Friday, November 27, 2009

Change of Plans

I regret to say that Writer's Alcove won't happen this week because the person hasn't responded. If you don't have your email enabled, please think about it. It makes things so much easier when someone tries to contact you. If you've always wanted to do it but didn't know how, I'm going to help you. Click on Edit Profile. Scroll down until you see Show Email--make sure this box is checked. Save changes.

Since all of you liked it, I'm going to do another Scavenger Hunt. Click here to see the first one.

The Object of the Game: Find as many things out about me by searching through my entries--old and new. Take advantage of the search bar. (The relevant entries will show in a white box.)

  • What Christmas gift did I loathe so much that I made it stop talking?

  • What is a game that my brother and I played as children?

  • What unusual place did my brother and I sometimes play in outside?

  • Name the band that I loved as a preteen.

  • What did I chew on at a friend's sleepover?

  • A female Kohl's sales associate didn't know what this is. What is it?

  • What did I dress up for Halloween as a child?

  • What did I give my grandparents for their anniversary?

  • What did my brother and I do to my dad's former girlfriend's daughter one afternoon?

  • What kind of AFOs (braces) was I wearing when my brother was wearing these:

Have fun! I'll post the answers late Monday (or Tuesday) afternoon.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Memories Rewind: Don't take It it's all I've Got

It was a few weeks before Christmas. People were rushing around filling their carts and arms with gifts. In the midst of the chaos was the ever popular Christmas photographer. The line wove its way around the aisle and into the clothing. It was almost if that photo was a rite of passage each year. After all, mothers were standing in line for hours with screaming babies who just wanted food. No cameras, duckies, or funny faces.

Before I knew it, it was my turn. Sit on the box and face the camera sweetie said the nice man. I smoothed out my deep blue dress and gave them my best smile. Click, click, click. Three pictures down and a million to go.

"Here's an umbrella. We want to try something a little different" said the female assistant. Only a woman knows that an outfit isn't complete without accessories-and neither is a photo. My eyes lit up at the sight of the beautiful white lace. Hold the umbrella in one hand while tilting your head, OK? said the woman. I gave it my best shot while clutching the umbrella.

"OK, All done! " said the woman. I slid off the box proudly holding my newfound treasure. "Sweetie, you have to give the umbrella back." What?! No one told me that. Needless to say, I wasn't giving up that easily. Didn't she see that we were meant to be? I don't think she understood how a child's mind worked. When you give them something, they think it's theirs. She showed me a treasure chest full of goodies like a squeaky yellow duck, countless shiny bracelets. It was no use. Nothing could compare to my umbrella.
ETA: In an ideal world, the umbrella would have become mine, making a home amongst my toy box. Alas, it wasn't meant to be. I got a vivid taste of reality that day that left a bitter taste in my mouth. I was beginning to think that I didn't like photographers after all. I did as I was told and placed the umbrella back in the black trunk. I didn't look back because I was too sad. A lifelong friendship filled with tea parties and dress up wasn't meant to be.
I thought I had written that I didn't get to keep it in the end. My fingers were typing faster than my brain was processing things! Thanks for catching that, Gwen!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Writing: More than a Hobby, it's a Passion

As you know, writing is a passion of mine. My love of writing was fueled by an awe of how words, style, and sentence structure could create something vastly different each time I wrote. My English teachers always encouraged me to continue to get better putting a smiley face in the corner. My mom would also give her stamp of approval when I showed her my latest piece. That love and appreciation of writing is still with me today.

In one of my speech classes, a classmate wrote a blog about how interpersonal communication has changed. I was reminded of the days where my friend and I would write letters. It was almost as if she was closer to me in that letter because I could close my eyes and imagine her writing that letter with the ink flowing smoothly across the page. What were her thoughts at that time? Words kept us connected even when distance didn't.

It's sad to know that kids would rather text than put pen to paper these days. I recently read an article that teachers are trying to preserve the art of cursive writing. The teacher said that now schools stop teaching cursive after third grade. You had to really concentrate when first learning cursive, and I was elated when I finally mastered the h.

