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Live Through Us at The Burrow

Month

June 2015

When Gizmo’s Get Jealous

Part shiatsu, part Pomeranian, part rat terrier, Gizmo is all ham!

Gizmo

This little dog shares nothing with anyone, and is more than spoiled rotten.

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He has nothing to do with any other animal, especially the cats.

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Although, there are times he will demean himself to touch one.  Of course, they usually wish he didn’t. (In case you can’t tell, he’s lying on top of one.)

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And Heaven forbid another animal get a picture taken of them!

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What…a…mess…

cute dog

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Pepper’s Retirement

Remember Pepper?  The one who was…really really old?

After that last calf-

pepper

We decided it was time to retire her.  And what better way to retire, then to go out help hungry families.

The Burrow Farm is proud to announce that its contribution of Pepper fed families in need at Bread of Life Ministries in Crossville, TN.  It’s not often we get to toot our own horn, and I wasn’t really sure that I should.  But we are.

(Rest assured, Pepper lived a long life, over 11 years, and was well respected and treated.  It was with great sorrow that we had to retire this sweet girl.  Her calf, Spice, has a white spot on her udder, just like her momma, and was fully weaned before we allowed them to take Pepper off.)

My method for finding an agent

My method for finding an agent is as follows:

The first sources I’m using are the #MSWL hashtag on twitter, and googling “literary agents actively seeking middle grade”.  The hashtag is “manuscript wishlist”.  This is a great source, and should probably be everyone’s first (IMO).  Agents are advertising their desires, what they want in a manuscript.  Does your ms match their wish?  QUERY!!  And put #MSWL in the subject line or at least the letter itself.

The Google search mainly got me blog posts from WD, but they were still helpful.  I got one or two from them.  These agents are usually new.  Many writers actively search for reputable agents.  That’s great, but there’s nothing wrong with a new agent.  I’m a new writer.  Highly reputable agents probably aren’t going to take on that many non-highly reputable writers.  By no means does this mean you settle with a “bad” agent, but I am actively querying new agents with gusto and hope.

How long do you search?

This depends on each person.  For me?  At this point in time, I’m giving it six months.  I may change my mind as time goes on; there’s really no way of knowing for sure.

What do you do in the meantime?

This also varies.  It’s easy for me.  The ms I’m querying is the first of a series.  I’m currently writing synopses for the next three books.  After that, I’ll outline/plot out the next three as applicable.  And then, I’ll write book 2.  So I suppose, instead of six months, I’ll query until I finish book 2.  And then I’ll really have no choice but to move on.

But for others, they may want to write shorts or flashes for magazines, enter a few contests, or start another big project.

What do you do if you don’t get an agent?

Originally, I had another project, but I have since changed my mind.  I have heard so many wonderful things on book 1 (things I didn’t hear on my shorts), that I will self-publish.  I hope to not go that route.  It’s dark and scary.  My main concern with SP-ing is that most SP books are, well, not published by a TP for a reason.  And my book will automatically be grouped with those books from the get-go no matter how good or bad it is.

No matter what your choice is, direct TP, agenting TP, or SP, I wish you the best of luck!

I had no idea I was a witch

Most people know I have a black cat-Knight

black cat

And that I make a lot of my own things.  Butter, soap, teeth whitener, facial toner, growing my own…everything.

potion pantry

But most do not know that I have cauldron.

cauldron

I had completely forgotten about it myself, but my grandmother used this to wash their blue jeans.  She’d light a fire under it and heat up the water, etc.  Cool, right?

But even I didn’t know I had a pet black widow.

black widow

I turned over the cauldron, expecting to find a snake, but instead found this.   AAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!  (I’d’ve rather found the snake.)

Our Trip to Lake Winnie

We went to Lake Winnie yesterday.  A pleasant drive, less than 3 hours, to Chattanooga.  We arrived 20 minutes early.  Good.  Better than late and with killer parking.

I donned my swim suit under my shorts and a T, and lathered on the sunscreen.  I don’t normally wear sunscreen.  In fact, this is the first time I’ve worn it in over 10 years.  It smelled like hairspray, but worked great!  All day with only a bare bit of pink here and there.

On to the excitement-My favorite ride was by far was the Cannon Ball.

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Do not miss this.  Again, seriously.  Do not miss this.  (I’m a huge fan of wooden coasters though) It was the most fun only comparative to the Screaming Eagle of Six Flags over Georgia or the Thunderhead of Dollywood.  We loved it!  We even bought one of those pictures they take of you on a ride.  (We never get those.  WAY too expensive!!!)  But we had to on this one.

lake winnie

For one, it’s a great picture of us (the middle couple).  For another, check out the girl behind us.  Too funny!  Poor thing.  I hope they got a picture of her 🙂

Winnie also has a water park.  Soakya

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I bought a new suit.  A cute, modest suit.  Unfortunately, it was a little too modest.  It looked like regular clothes.  Everyone couldn’t decide if I needed to wear less or put on more.  It was like this (had to piece two pictures together.)  A halter top with a mini skirt (it had a regular bathing suit bottom under the skirt).  I still think it’s cute :P!

