Thursday, May 31, 2012

pray: it's the end of the world as we know it!

STORY TIME THURSDAY:  Pray by John Prescott

"The end of the world didn't begin with a bang. It began with the sound of a trumpet."
The story opens with each of these three characters witnessing bizarre and gruesome events, in different parts of the country, after hearing the blaring of the trumpet : Trez Leighton, an ex-military officer camping in the Colorado mountains, sees a jet abruptly crash into the next mountain, in full throttle; Roxi Parks, a nurse leaving her shift at a Virginia asylum, is attacked by a vicious werewolf in the parking lot, and upon barely making her escape amid growing chaos in the streets, finds her way home only to discover that her daughter has simply vanished into thin air; Rick Adams finds that the same fate has befallen his neighbors, his only close friends, vanished shortly after hearing the same pure, haunting trumpet sound. One thing becomes rapidly clear to all of them: the world as they knew it had just ceased to exist.

Pray is the first book of the post-apocalyptic trilogy The Revelation Chronicles. With mythical creatures galore -- angels, demons, werewolves and monsters--, governments either collapsed or defenseless against the powerful paranormal forces, and even a bona fide anti-Christ, John Prescott depicts a frighteningly superb version of the anarchy of the final holy war fought by the remaining humans.

I started reading this book without knowing much about it. Though I was prepared for a dark story with possible religious undertones, I was completely flabbergasted. This book slapped me silly, called me Shirley, and kept me at the edge of my seat, the whole freaking time. I wasn't planning on reading it in (almost) one sitting, but I did, and I didn't even notice it because the pace is that fast and that gripping. Granted, the gore is not my favorite part, but I was actually surprised that it didn't bother me that much. Also, is it bad that I kept looking for clues about which celebrity the character of Samouel (the anti-Christ) was based on? I've been in L.A. too long :)

Pray is available in paperback and Kindle version at Amazon
To find other books written by John Prescott, visit his author page at Amazon

Story Time for 6/7: Space Orville by Jeff Whelan 
(For an up-to-date list of scheduled reviews, click the Story Time Thursday icon on the menu bar above)

Same time, next week?

Meanwhile, here's a topic: discuss!

Thinking about the end of the world is not something in which we engage voluntarily, amidst the bustle of our often hectic lives. But if you were to take a moment to envision it, how do you think it will happen? 
Will it end in a bang, a whimper, or with the sound of a trumpet?  

A random drawing will be held for the folks who comment on this post, to give away the pdf of this book. There is nothing to "follow" or "like", no rules, nada. Just say hi, or grunt, answer the question, or not, but please do clearly indicate that you want in on the giveaway. The winner's name will be announced next Thursday.

Last week's random drawing winner of Eye of the Storm by Denise Moncrief is Heather (and you said you never win anything!). Heather, I have your email address, sending the pdf shortly. Congrats!

Under construction: The name of this blog is being changed to Megan Blogs (thanks to the advice of people much smarter than me). Please bear with me during the rehauling process. I'm assured the mess will eventually make way for a much tidier digital experience both for you and for me.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

WW: swimming pool party

When is the official start of your swimming pool season?

Don't forget to answer before hopping on.
Oh, and use the linky-winky :)
But wash your hands afterwards, a'ight?

Thanks for stopping by. Happy Wordless Wednesday!

Under construction: The name of this blog is being changed to Megan Blogs (thanks to the advice of people much smarter than me). Please bear with me during the rehauling process. I'm assured the mess will eventually make way for a much tidier digital experience both for you and for me.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

the cheek-to-cheek collage project

Norman (the old poop) is right: I just don't know how to stick to one project. I constantly create new ones, even before the current one is done. A regular Forrest Gump, yup, that would be me. 
But, shhhh... nobody tell him I admitted that, okay? I'll never hear the end of if!

This is a fun project and you all can participate. Let me explain.

