Memoire Challenge Post 2: Grandchildren

collage
Never in my  life had I thought I would ever be a grandmother. Not that I didn’t have children; not that I didn’t hope they would marry and have wonderful children… I just never thought of myself as being a grandmother.
But suddenly… somehow… I am🙂 I have three beautifully amazing grandchildren and one more is on the way!
I can’t possibly be old enough to be a grandmother, can I? Well, I suppose I am🙂
jaylynn Mar 09
Jaylynn Marie – 10-13-2008
IMG_1747Christopher Llaine 9-18-2010
9-3-2013 Gracie in basinette beautybaby

Scarlett Grace – 5-13-2013

I certainly never knew how my grandchildren would fill my heart. When your own children are little, its wonderful but sometimes overwhelming. You’re young, probably working outside the home as well as in, feeling guilty when you aren’t with your little ones but knowing that to take care of them you have to work (especially if you’re a single mom, like I was), trying to get all the chores done with a needy little one, having to do everything with one eye on the children. Parenting is hard and, although you love it and love your children, your attention is always divided.

Not so as a grandma! (Or “Oma” as I’m called – that’s German for Grandma🙂 )

Your grandchildren are little treasures, you can dote on their every word and action, carry their pictures proudly, and bend everyone’s ear with their antics.


Jaylynn big sis to be

Jaylynn eagerly awaits the birth of her sister, Juliana Kae – due 12-2-2013

Of course, you usually only have them for short periods of time, and can spend all that time doing fun things with them and for them. If their diaper is full or they get fussy, you can hand them back to their parents too🙂 Unless, of course, you’re lucky enough to live close enough to actually keep them for periods of time.

I wish I were closer, one grandchild (and the one on the way) are in Tennessee and the other two are in Philadelphia. Both quite a trip from Indiana. <sigh> But absence only  makes the heart grow fonder and between facebook and skyping I still get to see what they’re doing day to day and how they’re growing and learning (so fast!)

Do you have grandchildren? Were you as amazed as I was to feel your heart double in size the moment you saw them?!!

Leave your comments below and let us know!

Jaylynn at 4sweet

9-2013 Gracie's kiss from Llaine
Llaine gives Gracie a kiss

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Critiques: What Can They Do For ME and How Do I Get One?

As writers we love to get some feedback on our new works once we’ve polished them up a bit. Submitting your work for critique and giving critiques to others is a great way to learn more about the craft of writing and to network with other authors.

What can a critique do for me, you ask?
Critiques can be as simple as finding those typo’s and misspellings that your eyes can miss (and that spell checker can miss too!)
But they can also be in-depth and:
•   look at the overall style of your writing
•   look at the “meaning” of certain word choices
•   consider the  choreography of your phrasing
•   note dialogue vs description
•   watch for the flow and clarity of phrasing
•   consider the overall pacing of the story

Learning how to critique the works of others not only allows you to support your writing community but can also give you great insight into your own work.

I’ve created a forum called Writing Talk where you can get your work critiqued! The Forum has boards for writing discussions, challenges and prompts but it also has two restricted boards for getting critiques.

These boards are accessible by password only – this means your work is safe in a private place – not in a public board where anyone passing through can see them!!

Please come and register for Writing Talk, introduce yourself in the Welcome Board and see what the Forum has to offer!🙂

I hope you’ll come and take a look. I’ve worked hard to create this in order to support my fellow writers and could really use some support and feedback on this!!

Would you like to have a safe place to get feedback? Would you commit to giving feedback to others as well? Please leave your ideas, comments, suggestions in the comments below!! 

Writing Talk

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Memoire Challenge Post I: Childhood – An Attempt to Impart Wisdom :)

As I look back over my life I can see how each different stage unfolds and leads into the next. It’s kind of amazing to see the path your life takes and all the things that cause the detours.

When a child is born, they’re such a clean, new slate. And we get to write the preamble to their entire life! What a responsibility and how unfortunate that we usually don’t realize what an impact we have.

It’s a hurried life, that of a parent. Most of us are working outside of the home, we have a house or apartment to take care of, dinner to cook, friends to greet, appointments to keep – all that plus our little ones who aren’t always so interested in keeping to our schedule! And our reactions to this make a big impact on them.

If I might give some food for thought on this wild and crazy life stage: Always make your spouse (if you have one) and your children your first priority. Oh I know we have other obligations, like work! You can’t just stay home because little Tommy cries when you walk out the door. But you can remember not to yell at him when he “forgets” something, or when he cries because he doesn’t want to wear the RED sneakers.

These adversities with children are part of the package of parenting and the way you handle them can have a lasting impact that you may be unaware of. And please don’t tell me “I grew up in an Italian family and screaming is how we talk” or “My parents whipped me with a belt and I grew up OK”. Really, really think about how things from your childhood made you feel and try to understand things from your child’s perspective in order to temper your reactions to him/her.

