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Just Jemi


It's All Kid's Play!

  Posted by Jemi , 06 January 2012 · 163 views

A fabulous blog buddy of mine, [url="http://jeanoram.com/blog/"]Jean Oram[/url], has set up a great website for anyone who has kids. It's called [url="http://www.itsallkidsplay.ca/"]It's All Kid's Play[/url] and it's a TON of fun! With so many screens calling for kids' attention now, it's important to have a lot of activites that are easy, ready to go, and most of all fun.

That's where Jean comes in. Her site has 32 categories (not including jokes and book recommendations) of activities ranging from arts and crafts to sports, to challenges, to outdoor activities, to games, etc. This site is great for parents looking to cure their children's boredom blues, reconnect with some games, looking for party activities, or just looking for a way to bring more free play (unstructured, creative, child-directed play into their lives). Let's take a tour of a few of those sections...

[center][url="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-KBoRBLRnjX0/TwdSND7riiI/AAAAAAAAAvU/o4e8D92gJeQ/s1600/monkey.jpg"][img]http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-KBoRBLRnjX0/TwdSND7riiI/AAAAAAAAAvU/o4e8D92gJeQ/s200/monkey.jpg[/img][/url][/center][url="http://itsallkidsplay.ca/tricky_business.html"][b][i]Tricky Business[/i][/b][/url][i]: This has those goofy challenges kids (and grown up kids) love. For example, armpit farts, can't touch the floor games, catching stacked pennies off your elbow, lick your elbow (can't do that one), making salt/sugar crystals, etc. Tricky challenges are a great way to get kids back to the basics of playing. They challenge our thinking, the way we think the world works, test our boundaries and skills, and are a sure fire way to start the giggles![/i]

[center][url="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-I5i_m-fxMGM/TwdSiTQSn9I/AAAAAAAAAvc/jnKCkmvDfdM/s1600/Traffic_light.gif"][img]http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-I5i_m-fxMGM/TwdSiTQSn9I/AAAAAAAAAvc/jnKCkmvDfdM/s1600/Traffic_light.gif[/img][/url][/center][b][url="http://itsallkidsplay.ca/car_rides.html"][i]Car Rides[/i][/url][/b][i]: I feel this area of play is especially important these days as the family vehicle is one of the few places kids get to engage in free play these days. Families spend a lot of time in their vehicles commuting, driving to organized sports, etc., and it is a great place for families to reconnect and play. These days the majority of kids don't know how to entertain themselves in the vehicle without some sort of screen. On the car rides page I have a bunch of games that are great to help develop communication skills, visual skills, critical thinking skills, even math skills (and so much more). There is also a printable PDF with MORE games (than listed on the webpage) and a link to word games as well. There are so many things to do in the car! (Example games: I Spy, Round Up, How Long Will it Take?, License Plate games.)[/i]

[b][url="http://itsallkidsplay.ca/get_out_house.html"][i]Get out of the House[/i][/url][/b][i]: This section is great for families who are looking for something to do (heck, you don't even need to have kids for many of these!), planning a staycation, or planning an outing. This section includes many family friendly ideas on how to get everyone up, out, and moving. Spending time with your family increases individual resiliency whether you are 5 or 75. (Farmer's Market, go-carting, people watching, laser tag, go to the library, indoor wall climbing, etc.).[/i]

Those are fabulous! And those are only 3 of those 32 categories. You've got to check out the rest. I bet it'll make you want to play a game RIGHT NOW - whether you're a kid or not!

