Sunday, June 26, 2011

Here's a real hero

I am privileged to know another real, live hero.

Check it out on my Wordpress blog.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

We're Moving

I've consolidated my six blogs down to three - I'll be posting about our furry friends over at my new blog at:

Join me there and feel free to request a guest appearance.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Z is for Zebra

I have two questions for you:
  1. Are zebras horses?
  2. Are they white with black stripes or black with white stripes?
I also have the answers:
  1. Yes, they're African equids (i.e., horses, donkeys, and zebras).
  2. Black with white stripes.
Other interesting facts:
  • Three types of zebras exist.
  • Zebras are herd animals.
  • Zebra stripes are a form of camouflage and, when standing in a group of other zebras, one zebra is hard for predators to identify.
  • No two zebras have the same stripe pattern--each pattern is like a unique fingerprint.
My sister went on safari in Africa and actually saw several herds. Neat animals.

Z end. Thanks for visiting me during the A to Z Blogging Challenge!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

37 years ago today...

I have been remiss with my blogging. Life seems to interfere with everything, doesn't it?

Unfortunately, my priority list in recent weeks eliminated things such as personal time and weekends off. I'll be presenting a two-hour workshop at the annual convention of the National Association of Insurance Women in Las Vegas this week and, I'm hoping, that event will cap off a six-week period of frenzied activity.

Which prompted my memory of 37 years ago today.

As I typed the date on an invoice this morning, I was reminded of my graduation from high school ... yes, 37 years ago today. Mom couldn't make it because she was recovering from major surgery. I don't remember much else, except the weather was fine and so was my dress--even though it was covered for a good portion of the day by that awful blue robe. (Do kids even wear clothes beneath their graduation robes these days?)

That's me to the left of my two cousins (Eileen and Ellen) in the picture. It was taken in the spring before I graduated. Silly me: at the time I thought I was fat. I didn't have a clue about fat at that time. Nor did I have a clue about much of anything.

I was incredibly naive. Life took care of that, too.

But I did want to be a writer--a published writer. And, voila, 28 years later it happened.

What hopes and dreams did you have on the day you graduated from high school? Have you achieved them? If not, when are you planning to do so?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Rejoicing about Death

I seldom publicly share my opinions and beliefs with respect to politics, religion, and other controversial issues. I feel compelled, however, to air my feelings about the rejoicing generated by the death of Osama bin Laden.

Yes, he was a terrorist. Yes, during his lifetime he was responsible for many, many deaths and much suffering. And yes, the world is a safer place now that he's no longer alive.

No, I don't have a problem with the fact that our president (and government) had him killed. What I have a problem with is the unrestrained and gleeful rejoicing.

As a person whose life was touched by the violent acts of a horrible man (not bin Laden), I understand the anger, the pain, the sense of loss, and all the other traumas a person experiences when a loved one suffers at the hands of another. I understand the desire and need for revenge--I've felt it personally. I also understand exactly how it feels to wish an awful person dead--and I'm not proud of that feeling.

What I don't understand is feeling joyful about death--even a horrible person's death.  The fact that Osama bin Laden was evil enough to warrant assassination is sad. It's horrifying and mind-boggling. The fact that he possessed enough personal power and political influence to to affect the world on such a large scale--and that he used all that power and influence in evil, hurtful ways--is even more horrifying and mind-boggling.

Yes, I'm glad bin Laden can't harm another person and that his evil influence has been removed from the earth. I can't help believing, however, that all the rejoicing, dancing, and happiness about his death is ghoulish.

I once attended the sentencing hearing of a man who was jailed for committing a sexual assault. Did I hate the man? Yes. Did I pray for the death penalty? Yes. But during the hearing my heart also broke for the woman sitting behind me in the courtroom: the man's mother.

As much as I was suffering, as much as the assailant's victims were suffering, so was the assailant's mother. She had to witness, with her own eyes and ears, the extent of her son's depravity and evilness. She has to live with the knowledge that she gave birth to him. She has to think of him--every day for 18 years--locked up in prison as he pays for the crimes he commited.

Death wears many faces and none of them deserve rejoicing.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

TMOB gets another great review!

I just love it when my books and other writings garner good (and great) reviews.  Here's another one:

Breezy cogent and to the Point, April 30, 2011

This review is from: Taking the Mystery Out of Business (Paperback)

The author debuted her first mystery fiction novel, "Second Time Around," in 2010. Now she's drawn on her years in business and training, as well as her understanding of the language and structure of genre fiction to put together a brief but complete handbook for almost anyone at any level of business activity.

Whether one is a COO, a CEO of a multi-layered organization, or a single entrepreneur, this slender volume has sage advice and clear understanding of both the limitations and the values of this kind of self-help effort. Written in a breezy direct style, the work offers frank direct ideas that, if taken in the heartfelt manner in which they are presented, can lead to successful business undertaking. Moreover, if it should be widely adopted, one might discover a plethora of business success driving our current recessionary circumstances into oblivion.

At first blush I didn't see how this slender book would be of much use to authors in the Crime Fiction community. But developments in publishing and rereading now lead me to suggest there are several fundamental aspects business here addressed which would be of considerable benefit to independent publishers and authors.

You can find Carl Brookins' other reviews on Amazon at:

Friday, April 29, 2011


Thank you, visitors from the A to Z Blogging Challenge!

Share something about YOU today. Something that's special and unique, something that sets you apart from everyone else.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

X isn't so eXact

"X" is a substitute letter.

In Xmas, it's the substitute for Christ. In a signature, it's the substitute for the name of a person who doesn't know how to write.

But what's its purpose in other words? Like:
  • X-acto Precision Instruments - You'd think if they were xacto, they'd be defined by a more precise and definitive appellation.
  • X-Files - I never got that show. I suppose the "X" could be anything you wanted it to be...
  • Xbox - I've heard of it but have no clue what it is.
If I made a product, I'd want it to be unique and different. Something that made the competition look paltry by comparison. I surely wouldn't use the letter "X" as part of its name, thereby diminishing its uniqueness. Shouldn't marketing and advertising have some creativity and pizzazz to it?

Then again, I'm the gal who used her name in each of the businesses she established. Not exactly creative and exciting.

But at least consumers knew my business wasn't the same-old-same-old.

What are your thoughts on the subject of X?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Who is WonderWoman?

