Saturday, November 30, 2013

Something Fun

I had an idea for a meme months ago. I stuck it on my list of things to do and finally got it put together when the kids went back to school. With the holidays coming up, I figured this was the perfect time to unveil my idea.



Gah. Not another meme.

*frowns* I heard that.


Untwist your Fruit-of-the-Looms and stop aggravating your TMJ. It's not what you think. I won't ask you to answer 1,011 questions or hyperlink 250,000,000 of your closest friends. This meme is simple. It knows you don't have a lot of time. *smile*


Really?

Yes.


May I present the...



The rules are:
  1. Copy these rules and include them in your post.
  2. Display the blog button, link the person who tagged you, and answer the three questions they asked.
  3. Come up with three new questions of your own; one serious question, one fun question, and one sentimental questionor just use the same ones. We're all busy, right?
  4. Tag three other bloggers and pass on the meme.
See? I told you it would be easy.  :)

I'll start it off...

Question #1 (The serious one)
What's your best piece of advice for surviving the holidays?

Question #2 (The fun one)
If you could be one of Santa's elves, what would your workshop talent be?

Question #3 (The sentimental one)
What's your favorite holiday-related family tradition?


To show I'm a good sport, I'll answer the questions.
  1. My best holiday advice is: Open a special savings account and have a little money taken out of your paycheck every two weeks for a year. Come December, you'll be able to pay cash for Christmas. 
  2. My workshop talent would be: Putting the glitches in the video games. :P
  3. My favorite tradition is: Going to a tree farm, riding on a tractor-pulled trailer, and cutting down a live Christmas tree, then coming home, sipping hot chocolate, and decorating it.

Now it's your turn.
For the first three victims, I tag:


and anyone else who wishes to participate.

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Thanks for stopping by. :)


Monday, November 25, 2013

Giving More Than Thanks

I wasn't going to post again until after Thanksgiving, but a woman always has the prerogative to change her mind, so I did. ;)

Two years ago, my daughter cut eleven inches off her hair and donated it in honor of a family member who was dying of cancer.

This past summer, it had grown to below her shoulders again. I asked her if she'd like to get it cut, citing a shorter style would be cooler in our sweltering Houston climate. She declined, saying she wanted to grow it out and donate it again this November.

Like mothers do, I nodded and agreed, figuring she'd forget or change her mind by fall.
I was wrong.

Last week, we went down to the local salon at daughter's insistence and had her well-past-shoulder-length hair cut to just below her chin. She mailed it off to Locks of Love, an organization that makes hairpieces for children with long-term hair loss from things like alopecia, brain stem radiation, and burns.

Donating is easy ($$ or hair). You just go to the website, print a donation form, fill it out, and mail it in with the hair. (We put the hair in a large zipper baggie, then place that with the form inside a mailer.) The hair must be rubber-banded into ponytails and cannot be bleached or color treated. If the hair is at least ten inches long, they can use it. Pieces less than ten inches and donations of gray hair are sold to offset costs.

My fifteen-year-old can be, well, fifteen. But sometimes she shows me a thing or two about character, selflessness, and generosity.




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I hope this finds you all having a great
holiday week with your families. 

Happy Thanksgiving. :)

Monday, November 18, 2013

Speed Writing (Eleventh hour help for all you NaNo people)

A few weeks ago, I tried something new, and it really sped up my drafting. 

After reading about how--doing basically the same thing--Ava Jae over at Writability Won NaNoWriMo In 9 Days, I thought I'd post this for my writer friends who are struggling to make their word count.


I typically write very clean, meaning I'm a picky polisher in my initial draft. It's closer to publish-ready than most, but it takes me forever.

Besides research, the main thing that slows me down is coming up with fresh ways to describe emotion, movement, facial expression, etc.  I decided to try something different if I found myself really stuck. (You know....when you sit there for twenty minutes, debating about a single phrase or word, and draw nothing but an icky cliche or a total mental blank. :P)  

I started putting a note-to-self (e.g. Show Harrison's outrage.) or a cliched/bad version of what I was aiming for in brackets, and then letting go and moving on. I've left blanks and notes in my WIPs before, but never to this extent. 

You know what? It worked! 

It helped me keep the momentum of the scene, which was good, especially since dialogue and flow of events come pretty easily to me. Now, when I go back to polish, I can open up my emotion thesaurus and other writing helpers and fix all that stuff at once. I think, in the long run, it will save time.


Don't give up. There are still 12 days left. 
You can do it! 
Go forth and NaNo!!! :D 


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Monday, November 11, 2013

Someone Thinks I'm Sweet

Al Diaz, better known as Father Dragon, bestowed upon me The Sweetest Blogger Award. In fact, he nearly made me cry with the kind things he said.

The truth is, Al has left quite an impression on me. I was thrilled to find his blog and surprised to discover that 'Mother Dragon' was his mother and not his wife. Father Dragon exhibits talent and wisdom far beyond that of most young men. If you don't already follow his blog, you are missing out. Truly.

Abrazos para ti, mi adorable dragon. :)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sad news on the blogosphere tonight

Author and editor Nick Wilford lost his stepson Andrew over the weekend. Those of us who know Nick and contributed to the anthology for Andrew are especially feeling the loss.

Kyra Lennon is taking donations for the family via Paypal (kyralennon [at] gmail [dot] com).

Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, Nick. 


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

IWSG November - The Me I Don't Let You See

This is my Insecure Writers Support Group post for November.  
For more information about the group, see the bottom of this post.

Alex's awesome co-hosts for November are:

CD Coffelt, Tina Downey, Isis Rushdan, 
and Michelle Wallace!

Please stop by their blogs and say thank you.




I sometimes dislike the tone of my blog, and I've been pondering how I can change it. Other bloggers post encouraging, lighthearted content that makes me laugh and smile...and makes me envious.

If I could stay positive and look at things from a different perspective, I could be like them, too. Problem is, it's hard to have an upbeat attitude when fate keeps throwing you curve balls and you're largely unhappy with your life.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Grammar Police Monday - Seize Control of English Usage


Overtake vs Take over
To overtake means to catch up with and outrun, such as in a race.

To take over means to seize power, usually of a business or government.


Oversee vs Overlook
To oversee means to control and manage a process or activity.

To overlook means to forget about something entirely. 


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Thanks for visiting. :)