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ANWA Member since Oct. 2003 - Chapter President of "Write to the Point" writing group.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Monday Musing's...

The other day I was sitting in my chair in the family room visiting with my husband. As we talked I noticed that there were no birds outside at the bird feeders or anywhere in the yard. This is totally unusual, we always have dozens of two to three kind of Dove and then dozens of Sparrow and Finch all teaming around scratching for food or wandering around our property.
I mentioned this phenomena to Don and he said there weren't any birds when he came in the house either. STRANGE.
So of course I kept looking out the window trying to figure out if Daisy or Spidie, our dogs, were out there and had scared the birds... or if George our cat was hunting; he likes to sit under the Sage bush where the bird feeder is and pounce when he gets a chance (which isn't very often because he's mostly white and can easily be seen). But there was no sight of either of the dogs or the cat. Humm?????
Then I saw it! It hopped out from the Sage bush with the feeder - a Hawk! Beautiful bird. Amazing bird, he tried to fly into the bush but he was so heavy the branches didn't hold him very well. But when he flew up there and then hopped to another branch all kinds of Sparrow flew out of the bush 90 miles an hour! :O)  They had been trying to hide from the Hawk!  LOL
Next the Hawk flew into the yard to a more wimpy bush. I said, "You crazy bird, that bush isn't strong enough to hold you either!" He didn't care. Then he flew out of the bush onto the grass. He looked like he might have something in his talons, but it had to be awfully small I decided. Then the amazing thing happened, Don and I watched him meticulously pluck each feather out of the little bird he had caught in the bush. He plucked every feather and then proceeded to eat his dinner. There
wasn't anything on the grass but feathers after he flew away. Nothing, Nada, Zero, Zip!
Here are some of the pictures I was able to sneak from inside the house:

Monday's Musing - Guess Who's Coming to Dinner...

Here are the pictures taken from my window.
Luckily I was able to zoom in on him & not scare
him too bad. Isn't he awesome?

Monday, December 3, 2012

Monday Musings...

Sorry it's been awhile since I posted, but I've been busy.
I thought you might like to see the camper we bought and our maiden voyage camping in it. Its not brand new, but new to me. We had a great time at a scout outing with Don's troop. Don had me drive and park to make sure I could actually do so.  :O)  I did good!  :O)  Okay I've tried for days to get these pictures to line up right but for some reason they are still determined to have big spaces between them so bear with that please.
I did good didn't I?

  North Mountain Park, Casa Grande, AZ
Notice my license plate in window.  :O)
Don Carving Golf Ball


 I hope you've enjoyed my trip.  :O)


Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday's Fractured Features- The Next Big Thing Blog Chain...

Heidi L Kleinman Murphy has chained me to this The Next Big Thing Blog Chain. Heidi L Kleinman Murphy is the author of  Small Deceptions

To see her link go to: http://www.murph4slaw.blogspot.com/
By joining this blog chain I get to answer a few questions about my WIP (work in progress) and generate a little excitement for my work before it's out.  :O)  So here we go to my answered questions:
*My work In Progress is titled: Just Another Player
*Where did you get the idea for your book?
Strange that is... I was sitting at my kitchen window staring off into space when this idea came to me. It kept niggling my brain until I finally decided that I should write it down. It has since developed into a two part Suspense/Thriller novel that's quite different from the original romance it started out to be.
*What's the genre of your book?
Just Another Player is a Suspense/Thriller with a touch of Romance weaving through the pages.
*Which actors would you choose to play your characters in the movie?

..Suzanna Delrio - Natalie Portman (although she's taller than my character. Humm, I might have to fix that.)
..Dielan Delrio - Well of course this has to be Matthew McConaughey
..Tony Delrio - Daniel Craig
..Kabe Hampton - Pierce Brosnan

