Grandma Says..

Observations and views from a different set of eyes

A Day To Celebrate And A Fond Farewell

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Oh yeah..I’m dancing my old butt off!  So much to tell you all I just don’t know where to begin!

Okay, the most important thing…I’M NOW A PUBLISHED WRITER.  Can you dig it?  Can you believe it?  And you know what, it’s all because of you, my readers and fellow bloggers.  You pushed me with your comments, your encouraging words and your support and now, it is a reality.  I have a short story published and what a feeling it is!

You have helped me make a life long dream come true.  I have passed a milestone and you were by my side all the way.  You might not believe it, but, my eyes are tearing up as I write this.  You guys Rock!

I have also been working on creating a new blog.  WHAT?  Am I crazy…don’t I have enough to do?  Has Cranky finally gone off the deep end?

No, my friends.  I just felt that now that I am starting to experience a little success, I wanted to let others join in my journey and let me pass on some of the support and motivation that you have here on my personal blog.  I hope to use the new site to highlight blogs on writing that I discover, publishers that want our work and let people know that if this old fart can do..anyone can!

On the advice of one of the first bloggers that ever did me the honor of visiting my site and following me, Aurora of Metal Angel, I also got a domain name.  She warned me that some less than scrupulous people were watching for up and coming authors and would snatch their domain name with the intentions of selling it to the Authors for an tidy profit for them.  So for anyone that want’s to get to my sites, you can now use my http://memcmahon.wordpress.com and you’ll find me.  Thanks my friend! Check out her site, she’s a great girl!

Now, nothing ever comes without a price.  I have tried for two days to keep Mrs. Gulch on this site, while having my picture (as amateur as it is) appear on my new site.  No matter what I did, I couldn’t seem to get it to work.  So, I’ve had to wave goodbye to Mrs. Gulch and send her on her way back to OZ.  Hope she avoids falling houses on the way.  So, a fond farewell to you Mrs. Gulch, you’ve served me well and I’ll miss you.

So, my friends, I hope that you’ll hop on over to my new site and visit.  Click here on “A Dream Come True” and take a look around.  I’d love to hear what you think of it.

Also, my short story is now available on Alphie Dog Fiction and you can take a peek!  You’ll find it down the list under M E McMahon and they give you a sneak peek at the content.  I have two more scheduled for publication in July, so I’ll keep you updated when they’re available.

Now, many of you know that I don’t drink alcohol, so would you do the Cranky a favor?  Tip one for me tonight and wish me well!  And, don’t worry.  Grandma Says is still going to be my site to put all my personal stuff, you know, my thoughts, my views and my ridiculous animated pictures.  I love you all and hope to hear from you soon.

Love,

Cranky

49 Comments »

Goodbye To A Hero

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Mike Patterson, his wife and three children

On June 8, Mike Patterson was enjoying an afternoon with his nine-year old son on the shores of Euharlee, Creek in Rockport Ga.  The 43 year old spotted a toddler drowning in the swimming hole and, without hesitation, dived in to save the small child.

He succeeded but suffered a severe neck injury and was found unconscious and drowning in the water moments after rescuing the small child.  He had broken his neck in three separate places as he had dived into a shallow area of the swimming hole head first.  He has spent the days following his heroic act in the Intensive Care Unit of a nearby hospital, paralyzed and battling pneumonia caused by the water in his lungs.

Today, Mike Patterson lost the battle and died from his injuries.  So, now we have to say good-bye to a good samaritan who selflessly gave his life to save another.  Let us remember him and send our prayers to his family and loved ones. May his sons always remember and respect their father for the Hero he was.

R.I.P. Mike..You lost the battle but you saved the day.

A fund has been set up in Mike’s memory to defray the medical costs and family expenses for Mike’s surviving family.  You can get more information here:

Friends Of Mike Patterson

21 Comments »

So Wrong and So Sad

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We all knew that racial discrimination was going to be a major issue in the State Of Florida’s case against George Zimmerman.  Zimmerman is accused of  “racially profiling” Trayvon Martin and that resulted in the eventual struggle between Zimmerman and Martin, which led to Martin’s death.  We were warned; we were prepared to hear once again how a young black boy was prejudged to be “suspicious” based on his color of skin.

I sat in shock, not believing my ears, while I listened to young Rachel Jeantel’s testimony yesterday.  For those of you not following this controversial trial, she was the young girl on the phone with Martin just moments before he was shot.

She testified that Trayvon Martin stated that a “Creepy Ass Cracker” (George Zimmerman) was following him.  When asked if she felt that was a racist remark, she said, “No, sir.”

WHAT?

