#RRBC Pay it Forward: Karen Ingalls #RWISA #PIF

 

Today’s special blog is all about fellow author and member Karen Ingalls of Rave Reviews Book Club to honor our Pay It Forward day! Karen gives amazing support to fellow authors, along with being an excellent author and person! Her memoir Outshine is the current #RWISA Book of the Month:

Outshine:

When Karen Ingalls was diagnosed with Stage IIC ovarian cancer, she realized ho little she knew about what is called “the silent killer.” As Ingalls began to educate herself she felt overwhelmed by the prevalent negativity of cancer. Lost in the information about drugs, side effects, and statistics, she redirected her energy to focus on the equally overwhelming blessings of life, learning to rejoice in each day and find peace in spirituality. In this memoir, Karen is a calming presence and positive companion, offering a refreshing perspective of hope with the knowledge that “the beauty of the soul, the real me and the real you, outshines the effects of cancer, chemotherapy, and radian. It is a story of survival and reminds readers that disease is not an absolute, but a challenge to recover.

My 5-star review:

“Outshine” is the journey Ms. Ingalls took when she learned she had ovarian cancer. This is a subject I’d usually avoid because the word cancer scares me, and I’ve seen what it can do to loved ones, but I was surprised how inspired I became as I read it. The author is a nurse who educated herself with all the facts once she learned her diagnosis. She dug deep into her faith and found ways to nourish her soul throughout the process. I loved all the quotes and the positive way she approached a very scary situation for anyone. She got the help back she had provided in her career two-fold. We were with her during her surgery, chemotherapy, when she lost her hair and her daily walks and prayers. I loved how she talked about sending a card and really meaning the message and how much it meant to her at this time. I was impressed how she learned to let her ego go when she lost her hair, how she embraced each day as a gift, and her husband’s unconditional love for her. These are good lessons for us in life whether we are fighting an illness or not. I ended reading this feeling more hopeful and inspired. This is a book for anyone dealing with cancer or any illness, but it is also for anyone who wants and needs to be encouraged. I highly recommend Ms. Ingalls’ book!


Novy’s Son:

From his early childhood, Murray Clark sought love and acceptance from his father, who was raised as the bastard child of a famous artist. Murray struggled with jealousy toward his younger brothers, and he questioned the morals and values of people around him.
As an adult, Matthew lived life his way, with years of lying, womanizing, and heavy drinking. Though married four times, did he ever find unconditional love? Would Murray’s high intelligence, his love for his two daughters, and his unique philosophy of life help him rise above his demons?

Gwen Plano’s video review:

 


 

Davida:

Augustus Saint-Gaudens was the premier American sculptor from 1880-1920. Though he was married and had a son, he fell in love with his model, Davida Johnson Clark. Their love affair lasted over twenty-five years and from which one son was born.

This fictionalized version of a true event is written by their great-granddaughter. It is her intent to bring honor and respect to Davida as a woman who was unconditionally in love with Augustus. Their son, Louis suffered all his life with the label bastard given to him during his childhood and she intends to remove that label. She also wants to bring recognition to the wonderful talent and artistic contributions made by Saint-Gaudens.
In the book the reader will be introduced to some of the great works of art by Saint-Gaudens, the moral values during this Victorian era, and some historical facts.
Mary A. Alder’s review:

I thoroughly enjoyed this well-told love story. Ms. Ingalls recreates the highs and lows of the long-lasting love affair of a famous sculptor and his beloved model who was forced to remain in the background of his life, even when statues for which she had modeled were introduced to the public. Her touchstone, in a life that was frequently sad, was to follow her heart.

I also enjoyed the scenes where Davida went into the forest where she believed Swedish fairies came to her and helped guide her on her path. I would like to have known her.


karen pic

Karen Ingalls is the author of two novels and an award winning non-fiction book. She enjoys writing from her home office overlooking a lake in Florida.

Ms. Ingalls’s non-fiction book, Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir, won first place at the 2012 Indie Excellence Book Awards in the the category of women’s health. It was a top three finalist for the Independent Publisher Book Award of 2012 in the two categories of health and self-help.

