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6 03, 2014

Harnessing Your Writer’s Imagination

By |2014-03-06T06:00:46-06:00March 6th, 2014|Company's Coming|5 Comments

More company and I’m excited to welcome Jane Carver to the porch today. She’s talking about imagination. One of my favorite topics since my imagination tends to run full throttle.

Harnessing Your Writer’s Imagination

As a writer, my imagination creates whatever I want.

We writers fill notebooks with ideas, pages with storybook names, jot down dire circumstances then one day, we pull out an idea from here and a name from there and put it all together.

Once I’ve written something I want to share, it is time to edit, hone that manuscript until there is, no doubt, what I want the reader to experience.

I’m still working at my process. And always will. Any writer who says, “I’ve got this down pat,” is only fooling herself.

Writers are learners who constantly attend conferences, take classes, read and communicate with fellow writers as they hone their creativity.

There are no new plots–each has been told.

There are no rules to what an imagination comes up with, but there are guidelines to follow if you want that story to be the best it can.

The idea is to tell your story in a new way. The trick is to take what you learn and make it your own.

Write in a way that no one else does. Be fresh! Add tension, conflict, danger, doubt, suspense and maybe love if that’s your thing.

Polish and craft the words your creativity stirs up until you have a story that begs to be read and enjoyed.

Thanks, Janie for the encouragement.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

jane-c-authorJane Carver is a former schoolteacher, a quilter, an artist

an editor,

a dual personality author, writing adult fiction as Jane Carver and young adult fiction as Jane Grace

a blogger extraordinaire writing 4 blogs weekly…amazing!

Want to learn more about Jane or her other personality, Jane Grace? Visit her website for adult fiction and her website for young adult fiction

Or stop by one of her blogs:

http://janiecarver2011.wordpress.com

http://RomancesByJanie.wordpress.com

http://JaneGracePresents.wordpress.com

http://WritingImagination2013.wordpress.com

You can also pick  up a copy of her latest releases by clicking on the covers:

Janie IntenseIntense (Young Adult Fiction) Sensitive subject but more about the compassion and help received afterward that makes up the story. Nova Dean dreams of going to Nationals in Debate but to do that she must beat Adam Parks and his team. Their rival is intense but not as much as the help Adam gives Nova after she’s raped. Only with his help can she take one step at a time back to a life she can endure. Only with his help are the rapists caught.

ReturnWithHonorReturn with Honor (Adult Fiction)

The death of Jud Longtree’s best friend gives the local police chief reason enough to suspect him of murder. With the help of Lottie Amberville, they use both logic and creativity to find someone who may have murdered more than once.

5 03, 2014

Academy Awards and Memories

By |2014-03-05T06:00:01-06:00March 5th, 2014|one word Wednesday|2 Comments

Sunday was a big night if you’re a movie fan.

I am and I’m not.

I love watching movies, but because I’m a writer, I tend to dissect the production, the story and the performances. That takes out some of the fun.

I’ve learned not to comment aloud after dodging popcorn, dirty looks and rather fluid sounds of shhh’s from those around me.

I love to watch the Oscars every year. It’s always a study in characterization.

For many years, I watched the Academy Awards with my dear little aunt. Sometimes stretched out together on her den floor or sometimes with long phone conversations afterward to discuss what had happened and who wore the best gown or which acceptance speech we thought was the best.

Aunt Bick was the consummate movie fan. Going to the movies was her most favorite thing to do. Unless you count watching the classic movie channel.

And, you always wanted her on your team in Trivia Pursuit. Her brain was an encyclopedia of movie trivia.

I think she got the movie-loving gene from her mother, my maternal grandmother.

When I was young, we’d catch the bus from Oma’s house to the Paramount Theater in Austin, Texas. I remember we’d sneak inside with a Scarborough’s shopping bag full of pimento cheese sandwiches and Fritos. Oma was frugal. 🙂

bj and oma1Watching the Academy Awards on Sunday I was reminded of these two lovely ladies.

Especially my aunt.

Whenever I came to town, Aunt Bick and I would head to one of the multi-screen picture show theaters. We’d grab a big bag of popcorn loaded with movie theater butter, and her favorite Dr. Pepper drink and watch as many of the year’s nominees movies as we could.

We never missed an Academy Awards television production.

So I was there watching last Sunday when Ellen DeGeneres ordered pizza.

I heard John Travolta slip up on Idina Menzel’s name and sympathized because I’ve slipped up on pronunciations more than once myself. Interestingly, his slip-up raised her profile  more than if he’d pronounced her name correctly.

