Two Minutes Forty Seconds Equals One Awe Inspiring Day In Kentucky

If anyone mentions Kelly, Kentucky, you might shake your head and say, “I got nothing.” But for me, August 21, 2017, became a moment of spiritual connection with the universe, a moment with history, and a memory with my daughter and granddaughter I would not trade for anything. 8-21 4

Leaving home Sunday afternoon for the 3 hour trip to South Western Kentucky to camp out under the stars before attending the spot for 100% totality for the solar eclipse that made the United States gather together in friendship with no negative thoughts and no political agenda. The three-hour trip was nice and went by at a quick pace. Only a few stops for gasoline, drinks and a potty break, meant we were right on time. While driving toward the house we were camping outside of, we noticed a few interesting features near the corn and tobacco fields. There is a “Share the Road” sign, but it is the most adorable sign I have ever seen.

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We arrived with enough light to put up the tent and blow up the air mattresses. I admit the air mattresses were a selling point for me. Hips that sleep on a hard ground hurt at my age.

After the mooing cow, howling coyote, and hooting owl quieted down we all grabbed some sleep. A very early morning wake up call by the most cheerful bird ever, meant I had a little time on my hands for my morning relaxation, meditation, and quiet. To me, meditation is scrolling through mail reading blogs. I never learned that “clear your mind” technique.

By nine o’clock everyone was ready to go to the park and attend the Little Green Man Festival.

After leaving the camp site, we ran across some of the “Natural monuments and visitors” in place for the event.  Just a few blocks from the mooing midnight insomniac cow and hooting owl, the festival was laid out for human and canine entertainment.

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Once we arrived at the park,  we began to see the familiar theme that celebrates the local history of the Kelly Kentucky Invasion.  An event that occurred on, August 21, 1955, and has been told and retold throughout the years.  There is a book written by the Taylor Family. Plus several episodes on Discovery channel and other space questioning networks.  The Taylor family members claimed to have encountered at least one and as many as fifteen little silverish men with a green glow and yellow eyes.

Games filled the square such as the hamster ball where children and adults alike were climbing inside and attempting to spin an air filled ball. Bobbing on top of the pool over the water like a hamster wheel. Fun areas of bouncy houses for the kids and even the popular harnessed bungee jumping opportunity, everyone was eating, playing, and laughing as we waited for the designated time. 11:56 AM was when the very first bite was taken out of the top right corner of the Sun by our own small Moon.

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Everyone began to claim a chair under the tents so that they could fight off a little of the 93-degree day. With bottles of water and the scent of sunscreen, we crept out of the edges of the tent to see how the moon was progressing. On and on it moved as the children grabbed a quick last ride and one last bounce.

When the countdown began that we were five minutes from the totality, every person grabbed a spot on the grass, looking up, eclipse glasses perched on the nose.  One man wore a welders helmet, I only felt bad for him as he had to be burning up.

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Then the magic moment happened. The Moon slipped in front of the Sun and there for one brief breathtaking moment, the diamond ring appeared then utter beauty. A black circle with a dancing halo surrounding it. A burning ball of gas we could safely admire for the next two minutes.

At that time glasses came off and stunned people spun round and round looking at everything at once.  The two planets winking in the sky reminding us that they hide there during the daylight hours all the time, just one brief blink away.

Clapping that had begun at the sight of the diamond ring was abruptly silenced. It was completely silent. No one spoke. Children gripped their eclipse glasses which they had until a moment before been so afraid to look without, in order not to be permanently blinded by a careless glance.

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Children laid back on the ground as photos were taken of the complete 380-degree sunset colored horizon.  This was why it was so important to make that trip. This is the thing, you didn’t expect to see.  The air was now almost ten degrees cooler. It felt good, damp hair began to cool in the breeze and for two minutes and forty seconds everyone had a look of awe on their faces, big burly men, dainty women, cool teenagers in designer clothes, and cosplay girls, all stood together feeling the tranquility of the moment.

