Friday, December 23, 2011

3 gifts for under a buck.

BFF Guide to IBC is an e-book I wrote when my very own best friend forever was diagnosed with Inflammatory Breast cancer in October. I researched the disease and share what I learned in this e-book. Currently its available only in Kindle on Amazon.

Momma, Booze and Sampson is a collection of short stories I had previously published in the Circle 8 Writers anthologies.  In this one, we have six short stories.

Sampson, the pet snake with an appetite for humans, Karma gets his bum of an owner.

A toast to Harry, where a female gets away with killing the guy she had murder another man for her.   

A single mom makes a deal with the devil to take care of her children!

In Plain sight, a patient with dementia creates havoc on the floor of the nursing home where he lives.  

Merry Christmas Darling is a nurse whose current patient is a man who ruined her live years ago. Will he make it through the night?

A Paisley Christmas is a short fantasy story of a princess who lives in two worlds.

 Cheaters never Prosper is a collection of three short stories. These are all about taking revenge on a cheating spouse or partner! This is over on smashwords so you can read in online or download it to nook, kindle or lots of formats!

~~Goals do not happen as life does. You must work hard to make goals a reality!~~

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Friday, December 16, 2011

My dad's greatest gift to me

My friend Rodney Southern wrote a blog post about what his father meant to him and it got me thinking that I need to do something like that. Three days after my dad celebrated his sixty- seventh birthday he had a massive stroke and in five days, he was gone. Those were the worst five days of my life and I am sure each one of my brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews and my children can tell you the same.  My mom would admit it too because she lost not only a husband of 49 years but also a friend she had spent more than half her life with.

I was blessed to spend 44 years, 2 months and seven days with him. Of those last seven days, it was the last five days were pure hell but in his passing; he gave me the greatest gift of all.  Please read this before you judge me.

My dad was the kind of man who worked hard and played hard. I remember him coming home from working third shift at the foundry and climbing into the school bus to take kids to school.  He would go home to sleep and wake up to get the kids and transport them home.  He and mom both worked very hard to make sure us kids had everything we needed.

My dad dropped out of high school to get married a few days before his seventeenth birthday, but you would never know that because he ended up being part owner of a multi-million dollar business. The greatest thing he ever did though was to create a living legacy to his family and all who knew him.

He always seemed to be giving of himself to whoever was in need. Plenty of times, I remember him fixing someone’s car, or telling him or her how to do it. He always seemed to have time for everyone, and rarely took time to himself.

When his grandchildren began coming 29 years ago, he began the tradition of giving them a chocolate bar at the age of two months. He wanted to be sure he was the first that did that, and that tradition carried on to his great grand babies.  That first grandchild started her own tradition when she could not say Grandpa; her version “Bumpa” would become his nickname for the other 22 grandchildren and all of the great grandchildren who had the pleasure of knowing him.  He spoiled them rotten and always had cookies for them when they would visit.  He would put them in the wagon that was attached to his lawn tractor and give them rides all over. 

If a grandchild needed or wanted anything, they told Bumpa and they got it.

My dad was a great man as you can tell.  He was patient, kind, helpful, true to his word, dedicated and brutally honest as needed. He taught me many things in life and gave me many gifts over the years. 

He taught me self-reliance when he held a chicken’s legs so that the head rested on a cinder block, and told me to swing the axe when I was ready.  He taught me how to do household repairs when he needed help around the house. When as a struggling single parent I told him I wanted to allow my house to go back, he simply said “Jo do not do that. You are strong and smart and will figure this out’. I figured it out and followed his example of working hard to do what was needed.  My house will be paid off within six and half years and I have paid on it solo for eleven years. My dad was a man full of wisdom and was always passing his wisdom to others. He was never pushy about it. He would gently guide you.  His wisdom is a gift I accepted but not all those gifts compare to his final gift.

 On November 22, 2002, my daughter lost her first daughter to what the doctors called a cord accident at 31 weeks. Every year on that day, I would cry, because Kylie was up there alone. Yes, she had my grandparents, but they never met my daughter so they would not be able to tell my granddaughter about her momma.   My dad knew I always had a hard time on that day over the years, and he would call on that day just to check on me. It was his way of saying, I love you and I care.

