Monday, November 28, 2005
If I had gone in for the cough in the first place she would have told me it was just allergies and not to worry about it.
Thursday, November 24, 2005
I am also so thankful that my middle sister was able to come home for Thanksgiving. She is going to college in South Carolina right now, and in the past the school only gave Thanksgiving day off, but now they have almost a week free.
After getting home from my class and then stopping at the store, Mom and I got home last night after 11:00 PM and then did some cleaning, not getting into bed until after 2:00 AM! But we made it through the day with only a bit of yawning…
This year it was our turn to host dinner. So besides me and my parents and my middle sister, we had my oldest sister, brother-in-law, three nieces, and my grandparents. My dad did something a little new this year. Before the blessing, we sang “Thank You, Lord”. Music is so important to me. I got tingles and nearly got teary-eyed, sitting there with the people I love, singing thank you to the One I love the most…
My youngest niece, Baby E (three months old) just grins all day long! My Grandpa was sure enjoying her beams… Near the end of the day she was getting so tired, but of course didn’t want to sleep. My bil put her on his shoulder and she laid her head down, he thought she was falling asleep. I looked over at her and she was just laughing away (silently)!!
My family doesn’t celebrate Christmas and we give gifts on Thanksgiving (after all, what better way to show you are thankful for someone?). This year I gave everyone a copy of Faith Writers - A Celebration. This is the first published book with my name in it! My family has always been very encouraging in my writing, so that was exciting for all of us.
This was the first year my older two nieces (4 ¾ and 3) gave presents to everyone. I was impressed with what they picked out for each of us. They remembered that I like mice (my bedroom is decorated in Victorian mice and kittens) and gave me this:
While it isn’t exactly Victorian, he’s an awfully cute dude! And his arms, legs, and tail are poseable! LOL
My older two nieces much enjoyed having all of us read to them throughout the evening. AJ (4 ¾) is not only reading, but she can read upside-down while standing in front of me, looking down at the book.
Hehe, we had fun playing Up And Down The River (I won by one point!) and oh, was it fun watching Baby E enjoying the brightly-colored cards! She is studying them so seriously…
[note: if you are wondering why there are only pics of the littlest one, it is because we think it is best not to put pics on the web once they are a bit older, for safety reasons. But be assured that AJ and MM are just as adorable as Baby E! :-) ]
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Well, yesterday the sites went down again. But this time it was different. First, it was on a Monday morning--when the new topic for the writing challenge is announced. So I mailed a few friends asking if any of them had happened to see what the topic was before it crashed. One of them wrote back and said not only had she seen the topic, but she was on the FW message boards right then.
That was the start of the weirdness. I could not get on that site, but I could get on other sites fine, so I knew it wasn’t my server. Why could she get on and not me? A few hours later I was able to get on. I had gotten a few PM notifications, one on the regular FW site and a couple on the message board. I went to the regular site. There were no new PMs. Okaaaayy. So I went to the boards. It showed that there were two new ones--but they were ones I had gotten two days ago and responded to…
So then I started looking around the site. All the “new” posts had been made on Friday. It was Monday. I check for a few threads I knew had been started on Saturday. Not there. To make matters even more confusing, one of my friends was still saying that she hadn’t notice anything odd about the boards. Suddenly I was feeling very much like I had woken up in the Twilight Zone!
I checked the regular FW site and to my horror the last two chapters of our Chat-A-Book were not there. Thankfully I had those two chapters more or less saved on my computer. But I was stricken with horrific imaginings of the whole Chat-A-Book getting lost! This book is completely irreplaceable and un re-do-able. Now, I know this is awful, bad, stupid…but I haven’t been saving the Chat-A-Book--just posting it on-line and then copying the next week’s session over the top of the last one, to save space on my computer. I’ve been meaning to go to a different computer that takes floppy disks and copy it, but I haven’t yet.
OK, so this time, I am panicking. LOL Just about then I got an email from another friend. She was panicking, too. Ah the comfort in knowing that someone else out there was stuck in the Twilight Zone with me!! LOL
All is well now. FW was moving to a new server and things were just crazy for a bit. ;-)
Sunday, November 20, 2005
Anyway, I thought I might as well put a link to the blog. Blog by the Cat was started by another feline, who then invited a couple of her friends to join in the blogging. How my cat met an English cat is beyond me. Perhaps in the night she sneaks in here and surfs the internet? :-o
I guess animals no longer have to use the old-fashioned relay system shown in 101 Dalmations...
Thursday, November 17, 2005
Last week I was busy. Rather. I had bills for our business to finish up, not to mention all the problems that inevitably come up in that busy time that have to be dealt with right then. Then I got a desperate cry from the Faith Writer’s weekly writing challenge’s coordinator, saying they needed me to switch weeks I was judging and do it then. I tried to juggle the office work, a heavy load of school homework, and guide the Chat-A-Book, oh, and of course I had to explore the new FW message board. I’m not very good at juggling my time, anyway.
But I somehow managed to keep all the balls in the air until Tuesday morning, when I found that though I was about 80 articles into the judging, I still had about 90 to go, as well as a good chunk of homework--all to be finished by Wednesday night. I gave a desperate holler to the coordinator and she kindly let me drop the judging ball (thankfully there are enough judges every week that if needed, they can do with one less) and even gave me a cyber hug. *sigh* I hated to do it, but it’s a good thing I did, ‘cause not only would I have not gotten finished, but the FW website’s server was down for a while and I wouldn’t have been able to access the articles I was judging anyway!
