Saturday, February 28, 2009

Writing That First Draft

Hi everybody. How do you like my new look? On the blog page, that is. I was tired of that brown wallpaper. You're probably thinking that's just like a woman to want to rearrange furniture. Not me. I set a piece of furniture down it stays there forever unless I'm having company and have to move it to clean the rugs.

Now words, that's different. I rearrange words all the time. Sometimes to better places and sometimes just to throw them out. I'm beginning to think I need to throw some of my current words out the window in my new book. But I need to keep my finger mostly off the delete key right now. That comes after I get the story down the first time. Then I can figure out what I need to slice and dice. I read an article by a writer the other day in one of the writers' magazines. She wrote her first draft by hand and just let whatever she was thinking come out with arrows pointing here and there and every direction. She said she needed to spill her story out as fast as she could to begin with. I'm all for that. I've read about other writers who say they rework as they go and by the time they're finished with the first draft then they're mostly finished with the story without having to do a lot of rewriting. I'm somewhere in between that, I suppose. I do some rewriting as I go, but mostly I want to push the story out of my head onto the paper. Well, okay electronic paper. Then I can rework and polish and make it better. At least that's always my plan.

Oh, yeah, and about those words I wonder if I should throw out, I have to tell myself not yet. I nearly always go through a spell in every story where the doubts begin to crowd in. That old saying that you don't want to throw out the baby with the bath water is certainly true for writers. You want to hang onto the baby of your story and help it grow with lots of tender loving care and pen (or key) strokes. I'm ready for my story to be at least toddling along now or even better, mature enough to be skipping and running. I don't care if it runs so fast I get out of breath trying to keep up. That would keep my writing muscles in shape.

I'm blogging early this weekend because I'm supposed to go with The Patriots to their gospel singing concerts tomorrow. Of course it is s-n-o-w-i-n-g! Can you believe that? And there was ice hitting the window earlier. Looks like March is going to come in like a lion. Anyway the guys have a new tenor and tomorrow is his debut singing with the group. I've heard a CD they made at practice. They've definitely got a new sound, but it's a good sound. If you want to know how their old sound was you can go to their website http://www.patriotquartet.com/ and listen to some of their songs. You can even order their music from there as well as an autographed copy of my book, Angels at the Crossroads. That's the true life story of their first tenor, Jerry Shepherd. Jerry is singing with them on all their CDs except "Standing for God and Country" and "Classics 2."

Jerry has an amazing testimony of God's grace in his life after he made some very bad choices and ended up in a Georgia penitentiary at the age of 19. Even before he got out of prison, he promised to tell his story every time the Lord gave him the opportunity in the prayerful hope that hearing his story might encourage others not make the kind of mistakes he made. That's why the Lord put us on that old quartet traveling bus at just the right moment in time so that I could write his story down for him. His testimony of grace and forgiveness has inspired a lot of listeners and readers.

Anyway, back to the Patriots. They're pretty good. The low down guy is my husband, Darrell. He's been singing bass in gospel groups for over 35 years now. He loves singing in a group with that old time four-part harmony. So I'm skipping church to go hear their new sound in person.

Hope it doesn't snow and ice us out. After the nasty ice storm we had to start February, I'm sure everybody in Kentucky was cringing at the sound of ice hitting the windows today, but it's supposed to change to snow and not be as bad as that storm was. All of us and especially the electric linemen are hoping that turns out to be true. Those workers did a heck of a job in some terrible working conditions. In some places they'd get a new pole set to replace one broken by the ice and before they could move away from that location, they'd watch another pole further down the line snap and break. The ice was so heavy on the lines that in places people said they saw poles falling across the fields like dominoes. A lot of us are appreciating electricity more these days and what it takes to keep it lighting up our houses.

Till next time, I hope you have sunshine and joy in your lives - no matter what the weather outside is like.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What Can You Buy With $5?

Another Wednesday. No tornado warnings this week although the weathermen are predicting snow this weekend. Spring will come. Eventually. I know it will. Those of you in the south are probably already enjoying the flowers and sunshine. I guess the longer we wait, the more we'll appreciate spring here in Kentucky.

