Friday, September 23, 2016

Celebrating the Small Things yet again


Welcome to this weekly blog hop 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) Our haying is done! (*ahem* Haying is the colloquial term in this area for the hay harvest.) We totaled around 1500 bales, which is more than enough to feed my small herd for over two years. My two older kids brought along their boyfriend and girlfriend, and helped bring it all in. (That part is referred to as 'bucking' hay. The cutting itself is called 'laying' hay. As to the raking--my part-- it doesn't have a special term. Totally unfair. I know.)
As you can see, their stacking abilities leave a little to be desired, but I'm definitely not looking this gift horse in the mouth. I'm just happy they helped bring them all in. Thanks guys!!!


And this picture has absolutely nothing to do with the hay. I just think the wild flowers are pretty.

2) Brush hogging! What's that? Think of it as a giant lawn mower towed behind the tractor, which thrashes all weeds and destroys anything that gets in its way. This is my current project. Those pastures need to be cleaned up and it will keep me busy for a few days. BUT the reason I'm celebrating it is because it is soooooo boring! Yep, boring. Up and down the field. Up and down. It's the perfect time to think through stories and plots! So, I've gotten my short for this year's IWSG anthology pretty well lined out. Now, if only I could type while I drive.


3) Enough of the farming things??? The last thing I'm celebrating is the biggest one... a super huge surprise.

Ready?

My oldest son is now engaged!

And gosh, does that make me feel old. Luckily, I have plenty of time to let it sink in since they aren't planning on having the wedding until after he's got his college degree in hand. In other words, it's going to be more of a Christmas wedding in 2017.


What about you?  What wonderful things put a smile on your face? Eat a wonderful dessert? Go to a museum? Receive a package that you weren't expecting? What are you celebrating???




If you can't think of anything to celebrate, I'm going to help fate along.

Over on Bookworm for Kids (my review blog), I have a giveaway for a YA mystery, which centers around models in Tokyo. It's quite an interesting look into a very different culture and a pretty thrilling read.

The best thing. . .

Basically, no one has entered! Which means super high win chances for those that do.
So go ahead and take a peek

Friday, September 16, 2016

Celebrating Those Small Things!



This is a weekly blog hop sponsored by the amazing Lexa Cain, and co-hosted by L.G. Keltner from Writing Off the Edge and myself. Every week, wonderful things happen, tiny things, which make us smile. But as time grabs us up, we forget all about those moments. 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. . .




HUGS!  They're simple, but at the right time, they bring so much.


And what about you? What are you celebrating this week? Read an awesome book? Try on your first Halloween hat or mask at the store? Get to go for a lovely walk? What put a smile on your face?


Monday, September 12, 2016

That Contains Petroleum?! Guest post with Tamara Narayan

For me, a story idea can come from anywhere. Once, inspiration hit while driving down the highway, looking at the bits of plastic grocery bags stuck in trees too high for anyone to pull down without a cherry picker.

Image: Greg Goebel


Wouldn't it be nice if they all disappeared? But if they did, wouldn't that be kind of spooky? 



Then again, who would miss them? No one. The bags are ugly, introduce toxins to the environment, and kill animals who ingest them. What if plastic bags were the first of several things to disappear? I knew the bags contains petroleum. What if other things containing petroleum also disappeared? What kind of havoc would that render?

Off to Wikipedia! Well, actually I found this list from Ranken Energy. And what an eye opener it was. Some things weren't a surprise, such as tires, shoes, footballs, and paint. But others were unexpected, to say the least.


Image: Omegan


Things you rub on your body: cold cream, lipstick, perfume, soap, nail polish, and rubbing alcohol (not to mention petroleum jelly, like duh!)

Things you play with: guitar strings, roller skates, tennis rackets, skis, boats, and dice

Things you wear: sweaters, football cleats and helmets

Things in your bathroom: toilet seats, toothpaste, shaving cream, dentures, shampoo, hair coloring, and shower curtains

Things in your medicine cabinet: vitamin capsules, antihistamines, cortisone, aspirin, soft contacts, and deodorant



So many things! From so many parts of life! What would we do without petroleum? What would be the impact if these things disappeared? In most cases, we would live, somewhat irritated and inconvenienced, but we would live.