As I’m sitting here thinking of my friend and our letters we exchanged, so long ago, I was struck with a simple but complex thought: The mind is not only a memory holder but also a memory maker. How can they be both, you wonder? The mind holds memories just like a recorder. Memories of my first day of college, memories of a group discussion in class that led to infectious laughter ringing loud over any disagreements there may have been. It’s also a memory maker because our mind has the innate ability to weave words together like a beautiful tapestry that’s never ending.

What are some of your passions?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Writer's Alcove: A Duck in her Pond

Today we have the Blond Duck from A Duck in her Pond here with us. She's a spunky magazine editor who writes stories that capitative you within minutes and leave you begging for more. In her spare time, she enjoys watching her two furbabies beg for fresh pie or cookies straight from the oven. Grab your favorite beverage and get comfortable as we learn more about the Blond Duck!

1. What got you interested in writing?

To be frank, I have no idea. I just know I’ve never not written. I was a voracious reader even from a really young age. My parents used to go hoarse from reading book after book to me at night! And I always loved stories, whether they were being told by a teacher or neighbor. The fourth grade is the earliest time I can remember announcing I wanted to be a children’s book writer and illustrator.

I’m still working on the illustrating part.

2. If you could write your dream novel, what would it be and why?

I have written my dream novel. All my stories are dream stories. Each one comes from a burst of inspiration and is the most wonderful tale ever. Then, I get an idea for another one. Each story I write is a favorite, in its own little way. But Twirl and The Gift were the most popular, to date.

3. Tell me about the first story you ever wrote. What were some of the characters?
It was Mr. Bunny. He was going to Canada and bringing Mrs. Bunny back a present. It was a wonderful tale, about seven pages colored with pencil and crayon and stapled in the center.

4. If you could be a character in a book what would you be and why?
I would be a mix of Dallas Jean, Vivi, Miss Pickles and the kitchen fairy seen in Bitzy’s tale last year. If you can think of the most outlandish, fun, magical, pink-wearing pie-eating character, that would be me. I would rather be crazy and weird than boring. Life is about adventures…and lots of pie.

5. If you could meet one author (dead or alive) who would it be?
Roald Dahl or Madeline L’Engle.

6. Do you have any secret talents that we don’t know about?
I can pick things up with my toes.

7. If you could travel back in time where would you go and who would you take?

I would take Ben, and we would go to the ‘50s. I would dine at milk shops and charming diners every day, wear poodle skirts and do all those fun dances. Plus, they had penicillin then and the war was over. I would leave before the hippies showed up.
8. Favorite childhood memory?
Twirling around in the pink princess Aurora dress my mom sewed for me and hours of my little ponies.

Not much has changed.

9. If you were on a deserted island what is one fun item you would take and why?
It’s not an item, but the Babies. Watching them chase crabs and chew on coconuts would be hilarious.

10. What was the last book you drooled over in Barnes & Noble (or online)?
Winnie the Pooh.

Now that you know more about my friend that has creativity oozing from her pores, go on over and say hello! The Pond welcomes all visitors(and if you come bearing pie she'll be extra nice to you). If you loved this and know of a fabulous blog that I just must include, email me! Come back next week to see who is visiting the Writer's Alcove!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Memories Rewind: Who knew MyScene could be a Personal DJ?

I need to give a little background on this story. Some of you are thinking, What in the world is MyScene, people already have their own space, do they really need their own scene too?! MyScene was popular with tween girls. You know the ones who are too old to play with Barbies, but still like to dress up dolls? Yeah, I'm talking about those girls.

MyScene is an interactive website that lets you go on shopping sprees, paint your nails, go to the beauty salon and even to a movie premier or two...virtually of course.

One night my cousins begged me to come into the computer room and pull up MyScene for them. I did. It was a little slow to load, but when it did you knew it. The MyScene theme song started playing its little catchy tune. That was all it took for my little cousin to start dancing and goofing off. Before I knew it, we had the music turned up singing our hearts out. My Granddaddy wanted to get in on the fun so he joined us in the sun room.

"What is that playing on the computer? he asked. "It's MyScene, Granddaddy my youngest cousin answered with a dumbfounded look on her face."

"Oh, I kind of like that he said. Turn it up a little." Oh no, I thought. Granddaddy wants me to turn it up? Well, I didn't know what was going to happen next.

