Monday, April 30, 2012

Z is for

Z is for Zeal


Often the word "zeal" has a negative association with zealotry, or crazy fanaticism,  but I prefer to think of the word in a positive light.  To me "zeal" represents an intense passion for living life.  Pursuing dreams and striving for the best in whatever it is that you do.  Hitting brick walls and then smashing through them because you won't  be told your dream is unreachable.  It is all about taking on challenges, seeing them through to the end and inspiring others to do the same.

This A-Z Challenge has definitely inspired many.  Thanks to Arlee and the rest of his team for putting on a great challenge.  I look forward to next April!
  
Hope you had a great challenge!  I did! Check out the other A-Z participants.  There are so many other wonderful bloggers involved! 

Thanks so much to everyone who commented and followed.  If I haven't gotten to you yet, I will.

Are you taking some time off now?  or are you going to keep up the intensity?

Have a zesty day!!

Kathy :)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Y is for Yellowstone

Y is for Yellowstone National Park


Last October we had the opportunity to spend a couple days in  Yellowstone National Park on our crazy cross country drive from Ohio to Seattle.

It was after the regular season and it seemed like we had the whole park to ourselves.  The weather was cool and a little rainy, but the mist that hung in the air only added to the mystique of this ancient place.

I felt like we had stepped into the Cretaceous Period.  But we only saw buffalo, no T-Rex.  Which was fine with me!

Inspiration Point






Around every turn, my mouth hung open with awe.  Steam spewed from every crack in the Earth as if it was a living breathing dragon. I couldn't process that a place could be so utterly different than anything I had ever seen.

The kids had a blast watching Old Faithful and walking around the other geysers and boiling mud pots.  My husband and I simply enjoyed watching their love of exploring nature.  I would have loved to spend a few more days there.  It is a trip we will always remember.






Have yourself a wonderful Saturday!!

Only 1 letter left! It has been great!  Make sure to check out all the other great A-Z entries.

Kathy :)
A bubbling mud pot that didn't smell like roses

Friday, April 27, 2012

X is for Xcellent!

X is for Xcellent!


This has been an excellent challenge!   I can't believe there's only 2 letters left!

Thanks so much to Arlee Bird and his wonderful team of co-hosts for helping to bring us all together.  I've met so many new blogger buddies!  I love seeing the variety of everyone's posts, even when people pick the same word, they write it in such different styles that no two posts are alike.  This writing community abounds with creativity!  I'm so happy to be a part of it.  

I also want to thank everyone who supported my efforts in the challenge and made wonderfully encouraging comments.  And a huge thanks to all my followers both new and old!  You guys are awesome!

Don't forget that today is the last day for Alex's giveaway to celebrate his 1500 followers and on May 7 join in on the A-Z Reflection post, where we can tell all our thoughts from this year's challenge.

Don't forget to check out the A-Z blog for more great entries!

Have an xceptional day!!!

Kathy :)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

W is for Will

W is for Will

The pieces fell into place.  I knew what I was supposed to do.  But what if they were wrong?  What if I wasn't the One?  Maybe I'd gotten this far merely based on their lies. I would find out soon enough.  Everything came down to this moment.  The cold steel was heavy in my hands. I had a choice, but would I make the "right" one?    Have I ever made my own choices or have I simply followed the path the universe set before me?  From now on I would be remembered, but as a hero or a demon I knew not.


Ok that's my random flash fiction on free will.  Hope you liked it.

Here's a random question...Why are there so many great "W" words?  What is it about a letter that lends itself to create more words and words? And why do they seem to have similar qualities?  It seemed to me that the letter "V" has a lot of depressing or dark words, like vile, venomous, and voracious, but "W" has wonder and waterfall and willing, and many other more uplifting words.  Just wondering.


Have a weird and wonderful day!!

Make sure to check out all the other great A-Z entries.


Kathy :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

V is for Deja Vu

V is for Deja Vu 


We sat at the table, feasting on the Pad Thai Alyssa had just prepared.  Jess reached across the table to get a second helping and said, "This is great, but I'd like fewer bean sprouts in it.  I like them crunchy like this though, the one's in Chinese restaurants are a little softer."

My head spun, and pictures flashed before my eyes.  This had already happened.  I remembered everything down to the exact words Jess had just said.  Then the nagging feeling that some other event was tied to it crept its way into my mind, but I couldn't place what it was.  I tried to recall it, but it slipped away.  I would have to wait for the real event to occur.  

