Wednesday, September 30, 2009

** Food, Fun and Advice **

Today I took Morris Turek to lunch. He's the lawyer I mention on the right hand column of my blog. He's a copyright lawyer and a very nice guy. I've asked for his advice a few times over the past few months and he's always refused to send me a bill. So, I decided the next best thing was to invite him to lunch, my treat. He said he never turns down lunch, so that was a good compromise!

We had a great meal and I'm pretty sure I did most of the talking....In fact, I'm sure I did most of the talking!

Click on the photo of Morris to learn more about him and his agency....Your Trademark Attorney. He's located in Chesterfield. Tell him, "Becky sent me!"

** A NEW BREAD CO. LOCATION **

All you Bread Company lovers in the St. Peters area......Have you heard the great news?! A Bread Company is opening soon in a great location. It's between Pier One and Mid Rivers Mall, in a building that previously housed a carpet store, next to a mattress store. If I read the signs correctly, the mattress store appeared to be empty and for sale.

Even though the Bread Co. on Mid Rivers Mall Drive, near Hwy-94 isn't THAT far away, this new location will be a lot closer to home....AND Barnes & Noble.....another favorite hang-out!!


The new Bread Co. is scheduled to open in about 2 weeks!! Let's all make a date to have a writers meeting and dinner there, what'ya say??

** Another Breathtakingly Beeeee-u-ti-ful Day!! **

One quick thought this morning. I felt I should clarify one of the words I used in last night's blog.......

The small incident in the kitchen yesterday, was NOT part of a "typical" Becky day!!

Pretty much all the rest were, though.  ;-)

** The End of My Perfect Day **

It's almost midnight and I just had to post a note about my perfectly typical Becky kind of day!

Yes, it WAS a gorgeous day!

Yes, I e-mailed my column at the last minute...actually about 10 minutes late, but all is well.

Yes, I mistakenly sent an e-mail to the wrong person! Thank goodness the only end result was lots of laughter!

Yes, I'm very scatter-brained and forgetful and almost started a fire on the kitchen stove!!
   *side note: It's not a good idea to turn on the wrong burner when there's a cork trivet sitting on it.*
    Fortunately, Ron was home and noticed what was happening before the smoke turned into flames!

Yes, I managed to get 4 loads of laundry washed, dried and either folded or on hangers.

Yes, I put my wonderful dog, Tiger, in and outside, in and out, in and out...etc..etc..all day long! (And yes, we put her outside immediately, so she could breath fresh air, until all the smoke inside was gone.)

Yes, I picked up my husband from the car repair shop and let him use my car for a couple of hours. (No Smoking Allowed!)

Yes, I went through piles of junk mail, trying to locate those pesky bills that need to be paid.

And Yes, since I have a terrible memory, that's about all I can think of, plus the fact that it is now after midnight and I'm really getting tired, so I'll just have to say..."Goodnight, Gracie"....zzzzzzzz

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

** A PERFECT DAY **

Is there such a thing as a perfect (weather) day? I think so! It all has to do with your attitude. Some people may think a rainy day or a snowy day is perfect. I, for one, love snowy days....but mostly in the month of December!

I would say that today, here where I live, is an absolutely beautiful, perfect day! The perfect autumn day. Blue skies, some white clouds, a nice breeze, cool to warm temperatures......Ahhhhh. Life is Wonderful!

The sight of my sheer, white curtains gently puffing out and floating back in towards the open windows, leaves me with an almost indescribable feeling of happiness.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

** Sentimental Journey **


This evening is the end of a very busy week. It was very rewarding speaking to grade school and high school students on three separate days. Then today, Ron and I attended the Homecoming Events at Parks College of Engineering, Aviation & Technology. (part of St. Louis University)

Parks Fly-In Pancake Breakfast
St. Louis Downtown Airport, Cahokia IL
*We didn't fly-in...we drove! Met a very nice man, graduate of 1959.

Parks College and Institute of Technology
Alumni Merit Awards Luncheon Ceremony & Reception
Il Monastero
*Very deserving recipients and yummy food.

Parks College and Institute of Technology Open House
McDonnell Douglas Hall
*Everyone should visit here. Wonderful wall of history timeline, sometimes guided tours given by Rob the Robot!
*A new wall just opened with names & photos of past and present faculty and staff. So proud to see my dad's photo in at least 2 different places. He would've been so pleased!

