Thursday, July 31, 2014


How fun to take the road less traveled,
learn a bit more about history,
and experience something so Americana!
American Gothic
That's me in front of the inside "mini version."

My niece, Tammy and her husband John.
Aren't they fabulous?!

Completed puzzle hanging on wall.

Costumes can be borrowed for photos.

"American Gothic" has been parodied for years!

Another parody. Green Acres is the place for me!
...The chores.
...The stores.
...Fresh air.
...Times Square

And look! Even the "Property Brothers" from HGTV!
(I apologize for the blurry photo!)

If it can be's made!

American Gothic, painted by Grant Wood, approx. 1930.

This is a beautiful site to visit and not that far off the beaten path. It was certainly worth the extra minutes. It has a modern museum and gift shop, photos are allowed, and the staff is very friendly...of course!


This afternoon is my book signing at Ed & Eva's gift shop. More news and photos tomorrow!

"I had to go to France to appreciate Iowa." -- Grant Wood

Monday, July 28, 2014


Help, I'm on a treadmill and I can't get off!
I've been busier than ever the past couple of weeks...all in a good way.

Wednesday evening was the library event.

Then Friday night was Field of Dreams, which was an amazing evening! (Outdoors at beautiful Forest Park in St. Louis! I'll definitely blog more about that at a later date.)

Saturday morning, The Ronald and I drove to a friends' house at Lake of the Ozarks for a weekend getaway. (One of our sons came over and doggy-sat for us.) I had the best little vacation: floated in a swimming pool for hours, got a bit of a tan, ate "just caught" fresh fish, sat on a deck just enjoying the lake with best friends. It was the first time...since I don't even remember...that I didn't worry about writing or marketing or paying bills, etc. Ahhh..... 

Oh I did actually come up with a few chapter titles for my sequel.One could even be a country song title!

Below are two pictures from a 2011 visit.

Taken from the deck (Sept 2011)

While riding on pontoon boat (Sept 2011)

Tomorrow (Tuesday) my niece and her husband are coming for a short visit. They began in Georgia and have made a couple of stops along the way already.

They're just here for one day and then on Wednesday, July 30th, I'm riding with them to my favorite town in Iowa! When they leave to drive farther north, I'll stay another day or two, and then come home. I'm not sure of my agenda yet. I may hitchhike, bicycle, drive, fly, or travel by train. (I suddenly feel like an old-time hobo!)

I'm not sure when I'll write another blog post because I still need to comment on other blogs, and reply to comments left on my blog, etc. etc.

Wishing everyone a beautiful, blissful week!

"Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don't see any." - Orson Scott Card

Thursday, July 24, 2014


A couple of weeks ago I mentioned on Facebook that I had an upcoming event at one of our local libraries, but I don't think I wrote about it on my blog. 
The name of my presentation was:
"My Long and Zig-Zaggy Road to Publication
So, You Think You're Too Old to Write?"
It was last night and lots of fun. About 30 in attendance, great questions, laughter at the appropriate times, and sold some books! The Kisker Road Library (branch of the St. Charles City - County Library District) did a great job hosting the event. Thanks to everyone who came!


For once I actually remembered to bring my "real" camera, not just my cell phone, and then forgot to have anyone take any pictures during the talk! Grrr.... I really wanted to have pictures of the table of cookies and coffee, (provided by the library) the table with my books, business cards, and newsletter sign-up sheet, AND most of all...the people!

So, when The Ronald and I were packing up and the last ones to leave, he took these two pictures!
One fairly normal pose, and
one the usual goofy Becky pose!


A week from today, on July 31st, I'll be in Iowa for a book signing! * If you've read my memoir, you'll know the name of the town and why I've loved it for so many years.*

OH, and speaking of Iowa, The Ronald and I will be joining one of our sons tomorrow night to watch one of my favorite movies >>>>>> Field of Dreams.
"Is this Heaven?'s Iowa."
* I just found out this morning that I'm featured on The Writers' Lens today. Please hop on over and see how I compare writers' block to solving math word problems! *

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Hello! Today I'm once again joining in the fun for Tea Cup Tuesday with Martha's Favorites. Two weeks ago, I participated for the first time in a LONG time and it was great to be back again.

Here's that link for those who are interested:

Today, I'm once again reposting a Tea Cup Tuesday. This time it's from July 3, 2012.

