Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Resolve

It's January! we've made it through the delightful chaos of the holiday season. Now ready to make some resolutions for the new year. So how did it all get started?

Wikipedia says this:
The ancient Babylonians made promises to their gods at the start of each year that they would return borrowed objects and pay their debts.
The Romans began each year by making promises to the god Janus, for whom the month of January is named.
In the Medieval era, the knights took the "peacock vow" at the end of the Christmas season each year to re-affirm their commitment to chivalry.
At watch-night services, many Christians prepare for the year ahead by praying and making these resolutions.
The concept, regardless of creed, is to reflect upon self-improvement annually.
So I'm reflecting on the resolutions I made last year and deciding what worked and what was completely ignored, and what do I want to work on this year. This is what I decided. I need to make only a few goals to work on--focus to achieve. :) And they need to be in categories.
I came up with five categories that work best for me:
Church
Writing
Family
Personal
Financial
Next I thought up no more than two goals for each, and I wrote them out in detail. I read once that goals need to be specificmeasurableattainablerelevant and time-bound. The time length is already taken care of--one year, and I wrote them out in detail so that checks off my specific requirement so I need to make them relevant, measurable and attainable and I'm all set.
I'm looking forward to working on my own goals this year, and excited to see what the new year brings!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Code

Being able to write code is something that I believe will be a vital skill for us in the future, particularly for our children's generation. Many schools internationally are already including this in their curriculum for all children--four and up, but did you know that 90% of the children in the United States are not learning any? Might be time to add to the curriculum again, or in after school programs, where available.

You might have seen this floating around recently:

I thought it would be interesting to learn a new skill myself so I signed up at Code Academy and chose the language I wanted to learn, Java, and started. It has been a fun and addicting project. I'm currently only 20% done but I do a little each day.You also earn little badges as you hit certain points, and they are, interestingly enough, exciting to get.

Here's a screen shot of one I got:

I plan on learning as many languages as I can, why not? It's free! Have you learned to code?

Friday, December 20, 2013

Friday Feature

Here's a few of my favorite holiday songs this year. First up Pentatonix doing The Carol of the Bells




Cloverton's Cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" with a twist



Nathan Pacheco, O Holy Night



What are you listening to during the holiday's?

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Fit for the Holidays

During the holiday season, I like to add an extra work out, something simple that I don't usually do. Since there are so many get-togethers, and treats and cookies around, the extra exercise is definitely needed, for me at least. :)
I thought I'd share an example of one and it's dated for this year so you can do it too if you choose. There's a beginners version and if you work out often there's one for you too. Enjoy!


    
You can also do doubles: the specified amount in the morning and at night. Another idea is to break it down ie: for 12/14, do 20 in the morning and 20 at night. 


And as with any exercise, Not all exercises are suitable for everyone and this or any other exercise program may result in injury. Any user of the exercise program assumes the risk of injury resulting from performing the exercises and using the equipment suggested. To reduce risk of injury, in your case, CONSULT YOUR HEALTH PROFESSIONAL BEFORE BEGINNING THIS EXERCISE PROGRAM. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Holidays at Our House


Christmas has already started and decorating has begun. We have a couple Christmas traditions that are a little bit different at our house.

1- We ask that grandparents, and aunts/uncles don't give our girls any presents. Instead we ask then to do something special together. Last year they received annual passes to the aquarium and went with their grandparents several times during the year and with their other grandparents, they went to a historical reenactment place and made seasonal crafts. They talk about these outings all the time. We choose to ask our extended family to do this for a couple reasons. First, we currently live close to both sets of grandparents and a few aunts and uncles but we might not always. I want them to build relationships now while we live close rather than be given (more!) toys. Second, I don't want my kids to become give-me monsters. Yes the holiday season is one for giving gifts to those we love but I've seen it get carried WAY out of hand, we have these guidelines in place to prevent that. We want the events remembered, not the things, placing the importance on the people around them.

