Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Book, A REAL Book!



The Food We Were Raised On

Well here it is, the project I evasively mentioned here! The writing project I actually finished!!

I wrote this cookbook for my children.  A keepsake of sorts, but friends and family members who encouraged me throughout the process and helped with the endless edits thought it worthy of a larger audience. Since it is a collection of family recipes, photographs and the memories associated with them, I wondered how interesting it could possibly be to anyone beyond  family. But then I thought why not? Why not give my little cookbook an airing and see where the chips (hehehe) may fall.

When I finally held the finished product in my hands the sleepless nights, frustrations, multiple swear words and hours of editing seemed to melt from memory. A Book, a REAL Book...... I chanted like a three year old with giddy excitement!



Can you see the silly big grin stretching from ear to ear!   

The Food We Were Raised On can be found on the self-publishing site Blurb. 

Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

It's A Launch Party for Janice Horton's....Reaching for the Stars

                                           

Wish I Was Here!!!!!

The beautiful village of Mougins, France. My dream retreat for writing and all things creative. Strolling to the cafe overlooking the valley and the mountains in the distance. Drinking in the scenery while sipping a cool glass of wine and chatting with fellow Mougins residents. Sauntering down the narrow cobbled streets with artist galleries tucked away at every corner and in little alcoves; allowing inspiration and beauty engulf and replenish me.
Ahhh how I wish!!!!

 It's Launch Day for Janice Horton's




Reaching for the Stars is now available on Amazon.UK or Amazon.Com for Kindle at the special launch price of just 95p or $1.40.  I have my copy!!!!
 


Peruse other Party Bloggers Wishfulness  Here!
Enjoy!!!




Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Ideas Come A Poppin


As I said in this earlier post I actually finished a project. Not my WIP but a Christmas project. What a thrilling feeling that is. I had come to a standstill with my current WIP and wondered if I had it in me, the ability to finish anything that is.

Like most I have been very busy with Christmas preparations. Not a time conducive to the flowing of creative ideas for a stalled WIP. But yesterday I actually got the urge to look at my WIP and add some notes. Ideas just sort of popped into my head. No prompting, forcing, mulling or stressing, just pop and there they were, ideas. These new ideas are now written on post-it notes and attached to printed pages of said WIP. I feel like I am getting back in the zone. My completed Christmas project has made me realize, I do actually have it in me to finish a work. I am so excited, I am feeling enthusiastic and my fingers are eager to get back to the keyboard with my fresh new ideas.

I hit a road block awhile back, stalled and in frustration stashed the offending WIP under the bed. I am not a descriptive writer; it does not come naturally to me. I am more of a character inter-action sort of writer. When reading I have a tendency to get bored and skip over long descriptives, anxious to get back to character action. Proof of the ‘You write what you read’ mantra. Still some descriptives are necessary. The story cannot be conversation from beginning to end, now can it!?!

I have learned so much from my recent BETA reading. A big thank you to Nicole Zoltack, Where Fantasy & Love Take Flight and Sherry Chaisson Auger, Sherry Auger for that. I have a better understanding of gauging chapters, what I need to develop and what might be best left alone. A big huge 'Thank You,' fellow blogger/writer friends.

And on that note I will say...have a wonderful Tuesday all!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Mother Nature Glistens


Last Saturday we got our first substantial snowfall. Like all first snowfalls it had a magical, mystical aura. The glistening white glow swathed the earth and instilled a calming silence. It truly is the Winter Wonderland of song and postcard.



We went to visit our daughter after the snowfall. The beauty on the drive was captivating. I was surprised and delighted to spot a flock of wild turkey, easily seen against the whiteness of the fields. Hawks could be seen perched on branches of trees dressed only in white. Deer braved hunters and moseyed out into the openness, making for a picture perfect winter scene! I was afraid to look away in case I missed some other wondrous sight.

Yes, the first snowfall is filled with enchantment. Mother Nature dressed in glorious spellbinding beauty.

Of course I will have something else to say in a month or two….but for now, I am enchanted with the beauty and peacefulness Mother Nature has showered on us.


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I Did It!!! Yes I Did!


I apologise bloggie friends for my lack of presence lately….I hope to get around to your blogs over the next few days and catch up on the goings on in bloggerland! I have been so out of touch it feels like I have just emerged from the outer edges of the universe. But hey, I did it. Believe it or not I finished a project.

I was only lamenting a short while ago on the multiple unfinished projects stashed under the bed (here) …so to speak!

I know many of you who took on NaNo may be shaking your heads thinking, What is she going on about! For me this is a major achievement. I Finished a writing project.

The idea for this project began to formulate in my mind’s eye last summer. I outlined what I wanted to include and how I wanted it to look. I ran my idea past my friend Libby as we sipped wine at her kitchen table. I often have what I consider to be wonderful ideas until I voice them. More often than not they fall flat and with a splat! I was pleasantly surprised and encouraged by Libby’s enthusiastic reaction. A thought just occurred to me ….could it have been the wine…..No! No! Banish that thought from your head. Banish it I say!

