Sunday, December 18, 2011

Everyone needs a little #WriteMotivation

If you follow me on Twitter, you may occasionally see requests for some #writemotivation or me cheering on some other writer who needs a boost. We all have our downs sometimes. We get in a funk. We just don't want to do it anymore. Or we find ourselves second guessing our ability or determination or whatever.

Writing is a very solitary activity. We all know this. Granted, you may have your local critique groups, or write-in sessions at Panera Bread or Starbucks, but you can't call on them 24/7, because we all know we have these negative moments when we are alone, at home, by ourselves, at all hours of the day or night. Our real-life friends, our writing buddies, are not there for our every whim, to respond to our every beck and call, any time we need them.

However, with the dawn of the internet and social media, writers can connect with other writers whenever the need arises. My Twitter feed is always streaming. And, generally, when I call for help, someone will answer it. It may not be right away, but I can always count on a few good Tweeps to come through for me.

With that said, my friend, @KTHanna, decided to put together a blog and Twitter fest for the month of January. This is where we set achievable goals and cheer each other on throughout the month. We are to write a blog post every Monday to update our progress on those goals, and solicit some #writemotivation. Whenever and where ever we some encouragement, our participants will be there to cheer us on. I'm hoping this will continue on throughout the year, but we'll start small at first and see where it goes. If you want to join, please visit KT's site and sign up there. I'm sure you will find it well worth the efforts.

Here's my January goals:

1) By Jan, 20th I need to complete and submit the 713 Challenge entry @ KazkaPress
2) work a bit more on my novel. No particular goal really as I just need to write some more, and work out more of the plot. (How’s that for ambiguous?)
3) By the end of January I’d like to have completed the beta read for a certain someone.
4) complete the blog posts for this challenge. I suck at blogging :)

So, how’s that for goals. Realistic? Let’s hope so! :)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

What do you get your parents for Christmas?

Ok, so it's only ten days left until Christmas and I still have no idea what to get my parents. It's the same thing every year when I ask:

I don't know. Get whatever. Your father likes golf.

So, yeah, that's helpful. But seriously, what do you get your parents? They've been married 45 years so they have everything.. They aren't rich but they have everything they need. They want for nothing.

They aren't geeky (I don't know where I get that from).
They don't read. (again, I don't know where I get that from)
They don't have any special interests, hobbies or anything!

My mom sells Mary Kay. My dad is retired. Mom loves to clean. Dad loves to golf. Mom loves to exercise at her exercise place. Dad loves the Steelers.
That's about it.

Boring, aren't they?!

Each year gets harder and harder to buy for them. And their answer is always the same.

I don't know. Get whatever. Your father likes golf.

Most all my money has been tied up getting my son his presents. I have about $100 to spend on my parents. It's not about the money. It's about the love put behind it, I know. But daggum it, why can't I think of something original?

Anyone have any suggestions?




Monday, December 12, 2011

Your Teacher Said What?!: Defending Our Kids from the Liberal Assault on Capitalism -- Book Review

Your Teacher Said What?!: Defending Our Kids from the Liberal Assault on CapitalismYour Teacher Said What?!: Defending Our Kids from the Liberal Assault on Capitalism by Joe Kernen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As a parent with a child in the public school system, I found this a book a wonderful read. I've pretty much got a handle on the topics here but Joe Kernen breaks it down in a very easy to understand manner for any level. Blake's questions and ideas are very thought provoking and it really does show you just how a child's brain works. As adults, we are trapped within our own mind and seldom think on a lower level. We take for granted our knowledge and sometimes expect our children to understand without question. This book really does open your eyes as to how the school system is teaching our children.

If you are unfamiliar with the topics, this book explains it on a level anyone can understand. If you are familiar with the topics, it is a great recap of them. The book is not condescending, nor is it "just another text book". Joe makes it real by throwing in his own conversations with his daughter. Parents can certainly empathize when reading.

I highly recommend this read to anyone who is sending their children to school--pre-k to college, it matters not. These questions will eventually come up sometime in your conversations with your children. It's better to be prepared with the proper answers, not something you just guess at. Education is the key to success. It's never too late to learn. Arm yourself with knowledge and make the world a better place.

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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Skeleton Lake, by Angela Kulig -- Review

Skeleton Lake (Skeleton Lake, #1)Skeleton Lake by Angela Kulig
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

All the reviews I read made me want to read this book. I was so excited when I received my copy and couldn't wait to read it.

From the first chapter, I was completely lost. I had no clue what was being said. Maybe this was deliberate since Marlow was "drowning". So, I kept reading. The story began to work itself out over the next few chapters and I could see it more clearly.

The characters were not very deep. Even though the story was told through the eyes of Marlow, I just couldn't get into her, deep into her, to really feel any emotion towards her. Each character presented only provided more complication to the reader's ability to keep them straight. There was nothing discerning about the characters, nothing that made them want to be loved (or hated) by you. There were hints, don't get me wrong. But there was nothing that went deeper. I felt as I was reading this, it was just being "told" to me.

The story has a great premise, overall. Although the book is an easy read and the chapters are short, I just couldn't finish reading. I wanted to finish. I tried. But with the amount of grammatical errors, typos, cliches, and "telling, not showing", I just couldn't manage to finish. I got to Chapter 42. Maybe I will, one day, plow through the rest just so I know what happens.

Even though it's a self-pubbed book, with a little work and a couple more revisions it could have been a great read! I just feel it wasn't ready.

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Friday, December 2, 2011

Completed Christmas Fabric Origami Postcards

My Christmas Fabric Origami Postcards are complete! YAY! I did it before Christmas. Exhausted though I may be, I still have one more thing to do on this batch--go to the post office and get them mailed!

I figured I would post a series of pictures of the process of folding all the way to the final product--just in case anyone is interested. :)

Remember, each card is unique. No two are alike, even if I tried. All are hand made--by me!

If you want to see more of my quilting endeavors, check out the gallery of pictures. I've just not done much over the last couple of years. :)