I really enjoyed my first blog hop/blogfest yesterday! I'm still going around to collect all my data like the nerdy little mathematician I am - I <3 #s! And if you were a little late, you will still be viewed and counted, don't worry!
Tomorrow I have something old and something new - but no borrowed or blue, I'm already married, thank you!
First off, I have to say, "YAY!!!! BOTH of my younger sons WON their football games! Woo Hoo! It's unheard of!" This football season is better than any other so far and we've only been playing for a couple of weeks =)
Then I have to say, "Whew! That was alotta blogfesting!" Participated in two blogfests and joined a campaign! Looking forward to September and October to see what this Platform-Building Campaign is all about!
MY BLOGAVERSARY BLOGFEST!!! We are planning a nice little gathering and bringing treats to share by way of recipes. Come on over! It's a potluck with prizes =) And it's tomorrow!
Then on September 5, we have our first Campaign event. I'm so curious!
But that's not all! Alex J. Cavanaugh came up with the great idea to host the Insecure Writers Support Group. We all talk about what's bugging us or give each other advice about writing. We will meet on the first Wednesday of each month and the first one is September 7! Go sign up! What could it hurt?
And now I will leave you with my go at Brainstorm & Bylines weekend challenge - to use lost & found in an opening line of a story:
Jessica stared at the door knowing she would either find her answer or lose her mind.
I succumbed to the peer pressure. I'm now a campaigner.
There's still time to join and there are so many writers in all genres, you are bound to make a bunch of new friends and learn a few things. Be a campaigner! Join us! You know you want to!
And thanks to the Favorite Summer Reads Blogfest I now have a much longer TBR list! I don't have much more to offer other than the books I am looking forward to reading:
DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth - had to get it after hearing so much about it and it's just starting to get good (the beginning is similar to Hunger Games so I was immediately doubtful, but it's getting better - we'll see!)
UNDER THE DOME by Stephen King - have to psych myself up for the length and breadth of King. I just finished DUMA KEY which was great but looooooooong!
TOWERS OF MIDNIGHT by the late, great Robert Jordan and Brandon Sandersen. The last book in the Wheels of Time series - epic! It's on my Christmas list because I have others to read and I want a big, expensive hardcover copy!
It's time for Cherie's Favorite Summer Reads Blogfest ! Summer is just about over for us and Winter is ending down under I think? Can't forget my friend, Rhonda from New Zealand! Anyway, did you read any good books this summer? I posted about my awesome experience reading the Hunger Games trilogy in record time, but it was so good, I'll have to say it again! Hunger Games rocked my socks off, not that I was wearing socks this summer. And of course they are making a movie of it and I have a sweet poster for it (not the one below but it was free!) and am so proud of myself for reading a book before the movie came out! (I like conjunctions)
The problem with Hunger Games being so good, I can't find anything to follow it that holds my interest! I tried a couple of authors that I like, but their latest novels are not great. Will I ever enjoy a book again? That's why I am also adding this post as one of my "writing a book" journal entries.
Ever hear the phrase, "She knows just enough to be dangerous" ? Well, that's probably me lately. Now that I'm writing and know more about it and editing and finding mistakes to correct in my MS, I am also spotting things that should have been edited out of published novels! Why do they get to use boring back story? I don't care about that, it's not moving the story along. And how bout a little more showing vs telling? Huh?
So my cynicism and judgmental/editing attitude combined with the fabulous books I read this summer leave me wanting. I need a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious book! Looking forward to comments and the other posts in this blogfest =)
PS - I think editing is making me crazy. I need fresh eyes on my MS. Anybody know where I can find a good beta reader? any volunteers? I will reciprocate!
Day 4 of Spark Blogfest! I have really enjoyed this week so far. Thank you Christine for coming up with a great blogfest! I didn't think I would have enough stuff for two posts never mind 4! Today I credit other participants in this fest, sparking me to remember my subconscious inspiration to love reading and writing. Today I honor my mom.
When my sister and I were little, my mom did so much for us to make us happy. She played pretend with us, she made clothes for us and for our Barbie dolls, she baked us goodies, and on the list goes. But one of my favorite memories will always be her nightly readings from Watership Down. I still remember the travels, adventures, near escapes, gory details, and descriptions of life from the perspective of a bunny! Yeah, my mom is awesome and raised us as close to perfect as you can get.
