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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

September's CWCG: Hunger

It is time for this month's Creative Writing Challenge results! I'm actually a day early this time around, WOW! Click here to find out how to play along!

This month's words:


Quay – warf; concrete or stone
Cornbread – bread made of corn
Fuddle – to confuse or stupefy, as with alcohol
Venereal – of sexual intercourse; transmitted by sexual intercourse
Evil - morally wrong; harmful

Theme: Nature

Picture:

Here is my September entry, share your thoughts!



HUNGER

She sat down and rested her back against the tree, looking out over the hills and watching the prairie grass in the breeze. The hills rolled in waves, an ocean of different kind. She enjoyed coming here, to this spot. The rhythmic swish of the grasses in the wind had a calming affect.

She held tight to the leather-bound journal in her hand.

“You have a story to tell,” he had said. “Write it down.”

Looking down at the journal, she wondered if today would be the day she would confront those memories. She stroked her fingers across it gently, feeling the smooth surface of the tightly-bound leather. The spine was firm; it urged her to crack its cover and fill its pages. She pulled the fountain pen from the clasp that locked the journal shut. She drew her fingers slowly, with great care, opening the cover.

The pages inside were made of cotton, at least 25 percent. She pulled the cap from the pen and doodled a blue, flowery vine along the outer margin of the page. Then, she began writing.
*****

I met him on the quay. I was barely 16 when I stowed away, hoping for a future in a new and rich land. When first discovered by him, I was fearful he’d turn me in to the authorities. I was, after all, an illegal in this country. He was charming and seemed sincerely kind; I’d soon discover this was a bluff of his inherent evil.

He offered me a warm meal. I was fearfully skeptical. But I hadn’t eaten since two days before, having savored the very last morsel of cornbread I’d packed for this journey. My stomach grumbled, giving itself away, and I agreed to the meal. He took me to his home and introduced me to his wife, a fragile looking woman, almost emaciated. The wife took my hand in her own, it was cold to the touch. She patted it and smiled.

In what seemed a blessing, the couple offered me a job as nursemaid and helper to the wife. It included room and board. What more could I ask for? How lucky I was to be so blessed, right off the ship and already food, housing and income. But it wasn’t a blessing in the end.

What was to come was venereal in manner. I didn’t know which was worse. The way he took of me, or the way she did.

The first time he was kind enough to fuddle me with flavored liquors and seltzer. He said we were celebrating our good fortune, having happened upon each other at such an opportune time. Then he was on me, groping me, taking me like a starved man; I was the mirage of his meal. He whispered things to me as he took me. It hurt. He was my first. I would soon find that he would be my second, my third…

He apologized after, as if his hunger for affection would be forgiven so easily. He stroked my cheek and tucked a stray piece of hair behind my ear and then he left me. I was weak and my mind still fuzzy, dreamlike when she entered. She hungered for me too, but she would feed from me in an entirely different way.

*****

She slammed the journal shut, as a tear fell, wetting the leather. She replaced the cap on the pen, and returned the pen to the clasp. She listened to the grass swish and sway. She would write another day.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I had more, but it didn't have any good breaking point. It was kind of hard to continue without getting into a whole other basket of 'words'.

HAPPY HUMP-DAY!


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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I WILL...GET BY: musical update in Farmville

Howdy,

I've really meant to blog since my last post. Seriously. In fact I even wrote a post Saturday entailing all that had been going on and the once again emotional roller coaster this school year has left me riding so far. But, it was REALLY long. And, Lil'Gal REALLY wanted my attention. (I mean, annoying-me-crazy wanted my attention). So, in the end I bagged it.

The just:

This year has been an adjustment both socially and curriculum wise in addition to teaching styles, etc.

Farmer, Jr. got off to a bad start in math because he wasn't paying attention and Mama wasn't allowed to be there to keep him on task.

Lil'Gal had an adjustment period, socially and with the structure of her day - she didn't like it because she expected it to be a party; as she said, she was used to her old school where they were all like family.

Just as we are all on track and know what we are doing, Farmer, Jr.'s math grade takes a bigger dive.