He started moving his arms up and down while bobbing his head up and down. My youngest cousin thought this was hilarious. Imagine the music and laughter all woven together to create this feeling of fun in the old and the young.

I dare you to not start singing along to the video below.
*We only paid attention to the part that starts at the 20 second mark and ended at 24 mark because my younger cousin didn't know all of the words*

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Still Alive

I'm still alive. I haven't blogged much because I've had my nose in books and polishing up an essay. This year almost halfway over. I can't believe it! When I was little, time used to drag on forever...or so I thought.

I'm turning in my last essay of the semester tomorrow. I'm always glad to finish it because it means I've almost survived another semester. Therapy is good. I keep going back even when I don't think I can do another exercise or take another step because I know it's worth it. I've seen the difference it makes if you keep at it. I'm not bionic woman by any means, I have to encourage myself just like you do. My mama has always told me to take it one step at a time or I'll get overwhelmed. So, that's what I'm doing. One step means your that much closer to your goal...even if you have to go a little slower than others.

I'm working on finalizing everything for finalizing the lucky blogger who is featured this week. There will be questions that you've might have thought about asking and some of them are just plain fun. You don't want to miss it!

Friday, November 13, 2009

New Feature!

I wanted to do something to honor the immensely talented bloggers out there while still staying true to my passion which is writing. I've racked my brain for weeks for the perfect feature, and I think I've come up with one that's pretty close.

Writer's Alcove will be a weekly post that features a blog that's creative funny, unique, inspiring and everything in between. I'll post a little bit about their blog along with some questions that aren't normally asked of writers.

I also want this to be a place that I can spotlight some blogs that my readers love. If you know anyone who should be featured, write me an email and I'll check them out! This is supposed to be fun, so any and all emails will be read and considered.

What are you waiting for?! Tell who you must read each morning!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Memories Rewind: Superman and the Couch

Some nights my brother and I would be ready for bed, some nights not so much. On those nights that we were just too excited to sleep, we played a "game". It wasn't the type of game where you keep score, constantly looking at the yellow notepad to see who was winning. This was a game that involved no yelling and no fighting. I must say it did require a little patience when waiting your turn.

I had just slipped my light pink gown with a B@rbie emblem over my head. I raced back to the living room ready to start playing. My parents had a old couch that we didn't use. Boy oh boy, we jumped at the chance to have our very own couch. This was very exciting news to seven year olds because it meant we could do whatever we wanted with it, within reason of course.

My brother had taken his rightful place atop the couch, and I was determined to join him. I grabbed the hard edge where the cushions would normally sit and pulled myself up. My brother loved to be Superm@n in this game, so my mom obliged him by getting him a towel from the bathroom. This wasn't just any ordinary towel. This towel had seen many battles so it was worn around the edges, gently fraying. My brother loved this part because it was like the towel had battle scars.

1, 2, 3 we counted in unison. My brother spread out his cape in preparation for his landing because duty called. "Wee!" was the cry that could be heard 'round the world. Anxious for my turn, I skipped the counting. BAM! My landing wasn't so graceful.

"Let's go again!" my brother squealed hardly able to contain his excitement. We repeated this until we were dizzy from jumping so fast numerous times. As we went to bed, we were already planning when Superm@n and his sidekick would meet again.

Can you think of any silly games that you made up with your siblings that were so much fun that you still remember?

*I'm in the process of thinking of a name for a weekly feature so stay tuned for that!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

My Ideal Day

My ideal day would consist of relaxing activities. The world is so fast paced, it's nice to slow down sometimes. I would sleep in till about 9:00 A.M. Then, I would pick up a good book and read a few chapters. Around lunch time, I go have lunch at our favorite restaurant with my mom. We'd talk about our day, not rushing, so that we could enjoy each other's company. We'd go shopping. I'd pick up some new things, then help Mama. It always helps to have someone tag along with you while shopping.

After all that, we'd come home. Mama would make my brother and my favorite dish. I wouldn't talk a lot, so that my brother could have a chance to talk. It's hard to get a word in around two women, you know?

The night would end with a good movie. Not necessarily a new one either. It doesn't have to be new to be good. I'd look around and remind myself of how blessed I am. I'd slide under the covers, my stomach full and my heart happy.

