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Trying to get the lyrics right…

Trying to Figure Out The Words to a Song?

Don’t you hate it when you listen to a song for a number of times,  but still having a hard time figuring out the lyrics, and asking yourself if it’s an alien language that you need to decipher? Or, you know what is even worse? When someone is getting the lyrics wrong and they don’t believe you when you try to correct them. Maybe there could be an app for that?

That would be great. But I have bad news. There was a study comparing how well two professional transcriptionists would compete against, the top of the line in voice transcription computer, the IBM Watson. Also known as “the smartest machine on Earth.” Their mission; accurately record four songs that were from country Taylor Swift singing “I Knew You Were Trouble,” Rock with Van Halen jamming “Runnin With the Devil,” a classic Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer,” and back to country with Brad Paisley’s “Ticks.”

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I love Raisinets…

Insecure Writers Support Group

IWSG 2016 BADGE

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time.

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Irish Dance in Bucks County Pa…

With the world-wide success of Riverdance and more recently Lord of the Dance, Irish dancing schools in Ireland and North America are filling up with young students wanting to learn the dancing styles that brought Jean Butler and Michael Flatley international fame.

Brittany Schmid saw Riverdance when she was four-years-old and fell in love. Her mother signed her up for classes, she went on to compete and win and now her dream of opening her own dance school is coming true!

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Media Kits…

Writing Wednesday

Typewriter Pink

Wednesday is the day I share what I have learned on my journey from writing to publication, marketing and writing and publishing again. If you have any questions please feel free to leave them in the comments and I will do my best to answer them. If you have any tips please share them with us…

Media Kits

Once you become a published author you have no idea who may be stalking visiting your website. If a member of the media visits looking for information on you and/ or your book what will they find? Professional bloggers should have media kits too.

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Random Acts of Kindness for Caregivers…

When my mother-in-law became ill and could no longer be home alone, there was no question I would leave my job and care for her. When my father was diagnosed with cancer there was no doubt I would fly or drive from Pennsylvania to Florida as often as possible to help my mother with his care. From the minute my father was put into Hospice care until he passed away I personally cared for him.

Dad and Me

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Sharpening my pencils…

Writing Wednesday

Typewriter Pink

Wednesday is the day I share what I have learned on my journey from writing to publication, marketing and writing and publishing again. If you have any questions please feel free to leave them in the comments and I will do my best to answer them. If you have any tips please share them with us…

NaNoWriMo Preparations

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My Life in Song…

My friend Ruth asked, “Want to do a sing-a-long with me on Friday? I am going to post a play list of 4 or 5 songs that represent my life as it is right now.” My brain healthy twist is [and believe me Ruth knows a thing or two about brain health] to find the YouTube versions of each song with lyrics on the screen so readers (singers) can read along as they sing and bathe their brains with an amazing bath of feel good chemicals but you may take any approach you like.”

Of course I want to participate…

So this is my life as it is today in song…

Music

Because there have been production delays with The Stranger In My Recliner that are out of my control and because I am having some health issues it feels like I am fighting for control. I made this my ring tone and I want to listen to the song instead of answering the phone:

https://youtu.be/sQhGnNEFtPk

Because on our first date we went to the beach, we were married on that beach, my stepson’s ashes are on that beach, we spend as much time as we can there and because this was our wedding song it is always on my playlist:

https://youtu.be/chZm_Dhj47Q

Music 3

This song is on my play list and I listen to it often because it reminds me how far I have come from being abused and bullied:

https://youtu.be/n43nACiVWpM

This is the song I listen to when I miss my younger brother, David (which is pretty much every day.) He was murdered in a random road rage attack when he was 26-years –old. He had a wife and a 13-month-old son. I also lost one of my best friends on my birthday last year, she was only 44. I also think of my husband’s son John who died of suicide at 17.

https://youtu.be/lLvFzLlQ3Js

 

That’s my playlist for today! Thanks for singing along.

For some brain games check out Ruth’s Cranium Crunches:

http://www.craniumcrunches.com

 

 

 

 

Girlfriends, Showers and Horses…

Friday Fragments are bits and pieces of your week that are usually brief; too short for a stand-alone post, but too good to discard. Collect humorous observations, “Heard” items, other small gems and put them together in a Friday Fragments post. Then leave a link to your Friday Fragments post and link back to our host Mrs. 4444 at Half-Past Kissin’ Time.

Friday Fragments new logo

It’s not too late to join in on the fun and we would love to have you!

