Adventures in Beagle World: Tantrum

My kid has her own room.  This is because my “kid” has repeatedly growled at her daddy when he comes in for bed.  The last straw occurred a few nights ago.  After being scolded for the growling, she scuttled up towards me then darted down to the foot of the bed and urinated like someone opened the floodgates.  Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t like pee on my bed.  …And neither do I like growling beagles who don’t listen.

And so, for bedtime, my kid was banished to the Land of Kennel.  She grew to hate this place all the more, and it showed, especially at dinner time.  You must understand: when it comes to food, my kid acts like a spastic Ferris wheel with non-functioning controls.

So, then….

About a week ago, while he was preparing her dinner, my husband sent the spastic Ferris wheel to the dreaded Land of Kennel, her “bedroom.”

“Kennel!” Steven boomed.  “…Go to your kennel, now!”

Emmie was having none of it. 

Our darling beagle then trotted up to her kennel, lifted her paw, and–WHACK!–slammed the kennel door shut.  She then stared up at my husband, as if to say, “I’d like to see you stick me in that thing now, Dad!”

Ah, the beagle.  Obstinate.  Cuddly.  Adorable. Playful.  And filled to the brim with ATTITUDE!

We laughed our heads off at this display, although yes, the kid was still sent to her room.

Do tell, fellow pet owners!  How has your “kid” made you laugh? Share in the comments below!

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Author Spotlight: Jan Bono

Rich in history and dripping with beauty, the Washington coast is a wonderful place to live or visit.  But I’m not here to boast about my geographical location.  I am, however, more than happy to boast about fellow author Jan Bono, whose cozy mystery novels take place on the SW coast of Washington.  Jan’s books are the perfect accompaniment to a rainy weekend or brightly lit Tuesday afternoon.

I present to you, dear readers, the “Sylvia Avery Mystery” novels.  Dive on in!

Bottom Feeders Jan Bono Small

Sylvia Avery Mystery Series, Book One

Bottom Feeders

Cozy mystery *1 set on the SW Washington Coast. Something evil has happened at the Clamshell Motel, and early retiree Sylvia Avery is right in the thick of it. With insider help from Mercedes, her mature but mischievous lounger friend at the Spartina Point Casino and Resort, Syl works to prove that Harold Rodman the Third, a.k.a “Uncle Harry,” is up to something fishy.

Starfish Jan Bono Small

Sylvia Avery Mystery Series, Book Two

Starfish

Cozy mystery *2 set on the SW Washington Coast. A movie production crew has come to the coastal community of Tinkerstown, but before they first scenes are shot, two murders have been committed. Although the MOs are quite different, Sheriff Donaldson doggedly searches for any possible connection between the two deaths.

Jan travels to various Washington state beach locales, where she sells as well as signs her books.

Other Jan Bono books:

“Back From Obesity”

“Just Joshin'”

“It’s Christmas”

Like what you see? Want to learn more? Be sure to follow Jan on Facebook and check out her website!   You can also purchase Jan’s books at Harbor Books, located in Aberdeen, Washington.

 

Bible-Thumping Scripture Robots!

I am a Christian.  I clutch my Bible close to my chest everywhere I go, I judge others for doing anything remotely non-churchy and, let’s not forget, swear words make my ancestors cry.

…Or so Hollywood would have you believe.

OH.

…And I voted for Trump, yeah?  (No, I didn’t.)

Hollywood knows it’s popular to bash my beliefs, so that is what they feed you.  …I’m talkin’ the Westboro Baptist types, similar to that portrayed in movies like “Easy A.”

EasyA

But don’t get me wrong.  Sometimes Hollywood has it right, or as close to right as they can get.

Exceptions

Saved

This film makes several valid points about what it truly means to be Christ-like (but is a bit too watered down for my liking). Still, while there are multitudes of Christians who would use their Bible as a weapon, there are still those who are tired of being misrepresented.

A Walk to Remember

In my opinion, this is the only movie that accurately depicts a Christian character.  Jamie Sullivan doesn’t hide her faith, nor does she force it on others.  She’s slightly snarky, totally sweet, earthy, and real.  She’s a struggling human being who loves Jesus, just like me.   This movie depicts a Christian character who acts like the Christians I know.

Split Down the Middle

I am not far-right, nor am I far-left. God gifted me with the unique, yet oft frustrating ability to see both sides of almost every ethical debate you can imagine.  It’s part of why I write books.  I can create characters who hold vastly different beliefs, from one another and from their creator.

