Tea Time Talk

Ladies' Christmas Tea 2011 033

There seemed to be some confusion about the Tea Time Talk blog posts the last time I posted one, so I decided this week to post all of the directions here before I post my actual Tea Time Talk post. This will make this post quite long, but it seemed that people didn’t understand to check my Tea Time Talk page to learn the rules and guidelines. However, the rules and guidelines are what is posted on my Tea Time Talk page which you can open by clicking the tab at the top of the page.

I will be posting a Tea Time Talk post every other Monday and hope that many others will join me. This is a fun way for all of us to share a fun blog post and get to know one another.

Just follow the following rules and guidelines:

  1. You don’t have to be a tea drinker to participate.
  2. Add your link to the Tea Time Talk post in the latest link-up (which will be listed on the latest Tea Time Talk post).
  3. Include the link to this page, so that your readers will understand the rules.
  4. Before you post, be sure you comment on at least one other blogger’s post. The point of this is to begin forming relationships and interacting with one another, just like sitting down to a real tea party.
  5. Include the below tea image in your post.

How to Post:

1. Use any of the List Prompts located at the end of this post. Feel free to add                             your own.

2. Everyone who participates must answer at least 2 questions listed under                                Conversation Starters posted by myself or another participant.

3. At the end of your post, include 2-5 questions/conversation starters for                                   your readers to answer as well!

Ladies' Christmas Tea 2011 033

List Prompts:

What I Did This Week                                                                                                                                        Pictures Taken
Music I’ve Enjoyed
Movies I’ve Enjoyed
Books I’m Reading
My Writing Progress This Week
Current Favorite Book Characters
Book Quotes I’m Enjoying
Currently Working On
Looking Forward To
Places Where I Did Some Writing This Week
Favorite Healthy Recipe
Favorite Vacation Spot
Things I’m Grateful For

Holiday List Prompts:

As a New Season Begins                                                                                                                                   Favorite Pumpkin Recipe                                                                                                                                 Favorite Thanksgiving Recipe                                                                                                                        Something I’m Thankful For                                                                                                                         Favorite Christmas Memory                                                                                                                           Favorite Christmas Cookie with Recipe                                                                                                       Favorite Christmas Book                                                                                                                                  Favorite Family Christmas Tradition

Now for Today’s Tea Time Talk Post:

Weekend Watch: 'Pete's Dragon' Dazzles, 'Florence' Fools,' 'Sausage ...

A Movie I Enjoyed: Last week, four of the five members of our family went to the theater to see Pete’s Dragon, and can I just say, “I really enjoyed this movie.” It was nice to be able to take our youngest son to see a movie that had no bad language and had a positive message. There were a lot of emotionally charged scenes, some quite sad. This movie made me laugh and cry, which is what always makes a movie memorable to me. We thoroughly enjoyed this movie and will be purchasing it when it comes out on DVD.

Conversation Starters:

  1. What part of the world do you call home?
  2. What genre(s) do you write?
  3. Why did you start blogging and how long have you been blogging?
  4. What’s your favorite childhood bookish (book related) memory?
  5. Tea, Coffee, or something else? If it’s tea, which is your favorite; if it’s something else, what is it?

Since I am the first to post a Tea Time Talk post, I will answer to of the above questions:

  1. I call Lancaster County, Pennsylvania home. I was born and raised here.
  2. I write clean historical fiction, but I like to dabble in other genres when I write my Flash Fiction Friday posts or in some short stories, which might show up on the blog eventually – no promises.  🙂

Okay, your turn, don’t forget to click the little blue linky box at the bottom to add the link to your Tea Time Talk post here.

Flash Fiction Friday: Do You Believe in Romance?

Allison sat on the almost empty beach. She loved the beach in the fall, cool breeze blowing through her hair, the color of copper, and the waves crashing onto the sand. The seagulls drifted on the wind currents.

Allison didn’t come to the beach in the summer. She didn’t enjoy baking in the sun or seeing all of the scantily clad bodies greased and lying on blankets like meat on a grill.

