Meet Author Crystal S. Kauffman


Author Crystal 3

About the Author

My name is Crystal S. Kauffman (Pen name: Imogen Rayne). I am a Freelance Author/Poet/Songwriter with 16 years of experience. I have published over 1000 articles online and offline, since I began my writing career. Additionally, I enjoy using my talent to help small business owners, who need help with their everyday business communications like press releases and articles. I also enjoy making fliers and brochures, as well many other forms of business communications. Most of all, I love reviews of books and products, so please email me for more information. Email: laughatcancer@gmail.com

Glimpse Into My Life 

Currently, I live in Jacksonville, FL with my husband and my two beautiful children, who are my biggest fan and contributors for my new novels. Personally, I am a twelve year cervical cancer stage 2 B survivor, who loves to create and write. Therefore, for the last 8 years, I have been using the talent God gave me to create and maintain a support community for those touched by cancer. The Laugh at Cancer Support Community is for patients and families touched by cancer, who has been touched directly or indirectly. Visit our support community, if you would like to help make a difference or if you are in need of support. Laugh At Cancer Support Community

My Published Work 

Rhymes of The Heart– This is an uplifting and inspirational collection of poems. These rhymes come from my heart, throughout the good and bad times I experienced. I believe many of my readers and fans can relate to the poems I have written. Additionally, ten percent of each purchase will benefit the . Laugh At Cancer Support Community on Facebook.

Planting Seeds to GrowThis is a collection of short stories I previous published for children. I really hope that enjoy my work, because each story is fictionally based. However, you will know what stories are based on my own life. I believe that this book is wonderful read for you and your children. Ten percent of all purchase will benefit the . Laugh At Cancer Support Community

*****New Novels Coming Soon*****

 Ana’s Stand-Available Soon

 Angel’s Tears-Mystery, Drama, and Crime

 The Birth of Veil-Fantasy Genre

My Family’s Homemade Christmas


Homemade christmas
Papa and I were heading home from the auto parts store, as I stared out the window of the car. The radio spoke of a blizzard up north, which had crippled an entire community. This seemed unusual to me, since I lived in Florida where it never snowed. The houses we passed seemed to have something that we didn’t. However, my grandfather didn’t seem to notice. Instead, he thought of it as another day, where one must work to earn a dollar or two just to survive.

I felt confused by the lack of Christmas spirit in my home. Nevertheless, I knew that my family didn’t make a big fuss over the holidays, since I was a young girl. Yet, it began bothering me that no one spent time setting up a Christmas tree or adding decorations to it. So, as we pulled in the driveway, the house seemed cold and dreary. However, I noticed a nativity in the neighbor’s yard, which seemed comforting in a strange sort of way.

I smiled at grandma, as we passed through the kitchen and headed towards the backdoor. In the backyard, I found my two brothers playing on grandpa’s rusty old yellow lawn mower. It had been broken down for years, yet they were pretending to race. I always knew that my grandfather was a man of a few words, except when he was mad. However, he gave his heart to anyone that needed help and I liked that about him.

After, making it to the garage, we began working on the old red race car. I noticed that our neighbors were greeting their family members as they arrived. Suddenly, I began hoping my own family would start celebrating the holidays, since I was 13. Additionally, I wondered why my grandma didn’t invite the rest of the family to visit over Christmas. Finally, I decided to ask my granddad, but I was a little nervous to ask at first.

“Why don’t we Celebrate Christmas?” I asked nervously.

He answered, “It’s just another day Christy! You’ll figure that out when you get older. I couldn’t afford the decorations and presents.”

“Would you celebrate…if you could?”

“I am not sure, because I never have celebrated the holidays. My parents weren’t unable to afford decorations and presents. ”

I could see the sadness rising in his eyes, which made me feel bad for bringing up the subject. Nevertheless, I got quiet and began thinking of what other families had that we were lacking. Suddenly, I felt even worse that he had never experienced Christmas, not even as a young boy. For years, he was forced to watch others celebrate the holidays, as he worked hard to help his family survive.