I poke, prod, nag and in the end it drops so low If ain't a B or above it is failing in this house. I'm talking a glaring, bold red 69 on the computer when I looked it up that I am physically ill.

His teacher reviewed his grades and graciously allowed FJ to retake one of his math tests. *FINGERS CROSSED* he nails it today (the two grades will be averaged together).

The other:

I don't like change unless I have planned for change at that particular day/moment/event. I'm structured. My calendar is scheduled months out. Giving me an answer or response of "We'll see" equals "No, ain't happening" in my book.

I was pleased to have Wednesday scheduled as 'extra curricular day' for the kids extra stuff (not including the once a month Monday 4-H meeting). Kids get out of school at 2:30 on Wednesdays. FJ does guitar lesson at 3:pm. Snack and library for homework. Lil'Gal dance lesson at 5:-pm. Home, dinner, baths, bed.

Last week:

Guitar instructor can't do Wednesday's anymore because he has a lab at this time (he's close to graduating from college at which time he is opening his own business/music lessons)

Two days later, Dance class schedule has changed. Same night but doesn't end until 7:45 PM. This is the only night they offer this particular class. I can't drive at night - the whole vision thing (most of y'all are familiar with this).

Next morning, FJ's grade shows up on computer as failing, 69. Five days to bring it up (but, as you read above we did get to do the whole retest and FJ did better on his speed drill and got a 99 on his rounding test, TTGL!)

I flip out. I get physically ill. This week is NOT working out. Friday evening I drink lots of wine, with Mom friends, and whine.

But, I got through it. Worked it all out. Guitar Mondays at 3:pm. Dance Tuesdays at 5:pm (not the same style but it is supposed to be 'High School Musical' like) ;-) That works.

DISCLAIMER: I know, if these are the biggest of my troubles and worries I need to count my blessings - and I did. But, keep in mind that: four weeks of a daughter crying every morning when you leave her at school, and writing you notes all day about how she doesn't like it, and a son who seems clueless about how to get his work done and turned in and doesn't understand the repercussions of failing, AND, I can't do a D@MN thing about it - along with the fact that I'm getting little sleep and interrupted at that for the past five weeks, WILL wear a Mama down both physically and emotionally.

And, with that update I'll leave you with this week's 80s flashback: Because I Will Get By.






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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Because it is on my mind...

I read a link from Lis a/k/a Melissa L. Garrett's Web Wednesday post this morning and this blogger was sharing the 'best' blogging tip. Turns out, the best tip? Is simply 'to blog'. Yep. That easy.

I've been so caught up with so much; I just don't post here as often as I used to. I know we have lost several great bloggers along the ride over the past year. Though, I will say that FB might be an infectious party to this. Nothing personal, FB. You know I've got your app everywhere and that I'm always signed in - heck I get the phone updates and bings. I'm just sayin' some have fallen prey to a simpler - more on demand - form of cyber socializing.

Anyhooo. I love 80s music. I have the 80s channel in my Chariot on XM and I play it daily along with five other channels I constantly surf back and for through. There are so many songs I want and should and need to post here to bring back the nostalgia of that decade. :-D Maybe I will, in my new effort to take NIKI's word for it and "Just Do It" in implementing the blogging advice I read this morning.

Maybe I'll make one day a week an 80s flashback day. Whadda'ya think? Music Monday? Flashback Friday? Or, What's That Song Wednesday?

Anyhow, because it was on my mind - and I DON'T know why... here is an 80s flashback for this Wonderful Wednesday. For the fun of it, I'm throwing in one more... After all, if we have one with men in hats then we need one with Men Without Hats.

:-D





Happy Hump-day! Now go out and put some DIGGITY in it D@MMIT! :-D

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

RESULTS: The Experiment

Twelve days ago, I submitted a post requesting your participation in helping me to understand my Lil'Gal's science test. Because, as I mentioned in that POST how I 'apparently' misconstrued the information and thus talked Lil'Gal out of her answers and into mine. After all, I'm a 39-year-old and I would think I trump a third-graders knowledge.

