Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Happy 100th Birthday National Park Service, National Parks Tour, Carol Simon Levin's Coloring Book Project

Get out the balloons and flower bouquets, load up the table with birthday cake, candles, and ice cream, grab a horn and noisemaker and hat, and don't forget to turn the dance music up real loud! 

Time to celebrate the 100th birthday of the National Park Service!
YouTube Video: A Centennial Invitation

If you can't make it to a park right now, please join me on the J.Q. Rose blog as I take you to National Parks I have visited. Just click the park's name to take you to the blog post.

Thank you National Park Service! Wishing you another hundred years plus!
Remembering the Ladies: From Patriots to Petticoats to Presidential Candidates
Unique Coloring book 

On my blog for girls, Girls Succeed!, I am featuring my friend, author, speaker, librarian,  Carol Simon Levin. Carol has created a fantastic coloring book about 50 courageous, trailblazing women who have fought for equality throughout the history of the USA. 

This book will invite readers to literally color in the remarkable contributions of founding mothers whose efforts aided the American Revolution, generations of abolitionists, suffragists, feminists, labor and civil rights leaders who fought for the vote and other rights for women, and women who sought and sometimes achieved elective and appointed office. 

Find out how you can be a part of this project at the Girls Succeed blog post.


Girls Succeed! by J.Q. Rose
To inspire and empower girls
Available at Amazon.
I have supported Carol's coloring book project, Remembering the Ladies, because I feel this book will empower and inspire girls--my missionwhen I wrote Girls Succeed: Stories Behind the Careers of Successful Women. 

Thank you for your consideration.
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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

VIDEO: The Grand Canyon National Park with J.Q. Rose, Celebrating the National Park Service 100th Birthday

Happy 100th Birthday National Park Service!

Happy 100th Birthday to the National Park Service. I've been crowing about this birthday party for a few weeks now. Probably because I admire the work of the National Park Service members for being the caretakers of our national treasures both in the past and into the future.
I thought I could add to the celebration by sharing a video with you of the Grand Canyon National Park. My husband and I visited a LOT of National Parks while we were in the Southwest this summer, but this one is the Granddaddy of them all in my opinion. Evidently a lot of people feel the same way as evidenced by the 5 million visitors every year to the park.

Please put on your traveling gear, hiking boots, and brimmed hat to join me on the trip through the park. Oh wait, you can just watch the video in the comfort of your chair wearing your jammies. I hope you'll take a 10 minute break from your busy day to sit back and relax while you take a peek at the highlights of our trip to the Grand Canyon National Park!

VIDEO: The Grand Canyon National Park 

with J.Q. Rose

Photos by J.Q. Rose
Transcript follows

Grand Canyon National Park
Video slide show

1—Title slide-- Grand Canyon National Park

2—Hello and welcome to the Grand Canyon National Park. I’m your tour guide, J.Q. Rose. Thanks for joining me for a very quick peek at this historic and amazing place.

3—My husband and I toured the Southwest this summer for two weeks. We had never been to the four corners area. We saw vistas very different from our Michigan lakes and trees. We flew into Las Vegas at a toasty 111 degrees or 44 celsius to begin our adventure through AZ, NM, CO, and UT. On the map, you can see the Grand Canyon National Park is located in AZ’s northwestern quadrant.

4—This is our trusty rental car, a Mazda 2. Before the trip, I worried about driving a rental car through the desert and mountains, but I shouldn’t have. The car’s AC carried us through the heat of the desert and the 4 cylinder engine climbed up and down and around the mountains with no problems.

5—Now sit back in your armchair and join me for a short tour of some of the highlights of our trip through the Grand Canyon NP.

6—Five million visitors make the trip to the canyon each year. Most go to the South Rim, the most accessible place which is 7000 feet above sea level. The one mile deep canyon is quite an attraction.

7—It is 277 river miles or 446 km long and up to 18 miles or 29 km wide.

8—This is just one of the regal elks we saw in the park. Just look at the size of the rack. That would give me a headache! These elk families were all over the park and ignored all of us tourists. In fact one morning, a family of elks grazed next to McDonald’s while we were eating breakfast across from our hotel.

9—This national park is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States. I can verify that judging by the crowds of Americans and citizens from all over the world enjoying the natural beauty surrounding us. But the huge amount of visitors was never a problem. Free park shuttles offer excellent, timely service to sites throughout the park.

10—The Grand Canyon had a long road to becoming a national park until President Theodore Roosevelt made multiple visits to the area, then declared the Grand Canyon an national monument in 1908. The bill to grant national park status was passed in 1919 and signed by then President, Woodrow Wilson.

