Monday, October 31, 2011

NaNoWriMo Here I Come! Storm Country Here I Come!

Tomorrow starts NaNoWriMo and I'm so excited. As you know from my previous blogpost, Be Creative, I've been trying to entice others to join me on this adventure.

My niece, Victoria created a blog: creative academic pursuits. Take a look. And while you're at it, take a look at Victoria's partner, Kate's new blog: A Curious Endeavor. Their creativity is inspiring! Yippee!

Who else out there has started something they'd like to share? Bring it on!

I also want to share the news about my story being published in the Storm Country anthology and the event for the release of the book:

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Be Creative!

Dear Mom,

I’m back from my trip and totally inspired.

After toying with the idea of doing NaNoWriMo again, which begins November 1st, I decided to go ahead and do it. NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. It happens during the month of November. You write 50,000 words in 30 days.

I came up with an idea inspired by my niece’s partner who is into photography.

“Hey, why don’t you take 50,000 pictures in 30 days? And call it NaPhoTaMo!” (National Photo Taking Month).

I know lots of creative folks. After a lot of brainstorming I thought of a fun idea.

Calling All Creative Peeps Out There!

Here’s my plan:

For those of you who don’t write, but want to be part of a creative endeavor, here’s what I came up with that could fall under many creative things: NaBeCreMo - National Be Creative Month (photography, composing, musicians, sewing, crafters, quilters, knitters—the list is endless). You can think of your own acronym, for example: Artists could be: NaArDraMo (National Art Drawing Month) or Singer/Song Writers: NaSoWriMo (National Song Writing Month) – you get the idea.

Don’t think you’re creative? Oh, but you are.

Think of something you’d love to do and give it shot. Be creative with me. Plan out a goal, but then push yourself just a bit. It’s not about having the perfect finished project at the end of the month (but if you did, Woot! Woot! as they say in NaNo), but it’s about doing what you love and taking the time to do it.

I’m signing up for NaNoWriMo. I’ll be accountable to the organization with my daily word count. I’ll also post my progress here on my blog.

Put your own spin on your creativity, and if you need someone to hold you accountable and encourage you, check in with me. Or find another creative partner that will do the same or who will do something creative along with you.

Just think what creative beauty we’ll be bringing to the world and how much happier we will all feel—who knows what doors will open.

Share your goals so that other creative peeps will have an idea on how to go about setting creative goals. With photography for example: If you could easily take 100 pictures a day, then up it to 200 or even 300. Times that amount by 30 days and you have your grand total. If I used all 30 days for my 50,000 words in writing, I’d have to write 1,667 words a day. However, I know four days this month where I will not be able to write, so my daily goal will need to be 1,950 in order to reach my 50,000 words.

Hey, but remember, this can’t be a stressful thing. Have fun. Enjoy the journey. And I really want to know what you all are doing!


P.S. If you plan to do NaNoWriMo, look me up on the site as oberwriter, and be my friend.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Craft Fair

Here's the scoop on my daughter Rita's craft fair that she will be participating in:

Good luck Rita, John and Julie--the Toe Jam crew!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Chicka Peeps aka WWWP

Dear Mom,

I meet with four incredibly talented writers. I've heard us called Chicka Peeps or WWWP (Wild Women Wielding Pens). Don’t you just love either name? I’m going to miss the next meeting (tonight, if I have managed to post this ahead of time and correctly) and it makes me sad. I don’t really know them all that well yet but I feel a kinship with them that opens my heart… and inspires me to write (better). Guess that’s what a good critique group does.

Here’s a few general things that I took away from the last meeting—first of all, I will never go straight to bed. I will stay up and write until I can’t hold the pen any longer. (I will be a real WWWP.) I tossed and turned so much when I went to bed after the last meeting and I didn’t even drink any caffeine. I must have been on a high of writing. My brain was like a runaway train. It jumped track, collided with other trains, chugged along processing information. I wanted to beat myself up for not taking advantage of this excess energy, however, there’s no more of that—beating myself up!

Linda inspired me to be more disciplined.
Sioux inspired me to change my attitude.
Tammy inspired me to use humor.
Beth inspired me to market myself.

All of these things are going to take some work on my part. These women have inspired me to have a more relaxed frame of mind. They have inspired me in more ways than I've expressed or that I can imagine. I will miss those WWWPCPs!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Exciting News about Creative Peeps and Me

Dear Mom,

I have so many things to share with you, I don’t know where to start. I’m preparing to leave for a trip to Minnesota for a spiritual seminar and to visit my niece and her partner. I’m so excited.

