Friday, December 28, 2012

Only three days left....

Can you believe that 2012 is THAT close to being over? Writer's it's time to start thinking forward to 2013 and the goals that you want to accomplish. As always, I will review my last years goals and publically post my writing goals for 2013.

Stay tuned!

Monday, December 24, 2012

For Unto Us A Child Is Born....Jesus Our Lord

Santa Claus is coming to town!

I posted this picture in honor of the magic that my parents made during the Christmas season for me and my sister, from watching the local tv station track Santa on his Christmas Eve journey, to stopping in the freezing cold to look for him in the night sky on the walk home from our grandma's house Christmas Eve, to the candy canes and all the toys that Santa left us under the tree AND for letting us get up at 3AM to play with those toys!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Last Toy Parade Post of the Season!

I can hardly believe that twenty-three days have came and gone but the calendar (no, not the Mayan) tells me it's true, so here is my last post of a my Christmas Toy Parade. I'd like to say that I saved the best for last but I remember all the toys that I posted fondly, however this is a very special doll that was popular in the 1970's. My sister had Chrissy but I had Velvet! Here she is with her hair at full length, mid-length and then shorter standing beside her original box. I wanted to demonstrate that her growing/shortening hair feature still works!

Did anyone else have these dolls?

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Disney Paper Dolls!

Okay, we're moving on from the paper dolls copied from televison shows to look at a couple of my movie themed paper dolls. I didn't snap a picture of my Darby O'Gill and the Little People paper dolls but YES, I have Sean Connery at my house ladies! In paper doll form that is! Here are two of my favorite Disney movie paper dolls. Haley Mills was my favorite young actress growing up, and I have many of her movies on DVD but not That Darn Cat! And of course, who doesn't love Sleeping Beauty!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

"I Think I Love You..."

If you can guess who sang that song then you know who the stars of today's paper doll rememberance is:

Yep! The Partridge Family! This was one of my favorite shows growing up. I mean, this was a far-out show and I was one groovy chick for watching it! HA!

Here is a picture of the family. Did anyone else have this set of paperdolls?

No, New York Is Where I'd Rather Stay.....

Can you finish that television show's theme? I can sing the entire theme song while I play with my paper dolls and dream of having the gowns, dresses and sleepwear that Lisa Douglas wore.

Do you know this theme song by heart too?

If you don't know that one, maybe you know this one! Come listen to a story about a man named Jed, a poor mountaineer....

Here are the Beverly Hillbilly paper dolls dressed in their finery!

Tell you have the theme songs suck in your head now????

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Paper Dolls!

For the next few days I'll be sharing just a few of my favorite paper dolls. My sister and I had many, many, many sets of paper dolls. I'd forgotten about my Twiggy paper doll until I pulled the box out of storage and started rummaging through it.

Did you like to play with paper dolls? Did you have a Twiggy paper doll? Do you remember Twiggy?

Monday, December 17, 2012

Casper the Friendly Ghost!

Here is another toy that I don't remeber not having. Casper is made from the same type of plastic as the Henry doll I posted a picture of earlier. Both of them had squeaking capabilites. As you can see, Casper was very loved. Does anyone remember this toy?


So is it a surprise to anyone that one of my favorite cards games as a child was Authors! I actually think Santa left Authors in my sister's stocking the same year I received Who's The Thief. We spent many hours in the small town that we grew up in playing this card game and little did I know that I'd be an author someday too. (I'm sure my face will never grace a card game.) A few years ago while vacationing in Branson, Missouri, I found new versions of the card game so I snagged the American Author's card game! Did you play this game as a child?

