Saturday, June 29, 2013


  Thank you to everyone who has encouraged me during JuNoWriMo this month.  It meant a lot to me.  I am pleased to announce that I did it!  I reached the 50k mark today. I think that my book will need another 10k or so before it is complete but I am so pleased with how far it has come this month.
Thank you again for all of the encouragement and congrats to everyone else that made it this month!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Celebrate the Small Things

It is time for VicLit's Celebrate the Small Things!
This week I am celebrating that my oldest son conquered his fears and sang up front with the rest of his vacation Bible school group.  It was a huge accomplishment for him!  He doesn't like preforming in front of people but he did it and he even did all of the hand motions. 
    I have one more thing that I want to celebrate, all though technically it isn't for a few days.  On July first my husband and I will be celebrating our eighth wedding anniversary!  We have weathered six moves, deployment, a year long unaccompanied remote tour, countless smaller separations, the arrival of three children, homeschooling and all that is involved with that and we still like each other.  How amazing is that? 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

What's Up Wednesday

It is time for What's Up Wednesday!

What I'm Reading  I am trying to add some middle grade books to my reading list so right now I am reading Storybound by Marissa Burt and Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai.  I'm also reading Where Yesterday Lives by Karen Kingsbury.  Yup, I'm back to reading a stack of books all at once.  I am really enjoying Storybound.  It is such a fun fantasy story and reading MG is refreshing.  I love YA but its good to step out and read something different.  The book I'm reading aloud to my children this week is Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle by Betty MacDonald.  It is fun watching them giggle over a story I enjoyed when I was little.

What I'm Writing I am still drafting my YA novel, Simmer.  It is now 41k words long.  I am hoping, hoping, hoping that it will be at 50k by the end of June.  I am realizing that for my world to be more authentic I am going to have to spend some time researching old time sailing ships and other nautical themes.  Ships, the ocean and the shoreline play a major role in this book and I want the setting to be as rich and beautiful as it is in my mind.

What Else I've Been Up To  I cleaned out my closet, does that count?  Probably not.  My oldest son is going to a vacation Bible school downtown all this week so the younger kids and I have been going on "the great bakery quest".  We used to have a bakery that we could go to for a special treat.  It had huge muffins, sandwiches with homemade bread and all kinds of cookies.  When we moved away I thought it would be easy to find a new place for us to go.  It has been a year and we still haven't found the perfect place.  We are going to fix that this week.  We have tried out three potential places and there is at least one more we need to check out.  So far our favorite place is a little coffee shop down by the bay.  It has the most delicious cinnamon rolls, not to sweet, lots of cinnamon and a warm, buttery glaze.  My kids loved it there and so did I. 

What Inspires Me Right Now  Today I am feeling inspired by my husband's tolerance of my weird writing habits and how much of my time it takes up.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Donut Dwellers #5

 Here is part 5 of the donut story I'm writing for a four year old buddy of mine!

Zandy looked up at the tower her brother had just built.
"August, it’s crooked.  Really crooked."
"Again?"  He said.
He shook his head and a cloud of sugar dust encircled him.
"Aaachhooo." August sneezed.  It was his twenty-seventh sneeze that morning
"Bless you, again"  Zandy said.
She tipped her head to one side. 
"It looks ok if my head is half way to my left shoulder."
August stepped back.  Zandy was right.  It was really, really crooked.  He looked carefully at Zandy and tipped his head exactly like hers.  That did make it look better, a lot better.
As far as August could tell, they had two choices.  They could walk around with their heads tilted to one side so it looked straight or they could rebuild it from the ground up. 
He didn't want to rebuild it.  He had already done that just this morning.  He didn't even want to remember how many times he had rebuilt it yesterday.
August was just about to suggest that they leave it like it was when his neck began to hurt.  He rubbed at it until it felt better and then he sighed.
"Well, we don't have a choice.  We have to rebuild it."  He said.
"August, do you think it’s crooked because the donut is too soft so it sinks in on one side?"
August studied the bottom of the tower.  It did seem to be sinking.
"Ugh!  It doesn't matter how many times I fix it, it’s just going to sink."  He said.
Zandy walked up to the tower and gave it a little push.  It began to sway from side to side. 
"I think the weight is too heavy for such a small part of the donut to support."  Zandy said. "Maybe it would be better if we built it on something big and flat.  That way the weight would be spread out more."
August thought about it for a minute.  It made sense.  It made a lot of sense, but what could they use for a base?
He looked around him.  He didn’t see anything.
He looked way off in the distance. 
"Zandy, look.  What's that thing?  The red, round thing way over there?"
"I think it’s a button."
"Do you think it would make a good base?"
"I do.  Oh August, if it’s like most buttons it will have four holes in it, just perfect for sticking the corners of the tower into. Then it wouldn’t shake when I push it anymore!"
"Do you think that the button is big enough to keep it from sinking?" August asked.
"I don't know but I do know how to find out."
Zandy grabbed a square of shiny paper cut from a magazine cover and started sliding down the side of the donut.
August grinned.  Donut sledding had been his idea and it sure was a fun one.  He grabbed his own magazine cover sled and slid after her.
When they reached the bottom of the donut they rolled up their sleds and started the hike towards the button.  It was much farther than it had looked from the top of the donut.  When they finally arrived at their destination they could only stare.  The button was big enough.  In fact it was so big that they would have to make the tower bigger if they wanted the corners to fit in the holes.
"So Zandy, any ideas on getting it to the top of the donut?" August asked.
Zandy just stared at the button, her eyes big and round.