I've been trying to figure out how to put a banner about the Christian Book Expo on this, but I have to admit to being technically challenged at times. I copied the code their e-mail told me to copy but when I tried to paste it on here somewhere, it kept telling me I had some wrong code. I think not having the faintest idea of where to paste the code might have been my first problem. But if you're in the Dallas area and would like to meet some fantastic Christian writers in person to learn about a lot of new Christian books, go to the Christian Book Expo site, http://www.christianbookexpo.com/ and you can read all about it. You can also get a $5 discount on your tickets to get into the Expo by entering the discount code cbe5off. Wish I'd gotten that e-mail last week. I just bought Darrell's ticket on-line without a discount code in sight. Oh well, $5 isn't all that much.

But what can you do these days with $5? Buy a meal at a fast food restaurant if you're not too hungry. Buy a Bible for the Gideons to give to someone. Buy a box of Girl Scout cookies with a little left over. Maybe get a couple of pairs of socks. A bag of very cheap dogfood. Mail ten letters with some change. Download some tunes - that is, if you aren't technically challenged like me. Oh, I know a good one. Add a couple more fives and buy a book. Get a ticket to a matinee movie. Sorry, not enough for popcorn, too. Buy a singing greeting card. Those batteries last forever, but only if the tune is really annoying.

What are your suggestions for the $5 I might have saved, but didn't? Of course there's always that true advice on how to double your money - fold it and put it in your pocket.

I'm trying to keep my nose to the grindstone here as I get my book going. Or maybe I should say fingers to the keyboard. I keep telling myself to get going on the story. I feel like I'm running behind, not getting things rolling fast enough. Maybe I need to sit down at my desk in the morning and yell "Scene 1 (or 206). Action!" That's what I need. Action. Along with character development, great motivation, plot thickening, and snappy dialogue to go along with the easy to read and engaging prose. That's all I need. Just a few little things. But none of them on sale for $5.

Hope you're having a fun week and if you do make it to Dallas for the Christian Book Expo please come see me at the Baker Publishing Group Booth between 5 and 5:45 p.m. on Friday. I wish I had signed up for a time at the ACFW Booth, but I didn't know I was going to Dallas when the opportunity to sign up for that was available. But I'll have fun seeing all the other writers there.

Here's a quote to close out the day and to help me realize how rich I am without that $5 I didn't save.

"If you want to feel rich, just count the things you have that money can't buy."

Hope you have plenty of reasons to feel rich. And by the way, it doesn't cost you a thing to enter my book give-away. Just send me an e-mail from my website, http://www.annhgabhart.com/. I'm doing the drawing the day after I get back from Dallas on March 22, so you've still got a few weeks to get your name in the hat.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Little Acts of Kindness

A kind word is like a Spring day. ~Russian Proverb

Hi, everybody. Hope you've heard many kind words today and perhaps shared a few with others. At least we can have spring in our hearts that way even if we've still got snow of the ground. It snowed again here last night!! And again today. Not much. We maybe had an inch on the ground and it's mostly melted so I don't think the school kids are going to get another holiday. But we did call off our church services. I started to say we called off church, but church is whether we have services or not. Our members (and people are the church) are still living their lives and being a witness by how they live those lives whether we meet at the church building or not. When we're being our best, we can all be good witnesses and practice kindness to bring the feeling of spring to those we meet.

I know you've all heard about random acts of kindness. Good things people do without any expectation of reward or anybody telling them they have to. I experienced a couple of those random acts of kindness last week and it did make the sun feel a little warmer. First I thought I lost my cell phone. Any of the rest of you ever do that? Stick it in the wrong pocket or dump it out accidently in your car? Well, maybe I'm the only klutz, but anyway, I did misplace my phone from Point A to Point B last week when I was going to the grocery store. I knew I had it in the car when I left my mom's house to go get her groceries. I'd fished it out of my pocket and was going to make a call as soon as I stopped. But when I got to the grocery store, the phone was missing in action.

I searched through my purse at least five times. I searched through the car. The only other place I'd been was to fill up my gas tank, so I drove back there in case I had dumped it out when I got out of the car. The pavement was empty and the guy in the payment booth said no one had turned in a phone. I went back to my car to search again, and one of the guys came out and got my number to give me a call. You know it's loads easier to find those lost phones when they're ringing. As long as you don't let the batteries run down. Or let a cow eat it the way my husband did once when he dropped his phone out of his belt holder when he was feeding grain to the cows. Thank goodness she spit it out and didn't swallow it whole. Once he found it and wiped the cow spit off, it was good as new. That's better than some of the stuff he could have wiped off it. Anyway, so the gas station guy gives me a call and my phone starts ringing. It was right there in my purse, playing hide and seek with my checkbook, I guess. And I had been touched by a random act of kindness from someone who went out of his way to help me.