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Skipper and Skooter

I was a little sister so I was gifted Barbie's little sister Skipper, and her friend Skooter. I didn't get them at the same time. I believe I got Skipper for Christmas one year and Skooter and their carrying case for my birthday the next year. The first picture is how Skipper and Skooter SHOULD look. It's my Skooter but not Skipper (okay who came up with these names?????) The second picture is both of my dolls. This is the only doll I EVER gave a hair cut and I regretted it. The Skipper with hair, my Dad bought in a box of toys at an auction when their grandchildren were little. I kept her just remember what my doll looked like before I tried my hand at being a hairstylst!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Barbie's Cousin

Anyway, I believe that how Francie was advertised, as Barbie's cousin. I don't remember how old I was when I received Francie as a Christmas gift. The same year my sister received Stacy. Both were young and hip and had clothes the represented the fashion of the era-the 1970's. I remember Stacy came with geometric earrings....Francie didn't. I thought Francie was beautiful with her blond hair and brown eyes! Did anyone else have Franice or know when they stopped making these dolls?

Friday, December 14, 2012

It's Barbie Time!

So, for the next three days, I will share my Barbie's. I'll start out with the star herself, Barbie. She is a little worse for wear because I played with her often. I snapped the picture with her sitting because this model Barbie was one of the first with.....bendable legs! We called her my bendable legged Barbie because my sister's Barbie had the straight solid legs!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Rock Flower!

Since I'm on small dolls, here is my Rock Flower. These dolls came with a  purple record-or that was the color that came with this doll, whose name is Rosemary....seeing a theme there with my dolls! HA! All these dolls were pretty hip, not only did they come with a record, they all had round sunglasses.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Prettiest Dolls Ever!

Okay, that is my opinion only but to me the Dawn Dolls were beautiful and so were their clothes. I didn't have Dawn, my sister did. I had Angie. I liked to have dolls with the same color hair that I had. These dolls were small, about 6 inches. I included a picture of the clothes I had for her. Aren't they lovely? I dreamed of owning gowns like these!

The Lost if FOUND!!!

Look what I found when I dug out the doll that will actually be the subject of my blog Cinderella Kiddle and a baby Kiddle!!!!! Sorry, I had to share, I was just so excited to find that I still had her.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Dynamic Duo

So, this is not a toy but it was a pin I wore proudly, and very reflective of the pulp culture at the time. I loved the Batman and Robin television show. In addition to this pin, I also had a Batman shirt that I wore until it was threadbare!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Story Books

Today, I'm sharing two of my favorite story books from my childhood. One, Johnny Go Round, was published by Whitman as a Tell A Tale book. The other, Bunny Blue, was published by Rand McNally as a Junior Elf Book. My copies no long have covers because they were stored in our basement when our water pump broke and flooded it. It's too bad because Bunny Blue is a very expensive book to replace, and not because it's the 'orignal' toys come to life book but because one of the toys in the book. Do you know what illustrated toy makes this book collectable? Do you have a childhood book that you still love?

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Oh Henry!

Does anyone remember this funny paper character? I really have no idea when I received this toy but I don't remember not having it. It's another one of my toys that is in the toy box for my granddaughters to play with and they both seem to like him!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Sweet Treats!

Here is another toy that Santa left for my sister and I to share. We had great fun playing with this and making the recipes in the book, in addition to whipping up the premixed cookies and cakes! The Easy Bake oven design is much differnt now. To me it looks more like a microwave but then again, mine didn't really look like an oven either!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Board Games

I was a little older when Santa left these games under the Christmas tree. When he left games they were to both my sister, Donna and me. Guess he knew we needed to share! My sister was a huge fan of the campy Dark Shadows television show, but we both loved the Password game show. Our cousins would come to visit us and we'd play Password, re-enacting the game show on television. What were some of your favorite games as a child?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Very First Dolly

Today I'm sharing the very first baby doll that Santa left me, or so I was always told! Since I would have only been seven months old, I can't verify that! But I think the reason the Santa this particular doll under my tree was because of her name. Print on the box, it said Baby Rose Marie! I no longer have the box but really wish I did...and for those of you who don't know, my middle name is Marie.

I'm posting two pictures. One shows her in her full original outfit. The other shows her painted on hair. Did any of you have dolls with painted on hair?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Little Kiddles

This tiny dolls were great stocking stuffers! I forgot all about having the Cinderella, Storybook Kiddle until I was surfing the web for pictures. I have no idea what happened her but I do still have a Locket Kiddle and a Perfume Kiddle. For tiny dolls, they sure had a lot of hair!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Cards, Anyone?

