Thursday, June 30, 2011

Potent Potable

Time for another Flash Fiction, sponsored by Chuck Wendig at Terrible Minds. The prompt is confusing because you have to mix up given genres...I blended Steampunk with Superhero and a dash of Farce (I love farce). This time there was a prize of a critique so I tried a little harder. I'm sure there are better ones, and with the 1000 word limit I had to cut it down. Ah well, tis the challenge =)

ps - I am also offering the 1st two paragraphs for Aheila's drabble day, unwanted guest. Since I'm mixing, might as well combine challenges too, eh?

Potent Potable

“I, Professor Mathias J. Cornelius, do now reveal to you this magnificent, stupendous elixir, guar-on-TEED to make you stronger, wiser and extend the days of your life!”

The Professor had arrived that morning, attracting a crowd. They watched the large man set up a stage in front of his wagon with its patchwork cover and clanging decorations. Now that he had everyone’s attention, he used his charismatic personality to peddle his concoction.

“Get a load o’ this medicine man!” Jeb said to his friend and jabbed him in the ribs.

“Ow! Whadya do that for?” Nehemiah asked and elbowed him back causing him to stumble.

Jeb laughed. “Jest seein’ if you’re a-WAKE!” he said, emphasizing “wake” with a hard slap to Nehemiah’s back.

Nehemiah fell forward and bumped into Carl, the big, burly son of the blacksmith. Carl slowly turned around and gave Nehemiah the “You’re playin with your life” stare down.

Nehemiah tipped his hat and crept backwards to his spot. Jeb shook, ready to burst out laughing. When Carl turned back around, Nehemiah punched Jeb in the arm.

The Professor had continued his oration and was now asking for a volunteer. Jeb raised Nehemiah’s arm for him.

“Ah, it seems we do have a brave soul here in…”

“Possum Gulch,” whispered an invisible assistant.

“…Possum Glitch.”

The audience parted to reveal Jeb and Nehemiah about to come to blows. The young men froze when they noticed all eyes had turned to them.

“You, there. What is your name?”

“It’s Nehemiah!” Jeb shouted.

Nehemiah punched his friend in the arm again but Jeb was too giddy with his great joke to care.

“Strong name. It deserves a strong frame to go with it. Right folks?”

The crowd agreed with laughter and cheers. Carl showed a disturbing, gap-toothed smile as he helped/pulled Nehemiah to the front.

Nehemiah tripped up the stairs to the stage, drawing more laughter. When he righted himself, he noticed the strange metal gadgets hanging from the top of the wagon were not just wind chimes or pots. They had gears and points, maybe they were tools.

Nehemiah turned to face the audience and frowned at Jeb who was laughing hysterically and slapping his knee.

“Now tell me, son, what do you do?”

“I work at Two Diamonds.” After he said it, he noticed Josie Lynn, his boss’s daughter. She waved then giggled with her friends.

Nehemiah blushed until he remembered where he was and grimaced at Jeb.

“A ranch hand,” the Professor surmised. He pinched one of Nehemiah’s biceps, as if testing fruit for ripeness. Nehemiah jerked away. “My boy, this elixir could turn those flabby arms into firm muscle. Why, you would get your work done in half the time with a little help from my Wonder Punch!” He held up the square, green bottle. “Not to mention, twice the attention of the ladies!” he added with a wink. The audience loved that.

“So, Nehemiah, are you ready to try it?”

Nehemiah considered. He looked at Jeb, almost falling over, pretending to drink with his thumb. Carl still wore that frightening grin. He would test the potion by beating Nehemiah senseless. Then he saw Josie Lynn again. She looked hopeful. He guessed the worst that could happen was he’d keel over and die.

“Sure. What the heck.”

“Excellent.”

Nehemiah took a long swig.

Everyone hushed and waited for something to happen.

Nothing did.

The crowd started to murmur.

“Did it work?” Jeb yelled.

“Let’s see, shall we?” The professor directed their attention to a large black dumbbell marked 1000 lbs.

“You, sir. Would you mind coming up and demonstrating the truth of the weight?” he asked Carl.

Carl joined them on the stage. He got a good grip on the handle and heaved. The weight didn’t budge. He tried a few more times. Still nothing.

“Thank you, sir. You may step down.” Carl scratched his head and left the stage.

“Now, Nehemiah, it’s your turn.”

Nehemiah turned to the weight with a doubtful expression. If Carl couldn’t lift it, he surely couldn’t. He put both hands on it and pulled up.

It moved. He lifted some more and it rose higher. It wasn’t even heavy! He couldn’t believe it!

And neither could the crowd. They cheered and hollered. Jeb stared with his jaw hanging.

Nehemiah raised the weight higher and higher. Like a feather it floated up. He let go with one hand and the crowd went nuts.

