Friday, August 18, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things


This weekly blog hop is sponsored by the amazing Lexa Cain,  and co-hosted by L.G. Keltner from Writing Off the Edge and myself. 

What exactly are we celebrating?

Every week, wonderful things happen, tiny things, which make us smile. But as time grabs us up, we forget all about these moments as if they never existed at all. This is the chance for us to reflect back on those and remember that there are tons of things worth celebrating.

This week, I'm celebrating. . .



1) Kids off to school and college! I'm not celebrating this because it's quiet in the house. Nope. I'm celebrating this because it always feels like a monumental act to get everything and everyone organized to get out the door and start the new routine. But we accomplished it, and out they are!

2) Family! My washing machine decided to give out (Right in the middle of the last-minute mounds of laundry my daughter discovered in her room...and, of course, wanted done that evening before she left) Luckily, my parents had an extra machine in their barn from their move a couple of years ago. So they made sure it was still running, brought it over, installed it for me and even helped take care of the old one. You can imagine my smiles.

3) A night out! I'm not a very social person (Shock! I know :) ). My daughter loves to complain that I have no life. Well, strange things happen, and I actually had a birthday party to attend for one of the Friends of the Library members. It was a lot of fun, and we planned our upcoming book sale at the same time (It was fun. Honestly). When my daughter found out I'd be gone until late that evening, she was upset...because she wanted me to do something for her. Made me giggle despite her pout.

And the biggest celebration. . .

My son comes home from boot camp and training next week!!! Which means I'll be taking a break next week and weekend (since I'm going to be taking a few day trip to attend the graduation ceremony and pick him up). Until then!!!



What about you? What put a smile on your face? Excited about the eclipse? Are you reading an amazing book? Stumble across an interesting insect? Find a quarter in your pocket? What are you celebrating?



Friday, August 11, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things


This weekly blog hop is sponsored by the amazing Lexa Cain,  and co-hosted by L.G. Keltner from Writing Off the Edge and myself. 

What exactly are we celebrating?

Every week, wonderful things happen, tiny things, which make us smile. But as time grabs us up, we forget all about these moments as if they never existed at all. This is the chance for us to reflect back on those and remember that there are tons of things worth celebrating.


(As most of you know, Lexa has been missing due to health issues. Unfortunately, I have not heard anything from her, and hope/pray she is doing fine as well.)

This week, I'm celebrating. . .

1) Bats! We have tree bats, barn bats, cave bats. Bats...bats...bats. Usually, I don't pay much attention to them because they have little to do with our 'daily' lives. But the other evening, I was sitting on the deck and noticed them flying around and decided just to watch them for awhile. I think I have a new, nightly hobby. . .of course, doing this with a glass of my hubs' plum wine.

2) Kayaking! My oldest gave me a kajak as a Mom's day present late Spring, but he did it right before the kids got out of school. So I haven't been able to head out with my future kajaking partner (my brother), since I don't really have a baby-sitter. This last weekend marked the first big kajaking trip (4 hours). We borrowed a canoe for my husband and the two younger kids, while I headed out on my kajak to lake Bull Shoals. It was not only great to paddle around, but the kids found some fun swimming areas (great rocks to jump off of too!). We rounded it off with a nice dinner at a nearby restaurant and called it a vacation day.

What about you? What put a smile on your face this last week? Catch a raindrop on your tongue? Find a quiet corner at the library? Enjoy a couple minutes of quiet time, which you didn't think you'd get?

What are you celebrating this week?


Friday, August 4, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things


This weekly blog hop is sponsored by the amazing Lexa Cain,  and co-hosted by L.G. Keltner from Writing Off the Edge and myself. 

What exactly are we celebrating?

Every week, wonderful things happen, tiny things, which make us smile. But as time grabs us up, we forget all about these moments as if they never existed at all. This is the chance for us to reflect back on those and remember that there are tons of things worth celebrating.


This week, I'm celebrating. . .

1) Cooler temperatures! I'm a not a 'heat' girl, so I'm more than happy to see those 100+ temperatures glide away. The last couple of days were still upper 80s but upper 70s is in the forecast for the entire coming week. I'm kicking back on my patio and enjoying the fresh breeze.