On my return to Wisconsin in September I began my project in earnest. The past month has been exhausting, frustrating and exhilarating. I enjoyed the process, the ups, the downs, the sleepless nights and the nights filled with dreams of being chased by words and pages. But when I pressed the publish button a feeling of lightness flooded over me. Accomplishment and lightness. I did it!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Memories of Winter Afternoons



If on cold winter afternoons when I arrived home from school the aroma of freshly baked scones filled the house I knew…. it was movie afternoon. I loved movie afternoons. The films were broadcast on “The Early Show” from 4:30PM to 6PM. If a film ran longer than 90 minutes, it was shown over two afternoons. Mom loved films and kept a watchful eye on the schedule.

Siobhan, Trisha and I settled ourselves on the sofa Mom covered earlier with a brown blanket. Then Mom joined us in the sitting room with a tray holding a pot of tea, four cups and scones stacked high on a plate, topped with melting butter and jam. Movie afternoons were the only time we were allowed to eat in the sitting room. A real treat.

Easter week, we watched films every afternoon. Mom, Siobhan, Trisha and I sat together sipping tea and savouring scones watching ‘Quo Vadis,’ ‘The Robe,’ ‘King of Kings’ and many others.

The smell of freshly baked scones always brings me back to those cozy winter afternoons in our sitting room.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Projects, Projects Everywhere!



Is it the first Wednesday of November already? That means it's time to add another installment to  Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writers Support Group. It seems like the first Wednesday of October was only yesterday and I subjected bloggie friends to major whinging and whining about my writerly insecurities.

This month instead of whinging I will air my most shameful writerly secret. Here it is, I have way too many unfinished projects stashed under the bed. Five to be exact.  Yes, you read right....Five.  Are you tsking at me and shaking your head. 

I have a tendency to stumble and fall when trying to incorporate descriptives to a story. A weakness of mine. Or as with my latest unfinished project when I tried to write a love scene. I wrote the scene, but was very unhappy with it…so off I toddled to Eason’s/Borders and bought multiple books I felt confident were bursting at the seams with love scenes. My postman was also very busy delivering the many tomes I ordered online. Just as a side note…..my arms are a few inches longer from carting the many shop purchases home.  The postman's biceps also showed noticeable improvement! Now that I think of it, shouldn't he be thanking me?!?

So I read and read and read. This proved quite a helpful exercise, “but”….isn’t there always a “but?” I had this brainwave for Christmas presents. It is writing of sorts if you class creating a keepsake as writing. Which I am doing, because it makes me feel better! I really can’t go into detail as those on the receiving end of this project may be lurking. It is taking much longer than I thought it would. I need to have it completed within the next two weeks, so it will be printed in time. This is proving to be hair pulling pressure.

I decided to take my friend Jim Lawn’s advice and publish my project with Blurb. Jim published his, "The Book of Silence," in Blurb and was very pleased with the results.  "The Book of Silence," is filled with beautiful photographs taken in the Dungarvan locality.  Check out Jim’s Website and peruse his other works. 


Do you have any waiting to be finished projects stashed under the bed.  How many? Do tell….

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Penmanship and the Green Stick Fracture


My  fourth grade year in St. Gertrude’s Catholic School, Chicago, was memorable  to say the least. It was the year I won a city wide penmanship contest.

I removed the silver cap from my speckled, cobalt blue fountain pen and wrote the required two page story in my very best handwriting. I filled the pages with word swirls of perfect portion. The lines of each letter flawless, clear and fluid. I began each word with the pen poised on the page and didn’t lift the nib until the word was finished. The blue ink seamles, not a blot or break throughout the word. I loved writing with my silver capped,  speckled, cobalt fountain pen. It felt so comfortable, an extension of my hand. The words seemed to write themselves.

People who have been subjected to my handwriting may be shocked to learn this little titbit. My penmanship did not live up to this early perfection for very long. You see before I received my award for said contest I had a little accident.

The weather had turned wintery as it tends to do in Chicago.  St. Gertrude’s  winter policy required students to change their outdoor shoes/boots in the lower entrance area before proceeding up the steps to the classrooms. This was to avoid tracking wet and snow on the very highly polished floors. Have you ever noticed the love Nuns have for highly polished floors? Anyway, I changed my shoes and headed up the first flight of steps. Someone who hadn’t changed their shoes left a thin skin of ice on the top step for me to slip on. And slip on it I did, fallling down the full flight of steps. My right hand took the brunt of the fall. It hit every single step on the way down in an effort to protect my face.

 Half an hour later my mother and I were sitting in the doctor's examination room. X-rays were taken and I was diagnosed with a ‘Green Stick Fracture.’ I was in a cast for the next 6 weeks. The glory days of perfect penmanship were over!

What brought this long ago story of woe to mind. Husband, who was on a train trip returned home last night with a present. A beautiful ruby red fountain pen. I uncapped the pen and put the nib to paper. It felt perfect in my hand. The ink glided across the page with an ease that reminded me of my silver capped, speckled cobalt fountain pen. Sadly my penmanship never again reached the dizzy heights of perfection. The‘Green Stick Fracture’ did not heal properly.
We went back to the doctor 6 weeks later to have the cast removed. On examination the doctor informed my mother the wrist had not fused properly. He wanted to break it again and reset it. My mother looked at him as if he had two heads, she grabbed our coats, hustled me out of his office, loudly pronouncing him to be a quack! A reaction that was perfectly justifiable

That is another story.......this story is about the pen. 
I will leave it at that. J




Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Congratulations Niamh!!!!!