The purpose of the book is to provide information about this too often deadly disease, and offer hope and inspiration to women and their families. All proceeds go to ovarian cancer research.Davida:Model & Mistress is about the love affair between her great-grandfather Augustus Saint-Gaudens and her great-grandmother Davida Johnson Clark. Very little is known about Davida except her role as a model for many of the sculptor’s famous works. Ms. Ingalls was able to use her imagination in creating the life of Davida. It won the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award for 2016.

Novy’s Son, The Selfish Genius, is about Murray Clark, who sought love and acceptance from his father, who had been raised as the bastard child of the famous sculptor, Augustus Saint-Gaudens. After reading Iron John by Robert Bly, Ms.Ingalls recognized what was missing in her father’s life.

She is a Californian by birth, a Minnesotan in her heart, and a contented Florida retiree. She loves gardening, golfing, and reading, but her real passion is writing.


Thank you for stopping by. Please support Karen by reading one of her fantastic books– if you haven’t already!
Embrace that inner child by reading an indie book!– D.L. Finn

#CoverReveal #NewRelease: “The Alternative” by S.Burke @pursoot My new #Thriller #Anthology. #RRBC #premium_indie #IARTG Now Available for PRE-ORDER.

Please welcome today’s special guest fellow author Suzanne Burke!


Hello, and welcome to the Cover Reveal of my New Thriller Anthology

The ALTERNATIVE BANNER HEADLINE FOR COVER REVEAL BEST

 

The Alternative
by S.Burke

Available to Pre-Order NOW.
Release Date:  Monday June 18th 2018
Mystery> Thriller & Suspense > Anthology.

It is such an exciting time for an author when releasing a new book! I would be remiss in not sharing my heartfelt thanks to the marvelous people who gave of their time so readily to beta read my latest book. Their valuable insights helped me enormously when crafting “The Alternative”

To the enormously supportive people who have given of their time to host me today, my grateful thanks.

At long last, I’m able to share the cover and blurb for “The Alternative” my latest Thriller Anthology.   “The Alternative ” is due for release on June 18th.

It is NOW available for Pre-Order

I have many good friends sharing this cover across the blogosphere today and tomorrow, so you’re likely to see it pop up in various places. Thank you to everyone participating in my cover reveal splash, and to everyone dropping by to share in my excitement.   Here’s my new baby . . .

Presenting The Alternative A Thriller Anthology.

The Alternative BOOK COVER PERFECT AND READY TO GO. SMALLER COPY

 

BLURB:

The Alternative.

There are those that cling unreservedly to the lifeboat that believing in Karma hands them so willingly.

They work, they live, and they function in a world that allows them the option of unreservedly trusting that Karma has no deadline.

Until they are handed the spark that ignites them into becoming the instrument of Karma itself.

There are others who have had all they once held to be truths, everything they once stood for and took pride in, torn apart and ripped from them by the hand of a cruel fate.

Then, of course, there are those who believed in nothing and no one, to begin with …

These are their stories.

The stories of people both good and bad, who made the choice to exact “The Alternative.”

An excerpt from Chapter 1. Picasso.

February 1990.

The tall man stretched his arms and flexed his long artistic fingers. He stood back to gain a different perspective of his latest work of art. He’d spent a great deal of time sketching his outline and was well satisfied with the outcome. Perhaps this one would be the perfection he craved above all else.

His other efforts were upstairs in the gallery, and while they were far from his lofty imaginings, they each represented another step forward toward his ultimate goal. He knew this exhibition would prompt worldwide interest, that was a given. His reputation was on the line. That at least was something he valued.

He grunted and moved the newest piece into the workroom. The more difficult application of his talent needed to begin.

***

 NEW YORK JULY 2015

Meredith keyed in her code, shouldered the door open and dropped her briefcase onto the polished boards of the entry. Working on autopilot, she flicked on the light and bent to collect the mail from the floor; throwing it onto the small bureau without bothering to check the sender. She shrugged off her coat and draped it over the arm of the sofa. Too damned weary to be bothered with any external interruptions tonight, she removed the home phone from its cradle and headed to the kitchen to fix enough coffee to sustain the long evening ahead, deliberately ignoring the well-stocked bar. She was well aware that she’d need every bit of concentration she could muster. She removed the Glock from her handbag, and out of habit, she placed it on the coffee table next to the perpetually full ashtray.

