Saturday, April 25, 2015

Keep looking toward tomorrow -- it only gets better!

Hello everyone. I'm so sorry I didn't get my blog written and posted by the tenth of this month. April is almost over. Where did it go?

This has been a busy month for me...and some of you as well.

Of course we all know IRS is our number one concern in April. We don't want to miss the deadline for turning in our tax returns. Most of you probably jumped on it by February. I think the deadline for all the information to come to us so we can file is the end of January. Me, I put it off until the last minute. Ask Brenda, my CPA. I usually put off making my appointment until the middle or end of March, and then they have to squeeze me in. I guess they don't have to, but they do. Margie's Tax Service takes care of me every year. I am blessed.

You know what I did in January, February, and March. Not much, but what I did do, I put in my blogs. I did attend a couple of book fairs and truly enjoyed them. I have another one coming up May 2nd in Sulphur, LA from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. It's called "Authors on the Bayou" - Authors and Illustrators with their books for sale as well as workshops and readings. Sulphur Regional Library/ 1160 Cypress St/Sulphur, LA 70663/any questions call 337/721-7141. I tried to post the flyer, but couldn't do it. Authors who will be there are: Deborah Lynne, Trish Leger, Vicky Franks, Deborah Fenton, Morena Caleb, Dr. Elaine Adams, Theresa Singleton, Caroline Dixon, Dr. Tim Pennington, Arlene Hebert, Rachel Windham,  Angela Tenzeno, Malinda Falgoust, Cay Gibon, Lori Leger, Gail Parker, and Jessica Hutchings. I'll be speaking and answering any questions at 11:45. Speakers will be throughout the whole program. Also as I mentioned, there will be workshops: Organize our life in 37 minutes; Yo, ho ho and hold em:Capturing and holding your audience; AND How to enhance your child's imagination and education in 15 minutes a day. The programs are all free and open to the public.

How did I spend the rest of April? Having fun. I wanted to go on this trip, of course, but part of me didn't think I was ready. I flew off on 4/15/15 with Chris my son, Rosie my daughter-in-law and Sarah my sister-in-law. We spent a week in Cancun, Mexico. I'll toss in a couple of pictures at the end of this paragraph. This trip was during all that horrific weather in Louisiana and surrounding areas. In fact, it started as we were driving down to New Orleans to catch the plane. It was delayed an hour due to the weather, causing us to miss our flight from Dallas to Cancun. Instead of getting to our final destination on time, which I believe was around 4 p.m, we got in after 8  that night and was told our ride wouldn't be there waiting on us. But guess what--he was! What a wonderful man, actually two of them. I don't know if they waited or just returned for us, but when we were told we'd have to hire a taxi and it would be $30 per person - $120, I was ready to do cartwheels when Rosie saw a man holding up a sign saying Chris Craft. This man was pleasant and informative...and he spoke broken English very well...American English. I have to say that because my son-in-law, Molly's husband, is from England and Pete speaks proper English. We fail miserably. Well I do, with my country drawl. When we arrived at the hotel, we were ready for a shower and relaxing. The next day we started enjoying all the things the place offered: food, swimming in the pool, laying out on the beach, dipping our feet in the Caribbean and more. We did this every day but one. After two or three full days in the sun, we gave our skin some rest and took a ferry to Isle of Mujeres. I think I'm spelling it correctly. It's the Island of Women. No it wasn't filled with all women. We never found out where the name came from. It was a beautiful island where we rented a golf cart and drove around. Visited the turtle farm, saw the sights, and then walked the streets in the little town. Shop after shop of souvenirs. Of course there were 3 women and 1 man, so we went shopping. I bought some nice things to bring home to Rachael, Molly, Pete, Koby and Eli. And for my oldest grandson, Scotty (his grandfather's namesake and look alike) I found the perfect gift for him at the airport in Mexico on our flight back home. Nothing worked for what he'd said he'd like to get. He loved what I found for him. In fact, I believe everyone was happy. My oldest daughter, Rachael, won't know if she likes her gift until she flies here in May. We're going to Nashville when she comes, but I'll save that for another time. Now for 14 pictures I thought I'd share. I hope you enjoy the taste of the sea air and Mexican flavor.

