Thursday, December 31, 2009
The other Chicks have posted recipes for a Wassail bowl and Plum Pudding as well as using leftover turkey and cranberries.
My recipes today are for Eggnog Bread and Mashed Potato Candy. Great reasons to clean out your fridge before the new year, if you're so inclined.
You also have just a few more days to enter the Prairie Chicks Anniversary Contest. So what are you waiting for?
Hoping you're showered with blessings in the coming year.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
As usual, my imagination took over. The story is about a cocky young shepherd named Nathaniel and what happened to him on the night Jesus was born.
If you have a few minutes, please join us there.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
It's Christmas Eve and I've posted a story for you over on the Prairie Chicks Write Romance blog.
Anyone who leaves a comment between Dec 20th and Jan 2nd will have their name entered to win a fabulous gift basket from the Chicks. The more days you comment, the better your chance to win. Comments posted here will not be entered as you must post them on the Prairie Chicks Write Romance blog.
I collect Nativity sets and have photos of my kids' favorite set here. I have more photos of my collection over on the Chicks blog today, so head on over, read my short work of fiction and view the pics.
Have a Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year.
Anita Mae Draper.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Here's a photo of my stocking. My mom made it from felt approx 50 yrs ago and I used it regularly until 2008. I now display it to preserve it.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
We had to empty the diningroom to put all the livingroom furniture in it while they put the carpt down. So now that the everything's back in the livingroom, I get to wash the lino floors before we bring the diningroom furniture back in. Lucky me!
Meanwhile, I'm listening to Christmas music to get in the spirit of cleaning which isn't one of my favorite things to do - the cleaning that is - I love the music.
I'm also blogging over at Prairie Chicks about how I've had to move my writing cave from it's original productive spot in the livingroom to the sunroom, the garage, back into the house, etc. I have pics, too, including one with my new burgundy wall. Love it!
Speaking of pics - one of these days I'll post before and after pics of the renovations. What a difference!
My questions over at Prairie Chicks today are: What are your writing plans for the next couple weeks? Are you going on writing hiatus or are going to try to keep writing albeit at a reduce number of words?
And if you're a reader: Do you like reading Christmas books just in Dec or throughout the year?
Monday, December 14, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Today's photo is of the frost in my kitchen window taken just after sunrise. At first I puzzled over the circular patterns at the 4 and 5 o'clock position until I recognized them. They were made from my flyswatter. LOL
Friday, December 4, 2009
The theme is Life Lessons and I used the movie extra or backgrounder to show the lessons my kids have discovered while working as these invisible people. - Have you ever worked on a TV or movie set?
- Have you ever wanted to?
- Which movie or TV show would you want to work on if you had a choice out of everything?
The photo is what my yard looked like when I went outside today. A humble example of God's handiwork.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Since I've talked about Emma's secret so much, I thought I'd use the exercise to delve into Dan's secret. I was thoroughly surpised then when I discovered something I should have known all along. Now to slip it into my Emma's Outlaw story.
And a-tweaking we will go...
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Book 1: The Redemption 2006
Book 2: The Reliance 2006
Book 3: The Restitution 2007
I first saw the cover for MaryLu Tyndall’s pirate book The Redemption in 2006. My initial thought was disbelief. It intrigued me but really, a swashbuckler book with a pirate hero isn’t your average Christian literature.
Months later, I saw another Pirate book by MaryLu with a slightly different cover, followed by a 3rd book in 2007. By this time, the name MaryLu Tyndall was quite common to me but I didn’t know anything about her or her writing.
In the fall of 2008, I stopped off in a Christian bookstore in Winnipeg, Manitoba on my way back from the American Christian Fiction Writer’s (ACFW) conference in Minneapolis, MN and there on a sale table lay MaryLu’s 3 book series, Legacy of the King’s Pirates. I’ve always been a sucker for tall ships and these book covers caught my eye with their aura of danger and excitement. And at the price offered, I grabbed them. Once home, I put the books on my To Be Read (TBR) pile which is around 400 strong and got down to the business of writing. The pirates languished and I forgot about them.
