WELCOME TO 2015

I resolve to be more like the Minions – Happy and Sassy. Wait! They’re mutated slaves…lets think about this for a minute.

I don’t know about your friends, but most of mine tend to make fun of the traditions involved with New Year’s Day and making resolutions…especially as they, themselves, are in the process of resolving to be/do/see/or say something differently in the coming year.

This is a trend I’ve noticed more and more on television, radio shows, magazine articles, and social media…the ‘I’ll make fun of anything, even while I’m in the middle of trying it’ syndrome. Exercises, diets, clothing and hairstyle trends, and resolutions all get the same treatment. But why is that? Are we really so afraid to leave the pack that we cannot stop ourselves from this behavior? Are we, as what passes for adults, really so wrapped up in everyone else that we don’t have our own voices? Or are we just still living with the high school mentality that making fun of everything somehow makes us seem cool?

Honestly, I have no idea. But I do know that I actually saw two resolutions all the way through the end of 2014, and it felt GOOD! I don’t actually think that I’ve made it all the way through before. But this year I followed through on both getting a job (I’m a teacher…what what!) and writing at least one short story a week! (Ok, so I didn’t always get them posted on time, but I did WRITE them..which was my resolution after all).

So let’s get down to the brass tacks: What are THIS YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS?

Here a few from me, and I would love to hear from you!

I resolve…to make strict and followable goals instead of vague resolutions! Because “I’m going to try to get healthy this year” does nothing but sit there on the paper while I eat chocolate and flip channels!

1) I will realize that just because the New Year has begun does NOT mean that I automatically change. I must WORK if I want to see the changes!

2) I will eat at least 2 meals a week that are meatless but full of hearty vegetables (This does NOT include the meal of chips and salsa I try to sneak in once a week or so)

3) I will continue to write on an (almost) daily basis but try to remember that if I miss a day or two it is not the end of the world. Life interferes and that is the normal way of things. (grr)

4) I will attempt to be more loving and patient with my child, my family, and my students. Really I will!

5) I will get a planner and USE IT for more than a month or two at a time. (last year’s planner was used for January, February, July, and October) This also goes into a whole big thing about organization. Baby steps people, its all about baby steps.

6) I will learn to knit. Those slippery non-hooked needles will not get the best of me!

7) I will do my best to do my best, even on days when I don’t feel it in my core. Fake til you make it and all that jazz. (Nerdy quotes help people succeed, remember that!)

Happy New Year! May 2015 be blessed and full of love, success, and inspiration beyond your wildest dreams.

Don’t Look

“Why are you hyperventilating? Why is he hyperventilating?” Shary turned an accusing glare on Bill, her little brother Chris’s best friend.

“Whoa Nelly,” Bill held both hands up in surrender, “I just got here myself sis.”

“Likely story,” Shary kept on grumbling to herself and Bill ignored her happily, the two had developed this routine over two decades of begrudging friendship and neither paid much attention any more.

“Don’t look,” Chris suddenly gasped as he reached out to clutch the sweater clad arm of his older sister. “I should have never looked!”

“Looked where, Bolt?” Bill, the ‘nut’ to Chris’s ‘bolt’ held tightly to his friend’s hand and glancing around nervously. “Did you see something bad buddy? Should we call for help.”

“There is no help,” Chris rasped out, beginning to gasp and groan for air once more. “Nothing can be unseen. Don’t look! DON’T LOOK! Promise me Shar.”

“I can’t promise until I know where you looked,” Shary pointed out a little testily.

“The house,” Chris pointed shakily, though no one had needed to ask which house he meant. THE HOUSE had been abandoned since they were kids, the last people to live there having been Bill’s great aunt Gertrude and her caretaker. But the boys and Shary had played and explored there throughout the years, even spending a recent rain soaked afternoon tightly embroiled in one of the many storage rooms as they searched through old storage chests and giggled at Gertrude’s eccentric collections.

“What could you have possibly seen in there?” Shary scoffed, “We’ve been through that place a dozen times this year alone.”

“Can’t tell. Don’t look through the key hole!” Chris’s eyes rolled back into his head as he collapsed, ashen faced, to the damp grass of his sister’s freshly mown lawn.

Glancing between his fallen body and the decrepit, abandoned old mansion down the street, Shary and Bill reverted to their childhood selves almost immediately.

“Race you!” No telling which one said it as they both took off down the street…no telling who got there first or what, exactly, drove them both to the left side of that faded mauve exterior. There’s not even any way to tell who, or what, they may have seen through that old fashioned key hole in the door no one had ever noticed before. No way because, you see, no one has heard them speak since that moment.

Wait, I take that back, Shary is saying something now…

“Don’t look!”