The defense has just proved that Zimmerman was not the only one that might have been guilty of racial profiling.

Rachel is nineteen years old and if her idea of what constitutes a racial remark is shared by the youth of today, then there will never be an end to discrimination based on the color on one’s skin.  And, that is so wrong, and so sad.

I thought the world had come further in accepting people for what they are and what they do, not on the color of their skin, but on the way they live their lives.  I guess I was wrong if a remark such as “creepy ass cracker” is considered an innocent remark, not a racial slur.

I live in Florida and I know that the term “cracker’ is used as an offensive racial slur against the Caucasian residents of this state.  It’s not a compliment, it’s an insult when someone calls you a “cracker.” Plain and simple.

Rachel testified that the term “cracker” was used in her community to refer to white people, so how is that not an ethnic slur?

I, like the jurors, am waiting for all the evidence before I pass judgement on George Zimmerman.  But, Rachel’s testimony upset me and now I question just who was doing the racial profiling, Zimmerman, Martin, or both?  If it was just one of them or both were prejudging someone’s intentions based on the color of their skin, then nothing has changed and discrimination will continue on forever.  And that is so wrong, and so sad.

Just saying.

15 Comments »

The Posting Pit

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I’ve been a busy, busy bee these past two weeks.  Determined to build up my publishing credits, I’ve been polishing posts that I felt were worthy of submission to literary magazines. I spent time carefully editing them and sending them out to be considered.

I followed all the submission guidelines: the format of the manuscript is carefully followed, the spacing adhered to and the short bio or blurb carefully constructed.  I check the spelling of the editor’s name three times and finally e-mail my submission.

The other day, an awful thought popped into my head.  The stories I had submitted had all previously been posted on my blog site.  Since some of the publishers I submitted to requested unpublished works, does that mean that my stories are automatically refused?  They didn’t ask if I had a blog site, but it would be easy enough to find me out there in the cyberworld and find those stories.

I searched the Internet hoping that publishers didn’t consider Blog posts as published works.  Well, my friends, I’m sorry to say…they do!  Well, poopy-do and all that!  Now, I had submitted a total of three stories to an online magazine that accepts pre-published works, but there are not that many of them out there.  (All three got accepted, I’m happy to say!)

So, what’s a blogger to do?  We beta test our stories by sending them out to our readers on the site.  They either ignore them or make comments that convince you that it is worthy to be read by the general public or is of no interest at all to the everyday reader.  Their response usually tells you if you’ve got a good story going.

I guess that I will no longer be able to post my fiction/non-fiction/memoir stories on my site if I feel that I may want to submit them to publishers at a later date.  That sucks…but I guess it’s the only way not to have my story thrown into the Posting Pit.

If any published writers out there have found more information than I could about the legality of claiming a post as a unpublished work…let me know!  Otherwise, all the stories I wrote for my readers here are never going to go any further than this site.  And, again, that sucks.

But, it is what it is.  For those of you who are just gathering up the nerve to send in some of your work to a literary magazine, you might want to learn from my experience and follow the comments (if I get any) before you e-mail those stories that you once posted on your site.

I just thought I’d warn you about walking into the Posting Pit.

Love,

Cranky

Authors note:  I did submit a piece that was on my site to one of the publishers, before I realized that posts would be considered pre-published works.  I have the ability to withdraw it from consideration…but I haven’t done so yet.  Looking for more information before I drag it back home to die.

37 Comments »

I Need You.

Hey Writers, this sounds like a good project you might want to check out. It gets your writing out of the blogosphere and into a different set of eyes.

The Paperbook Blog

Yes, you. And you. And you over there in the corner. I need all of you.

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Something new is brewing behind The Paperbook Blog. It started as an idea and it has slowly gathered momentum until it is filling my every waking thought. Which is definitely intruding on my ability to get anything else done, but never mind. University assignments can wait…

Friends, fellow thinkers, artists, poets, designers and creators, I am starting the Paperbook MAGAZINE! (Don’t worry, it has a better name than ‘Paperbook Magazine’, but it is under wraps for now…)

What the hell? Whyyyyy???????

I can hear your brains screeching from across the globe. Let me do my best to explain:

What it’s all about:

Basically, I want to create a free online literary magazine. Why? I’ll get to that in a minute. The magazine would include: Creative Non-Fiction, Flash Fiction, Short Stories, Book Review’s, Poetry, Art, Author Bio’s, Photography, and whatever…

View original post 773 more words

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Oh, What A Night!

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I love storms!  They make me gasp, they hypnotize me with their brilliant streaks of lightning and the deafening peals of thunder. I’ve seen some great storms in my twenty-five years in Florida but, last night, I was in my glory!

