Sunday, October 12, 2014

October 10th, 11th & 12th Challenge

Hi, it’s Christina –

My computer or my modem have been having issues these past few days, so I haven’t been online. I haven’t done anything to remedy the situation, I haven’t really had the time, but it seems to have fixed itself. I have been writing my blog, even though I wasn’t able to post it, so today you are going to get a monster blog. At least this time I kept it chronological so you won’t have to read from the bottom up. Today’s post is mostly going to be pictures, so Facebook folks, you are probably better off just going right to my blog page. Oh, and I only gave you one writing challenge instead of three.


Hi, it’s Christina –

Good Morning! I love my husband, really I do, but that does not mean I do not want to choke him from time to time. This is one of those times. He is such a pain in my behind sometimes.

He got hurt at work yesterday, more than likely a torn calf muscle. Do you think he called his boss last night to tell him what happened? NO. Do you think he would let me take him to the hospital last night to get it checked out? NO. Do you think he would stay home from work today to rest? NO. Wouldn’t you want to strangle him too?

Not his leg, but close
ARGH! This whole getting old thing stinks. He didn’t slip. He didn’t fall. He didn’t twist or turn wrong. He was simply climbing up a ladder, like he does almost every day, and he must have let his heel drop instead of staying up on the balls of his feet. That’s all it took. Now he can barely walk. His leg is all swollen and bruised. Yet, he won’t go and have it checked out. MEN!

Whatever, he’s a grown man. If he chooses to be a dunce, what can I really do? I know he wasn’t thrilled about having to help me all day tomorrow at the Collingswood Book Festival, but I think his method of getting out of the commitment was a bit extreme, don’t you?

On a more positive note, I am going to have a special treat today. At one, I am meeting a friend of mine who I haven’t seen in eight years. We lost touch when she moved away, but then, quite by accident, she ran into Paulie at QuikChek. She gave him her number, and I call her as soon as he gave it to me.

Linda and I worked together at a real estate office a hundred years ago, and her youngest, Kristi, and my oldest, PJ are the same age. She was also Dani’s babysitter when Dani was an infant, Lysa’s too. Needless to say, we go back a long way. It’s going to be nice to see her again.

Hopefully, my stomach will calm down enough for me to actually enjoy my lunch. I think between the stress of my hubby getting hurt, the stress over attending this huge festival, and the added stress of now having to do it without Paulie’s help, set my stomach off. I’m hoping that’s all it is and not a bug. That would be the last thing I need.

So the weather forecast for tomorrow looks bleak. It is supposed to rain all day. That means the Collingswood Book Festival will be indoors at the Collingswood High School and not out on the street. They say the one other time they had to have it indoors, there was still a good turnout. I guess we’ll see.

Okay, I still have some stuff to do before my lunch date, so I should boogie. I hope you have a wonderful day, and happy writing!


Hi, it’s Christina –

Good Morning! The internet connection is acting up, so you never got yesterday’s post. You may not get today’s either because I only have a few minutes to write this morning, so I won’t have time to play around with it.

It’s 4:00 am, and even though I should be getting my butt in the shower, I desperately needed a few minutes with my coffee. Even if it wasn’t such a ridiculous hour, I probably still would have issues waking up this morning. It’s pouring. Do you have trouble waking up on rainy days? I sure do.

So yesterday didn’t go exactly as I had hoped. I got to the cafĂ©, where I was meeting Linda for lunch, right at one. Since I had no clue what kind of car she drove, I went inside to see if she was there. I was a little nervous because I had not seen her in so long, I was afraid we wouldn’t recognize each other. So as I’m scanning the tables, I spot another friend of mine sitting with her daughter. She sees me as well, and waves me over.

I’m thinking, this is great. I haven’t seen Dottie in way too long, and it will be nice to catch up with her until Linda, or Dottie’s and Christine’s food arrive. (I wasn’t going to sit there while they ate.) So we’re there happily chatting away, and I’m eyeing every person who walks into the place. At quarter after, I send Linda a text – “Are you coming???”, then continue my conversation with Dottie and Christine.

Their food arrives, so I get up to leave, but they insisted I stay. Since the alternative is standing outside, looking like a total looser, I overrode my manners and stayed. At one thirty, I tried calling Linda. I got “the mailbox is full” message.

I waited another fifteen minutes. Dottie and Christine were done with their lunch, and I had things to do, so I left. She never called me for the rest of the day, so I have no idea what happened.

Okay, coffee’s done and I need to get a move on. I’m SO not looking forward to the 68 mile drive, in the rain, in the dark, to an area I don’t know. Wish me luck!

