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Category Archives: Humor

Animals & Authors with Kelly Klepfer

Writing – they say – is a solitary occupation. But is it? Let’s visit with Out of the Frying Pan author Kelly Klepfer and ask her about her constant companions.

QPQ: Welcome, Kelly! Introduce us to the… *squee!*… hedgehogs you’re sharing with us.

KK: Daisy and Daffodil have been with us since the spring. The girls are still pups (uhhhh, piglets, uuuuhh hedgehoglets…. No… hoglets.  There is room for interpretation over what they are called. Yes. I googled this.) We sought out hedgehogs because…. Well. Weird long story I’ll try to shorten.

13133234_10156826620615375_2682422256088890960_n-1I’ve loved hedgehogs from a distance ever since I was a little girl and I read Miss Jaster’s Garden. But I never thought I’d own one. My husband had a knee replacement which then got infected. As archaic as it sounds they literally removed the knee and left him without one, putting in a cement antibiotic ball-type spacer to help the healing process. Since he had no knee he was limited. He watched a lot of Netflix. There are reasons binge watching is not a good idea, pet obsession is one of them. Kidding. Anyway he watched one show in particular that was set in Europe where hedgies run wild. Tiggywinkles wild animal hospital in the UK rescues hedgehogs and adopt them out to folks who will give them a lovely backyard and possibly even a charming little hedgehog house. Oddly, it’s much more difficult to obtain a hedgehog here in the states. Many states have forbidden them. I believe this is due to the fact that in a milder climate their population might explode and we’d then be like the UK needing to rescue wild hedgehogs. In Iowa and Nebraska you have to be a certified breeder. And these cute little things are not inexpensive to purchase. So. As my husband’s want grew, I let our adult children know of the perfect Father’s Day gift. I also found a breeder who was running a spring sale.  Our hoglets were almost a BOGO (buy one get one free).

They are inexpensive to feed, mostly, they eat high protein cat food and not much of it. In the wild they eat snakes and bugs so I would definitely recommend you adopt a few if you are in the UK. Surprisingly, they don’t smell as bad as hamsters and guinea pigs. I use shredded paper bedding. They have solid plastic wheels they run in and smooth large plastic bins they live in so their little toes don’t get caught and injured. Temperature seems to be the biggest concern most of the time. If they get chilled they can go into hibernation mode which will kill them so I run a ceramic heat source over their cages to keep them cozy. They also have micro fiber pineapple cozy tents that they spend 90% of their time in.

14322462_10157365831775375_2955655823267440153_nAre they sharp? Heck yeah! You know those wire grill brushes? That sharp. And they don’t like to be picked up. And they will be happy to live in cozy pineapples and eat the food you provide every day and then hiss and jump and puff and pout when you want to interact with them. The biggest thing to do to tame them is get over being scared and cuddle with them every day. I have sewn little snuggle bags that I slide them in hold every night so we bond.. You pick them up gingerly by sliding your hands up under them. If they are freaked out they are literally a ball of dried out Christmas tree needles, If you turn them over belly up they will eventually unroll and begin moving then walking around. Note: Walking around generally involves an initial poo session so be prepared. Once that’s over, it’s all good. Their tails pop out when they get ready to go so there is a bit of warning. Or you could put them in a large hamster ball and let them get it out of their system before cuddle time, but note there is much cleanup involved there, too.

If you’re fascinated with the idea of hedgehogs, go meet one first. Mine are not likely going to become internet sensations because I’m not going to be making them little hats and setting up cute tea party scenes. I might consider putting them in muffin tins, but I only have two. Daffodil is a little fuller figured and might be a bit of a huge muffin top.

QPQ: Wow. That’s quite the introduction to your hedgehogs!  I hope your husband has made a full recovery. It’s clear that Daisy and Daffodil bring you both joy. Tell us how you came up with their names?

61tvSrINcpLKK: I gave my husband suggestions. We had to do something alliteration-ish because we have the beagles, Gertrude and Gladys and it only seemed right. Miss Jaster’s Garden involved flowers and hedgehogs so I thought Daisy and Daffodil might be good choices. In the end the man on pain meds picked.

QPQ: Perfect! How do Daisy and Daffodil help you in your writing?

KK: Not in the least. Okay, they give me another angle to find metaphors or similes?

QPQ: Have you ever written one of your hedgehogs into a story?

KK: I have not yet. But who knows, there’s plenty of inspiration. Especially with character development.

QPQ: Tell us three things you and Daisy and Daffodil have in common.

KK: Oh, my if I could sleep in a cozy micro-fleece pineapple many hours of the day, I believe I would. Two, sometimes I get bristly but I’m a sweetheart once I unroll. Three, I can do a huffy puffy complaint session like nobody’s business. But once I’m over it I move on.

QPQ: Well said, Kelly! Thank you for visiting the Quid Pro Quills.

 unnamedKelly Klepfer had ambitions to graduate from the school of life quite awhile ago, but alas . . . she still attends and is tested regularly. Her co-authored cozy/quirky mystery, Out of the Frying Pan, is the culmination of several of the failed/passed tests. Kelly, though she lives with her husband, two Beagles and two hedgehogs in Iowa, can be found at Novel Rocket, Novel Reviews, Scrambled Dregs, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter with flashes of brilliance (usually quotes), randomocities, and learned life lessons.

