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Corvette. The very name brings a picture of speed and thrilling chases. Corvette is luxury and comfort. Corvette is a car that means style. The two are not mutually exclusive but they are synonymous.

This type of history and breeding puts this car into a class of their own and that gives them their own museum, the National Corvette Museum located in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Now you might think that this type of museum wouldn’t see much more excitement than a child attempting to get in one of these beauties and covering it with sticky fingerprints. You would be wrong.

Two months ago there was a huge uproar. Like the figurative stock market’s bottom dropping out, the museum’s floor fell out when a sudden sink hole opened up inside the building. This was no little hole, this was a 40 foot drop that swallowed up eight cars. Two were on loan from General Motors.

Reports say no injuries were reported but that would be to people. Injuries to cars went far beyond bumps and scrapes. These cars pitched forward and one by one fell into each other. It was one Hell of a ride.


Grace Rellie:

Tax Season is here… read this story and you’ll be sure to have someone else do it for you. Remember that Angels have 2 sides and you don’t know which one is inside you until it’s too late. Read this story to find out which one Kimi is. I think she’ll surprise you.

Originally posted on Cary Area Writer's Group:

Product DetailsThe Tax Angel    By DJ Marcussen

She was an angel. He was a lucky guy.  But when her job kicks into high gear, Michael is about to find out that the true test of love isn’t children or in-laws… it’s tax season.

See what others are saying about this new e-book (short story):


By Elizabeth Rye

Format:Kindle Edition

DJ Marcussen’s book The Tax Angel is a delightful and partial representation of what happens to thousands of individuals when tax season comes around. She writes with a witty style that is both concise and entertaining. It is a wonderful read for both the tax professional as well as anyone who has ever endeavored to do their own tax return.Join Michael and his lovely new wife Kimi, a tax accountant workaholic, as they discover that the real test of love and a strong marriage can be found in trust and…

View original 535 more words


When the conditions outside change to reflect the deepened drama of movie sets people find themselves in all types of predicaments. Last September the Chicagoland and outer suburbs experienced rain coming at them all the time with intense force. In some areas whole houses almost found themselves under water as perpetual rain turned into a flood.

That rain turned ordinary taboos into comic situations such as one man walking down the street where Rockwell Street, Elston and Wellington Avenues cross finding himself swept into a Chicago sewer. Driving on the Dan Ryan Expressway that Wednesday night might have resembled a Keystone Cops escapade as drivers drove the wrong way to avoid… wait a minute… water! That night ¼ inch hail and 60 mph winds dampened many a Chicagoan’s humor.

Source: Chicago Tribune Thursday, September 19, 2013, Section 1, Page 8



Going to the mall is about shopping, finding great deals and having an adventure with friends (be they family or friends.) turn the corner and your eyes light up with glee at the sign proclaiming just what you want as 50% off.

This experience was what the shoppers in Huntington New York’s Walt Whitman Mall were expecting. Those people were in for a rude awakening, or should I say sleep? Eternal sleep was the destiny for one person. Another twenty-seven people would recover with the worst hang-over of their lives and they hadn’t even drank an alcoholic beverage.

It was Saturday February 22, 2014 and mall visitors went to the Legal Sea Foods restaurant. In the basement a special was in the making. A water pipe (flue pipe) to the heater broke and carbon monoxide gas built up until it reached the people. It’s toll = 1 dead, 27 injured. End of story. Beware!

Source: Chicago Tribune Monday, February 24, 2014, Section 1, Page 13



Writing a story. Some find it easy, others not so much. There are hundreds of ways to go about it and every one is a maze of ideas and words all jumbled together. Some are accepted and have been for hundreds of years. Others brake the rules and are considered writing abominations. Still, writing for writing’s sake is an art form.

When writing is done by teams, a whole new experience comes alive. Two thoughts of thinking, two styles of writing and endless possibilities are produced. How these unalike minds will mesh together to create the perfect story is pure magic. It doesn’t always work like music team where one writes the melody and the other the lyrics. In writing a story, where there are two writers writing the same story and the same characters the process can easily get confusing.

I’ve heard stories where one writer took one character (the hero) while the other spent his time writing about the villain. That they came up with something seems fantastic but what is even more fantastic is another story I heard. This one was about two men Marcel Allain and Pierre Souvestre with a grilling writing pace. Their story was to be serialized and they had very little time to come up with the whole thing from idea to published article.

Their system was simply to spend one week figuring out who the characters were and roughly mapping out each chapter and giving each a name of its own. The second week was the week of writing. One man took all the odd chapters, the other the even. On week three they each read the chapters wrote by the other and added anything they thought was needed for transitions between the scenes of the two chapters. This version was sent to the publisher and published. They wrote 35 of these novels. The series was known as Fantômas. It’s no wonder that these stories are at times disjointed and slightly redundant but here in lies their charm and their lasting legacy. These stories were written slightly over a hundred years ago and yet they are still being translated from their native French and the concepts within the writing have inspired many future generations in their own story writing, movie scripting and television photoplays.

Today let’s concentrate on writing something, anything down. It doesn’t have to be wonderful; it doesn’t even have to be decent. No one will ever see it unless we let them so let er’ rip. Let the words flow and watch and see how many make sense today as well as tomorrow. You never know. You might have the makings of a novel on your hand.


Grace Rellie:

If you were thinking that you were lost in this whole publishing business than read on. There are some wonderful tips here and some of the mysteries are dispelled too.

Originally posted on Cary Area Writer's Group:

For a long time now, I’ve been listening to writers saying that traditional publishers are intimidated by self-publishing companies.  Quite frankly, it’s beginning to annoy me.