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Then a wink, a blink, and the command, “Put on your glasses, now!”

Twilight began to move off as the afternoon sun began to once again heat the earth with that eons old promise to shine and protect us and give us a habitable environment to call home.  Yes, the moon was still creeping across the front of that glowing orb, but the magic still enveloped us. We all felt connected. We all shared that moment. It was magical.

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The minutes had ticked by and we were now ready to move back into the real world. The world of massive traffic jams, five miles an hour treks home. the magic was disbursing.  But there was still a hint of joy. A total stranger won an Eclipse car and we all cheered like he was our baby brother winning. There was still a newness to the event. We had shared a moment. For that two minutes and forty seconds, we were all changed.

Now we needed to return to our lives at home. The schools would be back in session, the boss would expect us to clock in, the hurried drivers would cut off each other and grumble about the traffic. But one thing remained when we all got off on various exits, we stood in line, for the restrooms, the counter to order dinner, or a tall bottle of water to cool off from the heated day, we stood in a line, spoke of what we had seen, and laughed. We smiled, we shared and we felt a kinsmanship with the other 3 million people that were packed onto a two lane parkway heading Nort South East and West.  We all were heading home separately, after one awe inspiring day together.

 

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When I said we laughed, I meant it. We laughed when Angie found the line between EST and CST on the Parkway in Kentucky.  My daughter is a comedian. We laughed for miles.

What did you see? Where did you go? How did you find humanity? Share with me, I truly am interested!

Attention Writers! An exciting opportunity for you has arisen!

Open Call.

Are you a writer, young, old, of an indeterminate age? Have you been published, want to be published, have a little story tickling your mind, or sitting in a drawer? Then send me your story. I will be sharing them on this blog in weekly increments.  They will be published featuring your name or pen name. Don’t be shy everyone can apply!

This is your chance.

Make it fun, exciting, pg 13 max, and all yours. Send me your story, your bio, your picture today! I want you to be featured.  You can become a Featured Fun Guest Post on the Page Turner.

Be read. 

I promise you will be seen by more people here, than if the manuscript is hiding in your trusty notebook or desk drawer.  This is your hour to be published. I will promote you,  on Twitter, Google plus, Pinterest, and Facebook. I will also give you the links to promote yourself. There is an opportunity to be reblogged. Reblogging happens on occasion and then you will be seen by even more amazing readers.

Contact me.

Want to take me up on this offer?  Then send me a message or a story and bio to vicgoodwin@gmail.com  Place “Guest Post” as your topic and then let’s discuss your day in the sun.  I will keep the story up for as long as I have this blog. I think I will always have this blog, as I am rather chatty.

Details: 

A short story in any genre that is PG 13.  Any word count over 350. Any topic that you want.  Make it humorous, touching, mysterious, romantic, personal, fiction, nonfiction, or anecdotal.  Basically, almost anything goes.  Don’t forget the pictures to compliment your story if applicable.

Become a repeat writer.

Contact me today and have your stories featured. Yes, you read correctly. I will post more than one of your stories in non-consecutive weeks. See some examples of the stories featured so far here in our newest opportunity.

Join in the Fun!

Make both of us happy! You and I are out to share some amazing stories. Get on board!!!

Special Feature: Sunday Stroll in the Gallery! Featuring John Macdonald

Sunday Stroll in the Gallery is a feature to bring new eyes to artists. Welcome to the Gallery and enjoy the view. Let’s meet John Macdonald.

John Macdonald is a photographer which specializes in the natural beauty of the Upper Michigan area. From scenic buildings to majestic sunsets, he captures the vivid colors of Michigan in his photographs.  John has provided the link to read his 178 photo book for free at https://storycartel.com/books/a-michigan-photo-presentation-second-edition. The book presents waterfalls, sunsets, Great Lakes ships, Architecture and more all from the state of Michigan.