Friday, September 25, 2009

** A NEW & HAPPY DAY **

I got tired, already, of the "Beautiful Music" on my play list. I listen to it a lot so I needed a change again. So, for now, we're back to my first playlist, "Marker's Mom".

As soon as I downloaded it, you'll never believe what song began to play. "Oh Happy Day"! How perfect is that?? Because it definitely IS a happy day!! For various reasons.......it's a Friday, and the sun is shining again, and I just heard the chimes clinking outside the kitchen window.....and I'm alive and well, with wonderful friends and family, and my beautiful dog, Tiger! What else could I possibly need or want?

Enjoy YOUR beautiful and happy day!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

* School Days & Shuffling Through Fallen Leaves *

My morning at the high school went well today. After I spoke to the two Creative Writing classes, the teacher and I spoke excitedly about some of the books we love, and why. She showed me one of the books that one of her classes will be reading soon and it looks very interesting......particularly the part about it being set in the 1960's and it mentions the characters in the Andy Griffith Show numerous times! I want to read it, before I mention the title on my blog, so ya'll just have to be curious for awhile, I guess!

I also read out loud the first chapter of my memoir that I've been working on for X number of years. (The students didn't seem to care one way or the other about it, but what do sophomores know?!) The teacher said she really liked it and would love to read more. She even wrote down her thoughts: "Humorous, detailed, descriptive, honest, wonderful indirect characterization."
SO, that was the encouragement and motivation I've been desperately needing. Thank you, Ms. Mc!! Working on my book is my Number 1 priority now.

There's so much more I ought to do tonight, but I'm tired and calling it a night...........zzzzzzzzzz

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

** Odds & Ends **

The last few days, I've either been really busy, or really down-and-out!

I felt as if I was fighting off a cold on Friday, Saturday and Sunday....plus went to Scotty's baseball game, and also kept him overnight on Saturday night. Luckily, he's old enough to entertain himself pretty well.

Thankfully, I felt much better yesterday morning, because I was scheduled to give a talk to grade school students about writing, editing and publishing. I am just amazed at how young these kids are learning about writing, and the entire writing business.....as early as 1st Grade, and sometimes Kindergarten! Another local writer and I, spoke to 4 grade levels, 2 classes of each: 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th graders. It was a lot of fun.

Today was the only day I have nothing else scheduled, which was a good thing, because I had to get my column written and e-mailed before noon, plus I looked into other writing venues, etc. AND had to do some housework, too......Ahhh.....if only I could afford my very own "Hazel". Usually when I say that, I get odd looks from people who obviously never watched the old TV show about a live-in maid named Hazel!

The rest of the week goes like this: Tomorrow (Wednesday): the same local writer and I again speak to grade school students about writing, but at a different school.

Thursday & Friday: I'm speaking to high school students about writing (what else?!) and how I began writing so late in life, and my goals, etc.

Whew!...Then next week, I concentrate much more on my book. I've given myself (another) deadline and intend on keeping it this time! Help!!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

** Music to Write By **

Are you familiar with Writing-World.com?  It's full of writing news, helpful hints, contests, etc. I just read a very interesting and helpful article about listening to different types of music while writing. It's called Music to Write By, by Indra Sena. The topics covered are below, but click on the link to read the entire article.
I found the first suggestion the most intriguing.....find a "starting song" and stick with it! Kind of like Pavlov's dog....you'll train yourself to begin writing when you hear that song! I haven't had time to choose "my" song yet....I have a feeling it'll take me awhile to decide which one to select!

1. Anchor Yourself to a Starting Song

2. Play Songs That Reflect the Period You Are Writing About

3. Play Music That Puts You In The Mood

4. Use Music That Increases Brain Functioning

5. If You Prefer Silence While Writing

~ Indra Sena is a writer living in the Catskill Mountains. After 22 years as a consultant, she left the business world a year ago to write fulltime. She is currently completing her first book, a memoir about her life as a young teenager living on her own. You can contact her at indrasena66@gmail.com. ~

I e-mailed Indra & asked her permission to post some of her article. She replied and said she'd be honored!