I've shared my ideal day, what's yours?

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Memories Rewind: Herbal Essence Commercial White Girl Style

C'mon admit it. We all judged people by what they wore in middle school. The brand of your clothes could mean you could talk to the "in crowd" one day and be snubbed the next.

One thing you may not have realized that kids judged was people's hair. People who had straight hair wanted curly, people who had blonde wanted brown and so on. It was a never ending cycle.

I had just come back from recess. I sit down in my desk in my fourth grade Language Arts class and realized that my hair looked a little funny. I wasn't the type of girl to check my face or hair every five minutes, so I didn't have a brush with me.

I did something that I thought was normal. I tilted my head down then I flipped my head up. My hair fell exactly where I wanted it to. One black girl who was a friend of mine looked at me in amazement.

"What did you just do?" they whispered hardly able to catch their breath.

"You mean the hair flip? I asked in disbelief. What's so special about that I wondered? "A, come over here and watch this" the girl shouted to her friend.

"Our hair could never do that" the girls stated emphatically. "Could you do it again?"

Sure. By this time both girls were lunged forward, totally oblivious to the fact that we were in a classroom and not a hair salon.

I repeated steps one and two. "Wow," they said in unison. "Our hair just sticks to our head. We would love to have hair like yours."

I smiled at them and laughed at what just happened. After all, they had just given me the Best Hair Award (based on how many people were watching of course :)). Granted, they were a little inexperienced in the hair judging department, but I'll take two compliments any day.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Wishes more ways than One

My poll is now closed. My readers have spoken. I I'll be keeping the titles large. Thanks for voting! I also want to give a warm welcome to my new followers. Feel free to look around. If you like what you see you can subscribe to my feeds so you're always in the loop of what's happening with me. Need to find a post but don't want to scroll through dozens of posts? Type in a few words in the search engine on my sidebar. (You're welcome to make suggestions about any improvements that you think would make this a better site)

As a side note, this semester has really flew by for me. I've loved my classes and teachers, which makes a huge difference. I forgot to tell you all that I registered for classes last week. I'm excited because one of my classes allows me to combine my love of writing with media. Class registration always solidifies the fact that I'm one step closer to finishing another year. Wow. That is mind boggling.

I have some exciting news to share. I was able to add one more hour to my schedule, which is HUGE for me! I used to feel a twinge of disappointment because I haven't been able to stay as long as I would like to. I joked with my admissions teacher if I could just hurt in the afternoon instead of in the morning I'd be OK. She was laughing for a few minutes after that. She responded by saying, "Yeah, it would be nice to put your pain on a schedule." I laughed. It was a much needed one because things got a little tense because we were all trying to work around PT while giving me the classes that I wanted. Of course my PT had to add his thoughts by saying, "It would be great if you didn't hurt at all." Now that's more like it. The schedule isn't what I normally have, but I need certain classes. As always, God comes through right when you need Him.

Aaah. I'm finally learning that things really do have a way of working out. Have you had a situation that seemed humanly impossible to fix but God came through for you? Do tell!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Halloween: Then and Now

I had planned to do a cool post with pictures about how Halloween has changed over the years. We were in W@l Mart looking at the Halloween stuff, which ranged from baby and toddler costumes, sexy children's costumes, and adult costumes.

Side by side were a pair of Dorothy costumes. The only problem is that one of the choices was the sexy version complete with low cut corset like top sexy tights and sky high stilettos. No wonder kids today are growing up too fast. Where are the role models? The ones that inspire kids to be different, to be themselves and not care what others think?

When I was growing up, Halloween was all about fun and candy. I wasn't trying to get some guy's attention. I was trying to fill my basket up. :) Some of my friends posted several different costume options on their MySp@ce to see which one was the favorite of the crowd. Now they have sExy firefighters, cave women, sailors, race car drivers, and boxing champions. What really surprised me was this:

A sexy butterfly costume (that most preteens think is perfectly fine because that's what the media says). What is up with that?!

I was a princess one year. What did you dress up as a kid for Halloween?

--Don't forget to cast your vote in the poll on my left sidebar. You have until Monday. I want to have your input.