By this time I’d read a few hundred inspirational books and although there were some I raved about in my book reviews, for the most part I thought them to be okay. Yes, they told good stories of faith and perseverance but they tended to ignore the physical side of their relationships. Now I’m not saying I want to read explicit material—I’m just saying I want to know the two main characters feel a real passion for each other before they take that huge matrimonial step.
Then one day I was watching the ACFW loop go by and a member mentioned this same thing. I was so pleased when another member posted a list of inspirational authors who wrote more ‘realistic’ or ‘edgy’ books. One of the authors on that list was MaryLu Tyndall. Really? I swooped down on my TBR pile and pulled out her Legacy of the King’s Pirates series and left them on my end table to read next.
And I’ll tell you, they are more than I ever imagined a Christian romance could be. I didn’t put them down until forced to by the dictates of family life. They fulfilled my quest for adventure, increased my heart rate, made me cry, and proved that Christian fiction came be just as entertaining as anything else on the market today. In fact, I flipped the pages to re-check the publisher’s insignia on the spine so many times and yet still I couldn’t believe it. Here’s a quick rundown on the books in the Legacy of the King’s Pirate series:
Book 1 – The Redemption – Lady Charlisse Bristol is on a personal mission to find the father who abandoned her as a child. She finds herself dependent on Edmund Merrick, a pirate leader. Running on an unlimited supply of faith, Charlisse struggles with her attraction to Edmund. The pirate leader is torn between his baser instincts and his respect for the beautiful Charlisse who seems to call upon God to do her bidding at will. But who will be the man beside her when she realizes her father is the most terrible pirate of the time.
This series teems with the awesome power of God who stands beside those who serve Him. It resounds with the words from that gut wrenching hymn Amazing Grace in that the heroes are sinners on a path of destruction until faced with the infinite mercy of a Father who forgives everything and wipes the slate clean. MaryLu’s character arcs show the progression of villain to man of faith and made me wonder why I ever doubted a pirate could be saved.
Although this series is a couple years old, it’s still available online at Amazon and possibly even bookstores, new or used. MaryLu is still writing strong exciting inspirational historicals of the same location and era. In fact, she was a guest here at my group blog Inkwell Inspirations in October and will be back on Jan 20th to talk about her new release. For more information on MaryLu and her books check out her website.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
A veteran of over 100 book signings, she'll tell you the most effective way to hold this type of marketing promotion.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
My sister has always called me Annie.
Back in the 70's, my CB handle was Annie Oakley.
I'm talking of no other than Little Annie Oakley, the greatest sharpshooter who ever lived. The young woman who shot the ashes off a cigarette while it was still held between the Kaiser's lips!
I thought I knew Annie until I started researching her for my blog post and then I realized I didn't know her at all. Because there's so much more to Annie Oakley than just the love story between her and Frank Butler. But oh, what a love story. :)
My question for the day over at the Inkwell is about role playing in your childhood. Who is your favourite character either real or imagined? In history or otherwise?
Photo credit given to: www.cowgirls.com/dream/cowgals/oakley.htm
Monday, November 9, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Janet posted this exercise on Sunday: Choose one of your main characters (male or female) from any of your WIPs and from his/her POV write about one of the most difficult decision he/she had to make.
Since I’m working on Emma’s Outlaw for my Nano project, I used my hero, Dan for this exercise and then I used the word count for Nano.
The excerpt I posted is a defining moment in the book but I haven't given away the ending. For the record, you are free to guess what comes next but I'm not confirming anything.
Okay, I'm off to see if I need to respond to any comments over at Prairie Chicks and then I'm buckling down to Emma's Outlaw. When I left off on Tues, Dan had just come back from town and he brought Emma a surprise . . .
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Total Nano Words: 5837
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Since Thursday was my day to post at Prairie Chicks Write Romance, I went into the local library Wed afternoon and used their computer to submit my post.
It's the last day of October which means National Novel Writing Month starts tomorrow. In the coming month, you'll see me refer to it as NaNoWriMo or even NaNo.
