Indievengeance Day 2016

Last  weekend should have found me at Indivievengeance Day 2016 at Half Price Book Store in Frisco, Texas. Several amazing author friends of mine were there and we were all going to sell autographed books, talk to folks and generally have a great time. Instead, I stayed at home with my old friend, Bronchitis. I would have preferred being at Indievengeance Day.

Authors Susie Clevenger and her husband, Charlie were there. Amber  Jerome Norrgard, of 629 Publications and organizer was there. Jackie Smith, Ben Ditmars and others were all there. I love Indievengeance Day. It is a celebration of  independent authors who choose to bypass traditional publishing for working their own schedules, being in charge of what and when they write and who have great stories to tell. If you have yet to read a book by an independent author, let me encourage you to seek one out.

Even though I was not able to be there, I kept up with their antics on Facebook and it looked as if they had a magnificent time. Look for me next year  when you start seeing Indievengeance Day flyers on Facebook. I’ll be there, right in the thick of things.

To my author friends, so glad you had a great time. See you next year!!!

 

 

 

My First Authorfest

Ms. Jacqueline E. Smith
Ms. Jacqueline E. Smith

SoSI have been waiting, despite my excitement , to write about my first Authorfest, which was held in Denison, Texas and put together by James Peercy and his wife, Claudette.

This was a Friday through Saturday afternoon event in which authors have a chance to show off their books, read to a group of folks and generally get out and about among other people.  I just reread that sentence. It makes it sound like authors hole up somewhere with their computers in the dark, writing away! Well, I digress a bit.

The part that was most fun was seeing everyone dressed up as a character in their book. Because my wonderful illustrator imagined me with pink hair, it was for this event! I’ve had a lot of compliments, comments and stares with it. I must admit I like it!

I’ve been trying to sort out what Authorfest was for me. It was a venue to sell books, of course, but, I think , for me, it was a lot more. It was a chance to hang out with other authors and since I’m the newbie, that’s kind of important. I wanted to make a point of watching more than talking and learning more than anything. That, I did. I learned what to do, different ways to do it and things I won’t be doing.

I was and am very honored to have been included with this particular group of writers- Jacqueline E. Smith, Amber Jerome- Norregard, Alan Martin, Debbie Reece, K.A.DaVur, Natalie Clountz Bauman, John M. Moody and others. It is not very easy to be the newbie, the beginner- but this group of people made it easier for me. I appreciated all the advice and the teaching.

Many thanks to James and Claudette Peercy for everything and especially for including me at the last minute. I am looking forward to  next year’s event with more books and  the utilization of ideas I came away with!

Before I sign off, I’ll shar some photos with you.

Me and my character! Pink hair rocks!
Me and my character! Pink hair rocks!
James Peercy, courtesy of Tim Malek
James Peercy, courtesy of Tim Malek
Jack learns to Grill setup
Jack learns to Grill setup

Funny Little Gadgets -Men

“The chickens need checking on, ” I told my husband after dinner.  “They haven’t been laying and so I didn’t check on them,” I continued.

“Ok.” he answered, heading over to the coat, tack, and miscellaneous rack by our front door, grabbing his little head light. He loves his head light. It’s got an elastic band so that he can put it on his head and has a very bright light and a red light. The bright white light I get. The red one? Not so much. I get a kick out of him and his gadgets. He told me he liked it because then he doesn’t have to carry a flashlight and of course should he get attacked or something, well, he has two free hands instead of one. I burst out laughing at the mental image I got while he was explaining the reason he loved this little head light so much.

I must be a real girl or something because when I tried it on, it didn’t do a thing for me. I didn’t look cool, I did have another hand- two free hands (in case of attack) . I couldn’t even find the switch to turn it on. I love that guys are so attached to their “toys.”  It gives me a good deal of satisfaction to know that should he laugh at my things, I can laugh at his.  He does and I do on occassion. It’s fun and laughter is always good medicene- but have you ever noticed how amused guys are when they use their tools to fix things? It’s an almost macho kind of way they swing their bodies around when using said tools. It’s kinda like them beating their chests, you know. Now, I’m not comparing them to our hairy friends, the apes . I’m just sayin’.

Of course, we girls have our crafting toys, paints, makeup, clothes and high heels, purses, jewelry and countless other things we like to play with. We just don’t beat our chests when we use them. Just thinking that makes me hurt! But, men are so proud when they fix something or do something with their tools or lights or -oh here is a good one- tape measures- the metal kind.Guys always like to measure and use levels and screwdrivers and all manner of electrical things- saws, weedeaters, things of that nature. Riding lawn mowers- now there is a “beat my chest toy”  every man longs to have- yard or not. A real status symbol.