Her head was already pounding and she rubbed at her tense neck muscles until her fingers ached. Relief from the unresolved tension still hovered … just out of reach. She held her breath for a moment, stilling her impatience. If all went to plan, this thing would be finally ended. If justice existed at all, it would go well. All the years she’d worked to bring what was the only course left open to herself and the others to completion was coming. ‘Soon now’, was her daily mantra. But the darker visions still danced vividly in her mind’s eye and tormented her rare sleeping hours … it had been that way for almost twenty-five years.

The memory haunted her, dark and unforgivingly brutal. It replayed in clear and explicit detail every time she was forced to reflect on it … and its aftermath.

***

THE ALTERNATIVE IS NOW AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER:

“The Alternative” on AMAZON.COM

Suzanne Burke Amazon Author Page

On TWITTER.

On Facebook.

My Blog

Thank you so much for joining me here today. Your support is very much appreciated.

I would be delighted to hear your thoughts and comments below.

 

 

Awe–a poem

tulips and mountains

AWE

I’m above the tall lily stalks

With the delicate orange tubes-

That were bursting with nectar,

Reaching hungerly for the sun.

 

A heavy cement turtle guards them,

As a mother reads to a child…

In plastic perfection,

While a rock rabbit is heavy, yet alert.

 

White roses fill the empty space

Spilling their fragrance carelessly.

A lone bee, that is far from ordinary

Is nestled in this scene.

 

I pause to take it all in…

Expecting the gentle hum of the bee

But, instead I am greeted in song…

Carried by a beautiful feminine voice.

 

“Laaaaaaaa…”

It’s like nothing I’ve heard before.

Puzzled, I look for the source and find it–

Not a radio or TV– but a simple bee.

 

Alone in my awe, I shake my head at this curiosity

Had the song always been there I pondered–

Buried under work, chores, and life? I was baffled.

Had I experienced a miracle? Yes! I realized…yes!


If you are subscribed to the newsletter it will be coming out May 21st. Check your email, there is a new excerpt from “The Button”, updates, and a chance to win an Amazon gift card!


Watch for tomorrow’s guest blog featuring Suzanne Burke and her new book! Won’t want to miss that!


I’m looking for Beta Readers for “The Button“. It’s a paranormal story set in 1983 with a bit of romance– and an angel (Zelina from “This Second Chance). Please email me at: d.l.finn.author@gmail.com if you are interested–and have the precious time to do it. I understand how busy we all are, especially going into the summer. I’m hoping to get it to final editing by the end of June or beginning of July! Thanks, Denise


Embrace your inner child with some poetry, D.L. Finn

A Mom’s Poems

single lulip

I’ll be on a road trip in a week– so there will be no blog on the May 13th, Mother’s Day. To honor that day here are a couple of mother- related poems that are going to be in my new book “Just Her Poetry”.

LEAVE

It hurts less each time you leave.

But, still you take a piece of me with you.

I think of you in your youth

A sparkle in your eyes…

A joy in your laughter…

Holding you in my arms…

It all stays with me.

You grew and became.

I was amazed…

I was confounded.

At times you brought me:

Both joy and pain.

I always knew you’d leave,

There was never any doubt.

I felt a bit of pride and sadness,

When you walked to your car.

You’re doing what you’re supposed to…

And so am I.

You’ll always be in my heart,

In my mind…

In my prayers…

Each day.

So, leave as you must,

And become what you are.

Distance doesn’t mean a thing to me

No, not with you.

Know when you go, a part of me goes with you

Because you’ll always be my child–

And I your mother.

I know the world deserves you,

And you deserve the world.

I’ll go back now into my own world…

And I’ll wait for that text:

I made it home safely.

Because mothers never stop worrying…

Or being proud or loving you—even when you leave.


SHOW ME

You showed me where you spent your days.

Each hall had a different story.

In-between I asked questions, making you uncomfortable.

But, know it is more than that.

I wanted you to feel things, as well as learn things in school.

The pace quickened…

Smiles in place with no response. So, I awkwardly added:

I only want you to be happy. That’s what is most important.

You grinned…

Maybe you heard me, maybe you didn’t.

We continued the tour, but the time had passed.

