Mama Diaries

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

The Band Played On and IWSG Post

My boy, Bubba, is in high school now. That means he attends high school football games. If you've ever been to one of those, you know there's usually a band that plays. The game Bubba attended last Friday was no exception. The band played a special tune every time their team made a first down. Usually, that doesn't happen all that much. But on this particular game, the team was making a first down every three minutes. Not a bad problem to have. The musicians, however, soon grew tired of playing the same tune over and over and over. 

One musician, a saxophone player, decided he'd had enough. He walked over to my boy who was standing near the sidelines and handed him his instrument. Now, Bubba isn't exactly a musician, but he does know one tune on the saxophone. So, while the rest of the band was playing the proper first-down tune, my boy stood there playing the only one he knew.

It was the funniest sight to see. Nobody seemed to mind the rogue saxophone player. In fact, I'm sure they found it quite entertaining. Leave it to my boy to do his own thing while the band played on!

Now for the IWSG question of the month:

If I could pick one place in the world to sit and write my story, where would it be, and why?

Hmmm. I think I'd mentioned at one time that I usually get a lot of writing done on a hotel balcony overlooking a beach. Now, the question is, which beach would I want to overlook? I have never been to the Greek island of Santorini. From the pictures, it looks really pretty–whitewashed buildings overlooking an azure blue bay. Maybe that would be a good place. Has anyone ever been there?
Where would you go to write your story?

Lastly, for those who would like to know how Schultz is, he's getting around just fine. In fact, he chased a deer across our yard the other day. Having three legs doesn't seem to bother him. The trouble is, he's gotten very skinny from not eating much. He weighed 112 pounds. Now he's down to 85. And he doesn't have a ton of energy. I guess that's to be expected from chemo treatments.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

IWSG and Schultz Update

I know it's been a while since I've been here. A lot has been going on. I moved and got a new job. The new job is Executive Director of the Georgia Philharmonic. I'm excited about it, but I know I have a lot to learn! And it will keep me extremely busy!

So, you're all wondering how Schultz is doing. If you recall, he was diagnosed with bone cancer and had to have his left front leg amputated. He's getting around much better. In fact, because he has to trot on three legs all the time, he moves a lot faster. His main issue is eating. The chemo treatments have messed up his appetite. He's so skinny, you can see his rib cage. The only food that seems to appeal to him is human food. The vet gave us some appetite stimulant pills. We'll see if that helps. Here he is with his buddy, Bootsy.

It's time for the IWSG post.

This month's question is, "Has your writing ever taken you by surprise?"

Well, as a matter of fact, it has. Normally, I write picture books and chapter/middle-grade books for kids.  Those have always been humorous and on the lighter side. A couple of years ago, I wrote a piece for an anthology contest. I didn't really plot it out like a normally do. I did the pantser thing. I was surprised by how dark it got. In fact, I killed everybody except the villainous main character. And I enjoyed it. I'm sure it all had something to do with the difficulties I had been experiencing in my life. It felt good to take it out on my characters. The good thing about being a writer is that you can kill as many characters as you want, and not get in trouble for it.  I'm not sure embracing my dark side is something I would regularly do as a writer, but it was interesting to do it. What about you? Has your writing ever taken you by surprise? 

Thursday, June 27, 2019

IWSG and Poor Puppy

I know I'm a little early for the IWSG post. Even more so than usual. But next week I'm moving. Who knows when I'll be online again. Hopefully, it will be in time for August's IWSG.

 This month's question is:  What personality traits of your own have you inserted into a character in your story?

Well, in my book,  Bubba and Squirt's Big Dig to China, I've used some of my children's personality traits. Not exactly the way they are, but similar. Bubba, like my son, is personable and someone who thinks outside of the box. In his younger years, he tended to be impulsive, like the character in the story. Squirt, like my daughter, is the responsible older one, always watching out for her brother and taking care of others. The mom in the book, although she doesn't make much of an appearance, is like me. Practical, observant, and always busy doing something.