Had I dreamed it? I don't know, I think so, but how can you dream events that have not happened yet?  I don't know how to explain the feeling of deja vu, which in French literally means, "already seen", I just know that I experience it every once in a while and its kind of creepy and cool at the same time.

It's also weird that it happened last night, just in time for me to write about it for "V" today.  Maybe I'm really a science fiction character who travels different dimensions and I can't remember which one is which.

Have you ever experienced deja vu?        

Make sure to check out all the other great A-Z ers.

And don't forget to check out Alex Cavanaugh, he's holding a book giveaway to celebrate his awesome achievement of 1500 followers!  Way to go Ninja Captain!

And check out Alyssa's blog she only needs 18 more followers to hit 100!


Have a voluminously happy day!
(not sure I used that correctly)


Kathy :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

U Does Not = You

U Does Not = YOU


My daughters make fun of me that I refuse to use texting language.  No matter who I'm texting I write every word out.  I know it's silly, but I just can not write a message that looks like:  OMG u r the bst frnd evr!  So  what if it takes me an extra 30 seconds to compose a message.  It hurdles through space at an unbelievable speed anyway. If I want to send a longer message, I'll split it up into two texts, or email it. Words deserve the dignity of all their letters; not to spend a life whacked apart into their various phonetic pieces.  I guess I'm just an old fashioned language snob.  (LOL!)


 Some other great "U" words:  usurp,  ubiquitous, undulate, unctuous

Check out all the other great A-Z posts.  I can't believe we're almost to the end!  It's been so much fun to meet everyone and read their great posts for the challenge.

Have an unbelievable day!!!

Kathy :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

T is for Timing

T is for Timing

I was at the library with my husband and kids yesterday.  They loaded me up with a stack of books to check out and they wandered off to browse more.  I finished checking out and went to find them.  I glanced to the right and walked toward my husband.

 I was just about to say, "Hey honey, ........ " when I happened to look a little closer and notice that yes the guy had on a yellow shirt like my husband but he was not my husband.  I quickly turned right to the next aisle.  I don't think he even saw me but, I was so embarrassed.  In my head I pictured myself casually walking up to this guy and putting my arm around him and then realizing it wasn't my husband. I would have had to run out of the library and never return!  All I could think was thank goodness, I looked just in time.  If I had been a step closer he surely would have noticed I was coming toward him.

It got me thinking about timing and how different a situation can be when the timing changes by even a fraction of a second. As a writer maybe I can use timing more effectively to create funny or tension filled scenes.  How do you use timing in your writing?

Have a tremendous day!

Check out all the other A-Zers.

Kathy  :)  

And Thanks so much to all my new followers!  You're awesome! :)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

S is for Skating

S is for Skating


I can't remember a time when I wasn't thrilled by the feeling of the ice beneath my blades.  The cool breeze caressing my face as I glide over the silken surface, I feel a freedom that I can't explain. I don't know why, but it is something that is a part of me as integral as my own hand.  The combination of artistry, musicality, and physical movement is both challenging and inspiring to my soul. It recharges my creative energy and allows the other areas of my life to flow with ease.

I thought maybe as I got older, it wouldn't be as much fun, but even now, every time I step on the ice my heart flutters with excitement.  Most of my time is now spent coaching and I'm grateful that I can share my passion with my students and my daughters, Jess and Alyss, who skate with me every day.  But once in awhile I get to really let loose and have some fun myself.  Here is a video that Jess took of me the other day while I was spinning.  I thought it was kinda cool.  Hope you enjoy.



video


Make sure to check out all the other A-Zers.

Have a super Saturday!

Kathy :)

Friday, April 20, 2012

R is for Rushed

R is for Rushed


I'm always rushing around.  My husband says its because I don't sit down and plan well enough.  And he's probably right, but who has time to sit down?  I like to think it's because I try to pack a lot into my day.  But some days all that rushing around backfires on me.  Like yesterday.  Here's what was supposed to happen:

Wake up early to write and edit Jess's book
Homeschool Ryan (Jess and Alyss mostly work on their own)
Alyss dentist appt
Get everyone lunch
Go to work
Take Alyssa to skating practice
Go back home
Take Jess to violin
Edit Jess's book while sitting at her lesson
Pick up frozen Chinese dumplings for dinner
Head home
Make rice and dumplings
Eat
Make sure kids are ready for bed
Collapse into bed

The first part of the day went quickly and smoothly.  But then things went awry. We were at Jess's violin lesson and I was editing her book. Jess was just finishing up her lesson and I needed to quickly pack up my laptop.  I thought I clicked "save", but something happened and the file closed itself.  What just happened?   I wondered.  I reopened the file.  Whew, it opened.  I packed it up and hoped everything was ok.

