Have Americans Gone too far with Christmas Lights? #Christmaslightwars

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Image courtesy of creative commons license via flickr.com by terren in Virginia

I used to look forward to driving home from Grandma’s House at Christmas time when I was a child, to be able to see all the pretty Christmas decorations and lights on our way back home. I remember oohing and gaping every time we passed another decorated house. Nowadays, the homes are a hit or miss. They are either undecorated because no one can afford the light bill or they are over decorated and look gaudy awful and too bright for the eyes to behold.
For instance, in the article, Christmas Lights ‘on Steroids’ Bring Parking Headaches to Dyker Heights, parking is limited even more because of the draw the Christmas lights have on crowds to the neighborhood. (SCHWEBER, 2016) I wouldn’t want to live in a neighborhood where the annual Christmas light contest was taking place. First off, I wouldn’t want that light bill nor to waste that much energy on an over-decorated home. Christmas is much more than decorated homes with giant live Christmas trees. I also wouldn’t want to deal with the traffic or know that thousands of tourists are coming to my neighborhood to see a dazzling light display. The traffic is bad enough on my street, more cars and trucks mean that I would need to turn up my television so I could hear it over the traffic.
When we decorate for Christmas, we put up the yearly artificial tree. We did do the live tree for a few years, but then the cat discovered pine tea and knocked the tree over multiple times trying to get that last sip of water out of the bottom of the tree stand. When we switched back to the artificial tree, the tree stands unharmed.
Sometimes we put up a string of lights at the front door with a pair of candy cane lights. This year only the Christmas Wreath decorates our entry which does not mean I’m not feeling the Christmas spirit; it just says we intend to stay within our budget and finish the year on a positive note.

Reference

SCHWEBER, N. (2016, December 2). Christmas Lights ‘on Steroids’ Bring Parking Headaches to Dyker Heights. Retrieved from The New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/02/nyregion/christmas-lights-on-steroids-bring-parking-headaches-to-dyker-heights.html

 

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Farfetched Story Sounds Familiar

 

Someone has been reading my short stories or so it appears.

An article was posted in the Facebook news feeds and I had to go and check it out. The story does sound a bit farfetched but hey, I suggested this in my short story that I wrote years ago, Bed Bug Ridden.[1]

Apparently, some woman decided to burn down her house because of a bad infestation of bed bugs. I wrote Bed Bug Ridden back around 2010 as a short story and you can read it in my Time Pieces Collection which has stories that are funny, simple, short and sweet with a touch of some suspense. There are 13 stories in this collection.


[1]  (Jennifer Baker 2017)

 

References

 

Jennifer Baker, Digital Content Produce. Woman trying to kill bed bugs accidentally sets multi-family home ablaze. December 9, 2017. (accessed December 9, 2017).

 

I Ask Myself A Thousand Times Why I Write

I will continue to ask myself over and over why I write and the list continues to grow.

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  • Communication: Writing is a form of communicating with those not met or seen every day. A friend, a sibling, former co-worker, even someone never met may find a shared experience to be inspirational, helpful or educational.
  • Sharing: Experiences are wonderful to share. By sharing the experience the how, why and what will offer insight to what to possibilities for others.
  • Caring: Everyone needs something. Caring is part of sharing insights of experiences of how to do something, why to do it, and what the reason was for the experience.
  • Business: Writers write, plain and simple. Writing becomes more than a hobby as the experience continues to grow, which leads to greater sharing opportunities that are all part of business as usual.
  • Just because I can: The more experience a writer obtains, the more they need to write. Just because, writing is a form of communication just like talking to someone in person. The letter, diary, story, note, message, chat, or phone calls all are forms of communication to not only other people but also to the self.
  • Something I like to do: Writing is fun and allows detachment from the current world. Life can be shaped to reflect dreams, illusions, or reality.
  • Imagination: A form of dreaming, day dreaming, scurrying the unknown to experience what if possibility. Nightmares can be horrifying, but the disturbing nightmare can be overcome by the power found in imagination. A weapon can magically appear to kill the monster; one only needs to imagine – or think it.
  • Creativity: To think something into existence. What is real? Think and see something appear as one wish. What comes first? Imagination or reality.
  • Development: Can be personal or creative. Change takes place without one knowing, realizing a plan is in action until all is done and over with the final result or outcome.
  • Pondering: Thinking, imagining, wonder, inspiration, and creating a new idea or thought.
  • Growth: Personal, knowledge, financial, character, and wisdom are all desirous for any individual.
  • Aspiration: What one wants, wishes, and desires in their life. The one and only, the bucket list that never empties.
  • Escape: Freedom from the events of the day. An excellent way to release stress and learn to enjoy life once again.
  • Experience: What has been learned from doing something, being somewhere, being with whom, and knowing a common knowledge?
  • Learning: All that is needed to know how to do something, to be someone, to get somewhere in life.
  • Self-discovery: Self-knowledge, knowing who you are, become all that one needs to be, and understanding the self.
  • Self-expression: Communicating who we are and what we want and why we want what we want. Just being a being is all one needs to be.
  • Experiencing life: Life happens regardless whether we want to be on the boat of life. Open up and know what is happening to experience the storms so one can ride the waves of life without capsizing the boat.

