Friday, May 26, 2017

Whatcha Working on 2017

A year ago I planned to post about my non-writingendeavors.  Today, in an incredibly timely fashion, I’m going to make good on my promise.

I volunteer on my children’s school PTO as the outdoor chair. Nature inspires me. Sometimes the outdoors inspire me too much, and I go a little too crazy.

Last year I put in a butterfly garden at the school. Because I am wild, I made butterfly metamorphosis stones out of old tiles. This year I added plant signs to highlight the larval food plants and nectar plants. I studied butterflies until I could find butterfly eggs, point out caterpillars, and identify species. (Note to self: must turn this knowledge into a book!)




I have been planting pear trees at the school with *some* success. Last year we lost a tree, but also harvested 4 delicious pears. I see 17 baby pears this year. Yum, yum!! (Note to self: the sweetness of fruit you grow yourself should be in a book!)


Last summer I made and installed tree identification signs on our nature trail. It took a few seasons to identify species- leaves were analyzed, bark was rubbed, and berries were smelled. Good memories of thumbing (carefully) through my dad’s leaf collection when I was little were revived. (Note to self: try to publish that tree book again or maybe use this new knowledge to start a new one.)


Our school has a boring black blacktop. Last spring we painted a map of the US, which was a test in teamwork and fighting the wind. This spring I’m adding a clock, compass, hopscotch, and games. (Note to self: a little bit of paint can brighten up a day. Put in a book?)


I have the joy (and often pain) of being a Girl Scout Troop Leader. I enjoy leading the scavenger hunts and getting dirty looking for bugs. But I also have to go along with tea parties and planning glow dances. Here I am glowing! (Note to self: things look and feel different in the dark. Where am I on shadow book?)

A new, ahem, age milestone is bringing clarity to my trait of hobby-obsession.

I updated my shell collection after a trip to Sanibel Island. (Note to self: you know enough about shell collecting to write a book on this.)


I have also been researching my genealogy and updating the family tree. Some new insights on my heritage have caused me to start calling myself a “European Island Wanderer.” A trip to Iceland and seeing Moana reinforced this sea-loving feeling. I am also half inland farmer, but let’s not focus on that. I got the Ancestry DNA spit test for Mother’s Day! Can’t wait for those results. (Note to self: this quest for self through understanding ancestors is a theme to explore in a book.)



On the writing side, I spent pretty much the whole year working on a non-fiction book which I am really excited about. (Though I am usually excited about books). The year both writing and non-writing has solidified for me how much I enjoy research. It ignites the anal retentive part of me! 

So, there may be more non-fiction work in my future. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Valentiny Story - Take a Selfie, Valentine!

Nothing makes me want to write more than one of Susanna Hill's Contests. (Well, that and the reward I've promised myself of a chocolate covered cherry for completion!)
The Contest:  since writing for children is all about “big emotion for little people” (I forget who said that, but someone did so I put it in quotes!) and Valentines Day is all about emotion, write a Valentines story appropriate for children (children here defined as ages 12 and under) maximum 214 words in which someone is confused!  Your story can be poetry or prose, sweet, funny, surprising or anything in between, but it will only count for the contest if it includes someone confused (can be the main character but doesn’t have to be) and is 214 words.  Post your story by Tuesday February 14th by 11:59 PM EDT.
Take a Selfie, Valentine!
By Lauri Meyers

“Happy Valentine’s Day, Livy,” Sam said clutching a paper heart behind his back. “I was wondering if you would…”

“Take a selfie?” Livy grabbed him and smiled. Sam opened his mouth to explain. Click.

“I meant,” Sam said, “Since we’re such good friends…”

“Don’t be so shy! Of course we can take another selfie!” Livy held out her phone. Sam grimaced. Click.

Sam puffed out his cheeks and searched for the right words. “Someone probably already asked you…”

“…To take a selfie?” Livy said. “Nope, you’re the first. Say cheese!” Sam’s cheeks blushed as their heads touched. Click.

“Actually, I wanted,” Sam said, “To say you really make me…”

“Smile!” Livy yelled. “You smiled in this one. Happy Valentine’s Day! Gotta run.”

“Uh, bye,” Sam said. He scratched his head. “I thought Livy liked me. Guess we are just selfie friends.” He put down the card, noticing new sweaty fingerprints, and whacked himself in the forehead.

“I’m glad you’re still here, Sam!” Livy’s happy voice surprised him. “What’s that?”

“Um, it’s um,” Sam said. “It’s a valentine for you.”
(Billy Alexander, via sxc.hu)


“I love it!” Livy said. “This is for you.”

The frame sparkled with glitter hearts and their selfie in the middle.

“You’re finally smiling!” Livy said.

Sam said, “Can we take a selfie?”

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