Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Happy Holidays!

It's time for me to head off into the Christmas Season, which means I'm not going to post on here again until the new year. I will try to peek by many of your blogs, though (since I've been so awful with that the last weeks).
 
 
But until then. . .
 
 
Here's wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas
and
God's blessing for the next year!
 
 
 
Got to love ugly Christmas sweaters. Too bad they don't make them for pet tractors as well.


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

IWSG - Don't get caught without those pants on

 
Welcome to another monthly meeting of an amazing chance for us writers to sit down together and pour out our hearts. Good or bad. Joy or sorrow. We finally let it out. Want to join in? Then head over to the founder of this super group, the man with a golden heart (or pen?) Alex J. Cavanaugh and join on in!
 
This month Alex co-hosts are:
 Heather Gardner, Eva E. Solar at Lilicasplace, Patsy Collins and me!
 
 
 
 
This month feels like a dream.
 
Not a good one... not a bad one... one of those that makes you want to stick your head under a rock and hide. Yep, I'm talking about that dream where you go to school/work/meeting and discover that you've forgotten to wear your pants.
 
Thank goodness, it's not my pants I'm forgetting. But this month, I am sending off my first chapters to a critique group (ahhh!!!!) That's almost as bad!
 
Now, this shouldn't bother me. It's not my first MS. Heaven knows it's not the first time people have taken a red pen to my work and ripped it to shreds. Honestly, I usually thrive on having my stuff thrown to the wolves to be mutilated and molded before being sent back (the only way to get better, right?) But this time, that little doubt man is making me question my ability to write. (Dumb little guy.)
 
Yep, I'm scared I'm going to loose my pants.
 
So, what am I going to do? Ignore it, march out into the middle of that spotlight and let my pants fall as they will. . .
 
because as writers that's what we have to do.
 
Plus, I'm betting those pants won't slide nearly as far as that little doubt man claims they will. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
IWSG has even gotten better! This wonderful bundle of hope, suggestions, tips and want-nots is now available!!! This is something no writer should miss.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Celebrate the Small Things


Yo-ho-ho! It's time again to get stack all those awesome things that happened to us this last week together, grab some confetti and have a real celebration!

This weekly meme is sponsored by Vikki over at Viklit
(along with her awesome helpers! Thanks so much, guys!)


 Diana Wilder
LG Keltner @ Writing Off the Edge
Katie @ TheCyborg Mom
CaffeMaggieato @ mscoffeehouse


All we have to do is remember those small things (or big) which put a smile on our face this last week. Easy, huh?

This week, I'm celebrating. . .


1)  Winning the Realms Faire big prize! (this is a type of internet jousting and games week put on by M. Pax and supported by TONS of authors. If you missed it this year, do not make the same mistake next year.) I was totally blown over. I thought those tons and tons of books were for multiple wins, but all those books for one person. . . .*takes deep breath* So my reading list is full for a while. Really full. Here's a virtual hug for all of those wonderful authors!

2) My parents called early this week announcing that they'll be stopping by for Thanksgiving. It's a sixteen hour drive for them, and we were really not expecting it. So yay!!!

3) I found a store with an entire section of 2nd hand ugly Christmas sweaters. Talk about gorgeous! Seriously, I am going to stock up and enjoy this Christmas season in the most awesome style ever. My teenage daughter is horrified, but too bad for her. Ugly Christmas sweaters, here I come!!!

4) I finally am part of an online critique group. Don't get me wrong, my CPs and betas are the most amazing, talented, super-fantastic people around. I'm not giving them up for the world. But the idea of being part of several people who monthly come together to work on writing is making my little heart pitter-patter. (Ugh! Now, I have to write on a schedule, though.)


So, what about you? What wonderful things put a smile on your face this week? Ready for Thanksgiving? Make a snow angel lately? Cuddle with a sweet dog or cat? Did you finally find that perfect Latte?
What are you celebrating?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

What's Up Wednesday and 7 Deadly Sins


The lovely ladies, Jaime and Erin, sponsor this weekly meme to help us writerly folks keep in touch with each other and simply say 'What's Up!'
Head on over to either website and sign in the linky if you'd like to join the fun.

This week. . .


What I'm Reading. . .

The Gatekeeper's Son by C.R. Fladmark. This is a YA Urban Fantasy which mixes Japanesse mythology with tons of action. A fun read!


What I'm Writing. . .
This last weekend, words were scarce, but I'm plowing through those words now. Nano's keeping me on my toes and seems to be doing what I hope it would - getting me to sit down and write.


What Works For Me. . .
This is going to sound lame, but I've discovered that if I write 1500-2000 words and treat myself to one episode of some series on Netflix, I can keep those words flowing. Stickers and chocolate simply weren't enough motivation for me.


What Else I've Been Up To. . .
This last week was hectic. We started to cut our first hay, but ran into some problems right away. It turned out to be more of a cutting crawl with me raking hay behind the tractor as it went to keep the mower from jamming up until we finally got all the settings correct.
While picking up our rake from an implements dealer, one of the shop workers noticed that the rim on my truck was cracked. I'm so glad he saw it, but now I'm out of a vehicle until it gets fixed. Of course, we have special sized rims and they have to be ordered in. Guess that means more writing time for me!

