Saturday, December 19, 2009

Six Word Saturday - Long Time Away

Oh, I've missed 6 Word Saturday!

I miss this little blog too.

I long to write a haiku.

Snow sifts down from opaque sky.

Savoring memories made with family - Christmas

Cranberry French Toast for breakfast - Yum!

Okay, 6 Six Word Saturday statements will do. To read more, go see Cate at Show My Face

Sunday, April 26, 2009

An Old Post, Cheerleader Haiku and an Interview

Thank you all for the blog advice. I spent last week moving my food blog, Eat at Home to a new self hosted site. I learned a lot while doing it, because the tech stuff was over my head. But I managed to make the move and I'm pleased with it.

Another very cool thing happened last week that has to do with this blog. I got an email from Darcy at The Geek Girl's Guide to Cheerleading. Darcy had been googling for cheerleader haikus and found an old post of mine here on Poetry and Hums. She asked if she could publish my haikus and also asked me to do an interview. You can read the interview here. It includes two haikus about bacon and a fictitious to-do list for Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice.

Darcy and Charity have a book coming out soon with the same title as the blog they run. Congrats to both of them on getting published!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Blog Advice, Do You Have Any For Me?

Mama Kat's workshop this week included a prompt to write some blog advice. I don't have a lot of blog advice, but I do have some questions that have been rattling around in my brain a while.

1. Why does Blogger sometimes add lots of space between paragraphs and sometimes scrunch things up with no space at all? No matter how I try to fix it, Blogger does what it wants.

2. I have two blogs; this one and Eat at Home. This is my fun blog. Eat at Home is fun too, but I'm also trying to build it up. Sometimes I'd like to get these two blogs together into just one, but they are so different. I'm not sure how I could do it that would make any sense.

3. Plus, I would need to get different templates with some navigation buttons at the top and I don't know how to do that.

4. Of course, I really would like a blog makeover with a custom header and logo. My quandry with doing this is wondering if it's really worth paying for. Should I invest real money in this bloggy thing? Would it pay off by growing Eat at Home?

5. What is up with the rss feed thing? I do not get this at all. I tried to put an option for people to subscribe to Eat at Home in rss (is that even how you say that?), but I don't know that it worked. I used feedburner. For a while, I could log into feedburner and it said I had no subscribers. Now I can't log in at all. I know that some people subscribe through a reader, because they've said they do.

6. And what does a blog look like in a reader? Can you see pictures? Pictures are a big part of Eat at Home, and sometimes this blog too.

7. And how do you count those people? Do they show up in statcounter? What about people who subscribe through email? Do they show up in statcounter?

8. I keep thinking about starting yet another blog - Peanut Butter Sandwich 365 - but does that just divide my traffic? When someone views my profile and sees 3 blogs, they'll probably just pick one to visit. Is it a good idea to have more than one blog if you're really trying to grow one of them?

9. Twitter - time sucker or useful tool?

I'm sure I have more questions, but now the fluff in my head is strained so I'll stop there. Anybody have any answers for me?

For more Mama Kat's workshop, probably even including real blog advice, visit her site here.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Superior Scribbler Award

Mrs. Scribe at Scholastic Scribe passed this award to me a few weeks ago. I repent for taking so long to post it and pass it on. Actually, I can't in good conscience repent, because that would mean I will not do it again and I can't promise promptness.

Here are the rules:
Of course, as with every Bloggy Award, there are A Few Rules. They are, forthwith:
Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends.
Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.
Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to This Post, which explains The Award.
Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we'll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives This Prestigious Honor!
Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.

Now to pass this on to other bloggers. The award goes to:

1) Jenners at Find Your Next Book Here - Jenners has had some amazing interactions with authors recently that she has shared with those of us who read her blog. She also does interesting things with blog award rules - things I wish I had the imagination and lack of bloggyland guilt to do myself.

2) Weston Elliot at Wendword - for her amazing to-do lists for Carol Brady and Alice. Scroll down the the comments of the "Fictitious To-Do List" post to read it.

3) Jewell at Pink Ink - She's got cool quotes at the top of all her posts, that relate to the post. I'm impressed!

Okay, I guess I don't have too much bloggyland guilt, because I'm only passing this on to 3 people. They are all very cool bloggers though, so that makes up for it.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Six Word Saturday - This is What It's All About

For God so loves the world...

I know this isn't a springtime picture, but it reminds me that
No matter how hard and cold my circumstances are
No matter how frozen and far away my heart is
God's love for me remains
One breath from Him brings it all to Life again.

Happy Easter!

For more Six Word Saturday, visit Cate at Show My Face

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Scrabble Haiku

tiles drawn from bag
placed strategically on board
inner geek awake

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Six Word Saturday

Pack, drive, talk, eat, eat, talk

We're off to visit my parents and sister's family for the weekend. Talk will probably center around our upcoming beach trip together. And we'll eat. And eat. Mom made 2 cakes and 2 pies in addition to the meals she's going to serve. I made Coconut Macadamia ice cream and am packing it on dry ice to take with us. My dad loves that flavor and has trouble finding it, so I made it homemade for him.

