Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Childhood and Writing Stories

I've been thinking lately about my childhood.  I am one of those people blessed enough to have had a wonderful childhood.  We were not wealthy, in fact most of my clothes were hand-me-downs from my older sister and our cousins.  We never went hungry, we lived on a farm.  Dad raised beef cattle, we had chickens.  My Uncle, whose farm bordered ours, had a dairy farm.  Mom always had a large garden.  There was always plenty of food.  When my baby brother was found to be allergic to cow's milk we got a dairy goat to milk.

We never lacked for entertainment either. Unlike today, we had few TV channels, no computers or video games.  In spite of these hardships we had a fantastic time. We spent as much time outside as we could....preferably, for me at least, without shoes.  We spent a lot of time in the woods, or the barn.  Played baseball with just my older sister and I....assisted by several "ghost men".  Played hide-and-seek in the corn, but only after it was taller than us. We crawled though the tall grass pretending to be wild animals.  Suffice it to say that we had a great time. We did watch TV, one of our favorite things for my older sister Vikki, our cousin Lisa, and I to play was "Charlie's Angels", we went on daring missions and talked to "Charlie" via our "communicators" which were really erasers shaped like the Burger King's head.

Is it any wonder then that when I got my first really solid story idea that it was taken from actual childhood events and, well, tweaked?  So I added some magical creatures and a few made-up events. The joy of my childhood was a strong influence and inspiration. I was blessed with a wonderful childhood and wonderful family, and I hope that comes across in my writing. I also am hopeful that what I have written will help to inspire a younger generation to go out and play and discover things about the world around them.

Oh yeah....these guys made excellent communicators for talking to Charlie. :)

This was taken in my Granddad's barn last September.  Love it. Inspires my imagination in several directions; historical and magical in turn. What inspiration can you find around you? How about from your childhood?  Write it!

*note: I sent my query letter to my agent-of-choice last night (what was I thinking?)

I did sleep, though I have worries....what if my beginning is not as strong as it should be and it fails to grab this busy, successful literary agent?  I forgot to check my e-mail font, what if it was all wrong?  Still, it is high time I did this. It will be fine, or a learning experience.  *deep breath* 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Oh Frabjous Day!

Callooh! Callay!

I did it! I finished my book!  I know that it isn't finished finished, but....huzzah!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Life, The Universe, and Everything

*Credit for the title of this post must go to the genius, and sadly late Douglas Adams.  I was going to post some Vogon poetry in honor of National Poetry Month, but April came and went with nary a blog post....*sigh*  Life has been quite busy, as it tends to be.  Working and living, and having a busy son and two grandbabies can really be quite time-consuming.  This is not a complaint.  Nor is it an excuse.  It just is.

I am nearing completion of my WIP (I hope).  I will admit that I have considered sending my query to the agent I have scoped out as the one (at least, the first one....I'm being quite hopeful by saying "the one", I realize this.) just to spur me into working harder.  I realized however that this could be quite disastrous.  What if I suddenly realize that it is totally written in the wrong POV and that I really need to change the entire thing?  What if I never feel finished with it, and therefore never send the query?  *shudder*  *deep breath*  It will be fine.  It will.  All in good time.  But it has been SO long, and I really just want to put this one out there and get on with writing down more of the many ideas vying for my attention.  On the other hand, I do want it to be the best that I can make it before I put my fate in the hands of someone who I hope can really make my dreams of moving from "writer" to "published author" happen.