Around seven p.m., the thunderclouds rolled in with a vengeance.  I was in the dining room working on the laptop (so what else is new?) and glanced up to see that first glorious strike of lightning light up the sky.  I looked out on the lanai (depending on where you live, think porch, patio or that little patch of cement you park a chair on outside your door) and there was Danny, stuffing his face with a piece of chocolate pie.

Now, when you hear thunder in Florida, you are wise to start looking for shelter (no, not under that metal car port) and sit back and enjoy the show.  These types of storms usually move through rather quickly and you don’t want to miss the special effects that Mother Nature has whipped up for you.

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Last night’s show was spectacular and lasted a good hour; it was a continuous symphony of deep, rolling thunder followed by cracks of lightening so loud you couldn’t help but give a little jump.  I sat in awe and watched with delight as the storm flexed it’s muscles time after time.  I watched Danny carry in his empty paper plate (hey, I’m a writer and I reduce chores down to the bone, so paper is good) and his fork.

He looked at me and said, “Guess I shouldn’t be using a metal fork while the lightning is so close to the house, huh?”

“Yeah, the lightning is going to aim straight for that fork, Dan.  Don’t worry about that aluminum chair you’re sitting in.”

So, taking the hint, he headed for the safety of the bedroom and I stayed till the end of the show.  Eventually, the lights stopped flickering, the skies started clearing and the thunder became a distant memory.

Now, some of you might remember that we have a small puppy and I worried that Buddy might be like out last dog, D.O.G.  At the first faraway murmur of thunder, D.O.G. would start breaking down the patio doors to take cover in the house.  You risked serious injury if you got in that dog’s way.  Don’t try to remove the dog from the house until the sun has once again graced the skies.  D.O.G. was pure chickens*** when it came to thunder and lightning.

After Danny scooted off to the safety of our bed, I felt safe enough to take a peek out the patio doors, worried that Buddy might be cowering in fear and shaking with terror.  I spotted him in his bed, SOUND ASLEEP!

When I softly said his name, he peeked up at me as if to say “What????  There was a storm?”  Love that dog!

This morning, all is still and quiet has covered our little town again.  But, Mother Nature did leave a little gift for those of us who survived the night and lived to see the sunrise.

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It’s a beautiful morning, but, oh what a night!

29 Comments »

The Top 10 Tips for Plotting and Finishing a Book

Hey fellow writers..here’s some great tips for getting that novel out of your head and onto paper!

3 Comments »

Undeserved Trust…Unbelievable Loss

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Charish Perriwinkle

I watched the news yesterday, and once again, was disgusted to find that another small child had been abducted and killed by a registered sexual offender.  I shook my head as the details were reported on how this horrible man was able to get his hands on an innocent child.  Another unbelievable loss that never should have happened.

Charish Perriwinkle and her mother were shopping in a dollar store when a man, Donald James Smith, befriended the mom and offered to help her out by buying clothes at a local Wal-mart.  The three traveled to Wal-mart and had spent a couple of hours shopping when Smith suggested that he go get some burgers from the McDonald’s located in the store.  He offered to take Charish with him and then proceeded to walk with the child out the front door.

Charish’s body was discovered on the grounds of a church, where police had responded to a report of a suspicious van in the area.   A short time later, a policewoman spotted Smith’s van as it passed her and he was stopped and arrested on suspicion of murder.  Bail has been denied and he is awaiting trial.

As a mother, my first question was how could the mother let a complete stranger take her daughter away to be raped and killed?  How could she have trusted a man she knew nothing about whisk her child out of her life?  The Internet is screaming with condemnation of a mother who misplaced her trust and lost her child in such a horrific manner.

Before we judge her, however, we need to consider the man responsible for this crime.  Smith had a long history of sexual offenses and had just been released from prison on May 31.  He has been a registered sex offender since 1993.  He was convicted for attempted kidnapping and selling obscene materials.  Several arrests later, he was convicted on charges of child abuse when he made obscene phone calls to a ten year old girl.  He pled guilty to impersonating a public employee and aggravated child abuse by willful torture.  He served a year in the county jail until he was released in May.

This man was a predator, wise to the ways of appearing to be a stranger willing to perform a random act of kindness to a mother and her kids during hard times.  He wooed her with his offer of help for her kids and spent hours with her to build up an undeserved trust.  Yes, the mother made a fatal mistake when she agreed to have Charish accompany him to McDonald’s.  For all we know, the restaurant might have been in her view and she got distracted for a few minutes while Smith took her daughter out of her life forever.