Niamh Boyce has a poem published in the Boyne Berries 10 collection.  *YAY* Niamh!!!!

Niamh's poem is a retelling of the myth of Oisin and the original Niamh. It is from Niamh's point of view. I just happen to love this Irish myth.  This is a beautifully produced edition, with poems, prose, photographs and original art work. 



You can purchase this beautifully produced edition, with poems, prose, photographs and original art work HERE.



A sample of the wonderful artwork included by Elena Duff



Congratulations Niamh and well done. Another publishing accolade for this very talented writer.

Niamh embarked on a writing break, Monday, 10/17.  She is plotting and outlining a new novel.  Don't let that stop your paying a visit to her blog, Words A Day, which is filled with wonderful, thought provoking gems. 

Pop over to Words A Day without delay and enjoy Niamh's beautiful blog and talent. 

And a Big Loud Bualadh Bos

 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Congratulations Theresa


A big *Congratulations* to my friend Theresa Milstein.  Her short story "Allured" is included in the YA "Fangtales" anthology.
Editorial Review and Product Description:
An anthology of vampire tales specifically with teen readers in mind, this gripping read has both new and established authors who will take readers on a mind-bending adventure of dark horror.

Fangtales can be purchased at Barnes and Noble and/or Amazon
Don't delay....get your copy NOW!

Oh and stop over at Theresa's  at Theresa's Tales of Teaching Tribulations and Typing Teen Texts to say Hi and don't forget to make a note of  her blog tour shcedule. 

A big huge ginormous obnoxiously loud bualadh bos Theresa!!!!


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Where's the Light Switch

Dry Dock
with James Rafferty and Jennifer Tinsley

My writing and I are in a very dark hallway at the moment and though  frantically searching, I can't seem to find the light switch. I have been stumbling around in this dark hallway for way to long. So long in fact, I can no longer determine which direction to turn.

  I love writing, I love reading, but it seems I am unable to do both at the same time. Does anyone else suffer from this affliction.  If I am caught up in the world created by the book I am reading, I am unable to create my own worlds.  I recently decided to read a number of Historical Fictions to sharpen my writing, paying particular attention to description. I have a tendency to focus on people, not their surroundings. Well the exercise seems to have backfired. The only sharpening going on is the sharpening of pencils. 

I marvel when I read all the doings of other writers/bloggers. How do you fit it all in? Writing, reading, blogging, blog reading, querying, family, work, dinner, house cleaning, ironing, eating, sleeping etc. It makes the head of this "Trying to be Writer" spin!!! And believe me that is not a pretty site!
The result, I wonder at my ability to write at all. If I truly was a writer, wouldn't I be able to fit it all in. Even this post about being insecure is causing me major stress due to the return of what I refer to as Brain Freeze!  Brain Freeze is when one searches around in ones head and only sees darkness....blankness! Not a paragraph, sentence or word floating around in there anywhere.  Just a black hallway.

So what to do....All I can think to do is wait and hope. I also need to stop pacing and freaking out.

YIKES and HELP!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Watching Willow Watts Launch Party!

It's the  'If I Could be Anyone, I'd Be'....Launch Party for Talli Roland's "Watching Willow Watts," Kindle Edition is available on Amazon UK for £1.71, or on Amazon.com for $2.99. The Paperback will be available in November.

Pop in and join the fun!


*Kindle Edition Available on Amazon, September 14, 2011*

So If I could be anyone.....who would I be.  Well that is a hard question to answer, because I am in awe of so many strong women in history. But today I chose Granuaile/Grace O'Malley, Queen of Connaught. Also known as the Pirate Queen! 



Shaun Davey's Granuaile

Granuaile was born in 1530 with the sea in her blood.  She was the only child of Eoghan Dubhdara Ó Máille, a seafaring chieftan and his wife Maeve  One day Granuaile decided she wanted to join her father on his sailing expedition but Dubhdara told her sailing was only for boys and men.  She cropped her hair, dressed in boy's clothes and stowed onto her father's ship. This proved a fortunate move for her father because the ship was attacked and she jumped an attacker trying to sneek up behind  Dubhdara, saving his life. 

During her lifetime she sailed to many ports including Spain, Portugal, Scotland and Ulster for trade.  She was notorious for taxing and raiding ships that had the misfortune to stray into the waters she deemed hers.  Hence the Pirate label.

Granuaile was widowed twice. She divorced her third husband in accordance with Brehon Law.  She gave birth to a son on board ship as it was being attacked by Turks.  Her crew were being defeated and one very foolish Turk dared to enter her cabin demanding she surrender.  She quickly dispatched him, went up on deck, rallied her crew and won the day. (Beware of sword welding, pistol toting Irish women!)