My parents are both avid readers, I can't leave my dad out. He cracks me up. He always has a book handy but the funny thing I love about his books is the stickers he puts on the covers. You know, the little sticker labels on fruit, especially chiquita bananas or price tags, remember price tags?
Seeing my parents read in spare moments set a wonderful example to make me wonder what was so great about reading when you didn't have to? And now we talk to each other about the books we're reading. It's our own private book club (my sister is in it too =)
So there you have my two favorite sparksters - mi madre y mi padre! (translation, my mother and my father, and no I'm not bilingual, I'm just silly =) Now I will go back and revisit all the other sparked up writers to see if I missed any. Thanks again to Christine Tyler for bringing us together! The comments have been awesome and it's been great meeting new people and hearing wonderful stories. I love a good blogfest!
Speaking of, I just joined the Favorite Summer Reads Blogfest that started yesterday. It's sponsored by one of my new friends, Cherie Reich. Reading may ignite the spark to start us writing, but reading also kindles the fire to keep us writing! (kindle, get it? hee hee) I am always looking for a new book =) Did you read anything good this summer?
It's Day 3 of the *Spark* Blogfest! And today I am taking a tangent to talk about poetry sparks.
As with writing, poetry wasn't my thing growing up - figuring out imagery in novels was hard enough! But recently I've changed my perspective. I saw poetry as a way to express a lot in a small amount of words - efficiency! And I love formulas and functions (math junkie) so poetic forms were perfect for me. I also like to be a nonconformist sometimes, free verse! Thus I have to thank the blog world prompts and poetic challenges for sparking me, DARING me to write poetry! Now I love it!
Day Two of Spark Blogfest! (You might be sick of the word spark when I'm through with it, as I shamelessly twist and mutate it.)
I <3 Michael Crichton!!!
Michael Crichton is my hero! I was so sad when I heard about his death in 2008. But his legacy will live on and on and on! My favorite book by him is PREY. And who didn't love JURASSIC PARK? They're all excellent! And many were made into movies. I love sci fi - it makes you think and Michael Crichton was a genius with a magnificent imagination producing awesome sci-fi, techno-thrillers!
When I came up with the idea for my current WIP, he was the first person I thought of. I wasn't ready to write for myself so I thought I would pass it on to Mr. Crichton. Not that he needed ideas! But what could it hurt? I had a nice letter with my story idea just about ready to send. Then I got distracted and forgot about it. A couple years later, I wrote the chick lit novel, realized it wasn't going anywhere, and I pulled this one back out. Since I had the writing bug, I decided to write it myself. Ta daa! POP TRAVEL, sci-fi thriller. Here is a blurb about it:
POP TRAVEL is laser teleportation and has replaced flying in 2080. The only trouble is, a significant few have disappeared and J.L. Cooper's latest client insists pop travel is the cause. During his investigation, Cooper finds evidence of the deadly flaw, sparking a series of murders, attempts on his life, and a kidnapping. Cooper knows he's being watched and the only way to get resolution is to confront the Creator of pop travel. On his way, Geri Harper, undercover FBI agent, helps him in spite of his protests. When they reach the Creator, he has plans of his own and takes them on a wild detour.
Hey, this will be useful for my ever-changing query letter! Thanks for reading!
pic source: people.com
It's Day one of the Spark Blogfest! Christine Tyler posed questions about what sparked us to write. What books and authors set us off? And did any of them effect our world view?
Thought provoking questions indeed. I'm sure some of you could answer right away, been reading fiends your whole life, knew from the moment you stuck your first touchy/feely block book in your mouth that you could be a great writer "this stuff writes itself!" I didn't like to be forced to read in school, but I did like to make stuff up. I wrote a good little story about the journey of a gumball from machine to happily ever after at the dump (gum is not very bio-degradable).
Then I started to enjoy reading. I read fantasy and YA (didn't know it was YA back then) and sci fi and on and on. My parents have a library of books, so they were happy to see me join their reading circle. But when my life picked up, I read less.
Until! Once I settled down with a family of my own, I turned to reading again. (I believe my cousin is at this point =) And that's when I thought to myself, I could do this! So two years ago I picked up a story that I outlined during my twenties - because that period of my life was so awesomely hilarious I had to write it down! I finished it and that is how I sparked into writing.