11—When I stepped off the shuttle bus for my first glimpse of the Grand Canyon, something I have looked forward to my whole life, I was disappointed when I tried to see the canyon from the bus stop.

12--But as I made my way along the path to Maricopa Point overlook, the canyon jolted me with all its glory. In fact, I was terrified to walk to the end of the pont overwhelmed by the vastness of the canyon and dizzied by the depth of it even if a haze blanketed the deepest parts of the canyon. Then, once my heart stopped rattling in my chest, I calmed down and appreciated this ancient creation.

13-- If you’re interested in geology, you’ll especially love having the opportunity to see the exposed ancient layers of rock. No need to dig up the ground to see these normally buried formations. The colors were spectacular.

14—We returned to the hotel in the pm to escape the heat. Then on that beautiful evening we explored the drove through the park in our car rather than take the shuttle. The crowds had thinned and there was no problem finding parking places throughout the park. One of the places we discovered was the Native American Arts and Crafts Building, Hopi House.

15—Hopi House is the first of eight architectural projects at the Grand Canyon designed by Mary Colter, a creative trailblazing woman architect in the early 1900’s.  She designed the building to resemble a traditional pueblo. The Hopi, as the historic inhabitants of the area, were chosen as the featured artisans.

16—Entering the building, I was overwhelmed at the diversity of Native crafts available for sale. The colors and quality of the work were amazing. Take a peek at just a few examples.

18-woolly sheep
19-large pot

20—This is the El Tovar Hotel, located just west of Hopi House. The Hopi House opened on January 1, 1905,  2 weeks before the landmark hotel. Can you imagine making a trip to this area in one of these vehicles and traversing the rough roads?

21—The hotel, another work of art by Mary Colter, is constructed of limestone and pine to evoke the style of a Swiss chalet and Norwegian villa.

22—This is the back of the hotel which faces the canyon.

23—How would you like to wake up in the morning and see a vista like this from your hotel room?

24—Chipmunk--This little visitor was enjoying the view too.

25—The building across the way is another Colter creation built in her style that reflected her vision of natural constructions, were often modeled after Native American themes. 

26—My photos can’t possibly capture the beauty and grandeur of these vistas and vast place of wonder. I hope you at least got the flavor of the setting and the sense of history of this very special national park. Thanks for joining me today.

27—I would like to say a huge thank you to those visionaries who set aside lands 100 years ago for future generations to experience the awe-inspiring nature and history of our national parks, monuments, trails, and lakeshores. Now we need to do our part to keep these treasures alive and shining into the next century and beyond.

Thank you National Park Service for being the caretakers of our past and future. Wishing you a happy 100th birthday and many more!

28--Connect online with J.Q. Rose

J.Q. Rose blog
J. Q.  Rose Amazon Author Page

About J.Q.-J Q Rose is an avid reader, photographer, and blogger. Janet and her husband are snow birds who spend winters in Florida allowing them to garden twelve months out of the year. Summer finds her up north camping and hunting toads, frogs, and salamanders with her grandchildren.
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Have you visited the Grand Canyon? Were you terrified when you first saw it? What National Parks have you visited? What's your favorite park to visit--city, township, county, state, national? Thanks for stopping in!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Happy 100th Birthday National Park Service! Writings in the Desert

Hello and welcome to the J.Q. Rose blog! I was very ambitious earlier in the week and announced today would be the day I would share our trip to the Grand Canyon National Park to commemorate the 100th birthday of the National Park Service. Unfortunately, for many reasons, the Grand Canyon video is not ready and I don't want to put it up until I'm happy with it. Please check back next week, fingers-crossed, to join me on an armchair tour of the amazing Grand Canyon NP.

First Lady, Michelle Obama, helps to get the word out in this You Tube video--
The First Lady Celebrates the National Park Service
Writings in the Desert by J.Q. Rose
After visiting the Petrified Forest National Park, I made an astounding connection and gained insight into my writing. 

A writer’s compulsion to write is a puzzlement to most people.  Ask an author why she writes and you will most likely get the answer, “because I have to.” Ideas for stories swirl around in the writer’s brain and will not go away until the idea is fixed on paper or screen.