Now for the story about Schultz, the poor puppy.

Those of you who are friends with me on Facebook know that Schultz, our 115-pound German Shepherd, and subject of many stories here, has bone cancer.

We are heartbroken.

A few weeks ago, he started limping. We thought he had sprained his leg either jumping out of the car or running around chasing the flashlight.  We took him to the vet who took X-rays. It appeared he had no broken bones, so he was sent home with some pain killers.

A week later, the vet called back. He checked the X-rays again and was concerned about a shadow he saw along the bone. He thought it might be indicative of cancer.  He referred us to a specialist. The specialist took a super-powerful X-ray and said, "Yep. It's cancer." Poor Schultz has a tumor inside the bone that is growing and pushing it out.

The cancer is aggressive. If we did nothing, he would have only three months to live.

We had a decision to make:  Give Schultz radiation and painkillers to keep the pain under control as long as we could until we had to put him down, or amputate the leg. X-rays showed that Schultz's lungs were clear, so cancer had not metastasized to there. We don't know if it's anywhere else. Schultz was a candidate for amputation which may save his life, at least for another year or two. He may also need eight weeks of chemo on top of that. The whole thing is a gamble.

It is difficult to imagine Schultz as a three-legged dog. Especially since he loves running around, chasing things, and climbing up and down stairs to visit everybody. Probably, if it was up to me, I would have done the first option. Keep him as comfortable as possible and put him down when it was time. But the kids couldn't bear to lose their dog yet, especially since we've got a lot of other rotten things going on right now. They opted for amputation.

So, as I write this, Mr. Schultz is at the doggy hospital prepping for surgery. When  I see him tomorrow, he will have only three legs. Hopefully, he'll adjust well, and hopefully, it won't be too painful for us to see him that way. 

Whenever I come back, I'll let you know how it all went.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Tara Tyler's New Release: Windy Hollow

Today, I'm here to tell you about a new release by my blogger friend, Tara Tyler. I'm so glad it's finally in print. She had a long journey to get this book published!

Beast World MG Fantasy Series, book #3
by Tara Tyler
Available NOW!

In BROKEN BRANCH FALLS, Gabe and his friends go on a quest to save their
school, blowing up all the rules, and discover their origins.
Then they go to CRADLE ROCK and meet some real live humans, scaring them into
attack mode. The Beasts realize they have to spread the truth ASAP.
Now, school's out, and Gabe is ready for a break from all the drama...
Gabe and his friends fly over the Great Sea for the wedding of the century: a dragon
prince and a beautiful harpy. But Gabe can't relax on this vacation. Besides competing
in rigorous wedding events, he overhears the nearby human village WINDY HOLLOW is
in danger from an evil human scientist and a vengeful were-ogre experimenting on
beasts. Gabe and his friends risk crossing the mountains to help, despite several
Maybe he's going too far this time, but he's in too deep to quit. It's do or die, hopefully
not die!

Paperback ~~~  Ebook

Author Bio
Tara Tyler has had a hand in everything from waitressing to rocket engineering. After
moving all over the US, she now writes and teaches math in Ohio with her husband and
one boy left in the nest. She has two novel series, Pop Travel (sci-fi detective thrillers)
and Beast World (fantasy adventures), plus her UnPrincess novella series where the
maidens save themselves. She's a commended blogger, contributed to several
anthologies, and to fit in all these projects, she economizes her time, aka the Lazy
Housewife—someday she might write a book on that... Make every day an adventure!

How to find:
website: Tara Tyler Talks
twitter: @taratylertalks
facebook: Tara Tyler - Author
Instagram: taratylertalks
newsletter: tara tyler news

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Guest Author, Elaine Kaye

Today I have a special guest at my pad:  Author, Elaine Kaye. She's Chrys Fey's mom. Her new book, The Missing Alphabet, just came out. She's here, along with characters, Gregory and Sammy, to tell us about the book.

Gregory the Boy: Hi everyone! My name is Gregory.

