Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Thanksgiving Day in the USA and Nine Other Countries, Happy Thanksgiving!

πŸ¦ƒHello and welcome to Focused on Story!πŸ¦ƒ

Thanksgiving Day in the USA and Nine Other Countries

Happy Turkey Day!
Looking forward to that turkey meal? Or in my vegan friend's day, tofu meal? Turkey is the traditional dish to serve in most American households to remind us of the Pilgrims' first Thanksgiving. Although, they probably ate other birds and lots of fish at their table.

According to  Yahoo Finance, other countries practice days of thanksgiving. Canada, Liberia, and a small island east of Australia, Norfolk Island, have customs similar to the USA with traditions that include celebrating the autumn harvest and giving thanks. 

Germany's celebration is known as Erntedankfest to celebrate the harvest. Not exactly the same as Thanksgiving Day in the US, Germans know how to party with parades, dancing, music and fireworks.

In Grenada, formal celebrations for giving thanks are held in mostly urban areas. 

China's Thanksgiving day began about 2500 years ago. No pumpkin pie for dessert, but rather baked Moon Pie made of sesame seeds, ground lotus seeds, and duck eggs.

Japan centers its day, known as Labor Thanksgiving Day, around giving thanks for workers' rights.

South Koreans spend their day similarly feasting as we do in the US while honoring their ancestors. 

Vietnamese celebrations, much like China, include giving thanks and celebrating the harvest. According to Vietnamese folklore, the day was spent making amends to their children for being neglected during the busy harvest time.

No matter where we are in the world, giving thanks is uplifting for folks who take time to express gratitude. The thanks need not be for anything huge. Appreciating the warm sun on your face, someone who opens the door for you or helps you carry your grocery bags to the car, and even a spouse or partner getting the coffee ready at night for an early morning cup--all are worthy of a thank you.
Happy Thanksgiving from J.Q. Rose
When times are bad, it is difficult to find anything to be thankful for, but if you can find something, it will help brighten your day. 

Wishing you a fabulous day of Thanksgiving for the big things as well as the small!

After Thanksgiving is the huge sales day, Black Friday, in the US. Deep discounts are even occurring on Thanksiving Day for those who don't want to watch football!

So in the spirit of Super Sales Savings, my publisher, Books We Love Publishing, is offering two of my mysteries at a special price through December 15 at Smashwords.com. Click the title to download these for yourself or gift them to your friends and family. Enjoy!! 

Dangerous Sanctuary by J.Q. Rose
Pastor Christine Hobbs never imagined she would be caring for 
a flock that includes a pig, a kangaroo, and a murderer.
Dangerous Sanctuary 99 cents

Terror on Sunshine Boulevard by J.Q. Rose

 Terror on Sunshine Boulevard $2.99

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Author Toolbox Blog Hop: The Keyword Conundrum

Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story Blog and to the Author Toolbox Blog Hop #AuthorToolboxBlogHop which meets every third Wednesday of the month to share resources and tips for authors. Thanks to Raimey Gallant for hosting this venture. 

Please join us to learn more about the craft of writing and to meet bloggers who are dedicated to helping each other become the best writers possible. Click here to visit other blog hop participants.
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The Keyword Conundrum

Image by Wokandapix from Pixabay 
In an earlier Author Toolbox Blog Hop, I shared how I used Keywords Everywhere to find keywords for amazon book descriptions. At the time, the program was free. Since that posting, KE is now a paid tool. I also explained about keywords and SEO in that blog article. Click here if you need some help in understanding the connection between keywords and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) information.

I promised to offer you more free programs. I hope this information will help you figure out the keyword conundrum. Here are a few, thanks to Rebecca Holman, a gifted teacher, who is obsessed with doing research in order to sell books.

I tried Ubersuggest and I really loved the ease with which I could find multiple related suggestions for keywords and how popular the keyword is. It uses data from Google Suggest to provide keywords related to what real people search for on Google. Click here to try it out.

Alas, I learned from several gurus in the past few weeks, Google searches and amazon searches do not offer the same keywords. So, if you have a book on amazon, you should use a tool that will give you specific words people have typed into the amazon search bar. Rebecca suggests using DS Amazon Quick View Tool. This is a Google Chrome extension found in the Chrome Web Store. Click here to add this tool to your extensions

I have not tried this tool, but I have a new non-fiction book out. I used the Ubersuggest tool to choose keywords, so now I will research keywords using the DS Amazon tool and change my keywords in KDP for that book. 

