You can use a teabag more than one time, well you can do the same thing with coffee grounds-but, if you're like me, you'll have to add some fresh grounds on top - I like my coffee strong-especially in the wee-hours of the morning.
Tip for Being Earth-Friendly: Instead of making one pot of coffee and then throwing out the grounds, just add a second (fresh) scoop of coffee grounds on top of the used grounds and make another pot. That way you'll save coffee filters, coffee, and money.
Then, to be even friendlier to the earth, take the used grounds and put them-right with the filter-out in the compost pile to go into the garden. You'll be replenishing the soil and adding mulch at the same time.
People search, sometimes a lifetime, to find the one thing that sets their soul on fire.
If you already know you love to write, you're way ahead in the game.
Then you've got to send out your work, whether it's to a magazine, a newspaper, or a book publisher, it doesn't matter. Just send it out-of course you'll have to figure out which one is appropriate. But then, and this is the BIG important part of the tip, be persistent.
It's like one of those cheers from the high school drill team:
It's like Rose said in Titantic, "I'll never let go."
Of my dreams.
And don't you let go either. We all need to hold on to our dreams.
Pop on over to post a comment on ECOwomen.net and you just might win an ECO-friendly prize.
Here’s the important part of this new adventure: The eco-merchandise is NOT going to line the Eco Women’s pockets with money. Oh no, the Eco Women are using any profits for the greater good and will be donating earnings to non-profits that actively work to save Planet Earth. So, even if you don't win, you might want to check out some of the ECO-gear here.
Definitely not for little kids but "HE"larious. I've loved Gerard Butler since The Phantom, so maybe I'm a wee-bit biased-NOT.
Of course I think he's an amazingly talented singer, devilishly handsome and an awesome actor . . . well, okay, maybe I am a tiny tad biased but all you gals looking for a little fun, a few laughs and a good look at a hottie from Scotland, you might want to learn a little more about The Ugly Truth. Go see it - just don't take the kids.
So are you asking what Steinbeck has to do with being Earth-friendly? Well, maybe a little or maybe a lot.
Steinbeck’s claim to fame was his story Of Mice and Men. And, I’m not one to question authorities on subjects – oh, wait, maybe I am. But, to be honest, I’m thinking he may have gotten it wrong. Calm down all you Steinbeckies out there in cyberland.
All I'm saying is that we shouldn’t be thinking of Mice and Men. We should be thinking of Worms and Men.
If you’re wondering what I’m talking about, that’s good. I’m talking about being green, eco-friendly and earth-friendly all rolled up into one EZ-Smeazy concept: Worm Bins.
What is a worm bin and how much does one cost? Well you can check them out here. But they range in price from about $60 to $80. Of course if that pricetag is too steep, you can always build one yourself.
Worms are picky.
There are some foods you can't put into a worm bin: cabbage, brussel sprouts, broccoli and no citrus goes in the bin.
And the worms will suddenly become homing worms if you don't keep their environment pleasant. Ways to build a good home for your worms is to add paper, egg shells and chopped up food products to your top tray. You also need to spray water into the bin to keep it moist.
After a while you will be able to harvest your worm tea - a.k.a. worm pee.
If you're curious about where you find your worms, relax. You don't need to dig them up and steal them away from their happy homes. You can visit Findworms. com where you can buy a pound of worms for about $30 per pound.
So let's not do a little - let's do the most Let's grow a worm bin - let's all compost!
Any story you tell, won't be the same story someone else would tell-even if it's true.
For example, look at the first four chapters of the New Testament, in the Bible. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were all telling the same old story - just in different ways with different words and from different perspectives. So the story might be the same but it will never read that way - or not quite.
The secret to writing a good story is to make the lie believable. Think of creative-writing as creative-lying. It might seem a little more fun when you think of it that way ;-) or at least it will make you feel more like a super-sleuth, searching for the dangerous, exciting, or emotional impact inside the mundane reality of every day.
So what makes writing fiction interesting to you? Share your thoughts in the "comments" section.
SO YOU WANT TO DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT THIS SUMMER?