Wikipedia

Her most daring feat was steering her galleon up the Thames and into London for an audience with Elizabeth Tudor. Granuaile spoke many languages but not English.  Elizabeth did not speak Irish.  She conversed with Elizabeth in Latin, much to Elizabeth's surprise as the Irish were regarded by the English as uneducated, uncivilized ruffians.  Granuaile secured the release of her sons from the prison of the English Governor Bingham. It is also noted that Granuaile did not bow to Elizabeth as she did not recognise Elizabeth as Queen of Ireland, only of England..

Granuaile the Stuff of Legends!!!


Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Door Swung Open


Write a short story/flash fiction story in 200 words or less, excluding the title. It can be in any format, including a poem. Begin the story with the words, “The door swung open” These four words will be included in the word count.


If you want to give yourself an added challenge (optional), use the same beginning words and end with the words: "the door swung shut." (also included in the word count)






The door swung open. Bobby nudged Linda in the ribs.

“Go on, I dare you.”

“What” she asked.

“I dare you to go in there,” Bobby said.

“I will not. She could be inside.”

“You are such a girl,” Bobby retorted.

“I am not! What if she catches us inside?”

” No chicken, I saw her go out in that puke coloured bulb hat she always wears..”

Linda thought it was one thing to run into the overgrown garden, they had been doing that forever.  When Mrs. Posener saw us, she would shout and shake her broom at us. That sent us running out of her wilderness shrieking with laughter.  


“I dare You to do it.”

“I dared you first.”

“Okay, but you better come with me.”

Linda grabbed Bobby’s sleeve. They moved towards the open door. Fear gripped Linda’s stomach. It was turning cartwheels and her heart was pounding. They moved through the door. Suddenly Bobby turned around, his mouth fell open but no sound came out. Linda’s eyes followed his outstretched arm. In the shadows Linda saw the puke coloured blub hat on top of the shapeless body.

“Mrs. Posenor,” Linda and Bobby shrieked.

The door swung shut.




The End

YAY I did it!  I was sure for awhile there this one was going to defeat me!!!  

Saturday, September 3, 2011

It’s KarenG's Second Annual Labour Day Blog BBQ!

Yes bloggie friends it has been a whole year since we partied at KarenG's first Labour Day Blog BBQ.  Can you believe it.  A whole year!!!

If you haven't already, be sure to stop over at Karen’s, Coming Down From the Mountain: A Writers Blog, you won't be sorry. Sample fine food and drink at Karen's second annual Labour Day Blog BBQ . Meet new bloggers and have a good time.

I am bringing Couscous Salad to the party. Made this salad for the BBQ I held for family and friends the day after my son's wedding this past June.  It was a big hit.  Hope you enjoy it. What are you bringing? Can’t wait to sample it.


Source: hunts.com

Couscous Salad

1cup of uncooked Couscous

1 tin of Diced Petite Tomatoes drained

2cups chopped English Cucumbers

2tblsp. Fresh Lemon Juice

2tblsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2tblsp. Fresh Basil chopped

2tblsp. Fresh Italian Parsley chopped

1tblsp. Fresh Mint chopped

½ tsp. Kosher Salt

¼ tsp. Ground Black Pepper

Prepare the couscous and set aside to cool. Combine all the other ingredients in a medium bowl. Add cooled couscous and toss to combine. Viola….Couscous Salad, couldn’t be easier!

Don’t forget now pop over to Karen’s Coming Down From the Mountain: A Writers Blog, and join in the fun. Look forward to seeing you there.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Finally Getting Around To Things!

Well Bloggie Friends, it is with big red face, I hang my head in shame. Many months ago I was given these beautiful awards.






Thank you Munir

 Munir of Focus bestowed Inkpots n' Qulls with the KREATIV Blog award on May 6. Yes you read right, MAY !!! But worse again Deirda of A Story Book World graciously gave me this Beautiful Mommy Writer award April 9. Yes it was this year….for all those guffawing in the background!!! Please visit Munir and Deirda. Please she begs Shamefacedly!!!!
.


Thank you Deirda
Are those of you who know me personally and those who have been following Inkpots n’ Quills for any length of time shaking heads and tisking at me?  You know I do eventually get around to things. Really I do, EVENTUALLY!

Take for instance the book reviews I promised to post on Amazon and Goodreads for Bloggie Pals, Talli RolandWatching Willow Watts” and Kathryn BrownDiscovery at Rosehill”. Yes, I finally sat my you know what down on the chair and threatened the little voice in my head not to open its mouth until the reviews were written. Little voice likes to tell me I am useless at writing reviews. It also tells me I am useless at critiquing. Little voice is a pain in the you know what. Anyway I got the reviews written and sighed a huge sigh of relief. Hopefully little voice is not right and my reviews don't embarrass Bloggie pals Talli and Kathryn or myself.  Fingers Crossed!

I was spurred on by Beth Groundwater's post, “Feeling Uncomfortable” on InkSpot. This post got me thinking. I do feel very uncomfortable writing reviews and critiquing. So I am delighted to say, last night I took one huge leap out of my comfort zone. Thank you Beth Groundwater for that kick in the you know what.

