Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sunday Shorts: Camping Statistics

I'm not even home yet, but I've got Internet back. So what do I do? Come post on my blog. Do you guys feel the love? You should.

Today's Sunday Short is some statistics from my week-long trip. We were up in the wilds of PNW. So for all you alls with outdoor trips or camping in your novels, here are some interesting tidbits. Unless otherwise specified, these are all my specific stats not the whole groups.


By me: 4 deer, 1 moose, 50 bajillion chipmunks, 3 stray dogs (from nearby camp sites)

By our group (including my sightings): 5 dear, 1 moose, 1 cougar, 1 black bear, 500 bajillion chipmunks, 3 stray dogs, 1 packrat


By me:
12 fish (all eatable size, only 5 of the tasty species though, and only 3 were actually set aside for the eating).

By my husband:
5 (1 eatable size and type, which we kept.)

By the kids:
47 fish (none eatable size or type.)

By the way, this is my second year fishing. My husband has been doing it forever and loves it. He wasn't too happy with these statistics.


Serious Injuries:

I counted 27 bruises on my legs alone. Ouch!

Mosquito Bites:

That should be enough for now. But I basically had an awesome time, yet I'm so glad to be back! Hope you guys had a great week without me.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Guest Post: The Bloomin' List

The lovely Michelle over at Green Woman has offered to fill in while I'm on vacation. You can see a post from me over on her blog. I talk about something other than helpful writing details (LOVE!) I asked Michelle, who is a great gardening expert to help us with what flowers bloom when, so we can get those details right in our books. (P.S. Tansy is my favorite.) Without further ado...

Tracy has asked me to give you all a list of the bloom times of plants. Well, this is a complicated subject! Because plants have very specific needs, and those needs are met by nature at different times depending upon the climate, soil, etc. But I have done my best! All bloom times are APPROXIMATE. Every region has variations in climate that affect the bloom times. So, if you're looking at a specific bioregion, check with the state's extension agency, employ a search engine, or contact a local gardening group. It's not hard to find this information and get your details right, writers.

Obviously this list is not comprehensive. Flowers come in endless varieties. I decided to stick with fairly common plants suited to fairly temperate climates, since that's what I know best.

Also, I've included for each plant whether it grows in the sun or shade. This is VERY IMPORTANT. If you have your heroine harvest Lavender in the forest, I will be angry with you. Just so you know.


Hellebores (usually February) (sun to part shade)

Purple Deadnettle (January-February) (sun)

Snow drops (January-February) (part shade to shade)


Apple Tree (April-May)

Bleeding Heart (Late Spring) (part shade to shade)

Camellia (February-March) (sun)

Chives (March-May) (sun to part shade)

Clover (Begins in Spring, goes throughout the summer.) (sun)

Columbine (late Spring) (shade to part shade)

Comfrey (mid to late Spring) (sun)

Crocus (early Spring) (sun to part shade)

Daffodil (early Spring) (sun)

Hawthorn Tree (May) (sun to part shade)

Plum (tree) (March-April)

Rosemary (sometimes as early as February in mild climates, but usually April or May) (sun)

Tulips (early to mid spring) (sun)

Wild Violets (early spring: Sometimes as early as late February) (shade)


Black Eyed Susan's (late summer--August-September) (sun)

Borage (begins in late spring and continues putting on blooms throughout the summer) (sun)

Calendula (June-September) (sun)

Chicory (July-September) (sun)

Cornflowers/Bachelor Buttons (June-July) (sun)

Daisies (june-july) (sun)

Echinacea (late summer--July-August) (sun)

Iris (May-June) (sun)

Lavender (late June-late July) (sun)

Peonies (May-June) (sun)

Poppies, California (start in late Spring, bloom throughout the summer. In warmer climates they bloom as early as February.) (sun)

Poppies, Oriental (May-June) (sun)

Queen Anne's Lace (late summer--July-August, into September sometimes. (sun)

Roses (late May-September) (sun)

Sunflowers (July-August) (sun)

Yarrow (sometimes even starts in late May, blooms throughout summer) (sun)


Asters (late August-September) (sun)

Chrysanthemums/Mums (Late August-throughout the fall) (sun)

Crocus (there is a fall-blooming variety) (sun-part shade)

Dahlia's (August-September) (sun)

Goldenrod (August-September) (sun)

Tansy (late summer-fall) (sun-part sun)

Did I leave off a plant that you're dying to know about? Feel free to ask! I'll try to answer questions to the best of my ability. And never forget, search engines are your friend. A tiny bit of research can save you from making your readers swear at you for getting your plant stuff wrong.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Gone Filmin'

Instead of fishing (though I will be doing that too) I'm going filming! It's time for my yearly family vacation up at a lake. Should be awesome (dirt biking, jet skiing, boating, wakeboarding, <3). But I'm also going to be doing a lot of filming while I have the chance in some real "wilderness."

