Friday, November 17, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things-November 17, 2017



It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa CainTonja Drecker and I are her co-hosts.

We bought a used car last weekend.  It's an SUV that has enough room to haul the kids and various other things, which is nice.  Since it is used, it needs a few repairs done.  We already got one of those fixes done, and the others will be completed as time and money allow.

We also got a new washer and dryer.  Our old washing machine was completely dead, and our old dryer took about six hours to actually dry anything, so it was past time to get them.  We also got both for the price we'd been expecting to pay for one, so that was great!  I'm definitely happy about that.

Zoe's first birthday is on Wednesday!  I can't believe she's going to be one year old already.  She's been proving her age by walking across our living room for the past week.  She's still wobbly, but she's getting better at it every day.

To all of my fellow American blogging friends, Happy Thanksgiving!  I'm going to be eating entirely too much food over the next week.


Monday, November 13, 2017

The Remakes Blogfest



It's time for the Remakes Blogfest!  Our hosts for this one are Alex J. Cavanaugh and Heather M. Gardner.

Let's face it.  Remakes abound these days.  A lot of the time, remakes are made to cash in on nostalgia, and they're often done so poorly it hurts.  In a world filled with terrible remakes, it might be reassuring to know that remakes can be done well.

The process of writing this post was more difficult than I originally imagined it would be.  I've seen a lot of remakes, some of which I didn't realize were remakes until much later, and that got me to thinking about what makes a good remake.  I can't quite plot the trajectory I ended up taking, but one thing led to another, and all of the sudden I found myself debating the terms remake, reboot, and retelling.

In general, these terms aren't so easily defined.  People seem to have different ideas of where the lines are drawn.  It's generally agreed that remakes stick close to the original source material.  The primary reason to make a strict remake tends to be to make use of updated special effects.  And to make money, of course.  This might be one reason why I find a lot of remakes dissatisfying.  They ultimately seem pointless.  If the original was so wonderful that you want to make a completely faithful remake, then why bother?

Reboots happen a lot these days too.  These take the original premise, but often take the story in a different direction.  This can be an interesting route to take.  You can explore how beloved characters react to new scenarios and contemplate the alternate paths history might have followed under other circumstances.  The recent Star Trek films are an example of this.  While they're not perfect, I have enjoyed them for what they are.  As long as you stay true to the heart of the source material, a reboot can be a good way to entertain old fans while drawing in new ones.

Then comes the category I personally find most intriguing: the retelling, aka the re-imagining.

The retelling is the least loyal of the three.  Here you can have wild divergence from the original source material, though you can still see it there, hidden in the bones of the piece when
you pick it apart.  It serves as inspiration, helping to lay the foundation for something new.  Why do this, though?  Why are we compelled to retell stories across time?  There are untold worlds worth of stories to be told, but we keep coming back to the same ones and reexamining them.  Why do we keep adapting Shakespeare's plays?  Why do we keep making new works based off The Odyssey?

I think a part of it has to do with the themes of these classic stories.  Shakespeare's plays continue to resonate because they speak to love and loss and greed and pain.  No matter how much society changes, those human emotions stick with us.  Those old stories are a part of us.  We grew up with them, and we continue to relate to them.

That being said, we also live in a time vastly different from Shakespeare's day.  While our humanity remains, our worries about the world are different.  We live in a world where the wonders of science both excite us and frighten us.  We value what science has made possible while also worrying about how our own human failings may lead to disaster on a much larger scale than was previously possible.  In retelling these old tales in a new context, we can explore what it means to be human in modern times.  We can examine where we've come from and speculate about where we may be going.

That brings me to one of my favorite retellings.  It may not be a remake in the strictest sense, but I feel like it falls within the spirit of this blogfest.  I have fond memories of watching this film as a kid.


Forbidden Planet sends Shakespeare's The Tempest into deep space.  The story has been greatly changed, obviously, but it's still there, repackaged in sleek metal and special effects.  It explores the old themes in a new context.  I'd recommend watching this video to learn more about the relationship between Forbidden Planet and The Tempest.  It's pretty brilliant.



What are your feelings about remakes?  What remakes have you enjoyed?

Friday, November 10, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things-November 10, 2017


It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain! Tonja Drecker and I are her co-hosts.

