Thursday, December 14, 2017

Christmas Spirit

 
Hello everyone!
 
We're about midway through December now, so I feel safe posting Christmassy type things
 
My mom was always super crafty when I was growing up (Still is, technically). She was always painting something, building, quilting, sewing, designing, etc. Now she mostly sticks to the sewing and quilting aspect, but still, very creative.
 
I always tried  to be creative, but it just...never worked. I don't know why. Probably because crazy pink and purple preteen and black and red angsty teenager doesn't turn out into gorgeous home d├ęcor.
 
Don't get me wrong, my bedroom was flippin' awesome. When I was little I had purple and white walls, and the coolest bedspread everywhere, and the whole thing coordinated in bright crazy colors.
And then it all got covered with 24 band and movie posters, plus a whole bunch of drawings, and it turned into a pretty sweet teenager room. But not a Better Homes and Garden's look, that's for sure.
 
But now, I have my own house. And I still have parts of it that wholeheartedly embrace my angst ridden love of bright crazy colors and bands that scream too much, but now I have a whole house to work with. I'm not confined to one room. So some of the house gets to look real spiffy.
 
And I can decorate for Christmas!
 
I spent about a week building and painting all of this stuff. Nap times are entirely too short when you're trying to work with power tools, let me tell ya.
 

 
The inside of the house didn't take nearly so long to decorate, and I thought I was done until I went to Hobby Lobby and found the most gorgeous mint blue glass balls that match my kitchen, so now I have to find where to put them, but other than that, we're ready for the big day.
 

I'm not like a fanatic about Christmas. I mean, I love it, but I have friends that are absolute fanatics. I've been getting snapchats of Christmas carols since before Halloween. That's just fanaticism.
But, I have started to allow my Christmas playlist some airtime, and these are my favorites.
 
They're oldies, but goodies.
 
 
 Minion One was awesome enough to take a family picture for us, and I made it into a Christmas card. It's up there at the top. So we sent Christmas cards to basically everyone. It was a big stack my friends. Christmas presents are all bought, and he ones that needed mailed are. The rest are in a pile in the basement in my Maddie Cave where no sane person would ever venture, therefore they are safe from discovery.
 
This year I believe we're gonna go to my mom and dad's house on Christmas day, or possibly Christmas eve, depending on schedules, and then my extended family gets together around New Years and calls it Christmas. I've got three baby second cousins that are pretty close to Henry in age, so that'll be really fun this year, since he's mobile now, he should hopefully have fun playing with them.

Fingers crossed on that one. The last time he met a cousin his age the cousin hit him on the head, stole his toy and crawled away. At which point Henry took in after him, yanked the toy back (he's kind of a little power house) and crawled away. They stayed away from each other after that. It was awkward.
 
What are you guys doing for Christmas? Let me know! 

Monday, December 4, 2017

NaNWriMo Snippets

 
Hello everyone!
 
It's December, which means I can officially announce that my Christmas tree and a plethora of other decorations are up and ready, and all of my Christmas shopping is done.
 
Also with the coming of December, is the end of November, which means NaNoWriMo is over.
 
AND THIS YEAR I WON!!
 
SURPRISE! ;)
 
I hit fifty thousand words the day before it ended, and the finished story ended up being a smidgen over 60 thousand words. WooHoo!
 
So, today I'm gonna share some snippets with you.
 
Hope you enjoy.
 
 
                                                                                                         
 
 
 
“Only if I think you’re lying.” The man narrowed his eyes and grinned. “I think you’re lying. You talk funny. You ain’t from around here. How likely is it that you just wandered into town and decided to set your boots up?”

            Cole returned his gaze, not bothering with an answer. These men wanted trouble. Nothing he said was going to stop that.

            A muscle jumped in the man’s whiskered jaw. “I just called you a liar.”

            “I heard that.” Cole nodded. “I thought I’d let you slide the first time. Probably no one ever taught you any manners.” His mouth quirked up slightly. “Don’t do it again.”


                                                                           

 

The door to the office flung open and the owner came out, a shotgun cradled in her arms. “Now I told you no shooting!” She bellered.

            “You said not in the room.” He thumbed cartridges into his revolvers and holstered them.

            She scanned the parking lot and glared at the broken window. “You’ll have to pay for that.”

            “I’d send the wolves the bill, if I was you.” He holstered them and pointed at the three dead men. “They’re the ones who come looking for trouble and broke it.”

            The old granny yanked the hammer back and hefted the shotgun. “I said you’ll be paying for it.”
            Cole glanced from the shiny black barrels to her hard face and tipped his hat. “Yes ma’am, I sure will.”

                                                                      



“Dermott wants to see you at his cabin tomorrow morning.”

“What for?” He raised an eyebrow.