..The Great One - Joe Manganiello

..Lexis Bennett - (Suzanna's sister) - Scarlett Johansson
..Marnie Hyatt - (Suzanna's bff) - Jennifer Aniston
*My elevator pitch:
Thirty-one year old Suzanna Delrio witnessed the burning and subsequent death of her husband. She now fears her children will be left orphans when a stalker begins terrorizing her.
*Will your book be represented by a publisher or self-published?
I'm going to pitch it to publishers.
*How long did it take you to write the first draft?
You really don't want to ask that question. It's been on the drawing board it seems like FOREVER! Yes, years.
*What other books compare to yours in your genre?
Authors/Books that come to mind are:
.Clair M. Poulson - all his works
.Traci Hunter Abramson - all her works
.Lisa Jackson - although my language/scene is not so graphic.
.Stephanie Black
.John Grisham
My novel is a mixture of them.
*Who or what inspired your book?
The first real book I remember reading was Kidnapped - The Lindbergh Case - that was an on the edge of your seat story! I read it for English class in school many thousands of years ago.
*What else about this book might pique a reader's interest?
I wanted to write a story about a woman's struggles in life and an addiction that seems to consume her after the death of her husband. The human element of her life with family and friends and what her addiction leads to and how she deals with it; all at the same time she's being stalked and harassed by some unknown evil person. But it also has a touch of humor and love interests, along with the bond of an unfailing friend. This is a down to earth thriller with no dirty/foul scenes or bad language in it - which I hope will be well received and liked.
*Now to fling the link out to someone else. How about:
Chas Hathaway?Tina Scott?Jennifer Brown Bennett?
Heather Horrocks Author?

Come on Down and join the Next Big Thing Blog Chain... .
If you want to join us, just and then you find 3 or so other writers who want to chain in and add their links to your blog. The questions that you answer on your blog about your WIP are on my blog.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Monday's Musings...

So today I spent the whole morning trying to get signed up for the ANWA Conference coming up in February... I was ready to throw my computer out the window because I thought it was the user (me) that was the problem. Luckily I found that's not so...
Problem was fixed and after literally hours I have finally gotten myself signed up; motel room reserved; AND the amazing thing is that I have gotten brave and signed up for a pitch session as well. Whew!
Now I say whew because I've never had the courage to sign up to do a pitch of my work before and its a scary thought. In the process of the whole thing I hope I don't do something stupid while trying to pitch my book. Yikes, I'm going to have to go around stopping everyone I know and everyone I don't know and pitching my book to them so I get a little practice and don't make an idiot of myself when it really matters... Well at least I have a few months to syke myself into it...  :O)
Wish me luck everyone!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Wacky Wednesday...

A Book Review...
Wacky Wednesday by Theo. LeSieg
Ha today is Wacky Wednesday for sure
And I want to share with you my lure.
So what started this silly post,
For me to Wacky Wednesday host?
I had a granddaughter who liked me to read
For learning n knowing she had a great need.
So children's books we bought by the score
And reading them to her wasn't a chore.
One of our favorite books to read over again-
One that brought giggles and a great big grin;
It's Wacky Wednesday by Theo. LeSieg
Where wackiness reigns throughout the gig.
This book written in nineteen-seventy-four
Of it, all of my grand-kids truly adore.
Now it starts with a shoe on the wall,
A shoe that shouldn't be there at all.
And sends you on a fun hunt for the age
For the wacky things hidden in the page.
Then you look for six things that are wrong
Out the school door ten things more join the throng.
It's a fun way for children to learn
As they count the hidden things by turn
Now if you have never read this book
I highly recommend you go get hooked!

I say Wacky Wednesday is as fun for parent as it is for child!
It gets five stars from me!  *****
~Joyce P. Smith

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Monday's Musings - on Tuesday...

Here are a few pictures I took a few weeks ago that I think go along with this month's theme.  :O)
Eerie looking things -

Papago Park, AZ - March 17, 2012

Witch's Hair tree. Cottonwood, AZ - Sept 15, 2012

Goblin tree - at Montezuma Castle National Park, AZ- Sept. 16, 2012

Witch's best friend. Cottonwood, AZ - Sept 15, 2012

Witch's Moon! - Maricopa, AZ - Sept 27, 2012
Hope you enjoyed the pics. Have a great goblin Month!  :O}

Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday's Fractured Features...