The moment, though, hadn’t. Hopefully, I thought…

Hopefully, I have placed a small seed that will grow.

Someday you will seek out this happiness I spoke of,

Then you’ll show me all the things you’ve learned!


Embrace your inner child with some poetry, D.L. Finn

 

April Book Reviews Bring May…

Shadow of the Drill: Born of Circumstance, Bred for Revenge

By Rhani D’Chae

 

“Shadow of the Drill” is a story that contains killers, strip clubs, sex, prostitution, torture and rapists. All the characters are bad, but well-written. I found myself wondering if I could find empathy in the main characters: Decker, Rudy and Charlene. As cruel as they were, and as brutal as their actions were, I quickly realized–yes, I could. I was invested in Decker’s relationship with Charlene and her strength to stay by his side fighting to be an equal. Rudy’s long-time friendship and loyalty to Decker was also explored with insight into their past and what event held them together. There were some parts that were so ruthless I had a hard time reading them, but at the same time they were completely honest for these characters. Even with the violence and dark story-line this was a book I couldn’t put down. If you love action with the reality of damaged human beings, this is a story for you.


Thread and Other Stories

by Eric Halpenny 

“Thread and Other Stories” is a short story collection that ranges from historical to science fiction. There are seven stories that I’d have a hard time picking my favorite from because they are so different, but they are all well-written. I was involved in each story with the characters and outcome for different reasons. “Conflict” the tale of two friends in World War 1 was the one that touched me the most with their friendship and the horror of war. In “Thread” I was immediately drawn into the story of two poor orphans and their struggled to survive—I was rooting for them. The most interesting though was the story “Conversation” that was weaved around the other stories in six parts. I thoroughly enjoyed the different genres and the mystery of “Conversation” in this creative collection. I look forward to reading more from this author!


Embrace your inner child read an indie book! D.L. Finn

The Journey–A Poem

the little bird

THE JOURNEY

The tiny brown and white bird clung to the cedar’s bark

The corn snow fell heavy and hard around it.

Then, the bird slowly began its journey by climbing upward.

A few feet up the tree, it was knocked back down to the ground

It paused for only a few seconds and tried again.

Deliberately, it made its way back to where it fell

The bird carefully passed that point without stopping

It moved higher, toward the promised shelter from the pounding chaos.

Wings open, it faltered a few times, but hung on…

It kept rising until it reached the first bare branch.

Tucked underneath the little bird had found limited shelter

But, it wisely did not linger there, and it continued the climb

Finally, the brave bird was immersed into the green branches–

Now, it was safely nestled in the cedar, as the storm raged around it.

 

Gone from my sight, I contemplated this journey.

When the bird was knocked down, it got up and tried again.

It passed the point where it had been impeded.

There was no hesitation as it kept advancing.

Not looking back, it climbed higher and higher.

It didn’t accept the first offer of partial protection,

Instead, it kept climbing until it reached its goal…

Until it found sanctuary from the pelting ice and winds.

And, having watched this journey–I was just a bit wiser for it

Because whatever life throws at me, I need to pick myself up,

And keep climbing, no matter what the odds, until I reach the top–

Exactly like the wise and brave bird did on its journey in the storm.


I watched this event take place while I was on my elliptical a few days ago. I was so happy and impressed to see this tiny bird make it up the tree.  It amazed me that something so small could leave a lasting impression. (The bird pictured is from another day, but for all I know could be the same bird…)

“The Journey” will be in my upcoming book: “Just Her Poetry”. I hope to release it this year!

This month’s newsletter came out this week. Here is the link if you aren’t subscribed and interested: LINK TO NEWSLETTER  

This month’s hat drawing winners are: Melissa and Tara! Congrats:)

Embrace your inner child with poetry, D.L. Finn

 

The #RRBC “TREAT” Reads Blog Hop

Greeting:  Welcome to the first ever “TREAT” Reads Blog Hop!   These members of RRBC have penned and published some really great reads and we’d like to honor and showcase their talent.  Although there were maybe 3-4 winners who were previously on this list who are no longer with the club, now all of the listed Winners are RWISA members!  Way to go RWISA!

We ask that you pick up a copy of the title listed and after reading it, leave a review.  There will be other books on tour for the next few days, so please visit the HOP’S main page to follow along.

