Friday, February 20, 2015

Fuzzy Trees & Our Reads

I heard an amazing quote that’s a must share. It sounds like something out of the Lorax, but these words are not from Dr. Seuss. - They are original musings from a genius. I don’t use the term lightly, but I have learned something huge. In order to be extraordinary, you only have to be ordinary in more than one thing. - That’s genius right there! Together you talents composes into a beautiful symphonic blend of success.  The trick is finding the right combination of ordinary things that work together. And when they do, that’s the music of success my friends. And that’s not even the big thing.  Hang with me a little longer.
My recent aha moments are to the credit of Scott Alvin, the creator of Dilbert. 
Whether you’re a comic fan or not, he’s spot on with brilliant yet simple words.
First,  for me it’s embracing the system of eating healthy. Taking out fried foods, eliminating most meat, and eating how much I want as long as it’s on the good list. - I’m on an energy mission, not a weight diet.  Next, I’m getting active.  Not the mom running around crazy whirly kind. But with my affinity for Asian culture, I’ve decided to start Tai Chi… Waiting for Amazon to deliver my new coach, Chris Pei. All the more interesting, we are highly considering a move to an Asian populated area. And since a move to Japan isn’t in my near future, this will have to do.

So here’s the quote. “Trees became fuzzy balls of wonder.” This needs not elaborating, it speaks for itself. Let me detail.  You know I live near the beach right?  But besides the water, the landscape is flat and treeless. And having lived in Austin Texas where trees blanket the landscape, did come with a price. Too many people with a political agenda gone wild.  And as I just mentioned our moving. Where is this place I'm talking about?  Rockport is where these these fuzzy bundles are abundant.  And it’s a peninsula. This sounds cool, living on a peninsula.
Why am I wasting your time with all this? Because I want to express how the beauty in nature should not be ignored. It’s all God’s wonders.  And as an aspiring writer, I say aesthetics is another component to success. So I’m off to a place of inspiration, where like-minded and out of their mind authors conjugate, where I’ll hang my Eno between the Truffula trees. And with any luck at all, Johnny Depp will stop in for a  margarita.

Little Reader’s Haunted Repertoire
We are in to mystery books... The Haunted Series Mostly

                                  How To Books Have Also Taken Precedent.
Our house looks like a library and Michael’s store rolled into one.  

  Mini Pom-Pom Pets: Make Your Own Fuzzy Friends
  By Chorba, April 

With her dinner fork, Little Reader is transforming balls of yarn into fluffy little pets. Repurposed Library: 33 Craft Projects That Give Old Books New Life
By  Occhipinti, Lisa

I never realized there are so many things to do with used books. Unique, fun, and Little Reader has plans to take some of these on herself.

(Klutz S)

Looks like it’s going to make beautiful pictures. We just received this from Amazon today and have not started it. But the reviews were all great!

We have a few more kits on the way, but you don’t need to know this do you? I recommend you order through Scholastic Books for most of your craft books. Yes, they sell them and sometimes less expensive than Amazon. Your library probably has craft books, but if it’s like ours they are outdated. So for your craftonista this is your best bet.

Yes, Pixie and the Green Book Mystery is done. Well, the writing is done. My illustrator is from planet Norzog and she travels often, so it’s taking a while to get them completed. But it’s well worth the wait. She amazingly captures my words in pictures.  Feeling Blessed "O:)"

Steve, thank you for sharing your words. They have helped me find my missing components. Except, I might have taken one thing a little too far.  Calling my husband a barrel bellied barbeque grilling heart attack waiting to happen. - Not a good idea. But hopefully I can make a move to Thneed-Ville before the Once-ler turns the trees into Thneeds!  I'll keep you posted.
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Saturday, January 3, 2015

Hello Is It Me Your Looking For

I know it’s been way too long ;-\ How can I even call myself a blogger if I don’t blog? I can’t. My apologies as I’ve been obsessed with Crossy Roads.  Why do we find joy earning blocky animals just so they can become squished by traffic? Curse the indie company for bringing us this endless game.  And what's a Hipster Whale anyway?
I’m hoping your Christmas and New Year’s was as terrific as ours.  The kids are nun-thrilled about the return of school, and nor is mom.  I don’t know what I was thinking taking a long term sub position at my daughter’s school before Christmas break. I loved my first graders, but there was zero time for anything else.  I didn’t even have time to prepare for my college boy coming home. But there was a bright side. If you buy a real Christmas tree a week before, then it’s not gonna cost you the usual 100 bucks.   Please don’t fret if you didn’t receive a card from the Robinson’s this year. I had it almost done, Mad Libs style, very clever, just couldn’t get the finishing touches on it. And I tend to be a perfectionist. At least our thank you cards came out amazing thanks to my crafting daughter.  
Thanks Santa for the new Cricket ;-)

I really thank you for all the nice words and support you have given me since this blog began a few years ago.  It has been quite the journey and I proud to say it has paid off. Look below and you'll see what I mean.
Pixie And The Green Book Mystery
The cover is being revised and still adding sketches.
What I’m going to tell you is totally true. When your scroll down you’re going to ask where are the book reviews and comments? Yes we remained avid readers, but our romping did cease this holiday season. But not by choice of course.  Our local library had a water main break and suffered major damage. The books were okay, but the computers, periodicals, movies, and other things were ruined beyond repair. They closed the doors for over a month and only towards the end did they open the back door for dropping off and picking up books. My kids thought it was kind of shady using the back door to pick up book packages I don’t think anyone knew they could do that. Yep, that's their story. But I'm not buying it.  There is danger afoot and the life of paper books is being threatened. I bet you didn’t even know this fact. Pixie, the little girl in my story, hence Little Reader has seen unusual things happening at the library.  Yes, books are coming to life.

