Sunday, July 31, 2011

Bloody Jack Winner...

All the entries had fun answers, so I put all four in a hat and my daughter drew the winning name.

And the Winner is...

"Here Kitty"

Please contact me via email with your address and I'll get the book mailed out to you.


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Bloody Jack Book Giveaway

OK Jackaroos, if ye be wantin' to win the Bloody Jack book in paperback or hardback, this be yer last chance...

Ye have until 8pm EST on 7/31/11 and then I be drawin' the winner. Click here to sign up. Ye better hurry or the ship'll be leavin' ya!
Signed Affectionately, 
Jacky Faber
Ship's Girl Boy

Friday, July 29, 2011

Published in Pockets!

My first article has been published in Pockets! How exciting! They sent me some advanced copies and I was doing the happy dance. Just had to share.

The article is called "What Can I Do?" and it is about how my daughter, age 10 then, accomplished her own "Walk for Haiti" to raise money for earthquake victims. She's an inspiration to me and I'm glad I was able to share her story. I hope it inspires others to get involved!

Pockets is a Christian children's magazine put out by The Upper Room.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

POV -- Who's on 1st and 3rd?

Writing Exercise: Try different Points of View (POV). Take a section of your writing and re-write it in a different POV. Which works better for the piece?
Before doing this exercise I read:

How to Choose a Point of View by Ginny Wiehardt

Point of view is the perspective from which a story is told. We may choose to tell our story in
As a writer, you must think strategically to choose the point of view that will allow you to most effectively develop your characters and tell your story.

How To Start Writing in the Third Person by Ginny Wiehardt

Here's my response.
First Person:

I stood out, way out, on the baseball field. I was one of those kids daydreaming out on left field. Our tee ball team was called the Yellow Jackets and we wore yellow baseball hats and yellow shirts with black lettering. The other kids were excited to be on the team. They shouted, “Sting like a bee!” I didn’t. Out on the field, I was more interested in dandelions than the ball. I prayed the ball would not come my way because I knew I would not catch it. I was afraid it might hit me.

Third Person:
Little Dawn Horner stood out in left field, where her coach told her go. She looked the part of tee ball player with her clean yellow shirt and cap. The front said Yellow Jackets in black lettering, but she wasn’t a Yellow Jacket. She was more like a honey bee. That’s where her mind was right now, down in the clover and dandelions at her feet. They were more interesting than this game. Occasionally she looked up and prayed that ball would not come her way. If it did, she knew she would duck, afraid it might hit her. She would not catch it.

Thoughts -- I like the Third Person better. It has more of a story-telling feel to it. I felt able to be more flexible and creative. 

What do you think? Do you have a POV preference in your writing?


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Capturing a Moment - Gettysburg & Camping

This past weekend we went camping in Gettysburg, PA and we went to the Eisenhower Farm. I've captured my weekend in the following bullets.

Campsite,  Campfire Pizza,  Abe and Dawn

Capturing the Campground:
*Hubby forgot the pork ribs, milk and OJ at home. I razzed him a bit for that.

*Two little girls stopped on the stone path, hugged each other for balance, and switched flip flops. The one girl sprung up and down testing her new flops. She nodded her approval and they continued walking.

*A scrawny gray squirrel began building a nest in a tree above a neighboring site. It bit off leafy twigs, some larger than itself, and took them back to the nest, shoving each one in place. The bundle shook in spurts. After about 10 minutes of work, the squirrel laid down on a bare branch to rest, legs hanging down. (That's how I felt too in the 95 degree heat!)

*The girls rented 4-wheeled peddle cars. They peddled their hearts out for the allotted ½ hour of joy and came back happy and sweaty.

*A shallow creek edged the back of the campground. Small crayfish hid in the warm water under silt and stones. We tried to wade out, but with almost every step, a crayfish would jet away. There were so many that we got out for fear of stepping on one or having one nibble our toes.

*It was Christmas in July at the campground. I wore my "You'll Shoot Your Eye Out" Christmas Story t-shirt in honor of it.

Capturing Gettysburg Nat'l Park and Eisenhower Farm:

*Our bus drive to Eisenhower Farm had a sarcastic sense of humor. He started off by asking us if we wanted to hear the dumbest park questions ever asked. Of course we said yes. Here are some of them:
How long is this 2-hour tour?
During the Civil War, did the soldiers use the monuments to hide behind?
What does the park service do with the monuments during the winter?
How come all the battles were fought on nat'l park land?
*Eisenhower farm – The Eisenhower’s were very down-to-earth Americans. Their house was pretty modest. They liked to entertain. Ike painted, golfed, and raised Angus beef cows. They liked the rolling PA farmland and were happy to call the farm home after all those years of traveling. 

Mamie's father retired a millionaire at the age of 37, but Ike and Mamie never lived extravagantly. They lived humbly in retirement. Mamie clipped coupons and they dined on TV trays on the sun porch. Though a 5 Star General and President, you got the impression from his home and farm that Ike was a well-grounded, ordinary person who lived life to the fullest.

