Thursday, July 2, 2020

Where is a Timey Wimey Machine When You Need It!?

 
How can it be JULY already? I know there are some who may not agree with me, especially during this crazy year, but I really can't believe how fast summer is going by! I am not ready for it to be over so quick. I need to learn how to time travel, freeze time or at least slow it down. I have so much I want to do but haven't gotten a lot accomplished.....eeek!  

So what have I been up to?  

I have been working on a few special order painting requests. I loved this one so much I wanted to keep it for myself but it is currently with its new owner. 💙

 
 I am also working on three books.....yes three!  One is a novel I have been working on for years now. Don't know if I will ever publish it but it is a story a friend of mine and I first developed together. Even though it's been years, I only have it half written. I am determined to finish it, even if it's just to give my characters an ending. The second story is a personal one. It started as a way for me to release all the anger I was feeling about a situation that was going on. It's actually turning out to be a really funny story. Again, who knows if I will actually publish it. Time will tell.  On to my third book.... this will be my fifth children's book.  It is unofficially titled "Riverstone Camping". In this adventure, two of my current characters, Kali and Tux, are going on a summer camping trip with their parents. With sun and hot temperatures comes rain and storms. What will they do to pass the time while stuck in their tent?  Stay tuned to find out!  




One thing I have realized about working on three books at the same time is, it is HARD switching my brain from writing for an adult novel to writing for a kids book! I catch myself being too descriptive and too wordy when writing my children's story. If I'm not careful, my 1500 word count book will be 5000 words!😁

My characters are calling so I'm off to help tell their story!  Have a wonderful and safe July. If any of you happen to find a Timey Wimey machine or a magic wand, please let me borrow. I promise to give it back. What have you been doing to stay busy? Let me know in the comments section. 

Be sure to check out my June blog for book recommendations, yummy treat ideas and more to help beat boredom during this crazy 2020. 

I often post pictures of my artwork on my FB Author Page and Pinterest page, be sure to stop by. 😄 



Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Beating Boredom




Hey Y'all!  So how are you coping now that we've been starring in our own personal Twilight Zone episode for months now?  I've been keeping really busy these last few weeks for sure. In between having virtual classes all week and trying to keep the house clean, the cats entertained and all the other normal weekly chores, the day and work week goes by fast! I hope in this crazy time you have been able to find some positive aspects about it. I know it's easier to find the negative but living in that world doesn't do anyone any good. So even if it is as simple as being able to go to the bathroom whenever your bladder demands (true happiness to any teacher let me tell ya) then so be it!  I am happy working from home even though online teaching has its multitude of disadvantages for sure.


Finding happiness is something everyone needs daily. I love art, books, food, my family and friends and I could go on.  I have been able to sneak in a few awesome reads these last couple of months and created and sold a painting! If you like paranormal reads, be sure to check out the Deadwood series by Ann Charles. The latest in the series came out this week, Devil Days in Deadwood Book 11, and it is amazing! No wonder it is an award winning mystery series. I hope there are at least 11 more! Tip: Don't read in the dark.

Another awesome new release is by author Kristy McCaffrey. If you love sharks like I do, then you will adore this series. Her latest, Deep Blue Coco's Island, is the third in this short story collection but be sure to read her full length novel, Deep Blue, first. Best part is, you can get all three of her Pathway short stories in one collection.

A third must read is by Julie Schooler. She has an amazing book set out now that will Nourish Your Soul.

I also have to give a shout out to fellow #Gr8tBlogs author and friend, Chris Gorges and his wife, on releasing their first children's book, The Fox Family Adventures: A Day at the Beach. If you have Kindle Unlimited, you can read it for free!


Depending where you currently call home, you could finally be seeing the warmer temps like we are here on the east coast. Or maybe you've been experiencing summer temps for months, still having snow fall or  experiencing winter. No matter where you are at, I hope you still enjoy these fun ideas to help beat boredom and put a smile on your face. 


1. Go Camping! This can be as easy as setting up a tent in your backyard or maybe even a tent in your living room! Ha!  The best part of camping is the s'mores! They can be created over an open fire, or done in your oven.  Plus, there are tons of recipes out there if you are ready for something different from the traditional s'more. My favorite is using dark chocolate and adding a slice of  banana along with it. This summer, I'm wanting to try the waffle cone version. Simply fill a waffle or sugar cone with mini marshmallows, chocolate and fruit if you would like. I want to try strawberries or raspberries. Wrap in foil and put over a fire for a few minutes to melt to ooey gooey perfection. Another way would simply be to add your chocolate and/or fruit and top with a roasted marshmallow.


2. Have a girls or guys night out with a spin. Invite a couple of friends over, and enjoy a little of normalcy. Spread out some lawn chairs six feet apart around a roaring fire with a drink of your choice.  Don't feel comfortable with having people over? No problem, invite them using one of the many video programs out there. The idea here is to visit with a friend and relax.






