Imagination vs. Electronics

There have been many discussions on imagination lately, asking if all the electronics kids have are decreasing the ability of our kids to play and develop their skills while imagining. I loved how we imagined as kids.

The first recollection I have of imagination play was with my older brother, Tom. He is my Irish twin, he is exactly eleven months and four days older than I am. He was born in June, 1951, while Dad was in Korea. While I was reading my dad’s equivalent to a DD-214 (Military discharge papers), I discovered he was separated from the Army in August of 1951. Brother Tom was three months old? Well, if you do the math, I was born sometime eight months later, plus a few days. That makes me chuckle.

Tom was my best friend for a long, long time. We played on Saturday mornings, using bed pillows to make imaginary boxes, complete with a top, and jump out of them when Mom came into our room. She always acted surprised. Mom’s are great at that, aren’t they?

We had the coolest linoleum in our room. The room had all wood floors, and we had an area piece of linoleum, and it had squares divided with different sayings, game boards, and even a checkerboard. It was much like an area rug. We spend hours playing in the room, using our imagination for a lot of games of pretend.

When we were a little older, I played with Peggy and Karen, neighbors. When we were older, we rode bikes together. Before that, we did what a lot of kids did, reenact TV shows. When my brother played Army with the neighbor kids, we played together, and I was the nurse. A young Hot Lips Houlihan, as it was (MASH had not come out yet. There were a lot of Army themed shows, though).

For Christmas, I received a nurses cloak, bag with doctor/nurse stuff, and some sort of hat. When I put that cape on, I was not me anymore. Those were some good times.

The other great times were playing with Peggy and Karen, we played “Bonanza.” I was madly in love with Little Joe, so I always called him my boyfriend. Those were such innocent times, really fun. Life had little concern for us then other than who would be our fictional boyfriend.

When I was probably sixth through eighth grades, a friend and I used to write plays that we pretended into live action. They revolved around our fictitious lives as the girlfriends of our favorite rock and roll stars. It was probably pretty juvenile, but we wrote them and practiced them just like scripts, complete with music, and it was even more fun. That friend sent me a photo a while back of this very sweatshirt. Karen Smolinski, I loved it! Thanks for thinking of me! I’ll be wearing it soon if it doesn’t warm up a lot!

My New Writing Hoodie!

So here is one of the items the Babe brought home from the store. He knows us so well! It’s a great day for ice cream by the fire later. What a guy. I’m so lucky.

Here we are at the end of another blogpost for today. Thank you for joining me, I hope you stop back again tomorrow. Hopefully, I’ll have more done on my character’s origin stories. Been way too busy again this week.

And, by the way! You can also connect with me on Facebook, Kathy Raabe, Author, On Instagram @authorkathyr, and on Instagram @Author_KRaabe. Please ask your friends to give us some likes and follows. Thanks!

Be Safe, Kind, Patient, and Thoughtful today and every day. We’re all kind of struggling at one time or another. This will all be worth it. See you tomorrow!

Goodbye, Summer

It’s a little cool when enjoying the early sun on the deck this morning. We are looking forward to the leaves changing this year and all that follows the season of fall. Maybe even some pumpkin spice scented candles. It helps the house get cozier.

I’m learning a whole bunch about Instagram I didn’t know before. I haven’t reached the section yet about hashtags, so I won’t be using them until I do. Sure, I’m a little late to this party, but it is a wonderful place to market your writing (if you’re an author), and connect with like-minded people. I am using the same strategy for the VFW Post 2503 Instagram page, so it’s knowledge I’ll be able to use in a couple places.

These days, I could spend a bunch of time just looking at great offers that end up in the author’s inbox every day. Some are scams. Some aren’t. It’s a great way to catch some good deals, and at the same time, someone can also be taken to the cleaners if you know what I mean. I’m amazed the number of authors who are doing “classes” on how to write. There are some with no more experience than I have, and they’re “teaching.” All the while, I’m seeing FB and Instagram posts encouraging folks like me to teach what we know. Well, I’m sure there’s a Nigerian Prince somewhere interested in what I have to say. Hey! What a great story, “I Scammed a Nigerian Prince.” I’ll get right on that.

This Might Work After All!

September 15, I have a Zoom class called, “Bring in the Backstory.” It is something I need to learn, definitely. I hope it’s new ideas on material I’ve read a lot about but still have issues with. That’s the chance we take with online classes. I purchased three for a lesser fee from someone, and was not impressed with the first class at all. No refunds allowed after seeing one class. For the sake of good will, I would certainly refund the fee. Otherwise, it appears they’re up to no good, or have an idea people wouldn’t like the presentations they do. That’s on their conscience, though.