ONE LAST NIGHT
Can you guess which one is me? Yes, I was so excited I had to draw my own "cover." But then I found out you don't usually publish the first book you write. At least I got that out of the way. Sigh.
So it wasn't one particular book or author, there are so many to love! It was that feeling of being immersed in a story. The escape of dull reality into a thrilling, wonderful, moving experience! I wanted to share mine - or a simulated version of it. And once the writing bug bit, I was infected. No turning back now!
The notorious Mr. Wendig at Terrible Minds has a lovely Friday Flash Challenge this week. I took a break from the last two, but I love the mashup! So here is my Southern Gothic/Cyberpunk story. I could go on and on with this one!
The Hatfields VS the McCoys: 2993
Akin Hatfield took aim at the green image. With his high-falootin, sci-fi goggles set on heat seekin, that animal didn’t stand a chance.
Snap! What the ? Some idiot stepped on a twig!
And there went the enemy, scamperin off to make his scout report. Akin’s moron ammo tech would scare off fish in a barrel.
Zap! The figure disintegrated. Hot damn!
“Fine shootin, Bo. Saved us a chase,” Akin said in his com link. “As for Piss, here, I might hafta shoot his loud a** myself.”
“Sorry, boss.” Laughter echoed in their headsets. Piss earned his name for pissin his pants when they caught him lyin. Helluvan ammo tech, makin bombs outta all kinds of s#%@, even s#%@! But his usefulness might be comin to an end.
After an early lead takin the first flag in the Tobacc Mountain region in only five days, Akin had gained himself a huge followin. Though it had cost him three men, scores had volunteered to join his campaign team. He took only ten to keep his convoy small enough to hide from that skunk, Rosco McCoy.
One of Akin’s scouts had informed that as soon as McCoy found out they had won the first region, he paid off the village idiot leader to give him his flag and now his team was close on Akin’s heels.
Accordin to the Election War map, Akin's next flag was here in Peachnut Plains. The clue said “rust in peace,” so they figured it’d be in a cemetery. The marker sat on Stone Mountain, the only remainin landmark and split in half at that. Two years ago The Battle of the South ended in victory, but if those aliens came back any time soon, humans’d be toast. The South may be a Wilderness Zone, but no one was gonna take it from em once Akin Hatfield was in charge.
Akin’s campaign team spread across the Stone Mountain cemetery to cover more ground. Even before the Invasion, most graveyards were grown over with grass and weeds and trees, nobody buried the dead anymore, just cremations. The men crept through the tall grass barely seein the headstones which were no more than rocks to trip over, and some bones and skulls that had risen to the surface with the ground shiftin and tree roots growin and such. It was like wadin through a deathswamp.
Ahead, through the trees, Akin could just make out the two horse heads carved into the half of Stone Mountain that still stood, with his goggles now on infrared. Before he turned back to focus on the brush in front of him, he heard a commotion. At the base of the mountain he saw bursts of lasergun fire and flares. McCoy’s team must have found their flag. D*&% that McCoy!
“Party’s over, boys. Getta move on that flag!”
They picked up the pace and Akin saw somethin swish by up ahead near the remains of a broken iron fence. It had been fuzzy, not solid. He figured it was just a cloud of bugs.
A thud made him turn. Piss was down. Akin and Bo rushed over. Bo shook the ammo tech, but Piss’s eyes were wide and glazed, starin up at the moon. His face froze from fright.
Akin smacked him. Still nothin. He weren’t dead but they couldn’t afford to drag him along so they shrugged and went on.
Then the screamin started. Three more men fell with no sign of damage. Just that same stupid spooked look on their surprised faces.
“Evrybody gather here to me pronto!” Akin ordered.
“We lost Ells, too,” Charley told him as they huddled around their leader.
“This ain’t McCoy’s doin. I ain’t sayin what I think it is, but take what you can from the fallen and keep your goggles on. We are stickin together til we get outta here.”
When they reorganized, they headed for the iron fencin.
“I see it,” whispered Bo.
“The flag?” Akin asked. “Where?”
“By that thing over there,” he said and pointed with a shaky finger. He sounded like he was gonna cry. Akin saw the flag and the hazy, floatin thing, which was not a cloud of bugs.
