Friday, March 30, 2012

A to Z Theme Reveal, and Vote!

A to Z 2012 A to Z is just two days away. Just two days!!!! Are you ready? I am partially ready, partially going to be flying by the seat of my pants. It will be interesting, fun, and challenging.
My goals are to keep my posts under 300 words, hovering around 250 if I can, always include a picture, and to try and stick with my theme which is . . .creativity toolbox.

What in the world do I mean by creativity toolbox?

Well, I hope to explore different ways to expand creativity in writing and in life.

Where did I get that idea from?

Karen Lange's post Got Creativity
and from this article she cited, 12 Things You Were Not Taught In School About Creative Thinking

Why the focus on creativity?

To combat that feeling that I have sometimes that my writing has gone stale and repetitive, and to encourage others to be creative.

Please go vote at Unicorn Bell. My story, "The Identity Crisis of Captain Wrath" made it into the top five. There are four other great stories up for vote too. Please go read them and vote your choice!

See you around the blog world from A to Z!!!

Thursday, March 29, 2012


I am totally surprised by the totally unexpected placement of my story in the top 5 of the Picture Paints a Thousand Words Blog Hop contest. Please stop by there, read all the entries and vote. You don't have to vote for mine. I didn't. But please give the authors some love, and then stop by the original post with the linky list and read all the awesome entries!

Thank you Unicorn Bell!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Just wanted to let you all know that I feel much better today. Thanks for the awesome descriptions of sickness - I needed to laugh, it always makes me feel better. Also, if you want to read my entry for the "A Picture Paints a Thousand Words" blog hop, go here or just scroll down to my last post.

I am missing the Sensational Haiku Wednesday, and regular type posting in general today because I am plotting, planning, and preparing for the A to Z Challenge. I'll be back on Friday for a short "reveal" of my theme, and then the first week of A to Z I'll be skiing all week with 13+ family members. . .but I plan to drop in on as many blogs as I can in the early morning or late evening. I just need to get those first seven posts pre-written so I'll be able to ski, visit with family, and actually get some sleep too. (I'm not like some amazing bloggers out there, I need 7-8 hours rest each night to be an ok person)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Picture Paints a Thousand Words Blog Hop

Many thanks to Unicorn Bell for hosting A Picture Paints a Thousand Words Blog Hop!

Here's my entry: The Identity Crisis of Captain Wrath

                Moonbeams shining eerily through clumps of clouds, a flock of watergulls skimming the rim of the Western Edge, sails taut against the wind and the Dauntless racing along the sea  . . .it should have been exciting, but it wasn’t. Not for Captain Wrath, aka Douglas Cranton, Jr., who had made this voyage every night for the last three lunar years.

                He sighed to himself in his cabin, pouring over the passenger list. In the next few hours he had a burial at sea, a wedding, and a christening to perform. All of these duties, plus he needed to recite his stirring speech about the danger and excitement, the glory of life and death, and all that nonsense about living on the edge of the known world. It was all balderdash.  Out of all the cruise ship captain jobs available to him after flunking out of the Royal Space Navy, he had landed this one. At the time, it seemed more exciting than the pleasure cruises to the “Forbidden” Isles.

                Someone knocked on his door, and he welcomed the interruption. “Come in,” he said in a low, booming voice that he adopted for his job.

                “Sir, it’s just me,” said Telli, the cook, entering with a soft step and a discreet closing of the door behind her. Her face looked pinched with worry. “It seems we have a small problem with the wine we need for our three ceremonies and the finale speech.”

                Douglas groaned, and ran his right hand over his face with weariness and frustration. In his normal tone, he asked, “Would that small problem be Syparian Sea Slugs or Davies?” Davies, the first mate had a penchant for alcoholic drink. In fact, he had been transferred from one of the Forbidden Isle cruises due to his inability to say no to wine or women.

                “I think it’s the slugs this time, sir,” said Telli. “I put out the salt like you showed me and the beer traps . . . although I think Davies drank those.” She whined and cowered a little as she spoke, keeping in her role as cowed cook for Captain Wrath.

                “Telli,” he said softly. “We don’t need to stay in our roles in my office. I believe you did your best, as always.”

                “Oh, I couldn’t be too familiar with you, sir. You’re Captain Wrath when you’re on this ship, sir. Don’t forget that.”

                “I’m still Douglas underneath all this,” he growled, waving his hand over his ghastly makeup and heavy black beard.

                “Sir!” she said sharply. “We need a Captain Wrath, and I think, if you don’t mind my saying, that this job is far more enjoyable when you play your part.”