I got some great news regarding one of my short stories this week.  Near the end of August, I submitted a short story called "Becoming Death's Personal Assistant" to for an anthology called Normal Deviation.  The premise of the anthology intrigued me.  The guidelines required us to use the chosen photo as inspiration, come up with three story ideas, get rid of the first two, and write a story based on the third idea.  I did just that, and I found out this week that my story was selected for publication in the anthology!  I'm definitely excited about this one.

I also got a lot more writing done on my untitled novel in progress.  I'm nearing the 20K mark, and I hope I can keep up my momentum.

We're also looking to buy a used car in the next week or so.  We have the funds to buy something decent.  I'm just hoping to find something good in our price range.  Wish me luck on that!

What would you like to celebrate?

Friday, November 3, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things-November 3, 2017



It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa CainTonja Drecker and I are her co-hosts.

The kids had a great time trick-or-treating.  It was freezing cold, but at least it wasn't windy.  I had the kids wearing heavy layers of clothing under their costumes, so that helped keep them warm.  Jude dressed up as Foxy from the video game Five Nights at Freddy's, while Lyle dressed up as a creeper from Minecraft.  Zoe was an adorable little pumpkin.

It's November, and I've submitted twelve stories so far.  I've had a lot of rejections, of course, but I'm trying not to feel too bad about that.  I've been submitting to big magazines that see hundreds of stories every month, so that's to be expected.  Why do I keep trying when the odds are so stacked against me?  Maybe I'm crazy, but I still feel like I need to keep trying.  Every time I get a rejection, I turn right around and resubmit elsewhere.  If nothing else, I'm proud of my persistence.

I've been making some progress on my writing goals for the month, and I'm determined to keep going.  As long as I have coffee, I'll be okay.

What would you like to celebrate?

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Mistakes of the Past Release


Blurb:
Luc seeks atonement for the actions that banished him from his home. Living as a priest in a small town, he strives to show how much he’s changed with the hope that one day he can return to his family.

Haunted by the guilt that destroyed her family, Rose has shut her heart off. She vows to never let anyone near again lest she hurt them. When she meets Luc, she can’t deny the draw she feels to him.

But the past is not easily forgotten. When Luc’s past finds him, Rose is caught in the middle. Forced to face who he used to be, Luc must decide if he’s willing to give up his chance at redemption to save Rose. But doing so means he won’t be able to hide who he is. Will Rose be able to reconcile the man she knows with the devil he used to be? Or are the mistakes of the past too damning?

Buy Links:

About the Author:

Patricia Josephine never set out to become a writer. In fact, she never considered it an option during high school and college. She was all about art. On a whim, she wrote down a story bouncing in her head. That was the start of it and she hasn't regretted a moment. She writes young adult under the name Patricia Lynne.

Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo, has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow, and an obsession with Doctor Who.

Thornwood: Creating a fictional town
I have a habit in my writing, I don’t often use real places. In my YA, Snapshots, the city Cyc lives in, I didn’t have a name until one of the very last drafts. I picked a name along the lines of Los Angeles and had a bit of meaning. In Path of Angels, and Abducted Life, there are no names for the towns the characters are from. It just wasn’t important to the story.

But when it came to Mistakes of the Past, I needed a town name because it matters to Rose. She wants to escape the town and the tragedy attached. Plus, the characters kept talking about the place. When I introduce Rose, she’s looking at the name to the town!

Many writers will use real places, but that has its downsides. You gotta get details right. That’s hard if you don’t live near the place. And trust me, someone who lives there will let you know. This is the main reason why I often make up the places where my characters live. I can arrange it how I need it to and don’t have to worry about getting it wrong and throwing readers out of the scene.

Of course, that’s not to say I don’t get inspiration from real towns and cities.

Thornwood is actually a mix of two towns I grew up around: Newberry and Curtis, Michigan. Curtis is a tiny, little tourist trap. You can drive through it in a minute. Newberry is bigger, but not by much. I mashed them together to get a small town where most everyone knows each other, but it’s also big enough for a hospital. Both aren’t too far from where I currently live, so the inspiration for the city (which I never bothered to name) is inspired by that. Although, that city is much bigger than the one I live in.

Will I ever use a real life place for a story? Yeah. It will probably be somewhere I have visited or can easily. That will allow me to make sure the streets I use are accurate and makes sense.