WonderWoman is a person who has great abilities to overcome, to survive and thrive, and pave the way for a better world. Thousands of WonderWomen live in this country (and in the entire world).

My focus today is on the WonderWomen who have have triumphed in the face of adversity presented to them in the form of sexual assault.

On April 30, 2011, thousands of people will take a Two-Mile High Stand Against Sexual Assault®. At dozens of drop zones across the country, men and women of all ages will take to the sky and jump. Most for the first time ever. And it's all part of Operation Freefall®, the boldest, highest-altitude, and most daring event organized to put an end to sexual assault.

Operation Freefall is the only event of its kind to increase awareness of sexual violence. The event is held simultaneously across the country on the last Saturday of each April, and it benefits both Speaking Out About Rape, Inc.® (SOAR®) and community-based anti-sexual violence organizations nationwide.

My daughter is a WonderWoman. If you'd care to support this wonderful cause--and all the WonderWomen, WonderMen, and WonderChildren in this country--feel free to visit Laurie's fundraising page to learn more:  click here

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


My favorite doll of all time was Valerie. She had blonde hair (don't most dolls?) and a wonderful wardrobe of clothes, including my all-time favorite red plaid skirt.

I was a real girly-girly when I was a kid and absolutely adored my dolls. I can still remember all their names: Kissy, Chatty Cathy, Tiny Tears, Tammy (my parents never bought me a Barbie doll), Pepper, and the famous Valerie.

At night, I had to dress them in their PJs because, after all, if I didn't sleep in my clothes, why should they? I made them wear sweaters at night and, for those who didn't have sweaters, I made a nest of a big flannel blanket to keep them warm.

My two younger brothers were cruel in their lack of appreciation for my wondrous dolls. Unknown to anyone at the time, the nasty little SOBs buried Valerie in the back yard because I tattled on them. One summer night I put Valerie to bed in the closet and the next day she was ... gone.

I swore someone broke into the house and stole her and was the laughingstock of my brothers--and my parents--for weeks. Until thirty years later when one of my brothers broke the vow of silence and shared the true story.

Valerie's corpse was probably uncovered by an avid gardener years later when mulching the yard before planting some petunias.

What nasty tricks did YOUR rotten little (or big) brothers (or sisters) play on you?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Upside Down Dog Photos

Found this site several months ago and thought I'd share it. Hilarious!

Saturday, April 23, 2011


I am a tiger: dozing lazily in my cage, watching life march by.
I am a tiger: soft and cuddly, warm and furry, colorful and bold – catching your eye.
I am a tiger: lumbering and slow, yet fleet and fast when in danger.
I am a tiger: pacing back and forth, twitching my tail, impatient in anger.
I am a tiger: loud and fierce, roaring in pain, scaring you away.
I am a tiger: lying lazily in my cage, keeping life at bay.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Shepherd, German

Okay, so I continue to stretch the boundaries of appropriate topics for the letter of the day in the A to Z blogging challenge.

I really love German Shepherd dogs and decided to toss up a few photos I've accumulated from a bunch of e-mails over the years. (I also love Labrador Retrievers, Huskies, Rottweilers, and many other large breeds. Any type of dog, with a sweet, lovable, disposition--especially a mixed breed like my very own favorite puppy, Delaney--is okay by me.)

I don't know any of these dogs but I think they're gorgeous.

My first dog was a family dog my parents adopted: Prissy, who was half German Shepherd and half Husky.

My second dog was Gypsy, a purebred, long-haired German Shepherd (another of my parents' adoptees) and the most recent dog my husband and I adopted (8 years ago) was Charlotte, a German Shepherd/Golden Retriever mix.

My husband has a customer who breeds German Shepherds and every once in a while I am required to visit the store to see a particularly gorgeous creature.

What breed of dog do you like ... and why?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

What if the apple is Rotten?

Once again, I'm stretching the boundaries of the alphabet during the A to Z blogging challenge. My word for the day is ROTTEN.

Why? Because that's the first "R" word I thought of. Not because I'm negative, mind you, but because it brings to mind something I said to someone today when we were talking about salesmanship.

I've been in sales practically my entire life. And one of the things a lot of salespeople think is absolutely necessary in sales is to quote "apples for apples" when trying to win a customer from a competitor.

Personally, I hate the theory and think it's a bunch of crap. Someone (I think it's Jeffrey Gitomer) has this to say about the apples-to-apples mentality: "What if the other guy's apple is ROTTEN?"

HELLO! If someone is unhappy with his service provider, and he's shopping, something is clearly wrong with the relationship. Now, that doesn't necessarily mean the service provider must be the person with the "issue;" we've all had customers we'd like to give away... But it's a red flag.

I believe in giving my customers what they're looking for and it's seldom the exact same thing someone else has given them. Apples are okay; rotten apples are not.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Q is for Quit

I don't believe in quitting ... as a rule, that is.

I believe in finishing what I start, in seeing projects through to the end, and receive great satisfaction from completing a task.

Sometimes, however, quitting isn't quitting--it's saying to yourself, "I'm not going to continue bashing my head against this brick wall."

How do you know the difference between quitting and being smart?

Personally, I think knowing the difference has nothing to do with your own convenience and/or preference and everything to do with logic. As in, what would you advise someone else to do if they were in your shoes.

Typical example involves a relationship that's going nowhere. You like the guy, but not as much as you once did. Stuff is starting to bug you about him, or stuff is coming to light that you didn't realize before. If your best friend were dating this guy and going through what you're going through, what would you think is in her best interest to do?

The scenario changes, however, if you're married to the guy and not simply dating him. At least it does for me.

What's your take on quitting? And not just about relationships, but in general.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

P is for Poop

Aren't you glad I didn't Post a Picture with this Post?

Poop is on my mind these days because my dog and I are currently living in a Place where I need to walk him instead of simPly letting him out into the woods to do his business.

Which means I carry Plastic bags with me and ... well ... you know.

Delaney and I walk about half a mile to an area that abuts the condo association's Parkling lot. It's about 100 yards long and there's about six feet of grass between the Parking lot and the woods. I bring my Plastic bag, Delaney does his thing, and shortly thereafter I feed the dumPster. Other PeoPle think that the area beyond the Parking lot is fair game and aren't so fastidious. And that's okay.