Here were the two questions, pulled directly from her test, that I thought, WTH are is wrong with this found to be very confusing. (There were more than two).

[Again, this experiment was nothing to judge the teacher or school. But possibly to prove that either I didn't understand and am not as intelligent as I previously thought, or that the text/curriculum needed some re-evaluation.]

#1: Which item below can exhibit more than one state of matter:

A) a hamburger
B) a soda
C) a straw
D) all the above

#2: If it the thermometer read 20 degrees celsius would it be:

A) too hot to go outside
B) a pleasantly nice day
C) an icy cold, miserable day
D) school would be cancelled

Regarding #1:

The overall answer was B, a soda. Which makes complete sense. A soda is a liquid, it can be frozen into a solid and it is also somewhat gaseous. Some mentioned that the straw, a solid, could be melted into a liquid (to quickly return to a solid state). I considered this when thinking through this question with Lil'Gal. But, a hamburger? A hamburger is a solid. Knight mentioned that it had moisture, which is true. But, even if it was put in a dehydrator it would still be a solid. And, if you put it in a tub of water it still wouldn't completely disintegrate. The bread might, but the meat would be just a big swollen, soggy mess.

The actual answer? D. No really, D. I mentioned this to the teacher and she said that under an intense heat source a hamburger could be burned up (basically, into nothing). My thoughts? No. You could burn it down into ash, but you would still have ash. A powdery solid, in my opinion. Hubby's thoughts to this was, "Well then anything and everything has more than one state of matter if you are considering incineration."

Regarding #2:

Again the majority chose B. I googled the conversion and 20 degrees celsius would convert to 68 degrees fahrenheit. 68 degrees is pretty close, two degrees shy of, 70 degrees. 70 degrees is pretty much considered a nice day where ever you are in the US. I know in California, where ProHomemaker lives, most of his days are in the 70s and nice. I know in New York, 68 degrees is pretty much a perfect day. I know here in South Texas 68 degrees might prove to be slightly chilly (okay, just to me) but with the sun shining high in the sky, it would actually be a beautiful day.

The actual answer? C. Yeppers. C. Personally, I can in no way comprehend that 68 degrees would be a cold icy day. I can no way comprehend how 68 degrees could be 'too hot to go outside'. I can in no way comprehend how 68 could be a day where school would be cancelled.

Come the next science test I will consult with Lil'Gal's teacher (before the test) on any questions that could possible throw me for such a loop. Though, I have to say - I was very confident in my answer over Lil'Gal's. Though, when I picked her up after school and she expressed her grade she added, "See, I TOLD YOU MOM."

In deed she did. This is NOT the third grade I remember. :-P Thanks for participating. It did make me feel better that I wasn't the only one in my 'mis'assumptions. But, now I'm going to second guess any problem she and I have issue with. If only to be a fly on the wall in the classroom. Or, if I could send a tape recorder. LOL!

Share any thoughts in the comments!


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Sunday, August 14, 2011

It's not just about a kiss! It's a PRECIPICE.



<------------------- SEE THAT? All steamy, right?

Talk about going in for the kiss!

But, Precipice isn't just about a kiss. It is about a woman named Julia Becker, who is discovering that some of the stable decisions she's made in her life are turning out not to be so right.

Infidelity is out of the question, even in a dead end marriage that never should have happened in the first place. Try telling that to Wes, the school's music teacher who happens to find Julia irresistible.

In addition to her own personal struggles with a marriage to a man she now realizes she never really loved and the secrets he keeps, unbeknownst to her;  she finds herself struggling against the ultimate betrayal to her best friend.

Life is weighing down on her and she just might not have the will power to fight the attraction any longer. She's at a PRECIPICE...

This story is one of those that leaves me feeling like I really know the characters, as if I could pick up the phone and call them over for dinner one evening. Stories told like this one leave me reminding myself that they are characters in a book, though I still wonder what they are doing now.