On November 17, 2010, my dad had a massive stroke. When they put him on hospice care that afternoon I was devastated as the entire family was.  Somehow, by the grace of God, my dad held on for the next five days. On November 22, as they were preparing to transfer him from the hospital to my parents home he slipped quietly away. It was very hard for the entire family, myself included.

I felt relief that his suffering was over as did my entire family. However, I was more relieved for a different reason, you see my dad hung on until the day my granddaughter passed. I was happy to know she was not alone, but I so heartbroken he was gone.  

I do not like to think of November 22, 2010 as the day my dad passed, I like to think of it as the day Kylieanne got Bumpa all to herself.  What a birthday gift she got. I am sure he is feeding her cookies and chocolate all the time. I am sure he is found the lawn tractor up there and has a wagon attached and is driving her around to show her the trees, flowers and animals.  I wonder if she hangs on every word as he tells her the stories of his youth and our youth.

To my dad,

Thank you for that final gift; you do not know how much it means to me. Dad you know I miss you a lot, and I always will.  Please take care of my Kylieanne and give her daily hugs from me until I can get up there and do it myself.  Let her know that amber and I love her as much as we love her siblings. I so wish I could have seen her smile, laugh and play. I miss you both so much and love you beyond words.

Love, Jo

You can read Rodney’s post, which inspired my post at this url

~~Goals do not happen as life does. You must work hard to make goals a reality!~~

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Friday, December 2, 2011

Local Flood Videos on Youtube

Playlist of 13 videos of flooding in down town Athens, Pennsylvania   these are live action videos  you hear local residents chatting in the background.  After the first, few videos you will see the flooding in the town from a boat as the officials do their tour.

This video shows the flooding that occurred, some are still shots and some are live action.  Downtown Athens, the music (rap) may put some people off. 2:14 length

We had waves lenght .57 seconds strong language alert

East Side-Sayre , PA

  video is 1.51 short and sweet.  This shows the damage, the person filming talks of the smell in the area.  Water is still present but has gone done.

Ulster is just south of us.   video is 8:28 minutes. This it live action taken in the vicinity of the Ulster Bridge  and Sheshequin.

Very nice video with folksy music showing still photographs of all the areas between Sayre and Towanda Pennsylvania  length 2:38

The following are towns  on the NY side of the border that also lay alongside the Susquehanna river.

Owego New York Flooding video shows downtown and is live action.  Person who is filming this is standing on a hill panning down over the town.

Owego: live action no sound length 1 minute   it’s a boat ride.

Old Vestal Road  flooding is present

Vestal water rushing over a bidge, no talking but you can hear the water.   Video is a bit over 2 minutes you see how fast the water runs here, at first it’s just a trickle and quickly the bridge has tons of water going over it.

NY flooding Ariel shots of the raging river. Amazing footage  

Here is the link to the book of flood photographs.

please pass this url to your friends on facebook and twitter..

~~Goals do nothappen as life does. You must work hard to make goals a reality!~~

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Book Sale & Signing

December 3 I will be selling and signing color copies of ‘Historical Flooding of Our Valley’ at the Athens Township Fire Hall. This is a book, which contains many photographs of Sayre, Athens, East Athens, and Sheshequin, which are all towns in Pennsylvania and Waverly, which is a town in New York. It also contains some stories about donations and rescue efforts.

Everyone seems to enjoy the book, and I get many compliments on it. I am proud of the book and it looks nice. Some folks have asked why there are no photographs of Milltown in there, and that is because I could not locate the people who had them. Well after much searching, I did find those photographs and a whole lot more.

I am also announcing here, that I have compiled a third edition of photos, titled “Susquehanna River Flooding 2011”. This one includes photographs of the following New York towns and villages Owego, Tioga Center, Cannon Hole, Nichols, and Waverly along with the Pennsylvania towns and villages of East Athens, East Side of Sayre, Milltown, Sheshequin, Ulster, Rome, Towanda, and the Borough of Athens. It does not contain stories as the other books have this is all photographs. There are over 150 photographs of the unspeakable horror of tropical storm Lee. 