But then one item in particular caught my attention. Something, that if it were to vanish, would cause a body a big problem. What was it? Well, you can skim the list yourself and see if you can guess, or go ahead and read Heart Stopper (big hint), the title story in my anthology. Yeah, I'm terrible, aren't I?




Heart Stopper and Other Stories is a collection of four suspenseful tales, available now at Amazon.com.

In the words of fellow blogger Diana Wilder at ...about myself, by myself...This is not sledgehammer blood or gore, but the sort of tantalizing, slowly building tension that will send you groping for another pillow and eyeing your alarm clock to see if you might be able to read to the end and not be too impaired in the morning at work.

About the authorFrom doling out movie popcorn to flinging smelt to penguins, Tamara Narayan’s career took the “road less traveled”. It veered off into a land of integrals and other strange things while she taught college level math, but these days she’s cruising the fiction highway. In addition to the Heart Stopper collection, her short story Scrying The Plane is in the IWSG anthology, Parallels: Felix Was Here. Find her at www.tamaranarayan.com.

What surprised you about the list of items containing petroleum? Which one would you miss the most?

Friday, September 9, 2016

We're off. . .to Celebrate those Small Things!


This is a weekly blog hop sponsored by the amazing Lexa Cain, and co-hosted by L.G. Keltner from Writing Off the Edge and myself. Every week, wonderful things happen, tiny things, which make us smile. But as time grabs us up, we forget all about those moments. 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) Rain! Finally, after more than enough days of warm weather, cool breezes have come our way. The browning grass is probably celebrating too.

2) Good news about our dog! He had a strange lump on his leg, which the vet suspected was cancer. So we had it removed and sent in. This week, we received news that it was an in-grown hair gone crazy. In other words, no worries there.

3) Decorating my writing space! I'm going to have to take pictures soon. I found a wall sticker online to help cheer up the blank walls. I also added a secret candy stash (shhhh....the kids are NOT allowed to know about this). I'm a munchy fan and do my best work while chewing on something. . .or at least, that's what I tell myself. As to the writing space, I'm still missing a couple of spiffer-uppers, but it's getting there. I'm thinking a Firefly poster or something like that is still missing. Hmmmm....

What about you? What put a smile on your face this last week?
Go to a good movie? Find a new hat which fits just right? Make a wrong turn somewhere only to realize it was probably better than the planned one? 
What are you celebrating this week?



I'm also thrilled to help Julie Flanders celebrate her new release this past week:


Baby Moo has a dream. He wants to travel the world and sing on the stage of the Sydney Opera House!
While he loves his home at Sunrise Sanctuary, it hasn’t been the same since a piglet named Nathan showed up and stole all the attention away from Moo. Jealous of the new baby, Moo decides now is the time to make his escape and pursue his dream.
But the world outside the sanctuary gates is not quite the fun and exciting place Moo imagined, and he quickly finds himself in big trouble. Moo's friends Missy the dog and Ruthie the cat rush to help him, and land in some trouble of their own.
Lost and frightened, Moo and his friends must rely on each other to find their way back home. Will they ever see Sunrise again?


Julie Flanders will donate $1 to Sunrise Sanctuary, home to Baby Moo and numerous other rescued animals, for each copy sold in September.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

IWSG!


It's time for. . . IWSG!

What is that?

Well, for those of you who don't know. . .the amazing founder of this awesome group, Alex J. Cavanaugh, says it this way:

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

This month, a huge thanks goes to the super-duper co-hosts:
 C. Lee McKenzie, Rachel Pattison, Elizabeth Seckman, Stephanie Faris, Lori L MacLaughlin, and Elsie Amata

It's also a big day since the IWSG Anthology is being announced! Head on over to Alex's to take a look at that.


I'm at a loss of what to babble on about today (Ha! Kind of like my writing in general, at the moment), so I'm sticking to the month's question:


HOW DO YOU FIND THE TIME TO WRITE IN YOUR BUSY DAY?


This question gets me into trouble. You see, theoretically, I'm not all that busy. Or at least not in a scheduled way...and that's what gets my writing in trouble.

