Friday, February 17, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things

This weekly blog hop is sponsored by the amazing Lexa Cain, and co-hosted by L.G. Keltner from Writing Off the Edge and myself. 

What exactly are we celebrating?

Every week, wonderful things happen, tiny things, which make us smile. But as time grabs us up, we forget all about these moments as if they never existed at all. This is the chance for us to reflect back on those and remember that there are tons of things worth celebrating.

This week, I'm celebrating. . .


1) Valentine's Day! We had a lot of fun creating a Valentine's box with my daughter. The teacher sent out a note weeks ago that the parents should help their child build imaginative boxes.
My husband had a blast with this and let his inner engineer take flight.  The two towers on either side are sweet-tart-heart dispensers with a slide compartment...and so robust an elephant could stand on them. Well, not quite, but my hubs tends to build like that. 
Anyway, I put the basic thing together. My daughter decorated with pretty pink fun. And even my youngest son jumped in and made the factory sign. 




2) Chocolates from husband!

3) Weeding? That sounds ridiculous, but it's true. We've jumped to upper 60's/lower 70's and are supposed to stay there at least over another week. From what I understand, it isn't rare around here that lettuce and such is planted mid-February. So, it's time to get my terrace garden built and planted. Part of me is happy. But most of me is grumbling. I REALLY wanted a longer winter because when it's nice on a farm, the work load explodes. Can't I be lazy just a little bit longer? Please!!!!

4) Writing! That's flowing better this week. So yay to that!



And what about you? What put a smile on your face this past week? Staying dry? Staying warm? Basking in the sun? Get a big Valentine's surprise? Watch a good movie? What are you celebrating?



Friday, February 10, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things


This weekly blog hop is sponsored by the amazing Lexa Cain, and co-hosted by L.G. Keltner from Writing Off the Edge and myself. 

What exactly are we celebrating?

Every week, wonderful things happen, tiny things, which make us smile. But as time grabs us up, we forget all about these moments as if they never existed at all. This is the chance for us to reflect back on those and remember that there are tons of things worth celebrating.

This week, I'm celebrating. . .

1) Sunshine! It's makes the world seem so bright and warms the cheeks. I leaned against a fence post this last week after feeding cattle and simply enjoyed the warmth.

2) A new monitor! Well, new for me. My oldest son bought himself a new one and left his old one to me. Old = half a year in his book. But it's a big one (27 inch) and has a stand which lets it slide up and down or turn head over toes (well, if monitors had toes). Anyway, I can put two documents right next to each other and still read them! I'm a happy writer.

3) The chickens are laying more eggs. Finally. I find it frustrating to feed 24 chickens and MAYBE get 1 egg a day. Kind of makes me wonder why I even have them. But as long as they make up for it, I'll forgive them.

4) Broccoli cheese soup! I made a crock pot full this week with home-made Flat bread. Cream soups are one of my favorite comfort foods when the days are still a little chilly.


What about you? What put a smile on your face this last week? Get to play in the snow? Go swimming? Clean those windows? Catch a ray of sunshine? Finish your MS?

What are you celebrating?








Friday, February 3, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things


This weekly blog hop is sponsored by the amazing Lexa Cain, and co-hosted by L.G. Keltner from Writing Off the Edge and myself. 

What exactly are we celebrating?

Every week, wonderful things happen, tiny things, which make us smile. But as time grabs us up, we forget all about these moments as if they never existed at all. This is the chance for us to reflect back on those and remember that there are tons of things worth celebrating.

This week, I'm celebrating. . .


1) Online writing conferences and things! I don't participant in such things very often, so I was super excited to get on board for WriteOnCom this weekend. I also received a free voucher for a week long seminar on book marketing this past week. So, I've been soaking my brain full of information for the future. 

2) Chickens! I joined my parents at a small animal auction (for fun) this past week. My mother wanted to buy some chickens and ended up getting more than she'd hoped for. So I adopted four more. . .not that I really needed them. But yay to chickens, I guess.

3) Birds! They are gliding in again. So it looks like Spring isn't too far away. Actually, if the weather holds (and it appears it might), neighbors are telling me it will be time to plant lettuce and such in only two more weeks. 