Today for your fractured features, I give you teaser from my current Novel in Progress:
Just Another Player
Portland, Oregon – record freeze
Thursday, February 9th
Dielan rolled over, “Suzanna what are ya doing?”
            “I turned the furnace up. It’s freezing in here.”
            “Come back ta bed sweetheart.”
            “I am. I’m getting another blanket first.”
            As Suzanna got back in bed she said, “Dielan, hold me; it feels like it’s going to be a wicked day today.”
            Dielan was all too happy to do as requested. He pulled her into his body, spooning her neatly into him, as he snuggled her into his arms.
            She slept fitfully. It was black-dark when she awoke. Suzanna Delrio felt disoriented. There was death in the air. She could feel it - almost taste it. Suzanna rubbed the sleep from her eyes and wiped the sweat from her brow.  
            She had awakened feeling even more chilled to the bone - and not from the freezing elements. She turned over; foreboding filled her.
            Dielan was gone.   ...
Hope you enjoyed the sample. I love comments, so go ahead and give me some.  :O)
~Joyce P. Smith

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Wacky Wednesday...

Today I'm one day late for Wacky Wednesday but I just found out of a sad event that happened yesterday - Wednesday 9-26-2012.

A Great Scouter passed away on Wacky Wednesday. His name is Bill Burch.
This post is in honor of him and the good he has done not only in Scouting but in the world.
Kudo's to you Bill and thank you for the awesome friend to the Boy Scouts of America that you have been! One great man!

A video of Bill about the Bolo Tie's he carved:

Thanks for viewing. My husband Don owns 12 of Bill's Bolo's and I own one specially made for me by request to Bill so its one of a kind. We are pleased to be the owners of said ties!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Monday's Musings...

My thoughts today are stemmed on the family...
Here is a video I saw and thought I would share -

I love Elder Eyring! He was over the Seminary courses when I taught early morning Seminary to the youth in our Ward.


Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday's Fractured Features...

A Book Review - Just Take My Heart the 2009 Suspense by Mary Higgins Clark...
In Just Take My Heart, Mary Higgins Clark did something that's hard to do - she kept me guessing which of the bad guys was really the bad guy. Usually I can guess who the culprit is at least by middle of the book. But in Just Take My Heart I was kept guessing and didn't figure it out until the end. Whoot whoot, you go Mary for stumping me!
When Natalie Raines, a famous actress, is found shot on her kitchen floor the police have no clues as to who could have murdered her. Finally after two years with no leads, Jimmy Easton, comes forward when he is arrested yet again for burglary. Jimmy tells the police that Natalie's estranged husband Gregg had tried to hire him two years before to off Natalie.
Then comes the cat and mouse chase as the prosecutor Emily Wallace tries with her whole heart and soul to convict Gregg of the murder. Because how could Jimmy a known crook, who has spent more of his life in jail than out; how could he identify what Gregg's home looks like inside? And most importantly how would he know about one significant little detail, that no one else is familiar with, in the living room of Gregg's posh apartment house? There are no other explainations other than he went to Gregg's apartment to get the down payment to kill Natalie as Jimmy said.
But wait, even though Gregg denies killing his wife, he stays as top suspect on the list when in frustration in a rigorous cross examination by Emily he reveals surprising and condemning information about the night Natalie died.
Then enters Zach. Unbeknown to Emily her neighbor is a sought after serial killer who has evaded capture for years. And he has designs on her, especially after she rebuffs his friendship.
Mary Higgins Clark weaves these characters into the story so masterfully that you are kept on the edge of your seat clear to the tantalizing end of the final paragraph. I love a good mystery and Just Take My Heart by Mary Higgins Clark not only stumped me but hooked me as well.
FIVE STARS for Just Take My Heart by Mary Higgins Clark.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wacky Wednesday...

Today's Wacky Wednesday topic is the buzzing of a now popular book called Fifty Shades of Grey.
Personally I have NO interest in reading the dang thing! But what amazes me is the amount of people who are pushing this piece of work as something everyone should read to enhance their sex lives. I'm told its a degradation to women for one. Who wants to read about being chained to a bed and call that fun?
The other amazing thing is the amount of popular shows that are touting it as good work. The first time I even heard of it was on the Dr. Oz show. He had his whole audience read FSof G then had, I think, four couples he interviewed about it and how it had helped their marriages!
Good Grief!!! I don't need a book like that to enhance my marriage! I've been married fourty-eight fantastic years by cracky. (YES to the same man.) Personally deviant behavior is a turn-off to me not a turn-on. I've read so many people's view lately of how it made them want to barf just reading the back cover, that I have no desire to even pick the stupid book up.
I have read fifty plus reviews that are all in the negative about this book. Fifty Shades of No Thank You! I'm told that not only is the content bad but so is the writing of it. I say if you're into reading erotica then find something that's at least well written and isn't so degrading.
One thing - why deliberately put garbage in your brain? That's like taking poison and saying that it's good for you and will enhance you by doing so.
Wacky Wednesday for sure... more like Wacky World to read such filth, then tout it as wonderful!!!
... just sayin!