                He sighed, and stood, strapping on his double blaster belt, and his sword. Thankfully the blasted parrot had died last season and he didn’t have anything on his shoulder squawking in his ear.

                Outside his cabin, Doug took on the role of Captain Wrath for the sake of the paying passengers. He stomped in his heavy black boots, swore at the crew, and threw open the door to the ships’ mess with a thunderous bang. Once there, he slammed the door shut behind him, and then walked quietly to the wine cellar. The salt circles around the bottles were still intact. There were no slime trails, but there were little foot prints, and he thought he saw movement out of the corner of his eye.  He turned quickly, and overturned a few of the rum jugs in his haste, grabbing at a pair of legs.

                The little being struggled in his grasp for a moment, and then became quiet with affronted dignity. It appeared to be a very small man dressed in green. “Unhand me at once, you oaf,” he shouted squeakily.

                “What the devil!” shouted Doug, not even having to try for his Captain Wrath impersonation this time. He glared at the little man, and gave him a small squeeze. “I don’t recall any Leprachanarian on my passenger list!”

                Doug felt little pinpricks of pain on his ankle and looked down to see a horde of the tiny little people stabbing him with their tiny knives.

                “Stop, or I will stomp on you,” he shouted. “You’re all charged with trespassing, assault, and damages to Universal Cruise Lines.” Then with the hook on his left hand he fumbled with his com button. “Cookie, get in here. We have stowaways aboard,” he snarled. “Bring a sack.”

                “A sack, sir?”

                “We have an infestation of Leprachanarian trespessers,” he growled.

                “We’ll give you our gold,” said the little man in his hand.

                “I’m not falling for that one,” said Doug. “Your people are the reason I was thrown out of the Royal Space Navy.”

                “You’re Doug Cranton?” the little man peered at him, with a smile at the corner of his mouth. “That Doug Cranton?” He started to giggle.

                “I’m Captain Wrath aboard this ship,” snarled Doug. “Don’t you forget it.”

                “That’s right,” said Tilli, from behind him. She smiled at him, and then using a broom and a catchall bag, she swept up the other Leprachanarians in one swooping blow.

                “Nice work, Cookie,” Doug said. “Now, throw them in the bilge with the rats, and find us some drink in the cargo hold. We have paying passengers to attend to before the moon sets.”

                “Yes, sir,” she said, seriously, and then she winked. “Nice to have Captain Wrath aboard tonight.”

I had a much different idea in mind when I chose this picture, but Doug, aka Captain Wrath, kept popping in my head and I had a hard time sticking with anything serious. For me, the picture was more like a writing prompt, and the story took off in a different direction from that starting point. For more awesome information and to see some of the amazing pics for this blog hop, follow the link above and check it out.



Monday, March 26, 2012

Too sick, will post later

Sickness rose up unexpectedly . . . I'll post tomorrow or just postpone until Wednesday. I'm feeling a bit better at the moment, and have been wondering if there is anyone to post about sickness in a humorous way.

So sick, I though I might hurl up my knickers? . . .no, that's just wrong.

Any ideas on describing sickness?

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Versatile Blogger Award

The Versatile Blogger AwardMany thanks to Yadin Bromberg for giving me the Versatile Blogger Award!!! This is sweet! I just met Yadin, and if you don't know him yet, I highly encourage you to check out his blog!

The rules/instructions that go with The Versatile Blogger Award:
1. Thank the blogger who gave the award and provide a link to their blog.
2. Select 15 bloggers you've newly discovered or follow regularly and give them the award. (I expanded this to include some bloggers that I've followed for a long while, but have lost touch with recently so I'm rediscovering them)
3. Finally, tell 7 things about yourself.

So, again, many thanks to Yadin!

There are so many awesome bloggers out there, but I have to choose 15 . . .so the award goes to:

Joanne at 10minutes2breathe
Pam at  2encourage
Taryn at A Fool's Golden Paradise
Ali Cross
Susan J. Reinhardt
Christine at Christine's Journey
Luana at Emerald City
Jennie at Garden Full of Lily
Allison at GeekBanter
Laurel at Laurel's Leaves
Ellen at Pink Tea and Paper
Julie at Silver Lining
Tricia at Talespinning
Tara at TaraTylerTalks
Kathleen at Writing, Reading, and Life

Wait, I just noticed I awarded all ladies . . .I'm not sure how that happened. Sorry guys . . .but I guess it's ladies award day!

