Sunday, November 1, 2015

Not the Real NaNoWriMo


November is here again, and you know what that means. NaNoWriMo is here too. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, and both frightens and excites writers by turns. I will not be participating in the official NaNoWriMo this year, but have plans to write, in some capacity, daily.

I will not be working on a novel (at least not consistently). Instead, my writing will include blogging, drafting and writing children’s books, editing said books, and perhaps working on one of the two novels I have in progress at this time.

 
In hopes that I am not the only writer who is working on something other than a novel this month, but still craves the support and writer to writer interaction that comes with NaNoWriMo, I have created the hashtag #nottherealnanowrimo on Twitter for the rest of us to interact and support one another in whatever our personal goals are for this month.
 

There are no rules, but a few guidelines:

1.       Write something—Anything: poetry, kid’s books, novels, or blog posts. It all counts. Editing also counts. The point here is progress.

2.       Be courteous. We are here for support of our fellow writers. No trolls please.

3.       Search the hashtag when you can, and respond to someone. Offer encouragement.

4.       Please keep posts G or PG-rated.

Today, I edited my finished children’s book. I tweaked some scenes a bit, and got rid of some fluff. I plan to send this book to my editor soon, and my illustrator is already hard at work on the illustrations. I would like to have it completed and self-published before Christmas, but this is the first for me, so it may not quite happen on my timetable.

What are you working on? Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year, or will you join us at Not the Real NaNoWriMo?

Friday, February 20, 2015

Just for Fun (Song title/lyric mash-up)


Where you from?

Well, Sister Christian, it’s a long story. I was born a Coal Miner’s Daughter. Daddy left home when I was three, but he told me All You Need is Love, Eight Days a Week. He and Mama got a D-I-V-O-R-C-E and he and His Cheatin’ Heart left in his Little Red Rodeo with Bobbie McGee. Mama said “You Can’t Hurry Love girl.”

I met a man, Bojangles, while Walking after Midnight. He told me I was “Hotter than a $2 pistol” and he’d make me the Queen of his Double Wide trailer. We got married in a fever, and I was the Happiest Girl in the Whole USA.

He went to visit Auntie Grizelda, but I caught him at Hotel California drinking Strawberry Wine with Eleanor Rigby. I talked to Big Bad John about some Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap—Next thing I know, my husband was Shot Through the Heart.

That Night the Lights went out in Georgia, and the next day I left Tulsa in a Chevy in a Hurry in the Pouring Down Rain. I was in Amarillo by Morning, and paid the Witchita Lineman for a Ride on the Jamestown Ferry….and I got off on the Dark Side of the Moon.
 
____________________________________________________________________
The story above was shared at Flash! Friday . Below, I have added some that did not make the cut, but certainly would have been worked into my story had I been allowed more words. :)
 
That man wasn’t Nothing but a Hound Dog, but he told me his Love was Deeper than the Holler and we’d be together Forever and Ever Amen. He couldn’t hide his Lyin’ Eyes though, and he got on the Fightin’ Side of Me more than once.

When I booked my flight they asked me “Have You Ever Seen the Rain?” I told them how much “I Love a Rainy Night,” but they said I’d be wondering “Who’ll Stop the Rain,” before too long. Well, atleast I won’t be “Driving My Life Away” “Working Nine to Five.”

(I hope y’all enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it.)

Let me know what you think in the comments. Do you have a favorite song/artist represented here?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Harplyrist -Flash Fiction

I wrote this piece for Warm-Up Wednesday over on Flash! Friday. Come check out what we are writing, and add your own story on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Harp. PD photo by Skitterphoto.


The Harplyrist
By Charity Paschall

You walk by without seeing me. Just a harplyrist. I’m here every day—nothing unusual. Unless you stayed to watch me, you would never know. I don’t sleep, though I am tired. I don’t eat, though I hunger. I am here; alive yet not; I hunger for life before. Before the deal. I was na├»ve; and all too vain. I needed to be the best, so I asked. He kept his bargain, but in exchange, I must play for him always–until death; so I wait—for a death that will never come. Because I made a deal with the devil.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Easy Peasy Quesadillas (From Leftovers!)

Looking for something yummy to eat? If you have a couple flour tortillas, some cheese, and leftovers of some type, you can probably make one of my Easy Peasy Quesadillas.

Before we get started, a disclaimer: Certain types of leftovers may not be ideal for adding to quesadillas (soups or casseroles for example), but a cheese quesadilla and a cup of leftover chili sounds pretty good together!