Should be fun. If you have any last minute suggestions, comment and I can try them out too. I will still be able to check my e-mail until Sunday. I will not be deserting you completely though! I have an awesome guest post (that will be super helpful too!) that I'm going to have automatically post on Wednesday. So check back then!

Finally, it's the last day of the contest. Rafflecopter will select a winner for me. So even though I won't be posting about the winner, it will show up who won on the widget after the contest ends. It will also give me your e-mail (or so they say) so I can contact you about your prizes. Don't worry about that. Just celebrate and start thinking about what you want!

I'll miss you guys, but the filming festival I'll be on will make it WAY easier to not have problems like last time. Keep your pants on while I'm gone!

EDIT: Thanks for making me a liar Rafflecopter. It won't announce the winner. I decided to do a consolation prize for every 50 entries (so we had about 150 so three consolation prizes). So here it is:

LAURA (lmlong)


Laura, please start thinking about what scenes (PG rated) you would like us to film. I have 65 followers now, so your film will be 6.5 minutes. (Fair right?)

Beth, Tim, and Faith, as in the rules, consolation prizes are as follows: a chapter critique, a nifty drawing, OR an Author Spotlight. Please pick one or maybe think of something else you'd like. I'm open to suggestions.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Friday Freebies 6

Hey guys, be sure to enter MY contest. Who wouldn't want a film version of their novel? (even if it is just a scene done by a bunch of community theater actors).

Elsewhere on the great big Internets, you can find:

Epic Fail (again): I mention this a second time, because I really want this book. I don't know why. I'm such a girl.

Another Book Giveaway : These are the easiest things to find, btw. So if you go look, you'll have lots of opportunities for free books.

Help Libraries : Oh and get a free trip to Atlantis (in the Bahamas). Not bad. Not bad at all. But libraries are more important.

Secret Agent Contest : Miss Snark has announced her contest will be on Monday. Pay attention because the contest is only open at certain times to the first 25 people! So be fast and be ready!

See you guys on the flip side!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Minor Setback

Sorry for the lack of new episode today. It will be late because I had to switch around the order of some episodes. The one that was supposed to be this week will need more time. So I'll try to quickly throw something together if I can. I might not be able to with family things going on today.

But, please check out the contest, and remember you can enter it daily. You get entries for each thing you do.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Friday Freebies 5: In which, I have my own contest

Firstly, I'm going to be having my OWN contest. Yup! I'm having a contest.

What can you win? We'll film a scene from your novel and post in on the blog.

Now wait, you ask, why would I want that? I'll tell you my observant friend. First of all, if your book is published you'll have free and fun promotions (or a book trailer). Or it can help you see how your dialog reads on screen. Or it could just be a lot of fun to make me act like a doofus.

Okay, so you're thinking to yourself, why would I spread the word on this? Shouldn't I just keep this secret so I have a better chance of winning? Well sure, you could. But the more people who find out about this the better the prize will be! I'll lengthen it! Plus, even if you don't win, everyone gets to see me (and possibly a cast of my friends, family, and thespian buddies) be dorks for you. (Outside of the usual stuff.)

But what if I don't write or have something you can act out? Then pick your favorite book or scene from a book or even just make up a scenario for us to act out. (Like do werewolves and vampires really hate each other.)

Stop talking already and tell me how to enter! (You're saying this not me.)

Okay, okay, it's pretty simple. You just fill out the rafflecopter form below. You can get bonus points for tweeting about it daily. (I provide text but if you want to use the hashtag and link and make up your own words, you can.) I'm also open to new ways to get points (I can edit the widget with those at any point without losing your entries).


And as always, other people have stuff their giving away. Books, contests, if its going on I'll try to find it for you. Well at least five. I can't find everything! Gosh, stop being so demanding.

Epic Fail : Win a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice. Or not. I can win it too. I'm cool with that.

3 books : More for your time investment. Can't beat that, right?

Pick Your Prize : As always, the lovely Rebecca Hamilton has fabulous prizes for you (and free editing).

500 words contest : Gotta love chance for books or agent feedback!

Mini-Synopsis Contest : Not a pitch, but a short synopsis. Interesting. Very interesting. Will you enter? Can you manage it?

See you guys next week!