Friday, October 30, 2015


Hillary Clinton made the phrase “It takes a village to raise a child” famous. She stole it from an old African village but . . . well . . . that’s a worry for another blog, and I’ve got a couple of questions for Bill’s wife.

What village? Whose village? Big village? Small village? City village? Country village? And what should the village do with the villagers who can’t keep their drunken tally whackers in their nasty pants, making babies they have no intention of buying insurance for . . . 

But mostly . . . what’s a village? Please define.

From a really, really recognizable source of information that no one lets you use in college when you write an essay: “Although many patterns of village life have existed, the typical village was small, consisting of perhaps 5 to 30 families. Homes were situated together for sociability and defense, and land surrounding the living quarters was farmed.”

Hmmmm . . . families . . . extended families: so a village is mom, dad, brother, sister, grandma, grandpa and crazy Aunt Maud. Interesting. But I’m afraid I have some bad news. Young villagers aren’t so village minded these days.

One fine day in college, while contemplating the coming Thanksgiving break, I listened to some fine young students talk about heading home to—you guessed it—the village that spawned them.

One young man said, “I’m going home, but it’s bu!!$&*#. I hate my family. But hey, they’re paying my bills.”

My immediate thought? And another village bites the dust.

Villages are closely related people who care about and worry for the health, wealth, and happiness of the next generation of villagers. Boys were valued for their ability to battle off soccer hooligans. Girls were valued for just about everything else. Adults imparted culture. Older members imparted wisdom and opportunities for service. No one went on a cruise.

Not only were villages efficient, they were also tough. Villagers who proved to be idiots were often displayed in public stocks, allowing the other villagers—on their way to milk goats or weave something—to express their displeasure by tossing verbal barbs or horse crap at the idiot. Hard work was lauded. Idiots included: adulterers, liars, thieves, slack-jawed losers, and hooligans. 

Villages that practiced slack-jawed laziness became extinct like the giant sloth. No one bailed them out. To deal with the worry and the insecurity and the global climate shenanigans the village went to church on Sunday, and they did pretty well. 

They drank raw milk. They ate free-range eggs, and they stored up roots for winter soup. They didn’t live as long as we do—true. But they did manage to give birth to and educate some fairly impressive individuals who managed to realize that the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness does not come from the village at all but from some greater, more permanent source: God and Nature’s God.

I say, “Bring back the village and the public stocks.” I’ll provide the horse pucky.

Linda (Shame on You) Zern

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

[Y]otes For Women

Valentine’s Day is for lovers.

Halloween is for dreamers and doers. People dress up as the people they dream of being and dream of doing. That sounded better in my head.

It’s my favorite. I love dressing up. This year I went as . . . well . . . a figure (a type, a kind) from history, not a person from history, but a figure from history. 

This year I went as a turn of the century suffragette. 

Two people knew the word.

One person thought I was a cowboy. Alcohol was NOT being served at the party I attended.

Most people, who guessed close, knew that I had something to do with Mary Poppins.

One individual thought my sash read “Yotes” not “Votes.”

I confess that the iron-on V looks a lot like the iron-on Y.

One gentleman thought that my sash was a plea to elect a woman for president and was a little bit hostile about it. It got me to thinking about the importance of history and prepositions and the history of prepositions. 

My sash read: Votes FOR Women. (It was once illegal in this country for women to cast a ballot. Suffrage is the right to vote. Thus suffragettes.)

It did not read: Vote FOR A Woman. 

Or: Vote OF Women.

Or: Vote THROUGH Women.

Or: Vote ABOUT Women.

Or: Vote UP Women.


Nothing wrong with that. Right? 

Like the song says, “Our daughter’s daughters will adore us, as we sing in grateful chorus, ‘Well done! Well done! Sister Suffragettes!”

Mostly, I went as an indictment of the public school system! And that’s the scariest monster of them all.

Linda (One Women, One Vote) Zern



Sunday, October 25, 2015


I knew when I put the DVD in the shopping cart with the plastic storage bin that the DVD was going to slide under the storage bin. I knew that I would forget about the DVD once it disappeared under the storage bin, and I knew that I would neglect to pay for it. 

I said to myself, “You’re going to forget about that DVD and be accused of shoplifting by the little old lady that guards the door at the Walmart.”

I did and I was.

I knew that Conner was going to be stung by the bumble bees that darted hither and thither among the herb plants. 

"Conner,” I said, “You’re going to get stung by that bumble bee if you touch it.” 

His eyes narrowed and his determination hardened. 

“Don’t do it, buddy. I mean it. Don’t grab that . . . bee.” 