So I've been busy uphauling, rehauling, and possibly overhauling my blogs. The mess is relatively worse at my other blog, The Behavioral Child, which is currently displaying an ungraceful disarray of test pages, broken links, and different versions of the same widgets. Luckily for me, the bulk of this behemoth of a task falls on the awesome Elaine of Elaine Griffin Designs, and she is working as fast and as furiously as she can (not helped by the fact that I'm changing more and more things along the way"And since we're doing it, how about we make this bigger, and this one less orangy, and this one more font-y?"). The mess will hit this blog when that one is finalized, soon, very soon, though in a more orderly fashion, when Monday Morning Musings changes officially to Megan Blogs. And moves to WordPress. Crossing fingers, toes, and everything in between that can be crossed.

Meanwhile... whilst waiting for the slow progress to make way for the fabulous final result, I couldn't help but notice that every time I pass by the ubiquitous photographs in my house, I always stop and smile at this one.

Was I ever that young?
Was Emily ever this small?
Look at those adorable baby cheeks!
Where did the time go?
Also, shit! my scanner is adding unattractive lines on my photos!

Mother and child photos, the cheek-to-cheek ones, have always been my favorites. Many years ago, when I was taking photography lessons at the annex of the community college in my area, I took this photo (below). It's not the greatest, but I take particular pride in it because I did the whole thing myself: I shot it, developed the film (in the dark), and developed the black-and-white photo (in a dark room). It seems ridiculous that people used to do that (and spend their free time learning how to do that) in our era of digital and convenient photography. But it was a fun project and I will always cherish this photo for that if not for other reasons, namely its subjects, my sister holding my then baby niece. Not quite the cheek-to-cheek I had in mind, Nora, so if you have a better photo, send it to me.

Was she ever that young?
Was Laurie ever this small?
Oh, those adorable baby cheeks!
Where did the time go?
Note to self: Google "the idiot's guide to scanner maintenance".

So here is my new project and your new mission, should you choose to accept it:
  • Find a cheek-to-cheek photo of yourself. You can be the parent or the child. If you don't have kids, you can substitute with a photo of your pet, or niece, or cousin, or a friend's kid, or something small and innocent. The older the photo the better; the more close-up the shot, the better. I want you to go Awww! when you dig it up. 
  • When you're done admiring your old bad self, upload your cheek-to-cheek photo to your Flickr, Facebook, Instagram, wherever, then put the link in my comments so I can copy it here [updated: or as the lovely K. pointed it out, upload it to my Facebook page Blogging with Megan]. I will make a collage of all the photos you give me. A wall of cheek-to-cheek photos. Wouldn't that be fantastic?

So whaddaya think? Are you up for it?

Oh, and don't forget to enter the still on-going 250 custom business cards UPrinting giveaway and the giveaway for Denise Moncrief's book, Eye of the Storm. And check out Counter-logic is not an alternative lifestyle, my guest post at P.O.V., if you are so inclined :)

09 - CHEEK TO CHEEK by manshon

Under construction: The name of this blog is being changed to Megan Blogs (thanks to the advice of people much smarter than me). Please bear with me during the rehauling process. I'm assured the mess will eventually make way for a much tidier digital experience both for you and for me.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

eye of the storm: run, Kieran, run!

Welcome to the first post of my new Thursday series, temporarily called Story Time. (I'm open to ideas for an apt title, something that sort of rhymes with Thursday and implies reading, authors, stories, new, fresh voices... Story Time was my best one yet, but then again I haven't been sleeping much lately.)

STORY TIME THURSDAY:  Eye of the Storm by Denise Moncrief

The story opens with Kieran awaiting a storm in an isolated house, all alone. Suddenly, the door bursts open and in lurches this man (well of course he is cute, doh, but that's beside the point), obviously hurt and dripping with blood. He proceeds to collapse on her floor, but only after he pleads with her not to call for help or involve the cops. I am paraphrasing of course; Denise did a much better job at setting the stage in incredibly detailed nuances.

“The muted hammering of the downpour filtered through the clapboard siding and filled the room with dulled hints of fury.”

I was hooked from page one.

Eye of the Storm is a romantic mystery, a short story (relatively longer than typical ones) about being caught in seemingly unsolvable circumstances, in the dead quiet that belies the impending storm. Without giving away too much of the plot, let me just say that I did not foresee the twists that ensued.

This was a very enjoyable read though I could see how, because of its length, some events may be deemed a little rushed. I wish the author would consider turning this into a full book and developing the story more. The characters are compelling and their backstories are juicy enough to make that possible.