“Pull it together, boy!” Akin said and swatted him in the head. “Use the retriever.”
Charley took the large cannon like device off his shoulder and aimed at the flag. Once they figured it out, it had been a valuable asset, a gift left by the retreatin aliens. He steadied and fired.
The spook turned around and flew right at them. The face became a hideous fury, half skin, half teeth and half drippy goo. Just before it reached them, the boomerangin retriever lasernet exploded through it with the flag, scatterin the poor apparition’s goo all over them.
Two more men had gone down at the shockin sight of it, but Akin’s team had the flag. Only one more to go and the Hatfields would win the Governorship of the Wilderness Zone. Yeehaw!
Thank goodness it's Friday =)
Monday is the first day of school! yay! I enjoyed summer and doing things with my kids and being with them and watching them get out toys and things they haven't played with in ages. But it is time! We are on each other's nerves and it is just time to go back. So YEAH!
There are other wonderful things happening Monday, too. Like Christine Tyler's Spark Blogfest. I almost didn't participate because I wasn't sure what I would write about. It was more my life experiences that started me writing. Then I thought of something good, so I joined in. It will be fun to see the many responses!
And although I didn't feel worthy to enter Ellie Garratt's Star Trek as we know it blog-a-thon, that is going on Monday as well. I like Star Trek, but these guys are ga ga for it! They came up with cool titles for themselves and everything. I'll definitely be reading what they have to say!
Finally, I've been seeing Write On Con being advertised so I went over to check it out. That is the best idea ever! I haven't been to a conference yet, they all seem to be in New York, or at least far from where I live. But this online conference is awesome! And it was free for a simple onlooker like me. I got to hear what the pros have to say the way I read the paper - skim to find the good parts while I sit on the couch in my jammies =) If you haven't, you should go look! Here is the list of presentations.
Now here is a Writercize poem dedicated to you wonderful followers and commenters. You all make me smile a lot!
When stories ignite
A writer must write
Words flew from my pen
Again and again
Then I was through
Now what to do?
Get to know more
A blog to explore
And more I found out
What writing's about
I met sweet new friends
Whose love knows no ends
And when I am blue
Their words make me new
Kiss worries good-bye
Support from all sides!
With the economy kicking us all when we're down, we really don't want to repair or replace anything. We want everything to keep working. How many of you had to deal with the air conditioner giving out this sweltering summer? Ours gave us the signal just before, so we didn't have to wait for service, but we still had to pay for it. It's hard to judge if something is worth repairing or replacing.
Well, Consumer Reports did some testing and they recommend that if something goes wrong, most major appliances should be repaired within their first five years and at least looked at after that. A fridge should last 8 years on repairs. But a microwave that breaks down in even 2-3 years should be replaced.
Electronics (including digital cameras, camcorders and TVs) should also do with being repaired within 5 years. But a PC, repair within 2-3 and after that replace. The technology only lasts that long anyway, these days!
A lawn mower should probably be replaced after 4-5 years if it breaks. But riding mowers, snowblowers and treadmills should be repaired.
Summer was way too busy. I thought things would slow down, but now school's back in! With our busy schedules it's hard to get everyone to sit down for a meal. We sometimes resort to fast food, but I try to limit it to once a week or less. Consumer Reports took some data from subscribers about Fast-Food Chains. Here's the top 3-5 from each category, based on food quality, value, service, and speed (notice that those pictured did not make the list!)
Burgers - In-N-Out Burger, Burgerville, Five Guys Burgers & Fries, Culver's, Back Yard Burgers
Chicken - Chick-Fil-A, El Pollo Loco, Boston Market, Zaxby's
Sandwiches & Subs - Jason's Deli, Firehouse Subs, Jersey Mike's, Potbelly Sandwich Shop, Jimmy John's
It was a great weekend for football! Two of my boys played in our "Grimes Bowl" this weekend. The 2nd grader did very well, won 1 of 2 and the 6th grader won his game 27 to 0, making several good plays and tackles. And mom worked as volunteer to help film a game before my son's, I was on Camera 1! "Uh, Camera 1, you missed another pass..." "Oops!" But overall I did good! I'll post a link to the videos when they put them up. It airs on local public service tv =)
mine is #7
Cartoon from YOU'RE SOMETHING SPECIAL, SNOOPY by Charles M. Schulz, United Feature Syndicate, Inc., 1972
My blogaversary is coming up! It snuck up on me. I can't believe I've been posting for almost a year. Well, I have to celebrate! And I hope you'll join me.
