Thursday, June 1, 2023
Wednesday, May 24, 2023
Everybody needs a laugh. This book should do it for you!
Why is my face as large as the frog's?! Ribbit.
Friday, May 19, 2023
I taught them the last letter sounds/blends CH, TH, SH, and OO.
MY THEY'VE LEARNED A LOT THIS YEAR!
Older brother Liam was a nervous wreck on Field Day. "I can't run very well. I have never been good at kick ball." He helped bring his team to victory, FIRST PLACE WIN!
Wednesday, May 3, 2023
A memory popped up on Facebook this morning, and it made me laugh. Charlie is on his way to being five-years-old. When he was barley three, I asked about his boo-boo. He has always been talkative.
"I'm alright, Nana. See, look. I am alive. I 'm not dead."
Yesterday I walked into a big box store and passed the pharmacy. A pharmacy tech spoke loudly on the phone to a customer. "Yes sir that IS actually part of the directions, squat and let it hang like a limp noodle." No idea what he was being treated for, and didn't want to know.
One time we were on a cruise and an obese woman passed by wearing a shirt emblazoned with I BEAT ANOREXIA.
Some things just make you smile, wince. shake your head...
Wednesday, April 26, 2023
I did hit the jackpot with this purchase. I saw a small, flat carrying case on a shelf. Unzipped it and knew if I released the folded up cage inside, I would never get it back in. There was an original sales tag on the unused, NEW item for our sweet, Sassy Boy, who loves-loves-loves his "dad." When Bill goes to the back yard or sits on the patio, this sweet kitty sits at the back door and cries to come out.
He was one happy cat when we took him outside. He resisted his removal with all of his fifteen pounds when it was time to go inside. I think it is going to be a great summer for all of us. He will be next to his "buddy" and be able to view the backyard birds and bunnies.
I paid $5.99 for this collapsible Ruff and Rufus cage. Bill researched it on line. Retail price $50.00.
I'd say that was a bit of good will for Goodwill to sell it at such a discount.
Monday, April 17, 2023
I have been cleaning out closets and discovered these treasured books from the time of my childhood. I am certain they came from yard sales. I bought them because they were so near and dear to my heart.
Romper Room was an early childhood television series in the U.S. from 1953-1994. Miss Lois (there were several teachers over the years) who used a magic mirror to "see" her viewers. She called the names of children she "saw" watching her show. She insisted they be good "Do Bees."Before Sesame Street, which was released in 1969, (when I was pregnant in Alaska and I had nothing elese to view) there was Romper Room which my kids and grandkids watched.
L to R from 1953, 1954, 1935, and 1940. So many little hands must have turned these pages.
Tuesday, April 11, 2023
I received an acceptance from Guideposts, Angels on Earth for one of my stories to be released in August. I am delighted to break into this publication. Hopefully many more.
Spring has arrived and I have sat on the patio and read five books in two weeks. My leisure activity.
For those of you who may have known prolific writer, Georgia Hubley, sadly she passed away last week.
Friday, April 7, 2023
Alex is mechanically inclined, enjoys building and balancing blocks and desinging things. I made a game I call The Jelly Bean Drop. I used a box, three doll rods, and six ketchup cups I got from Wendy's when we ate there a couple weeks ago. Added a bunny, glued the cups to the sticks top and bottom and in various positions. Sort of like Foos Ball standing on end, he had to maneuver the cups of jelly beans to drop to the next level, and eventually fill the jelly bean tray on the bottom. This is the face of excitement at being successful. Many times he was not. He did not give up. He tried again and again. Hard work!
Charlie's hands are not as well developed as Alex's because he is a year younger. He thinks he is just feeding the bunny (paper bunny cut-out taped to a plastic bottle).
Printing and coloring require small hand and finger muscles. He is getting there, but being a lefty is an added frustration for him. He is unaware that he is strengthening those little hands as he drops jelly beans into the bunny's "mouth".
