Research takes time. When I’m writing about the 1800s, I like to go through my collection The Old West series by Time Life. I love the embossed leather covers.
My favorite notebook–yes, it’s pink, but that isn’t the only reason I love it. It has six pockets to hold all the extra things I find.
My homemade POST IT board helps me keep me on track.
Read my POST IT post to see how I made it and make your own.
I use a program named Scrivener to write. It’s a grand program that allows me to move scenes around or look at photos I’m using to describe my character and settings. Sometimes I need the Scrivener for Dummies book to figure out what I’m doing.
If you’ve read many of my posts you might have noticed I have a comma problem. I write the way I talk so sometimes I go really fast and forget to put in a comma or I drop off
and come back. That’s why this book is good for me.
I’ve shared some of my favorite tools with you. Now it’s your turn. Tell me what you do along with a few of your favorite tools.
Hold on to your britches my exotic experience at home isn’t what you might think. I’m a Midwest girl through and through and if getting exotic means heading to an airplane with a passport in hand let me educate you.
When the Word Nerd Word of the week popped up I wasn’t sure what I could do with that, not much happens in my life to claim the exotic title. Ordering pizza in the middle of the week instead of Friday night tends to be as exciting as it gets.
I set out to change that this week. What could I show my blog readers about living the exotic life at home? It was quite a puzzle. I grabbed my camera and chauffeur and hit the road.
It’s St. Louis Missouri’s 250th birthday this year and there are birthday cakes all over the city. We found this one at the St. Louis Art Museum at the top of Art Hill–known as the place to be on a snowy day because sledding is perfect. And yes I have on a lot of clothes–that exotic temperature is not beach friendly.
Not far from the Art Museum is Turtle Park where there are sand sculptures of—Turtles! There’s also a snake but there was too much ice on the ground to risk getting the photo.
And last but not least how many can say they have one of these nearby their home?
Yes, that is Santa climbing the bottle and it’s after Valentine’s Day. It’s been cold and icy here. I’m sure it’s too dangerous to climb on the roof to get him down.
How’s that for exotic? Not what you expected? When you do the “out of the ordinary” life at home can be exotic.
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This grand Chihuly glass piece hangs in the entry of the Botanical Gardens.
Here’s a close-up. So intricate!
I love the colors he used in the glass. It must have taken him a long time to get all of those pieces connected the way he wanted them. Working with words is much easier I think than standing over a hot fire waiting for the glass to melt.
Ever feel like you’re being deconstructed? Others tell me it’s just that I’m getting older and that’s why I have pain. Humph. I don’t care for that answer. I prefer deconstruction or remodeling even.
Now don’t get your panties in a knot–I’m not heading out to the nearest plastic surgeon for a redo. Besides the entire name PLASTIC SURGEON should give anyone pause before going that route. I don’t care to end up looking like one of those plastic scary Hollywood movie people.
Back on topic–I’m breaking down. I’ve noticed the weather changes and I get a migraine.
Foot doesn’t work? Surgery.
So what’s my problem now? I picked up my grandson and pulled a muscle in my back!
What is happening! Can this be cured?
I don’t know but I intend to pick up my workout routine again–as soon as I can bend!
The plan is to slow down the deconstruction so I won’t need as much remodeling.
Are you familiar with the story of David in Goliath in 1 Samuel in the bible? If you are skip ahead, if not let me tell you about him.
David was a shepherd boy sent by his father Jesse, to check on his older brothers who served in the Israelite army. When David arrived he watched as soldiers ran from a giant of a man who served the Philistine army. His name was Goliath. He was huge–a giant to the Israelite army and he made fun of God’s army.
David who had slain large animals to protect his family’s sheep took the challenge to defend God’s army. With a rock and and a slingshot he took down that giant and the Philistines became slaves to Israel.
We all have giants in our lives—not usually people and please if you do—don’t get a slingshot and rock to take care of the problem!
Today giants take different forms and we have to learn to take them down. But how do we do that?
Prayer is the best place to start. When I ask for guidance about my giants it seems that God opens my eyes and I discover that not all of my problems are as big as I make them out to be. That God has equipped me to handle the overwhelming to-do list, the big project I’ve begun or just figuring out what I’m making for dinner. *yes sometimes that is the biggest giant of all for me!
