18 February 2019

What Cruisers Talk About On Facebook

Facebook is full of pictures of cute cats, recipes for chocolaty treats, and memes that make introverted middle-aged women laugh out loud. Or at least my feed is. Not sure what that says about me. Possibly crazy cat lady with graying hair and a serious chocolate addiction who finds it easier to talk with people online than in person?

But it's not all kittens, calories, and silliness on Facebook. If you're a cruiser, then Facebook is also full of posts about sailing, anchorages, potlucks on the beach, and, of course, all the stuff that keeps breaking on your boat.

Although we're more of armchair cruisers these days - yes, our boat is still on the hard and no, it doesn't look like we'll get to the Bahamas this season - I still use Facebook to chat about cruising things. In fact, I had what you could call a pretty typical convo with a friend on Facebook yesterday about our fridge, which seems to be slowly dying. I asked her about the issues they had had with their fridge and if they had replaced the refrigerant. Here's what she said:

"We did. It was super cheap at the dollar store at IGA. If you need the adapter and gauges go to the parts place with the attached garage. You can call my hubby to pick his brain anytime. He says 99 times out of 100 it’s Freon."

What makes this Facebook convo so typical? 

First off, cruisers are the ultimate DIYers. Why pay someone to fix something when you can do it yourself? Boats are expensive enough as it is. Besides, you may find yourself stuck in the middle of nowhere when something breaks. Being able to do your own repairs and maintenance is key.

Second, the offer to help is so typical of cruisers. The cruising community is pretty tight and everyone looks out for each other. People freely share their knowledge, tools, and roll their sleeves up and help each other.

Third, our friends had issues with their fridge. Eventually, everyone has problems with their fridge, or their water pump, or their battery charger, or their engine, or their. . .well, you get the idea.

What's on your Facebook feed? What do you talk about on Facebook?

Thanks for stopping by our blog - we love it when people come visit! We're also on Facebook - pop by and say hi!

The latest Mollie McGhie cozy sailing mystery is now available! Pick up a copy of >>Bodies in the Boatyard<< at:

Amazon (US) | Amazon (CA) | Amazon (UK) | Amazon (AU) | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Apple iBooks | Google Play

Paperback available at: Amazon

Find out more at ellenjacobsonauthor.com 

13 February 2019

Wordless Wednesday | Valentine's Day Tree

Wordless Wednesday is supposed to be about posting a photo(s) without any words. But, I'm a rule breaker, so here are a few words:

1 - Do any of you still have your Christmas tree up? Hate the thought of taking it down? Well, here's an idea - turn it into a Valentine's Day tree. Then when March rolls around, you can turn it into a St. Patrick's Day tree.

2 - We saw this tree at the Kin-Doo Family Center here in Indiantown. The two nuns who run it are such lovely ladies doing great things in the community.

3 - You know what I love about Valentine's Day? The day after Valentine's Day when all the candy goes on sale!

What words does this picture(s) bring to your mind when you look at it?

For more Wordless Wednesday fun, click here and here.

Thanks for stopping by our blog - we love it when people come visit! We're also on Facebook - pop by and say hi!

The latest Mollie McGhie cozy sailing mystery is now available! Pick up a copy of >>Bodies in the Boatyard<< at:

Amazon (US) | Amazon (CA) | Amazon (UK) | Amazon (AU) | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Apple iBooks | Google Play

Paperback available at: Amazon

Find out more at ellenjacobsonauthor.com 

11 February 2019

Ballroom Dancing With Two Left Feet

Someone sent me an email late last week which said:
"I think a post on ballroom dancing is in order. You can't passively mention something like that and leave your faithful readers wondering. Can you?"
My first reaction was:
"What the heck is he talking about?" 
After a few minutes, I remembered that I had mentioned ballroom dancing in my IWSG post on creativity last week.

Then I felt old. Honestly, I can't remember anything anymore. Thank goodness for Scott. He's like my human hard drive. I've backed up all my memories into his brain and when I need to remember something, he tells me what happened and when.

He told me all about taking ballroom dancing lessons when we lived in Scotland, and then later how we tried it again when we lived in New Zealand.

After a while, the memories came flooding back. Memories of having two left feet. Memories of constantly stepping on Scott's toes. Memories of barely being able to walk in heels, let alone dance in them. Memories of the instructor trying to tell me diplomatically that I shouldn't quit my day job.

Here's the danger of having a human hard drive - how do you know if what they're telling you is true? Maybe I was actually the star of the class. Maybe I was so good at ballroom dancing that I intimidated all of the other students. Maybe I don't have two left feet. Maybe. . .

Okay, maybe I should stop deluding myself. The fact that I routinely trip while walking on flat surfaces while wearing flat shoes should be a clue that I'm never going to be the next star of the ballroom dancing circuit. But a girl can dream, right?

Do you have a good memory? Have you ever tried ballroom dancing? What do you wish you were good at?

09 February 2019

Saturday Spotlight | The Winner's Circle By PJ Colando

In addition to the usual blog posts every Monday and Wednesday about our travel adventures and day-to-day life living aboard a sailboat, I also occasionally post on Saturdays, focusing on things related to writing such as cover reveals, book launches, reviews, interviews with authors etc. So if you're a bit of a book nerd like I am, check in on Saturdays - you never know what might pop up.

Today I'm featuring an interview with PJ Colando as part of the release of her book, The Winner's Circle. Read on to find our her thoughts on writing, cookies, and penguins.

1 - What inspired you to write your books?

This is the third book in my Faith, Family, Frenzy! series. The small rural community and its three female protagonists directly mirror the midwestern heartland communities where I grew up. I love the characters, activities, and world I've created. It shelters me from these turbulent, hyper-polarized times.

