Tales2Inspire by Lois Stern-Anthology

front-covertales2inspireAlthough most of us can identify with the frustrations of modern technology, in this humorous story Micki Peluso makes light of them in a thoroughly enjoyable way. She is convinced that it’s not her fault. It’s just that all the mechanical lemons of the world somehow end up in her home. She tells us she actually has reason to believe that there is a collective intelligence among electrical appliances, guiding them to prey on unobtrusive women like her! http://tales2inspire.com/humorous-stories-mean-machine/

86 the Coleslaw

In her third humorous story, 86 the Coleslaw, we soon learn that Micki is not talking about the number of coleslaw portions ordered at her husband’s restaurant. She takes charge of her husband’s restaurant, The Chicken Coup, for one day while he is out of town. He promised that the place practically runs itself. But from the first moment she takes charge, she sees that this is a myth. Learn morehttp://tales2inspire.com/tales2inspire-humorous-story-86-the-coleslaw/


Tomatoes and Teenagers

Finally, in her last humorous story, Tomatoes and Teenagers Micki gives us some laugh-out-loud moments. Teenagers sure can give us a run for our money. But just like tomatoes, those teenagers finally do ripen. Finally they too will mature, and if all goes well, will one day have teenagers of their own. Learn more. http://tales2inspire.com/humorous-story-tales2inspire-tomatoes-and-teenagers/



The Mean Machine, Relatives and Fish, 86 the Coleslaw and Tomatoes and Teenagers are now published in

Tales2Inspire ~ The Crystal Collection (Stories that Tickle the Funny Bone).

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_gnr_fkmr1?rh=i:stripbooks,k:Tales2Inspire+Collection&keywords=Tales2Inspire+Collection&ie=UTF8&qid=1446640172

Although most of us can identify with the frustrations of modern technology, in this humorous story Micki Peluso makes light of them in a thoroughly enjoyable way. She is convinced that it’s not her fault. It’s just that all the mechanical lemons of the world somehow end up in her home. She tells us she actually has reason to believe that there is a collective intelligence among electrical appliances, guiding them to prey on unobtrusive women like her! http://tales2inspire.com/humorous-stories-mean-machine/

86 the Coleslaw

In her third humorous story, 86 the Coleslaw, we soon learn that Micki is not talking about the number of coleslaw portions ordered at her husband’s restaurant. She takes charge of her husband’s restaurant, The Chicken Coup, for one day while he is out of town. He promised that the place practically runs itself. But from the first moment she takes charge, she sees that this is a myth. Learn morehttp://tales2inspire.com/tales2inspire-humorous-story-86-the-coleslaw/


Tomatoes and Teenagers

Finally, in her last humorous story, Tomatoes and Teenagers Micki gives us some laugh-out-loud moments. Teenagers sure can give us a run for our money. But just like tomatoes, those teenagers finally do ripen. Finally they too will mature, and if all goes well, will one day have teenagers of their own. Learn more. http://tales2inspire.com/humorous-story-tales2inspire-tomatoes-and-teenagers/



The Mean Machine, Relatives and Fish, 86 the Coleslaw and Tomatoes and Teenagers are now published in

Tales2Inspire ~ The Crystal Collection (Stories that Tickle the Funny Bone).

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_gnr_fkmr1?rh=i:stripbooks,k:Tales2Inspire+Collection&keywords=Tales2Inspire+Collection&ie=UTF8&qid=1446640172

BUY NOW

Merry Christmas, or my 3 Nuggets of Wisdom

That’s my house too!!

Nicholas C. Rossis

Once again, Christmas is upon us, and I realize this is the third time I celebrate it with you, my online friends. As a small thank-you, I’ll offer you three nuggets of wisdom. No, not from three wise men, but from yours truly, to put you in the Christmas spirit.

1. Give Thoughtful Presents

Yes, books make great gifts. But that’s a subject for another post. Puns, on the other hand, are NOT a great gift:

Merry Christmas - Frozen stuff | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

2. Mind the Cat

This year, we skipped decorating, save for a handful of unbreakable ornaments. The reason is the wee one, but in fact, I should have thought of it years ago, seeing how we have not one but two cats.

Merry Christmas - Cat carrols | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

3. Mind the Dog

Oh yes, we have a dog, too. And even though she’s now 13 years old, she’s still as mischevious as a puppy.

Merry Christmas - Dog carrols | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

That’s it from me! I hope…

View original post 30 more words

Merry Christmas everyone

Adding my Christmases wishes to this post!!

MorgEn Bailey - Creative Writing Guru

Just a quick post to say a very merry Christmas to everyone. I hope you have arrived safely at your destination or if you’re still on your way, that your journey goes smoothly. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this blog and to those who have read what my guests have shared with you. See you next week!

View original post

Christmastime: past and Present

This is a comparison of the Christmases of today as compared with the past. The Spirit is the same.