Now for my other exciting news to share.

Storm Country: A Tribute to Joplin anthology will be out pretty soon. This is the book that published my story “Geoffrey” and I’m pretty sure you remember how worried I was about Geoffrey when that tornado hit. I pre-ordered 50 copies with the hopes that my family and friends will want to support this awesome project. All proceeds go to the Joplin School District libraries to replace books that were lost due to the devastating tornado that hit Joplin last May. The book is $10. I plan to do some book signings with some other authors (Linda O'Connell, Pat Wahler and Donna Volkennant), so stay tuned.

• My daughter Rita is going to be in a craft show on Saturday, October 22nd from 10am-4pm. I’m a little bummed because I won’t be able to make it as I’ll be out of town. However, I get to see all the cute, snazzy things she creates. I hope it’s a success. Her and her two friends have been working hard. They’re calling their table: Toe Jam. You can also check out Rita's blog that shows some of her crafts.

Home Schooler Craft Fair
West County Assembly of God
13431 N. Outer 40 Road
Chesterfield, MO 63017

• My friend Sioux’s story has been accepted in Chicken Soup for the Soul, The Magic of Mothers & Daughters. I can’t wait to read her story.

• My friend Mark (an old grade school friend) wrote a movie called “The Christmas Pageant” starring Melissa Gilbert and Edward Hermann. It airs on the Hallmark Channel on Sunday, December 11, 8:00 pm. Eastern and 7:00 pm Central. I’m really excited for Mark and can’t wait to get cozy on the couch and watch it. He told me one of the character’s names is Vera! Your name! He needed something old fashioned and liked your name. How about that?

• Another friend, Dianna has launched her new business, 2 Rivers Communications & Design. I just love it when people follow their calling and go for it! I have no doubt Dianna will be a huge success.

• I also won two books via other blogs. The first one (and it was the first time I ever won anything on a blog) was from Donna Volkenannt. I received Cup of Comfort for Breast Cancer Survivors. The book was donated by Alice Muschany. She had written a piece that's in the book, and well that put a lump in my throat and caused crocodile tears to run down my cheeks. The second book I won came from the Missouri Writers Guild Conference blog—they’ve been interviewing key authors that will be part of the conference coming up in April. I’ll be anxious to read Best Staged Plans by Claire Cook. So a big thank you to Donna and MWG!

I feel like I am so lucky to be surrounded by such talented, creative people and these are just a few of the many creative peeps I know. These are things that have just recently happened. I'm sure I've missed something. I will have to write you again with more.

I’ll be gone for a while, but know I love you always!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Book Blurb Friday #33

It’s Book Blurb Friday #33. Check out the fabulous and lovely Lisa Ricard Claro’s blog to play BBF. Basically you write a book blurb based on the photo (that being the cover of the book) and you must do it in 150 words or less. This week’s photo taken by yours truly!

Just a reminder for any of you out there. I had stopped playing for a while as I stressed out so much wanting my blurb to be the best. I compared myself to others and my Inner Critic shut me down. Recently I told the Inner Critic to go on a little vacation – that and the help of my critique group (thanks guys!), I decided to play again – FOR FUN! Fun, you hear me? It gets the creative juices flowing and well, I’m not going to worry about being good enough. So, want to have FUN? Play along or just play and be creative! Oh and you can read Mary Carroll Moore’s book, Your Book Starts Here to learn more about this Inner Critic.

Now on with BBF – here it is in 57 words.

Revealing Stone

Hidden in the hills of the ancient Red Stone people that once housed a thriving, peaceful community is a stone. This is no ordinary stone. Obermoeller’s discovery reveals the mysterious answer to what happened to this loving group that vanished without a trace thousands of years ago. And that’s not all that Obermoeller discovered about this stone…

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

More on Writing

Dear Mom,

I write two food blogs—one for dinner (Lynn, What’s for Dinner?) and one for dessert (Lynn, What’s for Dessert?). Every time I cook or bake something, the camera follows—unless I have one of those menopausal moments, then I probably shouldn’t even be in the kitchen. Cooking and baking takes more time to stop for pictures, but I really love it.

