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Launching my latest book

Matthew Wright

The thing about book launches is that they don’t happen very often – not for me. I had my first one yesterday in about 15 years.

Giving a talk at Messines Bookshop during the launch. Those are copies of my book on the counter to the left…

It all went off very well. The people who turned up were a great bunch, nice to talk to, and everything went very well indeed. It was a wonderful afternoon. I even gave a short talk on the meanings of the war for New Zealand, which I made up on the spot. And there was a short Q&A afterwards on the thorny issue of the Gallipoli participation rate (we don’t actually know how many Kiwis went).

Why are they so rare for me? I’ve written plenty of books in that time (the list’s here) – but I haven’t had any ‘launches’…

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Why are Sneezes so Different?

This was on Reader’s Digest BY CLAIRE NOWAK. I highly recommend you visit their other site about the weird facts on sneezing. I don’t know how valuable this information will be in everyday life, but I’m always looking for oddities to bring my characters to life. I plan to check out the one about sneezing noises. It sounds promising for a character. A goofball sneeze might be just the thing to add a comic twist – A handsome young man meets the girl of his dreams, but she’s got an odd high-pitched voice then makes a weird sound as she sneezes all his suit. Or, a guy is in the hallway looking for the office he needs for a job interview. A beautiful woman comes by and he asks her. She sneezes three times in rapid succession and snatches his handkerchief out of his suit jacket pocket. That was his lucky handkerchief and he doesn’t get the job so he blames her. Okay, they both need work, but it’s a start. Enjoy. ~ Connie

We all sneeze for the same reason. When irritants like dust, animal dander, and pollen get into our noses, the brain sends a signal to get rid of them. We take a deep breath, our chest muscles tighten, pressure pushes our tongues to the roof of the mouth, and then the air forcefully leaves through our noses. Voila, a sneeze.
That doesn’t mean all sneezes are the same though. The way that a sneeze sounds is determined by multiple factors; the most basic one is anatomy. The noise a sneeze makes depends on how the air exists your nose and mouth, so the size of your nostrils can affect how loud it is. People with a larger lung capacity generally have bigger sneezes because they can take in and let out more air. If someone has multiple sneezes in succession, that just means a single sneeze couldn’t clear out all of the irritants. (Check out these 12 weird facts about sneezing.)
A more surprising influence on how people sneeze is their personalities. Patti Wood, a spokesperson for Benadryl, conducted a study of more than 500 people called the Benadryl Sneeze Analysis and determined that there are four types of sneezes, each linked to a certain personality. They are…
The Nice or Sensitive Sneezer: This person typically sneezes only once and turns away from other people when it happens. He or she works to avoid conflict, values relationships, and has a nurturing, supportive attitude.
The Be Right Sneezer: This person is more likely to cover his or her mouth during a sneeze than other sneezers. He or she is careful and precise, spending a lot of time thinking about what to say before actually saying it.
The Get It Done Sneezer: This person holds in sneezes if possible (which is actually a very bad idea) and has especially loud sneezes. He or she is a decisive leader who works quickly to get things accomplished as fast and efficiently as possible.
The Enthusiastic Sneezer: This person makes a big deal out of a sneeze so other people will notice, whether it’s extra loud, funny-sounding, or involves multiple sneezes. He or she is charismatic, spontaneous, and not afraid to vocalize his or her feelings.
Our surroundings can also change how we sneeze. According to Wood’s findings, 45 percent of participants said their sneezes in public sound different from their sneezes in private, primarily because they don’t want to disturb anyone around them.
Now that you know how and why you sneeze, don’t forget to say “Bless you”—or one of its international variants—when you hear one.

More: Everyday Wellness   The Human Brain   Who Knew

Hang on to the Vine (and do not let go!)

I thought this made a perfect Faith Filled Friday blog. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. ~ Connie

Heather C. King - Room to Breathe

It was an epic battle.

I still even bear the scars all the way down both of my arms and it’s been a week since the fighting ceased.


Vines, I tell you!

My husband and I have been cleaning out the overgrown hedges beside our home and tangled in these branches beyond our wildest expectation were these pesky, stubborn, unbelievable vines.

Some of them were spindly and fairly easy to yank out.  Others had grown into monstrous, tree-trunk-sized plants that had to be sawed out of there.

We had to untwist each of the branches where they wound around the bushes.  Then we had to yank out the roots wherever they had clamped down into the earth.  They splayed off into every direction and created one gigantic tangled mess.

I started calling them demon vines.  They certainly felt possessed with evil.

But they have given me an entirely different…

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Living in the Past?

My Forgotten Hobby

I am not living in the past. I am just remembering the past.

Remembering is something I just can’t over with just like writing about the past.

This is an update about my P-61 Black Widow I built which someone will always remember.


It all started when I asked my readers to choose the next project. The Black Widow won hands down.

It was GP’s favorite plane…

Then I had this plan about GP’s favorite plane.

Packing the Black Widow and shipping it to GP in a box within a box.


I did not have time to take pictures on how I packed it so I asked GP to take pictures.

This is the end result.


The box


The box within the box




The Black Widow arrived safety except for a broken strut which GP repaired gingerly.


Next time on this blog…


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Everything is spiritual…

A Blessed Easter to all. ~ Connie

loon watchman

Nothing in this world (concerning the human race) is ever just physiological or psychological. At the core of every issue is a spiritual reality. And that is why merely physical and psychological and educational and political methods will never be enough to deliver humanity from its many problems.

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood…” (Ephesians 6:12)

“‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.”(Zechariah 4:6)

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Celebrating my 48th Wedding Anniversary

Forty-eight years! My husband and I both are amazed we made it this far. My sister could not find what marks the 48th wedding so we’re simply doing our thing. Jack and I had breakfast with our friend Rebecca then went shopping. We plan to have our anniversary dinner at The Farmer’s Table on April 28. This is through Greenwood Uptown Market and being prepared by chefs from the Montague Restaurant and the Inn on the Square. The food they’re using comes from our local farmers.

As promised, here is the poem I wrote for my husband. I had it enlarged and framed. It not sits on the mantle in the dining room. Jack likes it there because it’s at eye level and he can stop to read it on the way to the kitchen.

Anniversary Poem  by Connie Terpack

I don’t know his favorite color
But I do know he doesn’t like pink
Flowers are fine in a vase
But not on the bedroom sheets

He’ll take a Pepsi, not ever a Coke
Green beans or broccoli, never spinach
He eats when he likes and is a good cook
But sometimes meals can be a headache

His favorite fish is cod
Baked, breaded or fried
He won’t touch liver and onions
No matter how hard I’ve tried

A gallon of milk doesn’t last long
The coffee pot runs all day
Beer and sweet tea are also fine
A plain glass of water – no way!

We don’t go out as often as we used to
Old age is slowing us down
Because of our forgetfulness
We still make frequent trips to town

He likes hugs and kisses as much as I do
He puts up with my quirks as well
Our love has grown deeper over the years
That makes our life, ah, simply swell

The time has gone by so fast
It’s hard to believe that it’s been 48 years
Years filled with many joys and blessings
Children, family, and a few tears

As always, all my love

Faith Filled Friday: Fastest Sermon Ever!

None of us like to sit for hours listening to a sermon, me included. It amazed me that so much could be said so quickly.  I got this in an email from a friend of mine back in January, but I don’t think I’ve shared it before. If I did, no matter. This is such a delight, it’s worth watching again. Have a blessed day. ~ Connie


This lady can say more in 1 minute than I can say in two days! It’s a one 
minute  39 seconds sermon.

Why should it take any longer?
This is great. I’m sure you’ll enjoy watching it as much as I did.