Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Road Trips

What's the most dramatic road trip you've ever been on? That's today's YA Highway, Road Trip Wednesday question to celebrate the release of Kristin Halbrook's book Nobody Like Us.

I've been on lots of memorable road trips.

Once I drove with my husband and two friends straight through from Michigan to Las Vegas.  On my turn driving in the middle of the night, we got a flat tire, but I didn't know what was going on so I kept driving until my husband woke up and told me to pull over.

Another time, I was stuffed in a van with ten people driving from Philadelphia to Miami in one day.

Two years ago, we packed up the whole family into the minivan and moved out to Seattle.  We drove over 3,000 miles across the country and explored Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone and Devil's Tower. After about three weeks in Seattle, we realized it wasn't working so we packed up again and drove 3000 miles back East.  That was crazy but sooo much fun!

But there is another road trip that I took when I was about 12.  We moved my grandma and grandpa from New York to Wyoming.  My Dad drove the U-haul with all their stuff and I rode with him for most of the journey while my mom followed with the rest of the family in our van.

It was mid-summer and the air was humid and sticky like syrup.  Of course the U-haul didn't have any air conditioning.  By the time we got to the golden Nebraska corn fields, my dad and I thought our brains were melting.  We had a thermos filled with cold water.  We looked at each other and both had the same idea.  We just started dumping the water all over ourselves, a cup at a time.  It was so refreshing and memorable!
Also on this trip our hotel rooms were infested with crickets and the U-haul broke down and we had to wait an extra day or two for parts.  I'll never forget it.


The A-Z Challenge linky list is up and ready, so if you're game for some awesomeness click here to sign up. It's a lot of fun and a great way to meet new bloggy friends. There's already over 200 people signed up!

And don't forget, Nick Wilford's blog fest, Overcoming Adversity is on Feb 4th-5th.

What memorable road trips have you taken?  Are you ready for the A-Z?

Hope you're having a great week!

Kathy :)

Monday, January 28, 2013

My Guitar Boys, Re-Introductions and Lunar Lovin' Blog Hops

My son wanted to start taking guitar lessons and my husband decided that it would be fun if they both started learning it together. It's so much easier to practice with a buddy. So we found a teacher who would take them at the same time, they bought beginner guitars and they are having a blast.  They only know a few chords right now but when they sit down and play together it is the sweetest music I've ever heard.  Here they are showing off their new skills.


Re-Introduce Myself Blog Hop

Lots of new bloggers have joined the ranks this year, so Mark Koopmans, Stephen Tremp, Elise Fallson, and C.M. Brown are hosting a today's blog hop to re-introduce ourselves.  So in approximately 100 words, this is me:

Mother of three awesome kids (16,14, and 8) that are homeschooled
Married to my wonderful husband for 18 years
Figure skating coach
Directionaly challenged (I got really lost this weekend on my way to a competition)
Author- finished my first novel, now working on editing
Reader of history, and anything YA or chic lit
Blogger for 2 years

I love to travel with my family.  I've moved 15 times, lived in 8 different states, which has been great because I have met so many wonderful people.  Meeting fabulous people is part of why I love blogging so much.  I've been amazed at all the great new blogger buddies I've met.

My blog is rather random, basically I write about whatever craziness enters my mind that day.

My wish is to be a supportive and positive influence on as many people as possible and that is me in a nutshell.


This blog hop, hosted by, Mina Lobo,  is to celebrate the beauty of the full moon which is supposed to be at its best in January.  We were supposed to go outside and take a photograph of the moon in all its glory.
Unfortunately, here in Ohio the moon was nowhere to be seen last night.  Instead we had a wonderful mix of freezing rain and snow.  So here are the pictures I took.