Husband Willis has a sweet tooth. Okay, so do I, but I mostly bake the goodies for him or guests. This menopausal beast who never worried or had issues with weight, sees her belly expand. And expand. Some days I am a good disciplinarian and can resist anything put in front of me. Other days, I act as if it’s my last day on earth and I’ll never savor another sweet again—only to wake up, still here, with a few extra pounds. There seems to be no middle road, just my larger middle. I struggle with this daily.

And so I bake. Can't beat 'em, join 'em. Since ripened bananas sat on the counter, I tried a different kind of Banana Bread, that you can read about that fiasco on the dessert blog.

When Willis bit into the bread, I asked, “So whaddya think?”

“It’s chewy.”

I tore off a small piece and it nearly flung back and hit me in the face. I didn’t want to believe it was that chewy and stuffed it into my mouth. “Yeah, it is.” I love chewy anything, but this really didn’t seem right.

Willis gave his critique and I felt insulted and said to him, “You better be careful if you want me to continue baking for you.” I thought I’d get him where it hurts.

“Do you want me to be honest or lie?”

“Honest.” I sulked. “But you could have had a little more tact.”

“Just telling it like it is.”

I mulled this over for a while. Okay, longer than a while. It takes time for me to process things.

I’ve decided that baking and cooking—like writing—have a lot in common for me. I put forth effort—lots of effort—into creating something that I want people to gobble up. But I also want honest feedback so the next time I can make, bake or write it better.

My cooking and writing are like my babies. I give them attention and care. I want them to be perfect. When someone says, “It’s chewy” or “You need to show, not tell” my heart winces a bit. The ole critic steps in, “Bad cook. Bad writer.”

I regroup and realize I don’t want to be one of those cooks or writers who goes along thinking that her creations are yummy and juicy, interesting and intriguing while in reality people ditch the remainder of the food into the garbage or after they’ve read your piece, they have a crinkled smile, “Yeah, that’s good.” And inside their eyes are rolling around in their head or they want to explode into a nice belly laugh.

I have to have heart for both—pour in the love and do the best I can. But I have to have courage to accept that there’s room for improvement, all the time. When I will master either is anyone’s guess, but I have to keep on trying no matter what.

PS I may take a hiatus on the food blogs as the next few months are going to be extremely busy. I’m heading into the zone for my story and don’t want to be distracted, so… one blog will be enough for now.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Hey Ya!

Dear Mom,

My friend Becky sent this link to me because we are Outkast's "Hey Ya!" fans. Look at these little cuties. The little stinker on the right with the brown pants has some moves, doesn't he? The other little stinker is the singer of the two! If I'm feeling a little blue, I watch this video. I do want to give credit to the original creator of this video, however, I couldn't link directly to the blog where I originally saw it. Not sure if they're the creators, but it's from

Now doesn't that make you want to get up and shake your booty?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Book Blurb Friday #32

It’s Book Blurb Friday #32. Holy Moly, I haven’t played since #20. So the idea, for anyone new, is to write a book blurb based on the photo (that being the cover of the book) and you must do it in 150 words or less. Check out Lisa Ricard Claro’s blog for more details on BBF. This week’s photo is by Kathy Matthews.

My attempt at 68 words!

Forestry Fantasy?

Forest Ranger Obermoeller knew every tree in Pine Valley like her father, grandfather and generations before them. Forestry ran through their blood. But that’s not all that ran through their veins. Obermoeller openly shares the magic that took place in the forest just before sunset. Can trees communicate? Truth or fantasy? You'll also find out what world-renowned horticulturist and naturalist Rich Green had to say about Obermoeller’s claim.

Oh Deer

Dear Mom,

Okay, so I wrote this in August and now the weather is cooler...

The weather has been crazy hot here. I’m glad we have a water feature in our backyard. I spied this deer actually in the upper portion of the pond chewing on the leaves of the daisies I had plucked about a month ago for you. I was glad the deer found some relief.

The other day I posed a question (to God) regarding a difficulty I was having. I needed confirmation and I asked for a sign to my question. Since there are days I see deer and days that I don’t, I stated that if I see a deer, the answer is yes. If I don’t, then the answer is no. And it would have to happen on that day only. (Sometimes I’m a little dense and having clear answers work for me.)

No sooner had I posed my question, I got up to get something and I viewed a brown spot in my peripheral vision. I wondered what had died in the garden. But here’s what I saw.

I laughed and grabbed my camera. I’m not sure if it was the same deer that I had seen the week prior in the water, but it sure had a nice time munching on my lilac bush. I had a nice time getting confirmation on my question.