My daughter and I drove to the city for a day of shopping - she seemed to need some quality time with mom. It was a lot of fun with Starbucks, clothes, hair stylist (for her) and McDs on the way home.


And what about you? What have you been up to this week? Any exciting eagle sightings or successful shopping trips? Perhaps you had time to sit down and enjoy a good cup of tea?




**************


The super-duper, wonderful  Krystal tagged me for the 7 Deadly Sins Blog hop. Thanks, Krystal!


And here are the answers for my 7 sins in literature. . .


Greed - What is your most inexpensive book?
Most of my books were free. *bwhahahahaha* The perks of having a review blog.

Wrath - Who's the author with whom you have a love/hate relationship with?
Honestly, none. I thought about this and thought some more and can't come up with any. Terrible, I know.

Gluttony - What book have you devoured over and over again with no shame?
Count of Monte Cristo

Sloth - What book have you neglected reading due to laziness?
A Tale of Two Cities, Pride and Prejudice

Pride - What books do you talk about most in order to sound like an intellectual reader?
Sun, Sex and Chocolate. . .but that's only for chemical compounds, not exactly 'intellectual reader' stuff.

Lust - What attributes do you find attractive in a male or female character?
Female - selfless, forgiving, patient, wise, charity
Male - selfless, honorable, protective, intelligent, wise

Envy - What book would you like to receive most as a gift?
A collection of Grimm Fairy Tales - leather bound. 

As for tagging... I'll just say any of you who want to do it! Leave a message below.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Celebrate the Small Things

It's time again to think back to all the wonderful things that happened this week - especially the small ones - and let the smile form on our faces.

Thanks to Vikki over at Viklit!

This week is ending fast and furious, so I'm going to make it short.

I'm celebrating:

- brand new work gloves, insulated (of course). Yeah, things like this always put a smile on my face.

- a bonfire with hay ride evening. There was a great potluck too. Yummy!

- a nice sized pumpkin for a penny. After Halloween, our Walmart was over-stocked on pumpkins big time. So they actually sold them for a penny a piece! Bring on that pumpkin pie!


And what about you? What wonderful things happened to you this week???

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

IWSG

 
It's the first Wednesday of the month and time for another round of IWSG! That means it's not only time to whine and let our hearts pour out with all those frustrations us writers face in this cold world, but more importantly, to give support, offer shoulders to cry on (when needed) or simply grab those pompoms and give supportive cheers!

Thanks, Alex J. Cavanaugh and his mighty helpers:
LG Keltner,Donna Hole, Lisa Buie-Collard and SL Hennessy!!!



“Writing is something you do alone. Its a profession for introverts who want to tell you a story but don't want to make eye contact while doing it."

[Thoughts from Places: The Tour, Nerdfighteria Wiki, January 17, 2012]



The last month has reminded me that this quote isn't quite true. We might spend many hours. . .okay, a plethora of time. . .putting down all those words, pulling out our hair, staring at the computer screen or simply mumbling to ourselves. But this is not a job we can do alone (even if most of us are introverts to the highest degree).

We need others to give suggestions, critical eyes or simply lend an ear as we talk things through - even if it's basically to ourselves. CPs and Betas are worth their weight in gold, but even more valuable are the people who believe in you when you cease to believe in yourself.

Those are the people a writer really can't do without.





Friday, October 31, 2014

Celebrate the Small Things



Not only is it time to smile because of Halloween and all that CANDY!!!!! (Yes, I have a sweet-tooth), but it's time
again for Vikki's bloghop. Over at Viklit, she sponsors this weekly meme to help everyone remember that it's the small things in life which really make the difference.

Luckily, she doesn't have to do this alone. Thanks,

Diana Wilder
LG Keltner @ Writing Off the Edge
Katie @ TheCyborg Mom
CaffeMaggieato @ mscoffeehouse !!!

So go on...lay back. . .and think. What wonderful, little things happened to you this past week? There were probably more moments than you remember.


This week, I'm celebrating. . .



1)  Peanut butter cookies. My oldest son decided to discover the baker in himself and took over my kitchen last night. The result were lovely chocolate chip, peanut butter cookies. Okay, he forgot to add the sugar, but as long as one thinks about that before biting in, they aren't bad at all.

2)  My favorite antique store in town was closed all summer long due to illness. And now, they've reopened! Not only am I happy to see the owner back on her feet, but now, I can waste time wandering through the packed shelves. There are so many neat things there. In celebration, I finally bought a cookie jar. . .great for #1 above.

3) My youngest daughter woke up in the middle of the night and laid a note on my night stand. "I love mom." Is there anything better to wake up to?


Now, it's your turn! What wonderful things put a smile on your face this past week? See a last butterfly? Smell some pumpkin pie? Find some unexpected change in your pocket? What are you celebrating?






Wednesday, October 15, 2014

What's Up Wednesday



It's WEDNESDAY!!! And  that means it's time for another episode of this wonderful weekly blog hop sponsored by Jaime and Erin. Through this hop, us writerly folks have a chance to touch base with each other and simply say What's Up!





This week. . .


1) What I'm Reading. ..

Every Monday until around mid-November, the lovely Crystal Collier is handing out virtual cheese and giving out free copies of her YA paranormal romance MOONLESS over on Amazon in celebration of the release of her 2nd book in the series SOULLESS. I've read both (am actually even reviewing this next Monday), but am in the process of reading them again. Yep, I like them.