For more Six Word Saturday fun visit Cate at Show My Face.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Fictitious To-Do Lists

I ran across an idea in an old "Real Simple" magazine the other day while I was killing time in a waiting room. I have no idea how old the magazine was, but it was a January issue. The writer had created to-do lists for various people, including Genghis Khan, Steve Jobs and J.K. Rowling. That little nub of an idea turned out to be lots of fun.

Sarah Palin
1. Call First Dude
2. Go moose hunting
3. Sell the plane
4. Fire the cook
5. Put on lipstick
6. Tell lame joke

AIG Execs
1 for the bailout
2 for CEO
3 for the bonus
4 hit the road

1. Sharpen quill
2. Sharpen wit
3. Trim beard to fine point
4. Decide to be or not to be

Jack Sparrow
1. Commandeer ship
2. Pillage and plunder
3. Swagger
4. Woo wench

Wee Willy Winky
1. Run through town in nightgown
2. Rap at windows
3. Cry at locks
4. Check status of children at 8 o'clock

Your turn! If you decide to scribble out some to-do lists, please let me know! I'd love to read what you come up with.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Signs of Spring

Robins visit my yard everyday.

Tulip leaves are pushing up through the earth.

I saw my first clump of blooming daffodils today.

Soft green buds line the branches of the weeping willow trees.

Barefoot kids enjoy the warmer weather.

Balls, bikes, and boys fill the yard.

My mind is full of ideas for curricula and classes for next year.

Soccer practice fills the evenings.

Forsythia bursts into gaudy, vibrant bloom.

I count down how many days of school are left for the year.

Open windows let in breezes that blow loose papers off tables and counters.

Sunshine days alternate with cold rain and mud.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Six Word Saturday

Cold sprinkles dampened my grocery trip

Saturday almost always means a trip to Wal-Mart for the week's groceries. I don't like going in the rain, but it makes me really thankful that we now live in a house with an attached garage.

I saw a bumper sticker this week that said Mall-Wart - your place for cheap, plastic crap. So true, but I still shop there.

Go visit Cate at Show My Face for more fun with 6 words.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Impassioned to Write

Mama Kat's writing assignment #4 "What inspired you? Write about a time you were impassioned to write."

When I was 29 years old, I didn't write except in a prayer journal and that only sporadically. I had just given birth to my third child. And held him as he breathed his last breath only 5 days later. He was born missing the left ventricle of his heart.

Reed was beautiful. Honestly, the most beautiful of my five babes. His head was perfectly shaped. His eyes, a deep navy. His hair so soft, light brown in color.

I woke one morning several weeks after he died with feelings on my heart that had to be written down. The only line I remember is "a life measured in days, not decades". There was much more. I have a copy somewhere. It was published in our state La Leche League newsletter as well as in New Beginnings Magazine, another LLL publication. (I was a LLL Leader at the time.) It's the only piece I've written that's ever been published in a publication that large. But that's not what makes it important or memorable to me.

Something Really Important and Winner Announcement!

It was so much fun to read which book you would choose and why. Thanks so much for playing. This little blog has never gotten so much traffic!

The winner of the book is Brandy at Not Your Average Soccer Mom. I'm pretty sure she wanted Sundays at Tiffany's - a great choice! I may have to do another book giveaway. That was so much fun.

And now for something important.

Today is Compassion's Global Food Crisis Day. A small group of people have pledged together to give $1 for every comment on my other blog, Eat at Home. They are willing to give up to $100 and all you have to do is go leave a comment there. Please help us get to 100 comments!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Spring Fling Giveaway!

The ladies at The Secret's in the Sauce are hosting a Spring Fling. As part of that, I am giving away 1 book to 1 lucky winner! You get to choose the book from this list:

The Weekend Novelist, by Robert J. Ray - A dynamic 52-week program to help you produce a finished novel, one weekend at a time.

If You Want to Write, by Brenda Ueland - I just finished reading this book on the recommendation of Jenners. It's a remarkable book about being true to yourself and pouring your creativity onto the page.

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, by Rebecca Wells - Women, friendships, mothers and daughters. Laughter, tears, pain and understanding.

Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons, by Lorna Landvik - A story of the friendships forged in a book club.

A Parchment of Leaves, by Silas House - Eastern Kentucky in the early 1900s. A fantastic story from one of Kentucky's best writers. His words flow over the page like poetry.

Girl with a Pearl Earring, by Tracy Chevalier - Historical fiction placed in Holland during the 1660s. Wonderful story.

Sundays at Tiffany's, by James Patterson - I talked about this book on my blog recently. Pure book candy at its best!

