Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Let's all go to the beach!

I'd never been a guest blogger before, until just a couple of days ago over at WOW - Women on Writing, The Muffin. And now, I have another guest post to announce.

(courtesy: Buzzle.com)

I'll be on Under The Tiki Hut tomorrow, Wednesday, August 31st beginning at 7:15am Central Time.

Carol has been hosting guest bloggers on Wednesdays, all summer long. Thanks again, Carol, for inviting me to visit your fabulous, "Blissful" paradise!

Please stop by and leave a comment, and see what happens as I sit on the beach and enjoy the view!

** Note added August 31st, 2:15pm Central Time: So far everyone who has commented on Under the Tiki Hut, either likes or loves my newest idea for my memoir title: Blame it on the Crowbar! **
I'm batting 1,000!!

"Summer afternoon - summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language." ~Henry James

Monday, August 29, 2011

A Birthday Party for Vern!

During my time away from blogging, our awesome dog Vern celebrated a birthday. He is now 10 years old! We had a small party for him, which I'd never even thought to do for our previous canine family members! And by small party, I mean The Ronald, our son Mark, his girlfriend Jenni and me.

Vern didn't know WHAT was going on. That's Mark holding him.

We got him to stand still long enough for this picture! He doesn't look very happy, does he?!

Oooh, a present! And it's a beefy smelling rawhide bone!

Yum...Loving this other chewy thing, too.

And you're saying, "Where's the birthday cake??"
Well, we didn't have a "real" one, but we used this cool cake candle for photos!

Those of you who don't know the story about Vern, here's a condensed version: Three months after we had to say goodbye to our beloved Tiger, I was ready to look for another dog. Wanted an "older" dog....a companion, and not a frisky puppy. Found Vern, a lab mix, online at a shelter. His age was listed as eight, but found out he was really nine and a half.....big difference in dog years! But, we brought him home with us (in March) and have been in love with this fabulous dog ever since! He is sweet, loving, smart, funny and just plain perfect. Happy Birthday, Vern! May you live MANY more years.

Also, Welcome to my newest follower, Christine. I hope you'll stop by often and always enjoy what you read and see! Thank you!

"Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring--it was peace."
Milan Kundera

Thursday, August 25, 2011

* Did I Mention Contests? *

It feels a bit strange posting something two days in a row. And I mean that in the nicest sense!Yesterday I mentioned Contests and Calls for Submissions. Here are a few I've seen.

*** Added Friday 8:40am:  I totally forgot to include a Give-Away. Shows what happens when I get sidetracked. Below is the information, taken directly from the newsletter I receive every week from Eliza Fayle at Silver and Grace:

"What are your hobbies? Send me pics of your creations or you engaging in your hobbies and I will post them to the Silver & Grace Women are REAL album. Simply send them to eliza@silverandgrace.com


Everyone who sends me pics for the Silver & Grace Women are REAL this week will be entered to win the book The Message: A Guide To Being Human by L D Thompson. Give-away ends August 31."


The Mona Schreiber Humorous Fiction & Non-Fiction Contest. All entries must be postmarked by December 1st, 2011. Entry fee: $5.00  1st Place - $500  (I love this part: Humor is subjective. Uniqueness is suggested. Weirdness is encouraged.) I can think of quite a few writer/blog friends who would be sensational at this! 

WOW - Women on Writing Contest Flash Fiction. Deadline: August 31, 2011. Entry fee: $10.00  1st Place - $300  *Please don't forget to read my Friday Speak Out *

Writers Digest Contests - Competitions  There are oodles of categories here. Various deadlines. From just skimming through them, it looks like the entry fees are all $20.00, which is pretty steep, but the first prizes are $1,000 - $3,000 plus other promotional goodies. If you are really confident in your writing, then I say, "Go for it!"

Funds for Writers Contests  C. Hope Clark is a writer's best friend, and walking encyclopedia! Check her website for all kinds of info.

Funds for Writers Calls for Submissions Hope also pays for submissions to her site.

Funds for Writers Annual Contest 10th Annual Funds For Writers Essay Contest. Theme for 2011: Diligence. Deadline: E-mail by Midnight (Eastern Time) October 31, 2011.

Winning Writers Contests This is one of those places that posts numerous contests, plus other important information, such as which contests to avoid.

Writers-Editors Contests  Another wealth of information sites.

First Writer Contests This particular link is for free contests, but their site has everything!