(To be continued...)

Friday, June 21, 2013

Celebrate the Small Things

  It's time for VicLit's Celebrate the Small Things!

This week I want to celebrate a few seemingly small things that have made me very happy.

I found my kids a dentist that's as wonderful as the one we left behind when we moved last year!  It happens to be near our favorite pirate ship park and the book store/coffee shop/yarn shop which happens to be one of my favorite places to visit down here.  My kid's are begging to go back to the dentist because they had such a wonderful day.

My word count for JuNoWriMo is 32,373!  I'm a bit behind but not to far and I'm pretty content with the huge amount of progress I 've made.

My husband is bringing me tacos for lunch. I LOVE tacos.

I hope that you all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

What's Up Wednesday

What I'm Reading  I'm in between reads.  Horrible, I know.  I finished The Madman's Daughter and I can't wait for the sequel to come out.  Now I am staring at all the books I want to read and trying to decide what one to read next.  Any suggestions are welcome!

What I'm Writing I'm still drafting "Simmer".  I'm behind my JuNoWriMo goal but I am hoping to catch up. Yesterday I spent my writing time working on a plot twist.  My original idea wasn't enough to carry the book to the end.  It needed something more.  I'm hoping my changes and additions work!

What Else I've Been Up To I'm trying to come up with a summer "bucket list" of sorts.  I saw a blog hop that involved posting your list.  I might join.  The idea is so that you can have an intentional summer.  I love that idea.  There are so many things I want to do with my kids while school is out but its easy to just let the summer pass by. 

What Inspires Me Right Now I am inspired by my children's entushiasm towards summer and life. 

Here is the link I found for the Summer Bucket List Blog Hop.  I want to join but I've been busy catching up on my JuNoWriMo goals, so we will see if I can squeeze it in!  If not I want to at least have some sort of activity list at home.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Pressing on, and on, and on

  I haven't been as active with my blog as I was.  My writing time is so limited that some days ( most days) I have to choose if I want to keep up with blogging or spend my time on my WIP.  This month it has been my WIP that has taken the front seat.  It is over 25k now!  It was under 3k at the beginning of the month.  I've learned a few things this month.
  1. I love twizzlers.  They are amazing to snack on while working through plotting issues.
  2. I can write complete scenes, answer millions of questions from my four and six year old and keep an eye on my toddler at the same time.  Its exhausting but it can be done!
  3. I should stock up on paper plates next time I attempt a WriMo.
Riveting discoveries, aren't they ?!?
Oh and one more discovery.  I write better if I actually get some sleep.  Weird!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

What's Up Wednesday

It's time for What's Up Wednesday!  To learn more about this blog hop click here.

What I'm Reading 
   Yesterday I finished reading "The Raven Boy's "by Maggie Stiefvater.  I love her writing style.  The characters in this book are amazing.  I am now reading "The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd.  I haven't quite formed an opinion on it yet. 
    I'm also reading "The House At Pooh Corner" by A.A Milne to my children.  They love it!  At first my six year old was sceptical.  He thought he was getting to old for "Pooh Bear".  I have lost track of how many times he has giggled during this book.  I love that it entertains all three of my children and that they beg for it every night.
What I'm Writing
   I am working on my second novel "Simmer".  I have added over 15,000 words to it so for this month thanks to my participation in JuNoWriMo.  Fel Wetzig at The Peasant's Revolt interviewed me about my book and writing habits.  If you would like to read it you can go here.
What Else I've Been Up To
I've been running the craft section at a local vacation Bible school.  Yesterday I made over 100 yarn tails for today's craft!  Between that and writing and my kids I seem to be pretty busy.

What Inspires Me Right Now
A.A Milne's insightful and classic writing has really been inspiring me this week.  As I mentioned earlier, I am reading "The House at Pooh Corner" to my children.  I have read bits and pieces of the original "Pooh" stories before but this is my first time actually reading one of the books.  I am loving it as much as my children.  The writing is descriptive, the characters have so much presence and I find myself giggling along with my children.  No wonder these stories have been popular for so many years. I would love to be able to write such magical children's stories.
Here is one of my favorite quotes so far:

"Pooh began to feel a little more comfortable, because when you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things,  you sometimes find that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside of you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it."