All you have to do to enter is leave me a comment telling me which of these books you would choose if you win. Easy, right? The winner, who will be determined by random number, will be announced Wednesday. One entry per person, please!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Six Word Saturday, Update on February Writing and My First Giveaway

How's that for a lot of stuff in one post? Since we're a week into March, I'll start with my update on my literary goals for February. Overall, I slid on the slippery path that other resolution makers slide down. Not much in the way of writing. Only a bit in the way of reading. I blame the flu, four kids who also had the flu and the heavy, gravitational pull of inactivity.

Now, Six Word Saturday and my first giveaway announcement:

Leave a comment, choose a book

On Tuesday, March 10 the ladies at The Secret's in the Sauce are hosting Spring Fling. I'll be participating here with my first book giveaway. So come back on Tuesday and leave me a comment for a chance to win one of my books. I'll have a list that you can choose from, should you be the lucky winner!

For more Six Word Saturday fun, visit Cate at Show My Face.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Don't Let Me Scare You

Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia is the fear of long words. Isn't that preternatural?

Metrophobia is the fear or hatred of poetry. What folly, what melancholy.

Scriptophobia is the fear of writing in public. Maybe that's why so many of us have blogs.

Verbophobia is the fear of words. In case this is your fear, I'll end this post now.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Seeing Things

Writing is my main creative outlet. One reason I enjoy it is that it helps me see things in a different way. I notice the man who carries a packet of peanut butter crackers, a checkbook and a plastic fork in his shirt pocket. He's prepared for anything. My attention is drawn to the clothespins bobbing and pulling on the line as the shirts try to escape into the wind. I'm awakened at night by the puddle of moonlight spilling in through the window, like so much liquid mercury.

Lately, I've been dabbling with photography. I have a lot to learn, but trying to capture an image in the view finder has also taught me to see. What do I want to focus on? How does the background influence the subject? How can I make it more interesting? What about a photo makes me want to linger there a moment?

I don't draw well at all, but a few years ago I picked up the book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. That book is full of fascinating research about how we see things and how we are creative. There are also exercises to teach you how to draw what you see. First, you have to learn to see. Lines, angles, shapes and their relationship to each other.

Both drawing and photography have helped me see things better for writing. Dabbling in these pasttimes illuminates the details in life and that spills into my writing. What creative pursuits have you tried and how has it affected your main creative outlet?

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Six Word Saturday

These 6 words have been playing in my mind all week and I couldn't wait to write them here. I'm so ready for spring.

At last, February melts into March.

We had highs in the 60s this week. The kids played outside and my oldest son had soccer practice. Unfortunately, now the weather forcast is calling for snow! Two or three inches of snow!

My only hope lies in that age old 6 words about weather:

In like lion, out like lamb

Wishing you sunshine and daffodils.

For more Six Word Saturday fun, visit Cate at Show My Face.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


It died a slow and natural death caused by old age, dust bunnies and the general abuse doled out by four kids and two parents. We had no choice but to spill its guts.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Banned Words

One day while writing "morning pages" in my notebook, I started to notice certain words I used over and over again. Words like maybe, should, might, probably, need to. I made a list in the margin and marked it "banned words" These words appear most often in passages where I'm haggling over a to-do list, trying to motivate myself to accomplish something.

What I need to realize is that there is accomplishment just in the writing. In getting past all those things that tangle up my brain and try to force me out of the chair, try to force the pen out of my hand I am moving myself to a place of really writing. Describing people, scenes, memories. Committing to paper the stories that have been floating in my mind. That is accomplishment.

It doesn't matter if anyone reads it. It only matters that I've put it on paper. It doesn't matter if I write dozens of maybe's and shoulds. If those are bridges to the next line, the next thought, then they have served their purpose.

Still, those words nag at me because they are my own lack of commitment pouring out on the page. Instead of will, doing and work I write probably. Fear of committing to see the work through. I should address that fear.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


I have to admit that I'm so surprised and please that anyone even reads this blog, let alone likes it! I started it several years ago so that I would have a way to participate in several other writing blogs. Sadly, I think both of those blogs are now gone (One Deep Breath - a weekly haiku blog and Poetry Thursday. Does anyone remember these?)

I let this blog sit idle for quite a while before deciding to revive it a few months ago. I'm so glad I started writing here again. I've really enjoyed getting to know all of you and I love reading what you write.

Now I've been honored with two awards. The first is from ElfTea. She is living in Japan with her husband who is a Marine, raising their little ones. She also was one of the first participants of my haiku prompts, which means a lot to me.

The rules for this award are to nominate 7 or so other blogs and to share 10 honest things about yourself. I've also been given this award on my other blog, Eat at Home, so I'm going to split it up a bit and nominate 3 blogs here and 3 blogs over there and share 5 things about myself on each blog.

1. My best writing ideas come when I'm in the shower or vacuuming. You would think this would inspire me to spend more time vacuuming, but no. I do however like to take long showers.

