Two Words that Make Me Smile

alligatorI was asked to write a post about a two-word phrase that makes me smile. It took only a second to realize those words are “Later ‘gator.” Just saying them is pleasing to the ear. It’s the rhyming thing. This phrase is from childhood that I still use when trying to be funny, or to make goodbyes not so sad.

I have an Uncle Ray that would tease me when I was a child and I thought he was so cool. His visits were like a spotlight that came on and you never knew what the next act would be.

Uncle Ray would sing “The Battle of New Orleans” when it came on the radio. As he sang, he would dance and act out the song. He looked so funny, but he didn’t care, he was having a great time.

Saying goodbye to him was never sad. He would give me a hug and as he was leaving he would wave and say “Later ‘gator” and then wait for me to respond. I would giggle and reply “After a while crocodile.” Now how could that silly exchange do anything but make you smile?

So what two-word phrase makes you smile?

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For Love or Money?

For Love or MoneyI have a friend, Renae Brumbaugh, who has written several books. Her latest is For Love or Money. I was flattered when she asked me to read it and to let her know what I thought of it. I don’t read many romance books. I don’t have anything against romance stories, as you would see if you were to visit my home where I have an assortment of romance books on my bookshelves. Read them all – they are not for show. But this genre is not my first choice in books. Her story I will re-read and recommend.

Why do I recommend it? There are several reasons; first it is a well-written story with interesting characters. I’ve met people like the characters in her story. (We should all have an Aunt Doris in our lives.) A good story line and great characters make it easy to get into the story.

Second, it is a historical fiction, which is one of my favorite genre of books. The setting is Chicago after the great fire, before the World’s Fair, electricity is being introduced and questioned (do you really need it?), and the Moody College is a hub of activity with D. L. Moody participating in the education of ministers and missionaries.

The time is a time of manners and propriety in how we deal with each other. Not so much class but the correct and respectful way to address each other, expectations of how you are treated, and such.

The story revolves around a young lady, Grace, who comes to the aid of a sick (dying) friend who single-handedly runs an orphanage. There are seventeen children from babies in a crib to young teenagers old enough to work but with no place to stay. During this time in history, orphanages were common, and conditions were never very good. But Grace’s lifelong friend, Anne, was trying to make a difference in the children’s lives that came into her orphanage, even though the building is crumbling around them. The building is in the area of Chicago that was devasted by the fire and has been ignored by the city and neighboring community.

But an important thing about this book is that it is a Christian romance. You will find the gentle expressions of the Christian faith throughout the story, but not preachy. Don’t expect pages and pages of heated explicit sex scenes. Expect a great story and you will not be disappointed.

You have a book club looking for a book, put For Love or Money on the list to be reviewed.

NaNoWriMo Preparations

For the past 3 years, I have participated in the NaNoWriMo. It has been great fun and way to get me focused on putting the story floating in my head on “paper.” Starting NaNoWriMo for the first time I had many questions including could I write that many words that fast? But my first year’s NaNoWriMo story, Canyon Riddle, has been published. Yeah, I’m a fan of NaNoWriMo.

I am beginning my preparations for my month long hiatus.  Preparations include:

  • Putting a few rough notes together from all the random thoughts that keep me awake at night.
  • Translating the random thoughts that were written in the middle of the night.
  • A trip to the story’s location to refresh my memory of the place and to give me a weekend away.
  • Prepare research notes on some key (or obscure) ideas that will be (or not) incorporated into the story.
  • Make sure I have a good supply of tea, caffeinated soft drinks, and lots of water.
  • Computer area cleaned and reference materials organized.
  • Tissues for those emotional moments in the story or a runny nose from a cold.
  • Extra vitamins to keep me a little healthier since I won’t be sleeping much.
  • NaNoWriMo account activated and resetting of my password, which I have forgotten.
  • Write notes and place in strategic locations to remind me to be very nice to my best supporter, my husband, who has to put up with being abandoned for the month.

But the most important thing is the Halloween candy selection. The month of November is for NaNoWriMo. So it follows that all the leftover Halloween candy will be part of my sustenance, inspiration, and morale booster for the month. I am not very picky about candy, but there are some that I prefer and I need to make sure there is plenty leftover.  Of course, I will hand out candy to all the trick-or-treaters that come to my door and I will be generous (after all I have a reputation to uphold). Having an abundant supply of my preferred candies will help ensure there are leftovers for a month of creative thoughts.

If you haven’t participated in the NaNoWriMo, I encourage you to try it. Consider my preparation list as a starting point for your writing adventure.