Wordless Wednesday – Ring of Sunshine or a Halo

Ring around the SunThere was a ring around the sun on Friday. And here is what makes a Sun Halo   —> Ring Around the Sun  A nice article by Universe Today

and here at Wikipedia under the subject of ‘Halo’

Signing off

~Kate

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halo_%28optical_phenomenon%29

My Landing Spot

Hiding in the non-fiction. My favorite spot in all the library.

Hiding in the non-fiction. My favorite spot in all the library.

I’m sitting in the very last row of the non-fiction section of my library, which isn’t saying much since the non-fiction section is only two full shelves. Okay, it’s three, but the over-sized books are over somewhere else.  I’m reading my new copy of Foolsgold by Susan G. Wooldridge, which is silly because over in the 130’s of the non-fiction is the library copy.  I could have just picked up that copy since I have borrowed it numerous times, but I am so in love with my own copy, I had to bring it.

Cover of "Foolsgold: Making Something fro...

Cover via Amazon

Chapter 32 of Foolsgold, titled ‘foolsgold and ethel’s landing’, talks about finding a spot you find peaceful and removed.  Just a corner or nook (I love the word nook) that you can pause and be in your own realm.  Fill it with a cushion or chair and settle in.  Pause.  Maybe do nothing at all.

For me, this last row in the library is that spot.  I can usually sprawl out here and not be bothered, though just as I wrote that, Bev, a friend, has ‘intruded’ into this space to look for a book in the 900’s for the library.  Or maybe herself.

Poetry to the right

Poetry to the right

I like this spot because it doesn’t get much traffic.  To the right of me are all the poetry books and to the left are literature and travel.  Shakespeare and books on New York.  Plato and The Places in Between by Rory Stewart.  Hold on, I have to see what that book is about.  Ooh, sounds interesting; about a man walking across Afghanistan in 2002.  Maybe a winter reading book.  The title fits with the Foolsgold chapter, for in there, Ethel’s Landing is the stairs landing Susan’s mother has her spot.  And landings are neither up nor down, but between.

I love my spot and I would love to add a cushion, a couple of candles and a pot of tea.  Just

Plato, Shakespeare, and The Places in Between. See the arrow?

Plato, Shakespeare, and The Places in Between. See the arrow?

set up and stay.  I like hearing all the sounds from the library around me.  People tapping on the computers out at the front, the murmur of conversations.  It’s homey.  I should look into bringing a cushion to sit on so I’m not on the floor, but at the same time, I kind of like it the way it is.

I don’t get to sit in my spot all that often.  Usually I’m in a hurry or I’m browsing the library so I don’t just go settle down and unwind.  Life is so incredibly busy that I don’t feel like I have the right to sit and separate myself from what’s going on around me.  The thing is, I only need about ten to fifteen minutes in the back of that row and I’ll have a whole session of relaxing tingles that unwind me, a few random thoughts, maybe glancing through a magazine.  It doesn’t take much to really do nothing but be there.  Who knows, maybe I would be more writing productive if I were to pause there once a week when I stop in at the library.

Signing off

~Kate

Edit My Query Letter

Good morning, my lovelies.  I have a challenge for all of my readers, or  the ones that care to comment.  Below you will see my query letter that I hope to get out to a few literary agents this week.  Provided that my letter is actually decent.  I wrote on Escaping the Inkwell that I had a goal of submitting a couple query letters by my birthday.  Since my birthday fell on the weekend, I am fudging the actual time of letters being sent out.

Digressing some, but in regards to birthdays, think about this.  “Have you realized that your age is the number of times you’ve been around the sun?”  I read this on Tumblr earlier today.  What a motivating, exciting and well just thought provoking idea.  I’ve done my fair share of traveling having gone around the sun 31 times.  How many miles is that?  Well, in one year I travel 585 million miles.  Whew, I don’t even want to add that up.  It’s a bit astounding to think that I have ‘technically’ traveled that many miles.

Anyways, back to my query letter.  Feel free to take a harsh look at it as I will take each idea and play around with my letter.  I just need an outside opinion.  Does this make you want to read the manuscript?  If not, then I need to work on the letter.  If you would rather not leave comments, feel free to email me at  [kate_wordpress@hotmail.com]

Here goes:

Dear Blank,

I am querying you along with one other agency in the hopes that I have something to pique your interest.

When a girl loves hats as much as Lulu does, she has to have one for every occasion.  However, out of all the hats Lulu owns, she is lacking a fancy hat to wear when she goes out for ice cream on Sundays.  Lulu enlists the help of her best friend, Mimi, and the two of them scour the city looking for the perfect hat.  From large floppy hats to tiny ones that look incredibly silly, Lulu tries on everything without any luck.  Some hats are too big and others are too expensive.  Just when Lulu and Mimi are about to give up and go home, they spot one last shop they haven’t tried.  Does Lulu find her hat?  Of course! Because a girl has to have a hat for every occasion.