2. I took a creative writing class in high school. I was so bad at writing short stories, I stuck to poetry. Most of my ideas for poems came from reading the submissions in Seventeen Magazine and then trying to write them from memory. I never actually copied them and always put my own spin on them, but it was borderline plagerism. However, the teacher liked "my" work and I got good grades. I also think it did help me learn to write poetry. I've loved it ever since and have not stolen anyone's work since high school.

3. My first car was a Honda Civic. I don't even know what year the car was made, probably 70 something (I bought it in 1985). It had a manual choke that I learned to tweak so that the car sputtered a bit less while I was driving it. What I didn't learn was that the oil needed to be changed, or at least added to, on a regular basis. I drove the car to Purdue to visit a friend and on the way back it just quit. Stopped right there on the interstate. My friend and I accepted a ride from two men who stopped to help. They did get us back to where we needed to be - but, what were we thinking??!! It's this kind of judgement that makes me nervous about having a teenage daughter.

4. While I was getting my hair cut yesterday, I looked in the mirror and realized that I look exactly like my sister. This isn't really a revelation - we've always looked alike - but, you know that weird feeling when you look at yourself, but you see your sister or mom? It's nothing like when we were younger and used to be mistaken for each other. Once, we even swapped class schedules in high school. I went to her classes and she went to mine. I don't think we fooled anybody, but it was fun.

5. I was pretty insecure when I was younger. I went to a dance in 9th grade and one of the popular guys asked me to dance. The entire time I danced with Alex, I wondered if he had been put up to asking me to dance. Maybe he'd taken a dare from his friends to dance with the quiet, nerdy girl. I still wonder.

At the same dance, Andy asked me to dance with him. I thought he was the geekiest boy ever. I'm pretty sure I turned him down, or maybe I did dance with him and blocked it from my mind. Turns out that the geeky boy grew up and now lives in Paris, France working for an important company, making big money. He speaks a bunch of European languages fluently. I guess he paid a lot more attention in French class than I did.

Okay, now for the blogs I'm nominating for the Honest Scrap Award:

Jewel at Pink Ink

Cate at Show My Face

Denene at My Brown Baby

Katie Lane of Sunshine and Bubblegum gave me this award. Thanks, Katie! I'm passing this award onto Melissa at The Scholastic Scribe

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Six Word Saturday

New stylist, new style, verdict out

This reminded me of a haiku I wrote a long time ago:

New stylish hair-do
Confident, looking pretty
He doesn't notice

Today, he did notice and even says he likes it. I just hope I'll like it.

For more 6-Word Saturday fun, visit Cate at Show My Face

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Bad Writing

Time to play Fun and Games with Jenners. This week - Bad Writing - a take on the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. The goal is to write a horrible first sentence for a novel.

She couldn't know that the man who was puckering up to kiss her was the same man who swindled her five years ago because she had amnesia. Remember?

Visit Jenners to play along!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Flowers - Haiku prompt

Thank you for all the well-wishes for health for my family. I think we are finally on the mend. Flu is not fun.

I was playing around with my camera yesterday, taking pictures of the tulips my husband brought home the other day. I like how this shot turned out. It struck me that this would make a good haiku/poetry prompt as well. I am so ready for spring.

I took a 3-5-3 syllable pattern this time:

red petals
cup honey nectar
springtime bliss

If you want to play along, just leave your link in the comments. One of these days I'll give Mr. Linky a second chance, but for today we'll do it the easy way.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Six Word Saturday

Front half February foiled by flu

Five out of six people in this family have Influenza A. I think we're getting to the end of it. Hopefully, my husband can stay healthy.

For more Six Word Saturday visit Cate at Show My Face.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday Photo Finish

Isn't that lovely? I didn't take that picture. My oldest daughter and husband did it in secret. They like to tease me about all the pictures of food I take for my food blog. I found it mixed in with my photos when I uploaded them from my camera. Aren't they funny?

Have you ever found unexpected photos on your camera?

For more Friday Photo Finish Fiesta fun check out Candid Carrie.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Five of My Favorite Things

1. The Dick Van Dyke Show - My favorite tv show of all time. What's not to love? Classic black and white, 60s fashions, timeless husband/wife relationship stuff, funny neighbors, the suburbs, those twin beds! My very favorite episode is the one where Laura opens Rob's mail and out pops the inflatable boat. Classic! I think of it every time I open my husband's mail.

2. My chocolate stash - It's a good thing I took a picture of this, because it's now history. I did take quite a while to eat my way through it all. It included two dark chocolate bars with espresso beans, Ghiradelli dark chocolate with raspberry filling squares, Ferrero Rocher chocolates, and Godiva milk and dark chocolate squares. Yum! Makes me remember that movie Chocolat.