2- We give our kids four gifts and a stocking. They get something they want, something they need, something to wear, & something to read. Though there's an extra 'wear' in there as a Christmas dress. :) We try to think outside the box and find gifts they will really use and enjoy. This also allows us to buy higher quality items as there's a limited amount of gifts purchased for each child.

3- I don't do Santa. I know, scrooge right? Not to me. I had older cousins who told me about Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny and all that when I was around 4 and I don't even remember being all that disappointed. The reason for the season, in our house, is Christ's birth. Not Santa. So there's no elf on our shelf and the stockings are filled by mom and dad. Do our kids feel left out? No, they think it's fun to know the secret--that all adults know but most kids there age don't, and that Santa is a fun character of the holiday but think that an old man watching them would be creepy. Smart girls. :) 

We do all the other things like driving around to see the lights on houses, decorating the tree, baking cookies and gingerbread houses, parties with friends and family, and hot chocolate and jammies, reading the birth of Christ in the Bible. 

I'm looking forward to all the holiday fun and hoping for some snow! How about you? What are your family traditions?

Friday, October 25, 2013

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Week Round Up


We are still deciding on Halloween costumes at our house, always last minute decisions here. Canda and I just got our first book back from the editor and we are going through reading and changing and rebuilding our story--you'll love it once it's out but I'm a little biased. :) Here's what I looked though online this week:

Oreo Cookies are addictive, new research finds. Yeah we all already knew that but there's a study on it now.

Bridal Fashion is turning back to color, not a new trend, but would you wear a colored frock for your big day? Looks fun to me!

The 2014 World Cup Qualifiers aren't over yet but there's already a simulator you can see how teams may potentially be matched up in Brazil this coming June.

Ever been to Burning Man? One first timer talks about the Temp City's Leave no Trace policy.

Indoor Play ideas that look great too!

Marriage is work! Here's the marriage advice from couples via Reader's Digest

Love to read? Here's a hotel with No TV's, Radios or Telephones in the rooms, and they are all decorated to fit a different author's work. Shakespeare, Tolkien, Agatha Christie, even Dr. Seuss and JK Rowling. come to relax and read, would you?




Friday, October 4, 2013

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Current Reading

I just finished with my reading challenge on Goodreads. This year I wanted to read 85 books. In January I thought this was a good goal, that I would need to push myself and might even have to have a marathon reading week at the end of December to finish it.
 Nope.
I'm done already.
On September 26th I finished my 85th book.
Here's a few of the books I've read though out the challenge:

I read a variety of genres, I have nonfiction, YA, Adult and even a Children's book or two. Do you stick to a certain shelf at the library of bookstore, or are you interested in a little of everything?

What books have you enjoyed though out this year?

Monday, September 30, 2013

Pinterest For Writers

I love Pinterest and I know that I'm definitely not the only one who spend a few minutes (hours) on the site each week. A healthy handful of my blog views are referred from the site each week as well. So how does writing and pinterest go together? Here are a couple writing pinners that I follow:

Social Marketing Writing
This pinner has a few boards that I like better than others are I feel are more applicable than others to writers/writing such as Social Media Tips and  Marketing Tips 
To follow them click here: http://www.pinterest.com/smwriting/

Writing Soul
This pinner has a board called Writing Life. It has inspiration, writing prompts and quotes all posted conveniently in one place. Another board I like is Poetic Notions and while I personally do not write poetry, I do like to read it and learn about it.
To follow them click here: http://www.pinterest.com/writinginmysoul/poetic-notions/

EcellenceInWriting
This last pinner has a few boards all specific to the craft. Personal writing, education, books to read and even homeschooling ideas. One board I like is called Grammar It only has a few pins but a couple are funny and there's an info-graphic that covers common grammar mistakes. Another is called Writing It has prompts, cheat sheets and ways to help children in their own stories.
To follow them click here: http://www.pinterest.com/iewriting/

What pinners do you follow to improve your own craft?

Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday Feature

Lorde, Royals:


Avicci, Wake Me Up

The Maine Feat Adam Lazzara, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Monday, September 9, 2013

Library Day

by Derek Munson
Illustrated by Tara Calahan King

This book was picked up randomly by the little one and has been read quite a few times. It's the perfect summer until Jeremy Ross moves in down the street and becomes the main character's best enemy. Dad has a plan to make enemy pie, sounds good until our hero learns to make enemy pie work, he has to spend the day with his enemy Jeremy. Things don't turn out the way the main character thinks they will.

My girls loved it. The oldest two learned a lesson about judging others and making friends, and the little one thinks enemy pie is funny and now just wants to have pie, which you've got to admit, isn't a bad idea. :)


Saturday, September 7, 2013

A Quick Round Up

I made it though the week! Granted we had Monday off due to Labor Day but I'm counting it as success. :)


Here's a round up of what I've been looking through this week:

---Like to hike? Want a little adrenalin rush to go with it? Check out these hikes around the world.

---If you are like me, you have an abundance of zucchini around, here's how to cook it in new ways.

---Here's one for my own love of music, why The Clash still matters.

---Helping kids get homework done.

---For all you retro lovers out there, aren't these cups the cutest? This store sells everything you need to outfit a kitchen in style!


Friday, September 6, 2013

Things that are Pinteresting

Here's my most recent five pins:
To visit these pins, click the #. One, Two, ThreeFour, Five.
I love looking through pinterest and finding ideas for dinner, decorating and character profiles. Recently I like to find some word or idea to put into my writing as a little challenge. For example, the last image talks about table manners, so I'll look for a place to add in table manners or maybe the word humorous. It's been a helpful way to keep writing interesting. I find that there are always scenes that have to be written that I don't feel particularly excited to write, those are the scenes that I use writing prompts such as the word play from pinterest.

What do you do to keep yourself writing?

To follow me on pinterest click here

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Writers Conference

Learning from others is a great way to improve your writing skills. By going to conferences, you learn, connect and generally have a good time. I try to go to as many writing conferences as I can. Here's one in Kanab, UT so if you are in southern Utah, Arizona, or would like to take a road trip this looks like an affordable option.

What other writing conferences do you like to attend?

Monday, September 2, 2013

Library Day



Song For a Princess 
by Rachel Mortimer


 Such a cute story. The very first page starts with a little bird who loves words. I can already identify with the little bird, I love words too. The Princess and her friend love words, what smart girls. :) The art work by Maddy McClellan is beautiful, in fact if it were sold as prints I would gladly buy some to put in the girls' rooms. Even the littlest one sat through the whole story.  We've read it a dozen times and I'm not sick of it yet. A sign it's parent friendly. This is a book I see my children cherishing for years to come.                     



           






Friday, August 30, 2013

Stroopwafels

I have an addiction to all waffles. I love them in the morning and in the afternoon (but yes, seriously), I love them in the evening--often with chicken! While out shopping, a few months ago I found these cookies. They are a chewy-caramel-waffle cookie that my whole family considers a special treat. The whole package of  them can be consumed in the blink of an eye, and everyone wants more.
Interestingly enough, to me, I went to school with the founders of this particular cookie brand, here's their story: 

EatDutchWaffles.com was founded by Joost Kling in the Netherlands in a little town called Noordwijk, situated off the coast of the North Sea and only twenty miles away from Amsterdam.

Joost first traveled to the United States as an exchange student and always thought Americans would fall in love with this native stroopwafels. He was right. After establishing relationships with the top stroopwafel bakeries, he expanded his business to the United States with friends and business partners in Utah where in studied years earlier as an exchange student.

Cool right? All the better for me to continue my cookie addiction as it is in support of fellow alumni. If you don't have a grocery store nearby that carries these delightful gems, you can go to the Eat Dutch Waffles website and order some to be sent to your door! Isn't the internet grand? Waffle cookies to your door! :)


I was not contacted by this company to endorse their product. This post is simply the opinion of the blogger.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Things that are Pinteresting

See what I did there? Pinterest with interesting? Maybe my nerd is showing a little.
 Here's a look at things I've pinned lately. To find the links click the number.

