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These are the thoughts of an aspiring writer. I hope to take every day life with all of it's feelings and emotions and put them into words.
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Everyone knows in order to be a good writer you need to read. More importantly you should read the types of book you want to write. I ask you though. Is that really true? I have to be honest. I don't necessarily read the type of books I write. For me it wouldn't be as fun. I want to go to different worlds just as much as the next person.
I write young adult and new adult books. I have also dabbled in picture books. I'm getting off subject. My point is. I love to read. So much so I majored in English Literature.
I love the printed word. I love digging into a book and getting lost not only in the story, but in the world that is created for me to explore. One of my favorite books is Jane Eyre. I have lost the number of times I have read it. I've done reports on it in college, and you know what amazes me? Each and every time I have read it, I find new information about the characters I missed the time before.
This is what a book should be to me. When I can re-read a book and always find something I missed before. Another story which does that for me is "The Yellow Wallpaper"
by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. This work is incredible. I can only wish to write the way these two women write.
So yes, these are the books I read. At the moment though I am reading something a bit different. I'm actually reading "Blood Song" by Anthony Ryan
. I love this book. It's the first in the series. So yes, my taste is diverse. Don't judge me on Jane Eyre.
What type of books do you read? Do you read to write? Or do you read to read? Personally, I read to read. If it helps with my writing, then that is an added bonus.
I love this picture. So many things can come to your mind when viewing it. The early break of day, the clouds covering the city as it starts to wake. The quietness before the chaos.
For me is sense a story start to unfold. I look at this beautiful photo and I see in my mind out of shot of the picture a plane. A small two seated plane drifting through the cloud cover enjoying the morning sun rise when suddenly something goes wrong. The clouds are too thick, the air pressure is wrong, and the pilot starts to lose control of the plane.
The plane swerves then dives. The pilot holding onto the controls desperately. He shouts to his co-pilot he has lost control and he needs to adjust the pressure. The plane climbs missing the top of a building, but then climbs to high. The co-pilot fights with gauges and buttons, trying to gain control of the plane. The pilot pulls down on the controls and the plane starts to descend.
The plane levels out just in time before hitting the top of a building. The pilot circles back to the city as the sun rises higher on the horizon and the clouds start to lift. The city is just waking. It's time to go home. It has been a long night.
See that picture up there? I love that picture. Why? It's simple. Just look at it. The picture alone says it all. We will not tolerated bullying.
Bullying is all around us, at home, in school, at the work place. People concentrate on kids bullying other kids all the time, and with school now in session it is something that is at the top of the list for people to be aware of all the time. But does it really ever end? In my eyes, sadly no. It is always something we need to teach. Kids need to be aware of others people's feelings, young and old.
As we concentrate on stopping the bullying sometimes I feel one thing is being lost, forgotten, and not addressed and it should be. What about the bully. We need to stop and think about why these kids and adults are bullies in the first place. I promise you one thing. There is an underlying problem there. The solution? Get help. These bullies have emotional problems of their own. Get to the source of the problem and the bullying stops.
This is where my knowledge of writing and books come into play. Ever hear of The Berenstain Bears? Of course you have, we all have. The book is called The Berenstain Bears and the Bully. Read it again. The bully turns out has emotional problems of her own, which I'm happy to say are addressed in the book.
More recently a new book is out on the market. No I have not read it, but I like the idea and am interested in what the author has to say. The Book is called FLAWD by Emily-Anne Regal and she is the founder of WeStopHate
. She is a 21 year old who was bullied herself and after changing schools became the bully. I have to say I'm interested in reading her story. How about you?
My point? Don't just stop the bullying, stop the cycle.
Day by Day I write I type
I cut, I paste
I cry, I gripe.
My fingers fly across the page
I grapple for words alive with rage
I make the old worlds new again
I paste, I dare
To create a world new and alive
For my characters to live and thrive.
I cut, I paste
And gripe once more
In hopes you will someday explore
The world I create in my heart of hearts
To share with the world
My work of art.
It's apple season! Know what that means? Of course you do. It means apple picking. Over the years my husband and I always got this wrong. We would wait until the first of October and say "Hey, boys let's go apple picking." We would drive to the local apple orchard and find most of the apples gone.
Apparently we were out of practice. October is pumpkin season, we knew that but we also thought it was apple season. Wrong! Apple season is in September. We got it right now.
There is something about fall apples. Sure you can go to the local super market and get apples all year round and I do, but you have to admit they just aren't the same. That first bite of a perfectly ripe fall apple is amazing. So light, so crisp and juicy. Then there is the smell, oh it's heavenly. Nothing else compares.
