21 Moments of Gratitude For Mom


Dear Mom,

There are no cards that say the right thing, so I made this list for you. An unorthodox gift it may be, but then nothing about us is ordinary. You are an amazing person and mother – I am so lucky to have you in my life.

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1. You always let me be myself (even when I’m weird). I’ve always been so thankful for that.

2. I love that we share a love of writing. I like to think it’s in the genes.

3. You are so funny and you always make me laugh.

4. I love learning from you.

5. Your love of chocolate chip cookies and peanut butter cups is epic.

6. Your poetry is witty, unique, honest, and brave. Just like you.

7. Perhaps one day I will inherit your strength.

8. The way you love and understand animals always amazes me.

9. You gave me more than few swift kicks in the ass I will always be grateful you were there to keep me on the right path.

10. I’ll never forget how you hugged me after Grandma passed away. In that moment, I knew everything was going to be okay.

11. Your compassion for others makes this world a better place.

12. I love it that we drive matching cars.

13. Thank you for teaching me how to crochet granny squares and the basics of knitting.

14. When I am down, I know you are there to pick me up.

15. You make the best chicken noodle soup. Ever.

16. Thanks to you, I know my States. The license plate game was pure genius.

17. Tuesday is my favorite day because I know you might stop by for a cup of coffee and a little blogging.

18. Your laugh is contagious.

19. You can work a smartphone better than I can and that makes you incredibly cool.

20. You are easy to talk to . . . about anything.

21. You are one of a kind and I’m honored to call you my mom.

Happy Mother’s Day!

– – –

c.b.w. 2013

Critters in the Garden


Throughout April, my garden steadily grew, bringing flowers of all sizes, bright colors, and a few new critters into my back yard.

Most of the vegetable plants have started to bloom and that means it won’t be long before the first crop of zucchini, cucumber, black-eyed peas, and beans is ready. However, a couple of weeks ago, the first harvest was pulled from the vegetable plot. A few pea pods and a clump of radishes made my garden rabbit very happy!

The rabbit is stashing pea pods!
Photo by: c.b.w. 2013

It looks like my rabbit has a made a little friend. Lizards are common in Arizona and there are always a few that camp out in the yard during the summer. However, it is a rare occasion that I catch one for such a cute shot.

Rabbit and friend are checking out the radishes.
Photo by: c.b.w. 2013

Near the front gate, a patch of wildflowers is in full bloom thanks to some seeds I planted last year. Some of those seeds were perennials, so with almost no effort we’ve got black-eyed susans, poppies, zinnias, daisies, and snapdragons. They attract both moths and butterflies, which gives us quite a show every evening.

This little fella came for a visit and stayed for a few days. He preferred to land on all the yellow flowers in the patch. His presence inspired a haiku to go with a photograph I snapped before he flew away.

Fluttering angel,
white wings on yellow petals
spotted, velvet touch

A little garden visitor.
Photo by: c.b.w. 2013

In a forthcoming post, I’ll exploring the wildflower patch with more detail. Every time I go out there it seems as though there’s a new flower blooming. Recently, we realized three enormous plants in the center of the patch are evening primroses. These marvels of nature are a real bright spot in the garden!

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c.b.w. 2013

2013 Goals: April Status Report


Any regular follower of my blog knows that April was a busy month for my muse and I. The A to Z Challenge took over my writing schedule and pushed me to make deadlines without sacrificing my creativity. All in all, I consider April to be a very successful month in terms of my goals.

1) Complete final draft of Novel #2.

Revisions for Draft #2 are complete. I have since uploaded my revised draft onto my Kindle Fire, so I can fine-tune things a bit more. Using this format accomplishes two things:

  • It is super exciting and encouraging to see my novel as it would appear in an e-book format.
  • After reading my draft a million times as a Word document, it really helps to see sentences and paragraphs in a different way. I’m noticing little things that I just didn’t see in the original document. It’s really helping me spot little mistakes!

2) Work on converting Novel #1 into first person.

Still on the shelf (and that’s okay).

3) Submit 5 pieces of writing.

I have three writing magazines queued up, so I can start searching for competition and submission opportunities.

4) Submit three query letters for Novel #2

I got my hands on some new resources that might help me give my query a boost. If those resources turn out to be sound, I’ll pass them along. During May, I’m hoping to dig into my query and complete some much needed revisions.

5) Continue building author platform

The bulk of April was devoted to completing the  A to Z Challenge. I’m proud to report I completed the challenge on time and without missing a single letter. Yay! Thanks to all my old and new readers for stopping by throughout the challenge.

As for social media, I spent more time in the blogosphere than I did Facebooking or Tweeting. With the challenge complete, I’m hoping to jump right back into the social networking scene.

My Facebook Page has grown from  284 to 291

On Twitter, my followers went from 528 to 525

Thanks so much to all my followers. Your support and encouragement means so much!

6)  Read three books on the writing/publishing process.

April was a good month for this goal, as well. I read How I Got Published Ed. by Ray White and Duane Lindsay. A full review is on the way, but in short I found this book to be very helpful and encouraging.

One down, two to go!

7) Inspire others to keep writing.

As always, I can only hope I am a positive presence!

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How are you doing on your 2013 goals?

– – –

c.b.w. 2013

Written in Stone


Temples to prose,
rooted in earth
Lessons preserved,
wisdom stands still
Should we forget,
the words crumble

Forest of Steles, Xi’an China
Photo by: c.b.w. 2005

The Forest of Steles is part of the Xi’an Beilin Museum in China. The museum holds about 3,000 steles, (both inside and outside) with tablets that date back more than a thousand years. These stone steles serve as markers for historical record, works of poetry and calligraphy.

– – –

c.b.w. 2013