So, that’s the full plate part; here’s the floweth over part:
I got my semi-final test results back and I got a B! Especially because I have minor learning problems that makes taking tests difficult, I am very pleased.
Just this week I have had two editors contact me asking permission to use some of my writings! None of them pay, but I am excited. Mind Fields (the short story I posted on here a month ago or so) will appear in next month’s Riders & Reapers ezine, and my poem, When Evening Comes of Age, will be featured on the front page of the Faith Writers site for a week the end of this month.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
If I could paint, I’d take my brush
And swipe it smooth across the page.
I’d try to show creation’s hush
At dusk when evening comes of age.
I’d dip into the faintest hue
And give the sky a tinge of pink.
Then guide a swath of deepest blue
In which a tiny star would wink.
The grass would be a mossy green
With flowers blooming in delight.
The dancing lake would catch the gleam
Of mountains deepening out of sight.
A bird would soar with silver wing
To touch the clouds the purples hold.
Oh, with my brush I’d make it sing,
Above the valley bathed in gold.
I’d paint a girl with rosy cheek
Who’d kneel beneath a leafy dome.
The setting sun would give a peek
Of her awaited heav’nly home.
If I could paint, I’d show the world
Creation’s blush upon the page,
Her glorious beauty all unfurled
At dusk when evening comes of age.
© 2005 Amy Michelle Wiley
© 2005 Amy Michelle Wiley
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
You know, after the 2000 election, I never had been able to figure out the hanging chad thing. I mean, how hard is it to push the little red stylus into the hole at the polling booth? But! Now I understand. The hanging chads came from the mail-in ballots. Suddenly the world makes more sense.
One of the things we voted on was amending the Clean Indoor Air Act. Now at first glace, keeping all smoking out of public areas seems like a wonderful thing. I mean, I’m all for non-smoking, especially since my allergies practically render me unconscious when I get a whiff of cigarette smoke (ok, so I’m exaggerating--but I sure feel like passing out of pure misery!). But when I thought about it for a bit I decided to vote against it. Why? Here’s my answer:
Is it really the government’s job to regulate things like that? If they can regulate that, then they can regulate pretty much anything and before we know it we will be like China used to be--you get fined for chewing gum. Another point people bring up is that it causes cancer, so therefore the government should step in. Well, red food coloring causes cancer. So do most of the sugar substitutes. Should they be banned too?
Monday, November 07, 2005
Here is the link to my story if you’d like to read it: Hyacinth Spies
As many mentioned in the comments on the end of the story, the setting causes some cognitive dissonance. Any one have any ideas as to a better setting? The problem is that there are only about one in a billion cases in which I would condone jail breaks and all of them are serious religious settings… So this was the only thing I could think of. ;-) But at any rate, it was fun to write!
Friday, November 04, 2005
Several exciting things happened just this week.
On Monday I received second place on my Faith Writers’ challenge entry, Lo Ikwithltchunona, The Cloud Swallower, out of something like 147 entries. The level of competition is getting harder every week. I had so much fun writing that story! The topic was rain and I started with an idea I got from a story a missionary had told in his sermon that Sunday. Then I typed a few words into Google and what I needed for the rest of the story just fell into my lap, er, popped onto my computer screen.
On Tuesday I received an email from the humor columnist, Dori Knight, asking if I would be interested in being the Administrative Assistant to the Hope Floats editorial team. Would I be interested?! Rather! LOL The Hope Floats project is something I’ve been really excited about, and have volunteered my time a little for them in the past, also. For those who missed my other blog entries about it, The Hope Team is putting together a book of true short stories to sell. The proceeds of the book will go towards buying Bibles for the victims of the Gulf Coast hurricanes. Though putting together this first book has taken longer than planned, the organization will now be in place to help future disasters. It is so exciting for me to be a part of this, and knowing that it could turn into a long-time position makes it even more so. It is an honor to be a part of this team.
Every day I ask myself what I have done to deserve these blessings. I have failed God in so many ways. But I know the answer. “If you then…know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Heavenly Father give good things to them that ask Him?” Matthew 7:11 It delights Him to give us joy. And what a joy for me, that the gifts I so love are things I can use to give Glory to God and to draw others to Him!
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Another thing that amused me was a phone conversation with my three and four year old nieces yesterday. Their language skills improve so much each time I talk to them! First I talked to MM (3). She told me very animatedly all about their new hamster, Puff, and how it was running on its “exercise wheel” (I don’t know why, but somehow hearing a three year old say “exercise wheel” with very precise diction is rather amusing). “Our baby likes watching it!” she told me. I love how MM packs those two words, “our baby”, completely jam-packed full of adoration, pride, and pure delight. Then the phone got passed to four-and-three-quarter years old AJ. “Hello,” she said politely. “My I speak to Grandma for a moment, please?”
Here is an amusing link: The Insanity Test
Ooo, and did you hear about the “ghost” that showed up in a car commercial ad? Some might say it was just mist in the road, but at any rate, if you look closely just as the car comes around the corner something white hovers in front of the car and then follows it. At the very end of the clip you can supposedly hear the photographer whisper about the strange phenomenon.
Can you tell it’s semi-finals week?