Friday, August 3, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things... If I can catch up


It's time to celebrate the small things!!!

What exactly are we celebrating?

Anything. . .everything! Every week, things happen which put a smile on our faces. Although some are hard to forget, others are more passing moments. But it's these small things in life which can make all the difference.

Thanks to Lexa Cain and her co-host, L.G. Keltner from Writing Off the Edge, we can sit back for a second and remember these happy moments.

This week, I'm celebrating. . .


Holy crow! This week trampled by, leaving me blinking at the passing dust. I completely missed IWSG and almost flew through this lovely hop too.  But here, I am! So.......

1) Cool weather! Lots of it (although it could have brought more rain). Still, I'm happy! I could actually work outside without swimming in sweat the entire time. The temperatures have eased back into the 90s the last few days, but the nights are in the lower 60s, which, at least, cools things down. Super YAY to that!

2) Moving my son out! Okay, this is one of those celebrations, which is not necessarily one. (He's my strong helper for the farm, which leaves now, only me and the two younger ones *le sigh*) He's finally moving to the main campus to continue his next degree. My daughter's been up there since last year, so we were expecting him to make the move for some time. It went smoothly, and I'm sure he'll survive very well.

3) Finished painting the front deck! I still have the back one to go, but progress is progress.


On the writing front...

Editing has been the key word the last two weeks and will still be next week. Editing... editing... editing. BUT I have been poking at a different MS too. Pure editing makes for a dull mind.


And that's it for my week!

How about you? What put a smile on your face these past days? Did you try to eat 3 jelly doughnuts in an hour (this is my younger son's idea)? Have a chance to take a stroll somewhere you've never been before? See a beautiful sunset?

What are you celebrating?









Friday, July 27, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things


It's time to celebrate the small things!!!

What exactly are we celebrating?

Anything. . .everything! Every week, things happen which put a smile on our faces. Although some are hard to forget, others are more passing moments. But it's these small things in life which can make all the difference.

Thanks to Lexa Cain and her co-host, L.G. Keltner from Writing Off the Edge, we can sit back for a second and remember these happy moments.

This week, I'm celebrating. . .


1) Butterflies!  Mamosa trees are bountiful in our area. I know some consider them a weed (and they can be a pain), but the flowers are amazing. Especially since the smell so lovely and draw in the butterflies. We have a fairly large tree, and right now, it seems to move thanks to all of those beautiful winged creatures.

2) Cool weather in sight! We've suffered a drought in our area which was hitting the pastures and cattle hard. Most started feeding hay early July. I was in luck and had one pasture I hadn't used yet and could fall back on. But the rain finally pulled in last week (saving me just as I was running out of grass too). And this weekend, the prediction sits at 75 degrees and rain for three days! I might even have to put a light sweater on. YAY!

3) Running around! As summer break shadows with its end, the kids have been wanting to toss in last activities. We've gone to the water park, a State park, canoeing, lots of ice cream eating, movies, museums and all sorts of other places. My writing has suffered horribly because of it, but we are having fun.


And that's it for this week!

What about you? What put a smile on your face? Did you pet a cute dog? Get a special discount at the grocery store? Find just the right pair of shoes on sale? 

What are you celebrating?





Friday, July 6, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things


It's time to celebrate the small things!!!

What exactly are we celebrating?

Anything. . .everything! Every week, things happen which put a smile on our faces. Although some are hard to forget, others are more passing moments. But it's these small things in life which can make all the difference.

Thanks to Lexa Cain and her co-host, L.G. Keltner from Writing Off the Edge, we can sit back for a second and remember these happy moments.

This week, I'm celebrating. . .


1) Fun on the 4th of July! Since the heat is getting ridiculous (we can't even use our pool, the water has gotten so warm!), we headed for the creek and the swimming hole. There's a rope tied very, very, very high in the tree to swing out into the water on. There's a slide tied to a rock and all sorts of fun little swimming spots. We brought our mini-grill and headed out to make sure we were there at 10am...because we are people shy and knew everyone else wouldn't appear until 1pm or so. And it was great! No one else there for a few hours and we had fun.

2) My husband was home on the 4th! As anyone knows who's been following me, hubs has turned into Mr. Trucker. The company he works for actually does all they can to bring their drivers home for certain holidays. So we could swim with him too.


Ugh! That's all I can think of for this week. Unfortunately, I caught the stomach flu which smashed several other celebrations I might have had. But oh well, that only gives more to do next week!


And what about you? What put a smile on your face this past week? Find a fluffy winter cap? See fireflies? Find some cool water somewhere?

What are you celebrating???









Tuesday, July 3, 2018

IWSG - And up the ladder we go!


It's IWSG time!