“Amazing! Wonderful! Thank you, my boy! You may set it down now. Easy does it.”

As Nehemiah lowered the weight, he felt resistance. He realized he had been fooled. He let go of it completely and it lowered gently to the stage.

The crowd gasped then quickly turned into an angry mob. Nehemiah threw open the cover of the wagon revealing a complicated contraption controlled by the Professor’s assistant with a massive magnet for lifting the weight.

The crowd stormed the stage. “Help!” the Professor squeaked.

Nehemiah saw no need for lynching. The hooligan hadn’t taken their money. He picked up the Professor and held him over his head.

The crowd halted in amazement. Nehemiah had actually gotten stronger. The Professor was a good 250 pounds.

“Hey, look! That stuff actually works!” Jeb shouted. “I want some!” The rest of the people chimed in clamoring to buy the elixir.

Nehemiah looked confused, still holding the fat Professor over his head.

“Thanks, son. You can put me down now,” he said. Then he turned to the crowd. “See? Of course it works! If you would all form an orderly line I will gladly sell one to each of you at $2 a bottle.”

Josie Lynn ran over to Nehemiah coming off the stage, still dumbfounded that it worked. She squeezed his arm and swooned, “My hero!”

***

As they rode out of town, a gaunt Professor Cornelius counted his money and commented to his assistant, “Next time we should use bigger balloons under my coat.”

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Why I Write

I am anxious to see how people respond to the "Why I Write" Blogfest. It's just a day for sharing with other writers what inspires us to put thoughts into words and communicate and tell stories! And meet more writers =) Thanks, Kayeleen for giving the opportunity! And thanks, MPAX, for leading me to it.

This is why I write:
I am not your typical writer that pursued literature and english. I didn't love reading in school. I never even considered being a writer. Good start, huh? I gradually grew to love reading. Then I had many experiences that I thought would make a good story, so in my twenties I wrote one. Life moves on and my story got pushed to the side but never forgotten.

Now that my kids don't need my constant supervision, I have come back to wanting to write. I write mainly to entertain. I love to surprise readers with twists, which is hard to do these days. It seems everything has been done! I love to bring a smile or even a laugh and sometimes a lesson or inspiration. Writing has become my biggest challenge, or maybe getting published has. There is much more to it than I expected, but I am willing to do what it takes to get it done. But just knowing other writers and readers have enjoyed my scribblings has already made my efforts worth it!

Thanks again for all your support!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

media mayhem follow up

I had a great time with this little blog hop. It was so much fun! And informative. And it was nice and short =) I wanted to say thank you so much to all those participating & for all the wonderful comments! And the biggest thanks goes to RJR Daydreamer for sponsoring it! (and giving out the accomplishment badge).

Description

Now I have to get ready for tomorrow. "The Why I Write Blogfest" hosted by Kayeleen. Another short and sweet blog hop, this time just one post to hop around and read about what inspires some writers to write =)

Monday, June 27, 2011

3 Bloggers for Monday

I have met so many great people doing this blog thing, it was hard to choose only three to talk about! I sometimes wonder how the whole blog thing started. For me, I wrote a book. I wanted to get it published. I researched how to do that. I read that I needed to get a blog for self-promotion and putting myself out there. I wasn't quite sure how that would work - who would read it?

Now I have followers and follow others. I've learned a great deal about improving my writing among other fun and interesting stuff. And since I started my blog, I've written a better book (and tons more!) I still don't know how this will help get me published, but I know it helps me be a better writer plus feeback helps me cope and builds me up and I appreciate everyone I've met because of it. Thanks!

These 3 blogs deserve a shout out (like I said, there are so many more, but I had to narrow it down to 3):
  1. The Waiting is the Hardest Part - Heather G has become my best blogging buddy. I met her in the A-Z blog hop. We seem to have a lot in common personality wise (sarcastic & no holding back!) She has a good contemporary romance novel here is a sample, and possibly a werewolf in her future...
  2. Random Thoughts - C.R. Ward is one of my first blog friends. She has an awesome Fantasy Series on Fridays, plus new words, fun facts and a new poetic form with sample every week! (not to mention the eye candy she puts up for her own special wordless wednesday...)
  3. Ellie Garratt - I also met her through A-Z challenge. She is my sci-fi buddy. She has taken a hiatus from work to concentrate on her sci fi novel, Cosmic Seed - about a race who needs an heir to replenish their population. She does Tuesday Teasers, has won contests for her writing and has great advice & fun stuff to share. (ps - Ellie <3 William Shatner)
I'm going to have to add an honorable mention, Allison Writes. I met her recently and she has a unique mode of telling tales called "Sippable Stories." I just did a guest post for her! She is in the last weeks of her job due to layoffs and is planning a trip around the world before rejoining the work force! I envy her youth and her opportunity =) (mostly her youth, I've been around some of the world...)

wrap up to this fun blog hop tomorrow =)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Good News and the Bad News

Saturday started on a high note. Several high notes really. My little guy, whose games I have been dragging myself to because it's been torture watching them lose almost all season...pitched a PERFECT GAME!!! and not just any game, it was for his tournament CHAMPIONSHIP!! (to put this in perspective, their tournament was only with 4 teams, but his team got every batter out 1, 2, 3 for 4 innings and scored 10 runs to end the game!) Those little guys have improved a ton from where they started. Just awesome!