AND NOW YOU can have a chance to read it TOO! I promise you won't be let down! The author, Melissa Luznicky Garrett, has been generous enough to offer one more giveaway because I just had to offer all of you a chance to win this wonderful story. If you like contemporary romance, or romance of any kind, you will adore this story.

FYI, Melissa "Lis" is a very dear friend of mine. I have followed along as she wrote Precipice, as well as several other books currently in the works for publication. Next in line is Turning Point, a Young Adult thriller! (You'll be hearing lots more about Turning Point in the near future!)

[Note: this giveaway is open to US readers only.]

HOW TO ENTER:

  • 1 entry) comment in the comment section of this post that you want to win a copy

That's it, you are entered! If you happen to want to earn extra chances/entries then look below! I'd love it if you would participate in any of the following to help get the word out!


HOW TO EARN ADDITIONAL ENTRIES:


This giveaway closes Sunday, August 28th at 11:59 pm. The winner will be selected by a random drawing and notified on my blog. I will also email the winner, provided an email address has been provided. [If I have not received a response by the winner within 72 hours, I will redraw for a new winner.]

You can find Precipice and Melissa's other books here: Melissa Luznicky Garrett, my books.
And, you can follow Melissa on twitter at @MelissaGarrett.

FYI, ARE YOU ON GOODREADS? I totally love goodreads.com and if you are a reader/writer/author I would love to have you as my friend there where we can keep up with what we are reading, what's hot, what's not and what is happening in the world of Good Reads!

Friend me here, Goodreads: Farmers Wife.

You can also find Precipice at goodreads.com, Goodreads: Precipice.
Melissa is also at goodreads.com, Goodreads, Melissa Luznicky Garrett, writer

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Sunday, August 7, 2011

CWCG #6: CHANGES

Howdy!

It is time for CWCG #6. Due to scheduling issues, Lis has agreed to host our monthly challenges at her place. It still works the same, and she'll include the link box so that we can all link our entries and hop around to see how we have each interpreted the word, theme and picture prompts.

Here is challenge #6: Prompt for September's Creative Writing Challenge Game.  It is due September 1st, 2011. Simply post your entry/creative writing project and then click over to Lis' entry that day and link up! Then sit back and wait to be read and receive comments about the piece you've written.

CWCG was created to help improve our creative abilities and keep our mental faculties fresh. And, of course, because it is FUN!!

Anyone is welcome to participate. And, your submission doesn't have to be a short story. It can be a poem, a song, or even a very tightly constructed sentence. All you have to do is include the prompts provided.

So what do you say? Come 'write' along with us!


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WINNER! 'A Map Across Time'

Howdy all,

Last night closed out the drawing for a copy of 'A Map Across Time' written by C. S. Lakin.

This is a mythological, fairy tale about a brother and sister and their mission to save their kingdom from an evil spell that is destroying all that is important to them. It is also a wonderful story about love and about believing in oneself, as well as a story of sacrifice for the greater good.

You can read my full review of this wonderful story here. Also, if you are interested, the first chapter is available for reading HERE.

Now, on to the winner!! Lil'Gal was gracious enough to stop what she was doing and do the drawing for the winner of this wonderful book:

video

Congratulations! I'll be emailing you for your shipping address so that the great folks at phenix&phenix literary agents can ship out your copy!


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Friday, August 5, 2011

EXPERIMENT: I need your input

I'm conducting an experiment. Non-judgmental to any party. I just want to know how the majority of us would answer a particular question. See, Lil'Gal had a Science test today. She didn't do well on the review test the day before and so I requested some study information to help bring her up to speed.

Her teacher was wonderful and emailed us a five page review sheet. Fabulous. We didn't have the book, but I'm no dummy. Surely, I can answer these questions on states of matter (solid, liquid, gas) and a few other things. After all, this is only 3rd grade science. Lil'Gal argued with me on a few of the questions and I expressed my "I'm older and smarter" will upon her and so she, worriedly, took my answer over hers.

She studied her review diligently and knew all the answers for the actual test. But, guess what? The one's she argued with me? That, her answers just didn't make sense to? She was correct. Insert very upset with myself parent because my Lil'Gal did the work, the extra work, the studying and I screwed her grade up.

