I Am Able

I Am Able

I am able to give thanks this year for many things. I’m thankful for my girls. I’m thankful my family is healthy and my girls are learning every day in school. I’m thankful for the myriad of learning opportunities that engulfed all of us this year.

I’m thankful for you who read this. For taking the time to find out what I have to say. I have lots of stories, both funny and sad, and everything in between that I’ll share here in this space.

It’s been a year of personal growth for me. I’m not who I was in January and I’m curious to see what happens as 2020 closes and 2021 opens.

The holidays are here and, I for one, am looking forward to Santa coming. I will be peaking through the blinds on Christmas Eve scanning the night sky looking for Rudolph’s red nose.

Yes. She fell asleep this way.
Grade School Grammar

Grade School Grammar

Subject. Predicate. Verb. Noun. Adjective. The terms swim in my head to this day. My 6 year-old is in First Grade and is learning about nouns and verbs and adjectives. The timing could not be better for me. It is helping me immensely with my writing and my sentences. If only I could figure out comma splices and run-on sentences.

I’ve written and edited my papers for my Master’s. I’ve edited my husband’s papers for his Master’s. Yet, I find myself Googling commas and placement. I find myself paging through, The Chicago Manual of Style, to make sure I have my italics and quotation marks correct. There’s just so much it’s overwhelming. I analyze my texts and my emails more closely now. I’m sure if I had a job I would be hyper-focused on my grammar even more than usual.

Red Tailed Hawk, Northern California, 2018

Third Time Around

Third Time Around

I’m making my third pass through my book. I’ve read it and made notes and now I’m typing it up. It’s probably fitting that this page with a LOT of red ink is also rewriting a scene of violence. There’s no description of what happened, it’s not that kind of book, only the remaining scene and what it looks like.

This is where the magic is happening!
The “S” Word

The “S” Word

No… not the one your thinking of. My word is “skiing.” I think if I go skiing ever again it will be too soon. I have a long history of skiing too, that’s why it’s interesting that I have such a distaste for it now. The first time I ever traversed the slopes was back in high school. Went with the church to Seven Springs Ski Resort in Pennsylvania. I loved it. I had found my one true love, whooshing down the hills, laughing at others as they fell, and watching my brother learn how to ski.

Next I went while I was in college to the Ober Gatlinburg ski area. That wasn’t so bad; did pretty well, a little more advanced then Pennsylvania.

Next I went with the youth group at the church the hubby was serving in. We went to Virginia the first year then West Virginia the second year. I got a little testy these times. The hubby loves to hurl himself down the slopes at breakneck speeds and curses anyone that holds him back. I’m starting to get more cautious. Starting to think about how easy it is to fall and break something or worse yet, fall off the ski lift. We saw someone minutes after he fell off the lift some 12-13 feet off the ground. He wasn’t moving. So of course your mind starts working in overtime. Hubby still isn’t patient when it comes to how slow I am. Once I take a break he races off to try and get in as much as he can before he has to endure more torture of skiing with his wife. I’m really not that bad, just cautious.

It’s been five years since my last episode. I thought I could pick up right where I left off. Hubby has promised to remain patient and stick with me the whole way. My first mistake was going on a Friday and then returning on a Sunday. Can we say nuts? My poor legs were still in recovery on Sunday. You know it’s not going to be a good day when on your first ride up the mountain you fail to get off the ski lift at the top and then have to hop off at the last second and land hard on your butt after falling 2 1/2 feet to the ground. The lift operator has to stop the lift so the people behind you don’t plow over you. Luckily the ski’s stay on. I survive the mountain and make it to the bottom in one piece… almost. At the bottom they throw in this trick where you have to perform this “s” turn (see there it is again) to get off the hill. Well, I see it and start wondering how am I going to make this? I’m heading for the ropes and I try to make myself fall to avoid the rope. I do fall and I leave my arm 4 feet behind me. As I feel my arm tearing from my shoulder all I can think is… “I BROKE MY ARM!!” I’ve got people running in from places you never dreamed.. actually the lift guy just came to check on me. The hubby comes in for a landing behind me and helps me back up. Can we say BREAK!!!! But no I’m determined to make hubby happy and prove to myself that I can do this. So I go up again. This time nothing happens, praise the Lord!!

