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Wednesday, October 30, 2013 11 comments

Boston (Red Sox) Strong!


Well done to the 2013 World Series Champion Red Sox, and I just wanted to give a massive shout out to the city of Boston.

 I know not even winning the third World Series in nine years can remove the pain of the sucker punch the city took on Patriot's Day, 2013.

But, I do hope the people of Bahstan sleep a little better tonight knowing that in the face of tragedy, they will never give in and always fight back.

And, as they say in baseball, well played, Boston, well played.

Boston Strong.

Monday, October 28, 2013 20 comments

Julie Musil Cover Release: THE BOY WHO LOVED FIRE


Julie Musil has announced the Cover Reveal of her new, upcoming book, THE BOY WHO LOVED FIRE, so I just wanted to say Pomaika`i (or good luck in Hawaiian) and share the news with you!


Manny O’Donnell revels in his status at the top of his high school food chain. He and his friends party in the mountains on a blustery night, sharing liquor and lame ghost stories around a campfire. The next morning, as a wild fire rages in those same mountains, Manny experiences doubt. He was the last of the drunken crew to leave the cave, and he’s uncertain if he extinguished the flames. Within hours, he becomes the number one arson suspect.
Santa Ana winds + matches = disaster. You’d think he would've learned that the first time he started a fire.
As he evades a determined arson investigator, Manny, a modern-day Scrooge, is visited by ghosts of the past, present, and future. He’s forced to witness the fate of his inadvertent victims, including Abigail, the scarred beauty who softens his heart. Manny must choose between turning around his callous, self-centered attitude, or protecting his own skin at the expense of anyone who gets in his way.


Find THE BOY WHO LOVED FIRE on Goodreads here!


Julie Musil is a YA author represented by Karen Grencik of Red Fox Literary Agency. She’s the wife to her high school honey, and the mother of three amazing sons.

When she’s not shuttling here boys here, there and everywhere, she’s either tapping away on her keyboard, researching for nonfiction or keeping up with writing tips and markets.
Discover more about Julie at her blog here.


PS... Thanks to everyone who commented on my Friday post (I keep losing my boys) and some of the suggestions re. GPS and/or tracking device implants are worthy of serious consideration. Perhaps in another galaxy, far, far away :)

Friday, October 25, 2013 24 comments

"You Know You're A Parent When..." The LOST Edition (& Do You Have A Goal? Bloghop)

It’s two months since I posted something for my ongoing “You Know You’re A Parent When…” series, so because it’s Halloween, I present the “You Know When: The LOST Edition*”
*(The kids, not the TV show.)

 You know you’re a parent when…
Your Wife goes on a work-related trip and the Grandparents are in town to help with the three boys.

Time to get up off the couch boys, Papa has an idea!!

About four hours after the Wife leaves, you decide to bring the boys for a bike ride.
They wait in the driveway as you go back inside for about 45 seconds, ‘cos you forgot the drinks.
Silly, silly parent.
Back. “Hey, where’s No. 2 Son?”
His older brother says, “I don’t know.”
You are, of course, a former reporter and a writer with a vivid imagination.
Not thinking straight (and because you’re worried,) you ask No. 1 Son various leading questions. Each is answered with the same "I think so."
Within three minutes you believe that No. 2 Son has been snatched by a large, single man with sunglasses who drove a big blue car...

Grandma joins the search and as you run in and out of the garage several times, you both do admirable impressions of chickens with their heads cut off …
Much to the amusement of No. 2 Son who decides (finally) to leave the comfortable driver's seat of the rather large, parked vehicle sitting there in plain sight.
As he climbs from the minivan, he asks Grandma why she was running around so much?
Twenty-four hours later, THIS happened.
So, two scary lost children stories in one day should fill the yearly quota, but oh no, not for your kids…

You know you’re a parent when…
Two weeks later, you’re hosting the regular Tuesday night bible study. A family friendly event, the front door is unlocked, the backyard becomes a mosh pit of mini mites and inside the adults enjoy a potluck dinner and fellowship.
Grandma always takes the three Sons upstairs, and why would tonight be any different?
What? I'm supposed to still hold the bat?

However, No. 2 Son lurks in the backyard, but you don’t realize this.

 Thirty minutes later, there’s a knock and a concerned neighbor says there’s an unknown lost child at the top of the street.
With pride, you say (before you falleth,) “Oh, it’s not one of mine. All ours are upstairs.”

Silly, silly parent.

A quick inventory of the visiting ankle-biters is taken and all are accounted for.

Still bothered by the poor, lost boy – and what terrible parents he must have – you head up to see him. Perhaps you might recognize and help reconnect the toddler with the afore mentioned despicable me parents.

From a distance, you see the sleeping babe in the arms of a neighbor while others gather around in a protective circle.
Hmm, the poor little angel has the same clothes as No. 2 Son… how funny.
Even closer…
Wow, the little guy is about the same age and height as No. 2 Son… weird.
The mom turns around and you get a clear sighting of the cherub’s cheeks.

It is No. 2 Son.

A large, appearing sinkhole would not go amiss right now...
With shock, you claim back your didn’t-know-he-was-missing child and splutter mega thanks while blurting apologies as the community security guard takes some details.

A week later…
You go the zoo with only two of the three kids (No. 1 Son is in school.) Watching two is so easy that you actually relax for a moment.
Silly, silly parent.

Look how fast I can run, Papa!!
When you look over at the kid’s playground where No. 2 Son was only a minute ago, you think hmmm, where is the booger bite?

Having freaked out when you lost No. 3 Son in August, you call for security and PTL, No. 2 Son is found about ten minutes later, nearby in the Keiki (kids) area.
That’s it, right? We're done?
Oh, noooo….

