Thursday, April 30, 2009

Tree's speak to me (said in spooky Sixth Sense Whisper)

I got to take a walk this week. ~squeeee~ With all the CrAzInEss this month, that's a big deal. It's a breath of fresh air in a frenzied time.

I find that I'm drawn to odd shaped trees. Straight, perfect trees are pretty, but the ones that are bent out of shape intrigue me. They're eye-catching. Make me wonder . . . they're inspiring and even encouraging. They tell stories. Lately, when I take walks, I find that God's creation is teaching me a lesson of hope by way of example.

You see. . . the last 10 years have been rough. Grief, loss, illness (me and other family memebers) It's been one thing after another. I've found that over the long haul of difficulty, I've lost a bit of my old self. Things that I used to like about me have vanished. I've changed and I can't go back. I was a young sappling, straight and shooting skyward. 10 years worth of pressure tends to bend the bough in strange positions.

But you know what? I like the odd shaped trees. They stick out from the crowd. They have character.

This type of bendy tree below, that's the kind where we like to take pictures of loved ones gathered 'round or even sitting upon. The bendier, the better. There were trees w/ more bent than this one, but my camera batteries died. I call this tree the "back stretch tree" Makes my back feel better just looking at it.

This tree is the champion of all trees. It wasn't just weighted down by a dead wood. It was hemmed in by rotting roots, covered by dead weight; top, bottom and sides. This tree found a sliver of hope and stood its ground. Sometimes all we have is a small sliver of light. This tree took it and calls out to us to, "Grab onto the light, no matter how slight, and GROW!"

I cal this combo of trees the "Lovers Embrace" Two tree's entwined in an eternal tango. It even looks like the big one is puckering up for a kiss. ~Geesh~ Makes me want to put a privacy screen around these two. I'm starting to blush! Passion. Commitment. Lucky trees!

This is not a tree. It's a goose w/ baby fuzzy-lings. I just thought they were cute. I love to see new hatchlings in spring.
So, these trees taugh me something. Although I've longed to go back to be the old me, the perfectly straight tree that blends in with most of the others. I realize that a bent tree can't go back to the way it was. But the mangled trees are beautiful. They are picture worthy. They have a story to tell. Hope to give. Maybe, instead, when wind, circumstance (or whatever) bends our bough, we should seek out the beauty and benefit of our new shape instead of trying to regain the old. And maybe I should give more effort into appreciating the strange bent of others. . . . . . . . . .

I think I feel a sequel of this post coming up for the future. I better charge those camera batteries!

What kind of things in nature inspire you?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

It's Release Day for Cindy Pon's Debut Novel "Silver Pheonix"

Just wanted to give a shout out to Cindy Pon. Her Debut Novel has been released today! Give a little Cyber luv and say Congrats to Cindy! YaY! Cindy!

Head on over to her blog today where she is giving away release day prizes, which is an original art, by her, or a $100 gift car. click here to head on over.

I can't wait to read it!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Why Zombies Make Bad Toothfairies: - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

Why do Zombies make bad toothfairies? Because they'll screw it up everytime. It doesn't matter how good their intentions are. Pasty-faced, mostly dead people just don't fit in with the wand-waving, curly-haired perfectionists. They never will. How do I know? Experience.

I've been a zombie for the last week and a half. My Dr. called it an upper respiratory infection. But I know better. My body had been infected by the zombie-mites and were working over-time to claim my entire being.

Some people might call my Dr. just well . . . um . . . Doctor. But I call her THE ZOMBIE SLAYER. And she gave me wonderful horse pills that I refer to as anti-zombie pills! So, if you ever suspect that you've become a zombie, promptly see your local Zombie Slayer and ask him/her for anti-zombie pills. Of course, if you do, they may throw in a few extra pills and a free pass for a mental exam. Anyway . . . I'm getting off track.

Anyway, my 7 year old lost a tooth yesterday. It's her 5th tooth in the last few months. She lost it at school so her teacher put it in a plastic baggie and written in marker it said "We have a tooth that's ready for the Tooth Fairy.

Also, Last night my 5 year old was complaining of an ear ache.

I put the 7 year old to bed w/ her plastic baggie and tooth neatly tucked under the pillow. Then, I tended to the 5 year old who I was comforting on the downstairs couch. By time the 5 year old was calm and sleepy enough to go to bed, I was also very sleepy, over-whelmed and frazzled.

You know where this is going don't you. You're so smart.

I forgot about the tooth. When I woke up my 7 year old for school this morning and she complained that she was too tired to get up, I remembered and hoped she would fight getting up (see, zombies are backwards) so that I could grab some money and do the ol' switcheroo before she noticed anything.

I grabbed 3 dollars. 1 dollar is our standard rate. The other 2 dollars were to cover my guilt. I went back into my daughers room where I found her holding her plastic baggie and looking near tears as she caressed her tooth. (At this point I wondered if I should've gone back and gave her $5 instead of $3.)

Luckily, I was on day 7 of my anti-zombie pills so I was able to think quickly. I handed her the money and said, "The tooth fairy gave this money to me so that I could explain to you that this is an EXTRA special tooth. She allows kids to keep special teeth. Since you lost this tooth at school, your teacher wrote on the baggie and it's your first top row tooth that you've lost, The Tooth Fairy thinks that this is a special tooth that you should keep. WOW! How about that! That's one special tooth! Plus! She gave you $3 dollars instead of the regular $1. Wow!"

She was extatic. Whew! That was a close one. I blame the zombie state for the mess up. Thankfully my anti-zombie pills had done there job to give me a clear enough head or else . . . yikes! I would've had to give her $50 or something.

I'm all for equal opportunity employment, except for the case of zombies who want to be tooth fairies. It just never works.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Hurry! There's still time!

