Tuesday, March 31, 2009

What did Publius Syrus say about Education?

I am hosting the Carnival of Education tomorrow, so I wanted to give you a quote by Publius Syrus about education.

Publius Syrus said in 42 B.C., "It is only the ignorant who despise education."

On Thursday I am going to give you a short article of several definitions of education and what I think of the definitions.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Online Dictionaries

Have you ever needed a dictionary when you were working on the computer without a dictionary handy? Try one of these online dictionaries and you will get much more than if you were to pull a dictionary off the shelf.

My favorite site is the WordNet Vocabulary Helper because it has definitions, synonyms, hypernyms and no ads or other things to distract.

The Merriam Webster Dictionary has a word of the day, dictionary and thesaurus along with other changing information.

Dictionary.com is from ask.com and has fun and games and language resources.

YourDictionary.com is simple and can be followed on that new popular item, Twitter.

TheFreeDictionary.com is like some of the other sites but it has a fun hangman game and a spelling bee with different levels.

OnlineDictionary.com has definitions from the 1913 Webster dictionary and the WordNet Dictionary.

I hope you can find your favorite online dictionary. I know I did.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

How Long Should a Story be?

I am going to write a story, how long should it be? Of course a story is never done until you think it is, but here are some guidelines when submitting to editors.

Micro-fiction is up to 100 words.
- This story can be difficult to write, but have become more popular recently.
Flash Fiction is 100-1,000 words.
- This is a very short story used to fill one page of quick romance or humor. These stories can be easy to write and sell.
Short Story is 1,000-7,500 words.
- This version of the short story is usually found in anthology collections or periodicals.
Novelette is 7,500-20,000 words.
-The novelette can be difficult to sell to a publisher, because they are too long for a magazine and too short for a novel. Some people put several novelettes into a compilation novel.
-Novella is 20,000-50,000 words.
-The novella is good for electronic publishing. It has good length, because an online audience won’t want to sit and read a 100,000 word novel.
Novel is 50,000-110,000 words.
-The best length for a novel is 70-80,000 words.
Epics and Sequels are over 110,00 words.
-If a novel is going to be over 110,000 words it is probably best to lengthen it into a sequel or possibly into a trilogy.

Please remember that these guidelines are just estimates of how long a story should be. Check with the publisher’s guidelines.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Who is your hero?

Write a poem using color about your hero.

Silver is the color of a cowboy’s spurs.

Black is the color of his boots,
Silver is the color of a cowboy’s spurs.

Brown is the color of his chaps,
Black is the color of his boots,
Silver is the color of a cowboy’s spurs.

Blue is the color of his shirt,
Brown is the color of his chaps,
Black is the color of his boots,
Silver is the color of a cowboy’s spurs.

Dark brown is the color of his skin,
Blue is the color of his shirt,
Brown is the color of his chaps,
Black is the color of his boots,
Silver is the color of a cowboy’s spurs.

White is the color of his smile,
Dark brown is the color of his skin,
Blue is the color of his shirt,
Brown is the color of his chaps,
Black is the color of his boots,
Silver is the color of a cowboy’s spurs.

Black is the color of his hat,
White is the color of his smile,
Dark brown is the color of his skin,
Blue is the color of his shirt,
Brown is the color of his chaps,
Black is the color of his boots,
Silver is the color of a cowboy’s spurs.

The cowboy has always been one of my heroes.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

What is Nonfiction?

Is it factual or imaginary? What is nonfiction? Nonfiction is factual. It is about real people, place and things.

When a person is writing nonfiction they can either report the facts with their personal opinions or not. It is difficult to completely eliminate ones opinions. The reader needs to be careful to keep this in mind when reading.

Types of nonfiction:

A Diary is a day-to-day record of a person’s activities and thoughts.

An Autobiography is a story of a person’s life. The writer wants to share his/her life events.

A Biography is a story of someone else’s life. The writer uses reports or first-hand knowledge of the person to write their story.

A Memoir is like an autobiography and is about the writer’s life and concentrates on one event.

What is nonfiction? It is factual and is about real people, places and things.

