March Madness & Fractured Fairy Tales!

March Madness?

Yes, it is the time of year for that kind of March Madness, college basketball…and boy do I love college basketball! I’ve already filled out my brackets…with Virginia winning the whole shebang! While it’s true I’ll be glued to the television watching all of the barn burners and buzzer beaters, there is a different kind of March Madness that has my attention as well!

Yep, I’ve done it again! I’ve written a children’s story for another of Susanna Leonard Hill’s writing Contests! She calls it March Madness! It’s a fantastic writing contest, you’ll remember my entry NOEL from the Holiday contest (I won best entry for a first time author), and this time around the theme is Fractured Fairy Tales!

Why keep entering these Competitions?

Well they are fun first of all, and secondly, they are way out of my comfort zone! I usually write about ideas that float around in my head and I have plenty of time to mull them over, make changes, rewrite etc. With these competitions I am given a general idea and time frame, which is a true challenge, and then I must hit the submit button….always nerve-racking! Moving outside of your comfort zone is supposed to be good for you right? Not sure it’s good for my diet though, I anxiously ate my way through a box of brown sugar Pop Tarts…don’t judge! Thirdly, receiving feedback on anything I’ve written, I feel, is extremely beneficial for my writing career, and from my past experience the feedback from other writers and readers has been terrific! The fact that one of the prizes is a critique by a well known literary agent isn’t bad either!

So…..

What to write, what to write?

I first thought of The Prince and the Peanut….it was a good story, but not quite right.

Then I thought of Little Miss Muffet sitting on a cactus eating her warm sopapilla….. I really like this idea and might just turn this one into a manuscript for another time.

So what would I write for THIS contest?

Why not combine several Fairy Tales into one? Fairy Tale Land is just that…a Fairy Tale, make-believe, so anything goes right?

Want to read what I came up with?

Alrighty then….

Here ya go….

Hope you enjoy it!

My entry is for a Children’s Picture Book, (270 Word Count).

MARY, GEORGIE, AND THE LOST FLOWERS
(The Never Before Heard Tale Of Fairy-Tale Land’s Most Colorful Couple!)

Mary, Mary quite contrary planted a garden of flowers galore,
She watered, she sang, (but was it all in vain?), for today the flowers were no more.

Simple Simon tried to cheer her up by bringing Mary a pie,
In between bites of scrumptious cherry, Mary wondered where the flowers went and why?

Polly put the kettle on and offered Mary tea,
As Mary sipped she thought very hard, about where those flowers might be.

Jack and Jill offered their help and looked around the well,
But all they found were rocks and stones, and one sadly broken pail.

The little Crooked Man and his little crooked cat,
Promised to help with Mary’s search, and find just where those blooms were at!

Trying to cheer up Mary, said little Boy Blue upon blowing his horn, “let’s go round the Mulberry Bush!” to a Mary quite forlorn.

Little Bo Peep knew very well, just how Mary was feeling,
She gave her advice then promptly fetched, her sheep that clung to the ceiling!

Sitting up high on the tall stone wall, a balancing Humpty could see,
That Mary would soon be happy again, and find herself filled with glee!

It was then Georgie Porgie professed his love for Mary, and to her he would devote,
Declaring from a most familiar, blooming flower covered float!

Mary feeling most relieved, her flowers they were found,
Thought a bit and decided, Mary Porgie was a most remarkable sound!

Together newfangled gardens they would plant, standing hand in hand,
And that’s just how Mary and Georgie, became the finest flower gardeners, in all of Fairy-Tell Land!

THE END

If you’re so inclined, click on the comment tab and let me know what you think! I love feedback! Also, be sure to head over to Susanna’s blog at http://susannahill.blogspot.com/ to read all of the entries. Susanna will narrow it down to 5 or so finalists and then YOU, the readers, vote on your favorites! Voting will begin on Thursday March 27-March 30th. Winners will be announced on Monday March 31st! Wish me luck!

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Winter Olympics and Q & A

Our homemade version of the luge!

Our homemade version of the luge!

The Olympics have started…are you watching? I love watching all of the sports, even the ones I don’t understand, like the one where you slide that thingy on the ice and try to make it stop on the bulls eye while commanding two teammates to clean the ice as you go! We may have to pick up this sport…my kitchen floor could use a good cleaning!