Christmas; Past and Present

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the Mall, last minute shoppers scurried from store to store; short on patience and with little evidence of the holiday spirit of love. The only ones smiling were the store owners and the costumed Santa, who gets paid to be jolly.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of talking dolls, video games, bicycles and other expensive toys, danced in their heads.Mama in her kerchief and I in my cap had just settled down to tackle the mountain of Christmas bills, which was larger than the national debt.

The moon on the crest of the new fallen snow, reflected the concern of families awaiting the arrival of loved ones traveling on icy roads.Years ago, Christmas seemed easier, less commercial and more enjoyable.Many families lived near each other, and most of the decorations, foodstuffs and presents were homemade. While there was stress and haste to accomplish the needed tasks by Christmas Eve, the stress was different than what is experienced today. Generations past did not seem to lose sight of the reason for Christmas; a birthday celebration of sharing and love.

The nostalgia of horse-drawn sleigh rides through wooded country roads is sorely missed. Bells jingling accompaniment to carols sung off key by bundled-up children in the back of the sleigh, is a thing of the past. Yet Christmas retains an aura of magic, nonetheless.

Originally, the Christian church did not acknowledge Christmas at all, as such observance was considered a heathen rite. The earliest records of any Christmas celebration dates back to the early part of the third century.Gift giving, as a custom, may have originated with the Romans, relating to their worship of Dionysus at Delphi.

The Christmas tree comes from the Germans, although its origin has been traced as far back as ancient Egypt. The tree replaces a former customary pyramid of candles, part of the pagan festivals. There is a legend that Martin Luther brought an evergreen home to his children and decorated it for Christmas. German immigrants carried this custom with them to the New World, but it did not gain popularity until 1860, when John C. Bushmann, a German, decorated a tree in Massachusetts and invited people to see it. Evergreens, a symbol of survival, date to the 18th century when St. Boniface, honoring the Christianization of Germany, dedicated a fir tree to the Holy Child to replace the sacred oak of Odin. The “Nation’s Christmas Tree,” was the General Grant tree in General

Grant National Park in California, dedicated May 1, 1926,by the town mayor. Thetree was 267 feet high and 3500-4000 years old.Mistletoe, burned on the alter of the Druid gods, was regarded as a symbol of love and peace. The Celtic custom of kissing under the mistletoe comes from the practice of enemies meeting under the plant, dropping their weapons and embracing in peace. Some parts of England decorated with mistletoe and holly, but other parts banned its use due to association with Druid rites. Mistletoe was considered a cure for sterility, a remedy for poisons, and kissing under it would surely lead to marriage.

The 4th century German St. Nicholas, shortened through the years to Santa Claus, has become the epitome of today’s Christmas spirit. St. Nicholas, taking pity upon three young maidens with no dowry and no hope, tossed a bag of gold through each of their windows, and granted them a future. Other anonymous gifts being credited to him were emulated and the tradition grew. The Norsemen enhanced the legend of Santa Claus coming down the chimney with their goddess, Hertha, known to appear in fireplaces, bringing happiness and good luck.

Sir Henry Cole, impressed by a lithograph drawing, made by J.C. Horsley, instigated the idea of Christmas cards. It took eighteen years for the custom to gain popularity, and then it was adopted mainly by gentry. Christmas was banned in England in 1644, during the Puritan ascendancy. A law was passed ordering December 25th a market day and shops were forced to open. Even the making of plum pudding and mincemeat pies was forbidden. This law was repealed after the Restoration, but the Dissenters still referred to Yuletide as “Fooltide.”

The General Court of Massachusetts passed a law in 1657 making the celebration of Christmas a penal offense. This law, too, was repealed, but many years would pass before New England celebrated Christmas.

When Washington crossed the Delaware River during the Revolutionary War, it was the observance of Christmas that made his conquest of the British a success. The enemy was sleeping off the affects of the celebration.

Befana, or Epiphany, is the Italian female counterpart of Santa Claus. On Epiphany, or Twelth Night, she is said to fill children’s stockings with presents. According to legend, Befana was too busy to see the Wise Men during their visit to the Christ Child, saying that she would see them on their way back to the East. The Magi, however, chose a different route home, and now Befana must search for them throughout eternity. The sacred song traditionally sung on her yearly visit is the Befanata.

The number of Magi visiting the stable on that first Christmas Eve could be anywhere from two to twenty. The number three was chosen because of the three gifts; gold, frankincense and myrrh. Western tradition calls the Magi, Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, but they have different names and numbers in different parts of the world.

Though distinctly Christian, the social aspect of Christmas is observed and enjoyed by many religious and ethnic groups. Rabbi Eichler, during a sermon in Boston in 1910 explains why: “…Christmas has a double aspect, a social and theological side. The Jew can and does heartily join in the social Christmas. Gladly, does he contribute to the spirit of good will and peace, characteristic of the season. It was from the light of Israel’s sanctuary that Christianity lit its torch. The Hanukkah lights, therefore, justly typify civilization and universal religion.”