Monday, March 23, 2009

What am I doing?- Part 2

What am I doing? I know one person has figured out what we have been looking for, has anybody else? Read on and you can see if you had the right idea.

I knew, though, I would be able to find them. I had heard the direction the elk had gone crashing through the aspens and pines.

We got off the 4-wheelers and started to walk in the direction the elk had gone. First, we had to cross the fifty-feet beaver dam. Luckily it was August, so the water level had dropped due to evaporation and drainage. If it hadn’t, the crossing would have been impossible due to the large amount of water: we would have had to cross elsewhere.

As we made our way across the beaver dam the only sounds we could hear were the chirping of birds and the wind blowing through the trees. The logs were close enough together to walk on or there were dry spots. If there hadn’t been, we might have fallen into the stagnant water.

Soon we crept up the embankment. I turned to the others behind me, put my finger to my lips, and softly said, “Shhh.” Although we crept up the hill as quietly as we could, there was the sound of pine needles crunching under our feet. Soon I could hear the elk stamping and calling to each other. I waved with my hand to continue. We kept walking and soon I could see them.

I motioned to everybody to get behind a large granite rock so we could se them, but they couldn’t see us. I could see the excitement in everybody’s eyes. I thought that perhaps we could get a little bit closer to see them more clearly.

As we moved closer, the elk saw us and took off again. We must have walked another 100 feet and found a perfect spot to take some pictures. Johnna, Jessica, and Jon were stunned. They just knelt and looked at the elk over the edge of a lichen-covered rock, while I took the pictures.

This time the elk didn’t know we were behind the rock. The twenty cows and calves were majestic against the white-barked aspens, dark pine trees, bright green grass, and the gray granite rock in the clearing. They just called to one another and grazed. Some of the calves were nursing and others were playing. The calves butted one another and tried to be king of a small mound. This was the largest herd of elk I had seen up close. For me it was the most riveting wildlife experience ever. I could see in Jon, Jessica and Johnna’s eyes that this was an experience that would influence their wildlife watching for the rest of their lives.

Did anybody else know this is what I was doing? There is even more to this story. You will have to wait for another day.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

How do You Show You Spouse You Respect Them?

What do you do to respect your spouse? Today’s blog is going to be a little bit different. I need the help of the reader. I would like to know your opinions about respect and how you can verbally show a husband respect. I would also enjoy reading you opinions on what to say to others as well.

I have been married for a long time and I am just realizing what it really means to biblically show your husband respect. A woman is to show respect like the man is to show love. It is difficult to remember that a husband needs the respect more than he needs to be told, “I love you.” I know a wife can say I respect the job you do or I respect the way you listen to what I have to say. I am looking for something more extraordinary. Thank you for your time and effort.

Thank you for sharing with me how your respect your spouse.

Friday, March 20, 2009

What am I doing?

What do you think I could be doing? Could I be looking for elk, trying to surprise someone or are we spies? Tune in tomorrow to learn.

Now I had the chance to share my knowledge with three people who were anxious and uncertain as to what was going to happen next.

I said, “We’re going to have to be as quiet as possible and go very slowly. We do not want to scare them. I’ll make sure we are downwind from them, so they don’t smell us. If they smell us, they will run. Understand?”

“Yes.”

“Yes.”

“Yes.”

Just Write Carnival


Welcome to the March 20, 2009 edition of just write. I hope this carnival finds all of you well and enjoying the new season.


Book Reviews


Keira presents Review: Instant Attraction by Jill Shalvis posted at Love Romance Passion.


GrrlScientist presents The Devil's Teeth: A True Story of Obsession and Survival Among America's Great White Sharks posted at Living the Scientific Life, saying, "a review of the true outdoor adventure story by Susan Casey. This book is the personal chronicle of the author's determination to learn about Great White Sharks -- however, the author's selfishness and immaturity ultimately destroyed two scientific careers and valuable research."


Peter Jones presents Spark Your Teenager's Inner Strengths: Book Offers Tips, Resources, and the Latest Science posted at Great New Books that Are a Must Read.


Shiv Dravid presents A Thousand Splendid Suns posted at The Viewspaper » The Viewspaper, saying, "A Thousand Splendid Suns"


Thursday Bram presents Review: Pep Talks, Warnings & Screeds posted at thursdaybram.com.