Monday, September 17, 2012

My Monday's Musings...

Ah ha, I did not die and go to heaven;
I did not get caught with kids of seven;
Nope I did not break my silly arm;
Nor did I come to any harm.

I did not fall off my silly bike;
But I did go for a nice long hike.
I did not leave this state so cool;
But I did go camp where cabins rule.

Yes, I've been so very busy is all
For the editing of my WIP did call
Yep, those peeps want this story done
So do I; as do my kids, every one!

Thus off I went to clear my head
Even spent time while books I read
Now edit, edit is my books call
So from this job I hope I don't fall.

~Joyce P. Smith

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Wacky Wednesday...

Today is Wacky Wednesday I tell you that for sure,
For my broken toe is driving me nuts - I wish they had a cure!
With broken toe, and sore back - I hobble from one spot to another,
AND worse my wackiness seems to rub off on every child & brother!
Now this is NOT a good thing I tell you, and so does my crew…
My kids and I should make a cure for this curse, as a yummy brew.
Then for every hurt knee, sunburn, stupid cut, shoulder and sore toe -
We’d take a swig of our brew; “the drink to cure all ails” - and laugh, ho, ho!
I’m sure with that brew we could make a mint – no not candy silly -
We could rake in the big bucks – for sure truckloads, all willy nilly!
People would bug us for loans and put us in a frenzy -
Ha, so much for dreaming on this a Wacky Wednesday!

 ~Joyce P. Smith

Friday, July 6, 2012

Word Puzzle I Saw...

Okay everyone - This is a word puzzle that I saw and liked it so well I thought I would share it.
I hope you like it as well and that you will post the words you see.   ENJOY!

Post them now...  :O)

~ Joyce

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

AND The Winner Is...

Okay I decided that to be fair since some of the contest entrants answered only the questions they knew and some of the entrants looked them up - that I would put everyone that entered the contest into the pool...
AND the winner is: Donna K. Weaver - Congratulations!
Thank you to all who took the time to enter my contest!!!
1. "I can't believe it's not butter."
2. "You deserve a break today at McDonald's."
3. "Snap, Crackle and Pop" Rice Krispies.
4. "Be all that you can be." in the US Army
5. "See the USA in a Chevrolet."
6. "Its M'm, M'm good." - Campbell's Soup
7. "I can't believe I ate the whole thing." Alka-Seltzer
8. "Halo is the shampoo that glorifies your hair,..."
9. "Brylcream a little dab'll do ya, Brylcream a little debonair"
10. "Where's the beef?" Wendy's
11. "Oh I wish I was an Oscar Meyer Wiener, that is what I would truly like to beee, for if I were an
       Oscar  Meyer Wiener - everyone would be in love with me."
12. "Please don't squeeze the Charmin."
13. "Double your pleasure, double your fun with Double Mint Gum."
14. "Never had it, never will." 7-up
15. "What's in your wallet?" Capital One (credit card)
Donna please contact me at: ariz2gal@yahoo.com to give me your address where I can send your prizes and let me know: Almond or Plain; color of beads; and which book you would like to have. Thanks for joining my blog and for entering my contest!
Thanks ~ Joyce

Friday, May 25, 2012


Okay everyone, after thought I'm changing where you send me the answers to my great contest!  :O) I see now that its not wise to have you try and post your answers in my comment box so...
Please send your answers to my e-mail, where it will be easier to print them off at:  ariz2gal@yahoo.com
Thanks a ton!!!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Are You Smarter Than A Comercial...