Lifestyle beach

Chris & Rosie sunning?? or shading!!

We're lunching the first day

Luis, our waiter on the beach & at beach bar & grill

Sarah reading after some sunning

Chris and Rosie waiting on Ferry Ride

some of the many turtles and other sea type things at the farm

Chris, me, and Rosie with the Caribbean as the backdrop!

one of the many beaches on the Isle of Mujeres

We're about to lunch -- believe it or not we are up high looking over

the four of us at Mexican night back at resort

Reyes & Emil our waiters

view to the right from our deck

last look from the room

 I hope you enjoyed the pictures. We did so much more, but I'm not too good at taking pictures. For those of you who are connected on FB with me or Rosie Craft, there is a journal of a lot of the shots. Hers are the best.

Now for the next part of my blog. I try to finish off with a writing tip. Today I worked on the 2nd to last edits on my latest manuscript...Hidden Secrets. I noticed some words I seemed to have trouble with. In case you do to, I had looked them up and found the proper use. The notes I made for myself for future writings, I'm going to share them with you now. I'll copy and paste:

Confusing Words and Usage

1.     Allot/Alot/A Lot – Allot means to parcel out. Alot is not a word…incorrect usage. A lot (two words) is correct usage meaning plenty of or a large number of.

2.     Affect/Effect – Usually affect is a verb, meaning to influence or to change, example – The rain affected the party in a big way; Effect is usually a noun and you can put a or the in front of it. It means as a result. Example – The effect of the rain was a cancelled party.

3.     Alright/All Right – Alright is not a proper word, it is used informally. All right (two words) is used in formal writing, edited writing.

4.     Altogether/All Together - Altogether is an adverb meaning wholly, entirely, completely. All together means in a group. All can be omitted without seriously affecting the meaning.

5.     Anymore/Any More – Anymore as an adverb means “any longer” It’s used in negative constructions. Example: He doesn’t work here anymore. Any more has same meaning, but is no longer commonly used.

6.     Anytime/Any Time – Anytime is an adverb meaning at any hour, day, or time. Any time was made into one word in 1854 as the one word and is normally used today.

7.     Whatever/What Ever – Whatever is used as a pronoun (Whatever do you mean?), as an adjective meaning in any amount (Whatever merit the work has) and as an interjection, used to indicate indifference to a state of affairs. What ever (two words) was joined together and now it is the common use.

As I mentioned earlier, today I went through another edited copy of my latest MS – Hidden Secrets. My poor critique partners have to be getting so tired of me messing up on these same words. Anyway, I took time to look them up so I’d have a hard copy as to when and when not use the above words.

Words NOT to use: alot, alright, any more (two words), any time (two words), what ever (two words). You’d be amazed how many times my critique partners had to delete the space.

Words to use: allot, a lot, affect, effect, all right, altogether, all together, anymore, anytime, and whatever. (see definitions for underlined words if not sure.) I’m sure there are more words we could discuss, but these were the ones that tripped me up.

Grammar Girl’s 101 Misused Words You’ll never Confuse Again (ebook version on my Kindle)

I hope you enjoyed the blog for April. I'll try to send out the May blog by the middle of the month. Don't forget -- Bayou Secrets will be at your stores wherever you live, May 1...this Friday. It's 3 of my books in one paperback. Well over 900 pages...about 960-975. I'll attach a copy of the cover so you'll know what to look for in Costco, Walmart, LiveWays, and more chain stores all across America. My friends in England, you can order it from your on-line store. I even think I saw a copy of it in eBook form in my Kindle Store. The paperback makes a wonderful Christmas present for those who are shopping early, or a birthday gift. 3 books for the price of 1.

God bless you all!!