And as I’m a “down the middle” kind of gal:

  • I cringe when Hollywood zaps the Jesus out of screen adaptations of popular novels.
  • I cringe when Hollywood depicts Christians as monstrous, bigoted poop-heads.
  • I cringe when Christian writers portray Christians as Christiany-Christians who eat Christian-Os for breakfast and Christian all the live-long-day.  (…Facing the Giants, and pretty much any Kirk Cameron movie.)

I REFUSE to create scripture-quoting robot characters.  This is not how to show others who Christ is.  This is how you alienate others.  No one can relate to it, not even most Christians.  It’s preachy.  It’s campy.  It’s…just awful.

…Yes, Christ is the center of my world.  Yes, I am madly in love with my Savior.   No, not every blessed second of my life needs to be linked to scripture references.  And no, I don’t shove Jesus down people’s throats.  I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, but guys, seriously, He gave me other passions, all of which, if used correctly, can be wordless testimonies to His wondrous works.

“Preach the Gospel at all times.  If necessary, use words.”

Christians love Jesus.  In essence, that’s it.  That may mean something different to you than it does to me, but it’s my sincere hope that I will learn how to show you, in all I say and do, what it means to me.  I may not always “hit the mark,” but that’s kind of the point.  Just like Jamie Sullivan, I’m real.  I’m human.  I’m struggling.  And I love Jesus.

I won’t change my beliefs to suit you.  …You wouldn’t do the same for me, I hope.  But this isn’t about making me happy.  It’s about pointing you towards Christ.  And as an Christian author, it’s my responsibility and great privilege to show you what it means to be a follower of Christ.  Moreover, who Christ is.

…I think you’ll be surprised.

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Our Racist, Sexist Society

Anger fuels a lot of stupid actions.  It leads to shouting matches, regret, violence, and in worse cases, death.  Often, it goes hand-in-hand with fear. It also results in ignorance.   Hurtful, destructive, pitiful ignorance.

Spewing hatred back at those who have hurt us feels good in the moment.  And you would think most of us would understand that doing so fixes nothing.  And perhaps most of us do, but I see enough contrary evidence to think otherwise. I’m talking about two items in particular:  sexism towards men, and racism towards white people.

Both are everywhere.

In recent months, just like you, I binge-watched seasons of Fuller House.  And I cringed.  Don’t get me wrong–great show, fun blast from the past, good memories, good times.  But one of the earlier episodes of the first season features a joke at the expense of white people, delivered by the character Ramona.  The laugh track sounded, implying, perhaps, that I too, was supposed to laugh.   Lame sitcom jokes aside, I couldn’t even crack a smirk.

Now, let me make it clear: I’m not trying to sound like a butt-hurt whiny white person.  My ultimate concern is not my own bruised ego, but the collective emotional health of society.  How, I ask you, do we fix what’s broken by breaking it all the more?

The problem continues with treating men as stupid and less-than women.  Yes, women are more often sexually abused.  But men are, too. Women have traditionally suffered belittlement at the hands of men.  But with the pendulum swinging the other way, more than ever, men, too, are belittled. And to suggest that “real men” know “it’s just a joke!” is nothing short but hurtful and small-minded.  Flip the switch for a moment.  It’s nineteen-fifty something, and an ignorant dude makes a sexist remark about his secretary.  She’s offended.  “Relax!  It’s just a joke!”   …Are we offended?  And yet it’s just fine, right, to cop the same attitude when men and the women who support their rights get righteously angry at such remarks?  “Relax, dude, it’s just a joke!”

You’re hoping, I assume, to “make things right for women” by insulting men.  And, perhaps, you’re hoping to “make white folks wake up and understand racism is still a problem” by making and supporting racist remarks about white people.

Or maybe you’re just angry.

And you have a right to be.

I’m angry, too.

But let’s not kid ourselves.  Poisoning a poisoned apple doesn’t make it less poisoned.

I’m aware racism and sexism are problems in this world.  They always will be.

I also understand that because of the color of my skin, I can’t ever fully appreciate the problem of racism as it pertains to black people, or any non-white people group.

I also understand that there are some people who think that “white” is an nationality and that white people have no culture.    And I’ve been told by a black person that my skin is “too white”, and therefore is “gross.”

But this problem goes beyond any personal insults.    Anger makes us do stupid things.  Which is why we also need to forgive.  We need to lift up and protect the persecuted. We need to educate ourselves.  And part of that is refusing to take part in any form of prejudice.  …Laugh tracks included.