I loved that Lupita Nyong’o won an Oscar on her very first nomination. What an inspiration her acceptance speech was.

Matthew McConaughey’s tribute to his father in his acceptance speech brought a tear to my eye.

I pictured my Aunt Bick stretched out on a cloud staring down at the action.

What about you? Are you a movie fan? Did you have a favorite Oscar moment this year?

3 03, 2014

Ready to Let the Good Times Roll?

By |2014-03-03T06:00:26-06:00March 3rd, 2014|Holidays|0 Comments

madri grasIt is Mardi Gras time.

French for “fat Tuesday,” Mardi Gras is the last hurrah before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday.

A time for eating rich, fatty foods before the ritual fasting.

If you’re in New Orleans, Louisiana, the city synonymous with Mardi Gras, it’s also a time of revelry.

Laissez les bons temps rouler as they say.  A Cajun French phrase which is literally translated from the English expression “Let the good times roll.”New Orleans

There are parades along St. Charles Avenue. People stroll through the French Quarter where all manner of fun abounds. Organizations, known as krewes, sponsor parades and balls.

At midnight, the police  halt the festivities by riding their horses down Bourbon Street and announcing the party’s over. The street sweepers follow pushing the crowds toward home. It is now Lent.

Fat Tuesday celebrations aren’t limited to New Orleans.

While not observed nationally throughout the United States, traditionally ethnic French cities and regions throughout the country have notable celebrations.

mardi gras maskKing’s cakes, beads and masks even appear here in our little corner of the Rio Grande Forest.

So are you celebrating Mardi Gras?

28 02, 2014

Silly White Chicken – Miller Farm Friday

By |2014-02-28T06:00:49-06:00February 28th, 2014|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|2 Comments

A Guest Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

I’ve come to the realization that white chickens are the most trouble to keep. At least that’s true of our white chickens.

If you remember, one of our white chickens went over the back fence and led us on a wild “chicken hunt.” If you don’t remember, read here.

Then there was the “hen in a hive” who laid her eggs in an empty bee hive for several weeks. Read all about that white hen here.

Fortunately, our white hens lay regularly and their eggs are extra large.  It makes them worth the trouble.

One morning this week I went to open the coop and made this discovery:

white chicken

The silly chicken had managed to get stuck in the quail cage.

She was quite distressed and kept pacing back and forth which is why the picture is so blurry.

While I was standing there one of the other birds landed on my shoulder on its way out of the coop.  I forgot how uncoordinated chickens are first thing in the morning.

Of course, I was dressed for work, in a white shirt, which now had chicken prints on the shoulder.  I wiped it off and hoped no one would notice – which they didn’t.

As I was putting on my swimsuit the next morning, I noticed a scratch on my shoulder.

That gives a new meaning to the term “chicken scratch.”

27 02, 2014

Don’t look down!

By |2014-02-27T06:00:54-06:00February 27th, 2014|Company's Coming|10 Comments

Welcome with me our first guest blogger for Company’s Coming Thursday. Her thoughts on life resonate with me. I’m thinking they will with you too.

Don’t look down!

by Jody Payne

Don’t look down. But it’s okay if you hold your breath while looking up. That’s what I’m doing today as I post this on Judythe’s blog.

I have to admit I have no idea why anyone would give a hoot about my opinion of anything, but I’m always willing to give an opinion.

Jody's blog 02-27-14Sometimes, I see myself as one of those pebbles you find on the beach.

I’ve been washed and polished and tossed ashore. Then, just as I start to feel the sun on my face, I’m thrown back into the ocean by a wave with the force of a tsunami.

However, next thing you know, there I am on the beach again basking in glorious sunlight.

Is this how you see your life?

Probably.

I do know this much; life, with all its troubles, all its anguish, is a miracle.

Yep, life is a total miracle to be enjoyed even when we’re in the deep, way over our heads and wondering if this time we’ll ever surface again.

Do this for me, for yourself and everyone you love: Vow to take time to understand you’re being cleansed and polished.

Trust me; next time you are tossed ashore, you will discover you are stronger and your life will be more beautiful than ever.

What’s going on in your life right now?

Can you remember a time when your life was at its darkest? And then, voila! You were thrown back on the shore to rest in the sun.

If you’ve never been in the depths of real trouble, never been afraid this time you’d never get a happy life again, I’m thrilled for you.

I also think you’re lying.

Tell us the truth. We’ll all feel better. I’m just sayin’…

jodyJody Payne is

a writer (fiction and non-fiction),

a horse woman (dressage, no less),

an animal lover (just ask her two rescue dogs Annie and Janie or my two four-legged boys, Toby and Buster),

and most of all she’s southern through and through.