Now onto the  KREATIV Blogger award. The rules are to tell you five facts about myself, so here it goes,

1. Well you already know the first fact. Not very timely

2. I have a slight problem with perfection. It alludes me.

3. I am a hat and shoe person. Wardrobe is overflowing with hats and shoes. I definately need a bigger wardrobe!

4. I am also a major book person. Every room in my house has an overflowing bookcase or two and then of course there are the stacks of books beside my bed, under my bed and on the bedside table that will not fit into the bedroom bookcase!

5. When I am feeling sad or down Husband who hates bookstores asks if I would like to go to Borders for a few hours. I am bereft at the moment.....because our Borders is closing down.....

Well there you have. Now I am to pass this award onto five other KREATIV Bloggers.  Are you joking me? Really only five????

1. Theresa @ Substitute Teacher’s Saga
2. Len @ Conversations with Self
3. Catherine @ Dispatches from the Deise
5. Maire @ Maire Rue Writes


Whew!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Getting Back To It!





This morning I sat in front of a blank screen and wondered what to write. I have been doing this a lot lately. Seems my writing mojo has mojoed out!!! Well not totally. I am working on a story. Blank Screen Syndrome took hold when I attempted to write a love scene. My first! When I finished the scene, I was taken aback at how trite it sounded.

I decided there was nothing for it but to go to the book store and buy a few historical novels and read as objectively as possible with blue highlighter at the ready. The results, I now have books with blue streaks all over the place. I uncapped blue highlighter number two, last night. It just occurred to me as I rifled through the pages of said books, maybe I should have used different coloured highlighters for different reference topics. HeyHo! Not always so quick on the uptake.

There are a few things to get to today. First and foremost, I want to give Talli Roland a rip roaring “bualadh bos”! I had the privilege of reading the ARC of “Watching Willow Watts” Talli’s latest novel. It was a brilliant read. I loved, loved, loved Willow Watts! Keep an eye out for this one!

Next is the third Crusade led by Rachael Harrie is about to begin. I took part in last year’s Crusade and have signed up for this one too. It is a great opportunity to network with and meet new blogger/writers. Looking forward to see you on the Crusade!




Saturday, August 6, 2011

Episode Three - The Final Chapter


Once settled in my new seat and kindle turned off….. You cannot read a kindle during take-off and landing, very frustrating. (note to self, bring something to read for take-off and landing in future!). The plane pulled away from the gate to join the queue for take-off.  Fifteen minutes later we were still sitting in the queue not having moved an inch. Pilot came on over the intercom, introduced himself and his cabin crew and informed us we would be off shortly.

Fifteen minutes later, now keep in mind Kindle is still off and I have read the flight magazine from cover to cover. The pilot made another announcement. Take-off was delayed due to a storm coming from the south directly in our flight path and we should be off within the next twenty minutes or so. Kindle was pulled out of seat pocket.

The intercom crackled. I was engrossed in my kindle reading and surprised how quickly the twenty minutes passed. In fact it hadn’t and the pilot sounded slightly frustrated. “I am sorry ladies and gentlemen, it looks like we will be here a bit longer, there is another storm heading into our flight path from the north.” The sound of shuffling in seats filled the air. I shrugged, gave my new aisle neighbour a small smile and silently thanked the Gods of all denominations for inspiring me to change seats with tall disgruntled woman’s husband and returned to my kindle.


Two hours later, the now familiar voice of the pilot filled the cabin. “I am afraid there is some bad news Ladies and Gentlemen. Take off has been delayed due to a tornado moving into our flight path. There is no need to panic, we are perfectly safe. Please remain seated with your seat belts on. “


Two minutes later the captain was gracing us with another update. “The tower has been evacuated due to a tornado. It will take at least half an hour for the tower crew to be up and running again once the all clear is given. Hopefully we will be underway before we hit the deadline for legal flying hours under the flight time limitation regulations. I will keep you posted on any further developments.”

Thoughts of what will I do if the flight is cancelled, swirled. I looked all around me, this flight was filled to capacity, or at least it looked that way from my vantage point. There was only one flight to Dublin each day. I chided myself to stop worrying about that, and think what will this involve….collecting my bag, organizing a hotel, getting to the hotel, getting back to the airport from said as yet unidentified hotel.

Then the plane started to sway. It swayed left and then right and back again. There were inward gasps all around me. It seemed the plane was doing a little dance, back and forth. Yes, I was sitting on an airplane in the middle of a runway that was being tossed to and fro by a tornado!

“I am afraid this crew is running out of time Ladies and Gentlemen. If we are not off the ground within the next thirty minutes, we are out of legal flying time.”

The flight attendants started handing out meal trays. They were one row away from me….I was starving. It was now close to 10PM and I hadn’t eaten since I left Minneapolis. There was a scuttle of movement. Flight attendants were darting up the aisles and down the aisles. Trays were clanging as they were being whipped back onto the carts. My stomach was flapping at my ribs with the hunger and now even the prospect of food was to be cruelly denied me.

 
“Ladies and Gentlemen, the tower is manned, and our crew has voted to continue with the flight, even though we are just minutes away from our legal flying hour limit. Please fasten your seat belts. Cabin Crew prepare for take-off.”