My little display is a set of three that I bought at Home Goods about two years ago. (That would be four years ago now!) I loved it the minute I saw it. It's so summery....and I love peaches, too. It was such a ridiculously low price, I just had to buy it! I don't remember exactly, but it was around $5.00 for all three pieces.

The brand is Maxwell Williams, Designer Homewares
The name of it is Orchard Fruits
Fine Bone China

As you can see, it's not the "typical" tea cup usually shown on Tuesdays. It's more of a coffee cup, wouldn't you say? 

Many times in the summer, I use these for my lunch. It just makes a plain ol' lunch seem fancy and festive!

Ahhhhh, my morning coffee! 

Please excuse my "presentation." I threw this all together and didn't do a very good job!
I just discovered I have more photos of this set that I didn't use in the 2012 post. They are below:

I'm fairly sure the reason I didn't post these is because of "my presentation!" Not a good job AT ALL! My apologies. I promise I'm much better at it now than I was then!

Thanks for stopping by and please come back again. I always post a variety of information and photos: tea cups, coffee cups, dogs (MY dog, Vern!) books, writing, authors, reading, vintage, movies, music, holidays, food, ETC!


"Come, let us have some tea and continue to talk about happy things." -- Chaim Potok


Saturday, July 19, 2014


Happy Saturday, everyone! Today's post is just a collection of ideas, information, and/or goofy things I've done or thought about. And so, in no particular order....

Have you ever been unable to think of how to spell the simplest of words? One in particular has stayed in my memory for many, many years. What was the word? It was was. Yes, indeed. It was approximately 40 years ago and I was handwriting a letter (ah, back in the day) and I could NOT think how to spell the word: was. I even tried writing it different ways on a scratch pad: wuz and wus. LOL

And, so about a month ago, I decided to put some flour in my beautiful Longaberger pottery jar and store it on my baker's shelf. Once again, for the life of me, I could NOT think of how to spell flour. One thing I knew for sure, it wasn't flower. After practicing a time or two, again on a scratch pad, I decided on: flouer. Looks kind of fancy, huh?!


If you mail padded envelopes or boxes, or anything other than the usual letter or post card, and you are given a receipt, here's a possible lesson to learn from me.

I've mailed many copies of my memoir in padded envelopes and they always ship Media Mail, which is the least expensive way to mail books. (Hurray for the post office!) The price is almost always the same, as long as the recipient is in the US, so there's never been a huge price difference. This is an important piece of information for the story I'm sharing!

I always look over my receipt after I get back inside my car, just to make sure all the info is correct. There's all kinds of information on the LONG receipt, which includes city names and zip codes. One time, I saw the city name: Rockville, MD with zip code 20849. I thought Huh? I didn't have an envelope to ship there! It was a mystery for a few seconds until I realized the postal clerk must've keyed in the wrong zip code. I'd written one for Greenfield, IA 50849. So, I walked right back into the post office and talked with the same clerk, showing her my receipt and explaining it all. She thanked me for bringing it to her attention and took care of it. Whew.

Had I not looked it over, and just went by the cost of shipping, I have a feeling that envelope would've been lost forever in The Never Never Land of Lost Mail.

* Don't forget about Margo's fantastic giveaways! The Rafflecopter ends soon.*
"Anyone who can only think of one way to spell a word obviously lacks imagination." -- Mark Twain

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


* It's Major League Baseball's All-Star Week *

I'm happy to have Margo Dill as my guest blogger today. Margo and I met when I attended my first writers conference in 2007. She was the Missouri Writers Guild conference chair that year and in charge of a huge production. She was so kind and helpful to a very green, unpolished, untrained, in-awe-of-the-entire-experience, writer -- yours truly! We became fast friends, partly because we're authors, but also because we have the same sense of humor, and in my book..... that's everything! Margo also helped edit my memoir and she didn't just fix grammatical errors; she suggested different things that I mostly agreed with! If you saw us standing next to each other, we're quite a unique sight. Anyone who remembers an old cartoon strip named Mutt & Jeff will know what I mean. J 
(I'd be the short one!)

Margo is here today to share some thoughts on books, and writing, and fictional characters, and she also brought along some fabulous PRIZES! So, without further ado, Margo, take it away.....

The other night, I couldn’t sleep. There was a storm; my daughter crawled into our bed; then our power went out, which made me worry. So I grabbed a flashlight and a book I had been mildly interested in, Beautiful Oblivion by bestselling author Jamie McGuire, thinking it would put me right to sleep.