On Christmas Eve, I began wondering what life would be like if my family did celebrate the holidays. My brothers watched, ”

Santa Clause is Coming to Town”, while I searched through my Bible for the story about baby Jesus. I knew it would be an inspiring story to read to my grandpa, because baby Jesus’ was poor too. However, I couldn’t find it and I fell asleep sitting in grandma’s recliner.

Early the next morning, I woke before anyone else and began making a small Christmas tree from an old one I found. After hanging the different ornaments on the tree, I taped a banner and notes on the wall behind the tree. In addition, I placed my dolls next to the tree and taped the different colored ornaments to the wall also. Suddenly, I saw grandma’s camera and I snapped a picture of my Christmas surprise.

I made my way to the kitchen, where I found some candy canes, chocolate bars, and mixed nuts to fill the decorated socks I borrowed to make a stockings. Immediately, I began feeling excited, so I ran to my room and began looking for presents that I could wrap for everyone. Soon, I heard my grandfather stirring in his bed, so I found items to wrap. I found many different things lying around my room and I wrapped them in old newspaper.

For my little brother I found a little a red and white kazoo. I also found a toy sword that I gave to my little brother. In addition, I wrapped a toy roller coaster and Kermit the Frog dressed in a Santa’s suit, for twin brother. I kept digging through my room, until I found more presents to wrap and give to the rest of my family. However, there was one thing that I forgot, so I tip-toed to the kitchen and called my uncle to join us for our first Christmas dinner together.

Thankfully, my uncle agreed to visit and bring his family, in order to help me surprise the family. I decided to finish decorating the house with my homemade decorations and written pages. However, I decided to stop and look for the story about baby Jesus one again.

In about an hour, I could hear everyone waking up with excitement and instantly I became nervous. As grandfather stood staring at what I had done to the living room. I saw a smile consumed his face, so I handed him two presents. He began opening the gifts I gave him with a sense of excitement and surprise. This made me feel, like I was able to give my grandpa something, which he had never experienced before.

“Merry Christmas, Papa!” I said with excitement.

“You shouldn’t have done this.”He replied.

“I wanted too!”

“Thank you!”

Later on that morning, my uncle surprised my family with a gingerbread house and some eggnog to share. After dinner, my grandmother told me where to find the story of baby Jesus in the bible. I read it aloud to my family, just before bed. As, I headed to bed, I noticed my grandparents were kissing under the mistletoe that my aunt brought with her. As I laid down that night, I realized that this homemade Christmas was more special to me, than any I could have ever dreamed of.

Freelance Authors: Tips for Testing and Creating a Story Idea


Image Are you looking for ways to test an idea that you have for a story? Then, look no further than the internet, since there are many writing communities that can join. Once, you sign up, you can submit your idea or story and receive feedback on your work. Many writing communities offer a way to talk with other aspiring writers, who can help you form the idea. Some of these websites also offer tips and advice that can help strengthen your writing skills.

   If you don’t have a computer or internet access, then try discussing your idea with people that you have met at work or in the community. This way, you can count on an honest opinion from them and add their advice…if needed. Never ask your family or friends, since they are bias and will not give you a neutral opinion. Therefore, look for people that are in the age group that you plan to write for and ask them about their opinion.

     Also, you can visit a local library for more information about the local writing groups that has been formed in your area. Most of these writing groups will offer you a chance to meet other aspiring authors. Plus, you can have the members review your idea or a story, in order to give you an honest opinion about your work. So, you can adjust your idea and story as needed, in order to make the idea better.

      There are many ways that you can test your story idea from people, who you talk to everyday or by joining a group of writers. Either way, you are bound to get some great tips and advice to use, while putting your story together. Another way, to truly test your idea, is to write and submit it to magazines and other available markets. Plus, you can also submit your completed story to a contest, besides the results may surprise you.        

        Always look for ideas that can capture your interest and your heart. Keep little notebook with you at all times and jot down the ideas that come to you.  Many writer’s gather their story ideas from many aspects of their own life. Some writers even write about their loved ones struggles and accomplishments, in order to help others to overcome their problems. No matter where you visit, you will find story ideas lurking around every corner.