Then after I got my groceries and was loading them in my car, a woman came by and offered to take my empty cart to the cart corral. I'm quite capable of doing that myself, but she just wanted to do a kindness. A very little thing, but again something she didn't have to do. I hope this week I can remember to pass on their kindness in some other way to someone I meet and make the sunshine feel a little warmer on another person's shoulder.

What random acts of kindness have you done or had done for you? When I googled kindness to see what other people have to say about kindness, I discovered there is even a website to help you think up random acts of kindness you can do for others. Isn't the web something?

Here are some random quotes on kindness that I hope will encourage you.

  • Kindness, like a boomerang, always returns. ~Author Unknown
  • The best portion of a good man's life - his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love. ~William Wordsworth
  • Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day. ~Quoted in P.S. I Love You, compiled by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
  • What this world needs is a new kind of army - the army of the kind. ~Cleveland Amory

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Getting Back in Gear

It's been a strange winter for writing. You'd think winter time would be the best time for writing. No sunshine to beckon you outdoors to put your hands in the dirt and plant something. No Spring Fever to make you want to go fishing or clean something like windows. Unfortunately those are two fevers I never get. I've been fishing once in my life when I was in seventh grade for a school outing. I didn't like it. And I would always rather do something else than clean. I like having cleaned. Just not the actual cleaning.

That's a quote I read once from another author. That he or she liked to have written, but not the actual writing. I'm afraid I was in that uncomfortable position today. I had to take some time out of writing to babysit the grandbabies and then the galleys for my next book, The Believer, came in and while there weren't many queries, there were enough to keep me busy for a week. I always want to read the manuscript over again and make the words flow as smoothly as I can. I hate reading back over something I've written that's already published and seeing sloppy writing that I didn't catch in the editing process. So I try to edit and read carefully to catch most of the rough spots or mistakes.

I read a book the other day where the writer changed the person's name from one paragraph to the next on the same page. Now somebody didn't do their homework on that one. I've messed up on names a hundred pages apart which is why I keep a character list of all the named characters in my books as I'm writing. Most of the time a good copyeditor or a careful proofreading writer can catch the changeable name kind of mistake or at least they should. In this book, The Believer, I had one of my characters bald early on and then in a later scene, I had someone brushing the hair back off his forehead. I hadn't given him a comb-over either! I did catch that, thank goodness. And no, it wasn't the hero. Does anybody ever write a novel with a bald hero if he isn't a hard-boiled detective or private eye? Perhaps I should consider it. I'm always looking for ways to stretch my ideas into new territory. That's probably why I've got several unsold manuscripts filling up some shelves in my closet. Readers like what they like and I'm not sure that would include a romantic going bald hero.

But anyway, back to the hard writing today. I had been away from it too long, I think. I couldn't seem to pick up the thread for the next scene. I'm not sure I've done it yet, but I did finally get some words written that I didn't delete immediately. Sometimes I know where I want to go with a story but I'm not sure how I'm going to get there. There are times when that happens that I need to not worry about the trip and just go through the door and be there. Maybe that's what I need to do now. Just plop my characters down where I want them to be and then figure it out. But then what if they aren't quite ready to be there? There are times characters just don't cooperate if they're not ready. And sometimes, to the relief of many writers, the characters are readier for action after a good night's sleep. I hope my subconscious works hard all night long.

And I did get the galleys done and off in the mail. That's to the good. I'm just hoping and praying I don't catch the horrible cold that has my husband dragging around the house. And worse there's a terrible stomach virus going around town. Sounds like a good time to hole up and not go out among the germs except Darrell's already brought the cold germs inside. Oh well, that seems to be part of winter too. A part I hope all of you have missed.

Stay well and keep the winter evenings interesting by reading some good books.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The First Valentine

Hi, everybody. Hope you're not too stuffed with chocolate candy after Valentine's Day yesterday. Our preacher was telling us the origin of Valentine's Day in church today. Br. Fred says that back many moons ago, around 268 A.D. in the Roman Empire, it was decided that men should not marry before they entered the Roman army. But a priest named Valentine performed so many of the prohibited weddings that the Caesar had him imprisoned. Then legend has it that Valentine wrote his faithful congregation a letter from prison expressing his love for them and signed it "Your Valentine."

