OMP E-Zine Online

The summer issue of the One Million Project e-zine is out. Lots of stories, awesome cover and more about our authors and their new projects.

Vacation Planning: Party or Panic?

A big vacay looms shortly, and I’ve noticed different people face it in a plethora of ways.  My sister and her crew have planning parties in the weeks before that are as much fun as the vacation will be.  But here’s the caveat–my sis and her friends are crazy, party animals who have a party if it’s National Doughnut Day.  Enuf said, right?

Then, there appears to be a segment of the traveling population which I will dub the Terrorized Tourists.  They are scanning the newspapers for any international news which may affect their vacation, getting ready for warfare with bedbugs and practicing their defensive moves.  You’d think they were Liam Neeson planning a weekend getaway.

I’m a different sort of vacationer.  I look through travel books for background on the country and its people.  I gaze at photos of places I’ll be visiting in awe.  Yes, I look at US Customs and State Department websites.  I ‘m aware of the issues journeying to other countries can bring to the traveling public, but I’m unwilling to allow fear to dull my enjoyment of the trip.

My biggest concern is packing–over or under packing, that is.  I’m a woman, albeit I believe myself to be low maintenance, I still want to look put together even if I hiking around in the rain in Ireland.  I wouldn’t worry about taking a checked bag, but I’m thinking about lugging around a big bag for two weeks, and I groan in dismay.

I purchased lovely suitcases last year for a trip and was very pleased with only waltzing through security with my purse after I checked my bag.  My trips last year I had one destination and didn’t have to deal with the bag each day.  So, I bought two small carry-on bags–one for my hubs and one for myself–hoping I could downsize my packing, still have room for my electronics and look good each day.

Four days later,  I have packed, repacked, removed clothing, added clothing, and removed clothing again.  Can’t forget my trench coat or my hiking boots.   I think I have gotten it down to the basics.  Now, I just have to remember my boarding passes and passport!

My Time in Front of the Camera

Even when I was younger, I hated having my photo taken.  I’m showing my age here, so bear with me–do you remember that episode of Friends where Chandler has a problem smiling for the camera?  Yup, that’s the one.  Funny, right?  Definitely, if you aren’t the one facing the lens.

I am the female version of Chandler.  I think I have the best smile possible and as soon as someone says “Cheese!” it’s over.  My sweet look of serenity has been replaced with the look of a rabid chipmunk on ecstasy, no less.

I have a sister who has perfected the art of looking decades younger as soon as the smartphones come out.  Understand, I’m the person who takes photos of others and then I hide in the back row if I have to be in one.  I’m only 5’3″, so the back row of any group except pre-schoolers means I’m invisible.

“See my shoulder.  That’s me at the Coliseum!”  You get it.

I’m not terrible looking, but my facial muscles haven’t gotten the message yet.  I have a photo or two that I look okay in, but taking selfies to get one decent photo is a  full-time job.  Thank goodness, we have digital now.  Back in the olden days, or should I say my youth, you took a photo or two and after they were developed you picked the least offensive one to use for whatever project needing an image of yourself.

If I take one thousand photos, the odds are, I will get one I won’t find too horrific, and I’ll recognize it immediately and can delete the offending ones forever.  That’s a pro for digital.  The con is everyone and their half-brothers have a camera to take that one photo when you have your mouth stuffed full of pizza or when you are captured in the worst angle possible.  Is that my @** or a Volkswagen?

I hate when people say, “Get my best side.”  For some of us, the best side is back behind the camera.

Today, I had to do a YouTube video.  Not just one snippet of time where I need to contort my features into something pleasing, but minutes of me flipping my hair, rolling my eyes, and showing my old lady face on a medium that can be transmitted around the world.  The incessant babbling of the newly deranged is more coherent than my moments on camera.

Finally, after 45 minutes and about 20 takes, I come up with the least embarrassing video.  I’m sure by the time it’s edited they will remove everything except my rabid chipmunk smile and the two short sentences which will actually make sense.

I wonder if therapy will help?

 

LOSS OF A LOVED ONE

Poet Patsy Jawo writes a tender account of her personal journey with loss. #OMPwriter

theonemillionproject

Losing a loved does not just relate to the physical death of the body. It is also watching loved ones live through illness all the way up until they finally depart. During these times, we may cling to hope whilst at the same time knowing the inevitable could someday happen.

I lost a loved one to cancer in 2004 after 10 years living with it. I found the whole ordeal frustrating, found myself questioning God and even now in 2017 I still feel like I could not save him and often ask myself what if anything I did wrong? I don’t feel as much pain as I used to and though it may sound weird to say this, it was one of the best experiences of my life in terms of how it has helped to shape me and my views. I still cry sometimes but learned a lot from…

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My Date With Gus

I was out walking my usual route the other morning, and I saw my neighbor, Jill.  She wasn’t alone, and she introduced me to Gus.  He was friendly and a date was planned for the next day.