2) Fun with the kids! That back-to-school clock is ticking, so we're trying to make the last days as pleasant as possible. Can you believe I'm losing most of my kids on the same day? Two start school again in two weeks, and on the same day, my daughter moves off to college. It's going to be so quiet, so suddenly. So until then, we went bowling, swimming and boating this week and have more activities coming our way. 

3) Butterflies! There were so many flying around our yard this week. I enjoy standing there and watching them move from one bush to the next.

4) A new job! It's nothing special...just temporary and for a couple hours each week...but it will bring in some extra cash and appears to fit into my mom/farm/writing/reviewing schedule. 


What put a smile on your face this last week? Did you find a cute kitty? See a great movie? Buy a new pair of shoes? Help someone in need?

What are you celebrating this week?

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

IWSG


It's time for another meeting of THE INSECURE WRITER'S SUPPORT GROUP . . .Better known as IWSG because otherwise, it is a mouthful.

For those who don't know (And you don't???), this is an awesome group of writers, started by the just as awesome Alex J. Cavanaugh, with the purpose to support, help, assist, offer advice, offer a shoulder, cheer on, and about anything else you can think of along these lines. Writing is a roller coaster ride, and writers need all the support they can get.

If you want to join in, head over to the main site and sign up.

This month, special thanks goes to  Christine Rains, Dolarah @ Book Lover, Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor, Yvonne Ventresca, and LG Keltner  Thanks for all that you do!


I've spent most of this summer in writing limbo: collecting plot ideas, sorting some story issues out on two WIPs and just organizing/reorganizing my thoughts so I can become a typing monster when the kids get back in school. In other words, I've been gearing up to go on a writing frenzy (only 3 more weeks, btw).


So when the awesome #IWSGpit rolled around last week, (Thanks guys for that! It was amazing!!!) I wasn't really planning on jumping in since my latest stories are still in the creator's oven. But I have one story which has been sitting on the shelves for awhile...years. It's done and been through a lot - several rewrites, dozens of CPs, tons of betas, and even seen the glimpses of an editor or two during various versions. But...oh, I don't know. . .I've let it stick its toes into the query trenches once or twice but never pursued it too much. So my younger son told me to tweet it and see what happens. (He loves the story...has for years)
I was like:



via GIPHY

And tweeted just once.
My reaction quickly changed to. . .


via GIPHY

My tweet received likes. . .more than I ever expected.
So, I dusted off that query and reworded a few things (the never ending work of the inner editor)
and off it goes!

If nothing else, it was tons of fun to see some agent/publisher 'love', and it definitely raised my excitement level to get back and finish up those other stories.

Now, if I could just hurry those kids back to school! (Just kidding. They can enjoy the rest of their break first)


Did you make a plunge into #IWSGpit? Did you see all of those amazing tweets? (It's fun just to read through everyone's pitches). Are you flexing those writing fingers or already typing away? Or maybe you're sitting in a type of writer limbo too?

How's the writing world treating you?

Friday, July 28, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things


This weekly blog hop is sponsored by the amazing Lexa Cain, and co-hosted by L.G. Keltner from Writing Off the Edge and myself. 

What exactly are we celebrating?

Every week, wonderful things happen, tiny things, which make us smile. But as time grabs us up, we forget all about these moments as if they never existed at all. This is the chanc
e for us to reflect back on those and remember that there are tons of things worth celebrating.


First off, I need to apologize. Thanks to a wicked flu bug (I hate those nasty boogers), I didn't get around to visiting everyone last week. But I will be doing my best this weekend to make up for it and can't wait to see what everyone is celebrating.

As for me, I'm celebrating. . .

1) #IWSGPIT - What a ton of fun that was yesterday! There were so many pitches and so many ideas that I would have jumped on if I were a publisher/agent...so it's probably a good thing I'm not because I'd never get through looking at all of them. This is when I really respect these people.

2) Rain! We've had over 3 weeks without a single drop, which was causing my poor pastures to turn crunchy and brown. Yesterday, the clouds finally decided to play along and let some of that moisture go. Too bad that means I'll have to mow lawn again soon.