D@MM!T.

So, answer a few of these questions for me please? Use the following format in the comment section:

#1, (A, B, C, or D) which answer you choose #2, (the same). I'd really appreciate it if you'd leave a little note along with each answer why you think so... Just to help a FW out with her experiment.


#1: Which item below can exhibit more than one state of matter:

A) a hamburger
B) a soda
C) a straw
D) all the above

#2: If it the thermometer read 20 degrees celsius would it be:

A) too hot to go outside
B) a pleasantly nice day
C) an icy cold, miserable day
D) school would be cancelled


You tell me what you think about these. Give me your honest, answer and I'd really appreciate a 'why you answered that way'. The 'why' is really important to me regarding reasoning so that I can assess my own thinking.

Also, I want you to keep in mind while you may be very scientifically minded - this is a third grade exam. There are no super powers, lasers, or matter distorting options available at this point. Although, maybe I'm wrong on that and NASA was covered as well. Or, the sun? I don't know. Just answer your adult opinion/answer (like I did with her) and your reasoning why. As a third note, a little input about that knowledge in comparison with a third grade assignment is also welcome. I guess I'm saying, spill whatever comes to mind along with your answers. :-D

I'm going to leave this open for awhile, let us say a week - until August 12th at midnight - to obtain comments/answers. Then, I will analyze the answers and provide a follow up post. I'll provide a link to said analysis post to everyone who participated - so long as I can trail you back somewhere or you provide your email address.

I really appreciate your participation in this. Really. Even if you are anon or pop in here by a search engine and didn't find what you are looking for - please? Kindly? Share you two wee little answers?

Oh, and one final request. Please DO NOT read the preceding comments until after you have posted your comment. I have a few teacher friends and one specializes in Science. So, I want your 'un-influenced answer' first, then you can go and see what the rest of the world had to say.

THANK YOU!!!

Happy FWFD of the WEEEEEEEEEE!!!!


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CWCG #5: A Wish

It's that time again! Time to share our stories from this months CWCG!

This month's challenge was:


  1. misadventure - mishap; an instance of bad luck
  2. satire - literary works in which vices, follies, etc. are held up to ridicule and contempt; the use of ridicule, sarcasm, etc. to attack follies, vices, etc.
  3. pottage - a kind of thick soup or stew
  4. noggin - a small mug or cup; head
  5. russet - yellow brown, or reddish brown; a winter apple with a mottle skin

Theme: Loss


Picture:












When I headed out on this trip, I never expected it to turn into such a misadventure. My mind had dreamed of sunshine, flowers, ocean spray, sand between my toes. I envisioned evening shows, and afternoons spent at the swim up bar enjoying every kind of fruity cocktail the bartender could concoct. Who knew, maybe even a fling with said bartender. Cue the movie 'Cocktail' running through my mind.

Okay, so it totally did start out that way. Only, it wasn't the bartender. It was a beautiful man with a warm, rich, accent - French to be precise. His skin was tanned a summery russet and his hair, dark and wavy, fell down to his jaw.

He was warm and dreamy...and sensual. I'd had my fair share of romances and interludes. Well, maybe not my 'fair' share but enough to almost count on one hand. Not including the finger prod by my short term, drum playing boyfriend in high school and the too-quick-to-count behind-his-girlfriend's-back encounter with the captain of the soccer team in college.

It was incredible. Everything I could have imagined, did imagine. I was living out the romance of an erotic novel. We were hot together, groping almost non-stop throughout the day regardless of where we were. We were like a warm thick pottage, he would say. He devoured me in ways I never knew existed. He left me satiated and yet not; my hunger for him could never be completely squelched. Though, while I lay tangled in his arms and legs I felt a never ending ebullience.

As it turns out our togetherness was a satire of what I had presumed it to be. I reached for the noggin of coffee as I stared out over the ocean, watching the sun prepare the sky for dawn. Rich purples and deep reds strewn along the horizon and grew up into the sky. The sun, an immensely large and bright orange ball began to erupt from the water's horizon.

