Writing kids into our manuscripts

Take a peek over at Seekerville for Ruth Logan Herne’s opinion on writing children into your manuscript. She has a wonderful, earthy way about telling writers that if you don’t know kids, don’t write them.

And if that’s not enough Ruthy for you, visit Hearthside Kennels where you’ll see the most adorable puppies in the world. Get a Golden Doodle while they last : )

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Maybe January 31st, 2009

As Martin Luther King once said, “I have a dream. . .”

Or rather in the words of Audra Harders, “I had a dream.”

My original goal was to complete the rough draft of my current wip by Dec 31st. Well, progress is going well, just not quickly.

People write in different ways and at different paces. I thought I could whip out a rough draft in a month and then work on the details. The problem is my new approach of getting into my character’s head is at strong odds with spit-it-out-and-clean-up-later.

I’ve been spending quite a bit of time in Diana’s and Gabe’s heads lately. They’re really quite complex people. Each evening as I sit down to write, I think about just getting from point A to point B, but find that all the good stuff inbetween can’t be glossed over.

And there you have it. You can send an old dog to school, but you can’t make them rough-draft like they’d like to : )

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Cost of the Twelve Days of Christmas 2008

The Twelve Days of Christmas

Prices of items in the Christmas carol “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” according to PNC Wealth Management:

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me,
1 Partridge = $ 20 ($15 last year)
1 Pear Tree = $ 200 ($150 last year)

On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me,
2 Turtle Doves = $ 55 ($40 last year)

On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me,
3 French Hens = $ 30 ($45 last year)

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me,
4 Calling birds = $ 60 ($60 last year)

On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me,
5 Golden Rings = $ 350 ($395 last year)

On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me,
6 Geese A-Laying = $ 240 ($360 last year)

On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me,
7 Swans A-Swimming = $ 5,600 ($4,200 last year)

On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me,
8 Maids A-Milking = $ 52 ($47 last year)

On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me,
9 Ladies Dancing = $ 4,759 ($4,759 last year)

On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me,
10 Lords A-Leaping = $ 4,414 ($4,285 last year)

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me,
11 Pipers Piping = $ 2,285 ($2,398 last year)

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me,
12 Drummers Drumming = $ 2,475 ($2,398 last year)

Total cost of 12 Days of Christmas in 2008 — $86,609
(Up 10.9% from last year’s cost of — $78,100)
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Holiday Cheer

Happy Holidays, woo-woo. . .

I love the Christmas holidays. All the food, joy, decorations, food, snow (Colorado), family,. . . hey, did I mention food?? Although an avid non-cooker, baker, candy-stick maker myself, I have lots of talented friends that feed my holiday weakness.

Yes, there is Weight Watchers after Christmas sale — I’ve put a membership on my list, LOL!

Okay, back to this season of joy specifically. So many families have been touched by the uncertain economics of our day. Our family is right up there with them. It hurts my heart when I can’t send my daughter in college more little surprise gift cards for all her favorite haunts, or offer to fill up my son’s gas tank when I see the needle is pointing south. A humble heart gives God the best kind of clay to work with.

The only ones not suffering in the household are KD and Hank, that’s only because with the colder weather, they have to spend more time inside. If I want the interior of my house to survive before the holidays, there better be lots of chew bones around to keep them happy : )
But this season of less is actually offering my family more. My husband never asks for anything for Christmas which makes him the most difficult to buy for. This year he is cooperating and his list contains things my kids are happy to search for in the Walmart scratch and dent section — and both will still give dad the obligatory shotgun shells to tide him over goose season.

Both kids have dutifully turned in Christmas lists containing items even the most moth ridden piggy bank and afford.

Me? Did I mention my love for the holiday food?????? Kids can bake and hubby can cook with the skill of a bachelor : )

The holidays will be relaxed for us. Popcorn and movies, apple cider and board games. I’m looking forward to it. Family, friends and food. Can’t get any better than that.

May God bless you richly this holiday season. Take time to listen and hear the angels sing.
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From Our Pets’ Perspective. . .

I know this has been posted tons of times, but I still think it’s a hoot! Sorry I don’t know how to give credit where credit is due, I’m certainly not the creator. So, whoever originally thought this up, thanks for the laughs!!

From a Dog’s Diary …

8:00 am – Dog food! My favorite thing!

9:30 am – A car ride! My favorite thing!

9:40 am – A walk in the park! My favorite thing!

10:30 am – Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!

12:00 pm – Lunch! My favorite thing!

1:00 pm – Played in the yard! My favorite thing!

3:00 pm – Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!

5:00 pm – Milk bones! My favorite thing!

7:00 pm – Got to play ball! My favorite thing!

8:00 pm – Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!

11:00 pm – Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!

From a Cat’s

Day 983 of my captivity.

My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects.

They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength. The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape.

In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet. Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates what I am capable of. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a ‘good little hunter’ I am.


There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of ‘allergies.’ I must learn what this means and how to use it to my advantage.

Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow — but at the top of the stairs.

I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released – and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded.

The bird has got to be an informant. I observe him communicating with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe.

For now………….

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A Different Christmas Poem

This holiday season, may we remember all the blessings in our lives and pray for those who can’t spend these precious days with their own family and friends.

