The ice storm of 2009 hadn't effected me until tonight. Now half of the HUGE tree in my front yard is laying across my car!!!!
I was on the computer and my daughter was watching TV, when we heard what sounded like an explosion in the front yard. Racing to the door I didn't know what to expect. When I opened the door, all I could see was tree limbs across my driveway - right where my car is parked!
It looks like the tree trunk split in half, so only half a tree is on my car - but that's waaaaaay too much tree to be on my poor little car. It's too dark to see what kind of damage has been done, so I'll have to wait until daylight. Hopefully, if I'm not too upset, I'll try to post some pictures tomorrow.
We have been in our home for almost 16 years - we planted this tree the day we took possession of the house. My daughter tells everyone it is her tree because she was a baby when we planted it. I have birthday pictures of Christine and this tree from every year.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go have a good cry ...
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Slip sliding away, slip sliding away - you know the nearer your destination the more you're slip sliding away ...
Most of us in the Bluegrass region of Kentucky awoke this morning to Ice Storm 2009. Here in Harrodsburg, we only got about 1 inch of snow, but the snow is now covered with a half inch of ice!
My car is iced over, all my trees are iced over - not to mention all the stubble in my wildflower garden. It makes for some beautiful pictures, but not so beautiful driving conditions. Daughter is home from school and I'm home from work. Unfortunately, the hubby had to stay overnight in Lexington to be ready to do team coverage of the storm damage.
This morning I refused to take our doggie for a walk, so I put on his longest lead and stood on the back porch so he could go out in the yard do his business. Even though he weighs almost 50 pounds, he was walking on TOP of the ice! Yes, that's how thick the ice is on the ground - my doggie didn't even break through to the snow. And yes, now there is a yellow stain on the snow/ice and a lovely package I'll have to shovel up later.
Hope everyone is safe and warm and still has electricity. Later ...
If you could pick any famous person to live next door to you, who would it be?
Actually, I'd be very happy if no one lived next door to me. As it is, my kooky neighbors are driving me crazy!
I would be happiest living in the country with the closest neighbor several miles away.
Of course, if I was forced to have a neighbor, Johnny Depp or Tim Burton would be my pics! Johnny is nice to look at and Tim is an excellent writer.
Monday, January 26, 2009
If you have tattoos, describe one of them. If you don't, what would your tattoo look like if you ever got one?
I don't have a tattoo, but I've always wanted one. Now I'm 46 years old, so I probably won't get one, but I still think about it occasionally.!
If I were to get inked, I always wanted a small yellow rose (my favorite) and I would want my hubby's first name worked into the stem of the rose. I've actually gone so far as to sketch out several different versions.
But alas, as I said earlier, I'm 46 - too old to take the plunge but too young to die
Here's what Sunshine had to say:
"Bobbi, who is just plain cool and somehow keeps up with all the writing prompts. I don't know how she does it."
Choose a minimum of 7 blogs that you find brilliant in content or design. Or improvise by including bloggers who have no idea who you are because you don’t have 7 friends. (I will do this at a future date, because I don't have time today.) Show the 7 random victims’ names and links and leave a harassing comment informing them that they were prized with “Honest Weblog.” List at least ten honest things about yourself. Then, pass it on!
10 Honest Things About Me:
1.) I am a happily married woman with 3 beautiful daughters - ages 16, 24, and 26.
2.) My 2 oldest daughters are getting married this year and I'm terrified!
3.) I'm socially awkward and don't like being in crowds of people.
4.) I love to write and not a day goes by that I don't write something.
5.) I'm an avid reader - my current obsession is with Young Adult books.
6.) I am addicted to Coca-Cola.
7.) I love to watch TV with my hubby, but I always have my knitting needles in my hand. I'm currently working on shawls for my daughters.
8.) Laurell K. Hamilton is my favorite fiction author - I love both her series, Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter and Merry Gentry.
9.) Over the past year, I've become addicted to blogging!
10.) I have written 2 books and I plan to actively seek out a publisher this year.
Thanks Sunshine, I am truly honored!
Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about lending books...
A few weeks back we had a question about borrowing books, this week I was wondering what your policy was on lending books. Do you lend books to anyone? Just friends? Only big readers? How long are they allowed to have them?
For the most part, I'm fairly laid-back when it comes to loaning out my books. Typically, I only loan to family and close friends. As a rule, I don't loan books to people I work with. I don't normally have a time limit for people to return books, so I try to keep a list of who has what book.
All the books I loan out have a bookplate with my name and address. My thinking is this will make it easier for the loanee to remember to return the book.
Like most other people, I have lent books in the past which never got returned. The friend from work who borrowed the first 3 Left Behind books - she quit her job and never returned the books. I called her several times, but to no avail.
Because I categorize my books into 2 groups - books I will keep forever and review copies I don't necessarily want to keep, I usually tell the loanee which category a book is in. I also remind the loanee not to mark in my books or dog-ear the pages - I hate when people dog-ear the pages of books!
