Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween!

It's that time of year again. Party, eat too much candy, and then get an extra hour of sleep when you set your clocks back. You're going to need it!

Trick or Treat!!! 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

She's 50? She Doesn't Look a Day Over 40!

An important resident of my hometown had a birthday yesterday. The Gateway Arch is now 50 years old!

She looks great for 50--polished, slim, a lady who commands attention--and to my knowledge, she's never had a facelift. At least not until now. There's some major work going on at the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, not expected to be completed until 2017. The place is a mess, actually, hardly a suitable place to celebrate the great lady's golden anniversary. But celebrate we did. I'm just sorry Collin had to work yesterday, making us miss out on those Arch cupcakes!

Like most grande dames, the Gateway Arch has a bit of a checkered past. Her story starts decades before the final piece was inserted into her magnificent form on the morning of October 28, 1965. It starts in 1933, with then-Mayor Bernard Dickmann, a New Deal Democrat, and Republican lawyer Luther Ely Smith. The country, St. Louis included, was emerging from the Great Depression. When city leaders were planning their pitch for some federal money, Smith pushed Dickmann to dedicate a potential riverfront project to Thomas Jefferson, to give the proposal a national element. It worked, and the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, then known as Jenny Mae, was born.

But there was a catch.There's always a catch, especially when government money is involved.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt would approve the funding requested--but only if city residents approved a $7.5 million bond issue. On September 10, 1935, it was approved with a 71% yes vote in an unusually high voter turnout. It seemed a miracle had taken place in St. Louis, and a large number of the dead had risen from their graves to vote for it! In spite of protests from New Deal critics, FDR awarded the project $6.7 million from his Public Works Administration. Thirty-seven city blocks were demolished with little regard for history--only the Old Courthouse and the Old Cathedral escaped demolition.

The project came to a screeching halt on December 7, 1941, when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and  the US officially entered World War II. It didn't resume until the final months of the war, when the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Association announced a design competition. They were looking for something bold and dramatic, not "just another statue." Among the entrants were were Eliel Saarinen, a Detroit architect, and his lesser known son, Eero. Eero Saarinen proposed a towering arch. It was chosen by a unanimous vote, but when the design was announced, not everyone was thrilled by it. There were jokes, most notably one about a giant croquet wicket.

President Harry S. Truman dedicated the site in June 1950--and two weeks later, the Korean War began. Once again, the riverfront project was on hold.

After numerous setbacks and budget issues, the excavation for the Arch got underway in 1961. When it was finally completed in 1963, Eero Saarinen wasn't there to see his design become a reality. He'd passed away in 1961. The Arch itself had a final price tag of $11.4 million, $56 million for the whole park. It wasn't a bad price to pay for a landmark now recognized around the world--and to secure St. Louis as the Gateway to the West.

Monday, October 26, 2015

You Deserve A Break(fast) Today. Too Bad You Still Have To Get Up Early For It!

When McDonald's announced they would be serving breakfast all day starting October 6th, Collin and I were happy. We like having breakfast at our local McD's--we just don't like getting up early on his rare days off to get it. He's supposed to have two days off--Mondays and Tuesdays--but if a holiday falls on either of those days, he's lucky to have one day off. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, Independence Day, he's never home for any of them. I still can't believe he was scheduled to work on Columbus Day--a Monday, when he should have been off. Would they really be that busy? Who plans a family get-together at a restaurant to celebrate Columbus Day?

As if that weren't bad enough, he got a call from the restaurant, wanting him to come in last Monday. He didn't get the message because his phone is turned off when he's sleeping. I knew about it because they also called my number. I didn't answer. We had plans, and they didn't include Collin having to work.

But I'm getting off topic here.

We were looking forward to being able to sleep in on his days off and being able to enjoy our favorite breakfast menu items...until the announcement came that the all-day breakfast menu would only be a limited menu, consisting of the "most popular" items. That meant Egg McMuffins, biscuit sandwiches, breakfast biscuits and gravy, McGriddles or steak and egg bagels.

