Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Thursday's Children 5/30/13

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

I love animals. All animals. They have an innocent quality about them. Well, except cats. Cats are rarely innocent. But I love them anyway.
We've had a cat for 16 years. Her name is Mouse. She's not pictured here. Click here to see her and the poem she inspired. I must confess, my real love for cats didn't happen until 2 years ago. This isn't a secret, Mouse knows why.

So, what happened 2 years ago?

I met this little girl. We adopted her from a shelter. Her name is Dr. Penelope Puddles, MD. She specializes in ear, nose and throat. We call her Penny for short.
But her full name is on the records at the vet. I love getting the post card reminder. "Dr. Penelope Puddles, MD is due for her rabies shot."
A month after adopting Penny, we had to stop in at the shelter to prepay for her spay appointment.

That's when this little guy, Jeffrey, ambushed us. That's right. Ambushed. My daughters and I were standing at the front counter, and all of a sudden this little guy is climbing up my leg. Some of the older cats are allowed to wander the shelter, but not the kittens. They are kept separate.
Anyway, I pick him up and say, "Where'd you come from?"
The lady behind the counter was surprised. She had no idea how he got out. She scooped him up and put him back in his enclosure.
About a minute later he was back at my feet, meowing with the tiniest, squeakiest, cutest meow I've ever heard.

A couple of months later our area suffered massive floods and devastation. Many animals were among the displaced.
This little girl. Wanda, was found under a car in a parking lot, barely three weeks old. She was listless when we brought her home. We immediately got formula in her mouth using a syringe, and were relieved when she started perking up.
Over the next few days my daughters and I found three more cats and kittens. We nursed them all back to health and found each of them homes. 

Here are Jeffrey and Wanda, now.
They are so much fun.

We've rescued a lot of animals over the years.

This is a red eared slider that was bought on the streets of NYC, by a teacher in my daughter's school. The teacher (whom was not my daughter's) bought two for her classroom. They were about an inch and a half at the time. If you're not aware, it is illegal to sell them under 4 inches long. And the streets of NYC is NO PLACE TO BUY A TURTLE. I'm not going to rant. *unclenches fists* 
Big surprise, within a day one turtle was dead and the other was not doing well. I picked my daughter up from school that day. She was sobbing when she got in the car. She told me about the turtle situation. So, I marched up to the classroom, and demanded the turtle. "I'll give you twenty bucks for the turtle." It got slightly complicated and ugly. But I got the turtle. We had him for about three years, until he was of legal and safe size, and found him a nice home. By the way, in those three years he had two ear infections. Did you know they had ears? Did you know they could get ear infections? lol. I didn't. And surgery is the only way to treat them. Yes, surgery. Twice.    

This is a mud turtle that someone found IN THE WILD while visiting Georgia, and decided it was a good idea to bring home as a pet. They had him in a plastic container. He's a cute little guy, however he is trying to bite me in this picture. lol.

For about a year we were involved with Mainley Rat Rescue, fostering rescued rats until they found a home.
Rats are very sweet, and make good pets.

We adopted two greyhounds through Monica's Heart greyhound rescue. They are the BEST.

Davinci and Newton

Not all of the animals we've had were rescues.
For instance, the button quail that my oldest daughter decided to hatch herself. lol.

What's cuter than a tiny button quail?

Five tiny button quail
in your hand.

I love tiny things.
Like this toad that
we got as a tadpole.

And this crested gecko
eating from a spoon.

I even surprised myself by falling in love with this sand boa. Never thought I would like a snake.

Chinchillas! Ohmigosh, I love my chinchillas!

Janice Tripplehorn

Helen Merriweather
We have three saltwater tanks. It's surprising how relaxing it can be just watching the fish and other critters in there.

The reef tank is probably my favorite.

Here I am with a fennec fox, a prairie dog, and a coatimundi. Oh boy, did I want to take each of them home! :(

There's no better way to relieve stress than spending time with a beloved pet. 
Do your pets, or animals, inspire you?

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Thursday, May 2, 2013

Inspired by cyber friends & second chances ...

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

I have been querying my young adult novel for a while now – longer than I care to admit. With no requests.

Was my query the problem? I continually reworked it.

Was it my first pages? I revised.

I was just about to the point of giving up. But I really didn’t want to. I love this 
story. I have faith in this story.

Then one day, a fair-skinned angel reached out to me. 

She said…

Don't give up the trudging!! And consider joining our Thursday's Children blog hop-trudging is more fun in a group :D

My angel goes by @RhiannWynnNolet
I know I’ve said this before, but, I am so grateful for Thursday’s Children. Since I tend to be reserved online, I find it hard sometimes to connect with people via social media. However, with the TC members, I immediately felt part of the group. I started connecting. And even bigger, I started trusting.

I’d seen people talk about the importance of beta readers and crit partners. But, having someone (or a group) that’s local isn’t always easy. I’ve tried a couple of groups in my area, but they didn’t work out for various reasons.

So, back to the trusting … I just couldn’t wrap my head around the idea of sending my manuscript off to someone I didn’t know. Well, I recently sent it off to Rhiann and Louise Gornall – my first betas!

I was so nervous.

What if they hate it?

What if they realize I can’t write worth a damn?

What if?

What if?

What if?

But then I got notes back. Like, a lot of notes. The betas turned into critiques, 
and their notes were awesome. I immediately started seeing the patterns.

WHY? Banging my head on the keyboard. WHY DIDN’T I SEE THAT BEFORE?!

Yes. I know the rule. I’ve heard it so many times. Show, don’t tell. Also known as “showing vs telling.” Well, I was doing some sort of crazy stupid-ass mixed up version of “telling the showing.”

I’ve also been told to remove the ! key from my keyboard. Lol.

Anyway, I feel like my ms has been given a second chance. I’m super excited about the revisions. And I’m having a little too much fun cutting. Picture me doing an evil laugh while holding down the delete button. Die! Die! Die! This could also explain my enthusiasm over the weekend when my husband and I took the chainsaw to 12 overgrown bushes and 2 trees. Bwah ah ah! Die! Die! Die!

Sorry, I got a little carried away there. :)

On a happy note, after a couple of very busy weeks, I’m back at the computer. And the weather is finally looking up, so I’m able to sit in my favorite place to write. I just took this picture while writing this post.

Life is good!

So, in the hopes of being published, have you ever thought about who you'd like to thank in the acknowledgements?

I have.

Thank you Rhiann and Louise!!!!!!! (look at all those exclamation points. lol)

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