Of course, I do have a few books that I will not loan out to anyone. First edition copies of older books and books I have had personally autographed. These types of books hold a place of honor in my home library, so I keep them close to me - I don't want to take the chance they won't be returned or that they may become damaged.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
(Photo is "Eleanor's Sensible Shoes", by Appaloosa)
Sensible shoes are all that's needed
To finish your day on time
Not enough hours to keep the rows weeded
Or to enjoy a leisurely climb
Sensible shoes are a woman's prayer
With no open toes or a spiky high heel
They are sturdy and strong by compare
An excellent deal you can seal
Sensible shoes always win in the end
Helping erase all the pain
Leaving legs and feet well on the mend
And a mentality that is all the more sane
Sunday Scribblings #147 - Phantoms & Shadows
This week: things and people, times, places, events and how your memory has treated them. Are there people you try to remember more clearly, phantoms you'd like to reach back into the past and take a firm hold of? What do you remember of your early school years? College years? Your grandparents? First pets, first houses, first friends? Do you have a good or poor memory? If you could go back to any particular time/place to recall more vividly what it was like, what would that be?
Oh, man - this is going to be a deep subject! Because I could write at length and never do this topic justice, I've decided to recall the events from my school years. I'll tackle the other questions at another time.
Early school years - I have a few very vivid memories of kindergarten at Lad & Lassie. I remember the cold feel of the leather car seats on the backs of my bare legs as Daddy would drive me to school. Wearing a skirt or dress with knee socks, this left the backs of my legs exposed to the elements when I would sit down. I remember the "play" we put on - everyone dressing and acting out a part in a circus. My best friend at the time Jennifer "General Foods" and I were the double-headed fat lady - both of us inside the same dress with our heads and one arm a piece in each sleeve.
I remember first grade at Rose Hill Elementary - the last year the school was open. At 6 years old I had this huge puppy crush on Michael, who was a mature 7 years old. I got in trouble one day because I wrote him a love note and then pushed it through a crack in the wall between my classroom and his. I was humiliated when his teacher brought the note to my teacher and then proceeded to read it out loud to the classroom!
Third grade at Mercer County Elementary, I took my best friend's, Ella Jean, turtle out of his bowl on pet day and put him on the table. He walked off the table and fell to the floor - Ella Jean was furious and the teacher made me stand in the corner.
Seventh grade at Mercer County Junior High - I had to let several people touch my legs because everyone thought I was wearing pantyhose with my shorts. Fact was, I tan brown as a berry and my legs were just naturally dark.
All four years at Mercer County High School, I dated the same boy, who ended up being my first husband. I was head over heels to the point that I began ignoring all my old friends and did everything I could to please my first love. This relationship was doomed from the beginning because it ended after 6 years of marriage, but I didn't see the signs until it was too late.
Going to college as a single mother of two children under the age of six was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life, but it is also the thing I am most proud of. After my divorce I attend the Midway College nursing program - my children started school at the same time - the oldest in kindergarten and the youngest in Head Start. Those three years were so hard, not only because of raising my children, studying for classes and attending clinical rotations, but because I was also working full-time. This was 25 years ago and when I look back on this time I don't know how I survived with my sanity intact, or how my children turned into wonderful young women.
These are just a few of the memories my muse brought up as I read this prompt. The problem is, I am nowhere near the tip of the iceberg on this subject. I have a feeling this will turn into a longer essay I can use for my monthly magazine column.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
You have been stuck on a desert island, alone, for 30 days. Write a diary entry.
Day 30 - Thought all islands had hatches - were the hell is my hatch? Why didn't I ever learn to gut a fish? Am I crazy for talking to myself, or sane because I have no one to talk to but myself? Sense of humor waning. Eddie and girls - I still love you - think of you daily.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Describe a new toy you'd like to design.
I'm not sure what the toy would be, but I am sure what it will not be. The new toy will not come wrapped in plastic or cardboard with yards and yards of "twisty ties". It will be made from recycled materials. It will be fun as well as educational and it will allow parents to play along with their kids.
Actually, I think my new toy would be a gateway to the imagination. Something that will expand little minds and help them fashion their own forms of entertainment.
Pretty lame answer, but my children are grown now and so far, I don't have any grandchildren.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Create a holiday to be observed every January 22nd.
Lovin' Your Honey Day
We have Mother's Day, Father's Day, Grandparent's Day, Valentine's day - how about a day for spouses??!! I guess I've got that loving feeling because my honey was away for 5 days in Washington D.C. and just returned home. Of course, it was midnight when he got home, so we haven't had time to celebrate properly.
Of course, this day is already my youngest daughter's half-birthday!!
Happy Lovin' Your Honey Day!!
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
This week's Write on Wednesday asks several questions:
What’s your favourite genre of writing?