What mostly annoys me is how too many of us have bought that lie.  It’s to their advantage if we keep believing it.  Publishing is a business, after all.  The nature of which is self-serving.  And aren’t we all self-serving?  That’s human nature too, not just the nature of business.  That instinctive, self-preservation exists on all levels – societal, emotional, financial – not just the physical.

But I digress… back to the publishing…

Let’s look at some of the likely steps of buying a book through the traditional model, from the viewpoint of the publisher:

1)  Publishing house has large number of acquisition editors.

2)  Each acquisition editor receives thousands of query letters from authors.  In the case of non-fiction, this may be a…

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All of us who live in a house and have gone outside one morning to find a tiny flag waving in the breeze have asked the same question. Our neighbor next door had some work done to their yard the day before. Did the gardener put it there? Should we call our neighbor and ask? Sometimes we call, sometimes we don’t but invariably when we do the answer we get is, “No. My guy didn’t put it there. I don’t know why it’s there either.”

At this point we begin to circle around it in our head. Is it electric, gas or water? Are they going to be digging? Am I about to have a mud patch for my front lawn? Frustrated and a bit aggravated because no one ever calls to tell us what’s going on. For our own sanity we put the situation out of our mind for the moment but that doesn’t stop us from looking out our window at every heavy motor we hear pass by.

Thanks to a company named Julie Inc. (Illinois one-call System) I now know the answer and can pass the information on to you.


RED = Electric
YELLOW = Gas, Oil or Petroleum
ORANGE = Communications
BLUE = Potable Water
PURPLE = Reclaimed Water, Irrigation
GREEN = Sewer
WHITE = Proposed Excavations
PINK = Temporary Survey

As you can see, it’s all pretty straight forward and thanks to the above key I will know from no on what’s going on on my side of the grass.

If you happen to live in Illinois – Julie Inc. asks that you call them first before you do any digging of your own so you don’t hit something by accident. It’s free. Call at (800) 892-0123 or go to

DJ Marcussen’s book The Tax Angel is a delightful and partial representation of what happens to thousands of individuals when tax season comes around. She writes with a witty style that is both concise and entertaining. It is a wonderful read for both the tax professional as well as anyone who has ever endeavored to do their own tax return.

Join Michael and his lovely new wife Kimi, a tax accountant workaholic, as they discover that the real test of love and a strong marriage can be found in trust and the dozens of scraps of paper we diligently keep for tax purposes that drive us mad. You’re in for a bumpy ride. Enjoy and don’t say you weren’t warned. Tax season can get to be scary. Ask Michael. He’ll tell you.

Currently it is available on



To find out more about this author, visit her at

Another day has dawned and with it has come another tug of war between the seasons. Today’s forecast in my Chicago Midwest calls for showers and some thunderstorms with the coming of night. We are to reach 50 and only have a low of 40. All this seems to contradict the light snow that was falling outside my window at 6:30 this morning. Yet, by 9 this morning the snow had been replaced by light rain. Gone was the dusting of Winter and in was the rebuttal of Spring.
Like all years, Winter is at war with Spring. Snow, frozen soil and gusty winds are Winter’s weapons. In combat Spring brings warm rays of the sun, singing birds and a people who stand behind his coming. In time streams will flow free, shoots of green will spring forth and the natural order of rebirth will begin again.
Soon snow shovels, spray bottles of windshield deicer and boots will be things of the past. In their place will come umbrellas, sunglasses and visors. The great American pass time, Baseball, is right around the corner in only a few short days or weeks we will relish our time outdoors again. Sunday drivers and picnics will soon come. Spring will be here soon and remember to be on guard. Yogi Bear will be on the alert for your Pic-in-ic basket.


As our attention is drawn in by the mystery of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 it brings thoughts of another missing plane that still hasn’t been found to this day. On July 28, 1938 the Pan Am Hawaii Clipper, a giant sea plane took off from Guam. Everything went along as usual with its normal island hopping flight.

The Hawaii Clipper took off from Hawaii for Manila. At 12:11 p.m. the captain radioed Manila to say he was about two hours away. He reported smooth sailing and good weather. A minute later Panay Island an island south of Manila radioed back. They were not answered. They radioed again several times but nothing was on the airways but static. There was no one there. The Hawaii Clipper had vanished.

Unlike most planes that have trouble and need assistance in case of a crash, the sense of urgency was not here for this plane. It was a water plane after all and if something happened over water it could simply land and remain afloat thanks to four watertight bulkheads. Because of this, the search team was not sent out right away. Those in charge of sending out help didn’t see the need. These pilots knew the area well and all such planes were equipped for any unforeseeable accident.

Inside, these planes carried rubber inflatable boats, balloons to drop outside that would show her course on the sea and kites to be used for an emergency radio aerial. They wouldn’t be hungry either. Each plane carried a shotgun and fishing tackle along with enough food for fifteen people to last a month.

Perhaps one of the greatest mysteries in history began when the rescue party set out to find this missing plane. It wasn’t what they found that made the news, it was what they didn’t find. There was no plane, debris, oil or any sign there ever was a plane. The Hawaii Clipper and all fifteen of the lives aboard her were gone. They never were found.

The only thing that we do know was that for one reason alone this was not an ordinary flight. Aboard the plane was one Wah Sun Choy, a New Jersey Chinese-born restaurateur. On his person he carried three million US dollars (Over forty-five million today) to be used for the Chinese War Relief Fund. As President of the Committee, Choy was bringing this money, fundraised by American’s, to the Chinese government. Like the plane, this money was never seen again.

One can only hope that the fate of the Hawaii Clipper is not a mirrored reflection of the missing Malaysia Airline. It would be horrifying to think that history could be so cruel as to repeat herself with the lives of 239 people. The mysterious loss of 15 lives should be enough. No matter what, both of these incidents have our full attention.

To see an informative article regarding other planes that have vanished and never been found please visit:

To read another article that relates to mine please go to:


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