Just GO APE! At Ape Cave.
Have you ever wanted to go exploring or travel to the center of the earth? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a mole, rabbit or even an ant; all these creatures burrow away beneath the surface, down deep, inside holes in the ground. They travel through tunnels – never seen by human eyes.
If you have ever wanted to go exploring beneath the surface of the earth, then maybe you’re a natural spelunker and simply wanting to go spelunking.
A spelunker is someone who travels inside the earth by visiting caves and tunnels. One of the best places in the world to visit, if you want to explore these natural wonders is the Pacific Northwest.
And, Ape Cave is always about 45 degrees so it doesn’t matter whether you visit in the summer or winter.
Just visit Mt. St. Helens and you can enter Ape Cave or travel over to Bend and you can visit Lava River Cave, Wind Cave, Arnold Ice Cave, Boyd Cave and more. And not too far away, in Northern California, The Lava Monument offers stories of the famous Indian known as “Captain Jack” and the Modoc War.
Listen to tales of Captain Jack’s standoff and this little known war. Then learn about stalactites, stalagmites and the bats and other inhabitants inside these underground dwellings.
And with The Oregon Cave near Cave Junction, the opportunities for underground exploration are nearly limitless.
As you wander these underground sites, you’ll learn the answers to questions like:
How old is Ape Cave and are there monkeys living inside? Where is Ape Cave? How long is Ape cave? Why is it called “Ape Cave” and not “Chimpanzee Cave”?
Maybe it should really be called Gorilla Cave because it’s the second longest lave tube in the entire world (almost 2 and ½ miles long!) And when you explore Ape Cave you can travel 4000 feet beneath the surface. Luckily, the floor is covered with sand, which makes walking easy inside this cave. This is a great first cave for any wanna-be spelunkers to begin exploring especially since it only takes a little over an hour for a round-trip walking tour.
This is one very old Ape. Can you guess how old this hole in the ground is?
The lava tube was formed when Mount St. Helens erupted about 1900 years ago and molten lava ran through the earth to form Ape Cave.
Ape cave wasn’t even named after an animal. It was named after a youth group called the St. Helens Apes.
So travel via the web or your welcome to come to the Pacific Northwest and explore all the caves we have to offer. Just go APE
You've probably heard of community gardens but have you ever heard of a community kitchen? Salt, Fire and Time is such an organization. Their "menus change weekly and focus on regional, seasonal organic cuisine with an emphasis on the highest quality ingredients in traditional preparations that satisfy, nourish and support healthy bodies and communities."
They also offer classes. I'm going to the community feast tonight, Friday, July 17th and I'm thinking of signing up for the Fermented Beverages Class.
If you're in Portland or the surrounding area, you might be interested in checking out this list of classes and feasts for the next month and a half.
There are drop in hours for food items at the kitchen on (monday) and wednesday 11-4pm.
Community Feast 7/17 — 7:30 pm (please RSVP, spaces are limited) Speaker: TBA
Fermented Beverages Class 7/21 –6:30pm at the kitchen, demonstration and partial participation. Cost: $30/person, limit 15 people: This will focus on lacto-fermented sodas, kvass and kombuchas. You will have a chance to taste them all, learn how they are made and ask all of your troubleshooting questions.
Weston A. Price Meeting at the Kitchen 7/23 — 7pm, everyone is welcome
Sauerkraut Making Class 7/28 @ 6:30. Cost $25/person. Limited to 15 people. This will be a class to explore salted and unsalted fermentations. I will explain the processes, demonstrate the techniques and sample a variety of products and equipment.
Community Feast 8/7 @ 7:30pm (cost $20/person, please RSVP due to limited spaces) Speaker: TBA
And, look for them at the Hawthorne Days celebration on 8/16, with The Herb Shoppe
Community Feast 8/21 @7:30 in the kitchen. Cost $20/person, please RSVP, space is limited. Speaker: TBA
They will also be at Portland’s Fermentation Festival 8/27
Community Feast 8/28 @7:30 pm in the kitchen. Cost: $20/person. Speaker: Dr. Allison Seibecker
This was a fun read, kinda like watching a Disney version of Anastasia - only for the older crowd.