And what about you? What put a smile on your face this last week? Go on a walk? Meet a friend somewhere? Find the perfect pair of socks? What are you celebrating?










Wednesday, February 1, 2017

IWSG - Bring out the Clowns!


A brand new year, and new breezes in the writing world. What a fresh IWSG!

This is a monthly blog hop created by the super stealthy and amazing Alex J. Cavanaugh. Writers are a species of their own and often misunderstood. This hop offers a safe place to seek support or offer it to others.

Go ahead and head on over here to find out more or jump on board!


My writing mood this month?

The circus is in town, and if I want to to perform, I'm going to have to start the hard, back-breaking work of pulling up that tent... organizing the performs...getting those animals calmed down...and the clowns???
Pft! You try to control a bunch of pie throwing clowns.

That's what I feel like this month.

One short story is warming in publication giddiness...I can already smell the cotton candy.
One MS is on the tight rope, being viewed by the ring master as to whether or not the world is ready to see the act.
Another short is being mended...hopefully, those stitches hold in time for the acrobats flight!
And yet another story has shown up at the gates, wanting a chance to join in on the fun..exactly the sort which might bring the audience to cheer.

It's down to a juggling act and lots of hard work. Will the circus take off? Will it run out of funds before the big day and have to postpone...shutdown? That's why this month, I'm screaming---bring out those clowns!


As to the question: Has being a writer changed me as a reader?

Big yeppers to that! As a reviewer, I read 195 books last year. I still get lost in the stories and fall in love with characters. BUT I see the mistakes. Not only grammar but pacing, plotting and bad descriptions. I've learned what works, and what doesn't (for me, at least, as a reader) I recognize and analyze the reasons right away. I've even thought of starting a series on my blog about it.

That's the good part. I could learn from this. I should know what to watch out for and improve my writing immensely.

Then reality hits - I know all of this, but that doesn't mean I can use the knowledge myself. Not completely. As a writer, it's impossible to step back far enough away from your work to be able to see these problems...even if you know what they look like. And it frustrates me to no end. This knowledge has made my inner editor a pathological psycho and all but strangled my writing. It's turned into an out-in-out war to get even one page written and not want to tear it up.

And this kind of ties in with my circus. I only wrote one new short story last year. Only edited the year before. Everything else...all bright new WIPs...were killed before they were born thanks to the inner editor psycho. But I'm pulling up that tent...fighting those stubborn elephants.

The show will go on.






Friday, January 27, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things!


This weekly blog hop is sponsored by the amazing Lexa Cain, and co-hosted by L.G. Keltner from Writing Off the Edge and myself. 

What exactly are we celebrating?

Every week, wonderful things happen, tiny things, which make us smile. But as time grabs us up, we forget all about these moments as if they never existed at all. This is the chance for us to reflect back on those and remember that there are tons of things worth celebrating.

This week, I'm celebrating. . .


1) I don't know if this is something really to celebrate...I guess I'll think of it as a victory after several rounds of battle. We caught 4 possum in 10 days, all of which were attempting to get into our chicken coop. This amazes me because we've had chickens for 3 years and haven't had any trouble. And all of a sudden 4? I'm beginning to believe it's a secret possum conspiracy to take over our farm...or maybe more?

2) College tour! Our oldest daughter starts college this Fall and has known where she's wanted to go all along. Yesterday, I joined her for a tour and wow. College campuses are so much cooler than when I was studying. The pool--wow wow. Hot tubs...lazy rivers... And then the climbing walls! Oh and there's an entire tower for repelling. Let's not forget at least 2 Starbucks on campus (that will hurt the bank account)....free laundry (I guess that means the end of quarter glory--and more change for Starbucks coffee?)...free shuttle service (because now a 10-15 minute walk across the grounds is too much?) There's also a free editing/proofreading office for all papers--not sure what I think of that part, though. I know proof reading is a drag but isn't that kind of what education is about? And the recreation center with organized camping tours and everything. Slowly I'm wondering if maybe it's time to go back and get another degree.

3) Starbucks coffee! Lol! This is a no-brainer. If there were two on campus, you know I used the rare chance I have to get one.