What's bugging me is the lady who lives across the grassy common area. She's an end unit, as are we, and she walks her hyPer, little, barky dog on the grass where he ... you guessed it ... makes daily dePosits.

I'm just wondering:
  • Is small PooP different from medium, or large, PooP?
  • Is small PooP less stinky or disgusting than other kinds of PooP?
  • When you steP in it, does it small PooP make your shoes smell like roses, or ... PooP?
  • Does the neighbor-lady really think we can't see (or smell) the little turds her doggy hides in the ground cover?

Monday, April 18, 2011

O is for "Oops!"

Oops, I'm Overwhelmed!

Life is good, but it's throwing lots of stuff at me these days. I know how to be Organized, but I'm having a difficult time getting a grip on my time.

Funny how life (or is it God?) has a way of humbling us and sending us skidding down the paths we plan to follow and then forcing us through the underbush to pave a new path.

How do you get yourself back on track? How do you prevent yourself from burning the candle at both ends?

Really, I have an inquiring mind and need to know!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

N is for "No!"

When we were two years old, we didn't hesitate to say the "N" word. Why is it that as we age we hesitate or, even worse, become incapable of...saying "no?"

It's understandable that we want people to like us, approve of us, invites to their parties, speak kindly of us, etc. But refusing to say "no" for those reasons is a form of reverse blackmail. We allow other people and the opinions we expect them to have to control how we behave.

In the past, I've assumed too much responsibility or agreed to do things I didn't really have time for because I didn't want to disappoint someone else. In the end, I wound up shortchanging myself in the time department and, sometimes, in other ways.

Two years ago, I decided to (as my mother would say) turn over a new leaf. My New Year's resolution for 2010 was to "take care of myself." That goal turned out be a bit too vague. So, in 2011, my New Year's resolution is to "be selfish and put myself first." That doesn't mean I'm totally inconsiderate or rude. (says me) But when making decisions: I think of myself first and make decisions more based on what I want than what I think other people want or what they actually do want.

I'm finding myself assuming fewer responsibilities these days and the ones I do assume are much more enjoyable--and I'm not finding myself stretched for time to attend to them.

Can you say "no?" Can you say "no" easily? Care to share some tips?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Monday is the M Word

Unlike most working people, I like Mondays. Sure, I hate to see the weekend end but I'm pragmatic: all good things end. Instead of getting upset about the end of the weekend I'm thankful they repeate themselves every seven days.

Monday gives me a fresh start. I have 52 times a year (or 4.3 times per month) to begin again. I know I'm going to be crazy-busy, so I seldom create serious goals for completion on Monday. I figure if I make it through the day without major mishaps, it's been a good one. (Especially on those Mondays when there's a full moon!)

My father is 81 and he retired at age 55. He hardly remembers what Mondays are like, claiming the days all blend together because he doesn't have five weekdays and two weekend days--he has perpetual weekends. Nice if you can do it, I suppose. I choose to believe retirement's boring. Maybe that's because there isn't a snowball's chance in hell that I'll be retiring at age 55 (which is right around the corner).

What's your take on Mondays?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

L is for ... guess who?

How could I pass up this opportunity on the "L" day of the A to Z blogging challenge?

As a child, my Uncle Teddy used to sing this song to me every time he visited...

LINDA - Ray Noble with Buddy Clark

When I go to sleep
I never count sheep,
I count all the charms about Linda.

And lately it seems
In all of my dreams,
I walk with my arms about Linda.

But what good does it do me, for Linda
Doesn't know that I exist?
Can't help feeling gloomy,
Think of all the lovin' I have missed.

We pass on the street,
My heart skips a beat,
I say to myself, "Hello, Linda."

If only she'd smile,
I'd stop for a while
And then I would get to know Linda.

But miracles still happen
And when my lucky star begins to shine,
With one lucky break,
I'll make Linda mine.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

K is for Kleptomaniac

I'm one of those people who HATE it when someone swipes something from my desk. Normally, I'm generous and will share just about anything. But, if you value your hands, don't steal my pens, pencils, or stapler. You can take food off my plate but don't you dare touch my paperclips. (Especially the red ones--they're my favorite.)

Boundaries. That's what stealing is about. Or, rather, a lack of boundaries.

I would never dream of opening your desk drawer. Or swiping a pen from the cup on your desk. Of course, as a writer, I'm always carrying a dozen or so pens with me: in my handbag, in my car, in my briefcase, even in my checkbook...

Seriously, I can't remember stealing anything. I've never even been tempted. I don't understand the motivation.

Do you?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Jack and Jill

Today's theme on the A to Z blogging challenge is the letter "J" and I like the idea of exchanging nursery rhymes. One of the first books I owned was a compilation by Marguerite De Angeli. 

Mine is: Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water. Jack fell down and broke his crown and Jill came tumbling after.

Now, here's the beginning of another. Someone finish it and then give us the first part of a different one that someone else can finish.

Diddle diddle dumpling, my son John...

Monday, April 11, 2011

I is for I (or me)

One of the things I often say when I present Insurance seminars or career development workships Is: Everyone's favorite person Is themself. (Being aware of this fact is a VERY important aspect of providing Incomparable customer attention--as detailed in my book Taking the Mystery Out of Business: 9 Fundamentals for Professional Success.)

Who's YOUR favorite person? And don't BS me either. Sure, you love your kids and your spouse. But really, when you're thinking your own private thoughts, who's uppermost in your mind? RIGHT: You!

Sometimes, I find myself extremely frustrated at the selfishness and Inconsideration of other people, don't you? Of course you do. That's because you (and I) are more focused on ourselves than we are focused others. We're just like everyone else. We get ticked off when people think about themsevles Instead of about us.

Last week, I told a client I'd be in the office all day except for the hour from 12:30 p.m to 1:30 p.m., which was my lunch hour. He passed that Info along to his daughter, who called me at 11:55 a.m. to tell me she was on her way. When, I asked, did she expect to arrive? "Oh, no later than 12:20. I know you leave for lunch at 12:30." How nice of her (Not!) to provide me with ten minutes to handle a transaction that takes thirty minutes. And she didn't even thank me for delaying my lunch hour to accommodate her Inconsideration!

Because I'm familiar with, and practice, behaviors and skills that show I care about my clients, I still get Irritated when other people aren't considerate. I'd never tell someone off. I don't hesitate to write blog posts about them, however. I guess that's because, like everyone else, I'm only thinking about myself.