These are the five latest pins. Don't judge me.

#1                                           #2
#3
Pinterest--no known link

Pinterest--no known link

Want to follow me on Pinterest? Click HERE

Monday, August 26, 2013

Kids, School, Advice

Image by Deanna
My own children started school a bit ago and I know others who've been going for weeks now and others are yet to start. But I have been looking for some sort of back to school traditions to implement in our own home and have established a couple I'm happy with when I read a sweet letter from mother to child. I may be the last person on Earth who has seen this but I'm sharing because it toughed my own tender heart. I follow the blog Momastery because she is witty and practical and sees all the good in the world and often provides that note of optimism I so desperately need at times. She posted about her children going to school and finally being home without someone needing a snack. Something I'm so close to I can taste it. :) But she also posted a note that tells a story that she shares with her children each year. I'll post it here, and you can also find it on her site. I changed it a bit for my children and you can change it for yours but I think that raising little people to care and look out for one another could be the greatest thing this generation can do for the rising generation under our care. :) I read it with my girls last night and we had a little discussion on what it means for us and how we can practice each day to help others.
Here's the letter as she posted it:

Hey, baby.
Tomorrow is a big day. Third grade – wow.
Chase – When I was in third grade, there was a little boy in my class named Adam.
Adam looked a little different and he wore funny clothes and sometimes he even smelled a little bit. Adam didn’t smile. He hung his head low and he never looked at anyone at all. Adam never did his homework. I don’t think his parents reminded him like yours do. The other kids teased Adam a lot. Whenever they did, his head hung lower and lower and lower. I never teased him, but I never told the other kids to stop, either.
And I never talked to Adam, not once. I never invited him to sit next to me at lunch, or to play with me at recess. Instead, he sat and played by himself. He must have been very lonely.
I still think about Adam every day. I wonder if Adam remembers me? Probably not. I bet if I’d asked him to play, just once, he’d still remember me.
I think that God puts people in our lives as gifts to us. The children in your class this year, they are some of God’s gifts to you.
So please treat each one like a gift from God. Every single one.
Baby, if you see a child being left out, or hurt, or teased, a part of your heart will hurt a little. Your daddy and I want you to trust that heart- ache. Your whole life, we want you to notice and trust your heart-ache. That heart ache is called compassion, and it is God’s signal to you to do something. It is God saying, Chase! Wake up! One of my babies is hurting! Do something to help! Whenever you feel compassion – be thrilled! It means God is speaking to you, and that is magic. It means He trusts you and needs you.
Sometimes the magic of compassion will make you step into the middle of a bad situation right away.
Compassion might lead you to tell a teaser to stop it and then ask the teased kid to play. You might invite a left-out kid to sit next to you at lunch. You might choose a kid for your team first who usually gets chosen last. These things will be hard to do, but you can do hard things.
Sometimes you will feel compassion but you won’t step in right away. That’s okay, too. You might choose instead to tell your teacher and then tell us. We are on your team – we are on your whole class’s team. Asking for help for someone who is hurting is not tattling, it is doing the right thing. If someone in your class needs help, please tell me, baby. We will make a plan to help together.
When God speaks to you by making your heart hurt for another, by giving you compassion, just do something. Please do not ignore God whispering to you. I so wish I had not ignored God when He spoke to me about Adam. I remember Him trying, I remember feeling compassion, but I chose fear over compassion. I wish I hadn’t. Adam could have used a friend and I could have, too.
Chase – We do not care if you are the smartest or fastest or coolest or funniest. There will be lots of contests at school, and we don’t care if you win a single one of them. We don’t care if you get straight As. We don’t care if the girls think you’re cute or whether you’re picked first or last for kickball at recess. We don’t care if you are your teacher’s favorite or not. We don’t care if you have the best clothes or most Pokemon cards or coolest gadgets. We just don’t care.
We don’t send you to school to become the best at anything at all. We already love you as much as we possibly could. You do not have to earn our love or pride and you can’t lose it. That’s done.
We send you to school to practice being brave and kind.
Kind people are brave people. Brave is not a feeling that you should wait for. It is a decision. It is a decision that compassion is more important than fear, than fitting in, than following the crowd.
Trust me, baby, it is. It is more important.
Don’t try to be the best this year, honey.
Just be grateful and kind and brave. That’s all you ever need to be.
Take care of those classmates of yours, and your teacher, too. You Belong to Each Other. You are one lucky boy . . . with all of these new gifts to unwrap this year.
I love you so much that my heart might explode.
Enjoy and cherish your gifts.
And thank you for being my favorite gift of all time.
Love,
Mama

