My Fifteen Minutes of Fame . . .Plus a Few Nights


“You were great,” they told me. The passengers congratulated me on the cruise ship for several nights when they passed me by. I say nights because during the day, nobody recognized me in my sun tanning garb, complete with large sunglasses and my red hair all tucked inside a baseball cap.

We had gone to see an illusionist/juggler show one evening on the ship. Because we got there only mere moments before the show began and we needed four seats together, all that was available were four seats in the very front row. We all know what happens to folks in the front row, hence they were empty.


David (a.k.a. The Checkerboard Guy) needed an assistant, and tag, I was it. I cringed with overwhelming stage fright when I was chosen to be his assistant for a trick. I tried hard to decline but David was relentless and the spotlight on me just made it more embarrassing for me to decline rather than just get up on stage. So I sucked it up and got on with the show.

As I approached the stage my paranoia set in, wondering if hundreds of people could see up my sundress from a stage that towered over the lower section of the theater. I also wondered whether or not all those lights overhead had made my dress transparent.

I was so nervous while David made his jokes and instructed me to catch one of the seven balls he was juggling at a random moment. I was also instructed to then throw it right back to him while he maintained his rhythm of juggling. I stood there entranced by the audience’s intense scrutinizing while this all took place. And then suddenly, while I was unprepared in my gaze, David threw the ball to me and I dropped it. In that moment I was reminded of just how much I sucked at sports, yet the audience loved it. He tried throwing it again to me and alas, I caught it.

After I descended the stage back to my seat, escorted by David, he wouldn’t let me sit down until I kissed him on the cheek. By that time I was wise to his antics. I hesitated and felt myself looking like a deer in headlights as I contemplated if there was more to his command. I decided that I should just get it over with and as I bent to kiss his cheek, he turned it quickly so that my lips would land upon his. I was quick on the draw that time as I backed off instantly. The audience loved it and applauded once again.

Although my embarrassing stage fright never seemed to lessen I really did have a lot of fun. After the show as we walked out of the theater to the bar, there must have been at least twenty or thirty passengers who stopped to congratulate me for my performance and subsequently, many more for several nights that followed. My fifteen minutes of fame seemed to last much longer and although I’d have no desire to do it again, it was a blast.

An Almost Book Cover Award


Just a quick post to display my new badge I was awarded by The Book Designer – a.k.a. J.F. Bookman.

Every month he opens for submissions newly published book covers by authors. I entered my latest book, Words We Carry and was so close to winning for best nonfiction cover of the month of January. The nominees selected are given a Gold Star and from that shortlist one is selected. There were 3 in my category and although I didn’t win, I was honored to be positively critiqued by JF Bookman and offered a badge to show that I was nominated.


If you’d like to click on the link below and see how the process works by J.F. please do so and have a look at some of his comments regarding photos, fonts, feel for a book, etc.


Cruising – Day 1

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Many of you know that I recently returned from a beautiful Caribbean vacation. After a long year, the trip finally crept up quickly. I was barely done unpacking everything into our new home and I was already scrambling to find my summer clothes to get packed for my trip.

We flew to Miami to spend a  few days there, and of course do some shopping before setting sail on our cruise. We went with our friends Gary and Lynn whom we met on a prior cruise four years ago. The two men had met at the pool, drawn in by a common thread. . .they were both wearing Toronto Maple Leaf hats. Four years later, we are still cruising together, soaking up rays and sharing lots of laughs.


Our cruise used to leave out of Fort Lauderdale on a Saturday, but this year it was changed to a Sunday -Superbowl Sunday that is, leaving out of Miami. I happen to be a huge NFL fan and one of my favourite teams is the New England Patriots. Needless to say, I was ecstatic that my boys were going to the bowl!

Every year for the past five or six, the Superbowl is on while we’re on the ship. The theater is set up to watch it on a huge movie screen, complete with bar service and a hot table set up. One can almost feel as though they are right at the game. This time it was the first time the Bowl was being played on the same day we boarded the ship. I was concerned that there wouldn’t be enough time for the cruise line to empty prior passengers, embark the new ones, prep the ship for a new sailing and get the theater ready for the Superbowl – but they did!