Denise Moncrief blogs at Suspense, She Writes
Her eBook is available at Still Moments Publishing

Thursday Story Time for 5/31: Pray by John Prescott 
(For an up-to-date list of scheduled books, click Upcoming Book Reviews on the menu bar above)

Same time, next week?

Meanwhile, here's a topic: discuss!

You are alone, isolated, sort of on the run yourself, and here comes trouble. Do you stay and find out more, or do you get the hell out before he wakes up? How curious and adventurous are you? What are the reasons why you would (or wouldn't) run, Kieran, run? What would you have done in Kieran's place? 

I will hold a random drawing for the folks who comment on this post, to give away the pdf of the book. There is nothing to "follow" or "like", no rules, nada. Just say hi, or grunt, answer the question, or not, but please do indicate, in writing, that you want in on the giveaway. The winner's name will be announced next Thursday.

Also, if you can come up with an awesome title for my Thursday Story Time, I'll send you a $10 Amazon gift card. Deal?

Under construction: The name of this blog is being changed to Megan Blogs (thanks to the advice of people much smarter than me). Please bear with me during the rehauling process. I'm assured the mess will eventually make way for a much tidier digital experience both for you and for me.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

giveaway: enter to win 250 business cards

This blogger needs business cards (for BlogHer12 and otherwise).

They can't just be any old business cards... they have to be really good, deserving of the lovely design that graphic artist extraordinaire Elaine is finalizing for me.

Luckily, UPrinting is having a giveaway. They are cool like that.

And they have the cutest designs. And shapes.

Here's how it works:
  • You go check out their custom business cards 
  • Come back here and tell me what die-cut business card shape you would choose if you win this giveaway. It's all on their page, just pick the shape you'd like. 
  • Enter the giveaway with your email or Facebook login info in the handy-dandy widget right below. It keeps track of your entries, how cool is that?
  • You can earn additional entries if you wish, just follow the prompts.
  • One lucky winner and this blogger (a happy Megan) will each get 250 die-cut business cards.

Pretty cool, right? 

Here's some more details:
250 Die-cut Business Cards for one (1) winner2×3.5″ Rounded Corners, 2×2″ Rounded Corners, 1.75×3.5″ Rounded Corners, 2×3.5″ Leaf, 2×3.5 Rounded one corner, 2×3.5″ Half-Circle Side, 2×3.5″ Oval, or 2.5″ Circle 14pt Cardstock Gloss / Matte / High Gloss (UV), or 13pt Cardstock Uncoated.  6 Business days print turnaround time.  Free US shipping only

1) This giveaway is open to US residents only, 18 years old and above. 2) No prize substitutions allowed. 3) Winners are allowed to win once over a six-month period. 4) Only email addresses used for the giveaway will be eligible to claim the prize.


You should assume that I will receive free print products in exchange for the post. Any and all reviews posted are based solely on my own experience and may be atypical. Please practice due diligence in making any related purchase decisions. Interested to hold a giveaway like this? Please sign up here.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

WW: musée du quai Branly

(Almost wordless, again) 

When I dream of Paris, which is quite often, I dream of going back to the Musée du Quai Branly.

While most people flock to the Louvre (as well they should, because it is awesome), they miss this quaint little museum off the beaten path, at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. We found it completely by chance, when one excited little Miss Em spotted ads for an exhibition of primitive masks on the métro walls (the kid has an uncanny knack of being interested in the weirdest things). She even traded a visit to the Versailles for it (and if you knew about her fascination with castles, you'd understand her enthusiasm).

The most unusual feature of the museum is the River, an installation by Charles Sandison. Words are projected down onto the ramp/walkway that leads inside the museum, and they interweave and flow right down from gradually elevating ramp. It looks exactly like a river, as its apt name suggests, and here and there words, in different languages, just jump out like drops of water out of the stream. It's a must see! I wasn't really allowed to take photos inside the museum, but I sneaked this one, to show Emily when I came home.

Here are some of the photos I took of the museum, when I was there during my solo trip in January.
(click on any photo to biggify and trigger the album)

What and where is your favorite museum?

Don't forget to answer before hopping on.
Oh, and use the linky-winky :)
But wash your hands afterwards, a'ight?