I have many genre I enjoy reading: fantasy, vampire, science fiction and romance, just to name a few.
How often do you get writer’s block?
I don't get writer's block in the normal sense of the word. I have no trouble coming up with ideas to write about, but my problem is with follow-through. Sometimes I will give up on a story before it is finished. I will occasionally go back to these past works, but many times they languish in a file, never to be seen again.
How do you fix it?
Sometimes I will have ideas out of the blue that pertain to stories I have started in the past. In the past few years I have started keeping a journal of ALL stories I've started, this way when ideas come out of nowhere, I am able to quickly find the story I'm looking for.
Do you type or write by hand?
Normally, I do rough drafts in longhand. There is just something about using ink on crisp white pieces of paper. When I'm happy with the rough draft, then I'll start a computer file.
Do you save everything you write?
Unfortunately, yes! My children will have so many boxes of journals, files and old stories to go through when I'm gone, I feel sorry for them already!
Do you ever go back to an old idea long after you abandoned it?
Many times I'll return to an old idea - sometimes I can refreshen the idea, sometimes I change it all together.
Do you have a constructive critic?
My hubby is my editor and he is good at giving constructive editing critiques. But recently, my most constructive critic is the leader of my writing group. He has been able to help me hone my skills and make my stories and essays better.
Did you ever write a novel?
I have written two novels and am working on three more. Have I ever had one of them published? No, but I continue to hope and I continue to put my work out there.
What genre would you love to write but haven’t?
I would love to write a thriller, but I haven't been able to come up with a good idea yet. Maybe in the future ...
What’s one genre you have never written, and probably never will?
Science fiction. Although I love reading sci-fi, I've never had any desire to write about sci-fi adventures.
How many writing projects are you working on right now?
I am working on an adult book (mystery) and two young adult books (both fantasy). I am working on my monthly column for my local magazine, Mercer's Magazine, and my weekly book review column for the Mercer Public Library and Harrodsburg Herald. I am also working on two stories for two different writing workshops, in addition to polishing several pieces to enter into a writing contest (deadline January 31st).
Do you write for a living? Do you want to?
Writing is currently a hobby for me, but I would love to write for a living. Even though I have a monthly column in a local magazine and a weekly column in the local newspaper, these are not paying jobs.
Have you ever written something for a magazine or newspaper?
Yes, see previous two answers.
Have you ever won an award for your writing?
No, but I continue to enter writing contests.
What are your five favourite words?
Love, happiness, peace, imagination and willful (but ask me again next week because these will change)!
Do you ever write based on your dreams?
I have written an occasional story based on my dreams. The problem is, I don't dream very often, and when I do, I have trouble remembering them.
Do you favour happy endings, sad endings, or cliff-hangers?
If the book is part of a series, I love cliff-hangers! I also enjoy both happy and sad endings - depending on the type of story.
Have you ever written based on an artwork you’ve seen?
I have recently had some writing prompts based on artwork or photos. I have enjoyed this type of writing and plan to pursue more in the future.
If you’ve answered all these questions, give yourselves a huge gold star and pat on the back. Now go off and do some real writing.
What is the most dangerous thing you have ever done?
"Danger Will Robinson, danger!"
Sorry, I couldn't resist.
I think the most dangerous thing I have ever done walk across the top of a dam. During my childhood, I grew up in a subdivision near the Salt River. There is a dam over the river with an approximate 12-15 foot drop. The dam is actually shaped like a staircase.
When I was 12, I walked across the dam for the first time on a dare. Most of the older kids were already doing this, but I had been too afraid. But I sucked up my courage and raced across. After that, I walked across it many times. There were almost many times when I shouldn't have walked across it - like right after a rain storm when the water was really flowing over the dam!
Luckily, I was never hurt - and neither were any of my friends. Just dumb luck, I guess!
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
If your walls could talk, what would they say?
"What the hell is with this color?"
"Can't you at least sweep for cobwebs once a year?"
"I can't believe you did that?"
"I won't tell if you won't tell ..."
"Please, there are children in the room."
"OMG - do we have to watch DARK SHADOWS again?"
The enthusiasm is contagious! Everything is building to a crescendo for this all important day in history. Hope is in the air and with hope comes the emergence of a new day in America.
After agonizing over whether to allow my daughter to stay home from school today - I did decide YES - today ended up being a snow day. So now she can stay home without fear of all the work she's missing!
My hubby called last night - he is in Washington for work - and he said the crowds and the traffic are unbelievable! He said just going a short distance takes hours and hours. But he did say most people are excited and even helpful. Plus, he got to see Keith Olbermann doing Countdown from the temporary set for MSNBC!
Today is one of those "Where were you" moments in history our children and grandchildren will be talking about. Write down your hopes and feelings. Talk to your family about what is important to you. Someday, a family member will feel honored to know what YOU were feeling on this important day.