Encouragement for Writers


steven germain presents One Page At A Time... posted at Rough Fractals, saying, "The act of writing, independent of the content, is a positive thing..."


Mark David Gerson presents The Voice of Your Muse: Feeling Rejected? Don't Be Dejected! posted at The Voice of Your Muse.


Chris Edgar presents Is There Such A Thing As "Boring" Work? posted at Purpose Power Coaching, saying, "We tend to see certain tasks we do in our work as inherently unpleasant. Doing your business’s taxes, cleaning your desk and drafting invoices are examples of work people usually see as, at best, necessary evils. But are those tasks awful, or do we simply experience them as awful? And, if so, can we experience them differently? I think the answer is yes. Let’s talk about how."


presents Blogging: Writers Block And Providing Value posted at Richard Shelmerdine - life views from a student of life.


Poetry/Poets


Jon Chambers presents Demons (Poetry) posted at The Mind Of Jon.


Vanja Kovacic presents Bad Poetry Contests and Publishers posted at Creative Writing Guide, saying, "A list of poetry contests, agencies and publishers to avoid because they are scams."


Publishing


Alison Storm presents Unintended Markets: When Your Book Impacts People You Never Expected Christian Publishing Tips posted at Christian Publishing Tips, saying, "Author Ann Velia explains how God had bigger plans for her book Unbelieving Husbands: The Neglected Harvest. I believe this would fit under the publishing or writing tips categories."


Short Stories


Greg Laden presents Greg Laden's Blog : The Lion, The Tent, and the Anthropologist posted at Greg Laden's Blog.


The Writing Life


Kathryn presents 10 Reasons Writers Should Keep Journals posted at Real Words, saying, "How a journal can really enhance a writer's life and work."


Cathy Bryant presents Writer Maladies posted at WordVessel, saying, "A humorous look at some fictional maladies that affect writers!"


Cathy Bryant presents Finding Balance in the Writing Life posted at WordVessel, saying, "It's easy to become so obsessed with the writing process, that we forget about the need for balance in our lives."


Writing Projects/Prompts


Amy Sue Nathan presents Five answers. Now, what was the question? posted at Amy Sue Nathan.


Writing Resources


Cathy Bryant presents WordVessel: Books About Creating Characters posted at WordVessel, saying, "This is a list of books about creating characters."


Writing Tips


Burak Bilgin presents A Simple Exercise for Writers: Twitter posted at Distiller's Corner, saying, "How can a website that allows you to write updates of only 140 characters help you, if you are aiming for writing full length books and articles?"


Kelly Tolman presents Writing Poetry for Beginners Darnuth Keep posted at Darnuth Keep.


MelMenzies presents Creative Writing Techniques: How To Write Good Dialogue :: Mel's Muse :: Mel Menzies posted at Mel Menzies Blog.


Cathy Bryant presents WordVessel: What I've Learned About Self-Editing, Part 1 posted at WordVessel, saying, "These are self-editing tips that I learned in the process of writing my first novel."


Kathryn presents Successful Freelance Writer » More Money with Freelance posted at The Peculiar Club, saying, "Just a few more ways to increase your income for freelance writing."


That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of just write using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.


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Thursday, March 19, 2009

How did You get to School?- Part 4

The rest of the ride was uneventful until we got to the infamous Breakneck Hill. Once Jack made it half way down the hill, he was going too fast for the road’s condition. He began to swerve back and forth in the middle of the road. He fought to keep control. He was lucky the road was no longer muddy. I was worried he was going to wreck. All of a sudden, as Jack was going up the next hill, a large blue truck came barreling over the hill on our side of the road. I was far enough behind Jack that I was able to get way off the road.

“Jack!” I yelled. “Watch out. There is a truck coming. Get out of the way.”

Jack looked up with fear in his face. I wasn’t sure what he was going to do. I saw the school’s driveway up ahead and hoped that he would make it to there in time. At least he had been riding as far to the left as he was able to. At the last minute he was able to turn into the driveway. My face showed my relief as I caught up to him.