I hope everyone enjoys learning about writing with (or without) music. Please leave me comments, and feel free to e-mail Indra, too.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

** Contest Updates **

I looked over the contests I posted on September 8th, and realized I hadn't included the links properly. I fixed that little problem this morning, plus deleted the one contest that the deadline has passed.

Happy Writing and Good Luck!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

** What A Day For A Daydream **

What a glorious, perfect day to drive around with the top down on my cute, little convertible. I just can't say enough about the fabulous summer weather we've had.

After running a few errands, it was almost noon and I decided it would be a great day to go to my favorite coffee/lunch place, maybe sit outside to eat, and then do some writing on my laptop. Well.....part of that was a good idea.....the part about eating a scrumptious lunch. I didn't sit outside because those patio tables were full. I also couldn't get any writing done (other than this little blog post) due to the crowd and loud talking. Silly me. I thought if I got away from my house, and all the random objects that call my name to come and take care of them....."Fold me", says the laundry. "Wash me", says the breakfast dishes. "Clean me", says every other room in the house!!... Oh...and yes, "Let me outside, Let me inside, Feed me, etc", says Tiger!....Oh well.....it's a good reason to hang around all afternoon and wait for some quiet to happen here. And I intend to do just that!! Everything else can wait til tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

* Contests and Calls For Submissions *

 While going through some papers in my home office yesterday afternoon, I came across an old one that listed 3 websites to check out for contests and such. I'm not really sure where it came from, and I may have even typed it up for myself, but as usual with websites like these, one just leads to another and another. I was on my laptop for what seemed like hours, searching to find posts that appeard to be good ones to pass along to my writer friends. (*How many of you out there visualize what I do when I read  "....was on my laptop"....and especially "...for hours"??*)

Anyway.....I found a few that seemed interesting! Be sure to read all the rules and guidelines. Listed in no particular order, they are:
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Writer’s Digest Your Story Contest
Deadline: Bimonthly on the 10th
Entry Fee: FREE
Guidelines: http://www.writersdigest.com/YourStory/

Here’s an opportunity to get published both in Writer’s Digest magazine and on their website Every other month, they give a prompt for a story. Using that prompt, you can write any type of flash narrative you like, up to 750 words. According to their guidelines, they are looking for inventiveness, creativity, and humor. Look in the current print issue of Writer’s Digest for the latest contest prompt. If you don’t want to buy it, many libraries carry copies at the circulation desk. Contest #19 ended on July 10, 2009, so the next two contest deadlines should be September 10 and November 10, 2009. The online submission form makes entering a simple process. Don’t’ forget to read past winning entries before you submit your story to “Your Story.”
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The First Line Winter Writing Contest
Entry Fee: FREE
Deadline: November 1, 2009

Guidelines: http://www.thefirstline.com/

“Waiting for change always seems to take longer than you would expect.”

Use this first line, verbatim, create a story between 300 and 3,000 words to enter in the First Line Writing Contest. This is a quarterly contest, so if you miss the deadline for the May contest, there will [...]

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Writers of comedic essays, articles, short stories, poetry, shopping lists and other forms are invited to submit. Entry Fee: $5.00
Deadline: December 1, 2009  (snail mail, postmark date) no submissions online

Mona founded the Foster City (CA) Writers Contest, taught creative writing for San Mateo County and published humorous articles and essays in newspapers and magazines. Her son Brad founded the Prize in 2000 and judges the submissions.

Works up to 750 words in length should be typed, double-spaced, accompanied by a money order or check for $5 to cover administrative costs, payable to "The Mona Schreiber Prize." No limit to entries but each must have a separate fee. Put contact information directly above the title and text on your first page.

No SASEs, please. Include e-mail address for notification of winners. All entries must be postmarked by December 1 for a December 24 announcement of three winners: 1st: $500. 2nd: $250. 3rd: $100. Entries are not returned and must be unpublished. Winners will have their entries posted on www.brashcyber.com. All other rights belong to the authors. Humor is subjective. Uniqueness is suggested. Weirdness is encouraged.

This contest does not accept e-mail submissions. All entries must be mailed to: The Mona Schreiber Prize for Humorous Fiction and Nonfiction, 15442 Vista Haven Place, Sherman Oaks, California 91403 USA

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Flannery O'Connor Contest
Prize: $1,000.00. Entry fee: $0.00. Deadline: 10-31-2009.