Every month on the first Wednesday.... okay, this month it's a Tuesday, but even us writers aren't about to give up our 4th of July... writers come together to offer support, advice, encouragement or simply to shed our frustrations and woes with each other. Writing is a tough journey, and we don't have to do it alone.

Thanks goes to the brain behind this group, Alex J. Cavanaugh! If you want to join in or find out more (because there is so much more to this group) then head on over here.

Special thanks goes to this month's helpers:  Nicki Elson, Juneta Key,Tamara Narayan, and Patricia Lynne!

This month's question is. . .


What are your ultimate writing goals, and how have they changed over time (if at all)?

I simply want to become an author with several books out there and more to come. Making enough money along the way to do more than treat the kids to an ice cream wouldn't be bad either. (Big goal, huh?)

Has this changed over time? Nope. Not really.

For me, my writing journey feels like steps up a ladder.
Small articles published - 1st step.
Short stories published - 2nd step.
Novella thingy published - 3rd step.

And now, I'm carefully sliding onto step number 4 with my debut novel coming next year (February 5th from Dancing Lemur Press).


It's a fantasy / darker fairy tale for ages 9 to 12.

And I have a tagline now!!!


Ready???



"I only desire your talent..."








Each of these steps feels like another rung up to the main goal, and each one is just as hard if not harder than the last. Hmmm... I wonder if there ever will be a last rung or if it goes on and on and on and on.


What about you? What are your writing goals? Or do you even have any???

Friday, June 22, 2018

Celebrate The Small Things

It's time to celebrate the small things!!!

What exactly are we celebrating?

Anything. . .everything! Every week, things happen which put a smile on our faces. Although some are hard to forget, others are more passing moments. But it's these small things in life which can make all the difference.

Thanks to Lexa Cain and her co-host, L.G. Keltner from Writing Off the Edge, we can sit back for a second and remember these happy moments.

This week, I'm celebrating. . .

1) Getting tons of things done! Not only is it high-gear for farm season, but I'm trying to get the house repaired and ready for future sale. Yep, you heard it right! Farm life is great but not when my husband is having fun on the highways and my oldest helpers (aka kids) are moving out and away on their own in the next couple of months. Let's just say mega-muscles for fence post pounding, tree cutting, bull chasing and such are simply missing. So it's time for a new adventure in life. After I get the house ready. So, this is what we did the last days on the farm and in the house:

- hay cut and baled!
- 2 brush-hogged!
- 4 bar stools re-upholstered
- kitchen cabinets sanded, repainted and replaced
- 2 windows fixed
- fence line rebuilt (thanks to huge downed tree)

After this weekend, it will be time for round two! *manly grrrr*

2) Ice cream! We discovered a cute, newly opened ice cream parlor in a nearby small town. The owners put a ton of love into it, and the prices are even affordable. Oh, and the ice cream tastes great!

3) Everything is moving along on the publishing end. Blurb done, tagline done, cover done, basic edits done. Sound like I can lean back and relax? No way! I have a feeling the fun is just beginning.

4) A new push lawn mower! Or new for me. I buy used (penny-pinching person that I am). I do most of the mowing with a riding lawn mower, but there are these spots I just can't really hit. Now, those areas will be snazzy and clean!

5) Cooler temperatures! The last couple of days have nestled in at the low 80's / upper 70's...such a huge change from the constant 90's we've had since the beginning of May. Considering replacing the central air conditioner is still on my 'must be done' house repair list, the lovely breezes are a welcome change.


And what about you? What put a smile on your face this last week? Hit the pool? Hear a catchy tune? Run across a favorite type of candy at the store?

What are you celebrating???






Wednesday, June 6, 2018

IWSG - Words and Wine


It's the first Wednesday of the month and time for another meeting of IWSG (The Insecure Writer's Support Group). This is the brainchild of the awesome Alex J. Cavanaugh and, in his words, has the following 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!"

To find out more or join in, head on over here!

I, along with  Beverly Stowe McClure,Tyrean Martinson, and Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor, are co-hosting this month. 

This month's question is (and answering is not obligatory). . .


What's harder for you to come up with, book titles or character names?


Every time I expected a child...

Huh, worded like that, it sounds like I had tons of kids! 

Restart!

A few months before each one of our four children were born, my husband and I headed out to a Gastst├Ąttethat's the German term for a quaint, more rustic type of restaurant, ordered something delicious (obviously), and drank a wine while jotting down all sorts of girls and boys names which we might want to bind to our future child for the rest of its life. In Germany, there are actually laws surrounding the names parents are allowed to give their children, so that does narrow down the list a bit. 

We weren't allowed to name our kids lovely things like Sunshine, Blue, Precious or anything else not fitting to a usual and acceptable name (either in English or German). 

