Sunday, June 28, 2009


Quote of the Week:

There are only two types of women-goddesses and doormats.
~Pablo Picasso

Local Weather:
Sunshine, despite the lack of warmth
most likely followed by showers of
undigested food particles in the late evening.

Currently on my IPOD:
People are Strange by: The Doors

Hello my dear friends,

I am home. And as Benjamin Franklin says, Fish and Relatives smell in three days. I have been gone for seven in Georgia. Deduce what you want from that statement. Although I must say I am not sure if they were the ones with the stench, I have the feeling it was me...

Regardless, this was not an uneventful week. First off, the plane ride over to Georgia from Denver is not a short one. Coming in at around 3 hours, there are times in which I wish the pilots would just speed it up to around Warp Speed and get us the duck out of fodge.

However....people on this day decided to travel with their children. I did learn that I have surprisingly poor super power abilities to make myself and the others around me invisible. I failed. Miserably failed. And guess what. The others who were traveling with children...they were seated to my left and then to the immediate rear of me.

Let’s address the issue of the children sitting behind me first. Two boys. Two boys around the ages of say...hmmm...7 & 5. One boy: Blonde, rowdy and into the whole hair pulling thing. The other one: Brunette, Pissed off and into the whole biting thing. I won’t distinguish which was which. The mother: Looked fairly normal. Now, I don’t have boys, but still. The second the plane boarded in its entirety, she handed them brownies or some kind of other Little Debbie Snack cake in a plastic wrapper. They finished the delicacy within the confines of processed foods and then the fighting started. Not the no I didn’t, yes you did, no I didn’t sort, it was more of ultimate fighting championship ala Airtran Airlines. My seat was bucking, going back and forth and the airline pilot was managing to keep the plane as steady as I had yet to experience.

Then the biting started. I think one of them drew blood from the other. At least it was beginning to smell like blood. Status on the mother: Silent, reading her book. I thought for a brief moment, good for her, ignoring them, letting them kill themselves without her help. And then it was time for the drink service. The hapless air waitresses came down our section of the flight, offering a bevy of plastic cups that aren’t recycled and a limited selection of drinks and snacks, most of which dehydrate you further while you are flying. (***Nurse Cicily says: Dehydration is a known problem during flying, next time you’re en route and enjoying the entertainment of those around you,choose the water and skip the pretzels and or peanuts. You can order vodka or gin..if you have the money, just make sure you follow it with water) I ordered my water, threw the peanuts into the carry on bag for a later date and thought that maybe the three ring circus behind me would settle in for a drink.

Yeah, fat chance.

No, they didn’t want the peanuts and yes, that’s all the ladies had to offer. The mother smacks the older kid upside the head and says, wadda ya want? at the top of her lungs. He screams back, Cherry Coke. Oh dear hell. Caffeinated, dehydrating fluids. My index like brain quickly ran over the side effects. Irritability, excessive venerability and possible death by bludgeoning from the unsuspecting quiet red head in the seat in front of him. The next boy...ordered the same. Then the two boys proceeded to scream that they didn’t want the healthy shit their mother was offering them. I peaked behind my seat and found them throwing the nutri-grain simulated nutritional bars she had just tossed their way, onto the floor. The younger one even ground the bar into the floor with his untied shoe.

The older kid was, at this point, grabbing his brother in the head lock he had promised him a few minutes previous to the beverage service and the drink spilled all over the floor. I was waiting for candid camera to pop up or my magical stun gun to appear in my hand. The mother finally turned to them, and through her gritted teeth mouth, said, if you don’t stop now, I’ll take away your M&M’s.

Yeah, stick it to em’. WTF?

I would have killed them and easily taken the jail sentence or corporal punishment. On the way out of the plane, they pushed, shoved and screamed their way out to the ramp. The mother, screamed back, wait, wait up. Helpless little kittens, oh, how they have lost their mittens. Right? The oldest boy turned around and said, I don’t have to listen to you anyway, you’re my step-mom.

BINGO! Doormat # 1, we have a winner.

So, as I ramble on and on, I come to the uncertain fate of the woman next to me and her seemingly angelic little girl. The girl had ringlets, yes, real ringlets, pouring down from her scalp to her shoulders. Her light and unblemished skin aged her to be around 2 or 3 at the very most. She had a pacifier in and for most of the ride. Nearing the end of my patience with the boys from hell behind me, she woke up, plucked her pacifier out of her mouth and threw it across the aisle. At me. I picked it up, offered the mother to go rinse it off and then the girl said NO! I want it now! The mom looked at me and smiled. I forked over the pacifier without saying a word. The little girl then looked at her mom and screamed, I WANT OUT OF HERE NOW!!!! Sure, most kids get frightened on their first flights and may get a little claustrophobic like the adults in the cabin who didn't have the five bucks to buy the 0.02 oz of vodka to go in their sprite or cran-apple juice...I digress. Then the little girl got up, ran around the aisles and started to scream at the adults.

This flight was not a late night flight. This was not a red-eye flight.

The mom just sat there and took it. Yeah, I wouldn’t have been so kind. Not that I am one to completely duct tape my children to the chair or anything, but come on! Be responsible and keep your kids under control.

Okay, enough about that. Sorry, my rant went on longer than I expected. And as for the last part of my weather forecast? Yeah, Saturday night went out with some friends and got the worst case of food poisoning in my life. I still have not stopped with the nausea or the product of nausea. I don’t think it’ll ever end. My stomach feels as though its been hole punched by some mutant bacteria.

I’m sure I’ll survive, but you better tune in next week to make sure I do...

Oh, and don’t forget to check out my retreat site: Writing Away Retreats. Would love to see you all there!