This mother will have to live with the guilt and the torture of knowing that her one moment of giving a stranger her undeserved trust cost her daughter her life.  She has to live with that and feel the pain of her loss every day from here on end.  We don’t need to add to her grief by judging her for her mistake.

What we do need to do is question how this vile, despicable man with a long list of sexual offenses against children was released to commit such a heinous crime?  How many times does it take for a sexual predator to be arrested before he is incarcerated for life to prevent him from harming one more innocent child?

Evidently, the answer is when he finally rapes and murders an eight year old little girl and gets caught.

It has been proven, over and over, that pedophiles CAN NOT be rehabilitated.  It just isn’t possible, experts have said over and over again.  So, why are these sexual predators released, time and again, to hurt our children?  When are lawmakers going to wake up and start protecting our children and not the criminals who prey on the innocent?

I hope the answer comes before another mother places her undeserved trust in a stranger and winds up experiencing the unbelievable loss of her child.

This post is dedicated to Bloggers For Peace.  Check out a great site “I am for Change” – you won’t be sorry!

32 Comments »

Introducing Myself: Bastet and Photography

Hey fellow bloggers…a woman who has continued to inspire me has just joined a great team of bloggers on one of the best sites I’ve found on WordPress. Check it out!

3 Comments »

Can You See Me Now?

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The other day, I found a online magazine that I felt would be a good place to submit one of my articles to and I hurried on over to their Submission Guidelines.  For those of you who have submitted your work before, you know that each publication has their own set of rules you must follow to properly submit your work.  Most of the publishers ask that the manuscript be in a specific format and that you supply a short bio or cover letter for their review.

Piece of cake if you follow the directions, right?  Well, I was reading down the submission guideline list for this particular publication and gasped in horror.  They wanted me to submit a picture to accompany the piece.  A PICTURE OF ME! Whaaaat? Cranky don’t do pictures!

I have a Gravatar for a good reason.  I hate having my picture taken; I really, really, really detest it! I would rather have four root canals done with no anesthetic than have to pose for a picture. If you don’t believe me, you could go through my family albums and try to find a picture of me. Good luck on that search!  I am the primary photographer for all family gatherings just so I don’t have to get in the photos.

When someone traps me into posing for a picture, I grab the nearest person and stand behind them…that way only the top of my head peeking over someone’s shoulder is the solitary part of my body caught by the camera…my anonymity stays intact.

But, a writers got to do what a writers gotta do.  I got Danny to agree to take the photo (a head and shoulders shot was requested) and then started to prepare for my portrait.

So many questions had to be addressed before I would sit for the photo.  Important decisions had to be made such as do I take out my teeth or leave them in?  Should I run out and get some “Nice And Easy” or leave the grey hairs intact?  Do I paint my face and cover all those signs of aging or go Au Naturel?  Should I opt for a tee shirt or try to look distinguished and matronly? Would Danny let me get a quick facelift and consider it an investment in my writing career?

Well, I decided that the teeth stay in and the grey hairs would stay.  I don’t own any makeup (not even tinted lip gloss) and it might not be a good idea to be photographed in my “I’m Not Fat..I’m Fluffy” tee shirt.  I did mention the facelift but well…you can imagine Danny’s response was less than receptive.

Finally the photo shoot began after Danny got a quick lesson on how to use my camera ( a cheapo that is about one step up from the type you buy in a supermarket.)  Well, it actually turned into a long lesson on how to aim a camera, look into the viewer and push the damn button.  He couldn’t seem to keep those three steps in mind for more than thirty seconds, so each time I sat in the chair and posed, he would just stand with the camera in his hand and ask me to repeat the directions.  Lord love a duck!

The first few pictures Danny managed to click turned out to be shots that were unusable.

“No, honey, they don’t want a picture of my boobs.  Take another one.”

“No, sweetie, they need more of my face in the picture than my double chin.  Quit hitting the Zoom button.”

Needless to say, the photo session took a lot longer than I first anticipated, but Danny did finally manage to squeeze out one photo that I felt would fill the bill.  Next time, I’m going to Wal-Mart.

I have decided to share the results with you, my blogging buddies, and hope that you now can put a face to the words I write.  I’ve also titled the picture with my pen name that I use when I submit work to be published.  I am laying myself bare before all of you…just this once on this site.  If you want to suffer through looking at my mug in the future, you’ll have to go to where they forced me to submit a picture.

Anyway, without further ado, I’d like to introduce myself (drum roll, please!)

My Picture

 M E McMahon

Writer, Novelist and a really Cranky person!

(I gave some heavy thought to submitting the picture at the top of this post, but I feared the publishers might not have a sense of humor! :))

44 Comments »

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