I think that's enough for tonight. I don't want to cause any headaches due to an overload of contest information!

(courtesy: google)

"A quotation is a handy thing to have about, saving one the trouble of thinking for oneself."
A.A. Milne

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

* If I'm on my blog, I must be back! *

Hey Everyone! I'm happy to say that my Blog-a-Vacation has ended, at least for now. I wish I could report that I increased my word count in my memoir, by leaps and bounds, but that wouldn't be true. You know how sometimes you feel like you need to take a vacation to recuperate from your vacation?

I've been busier than ever with Saturday Writers, posting contest information, working on our October Workshop and First Annual Silent Auction. Thank goodness I have a fabulous person who volunteered to chair the auction for me. Thank you, Jennifer H.!! (Speaking of Saturday Writers, I've also just made the decision to not stay on as president next year. I've really enjoyed it, but it has taken up a lot more of my time (and energy) than I ever imagined.)

I'm very excited and honored to announce that I am the featured writer this Friday on WOW! Women on Writing Blog - The Muffin. So please stop by their blog on Friday, August 26th. You can also check out their guidelines for Friday Speak Out!

I've run across more Calls for Submissions and Contests, but I'll wait for another day to post them.

The Ronald and I have been talking about down-sizing for quite some time and have decided that NOW is pretty much the right time. So, I'll be more involved in what's been an on-going desire: De-cluttering my house! Also, I have some beautiful office furniture For Sale. Those of you who live in my part of the world and are interested, please e-mail me for information and photos.

All of this, plus throw in a little more family drama, and as I wrote on August 1st: "Life always gets in the way of my plans and well intentions."

 ....but, I don't give up.

"Ain't nothin' gonna bring me down!" --  Music & Lyrics by Marvel/Mann

"Don't rain on my parade!" -- Music & Lyrics by Merrill/Styne

Monday, August 22, 2011

We Interrupt This Blog-a-Vacation.....

Just a bit of news to share with my local blog pals: (that's LOCAL, but if LOCO fits, you're included!)

If you haven't already heard, the Spencer Creek Library will be closed beginning September 17th and will reopen in early 2012, in its fabulous, brand new location....next door to the existing one!

Click on the link to find out where to pick up and drop off your library books, etc.

Also, there won't be a gift shop in the new library. I stopped in today and was told they just can't get enough volunteers to fill all the hours they need to stay open. I'll miss that little shop. They always had great bargains on used books and unique gifts. BUT, if you're really looking for a bargain, stop in between now and August 31, (when they will close) because everything in the shop is between 25 cents and 1 dollar! I bought a couple of things but will go back later this evening, after I have time to think about what I might need! (grand children gifts, and my ever-popular give-aways at Saturday Writers meetings!)

Also, Welcome to my newest follower,  The Time Sculptor's Secret, I hope you'll stop by often and always enjoy what you read and see! Thank you!
 "When I got my library card, that's when my life began." ~Rita Mae Brown

Monday, August 15, 2011


Just another reminder from yesterday's post: I'm taking a break from blogging, so I can concentrate on what I really need to do, and what I really want to do: Write!

"Writing is my time machine, takes me to the precise time and place I belong." ~Jeb Dickerson

Sunday, August 14, 2011

* Nostalgic Sundays *

Time is just flying by too fast. If you've read my blog for very long, you've probably seen where I've said something like, "I'd love to throw a lasso around the earth and slow it down for a while....Not stop it. No. Just slow it down."

Today has been a serendipitous adventure. While blog reading and commenting, I jumped from blog to blog, not stopping at every one of them, silly!...and one seemed to lead to another, and I discovered/learned some things about myself, my writing, and my wonderful blog friends. All that magical karma!

I'd like to thank Randi for sharing her thoughts about my book title and our camaraderie through our e-mails.

I'd like to thank Ms. Lou for her post about John Wayne, which led my thoughts to Greenfield, Iowa, which led me back to my book.

And last but not least, I'd like to thank Madeleine for her post about taking a Blog Holiday and getting back to her writing!

And what does all this have to do with Nostalgic Sunday? Writing my memoir. And I'm borrowing Madeleine's idea for a blog holiday because I know it will do me a world of good.

Until I'm back, I'll leave the front porch light on!

"Nothing you write, if you hope to be any good, will ever come out as you first hoped." Lillian Helman

Friday, August 12, 2011


It's Friday and time for another "I Wonder."