Turns out, McGuire drew me in with her hero and heroine, both twenty-something flawed, delightful people trying to figure out love and life, and I couldn’t put the book down. I stayed up past 5:00 am, trying to finish it. I couldn’t figure out why I had been so drawn in.

My mom (I know it’s my mom, but just bear with me) said the same thing about my second novel, Caught Between Two Curses, which is a young adult novel with love, magic, and baseball. She read the whole thing in one day, and the only reason this makes me a bit happy is because it took her weeks to finish my first middle-grade novel, Finding My Place (if she ever really did finish it!). So what was it about my YA novel that made her stay up all night? Why did I stay up reading about people 20 years younger than me?

My mom’s theory is these books take us back to our youth, something about the characters makes us connect with them and reminds us about ourselves. I think she’s on to something here. Most readers have connected with Julie, my 17-year-old main character trying to figure out love and what sex has to do with that while also breaking a curse that’s been on her family for decades. But a couple haven’t, and those reviews have read something like: “Margo Dill is a good writer, but I didn’t like Julie and wished she wouldn’t be so stupid.” OUCH! But these readers didn’t connect with her, so that’s okay.

I checked reviews on Beautiful Oblivion—most were 4 and 5 stars, but she got a few bad ones and most people just didn’t get the characters.

So is that what draws us in? Characters that remind us of ourselves in some way? I think this is probably true for 95 percent of readers—think about books that are a series—most of the time a book is part of a series because a good writer has created a remarkable character, and readers want to know MORE about this character. I can name a hundred (I won’t, Becky would kill me), but think about it: Harry Potter, Alex Cross, Mma Ramotswe, Katniss Everdeen, and so on.
So here’s to the characters we love—whether we write them or we read them. And hopefully if you have a chance to check out Caught Between Two Curses this week during the All-Star Sale and Contest (details below), you’ll connect with Julie, just like my mom did.

Margo Dill
Thank you, Margo! And now bloggers, please continue to read all about Margo's very generous sale prices and FREEBIES!

DETAILS: Margo’s book, Caught Between Two Curses, is on sale this week thanks to baseball’s All-Star Game!

You can find out all the details about the sale here (,

but basically, the e-book for KINDLE is on sale for $1.99 (July 16-17) and $2.99 (July 18-19).

An autographed copy of the print book is available for $5.00 off the cover price--$6.95. 

Thanks to All-Star week, she is also having a contest with a prize of one $25 gift card to one of 5 restaurants (Olive Garden, Starbucks, Panera Bread, Applebee’s, TGI Friday’s) (U.S. mailing addresses only please)

And a 3000-word free edit (anywhere in the world, English-language only).

Enter to win those prizes on the Rafflecopter form below—no purchase necessary!

Check out more about Margo and her books at:


Sunday, July 13, 2014


It's Time for Another Nostalgic Sunday

* I'm reposting a Nostalgic Sunday from April 22, 2012. Hopefully it will be new to many bloggers or a favorite for others to revisit. *

Off and on for the past couple of years, I've thought about the cardboard sewing cards I had when I was a little girl. They were lightweight cardboard, about 6" square, and had drawings on them, with holes punched in certain areas. The set also came with colorful yarn lengths that had the little *plastic coating at the ends, so they wouldn't unravel.*
( * New update: Did you know?....... An aglet (or aiglet) is a small plastic or metal sheath typically used on each end of a shoelace, cord, or drawstring. An aglet keeps the fibers of the lace or cord from unraveling; its firmness and narrow profile make it easier to hold and easier to feed through the eyelets, lugs, or other lacing guides.* )

(Above two pictures are from Kim

Here's one from Back 2 Vintage
See the "sewing" around Wendy on the left, and the tea pot on the right? I didn't  have these exact cards, but I had hours of fun with mine. They were great because they could be used over and over.

(google image)

Another favorite of mine....Paper Dolls!
And I LOVED the Lennon Sisters.
My family watched them every week on
The Lawrence Welk Show.
 Since I had two older sisters, I always felt like I was Janet,
 the youngest Lennon sister.
We even sang and harmonized a little bit.
I have such wonderful memories of my early years.

What about you? Did you have sewing cards and/or paper dolls? What were your favorites?