The bad news is my older son's team did not do so well. It was a long, long day.
But that night the kids had a great time in the pool. Losses and errors forgotten. We're home now and looking forward to the rest of the summer =)

3 Movies for Sunday

It's day 2 of the Media Mayhem blog hop hosted by RJR Daydreamer. Today we choose 3 movies and tell why we like them. Here are mine:

(source)
Favorite Movie: "the Incredibles"
Yes, a Disney/Pixar cartoon. It's a great story! I love the characters, the action, their conflicts, their nemesis and especially their stylist! My favorite part is when they all work together as a family for the first time (second fave part is bonus feature "Jack Jack Attack" on the DVD). Can't wait for the next one...


(source)

Favorite Trilogy: "the Matrix"
I love sci fi and other people's views of life post apocalypse or just in the future (like my MS!) My favorite part is in the second one, Reloaded, when Morpheus is fighting the agent on top of the semi and Neo comes swooping in to save him and the Keymaker just as the two semis crash and explode, but the best part is Link's "Yes!" sitting all alone in the ship watching them.

(source)



Favorite Romantic Comedy: "French Kiss"
I love Kevin Kline and Meg Ryan is good in so many of these films. Favorite part is the end when they are in their own private happy ending vineyard.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

3 Songs for Saturday

I'm doing the Media Mayhem blog hop hosted by RJR Daydreamer this weekend and today we post 3 songs with reasons for choosing them. Here are mine:

1) INXS - Need You Tonight. Great lyric: "Your moves are so raw." This was a favorite from college. My best friend and I sang it and nodded our heads like the video. I got to see them in a smaller venue concert and later briefly dated a guy that looked like Michael Hutchence.




2) Cake - Ruby Sees All. Great lyric: "Do you think she's swimming in your lies?" I loved Cake before they were popular (in the 90s) and I still do. So you may not recognize this song, but it's one of my favorites =)





3) Seether - Country Song. Great lyric: "Pray when you need advice." This is my current favorite. I especially like that my son likes it too =)


And there you have it. That was a fun stroll down memory lane =)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Columbus Bound

Yes, folks, we have another out of town baseball tournament.

And my little guy's team won their first local tournament game last night! Yay! But that means he plays here Saturday at the same time my oldest's tournament starts in Columbus. Ah well. We will just drive up after and catch the rest of his games. I've never been to Columbus, so I'm looking forward to that =) (I will wave at OSU for my neighbors and friends who like it, but that's about all. Don't care for the Buckeyes myself. I'm a Gator fan!)

I will post results and pics Sunday or Monday. In the meantime I'm putting together my media posts for this weekend's blog hop (see side bar).

Have a nice weekend!

ps - my online critique group Unicorn Bell is giving away a great book for honing the craft (don't go there, I want it!)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A 3 Day Weekend Blog Hop!

Some of you might remember RJR Daydreamer from the a to z challenge in April.
Well, even if you don't he is hosting a great "Media Mayhem" Blog Hop !! It looks like fun so I am joining in. If you have time, the more the merrier! Here are the details:
Description

What... A 3 day, weekend blog hop.
Why... Well I enjoyed taking part in the A-Z April challenge so much that I felt I wanted to do something similar, but shorter.
When... 25th 26th and 27th of June, thats Saturday to Monday.
Theme... Rather than just hopping to random blogs, I thought it would be good if the three days could each have a theme, relating to media.

Saturday - Songs
Post about 3 songs you like, they may or may not be your favourite. Blog how you want, include Youtube clips, or written lyrics, its your blog you choose the style, but tell us why you chose them and let your creative side be free !

Sunday - Films
Post about 3 films you like, again you choose how to present, but the idea is to to let us know why so we can get to know you a little better.

Monday - Blogs
Here is a chance to share something about 3 blogs you follow and why, it may be one that you have found on Saturday or Sunday, or one you have followed for a while.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Amber

A prompt from Poetic Asides: remember a time with a person you haven't seen in at least 3 months...

Amber!

Meet my party, hardy friend!
Always dependable, to the end.
So many adventures she has led
And never a harsh word was said.

It all began at American Pie,
I had gone there with a guy.
She was sitting with a group,
my guy roommate asked me to scoop.

