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Friday, March 28, 2014 18 comments

The Voodoo Doll Box Part Two: The Reveal :)


So the funniest thing about yesterday’s post wasn’t necessarily the scary, little brown box I received from Liz Seckman, it was the oft-commented question about 7-Eleven and are they still around!

While I remain the most dreadful return commenter, I am also your faithful research hound, so here’s some 7-Eleven history… and a store locator!!!

Anyway, back to the little brown box…
Perhaps just a little more tape, Liz?
It sat on our kitchen table and No. 1 Son even asked what was inside, to which I replied with the enigmatic grownup standby answer of:


Later, once the kids were safely tucked away, I grabbed my trusty safety scissors, slit the tape and slowly peeled back the lid.

Inside was a very nice card (thanks J) and a Ziploc bag with three small, nay tiny, dogs inside.
I'm Harold, I'm Butch & I'm Sid. Together, We're the Non-Scary Pups!
I seriously had to laugh when I read the note from Liz saying the dogs were for the boys so I “wouldn’t have to tell them there was a creepy voodoo doll inside the box.”

I removed the main package and tucked inside a wad of brown packing paper, I suddenly saw black eyes glaring at me from within the depths of some plastic bubble wrap.

Mmmhhh... Let Me Outta Here..
Yikes, I would have said, if this was an episode of Scoobie Doo, but no, I did a manly jump back and looked around to make sure no one seen me acting like a big gurl’s blouse.

I slowly unwrapped my gift and well, I’ll just let the pictures to the talking!


Say Hello To My Little Friend :)
SIGGY Would Be Proud :)

Who Needs the Oscars With a Selfie Like This:)

… I can’t call Voodoo Doll by her initials (!!!) and I don’t think she is a mini-Mark, so can you please help name this poor, orphan creature.

Leave your vote via comments below or shoot me a note over at Twitter.
PS: Thank you so much, Liz. I would so bow down in appreciation, but I would hate to blind you from the cranium-related sheen :)

And finally... YO, Mini-Alex... hey homie, you better watch out... there's a new princess in town :)

Thursday, March 27, 2014 13 comments

The Voodoo Doll Box (Part One)


A small, brown box arrived in the mail today.

I'm scared to open it.

It's from Elizabeth Seckman.

(Be afraid.... be very afraid)

I think she's pulling some voodoo stuff on me.

I shall take a picture tomorrow...

I would take one now, but my camera's not working...

(Big Gulp)*

*This post was funded, in part, by 7-Eleven.

Tomorrow, if you're stuck in traffic or have reached the end of Twitter, join me - if you dare - as I reveal the secret of the brown, magic box...

Tuesday, March 25, 2014 9 comments

Charlie's Scribes talks trade with Shah Wharton


Charlie’s Scribes is at it again.

We’re guest posting over at ShahWharton, who’s taking a well-deserved vacation.

Shah wanted to know more about trade publishers (Mark had a blank look on his face – but what’s new, said Tammy to Liz.)

Now, that’s today’s scheduled post…

[Insert dramatic late-night infomercial music]

Tomorrow, it could be you!!!

(PS: But, you’ll need to write fast, it’s already 6 a.m. in the East Coast when this goes live!)

(Quick note: We won’t be able to help with anyone doing the A-Z Challenge – ‘cos that’s cheating, like, totally :)

However, we’re more than happy to assist folks in the post-April 30th brain drain!)

As usual, send all requests to charliesscribes@gmail.com.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014 11 comments

Charlie's Scribes goes sweet on Robyn :)


Having survived the laughter and comments following my St. Patrick's Day post, it's time to help Charlie's Scribes (You Snooze, We Muse) jump into action.

Today, Liz, Tammy and I helped sweet Robyn Engel over at Life By Chocolate.

Surprisingly, Robyn wanted something about chocolate.

This was a hard one for me (Mom always said I was sweet enough), but I stepped up to the counter, and ably supported by the two professional Scribes, we ended up with this here.

*** If you know anyone who needs a blogging break or simply needs to escape from Blog Fog, shoot us an email at charliesscribes@gmail.com.

You never know.... you, too, may be lucky enough to have Charlie's Scribes miss your house and knock instead at the neighbors.

Monday, March 17, 2014 26 comments

Coconut Bra/Grass Skirt Promise: DONE & Happy St. Paddy's Day :)


Never say I don't follow through with promises :)

Although SIGGY couldn't make it - I can't find his cape and the face paint has dried up after a year in a Hawaiian garage (duh!!) - I do have other pictures to share.... sigh...

Here then... oh wait, I do have ONE annual Public Service Announcement to share (apart from the fact I'm wearing a coconut bra and a grass skirt).... so people, please for the love of all that is holy and green....

Remember... it's St. PADDY'S Day... not St. Patty's Day (although he'd surely have my vote to be the patron saint of In-and-Out Burgers :)

Oh gawd.... here we go....

So, first up is our SIGGY-mobile, which we will be using to and from the Honolulu St. Paddy's Day parade.