Jean and I originally met over at [url="http://agentqueryconnect.com/"]Agent Query Connect[/url], where Jean is a super moderator for the site. If you haven't visited, it's an great place where writers at all stages of their careers hang out. [url="http://jeanoram.com/blog/"]Jean's blog[/url] is all about writing and you can also find Jean on twitter talking about writing as herself [url="https://twitter.com/#!/jeanoram"]@jeanoram[/url] and representing her kids' site as [url="https://twitter.com/#!/KidsPlay"]@KidsPlay[/url]

[b][i]What's your favourite kids' game?[/i][/b]

Jean's got a [url="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Its-All-Kids-Play/310799765624876"]Facebook[/url] page up and going - it looks great! Check it out too :)



Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: The White Assassin

  Posted by Jemi , 02 January 2012 · 165 views

[url="http://ramblingsofawannabescribe.blogspot.com/"]Shannon Whitney Messenger[/url] decided to shine a spotlight and give some middle grade books the attention they deserve. This week, I'm playing along.

[url="http://www.amazon.com/White-Assassin-Nightshade-Chronicles-Book/dp/0823423336/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_2"]The White Assassin[/url] by [url="http://hilarywagner.blogspot.com/"]Hilary Wagner[/url]

I thought this one would be a perfect choice for my first post of 2012. It's a fabulous MG book and if any of you are looking for a way to spend those gift cards, this is a great choice!

This is the 2nd book in Hilary's Nightshade Chronicles series. [url="http://www.nightshadecity.com/"]Nightshade City[/url] is the first book (which you'll love as well!).

I [b][i]love[/i][/b] the characters in this series. They are layered, complex individuals - whether they're rats, snakes or bats. Carn is probably my favourite - he put me through all kinds of emotions!! And the villain, Billycan, is much more complicated than you'd expect. The flashback scenes are powerful and pull you in directions you're not expecting, and not always prepared for. They're so well done!

It's a fabulous world of adventure and intrigue. Hilary ramps up the tension, so you just have to keep reading! As an added bonus, the book is dedicated to the fabulous [url="http://lennys-world.blogspot.com/"]Lenny Lee[/url]!

This is a perfect choice for anyone who loves adventures and mysteries. I know my students are going to love it too. They're going to be on Team Rat for sure! :)

Check out [url="http://ramblingsofawannabescribe.blogspot.com/"]Shannon's blog[/url] for all the other participants in MMGM!

[b][i]What's your favourite book with animals as main characters?[/i][/b]




  Posted by Jemi , 29 December 2011 · 163 views

The wrapping paper's been recycled. The turkey's long gone (although lots of soup is waiting in the freezer!). The baking's been gobbled up and the ornaments will soon be packed away.

So what's left?

Laughter, love, memories... and a few goofy gifts that make me laugh every time I see them. As well as a recharged battery.

I pulled up my pre-nano story and decided to read through it up until the revising point I was at before my nano story absorbed me. Of course, I can't just read through - I have to tweak and edit and rearrange bits and pieces. It's slow going, but I'm loving the story. It still needs some work (and that last chapter...), but it's not bad at all.

Nice feeling!

[b][i]How's your writing going in these last days of 2011? Any other recharged batteries out there?[/i][/b]




  Posted by Jemi , 23 December 2011 · 181 views

A bunch of us over at [url="http://www.fromthewriteangle.com/2011/12/write-angle-holiday-wishes.html"]From the Write Angle[/url] are sharing our thoughts on what Christmas means to us. Pop on over and share some of your best memories - mine involves a favourite family recipe!

I'll be taking the next few days or more off to enjoy some time with my family and friends. I hope you're able to do the same! May your days be filled with joy, wonder, love and laughter!




Getting to Know You...

  Posted by Jemi , 19 December 2011 · 176 views

I'm over at [url="http://www.fromthewriteangle.com/2011/12/getting-to-know-you.html"]From the Write Angle[/url] today talking about how writers get to know their characters. I hope you'll pop on over and share your secrets!




Deja Vu

  Posted by Jemi , 16 December 2011 · 216 views

The Deja-vu blogfest is here! Our lovely hosts are [url="http://dlcruisingaltitude.blogspot.com/"]DL Hammons[/url], [url="http://creepyquerygirl.blogspot.com/"]Katie Mills[/url], [url="http://lydiakang.blogspot.com/"]Lydia Kang[/url], and [url="http://nicoleducleroir.blogspot.com/"]Nicole Ducleroir[/url]. The idea is to search and find a blogpost you think deserves a second look. I like this one because, even though I wrote it about 2 years ago, I feel the same.

