Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats.
And maybe a border collie or other critters.
© 2006-2017 All rights reserved
- Name: Becky Mushko
- Location: Rural Virginia, United States
I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), and several Kindle ebooks.
Friday, April 30, 2010
Thursday, April 29, 2010
I've been clipping and currying hair off my old mare Cupcake for a couple of weeks. Clumps of her hair are everywhere outside. Birds recycle it to make nests. The barncats pounce on clumps as if they're alien rats
The other day, though, Cupcake's hair appeared on my carpet. See?
Now, how could it have gotten inside?
I'll bet Jim-Bob had something to do with it!
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Crossing Oceans Debut
River Laker, Resource Development Coordinator for Roanoke Public Libraries, had been publicizing this event for weeks, so I decided I really wanted to go. Luckily, we arrived early so we could get a parking space. My little PT, parked on Jefferson Street in front of the library, is half-hidden by one of the trees below.
The library's mezzanine, where the event was held, was packed. As we came in, talented 15-year-old Maddie Grace Garber played guitar and sang songs she'd composed.
Besides music, the presentation featured door prizes, Holmes talking about her book and reading from it, a dramatization of a scene from Chapter 1 by local actors, and a showing of two book trailers—the real one and a spoof of the real one.
Here's the real one:
And here's the spoof:
Hearing how Gina actually got published by Tyndale House was interesting. She told how she'd written several novels that hadn't been published and been unsuccessfully represented by two agents before she met her current agent, how she'd always been an avid reader, and howshe always knew she wanted to write. Her advice to those who seek publication: read books about writing, join a critique group, go to writers conferences because that's where you meet agents and editors. After the presentation, she signed books—lots of books.
Did I buy one? You bet! Here she is signing my copy.
After the event, we drove home under a pretty sunset and then a huge full moon. On Route 40, we encountered a bit of a problem: my headlights caught couple of deer standing in the highway—and the car behind me was tailgating. I couldn't slam on the brakes without getting slammed into. Quickly I turned my headlights off and on a couple of times, and split the deer herd down the middle. The car behind me stayed farther back for the next few miles. I must have scared the dickens out of him. (For a couple of seconds, I scared my passengers, too.)
So, here's my advice: If you encounter deer on the road at night, quickly turn your headlights on and off. They'll be scared away instead of hypnotized. And buy Gina Holmes' book. I'm a couple of cahpters into it and I like what I'm reading.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Flowers and Cats
These irises at the old gazebo are a similar color, but they're a shade or two lighter.
Here's a different view—with Camilla on a rock. Camilla is sort of a camouflage cat. She blends right into this flower bed.
Chloe gets into the picture. Hmmm. Not Chloe's best side. Poor Chloe can't help it if it looks like she was put together from spare cat parts.
This is my favorite pin oak; no azalea under this one. But there is a bench where the cats and I often sit.
Flowers are just starting to come out around the new gazebo. The herbs survived the winter nicely. In a few weeks, there'll be a lot more flowers here.
Friday, April 23, 2010
Thursday was Earth Day (with capital letters) but to me every day is earth day because I live close to the earth and often dig in it. The other day my mommy took me to the farm for a run, which is the best way to celebrate Earth Day that I know of.
I made sure to take my little orange football, which is my favorite toy to take on a walk. It's made of plastic, so it will last. Humans say that plastic isn't earth friendly, but I think it's pretty friendly to me. And it squeaks, too. I made Mommy throw it for me.
While she waited for me to run back with the ball, Mommy looked at trees. She likes how they're starting to bud.
Some have more leaves than others.
Just look at that hillside! Doesn't it want to make you want to chase a ball down it?
Before I got in the creek, I noticed this hole in the earth that needed my attention.
Ah, that feels so much better. When I got out of the creek, I headed this way:
I hope you enjoyed your Earth Day and maybe chased a ball and got in a creek, too.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
The Revision Process
1. Take a good look at the manuscript. Stand back and take a long look.
2. Maybe look at it from several angles. Notice that the manuscript is too fluffy—too many excess words, maybe some excess characters. It is definitely in need of trimming.
3. Decide what can be trimmed. Sometimes whole chunks of the manuscript have to be removed. No point in keeping anything that doesn't serve the plot.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Snake in the Woods
Did you see it? Only the face and tip of the tail is showing.
A narrow fellow in the grass
You may have met him, did you not,
His notice sudden is.
A spotted shaft is seen;
And then it closes at your feet
And opens further on.
A floor too cool for corn.
Yet when a child, and barefoot,
I more than once, at morn,
Unbraiding in the sun,
When, stooping to secure it,
It wrinkled, and was gone.
I know, and they know me;
I feel for them a transport
Attended or alone,
Without a tighter breathing,
And zero at the bone.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
A Southern States fertilizer truck coming toward me!
This morning, John had the hayfields on our three farms fertilized, plus another farm that he care-takes. About a half acre's worth of fertilizer was left, and John didn't want to waste it.
So, that's why the truck was on the front lawn, which is about a half acre or so—just the right size.
Waste not, want not.