Thursday, July 29, 2010

Happy Birthday to Duke!!!

Happy Birthday to You Pretty Boy!

The Great Bathtub Remodel - Part II

Didn't post until now because between caring for my grandson and helping hubby, just been too busy and/or tired.  Yesterday hubby tore out the old tub, today he put in the new fittings and we brought the new (and much, much lighter) tub in and guess what?  The tub won't fit (sigh).  We tried to get by without tearing out too many tiles, but we have to remove most of the ones in the back to get the tub in, it will fit that way.  However, they don't make tiles the size we have anymore so its just better to remove all the tiles in the tub alcove.  So our job just got a bit bigger.  I will post photos tomorrow of what we've done so far, at least I intend to, we'll see how it goes.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Busy, Busy Day!

Today hubby and I were planning on replacing our ancient bathtub with the new one we bought at Lowe's.  Actually, hubby was going to do the prep work today and if he had time the plan was to beat the old tub until the cast iron breaks.  That's the easiest way to remove it, probably weighs about 300 pounds in one piece.  Did I mention my hubby is one of the handiest people I know?  McGuyver had nothing over on what he can do.  Well, things didn't go exactly as planned... 

Last night we decided to get ice cream and we went out to the garage to get in the truck.  Tire on passenger side is flat, so we take my car.  One of my tires has a slow leak.  So this morning was eaten up by tire replacement/repairs.  After noon, we have everything (we think) to do the prep/demo work.  All goes well until hubby starts smacking the tub with a regular hammer.  The porcelin breaks, but that's it.  Hubby asks me to go check online - will cast iron really break?  I come back:  yes, it will break but you need a BIG hammer (sledgehammer is best).  So off to Lowe's again.  Hammer is sitting in the tub; demo continues tomorrow.  Good thing hubby took the week off, think we're gonna need all of it.

Why am I not helping more, you ask?  I have a good reason, was watching our 3 month old grandson, who is the sweetest little guy on the planet.  When he smiles and goos I get all goofy and start talking in this ridiculously high voice, which spurs him on more.  Ok, enough of that for now, I'm getting off track. I will post some photos tomorrow, hopefully I will have some showing an empty space where the old tub used to sit.  

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Can I Write About Nothing in Particular, Please?

I always have something to say, at least I thought I did, until yesterday.  I came here three times yesterday to do my blog, but just sat here staring at the New Post page.  The blank New Post page.  The realization finally came to me - I had Blogger's Block!  All my ideas and thoughts fluttered out of my head and blew away on the breeze generated by the ceiling fan.  Any new idea or thought that fluttered into my head dissolved on contact with my brain.

I've written enough to realize when this occurs, to get up and get away.  Go do something, take my mind off the very thought of writing for a time.  Of course, I've been doing nothing but writing lately, so maybe I did  need that break.  However, my break lasted about 8 hours - started a new short story last night.

Today I sat down, determined to write about something interesting.  I find lots of things interesting and I'm sure you do, too.  Once again, I could think of nothing in particular.  So I'm writing my thoughts out as they come, guess that's just as much a part of writing as sitting down with something planned. 

Spontaneous writing is fun, I've learned that from writing my stories.  I often start a story and it takes on a life of its own.  You end up with something very different than what you originally envisioned.  That's the fun part, seeing where your imagination is taking you, like you're almost going along for the ride, a spectator of sorts.

Ok, writing a novel again, so I'm going for now.  The weekend is almost over and the week ahead is going to be interesting, but I'll write about that later.  I hope everyone has a wonderful, productive, and fulfilling week!   


Friday, July 23, 2010

Some Photos for Your Viewing Pleasure

Thought I'd just keep it light today and post some unusual cloud/sky pictures.  Living in Oklahoma, we have a lot of severe storms and sometimes I great some great shots.  I hope you like them!
Looks like a mushroom cloud, but was just a developing thunderstorm.


Oops, What Happened?