She heard a child’s laughter, looked down the beach and saw a man and, what she assumed to be his son flying a kite. There was a golden retriever following the boy.

She returned to her book. Minutes later a shadow fell over her book. She looked up to see a man with golden blonde hair and blue eyes gazing down on her.

“What are you reading?”

Wuthering Heights.”

“Ah, a classic. A rather sad and depressing tale.”

“Yes, but I love the story, the romance.”

He smiled. “Do you believe romance is still alive here in this world?”

“I like to think that there are still people out there who believe and keep it alive.”

“Dad, look, dolphins.” A child’s voice called and the man turned.

So this man has a son. Allison sighed deeply and also looked and saw the dolphins swimming, bodies arched.

The man directed his attention back to Allison. “My name’s Mason Williams. That’s my son, Eli, he’s six years old, and our dog, Bruce.”

“Bruce?” Allison’s mouth turned up at the corners though she managed not to laugh.

“Yes, well, Eli loves Batman, but I told him that wasn’t really a good name for a dog, so since Batman is also Bruce Wayne, the dog became Bruce.” A large grin spread across his face and Allison decided he had a warm smile and engaging eyes.

“I’m Allison Baker.”

“You live around here or are you just visiting?”

“I live two hours from here in Hilldale.”

“Are you headed back to Hilldale today yet?” His eyes were bright as he gazed into hers.

Allison raised an eyebrow. “I’m sorry, but where are you going with this line of questioning?”

“I was hoping maybe you’d like to join me for dinner.”

She tilted her head to the right and pursed her lips, then,  “Uh, I, um, don’t know what to say.” Her eyes moved past him to the little boy again.

Mason chuckled. “Oh my, I guess I’m really out of practice. I’m sorry. I certainly don’t want you getting the wrong impression. Eli’s mom and I are divorced. I have custody of Eli but he’ll be going to his mom’s tonight and she’ll have him for the day tomorrow. She also gets him every other weekend. I didn’t mean to confuse you. It’s just I haven’t really dated much since the split.”

Allison relaxed her shoulders. “So, what made you decide to ask me out?”

His eyes sparkled and bore into hers. “The wind blowing strands of your hair as the sun was shining upon it gave it a fiery appearance. That’s what caught my eye, then when I asked about your book, I liked your answers. That made me want to get to know more about you.”

Allison was speechless. Could this man be the man she had been waiting for, dreaming of? No one had ever spoken to her as he did. His reference to her hair had a romantic air and he was honest about his divorce and his involvement with his son. Was he a true romantic? Why did his marriage fail?

“So, will you have dinner with me, Allison?”

His question jerked her back to reality. “I think I’d like that.”

The Dentist

Scraping, scraping off the plaque
With that sharp, pointy tool.
Glad this paper bib and suction tube
Will catch my drool.

A cavity? You say,
And stick a needle in my gum
So when the drill starts
My mouth will be numb.

When it’s over,
I get toothbrush, floss and paste.
As I exit, I can only feel
Half of my face.

I wrote this poem while in the waiting room, waiting on my son at the dentist’s office.

Top Ten Tuesday

So this week’s Top Ten Tuesday as determined by The Broke and the Bookish is “Ten Books That Have Been on Your Shelf (or TBR) From Before You Started Blogging That You Still Haven’t Read Yet”.

I have been blogging here for three years, but have been blogging all told for a total of eight years, therefore, I am not completely certain that the following books have been on my shelf that long, but I am fairly confident that they have been, and I STILL Haven’t read them. As a book addict, I cannot keep from buying more and more books even though I have many that I haven’t read yet. I keep telling myself I’ll have more time to read them when my children are all grown.

I bought this because I love animals and elephants are one of my favorites, and I am always fascinated to hear true stories of people’s experiences or studies of animals. I followed the life and gorilla studies of Diane Fossey and grew up watching Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom.

2. 

3. 

I also love stories that can teach a real life lesson, even if the story is fiction.

4. 

