Saturday, July 28, 2018

Happy Birthday Moby!

You remember that one person in your life who would come visit your family from hours away, and they'd always pay special attention to each one of you and your siblings instead of just talking with the adults all the time?
For me, that's my Aunt Moby.
The energetic aunt that taught us the words and signs to the song Our God is an Awesome God, the aunt that spent countless hours picking mulberries with me and my cousins when we'd all be here in the summer, the aunt that let us climb up her legs and do flips when we were little, and the aunt that loves reading as much as I do.
Moby, do you remember all those times we played Battling Tops?  And Uno?  And all that time spent playing Simon Says?  Oh, and you & Kara playing Twister and ending up on the floor at the same time?
You love playing pranks.  Remember when you put that case of our pop in our oven, and that was the one day that we didn't check our oven before turning it on?
But we love tricking you too.  You've always been so easy to scare.  And remember when Sasquatch put Vaseline on your glasses?
So many memories.  Good times.
Happy birthday, Moby!  I love you! <3

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Cute Things

Am I the only one that loves baby animals?
Granted, I'm not exactly an animal person.  I'm more of a cuddle-them-when-I-feel-like-it kind of person.  But they're still adorable.
Some of Chowboy's goats had kids!  Lady & Liam, Daily & Vincent, and Savannah & Sidney.  The guy isn't too bad at naming goats.  Though he doesn't usually like my ideas, so he obviously needs a little help. 
Anyway, my sister-in-law Ashleigh now has kittens at her house!  Petey, the cat they thought was a boy, had a litter... yes, her husband renamed her.  No, it's not a girl name.  He actually called her Simon Peter. 
I'll stick with Petey.
Also, Kordell got a new bucket calf!  The dude's name is Jarvis, and he's quite the looker.

I have to admit, though, none of these pictures were taken by me, sadly.  However, Chow, Kara and Ash are both quite capable.

 I'm not exactly what you'd call a cat person... but I must admit that the kitties are adorable.

Yes, I told Ashleigh it looks like she's strangling the poor thing.  Pretty sure she's not, though.  I hope.
At first I said this one should be named Greg... and then was quickly reminded that this one is a girl.  Oops.

Daily is a handful.  He's not quite so fond of being held.
On the other hand, as the largest, Vincent is also super gentle.  I like to call him Vince.

Isn't Savannah the cutest?!

Sadie's a good mama.

Lastly, Jarvis.  He kinda stole my heart.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Six Reasons to Get a Writing Partner

If you're a writer, chances are that you've got someone (or someones) close to you from which you gain input for your stories.  That way you don't have to rely on your own biased opinion.
Y'know what? Acquiring a writing partner was probably the best writing decision I've ever made.
If you're not a writer, I guess you can just ignore this whole post.  I'll be back next week with a post that isn't writing-related (yes, Chowboy & Kordell, something 'interesting')!
And if you don't have a writing partner, I strongly suggest you get one.  Why?  Well...

1. Epic Advice
So, yeah, it's super hard to let others read your writing.  At first.  But then it gets easier.  And boy, is it worth it.  Advice for stories is invaluable.  I can't tell you how many times I've sent my partner a message screaming about some plot idea or a different character background or new plot twists.  And she's always ready to laugh at my enthusiasm, and give her always-epic opinion on my thoughts.

2. Inside Jokes
C'mon, you gotta admit that inside jokes are amazing.  Someone says something offhand and you and your partner both think of the exact same thing about your writing and you both just start laughing.
Or you say something random that happens to strike your partner as hilarious so you bring it up every once in awhile, or you put it discreetly in your stories.
Just don't kill your characters, okay?  You can maim them.  Or change their name.  Just don't kill the poor things.

3. Honesty
I guess this could be lumped under the 'advice' category... but this is a critical point of writing partners.  I'm so grateful that my partner isn't afraid to tell me when she thinks my ideas could use a little help.  Thankfully, it doesn't happen too often.  But often enough to keep me humble.

4. Encouragement
Just when you're ready to toss your manuscript across the room, out the window, or into a fire, your partner is always the one ready to calm you down and give you a pep talk.  Because while you're convinced that your work is a piece of trash, they're the ones that see the potential and convince you that, even though you're ready to curl up in a ball and make the thing write or edit itself, they do need this story and you'd better get the finished product to them quickly.
Or else.
Or they might just grin and say "you can do it!" but what's the fun in that when screaming at you and threatening you with the death of your favorite character in their story is more effective?
But... well... either way, you really should write the thing.  Because then you can get it over with once and for all.  Which is the best and worst thing for a writer.

5. It Goes Both Ways
Not only do you get advice on your own work, but you get to give advice on your partner's!  You get to both read a free story and give your opinion to your heart's content.  It's a win-win!
And you get to try to convince your partner to publish.  Because it's what partners do. *smirks*

6. Friendship
Since this person is already used to you going on and on and on about things, they're naturally trained to listen to you.  So if you ever need anyone to talk to, they're always available.  And they just might be able to relate more than you think.  Advice in more than just writing happens to be one of their many levels of expertise.

So yes.  Get a good writing partner, someone you trust.
But sorry, I already took the best one, and I wouldn't trade her for the world.
Livi, you're amazing!

Sunday, July 8, 2018

The Mindless Things

Have you ever wondered who designed the engraving on your clock?

Or the stickers to go on candles?

Or how about who decided what size and shape to make your radio buttons?

Did you ever take for granted that someone had to design the colors and fonts on your toothpaste tube?

That someone had to determine the size & shape of your lampshade?

That your wall decor really did take some ingenuity?

How about the fact that someone designed your earbuds to fit more comfortably in your ears?

Or that a person had to figure out just how many inches in diameter the perfect doorknob would be?

How about the device you're reading this on?  It took a lot of programming.

Never take the mindless things for granted.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

God Bless America

"Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?  Forbid it, Almighty God!  I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!" ~Patrick Henry

"Freedom is not the right to do what we want, but what we ought.  Let us have faith that right makes might and in that faith let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it." ~Abraham Lincoln

"There is a certain enthusiasm in liberty that makes human nature rise above itself in acts of bravery and heroism." ~Alexander Hamilton

"Patriotism means to stand by the country.  It does NOT mean to stand by the president or any other public official save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country.  It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country.  It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country." ~Theodore Roosevelt

"We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." ~Thomas Jefferson

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.  We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream.  It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same." ~Ronald Reagan

To all who have fought, and continue to fight, for our freedom—thank you.