Friday, October 28, 2016

Always Celebrating The Small Things


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. . .


*phew* This is one of those weeks, where this blog hop comes at a perfect time. I need to sit down and remember to smile. Ready for this run-down? (It's pretty heavy)

On Saturday, my daughter's car died. She blew a head-gasket and warped the engine head. Since she originally purchased the car way under value (got an amazing deal), it's worth repairing. But it will still cost her quite a bit and won't be done for several weeks. That means back to Mommy taxi (which she hates).

Tuesday, I took my truck in for new tires and discovered that a ball joint is going out and several bushings need to be repaired. Ugh.

Wednesday, my husband's truck started acting up... or rather the transmission has made itself known. In other words, that's going to die here soon too.

And if this wasn't enough, my husband received some pretty bad news this week.
 Over four weeks ago, he was scratched by a cat and punched a wall (he was trying to catch said cat). That night, his finger swelled up. A few days later (because we were sure he just bruised his knuckle at first), we decided to take him in to the doctor. They announced he had 'cat scratch fever'...(now, they just decided this out of the blue without any tests or x-rays or anything...and my husband didn't show all the symptoms. Yep, I googled.). So he took antibiotics for 10 days and was told to be patient. After the ten days, his finger was still pretty swollen. So we went back.
The doc said it looked just right for that stage of the injury (again, no blood tests, x-rays or anything, although my hubs asked if they weren't sure that something like that might be necessary) and they prescribed another 10 days of antibiotics. After this 10 days was up, the finger was still not normal. So off to the doctor again. (Because seriously, after almost 4 weeks and 2 runs of antibiotics, a finger should look somewhat better, right?)
This time, they finally took an x-ray. The result:  his entire joint and half of the lower bone in his ring finger (right hand) no longer exists.
His bone has been and is still eroding away as the infection happily spreads. So. . .today, they are performing an emergency surgery to see exactly what type of bacterial infection my hubs has and see how deep it's already gone.

Best case scenario--my husband keeps his finger but will never be able to use it again.
The other scenarios aren't so rosy.


So this week, I'm chairishing those reasons to celebrate

1) My son and his fiance had engagement pictures taken, and they turned out great!



2) Pumpkin Spice Latte! I finally received one this week and enjoyed every sip.

3) Very helpful family members! When my daughter's car broke down, of course it happened over 50 miles away from home. So my parents and brother drove out, loaded it on their trailer and drove it all the way to our house (which is a HUGE detour for them).


What about you? What put a smile on your face this last week? Did you see a lovely flower? Hear a song you haven't heard in a long time? Discover a dollar bill in the back of a drawer? What are you celebrating this week?


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Writers face setbacks? Gosh yes! Author L.G. Keltner offers help


Today, I woke up to find someone knocking on my blog's door--a guest!  Sure enough, she didn't come empty handed. Author L.G Keltner has plopped down onto my not so new couch and is offering a few words of writer wisdom. I was going to offer some brownies, but can you believe I forgot to bake them last night? So I guess virtual chocolate chip cookies are going to have to do. In any case. . .

Welcome, L.G.!!!


Handling Setbacks in a Positive Way

Being a writer isn’t easy.  I’ve heard more than one person say that being a writer seems like an easy career choice, but guess what.  None of those people were writers.  Perhaps people get that idea because a well-written, polished story doesn’t leave any hints of the turmoil that went into creating it.

Life can throw up all kinds of roadblocks that writers must overcome.  Work must be done, and family emergencies may pop up at unexpected times.  There’s no way to avoid that.  However, the way you react to such setbacks will help determine how successful you are as a writer.

First of all, try not to be too hard on yourself when life forces you to take a break.  This happens to everyone, and beating yourself up over it may only make it harder for you to get back to your story when life settles down again.  You don’t cease to be a writer simply because you need to temporarily focus your energies elsewhere.  The break away from your work may even end up leaving you feeling refreshed at the end of the day, and life experience can be a great source of inspiration.

