Tag Archives: books

#MirthMusicMon – Empty Seats and Cheerleaders

12 Oct

It’s Monday.

Therefore, time for Mirth and Music Monday!

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JqRXLQYF9o

My husband and I laughed out loud at this one.

Then he turned to me and said “I could see you doing that.”

Yeah, I totally would give someone a bit of flirty eyes…then spring the kid on him.

hehehe

Serves him right.  🙂

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The song is Pentatonix’s cover of Cheerleader.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P95_pCbCPZw

Hard to do wrong with these guys. 🙂

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Well, that’s it for me this week.

Click HERE to view a list of other Mirth and Music Monday bloggers.

You could add a post of your own if you wish to join in the fun.

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Video

#MirthMusicMon – Funny Mom Parodies

27 Jul

This has been an interesting day.

We woke up to a power blip that somehow knocked out internet out. We managed to get it fixed just in time for me to start work on Mirth and Music Monday. Whew!

Also, this has not been a good day, uh, morning sickness wise. On the up side, I don’t think my abs have ever been this solid. 🙂

Enough about me, it’s time for the fun stuff.

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This first one is a mom parody of Let It Go (like you aren’t all more than a little tired of that tune), but it’s a good one. Honest.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqqlylre2BU

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The next one is a mom parody of Footloose (the song, not the entire movie).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTBdOgsYdjM

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Check out the link right Here to see who else has put together Mirth and Music Monday posts this week.

It’s the same link you would need if you are interested in playing along with us. All that is required is that your post have something funny and something musical. Then simply put your link in the list and voila! you’re a member of the #MirthMusicMon group.

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Have a Great Week!

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A Hodge-Podge About Life and Writing

21 Mar

Sooo, after spending the majority of the day dealing with a migraine I  finally get around to trying to write a blog post. However, my computer and my internet connection had something of a battle, and now I’m too ticked off at the world in general to write a flash fiction.

Therefore, I am going to talk about something completely different.

I’m just not sure what.

I could talk about how well my current diet erm… eating lifestyle change is going. (The household is following the diet laid out in The 4-Hour Body)

The fact that I’m a little over two belt holes thinner.

Or talk about how my book sales have not been what I had hoped.

Then there’s this fantastic fantasy series I’m reading. (Elisabeth Wheatley sure knows how to weave a plot.)

Perhaps I could touch on the idea of sharing the first few pages of my husband’s portion of a steam punk graphic novel he’s working on (Words only so far. We need an artist.).

Then there’s the undead flash fictions he has been spitting out. (he’s writing circles around me, people!)

Of course there’s the business we’re still hoping to put together in a town very close to where we live. It’s still very hush-hush, but I’m excited! (We thought we almost had it last winter, then federal regulations changed and our supplier had to revamp their product. The scale of our future enterprises has enlarged… hopefully in a good way.  :/  )

I keep thinking I need to whip together some of my steam punk flash fictions and put another book out there. But for some reason my heart isn’t in it at the moment. I’m not sure why. Very confused. I’m also stalled on my other writing projects. Perhaps it’s the approaching spring. Maybe it’s worry over five hundred big and little things. Very likely it’s nothing and I just have to push myself through it. Like most of my projects, I’m pretty sure that the moment I really start to work on it it’s all I’ll be able to think about for a month or two. Kinda like those Carls Jr. commercials, except I may as well wear a big shirt that says “Don’t bother me. I’m writing.”

With it being a lot nicer outside, I won’t feel guilty at the idea of pitching the dogs out the back door and into their pen for an hour or two while I concentrate on a project. You see, I write best alone. However, the dogs hate it when there’s only one person in the house. Especially if they hear my husband getting chores done outside. They don’t leave me alone. It’s like they are trying to make me go outside and bring him back to them. That means that my writing time goes something like this:

Let’s see… she’s just decided what poison to use on… What? Why are you bumping my elbow? Yes. I know he went out that door. No, I’m not going to go get him.

Please stop whining. It’s the most annoying sound on the planet.

Thank you.

Now where was I? Ah, yes… she’s crafting the gelatin dessert, should it be orange or raspberry?  WHAT?! No! I won’t go get him! Please go lay down!

No, the sad eye thing won’t get you anywhere. Knock it off.

I didn’t mean literally!  How did you even manage to tip that over? It was way over there!

No, I did not stand up to let you go outside to find him. Stop barking.

GAH!!!

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Yeah, so needless to say, this has been a creatively barren winter.