3. My new Nikon D40 camera - I'm loving this camera. I'm even learning to change the settings. I can use terms like ISO, aperture, shutter speed and sometimes know what I'm talking about. Sometimes, I know. The rest of the time I just fake it. But my pics are getting better.

Unfortunately, my camera has a problem with the auto focus. It isn't working right so I have to send it in to be fixed. I'll miss my camera while it's gone. But maybe learning on the new camera will improve the pictures I'll have to take on my old point-and-shoot. I can only hope.

4. The Easy Bake Oven - My youngest daughter wanted this for Christmas. I almost didn't buy it for her because I didn't want to have to purchase those expensive and yucky tasting mixes - I'm cheap! But then I found out that you could use real ingredients to bake things in the EBO and a whole new hobby was born. It's fun to cook with my little girl. She loves it. And the treats taste good too. Here's a link to a couple of recipes we made and posted on my cooking blog.

5. My current favorite song - My favorite songs change frequently, but right now it's You Found Me by The Fray. There's just something about that song. Such longing in the lyrics. Love it. I don't know how to put a song on a blog. I rarely ever watch videos on blogs or listen to the music, but I'll include a link to this song. If you want to hear it, click here.
For more Favorite Things or creative responses to her other writing prompts, visit Mama Kat at Mama's Losin It.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Classics and Candy

I admit that I am not a very well-read person. I got through high school English with Cliff Notes. The last few years I've been trying to read some of those classics that I missed in my wayward, misguided youth.

At Christmas break I started reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I enjoy it while I'm reading, but I'm still only half way through. And honestly, it's just not pulling me in the way I would like. It doesn't call me back to it, so I forget that I'm trying to read it. I could leave the story now and never wonder what happens in the end. I would feel a bit guilty about abandoning a classic - but only a little guilty.

Enter the book candy I bought off the Walmart shelf on Saturday while grocery shopping. I was looking for a book for my poor, sick son who has the flu. They didn't have the one I wanted for him, but I did find Sundays at Tiffany's. Oh my, that was the perfect antidote to "too much classic syndrome". I read most of it on Saturday afternoon. Finished it off Sunday evening after running a few errands and tending to my youngest daughter's fever (over 105 degrees!).

I knew Sundays at Tiffany's was going to be good when the main character was eating a hot fudge sundae with coffee ice cream in the first chapter - that's my favorite treat. The book is a fun, easy, melt-in-your-mouth, sweet read. One that you can devour.

Are there classic books that you've abandoned mid-way through? Do you have favorite easy reads? Do you have a well balanced diet of reading or do you binge on the book candy? Or maybe you're the literary equivalent of a vegan, only reading books that require lots of chewing and are packed with good-for-you stuff. Share your book consuming habits!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Six Word Saturday

Temporary Winter cease-fire, Spring teases


Schedule stutters over two sick boys

We're battling the flu over here, hoping that these boys feel better soon and that nobody else get this thing. If you're battling colds and flu, pop over to my food blog, Eat at Home. I've got a recipe for Virus Killing Soup - yummy, healing chicken soup. I sure am ready for Spring!
For more Six Word Saturday fun, go visit Cate at Show My Face.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Interview Meme

Jenners, who is providing me all kinds of inspiration lately posted an interview meme on her blog. She asked another blogger to send her interview questions and then answered them. In turn, she offered to interview other bloggers, so I took her up on that. Here are her questions and my answers:

1. What is your favorite time of day and why? That is a hard question for me, because it varies each day. I'm not a morning person and I'm not a late night person, so my favorite time comes somewhere between those two (obviously).

Lately, I've been trying to get to bed by 9 in order to get enough rest and ward off migraines. I take my notebook and current reads to bed and spend about an hour with them before turning out the lights. I really like that time.

Sometimes, my favorite time is when we all sit down to dinner, especially if it's a night when we're all home together, which is increasingly rare.

Sometimes it's when all the kids (except teen daughter) have gone to bed and my hubby and I can pop in a M*A*S*H dvd and watch together.

Sometimes it's early morning when my littlest climbs in bed with me.

2. Can you tell me about a book that transported you to another time and place?

When I was 8 year old that book was Little House in the Big Woods and Little House on the Prarie.

When I was 12, Julie of the Wolves caught my imagination.

When I was 16, I loved the romance of Gone with the Wind.

I'm having trouble choosing one book from my adult-hood. Every good book should transport the reader to another time and place. I could choose Memoirs of a Geisha or Snowflower and the Secret Fan or The Poisonwood Bible or... Since February is Black History Month, I'll choose The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest J. Gaines. The story is about a woman who was born into slavery and follows her life up to the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. It is a fictional story, but sheds light on the stories of so many African Americans who lived during that time.

3. Pretend you had all day to yourself to do anything you wanted to do (money is no object). What would you do? Hmmm... All day by myself? I'm not much of a loner. I really prefer to have company, but if I really had to be by myself I would probably choose a warm, sunny beach, a few books and a notebook.