I did something and I'm not sure how to fix it.  I had a list of blogs I was following and went to remove one that hadn't posted anything in a long time and I managed by that one click to remove all the blogs on my list.  Anyone have great words of wisdom for me on how to fix this?  I've been trying, but no luck.  Guess I should go to bed before I mess more stuff up, guess that's what I get for staying up too late.  Beginning to wonder how I can ever excel at blogging when I can't even figure out how to do the main page correctly (grumble, grumble). 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Turning Your Blog into a Book

In my book trailer post I mentioned that I believed you got around 35% royalty for a Kindle book.  I went to check up on that and found there is now a 70% royalty "option" - whatever that means.  I didn't have enough time to dig further, but I plan to.  If that's true, I may just put my novel on Kindle and see what happens.  At least I would get my first book out there, I do plan to do another book, and pretty sure there will be a total of three in a series.  While looking around the Kindle site, it recommended turning my blog into a book.  Of course it's a general add for anyone, but it got me to thinking...there are some wonderful blogs out there.  I'm certain some of them would have enough great material to do a book.  Has anyone turned their blog into a book or even thought about doing so?  I've never seen one, but like I said before I'm new to all this.  I would like to find one and see what it looks like.

Tomorrow is Friday, I hope everyone has a wonderful day and an even better weekend! 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Book Trailers? For Real?

We've all heard of movie trailers, but this is a new one.  Was reading a blog that has a lot of advice on what a writer really needs (like a website), and the blogger talked a little bit about book trailers, which in their opinion was a waste of time and money.  So I decided I had to check that out.  I remember hearing about something new coming out where you can read a book, say on Kindle, and you occasionally get a short video of a scene, but this is different.  So I went to YouTube, typed in book trailers and viola - a whole list came up.  I would never have thought of doing a book trailer, but hey, if it's another way to get exposure I don't see anything wrong with it.  Say you went the traditional publishing route and received nothing but rejections.  Then you put your book on Kindle (from what I can tell, you only get 35% in royalties for now), but you also made a book trailer to promote your masterpiece.  The trailer works, your book sells, and you eventually make money - it may not be the ideal situation, but it's still better than your book sitting in a box on the bottom shelf of your computer desk with all the accompanying rejection slips.  The trick to all this, I'm beginning to realize, is to get your name out there, but to be smart about it.  Using venues like YouTube, Amazon, Technorati, etc. are just some of the tools at our disposal.  Now, that whole having your own website thing, I can't even think about that yet.  I haven't even begun to master blogging and it's definitely something I want to be familiar with before venturing any further.  If you're interested, go check out the book trailers.  Waste of time and money?  Worth every penny?  What do you think?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Dog Days of Summer = Missing Outdoor Activities

Hi my fellow bloggers, how is life treating you today? Me, pretty good. I am getting a lot of things accomplished via the computer and interwebbies, but as for outside activites not so much. I want to take walks but it's tooooo hot and humid (I don't do well in this kind of heat). I want to go to the park and maybe play some putt putt, but again it's too hot and over there the mosquitos will drain you dry in five minutes. Our park has a small lake, on one side is the park, kiddie rides and putt putt - the other side has our city golf course. Will post a few pics after I yak here. I love just sitting outside on the back patio in the evenings but it's been too sticky for even that lately. Guess once again I need to be patient, it will cool off sometime toward the end of next month (sigh). I am looking forward to getting out again, maybe the hubby and I will go to Roman Nose again. What's that? Your reading assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to Google Roman Nose. Ok, here's the photos - hope everyone has a nice evening even if it is hot where you are!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Wanna See My Pets? Sure Ya Do!

I feel better after posting my last blog and blowing off a little steam, so thought I'd post something lighter and share photos of all the furbabies who live here. First photo is Tommy, we've had him since he was a tiny kitten, he's 16 now. Next is Sammi, my daughter's fiesty cocker spaniel, she's 2. Last is Maggie, we adopted her from the SPCA, and she's 11. Tommy is in my husband's guitar case in this pic, he wasn't too happy when he turned around and saw the cat in it, but he laughed it off and I took a pic. Sammi is probably the cutest little dog alive and the most mischevious one I've ever known. Maggie is the sweetest and smartest dog. For example, if she's squeaking a toy and I want her to stop all I have to do is tell her. She knows a lot of tricks, too. Breaks my heart to see her getting old, I just hope she lives several more years, don't think I could bear to lose another pet right now since we just lost Demi last month. Well, guess that's all I have for now, see everyone tomorrow!

Arrgh! Information Overload!