Santa left this card game in my stocking one year. It was a favorite and so fun to play! Imagine my surprise when I googled it for a picture to find a 1937 version! I had a card game remake!

I think I still have this game. I'm sure I brought it home from my mom's when she passed away but, alas, I can't find it.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Baby First Step

I asked Santa for this toy and waited a couple of years before he left it under my tree! The first picture is the picture is what the original doll looked like, the second is mine. I do have both roller skates, I just didn't want to dig it out of the toy box! Yes, my granddaughter's now play with my old dolls!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Toys That I Have Loved

To celebrate Christmas I plan to share pictures of "retro" toys that I received in my childhood either from Santa or relatives.

Today's is Thumbelina. I'm not sure what year my Thumbelina doll was made but this one looks exactly like my doll, the same dress and the same hair color.

I don't remember not having this dolly and I loved her very much. As a matter of fact, I still have her. This is how she looks now! Orginally, she was made to wind up and would wiggle like a new born baby. That feature stopped working in mine years ago.

This is just one of many of the toys I plan to share with you that I still have. Do you still have any of your favorite toys?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

My Christmas Trees and a Book Giveaway

Drop over to Cheryl St. John's blog to see my Christmas trees. Leave a comment and you'll be entered in the book drawing. I'm giving away three books, so you have three chances to win!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sorry, Readers!

Obviously, I just can't get it together to keep my blog up to date. However, I can give you updates on what has been keeping me from posting.

I had a short turn around time on edits for my May 2013 release, Wedding On The Rocks. At the same time I was finishing up sample chapters for my agents review. She thought they still needed work...and they did! Plus, I learned a couple of things from my edits, so I went back to work on the sample chapters. I'm happy to say, I've sent them back to my agent, and have my fingers crossed that they are ready to send on to the editor.

Other than technical difficulties, which translates to user error, I've been keeping up with my blog posting at Don't forget to visit our blog and leave a comment.
Right now we're talking about books on our Christmas list. If you could see my book shelves, you'd wonder why I needed more!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Quick cooking for NaNoWriMo

Writer's all over are furiously trying to log 50,000 words in 30 days. If they are anything like me, they need to shave time off of their normal chores in order to 'buy' more writing time, but dinner time doesn't have to be one of them. In honor of NaNoWriMo, I'm going to share a few quick recipes.

Here is a great French dip recipe that cooks all day in the crockpot!

5 lb of your favorite cut beef roast
1pkg onion soup mix
1 clove of garlic (optional)
1/3 cup soy sauce
5 cups of water

Cook on high all day. Serve on French rolls.

Hope you like this recipe as much as my family does!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Two days in...

How are all your NaNoWriMo contestants progressing? Still excited and crancking out the word count?

I'm deep in edits Wedding on the Rocks. Yes, that is the name of my new book that releases next year. After a couple of hours work on the changes tonight, I'm very happy with a changes I made in a scene. I think it will add more conflict. I hope my editor feels the same way!

When I get the manuscript edited and turned back, I'll be hitting the sample chapters of a historical WIP hard. My agent likes the story but had some suggestions, so I plan to implement them. I also learned something from my editor's suggestion about the hero/heroine meeting sooner in the story, so I'm revising my opening scene, starting at a different point. I think it will make the manuscript stronger.

How soon do you like the hero/heroine to meet? First page? First paragraph? First chapter?

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Four days, and counting?

Wow! It's time for NaNoWriMo....again.

The last two years, I've participated in National Novel Writing Month-unofficially. It's allowed me to finish two manuscripts, which are now published books.

This year, I have no plans to participate officially or unofficially. It's not because I don't have any novel ideas but because I'm pretty sure edits for a contracted book will come back to me sometime that month.

That doesn't mean that I won't be reading about, or cheering on others who are participating. Even if you write something other than novels, November is a good time to try to go above and beyond what you normally produce for your writing.