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If only they stayed this cute and small:

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Video

I Remember This One As ‘Green Glass Beads’

20 Nov

When I was little (and still today) my parents had the most amazing hoard of books. I remember sitting on the floor, or curled up in a corner of a couch reading stories, admiring illustrations, pouring over poetry. I remember us all piled on my parents’ bed as mom read The Secret Garden, doing all the different voices. Accents included. I remember dad reading My Side Of The Mountain to us, a chapter at a time, at bedtime. To this day those two books are still among my favorites.

I also remember mom reading a poem about green glass beads to my sisters and me. A little while later, I went on a hunt to see if I could find the poem hidden inside one of the many books stashed throughout the house. I finally found it. The drawings and the words once again captivated me.

Now, I’m all grown up (reluctantly), and I still search for this poem. This time, on YouTube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04TW5FUNi7s

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Is it any wonder I love reading and writing books and poetry?

It was all around me growing up. Some of our favorite books were those thick books of poems by Shel Silverstein. Especially Where The Sidewalk Ends. Then of course there were the many Calvin and Hobbs books which could take up many hours of a rainy afternoon (so many big words to learn!). Even with all the other books surrounding us, we also found time to simply flip through the pages of random tomes from the encyclopedia collection. All sorts of wonderful things to learn in one of those.

I think most of us four girls memorized a certain poem by our mother. The one I am thinking of was published in a little booklet from her college. It’s about 3 men in a tub…in the sea. It always makes me smile and sometimes even giggle.

Perhaps I’ll ask her to let me put it on here. Although, the more I think about it (and I have been thinking about it for several months) the more I would like to have that poem in the fore matter of my book of bathroom poetry.

Something else to ask her about.  🙂 

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Video

I Forgot How Much I Like Good Fantasy

23 Oct

Good fantasy.

My favorite books in my teens were The Hobbit, almost anything written by Madeline L’langle, and Terry Pratchett’s work is still at the top of my favorites list.

I think what burned me out was trying to read not-so-good fantasy one too many times. Now for years I have been under the impression that it’s just not my ‘thing’.

Until I read The Forgotten Ones by Laura Howard

Then The Key of Amatahns (Argetallam) by Elisabeth Wheatley

And now I’m reading No Angels: Keep the people safe by any means necessary by Eli Hinze

All of them are a little (sometimes a lot) brain bending… in a good way. They’re just enough out there to bring you out of your own mind and preconceived notions and drag you into the story. These are ladies who are now at the top of my list of Authors To Watch.

Basically because

I’m totally fan-girling out on their stuff!

And so is my husband!!!

If we both think these are good books, that’s got to count for a huge thumbs up from the critics.  🙂

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Nice job ladies. Keep ’em comin’.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tuZSfvHHMr4

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Video

One Day I Will Go From A Writing Zero To My Own Business Hero

1 Oct

Sans Peur

Means ‘Without Fear’.

It’s the motto of the Sutherland Clan.

They’re also the words that start bouncing from corner to corner of my computer screen when I leave it alone for too long.

Without Fear.

If only.

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The strange thing is, I’m not afraid of failing. I have failed before, stalled out, made mistakes, blundered about in a couple new ventures only to have things fizzle out as I realize it’s not for me.

I’m not afraid of success, either. We have people and plans picked out for when we have money to spend, invest, and pay taxes on.

I think I am honest to goodness afraid of the in between. That strange patch of ground that stretches from dusting myself off from the last try, over to that big house with a lovely office decorated just the way I want it. That place where I have to actually jump off the diving board and into the unknown world of another beginning.

How many authors pause in the act of pushing the publish button for the first time?

How often do they have to have their husbands, sisters, or cats actually kick that anvil off the cliff? It’s just so hard when we fear that there’s somehow a rope tied from it to an ankle.

The impatience at yourself for playing with all those what-ifs.

The highs of “Could I be the next Mark Twain?”, and the lows of “No one is going to ever buy my stuff. I’ll have to write thirty books before my husband will be able to retire.”

(Is there such a thing as author bi-polar?)

Nothing in my life is so emotionally draining as the contemplation of all the blood, sweat and tears it is going to take to get this career off the ground.

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Oh, well. That’s just me having a pity party.

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One of these days I am going to have a few books on the market, have a little money coming in from them, and feel a bit silly when I think of all the stressing I did over this.

