Monday, February 20, 2012


I need to take time off from posting.
I'm not sure how long. I thought I could keep up, but I can't.
Moving is maddening. I'm not sleeping well.
 Look at those dark circles under my eyes!

Gotta unpack all these boxes and there's still more to come.

Babysitting Punkin nine hours a day leaves little time for 
getting the new apartment whipped into shape. 

Punkin (aka Mr. Short Naps) is getting ready to crawl.
He makes me laugh all day long.
I love to cuddle and rock him.
He's the best medicine in the world!
I make up silly songs to amuse him, make goofy faces and weird noises.
He giggles no matter how dumb I act!

I'm tired at the end of the day, 
but it's a good tired, a rewarding tired,
and my heart is full of joy. 

Although I won't be posting, I'm going to do my darndest
to catch up with your blogs and connect on Facebook or Twitter.

Have a wonderful week, my friends. I'll be back!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

First Kiss Scene for Valentine's Day Bloghop

Happy Valentine's Day! Today I'm taking part in the Is it Getting HOT in Here? bloghop, hosted by Hope Roberson.

By participating in this fabulous bloghop, we're supposed to share a kissing scene. I chose this one from my edgy young adult work-in-progress. It's set in Huntington Beach, California. Leslie's 15 and just met the cutest guy she's ever seen. Here goes:
        The song ended and Anchovie fed me one of his fries. I was afraid to chew it in front of him, so I let it soften in my mouth until it almost melted before I swallowed it.
        He smirked. “Never saw someone eat without chewing.”               
        My cheeks burned. He must've noticed because he added, “Just teasing.” He cupped my chin in his palm and brought my face closer to his.
       Oh man, oh man, I thought. This is IT. Here in public in front of his friends and the rest of the world. The first kiss is supposed to be private, isn’t it? It’s supposed to be special.
       “There you are.” Tina strode in like she was the queen of riptides, with Lupe trailing behind. 
       Anchovie let his hand drop.
       “We’ve been looking all over for you guys,” Tina said. “We gotta go NOW.”
       “Cool your heels there, Tina-Mint,” Anchovie joked.
       She narrowed her eyes and grabbed at my elbow. “My dad’s gonna kill me if I get home late.”
       “All right,” I said. “Let me say goodbye first.”
       “Hurry up.” Tina glared.
       Lupe smiled. “It’s cool. Take your time.”
       Anchovie leaned in so close, his breath tickled my nose. “Are you coming back tomorrow?”
       “I—I can’t. Gotta babysit my brother.”
       “Bummer. Then I’ll see you Wednesday?”
       “O-okay.” Stupid bottom lip, it wouldn’t stop quivering.
       Anchovie pulled my body close, wrapped his arms around me, and moved his mouth to mine. Omigosh, omigosh. This was it. When his lips touched mine, I trembled. Before I could figure out how I felt about it, did I like it or not, he shoved his tongue deep in my mouth. What? I could hardly breathe. He wiggled his tongue up and down, then all around. It was like an eel poking around in a cave. I swore I was going to choke and lose my fries.
       He pressed his lips hard and his teeth bumped against mine. I was glad neither of us wore braces. My heart beat so fast, it pounded in my ears. Then he pulled back and my first kiss was over.
       It was the most disgusting thing that ever happened to me.

Do you remember your first kiss? Was it sweet or disastrous? Care to share?

Read more steamy kissing scenes! Here are the others participating in the bloghop. There may be more who signed up after I copied and pasted the list, so check on Hope's blog