I hope you have a fantastic day, and happy writing!


Hi, it’s Christina -

Good Morning! The pictures and the captions are of all the wonderful people I met yesterday.

This is Larry Deibert, I couldn't have
asked for a better neighbor. He ended
up skootching down a little so we
could fit Keith between us.
Well I hope your Saturday went better than mine. Driving down to Collingswood, in the pouring rain, in the dark, was a NIGHTMARE. I couldn’t see the lines on the road, in the construction area, on Route 95. I don’t think anyone else could either. It was scary.

My new friends Louis Romano and
his lovely wife MaryLynn.
So Dani and I get there by 7:05, and in a light rain we unload all our junk at the front entrance to the High School, then run down the street to WaWa to pick up breakfast and lunch. We get back fifteen minutes later, and park in the rear of the High School. We were lucky we found a spot.

These lovely ladies (in front) are twins.
Alicia and Tameka McKenzie, sweet
girls I hope to see again.
Now it’s pouring again, so even though it’s one more thing to carry, I grab the golf umbrella. It won’t open. Somehow it got bent and now it won’t open all the way. Wonderful. Just what I needed. I love looking like a drowned rat while meeting the public.

My friends K. Edwin Fritz and his
beautiful  wife Corrina.
Dani and I make a mad dash for the door, and you guessed it, I landed ankle deep in a puddle. Hey, at least I didn’t end up neck deep, right? We put our coffees, lunch, Dani’s backpack and my purse down in a corner, behind a door, and then go to the front of the school to retrieve the rest of our junk – two chairs, a table, “rollie” our cooler on wheels, a plastic bin of books, and a bin of table decorations. Oh did I mention, you can’t get between the gym and the front of the school without going outside. Thankfully one of the guys working the event volunteered to help us, or we really would have been in trouble.
My friend Mary Ellen Springsteen was
at the end of our row.

We wound our way back to the gymnasium and started to set up. That’s when I realized my banner is still in the trunk of my car. Back out into the rain. At this point my usually sunny disposition is as absent as the sun itself. I’m wet, I’m cold, and because my feet are completely soaked, I’m miserable. I HATE having wet feet. Why I didn’t bring extra shoes, I don’t know. It would have made too much sense.

My friend Karen Scheuer was a few
tables down from me.
We finally get everything set up, I walk around to the front of the table, and I don’t like the way it looks. Dani was about to kill me when I said we had to do it all again. I finally get it where I like it, and since we still had an hour before they opened the doors, I decided to go to the bathroom to use their hand dryer to try and dry my shoes. Boy didn’t I look like a dork, standing barefoot in the bathroom, holding my shoes under the dryer. I couldn’t get they totally dry, but they were better.

Award winning children's author
Donna McDine was sitting across
from me. We really hit it off.
Next came six excruciating hours. My buddy Keith was at the table next to me. He had gone to Collingswood last year when the weather was good and the festival was held outside like it was supposed to be. He said the crowd was less than a third of what they had last year. We were in the room where the “featured authors” were set up. They were one row over from us, and even they weren’t drawing a crowd. It was pathetic.

Also had time to chat with
Barbara Ann Gareis. We
might be together again at
Canterbury Tales. 
At two I was about to poke my eyes out from boredom, so I decided to go to the front of my table and hand out bookmarks. I figured if they weren’t in a shopping mood then, perhaps at some later date they would actually look at my bookmark, and possible look into my books further. I wasn’t pushing my books, simply smiling and offering them a bookmark. Can you believe some people were nasty about it? Honest, a simple “no thank you” would have sufficed. Sheesh!

enough to give me a raven's
feather to us for my next book
cover if I can't get a picture.
Okay, I have rambled on long enough considering you have three days’ worth of posts. Besides, I have to go start getting ready to leave. I’ll be at Canterbury Tales Forever in Peddler’s Village again today. I had no intention of doing another signing today; I knew I would be wrecked after Collingswood, but Wayne put me up on his schedule by mistake. He has been so good to me over the past year, I just couldn’t leave him hanging. So, off to Pennsylvania I go.

I hope you have an exceptional day, and happy writing!

Your Next Challenge:

Use the following: Pick a genre out of your norm (ie: if you write horror, do romance; or if you write Sci-Fi, do non-fiction). Your subject: a boat on the water

You have ten minutes (be honest). There is no right or wrong, just write. Spelling and punctuation don’t count, and NO ONE is allowed to criticize what someone else has written. Go.