What do YOU like best about YOURSELF?

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Rant about "Hello"

Why is it that some people just can't be sociable?

You know, like when you're walking your dog on a beautiful, sunny, April morning and you pass someone on his way to the dumpster with a broken chair in his hands. You smile, say "hi," and he breaks eye contact with you, frowning. Would it have killed him to say hello? Would his face have fallen off if he smiled?

Yes, maybe the broken chair once belonged to his beloved grandmother and he's heartbroken that his overweight wife sat on it, despite fifteen years of warnings, and broke it when she fell to the floor. Of course, we're not sure if he's more heartbroken about the chair breaking or his wife's disobedience. Still... none of that's my fault! Maybe a hello and shared smile with a stranger and her dog would have brightened the otherwise sunny day for everyone involved.

Or how about when you're in the grocery store at 10:00 a.m. on said beautiful, sunny, April morning to pick up bagels for you, half 'n' half for your sister's coffee, and some American cheese? The guy behind the deli counter hollers out, "Number 40!" and when you smile and say, "That's me!" he just gives you a vacant stare. Would it have killed him to say hello? Or hi there? Or even crack the corners of his lips into a teenie, weenie, glimpse of a smile?

Obviously it would. Either that or he has the personality of a door knob. Or his wife broke his chair earlier this morning when he was dressing for work.

I truly believe this world would be a better place if, when we encounter other people, we made a little effort to be pleasant. Maybe even a little friendly. And I'm going to continue to do my part, despite all the grumps in the world. Don't they know yesterday was "G" day and today is "H" day? They should be Happy today.


Friday, April 8, 2011

G is for George

I'm really stretched for time this week and don't want to be considered a slacker by not posting anything. So here's a link to my "G" post on Author Exchange Blog, where I talk about my favorite Georges.

F is for Funny and Furry

Although today is not Friday, it's the "F" day in the A to Z blogging challenge. (I'm talking about a different "F" subject over on Author Exchange Blog today.)

Remember Sesame Street, with all its funny, furry humor?

My mother loved Oscar the Grouch, whose perspective of life paralleled her own. Dry, sarcastic humor was their style.

I don't even want to talk about Big Bird, whose voice was incredibly irritating, although he could, on occasion (like once or twice a year), say something that made me laugh. (Mostly because it was stupid.)

Then there was Grover, the funny, furry, puppet on speed.

One of my daughters adored the Amazing Mumford, which goes to show that everyone, even caricatures of magicians, must have their good points.

My favorite Sesame Street character was Ernie because I loved that sneaky laugh of his. I also really loved Statler and Waldorf, the two nasty old guys who sat in the balcony and made snide comments. Talk about funny...

Who was your favorite Sesame Street or muppet character, and why?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Elizabeth, the E word of the day

I've always loved the name Elizabeth. It conjures visions of a tall, slim, Elegant woman who is the Epitome of poise and sophistication.

Elizabeth doesn't speak too loudly. She doesn't swear, fart, or burp. And her clothes never wrinkle--not even when they're linen.

I know she sounds boring but, really, she isn't. She's intelligent, admired by both men and women, and has a perfect complexion.

I can't tell you why Elizabeth creates this mental picture for me any more than I can Explain why I equate the name Sally with a little girl or the name Oscar with a short, bald guy.

I've studied names and their meanings and learned that kids who are given common or popular names tend to be more well-adjusted than children with unusual or antiquated names. If you visit the Social Security Administration's website, you can find out what the most common names were in any given year after 1879. For example, in 1900, the most common names were John and Mary. In 2000, they were Jacob and Emily. Since 1943, the name Michael has been in the top 10 every single year. Between 1923 and 1933, however, it hovered in the 50s.

Personally, I don't care for very odd names or unusual spellings. I also tend to favor Irish or Celtic names.

What's your take on names?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Donald is the D of the Day

Deadbeat is the "D" feature on Author Exchange Blog today as I continue my work in the A to Z Blogging Challenge. Donald is the feature here, being the name of my father, brother, nephew, and a famous Duck.

Speaking of Donald Duck, here's a true story that involves him and my Dad:

My mother's professional area of expertise, both before and after she listed mother and housewife on her resume, involved the banking industry. Mom and I were having a discussion about my newly acquired checking account when she explained the correct way to date a check, write out the amount payable in both words and numbers, and how to sign it. She stressed that if I didn't sign my full legal name, the bank wouldn't cash the check.

My father, who hadn't been a party to the conversation until this point, claimed her assertion was hogwash. Needless to say, one of those bickery married-people arguments ensued. Dad bet he could sign someone else's name to a check and it would clear the bank without anyone even noticing it. Mom swore the people in the proof department examined each and every check to be sure the signature was correct. I got the heck out of there before the shouting started.

The following month, upon receiving his bank statement in the mail, Dad produced a cancelled check at the dinner table. (Yes, in the dark ages, banks actually returned your cancelled checks with your bank statements ... via the U.S. Postal Service, no less!) Guess how it was signed?

Yep ... Donald Duck.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Canine - Today's Blog Feature

I'm really getting into this A to Z blogging Challenge. At first, I thought I was nuts to agree to do it on two different blogs (this one and my Author Exchange Blog). Now, however, I'm getting into the groove. And just saying that dates me but, if you got a glimpse of my PR photo, I wouldn't need to say silly things from the 70s to provide you with a clue  about my age!

Canine is today's blog topic. Canines belong to the biological family "canidae," which refers to a group of animals that includes wolves, coyotes, foxes, jackals, and domestic dogs.


When I was little, my fear of dogs paralyzed me. I'm still scared stiff of dogs under certain conditions: Seeing a dog running at me when I'm walking outside--and don't know the dog; two dogs meeting each other for the first time--all that sniffing, growling, and potential for disaster has me hiding behind the nearest person (even, I'm embarrassed to admit, my own kids); and a bunch of dogs playing together--as they do at the park or in doggy day care.


I've owned a number of dogs in my lifetime, starting with the two dogs my parents adopted when I was a kid (Prissy and Gypsy). My ex-husband gave me a Siberian Husky puppy (Eska) as a Christmas gift when I was pregnant with Beth (yesterday's blog feature) and, before the kids grew up and moved away, we shared our home with another Husky (Kia) and a pound puppy named Rosie.

