Robomaid
I confess, I bought my first Robomaid recently. It isn't quite so elaborate as 'The Jetson's' robotic maid but this one does a good job cleaning the floor. It's an electronic ball that roll inside a plastic ring with a electrostatic pad attached to the bottom. Very simple and inexpensive, but heck, so far I love it. I have two cats and a lot of dust. The Robomaid picks up the cat hair and dust easily. It just rolls around randomly across my hardwood floors and tile. It won't work for carpets of, course. You'd need one of those robotic vacuums for that. I've wanted one of those too but thought I'd give this a try first. The cats watch it like it's some sort of alien creature but they haven't pounced on it yet. This cuts down on my cleaning time so I have more time to write. Aha, that's the whole point.

Have you tried a neat new invention or gizmo lately?
Market News Focus on Kensington
Here is another issue of Cindi Myers fabulous Market News newsetter.

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This week I'm reporting on Kensington Books, from their spotlight at the RWA National Convention in Reno.

Editorial Director Kate Duffy and Editor Hilary Sares presented the Spotlight. Kate has been in publishing 31 years. She has edited for Popular Library, Dell Candlelight, Silhouette books, Pocket Books and Meteor, and has worked for Kensington for ten years. Hilary Sares has been at Kensington for 9 years.

Kensington handles seven percent of mass market publishing in North America. It’s the largest privately owned publishing company in North America. Kensington imprints include: Zebra, which publishes only romance, including historical, contemporary, paranormal and anthologies in mass market and soon also some titles will be released in trade paper.Strapless (chick lit) in trade paperDafina (African-American) fiction and romance in trade paper and mass market.Brava erotic romance in trade and mass marketPinnacle – thrillers, true crime, westerns, mystery
K-mass – mass market for mystery and BravaKensington also distributes BET Arabesque and Sepia titles. Kensington is the largest American publisher of African-American fiction and nonfiction, and the largest North American publisher of gay and lesbian fiction.

Kensington publishes over 80 books a month, most of them fiction. They have no guidelines, and would like to see all kinds of ideas from authors. They like to see new spins on traditional genres, examples were a Regency-set paranormal, and paranormal erotica. “We want to see things we’re not doing,” Kate said.

Kate encourage authors to send her partials of their work in progress – you don’t have to finish it for her to consider it. She can advise whether or not it’s worth finishing and can give you some editorial guidance. Hilary is open to this also.

They accept simultaneous submissions. Response time: “We’re aiming for 3-6 months.” There have been problems in the past, but they’re trying to get better.
Hilary doesn’t care about synopses – she doesn’t read them. “Write a cover letter that reads like back cover copy,” she said. “Two paragraphs.”

Kate feels the synopsis is useful for a work in progress and it’s useful for the art department. She always reads the manuscript pages first.

“No matter what our website says, every single person at Kensington accepts unagented, unsolicited submissions,” Kate said.

Some of the specific programs at Kensington include:

Zebra Debut – more traditional romance spotlighting first authors, many priced at $3.99 around 100,000 words

A new erotica imprint will launch in January 2006 with four books that month and two each month thereafter. The line is as yet unnamed. 25,000 word novellas or 90,000 word novelsBut both editors cautioned against getting too hung up on word count, especially in erotica

Brava publishes erotic romance, often in themed collections, as well as single title books. They’ve done themes of Bad Boys and Wicked Women. If you have an idea for a theme that would fit in Brava, send it to them. Kate would love to do a World War II series in Brava, but they’re not interested in seeing anything later than WWII as far as historicals go.

Sulay Hernandez is Hillary’s assistant. She is looking for Latina fiction and nonfiction.

The editors are open to romantic suspense but be mindful you’ll be up against authors like Beverly Barton and Lisa Jackson. But if you have a new spin on it – for instance, an African American or Latina perspective, or anything different, they would definitely be interested. “It’s a difficult genre to find really great work in,” Hilary said.

Kate predicted “cowboy romance” is “coming back.” “Western romances, for Kensington, are a huge priority for 2006,” she said. They want to concentrate on creating strong covers for their western historicals.

Other editors: Karen Thomas, Audrey LeFehr and John ScognamiglioAudrey LeFehr is involved in developing women’s fiction for Kensington.