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

"There is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place where colors are brighter, the air softer, and the morning more fragrant than ever again." ~Elizabeth Lawrence

Thursday, July 10, 2014


The Mark Twain House & Museum’s Inaugural "Royal Nonesuch" Humor Writing Contest for writers of all ages from all corners of the globe......THE DEADLINE HAS BEEN EXTENDED! 

Although, I didn't see it listed anywhere on the website except for these small words in the Guidelines: Ends in 4 days, 11 hours, I received an e-mail yesterday, stating that the deadline has been extended to July 14th, 2014

So, there's still time for those interested in submitting a humorous story!

Blue Mountain Arts is looking for greeting card poetry/prose! The earliest deadline is July 15, 2014 for their "Christmas & General Holiday" cards. Scroll down to the bottom of the Writers Guidelines page to find out about the other upcoming cards.
Blue Mountain Arts is also having its Twenty-fifth Biannual Poetry Card Contest. Deadline is December 31, 2014.
And of course, there's always submissions going on at NYMB...Not Your Mother's Book, which wants "....only hip, fun, modern and very-much-today type stories that will entertain our readers."
And at Chicken Soup for the Soul, which most people are familiar with.

A clean corner of my desk...a long time ago!

* Welcome to my two newest followers Sherry at The Charm of Home, and Fabby at Fabby's Living. I hope you'll both stop by often and always enjoy what you read and see! *

"I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by." -- Douglas Adams
"One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple." -- Jack Kerouac

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


Those who have followed my blog for a long time probably remember the times I participated in Tea Cup Tuesdays. I really enjoyed it and seeing all the gorgeous tea cup sets, but I didn't have enough in my small collection to continue very long! (Also, I think my writing needed to move up on my "Important Things to Do List!")

I'm fairly certain that when The Ronald and I moved last year, I gave some away....
I know! How crazy was that?? I haven't even opened the boxes that are labeled Tea Cups and/or Tea Pots because I really don't have anywhere to showcase them. Just writing this post, though, made me decide to go through those boxes and see what I have! I'm reposting my Tea Cup Tuesday blog from July 5, 2010...almost exactly four years ago.

It's "Tea Cup Tuesday" and I'm joining Martha's Favorites.

I'm truly excited to show one of my recent finds at the Antique Mall near my home. I think this particular set is so unique. First of all, it's not pink! It's a lovely golden yellow, on a white background, trimmed in gold.

Also, the edges of both the cup and saucer are slightly scalloped, which adds even more beauty, I think.

The "back" side of the cup has just the one flower bud .

And the Pièce de résistance below.............


Isn't that hilarious?? I think if I were the owner, I would've removed that before I attempted to sell it! How many of you are familiar with the old Kresge stores?? We had them in St. Louis when I was really young. They were similar to Woolworth's.....kind of a small discount/department store, before there were K-Marts and such. (I think the same man, Mr. Kresge, also owned K-Mart.)

I paid $4.99 for the set, but I would've paid a lot more, just because I loved the old-fashioned price tag!!
* If you have any tea cups you'd like to show, please join in the fun! They don't have to be anything fancy, and they don't even have to be china. Once or twice I shared some photos of my crocheted tea cups! Just click on Martha's link above.*

"The mere chink of cups and saucers tunes the mind to happy repose." -- George Gissing

Monday, July 7, 2014


My memoir give-away on Goodreads is now up and running >>>>
See gadget on right.

 *This time I'm offering a free print coply to readers not only in the US, but also Canada, Great Britain, and Australia! *

It ends July 18th at midnight (which time zone, I'm not sure!)

Be back later.....for other news and thoughts.
Google image

Thursday, July 3, 2014


I got a kick out of the comments left on my previous post. Only two people, Myra and Marcia, mentioned anything about my habit of leaving music on for Vern!! J

While I'm at my desk and he's lying on the daybed next to me, I always have some kind of music playing then, too. When I first started writing, I couldn't have any music on except "easy listening" instrumentals. Anything else interfered with my thoughts and writing was impossible.