The Next Generation

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My Monkey setting up for another day of arduous creating. Apparently this story was about Tinkerbell and the dog who sniffed flowers with butter.

My almost 2 year old daughter loves to draw and scribble in her Tinkerbell notebook. If you ask her about it she will go on and on about her work, usually yelling Bell Bell or talking about George and Minions in the few words you can understand. And at some point she will say ‘Like Momma’.

Like Momma, she carries a notebook just about everywhere she goes.(In fact, since her Happy Meals started handing out notebooks she may have MORE than I do). Like Momma, she sometimes only needs to scribble for a moment and sometimes she’s bent over the book for hours. Like Momma, she babbles somewhat incoherently at people if they interrupt her flow or she seems ‘stuck’ in her story.

A BIG part of me is proud that my daughter looks up to me, even though I’m sure that its mostly because she sees me all day everyday. I am proud of her creativity and interest in reading and writing. She isn’t quite 2 (we’re 3 months out from her birthday) but she is already fairly advanced (the hazards of her parent and grandparents all being teachers I suppose). I hope and pray that she keeps this curiosity and zeal as she grows up. That she retains the ‘weird’ and ‘quirk’ that makes up her joy right now and doesn’t let anyone tell her otherwise.

But do I want her to be a writer?

That is a tough question. I love writing. I adore putting my colored inks on blank paper and making the designs that pull a story from the air and my brain (same thing, right) and coalescing it in a form many will read. Most of the time I even enjoy the late night inability to sleep because I’m writing, or the jerking from a dead sleep at 3am because my subconscious finally figured out a piece of the story. I also make no money, have a tendency to block out people for days or weeks at a time while I write, get super mean if I can’t just sit and write when the mood hits me (not as much any more…toddlers tend to line out your schedule for you), and am usually tired from working on pieces when I should be asleep.

It has been said that writing is a lonely profession, except for the characters you make for yourself. Do I want my daughter to be lonely and listening to voices in her own head? Do I want her to wake up from a writing stupor and realize that she may have gotten fifteen thousand words written in a day and half, but she hasn’t eaten and hasn’t seen her friends in days? In the mind of a mother, do the pros outweigh the cons? I honestly don’t know at the moment.

The pros are worth more than any amount of cons in my life. If I don’t write I become irrational, erratic, and difficult to live with. Depression, anxiety, dark moods…they set in pretty quickly if I don’t have projects to think on and scribble out. My books and notebooks are some of my greatest joys, right up there with my kid and my flute. The lack of feedback and reviews on both my blog and my Amazon pages frustrates me to no end, but I wouldn’t stop writing for anything; I couldn’t. Do I want that kind of drive for my daughter….YES, YES I DO.

Do I want her to wind up a writer…probably not. But I suppose that’s going to be up to her to decide. Isn’t it?

 

 

Sleepover Zoo: A Review

This week I actually have a book review for Book Review Tuesday! I was given this book in exchange for an honest review and was pleasantly surprised at the outcome. Without further ado, here is:

Sleepover Zoo

By: Brenda Kearns

Publication Date: April 1, 2013

 

Written primarily with upper elementary students in mind, this children’s book follows Antonina Maria (Toni) as she tries to adjust to a new school. The story centers on a few days in her life as the ‘popular’ girl in the sixth grade, Leona, pressures the ‘weird’ new girl, Toni, to have a sleepover.

That would be fine, except Toni’s home is a little…different than normal homes. Her family works with birds and her basement is a testament to that fact, shelves lined with cages and sick or injured birds rehabilitating in them don’t make for a normal home. When a prissy, never dirty, girl who isn’t allowed pets comes into their home a great dane, a koi aquarium, a small kitten, and a Macaw who drinks coffee make for a sleepover she’ll never forget.

Throughout this book the reader learns right along with the characters. Toni’s brother, Bruno, and best friend, Meghan, help her as they learn about friendship, family, and being proud of who you are. Along with those important life lessons, Brenda Kearns also sprinkles in some interesting facts about the different animals who live with Toni and Bruno.

This book is the type that would be good for classrooms from younger ages, like Mother’s Second Grade ‘TweetHearts’ (yes I’m serious, she did name her class that…) all the way through even the Eighth grade for students who don’t generally enjoy reading, for whatever reason. The simple and easy flow of the book leads readers along while feeding them information that helps them identify with characters and learn as they go. Sleepover Zoo is also a book that could inspire children to go outside and learn about the world around them, and that is a special quality to find in print.

Over all I give this book 5 out of 5 dragons for great writing, an interesting story, and making me want to learn more about nighthawks. If you are looking for a book for your child, your classroom, or even a quick read for yourself, I encourage you to give Brenda Kearn’s books a try.