Remember to sign-up and volunteer your services to your community. Even if it is only a small step, every little small step counts towards making our nation stronger.
Happy Inauguration! God Bless America!
Monday, January 19, 2009
How does your being sick (or injured) affect your reading? Do you read more? Less? Do you pick out a different book than you had already planned? Do you have a "comfort book" that makes you feel better?
Just like with comfort food - Ho-Hos and Cheese-its - and comfort movies - Labyrinth and Lord of the Rings - I have comfort books. I know this may seem silly, but when I'm sick, I tend to seek out many things for comfort.
My favorite comfort reading is the Harry Potter series. I know, I know - I'm 46 years old, why am I reading a children's series? Because it's fun and comforting, and it's something to read when my brain is feeling fuzzy, but I need the gentle soothing of the written word.
Sometimes, I'll have a sort illness and I may only read one book of the seven. But many times, my illness has lasted several days, and I've been known to start with The Sorcerer's Stone and read all the way through The Deathly Hallows.
This is one of the main reasons I am so good at Harry Potter Trival Pursuit! Oh yes, you can bet your magical broom - our family owns this Trival Pursuit game!
You find yourself somehow sitting next to Barack Obama on a plane, the day before his inauguration. What do you say to him?
Keep it real, keep us safe
Do your best, be your best
Ask for guidance from the higher power
Be humble, be empathetic
Help our nation, help our weak
Teach us to be great
Lead us to be great
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Write a one-minute review of the last book you finished reading.
The last book I finished was The Dragon's Eye (Erec Rex #1), a young adult book by Kaza Kingsley. Erec Rex is a 12 year old boy who has been living in a non-magical world, when he was actually born in a magical world. Sound familiar? Well, this is where the similarities between Erec Rex and Harry Potter end. For all those clamoring for a new fantasy series to read after the ending of Harry Potter, then look no further - Kaza Kingsley has given us a unique and interesting take on the world of magic.
Okay, I can't do this book justice in 60 seconds - I still owe Bobbi's Book Nook a full review - stay tuned!
Today, I was awarded the Free Spirit and Independent Award from Pratibha at My WoRLd iN WorDs - thank you so much! Here is what Pratibha wrote:
Free spirit and Independent award is presented to Bobbi for sharing her life with us all... you can gain a lot from her blog trust me,, thanks dear.
This doesn't have to be religious (but it can be). Is there something you'd like, in your lifetime, to go far to see? It can be a quirky personal journey to do with your hobbies or interests, or something very serious, meaningful, and/or spiritual.
FROM SINGLE MOTHER TO MARRIED PARTNER
I think the hardest pilgrimage of my life so far, has been the 4 years when I was a single mother working full-time at Pizza Hut and going to college full-time to become a Registered Nurse. To say times were tough is an understatement!! Even with working and getting a few scholarships, there was no money.
But those 4 long, hard years paid off and I began working as a full-time Registered Nurse, making more money than I ever thought possible ($10 an hour - this was 1987). It was during this time I got remarried to a wonderful man who treated me and my children like queens!
Although I have been through some tough times in my 46 years, the pilgrimage from single, unemployeed mother to married, working partner was the hardest - but it is the one I look back on with the most pride.
**Tell about a time you stole something.
THE WEDDING RING
What child - at one time or another - has not stolen something and then been caught by an adult? Most times, it just takes once to cure a child of stealing. This is what happened to me when I was 8 years old.
I loved visiting my grandparents farm in Bohon - a rural community in Kentucky. There ere fields to run through and outbuilding to play in, always something to do. We would visit the farm at least once a week, but during the summer, my brother, sister and I would get to spend an entire week on the farm while our parents went on vacation.
It was during one of our summers at the farm that my little fingers became sticky. It was a rainy day and we were stuck inside to play. The back room where we slept had a bed with a thick fluffy feather mattress. I loved jumping onto that mattress, hitting the fluffiness and then sinking down into the cozy comfort.
Because this room was right off the kitchen and lead right into the backyard, Granny had a hook for hanging her sun bonnet and a little shelf where she kept her wedding ring when she was going to be working in the garden. Of course, at 8, I didn't realize that Granny would take her ring off before working outdoors.
At the time I found Granny's wedding ring, I didn't know it was a wedding ring. I just knew it was a pretty gold ring and I put it in my pocket to take home with me. I don't remember when Granny missed her ring because she never said anything to us kids.
It was a week later after Mom and Dad were back home that I realized what I had done. I was coming down the hallway when I heard Mom and Dad talking.
"She said she's looked everywhere for it," my Mom said.
"Well, it's got to be somewhere," said my Dad. "Is she sure she didn't lose it in the garden?"
"No - she thinks she left it on the shelf in the back room."
Shelf in the back room - as soon as I heard those words, I knew what they were talking about.
"Wh ... at's wrong?" I asked.