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We watched the skeleton races the other night and the first thing I thought was…..
At what point do you say to yourself…I bet I can slide 80 mph down that ice chute…on my stomach…head first…here goes nothing!? Want to know what my kids first thoughts were? “That is so awesome!” Go figure! And that new event where they are skiing backwards up ramps to flip around in the air before landing…backwards again! Are you kidding me?

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You know what sport I think they should add to the Winter Olympics next? Snow Dressing Your Children! That is a Winter Olympic sport if I ever heard one! By the time I get my kids all dressed and ready to go out I have broken a sweat, usually a nail or two, and have invented a new language to mumble so as not to curse in front of my children! Oh, wait..wait! I’ve got an even better one. How about the How fast can you push your van out of your garage to jump start it when you’re late for school and it’s snowing and 15 degrees outside? And the grande finale of the Games? Who can open their winter electric/gas bill without cursing, kicking the wall, screaming, crying or just plain passing out? If you can do this, you deserve the Gold!…
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I Am A loser!

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Ok, on to better things…..

I was thinking about my readers and wondering what do they really know about ME? Do they know I love, love, love listening to Jamie Johnson, Jack Ingram and Charlie Robison? Do they know A few of my most favorite songs are….

Front Porch Swing Afternoon http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5sluiHEgkg

That’s Why I Write Songs http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzXu37K4tIY

The Great Divide http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PA7Xzqj-TIE

My Hometown http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wg1pYtoWL6c

Sheesh…I could go on and on and on….but then you wouldn’t get to read my self interview and learn all these fabulous things about me…like….

Favorite color? Green

Coke or Dr. Pepper? Dr. Pepper

Favorite Book?

Adult- Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Children- Ummm…can’t even imagine choosing just one so I’m gonna give you three because it’s my blog and I can !
1. The Best Pet Of All by David LaRochelle
2. The Gardener by Sarah Stewart
3. The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton

Weird/Oddities?

1. I can NOT read a magazine from front to back! Seriously,
I read them back to front and it drives Chicken crazy!

2. I’m a bit terrified of water…and I married a Navy guy…go figure!

3. I move furniture…a lot…like daily!

Something you find amazing? The telephone…or tv…or photographs! I guess I’m easy
to amaze!

Name one thing you’d rather pay someone to do than do yourself?

Clean the bathroom!
I. Have. 4. Boys!

Are you a pack rat? I don’t consider it packing…I consider it planning for the future!

Least favorite day of the week? Monday!

Places you’ve worked/ jobs.
1. Hostess at a steak joint
2. Nursery (gardener/sales clerk)
3. Specialty Gift shop
4. Oil Field…hard hat, steel toe boots and all! Yes. Seriously!
5. Nanny….NEVER AGAIN!
6. Gymnastics Coach
7. Interior Designer/Home Stager
8. Gold Canyon Candle Consultant
9. Children’s book author
10. Mama to 4…Definitely the best gig of all!
11. Entrepreneur (Etsy shop)

Cake or Pie? Cake…pie…cake…pie…cakepie…piecake?

Favorite section of the newspaper? Sports, classifieds and lifestyle..I find people’s life stories fascinating!

Coffee? Only on the mornings I prefer to be upright!

How often do you visit the nail salon? Once. That’s it! Once…That’s not sad is it?

Mountains or Beach? Mountains

Favorite T.V. show? Gilmore Girls and Everybody Loves Raymond (I like funny)

Favorite movie? Bye, Bye, Love

To fly or to drive? Drive, definitely!

Product you can’t live without? Carmex stick!

Biggest nuisance? Schedules…or maybe the ants that visit my kitchen every Spring!

Favorite Pro Sports team? GO SPURS GO!

Your hero? Jesus Christ!

Favorite Disney character? Donald Duck

How many different places/homes have you lived? 8..New Mexico, Texas, Florida, Washington State, Texas, Washington State, Maryland…In that order!What can I say, the NAVY likes to move people!

Alrighty then! Now it’s your turn! If you’ve made it this far, please choose at least one of the questions above for yourself and answer in the comments! I’d love to get to know my readers better!

Now, I’m off to watch some Luke & lorelai!
th_d

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New Year’s Resolution?

So for New Year’s you’re supposed to make resolutions. I’ve decided instead of tackling some colossal goal, I would just try to find the answers to a few questions that have been in the back of my mind for awhile….

like…..