Saturday, August 24, 2013

A quick round up

We are adjusting to school schedules and after school clubs and hobbies. Being a house of girls, there are a few wild emotions floating around as we shift from summer ease to the structure of the school year. But we'll make it through--sooner than later I hope.


Here are a few things that have been on the web this week:

--- Batman issues and all the OPINIONS. For arguments sake, there's this gem on the flip side.
There was this awesome tweet the other day:

Shane Nickerson @shanenickerson
"Your government spies on you."
Meh.
"Ben Affleck is Batman."
WHY IS THIS HAPPENNING TO US?  ::sobs, vigils, hunger strikes::
-Americans

---Do you watch Game of Thrones? Wanna name your kid after a character? Someone will.

---Kate is a real mom. What do you think about all the press her tummy gets?

---American Slang for Chinese kids.

---Molly Sims shares her to 5 tips every stylish mom should know.

---With the absence of most big box bookstores (hold on B&N!) indies are starting to pop up. Here are  a few tips for shopping at one. And please do,shop at one. :)


Friday, August 23, 2013

Vampire Academy Movie

 I forgot Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead in my last post! I don't know what I was thinking. I at first refused to read these books. The covers weren't my favorite and I had all the vampire plots I could take. Thank goodness my mom kept pushing them. I finally gave in and read. . .them all in a week. I LOVED them!! The characters are relatable (yes, even though I'm obviously not a vampire.) and the action and romance keep you turning the pages as fast as you can. I highly recommend that you read these books before the awesome movie comes out on February 14th, 2014. I know that's in conflict with Maze Runner's release date, but I'll be buying a ticket to Vampire Academy, then go back for Maze Runner. :)
Here's a trailer to get you excited:

Friday, June 28, 2013

Book to Movie

Don't hate me, it's true!

It's a dream, I'm sure to have a book that you lost sleep, wept, and ripped hair out over to be optioned for a movie. I would love it!
We all loved Harry Potter and it’s okay to admit that Twilight was great too, especially that last one, right?! Recently we've had Beautiful Creatures, Life of Pi, and The Great Gatsby. Here’s a quick look at what’s coming soon to a cinema near you.  J


The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
There are so many great things to say about the characters, plot, and all around amaze-ball-ness that these books hold. So cool, so fun, and check out the e-book only series on Mangus Bane; 12 books in 12 months.
Coming out August 21, 2013

Divergent by Veronica Roth
AWESOME series, (book three is on it's way soon too!) hubby and I both really enjoyed these. The movie is slated for March 21, 2014

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
A long time coming to be sure! Ender's Game is perfect for middle grade readers who like adventure and any adult to likes a little too. :)
Due out November 1, 2031

The Maze Runner by James Dashner
A page turner for sure! A maze with scary creatures and everything is on a time limit.
Coming on Valentines since its so heart warming. :) February 14, 2014

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
A WWII book about a little girl who steals books and shares them with others and by the way, it's narrated by Death. This book has emotion to spare! Super popular with book clubs because it stays with you and there's so much to talk about. Bring tissues.
Slated for January 17, 2014

If I Stay by Gayle Forman
A girl who is in a coma following a terrible accident has an out of body experience decided to live or die. Heart felt, strong resonating writing and memorable characters. Look for book two, to read as well.
Release date for film not yet published.

