I do know that Dark Hour by Ginger Garrett is sitting at #2 on Technorati's Popular Book List. And her first novel, Chosen is sitting at #7...The blog tour is a resounding success...Go CFBAers!!!

Today we are continuing editing lessons from the book Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King.

These lessons will be shortened overviews of the chapters and by no means should be a substitute for buying the book. I'm rereading but not posting a lot of good stuff!

Let's continue. Today we'll start Dialogue Mechanics. I just recently learned that one of the first things an acquisitions editor looks for when they begin reading a fiction submission, is the dialogue!

If you're like most writers, you probably find that writing dialogue takes more thought than writing narration or action. And because it's such hard work, generations of writers have developed mechanical tricks to save them the trouble of writing dialogue that effectively conveys character and emotion...Techniques to prop up shaky dialogue, or to paper over holes and make second-rate dialogue serviceable without a lot of effort.

Once you learn to spot these creaky mechanics, all you have to do is stop using them. And once you stop, you may find that your dialogue...standing on its own...is a lot stronger than you thought it was when you wrote it.

Imagine that your at a play. It's the middle of the first act: you're getting really involved in the drama they're acting out. Suddenly the playwright runs out on the stage and yells, "Do you see what's happening here? So you see how her coldness is behind his infidelity? Have you noticed the way his womanizing has undermined her confidence? Do you get it?"

You get it, of course, and you feel patronized. You're an intelligent theater-goer, and what's happening on the stage is clear enough. You don't need the writer to explain it to you.

This is exactly what happens when you explain your dialogue to your readers.

To be continued...

A joke..oldy but goody!

A fellow finds himself in front of the Pearly Gates. St. Peter explains that its not so easy to get in heaven. There are some criteria before entry is allowed.

For example, was the man religious in life? Attend church? No? St. Peter told him that's bad.

Was he generous? Give money to the poor? Charities? No? St. Peter told him that that too was bad.

Did he do any good deeds? Help his neighbor? Anything? No? St. Peter was becoming concerned.

Exasperated, Peter says, "Look, everybody does something nice sometime. Work with me, I'm trying to help. Now think!"

The man says, "There was this old lady. I came out of a store and found her surrounded by a dozen Hell's Angels. They had taken her purse and were shoving her around, taunting and abusing her.

I got so mad I threw my bags down, fought through the crowd, and got her purse back. I then helped her to her feet. I then went up to the biggest, baddest biker and told him how despicable, cowardly and mean he was and then spat in his face".

"Wow", said Peter, "That's impressive. When did this happen"?

"Oh, about 10 minutes ago", replied the man.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Dark Hour Blog Tour

It is time for another Christian Fiction Blog Alliance Tour! This week's feature author is GINGER GARRETT and her novel, Dark Hour!

Guess what? The publicists for Ginger have agreed to a book contest for each CFBA member's blog post on Dark Hour! It is up to the member on how they judge which commenter wins the free book...so, comment and you might become a winner!

About the author:

Ginger Garrett is an acclaimed novelist and expert in ancient women's history.

Her first novel, Chosen, was recognized as one of the best five novels of the year by the Christian publishing industry Ginger enjoys a diverse reader base and creates conversation between cultures.

In addition to her 2006 and 2007 novels about the most evil women in biblical history, she will release Beauty Secrets of the Bible (published by Thomas Nelson) in Summer 2007.

Ginger Garrett's Dark Hour delves into the biblical account of Jezebel's daughter and her attempt to end the line of David.

You can go to Book Reviews and read the first chapter.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Lesson 11: Proportion cont...

Time passes...hello Tuesday! I was asked a question about proportions, and how can I tell if I've gone in the wrong direction! LOL...sometimes I can't tell...that's why I have a critique partner. She sets me straight. You need someone to bounce your work off, and I don't mean by hitting them with it!

Today we are continuing editing lessons from the book Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King.

These lessons will be shortened overviews of the chapters and by no means should be a substitute for buying the book. I'm rereading but not posting a lot of good stuff!

Let's continue with proportion. This does not mean that your work is textureless. There is always room for philosophical sidetrails that reveal the narrator's character, subplots that may resonate with the main plot, or forays into odd corners of background that make the fictional world more three-dimentional.

The trick is telling the difference between digressions that harmonize with the story (even in odd and mysterious ways) and those that hang on the story like fungus!

How do you tell...walk away from it for a week or so, and then reread it...or get a critique partner. Once you have trained yourself to see how changes in proportion affect your story, you can begin to use proportion to shape your reader's response to your plot.