What happens if you’re working on a story and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere?  Set it aside if you need to, and don’t let yourself feel bad about it.  This happens to all of us.  Simply put the story away somewhere safe.  You may never return to it, and that’s okay.  However, inspiration may strike.  I’ve pulled old stories out, dusted them off, and turned them into something good, and you can too.  

When setbacks happen, try to stay as positive as you can.  This is easier said than done, of course, but it will do you a lot of good in the long run.  Don’t forget that you’re a writer, and as long as you don’t give up on it entirely, your writing will always be there waiting for you when those setbacks are resolved.




Self-Help 101 or: How to Select a Costume to Help You Deal With People
by L.G. Keltner
Holiday/Humor
Length: 29,000 words
Cover Art:  L.G. Keltner and Jamon Walker
Released on: September 27, 2016




Book 3 in the Self-Help 101 series.

Dani Finklemeier is adjusting to life in college and the realities of living away from home for the first time.  She’s also learning to deal with the criticism that stems from sharing her writing with the world.  Some of the online criticism is even spelled correctly, which somehow makes it worse.

Fortunately, she has a Halloween party, a group of friends, and a supportive boyfriend to distract her from the things that are bothering her.  Of course, a holiday celebration wouldn’t be complete without something going wrong.  Between an unpleasant confrontation with an infuriating classmate, some shocking costume choices, and a bizarre fraternity stunt, the evening will be anything but dull.

Dani’s detractors may not like it, but she’ll definitely have enough material for another book.



EXCERPT

“Are you going to the party tonight?” Daniel asked as he dropped into the seat next to mine.  His floppy brown hair was actually well-groomed that morning.  This frequently wasn’t the case.
“Yup.”  I pulled my notebook from my backpack.
The party in question was supposed to be huge.  The Student Activities Council threw a big Halloween party every year, and I’d heard stories regarding the blowouts of previous years.
“Cool.  I’m going too.”  Daniel smiled.  “I considered finding a way to dress up as a gun so I could say I was Chekhov’s gun, but school frowns on that sort of thing.  I’d probably get expelled if I tried it.”
Ah, good old Chekhov’s gun.  This is the idea that if you have a dramatic element in a story, such as the reveal of a gun, it must play a role later on.  Throwing it in and not using it would mess with people’s heads, though I can’t see why messing with people is automatically bad.
“Does that mean you can’t dress up as a pen either?” I asked.  “Remember that proverb?  ‘The pen is mightier than the sword.’”
“To be fair, you can stab someone with a pen.”
“You can also write something that hurts someone’s feelings.  That might get you into more trouble than the stabbing,” I said.




And here she is. . .


L.G. Keltner spends most of her time trying to write while also cleaning up after her crazy but wonderful kids and hanging out with her husband.  Her favorite genre of all time is science fiction, and she’s been trying to write novels since the age of six.  Needless to say, those earliest attempts weren’t all that good.

Her non-writing hobbies include astronomy and playing Trivial Pursuit.

You can typically find L.G. lurking around her blog, on Twitter, or on her Facebook page.



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Friday, October 21, 2016

Celebrate the Small Things


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) Eating lunch with my two little ones! Teacher conferences are here, which means early out yesterday and today free from school. So I picked up the kids yesterday and took them out for lunch. And we had fun.

2) Finished brush hogging my upper field! All those weeds are cut- yay! So now, it's back to wood splitting and hauling- does that also qualify for a yay?

3) Cool breezes through my window! Cooler temperatures seem to have finally settled in. Last night it got down to the mid 30's. So wonderful!


And what about you? What put a smile on your face this last week? See one last butterfly? Drink some warm apple cider? Find a fluffy scarf for the winter? What are you celebrating?





Friday, October 14, 2016

Let's Celebrate Those Small Things!


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) Guests! My brother, his wife and 5-month-old daughter (so cute!) came by Sunday for a two day visit, which turned into a 5 day visit. They live way up in northern Minnesota, so we don't get to see them very often. It was a treat.