1.Leigh Covington2.A.E. Martin
3.Emily R. King4.Angie Cothran
5.Kelley Lynn6.Jenny S. Morris
9.Trisha @ WORD STUFF10.dreamwritepublish
11.Cortney Pearson12.ali cross
13.Motivation for Creation14.Jenna Cooper
15.Jenny @ Castles in the Sky16.An Author's Ramblings
17.PK HREZO18.Thardrandian Thoughts
19.Carrie-Anne20.Marta Szemik
21.Charity Bradford22.Bonnie Rae, Just Words
23.Wendy S. Russo24.David Powers King
25.Krista McLaughlin26.BragonDorns Asylum
27.Vive le Nerd28.Tara Tyler
29.J. A. Bennett30.Jennee Thompson
31.Cutest Landing32.A.J. Mullarky
33.Jolene Perry34.Julie Dorris
35.A Writer's Journey36.Melissa Sugar
37.Susan Oloier38.Unyielding
39.epitome40.Brinda Berry Blogs
41.Tracy Bermeo (A2ZMommy)42.Lisa L. Regan
43.Write Here, Write Now44.Lori M Lee
45.Stina Lindenblatt46.Clare Dugmore Writes
47.Shell Flower48.Julie Tuovi
49.Jack Flacco50.Stephanie Diaz
51.Angela Quarles52.Through the Looking Glass
53.Crystal Licata54.Morgan Shamy
55.Angela M @ Jaded Love Junkie56.The Capillary
57.Kelley Vitollo58.Nancy S. Thompson
59.Ashley Nixon60.Lynn Kelley: Random Acts of Weirdness
61.Tales from the Rh?n62.Signage
63.Rachel Morgan64.Cara M @ CP Slayer
65.Kiru Taye Writes66.Larissa's World
67.Loralie Hall68.Elizabeth Prats :)
69.Theresa Paolo70.Love in Flight by Glo
71.The Submission Process

Monday, February 13, 2012

Lost & Found - Parenting Plights & Delights

A lost child is enough to make a mother or father lose their mind. Even if it's a matter of a few minutes, they're some of the longest, hardest moments in a parent's life. Some of my readers have shared their stories with me. 
Here'sDebraKristi's experience:
     Gosh, I think the time that actually scared me the most was when I took my eldest to the Dorothy the Dinosaur consort (from The Wiggles). He was an only child then and probably around the age of three. 
     The isle was crammed pack full of miniature people and my little one decided to join them for some dancing and wiggling. Of course I moved in next to him. 

All of the sudden he rushed the stage, slicing through all the tiny little people like a magician. I fumbled and pushed forward as fast as I could to keep up with him but he was gone. Just gone. 
     I got to the front of the stage and he was nowhere to be found. Looked to the left and to the right – nothing. 

I ended up getting the staff involved. But those minutes with him missing were the most agonizing minutes of my life. 
     It turns out that he had gotten to the front of the stage and immediately gone to the left, circling around the entire theater. I was probably running around him in my frantic state trying to locate his little head amongst the hundreds of others. What a crazy night I never want to revisit.
     The most scared I've ever been was when my daughter was three. We were at a mall carousel, and I was buying tickets. When I turned around, she wasn't there. I walked around and around the carousel and couldn't find her. She had wandered into the bathroom and I finally found her. I can still feel my heart beating when I think about it!
Coleen Patrick remembers:
     My heart stopping moment was losing my three year old for a few minutes at an amusement park! 
Don't even want to describe it--too cringing to remember!!
Tamara Narayan shared this story:
     My first novel featured the kidnapping of a three-year-old girl. So when my husband woke me up early one morning, telling me our three-year-old wasn't in her bed, I panicked. Luckily she had just gone downstairs with her blanket and doll and lay down on the couch. We fussed over her so much, she never did it again.

I have a lost and found story, too:
     One horrible afternoon when Sunflower was about 8 years old, I couldn't find her in the house or outside, so I called some of our neighbors to see if she was playing over there. No one had seen her. I was about to call the police when she walked into the kitchen, rubbing her eyes. "What's wrong?" she asked. 
     "I've been looking all over for you. Where were you?"
     "Sleeping in my bed."
     I had checked her bunk bed, but she must have been hugging the wall of the top bunk with the blankets unmade and draped so the bed looked empty. I felt super stupid, times ten, but so thankful my daughter was all right. 
     Sunflower felt so bad seeing how panicked I was when I couldn't find her that every time she said good night or took a nap, she always added, "I'll be laying in my bed." It finally got to the point we could laugh about it, and it became a running joke for years.

So, do you have a parenting or grandparenting memory
or another story you'd like to share? 
If you're not a parent, memories from your own childhood count, too! 

