Friday, June 24, 2016

The Importance of a Horn

   Yes, this is a writing blog. Wait for it......
   Living where I do, I have found that my car's horn is extremely important. When I'm driving at night and a deer runs out in front of me, the first thing I do is hit the horn; the second thing I do is hit the brakes. For the last couple of weeks, my horn has been out of commission. I have encountered several deer on the roads around my neighborhood, but I have been without a way of getting their attention.
   That "deer-in-the-headlights" look you may have heard about is REAL. A deer will stand smack-dab in the middle of my lane and stare at my car--without moving--until it hears the horn. Then the ears come forward, the tail flicks, and it continues to stand there until it has evaluated the situation, at which point it either decides I am no threat, or it decides it should probably move.
   Mind you, the car is barreling down on the dumb animal at 40-50 mph, even with the brakes applied and the horn blaring. Hmmmmm, the deer seems to think casually. Perhaps I should take that sound as a warning. Maybe it's a ploy to get me to move away from the salt I'm licking off the pavement. (All of this is occurring within a fraction of a second.) It's getting closer. It does appear to be a bit of a danger, so I guess I'll move a little bit and see if that scares it off. It takes two steps--directly toward me!--and stomps its front feet to warn me that it has staked a claim on that spot in the road.
   I now begin to pump the brakes and repeatedly hit the horn to let it know I'm actually there and not just a figment of its imagination. It appears to get the point and moves off, though I have to make sure and watch both sides of the road because there are usually at least two of them, and the partner(s) will invariably follow the first one's lead. Again, I hit the horn and come to a stop, luckily without making contact with any other member of the herd. I wait for my adrenaline rush to pass, then I move on. Without the horn, I may not be so lucky. The deer--and my car--could be history.
   OK, here's the reason for all of that: the deer is analogous with my hook line. Without a hook line to get my reader's attention, my story could end up as venison stew, I'd rather have the horn and make my intentions known. In the same manner, a reader will have to make the move to buy it or simply stand there and become an insignificant grease spot on the pavement, so to speak.
   See what a hook line can do?

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

From the Nose of Our Kayak: Chapter 4 "Come On Dad, It'll Be Fun!"

Hello and welcome to the JLB Creatives Blog, where you'll find an array of creative features from a hand-picked group of creative geniuses. 

Wednesdays on the JLB Creatives Blog are set aside for our blog book, "From the Nose of Our Kayak." JLB Creatives CEO, Janet Beasley, and her husband, Don, have been kayaking for nearly 10 years. Together they are excited to share with you, their awesome experiences that they have encountered. In this Wednesday feature you'll find kayaking stories, scenic nature photography from their outings, and some helpful tips when it comes to maneuvering your "butt sleds" (aka kayaks) on your journeys.

So if this is a topic that interests you, you'll want to be sure and become a follower of the JLB Creatives Blog, and stop in on Wednesdays each week for the latest chapter in Don & Janet Beasley's adventure blog book, "From the Nose of Our Kayak." 

Previous chapters can be found in our blog archives, we began the series on June 1, 2016.


From the Nose of Our Kayak
Don & Janet Beasley
Chapter 4 Come On Dad, It'll Be Fun!

It's nice to catch up on life in general with family or friends, and for us, there's no better place to do that than in a kayak. It can also be a time of peace and quiet for adult family members (moms, dads, grand-parents, great-grand parents, and grown-up kids) to have time to bond.

Sharing our kayak adventures with others is a passion for Don and myself. We love to take friends and family kayaking to expose them to the beauty of Florida's best nature spots for viewing, and/or capturing photographs of mesmerizing scenes of nature and wildlife of a lifetime! 

Kayaking with kids is also a great way to spend time together outdoors. Nature has so much offer, and it makes a super, educational homeschooling outing for your students interested in science or ecology.  

We are excited that From the Nose of Our Kayak will come to pass not only as a blog book, but also a real life interactive experience for many, in the future, but keep in mind that quality takes time. Don and I hope to some day be able to turn our experiences, expertise, and knowledge that we've developed while kayaking, toward building a privately guided, pristine kayak touring adventure for adults. The adventure will lend itself to being educational, provide outstanding photography opportunities, and/or just give people a chance to get away from it all.

IT WASN'T LONG AFTER WE had started kayaking on a regular basis that Don's mom and dad came for a visit. Of course we had to take them kayaking...I mean they had always gone canoeing in Ohio, surely they'd love to kayak, right?

Dad and Don unloading at Ray's Wayside Park
Don's dad was ready to go! Mom, not so much. She had never been in a kayak, and was not comfortable going. No big deal...that meant she and I were going shopping while the boys were out (wink wink).

The guys had decided they wanted to try another leg of the Silver River...the run that branches off into the Ocklawaha River. 

So we loaded up the kayak on mom and dad's van. Don and his dad took the van while mom and I drove a separate vehicle. We went to the finish point first, which was Gore's Landing, and parked one vehicle there. Before we left Gore's Landing Don entered a way-point into the handheld GPS. Thanks to technology, handheld GPS devices as well as navigation apps on our smart phones, we are able to track where we've been and where we're going without the worry of "drowning" our paper maps. Plus if disorientation sets in, it's quite the handy device to have on hand.

Taking care of business
We all piled into the van with the kayak on top and headed to the starting point, which was Ray's Wayside Park...where you don't have to portage 1/2 mile to launch!

Don and his dad began unpacking the van, unloading the kayak, and adjusting the kayak seating. Mom enjoyed the view, and wished she'd have packed a picnic lunch for all of us!