 3. Like to sing?  Have a karaoke party or dance party!  Something you can do as a family or virtually as well. Don't feel like belting one out, maybe play a game like Pictionary instead.





4. Try something new!  Cook a new recipe you've been wanting to try. Read a book from a genre you normally don't read. Draw or paint even if you are not a painter. Finger painting isn't just for kids you know. You can create beautiful works of art without the use of a paintbrush.  You can check out one of mine on my Pinterest page.

These are only a few ideas to help change things up while still in isolation. The goal is to do something that makes you happy. Take the time because it is so important.

Summer vacation starts for me in a couple of weeks. Can't wait!  Finally time to turn off my teacher brain and turn on my author brain.  I'm thinking I want to write a new book this summer!  Want to check out my already published books?  Check them out here and feel free to share! 

Have any other cool, fun ideas for summer? Feel free to leave me a comment! 

*I do not own the rights to the images used. They were found on bing.com.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Keeping Busy

Hope everyone is hanging in there during this current Twilight Zone episode we are currently starring in.  I know everyone has different situations and some are coping better than others but it's important to stay positive during these times. Do something for yourself, like enjoy a good book, watch your favorite movie or tv show, meditate or get outside if you can. Something that makes you smile. With the spare time I have, I have created a full read aloud video of my first book, World of Color. Please be patient with it since for some reason there are long pauses in-between the pages that I did not intend on but can't seem to get rid of. On the bright side, the pauses allow the reader to get a good look at the illustrations. 😁

During this time, all my ebooks are currently on sale for $1.99. You can find the links and descriptions on my website  or on my Amazon page. And if you enjoy, please consider leaving a review. Reviews are so important to authors. 



Hang in there! We will get through this. Thank you to all who are having to work during all of this. Stay safe, and healthy. Sending prayers and virtual hugs! 

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Coping in Coronaville

So during this bizarre time, has most things changed for you or are some things just like a normal day?  For me, I am a home body. I go to work and my hubby and I occasionally go out on the weekends. So staying in isn't hard for me. Now my hubby has a different opinion. LOL  I have no problem sitting down for a couple of hrs and reading a book, watching a movie, working on a painting etc. Being a teacher though means I am still on the job right now even though my students are not in my classroom. The hardest part is, things keep changing. We get one thing planned and boom! They've changed things yet again on us. So it makes it hard to say the least.  So during this time, my friends and I at #Gr8Blogs wanted to share some ideas for you and your cooped up kiddos (if you have any). 

Explore National Parks in 360 virtual tours.
I think this is a cool idea but I have yet to try it out myself. If you do, let me know what you think about it. 

Virtual Field Trips
These are some of my favorite lessons in my classroom.  I am a shark lover as you may or may not know, so the Georgia Aquarium and their live webcams is a staple in my class and home. I love all of their cameras. 

Make on FB
This page on FB is offering free art lessons. I want to try these out myself! 

Shark4Kids
I love this site and am proud to be a part of it.  A few of the coloring, activity and craft pages on there were created by me. 
www.sharks4kids.com

Fun Ideas you can do with your kiddos that don't involve a tablet screen.
Click Here


Harptoons
I love this guy and have had the privilege of meeting him a couple of times when he visited our school. He teaches kids how to draw using letters and numbers, He has a youtube page with tons of videos, you can buy his books and the link above takes you to his fb page which right now he is doing live events at 2pm est/ when he can.. So much fun for any age. 


GoNoodle
We use this site every day in my room and in PE. It offers hours of fun videos that keep your child active. You will find fun and silly videos, dancing tutorials, mindfulness, yoga, brain exercises, how to videos and more. 

Some Fun Hands-On DIY Ideas
Just click on the picture to make it bigger. 








And last but not least, I want to mention a fun workout site I adore. It's called Refit Revolution.  They offer fun, cardio dance workouts.  You can find them on FB,  FREE workout videos on YouTube, and on their website https://refitrev.com   
If you want to talk to me about what videos I love or the ones that are good for cardio, a warm up, balance etc, leave me a comment or find me on FB.  

Here is their Workout Challenge if you want to give it a try. 




Stay Active! Stay Creative! And most of all Stay Healthy!

These are indeed unprecedented and bizarre times. What are you doing to stay calm and sane? Please share in the comment section. But before you go, click over to more #Gr8Blogs for more inspirational advise.



Cat Michaels

Rosie Russell

Julie Gorges

                                        Chris Gorges
                                        Carmela Dutra
                                        Sandra Bennett
                                        James Milson
                                        Auden Johnson

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Very Superstitious......

Very superstitious..... writing's on the wall. 🎵

Do I have you singing yet?  If I've lost ya, just go to Youtube and search for Superstitious. 😉

Let's talk superstitions! Do you believe in them?  Don't really believe they cause actual happenings but still do them anyway?  I always knock on wood when I think I've jinxed myself by something I've said but it's not really something I worry about if I don't. This year, February has an extra day, February 29th. Marking this year as a Leap Year, which offers many traditions and superstitions for this special day/year that only occurs once every four years. 