Later I opened up Jess's file.  Everything looked ok, until I read the last comment I had made.  I had highlighted some dialogue and I asked, "Who is speaking?", but it clearly stated "Seth said" in the sentence.

The one before that concerned a sentence which was,

"I never thought it would be this way."

My comment was "cut out 'thought it would be this way' "  leaving only:

"I never"

What was I thinking?  Had I fallen asleep while editing?  No, I was quite awake.  I scrolled up the document.  My heart sank.  Every comment I had made for the last 100 pages shifted to the wrong spot.  I was afraid to tell Jess.  I knew she was counting on me to have this done soon.  But she could tell I was getting riled up about something.  "Uh, Jess, I did something," I said sheepishly.  

We spent an hour trying to fix it. Usually Jess can quickly figure out what silly combination of things I've pushed and reverse them, but this time there was nothing.  Somehow I had inadvertently pushed some combination which scrambled all the comments.

I felt bad for Jess.  She felt bad for me.  We went through the comments together and laughed at how some of the comments were now creating hilarious scenarios. We felt more relaxed.

This morning I resumed my editing 100 pages behind where I had been.  But everything happens for a reason, and maybe just maybe I learned to not be so rushed.  
Yikes I gotta go now, I'm late for work!

Check out all the other A-Zers.

Have a relaxing weekend! :)

Kathy :)

P.S.
Oh and can someone please tell me how to apostrophize Jess? Is it Jess' or Jess's?

P.P.S
Yeah, I know apostrophize isn't a word but hey im in a hurry!!!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Q is for Dr. Seuss?

Q is for the Quick Queen of Quincy and her Quacking Quackeroo
   
 As a kid I loved Dr. Seuss books.  My dad used to read them to me so many times that he got bored and started reading them all backwards, both the words and the sentences.  I thought it was great!
  
When I became a homeschooling mom Dr. Seuss became an essential part of our day.  All three kids learned to read starting with Dr. Seuss' ABC Book. It is a fun filled book with great rhymes, nonsense words like quackeroo, obvious alliteration to help kids learn the sound of each letter, and of course crazy pictures.  "Q" has always been one of my favorites with the Quick Queen of Quincy and her giant duck-like pet, the quacking quackeroo.   After learning the sounds of the letters, my kids quickly moved to Go Dogs Go and finally on to Green Eggs and Ham and others. They learned that reading was fun not a chore.

With Dr. Seuss' help my kids learned to love the sounds of language.  They haven't stopped reading since.  
They're even writing their own books.  :)  Thanks Dr. Seuss!!


Check out all the other A-Zers.  Have a quackilicious day!!

Kathy :)


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

P is for Possibilities

P is for Possibilities


“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” 
― George Eliot (from Goodreads)

To me this quote sums it all up.  Maybe there are things I wished I had done as a younger person, but instead of wishing I need to get up and do them. And it's never too late... until I'm underground.

This leaves so many possibilities.  It's like writing.  In a novel there are endless different paths my MC can take and the only limit on what they can experience is my own imagination.  SO why would I limit myself?  Why not write my own story and fill it with adventure and good deeds?  Of course I'll try to leave out the antagonists, but I'm sure they will rear their ugly heads somewhere along the line.  Like my MC I have to find a way to push on and defeat them to continue along my journey. It might not have a perfectly happy ending but maybe I can create a story that others would read.

I also want to share how proud I am today!  Proud that my daughter Jess has just finished writing her second  YA novel!  Way to go!  She's already accomplished so much.         


Make sure to check out all the other great A-Zers.