Now, seven things about me:

1. I love tea, but recently started liking coffee. It's part of the reason I stopped drinking caffeine. To join the legions of coffee drinkers in the Northwest seemed too lemming like for me. LOL - actually I stopped drinking caffeine because it was messing with my sleep and my diet. Mint tea, and Vanilla Chai Decaf are my favs right  now.

2. I love to dance, but my left foot keeps me from dancing all that often. I love watching tap videos . . . like of Fred Astaire, Gene Kelley, my daughters, and Greg Russell. Who's Greg Russell? He's an awesome tapper and tap teacher who taught at a dance convention my daughters went to a few years ago. I'm not really into the Lord of the Dance type tapping . . .too stiff, no humor.

3. I love to laugh. Tonight I'm going to see Tim Hawkins and I'm looking forward to laughing until I roll around on the floor.

4. I love being a writer. I love writing, editing, and even revising although that part feels like work sometimes.

5. I love teaching. I love teaching my kids (we homeschool). I love teaching writing and literature classes at our homeschool co-op.

6. My name, Tyrean, is a name that my parents thought was unique. They made it up based on a character from a John Wayne movie that had two lines (I counted). His name was Tyre and he was a scout. They wanted my name to be more feminine (which to them meant it had to have an "n" at the end), and they didn't want it to have two "e"s in it. Hence, "Tyrean" pronounced with a "een" sound at the end but not spelled that way. Turns out there are many "Tyreans" out there - some from America and some from Ireland. I could tell many tales of mispronunciations and even arguments I had with subsitute teachers about the correct way to say my name. I even had an English teacher who told me that "ea" doesn't make a hard "e" sound. Hmm, really, what about "read, leak, teak, squeak, mean, lean"? I think in many ways my love of language came from the defense of my name.  

7. I love the Lord with all my heart, soul,  mind and strength. My faith is part of all that I do, even when I make mistakes.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sensational Haiku Wednesday: Battle

Sensational Haiku Wednesday is here again! This week's theme: Battle.

Weariness clashes
With vigorous sword strokes that
Beat down enemies

Opponents silenced
The warriors pause, swords dropped
Waiting for the horn

Robust but hollow
The bellow releases them
Until the next call

Orginally when I saw this week's theme, I thought . . .oh, easy. Ha! I thought I would include something of my story here . . .but then I read the news each day, and battle seemed a painful subject. So somehow, I ended up with those three haiku linked together . . .and I'm not sure if that really makes a haiku when there are three of them connected. It's more  of a senryu, I think.

So, anyone else have a poem or a story go a different direction than you orginally intended?
Ever have the news affect your writing?

If you would like to join Sensational Haiku Wednesday or just know more of what it's about, see Jenn at You Know That Blog

Scripture Verse that's been running through my head this week: "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9

Monday, March 19, 2012

She Sparkles, Self Discipline, and the Blessings of Ergonomics

She Sparkles is hosting an awesome, ongoing scripture memory challenge and I've been falling behind . . .a lot. However, I'm trying to catch up today.

D - "Devote yourself to prayer, being watchful and thankful." Colossians 4:2

E - "Every good and perfect gift is from above." James 1:17

F - "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, love, and of self-discipline." 2 Timothy 1:7

 The  F verse really hit home for me. I've been way too timid lately with my writing, and well, with a lot of different things in life. I need to remember God is with me, his love can shine through me, and he can give me the ability to have self-discipline in all things.

I gave up caffeine a while back, but gluttony has been too close of a companion for far too long. If I kicked the caffeine habit and suffered through all the pain of that, I can kick the gluttonous lazy girl syndrome. I'm not talking about 2 pounds here, I'm talking about 30 . . .and a left foot that won't heal up until I lose that weight. It's time to be serious and self-disciplined.

And now onto The Blessings of Ergonomics. I've been having pain in my right wrist and arm lately after I've been typing. My super sweet, wonderful husband bought me this perfect, unexpected present on Saturday:

And it's awesome! I can type without pain now!!! Hooray!

Now, the only pain I need to feel each day is from those leg lifts I really need to do.
I will defeat the pear shape!

Do you have any issues with timidity or self-discipline? If so, how do you deal with it?

Oh, and Guess What?! Karen Lange is celebrating her blogaversary with chocolate! Go to her blog, Write Now for details! Happy Blogaverary Karen!!!!