He inched closer to the bees his hands clenching and unclenching. “Conner, you’re going to be sor . . .” I closed my mouth and saved my breath, because I am fifty plus years old and I know when a kid is about to get the snot stung out of him by a bumble bee.

I knew, and he did.

“Sherwood, don’t you think having an extra bottle of propane on hand might be a good idea to prevent grilling emergencies? You know, just in case?” 

My husband’s eyes narrowed and his resistance hardened. I knew that he would not be purchasing an extra bottle of emergency propane, and he didn’t. So when he ran out of gas for the grill at Conner’s birthday party, with approximately seventy-two people standing around with their hotdog buns open and their mustard crusting over, I realized that being right all the time reeks. It’s a useless talent.

Better to spend your days ignoring people and do what ever you want to do anyway—like the government.

Linda (Told You So) Zern 

Friday, October 23, 2015



Here's a fun screenshot of page one when you google the word MOONCALF! How fun.  

Monday, October 19, 2015

Sleep Walking Dead

“Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them—in order that the reader may see what they are made of.” Kurt Vonnegut 

I am an artist. My husband is an engineer. We are different. We like different things.

See Jane watch “The Walking Dead.”

See Dick watch “The Andy Griffith Show.”

See Spot run from a zombie Barney Fife. 

We recently invested in the Roku version of entertainment. It’s another computery machine that allows you to watch your favorite television shows in an orgy of endless viewing. Commercial free. Interruption low. 

See Jane fall asleep to re-runs of “The Walking Dead.”

See Dick in the middle of the night flip the Roku machine over to re-runs of “The Andy Griffith Show.”

See Spot scratch.

While my husband and I are different in our viewing tastes in television, we are alike in age. We are old-ish. We are becoming acquainted with not sleeping and waking up at two in the morning for nightly wanderings. We have a lifetime of stupid and embarrassing memories that torment us as we try to sleep. 

Falling asleep to episodes of “The Walking Dead” distracts our bad memory brains. So it’s nothing to fall asleep to zombies eating everyone and then wake up to Barney Fife and his one bullet. 

See Jane toss and turn.

See Dick stumble around, change the channel, and fall asleep just in time to start snoring.

See Spot twitch in her sleep. See Spot chase zombie bunnies in her dreams.

I love “The Walking Dead.” It’s about characters that the writers are constantly throwing into a pit of writhing, zombie snakes and then daring them to find a way out. It’s Kurt Vonnegut’s writing advice on steroids. I appreciate that. 

Honestly, “The Andy Griffith’ Show” isn’t all that different. How will Andy and Barney ever tell Aunt Bee that her pickles are NEVER going to win a prize at the country fair because her pickles are absolutely terrible? Same concept. “No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them.”

Hey! It’s practically the same show. Maybe my husband and I aren’t so different after all?

Linda (Dream Weaver) Zern

Friday, October 16, 2015


Meet the Authors. Meet the fans. Phoenix H. showing off her "Favorite Author" project for her school!  You make this author happy!!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Call Me Dawn

Wearing a lot of hats makes my head sweaty.

To “wear many hats” is an idiomatic expression. Idiomatic is a word that means expressions for idiots. An idiot is a person who wouldn’t be able to remember his or her head if it wasn’t attached, and to “wear a lot of hats,” on the head that is attached to you, means you have a lot of jobs and maybe you’re not an idiot. 

My head is sweaty a lot.

Consider this post a disclaimer and an explanation. Here’s a few of the hats I wear:

The YaYa Hat: It’s a big floppy hat that I bought in South Korea at the de-militarized zone. It’s the hat I wear, physically and metaphysically, when I have to listen to 101 thousand knock-knock jokes that make absolutely no sense in any reality—ever.

The Wife Hat: Hasn’t arrived yet. I just ordered it on Amazon. 

The Foreman Hat: It’s a Texas A&M ball cap that I stole from my oldest son because he had it broken in perfectly. I wear it to keep the sun from eating off the end of my nose when I’m mowing . . . everything, everywhere, all the time. 

The Author Hat: It’s imaginary and changes color every time I write a new paragraph.

The Book Marketer Hat: It’s shaped like a dunces cap because of the endless learning curve required in the shifting, evolving world of selling books.

The My-Name-Is-Dawn Hat: Worn at yoga, it has the name Dawn embroidered on it, apparently. My yoga instructor calls me Dawn. I’ve told her my name isn’t Dawn, but she . . . well . . . insists on calling me Dawn. So, that’s that. Dawn is my yoga name. Dawn it is. Sigh. When I go to Zumba my name is Conchita. 

The Primary President Hat: Primary is our Sunday School/Children’s Program at my church. I’m the president. There are about seventy children on the rolls in our program. This hat is made of puppets and stickers.