Thanks for stopping by. Happy Wordless Wednesday!

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Monday, May 21, 2012

@MaisonValentino #BlogHer12

There was a growing frenzy online, this past week, about the imminence of #BlogHer12. And an even more harried scramble to get sponsors for it. You see, blogging is not the most rewarding enterprise, financially speaking. Often, it's a hobby, with its author (usually a creative, prolific, but unknown writer), trudging along, day after day, post after post, waiting to be discovered and whisked off to the next Oprah (does she still do shows nowadays?) or Good Morning America show. At best, it's still not the most lucrative career, certainly not enough to warrant shelling out, from one's own pocket, for the costs of a conference, hotel, plane or train tickets, clothing, food, and other incidentals.

The way it works, for you my one lone non-blogging reader (hi, nice to meet you), is that companies are now turning more and more to bloggers for their PR endeavors. They give us (and I'm using the pronoun us loosely of course) some manna from heaven called "swag" which we then "review" with the understanding that our readers will be so enthralled with our endorsement that they will go out and buy it, thereby fulfilling the advertising aim.

It often works. Just ask The Bloggess and Perez Hilton. (They are the big-league where blogging is concerned).

But, for the rest of the non-celebrity and non-celebrated authors, it does, sometimes, pay a few bills: some sell the swag, some turn the relationship into an advertising opportunity, while others fully appreciate the use of the nice freebie. Swag seems to be the "it" thing. For seasoned bloggers. Of which I am not yet one.

Who doesn't like free stuff?

Especially good, free stuff?

Which made me ponder about whom I would welcome as a sponsor, should they fall off a horse and incur a serious brain injury, then flip open their laptop which magically would be cued to this here blog, and they'd have no choice but to be wowed by my charm and wit. Can you blame them? I'm adorable! (I AM too)

Hey, it could happen!

So who? Who? Who would be worthy of my reviewing my butt off for their ware?

Why, Valentino Garavani of course. Silly you, don't you know about my purse fetish and my solemn worship of the god of all that is holy in purseland?

And, it COULD too happen!

Hear me out: So he gets around, now that he's retired, right? Which means that he occasionally does visit friends of his on their lovely estates. Those estates sometimes have lovely horses, well groomed and with impeccable pedigrees. He does get asked to ride them, and since he's a polite man and guest, he acquiesces. Ergo, the scenario could (theoretically) unfold as foreseen by me... unfortunately for him, but very fortuitously for me, of course.

So, in the event that this particular incident should happen any time before Blogher 2012, this is the speech that I've been practicing all morning, in front of my mirror:
"Why, Mr Valentino, are you sure? Me? Little ol' me? You want me to your ambassador at #BlogHer12? Why, I'd be honored of course! Excellent choice, by the way, you have good instincts, which, incidentally, I am glad were not too terribly damaged in that horrendous fall. But of course I have been a loyal client of yours, at least on the three distinct occasions when I 1) Won a buttload tidy sum at the Blackjack table in Vegas, 2) Scored a nifty deal on eBay, and 3) Combined my wifely present-credit for Xmas, wedding anniversary, Easter, Mother's Day, and birthday and "surprised" Norman (the old poop) with the gift I bought myself in his name. What? You want to give me a second bag for my purse-buddy Karen? I'm sure she will be delighted!"
It never hurts to be prepared. 

You must be thinking that my mind has taken a bizarre trip to some parallel universe where wishes, when verbalized and put out there, do come true. I don't blame you, it indeed appears than I've gotten completely slightly delusional about this. But, just in case that parallel universe decides to diverge from its trajectory and collide with the one I inhabit, I have a few choices lined up. Of course, any and all "swag" would be great, you won't get any complaints from me, no sirry, none, WHATSOEVER...

In no particular order, befitting my conference-going arm, any one of these will do nicely:



Whaddaya think? Fat chance or holy shit?

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Friday, May 18, 2012

FF: obtuse people, patience (or lack thereof), secret lives, and IKEA napkins

How did the week fly by so fast? I'm always flabbergasted when Mondays and Fridays roll around... I'd like to think that it's a good sign, indicative of the fact that my life life is full and that I am not one desperate housewife (by the way, how anticlimactic was that finale? Shame, shame Mr. Cherry, you must do better with Devious Maids, y'hear?)