Links
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/108938106639683446081/posts/p/pub



Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The Insecure Writer's Support Group: November 2017



It's the first Wednesday of the month, and you know what that means!  Let's convene another meeting of The Insecure Writer's Support GroupAlex J. Cavanaugh is our leader, and he's assembled another wonderful group of co-hosts: Tonja Drecker, Diane Burton, M.J. Fifield, and Rebecca Douglass.

Be sure to visit the IWSG website!

This month's optional question pertains to NaNoWriMo, and that brings up a little insecurity of mine.  I'm a writer who has never participated in NaNo.  Sometimes it feels like I'm the only one, though I know that can't actually be true.

So why have I never taken part in this event?  In the beginning, I found the idea of it too intimidating.  Resolving to write a novel in a month is one thing, but publicly declaring that intention and then having to follow through?  A little bit terrifying.  I admire everyone who has done it, and I would like to eventually do it too.

Why not try it this year?  Well, having a baby in the house who crawls everywhere and is trying to learn to walk makes that difficult.  Fingers crossed for next year.  Instead of doing NaNo, I'd instead like to set some writing goals for November.

Goal #1: Finish the rough draft of a short story I started writing a little over a month ago.

Goal #2: Write at least 15,000 words in the novel I started writing earlier this year.  I'd like to do 20k, but 15k sounds like a good minimum.

To those of you attempting NaNoWriMo this month, good luck!

What has you feeling insecure?


Friday, October 27, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things-October 27, 2017


It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa CainTonja Drecker and I are her co-hosts.

I've been distracted this week.  My grandma passed away last Friday night.  The funeral was yesterday.  That's obviously been at the forefront of my mind.  Since I don't have a whole lot to say, I thought I'd post a few fun and motivational quotes celebrating life instead.







Have a good weekend everyone!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things-October 20, 2017


It's Friday.  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa CainTonja Drecker and I are her co-hosts.

My boys got their school pictures back.  I may be biased, but I think they look handsome.



I got a short story I want to write outlined.  I set out to write it without an outline, but I felt like I was spinning my wheels and not getting anywhere.  I'm hoping that the outline, which I feel quite pleased with, will help me get it written.

The weather here has been gorgeous.  It's been in the 70's for the last few days, which is odd for where I live, but I plan to enjoy it while I can.  I know it can't last forever.

What would you like to celebrate?

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

WEP: Dark Places



It's time for more fun with Write . . . Edit . . . Publish.  Thank you Yolanda Renee and Denise Covey for making this possible.

It's October, so that means we get to have a spooky time with this month's theme of Dark Places.

Enjoy!