Other days my eyes are opened to the heartbreaking problems others have and I realize at this moment my giant is a very small thing.
I have a friend who is waiting for heart transplant for his daughter.
I have a friend with ALS.
I have a friend trained as a Chaplin who heart is breaking because she wants to help those in need but can’t find a position.
When I look at those true giants I know that I’ve faced some of my own– Seeing my first husband die from cancer, losing 3 brothers all before I reached age of 30 and having a father that left us and didn’t come back when I was 15.
Those were hard and yet I survived, I changed and my faith grew.
Are all my giants gone?
I don’t think so as long as I’m leaving on earth as one of God’s people there will always be someone that wants me to go away. There will always be a tragic incident around the corner. It’s what I do with those that will make the difference.
If I choose to be like David and step out with the faith of God the biggest giant of all, the evil one will not win.
The Word Nerd Meme starts today with the word FISHING. Writers love words and can spin a word into a story, a past memory or a devotion faster than you can spit. Look for more WORD MEME posts below the words BLOG HOP.
WORD NERD WORD IS “FISHING
Fishing is something I don’t do. I don’t like to bait a hook, catch a fish, or eat one. What I like is the attempt.
When Andy and Opi went fishing it was in a world where phones were connected to the wall, there wasn’t a smart phone, kindle or iPad to take your attention away from the task at hand—fishing.
The only distractions were from Opi talking to Andy, maybe eating a sandwich packed by Aunt Bee and sometimes a fish was caught.
There are lessons to be learned from those fishing trips. Taking time to be with a family member and listen to what they are saying or just being still together taking in the warm air, the lap of the water on the beach or the rocking of a boat. Nothing pulls them away from that moment and I think that’s why fishermen like Andy and Opi love fishing.
So what’s a girl to do if she doesn’t like to fish?
There are things I like about fishing, the warm weather and the river banks or lake beaches but that doesn’t help me when it’s 11 degrees and I’m not near water. But I crave that time of doing nothing on purpose.
I think it’s time to hang out my “Gone Fishing” sign. Turn off my computer, phone, television and pack my gluten free lunch and head to one of my favorite cold weather spots-my chair by the wood stove. I think I’ll take a book a long and read slow instead of fast just so I can finish and write a review.
We’ve come to the end of the a2zmeme and my choice is Zip. I’ve found there are times in life when I should have zipped my lips and others I wish I hadn’t done so.
So the question is when “to Zip or Not Zip” your lips?
Keeping this verse in mind I’ve made up a list of Zip or Not Zip list.
“A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart”. (NLT) ( Luke 6:45 )
Don’t mention you can see the dust on a friend’s TV screen.
Don’t ask your friend if they’ve gained weight.
Don’t tell a volunteer they should have done better.
Don’t ask your husband, “Why can’t you love Downton Abbey as much as I do?”
Don’t tell your neighbor not to hang multiple dead deer in their front yard. *this is a hard one for me.
Do offer advice when asked—after searching your heart.
Do give compliments when you find something you admire. *my neighbor has the most amazing row of lilac bushes that I enjoy every spring.
Do not be afraid to offer praises to God when told of something good.
Do tell your family and friends you love them—often!
Do unzip those lips when a friend or family member has put themselves in danger.
I’d like to think evil doesn’t lurk in my heart but it does. It comes to life when someone almost rams their car into mine, or when I feel something unjust is happening to me or my family. It’s hard to beat it back. It takes me at least 10 minutes to realize my lips have come unzipped when they should have stayed zipped tight.
Confession: Blogging takes a lot of brain power and I don’t have a lot in reserve.
That’s why I band together with other bloggers and do memes. We help each other and have fun along the way. =)
The A to Z meme is coming to an end this week. *pout* (Yikes! I need to do a “Z” post!) To keep the momentum going, my friend Patty Wysong and I have been brainstorming and have a short, fun meme idea…
Rather than using the alphabet as prompts, Patty and I have put together a list of ten words to use in your post. Use them however you’d like. There are no rules. You don’t even have to use the actual word in your post–just get it… the concept, the idea, the meaning… in the post. However you want.
