Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A New Year's Eve Reflection

Well, there's only a few hours left of 2013 and I'm feeling pensive, as I am prone to do on New Year's Eve.  What has this year meant to me?  Well, a lot.  I’ve lived through bad years before- 2010 stands as the worst.  And I’m grateful to have survived it because it makes years like this one stand out as really, really good by comparison.

I met a whole bunch of really amazing people in the blogosphere this year.  Largely through the A to Z challenge, but those connections led to hundreds of others.  I struggle to put into words how deeply this has affected me.  The amount of support, friendship and pure love that you all give out each and every day just stuns me.  It's one of the most nurturing communities I have ever had the privilege of being a part of and I am grateful for each and every one of you.

In addition to support this community has made me realize something.  That is that if I really wanted to, I could publish a book.

I've lived most of my life with an image of writers as famous or semi-famous pedestal dwellers.  People with multi-book contracts and agents managing book tours and fan clubs running websites devoted to them.  I.E. not REAL people.  So my dream of becoming an author was destined to remain just that- a dream.  Not something that could ever actually, you know- happen.

But the people I’ve met this year have made me realize that it can be done.  These blogging friends have full times jobs and husbands, wives, children, dogs.  They scramble to get the grocery shopping done and house clean and dinner made.  And yet, they are published authors.  Real people with real lives writing real books and putting them out for the world to read.

And they rely on the help of this fantastic community to assist them in spreading the word.  They share knowledge willingly so that other aspiring authors can avoid the mistakes they made.  They support and promote and offer critiques and host book tours and help in any way they can.  And they are amazingly nice every single step of the way.

It makes me think that if I do my part- write and edit and revise and finally birth something I want to put out into the world- they will be there to help me.  Because this community is amazing like that.

Which is why my single biggest writing goal for 2014 is to edit- in its entirety- one of my NaNo novels.  I’ve never done it before.  I used to excuse that by looking at all those famous authors I could never be.  I have no more excuses.  Thanks to you.

This year has also been a pretty big year for my career.  In July- after years of school, tens of thousands of dollars worth of student loans, more years of work, countless papers and even more after said papers were mysteriously lost in the bottom of a filing cabinet at the capitol building in Harrisburg and a whole lot of thank you notes and profuse praises for signing said papers- I FINALLY got my license.  My LPC.  The thing I’ve been working my whole damned career for.

And earlier this month that license finally landed me that really great job I’ve been fantasizing about for all these years.  I start in less than two weeks and I am so obscenely excited I struggle on a daily myself to keep myself from breaking into the Snoopy dance. 

I know that this job will be work and as such there will be a whole lot of things that I don’t like about it.  But I suspect- and I think there is real reason to suspect- that there will be a whole lot of things I do like about it.  And no matter what happens, it’s an opportunity.  I can make it great if I put in the work.  And I intend to.

On the home front, Dave and I celebrated our 8th anniversary this year.  He is my home, pure and simple.  I cannot imagine my life without him and I hope I’ll never have to.  And our little puppy Buddy celebrated his first birthday and survived major surgery we’d been delaying for months.  It was not a fun time for him but he got through it and now he is healthy, happy and pure joy.  He makes my life better each and every day.  I am blessed.

In other areas I also experienced a lot of growth.  I took on the role of manager for our karate tournament team.  It’s an added stress, for sure, but so far it’s been pretty rewarding.  And in just a few weeks I myself will be competing in my first non-home tournament.  I’m scared silly to be honest, but I think it’s going to trigger a lot of growth in me as a martial artist.  Life is about doing the things you’re afraid to do, after all.  I look forward to the challenge.

And I couldn’t conclude my recap of the year without again celebrating the birth of my best friend’s baby daughter.  I’ve known her for years and I’ve been telling her that when she started having kids I would be fun aunt Bev.  Well, I may not be all that fun yet since all I do is hold her and coo over how cute she is, but I look forward to many years of doing awesome things with her.  (I call dibs on trick-or-treating!^_^)  Kel- you have blessed my life, simply by living the life you want.  I am and will remain incredibly grateful to you!

2014 has a lot big goals- editing a novel, starting and excelling in a new job, competing in tournaments and managing travel for the team, testing for 3rd Dan and still making time for family and friends.  My plate will be full and I know it will be a challenge to utilize my time the right way.  But I am up the challenge.  2014 is going to ROCK!

