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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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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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Animals & Authors with Kelly Klepfer

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

QPQ: Welcome, Kelly! Introduce us to the Beagles you’re sharing with us today.

IMG_20160219_071503373 (1)KK: Sweet mercy. You are giving me carte blanche to blab about my babies. Gertrude and Gladys are sweet (most of the time) little sisters we’ve had almost two years. Their mama died just hours after they were born from a urinary tract infection that went to her bloodstream. The babies all had to have antibiotics, too. A friend of a friend does wildlife rescue and since this was so sudden, the babies went to her for bottle feeding. At five weeks of age my friend (who has offered us pets for years including squirrels and raccoons) did her usual shout out. “Kelly, you want a sweet little Beagle pup?”

I said, “No, Rob wouldn’t want a Beagle.” (Rob is the husband, should you wonder.) But I didn’t know that he secretly did want a Beagle. His boss has one and Rob just can’t stop talking about it. So he said yes. When I told my friend she nearly wet her pants. (She’s of a certain age where one must be careful when jumping up and down.)

IMG_20150828_131128177 (1)Then the gal sent a picture of our new baby. And there was another one in the picture and she referred to them as they. Rob said, “You know, if we’re potty training one, might as well get two.” And I said, “Yes!” Someone else had spoken for the other in the meantime. I actually prayed we could get both of them.  Yes. I did. The other person backed out because she was excited that the little sisters could stay together.

Can I just say I adore my girls? They are so ridiculously cute. Their personalities are night and day different, of course. I’m so glad we said yes. And they are pretty spoiled.

QPQ: Aww! They sound like sweethearts! Since authors come up with names all the time, how did you come up with Gladys and Gertrude?

KK: My daughter has two sister dogs as well. Lilly and Lola. They came to live with her while she still lived at home with us. I fell in love with them and when they all moved out into their own place it got really quiet in our house. Lilly and Lola are much larger than my girls. They are boxer/lab mixes. I liked the alliteration of their names and I wanted a pair of names that made me smile. I considered flower names which was pretty cute. I kept going back to the older lady names though. We ran the name choices past a few friends. When it came down to it the alliteration won. The names fit them perfectly.

1458259479172QPQ: You chose well! How do Gladys and Gertrude help you write?

KK: Very little. Seriously. Gladys loves to hop on my lap when I’m writing. She’s a solid 38 pounds and loves to wrap her arms around my neck and cuddle. There is very little writing that gets done when she’s in one of her snuggle moods. Gert cuddles up next to me if I’m on the couch, but she does this little dog-in-the-manger growl when her sister gets near. So I’m always a little leery of the forthcoming wrestling match. (True story, one leapt over my computer which was on my lap one day and snapped my period key right off the computer.)

61tvSrINcpLQPQ: Oh no! Of all the keys to lose…. Have you ever written one of your pets into a story?

KK:  Out of the Frying Pan has a doggy character. Fifi, the Wonder Dog. I must tell you, Fifi’s title is full of sarcasm. See, Zula and Fern inherited Fifi when one of the residents moved on, and well… Fifi has some issues. However, Fifi, not based on my pups, is adorbs in her own way.

QPQ: Oh my. We’ll have to learn more about Fifi! Thank you so much for visiting today, Kelly. Final question: What are three things you and Gladys and Gertrude have in common?

KK: One, quirk. Gladys is a quirky gal. Two, Gertrude is pretty focused. Not that I am, but I’m stubborn and that’s kind of a focus. Three, both of them are pretty treat-motivated. Nuff said.  

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

~ Jericha Kingston

 

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Funny Friday

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

 

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Funny Friday

 
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Posted by on May 27, 2016 in Humor, Kara Hunt

 

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Book Review: Still Surviving Henry: The Untold Stories by Erin Taylor Young

Still Surviving Henry Cover_800pxDescription of Still Surviving Henry: The Untold StoriesThe rogue torpedo of a dog is at it again! Henry hauls author Erin Taylor Young and her readers into mischief, mayhem, hilarity, and heartwarming adventure. Come join Henry, canine catastrophe extraordinaire, as he romps through an all new collection of true life—and near-death—tales. You’ll laugh yourself silly—and maybe even shed a tear or two—as Henry shows that there’s a lot more to life than merely surviving.

For anyone who’s read Young’s first book, Surviving Henry: Adventures in Loving a Canine Catastrophe, it won’t be a surprise to learn that she couldn’t fit all his antics into one book. For readers who haven’t yet met Henry, here’s to your full-tilt initiation.

My review: Erin Taylor Young’s first book, Surviving Henry: Adventures in Loving a Canine Catastrophe, was a delightful and inspiring read, so I couldn’t wait to dig into this new release, and it didn’t disappoint. With her unique take on the world and her witty humor, Young deals with the perils of living with a husband, two growing sons, and a canine catastrophe named Henry. My favorite story involved a lump of a rising bread dough and yet another trip to the vet (where the dog, I think, must be greeted with shouts of “Henry!” reminiscent of those for “Norm” from Cheers.)

I give this book five stars for the superb writing, for the many times I laughed out loud, and for the moments when tears filled my eyes. You’ll love it, and since it’s free, you can pop over to Amazon right now and download it for yourself. I promise, you won’t be sorry.

Tweet this: Five-star review for #humor #book Still Surviving Henry. FREE today. 

ErinErin Taylor Young is an award-winning humor writer living in a comedy with an all-star cast including one well-meaning husband, two polar opposite sons, and a noncompliant dog. When she isn’t writing or rescuing the dog from mortal danger, she works as an acquisitions editor and author liaison for Serenade Books, a publishing company she helped to found. She’s also the co-creater of Write from the Deep, a podcast and website resource to minister to the hearts of writers.

She has a bachelors degree in art and a masters degree in music, which is mostly inconsequential but makes her sound more reputable. She loves football (Da Bears), photography, and hiking in cool national parks. Learn more about Erin at erintayloryoung.com, where she blogs about writing, God, and her aversion to spiders.

Click here to keep up with news about Erin’s new releases.

Click here to get her semi-regular humor blog delivered to your inbox.

 

Robin Patchen lives in Edmond, Oklahoma, with her husband and three teenagers. Her third book, Finding Amanda, released in April, and its prequel, Chasing Amanda, released in July. When Robin isn’t writing or caring for her family, she works as a freelance editor at Robin’s Red Pen, where she specializes in Christian fiction. Read excerpts and find out more at her website, robinpatchen.com.

 

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