In honor of my one year of blabbing I am going to have a Blogaversary Blogfest! And what is a party without food? Nada party. So link up and on August 30th serve us your favorite party recipe, or any yummy favorite food or drink. (pictures are also nice)
Of course there will be some prizes! Here's how I will do it:
1. Followers who link up get a point (old or new).
2. Advertisers on blogs, twitter whatever each get another point (let me know)
3. If you join because of someone else participating, tell me who it was so they can get a referral point. It pays to advertise!
For each point, your name goes into the hat that many times. After the link closes I will use Randomizer to draw winners. 1st place = $20 Amazon GC, 1st, 2nd and 3rd all get an ad on my blog, plus an interview post =)
But wait, there's more!
Please comment on the recipes.
I will be totaling comments to see which recipes receive the most and I will put the top three into my Lazy Housewife book! and post their recipes on my sidebar with a link =)
It's my first blogfest so I can't wait to see how this goes and who brings what!
This week has been so awesome! Today is my last opportunity to shine at Writing with Shelly. And I get to do a guest post! (another first =) I offered her a segment from my "Writing a book" journal entries. This week I talk about character building and how to make them believable.
Thank you, Shelly, for such a fabulous week! Not only did you give us the fun Poetry Schmoetry blogfest, but the prizes of time and space on your window to the world were priceless! You leave me teary eyed and speechless!
She said Liebster comes from German with multiple translations ranging from favorite to dearest to sweetheart. This award is meant to give the blogger with less than 200 followers a little more spotlight.
Now I pass the Liebster to five more rising star bloggers who've touched my <3. They’re welcome to pass it on to another five bloggers if they desire (I've seen it making the rounds!):
Carolyn Arnold - Indie publisher extroardinaire! Just published a great thriller, TIES THAT BIND. And posts about new ways to look at writing.
Maine Words - Another moderator at Unicorn Bell, she gives great advice for improving your writing. And her pictures make me miss the Northeast.
the Daily Dose - A drabble a day is her stigma, keeps her writing while raising two adorable little ones.
Writercize - Prompts galore! I love to see what she has to challenge me with daily!
And Shelly, you deserve some leibster love too. please take one! She has done an amazing job promoting me. Makes me tear up! What an awesome person she is to not only bring writers together with a blogfest, but to offer her time and page on the world as a prize! I cherish it!
Writing about Disney always perks me up! I could talk your ear off about it, but I know your limitations, so I'll be brief...
Now that you have a room and reservations booked and you have a general idea of which parks you will visit, you can sit back and relax until your trip gets closer. That's what I'm doing!
Here are some "hot tips" from BIRNBAUM'S GUIDE TO WALT DISNEY WORLD 2010 (plus my valuable comments):
Are you driving? or renting a car? Don't forget where you parked! Before you jump on the tram (one of my favorite rides) make a mental note of your section character and row. Daisy 50, Daisy 50, Daisy 50 - writing it down might be better.
On your way back to the airport, arrive at least 60-90 minutes early. I concur that Orlando airport security is one of the busiest I've seen!
When packing, get some ponchos at Walmart for 50 cents each, they're worth it for the spontaneous Florida showers. (10 bucks at the park!)
Label stuff, like your camera. I haven't lost mine yet, but we have left school books, sunglasses and earbuds. Some things are worth labeling, just in case.
Don't know what to do with Fido? He can come along for the ride and stay at one of the nice kennels. We did that when we lived in FL and went for a long weekend. We took our Lady for walks and fed her at dinner time.
If your youngest seems too big for a stroller and you decide not to pack it, then you see the little guy isn't going to make it, you can rent one at the parks for a reasonable rate. (it happened to us, he hadn't taken a nap in 2 years and took 3 on our trip)
One last item, for parents who want to ride the big rides but have little ones that can't/don't want to, you can "rider switch" - all wait in line, then the parents take turns riding when you get to the front.
Now here are some of my extra hot tips:
On our way to our resort from the airport, we stop at Publix and pick up some groceries, like snacks, drinks, breakfasty stuff and water. Worth it!
