A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself at least four questions, thus: 1. What am I trying to say? 2.What words will express it? 3. What image or idiom will make it clearer? 4. Is this image fresh enough to have an effect? ~George Orwell

Monday, September 29, 2014

Monday Mourning and Stuff!

Monday makes me sad, and I mourn, but what ya gonna do? Go to work that’s what.

Last week, I was a sick puppy (no Millie pun intended). I finally returned to work on Thursday a little wrung out. Upper respiratory.  
I knew I would get sick this school year because “they” moved me inside the building and out of my “mobile classroom” office. The very first year working at the school (1991-92), I was sick the entire year with something. Kid germs.

I hope this year isn’t a repeat of that year.

I’m still in the rewrites of Body Bags. I’m getting a little bored with it. I really need to write something new and will look in my idea folder.
Speaking of writing. I went to the Laura Ingalls Wilder festival again this year. This photo is of Laura's and Almonzo's Missouri home. On the far left of the photo, a young man played Pa Ingalls' (actual) violin. Exciting! (Click on it to enlarge.) Beside me on the grass, a little girl (8 or 9) danced a jig in her prairie dress and bonnet. So cute. The love for Laura's books lives on in the newest of generations. That warms my heart for sure.
Millie the PILL
Millie is no longer cute to me, nor her antics. No really!  The honeymoon is over! I cleaned out my bookcase and left my very old Dog Book (really that’s the title) within her reach. I thought perhaps she would enjoy looking over the part where she’s supposed to be a good doggy.

I found out she doesn't enjoy reading, but she does like eating EVERYTHING. Millie peeled off parts of the cover with her razor teeth and ate it. Right in front of me. And with no shame.  

Millie went to a groomer for the first time. I needed her claws nails trimmed after my final attempt at trimming them and causing her to bleed. While she was there, I also asked that they cut the hair away from her face. Her eyes had been weepy from hair touching her eyeballs.
I kind of liked her better with the overgrown face. It kept her demons at bay. Giving her eyesight back was a mistake.

I swear she’s ornerier with a shaved face, and this is my theory. I think Millie can see better now which helps her locate things she should not do. 

Millie likes snakes, especially leopard snakes. She caught this one in her backyard.
Finally, one more picture of Millie the Nut who listens to nothing I say. I told her she needed to go to bed. I picked up her toys and put them in her toy box. But Millie decided she wanted to play for just five more minutes--in dog years, with Pink Pig.

The End!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sunday Reflection: Loose Lips, Sink Ships

I admit, I’m a Big Brother fan. In real life it does nothing for the good of mankind or me—absolutely nothing. It’s a voyeuristic show that gives up different personalities mixed with different backgrounds in a social experiment like no other for TV.

This season’s winner was a cop. Prior to taping the show, he told how he would not disclose his job title or his background as an undercover detective, during his time in the house with the other housemates. It would be a strategic decision to use his knowledge as a cop and his profiling skills to win the money. Part of his success, on the show, came from using attentiveness and his listening skills verses doing the talking.  He would then use the information he learned to earn the trust of the others. Everyone seemed liked him, and he seemed to genuinely like the others, but he was there to win. In the end, (I think) some of the others felt betrayed by his tactics.

Nevertheless, listening more than talking may have helped him win this season’s prize. Refraining from shooting off his mouth, like the others did, clearly gave him an advantage.
Whether they are well thought out or spouted out with no forethought words are powerful. It’s kind of like the old adage, “Loose lips sink ships”. Our words can build or destroy.

The Bible talks about using words.
He who keeps instruction is in the way of life,
But he who refuses correction goes astray.

Whoever hides hatred has lying lips,
And whoever spreads slander is a fool.

In the multitude of words sin is not lacking,
But he who restrains his lips is wise.

The tongue of the righteous is choice silver;
The heart of the wicked is worth little.

The lips of the righteous feed many,
But fools die for lack of wisdom. Proverbs 10:17-21 (NIV)

Taking a second or two to consider our word choice (or none at all) before they come from our mouths may save a life—our own. J


Monday, September 22, 2014

Secrets of Honor

I’m only a week late on getting this wonderful news out because:

1.      I’ve been sick and still am.  
2.     Millie is wearing me down to a frazzle.
3.     Millie doesn’t believe in ME being sick.
4.     Work is killing me and so are Millie’s demands.
5.     There was a three inch spider (think legs and all) in my utility (and no this isn’t a big fish story). It was so big that it started eating Millie and I had to pull her out of its jaws. (Yes, THAT is a big fish story.) Since that night, I’m freaked out, had nightmares, wear boots to take Mills through the utility to go outside, and when a drip of water fell off the eaves of the house in the early morning, I may have screamed like a girl and may caused other people's dogs to bark incessantly. It was a really big deal—the spider. I don’t know what kind it was: tarantula, wolf spider or Spideyman gone really wrong, but it's dead.
I can’t write about it anymore—so let’s move on.