“That was close, wasn’t it, Sue?”

"Yes, Jack it sure was close. I hope that doesn’t happen again. You did a great job, though. There are just some crazy drivers on the road.”

“I hope there aren’t any on the way home”

“I don’t think there will be. We will be leaving school before they are done hunting.”

“Thank goodness.”

“I see the teacher waiting for us. Let’s get over there so we aren’t late.”

was very glad that ride to school was over. I knew, though, that anything could happen on the way home.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

How did You get to School?- Part 3

It was an especially beautiful fall morning. The sky was clear, the temperature comfortable. Once we were half a mile from our house, we saw some antelope and mule deer. The yellow, red and orange leaves on the changing aspens were beautiful.

When we reached Boxelder Route, we knew we were going to have to watch for traffic. It was the beginning of antelope hunting season, so the road would be busy with the morning hunters. We rode on the shoulder where we would be farther away from traffic. The larger pieces of gravel made it harder to ride, but it was safer than being on the road.

Jack sometimes went down hills too fast and almost lost. I really didn’t want that to happen today, because of the extra traffic. We made it down and up the first hill with no problems. On the second hill, I was the one who began to swerve in the newly discovered mud. My heart was racing. I was swerving more and more as I gathered speed. Fortunately, by the time I made it down the hill I was beginning to gain control. As I zoomed up the next hill I finally began to slow down enough that I realized I had been so concerned with myself that I hadn’t been paying attention to Jack. I hoped he would not have my near catastrophe, since he was four years younger than I. Despite his outer toughness I knew that when he got hurt he was the biggest baby. I knew of several times when he had fainted when he nicked his hand. I anxiously watched as he safely maneuvered the same course.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

How did You get to School?- Part 2

I thought about my school as I started falling asleep. It was very unique. What made it unique was that it was a trailer house that used to be a bank. It had one big room, one small room, and a bathroom. The walls were painted yellow, the floors were orange carpet and the trim was brown. The curtains were a hideous orange and brown, but at least they matched the rest of the room. Another unique feature was that there were only five students and one teacher. We were in the first, third and fifth grades. My last thought before I fell asleep was how much I loved going there

Before we knew it, the sun was shining. It was time to get ready for school. We got out of bed, dressed and went into the dining room where Mom had French toast, fruit cocktail and orange juice waiting for us. We ate quickly, because we needed plenty of time to ride to school. It was a cool morning, so we picked up our sweatshirts on the way out the door. On the way to the shed to get our bikes, we put on our bulging backpacks filled with our schoolbooks and lunch.
It was a beautiful day for riding our bikes the three miles to the rural school. It was a mile from our house to the county road. The mini super-highway we were riding on was our recently upgraded two-track dirt road. It was nice to have a wide, smooth road: we could ride our bikes next to each other more easily.

It was much faster this time, because of the road improvements. The only steep section of our road was the draw, but this time Jack, age six, did not have to push his bike up the hill. I was glad, because it wastes time when you have to walk instead of ride. I could tell that Jack liked it, too, because he had a great big smile on his face.

Monday, March 16, 2009

How did You get to School?- Part 1

“Sue, can we take our bikes to school tomorrow?”

“I don’t know. I don’t want Mom to be as upset as she was last time. Maybe we should take the 4-wheeler. Do you remember what happened on Breakneck Hill?”

“I know. I almost had a terrible accident, but I’ll be more careful this time. Please, can we ride our bikes?”

“I don’t know.”

“Please, can we?”

“Okay, Jack. Let’s go to sleep now so we won’t wake up late.”

I thought about my school as I started falling asleep. It was very unique. What made it unique was that it was a trailer house that used to be a bank. It had one big room, one small room, and a bathroom. The walls were painted yellow, the floors were orange carpet and the trim was brown. The curtains were a hideous orange and brown, but at least they matched the rest of the room. Another unique feature was that there were only five students and one teacher. We were in the first, third and fifth grades. My last thought before I fell asleep was how much I loved going there

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A "Single Mom's" Day

Or
A stay-at-home mom’s day with a husband in the military


I am currently a “single mom.” My husband, Jon, is serving in the Mideast. We have two children, Bridger (age two) and Christen (age two months), and live in a small midwestern town. This a journal entry from one of my typical days:

Christen slept soundly during the night. I just had to pop the pacifier into her mouth at 12:30 a.m., then she slept until 5:30 when I fed her. I like it when she wakes up at that time, because I can go back to sleep more easily. Bridger didn’t climb into my bed this morning nor did the dogs start barking to go outside, so I was able to sleep until 8:00.