This is looking straight up where the moon should be.

have a great week!
Kathy :)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

18 Things

Today I'm joining in on Jamie Ayres's blogfest for the release of her book 18 Things.  If you want to join in here's what you need to do:

Beginning January 17th until release day, January 24th–I’ll be hosting the What Are Your 18 Things Blogfest. This is something anyone, anywhere can participate in. All you have to do is blog about things on your bucket list.  If you don’t have a bucket list, you should, and now is the perfect time to start! If you’re not sure what a bucket list is (blasphemy!), it’s something completely personal that each person should do (IMHO). It’s a great reminder that gives an extra boost to live life to the fullest and keep us looking forward, even when life wants to drag us down sometimes. Finish a marathon? Read the top 100 books?  I’m looking for fun, heart-pumping, poignant, or inspirational things that you want to want to do, or maybe already crossed off your list. And it doesn’t have to be 18 Things . . . it can be anywhere from 1-18 things (I just needed my title to get out there. Marketing trolls said so!)
Anyone who posts their 18 Things between January 17th-24th can enter to win a number of prizes
Comes out on the 24th. Doesn't the cover look great!

First of all, I've been extremely blessed by having a wonderful family with whom I've had so many amazing experiences already. 
These are some of the things I would like to do before the end comes.  I don't have 18, but I figure it's a good start. There is no particular order to them, just the way they came out of my brain.
  1. Learn to tango(with my husband of course) in Beunos Aires
  2. Go to a cooking school in Italy
  3. See an opera at the Sydney Opera house
  4. Get a novel published
  5. Pass the rest of my figure skating tests
  6. See a Shakespearean play performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company in London
  7. Spend a year traveling around the world
  8. Hike in Denali National Park, Alaska
  9. Live in Paris
  10. Go on an eco-trip like saving baby sea turtles in South America
  11. Be a positive influence to as many people as I can
I'm sure I'll think of more but that's it for now.
What do you think of the cover? What's on your list? How's your week going?

Kathy :)

Monday, January 21, 2013

My Favorite Martian Blogfest and more

Hope everyone had a great weekend.

We took the kids to the Natural History Museum and had lots of fun. Ryan was fascinated by the gemstones and he took about 50 pictures of them.  Thank goodness for digital cameras!

Here are a couple of his favorite pictures.

Google Reader

Just in case you missed it, Alex had a great post the other day about using Google Reader to help organize all our blogger buddies.  I had never used it before.  So I followed all his well written steps and set up my folders right away.  I'm hoping it will allow me to get to more bloggers in a shorter period of time.  Check out the post here.


I'm joining in on My Favorite Martian blogfest hosted by a number of bloggers including, Liesel at Musings on Fantasia.

One of my favorite aliens would have to be Stitch from Disney's Lilo and Stitch.
He's cute, tough, has a good sense of humor and comes to realize that family is more important than anything else.  Those are qualities every guy should have whether alien or not.

If Asgardians are considered aliens, I would have to say Thor is my favorite.  While he may not be the brightest alien in the universe, he sure is nice to look at.  

Have a great week!

Kathy :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Broken Dreams

Today is the day for this month's Knights of MicroFiction hosted by Jess and me.  In case you missed it here is the prompt:  

In 400 words or less, your character(could also be more than one), has a chance meeting with someone who will change their life.

And if you'd like to join us, we'd love to have you.  You still have time just post by 11:59 pm Jan 16th and add your link to the linky list below.

Ok here is my entry.  It ended up being 394 words.  Hope you enjoy it.  

Sam rolled off the couch and slowly stood.  He wasn’t hungry but when had he eaten last?  He stumbled past piles of dirty laundry and headed for the kitchen.  His reflection in the hall mirror startled him.  He looked more like a Neanderthal than a man.  His shoulders were hunched and he hadn’t shaved for a month.

Would he ever wake from this nightmare?
He opened the fridge.  Not a single thing. He stared at the bright white shelves.  Why the hell would someone make them so bright?  Or maybe it was his eyes, he hadn’t turned the lights on for a week.  