5.    The Reckoning by Beverly Lewis | Amish books | Pinterest

This is, I believe, the first series of Amish fiction written by Beverly Lewis, who, as far as I know, is the most popular Amish fiction writer. I bought these because they sounded interesting and I have lived in Lancaster County, the heart of Amish country in Pennsylvania, all of my life but never really knew any Amish people. However, in recent years, I have learned quite a bit about the Amish culture because I know people who were raised Amish but are no longer Amish. Therefore, I still haven’t read these books because I don’t like Amish fiction because, from what I understand, it romanticizes the Amish culture and gives people a wrong impression. I suppose, I should really get around to reading these, to see if that is, in fact, the case or not.

6. 

I still have a strong desire to read more of the classics, as I have not read many over the years. I’ve heard interesting things about these two and I’ve had this book for a long time but have not yet read it. (You’ll find the rest of the books on my list are classics still waiting to be read by me.)

7. Jane-Eyre-by-Charlotte-Bronte

I have loved Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte for oh so long, but still have not read Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte that is still sitting upon my bookshelf.

8. The Hound of the Baskervilles

Not a big fan of the Sherlock Holmes stories, but this one involves a dog, so that intrigues me.

9. Kidnapped (Illustrated): Includes fifteen full-color illustrations by N. C. Wyeth by [Stevenson, Robert Louis]

10. 

I have been wanting to read this book ever since seeing the 2003 movie, “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen”. I loved that movie and was fascinated by the character of Dorian Gray and wanted to know his story. But, alas, I still have not read this.

How to Help Your Child be a Better Writer

I am a homeschool mom. My oldest always loved and excelled at writing and now is doing quite a bit of it and earning some money at it while attending college, where he is taking a double major: history and literature. He prefers nonfiction, whereas I prefer fiction, and that’s fine with me. I want my boys to do what they love and what will make them happy, which is much better than being stuck in a demanding job that would make them miserable.

My middle and youngest sons, however, have not taken naturally to writing and do not love it. When a friend suggested that I sign them up for a writers’ club that meets once a month, I thought, “Why should I do that? I’m a writer. I can teach them how to write.” Then my friend proceeded to explain how the writers’ club works — they get the first assignment by email and are to have it completed by the first meeting, where they will take turns reading their papers and then receive the assignment for the next meeting. This allows them to hear the writings of others and to become familiar with other voices and styles from children of almost all ages, mostly ages 8 to 18. So, I signed them up.

After two years of participation, my middle son has become quite a good writer, and he loves to incorporate humor into his writing. His writing was so popular with the moms from the writers’ club that he will be missed now that he has graduated and is moving on to bigger things. My youngest still struggles with some of the assignments, mostly the nonfiction assignments. He hasn’t gotten the knack of making them interesting. He just wants to put down the facts and be done.

Their first assignment every year is two-part: one – write a paragraph about yourself to introduce yourself to the group (members do sometimes change); and two – write a paper about one thing you did and enjoyed over the summer. My son decided to write the paper about himself first, and he proceeded to list facts. So, I decided to do something creative to challenge him. I told him I would write about myself and when we were finished we would read them aloud and he could decide whose was more interesting.

That’s what we did and when we read them, he admitted mine was more interesting, and he was not upset. Instead I could tell that he was thinking about the differences in our papers. I then gave him one idea about himself and from there his mental wheels started turning and he rewrote his paper and produced an interesting piece about himself.

When he wrote the paper about what he did over the summer, he did a better job, but needed help with the beginning and ending. The beginning is where you want to hook your readers (or listeners), so I helped him rework his beginning and he got excited and reworked more of the piece. Then his ending needed some work because you want a good solid ending that wraps the whole piece up, so I helped him with that and he is now very happy with both papers and can’t wait to share them at writers’ club on Friday.

I love helping my boys find success in something that isn’t necessarily their strong suit, but is something they need to do throughout their school years even if they don’t do a lot of it in their adult lives. I especially love helping my boys find their writing voice and style.