Example: If you have some plot development that you want to come as a surprise, spend less space on it before you spring it on your readers. Or you could spend as much or more space on similar plot elements to mask the really important one.


Take a look at your descriptions. Are the details you give the ones your viewpoint characters will notice?

Reread your first fifty pages, paying attention to what you spend your time on. Are the characters you develop most fully important ot the ending? Do you use the locations you develop in detail later in the story? Do any of the characters play a surprising role in the ending? Could readers guess this from the amount of time you spend on them?

Do you have tanents...little supplots or descriptions that don't advance the plot? If so, are all of them effective? If you don't have any, should you add some?

Are you writing about your favorite topic or hobbies? If so, give careful consideration to how much time you spend on them.

Next we will move onto Dialogue Mechanics!

I've got some more stupid things to annoy people...LOL...I've tried a few of them and am still alive!

Cultivate a Norwegian accent. If Norwegian, affect a Southern drawl.

Routinely handcuff yourself to furniture, informing the curious that you don't want to fall off "in case the big one comes".

Deliberately hum songs that will remain lodged in co-workers brains, such as "Feliz Navidad", the Archies "Sugar" or the Mr. Rogers theme song.

While making presentations, occasionally bob your head like a parakeet.

Lie obviously about trivial things such as the time of day.

Leave your Christmas lights up and lit until September.

Change your name to "AaJohn Aaaaasmith" for the great glory of being first in the phone book. Claim it's a Hawaiian name, and demand that people pronounce each "a."

Sit in your front yard pointing a hair dryer at passing cars to see if they slow down.

Chew on pens that you've borrowed.

Wear a LOT of cologne.

Listen to 33rpm records at 45rpm speed, and claim the faster speed is necessary because of your "superior mental processing."

Monday, October 02, 2006

Lesson 10: Proportion

Good Monday morning... for those of my blogging buddies that I haven't seen too regularly in the last few weeks...mea culpa! The CFBA is growing by leaps and bounds and that is taking a lot of my time. I'll try to visit more often!

Today we are continuing editing lessons from the book Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King.

These lessons will be shortened overviews of the chapters and by no means should be a substitute for buying the book. I'm rereading but not posting a lot of good stuff!

Let's continue with proportion, and the problems that arise from taking seemingly small details and devoting excessive amounts of time to them.

This sort of proportion problem has exactly the same effect on readers as excess description. When you fill in all the details and leave nothing to your readers imagination, you're patronizing them.

This is even more true now than it was a few decades ago, when generous, detailed descriptions were the norm. It's the influence of movies and TV...readers are used to jump-cuts from scene to scene rather than long transitional shots.

Fiction writers, in turn, are much freer to use ellipses, to leave more of the mundane, bridging action up to their readers imagination. Of course there are other things that can throw your proportions off besides simple misjudgment. Sometimes proportion problems arise when a writer is writing about his or her pet interests or hobbies.

And yes, one of the joys of reading comes when a writer takes you through some little back alley of life that you never knew existed. But when we reached the three pages of how to kill and field-dress a beaver, the writer has gone too far...LOL!

So how do you avoid proportion problems. In most cases, it's quite simple: pay attention!

Most larger proportion problems can be avoided if you pay attention to your story. After all, if you spend a great deal of time on a given character or plot element for whatever reason, your readers naturally assume this element plays an important role in the story.

So if the character you spend time on turns out to be insignificant or if you never follow up on the plot element you set up in such detail, readers are going to feel cheated.

Continued tomorrow...

And for fun. Here's ten more ways to annoy people!

At the laundromat, use one dryer for each of your socks.

When Christmas caroling, sing "Jingle Bells, Batman smells" until physically restrained.

Wear a cape that says "Magnificent One."

As much as possible, skip rather than walk.

Stand over someone's shoulder, mumbling, as they read.

Pretend your computer's mouse is a CB radio, and talk to it.

Try playing the William Tell Overture by tapping on the bottom of your chin. When nearly done, announce "no, wait, I messed it up," and repeat.

Drive half a block.

Inform others that they exist only in your imagination.

Ask people what gender they are.

Lick the filling out of all the Oreos, and place the cookie parts back.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Dark Hour by Ginger Garrett

It is October 1st, time for the FIRST Day Blog Tour! (Join our alliance! Click the button!) The FIRST day of every month we will feature an author and their latest book's FIRST chapter!

This month's feature author is:


Guess what? The publicists for Ginger have agreed to a book contest for each FIRST member's blog post on Dark Hour! It is up to the member on how they judge which commenter wins the free book...so, comment and you might become a winner!

About the author: Ginger Garrett is an acclaimed novelist and expert in ancient women's history....

To read the rest go HERE