Kids story or not, there is a lot of truth in this quote!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Donut Dweller's #4

Here is part four of the bedtime story requested by a super sweet four year old!  When this series is done my own four year old has requested one on mermaids.

August sunk his feet deep in the bottom of the tunnel and pushed against the fish bowl as hard as he could.. 
Zoomer slid slowly, slowly through the tunnel.  Little bits of donut fell into the bowl.  Zoomer didn't mind one bit.  He snapped up each crumb and licked his lips.
"I don't think I can push him much further, Zandy."
"You can't give up now!  You're almost there."
Zandy leaned against August and gave them a giant push.
"Wow!  Great thinking!  That helped a lot."  August said.  "One more push like that and we should be inside the donut's center."
"You mean the courtyard." Zandy said with a giggle.
August and Zandy gave Zoomer's bowl one more shove.  It did the trick.  Zoomer broke loose from the tunnel.
"Ahhh.  Now to relax in our new home." August thought.
He looked around. 
"Zandy, where did you go?"
Nobody answered.
Still nothing.
August looked back at the tunnel, or what use to be the tunnel.  All he could see was a mound of crumbs.
"Oh no!  Don't worry Zandy.  I will save you."
August knew just what had to be done.  He began to dig.  He dug faster and faster and faster.
Finally he saw a bit of  purple peeking through the crumbs.  It was Zandy's dress.
"I've almost got you.  Hold on."
One, two, three more handfuls of crumbs and he could see his sister's hand.  He grabbed it and pulled. 
Zandy flew out of the tunnel and landed right next to Zoomer.
"Are you ok?" August asked.
Zandy didn't answer at first.  She was to busy eating donut crumbs. 
"Sorry."  She said at last.  "This donut is just so delicious."
"Just make sure that you only eat the crumbs."  August said. 
Now that Zoomer was here and Zandy was safe it was time to make this donut look like home.
August reached into his pocket and pulled out a picture of his favorite super hero ever and stuck it on the wall near the tunnel. 
There.  Much better.  Bed's and rugs and the tower he and Zandy wanted would have to wait.  Pushing a fish bowl through a tunnel and rescuing a sister was hard work.
August curled up around Zoomer  and fell fast asleep.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Taking a few days off

I managed to make it to my word goal for JuNoWriMo today but I had to let the dishes and laundry go to do so...  Blogging is just one thing to many tonight.  I'm taking the weekend off.  Stay tuned next week for the next instalment of Donut Dwellers and all of my other regular posts.  See you all Monday :)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

IWSG and What's Up Wednesday

  It is time for Alex J. Cavanagh's Insecure Writer's Support Group!

This week has been insanely busy.  My inlaws came to visit so I've been trying to balance JuNoWriMo and being a hostess/tour guide for my relatives.  Since I live right on the Gulf everyone wanted to spend tons of time at the beach.  It is very difficult to write and play in the surf and sand at the same time...  Which leads to my current insecurity.  I always feel behind.  Trying to squeeze in writing is not easy with three young children even when things are calm. I'm trying to be content with what I can realistically accomplish but my inner critic pipes up and informs me that I will never get anywhere at that pace.  It's frustrating.  (I am a jump in with both feet sort of person if you haven't guessed!)  Maybe someday I will be able to write for hours at a time but for now I need to learn to be make the most of my minutes and be content with them.

Now on to What's Up Wednesday!
to join click here

What I'm Reading
I am reading "The Raven Boys" by Maggie Stiefvater.  I'm only a few chapters in so far but I do love her writing. 
What I'm Writing
I am working on "Simmer" for JuNoWriMo.  I'm weaving in the subplot that I came up with the other day along with some new characters that sort of "showed up"! 
What Inspires Me Right Now
   The great support group at JuNoWriMo has been very inspiring to me this week.  It has been an encouraging and exhilarating challenge. 
  Playing with my kids at the beach all week has been inspiring on the parenting front.  It was wonderful to just have fun with them and watch my oldest son help the younger ones get over their fear of water.
What Else I've Been Up To
The beach and writing about some up my life this week.  If I wasn't working on my book I was at the beach with family.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

June Goals

  My goal for June is simple.  I want to write 50,000 words on my WIP.  With all the motivation I am getting from JuNoWriMo I am hopeful that I will be able to reach my goal and have a great time while doing it!
  I had to scale back on my goals for May but I am happy with the progress that I did make.  I managed to keep up on my reading and make some great progress on my revisions and while I didn't get anything submitted to magazines I do have a few things ready.
  Oh, one last goal for June!  I want to finish replying to all of the amazing comments I received during the blitz!!! 
Is any one else doing JuNoWriMo? 
What are your goals for June?  I'd love to cheer you on!