A Dark Man in a Dark Room 

The light bulb burned out days ago, but Ray didn’t bother with it.  A trip to the store would’ve involved interacting with people in the street, and his insides twisted at the thought.  He couldn’t risk temptation so close to home.
You could go out at night.  The convenience store down the road is open 24/7, the little voice in his mind whispered.  You’d be less likely to be caught if you slipped up.
Ray shook his head so violently the muscles in his neck twinged.  He couldn’t obey the impulse.  Going out would only end badly.  He’d already added light bulbs to his online shopping list, and the delivery service would bring them by the following morning.  He could survive another 12 hours or so in the lightless room.
The faint illumination cast by his laptop screen was enough to navigate the tiny studio apartment.  He hopped from website to website, reading articles that barely interested him.  He needed to keep his mind busy.
You know where you want to go, the voice hissed.  There are so many websites that could bring you pleasure.  No one needs to know.  Why restrain yourself?  Looking at images online won’t hurt anyone, will it?
Ray tried to push those inklings deep inside.  Maybe he’d eventually be able to bury them so deep they’d no longer plague him.  It seemed an impossible dream most of the time, but he continued to hope in the face of futility.
A sharp knock on the door made him jump.  He set his laptop on his musty comforter and slid off his bed.  His heart thumped loudly enough in his ears to mask the sounds of his socked feet on the hardwood floor as he crossed the room.
The delivery wasn’t due yet, and family members stopped dropping by for visits two decades ago.  The neighbors tended to give him no more than a hurried glance before sidestepping him in the hallway.  His wild eyes and unkempt hair were more than enough to guarantee such a reaction.
Maybe you should try being more approachable.  Aren’t you lonely?  Don’t you want to get close to someone?
Ray shivered as he reached for the doorknob.  He should have pretended he wasn’t home.  That was the only option that made sense, but the logical part of his brain was drowning.  He’d soon lose touch with it altogether.  Nevertheless, he pulled the door open.
“Hello, sir,” a young girl with blond hair and brown eyes said cheeffully.  She was slender and came up to his shoulder.  She couldn’t be any older than thirteen or fourteen.  A cardboard box rested in the crook of her arm.  “I’m selling candy bars to raise money for new marching band uniforms.  Each candy bar only costs $1, and they’re really delicious.”
This last part of her spiel sounded so enthusiastic that Ray knew she must have sampled one for herself.  He pictured her holding an unwrapped bar in her hands, the chocolate melting over her fingers, gooey and sweet.
He licked his lips, and finding his voice, replied, “I shouldn’t.”
The girl’s smile widened.  “Who says you shouldn’t?  Come on, it won’t hurt you too much to give in this one time, and it’s for such a good cause.”
Yeah, you heard her.  Give into the temptation.  One more time.  Remember how it made you feel before?  Those were the only times you ever felt good.  Let her help you feel good.
Ray felt like he was quaking beneath the surface.  He could shatter at any moment, and he couldn’t imagine how he looked to this girl who had no idea the type of monster she was dealing with.
Invite her in.  See that perfect skin?  You know what you want to do to her.
He did know.  He couldn’t help imagining it.  Running his hands over that creamy flesh.  Replacing his hands with a razor blade.  Dragging that blade along the skin, pressing just hard enough to create a valley in which it could rest.  Then pressing the extra little bit that would breach the skin.  Crimson liquid bubbling forth around the metal before cascading toward the floor.  Watching it pool around his feet before using it to paint a picture on his floorboards.
You could paint flowers.  Or other pretty girls to stare at.  All you have to do is invite her inside.  Say you need to get your money.  She won’t suspect anything.
Except he was at home, and other people may have seen this girl going door to door.  If she disappeared, people would come looking for her.
“All right.  I’ll buy one.”  He bit down on his lower lip as he reached into his pocket and pulled out the dollar.
Her face lit up.  “Thank you, sir.  I appreciate your help.”
When he accepted the candy bar, he purposely brushed his hand against hers.  The contact lasted only a moment, but something deep inside him roared to life.
His toes bumped against the shoebox stashed beneath his bed.  He froze in place, savoring the memories of how each of the photographs contained within came to be.  The torn flesh.  Subdued cries for help that went unheard.
If only he had a light bulb.  He’d have pulled them out and perused them for an hour or two, reliving the moments since he could make no new ones.
Except he could, in a way.  He closed his eyes and envisioned new scenes of gore and torment.  He thought up new ways to make it beautiful.  The room might’ve been dark, but nothing rivaled the dark recesses of his own mind.

Word Count: 938
FCA

Friday, October 13, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things-October 13, 2017



It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa CainTonja Drecker and I are her co-hosts.

My birthday was on Wednesday.  It was a low key day, but I'm cool with that.  I recently learned that Michael J. Nelson of MST3K and Rifftrax fame shares a birthday with me, which automatically makes the day that much more awesome.

The boys (this includes my husband) had a good time making homemade Halloween decorations.  Here are a few pictures of the results.  (Note: the ghost isn't homemade, but the kids still wanted their picture taken with it.)








Happy Friday the 13th!  My husband and I always celebrate the day since we met on a Friday the 13th.  We've since considered it a good luck day for us.

What would you like to celebrate?

Friday, October 6, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things-October 6, 2017



It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa CainTonja Drecker and I are her co-hosts.

This week has been a stressful one.  Zoe got a bad cold this week, so she's been really grouchy.  She's been getting better, though, so I'm grateful for that.  Unfortunately, she's passed her cold on to me, but it hasn't been too bad so far.

Even with the stress of caring for a sick baby, I've still managed to get some writing done.  It hasn't been a lot, but it's better than nothing.

My birthday is next Wednesday.  I don't have any fancy plans, but I am looking forward to the excuse to eat cake.  Bring forth the cake!


What would you like to celebrate?

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The Insecure Writer's Support Group: October 2017



It's the first Wednesday of the month, and that means it's time to convene another meeting of The Insecure Writer's Support Group.  Our leader Alex J. Cavanaugh has assembled another great group of co-hosts: Olga Godim, Chemist Ken, Jennifer Hawes, and Tamara Narayan.