Not everybody agrees with this bit of Valentine history, so you can go out and do your research and make up your own mind, but I like the story. The day wasn't officially established until the end of the 5th century when Pope Celasius declared February 14 as Valentine's Day. However it was the 19th century before it became the custom to send flowers, candy and cards to the one you loved. I'm sort of glad they started sending the cards. I've always thought the Valentine's Day parties at elementary schools were the best. I still have a box of Valentines somewhere that my oldest son got when he was in third or fourth grade. It's a day when everybody can feel loved and popular.

Since we're talking about popular, I've heard from two people this week who say they have come back to overstuffed e-mail boxes. One, who was out of electricity and thus off line for eight days, said she had over 500 messages waiting in her inbox. Another who had been on a vacation came home to over 200 messages. Wow! Now that's a couple of popular girls. The neat thing was they both took time to read my newsletter I sent out a couple of weeks ago. I'm honored.

And now since we're talking about being honored, I just went out to get some information off the website for the Christian Book Expo where I'll be attending the Evangelical Christian Publishers' Association award banquet for Christian Book of 2009. In case you haven't been reading my other entries, The Outsider was chosen as one of the five finalists in fiction. (Yeah, yeah, I know. Any reason to repeat that, right? But I am excited.) Anyway when I get out there to the website, www.christianbookexpo.com, there's my picture right up there with all those famous authors on one of the pages, events I think. Imagine that!

But the really funny thing is that it's a picture one of my Sunday school kids took of me last year when we were hiking out here on the farm at Panther Rock. The kids love to go down there with me and I always take one picture like a portrait of them in the place of their choice to give to them later. So last year one of them wanted to take a picture of me. It's not a bad picture. I have my everyday clothes on and I've been hiking for a couple of miles with a bunch of teenagers who love to splash in the creek. So I'm not beauty parlor neat for sure. But I posted it on my website and I guess the Expo people must have lifted it from there. I can't wait to tell my Sunday School kid that his picture is out there on the web. He'll feel like a famous photographer. And I guess it's a good lesson for me. Be careful what you put out on the internet.

Of course I already knew that. Especially with e-mails. When you're writing a letter by hand, you have time to think about it while you're stuffing it in an envelope and putting it in the mailbox. If you've said some unwise things, your better judgement might kick in in time. Alas, with e-mails, they disappear in an eyeblink as soon as you hit that send button. Even while you're yelling, "Wait! Wait! Come back." So if you misspell words, if you sound off, if you moan and groan, you might want to take a deep breath and read it over again before you send it. I don't sound off (much) or moan and groan (only in my private journal) but I have sent out some misspelled words. And I hate that. Sometimes they are only typos, but there's no calling them back after you hit that send button. Thank goodness with the blog, it lets me edit if I see a mess up after I've hit the publish button.

What I really need to remember is that everybody messes up and the best part is that most readers of e-mails and blogs and newsletters forgive you for being human. Hope all your mess-ups this week are minor and something you can laugh about. One thing we can all count on is forgiveness if we seek it from the Lord.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Be Mine, Valentine!

Thanks to all of you who have responded to my newsletter. I always enjoy hearing from you and knowing that you're doing okay. And it's great to have you putting your name in the hat for my new book give-away, Hidden, an Amish romance, by Shelley Shepard Gray, and your choice of one of my books, Orchard of Hope, Summer of Joy, Angels at the Crossroads or The Outsider. To enter, all you need to do is go to my website and click on the contact link and send me an e-mail. I had said I was going to draw for the winner in April, but I think I'll change my mind and draw the winner earlier in March. That way I can give away something else in April.

Valentine's Day is coming for all you romantically minded readers. I like Valentine's Day. What's not to like? Valentines and chocolates and flowers and dinners out. I think the simple traditional gifts that don't put a strain on the budget are the best. The gifts that show the one you love that you know what kind of candy she likes best or what movie he's been wanting to see. The gift of attention and time. But sometimes those are the hardest gifts to give. We're all so busy trying to catch up and get it all done. What's going to happen when we get it all done? Well, a lot of it we'll just have to do all over again. So this Valentine's Day take some time to do something you enjoy. Pamper yourself and enjoy being with those you love. And don't you think the most romantic thing you've ever heard is where a couple reads a book aloud to one another? Ahh, romance!