It will be on Amazon by the middle of December but you early birds can purchase it right from the publisher for 20 dollars (plus shipping and handling of course).

When it hits Amazon, I will make a public announcement!  Order yours today to have it here before Christmas.  

Purchase Link

Susquehanna River Flooding 2011

~~Goals do not happen as life does. You must work hard to make goals a reality!~~

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As a former content writer, I learned many valuable lessons. I think the biggest lesson learned was all my efforts were basically designed to increase content for the websites which made more money off it than I did. While I made decent money on various web sites with upfronts and page views, I also made quite a chuck of money for those web sites.

I learned by watching the PPCs on keywords and tried to adjust my articles with those keywords. My rate of pay at these sites did not go up but those sites were reaping most of the benefits.  

Screw that, I am not out here doing hard work to share with web sites that do not value their writers. Besides content mill writing is not something I enjoyed very much in the first place, I enjoy the money they brought in by the writing sucked.

Fiction is where it is at for me at least. I love writing the stories that pop into my head and I find it to be very relaxing and stress free.   Search for me on Amazon.. Amy Browne

~~Goals do not happen as life does. You must work hard to make goals a reality!~~

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Newspaper Interview

I had an interview with a local paper about my book "Historical Flooding of our Valley" and that interview is still not printed. The reporter did mention that the paper was putting out a version of a flood book perhaps that is why there is no mention of my book.  I think it is sad that the professional curtsey of printing the interview did not take place as she said she would.

I worked hard formatting this book, and the photographers whose photos I used were happy with the result. Locally sales have been brisk and people do seem to enjoy it.

I have a book sale/signing locally on December 3, 2011 and I have no doubt I will sell the copies, which I have.

~~Goals do nothappen as life does. You must work hard to make goals a reality!~~

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Historical Flood of 2011 Books Published by Athens Woman

In October of 2011, Amy Browne of Athens, Pennsylvania published two pictorial books of the flooding, which affected our communities on September 8, 2011. Both books contain the same photographs, but one book is in full color to show the true devastation which occurred.

Ms. Browne used photographs of various people including Christel Snyder, Charlotte Evert- Hajduga, and Sandra Fiske. These photographs include Athens Borough, East Side in Sayre, East Athens, Sheshequin, and Ulster Pennsylvania, along with some from Waverly New York.   

Some of the proceeds of each book will be donated to the Athens Township Fire Hall for flood relief and recovery.  Currently the books are being sold on Amazon, but Ms. Browne will also have some at her next book signing at the Athens Township fire hall on December 3, 2011. Books will be available at Barnes & Nobles and other retailers in the coming weeks.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Historical Flooding of our Valley Update

On September 8, 2011, my hometown of Athens, Pennsylvania, and the other small towns around us were hit by a devastating flood. In Athens, where the population is 3,000 over half of my town became homeless over night.  There are twenty-seven streets here and 19 of them received floodwater to some extent.

The flood occurred after Tropical Storm Lee, decided to hang out in our area and dump lots of rain in a few days. The water upstream, and from the hills surrounding Athens and the surrounding areas began to fill the rivers on either side of town.

We call our local area the valley and there are many small little towns and villages here, up and down the river. Just below Athens, the Susquehanna and Chemung Rivers merge into one and become the Susquehanna.

When a dike broke upstream, the Valley captured its wrath, as the river raged.  After dumping 6-8 foot of water locally, the water flowed south and destroyed villages, towns and cities within its path all the way to the Chesapeake Bay.

My home sits blocks away from the downtown area, and well as a human being, I knew I had to do something. I was down there cleaning homes in the food zone with hundreds of other people. I also worked in the shelter at the local fire company on the day it became a local Red Cross shelter, many fellow residents were also there helping.