After divorcing and shooing the kids off to college I got lonely, so I decided adopting a dog would be more mentally healthy than dating and adopted a greyhound named Quaker. That didn't work out when Quaker become overly protective and growled at anyone who entered the room. I returned him to the Greyhound rescue agency and adopted my current puppy, Delaney, an 11 1/2 year-old lab/pointer pound puppy.

When I remarried, my husband Stephen came equipped with two Rottweilers--5 year-old Tyson and the puppy, Patience. Tyson was the sweetest dog and, after my initial wariness of his 113-pound body, never experienced a moment's fear. Not of him or of Patience (even I can't be afraid of any dog who came into my home as a puppy). Stephen and I adopted Charlotte, a German Shepherd/Golden Retriever puppy found wandering the streets in Missoula, MT when she was about 4 weeks old. She's a good dog--if you don't consider all her neuroses.

I tend to favor dogs with gentle, affectionate, and friendly dispositions. That's one of the things I love about Huskies and Labs--along with the fact that they're terrific with children (and grandchildren). On the other hand, I fell in love with all the German Shepherds and Stephen's Rotties. In spite of my fear of dogs, I don't hesitate to walk up to these breeds when I come upon them in public. Probably because I understand their temperaments, quirks, and body language.

Beth and Eska

The best thing about Canines is the unconditional love they offer. No one--not my kids, husband, parents, or best friend--has EVER met me at the front door, wiggling with barely contained excitement simply because I arrived home. Ditto when I get up in the morning. Delaney and Charlotte sleep 5 feet away from the bed, yet each morning they nearly wiggle themselves out of their fur saying good morning.

What do you like best about Canines?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

B is for Beth

On day 2 of the A to Z Blogging Challenge, I'm faced with writing two blog posts based on the letter "B." I never run out of topics when it comes to writing and wrote the B Blogpost for my Author Exchange Blog first. As I thought about this blogpost, I couldn't get my mind off Beth. No other "B" words jumped out at me. So, here goes...

Beth is my oldest daughter. If I'd had my way, she'd have been called Elizabeth and we'd be talking about her next week. Unfortunately, I haven't always gotten my way. But I did with Beth.

Throughout my pregnancy, I heard a multitude of stories about how you could predict the gender of the unborn child. (This was 34 years ago, folks.) From the size and shape of my Bulging stomach to my food cravings. My mother and I were the only people who believed Beth would be a girl.

She was Born in March after a very long laBor, most of which I don't recall because what I really remember about that day is how happy I was. Beth was perfect. From her tiny little toes to her perfect disposition.

And today, 33 years later, although I should be describing her with "B" words, I still think she's perfect. She possess a quirky sense of humor: dry, sarcastic, and just a Bit off. She zips off one-liners that have me rolling on the floor, howling. Bone--there's a "B" word. She doesn't have a nasty Bone in her body and she's incredibly generous.

She's the mother of two little girls, one of whom has a name that begins with "B" and Both of whom are as perfect as their mother--in different ways. (Although my oldest granddaughter's personality has me calling her Beth because it's so similar to her mother's at that age.)  You know how each of your kids touches you in a special way? How, whenever you hear their names, something distinctive and unique, pops into your mind or elicits a particular response?

Well, whenever I think of Beth, I smile. Simply put, she makes me happy.

Friday, April 1, 2011

A to Z Challenge

April, my favorite month, has been chosen for the A to Z Blogging Challenge. Nearly 1,000 bloggers have joined the challenge to blog every day in April (except for Sundays) and to use a different alphabet letter as their themes for the blog posts. (For more info, click here or click on the image at the top of the left sidebar.)

I've accepted the challenge on my Author Exchange Blog and will be focusing on themes pertaining to writers and authors over there. Here, however, I've decided to simply free associate and blog about whatever strikes my fancy ... based on the letter of the day, that is.

A is for April, which really is my favorite month. I'll have to tell you why some other time, however, because none of the reasons have to do with the letter "A." Sorry. (Not.)

A is also the shortest word in the English language, along with the word I which is a lovely subject but one that must also be discussed on another day.

Personally, the letter A has never been one of my favorites. First of all, it's a vowel and I prefer consonants. Secondly, it's not real exciting. How many riveting words can you think of that begin with A? I can't think of any.

What about A foods? Apples, apple brown betty, anise, anisette... That's it, I can't think of any more.

And the only A profession that springs to mind is Accountant. Not that accountants aren't necessary and even extremely helpful at times. But they don't inspire excitement in me ... unless it's April 14th and I'm in desperate need. Not exactly my favorite kind of excitement.

I guess And is a pretty good A word. It joins people and things and sentences. Although you're not supposed to begin sentences with and, I do it all the time. Probably because it's a good A word.

Oh ... wait! There IS a really good A word. An excellent A word, in fact. Unfortunately, it and its derivatives can't be used in polite company. But it's great to sit on.

Monday, March 21, 2011

What are the 9 Fundamentals for Professional Success?

My publisher, NorLights Press, is promoting me on their blog by sharing clues about the 9 Fundamentals
for Professional Success.

Here's Fundamental #4, with its clue:

Knowledge is essential in today’s business world.

Here’s the fourth clue: Curiosity and creativity are important elements of knowledge; they allow a person to take something that works, and shape it into a new and innovative creation that outperforms its previous incarnation. Technology has dramatically changed the way people communicate and do business. The Internet has not only breathed new life into the way we do business, it has also forced old and familiar traditions into retirement. The newer generations embrace different philosophies than the older generations do; the blending of the generations in the workplace creates a wonderful discordant harmony.

To learn what the other eight fundamentals are, complete with their own individual clues, visit:

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Why am I Stylish?

My blogging buddy, Bill Kirton, claims I'm deserving of the Stylish Blogger Award. I don't know what I did to earn this prestigious award but am grateful for any bit of promotion or notice. I do wish, however, that I had a cool picture on my website like he has on his website. (I suspect that if I were a guy, and a crime writer, his photo would do me quite well.)