"Oh, nothing sweetheart," said my Mom. "Granny Sallee has misplaced her wedding ring."
All the rest of that day, I was sick to my stomach. I hadn't meant to steal Granny's wedding ring - I thought it was just a pretty gold ring. I remember not sleeping well that night, worried about what my parents would say when they found out. Because yes, I knew I was going to have to tell them.
The next day - with the ring gripped tightly in my hand - I went to my Mom. I told here I knew where Granny's ring was and I took my hand from behind my back and showed her the shiny gold ring. Even though I was only 8, I can still remember the look of disappointment on my Mom's face.
She called Granny and told her the ring had been found. Later that night, Daddy drove me to the farm to return Granny's wedding ring. I had to give it back to her and apologize, and at the time, it was the hardest thing I had ever done.
It's amazing how one thing can effect the course of your life. I never stole anything after that one incident. I couldn't stand the look of disappointment from my parents and grandparents.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Your character collects something that no one else knows about—she doesn’t keep it secret, it’s just never come up.
(This will be another installment in the life of my alien character, Jade.)
Jade walked along the sidewalk with her two closest friends, knowing she was an outsider, but feeling the closeness of acceptance only true friends can bring. Janice and Ansiel had always accepted Jade, never questioning the odd green tone of her skin or her black almond shaped eyes. From the first day they met, almost six years ago on the boardwalk at Coney Island, the three had been almost inseparable.
New York made it easy to blend in with normal society. People may do a double take or openly stare a few seconds too long, but they would never say anything or draw attention to the fact Jade was different.
For six years Jade had lived on Earth, taking notes and marking observations in a worn black journal. Her assignment was for ten years - ten years before she reported back to the Superiors with all she had learned of this small planet.
Jade has collected many memories, marking them in her journal with a fine handwrite and occasional sketch. Janice and Ansiel knew of Jade's obsession with recording her day and this was also something they accepted without question.
But Jade kept her observations secret, never telling her friends that the things she wrote might lead to the downfall of all those on Earth. Jade never out and out lied to Janice and Ansiel, she just never went into detail about what she was doing.
Four more years - Jade only had four more y ears until her time on Earth was complete. After that time, she had no idea what would happen to the people - her friends - on Earth.
(Image is "The Road to Ribblesdale", by Fatboyke)
The Long and Winding Road
The road out of town seemed neverending - a two-laned blacktopped maze of bends and curves with the occasional straight stretch. We were heading home, back to the knobs of Eastern Kentucky, after an extended vacation to the Bluegrass portion of the state. Although the trip had been pleasant, I was looking forward to a good night's sleep in my own bed.
The curves of the road would normally have been distraction enough for me, but this part of the state was breathtaking and my eyes tried to drink in every detail.
The miles and miles of rock fencing were fascinating. Built over 150 years ago, the asphalt road had been paved to preserve as much of the stacked stone walls as possible. It's hard to imagine these walls were built without the use of modern day equipment.
The bluegrass of the fields was also breathtaking - nothing like the fescue of the Knobs. And all along the way, white wildflowers dotted the crisp green bluegrass.
Miles and miles of road rolled on, carrying us closer to home. Dark storm clouds were building in the east, probably already bringing much needed rain. We would soon be home and this long and winding road would become part of our memories.
Write a rhyming poem in a minute.
Skipping down the yellow brick road,
I thought I saw my sister,
But it was strange and much too cold,
So I guess I must have missed her.
I don't do poetry well on a good day, but writing in in 60 seconds was torture!
Still feeling under the weather - stomach bug is kicking my ass ...
Or maybe it's depression, knowing my hubby is leaving this afternoon for Washington D.C.? He is covering the Presidential Inauguration for the local television station where he works. He won't be back home until late on Wednesday ... bummer!
Thursday, January 15, 2009
What is the last thing that made you cry?
Considering I've been sick with a stomach bug for 2 days, the last thing that made me cry was throwing up in the toilet bowl. Gross, I know, but a fact of life none the less. I just know I'll be happy when this bug finally leaves town!
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
What is the last thing that made you laugh out loud?
Saturday night at the WLEX TV18 Employee Dinner - my hubby and another man were being honored for 25 years of service and their boss present a video made especially for them. The video was set to the song "The Piano Man", only the lyrics were changed to "Mr. Satellite Man" and their boss did the singing:
"Send us the signal, Mr. Satellite Man,
Send us the signal right now ..."
It was absolutely hilarious and they incorporated many of the newsroom employees as back up singers. I haven't laugh out loud that hard in I don't know when.
Yesterday, my hubby brought home a copy of the video, so now I'll be able to watch it over and over again!
My hubby is a news videographer and satellite truck operator.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Jade looked at the worn journal with envy and awe. Ten years of observations - it couldn’t possibly be over, could it? She knew today would eventually come, but she was not ready for the swiftness, or the emotions choking through her brain.