Find more tools to use at Rebecca Holman's Youtube video on tools to use for research.  Click here to find more suggestions from Rebecca.
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Happy Thanksgiving from J.Q. Rose
Today is my turn to post on my publisher's blog, the Books We Love Insiders Blog. I marvel at how the Pilgrims could still find so much to be thankful for after enduring so many hardships in order to colonize a home in the New World. I hope you find their story inspiring.
Click here to read that blog post. It will go live at 7:30 am, EST, Nov. 20.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Book Cover Reveal: Your Words, Your Life Story: A Journal for Sharing Memories

Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story Blog! This is an exciting day for me. I am pleased to announce the release of my journal for those who want to share memories from their life with family and friends. Check out the cover below!
Your Words, Your Life Story: A Journal for Sharing Memories
by J.Q. Rose
My passion for writing life stories began when a member of one of my writers' groups, Mary Zuwerink, brought in the diary of her great, great grandfather. He was a minister in England. This diary contained his everyday, ordinary days in his life in London in the early 1800s. Ordinary then, perhaps, but to us in this contemporary society, his reflections and stories were extraordinary.

Offering an opportunity to folks who want to tell their everyday stories as guides to people in the future, I offered workshops on writing life stories. But in this book, I cover audio and video storytelling, as well as writing, because not everyone is a writer. 

The idea of writing life experiences is an obstacle to sharing them. Another obstacle is trying to figure out what to write about. The book offers many ways to jog those memories which lead to more stories. 

When I led group workshops, the best part for me was listening to the tales the participants shared. Folks who never wrote actually created many touching and memorable pieces that brought tears and laughter. Since reading the book alone and telling your stories and not sharing them is not much fun, I created a facebook group for sharing as well as spotlighting resources, tips, and news.

I may be premature in announcing the book because I just had it accepted by KDP Publishing. It won't be live for a few days, but as you can imagine, I am bursting with the good news. Especially after jumping through all the hoops to get it published. But that's another blog post for the future.

I'm looking forward to getting a proof copy. I probably won't find any errors in it. wink wink

This quote by J.D. Salinger certainly applies to me and this book.

Quote by J.D. Salinger
Thanks so much for your support of the Focused on Story blog and for your continued participation. I am anxious to update you on the journey this journal will take.

Do you have a book in you that is screaming to get out? Do you have stories from your life you want to share with family and friends? Have you written a memoir or life story? Please leave a comment below and tell us all about it! Thank you.

Click here or on the JQ Rose Courier graphic at the top of the sidebar to have your copy of the JQ Rose Courier delivered to your inbox. You'll find out about new releases, giveaways, contests with prizes and what JQ is up to.


Sunday, November 10, 2019

Veterans Day: Honoring Women in the Military Service

Veterans Day Honoring Veterans
of the U.S. Military Services
(Post originally published at the Girls Succeed Blog)
On Veterans Day, November 11, we honor veterans who served in the U.S. Military. This date also marks the end of World War I when the armistice with Germany was signed at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.

Women have been a part of the U.S. Military since the American Revolutionary War when we fought for independence from England. Winning that war established the United States of America. 

Take a look at this amazing history of women in the military. The full history is on the Women in Military Service for America Memorial site.

Highlights in the History of Military Women

American Revolution (1775-1783): Women serve on the battlefield as nurses, water bearers, cooks, laundresses and saboteurs.
War of 1812: Mary Marshall and Mary Allen nurse aboard Commodore Stephen Decatur's ship United States.
Mexican War (1846-1848): Elizabeth Newcom enlists in Company D of the Missouri Volunteer Infantry as Bill Newcom. She marches 600 miles from Missouri to winter camp at Pueblo, Colorado, before she is discovered to be a woman and discharged.
Civil War (1861-1865): Women provide casualty care and nursing to Union and Confederate troops at field hospitals and on the Union Hospital Ship Red Rover. Women soldiers on both sides disguise themselves as men in order to serve. In 1865, Dr. Mary Walker receives the Medal of Honor. She is the only woman to receive the nation's highest military honor.