Also, for every comment that you leave along this tour, including on the HOP’S main page, your name will be entered into a drawing for an amazing gift card to be awarded at the end of the tour!

Book:  THE RECTOR

RECTOR

Blurb:

While The Rector works as a suspenseful murder mystery, Thompson also incorporates a spiritual and religious undertone to the story. This Christian Murder Mystery successfully intertwines faith in its plot twists with surprising results. This small-town tale, set in the 1950s, delves into religion, spirituality and murder, and is exceedingly clever and cunning.

The small community of Solo, Mississippi, is rocked after the murder of a prominent religious figure. Law officials consider the case closed, much to the dismay of widow Martha McRae. She questions how the young rector, Pastor David Baddour, could die so unexpectedly. After sharing her suspicion with her bible study leader, Betty Crain, a chain of events is set off in the small southern community. Gossip soon abounds with murmurings of foul play, murder, and loss of faith. In the case of whodunit, Martha soon finds that asking questions has put her own life in peril, as she comes face to face with evil.

Author:  Michael Hicks Thompson

michael pic

This blog hop sponsored by:  4WillsPublishing


Thanks for dropping by and supporting Michael Hicks Thompson! D.L. Finn

Books Read and REVIEWED!

Why is the word reviewed in all caps in the title? I wanted to emphasize just how important reviewing indie books is to their authors! A huge hug and thanks goes out to all the readers who take precious time to leave a review! Here are the latest books I’ve read and REVIEWED:

 

Ninja School Mum 

by Lizzie Chantree

“Ninja School Mum” is about a widowed mother named Skye who has been on the run for years to keep her son safe from her past. As an ex-spy she needed to keep her former life to herself. She ends up living in a quaint small town in an isolated cottage with her son. I found it interesting to learn her history and why she stayed separate from others yet making sure her son developed friendships. The relationships between adults and children were well-done, including Skye’s new friendship with Thea and her unexpected love interest, Zack. It seemed like she might have finally found a place for her son to grow up. What I expected to happen in this story and what did, were completely different when a twist offered a new insight. I love when a story surprises me, and this one did. If you enjoy a romance with humor, action, a strong female character, and surprises–you’ll love this book!


The Dead Game

by Susanne Leist

This paranormal story is the first book of a series and starts off in a small town in Florida with an invitation to a mysterious party. Linda has moved to Oasis, bought a book store, and started a new life. She goes to this party at End House with a group of friends. They didn’t find a party but a horror house where two of their friends go missing. The group is determined to find their friends and figure out what is going on in a town where people disappear or turn up dead with their blood drained. They find there’s a fight between good and evil, Linda and Shana have a hard time telling who is on which side or who is a vampire. I liked the developing relationships with Shana and Sam, Linda and Todd and others. There are a lot of characters to keep track of and I got a bit lost with some, especially in the beginning. But, I also got to know most of them as the story line progressed and secrets were revealed. The story is told through many points of view and moves forward at a good pace. I loved how the moody descriptions of the town added to the ambience of the book. If you enjoy vampire stories, you’ll like this book!


Embrace that inner child by reading a great book! D.L. Finn

Special guest: Danielle from TraitWare!

disneyworld

Please welcome today’s guest my youngest daughter, Danielle from TraitWare. The picture above is from a trip we took to Walt Disney World–and after a good soaking!

Danielle has an offer, a couple of cute cat pictures, and a giveaway of a $20 Amazon gift car. (Winner of gift card is Billy Ray Chitwood–Congrats!)


My name is Danielle, and my main paying job is the Technical Product Manager for a start-up security company called TraitWare. In my free time, or lack thereof, I dance for a couple of choreographers at CSUS, travel to different places to teach dance classes, and I am also attempting to write a book (all, of course, while making sure my husband knows that I still actually do exist). I have also spent my fair share of hours reading and editing for my mother and have gained some skills for me to offer my services of beta reading in exchange for any willing takers to test and provide feedback for a product my company just released.