When I wake up in the morning, it might appear that I have an entire day to write. And this also might be the case...(for some reason, the more time I have to write are also the days where my muse usually decides to take a vacation. Go figure.)
On other days...I'm talking over 90% of them...I wake up in the morning, have only a slight idea of what the day might bring, and get ready for what's thrown at me.

For example. this last weekend....yes, the lovely 3 day one with a holiday...was supposed to be calm, relaxing, play with the kids a bit and even go hiking on Labor Day.

What happened?

Friday evening, my husband comes home, talks to the neighbor and declares: This weekend, we're going to hay his field!

In other words, there went my weekend since I now was in charge of fetching tractor parts (they always break-down a little---ALWAYS!), driving the tractor and hauling in hay bales.

So, my writing is spontaneously placed when the opportunity really arises. I would schedule it if I could. But it's more a 'grab those moments when they come and pray nothing suddenly pops up in between.'



How about you? How does your writing schedule fit in?

Friday, September 2, 2016

Off we go to another week of Celebrating Those Small Things


This is a weekly blog hop sponsored by the amazing Lexa Cain, and co-hosted by L.G. Keltner from Writing Off the Edge and myself. Every week, wonderful things happen, tiny things, which make us smile. But as time grabs us up, we forget all about those moments. 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) My husband's birthday! He's not an excited birthday man (hates getting older), but he'll always eat the cake and accept the presents with a smile. We only had a little celebration this week and are planning on doing something fun this coming Monday (Labor Day.)

2) Plums! And I'm talking lots o' lots o' plums. Our 3 wild plum trees are completely weighed down this year. So hubs decided to use them for wine. Well, we had enough juice for that a good 5. . .10 gallons ago. My husband is one who refuses to let anything he touches go to waste, so it's been a plum juice cooking kitchen all week long (even cooking dinner has become a battle since he won't let me near the stove.) I'm afraid we still have a couple gallons left to go. Anyone want some? It is delicious!

3) I got another short story out the door! I have not been a productive writer for some time now, although it isn't for a lack of trying. (Life simply isn't calming down enough for me to concentrate.) Getting this one completed and out by the deadline was a forced accomplishment and hopefully, the beginning of a wave of writing swing.


What about you? What put a smile on your face this last week? Feel a cool breeze? Enjoy a glass of wine? Try something new? What are you celebrating?






Friday, August 26, 2016

Let's dive into a Celebration of the Small Things

It's time for another edition of. . .


CELEBRATE THE SMALL THINGS!


This is a weekly blog hop sponsored by the amazing Lexa Cain, and co-hosted by L.G. Keltner from Writing Off the Edge and myself. Every week, wonderful things happen, tiny things, which make us smile. But as time grabs us up, we forget all about those moments. 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) A peek into an antique/artist's shop! Deciding to take some time for myself, I stopped by a cute shop on the edge of town. I wasn't planning on buying anything but found two things (Isn't that always how it goes?). The first is a 4 -piece tea set with cups shaped like pink tulips and matching snack plates--I have a 'three little kittens who lost their mittens' tea set I picked up years ago to make the kids' birthdays and such a little more special, but the didn't include any sort of cups, saucers or plates. These don't match perfectly but they'll do and are horribly sweet. 

An awesome deal on a reciprocating saw! I'm in charge of firewood (you'll see a picture of my mighty stack in a couple of weeks), and have a HUGE pile of branches that need to be cut up...all about as thick as my arm. But to cut them with a chain saw...well, honestly...it gets too heavy. And I'm NOT cutting them all by hand since the pile is seriously as big as my kitchen (like my sometimes crazy husband suggested). Anyway, this saw is my answer to not-quite-as-sore arms. 

I hope.

2) Unexpected surprises! This week has been full of unexpected events and changes. Some were good. Some weren't. But it definitely kept me on my toes, and I can honestly say that this was not a week where anything went as planned.

So yay to spontaneous events! Even when not so great, they keep life interesting!


What about you? What put a smile on your face this last week? Did you try a hoola-hoop? Pet a cute dog or cat? Get a sip of a delicious coffee?

What are you celebrating this week?