Just when I started to have a glimmer of hope that my Phillies might be turning a corner and starting to click because they won six games in a row they went and lost two games. It’s a bit too early to be looking forward to the Eagles and Tim Tebow so maybe tonight…

Phillies ball

Did you watch the Madmen finale? It took me until the next morning to get it. I think it was because I was so sad to see it end.

We started to watch Halt and Catch Fire and by the 3rd episode we were hooked. The 2nd season starts next week, can’t wait.

https://youtu.be/qJN2JN3_N_4

The past few years I have volunteered to wrap up the gift baskets for fun charity event, The Girlfriend Gala. It is an annual celebration of our girlfriends and a fundraiser. The host of the Happy Hour Radio Show, author, speaker and friend, Annmarie Kelly founded the annual celebration several years ago. When I first attended the event I was brand new to this county and only barely knew two people at the event. This year I knew almost everyone and still met four amazing women that I hope will become good friends before next year. Do you have an event in your area that celebrates girlfriends?

Gift Bags for Gala Gift Baskets for Gala

This year’s benefactor was the Phil*Hanna Fund, which was started by another friend, Pam Mariani. The fund was started to memorialize Pam’s mother Philomena and her birth mother, Hanna. The fund is a semi-annual scholarship for a non-traditional nursing student at Delaware County Community College.

The comedy portion of the event was provided by elder attorney, brand new author, speaker and friend the hysterical Cathy Sikorski. If you are looking for something different, (and very funny for a change) to read check out Cathy’s book, Showering with Nana.

http://www.amazon.com/Showering-With-Nana-Confessions-Caregiver/dp/0692440410

Author Cathy Sikorski Cover

What a difference a few years can make. I was so homesick and lonely and here I am blessed with the best girlfriends a woman could ask for.

This weekend I am going to attend the Devon Horse Show for the first-time as an adult with the most fabulous girlfriends. Yikes, I really need a hat. What do you have planned for this holiday weekend?

Have a fabulous and blessed weekend,

Doreen

 

 

Mad Fragments…

Friday Fragments are bits and pieces of your week that are usually brief; too short for a stand-alone post, but too good to discard. Collect humorous observations, “Heard” items, other small gems and put them together in a Friday Fragments post. Then leave a link to your Friday Fragments post and link back to our host Mrs. 4444 at Half-Past Kissin’ Time.

Friday Fragments logo

It’s not too late to join in on the fun and we would love to have you!

During the month of April I participated in and was a helper with the A-Z Blogging Challenge. I planned on posting my Friday Fragments during the month too but the best intentions…

A to Z Survivor Badge

There was a terrible Amtrak train crash not far from us, in Philadelphia. The train was coming from Washington D.C. and headed to N.Y.C. Apparently the engineer took a radical curve at 106 mph. The limit is 50 mph for that curve. Eight people lost their lives and more than one-hundred were injured, some critically. I know so many people that take that train, often so it was terrifying. The two people I knew that happened to be riding that night are okay, thank God.

When my favorite weather woman said it was going to be a pollen-tsunami, she wasn’t kidding. My eyes are so itchy and red. I take Allegra but am going to have to try something else because it just isn’t working anymore.

Pollen

I had a health scare, actually it is still happening. Something was ‘falling out of me’ and it was extremely painful. My primary doctor gave me an antibiotic, called it pelvic prolapsed and sent me to a gyn. The nurse-practitioner stopped the exam and was leaving the room. I asked her to say something and she said she needed to get the doctor because she had no idea what it was. I panicked. Of course I did. The doctor came in and introduced himself and proceeded to examine (push on, press and prod whatever was bulging causing me to see stars.) He had no idea. I insisted he tell me something so he said, “I think you are going to be fine. It might be varicose veins.” I needed to see a gyn-urologist as soon as possible. The soonest appointment I could get was June 10. I went to the ER. They admitted me, treated the pain ran a bunch of tests and said it was indeed pelvic congestion, (Varicose veins in the pelvic area.) I won’t see the vein doctor till June 2 so I am home resting as much as possible. I will most likely have an embolization done, soon I hope.

Never a dull moment.

The Stranger in My Recliner is in production. The art department told me I would have cover mock-ups by the end of the month. This book is finally going to be born. I am so excited and cannot wait to share Sophie’s story with everyone. I am hoping it at least starts a few conversations about ending homelessness. The synopsis is up there under books. I need to have a list of reviewers by the end of the month. If you are interested in a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review, please e-mail me and give me your address and let me know if you prefer paperback or digital copy. Thank you!

