Monday, August 31, 2015

The Classics - Opening Lines: Robinson Crusoe by Danial Devoe was born in the Year 1632, in the City of York, of a good Family, tho' not of that Country, my Father being a Foreigner of Bremen, who settled first at Hull; He got a good Estate by Merchandise, and leaving off his Trade, lived afterward at York, from whence he had married my Mother, whose Relations were named Robinson, a very good Family in that Country, and from whom I was called Robinson Kreutznaer; but by the usual Corruption of Words in England, we are now called, nay we call our selves, and write our Name Crusoe, and so my Companions always call'd me. (Published 1719)

I love the classics and plan to share some "opening lines" over the coming months. Comment if you like, or read for inspiration. Writing styles were different then, but were they really?

Friday, August 28, 2015

Celebrate the Small Things: A Photo Opportunty

Still smokey in Eastern Washington and the fires continue to burn. Tomorrow we are on another high wind alert....not good. Vince and I are official 'weather spotters' and we've been notified to be on the lookout for damage and new fires.

Meanwhile, I shot some photos in the smokey haze (Aug 23), a photo opportunity. It was one of those 'got lemons, make lemonade' moments. The gray rocky hill in the distance (Umtanum Ridge) is normally brown with distinctive angles and shading. We were coming home from Ellensburg (up the hill), where beautiful Mount Rainier is often visible. Not so this time. Even the Cascades were buried in smoke.

View from road, Columbia River, near Vantage

View from road along Columbia River, near Mattawa
Wanapum Dam - Columbia River, near Mattawa

Columbia River, Japanese apple orchards in distance, near Mattawa

Apple orchard in distance, Umtanum Ridge, Columbia River  

 Other celebrations:

--Did some gardening. The temperature was bearable today.
--Loving SmartEdit, my new editing software
--Celebrated another birthday last week. Yummy ice cream cake with friends.

Hope your week was worth every minute

Happy Weekend!


To join this blog hop click Celebrate page on Lexa's Blog for the rules. Posts are every Friday. It can be about writing, family, school, general life or whatever. This is the funnest and easiest blog hop ever. (Originated by VikLitCo-hosts are: L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge and Katie @ TheCyborgMom

Sharon M. Himsl

Writer/Author. Blogging since 2011. 
Published with Evernight Teen: 
~~The Shells of Mersing

Monday, August 24, 2015

The Classics - Opening Lines: Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain"TOM!"
No answer.
No answer
"What's gone with that boy, I wonder? You TOM!" 
No Answer. (Published 1876)

I love the classics and plan to share some "opening lines" over the coming months. Comment if you like, or read for inspiration. Writing styles were different then, but were they really?

Friday, August 21, 2015

Celebrate the Small Things: Clean Air for One

Fire and heavy smoke  Monday closed Interstate 90 near Vantage, Kittitas County. (Washington State Patrol)
[Seattle Times] I-90 shut down due to smoke Jul 20
Eastern Washington has been 'under siege' by smoke and forest fires this and last month. Yesterday we could barely see across the lake. Today, with the wind that blew through in the right direction last night, the air is clean again.

What we really need is a good old-fashion downpour--a week's worth! The entire state is as dry as a cinder, and it's affecting the way we live. Recently I-90 was shut-down near where I live and traffic was backed up for miles.

My husband and I had planned to camp in Northeastern WA this weekend at a beautiful state park. One of our small towns there is holding a popular fly-in called Wings Over Republic, and with all the activity surrounding this event, people fly in with their small planes and air camp under the wings, or pitch tents and camp in their RVs at the adjacent state park. Not this year. Today we cancelled our reservation and I just read online that authorities are calling for cancellation of the fly-in as well. Last we heard, the town was at a Level I alert, which means some residents might be evacuated.

[KHQ TV Spokane] Current fire in Ferry County, near where we had hoped to camp.
Sadly, three fire fighters lost their lives in the Twisp, WA fire on Wednesday. Prayers are needed for the remaining crews' safety and those living near the fires! Burn victims have been reported and dozens of homes have been lost too. Unfortunately, knowing where the next fire will flareup can't be predicted. Wind and lightning strikes feed these fires. Meanwhile, I'm grateful for the 'breather' today. 

On a different note.....
I've been swimming a lot at the community pool. Swam 18 laps two days in a row. Kind of proud of that....I could barely do 8 laps when I started two months ago. 

 Have a Relaxing Weekend!


Celebrate the Small Things. To be part of this blog hop, all you have to do is visit the Celebrate page on Lexa's Blog for the rules, and then post every Friday about something you're grateful for that week. It can be about writing or family or school or general life. This is the funnest and easiest blog hop ever! (Originated by VikLitCo-hosts are: L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge and Katie @ TheCyborgMom

Monday, August 17, 2015

The Classics - Opening Lines: The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers the town there were two mutes, and they were always together. Early every morning they would come out from the house where they lived and walk arm in arm down the street to work. The two friends were very different. (Published 1940)

I love the classics and plan to share some "opening lines" over the coming months. Comment if you like, or read for inspiration. Writing styles were different then, but were they really?

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

What’s Great About New York? by Ann Malaspina: Book Review

“Our Great States” (series)
What’s Great About New York?
Author: Ann Malaspina

Publisher: Lerner Publications Company
Ages: 8-11, Middle Grade, 2015
Pages: 32

Discover ten things to see and do in this introduction to the state of New York. Visit New York City’s Broadway where actors and authors alike sought and fulfilled their dreams, or discover the city’s below ground subway system, and architectural wonders like the Empire State building, the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge. Readers may be surprised to learn that New York City was the first capital of the United States in 1789. Learn how New York became a busy port in 1825 with the building of the Erie Canal waterway, and about the state’s other famous waterway the Hudson River. There is the Baseball Hall of Fame Museum in Cooperstown, where “people say the game of baseball started.” Take a trolley tour of Niagara Falls or ride under the mist in the Maid of the Mist boat. Lastly, discover New York City’s most recent historical addition, a memorial to the victims of the September 2001 terrorist attack. What’s Great About New York? is well written and packed full of information with plenty of photos, including a map, facts list, glossary, source list, and index.