For 10 years now, she knew this would be the final year. No more friendship, no more love, no more anything on this third rock from the Sun. Ten years, this was all she had been given. At the time Jade made the deal, 10 years seemed like an eternity, but it had passed in the blink of an eye.
How could she leave her new home? How could she survive the rest of her life without the new friends, new love she had found on this alien planet?
Jade’s eyes filled with tears as she picked up the journal and bid her new life goodbye. It was 3 am and she stood in the empty mall, remembering how strange this place had seemed on her first visit. As she started up the silent escalator, she wondered if Earth would ever be the same.
Although the Earthlings had never truly accepted her pale green skin or her black almond eyes, she had no trouble fitting in when dressed in blue jeans and a button down shirt. Standing on a step near the middle of the escalator, Jade waited for the transmission that would send her home - the transmission that would end all life on Earth.
(This is the continuation of a story previously started for a Redbubble Challenge)
Although I know I should be using fountain pens because they are more environmentally friendly, I don't like the way most of these leave ink blots on my paper. I do own several very nice fountain pens and I do pull them out on occasion for handwritten letters or invitations.
Like most people, I still do all my rough drafts with pen and paper. Specifically, a 9 X 7 spiral notebook and a Pilot EasyTouch pen.The notebooks come in handy for jotting down conversations, quotes, descriptions or any other info I may have use for in the future. Many, many times I refer back to these notebooks to help expand, or "fluff" up a story or essay I'm working on.
It is only after I'm fairy satisfied with a piece of work that I'll approach the laptop to start on a final draft. Many times these stories remain locked inside of computer files. But many times they will end up in a blog post.
This is the first time I have participated in the Weekend Wordsmith. I was thrilled to find another writing prompt blog. It is these writing prompts that help keep my writing fresh and relevant.
You are The Moon
Hope, expectation, Bright promises.
The Moon is a card of magic and mystery - when prominent you know that nothing is as it seems, particularly when it concerns relationships. All logic is thrown out the window.
The Moon is all about visions and illusions, madness, genius and poetry. This is a card that has to do with sleep, and so with both dreams and nightmares. It is a scary card in that it warns that there might be hidden enemies, tricks and falsehoods. But it should also be remembered that this is a card of great creativity, of powerful magic, primal feelings and intuition. You may be going through a time of emotional and mental trial; if you have any past mental problems, you must be vigilant in taking your medication but avoid drugs or alcohol, as abuse of either will cause them irreparable damage. This time however, can also result in great creativity, psychic powers, visions and insight. You can and should trust your intuition.
What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.
What information or skill would you like to teach to others?
I would like to teach people how to write their life story. Although I am by no means a teacher - maybe not even that good of a writer - I feel I have something to offer.
I have been writing personal memories and essays for over 25 years - the past 13 years I have had a monthly column in my local magazine, Mercer's Magazine. I think everyone has a story to tell, it's just getting it from inside and putting it down on paper.
In my opinion, no story or memory is too small and everyone needs a voice - if not for your current family, then definitely for your future family. I truly wish my grandparents had written down some of their memories - what a special gift that would have been!
Monday, January 12, 2009
How did you react to assigned reading when you were in school/university/college/etc? How do you think on these books now? What book were you ‘forced’ to read when you where in school that you’ve since reread and loved?
I have been an avid reader since the 2nd grade, so I enjoy reading a wide range of books. I honestly don't remember how I felt about assigned readings in school, but since I graduated number 4 at the top of a senior class with 176 students, I must have done okay.
I do remember having to read "Lord of the Flies" in high school and I really didn't enjoy it. I have since reread this book because my daughter was assigned to read it - I still didn't enjoy the book!
Currently, my youngest daughter is a junior in high school and I find myself reading the books she is assigned to read. It is not only fun to be reading the same books, but because of the conversations we have about the books, I feel my daughter is a better student.
My daughter is a member of the high school book club, but she is never happy with the selections chosen to read. For some reason, all the books so far have been teenage "fluff" pieces, which my daughter hates to read. She likes books with more substance: "Trainspotting" and "Buffalo Soldiers" are two of her favorite books, not to mention "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy.
I am a member of the public library book club and in recent months we have been reading books by Kentucky authors. For the most part I've enjoyed these books.
My current book obsession is the young adult genre - I have been reading every young adult book I can get my hands on. I'm sure this obsession will pass and I'll move on to something else.
If you could live for a year at a different time in history, what time would you choose?
I really don't have a yearning desire to live in another time, but I am curious about the beginning of human civilization. Although I was raised a Christian with the Bible at the heart of our learning, I am not naive enough to believe the Bible word-for-word. After all, it was written by man and men have been proven liars over and over again in our history.