[b][i]"The idea is to write so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight into the heart."[/i][/b]

[b][i]-- Maya Angelou[/i][/b]

My thoughts turned to Maya Angelou after hearing of her health scare. From what I can gather, she is still in hospital, but doing well. Hopefully that continues.

Maya has written so many wonderful things, and she is very quotable. I love the quote at the top of the post. To me, good story telling does just that. It touches the heart. I hope one day to be a strong enough writer to touch the heart of my readers. What an accomplishment that would be!

Many authors over the years have touched my heart. I vividly remember reading the Anne of Green Gables series when I was a child. Anne Shirley is a character who has stayed with me for years. I've reread her stories, and passed those books on to my daughter and my students. Anne's gutsy, optimistic, fun-loving, dramatic attitude has had so many readers fall in love with her over the years. Lucy Maud Montgomery is definitely one of those authors whose writing has arrowed straight to my heart.

[b][i]How about you? Who was the first author or character who really touched your heart?[/i][/b]



Untraceable & SR Johannes

  Posted by Jemi , 12 December 2011 · 211 views

I'm thrilled to be hosting [url="http://faeriality.blogspot.com/"]SR Johannes[/url], talented author of [url="http://faeriality.blogspot.com/p/books.html"]Untraceable[/url], here today. Shelli's agreed to answer some questions and give us some insights into the way things work for her!

[b][i]What’s your favorite part of the writing process?[/i][/b]
That moment when everything clicks and you can't type fast enough and the story is falling into place and you don’t want to stop because it feels so good that you had a breakthrough after months of writing crap. I love that.

[b][i]Do you have your own writing spot in the house? What’s it like?[/i][/b]
It’s my office. Jealous? Don’t be…

Because it also acts as a storage area for unread ARCS, a place for unfiled bills to stack, a place where kids want to play on the computer. The recycling room for all things paper. It’s also a place where Hubby can’t keep his side of the partner desk clean! Arg.

[i][b]How do you feel about writing in public (coffee shop or library)?[/b][/i]
I’m not good at it. I have ADHD so I get easily distracted.

In coffee shops - I have this bad habit of drinking coffee. Go figure. Then I get all wired up and can’t focus because heaven forbid if I ate because coffee is so much better for me than muffins. So I start listening to other people’s conversations and getting involved in their lives in my head.

In libraries, I can’t talk out loud to myself, which is what I do when I write. So librarians would hate me because I am “crazy lady who talks to herself” writer.

At least if I get distracted at home – it can be productive like laundry or cleaning or eating or Googling. :)

[b][i]And a couple of quick questions just for fun:[/i][/b]

[i][b]Favourite beverage?[/b][/i]
Morning - coffee with flavored cream
Mid-day - Sweet tea (I force myself to drink some water just to feel healthy)
Night (well not EVERY night) – wine or very dirty martini

[b][i]Favourite season?[/i][/b]
Fall. I love to be cozy in sweaters and jeans and UGGs. Then again, I wear jeans and UGGs all year long. And I wonder why Top Model hasn’t called. Hm.

[b][i]Favourite animated character?[/i][/b]
Oh gosh. I’m a mom so this is hard b/c THERE. ARE. SO. MANY. I think the characters in Despicable Me and Ice Age movies are hilarious. But overall, I always loved the Pink Panther. [i](Great choice!)[/i]

[b][i]Favourite TV show?[/i][/b]
Right now? Iron Chef and Chopped. I love reality shows that are competitions. I love Modern Family and Terra Nova. Overall I loved Ally McBeal and Friends (Am I showing my age yet?)