Dr. Clement Clarke Moore, a professor at the General Theological Seminary in New York, penned the famous poem, “Twas the Night before Christmas.” Dr.Moore never intended for the poem to be published. Miss Harriet Butler, daughter of the rector of St. Paul’s Church in Troy, New York, accompanied her father on a visit to Dr. Moore. She asked for a copy of the poem and sent it anonymously to the editor of The Troy Sentinel. A copy of the newspaper carrying his poem was sent to Dr. Moore, who was greatly annoyed that something he composed for the amusement of his children should be printed. It was not until eight years later, that Dr. Moore publicly admitted that he wrote the poem.

Christmas is the favorite Holiday of children, who unquestionably accept the myth of Santa Claus. In 1897, one little girl began to have doubts as to the reality of Santa Claus, and wrote to the New York Sun, asking for confirmation. Her letter read: Dear editor, I am eight years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says,”If you see it in The Sun, it’s so. Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?” Virginia D’Hanlon.

Francis P. Church’s editorial answer to the little girl became almost as famous as Dr. Moore’s poem. In part, this is what he wrote: Virginia, your little friends are so wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe, except they see… Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exists….Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as if there were no Virginia’s…No Santa Claus! Thank God! He lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.”

It is sentiments like this that warm the heart of child and adult alike, as Christmas nears. It is not the gifts, soon forgotten, that make Christmas a time of wonder and magic. It is the love within all people for God, for children, for each other. During this hectic holiday season, take a moment or two to savor the true meaning of Christmas.

“And I heard him exclaim
As he drove out of sight,
Happy Christmas to all,
And to all a Goodnight!”
Dr. Clement Clarke Moore

Describers vs. Prescribers: Reaching a Linguistic Common Ground

Great article on proper word usage.

Nicholas C. Rossis

When I published The Power of Six, my first collection of short stories, a reviewer said that the book had grammatical errors, albeit small ones. This shocked me, as the book had been professionally edited and proof-read. So, I reached out and asked her for an example. “You start a sentence with a gerund,” she said. “So?” I asked. “So, that’s wrong.”

I was baffled by this. Surely, that’s a matter of style, right?

This seemingly innocent question actually led me into a minefield. As The Economist points out, for half a century, language experts have fallen into two camps. Most lexicographers and academic linguists stand on one side, and traditionalist writers and editors on the other. The question that defines the to camps is deceivingly simple: should language experts describe the state of the language accurately? (Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, in 1961, shocked the world by including common…

View original post 485 more words

A Special Book For a Special Holiday

The elusive whippoorwill swoops down the mountains.

Through night into dawn it’s song mourns summer’s loss–

as I cry mine.

AND THE WHIPPOORWILL SANG, a 304 page memoir, opens with eloping teenagers, Micki and Butch, in a bizarre double wedding ceremony with Micki’s mother.  The couple share comical escapades, spanning decades. A terrible accident occurs in a placid valley nestled in the Susquehanna Mountains. Micki narrates happier days while confronting an uncertain future. One of her six children is fighting for life in the hospital. The family embarks upon its unbearable journey to the other side of sorrow . . .

And so  in the throes of grief, a writing career was born.

I published a short story of this memoir, resulting in  25 years of writing essays, commentary, and slice of life for two major newspapers, and staff writer for the Staten Island Register. I’ve published humor, horror and paranormal fiction in e-zines, print magazines, and contests and a half dozen award winning anthologies. I recently published a children’s story., The cat Who Wanted a Dog. “Don’t Pluck the Duck,” a collection of comedic essays, short fiction and non-fiction stories,will be released in early 2017.

Each day the lives of children are lost through alcohol and drug related deaths. Each of them was special to those who loved them–each deserves remembrance. This book was written for each of them.

https://www.amazon.com/Micki-Peluso/e/B002BLZ7JK/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0mickigraphic

Amazon Further Tightens Review Rules

excellent article on Amazon reviews

Nicholas C. Rossis

Amazon | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books Image: dailyfinance.com

My reviewer friend, C, aka the happy meerkat, recently notified me of some further tweaks in Amazon’s review policy. Most of them make perfect sense, yet a couple raise concerns. The new rules can be read here in their entirety but here are the new points:

  1. If your review is removed or rejected because it does not comply with our guidelines concerning promotional content, you may not resubmit a review on the same product, even if the resubmitted review includes different content.
  2. Reviews may only include URLs or links to other products sold on Amazon.
  3. Customers in the same household may not post multiple reviews of the same product.
  4. Customers can submit 5 non-Amazon Verified Purchase reviews each week, starting on Sundays.
  5. When we find unusually high numbers of reviews for a product posted in a short period of time, we may restrict reviews…

View original post 975 more words