There's still a little time to run over to Cheryl Renee Herbsman's blog to enter for an autographed copy of her new book BREATHING! Click on the link to get there! Good luck!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Sharing a juicy family secret - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

OK people. This is why you come to my blog. I've got something to say and it's JUICY and it's from my family. (are you nervous mom?) he he he he

Well. . . maybe it's not what you think. But you'll be happy to have learned this bit of info. You may actually come back and thank me one day.

Here's the deal. If you've read my blog the past month you've probably noticed the posts have been few and I've talked about illness running around the house. Well, to top off this "lovely" (ah-hem) month, I developed the grand-daddy of upper respiratory infections. I'll spare you the details. I've been about as healthy as a slug at a salt convention and as useful as a bull at Tea Party.

I do have one thing to offer, my friends. It's the blessed home remedy that my parents passed on to me on how to relieve stomach discomfort. I've never personally known it to fail.

It's easy and it's YUMMY!

Are you ready?

OK. Here it is.

It's JELLO. Not the chilled kind. What you do is get a box of sugar free gelatin mix. Any flavor will do. Prepare it according to the directions. BUT you don't chill it in the fridge. Instead, you pour the liquid into a glass and sip it through a straw. The liquid gelatin coats your throat, stomach and other innards so that no matter what way the stomach discomfort has chosen to manifest itself it provides relief for either (ah-hem) end.

I'm surprised that more people haven't heard of this just for the plain fact that it works so well. I dont' have to fight the kids to take it either. As a matter of fact they ask for it. My kids refer to it as Jello Juice (hence the title of my post). :0D Everyone that I've shared this with has marveled at the results. This also helps to ease nausea. A great thing for pregnant women to try or just anyone who feels icky in the belly and wants it to go away.

So. Now you know the secret too. I hope you'll never need it, but if you do . . . you'll be glad that you know! (P.S. it's good to keep a box or 2 in your pantry just in case. You never know when you'll need it.)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

my critique buddies are on Fi-ahhh!

Yep. That's right. My critique group buddies are not just hot, happenin' and cool. They aren't on fire. They R on Fi-Ahhhhhh! I'm so proud of them.

Take for instance Ian Sands. Yes. I'm mentioning Ian again. That's because is art is taking off faster than a like a gazelle at a cheetah convention. (Does that phrase make me sound southern?)

In addition to his exhibits, sales and contest wins, he has just released a book called Ligers, Tigons and Pizzlies that gives insight into the inspiration of his latest exhibit, The Newimal Collection, which is based on real life hybrid animals. Give your mouse a clickety-click right here to purchase a copy.

Next is another critique buddy, Kathleen Reilly. This gal knows her stuff. If I were ever stranded out in the wilderness I would want to be stuck with her. Last year Kate launched her book Planet Earth. In honor of Earth Day this month, she is giving away a free copy of this awesome environment-friendly project book. Go on over to her blog and leave a comment for a chance to win. Hurry! Why are you still here? Go on over! But be sure to come back. There's more.

Are you back? Good.

The last thing I need to mention is that my critique group is putting together a schmooze coming up in May at Quail Ridge books in Raleigh, NC. Our guest speaker will be author, Kelly Starling-Lyons. It's gonna be great. More details to come!

Monday, April 6, 2009

How I write when I'm not writing. Makes sense. Right? - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

It's been a rough few weeks. Long story short, 3 kids + colds + fevers + tummy bugs = not much time to write. Heck, I haven't even had time for sanity.

I'm itching to read, and work on revisions, but it has been hard. I've done a little here and there, but not enough to satisfy.

However, I have found that even though I haven't been revising, I have found some time to work on new ideas while I'm trying to go to sleep. During that time between wakefulness and sleep I've been able to work on some new book ideas. My stories work best when they have time to mull over in my mind. Right before I fall asleep is one of the best times for this for me. Sometimes I ask myself "what if" questions. Sometimes I walk through an idea and imagine myself as the protagonist and try to put myself is his/her shoes: what do I smell? what do things look like? What would I need in that situation? What happens next? What do I wish I had. Sometimes I think about backstory.

Not to mention, I've had some great dreams! Not necessarily "great" meaning "happy" rather, "great" as in, wow! I could use that in a book!

So, lately most of my writing has taken the form of "thinking" and jotting down enough that I don't forget. Sometimes I feel bad about not having more time to really focus on writing, but maybe the "thinking" time may be more beneficial for my creativity than I realize. Life brings "stuff" and we have to learn to roll with the punches. Right? So, for now, I'm going to make the most of the time that I have. Even if it's simply that hazy time between wakefullness and dreams. Heck! I'm even putting my dreams to good use.

What ways to you "write" when you're not "writing?"

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

It's Here! Join my blog Hullabaloo - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

Two months ago, maybe more, I reserved a copy of Neil Gaiman's THE GRAVEYARD BOOK.

I was 122nd in line. Yes. You read that correctly. One hundred and twenty second for this freshly picked Newbery award winner.

I waited.

and waited.

and waited some more.

Then . . . last night I got THE e-mail. "Please come to the library your book is waiting."

I might have actually went "SQUEEEEE"

After I dropped off my preschooler I headed to the library this morning, marched to the RESERVED BOOKS section and there it was with my name on it. I went to the self check out counter, scanned my card, then the book. And that was it. It didn't seem right? Save for the beep of the scanner, there was no fanfare.

Shouldn't there have been music, a disco ball? Confetti?

2 months and 122nd in line (not to mention the pressure I feel to read this as fast as I can for the other poor souls who have been waiting) deserves some sort of hullabaloo. So this is it. this is my "It's Here!" blog party.

*\0/* yea!