Until then, I think this may be my new theme song:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CevxZvSJLk8

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My Friday Night Exercise

21 Sep

*Pant, pant, gasp*

We just got home from the Senior Center dance.

Where’s my water bottle?

My feet hurt, my right calf is about half a step away from cramping, and I couldn’t be happier.

Tonight was the drummer’s birthday. His birthday request was that the cover charge be waived. So tonight’s outing was free. There was the usual pot-luck fare at the 8:30 intermission, plus a big, chocolate birthday cake. (I was a good girl and only stole one bite from Lonnie’s piece.)

The treasurer has just had a minor foot surgery so she couldn’t really get out and dance much (although she did manage a subdued twist). She asked a few of the ladies to take her place and keep her husband on the dance floor. I’d only danced with him a couple of times before. I think he does a country version of a waltz, which I’m not used to, but he leads so well I had no problem following.

So not only am I learning the two-step, but now I am fascinated with this new kind of waltz.

Next week is a western night. They have a special fiddle player coming in from a couple towns over.

This should be interesting, since I don’t own any cowboy boots, or a fluffy, puffy skirt. Although a sister did give me a shirt a few weeks ago which should work. And my black knee high boots should substitute…sort of. I have a denim skirt, but it’s a little too narrow for wearing to a dance.

I do have a pair of jeans that make my butt look awesome, sooo… yeah.  🙂

*Gasp!* And I have a big belt buckle with roses on it!

Yay! Thanks for listening, y’all. I’ve figured out what I’m going to wear.  😀

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Something interesting happened this evening. I answered honestly when a couple people asked me what I had been doing recently. I straight up told them that I have been working on getting a book of bathroom poetry published on Amazon. Seriously, I thought it was just going to be glossed over with a “oh, how nice for you”. Nope. As far as I can tell I’m going to have to take a box of books to autograph for several people at the Senior Center as soon as I can get things worked around to getting that thing on the print-on-demand option. I was also told that they wouldn’t want them as gifts. They want to pay for their copies!

Mind Blown

So that was an ego boost.  🙂

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Alright. I’ve had time for the muscles in my legs to quit twitching from the torture. It’s time to take these tired tootsies to bed.

I hope you guys all have amazing weekends! I’m sure as heck am going to figure out a way to have some more fun.  😀

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On The Long Game – A Guest Post By Laura Oliva

6 Sep
Here's a photo of her saucy self.

Here’s a photo of her saucy self.

You remember the cover reveal we did here a little while ago? Here’s the author.

I have to admit that my first thought after seeing that her second book was already done was “I hate her.” But on reflection I kind of started to wonder how she does this whole writing thing so dang fast (especially with a toddler at home!).

So after a few days of wondering, I invited her to write a guest post.

Here’s what she has to say about staying creative as a writer:

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“There is no rule on how to write.  Sometimes it comes easily and perfectly; sometimes it’s like drilling rock and then blasting it out with charges.” -Ernest Hemingway

It’s that time again.

Fall is in the air.  The sun is shining.  The leaves are changing.  And I am sitting down to start another book.

I crack my knuckles, position my coffee cup within reach, and set my hands to the keyboard.  The unique pleasure of creation crackles through me.  I hunch over the table.  And then…

Nothing.

I look around.  The table is filthy.  The floor hasn’t been mopped in ages.  My chair has no lumbar support; I can feel my spine begin to telescope the longer I sit.  Rattled, I take a sip of coffee.  It tastes terrible.  And as if that’s not bad enough, it’s getting cold.  The panic every writer knows all too well starts to build.

What if I can’t do this again?

The Muse is a fickle mistress, as any writer, artist, or musician will tell you.  Jungian analyst and writer Clarissa Pinkola Estes calls it Rio Abajo Rio, the River Beneath the River.  It’s an apt metaphor.  One minute we can be swimming along, basking in our creative groove, and the next…

Nothing.  The water disappears underground, and we’re left gasping on a dry riverbank.

So what do you do?  You could sit and wait for your river to surface again.  Lots of writers do.  But when might that happen?  Sometimes, waiting is just not an option.  What if you have goals?  Deadlines?  Diapers to change?  You need every second of writing time you can get.

Every writer I know has their own little bag of tricks: tried-and-true ways to get The Muse back on the chain gang when she’d rather stay home and do her nails.  Many of us utilize the same tools; music, visuals, voodoo, et cetera.  Here, for your reading pleasure, is my personal survival kit:

A Picture Is Worth… Well, You Know.  I’ve always been a very visual person.  When I was younger, oil painting was my creative outlet of choice.  Now I write more than I paint, but I remain compelled by the power of a good picture. 

