26 November 2011

Fun Giveaway!

I love giveaways, and Everythingetsy is hosting a giveaway. Designs by Cathe made some adorable, free, printable labels you can put on your homemade gifts (go here to download). Worldlabel.com is giving 15 readers of Everythingetsy's blog 100 label sheets each! (go here to register). Good luck!

While you're there, check out Everythingetsy's 100 handmade/green gifts list. It's awesome!

25 November 2011

My latest obsession

Is Zentangle Inspired Artwork. Zentangles are patterns that are simple, repetitive, and super relaxing to draw. To be a true Zentangle, it has to be in the Zentangle format etc. So what I draw is ZIA - Zentangle inspired artwork. This is my first major effort: an owl. I love it. Tangling is a very relaxing way to spend a few minutes at a time - the owl took me 5 or 6 days working a few minutes at a time to complete. I recommend TanglePatterns.com for someone who's never heard of Zentangles; she does a much better job than me explaining it.

If you try it, I'd love to see what you do with it. Leave me a comment with your drawings!



08 November 2011

My "Bucket List"

This is my entry in the Just Ask Bucket List Getaway Giveaway. Just Ask offers a breast and ovarian cancer screening and is encouraging people to share 15 things that I want to enjoy in my lifetime as a reminder to be aware of my health. Want to enter? Head over to TodaysMama.com to get the details.

Fifteen things I want to enjoy in life

1.  Seeing my son grow up
2. Travelling to Scotland, Ireland, and England
3. Travelling all over the US in a big RV and seeing everything
4. Anonymously sponsoring something big. I don't really know what, but just being able to do something that lets someone have an opportunity that is life-changing and they never know!
5. Owning a home with a real, actual guest room, and having guests! 
6. Seeing my church grow and prosper - not in money, but in people who are involved, committed, and willing to give and receive love
7. Having someone not related to me comment on my blog :-D
8. Finishing my PhD in psychology and becoming a professor
9. Owning a convertible (or at least leasing one for a year or so!)
10. Living in a truly country house, with a farm, with alpacas and other livestock
11. Having a really beautiful, big home to invite friends and family over frequently
12. Seeing my friends succeed in their endeavors
13. Watching my students grow and become successful adults
14. Hearing "I love you grandmama" for the first time
15. Meeting Jesus face to face

Wow. I'm sorta cheezy, huh? I don't care! I get the most joy in my life from seeing other people get wonderful things. If I had some small thing to do with their success, I am even happier. If I won, I would likely give away the vacation and stuff, but I would keep the camera! I would really like to have a nice camera to take photos with. 

I think Bucket Lists can get pretty silly. Some things are wonderful to dream about but not really too practical. I'd rather have a list of things I'd like to do that will really enrich my life, and if others' lives are enriched in the process, that's even better. There's no end to the blessing you receive when you give blessings to everyone you meet!

Kindle Freebs

Okay kids, we have some pretty decent Kindle freebies today. Lots for aspiring writers or teachers of creative writing!

First up, 

How to Be a Writer: Building Your Creative Skills Through Practice and Play by Barbara Baig

Athletes practice. Musicians practice. As a writer you need to do the same. Whether you have dreams of writing a novel or a memoir or a collection of poems, or you simply want to improve your everyday writing, this innovative book will show you how to build your skills by way of practice. Through playful and purposeful exercises, you'll develop your natural aptitude for communication, strengthening your ability to come up with things to say, and your ability to get those things into the minds (and the hearts) of readers. You'll learn to: 1. Train and develop your writer's powers—creativity, memory, observation, imagination, curiosity, and the subconscious2. Understand the true nature of the relationship between you and your readers 3. Find your writer's voice4. Get required writing projects done so you have more time for the writing you want to do5. And much moreEmpowering and down-to-earth, How to Be a Writer gives you the tools you need, and tells you what (and how) to practice so that you can become the writer you want to be.Praise for How to Be a WriterThis is a wise, humane and practical book for anyone who wants to write; it guides the novice and re-awakens the veteran to processes and practices which can bring out the best writing in all of us.—Emma Darwin, author of A Secret Alchemy

Next, we have 

Getting the Words Right  by Theodore Cheney

When asked by the Paris Review what compelled him to rewrite the ending of A Farewell to Arms 39 times, Ernest Hemingway replied, "Getting the words right." His answer echoes what every successful writer knows: The secret to all good writing is revision.For more than twenty years, Getting the Words Right has helped writers from all professions rewrite, revise, and refine their writing. In this new edition, author Theodore Cheney offers 39 targeted ways you can improve your writing, including how to:create smooth transitions between paragraphscorrect the invisible faults of inconsistency, incoherence, and imbalanceovercome problems of shifting point of view and styleexpress your ideas clearly by trimming away weak or extra wordsYou'll strengthen existing pieces and every future work by applying the three simple principles—reduce, rearrange, and reword. Once the secrets of revision are yours, you'll be able to follow Hemingway's lead—and get the words right!