I usually spend my weekend morning during this season making my husbands favorite: Apple Cake. It is a recipe handed down from my Grandmother. Everyone in the family made sure they got a copy. We wanted to make use her recipes lived on after she past. I promise you Grandma Helen, I think of you every time I make the apple cake. What better way to honor a loved one? I usually have to make more than one a season I can tell you that and I know Grandma Helen did too.
What are your favorite recipes made with fresh fall apples? Tell me, maybe we can share.
Happy Apple Picking!-
I love that dog up there. Why? Because that scruffy little dog represents my local town's AAU Baseball Team. Why else do I love that dog? Because of my son. I'm proud of him. I'm getting ahead of myself though. Let me tell you a story. After all, that is why you are here.
My son loves baseball, but he didn't always. He was one of the kids out in the field during his T-Ball days picking daisy's, literally. Over the years his interest grew, yet he still didn't have the same drive most of his friends had. Once the weather got chilly they were still at it. They tried out for the river dogs and made it. Why, because even in the winter they would find the time to hit the indoor batting cages, my son, on the other hand, not so much. Oh trust me it wasn't for the lack of trying to get him out there.
Last spring though something changed. My son became taller, stronger and more determined. He suddenly had the drive that wasn't there before. He started asking to hit the batting cages, and wanted to try out for the river dogs. My husband and I were happy to oblige. We knew it was going to be rough for him though. He had a lot of catching up to do. In this age group there are a lot of boys who are really good. I mean kids get scared at bat good. Danny knows, most of them are his friends, good friends. Gives him an advantage though on the field. Still competition is competition.
Last August my son tried out for the River Dogs for this past spring's team (They train from January to April. Then the games start). We told him don't be surprised if you don't make it. He knew, he understood what he was up against, but he wasn't going to let that stop him. He didn't make the team. It crushed him, but that rejection only made him stronger. During the spring season he was a changed kid. He took baseball seriously, he worked, he lead his team, He hit 11 balls over the fence, he played his heart out, and everyone of the coaches noticed.
August came around and try outs for the River Dogs came again. My son wanted to try again. He wasn't going to give up. He said if he doesn't make it, he'll keep trying out until he does. That's my boy!
We'll we got the call on a Wednesday night after the first day of school. My son made the team. They decided this year since there were so many kids who tried out and only 12 slots they would have two teams. Still that is only 24 slots. Still hard to get on the team in my eyes. They have an A Team (the diamond team) and an open team. Now my son is aware he isn't on the Diamond Team but that's okay, it isn't the point. He is on the team, he is playing the sport he loves, and he didn't give up.
Isn't that what life is all about? Falling down and getting back up? I know my writer friends out there know what that is all about. Well, that is my story, perseverance pays off. Always remember that and Happy Monday!
The forest is dense. It is lush with different shades of green. All is quite. Not one human has stepped into these woods for years. The creatures of the forest and the rustle of the leaves in the breeze are the only sounds to be heard. Now take the quiet a step further, if you are really quiet you can hear the branches and leaves as they drink up the damp morning dew. It's hard I know, but it is possible.
Nature at it's finest is quite and beautiful. The stories she hides close to her heart are not always easy to hear. Sit down and listen again. Watch the forest around you and she will tell you the stories if you stop to see long enough to see her wonder. Look and listen because she is telling them, you just have to stop long enough to hear them. Then and only then will her stories come alive for you. The scratch on a tree trunk from an ax from long ago, the fallen branch from a storm, and birds nest high in the branches which had taken months for the young bird to build, the scurry of a squirrel as he collects his nuts, the long slow slither of a the fox as he eyes his prey and the circling flight of the hawk as he searches for food.
These are the character of the forest. They are strong and vibrant. Stop, look and listen. Let them tell you of their adventure.
What is writers block and why do so many people say they get it? Writers block is when you stare at a black page, or the next sentence of your work and the words just won't come to you. Well I'm here to say, I have not been away for so long because of writers block, no I've been away, because like everyone I needed to recharge, be mom, wife, daughter and sister. In short live life.
When I decided to start up my blog again. it wasn't anything I thought about. I didn't say to myself, "I need to start writing again." Nope it actually happened more suddenly then that. I was sitting in the dentists office waiting for my son to get this palette expander taken off and the wires put on his braces, when I decided to check my blog. Why? I have no idea. I haven't checked it in so long. That was when I decided to write here again. I was ready. It was time.