So, that kind of wraps up this week. Otherwise, it was pretty quiet, which is also something to celebrate.

What about you? What put a smile on your face this last week? Chase a cat? Giggle in the bathtub? Discover a meaning of life? What are you celebrating?

Friday, January 20, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things


This weekly blog hop is sponsored by the amazing Lexa Cain, and co-hosted by L.G. Keltner from Writing Off the Edge and myself. 

What exactly are we celebrating?

Every week, wonderful things happen, tiny things, which make us smile. But as time grabs us up, we forget all about these moments as if they never existed at all. This is the chance for us to reflect back on those and remember that there are tons of things worth celebrating.

This week, I'm celebrating. . .

This week was full of small surprises.

1) We caught two opossums! The tricky critters had dined on two of my chickens, so they needed to go. We packed them up and drove them to a lovely place they can now call their new home.
And my chickens are happy again.



2) My youngest son was accepted into the gifted group at school. This was a big thing for him since his best friend is in the group too.

3) The Christmas package finally arrived from Germany. My parents-in-law had sent it off the end of November, but it was delayed on the east coast thanks to all of the storms. We thought it was lost, but it came today packed full with tons and tons of Lebkuchen.

4) Looks like I'll have a small shout-out to make on the writing end of things soon. And this isn't the ray of hope I was talking about last week, but something else.

5) I've received several pokes and messages from different acquaintances and friends I haven't heard from in awhile...all in the last couple of days. So I'm feeling warm and fuzzy inside.


And that pretty much wraps up this week.

So, what about you? What put a smile on your face the last days? Hear a new song? Find a new book? Discover a new TV show? What are you celebrating?



Friday, January 13, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things


This weekly blog hop is sponsored by the amazing Lexa Cain, and co-hosted by L.G. Keltner from Writing Off the Edge and myself. 

What exactly are we celebrating?

Every week, wonderful things happen, tiny things, which make us smile. But as time grabs us up, we forget all about these moments as if they never existed at all. This is the chance for us to reflect back on those and remember that there are tons of things worth celebrating.

This week, I'm celebrating. . .

1) ARCs! I received a small stack of upcoming reads, and there are a couple in there that I'm really excited about diving into. 

2) A little hope on the writing end of things! A ray of light broke through on the writing front this last week, something a bit unexpected. I'm not sure if it means anything yet, but it's always nice to get these hopeful, happy moments.

3) Drawing with the kids! My kids pulled out their large collection of colored pencils and coloring books, and we spent a bit of time coloring together.

4) Keys found! This is a little story, so I'm just going to go with the main points:
Part I 
- my oldest son drove my tractor to help with farm chores.
- during chore help, son forgot to close gate to pony pen. Pony got out and son chased him (this was actually hilarious to watch...shhh... my son doesn't know I was peeking through the kitchen window and getting a kick out of him running around after get-a-way pony - I should add here, to my own defense, that the pony is SUPER tame and comes immediately when called, but since son was running, pony thought he was playing with him and they went around and around and around and around....well, you get the picture)
Part II
- couple days later, I need tractor but keys not on hook. Of course, search through pockets and such came up empty.
- We only have one set of keys, since the hardware stores in our area are pretty limited and claim that our key is extremely rare and they can't make a copy (I have to remember to take it to the 'big' city next time we head that way ;) )
-  son remembers that key fell out of pocket during pony chase. . .most likely somewhere in the area where we feed the animals the hay. In other words, total lost cause. (instead of needle in hay stack, key in hay stack. . .which isn't any easier.)
Part III
- I'd come to mental terms with the fact that there was no tractor until my hubs had a chance to re-wire the ignition to enable a keyless start (not something done quickly)
- I went to feed cows with wheelbarrow and was wishing key would just suddenly be lying on ground before me. Ah, those dreams!
- I look down and TADAH! The key was poking out of the hay on the ground right next to my wheelbarrow tire!!!
I was on my knees with a thousand prayers of thanks. 

So, what about you?
What put a smile on your face this last week? Did you catch that jolt of warm weather passing through? Enjoy a piece of chocolate? Hear a song you haven't heard in a while?

What are you celebrating???