Krazy Kat

Kitteh law #7  Youz kleans it, I
moar funny pictures

This is the story of my life! Laundry baskets are prime kitty beds. But not the dirty clothes…only the clean ones!

Published in: on February 28, 2010 at 3:46 am  Comments (2)  
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Getting Kids to Move: Martha Swirzinski

My guest today is Martha Swirzinski, who has written three children’s books focused on movement.

“More and more research is being developed about the rise of obesity in children,” notes Ms. Swirzinski, who teaches movement education in a local pre-school and offers teacher training workshops and customized consultations.  At the same time, numerous studies continue to link increased brain function and movement, she explains.  “Being active grows new brain cells!”

Brrrr….it’s cold outside!

by Martha Swirzinski

But that’s no excuse for your children to be sedentary or inactive. I know it’s hard in the winter to keep your children active: it’s cold, it gets dark earlier and, of course, there’s homework for older children and a long list of things that simply must get accomplished. However, we need to remember that our heart is a muscle and needs daily exercise to stay healthy and strong. Children as young as 3 or 4 years old may show early signs of changes to their arteries that could cause eventual heart attacks. Surprisingly, signs of heart disease can appear as early as ten years old, making regular exercise and health nutrition critical.

So what can a parent do?

Limit television and computer time.

If you do let them have screen time, mix it up with some kind of movement. For instance, if they are watching a show, have them run in place during the commercials. For every ten minutes on the computer, they owe you five minutes of dancing to music or running around the yard.

Park farther from store entrances and walk, run, hop, or skip into the store.

Take the stairs and count the number of stairs. Turn exercise into a learning experience.

Read a book and have them act it out.

Play games that encourage movement, like charades or follow the leader.

Hide items around the house and have your children go find them. For each item, have them move a different way to go find it. For example, you need to hop like a bunny to find the plastic egg or walk on your tiptoes to find your stuffed animal. This is also a great way to encourage them to pick up their rooms.

Get creative, have fun, and most of all, make sure you participate with them. A good role model is very important and will make a lasting impression. I know it can be hard, but in the long run it will create a lifetime of health and happiness for you and your child.

The holder of a Bachelor’s degree in therapeutic recreation from Clemson University and a master’s from the University of Maryland in Kinesiology, Martha Swirzinski has more than 15 years of experience working in the field of movement with children.  She is also a certified personal fitness trainer.  She currently lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia with her husband and two daughters.

Ms. Swirzinski believes that every child should be afforded structured movement opportunities every day to promote an active, healthy lifestyle and become part of a lifelong regime.

It is along this vein that Ms. Swirzinski has published three children’s books focused on movement.  Using entertaining rhymes and charming pictures, these developmentally based books offer fun and creative ways for children to move while also providing mind stimulating activities on each page. By following the suggested activities, children can engage in 30-60 minutes of their recommended structured daily movement, as well as enhancing other mind/body skills. Designed to be enjoyed again and again, the pages of these books are filled with laughter, learning, movement and more.

Martha’s books are: “Leap… Laugh… Plop,” “Guess… Giggle… Wiggle,” and “Kick… Catch… Buzz”


Pirated Blogs II

This is actually the first one of these I encountered. After I posted an interview with Liz Adair, author of  Counting the Cost and Letters from Afghanistan, she sent me this one. Note toward the end where we thank each other and her reply is “we’re kindred liquors” (spirits!) and her workshop “Using Family History in Fiction” ends up to be “Victimisation Home History in Fiction.”

I ‘m happy to welcome Liz Adair to my blog today. Liz is the Pacific Northwest writer of five novels, including her new Western romance, Numbering the Cost , and she is co-editor of her mother ‘s missives in Lucy Shook ‘s Letters from Afghanistan Liz is besides cognized for her Spider Latham enigma series, for The Mist of Target Seaport , and learns shops on “ Victimisation House History in Fiction. ”

Counting the Cost is a marvelous, bittersweet narration that fall out in Land of enchantment in 1935. I take it this is slightly of a going from your usual composition. Say us what exalted this book.

LIZ: This is a leaving. My other books were totally carefully plotted, hold a spot of intrigue in them, are placed in modern-day times, and are lighter menu. Numerating the Cost but welled upwards inside me and coerced itself out my fingertips. I consider it was portion of my bereft procedure after my mother went, for the narrative discharge shadows her brother ‘s life.

I understand that you turned upwardly in Land of enchantment on a ranches. How makes that background influence your authorship?

LIZ: Really, it was my mother who turned au fait a spreads, but she conjoined a man who worked for the Office of Rehabilitation, so we were hydroelectric gipsies. Two of my uncles worked cowses all their lives, and trips back to Nm were full of cowhand narratives and horseback equitation.