This drive is not a new behavior for human beings. Cave men expressed their ideas on the walls of caves. This summer my husband and I visited the Southwest region of the USA. Signs of ancestral native people who lived in this harsh environment left their drawings on rocks in the desert. I don’t mean rocks the size of a stone you can skip across the lake. These are enormous ROCKS with identifiable pictures of water birds and faces of what scientists believe symbolize the spirits the people worshiped. The drawings are called petroglyphs.
Petroglyph --Faces of spirits of the Ancestral Pueblo culture
Petroglyph--Water bird drawing in the Petrified Forest National Park
Evidence of the desire by ancient people to leave a record of their lives are scattered throughout the Petrified Forest National Park in Eastern Arizona. Visit my blog post about the Petrified Forest NP here.

Rocks, “varnished” by Mother Nature by the clay minerals and sand collected on the surface of the rock, make the perfect canvas/background for the prehistoric man to scratch out recognizable shapes and figures about their existence. The latest Ancient Puebloan drawings are believed to be from around 900 A.D. to 1100 A.D. 
The Painted Desert located in the Petrified Forest National Park
I felt strangely connected with these primitive efforts at sharing the artist/writer's ideas with others, as if the artist was reaching out across the centuries to assure me it's okay to have that drive to express my ideas through my writing. 

I wonder if any of today's e-books and print books will exist 1000 years from now for future scientists to discover!
Photos by J.Q. Rose
Originally posted on the Books We Love Insiders Blog. I'll be posting regularly on the BWL blog on the 20th of each month. You're invited to visit.
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Connect online with J.Q. Rose, author of the romantic suspense, Deadly Undertaking.
Deadly Undertaking
Romantic suspense
Available at amazon

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

IWSG Blog Hop: Share My Memoir or Not by J.Q. Rose

Hello and welcome to the monthly meeting of the 
Insecure Writers Support Group(IWSG) blog hop! 

Internet Writers Support Group Blog Hop
First Wednesday of every month.
What is IWSG? Founder of the  Insecure Writer’s Support Group and author Alex J Cavanaugh explains the group's purpose is "to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!" You're invited to become a member of this supportive group.

The group blogs the first Wednesday of every month.  The list of bloggers is always available so you can hop around to the author blogs filled with humor, advice, and thought-provoking topics on writing and publishing. You can find the list of participants at Alex's IWSG page.

IWSG Question for the Month
THE IWSG BLOG HOP QUESTION FOR AUGUST: What was your very first piece of writing as an aspiring writer? Where is it now? Collecting dust or has it been published?

My first piece of writing was an article I submitted to a woman's magazine about breastfeeding. I was a new mom and learned so many things through my experience with my baby, I wanted to help expecting moms to have a successful time with this overwhelming time in life. 

I mailed in the submission expecting to receive a raving acceptance letter telling me how wonderful the article was and how much it would benefit soon-to-be nursing mothers. I was crushed not to hear anything from the magazine and decided I would never write an article again. That article was probably thrown in the trash, but eventually, after our daughters left home and we sold our floral business, I started writing articles for the local newspaper which led to many more free-lance articles in newspapers, magazines and e-zines.
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Share My Memoir or Not by J.Q. Rose

Yes, I'm insecure this week. I'm taking a break away from writing romantic suspense and challenging myself to write a memoir. I am a firm believer in everyone recording the story of their life or at least part of it. 
Writing a memoir
I'm focusing on the year in my life when we purchased a retail business--a flower shop and greenhouses. Did we know anything about being a retailer, growing plants in a commercial greenhouse, designing flower arrangements? No, but we did it anyway.  Talk about being insecure--giving up good jobs, taking our one year old daughter away from grandparents and family, and moving eight hours away to a town where we knew not one person. 
Peach roses--my favorite flower. They smell good too.
The main rule in writing a memoir is to tell the truth. And I am, but that involves showing the previous owner, Nellie, in a bad light. She and her husband have passed away, but her family is still in the area. I have decided to change their names, but this is a small town and folks will know who I mean. So, I am thinking of writing this book, but only allowing our family to read it. And yet, I think this memoir could be a great encouragement to someone who is hesitant to break out of their life and try something new. (Hmmm--like writing a book, perhaps?) When we see someone overcome obstacles to achieve a dream, their story inspires us to try to make our dreams come true too. 

An author friend tagged me on FB to reveal the first lines of the first three chapters of my WIP, so I thought it would be fun to share those lines in the memoir here with all of you too. You'll see Nellie is in the story right away.

Untitled--I'm insecure about choosing a title too!!!

