Friday, September 10, 2010

The End

Those of you who are friends with me on Facebook know that "The Little Sad Engine That Couldn't" has found a new home.

Last week, I sold Subie for $500 to a cement worker. Ironicly, he already owns a Ford Ranger, and the gas from Mica Peak to work is killing him. (For those of you who don't understand the irony here, Tim rolled a Ford Ranger. We used to have the Subie stabled with a Ranger.)

This guy has owned a Subaru like this one before and got 285K out of it before it died. During the test drive, we discussed its problems, its abilities, and the little rattle in the dome light from the dislodged screw.

He was thrilled. He know what the car needs, is familiar with this car, and has the know-how to tinker with it.

As a part of the deal, we had loaded Subie up with her four mounted studs. I dug out the manual and gave it to him as well.

Friday, I passed him Tim's key through a coworker and called him to let him know who had it. He is still thrilled about the car--and I'm glad. Let the buyer and seller rejoice!

So after this, I realized this was somewhat the end of an era, albeit a short one--and I think Jesus would say that if little smoking cars can get second chances, how much more us?

And I'm giving myself a second chance too. I've dropped my pseudonym, Vernona E. Monteith. If I publish my fiction, it'll be under my name, and I won't be embarrassed about it.

To herald these events, I'm letting go of "The Little Sad Engine That Couldn't." You can find me on Truth, Fiction, and Faith by the end of the week.

Much love to you all, and if ever you see a little sad engine chugging up a hill or smoking down the street, be sure to smile, yeild, and wave.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Lee Marvin, Fred Rogers, and Robert Keeshan

A got an email about Captian Kangroos' service in the United States Marine Corp. The Wikipedia article about Robert Keeshan, a.k.a. Captain Kangaroo, says that he enlisted in the USMC reserves too late to see combat action. (I know, true journalists don't quote Wikipedia atricles.)

The email also claims that Fred Rogers served in Vietnam and then went on to seminary, swearing off violence and that the sweaters Rogers wore on his TV show, Mr. Rogers' neighborhood, were to cover up all his tattoos. According to the Presidential Medal of Freedom website, Rogers graduated from seminary in 1963. The site, while providing his biography, makes no mention of Vietnam.

And the point of the email--Lee Marvin was shot in the Battle of Saipan, not Iwo Jima.

The big question is: How do these emails get started? And why? I plan to look into this some more.

Remember, before forwarding that email: When you're not in doubt, you can still check it out!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Mom's Summer Blues

In yesterday's post, I bemoaned the inevitable ending of summer vacation by listing a number of goals that I procrastinated.

One of the passing thoughts I have every year is about my kids. Did I do enough with them? Will they have had a memorable summer?

This summer, I had a kid work as a lifeguard/swimming instructor at our local pool and go on a missions trip to Guatemala. One of my kids took a CNC/welding/machining class. The youngest had two weeks of swimming lessons. We all took a trip to the Oregon Coast and had my niece as a guest for two weeks.

Yet, I'm still left wondering if it's enough. What about the annual trip to Silverwood we used to take. It's so expensive--just to get there--but we have two tickets for free entry. Yet when I look at the calendar, I know those tickets are only good for weekdays during the summer. We'd have to wait until September to go as a family, and like I said, it's not cheap. When I look at the number of weekend we have left--those weekends free of obligation, I wonder if I'm just putting too much on my plate.

What about those free things I could have done? Those days at the lake I never went? The bike rides unpedaled? The starry nights unexplored? Am I just a horrible mom for being lazy or fed up with the people around me?

So I'm left with a slightly guilty feeling over childhood days wasted in front of the television set or days jam-packed with chores like cleaning the bedrooms out and the shed.

But what is considered too over the top? Kids shouldn't learn that the world revolves around them; it's unhealthy. They could grow up into people who don't like waiting their turn, who text during movies and in the car, and who expect the world to entertain them.

And what kind of example do I set when I cater to everyone's needs but my own? Is this healthy? Shouldn't my marriage have a higher priority to my kids' wants? After all, they're supposed to move out someday.

Planning a family vacation is no small feat. A lot of time, energy and money go into it. Yet, with all of the joys of those moments, I had a kid who really would've rather have been home.

So maybe the quality of my kids summer is not up to me. If, after all that work, I can still have a less-than-satisfied kid, where's the problem? With me? With my plans? Or maybe happiness is a perception.

Perhaps we, as a society, should spend less time showing the next generation a good time and more time teaching kids how to find their happiness from within.

Insert better title here.