Aside

Today is the final day of spring break in Oklahoma. Throughout the state people are heading home, unpacking, and girding themselves for the next leg of the school year. Though this really doesn’t affect me at the moment, being a stay at home mother and author, several of my friends and family are currently attempting to figure out how it got to be Friday so quickly.

I can’t help you with that, but I can remind you all that spring is ‘here’ and summer is swiftly approaching. Soon it will be time for Easter (don’t forget to head over to www.facebook.com/WhimsicalDesignESTyree or www.facebook.com/TyreeTomes to order your Easter baskets!) and the flower will be a riotous mass of color. After that, it won’t be too much longer until summer break and long lazy days.

Until then I hope you Have a Happy and Blessed Weekend!

Writing: A short short

“I got nothin’,” the writer sighed, setting her bright pen down carefully on the stark white page, “I can’t even get a first sentence out tonight.”

“You know,” a voice filtered through the fog, “It’s been said that writer’s block happens when your imaginary friends refuse to talk to you.”

“Oh they’re talking to me,” she replied absentmindedly, not thinking to wonder where the voice had come from, “But unless you want me to write my Short Story Sunday piece on whose hair looks better today, they’re pretty useless right now.”

“Maybe that should be your story,” the whisper hissed helpfully, slowly fading as though the unseen person were backing away from her stone bench. “The non-story of how you don’t have any prompts…”

“Maybe…thank you,” she turned to smile at her advisor, but there was no one to be seen. Just the empty lake front and her, sitting alone in the chilly air. “Huh, a non-story,” she picked her pen up again, not giving much thought to her mysterious aid, she had learned long ago to not to. “Naw, that would never work!”  

 

 

        (Photos taken by me, Elizabeth S. Tyree, during the fall of 2012 at the Chickasaw National Recreation Area in Sulphur, Ok.)

To Ink or Not To Ink

I was recently checking my profile on a popular social networking site when I noticed a post from my long-time friend, bemoaning her lack of fundage because she desperately ‘needed’ INK.  No, she does not have one of those fabulous old feather quill pens that required the use of an ink well (though that would be AWESOME!).  My friend adamantly feels the need for more tattoos.

As you may well be able to imagine, this sparked a slew of responses ranging from why(?), to what and where.  Then there comes THAT GUY.  You know the one that I’m taking about.  The one person who has such a set opinion on every matter that they have to tell you the ‘right answer’ no matter how you feel on the matter.  In this case, he opposes tattoos and even though my girlfriend has a few of her own already, his response was of course to ‘Don’t do it!  You’ll thank me later when they’re way out of style and everyone is stuck with them for life”.  He even likened tattoos to a previous generation’s disco clothing, which would be embarrassing for them to still be wearing today.

LET THE DEBATE BEGIN:

 

Style, LIFEstyle, FAD, Accessory: All of these words were batted around in an argument that is, obviously, a very personal one to most who become involved in it.  At one point tattoos as a lifestyle was so vehemently denied that the gentleman in question actually used anti-war protesters as an example of an actual LIEFESTYLE. (Which is where I came in…)

Here is my opinion, because honestly, how much more can I quote without just copying the entire transcript?

I have two tats and would eventually like at least one more.  They are discreetly placed and very personal to me, which is what I believe that a tattoo should be.  If you just get a smiley face on your finger or love on your ear in order to emulate your favorite celebrity, then I certainly do not envy you the upcoming pity party that you’ll be throwing for yourself in a few years.  However, if you get a ‘popularized’ tattoo like an owl and dream catcher because you’re part native whatever and Aunt Birdy told a tribal story that helped to change your life then WOOHOO, GO YOU! 

“Yes, some people have gotten tattooed because it has become popularized and almost mainstream in today’s culture. However, unless you are one of these “followers” who got tatted to match their favorite pop star, then your tattoos are a LIFE choice which should reflect your LifeStyle and/or your family’s lifestyle.”

The key here is in finding the deeper connection in order to create something you will love for a lifetime, and longer. 

Remember that the ink is forever.  Ancient mummies are still proudly displaying their tattoos even to this day.  (Isn’t that a lovely thought, HA)

Until next time, Love each other, Love your INK, and have a Blessed Week.

 

 

Link

Dragon in My Yard

Dragon in My Yard

The second book in Elizabeth S. Tyree’s Stone Dragon Saga, we follow Aliphonsore and his new friends in their search for his statue family.  Meanwhile, the crazy fairy queen has also been awakened, and is already sending out searches of her own.

Don’t miss out on any of the action! Get  your copies of this series today!