Also, I'm reading THE LOST ORPHANS by N.W. Harris.


2) What I'm Writing. . .

Not much. Not good? Well, firstly, I've been sick (some stupid cold/flu thingy), and I can't write when that happens. But another reason is that I have the feeling I've been writing on my other two MSs SO long (due to that international move earlier this year) that I've driven them into the ground. They need a break. Big time. So I'm contemplating shelving them for a little while and working on something else to let in some fresh air.


3) What Works For Me. . .

Lol! Can I say nothing this week? I'll just say sitting back, drinking lots of hot tea and dreaming. The key word here is dreaming. Without those dreams and letting those wonderful ideas flow through our head, us writers are stuck on a storyless sand barge.


4) What Else I've Been Up To. . .

Those wonderful neighbors of ours called up this weekend and wanted to know if we would like to go collect walnuts. So now, I have 6 buckets of walnuts drying in my milk barn. Yes, these are definitely neighbors who help our food supply. . .and keep me busy.

Being sick. . .but that doesn't count.

Oh, I now have a Facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/pages/TDrecker/499386616859243
If you follow, drop me a note and I'll follow back. But I must warn, I'm new to this and don't really know what I'm doing.

Otherwise, life's been pretty quiet. Which is good too, sometimes.


And what about you? Like walnuts? Take a walk through the leaves yet? Picked out your pumpkin for Halloween?  What's up with you?

Friday, October 10, 2014

Time to Celebrate those Small Things!

Howdy!  And yep, I'm even tipping my straw hat to you. Another week has trotted on by. . .okay, trot is too slow. It went past with super speed. . .and that leaves us with another round of. . .



This is a weekly blog hop sponsored by Vikki over at Viklit. The sole purpose is to help us realize what small celebrations happen every day and add a smile to our lips. Luckily, she doesn't have to do this alone and has some awesome helpers:

Diana Wilder
LG Keltner @ Writing Off the Edge
Katie @ TheCyborg Mom
CaffeMaggieato @ mscoffeehouse

Go on over to Vikki's and sign up on the linky if you'd like to join the fun.

This week, I'm celebrating. . .

1) Apples. Remember that wonderful neighbor who supplied me with all that corn? Now, it's gone over into apples. I can smell all the fresh baked wonderfulness already flowing through the house. Yum!

2) My husband has been pushing quite a few over hours lately, so yesterday he took the day off. When we headed into town to drop off something at the high school- a uniform my daughter had forgotten - we spontaneously decided just to keep on driving to a town an hour away. We spent a fun day visiting hardware stores (yes, we have an odd sense of fun), antique stores and lunch.

3) Cookies. My younger kids sold cookie dough as a fund raiser, and I ended up buying more than planned (why does that always happen?) So right now, every day means a fresh baked batch of cookies. Guess what? They disappear just as fast too.


What about you? Love the smell of apple pies? Maybe pumpkin? When was the last time you did something completely spontaneous and just kept on driving? (It's good for the soul) Love cookies? Want to buy several batches from us next year??? (just joking!)
In other words, what wonderful things happened to YOU this week?

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Guest Post - Ilana Waters and Pubslush

Today, I'm skipping my normal Wednesday post because one of my writer buddies is determined (tugging at the shirttail, poking the arm, jabbing me constantly in the back until it hurts determined) to share something with all of you. (Truth: She's really not a pest at all, and I actually offered to help her out. . .)
 
 
But before I tell you anymore, I'll just introduce her (again!) and let her take over:
 
 
 
Here she is. . .
Ilana Waters!!!
 
 
Ilana Waters is a freelance writer who lives in New Jersey. When not creating content for clients, she can be found working on fiction—as well as nibbling string cheese. She once pet-sat an electric eel, and enjoys walking in circles around the park for no particular reason.
Her young adult and middle grade stories are available at Amazon, Amazon.com/uk, Barnesandnoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords.
 
 
 
Hi Tonja! Thank you so much for having me on your blog! Again. I’m pretty sure you hosted me just a short time ago. ;-P
 
Anyway, I’ve been an indie writer for kids and teens for a while. But I wanted to tell everyone about the Pubslush campaign I’m running for my very first book for adults (yes, real-live grown-ups). It’s an urban fantasy called The Age of Mages. Here’s a bit about it:
 
I know a mage should be able to handle anything, but really, the circumstances are getting quite ridiculous.
What do you get when you cross a vampire with a witch? The vulgar might call it a half-breed or misfit. But the result is actually a magical creature with untold powers and numerous enemies.
In other words, a mage.
Joshua’s witch mother has been missing and presumed dead since he was a teen. Years later, when he learns she might still be alive, the only thing he can think of is finding her. His antagonistic vampire father agrees to help, but Joshua fears he may have ulterior motives.
The situation becomes even more complicated when they discover the reason for her disappearance: she possesses a mysterious crystal whose powers remain a secret.

Unfortunately, Joshua and his father aren’t the only ones interested in the crystal. As their search leads them from New York to Las Vegas to Rome, they’re pursued by the Paranormal Investigation Agency, the High Council of Witches, and yet more vampires. In the process, they uncover a plot to wake the deadliest vampire who ever lived.

If Joshua can find the crystal, he might find his mother — and stop a massacring blood-seeker from rising. But that involves not fighting with his father long enough to hold off adversaries both human and supernatural.