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!  I wish you joy, love, prosperity and growth in everything you do and I look forward to sharing in those successes- both yours and mine- together.  Thank you.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Best Reads 2013

I wanted to get this up this weekend but I was a little ways away from finishing one of the books on this list and since I very much wanted to include it I decide to read through and delay my post.  I’m sorry I missed the posting this weekend but I will be making my way around to everyone on the list to share in the love of literature.

For those of you who didn’t post this weekend, let me take a minute to inform you that this bloghop is the wonderful creation of my dear friend John Wiswell over at The Bathroom Monologues.  John is one of the most well-versed people I know in terms of his extensive experience reading and loving literature and I don’t think I could identify a better person to host this run-down.  Please go visit him if you haven’t already, and read his list.

My final list consists of four books- two novels and two collections of short stories.  I’m doing it countdown-style leading up to my favorite book of the year at the bottom.  Full reviews can be found for all of these by clicking on the links provided.

I’ve been absolutely in love with Moore’s writing style ever since I picked up Bloodsucking Fiends a few years ago.  That book turned out to be the first in a trilogy that recounts, among other things, a love story between a young vampire named Jody and a young writer named Tommy.  While the primary focus they are by no means the only characters and every character, by the time this third book ended, had gotten ample screen time.  He jumps POV more frequently in this book than in any previous- multiple times in each chapter- but keeps it simple by giving you little headers for each cluster of pages so you know who’s head you’re in.  It absolutely worked and I loved that I got to see the world and the events through so many different people’s eyes.

Aside from Moore being-and I swear I’m not exaggerating here- the funniest author I’ve ever read he also brings a whole lot of heart to his characters.  They talk funny, for sure. Especially Abby Normal who mans the helm for the bulk of this book with her inimitable turn of phrase (such as “Oh my God, you’re like Obnoxious and Annoying had an ass baby!” for instance).  But they’ve all got heart and there are some surprisingly touching moments peppered throughout this tome that keep you aware that while hysterical the story is about a whole lot more than humor.  It was a beautiful end to a trilogy that I have absolutely adored over the years I’ve read it and will forever hold a special place in my heart.
Read the full review here.

I’ve been a huge fan of Gilbert ever since I finally broke down and read Eat, Pray, Love a few years back and this was my first time reading her fiction.  I was a little nervous about it- beloved memoir author does fiction?  What if she’s not good at fiction?  What if memoir is just her thing?  I was delighted to learn that those fears were unfounded and while I won’t say that her fiction is better than her memoir writing (cause I really do love her memoirs) I will say that I believe it is technically superior.

This was the most realistic dialogue I think I’ve ever read.  Her settings and physical descriptions are consistently poetic and just gorgeous.  And the complexities of the characters- their thoughts, motives and struggles are all starkly human and real.  In the end, the best part of reading this was that I got to fall in love all over again with an author who had already secured my adoration.
Read the full review here.

#2: Come to Me by Amy Bloom
This was my very first exposure to Amy Bloom’s writing and I fell over heels for her when I read it.  Much like Gilbert these stories were about humanity- the flaws, the mistakes, the ways we cope with tragedy and the unexpected results of that.  I won’t say that this was an easy read because most of these stories are downright heartbreaking- about broken families and relationships coming apart.  But they are also devastatingly beautiful. 

So many passages were works of art- just as deserving of a frame and a spot on a wall in a great museum as classic paintings and photographs.  My copy is riddled with highlighted passages that just astounded me with their complexity- rich, textured, poetic phrases that hung in my mind for days afterwards like a song.  I can’t think of anything else I’ve read that had the same impact on me.  Perhaps that’s why my Christmas wishlist was filled with more books by this author.  As since I received many of them as gifts you can bet she’ll be on my list again next year as I make my way through those.
Read the full review here.

Drum roll, please…
And my #1 read for 2013 is…

This book absolutely blew me away.  Steve Martin is a genius because he introduced me to one of my most beloved characters of all time: Daniel Pecan Cambridge.  Daniel is a quiet man.  So quiet, in fact, that few people even know of his existence.  There are a myriad of reasons for this but the number one cause is his crippling case of OCD which keeps him confined to a few block radius of his apartment.  At the beginning of the book he comes off as narcissistic- telling us of his incomprehensible intelligence and abilities.  It soon becomes clear, however, that he is telling us this in jest as he is one of the most self-deprecating people in literature.  I won’t say that he hates himself but he believes- and he uses some facts to back this up- that his lack of connection to other human beings is probably a really good thing for them.  It’s heartbreaking.

