Thursday, March 29, 2012

Things I Love Thursday


I love these babies.  I've loved Wheat Thins for as long as I can remember.  They're crispy, tasty, and you get sixteen in a serving which beats every other unhealthy cracker out there.  They're great dipped in cottage cheese, at least I think so.  And--yes, I'm revealing how obsessive compulsive I am here--I segregate the light ones from the slightly overcooked ones.  Why?  Because the darker they are, the better they taste.  I eat the light ones first and save the best for last.  Yum.  Do you think Nabisco would make me a special box of burnt Wheat Thins?

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE CRACKER?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday


Here are the Top Ten Things I Love About Spring. Enjoy!

 The Sun.  Where have you been all winter?  I missed you!
 Outdoor activities--would somebody please build one of these closer to my house?
 The lack of cold.  I'll miss you, too, Mr. Snowman.
 Yes, we're already counting down the days.
 The smell of rain.  I could inhale it forever; it makes me so happy!
 Flowers, especially this breed of purple that creep out of the ground as soon as winter gets up and heads for the door, as if it's an unwanted guest and they've just been waiting for it to leave.
Colorful eggs.  Wouldn't it be cool if chickens just produced them this way?
 Blossoms on trees, and the return of leafy green.
 The smell of fresh cut grass.
And outdoor cooking, mostly because my husband gets this job and I get to sit and read while dinner's being made.

Ah, Spring.  WELCOME!

WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT SPRING?


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Writer Wednesday--Getting Lost in Your Story

Getting lost isn't usually something I try to do.  Although, I seem to be good at it when I forget to look up the map to a new location, relying solely on my immaculate sense of direction and the luck I'm sure follows me wherever I go.  When you're writing, however, getting lost is a good idea.

I recently finished another book and have to admit that even though time constraints stressed me more than I like, I did get lost.  The book is a retelling of the Snow White fairy tale and the idea came from a vivid dream I had.  I began it shortly after I finished the first draft of Cinder and Ella.  I wrote a chapter or two and took it to writing group where it got sliced to shreds.  My writing friends described one of the main characters as "creepy," and the main main character failed to interest them.  I rewrote those chapters, tweaking the plot here and there over time until I finally gave up, deciding the time wasn't right and I'd pick it up again later.

Then I got thrown into a marathon opportunity to finish it and couldn't believe how fast the ideas came, how swiftly my fingers moved across the keys, how crazy I get when I'm sleep deprived and friend deprived and self deprived.  After reading the new version, my awesome beta reader--keep in mind she'd read the other drafts and I'm sure used the words "creepy" and "uninteresting"--said she could tell I was "into" the story, getting lost inside, making friends with my characters, walking through the orchard, wearing a shawl because I needed to in Kat's world.  And how was it?  Magnificent.

If you're a writer, you've felt what I'm talking about before--the thrill of creating a new world, the joy of traveling to a place you love that's ordinarily kept within the walls of your imagination, the smiles that creep up on you as you're getting acquainted with these new imaginary people.  And you're happy, free, and at peace.  Because that's what writers were born to do:  get lost in their words, their writing, their worlds.

When is the last time you were beautifully lost?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Monday Musings--Thoughtfulness

I came across this picture on our camera and asked my husband if he knew what it was all about.  He laughed and told me the story.  Our children were playing a game outside when our oldest daughter decided to make lunch for everyone.  She asked my husband what he wanted and went inside to fix lunch.  So thoughtful.  Well, apparently something distracted her--an idea or something more appetizing than lunch.  But did she forget about her dad and what he had said he would like for lunch?  No.  She pulled everything out of the fridge.  So thoughtful.  She arranged it in a nice looking pile.  So thoughtful.  Then, feeling bad for not following through with her offer, left a sticky note with the letters S-O-R-R-Y written on top.  SO thoughtful.  Really, I think what she did shows character.  Maybe I'm not going to do exactly what I said, but I'm going to help out and apologize where I showed weakness.

One tradition we have in our house is that at dinner time we share thoughtful things we've done for others throughout the day or ways that others have helped us.  Thoughtfulness helps us reach outside ourselves and lift others up.  I think it's important to learn and practice.  It always touches me when I see a passerby stop to help a stranger change a tire, when I leave little surprises and love notes for my husband and children, and when my eighty-something year old feeble neighbor delivers the paper to my door when she's finished with it.  It fills me with hope.  Hope in myself.  Hope in others.  Hope in the world.

WHAT THOUGHTFUL THINGS HAVE YOU SEEN TODAY?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Monday Musings

I'm the luckiest person in the whole world.  What other writer has given birth to three talented illustrators?  I can't wait to do a project with each of them someday.