The product is actually a WordPress plugin to replace usernames and passwords with the ability to scan a QR code using a smartphone or tablet. This plugin focuses on the admin dashboard login (sites using wordpress.org or the premium of wordpress.com). We all have to remember way too many complex passwords. The simple “password123” just doesn’t cut it anymore. So, with this app, we are allowing users to use their phone with their fingerprint, or a collection of preselected pictures to sign in, rather than a bunch of letters and numbers that we have to type out.

The idea behind this trade of services is to get feedback from real users, as well as possibly gaining some paying customers. Now, currently, our product offers a 14-day trial. As I know how the lives of an artist can be, I would like to offer an extension to this. So, if you so choose to be a part of the future (*wink wink*), I will extend the trial to 30 days. In order for me to do this, I will need each of you to email me at support@traitware.com after you setup the plugin. This is also the email which will be used for feedback, questions, concerns, etc during the 30 day trial period (and even beyond if you choose to stick with it). Also, be aware that there is a live marketplace where actual reviews for users of the plugin can leave their 2 cents. However! If you hate it, I’d prefer you tell me why first, so we can work to improve it and turn that 1 into a 5.

If you’re still sticking with me and want to know more… GREAT! I will tell you more. If you’re over this and just want it to end… here’s a picture of 2 of my cats. They’re 11 today!

Thanks for moving past these adorable cats so that we could discuss some business. So, a few requirements will need to be met in order for you to actually become a beta tester.

  1. You need to have a WordPress site which has the ability to add plugins
  2. You need to have a smartphone that is one of these:
    1. Android smartphone or tablet with an operating system of 6.0 or higher (Marshmallow)
    2. iPhone 5S or newer
    3. A newer iPad
  3. Space on your phone to install the TraitWare app from the app store
  4. Access to be able to add a plugin to your “yoursite.com/login” dashboard
  5. The ability to follow directions The patience to follow through with the complete setup (I promise it only takes a few minutes)

If you have all of those, welcome to your beta testing instructions!

  1. Sign in to your wordpress admin dashboard by going to yoursite.com/login
  2. Select “Plugins” on the left hand side
  3. At the top, select “Add New”
  4. Search “traitware”
  5. Select “Install” and then “Activate”
  6. At the top of the page, select the link “Set up your account today!”
  7. Make sure the email in the box on the left is one you have access to and select the button to send yourself an activation email. *if it is not, please create a new user with an email that you do have access to. The user role needs to be set to admin. Log out of your current account, and log back in as the new user
  8. Download the TraitWare app to your mobile device, check your email, and open the TraitWare app to scan the QR in the email you just received
  9. Complete the app registration and return to your WordPress site
  10. Scan the QR on the right of the WordPress page with your shiney, new TraitWare app
  11. VOILA!

There are more detailed instructions here. And if you’re really diggin’ this and want to know more about who we are, check out our developer specific blog here!


Thanks for dropping by! Just leave a comment and you are entered to win the Amazon gift card. Thanks, Danielle!

Please note that the strikeout was intentional and my daughter’s sense of humor…it runs in the family.

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

Been There, Going Again Blog Tour Stephen Geez

Please welcome author Stephen Geez to today’s special edition blog! I just added “Been There, Noted That: Essays in Tribute to Life” to my Kindle. Having already read his book “Papala Skies”–I’m excited! Here is Stephen:

BTNT Geez Blog Tour graphic Day 05 (1)

4 Wills “Been There, Going Again” Blog Tour, Stephen Geez

Day 5

 

Greetings, supporters! Welcome to the fifth stop on my 4WillsPublishing Blog Tour celebrating the re-issue of my memoir-shorts, Been There, Noted That: Essays in Tribute to Life. It has updated cover, new graphics, new book trailer, and now a first-ever jacketed hardcover edition. The book’s ruminations range from light and humorous to heartbreakingly poignant, but all spring from my own experiences. Thanks for visiting, trying this sample, and commenting!

 

Soaker

Essay by Stephen Geez

 

Yes, the dreaded soaker.

My early elementary years found me living at the edge of civilization, short tracts of housing plowed through virgin woods, the walk to school punctuated by construction, unfinished roads, myriad excavations, ponds and culverts and all manner of ad hoc standing water, plus our favorite: wide-open ditches. These would freeze and form ersatz skating rinks, lengthy stretches of smooth ice ideal for daredevil sliding, easy and accessible and fun without the danger of drownable depths.