If you want to read more about the library water "story" their tellin' click here. But we know the Book Guardian was behind it. Don't worry, you will find out more about this evil book destroyer real soon.  Pixie's mystery is getting closer to the release date. No, the release date has not been released.
So what’s the future look like for Library Romp Dot Com?  It’s a New Year and the library stories are going to unfold in Pixie’s stories.  Don’t think of it as this blog going away, but a move forward to the better.  Besides aren’t you tired of the every couple month’s posts? You will see me, Pixie, and more library romp stories under the new page.  I promise…

On a non-related totally random note. Have you heard of a barndominium?  We are going to be moving to a beautiful coastal town not too far down the road. I can’t think of a better type of custom built home than this. Now I’ve gotta find someone in the area that does these.  Still curious, what’s a barndominium?
Even if you remain physically in one spot,
you are always moving in and out of places in your heart.
- Spencer Johnson -
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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Bringing Back Salsa & Still Writin'

I haven't forgotten you or disregarded this blog completely.  Things are just moving forward with my writing.  It would be  disappointing to have started this journey of what makes a writer and still be without answers.  So you see it's a success.  My days of romping are never-ending. In fact, my in the making chapter books are filled with mysterious things afoot at our local Portland library. That's much more entertaining than my ramblings.

So what is the answer to what makes a writer? This can not be answered in general terms, as it's different for every one.  First, you have to define truths about yourself and then it will be uncovered. That means taking your own journey.  Mine was through books. I never really cooked or gardened until I started romping.  Nor did I write and E-Publish 2 Christian books.  Reading children's books brought me into other activities that I shared with my family as well.  For example after reading about a square pumpkin, we thought it be fun to grow our own pumpkins.  And not just any pumpkins, we are talking about the Gigantic Atlantic Dill. (We just planted this year's now because beach summers are too hot.) - It'll be a Christmas pumpkin!  Having followed me, you know where our romps have taken us. 
Summing It Up:
My days are spent editing,  working with my illustrator, shopping, Fall decorating, more editing, kid sport activities, cooking, calling my illustrator again to give Pixie more apples, reading & romping with Little Reader, and ...  You get the point as to why my posts are few and far between.  Pixie will eventually have her own blog and that's where we will be hanging out.  But for now, we continue on the hectic totally amazing journey called life.

Empire Salsa: For those that didn't know, we once owned a salsa company. Not going to bore you with the details but we sold to HEB and it was great having the extra income. Years later people are still asking for it? This leads me to the question of why not.  With a little start up money we can be up and running again. I've got plenty of time right? Lots of hoops to see if I can still fit through, but taking it on non-the-less.
Our "Girlie" Reads
Heidi Heckelbeck Has a Secret
By Coven, Wanda

Heidi Heckelbeck is a second grader at Brewster Elementary. And having always been homeschooled she's not excited about starting her new school at all! To make matters worse on her first day, she has a run in with the mean Melanie Maplethorpe. But Heidi has a few tricks up her witch sleeve. Could her magic help her get back at Melanie?  Little Reader really likes these books  with their humor, fun drawings, and easy yet engaging text.
Katie and the Cupcake Cure
By Simon, Coco
I see what Coco was trying to do by starting off referencing the vampire movie Twilight.  But kids at this level are not old enough to be familiar with this yet. But overall this is a "sweet"  story about a girl named Katie starting middle school. No worries for Katie as she would start  with her best friend Callie. Or maybe not. Okay, so she's thrown into the situation of having to make new friends, You'll love the cupcake angle here.  I found myself singing, "Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other's gold."  So which is it, is the new friend silver or gold?
Pineapple "Upside-Down" Cupcakes Recipe
Making this recipe from in the book... YUM!
For the cakes
  • 1 box of yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice (can use juice from can of pineapple slices; see topping ingredients)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 can (20 ounces) crushed pineapple, drained (set aside 1/2 cup juice for the batter; see above)
  • maraschino cherries
  1. Center baking rack in oven; preheat to 350F. Line a muffin tin with baking cups.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the batter ingredients. With an electric mixer on medium speed, mix the ingredients together until no lumps remain. Spoon the batter into the cupcake tins so that each cup is 1/2 full.
  3. Make the topping. Mix the melted butter and brown sugar together with a spoon. Sprinkle about a teaspoon of the mixture on top of the cupcake batter in the tins. Now add a layer of about a tablespoon of the pineapple. If you'd like (do it) add a cherry on top, pressing into the pineapple layer so it's level.
  4. Bake the cupcakes 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Let the cupcakes cool at least 20 minutes before eating.
Never Girls: In a Blink
By Thorpe, Kiki
I admit, Disney seduced us into this book series.  We are suckers for a trip to Never land. Especially since the Tooth Fairy always leaves a fairy book. Salt water, an ocean breeze, and a ringing bell are hints of what four friends experience in Neverland. This book is based on the concept of Peter Pan, but told with a modern twist.  No, Peter never shows up in this one.  But still a must read for all fairy fans...