Thankfully, because at heart I’m a sucker for happy endings, things turn around for him over the course of the book.  But his emergence from the tiny corner of the world he’s painted himself into is so quiet, so small that you only know it’s happening because he tells you what the moments mean to him in hindsight.  I don’t have room here to get into the details of the truly brilliant ways in which Martin uses his words to create this new life for Daniel but suffice it to say that I was absolutely floored by them.  He is an astoundingly talented writer and I will definitely be reading more of him in the future.

But it is Daniel himself- the quiet man with a quiet heart- that makes this my number one read of the year. 
Read my full review here.

Thanks for reading my list of #bestreads2013.  Make sure you visit John's to see the full list of participants and read their lists- you might find your next great love.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Book Review: Bite Me

This was the third and final installment of my favorite comedic trilogy about vampires.  Granted, it's the only comedic trilogy about vampires I've ever read, but still- it was pretty great.

If you haven't read the first two books- Bloodsucking Fiends and You Suck- then you're missing out.  Not because you'd be that out of your depth if you just happened to pick this up as one of our MCs fills you in the bulk of the fun from the last two books (complete with a re-cap quiz) in the first chapter.  No, you' be missing out because the first two are just as good as this one and you'd be robbing yourself if you skipped them.

I've spoken before about my deep love of Christopher Moore.  I don't know anyone funnier than him in literature. This book, and subsequently the end of this story line, has assured him permanent residence in my heart.

It isn't just the humor- though I agree with the critic who called this a laugh-a-page book.  And isn't just the vaguely Whedon-esque way that he exposes us to the new villains and developments within his world, though again, you wouldn't be wrong for making that comparison.  No, it's the heart.  Christopher Moore's characters have just as much heart as they do hilarity and you can't help but fall madly in love with them with each new utterance, actions and conflict.

He's called the last two installments of this trilogy "A Love Story" because at heart, that's what the story is about.  Our young lovers Tommy, a writer, and Jody, a newly made vampire are in love.  And as great love stories go theirs is filled with just as much conflict, depth of feeling and intimacy as one could hope for.  I won't spoil the ending for you but suffice it to say that their love story felt very real in the end, even in the face of a city over-run with vampire cats and sword-wielding samurai.  And, it ended with both of the characters being true to themselves- and how many great love stories can say that?

Though Tommy and Jody are far from the most colorful characters in the book.  Everyone of them- even the Animals who only tend to get screen time as a group- are entertaining to the last.  Abby Normal, who serves as the primary narrator for our final story, is one of the most funny I've read and her vocabulary is absolutely unforgettable.  (For example: “Oh my God, you’re like Obnoxious and Annoying had an ass baby!”)  I'll never forget her.

Technically, Moore uses enough alliteration and poetic phrases to keep me respecting him while still keeping the narrative chock-full of silliness and laughs.  This novel isn't going to be winning any literary prizes, but that doesn't mean you can't love it.  And Moore shows his deep respect for words and they way they can define a person in the overall arch of one our MCs.  "I need the words, Jody.  It's who I am."  You'll have to read the whole story to find out what that means, exactly- and I highly suggest you do.

Because in the end, this was one of my favorite story arcs.  I would highly recommend it to anyone who loves Whedon, Vampires, San Fransisco or turkey-bowling.  Or, you know, anyone who really like a funny book.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Celebrate the Small Things- The Last Celebration of 2013

Hosted by the wonderful and lovely Viklit.  Make sure you stop by Scribblings or an Aspiring Author to visit and view the whole list of participants!

My celebrations this week are as you would expect:

50 States of Pray  I am very behind on visitng the participating bloggers (guess what I'll be doing all weekend) but it was still wonderful.  The collective energy of goodwill displayed on so many different blogs all across the country was trully heart-warming.  I know I say it a lot but I am consistently overwhelmed with what a wonderful community this is and so greateful to be a part of it.  And Mark deserves mad kudos for setting it up- thanks Mark!

Christmas was Wonderful  We do a three-pronged approrach to the holiday in my family.  Christmas Eve is spent with Dave's family in New Jersey where his Italian mother feeds us until we pass into a coma.  Christmas Day is spent with my family up in New York where we open presents and, of course, eat even more.  And the day after Christmas is spent back home in PA where we sleep late, exchange our gifts we got for each other and just enjoy not running around all crazy for the first time in the week.  It is utterly exhausting but so very wonderful and my life is so, so blessed.  I know how lucky I am to have so many wonderful people who care so deeply about me and I am grateful to be able to celebrate the holiday with them.