The website is www.kensingtonbooks.com Contact any editor via email using this formula:firstinitiallastname@kensingtonbooks.com

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Feel free to pass along this newsletter and to encourage others to sign up to receive it. If you reprint or forward the newsletter, all I ask is that I be given credit for it. Anyone can sign up by sending a blank email to cynthiasterling-subscribe@yahoogroups.com


Cindi Myers
My Backwards Life, Next, September 2005
Learning Curves, Signature Select, October 2005
www.CindiMyers.com
Professional Writers Dance Between Passionate and Impersonal
by: Bonnie Boots

People that love to write often feel being paid for publication is the
benchmark of a “real” writer. So they read all the books on writing and
dutifully send off queries, filled with hope and fear that one will be
accepted: hope they’ll get the chance to be a real writer, fear they won’t
live up to the challenge. Sadly, for some, their fears will turn out to be
well founded. The emotional highs and lows of writing for pay will be more
painful then they can bear. Shocked, wounded, these natural writers will put
their dreams behind them in the mistaken belief that they’re not good enough to write for publication.

Why does this happen? Because books on writing often fail to tell the
aspiring writer the one thing they most need to know: the marketplace
demands more than talent. It demands that the writer be skilled at dancing
between the emotional states of passion and detachment. It seems like a
conundrum, and it is, so let’s unravel this riddle.

The writer filled with fervor for the process of writing produces the best
product. And in the marketplace, that’s just what your article, poem, short
story or novel is—a product. Products, whether they are romance novels or
car wax, are pretty much processed, pimped and put on the shelves the same way. All sorts of people, from editors to advertising sales managers, have
their hand in the marketing process. They have the power to tweak, alter and otherwise transfigure the product. As a writer, it takes emotional
detachment to watch, even help as your beloved work is worked on.

The ability to call forth and control your emotional states is a primary
survival skill if you hope to write for print. Can it be learned? Yes. In
his book “Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More than IQ,” Daniel
Goleman says the ability to master emotions often makes the difference
between success and failure in people of equivalent intellectual abilities.
He suggests these steps for increasing self-control:

(1) Pay attention to your emotional states. Don’t just let excitement or
fear run riot over you. Use your writer’s “inner eye” to observe and record
your own emotional states. Simply being aware of your emotions is the first
step to controlling them.

(2) Get it off your chest. Rejection hurts. Seeing your carefully considered
words edited for publication is painful. If your feelings have been hurt, by
all means vent, but do it in a journal and not, under any circumstance, in a
nasty email to an editor or a hastily posted blog. Nothing is learned from
burning bridges, and you could seriously injure your chances of ever being
published. Editors and publishers read the net, too, you know.

(3) Consider the other person’s point of view. Editors and publishers have
to deal with issues you know nothing about. Before you take personal
offence, stop to consider their side. If an editor doesn’t quickly answer
your query, stop and imagine the view from their desk. If you got 1000
letters a week AND had to handle the work of 2 because of staff cuts, might
you put mail on the back burner?

(4) Try not to take it personally. This can be especially difficult for
writers, because our work is so very personal. But when your feelings are
hurt, it’s important to take a step back and realize that in business,
decisions may need to been made that have nothing to do with YOU,
personally.

(5) Stay well-mannered and self-motivated. Being polite and persevering even when your feelings have been hurt is a definite sign of emotional maturity.
The ability to keep your cool and keep moving ahead will take you places
talent alone can only dream of.

Like any skill, learning to waltz between passion and dispassion takes
practice and persistence. Some writers tap a tentative foot, then withdraw
to be wallflowers the first time someone steps on their toes. But you can
survive and even thrive by joining the dance with passion and purpose,
accepting the thrills as well as the spills as you learn to step with the
tune.

About The Author
Bonnie Boots (www.BonnieBoots.com) is an award-winning writer and designer who says all writers should show off their talent by wearing their Write
Side Out! Her wise and witty product line of gear that shows the world
you're a writer is at www.writesideout.com
What I Love/Hate About Fall
I was born on the first day of autumn in... we won't say what year... but it was Sept. 22. This year my birthday fell again on the first day of autumn. (That doesn't always happen.) When I was a child, fall was my favorite season, though I'm not sure why. Now I have mixed feelings about it.

What I hate about fall...
1. All those spiders that suddenly show up everywhere and their webs. I especially hate the big orangy-brown ones that build webs where I walk into them easily.
2. It's the end of the growing season. I'm a gardener so naturally I don't enjoy it when frost kills back all my flowers and plants. And I won't be harvesting any more hot pepper until the next summer.
3. Katydid and frost bug mating calls. My husband loves hearing them, but I don't. They keep me awake if the window is open and remind me of the above (end of growing season.) They also make me feel nostalgic.
4. Paying property taxes.
5. Buying heating oil.

