What I’m Reading: Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

I attended a writer’s group around here and someone recommended this book to all of us. It was a winner of a contest called Pitch Wars, which she also told us about. If you don’t know what pitch wars is, I suggest you Google it. Got a manuscript? Want some advice from experienced writers? This contest is for you. You get a chance to partner up with with a mentor, who will offer you advice and ways to edit your novel so you can pitch it to agents. In the end it’s like a bidding war for the best novel and sounds so exciting. I’m going to give it a try myself.

Anyway, this book is about four young adults who are brought together by tensions exacerbated by the politics surrounding the world of the novel. On one side there are those who have magic, or used to have it. On the other: the evil king who is determined to keep magic away for good.

Friendships form, romance kindles, and adventure makes this book as absorbing as the world the author has created.

Happy Reading and Writing!

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Vacation Highlights: 7 National Parks Over 6,000 Miles

Monument Valley

Mike and I took a long vacation his year, and it was fabulous. Last year we were in Utah, and we just didn’t get enough of the West, so this year we headed out there again…

We were gone 18 days, drove over 6,000 miles, passed through 16 states and visited 7 national parks in total. It was a whirlwind of an adventure…and although, it was a TON of driving which I think we might pass on for next vacation…it was a lot of fun.

Grand Canyon

Arches National Park

We purchased one of those annual passes for the National Parks, and we visited:

  • Badlands National Park
  • Yellowstone National Park
  • Grand Teton National Park
  • Grand Canyon
  • Bryce Canyon
  • Arches National Park
  • Black Canyon National Park.

Fountain View from our room at the Bellagio (26th floor) Las Vegas baby!

Paonia, Colorado

Hoover Dam

Attractions we got to see (not in order):

  • Hoover Dam
  • Las Vegas strip
  • Colorado Mountains (annd Mike’s Grandma on our way through)
  • Mount Rushmore
  • Grasslands of South Dakota
  • Titanic Exhibit (Luxor in Las Vegas)
  • Tournament of Kings (Las Vegas)

States we passed through:

Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, South Dakota, Wyoming, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Colorado, Arizona, Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Montana

This was the first thing we saw upon entering Yellowstone. Just a buffalo trotting down the opposite side of the road. Like, no big deal, guys. I’m just here, doing buffalo things…

Old Faithful

Falls in Yellowstone

Animals we saw (some we’ve never seen before):

Black Bear, Grizzly Bear, Elk, Moose, Prairie Dog, Buffalo, and deer.

This trip made our relationship stronger, we learned how to be more aggressive drivers (you gotta be in some urban areas), and it reminded us that life is short and you must enjoy it where you can. Life can be stressful, and it really shouldn’t be. Don’t let work (especially work) weigh you down. All the money in the world is not worth your heath or your happiness.

Badlands National Park

Morning Star Pool in Yellowstone

Yellowstone Lake

Bryce Canyon

This is my favorite picture out of the whole vacation, guys. Lake Jackson in Grand Teton National Park.

I hope everyone is having a great summer and enjoying life’s little joys where you can.

Happy Writing and Vacationing!

Blackout Poetry: Unexpected

Wrote some blackout poetry at the library today. They had a little station of copied pages from books, and only a red marker – I guess someone took the black? Anyway, I had fun.

It reads:

Then stillness

the one I’d wanted

were standing outside the door

breathe the landscape

that enclosed us

the tender edges

our centeredness

her dress

her name

blended

with the room

What I’m Reading Tonight

Got the Yankee – Astros game playing in the background, the fan is whirling and making a steady shwooo noise, and I’m snuggled in bed with a book.

Everland, by Wendy Spinale. It’s this steam punk version of Peter Pan. I love the cross genre and diving into the realm of fiction classics is always fun, too.

What are you reading? Anything good?