I love stories about the Romonov family and Anastasia.
What ever happened to her?. . .
This is one book that gives us an idea - fantastical to say the least and entertaining along the way.
The only thing was . . . I wasn't happy with the ending.
Of course my son always says I want a Hollywood ending and, maybe I do.
This was no Disney or Hollywood ending so I don't know if I would recommend it because I like to walk away from a book feeling emotionally recharged - even if that book is a novel by Stephen King, which-by the way-I love. They always end with some sort of hope. . . and that's all I'm asking for.
A little hope at the end of the day.
So has anyone else read this book? What do you have to say? Am I all wet or do you agree with me? Please post your thoughts in "comments" and thanks for your side of the story.
Family reunions should be full of fun, festivities and maybe even a little fear-with a capital "F".
And I should know cuz it was the annual family reunion this weekend.
Since Mom and Dad had nine kids, our family can seem like an entire village - that's why we had to rent an entire camp to get together.
Luckily, there were no talks about old emotional wounds, family fights or bickering. It was a weekend filled with sports, eating, and celebrating what family really means: being there to share, to care, and to dare . . . one another to slide down the side of a mountain on a thin fiberglass make-shift slide.
How crazy can we be . . . ? I guess pretty crazy - because even an old chubby woman like me took the dare. Of course I zoomed down the slide faster than most - it's all that extra weight in the rear - literally - that got me going.
What else could we have done? Well besides roasting marshmallows and making smores,
most of us rode that water slide down the side of the mountain-and I bet people in town could hear me scream like a baby - lost my sunglasses at the bottom of the pond, because I was so nervous about riding the slide, I forgot I had them on - then we went canoeing and kayaking, wakeboarding, innertubing, swimming, going for boatrides watching wildlife roam around our camp,
having friends share in the fun
and more. It was a great way to spend a weekend.
Some family members didn't make it, for whatever reason, but the ones who did make it - made it a blast!
We all took turns making meals and cleaning up. With about 50 people there was a lot to do and some things we never got to do. Of course the horseshoes were fun, but I missed out on the archery, putt-putt golf and volleyball. Can't do it all-but there's always next year.
So, do you have family reunions? What's the best part of the experience? Any tips for next year?
Some of you know I got an agent about one year ago but I haven't sold that YA manuscript-yet. So, to keep busy, I tried my hand at a middle grade novel but figured I'd push myself ahead of the curve by getting a professional critique to help me along the way. I was considering my options when cyberbuddy, Bridget Zinn, had an on-line and in-person auction. I was lucky enough to win a critique with Marvelous Margot Finke.
I don't know what I expected but I definitely got more than my money's worth, plus Margot Finke donated this critique to help a fellow writer. So, besides being a wonderful editor, Margot Finke is an amazing person!
If you're thinking of having some of your work professionally critiqued, take a peek at Margot's prices and consider giving her your business. We writers need to stick together on this path through the wonderful world of publishing.
And Margot is so generous she's offered to give FREE AUDIOS of her reading a story from her "Wild and Wonderful" rhyming series, to 2 people who comment or ask questions, after reading my blog interview.
So, leave a comment, you'll be put in a pot, which Margot will pick from to award a prize. So, take a minute and click on the "comment" section and leave a thought or two. You don't have anything to lose and two of you could end up winners.
Now, here's my interview with Margot:
1) How did you get into the critique business?
My Manuscript Critique career began slowly, as a way of helping new writers up the publication ladder. When I joined the original Children's Writers List ("CW") list (before all the offshoots came along) there were only a few of us. Luckily for me, several wonderful writers mentored my stumbling steps at writing, and set me straight in a firm bur gentle way. Later, after some success myself, I helped others, and did many free critiques for newcomers. One sharp and talented lady read a critique of mine, and then she e-mailed me. "Margot, I get paid to critique manuscripts. The time and expertise you put into these freebies is obvious. You need to get paid for your work."