 

 

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It Could Only Happen To Me

I hope you’re ready to laugh.

Yesterday afternoon, I fell into my house. As per my normal craziness, I had four grocery bags on each arm, my purse in my left hand, and my bookbag in my right. I unlocked the door, opened it, and tried to step inside, but my right foot was unable to move.

If you’ve ever taken a spill, you know the feeling that prevails right before you tumble. No-no-no-please-don’t-fall-I’m-falling-please-don’t-let-me-break-anything-oomph. I fell into my house and landed on my right hip.

Peggy_Webber_screamingOther than my scream, there were no other sounds, sounds I would’ve gladly endured, like “Mom! Are you okay?” or even the laughter of my husband. I was in a tangled heap on the floor, and tried to extricate my foot from whatever was holding it captive, but it still wouldn’t budge. At least I hadn’t had a stroke, because my right hand could still wiggle–the same right hand that was pinned beneath me.

I tried to untangle myself from my awkward position, livid that I couldn’t get my foot to cooperate. I couldn’t even see what was hindering it since I was surrounded by all manner of groceries blocking my view. With my left arm, I reached down to take off my shoe, but couldn’t reach it.

Since I couldn’t stand, couldn’t extract my foot, and was thoroughly ticked off, I decided it was time for a 10 second nap. is (2)I just laid there. The cat walked by and meowed, as if to say, “Hey, Stupid.”

I finally disentangled myself from my purse, bookbag, and groceries, then reached down and removed my shoe. How had I fallen, you wonder? The head of a nail was visible at the bottom of the threshold. That blasted nail jumped up and grabbed my shoelace at the mid-tongue section of my sneaker!!!

Thankfully I didn’t break anything, but today my hips feel like I’ve been imitating Elvis. I can barely walk!

I’m so grateful a merry heart is like medicine… Because I could use some! ♦

~ Jericha Kingston

 
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Posted by on November 18, 2016 in Humor, Jericha Kingston, Writing

 

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Out of The Frying Pan: Behind the Story

The September 9th and 23rd posts showcased the romance/mystery novel, Out of the Frying Pan by authors Michelle Griep and Kelly Klepfer. Today we learn how the story materialized!61tvSrINcpL

Kelly, welcome back! Tell us how you and Michelle came to write Out of the Frying Pan.

Michelle and I met a very long time ago. In fact we say we are sisters from another mother but didn’t meet until we began interacting on an on-line Christian fiction critique group. We knew right away that we were soul sisters. We both consider our major spiritual gifts to be sarcasm and smacking. I know that’s not Biblical, but let’s just say we employ both of these skills often so it’s good that we have each other.  

While slicing-and-dicing each other’s writing, one of us suggested we write a book together. I had a story idea birthed long before. One of my former co-workers (The woman had a Bachelor’s Degree in theater. Nuff said.) used to run a non-profit alongside mine. She worked with retired adults. We enjoyed her interactions way too much. One day she ran across a name. “Kelly! This name needs to be a character in a book. A murder mystery. Zula. Isn’t that a wonderful name?” I agreed. And when I shared this tiny seed of an idea with Michelle the brainstorming blossomed into Out of the Frying Pan and the larger than life Fern and Zula Hopkins.

photo (11)Of course, that was the beginning. And this novel has taken a 10 year journey to see the light of day.

The plot line was skeletonized super speedy. We knew our murderer, our red herring coulda-woulda folks, the motives and the major characters right off the bat.

We wrote Out of the Frying Pan from different states, bouncing ideas off of each other and putting each other in challenging literary hot water. I wrote two major characters, Michelle wrote the other two. We’d write a scene, tag the other person and wait for a response with the scene cliffhanger. It was really challenging and fun. Michelle would work her magic and write about her character’s world, weaving my character in and causing me to have to rethink what I thought she’d be doing next–and vice versa. It really stretched us as writers and our characters grew more three-dimensional because of it. As Michelle wrote about my characters, they grew even more loveable because someone I cared about was describing them to me.

We had two publishers early on interested in the book but the cozy mystery portion of their house shut down before anything materialized there. Then we sat on the book for a long period. Michelle wrote and published a couple of books in that time frame. I sunk into a season of insecurity in my skill set and was not writing at all. Michelle finally told me that we needed to start pushing the story again. I agreed to massive editing and finishing the final chapters. Interestingly, while I wasn’t writing, I was reading and reviewing during my dry spell. During that time, some of the areas in which I struggled became more natural and part of who I was as a writer. That season was valuable because I grew into my training and stored knowledge.

So if you happen to be a discouraged writer and aren’t able to write right now, read. qtRead good books and think about what makes them good and why you love them. And read not-so-good books and decide what makes them a bit on the stinky side and how you might do something different as a writer. You might just discover the rules begin to gel and become part of you, too. I’d been trying so hard not to break the rules that I was stilted and stunted in my writing, until the rules worked their way into me. And this has spiritual application. How many walk and struggle to obey God’s rules in their own weak power? Instead, Jesus offers us His indwelling. He works to make the rules a natural part of us.