As you stroll through his photographs, remember that he has over 150 more for your viewing pleasure available.

Welcome to the Gallery:

Presque Isle sunset, Marquette, Michigan


Westland, Michigan tulips

Marquette County, Michigan
Beaumont Building Michigan State University
Mackinaw Bridge in December
Marquette Lighthouse
If you are an artist and want to share your artwork, photographs, pottery, modern sculpture. comic or anime, then contact me here.  I’ve brought Sunday Stroll in the Gallery over to The Page Turner and welcome new, upcoming, established artists that want to have their work seen. Contact me at vicgoodwin@gmail.com to learn how.

Heart of a Lion by Stephen Zimmer: Book review and Blog Tour

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Recently we met Stephen and shared his views on his heroine Rayden Valkyrie. This girl has a huge reputation as a warrior with the heart of a lion and the moral compass that keeps her busy getting rid of the wicked and corrupt. Let’s learn more about her and I will share my thoughts on the book Heart of a Lion.

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  • Print Length: 274 pages
  • Publisher: Seventh Star Press; 1 edition (February 2, 2015)
  • Publication Date: February 2, 2015
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00T44R6LE

My Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

My Review:

Heart of a Lion is a powerful fantasy story that has a lot of heart of its own. The characters are really well written with strength and courage that is totally befitting the name.  Rayden Valkyrie is such a lovely and intelligent woman with a code of honor. She is led to a life of wiping out corruption and she does a great job with her calling.

I found the story to be really well told. The characters are bursting with life.  You see her from an Avengers point of view and it is powerful to read.  The way that Stephen brings her to life, is a beautiful process.  I can see why this is being turned into a tv series.

The book follows Rayden as she sets out to take care of the wrongs in her land. Thoughtfully written and Stephen makes you fall in love with her sense of right and her character. She has strength but she is not one of those mindless hulks that are all brawn and no spirit. She is a very well rounded heroine.

You will enjoy this book if you like to find the heart of the character as well as the action and adventure in a well-crafted land.

Where to find Heart of a Lion: This Fantasy and adventure novel is available at Amazon.

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About the author:  Stephen Zimmer is an award-winning author and filmmaker based out of Lexington Kentucky. His works include the Rayden Valkyrie novels (Sword and Sorcery), the Rising Dawn Saga (Cross Genre), the Fires in Eden Series (Epic Fantasy), the Hellscapes short story collections (Horror), the Chronicles of Ave short story collections (Fantasy), and the Harvey and Solomon Tales (Steampunk).

Stephen’s visual work includes the feature film Shadows Light, shorts films such as The Sirens and Swordbearer, and the forthcoming Rayden Valkyrie: Saga of a Lionheart TV Pilot.

Stephen is a proud Kentucky Colonel who also enjoys the realms of music, martial arts, good bourbons, and spending time with family.

Author Links:

Twitter:  @SGZimmer

Facebook: www.facebook.com/stephenzimmer7

Instagram: @stephenzimmer7

Website: www.stephenzimmer.com

The benefits of baking and cooking for children by Robbie Cheadle: A Featured Fun Guest Post

The benefits of baking and cooking for children

Most children love to spend time in the kitchen either cooking or baking. It is a fabulous bonding experience with Mom or another caregiver and they always enjoying eating the results of their hard work afterwards.

I love to bake and both my sons have travelled the cooking, baking and eating road with me. Michael, particularly, loves to cook. He prefers to make more practical things than I do such as savoury and/or sweet pancakes, French toast and even stews and curries which he makes with his Dad. I like to make all sorts of fancy sweet treats and cakes.

I remember baking with my small boys. Gregory used to love to measure and pour the ingredients into the bowl. Funnily enough, Greg also loved to wash up. Sadly, this has not continued into his teenage years. I used to strip him down to his nappy and stand him on a few chairs lined up in front of the sink [so that he could not fall off] and set him free in front of a sink of soapy water. He used to splash around happy with a cloth washing up the bowl and wooden spoon. I kept the washing of any sharp implements and breakables for myself.

