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???

Friday, January 6, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things into the New Year!



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. . .

First, Happy New Year! It's already almost been an entire week, but it takes me forever to realize that it's now 2017 instead of 2016. Usually, I keep writing the wrong number until at least the end of March.


1) Snow! It's not much. Almost an inch, but that's more than enough to have schools close down for two days here. I always have to laugh a little. Growing up in Denver, an inch was nothing. I remember us having school when it was even 6 inches or more. But here it's a rarity, so no one really knows how to handle it.  But the kids are happy...and who can blame them? Christmas break just got extended!

2) A calf! Of course, the sudden drop in temperatures kicked off the birth of one of our cows. It was a first time heifer (translated: a young cow who hadn't birthed before), and that can cause problems. So I was a bit nervous. But all went well and natural. I love to watch the calves jump and play around. So cute!

3) IWSG! Not only did I remember it this month, but it's always nice to hop around and say hi to everyone. Congrats to all anthology winners too!


And that wraps up this week pretty well. 

What about you? What put a smile on your face this last week? Are you bundling up from the sudden snow too or surfing on the waves? Have a nice slide into the New Year? What are you celebrating this week?


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Begin the year with IWSG!


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!


This month, I'm charging into the world of writing with fresh inspiration and determination! Who knows what this year will hold, but either way, let's tackle it. Go! Go! Go!


And now, on to this month's question:

What writing rule do you wish you’d never heard?

Does the answer 'all of them' count???

I see many of the so-called rules more like this . . .



They have their importance and shouldn't be ignored. But to hold them as the last and only cornerstones of writing is going a bit too far.

Should we keep the rules in mind? Yes.
Does following them, in general, make for better writing? Yes.
Are they the one, only and absolute way? Often but not always. 

There are times when the rules aren't the best choice. It doesn't happen often, but it can.  

Still, just like a pirate battling the way through the waves and canon fire, knowing when it's worth the risk to ignore certain rules is a wisdom gained with tons of rum and experience. Oh, and don't forget a dash of pirate's luck! Get it wrong, and the ship goes down. But so is life on the vast, free seas!

(Maybe I'm having a little bit too much of that salty fun *pirate growl*)


So what about you?
What rule would you like to see walk the plank?


Friday, December 30, 2016

Let's Celebrate the Small Things one last time!


We're nearing the end of 2016!!! Now, I know some of you aren't so pleased with this last year. . .I'm wondering about several of the events too. . .but that doesn't mean it was all bad. Since when is life full of only warmth and goodies? And that's what this hop is all about.

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) Quiet time with the family. I love having the kids home (as many of you know). We received several card and board games for Christmas as well as some puzzles, so we've been eating tons (and I do mean TONS) of snacks while battling each other for the win.

2) ARCs! I have gotten my hands on some awesome up-coming books! I am SOOOO excited to dive into them.\

3) An awesome present from my son! Usually, I'm not one to focus on gifts, but my son hit the mark this year. He gave me a notebook which makes my little writer's heart go pitter-patter. It's real leather, hand-bound, has metal latches and hand-made paper. Oh, and there's a beautiful, blue opal in the center. Honestly, I don't know what I'm going to write into it. My normal book thoughts are seriously not worth of such a paper. I have been playing with the idea of using it as a type of grimoire...you know, placing recipes for herbal poisons (*bwahahahaha*), ancient healing concoctions, myths and the such. It would fit something like that and make my future grandchildren and great grandchildren really wonder about what this silly ancestor was like.


That wraps it up for this year! Here's wishing all of you a fantastic weekend and may the new year send man blessing your way!






Friday, December 23, 2016

Celebrate the Small Things - Have a Merry Christmas, Everyone!

I'm making this super simple today and will simply wish all of you. . .




Have a Happy Holiday weekend, and we'll see you next week!





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.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Guest Post with Laura Duncombe and Books Banish Bullying

Last week, a very special woman with a lovely idea reached out to me. Her mission - to bring quality books to more children. . .something she's decided to start up all on her own. Not only am I always impressed by people who see a problem and are ready to do something to change it. But as a children book blogger/writer, there was no way I could glance the other way! 


So, please welcome Laura Duncombe!




Thanks so much for having me. One of my favorite things about the internet is getting to e-meet wonderful people who I may have never crossed paths with otherwise. I’m honored to be guest-posting on Tonja’s blog.

My story starts with books. Since I was a kid, I have always loved being read to and later, reading to myself. A good story does more than entertain—it can shape your life. We all remember a book we read as a child that has stuck with us for years and years. My mother read me so many wonderful books that taught me to respect all people and cultures, take care of the earth, and think outside of the box. Those lessons made me into the adult I am today. Now that I have a child, I am very careful about what I read to him because I know that the words and stories he hears will have a huge impact on what kind of man he becomes. Simply put: I believe with all my heart in the power of books.

So, 2016 has got me pretty bummed. There’s a lot of fear and anger and hatred in the political sphere and plenty of tragedy at home and abroad. I got really tired of weeping over the evening news wishing I could build a really big bubble and shield my loved ones from any pain,  so instead I decided to do something about it. I started Books Banish Bullying with the idea that books can change lives, and that a good children’s book is really a seed for a better future. I knew that there were school libraries all over the country desperate for new books and small children who have not yet learned it’s “uncool” to love reading. If I could connect these kids and libraries with beautiful, vital books, then I would be doing my part to make sure that the future will be dominated less by hateful rhetoric and anger and more by acceptance and understanding. That’s our mission—to spread creativity, earth stewardship, and love through books.

We have a website, www.booksbanishbullying.com. On it you can find our story, as well as the list of books we are collecting. This changes often due to what’s available in hardback and suggestions from friends and readers. There’s a link to our Amazon wish list, which sends the books straight to me, as well as to our paypal site (which is used to pay shipping costs.) That’s it! It’s really easy to send us a book—just a few clicks on Amazon.

Right now we are a pretty small operation. It’s just me and my spare bedroom, which I use as an office while my baby naps. We are in the process of getting our 501.c.3 nonprofit status from the IRS, which is a fun legal jumble of paperwork. I hope we will continue to grow and grow, because I have spoken to librarians all across the country and heard their stories and I want to just shower them in books. As we evolved and develop, it has been truly amazing and awe-inspiring to see the books come in. The postwoman calls me “the book lady,” which is the best nickname ever.
To anyone out there thinking about starting a nonprofit, just go do it!! I’ve never done anything like this before but I just felt so strongly that I had to do something. If you’re feeling that in your heart, do it! I believe in you. This is your sign from the universe that now is the time.


Thanks again for having me! And thanks for all you do to share the magic of books. Book bloggers (and writers, like Tonja) are my heroes. 



Friday, December 16, 2016

Celebrate the Small Things


Happy Friday!!! It's time to celebrate those 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) Cool, quiet mornings! When I go out to feed my cows, there's a beautiful calmness in our small valley. I love just walking around and breathing it in.

2) Fuzzy blankets, socks and sweaters! It's snuggle time!!! With temperatures dropping fast and frosty mornings, everything warm, soft and fluffy gains bonus points in my book.

3) COOKIES!!! Okay, I really have to stop celebrating these as much as I do. The biggest downfall...blessing???...of being at home is the huge stack of chocolates, cookies and Christmas treats constantly within arm's reach on the kitchen table. Nibbling, snacking, with tea...in a fast grab. Oh those blessed pounds are coming, and what delicious ones they are! 


What about you? What put a smile on your face this last week? Did you go o' caroling? Find the perfect gift for someone? Join in another special family moment? Get a surprise at work? What are you celebrating this week?