1. How come some days I look in the mirror and see a pretty good looking Mom of four, and then the next day I look in the mirror and see a can of busted biscuits?

2. Why do sinks and garbage disposals take Christmas Day off? There are 365 days in the year and they have to pick Christmas day as their day of rest?

3. Why are squirrels such big, bird bullies? And just what are they doing with all the bottoms of the bird feeders they keep unscrewing off?

4. How come when you spill grape juice it’s always over an opened drawer?

5. How come nobody ever shows up at your house when it’s neat and tidy? They only show up when you’re 10 loads of laundry behind and there’s more food on the floor than in the pantry!

6. How come the girls hair in the diy videos comes out so cute and perfect, and I end up with a rubber band stuck in my hair and a knot that would impress a boy scout?

7. How come the cashiers at the checkout counter immediately need a price check after I’ve stood in their line for 10 minutes?

8. How come I can remember every word to a song I haven’t heard in 15 years, but I can’t remember why I walked into a room?

9. Why do I continue to hear scratching sounds coming from the attic even after the pest guy climbed up there and said he couldn’t find anything?

10. Why don’t fire alarms have a remote control? Seriously…9ft. ceilings have their disadvantages!

Ok, ok enough of the questions! Want a few tips for the New Year?

Done….

1. Do Not, I repeat, DO NOT use furniture polish on your wood floors! Not unless you want to end up on your rear in half a nanosecond flat! Pretty sure I broke the sound barrier!

2. Do NOT underestimate the power of a treadmill! I’m not kidding! My oldest thought he was super cool and tried a super speed…that ended with super skid marks all over his body! My suave little sister decided to try her hand at the treadmill too…I’ll never forget the sound of the humming motor and the thud, thud sounds as her body hit the treadmill and rebounded off the wall…well most of her rebounded! The hole she punched in the wall had a hold of her foot and wouldn’t let go! HaHaHa!!!! So ridiculously funny…I’m truly tearing up! :)

3. Always have access to water if you’re gonna grill on your back deck! There is a possibility of uncontrollable fire! Water hoses are great…kids with buckets of water work well also…..

4. If while standing on a chair reaching for a glass dish you think you hear the lid sliding off, you are probably right! Close your eyes! There’s a good chance that lid will hit the top of the fridge and shatter in your face!

5. If you ever plan on wearing a pair of Spanx, you better start training a few months in advance! That’s an Olympic sport right there!

And my BEST words of WISDOM for 2014….LAUGH! Life is tough. It can be ugly. But if you remember to laugh, there’s always a silver lining! Need an example? Alrighty then, here ya go….

When Chicken’s father passed away many years ago, we and his brothers families stayed the night at his Step-mom’s house. It was late, and out of the blue his Step-mom, we’ll call her “B”, realized she had told the neighbors she would feed their dog while they were out of town that weekend. So, I volunteered to go next door with her and feed the poor starving pup! So across the lawn we went, in the darkness, opened the front door and waltzed into the living room. B headed for the garage leaving me in the dark living room alone. All of a sudden I hear B from the garage say “their car is still here…oh no, I think I got the weeks mixed up”! Ok, now picture me standing freaking out in the dark in a strangers living room (I did not know these people)… ALONE! Well, as I started whispering for B to “get in here”, at least I think I whispered it, I’m not sure as I could hear my heart pounding in my ears, the 65+ year old homeowner starts coming towards me from down the hall…..in his whitey tighties! Well, thank goodness for me, B made it back to the living room in time to greet her neighbor and I didn’t have to whip out my Irish Feet of Flames dance moves to distract him, AND he was not a ‘gun packing’ sort of man…which is rare for that part of the country! After some very heartfelt sorry’s as he struggled to hide his manhood, we headed out the door as fast as we could! I don’t think we even made it to the front steps before we started hee-hawing about what had just transpired! Amidst all the pain and grief of that point in time, the Good Lord had reminded us to LAUGH!

Just LAUGH!

….End of Story…..

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Here’s wishing you a very funny 2014!

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Awe-Snickerdoodles!

Awe-Snickerdoodles!!! The list came out and I’m NOT on it! I would be lying if I said it didn’t sting just a little. Somebody ought to make an ‘anti rejection stick’ for aspiring authors….Believe me, there’s a market for it!

Disappointed & Blue! See?  I need that anti rejection stick!

