Sunday, June 30, 2013

Mooving Out (flash fiction podcast)

Bailey’s Writing Tips podcast – short stories episode no.28

30 Jun

Bailey’s Writing Tips podcast ‘short stories’ episode number 28 went live today and contained four flash fiction pieces that have appeared on my blog as Flash Fiction Fridays. This episode contained:
The Secret of Willow Cottage and the Reluctant Bride (889 words) by short story author Jane Risdon and

747-word Mooving Out by Joy V Smith.

399-word The Sea and His Guitar by YA, science-fiction, paranormal author and poet Kenna McKinnon

983-word The Spores by novelist and short story author JD Mader.

The podcast is available via iTunes, Google’s Feedburner, Podbean (when it catches up), Podcasters (which takes even longer) or Podcast Alley (which doesn’t list the episodes but will let you subscribe).

Access the links on her blog:

Friday, June 28, 2013

Home, garden, and entertaining

The July 2013 issue of Southern Living includes a home makeover and a garden gate photo essay, including a gate that's actually an integral part of the privacy fence (not actually a gate), plus it's the food issue, with recipes for okra dishes, Candied Jalapenos, Butterscotch Banana Pudding Pie, some no-cook dishes, salads, desserts, and lots more. And I enjoyed the essay on house-hunting in the South.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Detour Trail and the A to Z blog challenge, part 4

U is for unarmed
Lorrie is rarely unarmed. Just because you don’t see a weapon doesn’t mean there’s not one lurking in the brush…
V is for venture
Venture: 1) “A risky or dangerous undertaking…” Oh, yes. Just think about all those who ventured away from their safe, snuggly-built homes where they were surrounded by friends and family, general stores, ….

Note: “[Aphetic for ... adventure..."]. I had to look up aphetic: “loss of a short unaccented vowel at the beginning of a word, a form of apheresis,” which is: “the dropping of a letter, syllable, or phoneme at the beginning of a word…”   So, now I have to look up phoneme: “a set of phonetically similar but slightly different sounds …” It’s more complicated than that!  Talk about a detour!
W is for wolf
Naturally–because of Gray Cloud’s importance in Detour Trail. Btw, I have wolf photos, among others, to furnish background for the west and Detour Trail, on my Western Style board on Pinterest:
X marks the spot
It works for me! ‘Course Lorrie didn’t have an X to head for in Detour Trail; she had to–oops. That letter’s upoming, and it’ll be the last one. It’s been fun discovering themes and words. Thanks to all who made this a fun trip.
Y is for yoke
Yoke has multiple meanings, including being part of a dress, but since I’m focusing on western terms and Detour Trail, I’m thinking about oxen and yokes. Lorrie started out with four oxen–to pull the big covered wagon–and her horses, including a team for the small wagon.
Z is for zig AND zag
Zig and zag is what Lorrie did in Detour Trail as she made her way back and forth along the trails…

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Detour Trail and the A to Z blog challenge, part 3

N is for newspaper
I used the newspaper, Territory Tales, as part of the plot in Detour Trail now and then.
O is for oxen
In Detour Trail, Lorrie has four oxen–Jemmy, Dolly, Clay, and Spotty–who are pulling the big covered wagon, but how will she feed them, the horses, and the other livestock when they’re not completely prepared for their first winter?
P is for pie safe
I thought about choosing printing press or photography, which are part of Detour Trail, but I decided on pie safe, which isn’t even mentioned. (I wish I’d thought of it!) Pie safes are sort of like pantries; they have wooden frames, but the sides are made of punched tin in a variety of designs or screening to let air in and keep critters out.
Q is for quest
It fits the theme although Lorrie never thought about being on a quest; she just knew what she wanted to do. And quaff, quagga, and quantum didn’t fit. I thought about qualm and quandary, but they didn’t fit Lorrie.
R is for reporter
The reporter who tracked Lorrie down in Detour Trail helped make Lorrie a legend when she wrote a book about her and helped Lorrie think more deeply about her family, the settlement, and history.
S is for siblings
There are pairs and groups of siblings in Detour Trail, and I have Lorrie introduce the word to one of them. I’ve always liked siblings; and it’s more interesting than brothers and sisters.
T is for Team
There are horse and oxen teams in Detour Trail, and there is teamwork–both along the trail and when the settlers begin to build their new community: Sugar Valley.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Detour Trail and the A to Z blog challenge, part 2

G is for general store
Lorrie helps keep the general store in Sugar Valley supplied, which gives her a good excuse to get back on the trail… And there’s a picture of a general store on my Western Style board on Pinterest:
H is for hay
Hay: It sounds like such a common thing, but when you need it for your livestock, you realize how important it is. Buying hay and selling her oxen (fewer mouths to feed) on trips back and forth as she forages for fodder gets Lorrie buried in a blizzard…
I is for Ink
Here Ink is both the nickname of the editor of Territory Tales and the ink he uses on his printing press. And speaking of fodder, Lorrie has given him stories for his newspaper… Lorrie visits Ink now and then in Detour Trail.
J is for Jake
Jake is a mule–and a main character in Detour Trail, and I’m collecting mule pictures on my Western Style board on Pinterest. You might enjoy my Cool Critters board too. Pinterest link:
K is for kettle
A big cast iron kettle or pot is a necessity on the trail when you’re cooking over a campfire or hanging in the fireplace when you’ve finally got your cabin built. (It’s not true that Lorrie doesn’t know what a kettle is for.)
L is for larder
The larder or pantry is where the household’s food supplies are kept; and I see that originally it meant a storehouse for bacon. (OFr
M is for mule
Mules, horses, and oxen were essential on the trail, but Lorrie didn’t need more livestock when she met Jake, but he turned out to be very useful on the trail. Oh, and around the house sometimes…

