Take a look at heaven! This is the view from the picture window at our lakehouse. It’s on Norris Lake, and it’s, well, heaven. I feel blessed to have a second home. I never wished for it. Warning – be careful what you wish for – sometimes wishes come true. Then you need to figure out how to live with them.
This is what our view looked like when we first bought the house. It was more of a National Forest House, not a lakehouse. To see what I mean, put your hand up in front of you. Don’t spread your fingers. Now look through them. This is what our lake view used to look like.
This picture is my favorite! We took this a day or two after we got the house. It had been vacant for 3-4 years. That meant we got it at a great price, but it also meant our animal friends thought it was still home. My husband got within a foot before his friend decided to run.
The next day some bird took over the same spot, except it flopped on its back for a little sunbathing. I wish I’d gotten a picture of it!
Look down at the next picture. This may be a year or two later. When we bought the house, the lake didn’t have the rip-rap on the shoreline. Would you believe we had to ask for permission to put it in, and it stops erosion?
It’s also later because my husband worked hard to clear the trees. I think he cut down over 50 our first summer at the lake. I didn’t realize I was a tree hugger, but I hate to see big old trees cut down. I have to admit – the view is much better now! But I miss the visiting squirrels who’d hop over for a quick visit. Good times!
The first picture below is a favorite from our first summer at the lake. I know it’s that first summer because there isn’t a boat, and it’s my husband’s pride and joy. With/without it, it’s still like stepping into paradise as you walk down the steps to the dock.
I don’t have many pictures like the second one. Sometimes when the sun is shining, the lake literally sparkles and it sends them onto the living room ceiling. Heaven!
Meet My Family
My husband is in the first picture. My oldest and youngest are in the middle, and I’m in the last picture. My middle son is missing. He was in college when this was taken. I’m the only one with my face showing. My family likes their privacy.
Do you see my husband’s baby in all 3 pictures? It’s his boat. We got it that first year at the lake. My son got married in September of 2015, and my husband bought the boat the same weekend. The boat didn’t make it to the lake till November. That’s when my son towed it from Texas to Tennessee.
Did you know Tennessee builds the most speed boats, and Texas sells the most at really good prices? I didn’t, not until we bought the boat.
The View from a Boat
I’m so glad we have the boat! You see so much more of the lake. It may be mile after mile of trees and woods and mountains, but there’s something about all that green that brings me peace. I don’t like the lake as much on weekends. Everyone’s there so the fun gets noisier. I prefer weekdays when it’s just me and the lake.
The lake is gorgeous at dusk when the lights are coming on and the sun is setting behind the mountains. I try to focus on the twinkling lights, not things hidden beneath the surface, when we drive home in the dark.
No Matter the Weather, No Matter the Season
My pictures are all about the lake, not the house. The lake brought us here. We found the house in the fall. The leaves were down, but the price was too high.
Our realtor called us back after Christmas. The price came down, but it was still too high. I barely looked at the house because it was the lake that called me.
Over the spring my husband kept thinking about the lake-house. The week I retired we made a low-ball offer. We thought we’d be refused. We weren’t! We had to figure out what to do next. Be careful what you wish for because sometimes, those wishes do come true.
did it in slippery snow. Deer are amazing!
We’ve met other animals over the years. Squirrels, snakes, frogs, turtles, crows, hawks, even an eagle. I call the lake my wild kingdom. For a city girl like me, it’s an amazing place!
I’ll close this on the porch. It’s a great place to sit and watch the rain without getting wet. Here’s the link for SMOKY MOUNTAIN RAIN. It’s exactly what I was thinking about when I took this photo.
I love the lake like no other place. The view inspired 2 story ideas. I’m self-publishing one about my family’s lake adventures. I want to publish the one about our ‘darn ducks’ traditionally. Whether I’m writing or taking a break, there’s no place like the lake. It’s heaven!
Putting Together a Post From Start to Finish . . . The Story of Lost – Devastated – Found – Grateful
I always start with an idea. This time, my missing critique. Then I go searching for images, usually on Pixabay – they’re free.
Pictures help me plan the post. For this one, I started with the four images below. The first 3 are for the missing critique. The last one – a lost ring. Then I begin writing. By the time I’d finished the first 2 images, the post changed.
I switched the 2nd and 3rd pictures around (see below) to show you what a critique looks like, and that’s when my words took over this post. I had an idea what I wanted to write, but it always changes along the way. It’s like magic. The words take on a life of their own, and they guide me. This time they sent me back to Pixabay for 2 more images.
Do you see the 2 new images? One’s above, and one’s below. I saw them and knew they’d fit. They remind me of Hallmark movies and their happy endings. The first 4 became Part 1. I wrote its story, then edited and revised it. No more changes! My words and I were in sync.