We got up to walk around,
We joked and talked, found common ground.
We drank and dissed the motley crew
At American Pie the whole night thru.

From there we traveled, so much fun!
And saw new angles of the sun.
Lifelong friends, now far apart,
She holds a place within my heart =)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Scenery

I present yesterday's Drabble, brought to you by Aheila and the prompt: scenery


The beach relaxes my waning senses. Smell that air. Feel the ocean breeze. Listen to that... hammering!

"Woo woo! Hey, Kim! Check out the gams on that one!" I elbow her.

She adjusts her bifocals and squints. "What? Where? Who?"

I grab her saggy chin and swivel her head to look. "There, you blind old bat!"

"Oh my. He is a looker," she says spying over the top of her glasses and gives a whistle. The tan, 30ish, construction worker with no shirt and cut off jean shorts blushes.

"I told you there was nice scenery around here," I say and we cackle together.

Monday, June 20, 2011

kick start monday - thank you blog buddies!

I got the sweetie award again! Guess I need to put it up!
Thank you, Heather, the little red henry! She is a REAL sweetie and an awesome artist! you should check out her site! Since I just got this award (wow, can't believe it was 2 wks ago!), I'm going to spare you all a repeat =)

And thanks to Laura for the tag!
I've seen those questions circulate a bit so I think I will switch them up. (and add my little tag sticker)

1) What's the first thing you do in the morning? make coffee!

2) How old do you feel? Sometimes I feel my age, but mostly I think like I'm 25 and forget how old I really am (til I look in the mirror!)

3) What's your sign and does the description match your personality? Scorpio. Yup, don't hold anything back (which can be good & bad). Emotional, outgoing and intense. I've mellowed with age, but it's all still there...

4) How do you like your caffeine? I love coffee with a little sugar and flavored cream. Hot in the winter and iced in the summer, mmm frappuchino!

5) Favorite cartoon character? Pluto. That was a tougher decision than I thought it would be. (It was close with Snoopy and Spongebob on his tail =)

Now I'm tagging a few friends! You're it!

Catenabi Chronicles - crazy cat woman!
Forty Something & Counting - me too...
From My Classroom Window - fellow educator
Little Red Henry - pretty artist
Substitute Teacher's Saga - sub with a heart of gold
The Waiting is the Hardest Part - Heather G needs something to do =)

Lastly, a nice, big, chrome high five of thanks to Terrible Minds, Chuck Wendig! I was fast enough to win his book. yay! Check out the link to see all the entries if you have some time and like reading about robots =]

PS - I just added a blogfest for next wed 6/29 (see mrgin). join in!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sunday Funny - Happy Father's Day!

Here are a couple of classics in honor of my dad...
Happy Father's Day!

From "Bride of the Far Side" & "Hound of the Far Side" by Gary Larson

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Writing a Book - Keeping in Shape

Are you reaching your daily writing goal? (I'm not) How far are you in your WIP? Do you need a break?
I've been on a break for too long. I'm stuck in the middle of editing. I need to put out more queries as I polish. I want to work on my next novel, I've started 3 more, or rewrite my first one. But I just don't have enough time to dedicate. When I write a book, I want big blocks of time to really get into it and I just don't have that right now. Does anyone else have this problem?
Well, here is my point. I don't want to get rusty or out of shape with my writing skills. I want my brain to stay sharp. So to keep my mind healthy and fit, I do writing exercises. Flash Fiction, Drabbles, quick prompt contests, poetry prompts, sample crits, etc. The most I let myself write is 1000 words. If I have time for more than that I should be working on my MS or WIP! Here are some of the blogs that I frequent who offer regular prompts to keep us active!

Even if you are steady with your writing, taking a break from it to do a small challenge can rejuvenate your brain and add spice when you return to it. You might think of things in a different way. And if you have other challenges to speak of, let me know!

Friday, June 17, 2011

TEENA - Teenage Android

Mr. Chuck Wendig has procured a vicious challenge this fine Friday. We are to write about robots, which I love, but there is a catch to be one of the first 10-15 entries if we want a free copy of his book. I want one! So 1000 words in an hour... please forgive typos =)


I hate being an experiment. They could have at least equipped me with the capacity for the classes I have to take. American History is ridiculous and repetitive. It puts me to sleep and I don’t even need to. At least I have more of a life than Jane Eyre – her story makes me want to bang my head against a cement wall, or do I mean cry? But my so-called “parents” said I needed to be able to learn like the rest of the adolescents.

I can’t believe no one knows I’m an android. My parents acted so nervous around the principle when they brought me in. Mrs. Calloughy should have seen right through their shallow explanation. “We’re from Ohio.” Pah-lease!

The boys were nice to me at first. But my “mom” said it’s because of my shape. She also said that might be the reason girls aren’t nice to me. So my mom gave me some glasses to wear, not that my perfect orbs need help. Now everyone avoids me.