The puppies stay in the garage. If they hear any noise in the morning, like Bridger wandering around, they bark and bark until somebody lets them outside. That is why it is best if everybody stays in bed, especially Bridger. The older dogs who stay in the house don’t bark in the morning, but they make up for it when the mailman comes, when there are squirrels in the yard or when they see other dogs outside.

I get up and let the dogs outside. So far, they’re quiet. Thank goodness, because someone in the neighborhood might call the police if the dogs’ barking bothers them. It already happened to our next-door neighbors and I don’t want it to happen to us.

I decide to check my e-mail until the dogs want to come back in. Jon finally had a chance to send a message. My mom sent a message telling me about going to visit Grandma and what my sisters have been doing in their spare time.

I had now better get off the Internet in case Jon is trying to call. I am very lucky, because he is able to call almost every day. I enjoy telling him how smart Bridger is and how much trouble he can get into. For example, last night while I was fixing popcorn Bridger decided to play with the baby powder. He poured it all over the side table, the floor and himself. I took the vacuum cleaner and cleaned everything, including him. I needed to vacuum anyway: the dogs shed all the time and dirt is brought in from the backyard.

I should call some of them inside, because Christen is crying and I don’t want them to bark while I am feeding her. Before she was born, I wondered what it would be like to take care of two young children with Jon overseas and no close friends. Two months have gone by since she was born and most days go extremely well, but it all depends on Bridger’s whining and the dogs’ barking.

Bridger finally wakes up at 9:15. I have a bowl of grapes and a cup of cereal waiting for him. He is always trying to act like a dog by lapping at his cereal and I thought it would be better if he could just “drink” his corn flakes. So far, it seems to have brightened his day. We’ll see what happens to his mood when we change his clothes and put his training pants on. I have been trying for several weeks to get him to use his little toilet, but he has had no luck. I think when he finally goes to the bathroom he will start to get the hang of it. We just have to wait and see. I need to ask other people how they potty trained their children.

Bridger and I are working in the basement cleaning up the piles that have been building up over the past six years when I hear the dogs barking. It must be the mailman. Wow, it’s 11:00: it must be a different mailman, because we usually get the mail by 10:00. Good, there are a couple of magazines and a card from a friend in Canada. I haven’t heard from her in a long time and I don’t have a current address for her. Since I now have her e-mail address, I will have to try to send her an e-mail today along with a couple of pictures of the kids.

After we look at the mail, we play with Christen for a while. Finally, it’s lunchtime. I am getting hungry. We’ll be having leftovers from last night. I do have to decide on a vegetable - green beans, I think. We have plenty of them in the freezer.

Before Christen was born, I went to the grocery store and stocked up on enough groceries and dog food to last for four months. But it seems that we always have to go to the store to buy perishables or food I forgot to buy. And each time we go I forget something. Last time, I forgot the sour cream and breast pads. I have to remember to write everything on the list and take a pen to check off each item.

After lunch while I am feeding Christen, we watch the video we made last summer of Jon reading to Bridger. Bridger really likes the video and he gets to know and remember his dad - and my two sisters, Johnna and Jessica in Wyoming who are also on the video. It is important that Bridger knows who Jon is, because I want Bridger to feel comfortable around Jon when he returns. Bridger does get to talk to him on the phone, which certainly helps.

I am so glad that today, after I am done feeding Christen, we don’t have to clean up after the dogs in the backyard. Instead, I can try to work on the latest letter to Jon. I try to write something daily and e-mail it at the end of the week as an attachment to one of his daily e-mails.
It can get old making sure the yard is cleaned on a weekly basis. This is one chore I will be glad to give back to Jon, because the dogs’ messes can be so ground into the grass that I scoop up clumps of grass along with the dirt. Between the dogs and me, the yard looks like a wasteland. I will also be glad to give him back his garbage duties. The garbage cans can be heavy and I get tired of hauling them out every week. I wish they had wheels. I did have a nice surprise last week: Bridger decided he would like to bring the garbage cans back into the garage. I only have to take them to the curb now!