He preferred the dark now, it was soothing; it helped him forget...
No not forget, nothing could do that.
His stomach now reproached him with a loud rumble.
It was too soon.  But the fog in his brain cleared enough to understand the need for survival was greater than his need for seclusion.  He had to find food.
He stuffed his bare feet into his Timberland hiking boots and without tying them staggered out the door and down Walnut street. He almost passed the grocery store.
Inside, he  grabbed a cart and wandered down the aisles.  After a few minutes, he realized, he had gone through almost the whole store, yet his cart was still empty.
Tuna fish cans were stacked on the shelf in front of him.  Simple enough.  He grabbed five.

In an odd moment of clarity, he thought of bread.  For a sandwich.  He retraced his steps to the bread aisle and gazed at the different plastic wrapped loaves, as if confused by the choices.  He bent down to look at one marked “Heart Healthy”.

Out of nowhere, a cart slammed into him and knocked him over.  

“Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry!” a woman’s voice said.  She reached out to help him up.  He pushed her hand away and grumbled.  

Then he looked up and saw her face.  Her bright smile sparked a feeling in his heart.  She was the map for his lost soul.    

“Are you all right?” she asked.

“I’m fine.”  The fog in his head slowly dissipated.

She held out her hand and this time he took it.

“Can I make it up to you? Let me buy you a coffee next door.”

He heard himself say, “Ok.”
Maybe his nightmare was finally over.   


Well that's what I came up with. What do you think? Do you have any news you want to share? What's going on in your world today?

Kathy :)

Monday, January 14, 2013

KoMF Prompt

Hope you all had a great weekend!  The weather sure was nice here in Ohio.  All our snow is gone and we even got to see some blue sky.

It's already the middle of the month so that means it's time for the Knights of MicroFiction, hosted by me and Jess.  Anyone can join.  The more the merrier!  Just sign up on the linky list below.  The purpose is simply to have fun writing flash fictions and get to know more about our fellow bloggers.  As always, two participants will be chosen to be guests on Jess's or my blog.

Here's all the details for this month.

Prompt:  In 400 words or less your character(could also be more than one) has a chance meeting with someone who will change their life.

Post your entry before 11:59pm on Wednesday Jan, 16th and then have fun going around to read as many other entries as you can.

Kathy :)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Beginnings Blogfest

L.G. Keltner is hosting the Beginnings Blogfest today.  It's all about how you first began writing/blogging. Here's how it all began for me:

As a kid I was surrounded by people who inspired my love of words.  My dad loved reading Dr. Seuss books to me backward, not just the sentences but each individual word.  My brother and I had contests on who could guess the other person's backward sentences.  My grandma would always be making up silly rhymes that she repeated over and over.

In fifth grade my teacher had us use our spelling words to create stories.  This was my favorite part of the school day.

Then my mom and I started writing little picture books together.  I remember more laughing than writing but it we loved sharing the creative process.

During my teen years, I spent every spare minute writing poetry and journal entries.  My favorite place to write was up at my grandpa's cottage in Michigan.  I would sit on the dock and let the rhythm of the waves guide my pen.

I wrote all through college and even into the beginnings of marriage and motherhood.  I even started sending manuscripts out.  But the constant rejection and the dwindling of free time as my kids grew convinced me to put it aside.      

A couple years ago, I realized I wanted and needed to be writing again.  The kids were old enough to not need me every second of the day so I picked up my pen again.  And I'm so thankful I did.  While I haven't had any major successes yet, I started blogging, I finished the first draft of my novel, I managed to get an article published in a small national magazine and I've met so many wonderful people.  It's been a wonderful journey and I can't wait to see where it all leads!


Upcoming events:

Nick Wilford at Scattergun Scribblings is hosting a blogfest called Overcoming Adversity.  He will be putting together an anthology of the entries to help send his son, Andrew, who has cerebral palsy, to college.

And are you ready for the A-Z?  It will be here before you know it.  I'm determined this year to come up with a theme and write at least some of the posts in advance.    

And don't forget the next Knights of MicroFiction is coming up on Tuesday, January 15th.  Details to come on Friday

Where did your journey begin? Do you have an A-Z theme yet? Will you join us this month for the Knights?