I've signed up as a Nano participant at eHarlequin so I'll be reporting my progress there as well as here. Plus, I've been invited to report my progress on Michelle Levigne's blog Living Proof.
So, my Thurs Prairie Chick post was Nanowrimo Tips and it's all those things I've found and used for getting the most writing out of Nanowrimo.
I've spent October working on Emma's Outlaw and it will be my Nano project this year. My goal is to have Emma's Outlaw complete and submissions started to my critique partners by the end of Nov.
My writing cave is still in the converted garage we call the rec centre. After I switch the furnace on in the morning, it only takes 15 mins and the whole room is heated nicely. It's so peaceful out there, with my Wyoming maps pinned to the drywall beside me, and it's fired me up. I've made so much progress on Emma's story and am excited that it's my Nano project this year.
I thought I was over the lung infection which burdened me for the last month but I'm stuffed up with a sore throat again. I bought some licorice herbal tea when Nelson and I went shopping in the city last week so I'll be sipping that today. Licorice is an excellent expectorant. I do not want to get sick again. It's such a waste of time!
In case you're wondering, there has been NO progress on my living room/bathroom wall. *sigh. I don't want to start nagging the contractor because at least we still have the bathtub and toilet which they'd originally wanted to take out. And since the insurance company will have to dish out over $7,000 for our new 'makeover' I'm willing to wait. Oh no, just had a thought...what if they want to come in Nov while I'm doing Nano? Yikes!
Over at Inkwell Inspirations this month we'll be talking about our alter egos or personas. These are females, either real or fictional, which we feel an affinity toward or can really relate. Mine is Annie Oakley and I'll be posting about her in a couple weeks. Check out the Inkwell for the fascinating variety of personas from both the Inkies and guest authors.
And what have you been up to this month?
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Seekerville's BIAW ended on Sunday :( and I haven't worked on Emma's story now since Tues. I miss it. I like the accountability that BIAW and Nanowrimo offers.
Here's what I've been doing:
Wed - writing Prairie Chick Writes Romance (PC) blogpost
- blogging at Prairie Chicks (answering comments)
- drafting post for Sat's PC guest blogger
- emailing/scheduling PC guest bloggers for Nov/Dec
- writing Tues 'Travel' blogpost for Inkwell Inspirations
And then at noon on Thurs, the furnace started squealing! What a racket! Hubby was in the house eating lunch so I called him over and he said the motor was shot and he'd try to fix it later. He gave me a small baseboard heater to use. By 4 pm, I realized the little heater wasn't doing it's job and I was just wasting electricity so I moved back into the house.
- Susanne won my book giveaway at Prairie Chicks
- Furnace in rec centre still wasn't working so I stayed in the house. I don't like working on the dining room table because there's nowhere to plug in my cord. So, I worked on battery power for a couple hours until it ran out then I did something else while it recharged. I'll be so thankful when the livingroom wall is fixed and I can bring my writing armoire back in the house.
- right after school, the boys and I headed to the city. We dropped off the teen enroute as the youth group had something planned and he was going to sleep over. The little guy and I rushed to the city to get the latest issue of Olympic coins but the bank closed just as we got there. Sob. (The Olympic coins are only distributed through the RBC) But we had a good evening together at the Regina Coin Club mtg.
- hubby texted Friday night that he'd fixed the furnace in the rec centre so I can go back to my cave and work whenever I want. Yay!
- The little guy just came and told me it's 12c / 54F outside. Wow! Since he's by himself today and quietly playing on the computer, I'm hesitating leaving him alone and going to my cave.
- I'm hosting New York Times bestselling author Mary Balogh on Prairie Chicks Write Romance. We're having a lively discussion about whether a person needs a crit partner or can she send her ms straight to the editor. Mary is also giving away a hard cover copy of one of her books. To get in on her draw, go to Prairie Chicks Write Romance and leave a comment.
- I'm trying to get the church blog caught up to date
- I still need to work on Tues' post at the Inkwell
- I'm waiting to see if I'm a finalist in the Finally a Bride contest
- I need to work on Emma's story
- and I want to play Wii with the little guy (Heh)
And that's been my week.