   Some authors will choose to write a story that is based on a real life and others will use their imagination to create a timeless story.  The internet is a great research tool, which can allow you to find an endless supply of story ideas. You can also, use the internet to research the facts or to assist in creating the right setting. Every writer knows that the setting of the story is just as important as the storyline.  

     Also, you can gather story ideas from the newspaper or television, but you will need to give it a fresh and unique slant. For example, you may see an article about inadequate healthcare, for the poor or underinsured.  Then, you can create a character that is struggling to pay for their healthcare, while trying to overcome their illness. However, you may want a different character, who finds a way to help others in their local community.

     Sometimes, an author can find website that have these neat generators that can help an author come up with story ideas. However, other authors use these websites too, so give your story idea a unique twist. There are many other websites that authors can use to help develop their story into a timeless classic. Therefore, you can create characters and storyline, which come alive as the reader turns each page.  

Freddie’s Birthday Mess


Finger painting mess

Finger painting mess

I just turned eight years old today and everyone gave me some fun presents at my party. My guest began leaving, so I slipped off to my room so I can play with some of my new presents. After everyone had left, I heard the telephone ring in the kitchen. My mother announced that my grandparents are on their way to see us. I have not seen my grandparents since they moved away to Fort Lauderdale two years ago. However, I try to write to them every weekend, but sometimes I forget to write. My grandparents are coming to pick me up for a special dinner and I can’t wait until they get here!

“They will be here around six o’clock tonight to pick you up. Try to be ready to leave once they get here …please!” Mom announced.

My little brothers are twins and double the trouble for me. However, I love the little pests very much. They ran into my room and began grabbing my finger paints, which were sitting on my bed side table.

“We have to ask Mom first!” I reminded them both politely.

TJ put the paints back and they both ran off to ask mom, while I continued playing with my new toys.

They came back and Josh replied, “Mommy said we could paint, but we have to clean up our own mess!”

I quickly put my toys away and I helped them gather everything we will need, while TJ grabbed the finger paints. I got a large pail of water to wash our hands and Josh grabbed the poster size paper from the living room to paint on. We all met at table in the dining room and after everyone had what they needed, we sat down to begin finger painting. TJ and Josh immediately started arguing over who gets the green paint first, while I tried to stop them.

“If you two keep arguing, Mom will come and take our paints away!” I declared

TJ tried to snatch the green paint out of Josh’s hand and they began struggling over the finger paints. Next, TJ fell backwards and Josh let go of the bottle, when suddenly green paint flew all over the floor and me.

“Oh No…We are in big trouble if Mommy sees me like this!” I complained while TJ giggled.

“Now look what you have done, TJ!” Josh shrieked.

He grabbed an old towel from the hallway closet, while TJ put up the finger paints. They all tried cleaning up the floor. Additionally, I tried to wipe the finger paints off of me, but the paint had dried already.

“May I take a bath, since we already put the paints up and we cleaned up our mess?” I asked.

She quickly answered, “Yes but it’s already five o’ clock, so try to hurry please!”

My brothers quietly snuck into the bathroom with me, so they could help me scrub the paint off which was all over me. TJ sat in the front, while and Josh climbed in the back of me after grabbing his favorite toy. Neither one of my brothers would helps scrub the paint off me. Instead, they were jumping in and out of the tub and making a new mess. I tried to clean the paint off my chest and out of my hair. However, the paint is not coming off as easy as it went on me.

“Mom is coming, please help me get this paint off of me!” I begged.

Josh sat his yellow rubber duck on the white wooden chair sitting by the bathtub while TJ whined, “No, I want to play!”

“Now thanks to my brothers, I will not be able to go off with my grandparents,” I thought to myself.

Mom caught TJ making a mess, while Josh was trying to find the toy threw out the bathroom window.

“I am sorry, Mommy!” TJ cried as he climbed out of the bathtub.

