The Final Spalding Flower Parade

They say all good things must come to an end. For the town of Spalding in Lincolnshire, UK, a good thing has come to an end. 2013 is the last and final year for The Spalding Flower Parade. Due to the lack of funding, the popular annual parade will not be returning. The parade started over 50 years ago to celebrate the beautiful tulips grown in the area. People far and wide come to see the elaborate parade floats at the ...

John Doe

One of the benefits of being an artist is that it allows me to play God. The world might not obey my commands but when I paint anything is possible. I can defy gravity and place waterfalls where they couldn’t possibly exist, and I can set more than one sun in the sky to illuminate different areas of my composition. I have total control over my pictorial world. The power can make my head spin.This painting harbors a secret. It ...

Picture This: Moments In The Snow…

“Advice is like snow; the softer it falls, the longer it dwells upon, and the deeper it sinks into, the mind.”  Samuel Taylor Coleridge Picture this: Captured Snowy Moments via eof Picture this: Captured Moments in the Snow #1 via eof The call came at 5:30am one morning, school will be closed and the kids can stay home and indulge in whatever their hearts desired. “Can they come stay at your house for a change?” Phina asked the recorded female voice… “I mean, with all the school ...

How to Divide Perennials

Dividing is the process of lifting an established, often crowded perennial out of the ground and creating smaller, more manageable plants. To keep your garden looking its best in the spring, large, dense perennials should be divided into smaller plants. Dividing plants may seem like a lot of work, but this will keep your plants healthy and attractive! This extra bit of work will give the plants room to breathe and grow. In addition, it will also help plants bloom more prolifically, ...

A wanderer in the time of longing – a short story

It was a time of longing, a time of sweet anticipation.  Summer was drawing to a close, tucking the soft rolling landscape away.  The orchard was heavy with russets and damsons, the baskets had been cleaned in readiness and were waiting for him to return. Early in the morning, when the carpet of dew was still perfect and sparkling, I heard the music.  I went to the window to watch for him, the horse slowed and turned in to the yard, ...

Plant Profile: Tuberose

Tuberose (Polianthes) is one of the most pleasing, fragrant plants you can have in your garden. Because of the enticing aroma this plant is perfect for planting near your door, patio area or anywhere where people congregate in your garden. This is a South American flower however because of its intoxicating scent it has been cultivated in Southern France for centuries for the perfume industry. FYI – just one oz of the essential oil will cost you $600 or more! Classified for ...

Baby Bunnies Born in a Flower Pot

  Six adorable baby bunnies were discovered last week by Jeanne Smith of Detroit Lakes. As the volunteer gardener, she was watering the planters when she noticed something strange in the planter. At first she thought it was a mouse or a rat, but upon closer inspection, she realized they were baby bunnies. Laying in the soil, beneath the shade of the flowers laid baby bunnies so young, they didn’t even have their eyes open. The mother rabbit was nowhere to been seen. ...

Flash Fiction

Today I’m submitting Flash Fiction for the guys at Dude Write, a great site worth checking out if you haven’t already. I’ve never attempted Flash Fiction before and the dudes have set some rules. First, no more than five hundred words, a stretch for anyone with “chatterbox” in their name—I’ve managed to keep my word count to 498. Second, the first sentence must be: Never one to turn down a dare…. I’ve based this story on a piece I wrote ...

So Beautiful Is Paul Simon

Photo image by Steve Jurvetson* Last spring my husband and I bought a copy of Paul Simon’s latest CD, So Beautiful or So What. Gary didn’t have time to listen to it right away, so I was with my own thoughts for the whole experience. The lone time resulted in an aha moment for this non-music-oriented consumer. One of the few CDs I’ve truly enjoyed in the past has been Simon’s Graceland. I have also enjoyed portions of his CD Surprise. Imagine ...

Best Animated Short Film

Have you seen “The Fantastic Flying books of Mr. Morris Lessmore”? It took the win last night at the Academy Awards for Best Animated Short Film. A dear friend of mine just posted the YouTube link to her Facebook page for all her book-loving publisher friends, of which I am one. I pass the video along to you here (below). If you take the fifteen minutes required to watch it, you will be glad you did. This gem of a short ...

Book Review: Spark An Entrepreneurial Fire

“The difference between try and triumph is a little umph.” ~ Anonymous I didn’t have a lot of disposable cash as a teenager growing up simply because my parents both had lower middle class jobs and five kids to support. To further confound the problem, my parents forbid me from having a paper route because they didn’t want to end up having to deliver the papers themselves which is understandable. Teens Are Having Trouble Finding Minimum Wage Jobs As such, I mostly relied on seasonal ...