Kathy :)

Monday, January 7, 2013

Cookie Catapult

First of all thanks to everyone who participated in spreading the word for Jess's cover release on Friday.  She got so many wonderful comments!

School is back in session now and the kids are quietly working on their studies while I'm typing this. I'm hoping I can get it posted before someone has a question....

(5 hours later)

...oh well.

Anyway, I wanted to show you what my son came up with over break.  One of his Christmas presents was a miniature wood catapult.  It took him only about 20 minutes to build.

Then he wanted to make green and red Christmas cookies, which we did.  Only his idea of green and red meant mixing the dough together to make red and green marbled dough.  But his creativity didn't stop there.

He ran over and grabbed his catapult, rolled up a ball of dough, and put the dough on his catapult.  Then he released it.  The dough ball flew through the air and landed on the cookie sheet with a plop.  Ryan threw his arms into the air in delight.  I just laughed (and wished I had been able to do that as a kid!)

preparing for launch
(they were just as yummy as the others, too)
Have a great week!

Kathy :)

Friday, January 4, 2013

From the Ashes Cover Reveal

Today I'm participating in the cover release blogfest for Jess's book, From the Ashes, that will be coming out sometime in February.

I'm not sure how it all went wrong.

The concept was simple.

The Trials were made to test us. They were made to challenge our strengths; our bravery.

We were supposed to come out better.

Winning the Trials would make us Superior citizens.

It would bring us honor and demonstrate our loyalty to the Imperial Alliance. I knew exactly what I wanted.

Until I met him.

There was something about him. Something dark. If only I had known the danger it would put us in.

I thought I knew the risks.

But I never imagined the price we'd pay.


An insightful look at the good and bad that exist within us, McKendry's debut is a high-octane adventure that pushes the imagination to the limit as it lays bare the nature of self-reliance, self-confidence, and teamwork. Playing with the concepts of dark and light and how they affect our lives in multiple forms, her novel is a complex coming of age story that encapsulates the heroine's journey from student to leader. A dark tale of love and revenge, From the Ashes is a powerful reminder to think for yourself instead of blindly following what you've been taught to believe.


I'm overjoyed for Jess!  She has worked so hard to get this far.  And being her mom I'm immensely proud of her.  There were plenty of times where we had to tell her, "Hey stop working, come over and watch a movie with us!"  She would grudgingly shut down her computer and sit with us.  Then as soon as the movie was over, she'd get right back to work.  
That's dedication... and she loved every minute of it.

What do you guys think of the cover?  Does it grab your attention?  

Kathy :)     

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


Happy New Year's!  I can't believe it's 2013.  "The future" has arrived and yet life is pretty much the same.  Oh well, maybe we'll get flying cars in 2014.

I hope you all had a wonderfully refreshing time with family and friends.  I sure did, and now it feels good to get back and what better day to come back than on the day of IWSG, founded and hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh.  Join us in a cathartic release of fears and anxieties or share your tips and successes.  It's a wonderfully supportive group.  Just add your link to the linky list and then go visit all the other great entries.

For me New Year's always brings up the subject of goals.  I like to look back on what I accomplished the year before and make sure I'm always challenging myself to move further ahead in all aspects of my life.  I firmly believe in the old adage that if you don't have a map for your life you'll get lost along the way.  Getting lost can be ok occasionally, but I don't want to make a habit of it.

So here are my goals for the year:

Read at least 50 books (I tried for 60 books in 2012, but only got 43)
Finish editing Hidden Truth
Get back on the ice after ankle is fully healed and prepare to take my Gold level test
Get away from the computer at least one day each weekend.
Make sure our whole family sits down to a nice dinner together at least twice a week.
Complete an online Open Course from Yale.

And of course make time to visit more of my bloggy friends.

Did you have a nice holiday?  What are your goals for 2013?  Anything special planned?

Kathy :)