Want to visit with Jody more? You can find her on FB: https://www.facebook.com/jodypaynesays or her website: www.jodypayne.net

26 02, 2014

One word Wednesday – INSPIRATION

By |2014-02-26T06:00:07-06:00February 26th, 2014|one word Wednesday|0 Comments

colemanI’d never heard of Derrick Coleman, who plays for the Seattle Seahawks, until his team tromped our Denver Broncos. He and his team were amazing on the field.

Then I read an article in the Savvy Signing newsletter and learned Coleman has been deaf since he was three. He wears a skullcap under his helmet to secure water-resistant hearing aids during games and quarterback Russell Wilson takes his mouthpiece out during huddles so Coleman can read his lips.

Two other deaf defensive players have been part of the NFL – Bonnie Sloan was the first deaf player to play in the NFL in 1973 for St. Louis and defensive player Kenny Walker joined Denver in 1991.

Coleman attended public school where he played sports. Instead of giving up when other kids made fun of him and told him he wouldn’t be able to do something, he’d turn his hearing aids off.

His success on the field has made him an inspiration, but his actions off the field, have made him a role model.

He says he did the Duracell commercial so his story could encourage kids in the deaf community to fight for their dreams. His story as the first deaf NFL offensive player to play in a Super Bowl is awe-inspiring to all.

Coleman: “Nobody is perfect. I wear a hearing aid, some people have glasses, some people have depression. Everybody has something. But as long as you don’t let that get in the way of what you want to do, you can do anything you want to do.”coleman2

Watch the Duracell commercial and be inspired. [btw, I’m not promoting Duracell, but Derrick Coleman.]

24 02, 2014

Company’s Coming – An Invitation

By |2014-02-24T06:00:08-06:00February 24th, 2014|Make Me Think Monday|0 Comments

Spring is coming. Officially, the season arrives on March 20.

Here in our Colorado mountains, we can feel springtime in the air as the temperatures warm above freezing. Soon it will be time to sit on the porch and visit.

In anticipation of the season, there’ll be a new category on my blog called Company’s Coming for guest blogging.

Company’s Coming is not a Texas-ism or a Judythe-ism, as my friend calls my made-up words.

The idea is from an old Porter Wagner country western song. Never heard it? Have a listen.

My favorite line in the song is
We’ll run out to the henhouse and wring a neck or two
We’ll have chicken and dumplings and some yellow gravy too

As a little girl, whenever anyone was coming over to our house for a visit, Daddy would say it was time to go out to the henhouse. I was very confused because, you see, we didn’t have a henhouse. I thought chickens grew in the grocery meat counters all wrapped in cellophane!

I’ll not be wringing chicken necks, but I will find a welcome mat and spread it out with cheer for guest bloggers.

Guest blogging is writing for someone else’s  blog in case you’re unfamiliar with the term. I guest blog from time to time for other blogs hoping to gain exposure for my books and traffic for my blog.

But guest blogging doesn’t have to be limited to authors or those with something to sell.

We all have stories to tell. Stories we share in conversations all the time. Why not in a guest blog post?

Company’s Coming is an opportunity for anyone to share their thoughts and opinions like my daughter, Chicken Wrangler Sara, does on the Miller Farm Fridays.

Whether you’re an author or a reader, a mom or a dad, a teen or a senior citizen, you can write a guest blog. Simply compose an article or an essay on any topic and submit.

There are only three guidelines to be a Company’s Coming  blog guest.

  1. Blog MUST be your work. (Please don’t send an old blog or something you’ve posted on another website without updating.)
  2. Blog must be between 500 and 700 words in length. (Shorter is better.)
  3. No controversial or political topics.

Once you’ve decided on a topic, follow the specific directions on the BE MY GUEST page here to submit.

You can email me or use the comments section below with any questions. I’m looking forward to some exciting company and great blog conversations.

Like Porter Wagner says, change your apron, shine your shoes, and put your new dress on we got no time to lose because our first company on the porch will be this Thursday, Feb 27.

Stop by and meet my friend and fellow writer extraordinaire Jody Payne http://jodypayne.net/

21 02, 2014

New Toys for Tucker – Miller Farm Friday

By |2014-02-21T06:00:53-06:00February 21st, 2014|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A Guest Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

We had company during the Christmas break. Dog company, that is. Miller and Jengo spent a week at the Miller Dog Hotel.

Things went remarkably well considering the dogs outnumbered the people.