Today my objective is to make a friend. My parents want me to implement my conversation programming. They sit at home and observe through my eyes and take notes. I have no privacy. They could have left out the need for it when they gave me all the other teen insecurities and emotions. How can I act like a normal teenager when I know I’m being watched?

The subject I have chosen is a lonely girl named Shayna. She is in my math class. She has glasses, like me, and is very intelligent. My parents said I should ask her to help me. They may not have given me the knowledge, but my ability to learn and predict let me surpass Algebra 2 a week ago. Now sitting through the class is tortuous.

Shayna is dark-complected, petite and keeps to herself. I am pale with black hair and green eyes. I must approach with caution so I don’t scare her away. My backup options would be to join a sport, which I would dominate and possibly expose my origin, or try to join a popular click. For some reason, that image is unattractive to me.

School is over. I see Shayna walking home. I get closer and call to her with a slight wave. I must be shy.

“Shayna?”

She turns to me with a puzzled expression. “Yes?”

“Hi, Shayna. I’m Teena. I’m in your math class.”

Now she looks more confused. “Yes?”

“I’m sorry to bother you. I’m having trouble with today’s lesson. And I was wondering if you had some time to help me.” What a lie. I didn’t know I was programmed to lie. Duly noted.

“Isn't your grade higher than mine?”

How did she know that? Does everyone know that? Well, now that I can lie, I can probably do bad on the tests.

I think of a way to solve this dilemma. I smile like I’m embarrassed. “I didn’t know that. My parents are so hard on me to be the best. And this new section is difficult.” I hope she can relate on some level.

She looks relieved. “My parents are the same way. They are all over me if I bring home a B.”

I am relieved too. We make plans to go study.

As we become friends, I learn about gossip and cheating and how boys only want one thing. She teaches me some slang and we tell each other secrets. I have become better at making things up. To avoid having males be a variable in my already over complicated experiment, I tell her I have a boyfriend back in Ohio named Steve. She tells me she has a crush on Michael.

Now that we are closer, I feel a need to help and protect Shayna. And she reciprocates. Some girls were teasing me in the locker room during gym class because I can’t shower, due to my “skin condition,” and Shayna rigged baby powder to fall on them. I have decided to make Michael my next objective for Shayna.

Michael is in my science class and Shayna is not. For the next lab, names are drawn at random to choose partners. I am picked third and opt for Michael, who is immediately disappointed. Good.

During our experiment, which I could do in my charging stasis, I mention Shayna.

“Do you know my friend, Shayna? She is so smart. I bet she will be valedictorian next year.”

This information is ignored. He pretends to concentrate on the lab sheet. So he doesn’t care for intelligence. I must get him to talk first. Boys like to talk about sports. I recall Shayna saying Michael is on the baseball team. I try again.

“How did you do at your last game?”

He looks up and considers me. “Good.”

Progress. “What was the score?”

“We lost. 8 to 6.” He looks down again.

I must boost his ego. “Oh, that’s too bad. What position do you play? I’m sure you did well.”

He looks up and smiles. “Yeah. I’m catcher. I hit my second homerun of the season. Three ribbies.”

I have no idea what “ribbies” are. “What are ribbies?”

He goes on to explain they are RBIs, or runs batted in. Apparently I need more information about sports. Our conversation continues as I work through the experiment in the background. He enjoys talking about himself and I have trouble bringing Shayna back into the conversation. I don’t get to say much at all.

Now I have a problem. Michael has asked me out. How did that happen? My mission has gone wrong. Shayna will be crushed if I tell her. I’m sure I could fix things if I went out with him and explained the situation. My parents are ecstatic that I have a date. They are curious about how my programming would handle physical contact.

I don’t know how much more my circuits can take. Being a teenager is horrible!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Consumer Reports says...Summer is Here

So in the July 2011 Consumer Reports issue they get a base hit with cleaning baseball stains, take second on an error and apply sunscreen, steal third with commentary on rip-off customer service and slide safe at home with some gas saving advice. Whew! What an inning! (ok, you may groan now)

Yes, I just got back from a humdinger of a little league game! We finally won! Woo hoo!

