Rss

Archives for : Thursday’s Children

Inspired by Kindness: A Shout Out to the Judges and Coordinators of the 2013 Great Expectations Contest as well as the Members of the North Texas Romance Writers

 

Like a lot of romance writers, I’ve entered a contest or two. Sometimes, my writing finals and gets awarded a first, second, third or fourth place. Often, I receive good feedback, but, for me, it’s the little kindnesses that make the difference—the gentle words and the small gestures of good intentions. I opened an envelope last week to find a whole page signed by well-wishers. It brought a huge grin to my face.

This post is my way of saying, “Thanks, I appreciate you, too.”

Kindness is an awesome quality. I know I’m not alone in delighting in it. Here are what 13 great thinkers have to say on the subject of kindness.

Thursday Thirteen Polyhedron courtesy of M.C.

  1. Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind. ~Henry James
  2. Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle. ~Plato
  3. There is nothing so rewarding as to make people realize that they are worthwhile in this world. ~Bob Anderson
  4. If you can’t be kind, at least be vague. ~ Judith Martin
  5. No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. ~ Aesop
  6. All I’m saying is, kindness don’t have no boundaries. ~Kathryn Stockett, The Help 
  7. Moments of kindness and reconciliation are worth having, even if the parting has to come sooner or later. ~Alice Munro
  8. Always try to be a little kinder than is necessary. ~J.M. Barrie
  9. But remember, boy, that a kind act can sometimes be as powerful as a sword. ~ Rick Riordan, The Battle of the Labyrinth 
  10. Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see. ~ Mark Twain
  11. Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless. ~ Mother Teresa
  12. The simplest acts of kindness are by far more powerful then a thousand heads bowing in prayer. ~ Mahatma Gandhi
  13. The shortest distance between two people is a smile. ~ Victor Borge

 

It’s fun to brag about kindness. Do you an experience you’d like to share? Or a quote that exemplifies charity or compassion? I’m all ears. And, as always, thanks for stopping by.

A weekly blog hop where writers share their inspirations. Please join us!

 Sources

http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/kindness

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/kindness.html

http://ntrwagreatexpectations.blogspot.com/

Inspiration: Coloring Easter Eggs with Friends

 

Tired of the same old, same old…Easter Eggs? My friend Kathy showed a new and easy technique to enliven the traditional boiled-and-dyed egg color.

 

  1. Gather supplies. You’ll need: eggs, scissors, rubber bands (lots of rubber bands), vinegar, a big pot with a lid, a seam ripper, if you have one, and old silk ties. My friend bought hers from rummage sales. I picked up a few at Goodwill.
  2. Take the ties apart. If you don’t have a seam ripper, you can use your scissors to remove the threads. Take the batting, the inner part of the tie out, and set it aside, so you’ll have a pile of brightly printed silk and a pile of white heavier fabric. To start pick a piece of silk.
  3. Put a raw egg on the pretty or showy side of the silk and estimate how much of the fabric you’ll need to cover the egg.
  4. Cut that much from the tie.
  5. Wrap the fabric around the egg. Again, make sure the pretty side of the silk is facing the egg. Use lots of rubber bands to secure the silk to the egg. I believe more rubber bands equal more color and design on the egg. (On some of the eggs, where the silk seemed particularly slippery, we also banded the tie’s inner batting around silk as a second layer.)
  6. Put the egg-tie bundles in a large pot of cold water.
  7. Add vinegar. I think Kathy poured about a cup into water.
  8. Heat the eggs and water until the water boils. Then turn the heat to simmer and cover the pot. Wait about 10 to 15 minutes.
  9. Take the pot from the stove. Run cold water into the pot to cool the egg bundles to the point where you can touch them.
  10. Unwrap the eggs.
  11. Admire your handiwork. Don’t they look different? I’m sure these eggs will spark conversation.
  12. You can call your eggs done or if you’re feeling artistic, you can mix a cup of hot water, with a few tablespoons of vinegar and food coloring and, following the traditional method—dunk or dip your egg in the cup with a spoon. Or you can use a paint brush to add a splash of additional color to your creation.
  13. If some of your eggs break, feel free to peel and sample as we did.

 

Well, I hope you enjoyed learning this new method for creating Easter eggs as much as I did. I’d like to thank my friends Kathy and Zac for teaching me and I’d like to thank you for visiting.

 

As always, I wish you much happiness and many blessings.

And…a quick shout out to my Thursday’s Children blog buddies.

 

 

Inspiration–A Newly Published Friend

 

This week for Thursdays Children, a weekly blog hop, where writers discuss their muses and motivations, I have a guest who I believe will inspire you–my new friend, Barbara or as she’s known professionally B.L. Bates.

She grew up reading speculative fiction. Then she received a BS in electrical engineering and worked for several years in the computer industry. When a head injury left her totally blind, she turned to writing speculative fiction to stay sane. With her youngest child in college, she lives with her husband in Massachusetts and plots ways to spend more time with her grandchildren.

She’s had short stories published online, and some like “GreenWorld” published in print.

I asked Barbara to share some of her hard-won knowledge along with a few writing tips. She agreed, so…without any further ado, here are Barbara’s thoughts.

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Barbara and here are three pertinent facts about me. I’m a mother, step-mother, and grandmother. I have a degree in electrical engineering. And, I’m totally blind. And the most important fact (right now) is my first novel, AsterIce, has recently been published by Eternal Press. It’s available on Amazon for Kindle and in print.

Below are thirteen things I learned from writing my novel. Here’s what I learned, in no particular order.

1. You have to find the “I’m finished” point. Or else the novel will never be (finished, that is).

2. You don’t have to change every little thing that’s commented on. You should consider them all, though, and rewrite or delete those you think need to be.

