Sunday, January 30, 2011

Day 3-Warm air

     I live in the South.  Middle Tennessee to be exact.  Our weather can be fickle sometimes.  Depending on the month, the temperatures swing back and forth.  Last week, it was highs in the 30's and lows in the 20's.  In the past two days, we've had highs in the 60's, which I'm not complaining about at all.  It's not usually this cold for this long here.  Usually in the south we're spoiled and even in the winter we've had some warm days by now, but this year, it's been like everybody else's winter.  Cold.  Every day.

     I've noticed the past few days how everything comes back to life when the warm air pays us a visit.  Not just the earth coming back to life.  It's not really time for that just yet.  The neighborhood itself bursts open with life again.  I walk outside and I hear kids squealing as they bounce on their abandoned trampoline.  Metal on metal clinking as my neighbor works on one of his cars in his garage with all the doors up, welcoming in the warm air.  Our own garage door flies open as well when it gets warm.  It seemed like all the birds were throwing a party around our yard complete with surround sound chirping.  Our old dog, Blossom, even gets a spring in her step when we go outside to do any little thing.  We've been hibernating indoors for so long because the cold drives us in and keeps us in.

     I don't know if it sounds cliche or not, but today was glorious.  Temperatures in the mid 60's all day today.  I even fired up the grill and grilled some hamburgers for our supper.  It's enough to get spring fever....but I know better.  I know that this is still January and this is Middle Tennessee.  Old man winter's not done with us yet, but I'll welcome the warm air any day it wants to come by.

 This was taken in the summer...but the sky is blue like today...and my neighbor's garage doors are up...:)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Day 2--Snow

     I'm already a day behind...oh well....I'll still do 365 posts...they may not be every day....but I'll do them. This is me showing my age and lack of memory sometimes.. I the only adult that turns into an eight-year-old every time the weather people forecast snow?  I live in Middle Tennessee.  Here, for the most part, really good snowstorms are few and far between.  I LOVE to watch it snow.  I don't know why.  I think it has to do with the peacefulness of it.  Most people, adult types, just roll their eyes. We don't get enough snow here to have an official 'blizzard'.  So I never see the snow as threatening...other than not being able to drive, it's usually just fun to play in and then in a day or two, it melts enough that we can get around again.  When snowflakes fall, they seem so happy to me.  Like they're dancing around and so happy to land in my yard and on all my stuff.  When we have a wet snow, the 'snowman making/sticks to everything' kind of snow, that's my favorite.  The last snow we had here was on Wednesday and it was that kind of snow.  All the trees looked like they'd been sprinkled with powdered sugar.  Every intricate branch of every tree was magnified and it changed all the dead trees to lacy, detailed, happy creations.  I wished I could've taken pictures while I drove.  There were some beautiful sights here this week. 

     I guess because I'm also a teacher and if it snows an inch here, the roads get pretty slick and the powers-that-be cancel school.  So I'm lucky enough not to ever have to drive in it.  We have a lot of 'back' roads or less traveled, hilly and curvy roads, which cause us to get out of school quite a bit if it snows.  Since our tax base has increased from fairly rural to being one of the fastest growing counties in the state, we now have salt trucks and even a few plows.  Something we didn't have just a few years ago, so we may get out less days than all the other rural counties around us, but it's a big county so we're lucky to get out at all.  After seeing all the snow in Washington DC, we're lucky that we don't have to deal with feet of snow...only inches.  This winter, Washington's getting buried.  If I lived somewhere like that, I'd be jaded too.  We get just enough to be pretty without being too obnoxious although we've used 7 snow days this year which is more than we've used since 1995-1996 school year.  Since we're in the South, we have to deal with melting and refreezing on the second day of a snowstorm.  Usually, the sun comes out and melts most of it the next day.  We were fortunate enough to have below freezing temps and no sun for several days this month when it snowed 5 inches here.  That was worth 4 snow days.  Like I said, we're lucky.

     So, the next time it snows, and you can't stand it because you have to drive in it, take a moment to look at how beautiful it is when it falls.  Remember me...I'll be running back and forth between the front door and the back door, trying to take pictures or video of it snowing or just standing at the glass doors in the kitchen watching it fall and being mesmerized by it.

 This is my daughter during our first official snow day of 2011.  :)  She's doing the 'We're out of school" cheer.  She's a cheerleader...:)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Day 1

Ok...this is my first post on my way to hopefully becoming a better writer.  I dedicate this writing experiment to Kris Trolinger, who's been doing this on Facebook for the past year.  She started on her birthday, but I didn't want to wait until Spring to start.  I'm impatient that way.
I met Kris at MTSU in the Band of Blue my junior year (I think) of college.  She twirled a rifle and a flag and we marched together in guard the next two years.  We share several mutual friends and shared many fun times together on and off the field.  As with a lot of friends, everybody grows up, gets married and starts their 'adult' lives.
I recently found Kris again, about 20 years later, and have enjoyed being in contact with her again.  Now that we're all grown up, she's grown into an intelligent and very funny person.  When we were in college, she was always so quiet.  Who knew there was such a wit hiding underneath all her shyness?
I see promise in her writing and have encouraged her to write for real.  From what she said on her wall, her job seems to be stifling her creativity.  I think that's why she started her own 'blog' posts on Facebook.  I love her voice and point of view when she writes.  You can always see everything she's talking about.  Sometimes she posts a picture with what she writes, just to give the reader a little more...You can't write a whole chapter in a Facebook post.  At some point, I'll tell her I've written about her and am taking her great idea and trying it for myself.  Hopefully, when she reads this, she'll be proud to be a part of it.  This is a picture I stole from Kris' page is of Kris and our former guard instructor Bo.  I love them both.  I figured if she had this on her Facebook page already, that it wouldn't be a big deal for me to have it on here.  Kris, you've really inspired me in all your daily posts.  I hope I can do half as well.  :)   Love you girl.  LLL for ever!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Stealing a really good idea