*At the Eisenhower's Show Barn, we stopped to fill out the Junior Park Ranger booklet. The park volunteer had mercy on us. She gave our daughter many of the answers, as well as as a water-drenched paper towel to cool her down. My daughter said, "Mom, it's so hot, there is sweat on my upper lip!" Yep, we probably picked THE hottest day of the year to site see, but it was still fun.

Where have your gone this summer? Share one of your "Captured Moments"!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Touch the Crabby - A Poem

Every Monday, 1st Writes Blog posts "See Photo Write", a photo writing prompt. Anyone can join in! Just post your writing about the prompt on your blog and linky it on the 1st Writes' post OR copy and paste it into the Comments Section. Here is my entry for this week's photo boy and a crab

Touch the Crabby
by Dawn M. Hamsher

I touched it once.
I'll touch again.
Why won't the crabby
be my friend?

I want to hold him
close to me,
but he keeps trying to 
pinch me, see?

My mommy says,
"Leave him alone!
You're not allowed 
till you are grown."

But I don't listen.
I'm going to try
to get the crabby
one more time.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Bloody Jack Book Giveaway

Reminder - The Bloody Jack Book Giveaway is going on till July 31, 2011! 

Click here for the contest!

This is a thank you to all my Blog Buddies (I've passed 100)!

Blessings, Dawn 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Writing Prompt - Hot

Let the heat of the summer, make your creativity sizzle!
Writing Prompt: Let one of these inspire you to write, despite the heat. "It was so hot..." or "Hot enough to..."
Here is my response. 
Josh and Todd were bored so they asked me to go inside and get an egg. I was game. Mom was at work. She'd never miss one egg. The rule was no kids in the house while Mom was out. She never said don't take an egg. 

So, Josh cracked the egg on the macadam and tossed the shell. He wiped the egg slime on his pants and then we all laid down in the dry grass to watch the egg.

It was hot out. Sweat rolled down my back under my pink terry cloth halter top. I noticed Todd's black hair was all sweaty and Josh wiped his forehead with his shirt sleeve.
"Dang it's hot. We been layin' here for 10 minutes and it ain't doin' nothin'," said Josh.
"Yeah, this was a stupid idea. Who wants to watch a dumb egg cook anyway? I'm goin' for lemonade at my house."
"That sounds good, I'm comin' too."
I didn't follow them. They'd just start playing dumb boy video games. Nah, I'd stay. 
It took about 20 minutes, but the egg started turning white and began to slowly bubble. I watched it for a few more minutes until I was satisfied that it really was cooking, then I headed inside for some iced tea.
Later, at dinner, my mom asked me if I knew how a cooked egg got on her driveway. Oops! After dinner I picked up the rubbery egg, sniffed it, and tried a bite before throwing it in the garbage can. It tasted OK, but I preferred scrambled better.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Teen Eyes - Reader's Critique Contest

Check out Teen Eyes Post

by Kate Coursey at Weaving Colors 
 for a chance to win a free Reader's Critique!

Monday, July 18, 2011


Writing Exercise: Write about this photo prompt. 
Post your writing about this prompt on your blog and link it at 1st Writes!

Photo by Toby Hamsher 2011, Cowan's Gap State Park

My Response:

Wet drops land hard and fast against the wooden planks.
The sudden summer storm catches us unprepared.
In halter tops and flip flops, we wait it out under a camping pavilion.
Rivlets of water trickle through my hair and down my back. 
I shiver at their tickles and catch a chill despite the 90 degrees.

No one talks, we just watch the rain. 
We listen to it pound on the roof. 
We hear it splatter through the tree leaves.
The rain is so hard that it shrouds the forest like a veil.
I breathe in its heaviness. I smell the pine.

I relax and close my eyes. I am there.

Note: This is fiction. I did not go hiking that day. My husband went and took this shot! I wished I could have gone and now I have, through my writing!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Independence Day

Flash Fiction Blogfest
Hosted by Ali Cross.
250 words about "Independence Day". 


Independence Day
by Dawn M. Hamsher

Salvo crossed the busy street, oblivious to the rushing traffic and honking horns. He could only think of one thing. Gina. How could she? The text was short. It ripped his heart. And then he just saw red. With each step, he clenched and unclenched his fists. The words screamed at him.

we r done


Gina bit her lip. She had the text ready an hour ago. She zipped her bag and looked one last time around her apartment. Her thumb hovered over the button. She took a deep breath and pressed SEND. Her heart pounded.  She’d done it. Two years of dealing with his anger. He’d blow up and then shower her later with flowers and fine dining, kissing her forehead with apologies. Last night, though, was the last time.

She left the phone on the couch and grabbed her things, wincing from the bruises. He never beat her were it showed. Then she closed the door. She could hear the phone already ringing and knew he’d be on the way. She sniffed. It didn’t matter. She’d be long gone and he’d never find her. The tears began to flow, but she kept walking. He did love her, she knew that, but she wasn’t going back. Not this time.