So, what have you been up to?
Thursday, October 15, 2009
I've also been sick with a sore throat and hacking cough. For a couple days there it felt like my head would split every time I coughed. Not conducive to quality writing.
Now that it's too cold to work in the sunroom I've had to move my cave into the renovated garage we've christened the rec centre. Here's a photo of my new cave in the back corner behind the furnace (on the right) but it's only temporary until we can get the carpet down. Then I'll move to the other side of the room and set up shop. I shut the furnace off at night and put it back on the next day. Because it's all one big room, it heats up in about 15 mins flat. But that's with the temps hovering around freezing. I suppose it'll take longer as the temp drops.
Since today is Thursday, I'm blogging over at Prairie Chicks Write Romance. My post today is my agent appt in Denver.
And, I'm giving away a free book to anyone who goes over and comments on my Prairie Chick post today. I'm sorry, but for the purpose of this giveaway, you have to actually go and leave a comment over there if you want a shot at winning Anna Meets Her Match by Arlene James.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
For me, these writing binges come in the form of Book in a Week (BIAW) and National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo) which is only 3 wks away.
I find I write best when I'm accountable for my writing and that's what these 'binges' give me - accountability. Instead of just talking about it, I'm forced to actually do it. I say yay! to writing binges.
Who will care for your family while you're ignoring them? That's where the trade-offs come in.
The questions I've asked the Prairie Chicks today are these:
- Do you use trade-offs during intensive writing periods?
- Are there any trade-offs you’ve thought up but haven’t tried and why not?
- What's stopping you?
Monday, October 5, 2009
I won't be starting a brand new book but using this week to add the 20,000 words I need to Emma's Outlaw.
That means I'll be hunkering down in my writing cave this week. I may put out more blog posts here with my progress, but I won't be appearing on many blogs around the net except for the Seekervile one which is encouraging us on.
And in case you're wondering, yes, it's now too cold to work in the sunroom so I've had to move my cave into the rec centre. We've got the furnace fired up and I've set up an old comuter desk on one side of the room where I've been working the past couple days. I'd love to set it up permanently but the cement is cold under my shoes. We'll be putting the old living room carpet out there but have to wait for the crews to come and take it out of the livingroom first.
No, the wall/renovations aren't finished in the living room/bathroom. Actually, they haven't started yet. We have everything ready to go and the insurance company has picked their company of choice but it's a matter of scheduling now. And whenever they do want to start, we won't be stopping them.
Now, on Emma's story: She's been kidnapped by outlaws and is riding across Wyoming...
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Now, it doesn't look like much, right? But my fingers started tingling. I got back on the road and headed north, up past the hoodoos, turned around and parked close to them. Here's a closer look:
Isn't it amazing what a bit of wind erosion and the right soil/limestone can do, eh?
And in case you don't live near the 49th parallel and have wondered what the Can/US border really looks like, here it is:That small white obelisk on the left side is the actual 49th parallel marker. Doesn't look like much standing between the 2 countries, does it?
Monday, September 28, 2009
I took notes of Natasha's workshop with my mini while at the conference. Natasha spoke very fast for an hour plus and I tried to keep up with her. I ended up with about 2200 words. But it was too much. My report has to be 500 words maximum.
So, I whittled it down to 1500 words by taking out all the examples she used. Still not enough.
Then I worked it down some more and am now sitting at 1100 words. Sheesh. I still have to shave 600 words off it!
It wouldn't be so bad except that Natasha has some excellent stuff there. She talked about conflict and heroes and villains in a way that although it surely wasn't new, it was new to me. I'm excited to get back to Emma's Outlaw and breathe new life in my characters...
but first...I...need...to...whittle...another...600...words...off... my...report. Yikes!
Friday, September 25, 2009
If you've been following my blog here, you'll know I visited the Oregon Trail Ruts this past Monday. A special friend had mentioned she'd wished she could make the journey with me and as I stood on the site in Guernsey, Wyoming this poem formulated in my mind. It's called, You Were By My Side.