Anyway, as a stylish blogger, I'm supposed to tell you 7 things about moi that you never knew. Coming up with 7 things you didn't know isn't tough (I do have a few secrets) but coming up with 7 interesting things you didn't know is another story. I'll give it my best shot:
  1. I love Miss Piggy, Maxine, and sarcasm--which is at odds with my passive nature and sweet personality, but that's just how things go sometimes.
  2. Until I went to school, my best friend was Jimmy. Do you think it matters that he was imaginary?
  3. Me, the current owner of two canines (a lab mix and a German Shepherd mix) and past owner of two purebred Rottweilers, is afraid of dogs. Petrified is more like it if they're dogs I haven't formed a relationship with and they come running at me--even with their tails wagging.
  4. I'm afraid of the dark. Especially outside the house and in the basement. When I take Delaney out for his nightly walk, I won't go more than 20 feet from the house ... and I always have my cell phone in my pocket.
  5. I fully expect to hit the bestseller list someday. (Which one, you ask? I don't care!)
  6. I hate wearing clothes and only do so to avoid being arrested and laughed at.
  7. I am a firm believer that a woman's shoes and handbag should match. (And if she's wearing a belt, that should match, too.)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Two weeks without Internet Access

My best friend and I set out by car from Missoula, Montana on February 22nd and proceeded to drive 2,751 miles to North Attleboro, Massachusetts.

At 11 years old, my big, black dog served as protector and companion as we drove through 13 states in five 10-hour days. I learned two very important things about Delaney during the trip: (1) he doesn't care if I choose not to wear make-up in public (even though I desperately need it) and (2) like me, he actually prefers to drive without the radio on.

I'll be spending the next couple of months in Massachusetts with my family and have had a hectic two weeks. It's tough to answer e-mail, conduct business, and promote your books when you don't have Internet access on a regular basis.

Each of the motels I stayed at during my trek had wireless connections--so I was able to use my laptop to handle essential work--but not having access to my computer and the myriad files and the e-mail program I use was a pain. My computer is set up at my sister's house (where I'm living), but she doesn't have Internet access ... yet. We're getting that tomorrow.

In Montana, I wouldn't have had to wait a week for an appointment for the setup. Then again, although Montana has fewer than 1,000,000 people versus the nearly 7,000,000 people in Massachusetts, none of those people are my three kids, two granddaughters, sister, or father. I've greatly enjoyed seeing each of them this past week--whenever I want!

My parents and the four of us kids moved to Massachusetts when I was 11 years old. I lived here until 7 years ago when my husband and I moved to Montana. (For those of you with enquiring minds, that totals nearly 40 years.) Why, then, I'm wondering, do the people now have accents? Sure, when we first moved to MA from New York, I noticed the Boston in everyone's speech. Over time, however, the oddness of it disappeared. Well, now it's back!

And there are a LOT more people than I've become accustomed to and WAY MORE cars on the road than I recall from 7 short years ago. On the other hand, it's great to be able to share lunch with old friends (two women I worked with 30 years ago), hug my granddog, eat a home-cooked meal prepared by 81 year-old Dad, serve as chauffeur for my sister and son (who each had car “issues” this week), chat with my two adorable granddaughters (who each, in different ways, are so much like their wonderful mother), prepare for a trip to Boston to visit with my youngest daughter (who travelled to see me my first day here!), secure computer technical advice from my favorite son-in-law, and get acquainted with my future daughter-in-law.

I thought I’d be going nuts without Internet access and the ability to publish blog posts, Facebook comments, Tweets, and answer 100+ e-mails each day. Well, I’m not. (Then again, I have been periodically running out with the laptop to spots with wireless access. Good thing I like to drink A LOT of tea!)

Technology is great, but nothing beats family. What (or who) do YOU like better than your Internet access?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Humor - What's So Funny About It?

Have you ever found yourself being dead serious but other people think you're funny as hell? Or, what's even worse: you're trying to be funny and no one laughs? Ouch! As a writer, I find myself trying to find balance between these two extremes because ... well, they epitomize my life.

One of the finest personality characteristics a person can possess (in my humble opinion) is a terrific sense of humor. It's the major reason why, when asked what historical figure I'd most want to meet, I choose Mark Twain. Have you ever read his short story, The Diary of Adam and Eve? It is the funniest thing I ever read--and may be one of the most poignant, as well.

Why, I wonder, do I find him so darned funny? He's dead! I never listened to him speak or watched his facial expressions. On the other hand, although I listened to, and watched, the Three Stooges, David Letterman, and Chevy Chase. None of these men ever made me laugh. Go figure.
I didn't have much of a sense of humor when I was a kid. In fact, my parents would probably be so [un]kind as to say I didn't have one at all. I was sensitive, you see. Cried if you looked at me cross-eyed. Which my brothers did all the time ... just to make me cry. I suspect they're part of the reason I didn't have an SOH.

It's BBQ sauce ... what did YOU think it was?
I acquired a sense of humor in my late teens. (Probably because that's when I started getting over myself. Puberty was a thing of the past and, along with it, my affinity for crying and, to some degree, drama.) Unfortunately, I've never acquired the ability to tell a joke--on purpose, that is. I always forget the punch line. On the other hand, I'll be standing in front of 30 people conducting an insurance seminar and people will howl with laughter because of something I said.  Something I meant. Something I meant--seriously. THEY think I'm hilarious. I think I'm tyring to make a point. If I did make a point, and they got it, and laughed along with it, I guess that's a good thing. Right?

One of the funniest people I know personally is my oldest daughter. That girl was born funny. Just hearing her laugh makes me laugh. I remember her telling a joke at a family gathering when she was in 4th grade. Her big blue eyes sparkled with suppressed laughter when she told the joke--you could tell she really got a kick out of knowing the punch line and knowing everyone was going to laugh when she shared it. I don't remember the whole joke. But it's about a string who walks into a bar. (That alone cracks me up: a 10 year-old telling a joke about anything that happens in a bar.) The string asks for a drink and a bar patron comments about the messy condition this string happens to be in. Questions and answers are exchanged, I don't even remember if the string gets his drink, but the punch line is delivered after someone asks the string a final question.  I do remember this punch line--because of the way Beth giggled like hell after she delivered it: "No, I'm afraid not." (Messy string = frayed knot.) 
I have a friend who is a humor expert, Lois McElravy of Lessons from Lois, and she's explained all kinds of technical stuff about what makes us laugh and why we should laugh. Despite my intellectual understanding of laughter and humor, I still don't understand--emotionally--why one thing cracks me up and something else leaves me feeling untouched.