Anyway, here are the reports:

Top 5 Stain Removers:
Resolve, laundry
Shout, advanced action
Shout, triple acting
OxiClean, max force 4in1 power spray
Zout

Top Sunscreens:
SPF 30 - Banana Boat sport, Coppertone sport, CVS sport, Up & Up sport (Target brand =)
SPF 40 to 50 - No-Ad, Equate baby, Walgreens sport, Ocean Potion kids
SPF 50+ - Banana Boat sport, Aveeno, Coppertone, Neutrogena

Where's did the Customer Service Go?
Have you noticed customer service has been going down the toilet somewhat lacking? Here are results from the "Gripe-O-Meter" survey Consumer Reports took on America's top customer service gripes in stores and on the phone:
  1. Can't get a human on the phone (ME! I hate that one the most too! I especially hate having to TALK to the computer! I just keep saying "operator" til I get one)
  2. Salesperson is rude (or can't speak ENGLISH!)
  3. Many phone steps needed
  4. Long wait on hold
  5. Unhelpful solution
  6. Salesperson is too pushy (I don't mind hanging up on them, I don't have time to be nice sometimes)
  7. Extras are pitched
  8. No apology for unsolved problem
  9. Can't find store salesperson
  10. Boring hold music or messages (really? this is a complaint?)
  11. Wait at counter or checkout (I deal with it, especially since I might be holding up the line. I buy a ton of groceries...)
  12. Wait for scheduled repair (plan on it then be pleasantly surprised if they get done early)
Summer vacations may mean some driving...
Best Ways to Save Gas:
  • map it out before you leave
  • keep tires properly inflated, it really does save gas
  • don't put off that oil change or tune up, get it done before a long trip
  • if you'll be renting, get a car with good gas mileage
  • keep your eye on gas prices driving around town
  • on the highway, every 10mph faster you cruise = 5mpg you lose (like that one? ha ha)
  • try not to take off fast or brake suddenly, smooth & steady
  • lower wind resistance, a top of car carrier will lower mpg's
  • don't waste your money on premium gas unless your car specifically calls for it (most don't)
  • gas-saving gadgets are gimmicks, EPA also attests to this
Do you have any gripes or advice to share?

Poetry Thursday - New Life & Yummy!

Robert Lee Brewer of Writer's Digest Poetic Asides is expecting a special delivery today! Congratulations and I hope little Hannah Marie isn't late! In honor of her imminent arrival, he prompted his followers to write a poem on "welcoming a stranger." Here is my offering to him.

Innocent new life
Wrinkled skin and gassy smile
Resistance futile

And C.R. Ward faithfully introduced a new form for me to taste...epulaeryu

(source)

Cookie Monster!

Who can deny the soft and
Gooey scrumptiousness,
The warm, melty chocolate.
Its sweet aroma
Fills the soul and mind.
Not just want,
Crave!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Dreaming of Disney - Dining Reservations, pt 1

Once you have your accommodations and before you book your airfare, I recommend you make dining reservations. Seriously! Especially if you want to eat with Mickey and friends or the Princesses! Those character dining slots go fast. You can call as early as 180 days in advance and if you are staying on property you can book for your whole stay. You'd be surprised how quick some places fill up.

This will be a multi-part post because there are so many restaurants to talk about. Here, I am including character dining and event dining, the ones that go first. I haven't been to any princess meals because I have 3 boys! But I'm sure they're all great 8=)

(Rating is based on 5 *s = awesome! and n/b=never been)

These Dinner & A Show "events" are so fun! I have booked Fantasmic (huge laser, fire & light show of Sorcerer's Apprentice Mickey over water) three times and had to cancel for one reason or another every time so hopefully we will make it this year. There's so much to tell you about all these wonderful experiences. They are expensive, but worth doing at least one (we usually have one sit down reservation a day because we like to have a relaxing meal and not wait!) My sister really liked the Disney Dining Plan which I will go into more detail on later, too. You can make your dining reservations online or by calling 407-WDW-DINE (407-939-3463).


Countdown to next trip (Nov 2011): 153 days 8=)
TTFN!
My references are the Disney website and Birnbaum Guides to Walt Disney World (2010) which I use for much of my planning, I highly recommend using them.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Random Tuesday - quick prompt

Sarcastic, insightful agent, Janet Reid, has put up her first contest of the summer. I found it just in time. In 100 words or less, we had to use these prompts to write a clever story. Here are the words and my entry =)
willing
parrot
intuitionist
dope
silette


“Eddie, come here!”

“Eddie, here!” Tonya parroted.

“Stop that, Tonya!”

“Top that, Tona!”

Avery sighed, willing the toddler to be quiet. Eddie pulled up beside his big sister. She displayed the old cyclops camera she found in Granny’s attic. Little Tonya had found Granny “asleep.”

“It says ‘Silette,’” Avery read.

“Stillette?”

“I wonder if it works.” Eddie looked it over.

“It works!” Tonya grabbed and it fell open, exposing the film inside.

“Tonya, you dope! Now we’ll never know what was on it.”

The mimicking intuitionist grinned with an evil gleam in her eye as she repeated, “Never know.”