I ran across an Art Challenge I did last year. It’s interesting, Medium, a publication for authors, has an article about getting more accomplished in a day. One bad thing, they claim, is any 30-day Challenge. Any 30-Day Challenge. It causes you to feel pretty bad about yourselves, to feel like you’ll never accomplish _________ (50 pound weight loss, Painting like Bob Ross, Writing Like Norman Mailer, and so on.) You know, they could be right. The first challenge I did was to make writing a habit. That was good, it is, and I enjoy it very much.

My mind does wander, however, and I find myself wondering if I would just watch an art class, I could maybe do that too. Balderdash! I have a habit of still thinking I can do more than I actually am able to do. Then I feel like I’ll never get anything finished. And that’s the problem, the more I take on, the less I actually FINISH. Busted! I have put off even thinking of learning to draw and paint for at least another year. I have a couple of books that need to come out before then.

I have discovered I need to write with blinders on. I have to concentrate better on only the relevant parts of the story to tell. When blogging, it’s fine to go from subject to subject, it’s kind of how people talk among friends. It’s not how an author writes. There is a huge difference in the two types of writing. I am studying more while writing character origin stories. That will help me figure out a good way to go.

I Need to Straighten My Ideas Are Laying Around Everywhere!

Here’s to a spectacular rest of your Monday, a holiday, which honors the Labor Force of America. COVID has reduced parades and gatherings, I believe. I remember being told as we grew up, it’s a day to honor the workers of America. Nearly all of my relatives were blue collar workers. Laborers. I am so glad they are coming back to America. We need them, always have. The general population will always need someone to repair their car, install air conditioning, fix a clogged pipe, build their house/garage/shed. The further up the corporate ladder you are, the more you need the additional help of someone to do the lawn, clean the house, nanny the children, do errands you don’t have time for, and the list goes on. There are lots of jobs out there, people. You have to stop being too proud to work at some of them. Get licensed as a plumber, construction worker, HVAC technician, you could possible earn more than most folks who work in an office. Skilled labor is worth the price they charge.

Thank you for reading today. Enjoy the rest of the day, the cooler weather, and all that will come with fall. I appreciate you reading, and hope to see you again tomorrow. Be safe out there, be kind, be thoughtful, be courteous, and let’s work together to get through this next few months of 2020. Most of all, be positive.

Summery Saturday

Back in the day, when I was in my 20’s and we first bought a house, washer and dryer, the yard had a clothesline to dry laundry. I loved hanging clothes on the line. Of course, the jeans were stiff, the towels weren’t very soft, and I resorted to drying them for comfort. When our second son was born, I was back out in the spring, hanging diapers to dry in the sun. There was a time in life when a woman’s “worth” was determined by the laundry she hung to dry. I suppose if it was orderly, hung out early, and taken in before dark, you were viewed as orderly, industrious, and efficient. My great aunt once said, “Oh, that Kathy Jewell hangs our a fine wash.” Aunt Anna, you were such a dear, and you were not overly fussy with compliments, so I’m going to take that as the compliment it was meant to be. And I’m proud to have received it.

She was such a fine lady, classy, and the unmarried aunt who lived with Grandma and Grandpa. She worked nearly 50 years at the “phone company,” (boys and girls, back then, there was only ONE phone company!). She could have been a very successful female in the 1990s or 2000s, if she were born 30 years later. Even though she was a supervisor and great employee, there were not the kudos paid to women who worked in the 1950s and 60s as there are now. There was no equality. Women who became pregnant even if married, were fired.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Can you believe it? THIS is the closest Pexels.com could come to “baby diapers hanging on line to dry.” Cute baby, but kind of misses the point.

As I’m thinking back to days I willingly hung diapers out on the line, I’m wondering what Aunt Anna would have to say about my writing. She would insist on truth, I believe. And perfect grammar. And being dignified. That I be a complete lady. And that I thank God for the gifts He’s given me. The being a complete lady may not ring entirely true, I mean, the language could be unladylike at times. Sorry, Auntie. But I do thank God. Frequently. Often. Every day.

And the next thing, aside from having my own website, blog, and Author Facebook page, is I’m starting up pages on Twitter and Instagram for my Author news. There may be a little personal news on there, where it’s pertinent to my writing. I’m glad to take the leap into the exposure needed now to make a bigger impact on the world, so more may find my musings, books, articles, and photos. Of course, I know not a damned thing I’m doing. (Sorry, Aunt Anna. Yes, I’ll light a candle in Church).

The idea is, not only will a newly posted blog create a post on my author page (Kathy Raabe, Author), it will also post on Twitter and Instagram. Here’s crossing my fingers, making the magic happen yet again, and making the post available on two more platforms. Yay!