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Hey, Writers, Let’s Pretend!

princess

Hey, writers (of the creative variety)!  Do you remember the simplicity of childhood make-believe?  Your bestie would come up to you and say “hey, let’s pretend that…” and would fill-in-the blank with something delightful, adventurous or silly, and it filled up your afternoon.  Maybe you played “house” (mom, dad, brother, baby, etc).  Maybe you played pirates, princesses, Ninja Turtles or (like me), Rainbow Brite.   But whatever it was, it was easy.  It was creative. It was fun.  And there was no agonizing over character motivation, contrived plots, style, or believe-ability.  It just happened.

I’ve been writing novels for almost four years, and in that time, I’ve struggled with the need to be perfect in my craft.  Clarity and strength is important in writing, yes, but sometimes, it’s a hindrance.  I know, it’s nothing new to be told that, for a rough draft, you “just need to write”–to get it out, and worry about making it look pretty and making it make sense later.  But if you’re like me, there’s still that midget of a voice in your brain,  demanding of you, perfection.  And so you sit and stare at the screen.  You stress.  You look at your outline and think, how did this seem so easy before?  How did this flow so wonderfully, how did these characters pop in my head, and how is it that now, now that I’m attempting to write this thing down, it’s…stagnant?

Now, somewhere along the journey of your WIP, you DO need to concern yourself with character, plot, style, etc, but if you’re working on your rough draft, my challenge to you is this:  Play make-believe.  That’s right: Hey, let’s pretend….!  Let it be simple.  Let it be fun.  Let go and don’t concern yourself with the fact that “as a RD, it’s going to be bad”, because with that kind of negative proclamation, you could be sabotaging your efforts.  Yes, it’s going to be bad, or at least not that great, but would kid you be concerned with that?  Wouldn’t kid you just…play?

(Disclaimer: it could be something else that’s causing your writing woes; this is just one method of troubleshooting that maybe you haven’t yet considered.)

So, for now, be a “kid” again (yes, even if your WIP involves blood, guts and scary stuffs), and just let your imagination run wild.  Go off your outline, sure, but when the words stop flowing, put yourself in your kid shoes again, and go from there.  And, hey, guess what!  If you have a young kid, you have a built-in model.  Watch them play, and follow their example.  Write without restraint. Remember, your profession is creative by nature.  So, Writer, create.  Pretend.  Play.

Time for me to take my own advice and finish my RD!  What about you?  How goes your WIP?

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December Featured Author

Looking for a quirky, fresh and fun series to read this season?  Look no further than the work of the delightful Kendra L. Saunders, author of the “Alien Pop Star” series.  Book one, “Dating an Alien Pop Star“, is available now, as is the sequel, “Engaged to an Alien Pop Star“.  Check it!

“Part High Fidelity, part Bridget Jones’ Diary, part Doctor Who, Dating An Alien Popstar a sexy romantic comedy.”

 

daaps etaaps

And the third in the series is on its way (“Marrying an Alien Pop Star”)!  While you’re waiting for it, check out Kendra’s other book, “The Unlove Spell“.    Just check out this gorgeous cover!

tus

Don’t forget to leave some sparkly reviews for Kendra on Amazon!  Cheers!

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The Christmas Beagle

It’s here at last!  “The Christmas Beagle” is now available!

tcb-cover-small

See what people are saying about my beloved heart-warming Christmas novella!

“This story felt like it was my story.”

“An emotional and sentimental read that warms your heart the whole way through.”

“..Definitely got me excited for Christmas….”

“…Bursting with quirky personality and lots of Christmas spirit!”

“Thank you S.E. Eaton for a loving, feel good story for the holidays!”

“It renewed my interest in reading books for pleasure. Well done, Eaton!”

“If there were a sequel, I’d be waiting for it!”

“Beautifully written and heartfelt story for the holidays.”

“I simply cannot say how much I’d recommend this to anyone looking for a heartwarming story.”

“It’s a beautiful, moving story and would definitely recommend it to anyone.”

Wow!  These reviews left me flattered, to say the least. I truly had a wonderful time writing this story and I am excited to find out what YOU think of it, too!  For more insight about what inspired me to write this story, click here.

“The Christmas Beagle”, out in the world:

katescopyoftcbsmaller

“Look what I got today!  Can’t wait to start reading it tonight!”

tcb-aaron

“Sitting in Renton, Wa and about to start reading while I wait to be unloaded.”

amanda-with-christmas-beagle-2016

Pictured above: My sister Amanda, with her copy of “The Christmas Beagle”—signed by me and given to her by my mother for Christmas.  🙂

Happy Holidays, Everyone! Thank you for your continued support! I love you ALL!

Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog and follow me on Amazon.

 Buy “The Christmas Beagle”

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