Friday, August 30, 2013

Celebrate the Small Things

Many thanks to Viklit for this inspiring weekly celebration of the small things!

1. I finished two syllabi for the homeschool co-op classes I teach. I have one more to finish today. (I meant to get it all done earlier this summer, but here it is, one day before the deadline, and I'm scrambling to finish)

2. Had a fun Writer's Workshop on Monday night. As always, I'm blown away by the talented writers that come, and I wonder what I'm doing leading the group.

3. Had a wonderful ladies night out with six friends who I don't see often enough, to celebrate one of our friends coming into town for a visit.

4. My oldest daughter went out for the high school cross country team this week. She loves it, and while she's at practice, my youngest daughter and I go for a run/walk. (Sometimes I huff and puff up hills, but I make it up them, so that's all that matters.) Plus, I'm still bicycling with my husband 3-4 days a week, even in the rain. Someday, I will lose the extra 35 pounds I'm carrying and have muscle!!!

5. We have an unexpected guest in our household:
 (Please ignore messy house reflected in the background)
This little dog/puppy was running lost at a park where my husband plays softball, and despite all our efforts, we can't seem to find his owner. Some kids at the softball game (mine weren't there) asked everyone in the park if he belonged to them, we've had him checked for a micro-chip (nothing there), we've put up flyers in the area of the park and at pet stores and vet clinics, driven him back to the park and tried to have him walk us home (he found lots of good smells but didn't follow any direct route) and posted about him on facebook. It's been six days . . . and he's growing on us. So he's a mixed blessing: we want him to have a really good home and we would love for him to find his original owners. At the same time, my husband named him the first day he was with us (Clyde - not my choice of name, but it fits somehow), he cuddles with all of us, and he's really sweet.
So, what are you celebrating this week? Have you experienced any mixed blessings lately? 
Happy Weekend!!!
And, next week or the week after (I need to check my calendar), I'll be starting some interviews on Friday and shortening my Celebrate posts! (if I can - Viklit has reminded me of how much there is to celebrate!)

Friday, August 23, 2013

Celebrate the Small Things

Many thanks to Viklit for hosting this weekly celebration of small things!

My small celebrations:

1. Getting up at least three days a week to bike ride with my hubby for 12.8 miles or more. We're planning an early morning Saturday ride too. If you read this early, I'm probably riding my bike.

2. My oldest daughter went to her very first camp away from mom. In the past, I was asked to be a last minute emergency chaperone, or we weren't able to get her the right kind of food because of her food allergies and so I ended up going with her. (Plus, I like helping out with youth group camps). So, after I cooked several meals, packed them in a cooler to go with her, and had a good conversation with the camp cook, she's finally off on a solo teen adventure!

3. I made homemade graham crackers and marshmallows . . . yum! (We'll be eating s'mores at home too.)

4. My youngest got braces and sadly decided she couldn't go to camp if she couldn't chew anything other than soup and she had pain in her mouth 24/7. The pain was intense the night before camp, and we weren't sure what to do . . . so we decided to have camp at home for her, during the best hours of the day. We went to a ceramics shop yesterday, and today we're going to a water park. Tomorrow, she's going to a birthday party. Sunday . . . well, I think we're going for a more mellow day . . . like art in the afternoon at home or something. Or maybe we'll pull out my old fencing gear and have a go. And when we eat, we stop and have soup, or bananas, or popsicles. (And she decided she could melt those marshmallows over chocolate and crumbled up graham crackers.)

5. 1,000 words yesterday of revision. It isn't where I thought I would be this week, but it's something done.

6. Planning for my co-op classes is limping along. I might be able to finish my syllabi before the deadline on the 31st without having  mad crazy 24 hour last minute push. (might)

Oh, BTW, the home camp activities mirror the youth group activities (except the birthday party and the mellow day).

What are you celebrating this week?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A Hobbit Birthday and some Dragonfold fireworks!

"Bilbo met the guests (and additions) at the new white gate in person. He gave away presents to all and sundry - the latter were those who went out again by a back way and came in again by the gate. Hobbits give presents to other people on their own birthdays. Not very expensive ones, as a rule, and not so lavishly as on this occasion; but it was not a bad system." (The Fellowship of the Ring, Ch.1)

When I read this as a first time as a kid, I was enchanted by the idea. I wasn't sure if I would want to put it into practice. I mean, I was 11, and I didn't exactly want to give up getting presents on my birthday, but I thought it could be a fun way to celebrate.

So . . . since I'm a bit older now, I thought I would celebrate my birthday a bit like a hobbit.
(I still got a present from my family - a new bike with 21 speeds, and an extra ultra granny gear for keeping up with my husband on the 8% grade hills!)

I'm doing a free promotion giveaway of the kindle version of Dragonfold and Other Adventures for two days: August 20th and August 21st.

I can't meet you at a new white gate to hand them out, but know that you are all invited, and you are welcome to bring additional guests to the party to receive their free kindle copy.

Azami has a gift with origami. Will she master it in time to save herself from bondage? Find out in "Dragonfold."
Joanne lost more than her honor in the war, she lost her will to live. When bandits attack her homestead, will she stand or fall in "Enough to Do?"