Disappointed & Blue! See? I need that anti rejection stick!

I’m glad I entered the contest (Susanna Hill’s Third Annual Holiday Contest 2013) though. I received so many encouraging comments about NOEL! I am grateful for every one of you who took the time to respond…it was, and is, greatly appreciated!

Now, head on over to Susanna’s blog and read/vote for your favorite finalist! I’m not allowed to name my favorite, but I do have one! Good luck to those still in the running! http://susannahill.blogspot.com/

Happy reading!

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NOEL

I guess you could say this December I’m trying new things. Some have not worked out so well….others I’m still waiting it out! What am I talking about? Well….

I’ve had the same artificial green Christmas tree for the last 13 years. It has seen tinsel, old fashioned icicles, garland galore…and well, frankly I was tired of all that. I wanted a snowy white Christmas tree! But I am cheap! I didn’t want to buy a new one…especially not if I could come up with a way to make my old tree look new! So what did I come up with? Big Idea #1..Ahem….

Baby powder & sticky craft spray!

It was all good for the first few minutes. I was spraying and then puffing that white powder all over that tree, and it looked great! Until….

I realized how much of that powder was floating around in the air! I (cough!) couldn’t (cough!) breathe (cough!)!

I knew it was a total disaster when I watched my 9 yr. old walk over to the tree, blow on it, see the clouds of powder fly about and announce “Hey guys, come watch this! It’s so cool!”

So now what was I to do? I was without my regular old faithful green tree, and I couldn’t possibly keep this one in the house in this state!

In walks bright idea #2!

I figured I could just pull the darn thing out back and shake the powder from the tree…sounds easy enough right?

Wrong!

Wrong!

Wrong!

First of all, a forest fire’s got nothing on a baby powdered tree being shaken to death! I couldn’t see, I couldn’t breath, but fortunately for me I could hear the SNAP! That’s right, the danged ‘ol tree snapped in two!

Well, I pretty much just stood there covered in white powder from head to toe in total disbelief! How was it that earlier that morning I’d had a perfectly good Christmas tree ready to adorn with Christmas goodies, and now I had a house to fumigate and a broken tree?

I’ll tell you how…

Hello. My name is Angie and I love BIG ideas! Unfortunately for me, BIG disasters seem to follow!

But wait! The story gets better! Turns out, Chicken had some gift cards from some serious couponing and He and the boys..and girl…managed to get me the perfect Christmas tree for $4! That’s right…FOUR DOLLARS! It is perfect. It is green with a few snowy looking branches mixed in…PERFECT! I love it! And all because of a BIG idea gone awry! Well, that and a terrific husband and kids!

Now, I’f you’ve made it this far, I applaud you….and Thank You! But, I have one more favor….

You see, there is this little Children’s Book competition going on about a Christmas mishap, and I am entering! I’ve never entered a manuscript competition before and I’ve never written a story based on a theme given by someone else, but it just so happens that my Christmas tree fiasco fit in perfectly with the timing and theme of this little competition….so….here it is! My very first manuscript competition entry….

A children’s picture book for the younger crowd (ages 2-6)
*I enlisted the help of my 7yr. old for the pics*

NOEL

Noel’s Christmas tree was green. She wanted a snowy white one.

Noel thought and thought….

Noel had baby powder. Noel had sticky crafting spray.

Noel had a BIG idea!

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“FA, LA, LA, LA, LA…..UH-OH”!

Noel’s Christmas tree was snowy white, but this wasn’t quite what she had expected!

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COUGH, COUGH! COUGH!

Noel thought and thought….

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Noel had a BIG idea!

Noel could pull the tree outside, and shake her powdered tree clean! It was the perfect solution!

“JINGLE BELLS, JINGLE BELLS”!

SNAP!

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“AWE SNICKERDOODLE’S!”

This was NOT what Noel had expected!

Noel stood in disbelief.

Noel was out of BIG ideas. Noel had NO snowy white tree. Noel had NO Christmas tree of green.

Noel went to bed feeling blue.

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“I FEEL SO BLUE”!

The next morning, Noel stood in awe….

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The splendid tree of green and snowy white, in all its Christmas Glory, beamed before her!

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Noel smiled. She had wonderful friends, and they too had BIG ideas!

Noel was grateful and wanted to repay her friends for their kindness….

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But that’s a whole other story!