Recently, you visited the Bishop Museum and No. 2 Son, (now nicknamed Ninja Child) gets away again!!! (No. 1 Son had trouble emailing this picture at the LEGO encounter.)


As soon as you turned in toward the computer, Ninja Child took off.
Help was called - again (every public attraction in O’ahu has since given me direct numbers to their security.)

 “Look, Papa, I found you!”
After another ten minutes, you spot Ninja Child happily strolling outside the building... and the first thing he says is:


And finally, since you have decided to NEVER again leave the house until all three boys are at least eighteen, this past Wednesday was a good opportunity to clean all their toy chests/drawers/areas.
You're busy and then... all of a sudden, you hear how silent it is….
Oh oh…
You hear a noise from here:

...but don't think much about it as you walk the rooms calling out for Ninja Child.

Upon your return to the living room, this is what you find:

And upon further investigation, this is what you discover:

HI Papa!!!
I'm just going to sit here and play my "tabewit."

For the rest of the day, you remain curled in the fetal position, your thumb a source of great comfort…


(Also, it’s time for the monthly update for Do You Have A Goal Bloghop hosted by Misha Gericke.
I’ve dumped my 18,000 words in WIP#2 to begin WIP#3.
Starting again. New genre – new hope.
This one’s a thriller about a dad who keeps losing his kids (it’s not, but it probably should be!!) It feels better than WIP#2, but we’ll see…

No. 1 Son: "Hi, everyone! Look at me, I'm not lost!"

Monday, October 21, 2013 24 comments

B Strong, Boston - Be Strong and win the World Series!


I adore Stephen King.

But, as an Angels fan, I abhor the Boston Red Sox :)

With a *passion!*

However, I really liked the book King co-authored with Stewart O'Nan.

Called FAITHFUL, it's a great read for (general) baseball fans who want to know about the 2004 Boston Red Sox season that ended up with a World Series win.

Of course, if you're a Red Sox fan, this is a must buy.

I have to give it to the two authors: King and O'Nan absolutely nailed it when they picked 2004 as the year to write about.

It had only been 86 years since the Red Sox last won the World Series... who could have known :)


Just so we're clear, I am soooo not a fan of the Red Sox.

The only time I ever went to Fenway Park was May 5, 2011.

*hee hee*

My beloved LA Angels whupped the BoSox 11-0 and it was nearly - *nearly* - embarrassing to wear my #15 SALMON jersey.

(Can I chuck a yuk! yuk! in here:)

However, all joking aside, I am hoping, praying and aBsolutely willing the Red Sox to win the World Series this coming week.

And, it's got nothing to do with beating their opponents, the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Cards are a fantastic team and they deserve to win (they beat the LA Dodgers:) but I hope they won't - this year.


This Boston Strong tribute >> video << which I've had above my profile since the end of April (where it will remain until Patriot's Day, 2014,) tells the story from inside Fenway Park and its fans. It's amazing... especially as...

...I'm not a Marine.

...I'm not a Sailor, Airman, Army grunt or Coastie.

I am, however, a silly, stupid-why-am-I-doing-this (again) runner...

... and Boston has always been - and always will be - my "holy grail" of marathons.

This year, I'll complete Honolulu for my tenth and final marathon, so my heart and T-shirt will be all about Boston.

 I am so happy the World Series is coming back to Boston...

...Let the roars of a united city sound loud.

Be Strong, Boston.

B Strong.

And don't for a single moment think you are EVER alone...

Friday, October 18, 2013 28 comments

Amazing Amsterdam - via pictures and few words :)


Last month, I went to Amsterdam... and all I came back with was this dam hotel menu...

I had such an amazing time. What's funny is, I once lived about twenty minutes north of Amsterdam, in a small town of Monnickendam, but during this recent trip, I absolutely saw more of Amsterdam in ten days than I did in nearly two years.

(In defense of self, I was only nineteen and the only culture I knew had a lead singer called Boy George!)

The pictures are supposed to tell a 1,000 words, so I think I can write a book here.... (darn, I should have waited to post for NaNo :)

Anyway, I hope you enjoy... and can you just imagine living here as a writer.... sigh....

Well, OK, I suppose I could sit and write here...

The *only* Windmill I saw...

Does the restaurant & the other store offer each other discounts?

Dates from 1580... Wow... that's even older than Alex... :)

Obligatory Canal Boat on the Amstel River

"I have many secrets to share... just open my drawers" (obviously an Amsterdam piece of furniture :)

How much fun would it be to live on this street?

Picture taken before any Amstel was imbibed :)

One day, (after 1580), someone will see this and invent building blocks.

The "Arm Bridge" (and why not?)

Adds a new dimension to, "Honey, I think the rear tire needs some air..."

Depending on sobriety, one moves up or down the incline :)

A tour guide guides while the bikes wait to be biked

That's a funny looking vehicle... what?

The only Tulips I saw in Amsterdam :) 

Officer, trust me, the naked tourists went thataway :)

Sorry for the cheesy photo. (Thank you. Thank you for the applause. I'll be here all week.)

I am Lion. On the Dam Square. I shall roar.

Yeah, yeah, we know... the only clogs you saw on the trip...

Two awesome beers in one Irish pub...

Please, Mr. Tram Driver... Don't knock Jared down!

Gah, I *love* how vibrant Amsterdam is :)

The flag of Amsterdam... so is *that* the origin of you know...

So I couldn't find a windmill, clog or tulip, but I found another Irish pub...

Inside Mulligans - where I watched Holland and Ireland play during Italia '90 :)

My Dad on "his" bench in a town outside of Amsterdam

Dad and some guy who can't press the shutter and keep his eyes open at the same time :)

 Somebody decided to build a big AMSTERDAM

...And now, the dam tourists keep sitting on the letters.... eeeee, that's bad

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