My Year Flashed Before My Eyes

Where did my year go?

This year has rushed by, and I can see why with being as busy as I have been with school and work. First-year terms are coming to an end. They finish up on May 13th leaving me with two years and two terms to go before acquiring that Bachelor degree. Microeconomics is not one of my favorite subjects. Economics, in general, are not a favorite either. I haven’t struggled this hard since taking Principles of Finance though I sure I’m going to pass.

I added to my book collection

 

 

 

I discovered a couple of good buys this weekend on Amazon dot com. One of which was the book, Writing Romances – A Handbook by the Romance Writers of America. I picked the book up the used book for $6. It turned out to be a sweet find. I plan on reading a minimum of one chapter a day. So far it has taught me about the functions of an agent, and now I’m learning about the duties of a publishing house editor. This book holds the nuts and bolts about publishing.

The other book I found in the used book section is the Chicago Manual of Style 15th edition that I picked up for $10. The 17th edition is about to release, but the used version will suffice for now, which is better than going without any edition. 

I love stumbling across things, especially great deals. So what if the RWA book was published back in 1996 even though so much has changed in the publishing world, some things never change that drastically like what editors do or what agents do. Yes, we have moved into an electronic era, but print books are making a comeback. I have found electronics to be hard on the eyes, and there is still that something about being able to hold a physical book in your hands. If I have to have that book, it will be a print edition, but if I’m not sure whether or not I will like the book, I tend to go with the electronic version. Why waste a tree on paper if the book is not worth reading?

My manuscripts still sit covered with dust.

I will return to them in time. Ideas are beginning to flow, and I can feel a story brewing in the back of my mind. I should be journaling every day. That won’t happen. The next 12 weeks will be hectic with school. I will have two back to back crash courses that will contain eight weeks of work to be completed in 6 weeks each. – My summer school. What I do to try and get ahead in life all because my story ideas seemed so lame at the time. Now I barely have enough time to post to my blog.

Blog ideas for the coming year:

  • Journaling
  • Interviews – I could not only host questions and answers with writers but what about professionals in every neck of the woods. Hmm… what a thought.
  • Books I have discovered – books of the craft, for the craft, and arts and crafts
  • My pets – Keelaa and Julie
  • My grandbabies are growing up so fast.
  • Pictures of my garden
  • Works in progress updates

I wonder which of these will find their way to the surface the most, who knows what the coming year will bring besides being one more year closer to getting that degree.

Witch Book – A Story I Wrote in Record Time – Will I Ever Do it Again?

Four years ago, I published Witch Book. I was able to set a record for myself when I wrote that book by having the first draft done in 90 days. It just seemed to flow across the screen. I did struggle with the world building. I hope to master that by the time I write the next book in the Orgarlan Series.

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The cover has changed a couple of times since I first published it, but the story has remained the same. It is one of my all-time favorites for my readers and myself.

I kind of drifted away from Orgarlan and went back to writing contemporary. It is a tendency I have when I write, moving back and forth between genre.  Not that I don’t like writing fantasy. It is my most favorite to read. I also like suspense, mystery, action and adventure. Romances are my newest endeavor, which I find is hard to slip into my stories.

I never considered myself to be a romanticist. We all have different opinions of what a romance novel should be. I hear the main ingredient for romance is the happy ending. Cinderella comes to mind, she and Prince Charmin lived happily ever after.

As I write in the coming months I will be concentrating on finding my happy endings to any story I plot out. Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of plotting and planning. Instead of writing diligently on the next thing, I’m planning and plotting out one story after another. A pile of them is starting to form.

The first step in writing a story is planning. I want a plot outlining every event that is to take place in the story before I head out. When I get stuck in the plot, then I move on to the next plot outline. My goal is to have a big stack of them that I will be able to work off of when I’m finished with getting my degree.

I’m really looking forward to my composition classes. I have a feeling that my blog posts will center around those two classes once they start.

I believe my inability to write for the past six months has been due to the need to fill the brain with facts and knowledge. Lack of confidence too probably has had something to do with being blocked. Recently, I’ve been finding my self-confidence once again. Making the Dean’s List helped along with this sudden resurgence of co-workers taking an immediate interest in Witch Book.

I recently told one co-worker, if a sudden demand happened, I probably would be motivated to write the next book in the Orgarlan Series.

GRRM takes several years between books. Though his books are over a thousand pages long. I can understand why it takes him so long to write the next book. Mine are not as long, but world building takes a lot of thought, especially when you want to build some sort of back story to tie a series together.

I have three weeks left to this term. I wonder how many plot outlines I can make in the next three weeks?