The road to rejection is paved with bad beginnings. Agents and editors agree: Improper story beginnings are the single biggest barrier to publication. Why? If a novel or short story has a bad beginning, then no one will keep reading. It's just that simple.In Hooked, author Les Edgerton draws on his experience as a successful fiction writer and teacher to help you overcome the weak openings that lead to instant rejection by showing you how to successfully use the ten core components inherent to any great beginning. You'll find:Detailed instruction on how to develop your inciting incidentKeys for creating a cohesive story-worthy problemTips on how to avoid common opening gaffes like overusing backstoryA rundown on basics such as opening scene length and transitionsA comprehensive analysis of more than twenty great opening lines from novels and short storiesPlus, you'll discover exclusive insider advice from agents and acquiring editors on what they look for in a strong opening. With Hooked, you'll have all the information you need to craft a compelling beginning that lays the foundation for an irresistible story!

Get advice from the best in the business on every part of the novel writing and publishing process! In The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing, 2nd Edition, you'll learn from the invaluable advice of established writers. Discover new ways to generate ideas, implement intriguing techniques, and find the inspiration you need to finish your work. This fully-revised edition includes a revamped marketing section that covers the unique challenges of today's publishing market and the boundless opportunities of online promotion.Inside you'll find expert advice from dozens of bestselling authors and publishing professionals on how to:Master the elements of fiction, from plot and characters to dialogue and point of viewDevelop a unique voice and sensibility in your writingManage the practical aspects of writing, from overcoming writer's block to revising your workDetermine what elements your story needs to succeed in a particular genre—science fiction, fantasy, mystery, suspense, inspirational, romance (mainstream and Christian), or historical fictionFind an agent, market your work, and get published—or self-publish—successfullyYou'll also find interviews with some of the world's finest writers, including Margaret Atwood, Tom Clancy, Brock Clarke, Cory Doctorow, Dave Eggers, Elizabeth George, Jerry Jenkins, Stephen King, Megan McCafferty, Audrey Niffenegger, Joyce Carol Oates, Chuck Palahniuk, James Patterson, Richard Russo, Anne Tyler, John Updike, and Kurt Vonnegut. Their words will provide you with the guidance and encouragement of your very own writing mentor.The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing is your one-stop resource for everything you need to know about the craft and business of creating a bestseller.

Build a Timeless, Original Story Using Hundreds of Classic Story Motifs!It's been said that there are no new ideas; but there are proven ideas that have worked again and again for all writers for hundreds of years.Story Structure Architect is your comprehensive reference to the classic recurring story structures used by every great author throughout the ages. You'll find master models for characters, plots, and complication motifs, along with guidelines for combining them to create unique short stories, novels, scripts, or plays. You'll also learn how to:Build compelling stories that don't get bogged down in the middleSelect character journeys and create conflictsDevise subplots and plan dramatic situationsDevelop the supporting characters you need to make your story workEspecially featured are the standard dramatic situations inspire by Georges Polti's well-known 19th century work, The Thirty-Six Dramatic Situations. But author Victoria Schmidt puts a 21st-century spin on these timeless classics and offers fifty-five situations to inspire your creativity and allow you even more writing freedom. Story Structure Architect will give you the mold and then help you break it.This browsable and interactive book offers everything you need to craft a complete, original, and satisfying story sure to keep readers hooked!

And finally,
"I learned more from this wise, witty primer of publishing than from fifteen years in the business. . . . this is the only pen-to-shelf guide you'll ever need." --Jacqueline Mitchard, author of The Deep End of the Ocean
Write That Book Already! is the perfect companion to writer's angst, brimming with wise advice for all scribes, including myself. -- Amy Tan, author of Saving Fish From Drowning
We can only imagine how much more Tolstoy would have accomplished if only he'd had this book. -- Dave Barry, author of I'll Mature When I'm Dead

I hope all of you aspiring writers and teachers of frustrated writers get a lot of use out of these Kindle freebies. Remember that you do not need a Kindle device to read Kindle books. I read Kindle books on my Acer IconiaTab 500 tablet and my Acer Aspire 5734Z laptop.

These are special offers - grab them quickly. They will not be free for long!!!