Love, Laughter, and Life

The Writing Life of a Woman Who Might Be Missing a Few Brain Cells


Leave a comment

Storystorm Day 16: “Social Media Inspires Social Awareness” by Brenda Reeves Sturgis

by Brenda Reeves Sturgis As writers, we must ALL strike while the iron is hot. Every writer tries to get into the castle (the publishing houses) over the drawbridge. The drawbridge however is crowd…

Source: Storystorm Day 16: “Social Media Inspires Social Awareness” by Brenda Reeves Sturgis

This picture book about homelessness comes out on January 31st. I think it will be a great resource! This blog post is written for writers, but the background story of how Still a Family came to be is fascinating!


Leave a comment

Storystorm Day 15: “The Day-Job Rule” by Jason Kirschner

by Jason Kirschner If you can stick with this post all the way to the end, you’ll find my little bio where it is clearly states that “author/illustrator” is not my day job. Most d…

Source: Storystorm Day 15: “The Day-Job Rule” by Jason 

One day to complete a picture book? At least you would have a rough draft, right? Thanks, Jason.


Leave a comment

Blanket Wars

image

No. This is not THAT kind of post. Sorry to disappoint.

This story does take place behind closed doors. Bedroom doors. And it involves blankets.

Backstory: We live in an RV. While this is fairly new, having moved in last August after selling our home and getting rid of most of our belongings, we are pretty settled – as much as a couple plus two cats can be living in an RV – and have dealt with enough RV issues to allow us to feel somewhat competent and resourceful.

Some things we’ve experienced: sub-zero temps, above 100 temps, blown fuses, broken microwave (rough, I know), broken entertainment system (again, tough to handle, right?), frozen water hose, condensation like there’s no tomorrow, broken toilet (equals running, not stopping, water), frozen closed door (with us inside), and broken window shades (thanks, kitties).

Usually Mr. Q gets right on the problem and we finagle a way to make it work or fix it. Often this involves a call to Skyler, the fabulous service manager at Broadmoor RV where we purchased our home on wheels. Skyler is on speed dial. Skyler knows Mr. Q well, and after the recent broken toilet fiasco, my respect for him has quadrupled. Mr. Q was well and ready to pull the RV plug and throw in the towel. Skyler talked him off the ledge and assured him of solutions and assistance. Thanks to Skyler, we still live in the RV.

image

But there is one mystery we have not been able to fix. The blankets. The moving, twisting, weird blankets.

Setting: Queen bed. Sheets, both fitted and top. Kind of fuzzy dual-controlled electric blanket. Quilt. Second quilt. Small fleece throw for kitties.

Bedtime finds us tucked in cozily, snug as bugs in an RV rug. Staggered morning wakings ensue in a twist of layers and colors. He goes to work, I make the bed before digging out my computer.

Make. The. Bed. Every. Day. While this is challenging in itself – half cupboards at head height, sharp corners, floor cupboards, more sharp corners, narrow alley around most of the bed, electric blanket cord, and doorknobs – what happens to the tucked in bedding is most confusing.

I end up with the sheet. And sometimes one of the quilts. His side of the bed has the majority of the electric blanket, no sheet, and maybe a quilt. This happens every day. I don’t know how we do it, but it’s as if Mr. Q performs some magic trick to pull out the middle layer of heat and shuffles the rest my way.

The blankets are still tucked in at the foot of the bed. The plug is still attached. Even the kitty throw is in place. But that middle layer? Totally separated as if plucked and sorted by a giant’s hand while we sleep.

The blanket wars are on! I tuck with a vengeance, both when making the bed and when I get in at night, just to make sure I still have some covers left in the morning. He settles in while firmly grasping blankets over his head. Despite our efforts, the sheets still come my way, the electronic warmth goes his.

A mystery of epic RV proportions. Who will win? Will she freeze? Why do the sheets go east, the blankets west? Does he figure a way to make them stay layered? And what about the kitties? Whose side do they stay on?

Tune in this spring to discover if the warming trends of the season solve the blanket wars, once and for all.