For this recipe, I will be using Flour Tortillas (2 per quesadilla, or 1 per half-quesadilla), Cheese (as much or little as you like), leftover Taco Meat (or sausage, bacon, lunchmeat, chicken, or veggies), Onion, and Diced Jalapenos. You will also need a little oil or butter to grease the skillet.

Step 1: Grease your skillet.

Step 2: Add a flour tortilla and some cheese. You will want to work quickly from this point so that yor tortilla does not get over-browned on the bottom.
Step 3: Add your meat.

Step 4: Add any veggies or additional ingredients.

I have to say...this looks delicious!

Step 5: Add some more cheese on top- this will make the two tortillas stick together when you have so many toppings they want to fall apart. Yum!

Step 6: Add another flour tortilla to the top and press it down with your hand.

Step 7: Flip the whole thing over--you might need to hold that top tortilla on when doing this. I just do it very quickly and it (usually) works.


Step 8: Make another half because it looks so delicious! (Or because you have one odd tortilla).

These can be a little harder to get rolled over and flipped...be careful not to burn yourself! (Even though the bottom is cooked, it is a good idea to flip it to melt that fresh cheese you just put on top--or put cheese over the whole tortilla when you start--I'm known for doing things the hard way.)

Step 9: Cut into slices.

Step 10: Serve with sour cream and salsa (or guacamole and fresh pico de gallo).

(Step 11:) Devour.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. Did you try it? Do you ever put "strange" things on your quesadillas like peanut butter and pickles? Share with all of us in the comments.

Monday, February 9, 2015

National Read in a Bathtub Day


Today is National Read in the Bathtub Day. I'll bet you didn't even know there was such a thing!
 (Me neither).
 
In the spirit of fun, I have taken a few pictures of myself and my children reading in the bathtub.

We read If You Give a Pig a Pancake and Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What do You Hear?
Baby Boy looks a little sleepy here, but he perked up when we started to read.

Sister read.

Then baby brother tried it too!

They both enjoyed the break from our normal routine!

I am proud to be able to offer my children these (sometimes silly) enrichening experiences.

After all, how many public-schooled kids got to read in a bathtub today?
 
 
Looking at the above pictures, you might get the idea that I am making light of the importance of reading to your children. Believe me, that isn't the case! I am showing how important it is to me to read aloud to my children as they grow...even if it takes reading in some unconventional places.
 
The next time your kids are squirming during reading time, try one of these ideas:
  • Take a blanket outside and have a reading picnic
  • Go to the park or playground and read sitting on the swings or hiding in the tunnels
  • Go to your local library and find a quiet corner to read
  • Try out a story hour at your local library
  • Go out for ice-cream and take a book to read
Does your family have a special way to break up the read-aloud monotony? What is it? Share in the comments!
 
Want more info about why reading to your kids is so important? Check out this study by Scholastic published in the NY Times: http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/01/08/us/study-finds-reading-to-children-of-all-ages-grooms-them-to-read-more-on-their-own.html?_r=5&referrer
 
(Look for another post about reading to your kids and encouraging them to read for themselves--in the next week or two).
 
Here is a little info about Read in the Bathtub Day: http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/news/602236-196/daily-twip---read-in-the-bathtub.html 
 

Friday, February 6, 2015

Flash Friday Entry "Gampa" 2-6-15

I wrote this piece for Flash Friday. Head over to Flash Friday to read the other entries or enter your own. The prompts this week include the picture below and a fleeting moment.

Rain (Liberia, Guanacaste, Costa Rica). CC2.0 photo by NannyDaddy.


Gampa
By Charity Paschall

I come here often. Every time it rains, in fact, you may find me here. I walk the paths we walked, still holding the umbrella slightly to one side—more to her side than mine—protecting her as I did once, from the raindrops.

I can still feel her tiny hand in mine—still see her smiling up at me—so beautiful, so perfect.

I see her tiny yellow raincoat and cap, tiny black galoshes as she splashes through the puddles. “Hurry up, Gampa,” she says. My beautiful granddaughter, bald beneath her raincap—she enjoys these walks to the bakery for our special treat—rainy day cupcakes.

Now her joy has been stolen—replaced by pain. Her cancer came back, throwing her out of remission and into the hospital. Three months now, she has been there, her body in the grip of the cancer; doctor’s and drugs doing all they can to save my special girl.

I leave her side only when it rains. I’ll bring her back a rainy day cupcake. I know she can’t eat it, but sometimes her eyes flutter open and she smiles a sad smile for me. I smile back at her as my tears echo her pain.


I hope you enjoyed this story. I would love to hear from you in the comment section!