I'm still putting together my next Disney segment. Hope to have it ready for tomorrow. 8=)

I felt lame with that entry, reading it over I can see it might be confusing. So I'm adding a writercize from Alana that I've been wanting to do. Being an organized person, I had to do this prompt: take a category and make an alphabetical list for it. For summer, my category is Travel. Here is my list,

Adventure / Break / Cruise / Discover / Escape / Family / Go / Hotel / Island / Journey / Keys / Long / Map / New / Occasion / Parks / Quest / Restaurants / Search / Tours / Unknown / Views / Walk / Xplore / Yen / Zoos

I bet you have some better ones, right? =)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Kick start Monday - Drabble Day

I'm still catching up, but I wanted to do this week's drabble! Thanks Aheila =)
The prompt for 100 words is "seek"

Ogre Personal Ad:

Hid-e-us, hairy ogress seek e-nor-mus, smelly, mirror-breaking male. Brain not needed, me do thinking. Must have big muscles for crushing skulls and ham hands to smash stuff in yard. Me like arm wrestle, tree-breaking tromps thru forest and troll raids. Me cook good. Me make best slug stew this side of swamp. Male must have big temper and hate kids. Me have one or two or four, can’t remember.

Fun first date: outrun dragon, mud slide down mountain then have to beat me at spitting contest.

Turn ons: scars, scabs, ingrown toenails and warts
Turn offs: flowers and rainbows

*knights don’t bother, me eat you

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Happiness Intent & Sunday Funny

I'm jumping back in with a poem using a form inspired by C. R. Ward called Triquint.

Happiness Intent

I think of all the days I have spent
Tears and time of commitment
Happiness intent
Wills are bent
Past

In youth there was no impediment
New adventures came and went
Happiness intent
Wills are bent
Fast

Mature eyes open, remain content
The climb hard, but worth ascent
Happiness intent
Wills are bent
Last

I wanted to get to a challenge, but I will just have to do the next one, like Aheila's drabble tomorrow. To keep me straight, here's what's coming up this week:
  • setting some summer goals for writing and querying
  • Dreaming of Disney
  • Catching up on everything with kids home from school, it never ends!
Here's the Sunday Funny =)
from "All This and Snoopy Too" by Charles M. Shultz, United Feature Syndicate, Inc. 1960

Friday, June 10, 2011

Hyper-mega-super-thanks!

My situation has made a drastic turn for the better. I had found myself at a scary, treacherous path. I was stunned and awed that it turned out to be just a pothole followed by smooth pavement and sunny skies, brighter than I've seen in a while. There is still roadwork ahead, but I'm ready for it.

Thank you for all your positive vibes and well wishes! I hope to be back up and posting by Sunday =) I know your prayers helped me! Thank you all so much! I will go catch up on your blogs now.

(source)
 Don't give up, it's worth the effort!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

indefinitely

this will be my last post for a while. something has come up that i need to deal with. i wish i could go into more detail, but i can't. hope to see lots of progress when i return!
wish you all the best.

tara

Monday, June 6, 2011

Kick start Monday - I'm Irresistable! and a blogfest!

hahaha
But thanks, Carolyn! She thinks I'm sweet =) She sent me this:
so now I will do the honorable things:
> thank giver, Thanks again, Carolyn!
> list 7 things about me:
  1. I used to be afraid of bees until I had kids and didn't want to pass along that fear
  2. I wore saddle shoes as a kid to correct my feet turning in
  3. I fell down a flight of stairs at 3yo causing 2 black eyes and one turned in so I've been wearing glasses since then (took a break when I was a teenager until I turned 30)
  4. First kiss at a racquetball court
  5. First real kiss at a pizza hut =)
  6. My younger sister and I learned to ride our bikes at the same time, my oldest son and his younger brother also learned at the same time (we older sibs are more cautious)
  7. My eyes are green/hazel (boring, but I've had to come up with a lot of facts!)
> and pass it on...hmmm. to 15?! let's see. I'm trying to send awards to those I haven't sent to ...
  1. Allison Writes
  2. Beckah-Rah
  3. Believing in Miracles
  4. Random Thoughts
  5. Christa Writes
  6. Coffee and a Keyboard
  7. Doc Nani's Thoughts
  8. Everything you didn't want to know about writing
  9. Imagine Today
  10. Junebug's Musings
  11. Laugh Quotes
  12. Nicki Elson's Not-so-deep thoughts
  13. Weaving a Tale or Two
  14. What else is possible?
  15. Writer in Transit
Julie at What else is possible, advertised this blogfest sponsored by Alex J Cavanaugh (you may remember him as one of the A-Z blogfest hosts). To participate, list our 3 favorite games and why then advertise and visit other blogs, sounds fun! Here are mine:
Scrabble - I can play anywhere and I can beat the computer
Scene It - I love trivia! I like playing those video trivia games at Buffalo Wild Wings too. (I was going to put trivial pursuit, but some of those questions are ridiculous!)
Volleyball - I'm short and we never play, but it's still my favorite active game

And lastly, I had my query letter put up for critique on Unicorn Bell, if you'd like to see and there are a couple more as well. There is a lot of good advice there! Whew, what a Monday!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Great Tournament!