6-word Stories Tell a Story on Their Own

I worked on this last week, but I guess I forgot to post. It was something I saw on a Facebook feed from a previous year. Someone had shared some 6-word stories and they were heartbreaking. Beautiful though, but amazing how they were able to portray so much with so little words. It’s such a great challenge though for creative writers.

Let’s see what you can come up with…here’s mine:

Seven 6-Word Stories

1.  Brian said, “Goodbye.” Then he jumped.

2. Snowflakes danced around flower-covered headstones.

3. Black coffee drank up searing disappointments.

4. The advertisement read: need companion, non-violent.

5. Clutched hands trembled, the doctor spoke.

6.  Tail wagged. The Vet said, “Ready?”

7.  Birds chirped happily over rushing water.

Poem: Rules

These are just scribbles, really. A thank you goes to everyone who read and support this blog. Just noticed I reached 401 followers this weekend. 🙂 Might not seem like a lot, but it is to me. So again, thank you!

Rules

Shadows creep, winter chills
open closets are unkind
To the wandering mind
Of children just beginning

Poem: My Evil Twin, Doubt

Meet my evil twin
I call her, Doubt
she second guesses
Things I’ve figured out

She makes me weak
When I take a stand
Kicks me down
And takes command

Invites her friends:
Anxiety and Depression
Inside I’m roiling:
I’ve made a bad impression

Anxiety whispers to Doubt and
Depression behind my back
They’re making fun of me!
There’s nothing that I lack

I am Beautiful and Strong
Creative and Inspired
My evil twin, Doubt
Is not even desired

She’s shallow and she’s needy
her friends are much worse
Dripping black negativity
Tucking extra in her purse

She’ll swagger up the street
People spring out of the way
Heels clicking, eyes like daggers
With nothing great to say

Poem: Saying Goodbye

About a week ago, Mike and I had to say goodbye to his dog, Marley. He had Lyme disease that went to his kidneys and after a few trips to the vet we were saying goodbye sooner than we ever thought possible.

Although he wasn’t mine, I loved him. He was our family and now he’s gone. We are dealing with it as best we can. But it’s never easy saying goodbye.

Saying Goodbye

I didn’t want to say the words, “put down”
Like he was some shiny toy
We had picked up and lost interest

too cold to think of leaving
Such a treasure behind
to think of all the tail wags, the last sniffs in the snow

the moment before the final moment the worst
a deep sleep that hurts
One final pin-prick, back leg trembles.

I couldn’t find the words to say
I’ll help you
I’m right here
I’m sorry

Then, sobbing in the car like I’d lost something I’ll never find again

Tail wags, brown, liquid eyes full of courage
You’re hurt and you’re dying and all you have to say is: I love you

How Was your NaNoWriMo?

Hi Everyone – I’ve been a bit MIA on this blog as of late…and I don’t know why.

It could be because I started a full-time job this fall, and I just don’t feel inspired after a long day of sitting typing at a computer. Also, about mid-November I was sick for like a week with a cold, and that about wasted my November.

On the positive side, though, I have been writing more as of late. I think it all started after watching Outlander one Sunday. I was curious about the books and I went on Diana Gabaldon’s website, and something I read of hers inspired me.

It was what she said about the first book of Outlander. She said she wrote it because she wanted to see if she could write a novel, and Outlander was just a trial, a for-fun novel.

Well, several books later and a successful TV Show and she is still writing. I guess it made me realize that you shouldn’t doubt yourself. It might not be as awful as you think it is, and if it is awful…who cares? It was meant to be a draft, right?

If Diana Gabaldon can do it, well then so can I. Plus, my writing process seems to be a bit similar to hers. I tend to just wing it…I’ll have a rough outline, but otherwise I tend to be at the whim of my characters: “alright, guys, where do you want to go next?”

How was your NaNoWriMo? Any words of wisdom for the rest of us?

(Also, my NaNoWriMo wasn’t all that successful, but I got some more useful scenes written for my novel-in-progress and that’s something!)