Life happens, and will hopefully continue to happen for some time to come.  The struggle is to make the best use of the time we are allotted.  Sometimes the day job becomes too time consuming and I feel as though I wish I could step away, or cut back my hours.  Alas, there are bills to pay, and it really is a job that I enjoy, which is not something everyone can say.  And so I struggle to balance my time between writing, working, family, and sleeping.  As evinced by the blog of nearly every writer, this is a difficult and common struggle.  I am not unique in this balancing act.  Whenever I am frustrated, I remind myself that Stephen King, in the early days, wrote while working a pretty disgusting job to support his family.  This helps.  (*if you haven't read On Writing, I highly recommend it)I would really love to take a survey and ask how many out there have read Peter S. Beagle's The Last Unicorn, but as I rarely get comments, this would be like asking myself the question.  Yes, I have read it many times and it remains one of my very favorite books.  Ever.  It is so beautifully written.  Achingly, beautifully, hauntingly wonderful book.  I love the animated film adaptation as well (though I do prefer the book).  I love the soundtrack by America.  I love the non-computerized animation.  I love the casting.  I could go on.  The problem (and it really isn't a huge problem) is that I feel like hardly anyone I know has read this amazing book.  It seems popular judging from the internet, so how is it that most of the people I am in contact with (the ones who read, that is) have not read it?  I once gave a friend a copy as a gift....I'm pretty sure she still hasn't read it.  I know that if and when she does she will exclaim "why did I not read this sooner?  how have I missed this until now?"  I will just shrug and say "I did tell you."

Confession:  I have lost many hours in the last week to daydream planning my UK visit....there are some amazing places in this world that I long to see with my own eyes, and not merely via Google Maps......money is the only thing holding me back.  If anyone out there is interested in sponsoring my travel fund (or providing one where none now exists), please do let me know.  All I ask is unlimited travel.  I don't need luxury accommodations, I would really make good use of every dollar.  Really, I could make it pay for itself eventually, I am certain.  I get story ideas galore just from satellite images, what I could do with time and actually travelling to these places......I know, I know.  Start where I am, build from there.  I just get impatient.   Truth:  with all of the suffering in our world, my complaint of not having travel money is insignificant, I realize this.  If I can make helping to alleviate any suffering, a part of my travel plans I fully intend to try.  I love the idea of volunteer vacations/working vacations.

Ok, I have much still to accomplish today.  Many thanks for reading my ramblings.

Also, Happy Mother's Day to all.  I leave you with photos of my Grandbabies....and one of my own Mom. I love you Mom.  I think of you every day, and hope that you know that I do.  

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


It has been quite some time since I have talked about a book I've read.  Mostly because it has been a while since I have done any serious reading, I'm sad to say.  (though, I have mentioned it a time or two)  However, I not only finished (and LOVED) this book, but I also did an oral book report on it.  There's something I had not done in a very long time.  I have told countless children about countless books over the years, but this was a full on book report.  With my weekly homeschool group we are having a 'thing'.  Not a contest, more of a reward project.  If they tell me, and the group about a book they have read, they get a prize and their name on the wall.  After they've done 5 the get a free ice cream via coupon donated by our local Dairy Queen.  None of them, I think, had ever done anything like this, and one of the Moms asked for help.  Her son loves to read, but had trouble telling her about what he had read.  So I devised a scheme to get him to work on his narrative skills, and lo, a group-wide book report project was born.  Obviously, I had to go first, to model this thing that I wanted them to do.  This is where Kenny comes in. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Fear, Hope, and Harry Potter

Apparently I am afraid. Afraid of my story ending. Afraid I don’t know how to end it. Afraid of what people will think of it. Afraid that I will never finish it. Afraid I won’t get the agent I have set my sights on. Afraid that to get published I will have to change too much. Afraid that it won’t matter what I change, it still will not be published. Afraid that even if it is it won’t sell. Afraid that after all of the time and energy spent it will be for naught. Afraid that I will never know because I’ll never finish it.

I have learned so much throughout this process. From the writing, and the even the not writing. (and from writing other things along the way) From two years of SCBWI membership. From 7 ½ years working in a public library. From many wonderful authors, their books and blogs, twitter and facebook pages. I am very grateful and indebted to so many people that I have never met. The internet is a hell of a thing.

Thursday, January 24, 2013


These precious sleepers are my sweet grandbabies.  Kira Grace, on the left, and her new baby sister Molly May.  I vow to write more for these two if not for myself.

Months, and Months

Disclaimer:  All of this was written over the course of several months and promptly not posted.  I mention a few times about being busy and such....it is true.  Things have been nuts.  I shall post more (hopefully) soon.  I am still struggling to get back into that wonderful routine that I had in August.  (August is sounding good right now for many reasons....not the least of which is my cold hands.)  Hoping all is well with everyone reading this.  Please, leave a comment to say "Hi", even if you don't read all of this craziness.