Writers must develop their skills, too. Learning the fundamentals is the groundwork for improvement. Every little thing you write, tweak, or try, helps strengthen your writing.
Wishing you a happy spring, happy Easter, happy day!
Tuesday, April 4, 2023
This evening our area is under a severe storm and tornado risk. Then again, it could miss us completely. I hope damaging winds don't strip our beautiful babies of their blooms.
Because it is supposed to be 86 degrees today, we may pay the price with predicted, yet unpredictable storms. Stay safe folks. Climate change is evident.
Monday, March 27, 2023
Tuesday, March 21, 2023
Bill and I are retirees on different sleep schedules. He takes a two hour afternooon snooze in his mechanical recliner about 2:00 p.m. He blames it on the fuzzy blanket I bought him.
I fall asleep on the couch late evening for couple of hours and wake up to watch the late shows. I head to bed about midnight and we both sleep until the cat goes crazy knocking things off the dresser to let us know he wants to be fed... between 4:30 and 5:00 a.m.
Last night was a doozy in the bedroom. Bill woke up at 1:00 as I was watching an old sitcom and asked why the TV was so loud. I could barely hear it. I said it wasn't. He asked why I was screaming. I was merely talking loud enough so he could hear me.
He then started yelling, "Where is it?"
I fell asleep in my hearing aids. No wonder everything seems so loud. I found one and now I've lost one."
He grumbled into the bathroom, rummaged through the bedding, wandered into the livingroom to check his snooze chair. Came back and said, "It was in the neck of my T shirt."
I flipped off the TV, and if I could have muted him as he rehashed the incident...
Tuesday, March 14, 2023
My sweetest surprise today was a purple hyacinth about to fully bloom. I discovered it poking out of a pile of last fall's leaves which insulates the sedum through the winter. What a delightful fragrance!
I am most happy with the time change. I stay up until 11 pm when we spring forward one hour. In winter, I go down with the sun. I am in my glory these days.
I bought a stack of books and intend to sit outdoors and read just as soon as the temperature rises.
So many people are suffering from horrific weather conditions. I cannot imagine five feet of snow. Talk about cabin fever! I suppose it won't be long and then we will be complaining about the heat. For today, though, I am anxiously awaiting warmer, sunnier days. And I am thankful for nature's surprises.
Sunday, March 5, 2023
My great-grandson Charlie (age 4) woke at the crack of dawn this morning.
Mom: "Hey Charlie. Wanna watch a movie?"
Monday, February 27, 2023
At dismissal, as school children walked home en masse, a gardener at the apartment building across the street stood in the midst of what looked like a multi-colored crazy quilt of tulips. He snipped bouquets of them and presented one to each student. It was the highlight of that sunny spring day. The older gentleman asked us if we knew about Holland where tulips grew and people wore wooden shoes. I couldn't imagine.
What a surprise to come to school the next day and realize Miss Kuntz was presenting a geography lesson on Holland. She even brought in wooden shoes. A coincidence or a teachable moment? Either way it made a life-long impact.
Our wrought iron patio chairs are uncomfortable without the cushions. The seat cushions are now in place. Hubby and I sat out on this mild weekend and watched birds flit from tree to feeder. Those bright red cardinals are busy boys. They share the perch with the brown females, royal blue jays, purple finches, sparrows, robins, mourning doves, and the gackles who try to nudge their way in, too. Bird seeds are scattered in a huge arc under the feeder near the shed, providing nourishment for the squirrels and chipmunks.
The promise of spring means I will soon be reading outdoors, observing nature, and listening to a symphony of birds. Soothing activities for my soul.
Speaking of concerts, Bill and I were flipping through the channels last evening and found a 1960s Pop, Rock, and Soul concert with original artists performing today on the Public Broadcast Station. Oh what a delight to listen to the soundtrack of our youth, sing along with familiar tunes, and sift through the memories in our minds.