Usually, I can't read more than one book at a time, although I know many of you can. Right now, though, I'm reading two :

1) The Wildwater Walking Club, by Claire Cook (love her books)

2) Reading & Writing from Literature (textbook)

1) I'm only on Chapter 8 (which are called Days, not Chapters....three women walk together every day...so it's Day 1, etc.) but I know I'll zip right through it.

2) I LOVE the textbook! I have no idea where it came from and it looks brand new. I discovered it last week when I was in the midst of my on-going-loft de-cluttering. There are three book shelves in a room not big enough for them, plus the other furniture. Anyway, why do I love this book? Many reasons:

The Paper. It is almost tissue paper thin. It is so delicate that I touch and turn the pages as if they were made of ...what ?...something so precious I'd never want them to break.

The Scent: Have you ever stuck your nose inside a book? Come on, admit it. It's not too weird. It smells as lovely as the paper is delicate.

The Multitude of Remarkable Writers and Knowledge: Ray Bradbury, Walt Whitman, James Joyce, Eugene O'Neill, Maya Angelou, etc.etc.etc! Short stories, poems, essays, and plays. Point of View, Characters, Dialogue.

I feel the way I did when I was a young girl in September, and it was time for school to start again.

So, my I Wonder for today is: How many books can you read at the same time? What are you reading now? AND, do you like the scent of a book?

"Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers."-- Charles W. Eliot

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Wow! It's amazing how much I can accomplish when I wake up and I mean Wide Awake, at 5:00 am. After just a few minutes, I realized I wasn't going back to sleep, so I got up and began my day. I glanced at the time I began writing this and was shocked to see it wasn't even noon yet. Woo-hoo...I'm going to make real progress on numerous tasks today. AND, all you writers will be pleased to know I wrote quite a bit in my memoir this morning. I'll be writing much more, too, before the night is over.

Those who've been stopping by for a few months or more, also know that every now and then I get in a mood about choosing a title for my memoir. I make myself crazy for a few days, thinking I can't possibly write another word until THE TITLE is chosen. I've even listed chapter names and asked who thought any of them would make a good title. But that's a bit difficult, since none of you have read any of it yet...well, except for a few people in my critique group!

Part of my predicament is the fact that *I DID have a title. For YEARS. I just KNEW* it was a fabulous, eye-catching title. But...a couple of things have made me question it over the past few months...so I'm kind of back to square one.

Addem: 6:50pm CDT: As some of you know, the title I've been carrying around in my mind, FOR YEARS, is "That Crowbar Changed Everything".  A pretty important person doesn't like it, but everyone else who's ever heard it, loves it and wants to know...."HUH?" What's the story? And as I type this, I'm leaning back toward it again...

What about you? If you're a writer, what makes you crazy from time to time?
And if you're not a writer, I'd like to know what makes you crazy, too!

Also welcome to my newest followers: Mommies Frugal Finds, Sandi, and Linda Medrano. I hope you'll stop by often and always enjoy what you read and see! Thank you!
"Yelling really loud can sometimes ease tension…and sometimes it makes everyone else in the library jump out of their skin." -- Maxine

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Microfiction Muse #19

Welcome to a new weekly feature from Diane Estrella: The Microfiction Muse! Microfiction means the shortest of short stories. Think Aesop’s fables, comic strips, or even jokes: complete stories that can be told in under a minute. You are invited to write a story about a select picture in 140 characters or less (including spaces and punctuation).

Ha! It's gonna be so fun taking my first slide down that water slide around the back. They'll never figure out how I got up here, either!
(my count: 137)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

* Nostalgic Sundays *

It's time for another Nostalgic Sunday.

I think I've mentioned more than once that I love iced tea in the summertime.

No matter what cold drink you sip or guzzle in hot weather, the drinking glass (whether it's really glass or plastic, etc.) tends to get tiny droplets of moisture on the outside.

When I was a little girl, in the 1950s, no kitchen was without very important, priceless items, made just for that little inconvenience.......

Little Terrycloth "Sweaters"!

How many of you remember these? You wouldn't believe how time consuming it was to find a set of these in the twenty-first century! I have a set of four: hot pink, pale pink, bright yellow and pale blue.

How I love drinking my iced tea, or Diet soda, from a glass filled with ice cubes.....using my "little terrycloth sweater"!