I found it unfair, not that I'm the kind of person who would really name their kid Rainbow or anything. Still. . .

Luckily, character names don't fall under such regulations. Even in Germany.

In any case, after two wines, we always had narrowed down the list to two names—one for a boy, one for a girl (we always loved surprises).

And that was it. 

When naming my characters, I'd need at least a dozen glasses of wine. Some names fall from the sky right away. Others. . .  not so much. Let's just say that those name search sites and I have become very good friends. And yes, I would name a character Ice or Sunflower or Boat...hmmm...I better jot those down for future books.

Now, let's look at titles. These are an entirely different story. They drop into my lap like they were always intended to appear there. Often times, I even know the title before I have a real plot. 

And how many glasses of wine does it take to work out a plot. . .

Let's just say I've been blessed with a husband who enjoys making wine. Lots of it.


What about you? Are you a character name guru? Or are you a title genius?

Or do both leave you scratching your head???


I've been informed that not all comments are being posted or showing up below. If this is happening to you and you'd really like to say something, I can only suggested using a different browser (and hope it works). I've been fighting this problem for several months now, thought it was solved, but obviously, it's back to the drawing board!

Friday, June 1, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things!


Oh my! Talk about weeks flying by. This last one left me dizzy. . .or maybe it's the allergies.

Anyway, it's time to celebrate the small things!

So, what are we celebrating?

Anything. . .everything! Every week, things happen which put a smile on our faces. Although some are hard to forget, others are more passing moments. But it's these small things in life which can make all the difference.

Thanks to Lexa Cain and her co-host, L.G. Keltner from Writing Off the Edge, we can sit back for a second and remember these happy moments.

This week, I'm celebrating. . .

1) My aunt! One of my aunts passed away last week after suffering from an ever weakening heart and health. She was a wonderful woman, always pulling everyone together, and instantly there for anyone who needed her. Whenever I think of her, I can only smile. . .that's how wonderfully warm she was. She will be missed, and it was a joy to have known her.

2) A quick vacation! This last week was like a whirlwind. My oldest and I attended the funeral from Saturday to Sunday late afternoon (very quick car trip), and on Monday afternoon, my youngest two and I took off for a 3-day, spontaneous vacation. We discovered some very fun, interesting and amazing state parks around Farmington, MO.


Elephant Rock - This looks like some giant decided to drop boulders like marbles onto a gigantic, stone table top. It was simply amazing and odd at the same time. My little climber loved it. 



These two came from Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park. This was simply awesome. See those rocks? Well, there are tons of them in a river bed. The water flows between them in small areas of calm, sometimes rapids, mini-waterfalls and extremely deep ponds. It's like a natural waterpark and has been rated as a 'must-visit-as-soon-as-possible-again' by my kids. And me. This is definitely the place to go for fans of rock climbing, water, adventure and with a bit of dare-devil throw in.

3) Bigger chicken coop (and a very, hard-working son)! While repairing some rotting places on our coop, I mentioned to my oldest son (in passing) that I have always hoped to make the run (that's the fenced in area outside of the solid coop) bigger. The next morning, after heading to town, I returned to find him digging in new support poles and hammering away. Last night, we purchased the extra needed chicken-wire to finish it off, but it will be done by the end of today. Even if my chickens won't thank my son (oh, and they better not thank me with more eggs! I'm swimming in those as it is), I can't thank him enough.


What about you? What put a smile on your face this last week? Dive into a delicious slice of cheese cake? See a beautiful bird? Discover a pen in the back corner of your desk drawer?

What are you celebrating?

Friday, May 25, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things!


It's that time of the week again—time to celebrate! (I love celebrations, don't you?)

So, what are we celebrating?

Anything. . .everything! Every week, things happen which put a smile on our faces. Although some are hard to forget, others are more passing moments. But it's these small things in life which can make all the difference.

Thanks to Lexa Cain and her co-host, L.G. Keltner from Writing Off the Edge, we can sit back for a second and remember these happy moments.


This week, I'm celebrating. . .

1) Summer break! The kids are home, which means I don't have to set the alarm clock to 5:45 am every morning (the bus always picked them up at 6:30 am). That alone makes me smile ear to ear. But it also means we can take off whenever we want to where we want for the day—picnics, trips to the river, ice cream runs. It's wonderful freedom!!!

2) My oldest son pulled a 4.0 for his 5th college semester straight, which was huge news for him. He was sure he was getting a B in one of his classes, but the teacher must have been in a good mood because there was an 'A' on there when he received his grades. Happy surprise!

3) And my biggest news. . .something I haven't 'officially' announced yet. . .IS. . .

One of my books has found a home!!!