It's been a month and I haven't posted anything new. School is approaching and I fear I've lost my ability to write. Didn't I say I'd keep up with my blog this summer?

Then again, after midnight might not be the time to do it.

This realization of (insert adjective describing putting things off here) makes me want to look at the rest of the list of things I want to finish this summer.

+Website work (Look up HTML code for bullets and insert them later.)
+walk/ride bike
+work with dog
+4054 map
+Wolves and Promises cover
+Wolves and Promises finished
+read books (for fun)
+fish one-on-one with Donna

Now the only thing I've finished is the 4054 map. I need to edit it for the current novel. Does that count?

I'm four chapters away from having the last edit done on Wolves and Promises. I will finish that.

Hmm... As far as the rest of the list goes, I could be sunk.

Where did the time go?

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Author's Pep Talk in Crazy Stanza.

Paragraphs one and two are 68 words apeice. Paragraphs three and four are 32 words apeice. Paragraph five is 98 (68+32) words.

The best thing about being an author is when others’ read your work. When others understand your work and read into your little world, all the tiny behind-the-scenes details are validated. Maybe the reader even falls in love with the characters. This is the moment of moments. The best times are when those critiquers add depth by asking questions, catch a mistake, or offer positive advice.

The worst thing about being an author is when others’ read your work. When others belittle your work and minimize your efforts, the storyline seems wasted. Was it read out of obligation? Why does the reader even bother? To go forward is impossible, even though eight years have been invested. When others don’t share your vision, the tone of voice in their comments is a snarl.

When I critique others’ work, I try to give as much positive feedback as I can. I know how fragile authors can be, I’ve been hurt deeply by people close to me.

When I receive others’ critiques, I try to remember the source. Is this person’s comments always sour? Is it grammar issue or something else? I must take feedback from this individual carefully.

Ultimately, if I’m truly writing my book for the Lord, I must be unswayed by the disapproval of readers or other authors. I must work diligently to improve my story where it needs it. I must also accept the fact that not every person will care for it, and not every person will seek out miniscule errors. On the whole, people love my story. I love my story and feel energized when I realize new events, good and bad, for future volumes. It’s okay to fail according to some. That doesn’t mean that I’ve failed in God’s eyes.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Subie dies again!

Well, Subie may have finally gone to the Great Garage in the sky.

This morning, my daughter started it and drove one block down before it died.

I tried starting it up, but after two attempts, the battery surrendered.

I thought the return of my son might solve my problems. He could push it, and I would pop the clutch.

We walked the block to Subie, I tried to start it with a key, but after two attempts, the familiar white flag rose like a shroud from the battery.

Huston, that’s a no-go.

So I turned the key on. I released the parking brake. I pushed in the clutch and put my foot on the brake. I put the car into first and hollered at my son to push.

He did.

I released the brake before he realized my mistake.

We built up a little speed, I popped out the clutch, and we stopped. We tried again, only this time I left my foot off the brake.


Now I sat in the middle of a side street intersection. I flipped it around, with the help of more pushing, and we pushed uphill. I nestled into a parking spot, set the emergency brake, and walked away.

The funny thing is that God’s timing is always very good. A couple weeks ago, a family member offered to loan one of their vehicles that could make the trip between Spokane and Cheney. We recently accepted their offer, and I’m picking it up tomorrow.
So what’s to become of Subie?

I don’t know. I’ll keep you posted. ; )
If this really is the end, does the blog die too?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

"Beezid fake." by guest blogger, Geoff Meyer

On Beezid every time you bid with their bid coins, it goes up one bid coin just like what the commercials say, but what the commercial doesn’t say is that you have to pay in advance for each bid coin, and you lose the bid coin even if you don’t win.

This makes the site seem amazing and the items cheaper, but then you lose more money then you realize. Example: you pay/bid $10 on an item that is normally $200, but each coin can be from 60 cents to a dollar but is averaged at 70 cents. You actually pay 1000 times 70 (because the pennies are 70 cents so $10 are 1000 pennies). Therefore, for an item that is normally $200, you just paid $700. Beezid makes money through the bids.

Also, the timers they use are messed up. They pause, skip numbers, and just when you try to bid with even two seconds left, the system won't register your bid and you lose the product. Or they set it up to be like a real auction where the timer resets after every bid unlike eBay. The people who work Beezid claim its your internet, but is it?

Also there are allegedly bots, or programs, built in to the auction to raise the price so that no one wins it and Beezid gets more money and the item is set up to bid again.There might be a good deal hidden through all this, but buyer beware.

For more information, check out