Lulu Buys A Hat is an unillustrated picture book complete at 1089 words, geared towards little girls, which is clear from the hat theme.  Hats are one of those quintessential items girls seem to naturally love, so I chose to write about a girl finding a hat after the experience of looking for my own hat.

I have been writing various things for 15 years, including managing two blogs, however I choose to write children’s fiction as a career, drawing from experiences in life.  I also draw on years of reading picture book at my home, grandparents, and many trips to the library.  While I want there to be the fanciful quality, I also like stories to have some realism included. Something a child can relate to when they read.

So, there you have it.  Again, I am open to any suggestion you want to give.  And thank you for taking the time to read this.

Signing off

~Kate

Email Impatience

For you, my dear. I have replied all these years……

When letters through the mail were the only form of communication you didn’t have the opportunity to be impatient for a reply. You just had to wait. While you might want a reply right away, you knew that it wasn’t possible so you might as well get on with your life, sit down have a cup of tea and enjoy the afternoon.

Then along came email. That instant gratification letter source. You could have a reply in a few moments if someone was so inclined to reply quickly. Granted, not everyone, including me, replies through email any faster than with a letter. I might take weeks to reply to an email as I mull it over in my head.

Oh, but I hate waiting for a reply. I hate, hate, hate waiting.

Right now I am impatient for an email from someone I sent something to last night. It was midnight and the person I sent it to is a very busy person. But we are friends, I think…. what do you call someone whom you have never met, but you have spent the last two years writing frequently and pouring your ideas out upon, having a bit of attraction to said person, and yet you are still as distant as acquaintances? You could be more but neither side is really willing to take that step?……. And I really digress….. Anyways, we are friends. I appreciate his advice, company and voice. Is it possible to just fall in love with a voice? I think so.

I know I won’t get a reply today, or probably even tomorrow. Heck, with the way things go with him, I might not get one for a week or more. (I will admit I am no better, so I shouldn’t get upset) But I hate, hate, hate waiting. ” It drives me completely insane”….. taken from French Kiss and one of Meg Ryan’s statements.

I know I should level off and relax, but rarely do I relax when I have sent a note and I want a reply. So instead I check my email obsessively hoping that something has come in, knowing full well it hasn’t. Before I even click the refresh button I know nothing will be there and I’m wasting my time.

Email has gone and all made us complete answer-aholics. We want that answer NOW. We want it that very second we send it off. We want that instant gratification, all because we can. But people are still people, and replies do take time.

So what am I griping for?

Signing off

~Kate

Mountain Life

Stormy mountainsI live in the mountains.  Not technically in the actual mountain mountains, but in a valley surrounded by mountains.  At an elevation of 3000 ft. and being that I am in Northern California we are in what the Sunset gardening book calls a zone 1.  That means at any time of the year we can get snow or a freeze.  Yup, ever heard of snow in July?  Well it has actually happened here.  Not to me personally, but it has happened.

Usually though, the weather is pretty typical.  The past few days have been in that category after a week of nights down in the twenties.  We’ve had sun, a little too much, and warm temps, a bit more than I want.  But it’s finally Spring.
I mowed the lawns the other night, which is a challenge and a half using the electric mower (my parents say the gas is way worse, quit complaining) and dealing with all the excess weeds and various rock piles I may or may not run over.  But oh, when the lawn is mowed it looks so lovely.  Perfect.  Even the tall weed patches have some defined shape.
Throw in a sweet resinous smell that comes down from the mountains after the pines have baked all day in the sun, and then good clean spring smell and you have somewhat the epitome of the mountains.  Okay, it is actually better when you smell wood smoke but that was nixed the other  due to it being warm.  However there were the distant sounds of a dance going on at the small rodeo grounds.  Today is our annual local rodeo.  A joke in itself.  I’ve been once and I’m not impressed, but I love the sounds that come up from the rodeo grounds.  And it turns out after going up into town today and seeing the signs posted that it wasn’t a dance but actual rodeo proceedings.  Personally I would rather picture a rodeo dance on the grounds.  More fun, inspirational, romantic that way.

The mountains are cool, unique and very much me.  I told my cousin recently that was a city girl, and it’s very true. I am very girly girly, though I have to stick with jeans and boots most of the time due to living in the country/mountains.  However, I while I would love to wear heels and skirts more, have sidewalks and stores that actually carry what I want, I love being in the mountains.  I love that a storm can come up out of nowhere, which it did today. I love being able to step out at night and see all the constellations and stars.  Oh the stars you can see in the mountains.  So clear, so bright. I love the smell of pine, sweet grass, and cow manure.  I love seeing all the birds and having deer walking down the street, a la Northern Exposure style.  The mountains are kind of my home place.  I don’t have an actual home place after moving around all my life, but I could say I feel most at home in the mountains.

Signing off

~Kate