Btw, a mule is the offspring of a donky and a horse, especially the offspring of a jackass and a mare. They are usually sterile. Check out my Western Style board on Pinterest for pictures of mules:
Note: A hinny is the offspring of a male horse and a female donkey.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Detour Trail and the A to Z blog challenge

Back in April I took part in the A to Z blog challenge on my writing blog, and I used Detour Trail and the west as my theme.  Now I'm going to share my posts here, and I hope you enjoy them:

First day of A to Z!

It’s April 1 and the first day of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge; naturally the first letter is A.  My theme for this challenge is my western novel, Detour Trail, so I’m choosing words related to the west and Detour Trail and its characters. This may not always be easy…

And A is for Ambush. Lorrie, my heroine, runs into more than one ambush on the trail; it’s a good thing her companions are there to help…

B is for Blizzard
Lorrie was warned about blizzards, but she had to make one more trip–and then another. Yep, she was caught in one on the trail… And Blizzard is also the name of a character in Detour Trail.
C is for cabins
When Lorrie and her small group of settlers finally find a place to settle, building cabins is a priority, but first they have to decide who gets the first home(s) because they also have to plant, so some will have to wait… Detour Trail is full of such decisions.
D is for desperado
There’s a desperado studying on revenge… When will he attack? Will she be prepared for this ambush? Possibly not…
E is for expedition
I had to look up up expedition to be sure it applies to Lorrie’s wagon train trek, and it does: “…starting out on a journey, … for some definite purpose…” Yep, that’s Lorrie on the Detour Trail all right.
F is for firkin
A firkin is “a small, wooden tub for butter, lard, etc.,” says the dictionary. Today they’re collectibles–in the primitive category. In Lorrie’s time, they were useful, along with crocks and pie safes.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Tropical Storm Barry

OK, I'm a little late with TS Barry 'cause it's already just a low after going to Mexico, but I was dealing with stuff at the old homestead...

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Ideas, quizzes, and more in HGTV Magazine

The July/August issue of HGTV Magazine has lots of ideas and suggestions, but my two favorite pieces were the paint quiz, which included questions such as: How far should you dip your brush into the paint and Is plastic or canvas better for drop cloths? And what should you do with your paint brush if you're not finished with your painting project at the end of the day? I was surprised that they didn't inlcude wrapping it in aluminum foil and putting it in the freezer--a hint I came across long ago and have used for years.

The other fun idea was the quiz on whether a house was new or old. You lifted a flap to find the answer for each house. I confess that I was sometimes surprised.  (Those houses were probably remodeled. So there.).

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Fun pets for the home

Here are four fun, rhyming ebooks by Amy L. Peterson about some of the pets she and her family have enjoyed over the years. These cute little critters include dogs, a cat, ferrets, and a duckling.  There's  Dusty, the Angel PupPurrkins, the CatGoodnight, Big Wuzzy; and Bumpkin Gets Big.  Lots of good background and advice about the different pets, and the photos and rhymes make them fun to read.
Smashwords link:

Note: They're also available on Amazon; and she's written a book about her family and pets: Something Furry Underfoot.

Monday, June 10, 2013

HGTV Magazine

I just got my first issue of HGTV Magazine (June 2013); it's big and full of colorful home and craft ideas. And Vern Yip has a piece on measurements, including coffee table, backsplash, and towel bar heights; distances between recessed lights, your TV and sofa, your bed and nightstand; etc.

There are tips for prepping your home for vacation. And the How bad is it column answers questions about dousing charcoal with lighter fluid and other things you may have wondered about... And they tested various wipes and report on them.

I love looking at beautiful paint colors, such as Popcorn (a buttery shade) from Pratt & Lambert, Greyhound (blue, green and gray) from Benjamin Moore, and Cook's Blue (rich) from Farrow & Ball.
Btw, "when you're working with a color that's not a strong color: Pair it with white to make it stand out." There are lots more decorating tips, plus an article on how to identify and deal with yard pests.

Sparkle note: If you drag a treat from the box, and click on it again, Sparkle will jump up and catch it!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Home and entertaining ideas

Lowe's Creative Ideas for Home and Garden (Summer 2013 issue) has some colorful (red, white, and blue) and block party ideas, including banners, a pet parade, and games. These ideas would be perfect for a reunion too. Want to avoid a watery ice bucket? Put a colander in the bottom. And I love the basketweave weave pattern for a deck. Hey, those decks are often pretty boring. And check out Doors 101.