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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Enjoying my Christmas Break!

I’m definitely enjoying my Christmas break. First, my husband, Oreo, and I went to Dallas for the weekend to shop, walk, and visit my son. It was beautiful weather both days we were there. We stayed at La Quinta where they allow dogs at no extra charge – love that! The room was huge! It was two rooms in one. Oreo loved it, especially chasing her toy off the bed, across the room, and back again!

We went to a beautiful park on Saturday and walked around the lake. Then, we went to some bookstores where I bought some new mysteries to read. Had dinner with my son at Season’s 52. This is a wonderful restaurant. Wish we had one here in Broken Arrow!

The only bad part about the weekend was the drive home. It rained so hard that I had to pull over for a time. I followed a big rig the rest of the way so I could see the road. It was terrible!


This week, I spent some time planning biology lessons for next semester, moving books around to prepare for our eventual move, working on my mystery and picture book, and making Christmas cards. In addition, I continued to play “Driving Mr. Daisy” taking Bill to various appointments and ham radio functions. 

I hope you are having a nice Christmas season as well. 

Garrett the Ferrett

I've been working on my Ferret in the White House story again. Polished it up one more time and sent it off to another editor. I can't seem to give up on this one. :)

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Detours

In my progress towards writing a mystery, I got sidetracked with an idea for a children's picture book.   So, now, I'm working on both of these at the same time. I've already got the picture book roughed out and I want to work on it through Christmas so that I can have it ready for critiques in January. Our writer's group has a one-day critique session in January in preparation for meeting the publishers and editors that come to the conference in March. So excited!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Cozy Mystery Bucket List - Part 2

So far, I've come up with a character, but she is not fully developed yet. The plot is beginning to weave its way through my brain - very slowly - inch by inch. I'm not going to tell you what it is, yet. Not until I get the book written. This blog will only tell you about my progress as I go along and how I am working it out. I hope it will inspire some of you to join me!

I am reading several books to get me started on this project:
  1. The Marshall Plan for Novel Writing by Evan Marshall. I bought both the book and workbook for this one. This provides very practical suggestions on how to go about writing your book. Excellent. I'm working on Chapter 3: Creating your Lead. 
  2. Story Engineering by Larry Brooks. I'm also working through this book, SLOWLY! Just started and I can already see that this will be very helpful.
  3. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. I've read through chapter four, and I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to write, not just fiction, anything! Very good for motivation as well as practical instructions.
  4. Broken Arrow, The First Hundred Years by Steven L. Stapleton, J.D. (This is for background information on my setting, which will be Broken Arrow, OK)
  5. Writer's Guide to Character Traits by Linda N. Edelstein, PhD. I'm using this as a reference to help me develop my characters.
  6. I'm also reading lots of cozy mysteries as that is the genre I am working on and the type of book I read the most for entertainment.
So that's my reading list for right now. I have several more books I want to read, but I want to get through these first. Since I can't find an online class to help me, I'm depending on book for now. There are classes out there, but with my schedule, I'm not ready to attack them. I might do this in the summer. 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Bucket List - Write a Mystery

I've been threatening to write a mystery for quite a while now. I completed a children's picture book (Garrett the Ferret, the White House Exterminator (never published), a children's mystery, The Moundbuilder Mystery (never published), and now I want to write a cozy mystery for adults. I don't really care if it gets published, although that would be awesome. My main goal is to complete the task and learn something in the process. So, here are the steps I'm taking:

1. I joined Sister's in Crime and SIC-Guppies. I need some help figuring out how to write a mystery!

2. I purchased a couple of books on fiction writing. I will review these as I complete them. I also hope to find a class on fiction writing that would help me. Still looking for that.

3. I'm spending part of my writing time trying to develop a character for my story. I'm also researching my potential setting. I don't have a plot yet, but I thought if I could develop a good character in a fun setting, perhaps the plot will come. I probably won't write much about the actual story line on this blog until much later. I don't want to talk it to death!

4. I'm trying to write more in general, just to keep my skills up and develop new ones.

5. I'm reading more cozy mysteries - as if that is a problem. I LOVE cozy mysteries!

6. Although I don't have a lot of time to do all this because of my teaching responsibilities and my role as chauffeur for Bill, I plan to commit to a minimum of one hour a day. I know I can keep that goal.

So that's the plan. More as I go.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Scrapbooking Christmas - Part I

Today, I spent all day creating a Christmas mini album. I really enjoyed my day! Here are photos. I still need to buy some gold rings and more gold grommets for pages.







Sunday, November 9, 2014

iPhone 6 Plus

Yes, I bought one! I couldn't resist. I thought this would be the ideal phone: I could use it as a phone and as an ebook reader. Since my AT&T contract was up, I was able to buy one a lot cheaper, so I did.

I've had it for about three weeks now. It took a bit of getting used to because of the size. I've had to learn to hold it differently than I did my other iPhones. In fact, I'm looking for a case now that will not only protect it, but also have a "kickstand" so I can prop it up. I think that will be helpful in many cases.

The new IOS system is awesome. I love the thumb print ID on the front of the phone - so much easier to use. The camera is exceptional. I can read my email, text messages, and ebooks SO Much better on this. I really do not need my iPad or Kindle any longer for ebooks. However, because my eyes are older, I can't play some of my games (hidden objects and puzzles) on the iPhone 6 plus. I just can't make the screen big enough to find all the objects. So, the bottom line is no, I'm not giving up my iPad or Kindle yet. I like my games too much.

However, I find myself using my phone much more with the plus. I love the recording feature on the phone. This is not a plus only feature, but I only discovered it with the plus.

I can't always fit it in my pocket, but it slips perfectly in my Vera bags with outside pockets. Makes it easy to carry and easy to retrieve. I purchased an arm band for working out - still looking for a better one since it flops around a bit, but it will do for now.

All in all, I'm a very happy customer.