Most recently, I have become an unabashed Pinterest addict.  The ability to curate pictures that inspire my writing is truly priceless.  On days when I feel my creativity dwindling, you can usually find me on Pinterest, scrolling through old pictures and finding new ones.  This alone is usually enough to snap me out of a slump.

The Right Note.  Music is a daily routine for me.  I have a playlist for each book I write, and I’m constantly on the hunt for songs that capture the tone of my projects.

Ironically, I rarely listen to them while I’m actually writing.  Rather, I play them all the rest of the time: running errands, cooking dinner, or just driving around.  I’m convinced this helps them seep into my subconscious to emerge later, when I do sit down to write.

What Do You Want?  You’ve probably heard this from every teacher, life coach, and college professor you’ve ever met, but you need goals.  This is true of life in general, but it’s especially so in writing.

Embarking on a writing career is a long game.  It’s not easy, and it’s not quick.  If you don’t have something on the horizon to keep your eye on, it gets very difficult to stay motivated enough to continue.  So what do you want?  Be as specific as possible.

Then take a deep breath, and dive in.

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Thanks, Laura!  (lol, Voodoo.)

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Want more?

Laura’s Amazon author page: www.amazon.com/author/lauraoliva

Her website: www.lauraolivabooks.com

And on Twitter: @writermama

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Video

How To Fill A Blank Brain

20 Aug

My mind is empty.

Really, it’s blank.

I must do something

to refill the tank.

Just writing and writing

can empty a soul.

I will find inspiration,

fill up my bowl.

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What do you do when your mind is spent?

Your creativity has been sapped;

the feelings of wonder for your art are drained?

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I have been a bad girl.

I have only seen 2 movies in the last 30 days, and can’t remember if I’ve actually finished reading a book in that time period.

There are at least half a dozen unread books on my Kindle PC, but to be truthful, none of them are really grabbing me and demanding I read them.

Don’t get me wrong. Plenty of reading material has passed before these eyes in the last several weeks. Articles about social media, blogging, marketing, writing…proofreading my own blog posts. Even entertaining posts by blogger friends! (My poor head is spinning with facts, ideas, should-dos, and how-tos for getting a book launch together.)

Just no books, no T.V., and only 2 movies. (Pony rider, and RED 2. Both fun movies, just not enough.)

I couldn’t tell you why. It just hasn’t happened.

Perhaps I should take a couple days away from the computer (away from research, social media and the blog) and see about refilling the batteries.

Like a mini vacation for the little writer inside me.

Maybe I’ll watch some anime with my husband, reread a Georgette Heyer, work on my photography, and get some sunshine. With this wrist still not wanting to do anything strenuous I can’t swing on the swings at the park, but that doesn’t mean I can’t take a book and sit under a tree and read while listening to little kids have fun on the merry-go-round.

Don’t worry, I wouldn’t leave you high and dry. I would take some time to put together something entertaining to hold you over for those couple days. I’m not sure what exactly, but just that challenge would be an interesting distraction.

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Tell me, what do you do when your cup of inspiration is empty?

What do you do to fill it back up?

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Well, it has a bowl at least! So it kinda fits with the theme of this post.

Kinda…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyWuevB6WPQ

They’re cute and entertaining anyway. (Still don’t want one, though. We already have plenty of pets!)

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Video

Could My Writing Ever Be Good Enough To Inspire Songs?

15 Aug

Yeah, I know. It’s a strange topic.

But, here I am, asking the question.

(Really, I’m not trying to come across as pretentious or egotistical.)

It’s mostly because I have this song stuck in my head:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl89g2SwMh4

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That song got me to wondering if any of my poetry, or eventual novels will end up inspiring someone out there to write a song about the idea behind it.

Could I possibly become a good enough poet that my last name alone would carry weight in literary circles (like Byron, Shakespeare and so many others).

Would it be slightly possible that my works could eventually be nodded to in sculpture and paintings, referenced in school books as someone to study?

This is a pretty hefty line of what if’s…but seriously, what if?

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Do you want to see some other songs that were inspired by books and poetry?

Check out this article: 10 Songs Inspired by Books

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What kinds of questions and what-if scenarios (concerning your work/art) run through your brain?

Do you play with the idea, or do you immediately slap it down as an impossibility or flight of fancy?

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