It might just be more than one mage can handle.

There’s also a nifty book trailer.
 
 
The Pubslush campaign is to get it into e-book format. Pubslush is similar to Kickstarter but geared more towards authors. Basically, this is your chance to support The Age of Mages and earn cool rewards!

Yes, about the rewards . . . in addition to getting a copy of The Age of Mages if the campaign is a success, my reward levels contain goodies like a mention in the dedication, social media promotion for your book or business, and newsletter sign up. But best of all are the heavily-discounted manuscript critiques.
 
Many writers (and aspiring writers) already know what professional critiques are, but if not, no worries. They're just something similar to what an editor might do to tighten up your manuscript (but are not the same as copyediting or proofreading). Critiques address plot, structure, characterization, and the like—what I call “big picture issues.”
 
Since I’ve been a full-time freelance writer for almost five years, I can offer something beyond what you get via reviews by friends, family, and beta readers. Not that those folks aren’t awesome, of course. But if you’re looking to take your manuscript to the next level, you need to go pro. ;-)

I’m even running a special deal—the next three people who donate at the $25 level will get the $50 reward, and the next three who donate at the $50 level will get the $100 reward.

Anyway, if you have any questions or comments, shoot me an e-mail me at ilanabethwaters[at]yahoo[dot]com. Here’s where I am around the web if you feel like trailing after me:


And here’s The Age of Mages Pubslush link one more time. :-)
 


Thank you again, Tonja, for having me on your blog!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Time to Celebrate!


It's FRIDAY! And that doesn't only mean the weekend is around the corner. Nope. It means it's Celebrate the Small Things! The wonderful Vikki over at Viklit sponsors this weekly hop to help us remember all those little things that happened this week, which put a smile on our faces. Because no week is only bad. Never.

And since Vikki needs reasons to smile too, she has some amazing helpers, who buzz around the blog and serve refreshments...uhh... as in comments and visits.

Thanks, Vikki... and...

Diana Wilder
LG Keltner @ Writing Off the Edge
Katie @ TheCyborg Mom
CaffeMaggieato @ mscoffeehouse



This week, I'm celebrating . . .

1) A new laptop!!! My son...*takes a deep breath*. . .yes, the oldest one who always tells me that writing is a waste of time and that I should get a real job. . .bought me a new laptop to better write with (mine was really really really slow). I dare anyone to figure these kids out (Thank you, Son of mine!!!!)

2) Our chickens are now laying 3 eggs instead of 2 on some days. Go chickens!

3) My youngest son has started a nature journal. His idea. I'll have to take a picture of it when he lets me. He's spending so much time putting it together. I love it.

4) The leaves are slowly beginning to turn. I hear that this is a gorgeous time of year here. Can't wait to see it really get underway.



Now, it's your turn to celebrate... and to help, you might want to head on over to the amazing, super fun, packed with YA authors (seriously, there are SO MANY involved with this)

http://yascavengerhunt.blogspot.com/


There's fun, tons and tons of authors to meet (I know some of them, and can only say - go say hi!), and lots and lots and lots of books and prizes to win. http://yascavengerhunt.blogspot.com/



So, what things have put a smile on your face this week? Get some chocolate? Have a falling leaf glide past you? See a gorgeous stack of pumpkins? What are you celebrating???






Friday, September 19, 2014

Celebrate the Small Things!



The wonderful Vikki over at Viklit sponsors this weekly hop to help bring more smiles to the world. Yes, the world needs more of those. And she does this in a simple way! All we have to do is remember those small things this last week, which put a smile on your face. So go ahead. Head on over to Vikki's blog and sign on up. Because EVERYONE could use an extra smile.


This week, I'm celebrating. . .



1) More corn. This time, a farmer gave my neighbor tons of free sweet corn, which meant around 30 more ears for me. And that leads to the 2nd celebration. . .


2) Bundt pans.  Since I already have 36+ plus ears frozen, I thought I'd cut the corn off the cobs this time (for soups, casseroles and Co.). And I found this really helpful video on Youtube.

(Yes, even if you aren't into cooking and stuff, these little peices of information may prove useful in your life. Trust me. Life is wierd.)

Actually, I roasted the cobs in the over at 400 degrees for 20 minutes (husk and all), let them cool, took off the husks and then cut them. That way, the corn was ready for immediate freezing.


3) Wins! Have you ever heard of storycartel.com? Well, if not, head on over. It is a way for authors and reviewers to touchbase with each other. Anywho...they ran a contest last month for reader packages with books, chocolates, notepads, tea, coffee, chocolate....yes, chocolate is important. And I won! Now, I'm sitting here fevering for the postman to make the delivery.

4) Le Krunche. Never heard of it? I bet you haven't because my son came up with this word last night when my daughter's first self-made pizza stayed a little too long in the oven. He said, 'Mom, that pizza reminds me of a French spice." When I asked him which one 'le krunche' was his answer. Okay, we're cheating. The 'e' on the end is not silent. Not real French. But it's still tons of fun to say.



So have you discovered any cool cooking hints this last week? Invented a new word? Eaten enough chocolate? Coffee? Tea? or Milk?
In other words, what are YOU celebrating this week?











