I’ll post about writing eventually (promise), but I haven’t written much lately because we’ve had eight calves in the last two weeks on the farm. For a herd only milking about forty cows, that’s a crazy volume. Even better, six were heifers, which means more adorable baby cow pictures and names!

The much-anticipated Jane Austen calf was indeed a heifer and, after vigorous discussion, she is named Darcy (and is uber-adorable, as you can see). She’s spunky while still being chill, so I think she’ll live up to her name fabulously.

Nutmeg had never given us a heifer before, so we ran to the spice rack for name inspiration. This calf is nuts (I found her running in the sweet corn patch when she was only a few hours old), so I was pulling for something like Cayenne or Cardamom. She was obviously too wild to be a Cinnamon. In the end, Allspice was a strong contender but we settled on Clove. (no picture because the thing doesn’t stand still)

Bonnie’s calf called for a solid Irish name and there were several strong contenders, but once we found “Blair,” my husband reminded us of Bonnie Blair the Olympic speed skater, and we couldn’t say no to that!

With a mother named Grace and a father named Valor, our third baby (sorry, no picture yet) could only be Guinevere. Also top of our mind because the husband and I are hooked on the BBC’s Merlin series.

In the last two days, Iris and Aspen both had heifers as well. Iris is the daughter of Ilse (as in Casablanca) and sister to Ingrid. Aspen’s previous two daughters are our “diva” line: Aretha and Gladys. Anyone have any other good diva or “I” names?


Blair and Darcy say hello


Happy Wednesday everyone! It is Wednesday, right? When holiday and travel weeks combine, I get messed up. Anywho, to the links:

I’m a sucker for grammar posts, and agent Rachelle Gardner has a great one with the proper use of similar words.

Martina at Adventures in Children’s Publishing shares this great list of brainstorming questions to break through writer’s block.

This week’s Link of Awesome probably would’ve been more helpful last week before the 4th of July fireworks displays, but in case you’re wondering the names of each firework shape, mental_floss has you covered.

Did everyone have a good weekend? We’ve had six calves in six days at the farm, name announcements and pictures to come!

Happy Independence Day everyone!

Hello out there! Thanks for sticking with me through the silence, wonderful readers. I’m uncurling from the fetal position that follows the week of Day Job’s national convention and catching up on Google Reader. Some star-worthy stuff I found:

Roni Loren gives a much-needed list of contrived coincidences.

Social Times has this awesome infographic studying the best time to post on Twitter and Facebook (via Alice Pope’s SCBWI Children’s Market Blog).

The wonderful Kristen Lamb combines two of my favorite things (writing and Star Wars) in this post analyzing why the prequels didn’t work.

Link of Awesome: Leila at bookshelves of doom brings the awesome again with the surname meaning website. Enjoy looking up both your name and your characters’.

What else have I missed, folks?

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?

Sometimes, when work is hard and the weather is hot and you’re feeling discouraged, you take a break and walk out to the pasture and see a miracle. Introducing Boo and her new daughter Atticus (Atty for short):

Happy Friday everyone 🙂