So many people were helping to do what they could to help.  From collecting donations to sorting and distributing, the tons of clothing, cleaning supplies and food in the shelter to working in the flood raved areas.  It was not only the locals but many people out of the local area came to help us.   People from other states donated items and came to help clean the mess, and we are thankful.  

It did renew my faith in Humanity and I wanted to give something back to the community in a unique way. I had seen the devastation with my own eyes and I fear I will never get those images out of my mind. 

I put together a book of images of the devastation this flooding caused so that we will always remember. I also included some of the stories of community spirit. However, that first book was too small for the reader to see the devastation so I changed the size of the book and it worked fine.

This did change the price of the book, I had originally planned to sell it for $8 to keep it affordable to everyone, but the new size cost more to manufacture. The price is now $10 for the black and white version.  It is now 8 by 10 and includes over 60 photos.

There is also a color version for $20 dollars, and this one allows the reader to fully comprehend the devastation.  The few people who seen the eight by ten black and white version were in unanimous agreement that the book should be in color.

Each copy includes the same photographs; one book simply has color photographs. Both of these books will be available on Amazon, and please note that shipping charges will be included.   I will also be selling these books in person on December 3, 2011 at the Athens Township Fire Hall. At the fire hall, there will be no shipping charges.

A percentage of the purchase of either of these books goes to help with flood relief of our valley.

Currently I am waiting for the books to appear on Amazon, they should be there shortly. I will post the URLS to both on my wall when they show up there.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Short Stories, Flood Photo Book and a Book signing

I tossed together three of my previously unpublished short stories and uploaded them to Amazon. Half of the profits from this $2.99 collection will be headed towards flood relief for our Valley until December 1, 2011. I will tweet that URL when along with the one below.

My second solo book was also created and its in its final stages at Amazon. This kindle version is a collection of photographs of the recent devastating floods which ravaged my local area. This kindle version is full of color photos, and sells for $6.99.

A print version is forth coming but is taking a bit of time.  This edition will be black and white bigger images. The bigger share of profits generated from here will also go to help with local flood relief until December 1, 2011.

The reason for the December 1, 2011 cut off day is because I have a book signing on the 3rd and I want to present a check at that time.

The Circle 8 writers group recently celebrated the anniversary release of our first book Consequences. Our sixth book should be out in a few weeks.

I will have copies of my solo print edition of Paisley, along with copies of the photographs of the flood book and copies of the sixth book of short stories by the Circle 8 writer's group. 

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bestcovery fishing articles

Finally getting back to work after a devastating flood hit my home town! I have been writing but mostly I have been spending time doing lots of things.

Here are some bestcovery articles which were published since the flood.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Book 5 “Mothers and Other Strangers” by the Circle 8 Writers Group

Book 5 “Mothers and Other Strangers” by the Circle 8 Writers Group, I have two short stories.

“The Honey Bees” written for my dad. When some one passes we look for signs from them. They send us the signs to let us know they are okay and at peace. My family got the signs. This is a very sad story that anyone who has lost a parent can relate to.

“Paisley's Choice” is a story about that loveable witch and a choice she needs to make as a child. She has to make a very grown up choice because of her actions.

Kindle version (published 7/4/2011)

Print version (published 7/12/2011)

Readers of this book will enjoy stories and poems by Angel Sharum, Robert L. Arend, Theresa Leschmann, Amy Browne, and Jennifer Arend.

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In Book 4 “ Roses and Thorns” by the Circle 8 Writers Group

In Book 4 “ Roses and Thorns” by the Circle 8 Writers Group, I have two short stories.

“My Sabian” is the story of a woman who enjoys her horse or it is really a horse. You be the judge.

“Paisley's Purple Flames” my second Paisley story but this was the first one written (2009). Paisley is a white witch, this means she does good things with herbs and makes her own magic. Paisley loves Joe, and helps him in a way that can get her in big trouble, but she throws caution to the wind for her man.

Readers of this book will enjoy stories and poems by Angel Sharum, Lucinda Gunnin, Robert L. Arend, Theresa Leschmann, Amy Browne, and Jennifer Arend.