Warning: I might feature your story in a future post. 
(Names can be changed to protect the guilty!)

I'd like to thank those who shared a parenting story with me last week. 
I'm saving them and will publish some in future posts.

If you don't want to leave a comment but would rather contact me by email, 
here's my address: lynkelwoohoo at yahoo dot com.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Fun Fibs - Parenting Plights & Delights

Kids have wild imaginations. That's one of the many things I love about them. Do you remember any magical moments from your childhood?

Theresa Milstein shared a wonderful memory with me: When I was about 4-years-old, I remember listening to the radio and not understanding where the sound came from. I asked my aunt how it worked. She told me there was a man in the radio. I was skeptical.
"But how does he do all the voices?" I asked.
"He's very talented."

Little Theresa at age 6 - what a cutie!

I didn't know whether or not to believe her. For some time afterwards, I'd bring my ear close to the speaker to see if I could hear that it sounded like a man really lived in the radio. I could picture all his furniture inside, like the radio was a miniature house for the little man.
I was an idiot.
No way were you an idiot, Theresa. You were a darling little girl with a great imagination.

Here's a fun fib from Old Kitty:
I'm not a parent but an auntie and the sweetest memory I have of my nephews growing up is this: My nephews were 6 and 4 years old. They came to visit me and my disabled sister. She used a stairlift back then and the boys were fascinated by this chair that went up and down along the staircase. When they asked me how this happened, I said "Little people as small as your little fingers live under the chair and push it up and down". They spent the whole visit peering under the stairlift chair and I felt most mean!

Isn't that a hoot? It goes perfectly with Theresa's story.

So, do you have a parenting or grandparenting fun fib
or another story you'd like to share? 
If you're not a parent, memories from your own childhood count, too! 

Warning: I might feature your story in a future post. 
(Names can be changed to protect the guilty!)

I'd like to thank those who shared a parenting story with me last week. 
I'm saving them and will publish some in future posts.

If you don't want to leave a comment but would rather contact me by email, 
here's my address: lynkelwoohoo at yahoo dot com.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Dad Could Have Been a Writer

When I was a kid, my dad made up silly poems that I thought were funny as heck. Like this one:

You may find fuzz in a pocket.
You may find a runner in hose.
But the funniest things I find
are those little things in my nose. 

I think I was Dad's biggest fan.
(I was a Monkees fan, too!)

Dad turns 79 this week. He's hard to buy for, so I thought it would be nice to share this nonfiction piece he wrote almost six decades ago, which I knew nothing about until recently. It was published in the school newspaper (or journal?) when he attended Duquesne University in Pittsburgh for a couple years. How cool to learn that Dad had been published!

I'd say he has a gift for writing. Were those genes passed on to me? I think he could have been a writer if he'd pursued it. Of course, I'm partial! Without further adieu, here it is, from the archives of Dad's life:

Book Call
by Gordon Powell
Frequently my father asks me to take him to various parts of the city. He owns a small book store in East Liberty, and he buys much of his stock from private homes. There is a wide variety in the types of homes we enter. The worst I have ever seen was on the North Side. The house was one in a row of five. The steps were sagging, as was the porch, and everything needed paint. 

The front door was open so we walked in. Evidently the house was sub-divided into apartments, because in the hallway a door on the left bore the name Jones scribbled on a little card tacked to it. I glanced around the hallway while my father knocked on the door. The hall was quite long and high but very narrow. On the right wall hung several old tintype pictures, while on the left wall, in loose folds, hung the wallpaper. The one thing the walls, ceiling and floor had in common was a covering of dirt. 

At that moment the door was opened, and the woman we came to see peered out. My father introduced us. The woman was in her late fifties, gray-haired and enormously fat. Her cheeks were pouchy, and saliva trickled from the side of her mouth even when it was closed. She wore ancient high-topped shoes, split at the sides, and a filthy, baggy print dress that was partially covered by a filthier apron. 

Her front room was filled to capacity with junk. While my father was sorting out books, I looked around. The walls were covered with religious pictures, and there were wooden statues of Indians all around the room. 