Have you read any of these? Which are you most looking forward to seeing?

Monday, June 24, 2013

Summer Time

The kiddos are out of school and they need to be entertained lest they start to argue among themselves like they did last year. So I devised a plan. In May I printed out blank calender sheets for June, July, and August then I filled in every square Monday through Saturday with activities. Some are simple short ones, like garden, movie, or picnic. Others take more planning, for example, research a country and camping. We've gone to the library made play dough and gone hiking. I love that we have a plan for everyday and so do the girls. With a generous amount of activities that we don't usually do or haven't ever done we are having a blast this summer!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Cover Flip

I follow Maureen Johnson on Twitter for a couple reasons:

1- I love her books. They have a fresh writing style and a twist is always coming. They keep you on your toes and laughing every so often, which is nice. Which brings me to #2
2- She is funny. 'nough said.
3- She is a writer I wanna be a writer, so I follow other writers. They like to talk about bookish things and general publishing industry info.

A few weeks ago she posted about book covers and started a small contest. Here's what she said:

...And let’s have a CONTEST! It’s called COVERFLIP. It works like this.
1. Take a well-known book. (It’s up to you to define well-known.)
2. Imagine that book was written by an author of the OPPOSITE GENDER. Or a genderqueer author. Imagine all the things you think of when you think GIRL book or BOY book or GENDERLESS book (do they EXIST?). And I’m not saying that these categorizations are RIGHT—but make no mistake, they’re there. 
Well people went nuts for it:
It got a lot of coverage. First in the United States, the article went slightly supernova on HuffPo, becoming one of the top articles on the site. Lots of other places started sharing the link (or mentioning it). It turned up on Jezebel, and the USATodayBooks page, and on The New Yorker site, The Rumpus, and onWired.com. In the UK, people started really talking about it quite a lot. I missed two emails from the BBC that came while I was sleeping asking me to speak on Radio Scotland and the Newshour (a UK author did the piece, as I was too late for the time difference). There were two pieces in the Daily Mailincluding one in which Jacqueline Wilson (the grande dame of middle grade and YA in the UK) called for an end to the genderized covers. There were two in the Guardian, and the amazing Katy Brand wrote about it for The TelegraphJacqueline Wilson came back swinging even harder in The Telegraph.

She also said this:
Coverflip’s ultimate goal is to show that books have no gender. Let’s stop pre-determining what’s for boys and what’s for girls. And it aims to do this by playing around with the cover image to show that covers are simply covers, and you can switch them around and change perception in a heartbeat. The media is not going to fix this. And publishers can’t really fix it. It’s up to readers. To paraphrase John and Yoko, “Gendered books are over, if you want it.”
READERS CAN DO THIS …
Go into a store and really LOOK at how the books are sorted, what labels they’re put under. Those labels are not accidental, and they’re not always that accurate (especially in big stores). What’s in fiction? What’s in “Women’s Fiction”? What’s in “Urban Fiction”? Put some covers side to side and really have a good long SQUINT to try to see what it is you’re being told and sold. Tyr out something new, something that sounds like it might be good, but has a cover you don’t feel is meant for you.
And if you don’t like the cover, take it off or make a new one! It’s YOUR BOOK.
Also, write to/tweet at publishers and TELL THEM what you think!
TEACHERS CAN DO THIS …
Do a Coverflip in your classroom! Post the results! If kids can’t do the art, have them write about it. Teachers have already started doing this, some in just 40 minute periods, and are getting some amazing results.
LIBRARIANS AND MEDIA SPECIALISTS CAN DO THIS …
Mix up those displays. Do a BLANK COVER table. Give kids something you know they’d like, but might be afraid to be seen reading. Set a coverflip challenge!
The covers change when the feedback changes. So, change the conversation, change the cover.
DO YOU HAVE MORE IDEAS? SEND THEM TO ME.
COVERFLIP IT.
My mom and I started talking about many of our favorite books and the covers they could have if we cover flipped them and also about books that came out with one cover in hard back the had a different--sometimes gender stereotyped for the paperback version and how the first was a more fitting representation on the story. But what do you think? What are your favorite covers and why? What cover would you want to flip? 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Friday Feature: History of Rap