Yes, Doubters, Haters, and Critics Need Not Pay Attention

And it’s kind of fun working with it until it might make some sense. I need to do the same for the VFW Post once we establish a new website. That’s another project, I’m working on with my brother in law, Brad, from Image Masters. (Think, “Jake, from State Farm.”)

Hopefully, there will be time to work out my Chapter 2 of “The Freeing of Katie Fitzgibbons” today and tomorrow. It’s time to send more work to my Book Coach Sam Tyler. We will continue our working relationship on a month to month until we agree I can go it alone. Right now, I need guidance. It’s good I found it early, rather than have to scrap 80K words.

Besides writing, I’d like to accomplish more on that quilt I’ve been working on forever. Next week will be more workers in the house, we’re having LVT flooring (Laminate Vinyl Tile) laid in the kitchen, entry, and two upstairs bathrooms. Assembling strong young men to move the marble topped huge kitchen table AND the matching marble topped server from the kitchen to the living room. Same strong young men welcomed a couple days later to move very heavy furniture back in place. Photos to follow of finished projects. The Babe is really happy beautifying our space, and it’s so nice. Partners, it’s what we are. Blessed.

The Babe. Most Thoughtful Guy.

So yesterday, the Babe stopped at the store after I met him for lunch. He bought my favorite guilty pleasure, a Midnight Milky Way. The dark chocolate really makes this taste delicious. It was such a sweet surprise. Thanks, Babe! Be thoughtful. Be Courteous. Be Kind. Be Safe. We need to treat each other well, even strangers. Wash up and Wear your mask.

I watched the interview Matthew McConaughey did with Dr. Fauci yesterday. It was very well done. Thoughtful and full of good information. Rumors put to rest, and common sense in the house. They said what I have been saying. Yes, we need to wear masks. To get the spread under control, and to stop having peaks and valleys in numbers. It does no good if we keep peaking. We need to keep falling to get to a safe place. The temporary inconvenience will be worth it, once we can open everything for good. We’ll never get there if we don’t all pay attention. Complying is something Americans don’t like to do. But I don’t want to spread illness to a cancer patient, grandma, my grandbabies, or young parent either. Think beyond yourself. Watch the video here.

Thank you for reading today. I’ll see you all tomorrow, and please share with a friend, won’t you? Or share on your Twitter or Instagram. I appreciate it.

Magnificent Mondays

Lots of great things are on the horizon for me and other Nebraska Writers Guild members. Last week, they announced we will again have our Spring Conference in Omaha, and it’s in April. I am so looking forward to meeting up with some folks I met at the Fall Conference and learn more about the craft I am learning now.

The NWG announced on their Social Media Page some training for Pinterest. I listed Pinterest and other Social Media platforms as what I would like to add to my presence. I’m excited the Guild is ahead of me and wants to teach me at the same time. How fortunate I am to be here at this moment. For those who believe, I call it a God moment. For those that don’t, I suppose you’d call it Karma. Either way, I’m delighted. It just further convinces me this is time to be writing. I’ve waited a lifetime for the “right time.” So grateful.

Here I sit, with two children’s books written, one family book waiting for my co-author to offer their contribution, and a novel ready to be re-written. A year ago I wouldn’t have ever thought all of this would happen. It is. I have discovered the more professionally I approach the tasks of the day, the better the outcome. Instead of being in my cozy studio/office, I am at our beautiful marble-topped table in the kitchen. It’s a beautiful view out the window. See for yourself! This view in any season never disappoints me. In the spring it is teeming with life. In the summer, the birds are vocal. In the fall, the colors are pretty but not very varied. Still, it’s lovely to see.

The Woodlands provides a beautiful backdrop for working on this writing.

With the Babe out on VFW errands this morning, I can hardly believe the dogs both laid down on the couch for naps. I will let those sleeping dogs lie, believe me! They continue to surprise us with their own shenanigans and hijinks only our four-legged friends can. After we lost our two dogs over six years ago, (they were old and worn out), we hesitated to adopt any more pups. We did because we both felt if something happens to one of us we would want a pet for company. Something to get you out of bed in the morning. Here we are, six years and three dogs later.

Losing one of our dogs led me to write my first blog, back on July 5, 2019. You may read it here if you would like:

https://kathyraabe.com/2019/07/05/the-little-white-puppy/

It delighted me this morning when I saw this:

Two Hundred and One Likes! Thank you!

I am so happy you like what I write! And I know it’s not my mom, she has no computer and likes nothing! Seriously, she likes nothing to do with one. I have to laugh. I drive her to the bank; she refuses to use a drive through or an ATM. To get cash, she walks inside, waits in line, writes a check for CASH, and comes back out to the car. She claims it’s the only way to do proper banking. I’m amazed sometimes. But then I shouldn’t laugh. As the meme goes: she taught me to use a spoon.