3) Tomatos! Mine are now turning red, and I'm bringing in bunches and bunches. Right now, it's a race between me and the bugs, though. I could spray, but I love the idea of having at least these tomatoes without any pesticides or anything else sprayed on them. Not that I'm worried. With fourteen plants, I'm bringing in more than enough to meet our tomato desires.


What about you? What put a smile on your face this last week? Did I raindrop land on your nose? Did you wiggle your toes in warm sand? Outrun a pesky mosquito before it could bite you? Find papers better well organized than you'd thought they'd be?

What are you celebrating this week?





Friday, July 21, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things with Reptiles


This weekly blog hop is sponsored by the amazing Lexa Cain, and co-hosted by L.G. Keltner from Writing Off the Edge and myself. 

What exactly are we celebrating?

Every week, wonderful things happen, tiny things, which make us smile. But as time grabs us up, we forget all about these moments as if they never existed at all. This is the chanc
e for us to reflect back on those and remember that there are tons of things worth celebrating.

This week, I'm celebrating. . .

1) Reptiles... maybe? There's two different angles on this one:

A) Reptile Show at the Library! During the Summer Reading Program at our local library, a special program is offered to the kids every Wednesday. This last week was reptile day. Dean Sheldon came in and let the kids view a small part of his private collection of reptiles and creepy, crawly things. Who is Dean Sheldon? He's the Guinness World Record holder for sticking the largest venomous scorpion in his mouth. (Don't ask me why anyone would want to do this, but I guess he does.) Anywho, he did a great job with the kids, showing them everything from snakes to scorpions (obviously) to alligators to dragon lizards. The kids were able to pet and hold most animals, which they loved.

Now, to the other reptile moment I experienced this week. I'm celebrating. . .

B) A venomous snakes which, by some miraculous feat, didn't bite me. Yes, you can read that sentence again because my heart still skips several beats at the thought.  I was weeding in the garden when three inches off of my hand (and I mean literally no more than that) an overly friendly Copperhead suddenly slid past. He was a big guy- at least 2 feet long. What did I do? Carefully and very, very slowly (with no sudden movements whatsoever) drew back as he continued to slither straight into the rock wall right below my knees and in between the cracks.

Needless to say, my husband came to the rescue a few moments later and the snake is no more.  I always feel bad when we kill something, but we couldn't let him live there, since it's near the kids' pool and the house and my garden....*takes a deep breath* I think you get the picture. But if it makes the poor snake feel any better, I will never forget him. Promise.


2) My son is done with Boot Camp, and he finished with 299 out of 300 points! (I know this has to do with the physical tests they have to pass, but I really don't know much more than that) Unfortunately, he's not heading home yet. He now as Infantry training for a few weeks, but that shouldn't be quite as tough as Boot Camp was.



And to round things up, here are the pictures I promised last week. 
Our hay.
This year, we hauled in around 1900 bales, and I was dead at the end. Not only tired, but there were a few joints and muscles that were reminding me that I might slowly be getting a bit old for such things. Honestly, I'm beginning to wonder if I ever want to cut hay again.

The stack is around 15 feet high. So I'm going to have tons of fun knocking those top bales down. Seriously. You'll see me climbing up there for kicks every now and then. I mean, it's a haystack! Yay!

This is our trusty baler, a tough guy from the 1960's. He's slow but hasn't failed us yet.

These silly guys refused to help me bring in the hay! Instead, they think they have to cool off under the faucet
Can't depend on those chickens.
*rolls eyes*



What about you? What put a smile on your face this last week? Find a new show to bing watch on Netflix? Find yourself with an extra hour of free time on your hands? Finish up a nasty section on your writing?

What are you celebrating this week?


Friday, July 14, 2017

Celebrate The Small Things

This weekly blog hop is sponsored by the amazing Lexa Cain, and co-hosted by L.G. Keltner from Writing Off the Edge and myself. 

What exactly are we celebrating?

Every week, wonderful things happen, tiny things, which make us smile. But as time grabs us up, we forget all about these moments as if they never existed at all. This is the chanc
e for us to reflect back on those and remember that there are tons of things worth celebrating.

This week, I'm celebrating. . .

Busy, busy, busy. . .that's why I'm late this week. But here it goes!

