Wednesday, July 4, 2018

On the 4th

Wishing everyone a safe and happy Independence Day 

 And a special thanks to all who serve to defend and preserve our Land.


Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Boots in the House and Saying Goodbye

Any Marine family knows "boots in the house" means your Marine is home, usually from someplace far away. Our grandson Drake is home right now, actually at his parents' home but they live very close and he's been in and out of here so I claim "boots", too.  Forgive me, I have to include a picture of my son and my grandson taken at church last Sunday.

If Drake looks a little tired, it's because he drove cross-country, 30+ hours straight through, to be at church that day. Our Pastor was retiring and that was his last service. I think it says something about both of them that a 19 year old would do that.

Pastor Ken Kirk has been our pastor for seven years. He's an extraordinary man. A retired Army Chaplain, he was a perfect fit for a congregation that is made up of many veterans, retired military, and some on active duty. As a two-time cancer survivor, he knows about pain and fear, and faith and hope. He's all about joy and loves to laugh, and people couldn't help but laugh along with him. He helped me though losing my Dad and when anyone was sick, he was with them at the hospital every day. He believes in love, kindness, and acceptance, and he taught us to be a blessing to others. He's a man worth driving 30+ hours to see one last time. 

Pastor Ken recognizes Drake in front of the congregation during his final service.

Pastor Ken ended every service with these words: "God loves you...just the way you are." I'm going to miss hearing that every Sunday. I'm going to miss him. God speed, Pastor Ken. And God bless.

I know it's a little late on Wednesday but it's still hump day so I have to include this.

Yeah, it's a Marine thing. 

Thought this was funny, I did.

I could hear Yoda's voice here and it cracked me up.

Okay, full disclosure - the following is a blond joke. Yes, I know they're not politically correct but I was blond before I was gray so I'm claiming blond rights. 

Bob walked into a sports bar around 9:58 p.m. He sat down next to a blonde at the bar and stared up at the TV. The 10 p.m. news was coming on.
The news crew was covering the story of a man preparing to jump off the ledge of a large building. The blonde looked at Bob and said, “Do you think he’ll jump?”
Bob said, “You know, I bet he’ll jump.”
The blonde replied, “Well, I bet he won’t.”
Bob placed a $20 bill on the bar and said, “You’re on!” Just as the blonde placed her money on the bar, the guy on the ledge did a swan dive off the building, falling to his death.
The blonde was very upset, but willingly handed her $20 to Bob. “Fair’s fair. Here’s your money.”
Bob replied, “I can’t take your money. I saw this earlier on the 5 p.m. news, so I knew he would jump.”
The blonde replied, “I did, too, but I didn’t think he’d do it again.”
Bob took the money.

Aw, come on. You know you laughed.

And speaking of "aw" it is. 

Yeah. Me, too. 

Okay, I've got to wrap this up so I can get it posted while we're still on hump day.  I haven't quite gotten into a good posting routine yet so bear with me if I'm a little off schedule. 

Hope I tickled your funny bone and helped you over the mid-week hump.  See you next week.

Thought for Today: (stolen from Pastor Ken)

God loves you...just the way you are.


Wednesday, June 6, 2018

The Strange Thing About Short Stories...

Happy Hump Day

Yeah, I've missed a few every one so far in 2018...but it seemed like I should have some grand re-opening plan when I started posting again and I couldn't come up with one, so I just kept putting it off.

I actually joined Procrastinators Anonymous but they kept postponing the meetings.

But I did something recently that may be of interest to anyone who writes short stories, so I decided to share this.

I'd never been much into short stories - writing them or reading them - until my local writers group started doing public readings at local bookstores a few years back. We'd pick a theme and everyone would write a about thousand words and ten of the stories would be selected for the author to read aloud to whoever happened to come. I started doing pieces to read and discovered I liked short stories - writing them and reading/listening to them.

Several years passed before I found my short groove, mostly writing stories for anthologies since I was used to writing to a theme, and in 2017 I had seven stories published in various anthologies. I knew there wasn't any money to speak of in being part of an anthology but there was another downside I wasn't expecting. Invisibility.

Someone would hear I had a short story in an anthology and they'd ask, "Can I find it on Amazon?" Well, yes...and no. Most anthology listings on Amazon only include the name of the editor(s) and maybe a few of the authors. All the contributing authors' names are listed in the details but not in Amazon's author know, the thing people can search on. I'm published in nine books currently available on Amazon but if you try searching there for LD Masterson, there are no matches.

Then someone told me about Amazon Author Central. Authors with published work available on Amazon can set up an author page gathering all their work in one place, complete with a picture and a bio and links to blogs, websites, social media, etc. Cool, huh? So I set one up. The Author Central support people verified that I was actually in the books I wanted to include and, bingo, I had an author page. Now I'd be searchable on Amazon, right? Nope. The nice support people failed to mention that having a page doesn't add you to "the list". If I had a book published under my name that was available on Amazon, I'd be on the list and someone could find that book, click on my name and find my author page from there but otherwise, I still don't exist.

The only thing Amazon does offer is a direct link URL to my author page that I can add to my email signature, my blog (there it is at the top of the right sidebar) and other social media, my business cards, etc.  But when someone asks, "Can I find you on Amazon?", the best I can do is tell them, "Sure. It's" and hope they have a good memory.

It's a little thing but downright frustrating, you know?

On a more cheery note, I had a short story included in the June 4 issue of Kings River Life Magazine.  That won't be on Amazon but you can read it here:

And since a hump day post has to have a funny, here's one that seems appropriate...