The Community Volunteer Hat: It’s a riding helmet. 

The Science Club Leader Hat: This isn’t a hat as much as it is a butterfly net and a jar with holes poked in the lid.

Blogger Hat: For years and years, I’ve worn a hat that resembles Clark Kent’s fedora. As I watch and gather information for the blogs that I participate in (serious) and (silly) I try to look like the mild mannered reporter. Once in a while, I take Clark’s hat off and I put on a cape. No hat required.

I thought when I got older there would be less hats.

Linda (Mad Hatter) Zern

Monday, October 12, 2015

CELEBRATING (4.9 out of 5.0 STARS)




"Beyond the Strandline is paced well and keeps you on the edge of your seat. I found myself engrossed in the story line, loving the characters, the dark relationships, and their complexities. Not only were they all fighting to stay alive, they are constantly battling their own unique inner demons from the past. Linda's writing is believable and engaging, without being too descriptively bloody, sexual, or vulgar, which is unique within today's writing styles. Quite honestly, that's a refreshing change and compelling in and of itself. It's a story of loyalty, tenderness, journey and a warning of what the "natural man" is capable of, if unbridled. Don't pass up this exceptional book, it doesn't disappoint." (Phillip S.)

Neighbor Dog Blues - Here We Go Again!

A pit bull puppy/dog loped around our yard wagging his tail, wee-weeing on blades of grass, and sniffing random butts.

“Oh great, someone’s dumped off another dog,” my husband said.

Note:  It’s a problem for folks “out in the country.” People figure that the kindly country folks will take in random kittens, cats, parrots, and pit bulls and let them live in their barns where the abandoned animals will write best selling books about their travails and adventures. Then these people (presumably) lie to their children claiming, “Hitler ran away.”

The suspect puppy/dog continued to frolic about. His enormous boy-dog parts bouncing wildly.

“Nope,” I said. “That’s the neighbor’s dog.” The young, happy-go-lucky puppy/dog sniffed my butt. “I don’t see this ending well.”

The pit bull squeezed under our fence into our neighbor’s pasture. A pasture stuffed with baby goats and baby sheep. Our horses stamped nervously. The duck peeked over the rim of his three hundred and fifty gallon water tank.

A week later in the dark of night, I came home from school and walked onto our back porch and gagged. The smell made me start speculating as only a writer can.

To no one in particular I huffed, “Good grief, someone’s been murdered on my back porch and everything that should be on the inside of a body is now on the outside of the body.”

I stepped lightly. I didn’t want to mess up the DNA evidence. Snapping the back porch lights on I realized we had been dog slimmed. Our neighbor’s happy-go-lucky puppy/dog had punched through the porch screen, jumped onto a private porch, and pooped once, twice, and then—for good measure—three times.  I lost count of the puddles of happy-go-lucky puppy/dog pee. There was a steaming pile of dog stuff on a couch pillow.

Our dogs stared at me from behind window glass. Ploodle, the Yorkshire terrier, rolled his eyes and shrugged.

“Oh man, this is not going to end well.”

While chatting with our neighbor about the neighborhood dog trouble, which was really not a dog issue but an owner issue, happy-go-lucky pit bull puppy/dog hopped into our duck pool and grabbed our duck by its skinny duck neck. His tail never stopped wagging—the dog’s tail not the duck’s. I screamed and ran for the phone and a leash.

The duck survived. The dog was arrested. And the dog’s owner spent the Fourth of July shooting his gun at . . . something . . . from his back porch.

He practiced all day long.

“Do you think that guy knows I ratted out his dog?” I asked my husband. “How big do you think his gun is? Do you think he’s a better shot than me? How much do you think bulletproof vests are? Do you think a bulletproof vest would make me look fat? Should I invest in a Gatling gun for the roof of the house? How soon so you think you’ll remarry?”

I ran out of breath. He considered.

“He suspects. It’s a forty-five. Probably. They ain’t cheap. They make everyone look thick. No. I’ll probably bring a date to the funeral.”

“Smart guy, statistics show that the sooner a man remarries after becoming a widower indicates how happy he was in his marriage. You must be delirious with happiness.”

“You know it.”

“Well, I wouldn’t remarry. I’m just going to sit around and wait for someone to drop off a parrot or a monkey or ten cats for companionship.”

He smiled. When night fell, our neighbor put his gun away and pulled out a grenade launcher. I started to stack sand bags around the duck pool.