Be sure to visit the IWSG website!

The question for today is:  Have you ever slipped any of your personal information into your characters, either by accident or on purpose?

I think it's common for bits and pieces of ourselves to slip into our characters.  After all, they're born inside our heads.  We build them piece by piece, and the ways they behave are informed by our own experiences with humanity.

For example, I find myself writing characters telling jokes that I'd tell.  Or another character may share my love for reading.  I do try not to make them too much like me, though.  It would probably be boring if I denied myself the opportunity to look at the events of the story from the perspective of someone different from me.

Some authors may use their writing as a way to deal with a difficult event in their lives.  Perhaps in giving their protagonist a struggle similar to their own, the author can work through their own feelings.  I've done something like this before, though I never shared that story with anyone outside of a small group.  It felt a bit too personal to put out there.

Have you ever injected personal information into your characters?


Friday, September 29, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things-September 29, 2017



It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa CainTonja Drecker and I are her co-hosts.

It's been one of those weeks where I've been busy, but I don't feel like I've gotten a lot done.  I'm sure most of you can relate to that.  In my case, this failure to finish anything is largely due to the projects I've tackled this past week.  I'm working on two separate short stories, jumping between them as inspiration allows.  Doing this means that the work I've gotten done is spread out, and that makes it feel like I've accomplished less than I actually have.  I'm choosing to celebrate the fact that I've gotten some good writing done, even if I find myself feeling I should have done more.

I also did more outlining for my novel in progress.  I'm happy with the story I have in my head, at least so far.  I have a long way to go on it, of course.  Hopefully my enthusiasm for the project will keep me going.

I'm also celebrating the fact that October is almost here.  October means Halloween is almost here, and it's absolutely one of my favorite holidays!  My boys are already excited.  They can't wait to go trick-or-treating.  They've been making lots of homemade decorations and hanging them up around the house.  I may be biased, but I think they're pretty good artists.

What would you like to celebrate?

Friday, September 22, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things-September 22, 2017



It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa CainTonja Drecker and I are her co-hosts.

I submitted another story this week.  I have four out on submission right now, which is a record for me.  Granted, two of those submissions are super short, but I'm still proud of that accomplishment.  I've now made ten submissions so far this year, and I plan to make two more before the year ends.  This would be the first time I managed to make twelve submissions in a single year.  I really hope I pull it off.

My husband took the night off work.  Tonight is the homecoming game, and my boys have been begging their daddy to take them to the football game.  They're really excited about going.

Zoe is ten months old today.  I don't even know how that's possible.  I haven't lost as much pregnancy weight in that time as I'd have liked, but I'll choose not to focus on that for now.  That would just ruin my good mood.

What would you like to celebrate?

Friday, September 15, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things-September 15, 2017



It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain!  Tonja Drecker and I are her co-hosts.

I've finished the first draft of a new short story, and I'm hoping to finish editing it by the end of the day today. Fingers crossed that I don't succumb to procrastination.

Procrastination has been a problem this week since my husband and I have been re-watching Game of Thrones.  It hasn't been good for my productivity, but it's been too entertaining for me to care too much.

Zoe learned to wave.  It's so cute when she does it, too.  She's also getting more teeth.  Five in total have popped through now, and a sixth is visible just below the surface.  She bit my shoulder the other day, and I have to say, it really hurt.  She seemed to think it was funny.

What would you like to celebrate?




Friday, September 8, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things-September 8, 2017



It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain!  Tonja Drecker and I are her co-hosts.

I wasn't around last weekend because I traveled to Illinois with my husband and kids so we could visit family.  We left midday Thursday and got back home at 11:30 Monday night. The drive was also about 8 hours (could have been 6 but the kids kept having to use the restroom), so I was going stir crazy.  Still, we all made it there and back safely, and we had a great time seeing everyone.

As much fun as we had on our trip, I'm also celebrating being home again.  It's been good getting back into my regular routine and being able to relax a little.

I'm also happy that I've been able to get back into my normal writing routine.  I didn't write while we were gone, and I was worried my inspiration might dry up because of that, but nope.  That didn't happen.  I've been getting quite a bit done over the last few days.

What would you like to celebrate?