Good ol' Snoopy.

 And, of course, we need an "aw"...

Come on, you know you said it. 

That's it for today. Now I wait to see if anyone still stops by here. If you do, please say hi. It'll make my day.

Bonus Funny for Today:

Blog posts aren't the only thing I procrastinate on.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Seasons Greetings

I haven't been around much lately but I couldn't let the week go by without wishing everyone a

Merry Christmas,

Happy Holidays,

and a

Very Happy New Year.

See you in 2018.


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Twitter Chat Party for DAY OF THE DARK (and some Hump Day Funnies)

Got a little blatant self-promo going on this morning, but it's also for the fabulous authors I was lucky enough to share these pages with.  Stop by our Twitter chat party tonight. It'll be fun AND there's a givaway!

You really should check out this book. The eclipse is over but the great stories linger on. 

And since it's Wednesday and I had a request...

Here's a Hump Day joke...

A young ventriloquist is doing his comedy act at a bar in a small town. He’s going through his usual run of “dumb blonde” jokes, when a blond woman in the fourth row stands on her chair and starts shouting.

“I’ve heard just about enough of your denigrating blond jokes, jerk. What makes you think you can stereotype women that way? What does the color of a woman’s hair have to do with her worth as a human being?  It’s guys like you who keep women like me from being respected at work and in the community and from reaching our full potential as a person because you and your kind continue to perpetuate discrimination against not only blondes, but women in general, all in the name of humor.”

Flustered, the ventriloquist begins to apologize, when the blonde says:

“You stay out of this, Mister! I’m talking to that little jerk on your knee!”

 ... a political funny... 

 ...and an "aw".


 Hope you enjoyed these and that you'll stop by the chat party this evening. 

Have a great week.

Question for Today:

Do twins ever realize that one of them is unplanned? 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Lost in the Wilderness of Disinterest

I'm not sure how many of my blog buddies will come by to see this post, considering my repeated disappearing acts this year, but I wanted to post an explanation, of sorts, for my latest absence.

You may remember at the time of my last post on May 31, I was up to my ears in big family events My two eldest grandkids had just graduated from high school. My granddaughter Gretchen was on her way to the high school lacrosse State Championships. And my grandson Drake was leaving for Marine Corps boot camp.

On June 3, the Indian Hill High Girls Lacrosse team did, in fact, win the State Championship. 

I watched the game on TV because I was doing the final setting up for Drake's combination graduation and 'leaving for boot camp' party, which we were hosting at our house. It was a fun, busy, crazy week.

Then on Sunday, we drove Drake to the recruiter station and he got on the bus.

 I went home, finished the after party clean up, gave away the leftover food, and turned my attention to the coming week.

Finally, I had all the time in the world to write, to blog, to work on those overdue critiques, to start re-designing my woefully out of date web page.

I didn't want to.

It wasn't that I was dealing with writer's block or some creative dry spell. I just had no interest. I would tell myself to go be productive and the answer came back, "Why?"

And that's where I've been the past couple months.  All of my June goals for the month because my July goals, became my August goals. I had two shorts stories released in really nice anthologies in July and had to force myself to put a post on Facebook about them. (I did just add them to my right side bar, if you're interested.)  I even skipped the last three monthly meetings of my local writers' group. The only writing I've done since May is my letters to cell phones at Marine boot camp, snail mail only.

What does it mean? Am I done? Is my sub-conscious telling me my writing days are over? Or am I just in a funk? I honestly don't know.

I want to say I'll be back next week, with Hump Day funnies or maybe something new, but I'm not sure. I hope so. I think.

You always got an "aw" picture with your funnies. This probably isn't an "aw" for anyone but me but it's all I have at the moment. I grabbed it in a screen shot from a video on the Parris Island Marine Corps website.  The camera only landed on him for a couple seconds but that's all I needed.

I hope this wasn't too boring or too "woe is me".  I just wanted to share what's going on and why I haven't been around. I'm going to try visit everyone over the next few days. In the meantime, have a great week.

Thought for Today:

To every thing there is a season...

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Thank You!

I'm afraid this is another non-humpday post. I just wanted to thank everyone for your prayers and good wishes for my daughter-in-law Kim. After three weeks of her not being able to keep anything down, Kim's doctors' finally found the cause of her illness and were able to start her on an effective medication. Within 24 hours she was able to drink water, the next day she was on full liquids, and by the third day she was tolerating soft foods and able to go home. 

I know it was the prayers of so many people asking God to guide Kim's doctors' to the right diagnosis that made all the difference. Thank you so much. 

But I'm taking one more week off my regular blog schedule to focus on family. We've got so much important stuff going on.

Last Friday, my granddaughter Gretchen graduated from high school
and grandson Drake graduated on Saturday.

(I was so grateful their graduations didn't fall on the same day.)  

This coming weekend has another couple of biggies. 

On Saturday, Gretchen's lacrosse team is playing for the
 State Championship! 
Go Braves!

And Sunday is the day I've been dreading for almost a year.

Drake leaves for the Marine Corps Boot Camp
 at Parris Island

I'm very proud and a little terrified 
but mostly it's going to be so hard to see him go.

So if I've managed to stop bawling by next Wednesday, 
I'll be back with your hump day funnies.
And I'll get back to visiting everyone's blogs again.

Oh, in case you're wondering why no tears for Gretchen leaving...
it's not time yet. 
She won't leave for college until August. 

Thanks again for all your support for Kim. 

See you next week.