What I love about fall...
1. END of hurricane season. I hate all the tragedies happening along the southern and Gulf coasts in summer.
2. Cooler temperatures. Heat gives me headaches and my home doesn't have an air conditioner.
3. Those beautiful fall leaves and bright blue skies. I live in the mountains with forests and trees all around so this is usually quite a show.
4. Despite this being the end of the growing season, there are a number of fall flowers and berries that are beautiful.
5. Fall holidays and colorful decorations.

What do you love or hate about fall most?
Everything Has a Gender
Are you ready for some humor? Check this out.

EVERYTHING HAS A GENDER
You may not know this but many nonliving things have a gender.

1) Ziploc Bags are Male, because they hold everything in, but you can see right through them.

2) Copiers are Female, because once turned off; it takes a while to warm them up again.

3) A Tire is Male, because it goes bald and it's often over-inflated.

4) A Hot Air Balloon is Male, because, to get it to go anywhere, you have to light a fire under it, and of course, there's the hot air part.

5) Sponges are Female, because they're soft, squeezable and retain water.

6) A Web Page is Female, because it's always getting hit on.

7) A Subway is Male, because it uses the same old lines to pick people up.

8) An Hourglass is Female, because over time, the weight shifts to the bottom.

9) A Hammer is Male, because it hasn't changed much over the last 5,000 years, but it's handy to have around.

10) A Remote Control is Female. Ha! You thought it'd be male, didn't you? But consider this - it gives a man pleasure, he'd be lost without it, and while he doesn't always know the right buttons to push, he keeps trying!

Can you add something to this list? It will get your creative juices flowing. :-)
Midsummer’s Eve - Using Ancient Celebrations in Your Stories
Today I want to share an article I wrote a few months ago. It first appeared in the Celtic Hearts newsletter, Call of the Clans.

Midsummer’s Eve
Using Ancient Celebrations in Your Stories
By Vonda Sinclair

One way to add authentic flavor to your historical romance novel and make the reader feel she has traveled through time is to include traditional holiday feasts and festivals as they would’ve been celebrated at the time of your story. I recently had an opportunity to do this in my Scottish historical. One thing to keep in mind is that people during renaissance times would’ve probably celebrated a bit differently, perhaps in a slightly more modern way, than they would’ve during medieval times.

The holiday in question is Midsummer’s Eve, celebrated around the 21st to the 24th of June at Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. Midsummer’s Eve is also known as St. John’s Eve (Christians), Litha (Celts), Gathering-Day (Welsh), Feill Sheathain (Scottish) and Swithin’s Eve. This was a pagan holiday that was celebrated over much of Europe in the past under many different names. Even ancient Romans celebrated it as Vestalia.. In Great Britain the holiday was celebrated for thousands of years. In pre-Christian times, the people used the holiday to honor the gods and goddesses and to show thankfulness for the plentiful crops that were growing.

The most important symbol of this day is fire, which corresponds with the sun being at its hottest and most powerful at midsummer. Balefires were lit at sunset on Midsummer’s Eve and allowed to burn until sunset the next day. Biiken is the old Norse word for balefire. The Norse custom was to gather their family and animals and parade them in a procession to the sacred site. Sometimes a large circle of torches were used instead of a balefire.

Highland women generally jumped over the huge bonfires with their skirts held high so the smoke and flame reached their bare skin for increased fertility. In addition, the higher a person jumped indicated the height and success of the coming harvest. Leaping the fires also symbolized purification.

Livestock was led around the fires in a clockwise direction to protect the animals from evil and disease and to make them more fertile. Torches of heather were lit from the balefires and carried three times in a clockwise direction around fields and homes, as well as through cattle sheds for purification, fertility and to keep away illness.

Ashes from the balefire were smeared on the foreheads of the children to bless them. After the celebration, the ashes were scattered over the fields to ensure a good harvest. In truth, the ash acted as a fertilizer to the crops, providing strong root growth. Mothers would sometimes hold their babies near the balefire so the smoke would billow over them, again for blessing, protection and health. According to legend, Midsummer was a night when the veil between worlds was thin and strange paranormal occurrences were expected, especially visits from mischievous fairies.