If I can invite someone along, I would enjoy a day in NYC or a day in Disney World. Or how about something simple like lunch with a friend and trip through a bookstore?

4. What do you think are the five ugliest words in the English language? (You can choose purely by the sound of the word or by meaning.)

- congeal - I don't know why, it just sounds gross

- coagulate - Same reason as congeal

- crepuscular - How this word can have to do with twilight, I don't know. It sounds more like a seeping skin condition to me.

- sh** and the "f" word - These two cuss words really bug me. I think sh** is just ugly. Use a better vocabulary. And the "f" word - in my opinion, there is just no excuse for using this word. It is hateful and vulgar. I won't entirely abandoned a book or blog or other writing for use of these words, but there better be a lot of substance for me to keep reading. If not, I'll move on to other things.

5. How do you feel about the way Disney has handled Winnie-the-Pooh? First of all, I must say that Walt Disney World is one of my favorite places to visit. I also really like Disney movies. I know some folks are highly against all things Disney, but that is not me.

I like Disney's classic Pooh - the artwork, the stories, the animated movies. One of my favorites is The Blustery Day, on which The Many Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh ride in WDW is based. When she was little, my oldest daughter's imaginary friend was Roo. These characters will always have a special place in my heart.

Although I'm not totally against the newer Pooh shows, I don't think they are nearly as good as the classics from the 60s (or the books, of course). And I really don't like any of the children's books that are based on Disney movies, whether they be Winnie-the-Pooh or any other movie. The writing in these books is dreadful. These books have made their way into our house, but I usually refuse to read them to the kids, or I only read the first line on each page. The kids only want to look at the pictures anyway.

Thanks for the interview questions, Jenners. If anyone would like to have interview questions from me, just let me know in the comments.

Found Poems

The topic of found poems came up on Jenners blog the other day. She used several definitions from the dictionary to write found poems. Kitten also wrote a found poem. She used one definition from the dictionary for hers.

I remember reading Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones where she also talked about found poems. She told about giving a few pages of her journal to writing students and asked them to create poems using some of her phrases and words. Several students took the challenge. Each poem was different, but she was interested to see that they all included one phrase in common - "The hills of New Mexico are everywhere you go".

I decided to go back through my writing practice notebook, looking for phrases that I could use in a found poem. The phrases were scattered throughout the notebook and I combined them in a way I liked. Here's what I ended up with:

When were you going to tell me?
The days have lost their meaning and rhythm
Color variations, swirled patterns
Pass in front of my eyes
Warming and thinning my mood.
When were you going to tell me?

Here is another one from phrases taken from one page of my journal:

He smelled of
dry cleaned clothes and
aftershave and
his favorite brand of cigarette

A compilation of everything
that's gone before and
everything that's to come after

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Butterfly - an Award and Haiku prompt

My bloggy friend, Jenners has bestowed on me an award! I love how Jenners changes the rules on blog awards. It makes it fun and unique each time it's given. This time, she has requested that I write a butterfly poem. So here is my poem:

orange wings in sharp contrast
to azure skies of late September
fragile fluttering against Autumn breezes
rushing as cold weather pursues
how do they know the path to follow
when they've never been before?

I know - that's not much of a poem, but it still counts!

And because I love haiku, I'm turning this into the haiku prompt for this week. If you want to play along and write your own, just leave your link in the comments.

Here's my butterfly haiku:

orange wings marked black
fragile strength defies logic
flight to Mexico

Oh yes, I'm bestowing this lovely Butterfly Award to Cate at Show My Face. She is the host of Six Word Saturday and has a great blog!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Six Word Saturday

Listening to him read brings tears

My 10 year old son is dyslexic. We have struggled to teach him to read, and he has struggled to learn, for many years now. Finally, we have him in a program that is bringing results! Today, he read to me. Read more in one sitting than he ever has. Read without me forcing him to try. He still has a long way to go, but we are on the way and it feels good. So the tears this time are tears of joy and not frustration.

For more 6 Word Saturday fun, visit Show My Face.

Friday, January 30, 2009

January's Over - How am I Doing on My Goals?

This is our world right now. Ice, frosted with a fluffy layer of snow. The sun came out today and turned everything into crystal. The trees looked as if a thousand tiny prisms hung from their branches, splitting the light into colors.

So how have I done on my Lit Themed Goals for this month?

1. I wanted to keep better track of the books I read. I regret to report that I have not finished a single book in January. I am currently reading three books, and one of them is pretty long. That's my excuse. I could come up with more excuses, but I'll spare us both. I am enjoying the books I'm reading.

2. I wanted to get in some writing practice/free writing each day and fill a whole spiral bound notebook. I didn't quite do that. I did fill most of a notebook and wrote many days out of the month. I used the time while waiting on kids to finish activities to write, so I'm happy with that. Often, this time gets sucked up running errands, so to turn it into writing time is good.