My father finished the books and asked the woman if she had any jewelry for sale. She told him she had some stickpins in the kitchen. We started to walk through her bedroom when my father noticed another bookcase. While he was looking through this, I surveyed the bedroom. Empty, the room would have been large. But there were trunks, mattresses, tables, old clothes, and litter everywhere. 

Clotheslines were strung across the room, and hanging from them were old girdles, brassieres, stained sheets, and frazzled throw-rugs. I turned around and found myself looking at a giant cockroach, which was perched on an old trunk and whose feelers were waving furiously, as if daring me to come closer. I didn't take up his dare. 

When my father had gone through the bookcase, we went to the kitchen. As soon as we crossed through the door, a sickening stench met us. I backed up and remained in the doorway. From my vantage point I could look into the kitchen and then, like a swimmer, turn my head and gulp fresh air from the hallway. Like the other rooms, the kitchen was filled with junk. There were four ranges--only one connected--which were piled high with old newspapers and glass jars. The wallpaper was peeling from the walls in great strips. 

Finally, my father finished his business and told me to get a box for the books. I saw several boxes in the hallway. I picked one up, shook out two roaches, and piled the books into it. My father paid the woman and we left the house.

When we got to the car, I asked him how he could stand such places. With the typical antiquarian bookman's attitude, he replied, "I'm looking for books, Gordon, not bugs."

I think I'm still Dad's biggest fan! I wonder how different life would have been if my father had become a writer....

This was taken on Christmas Day.
Dad's holding great-granddaughter Twinkle Eyes. She was born on his birthday.
He's just now getting a few gray hairs. (How come those genes didn't get passed on to me?)

Happy 79th Birthday, Dad!
Happy 2nd Birthday, Little Twinkle Eyes!

Do you have any special interests or talents that you think genetics played a part in? Have you ever been surprised to learn something new and impressive about one of your parents? 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Princess Kandake - Released Today!

Today is the official launch date for Stephanie Jefferson's PRINCESS KANDAKE - Warrior By Choice....Appointed to Rule.

My post of January 4, 2012, explained the inspiration behind this story. If you missed it, you can read it here. The January 11 post covered all the work Stephanie put into the cover design, including how she made a leather breastplate. Here's the post if you missed it.

What's really cool about this book is that under the title "Nubian Princess," it made the semi-finals in Amazon's 2010 Breakthrough Novel Award contest. Although the manuscript didn't win, it received a great review from Publishers Weekly:

"This stellar historical novel brings ancient Nubia to life as one girl struggles to understand her destiny. Kandake, 14, is the youngest child of King Amani, ruler of Nubia. Her desire is to protect the land she loves as a warrior, but the decision is not in her hands. When Great Mother announces Kandake as the heir to the throne, she sadly accepts the inevitable, striving to understand Great Mother’s reasoning. Meanwhile bandits have been raiding Nubia’s trading caravans, and Egypt, Nubia’s ally and neighbor, is asking for assistance to protect its borders from the Assyrians. When Kandake’s brother Alara fails to return from a hunting expedition, King Amari makes a difficult decision: Nubia must use her resources to defend her border. Alara’s rescue must take second place. Unwilling to accept this decision, Kandake and her friends sneak away to find Alara. This skillfully crafted novel weaves cultural details into a remarkable, well-structured plot featuring a strong African heroine. The characters are fully developed, and their motivations, inspirations, and the growing maturity of these teens are believable. Readers will eagerly hope for a sequel to resolve the larger political issues facing Nubia and its future Queen."

Readers who are capitivated by Princess Kandake will be pleased to know Stephanie has finished the first draft of the sequel.

You can buy Stephanie's debut novel here:

Stephanie's doing a book tour this month. She's scheduled for lectures and books signings at the following locations in Southern California, open to the public:

Cal State University San Bernardino - Pfau Library, Wednesday, Feb. 15 at Noon

Corona Library, Thursday, Feb. 16 at 3:30 p.m.

Congratulations, Stephanie! It's been amazing witnessing your journey with all its highs and lows, twists and turns, and your recent miraculous recovery from a massive heart attack! This is truly a time to celebrate! Cheers to your health, happiness, and a prosperous writing career!