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Archive for March, 2014

Since I really, really wanted to see more and since I saw a video camera, I decided to do just that and eat my tuna fish sandwich as well. It took two tosses of a ball to nudge the camera into place and one to turn it on. That done I got my tuna fish sandwich, ate it, and took a nap. Once I woke up, I watched what I had missed.
Angus’ grandmommy looks like Angus. The twins look like Angus too. Then again, all Scottish Miniature sheep look like Angus. There only subtle differences.
“I got your wool clipping in the mail,” his grandmommy said. She held it up. Even I had to squint to see it. When had Angus sent her wool? Behind her I could see the twins peering around the corner, eating, their mouths moving as they ate. I knew Angus saw them too, but he said nothing.
“‘Tis fine wool. When will you be sheared?”
“Middle, late April.”
“So soon? I just don’t understand the weather in the colonies. You must take care, Wee Angus, not to stay too long. The heat and humidity will not do your wool well in the long run.”
“Yes, Grandmum.”
“Now, talk to your sisters a bit.”
The twins rushed forward, crumbs dropping from their chins.
“Angus.”
“Angus.”
“Angus.”
“Angus.”
“Yes, Heather. Yes, Peatmoss.”
“What did you buy us for our birthday?”
“Yes, our birthday?”
“What makes you think I bought anything for your birthday?”
“You always do.”
“Aye, you do.”
“Did you send a parcel already?”
“Did you? We checked everywhere!”
I already knew about that. Hamish said the twins had broke in his croft and searched the place.
“Then you know. I dinna sent you anything. There we’ve talked.
“But, Angus.”
“We want to tell you about our holiday.”
“You may write me a letter. I have an important engagement.”
“But, Angus…. Oooo Heather. I know what’s he given us.”
“You do?” The twins now looked at one another.
“He’s going to save up money so we can visit him.”
“In the colonies?”
“No!”
“Aye.” They began clapping their forehooves.
“Never! I must go! I must recuperate.” He turned the mobile off and fainted.

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It’s getting close to sheep shearing time. It’s also getting close to Angus’s birthday. And his sisters’ birthday. And Hamish’s birthday. Pretty much every Scottish Miniature Sheep’s birthday. I don’t think I’d like to have a birthday when everyone else has one. But they’re happy.
Yesterday Angus set up an appointment with his grandmother via Hamish’s ‘mobile’. It was wool evaluating time. I don’t know why he bothers because, according to him, his wool is grade A.
Before the call Angus gets out his hoof cleaning kit, his wool cleaning kit, and everything else a sheep needs to be all sparkly. It’s an awful lot.
“Put that down.”
“But I wanna see. What is it anyway?”
“It’s for me wool.”
“It looks like a stick with little teeth on it. Is it a comb?”
“Nay.” He whips out a cloth and starts buffing a hoof.
“Is it a desnarler?”
“Nay.” He takes out a tin of hoof varnish.
“Curler?”
“Nay.” He shakes out a clean cloth and dips it in the varnish.
“Tooth brush?”
“Nay.”
He is so totally not listening to me. I go to the web site where he buys these things from and find out it’s for the wool on the back of his ears. They have things like that? I just use my tongue to keep myself nice and clean. Looking at the backs of his ears I think I do a much better with just that than all these fancy doo dads.
A timer bings. Back go his cleaning items. He straightens his kilt, the good one, makes sure the part in the wool on top of his head is straight and pokes in Hamish’s number. I hop onto a shelf where I can see the goings on, but no one can see me.
“Good morning, Grandmum. ‘Tis me. Wee Angus.”
“Aye and good afternoon to you, me lad. Och that’s bonny wool. I can see it already. Turn around.”
Angus turns. He tilts. He goes in close. He steps away. All the while his grandmother makes notes and offers wool suggestions. I wish I could see what she looks like.
“Grandmum.”
“Grandmum.”
Angus freezes.
“Look, it’s Angus!”
“Aye, ’tis Angus.”
The twins.
“Angus!”
“Angus!”
“Angus!”
“Angus!”
“Get back, Heather and Peatmoss. I’m calling Grandmum, not you!”
“Angus!”
“Angus!”
“Lambs!”
Silence.
“Thank you, Grandmum.”
“Now, lasses, you can talk to your brother later. Go to the kitchen and eat one scone. There are twelve. When I get to the kitchen there will be ten. Wee Angus, be nice to your sisters.”
I can tell Angus wants to make a face, but he can’t. Instead he just nods.
“Now you’re wool looks very fine.” And she goes on to grade it and all that. I didn’t understand all of it and I can’t say I want to understand it. I’d go away, but I do want to hear if he talks to the twins. I’ll write about that later. I hear a tuna fish sandwich calling me.

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Last week I finished the first draft of my story from my first ever outline. It worked out great, much better then I expected. I thought I’d be bored because the story was already written out. I thought I would lose interest for the same reason. Both expectations were wrong.
In the outline I gave myself plenty of opportunity to be spontaneous, to let something flow in at the moment as my pen wove across the page. In fact I even experienced writer’s block a few times. They didn’t last long. I studied my outline, looked to see what I had planned for the next chapter, and continued on.
As for losing interest, the opposite turned occurred. I wanted to write, write, write, to see how everything turned out. Yes, I already knew how it would end, but I didn’t know exactly how. I even came up with two more books. A series. For those who have followed me and know how I feel about trilogies, you may gasp. I think I may have even gasped. This will be a bit different in that I won’t be ending on a cliff hanger or leave things hanging. Each book will be self contained. It will help to read it in order, but it won’t hurt if you don’t.
My next step in this see how an outline will help speed up the writing process when I work on my netbook. It seems writing just goes slower and I start minimizing the screen to play a game or something.

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According to several news reports, BBC and Forbes for two, Lynn Shepherd wants J. K. Rowling to stop writing and give other authors a chance to make money. As I read that my first thought was, Ms. Shepherd doesn’t really know writers. They, we, can’t stop writing. I can’t speak for Ms. Rowling, but I know writing keeps me sane. Money is the icing on the cake I hope to achieve. Do I want earn as much as Ms. Rowling. I don’t know. I’d just like to get enough money to make a living and have some left over so I could travel and ‘stuff’.
A second issue I have with Ms. Shepherd’s request is that the Harry Potter series gave countless children the love of reading. I want to re-read the whole series again soon, as soon as I figure out where book 5 went off to. I loaned it out, but I may have seen it at my mom’s house.
A third thing is that Ms. Shepherd comes across like sour grapes. Is she upset because her books aren’t making it on the shelves? Having not read any of her books I can’t comment on them and, besides, what I like and what others like is subjective so my opinion may not count for much.
So, J.K. Rowling, please keep on writing.

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Angie goes to girl scout at 13. She comes back home three years later. In her mind she’s 13. Her body says 16. She’s ready to move on with her life and enter 8th grade with her friends like nothing happened, afterall, to her, nothing did happen. But life is a lot different now.
This is one of those novels that stick with you for a while. After reading it, I just wanted to sit there and reflect. Actually, it’s a great book to read before you go walking or clean house if you’re the kind of person who mulls things over when doing those things.
Right away we are wondering what happened, where was she. Even though we pretty much ‘know’ what happened, it doesn’t take away from Angie’s journey of discovering that for herself. What I didn’t know was how she managed to survive and how she managed to do so and forget how she survived. I will not give that away and only say I wasn’t expecting it and when I found out I was fascinated.
Some things happen quick, but as the author, Liz Coley writes, she sped things and made it ‘gentler’. That didn’t take anything away from the story. This is a great YA book that combines drama and mystery.

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