If you write short stories, try to write rough drafts of several different stories. Same with articles or devotions.

Good luck to all who participate!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Carving Out Writing Time in a Busy Schedule

I've been trying a little experience on how to add word count to my current work-in-progress.

I've read articles before about using you lunch hour to write. I have to say, I was always skeptical about using that time for a few reasons.

1. I think it's hard to write while you eat.
2. Work lunchrooms are open to everyone, and it's fun to visit with co-workers.
3. Work lunchrooms are open to everyone, and it's hard to write with other people talking.
4. My lunch hour was only 30 minutes.
5. I'd have to carry all my writing back and forth. UG! I hate carrying stuff.
6. When I had jobs with an hour lunch, I ate the first half and walked-when weather was permitted the second, and read when weather wasn't permitting. those sound LIKE excuses to you? They do? That's because they are!

I have an hour lunch at my present day job. I eat my lunch the first thirty minutes, then I've been walking the last half. While I believe daily exercise is extremely important, when our summer days topped out in the triple digits, I didn't walk, instead, I found a quiet place and I wrote.

Do you know what I've found out. I can write approximately 380 words in a half hour, long hand. Writing long hand during lunch means, I only have to carry a pad of paper and a pen. I like that! Now, I do have to transscribe when I get home but that allows me to edit those words, and jump starts my creativity so that I can just keep writing. And if I'm shooting for a 1000 words a day, I'm a third of the way there!

Do you have a few minutes of time in your day? Try using it to add to your word count, you'll be surprised and happy with the results!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

New Gig!

I'm pleased to announce that I've been asked to join a group of wonderful ladies and talented writer's on a joint writing blog.

Every ten days or so you'll find me blogging about various topics on

Right now we're talking numbers, like 10 reasons to know you're a writer, 5 things readers should know on the first page, 5 things to get you in the mood to write, 5 reasons to write for the Christian children's magazine market....some are 'fun' posts, some are instructional posts, and some are thought provoking posts.

I hope if you are reader or a writer, you'll stop by. You might find a tip to help your writing or discover a new author....there are some GOOD ones on this blog.

This does not mean that I won't be updating this blog either. I'm still trying to come up with a consistent schedule. Although I'm not a fan of blogs that post recipes, with the onset of NaNoWriMo, I am considering some tips and recipes that I use when under deadline to gain writing this something you'd be interested in?

Let me know!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Catching Up!'s been a while, and during that time I learned that you need to be consistant in your blog posts. Yep, that is what the guest speaker, Michael Hyatt told us on the second day of the ACFW conference. Frequency isn't nearly as important.

BIG blog seems to the first task I let go when I'm under deadline. AND it's supposed to be a tool to encourage other authors who work full time out of their home while pursuing their writing career. So, now I'm brain storming on just when I should post and what those posts should be about. Hopefully, I'll come up with something better than if you're under deadline....let you blog posts go.

Besides meeting my October 1st book deadline, I've attended the ACFW Conference which was held in Dallas, TX this year. I focused on the marketing aspect of writing versus writing techniques. I also skipped a session and got to visit with Barbara Vey from Publisher's Weekly. A group of wonderful writer's and women, asked me to join their group blog, and I've agreed, so I'll have more on that in another post.

Last weekend I attended the South Dakota Festival of the Book. It was wonderful, as always. If you state holds a Festival of the Book, attend! In South Dakota most of the sessions are free, so it's like attending a free conference. This year I met a husband and wife writing team, Aimee & David Thurlo. They write mysteries and Harlequin Intrigue romances. Both of their sessions where spot on how publishing works, and what writer's need to do to publish. I briefly got to see my writing friends, Marilyn Kratz, Jane Heitman Healy, and Lori Walsh. It was a good day and restored my writing soul.

Currently, I'm working on a contracted short story for the publication, Standard. I like the story but I'm have trouble with the ending.

Here is a picture of me and my writing friends all dolled up for the Saturday night gala event.