What in the world do I write about though? I haven't written in so long? Writers block? Nope. I looked around my back yard and a million things came to mind. I realized that I don't need a subject to write about. Just write. The leaves on the trees, the flowers in the garden. What shape are they? Do they have curves or are they pointy? How about the colors, are they soft as pastels, or are they vibrant as primary colors? Then there is smell? Are they pungent, or do you barely get a whiff of them in the breeze? Taste? Okay, unless they are editable you probably don't want to taste them, but you get the point.
Which brings me to my point. Write. That's it. It doesn't have to be on your current master piece. It doesn't have to be editing someone's else's work. Nope, just write; for the fun of it.
Working on a book is hard work, we all know that. I have worked on my share of works in process; so far none of which has seen the light of day. Well, they have, but they haven't gotten past the the agent test. Don't worry, I'm still working on changing that.
What I find fascinating is not only the hard work that goes into these works, but the illustrations as well. For example, check out the picture above. I have this rough draft of the cover of Charlotte's Web. Ever wonder how many different covers were tried before they decided on one?
I've always loved looking at the pictures of the young reader chapter books where they have a small picture to help sum up the the chapter next to the title . Whoever thought of that idea? I love it.
But what puzzles me more was how many hours and rewrites did it take to get the right title for the chapter and the right illustration? I'm guess a few dozen. It must have been so hard to decide.
Then there are picture books. There are so many authors out there who haven't even met the person who is working on the illustration for their books. Think about it, doesn't it boggle your mind to know that someone else is taking your baby and giving it a new life in pictures? As an author it must be so exciting to see your characters take on life like that? I'd love to know what that feels like.
Now authors who are illustrators as well are just too talented for me. I mean have you ever looked at the cover of a book to see that the author and illustrator are the same person? Next time look. Not as many as those with different author and illustrators on them. I say hat's off to them, now that is talent. One I will not ever posses, but I have great respect for. Thank you.
One of my favorites which incredible illustrations is:
MISS FIONA'S STUPENDOUS PUMPKIN PIES, by
- AUTHOR: Mark Kimball Moulton
- ILLUSTRATOR: Karen Hillard Crouch
If you have never read this book and looked at the illustrations why have to get yourself a copy.
Another of my favorites is:
Author: Denise Fleming
Illustrator: Denis Fleming
She is a perfect example of an author who writes as well has designs her own illustrations.
Tell me some of your favorites so I can go check them out!
I love this picture because there are so many thing you can write about. I have mine below. It's kind of somber, and might need some more work to touch it up, but I like it and I hope you do too.
I close my eyes
And take a breath
But still I feel the pain in my chest.
I wrap my arms around myself
And tears drip down
My face is wet.
I long to sing of better days.
And hear the soft sweat sound of success.
I know its near, it's within reach.
I just can't see it, through the tears.
I try to fight, I hold on tight.
I grip and claw my way once more
I can not stop I must go on.
Though the pain is heavy and my heart is sore.
I close my eyes
And take a breath
But still I feel the pain in my chest.
I wrap my arms around myself
And open my eyes to see what's left.
Over the mountain the sky is blue.
The clouds are white, and birds fly too
But still by my the sky is dark
And there are no birds at play in my park.
I must get over that mountain of pain
and feel the healing of the rain.
I'll grip and claw my way once more,
I won't give up until I soar!
Don't I wish 'Back in the Swing of Things' meant writing, but I don't. I have been very busy though. I've been swinging more like that cute monkey hanging there. Isn't he adorable? I think I'll call him Sam. Why you ask? Well why not?
Anyway the reason I'm back in the swing of this is this:
Work is picking up even more the before (as I stated in past posts), in fact so much so that my company is moving in the next few months. We are in the process now of painting, updating the electrical, building walls, building sterile rooms, the works, so yeah, things have been busy there.
My personal life has been busy too. The boys are back in baseball and you guys know me, it's one of my favorite places to be. My oldest has also taken up kick boxing and wrestling, while my youngest added guitar to his piano lessons. So how can I possible find the time to write much less find time to post?
I'm still trying to figure that out. But- I'm still here and that says a lot. As they say, where there is a will there is a way, and I'll find a way.
It's a great motto and I love it. What have you guys been up too? Drop me a line, I'd love to hear from you.
In the mean time I'll be resting in the beautiful swing there hidden in the trees. If I could just find the time, and the swing. LOL
Oh, and thanks for stopping by Susanna's blog and checking out my pitch for my picture book, A Noise in The Dark
everyone has had wonderful advice!
