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Monday, December 31, 2012 23 comments

Never Mind 2012, Let's Review 2009 & 1994 :)


I wanted to finish 2012 with a smile, so here you go.

If you've heard of Michael Flatley and know what Riverdance is, scroll to the SECOND video below...especially if you have some Greek or Irish in your family :)

And if you *don't* laugh, no matter your heritage, I owe you a glass of water *with* fresh lemon :)

However, watching the first video is well, brilliant, too.

Here's the SECOND video:

Happy New Year and may all your dreams come true.

Friday, December 21, 2012 24 comments

Interview with Tammy & Merry Christmas :)




If you've ever wondered about life as an anti-interview, you gotsta check out my interview with Tammy Theriault.

Tammy is hilarious and her questions are like none I've ever seen before - (I'm just happy I escaped from O'Koopmans Island in the Lambfervan...)


Read about it here - but be warned, Tammy is actively looking for her next challenge. Do you have what it takes to scratch your head and belly laugh at the same time? If so, click here.

In related news, this will be my last post until Jan. 2 when IWSG kicks off the New Year :)

My sincere thanks to every single one of you who took the time to read - and comment - on my many different posts.

I may not be the poster blog child for "following a set theme or schedule," but, I am a better writer because of your input, support and friendship.

Onward and upward, I say :)

Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year from the Koopmans Ohana to you and your Ohana.

God bless and if you are in need of a smile: May the Farce be With You.


Monday, December 17, 2012 30 comments

In Memoriam...


For years I've been joking about life as we know it ending in December 2012 - and never once did I believe it actually would - but the world did end for dozens of families from Newtown, CT, this past Friday.

As a parent to an infant, a toddler and a five-year-old, I can't imagine - I can't fathom - being one of the twenty sets of parent who dropped their child off at a safe, secure school and who later received the worst imaginable phone call.

Why are we going wrong - as a people?

Along with the shooter's mother and six adult women, twelve girls and eight boys, all aged six or seven years old were murdered Friday.

SIX and SEVEN years old....

Guys, where are we going wrong - as a nation?

There is NO political agenda here and I don't have the answers.

All I can say is that I grew up in the '70s, and it was safer. All us kids knew each other and the other parents smacked us as needed - and all because our communities were tight-knit - but they're not anymore.


"Social" media may be a part of it - and here I am using Blogger to help clear my thoughts, but again, I have no idea how WE can change.

I do know, however, I'm going to do my best to be a better neighbor and a bigger part of my community.

I'm going to screw the carbon footprint and work harder to pay it forward.

I'm going to leave behind a loving hand print the next time I shake a soldier's hand after buying him lunch, or get a high five from a parent who's helping me coach my son's T-ball league.

The world will not end on Friday, but it will, it will as dozens of funerals are held in Newton around the same time frame this weekend.

Lord, please let us never forget the twenty angels and the women who were taken so sooner than anyone should have wanted.

Lord, be with their parents, their loved ones, and Lord, please grant the strength to those who read this to step forward in thier own communities.

This has to stop - and WE can stop it - if we believe we can.


Friday, December 14, 2012 26 comments

"___Fest": The Aftermath


I’m in the middle of WIP edits, so here be short, sweet post.


As Cheers, _________ BlogFest went from an idea to reality over the last few months – and then morphed into ___Fest, a lot of my blogging focused a little on that no-hyperlink guy who, earlier this week, was so awesome to open his doors to a posting of roastings.

When Monday swung around and ____Fest went LIVE! I knew already that we have an awesome community, but I was absolutely blown away by the positive response.

More than One Hundred and Forty (none related to me) signed up AND participated in ___Fest, and from what ____ said, he himself visited nearly 200 blogs during the first seven minutes of the fest, (he is a bit of a slacker, I'm sorry.)

Anyhoo, in the immediate aftermath of the Best. Fest. Test. (that I’ve been involved with) I tip my beloved LA Angels ball cap first to:

Second, THANK YOU to all my dear Bluddies (Blogger buddies.)

Reading the oh-so-different flash fictions was SO. MUCH. FUN.

Along the way, I watched a video, read a poem and even saw the effort it took to bring a stick mini-Alex to life. :)
Courtesy: Elise Fallson

(You all have an amazing, creative mind – I swear! You should be a writer! Isn't that easy to do? And, you’d be great at it.)