Another prominent custom on this night included the men of the village creating a giant wheel of straw and covering it in pitch. They would set the wheel on fire and roll it down a hill. If the fiery wheel went out before it reached the bottom, this foretold a poor harvest. In addition, this symbolized the sun waning after it had peaked on Midsummer’s Day.

Certain herbs were gathered, especially St. John’s wort. The yellow flowers were believed to hold the power of the sun. Medicinal herbs were harvested at this time because they were at their peak, then dried and stored for winter. Other herbs used specifically for this holiday were vervain, trefoil, rue, lavender, roses and others. Lavender in particular was prized as an aphrodisiac which drew lovers together. Plants, flowers and feathers were fashioned into garlands or arrangements and placed over doorways, in windows, and over hearths for protection and blessing. Specific herbs were placed under a person’s bed pillow so they might dream of a future lover. This night is a significant one for romance and is tied into fertility rites. For this reason, June is the traditional month for weddings or handfastings.

Druids usually gathered mistletoe on this day and were especially happy when it was found in the sacred oak tree. As well, the ancient Romans gathered mistletoe at this time and used it in their hearth fires when they rekindled them for the coming winter.

Life was fragile and insecure for ancient peoples. A poor crop or problems with their livestock could spell starvation and death. Therefore they used the rituals of Midsummer to bless and nurture the new life forming all around them--the crops growing in the fields, the baby animals which had been born in the spring, as well as the pregnant women still waiting to give birth.

Villages, clans and families feasted, danced and sang on this night. The foods included fresh summer fruits and vegetables, pumpernickel bread, honey, lemons, oranges, mead, and ale. They usually acted out plays, one of which featured the Ivy (or Holly) King battling and defeating the Oak King, symbolic of the coming harvest and winter, over which the former ruled. Many myths are born of these traditions.

To include an ancient celebration such as this in one of your stories, first research it thoroughly in books and online until you feel steeped in the traditions. Adjust for the time period of your story then put your characters through the paces of participating in the customs. The heroine might gather herbs with the women of her clan. The hero could participate in rolling the giant burning wheel down the hill. Sometimes a person’s marital status determined whether they participated in a certain custom or not. Your characters might dance all night around the balefire or even jump over it. Each element of the celebration was symbolic and adhered to in a certain way. Be specific. Detail is important because it truly brings the holiday and your story to life.
Blog Reiver

What is a Blog Reiver? I am! This is the title of my new monthly column for the Celtic Hearts Romance Writers' newsletter, Call of the Clans. I'll be visiting the blogs of published and unpublished writers, editors and agents. I have found much wisdom, motivation and entertainment on blogs and I realized some of these entries would make awesome newsletter content. "Reiver" is a Scots word first used before the 12th century and means to raid. Aye, when they stole cattle from the neighboring clan, that was reiving. But I promise I always get permission before borrowing someone's blog entries. In the column, I'm including bio type information, links to the person's blog and website and, if they're published, a title or two of their recently published books. So it's free publicity for them that will reach the over one hundred members of Celtic Hearts, while we get to benefit from their wisdom. My first target is fellow Celtic Hearts member and RITA Award winning author of fantasy, futuristic romance, Robin D. Owens. She's had a number of books published, including Heart Choice, Heart Duel and Guardian of Honor. She was 2004 Rocky Mtn Fiction Writer of the Year. Her blog, Robin D. Owens on Writing and Publishing, is amazing and chock full of writerly wisdom! Here are the addresses of her blog and website.

http://www.robindowens.com/
http://www.robindowens.blogspot.com

Watch out! You may be the Blog Reiver's next target. ;-)

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The auctions to help writer Larissa Ione who lost her home during the hurricane are underway at eBay.

http://www.romaid.net/
http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQfgtpZ1QQfrppZ25QQsassZlarissafund

Also the auctions for Leslie Ferdinand and her mom, who write as a team as Christine Holden, who also lost their homes during the hurricane, are going on at eBay. Please bid lots for these authors.

http://www.squawkradio.com/
http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQsassZlizabevQQhtZ-1
Writers Helping Writers
And still more ways to help our fellow writers who have lost everything. Thanks, Vanessa, for letting me know about this.