We are a little more than a month away from our crazy, fun annual beach week with all of our kids and grandkids. I am praying my health crisis doesn’t ruin it for us.

Beach Chairs

Is it spring in your neighborhood yet? We are bouncing between the 80’s and the 50’s. It is SO much better than 20J

Are you watching Madmen? What do you think?

Madmen

I am obsessed lately with Arranged, Married at First Sight and Newlyweds, the First Year. I just find these shows fascinating. What are you watching?

Have a blessed weekend,

Doreen

The Caregiver…

I belong to a writer’s group, Lower Buck’s creative Explorers. It is such an inspiring and talented group. The latest published author in our group is, Maria Casale. I had the privilege of listening to her read excerpts from her new novel The Caregiver as she wrote, rewrote and edited. Maria’s writing is lyrical, just beautiful. I am looking forward to reading the ‘finished’ product.

The Author:

Author Maria Casale

The Book:

Author book Caregiver

When Lillian Thomas is hired to care for cantankerous, bedridden Ellen Wilmot, it is Ellen’s beautiful, strangely familiar old house that immediately claims her devotion. But when Ellen’s daughter and granddaughter come to stay, Lillian finds herself drawn into the family’s loves, lies and resentments. And she faces a terrible choice…. The Caregiver is a story of mothers and daughters, the perils of obsession and what it means to be “the help.”

The Interview:

Where did you grow up?

I was born in Oklahoma, so when I was little I said “Hey!” instead of “Hi,” but I mostly grew up in Trenton, New Jersey.

Did you grow up in a home that promoted reading or writing?

Yes, my parents both loved to read.  My mother always had a book in her hand—even when she shouldn’t have had a hand free for it.  She had an elaborate system for reading while washing dishes.  She really fostered my love of reading and always gave me books—when I grew up and had to choose my own books I found it kind of overwhelming at first.  My parents were also very conscious of writing and very tough critics: when I had to write my first book report in fourth grade my father told me that the correct way to learn to do this was to read the New York Times Book Review section.  He was serious!

New York Times Book Review

Have you always wanted to write a book?

Maybe, in a vague kind of way.  I have always loved books.  If I had to choose between being a reader and being a writer, reader would definitely win.

For a long time I didn’t really think of myself as someone who could write a book.  When I was younger I wrote poetry.  I came in second in a school poetry contest and decided that was it.  I figured even someone who came in first had very little chance of making a life as a poet.  The person who came in second better just give up!  I really stopped writing then other than for school or work.  When I started writing a lot again in my thirties, I wrote a bunch of interconnected short stories, and then I got the idea for The Caregiver, and finished the first draft in ninety days.

Do you have any pre-writing rituals?

I can write anywhere, any time.  I just need a really nice pen and a spiral notebook (I’m a lefty so I need to write on something that lays flat in the middle).  When I don’t feel like writing I buy new pens and notebooks to coax myself.

sword pen

Did you map your story before writing or did you just let it flow?

The Caregiver was a let it flow project—I definitely found out what was going to happen as I went along.  I’ve written other projects with a little more mapping out ahead of time—just loose outlines, basically.  I don’t think I’m ever going to be one of those writers with story boards and reverse outlining and so forth.  That isn’t fun for me, and I know if I’m not having fun I won’t do it.  So I stick with a level of (dis)organization that lets me feel like writing is an adventure.

Do you have a dedicated writing space?

No.  I’ve made a pretty conscious choice to make writing portable.  Coffee shops, libraries, my dining room table, my bed—as long as I have a notebook, pen and sometimes my laptop, I’m good to go.

Do you have a day job?

Yes, and it requires me to write horrible, passive-voice bureaucratese!  I sometimes think this is some kind of special torture designed for novelists, or maybe just lovers of strong verbs.  I have great coworkers, though.

What are you writing now?

I’m working on a couple of projects at once, which happens fairly often (see disorganization, above).  My primary project is a novel called Snow Angel, about three cousins whose mothers are three sisters.  I’m interested in how patterns repeat and change down the generations.  And there are some family secrets, and a dead body.

What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink?

Irish Breakfast tea.

Tea 2

Your guilty TV pleasure?

X-Files reruns and Downton Abbey.

The Caregiver is available in paperback or Kindle format from Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Caregiver-Maria-Theresa-Casale/dp/1502420953/ref=sr_1_29_twi_2_pap?ie=UTF8&qid=1427819023&sr=8-29&keywords=caregiver

Maria blogs about reading and writing at http://bookwormrrriot.com/

Thank you Maria and thank you for reading,

Doreen

 

 

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