I want to know what Jesus did, directly from his mouth and actions, not from books and letters which were written hundreds of years after his death. What was it really like for him growing up? I know the stories are all based on facts somewhere down the line - even fairy tales and legends are based on partial truths - but what is the real story?
Sunday, January 11, 2009
In a mood of faith and hope my work goes on. A ream of fresh paper lies on my desk waiting for the next book. I am a writer and I take up my pen to write..In improvisation, one of our exercises is a game called “Seven Things,” in which we go around in a circle giving each other the challenge, “Give me seven things that [whatever].” We are not going to go around in a circle here, but if you’re drawn to lists, this prompt is for you. Give me seven things that inhabit or occupy your writing space. Interpret “writing space” any way you please. You’re not required to explain the items in your list, but it’s more fun for readers if you do.
~Pearl S. Buck
MY WRITING SPACE
Although my hubby and daughter each have their own writing desks, my writing space is my reclining chair in the living room. I can have my legs up with my laptop propped up on a pillow in my lap. Because I'm in the living room, I have access to inspirational posters on my walls. The chair next to mine is stacked high with all the items I need when I'm writing.
1.) My laptop
2.) Wizard of Oz, Labryinth, and Wizards posters on the wall
3.) My jade rock
4.) Mr. Ted. E. Bear
5.) Piles of books to be read
6.) Piles of stories to be edited
7.) A folder with all my stories, articles and column that have already been published
I have the opportunity
Once more to right some wrongs,
To pray for peace, to plant a tree,
And sing more joyful songs.
~William Arthur Ward
Using the quotation above as your inspiration, write a poem (any form is fine) about praying for peace, planting trees, or singing joyful songs.
I pray for peace as I lie in bed
Wondering what the future will bring
But after all is done and said
Will there be a joyful song to sing
I pray for peace as I work in the garden
As I plant new trees here and there
But the soil is unhealthy and sodden
And a foul wind is blowing in the air
I pray for peace as I rock my grandbaby
This helpless, tiny soul
Will he grow up, will he grow old, or maybe
Salvation will be his role
What one moment in your past do you wish was immortalized in a photograph?
The weekend of January 8th, 2005 - I did not know my baby sister would be dead by January 11th.
We had the most wonderful weekend together - she actually sent the night at my house and we watched vampire movies and talked all weekend. My hubby even arranged for her to see "Dark Side of the Rainbow" - which is basicallly watching "The Wizard of Oz" and listening to Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon". She had never done that, so my hubby surprised her on Saturday night.
Monday morning, I helped her get enrolled for her spring semester in nursing school. Tuesday she was dead, at age 39, of a heart attack.
My life has never been the same. It has been 4 years today, and I still think of my sister every single day. Some days are better than others, but some days are just pure hell.
We have family Christmas photos from a few weeks before her death, but I wish we had thought to take pictures of that wonderful weekend.
If you read an old definition of 'organic' it seems to have very little to do with how we use the word today. What is your take on 'organic?'
According to Wikipedia, organic foods are:
"...grown without the use of conventional pesticides and artificial fertilizers, free from contamination by human or industrial waste, and processed without ionizing radiation or food additives."
According to Organic.org organic farming is:
"...Agriculture that does not use chemicals, genetic modification, or irradiation, using only natural products."
According to Kentucky Organics organic agriculture:
"...builds the health of the soil, providing the foundation for healthy crops and a livelihood for good stewards of the land. Crops must be grown on land that is free of prohibited substances for at least three years prior to harvest. Certified organic food has no synthetic pesticides, herbicides, preservatives, or additives, no genetically modified ingredients, and no irradiation in growth or production."
All these definitions are similar, but what do they acutally mean? To me, organic is what I grown on my little one-acre yard. I have veggie gardens and flower gardens, as well as a small fruit orchard. I do not use pesticides or chemicals on ANY of my gardens. I use grass clippings and leaves to mulch and fertilize my gardens, as well as making compost tea.
My compost heap is one of the most essential items in my garden. I compost all garden and kitchen waste; I even have a separate pile I compost seedy weeds - this one cooks longer in order to kill the seeds.
Because of the orchard and the large tobacco field behind my home, I have lots of honey bees and mason bees to pollinate my fruits and veggies. I use water from rain barrels to water my gardens.
All of these actions make me feel confident I am growing the best food for my family. I may never have my garden certified with an official "Organic" label, but it is organic enough for me.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
If you could hire someone full-time to make your life easier, what would their duties be?
All my family knows the following is true:
1.) I love a clean, organized home - but I hate to clean.
2.) I love to cook - but I hate cleaning the mess or washing dishes.
3.) I love to garden - but I can't physically do the heavy lifting and digging.
So, if I could afford to have an assistant, I would need someone to clean my home, wash my dishes, and help me in the gardens. I have always been a paper oriented person, so I like to spend my day writing (I have a weekly book review column and a monthly essay column), reading (naturally, I do book reviews) and doing research for stories and/or books I'm working on - not to mention the several blogs I maintain.
