Monday, May 18, 2015

Quacks!

A few years ago, like four or five, we had a big rain like we had last week. In between then and now, we've been in a major drought, so the excitement around here was real.

Anyway, the last time we had a big rain, we were visited by a family of ducks. Mommy and Daddy arrived in our backyard with a whole bunch of little yellow ducklings.

Shiner, our blue heeler, was a puppy and tried to herd the peeps. We figured their home flooded and our yard had been part of a wildlife trail before the area was developed. So after a few minutes of checking everything out, Mom and Dad Duck eventually found a way for peeps to go under the fence.

Fast forward to last week.

Not long after the rain let up, ducks appeared in our side yard by the gate to the back searching for a way under the fence. Only it’s a different breed of duck from before.

These ducklings were black and white. So we had Mommy, Daddy, and fourteen active little ducklings. And soon, two neighborhood kids--one about six and one about nine.

video


Live-In Handyman opened the gate, and into the backyard they went. Mama Duck huddled her ducklings in the far corner of the yard but soon joined Dad in the trees. Duck Lesson #1: teaching independence.

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The same hole the ducklings found before has since been repaired, so Handyman started making a new opening for them. Mom and Dad Duck watched, and both of them talked to the babies, who ran around like, what else, little lost ducklings :)

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Those ducklings were quick and all over the place. We needed Shiner! But he's traded his love of little moving things for a love of food. So both dogs stayed in the house.

The kids and I kept the ducklings semi-corralled until the hole was open. When it was, Mama Duck landed in the yard to oversee the safe passage of her babies.

As soon as the last duckling was through and in the neighboring yard, Mama Duck flew up to the fence, then to the ground on the other side. I’m guessing she counted babies and made sure all were OK.

Then she flew back up on the fence and talked to us for about 30 seconds. I’d like to think she was thanking us for getting her babies safely on the other side. Since I don’t speak Duck, I’m not completely sure.

She then flew down to the ground on the other side again, and about a minute later she flew off in the opposite direction.

Although I couldn't see them, I am sure she was following her babies.

That's what Moms do.


See you back here on Monday, June 1.

For those of you in the U.S., have a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend!




Monday, May 4, 2015

I, the Jury

How ironic is this?

In my quest for more writing time and my diligence in putting that time to good use, I've been chosen for jury duty.

In fact, if you're reading this on Monday morning, May 4, I'm not really here. I'm sitting in a courtroom with dozens of other people, all of us hoping for a rejection. Again, ironic for a writer or what?

If I'm chosen for a panel, do you think they'll pick me? I wouldn't want me for a juror if I were on trial. Can I tell them that?

Besides, I've served on a jury before. In a criminal case. It was interesting, but once was enough. I'm a quick learner. Been there. Done that. And they didn't even give us a t-shirt.

But what if no matter what I try to make them disinclined to select me, they choose me anyway? And the judge decides to sequester us for days? Weeks?! Without wine - yikes!

Even worse . . . what if it's some b-o-r-i-n-g trial all about numbers or legal tenets? And I fall asleep. And snore. Can I ask for CliffsNotes? By email? And vote from home?

Maybe I can blog from the courtroom? Should I ask? Probably not.

At least I can take my Kindle and get in a little extra reading time, unless I'm chosen for a panel right away.

With any luck, I'll be back here before you have time to miss me. But if I'm absent for a few days, you'll know why.

I'll be around to visit as soon as possible.



In other news . . . you may have noticed the big WIN button is missing from the top of the right sidebar. That's because my website contest is going on hiatus for a while. I'm not certain when it will be back - probably sometime after the first of the year.

If you have a book you'd like to give away, email me at tikihuttimeATgmailDOTcom and we'll talk about timing.



See you back here on Monday, May 18 - unless I'm Jury Jane :)




Monday, April 20, 2015

Quick! Answer the Phone!

Keeping it short at the Tiki Hut for those of you doing A to Z. So since this is A to Z Day Q, here's a quick Q is for Quirky real-life incident.

My sister and I are a lot alike. I may have mentioned that here before. The other day she sent me an email. I'll just let you read it so you can see for yourself. She knows I'm sharing it with you.

My fortune cookie from lunch says “a romantic mystery will soon add interest to your life”. HUM

And get this: We’re sitting here eating lunch and I’m reading this article about the best and worse pickup lines in Houston. So, I’m texting one to M----. (This is her husband. I took out the letters and replaced with dashes.) It says, “Nice legs. What time do they open?”