1) Spending time with my brother and his family during their visit. We only get to see them once a year, so this is always a real treat.

2) Hay is done! We have So. Much. Hay. I think we hauled in around 2000 bales, and I am so glad it's all in the barn. I'll put up pictures next time. But. . .wow. I need to rest for at least a week. 

3) A day in the city! We drove to the city yesterday, went shopping, ate ice cream, picked up a few supplies, ate more ice cream. . . gosh, I love ice cream. It was a nice change of pace and a cooling break.

There was more to celebrate this week....I know it....but I can't think of it at the moment. That's what too much sun, heat and humidity does when working in those fields. As if my memory wasn't bad enough as it was. Lol!


So, what are you celebrating this week?
Eat ice cream?
Find a nice, cool shade tree?
See a beautiful star?
Run into someone you haven't seen in a long time?

What are you celebrating this week?





Friday, July 7, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things



This weekly blog hop is sponsored by the amazing Lexa Cain, and co-hosted by L.G. Keltner from Writing Off the Edge and myself. 

What exactly are we celebrating?

Every week, wonderful things happen, tiny things, which make us smile. But as time grabs us up, we forget all about these moments as if they never existed at all. This is the chanc
e for us to reflect back on those and remember that there are tons of things worth celebrating.

This week, I'm celebrating. . .

1) House-cleaning over on my review blog. Well, sort of. I've already reached my Goodreads goal of reviewing 100 books this year, most of which I present over on Bookworm for Kids. I've always felt sad that after a review is posted, it gets lost in the shuffle. So I've added three new tabs (Picture Books, Middle Grade, Teens and YA) where the covers of the books reviewed are plastered up along with links to the review. Now, if I ever have tons of time and get my son to help me set up an awesome review site, maybe someday I'll have everything categorized, searchable and who knows what else. But this is my first attempt to keep them readily available for all those readers out there.

2) A Happy July 4th...with too much yummy food! Way too much.

3) A visit from my brother and his family. They came in yesterday and will be staying a few days. (*uhhh* Which means I might be a bit late answering everyone's comments and visiting all of you.)

4) Blackberries! The season is here! I'm thinking of drying some for blackberry tea, freezing others, and maybe making a blackberry pie.

5) Zucchinis! I'm harvesting quite a few of these right now. My mom always claimed that a healthy zucchini plant could feed the world.


So what about you? What put a smile on your face this last week? Enjoy IWSG? Have a strawberry shake? Dip your toes into a fountain to cool off? Take a lovely walk somewhere?

What are you celebrating this week?



Wednesday, July 5, 2017

IWSG

It's time for another meeting of THE INSECURE WRITER'S SUPPORT GROUP . . .Better known as IWSG because otherwise, it is a mouthful.

For those who don't know (And you don't???), this is an awesome group of writers, started by the just as awesome Alex J. Cavanaugh, with the purpose to support, help, assist, offer advice, offer a shoulder, cheer on, and about anything else you can think of along these lines. Writing is a roller coaster ride, and writers need all the support they can get.

If you want to join in, head over to the main site and sign up.

Special thanks goes to the amazing co-hosts:  Tamara Narayan, Pat Hatt, Patricia Lynne, Juneta Key, and Doreen McGettigan


This month's question (because my writing brain seems to be on Summer break) is:

What is one valuable lesson you've learned since you started writing?

This one is easy because I've stepped into the same dumb hole time and time again.
It is. . .

Check. Double check. Triple check. And then check once again...or maybe twice before hitting that send button.

I can't say how often I've sent off a query or an email or a MS to an agent or publishing company, and overlooked some really stupid mistakes. I think I've managed to do every mishap possible over the years. Wrong agent's name, Mr. instead of Ms., didn't notice half a sentence was deleted, sent the wrong ms to the wrong person,...the list goes on and on and on. And all of these could have been avoided simply by standing up, getting a refill on my tea, and then sitting down and reading the whole thing through once again before sending it off.


What about you? What have you learned through this process called writing?




Friday, June 30, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things


This weekly blog hop is sponsored by the amazing Lexa Cain, and co-hosted by L.G. Keltner from Writing Off the Edge and myself. 

What exactly are we celebrating?