Great answers! :)
Thanks so much for visiting, [url="http://faeriality.blogspot.com/"]Shelli[/url]! If you haven't picked up [url="http://faeriality.blogspot.com/p/books.html"]Untraceable[/url] yet, you should ([url="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0984799125/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=marmywor-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0984799125"]paperback[/url], [url="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0069Z9A74/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=marmywor-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B0069Z9A74"]Kindle[/url], [url="http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/103665"]Smashwords[/url])! It's a fabulous YA adventure story with all kinds of twists and turns. Check out my review [url="http://jemifraser.blogspot.com/2011/11/untraceable.html"]here[/url].

[b][i]So, what's your answer to one of those quick questions?[/i][/b]



Leap of Faith

  Posted by Jemi , 06 December 2011 · 187 views

It doesn't take much. A look. A word. A non-response.

All your carefully built confidence comes crumbling down. That risk you took - that teeny tiny step towards the next level - suddenly seems like a ridiculous stretch. And the chasm is widening while you're in mid-leap.

You can't sprout wings to reach the other side. You can't go back.

So, you fall.

A long way.

The crash hurts. A lot.

You get up, pout about those bruises for a minute. Maybe two. Then you face a choice. Go backwards to safety. Or forwards to the unknown.

Not much of a choice really. You take a deep breath, put away the pout, and take that first step. Forward. Up the next ridge. Up into the future. To the next risk.

A little warily, but a little wiser too.

Building the strength to make the next leap of faith.

[url="http://alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com/http://alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com/"]Alex J Cavanaugh[/url] hosts the [url="http://alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com/p/insecure-writers-support-group.html"]Insecure Writer's Support Group[/url] the first Wednesday of the month. Check out his blog for a list of all the participants.

[b][i]How do you recover from those falls?[/i][/b]




  Posted by Jemi , 30 November 2011 · 210 views

Wow! Just finished [url="http://faeriality.blogspot.com/2011/11/untraceable-cover-reveal-finally.html"]Shelli Johannes'[/url] [url="http://faeriality.blogspot.com/p/books.html"]Untraceable[/url] and had to write this post. Right now.

It's that good. As good as the cover - which I love! :)

Grace is a fabulous character. She's tough. She's smart. And she'll break your heart. She doesn't sit back and let life happen. She grabs it by the ears and tries to shake it into making sense.

All of the characters in the book are so real - even the secondary characters are flesh and blood. Shelli makes them really come to life.

Grace lives in the Smoky Mountains and she loves them. She and her dad spent many happy hours in them, but now he's gone missing and after several months, most people believe that he's gone. Grace wants to prove them wrong.

Grace is so real - touched by grief, pain, hope, love, loss, lust and terror. You'll love the rollercoaster ride of emotions she takes you on.

The action is awesome. At about the 70% mark, the world stopped mattering so much to me. Supper? Fend for yourselves. NaNo? Not tonight. Sleep? I don't think so!

So, do yourself a favour, go grab yourself a copy. And clear out a little time. You won't want to be disturbed!

Shelli will be back here in a couple of weeks for an interview - can't wait to learn more about her!

Here's where you can find the book...
[url="http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1036994736?ean=2940013548435&itm=5&usri=untraceable"]Barnes & Noble[/url]

[b][i]In the story, Grace has to survive in the bush and hide from ... well, you'll have to read the book it to find out. :) How would you do on your own in the bush?[/i][/b]



Querying that NaNo

  Posted by Jemi , 28 November 2011 · 236 views

I'm over at [url="http://www.fromthewriteangle.com/2011/11/give-those-agents-break.html"]From the Write Angle[/url] today talking about querying that NaNo novel. I hope you'll pop on over and join the discussion.

I finished up the 50k on Saturday - but I'm nowhere near the end of the story. I do believe some major editing will be happening in the new year! :)

[b][i](I turned off comments here hoping you'll pop on over to say hi at [url="http://www.fromthewriteangle.com/2011/11/give-those-agents-break.html"]FTWA[/url]!)[/i][/b]


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