Saturday, April 30, 2011


"Celebrate! Celebrate! Dance to the Music!"
Okay. If you now have a Three Dog Night earworm, you've just dated yourself. No worries. I understand. For all you "young'uns" here's a classic clip. (Though I do prefer Eli's Coming  and Old Fashioned Love Song.) You could do worse than classic Three Dog Night. ; )

~~The reason for all the hoopla is my Celebration Blogfest honoring my 100th post and 200th follower (Thanks, Rachna at Rachna's Scriptorium) I started blogging June 2, 2009. It seems like only yesterday. I posted mostly about incidental things like the new puppies (They were 2 on April 7), neat music clips, movies and the flowers, but now I concentrate on writing. Of course, the cute doggies get included still. ; )

~~It's only been since January that I really learned how to use the blog to network and create a platform for my writing. I was reading my buddy, Deniz's blog The Girdle of Melian when she posted a link to a publication blog at Denise's L'Aussie Writing. I started regularly reading Denise's posts and she mentioned a No Fear Blogfest at Dom's Writes of Passage. I entered on a lark and was a finalist. And a blogfester was born. The next link that intrigued me was platform builder extraordinaire Rachael Harrie's Rach Writes and her Second Crusade to Build Writers Platforms. I was hooked. The rest is history. In January, The Shade of the Cherry Tree had 18 followers and look at it now!

~~To celebrate, I'm going to put the names of all the commenters to this post in a drawing for three prizes. The first winner gets to pick from the four prizes listed below. The second and third get fewer and fewer to choose from. But even then, winner number 3 gets two choices--thanks to John, my darling husband, who couldn't stand for the last one to get just the left over gift. If you post a link to In the Shade of the Cherry Tree and tell me in the comments, I'll put your name in the drawing twice. I'll be using to choose. Here are the prizes:

Stephen King's On Writing Amazon link
Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird Amazon link
Steven Pressfield's The War of Art Amazon link
Signed first edition copies of my two devotionals--An Easter Walk and A Christmas Walk (Check these out with the links on the left side)

~~I'll notify the winners by announcing it here, emailing if you have left an email in the comment, and commenting on your latest blog post. Whatever the method, I hope you enjoy the prizes. When you are notified of your win, email me your address. My email is a the bottom of the blog.

~~Good luck, everyone! And Thanks a Million for helping me build my blog and remember to

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What Did You Say?!?

This is post 99. I still need five more followers to hit the magic number of 200. When I get them, I'll post the Celebration Blogfest with four prizes to be shared among three winners. ; )

~~OUCH! OH! S*!# D#*%
What do you say when you hit your finger with a hammer? Does it matter? New research says that cursing actually helps reduce the pain. Don't believe me? Try this ARTICLE for the latest news on pain and cursing. Will that give you permission to say a few four-letter words the next time you hurt yourself? What about your characters?

~~I've been thinking about this as I write lately. The main character in FRIENDLY FIRE is a church-going, widowed, retired teacher. In rough draft scenes Laura Grace  has said shit and damn, but I find that in editing, she finds some other way to express her pain. On the other hand, my murdering sex abuser, Craig Ellis, is more likely to find more cuss words to say in the rewrites. It's all about the character's voice and how they relate to the world.

~~For what it's worth, I've never had a character to say the F-word. Especially not Laura Grace. I think Cherry Hill would explode if she did. ; )

Keep watching the Shade for the upcoming Celebration Blogfest.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Random Hits

This is post 98! Only two to go till the magic number of 100.

~~I'm working on the Celebration Blogfest coming soon to the Shade of the Cherry Tree. There will be four prizes up for grabs for the three winners. I only had three planned, but my sweet hubby insisted that Number Three needed a choice also. I'll keep what the prizes are under wraps until the big day. ; )

~~Now the question is--how do I go about choosing the winners? It will be a random draw and my dear Momma and Hubby will be glad to pick random numbers from among the comments or I could draw the comments out of a hat, but...I know there is a better way somewhere out there. If you know about programs to select random winner, let me know.

~~And while I have total control over the number of posts, I can't control when I reach 200 followers. If you haven't followed me yet and want to, please click away. If you feel like posting a link to me, I'd be thrilled. Especially on the big day. I'm crossing my fingers for Friday. That gives me three other days to post Number 99. ; ) Like I said, I have control over that one.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Show Don't Tell--Crusader Challenge

~~Rachael Harrie has guided us through a great Crusade and her last challenge is a fun ride. Here are the directions:
My Show Not Tell Challenge: In 300 words or less, write a passage (it can be an excerpt from your WIP, flash fiction, a poem, or any other writing) that shows (rather than tells) the following:

*you're scared and hungry
*it's dusk
*you think someone is following you
*and just for fun, see if you can involve all five senses AND include these random words: shimmer, saccadic, substance, and salt.