 She slipped onto a subway car, into a corner seat. Reality set in. She had left her job, her friends – all without a word. She had left him. She hugged her bag close and shut her eyes. The train rocked back and forth. She was finally free.
  ______ _______ ________ ________ ________ ______ _______ _______ _______
As soon as I saw the theme "Independence Day", I knew I would not be writing about flags and fireworks. I recently saw a drama presented by Women In Need, an organization that helps victims of abuse. Six women stood up and told stories inspired by real life. There were heart-wrenching tales of women who continually went back to abusive situations. I wanted to write a story about a woman who was able to break free and have her own Independence Day. 

Prayer: Dear Jesus, May all who are abused, turn to you for strength and courage to break the cycle. Surround them with your comfort and healing power.  Amen.    

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Poetry Schmoetry -- Strong Hair

I will be posting one poem each day of Poetry Schmoetry (July 11-14).

Strong Hair
A Limerick
By Dawn M. Hamsher

There once was a girl with strong hair
Whose fibers like steel were so rare.      

Once a boy came too near                    

And the tendrils did rear.                     

He lays on the floor, so beware. 


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Poetry Schmoetry -- Monster Protection

I will be posting one poem each day of Poetry Schmoetry (July 11-14).

Monster Protection
By Dawn M. Hamsher

There’s a monster in my room,
But he won’t be my doom.

I imagine him 6’ 9”

With quite a dark hairy spine.
And evil eyes with green glow.
A flicking tail that hangs low.

Huge nostrils blow foul steam. 
Breathe like hot onioned sardines.
He hunkers and creeps in the dark.
He waits for my sleep to embark
On his quest to devour my soul.
But I have a plan to unroll.

I’ve hidden it under my cover.
Waiting for him to discover.
It’s something that’s sure to appease
A plate of bologna and cheese.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Poetry Schmoetry -- Snow on the Tombstones

I will be posting one poem each day of Poetry Schmoetry (July 11-14).

Snow on the Tombstones 
by Dawn M. Hamsher
Snow on the Tombstones
Blanket of white
Cemetery calm
In early dawn light

Stones all snow-topped
Stand up by the pines
heavy with powder
that weighs down their sides

All of the headstones
Placed in straight rows   
Are colors of grays
That slumber and doze   

I couldn't stop looking
So lovely a scene        
A feeling of peace
of resting serene 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Poetry Schmoetry - Life Today Vs. Life Yesterday

I will be posting one poem each day of Poetry Schmoetry (July 11-14).

Life Today Vs. Life Yesterday
by Dawn M. Hamsher

Life Today

immediate gratification
immediate gratification digital
immediate gratification digital information
immediate gratification digital information public
immediate gratification digital information public communication
immediate gratification digital information public communication virtual
immediate gratification digital information public communication virtual stimulation

gradual accumulation manual publication private conversation community situation
gradual accumulation manual publication private conversation community
gradual accumulation manual publication private conversation
gradual accumulation manual publication private
gradual accumulation manual publication
gradual accumulation manual
gradual accumulation

Life Yesterday

Saturday, July 9, 2011

100 Blog Buddies! -- Bloody Jack Giveaway

"Whatcha gonna do when you hit 100 followers?"

"I don't know. I could give away a favorite book."

"Sounds good. Do it!"

And that's what I"m going to do! I just got done reading Bloody Jack by L. A. Meyer and it was AWESOME. I love adventure and this packs a punch. Plus the author's use of dialog and dialect is  amazing. It puts the reader right there with poor Mary "Jacky" Faber, orphan, beggar, ship's boy. Yes, I said ship's boy! Intrigued? I know I was. 

So, if you'd like to win Bloody Jack, either in hardback or paperback (I am willing to part with either gently-used copy), and you live in the U.S. (for shipping), answer the questions below in the Comment Section. I will pick my favorite top three answers, then put the names in a hat and draw a winner.

Make up what Mary "Jacky" Faber, age 11, might say next based on this one passage from Bloody Jack. 

Background: The ship's officer is choosing new ship boys to come aboard to work for the Royal Navy. Jacky is pretending to be a boy.

     "Awright," calls out the evil one with the knotted rope to the mob of us, "what kin any of yiz do?"
     Do? I wonders. What do we do? We all look around at each other. What does he think, we're all bloody runaway apprentices with trades? Missin' sons of royal houses? What we do is scavenge, beg, and steal--ain't it plain?...
     "Sir, I can splice a line!" shouts a thin-faced boy, and he's motioned aboard...
     "...Then another boy calls out, "I'm strong fer me size, Sir, take me!"
Your turn!
1. What would you have Jacky Faber yell out to try to get a spot as ship's boy?
2. Would you like hardback or paperback?

I'll draw a winner on July 31, 2011.