Tucker was even happy to share his toys with Jengo who, as a puppy, is destructive.  The beloved orange jingle ball lost its jingle.  Holes were chewed in the barbell toy making it a choking hazard for the other dogs.  We had talked about replacing the toys for months. Now we had no choice.

When Rachel was home from college last weekend, we took Tucker to our local pet store to get a new ball and toy.  He was more excited about all the other dogs in the store than the toys, of which there were many (dogs and toys that is).

We eliminated anything that made an obnoxious noise or was made of fabric. We settled on a purple barbell toy that has completely replaced the old one.  It does make a noise but only if you squeeze it or it bounces just right.

tuck's new toyTucker loves it. He will run and fetch it more times that I am willing to throw it.  Being purple, it is easy to spot when he leaves it outside.

We also found an orange ball.  It doesn’t jingle but it is the same size as his old one so Tucker can carry it around.

The best part is it came in a package of two.  So now we have a BUB – back up ball – just in case!toy

If only all it took were a ball and a barbell to make teenagers so happy J

19 02, 2014

SMILE – One Word Wednesday

By |2014-02-19T06:00:04-06:00February 19th, 2014|one word Wednesday|0 Comments

???????????????????????????????We smile for pictures. We smile at  babies.   faith and me

And puppies. ???????????????????????????????

We smile politely at friends or strangers.

Which smiles are genuine and which smiles are fake?

Here’s a quick interactive quiz from BBC to test your ability to spot the difference between a real smile and a fake one.

It’ll only take a minute. I’ll wait right here.

How’d you do? I’m sure once you figured out the secret, it was easier.

Crinkly eyes = a real smile. No wrinkles around the eyes, the smile’s a fake, or the result of too much Botox.

It’s true that intense fake smiles sometimes produce lines around the eyes . The cheeks will bunch up, making it look as if the eyes are contracting and the smile is genuine.

However, according to the experts when a smile is genuine, the eye cover fold – the fleshy part of the eye between the eyebrow and the eyelid – moves downwards and the end of the eyebrows dip slightly.

That’s the key to recognizing a genuine smile, check the eyes. genuine smilaIsn’t that a genuine smile if you ever saw one?

Fake or genuine I believe smiles are powerful. They spread optimism, happiness and joy. Most of all smiles are contagious.

Leo F. Buscaglia says,

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, and honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”

YOUR TURN:  Go spread some smiles.

17 02, 2014

Are you ready for purple?

By |2014-02-17T06:00:58-06:00February 17th, 2014|Make Me Think Monday|0 Comments

On the December 5, 2013 Today Show, Pantone Color Institute announced Radiant Orchid as the 2014 Color of the Year. The color will be featured in everything from clothing lines to industrial items across the nation.2014

For the last 13 years Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, has announced the next Color of the Year.

Click here to see all the 13 colors.

How are the choices made?

Twice a year the company holds secret meetings in Europe with representatives from color standard groups. For two days, the group views presentations and debates a color for the coming year.

Results appear in Pantone View, which fashion designers, florists, and other consumer-oriented companies purchase to help guide their designs and planning for future products.

Whatever color is chosen purportedly connects with the zeitgeist [the spirit of the time; general trend of thought or feeling characteristic of a particular period].

For example, the 2011 press release declaring Honeysuckle the color of the year said, “In times of stress, we need something to lift our spirits. Honeysuckle is a captivating, stimulating color that gets the adrenaline going – perfect to ward off the blues.”

This year Leatrice Eiseman issued this statement about the color choice: “An enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid inspires confidence and emanates great joy, love and health. It is a captivating purple, one that draws you in with its beguiling charm.”

The zeitgeist: Radiant Orchid reportedly offers an invitation to innovation, expanded creativity and originality, which is increasingly valued in today’s society.

The color is already appearing everywhere.

Home interior design. furnitureclothes2

Fashion.

I’m not so sure I’ll be leaping into Radiant Orchid for myself and my home.

Maybe a purple ring. amethyst

After all, amethyst is the February birthstone because of the stone’s association with Saint Valentine. Amethyst is thought to attract love.

dog vestI can see little Buster in a purple sweater. Or even his big brother, Toby.

On second thought all purple on an Old English Sheepdog might be too much.

What about you? Are you ready to embrace Radiant Orchid?

If not, we only have to wait for Spring.

Pantone revealed its top 10 shades for next spring, with Dazzling Blue leading the charge. It’s the same cobalt shade as Facebook’s logo and Citibank’s wildly popular bike share program in New York City.

Now blue I love, especially Flow Blue and Blue Willow pattern. Come on Spring! At last, I’ll be in fashion.

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