I blamed him all the while knowing I was really the one at fault. We fell into each other, in love with the taste of each other and how explosive our union together was. He was in love with my mind as much as my body, he had told me.

If only he hadn't reached for the phone. If only I had told him...before. If only I hadn't lied to him, to myself. I blew at the dandelion I had picked along my morning walk wishing I could go back in time - to the moment I met him. Not my French love whose trust I broke, but the man whom I so recklessly and irresponsibly gave my life to all those years ago.

A heartfelt wish that would never come true.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This was a free-flow story and I didn't really go back through it - I'm going to let it stand alone, as is (because I think it is pretty good for a first run through and because I'm five minutes late getting out the door). :-)

Thoughts?

Link Up!

[The link didn't copy over; I'll put it up here when I get home this afternoon. Either check back or leave your link in the comments!] THANK YOU AND HAPPY FRIDAY!!! FWFD of the weeeeeeek!



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Monday, August 1, 2011

Fingers Crossed...

Today begins the third week of school. I have to say in all honesty, it hasn't gone as smoothly as hoped.

Farmer, Jr. is adjusting fairly well with his typical attitude of 'I hate school; school is dumb; whoever invented school is cruel'. Although, he is thrilled with their playground and all the super cool stuff it has and that he can do.

Lil'Gal on the other hand typically LOVES school. Her friends, learning, homework, reading, studying - she truly loves it all.

She loves being smart. She loves being right. She loves the fact that she is good at school.

As most of y'all know via me, FB, the first week got off to a rocky start. What I thought was a good start turned out not to be such. Each day is a struggle. We have a good day and then I find out the next day isn't so good. Lil'Gal is having trouble adjusting.

The new school is bigger. Actually, bigger is a misnomer. It is HUUUUUUUGE. Huge not just in change from our tiny little private school but by most schools in general. With the masses comes crowd control.

So, things are very structured. Not that Lil'Gal isn't used to structure but it seems difficult to freely socialize. How can a social butterfly like my Lil'Gal make new friends when she feels stifled at every turn? And, she has friends there at the school but they are in second grade. The grades aren't allowed to mingle - again, crowd control. *sigh-grunt*

I have to keep in mind that she was quite sheltered at our little private school. And, the change was inevitable. Long gone are the days of Pre-K and kinder. Third grade is a stepping stone. School is not a party, it is a job. I explained this to Lil'Gal.

She's doing her best. She's trying hard. She's making the effort. Once she gets to P.E. I've been told by both her and her teacher that life seems to pick up. She's in good spirits when I visit her at lunch, saving seats for her two or three new friends from class. She's happy and chatty when I pick her up in the afternoons. Still, this past Thursday I got the call from the counselor's office. Lil'Gal had been crying all morning. What? MY LIL'GAL?  :-((

We are trying a reward system. She tries hard to be optimistic (you think she would come by that naturally) and keep her chin up and I'll bring her a special lunch and eat with her, or take her for an ice cream treat after school. She did great this past Friday. Even her teacher commented. And, before I left she helped pull down the chairs, pass out breakfast (she likes to help and be needed), and she even asked me to show one or two of the students a picture of our Biggun' from my phone.

This morning is a new week. We head into school and wait for the teacher outside her door as we get there early. I can feel some level of anxiety. I make small talk. We go into the class. I encourage her to pass out breakfast which, she takes to immediately of course. We get chairs down. I try to make a little conversation with the boy at her group (he is always there early too). She hugs me and hugs me again and kisses me on my cheek and hugs me again. I can feel her whoa.

'Draw a picture' I say. 'Write me a note about how your day goes'. She pulls out her spiral and this seems to comfort her. She shows me her desk and folders (immaculately organized) and I offer praise and oohs, and ahs. One last hug, she seems to be holding her chin up though it is a struggle this morning.

[Why does this have to be so hard?]

I exit with my stomach once again in a knot and my fingers crossed. Prayers up through out the day along with optimistic thoughts that today will be the day that finally breaks over into happiness during school.

Fingers crossed.


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