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?


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

What's Up Wednesday and IWSG


Two wonderful ladies, Jaime Morrow and Erin L. Funk, sponsor this weekly meme. The purpose? To help us writerly people keep in touch with each other and simply let the world know what's up! Feel free to go on over and join in on the fun.


This week. . . .


1) What I'm Reading

I'm still working through Elodie Nowodazkij's ONE TWO THREE. I'm really enjoying it but have to keep putting it down to keep up with my book review blog. I guess sometimes the best things are devoured slowly.

Otherwise, I read ADVENTURES WITH RAGWEED by Linda Lou Crosby, a fun bunch of short adventures with a spunky (and slightly off-tilter) girl. Great for kids since it's packed full of fun in a bunch of really short bursts. And two books out of the Pandora Box Set - a YA/NA collection of paranormal tales (most are full length, already published books!) from some really amazing authors. I honestly can recommend this to all you paranormal YA/NA fans, especially since last I looked it was only 99 cents on Amazon.


2) What I'm Writing

I actually got a chapter revised yesterday! Woot! Woot! And I've made some important discoveries about my MC, ones which I can't believe I didn't see before. I'm not writing as much as I'd like, but I've noticed that the story is still morphing in my mind, so maybe not scribbling everything down yet is a good thing.


3) What is Inspiring Me

Knowing that the kids start school soon and for the very first time, I'll be home all day all by myself. (The German school system had them usually home around 12:00 already) I can't wait to chomp through those MSs this year!


4) What Else is Going On

Phew! A lot.  We went to an amusement park on Thursday and were happily surprised that there's a really awesome cave tour included in the price. Amusement park = cave tour??? I blinked several times. But the cave was one of the better ones I've seen, and I'm a real cave tour junky.

Saturday, we picked up my daughter's friend from the airport and spent the day combing the huge city of Springfield, MO. Yeah, I'm being sarcastic. It's smaller than my hometown Denver, but tons bigger than our little bunch of stories (hahaha - I meant stores- you see where my brain is!) and houses out here in the boonies.

Sunday and Monday, the neighbor boys came over with tons of ideas on how to demonstrate their hill-billiness to the German girl. Very entertaining.

So, we're busy...busy...busy!


Before I run out of breath, I'll slide right into another favorite thing of mine:




This is a super, awesome, amazing support group for writers. If you haven't heard of it or aren't a member yet, you are missing something. Seriously. It's the brain-child of Alex J. Cavanaugh, who just happens to be as amazing as this group. You can find out all the information here.


My theme this month is to simply enjoy the more quiet waters.

Right now, I don't have any specific insecurities. I'm just kind of floating along. Time is a little bit of an issue right now, but that's fine because in a little less than two weeks (unless the world does a huge, unexpected flip-flop), I'll have more writing time than I know what to do with. I'm really excited about it. Especially since I'm in love with two WIPs, and there's another one waiting on the back burner.

I should be nervous about submissions, but my agent is holding off until everyone is back from summer vacation and at their desks (which means a couple of more weeks). So there's nothing to worry about on that front yet either. Plus, I got a little, indirect, extra 'hug' from her this last week, which us writers can never seem to get enough of.

I think this is the first time since I've started seriously writing that I've felt calm--with a dab of excitement. No self-doubt today (although that monster will come back full-tilt!). No impatience...whoa! Did I say that? No thoughts of throwing my laptop out the window and giving up this entire writing thing. (But this will come again too, I'm sure.)

So, I'm leaning back in my writing inner-tube and simply enjoying the float down the river because the next rapids is on the way--probably a huge one.



And what about you? What have you been writing? Gone over a waterfall yet? Or did you forget to pack your swimsuit? What's up on your front?


Monday, August 4, 2014

Ready. Set. Write!


Happy Monday, and welcome to another week of. . .

Ready. Set. Write!

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 wish I could say great. . .but it'd be a big, fat lie. I wanted to get one chapter revised. I didn't open a page. Let's just say the last days before the start of school (and a visitor from Germany) are complicating things.


2) My goal(s) for this week.

Maybe get to that chapter finally? Probably not. But I can dream.


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

Shari scowled at me. “You’re sliding into Grinch mode.”  


4) The biggest challenge I faced this week.

Oh, that's easy! Time.


5) Something I love about my WIP.

Each character has a distinct personality and a distinct purpose. There's no room for anything half-hearted or mundane. I love that.