The last 2 images became Part 2. I started writing, but an unexpected twist found me – I started writing the advice I give myself. I thought it might help you. I needed another image for my new ending. I did a final round of editing and published the post! Done!
This is the last On the Scene interview, and we’re finishing strong with Jennifer Buchet’s interview with her main character, Little Medusa. Their interview is hair-raising, and a little knotty!
Meet Melayna Evans and her debut novel, JAGGER JONES AND THE MUMMY’S ANKH. Her post this week is the recipe for her debut book.
Ingredients – ¼ Inspiration ¼ Perspiration ¼ History ¼ Fantasy
Directions – 1. Mix up the ingredients. 2. Revise to taste. 3. Submit till done. 4. Enjoy!
Click this link for her actual recipe: https://onthescenein19.weebly.com/blog/part-inspiration-part-perspiration-part-history-part-fantasy-and-voila-a-debut-novel
This is Annette Schottenfeld, and this is the dummy cover for her debut book. It was supposed to come out in 2019, but its book birthday has been moved back to 2020.
The book business, especially children’s books, is so hard to break into. I was lucky – I self-published so I had control over my book, but I was still delayed. It was only 17 days, but it seemed like forever.
What do you do when your book is delayed? You work on book business like this, or you work on the next one.
Annette wrote a blog post for OBI’S MUD BATH . . . with 5 reasons why you’ll love it. I hope you check out her link below, and keep an eye out for Obi’s book birthday. I read her 5 reasons, and I can’t wait to read the real book. https://onthescenein19.weebly.com/blog/five-reasons-why-youll-love-the-picture-book-obis-mud-bath
Meet author/illustrator Laurie Smollett Kutscera. This week she interviewed herself. What else could she do? She wrote her debut middle grade novel and illustrated it too. It sounds funny, like hitting a tennis ball across the net, then running over to return it. It worked for Laurie! She did a great job with both her questions and answers. Click on the link below to see for yourself.
Meet author Tina Shepherdson. This week she interviewed her main character, Maddie, about a walkout at school. Read Tina’s interview to discover why Maddie and her friends decided to walk.
This interview is a two-fer with Andy from Bear with Us Productions, and Eduardo Paj, illustrator of LLAMA DRAMA. Andy runs the production company, a one stop shop for anyone who wants to self publish a book. He’ll help you with the ins and outs of the business. Continue reading, and you’ll learn how Eduardo Paj made the words come to life on the pages of MY LLAMA DRAMA..
We have something new for you this week from author June Jacobs McCrary. She interviewed Weston Gregg about his role as main character in her book Res-Q Tyler Stop, What a great idea!
I think I should try this on my latest Work In Progress (WIP). My critique partners think I need to push deeper into the plot. Maybe if I interview the characters, they’ll help me figure out how.
Vanessa wrote an acrostic poem to celebrate her debut book. If you’re not sure what that is, click below and read her poem.
Here’s my acrostic ode to Neil Armstrong – thanks to Vanessa’s inspiration!
Neil loved airplanes.
Every day he worked to build better ones.
If he failed, he didn’t quit. He
Looked and looked till he built a better plane.
This is what happened 2 nights ago. I was packing to travel, and I started searching for a critique I needed. I thought I’d finally have time for it. It was almost midnight, but I searched for an hour before I gave up. I knew I should have quit sooner.
I tried to sleep but my thoughts ran circles through my head - it’s lost – where could it be – my fault – my husband’s – it’s lost – If I could edit this photo, that search arrow would be spinning like those thoughts.
This is what a critique looks like. It shows what a reviewer thinks can be done to improve a story.
I was searching for one from the Cleveland writing conference for a manuscript that’s moving closer to publication. I have someone who’s interested in the story, with changes of course.
I felt like my critique was irreplaceable. I wanted to sob, but I was too tired.
I tried talking to myself. I backtracked through all the places I’d been, the things I’d done with that critique. I came up with 2 new places to check and a backup plan, just in case it was truly gone.
The last time I remember seeing the critique was in Texas. I went to my grandgirl’s shower. I checked with my daughter-in-law. It wasn’t there.
After Texas we stopped at the lake, and I unloaded a bag. I checked it. No critique so I gave up, at least for a TV break. I turned it on . . .
AND I FOUND IT – beside the remote control, right where I’d left it, Forgotten. Minds and memories work like that. It’s sad but true.
But finding it, that was a Hallmark movie moment! Perfect like this photo! I had my critique. I could work on my manuscript, and life was good! I wish Hallmark moments lasted longer, but I savor them as long as possible!
My husband told me I’d find my critique, and he was right. He loves hearing that!
Tomorrow I have another story that’s lost – devastated – found – grateful! My husband was right again!