I broke the news to my special guy that night.  “I’m meeting Gus tomorrow morning.”

My stomach was in knots.  I set my alarm and hurried through getting ready and eating breakfast.  I didn’t want to be late to meet my new friend.  I couldn’t help smiling when I saw him walking towards us.

By now, you are probably confused about why I would bring someone else on my date.  I apologize for leading you on.  Jill and her newly adopted dog, Gus, were going to go with my canine buddy and me on a walk.  I guess you’d call it a Doggy Play Date.

Talk about excitement  It was C.’s first play date.  He’d been to the dog park when he lived with his owner, my eldest son, but not since coming to live with my husband and I.  Would they get along?  I hoped my anxiety didn’t affect them.

After a few growling, tail-between-the-legs moments, we were able to proceed on the walk, keeping a ten-yard distance between the two pups.  The maneuvering to get the dogs under control provided entertainment.  The guys at the gas station thought it was funny, anyway.  The dogs would cast furtive looks at each other as they walked on opposite sides of the road.

Jill and I caught up with what was going on with our adult children and after 2.5 miles, our dogs bonded.  It was all play bows and happy dancing.  I’m happy to report Gus and C. will be seeing each other again.

I like David Michael Williams frank blog about his experiences before and after cancer affected his family. I think we all can identify with the sentiments my fellow #OneMillionProject author writes about in his blog. Until we see personally how a disease affects others, it is difficult to develop a passionate response.

David Michael Williams’ blog

The Living Church at Work

I get inspired when I go to church on Sunday.  The readings, homily, music, and traditions speak to me.  I am a part of something much greater when I’m at Mass.  Anyone who believes the Church is just a building misses the real truth that the Church is its people.  It lives solely through them and their works on Earth.

This Sunday, we had a guest priest, Father Paul.  He grew up in the area of Wisconsin where I live, but he has spent most of his life in Tanzania, Africa.  His mission is to bring healthcare to the Nkololo, Tanzania people.  The Songambele Health Facility serves a community of 250,000 people, who wouldn’t have access to quality health care without its existence.

Father Paul told us that when they created the site plan for the Songambele Hospital their road to get there seemed like a trek up Kilimanjaro Mountain.  Each year, he returns to the United States to speak to parishes about the  Roads to Life Tanzania, Inc. and raise funds for their ongoing projects.

They have been able through the generosity of donations to build a Reproductive and Child Health Facility, a Clinical Testing Center, and a Chaplain’s Office.  Still under construction are an Imaging Pavilion (Xray, Ultrasound, etc.), Latrine,  and Mortuary.  The Clinical Testing Center has been chosen as a site for an HIV testing and treatment program by Dr’s with Africa.

Plans for 2017-2018 include an Intensive Care Unit, Administration Building, Private 30 bed Ward and the first phase of a Nursing School.

To find out more about Roads to Life Tanzania, Inc.  98% of all funds collected go directly to Songambele.

This is the living church in action.

Get Exodus and Winter’s Icy Caress for $0.99 through July 29!

For a limited time, you can download Exodus (Clare Thibodeaux Series, Book 1) for FREE, and purchase the Kindle version of Winter’s Icy Caress (Clare Thibodeaux Series, Book 2) for only $0.99!

Don’t miss out on a chance to read about Clare’s journey from ER nurse to a woman in hiding as she is hunted down by deadly strangers from her past.  Two men vie for her heart while they promise to keep her safe from harm.  Can she let her guard down and open her heart?

Clare Thibodeaux Series Available in Special Sales Promotion Starting Friday!

I haven’t decided if I’m being ambitious or have mentally gone off the edge, but I have begun working on the third book of the Clare Thibodeaux Series AND I’ve begun a chick lit story about one of my recurring short story characters–Natalie.

Both are available to read on Wattpad if you’d like to see the rough, rough, rough draft in progress.  I’m excited and frightened at the same time.  Can I do this?  Will I have the discipline?  I guess time will tell.

Never Show Your Hand is the third book in Clare’s story.  If you have read books 1 and 2, you should, but you don’t have to read one to enjoy another–except–if you plan to read them out of order be aware there are spoilers.

So, I’m happy to announce Exodus (Clare Thibodeaux Series Book 1) will be FREE from July 28 – July 30th.  And, Winter’s Icy Caress (Clare Thibodeaux Series Book 2) will be part of a Kindle Countdown Deal from July 28th until Aug. 1.

Excerpts from both books can be found here.

 

Stories that thrill with a kiss and chill with the promise of danger

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