Chapter 1 Our whispers in the silence of the strangers’ bedroom seemed to echo in our ears. 
Chapter 2 After the sleepless night, we packed up our belongings and quietly trod down the stairs to face Jack and Nellie. 
Chapter 3 Contentment fell across my shoulders like a newborn’s swaddling blanket as I nursed Baby Sara in my rocking chair in the front room of our home in Marseilles.

Please help me decide whether to share the story or keep it just for my family. I'd love to hear from you. Thank you.
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Opportunity for you--Karen Walker is putting together an anthology on aging. If you are fifty or older, visit her blog for details on how you can contribute. 
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Connect with J. Q. Rose on Facebook 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

How Does Your Garden Grow? Update on Gardener Ted's Garden

Hello and Welcome to the J.Q. Rose Blog!

Gardener Ted's garden
This week I thought I'd update you on the  garden. However, by the time you see these photos, the produce may be ready. I'm posting these pictures a week early because  I'll be recovering from eye surgery this week.

Please enjoy a walk through Gardener Ted's garden. Yes I'm probably boasting a bit about it and I hope you'll forgive me, but he does such a wonderful job. If only the veggies didn't appeal so much to the deer, ground hogs, and rabbits too! He's been fighting them all season, just like every year.

Take a peek at what's about ready to appear on our dinner table.

Do you call this cantaloupe or muskmelon?

Ear of sweet corn

Ripening tomatoes

Tomato plants are tied up to a fence--vertical gardening. No need for tomato cages.
You can spy the ripening tomatoes in the photo above centered at the bottom of the picture
Ted planted calendula flowers around the front garden fence. Once they started blooming, they really took off and filled in well. I like to cut them for bouquets, but they are kind of sticky to work with after cutting.

Calendula line the front of the garden.
Photos by J.Q. Rose

So how are your plants and flowers growing this year? Take a picture of your veggies and/or flowers and add it to my Facebook page if you wish. I'd love to see pictures from all around the world.

Click Facebook  to go to my Facebook J.Q. Rose page.
Thanks for stopping in.

If you want to learn about vegetable gardening, check out this guide with lots of Gardener Ted's tips.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Southwest USA: The Petrified Forest National Park

Yee-haw ya'all! We're back from our tour of the Southwest USA.
Cowboy statue in Santa Fe

I promise I won't show you every rock and amazing vista photo I took because there are about 1000 of them. Today I chose to highlight our travel through the Petrified Forest National Park in Eastern Arizona, a place Gardener Ted has wanted to see since he was in grade school. 

NOTE: Enlarge this page to 110%-125% so you can see the photos better

Millions of years of rain and sun and rivers have turned this ancient forest into petrified rock and trapped fossils forever in their actual form. The park is like a big candy store for paleontologists. Take a peek at some of the sights we saw.
Petrified rock
Trees fallen in the forest millions of years ago dot the park. We traveled the 28 mile road that connects the forest area to the amazing Painted Desert area. Parking lots and overlooks allow motorists to get off the road to take in the scenery and access to amazing trails for hikers to experience the beauty and adventure the park offers.
The rocky landscapes are gorgeous in this harsh and wild environment. 
I have never experienced such sights.

Petroglyphs--These drawings, thousands of years old, are found throughout the park telling the story of the people who lived here. I write about these drawings in a guest post at the Insider Books We Love Blog today. 

Solar Calendar--the Ancestral Puebloan people planted their crops when the sun shined a sliver of sunlight on the exact mark on this rock above. Amazingly accurate, the sun hit the mark at 9:15 a.m. right on time. Lucky we were there to capture it. The sliver is on the left side of the flat rock, half in shade and in sun. Squint and you may be able to see it. 

The 1932 Studebaker commemorates travel along Historic Route 66.
 This stretch of road was traveled from 1926-1958.

The Petrified Forest is the only national park that preserves a section of Route 66, the road that began in Chicago, Illinois and stretched all the way to Los Angeles, California. Known as the Mother Road, it sparked many an American's dream for a new life or for travel adventures. Gas was cheap and roadside attractions dotted the roadsides. Hence the saying, "Get your kicks on Route 66." Route 66 originally ran through my hometown in Central Illinois, so it was so much fun to trace the route that cut through many of the places we stopped on our trip.

The Painted Desert--when we came upon this, it took our breath away.
So happy you could join me on our trip through this unusual National Park. But then, each of our National Parks are unique. The National Park Service is 100 years old this year. We helped to celebrate by hitting several as we toured the Southwest. 
National Park Service logo--arrowhead
Visiting these special places in our country is a joy. And if you are 62 and a US Citizen, you can get the Senior pass to all the National Parks and Forests for a one time purchase of $10. good forever. Click here to learn how to get this valuable pass from the National Park Service.