P.S.  After posting this, I searched online for somewhere to buy these cute little terry cloth covers, and I hit the pay dirt when I wound up on The Vermont Country Store, because they not only have the adorable covers, but also the fabulous, colorful aluminum tumblers of my childhood! These are the drinking glasses we had and used the "sweaters" on!!

(Both photos courtesy The Vermont Country Store)

 "Summer is the time when one sheds one's tensions with one's clothes, and the right kind of day is jeweled balm for the battered spirit. A few of those days and you can become drunk with the belief that all's right with the world." -- Ada Louise Huxtable

Saturday, August 6, 2011

* Intuitive Mentoring *

I did it! About an hour ago, I submitted my story for the Chicken Soup for the Soul book, "Say Goodbye to Stress!" The deadline is tomorrow and I didn't want to be stressing about getting it sent in time. I spent a lot of time on this one, so it probably won't be accepted. Sometimes you can write a story to death. I don't think I did that to this one, but the buzzards were beginning to hover.

That was my third submission to Chicken Soup in two weeks, which is indeed a record. I don't know what's happened to me, but whatever it is, I'm hanging onto it with both hands. I can't wait to begin working on another submission and/or chapter in my memoir. I swear I have never been this enthused and motivated and had such a desire to write.

It would be too much of a coincidence if I didn't consider the Intuitive Mentoring Package I received the end of June, from Eliza Fayle at Silver & Grace. As I've gotten older, I've become more open to new and different ideas, especially when it has something to do with figuring out things about myself. And because of that, I'm truly grateful I won the "A Good Old Rant" package. Ever since then, I have been writing with this new drive and energy. Thank you, Eliza! You are a fabulous mentor.

Please click on the links to learn more about this very neat lady.

"Self-esteem is a huge piece of my work. You have to believe it's possible and believe in yourself. Because after you've decided what you want, you have to believe it's possible, and possible for you, not just for other people. Then you need to seek out models, mentors, and coaches." -- Jack Canfield

Friday, August 5, 2011


I Wonder: I wonder if I can get all the things accomplished that's on my "List of Things to Do", between right now and Sunday night. At the top of the "List" is writing! Writing my memoir, writing for Chicken Soup for the Soul, writing for another anthology, etc. etc.

And because I'm in such a Mojo-Mode of Muse...I'm wackier than ever!



I found these various Writerly Links in the past few days, and I apologize for not explaining what they are, but you'll find out as you click on one after another and arrive in a new place!

Happy Friday, everyone! 
" The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me." -- Ayn Rand

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

* Writerly News *

* I guess my newest contest give-away was a bit too complicated, because there was only one entrant; Susan of Writing Straight from the Heart. Susan and I cooresponded and she was so gracious, asking not to be the winner, soley by default! So, the prizes will go back into my office closet until they are needed. Thanks to all who commented on Susan Bono's Two-Part Interview. I really enjoyed learning more about her.

* Calls for Submission: Bylines Calendar: By, For and About Writers is now accepting submissions for their 2013 desk calendar. Click on Guidelines for information. Publisher/Editor Sylvia Forbes is a delightful woman. I look forward to purchasing the 2012 calendar. ** I forgot to mention that Bylines website is a bit out of date. It's in the process of getting renovated. Sylvia really is taking submissions for the 2013 calendar! **

*This is a really cool calendar, especially for writers!* The website also features tons of links for various websites of interest to .....you guessed it: Writers! (In past years, I know that the lovely Cathy C. Hall and C. Hope Clark both appeared in it. In addition to having a snippet of your writing featured, so is your photo...one of which you provide!)

* Once again I feel I must apologize for not getting around to all the blogs I want to visit. I've been spending much more time actually writing which is a very good thing! So, if you don't see me often, that's the reason. And the same goes for e-mails. If I owe anyone an e-mail and haven't replied in a "normal" amout of time, please contact me. Maybe I didn't receive it or maybe forgot!

"Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again?" -- Winnie the Pooh

Monday, August 1, 2011

Thoughts on Another Hot Monday

This is the 7-Day Forecast for the St. Louis area.
It's approximately the 17th day in a row
of an Excessive Heat Advisory.
(courtesy KSDK TV Channel 5)

Iced tea is my favorite drink in the summer time,
and especially this year.
The pitcher is too dark in this photo, but I wanted
to point out the green grass in the backyard.
This was taken on June 27, 2011.
Our grass now is dry & brown & non-existent.
"What dreadful hot weather we have! It keeps me in a continual state of inelegance." -- Jane Austen