Have a peaceful day

Kathy :)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

O is for Optimism

O is for Optimism


“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” 
― Mahatma Gandhi (quote from Goodreads)


I started out with a poem on optimism, but I got discouraged.  I couldn't come up with a good ending.  I sat for 30 min staring at the blinking cursor.  Frustration crept through me.  For inspiration, I read lots of great quotes about acting the way you want to feel. Still nothing came. I listened to music, but then my music stopped working.  And then I laughed.  I was supposed to be writing about optimism and I was feeling down about it!  I smiled and told myself, "I've got lots of ideas!"  The poem still didn't work out but at least I felt better.
Sometimes it doesn't always work out the right way, but maybe we can find something there to laugh about.

Make sure you check out all the other great A-Z entries here.

Hope your day is filled with opportunity and optimism!

Kathy :)

Monday, April 16, 2012

N is for Nervous

I hope everyone had a great weekend. I can't believe we are already more than half way through the alphabet!
My main character in my fantasy WIP is named Nakyte, so I figured I would put her in a little flash fiction showing today's word.

N is for Nervous

Nakyte realized she was holding her breath.  She inhaled and closed her eyes, trying to slow the pounding in her chest.  Why was this so difficult?  She fidgeted with her collar.  All of a sudden her shirt felt restrictive.  She had spoken to him many times before, but somehow it was different now.  Now that she knew how she felt about him.  She rubbed her sweaty palms together. What if he didn't feel the same way?  But she didn't have time to waste.  If she didn't say something now, he would be gone and never come back.  Everything depended on this moment. She turned to him. Her throat tightened.  The words barely made it out, "Shen, I love you."


Well hope you enjoyed it.  I'm off to check out all the other great entries in the A-to-Z Challenge.

Have a nice day!
Kathy :)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

M is for Mom

 M is for Mom

Always there when needed
Unconditional love
Supportive
Guidance
Self-sacrifice
Role model and inspiration
Confidante and friend

These are the words I think of when I think of my mom.  Those same words describe my mother-in-law.  I'm truly blessed having both of them as my mom.


Hope you're having a marvelous weekend!  Click here for the rest of the A-Z participants.

Kathy :)
Our moms with our girls in Macinac, Michigan

Thanks Sandie and Reiko for being moms to me and Jesse!  

Friday, April 13, 2012

L is for Lottery

L is for Lottery


2 weeks ago there was lottery fever here in the U.S.  The jackpot went over $600 million.  Because I don't have cable tv and I don't listen to the radio, I had no clue.  But my normally rational and analytically minded husband came home from work one night and told me I had to buy a lottery ticket the next day before the drawing.  I laughed.  I thought he was joking.  But his green eyes stared at me and I knew he was serious.

I complained, "But I've never bought a lottery ticket.  I don't even know how to get one!"
"I don't either," he replied.  Millions of people buy them all the time, and we couldn't figure out where to get one.

All day I thought about how silly it was.  I didn't want to buy a ticket. That just wasn't me.... I also thought, what would I do with all of that money?  $600 million.  My brain doesn't go that high.  

Ryan asked, "How big would the stack of money be?" Of course I had no idea, so we Googled it.  It said something crazy like 100 miles into the sky but I don't know if that was in 20s or 10s.

While I was checking out at the grocery store, I nonchalantly asked if they sold the tickets there.  No they didn't.  I'd have to go to the gas station.

Because I didn't want to head to the gas station for the sole purpose of getting a ticket, I stood in the cold rain to pump gas first, even though my tank was almost full.  I scanned the cashier inside.  I decided to make my move.  Dripping wet with my dollar in hand, I nervously approached the counter.  I handed the guy the money and he gave me a ticket.  It was all over in about 2 seconds.

I showed my husband the ticket when he got home. Despite our normal reluctance to buy "things", we talked about the home improvements we would make.  Maybe I could get my own laptop or a new minivan, or even a good vacuum that wasn't like lugging a small car up the stairs. We laughed.  That wouldn't even bring us to 1 million. We couldn't think of anything else.  

We went to sleep dreaming happy dreams.  Of course, we didn't win.  I guess I'll have to wait on that laptop.


Kathy :)

Did you buy a ticket?

Check out all the other great entries here.



      

Thursday, April 12, 2012

K is for Kleusyklear! and Khan Academy

 K is for Kleusyklear

kleusyklear:  adj, describing a beautiful and happy day; It's a kleusyklear day today!

You won't find this word in the dictionary, but in our house it has real meaning.