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Lucky Meme Award and My Toughest Beta Reader

Many Thanks to Tara Tyler who awarded me with The Lucky Meme award!!!
Here are the rules for receiving this award:
  1. Go to page 77 of your current MS.
  2. Go to line 7.
  3. Copy down the next 7 lines - sentences or paragraphs - and post them as they're written. No cheating.
  4. Tag 7 authors.

From page 77 of The Crystal Sword
As she reached the tunnel entrance, Master Dantor reached out a hand to stop her from exiting. “We have to hold them until our people reach the ship,” he explained.

          “There’s a ship?!” Clara said.

          “We were the last refugees from the city, and we have some unexpected friends,” he said. Now, I need you, Stelia, and Salene to help me slow these scum down.”

          “Yes, sir,” Clara said, wishing she could at least step out of the cave into the sunshine. She wished that good strategy would allow them more fresh air.

Congrats to these lucky 7 authors:
L.G. Smith at Bards and Prophets
The Golden Eagle at The Eagle's Aerial Perspective
Karen Lange at Write Now
Emily R. King at Get Busy Writing
Justin W. Parente at In My Write Mind
Allison at Geek Banter
Tag, you're it!

Keeping to rule #3 was tough for me on this one because currently I'm struggling with my third draft. I made major plot changes. The ending seemed impossible to write, and I kept writing junk chapters that delayed writing the end. I struggled and struggled, and finally decided to print out the mess and see if it made more sense after I had killed a small tree.

My ten-year-old daughter woke up in the midst of the print job, and asked if she could read it. I gave her a pink highlighter, and she found two typos in the first ten minutes of reading, asked me questions like "why doesn't the evil villainess kill the king off and just take over?" and in the midst of our discussion gave me an idea that helped me write one of the end scenes.

So I really wanted to fix that section from page 77, but instead I covered my draft with pink and green highlighters, and orange sticky notes.

Anyone else in the midst of a struggle to end their manuscript? Have any kid beta readers who are willing to ask you tough questions about your plot?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Haiku Wednesday

Introduced to Sensational Haiku Wednesday by Tara Tyler, I decided to give it a try this week . . . and it was challenging, but challenging is good, right?
Especially when I've been feeling like my blog and my writing both need something new, a kick of creativity.
So, enough, meandering and stalling  . . . here's my haiku for Sensational Haiku Wednesday. The theme this week is excite(ment).

jumping on tip toes
amber hair flying up
hands outstretched

my daughters dance -
faces shining, taps making
music for the soul

If you would like to check out Sensational Haiku Wednesday go to You Know That Blog and find out more! Next week's Wednesday theme is battle . . . hmm.

So, what do you do to jump start your creativity?

Monday, March 12, 2012

An Indoor Day

(free image, borrowed)

If you look closely at the picture you'll see the cat's disgruntled reflection in the glass. I wish I had captured my cat like this . . .she seems to think that the rain is my fault. A little drizzle doesn't bother her, but today is a full out rain kind of day, and she went from door to door asking to be let out, and looking at me when the heavy rain happened to be outside every single door . . . as if I had turned on a mega sprinkler outside every exit.

Finally, she decided to go out on our back deck and dig her claws into the doghouse a few times to ease the tension.

The rain is actually beautiful, especially when it clings to the railing in heavy drops along the edge of the deck.

My students at our homeschool co-op were awesome.
Their attitudes were perfect, my creative writers club/class wowed me again,
my writers' workshop adventure class enjoyed writing a skit together,
and my C.S. Lewis class wrote "we love you Mrs. Martinson" on the board before I came in . . .
and I loved reading their character diaries for the characters in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, one of my favorite books.

But I feeling like letting out a sigh, and cuddling up in a large pile of my grandma's old handmade quilts (nearly in tatters now), and having a huge cup of tea and calling it a day.

Why do I feel like Puddlegum instead of Reepicheep today? I'm not sure. At least I'm not having a Eustace kind of day, although my cat clearly is.

Ever have a day like that? The kind of day where the world is pretty wonderful, but instead of embracing it you feel like wrapping yourself up in a blanket with a mug of something hot and a good book?

I need to take my girls to ballet, but I am tempted to just curl up and read The Voyage of the Dawn Treader again.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Eyes WIDE Open

"Hey, look, it's a woodpecker," exclaimed a young girl at my daughter's 13th birthday party, as we stood outside our house.

"Oh, yeah, we see them all the time," I said.

The day went on, and I dismissed the conversation, until a few days ago, when some friends and I were talking about every day things and thankfulness.