It’s funny because the way I was brought up- well, there were girl toys and boy toys. A lot of people don’t do that anymore. My boy cousins had G.I.Joes, I had Barbies. They had Rock’em Sock’em Robots, I had Chatty Kathy. A world of difference yet the same result. Entertaining and a sense of pride. Always a plus in any book- feeling good about yourself and having fun at the same time. Works for me.

not my husband and not exactly the same light, but you get the idea!
not my husband and not exactly the same light, but you get the idea!

The Great State Fair of Texas

...and of course, our new Big Tex- a little goofy looking compared to the old one.But, he burnt up,so the new one has to do! goofy!
…and of course, our new Big Tex- a little goofy looking compared to the old one.But, he burnt up,so the new one has to do! goofy!
Beauty and Power in one stallion. wow
Beauty and Power in one stallion. wow

Sunday, my beloved took me to the Fair before time to go to church at 1.00 p.m. Since it’s downtown, we were close enough to leave at 12.30 p.m andDSC_0065 get there by train on time. Anyway, today’s blog will be a pictorial of things we saw and did. The fair is famous for different (and by that, I mean odd ) foods. We chose to eat chicken fried bacon this year, which was a ridiculous 10 or 12 coupons for the basket shown. That equals 6 or 7DSC_0038DSC_0024DSC_0020DSC_0289DSC_0286DSC_0285DSC_0275

when i was a teenager, my best friend and i always stopped by here before we went home.
when i was a teenager, my best friend and i always stopped by here before we went home.

DSC_0267

dollars! Really ridiculous, but a once in a lifetime kind of thing. I know I won’t have any next year since my arteries will not be unclogged by then. So, without further adieu, I would like to introduce the Texas State Fair through my eyes.

DSC_0044

candy apples? naw.
candy apples? naw.
carmel apples- yum, but none this year
carmel apples- yum, but none this year
ewwww. no.
ewwww. no.
Fletcher's Corny Dogs. Yessir!
Fletcher’s Corny Dogs. Yessir!
Chicken Fried Bacon! artery clogging goodness!
Chicken Fried Bacon! artery clogging goodness!
DSC_0245
stunt dogs. some catching frisbees, some dancing, some diving
beautiful peacocks
beautiful peacocks
neon cowboy hats
neon cowboy hats

I Was Thinking …OW!! That Hurt My Head

This morning I woke up with an interesting (I thought) idea. You know how it is when someone is in their teens and 20’s and dating. This age group is interested in going to dinner, going to the show and/or other venues – at night. That’s usually because they can sleep during the day, take an afternoon nap or even an early evening power nap before the date.

dinner dates
dinner dates

This goes on for a while until we approach our thirties and forties.

During out thirties and forties, we realize lunch dates are the best. Often, you’ll hear, “I’ll have my people call your people and we’ll do lunch!” Or- if neither party has “people”, you might hear, ” Wanna go to lunch?” or maybe even more appropriately, “Let’s Do Lunch.” – which is always funny phraseology to me.

"doing " lunch
“doing ” lunch

I’ve heard of having lunch, eating lunch, going to lunch, but “doing” lunch brings a weird visual to my mind. I won’t go into detail. I’ll let your imagination run away with you if it still can. You can always go home afterwards and take a nap. I know lunch always makes me sleepy and I love a good nap- and there is no better way to pass an afternoon with nothing to do.

Even later in life, say the mid-sixties, seventies and onward- breakfast!Now, if you are a semi- oldster, don’t take this personally, but it seems like people in this age bracket “do” breakfast much more often. No lunch and definitely no dinner dates- breakfast is just fine, thank you. I suppose it is a concerted effort in that one can take a mid-morning nap AND an afternoon nap, and of course, the after dinner nap.

Seniors eating breakfast
Seniors eating breakfast

Of course, I say this all in jest- but it does make sense if you think about it long enough. hiho

Comic Books- Man, Times are a Changin’ – Just my opinion.

I just read a news report- news, mind you, that Archie Andrews, of Archie, Veronica, Betty and Reggie fame, in the comic books, don’tcha know, is fixing to be killed off by a bullet meant for his gay friend , Kevin. Really? It seems the comic book wants to use real social issues as a way to show Archie’s character. Archie would do anything for his friends and this is one way to prove it. Gimme a break.

I read Archie comic books all the time as a kid- a teenager. A comic book was fun to read, an escape of sorts. Some kids have never even heard of a comic book, but I have to let it slip that even one of my sons read the Archie Digest (pronounced dee guest in his little world). 

