Today is Martin Luther King Day, it being the third Monday of January. Many of us are off work enjoying the winter weather and saluting the works of a Great American Hero.
Lesser known is that it's also
SQUIRREL APPRECIATION DAY
January 21st every year to celebrate and honor squirrels and the contribution they make to the environment. On this day, people are encouraged to head out into the woods or at least, to their local park to look for their favorite types of squirrels and to leave seeds and nuts out for these tree-dwelling rodents.
History of Squirrel Appreciation Day
Squirrel Appreciation Day was created by North Carolina rehabilitator in 2001 to acknowledge the contribution that squirrels make to nature. After all, it is estimated that over a billion oak trees are planted by squirrels worldwide when they bury acorns to eat later and then forget where they have buried them – leaving them to sprout.
Facts About Squirrels
The front four teeth of squirrels grow about 6 inches a year. It’s only the squirrel’s constant gnawing that keeps them under control.
A group of squirrels is called a scurry.
There are 265 squirrel species all over the world.
There are 44 species of flying squirrels.
Wild squirrels will eat out of a human’s hand.
Grey squirrels will build nests called dreys, high up in trees.
Backyard Squirrel Feeding Tips
Below are a few tips for those looking to make their backyard more squirrel friendly:
Many people leave out a birdbath filled with water for squirrels in the backyard because squirrels are always in need of a clean source of water. Many people will also leave out a variety of nuts for the squirrels in their backyard. These nuts include acorns and hazelnuts. Some people also plant a variety of trees and shrubs to give squirrels in their backyard the cover and food sources they need. Some of these trees and shrubs include oaks, pines, hazelnut bushes and smooth sumac trees.
Squirrel Appreciation Day Customs & Celebrations
One of the primary ways to celebrate Squirrel Appreciation Day is to head out into the wilderness and do a little bit of squirrel watching. In North America, there are a variety of squirrel species which include the Eastern Grey and the American Red Squirrels. In Europe, there is the Red Squirrel. Go out and watching these squirrels or even taking them some seeds or nuts, is a perfect way to spend this holiday.
Another way to celebrate this holiday is to snap photos of your favorite squirrels and post them to Twitter and Facebook. If you do that, make sure that you use the hashtag #squirrelappreciationday, so people around the world can check out your pictures.
Pookie the Squirrel showed up in the early 2000's just after our kids were grown and off to college. We fed him peanuts and tamed him as much as one tames a wild red squirrel. Soon he began to stalk us. Every time we opened the front or back door, Pookie would come running across the yard or the street to demand peanuts from us. One day we lured him inside the house to the kitchen and took a photo. We never picked him up or held him, but we knew him and it seemed he knew us. We even auctioned the photo on EBay for $.99 as a joke and stated that a REAL squirrel did not come with the auction. We got a bid. Pookie visited us for about 2 years and either met with a tragic end via car or in some other way went off to Squirrel heaven, but soon a few other squirrels visited, all demanding peanuts.
After a few generations the friendly Pookie gene seemed to fade. For a while we had stalkers. Now that too has faded and we have chimney dwellers. I never found the EBay picture of Pookie but I did find a "stalker" taken in 2017. So here's to Pookie and all his descendants in squirreldom everywhere.
AND SOME OF YOU DID LAST WEEK. THANKS
2 FOR GHOSTLY WRITES ANTHOLOGY 2018
3.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable mix
January 16, 2019
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An enjoyable mix of short stories, as is usual with anthologies, I found some of them more enjoyable than others. Most were well written and I will be keeping an eye out for books by their authors. Others were a bit confusing, and one or two seemed to be a small part of a much longer story.
My favourite stories include: The Gift by Jane Risdon At Midnight by Chandra Trulove Fry and The Basement by Wendy Steele
5.0 out of 5 stars
Really great mix of short stories
January 19, 2019
Format: Kindle Edition
Really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it to those who love short stories. Definitely worth the time to check these out.
1 FOR HEART OF THE LOTUS - CHILDREN OF STONE BK 4
5.0 out of 5 stars
An engrossing historical fiction!
January 18, 2019
Format: Kindle Edition
In the end of the Fourth Dynasty of Ancient Egypt, the Sojourner Marai has been reunited with Naibe and Ariennu. His other woman Deka, however, remains with the violent prince Maatkare who even now makes plans to attack Marai's new allies.