Now remember I have a phone that I can barely operate. I’m texting (the pickup line to M----) and when I get to the end I’m looking for a question mark; heaven only knows what button I pushed, but at the end of open, the phone starts typing what the guy that is here fixing our copier is saying.

So this is what came out on my phone:
“Nice legs. What time do they open sometimes you have to push it all the way in if it’s cold


You can't make this stuff up.



In my website contest news, the Author of the Month for April is Texas author Helen Ginger. Helen is giving away a signed copy of ANGEL SOMETIMES, a USA Best Book Award winner. You can learn more about Helen and her books here on her blog and on her website: http://www.helenginger.com 

To enter, click the big WIN button at the top of my right sidebar. It takes you directly to the contest page on my website: www.carolkilgore.net/contest/

Read the rules, choose your answer to the question about the photo, fill out the entry form, and click Submit.

Winner will be drawn after 6 pm on April 30.
This month’s contest is open to U.S. residents only.



I'll see you back here on Monday, May 4!



Monday, April 6, 2015

The Naked Writer

No, not that kind of naked.
There are no naked images in this post :)

And not much of the bare-my-soul type of naked either.

More like the nitty-gritty of what's going on with me type of naked.

Since I'm blogging only twice a month now, I'm really feeling the need to stay connected with all of you. I'm also feeling the need to visit more on Facebook and Twitter, so those of you who friend or follow me there probably wonder why I'm there more when I've said I need more writing time.

It's because I can check in there in 1-2 minute bursts and see what's happening - something I can't do with a blog. Not only is it quicker, it's more immediate. But it's not as connecting as a blog visit.

You bloggers already know that!

Those of you who follow me on Twitter may see that I tweet all kinds of things, not just writing or book related. I tweet things that catch my eye as I read the news or do research. I tweet Texas and coastal and San Antonio things. Food things. Fun things. There's no rhyme or reason.

I receive more strange Facebook messages than I do strange tweets. But the other day I received a really odd tweet (I think I disabled the live links):

EU Headlines News @EUHeadlinesNews  7h7 hours ago
@carol_kilgore Rashmi Tailors visiting #SanAntonio @ 11-12-March- Set Appointment for Custom-Made Suits in your City bit.ly/RashmiTailor

What makes it so weird - besides the fact that I'm not a man? I don't follow EU Headlines News or Rashmi Tailors. Plus the date is one that has significance for me.

One of those strange things that keep life interesting. I think there could be a story in there someplace!

So since I've reduced my blogging schedule by half, I want to share with you the difference it's made in my written output.

In January and February, my daily output ranged between 300-800 words. 800 was a really good day and somewhat infrequent. I didn't manage to write every day because I would get behind in other things and have to play catch up. In those two months, I managed to write a little over 20,000 words.

I'm aiming for the three books in this trilogy to be between 65-70K each - a little shorter than my other books. Since I always add many more details on succeeding drafts and during the editing process, my first draft goal is 60K,

My word count at the end of my writing day on March 31 was 43K. That means I wrote a little more in one month with bi-weekly blogging than I wrote in two months with weekly blogging. I've more than doubled my output. I've gone from 33% to 77% complete. But I think the first draft will end up running a little longer than I planned.

I'm sharing all of this so you can see what a difference having this extra time has meant for me. The cost has been not getting to visit with all of you as much as I would like, but the return has been awesome.

I realize that I'm not quite up to NaNo speed or the output many of you produce on a regular basis, but I have to say it feels wonderful to have a real writing schedule. It's something I haven't enjoyed for a while, and I'm grateful to have it again.

In return, I really appreciate your visits when I'm here. Luv you guys!


In my website contest news, the Author of the Month for April is Texas author Helen Ginger. Helen is giving away a signed copy of ANGEL SOMETIMES, a USA Best Book Award winner. You can learn more about Helen and her books here on her blog and on her website: http://www.helenginger.com 

To enter, click the big WIN button at the top of my right sidebar. It takes you directly to the contest page on my website: www.carolkilgore.net/contest/

Read the rules, choose your answer to the question about the photo, fill out the entry form, and click Submit.

Winner will be drawn after 6 pm on April 30.
This month’s contest is open to U.S. residents only.


For those of you participating in A to Z, I know you're having fun. Keep going, don't give up!

I'll see you back here on Monday, April 20.
That will be A to Z letter Q:
The quirky queen was in a quandary over her quickie quota :)