I'm probably the last person ever to see these but I love it!
Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake singing the History of Rap

Parts one and two

Part three
Part four


So what do you think? Have you seen them before? I love mash ups so these are awesome! :)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Giving it Another Go

     A year and a half ago I bought a book from Amazon and read it from my Kindle app for my phone. I hated it. reading from my phone, not the book, the book was great. But I decided then and there I was NOT an e reader kinda gal. I scoffed at my mom and sister reading books on their Kindles and iPads. I thought no, that will never be me.
     So about two months ago my husband and I were going on a family trip and try as might, I couldn't get all the books I wanted to take to fit in my luggage. My mom suggested I borrow her Kindle and the rest is history. I love it now! I have read many of the books she had loaded onto already and I look forward to borrowing from my sister next! I guess its true, never say never. :)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Sharpening Sentences

I'm finishing a rewrite on a book that I have been picking at for basically forever and I'm doing edits on another with Canda. The thought that keeps coming over and over to us is sharpening sentences.
There are two ways, specifically that we are talking about:
1- Getting rid of all sentences repeating what was already said or done. No echo's needed. :)
2- Strengthening the sentence with descriptive language to provide emotion/tension to a scene and paint pictures in the readers mind. Using more similes, metaphors, and all together lyrical language. This provides a distinction from amateur writing to professional writing.

This is what polishing is for us. Once we have the characters, plot holes covered and questions answered we look at sentences and how we can make them richer, giving the reader a more complex story to enjoy.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Book Trailers

I posted about anamoto as a possible use for homemade or fan-made book trailers HERE. But I also really enjoy the ones on authors websites that have a more polished feel about them, not so drag and drop. Here are a few great books with their trailers.
The first is DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth
Read the books soon because the rights have been snatched up by Summit and they are already casting for the movie.


The next is STOLEN by Lucy Christopher

And the last one, SHIVER by Maggie Stiefvater



Have you read these? which are your favorite?

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Beginning of the End

Hubby has one more year of school left! YAY!! :) It's hard to think that just one year ago he was freelancing graphic design and considering not doing college any more and now he has a year left in game art and design. Yes, that's a different degree. But it's absolutely perfect for him and the most important part it that he will love his job. So one down, one to go, which for our family mean big changes.

1- He won't be working his "day job" anymore. the normal 401K contributing, insurance providing job doesn't let him get the classes he needs to graduate. Too much scheduling conflict means goodbye normal, hello unknown.

2- Hubby will not be at work he will be at school, as in all the time. Once he comes home it's homework time. Which is fun for him since he loves the course work but everyone will need to pitch in and help mom out, weeding, cooking, cleaning and laundry. Thank heavens they are old enough to actually help :)

3- The hardest one for me: No new car. We were planning on trading in the car I currently drive for a different car but due to budget cutbacks it's not happening.  Also not happening: any vacations out of state. Shoot! Stay-cations here we come!

We'll be dipping into savings and tightening our belts, and cruising pinterest for free fun ideas. Luckily we don't have any credit card debt and a great interest rate on our current car, and awesome family support near by. So I'll update yall on our new adventure as the year goes by.

What about you? What are your favorite cheap or even better free thing to do by yourself, dates, or to entertain kids?

Picture from: http://www.nasriatallah.com/tag/typography/

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Wendy Knight

Allow me to introduce you to Wendy Knight. She has a book called Feudlings coming out with Astraea Press, Click HERE to buy. Here's the low down on this awesome author and the first in her new series.

