A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal

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Today is the theme reveal at the April A to Z Challenge.

This will be my first time taking part in the challenge. For several years I have participated in the ABC Wednesday Challenge – a weekly letter challenge.

The A to Z Challenge takes place in April and is a daily challenge (except for Sundays) requiring one to writ a daily post for each letter, moving through the alphabet.

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The challenge begins Wednesday April 1 (there’s still time to sign up) and over 400 bloggers are taking part.

To theme or not to theme – having written a daily blog for the March Slice of Life with no theme, I decided I wanted to have a theme to focus on. I also wanted to include art.

So, for this challenge, my theme will be …..

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Quotes with art,  words by famous (and not so famous) people.

I am looking forward to the challenge.

Sunday Check-in ROW 80

ROW80LogocopyThe final week of the first round of ROW 80.

Each Sunday and Wednesday the ROW 80 community posts their progress from the preceding week. This, really helps us focus on our writing and what goals we want to achieve. The ROW80 community is such a supportive one.

I will do a final look at my goals on Wednesday.

My goals are listed here for this round and in bold is the progress from the past week.

  1. Write daily – at least 500-1000 words a day  **** YES – some writing each day
  1. Take courses. Working on the revision course with Janice Hardy
  2. Read at least 3 books on the craft of writing as well as articles online. Read articles
  3. Finish the first draft of “Catching Love” –Done
  4. Finish the first draft of my MG novel – No
  5. Write at least one picture book a month No
  6. Enter competitions and twitter pitch parties – No, but planning on entering SCWBI WIP contest for end of March
  7. Take part in Write1Sub1 and 12 X 12 Worked on pb revisions
  8. Fulfill duties of mentor at ROW80, visiting my team 2x a week –YES
  9. Write at least 2 blog posts a week (other than ROW80) –Yes

March Slice of Life – Day 22

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Today is Day 22 of  the March Slice of Life – the daily writing challenge hosted at “Two Writing Teachers”

I have received inspiration from so many different slicers. One idea that appealed to me for today was

“10 Things About Me You May Not Know”.

This also connects with the idea (and I wish I could link to the slice I read it on – very powerful!) that we are not just one story, but many and  no one really knows all our stories.

So, here are some of my stories:

  1. I have moved over 30 times in my life, zigzagging across the country several times. I’ve lived in four different provinces and one territory and visited all but one (Newfoundland)
  1. My children were born in three different provinces/territory: N.W.T, Alberta and Ontario. I also have five step-children – two from my first marriage who I am not in contact with and three from my present husband.
  1. I met my husband through ICQ in 2000. His screen name was Lionheart – and I love the medieval times. (But I had NO desire to remarry.) We found out we both lived in Quebec and summered in Maine.
  1. We married two years later when we were 50. My children and his were all involved in the wedding.My sons walked me down the aisle and my daughter was my maid of honour. I finally wore a beautiful bridal gown and felt like a princess.

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  1. The following year, I donated a kidney to my husband. He had been on dialysis for a year and a half by this time – not a quality life.
  1. I wrote a story about our meeting, marriage and the transplant and Woman’s World published it.
  1. I had a bad car accident in 1985, when we were moving from Alberta to Ontario. I fell asleep while driving, rolled the car and suffered severe whiplash. But we lived. It took me a year to drive again but I still cannot drive major highways or certain roads. I know it upset my kids when I could not drive them certain places but I knew I would have a panic attack if I tried. I never let myself go to that dark place. (I am lucky that my husband supports me and does most of the driving now.)
  1. I love twitter and one of the ways I use it is to follow politics. I am a news junkie – I read 3 neswpapers in the morning, watch news throughout the day and comment regularly on twitter.
  1. I am an orphan – and I know it every day. I lost my Dad when I was 20 and my Mom seven years ago. I miss being a daughter.
  1. I prefer to buy something that will benefit someone else, even if it costs more. I love thrift shops and places like Goodwill, where the money goes to help others. And you never know what treasures you will find.

What 10 things would you tell about yourself??

March Slice of Life – Day 21

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Today is Day 21 of the March Slice of Life – the daily writing challenge hoted at “Two Writing Teachers”

Today is also World Poetry Day. I have always loved reading poetry. I am often moved by the words written by poets.  Reading the psalms or the beatitudes has always moved me. I suppose I have always loved Shakespeare for his poetry. Many of his soliloquies are so powerful. I still remember several I memorized in high school.

To be or not to be…”

“The quality of mercy is not strained..”

“To thine own self be true..”