In Ineb Hedj, the ancient name for Cairo, a new pharaoh makes preparations to ascend the throne while learning just how dangerous the hold priest Hordjedtef can be. The priest Wserkaf and his princess consort Khentie must discover a secret before Hordjedtef can seize the power for himself.
The Children of the Stone shape those they possess towards their own goals. What will happen as the powers of Ancient Egypt clash. What new events will be unleashed. How will new revelations affect the characters in their bid for power, knowledge, and faith?
Woldering's series continues to show her deep knowledge of Ancient Egyptian, Sumerian, and Semetic mythology and history, blending real figures who lived with mystical events. She fills in the gaps left in the recorded history of Ancient Egypt as her characters contend with the events that shaped the mythologies for millennia to come.
Heart of the Lotus goes from revelation to tense situations, ending on a powerful moment. Events are moving and the true enemy of all may finally be revealed. Delve into the ancient past, to the beliefs of peoples who, though dead, have shaped our modern world down through the centuries.
A fabulous blend of history and fiction. Lovers of this genre need to check out this indie gem!
Shane Lassetter brings us Major Bertram Bharata, Welcome!!
1. Go ahead and introduce yourself.
My name is Major Bertram Bharata, Navy Reserve, surgeon. I worked at the Corpus Christi Medical Center until the zombie apocalypse. Now, I try to keep a big group together at the Naval Air Station and various other compounds around Corpus.
2.Tell us where and when were you born.
Late 80’s, Corpus Christi, TX.
3. How would you describe yourself?
I was just a bachelor geek that dated when able and worked an awful lot. Now, I am a geek with many more geek friends that want our country back.
4. Tell us about where you grew up.
Resplendent Corpus with beaches full of beautiful women.
5. How old are you?
32 going on 50.
6. Did you have a happy childhood? Why/why not?
Yes, because of two loving parents that taught me to embrace my differences and tolerate the intolerant.
7. Past/ present relationships? How did they affect you?
Many dates but I have never fallen in love. Well. Until I did. It took an infected invasion to notice someone that was under my nose the whole time. Rosalita Hernandez had been a nurse where I worked. A force that took care of business. Now, I couldn’t do without her.
8. What do you value above all else in life?
Friendship. The values that you put on each other.
9. What are you obsessed with?
Taking our country back from an infected horde while battling future villains of humanity.
10. How do your beliefs make life better for yourself and the people you care about?
God, Family, Country. This has never been more important than now. All of those that look to me to lead them are now family.
11. Biggest fear?
Not doing enough to save others.
12. What line will you never cross?
Murder, I would hope. There is a big difference between murder and killing so what we are forced to do to save others does matter.
13. What is the best thing that ever happened to you? The worst?
Rosalita Hernandez. Love is awesome. The worst would have to be losing my parents to a car wreck, followed really closely by this zombie hell.
14. Most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you?
Being found out to be such a geek at the hospital. I still garnered respect for my surgical abilities but I could hear the whispers. Not that it matters now. Most of us are playing card games, computer games while able, and I’ve even heard talk of trying to LARP soon. Oh, LARPing is Live Action Role Playing. In case you didn’t know.
15. Biggest secret?
I don’t really know what I’m doing but so many look to me.
16. What is the one word you would use to define yourself?
Currently. Scared. For the future, my friends, and what is left of humanity.
17. What is your current goal?
Rebuild and save as many as possible.
And Now....Daryl J. Ball
What made you want to be a writer?
I was an avid reader at a very young age. The first time a teacher gave us a writing assignment, I was hooked on the idea of telling stories just like the ones I loved to read.
Tell us your book’s genre?
I write books in different areas of the Fantasy genre. The Tannis Project is a paranormal/contemporary fantasy novel
Tell us about your book and how it’s available. (Kindle, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, paperback etc.)
The Tannis Project is about a near 200 year old vampire, newly in a relationship with a single mother. He’s encouraged to vent some of his growing frustrations by writing an online weekly blog. Each chapter in the book is thus set up as a blog entry. As such, it doesn’t follow a traditional story route but there are elements that when taken all together tell the story of the vampire’s life and experiences, as well as give insight in to how the relationship is going. Part of that is also his adjustment to being in somewhat of a father figure role for her 13 year old son and the fact that while the mother knows he is a vampire, her son does not know. What will happen though if and when he finds out? It’s currently available for the Kindle and as a paperback.
