Sunday, August 31, 2014

My First Writing Contest

As I mentioned yesterday, it didn't feel right to submit SB's story (one small part of it), to this contest, so that left me with one day to come up with a new entry. Raccoon woke up in a very bad mood, even for him, and refused to get out of bed. Today is church and my husband is the pastor, so I usually try to go. We went to a wedding last night and were all dragging this morning. I promised my son a story if he got in the car, which alleviated his mood long enough to change his pants and get his shoes on.

The true story I told him was about his great-grandmother, and her decision late in life to do only the things she wanted to do. After I told him that part of her story and how it ended (unfortunately not well), the idea for my new essay was born. Because I loved my Grammie very much and she was good to me, I felt bad writing about one of her weaknesses. I tried to write honestly yet in a way that also showed my love for her. My Grammie turned out to be my grumpy guru, and I will be forever grateful.

I submitted it twenty minutes before the deadline, not as well edited as I would have liked, but hopefully good enough. For a minute it felt like I was back in college, pulling an all-nighter to get a paper done. :)

Wish me luck!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

On Writing

I have started writing again. I snatch a moment here and there when I can. Poetry and essays are my two favorite forms at this point. I wrote about part of SB's story for a contest, but it just doesn't feel right to submit it because I would lose the copyright to what I wrote. Maybe I won't ever be published, and that's okay, but it feels good to be creative again.

Below are some random quotes on writing that have been accumulating in my draft folder:

Plain truth is this. Great, you get published. But, if you don’t sell enough books, you cannot quit your day job. If you fail to sell out your print run, you hurt your chances of another book contract. In order to do what you love–WRITE–you must learn to do what you hate–SELL. It doesn’t have to be as hard as a lot of people make it. Brand your name, then your name can do the selling while you do the writing. - Kristen Lamb

When we aren’t grounded in the reality of what it takes to be successful, we’re vulnerable to barbs from the outside world, because, remember…many of them have fantastical thinking, too. Kristen Lamb

Ann Lamott, one of my writing heroes who almost single-handedly saved my Christian faith from a life-sucking, soul-crushing abyss, suggests that writers use fiction to safely tell their truths. Chloe of the Mountain

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Obscure Words

I should be sleeping but I'm having some fun with the random phrase generator I've mentioned before. I'm also looking for a creative username which is what took me there in the first place. These caught my eye until I looked them up!

apishamore (saddle blanket)
dacninae (honeycreeper - a tropical American songbird)
pholadidae (mollusks)
sarcosporidian (parasite)
zucchetto (skullcap)
obreption (obtaining something by giving false info)
equisetum (horsetail - a nonflowering plant)
wapentake (subdivision of a country in northern England)

It was about here that I decided to go with a local slang word as my username instead, fascinating as this is.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The baba

Raccoon was never interested in a comfort object, but Kitty loves her baba. I cut off a piece of her favorite blanket to take to the beach in June and they are now inseparable. Except when she shares her baba with Morita, her favorite dog.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Earthquake Kit Packed

I now have a first aid kit and survival box wrapped in plastic and sitting in my back yard, with smaller versions in our car. Honestly, it feels a little ridiculous, but peaceful too. If we have a minor emergency we can sit out back and eat tuna and chocolate.

I pray for no major catastrophes.

Walking through the hardware store trying to visualize what I would need if life as we knew it ended was a stressful experience. What if the one thing I needed to save my child's life wasn't in the box?

I pray things never come to that.

I have not felt a quake since Sunday morning and life goes on.
Raccoon is currently obsessed with frogs. Kitty is having a language explosion. The four of us are all okay and I am so very, very thankful.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

In a moment

everything can change.

We are all okay, but a little shaken up by a natural disaster. You can tell my frame of mind from how I misread a blogger's self-description: "homeschool mom passionate about family life, traveling, cultural heritage, and staying alive."

I thought, "You got that right!" before I reread the sentence and realized that she actually wrote "staying active." Oh.

There are many things I realized this week that I've taken for granted, mostly because they've neen taken away out here in ruralandia.

Running water, clean water, or just any water at all.

Electricity, and with it internet and frozen food.

Solid, steady, nonmoving ground is the newest one on the list.

My brain keeps telling my heart we're all okay, but my heart is wondering, "If a bigger disaster comes, how will I keep my children safe?"

Earthquakes as a teen: Woohoo! More! More! Maybe school will be cancelled.

Earthquakes as a parent of young children: Never again will be soon enough.

Robin Williams

Perhaps if he had known how appreciated he was, he might not have taken his own life. I feel sad that now he'll never see how many lives he touched. There are many burdens that come with being gifted.
If you know someone who is depressed, reach out. And if it's you, please don't be afraid to ask for help. And keep asking. The world needs you.

Monday, August 11, 2014

I want to make up a word

Some recent favorites that I've seen:
Ones I may have mentioned before:
However, I do not seem to have this word-making gift. I love two odd words together especially. So for now I'll keep on collecting the ones I find and like.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Puppy Love

Our neighbor has puppies. We're NOT planning on bringing any home, but they are fun.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

RIP Zucchini

Let's just say that this hasn't been a good month for us.

Hamsters smell, so I moved the cage into the schoolroom for the night. We leave the window open in there for the cats and it must have gotten cold last night. We were off to church in a hurry so I didn't check on him until late afternoon when we got home. He was lying on his side with his feet stuck out and barely breathing.

Picture a very large, Latin family all concerned about the hamster and giving home remedies. We'd put some grass in his cage so I thought maybe he'd eaten something. Raccoon was very upset so I thought doing something was better than nothing for his sake. I gave Zucchini some cooking oil, supposedly to try to make him throw up.

He agonized for several more hours, but he just didn't die. Right at bedtime it occurred to me: I wonder if he's hibernating? I looked up some info online and then filled a sock with warm rice which I put under him.

Sure enough, Zucchini started to wake up. Unfortunately, then he choked on the oil left over in his throat and he tried to throw up over and over again. Then he died. Poor thing. I take responsibility for this one.

Raccoon was much more upset about Zucchini than Knight, probably because they were constantly together.

This time we held out on the "no more pets" and we're off to a small amusement park tomorrow as consolation.