Getting a resort mug is also a good idea. The refills are free or cheap and they are nice souveniers.
We also like to plan an excursion outside the parks, like a ball game - lots of close spring training in the area (Atlanta Braves right there at the Disney Sports complex) or a day at the beach (only an hour drive) or Sea World or Universal Studios
Finally, if you go on someone's birthday, make it known and wear the button they give you. My son got free stuff all day (a balloon, a cookie, a dessert, and a couple of songs, plus they all wish you happy birthday =)
at Sea World for a day
I said this last time, but didn't get to it...the next Disney posts will be about the best rides and features of each park.
Countdown to next trip (Nov 2011): 98 days 8=)
Shelly is giving me the best prize for winning the poetry schmoetry contest a couple weeks ago. It's overwhelming to see myself promoted on another site. I'm a bit nervous. I want to have good posts this week and with my recent tragedy, I was feeling down, especially thinking about him being younger than me and leaving behind a family. The worst part is feeling helpless because they live so far away. I appreciate all the kind words and will do my best to write my way back up.
I get some crazy ideas, especially while I’m in the shower. Here is an example of my convoluted train of thought. As I reach for my color enhancing shampoo, I wish the dye didn’t fade so quickly. Someone should make a shampoo that colors while you wash. But it would probably stain the shower. That would be a pain to clean, and I already hate cleaning it. What I really need is a shower that cleans itself. Or a robot. Like in that movie, “I, Robot” with Will Smith. He needs to do another movie. Maybe he could star in the movie version of my book. I guess I’d better finish editing before he’s too old!
Michael Lerro, my friend since we were kids at Bible Camp. Such a great person and a better Christian example, I don't know many. After college we lost touch but reconnected through facebook. He married another good friend and built a wonderful family, all the while spreading God's word and love. Why must the good be taken too soon?
It's been a little while since my last LHW post. I took this survey/interview question in June and finally found some time to write it up! To research for my LHW book (Lazy Housewife intro), which I should query for, I ask my facebook friends questions. Here is the latest:
LHW Q5: How did you meet your significant other? I met mine looking for a roommate in the paper =)
Here are their answers, and I'd love to hear yours!
Carla - Met mine through a mutual friend at Applebee's
Patty S - He was my neighbor. (that story is longer and convoluted!)
Kelly - I met my husband when I was working part-time at Bennigan's as a waitress, he was my boss. We weren't supposed to date, so we kept it quiet from everyone...it was fun trying to hide it!
Maryellen - I met my husband on spring break in Cancun although we were a little older than spring break age. It was love at first sight.
Jill - My roommate in college had a class with him and introduced us when he came over to study one day...
Anne Marie - I was riding the bus back to my sorority house at UGA and talking to his fraternity brother (a friend from high school). He asked about me when I got off. Then, he hunted me down. :-)
Patricia - Blind date!
These stories are wonderful! Love works in mysterious ways and usually when you least expect it! It can be so hard when you're young, especially when you think you're so ready and looking and hoping and wondering what's wrong with you...been there? Ugh! And then, BAM! There they are!
So you start a family and you turn into your parents and want your old fun life back. Ha ha. Just kidding! We find a new love in our kids and will have more fun after raising them and laugh and reap the rewards when they start their family. But that's for another post =)
The poem is for Haiku Wednesdays at You Know...That Blog and the theme this week is Distance. I took a favorite scene from a classic movie and fit it into Haiku form. Recognize it?
Like what? Like, uh, track!
Whaddaya mean, like running?
No, not just running.
It's something that needs
endurance and stamina.
Long distance running.
Cross country running.
Danny thinks for a minute.
Yeah, that could be cool.
And the quick prompt contest is from sharkly agent, Janet Reid. Appropriate during Shark Week! Here are the 5 words to write a quick 100 word story. echo
“Fever check!” T-bone said and smacked his buddy in the forehead on his way out.
The glow in the sky told him he’d better have a good excuse for being out all night again.
He cruised home on his Harley and never saw the branch in the road. As he sailed into a spectacular roll down the hill, the last words he said to the gal in the bar echoed in his head, Gotta live like you’ll die tomorrow.
T-bone smiled with no regrets as his guts oozed like jelly onto the pavement.