Wednesday, September 10, 2014

What's Up Wednesday



Every Wednesday, Jaime Morrow and Erin L. Funk sponsor this weekly hop, so that us writerly folks can touch base with each other. (You know how us writers are - always hiding with our head in some story cave).

It's easy to join. Just hop on over to Jaime's or Erin's blogs and sign up on the linky.

(Jaime and Erin have give What's Up Wednesday a little make-over (which I noticed just now), but still, I wanted to give this little robot one last day in the sun before grabbing a new button. He was so cute!)


So, this is what I've been up to:


1) What I've Been Reading:

I finished up the second book in the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meier, Scarlett. Yes, it was even better than Cinder, which is saying a lot. I'm totally blown over every time a series gets better with each book. Doesn't happen very often.

So now, I'm in the middle of book 3, Cress, and am really enjoying it.


2) What I've Been Writing:

I've finally found my groove. YAY! Last week, I wrote a chapter a day, and when I got stuck on my one WIP, I simply switched over to the other and kept writing. This weekend, I was hit by that little idea lightening bolt (no, it didn't hurt), which brought the first WIP back into full swing. My character had a sex change (gasp!) - girl to boy - and that seems to have added the missing touch at the moment. Now, I just need a new name!


3) What Has Been Working For Me:

When I get stuck or the words suddenly don't want to flow like they should, I grab a notepad and pencil, head out the door and take a walk. When I find a nice sitting spot, I stare at the world around me for about 10 seconds (no, I'm not a patient person), and then hit the scene again. So far it flows. Every time.
Oh, I should add that I only sit there for about 20 minutes. Then my idea breeze has ended and I head home to type up the new tidbits.
As I said, I'm not a patient person.


4) What Else I've Been Up To:

*takes deep breath* This week has been all over the place. Not sure where exactly, but it's been everywhere.
- We visited a church with my neighbors on Sunday, and then went out to a lunch buffet (Yummy!)
- I've been battling goats and worms. I now know why I prefer cattle. Those goats are a pain in the neck in SO many ways.
- One of our chickens has laid two eggs - our first eggs. Hope there's more to come soon.
- One of our cars broke down, so my hubs has been taking our 2nd to work. That leaves me stuck on the farm all day long. (Great for writing!) So my neighbor let me accompany her to the grocery store yesterday.

I guess, I could sum up this week with -

Good neighbors are worth their weight in gold.




And what about you? What have you been up to this week? Have you been sweating, sunning or enjoying the cooler weather? Any good eggs lately?












Monday, September 8, 2014

For Tina Downey







Today, bloggers all over the blog-o-sphere are joining in to remember a very special writer friend,
Tina Downey. Everyone will be posting a sunflower flower, a flower, which reflects the joy and happiness she gave us. 

She had a positive motto - 'Life is Good'.
And when I saw this sunflower growing along the edge of our pasture, I was reminded how closely life and death are interwoven.
Life is good and full of color,
It begins, and it ends - one with the other.


We will miss you, Tina.






A Downey Education Fund has been set up for her two sons. 
 




Friday, September 5, 2014

Celebrate the Small Things



The amazing Vikki over at Viklit sponsors this weekly meme. Why? Silly question! Not really - no question is silly.

She does it to help remind us that it's the small things in life that make a difference. So think back. . .really hard. . .was there something this week that put a smile on your face? Something tiny?

Well, then go ahead and share!


This week, I'm celebrating. . .



1) Rain! After 7 weeks without a single drop, it finally has started to rain again. Gosh, my cows are happy.

2) You guys! Various people in this writing community have been giving me little ideas, words of encouragement, and little tidbits, which have really made a difference in my writing and attitude this week. Thank you!

3) My husband's birthday! For the first year ever, he didn't mope around about getting older. But he didn't have time. We spent the day at Wilson's Creek (south of Springfield, MO) and learned about the 2nd official battle of the Civil War.



This family hid in their cellar when the North and the South decided to have at it in the cornfield - uninvited. Personally, I would have been so angry at both sides for ruining my land, I think I would have gotten my cast iron skillet and hit a few of them over the head.
Poor kids. Could you imagine hiding in the cellar like that?

(Yes, it was a very sobering moment to see the battlefield where a couple thousand men had died. . . ugh, can I add that my youngest son searched the dirt hoping to find traces of blood so he could analyze it with his microscope???)


My oldest was hoping these were made of bronze and was dreaming of playing bank robber. 
Seriously, what's wrong with my kids?


BUT after we survived the battlefield national park, we headed home where hubs received a very special present from my older son.


A campfire coffee pot, so he can make original cowboy coffee.
Hubs says that surprisingly enough, the coffee grounds floating in the cup aren't really that irritating.
I'll take his word for it.



So what about you? What wonderful things did you experience or see or hear or taste or smell or feel ...*takes deep breath* what put a smile on your face?










Wednesday, September 3, 2014

IWSG


Happy Birthday, IWSG!!! Yep, for three years now, this group has been saving writers everywhere. Thanks to super-ninja, Alex J. Cavanaugh, and this month's awesome helpers:

 My Baffling Brain, Mark Koopmans, Shah Wharton, and Sheena-Kay Graham

I bet this group will be around many more years to come (I hope!)


My insecurity this month is better described like this:


Me staring at the keyboard (now, full-time since all the kids are in school). . .

staring at the keyboard. . .

staring at the keyboard. . .


