My Liebster Award

liebsterThank you to Manny over at The Greenwich Mummy for nominating me for this award. While I’m not one for praise and recognition and chain mail, it is nice to know my blog means something other than words on page. Plus, my blog appreciates the decorations.

Highlight of this year:
It hasn’t happened yet, but the highlight will be our trip to the States. It’s been 5 years since we’ve been as a family. Bang has never been!

Favourite Quote:
Never laugh at a live dragon. (Bonus points if you know the source)

Where do you source your inspiration from whether it be in life or writing?
It comes, of course, from our 2 kids Crash and Bang who are 4 and soon to be 8 years old

What is your favourite colour and how does it inspire you?
I have several favorites. Green. Black. Orange for the Orioles. Not sure how it inspires me.

Where were you born?
In a hospital somewhere on the East Coast of the U.S.A.

How many countries have you visited?
USA. Canada. Costa Rica.

Can you play an instrument?
I can play piano, violin, guitar, trumpet, and the drums. I can’t play ANY of them confidently, I know no songs on them and it’s usually painful to listen to. Just because I know how to play them doesn’t mean I should. The guitar is my best. I at least can play parts of songs and strum a few chords.

What one thing is guaranteed to make you cry?
BingBong getting left behind.

What would you say is your favourite restaurant?
Papa’s Pub here in town. I also really like Carrabba’s, Olive Garden and Applebees.

What is the word/phrase that you use way too much?
Actually, I use the words actually too much. I actually know this because Crash and Bang actually use it frequently, too actually.

Who do I nominate? All of you. If you’re reading this post, this award is for you. A few mentions of those who I read often are:

A Momma’s View
Terri @ Perspectives On
Hoda @ Loud Mama
Ah Dad
Eli @ Coach Daddy
E @ Strong Enough to Break
Tracey @ No Page Left Blank
Ann @ GrubbsnCritters

Happy reading!

Meet Me By the Food Court

kent

Mall rats. These kids were so ungrateful. Their parents were just as bad. This job is cake walk when they update their status to “Out with friends” complete with location. All I have to do is dress the part. She was sweet and attractive with a few friends at Hudson Outfitters. I made a few small comments to break the ice. That turned to conversation and it was just my luck that she wanted to go TRAK with me.

“Meet me at the food court, guys. I’ll be right back,” she told her friends.

Like hell she would.


This is a story in 100 words or fewer for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle-Wisoff-Fields based on the photo above. It was also inspired by A Momma’s View and her warnings of child abduction. Please take heed and protect your children.

Click the blue frog to read more stories inspired by this photo!

Authors Answer 34 – Writing Software

What word processing software do use? Do you use what’s familiar or do you venture out and try to find something better?

I Read Encyclopedias for Fun

Authors have to write, and how they write is usually on a computer these days.  Gone are the days of writing entire books with pen and paper or with typewriter (though some people still do these). There’s a lot of software out there for writing.

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 34: What software do you recommend for writing books?

S. R. Carrillo

I don’t really use anything other than good old Microsoft Word and Adobe. All that fancy stuff – Calibre, Scrivener, (Scrivebre?) – just throws me off. The simpler the program, the more streamlined my thoughts can be when I’m trying to get everything down onto the page.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

There are so many options out there that, really, you just have to try a bunch of things out and see what works for you. One that I used to use was a free program called yWriter, and it worked for me…

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Field Trip for Science

What a way to spend the last day of the school year!

If I didn’t know any better, I would thought we were on the Magic School Bus on one of Miss Frizzle’s famous field trips. However, we were three classes of 2nd graders on a trip to a university for some chemistry experiments and demonstrations. There’s no other way to get kids wickedly excited about science than making fireballs and playing with liquid nitrogen.