The girls would wake up on certain bright sunny days and proclaim, "Mom it's a kleusyklear day today isn't it!"  "Of course it is!" I would say back.  The first couple times they used it I had no idea what they were talking about, but I played along.  They must have agreed on the meaning beforehand maybe just to see if I would pass the test of goofiness.  I guess I did.

Over the years, the two of them have conspired to make up many words, such as:    
Deeeeeeeee!: exclamation of uncontrolled happiness usually said with a slight Russian accent; usually used when they see Ryan doing something adorable; Deeeee he's sooo cute!
chub: verb, the action of squeezing a younger child's chubby cheeks; usually Ryan; Mom Alyssa chubbed me!


Do your kids make up goofy words?  I'd love to hear them!


Now on a more serious note

K is for Khan Academy


The brainchild of Sal Khan, the Khan Academy is a free website for anyone.  Sal's goal is for it to become the world's first totally free university where the world can learn anything.  He and his group want to change the way people learn.  The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have taken notice and are helping to fund the program.   Schools are beginning to recognize the benefits of using it in the classroom.

The site has two different main parts.  One  has short video lessons, usually around 10 minutes on specific topics, ranging from beginning multiplication to Calculus integration by parts, to astronomy, biology, art history, and banking and finance.  More videos are being added all the time in a variety of subject areas.  Sal has a great way of describing even the most difficult subjects to make them understandable.

The other part is where you can practice an endless amount of problems on different topics.  It's set up kid friendly but not too childish for adults to use.  You earn points for each problem you do and you are awarded badges for completing challenges, doing problems quickly or becoming proficient in 100 exercises.

Our entire family, even Ryan who's 7, use it often.  We are challenging each other to see who can earn a million points during this year.  Last night I stayed up until 11:30 trying to earn points by watching a video on DNA variation and practicing my math skills.  So far I'm only at 370,000 points.  Ryan's not too far behind me at 320,000.

I love the site and recommend it to anyone and everyone! So far Khan Academy has delivered over 139,000,000 lessons.  Check out Khan Academy.org today and exercise your brain!


Have a kleusyklear day!

Kathy :) 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

J is for Journey

J is for Journey


“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” 
― Ernest Hemingway

Of course I know this, but I sometimes fall off the path. I get caught up in the little distractions and worries. I forget that those little things are exactly what makes my journey "mine".  I run around, rushing from place to place, to maximize my time.  Trying to get to the destination as quickly as possible.  The days are a blur and time slips from my grasp.  And then I awaken. Time slows and I breathe in the kaleidoscope of minute miracles surrounding me.  I am able to savor the journey once more.

Check out all the other great A-Z entries here.

****
Birthday Wishes!



I also want to wish a very Happy Birthday to my wonderful mother-in-law, Reiko.  Her book, To America With Profound Gratitude, has just been released.  It tells the story of her remarkable journey from post-World War II Japan and escape from her abusive father to her life of freedom here in America.  








And I have to mention my daughters Jess and Alyssa whose middle name is Joy, and "Hi" to my sweetie Jesse! :)  Love you guys!

Hope your J-Day is filled with joy!

Kathy :)
 Hemingway quote is from Good Reads.com

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I is for Imagination

I is for Imagination


“Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere.” 
― Albert Einstein

I remember one of the first stories I wrote in fifth grade. It was about this girl who was picked on because the wool sweater she wore was covered in lint balls.  Devastated she ran to the bathroom to hide.  She combed her sweater over and over again, until there was a gargantuan ball of lint which came alive and ate the school.  I can't quite remember but I think in the end the girl saved all the kids and teachers.

I haven't stopped dreaming up crazy characters and situations.

I was lucky I had a great teacher to inspire my imagination.  I hope I am as successful in inspiring my own students to imagine.
The power to imagine where I could be has helped me become the person that I am.    

****

Parker hanging out with my girls and their friend after a skating show

Speaking of dreaming big, I have to highlight a good friend who does a lot to inspire kids' imagination and dreams.  Parker Pennington, a U.S. National figure skating champion at four different levels produces the SKATE DANCE DREAM SHOW.   It is a truly unique show where he brings together National competitors of figure skating and dance to perform with talented children from the local area.  Some of the stars he has recruited are Gev Manoukian from "So You Think You Can Dance" and Ross Miner the 2012 U.S. National Senior Bronze medalist in figure skating. The local kids get to participate in seminars led by the stars and perform with them in group numbers.  A few lucky ones even get to skate/dance a duet number with the stars.
His next show is coming to Mentor, Ohio on April 28th. If you're in the area check it out.