Best Reads 2013  My wonderful friend John over at The Bathroom Monologues hosts a yearly book share in which he asks us all to share our (you guessed it!) best reads of the year.  It kicks off tomorrow but as I'm a bit more than halfway through one I think I'll want to include on the list I may not be posting mine right away.  (Hopefully by Monday, though!)  If you'd like to sign up head over here and leave him a comment with your blog link so he can add you to the list.  It's a great way to share your love for the best books you've read this year and to find out which ones to add to your to-read list for next year.  Needless to say, I'm looking forward to it.

Barely time to catch your breath  While we are still knee-deep in stocking-candy and giddy over our gifts the end of the year is quickly creeping up on us.  New Years Eve is only a few short days away and for me that means more yummy food, fun sugar-fueled video gaming sessions with my sweetie (he got us a new Lego game for Christmas) and watching the Twilight Zone until our eyes bleed.  It's a signifcantly more laid-back holiday then the one just past and I'm totally looking forward to it.

I hope you all had a wonderful, joyous holiday and wish you all a very, very Happy New Year!  See you in 2014!  (Unless you come back for my #bestreads and end of the year reflections posts.  Which, of course, I want you to.  But if you're just a Friday goer I'll see you next year.  That just doesn't sound nearly as cool...)

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

50 States of Pray

This wonderfully thoughtful idea comes to us from the equally wonderful Mark Koopmans.  Most of us know Mark because of our experiences around the web where he is constantly supporting, promoting and encouraging fellow authors with his sincere kindness.  My thanks to Mark for yet another opportunity to share my love for this community.

So far as the fifty states go I'm here from Pennsylvania and I'm praying you all have a wonderful, bright holiday in the nearness of the ones you love.

When Mark asked us to post about our thoughts on the year and our hopes for next year I immediately focused in on this community.  This wonderfully giving, inspiring, nurturing community of writers who are constantly helping others out and pushing them forward in their own creative journeys.

I've written before about how utterly and devastatingly disconnected I was for the bulk of the time I'd had this blog.  Less than a year ago I was posting irregularly for an audience of (sometimes) a few close friends who read what I wrote simply because they are my friends.  Then came the discovery of blog hops and writing shares and the great A to Z Challenge.  Within less than a month I had tripled my followers and been exposed to more amazing authors than I could shake a stick at.

What really thrilled me about this community wasn't just how nice they are (Yeah, I'm talking about you- you're super nice!) but how invested they are in helping other authors.  There is literally never a time when someone (or more often a bunch of someones) isn't hosting a cover reveal or a book tour or promoting a friend who just got published or offering assistance in linking up to anything a new author may need.  You can't get further than a link away without finding someone who's helping out a writing buddy or a critique partner or a bloggy friend.  And you cannot escape the sheer love these wonderful people have for their comrades in words.  It is quite literally overwhelming.

So I'm saying Thank You for that.  For you all being who you are.  You make me believe that someday there'll be a book out there with my name on it as well- because I know that you will be there every step of the way towards that goal.  Thank you.  You all astound me.

Click on the link for the full list of participants.  It'll take us all a while to get around to them all since we're cooking, wrapping and traveling today, but I plan to do just that to say thank you to everyone in person.

And, of course, MERRY CHRISTMAS to you!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Celebrate the Small Things- Preparing for Christmas

It's Friday Celebration time with our dear host, Viklit.  As always, click the link to sign up and see the full list of all the awesome bloggers participating.

This week my celebrations are:
Christmas Cards!  That little guy is my dog, Buddy, and he's staring daggers at me for putting him in that reindeer costume.  One of the best parts of having a freakishly adorable and tiny little guy like him is that you can torture him with ridiculous costumes and there's not a damned thing he can do about it.  (I'm pretty sure there's a special place in hell reserved for people like me.)  At any rate, I walked into the post office on Wednesday with a stack of those cards and a tower of boxes containing home-baked Christmas cookies (which take me forever to make but are so worth it) destined for places all over the US.  Friends and relatives are going to be greeted by that when they fetch their mail over the next few days.  And that makes me giddy.

Christmas Parties!  We had our usual potluck at work yesterday and I ate so much I spent the rest of the afternoon in a near coma.  Tomorrow is the company-wide Christmas party where I will again be eating way too much.  And in case all that doesn't put me into a diabetic coma we've got our karate potluck scheduled for tomorrow night, complete with the most ridiculously fun version of Pollyanna gift-giving I've ever participated in.  Awesome.