One thing we really appreciate about Ray's Wayside Park is that the parking is only $5 per vehicle, the launch area is inviting, has plenty of parking, AND there is a  modern restroom facility onsite. It's nice to be able to "take care of business" either before and/or after a long day on the water. 

I should have packed a picnic lunch!
Before long Don and his dad were ready to launch and head down the channel to the main river where this time they would take a left toward the Ocklawaha River, instead of a right onto Silver River which leads to the spring head. It was going to be uncharted territory for both of them, as Don and I had never done this leg before.

Mom and I watched until they disappeared out of view. I had mixed emotions by this point...I was nervous that the GPS's batteries might go dead before the guys found their way to Gore's Landing. On one hand I couldn't wait to hear their stories upon their return, yet on the other hand I was bummed that I was not in the kayak with them to get my own stories. I had so come to love the sport, I felt the kayak was literally calling to me (though shopping with my mother-in-law runs a really close second on my "fun things to do" list as she is a real bargain hunter, and together we find some of the best deals around). 

Pork BBQ fries, jalapeno`s, and sweet tea
We had made plans to hook up at a local BBQ restaurant once they returned. I was glad when my text notification let me know that the guys were back safe and sound, and would be on their way to the restaurant once the kayak was loaded.

We enjoyed our ginormous plate of BBQ fries (with jalapeno`s of course), sweet teas, and some nanner puddin' while the guys talked about how they were graced with beautiful sights. Unfortunately, they 
didn't snap any photos along the way, but for good reason; they were paying more attention to where they were and the winding bends of the river. 

Don assured me it was just as scenic as the part with which we were already familiar, but brought up the fact that the wildlife was not nearly as abundant as on the Silver River branch. In the end he was definitely OK with the fact that he had gotten to kayak that serene portion with his dad, sharing first time experiences together.

It ended up being a great day and evening for all four of us, spent both on the river and off.


Kayaking tip of the week: If someone doesn't want to go kayaking, don't force them. No need to make their life miserable as well as your's.  

Adjusting Dad's seating
with Mom opting out

Dad looks eager to get going

Launch time!

Shoving off

Entering the canal to the river
"We'll see you for dinner!"

Monday, June 20, 2016

Say Hello to Fantasy Author Amy Lehigh - Our New JLB Creatives Publishing Editing Apprentice

Amy Lehigh
JLB Creatives Publishing
Apprentice Editor
Amy Lehigh came to us in 2012 as an attendee of a debuting young writers workshop. She was shy, inward-going, creative, and loved the literary world.

She began her journey to publication as a novice writer, and has since become a full fledged advanced author who is outgoing, even more creative, and has had several works published by JLB Creatives Publishing. 

Amy currently serves as an intern under the direction of library manager, Ann Marie Smith, at the Pickford Community Library in Pickford, Michigan.

Amy is a charter member of the Pickford Community Library's Young Writers Workshop. Over the last four years this particular workshop has been deemed the largest young writing group of its kind in the state of Michigan. It is also the creative table on which a comprehensive, first-of-its-kind writing curriculum was developed. JLB Creatives Publishing has been involved with this young writers workshop from its inception in 2012, and top team members of JLBCP continue to facilitate the adventures both in person and via Skype for this ground-breaking group. Amy, along with her peers, has played a key part in the development of JLB Creatives Publishing's Journey to Publication Writing Program Curriculum.

We have watched Amy flourish in many ways throughout the years. She graduated high school this year, and is getting ready to go on to college. She shared with us that she is interested in becoming an editor.

After taking a vote, it was unanimous that we should offer her an apprenticeship with JLB Creatives Publishing beginning as a proof editor for our children's books, leading into full editing of fiction novels.

When our senior editor approached Amy with the offer she didn't have to think twice. Her answer was a resounding YES! She is honored, as are we, to begin this new venture in helping yet another author, future editor, and literary lover succeed in the industry.

Janet Beasley
JLB Creatives CEO
"It's going to be such a special part of the company's overall enhancement process," said JLB Creatives CEO, Janet Beasley. "To know that one of our very first Young Writers Workshop enthusiasts has mastered the craft through our program over the last 4 years, and will be working alongside our JLB Creatives Publishing senior editor, Dar Bagby, editing the next Pickford Community Library Young Writers Workshop's anthology and novellas early 2017 is not only exciting, but humbling and overwhelming all in the same breath. The connection between Amy and the Young Writers Workshop is personal for many of us on the JLBCP team, and we couldn't be prouder of Amy becoming qualified to edit works that will come from 'her humble beginning days'."

Please visit Boelik on Smashwords to download Amy's FREE novella, published by JLB Creatives Publishing through the Journey to Publication Writing Program.

Boelik has strived to avoid people all of his life. He shouldn’t even exist. But when he hears trouble and lets his conscience take over, his life begins to take on meaning that he never knew it could. And, one day, what he had built up suddenly comes crashing down. 

In anticipation of one more fateful day, Boelik sits out centuries. Travelling from one place to another, he takes up a new life, and, against his better judgement, new friends. Unfortunately, as he’s learned, nothing lasts forever.

Why not join us in extending a warm welcome to Amy? We invite you to leave a comment of welcome, congratulations, or cheers on joining the professional team of JLB Creatives Publishing as of June 13, 2016.

JLB Creatives

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JLB Creatives Blog Hosts
JLB Creatives Editor Dar Bagby (L) and JLB Creatives CEO Janet Beasley (R)