Of course, I'm a starving artist, so an assistant is totally out of my price range at the moment - but one day ... one day ...
Friday, January 9, 2009
Can money buy happiness?
Money has always been the bane of my existence. Can money buy happiness? No. Can money make you happy? Sometimes.
There is so much greed in the world today and it makes me so sad. There are people in the world who have enough money to run a small country, and then there are others living on pennies a day.
The world of money is not fair. I truly believe that money is the root of all evil!
Tell us about your pet! If you have a weird infatuation with your dog or cat we want to hear about it (or if they just plain drive you crazy)...but please don't compare them to children. It's just not the same.
Currently, we have one dog - a Rotador - and 6 cats - please, I'm not a crazy cat lady ... yet.
Although I like all my pets equally - well, almost equally, unless one of them has pissed me off. You know ... chewed up a ball of yarn, emptied the trash can looking for snacks, piddled in the hallway because it was too cold to go out ... you get the idea.
However, 2 of the cats have unusual names I'd like to share with you - Elinore and Weehawk. Now, for those of you who love the magical animated movie Wizards and worship at the imagination of Ralph Bakshi, you will know these names well. For the rest of you, here's a crash course:
Wizards is an animated post-apocalyptic science fiction/fantasy film released in 1977 about the battle between two wizards, one representing the forces of magic and one representing the forces of technology. Elinore is in training to become a full-fledged fairy and Weehawk is an elf spy sent to save the world from another Holocaust.
Okay, so my family is a bunch of nerdy geeks - what can I say??
Anyway, the other cats are named:
--Frankie - my daughter named him this because she liked the name - my hubby and I call him, Uncle Earl or Earl Grey because he's grey - I know, this doesn't have anything to do with the name Frankie, sue me.
--Bella - named after the heroine in the Twilight saga, of course.
--Merrill - my daughter named him after the character in Signs - my hubby and I call him Big'un because, well because he is the biggest of the cats - duh!
--Clive - my daugher named him after Clive Barker - my my hubby and I call him Booger because he has a mark near his nose that looks like - you guess it - a booger.
And the dog, well his name is Rusty because ... he's a rusty color. But of course, I sometimes call him Bubby or Bubber or You Damn Dog, depending on my mood.
We may not have a weird infatuation with our pets, but we do have a weird infatuation about our pets' names!
Elinore and Weehawk as babies.
Booger and Big'un as babies.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Use the following photo to inspire a piece of writing in any form (poetry, prose, whatever).
(Photo Credit: Rana K. Williamson)
Folklore says the first animal you see on New Year's Day will be your animal totem for the upcoming year. This year, as in many years past, the first animal I saw on January 1, 2009 was a cardinal.
I live in Kentucky, and it is not unusual for cardinals to overwinter in my backyard. I have several feeding stations set up throughout my one-acre yard and I enjoying watching all the birds from the comfort of my home.
Cardinals have always been special to me because I have so many living near me. Last year, I counted no less than 22 pairs (44 total) cardinals in my backyard at one time. It was gorgeous!!!
The cardinals voice and color are its two strongest characteristics. Cardinals can represent a turn of events or a life changing situation. Cardinals get their names from the cardinals in the Roman Catholic Church wearing the bright red robes.
Pretty Little Cardinal
Pretty little cardinal sitting in the tree
Why do you keep looking at me
Is it faith and healing you bring
Or just the chance to frollick and sing
Pretty little cardinal sitting on the ground
Why do you make the loud whistling sound
Is it a warning for me to run
Or just a chance to enjoy the fun
Don’t be discouraged by a failure. It can be a positive experience. Failure is, in a sense, the highway to success, inasmuch as every discovery of what is false leads us to seek earnestly after what is true, and every fresh experience points out some.Pick at least three of the following words, and build a piece of writing around them. The form is up to you: poem, scene, flash-fic, essay, or general blog entry.
discovery, experience, failure, false, highway, positive, seek, sense, true
Down the Rabbit Hole
The highway to self discovery
Is fraught with peaks and valleys
Sometimes the road is short and clear
Sometimes it's long and winding
But staying true to one's own passion
Will lead to lasting glory
"If I had a nickel for every time (__fill in the blank__), I'd be rich!"
If I had a nickel for each time I yelled at someone for not using a turn signal, I'd be rich!
If I had a nickel for every meal I've cooked, I'd be rich!
If I had a nickel for every word I've written, I'd be rich!
If I had a nickel for every book I've read, I'd be rich!
If I had a nickel for every time I've said "I love you", I'd be rich!
If I had a nickel for every time I've said "I'm sorry", I'd be rich!
If I had a nickel for every stitch I've knitted or purled, I'd be rich!
If I had a nickel for every blog post I've written, I wouldn't be rich yet, but I'd be on my way!
(The nickel above is from the year I was born!)