...Super Contest...
Okay everyone, I've been wanting to do this contest for MONTH's and I finally have it put together.
1. The winner will get to choose one book. Choices: Story Engineering by Larry Brooks... OR The Upside of Down by Rebecca Talley.
2. The winner will also get one beaded bookmark made by me, Joyce P. Smith (Choice of color).
3. AND lastly: The winner will also recieve 1 mondo size Hershey's Milk chocolate bar! (Your choice: with or without Almonds).
When you send in your answers just say which book you would prefer and what your choice of color is and with or without Almonds. Then if your name is picked out of the hat I will already know which things you want.
To enter for your chance to win these terrific prizes all you have to do is:
1. be a follower of my blog. If you are not already, yet just sign up now.
2. Then tell me the answers to these 15 comercials (What are they advertizing?).
You have 12 days to send in your answers (May 25th through June 5th) by posting them on my blog comments.
Those who answer the most questions correctly will be entered into my raffle.
The winner will be announced on June 6th.
Commercial Jingles:
1. “I can’t believe it’s not...”
2. “You deserve a break today”
3. “Snap, Crackle and Pop” 
4. “Be all that you can be.”
5. “See the USA in a ...”
6. “It’s M’m, M’m good”
7. “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing.”
8. “… is the shampoo that glorifies your hair, … shampoo …”
9. “… a little dab’ll do ya, … a little debonair”
10. “Where’s the beef?”
11. “Oh I wish I was an ... ... ..., that is what I would truly like to beee, for if I were an … … …  everyone would be in love with me.”
12.  “Please don’t squeeze the ...”
13. “Double your pleasure, double your fun”
14. “Never had it, never will.”
15. “What’s in your wallet?”
Good Luck and have fun!  ~ Joyce

Friday, May 4, 2012

Blink of an Eye by Gregg Luke - Book Review

One of the books I read in my break from editing my own suspense novel Just Another Player, is Gregg Luke’s Blink of an Eye.
I find Gregg Luke a captivating author. I have two other books written by him and can’t wait for the next one he has ready for publication. Gregg has the ability to keep you hanging onto your seat and turning pages.
In Blink of an Eye, Gregg spins a tale of how drastically lives can change in just the amount of time it takes to blink an eye.
Joseph Ramirez certainly finds this to be true. Joseph thinks his childhood was a good and happy one, even though he can’t remember most of life as a child; but then a lot of us have that problem.
At one moment Joseph is edging forward to make a left hand turn, in five o’clock traffic. The next instant he feels himself being crushed and bones being broken, along with vise-like extreme pressure in his skull.
Joseph awakes in the hospital only to learn that he’s been in a coma for three weeks. He discovers that he can remember scripture and silly things that he didn’t realize he even knew, but he still can't remember his childhood. The nurse is dumbfounded that he’s even alive after having his head crushed in a near fatal accident. His little Nissan is no match for an accident involving a cement truck. But the nurse is more astonished by his clarity of thought and speech.
Then the nightmares begin. What kind of family life did Joseph have growing up? He simply can’t remember, but every night in the hospital he's tortured by nightmares that point to a childhood of terrifying proportions which, if true, couldn’t have been fun for a boy so young.
Gregg Luke kept me on the edge of my chair. I read through the twists and turns in Joseph’s life and the tension of trying to solve his childhood mysteries. The secrets that have been hidden in Joseph’s mind for twenty years, he must solve - and we as readers are kept guessing at.
Next, Joseph’s innocence in the cause of the accident is challenged by a ruthless attorney for the company owning the truck that rammed into him. Along comes Michelle Haas to Joseph’s rescue. She is an attorney for the school system where he teaches Science. Michelle ends up being a God-send. She’s at his side during some of the worst days of his life. Wait - someone is feeding false information to the prosecutors. Who could be trying to sabotage his life and career and why? What’s causing the horrid nightmares? Are they real repressed memories or the figment of Joseph’s imagination? Can his psychiatrist help him figure it all out?
I leave you with these questions to figure out for yourself when you read Blink of an Eye by Gregg Luke… Happy reading! 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Wow, What a Weekend...