5 Components of Character

Today’s guest post comes courtesy of an outstanding writing friend of mine, Michael Holmes. Mike is a blogger and speaker who heads the Simple Strategies for Startups community. If you’d like to submit a guest post here are the guidelines. =========================== If there’s any lesson we can learn from Penn State, it’s this: character is infinitely more important than career. Why?  It’s simple. Whatever we build is built on the bedrock of our character. If this bedrock is not undergirded by sound principles and truth everything on it, in ...

Completely Naked

You are standing naked at the edge of a cool river, on a moonlit summer’s night, and dipping a hesitant toe into the chilly bath. Little by little you immerse yourself into the waiting flow until you are weightless, moving rhythmically with the current, your legs kicking through the silky atmosphere, arms pushing and slicing, saturating every part of you, until you are one with the river, baptized and immersed into something much bigger than you are, and you are ...

10 Women I’d Like to Have a Glass of Wine With

I’ve noticed several blogs recently that have posted “10 Women I’d Like to Have a Glass of Wine With,” and I’ve developed such a list myself now.  My mother, Barbara Burnham Rutter, who died two weeks after I turned eighteen. I’d love to catch her up on how things have gone for me. I might leave out a few stories, just to keep the conversation on an even keel. My grandmother, Mazie VanderWyk Burnham, who died on a Christmas day while, thirty miles away, ...

My On-Air Debate With a CBS Radio Host…

Talk Radio Host Tommy Mischke On Thursday, January 6th I had the opportunity to be interviewed by news/talk show host Tommy Mischke on WCCO 830AM – the 50,000 watt, CBS talk radio affiliate in Minneapolis - about my book A Question of Faith. Because of the station’s strong signal, the “Mischke at Midnight” program can be heard in 22 states. The entire interview with me was roughly 30 minutes long and at times it got heated in the congeanel, feisty manner, that’s akin to a ...

Book Marketing, Part 7

Book Marketing, Part 7

Welcome to another look at book marketing as performed by trailers. The first one is an inside look at the making of a cover image, this one for Elizabeth Hoyt’s latest romance book, Scandalous Desires. The next two trailers use humor as their hooks–one for the book Crap at My Parents’ House by Joel Dovev (Caution: includes off-color humor), and one for John Grisham’s latest, The Litigators. Enjoy, and think last-minute seasonal gifts! Making a Romance Book Cover Crap at My Parents’ ...

Tor Constantino - The Daily Retort

A topical blog that focuses on issues of faith, family, finance and fitness. I have more than 20 years experience as a former journalist and current PR practitioner. Additionally, I'm a father, husband, marathoner, writer and believer.

7 Questions With an Author: Frank Viola

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Frank is a highly-sought speaker and an incredibly prolific writer with 16 published books so far. His web blog frankviola.org is one of the Top 10 Christian blogs on the Internet. His latest work is a collaboration with Internet rock stars Mike Morrell and Michelle Shaeffer, which is title Buzz: The Book, a primer on what it takes to build and sustain buzz for a service, product, idea or brand. …

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A Good Master And A Greater Revelation

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Jason Clark is a singer/songwriter, author, speaker, and pastor. Jason’s passion is to know the love of God more each day. He lives to see a generation step into their identity as sons and daughters of the King and establish His Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. He and his wife, Karen, live in North Carolina with their three children. …

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7 Questions With an Author: Jeff Goins

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Blogger, author and speaker – Jeff Goins Here’s the latest installment of my ongoing “7 Questions With an Author…” series. I’m thrilled about today’s interview because it features a truly gifted writer – who’s also a friend – Jeff Goins. Jeff is an accomplished blogger, sought-after speaker and best-selling author. Originally from the Chicago suburbs, he graduated from Illinois …

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7 Questions With an Author: Angela Johnson

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Author, speaker and business owner – Angela Johnson Here is the latest installment in my “7 Questions With an Author:….” series. Today’s featured writer is Angela Johnson. Angela obtained a bachelor’s degree in Literature in 1996 from University of Houston-Clear Lake. After working in mid-level management with a major phone company, she started her career as a Farmers Insurance …

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4 Life-Changing Reasons Why You Should Have a Baby Journal

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“…I don’t think it means what you think it means” – Inigo Montoya, From the Princess Bride There is a bit of confusion it would seem, in some of the more common expressions around parenthood. Before the birth of our son, my wife and I would always hear the comment: “Our child is the center of our …

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Trombone Arms…really?!?

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I grew up in a house jammed with music. Or drums, anyway. My dad was a drummer, so these instruments were part of the living room furniture, and a part of me. In fourth grade it was finally time to join the band. My classmates and I lined up to select our weapons of choice. “But you …

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5 Reasons To Go On A Mission Trip With Your Family

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Stolpe family in Guatemala… We ministered to several families in need. And we helped missionaries as they searched out opportunities to expand their ministry in Guatemala. There are many stories and interactions …

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