For more on the petroglyphs related to my writing, and perhaps yours if you're a writer, visit the Books We Love Insider Blog and leave a comment, wave, or say hi. Thank you.

Photos by J.Q. Rose

Have you visited a National Park or Forest? If so, which one? What is your favorite? I'd love to hear from you.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Happy Birthday E. B. White, Charlotte's Web--a Perfect Summer Read

Happy Belated Birthday Wishes,  E. B. White!

EB White and his dog Minnie.png
Author E. B. White
Photo from Wikipedia

 My Writers Chatroom friend, Flo Stanton, in her newsletter this week recognizes E. B. White's birth day on July 11, 1899. The announcement caught my attention because one of my favorite books is Charlotte's Web. I was in the eighth grade when our teacher, Mrs. Beyer, read us the story. Usually after third or fourth grade, teachers don't read  a story to the class, but Mrs. Beyer believed whatever the age, we like to be read to. (Notice the popularity of audio books and pod casts nowadays!) 

Our class looked forward to hearing the story after lunch. I wonder what eighth graders would think of it now. I imagine they would love to hear the story about Charlotte, the word writing spider, who lived on the Zuckerman farm and was best friends with Wilbur, the pig. Amazon continues--"E. B. White's Newberry Honor Book is a tender novel of friendship, love, life, and death that will continue to be enjoyed by generations to come." 

If you haven't read this story, no matter what your age, treat yourself to a delightful story perfect for a summer read. You'll understand why it is so special for so many generations of readers. White is also famous for another children's story, Stuart Little. He wrote books for adults, contributed articles to the New Yorker,  and co-authored the writer's resource book, The Elements of Style. 

In case you're wondering, E. B. are his initials for Elwyn Brooks White. According to, he hated the name Elwyn, but "while attending Cornell University, White acquired the nickname 'Andy,' which he was known by for the rest of his life." 
Here's some of E.B.'s tongue-in-cheek advice:
Be obscure clearly.
Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half of the people are right more than half of the time.
Everything in life is somewhere else, and you get there in a car.
I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.
Writing is an act of faith, not a trick of grammar.
One of the most time-consuming things is to have an enemy.
The time not to become a father is eighteen years before a war.

Have you read Charlotte's Web or any of E.B. White's writings? What's  your favorite children's book?
I'd love to hear from you .Thank you.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Insecure Writers Support Group Blog Hop: Firing Up My Writing Ideas, 99 Cents eBook Sale

Hello and welcome to the monthly meeting of the 
Insecure Writers Support Group(IWSG) blog hop! 

Internet Writers Support Group Blog Hop
First Wednesday of every month.
What is IWSG? Founder of the  Insecure Writer’s Support Group and author Alex J Cavanaugh explains the group's purpose is "to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!" You're invited to become a member of this supportive group.

The group blogs the first Wednesday of every month.  The list of bloggers is always available so you can hop around to the author blogs filled with humor, advice, and thought-provoking topics on writing and publishing. You can find the list of participants at Alex's IWSG page.
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Scene from Mesa Verde National Park
Photo by J.Q. Rose
I just returned from two weeks of roaming around the deserts, mountains, and rocks of the Southwest USA. What a completely different experience from my life in green, tree-laden, lake-rich Michigan. The wide open vistas, sands, dwarf bushes, and cacti were never in my life except when I watched cowboys like Roy Rogers and Rex Allen race across the movie screen when I was a little kid. Loved all those movies, but never imagined I would ever visit the movie locations. 
Vintage train ride up the mountain from Durango, CO to Silverton, CO
1870's style
Photo by J.Q. Rose
Now I'm home and tapping on the keyboard filled with eagerness to get down all the ideas I thought about while riding hours and hours in our little rental car from one destination to the next. We put on 2400 miles on this trip and that doesn't count the plane ride from Michigan to Las Vegas!!

So, at this moment, I'm not feeling insecure about my writing, but fired up to get to it! How about you? Does taking time away from the keyboard (or pen and paper) inspire your writing projects? I'd love to read your thoughts on this. Thank you for stopping in.
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Check out this countdown deal on my latest romantic suspense, Deadly Undertaking.

Deadly Undertaking for 99 cents for limited time.
BIG NEWS (and shameless promo): Romantic suspense, Deadly Undertaking, is now on sale through Wednesday, July 6 for 99 cents. Time is clicking away. Grab it quick at amazon