Linda (Bullet Proof) Zern

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Beyond The Strandline by Linda L. Zern

Beyond The Strandline

by Linda L. Zern

Giveaway ends November 08, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Friday, October 9, 2015


You're invited:  Join me on Facebook   or Twitter  or Goodreads or my website  or . . . my author page 

Linda L. Zern

A- Age: Between pimples and coffin.
B- Biggest Fear: Being in a car under the water. 
C- Current Time: 2:09 am 
D- Drink you last had: Strawberry Lemonade 
E- Easiest Person To Talk to: BFF 
F- Favorite Song: A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes
G- Ghosts, are they real: Constantly Real! They follow me around.
H- Hometown: Orlando
I- In love with: Sherwood Zern
J- Jealous of: My Grandkid's skin!
K- Killed Someone?: Only in my dreams.
L- Last time you cried?: I'm crying right now.
M- Middle Name: Lee - like the General
N- Number of Siblings: One and One
O- One Wish: That Glen Beck would read one of my books!
P- Person who you last called: BFF
Q- Question you're always asked: When was your last pap smear?
R- Reason to smile: Butterflies
S- Song last sang: Primary Songs - All
T- Time you woke up: 1:00am
U- Underwear Color: Brand New
V- Vacation Destination: The Cayman Islands
W- Worst Habit: Reading in the Tub
X- X-Rays you've had: No Thanks
Y- Your favorite food: My Fried Chicken
Z- Zodiac Sign: The Cool One 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

GOODREADS GIVEAWAY: Beyond the Strandline STARTS TODAY!!!!!!!

Linda L. Zern's books on Goodreads


reviews: 10

ratings: 16 (avg rating 4.25)

Beyond The Strandline
Beyond The Strandline

reviews: 10

ratings: 11 (avg rating 4.45)

ZippityZern's:  A Collage
ZippityZern's: A Collage

ratings: 1 (avg rating 5.00)

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Boys of the Strandline


The characters are powerful and dramatic, yet believable--and they take turns being important, which is engaging. (Brad H.)

 This is a well-written, unique and adventurous tale for all. (Nathan S.)

 Beyond the Strandline is one of the best books I've read in a long time!! (Scott S.)

 A well-told tale with characters you'll care about in a scenario that's frighteningly plausible. (David D.)

 I, who grew up on a steady diet of science fiction, monster movies, adventure, Jack Reacher type novels and the like, was immediately drawn into this tale. A very satisfying read. I hope there will be sequels in the very near future! Linda is a great writer! (Tom B.)

 This book has a little something for everyone, action, romance, suspense. (Tracy D.)

 This is a unique story with three-dimensional characters that live and breathe, and it's a story worth experiencing. (Adam Z.)

Sunday, October 4, 2015


It started with the goats. No! A goat. One goat. It started with Tramp the Lovelorn goat. He got his head stuck in the fence trying to make love to the neighbor’s girl goats. So I tried to move the goats around to a new pasture but they kept getting out. 

So I worried. I worried they were out and wandering the neighborhood with their heads stuck in fences and knotholes under the blood moon and that made me start to wander around in the middle of the night with a flashlight looking for stuck goats. 

It distracted me, so much so that one morning I got up and found the front door open—wide open—swinging wide open. I think the goats unlocked it.

Later that day, still worried and completely distracted, I mowed the yard. When I came into the house—the faucet was running full blast and the fridge door was hanging wide open. I couldn’t remember being hungry or thirsty. Goats stared at me through the kitchen window—bawling.

Sleep eluded me. I began to move through the days like a zombie, the nights like a banshee.

My truck broke down: five days and five hundred dollars later and the pickup was liberated. The fridge started to wheeze: the sensor was going; the official seventy-five dollar diagnosis? It’s going to crap out. Went to the doctor, so that she could use the word polyp in a sentence.

On overload, I missed a really important family event—no, make that—two REALLY important family events. I called my husband on his business trip in hysterics. He thought someone had been killed in a car accident.

“I missed the baby’s blessing,” I screamed. “The kid’s primary program. I was so tired. I was on zombie auto-pilot.” The rest was wailing, weeping, and goats yowling in the distance.

From Costa Rica my husband dove right into the heart of . . . my darkness. “What???? The primary program????? I thought someone had died in a fire. You forgot? If that’s the worst thing you ever do. Relax.”

A red haze of disbelief filmed/fogged/sloshed through my brain. “The. Worst. Thing . . . That’s it? That’s your idea of empathy?”

I said something to him that we tell the kids never to say to anyone, and then I hung up on him. It felt good. I’m not going to lie.

Today, I got up at three in the morning and put two pork roasts in the crock-pot for a dinner party that isn’t supposed to happen until next week. 

Truthfully, it may not be the goat’s fault.

Linda (Foggy Top) Zern 

How to Collect Leaf Sweat and not Die of Thirst

Join Mindy, Linda & Lisa and find out how to be the cool, hero girl who knows what to do in the middle of the craziness.

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