I am finally getting a chance to write that letter to Jon, because Bridger is playing by himself and Christen is swinging. While I’m at the desk, I should check to make sure there aren’t any bills due soon. Jon had been in charge of the money since Bridger was born, but I took control when he left. It is fun to look at the account on the Internet to see how much Jon has charged at the base and what checks have cleared. It is more convenient than waiting for the statement at the end of the month to be sure the checkbook is balanced.

When I am done on the computer, I think we’ll go on our walk. It is fun to walk almost every day. The exercise gives me more energy and it makes Bridger happier. The day can be long when Bridger is cranky or disobedient. When that happens he gets to spend two minutes by himself on the kitchen floor. That usually turns his attitude around.

4:30 p.m., time to feed Christen again and to give Bridger his snack. Christen eats every four hours and is full after ten minutes, which is so nice. When Bridger was a baby, he nursed every three hours and wasn’t full until after 40 minutes. I can get so much more done if I don’t have to feed a baby that often and that long.

I like the time between 4:30 and 5:30, because that is when we watch some of Bridger’s favorite children’s programs and he may take a nap. If he doesn’t fall asleep, at least it does mean quiet time for all of us. I am very grateful to have Bridger to help and to talk to, but some experts say that it is best for the kids – and for parents – to take time for themselves. That works best for us with either a nap or the quiet time. Bridger does help me with the dishes, laundry, clearing the table and putting things in the garbage. He is a great help with Christen, too. He is very careful and loves holding her.

We forgot to practice his states during lunch. We will do it during supper. Bridger can point to and name fifteen of them on his U.S. placemat. We have also been working on the alphabet and counting to ten. We really need to work on colors: he is not learning them as well as the states or numbers. I need to pick up a preschool or kindergarten workbook for him so I can see what he knows and what he needs to learn.

I am glad I had a pre-made meal thawing for supper, because with Christen crying and Bridger getting into absolutely everything I never would have been able to cook anything. I hope the rest of the night will go a little more smoothly. I know I have to get the dishes done and vacuum. In the morning, I enjoy coming downstairs to a clean living room, so I vacuum and have Bridger pick up his toys before he goes to bed.

Disaster does strike after supper. I am running water in the sink for the dishes when the dogs start barking. I try to get them to come in, but only two come. I go outside to get the others and then I remember that the faucet is on. I try to get through the sliding glass door, but it has locked. I had learned after the first time I was locked out that it is important to always keep the side door to the garage unlocked to have a back-up entry into the house. I was fortunate that time that the sliding glass door was open. I hurry through the garage and get to the sink. I am lucky that water isn’t going all over the floor, but into the other basin instead. I turn the water off and go back to the garage to call the dogs inside. They come immediately, because the other dogs are back inside.

I am so glad that it is 8:15, Bridger’s bedtime. I want some time without hearing the word “Mom” every fifteen seconds. We go upstairs, brush our teeth and put pajamas on. I brush my teeth when he does, so that is one more thing done for the night. We finally finish, turn the jazz music on and give a kiss and hug good night. One in bed and one to go.

Christen eats quickly and soon her diaper is changed. She had one of her “super-messy” diapers earlier in the day, so I knew she wouldn’t have another one. I have been able to reach my goal of having them in bed by 9:00 for the third night in a row. I can look forward to the rest of the night to myself. Yes.

Oh, I forgot: I have to let the dogs outside one more time before I can go to bed. I look out the door to make sure no other dogs are out in the six-house radius. I have had enough of any dog barking for today. I am in luck: the other houses are dark, so there are no problems with barking. I put the puppies in their kennel in the garage and leave the adult dogs downstairs to discourage any would-be burglars. I put the baby gate up to keep the dogs from joining us in bed. I don’t like to be awakened more than necessary. I hope Christen won’t wake up until six and I can get a good night’s sleep. I am glad that this day has ended on a good note. I can say I enjoyed being a “single mom” today. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

Oops, I forgot to vacuum.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Have you ever been a "single parent" for a while?