Do you think our appreciation for humor is tied to our personalities? Our preferences? Our parents? Do I enjoy sarcastic humor because my mother was sarcastic? Do I only sometimes "get" and laugh at British humor because I'm not British?

What do you think is so funny about humor?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Rant About Apostrophes

Okay. I've had it. I can't go anywhere, and I mean anywhere, without seeing all kinds of people misusing apostrophes: In the newspaper, in advertisements, on Facebook and Linked In, and on slates hanging outside front doors, for Pete's sake!

Listen up, people, because I'm going to give you a lesson. Once. Apostrophes are used for the following major purposes: (1) To indicate one or more letters have been omitted, as in a contraction: don't (the "o" is missing); and (2) To indicate possession, as in Linda's rant on apostrophes.

There are other reasons to use apostrophes, but they are all related to the preceding. So, how do I see apostrophes being misused? Let me count the ways:
  • I heard that song in the 1970's. What's the omitted letter? Where is the possession? It should be the 1970s.
  • The slate outside your front door says The Faulkner's. If you want the sign to indicate that the house belongs to the Faulkners (i.e., possession), I guess this is okay. But if you want the sign to indicate that two or more people named Faulkner live in the house, the slate should say The Faulkners - as in the plural of a singular Faulkner. (Each of us is exceptionally singular, by the way.)
  • Merry Christmas from the Smith's: Bert, Bertha, Bertie, and Bertina. NO APOSTROPHE! The Smiths is the plural of a singular Smith. 4 Smiths = plural; 1 Smith = singular. The Christmas message isn't about possession.
Now that you get the idea, please report misused apostrophes by commenting here. Maybe we can eradicate the damned nuisances.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Am I a Workaholic? Are You?

I've always worked at jobs I enjoyed because, when I quit enjoying them, I quit. Period. No more job.

I enjoyed working in the insurance industry and I enjoy writing. I especially enjoy writing. In fact, it's safe to say I LOVE writing and all it entails. It doesn't feel like work. Not that selling insurance, or consulting, or being an insurance education provider was harder than it was enjoyable, but I always knew I was working--even when it was fun.

Writing. That's a different story. There's nothing I don't like about writing. In fact, as I cracked the whip [on myself] Friday to come up with a schedule, I had a blast. Sure, I've done a little goofing off in the six weeks since I sold my insurance agency.  You know, I stopped what I was doing (several times a day) to play with the kitties and puppies or to converse with Pete the parrot about stuff that was a bit too intellectual for the felines and canines. Or I spent an hour on the phone with one of my friends or one of my kids. Or I played Solitaire on the computer. Oh, and I have completed three freelance projects during these six weeks.

When I buckled under and attacked my new schedule, it took me about an hour to decide whether I wanted to do my freelance contract (work) writing in the morning or the afternoon. And whether I'd schedule this many, or that many, hours for work on my WIP (a romantic suspense). Oh, and where I'd fit in the daily time to work on my outline/proposal for the 2nd book in the Taking the Mystery Out series.

It wasn't until Saturday, when I actually began following the schedule, that I realized it entailed 7 (yes, seven) days. No days off. Yes, I'd allowed myself two blocks of personal time between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. each day, but still...  I think I need to re-evaluate.

I worked 10 and 12 hour days when I owned my insurance agency. Now that I'm not spending 40+ hours a week doing that, and I'm having fun writing, why am I still scheduling 60+ hours of non-personal time into my week? Sure, it's writing. So why doesn't it feel like work?

My daughter thinks the answer is simple: Workaholism. I don't think I'm addicted to work. Yes, maybe I feel compelled to be doing stuff, but I'm always doing stuff I enjoy. And I take time off. See the coyote in the picture my husband took? I spent at least 11 minutes on Sunday watching him trek across the back yard, looking over his shoulder, and then watching his pursuer (maybe a lovelorn female ... the second coyote was a bit smaller than our handsome hero, above) when he/she arrived on the scene 2 minutes later.

Because I take breaks from my writing to eat, watch wildlife, talk on the phone, play with the critters, walk outside with the puppies, that means I'm not a workaholic. Right?

Wrong? You're saying I'm wrong? Okay. I'll consider you might be right. But only if you give me a good reason ... or six.

Friday, February 11, 2011

How Do You Come Up With GOOD Ideas?

 Sometimes, even for those of us who are comfortable spending a lot of time in our right brains, it's difficult to come up with a GOOD idea. It's like sifting through my mother's old button box to come up with exactly the perfect button: it can't be one of those clear ones with the four little holes because they're [pardon the cliche] a dime a dozen.

Sure, we come up with ideas--but they're mediocre. Or as the late Nancy Bulk (aka Dee Holmes) once explained in a writing workshop she conducted 20 years ago, they're the same ideas other people come up with. As in: our readers are going to spot what's going to happen two seconds into the scene.

Based on Nancy's excellent advice, whenever I'm plotting or searching for a GOOD idea, I use the 10 item rule. I'll grab a pen and paper and cluster (i.e., brainstorm or free-associate) to come up with a scene, or some dialogue, or character motivation that will knock my readers' socks off.

This is how it works. Let's say my heroine is in her house, alone, at night, and we know the stalker's coming to get her. How can the stalker get into the house without her knowing and then scare the pants off her?
  1. He'll use a key he stole from her purse or beneath the flowerpot outside the back door.
  2. He'll cut through the screen in the spare bedroom.
  3. He'll sneak in through the bulkhead door in the basement.
  4. He'll climb a tree in the back yard, spider-walk across the roof, and get in through the attic vent.
  5. He'll knock on her door, claiming to need to use the phone because his car broke down.
  6. He'll make a bunch of noise out in the back yard so her dog barks. When she lets the dog out, he temporarily immobilizes the dog. When she goes out in the yard to see why the dog doesn't respond, he sneaks into the house.
I've just run out of quick and easy responses. Now I have to put my thinking cap on to come with another idea. Which means that none of these is going to knock the socks off my readers ... because they came easily to me. If they came easily to me, guess who else will they come easily to? Right. My readers.

So where do YOUR good ideas come from? Can you give me numbers 7 through 10?

[photo credit:]

Monday, February 7, 2011

Talking About Attitude...