PhotobucketWhere was I? Ah yes, Friday.. time for another fun blog hop! The Four Fill-in fun is hosted by Hilary, the cutie-pie behind Feeling Beachie. She posted a view of the beach from her house a few days ago, let's just say that I now understand why she is... well, "feeling beachie" all the time. Besides having a massive girl-crush on her, I now have a serious case of the envies on top (I may or may not have been scheming to extract an invite). She is always open to new co-hosts, so come up with your own fill-ins and email them to her at

I have met some very cool bloggers during these hops so I love participating whenever I can. Of course, they have met me too, so there's that win-win, right there :)

The drill? You answer the questions on your own blog, you link up, you hop, you meet the new people and schmooze with the regulars. Of course, you also get to follow me, and I you, if you wish... Pick your poison: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Blogger, RSS feed or email, my other blog, The Behavioral Child (shameless plug, I know, I know, but I just got back into the swing of posting there again, so...)

As usual, you can play the fill-in game, with or without following, with or without hopping. No problemo!

This week's statements:
  1. I like to avoid _____ if possible.
  2. _____ is a virtue I do not have.
  3. Sometimes the _____ are the _____.
  4. I think that _____ are the best _____.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  * 

My answers:
  1. I like to avoid obtuse people if (and whenever) possible. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind repeating myself, or saying it differently, several time, but if it's gonna take you forever to get a simple concept that a 5 year-old can get in under two minutes, we're not gonna be best buds, that's for sure. I just don't have that kinda patience!
  2. Patience is a virtue I do not have. Doh!
  3. Sometimes, the parents are the last to know. It won't matter whether you have a really tight relationship with your kid or not, once they start school, they have this whole life without you. Not good, not bad, just a whole other life, unbeknownst to you.
  4. I think that IKEA napkins are the best ones on the market. I'm talking about the disposable paper/dinner napkins. They have the cutest designs, are well priced (almost always on sale), and in surprising good quality (which reminds me, I gotta get me some for my Memorial Day BBQ).

Join us, won't you?

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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

WW: when I die, I wanna come back as a squirrel

Not quite wordless, today :)

(click to biggify)
They never have to clean or wash things, including themselves. 

They don't pay mortgage, or any bills really. 

They eat whatever they find, no need for elaborate recipes.

But mainly, because they spend more time in my backyard than me.

(click to biggify)

Stop looking at me like that, you little fucker, 


What would you want to come back as? Why?

Don't forget to answer before hopping on.
Oh, and use the linky-winky :)
But wash your hands afterwards, a'ight?

Thanks for stopping by. Happy Wordless Wednesday!

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Sunday, May 13, 2012

happy day!

If you were looking for a mushy Mother's Day post, this ain't it.

Yeah, yeah, I love my mom, and she loves me, and I love my daughter, and she loves me, yada yada, never knew my heart could be so full, yada yada, fully appreciated my mother only when I became one, yada yada...

But more importantly, where is my gift?

I've dropped enough hints, subtle and otherwise, for a whole month, so I'm sure the message was loud and clear!

Sleep late, breakfast in bed, cuddles and cards. Lovely. WHERE IS MY GIFT?

Ahhhhh, here it is.... WEEEEE!

It's even prettier than I imagined :)

Lunch outside? Sure... Ohhh, what a nice surprise!!

One more quick shot, from a different angle

Douggy, in his usual sun-coma/raptured state.

She's too fast for me... always was.

Ahh, a slower subject... WAIT, we have snails????

I mean, come on! If it does this with an orange, the possibilities are ENDLESS! (Gawd, I love this camera!)

Will come back to this in a bit, right now I'm too psyched for instructions

Okay, okay, I'll go shoot something else. And, for the record, I'm NOT demented (not yet)

Et tu, Brutus? Fine! 

I believe this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship...

So, how was your Mother's Day? What did you give/get?

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Thursday, May 10, 2012

ode to Douglas, on his birthday

Written and directed by Emily
Produced by mommy

one cuddly chihuahua
one happy little Miss Em
one little pink moomoo
one barefoot Norman (the old poop)
and one blogger, apparently needing to pee :)

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