Life


Big hugs to all of you

Hello loyal readers. As you’ve probably noticed from the last few posts, and lack of, things on the farm have been crazy. Summer is usually busy, but this has been insane.

For a few months now, I’ve been thinking about letting the blog go. There are so many wonderful blogs already out there that address writing and offer more experience and information than I have. And it’s hard to write about writing when you don’t have the time to write!

So I’m recommitting to my works-in-progress. I’ll definitely still visit other blogs (plenty still to learn!) and hope to see everyone around Twitter. As my dear friend KCC said, “I’d rather you have an abandoned blog than an abandoned novel.”

It’s been a wonderful two years:

  • 209 posts
  • 5,873 views
  • 480 comments
  • $135.00 raised for local libraries through Jenn Hubbard’s Library Lovin’ Blog Challenge
  • Countless friends met and words of encouragement received

Thank you so much to everyone who stopped by over these last two years; whether you commented, shared links, or just lurked, I’ll still see you around, hopefully with a completed manuscript on my desk. Wishing you all happy and productive days of writing!

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Thursday night was the end of an era, the last Harry Potter midnight movie showing. My aunt, my sister, and her boyfriend journeyed up to the farm for the experience and we even talked my husband into coming with us.

My aunt, me, Munchkin, and boyfriend Nick

I’m a huge fan both from reader and writer points of view, but especially because of one fact: without Harry Potter, my sister would not have been an Honors student. She hated reading, an unfathomable thought for me and probably my Mom, a teacher. But then Munchkin started telling me about this series of books about a boy wizard named Harry Potter. The fourth book had just come out, so I devoured the first three and, using my perks as a library page, put my name on the top of the hold list for the fourth. Munchkin and I both pre-ordered the last three books and raced to read them so we could discuss. They were the first books we shared.

Our first midnight showing was for the sixth movie. My aunt and sister’s birthdays are one day apart in the middle of July and Half-Blood Prince came out on my aunt’s 50th birthday. She said the only celebration she wanted was to go to the midnight showing with her nieces (did I mention she’s a really cool aunt?). She was worried about being the oldest person there, but she wasn’t. We waited in line, played games, ate sugar, and had an epic time. Ditto for Deathly Hallows Part One, although the line-waiting was much colder in November. For this last time, we had butterbeer, cockroach clusters (praline pecan candies), trecle tart, chicken pot pies, and Harry Potter-themed sugar cookies before heading to the theater. My Mom sent along Harry Potter silly bands (which were fun to explain to my husband) and three of us sported Harry Potter shirts. It was just as epic as we’d hoped.

Delicious cookies

Banner for the occasion; truly "A Magical Day"

Banner in the guest room (I'm so proud of this)

So thank you J.K. Rowling and everyone involved with the books and movies. You all brought my sister and me closer together and gave her a love of reading. You gave us a chance to create memories that we’ll tell our children over and over when we introduce them to Harry and his world. You inspired a generation and revitalized an industry. Thank you.

Anyone else have Harry Potter memories to share? Did you go to a midnight showing?

Happy Independence Day everyone!

Due to Day Job Convention insanity, no Linkfest this week. But to tide you over to next week, another adorable baby animal from the farm:

Ohhhhhh look at the piggy

 

I’m off working a board meeting and annual convention for the Day Job this week, which has me thinking about family vacations. For many of our attendees, this convention is their chance to get off the farm as a family and see friends from across the country.

My most scarring vacation memory was a 20-hour drive from Minnesota to North Carolina. I was stuck in the backseat with my younger sister and her birthday present: a cat. Now Tumbler (yes, she named him Tumbler) spent the first year of his life as a farm cat and didn’t take too well to car travel or the small kennel. The Parentals figured they’d have him neutered right before the trip and then he’d be under for most of the drive. Know how long that cat was under anesthesia for the 20-hour drive? 45 minutes. Not exaggerating.

So for 19 hours and 15 minutes this farm cat is banging his head against the front of his carrier and mewing, my sister is freaking out, my Mom is trying to calm everyone down, and Dad is driving like his life depends on it. Good times.

Vacations are milestones in childhood and can be great ways to illustrate character. Because, let me tell you, you learn a lot about other people when stuck in a car with a feral animal.

What was your most memorable vacation? Can anyone think of some good examples from literature?

To all veterans and service men and women: thank you for your time, your service, and your protection. Thank you to your families. Thank you.

To my three grandfathers who served in World War II: thank you.

Happy Memorial Day everyone.

My little sister is graduating college tonight. That’s right, I’m feeling old. But more than that, it’s gotten me wondering about milestones and checkpoints.

The first 20-some years of life are filled with checkpoints. Birthday parties, moving through each grade, getting a driver’s license, being able to legally purchase tobacco or alcohol if so inclined. And for some, graduating college or grad school. It’s the final milestone in a school career, the light at the end of the tunnel, the last marking of time and achievement.

So when do you feel you “graduated” in your writing life? Was it finishing that first draft? Finding a critique group? Getting your first rejection? Signing a contract? Or seeing the book in print? I like to think I’m at least through freshman year. How about you?

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