Parker's enthusiasm and gregarious personality are perfect for inspiring kids to dream big.  He is making role models accessible and creating a bond between skaters/dancers and their idols.  I'm proud to know Parker!


Make sure to check out all the other A-Z Challenge entries.  And have an imagination filled day!


Kathy :)
   I leave you with one last Einstein quote.  (I found both of them on goodreads.com/)


“I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” 
― Albert Einstein

Monday, April 9, 2012

H is for Home

Happy H-Day!  I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend!  It's another week full of fun for all of us participating in the A-to-Z Challenge.  Make sure you check out all the other great entries.
Here is mine:

H is for Home

Since my husband and I were married 17 years ago we have lived in a number of different states, 7 to be specific.  We've lived on the West coast, East coast, and the Mid-West; in the mountains, in the city and in the suburbs.  Each one we have called home at least for a while. And though I naturally resist change, with each move, I felt we were getting closer to the "perfect" place for our little family.

Last year we had the opportunity to move yet again and live in the Pacific Northwest, a place that both my husband and I thought would be our little slice of heaven on Earth.  Enchanted by Puget Sound, the northern rainforests, and the mountains we packed up and drove our little family of 5 across the country.

No sooner did we arrive in the gleaming city of Seattle and the idea of our little utopia began to crumble.  We tried to make it work, but the longer we stayed, the more we realized that we had already lived in our "perfect" place and we had let it go.  We had not appreciated all we had until we lost it.

We decided to pack up again and drive back across the country.  Unbelievably, we were able to slip back into our old lives and return to our same jobs and our same house which had not sold.  Surrealistically, it seemed like nothing had happened...except now we knew that we were home.     


I wanted to share this song called Utopia by Within Temptation.



Hope you have a happy H- Day!

Kathy :)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

G is for Great Little Gardener


G is for Great Little Gardener

Ryan loves to help me in the garden.  But he doesn't like to do anything where he will get dirt on his hands.  This makes finding horticultural tasks that he enjoys  difficult.
Until one day he picked up the hedge trimmers.  I have to admit I was  a little nervous when he looked up at me with his gleaming brown eyes, sharp trimmers in hand and said, "Mom I'll trim the bushes for you!"
I imagined that either the bushes would end up with a buzz cut like his own head, or he would trim a little bit of himself. But maybe if I showed him how to use them, he could actually be of some help.

I didn't get much gardening done that day, instead I stood back and watched as he carefully chose which branches he wanted to lop off, some of which were too thick for him to cut through.  Together we got the bush done...and then he wanted to go inside.  But in his heart was now planted the love of the garden.        

Have a gorgeous Saturday!

Kathy :)


Friday, April 6, 2012

F is for Fishin with Gramps

Today is "F" Day in the A-to-Z Challenge.  I decided to mix it up a little today and give you a short flash fiction/poetic piece since Rachael Harrie over at Rach Writes has gotten me hooked on flash fiction.

Here goes:

Fishin with Gramps

Soon it will be dark, but for now the sky is painted with streaks of pink and orange.
Our reflections stare back at us from the surface of the glass-like water.
We are both older now, but here in the boat, time stands still.
The silly songs we sang to pass the time are mere whispers,
Yet the lake is unchanged.
I can still see the girl in pig-tails
The darkness will be upon us soon and our time will be up
But for now in the serenity of the evening, I'm fishin with Gramps.


Have a fabulous weekend!

Kathy :)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

E is for Empowerment

E is for Empowerment

The girls enjoying their time in Rittenhouse Square
When our girls were 3 and 5 we wanted them to feel like they could help make family decisions.  So on Saturdays we would exit the apartment, ride the elevator down 31 floors, and let the girls lead us wherever they wanted through downtown Philadelphia, our home at the time.  The one requirement was that they had to hold hands with each other.

I'm not sure if they really knew their way around, but often we ended up at one of their favorite spots, Rittenhouse Square.  They would run around for awhile playing by the fountain and then they would lead us to the library or the bookstore or sometimes a restaurant.  Eventually, Jessica was able to lead us back to our apartment.

We all enjoyed those weekends.  My husband and I treasured the time talking and following them.  And they, if only for a moment, were enchanted by the power to lead their parents.

Check out all the other entries for E at A-to-Z Challenge

Have an exceptional day!