Every week, wonderful things happen, tiny things, which make us smile. But as time grabs us up, we forget all about these moments as if they never existed at all. This is the chanc
e for us to reflect back on those and remember that there are tons of things worth celebrating.

This week, I'm celebrating. . .

1) Help of friends and family! We've started hay season, which means lots 'o work. I'm so thankful for the extra hands to help me pick up those bales of hay.

2) Fire wood! With the warm temperatures this might seem a little odd thing to celebrate at the moment. BUT I just found out how much money I saved this last year on heating thanks to my wood burning stoves. It was well worth it...so much that I did a little happy dance.

3) Words from my oldest! We haven't heard from him for a couple of weeks and were thrilled to get a quick call this last week. Only 2 weeks of basic training (boot camp) left and he'll be off to his regular training. He's been complaining about the lack of food they get (small portions being scarfed down fast). As a treat and prize for winning a competition, my son's sergeants took them to a museum and a restaurant afterwards. (Okay, before I go on, it's important to know that my son is a 6ft 3 in bean pole. Super, super skinny). He was so thrilled to eat again that he ate: an order of chicken wings, salad, 3 cheeseburger menus, 2 pieces of cheesecake (and he doesn't even like cake), hot chocolate to wash it down, ice cream and then grabbed a bag of candy on the way out. Of course, he was super sick that night and next morning, but he said it was well worth it.
I guess the other guys wondered where he was putting all the food too.

That wraps up this week!

What about you? What put a smile on your face?
Get a super friendly greeting from a dog or cat?
See a shooting star?
Discover a new dessert?

What are you celebrating this week?






Thursday, June 22, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things


This weekly blog hop is sponsored by the amazing Lexa Cain, and co-hosted by L.G. Keltner from Writing Off the Edge and myself. 

What exactly are we celebrating?

Every week, wonderful things happen, tiny things, which make us smile. But as time grabs us up, we forget all about these moments as if they never existed at all. This is the chance for us to reflect back on those and remember that there are tons of things worth celebrating.

This week, I'm celebrating. . .

1) My youngest son's birthday! He had quite the day of activities planned, which kept us on our toes, but it was tons of fun.

2) A day or two of cool temperatures between the hot ones! It's beginning to get hot and muggy, so any cooler day is always a treat. Next week there should be a couple too.

What about you? What put a smile on your face this past week?

Discover some change in the bottom of your sock drawer? Pet a sweet kitty? Did you finally complete something you've been wanting to do for a long time?

What are you celebrating this week?







Friday, June 16, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things


This weekly blog hop is sponsored by the amazing Lexa Cain, and co-hosted by L.G. Keltner from Writing Off the Edge and myself. 

What exactly are we celebrating?

Every week, wonderful things happen, tiny things, which make us smile. But as time grabs us up, we forget all about these moments as if they never existed at all. This is the chance for us to reflect back on those and remember that there are tons of things worth celebrating.

This week, I'm celebrating. . .

1) My stone wall plus veggie garden is up and thriving! I can't believe how well it's doing because...*cough* *cough*.... Let's just say that gardening and I have experienced our share of battles. But this garden is going so nicely that I'm planning on adding a second level behind it. Now, listen to the groans of my children, since they have to help me pick up the rocks from the creek and load them onto the trailer.



The wall goes up to the upper end of my thigh and currently has 2 zucchinis, radishes, spinach, lettuce and 12 tomato plants. There are two layers of rock to make sure it doesn't collapse on me, and the whole thing is filled with our homemade, fertilized soil (made from my lovely girls below.)


The light colored stones are what I added. Gosh, those corner stones are heavy! As in, they were shoved...never carried. Lol! I think they weigh more than me! The other, darker wall was already there.




And here are a few of my girls. The little black guy in the middle was born this last week. Now, we're complete with 7 cows, 7 calves and one super sweet bull. Yep, fertilizer production for layer number two is going well.