Michael, on the other hand, has never been a fan of any kind of cleaning up. He likes to measure, pour and, especially, to mix. He also likes to “lick” out the bowl. I have photographs of Michael covered from head to toe in chocolate cake mix with the bowl upside down on his head. What fabulous fun.

Other than the obvious fun and bonding factors, there are a list of other great benefits to baking with your children. I did some research on this and this is what I found:

  1. Maths skills: Baking helps children to learn maths concepts, in particular, measurement and simple fractions (half a cup, a quarter of a lemon). In addition, multiplication and division are involved if you half or double a recipe. Other kinds of cooking may also involve patterning (for example with salads and kebabs) and simple addition (how many people are you feeding? how many cupcakes do you need for the class?);
  2. Art skills: Decorating cupcakes, cutting out biscuits and making animals and people out of fondant (sugar dough). All of these activities encourage creativity and develop design abilities. An element of construction can also be involved if you are making a gingerbread house or a marshmallow tower and children learn how to fit pieces together and get a tower to stand up;

Cupcakes decorated for charity by the children of St Columba’s Presbyterian Church Sunday School – Parkview, South Africa

  1. Comprehension skills: Baking and cooking teaches children how to read and interpret a recipe. They learn to follow a sequence of steps and how to organise the required ingredients. Baking also teaches children techniques and vocabulary such as folding, beating, kneading and blending;
  2. Science skills: Contrary to popular belief, baking is a science. Children learn the scientific effects of raising agents such as yeast and baking powder. They learn about the interaction between certain substances such as salt and bicarbonate of soda, cream of tartar and milk, yeast and warm water. If they make a mistake and/or leave out an ingredient, disaster often follows which helps enforce these learning points;

Giant marshmallow made by Michael – the scientific effects of gelatine

  1. Life skills: Baking and cooking with your children teaches them lifelong skills. In the future, the job of feeding themselves and their future families will become theirs. Baking and cooking skills will stand them in good stead when they leave home; and
  2. Self-esteem: Baking and cooking helps increase children’s self-esteem as they see and taste the results of their efforts. It also teaches children to work together with someone else in a team and that hard work pays dividends in the end.

I am not an occupational therapist but I found the following additional benefits listed on an OT website for children:

  1. Bilateral coordination;
  2. Eye-hand coordination;
  3. Hand strengthening; and
  4. Spatial perception and planning skills.

These four benefits make perfect sense to me in the context of baking and cooking with children.

So, what are you waiting for, get cooking. An easy way to start is with mini pizzas. You can buy the bases ready made from most grocery stores and you can also buy the tomato paste source to spread on the bases. Grate some cheese, cut up some mushrooms, pineapple, ham and anything else that you fancy and let the kids have fun assembling their own pizzas.

Thanks to Robbie Cheadle for this delicious and delightful post. Robbie, you are welcome to share a post any Friday. You can follow Robbie at:

Blogs: robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com and Goodreads.com

Facebook: @SirChocolateBooks

Twitter: @bakeandwrite

Giving Your Character to the World Guest Post by Stephen Zimmer for the Rayden Valkyrie blog Tour

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Rayden Valkyrie, as a character, rose up during a time of trial in my own life. She served as an inspiration to me, even as her story and the world around her began to take form in my mind. I have mentioned many times how I would love to see her become a source of inspiration and encouragement for others going through hard challenges.

A sense of honor, self-empowerment, self-determination, and confronting the evils in the world without having that darkness consume your own heart in the process are just some of the characteristics intrinsic to Rayden. She is a very positive figure of strength on all levels; in mind, body, and spirit.

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Bringing her into the world, through the stories on page and on screen is a wonderful process, but it is a process that sets her free to the audience. The manifestations resulting from that process are very individual in nature.