So if like history and/or poetry pop over there and leave a comment with an email address for a chance to win a Love Inspired Historical book as well as have your name entered in the big end of October Grand Prize giveaway.
Although I'd love to hear from you here, you will only be entered in this draw if you leave a comment at Inkwell Inspirations during the next 3 days.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Go check it out for some inspiring, unique photos. If someone had told me there were natural land formations like these, I would have been hard pressed to believe. But now after seeing them for myself, I can only marvel at the imagination of our God.
And here's a pic that didn't make the Prairie Chick cut:
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
A typical sight in Wyoming are these piles of boulders just lying there in the middle of a field. It always makes me wonder what formation they were before they fell.
The Big Horn Mountains are on your left as you travel north from Casper
Many of the roads and highways in Wyoming are made from the abundance of red dirt.
These topless hoodoos remind me of Mount Rushmore.
As I crossed the state line into Montana, the land became fit for farming again but always in the background were the mountains.
This tree was stark white and dead when I saw it just before sundown. I guess it hid in the shadows by the time I got my camera out:
Well, that's it for this day. Tomorrow I'll make my way across Montana, hopefully arriving home before nightfall.
Monday, September 21, 2009
It would've been a nice leisurely walk if not for the cold wind and 44F temps. I reached the top in just a couple minutes and tucked my hands in my pockets. It was the last day of summer. I alone stood at the top and read the sign. Not sure what to expect, I turned around and saw this:
It reminded me of a film set. The rules at the start had said only foot traffic could leave the designated paths. I had feet . . . so I stepped off the path and saw this:
I stared for a long time. All I had to do was take a step forward and I'd be in the middle between the ruts left from countless wagon wheels. I took that step and without conscious thought, closed my eyes. The feeling of being there was so intense I started to cry. I looked up the hill to the north and saw this:
How many pioneers had stood where I stood and looked east across the North Platte River wondering if they'd ever see their loved ones again? No matter how many years had passed, except for the plaques and cement path, this is what they saw:
I followed the Trail south, sometimes on it, sometimes beside it. I found many instances of survival with trees growing out of rocks and cactus on the ground. I actually took over 200 photos and I'll be putting more on Inktropolis this Friday, so only a couple more here. Look closely . . . sometimes beside the wagon ruts, sometimes I didn't see it, but to me it looks like the path of the women and children who climbed the hill as their men coaxed their oxen forward.
After walking around for over an hour, I was ready for a rest so I started the path down. In this next photo if you look close, you'll see a bench at the end of the path just before it turns to the left. I sat there and made notes on my iTouch while everything was fresh in my mind.
My next stop was Register Cliff just a couple miles south of the wheel ruts. It's a wall of limestone, common in the area, where hundreds of pioneers and present day people as well, have carved there name in the soft stone:
I didn't have time to research, but someone even made a tunnel:
I walked up to the gate, peeked in, and took this shot:
I started up the trail, hoping no boulders would slide down the cliff:
This 1840 inscription is the earliest one I found:
Unfortunately, those written on the south and southeast walls can't stand up to the winds of time:
I walked past the security fence, around to the west until a fence stopped me. This next shot was taken on my way back with the fence on the left and a small monument to the pioneers.
On the way back, I followed the path on the other side of the boulders which had fallen and found this jewel hidden in the prairie grass:
Back in my van, I drove north to Douglas and then west toward Casper but I had one more stop before I slept. Five miles south of I-25 is Ayers Natural Bridge. I parked beside a red wall and went for the 3rd walk of my day:
It was a short walk over a metal bridge to where I saw this natural wonder:
The place where I stood with the natural bridge was cool and surrounded by tall cliffs. I took a walk around and saw this:
Also, these trees caught my eye:
And these bumpy trees. Now they may be the norm for this area, but they sure look different to me:
And that's it for the Wheatland to Casper run. Tomorrow I hope to start Emma's journey which is why I'm sitting in Casper tonight.