Three years ago, there was a half-billion dollar lottery ‘in play’ in that Upper Midwest area… My husband and I had an actual discussion of what we’d do with the loot if we won, as well as how much was ‘enough’ of a pay-out for our actions items, which included funding for charities and church.

And then, we went on an inspired, outlandishly-expensive trip Down Under… We thought, “That’s it! One of the ladies wins the mega-millions and the gang travels Down Under!” The working title for the novel was Cash to Dash… Down Under.

2 - Do you have any writing rituals?

I’ve actively blogged, at least once per week, since 2012, and post to my author site https://www.pjcolando.com I consider it my appointment to write and it proves the axiom that, if you wish to improve your writing, just sit your butt in the chair religiously, ritually, and do it!

3 - What's more important - character or plot?

My characters ARE the plot. The antics of my protagonists, who hurt and love and squabble and interact, are often lively, always intriguing to me. I call myself a Plodder, in the universal ‘controversy’ between Pantsers and Plotters. I personally like just starting to write and see where the characters take the story and then, like every mother, knows, the ‘children' run to me to fix their ’situations.” They keep me guessing and give me problems to solve - and so, I adore them.

4 - What do you like best about being an author? What do you like the least?

I love everything about writing as I explore what I know to be a gift, provided to me/for me by my highly literate parents. I used to agonize over revisions and edits as suggested by beta readers, but now I look forward to that process, too. I love my characters and spending time with them! I retired from a successful and demanding private practice as a speech-language pathologist, so “I’ve got nothing but time” (and a little talent) to devote to my ‘encore career.

5 - What's your favorite cookie? If you don't like cookies, what's wrong with you? Oops, sorry scratch that. My follow-up question was meant to be more polite - "Why don't you like cookies?"

My favorite cookies are Snicker Doodles and Ginger Snaps - because one grandmother specialized in Snicker Doodles and the other specialized in Ginger Snaps. I specialized in eating the cookies.

6 - A penguin walks through your front door wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why did he come visit you?

“Here’s your frozen margarita, PJ.” I drain the drink and return to my keyboard. Because, after all, I am an insecure writer and just one frozen margarita won’t be the cure.

7 - What else would you like us to know about you?

I’d be remiss if I didn’t call your readers to action: My book, The Winner’s Circle, is available in multiple formats on multiple buy sites. While I don’t need/want to be a best-selling author, my husband would like for me to be a good-selling author. He’s mildly annoyed that my ‘elegant hobby’ is draining our savings.



When Bonnie wins the Boffo Lotto, her circle of friends urge her to lawyer up, invest, and sequester herself. But secrets are inconceivable in small towns, so Bonnie invites her close friends to witness her Vegas wedding and honeymoon in Hawaii with endless vagabond beyond. The sky’s the limit! 

The allure of travel is fun for a while—hilarious, in fact. But when the husbands are jailed on the group’s first day in Sydney, Australia, wanderlust is no longer a romp, and things get complicated when you’re halfway round the world, untethered from all you know and love. 

Life has its consequences… and there’s no place like home. 

With your circle of friends.


The Winner's Circle is available in ebook, paperback, and hardcover on Amazon, Kobo and Barnes & Noble.


PJ Colando was born and raised in the Midwest, yet unabashedly aspired for
adventure elsewhere, following her parents’ model. She lives in southern
California with her family, hobbies, and pets.

PJ writes comedy and satire with a literary bent. She is the author of
three previous novels, with short stories, personal essays, and articles
published in journals, magazines, and anthologies.

Follow her on her blog and on Facebook.

Thanks for stopping by our blog - we love it when people come visit! We're also on Facebook - pop by and say hi!

The latest Mollie McGhie cozy sailing mystery is now available! Pick up a copy of >>Bodies in the Boatyard<< at:

Amazon (US) | Amazon (CA) | Amazon (UK) | Amazon (AU) | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Apple iBooks | Google Play

Paperback & large print available at: Amazon

Find out more at ellenjacobsonauthor.com 

06 February 2019

Creativity & A Whole Lot Of Calories Through Food | IWSG

The Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG) is a place to share and encourage, where writers can express their doubts and concerns without appearing foolish or weak. It's a great place to mingle with like minded people each month during IWSG day.

Every month there's an optional question which may prompt folks to share advice, insights, a personal experience or story. Some folks answer the question in their IWSG blog post or let it inspire them if they're struggling with what to say.

This month's question is:

"Besides writing what other creative outlets do you have?"

Check out how people have answered this month's question, as well as the other insecurities and writing topics they may have shared by visiting the IWSG sign-up list here. You can see how I answered the question below.

* * *

I really struggled to answer this month's question. I don't think of myself as a naturally creative person. I've tried my hand at a number of creative pursuits -- knitting, painting, ballroom dancing to name a few -- but never really stuck at anything for very long. Except writing. That's been going on since I started this blog way back in 2013.

I sat staring at my computer for the longest time trying to come up with something creative other than writing while I was snacking on some pretzels. Then it hit me -- I enjoy cooking and that's a creative sort of thing, right? 

My hubby and I have been doing a lot of cooking lately, trying to make restaurant-level curries. I think we finally hit the nail on the head a few weeks ago when we made butter chicken. You know what the secret it? Butter. Lots and lots of butter. That's what makes it taste like it came from a restaurant. Restaurants know the secret to great flavor - lots and lots of fat.

I don't have any pictures of the butter chicken itself, but if you're interested in trying your own hand at butter chicken, you can find the how-to and recipe in this YouTube video.

PS Simon is on strike today. He thinks it's stupid that we make curries. Why anyone would eat anything other than wet cat food and full-fat milk is beyond him.

What creative pursuits do you enjoy? Do you like Indian food?