Yours in Fabulous Parenting, Food Fights and Fussing Over Nothing,

*Repeating my oldies until the MS is done. If you'd like to guest blog on here, let me know, you're more than welcome to contribute until I get done! And don't forget, your registrations for Writing Away Retreats need to be filled out!*

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Guest Blogger: Rebecca Emrich: Writing Retreats.

Greetings to all who read Cicily's blog. My name is Rebecca Emrich and I'm guest blogging for her today.

She once asked me if I would write about writing retreats and well, That is what my topic is about. Writing Retreats are possibly the best way to recharge your mind and soul. Now, it doesn't have to be elaborate, or long. It just has to be something that means a lot for you.

I have to admit I've never gone on a writing retreat. Yes, I have taken writing classes through Gotham and Writers Online Workshops, These classes helped me a lot in my growth as a writer. Then Cicily emailed me about her blog, which is by the way, one you should follow. It' packed with vital information and a valuable edition for writers. The question I asked myself was how would a retreat help my growth as a writer?

So much more than I could imagine. I also learned that you don't have to go fancy, but you need to make sometime, for yourself as a writer. This is a job right? You want to do well in the twin careers of writing and publishing. You want to make some connections or find a place where you can sit and write for as long as is needed.

Some people have in the past started out with simply a room of one's own where they could write. This works great provided you aren't like me with two very small curious children. So The next step is a home away from home without the children, say in a hotel. Again a great idea, provided that you aren't spending the week with the TV on or the money on phone bills calling home or worse... spending time in a spa, when you should be writing.

That leaves one option: Writing retreats. Now I'd love to go on one myself, since I know what a intense time it is. If you are serious about writing go to one. I'll say this, don't pick any simply because they seem good. I think the best thing that needs to come out is having editors and professions in your field there. It also needs to be a long enough time where you can get work done. And NO distractions, just writing.

My main point is Writing Retreats are a must at some point.

Now a Question for you: what would it take to make your writing go to the next level?

-Rebecca Emrich

**Thanks Rebecca for your insight and words. You're welcome to guest blog with me anytime!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Hey guys and gals,

My usual blog will be up and running with a post from a guest next week and then my usual schtick will be here before you know it. Finishing a manuscript is MUCH harder than I thought it would be.

But. I have to do it.

It's almost there. A few more weeks and voila' the New Face of Jazz should be in the hands of my editor.

For now, I'll guest blogging later this week on Brian Knight's blog, The New Author. And don't just go there to read my posting, read through all of his works on there. They're insightful and offer invaluable advice to the new writer/author.

Thanks again to Brian for having me.

Yours in Finishing What you Started, Finding Your Worth and Finally Getting it.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Guest Blogger: Brian Knight "You Have a Blog...Now What?"

Good day, my name is Brian Knight and I am the creator of the New Author. Before I begin I want to thank Cicily for inviting me to guest blog today. When talking to Cicily about today's topic she suggested I write about blogging and how to develop a following for your blog. As I am not a professional at this I do have some knowledge and experience to share so let's jump in and have some fun.

You've spent hours maybe days generating a great looking blog. You have all the widgets, subscriber links, and even a nice looking photo of yourself neatly organized around that big empty spot in the middle of your blog. With that done there is only one thing left to do...write your first blog post. This is the moment of truth where many will freeze as they wonder what to write. Does this sound familiar? Don't worry, you are not alone if it does.

A blog can be a great tool for networking, building a platform and/or getting your voice heard. However, it takes work and effort to achieve these things. Remember the old saying "Rome wasn't built in a day"? The same thing holds true to blogs and websites. How do you create an attractive, fun, informative blog? These are a few things to keep in mind:

Pick a topic you are passionate about.
Allow your imagination to run free and have fun with your blog.
Engage the reader.

Okay, that makes sense and they are easy enough to do. Are they really? I think we should look at these a little closer.

All three are very important but it all starts with a topic you are passionate about. Your readers will see and feel your passion within your words when you are truly passionate about that topic. However, your passion will also pull you through on those tough days when you really don't feel the words flowing and you can't seem to get an idea for a post. There have been days when I could not get an idea even if my life depended on it but it is at these times when my passion for writing kicks in and before I know it there is a 600 word article before my eyes ready to post. This is why passion is important in more ways then one.

Readers want to be entertained and mentally stimulated. Yes, your blog presentation will gain their attention for a brief moment it will be your words that bring them back. Allow your imagination to run free and have fun with both your set-up and your posts. Your imagination will keep your blog fresh and energized. Don't be afraid to try new things like a contest, workshop, guest bloggers, or whatever you think would be fun to do. Once you establish a fun and energetic atmosphere around your blog it will take on a life of it's own. People will be drawn to it because they will want to read it.

As true as it is that readers want fun, informative posts it is also true that they don't want to be lectured or read posts from a person who presents themselves as a know-it-all. I believe a good blog is one that resembles a community whereas everyone shares success stories, failures, frustrations and lends support. As creator of the blog it is your job to facilitate that by writing articles about your own success, failure, frustrations and call/lend support. These aspects can be blended into informative posts as you show what that particular information means to everyone (including you) reading it.

One final thing, when your blog is up and running you want to draw attention to it until the buzz spreads on it's own. How do you do that? Visit other blogs and leave comments, add comments in forums similar to your blog topic, join other networking sites such as LinkedIn and/or Twitter (remember to subscribe to your blog so your posts will also be seen on these sites) and include the address to your blog in your e-mails you send out.

If you would like more information about blogging and promoting your blog check out this article.

Brian Knight
The New Author
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Everyone go check out what Brian has to say on his blog, The New Author. Named one of the very best and most actually useful writer's resources on the web by predators and editors polls, he's got information you need to know. Thanks Brian for being a part of my blog.