That was the beginning of my Manuscript Business. However, it takes more than an ability to pinpoint what will HOOK readers, show how to tighten paragraphs, and offer suggestions about voice, character development, and plot structure. These manuscripts are a writer's babies: and no parent trusts a stranger with their child - right. It took time for writers on a variety of lists to get to know and trust me. Word of mouth might be slow, but it sticks! My well known website and two blogs also offered writing help and advice, along with promoting my own books and those of others. Having my "Musings" column regularly featured in the Purple Crayon was another plus. Slowly but surely, I built a reputation for critiques that were fair, honest, and sprinkled with suggestions, comments and examples that proved enlightening and helpful.
I invented sayings that hopefully dull the pain that negative comments inflict. Here are some of them:
* You need to make your writing as tight as Aunt Fanny's new girdle. * Use powerful and active words that paint an instant picture in young reader's heads * Think of this chapter as an overgrown garden that needs to be weeded and pruned. * Waffles are for breakfast - not for writing. * Think kid. * A wonderful picture book is like a successful marriage between the writer and the illustrator: you drop word clues for the illustrator to pick up on, and he fills in the details. * You are fishing for an editor, so make sure your HOOK has the kind of bait that lands an editor. Hook 'em early!
One time I was critiquing an MG manuscript, and the writer seemed determined to keep several different POV characters popping in and out of the same chapter. We had become friendly, so I e-mailed her, saying she was giving me gray hairs. She e-mailed me immediately, saying, " So sorry, Margot. Have Fed-Exed you a large jar of red hair dye. Will rethink MS problem so your hair stays red!"
Keeping a good relationship with clients is vital. Yet offering an honest evaluation they can understand and use is equally important. I always tell clients to use my comments and suggestions as a guide to reworking their story with tighter writing, stronger characters, and a pace that sizzles.
Yet I am always waiting for that one person who gets mad at me for my comments and opinions, and thinks my suggestions are !@#$. So far it hasn't happened, but there's always tomorrow. . .
Check out my Manuscript Critique Service here: http://mysite.verizon.net/mfinke/Manuscript%20Critique.htm#crits 2) How many manuscripts do you edit per month and/or year?
Lordy mate, that is a tricky one. I have a huge file of completed critiques, but I have never counted them - monthly or yearly totals. Sometimes I receive requests for several large manuscripts a week. An in-depth critique takes a lot of time and concentration, and the time it takes depends on the skill level of the writer. At other times it will be all picture books for a week or so - maybe six or seven at a time. Then things taper off, and I have nothing on my crit plate for a few weeks. It is often feast or famine. Either I am working flat out, juggling clients needs, with no time to write anything of my own, or my plate is empty.
With MG or YA manuscripts, I usually work on two or three chapters at a time, returning them in stages to the author.
3) How many books do you have published and have you ever used a professional critique for your own work?
Years ago I paid for a professional critique on one of my books. It taught me a good lesson. This person said my writing and plot was great, but I discovered later ( after numerous rejections) that she was not involved with children's books - only adult writing. I should have researched better, and found a professional steeped in the business of writing for children.
I now have 8 books published, with two more coming out soon.
All reluctant reader friendly! "Wild and Wonderful" is a 7 book rhyming series of facts about animals from the US and Australia. Fun and educational, it's for teachers in classrooms, and home schooling parents. Available from my website as autographed CDs, or e-Books from Reader's Eden, Fictionwise, and many more.
"Rattlesnake Jam" is my latest - a fun fest for boys. The cartoon style illustrations, by award winner Kevin Scott Collier, make Gran, Pa and the rattlers jump off the page. You can even go to "Gran's Kitchen" on my website, for genuine rattlesnake recipes - no barfing allowed!
The other two are "Ruthie and the Hippo's Fat Behind" - illustrated by K.C. Snider (that pink hippo steals the story!), and "Horatio Humble Beats the Big D," illustrator Ellen Gurak. Teacher guides and coloring sheets come with both books. All three published by Guardian Angel Publishing (G.A.P.) and available in soft cover or e-book versions from my website, Amazon, B&N, Target, Fictionwise and more.