This Stroller Goes from 0-60 depending on how far away the next pub is :)

Who Needs Racing Stripes on St. Paddy's Day :)

And I still have room for me Lucky Charms :)

The Other Side of the SIGGY Mobile

OK, fine....

The Clown Suit belongs to SIGGY

And finally.... the coolest picture of all...

No.1 Son made this for me (but it needed the plastic cover...
 ...otherwise the geckos would eat the green stuff :)

Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone. and as they say in Lansdowne Road... "GO ON, IRELAND... Go on, ya good thang!!!"

Friday, March 14, 2014 19 comments

"You Know You're a Parent When..." (#17 - the Exhausted Edition :)


To continue my ongoing "You Know You're A Parent" series, I'd like to pay tribute to any about-to-become parents for the first time and if it's okay, let me give you one piece of advice:

Get Some Sleep Now... (seriously :)

(We return you to your regularly scheduled post)

So, without further adieu (seeing as you just got here) I present the YKYAPW (Exhausted Edition):

You know you're a parent when...

The Final Diaper (and yes, it's clean :)

...No. 3 Son graduates from diapers to Pull-ups!!!
Nearly seven years of continuous diaper changing is OVER... (and it only takes ten minutes to control the weeping of gratitude.)

You look at the package below and wonder how this will end up being a speedy Derby race car (seeing as we never had these growing up in Ireland!)

Lightning McQueen, eat your piston out :)

...After enjoying a power nap during a red light, you remember that once you dreamt of selling a million books, plus being wined and dined at the Ritz.
You smile at the reality that you've probably bought a million chicken nuggets and the closest you've been to the Ritz was those new crackers that were on sale last week!

...No. 3 Son, still happy from his Potty Promotion, now seems determined to conquer the world - or at least the back garden...

The magic works & the Balls Dance!! Next stop, Metropolis!!
...While No. 3 Son takes a pre-World Dominance nap, you choose a foreign language movie on Netflix.
Sadly, you lose out on being hip with your friends when you can't use the usual "I'm just resting my eyes for a minute and can still listen to the dialogue" excuse.

...While coaching soccer to No. 1 Son and his U-6 squad, the following conversation happens during practice:

"Coach, you've got hair on your arms," said Player 1.

"Yep," said a tired you.

"Coach, you've got hair on your legs," said an insistent Player 1.

"I do, yes, now lets-"

"Coach, why don't you have any hair on your head?"

(You wonder if suspensions are allowed ahead of the first game...)

"Oh, it's okay," said Player 2. "I know, it's because Coach is old like my daddy and he has no hair, too."

Players 3,4 and 5 then moderated the round-grass discussion on male pattern baldness. (Lord Baldernot would have been impressed :)

...And finally, your new favorite toy (evah) is Woody from Toy Story.

Bald really can be beautiful (and square-looking)

And, I never knew... :)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014 32 comments

IWSG and my 80,000lb elephant on the keyboard


I'm frustrated, but most of all feeling humble because I must apologize to anyone who's commented to me over the last couple of months.

For the most part, I haven't returned your comments - which has bothered me to no end - so I want to address the huge elephant in my writing world.

If I sound like I've bottled up some whine and am enjoying a glass or two, you're right, but the kids are asleep, and if I don't get this down now, I never will.

Here's my insecurity, and I shall use a mathematical equation to help me out (perhaps some of you recognize the formula?)

We pause ten seconds for station identification...

(Yes, it’s IWSG time again, so thanks as always to Alex J. Cavanaugh, aka The Dude in the Black Jammies who founded the Insecure Writers Support Group.)

Previously on "This used to be my writing schedule."

Actual can-focus-on-writing time per 24-hour period: 2-3 hours

Blogging needs and responsibilities per 24-hour period: 3-4 hours

Writing to advance WIP (or submit queries for current ms): Zero Time

My finished ms is a memoir of an opera singer. (It's been a true blessing to write, a real labor of love and I know it will find its proper home one day. That project I'm leaving alone: It's all about God's timing.)

The problem was (is) I'm hungry, pregnant with words to complete something that's one hundred percent mine. Therefore, I want to focus most, if not all, of my extremely limited time on pushing WIP and experiencing a natural book-birth :)

But, something had to give - and will continue to give until I find more free time.

For those who know me a little, I love Paying It Forward, so Charlie's Scribes will be my main blogging focus posts for the foreseeable future.*

(*Except for a certain, promised photo that *may* [or not] be published on St. Patrick's Day :)

Lord Baldernot will also guest star, I believe.

And for that, I bow down eternally to Al Diaz and say in my best Oirish accent that, "Oi may be bald and have Mr. Clean as an unpaid sponsor and logo on all my polo shirts, but truly Oi'm not wordy to lose the dance off against the Dude in the Black Jammies."

PS... as return-commenting is my biggest issue, I do have a solution and wanted to throw out an invitation.

I am a Twitter nerd and *ALWAYS* return comments there... and how can you not?

It's a maximum of 140 characters to read (and reply, which also hones your writing skills :)

I'm here or here: https://twitter.com/markjkoopmans

Cheers and don't let the wee Leprechauns mess with your lucky charms  :)

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