As a teenager, most of the girls I knew who read Archie comics would chose either Betty or Veronica as the favorite girl- the one she would most like to be . For me, it was hard to choose because Veronica was the epitome of every girl’s dream- dark, mysterious, sexy , beautiful. But, Betty was really the girl next door. She had that innocent quality about her that Veronica didn’t really have. Veronica’s family had money and she knew how to get her way. Betty, though, just seemed real. Believable. Then there were the guys in the comic. Archie, the do-gooder – red hair and freckles. Not really my type, but I could deal. Jughead, the goof, in my opinion. Not the kind of guy I liked. Reggie, the bratty, wealthy dude- too stuffy. These were the characters I knew well and loved anyway. I could dissolve into their world in an instant. It was a comic book, for heaven’s sake.

I thought comic books were supposed to be- fun, entertaining, easily absorbed, something to do for a bit. I can’t imagine reading a comic book that also makes a social statement. I do not formally condone escape from the real world, but don’t you think it’s nice , just every now and then, to get away. I mean, after all, if you watch the news, it is gloom, doom, war, decay, shootings, protests etc and so on ad nauseum. 

I am not going to get involved with my feelings on being gay or any other social issue other than to say, I do not believe people should have to hear or read about or otherwise be exposed to them every minute of every day. I  know me. I would not read a comic book in which it addressed social issues. Just my take on what they were in my day and what they should be in this day and age. 

I love living in the real world with real issues , but escaping said world is something we all should do at one time or another. 

archie
Veronica, Archie and Betty

I’m going to jump on my horse from behind, yelling, “Hi Ho Licorice, Away!!!”

 

 

However Dysfunctional, There was Fun!

Everyone’s family has a bit of dysfunction in it. It’s okay. Ours was that way too. But, I like to think we put the “fun” in dysfunctional. We all loved to laugh- my mother most of all. So, you can imagine how confused I was when my mother declared my lifelong friend, Kim Gibson Wallis and I “as silly as blackbirds.” I mean, after all, where did she think I learned it ? No matter, the truth of the matter was that Kim and I thought it incredibly funny! Funny, funny, funny.

As long as I can remember, we had dinners for my mom’s side of the family at our house all the time. My mother and her sister, Ginny, alternated years as to who would host the Christmas dinner. It really didn’t matter, I don’t think to us kids where it was, just as long as it was.  It was our time to see each  other and play like the wild kids we wished we could be all the time.

If we were at Ginny’s house, then my cousin, Matt would be in charge of what we played and stuff. After all, he did live there and he would be the one to get into trouble (mostly) if we did stuff we weren’t supposed to. Younger readers may be confused because we were actually outside, in the sunshine, running, chasing, playing and teasing one another. Yes, that’s what I said- Outside. Sunshine. Playing. All those things kids barely know the meaning of anymore. Well, anyway, no matter whose house we were at (Texan phraseology, i’m afraid), one game was a constant- “Big Kids Run From the Little Kids.” I never was much of a runner, in fact, I was the last one chosen on a team of any sorts at school recess, but I could outrun the little kids! When Gary, my mom’s brother’s kid, his sisters, Jayne and Amy got to come, it was so much fun! Gary, Matt, Phil (Matt’s brother)  and I ran away from poor Jayne and Amy.  Of course, it wasn’t long til Jayne was “one of us.”

A Holiday dinner at our house
A Holiday dinner at our house

Oh my gosh! Our parents could just look at each other and start laughing- something their offspring can do as well. It was always fun to know someone else was thinking the same thing at

Being silly and laughing was a genetic trait for us
Being silly and laughing was a genetic trait for us

the same time. Ever happen to you?

Of course, with all of us, there was the “odd, but lovely” relative. This would be our Aunt Dillie. She came to be Aunt Dillie because someone as a baby couldn’t say Nellie. So, Dillie it was. We kinda made alot of fun of poor old Dillie, because she could sniff more times in a row than anyone else in the world!  Not only that, but she could burp louder than a guy and we thought it was hysterical. Of course, not to her face. We held it til we were out of the room and then we’d really let the hysteria go.

Turns out, poor old Dillie, unbeknownst to us at such an early age, had been set to marry a young man and he left her at the alter. So, these interesting traits of hers probably came about after the fact. She never married or had a gentleman suitor again. Tragic, really. However, as in Shakespeare, some tragedies are comedy and we thought she was plenty funny.

I am reminiscing because my cousin , Gary, will be spending the weekend with me. For the Fourth of July. I haven’t seen him in years and I am so excited to see him. Because it is a holiday, it reminds me of being a kid, looking out the window , waiting for him to arrive- waiting impatiently for the fun to begin!