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The Insecure Writer's Support Group: September 2017



It's the first Wednesday of the month!  That means it's time to convene another meeting of The Insecure Writer's Support Group.  Our leader Alex J. Cavanaugh has once again recruited a fine group of co-hosts: Tyrean Martinson, Tara Tyler, Raimey Gallant, and Beverly Stowe McClure.

Be sure to visit the IWSG website.  Not only is it a great source of support and information, information on the next IWSG Anthology Contest will be revealed.  You don't want to miss out!

As far as insecurities go, I always feel anxious when I have stories out on submission.  The second I hit send, I start to second guess myself.  I begin to wonder if the premise of the story is weak.  I worry that I might have an embarrassing misspelling.  I question whether I met all of the submission guidelines.  To get past these insecurities, I'm trying to focus on the feeling of accomplishment I get from finishing a story and sending it out.

I'm also concerned with getting back into the swing of things when it comes to writing.  We took a road trip out of state to visit family over the weekend.  We left early Thursday afternoon and got back late Monday night.  It was a lot of fun, but it shouldn't come as a surprise that I did little in the way of writing while we were gone.  I want to get back into a routine so I can still meet my goals for this month.  I think I can.  At least, I hope I can.

The question for this month is:  Have you ever surprised yourself with your writing?  For example, by trying a new genre you didn't think you'd be comfortable in?

I love the feeling of being surprised when I'm writing.  That's part of what makes writing so enjoyable.  When I start a new project, I like to have an idea of where it's going to go. That helps get me started.  I don't always stick to those plans, though, and sometimes those surprises make the story even stronger than before.

I've talked before about how important it is to try new genres and find out what you're really capable of (which can lead to many wonderful surprises), so I won't rehash that here. Instead I'd like to talk a little about the importance of looking at your past writings and comparing those to what you're currently writing.  When I've done this, I found myself absolutely stunned by how far I've come as a writer.

Don't get me wrong.  I still have a lot to learn, but looking at where I started shows me how much is possible when you keep writing and refuse to give up.  If you're ever feeling down about your writing, I suggest you pull out something you wrote years ago and compare it to something more recent. There's a good chance you'll be pleasantly surprised too.


Friday, September 1, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things-September 1, 2017



It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain!  Tonja Drecker and I are her co-hosts.

I'm actually writing this post a couple of days early.  By the time it goes live, I'll be in Illinois visiting family.  It's going to be a busy weekend with a lot of driving involved.  Hopefully it all goes well and the kids don't go stir crazy.

I submitted a short story this week.  It had to be in by a certain date, and I procrastinated so that I barely got it done in time. Nevertheless, it got finished, so that's reason enough to celebrate.

I'm looking forward to starting a new short story and getting some more work done on my new novel in the coming week. Hopefully it goes well.

What would you like to celebrate?

Friday, August 25, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things-August 25, 2017



It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain!  Tonja Drecker and I are her co-hosts.

The boys started back to school on Wednesday, and they seem to be having a great time with it so far.  Zoe has also been getting good naps in since her brothers are away during the day, leaving the house pretty quiet.

The big event of this week was the solar eclipse.  We drove down to Missouri for it, and boy was that an adventure. Weather forecasts called for a 30% chance of rain where we were planning to go, so of course it ended up raining like crazy.  Fortunately, we'd budgeted in enough time to travel further south to escape the storms.  It was an epic race to escape the cloud cover in time.

We eventually got to an area near I-70 where the clouds were thin and there was a visible blue patch of sky that looked like it might possibly be headed in our direction.  Since totality was about twenty minutes away at that point, it looked like our best bet.  We settled in a parking lot shared by a fireworks store and an adult book store (there were plenty of jokes forming in my head about that one) and set up our telescope. And as we'd hoped, just as totality began, the cloud cover cleared.

Since we had to drive further than anticipated, we didn't film nearly as much as I'd been hoping.  By the time everything was set up and ready to go, totality was underway.  Still, we did manage to get some of it recorded, and my husband edited our clips together into a short little video.


I'll say this about the experience.  No video or picture can do it justice.  During that moment of totality, there's a feeling in the atmosphere that you can't recreate.  The world suddenly goes dark.  Planets and stars are visible in the middle of the afternoon.  There's a chill in the air as the radiant heat from the sun vanishes.  And the corona shimmers and glows in a way that cameras can't seem to capture.  It's one of the most amazing events I've ever experienced, and I'm already making plans to see the solar eclipse in April 2024.

What would you like to celebrate?