Carol Kilgore has a NEW Book out called SECRETS OF HONOR
By the end of a long evening working as a special set of eyes for the presidential security detail, all Kat Marengo wants is to kick off her shoes and stash two not-really-stolen rings in a secure spot. Plus, maybe sleep with Dave Krizak. No, make that definitely sleep with Dave Krizak. The next morning, she wishes her new top priorities were so simple. 

As an operative for a covert agency buried in the depths of the Department of Homeland Security, Kat is asked to participate in a matter of life or death—locate a kidnapped girl believed to be held in Corpus Christi, Texas. Since the person doing the asking is the wife of the president and the girl is the daughter of the first lady’s dearest friend, it’s hard to say no. 

Kat and Dave quickly learn the real stakes are higher than they or the first lady believed and will require more than any of them bargained for. The kicker? They have twenty-four hours to find the girl—or the matter of life or death will become more than a possibility. 

Who is this Carol that I speak of?
Carol sees mystery and subterfuge everywhere. And she’s a sucker for a good love story—especially ones with humor and mystery. Crime Fiction with a Kiss gives her the latitude to mix and match throughout the broad mystery and romance genres. Having flexibility makes her heart happy.

You can connect with Carol at/on:

Under the Tiki Hut blog:  http://www.underthetikihut.blogspot.com
Her website with a Monthly Contest: http://www.carolkilgore.net
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/carol.kilgore1
Twitter: http://twitter.com/carol_kilgore
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6094110.Carol_Kilgore
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Carol-Kilgore/e/B008FRCXQY

Buy your Kindle copy HERE

Buy your Paperback copy HERE  

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sunday Reflection: Faith Grounded

If you read my blog on a regular basis, you might know that I’m faith grounded. I believe in God and his son Jesus Christ who died for my sin (past, present and future). Even if I’d never acknowledged Jesus or believed in him, he still died for “the world”.  I believe that when I die, I will spend eternity with God. I believe that the Holy Spirit of God lives in me, helping me to connect with God and God to me. I believe that God’s word (the Holy Bible) is powerful as I declare its truth over life’s situations, use it for guidance and fill up with its power to push me forward.

Just like every person in this world, I’ve known sorrow, hard times and devastating circumstances, but I face none of these alone.  God is my sanctuary.
"You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.

I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your right hand upholds me.

Those who want to kill me will be destroyed; they will go down to the depths of the earth. They will be given over to the sword and become food for jackals.

But the king will rejoice in God; all who swear by God will glory in him, while the mouths of liars will be silenced." Psalm 63 (NIV)


Monday, September 15, 2014

Using Fear to Write

I’m working on a short story called Scared to Death. It’s one of the stories from Body Bags, but I’ve pulled it hoping to, maybe, possibly, enter it in a contest.

What I’m learning from writing this story is that when you write about your own fears, you may sweat, have nightmares and hear things. As a writer, this could work for you.
To use your own fears in stories you must:
  • Revisit your fears if you want to make it real for your reader.
  • Use fear concepts/words as in eyes staring back at you or  breath on my neck but--I'm alone.
  • Write late at night (no really), but be sure you can sleep the next day because you'll be tired.
Speaking of fear
Monday night, after the Sunday night (yes it always ends up that way) where Millie stared out at my pet cemetery in the dark, she acted strange again. This time in the yard, she  was glued to my ankle. Wouldn’t. Didn’t. Leave my ankle. So we went back inside.  

The next night, Millie (thank you, God) went potty first before she and I heard something scream in the field past my pet cemetery. I don't know what it was, but I nearly tore the storm door off getting back inside. Once inside, I remembered Millie. I’d left her outside. So I look out the window, in the door, but she was nowhere in my sight. I knew had no other choice; I had to go back outside to find her. As I tugged at the door to open it  again something brush at my bare ankle. Millie! She had hurried inside, too.

That's my girl.

I am afraid of the dark. Millie is afraid of change, so I bought her first doggy outfit. Millie doesn’t like her new threads at all. She thinks it is eating her alive. To finish off the look, I wanted to put one of her barrettes in her hair, but I then I saw her face.
What's YOUR biggest fear?