After lunch hubby brainwashes me into tackling the higher up lift. “It’s easy,” he says. “We’ll take the greens the whole way.” You bet your sweet bippy we’ll take the greens! So up we go. And up. And up. And up. And up. Mountains are big here in Montana. We finally arrive at the top only to be slowed down because someone wants a picture. Do I care about the picture??? NO!!! I just want off the mountain. Get me to the bottom! So finally off we go! Before we hit the first turn I’m off my feet. No one told me I would be taking a 180 degree turn up here. As we get mid way it starts to snow. Never before have I been on a mountain skiing and it snowing. It was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. Until it gets so heavy that you can’t see where you’re going. I fell again. Hubby wants me to walk all the way to the bottom… are you KIDDING me? That’s worse then skiing. So I make it to the bottom. Only to be dumped and left for dead… well not quite. Hubby takes off to go tackle some far off corner of the earth and find new ways to hurtle himself down a hill at god’awful speeds. He can have it.

To Include/Not Include In the Book

To Include/Not Include In the Book

Analee is a Chef, and owns her own diner, in Giving Cheek. I’ve read several books along the same line, aka Cozy Mysteries, who include recipes at the end of the Novel, when all is said and done.

I’m on the fence as whether to include something like this in mine. I’d like to know your thoughts?

Thank you for taking the time and initiative!

Christmas Music Is Being Played

Christmas Music Is Being Played

My husband always laughs at me at this time of the year. He grew up not being big on Christmas, which meant not a whole lot of Christmas music. This is unfathomable to me. In my house Christmas was always a big deal and my parents went all out for the holidays which meant my brothers and I got to reap the rewards.

There is one Christmas I remember vividly. It was actually before Christmas, but it was our trip to get our Christmas tree. There was a local place called, Frank’s Nursery. I close my eyes and see myself, and my brother, standing in the store; and over the speakers you could hear Perry Como crooning, “Silver Bells.” Ugh. Just thinking about it brings tears to my eyes. That memory is so vivid and so real. Even these 30 odd years later.

Do you ever hear people complain about how Christmas merchandise gets pushed out earlier and earlier every year? I admit, I used to be one of those complainers. Last year, I realized something else. What if instead of it being about consumerism, it was about trying to become little again. What if it’s about trying to recapture those warm holiday feelings we had as a child?

Just for once being able to feel the way we did when someone else took care of us. When someone else bought our toys and helped as we put them together? When we spent Christmas Eve staring out at the night sky in hopes of a glimpse of Santa and Rudolph? What about that feeling of trying to stay up and rousing ourselves at every noise? OR how about going in and waking your sibling before the sun is even up because you can’t sleep anymore?

I, for one, start playing Christmas music in August. It brings me a sense of calm and rightness with the world. It reminds me when it’s hot outside, which I detest, that good things are on their way. That pretty soon I’ll be preparing for Thanksgiving, and then Christmas, and then New Years.

Now, it’s time for me to prepare dinner, and I need to queue up, “The Carpenter’s Christmas” album.

Celebrating

Celebrating

I’m on my third trip through, for editing, and I still love it. With each new read through I fall a bit more in love with my characters. Yet, I also have to be objective and ask myself if this is how this person would behave.

I think getting everything out of the way reveals those things I wouldn’t normally see.

This entire process has been educational, and addicting, and I am thoroughly enjoying myself.

I’ve also learned something. I’ve done something that many people can’t say they’ve done. I’ve written a book. I have hopes that it will see the light of day beyond, but until that happens I can celebrate this accomplishment.

I found this and it forces me to be proud of myself. Ha!
Is This How This Works?

Is This How This Works?

Well, last night I accidently began my second novel in the series. Whoops! I prefer to think of it as being proactive, so I can mention in the Query Letters that a second novel is on the way.

I love writing. I love the research process and the chance to be creative. There’s so much going on in my head and it gets to spill out on the paper in the form of a story. It’s great!

Your daily dose of cutenessin the form of Boo.