Kindle version (published 2/4/2011)

Print version (published 2/4/2011)

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In Book 3 “Dark Christmas” by the Circle 8 Writers Group

In Book 3 “Dark Christmas” by the Circle 8 Writers Group, I have two stories.

“Merry Christmas, Darling” Nurse Hollister allows old fashioned revenge mingle with medical technology to insure the man who broke her heart has a memorable holiday

“ A Paisley Christmas”

My first published Paisley story! In this one she returns to her home world, The Eterernals for a special holiday.

Readers of this book will enjoy stories and poems by Amy Browne, Angel Sharum, Lucinda Gunnin, Thor Gunnin, Robert L. Arend, Theresa Leschmann, Tammy L. Waters and Laurie Darrock Meekis

Kindle version (published 11/23/2010)

Print version (published 11/23/2010)

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In book 2 “Consequences: Crime and Punishment” by the Circle 8 Writers Group

In book 2 “Consequences: Crime and Punishment” by the Circle 8 Writers Group, I have two short stories and a piece of flash fiction. Flash fiction simply means the story is less than 1,000 words.

Flash Fiction, 'Toast' is a piece that tells the story of a woman who got away with murder.

“Sampson's Love' is a story about a narcissistic man who has a special way of dealing with people, but in the end his special method gets him.

“In Plain Sight” tells the story of Elmer a dementia patient who shows the health community what can happen when dementia patients are mixed in with regular patients at a nursing home. Nurse Rachel has her hands full with this one.

Kindle version (published 10/23/2010)

Print version (published 10/28/2010)

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Book 1 Consequences By Circle 8 writers group

In book 1 ''Consequences'' by the Circle 8 Writers Group, I have 1 story in this book.

I wrote 'Stella'. This short story, is about a single mom who gets everything she wants. You know the saying that there is a price for everything, and in this case the price is heavy duty!

Readers of this book will also enjoy stories and poems by Angel Sharum, Lucinda Gunnin, Thor Gunnin, and Laurie Darrock Meekis

Kindle version (published 9/17/2010)

Print version (published 9/17/2010)

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Big Brother is Watching you

When George Orwell's book '1984' came out in 1949 amid controversy. Many people thought life will not be like that, but that book is very reminiscent of the live we now live. The government does try to control the movement of the people a social setting in modern times, even when it is deemed intrusive.

Angie Mohr, a fellow writer from Georgia appeared on a local television's newscast and talked about how the local government where she lives was citing residents because they had chickens on their property. I could see giving these citations to people if they had 100 chickens on their property and were involved in a chicken processing business where they sold the chickens or eggs to the public..

Mrs. Mohr herself has chickens but is not a chicken farmer,. She is simply raising a few chickens to provide her family with eggs on a daily basis. Angie is a mom who is looking for cheaper and healthier alternatives for feeding her family during these tough economic times.

Another fellow writer, Linda STCyr wrote an article about a Michigan mom who is facing charges because she decided to grow a garden in her yard to provide cheaper and healthier vegetables for her family. The problem the local government in Michigan had was that the garden was located in the front yard of her home. The garden was not unsightly, as a matter of fact it was contained within five raised flower beds.

These cases are not isolated, this stuff happens all over the United States. People are trying to make their money stretch in order to provide for their families in the best way as the economy tries its desperate attempt at recovery. Its a shame when some one gets a fine for having chickens on their property or for having a garden in their front yard.

The novel '1984' tells the tale of a society ruled by a totalitarian government. Free thought is gone, and if someone is found guilty of free thought they are picked up the thought police. Everyone in the society needs to follow status quo and follows the orders of the government or else.

Each room in the novel has a two way television screen so that the government can see what each person is doing. The popular saying 'Big Brother is watching you' is very much a part of the society depicted within this novel.

Perhaps we do not have two-way television screens in every room of our homes, but there are different ways that big brother is watching us. Granted some of these ways they are watching us benefits society in general, but some of them have simply gone to far. Telling the general public that chickens or gardens are off limits in controlled setting is just wrong.

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Friday, June 10, 2011