Christmas!  It's only a few short days away and I will be spending those days wrapping gifts, baking up a storm and trying to soak in every bit of the wonderfulness this time of year can offer.  I hope to take a brief break to go see the new Hobbit (cause how freakin' amazing is that gonna be?!) but other than that I'm in full-on holiday mode.  The key to this time of year, I've learned, is to be as present in the moment as humanly possible.  I know that's a good thing to practice in general, but especially now when things have the potential to pass by in a whirlwind.  So I will do my absolute best to pick up all the sights, sounds, smells and feelings of this wonderful and wonderous holiday, and to be grateful for every single minute of it.

Happy Holidays!

(P.S.  Don't forget to hop on the web Chrstmas Eve for the 50 States of Pray group posting hosted by the amazingly thoughtful Mark Koopmans.  If there's anything to put you in the Christmas spirit, that's it!)

Friday, December 13, 2013

Celebrate the Small Things for December 13

Happy Friday, all!  Be sure to check out our hostess Viklit for the full list of celebrators!

My celebrations this week:

It's Official  I got my official offer letter, signed about a billion different forms for HR, scheduled trainings and put in my letter of resignation at my current job.  My co-workers are sad but happy for me and I think it worked out really nicely that I'll be able to celebrate the holidays with them, finish the year and then move on.  I will always be grateful for my time here- it's the best group of co-workers I've ever had and I'm going to enjoy my remaining time with them as much as humanly possible.

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas  Monday night I put on The Muppet Christmas Carol (which is, in case you didn't know, the best version of The Christmas Carol that was ever made), pulled out boxes from the basement and decorated the house.  My tree is brightening up the living room, I've got a wreath on my front door and the stockings are, in fact, hung by the chimney with care.  I've also got Christmas lights and garland up on my office walls at work and I've been listening to Christmas music on Pandora while writing up all my notes.  I think I needed to have everything settled with the job before really getting into the swing of things but I'm happy to be merry and festive now.

Snow!  Here in PA we got hit by two consecutive snowstorms followed by highs in the 20s for several days so the snow is sticking around and making me very happy when all those snow-themed Christmas songs play on the radio.  Last year we had no snow to speak of and for a person who loves snow that’s a sad state of affairs.  Granted, by the time we get hit with the next major storm they’re predicting I may be getting irked by sore shoulders while clearing off my car and shoveling- but for now I’m happy to see the winter wonderland everywhere I look.

Thank god for Amazon  Christmas shopping = done!  I don’t know why anyone goes to the mall.  Seriously.

And now, as always, hop along and spread the love!


Thursday, December 12, 2013

It's Blitz Day for Carolyn and Charmaine!

It's Blitz day for Carolyn Brown, author of The Protector series and Charmaine Clancy, author of My Zombie Dog and Dognapped.  Stop by their blogs to say hi!

As part of the festivites, I'm featuring a review I wrote for Charmaine's latest: Dognapped.  Read on to hear my thoughts.

Let me come right out and say it: I loved this book. Based on the premise alone I had high expectations for the level of adorableness that would be contained within its pages and I am happy to say that it did not disappoint.

What is the premise, you ask? 12 year-old Kitty Walker is a typical girl trying to find her way in a new town. Upon first arriving, her only friend is her miniature schnauzer, Spade (and maybe her little brother Matty, when he's not too busy bugging her). At her mother's urging she decides to enter Spade in a dog show and learn how to be a junior handler. It's here that a lost dog who is terribly ill leads Kitty nose-first into the biggest mystery of her burgeoning sleuth career.

This book was filled with fun, mystery, humor, thrill and heart and kept my interest easily engaged throughout. The language is easy enough that most school-aged children will find it an easy read and yet there were a number of passages where Charmaine demonstrates her ability to turn a phrase. There's a ton of subtle nuances that flesh out the characters we see and she manages to make the settings feel just as real. I don't read a lot of children's books but I get the feeling that subtle little highlights like that aren't the norm.

The real heart of this story, of course, is Kitty. Charmaine captured her voice perfectly. I was a 12 year-old girl once upon a time and I remember what it felt like to be jealous of my mother's work which kept her away from me or of my brother who stole all the attention. I remember my dad who managed to massively embarrass me without even trying and the way that adults treated me when they thought I had no idea what I was talking about. I remember that perfect girl in school who seemed to have everything and that boy who I secretly had a crush on. And I remember loving my dog more than anything else in the world and often feeling like my furry friend was the only one who really understood me.