As you can see, this isn't only a problem for the two manuscripts - one which I'm determined to have polished and shinny around December/January - but also for my eyes.



And what about you? Feeling insecure about anything or are those words flowing right out of you? Are those edit bugs biting your butt or do you have them under control? Maybe you've gotten to one of those awesome stages where there aren't insecurities, only happy moments?












Friday, August 29, 2014

Celebrate the Small Things



Once a week, Vikki over at Viklit sponsors a meme to help us remember that it's the small things in life which make the biggest difference. And heaven knows we could all use that extra smile on our faces. If you'd like to join in, go on and sign up on the linky over on her blog.

And of course, this entire meme wouldn't be possible without Vikki's amazing assistants!


Diana Wilder
LG Keltner @ Writing Off the Edge
Katie @ TheCyborg Mom
CaffeMaggieato @ mscoffeehouse

Thanks, guys!!!



This week, I'm celebrating:


1) Another scarf from Christmas is knit and done. This year, my presents are going to be ready early. Yay!

2) Taffy - My husband surprised me with a gigantic bag yesterday. So gooey and yummy!

3) My daughters have decided to learn more 'tricks' for future cheerleading hopes. My youngest can now do a cartwheel, and the oldest has learned a back-flip, handless cartwheel, and can lift her leg straight up by her shoulder while holding her ankle. I'm amazed, especially since I'm still battling to touch those toes.

4) I sold my first cows at the auction by myself. It's an odd feeling, pulling a trailer load of cattle to the auction, unloading and then bidding all alone. (hubs has to work now *sigh*) Especially since I'm the only woman in the entire auction barn who actually bids on cattle (and just doesn't accompany her farmer husband). It's kind of intimidating to sit between 50 sweaty, dust covered men and do the head nod (that's what I call the bidding because that's all it is - nod and keep a serious, straight face.) But I did it! *hehehe* I'm pretty sure I stick out like a goat in the chicken coop.  <---That's my bad attempt at a red-neck pun.



So, what about you? What wonderful little things happened to you this last week? What tiny thing plastered a smile on your face?








Wednesday, August 27, 2014

What's Up Wednesday



Yay! It's Wednesday again, which means it's time for another session of What's Up Wednesday with Jaime Morrow and Erin L. Funk. These lovely ladies sponsor this hop to help us writerly folks keep in touch with each other. If you want to join in on the fun, go on and head over to their sites, get the deets and sign in on the linky. It's that simple!


And here's what's up with me. . .


1) What I'm Reading:

I read Perfect Princess by Meg Cabot as a type of research for one of my WIPs. Funny research? I was surprised at amount of information it had over historical princesses--okay, it wasn't necessarily all serious information, but still. Then I read Fear and Sunshine by Donovan Scherer. This is a MG series about a really cute girl, Sunshine, who happens to be the heir to the one and only monster factory. It's really cute with great illustrations.

I've started reading Bringing Up Mike by Mark Duncan. This is a YA/NA about a high schooler who builds an android to attend school for him. It's more of a deep novel, handling the questions of acceptance and fitting in. I'll let you know what I think.


2) What I'm Writing:

I missed Monday's Ready.Set.Write! end post, but I did hit my 10,000 words. I just wish they had been 'good' words. I wrote and cut and wrote and cut and wrote... well, you get the idea. Me and my story are at odds with each other at the moment.


3) What's Inspiring Me:

Yesterday and today, the online writer's conference 'WriteOnCon' is underway. This is the first year I can really take part (have the time), but it's also the 1st year I can't pitch. Bummer. I'm still having fun. It's fantastic to watch all the live events and has definitely been educational so far. If you haven't, check it out today (or later, since they keep everything recorded for later viewing). It's free and simply amazing.


4) What Else I've Been Up To:

Sorting cows. Treating pink-eye again (ugh!). Knitting Christmas scarves.

On a more irritating note (well, irritating for me - my kids find it fantastic), the schools have already started their fundraisers (it's only the 2nd week of school, guys!). I hate fundraisers, not because I mind doing things or helping people out, but begging relatives and friends to buy things is just. . .*sigh*  Yeah, it's out of my comfort zone. Big time. So I've been grinding my teeth and hoping noone will hate us as my kids call around.

Otherwise, things are kind of quiet. Amazing!



What's up with you? Read any good books lately? Beating your head against that concrete writing wall or are you frolicking in the fields of words? Find anything this last week that sent your writer heart fluttering? What are your favorite types of cookies (the chocolate deluxe macadamian nut ones in my kids' catalogue looks seriously addicting)?





Friday, August 22, 2014

Celebrate the Small Things



Every Friday, the wonderful Vikki over at Viklit sponsors this weekly meme to help remind us that it's the small things of life which make the biggest difference.

Luckily, Vikki's not alone in her quest and has

Diana Wilder
LG Keltner @ Writing Off the Edge
Katie @ TheCyborg Mom
CaffeMaggieato @ mscoffeehouse

to help her.

Thanks!


This week, I'm celebrating:

1) Dragonflies.  The other evening, my hubs came in after putting away the goats and asked me if I'd ever seen over 200 dragonflies flying at once.
No. I hadn't.
So he took my hand and lead me outside behind our barn.         It. Was. Amazing.
I think there were well over 200 dragonflies swooping through the air, looking for bugs. Big ones.My hubs said if they were birds or bats, he would have run. Fast.