“I don’t know.” Calgary huffed. “Probably to kill you.”

“Is that all you’re gonna say to me?” He frowned. “Dermott’s gonna kill me.”

“No. The Wolf Bloods are gonna kill you now too.” She crossed her arms.

Cole scowled and shook his head. “Didn’t go so good for them the first time.”

“Won’t go so good for you the second.” She quipped.


                                                                              


“Well, I’m not sleeping in bed and leaving a lady on the floor.”

            “Don’t try and be chivalrous with me.” She frowned at him.

            “Would you rather I held you at gunpoint and told you to take the bed?” He tipped his head.

            “You’d find one pointing right back at you if you did.”

                                                                                     


“Hi there.” The girl twirled a black curl around her finger. “I’m Blake. I don’t think we’ve met properly.”

            “No.” Cole glanced down. “You were pretty mad, last time we talked.”

                                                                                      


“What’s your plan to take Dermott down?” The oldest of the bunch asked.

            Cole stared at her and Calgary frowned. “Guys, I said be discreet.”

            “Well, we kind of need to know what the plan is.” Blake shrugged. “If we’re gonna get out of here.”

            “Wait, what?”

            She nodded. “Life sucks here, newbie. If you know a place with hot water and electricity, we’re on your wagon.”

                                              


She brushed her friends hand aside and squared her shoulders. “How do I look?”

Blake scanned her up and down. “Like you could kill.”

“Good.” Calgary jerked a nod and marched out the door.


                                                            


“If I was ornery I’d push you in.” Cole said from behind her.

            She turned to look at him. “You know better.” She said warningly.
            He flashed a grin. “Yes ma’am, I sure do.” He dropped down onto the grassy shoreline and stretched his long legs out in front of him.
                                                                  



Friday, December 1, 2017

Writing Gloves

OK, so this post was supposed to be announcing that I completed NaNoWriMo, and a bunch of snippets from the story, but I got distracted. So later this week when I post snippets and announce try to act surprised, OK?
 Moving on.

I got writing gloves the other day from Storiarts. The add came across my Facebook page during black Friday and k just couldn't help myself. I've been eyeing them for like two years now, but they're so expensive normally.

But last week they weren't! So I ordered myself a pair of Peter Pan gloves.



They've got sections of the book on them, and illustrations, and I'm absolutely in love with them.

My one complaint is that I wish they were bigger. They it. But if I ever get fat (or ya know, get really muscular wrists and forearms) they're not gonna fit me.

I guess that's incentive to not get fat or work out. Go figure that one.

Aren't they adorable???

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

An Update On Things

Hello all! 
I've been on a bit of a hiatus and thought I'd better check in before December gets here. (It's like, days away you guys) 
I've spent my absence well. One week was dedicated to deer hunting. My mother is wonderful and agreed to watch Henry on many a morning so I could go sit out in a tree.It all paid off, and I got this lovely on the next to last day of season. 

We got him all butchered. He had a lot of meat on him and I can't wait to start making jerky and bologna, etc. It will probably be March before I get to it. I need pork to mix into the bologna recipe, and the pig won't be ready to go till then. 

Also, Henry makes an adorable little hunter. I just love my little family. 

Just in time for deer season to be over, Thanksgiving craziness started. My mother in law arrived from Washington on Sunday and stayed till Friday after thanksgiving. 

We spent the day at my parents house, and ate entirely too much food, but I would do it all over again if given the chance, and most likely will next year. 

There was many a game of pinochle and Golf (the card game, not the physical activity- I can't play golf on a wii let alone outdoors) 

No, I did not go Black Friday shopping. It's a evil scary place where crazy soccer moms lurk, ready to claw your eyes out with their freshly manicured nails. 

I did hit up the online sales though, and all my Christmas shopping is done. Hurray for being on time for once! 

I won't tell you what I got, because apparently my sisters have started reading my blog after all these years. *makes squinty eyes at Minion 1*

But I will say that they are fantastic and I had so much fun picking them out. 

For Henry we decided we're going to get him books during these Christmas' and birthdays where he doesn't really understand. That way by the time he's old enough to appreciate good old Tom Sawyer and Farmer Boy, he's got an extensive library. 

Nano is still going on. I don't think I wrote over 700 words a day the entire time my mother in law was here, because when someone is in your house you're expected to socialize. Despite that, I'm currently at 48 thousand and some change words, so I'm in good shape to finish on time. Woo hoo! I'm so excited. I've finished Camp NaNo before, but never the big daddy of them all. A post with snippets will be along in the next few days. It's also shaping up to be longer than 50k, and I'm ok with that. My plan is to finish it in the next week, then let it sit about a month then go right back in and start editing. I've decided I need to be a "real writer" and bite the bullet. Editing is essential. 