There was a resounding round of applause. Everyone was glad to be finally moving. We were in the air within minutes. Over three hours later than our scheduled time, but a relief washed over me. I was not going to have to contend with sorting out accommodation in Chicago. All I had to contend with now, was how was I going to get from Dublin to Waterford. The bus I was supposed to be taking would be well gone by the time I landed in Dublin.

The pilot made another announcement once we were at cruising altitude thanking and congratulating the crew for their professionalism, and again everyone gave a warm and very appreciative applause. Once the meal was served, the pilot made the same announcement; I only half-heartily clapped at congratulatory speech number three. On landing in Dublin, pilot reiterated his praise for the wonderful selfless crew and how very grateful we the passengers should all be. This fourth self-congratulatory speech annoyed me and so I did not clap. It was just one too many “How great are we” speeches for me to stomach.

And so ends the saga of my journey. But hey there is always the return trip!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Episode Two!



This summer has not gone according to plan. The first indication of plans going awry was the the Hair Barrett incident. Ahhh I hear you say….worse can happen, get over it. I agree but as I indicated in Episode One, there is more, much more.

I sat at the gate waiting to board the flight to Chicago O’Hare where my transatlantic flight was departing at 18:45. On arrival at the Domestic Terminal in O’Hare all I had to do was make my way to the International Terminal by monorail. I had allowed myself plenty of time, three and a half hours to be exact.

According to my boarding pass, boarding for the Chicago flight was to begin at 14:45. I looked up from my kindle and checked the time. It was 14:50 and no sign of the plane at the gate. A muffled, barely understandable announcement came over the intercom informing all, the flight was delayed due to bad weather out of Chicago.

An hour later the flight finally arrived and all passengers were assured the turn around would be done as quickly as possible. By the time the flight took off I was down to one and three quarter hours lag time between flights. I didn’t panic though! No I didn’t….I ordered a glass of wine inhaled it to ease my rising panic and then proceeded to gulp it!!!!

Of course on arrival, my flight docked into the furthest gate out in Terminal One. Thankfully my bag had been checked through. I grabbed my carry on and sprinted towards the monorail.

On reaching the International Terminal the queue deemed perusing the Duty Free out of the question. I removed my hair barrette and joined the queue. I sailed through security this time….things were looking up!

I checked the monitor for my gate and to my dismay discovered it was at the furthest end of the International Terminal. Oh well, at least I was getting plenty of exercise. According to my calculations, I had walked at least five miles so far.

I groaned inwardly when I rounded the corner and caught my first glimpse of the gate area. It was packed. Not a seat to be had. Oh well, I told myself, there was only twenty minutes to boarding.

Did you think I was going to tell you boarding was delayed? Well it wasn’t! Boarding began right on the button. I got to my seat, put my bag in the overhead and settled in. I always book a left side aisle seat as close to an exit as possible.

A sudden uncomfortable crowded feeling came over me. I looked up from my kindle to discover a very tall woman hovering over me, glaring. “You are in my husband’s seat,” she said. “No,” I replied, "This is my seat." Between the jigs and the reels, I asked to see her husband’s ticket. His seat was one row behind in the centre. I got up from my seat to allow very tall disgruntled muttering woman into her window seat. I realized as the disgruntled muttering continued this was going to be a very uncomfortable seven hours!

I looked behind me and saw very tall disgruntled woman’s husband sitting in the centre aisle seat. I reached back and tapped him, “Would you like to switch seats once the head count is done?” He nodded in reply. I got the impression from his half hearted nod, he would have preferred to stay in his assigned seat. I on the other hand decided better him beside very tall disgruntled woman, than me!

There is a third episode to this saga. If my broadband stays with me long enough, I hope to get it posted by the end of the week.  Fingers Crossed!!!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Episode One!

Offending Hair Barrette

On Wednesday I will be at home in Ireland for two weeks. As per usual, my journey turned into a stranger than fiction drama of assorted delays.

The day was sunny when I left the house at 10AM. The drive to Minneapolis airport went without a hitch. Boarding pass in hand….getting the bag check went like a breeze. Husband left me in the security queue. TSA passport examiner looked at my passport, I smiled and he scowled. He proceeded to scan my passport with his little flashlight thingy and looked at me again. Maybe I should stop smiling was the thought that ran through my mind. Finally he waved me on. Whew!

I began the removal of shoes, cardigan, laptop, etc. and  walked over to the friendly looking white haired TSA man. With a friendly smile he beckoned me to walk through the metal detector. Horror upon horror, red lights began flashing and the whirring of a siren silenced the hum of chatter as all looked in my direction. Nice grandfatherly TSA man said, “Do you have keys or change in your pockets?” “No” I replied. “Maybe it is your watch or earrings. Why don’t you remove them?” I did as requested and walked through the metal detector once more full of confidence, sure this time I would pass through without incident. Not a chance! Red lights flashing, buzzer shrilling through the air and Grandfatherly TSA man beckoned me back again. “Maybe it is your cross and chain” he decided. I went back to the rolling assembly line and put my cross and chain into another one of the little bowls. I walked through the now intimidating metal detector holding my breath. Why…well maybe breathing was setting the damn thing off. Nope it wasn’t the breathing. I really hate that sound!!!!

