Memorial Day 2015

Memorial Day is dedicated to all the American Soldiers who sacrificed their life for the United States of America, Memorial Day was previously known as Decoration Day. A Flag of United States is placed on the Graves of Soldiers at the National Cemeteries. Memorial Day is observed as a federation day in America which is celebrated on the on the May month, Memorial Day 2015 is celebrated on 25-May-2015.

Picture courtesy of:
Picture courtesy of:


“God Bless The USA”


If tomorrow all the things were gone I’d worked for all my life
And I had to start again with just my children and my wife
I’d thank my lucky stars to be livin’ here today
‘Cause the flag still stands for freedom and they can’t take that awayAnd I’m proud to be an American where as least I know I’m free
And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me
And I’d gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land God bless the USA

From the lakes of Minnesota, to the hills of Tennessee
Across the plains of Texas, from sea to shining sea
From Detroit down to Houston and New York to LA
Well, there’s pride in every American heart
And it’s time to stand and say that

I’m proud to be an American where as least I know I’m free
And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me
And I’d gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land God bless the USA

(Artist, Lee Greenwood, 1984)

Choosing a Genre—Anatomy of a Best-Selling Story Part 7

This is quite some informative list for upcoming authors. I even will go somewhat further and recommend to subscribe to the blog. There is so much to learn! Kristen Lamb is an expert within the writer’s world.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Screen Shot 2014-07-30 at 10.42.33 AMUnderstanding structure helps us write cleaner and faster. Whether we plan every detail ahead of time or just intuitively have the architecture in our head, structure makes the difference between a workable first draft and a nightmare beyond salvage.

I know a lot of you are chomping at the bit right now to get writing. All in due time. Today we are going to talk genre and why it is important to pick one.

Understanding what genre you are writing will help guide you when it comes to plotting your novel. How? Each genre has its own set of general rules and expectations. 

If we don’t pick or we get too weird, we will confuse agents and readers because there is no clear idea of where this sucker should be shelved. It will also make plotting more than problematic.

Fifteen years ago, when I first got this brilliant idea to…

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Is this true?

This is downright hilarious and made me giggle and laugh. Chris shares the best posts! – And he asks if this is true!

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog


An old friend in the USA tells me:

You can retire to Phoenix, Arizona where…

1. You are willing to park 3 blocks away from your house because you found shade.

2. You’ve experienced condensation on your tail end from the hot water in the toilet bowl.

3. You can drive for 4 hours in one direction and never leave town.

4. You have over 100 recipes for Mexican food.

5. You know that “dry heat” is comparable to what hits you in the face when you open your oven door.

6. The 4 seasons are: tolerable, hot, really hot, and ARE YOU KIDDING ME??


You can retire to California where…

1. You make over $450,000 and you still can’t afford to buy a house.

2. The fastest part of your commute is going down your driveway.

3. You know how to eat an artichoke.

4. You drive your…

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International Humour Writing competition in honour of Mark Twain

International Humour Writing competition in honour of Mark Twain.
What a great chance for writers!


Mark Twain

Against the assault of Laughter nothing can stand  — Mark Twain

This is the second annual competition organised to raise funds for the Mark Twain House and Museum in Connecticut USA and entries are welcome from around the world.

Humourous essays and stories can be up to a generous 7000 words long AND you’re allowed to send in work that has already been published. Your submission can’t have won a prize in a humourous writing contest before, but that’s the only restriction. Entry fees are on the high side at $22 for those 18 and over and $12 for 17 and under. At the time of writing $22 was roughly 20 euros or £14.25 . However, the prizes are reasonable wads of cash.


•      1st Prize: $1,000 (Adult), $600 (Young Author)

•      2nd Prize: $500 (Adult), $400 (Young Author)

•      3rd Prize: $250 (Adult), $200 (Young Author)

•      Three Honorable Mention Prizes: $100 Gift Certificate for the…

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Uptown Cats – introduction

When exploring New York City earlier this month, on a Sunday, I left Barnes & Noble on Broadway (where I, as a writer and reader, was staying for about 6 1/2 hours)…

Stepping into the bright sunlight I could hardly trust my eyes. There was a gentleman building up little towers with cat cages and getting prepared for an adoption event, right there at the corner Broadway and West 82nd Street.