3. I wanted to host weekly haiku challenges here. I missed one week. I have not held the challenges in the same way twice. I may need to revamp this goal.

4. I signed up for the Random Complexity Writer's Challenge hosted by In Search of Giants.
The goal is to write 1000 words of fiction each month. I wrote several stories in my writing notebook, although I never estimated the number of words written. For January, the entries in the Clarity of Night writing contest counted for the entire 1000 words, even though the contest called for a maximum of 250 words. So, I've met the January goal for the Writer's Challenge.

5. Speaking of the Clarity of Night contest, I was happy with my entry. Thank you to those of you who read my entry. Your encouraging comments mean a lot. I did not win or place in the contest, but it was a great challenge and I really enjoyed participating. I also learned a lot from reading the other entries.

On to February!

I feel compelled to say that I really did think this was January 31. Maybe I'm just very ready for the month to be over!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Haiku prompt - Winter Weather

We were supposed to get lots of snow today, but instead we had about an inch of ice and the freezing rain is still coming down. I let the kids go out to play for a few minutes while it wasn't raining. They had a blast because the backyard was a skating rink.

I know I missed posting a haiku prompt last week. If you want to play along this week, post the link to your poem and blog in the comments section here.

Here's my haiku:

Carefully climb steps
Slipping on icy play set
Slide down across yard

I wish I had a picture of the neighbor boy sliding today. He slid all the way across the yard after going down the slide!

Notebooks closed today
Boots, snow suits, cookies, cocoa
January fun

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Six Word Saturday

Finally slumped my weary self down

It's been a day of basketball games, dance classes, groceries, laundry, cooking - the usual Saturday stuff. It's all good, but I'm tired!

For more Six Word Saturday fun, check out Show My Face

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Bookshelf Meme

What book lover doesn't love to share their bookshelf? I found this meme on the excellent blog, Find You Next Book Here.

Tell about the book that's been on your shelf the longest:

I remember sitting on my bed with my mom, sounding out the words in this book. Mom didn't read to me very much so maybe that's why I remember this incident so vividly. Or maybe it was because learning to read was so important to me. This poor book is missing the cover. It think it was a Little Golden Book passed down from some older cousins.

Tell about a book that reminds you of something specific in your life (a person, place, time etc):

Like most people, there are several books I could have chosen to fill this category. I decided to go with a happy choice. This is the book my husband and I used to help us navigate NYC on two separate weekend get-aways. The maps are marked up, the subway "cheat sheet" pulled out, restaurants review circled. Two great trips together - what more can you ask for from a book?

Tell about a book you acquired in some interesting way (gift, serendipity in a used book store, prize etc.):

I participated in a Secret Sister program this fall with a group of homeschool moms. The purpose was to get to know each other better and it was a big success. On the form, I listed my hobbies as reading and writing fiction. As it happened, the person who got my name also loves to write. The first gift she gave me was a huge birthday cake and balloons. She told me in that first card that she also loved writing. Throughout the weeks, she gave me a journal and pen and several notes that included more teasers on her writing. Every week at Learning Zone, our homeschool co-op I would try to guess the identity of my Secret Sister. Finally, she gave me this book at the reveal and we were able to talk about writing. One of these days she's going to have to let me read a little of her work.

Tell about the most recent addition to your shelves:

This book came through Paperbackswap. I haven't started it yet, but I've heard good things and I like the cover.

Tell about the book that has been with you to the most places:

My Bible is over twenty years old and has travelled with me a lot. I'd like to say that I read it every day, but I don't. I keep up well for a few weeks and then slack off. The cover has a place for a journal which I use for writing thoughts and prayers. I have lots of prayer journals from years past stored in a drawer upstairs. My Bible is easily my most precious book.

Tell about a bonus book that doesn't fit any of the above categories:

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe is my current favorite fiction book. It was one of the first books I ordered from Paperbackswap. Foolishly, I put it back into circulation and mailed it out again. The book in the picture is the second copy I received from PBS. One of these days I may break down and buy a new copy. There's something about the characters in this book that I just fell in love with. In my mind they are all real and visiting them in Whistle Stop only requires me to let the pages fall open.

The Rules for this meme:

1. Tag 3-5 people, so the fun keeps going!
Leave a comment at the original post at A Striped Armchair so that Eva can collect everyone’s answers.
If you leave a comment and link back to Eva as the meme’s creator, she will enter you in a book giveaway contest! She has a whole shelf devoted to giveaway books that you’ll be able to choose from, or a bookmooch point if you prefer.
Remember that this is all about enjoying books as physical objects, so feel free to describe the exact book you’re talking about, down to that warping from being dropped in the bath water…
Make the meme more fun with visuals! Covers of the specific edition you’re talking about, photos of your bookshelves, etc

I'm not going to tag anyone with this, since I basically snagged it from Jenners. If you want to participate, consider this your tag. Please let me know if you do - I'd like to read about your books!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Six Word Saturday

Cate at Show My Face hosts Six Word Saturday. This is my first time to play along.

