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Throwback Thursday: Scary Witch Tongue

Jeannie M. Bushnell at five years old with Halloween witch mask.

Miley Cyrus has nothing on the five year old version of Jeannie. I dropped the scary witch mask and decided to stick out my tongue. Apparently, this was a more terrifying image to me than the mask. I find that mask disturbing today, and I cannot imagine what would make me choose it as a child. I do have an affection for a bushy eyebrow; perhaps this was the inception.


Jeannie M. Bushnell at five years old with Halloween witch mask.

Jeannie M. Bushnell, 5 years old @ Halloween

I love that my hair blends in with the field behind me.

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Throwback Thursday: Halloween as Dolly Parton

JMBushnell as Dolly Parton

I was raised in a house of country music. I can sing along to all the “vintage” tunes of the likes of Dolly, Conway Twitty, Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, Jeannie C. Riley, and the rest of the musical brat pack of their day.

For my first ever “Throwback Thursday,” I give you me, age 9, as Dolly Parton, complete with wig and false eyelashes. This is one of the few times I’ve ever been photographed with dangling earrings. I have always preferred studs–stud earrings.

 JMBushnell as Dolly Parton

This was taken at my elementary school, Toler Elementary in Garland, Texas. I believe the school held a Halloween party for the students.

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Biting Into the New Adult Romance Genre: Manual Exposure

book cover for New Adult Romance Manual Exposure Jeannie M. Bushnell

The first chapter of my manuscript, “Manual Exposure,” is available (free of charge) for you to read at Harlequin’s annual “So You Think You Can Write” writing contest, on the Wattpad site. The contest is open to writers wishing to publish in the “New Adult” Romance genre. The new genre is about the time in our lives when we are, simply, new adults (ages 18 -25).

book cover for New Adult Romance Manual Exposure Jeannie M. Bushnell
I created this book cover! I captured the mountains in the fall of 2011.



You must be logged in to a Wattpad account in order to vote! I appreciate your support!

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Writing Buffet: My Eyes Are Bigger Than My Stomach


My father loved buffets. He loved the variety of food, and he enjoyed the opportunity to stuff oneself until the desire to be rolled out of the restaurant overcame the ability to walk. I never liked to make repeated trips to the buffet, so I had a tendency to pile one plate high with my choice of nibbles.

“Remember, your eyes are bigger than your stomach,” he’d chastise when he saw me attempting to balance one more serving atop a mound of food. He neither wanted to waste food, nor did he want me to become ill from overeating. I never had to worry about either of those problems. My parents, who claimed they had reached their fill, would pick at my plate and eat the remainders.

I am in the middle of a writing buffet, and my eyes are definitely bigger than my stomach. After declaring that I would throw my hat into the ring for the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) writing competition, I have been stumbling across loads of other interesting contests and writing opportunities. My calendar from the end of September until the first of December is packed with the promise of writing two books (minimum of 50,000 words each), and editing a completed short story to transform into an e-book.

My father would be both proud and filled with concern. He’d warn me to get enough sleep, eat well, and take some time for fun. He would also know how important this is to me, give my shoulder a strong shake, and grin at me. He’d say, “Get to it!”

Off I go, attempting to balance my overloaded plate. I’m hungry for this work, and I aim to devour it, leaving nothing unfinished behind.

Thanks for coming along on my journey.


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Spring Into A Good Book

book by W. Houghton


Forgive me. Yes, I should love spring. Spring has its benefits–my yard chipmunks begin to frolic and play, the robins return to their favorite feeders, and the winter that continually covered the ground in ice has been defeated. Yes, there are positive aspects.

Then, there are those spring rituals and problems that I’d rather do without. The grass needs mowing, trees and shrubs call for pruning, an old house has drainage and flooding issues, and my sinus cavities are invaded and react violently to the blooming bounty of spring.

I’d rather stay inside and read a bit.

Like most book lovers, I find it difficult to say no to any homeless book. I have multiple copies of my favorites and just can’t seem to stop purchasing anthologies of literature. I hated lugging those things all over campus and yet am compelled to fill my bookshelves with them now.

While I still find the actual smell and weight of a book comforting, I do enjoy reading books online. Here are a few of my favorite places to turn to when in need of a good book (distraction).

Project Gutenberg: So old school it’s new again. Over 27,000 entries to tempt you.

LibriVox: While most audiobooks seem to relax me and lull me to sleep, I do enjoy them. Free audiobooks and you can volunteer to record chapters. I vow to volunteer at some point during the year. I will, I really will.

Bibliomania: Should your online reading hit a wall and you find yourself struggling, these guides can help you.

World eBook Fair: July 4th – August 4th, 2009 – You’ll have 1.5 million eBooks at your disposal. Pace yourself, you only get a month of free access. Annual membership is $8.95.

Any links you would like to share?


Country Walks of a Naturalist with His Children by W. Houghton @ Project Gutenberg