"I'm Henry the eighth I am..." Ah, for an hour or so we were lost in time commenting about how old the artists now look. Unlike us, of course.
Friday, February 17, 2023
At this age, unless they are hurting each other, I allow them to collaborate, negotiate, insist, and even demand.
Young children want all of it, and must experience all of it before they can part with any of it. Learning to share means giving up something they deeply desire. It is a natural part of growth and development to resist. Be patient if you have a young one.
Several times this toy was removed without comment and put atop the fridge. Their protests fell on deaf ears. I did not have to say more than once, "We will not fight over this toy."
When they were calm, I placed a large spoon behind it, which depressed the individual tiny plastic sticks to make the indentation. They were amazed, and both squealed they wanted a turn when they saw the spoon image.
That's right, a TURN. Sometimes it is your turn and sometimes it's the other person's turn. They had a blast making inverted images. And then, Charlie took a chance and imposed his face into the gadget and laughed like crazy when he saw his image. So, of course Alex had to do it, too. This toy has been beneficial in ways unexpected.
We discussed how to be calm, wait, and be patient. I stated the consequences if there was fighting and yelling. They soon learned I meant business, and they also learned to cooperate.
This is the way it is with writing. We are all leaving our legacy, our imprint, taking chances, toying and tinkering with our work. Attempting new and different. Discovering what works and doesn't.
And taking turns. Several of my writer friends and I contribute to the same publications that have limited space available for freelance writers. Sure, we are all in competition, but it is a healthy competition. We support one another, even if we are disappointed that our work was rejected. It is how the game is played. Mostly, we are happy and proud of our friend's contribution and publication success.
The way I see it is it was THEIR turn.
We can't all be in first place, but we can all participate in the game.
Write on, my friends. Enjoy the weekend.
Check out Pen and Prosper on my blog list to the right side. Jennifer Brown Banks has a gift for writers.
Monday, February 13, 2023
Link to the book: https://books2read.com/u/mZ0aN2
Self-taught artist Rose O'Neill leaves the Midwest for New York in 1893, determined to become an illustrator in a field dominated by males. Mindful of her duty to the impoverished family she left behind, Rose’s obligations require her to yield to the men who hold the reins of her career.
Yet despite the obstacles facing her, she excels at her craft, eventually designing a new character, the Kewpie. Her creation explodes into a phenomenon, but Rose’s disenchantment with the status quo fosters new ambitions. She must decide whether to remain within the boundaries dictated for her, or risk everything she’s gained to pursue the creative and personal passions that ignite her soul.
The Rose of Washington Square is the story of a remarkable artist, writer, suffragist, and philanthropist whose talents lifted her from obscurity into one of the most famous women of her era.
Pat Wahler is winner of Western Fictioneers' Best First Novel of 2018, a Walter Williams Award winner, and the winner of Author Circle Awards 2019 Novel of Excellence in Historical Fiction for I am Mrs. Jesse James. She has also authored a three-book contemporary romance series-the Becker Family Novels, and two holiday-themed books; all named Five-Star Readers’ Favorites. A frequent contributor to the Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies, Pat is an avid reader with a special passion for historical fiction, women’s fiction, and stories with heart. She makes her home in Missouri with her husband and two rescue critters—one feisty Peek-a-poo pup and a tabby cat with plenty of attitude.
1. What inspired the idea for The Rose of Washington Square?
I enjoy writing women from the past, particularly if they have ties to my home state of Missouri. Doing random searches on women from history in the Midwest, I ran across the name of Rose O’Neill. I knew she’d created the Kewpie Doll, but I really didn’t know much else about her. The more I dug into her numerous accomplishments and realized what a trailblazer she truly was, the more fascinated I became. Before long, I knew I had to write her story.