Sammy the Teddy Bear: *waves* Don't be scared, but I can talk, too. I'm Sammy.

Gregory: Sammy is my best friend in the whole wide world. We go on a lot of adventures together. Don't we, Sammy?

Sammy: Yup! Like the time when Gregory turned green at school.

Gregory: And you came to tell my friends and me about bullying.

Sammy: Someone had to.

Gregory: Then there was the time when you ripped your leg, Sammy, and Mom had to fix you up.

 Sammy: *rubs leg* I don't want to talk about that.

Gregory: Let's not forget about what happened on Halloween night!

Sammy: We rode on a broom! *pretends to be an airplane*

Gregory: Now we have a brand-new adventure to share with everyone.

Sammy: We do! But maybe we should let Elaine Kaye share the details about the story of The Missing Alphabet.

Elaine Kaye the Author: Thanks, boys!


The paper alphabet letters in Gregory Green’s classroom have gone missing, and it’s up to him and his friends to find those missing letters. They go on a hunt through the school, hoping to find them. They spot letters next to things that start with those letters, like B for Bananas in the cafeteria. But will they be able to find the entire alphabet? The Missing Alphabet is a great story for children learning to associate letters with objects, and four activities throughout the book will further help children to get familiar with the alphabet. General Age Range - Kids 5-8 (Story Picture Book) EBOOK: Amazon / Nook / Kobo PRINT: Amazon


“Bullying is not fun and, with colorful illustrations and interesting characters, the author handles the topic in a simple manner, giving a clear message about how the color of one's skin is not important." - Readers' Favorite (5-Star Review)
 EBOOK: Amazon / Nook / Kobo PRINT: Amazon / Barnes & Noble 

“Tutors and educators can use it in classrooms and school libraries for read-aloud sessions.” – Readers’ Favorite (5-Star Review)
 EBOOK: Amazon / Nook / Kobo PRINT: Amazon / Barnes & Noble

“This is a perfect story for children and it will make them imagine, dream, and become adventurous. The illustrations are whimsical and they bring out the spookiness and eeriness of the adventure.” – Readers’ Favorite (5-Star Review)
 EBOOK: Amazon / Nook / Kobo PRINT: Amazon / Barnes & Noble

About the Author: Elaine Kaye is the author of A Gregory Green Adventure series. She created Gregory Green after her son, who loved her homemade pea soup. Kaye has worked as a library assistant and teacher's assistant in elementary schools. She currently lives in Florida but has called Michigan; Honolulu, Hawaii; and Okinawa, Japan home.

 Website / Goodreads / Amazon / Instagram

Monday, June 3, 2019

Schultz's New Game and IWSG Question of the Month

Schultz, our giant nine-year-old German Shepherd, has learned a new trick. This new trick involves opening the door to the basement steps with his nose and throwing a tennis ball down the stairs. He loves watching the ball bounce all the way down to the landing. Then he retrieves it and does it again. He entertains himself for quite a while doing this. Unfortunately, when he's finished, he doesn't put his ball away. It stays on the landing. We'll have to see about teaching him yet another new trick and having him put his ball away.

It's time for the IWSG question of the month:  "What genre do you prefer writing and why?" I have always enjoyed writing children's books–picture books and middle-grade stories.  Probably because I'm a kid at heart. As a picture book writer, it's fun to see what the illustrator does with my manuscript. It's always a surprise. I also enjoy meeting the kids who read my books. Library visits and school visits are really the best part of being an author.

If you're a writer, what's your favorite genre to write?

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Checking In

I know. I've been missing. I'm going through a difficult time in my life right now, and my world is very much upside down. But I wanted to check in to say hello. I also wanted to thank Alex Cavanaugh for the great "You Rock" Award.

Ninja Captain is the one who really rocks! He has a great way of brightening up someone's day.

I will continue to be MIA as I try to settle into my new life. But I will make every effort to show up for the IWSG monthly posting. Know that I am thinking about all of you.