Flash Fiction Friday: Bounty Hunter

Leta smelled the smoke of a campfire. Then voices drifted to her on the air. She reined her horse in and dismounted. She pulled her rifle from its place in her saddle and checked the revolver that hung on her hip, both were loaded and ready. She stepped lightly through the grass, leaves and twigs to get closer.

“So, how many have ya killed?” This voice sounded young.
“Oh, I dunno. I reckon I lost count.” Leta recognized the gravelly voice of Slade McKenna.
“He’s killed at least three sherrifs.” Yep, that was Kid McKenna, Slade’s brother. Leta continued to wait, her heart pounding in her chest. If it was just these three, her job would be easy.

The noise of scraping an iron pan and tin plates assaulted Leta’s ears.

“How long you been wandering around this territory on your own, Buck?”
“About three months. I been looking to join up with a gang. How’s come there aren’t more fellas with the two of you?”

Leta stepped into the firelight, rifle pointed at the middle of Slade’s back. Kid dropped his fork and tin plate, but before he could reach for his gun, Leta spoke. “Keep your hands where I can see ’em, or your brother gets a bullet to the back. Toss your rifle and revolver over yonder.” She cocked her head toward a stand of trees a couple of yards to her right.

Slade moved lightening fast, pulled his revolver, turned and shot at the same time.
Leta fired her rifle. It took a chunk out of the log Slade had been sitting on and wood splinters flew up into his face.
“Next shot won’t miss. Now you and the Kid can come peacefully or I can kill ya and make this other one help tie you to a horse for me to haul in. Makes no difference to me. Reward says, ‘Dead or Alive’.”

Slade’s eyes ran over this woman from the top of her tan bullhide cowgirl hat to the tips of her brown boots. His mouth broke into a leering grin. “Well now, you’re the purtiest bounty hunter I ever did see. You really think you can take us in all by yourself?”
“Don’t try anything funny. I know I can take you both in. I’d prefer alive, but I can do dead if need be. So, what’s it gonna be?”
“What’s your hurry? It’d be easier to travel once the sun comes up in the morning. Why don’t you bed down here by the fire and we’ll go with you in the mornin’?”
“I don’t lie with rattlesnakes. Enough of this jawin’. You toss your guns over with your brother’s and then keep your hands where I can see ’em.”

The new guy hadn’t moved since Leta made her appearance. He sat staring at her with his mouth hanging open. Leta pointed her rifle at him for just a second to get his attention. “You, take this and tie up the Kid.” She tossed him one of the ropes she had hanging over her shoulder.
“Yes, ma’am.” His hands trembled in the firelight. He moved toward the Kid, who was glaring at him.
Kid glanced at Slade, who nodded. Kid turned and put his hands behind his back for Buck to tie. Then Slade said, “Now!”
Kid turned around and hit Buck with an uppercut to the jaw as Slade moved toward Leta.

Bang! Leta’s rifle screamed in the night and Slade grabbed his right thigh. “You shot me in the leg.”
“Yeah, and if you try anything else, the next shot will be to your chest or your head.”
Kid stood waiting for Slade’s directions, while Buck sat on the ground rubbing his chin.
“I reckon we’re beat, Kid. Guess we better go with the lady.”
“Are you crazy? Surrender to a woman? We can take her.”
“She shot me in the leg!”

Leta pointed the rifle at the rope on the ground near Buck and motioned toward him. “Tie him up.”
This time Kid didn’t fight as Buck tied his hands tightly behind his back.
Leta moved closer and took the other rope from her shoulder and clamped onto Slade’s right arm, jerking it behind him, followed by his left. She tied him firmly, then she looked to Buck again. “Let’s get them on their horses.”
When Kid and Slade were on their horses and the horses were tied together, Leta whistled. Her horse came into the firelight and she tied the rope from the other horses to her horse’s saddlehorn.

She took one last look at Buck. “You count your blessings I came along before your threw your hat in the ring with these two, and go on home to your mama.” Then she mounted her horse and headed back toward Carson City.