2. How much research did your book require?
As a writer of historical fiction, I always do a fair amount of research. I need to understand the era, culture, and events of the time period I write. Then there’s a deep dive into correspondence, journals, biographies, plus magazine and newspaper articles related to the specific person I’ve chosen. Next I construct a world timeline alongside a personal timeline to give me a sense of what happened when. If possible, I like to spend time at actual locations that were part of my character’s life to experience what they did. Finally, I plot and outline the story and then on to writing it.
3. How long did it take you to write the book?
The initial research portion took around a year. During the time I began to put words on paper, there were additional pieces of information that came to my attention, so I actually wrote and researched in tandem for another year before I could even glimpse the finish line.
4. How did you come up with your title?
Oh, titles. They’re one of my most difficult decisions. I can’t tell you how many different “working titles” there were for this book. I had a page of possibilities, and over months I pared the list down to three. Oddly enough, none of them really grabbed me, until I had a conversation with my developmental editor. She came up with a suggestion that seemed so simple yet so perfect, I grabbed onto it. The Rose of Washington Square.
5. What advice would you give a writer working on their first book?
Make sure you have good editors and proofreaders who will help you shape your manuscript and polish it until it shines. If traditional publishing is your goal, pitch the manuscript at writer conferences. Submit it to agents or to publishers that don’t require agented submissions. Listen if experienced people in the writing business offer advice. Don’t fall for scammers who are interested in your money, not your manuscript. Many authors find great satisfaction in publishing their own work. Just make sure you have a professional quality cover and product to offer.
Finally, as Winston Churchill once said, “Never, never, never give up.” If you want to be a published author, make that your mantra.
6. What is the best writing advice you were ever given?
The importance of connecting with other writers. Join writing groups and get involved with a critique group. It’s a great way to learn, and I’ve found writers to be extraordinarily supportive. Plus, it’s kind of nice venting to people who not only understand your frustrations but help to celebrate your successes.
Pat: Linda, thank you so much for inviting me to your blog!
Linda: My pleasure. Congratulations and much success to you!
Readers, check out Pat Wahler and her newest release, and please leave a comment below. Isn't that cover beautiful?
Link to the book: https://books2read.com/u/mZ0aN2
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/PatWahlerAuthor
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13504530.Pat_Wahler
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Pat-Wahler/e/B079158GWC
Bookbub Author Page: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/pat-wahler
Thursday, February 9, 2023
Writers sometimes tweak until the original piece is unidentifiable. Do you think it is possible to tweak too much? I have tinkered with a story or poem that resulted in two pieces. Have you?
When is enough just that, enough? Do you know when to quit? Do you have an end in mind, or do you write until you run out of steam? Each to his or her own.
I have read stories and poetry that would have been stronger had they ended sooner. But in my opinion, when free writing, you should let the creative juices flow.
Then go back and edit, cut, discover what needs to stay and what needs to go.
Never say, "I can't!" Always say, "I can try." That was my class motto when I taught. One of my former students, now an adult, wrote to tell me she uses these words to motivate her children.
I had to put into practice what I preached for four decades when I attached these colorful, lightweight balls with masking tape to a cardboard. (The wall would work just as well. Masking tape doesn't leave residue.) I encouraged Alex and Charlie to remove one ball at a time USING ONLY THEIR FEET and place the balls into the basket.
There were many protests of, "I can't do it!" "I quit!" "I am not even playing this game!" As fast as the balls were knocked off and rolling away, I retrieved them and stuck them back on.
When they began to slow down and have success, they laughed, cheered, tried and tried, even when their short legs could not reach the upper balls. I showed them how to scoot their bottoms closer to the wall and reach higher. More success!
It is the same with any craft, nobody starts out a pro. Try, try again until you reach a level of success.
Friday, February 3, 2023
Sunday, January 29, 2023
Wednesday, January 25, 2023
The plaque hangs on the front door during January. It reads, LET IT SNOW... Some place else!
Kitty boy is lucky he no longer has to fend for himself or search for food. We found him in our back yard five years ago when he was three.