Monthly Archives: January 2014

Staycation – Washington Style

Have you ever tried a staycation? As a travel blogger I have learned to appreciate the word go as well as stay.  One of my favorite forms of a staycation is my day – I call it a “Jan Day.” So what does a “Jan Day” look like?

When I really feel the travel bug biting and I really want to go but I can’t go I have a Jan Day – It is all about me. Sometimes it is due to lack of vacation time off, wrong time of year, lack of funds or I am saving for a particular trip. Just recently I felt the need for some battery charging adventure but I only had the weekend off. Meanwhile I am saving for a trip to Hawaii. So what’s a girl to do?

Luck for me I live in Northern Virginia. Quick internet search tells me there is an exhibit at The National Gallery of Art in Washington DC of “The Dying Gaul.” It is a statue that had not left Italy since 1797. It is a beautiful work of art. The exhibit is through March 26, 2014,

The next step on my Jan day was to have some food from a foreign country so that I could feel like I actually went somewhere even though I was never more than thirty minutes from home. For me that meant Ethiopian food. There is a great Ethiopian restaurant in Centreville, Virginia called Manna Bistro, . I really found it very authentic. I lived in Ethiopia for many years as a child and have always loved the food.  I asked for my meal to be served in the traditional manner, which means on top of Injera, a flatbread that also serves as your utensils. Don’t worry they have utensils too. If you like spicy and want an adventure for your taste buds as for Dura Watt. It is a spicy chicken dish that will be served with a hardboiled egg in it, it is my favorite. All the vegetables are excellent as well.

For Cindy


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Cindy Brookshire – Guest Blogger


Thanks, Jan, for letting me stop and visit your blog today. Jan and I are fellow members of Write by the Rails, and she also helped me as a home health nurse when I was recovering from a knee replacement last summer.

At one of our Write by the Rails meetings, I had the pleasure of hearing Jan read an excerpt from of a piece she wrote about being a camp nurse. It made me think about my friend, Kathleen McClelland, who is now a certified nurse midwife at Manassas Midwifery & Women’s Health Center, and used to be a camp nurse at Camp Glenkirk in Bristow, Virginia. Camp Glenkirk doesn’t exist anymore. The land was sold and part of it is now a housing development. But while it still existed, Kathleen secured permission to use the camp lodge for her winter wedding to Dan Nellis, who is now an outdoor educator at The EDGE at George Mason University. Kathleen decorated the walls of the lodge with borrowed quilts. She wore her mother’s wedding dress from the 1950s. During the ceremony, the bell choir from her family’s church played the music. For the reception, we ate hot soup and bread, apple pie and then danced, danced and danced to a live square dance caller and band. When we left, one of my best memories was driving away through the camp woods and looking back at the lodge and, seeing through the windows that people were still dancing, dancing, dancing and having a good time. On February 14, Kathleen and Dan will celebrate their 21st wedding anniversary.


Photo:  Dan Nellis and Kathleen McClelland

I’m sorry Camp Glenkirk isn’t a place you can visit anymore, except in the minds and memories of those who shared time there. If you go on Facebook, yes, you can probably find a group that remembers Camp Glenkirk with their memories and photos. But there’s nothing like walking the paths again.

One last note before I move on, Jan.  I also visited Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Monument back in 1984. Korczak had a vision of not just the sculpture, but also a Native American university there – it’s been 30 years. I hope his full vision will be realized one day, though I realize it may be many more generations before his descendants see it through.  Happy and safe travels, Jan!

Cindy Brookshire

Freelance Writer/Editor



Proud Member of:



Categories: Travel, Write By the Rails 2014 Blog Tour | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Guest Blogger – Kristy Gillespie author of JADED

I entered JADED in the Swoon Reads competition. The blurb on their website
says:   “Swoon Reads is a teen romance imprint publishing under Feiwel and Friends, an imprint of Macmillan.

Swoon Reads is dedicated to publishing books that capture the intensity of teen love. More than an imprint, Swoon Reads is a community – one whose members are included in every step of the publishing process. We open the doors for writers and readers to discover the best, most Swoon-worthy teen romance novels and make their voices heard. Together, we publish love stories you will want to read over and over again.”

JADED is currently in 5th place out of 180 manuscripts and Tuesday, January 28 is the last day to read, rate, and comment on it. Here’s the link:
Link to my blog, Keep Calm & Write On:
Twitter: @KFGillespie
Categories: Write By the Rails 2014 Blog Tour | 1 Comment

Write By the Rails Endless Possibilities Blog Tour 2014!


Write by the Rails – the Prince William Chapter of the Virginia Writers Club:

Endless Blog Tour 2014: 16 members of Write By the Rails are participating in the 2014 blog tour which will run for the next 8 weeks!

List of Participants & Their Blogs/Websites:

1. Stacia Kelly-

2. Nick Kelly-

3. Tamela J. Ritter-

4. Katherine Gotthardt-

5. Dan Verner-

6. Cindy Brookshire-

7. Patricia Daly-Lipe-

8. Yours Truly – Jan Rayl-

9. Kristy Feltenberger Gillespie

10. Angela Bryce-

11. Shay Seaborne-

12.  Mary Rosenthol-

13. Nancy S. Kyme-

14. Linda S. Johnston-

15. Tee Morris-

16. Phillippa Ballantine-

Look for exciting posts from each of these visitors on my blog!


Categories: Write By the Rails 2014 Blog Tour | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

The Harbinger by Jonathan Cahn

The Harbinger

The Harbinger has been on the New York Times Best Seller list. This prestigious award in and of itself makes it a bit daunting to write a review at times. However, I shall take the plunge.  I was skeptical if I would like reading this book and the prophetic connections to 9/11. I decided to take the challenge – “The Harbinger by Jonathan Cahn fiction or prophecy?” This book is written in such a way that it will continue to make you wonder about the answer to this question long after the last page is turned. I believe our countries founding fathers were men of deep Christian faith. I do believe that America was founded for freedom OF religion and not freedom FROM religion. Given that this is the lens through which I see, I can buy into the overarching premise that America has wandered from God. I believe that this book makes us look at what the impact of that drifting and running from God. What is the impact not only as a nation but as individuals?

As to some of the other messages in the book about the exact nature of the prophecy I will encourage you to read and enjoy thinking them through for yourself.  I did find this book well written and it leads me to some thought provoking ponderings. I think we each have to ponder how are we doing in our personal relationship with God? What are the eternal consequences of our choices on earth? If I call myself a Christian what are my responsibilities in holding true to my faith? Are my beliefs not just responsible for my personal eternity but for my countries destiny?

Sometimes I feel like we are living in a test. Having a Christian perspective in a time that honors the individual and wants to respect all choices can be very grueling. If I choose to say that anything is against my belief as a Christian I am seen as disrespecting other points of view. If someone expresses a non-Christian point of view they are see as condemning and yet they can impact my choices – school prayer rings a bell here. However, if someone expresses a point of view I differ with I am seen as narrow-minded. How can it be? Can we value a difference of opinion without disagreeing on what God’s word says? I am throwing some of these questions out there because that is where this book has led my mind. I invite you to take up the challenge and see where it leads your mind. All in all I come down on the side of both, some fact with some fiction thrown in. Read the book and post a comment so I can consider your point of view about this book.

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