We boarded around noon, ate some lunch and went to our cabins to get settled. Around 3:30pm we had to attend the mandatory muster drill by reporting to our designated area for instruction in case of emergency – something nobody likes to think about. But even after years of cruising, I’m grateful that Celebrity adheres to those rules, rules that the passengers of the Costa Concordia must surely have wished they had.


At 5:30pm I was sporting my Patriot shirt with my Patriot napkin in one hand and a dirty martini in another, ready to go secure my spot in the theater. The game was action packed and close until the end. At one point when we were losing I had to exit the theater and go look in some store windows to calm my nerves and when I returned to the theater, it was a great moment when I caught them scoring. Once again there was hope my Pats were going to win. Every time they scored I’d get up, do a jig and wave my napkin around in delight.The theater was divided into two sections – Patriot fans and Seahawk fans, so I felt safe doing my happy dance in my appropriate section.


It was a wonderful day. And the Pat’s victory had only made it that much sweeter. After the game I celebrated with a few more martinis and it was off to my cabin for some well-needed shut-eye so I could wake early to secure my ‘good spot’ on the sundeck for the first full day at sea. After being on that ship three times prior, we had our designated area where we liked to soak up rays with no obstructions, free to turn the chairs with the sun’s direction as needed.

I thanked the universe for a wonderful day and was rocked gently to sleep.

Know what readers are actually doing on your author website



One of my favorite publications I subscribe to is Standout Books. This publication offers a wealth of information for writers from advice to great tools of the trade.

Today I’m sharing an in-depth post about tracking the stats on our websites, from visits to clicks of pages and more. Standout has many tools listed in this post that many of us will find helpful to our writing and to optimize our websites.

Know what readers are actually doing on your author website.

Weekend Edition – Spouse or Lover Plus Writing Tips and Good Reads | Live to Write – Write to Live


Today’s reblog is from a wonderful site called Live to Write – Write to Live. The site is always informative and some great writing posts done by a collaboration of several esteemed authors who all write for the site.

This particular article is written by Jamie Lee Wallace who is a writer and marketer. The article is quite metaphoric, using a comparison of writing to that of marriage. Wallace says, “A marriage between writer and writing is a union with a delicate alchemy.”

Click on the link below and enjoy.

Weekend Edition – Spouse or Lover Plus Writing Tips and Good Reads | Live to Write – Write to Live.

Self-Refinement Through the Wisdom of the Ages: 15 Resolutions for 2015 from Some of Humanity’s Greatest Minds | Brain Pickings


I thought you all may enjoy this compilation of depictions, phrases and quotes by some of our most infamous literary greats put together by Brainpickings.


Self-Refinement Through the Wisdom of the Ages: 15 Resolutions for 2015 from Some of Humanity’s Greatest Minds | Brain Pickings.

Master Chef Junior #Kindness


Why do I love this show so much? I don’t watch many TV shows, and I’m not a particular fan of many reality shows, but I do like to cook and watch a few cooking shows, particularly Master Chef Junior.

The fact that these little chefs are aged between 8 and 12 and can cook like pros blows me away. I would certainly fear competing against these little clever kids. Besides learning new things while watching this show and being enthused by watching them complete their tasks, creating complex dishes for the weekly competition by their Masters, Gordon, Graham and Joe, I find this show so heart-warming.

The warm and fuzzies I get from watching the comradery and kindness demonstrated amongst these kids makes me look forward to every episode. It seems their innocence has yet to be ruined with greed, envy and jealousy that is often projected in some of the adult versions of this show.

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These little ones cheer one another on, congratulate one another when someone wins a competition with big hugs and sincere joy. At the end of each episode when someone has to be eliminated, I love the spirit and human kindness and compassion they all demonstrate. Many of their little faces have tears streaming down their cheeks when a fellow friend and competitor has to leave. In those touching moments I realize how pure their hearts still are, unscathed by petty jealousies and envy. It’s also nice to see the softer side of the Master chefs and how they handle the tender emotions of these children, especially when they have to deliver unfavourable verdicts. It’s not uncommon to catch a tear or two in one of their own eyes.

This show not only encourages young children to learn how to cook, but is a great example for all children to watch for inspiration, to learn that it’s okay to commend others even if they themselves didn’t win a challenge, and experience how good friendships develop.

Have any of you watched this show?