3. You do have to make those changes deemed intrinsic and necessary to the publishing house.

4. Sometimes you just have to walk away and think.

5. When that dish of ice cream, that brownie, or those cookies call, you are required to eat them. Right then. Just to stay sane.

6. Your family will live if they eat pizza once a week. Takeout food works too.

7. The house will NOT fall down if the chores are neglected — for a while anyway. (This one works for me, as I can’t see the mess. What mess?)

8. Most people out there are willing to help, providing you ask nice. The converse — there are some people who need a good kick in the butt before they even notice you. It’s up to you if you want to deal with this second group. Sometimes, though, you don’t have a choice.

9. Sometimes you have to step outside your comfort zone and learn new things, including new software programs. It only hurts for a while.

10. Always have some way of taking notes with you. Odds are, that “ah-hah” moment will occur when you’re standing in line at the register counting out change. Or just after you lather up your hair in the shower.

11. You should never sit there without typing something. Consider reading, exercising, or cooking, to get inspiration. When inspiration does hit, have the computer warmed up and waiting.

12. Save those large sections that don’t make it through the first (or second) draft. Maybe they can be used later in a different form, in a different story, or for inspiration for something else.

13. Enjoy writing, or just don’t write!

Yes! Isn’t that inspiring? Please check out Barbara’s book, AsterIce.

Here’s an excerpt:

“It’s worse than that.” Tanya rubbed her temples. The mother of all headaches waited in the wings, ready to pounce.

“How so?” Colonel Frade said.

“A computer simulation indicates AsterIce has spread to every known water source on the planet through drainage, evaporation and condensation. Using some process we don’t yet understand, the additions to AsterIce multiply when added to normal water, even sea water.”

“All of Earth’s waters are now…polluted by the virus?” Richard stared at Tanya.

She met his eyes, closed hers, and nodded.

“What percentage of the population will be affected by it?”Virginiaasked.

Tina, seeing her mother’s agitation, brought her a glass of water.

“One hundred percent.” Tanya gulped the water Tina handed her.

“All this scientific jargon has me muddled. In English, please. What does this all mean?” Colonel Frade asked.

“In addition to the vitamins and minerals in AsterIce, there is what we originally thought to be inert organic matter. It turns out we were wrong.”

“How so?”Wattsasked.

“The inert matter is actually a shell containing an alien virus.

“Tests show the AsterIce virus is originally passed to its subjects through the digestive system. The virus is then released in the stomach, where the outer shell is removed by our digestive acids. The virus spreads into every cell in the human body. This leads to a build-up in the lungs.”

“So, now the virus can become airborne.” Richard’s visage looked grim.

“Not quite. By the time symptoms begin to occur, the lungs are filled to capacity with the virus. The question is not when will it begin, but how long has it been going on? Also, how many of us are infected?”

AsterIce is available at:
EBook ISBN: 9781615728503
Print ISBN: 9781615728510

Eternal Press: http://www.eternalpress.biz/book.php?isbn=9781615728503

Amazon.com: http://amzn.com/B00BA1O2ES

 

Snow On the Mind

A wet, heavy snowfall has me shoving. Once, twice, three times today alone, I’ve helped dig out my driveway. My muscles groan and I briefly consider making a few snow angels on the remaining area needing to be cleared and calling the job finished.

Don’t get me wrong I love snow, but I like it best when the white stuff falls gently like the glitter dust in a snow globe. I like to catch individual crystals on my glove and study the tiny artwork. When I gaze the little, intricate wonders, I’m inspired to learn more and to share what I’ve discovered.

  1. Every winter, one septillion or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 snow crystals fall.
  2. Why so many? Probably because it takes almost a million crystals to make a snowflake.
  3. Not only that, there are about 180 billion molecules of water in an average snowflake.
  4. Snow, like water, actually is clear and colorless, even though it looks white.
  5. Snowflakes always have six sides.
  6. People believe each snowflake is unique. I can’t dispute it.
    Yet there are some general rules to their creation. No. 1: When the temperature is close to freezing, snowflakes are larger and more complex.
  7. No. 2: When the temperature is very cold, well below freezing, flakes are needle- or rod-shaped and simpler in design.
  8. In 1951 the International Commission on Snow and Ice produced a fairly simple and widely used classification system for solid precipitation. This system defines the seven principal snow crystal types as plates, stellar crystals, columns, needles, spatial dendrites, capped columns, and irregular forms.
  9. Of course, snowflakes never fall singularly. Often they came in storms. The United States experiences an average of 105 snowstorms a year.
  10. The intensity of the storm determines its name. A snowstorm is a heavy snowfall.
  11.  A blizzard has wind and snow and obscures visibility. A snow shower, on the other hand, has intermittent precipitation. And, of course, flurries are the lightest and briefest snowfall.
  12.  When it snows, the reported average amount of snowfall per day is about two inches.
  13. And what about mountain snow? Well, in the western United States, it provides 75 percent of the water supplies there.


Do you like snow? Has it snowed yet in your hometown? Please let me know. Thanks.

Sources
http://www.toptenz.net/top-10-fascinating-facts-about-snow.php
http://nsidc.org/snow/facts.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snow
http://weather-facts.com/snowflakes-facts.php
http://www.cco.caltech.edu/~atomic/snowcrystals/class/class.htm

The snow pictures came from: http://www.its.caltech.edu/~atomic/snowcrystals/ If you’re a fan of snow, you should consider checking out this site.

And if you’re a fan of inspiration and writing that follows your heart, check out the Thursday’s Children posts.