Monday, October 15, 2018

Beautiful Things #OpenBook Blog Hop


October 15, 2018

What do you think are the 5 most beautiful things in the world?

The hardest part about writing this post? Narrowing it down to only five things. There is so much beauty in this world if we just take a moment to look for it. My list comes in no particular order because beauty is beauty and we should appreciate each and every experience. (Sorry, I'll get off my soapbox now.)

So, here we go.


The first flowers of spring. Flowers are marvelous any time, but there's something special about flowers after a long winter. Especially when they are peaking out from under the remnants of the past snowfall.

The look on your lover/partner/spouse's face when you return after an absence, short or long. I hope that sometime in your life you've been welcomed with that mix of joy and longing and love all wrapped into one.

A baby's laughter. Surely one of the most beautiful sounds in the world.









And if you've been following my blog for very long, you should have expected this next one. Among the most beautiful things? Snow covered mountain peaks. Doesn't matter what time of the year. Summer with the sun glinting from high snowbanks or winter with a storm swirling across the range, mountains speak to me. Add a mountain lake and you've got something close to paradise.






Last but not least, and I apologize in advance because  not everyone can experience it. The wonder of holding your newly-born infant in your arms. Sure, they are wrinkled and red and their head might be misshapen, but that baby, at that moment, is the most beautiful thing ever. And nothing will ever be more beautiful.

That's my five. I'm looking forward to finding out what beautiful things my fellow authors talk about.




October 15, 2018

What do you think are the 5 most beautiful things in the world?

Rules:
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants' blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person's blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

Blogger





Monday, October 8, 2018

Useless Knowledge #OpenBook




October 8, 2018
What's the most useless thing you know how to do?


I had to really think about this and decided it depends upon your definition of useless is. What you find useless may be what someone three states or three countries away finds to be a valuable tool. For example, someone who lives in a New York City apartment may think the fact that I can start a fire out in the woods in the middle of winter with one match is interesting but nothing they'll ever use in their life. Then again, the hunter in the northern part of New York State would think that's a skill everyone should know.

And my ability to convert a standard base 10 number (the numbers you use in every day of your life)  to base 2 or base 16? (Binary and hexadecimal) You're probably shaking your head and saying 'What the heck is she talking about?' It's a useless skill to most  people, but in the computer field it's the basis for inter-computer communication. (You know, the Internet.)

How about my needlepoint and embroidery skills? I've posted a few of my projects here in previous posts, and while they are great decorations, they don't really 'do' anything besides look pretty. On the other hand, I've sold some of my work so that makes it useful.

Wiggling my ears might be a good one but I never figured out how to do that. Same thing for curling my tongue. Or whistling, which I would rank as a useful skill.





I suppose being able to recite the alphabet backward isn't useful as I don't plan to ever be pulled over for drunk driving. Being able to stand on one foot and hold the heel of the other in my outstretched hand doesn't do me any good anymore since I no longer am able to work the balance beam. (And, I admit, I can't do that anymore. Old people problems.)

So what skill do I have that's useless? I use to make bell-bottom jeans and jeans skirts out of two pairs of blue jeans. I don't foresee that fashion trend coming back during my lifetime. (Too bad, I still love bell-bottoms!) So that's my useless skill.

And yes, somewhere pictures exist of me wearing bell-bottoms and sorry, I'm not going to share them here!

What's your useless skill? I'd love to hear about it in the comments. While you do that, I'm off to find out what the other authors are skilled at!


October 8, 2018

What's the most useless thing you know how to do?


Rules:

1. Link your blog to this hop.

2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.

3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants' blogs.

4. Tweet/or share each person's blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.

5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.



Blogger










Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Major Life Events #ISWG





Welcome to another month of the Insecure Writer's Blog Hop. This month's topic is how major life events affect your writing, and has writing ever helped you through something? Thanks to this month's co-hosts: Delorah, Christopher, Tanya, and ChemistKent.



I like my life 'uncluttered.' Minor bumps in the road are acceptable, but I shut down emotionally when it comes to unplanned big events.I need time to process the impact on my life. So, when I put my life on 'pause,' I find myself unable to make progress in my writing.



This was true when I wrote poetry many years ago, and even though I've shifted to fiction, it's still true. When I wrote poetry, it might be six months to a year before I could write a poem about something that happened to me. When one of my grandmother's died, I think it was a year before I wrote her a poem in tribute. In the case of my father-in-law's death, I think it took me two years.