~~My snip if from my SF wip THE DAWN AND THE LION. This wip is set on Patria, one of three planets initially founded from Earth. The POV is Princess Canda Aurora of Shardonia, wife of King August Leo, Imperial Heir of Patria. Times are tough as you will see. Let me know if I showed you what's going on instead of telling. If you notice some of those little sneaky telling bits, do let me know. ; )


Since the shuttle crash, the nausea that had stalked me for two weeks achieved new levels of torment. Crisp, cool water poured from the liana leaves overhead. At least I’d have something to drink when my stomach settled. Of course, the pounding rain would have to slack off before I could attempt getting any water. The puddles at my feet shimmered with each lightning bolt. They stabbed my eyes like the rockets that had burst from the forest floor.

I could still see the sun’s last rays lighting the rising clouds racing down the ridge as the first rocket tore through the shuttle’s wing and Tomas’ hands fought the saccadic tumble. But the second rocket…no pilot could compensate for that. The scraping branches and vines couldn’t cushion the bone-jarring jolt of our landing. Our attackers were near. Their victory shouts made crawling from the wreckage and running my only chance. Tomas stayed behind; his brains scattered over the instrument panel.

For now, I’d evaded capture, but there wouldn’t be any edible fruit among the wet, rotten vegetation on the forest floor. The oozing gash in my thigh from knee to hip made climbing impossible. At least the throbbing gash screamed louder than my rebellious stomach.

Sudden insight seared my mind like lightning. The rebels didn’t want me dead. I was their best hope, their champion, the only royal who heard their pleas. The honor of shooting me down belonged to the court’s Pure Patria adherents. They wanted me—the below-the-salt, upstart Shardon princess—dead before I could sully the royal bloodline. My stomach turned itself out and I wiped my sour mouth. They were too late. I had to survive for the new life I carried. The only question was how.

Special announcement!
I'm only 12 followers from 200 and three posts from 100 posts. When those milestones are achieved, I'll be announcing a blogfest with three prizes. Hope it's soon. ; )

Monday, April 11, 2011

Inkheart--The Storyteller's Art

~~In honor of all the A to Z bloggers, today's letter is I. Even if I don't have the stamina to post for every letter of the alphabet, I can make sure my posts are the correct letter of the day. ; )

~~Have you ever read a story that came alive as you read it. The characters are real. They live and breathe. They speak directly to you. It's magic. It's the storyteller's art. I've read many great books and seen many great stories made into movies over the years, but last week I saw a movie that hinged on this very idea. The movie was Inkheart based on a book by Cornelia Funke. The movie came out in 2008, but neither of us had heard of it until we found it in our Netflix suggested movie list. And we're glad we tried it. Of course, John had to endure my endless comments of the magic of writing stories as we watched.

~~Mo "Silvertongue" Folchart is a bookbinder with a secret talent. When he reads a story out loud, the characters become alive and some cross over into his world. Unfortunately, his wife crosses into the world of the book he is reading, Inkheart. His art as a storyteller creates a problem he has to fix, but he can't find a copy of the book. His quest leads to the action. I won't give you the entire synopsis. For more check HERE.

~~What I want to discuss is the art that storytellers use when the story steps off the page. The reader becomes lost in a new world. They can't stop reading. They have to know what happens next. The creation of such a story is beyond amazing. It's magic. And don't we all want to be able to do exactly that when we write? ; )

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Fabulous, Fantastic...Fearmonger?

~~Well, if toy poodles can be fearmongers, Max qualifies. Twice yesterday, he created situations that could have ended his very short life. Add that he frightened Momma and Daddy to death and you've got fear in a tiny package.
~~First Death-Defying Act--John was working on papers for his GED class to do. There was a small paper clip on the rug beside the piles he was sorting and guess who stole it? Max. John tried to remove it from the little bit's mouth and--presto--it was gone. We feared the worst. He is known to chew the little wire bits into jagged-ended mangles. If he had to pass that, he would tear the plumbing up. We settle in for a wait for the puppy to whine session. Until, I found the paper clip in the corner of the hall where he had dropped it when confronted. One fearful event down.
~~Second Death-Defying Act--John has always wanted the boys to walk off-leash around the yard with him. Treats and "Come" commands have been dominating our walks. Until yesterday. Max shot off through the neighbor's yard and John found him frozen in the middle of the street with cars stopped on either side. Needless to say, there will be no further off-lease walks for the Max Man.
~~We were worried that the little boy would not make his second brithday tomorrow, but so far it looks like we're on the way to another day. Here's the latest pictures of my boys, just back from the groomers with jaunty bandanas around their necks.
 ~~I'll be computerless until some time Friday. The hard drive is going in for a tune up. I'll catch up this weekend. ; )

Friday, April 1, 2011

A to Z Envy

~~Did you realize that there are 1077 bloggers who have taken the challenge to blog everyday in April except for Sunday? Really! I'm just going to admit here and now, I'm not that ambitious. I'm not even going to try.
~~Good luck, guys. May the words flow and the comments follow. ; )