How important is it to read books when you want to be an author?
I remain an avid reader and I think you have to be reading to get new ideas as to what can be told and how. You also get an idea as to what else is out there. Books help captivate the imagination and if you are writing, you want your imagination to be active.
How did you come up with this fantastic idea?
I had been involved in an online role playing storyline and had created a vampire character for it. The problem was I was struggling to make the character work so kept trying to make various minor adjustments. One of the major ways I did this was look at what type of vampire would have turned them in the first place. The vampire that I came up with as the answer to that captivated me. The Tannis Project arose from a desire to really delve into that vampire’s history.
Which character do you identify with most in your novel?
Due to the nature of the way it is told, almost all the characters are talked about purely in terms of how the main character thinks of them. There are quite a few of them that appear in multiple chapters but the one I probably identify with the most is Kohn.
Did the Bible or other spiritual works have anything to do with your idea for this novel? I think as soon as you start looking at the concept of vampires and other creatures that you need to recognize the influence the Bible and spiritual works have had historically. The main character is a near 200 year old Caucasian vampire – the odds are going to be high that Christianity had some degree of influence on his life at least some point, and how it does so needs to be taken into consideration.
Is there a message you’d like to send through your book?
I think it is full of messages, and anyone who reads it will likely take something slightly different away from it. In terms of a particular message I want to get across though? No, I wanted to leave a lot open to interpretation.
Which part of the publishing process do you detest most?
Waiting to get the manuscript back from editors.
Tell us how the atmosphere needs to be for you to be able to write. Example, music on or quiet etc.
I write best when I don’t have easy access to the internet. I find coffee shops are great for this but it can be tricky finding one with just the right atmosphere.
What is one goody you must have at your desk when you’re writing?
Coffee counts as a goody right?
What is the worst thing you’ve had to overcome before publishing your novel? IF it’s too personal just make a generalized statement if you can.
Overcoming the fear that no one will like it. That fear is a beast to fight even after publishing.
When you need some extra encouragement who do you turn to?
I have several amazing author friends who never hesitate to offer up encouragement any time I express doubts.
How do you market your book?
Primarily through Twitter, Facebook, and locally in person at various events.
Have readers ever contacted you? If so, tell us the best thing they’ve said to you.
The closest I’ve had to this happening is one of my beta readers, who regularly asks for a follow up book (a sequel)
Who do you trust to read your finished books before publication?
Aside from editors, nerves tend to get in the way that someone reading it before publication will say something that will make me re-think ever publishing it. Self-doubt is a wretched beast to have on your back.
Tell us all about your very first book signing. Take us there with your description of people, place, food, décor etc.
Okay, aside from individual one on one signings for friends, my first signing was a very last minute occurrence. I signed up for a massive event at a hotel that had at least 30 other authors at it, only two of whom I knew. I walked in to this huge room and every one had banners, and multiple books, and swag.
Then there was me standing there looking like a deer caught in the headlights, I have a sign and copies of one book, some bookmarks, and a few pens. I just stood there until I saw someone who looked like they were in charge wasn’t busy.
They knew who I was the moment I approached them and their demeanour was great, putting me a bit more at ease right away. I set up and looked at my pathetic little display for a moment before locating one of the authors I knew and helping them get set up. It kept me distracted until just before they opened the room up to let the readers in. I was sharing a table with another author and we kept joking with each other. It helped. I think we had been open for less than half an hour when these two readers walked over to the table as if someone had directed them straight to us.
They had a book that had a printout in it about all the authors who would be there and they were looking for me. The whole idea of being deliberately sought out was mind-blowing and it was also my first sale and signing of the day. That bit, I got up and visited a couple other authors, looking for those who wrote in a genre a I read.
One of them had a banner I could see from my table and I could tell from it that it would be a genre I read.
I walked over there first and it turned out that author had been watching for me! They had seen in the online group for those attending that it was my first event and had a card for me. It was a little congratulations card on my first signing event and it made me feel great and included amongst all these other authors.