Grandfatherly TSA man looked at me sympathetically bringing his walkie- talkie up to his mouth and requested a female agent for a search. The female TSA Agent looked me up and down as she donned her white plastic gloves, asking if I had a metal hip or knee… and then if I agreed to a body pat down. Well I thought to myself…do I have a choice! “If you must,” was my reply. Sure what else could I say! She patted me down the front as other passengers passed by craning their necks to get a good look at this suspicious traveller. Finally she moved around to my back. “Oh,” she said, “It must have been your hair barrette that set the detector off. Of course you had a man at the station you came through…he wouldn’t have noticed that!” I wondered why if she had discovered the culprit she continued the pat down. Giving a small nervous little giggle I replied, “I totally forgot about that. I will make sure to remove it at the next airport.” Pat down finished, she wished me a pleasant journey. I walked barefoot over to the multiple bowls containing my belongings and began putting myself back together.

Oh there is more to this journey, much more……

Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Perfect Day!


Yesterday I decided enough was enough! I needed to get back to my writing and blogging routine. The planned two week break turned into a month. How did that happen????


The frenzy that was wedding preparations is over. The never ending ’to-do’ list that dominated my days and nights for weeks, months sits abandoned. The deadline date to finish all the glaring hit you in the face unfinished projects around and in the house has passed. The wedding is over and my batteries needed some serious re-charging. Exhaustion had became my constant friend.

The only words falling from my lips for the past month were, “What’s next on the list.” But this morning I woke up with words that needed to be put down on paper. The first morning this has happened since the frenzy took hold. To be honest I was getting a bit worried words had abandoned me. I have gone to the new post page on more than one occasion in an attempt to get back to the blogging world and all I did was stare at the blank screen.

Today I decided even if I couldn’t come up with something clever, interesting or entertaining I would post anyway and let the comments fall where they may.

Anyway, the wedding was wonderful. The glowing bride was the picture of happiness. The groom was handsome and attentive, as he waited expectantly for the love of his life to join him at the top of the aisle. The Sun enveloped them in shimmering light as they exchanged vows of love and commitment. A red tailed hawk was spotted flying overhead by my brother-in-law, an added blessing.

Mr. and Mrs.
This mother spent the whole day trying to suppress the constant barrage of tears. There were tears of pride. There were tears for the bygone days of young motherhood. There were tears for joy as I looked at my son’s face and saw his happiness. There were more tears as I watched my other three children walk down the aisle to support their brother and welcome his choice of partner with warm smiles and nods of encouragement into our family. Then there were the uncontrollable tears when my youngest son (best man) stood up beside his older brother and told all gathered that his brother was his hero. The person he has looked up to all his life. Yep….that brought on the ugly tears. Professional make-up how are you!!!!…..well it seemed like a good idea that morning.

I promised to post a photo of my “Hat”. Well this is the best I could find. There are very few photographs of me smiling. My face is taunt, lip biting and almost stern looking in most of them. Maybe I should have just let the tears flow…..professional make-up be darned. 

LS, Me and the  Hat

PS It's good to be back!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Taking a Break


Engagement Party, Ireland 8/10
Dilin & Katie
 Having lost a few followers I thought it might be a good idea to pop in and let you know....I have not fallen off  the blogsphere cliff. I am taking a small bit of a break.

The reason for this break?  In five days, family members begin arriving from Nashville, TN and Co. Waterford, Ireland for my son's wedding.  The past week has been spent trying to get the garden in some sort of usable state.  Due to the winter that refused to loosen its grip well into May everything is sooo far behind.  Then there are those pesky half finished jobs in the house that went unnoticed until last week.  Funny how that happens! 

I will be back in regular blog mode in about two weeks.  Do pop back in a few weeks....even if it is only to see the'HAT'.

PS Hope this works...Blogger has been very unsettled lately!!!  Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Ohhh My Aching Back!!!!!!!!!


How did you spend your weekend? I spent mine digging in the dirt. I have 17 days to transform the mess I call my garden into a Garden of Eden before my son's wedding. Yesterday it felt like I was fighting a losing battle. Where did all those weed trees come from and how did they manage to sprout up when all the plants that cost me a kings ransom didn’t survive the ravishes of winter or haven't had the courage to break ground yet.

Last night, even though the day was lovely, sun shining with temperatures in the high 60’s there was a frost advisory. In a panic I ran out of the house to bring in or cover newly purchased young plants. While stretching to reach the hanging baskets, one slipped out of my grasp and narrowly missed my head..but did splatter all over the patio. First casualty of my rescue mission. I shoved the potting soil back into the basket and plopped the flowers very unceremoniously back into the basket. I have yet to check the poor basket to see how much damage has been done. Hopefully I can salvage it.

