When thirty-something screenplay writer Jaqie Shanahan and her comedy company – Doofus the dog and José the gecko – stumble upon the ghost of her missing best friend, Jeep McBain, this witty, entertaining, mystery-solving adventure takes off at full sail.
“I didn’t know anything about ghost protocol,” Jaqie comments. “José bolted out of my pocket, climbed to my collar and clutched on with his knobby gray toes for a better view, “ while “Doofus snarfled the dead man’s armpits, and nibbled at the sand crabs scrabbling across the mostly bald head.”
Escape Clause is executed with flawless pacing and impeccable editing. Ms. VanDruff credits experience in stage work for honing her storytelling skills. She writes what she enjoys reading – good clean fun, romantic comedy, and amateur sleuthing. Also evident is her great love and appreciation for her animal sailing mates.
VanDruff’s story background is a nautical theme. On top of this, she adds Hollywood sparkle, tongue-in-cheek caricatures, and a budding paranormal romance.
If your reading mood is to navigate into waters that bring on short bursts of laughter, an ‘awww’ for adorable animals, wistfulness at the lengths one will go to for a good friend, then look no further than Escape Clause.
GA’s an author to keep your sights on!
Follow GA VanDruff:
If you were a fan of Three’s Company and Alice in the 1980s, you’ll enjoy Billy Jean, Armadillo Queen.
Marla arrives on the scene after a few personal setbacks. Accepting a job as a waitress in a character theme restaurant, she is transformed into Billy Jean, Armadillo Queen.
The staff ridicule, interactions and backbiting are reminiscent of so many situations where personality conflicts make spending time at work uncomfortable.
Donning her Billy Jean alter ego gives Marla a chance to ‘act out’ in ways that she’d never dare as her real self – with quick redneck banter laced with southern charm. Marla begins to realize levels of freedom that are startling and uplifting.
Marla’s journey is toward self-acceptance. She learns not give negative thoughts power and influence over her actions and decisions. Based on experiences in her own life, Megan Scott wrote Billy Jean, Armadillo Queen in two formats; as a stage play and as a narrative.
In both formats, the warring forces between Marla’s Light and Dark self-talk are entertaining and raunchily humorous. The dialogue clearly demonstrates the energy and force that thoughts have over daily life and overall level of happiness.
Using laughter to teach such an important lesson is a lovely way to shine a light on a healthier way of thinking.
Connect with Megan Scott:
Buy the Print or e-books on Amazon
History Professor Yuval Harari describes humans as the only species capable of imagination, large-scale cooperation and creating fictional entities that are some of the most powerful forces in the world.
Fictional entities make decisions about resources that have global consequences.
“Money is the most successful story ever invented because it is the only story everybody believes,” says Harari. Professor Harari is the author of the international bestseller Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind.
It is a peculiar notion that mass story telling, or fantasy, is responsible for the state of our global habitat contamination. Yet the facts do speak objectively. You don’t need statistics and numbers to tell you what your eyes can see everywhere.
If imagination has the power to pollute the planet, is it possible to use it to heal the world?
Global information is flowing as fast as…water. Consumers – scratch that!- Inhabitants have the power to change the world with thought, keystrokes and lifestyle alterations.
- Become an environmental champion. Choose an area that you are passionate about. Gather data, talk to friends and family, share on social media and make changes in your own behavior.
- Vote with dollars to support businesses that practice environmentally sound and sustainable operations and boycott those that don’t.
- Encourage children, middle schoolers and high schoolers to think about what problems they’d like to solve.
- Imagine and write stories about positive change.
From a simple 200-word writing prompt, I recently realized that I am most passionate about plastic pollution and that I am a water champion.
- Water covers around 70% of the Earth’s surface.
- The earth is a closed system, similar to a terrarium, meaning that it rarely loses or gains extra matter. The same water that existed on the earth millions of years ago is still present today.
- Water regulates the Earth’s temperature.
- Water dissolves more substances than any other liquid. Wherever it travels, water carries chemicals, minerals, and nutrients with it.
- Water can move up narrow tubes against the force of gravity in what is known as capillary action.
Drinking Water & the Human Body
- Water regulates the temperature of the human body, carries nutrients and oxygen to cells, cushions joints, protects organs and tissues, and removes wastes.
- 75% of the human brain is water and 75% of a living tree is water.
- 22% of our bones are water.
- Most people around the world have access to clean drinking water but it is a major problem in poorer areas of the world.