The Shadows: The Books of Elsewhere
By West, Jacqueline

This is a higher level reader than the others. - More of a middle grade reader.  We are reading it by chapters and so far it's a big hit.  Lots of mysterious things unfolding at Olive Dunwoody's household. Dangerous rescues and treacherous escapes is not what this 11 year old bargained for as she and her family moved into this spooky house.
This reminds me of our favorite movie Coraline.  My reader is going to be Coraline this year for Halloween. Quite simple actually. I'll post on Facebook when it all comes together. 


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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Self-Publish or Not, That's The Question

This post is  gonna be a little different.  Back to school and the oldest kido is head to college.  My mind has been wrapped up in Hayden leaving the nest. Yes, Little Reader and I have still been reading. Just haven't been on our regular library romps. I'm finally done with Pixie And The Green Mystery and my editor says it's ready to go.  Tonight I'll work on the query letter. Well, I'll try.  Here's the bunch before heading off to Buccaneer Country.
What Are We Reading?  Fairy Books of course...
Rainbow Magic: The Ocean Fairies - They're seven books in this series each representing different areas of the Ocean. A mix of fairyland and our world, where the fairies have to make sure the Ocean animals are safe and happy.
My Writer Question

Do I go the traditional publishing route or self publish with my book series? There's pros and cons of both so I'm hoping jotting them down will help me decide. 
When you self publish you are the publisher. You proofread, edit, come up with the artwork, providing the funds for it all. The author is responsible for marketing and distributing the book, filling orders, and running advertising campaigns. In the past, the author had to decide on the number of copies to print, sometimes resulting in stacks of unsold books gathering dust in the garage! Fortunately, the Print on Demand (POD) technology now used by some self-publishing companies means that authors can have fewer copies printed—only as many as they need, in fact.
Or Traditional Publishing
If I go through traditional publishing, then now that my manuscript is ready all I have to do is finish the query letter. Then start the submittals to publishing houses or literary agents. From there it's accepted where they buy the rights or not.  The later being rejected and you keep submitting to other publishers.
So do I self-publish and pay thousands of dollars or wait for traditional publishers to pay me in advance? I am pretty good at self marketing and have the resources to edit, design, and advertise.  I think it comes down to this. Do I go for quick turn around and control my manuscript? Or do I wait to earn an advance from a large publisher house? 

Things You May Not Know

There more libraries than Mc Donald's and they offer more than just books.

Music & Movies

You think Netflix, Pandora, and Hulu are cool? Well, your library has its own version, only you don't pay one cent to stream the titles. You just need to install the apps, and have a current library card. The most popular one right now is called Hoopla.  It's awesome.

Forms & More

As well as the post office and larger grocery stores, libraries have a full stock of the most popular tax forms in the runup to the April deadline. They also have the tax instructions booklets at hand as well. And while librarians are not qualified tax accountants, some will offer you basic advice.
Audio Books
You are most likely aware of the massive array of books on CD, tape, and MP3 players at your library. They have both fiction and nonfiction titles. But did you know you can stream audio books over your smartphone?

As well as a having thousands of older movies, libraries stock the latest releases on both DVD and Blu-ray. Of course, there are some savvy library users who know this, and reserve them months ahead of time. That's me ;-)

Passes & Some
The next time you want to visit the museum, take a trip to your local library. Many libraries are now participating in the museum pass program, which pairs them up with local museums. Our library often gives out tickets to local sporting events and more.

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About Me

My Photo
I'm a reading, writing, publishing, blogging, children's book mama.  Our library journey has opened up a door of wonder, excitement, and imagination for not only my children but myself.  Brining inspiration, motivation, and just overall joy for the written word.  
What started as a mission to find out what makes a true writer, has unfolded the realization that we all have a story.  Not to sound cliché here but, Just Do It!  It's the motivation to get out there, connect, share your story, and not wait for the approval or disapproval of others.  For myself it's publishing, and writing about self motivation, getting to your dreams, and facing what's holding you back. 
Who knows what the future holds for any of us?  Give your children the passion for written words while creating thinkers and doers. 
The library is what did this for us.  Who else gives out unlimited free books, movies, and other book media, and doesn't even mind when we eliminate the need for bookends? 
In a nut shell emphasizing the nut, it's all about the Library Romps & Writing Prompts.
Enjoy & God Bless
- CG

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