Henry now has two teeth and has completely lost his sleeping pattern due to it. I'm hoping we can get a break in the the little choppers erupting so he can get back on a schedule and I can look like I'm living. 

Also, I decorated my house for Christmas. Still working on the front porch arrangement but I'm happy with the inside. 
All of the pumpkins have been moved out except one by the mailbox and I do with the dear hubby would get it out of here because it looks ridiculous with the Christmas ribbon and garland. 

Did you know bottle calves will eat pumpkins? Because I didn't. They eat one every day, in about half an hour. It's impressive. 

I don't think I ever mentioned that we got a cat, but we did and her name is Inej the Wraith, but I mostly just say Kitty. Jarod thinks that's a terrible name and calls her Nemo, which I said is morbid, because the last Nemo we had died. 

I've discovered Robin Hobbs books and I've quite literally fallen in love. 

And after watching Everything Everything I must acquire the book. 
Jarod was really worried the girl would die, but I told him it wasn't likely since John Green was not actually the author of the book. If it's anyone else, good chance the important characters live. John Green kills them all and leaves the others emotionally tortured. What a sweetheart. 

I think that about sums up my last month. 

What have you lovelies been up to? Anything spectacular? I'm sure there was, you're all such spectacular people. 
Carry on, good sirs!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Operation Christmas Child


You guys! It's time to pack shoeboxes!
Ahem, let me back up a little. 
Operation Christmas Child is a program by Samaritan's Purse. People fill shoeboxes for kids and then Samaritan delivers them to children around the world, as well as sharing the gospel with each child. 

I used to pack a shoe box every year for Bible Club when I was little. It was like, the highlight of my year. Then we moved away from that church and I got too old for Bible Club, and shoeboxes went by the wayside. 

But now I'm a fairly strong mildly independent woman and I can pack a shoebox without Bible Club. 

This week is the big collection week. They collect all year round, but this week churches all over open up as donation centers and this batch of boxes will go out for Christmas. 

So I got Jarod on board with it and we went to the store. Henry was a big help, eating the tags off things and testing out all the items to be sure they worked. I drew the line at the toothbrush. If he'd had his way, there'd be no wrapping paper left. 


Image may contain: 1 person, smiling

I'll admit, my eyes were bigger than my shoebox there were just so many cute things! We decided to pack our box for a little girl, age 5-9. 
We had hair accessories, a baby doll, pencils, crayons, notebooks. There was lip balm, toothbrushes, hairbrushes, pencil sharpeners, bracelets and an adorable pink purse. I found this kitty stocking hatnwith gloves that had to go, and some fun colorful socks....

Like I said, my eyes were definitely bigger than the box. 
But, in the words of Rerun Vanpelt, "make em fit. If they don't fit, we make em fit."
I'm hoping the workers at Samaritan share that same vision. I repacked that box three times and got it taped up, only to find I had left out the toy baby owl and our note with pictures. 

Of course I cut the box open and repacked again. That owl had to fit in there. It was adorable. 

And you know what? We succeeded. We've got a tracking number on ou package, so we'll get to find out what country it goes to! I'm literally so excited right now, I can't even wait. 

Image may contain: 1 person, sitting

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Beautiful Books 2

It's time for the second leg of the Beautiful Books linkup, hosted by the lovelies mentioned up there in the picture.
 
Beautiful Books is designed with NaNoWriMo in mind but you don't have to be doing NaNo to take part.
 
Since I finished my Snow White retelling (and sent it off today) this post will just focus on  my NaNo novel, The Guns.
 
Here are the questions:
 
Overall, how is your mental state, and how is your novel going?
My mental state is good, as far as writing goes. As far as life goes, I'm finding I have a lot in common with Cruella Deville. Never thought that would happen.
But no, I'm pretty tickled with how the novel is going. I know it's gonna need some work when its through, but that's ok. I'm getting it written. Very rapidly, I might add.
 
What’s your first sentence (or paragraph)?
Cole studied the faded map in his hands. It was thin and flimsy, and most of the lines were rubbed away with age. He hadn’t encountered a town since yesterday, but couldn’t be certain if that meant there weren’t any, or if he’d just missed them. According to what he could see on the map, Cody should be the next stop. He’d left behind the skeletal remains of Thermopolis’ waterparks, the sulfur from the hot springs clinging to everything. Cody should be next. He just hoped he hadn’t missed it. Mitch’s directions had been vague at best. Of course, it had been more than twenty years since he’d been near the place, so even the landmarks he could remember might have long since vanished. But Cole knew which highway he was on. Or, he thought he did anyway. It should take him right into Cody. And then what?
Who’s your current favourite character in your novel?
Calgary, my feisty saloon gal. But Cole is a close second. He just needs developed a little better and I'll be madly in love.
 