2) Corn on the Cob.  My neighbor called the other day, sounding rather desperate. Her husband had bought 120 + ears of sweet corn from a farmer and expected her to freeze all of them! Since it's just the two of them (and her freezer was already full), she wondered if I'd take a few dozen off of her hands. Guess what I did that night? Blanched and froze around 36 ears of corn. Yummy!

3) ACTs. What? I'm celebrating those exams? Why, yes -I am! My son is a senior this year (and after changing schools 3x last year due to our move), is buckling down hard. He's studying! *gasp* And the more amazing thing - every single night! This makes a mom's heart grow warm.



And what about you? What wonderful things happened to you this week? Did something small and unexpected put a smile on your face?








Wednesday, August 20, 2014

What's Up Wednesday



Two wonderful ladies, Jaime Morrow and Erin L. Funk, sponsor this weekly meme with the sole purpose of helping us writerly folks to keep in touch with each other. You can sign up on their linky and hop around - see what the writing world is up to!


This week. . .



1) What I've been reading. . .


I kind of went on a reading frenzy, despite life's craziness (or maybe because of it?). In the YA/Adult area, I read A FOREVER KINDA LOVE by Clara Stone. It's a YA romance, being released soon, and since she's a super cool writer buddy, I couldn't wait to get my fingers on an ARC. It's sweet. Then I read the 2nd book in the book set TEN BRIDES FOR TEN HEROES. I joined the street team a while ago for one of the authors and got a good deal on them. They're cute - easy reads. And I read TORTURED SOULS by Kimber Leigh Wheaton, which was pretty good. I'm planning on looking into some other books by her as well.

Off in the MG area, there was SECRET BOOK OF MUMMIES by Scott Peters, which goes through 101 facts about mummies. Very interesting. My younger son is totally hooked. FRANKIE DUPONT AND THE MYSTERY OF ENDERBY MANOR by Julie Grasso, which was really fun.

And I'm half-way through Marissa Meyer's CINDER - a fairytale cleverly done.


2) What I've been writing. . .

Because of all the reading, you might think I haven't gotten any of this done. Ha! I'm rockin' this week!
I sat down Monday w/ the goal of 10,000 words by the end of this week. I put my fingers on the keyboard and stared at the screen. Typed two words. And stared at the screen. Basically, that was all of Monday (in continual repetition, of course.) Tuesday morning started the same way. Two hours of staring at the screen, and then, it hit! 3,500 words yesterday, and I'm hoping to blast through tons more today.


3) What is Inspiring Me. . .


Ugh! This is always my most unfavorite question! Uhhhh....okay. Got it.

At the moment, I feel like I've just stepped into a new room of life and haven't even had a chance to glimpse at it yet. (I'm going to go a little weird here, so hold on. . .) It could be a living room with chandeliers and a plate full of chocolate. It could be a bathroom with a shower in desperate need of a scrub. It could be the laundry room too (oh no! please, no!) But whatever it is, I haven't experienced it yet, and I have no idea what to expect. Bad or good, it's a new journey, and I can't wait to see what's in store. That's inspiring me.


4) What Else I've Been Up To. . .

Well, I went to an antique store last week and found an old wooden rocking chair just like my grandmother once had. The basic frame is in really good shape, but the back needs to be fixed (a hole in the weaving) and it needs a new seat. Mark it up for a winter project! (I'll have to show before and after pics)

Then we went to the Laura Ingalls Wilder house. It was nice. Over priced. Lots of older women working there, who obviously love their job. Cute. It was fine to walk through, although I think you need to be a TOTAL Laura fan to really enjoy it. But it was nice. (We weren't allowed to take pictures indoors. My daughter took one outside, but I forgot to download them from her. *kicks self in backside*)

We built electric fence and moved my cows. (Exciting, huh?)

And the kids started school.




What about you? What have you been up to? Know of anyone who can weave straw backings for chairs? What room of life are you standing in right now? Want to come and help move some cows???




Monday, August 18, 2014

Ready. Set. Write!


Yay! It's Monday again! Time to kick off another week, another opportunity for adventure AND a new chance to catch up on that thing called writing.

It's time for. . . *drum roll*

Ready. Set.  Write!!!

Erin L. FunkAlison MillerKaty UppermanJaime Morrow, sponsor this summer long writing intensive with the purpose of writing, revising, or planning. Each Monday, participants share their goals through brief posts (2-3 lines per heading tops). For more info on RSW click here.



How I did on last week's goals:
one more chapter revision and some changes to one of my MCs  - After tons of thought and contemplation, I decided the changes I wanted to make to my MC weren't such a good idea after all. So I scratched that. As to the chapter revision - not done, but I honestly didn't think I'd get to it anyway.


My goal(s) for this week:

Our guest is gone, the kids are in school - I can jump in! SO - I'm shooting for around 10,000 words this week. . . ummm . . .20,000? Lol! We'll stick to the 10,000 and be horribly happy when I hit more.


A favorite line from my story or a phrase/word which sums up what I wrote/revised.

Not all ideas are good ideas.


The biggest challenge I faced this week.

Time! With the last free days before school and last days of our guest's visit, we had every single minute of the day planned with fun. . .or something. So writing was shoved into the background this last week.


Something I love about my WIP.