After that I was primarily back at my table where I did a few more signings. I didn’t do as well as the other authors but I had also been a very last minute addition and I had a great deal of fun. After the signings were done, I got to hang out with some of the other authors and it was just such a war welcoming group and event in general that I was glad it was my first one. I’ve stayed in contact with several of those authors since then and consider them friends.
Some silly questions!
What do you enjoy when you’re not writing?
Playing with my cat, sleeping, reading, watching YouTube, and playing Scrabble.
Tell your readers what your favorite food and color is. I
don’t really have a favourite food, it’d be easier to state what I don’t like. I detest fruit cake.
My favourite colour alternates between green and purple – pretty much any shade of both
Tell us your favorite novel?
It tends to alternate between The Cat who Came For Christmas by Cleveland Amory and Here Comes The Sun by Tom Holt
A live drama or the opera?Live drama
Chips or crackers? Crackers
Hamburger or chicken sandwich? Hamburger
Fries or onion rings? Onion Rings
Milk shake or smoothie? Milk shake
Thunderstorms or star gazing?? Thunderstorms
Kindle or paperback novels? Papeback novels
Are there any mistakes you made with your first book?
Not considering that it could potentially become a series.
What kind of advice can you give to other aspiring authors?
Don’t overthink it and trust your editors to want you to succeed – listen to them.
When in doubt, who do you trust to help you out?
Whichever friend is online at that moment
When is the release of your next novel? Name genre or if it’s part of a series. If your book is part of a series tell the readers about the others that are out for sale.
My third book will be a sword and sorcery fantasy novel and will definitely be a standalone novel. The working title is The Name Of The Bear
Where can we find your author page of your work to follow you and purchase your awesome book?
I guess you wanted to ask me something about myself today.
Like how it all started.
I’m not a man who likes to talk too much. Living alone for fifteen years and avoiding most people will do that to you, but I’ll try.See, I thought the goddess Ashera was punishing me for ignoring my wife when she was sick and with child. When she and the baby died. I blamed myself. Here’s the view from my cave home. And how I looked at the start of things.
I sang to Ashera one night
I heard voices that told me not to be afraid.
They could heal me—they loved my singing.
Well, when the voices told me to go into the wilderness and the little orbs led me, I found this big shining place smack in the middle of a dune.
I thought it was the goddess Ashera. I mean I’d been singing for her almost half my life.
But it wasn’t.
There was a bed full of crystals inside. The Children told me to lie down on them and oddly enough it didn’t hurt me when I did.But then I went to sleepWhen I woke up I was changed. I didn’t know it at first but 5 years had passed.
I’m more fit and even stronger than I was before. I was always very strong and big. My hair which had been a wooly and tangled mess turned silvery and so did my eyes and there’s this little silvery looking stone
just under the skin between my eyebrows. It helps me do things I could only dream about before I had it. In a way, it’s like a little person or spirit that guides me.
I can hear thoughts most of the time. I can walk through other worlds instead of just dreaming. I can speak the language of animals. I can control storms. I never get any older. I can learn things fast. I can slow time, see through men’s dreams. Like Addad in my ancestor’s country
I can change shape into a bull and bring forth dark lightning and storm from my hands.
I did that only once before and when I was done, thirty men lay dead.
I’m not sure how much damage I would do if I tried it again, so I don’t.
To the good, I can love a woman like a god.I would say the goddess Ashera must have put in a good word for all my years of singing to her.
Many years from now (Yeah I can go to the future, too) Some will call me Serapis, the minotaur, Zeus and even Yaweh because of my home in the cave in the Sin-Ai.But more about that some other day!
The Children of Stone placed some secrets in my heart that they said would only be unlocked if I was educated by the priests of Kemet. I was also supposed to take a box of them to give the priests to help with the unlocking. Along the way I met these three ladies. ...
BUT THAT'S WHAT YOU'LL LEARN WHEN YOU READ ABOUT ME IN BK 1 VOICES IN CRYSTAL
Fierce Tales: Crumbling Empires Kindle Edition
by Jeffrey L Blehar (Author), J. Conrad Matthews (Author), Joshua Hiles (Author), Chris Hollaway (Author), Stephanie Barr (Author) 11-24-18