Using poetry in our schools is important. I loved using poetry often to encourage children to write.

Here is a quote about the benefits of poetry from a very interesting article

“Poetry should have a central place in all of our lives, not only for the aesthetic pleasure it affords, but also for its ability to awaken our senses, connect us with ourselves and others, and lead us to think in synthesizing ways, as required by its use of the language of metaphor.”

I have never written much poetry. I tend to write stories or essays in response to situations. The 30 Word Thursday challenge I have taken part in has been enjoyable.

This morning I read the poetry excerpts that Amanda Patterson included in her post today and many of her favourites are mine as well. Here are a few that I could reread often, that stir my soul:

Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?
Mary Oliver
She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes…
Lord Byron

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Dylan Thomas

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune in heard
on a distant hill
for the caged bird
sings for freedom
Maya Angelou

And a couple of my favourites not on her list”

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

What are your favourite poems?

March Slice of Life – Day 20

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Today is Day 20 of the March Daily Slice of Life – the daily sriting challenge hosted at “Two Writing Teachers”.

Today is the first day of spring. Yeah – it’s finally here. Now if only the warmer weather would stay.

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I woke up early this morning (5) and had the desire to do a clean sweep (there used to be  a show by that name that I enjoyed) – of my house, my attitude, my health. To sweep the cobwebs from my home and my from my motivation to get healthy.

I have been stuck for some time – in pain, in unhealthy habits, in procrastination, lack of motivation to be better, do better, be more.

I want to shake up my routines, eat better and consciously, embrace healthy living, declutter.

I created my spring visionboard this morning, visioning for the three months ahead.

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This will be a time:

For change, growth.

To improve my health.

To spring clean.

To write, revise and submit.

To create.

To BE, To DO and finally to really BLOOM.

What are your visions for the spring months??

March Slice of Life – Day 19

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Today is Day 19 of the March Slice of Life – the daily writing challenge hosted at “Two Writing Teachers”

This morning I was wondering what I could write about, when I realized it was “30 Words Thursday” and then I was wondering what could I write just 30 words on. Spring is tomorrow but Ihave written about that. Then I noticed the book I had finished yesterday on the table and the words wrote themselves.

I have been caught up in the “Fever” fantasy word for the past three weeks and yesterday I finished book seven. These books are definitely not for everyone. There are dark and sexual overtones and the books, especially the last two, have sparked lots of controversy at Goodreads. Karen Marie Moning though has given us world-building at a complex level. For me, fantasy is about the creation of new worlds, new challenges and Moning definitely gives that.

Here is the 30 word poem I wrote:

Emerging From a “Fever” World

Fever Series

Fantasy

Took me over

Finished all seven

In three weeks

Mac, Dani, Kat, Jo

Sidhe-Seers

Jericho, Ryodan, Christian

Immortals, Keltar

Fae, human

Seelie, Un-Seelie

Seven months to next!

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Mid-Week Check-In and WIPpet Wednesday

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Each Sunday and Wednesday the ROW 80 community posts their progress from the preceding week. This, really helps us focus on our writing and what goals we want to achieve. The ROW80 community is such a supportive one.

My goals are listed here for this round and in bold is the progress from the past week.

  1. Write daily – at least 500-1000 words a day  **** YES – writing each day
  1. Take courses. Working on the revision course with Janice Hardy
  2. Read at least 3 books on the craft of writing as well as articles online. Read articles
  3. Finish the first draft of “Catching Love” –Done.
  4. Finish the first draft of my MG novel – No’ but continue to brainstorm
  5. Write at least one picture book a month Worked on new idea
  6. Enter competitions and twitter pitch parties – Still working on revisions for SCWBI WIP contest for end of March. There’s a Carina Press pitch party tomorrow and am working on another novel to submit for this.
  7. Take part in Write1Sub1 and 12 X 12 Pb revisions and brainstorming ideas still.
  8. Fulfill duties of mentor at ROW80, visiting my team 2x a week –YES
  9. Write at least 2 blog posts a week (other than ROW80) –Yes

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For those who aren’t familiar, WIPpet Wednesday gives writers the chance to share excerpts from their works in progress (WIPs) on their blogs. The snippet must relate to the date in some way.

Today’s date is 3 / 18 / 2015  It is also my father’s birthday and he would have been 92 today.

The  math is simple:18 lines of Chapter 9 (for my dad’s age).

Emma and Flynn have just given a television interview on a morning show and they are heading to Flynn’s car.

So, I captured you, did I? Is that true?” Flynn looked at her.