There's two of them - one serious, one not. This seems to be great for my mood swings!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

What's Up Wednesday


The lovely Jaime Morrow and Erin L. Funk sponsor this weekly meme in order for us writerly types to help keep in touch with one another. If you'd like to join in on the fun, go ahead and head on over to their blogs. There's a linky, cute buttons and hopefully, fun. . .fun. . .fun!


What have I been up to?


What I'm Reading:

I finished up One, Two, Three by Elodie Nowodazkij. It's a very emotional novel: heart-warming, tear-jerking, and saddening all at the same time. I caught myself sighing a few times (which is a good thing!)

I read half-way through Crossed by Ally Condie, the 2nd book in the Matched series, but laid it aside. It was fine in the beginning but drew out too long the more and more I got into it. . .Heroine almost gets to guy. He continues before she reaches him. They're lost, not finding each other. I don't know. Maybe it's my mood, but I found it boring.


What I'm Writing:

This week, not much. But that was to be expected. I have to have my author bio in by the end of this week. Why are these little things worse than an entire novel?


What's Inspiring Me:

New beginnings. . .or ones unfolding. Now, with the kids starting school, I'll have the entire day for myself. I can write. . .write. . . write! The thought alone is making me giddy. Watch out stories - I'm going to get you all down now!!!


What Else I've Been Up To:

Well, we bought a baler Friday. It's a fixer-upper and was SUPER cheap. My hubs has been tinkering on it already and is totally excited. Looks like it's going to be even easier to get running than we thought.


Nothing new. All 1950's and 60's here! Love it!


We were 'floating' on Saturday, and I now understand why it's called that. Although hubs and I opted for a canoe, the kids all took tubes. Know what? Tubes don't move! Hubs and I ended up poking the younger kids with our paddles to get them over the quiet spots. And it ended up being a little stressful because we had to be three miles down the river by a certain time or risk missing our ride. But how does one know how long 3 miles are??? We made it, but without the prodding, we wouldn't have had a chance. (Nope, no pictures. Everyone was afraid to get their devices wet)

It was fun!

Yesterday, I took my daughter and her German friend shopping in the big city of Springfield. . .to a mall. *gasp* Yeah, that's big stuff now. We had fun. My older son bought bacon and cheddar flavored crickets. Yes, crickets. Expensive little buggers too.

And today? Today, (since my daughter had to go to school) her friend and I are heading to Laura Ingalls Wilder's house. Can't wait for this one. Ugh! And my camera's broke!


What about you? What have you been up to?

Monday, August 11, 2014

Ready. Set. Write!


It's check-in time for Ready. Set. Write! again!

What is that?

In the words of Jaime Morrow, it’s a summer long writing intensive with the purpose of writing, revising, planning, and keeping each other accountable. We will be sharing our goals on Mondays, keeping our posts BRIEF (2-3 lines per heading) so we can spend more time writing and less time blogging. You can sign up at any of the other host blogs (KatyErinAlisonJaime). And don't forget to hop around to encourage other participants. For more information about RSW and a link to our super fun buttons, go here.




1) How I did on last week's goals.

I wanted to revise one chapter and got it done! I even wrote another couple hundred words. So, chalk that one up as done.


2) My goal(s) for this week.

Let's just go for one more chapter revision and some changes to one of my MCs. This week is still hectic, but as of Sunday, it should be smooth sailing ahead.


3) A favorite line from my story or a phrase/word which sums up what I wrote/revised.

Unsettled.


4) The biggest challenge I faced this week.

The time monster. Ahhhhh! (Just had to scream that for fun.)


5) Something I love about my WIP.

The story line and characters. That's a lot, I know, but I am excited about the premise and the characters are pack full of personality. It's simply fun to write.



What about you? How did your writing week go?




And then...
the wonderful P.K. Hzero is bringing out a 2nd book in her series!!!





She has a trailer (I LOVE trailers) - so enjoy!


Friday, August 8, 2014

Celebrate the Small Things!


This is a weekly blog hop sponsored by the wonderful Vikki over at Viklit. The purpose is to simply remind us that it's the small things in life, which really are important. So help put a smile on your face and join in over on her website!




This week, I'm celebrating. . .


1) Rain! After 4 weeks without a single drop, the clouds finally moved in again yesterday. My poor animals need the fresh grown grass so badly, so this was a real blessing.


2) I won a $50 GC with one of the book review tour groups I work with. So yippee!

3) I finally got to write a little again this week. Not much, but it's so nice to get some things done.

4) We're going floating this weekend! It's the thing to do around here (I'm told). My 'boys' have decided it's time we go, so we'll be joining them tomorrow, drive to a river, rent inner tubes and one or two canoes, and simply float down the river for several hours (they told me they floated 6 hours last time.) I'm so excited. Hopefully, it doesn't rain though (did I say that???)


Since I'm now smiling at all these memories, I'll jump into something a little less happy. I've decided to stop my Grammar Friday posts. My review blog is going to be slowed down too. Although I LOVE touching base with everyone and even feel like I'm not doing it enough sometimes, I it's chomping into my writing time. Massively. So I'm re-balancing and re-organizing. See what comes out of it!


What little things put a smile on your face this week? Have you had any rain lately or are you sunning away in the summer sun. . .or sweating? Have you ever gone 'floating'? How's the balance in your life?