2) Plum wine! My husband has always enjoyed making wine, a hobby I'm glad he's found (and  trust me, he's experimented with every type you can think of over the years). Since we moved to the US, he hasn't gotten around to it. But this last Fall, we had so many wild plums that he decided to give it a go. The result? 25 liters of the most delicious, light wine...perfect for these hot, humid temperatures (and with only 9,5% *hiccup*)

3) My very own 'book' came out this week, A Glowworm! This is a Ubook (for those of you who haven't heard me squealing the past few weeks). What is that? It's a new form of book, being currently patented by the Black and White Publishing Company. The book plays out, sentence by sentence, on a video, while music, which has been composed specifically for the book, plays in the background to help create the right atmosphere. The music was composed and performed by Nathan Moran. I was lucky enough to also have my done in narrated form, so that it makes a lovely audio book as well. Thanks, Melanie Schulz! She had a little bit of a challenge since there are several terms in German, but she did a beautiful job.

It has a more 'artsy' feel to it and is lovely to listen to...especially with a glass of plum wine (if I may say so myself.)



This is about 1 hour and 10 minutes long and covers a lesser known event in history, which drastically changed the lives of hundreds of young women between the ages of 17 and 25 in the years following WWII in Germany.

Of course, I appreciate all shout-outs, shares and such...don't we all?

And that wraps it up for this week!

What about you? What put a smile on your face this past week? Hit those hot temperatures yet? Pop some fresh berries into your mouth? Find a new shampoo?

What are you celebrating?



Friday, June 9, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things


This weekly blog hop is sponsored by the amazing Lexa Cain, and co-hosted by L.G. Keltner from Writing Off the Edge and myself. 

What exactly are we celebrating?

Every week, wonderful things happen, tiny things, which make us smile. But as time grabs us up, we forget all about these moments as if they never existed at all. This is the chance for us to reflect back on those and remember that there are tons of things worth celebrating.

This week, I'm celebrating. . .

1) New pool! We 'inherited' an overground outdoor pool when we bought the house. Unfortunately, this year marked the end of the liner and pump. Luckily, we found one marked down (because it's camouflage and nobody's into camouflage???). The kids and I put it together, and now it's pool time!

2) Summer reading program at the library! The kids love participating. . .I'm not going to lie. They love the prizes more than the reading. But it keeps them busy.

3) Blueberry season has arrived! This meant a trip to the local farmer fields and lots o' pickin' to do. We picked up 2 gallons, which is just enough to bring us through the occasional blueberry pancake and muffin treats during the winter. . . and a blueberry frappe or two this summer too.

4) Seeing my finished Ubook! Yep, this one is going to hit the world pretty soon *squeal time*. It's quite a different experience to see the story not only appearing word by word on a screen, but the lovely narration and fitting music in the background are amazing. I can't believe how much work went into it and am kind of humbled...but also super excited!

What about you? What put a smile on your face this last week? Grab an inner-tube and head for a water slide? Go to a concert? Enjoy a delicious dinner?

What are you celebrating this week?



Friday, June 2, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things


This weekly blog hop is sponsored by the amazing Lexa Cain, and co-hosted by L.G. Keltner from Writing Off the Edge and myself. 

What exactly are we celebrating?

Every week, wonderful things happen, tiny things, which make us smile. But as time grabs us up, we forget all about these moments as if they never existed at all. This is the chance for us to reflect back on those and remember that there are tons of things worth celebrating.

This week, I'm celebrating. . .

1) Nice day with family! Monday, Memorial Day, we went to my parent's, had a BBQ and the kids went fishing and kajaking. It was simply a lovely day.

2) A Skype session with my son! He's off in bootcamp (for those who don't know). His group won the obstacle course and as a prize, he was given back his cell for two hours. So he spent the entire time talking to us. He's healthy, looks ridiculous with his hair buzzed and says he's dreaming of the day he can eat regular food again without having to stuff whatever he can grab in his face as fast as possible.

3) Lawn mowing! Well, not the work itself - obviously. It's amazing how many machines are always breaking down on our farm, and of course, all of our lawn equipment fell into this category the last weeks. Luckily, my hubs is a tinkerer (and I do what I can), and sure enough, we got enough of it running to attack those weeds. Ho! Were they tall. And we have several acres to slash. But it's almost done and looks so clean and neat!

What about you? What put a smile on your face this last week? Going on vacation soon? Find a new book? Discover a delicious coffee? 

What are you celebrating?