          This past weekend my husband went to Roosevelt Lake Campground with the Boy Scouts. Don wanted me to go with him since he is an assistant Scout Master and I love camping he felt I should go with him and share his camping experience. So I broke down and went...
          This campground is probably one of the worst places to take little kids (IMHO). If they went running off of the main road they ran smack dab into Cholla Cacti! This isn't a fun experience - I know because as a child I encountered it more than once! Oooouuuucccch!
          But regardless of the Cholla (Jumping Cactus) the kids all seemed to have a good time even though I think I was the only one there that didn't get grabbed by it. I walked around with my eyes to the ground to make sure I didn't step on a stray piece laying in the path.
          There were a couple things that happened on this outing that happened that I really enjoyed. Well, in all fairness probably more than a couple but I'm only going to mention two of them here.
          First I spent much of my time going around taking pictures. I'm in the process of making children's picture e-books about Albert.
          Albert is a stuffed bear that I always take camping with me and one time I stuck him in a tree and took pictures of him then went back to camp and told my grandchildren that I saw a bear in a tree so I took a picture of it. They all wanted to see even though they were kinda scared of a bear crashing into camp. I showed them the picture of Albert and we all got a good laugh out of it... THEN came the idea to make picture books of Albert camping.  :O)
          I had fun going around staging them in poses in the desert. I have the pictures for a book called: Albert & his friend Snuffy Go Fishing plus the original one Albert Goes Camping. So this trip was taking pictures for a picture book of: Albert and Lil Aud Learning About The Arizona Desert.
          The second thing that happened on this camp out that impressed me is that the Scouts had a ceremony to retire old worn out US flags. They gather old flags from the community and then take them to camp and teach the boys how to properly and respectfully dispose of the old flags. The bonfire was set and the program given then the boys and anyone else that wanted to participate got to take a flag or part of a torn flag and with poles carefully lay them into the fire. It was a goosebumps experience and at the end they still had flags so I got to participate also. WOW!!!
Sorry its take so long to post again... but thanks for stopping by and reading... Joyce

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Book Review of DEADLINE by Clair M. Poulson

By Clair M. Poulson

It was my plan that when I finished the first edit of my book Just Another Player that I would take a break from writing and read a book or two before I started on the big next edit of my book. My quandary was whether to read a book in a similar genre as I’m writing in or should I read something totally different. I chose to read something of a comparable genre.
The first book I chose to read was Deadline by Clair M. Poulson. I love reading his books and I believe I have all of them. I chose Deadline even though I have the CD’s of it already. Why, you might ask? Because I wanted to use it for a workbook; I wanted to mark it all up with a pencil and you can’t do that with a CD. I read and marked all through it and was glad of my choice. I found that I had forgotten part of the plot from the CD’s and was rewarded all over again by my read.
Clair M. Poulson is one of those authors that when you read one of his books you want them all.
Deadline is about a newspaper reporter named Dallas Dixon; the action and intrigue begins in the beginning when Dallas is fired from a prestigious Newspaper by his formerly admiring boss, for no apparent reason. He decides to leave town and start anew in another part of Texas - where the El Paso Chronicle can’t influence any new job he may try for.
Things go from bad to worse when halfway to San Antonio, Dallas is shocked when he hears a news bullitin on the radio about his boss’s murder – and Dallas himself is then named as suspect giving his physical description and that of his truck.
He then becomes embroiled in a drug smuggling ring when he tries to be a Good-Samaritan to a trucker along the road to San Antonio. Using his military training he’s able to escape one escapade after another.
Heather, a colleague at the paper, is his confidante and becomes embroiled in helping prove Dallas’s innocence. Heather’s own life is then put in jeopardy as she unwittingly stumbles on some truths about Andy Norton, Dallas’s murdered boss.
Then comes the cat and mouse run for their lives, when the thugs begin trying to kill both Heather and Dallas. They decide that they will be safer together or at least not have to worry about each other, so they join forces. They are rescued and helped by an unlikely person who takes them into hiding…
If I tell you more I may give the story away… but suffice it to say that Deadline is an action packed, keep you on the edge of your seat suspense that is full of twists and turns in the story that make it a must read!
I loved this book and highly recommend it... Joyce

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Our Freedom's...