*you don’t even have to be a writer! Just someone who blogs. J
The ten words and their posting/linky dates:
Fishing - Jan. 23
Giant - Jan. 30
Construction - Feb. 6
Glass - Feb. 13
Exotic - Feb. 20
Tool - Feb. 27
Sign - March 6
Frame - March 13
Plant - March 20
Nuts - March 27
The Word Nerd meme will be starting next week onThursday (*note we posted the A to Z meme on Friday we are switching the meme day to Thursday–First one is Jan. 23!)
Anyone and everyone is welcome to join us. It’s a come as you can thing–no commitment, just jump in and post on the week’s letter as you can.
I’ll be posting a blog hop linky so each of you can have the linky gadget on your sites. It’s more user-friendly that way. =) If you’d like a list of the words and the linky codes, leave a comment asking for them (and your email addy) and I’ll get them to you so you can schedule ahead or simply have them handy.
Here’s the deal for Word Nerd:
Anyone can play. Some of us will be continuing from A to Z, but any one can join us and we would LOVE to have you along! The more the merrier! Grab a friend and join us!!
Anything goes. If you’re pressed for time, pressed for brain cells (a common ailment of mine), stumped, whatever… a simple list will work! Or a picture or a verse—anything to get a post up. Seriously. Just make sure it ties in with the week’s word. It can also be as focused or even a complicated post about a word that starts with that letter. Anything goes, related to the word.
One word a week. Only ten words and we’ll finish on March 27th.
Thursday’s the day. Posting day is Thursday. Or Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday. ROFL. If you’re like me, you might not remember on Thursday, so any day works. I don’t care, but that brings me to…
Let’s link together! Part of the fun of a meme is linking together so we can encourage each other on. The linky will go live each Thursday, shortly after midnight so you can link up.
Guilt-free participation! Time is a precious commodity for all of us. If you participate, all I ask is that you take a few moments and visit and comment on TWO other participants’ sites. No need to visit everyone, but a couple is very appreciated.
Please remember this is about helping each other so if you love the post tweet it, G+ or facebook it.
Want to know more about memes and why you’d want to participate? Check out Patty Wysong’s page Making the Most of Memes for more information.
Here’s another confession…
This meme is going to push me to write on time—what a deadline? Yes, if I make it one. It’s not going to be easy and I’m sure I’ll be searching through photos on my camera as a quick post. But that’s okay. I’m ready for rut relief and creativity building! We would LOVE to have you join us!!
If you have any questions, leave them in the comments or email me.
Maybe not today. I’m pre-writing this post because it’s snowing–a lot. As in up to 12 inches before it’s all over and the temps –oh I can’t even write about those single and minus numbers. I can’t see my yard but I can see all the unnecessary things I own. They are taunting me. “Why not put me in a yard sale? Make a few dollars?”
It’s so tempting to start piling unwanted items in the corner. I could price them right now…no, I can’t buy stickers because I’m sure I’ll slide into the ditch at the bottom of my driveway. Then I’ll have to call for help and there goes any money I might make at my yard sale. But I can still prepare, right?
I searched the house for boxes to store things in–I found one, a shoe box.
Maybe I should take the time to read a book by the fire and forget about the yard sale for a while. Spring will come soon–not soon enough, but soon, then watch out– all of you things taking up space–watch out! You’re out of here.
HOW TO PLAN A YARD SALE
1. Pick a date (that makes it a deadline and you must meet it) along with a start and end time.
2. Find an organization who will take the items left at the end of the sale.
3. Invite a few friends to bring their stuff–require they stay for the sale. You don’t want to be responsible for letting Great Aunt Hattie’s tea cup go for a nickel when your friend thinks it’s worth $5.00.
4. Find out who has tables you can borrow that day. It’s easier to sell things off a table than the ground.
5. Set up an area in the house where you can ‘drop’ items to be marked.
6. Before you put something in the ‘drop’ area make sure it is clean. Dirt doesn’t sell for much.
7. Take time each day to mark items and move them to a priced pile.
8. The night before set up the tables and display items IN YOUR GARAGE with the door down! Otherwise you’ll have people dropping by to shop when you aren’t ready.
9. The day of the sale make sure you have sandwiches made for your lunch, a cooler with drinks and a way to make change. *It’s a good idea to have a change box with someone sitting by it the entire time.
10. Have your helpers walk the sale being helpful and watchful.
When it’s over order dinner for everyone and wonder why you spent the hours to preparing and holding the sale when you could have donated everything.