20 03, 2023

Choosing Names

By |2023-03-19T14:05:17-05:00March 20th, 2023|Writing Craft|0 Comments

Coming up with the character names for a new book is like being pregnant in a way. You have all these people to name.

Sometimes that’s easy. Sometimes it’s not. Sorta like childbirth.

Many authors use placeholder letters for names and then fill in later with the names they’ve chosen using search and replace.

I can’t do that. Without specific names, it’s hard for me to visualize the story.

Once I have the characters and setting clearly in my head, I feel like I have bona fide people and places and can unravel the story.

That’s why I choose names before I write a single word and there is a lot to consider besides gender.

  • Is the name easily pronounceable or easily sounded out?
  • Do the first name and surname sound good together?
  • Do the names start with the same letter or sound similar?
  • Are the names appropriate for the story setting, era, and genre?
  • Have I varied syllables and lengths?

Two sites help me come up with options:  naming your child and naming pets. Name generator sites are also helpful too.  Even if you’re not writing a book, name generators can be fun to play with.

I use these two:

Character Name Generator – You fill in several different defining factors and you get options that fit your character.

Name Generator for Fun – This one offers several categories to choose from. If you have a dragon to name, it’s got suggestions.

After weeks of searching for names, I finally settled on Gus, MaryDee, Willa, Claudia, Todd, and Kayley. Now on with the story.

17 03, 2023

Turkey Trot

By |2023-03-16T09:19:43-05:00March 17th, 2023|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

We recently acquired a turkey. We have had white turkeys in the past, Tom and Tina, but they went to live on a bigger farm.  I was initially not excited but this turkey is handsome.

He is a red bourbon heritage breed and is destined to be dinner so I have not given him a name.

I enjoy hearing him talking to the chickens but lately, he has started following me around the chicken yard.  I am not sure if he thinks I am a female turkey or if he sees me as a threat.  In any case, I have added the “turkey trot” to my list of farmyard dances which includes the “chicken dance” and “ring around the chicken coop.”

I have learned many skills as a chicken wrangler.  Some are very useful in my day job as a music teacher.

13 03, 2023

Country Living

By |2023-03-11T11:12:23-06:00March 13th, 2023|A Writer's Life, Make Me Think Monday|2 Comments

Living in the country means living with wildlife. Raccoons, possums, deer, gophers, and armadillos are always roaming around, tunneling through the property.

We see them cross the yard late at night and/or early in the morning. Usually, it’s no big deal.

Unless there’s a major rainstorm and four inches of rain falls in an afternoon for two days in a row.

When that happens, this happens.

Fence posts washed out.

Deep ruts through the yard.

Gigantic dirt washes where the tunnels were.

It’s a mess and dangerous to humans and pets.

We had the holes filled and contacted a wildlife relocation company to trap the armadillo we’d seen in the yard multiple times.

Traps were set around his most recent dig sites.


The wildlife relocator assured us the armadillo would be guided into his traps by the interesting construction.

A configuration that looks like giant wooden Xs leading to the no-kill traps.


It’s been three weeks since the traps were set.

No armadillo inside either trap.

The question now is: Do we leave the traps? Or assume Mr. Armadillo has moved on to more fertile ground because we spread stuff to wipe out all the ants and grubs he’d been munching on?

If we remove the traps, I’m sure the creatures will, no doubt, return to dig tunnels again. They have that inbred sense to know when danger is gone and dinner is available.

So the battle of living in the country goes on. I’m thinking the traps have been up so long the yard will look funny without them. We’re gonna keep trying.

10 03, 2023

Walking on the Wild Side

By |2023-03-09T20:54:11-06:00March 10th, 2023|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

We have one hen who much prefers to be on the opposite side of the fence Since Max is not interested in chasing chickens, it has been fine.

Penelope, Max’s sister, visited recently and she is not so considerate of the chicken on the wrong side of the fence.  I tried returning the hen to the chicken yard but several over-amorous roosters chased her around.

I ended up keeping her in a cage in the front yard during Penelope’s visit.

Most of the roosters are gone now so the hen is safe in the chicken yard.  She is not quite convinced and keeps finding her way out. I’ve decided she likes to walk on the wild side.  And as long as it is safe for her, I will allow it.  Hopefully, the other chickens will not get jealous.  I’m not ready for a chicken uprising.

6 03, 2023

March’s Lion-Lamb Saying

By |2023-03-05T12:15:02-06:00March 6th, 2023|Make Me Think Monday|0 Comments

Judythemorgan.com Briton Rivière – Una and the Lion

March Comes in like a Lion, goes out like a Lamb.

Our calendars now say March. Have you heard this proverb quoted yet?

It’s been around since 1732 and its first mention in Gnomologia: Adagies and Proverbs; Wise Sentences and Witty Sayings, Ancient and Modern, Foreign and British. Ever since, the proverb is often quoted.

While the adage most likely refers to the weather, other sources trace its origins to the stars. If you look to the western horizon this time of year, you can see the constellations of Leo the Lion and Aries the Ram (or lamb).

Leo the Lion rises from the east in early March, meaning the month is coming in “like a lion.” By the end of the month, Leo is almost overhead, while Aries the Ram (lamb) is setting on the western horizon. Hence, the month is going out like a lamb.

Another theory claims the saying is biblical and the animal references are symbolic. The problem with that is Jesus first appeared as the sacrificial lamb. His return will be as the Lion of Judah, not exactly in the same order as the saying.

The proverb isn’t a reliable forecasting guide either. March is a pivotal meteorological month with an inconsistent seasonal pattern. Sometimes the month slips in like a lamb and then turns lion-like at the end. Current weather patterns determine what actually happens.

Whatever way the month begins, it’s always a clear promise spring is on its way.

How did March begin where you live–like a lion or a lamb?

3 03, 2023

Birds of A Feather

By |2023-03-01T21:06:10-06:00March 3rd, 2023|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

Last weekend was the Ladies’ Retreat for our church.  The organizers set up a text group to send messages and reminders.  At one point in the conversation, this photo appeared:

It was followed immediately by a message “Oops, wrong text thread!  Sorry, ladies!”

Then came this picture:     Then this one:

It was so fun to see how many of my friends are also chicken wranglers!  I guess birds of a feather do flock together!

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