Every emotion, thought, observation and question is spot-on and I can imagine a whole host of young girls relating to Kitty in an intimate way. This book will be a favorite in many a young library, I have no doubt.

It's also a great starter-novel for your mystery fans. Kitty follows in the footstep of the greats with her note-taking, keen observational skills and intrinsic need to question everything. And this story has it all- theft, mistaken identity, random notes, misdirection and plots to conceal the truth and even murder. While the action is thrilling it's not scary and I think younger kids will be just as safe reading this as older tweens.

All-in-all, I'd recommend it to a large audience because everyone can easily find something to love in here.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Cover Reveal: The Headhunters Race

Today I'm excited to be able to unveil to you the awesome new cover for Kimberly Afe's upcoming release: The Headhunters Race, coming January 3, 2014.  Read on to hear all about this exciting release and the amazing author behind it!

Sixteen-year-old Avene was sentenced to prison at thirteen for a crime she didn't commit. Now she has a chance to win her freedom back – if she enters the Headhunters Race. Second prize isn't so bad either, an upgrade to the Leisure Prison if you make it to the finish line. To win either prize, Avene and the other prisoners must navigate one hundred and fifty miles of dense forest, desert, and worst of all, cannibal territory.

With a mechanical collar timed to strangle the prisoners if they're not back in nine days, Avene allies herself with seventeen-year-old McCoy, another prisoner that insists on helping her at every turn and a boy she's trying hard not to fall for. Together they battle nature, other prisoners, and the timed death collars to win the coveted prize. But when Avene is tested with one deadly conflict after another, she realizes there is more at stake than winning her freedom – first she has to survive.

Author Bio

Kimberly is the mother of two awesome kids, wife of the nicest man in the world, and her dog's best friend. She works by day and writes middle grade and young adult science fiction and fantasy novels in her spare time. She lives with her family in the beautiful Sonoran Desert.

You can find her at:

Website          Goodreads         Twitter          Facebook          Blog

Please stop by Meetings with my Muse to say congrats to Kim if you haven't already and stay tuned next month for all the news about her book tour!  Congrats, Kim!

Monday, December 9, 2013

CheersFest 2.0 starring the one and only Arlee Bird!

Come one, come all and cheer on!  This year's cheer fest is hosted by the wonderful Mark Koopmans, Morgan Shamy, David Powers King, Stephen Tremp and, of course, Alex Cavanaugh.  Make sure you stop by and say thanks to everyone for leading the cheer!

This year's cheersfest is roasting the wonderful Arlee of Tossing it Out, creator of the A to Z Challenge and all-around awesome guy.  There are four questions, one flash fiction piece and a bonus caption about Lee today.  Check out the list below to see everyone participating.

Four questions for you to answer - keep the retorts short – (no longer than 20 words each):

Why did Lee come up with the A-Z Challenge?
Because one day simply wasn’t enough to celebrate his birthday, so he made it 26 days.

If someone dreams about being a juggler, what does it mean?
That their latent goals of joining the circus still lurk in their subconscious.

Is a post by Mr. Bird worth two in the bush?
I’d say it’s worth at least eight seeing as he has four active blogs at any point in time.

Who could play Lee in a documentary? (Living or dead.)
I gotta go with Paul Newman- I could see both the humor and the seriousness there.  Now if we can just find a way to resurrect him we can start shooting…

In +/- 100 words, (excluding the title) write flash fiction using all these prompts:

Bird, Juggler, Challenge, Brown Jacket, Tossing

The Inheritance

It was a rather innocuous- looking brown jacket with no distinguishing marks or other signs to alert you to its true nature.  But he knew his uncle better than that.  There was no telling what devious tricks may hidden inside.

He recalled watching the juggler as a child and being amazed when, in the middle of tossing three pins in an intricate hand-off he produced a bird from nowhere which flapped its wings in a frenzy over the heads of the audience before flying away. 

He observed it and wondered if he was up to challenge of continuing his legacy.

For Bonus Points:
In +/- 40 words, can you come up with a caption for Lee’s Facebook picture? 

Why, yes- this is my prom tux... why are you laughing?

I hope you've enjoyed my contribution to todays fun.  Make sure to say hello to the BlogMan himself today 
Then hop along to see everyone's cheers.  Congrats, Lee!