Okay, remember when I said Don't start applauding, yet, though! on Tuesday's blog post? Well after losing all that weight and being so happy with myself....the horribly cold, freezing, frigid, icy, numbing, arctic, Siberian, Polar Vortex arrived and I was homebound for what seemed like months! So, what did I crave? In the beginning, it was Comfort Food. Any kind would do. Then the carbs started their invisible tug, and I was eating sweets like there was no tomorrow. For a while, my weight really didn't change. (It tricks us that way!) But after quite a while, the pounds began to show up on the bathroom scales and in how my clothes fit. I told myself I had plenty of time to lose the weight and everything would be fine.
But, as I gobbled everything in sight while sitting in my recliner, watching TV, wearing warm slippers, sweat suits, and covered up with a quilt, the willpower didn't return. Then I ate my way through spring, and now half the summer!! I'm really aggravated at myself, but obviously not enough to do something about it. All I can say is Thank Goodness I haven't gained ALL those 25 lbs. back. I actually got weighed at a doctor appointment today and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Whew!
I guess my stubborn determination can only focus on one project at a time, and during these past seven months, I've used it solely to promote and market my memoir.

One of my relatives said something to me the other night that kind of surprised me. In a round about way, I took her words to mean that I've worked so hard for so long, that maybe it was time to slow down, or maybe even quit. But I know she just doesn't understand. If I wasn't receiving great reviews on Amazon, or praise from other authors, then it would certainly be time to take a hard look at myself and my writing. But that's not how it is. I still believe in my memoir. I believe it will become very well known the way most books do, by word of mouth. I still have so much to do and so many places to go. Quitting has never entered my mind. I gotta keep on keepin' on! 
 P.S. Please notice my Goodreads Book Giveaway at the top of the right hand column. Almost anyone can enter to win one free print copy of my memoir. I'm offering it not only to US residents, but also to readers in Canada, the UK, and Australia!    

JULY 4th * I thought my giveaway would've been approved overnight, but as of early this morning it hasn't, so I removed the gadget for now. My apologies! I'll put it back on as soon as I get the okay. * AND, I guess the good folks at Goodreads had the day off today, which makes sense, so hopefully, my giveaway will be up and going tomorrow?? Saturday?? OR, maybe not until Monday. Whatever happens, I'll be sure to post it on my blog! Thanks for being patient.
Happy Independence Day, America
*Monday, July 7th: I received approval overnight from Goodreads, so I will be posting about my giveaway now. *
"No one succeeds without effort. Those who succeed owe their success to perseverance." -- Ramana Maharshi


Tuesday, July 1, 2014


I love the song, "What a Difference a Day Makes." The lyrics are powerful and when sung by Dinah Washington, pure gold. It popped into my mind the other day when I was thinking about my life last year at this time and how different it is now.
The Ronald and I moved last spring which was a huge change and yet thinking back on it, went rather smoothly. I didn't write much of anything for quite a while except blog posts. (Do they count as "writing?!") My mind was a jumbled mess, but hey....that's nothin' new for me, is it?
As we unpacked and I began to get settled in, I mentally searched for answers concerning my memoir. At the time, I still wasn't finished with it! The chapters were complete, but not in any kind of order. I hadn't written a forward or acknowledgments, either. And I was still trying to decide how to publish it.
Another thing that was happening was I'd made up my mind to lose weight. I don't think I blogged about it because usually when I make "the big announcement" about being on a diet, I immediately lose all will power. The day we moved, I made up my mind then and there, to begin the following day. And I did. And I stuck to it. And over the summer I lost 25 lbs. (Don't start applauding, yet, though!) I walked a lot, did a few simple floor exercises, and practically went Cold Turkey as far as eating was concerned. I ate tiny servings of food, no matter what it was. I didn't give up anything, but I also lived on less than 1000 calories a day. I did not suffer. I loved it and it felt so good to fit into smaller sizes of clothing. (It was easy! It reminded me of when I quit smoking, Cold Turkey, about 30 years ago. It was just the Right Time for each accomplishment, I guess, since I began and quit smoking and dieting zillions of times.)
I made my publication decisions. I completed my memoir. And I self-published it with Createspace in November. All in all, it was quite a year.
Stay tuned for the next installment of "What a difference a year makes." Hope to see you there! (I changed the color on five important words above!.....)
P.S. Sometimes when I leave to go on errands, I turn the TV to a music channel for Vern to listen to while I'm gone! Yes, I really do! He likes Golden Oldies and Classic Country the best, so yesterday it was Classic Country. You won't believe what song was playing when I walked in the door..... Charlie Rich's "Rollin' With the Flow." True! (see blog post from June 27th.) Ahhh, another one of my Twilight Zoney, Cosmic moments.
"The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance." ~Alan W. Watts