Blog Schedule

I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

IWSG, Being Thankful, Get Together

Posting the First Wednesday of every month, the Insecure Writer's Support Group, is the brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh. YOU can sign up HERE to participate.

Every month a question will be posed that may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Remember, the question is optional. You can write about anything that relates to your writing journey.

Let's give a warm welcome to our co-hosts:  Jemima Pett, J Lenni Dorner, Cathrina Constantine, Ronel Janse van Vuuren, and Mary Aalgaard!

This month's question is: In your writing, where do you draw the line, with either topics or language?

This one's easy. For me it's graphic sex, language, violence. Since I mostly write for children and teens I don't see the need to perpetuate the negatives of life. I'm more about passing on a little wonder and magic. Call me old-fashioned, or a hippy, but I'm more about peace and love. Particularly in this day and age, it seems, it's what the world needs more of.  I'll leave the those other topics, and the language that goes with them, to other writers.

On that note I leave you with this song, written in1964 by Dino Valenti who was in the band Quicksilver Messenger Service. It was first recorded by the Kingston Trio that same year. The Youngbloods didn't recorded it until 1966 and released in July of 1967. The summer of '67, was momentous for me, and this is one of the many songs from that time that had an impact on my 17 year-old brain. It not only has a beautiful melody, the words are pure poetry. 

57 years after being written (FIFTY-SEVEN YEARS!!) it is still relevant, still beautiful, and still has meaning.

Come on people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another 
Right now

Love is but a song to sing Fear's the way we die You can make the mountains ring Or make the angels cry Though the bird is on the wing And you may not know why Come on people now Smile on your brother Everybody get together Try to love one another Right now Some may come and some may go We shall surely pass When the one that left us here Returns for us at last We are but a moment's sunlight Fading in the grass Come on people now Smile on your brother Everybody get together Try to love one another Right now Come on people now Smile on your brother Everybody get together Try to love one another Right now Come on people now Smile on your brother Everybody get together Try to love one another Right now If you hear the song I sing You will understand (listen!) You hold the key to love and fear All in your trembling hand Just one key unlocks them both It's there at you command Come on people now Smile on your brother Everybody get together Try to love one another Right now Come on people now Smile on your brother Everybody get together Try to love one another Right now Come on people now Smile on your brother Everybody get together Try to love one another Right now

Being Thankful
Today I'm thankful that we've had more rain. Fall is coming. There are morning hints in the coolness of the air and there is the ever so slight fading of green in the leaves.

What are you thankful for? In your writing, is there a line you won't cross? Are there any songs from your childhood/youth that had an impact on you?

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

IWSG, Labor Day, Being Thankful

Posting the First Wednesday of every month, the Insecure Writer's Support Group, is the brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh. YOU can sign up HERE to participate.

Every month a question will be posed that may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Remember, the question is optional. You can write about anything that relates to your writing journey.

Let's give a warm welcome to our co-hosts:  Rebecca Douglass, T. Powell Coltrin @Journaling Woman, Natalie Aguirre, Karen Lynn, and C. Lee McKenzie!

This month's question is: How do you define success as a writer? Is it holding your book in your hand? Having a short story published? Making a certain amount of income from your writing?

First off, money has never been a deciding factor of success for me. Sure fortune (though I'm not sure about the fame) would be nice, but it's not necessary. For a long time, I thought success meant having a book published. But somewhere a long the way someone said, if you've been published, no matter the media, you are a successful writer. That kind of put a little kick in my step because I realized the first things I ever got published were in my high school year book: a poem on the flyleaf and two short articles - I was after all the yearbook editor. Since then I've had many stories and articles published in newspapers, newsletters, and magazines. So, self-publishing my books was kind of like the chocolate syrup on my chocolate ice cream. 



Speaking of magazine articles. Way back in 2019 I wrote an article for the 2020 edition of the prestigious travel magazine, Destination. (You can read that article HERE.) Due to COVID and travel restrictions, no 2021 edition was printed. But guess what? I've been asked to write an article for the 2022 edition! So I'm excited about that and the subject matter is very dear and close to my heart.


***


On this Labor Day Weekend, I send out my prayers to all those affected by Hurricane Ida. They will be laboring for a long time and this weekend will not be one of rest. Please consider donating money and or goods to a reputable and legitimate charity. Here's and article on how to donate safely. My favorite place is the Salvation Army. You can donate HERE

***

Being Thankful
I'm thankful that we have not had a single 100 degree day this summer. It has been a very nice, though unusual, summer. Rather balmy and more humid. I think our hottest day was around 94. 


What are you thankful for? How do you define success as a writer? Any Labor Day plans?

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

IWSG, Ray Bradbury, Being Thankful

Posting the First Wednesday of every month, the Insecure Writer's Support Group, is the brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh. YOU can sign up HERE to participate.

Every month a question will be posed that may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Remember, the question is optional. You can write about anything that relates to your writing journey.

