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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.

Friday, November 16, 2012 49 comments

Oh, How I Miss You BlogFest...


 Today is the “How I Miss You BlogFest.”

 Hosted by Andrew Leon, Matthew MacNish and that Alex guy.
Here’s the premise:

 Do you have a couple blogger buddies who aren’t posting as often? Those who’ve pulled back and seem absent from the blogging world? Do you have blogger buddies you are grateful they are still around and would miss if they vanished? Now is your chance to show your appreciation and spotlight them!

On November 16, list one to three bloggers you really miss and one to three bloggers you would miss if they stopped blogging. Then go leave a comment on those blogs.

Our blogger friends are special – time to let them know!

As a simple guy, not given to outburstings of emotional posts or cries, (kids, leave the bleedin' poor butterfly/dog/mailman/stranger alone!!!)  I am going to keep this simple:

 The three people I miss are:


Daina Rustin over at Mystic Treehouse (Daina was the one of the first Bloggers to follow me who was NOT a friend or family member – and I will always appreciate her “followship” :)


Saran Pearson over at Empty White Pages (Sarah and I shared many a funny comment “back in the early days” and I miss her humor and insight.)


Rachael Harrie over at Rach Writes… (Rach is still around, but has taken a break from her Writer’s Platform-Building Campaign.

(I don’t blame her one little bit, because she gives her heart and soul to each of her Campaigns and does so out a selfless desire to pay it forward.)

(Put it to you this way, if no-hyperlink-needed Alex ever had a Blogging Sister, her name would be Rachael Harrie.)


Oh, there is one person I would love never to see again… am I allowed to say that?

This "kind" person sends me a LOT of wonderful links to various websites, and while I don’t need a new Coach bag, a cheap alternative to Cialis, (or any another colored pills,) this blogger keeps on trying – ahhh, God love him.
I am, of course, talking about our mutual friend, A. Non Ymous (I think he’s a Finn, or French, or he may be Flemish.)

So, dear A. Non, if you’re out there, do feel free to stop emailing me – 'cos if you do, I promise to send you a can of Hawaii’s favorite foods:

Courtesy: photobucket.com/shnbwmn

PS. Sorry, but I’m not going to publicly list the three Bloggers I would miss the most...


Ha! Ha! you’re going to be the star of the new movie: “WUSS in Boots.”

Ssshhhh now.

You’re such a Wuss that yo Mamma helps you fight out of a wet paper bag.

Can you just let me finish this, please?

Oh. OK. Sorry.


(whispers……....... Wusssss!!!)

Anyway, I can’t write a list of who I’d miss, but you know who you are – and I thank you for your continued friendship, wisdom and support.

 PS… Hope to see everyone Monday as THE BIG REVEAL goes live at 6:01 EST J
Monday, November 12, 2012 21 comments

In a World... Where Nov. 19 is a-coming...


(For those of you reading in HD or Google googles, try saying the following quotes in the voice of the late Don Lafontaine, the "Movie Trailer Guy."

"In a world..." where nothing is certain except death and taxes, there is now a new certainty:

November 19 is only a week away.

"Not even a dark and stormy night" will prevent the reveal of the "mysterious" Blogfest that's asking all of us to give back from Dec. 10-12.

"Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, no way out..." the answer will be revealed at 6:01 a.m. (EST) Nov. 19, 2012.

"Don't try this at home."

PS... if you've never seen the voice behind some of the best movie trailers ever, check this out :)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012 29 comments

ISWG. "Thanks, Readers" & Nov. 19 is a Stripper-free Fest!


Picking my insecurities for this month was as easy as choosing a new hairbrush:

 I’m worried I’ll blow my set-in-taro deadline to finish WIP #1.

I’m scheduled to finish and clean the first draft by Dec. 1, which leads me to my second insecurity.
Is there anyone interested in being a CP/reader for the memoir I’m co-writing?

I have several awesome folks locked in, but would love another few sets of fresh eyes to read the ms, which is about 65k long (+/- 260 pages).

The memoir is about Donald Braswell, a young opera singer on the cusp of international success, who was hit by a car while riding his bicycle in 1995.

Donald lost his voice, but relearned how to talk – and then sing. Later, he auditioned for America’s Got Talent in 2008, and came in fourth place overall. Full video details here.

If this tickles your fancy, I'd get the ms to you Dec. 1, and would need it back by Dec. 28 as I have an editor booked for Jan. 1.

You may find this a unique challenge because as Dorothy once said on the way to Vegas, “Hey, Toto, we’re not in YA anymore.”

(For example, while I can’t change “characters,” events or the timeline, I can add (or remove) more show-not-tell (if needed), flesh out (or in) backstory and reduce (or remove) Donald’s dialogue (as needed.)
If interested, please shoot me an emai at: mark.koopmans[at]yahoo.com and I appreciate your fresh eyes in advance J


 "I'm Thankful for my Readers"

Sorry, I’m so late to this great-idea BlogFest, which is the brainchild of Tara and Vikki.
I think it’s very brave of those of you who did the public shout-outs, ‘cos I know I’d be like the dude at the awards ceremony... who first gives the crowd a shaka, then sets his bottle of Sam Adams on the podium before reading from a crumpled, chicken-scratch written 3x5 card… I’d forget multiple people.

I am, however, sincerely grateful to my many, many Bluddies (Blogger buddies) who have followed along as I slip and slide along the icy roads of the Blogisfear.
I have learnt, oh my gosh, have I learnt sooo much in the last fourteen months, more than I evah dreamt I would.

And, if my writing career ever pulls out of Pauper Place and heads down Wall Street, please know, dear Reader and Commenter, that it was you who gave me the courage to press down, just a little bit harder, on the gas.


And finally… For the love of all things hallowed, Nov. 19 is NOT a Stripper BlogFest :)

There are only twelve days left, so y’all need to please remove your minds from the gutter :)
Jeez... I suppose someone's going to make a bald guy joke next...

Tuesday, November 6, 2012 11 comments

Exercise Your Right To Vote: A Tribute to Frank Tanabe


I live in Hawaii.

The General Election may be "called" hours before my polling stations close.

However, I plan to vote no matter what.

As a naturalized citizen, it is my right and a privilege - but today I will make sure my voice is heard for another special reason - to honor the memory of Frank Tanabe who lived here in Honolulu.

Frank Tanabe & family (Courtesy AP.)
Many of you may already know the story of the 93-year-old U.S. Army veteran who cast his absentee ballot only days before he passed away.

You can read the full story here.

It all began when a picture of Mr. Tanabe, obviously sick in bed, went viral and his story was told in newspapers around the world.

But he lived only minutes from me.

So I'm going to cast my vote... and once again thank my lucky stars that we have men and women like Mr. Tanabe who sacrifice so much to allow us the freedom to run down to the elementary school in our lunch breaks, or mail in a secret ballot weeks in advance.

No matter what happens, this is going to be a historic election that may change how we, and the world, looks at America.

Frank Tanabe's voice will be heard.

My voice will be heard.

What say you?

Courtesy: Irene Tanabe

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