(While ___Fest is over, there are rumblings of another different, but similar in a differing way Fest for Christmas 2013, so watch this space…)

Remember, nothing is impossible…except for the Rangers resigning Josh Hamilton. :)

Finally, I would be bereft of all social skills if I didn’t mention the person who made this possible:

____ _ _________ !

 PS… ____ is announcing the winners of ___Fest today, so click here to find out who the lucky bloggers are :)

Oh, if you’re wondering, I’ve written about ____ so much that the _, _, _, _, letters on my Qu_rty k_ybo_rd are worn out…

Monday, December 10, 2012 78 comments

ALEXFEST 2012: Let The Roasting, er Posting Begin :)



Houston, we are a GO! for “AlexFest.”

For full details and background, click here.

So, while Alex J. Cavanaugh is an awesome blogger, he’s also an enigma. J

To help crack the code, here’s four questions that the AlexFest participants plan to answer:

·         In +/- 20 words, what does Alex look like?

Alex is cau-cajun, about 5 feet, 9 inches tall, weighs 160 pounds, has brown eyes and shoulder-length dark hair. (I have noooo idea.)

       ·         In +/- 20 words, who could play Alex in a documentary? (Living or dead.)

OK, don’t laugh, but I just described a young Tom Cruise! What? You can’t handle the truth?

      ·         In +/- 20 words, who does Alex remind you of?

A Tom Cruise-looking Arnold Swartzeknickers who’s been sent back in time to promote the rebel Bloggers of Publishedia.

      ·         In +/- 100 words, (excluding the title) write flash fiction using all these prompts:

·         Cavanaugh

·         Ninja

·         IWSG

·         Cosbolt

·         Guitar

Cavanaugh looked at the smoldering Borg.

“Without him, I’ll only post 1,694 ISWG comments before 9 a.m.”

The Ninja Captain looked at his lieutenant.

“Why did you shoot?”

“It attacked the Cosbolt – we need that Fighter,” said the Scottish-looking lassie. “We need more power – to post!”

Close to reaching his word count limit, Cavanaugh strummed his guitar, humming Last Christmas by WHAM! (his favorite boy band.)

“Lieutenant, are you willing to be a Borg?

“Yes!” said the trigger-happy officer.

“You’ll need a new name…”

She scribbled three words.


She nodded.

“Morg the Borg. I like it. Let’s do this.”


(For Bonus Points:)

·         In +/- 40 words, leave a comment for Mrs. Cavanaugh - thanking her for sharing J

 Dear Mrs. C,

You have a keeper in young Alex. He’s a great man, but a BIG Cheers to you for all the weekly time needed. It’s amazing how hard Alex works to make us look better (except for me – the lost cause not even FABIO can fix :)


Two winners – chosen by Alex this Friday, Dec. 14 – will each win one prize:

FIRST PLACE: A signed copy of CassaStar.
GRAND PRIZE*: A picture of Alex and a download of him playing the guitar he just bought for more than $100 :)

(*One caveat: Alex asks the picture or download NOT be shared online.J)
PS: If you’re still interested, the Linky List below remains open until late Wednesday evening (EST.)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012 44 comments

ISWG; a Marathon & the End of the World


It's Insecure Writer's Support Group time, so where am I this month?

I am a bad blogger!

A very bad blogger!!

All of a sudden, various hecklers stood up and shouted from the loud, AdSense-d crowd...

Flog him!


Flog the Blog!

Yikes! Sorry, but I have been so terrible commenting back these last few weeks, but there is a good reason:

Although I blew my Dec. 1 deadline, I have - 24 minutes ago - finished the first draft edits for WIP#1.
It goes now to the “main character,” Donald Braswell, my wife and several generous-with-their-time Critique Partners for the “Fresh Eyes” test.

All this ahead of a Jan. 1, 2013 appointment with a professional editor in San Diego…

And if all goes well...

what could go wrong?

 ...I'll have a finished and polished ms to showcase at the Southern California Writer’s Conference in mid-February.

I’m also running the Honolulu Marathon this Sunday, but the last time I trained was about a month ago.

What is there to be insecure about?

Er, hello…the end of the world in sixteen days?


Monday, December 3, 2012 41 comments

AlexFest Linky List & "And You Are...?" Blog Hop


Today, I’m participating in the And You Are…? Blog Hop.

Hosted by Emily R. King and Tammy Theriault, the answers to the fun questions are below, but before I bore you all to absolute tears… an update!

Signups to the Cheers, Cavanaugh BlogFest are up to 113 as of Sunday evening.