Being our first out of town tournament, it was a GREAT time! Here are some pics, as promised =)
The first day we wore our orange and gray. (my son is #10)

 Got to see my "Knuckleballer" pitch =)
We all went out to dinner that night but my middle guy didn't want anyone to sing to him for his birthday...
Today they wore blue and white and won this morning! Yeah!
The fans!
the siblings
came in 2nd place!
BTW, we were at stinkin FORT KNOX! I knew we were playing on a military base near Louisville, but I didn't know it was Fort Knox until we got there! How cool is that! (no, we didn't see the gold...)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Happy Birthday, Middle Child!


My middle guy is 11 today!
Poor guy gets stuck in the middle of everything.
Not happy we are at a tournament for older brother...
Happy to have mini waterpark in hotel!

Won one, lost two
Hot as blazes, yeah for pool!

Pics tomorrow when we get home.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Headed to Louisville

Going to Louisville, KY for a sweltering baseball tournament. Should be a good time! A mini vacation with lots of friends & a water park in the hotel =) plus some good 12yo baseball!

I will take some photos and update scores (cuz I know you want me to, ha ha)

Another Bathing Suit Season

Have you tried yours on yet? I did. It fits, but I kept my coverup on the whole time we were at the pool. I am putting up some advice from Prevention and Self magazines. Not for exercises or diets, but for positive, slimmer thinking. Being healthy and losing weight is all about the attitude. It's also a battle. So if we don't care, the fat wins!

"12 Ways to Think Slim" by Marisa Cohen, Self , June 2011 (my comments)
  1. Food is not a trophy - reward yourself another way (put it on your blog and get sweet feedback!)
  2. Look at the dessert menu on a full stomach, then you're less likely to overindulge.
  3. "Diet" foods aren't always - many times they're just smaller portions (huh, that's what I try to do when I diet anyway, smaller portions!)
  4. Use the oxygen-mask rule - we worry about our kids eating healthy, then are too tired to do the same for ourselves. So make one more serving of what the kids are having for you.
  5. Don't sway - just because she's thinner than you, don't copy her order, make your own healthy choice and stick with it
  6. Don't let splurges become habit - if you splurge for a long weekend or vacation, your body gets used to it and it's harder to go back. Watch yourself.
  7. Menus are eye candy - restaurants entice you with their descriptions, don't be fooled into thinking something is healthy by the sound of it (remember "too good to be true?")
  8. Nothing is free - I have said this before, if it's free of something, it's got more of something else.
  9. Don't eat it "because it's there" - someone's birthday at work, free donuts for a meeting; all so tempting, try to hold back (I gave in the other day and had a donut, and it was gooooood. Oh, sorry. I regret it now.)
  10. If it's sweet but not fruit, it's not breakfast (I hate this rule, though it's true. I try to satisfy my need for sweet with a nutrigrain waffle, no syrup. They're grrrreat!)
  11. Fad rhymes with bad - here is an awesome rule for diets: if you can't get what you need at your grocery store or eat at a restaurant you probably won't stick with it
  12. The more you sleep, the less you eat - not to say nap your day away, but get more sleep at night. If you're up late, odds are you'll get hungry again
And a little more advice from Prevention, April 2011.
First...
"...people who smelled green apple, banana or peppermint several times a daily lost an average of 30 lbs in 6 months." (anybody got some green apple lip balm?)

And second, here are some natural ways to help fight what might be bothering you:
> Have less energy? You might need B12, found in meats and fortified cereal
> Have achy joints? You might need Manganese and Copper, found in nuts, beef & spinach, but might need supplement
> Have less memory? You might need Omega 3, reduce refined and processed food, eat more fish
> Have higher blood pressure? You might need Potassium, reduce sodium, eat more fruits and veggies

Thursday, June 2, 2011

raNdom thursDay

Funny you should mention haiku!
I found two bloggers asking for them yesterday. I read some great ones from the contest Ellie entered (she was a runner up, by the way!) and she led me to a weekly Haiku Wednesday, yesterday's theme was "the future." The other site is Writercize where Alana dishes out daily writing exercises for anyone that wants a challenge =). So here is my simple haiku, forecasting a busy immediate future.


Summer is calling
Camps, baseball, vacation, pool
Squeeze in time to write

It's fun in the sun
Movies, parks, birthday parties
Mosquitoes at night

Bicycles, sprinklers
Fireworks and barbecues
Families unite

Hey, I just noticed those last lines rhyme. I didn't plan that, Haikus are not supposed to rhyme. But separately I guess they can...only 2 days left of school =)