The flag and our freedom has always had a tender spot in my heart. For over twenty years of being the wife of an Air Force man has brought with it a high awareness of the constitution - although I admit I can't recite it :O)
This week brought me another alertness and opportunity to serve our freedom's. Saturday I received in the mail a summons to jury service. I think, "oh my gosh - it says I have to appear for jury duty on April 2nd... don't they know my grand-daughter will be here to visit?" I mean I don't get to see her all that often and I had plans to go over and visit with them. She's here from Washington state. Anyway I determine that maybe being out of town would be a good excuse, so I decide I'll call Monday morning and see if I can get out of it.
( Yes, I know - this doesn't sound like alertness or opportunity to serve does it? Be patient...)
Monday I call as planned. She said, "if you cancel now then the next time you're summoned you will have to go no matter what or you could take a chance of being held in contempt. But we do have an opening tomorrow if you would like to take it - then you won't have to go on the 2nd." I decided that would be a good deal...
So off I go on Tuesday (yesterday) morning. I got up at 5:30 and got ready to go to Florence, AZ to the courthouse. All the way there I was worried that if I got selected for jury service there was a possibility that I would be tied up with jury service through the whole week that said grand-daughter was here! Now that would not be appreciated!!! I got there and was ushered into a roomful of others waiting to see if they will be selected. We watched a video, were given a pep talk, and ushered upstairs on the elevator ten at a time. We went into the courtroom and filed in and sat on the benches. There must have been close to 100 -125 of us waiting to see if we would be selected in the one court room. I was not selected... they chose 24 to start with and after lunch they were going to whittle them down to 13 to be on the jury.
But as I watched the video downstairs and watched the proceedings I realized a couple of things: One that our country has a great constitution and many great freedoms and that we quite often take them for granted. Another is that it is a privilege to be able to sit on a jury and help keep the laws of this great nation. But lastly and maybe the funny thing is - I wouldn't have even qualified for this case anyway because: I have an Uncle who served in the FBI for many years then became a lawyer. I have a nephew who now is in the FBI. I have a nephew who is on the Boarder Patrol & a son-in-law also. I have a cousin who is a Judge in Phoenix. I have a friend in Hermiston who is a Judge. I have a friend and neighbor who is a police officer here. And lastly and probably most importantly is that my husband was head of Security for 25 years and was, just before he retired, instrumental in working with the Border Patrol and FBI in capturing drug runners - he was even driven off the road by some on his way home from work one time.
Lots of family and friends of mine are and were directly involved in protecting the laws of this great Country - the United States of America. So they probably wouldn't have selected me on this jury this time anyway if I had been one of the first names called up to be interviewed...
I love our Country, our flag, our constitution! Enough soap box...
~ Joyce

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Writing at it's Best...

This week-end I've went to the 20th annual ANWA Writers Conference. There were about 150-200 LDS women and 8 men there learning and growing in our writing experiences.

WOW!!! Is about all I can say. It was a fantastic conference and we were kept busy from Thursday evening to Saturday evening.

Our Class Presenters were:
Larry Brooks - of Story Engineering & author of 5 thrillers.
Deirdra Eden Coppel - Award winning artist & Author, Illustrator, and Graphic Designer.
Joyce DiPastena - Author and two-time Whitney Award finalist.
Jane Dystel - President of Dystel & Goderich. She's been an agent since 1986.
Dave Eaton - business owner with 30 years experience. A local Marketing Consultant.
Sara Francis-Fujimura - Freelance Writer, Creative Writings Teacher, Author.
Donna Hatch - Author with many writing awards including Golden Quill & Golden Rose.
Sandra Lee Hendrickson - Music Educator, Songwriter and Author.
Lisa Mangum - Assistant Editor at Deseret Book/Shadow Mountain, Author.
Linda Mulleneaux - Managing Editor at Walnut Springs Press, 20 years experience.
Anita Mumm - Literary Assistant at Nelson Literary Agency. Has a love of languages & writing.
Joshua J. Perkey - Senior Editor of Ensign & Liahona Magazines. Writes Fantasy novels.
Matt Peterson - Freelance copywrite, blogging, social media market, website, by-lined articles.
Wendy Peterson - Teacher, language, literature, poetry.
Linda F. Radke - President of Five Star Publications w/25 years experience & many awards.
Janette Rallison - Award-winning author of 18 novels of over 1,0000,000 copies.
Peggy Shumway - Family History Consultant... written several sagas about ancestors.
Conrad Storad - Multi-award-winning author of more than 40 nonfiction science & nature books for young readers.
Brent Whiting - Newspaper crime reporter, teaches College English.
Okay, so now can you see why I say, "Wow, I had a great learning experience!" I'm all pumped up and ready to get my novel finished. I have lots of good ideas and I'm ready to put them into practice.
Thanks for reading my blog!
~Joyce P. Smith

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Arizona my Arizona...

Happy 100th Birthday Arizona!

I hope you've enjoyed the many faces of my Arizona...
~Joyce S.