When we first moved to our house 10 years ago, in this area that mixes suburban and rural life, with a small wooded area in our backyard, we exclaimed over every woodpecker, coyote, deer, racoon, owl, heron, crane, rabbit, newt, butterfly, and stinkbug. Sometime between now and then, most of those sightings have become commonplace.

I used to wake up at night, awed by the sounds of deer calls, coyote howls, and owl hoots. Now I wake up, roll over and go back to sleep.

On spring mornings my family and I used to be surprised by the woodpeckers' determination to knock their heads against not only trees but metal ladders, and other objects. Now we know that the loudest males get the best mates, and we wish they would just find someone else's house to bang their heads against.

When did I lose my sense of wonder?

When I woke today and noticed the glorious wonder of a blue sky Northwest morning, I decided I wanted to regain my wonder. I'm going to keep my eyes wide open today.

What wonders do you see around you? Do you overlook them sometimes?

Also, I wanted to thank all the awesome people that stopped by for IWSG. The encouragement given is sweet, and I just want to send a SHOUT OUT of THANKS to Alex J. Cavanaugh for starting it. THANK YOU ALEX! Now, go, read his new book, CassaFire!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Insecure Writer's Support Group - Breathe

On the days that I don’t believe in my writing, and I’m having trouble seeing the worth of strangling words into sentences to hang a story by a gnarled plot rope, there are three things that help me:

1.       Prayer

2.       Reading other people’s posts about writing

3.       Reading my own published writing. True, it’s all poetry, short fiction and devotional writing, and most of it is on-line, with little in print. But it helps. A lot. Even when I see mistakes in those published pieces . . . I still can say, “There, that’s me. I’ve done it before, I can do it again.”

What helps you breathe past the suffocation of writer’s insecurity?

Take a moment and breathe . . . then go write!

If you want to find some amazing, encouraging, inspiring blog-writers, go check out The Insecure Writer's Support Group hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh, the awesome blogger and author of CassaStar and his recently released Cassafire!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Prose Poetry - Wait! Isn't that a contradiction?

Definition of prose poetry by Wikipedia: poetry written in prose instead of using verse but preserving poetic qualities such as heightened imagery and emotional effects. Wikipedia Link on Prose

Say what?

In my definition: prose poetry is a short piece of writing that captures the essence of a moment in time, conveys the emotion and thoughts of the character (narrator), and fully engages all the senses.

When I think of prose poetry I think of two prose poems by Bruce Holland Rogers at Flash Fiction Online. Check out his essay on prose poetry here at Small Rebellions, and scroll down to the bottom to see his two prose poems, "Yellowstone Burning" and "Small Town in a Snowstorm".

There are many different examples of prose poetry. Some look like microfiction pieces. Some are lengthy to the point of being flash fiction. Some combine verse and prose in combination. Any way you read or write prose poetry it breaks the easy definition of poetry being linked with verse, which is the whole point of it's creation and it's persistence in the world of poetry.

Some poets like to break the rules.

That shouldn't be too surprising. Poets are, well, a little different, even "normal" every day poets.

Have you ever read or written prose poetry? Or poetic prose?

Friday, March 2, 2012

The Hunger Games and History Lessons

Is it possible to link The Hunger Games trilogy with a history lesson?


We discovered this as my youngest was in the midst of reading the third book in the trilogy, Mockingjay. She was delighted to share with me her laughter over the name of the country where Katniss lived. Panem and Circenses, which means bread and circus. I smiled, and then I thought, wait, what? how did I miss that when I read it? Bread and Circuses. There's historical significance there, and it goes with our recent history lessons about Julius Caesar and the Roman Empire.

Julius Caesar rose to popularity with the people partly because he gave out bread, and supported the games at the coleseum. The Roman Empire continued to give the people appeasement through those same practices until it collapsed. For a more intellectual rundown of this, go see Wikipedia on Bread and Circuses.

Suzanne Collins cleverly intertwines historical significance in naming the nation in The Hunger Games trilogy Panem and Cirenses. I continue to be amazed by the detailed depths in her writing.

I'm also thankful that I homeschool my kids, because I don't think we would have caught that part otherwise. True, my youngest is rather young for reading The Hunger Games, but when she is capable of reading everything in the house, where do I draw the line and when? It's a blessing and a difficulty to have an avid ten year old reader. I am constantly challenged to find books for her that are "just for fun" books. 

And to think I used to worry about my kids reading skills 5-6 years ago . . .things have changed.

So, do you know of any good books out there for ten year olds that can read at a high school to adult level?

And did you already know about the Bread and Circus history lesson in Mockingjay?