THE END

So…what do you think? If you like it, and I hope you do, please go to http://susannahill.blogspot.com/ on Monday December 16th to see if I’m a finalist! If so, voting will be open to the public for their favorites until 5pm. Eastern time Wednesday, December 18th! Heck, go there right now and read some of the other fabulous entries as well!

Wish me luck! And go try something new…just steer clear of the baby powder!

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What’s In Your Van?

Maggots!

Are you grossed out just by that word?

Well…how about if I told you there were maggots…IN…MY…VAN!

You’re already judging me aren’t you?

Do you have 4 kids?

Have you ever tried to keep tabs on 4 kids and what they are bringing into your car at all times?

Some things will always escape your sight…

Not the maggots…..but some things……

It had to be the kids….right?

Just so you know, I did clean & disinfect the van…

I never found the source of the maggots…..although I did find…

3 hundred 79 lost gloves,

4 thousand 5 hundred sports hair bands..what? We have lots of hair in this family!

A mere 4 hundred and 23 melted crayons,

One tooth…yep, a tooth! Must’ve been the one we thought we lost at the lacrosse fields, the one Beau yanked out on the sideline and handed to me for safe keeping! Did you know the tooth fairy will take a corn kernel in place of a lost tooth?

6 bajillion jackets and sweaters,

And a partridge in a pear tree!

Ok, so maybe not really a partridge in a pear tree, but there was a petrified french fry!

You’re thinking about the maggots again aren’t you?

Well, if you’re not freaking out enough to laugh hysterically to the point of crying about maggots being in my van, then you can’t possibly understand the horror I felt when sitting at my best friends kitchen table with her, her husband and chicken and I described the “worms” that I had found in my car that day, only to have best friends husband inform me “Sounds like maggots”!

Cue the freaking out……

The hysterical laughing….

The crying….

Ahhh…life is a roller coaster of epic proportions…just when you think you’ve hit the bottom……

Mmmmm…Philly cheesesteak!
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The good, the bad & we don’t do ugly!

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Gosh, It really has been a while since my last post! I’d like to tell you that I’ve been on a long vacation breathing in fresh mountain air, but its been nothing of the sort! Seems I’ve picked up a few extra chores here lately as Chicken tore his achilles and Henry broke his ankle…both while playing soccer! I suppose they took the “Go Hard or Go Home” speech to heart! Now, you know it just wouldn’t be right if I didn’t give you a good laugh about this ‘crippling’ situation we’ve recently found ourselves in, so here goes….

Want to know what’s more slippery than a wet fish? A seven year old that’s just had his long hair lathered with conditioner while he lays in the tub with his casted leg hanging over the side! Seriously, I tried lifting him out of the tub, and for the love of Pete, I couldn’t do it for his slipping right out of my hands!

Being seven, in a cast, and on a soccer field would really stink unless….you’re sitting amongst the 15 yr. old girls squad and getting more attention than a full bird feeder amongst a pack of squirrels! Is a group of squirrels called a pack? Oh who cares…girls, squirrels I’m buying a broom…or two!

It was explained to the seven year old that things happen for a reason and maybe some good would come out of his breaking his ankle. It just so happens that several “girls” at school were asked to help him out with the carrying of books, lunch etc. At the first school assembly one of these girls was awarded the good citizen award and he declares….”Hey, she never would have gotten the chance to help out so much if it hadn’t been for me..we should share that award”!

Ever wonder what it looks like when a 41 year old man with a torn achilles mows the lawn? Me too! At this house it looks a lot like his crazed wife trying not to get drug down the hill by the mower or engulfed in poisonous Virginia Creeper!

Ok, enough of the bad. Want to hear some of the good? Alright then! Here ya go…

I’ve been a closet children’s book reader and writer for quite some time…In my opinion there aren’t many places better than the children’s section at the library! Anyhow, I began sending in my manuscripts to publishing houses a while back and guess what?

I’M GOING TO BE PUBLISHED!

Yep, you read that right! I’m going to be a published author! I can’t give you all the details just yet, so keep checking in for updates!

Yes, I know.

I should keep checking in myself! I am planning on some blog changes shortly, and will be posting on a more regular basis! In the meantime….

I have also opened up shop on Etsy! Head on over and check it out if you get the chance. My shop name is…. littlebirdiebleu

Thanks for stopping by…hope to see you again soon!

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