One of the things I realized was how surprisingly relaxed the cats in the cages were, considering the adoption took place on a quite noisy corner in the middle of NYC. Still, their stress level must have been high at some point, but I seriously watched cats lying around on their back.

I was fascinated, and even though he was quite busy before his supporters and helpers would come in, the gentleman working there was still able to allow me stepping by a little later for an interview. This is what you are going to read now.


1. When was Uptown Cats founded?

Officially and formally it was founded in 2004, but the start was much earlier, around 1999.


2. What was the reason for Uptown cats to be founded?

After the loss of his own cat, Des Calderon, the owner and founder of “Uptown Cats” realized the neighborhood had a sincere problem with stray cats and he decided to do something about it.

Part of Des Calderon’s personal story can be seen here: Nat Geo Wild has been informing about Des Calderon.

Des Calderon started with setting himself a goal to help 10 cats a year in memoriam of his own kitty he had lost. But after this one year he saw so many more cats in need he couldn’t just quit. So he continued and in the meantime is helping around 50 to 100 cats/year.


3.What is the purpose of “Uptown Cats” and how is the procedure?

Des Calderon recognizes the strays in the streets (or vacant houses or stores, buildings, basements, and so on.) Often Des is called by a person who sometimes can even provide him with a backstory on the particular stray cat. (Left after family moved, owner died, or similar).

The cats are caught and taken to an animal clinic/vet to have them chipped and checked, then they are set up on You Tube and/or Craigslist for adoption or taken to the adoption events.


4. How can people help you best?

Of course, number one on Des Calderon’s wish list: Adopt a cat! Then, important are sustainability, cat food and cat litter, paper towels, laundry determents, gas support, blankets, medical expenses support. Some cats are injured or sick, maybe even born with a handicap and need medical help. Financial support is important to Uptown Cats.

Foster homes are once in a while needed, but it is important that they’re are free of other pets.

As well does Des Calderon work together with established connections with vets who are cost effective, even though they’re sometimes limited in what they can do. Any connection with a volunteering vet would be useful for Uptown cats.


5. Do you have a personal connection to the stray cats you catch?

Yes, he has. The cats are fostered personally by Des Calderon who names each cat after taking it in.


6. Is there anything else you’d like to say? Something that is really important to you?

Yes: Spay and neuter your cats! Uptown Cats works on the population program TNR (Trapped, neutered and returned), the ASPCA does support this neuter and spaying program. It is so important that the stray cat population will be limited.


Thank you, Des Calderon for your time you sacrificed to provide me with your answers for this interview.



As a “Thank you” gift I got the most wonderful “Uptown Cats” 2015 kitty calendar from Des Calderon. All cats shown are Uptown Cat kitties and have been adopted.

Uptown cats


In case you are interested in helping Uptown Cats, please find them here:


Uptown Cats business card




Contact email:



I personally think it is important to help and support. And I hope with this interview I have done a little step into the right direction.


Books, Books and more Books

Being in NYC these days I explored the City for a while and ran into this, most nostalgic bookstore one can imagine. I seriously thought bookstores like this would only exist in old movies. But – here it was on Broadway:










Considering the complete U.K. edition of J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter in hard cover was offered for $175 and an old antique Dostoyevsky book for $700, and I inside found some more treasures for readers, writers and collectors, I wasn’t surprised anymore it could afford staying located on Broadway in NYC.


It looks a little bit like the books are shelved by color and size but in fact there is some particular order – even though it didn’t occur to me what kind.


I loved “Westsider Books” at first sight. Just a wonderful place to explore…


But then I have to admit: the staff member working there could have been a little friendlier. There was nothing inviting and welcoming about him and I found it a little bit sad…


However, if you get a chance, enjoy the adventure to peek. It’s worth it!


Westsider Books

2246 Broadway

New York, NY 10024