More Recent History
1987: The Navy assigns its first woman Force Master Chief and Independent Duty Corpsman to serve at sea.
The first enlisted woman is assigned as Officer-In-Charge aboard a Coast Guard vessel.
1988: NASA selects its first Navy woman as an astronaut.
The Coast Guard's "Chief Warrant Officer to Lieutenant" program promotes its first woman.
Marine women are again assigned as embassy guards.
1989: 770 women deploy to Panama in Operation Just Cause. Two women command Army companies in the operation and three women Army pilots are nominated for Air Medals. Two receive the Air Medal with "V" device for participation in a combat mission.
For the first time in history, the US Military Academy (West Point) names a woman as its Brigade Commander and First Captain.
NASA selects its first Army woman as an astronaut.
The Navy assigns its first woman as Command Master Chief at sea.
A woman is the first person trained for a new specialty, Coast Guard Flight Officer. These officers are responsible for tactical coordination of the drug interdiction efforts aboard Coast Guard aircraft.

War in the Persian Gulf (1990-1991): Some 40,000 American military women are deployed during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Two Army women are taken prisoner by the Iraqis.
1991: The Navy assigns the first women to command a Naval Station and an aviation squadron.
The first Navy woman assumes command of a ship.
The Air Force Reserve selects its first woman senior enlisted advisor.
Congress repeals laws banning women from flying in combat.
For the first time in history, a woman is named Brigade Commander at the Naval Academy.
1992: The first active-duty woman Coast Guard officer is promoted to captain (O-6).
1993: Congress repeals the law banning women from duty on combat ships. Women deploy with the USS Fox.
The first woman Naval aviator serves with a combat squadron.
The first woman assumes command of a Naval base.
The Marine Corps opens pilot positions to women.
The Army names a woman "Drill Sergeant of the Year" for the first time in the 24-year history of this competition.
The Army assigned its first woman combat pilot.
The Air Force assigns the first woman to command an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) unit.
The first woman service secretary in the history of the armed forces is appointed.
The first woman in any reserve component is promoted to major general.
The Air Force assigns the first woman to command an air refueling unit.
The Coast Guard promotes the first active-duty woman to master chief.
The Coast Guard assigns the first woman as Chief Judge.

1994: The USS Eisenhower is the first carrier to have permanent women crew members. Sixty-three women are initially assigned.
The first woman assumes command of a Naval Air Station.
The first woman, an Air Force major, copilots the space shuttle.
The Air Force Reserve gets its first woman fighter pilot.
1995: An Air Force lieutenant colonel becomes the first woman space shuttle pilot.
The first African-American woman, an Air Force officer, is promoted to major general.
The first female Marine pilot pins on Naval flight wings.
1996: The first women in the history of the armed forces are promoted to the three-star rank.
For the first time a woman fires Tomahawk cruise missiles from a warship in a combat zone.
The first woman commands the Army's Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps.
The first woman commands an operational flying wing.
1997: The Army promotes its first woman to lieutenant general.
The Army assigns the first woman and the first non-doctor to command an Army hospital.
The first woman in history is appointed as a state adjutant general.

1998: For the first time, a woman fighter pilot delivers a payload of missiles and laser-guided bombs in combat. She is in the first wave of US strikes against Iraq in Operation Desert Fox.
The Air National Guard promotes the first woman to major general.
1999: The Air Force promotes its first woman to lieutenant general.
For the first time, a woman, an Air Force lieutenant colonel, commands the space shuttle.
The first women graduate from the Virginia Military Institute and the Citadel.
The first woman and first African-American commands the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Corps (NOAA).
The first African-American woman is selected to command a Navy ship.
2000: The Air Force promotes the first woman pilot to brigadier general.
The first Coast Guard women, an active-duty officer and a reservist, are promoted to flag officer rank.
Navy women are among the victims and heroes when the USS Cole is attacked by a suicide bomber in Yemen.
The first woman commands a Navy warship at sea. The vessel is assigned to the sensitive Persian Gulf.
The Army National Guard promotes the first woman to major general.