I wish I knew what the university students were using to create the effects they made. The first experiment was hands on for the 2nd graders. They were given a stir plate and a beaker half full of water. They dropped in a small cylindrical magnet, turned on the spin plate and the cylindrical magnet spun (being attracted to the magnet inside in the spin plate)

Anyway, the kids just loved making tornadoes in the water, nevermind the science experiment! Then a miniscule amount of power was put into the water and the water turned a purplish pink color. The kids were amazed all over again. They were then told put in some drops of clear fluid and the water became clear again.

clear waterpink water orange water

Those three pictures are with the same beaker of water. It piqued my interest!

After this fun, little experiment they made goop with borax. I’m not sure what else was used but it was all in liquid form. After it was combined and then mixed on the stir plate it turned to slime.

The next demonstration was done in the dark. The chemist put a bit of a flammable power in the mouth of a funnel then attached a rubber hose to it. A good puff on the hose sent the powder flying over the flame of a small candle creating a decent sized fireball. I’m sure the oohs and ahhs could be heard across the entire campus!

Then came the fun part. The chemists brought out the bottle of liquid nitrogen. Nitrogen liquifies at about -200 C. I was excited for this as these demonstrations are always fun. First she put a balloon the nitrogen and it shrunk down to nearly an uninflated state only to reinflate itself when brought out and warmed up again. Then she put in a helium balloon and nothing happened. Helium doesn’t liquify until about -270 degrees C. Then she gave every student a maple leaf. One at a time she dipped their leaf in the nitrogen and the students got to crush their leaves. The shattered like dry, October leaves. Except these were still green (albeit frozen to -200). Crash was the one who didn’t want to crush his. He wanted to know what would happen if he let it thaw. (Note: It simply returned to its original state)

note the slightly improper use of his goggles which I didn't notice until tonight when I looked at the pictures

note the slightly improper use of his goggles which I didn’t notice until tonight when I looked at the pictures

Lastly, she asked the class what would happen if you tried to hammer a nail with a banana. The kids laughed. The banana would become nothing but mush, of course. Then she put a banana in the nitrogen and put on an oven mitt. After she retrieved the now frozen banana she proceeded to hammer a nail into a piece of wood.

banana hammer

Favorite fact I learned today: Hotdogs conduct electricity because of all the salt in them.

The final demonstration was pretty neat too. I must say, I was a bit jealous I didn’t get to participate in this one. I’m sure if I would have asked, they would have given me one. Oh well. Anyway, they put a toothpick into a marshmallow and dipped it in the liquid nitrogen. Then gave it to the kids to eat! Each kid got their own frozen marshmallow, of course. My first reaction was “You’re going let them eat what? Is that safe?” My second reaction was “Oh, it’ just nitrogen. It’s in the air we breathe and food we eat. Chill out, it’s safe”.

frozen marshmallow

You can’t see it, but there’s nitrogen evaporating off his marshmallow

Upon leaving the university Crash told me he wants a chemistry set for his birthday because he loves chemistry. However, he also told me that he wants a science book to read on his tablet. When I showed him the one about space and the planets that he already has he told me “No, that’s not science”. So, I guess chemistry is only science there is!

What is the most boring post, ever?

This one. It’s the end of the day. I didn’t think of anything to write. So now I’m parked in front of the TV watching America’s Got Talent. I’m not sure how, but I’ve gotten sucked in. I would go running, but it’s getting late and I’m chaparoning a field trip tomorrow. Therefore, my running shoes don’t fit tonight.

Plus, I’m just passing the time until Ninja Warrior comes on. I’m not really a fan of reality shows, or at least that’s what I keep telling myself. But Ninja Warrior is different. I enjoy watching the athleticism of the contastants as they manipulate the obstacle course. Naturally, I would love the chance to try it myself.

A revalation I’ve had while watching is that theones who make it through aren’t the strongest, aren’t the most ripped, muscular, aren’t the biggest show-offs. Instead, the ones who complete the course are the most focused, determined, and take that extra second to think themselves through. They’re athletically smart. They’ve trained and trained hard. That million dollar reward is quite an incentive, too.