What do you love about your novel so far?
The blend of wild west and modern style gangs. Its so fun to play with.
 
Have you made any hilarious typos or other mistakes?
If I have I haven't noticed them yet. I'm not looking back until it's finished. Check with me in December.
 
What is your favourite to write: beginning, middle, or end — and why?
Middle. Because you can just go with it. Beginnings have to hook you, and endings have to tie all the strings. Middles get to ramble a bit.
 
What are your writing habits? Is there a specific snack you eat? Do you listen to music? What time of day do you write best? Feel free to show us a picture of your writing space!
I get up and do chores, then wait for Henry to take his midmorning nap, at which point I set up the laptop in the kitchen and write between 1-2 thousand words. Then I leave the laptop on all day and write as time permits. Sometimes I play my instruments only playlist in the background. Something about the Braveheart soundtrack really helps the word count. Snacks? I've been eating a lot of deer jerky and summer sausage, and drinking coffee. Lots of coffee. But I was doing that before nano, so not sure if that counts. You are not getting a picture of my kitchen counter right now.
 
How private are you about your novel while you’re writing? Do you need a cheer squad or do you work alone (like, ahem, Batman)?
I'm somewhere in the middle? I don't like blast it out to the world on say, Facebook. But Skye from Ink Castles, and my sisters get to hear about it and will be able to read it later on, and Jarod gets to hear a bit, though I keep him somewhat in the dark cuz right now my thoughts are all muddled and he might laugh.
 
What keeps you writing even when it’s hard?
The fame and glory that comes with NaNo. Basically I'm stubborn. I decided to do it, therefor I must, or die trying.
 
What are your top 3 pieces of writing advice?
To paraphrase, Go after inspiration with a stick.
Readers have to use their imaginations too. Don't spell it all out for them.
Just Do It.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

NaNo Day Four


Hello everyone!
 For those of you doing NaNoWriMo, sorry to distract you. Get back to writing. 
For those of you not doing NaNo, glad you could join us. 

All this to say, I did it. I finished my second Snow White retelling and had about two days to come up with character names and a plot line for my Young Guns NaNo story, which is now titled simply The Guns. 

So far so good! There's a few mild hiccups that I'll want to go back and fix, but that will wait till December. Right now I just want to get the thing written. 

Henry is cutting a tooth (I can see it finally!) So he's not been very happy, and has wanted lots of snuggle time, so 90% of my writing happens in the morning before he wakes up, or during his naps. But, it's working out alright so far, cuz I've managed to write over the daily needed count, and now have 12559 words. So I'll have a little wiggle room on those days where I only get like 500 words wrote. 

I'm liking the plot, and have come up with a few twists that I hadn't originally planned on. Cole was a bit troublesome the first two chapters, as he's supposed to be a tough guy, and it just wasn't happening. He was getting rather annoying. But, I fixed it in this last chapter, and I'll tweak those first two after I'm finished. 

Calgary is a total pistol and I think she's one of the few girl characters I've written that I actually like. (Have I ever mentioned I'm not fond of most of my girl main characters? Secondary is fine, but those main ones....grrrr) 

I'm putting my honeymoon to  good use, as we spent two days in Cody. So all my pictures and such are coming in handy. I mean, Henry thinks we put it to good use anyway, but on a writing level....

I'm kind of a bad nano because the night before I stayed up till midnight watching horror movies, and then slept in. I have had like, one cup of coffee, and I've spent an awful lot of time checking Facebook because the PBR Built Ford Tough championship is in Vegas this week, and my boy JB Mauney who tore all for rotocufs in his shoulder and had it reconstructed and is now full of screws and pins four months ago DECIDED THAT HES ABLE TO RIDE BULLS AND HES GONNA TRY FOR HIS THIRD WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP. I mean, I love it, but if I was his woman I would smack him. He was supposed to heal for at least six months. Preferably a yar. But anyway, I don't have cable to watch it, so I gotta check the updates on Facebook. He rode his first bull! 

Ahem. Moving on.
Here's a few snippets for your enjoyment! 

His mom would scold him for talking to the boy rough. She'd say that a kind word turns away wrath, and to treat folks like he wanted treated. Most the time he agreed with her, but something about this town made him think the people here wouldn't recognize a kind word if it kicked them in the teeth. 

"Wolf Bloods?" He tipped his head. 
"Another gang." She frowned. "But they're not your big concern." 
"Right. These Guns who apparently plan to kill me on sight are."
"At least you're learning."  She nodded. 


His two encounters hadn't yielded him much info other than the unanimous consensus that he was going to get killed by a Gun, and to not look for the man he's come here looking for. 

The owner of the motel was a sticky older woman who looked like she could hunt bear with a stick. When she demanded to know what he had to trade, he was real careful to offer something substantial.