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Classics - Opening Lines: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since.
"Whenever you feel like criticizing any one," he told me, "just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had." (Published 1925)

I love the classics and plan to share some "opening lines" over the coming months. Comment if you like, or read for inspiration. Writing styles were different then, but were they really?

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

IWSG: Making Headway

The Insecure Writers Support Group meets online every first Wednesday of the month. Founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh, IWSG was created to support and encourage all writers in every phase of their work, from writing to marketing. Click here to join, and for information, writing tips and more.

Co-hosts today are Nancy Gideon, Bob R Milne, Doreen McGettigan, Chrys Fey, Bish Denham, and Pat Garcia! 


The climate here is still quite hot but I'm adjusting to the heat. Hubby and I have been hanging out at the community pool in late afternoons. The pool is brand new, gorgeous, with lap lanes for the adults and play areas for the kids. It's been too hot for golf, although many get up early when the air is cooler to play. My preference is in the evening when we can also bike. 

View from new home. Umtanum ridge on left.
Funny thing about the sun, and I've never experienced this anywhere else. When it goes behind the clouds, you'd swear the temperature has dropped a full ten degrees. It comes out again and you retreat to the shade in the oven-like air. I read that the UV rays are high all over the Pacific Northwest right now, so best to avoid the rays. I'm not sure if this is unique to our high temperatures (high 90s, low 100s) or simply a weather phenomenon this year. Many of us find it odd that we are all so low in vitamin D too. A doctor told a friend that no amount of sun exposure would be enough. We're all taking high doses and hoping the medical community knows what they're talking about.

We are not officially a desert (our winters are cold). Farmers grow grapes, apples, peaches, apricots, cherries, corn, potatoes, wheat and more here. Give the land water and fertilizer, and you can grow just about anything in sandy loam (some areas are almost pure sand, but compost does wonders). 
I have one beautiful rose bush.

The truth of the matter is we get on average six to ten inches of rain a year. Fortunately, water is cheap. We live on an old river bed with an underground aquifer and a river lake just minutes away.

It's been an interesting year adjusting though. Major services are an hour away. We have basic health care, one main restaurant and grocery store, one hardware store, pizza, some fast food, three gas stations, and smaller related businesses that include a cool tortilla factory (fresh off the grill), but that's it. 

Given the vast number of fruit orchards, we also have a thriving Mexican migrant community. Many workers and their families have stayed and made their home here. I wish I spoke Spanish. Someone at church mentioned taking a Spanish immersion class, and I almost raised my hand

I'm not a city gal, but I find myself missing the cute college towns we left behind, with their tree lined Main streets and coffee hangouts. I miss walking through the malls, too, going to movies, and checking out the latest restaurant. I'm glad we are an hour from another college town, where we can take in a movie and dinner when we feel like it. We plan to see the new Jurassic Park movie later this week.

There is always pro and con to moving, which was almost one year ago to the day, and in that regard, you might say this has been an insecure year for me. It was a tough move saying goodbye. You really do gain some and lose some, but I don't think it helps to dwell on the negatives or the past. We should learn from the past of course and stay in touch with old friends, but embrace the new and move on. I'm treating our new home as an adventure, and slowly but surely we are putting down roots again. Landscaping over a half acre will be the dominant thrust for awhile and for sure my writing.

On that front, I successfully downsized my YA novel to below 80k, and finally....FINALLY, I'm satisfied with the ending. I'm currently using SmartEdit as one last check. SmartEdit can be downloaded for free for a ten day trial, or purchased outright. The software is awesome. For instance, it pointed out I had used "he said/she said" 109 times, which of course was excessive. But see for yourself. It's free to check out! 

As to the race, my husband and I are still competing to make the finish line first. Our self imposed motivation effort appears to be working. We both have made headway! Vince reached the halfway mark on painting his plane last week, and I'm running out of things to tweak in my novel. [Scroll down for a photo of the plane]. 

Something to inspire (remember 
the little train that could?) 

"The Ladder of Achievement" (Anonymous)
 (The Treasure Chest, 1965)
                                                                                                                                                                                 100%--I did.          
                                                                     90%--I will.
                                                              80%--I can.
                                                       70%--I think I can.
                                                60%--I might.
                                          50%--I think I might.
                                   40%--What is it?
                             30%--I wish I could.
                      20% --I don't know how.
               10%--I can't.
         0%--I won't.


Monday, August 3, 2015

The Classics - Opening Lines: War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, PRINCE, Genoa and Lucca are now no more than private estates of the Bonaparte family. No, I warn you, that if you do not tell me we are at war, if you again allow yourself to palliate all the infamies and atrocities of this Antichrist (upon my word, I believe he is), I don't know you in future, you are no longer my friend, no longer my faithful slave, as you say. There, how do you do, how do you do? I see I'm scaring you, sit down and talk to me.  (Published 1869)

I love the classics and plan to share some "opening lines" over the coming months. Comment if you like, or read for inspiration. Writing styles were different then, but were they really?

About Me

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You could call me an eternal optimist, but I'm really just a dreamer. l believe in dream fulfillment, because 'sometimes' dreams come true. This is a blog about my journey as a writer and things that inspire and motivate me.