And just who is Captain Wrath under that itchy, false wig Find out more in “The Identity of Captain Wrath.”
DRAGONFOLD AND OTHER ADVENTURES includes ten imaginative stories and six poems, written between 2008 and 2013. Some of these adventures have been previously published, and others are waiting to be discovered for the first time. 
Link for free kindle copy! (Starting today and ending on Wednesday at midnight Pacific time)
Now, if I just need to see if I can find Gandalf so we can get this party started with some dragon fireworks!

Friday, August 16, 2013

News Update

News Update from my life:

1. Norwegian cousins (my husband is half Norwegian) came to visit on Wednesday, from Oslo, Norway. They've been on holiday in America for a month, and we were finally able to get together with them. We had a great time. (I even came out of my introverted turtle party self and warmed up after a bit - which is a good thing, since I was the hostess. :D)

2. My only bad news: My dad has two major surgeries coming up in the next few months, and I actually wish they were scheduled sooner. He has some pre-cancerous growth in his colon that's been coming back over and over again so they are removing part of his colon. Then they traced his Neuropathy to a spot on his spinal column on his neck - there's some extra bone growth that's squeezing the main bundle of nerves and making it hard for him to walk, grasp things with his hands, and breath. It's the ability to breathe that has me the most worried. We just discovered how bad things were on Monday and Tuesday. I'm praying for healing, and a faster time table for surgeries. (they are scheduled in September and October)

3. We had an awesome vacation last month - NY state and NY city, my kids competing and learning at a big model and talent competition in the Times Square Hilton . . . one of the many things we learned - they need at youtube channel or a cd of "greatest" hits of commercials, dancing, acting in 1-2 minute clips to share with agents and managers.
They are both excited about pursuing this talent dream, and my youngest (just 12) is considering the L.A. branch of the NY Film Academy for college. Every day, I get up and my kids are super excited about "making things happen." We didn't come home with an agent or a manager (unless a few who haven't gotten back to us yet call us soon), but we came home super-informed, and they are ready for the next round of auditions (one this Saturday).

4. While in NYC, my husband met and talked to three film crews, and drooled (talked shop) over four sets of cameras (he saw a 4th camera crew but didn't get to talk to them). One of the camera crews was filming one of our favorite shows, White Collar, and when they were done with work for the day, they chatted with my husband for a few hours. It made his day, and made him look to the future (that fuzzy ten year area when the kids are done with college and we wonder what we'll be up to then).

5. I finally, finally, sat down and worked on the second draft of Champion in Flight again. I thought I would have some time on vacation (ha!), but I've only put in two days in the last month. Thankfully, one of those days was yesterday. Today I have time set aside, and I'm ready for it.

6. My 1 Word Interview Idea is a hit, and I'm excited to start! Thank you for all the responses!!!

7. Followed up our NYC vacation with a three and a half day Christian Music Concert Festival with great music, powerful speakers (message-givers), and great fun with friends.

8. I'm ready to get back to "normal" life, but I don't think my life will every fit that word. In some ways, that's good, and other moments, it's a little exhausting.

9. Almost forgot. To celebrate my birthday hobbit-style, the kindle version of Dragonfold and Other Adventures will be free the 20th and 21st at Amazon.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

IWSG: I am not super blogger

My big insecurity this month is about blogging. I have a confession. I am not super blogger. I will never be super blogger. I will never be able to visit "enough" blogs in one day, or even in a week. I wish I could. I've been through phases when I tried. So, what can I do?

I want to blog with more purpose. I want to visit and leave comments that matter, and not just "nice post" comments. I want to send a few e-mails to bloggers who make my day, or who make me think. 

However, I don't know how to make all this fit into the time I have.

So . . . for now, my short term solution is that I'm going to post less, and visit on post days and days when I'm not posting. I'm going to chuck my regular schedule, and go for posting when I have something to say, when I have a guest, when there's a blog fest that I just can't resist. I'll always be here for IWSG, because I love the awesomeness. I'm also still into Write Club . . . and there are so many awesome things going on that I'm sure that I'll be posting at least weekly.

I really want to do less of me and more of you - the awesome blogger buddies who have supported and encouraged me so many times. Because I am addicted to that crazy place called facebook (my extended family posts there often, so what can I do?), I'll be highlighting more of my fellow bloggers and authors there. I also hope to to highlight fellow bloggers and authors M-F on twitter, and in google plus. So, send me an e-mail if you would like me to give you a shout out on twitter, facebook, google plus, or in an upcoming "1 Word" interview feature, which I hope will at least be bimonthly, starting in September.

Planned questions for the upcoming 1 Word interviews:
1. What's your current favorite word?
2. In one word, what inspires you?
3. What's one word that describes your writing habits?
4. What's one word that you wish you could get rid of in your writing?
5. What's one word that describes your writing desk?
6. Share the best writing advice/tool/quote that helps you. (please limit to one sentence)
7. What's your current project?

So, what's your insecurity this month? Are you a super blogger? And would you like to be featured for a 1 Word interview?

Please stop by Alex J. Cavanaugh's site and thank him for IWSG! Alex rocks!!!
And his co-hosts rock too! Please visit: M Pax, Karen Walker, and Melissa Maygrove!

Upcoming guest in August: Karen Lange.