I'm so glad you stopped by.
Now get out of here and head over to Susanna Leonard Hill's Blog to critique my pitch for my picture book A Noise In the Dark for Perfect Pitch Wednesday!
And since I don't want to leave you empty handed:
Take a puppy with you, or should I say cupcake? Aren't they just too cute to eat? I love it!
And hey, Thanks for all the support!
Picture Book Fans!! I have an announcement to make!
Tomorrow is Perfect Pitch Day over at Susanna Leonard Hill's blog
. It is also the day in which she will be featuring my perfect pitch for my picture book A Noise In the Dark
Please click over to Susanna's blog check out all the wonderful goodies she has on her website and don't forget to critique me!
At the end of the month, don't forget to go back and vote for the best pitch of the month! Thanks everyone!
Okay I can't take credit for this photo, it came from Ellen DeGeneres Show. Don't you just love that husky? Such a character! Okay tell me your story or poem.
Can I have it? Can I have it?
Do you think that I should take it?
They left it, they left it
How can they have left it?
It's so hot, and it looks so cold.
So refreshingly wet on my nose
Can I have it? Can I have it?
It's so green and so bright,
Ooh it looks like such a delight.
One taste, just one taste.
They won't know
I'll be done before they know.
Just one, just one tiny one
Oh darn I don't have thumbs!
I hope you like this game. I know I do. So let's play again. I've another picture for you. I hope you like it.
"I hear ya frog, this class is boring, at least you can hop away."
Doesn't he look like he wishing he could be a frog and hop away too? All I can think of is a science class field trip. What do you think of when you look at this picture? Tell me, I'd love to know.
It's time for Tell me a Story
I found this picture and I automatically thought of the month of March. You know how it comes in like a lion and out like a lamb. Look as the sun is breaking through shinning on the water as it roars down the the stream until it hits the quite calm. I love it.
Peace can be found, but only after the storm
The sun struggles to give life for the danger is forlorn.
Okay, now it's your turn. tell my your poem or story. I'm listening.
Children's poems has always been an interest of mine. I can't say I've had an interest in them as far back as high school, college maybe, but I'd say more recently to be honest. I think it started to really take root when I started having children of my own.
I always wanted my boys to have a strong love for reading, and having a son who isn't fond of reading, I though it would be fun to spice things up with poems. There are so many wonderful poems out there for kids. Let's face it Shel Silverstein is just the icing on the cake.
In my endeavor to learn as much as I can about poems and writing picture books in verse I stumbled on some really great authors and bloggers and thought I'd share some of their links with you.
http://poetryforchildren.blogspot.com/ is a great site
http://readwritepoem.org/ is another one
and then there is Susanna Leonard Hall
who's link you can always find on my side board.
There are also so many more, and don't worry in the next few weeks I plan on covering some other great sites.
let me know if there are sites that you frequent. I'd love to add them to the list.-
I thought this would be fun. Please take it seriously. Look at the picture of this adorable child and the basset hound and write me a short story, or poem.
"Yippee, Yippee, Oh happy day!
The doctor says I'm cancer free
What fun, what joy to run and play
Now Charlie come with me.
We'll run and jump and play hide and seek.
No cancer can find me.
For I won I won and now I see a future bright as can be.
Please put your story or poem in the comments. If I get a large response I'm going to try this one a month.
This is the time of year when everyone concentrates on family and traditions.
But what happens when families change? Traditions sometimes change as well.
Change is hard. It even harder on kids. During the holiday's many families have traditions, but what happens when a loved one is lost, or someone moves away, or the family grows to big to fit all in one house? Well then sometimes the tradition has to change to accommodation the changing family. Makes sense doesn't it. Of course it does. That doesn't mean change is easy. The changes in families are very stressful times. Holiday's make these changes even more stressful.
There is always that age old question; do you see your in-laws for the holiday or your family? Or do you stretch yourself and see both? Do you take turns with the years on who you see? Do you go to mid-night mass or go in the morning? Do you have time to go in the morning? Will you do able to stay awake if you do go to mid-night mass? Personally I always fall asleep in at mid-night mass. Hay, it's the thought that counts, right.
The point is, try not to add more stress to the holiday then need be. Concentrate on what is important. Your family and loved ones will understand if things go wrong with dinner, or plans or what ever is it. Slow down, enjoy the loved ones who are around you, and remember with fondness these who can't be with you.
Most of all enjoy the season, the ones who have left us would want us to be happy and enjoy ourselves. Remember those traditions with them, and make new ones. That is what the holiday season is all about, enjoying old traditions and making new one.