Let's give a warm welcome to our co-hosts:   PK Hrezo, Cathrina Constantine, PJ Colando, Kim Lajevardi, and Sandra Cox!

This month's question is: What is your favorite writing craft book? Think of a book that every time you read it you learn something or you are inspired to write or try the new technique. And why?

I love Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury. I have first edition (1990) copies in both hard and paper back. I used to do an occasional blog post called "Titles to Write By," the idea for which came directly from Bradbury's book.

Back in August of 2016 I wrote this post, which I'm sharing part of here, because 1) I'm lazy. 2) It's appropriate.

Titles to Write By

"Titles" is an occasional blog post in which we play with a single word and turn it into, what else, titles! Afterwards the object is to pick one of them and write a little something.

It was Ray Bradbury, in his book ZEN IN THE ART OF WRITING, who taught me about making lists of words and turning them into titles. If you haven't read it I highly recommend it.



For no particular reason today's word is: 

Olympic


Well, there is a reason for using Olympic. One is that I've watched more of the Summer Olympics this year than I ever have in the past. I'm not sure why. Perhaps it's because there's been nothing better on TV. Whatever the reason, it's been a delight to see so many records broken, so many gold medals won. The U. S. women's gymnastic team,  the women who won gold in the relay race, watching  Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky swim for gold, all were awesome. And lastly, getting to see Usain Bolt win his 9th gold for Jamaica was icing on the cake.

So, here are some titles to write by using the word Olympic and its various variations. 

Sunrise at Olympus Mons
Say Olympic Enough Times and it Starts to Sound Funny
Olym Pic, Photographer
Olympia: The Winner Who Limped to Victory
Olympic Hurdles Writers Face and How to Hurdle Them
A Visit to Mount Olympus: How I Survived The Gods
The Olympic Garden
The Olympic Heart


Her heart leapt, an Olympian sized pole vault, when he leaned in and whispered, "I love you."

***
Being Thankful
Today I'm thankful for
MORE RAIN!
I am also VERY thankful that hubby is doing much better. I was more than a little frazzled last month, but things are settling down and we are both breathing easier. 
Thank you, everyone, for all your kind words last month. 


What are you thankful for? What's your favorite book on writing? Have you been watching the Olympics? Do any of my titles inspire you? Care to share some titles of your own? 

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Missing in Action

I know it's IWSG day. But I'm missing in action. Health/back issues, not me, the hubby. One doesn't realize how much one does until that person is not able to do it. 

Please send prayers for healing.

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

IWSG, Being Thankful

Posting the First Wednesday of every month, the Insecure Writer's Support Group, is the brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh. YOU can sign up HERE to participate.

Every month a question will be posed that may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Remember, the question is optional. You can write about anything that relates to your writing journey.

Let's give a warm welcome to our co-hosts:   J Lenni Dorner, Sarah Foster, Natalie Aguirre, Lee Lowery, and Rachna Chhabria!

This month's question is: For how long do you shelve your first draft, before reading it and re-drafting? Is this dependent on your writing experience and the number of stories/books under your belt?

Usually I let the first draft rest for a couple of weeks before I delve into revisions. But that's when I'm seriously working, which I haven't been, in which case a story can sit around for years and years and....
***
I have nothing to say. I feel myself falling away from this wonderful, supportive blogging community. I am uninspired, lazy, procrastinating, and generally in a long slump. I should care, but I don't.


"The trouble is you think you have time." – Buddha 
That's me... I think I have time.

I could say something about it being my birthday this month and that maybe I'm feeling like I'm getting too old to bother.

Oh woe is me... Pay no attention to these moanings and groanings. But that's kind of a lie as I've just written it out here and have posted it. (Hypocrite!) Am I looking for sympathy or what?

***
Being Thankful
On a bright note, today I'm thankful that we've had more much need rain. Although we're getting a bit tired of the days and days of overcast which covered the lunar eclipse. 
Our yard is blooming and the grass is green.
There are a couple of Cooper's Hawks nesting in a tree in our neighbor's yard. We've been enjoying watching their comings and goings (and the talking they do to each other) and are looking forward to see how many babies they have. This is the second year we've had a nesting pair in the same tree. Last year they had one baby.
(Not my photo)
Cooper's Hawk on Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge (26108620533)
What are you thankful for? Do you let your story rest before beginning revisions/edits? Are you in a slump?  

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Bad Fairy Strikes Again, Book Tour, Elaine Kaye

***NEW RELEASE***

***99 CENTS***

 

 Series: A Bad Fairy Adventure (Book 2)

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Pages: 60

Ages: 7-12

 

BLURB:

Will Thistle ever escape the nickname Bad Fairy?

Thistle Greenbud thought the nickname Bad Fairy was behind her, but she can't escape it. Someone is spreading a rumor about her that just isn't true and can ruin all of her hard work in getting into Advanced School. What fairy would do such a thing?

