Monday, September 23, 2019

Humbling tumbling bee

We have had hardy plants called sedum  growing in our yard for years. The plants are flowering now. But the insects are mostly small butterflies, a few honey bees, and flies. Until this year, those plants were covered in bumble bees, monarch butterflies and every winged insect imaginable.

I was delighted to discover this happy little bee when I took the boys on a walk the other day.
 Its body was like velcro for the pollen.

It made Alex and me laugh out loud when the little bee started rolling around and tumbling inside the flower collecting pollen and nectar. MADE MY DAY!

This activity made Alex's day. He hammered golf tees inserted into foam leaves, with letters printed on them, into his pumpkin. When he arrived at our house and saw the pumpkin in the living room, he lifted it and carried it around, so happy, and he kept saying, "My punkin."

Total cost, $4.00: Dollar Store items, $2.00, (golf tees and leaves) a pumpkin $2.00.

Benefits: hand-eye coordination, new vocabulary words and conversation, as he hammered with his toy hammer, and pride from a job well done. He is only being introduced to letters and his name.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Have you ever been misled?

As a writer, have you ever been sorely mistaken? One thing I have learned is always be sure to read contributor's guidelines carefully, especially the fine print.

Once I submitted to a contest in which the prize was a free book. I followed the guidelines for word count and content, and I was hopeful I would win. I didn't. 

I had failed to read the small print that stated eligible contestants would be selected from a specific geographic area of the country, which I did not live in. I should have never even entered the contest.    

Last week the little dudes and I stopped for tomatoes at Stuckmeyer's Farm.

Charlie kicked and flailed with excitement, anticipating being placed in the pumpkin patch display. EWW! Once there, he wanted no part of the straw, and Alex wasn't that fond of it either.

 Before long Charlie was back in his preferred environment playing in his comfort zone.

It's that way with me, too. I'm soon over it and moving on to the next thing. How about you?

Sunday, September 8, 2019

When a bird eats from your hand

My facial expression looks just like Alex's when I receive an acceptance on my writing for publication. I have received four rejections out of 16 submissions last month. Part of the writing game. Yes it is painful, but I will continue to write and submit.

I took one-year-old Charlie and two-year-old Alex to Grant's Farm on a very hot day. But it was worth it to see their excitement and enjoyment as they interacted with the birds and animals and took a (choo-choo) tram ride through the acreage where large animals crossed the road and meandered. 
Alex loved feeding the birds inside the large birdcage. He giggled when the birds ate off his stick.

Charlie was so fascinated with the birds, especially when a blue one landed on my hand. He reached for it, and I said, "No-no." He drew his hand back and watched the bird fly to the ceiling.

Sometimes NO is the final answer, but that doesn't mean my work is sub par. It most likely means my work doesn't fit editorial needs at the moment. Don't let a rejection stop you.
After naps, I gave the boys a homemade game I devised with a cardboard, lunch box-type container. I made a slit in the top so they could deposit the chips. Charlie was so thrilled when Alex allowed him to play, too. He jabbered and babbled at him. He couldn't believe Alex wasn't shouting, "No! Mine!"
Arms and legs were kicking and flailing when I unlatched the clasp and dumped the entire container of chips all over the floor. Alex was so excited he let them rain down on his head, then he picked up a handful and tossed them at Paw paw Bill, who joined in the fun.

Young children have to experience all of something before they can part with some of it. Writers get possessive, too. They keep ideas or markets close at heart. But sharing is nice and makes you a winner, even if your friend gets an acceptance and you don't. That's life!

As you go about your week, remember to throw your hands up and shout thanks to someone (other  than me) who has provided you with a writer's tip, a kind word, or some other kind of inspiration. Smiles are contagious pass one on.

Here is a link for women who may be interested in writing a personal essay for Quiet Mountain.

Sunday, September 1, 2019


Have you ever been stuck in a writing rut?

Two-year-old Alex frequently uses the word "stuck." He shouts it when he wants to get out of his car seat or his mealtime booster chair. Recently he yelled, "STUCK!"  at The Magic House Children's Museum. 

A family member sent him down the spiral slide from the second story. Half way between the two floors he spread eagle and refused to move. No matter how I coaxed him, he insisted he was STUCK. And he was, even though it was of his own volition. I had to go in for the rescue. It wasn't a pretty sight, and I was afraid I'd get STUCK too, for real!
I touched his foot and convinced him I had him. He turned loose and sped past me, almost knocking me off my feet. Relieved he laughed, and I hugged him.

Have you ever gotten stuck in your writing? Completely stuck? Every time I try to write short fiction, I get to a point where I cannot figure out what to write next. Happens all the time. So, I place my story in a folder labeled STUCK, and I wait. Sometimes a day, a week, a month, or longer.

Has anyone ever given you a helping hand? Liam and Alex wanted to join hands with the sculpture kids for a pretend game of Ring Around the Rosie. 

I'm grateful other writers have helped me, therefore I help others. Some times you might just need a new person to view your work. Somebody to point out the good, and then gently critique or offer a positive suggestion. Or to offer a suitable market for your work.

Ring around the Rosie... we ALL fall down at sometime in our writing life. Maybe you just need to rest, a time to recoup, but don't you QUIT.

Take a peek at old files and see if you can tweak them into something that makes you WANT to write today.  Click Here for a list of possible publishing opportunities.