I'm beginning to get overwhelmed and I know why. I need to narrow down my search for the right blogs. So far I've "followed" four or five that have to do with writing/publishing and I think I need to stop there for now. I need to carefully read their posts and see what they have to offer. I'm doing too much skimming and joining and not enough reading. If I keep going like this, I'm going to start ripping my hair out. All I want to do is write my blog (which I'm finding is loads of fun), network with the right people, and find the right way to go about publishing my book, whether it's through a traditional route or through online publishing. I think I've been in too much of a hurry and so I need to slow down, too. I would love to hear from other authors on their experiences, but since I don't have a lot of traffic I know I need to find these authors and read their blogs. Hopefully, the ones I've chosen to start with will be just what I need.

I have a feeling this is going to take a lot longer than anticipated, which is all right, I am a fairly patient person. I didn't say that I had to like doing all this studying, researching, and reading though, but in the end it should make me a smarter author. Maybe even save me some time in the long run. We'll see how it goes, or maybe someone out there knows the perfect publisher who will take me by the hand and guide me through the process. Fat chance of that, but I can dream, right?

Anyway, I hope everyone out there in Blog Land has a wonderful and fulfilling week!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Go Big or Go Home - Right?

Since another of my passions is photography (amateur yes, but I still love it), I decided to post one of my photos for your (and my) viewing pleasure. I'm hoping to eventually learn how to do my own template using my photos, I think that's how everyone who can really blog does their page. Or do most people use pre-made templates? Will have to do more digging on that question.

I've been bad, ditched editing last night for more reading on what I should do to get myself out there in the writing world (at least on the internet). So I decided I need to go big or go home and I published my blog to Kindle. Ok, I can hear some of you laughing, really I can! Don't blame you either, but I wanted to see how it works and what better way than to jump in with both feet? Like I said, I did do some researching first. Of all the new things I've done lately, I have to say signing up and publishing my blog on Kindle was one of the easiest things I've done so far. Only problem I'm having is it won't show my photo, which maybe is a good thing? I was so excited when it said my blog was published, I rushed over via their link to look at my page and it's there, minus my picture, but that's ok for now. My daughter is going to spruce me up and take a nice photo of me that I can post. We'll see how that goes.

Guess that's all I have for now, think I'm going to go off in search of more blogging friends - wish me luck!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Blog #4 - Getting to Know You

July 17, 2010

I've been spending the last few days (when I have the time) perusing various blogs, most involve some type of art/craft, writing/publishing, or photography themes. Now that I know where to look, I think it will take me some time to weed out the sites that I can really learn from. There are a few, however, that just look like fun and I will add them, too. So far I've discovered that the blogging community likes to write about anything and everything as they share their lives with us; they also like to have fun. My kind of folks. I've been spending most of my free time doing blogging related activities and I need to get back to editing my book, so the next few days will probably be spent with my manuscript and my pen. I most likely will write something every day, after all I do have a lot to say and this blog isn't called The Chatterbox for nothing. I would also like to thank my new blogging friends for their kind words, encouragement, and for adding a newbie like me. I will do my best to be the kind of blogger people enjoy reading and following.

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Struggle by Charlinda Marie Robinson| Lulu Poetry

The Struggle by Charlinda Marie Robinson| Lulu Poetry

One Brief Moment of Time by Charlinda Marie Robinson| Lulu Poetry

One Brief Moment of Time by Charlinda Marie Robinson| Lulu Poetry

Demi's Dish

This is a photo of my heartdog, Demi and this is her story. When my daughter was 13, she volunteered at the local SPCA and this little dog caught her eye. She begged us to bring her home, all 8 pounds of her. She wanted to name her Ally, but after more discussion she became Demi. She was a small chihauhau mix and scared. Whenever I'd sit in my recliner, she would jump up and lay right under my chin, not moving until I got up. Not long after we got her, she began to have problems with her knees, after one knee operation was successful she was almost good as new, but we had to deter her from jumping up on the furniture.

For the following 6 years, she was my baby, she even slept with my husband and I. She was funny, fiesty, and the ruler of the roost. Our older dog Maggie and older cat Tommy even acquiesced to her wishes. Then last year, she messed up a disc in her back, we came very close to having to put her down, I had to carry her outside to do her business. After vet visits, pain meds, and lots of steroids she got better, which was such a relief, although short-lived. One day soon after I held a treat out to her; she didn't see it. Within a few days she was blind and after a visit to the vet to confirm my suspicions, discovered she was diabetic as well.