Here's some Valentine's Day quotes to ponder while you're relaxing Saturday.
  • Loving is not just looking at each other, it's looking in the same direction. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Wind, Sand, and Stars, 1939
  • I don't understand why Cupid was chosen to represent Valentine's Day. When I think about romance, the last thing on my mind is a short, chubby toddler coming at me with a weapon. ~Author Unknown
  • Love - a wildly misunderstood although highly desirable malfunction of the heart which weakens the brain, causes eyes to sparkle, cheeks to glow, blood pressure to rise and the lips to pucker. ~Author Unknown
  • You have to walk carefully in the beginning of love; the running across fields into your lover's arms can only come later when you're sure they won't laugh if you trip. ~Jonathan Carroll, "Outside the Dog Museum"
Or maybe it would be better if both of you could sit down in the middle of the field and laugh together. That's the best thing to be able to do. Laugh together and share the joy.

For those of you wondering, the snow and ice are gone. Now we're having high winds and thunderstorms and tornado watches. Maybe next week it will be sunshiny and pleasant.

Hope you have a loving Valentine's Day.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Common Sense Dancing

The weathermen were right. The mercury in the thermometer is rising and the ice is disappearing. Now all we have to worry about is the mud. At least next week. Then after that, who knows? In Kentucky you can have winter or spring all in the same week. Sometimes the same day. Keeps things interesting.

I sent out a newsletter today. I wanted to share the good news about The Outsider being a finalist for the Christian Book Award in fiction, and I've gotten back lots of great e-mail congratulations. Thank you all so much. I can feel your good vibes making their way through cyberspace to me. And good vibes are important. I mean science has done research to prove what Proverbs has been telling us for centuries. "Laughter worketh good like a medicine." Just like they've done tests now to prove chicken soup makes you feel better when you have a cold. Why didn't they just save their study money and listen to all us old grandmas? We already knew that, didn't we?

Do any of the rest of you sometimes wonder what has happened to good old common sense? It doesn't seem so common anymore. But then I went out hunting some common sense quotes and what do I find but this quote "Common sense is not so common" by Voltaire, a famous French philosopher and writer who lived 1694-1778. So perhaps every age thinks we have a lack of good common sense. Here are some more quotes I found about common sense:

  • Common sense is instinct. Enough of it is genius. -- George Bernard Shaw
  • Common sense is the knack of seeing things as they are, and doing things as they ought to be done. --C.E. Stowe (Harriet Beecher Stowe's son)
  • Common sense is genius dressed in its working clothes. --Ralph Waldo Emerson, American Poet and Essayist, 1803-1882
  • Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing. --William James, American Philosopher and Psychologist, 1842-1910
I like that last one. The idea of common sense dancing. Maybe because the only place I can dance is in my head. I would have had trouble if I had been one of the Shakers. Well, not just because of the dancing. That's for sure. But I like the thought of words dancing across a page. I like thinking that laughter is joy dancing through us.

Back to the newsletter, I am doing a new book give-away. I've got an autographed copy of Hidden by Shelley Shepard Gray to give away along with the winner's choice of an autographed copy of one of my books, Orchard of Hope, Summer of Joy, Angels at the Crossroads, or The Outsider. If you haven't won yet, this might be your lucky time. I'm going to do the drawing on tax day, April 15 just so I'll have something fun to look forward to besides paying taxes. Hidden is about a girl who goes into an Amish community to hide from an abusive boyfriend and the story is getting rave reviews from readers. You can check it out at Amazon.com.

So if you want to enter the drawing, go to my website www.annhgabhart.com and click on the contact link to send me an e-mail. Also if you'd like to get my sometimes monthly, sometimes not, newsletter, you can sign up at my website for that too.