Josh climbed down off the chair as TJ finished drying off, however I still had some paint in my hair. My mom helped me wash the paint out of my hair, while my brothers ran to their room to get dressed. I quickly dried off and I was almost done dressing, when I heard the doorbell ring. Mom left the bathroom to answer the door and she left us to clean up our mess, then I overheard my grandpa’s voice.

“Your grandparents are here, Freddie.” Mommy announced as we raced to the living room.

We hugged them and Grandpa stated, “Wow, you boys have grown up so much!”

“Happy Birthday Freddie! Are you ready to go eat?” Questioned Grandma

“Let’s go eat Grandpa. I am hungry as a grizzly bear!” I answered while rubbing my stomach.

Grandpa laughed and I chuckled as we left to eat my birthday dinner at my favorite restaurant, after saying good-bye. The first present they gave me was a big red fire truck, a cute birthday card with a picture of a bear playing on it, and then I found twenty dollars inside of the card. Next, Grandma revealed that they had left the biggest present in the car, but I never saw it! After my grandparents finished eating, we headed out the door and toward their car. Papa opened trunk and he immediately handed me a large gift, which I ripped the wrapping off. Once I tore the paper, I discovered that they gave me a large finger painting set for my birthday also. He thanked them with a hug and admired his new painting set.

“Oh no…More messy afternoons!” Freddie said with a chuckle.

The Big Red Monster


Image

This is me at 5 with my grandparents at Christmas. I was always special…LOL

After school, I jumped off the yellow school bus and raced my brother home. I couldn’t wait to go see the “Big Red Monster” sitting in grandpa’s garage..

“The racecar is almost ready” stated Papa.

My granddad and my uncle were sitting at the table enjoying a cup of coffee, as I raced off to change my clothes. I ran out the front door and headed to the garage, as they followed me. As I turned the corner, I saw the scary monster looking at me, but it was different somehow. The sun was gleaming off the newly painted red monster and I noticed the number thirteen.

I heard my grandpa say, “I think it’s ready to test, but first we must put the tires back on.”

The air compressor began running, while the impact wrench whined with each tire my uncle mounted.

Suddenly, My grandpa asked,” Would you like to help push the race car into the street?”

“Yes!” I shouted with excitement!

For months, I watched as they built this racecar from four tires and a large car frame. My heart began to race, once he fired up the engine to the racecar. The loud rumbling of the motor was intense and overwhelming, each time he pressed the accelerator. The exhaust fumes and sound was overwhelming for me, but I couldn’t move. The monster was finally coming to life, yet it was a little scary.

My uncle shut off the racecar and we pushed it to the end the long rocky driveway. The nose of the racecar was pointed towards dead end of our street. My uncle fire up the big red monster once again, after he had adjusted his helmet and buckled his seat belt. Finally, he gave us the signal and we began push the monster once again. I held on to the bumper, as the loud rumbling of the motor frightened me. I began clutching the bumper of the racecar, until my knuckles turned white.

My grandpa screamed,” Let go!”

I froze in fear! The monster began rolling faster, while I held the bumper tighter. The monster roar became intense, as my heart began pounding in my chest.
My feet flew off of the ground and I held on for dear life. I heard everyone shouting and screaming to “Stop!”

The ground rapidly flew by me, as I began to cry and become extremely frightened. Suddenly, the monster stopped and I immediately let go and hit the road. After I stopped rolling, I found myself lying in the ditch. My granddad raced over to see if I was okay, but I could see the fear in his eyes. Soon, everyone knew I was okay, but I had a road rash from head to toe.

They fiddled over me, for awhile then they went back to the red monster. They began pushing it back to the garage, as I climbed in the car and positioned myself on my uncle’s lap. The pushed the big red monster into the garage, while my affection grew stronger. I began begging my grandpa, to let me see monster come alive on the local race track.

Papa reluctantly answered, “Yes, you can go with us tomorrow.”

I was so excited, I quickly ran it the house announcing, “I am going racing with Papa!”

 

This is the number 11 car my granddad and uncle built. I couldn't find the thirteen car pictures.

This is the number 11 car my granddad and uncle built. I couldn’t find the thirteen car pictures.