How large a office makes placing drama in your books?

LIZ: Putting dramas a major function. One of my readers mentioned that I write on settlement people. I consider that Holds because I ‘m a settlement somebody myself, and it Holds a comfy voice.

You give shops on applying menage history in fiction. Is all of your fiction based on your house history?

LIZ: All my fiction banks heavily on household history. I name it Viridity Fiction. Recycling, you cognise? It may merely be that I make n’t hold any original thoughts. Or that I ‘m lazy. But, it works for me.

How nearly make your characters resemble household members?

LIZ: It depends on the character. Ofttimes I take features from one and add them to features of another so that the resultant complex ca n’t be acknowledged. Stillly, because I ‘ve utilized a physical trait of somebody I cognise welllike wisplike hair, for instanceI cognize how this someone feels about and trades thereupon grooming challenge. Unite that with another home member ‘s aspiration or trustiness, and I ‘ll cognise how they will respond in a nerve-wracking situation. The two united traits, and what I cognize of their original proprietors, work together to make a 3-dimensional loanblend, and I make n’t need to pass hrs on a back tale or character bible to cognise how this individual will respond when the flakes are downwardly.

I ‘m not bent abash anyone or smart any feelings. It Holds simply easier to mine the personalities of people I ‘ve turned upward hearing narratives about all my life. When I get completed, they ‘re not home members any more. Each holds gone his ain soul. Characters run to make that.

What are the pros and cons of write of home members?

LIZ: The pros are that they are easier to cognise and rely as they locomote the tale on. A con would be if you maked a imitation and injury individual ‘s feelings. I conceive you need to be careful.

When maked you firstly commence inditing?

LIZ: Seriously? Likelily in the mid-1980 ‘s. Oh, I e’er stargazed of being a author, but I maked n’t hold the subject earlierly so. I maked n’t hold a hint what it entailed.

What was your first printed book?

LIZ: The first two in the Spider Latham Enigma Series came out at the same clip. That was The Boarder and After Goliath The tertiary in the series, Snakewater Matter , came out a yr subsequently.

Make you experience that your composition holds turned since so?

LIZ: Oh, my, yes! I ‘m a much better author now, and I assign that to being a constituent of an active authors ‘ grouping.

State us about Missives from Afghanistan Were the missives pent to you?

LIZ: Yes. I was a immature mother when my parents attended Afghanistan in 1965. My mother and begetter both worked for the Office for International Development ( Assistance ). Pa was in charge of buying machinery and learning the Afghans how to hold it, and mother ran a little hotel/restaurant that catered to the American contingent and seing diplomatists. She holded fifteen Afghan manpowers working for her, and she got really regarded in their lives. She would indite long missives place about her interactions with them. Some missives were uproarious; some were affecting, but none were dull.

I was a busy ma and instruction school additionally, and I ‘d savor each missive and lay it forth. It was only geezerhood afterward, in 2001, when I attended redact the missives for the menage, that I observed what a treasure these missives were and what a window they were into the psyche of the Afghan provincials.

Hold you traveled thereto state?

LIZ: I hold n’t. By the clip I was able to make that rather travel, it was n’t safe.

On the dorsum of your book is a indorsement telling that constituent of your book sales attend gain Portion Women Across lands ( SWAN ). Say us a trifle about this grouping.

LIZ: SWAN is a humanistic outreach organisation that was started by my two girls, Ruth Lavine and Terry Gifford, and I The intention is to assist women and shavers through microloans, malaria medicine, mosquito nets and school supplies and uniforms. Terry is the motivating force, and it is she who visits Bolivia each year to superintend the microloan plan there, which includes a mini-business class and proceeding didactics as the women take out loans and go enterprisers.

Most of the support for SWAN comes from the “ Pattie Waggon, ” Terry ‘s grant laggard that you may see at ball games or at Sedro Woolley jubilations, and SWAN too patronize a Century Motorcycle Drive that cooccurs with Sedro Woolley ‘s Blast from the Yesteryear. You can chance out more about SWAN by seing

Where can we encounter your books?

Likelily the easiest manner is to attend Virago. My secrets are out of print, but can still be chance on line. The Mist of Target Seaport , which is putted in the San Juan Islands was printed by Deseret Book and is sold mostly in their outlets. My newest, Numbering the Cost , was printed by Inglestone Publication, a little company in Phoenix. Any book shop that makes n’t hold them in stock can enjoin them in, but Virago is likelily quicker. Too, check out the book trailer

Thank you for sharing with us, Liz.