I am missing those babies, but tomorrow is my baby's birthday. He might be grown with three kids of his own and expecting another one soon, but he'll always be my baby. So he has to let Mama cook for him on his birthday. I'm making a cherry pie and no-bake chocolate cookies. Can't go wrong with those. But that's why I'm posting tonight instead of on Sunday. I'll be too busy watching my grown up baby blow out his candles and playing with grandkids tomorrow. Hope you enjoy your Sunday.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Home at Last with a Severe Case of Baby Withdrawal

I'm back in Kentucky. There's still snow and ice here. In WV there was just snow. But that nice layer of ice we got first way back last week is frozen hard on the ground here in Kentucky. The roads aren't too bad unless you get off the main roads. You know, like on the road to my house, but our road is so much better than it was when I left last Friday that I felt like the thaw had come. Actually the thaw is supposed to come this weekend and next week. Tonight it's supposed to get down to five degrees and by Monday be in the sixties. That's Kentucky weather for you. But let me tell you, we're going to be glad to see the ice melt.

A lot of people still don't have electricity, but some are getting back on line in our county. The western part of the state is suffering the most because so many of the poles broke down and the trucks can't get to them due to bad conditions to try to replace them and restring the wires.

Bobbi who has some great blogs herself (Bobbi's Book Nook for one) and often comments on mine said she didn't think she wanted to go back to the time before electricity. Me either. Everything had to be harder then. Think about it. You had to heat every bit of water you needed to wash something. On a woodstove or over an open fire. No pumps to send your water to your tap. (The Shakers were way ahead of their times with running water to their houses back in the eighteen hundreds.) No lights to read great books by at night. No curling irons to keep your hair looking good. Sometimes it's those little things we miss the most.

What did you have to do without that you missed the most? I missed hot water for my cup of tea. Thank goodness Darrell found some wood and we fired up the woodstove in the basement and I had my teakettle singing in no time. Of course I guess what everybody missed the most was heat if they depended on electricity to generate it. Even gas furnaces usually have electrical fans.

I had a great time with the twin grandbabies. They took turns crying or being fussy so I pretty much had a baby in my arms five days straight throughout the daylight hours and quite a few of the night ones. But you know, when they grinned at me, I was ready to hold them a little longer. Actually I thought they were really sweet to take turns. Hope they keep that up as they get older. They will be six months old next Wednesday. I should have told their Mom and Dad that the spoiling was part of the deal and that I'm not taking calls for three days just in case they're finding out that the babies are crying every time somebody sets them down. ;-) For sure, I'm going to have a severe case of baby withdrawal. But I need to get back to work. And I'm ready to do that too. I'm supposed to get the galleys for The Believer the end of the week. The copy editor promises I won't have to work too hard on whatever she thinks needs improving. I'm hoping she's right.

Talk to all of you Sunday.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

What an Honor!

I'm still excited and honored and blessed to know my book, The Outsider, is one of five finalists announced last week by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association for the 2009 Christian Book Award in Fiction. Since 1978 the Christian Book Awarde has honored titles in six categories: Bibles, Bible Reference and Study, Christian Life, Fiction, Children & Youth, and Inspirational & Gift. I'm overwhelmed that my book was picked for a fiction finalist. I'm going to Dallas, Texas in March to be there when they announce the winners at the Awards Banquet that is a ticketed event open to the public for the first time ever. I feel as if I'm a winner already just by being in the five finalists along with Riven by Jerry B. Jenkins, Home Another Way by Christa Parrish, Less than Dead by Tim Downs, The Shape of Mercy by Susan Meissner. What great company to be among!

And I know you're excited for me too. I'm going to meet so many well-known Christian authors I know I'll be big-eyed with wonder. Hope I'll know how to act. Of course with me I just have to be myself. That's how the Lord made me and while He probably shakes His head sometimes about the mistakes I make, He always tells me to get up off my duff and give it another try. That's all any off us can do after we flub up. Try again and hope we learned from our mistakes. Not that I expect to flub up in Dallas. I've discovered that most writers are friendly and fun to talk to - famous or not.

Talk about flubbing up. I've made about a zillion typing errors doing this blog entry. You'd laugh if you could see me. I'm in WV babysitting my sweet grandbaby boys and using my granddaughter's laptop to get on line. A keyboard gremlin has to have been hold of her keyboard (or maybe her little sisters) but nine of the key covers are missing and it's a challenge to type without them. Plus I'm trying to keep the babies happy. Two are twice as sweet and twice as much love, but two are also twice as much crying. I thought I'd be able to do some research reading while I was here, but forget that. One of them wants Grandma to hold them all the time. They're five and a half months old and really very good, but all babies cry and need holding. Two twice as much. Speaking of which, Matt says he's hungry. Now, Grandma!

Talk to you Wednesday.