Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Writing Exercise Wednesday #47

Since being late is my MO these days, I won't disappoint. Just got back into town and had some words all ready to go so might as well get to it.  Most of what I write is fiction and I will stick to that story! I hope everyone is having and had wonderful holidays. Now let the healing begin!

WEW #47
Prompt: use as few or as many as you'd like.
trailer, train, recognize, reclaim, recite, manure, maple, manipulate, field, fidget, festive


We drive up to the trailer - stomachs in knots. Who knows what will be waiting for us once we go in.
My mother-in-law recognizes us and pulls us into long hugs. Her son first. Of course. And in a much longer hug than he cares for.
She is so happy to see us she starts reciting America the Beautiful.
There's no way to get a word in once she starts talking. And if you do, she either ignores what you say or manipulates the conversation back to her. Ever in the spotlight.
It never matters how busy or tough our lives get, she can always best that. It seems to be a competition as to who knows more people who have died. At 82, she wins.
She fidgets, she worries, she drives us to drink once we flee her house.
While holidays are supposed to be festive, it's a challenge when it's the mother-in-law.
Merry Christmas one and all.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Writing Exercise (THURSDAY) #46

My bad. I don't think things will ever slow down. Ack! But 'tis the season to be late. I didn't get many Christmas cards out and the tree is a "light" tree this year. Just lights, no ornaments. That's the way life goes sometimes. So here is the writing exercise - late but that's okay - it can be done anytime, anywhere.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!

WEW #46

Prompt: Dichondra, guard, pig strengthen


    Mama’s garden is her pride and joy. She has many award-winning vegetables each year. She has a wall dedicated to her State Fair ribbons. Except there’d be no ribbon this year.
    Where to begin? It kind of started when I rescued a baby pig. Mama didn’t want me to keep it. Daddy said, “It’d be good for the girl.” So Ramon got to stay.
    We have a couple of acres and a barn, but that wasn’t the problem (to Mama). Ramon was my pet. He slept in my room. He didn’t care for the barn too much.
    Then, we had an overgrowth of Dichondra. A lovely herb but it grows rapidly. And such pretty flowers. “Sally-Mae,” Mama said to me, “if I wanted flowers in my garden, I’d have a flower garden.” I couldn’t argue with that.
    But when Ramon squeezed into the vegetable garden through the fencing, he made a heck of a mess. He even ate the rutabagas. I don’t even eat those. Mama was fit to be tied.
    I had to stand guard so Ramon didn’t get back in while Mama strengthened the fence with Daddy.  All the while mumbling and cursing the day I got Ramon and she also cursed the Dichondra. Amazing how two seemingly innocent and unrelated things could cause Mama so much distress.
    So I saved one of her giant cabbages and made a ribbon for her and left it on the kitchen table.
    And Ramon was allowed to stay.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Holiday Party 2012

I wanted to post a few photos from my company's holiday party. I helped decorate since it was my idea to do a Classic Hollywood theme.  People had the option to dress for the 30's-40's. I'll have to get more photos of the others who dressed up. I found my dress in a thrift store in Palm Springs - where else?! It was perfect. The rest we got from a costume shop. Everyone had a great time and it all worked out. The photos I have are mostly of the decorations with a couple of Den and I in our fashion garb! I wonder what theme we'll come up with for next year. :-)

walk of fame

photo archway



fred and ginger table - mine

food place cards

dance floor lamp



ginger and bogie by way of SB

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Book Review: The Almost Truth by Eileen Cook

 The Almost Truth

I am up to my eyeballs in a three day audit at work, so today there's a break in the writing exercise weather.  I'm happy to share a book review instead. But I will be back next week!

Eileen Cook (Unraveling Isobel) creates the ideal read for teens who are sure they were switched at birth.

Sadie's home is a trailer. Her mother works as a maid and her father is a career criminal who spends more time in jail than with his family. Sadie desperately wants to leave all this behind, so she's counting the days (and the money she makes on petty cons, thanks to a few tips from her father) until she can leave for college. No, Sadie is not like her dad; she just needs money for books and expenses. But when her mom wipes out Sadie's entire bank account, which was meant to be her down payment to UC Berkeley, Sadie knows she's screwed.

Then Sadie sees a flyer for Ava McKenna, a child who went missing 15 years earlier, and the age-enhanced photo looks a lot like Sadie. There's also a reward of $250,000. With the help of her best friend, Brendan, who's "like a con genius savant," Sadie has hopes of getting the reward and "leaving the old me behind." As they investigate the disappearance to find an angle for the con, strange coincidences suggest that Sadie might, in fact, be Ava. But this seems like just another escapist fantasy. And who would Sadie be, anyway, if she's not who she believes herself to be? Readers will be swept along on the twists and turns of Sadie's journey to find her true identity, inside and out. --Lynn Becker, host of Book Talk, the monthly online discussion of children's books for SCBWI. First appeared in Shelf Awareness for Readers, reprinted with permission.

Discover: A novel about pulling the ultimate con, with Sadie trying to remake her entire life.

Lynn Becker

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Writing Exercise Wednesday #45

WEW #45

Prompt: blur, dismount, pearl, snow
For some reason, I decided to use them all in the first sentence and continue from there. Join me on a trip!


    The pearl snow was a blur in my fantastic dismount from the galloping circus horse.
    We had to practice outside in the cold while waiting for the train to be fixed.  How you fix a train, I have no idea.  I patted Charmin and let the stable hand, Henry, lead her away.
    Sally, the bearded lady, whose show name was Sabina, shivered with chattering teeth even with all her facial hair.  She grabbed the first hot cocoa from Mr. Shamush.  He ate swords and breathed fire. His normally long hair was wound under a turban.  He winked at me when Sally took a second cup.
    Mrs. Craftsky, the tall woman and also our manager, gathered everyone around her.  “The train will be ready tomorrow.”
    A mutual groan did the wave around the circle.
    “I’m sorry.  I know it’s cold but we will have accommodations arranged shortly.”
    Sally raised a hair arm.  “Where are we?”
    Mrs. Craftsky hesitated.  My stomach flopped.  She pasted a grin on her face.  “Just outside Ulaanbaatar.”
    “Where?” I asked.
    She bent way down and touched my face.  “Oh, Pumpkin.”  That’s actually my real name and my show name. 
    Mrs. Craftsky stood up with shoulders back, towering over us all.  “Welcome to Mongolia!”