I have been a Navy wife in the time that I have had two children at home. Here are a couple of stories from my experiences. There will be more tomorrow.

I had now better get off the Internet in case Jon is trying to call. I am very lucky, because he is able to call almost every day. I enjoy telling him how smart Bridger is and how much trouble he can get into. For example, last night while I was fixing popcorn Bridger decided to play with the baby powder. He poured it all over the side table, the floor and himself. I took the vacuum cleaner and cleaned everything, including him. I needed to vacuum anyway: the dogs shed all the time and dirt is brought in from the backyard.

Disaster does strike after supper. I am running water in the sink for the dishes when the dogs start barking. I try to get them to come in, but only two come. I go outside to get the others and then I remember that the faucet is on. I try to get through the sliding glass door, but it has locked. I had learned after the first time I was locked out that it is important to always keep the side door to the garage unlocked to have a back-up entry into the house. I was fortunate that time that the sliding glass door was open. I hurry through the garage and get to the sink. I am lucky that water isn’t going all over the floor, but into the other basin instead. I turn the water off and go back to the garage to call the dogs inside. They come immediately, because the other dogs are back inside.

I would enjoy any stories that you have.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

What do you do with procrastination?

I have always had problems with procrastination. Here is a poem I wrote while in college when procrastination was my greatest enemy.

A Terrible Thing to Do
Why does one procrastinate?
Is it human nature to do so?
Or is something working against us that makes us do it?
I wish it was a trait I didn't have.
It is going to get me bad grades
and my physical self will deteriorate into nothing
from staying up and doing these papers.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Mel Menzies and Crafting Fiction

I have had a very busy day today, so I wanted to lead you to some wonderful writing tips by Mel Menzies. Here is a link to a post about Crafting Fiction, more specifically how scenes are crafted in novels. There are four parts to the series. Please enjoy.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

How to write a memo- Format

Date: March 10, 2009
To: All of you
From: Me
Subject: Format for Memos

I have given you some writing tips; please see Memo Writing Tips.

Today I am going to show you the format for writing a memo. In any memo we need: date, name or position of the person it is being sent to, name or position of the sender, the subject line and the text of the memo.

Margins

The margins are usually 1.5-inch left margin, 1-inch right margin, and 1-inch margin at the top and bottom of the page. You can change the margins to make the memo fit on one page or to fix awkward page breaks. Everything should be aligned to the left.

Text Spacing

It is important, but spacing can depend upon where you work. It can be beneficial ask others what they are doing before you send your memo if you are unsure about memo policies.

Using Headings

If your memo has more than three paragraphs, headings can be helpful to show key topics. It can accentuate your memo if you put the headings in bold or underline.

Conclusion

As a conclusion you can invite others to provide feedback or discussions. You do not have a closing as in a letter, but you can contact information instead. It also shows the reader you are not talking at them. Please contact me if you have any questions or comments.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Enjoy the Just Write Carnival hosted by Missy

Just Write Carnival has been up at Incurable Disease of Writing for a couple of days. I hope everybody will take some time and look at the wonderful posts people have written. I have been able to enjoy book reviews, short stories, writing tips and writing prompts. Please take a look.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Writing Prompt- Do you enjoy watching TV?

Do you enjoy watching TV? I enjoy watching many different shows. We do not have cable or satellite, but we do have digital TV. We get 20 channels now and it can be fun to watch all the different networks. I like educational shows the best, but I always have fun watching shows with my children. PBS and Qubo are our favorite stations.

My children love watching Marvin the Tap Dancing Horse. This show takes place at a carnival where a young boy makes friends with a horse, pig, elephant and tiger who live and work at a carnival.

This show encourages my children to tap dance around our kitchen floor. They ask me to turn on the radio to jazz or classical and they have fun dancing around.

The other show that makes them excited about dancing and singing is The Lawrence Welk Show. We enjoy that show as our weekly family show. We sit around, eat popcorn and enjoy the show. It is fun to have a tradition with my children.