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light, I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight. My wife was asleep, her head on my chest, My daughter beside me, angelic in rest. Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white, Transforming the yard to a winter delight.

The sparkling lights in the tree I believe, Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve. My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep, Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep. In perfect contentment, or so it would seem, So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn’t loud, and it wasn’t too near, But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear. Perhaps just a cough, I didn’t quite know, Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow. My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear, And I crept to the door just to see who was near.

Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night, A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight. A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old, Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold. Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled, Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

“What are you doing?” I asked without fear, “Come in this moment, it’s freezing out here! Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve, You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!” For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift, Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..

To the window that danced with a warm fire’s light Then he sighed and he said “Its really all right, I’m out here by choice. I’m here every night.” “It’s my duty to stand at the front of the line, That separates you from the darkest of times.

No one had to ask or beg or implore me, I’m proud to stand here like my fathers before me. My Gramps died at ‘ Pearl on a day in December,” Then he sighed, “That’s a Christmas ‘Gram always remembers.” My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ‘ Nam ‘, And now it is my turn and so, here I am.

I’ve not seen my own son in more than a while, But my wife sends me pictures, he’s sure got her smile. Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag, The red, white, and blue… an American flag. I can live through the cold and the being alone, Away from my family, my house and my home.

I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet, I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat. I can carry the weight of killing another, Or lay down my life with my sister and brother.. Who stand at the front against any and all, To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall.”

“So go back inside,” he said, “harbor no fright, Your family is waiting and I’ll be all right.” “But isn’t there something I can do, at the least, “Give you money,” I asked, “or prepare you a feast? It seems all too little for all that you’ve done, For being away from your wife and your son.”

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret, “Just tell us you love us, and never forget. To fight for our rights back at home while we’re gone, To stand your own watch, no matter how long. For when we come home, either standing or dead, To know you remember we fought and we bled. Is payment enough, and with that we will trust, That we mattered to you as you mattered to us.”

PLEASE, would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our U.S service men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities. Let’s try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us.

LCDR Jeff Giles, SC,
USN 30th Naval Construction Regiment OIC,
Logistics Cell One Al Taqqadum,
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The Pardoned One

Most people have dogs to protect their homes. And we do have our share of the furry beasts, but nothing beats our guard turkey. He is a beautiful bird, and probably would have tasted great a couple years ago, but he was too nice to eat back then. Now, he’s mean and crabby. And probably tough as a boot sole. No one gets past our turkey though. Even the UPS guy knows to keep an eye on him or get spurred. He’ll stand for hours looking into our windows, holding still as can be, thinking no one sees him. Drives the Corgi nuts.
Thanksgiving wouldn’t be the same without Turkey (real original name, LOL). If the President can pardon his turkey, I guess we can do the same for ours : )
Hope you had a wonderful holiday!

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Happy Thanksgiving!

What a wonderful holiday in the midst of dreary November. Not only do we have the opportunity to visit with friends and family, we get an eat-your-full, free-pass, no calorie-counting day! Now, I’ll have you know, my cooking is passible for my family 364 days a year, but come Thanksgiving, I leave the cooking to the masters. This year, my cousins Gwen and Sig are hosting the meal at their house. Gwen is an awesome cook! Umm, her crab dip appetizer, well, let’s just say, her meals start out tremendous and never dip down from there : ) My aunt Ona will also be contributing to the feast in her stellar cooking fashion. Me? I’ll bring something people won’t be afraid to eat — probably still in the store wrapping : )

Would Thanksgiving be a day of thanks, if we didn’t say what we’re thankful for? No way! So I’ll start with my list. Please feel free to add your own!

  1. For my loving family. Kara came home from college for the holiday and everyone is healthy, wealthy in love, and wise.
  2. For beautiful Colorado where I’m proud to call home.
  3. For God’s blessing on a writing career that teaches me something each time I write a word.
  4. For friends that offer the best kind of support — their unceasing love.
  5. For my husband. Without him, growing old wouldn’t be any fun.
  6. For an utterly enjoyable day job that makes me look forward to going to work everyday.
  7. For a warm house we can afford and bills that don’t exceed our income.
  8. For my loving parents who taught me the value of work and blessing of play.
  9. For my grandmother who nurtured and prayed over the seed of faith in my heart.
  10. For Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, who loved me enough to die and rise again for me.

I could go on and on about the things I’m thankful for, but for anyone else, this would be boring. You only go around once in life, so live, laugh, and give praise!

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Philippians 4:6

Blessings to you this Thanksgiving Day!

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(Word) Countdown to December 31st

November 23, 2008

I’ve been dragging my heels, but no more! I plan to complete my rough draft rewrite of Rough and Ready by Dec 31, 2008! Daunting task, you say? Not if I’m faithful. How can I call myself a writer if I don’t write?

Okay, this is a rough draft, so I’m aiming for 75,000 words for a projected finished length of 90,000.

Watch my side bar and measure my progress with me : ) I know we’re going into the holidays, but hey, what better time to proclaim God’s glory?

Posted in morale boost, Word Count | 2 Comments

Check It Out!

Are you thinking for starting a new writing project? Debby Giusti has some great idea for beginning that new book, starting with the first line! Check out Seekerville to read her blog.

Donnell has posted a blog on Five Scribes that takes out a lot of the where-to-go when searching for an agent blog. Don’t miss this informative post!

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