Sure, most kids tended to stay on the path, stick to the walkway, follow the signs—and here I must specify that this type tended to be, well, the girls—but when the greatest risk is but a mere soaker, how can the exuberance of youth dare let so minor a nuisance dampen such thrills?

I recall managing to go for a long time without a soaker. I’d see others earn one in those instants of foot breaking through ice, a leg sliding over the edge, fruitless flailing while water taunts from the nadir of an unplanned slippery slope’s slide. Yes, somebody would inevitably step where no child was meant to step—whoosh, swish, slop, shoe waterlogged, sock sopping, pants wicking water toward thigh-land, and suddenly that way-cool-if-clunky boot would transform from friend to enemy, its dry twin mocking the loser in all its sanctimonious hauteur of proper use. One of those boots could fill with water instantly, leaving the hapless adventurer no easy way to empty it, especially in the suddenly so-much-colder winter freeze.

So the victim of a good snicker-worthy soaker would trudge to high ground and drain as much as possible. If the next stop was school, he would earn a disapproving sigh from the teacher and titters from a few of the dry kids, then have to suffer the awkward discomfort of squish-stepping his way to the very seat under which a puddle would eventually collect, his wrinkly foot wet until time to pull on the betraying boot and head home.

Now, any child in danger of suffering one of these soakers could have carried a small sack with a change of pants and footwear, but nobody at that tender age plans so far ahead. And who really expects to wind up in such an unexpected predicament?

Well, scuba divers do, and skydivers, too. So do hikers and boaters and bikers and climbers and all the adventurers who anticipate needing spare air or extra hoses or reserve chutes or another coil of rope or glue-patches or first-aid kits . . .

And who doesn’t expect any chance of predicament? Those who have no business getting behind the wheel, people saving money on substandard equipment, reckless souls who think life preservers are too much hassle. Worse, these types are often known for talking friends into joining them for that proverbial slide across the cracked ice, people who ought to know better but too often don’t.

See, grown-ups understand that having fun often means something can possibly conceivably worst-case potentially inexplicably go, well, you know, wrong. No matter how many times we step into it, no matter how much we depend on the water to fall just below the tops of our boots, that simply won’t always be the case. Complacency is no excuse, whether borne of experience, false bravado, or an ingrained pattern of habitual miscalculation. Sometimes it’s sheer luck that we manage to avoid a soaker, or even a long series of good-lucks that keep saving us, but sometimes that luck simply runs out.

Some say we should never take a chance, never chase the fun, never even need to wear the boots. Just stay home, they say, the world is a dangerous place. They plop themselves in front of that television plugged into a tangled mass of sparking extension cords, smoke-detector batteries long dead, extinguishers languishing unbought on store shelves, loved ones never having developed a plan for escaping fire.

I say slide down any ditch that’s shallow. Carry a change of clothes if the water’s just a bit deeper. When it’s so deep you might fall through, use the good sense of a smart ice fisherman who monitors conditions, takes ice samples, wears the right outfit, carries the needed gear, and pre-plans all manner of rescue contingencies.

I have another bit of advice, too: Know where the tops of your boots are.

I did get a soaker once, and it caught me completely by surprise. Still, I survived an awkward foot-squishy day, and though I’ll never know for sure, I suspect it might have played some small part in keeping me healthy all these years since.

So get out, enjoy life, and indulge your childlike sense of adventure. Yeah, soakers can be a drag, but if they really get you down, buy bigger boots.

Or simply change your perspective. Remember, if that’s the worst the world brings your way . . .

Well, sometimes a soaker can be part of the fun.


 

Author Bio: Writer, editor, publisher, TV producer, music composer, entrepreneur and more, Stephen Geez has long honed a keen eye for the foibles of human nature. His writing since taking undergrad and grad degrees at Michigan includes novels and short stories in various genres from literary to mystical adventure, non-fiction covering academic to how-to, commercial arts spanning corporate training to consumer advertising, and web-based content including the collections at StephenGeez.com and GeezWriter.com. Easing gingerly into his second half-century, he can’t hop, skip, or jump like the old days, but he never stops noticing and taking notes.


 

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Thank you for dropping by! D.L. Finn