I have a friend I went to college with that has committed to write something every single day on Facebook...365 days....she's WAY dedicated.  What a great exercise in writing.  Her posts are always interesting.  I think she would be a great writer.  Her voice is strong and funny at the same time.  I wish I could be that dedicated.  She started this project on her birthday last year and will end it on her birthday...except, I hope she doesn't end it.  I always look forward to hearing about what she's seen or what experiences she's had that day.  Most of them are mundane things, but the way she writes about them make them so relatable and sometimes thought provoking, it keeps me interested.  My only worry that is if I attempted to make this sort of commitment, would I be able to stick to it?  I'm not sure.  I've told myself that I wanted to post more often on this blog, just to give myself an outlet to write and write about writing.....This would hopefully make me remember to put something on here.  Maybe, if I knew I had to write about something on this blog, I might take more notice of things that go on around a good writer does.

All it could do is help me....:)  That's my goal...I want to be a better writer...and I'm hoping this will help.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


I've come to the realization in the past couple of days that two of my characters came across each other earlier in their lives.  This meeting, while brief, will impact them both later on.  That does happen in real life...I've noticed it a lot since facebook has become so popular.  I have friends that know friends and I didn't know they knew each other...does that make sense?
It's that whole six degrees of separation.  Does it apply to everybody?  I was thinking it was only supposed to be from famous people...or Kevin Bacon.  ;)

Friday, January 14, 2011


I was just on one of my favorite writer's websites:  Those people are extraordinarily gifted as well as some of the nicest 'writer types' I've ever talked with.  Always helpful and super knowledgeable..

Got some great advice tonight about query letters and it completely clicked with me.  Query letters shouldn't be more than 250 words.
This letter is your 'application' for an agent to look at to say, "hmm....that looks like a writer I might be able to sell"....or 'nope/delete/next'
which is what happens to the majority of the letters they get in a day/ week or even in a month... they have an average of 10,000 queries a year and maybe will have 2 new clients out of them  2....those odds stink. a writer, your job is to get noticed...plain and simple.  Your book, if you want it to be picked up by an agent and hopefully sold, has to be strong enough in characters and plot to get this small task done.
Tonight, got some great advice.
Your query letter, no matter if you have 1 or up to 4 main characters, should only be about the one MAIN character.  About their own journey through the book.  The query isn't meant to tell the whole story.  It's just a 'sneak peek'....just like a movie trailer shows you some of the coolest parts of a movie so you'll want to see it.  The query works the exact same way.  Except movie companies have professionals editing their trailers to look and sound wonderful and exciting.
Your query only has're the only one that knows your book and knows it well enough to write the query.
Limiting yourself to THE MAIN CHARACTER in the book...sounds almost impossible, but the more I think about it, the more sense it makes. sit down and work on it to see how it goes....I really have a good feeling about this....I hope it's not a false sense of security!  :)

Saturday, January 1, 2011


Happy New Year!

This is one of those very special days that hardly ever come along as far as the calendar goes, but other than that, it's been a relaxing Saturday at our house.  No major historical happenings going on.  We've watched a 'Jaws' marathon and laughed at the 3-D effects in the third one...other than that...pretty calm day.

I thought I'd post something on this historical day, just so I can go back and say....oh date...:)
As far as writing is going, I'm editing and rewriting  stuff all the time.....I fight the distraction monster constantly...
I took a test on Dr. Oz's show the other day to show if you probably need to get tested for ADHD...out of 20 points, if you had more than 15 you needed to get tested or you most likely were ADHD....I was a 17...I knew I had it...I've known it for a long time.  They said a lot of adults that have it end up getting divorced because it turns into a parent/child relationship.  Where one person is the 'parent'--constantly having to remind or 'nag' the other person to do this or that.  Loses patience with the other person because they forget things all the time....
In 2009, I was getting there.  I'd been married 19 years, and I was just about done with feeling like I was such an idiot...or being made to feel that way every time I made a mistake...I'd heard Dr. Phil say that his wife, Robin, was his 'soft place to fall'.  I didn't feel that way with my spouse, which was a red flag to me.

I've become more verbal since then, and it's helped.  I've told my husband when he makes me feel that way, and he's gotten a lot better about it, but I was inching really close to asking for a divorce around December of last year.
I'm glad I didn't.  I'm glad I stuck it out, because our relationship has gotten better from a year ago.
I think it's only because I decided I was done putting up with stuff and started standing up for myself.  If he hadn't liked it, then he could leave, which he did not want either.
So we made it through our 20th year of marriage and Greg always says, "We're almost to 21"....
I'm thinking I want to give year 20 as much credit as possible, but he wants to move forward and look toward number 21.
So here we are, the first day of 2011, in pretty good shape, I hope we have a good year full of life, love, health for us and our family and friends and happiness.

Cheers to your new year!