If this is your glass, is it half-full or half-empty?

I talked about Attitude over at my blog for Taking the Mystery Out of Business earlier today ...

Thursday, February 3, 2011

University of Montana's School Business gives a great review to Taking the Mystery Out of Business

Yes, Clueless is a dangerous place to be! That’s why regardless of whether someone is a budding entrepreneur, a new graduate just getting started, or an experienced professional, Linda’s book is a must read! For those who haven’t run a business or managed people, it might save their career or their business. For those who’ve already been at it for a while, it’s a gentle reminder of important concepts and good business practices. Her customer service stories and principles are outstanding illustrations of what to do and not do.

The way Linda writes makes reading her book enjoyable and memorable – which makes it very useful as well. Her examples help make it real for newbies so they don’t have to learn the hard way and gently reminds veteran business managers, as well. Linda’s book really is an arsenal of tools and resources to help managers and their businesses succeed. I can see myself referring back to the book regularly--I’ve been at this a while!

Janel Queen, Director of Career Advancement, School of Business, University of Montana

Monday, January 31, 2011

Thank You!

Thanks to all who braved the blinding snow in Missoula on Sunday to join me at my book signing for Taking the Mystery Out of Business.

Despite the snowstorm, we had a wonderful turnout - as I had yesterday at the Missoula Businesswomen's Network's 6th Annual Women's Symposium.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

I'm Just Loving These Reviews

May I share the lovely news? Taking the Mystery Out of Business just received its second 5-star review in 2 days. I can't emphasize how terrific it is to know that other people receive a benefit from the sharing of the lessons I've learned.

Here's what the reviewer had to say:

This business book "delivers the goods" exactly as promised. I've seen textbooks that weigh in at 20 pounds and contain the same information, but in less palatable form. As a current business owner, I discovered ideas and concepts I wish I'd known from the start.

  • Who will benefit from Faulkner's book? Anyone who's considering a business venture. The seven scenarios of why businesses fail (page 37) are worth the cost of the book.
  • Anyone who operates a business and needs to increase income or cut costs.
  • Managers and employees who want to excel and grow.
  • Experienced professionals who need a refresher course.
  • Business students who want to master the basics without spending $140 on a giant textbook.
You can't go wrong -- this book is worth the money!
To view the review on Amazon, click here.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Woo hoo, 5-star review!

5.0 out of 5 stars - Do more, earn more, and enjoy more with your small business, January 27, 2011

Alain Burrese, top 1,000 reviewer on Amazon, gave Taking the Mystery Out of Business a 5-star review today!

Hop on over to my blog for the Taking the Mystery Out series of books to check it out:

Sunday, January 23, 2011

What NOT to do Before your TV Interview

As smart as some of us think we are, God has a way of allowing us enough rope to either hang ourselves or ... embarrass ourselves into humility.

Take me, for example.  I've been interviewed on television twice before: once when Second Time Around was released in 2009 and once back in around 1989, just before I became president of the New England Chapter of RWA.  On both previous occasions, I was nervous.  Nah, that's not the right word.  Panicked is more like it.  Only in a good and happy sense, of course.

The first two times, I told all my friends and family--well in advance, just when my interview would be aired and how they could view it.  I did the same this time.  Only this time, I also plastered everything all over Facebook, Twitter, and Linked In.  You know, like I'm supposed to do:  use social media to market myself and my new book, Taking the Mystery Out of Business.

The first two times, I allowed MORE than enough time to drive to the TV station.  I did the same this time.  Only this time, I made one, teeny, tiny mistake:  I GOT THE DAMNED INTERVIEW TIME WRONG.

As I was pulling off the highway at 6:15 a.m.--two minutes from the TV station and a full fifteen minutes early, mind you, I got a call on my cell phone from the TV producer.  She wanted to know where I was, because I was due at the TV station at 6 a.m.--fifteen minutes BEFORE.  She also wanted to know if I could get there in 5 minutes, which is when my interview was supposed to air.

I said I could get there in 2 minutes - which I did:  Thank God for the early hour and no traffic.  I managed to slip onto the set and get hooked up to the microphone with about 90 seconds to spare.  (No puffing after that sprint, either!)  My interviewer, Monte Turner, leaned over to me and asked, "What kind of business person are you that you're late to your TV interview?"

He was smiling, and said it in a kidding voice but, believe me, I didn't think he was funny.  (He probably wasn't laughing on the inside, either, even though we know each other and have done business together!)  If I'd had time to think about it, I'd would have been mortified.  The humiliation set in after I left the TV studio.

Yeesh!  I'm lucky they didn't tell me to take a hike.  I learned, once again, that no matter how confident you feel, no matter how often you've done something, no matter how much time you think you have, don't take any of that for granted.  These folks were kind enough to give me free publicity and I gave them nothing but an anxiety attack.

Oh, and a couple of free copies of my book.  It's the least I could do, right?

Here's the link to the interview, in case you want to check it out to see if my pounding pulse was really visible:

Friday, January 21, 2011

I'm Interviewed on KECI TV's Montana Today Show

Thanks to Monte Turner and Megan Angelo for their graciousness this morning during my visit to the Montana Today show. 

To view the 3-minute interview, click here:

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Woo Hoo, Great Review!

I'm thrilled!  My first review for Taking the Mystery Out of Business is in!

Maryann Miller--editor, journalist, and columnist--has posted her review of TMoB on her blog today.

In part, this is what she said, "While the book is aimed for those who are full-time business people, there are things a writer can learn to deal with the business side of publishing ... Some of the topics that I found most helpful were having the right mental attitude, relationships, organization, and time management ... I highly recommend this book for all writers. Linda has the background and expertise to be totally credible, and the book is written in a comfortable, easy to understand style."

You can check out the entire review at Its Not All Gravy and you can learn more about Maryann at her website.

Friday, January 14, 2011


My crime writing buddy, Bill Kirton, is now writing children's books as Jack Rosse.  This is a perfect example of a writer writing what he knows - he's been telling stories to his grandkids for years.  Then again, Bill writes all kinds of stuff.  Maybe when I get to be as old as he is, I can write in forty-seven different genres...

Anyway, Stanley the grumpy fairy is hilarious.

Purchase on Amazon

You can also check Jack/Bill at these places:

Bill's website

Tuesday, January 11, 2011