Thank you, Heidi. What luck to hold happened you manning your booth at the Sedro Woolley July 4 Jubilation. As I read your book about your gran, Cowgirl Dreams , I see that we hold much in common. We ‘re kindred liquors.

Yes, so. I love doing connexion that mode. Seing new friends is component of the wages in holding a book printed.

Liz will be a presenter on “ Victimisation Home History in Fiction ” at the Skagit Valley Writers League /Pacific Northwest Writers Association “ Connections ” Shop October 17 in Mount Vernon Washington.

Published in: on February 15, 2010 at 9:44 pm  Comments (3)  
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Pirated Blogs

Not long ago I had a very nice review written on Cowgirl Dreams by Jill Williamson on Then one day, as I scrolled through my “Google Alerts” messages for “Cowgirl Dreams,” I found the following post. Apparently it was translated into another language and then re-translated back into English, probably using computer translation software. It’s actually quite hilarious to see the equivalent words and phrases it came up with. Note my last name (no idea how Meter came from Thomas) and the name of my publisher, Treble Heart Books…

Reappraisal: Cowgirl Dreams by Heidi Meter

Reappraisal by Jill Williamson

Therein 1920 ‘s coming-of-age western, fourteen-year-old Nettie Brady desires to be a cowgirl to a higher degree anything. Her mother considers that it Holds overly unsafe for a fille and that Nettie demands to be larning how to maintain a place. But Nettie hates stitching and cookery. Justly sitting gives her pleasance in life. She makes n’t ever desire to be some slow homemaker lodged inside all day.

As Nettie turns upward, she gets some chances to attend the rodeo, but her mother makes n’t look to soften much to the thought. The summertime of her 16th yr, Nettie get Holds a business sitting horses for a well-favored immature cowpoke called Jake. Her feelings for Jake turn over clip, and Nettie gets to worry. She makes n’t desire to be bound downwards to anyone, but she Holds ne’er holded feelings like this for anyone. Could Jake be the one for her? And if so, would that intend she ‘d should give upward her dreaming of being a rodeo cowgirl?

This was a merriment narration. I cared seeing Nettie ‘s path on a 1920 ‘s spread. I loved the polite fashion people handled each other back so. The rodeo scenes were interesting and I was rooting for Nettie to had best. It was playfulness to read about horses you bet they got developed. I likewise wished the romance and Nettie ‘s position on not desiring to get bound downward in matrimony. I happened her standard refreshing, and sweetly naive. I likewise admired her finding and passionateness for sitting, but her noncompliance got a trifle frustrating. Initially I maked n’t mind this about her. She was immature then raddled to sitting that it add up that she ‘d locomote against her parents. But after a patch, it but beleaguer me and doed her less appealing. Like she was throwing conniption if she maked n’t get her manner. Disregarding, I advocate this tale to misses who love sitting horses, rodeo, and a bit old Occident romance.

Age Orbit: 16 and upwards
Genre: Historical Fiction
Constituent of a Series: no
Pages: 260
Publisher: Soprano Bosom Books
Relinquished: 2008

Next: An author interview I conducted with Liz Adair.

Published in: on February 13, 2010 at 12:21 am  Comments (2)  
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Is Proofreading a Dying Art?

Many of you have probably seen these circulating, but they’re just too funny not to pass along. And, it goes to show you–we DO need proofreaders!

Man Kills Self Before Shooting Wife and Daughter
Wow, back from the dead, huh?

Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says

Really? Ya think?
Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers

Now that’s taking things a bit far!

Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over

What a guy!

Miners Refuse to Work after Death

No-good-for-nothing’ lazy so-and-sos!
———————- ——————————–

uvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant
See if that works any better than a fair trial!

War Dims Hope for Peace

I can see where it might have that effect!

If Strike Isn’t Settled Quickly, It May Last Awhile
Ya think?!

Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures

Who would have thought!

Enfield ( London ) Couple Slain;
Police Suspect Homicide
They may be on to something!

Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges

You mean there’s something stronger than duct tape?

Man Struck By Lightning:
Faces Battery Charge
He probably IS the battery charge!

New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger
Test Group
Weren’t they fat enough?!

Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft

That’s what he gets for eating those beans!

Kids Make Nutritious Snacks

Do they taste like chicken?

Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half
Chainsaw Massacre all over again!

Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors

Boy, are they tall!


And the winner is….
Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead

Did I read that right?


WILD PENANCE Book Giveaway

Check out the Mysteries and Musings blog for a book giveaway: Sandi Ault’s Wild Penance. She’s an awesome writer!