I have to admit I did not write this. I do not know who the author is, but I enjoyed it enough to share it with you. With the holiday season upon us I also thought it was appropriate. Enjoy.A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise...e jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if...the jar was full. They agreed that it was.The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.
The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full.. The students responded with a unanimous 'yes.'
The professor then produced two Beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand.The students laughed..
'Now,' said the professor as the laughter subsided, 'I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things---your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions---and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.. The sand is everything else---the small stuff.
'If you put the sand into the jar first,' he continued, 'there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life.
If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.
Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.
Spend time with your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with grandparents. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and mow the lawn.
Take care of the golf balls first---the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.
One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the Beer represented. The professor smiled and said, 'I'm glad you asked.' The Beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of Beers with a friend.
Just a short note to wish you
A Merry Christmas
I'll be back on Tuesday, have a safe and happy holiday- Cynthia
Well I'm back from my weekend at Okemo Mountain and I have to tell you, it was very cold We made our way up Friday night after the boys got out of school; there was no way I was going to take them out of school. We stopped a few times for dinner and bathroom breaks; not to mention feed and walk Rascal.
It was around nine by the time we got there, so it wasn't long before everyone was off to bed so we could get an early start Saturday morning.
My husband got up early with the boys and sighed them up for snow boarding lessons, much to their delight(they were not happy). I hit the slopes with my mother-in-law mid morning and got a few runs in on the magic carpet to warm up, before buying tickets for the lift and taking a break for lunch back at the house. After lunch my Mother-in-law and I hit the slopes again before joining my husband for a few runs, before picking up the kids.
Sunday, it was too cold for me, so I stayed home. I was really upset about it too, but with the temperature being 17 degrees, and the wind chill at around 3 degrees the furthest I got was walking Rascal around the block. Even then I had to put on snow pants and thermals. I could barely walk let alone ski.
Monday morning we headed home praying that we weren't headed towards a driveway full of snow that needed to be shoveled. Yes, that's right, if you live in the North East like me, you heard or dealt with the snow that came in Saturday. Thankfully their wasn't much snow, and I was able to get Rascal to the vet for an evening appointment. Thank my friends is a story in itself. Stay turned. I'll tell you all about my puppy, next post.
In the mean time, tell me how your President's Day weekend went?
I know I know, I've been gone a long time. I come and go like the season's lately. I've been working on my novel, working at my day job, etc... You all know the drill. Through it all I have neglected my blog. There have been many times when I thought I might scrap it all together. Let's face it. I'm not hear as much as I used to be and I tried many times to revive it. I want to say thank you to my loyal visitors, it means a lot to me that you keep returning hoping to find something new.
Well, now I have something new for you. It's called Tell me a Story
. Once a month (notice I'm trying not to commit myself to much here in case things go wrong. LOL) I'm going to post a picture of something. It is your job to write me a short shorty or a poem about the picture. Note: This is for fun only, there are no prizes, just a fun writing exercise to broaden our skill.
I will always start you guys off with a story or poem of my own to get the juices flowing. The first Tell me a Story
starts Tuesday March 4th so make sure you come back then to see what picture I have for you. What do you say? Do you like the idea? Let me know in the comments
I found this saying on Facebook last week, and I felt I needed to share it. Now I can't speak for everyone, and as you know I never do. I only speak for myself, but I find when life gets a little rough around the edges I turn to my faith. You see, we are not supposed to know why things happen in life. We are not supposed to know why things happen the way they do.What we are supposed to know is that there is always a plan. It might not be our plan, but it is a plan non the less.
Sometimes, we fight the plan laid out before us, and that is when the road gets harder to travel. Sometimes that is good. It challenges us, makes us prove we really want what we are fighting for. Other times no matter how long and hard we fight nothing changes. I've decided those are the times when you have to say, "Okay, it's just not my time yet, but my time will come."
Have faith, keep fighting and remember, you're time will come. Maybe not the way you planned. Maybe not in your time frame; but there is a reason for that. Once we get through that rough patch, hopefully we can see why things turned out the way they did. So have faith, and know we never go through those rough patches alone.
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There is a game I like to play with my boys, and I thought it would be fun to share it with you. You see my boys love animals, what kid doesn't right? We flip through a book and give the animals a voice. It really brings the picture to life. I posted mine below the picture.
"Aw, mom, really? Everyone is watching!"
See even Mom tigers can't kiss their kids in public.
What would you have the tigers say? Put your caption in the comments and share with us. I'd love to see your thoughts.