I have been very honored to receive a number of messages from readers who have also found a very special connection to Rayden. They have shared their own stories of trial and how Rayden resonated with them. These are the kinds of messages I find most rewarding of all, in terms of hearing the positive influence and impact Rayden has had in their lives. Rayden has become something special to each of them, in an individual way.

Rayden’s first fan art has begun to show up in public, created by some extremely talented individuals. It is really exciting to see the visual interpretations of Rayden by these artists. They have their own take on Rayden, and their view of her might have some noticeable differences from the Rayden that I have in my mind and heart.

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Then, there is the TV Pilot that is now in post-production, starring Brock O’Hurn and Sol Geirsdottir. Sol portrays Rayden for the first time on screen. For a great many, the TV Pilot will be their first encounter with the Rayden Valkyrie character. The TV show will shape their perception of the character and what Rayden is about. The collaborative process of visual storytelling in movies and TV shows also introduces some elements that have some differences with the way that I see Rayden. From books, to art, to the TV Pilot, Rayden is going from books, to art, to the TV Pilot, Rayden is going farther into our world.

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Readers, artists, and TV audiences alike are going to have their own view of Rayden and what she represents. The character, in a way of describing it, has been given to the world, and Rayden will be walking on her own in hearts and minds everywhere.

I have lots of Rayden Valkyrie stories that I would like to tell in the future. I want to tell them on the page, on screen, and even in other mediums such as gaming. Yet at the same time, I see that she is taking on a life of her own and being adopted by audiences of all kinds, and those individuals will have their own bond with Rayden in a manner that is unique to each of them.

That is a sobering thought, as it brings in all manner of expectations and hopes from the audience out there while I engage in revealing more and more of Rayden’s story over time. Will Rayden’s full story meet all those expectations and hopes? For some, yes, and for others no, as those expectations and hopes will be anything but uniform in nature. Everyone is different. But overall, it is my hope that no matter what audiences might expect in the future, they will always see that Rayden is true to herself and ultimately lives up to the principles that guide her.

Giving your favorite character to the world is not as easy as it seems on the surface, but it is the only path to take. A character is meant for an audience, and they must be set free through the creative arts to grow and thrive in the hearts and minds of individuals everywhere.

Heart of a Lion is Book One of the Dark Sun Dawn Trilogy.

Teaser Trailer Link for Rayden Valkyrie: Saga of a Lionheart TV Pilot:

About the author:  Stephen Zimmer is an award-winning author and filmmaker based out of Lexington Kentucky. His works include the Rayden Valkyrie novels (Sword and Sorcery), the Rising Dawn Saga (Cross Genre), the Fires in Eden Series (Epic Fantasy), the Hellscapes short story collections (Horror), the Chronicles of Ave short story collections (Fantasy), and the Harvey and Solomon Tales (Steampunk).

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Stephen’s visual work includes the feature film Shadows Light, shorts films such as The Sirens and Swordbearer, and the forthcoming Rayden Valkyrie: Saga of a Lionheart TV Pilot.

Stephen is a proud Kentucky Colonel who also enjoys the realms of music, martial arts, good bourbons, and spending time with family.

Author Links:

Twitter:  @SGZimmer

Facebook: www.facebook.com/stephenzimmer7

Instagram: @stephenzimmer7

Website: www.stephenzimmer.com

The Path of the Child

It is good to see The Path of the Child is still receiving love. A 5 star review!

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I love the story of The Path of the Child; it is a well thought out story with sweet ideas. While the story is fiction, many people could learn from this story; learn about kindness, honesty, friendship, and simply just how you should or rather should not treat people, including parents.

I love how Melanie starts finding who she really is with the help of her newfound friends; one particular, Robert.
This is has become one of my favorite books I have and will read again and recommend it to any and all who love sweet stories with life changing outcomes, for both caricature and reader.

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