I signed a publishing contract for one of my middle grade stories—an urban fantasy with a lean toward Coraline and a ballet twist—this last week. The publisher, Dancing Lemur Press LLC, is one I've been following for several years, and I adore the books from their authors. It's exciting to be joining them, and I'm looking forward to everything to come. Anyway, I'll obviously be screaming about this one much more in the future, so beware!



And that sums it up for this last week!

What about you? What put a smile on your face these past days? Find a new flavor of ice cream? Enjoy a swim? Run into a friend somewhere?

What are you celebrating?




Friday, April 27, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things!

Hello! After neglecting my poor blog for a few weeks, I'm back again! What better way to start up than with this wonderful blog hop?

It's that time of the week again—time to celebrate! (I love celebrations, don't you?)

So, what are we celebrating?

Anything. . .everything! Every week, things happen which put a smile on our faces. Although some are hard to forget, others are more passing moments. But it's these small things in life which can make all the difference.

Thanks to Lexa Cain and her co-host, L.G. Keltner from Writing Off the Edge, we can sit back for a second and remember these happy moments.


I have tons to celebrate. . .

1) A break! I didn't mean to hide away for a while, and I'm not sure I have everything organized yet, but the break was necessary. Not intentional. I thought of everyone every single week. The down time was nice and hopefully, I can hit this with new energy.

2) My husband loves his new job! (and this is why my life need re-organizing) Okay, he's still in training, but I've never heard or seen him so excited about anything. (For those of you who don't know, he's hitting a 'boy' dream of his and has gone from business manager to trucker.) We're putting a big map on the wall, so we can keep track of where he is during the week. . .and he does keep moving. He's even already picked up a nick-name with his colleagues that he loves and will probably have painted on his truck when he gets his own in another month—'Doc'.

See that smile?

3) Birthdays! In our household, almost everyone has their birthday between late March and mid-April, which means a party a week. . .and TONS of cake. Now, it's time to burn off all of those extra calories.

4) Baby calves! We've had four in the last weeks. I love watching them romp around. . .so cute!



5) Flowers! Although the weather has been cool (which is not great for my pastures!), the flowers have managed to pop up beautifully. I'm hoping for warmer temperatures now, so that I can at least sit outside a little bit and enjoy them.


And that sums it pretty much up for now!

What about you? What put a smile on your face?
Was an irritating pothole on your way to work finally fixed?
Did you find some money hidden in the bottom of your pocket?
Was a cashier unexpectedly friendly at just the right moment?

What are you celebrating this week?






Wednesday, April 4, 2018

IWSG and Wacky Life Weather In Sight



It's time for another meeting of The Insecure Writer's Support Group, otherwise known as. . .

IWSG!!!

This is a place where writers come with all their doubts, fears, suggestions and words of encouragement, and was founded by none other than the amazing Alex Cavanaugh

If you want to learn more, head on over here. 

Alex's helpers this month are:  Olga Godim, Chemist Ken, Renee Scattergood, and Tamara Narayan!  Thanks guys for all that you do!


I still haven't gotten all of my 'technical difficulties' worked out (my inability to comment on Blogger posts or several followers to comment on mine), but so far, it appears to be a browser problem...Google Chrome just isn't always cooperating with Blogger. So, I'm going to have to switch browsers to comment (pain in the neck), and others. . .well, if you notice that your comment isn't showing up and you really want to comment, then it will take a switch of browsers for that moment.

As said. . .pain in the neck.

And now, it's time for this week's question:


When your writing life is a bit cloudy or filled with rain, what do you do to dig down and keep on writing? 

At the moment, my life isn't really filled with rain and clouds, but it is doing a weather flip-flop. My husband is living a boyish dream and heading into trucking for a few years before he hits retirement. (The Europeans don't have the huge semis like we do in America, so his little kid heart has always dreamed of cruising across American highways. . .he's dreaming of ice-trucking in Alaska too, but that's still in the future.)
So life is taking a drastic change, since the kids and I will be on our own most of the time. And that with a farm, which I'm not sure will work yet. In other words, I'm getting our house ready for sale this summer and planning on moving...no idea where yet...

Which is such a cool adventure of its own! Florida? Arizona? Oregon? Minnesota? Anywhere!

So, yeah. Keeping my head in writing isn't easy.

But I do it. Writing, like reading, is an escape to a different reality, where only the characters and their problems matter. Do I always feel like writing? Heavens no. But once I sit my backside down in that chair and force myself to concentrate for ten or so minutes, I find myself getting swept up into the other world. It's like getting out of bed on cold mornings. You don't want to do it. . .it hurts to do it. . .you're sure you can't do it. . .but rip off that blanket, get dressed, and suddenly, life's happening.


How do you get yourself to write on those rainy, stormy or simple weird weathery periods in life?