SQUAWK RADIO (www.squawkradio.com), the blog hosted by Teresa Medeiros, Christina Dodd, Connie Brockway, Elizabeth Bevarly, Eloisa James and Lisa Kleypas is organizing a fundraiser for fellow romance author Leslie Ferdinand and her mom, who write as a team as Christine Holden. If you go to Squawk Radio and scroll down through the recent blogs, you'll come to a photo of Leslie and her mom. They escaped New Orleans in their car but had to leave their dogs behind to drown. Leslie has a 2-week old baby, a 27 month old baby, and a 9 year old. They lost all of their material belongings plus Leslie had a job in New Orleans which is now gone. Someone has given them a furnished garage apartment. in Terrell, TX to live in for a couple of weeks.

SQUAWK RADIO is collecting gift cards to Wal-Mart, Target, Office Max, or on-line stores, etc. They can be mailed to Eloisa James, PO Box 835, Summit, NJ 07901

PLUS we're hosting a big auction on Ebay with all of the proceeds going to Leslie and her family. Here's the URL for all of the auction items: http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQsassZlizabevQQhtZ-1 (just cut and paste it into your browser if the link doesn't work). We'll be adding more items this week, including some autographed Lisa Kleypas books. 100% of the proceeds (sans listing fees) will be given to Leslie and her family.

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

And here's still another way to help if you're a published romance author.

As the Contest Chair of NOLA's Suzannah contest, I'm in desperate
need of published authors (RWA recognized standards) to judge first
round.

If anyone's interested, please contact me at: SandyDetaranto@cs.com

As a northern Louisiana chapter, many of our members have family and
friends in the southern part of the state who were effected by
Katrina. Therefore, we are donating a portion of each entry toward
relief efforts.

So, if you have time to spare, we really need your help ... contest
deadline is Oct 1st. You'd receive entries about the 7th and they'd
be due back by Nov 15.

Thanks,

Sandy DeTaranto
2005 Suzannah Contest Chair

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Market Newsletter
If you write romance and don't get this newsletter by Cindi Myers, you're missing out on a lot. Here's the latest issue.

Welcome everyone. This week I'm looking at the Spotlight on HQN and Red Dress Ink from RWA's National Conference.

Red Dress Ink, (RDI) launched in November of 2001. They were one of the first imprints devoted to Chick Lit. Since that time, the market has become more crowded with Chick Lit lines. Beginning in 2006, RDI will move from 3 titles a month to 2 titles a month. They are also refocusing on their core market of traditional chick lit for 18-34 year old readers. They want protagonists under 35 years old. You need four things to write a successful RDI novel:
Quality writing,
Likeable characters – characters you would want to hang out with
A fun, irreverent tone, and
A fresh voice.
Voice is key – it should be “irreverent, sarcastic, humorous and modern.”

Executive Editor Margaret Marbury is really keen on Chick Lit mystery, but it can’t be a regular mystery with a few girly comments through in. It must have a real female sensibility.

HQN launched in August of 2004. They started with mass market paperback romance and now also publish some trade and hardcover titles as well as releasing four mass market romances a month. HQN focuses on “big fat romance.” They publish both contemporary and historical romance and romantic suspense. They don’t want gritty thrillers, but rather suspense with a prominent, emotional romance. They’re also open to paranormal romance. But the emphasis must always be on the romance. According to Executive Editor Tracy Farrell, their focus at the moment is on big contemporary romance. These books are 100,000 to 150,000 words.

HQN and RDI do not consider unagented submissions. Unagented authors my query with a short (1-2 pages) synopsis.

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A few editorial changes:
At Avalon books, Orly Trieber, assistant editor, has been removed from the list of
acquiring editors.

Selina McLemore has left Avon books. She is now an editor with Red Dress Ink.

May Chen is now listed as associate editor at Avon.

Susan McCarty is a new assistant editor at Berkley/Jove.

Demetria Lucas, associate editor, has been added to the list of acquiring editors for Silhouette Books. Harlequin Superromance's Johanna Raisanen is now listed as associate
editor.

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Amazon.com is now selling short stories online. The stories may be downloaded for 49 cents each. So far, about 60 authors have sold short stories to the new venture, including names such as Robin Cook and Danielle Steele. To be eligible for the program, authors must have at least one book available for sale on Amazon.com. Authors or their publishers must apply to Amazon to be considered for the program. Any previously unpublished short work, both fiction and nonfiction, of 2000-10,000 words will be considered. Authors retain all rights to the material and receive a 40 percent royalty. If you would like to participate in Amazon Shorts, please contact amazon-shorts@amazon.com.