Kathy :)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

D is for Dag Nabit!



Today is not only D-Day for the A-to-Z Challenge,  it is also the first Wednesday of the month which means it is time for Alex J Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group.  So it is a double challenge to fit in a D-word with one of my insecurities, but I have managed to do it.  So here goes....




D is for Dag Nabit!

Okay I know that isn't a word, but I don't feel comfortable making my characters swear. So I have to resort to silly words like "dag nabit" and "darn it all" that were used by my grandma. I have never been one to use swear words in my own speech, well maybe occasionally, but I'm kind of embarrassed to make my characters use them. I know I shouldn't be.  They are separate entities from me.  And clearly a few well placed swear words can intensify certain scenes.

I've made up my own swear words for my fantasy WIP.  For some reason it doesn't bother me to have them say, "You son of a kreda!  Get the KHAM out of here!"  In my historical fiction I did manage to use a few asses, hells, and damns, but that's as far as I can push it.


So how do I overcome this crazy insecurity and let loose with a string of expletives that would make my grandma blush?  And is it necessary?  What do you think, does it enhance a character's reality to be swearing?

Well that's enough drama for today.  I hope you have a delightful day!

Kathy :)
We were delighted to discover Devil's Tower in Wyoming on our way to Seattle
Thought today I'd give you a "D" picture instead of my crazy digital drawings.  :) 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

C is for "Cannaloupes"




















I told my kids from the time they could speak that the word "can't" was not allowed in our house.  It was ok if they weren't good at something, but to say, "I can't," was giving up before they even tried.

I guess they learned the lesson well because one day when we were at the store, my son pointed and said, "Mom, let's get some cannaloupes."

"Oh you mean cantaloupes," I said.

He leaned closer to me from his seat in the cart and whispered, "Mom, you just said 'can't'. Those are called 'cannaloupes'".

******
Continue reading all the other great "C" words at the A-to-Z Challenge

Have a charming "C" day!

Kathy :)

Monday, April 2, 2012

B is for Boys' Club




















B is for Boys' Club


"Black holes are stronger than bears!" Ryan shouts launching himself into the air.
"No bears, are the strongest things in the universe!" My husband counters as Ryan lands on him and they tumble to the ground in a fierce battle.  They grab and wrestle until finally my husband, the bear, attacks with his most powerful defense, the dreaded Salmon Snatcher.  He pins Ryan to the ground and swipes Ryan's belly, tickling him ferociously.  Both of them break out into laughter and I'm called to see whether the Bear or the Black Hole won.  Just another day at the Boys' Club.

 In our family the girls outnumber the boys. So when Ryan was about 4, he and my husband came up with the Boys' Club.  They would hide under blankets and tell adventure stories of flying to Mars and other far off places.  No girls were allowed except by special invitation.  Now it has evolved to where they do special science projects together, read, play video games and play the infamous Bears vs. Black Holes.  Girls are still not allowed.  

Hope your B day is filled with beauty and boisterous fun!

Check out all the other great entries at the A-to-Z Challenge.

Kathy :)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A-Z Kickoff!

Wow March flew by...
Happy April 1st which means what we've all been waiting for, the A-Z CHALLENGE, is here!!!
My 1st digital art: Alyssa Andromeda and her Earthly pet alligator


A is for Art Gallery 


Every year as a child, my grandpa used to take me to art galleries while we vacationed in Florida.  At the time, I didn't appreciate leaving the beach for a quiet air conditioned room filled with untouchable items.  Especially when I saw paintings that looked like someone threw paint-filled water balloons at a canvas.  I finally began to enjoy it as I grew.

Almost 30 years later when we lived in downtown Philadelphia, I decided to take my girls to the Philadelphia Art Museum.  I was a little apprehensive, thinking they might complain about it like I had.  To my surprise, they were enchanted by the huge rooms filled with paintings, medieval weaponry, and statues.  They even decided they wanted to take art classes in the museum.

The girls cherished their memories of the museum so much that when we visited Philadelphia last summer, they had to introduce their 7 year old brother to all their favorite galleries...and he was captivated as well!

Now they all draw better than me!  Oh well, at least I've learned to stop assuming their interests will be the same as mine.  

Click the link to check out all the other great A-Z Challenge participants. There are over 1600 bloggers now!  AWESOME!            


Kathy :)