Nothing makes a new school suck worse than discovering the guy you’re in love with is your prophesied nemesis.

Ari is the most powerful flame-throwing sorceress ever, and her people’s last hope in an ancient war. But she’s also a seventeen-year-old girl, and in her free, not-hunting-nemesis times, she jumps from school to school, trying to figure out regular people her own age and pretending she’ll get the chance to graduate.

Shane lives a double life. He goes to school and masters the art of popularity, hiding the fact that he has a fate with a slim chance of his survival. He’s destined to end a 300 year-old war by killing or being killed. He knows he’s hunted by a powerful enemy who’s not afraid to die. Only problem? He has no idea who that enemy is.

When Ari shows up at Shane’s school, angry and sullen and determined to keep him at arm’s reach, neither of them realize they are supposed to be killing each other, not fall-ing in love. Until Ari does realize it, and she almost dies – by Shane’s hand


Wendy Knight was born and raised in Utah by a wonderful family who spoiled her rotten because she was the baby. Now she spends her time driving her husband crazy with her many eccentricities (no water after five, terror when faced with a live phone call, etcetera, etcetera). She also enjoys chasing her three adorable kids, playing tennis, watching football, reading, and hiking. Camping is also big: her family is slowly working toward a goal of seeing all the National Parks in the U.S.

You can usually find her with at least one Pepsi nearby, wearing ridiculously high heel for whatever the occasion may be. And if everything works out just right, she will also be writing

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Abandoned

There is something really beautiful about abandoned and dilapidated, made-by man things isn't there?
This slide show on the weather.com site got me thinking.
I remembered these images too. sorta zombie apocalypse--y aren't they? :)

I remember looking through an abandoned building up the canyon from my house as a child. I thought it was more magical than scary. What about you? Have you wondered though long forgotten places? What did you think of them?                                                         



Thursday, February 14, 2013

Save The Date

Do you like going to writing conferences? Do you like to keep some cash in your wallet? Do you like to learn hands on and practice as you are being taught? Great! Me too.



Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Music, Thoughts, and Color

I know it's not Friday but I couldn't wait and it seems that I've been absent long enough that perhaps the rules are more like guidelines? Yes? I think so too.
These are favorites for me lately. Yeah, I'm one of those people who can listen to the same song on repeat over and over, all day. Are you?
Here's three of my long list of current favorites.






So while I'm working on revising Damnation and finishing Finished--needs a better name. I've been reading a lot. I think I've already logged about 20 books for this month.. But a couple of my favorites are these:

 And this idea has me thinking of a way to implement something similar in my own house.

I saw this on pinterest and its from getyourgreenon.wordpress.com I love the idea, though perhaps in another color with another word. . . I'll keep you updated.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Such a long time!

Sorry to y'all out there in blogger world, I've been MIA for a while---two months now. So here's a recap/my excuse for blog silence.

A) The CRAZIEST move I've ever had, and I've moved quite a bunch. In short, we were bunking in with relatives for two and a half weeks over thanksgiving and while I was out of town(more on that part later).

B) Thanksgiving/Christmas and a Wedding. My only other sibling got married on New Years Eve to a great guy she's dated for 7 years. It was happy, crazy, wonderful---more later too.

C) My Grand Dad on my fathers side passed. He had suffered with Cerebellar Ataxia, and more recently was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

But now, I recommit to a semi-regular blog presence. To review, I blog on books, writing, authors I admire, music I like, occasionally home decor, cooking, family stuff, and gardening/outdoors and travel. Pretty much, if it interests me I'll throw in on.

Since I've been absent I thought I'd start with a book giveaway. 

TO WIN:
You must be a follower of this blog
Leave me a comment
Check back to see if you won

The book is a signed copy of Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld.

You have until Sunday, January 13th to enter
Winner will be announced on Monday the 14th