There is still time to sign up for “AlexFest,”  and remember, if we get to 200, I will be posting a video on YouTube of me dancing the Bald White Guy Hawaiian Hula…, so come along and join the Par-tay J

Full details here and the Linky is posted BELOW :)


OK, so who am I and why am I here…


1. How many speeding tickets have you gotten?

 ONE – and that was a week after I moved to California with my then-new Mustang GT (Ahh, the memories of speed and not listening to the latest Wiggles CDJ)

2. Can you pitch a tent?

 Why would I pitch a tent when I’m working hard to pitch my WIP? Seriously, people.

3. What was your worst vacation ever?

 My friends would say “every vacation I was a part of,” but I hesitate to agree. For me, it was Magaluf, Spain, 1987.

A group of us lads were out and I was later detained (cough) by Spanish cops for “slightly exuberant activity involving a cold, bubbly beverage.”

They kept me downtown for hours, trying to extract a $50 “fine” from me, but that was the rest of my money for the vacation, so I was like, no way, Jose. (He was amazed I knew his name.)

Eventually, they let me go, whereupon it took *hours* to find the white-painted hotel we were staying at.

By the time I entered the room, I expected to find phones ringing and faxes burping out stacks of important-looking paper as my friends frantically worked with the Irish Embassy and Spanish Authorities to get me back safely.

But, no.

I was the first one back. The lads were still out partying ;)

4. What was the last thing you bought over $100?

 A Sony Tablet two months ago – which I promptly lost on an airplane last week…

5. We're handing you the keys to what?

 A new minivan J (The ghost of my old Pony is snickering, but whatever, dude.)

6. What was the last meal cooked that made even you sick?

 Breakfast in Paris (1992) – it was an egg omelet made during another “event” with a different set of The Lads.

7. Fill in the blank: Oh my gosh! Becky, look at her butt! It is so big. She looks like _____?

Yo mamma. Sorry, Becky, but it’s true.

8. What was your first car?

 A 1985 Pontiac Sunbird – convertible. Bought when I lived in Key West (1996) and driven for a couple of years before I moved to Chicago.

9. Your best friend falls and gets hurt. Do you ask if he/she's okay or laugh first?

 If it’s one of The Lads, I will always take pictures first, post them somewhere online and then ask if he’s OK. If it’s my wife, you know I gotta take care of The Lady first J

10. What's the worst song ever?

 Anything by Justin Berber Carpets.


As promised above, for anyone wanting to sign up, here is the Linky List for ALEXFEST :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012 29 comments

Who will be #100 on the "AlexFest" Linky :)


Real quick note to say Oh. My. Gosh.

What an awesome response to our Cheers, Cavanaugh BlogFest, which is now nicknamed "AlexFest."

Sometime today, we will celebrate the Linky List reaching ONE HUNDRED folks who want to tease, embarrass, poke fun and celebrate Alex and all he does at our Dec. 10-12 event.

Full details here.

*Thanks* everyone... you can't see me, but I'm doing the Bald, White Guy Hawaiian Hula in your honor.

And, no, Psy has nothing to worry about.... some things are *NOT* meant to be shared on YouTube :)

PS.... Alex (nuh huh) sent over a picture of him (nope) as a young lad (no, he didn't) growing up somewhere where the sun rises in the east... (No. He. Didn't).

Fun Bonus Points for the best Alex-related CAPTION :)

Well, he could have...


Ask him...

I can't...

Why not?

I don't have a hyperlink for him.


PS... I *never* ask this, but could you please share this post via Twitter or Facebook, etc...

Wouldn't it be fun if we got 200 Linky Listers.... Then I *Will* upload the Bald, White Guy Hawaiian Hula :)

Thursday, November 22, 2012 22 comments

Happy Thanksgiving from a non-Twinkie eater


Johanna Garth wrote a great Thanksgiving post titled Twinkie Americana, and my comments to her became the foundation for this post, so thanks for provoking my thoughts, Johanna and you can read the full post here.

(The rest of this post will make more sense if you read hers first J)

Johanna finishes her post with a comment and a question:
“Of course, this is all silly. There is no definitive list of characteristics about what makes the perfect American, but still, on the eve of our lovely national tradition of giving thanks, I'm wondering about the rest of you. Are you old school, Twinkies, baseball games and cowboy hats or is the apple in your Americana an icon on a computer?

For the curious (or insomniacs) the story behind my first Thanksgiving is here.
This year, I’ll be celebrating ten years of Thanksgivings with my wife’s family
(you’d think they would have learned by nowJ)
and I have to admit Thanksgiving is now my favorite holiday.