Until next winter.

image


Leave a comment

Storystorm Day 14: “Guard Your Ideas Like Gold” by Marcie Colleen

  by Marcie Colleen When Tara asked me to blog for Storystorm I knew right away that there were two points I wanted to make. Ideas can come from the most random and wackiest places. A good idea is in…

Source: Storystorm Day 14: “Guard Your Ideas Like Gold” by Marcie Colleen

Great ideas are like gold! Keep them safe!


Leave a comment

Storystorm Day 13: “The Mock Caldecott Awards” by Colby Sharp

by Colby Sharp One of my favorite things to do with my students is a Mock Caldecott unit. Each year, my friend Mr. Schu and I select 20 books for the study. Mr. Schu posts the list on his blog with…

Source: Storystorm Day 13: “The Mock Caldecott Awards” by Colby Sharp

Teachers! This is a great idea to do with students. Librarians, you could probably adjust and do the same activity. Readers – who wouldn’t want to be in on the decision making for the Mock Caldecott Awards? Pick me, pick me!


Leave a comment

Storystorm Day 12: “Dances with Ketchup” by Julie McGann

by Julie McGann My name is Julie McGann and I am a wish-granting digital artist who captures the imagination of little dreamers worldwide by giving them the dream pet they have always wanted. Child…

Source: Storystorm Day 12: “Dances with Ketchup” by Julie McGann

I love the way Julie creates her imaginative art! Perfect for kids of all ages.


Leave a comment

Storystorm Day 11: “Rrrrripped from the Headlines” by Chana Stiefel

by Chana Stiefel Well, Storystormers. We have made it to January 11 already. While many of us have developed an aversion to the news these days, I encourage you to give your morning newspaper a sec…

Source: Storystorm Day 11: “Rrrrripped from the Headlines” by Chana Stiefel

Interesting story ideas can literally be rrrrippped from the newspaper! How fun is that?


Leave a comment

The Original New Year – Every Day – Fresh Start

img_2849

A childhood song came dancing through my mind this morning, singing to the new year and new beginnings. After several days of reading blog posts and emails about New Year resolutions and words for the year, my thoughts were certainly considering all things new.

Isn’t it wonderful to have a fresh start? Why can’t we do that every day, all year long? Every January, I find myself more energized and committed to my goals and dreams, yet from past experiences (years upon years), I’m pretty sure I will experience fatigue and begin to prune my high expectations. Or at least forget my word of the year (which I have yet to discover). Life will interfere, changes will happen, and by the end of the year, those beginning plans will have fallen by the wayside or will have been altered so much they barely resemble original thoughts.

That’s ok, though, really. We cannot foresee the twists and turns of life, so wisdom would dictate that we make adjustments and refine our goals, dreams, plans.

Fresh resolutions every morning would be much more manageable.

Write. Read. Learn. Love. Do.

A basic plan, a few words, doable. Perhaps too broad, but easy to adjust each day. And the perfect-for-me way to enjoy new mornings every day as the sun rises.

The original fresh start and new beginnings?

“The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.” Lamentations 3:22-23 (NLT)

and

“Then He who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’ And He said to me, ‘Write, for these words are true and faithful.’” Revelation 21:5 (NKJV)

 

Care to join me in a fresh new beginning each morning?

 

Karen Witemeyer penned similar well-crafted thoughts about new beginnings. You can find her at Inspired by Life and Fiction.


Leave a comment

Storystorm Day 10: “Storystorm While You Work” by Nancy Churnin

by Nancy Churnin If I had a nickel for every time someone asked me if I was going to quit my job now that my first book has been published, I’d have…a couple of dollars. Which is not enough t…

Source: Storystorm Day 10: “Storystorm While You Work” by Nancy

Story ideas may be found anywhere, we just gotta pay attention and catch them!


Leave a comment

Storystorm Day 9: “The Original Character” by Salina Yoon & Christopher Polentz

by Salina Yoon & Christopher Polentz People often ask me if my characters come first, or the story. Which inspires the other? Each book is different, but it’s an interesting question, and fun t…

Source: Storystorm Day 9: “The Original Character” by Salina Yoon & Christopher Polentz

Intriguing way to search for story ideas!