     “Well, your kiss certainly did! It’s what got us into trouble, I’d say.”

     “And still does.” Flynn laughed and pulled her to his side and put his arm around her shoulders.  “I’m glad things worked out for you.”

     “I wish though, that lying didn’t come so easily.”

     “ I don’t like the lying either Emma, but it won’t last forever.”

     “I worry that we’re digging a big hole of deception that will be hard to get out of when we break the engagement.”

     “It happens all the time Emma. People get engaged, and then break up. I’ll be a cad and you’ll have no choice but to break the engagement.”

     “You couldn’t be a cad if you tried.”

     “That’s not what Maggie said. That’s not what you thought at the bar I’m sure.”

     “I read some articles about you last night and it sounds like you two had quite the rocky relationship.”

     Arriving at the car, Flynn helped her in and got in himself. It gave him time to think. When he compared the two relationships, it was like night and day. With Emma, it was all light and laughter, but with Maggie, it was darkness and screaming. How had he endured over a year of that? 

He turned to Emma. “Maggie cared about me when I was a big league baseball player. When I was making the big bucks and was in the newspaper. But once I was injured and then retired, she slowly drifted away. She wanted to be recognized, to be a star. It looked better if she was with a star. But I never cared for that crap. I played because I loved the game.”

March Slice of Life – Day 18

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Today is Day 18 of the March Slice of Life, the daily writing challenge hosted at “Two Writing Teachers”

Today would have been my Dad’s 92nd birthday. Hard to believe that he has now been gone for 43 years. He died at age 49, when I was 20. I had just quit university and was trying to find a job, when he died suddenly, in an accident.

My mother was just 43 and had five children to raise on her own – my three brothers, aged 10, 14 and 25 and my sister 16. She never remarried or even dated.

I take after my father in many ways – my build

-my thick dark hair

-my love of reading and math

-even my belief that no one is any better than anyone else

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Dad, Mom and I when I was just a few weeks old.

I have many memories of my Dad:

-flooding the rink night after night, standing in his long navy coat and then watching us skate

-playing with our boxers

-laying on the couch “resting his eyes” –  but not sleeping

-camping, swimming, playing at the ocean in Maine

-playing catch

I still miss him.

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(My dad celebrating St. Patrick’s Day – quite the outfit!)

March Slice of Life – Day 17

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Today is Day 17 of the March Slice of Life – the daily writing challenge hosted at “Two Writing Teachers”.

Today is St. Patrick’s Day and I’m wearing a touch of green, although I just cleaned off my green fingers.

Tuesdays I usually play in my art room, working on challenges or even courses.

I started a free print-making course by Tracy Bautista last week (through Strathmore ) and worked on a unit today. It is also the day I take part in the ABC Wednesday challenge – a weekly look at one letter.

This week was J so I thought I would combine the two. I gathered some junk

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and then did some print-making with the junk tools.

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A lot of fun and so relaxing, and I got to use green to celebrate the day.

When I was teaching, the unit on print-making was one of my favourites. The kids loved playing with paint and shapes and stencils, creating their own stamps from different materials.

March Slice of Life – Day 16

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Today is Day 16 of the March Slice of Life – the daily writing challenge at “Two Writing Teachers”

Yesterday I was inspired while reading  the slice at “Fluke Prints” to create my own ABC List for the rest of March. It was fun to do and actually went fairly quickly.

A  Attending Wizard of Oz play on the 26th

B  Birthday supper celebration on the 22nd

C  Creative art challenges

D  Dad’s birthday on the 18th – he would have been 92

E  Enjoying new music CDs by Sam Smith and PentaTonix

F  Finish reading final book in “Fever” series asap!

G  Goodbye winter and good riddance!

H Hello Spring – finally!

I  Inspiration from art show downtown

J J is for jewels at ABC Wednesday and creating a jewelled piece of art for it

K Kitchen decluttering and cleaning this week

L Lunch with my lovely daughter today, whom I love very much

M March Slice of Life deadlines each day – half way to the end

N News watching and reading three newspapers each day

O One more doctor’s visit to get to the bottom of this stomache/back pain

P Picture book reading and research

Q Quit eating bread (again)

R Row 80 Round 1 comes to an end next week and most goasl met

S SCWBI contest deadline March 31

T Thirty (30) Words Thursday challenge

U Undertake spring cleaning and more decluttering

V Volunteer fundraising for Kidney Foundation to finish

W Watch “The Voice” Mondays and Tuesdays

X X-tra time for revising this week

Y Yoga class to try

Z Zzzzz  a solid eight hours every night a must!