Off to take Thanksgiving Family Pictures

(As I write, the house is full of screaming kids, loud televisions and kitchen overhead fans as a multitude of dishes are either being prepped or made ahead of Thursday.)

As a naturalized American, I have *never* eaten a Twinkie, but I remember reading about them it seemed like in every Stephen King book when I was a teenager and - true story - when I came over in '96, one of the first things I bought was a Twinkie... and with tears in my eyes, I held that thing in my hand, turning it over and over and couldn't believe I was HERE.

Thanks for the memory zap, Johanna... I haven't thought about that Twinkie in years (and I didn't even eat it because I'm not a "sweets" person.)
To answer Johanna's questions in a couple of one liners:
I have a Stetson (bought in Colorado :)
I love baseball - especially T-ball (No. 1 Son has just started:)
Apple pie rocks - but only at the holidays

And while America is never perfect, it is still the land of the free, the home of the brave... and the place where dreams can come true :)

 Happy Thanksgiving y’all :)
It's my first Thanksgiving... wonder what the bunny will bring?
Wednesday, November 21, 2012 16 comments

Guest Interview at Nutschell's & AlexFest update :)


I’m being interviewed about my space (where I write, not the social media siteJ) over at Nutschell’s The Writing Nut.
Nutschell hosts an ongoing Wednesday Writer’s Workspace, and was generous to allow me to join her today!
Please check it out, if only to meet Nutschell, because she is so awesome, she owns several Awesome Sauce franchises J

 However, before we check out my ridiculous workspace, the birthplace of AlexFest (yes, that is the official nickname of Cheers, Cavanaugh Blogfest – thanks to Morgan Shamy), I just wanted to say a *MASSIVE* THANKS to all who commented (400+ on four blogs) and signed up (85 as of 11.20 p.m.) for “AlexFest 1.”

What? We could make this an annual event...

(I needed a great pick-me-up ‘cos we had a crappy travel day Monday to where, in my dumbness, I left a Sony Tablet in a Delta airplane, however, me, the wife and all three kids reached our destination safely – and that’s the main thing :)
Trust me, your comments and rush to sign up to show a little love to Alex totally brightened my day, so cheers and see you Dec. 10

By the way, Julie Luek has a GREAT idea for spreading the Christmas giving-back-to-Alex season.

Her recent post explains how easy it would be to help put books in the hands of some needy kids.

Read how Writer's Give Back here.

And now, back to my "workspace…" we have three sons under six, so….well click here and I’ll let Nutschell share the rest… J


Monday, November 19, 2012 41 comments

The Reveal: Welcome to the "Cheers, Cavanaugh BlogFest"

Ever attended a Christmas party where you bump into the person who was always there for you during the last year. You’d thank them for being such a RockStar, right?
If there’s one person in the Blogisfear who you want to say cheers to, who would it be?
For us, it was a no-brainer: Alex “no hyperlink needed” Cavanaugh.

Alex is an awesome blogger who’s helped hundreds of us via book releases, guest posts, guest interviews and always positive comments. While we can’t have a live part-ay for the Ninja Captain, we can host a BlogFest:

Welcome to the “Cheers, Cavanaugh BlogFest.”

Hosted by Mark Koopmans, Morgan Shamy, David Powers King and Stephen Tremp, the BlogFest runs from December 10 - 12.

While Alex is an awesome blogger, he’s also an enigma. J

So, here’s four questions:

·         In +/- 20 words, what does Alex look like?


·         In +/- 20 words, who could play Alex in a documentary? (Living or dead.)


·         In +/- 20 words, who does Alex remind you of?


·         In +/- 100 words, (excluding the title) write flash fiction using all these prompts:

·         Cavanaugh

·         Ninja

·         IWSG

·         Cosbolt

·         Guitar

For Bonus Points:

·         In +/- 40 words, leave a comment for Mrs. Cavanaugh - thanking her for sharing J


·         Join the Linky List

·         Be a follower.

·         Post your 200 (total) word contribution Monday, Dec. 10.

·         Have Fun!

Two winners – chosen by Alex – will each win one prize:
FIRST PLACE: A signed copy of CassaStar.

GRAND PRIZE*: A picture of Alex and a download of him playing the guitar.

(*One caveat: Alex asks the picture or download NOT be shared online.J)

The Linky is here and will be open until Dec. 12, 2012.

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