2) Cool temperatures and breaking in the fireplace! The last two days, temperatures have plummeted to the lower 60's with nights in the lower 40's. That's perfect for an evening fire. It was lovely to watch those flames shoot to life last night and feel the warmth radiating off of it. I always find it so calming and snuggly. (Too bad we're supposed to have mid-eighties again next week. Seriously, this weather is crazy!)

3) Halloween candy! We don't really have a great Halloween in our area. The overwhelming religious beliefs here keep the schools from celebrating it, and most houses don't offer trick-or-treating either. The kids can do a little candy collecting, but it's nothing to the bulging bag we collected as kids. So, I've decided to bring on the candy in advance and just indulge beforehand. (*aehm* This has nothing to do with my own sweet tooth...nope. Not a thing.)


What about you? What put a smile on your face this past week? Survive that horrible hurricane? Get to visit a pumpkin patch? Eat a lovely piece of cake? What are you celebrating this week?


Friday, October 7, 2016

Yep, let's Celebrate The Small Things!



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. . .


Ugh. I'm really wracking my brains this time. What even happened this last week???

1) Quiet week! There really wasn't anything big going on, but simply a lot of here and there and everywhere. Not sure what I got done. Not sure what I even did. But the week went by. Wow.

2) Cleaning! That's what I did a lot of. Can I celebrate this? My brother and his family are stopping by this coming weekend. We haven't seen him in over a year, so we're looking forward to it. And since we're getting guests, it's a great drive to finally clean those things I usually wouldn't. Then I can lean back and ignore that stuff again.

3) Baking! The temperatures are slightly cooler this week, so I got the oven going and baked some oatmeal, chocolate chip cookies as well as a 2 ft long braided raisin bread (German style). And after 3 days, it's all gone. *sigh*

4) Breakfast with my son! My oldest is really a hard working guy. He goes to college full time, runs an online resale business, works at the college part time as a computer assistant AND pulls three night shifts as a maintenance guy at Walmart. This last week, he wanted me to meet him in town when he got off at 7am and take him out to breakfast. I'm betting this will become a weekly thing and am enjoying it since it won't last forever.


What about you? What put a smile on your face this last week? Get to ride a broomstick? See a pretty sunset? What are you celebrating?




Wednesday, October 5, 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!

A huge thanks goes to the super-duper co-hosts:  Beverly Stowe McClure, Megan Morgan, Viola Fury, Madeline Mora-Summonte, Angela Wooldridge, and Susan Gourley


This month brought a big reminder that nothing is ever sure in the world o' publishing. Even when contracts are signed, manuscripts edited and the promotion runs smoothly, there's still no guarantee that shiny book will ever hit the shelves.

Crazy? Gosh, yes.

But I've learned time and again that until the book is in your excitedly sweaty little hands, there's always the chance things won't work out.

So onward bound!

This month's question is: How do you know your story is ready?

My answer: You don't because it's never really ready.

Now, to back peddle a bit on that one. . .   As a writer, I'll never find my work perfect. And I haven't run into any writers who have reached that heavenly state of certainty. But that obviously can't be the answer because our inner critics would be the death of all writers.

I consider a story ready:

1) When the deadline is reached, and I don't have any more time to edit and rewrite. Tick...tock...time is up!    But this is the simple one.

2) When I run out of betas! Lol! Okay, not quite. I do my 1st draft, several rewrites and edits, and then send it out the door to my CPs. Then comes another round of edits. Maybe two. Maybe three? Off to 2-3 betas. More rewrites and edits. Off to the next round of betas. More rewrites and edits. Usually, I'll call it quits here and deem said story ready. Unless my gut is telling me otherwise. Then, I might be seeking 1-2 more betas to make sure.

That's my scheme....unless I change it. Which I do. Often.


And how about you? When do you know that your story is ready to hit the world?