If your upbringing included things that made you feel uncomfortable or sad or frightened, now is the time to stop that cycle. And it is a cycle. We tend to carry on what we learned at our family’s knee, even if it isn’t such a good thing.

Will you fail sometimes? Sure, we all do. But if you keep these thoughts in mind, you won’t fail as often, and that will do a lot for your child’s self image and self esteem.

And of course you can’t let junior get away with everything and anything, but discipline should be a way of imparting your light on a better path. Present things in a way that will make a child want to behave. Of course, this works better with a 5 year old than with a 2 year old🙂 But if you’re consistent and kind, it will get easier as they grow older and more understanding.

If a two year old is having a tantrum, just pick them up put them in their crib or playpen or room and say “I won’t listen to this, talk to me when you aren’t screaming” and walk away. If you have to do this 25 times an hour at first, do it – kindly and gently. They will get the message. If you don’t allow their screaming to get you to cave in, you’ll be doing yourself and them a huge favor. If you do this properly, when they’re 4 a look will suffice🙂

Never make “threats” that you don’t  intend to follow through on. Never say, “If you don’t behave we’re going to leave the party and go home and you won’t get any cake!” Not unless you plan to DO it. They probably will misbehave, do you want to leave the party? Or turn the car around on the highway and drive two hours back home when on a trip? If not, then don’t say you will. They quickly learn that you say things you don’t mean and won’t pay much attention to what you say.

If a child has made a mistake, gotten into trouble, or just goofed something up and comes to tell you – help them. Don’t yell at them. They already know they made a wrong choice. Help them see how they could have done it better and show them how they can fix things now. Or if they can’t fix it, help them understand it’s a lesson well learned. But home should always be a safe place for them. They should be able to tell you if they have a problem. Don’t close that door to them.

Life with small children can be hard, and sometimes doing the right thing can be hard. But in the long run, you… and they… will be much, much better off.

Do you have small children or grandchildren? What are the things that worry you the most? What do you feel you have to work on? Please leave a comment below.

Posted in Challenge, Life Stories | 9 Comments

New Memoir/Backstory Challenge/Blog Hop from Jane Ann McLachlan

I’m so delighted that Jane has invited me to participate in the October Memoir/BackStory Blog Hop again this year. Last year it was an absolute blast, both in posting my own memories and reading the contributions of the other participants.
Thanks Jane! Can’t wait to get started🙂

Jane’s blog is at http://www.janeannmclachlan.com/
Be sure to visit, she has a great blog🙂

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A World of Possibilities

WOW!

I’M NOW PUBLISHED in an Anthology (a collection of short stories) called A World of Possibilities at Smashwords! http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/335901

My story is called A Step in Time. If you could read it and leave a review about it at Smashwords and any of the other publishers (It will take 12 to 24 hours for it to reach the other retailers – including B & N, Amazon, iBooks, Sony, and Kobo.)

I would be sooo delighted and it would be tremendously helpful.

I will have a novel coming out soon called Legacy of the Medallion, and getting reviews out about me and my works would be really really helpful!

Thanks OHHH so much!🙂

Posted in My Writing, Writing | 2 Comments

ATTENTION ALL WRITERS!

There is a new challenge to try out!! It’s called the Iron Writer Challenge. (You’ve heard of Iron Chef, right? It’s like that!!🙂 )

Four writers each week go head to head in a Flash Fiction “write-off”.
Four writers; Four Elements to be included in their story; Four Days to create their story.

Each Thursday four new writers are given their four same elements that must be included in their story. They have until Sunday to turn their stories in.

Everyone can read the four stories and then vote on which one they liked best.

Very simple, right?😀

You know you want to try it!!!
CLICK HERE  to contact Brian and let him know you want to join. Put “I’m up for the Challenge!” in the subject line. If you have a short bio you may include it in the email as well any links you’d like to have listed! He’ll let you know which week you’ll be competing. It’s as simple as that!

It’s so much fun. The first Challenge Stories can be Read Here and voted on HERE.

The Second Challenge stories will be published this Thursday March 7, 2013. I’ll be participating in this second one – you can see MY BIO here. Please come read and vote for your favorite beginning March 7th!

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11th and 12th grades ages 17 and 18

Thinking back, I think I was in 9th grade when the miniskirt was the big thing. At school, if they questioned the length of your skirt, you had to kneel down and if the hem of the skirt didn’t touch the floor you had to go home and change.
In the 10th grade, in Home Ec, one of our projects was to make a skirt. I made mine, took it home and modeled it for my folks. My father’s comment was “Where’s the rest of it?”. It wasn’t a mini – it came to just above my knees, lol.
We had a dress code at school: long pants and a long sleeve or short sleeve button down shirt for boys and dresses or skirts with blouse for girls.
When I was in 11th grade, the pants suit came out for women. In the 12th grade, the dress code was modified. We were allowed to wear a pant suit as long it was an outfit – i.e. the pants and jacket had to match. And the pants couldn’t be tight.
I guess it’s a lot easier now, everyone just wears a t-shirt and jeans with sneakers.

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