As if that's not bad enough, Thistle's dad goes missing. Not a single fairy in Tinselville has seen him. He's vanished like pixie dust. Her mom is distraught, and Thistle is worried. Where could he be?

Thistle and the Flutters, along with Dusty and Moss, are on both cases. Can they find out what happened to her dad and solve the Bad Fairy rumor? Thistle hopes so!

 

BOOK LINKS:

Amazon / Nook / iBooks / Goodreads


Thistle’s Chocolate Chip Sunflower Seed Cookies:

Ingredients:

½ cup softened butter

6 tablespoons white granulated sugar

6 tablespoons packed brown sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 egg

1 cup + 2 tablespoons flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

½ cup roasted, salted, shelled sunflower seeds

 

Instructions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Mix the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar in a large bowl until creamy.

3. Add the vanilla extract and egg. Mix.

4. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix well.

5. Stir in the chocolate chips and shelled sunflower seeds.

6. Drop the mixture by full tablespoon onto greased cookie sheets.

7. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.

8. Makes about 36 cookies.

9. Let cool.

10. ENJOY!

OKUM SOKUM!


You can watch the book trailer HERE

EXCERPT:

My name is Thistle Greenbud. Sometimes I’m known by other fairies in Pine Cone Grove as Bad Fairy, but I’m not all that bad. Honest.

Today is the Spring Festival, which is a celebration that happens every May. Dancing and singing fills the air while fairies enjoy the festivities. This year, the flower fairies are hosting the festival in Petal Patch. Mom and Tumble, the pixie Mom hired to help out at home, are as busy as bees preparing for the fun. The kitchen table contains all kinds of goodies, from my favorite chocolate chip and sunflower seed cookies to dripping bites of honeycomb, and jugs of different herbal teas.

After everything is packed, Mom, Tumble, and I carry a basket as Dad pulls our wagon, leading the way through our small grove. We pass homes made of pinecones, twigs, and tree bark. Each one is decorated with colorful streamers in honor of the festival. We follow the pebble-covered streets. The sun filters through fern, bushes, and vines that hide our grove from human eyes.

“Come on, Orla,” Dad shouts to Mom. “I see a good spot to display your goodies.”

Mom shakes her head as Dad bounces like a flea.

We laugh, trying to catch up. Today is going to be so much fun!


Get Book 1 for 99 CENTS!

BAD FAIRY: Amazon / Nook / iBooks / Kobo

 


***GIVEAWAY*** 

PRIZES: 3 signed paperback picture books (Pea Soup Disaster, The Missing Alphabet, Slow Poke), three handmade bookmarks, plus a goodie bag and worksheets.

Eligibility: International

GIVEAWAY LINK: https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/76132e0224/?


a Rafflecopter giveaway

 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Elaine Kaye is the author of A Bad Fairy Adventure series AND A Gregory Green Adventure series. She first created Gregory Green after her son, who loved her homemade pea soup, thus inspiring the story Pea Soup Disaster.

Kaye has worked as a library assistant and teacher’s assistant in elementary schools in the Sunshine State. She currently lives in Florida, but she has called Michigan; Honolulu, Hawaii; and Okinawa, Japan home. She is a grandmother of three boys.


My review: This second in the series of Bad Fairy Adventures is a bit more serious than the first. Thistle's father has gone missing. Fairy dust is being stolen. And there's another rumor going around about Thistle that simply can't be true! How is she going to discover the truth about it all? That, of course, is what this story is all about.

The lessons remain the same; friendship and acceptance are what is important.
 



Wednesday, May 5, 2021

IWSG, Being Thankful

Posting the First Wednesday of every month, the Insecure Writer's Support Group, is the brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh. YOU can sign up HERE to participate.

Every month a question will be posed that may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Remember, the question is optional. You can write about anything that relates to your writing journey.

Let's give a warm welcome to our co-hosts:  Erika Beebe, PJ Colando, Tonja Drecker, Sadira Stone, and Cathrina Constantine!

This month's question is: Have any of your readers ever responded to your writing in a way that you didn't expect? If so, did it surprise you?

I am often surprised that people seem to like my writing. Sometimes I thinks that's just false-modesty. Other times I'm truly baffled. But always, always, ALWAYS, I'm humbled and honored and grateful for the many kind words.

***
On the 19th of this month I'll be participating in a book blog hop to help Chrys Fey's mom, Elaine Kaye, promote Bad Fairy Strikes Again, her newest addition the the Bad Fairy series! 
Hope you will stop by.

***

With it being spring and all, and birds fledging right and left, 
I thought this would be an appropriate quote.
Riding on a Bird (SM sg929)
You've got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.
Ray Bradbury


***
Being Thankful
Today I'm thankful that after a 3 day stay in the hospital last month
 -- due to Crohn's Disease -- I'm doing well! No surgery required!!
I'm also thankful to Mother Nature for the much needed 6 inches of rain we got at the end of April

What are you thankful for? Have your readers ever surprised you? Have you read any of  Elaine Kaye's books?