Michelle had an agent at the time. We finished the book and she shopped it for us. We had a couple of bites but nothing real tempting. She ended up parting ways with her agent and a year later we landed this contract. When our Bling! Editor read it she suggested we ramp up the romance angle and sell it as a romance. So, newly challenged, we recreated deeper pasts for our former secondary characters and wove in more action. The whole process has been so challenging, involved, and exhausting, but most of all, fun.

Over all, my favorite comments and delightful moments are recent. Michelle is a genius editor and will not let a book go to a final print without her last go-through. She texted me throughout that weekend. “I am laughing out loud. How can I think this book is so funny when we stinking wrote it?” “I love our characters. I mean love them.” “Favorite paragraph: Oy. The heat from Zula’s blistering gaze began to melt Fern’s rubber-soled Keds. She didn’t even need to look in that direction to know that two baby blue beams were fixed, locked, and loaded. How was she going to get out of this situation without any open veins? A story. A good story.This says it all. Some of Michelle’s admiration might come from the fact that people die and are injured in Out of the Frying Pan. Because she loves nitty-gritty historicals, she’s always killing off a character or two, so there’s that. Remember our “spiritual” gifts. ♦

unnamedKelly Klepfer had ambitions to graduate from the school of life quite awhile ago, but alas… she still attends and is tested regularly. Her co-authored cozy/quirky mystery, Out of the Frying Pan, is the culmination of several of the failed/passed tests. Kelly, though she lives with her husband, two Beagles and two hedgehogs in Iowa, can be found at Novel Rocket, Novel Reviews, Scrambled Dregs, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter with flashes of brilliance (usually quotes), randomocities, and learned life lessons.

 

 

View More: http://bethanyaleshire.pass.us/michellekelly

Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She resides in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, where she teaches history and writing classes for a local high school co-op. Historical romance is her usual haunt. THE CAPTIVE HEART is her latest release. Follow her escapades at www.michellegriep.com or www.writerofftheleash.blogspot.com or stalk her on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

 

~ Jericha Kingston

 

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Funny Friday

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2016 in Humor, Kara Hunt

 

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Animals & Authors with Michelle Griep

Writing – they say – is a solitary occupation. But is it really? Let’s visit with author Michelle Griep and ask her about her constant companion.

QPQ: Welcome, Michelle! Introduce us to the fuzzy-muzzle of love you’re sharing with us today.

Ada & IMG: I live with a slightly-neurotic . . . wait a minute . . . scratch that. I live with a super-psychotic boxer named Ada Clare. After meeting her mother and father (okay, so, yeah, I’m the psycho here) my husband and I decided to adopt a pup from their litter. We chose the black one. Really she’s brindle, but you can only see brown if the sun shines on her just right. That was 2 ½ years ago and we’ve been loving her ever since.

QPQ: Boxers are such amazing dogs! Since you’re an author and you come up with names all the time, how did you come up with Ada Clare?

MG:I’m a Dickens freak and Bleak House is one of my favorites of his. Ada Clare is a sweet but strong character in that story.

IMG_8963QPQ: I wondered if Bleak House was the inspiration for your Ada Clare! How does Ada help you in your writing?

MG: Being that I live in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, she keeps my feet warm. Or if she lays on them too long, they go numb.

QPQ: Oh my. Can’t relate to that kind of cold! Have you ever written one of your pets into a story?

MG: Not one of mine but one of my mom’s. She seriously had the world’s ugliest dog. In my new release written with co-author Kelly Klepfer, we wrote in a pup that only a mother could love.

IMG_8990QPQ: Let me guess… that would be Fifi The Wonder Dog! Tell us three things you and Ada have in common.

MG: One, we love treats and snoozing. Two, taking walks is one of our favorite things to do. Three, chin whiskers. Oops. Did I say that out loud?

QPQ: Too funny, Michelle! Thank you for visiting here at the Quid Pro Quills. Where can readers find your new release?

MG: For zany fun with the world’s ugliest dog, check out my co-authored release of OUT OF THE FRYING PAN.

Murder in Paradise whips life into a froth for Fern and Zula Hopkins. When the retirement center’s chef is found dead, the two ladies get folded in with the case. Their zany attempts to track down the killer land them in hot water with Detective Jared Flynn. Should he be concerned about their safety—or the criminal’s?

But there are deadly ingredients none of them expect. Drugs. Extortion. International cartels. And worst of all…broken hearts, especially when the Hopkins sisters’ niece KC arrives on the scene.

Life at Sunset Paradise Retirement Village will never be the same.

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View More: http://bethanyaleshire.pass.us/michellekellyMichelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She resides in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, where she teaches history and writing classes for a local high school co-op. Historical romance is her usual haunt, THE CAPTIVE HEART her latest release. Follow her escapades at www.michellegriep.com or www.writerofftheleash.blogspot.com or stalk her on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

 

~ Jericha Kingston

 

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Posted by on August 19, 2016 in Humor, Kara Hunt

 

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Posted by on August 5, 2016 in Humor, Kara Hunt

 

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