I've always tried to keep my personal life apart from from my stories. Of course, my books lean towards action adventure, so that isn't hard. And bits and pieces of my life have crept into my characters, but none of them are modeled after me. But they are there to keep me company when I'm stressed even if I can't get words on paper. 



But who knows? Maybe something I live today will find it's way into one of my books three years down the road, when I've had time to process it and it fits into my 'new' normal, whatever that turns out to be.









Monday, October 1, 2018

Nice Things #OpenBook Blog Hop


October 1, 2018

What is the nicest thing someone has ever done for you or said to you? Why did this mean so much?

I've been extremely lucky in my life to have lots of good and supportive people around me. To pick out the nicest thing someone has done for me or said to me is impossible.

Do I call out all the folks who helped me get into my current career field? Because there's a batch of them. There's two of my college professors in particular who encouraged me as a non-traditional student in my studies and did everything they could to help me succeed. Or how about the guys in the field who took the time to mentor me as I transitioned from student to employee.

How about all the people who have encouraged me in my writing? From the days when I was finding my words in poetry to now, when my stories pile on top of each other in my head. I won't name names because there are too many and I'll miss someone. (Let alone the reviewers who are kind enough to leave nice words when they enjoy my books. They mean a lot.)

Sometimes kindness comes in small measures. The nurse who took extra time to adjust the temperature of the shower to the perfect level after I gave birth. The many kindness of the landlady who was more friend than landlady. The anonymous strangers who hold the door for me when my arms are full. The other authors who take a few seconds to click like or share on my FB posts.

There's the kind folks who pulled us out of a ditch and wouldn't accept any money as thanks. The co-workers who buy everyone's morning coffee. So how do I pick one?


Simple. I won't.

I appreciate them all, big and small. Big gestures are wonderful but sometimes it's the little things that get you through a day.

What's the nicest thing anyone has done for you? I'm on my way over to check out the other posts  while I wait for you to leave a comment!



October 1, 2018

What is the nicest thing someone has ever done for you or said to you? Why did this mean so much?

Rules:
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants' blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person's blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

Blogger






Monday, September 24, 2018

Organizing Your Writing Life #OpenBook Blog Hop


September 24, 2018

What tools do you use to organize your writing life? Keep track of deadlines, blog appearances, guests appearing on your blog, etc.? What have you tried that didn't work for you but might work for someone else?


If you've come here hoping I have the magic button to organize your blog visits, Facebook posts, and personal appearances, don't hold your breath. I struggle with it too. Which amazes me, because I know how to organize. I once set up a three state,  twelve city business trip over the space of four days. That included flights and rental cars and hotels.  And accomplished it successfully. But keep track of a blog tour for a new release?

Now, I don't do as many personal appearances as I would like, so they aren't a problem. I welcome the opportunity to get out and meet people, even if I don't convert them into new readers. And I've gotten good about keeping a stock of my books on hand so that I don't go into a last-minute panic needing to order more.

But blog appearances are my downfall, especially multi-author ones that are several months in the future. I've tried a variety of methods to track due dates for both appearance on other blogs and people appearing here, but I can't get it right. In fact, the last exchange I took part in, I tracked with a series of post-it notes stuck to my desktop. It worked, but it wasn't very efficient.

I tried a spreadsheet another author designed, and it just didn't 'feel' right. So, I tried designing one of my own. And it was better, but I found myself ignoring it. It wasn't 'in my face', annoying me, so I didn't have to look at it.

I tried a pocket calendar that I could carry around in my purse. The problem was, my purse never makes it to my writing desk. I keep it on a different floor of the house. So the calendar didn't do me any good.

And I tried the calendar tied to my google account. I'd get the alerts reminding me of appointments when I was at work, not when I was at home. By the time I got home, I'd forget I had a task. And sometimes I didn't get the alerts at all, or I'd set them wrong. Not helpful.

Why not try a wall calendar, you ask. Good question. The wall behind my desk is windows on the upper half. Covered my blinds. Can't hang a calendar there!  And I don't like desk calendars. I have this nice glass desk, and I hate cluttering it up. I like the feeling the clean open desk gives me. A desk calendar would make it feel too much like work.

So, I'm looking to my fellow authors and anyone who reads this blog. What am I missing? What haven't I tried? If you've got a magic button, please tell us about it! Or if you are as frustrated as I am, you can tell us about that, too.

Now I'm headed over to read everyone else's entry this week, in hopes of learning their secrets.


September 24, 2018

What tools do you use to organize your writing life? Keep track of deadlines, blog appearances, guests appearing on your blog, etc.? What have you tried that didn't work for you but might work for someone else?

Rules:
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants' blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person's blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

Blogger