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Feel free to pass along this newsletter and to encourage others to sign up to receive it. If you reprint or forward the newsletter, all I ask is that I be given credit for it. Anyone can sign up by sending a blank email to cynthiasterling-subscribe@yahoogroups.com


Cindi Myers
My Backwards Life, Next, September 2005
Learning Curves, Signature Select, October 2005
www.CindiMyers.com
More Ways to Help
Have you given money to Red Cross but feel there's more you could do to help Katrina victims? Aside from donating things like food, clothing, paper supplies, etc. in your own area, here are more ways to help. Please copy and paste the links into your browser. For some reason I have a hard time creating links on this blog.

Here's an update from writer Larissa Ione whose home was destroyed from flooding in the hurricane.
http://www.larissaione.com/soapbox/

On Friday, auctions will begin to help raise money for her family. If you're a writer or romance reader, you will find many things here to bid on.
http://www.romaid.net/

I've had Charlotte Dillon's website link on my website for years. It's the best place for romance writing info of all kinds. Charlotte obviously loves helping others, but now she needs our help. She and her family also lost their home in the hurricane. Please check this site to see how you can help Charlotte.
http://www.passionatepen.com/charlotte/

Here is Charlotte's incredible website.
http://www.charlottedillon.com/

The below information came from Kathryn Falk of Romantic Times Book Club Magazine.

HELP SUPPORT REFUGEES IN TEXAS

NOTE FROM KATHRYN FALK, LADY OF BARROW

Sep 05, 2005

Dear Booklovers,

This has been a traumatic week for many of us. We are hoping to keep you
informed on the fate of booksellers, readers and writers from the Gulf
Coast.

Some authors have not checked in or cannot be located. For the latest info:

Laura at Romance Report is keeping a list.

Cut and paste this link to search:

http://www.laurasmuchadoaboutbooks.net/hurricane

Vicki Hinze has also put up a web site to track authors.

www.vickihinze.com

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Note from Metsy Hingle, formerly of New Orleans

Thanks for your concern. We're okay--living a nightmare. Jim and I and the
family went to Arkansas and are now sleeping on the floor in his office in
Mc Comb, MS. We are blessed as we have electricity here and just got
internet access.

Water is bad, no gas, but we're alive. Our home is damaged and we're told it
will be 2-4 weeks before power is restored. Complicating things is that
Jim's father died late Saturday afternoon during evacutaion (a blessing
really), but Jim's first cousin was killed and his sister's 20-year-old son,
our godson, is missing.

Despite all this, I truly feel blessed. Right now my focus is on the
rebuilding process. I'll just have to hope my next couple of books do well
to pay for the rebuilding process. We'll be staying here for a while and are
trying to offer what comfort we can to those in need here in MS.

I'm sharing the water and allowing people to come use the bathrooms and cool
off in the a/c. Jim's keeping his 10 employees on normal payroll so they
don't suffer, despite the financial hit to us. I told him that would be my
anniversary gift. (Today is our 29th)

Please pass the word to others for me who have asked about me.

Love and hugs to all..............Metsy

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* ~*~*

RIP

Elizabeth Benway and her daughter Lizzy have passed over, due to an accident
in their van. She had a wonderful site promoting authors and cover models --
John DeSalvo being her favorite. Her site:
http://www.angelfire.com/fl2/ebenway2/ds.html

Poor road conditions caused by Hurricane Katrina may have played a part in
the accident on Interstate 10 which claimed their lives. The Benways lived
in the Ponce de Leon area. Both victims were pronounced dead at the scene.
The van they were riding in ran off the interstate, crashing into a patch of
trees.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

SOS SUPPORT THE SURVIVORS IN TEXAS

If you receive the SOS America, Inc. Newsletter, you know that we are
directing our efforts to Texas. I have a house in Alvin, Texas, where I once
lived with my late father until 2000. It is empty except for my father's
caretaker. I'm flying down Wednesday to help settle in my cousin from New
Orleans who lost her house. With her husband and 3 children, she is in a
motel in Lafayette, LA, near Connie Perry.

As you know Texas is overwhelmed with refugees. From Sharon Middleton,
lawyer and SOS member, I learned that Alvin has 300 refugees in motels, and
needs a depot and assistance. Forty minutes away, in Houston, are many
shelters. JoCarol Jones, our convention director, is taking in a family and
her husband set up communications for FEMA at the newest shelter.

The children need many things, from toys, formula, baby food, to underwear
and diapers. Adults also need underwear, TOWELS, hygiene products. It is hot
in Texas (97 degrees). Towels and keeping clean are a priority now.