Image found on Bing.com I do not own the rights. 


Have you ever watched the movie, Leap Year?  It's one of my favorites. In the story, the lead actress is going to Ireland to propose to her boyfriend on this day, which is an Irish tradition. I searched to confirm if it was true or just movie lore. It is said that even though now and days a woman proposing is not an uncommon thing but that hasn't always been the case. Long ago, there were stricter rules on this and women could only propose on February 29th. 
What is your take on this? Is it okay for a woman to propose or are you more traditional?  What about just once, every four years? 

Ready for a superstition?  According to my research, in Greece, it is considered bad luck to marry not only on that day but during that year.  In Scotland, it is said a baby born on this day will live a life of suffering. 

On a happier note, in a town called Anthony, located on the Texas/New Mexico border, they celebrate by having a four day festival. During which they hold a huge birthday party for all the leap year babies! 

So I ask again, d
o you believe in superstitions? Any good ones you would care to share? Hit the comment section below or find this post on my FB page and comment there. 

While on my research road trip, I came across this old saying, author unknown..

                                    Thirty days hath September,
                                     April, June and November;
                                     All the rest have thirty one, 
                                      Excepting February alone

                              Which hath but twenty-eight, in fine,
                                 Till leap year gives it twenty-nine. 

So why does this occur? A calendar year is 365 days but it actually takes the earth 365 + 1/4 days to complete its yearly rotation. So every four years, we have an extra day to balance everything out.  


Image found on bing.com. 
So what are you going to do with your extra day? Does it affect you in any way? I don't really have any plans for this day other than maybe catching up on some much needed sleep after this crazy work week.  I am ready for a vacation. Maybe I can use my extra day and plan a spa day!! 💓

It's fun to read and hear about how other countries celebrate this day. Be sure to check out the awesome #Gr8tBlogs links below for more Leap Year inspired blogs. 




Cat Michaels-Five Easy Things You Can Do With Your Extra 24 Hours on Leap Day

Rosie Russell-We're Leaping and Hopping for Leap Year 2020

Julie Gorges- How Baby Boomers Can Make Leap Year Count


Jim Milson "Happy Leap Year Day! What Will You Do With Your Extra Time?"

Carmela Dutra  -How to Take a Leap on Leap Day
                                                       
Sandra Bennett-  What Will You Do With an Extra Day

Auden Johnson  How Will You Spend Your Extra Day? 

Chris Gorges A Rare Gift- Extra Time 

                                                        
Julie Schooler  


References:  https://www.liveabout.com/leap-year-traditions-and-superstition-2300637
https://www.lonelyplanet.com/articles/leap-year-traditions

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Time to Create!

Hi Y'all!  2019 is gone and 2020 is officially here. What? How can that be? 1990 was just ten years ago! Hahaha!  2019 was a rough one for my friends and family. We had to say goodbye to too many wonderful people. So here's to hoping 2020 is a better, happier year for all!


I am not one for making New Year Resolutions but I do try to set some accomplishments that I would like to do that year. These are usually related to my writing.  This year is no different.  I want to get a new children's book written in 2020. I have oodles of ideas and started one back over the summer. Writing is the easy part though. It's getting all the illustrations and formatting complete that is the time consuming part.  Over the years I have gotten better at the whole process thanks to experience and help from others. It's great to have supportive friends in this career.  That is my first tip to anyone who is considering taking the self-publishing route.  Find a group in your field that you can talk to and bounce ideas off of.  There are so many wonderful free groups on FB, you just have to join and see which one fits you best.  There are also paid sites that can be very beneficial, especially if you live in a area where you can attend meetings and conferences. I liked being a part of SCBWI (Society of Children's Books Writers and Illustrators). Since I haven't been able to focus much on my writing the last couple of years, I didn't renew my subscription.  However, this organization is a wonderful source for any writer/illustrator.  https://www.scbwi.org/

Write, write, write! Create, create, create! That is my next tip. It doesn't matter if what you write or create turns into anything significant. If it is something you really love doing, it can be a great stress reliever. It seems to be a part of you and setting aside some time to do is good for your soul. At least, that's how I feel. Who knows, you may surprise yourself. 
My first painting in 2020. 


Formatting makes me want to bang my head against the wall. Haha! It's really not that bad but it is time consuming and can be frustrating, so be patient.  My number three tip is to really read up on the platform you want to publish in first.  For example, if you plan on publishing in ebook and hardback on Amazon, then read the how to guides first to understand how you need Word setup, or what image size you need for your illustrations.  Knowing this ahead of time will save you a lot of time, because everything will already be ready to upload and you won't have to go back and change everything. 

That's all the wisdom I have to share right not but I want to leave you with one of my favorite quotes.