This is an aquamarine. It’s the March birthstone. I have an aquamarine ring, not this big of course. Mine is much, much smaller, but it’s precious to me.
I lost a baby when I was pregnant. I’d only known about it for a couple weeks, but it was devastating.
It took a year to recover, and by that time I was pregnant again with my daughter. She was due the same time as the baby I lost. Both babies were due in March. 26 years later, it feels like a Godwink moment from a Hallmark movie.
About a month ago, I lost the ring. I looked everywhere, in all the usual spots. I was sad, but not devastated because my husband said, once again, you’ll find it.
And once again he was right. I found the ring a couple days later when I stopped looking. It was laying downstairs close to the laundry room. This is how I felt, like I was starring in a summer Hallmark movie!
I’d laid it there when I was doing laundry. I wanted to put it in a safe place. I did! An unusually safe place. So safe even I couldn’t find it.
My advice – when something is lost – search carefully by backtracking through all the places you remember being. Search again, like once a day. Also search your memory, maybe you’ll remember a place you’d forgotten. You’ll look, and there it will be.
Another tip – pray. I do. I pray that it will be found, and if it isn’t,that it will find its way to someone who needs it, like the ring. But if it’s like the manuscript, I pray for another way to recover it. I did have another plan, to email the conference for another copy of the critique.
Finally I try to learn from my mistakes. With my critique, I’d make another copy, put it in a special folder so it would be easier to find. Good luck to you and to me, because eventually we all lose things, and hopefully we won’t lose ‘it’ either. We’ll keep our cool and make the best of a disappointing/devastating situation!
Screenshot #1 - Do you want to read about Veterans for Veterans Day? I have two posts, but how can you find them? Go to my Pinterest boards at https://www.pinterest.com/rindabeach/ This is what you’ll see , two boards with soldiers. Bingo! You could check the Economics board, but the Government one is better. I peeked!
Screenshot #2 - If you clicked on Government, then you’d come to this page. You’re still looking for veterans so I’d go straight to the pins for Serving your country.
If you need Citizenship, International rules, or state government, you can look them up later. If you’re interested in the DACA kids who are in the news, I have a post about them too.
Screenshot #3 – Here’s the screen you’ll see for Serving your country.
The first post is titled Stories Matter, and they’re all about the life of President George H. W. Bush. I was inspired by all the stories I heard during the week leading up to his funeral.
The first one tells how George joined the Navy the day after he turned 18. A year later he was the youngest Navy fighter pilot, and he almost didn’t live to tell. You’ll have to read to discover the details.
Screenshot #4 - The middle post is titled There’s More to Soldier, More to a Veteran.
I interviewed a Facebook friend who has since become my son-in-law. He went to West Point, became a Captain in the Army. I wanted to know what inspired him to join, and why he’s still inspired with his mission.
Today and every day I thank Jesse and his fellow soldiers for their service, for giving their time and talents to serve our country. They could have taken an easier route, but they didn’t. They’re out there every day making a difference for us. Thank you!
Screenshot #5 – The Final Post is Semper Fi! The 14 Marine Corp Leadership Traits. They’re the same traits I taught my second graders back in the day.
I found this story because my friend Mark emailed me about Jesse and his service. Mark wanted me to know that our servicemen don’t do their jobs for appreciation. They do them for love of country, because they want to serve.
Then he told me about the character traits that changed his life. I was so impressed that I saved his email so I could write this post.
I want these posts to live, to be rediscovered and reread. That’s why I decided to use screenshots for my illustrations. I want you to be able to find them and use them again and again.
Part 2 - Finding Great Books on rindabeach.com
Here’s how to find a good book from my 2 Pinterest boards for Classroom Reads. One’s for Chapter books, and the other’s for Picture books. I have Veterans Day books from each board. Look at the next screen shot, and see how to find them.
I have Chapter Books divided into 7 sections with 41 pins (41 books). This section is for realistic fiction.
This is the book I picked last year to honor our veterans. Daisy is a rescue dog, but no one will take a chance on her, not even a Veteran with PTSD (Post Tramatic Stress Disease). Daisy’s story is incredible! It’s one of my favorite books!
I have Picture Books divided into 16 sections with 77 pins (77 books). This is the book I picked 2 years ago to honor our veterans.
Sheepdogs explains in story form what our police and military do for us day in, day out. They look scary, but when the wolves/bad guys come around, you need a good sheepdog. If you know someone who serves in the military or law enforcement, this is the perfect gift. It will help their children understand the difficult job they do. It’s another one of my favorites!
When I write, I can only have one voice in my head, mine. A little noise is fine. But too much, or worse yet, WORDS, and I must change rooms or pull out headphones. Then I can write on!