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But aside from that, the lazy river was relaxing and enjoyable.  The slides were crazy (we flipped over a lot).  And Marcus got over his fear of several things.

And then…

Add another moment to my most embarrassing list.  I had just pulled my clothes out of our bag, including undergarments, in order to change.  But we wanted to do one more thing before we left.  So, I wrapped up my knickers in my shorts and placed it on the chair we had our stuff on.  You know those lawn chairs that are adjustable?  Well, ours was laying down, like this:

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We finished our last activity and were walking back to our chair within clear view of a couple and their toddler nearby.  The toddler decided to sit on the head of the lawn chair.  This resulted in catapulting my clothes through the air to his father who then proceeded to pick up my released underwear from the ground and place them on the chair.  Now, this wasn’t all that embarrassing.  It was only a strange man who spoke Spanish with his wife as they got up and left from what happened.  They only saw me and knew who I was.  I had only been wearing my underwear all day in 96 degree weather after a 3 hour drive to an amusement park.  What’s so embarrassing about that?

Enjoy your summer 🙂

The Chunky Method with Sticky Notes

Remember when I did a post on using Sticky Notes to organize yourself?  Well, now there’s another way to use them.

Allie Pleiter has a book out, The Chunky Method

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This method of time management and organization is not just a great way for writers to finish projects, but for many people to complete many tasks in their lives.  After spending weeks trying to find a spreadsheet or application that would help me to do as she described in her lecture, I finally fell back onto my old Sticky Notes scheme.  Here’s what I came up with (click on the image to enlarge it):

the chunky method with sticky notes

On the far right, I place any task that needs doing.  I color code it: white for office work, purple for writing work, and green for housework.  I only allow one of each color per day.  Period.  If something else gets done, great, but it’s not required.

Most planners have time schedules.  Do this at 8AM or this at 2PM.  If you’re like me, this isn’t practical.  I have no idea if I will have survived until 2PM, let alone be able to do said chore.  My method allows for everything to get scheduled without the pressure of time restraints.  It also requires you to space your tasks out so you don’t overwhelm yourself or feel too pressured.

I hope this helps.  And thank you Allie Pleiter for your Chunky Method 🙂

The New Washer

It seems a lot has been going out lately.  If you’ll recall, I just lost my monitor.  (My new one is 22″, so much more manageable.)  So yesterday, I planned to have Anya finished.  But alas, I needed to do a load of laundry.  Not a big deal, just one load, right?

Guess again.  This is me we’re talking about, remember?

I bought one of those front loader washers years ago in Knoxville.  It smelled bad and never cleaned my clothes.  We sold it to my sister-in-law who somehow loves it.  I don’t know what magic she’s using, but it works for her.  This place came with a washer.  I don’t know how old it was exactly, but I saw wagon trails leading up to it.  Anywho, it’s been trying to go out for years.  Yesterday, it succeeded.  No rinse.  No spin.  Just a wash.  It’s done this before, but this time I couldn’t get it to go.  I finally made it drain the water and spin it “dry” by leaning on it just right.

Arlis tried to get it working, only to discover someone else already worked on it in the past.  Yup.  It had met its end.  And now sits on the back porch awaiting the Hereafter.old washing machine
And after searching online, reading reviews, watching videos, I decided to get this:

LG washing machine

It’s an LG WT1101CW.  Seems LG is the thing to buy in washers right now.  My personal opinion is because they’re new to the appliance market, and therefore their stuff is good.  Once they’ve built a reputation, they’ll slide.  So buy ’em up now!

I may be wrong though.  Hope I am.  We can use better quality things in the world.  My new monitor (it’s really a TV) is also an LG, and I’m pretty happy with it.  But I digress.

I love this new washer.  It’s so much fun to watch!  It’s silent, plays a tune instead of buzzes when it needs you, doesn’t have an agitator, and gets my clothes really clean.  It also uses less water (not really an issue for us), and holds TWICE the amount of clothes the old one did.  I did need a bigger one.  This way I can wash my comforter without pulling it out dry and covered in dried soap.

I hope this is all I have to buy for a LONG time!  And I also hope I get my friggin book done!!

My new monitor

Had to share this.  Too funny.

So, I got a new computer, right?  Well, my old monitor finally went out yesterday.  Sooo, I borrowed my dad’s TV until the new one comes in.

32" monitor

Is that not hysterically huge?  I have to practically back away to use the thing.  Crazy.  I know that some people want them this big, not me.

As you can see below, it works well.  It’s 32″.  I have a 22″ on the way.  Oh, and in case anyone wants to know how, you just hook it up depending on what your video card offers.  Many TV’s come with a VGA input.  I used HDMI on this one in order to avoid an extra sound cord.  Nothing to it.

big monitor

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