For the next year, I faithfully gave her two shots a day at 9am and 9pm - think my daughter only filled in for me about 4 times. Recently, she began to bark all day and cry all night, she was also having accidents in the house. She was slowly getting worse, eventually we all could tell the time had come. On June 23rd, at 4:30pm, Demi went to what pet lover's around the world call the Rainbow Bridge. She is buried in our backyard under the Rose of Sharon bushes. That evening I picked up her dish, intending to wash it. As I walked over to the sink, I glanced down. Her little dish is black with white paw prints on the outside, the inside is stainless steel and I could see where she had licked it clean. I turned around without thinking and placed the little dish (a small dog bowl really) on the shelves above my computer. The dish is still there, I just can't bring myself to wash it yet.

No one tells you when you lose a pet how devastated you will feel. How hard you can cry or how many times you will ask yourself if you did the right thing. One thing I can now say is that no matter how often I question myself, in the end I always come back to the same conclusion. We did do the right thing at the right time; we set her free. I didn't originally intend to write about this, but I began to feel strongly that it would help me to get this out in writing. My family is so understanding, but this is cathartic for me and gives me a sense of closure. Anyway, I wanted to share Demi's story with you - she was an awesome little dog and I love her very much.

Blog #3 - Got Technorati?

Wow, did I just have an experience! Read that if you don't have Technorati you might as well cancel your blog account and go play Facebook games. Sooo, I mosied over to their site and opened an account. Pretty easy to do, after that I'm sitting here thinking, now what? I had noticed on another blogger's site that they had a little Technorati favorites badge (Or whatever you call it here. Ok, go ahead and laugh, I know I'm such a newbie, but I want one of those cute little badges too). Well that started me looking around some more; realized I had to claim my blog. Searched all over, but found nothing telling me where to go. So I oogled it and finally figured it out. Then, I had to add a feed (how convenient the Atom feed was right there) and add in the body of one of my posts the special secret code of the Technorati (kinda sounds like the Illuminati, doesn't it). I thought blogging was going to be easy, but I'm quickly finding out there's a whole lot more to this than the written word or a pretty photo. However, I'm always up to a challenge, so I will eagerly continue to figure out this thing, even if it kills me (who knows, it might - can never tell about these things ya know). Ok, gonna close for now - tomorrow sometime I'm going to write about something special, well at least to me.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Blog #2 - Why Can't I Search Blogspot?

Ok, since I'm new here naturally I have questions and queries. Today I tried to search blogs, preferrably blogs having to do with the things I'm interested in such as writing and photography. I did find some, but it was like digging for gold. I finally found one blog with some useful links, then I played a self-made game of follow the links. I found a few I wanted to keep track of (or follow), I hope to find a lot more.

Guess my question is obvious; why in the world is it so hard to find the blogs? Am I doing something wrong, or missing something obvious? Maybe it is a deliberate attempt to make me search out the blogs I'd like to read. If anyone has any helpful hints, tips, or ideas - please let me know. Thanks!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Blog #1 - Getting to Know Your Blog or What the Hell am I Doing?

July 14, 2010

Ok, I am going to familiarize myself with Blogger and all its attributes. So far this doesn't look too difficult, although I tried naming my blog before realizing all it wanted was my email address first. I am familiar with facebook, photobucket, stuff like that - this should be a piece of cake, or so I'm hoping. I like to write, after all I am a writer and a poet (don't ya know it - sorry, couldn't resist) and from what I've been reading lately, I must have a blog if I want to be considered a serious writer. I just wrote a novel - I wrote it mainly for my grown-up kids, but I would like to publish it when I complete the editing. When I started researching on how to best go about publishing my masterpiece, I discovered there are new rules out there. First and foremost seems to be - have a blog. Ok, that's done. Next, write and submit things like articles and/or anthologies to as many places as possible - just get the work out there. Winning a few literary contests wouldn't hurt, either. Anyway, the end result is the same. I need to be able to show a literary agent or publisher that I'm serious about my craft. I do have a degree in journalism, so that should help and I did have stories published in the college paper, that should help too. I also have two published poems, might post them later.

Ok, my daughter just informed me that I'm writing a blog, not a novel, so I will close for now. I feel kinda nervous though, I have no idea who will read this and what they will think. I guess putting myself out here will be an interesting experience. If you have read this, thanks for reading and I promise there will be more tomorrow (I have a lot to say - lucky you!), I do think this might be a fun thing to do!