Turns out that both shows I’m watching tonight are reruns. Oh well, the evening is calm and cool, the windows are open and I’m relaxing.

Tomorrow I’ll tell all y’all about the science show we’re going to. Peace out.

Checked out

busted schoolThe end is near.

We have two more days. Then it’s all over until September. Two more days of school. Crash is sick of it and ready for summer. Daylight lasts until after 9:00pm and he’s a night hawk. Unfortunately, he’s also a morning bird. The two do not mix very well. Anyway, from a child who normally enjoys school woke up this morning with the phrase “I don’t want to go to school.”

I wanted to tell him neither do his teachers. Instead, I bit my tongue and told him there are only two more days and one of those days is a field trip. A cool science field trip at that. And I get to tag along as a chaperone!

Nevertheless, it’s the end of the school year. The kids think they have no more to learn so they have no desire to be in school. Of course, it tough to be the teacher trying to teach kids who a) think they’re done learning and b) are so ready be home. It’s also tough to be the parent and send your reluctant child to school. Luckily, being teachers, we have the same summer vacation our kids do so there’s no need for day care or baby sitting services. Lucky us.

So the kids have checked out, so to speak. They’re done. No more need of school. Learned all they’re going to learn this year. Unfortunately, there’s still two more days. I will have to kick Crash out the door two more times. Make lunches two more times. But it’s all good. The end is near and then it’s freedom. Free at last! Free at last! Free at last!

An Odd Post

This story that’s not actually a story has 115 words. It’s not a normal story. It’s unusual. I can think of a story by omitting an important symbol. Can you spot what it is uncanny? You may find it amazing if you can spot this abnormality. I didn’t think I could it at first. But as I told my story, I found I could do it without pausing. Words would magically form, as if from thin air. Not all authors can do this so skillfully. It’s an ability, though not difficult if you think about it. I want you to try to do what I did. Can you jot down a paragraph without using an E?

A White Guy Walks Into A Black Church…

This is becoming a too often occurrence. Thanks Jen for recognizing the victims. One day we’ll protect ourselves from oueselves as well as we protect ourselves from others. One day we’ll all just get along.

Properly Ridiculous

A white man walks into an historic African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina; he sits in a pew during a bible study for an hour before taking it upon himself to take the lives of nine people. 6 females and 3 men;  four of them reverends, died in a building that should be a safe haven – for any reason on any day of the week.

A place of joy and togetherness was turned into a shooting range brought on by nothing more than hate and ignorance. The oldest victim was 87 years old, the youngest, 26.

The facts will remain facts and opinions will run ramped. We’ll see news coverage with the shooter’s face plastered for all to see. The conversation will focus on what prompted the murders, what the victimizer’s childhood was like & we’ll hear how people perceived him.

It’s the same story, a different day. When…

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Authors Answer 33 – The Writing Process

What’s your writing process look like? How do you get your ideas and turn them into a story?

I Read Encyclopedias for Fun

Books don’t just appear out of the author’s mind on paper. There has to be some way it goes from idea to published story. But it’s different for every author. What works for some, doesn’t work for others.

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 33: Can you briefly describe your writing process?

Allen Tiffany

Not sure I have a process as such. I will say that I never feel like I have enough time to write, which is probably how we all feel. We have 4 kids, I have a demanding job (with a 2-hour commute), and I would like to exercise for at least an hour every day. Fortunately, I only sleep about 6 hours a night, so I can generally squeeze in a few hours of writing time between 10 and midnight, and on weekends between 6 and when the kids wakeup around 8.

I do think about my writing during my daily…

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My Summer Bucket List

Next week is Crash’s last week of school. I’d say it’s his last full week, but it’s not even that because there is no school Friday. His last official day is the 30th, but he’s only in school long enough to pick up his report card. Then we have two month of summer. I just wish summer like weather would get here so we can start the summer bucket list! Continue reading