Next I grabbed the very large and very heavy wooden barrel. I planted the barrel with an assortment of vividly coloured pansies only a few hours earlier. The barrel stood a few feet from the back door. I grabbed it with both hands and with a grunt heaved it up and headed for the back door. Just as I stepped over the threshold of the back door, I lost my footing…did I mention the barrel was quite heavy.  I became distracted as I tried to right myself, not wanting to land on the floor. The basket suddenly felt much lighter. It was then I noticed I was holding an empty barrel. Yes indeed Bloggie friends the bottom had fallen out of the barrel. All the soil and the now not so pretty pansies lay in a large splat on my mudroom floor. Unladylike words spilled my lips and filled the air as I went in search of a new pot to replace the bottomless barrel.

Next hurdle was to get down on my knees to retrieve and re-pot the soil and pansies.…not an easy feat after three days of major weed pulling dragging, digging and raking. I was moving like the newly discovered Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz.

I wonder if the frost would have done as much damage to my plants……….

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Hard To Let Go!



A strange thing happened to me some months ago. I experienced a waking dream, a vision of sorts. In this dream/vision I saw a lovely young woman in a beautiful blue silk gown dancing at a ball. I felt her...for a split second in this strangest of waking dreams I was her. I had the oddest feeling I was glimpsing a fragment of my own distant past through the haze of time. Her name was whispered in my ear. I felt the need to write her story and yet I hadn't a clue what her story was. Only that glimpse.




I put pen to paper and slowly words began to fill a page and then another and another. Other characters in this young woman’s story began to take shape. The story begins with a tragedy in her young life. A close and loving relationship with her father is revealed and the loving relationship between her parents. There is animosity between her father and her paternal grandfather. Her grandfather’s distain and unmitigated rudeness towards her mother unfolds. Quietly standing in the background is her grandmother. The woman married to this rude incorrigible man. She is a woman of quiet grace and dignity who unconsciously commands the attention of all when she enters a room. Despite the many trials and tribulations in her life, she maintains integrity of spirit unlike her husband.


About five thousand words into the story the grandmother emerges and dominates. For some reason her story unfolds before my eyes with ease. For a while I was oblivious to the fact this story was veering away from my original MC.  Her story began to fade as I unconciously moved in a new direction.  When I realized I was losing my beloved Main Character I put the story aside in frustration.

Last week it occurred to me maybe this story is indeed about the grandmother. Maybe I should stop resisting and scrap the first couple thousand words. Did you ever have a character in your head and have her opt out on you?

Monday, May 2, 2011

An A-Z Survivor

Thank you Elizabeth!
Thank you to Arlee Bird @ Tossing It Out  the A-Z Guru
and co-hosts:
 
Jeffrey BeeslerWorld of the Scribe
Alex J. CavanaughAlex J. Cavanaugh
Jen DaikerUnedited
Candace Ganger @ The Misadventures in Candyland
Karen J Gowen @ Coming Down the Mountain
Talli Roland @ Talli Roland
Stephen Tremp @  Breakthrough Blogs

A big Thank You to Elizabeth Mueller  who graciously bestowed this wonderful award on all who finished the A-Z .  I love it. The Laughing Zebra!!! I am wondering though Why is this Zebra laughing... never mind.  Maybe it's best I don't know. 

The Summing Up:
 I discovered very early in the A-Z process, writing a post everyday was not the only Challenge. Attempting to get around to all the blogs participating was another Challenge. After the first week, I gave up on that. There were just not enough hours in the day and the night for that matter.  I decided to keep to the blogs I followed before the Challenge began, the ones I discovered in that first week and then anyone who stopped by and left a comment here.

Many a night letters of the alphabet hounded my dreams, chasing me as I attempted to hide and escape them.  Now that April is past I am looking forward to alphabet-less dreams.

I met many new, wonderful and interesting bloggers.  I read insightful posts, humourous posts and  posts dealing with serious issues.  I learned many new words and collected some terrific recipes. So many I had to purchase a new recipe book. I was pleasantly surprised when I received emails from bloggers in response to comments I had left.  It took me a few days to figure out how that was done. I felt like a bit of an eejit when I discovered all you did was click reply!!!! Well we can't all be Einsteins!

I would like to thank all my followers, new and old for all your support and encouragement as I muddled along from A to Z.   Ta!

Join the Blog Hop

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Z is for

is for

ZZZZZZ's


It's finally here!   'Z'.  I made it!  The finale of the A-Z Challenge.
 !ZOUNDS!

I started the A-Z Challenge with Zest.  I Zipped from A to B with Zeal.   Traveling to a Zillion Zappy blogs reading Zazzy posts.

Zounds again bloggie friends the time has come to take a break and indulge in a Zakuska of Zabaglione or some such!

Yes this Challenge has been Zappy but to tell you truth I am Zonked.  

Spring Break Nashville....over and out!

Can I sleep now!


Friday, April 29, 2011

Y is for

is for
Yay!



I made it to 'Y' But what now????


Yep! Mista Yella!
What will I Yap about today! I could subject you to Yarling about the way my three wheeled week old bag Yawed as I Yomped it from the terminal to the not so ‘short-term’ car park! I could tell you how I Yikkered when Minneapolis's  frigid air hit me on exiting the warmth of the terminal. The shock causing me to Yex and Yex and Yex some more. 



Or I could say, I hope you enjoyed the reminiscing’s of my Spring Break in Nashville.

And now it is time for me to Yede to bed.
Yawn! Until 'Z' time.