~*~*~*~*~*~*

WHAT YOU CAN DO



For suggestions on what donated items are needed, here is a small list
supplied by relief organizations. This is not complete, many other items are
also needed, particularly underwear for adults and children, summer
clothing, TOWELS.

Aspirin
Baby Powder
Batteries
Bedding
Bottled Drinking Water
Bowls, plastic, paper

Cable Ties
Calamine Lotion
Canned Food
Clorox Bleach
Clothes
Clothes Pins
Cutlery, Plastic Utensils

Diapers, Disposable size 12-24 lbs.
Disposable Razors
Duct Tape

Enema Kits
Envelopes, Manila
Exam Gloves
Face Masks
Facial Tissues
Fire Extinguishers
First Aid Kits
Flashlights
Folding Chairs

Gatorade Packets

Generators Hot and Cold Cups, Paper
Ibuprofen Tablets

Ladders
Towels
Mops
Paper Napkins
Paper Towels

Pens, Black and Blue
Plates, plastic, paperPower Cords, Electrical Outdoor 50/100ft.

Reading Glasses
Rope
Safety Glasses
Scissors
Soap, Antibacterial

Stapler
Staples
Step Stools
Sterile Water For Injections
Straws

Tape
Toilet Paper
Tools
Toothbrushes
Toothpaste
Towelettes, Antimicrobial
Trash Cans
Visine Eyedrops

What To Do For Survivors?
ADOPT A REFUGEE.....OR ADOPT A FAMILY

If you send supplies or money you have the option -- YOU CAN adopt a refugee
or a refugee family. I will connect you to the people who receive your
generosity, if you request it. You can take it from there and keep up
communication. Please include your email and telephone number and I will
attempt the "link up."

Another plan, if the nuclear family doesn't exist, we hope to create a team
leader from amongst the refugees, and make him/her responsible for 10
people. Perhaps you can keep in touch with the team leader? In this way, we
can divide our efforts - much as we did for names of soldiers in Iraq.

If you are in the Houston/Alvin/Galveston area, and want to assist, let me
know. I don't drive, but will chip in on the gas, if you can deliver
supplies, etc.! Bring a pillow and sheets/towel if you can stay overnight.
We will be making a lot of BAR B Q's.

WHAT IS NEEDED?

Money / Supplies.

If you have usable TOWELS, UNDERWEAR, summer clothes, toys, pack them up.
New, used, it doesn't matter. They don't have anything.

Children's clothing, toys, baby things, cosmetics, hygiene products,
underwear for men and women, night gowns, pyjamas, summer clothes, sandals.

Some of you have told me that when you discovered the cost for postage/UPS
charge to send supplies to Texas, you'd prefer sending money.

If so, let me know if you want to sponsor/adopt someone. Indicate the number
you, your office, or school groups can take on.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Your contribution is deductible if the check (made out to SOS AMERICA, INC).
Please sent to:

RT BOOKclub Magazine
SOS America, Inc.
55 Bergen St.
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Nancy will send you a receipt. She can also take your credit card for
donations.
1 800 989 8816 (ext 12)

SEND ALL SUPPLIES TO ADDRESS BELOW.

Checks sent directly to Texas should be made out to Kathryn Falk. If you
benefit from a tax deduction, make out check to SOS America,Inc., and send
to Brooklyn address, Nancy wil make the transaction.

KATHRYN FALK
10218 COUNTY ROAD 941B

RR 1 BOX 134
ALVIN TX 77511-6839

My cell:347 432 2714

If you want to help with underwear and children's supplies in Houston, you
can send money or supplies to:
JO CAROL JONES
1122 GLENBAY COURT
LAPORTE, TEXAS 77571
SOSAmericaInc.org.

Many of the same supplies we needed for the soldiers are needed in Texas.
The women don't have cosmetics, shampoo/conditioners, towels, sheets. The
men need razers, hygiene products.

The children need toys, aspirins, over the counter medications, powder for
the water (lemonade, crystal lite), toys, stuffed animals.

Note : The above is a
NOTE FROM KATHRYN FALK, LADY OF BARROW
Hurricane Katrina
We've all seen on the news how horrendous the destruction has been but we can't truly imagine the devastation of those who live there. Here is one writer’s heartbreaking account.



Larissa Ione


Please consider making a donation to the

American Red Cross


Thank you

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