- Drinking water is needed for humans to avoid dehydration, the amount you need each day depends on the temperature, how much activity you are involved in and other factors.
- More than one-quarter of all bottled water comes from a municipal water supply – the same place that tap water comes from.
- According to the World Health Organization, 3.2 million children under the age of five in developing nations die each year as a result of unsafe drinking water and poor sanitation.
Household Water Use
- The average person in the United States uses anywhere from 80-100 gallons of water per day.
- Flushing the toilet uses the largest amount of this water.
Manufacturing and Food Production
- 2.6 gallons of water to make a sheet of paper
- 4 gallons of water for a dairy cow to produce one gallon of milk
- 6.3 gallons of water to make 17 ounces of plastic
- 26 gallons of water to irrigate one calorie of food
- 924 gallons of water to produce 2.2 pounds of rice
- 2,641 gallons of water to make a pair of jeans
- 3,962 gallons of water to produce 2.2 pounds of beef
- 39,090 gallons more water to manufacture a new car
- 300 million gallons of water are needed to produce a single day’s supply of U.S. newsprint.
- Water is part of a deeply interconnected system. What we pour on the ground ends up in our water, and what we spew into the sky ends up in our water.
- Leather and chemical industries cause are major contributors of water pollution.
- Industries released 197 million pounds of toxic chemicals into waterways in 1990.
- Around 70% of the industrial waste is dumped into the water bodies where they pollute the usable water supply.
- Fourteen billion pounds of garbage (mostly plastic) is dumped into the ocean every year.
- Water pollution is the major cause of various diseases like cholera and typhoid.
- The Ganges river in India is one the most polluted in the world. It contains sewage, trash, food, and animal remains.
Stuff to Do
100 Ways to Live Plastic Free
Join the Plastic Pollution Coalition
Become a Member of the South Yuba River Citizens League (California)
Environmental Protection Agency
All About Water
Sunnyslope County Water Conservation Tips
Conserve Energy Future
Heat and flame transform substances from one thing into another.
Simmer and Smoke is a well executed debut novel. The subtitle —A Southern Tale of Grit and Spice—gives an accurate description of the sentiment of the book.
The story follows the lives of Mallory and Shelby—women who live near Atlanta, Georgia. They have divergent economic and social status and challenge ineffectual feelings, failures and self-doubt as they strive toward their personal and professional goals.
The mother daughter relationship with the theme of ‘home’: what it is, what it means and what happens when one strays too far away from it—is explored throughout.
“Home is the place I can live with myself, without hating myself.” – Mallory Lakes
It took a while to feel connected to the characters—at first I identified more strongly with one—then switched to the other. Whenever I put the book down, it persistently called to be picked up again and again.
In many ways, Simmer and Smoke reminded me of the NY Times best seller, The Telling Room, by Michael Paterniti. Its pacing is indicative of the culture from which the story is told and it leaves one with a craving to search out the food that is described within the pages.
Fortunately for the curious reader / fan, Lampman’s culinary website – dinnerfeed.com — has hundreds of recipes to investigate and includes more of her expository writing.
Programs are like bicycles, scooters or skateboards. If you don’t use them daily the skills get a little rusty. Here are my notes (for me and) for you on how to set up a PDF file so that will upload seamlessly to CreateSpace.
Your manuscript is edited and completely ready to go in MS Word. To upload it to CreateSpace, it must be converted into a PDF file that embeds the fonts.
Before you begin, you should have entered all the information necessary to start a book project within CreateSpace. In this process, you will have chosen a size for your book. CreateSpace will provide measurements of that size. These exact measurements are what you will enter when setting up your PDF document.
Example: A standard book size is 6″x 9.” CreateSpace provides the measurements 15.24 x 22.86 cm. This will need to be converted to mm by moving the decimal over one space to the right. The numbers you will enter on the PDF set up is 152.4 x 228.6 mm.
- Within Microsoft Word, Click on Print
- Change the Printer Setting to Adobe PDF
3. Click on Printer Properties
4. Change Default Settings to: PDF/X-1a:2001
5. Adobe PDF Output Folder: Click on Browse to direct it to where you want the PDF file to go (this should be a file folder that you can navigate to when CreateSpace asks for which file to upload).
6. Adobe PDF Page Size: Add a custom setting using the measurements that you got for your book at CreateSpace.
And there you have it! Good luck and happy authoring.
Click here to read about How to Format KDP files (e-books) with pictures.