2001: The Army promotes the first woman to brigadier general in the Judge Advocate General's Corps. She is also the first Asian-Pacific-American woman promoted to brigadier general.
An Air National Guard security force woman becomes the first woman to complete the counter-sniper course, the only military sniper program open to women.
The US Army Women's Museum opens at Ft. Lee, Virginia.
Terrorists highjack four commercial aircraft, crash two into the World Trade Center, one into a field in Pennsylvania and one into the Pentagon. In the attack at the Pentagon, 125 people were killed on the ground and 59 passengers lose their lives; ten active duty, reserve and retired servicewomen are among the casualties. Servicewomen are activated and deployed in support of the war on terrorism.
2002: An enlisted woman Marine is killed in an aircraft crash in Pakistan, the first woman to die in Operation Enduring Freedom, part of the Global War on Terror.
The Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS) is issued a new charter narrowing its focus to issues pertaining to military families, recruitment, readiness and retention. A retired Marine three-star general is appointed chairman of the new, downsized advisory committee.
For the first time in its history, the Army National Guard promotes an African-American woman to the rank of brigadier general.
For the first time in US history, a woman becomes the top enlisted advisor
in any of the military components. She is sworn in as the Command Sergeant
Major of the US Army Reserve.
2003: The first Native American servicewoman is killed in battle.  She was one of three women who became prisoners of war during the first days of the war in Iraq.
The first woman in US Air Force history takes command of a fighter squadron.
2005: The first woman in history is awarded the Silver Star for combat action. She is one of 14 women in US history to receive the medal.
An Air Force woman becomes the Air Force Academy’s Commandant of Cadets, the No. 2 position at the nation’s service academies. She is the first woman in the history of any of the academies to be appointed to this position.
The first woman in US Air Force history joins the prestigious USAF Air  Demonstration Squadron “Thunderbirds.” She was also the first woman on any US military high-performance jet team. 
2006: The Coast Guard appoints the first woman Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard, making her the first woman in history to serve as a deputy service chief in any of the US Armed Forces.
The Marine Corps assigns the first woman Marine in history to command a Recruit
2007: The first woman in US Naval history takes command of a fighter squadron.
The last woman veteran of World War I dies, a former yeoman (F).
2008: For the first time in US military history, a woman is promoted to the
rank of four-star general. She is promoted by the US Army.

More blog posts on women in the military at the Girls Succeed Blog:

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

IWSG Blog Hop: Something Dark Today, the Darknet and Incognito Window

IWSG Blog Hop---the first Wednesday of every month.
Happy November!!
Hello and welcome to the Insecure Writer's Support Group Blog Hop! 

What is the Insecure Writer's Support Group?
Founded by author Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group offers support for writers and authors alike. It provides an online database, articles and tips, a monthly blog posting, a Facebook and Instagram group, Twitter, and a monthly newsletter. To find out more, click this link:  Insecure Writer’s Support Group

The purpose of the group 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. Click here to sign-up to join.
Question for November 6

November 6 Question 

What's the strangest thing you've ever googled in researching a story?

The strangest thing I ever googled was the Darknet. In 2013, not many people were aware of the existence of the Darknet.

 Wikipedia describes the following uses of the Darknet
"Darknets, in general, may be used for various reasons, such as:
Deadly Undertaking
Romantic Suspense
with a touch of the paranormal

I read an article about the secret web. I didn't believe it because it sounded like something in a spy novel, not in real life. But, sure enough, this amazing concept was a reality. I found it to be an excellent way to ......Oh, sorry I can't tell you since it would be a spoiler in my romantic suspense novel, Deadly Undertaking. (See how I wove this shameless plug into the IWSG blog post?)

In 2020 we have a window named "incognito," so browsing will remain secret and no one knows who is using it for searches. Doesn't that sound so James Bondish? 

And yet, the incognito window is something to use while browsing for keywords for your latest book or to update your older books. Keywords will pop up from everywhere not based on your browsing history. The search will reveal words beyond your personal interests. It isn't the Darknet, but I do feel like a secret agent when snooping in the incognito mode, and it feels great! 
Secret Agent
Image by OpenClipart-Vectors
from Pixabay 

<Looking around to see if someone is watching over my shoulder> Shhh...I'll tell you how to find the incognito window if you promise not to snitch on me. Click on the 3 stacked dots on the right of your Google search bar. You can choose the incognito window from the drop-down menu to go underground. Now, remember to keep it under your hat, kiddo. <wink>

Have you heard of the Darknet? (I won't ask if you are using it.) Have you used the incognito window? In the comment section below, please enlighten us with your experience using the incognito window--unless you want it to remain a secret! 

Click here to read another blog about the Darknet on the Focused on Story Blog.

Click here to visit the IWSG Blog Hop participants.
Thanks for stopping!
# # #


Click here or on the JQ Rose Courier graphic at the top of the sidebar to have your copy of the JQ Rose Courier delivered to your inbox. You'll find out about new releases, giveaways, contests with prizes and what JQ is up to.