We do enjoy TV and it is fun when you can have traditions with your children and family.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Write the first five questions of your multiple choice life and the answers.

If your life was a multiple choice test, what would be your first five questions? Write the questions and their multiple choice answers.

1. Where were you born?
a. Douglas
b. Casper
c Glenrock
d. Home

2. Where were you raised?
a. In the city
b. On a farm
c. On a ranch

3. What was the weather like when you were born?
a. Sunny
b. Rainy
c. Cloudy
d. Snowy

4. How old were you when your next sibling was born?
a. 3
b. 4
c . 7
d. 10

5. Where did you go to Kindergarten and who taught you?
a. At home by a tutor
b. At home by my mother
c. At a catholic school by a nun
d. At a public school by a Kindergarten teacher

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Write your most political poem.

I am not a political person and this is as far as I will go. The following poem I wrote a number of years ago and I thought was appropriate for these times.

Nomads
The homeless live
in boxes and
abandoned cars.
They are the unfortunate people
of the United States of America.
If they aren't helped
they will be
the largest social class.
We need more jobs,
stop shutting down the bases
and the plants.
Stop moving them
to other countries
where workers are paid cheaper.
Stay in the U.S.A.!
And when you buy,
remember American Made!!!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

How to- Memo Writing Tips

A memo is document, no longer than two pages, between coworkers. Make sure it is concise and clear; you do not want people to miss deadlines. Here is how you want to do it:

Be personal- use pronouns, such as I, you and we and write in the active voice not passive.

Be conversational- by writing the way you talk.

Be yourself- by avoiding technical and scholarly words unless necessary. It is easy to make the memo shorter if you write the way you speak.

Don’t use simple words with fancy endings- Stick to the root words and don’t add endings such as “tion,” “ance,” “ent,” “ment,” “ize,” and “ility.”

Check your facts- you do not want to get names, date or numbers wrong, because it may cause someone else to miss a deadline.

Don’t use overused statements- such as “please don’t hesitate to call.” Please say, “If you need help, I’m available.”

Put what you need done first not last.

Don’t give to many reasons why you need it done- six or seven reasons is enough.

Keep your paragraphs short- five lines or less.

In closing- if you need a response, mention it.

Next time I will be showing you what a memo looks like.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

How to write- An "I Wish" poem

Computers
I wish this computer hadn't frozen.
I wish I could get the USB ports to work.
I wish this computer had more memory.
I wish my husband was here.
I wish technology wasn't so fickle.
I wish I could fix this.
I wish we could figure out the problem.
I wish...
I chose to write a how-to write a poem yesterday, because I was having a lot of problems with my computer. An "I wish" is a poem has eight to ten lines and each line begins with "I wish". This was a fun poem to write and I hope you have fun writing one too.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

How to write a resume- Writing a Career Objective Statment

Over the past couple of weeks I have discussed tips and different ways of writing resumes. As I have explored the different types of resumes I have discovered that it can be advantageous to include a career objective in the resume.

A career objective, functional or professional can help you determine what it is you want. It will also help the resume reader to help see if their jobs match your needs. Your career objective will also help you put the exact information you need in your resume. As you are developing your career objective you will be thinking about:
1. Your strengths- skills and abilities
2. Functions you have performed in jobs or activities
3. Type of positions you are looking for
4. Size or possible location of companies applying to

After you have decided what you are going to put in your career objective statement it is time to write it. When you write do not use sentences use verb phrases. And do not make them I-centered. You want to help your statements focus on the employer and not on you. It should be focused on the position and perhaps the area you would like to work. If you are doing a functional resume you will want to focus on the functions you would like to perform. If you are using a skills resume you will want to focus on the skills you can bring to the position. If you are seeking a part-time, summer, or internship position, please put that in your objective.

Functional Format Objective example:
A position in managerial production with an emphasis in quality food control and personnel management.

Skills Format Objective example:
A position with a college food service program, which requires skills in quality food control, personnel management and inventory control.

I hope writing your Career Objective statement has been fun to write. Good luck working on your resume. Next time I will be discussing the Functional Resume.
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