Eyelids are heavy this cold evening

It's only 8:30pm and I'm about to fall asleep. I'll never make it through the movie we rented tonight.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Few Things

Haiku - Games
Elftea has already shared the link to her haikus on the Monday post. I'm going to link it here as well, to make it easier to find. If you haven't written a haiku or poem for the prompt "games" and you would like to, please leave your link in the comments here.

Here's mine:

travel colored squares
Rainbow Trail and Gumdrop Pass
Candy Castle treats

"Ascension" Short Fiction Contest
Most of my writing time this week went to my entry for this contest hosted by The Clarity of Night. The word limit for the contest was only 250 words. I found this to be a good challenge. It forced me to focus and pack as much as I could into the work. Each word really needed to count. I'm not sure how I ended up doing, but I'm happy with the result. I re-wrote it several times as I worked to show, not tell. My submission is #105, The Lottery Winner.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Writing Challenge 2009

If you're looking for this week's Haiku prompt, click here.

Jenners let me know about this writing challenge hosted by In Search of Giants. The goal is to write 1000 words a month. The writing can be fiction or creative non-fiction. In one year, I should have 12,000 words to show for my efforts. I have a terrible pattern of winning National Novel Writing Month and then putting my pen down until the next November. Hopefully, being part of this challenge will keep me writing this year.

Through In Search of Giants, I found a writing contest hosted by The Clarity of Night. I'm working on my 250 word entry. I'll post it here when I finish.

Haiku Prompt - Games

Let's play this week. Write a haiku or other type of poem based on games. Use your imagination and have fun.

For those who might be new to writing haiku, it traditionally follows a 5-7-5 syllable pattern in three lines. I'm all for breaking rules though. Give it a try and have fun. I'll put up a post on Wednesday so that we can share our poems and visit the other participants' blogs.

Here's a haiku I wrote a few years ago. I'll be writing a fresh one this week for the prompt.

Ivory bishop
Diagonal move to check
Long-standing bet lost

Don't forget to come back Wednesday (or later, I'm not set on deadlines!) to share your writing.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Haiku Prompt - Building - Share your poems

This is the second haiku prompt I've shared on here and I'm hoping to make this a weekly event. The comments for this post will always be open, so even if you can't post your haiku or poem today, please come back and share later.

Here's what I wrote this week:

Seasons sweep over
Roof timbers and red plank walls
Securing history


Plastic bricks clicked tight
One on top of another
Model pyramid

I can't wait to read your poems. Don't forget to visit the other participants and leave them an encouraging comment.

Now for a bit of technical stuff. I'm not in love with Mr. Linky yet, so I ditched him for this week. Please leave your permalink in the comments of this post, so we can find your poem.

What's a permalink, you ask? If you click the title of your haiku post on your blog, you will notice that the address in the address bar has changed a bit. This is the permalink. Copy and paste that into the comments here and that way visitors can always find your poem for this prompt.

Want to make a real link in the comments? To do this you need to use a little html code. It is easy to do - I made it work yesterday, so it must be easy! For a great explanation of all of this, go to Luke Holzmann's blog.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Haiku Writing Prompt - Building

The writing prompt for this week is "Building". You can treat this as noun or verb. Write haiku or another form of poetry and come back on Wednesday to post the link to your poem on your blog. You can also post your link after Wednesday - I'm not strict on deadlines around here.

The barn picture is one I took from a moving car as we drove along I-75 (no, I was not the one driving!). My husband got me a new camara for Christmas and I have loved playing with it.

Now, I'm off to write my haiku for this prompt. I can't wait to read all of yours!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

My Lit Themed Resolutions

1. Keep better track of the books I read - I love reading the list of books people read in a year, and start off with good intentions of keeping my own list, but somehow I don't follow through. I've started a project called "Book 100", taken from Chapter after Chapter: Discover the Dedication and Focus You Need to Write the Book of Your Dreams by Heather Sellers.

The goal of Book 100 is to read 100 books that are similar to the one you want to write. Read the book and then record these thoughts about the book: summarize the book in a sentence, summarize the book in a paragraph, the best thing about this book, memorable and useful techniques the author used.

I've got about 14 books in my list of Book 100. I haven't been adding the new books I read, though, thus the resolution.

2. Write Morning Pages - I thought I knew where this idea originated, but now I'm not sure. I think it came from a book that I've never actually read and I can't remember the name of it. (Anybody out there know?) The idea with morning pages is to fill 3 pages of a notebook each morning with whatever is on your mind. I've done this before and it's a great exercise, but I'm not regular with it. If I did it for a month I would fill one of those cheap, spiral bound notebooks. That's my goal - fill one notebook full in one month.

3. Host regular haiku/poetry writing prompts here on this blog - Check here next week for the next prompt.