** Any book bought from my website comes with a FREE AUDIO link to me reading that book + the illustrations. Links to all books mentioned are on my Website Directory: http://www.margotfinke.com
4) What is your favorite aspect of being involved in manuscript critiques?
I love helping writers "get" it. So many of them come to children's writing without a clue about what is involved. When I look at a rewrite that is way tighter, stronger, and focused on what will hook readers, I feel a real thrill. I helped point the way to publication. Some writers have good instincts right form the first paragraph they write. The buzz I get from helping them tighten and polish their chapters is huge. 5) What is the most common problem you see with manuscripts?
That's easy, mate. Picture Books * Too wordy. Aunt Fanny's girdle always needs an extra cinch! * Using 10 words when 5 do nicely. * Repeating the same sentiment, just varying the words. * Tired and overworked verbs and adjectives - Use Word Thesaurus ( Shift F7 ) to find powerful and active verbs & evocative adjectives. * Getting to the point - short attention span of young kids.
MG or YA * HOOK the reader early * Tighten the writing * Focus on what is vital to the plot * Good character development. * Weak Verbs 6) What would be the one universal tip you would give to new writers?
Read, read, read, books in the age and genre you want to write. This will help you absorb a feel for sentence structure + plot and character development. Taking a writing class is also a great idea, especially if it's been a few decades since you were in English Class.
In the book business, we wannabe-writers can use all the tips, hints, and breaks we can get because – believe me – those breaks are few and far between.
So, what’s a newbie writer to do?
Play the writing game like a sport – fishing to be exact. Bait editors and agents to read your manuscript by developing a web presence. It’s a long path to publication but here are a few helpful shortcuts that might help you.
CREATE A WRITER’S WEBSITE
This one small investment will make it easier for agents and/or editors to do their research, when it comes to potential writers. With the click of a mouse, everything is right at their fingertips. (Not every agent or editor will go through the process to click their way around your website - but some will.) And we, writers, will save a boatload of money in postage and mailing expenses. It’s a win-win proposition.
• Keep it simple or people will jump ship before the pages finish downloading. Great graphics sound interesting but they usually take way too long to display. Don’t waste time with fancy flash animation and graphics which will only discourage impatient viewers.
• Lure people to read more by posting a picture of yourself somewhere on your webpage. This helps readers identify with you as a real person out there in the vast sea known as cyberspace.
• Chum your readers by offering links to other great websites.
• Bait your buyers by having an “Upcoming” or “News” tab so that fans (we’re all hoping to have them one day) will be able to look ahead and get ready to buy your next great masterpiece.
• Don’t make too much noise or you’ll scare away the fish and readers too. Music may be fine for mood setting but most people check websites at work, on breaks, during lunch, etc. And, no one wants to disrupt coworkers.
• Update your content regularly. This is vitally important. People don’t want to waste time reviewing old news.
• Remember to post contact information so that readers can comment and/or ask questions, like where can they find your recently published book, article or poem?
Tomorrow I will be posting an interview with professional critique maven Margot Finke. Please come back and visit tomorrow and leave a comment for a prize donated by Marvelous Margot herself.
We took a little road trip for the 4th of July weekend. We went to Lava Land in Central Oregon. While we were there we stopped at Paulina Lake Lodge and had dinner in the caldera then we went to the Obsidian Flow.
I got a package in the mail from Green Works on Tuesday. It had this sturdy tote bag in it, which I will use when I go grocery shopping - and save the landfills from a few hundred plastic bags over the course of one year. But another really cool thing about this bag is that it was a reward I got for submitting an Earth-friendly idea. How EZ-smeazy is that?
And this bag was designed by Hollywood actress and mom, Jennie Garth. The Green Bag by Jennie Garth is made from 100 percent recycled cotton and is reusable.
Green Works is a great company so, if you get a chance, check out their website.
(Hope you all have a fantastic "green" holiday weekend!!!)
Thanks for visiting my site. "The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today Is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips Then walk out the door and deny him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable." DC Talk