Published in: on February 9, 2010 at 3:25 am  Comments (2)  
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My Interview on The Authors Show

On Friday, Feb. 5, I am the featured author interview on The Authors’ Show (all day). Tune in as Don McCauley asks me about my book, Cowgirl Dreams, and my journey to publication. Click here to listen.

To my surprise, I have found that doing radio interviews is fun! I like talking about my book and get pretty excited about the topic of “old-time” cowgirls.

Don McCauley is a marketing strategist with over 30 years of experience. He helps individuals, small businesses and professionals create low cost publicity and marketing campaigns to increase sales. He demonstrates how anyone can develop a massive marketing and publicity campaign for little or no money by utilizing cutting edge strategic marketing and publicity resources. The goal is alway to produce bottom line results

Don serves as facilitator of the Free Publicity Focus Group. He is an author and currently writes for regional and national print and electronic publications. He serves as host of The Authors Show radio program, a production of He is an Inbound Marketing Certified Professional and is Web CEO University Certified.

Prior to establishing his marketing and publicity consulting business, Don spent many years as a marketing manager and trainer for several large US corporations. He has also personally built three highly successful service businesses from scratch across three different industries.

He spent 8 years as marketing director of a regional corporation. During this time he was responsible for developing, implementing and managing marketing and publicity campaigns.

More information is available at He can be reached by email at

Published in: on February 5, 2010 at 7:46 am  Comments (1)  
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Meet Author Laurel-Rain Snow

Laurel-Rain Snow is the pen name for Lorraine Frost Sandone, who was born in California’s Central Valley; she attended community college in Modesto, CA, after which she transferred to San Francisco State University in the sixties. She transferred again and graduated from California State University in Sacramento, with a BA in psychology. Ms. Snow moved to Fresno, CA, in the early seventies, where she then worked in the social work profession for over thirty years, specializing primarily in child welfare cases. She earned her MA in counseling from California State University of Fresno in the seventies. Ms. Snow, now retired from social work, lives in Fresno, CA, and is the mother of four grown children and proud grandmother of seven.

After retiring from the social work profession, Ms.Snow turned to an old dream—writing—and has published five novels, available on

The author weaves three decades of experience into her novels, which sets them apart and lends authenticity to the characterizations.


by Laurel-Rain Snow

“Because I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep…”

This excerpt from a Robert Frost poem, a favorite of mine from long ago, is the central theme of the novel “Miles to Go.”

The story spans more than thirty years and highlights a friendship connection between two women who meet in college, protest the radical causes of the sixties and seventies, and discover that the journey to adulthood is riddled with many obstacles—ruts in the road, if you will—that prevent the realization of some of their early goals.

They learn, in the process of growing up, that despite the promises of their youth—even their most fervent vows—that the journey can be tangled indeed.  But the most vital realization is that friendship can sustain you, even when you stumble or fall.

I first began this novel when I endured a painful and unexpected loss in the early eighties.  Writing in longhand, on long yellow legal pads, I wrote endlessly, without any particular goal or plot.  I was simply seeking catharsis.

Then I set it aside and got on with other things.

I rediscovered it in a drawer near the beginning of the Millennium, when I was at a point of reexamining many issues, including what constituted my future.  I was approaching retirement from a social worker career and wanted to explore new options—an old love, in fact.  Writing this novel became an obsession, and having set up my computer in an upstairs bedroom, I began.

Lindsay Malone and Gia Greenbaum became the two college friends, who maintained their friendship connection from the sixties and beyond—for more than thirty years.  I explored with them their relationships, their parenting issues, and their career choices…and journeyed with them along the paths that often veered completely away from their college aspirations.

Lindsay battles the angst of personal loss—the mysterious death of her brother, while in his prime—and the demise of her youthful marriage.  She struggles with chemical dependency, even as her clients in her social work practice do the same.  The irony does not escape her.  Many relationships follow, but not until she has become independent and on her own for a few years does she finally find the companionship of an interdependent partner.

Gia’s quest is more political, and after spending time as a lobbyist for radical causes, she attends law school…then she takes up the pursuit of environmental issues, along with others near and dear to her heart.  She, too, finds that relationships elude her…after her divorce, she dabbles with single life until finally she finds the perfect mate for her.

It is no coincidence that many exploits of the primary characters are closely drawn to my own experiences.  However, I must add that the characters and their adventures are embellished—completely fictionalized—so that this novel is truly fiction.  Though not a memoir, it does resemble one at times.

Because I struggled with this one more than the others, I put it aside again and published three other novels before finally bringing this one to life.

Indeed—I did have “miles to go” before it saw the light of day.


Amazon Authors Page

Published in: on February 2, 2010 at 6:00 am  Comments (4)  
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