Shenandoah announces a special issue centering on the works of Flannery O'Connor in celebration of the journal's 60th anniversary. The editor seeks essays, poems, short stories, reviews, photographs and other artwork about, related to or in honor of the fiction and life of Ms. O'Connor. Any queries about particular submissions should be directed to rodsmith@wlu.edu. A prize of $1,000 will be awarded to the best O'Connor-related work published in the issue, which is planned for Fall, 2010.  http://www.wlu.edu/x33932.xml
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** You've may have noticed that these are all No Entry Fee, or Very Minimal Entry Fee contests. I purposely chose them because of that. **

Sunday, September 6, 2009

** A New Day - A New Week - Beautiful Music **

I felt like changing my play list again this morning. It might be because it's a rainy, cloudy day. It might be because I was being lazy and didn't feel like doing much of anything else....I'm not sure, but I do know, I felt like it was time to put away the summer tunes.

For this play list, I've chosen just a few, but very beautiful songs. I'm sure I'll be adding more, as I remember other ones that I love, too.....

Relax and Enjoy!

Friday, September 4, 2009

** The End of Quite a Week **

This past week has been very eventful and memorable......full of highs and lows. The highs were the fun lunches (which I have one more to add), the wonderful writing news I received, seeing grandson Scotty and giving him his 9th birthday presents. Etc...

The other fun lunch for the week was with a wonderful friend, Sharon, at none other than Bread Co......only this time it was in South County, not in St. Peters. Had a great time....some serious discussions and many laughs, too.

The lows of the week were 2 separate days of battling headaches......on Wednesday, the 2nd and again today, although today's wasn't nearly as bad as Wednesday's was. That should definitely take care of my "headache quota" for a long time. I really hate it when one is so bad I have to lay down and hope to sleep until it goes away.

I've been plagued with various types of headaches for years; have tried to analyze why I get certain ones at certain times, have had different prescriptions, etc.....and it really all comes down to "Who knows why I get them when I do?"

I say, "Headaches, be gone! For I have way too many things to accomplish in the next few days, and therefore do not care to be in any pain!"

Thursday, September 3, 2009

** Tiny Lights: A Journal of Personal Narrative **

I have an essay published on http://www.tiny-lights.com/, in the section called Search Lights and Signal Flares. They pose monthly questions and the one for 8/15/09 was:

"What helps you remember?" Mine is titled: "Unless I Forget"

Writers can click on: http://www.tiny-lights.com/searchlights.php to read questions and answers, past and present, and also view the newest question: "How do you keep track of your work?" The answers are due 9/15/09.

Sign up for their e-mail newsletters and/or subscribe to their printed issue too.

It's a fabulous "tiny" site!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

** September 1st....What a Day It's Been! **

My lunch date today was more fun and interesting than I could've possibly imagined! Thank you so much Dee, Delores and Susan for being so thoughtful and surprising me the way you did!

Plus I listened to one beautiful CD, by Sarah Brightman, all the way to and from, even though I brought 6 CD's with me. Drivers along certain highways probably heard the music and singing blasting from my car as I sped along........some of that singing wasn't from the CD.....it was from me! .....sorry about that...What can I say? I've mentioned that I actually believe I can sing!

And the "piece de resistance" was the e-mail I received, saying a story I wrote for an anthology, is in the top 101 finalists!! Hopefully, I'll know for sure within the next 30 days!!

I'm doing that happy dance again!!

* Happy September 1st *

It's another beautiful day in the neighborhood......as Mr. Rogers always sang!

I have many exciting things going on right now, even though none of them include being published, at the moment anyway! I was contacted by a high school english teacher today about speaking to a few classes on creative writing and newspaper writing, which also includes my motivational speaking about going for your dreams in life.....at any age.

Also, I'm meeting a newly acquired friend for lunch today! I'm looking forward to it, of course, but an extra bonus is that it's probably an hour's drive and I'll have enough time to listen to a favorite CD or two! Most of my driving usually consists of a few minutes here and there, so that calls for the radio, or the sounds of silence.

Other opportunities are hovering, too.....but I can't say anything yet about them. ;-)

* BLOGGER IS DRIVING ME BATTY! *

Are any of you having problems with Blogger?? I keep trying to work on my template, background, etc. and it just keeps freezing up!   I...