None of the things we love.

I saw  a story on the evening news about how franchisees and employees have been complaining about the expanded menu, saying it was too much work. They claimed to be losing money because customers were ordering the cheap breakfast items over the pricier sandwiches.

Well, who decided to only add the cheap breakfast menu items?

Now, it's been announced that the company saw a huge jump in profits for the most recent quarter, and they're giving all the credit to the all-day breakfast. They made that much money in just a couple of weeks?


Thursday, October 22, 2015

And Now a Word from Our Sponsor....

I'm behind on posting again, I know. Good thing I'm not doing this for a living. I would have been fired by now.

I have a nasty case of Kindle elbow. It's like tennis elbow, only it's caused by holding a Kindle for long periods of time. It gets all puffy and painful and makes me whine a lot. Not a pretty thing to witness--just ask Collin. But it's improving, so I hope to be back here posting by Monday. One of these days, I might actually maintain a regular blogging schedule!

For now, however, I want to let everyone know that Chasing the Wind is current on sale at Amazon (ebook only--I don't think Creativia ever runs sales on the paperback editions). If you haven't already read it and would like to, it's $.99 now through October 21st.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Do You Follow Your Favorite Authors on Amazon? If Not, Why Not?

It's a good way to be notified of their new releases. I follow all of my favorites!

New Release from Hilary Grossman
Plan Bea
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Plan Bea
Hilary Grossman
Release date: October 8, 2015
Kindle Edition: $3.99
Paperback: $14.95  
 Learn more 
You have subscribed to new release emails for Hilary

Friday, October 16, 2015

Experimenting With Something New...Hope It Doesn't Blow Up In My Face!

I've been posting chapters from my upcoming novel, An Army of Angels, over at my WordPress blog--but now, I've discovered what may be a much better place for them. If I'm right, I'll be posting links here for anyone who wants to read them....

Write On by Kindle 

Write On by Kindle
Find your next favorite read with Write On by Kindle!
Every day, writers come to Write On to share works-in-progress--from short stories to full-length novels--for readers like you to enjoy. On Write On, you can:
  • Read tomorrow's stories, today. Find new and trending stories in your favorite genres.
  • Let new stories come to you. Follow your favorite writers to be notified whenever they post new stories--or follow stories to get notified when they're updated.
  • Do it all for free. Enjoy complete access to all stories for free when you sign up with your Amazon account. You can also read a large selection of works without registering.
New stories are posted daily!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

We Interrupt the Regularly Scheduled Post to Bring You a Special Announcement!

Today, I have a special treat! My friend and fellow author/blogger, Hilary Grossman, has just released her new book, Plan Bea. If you read her wonderful Dangled Carat, you already know what a terrific writer she is--so be sure you don't miss Plan Bea. It's great! I'm not biased or anything, but...

And if you haven't read Dangled Carat yet--if you haven't, why haven't you?--it's now on sale, so be sure you don't miss it! Also, Hilary is having a contest over on her blog, Feeling Beachie. I suck at Rafflecopter links, so I will give you a link to her blog, so you can enter the contest there (and meet her adorable cat Lucy)!

And for the Dangled Carat sale: The sale ends Sunday.

How well do you really know the people in your life?  

Annabel O’Conner has the perfect husband, two adorable children, an amazing job, and the mother from hell! Annabel doesn’t like it but has come to terms with the fact that her relationship with her mother, Bea, deteriorated to the point of forced and strained communications. However, an unscheduled call from Bea turns her world around and makes Annabel question everything she believed about her life. 

Despite the fact secrets, lies, and misplaced blame have destroyed the women’s relationship; Annabel reluctantly agrees to help Bea plan her wedding. Little does Annabel know the impact of her decision. 

In this Women’s Contemporary Fiction novel, Hilary Grossman explores the complex relationship that exists between mothers and daughters in a light-hearted and relatable manner.