My name is Jonene Ficklin, and I'm a full-time wife, mom, writer, and professional artist. I've been
drawing since I was old enough to hold a pencil. I use colored pencils, oil paints, and watercolors. I love what I do!
National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) starts tomorrow.
The goal is to complete a 50,000 word novel in one month, which works out to writing approximately 1666.66 words each day (or a little more if you take weekends off). It's wild, it's crazy, you get to watch your progress - as well as that of your writing buddies, and more people are joining each year.
Are you a writer or illustrator looking for a great conference to hone your skills? Well, I have one for you! It's Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers and it's held June 18-22, 2012 in Sandy, Utah.
This will be my third year and I can't say enough good about it! They have fantastic workshops and speakers. They bring in great writers, artists, editors, and agents. Prepare to be blown away with all the good stuff you'll learn. In fact, each day, you'll leave with your head so full of the latest and greatest, you'll be spouting absolute brilliance for the rest of the evening - so brilliant your friends and loved ones will have a hard time understanding you.
So, if you're looking to become the next J.K. Rowling or Mary GrandPre (the artist for Harry Potter books), check out their website and sign up!
Talk about timing! My awesome son, Zarin, and his awesome business partner, Matt, have created an awesome website for engaged couples. (Yes, it is proper to use the word 'awesome' three times in a sentence - if it's true. And it is.)
If you're married, do you remember all the hard work it took just getting prepared for the wedding? Half the battle is getting the word out (which includes the many details like the date, location, gift registry). Of course invitations, which are a joy and a treasure, usually take care of this. But sometimes those on the receiving end misplace them, or the invitations end up at a wrong address, or on the way they get blasted to smithereens by space aliens who despise pictures of kissing earthlings.
If you're newly engaged, or thinking about getting engaged, please ignore the previous paragraph. Seriously. Most invitations make it. I have a pile up to my armpit sitting right here.
And getting ready for the wedding is so much fun! To help keep it that way, go quickly to this site:
It makes the road to marriage bliss. Yes. I'm not lying.
And for everyone who knows someone getting hitched, feel free to pass on the link, and feel free to go on the site and 'like' it. You're welcome to browse and find out what it's all about, and what comes out of the minds of two twenty-something geniuses.
I have the right to call them geniuses because I know next to nothing about computers, web-design, and general genius issues that are necessary to launch a work of art like this.
Yup. Art. You'll see what I mean when you check it out.
So there you have it: Proud mother shamelessly promoting her son.
And I can honestly say he deserves it. Oh, and Matt too. : )
Please go visit her site. Now is a great time because she just happens to be running a contest. (And who can resist an Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card?)
So, onward. Here are the rules of the award:
In a post on your blog, nominate 15 sister bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award. (Fifteen isn’t mandatory, but it’s a nice gesture. Try and pick at least five.)
In the same post, add the Versatile Blogger Award.
In the same post, thank the blogger who nominated you with a link back to their blog.
In the same post, share 7 completely random pieces of information about yourself.
In the same post, include this set of rules.
Inform each nominated blogger of their nomination by posting a comment on each of their blogs
So, seven random pieces of information?
1. I'm shorter than I used to be.
2. I like sunshine.
3. I'm wearing running shoes.
4. I'm not a 'runner' per se - unless you count doing it in my car. (Then I run A LOT.)
5. I'm participating in a first page contest on http://throwingupwords.wordpress.com/. (See the January 23rd post: http://throwingupwords.wordpress.com/2012/01/23/project-writeway-season-1-episode-1/ for last weeks entries, and see today's post to vote for the latest round (it's coming after 10:00 a.m).
6. I didn't win in the first round, but I'm doing the home challenge. Be a doll and go vote for your favorites. Don't worry about trying to get mine. We all have pen names and we're not allowed to share them.
7. No, I'm not giving any hints.
Next, I'm passing this award on to these wonderful and amazing bloggers:
For the last ten years of so, I've made a special piece of artwork each Christmas to help me catch the Christmas spirit.
This year, I chose the most famous of gifts, those presented to the Christ Child by the Wise Men.
The King James Bible version reads:
Matthew 2: 1, 2, 11
“Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying,
Where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east and are come to worship him.
And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother and fell down and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.”
There is a lot of significance and symbolism in each of these three gifts. After a little research, here is a brief overview:
Gold – the symbol of Kingship on earth, and an item of great worth to all countries and peoples. This gift recognized Jesus Christ as Lord, King of the Earth.
Frankincense – is a milky white resin derived from tree sap that is prized for its sweet, warm, balsamic fragrance, as well as its medicinal qualities. It’s been found to benefit those with asthma, arthritis, Crohn’s diseas and collagenous colitis. Anciently, it was known to cure hemlock poisoning, leprosy, worms, snakebites, diarrhea, plague, scurvy and even baldness, as well as a treatment for depression. The finest frankincense comes from a small Boswellia Sacra tree that grows in the cool, arid areas of Somalia, Oman, Yemen and India – all lands east of Israel. Frankincense was used as part of the temple rites in the Old Testament. Judaic, Christian and Islamic faiths have used frankincense mixed with oil to anoint newborns and those moving into a new phase in their spiritual lives. The aroma is said to represent life. This was a gift worthy of a Messiah, one whose life had been long awaited.
Myrrh – is a resin that comes from the Commiphora tree. Its color can be anywhere from pale yellow to a reddish hue. It is found in the shallow, rocky soils of Ethiopia, Somalia and Oman. It has a warm, slightly musty smell and is a pale yellow to amber color. Myrrh cures many of the same maladies as frankincense as well as gastric ulcers, tumors and parasites. It is also one of the most effective disinfectants and was used to anoint loved ones who had died. It’s interesting that myrrh was used when Jesus was placed in the tomb.
The gifts of the Magi were practical, valuable, and highly symbolic. There's no doubt the Wise Men put a lot of thought into them and wanted to give the very best of gifts, as do we all - for those we truly love and care about.
Have a wonderful holiday season. I wish the best for you - good health, happiness, and prosperity in the New Year.
Summer always seems to pass so quickly. This year, it was mild and beautiful. I loved it. My plants loved it.
Bees loved it.
But other things did, too. I started seeing a LOT of grasshoppers. On my plants.
On the tree house.
Take multiple bugs. Add one kid who is kinda bored. What do you get? Accomplices.
They came in with that 'I have a wonderful surprise for you, Mom' look and plopped this down on the counter.
I pasted on my best 'Wow, that is the coolest thing I've ever seen' look, and let them talk. Wisely, I withheld the thought that I am a girl, my skin is crawling, this has to be violating some animal rights law somewhere, and that is sitting on the counter where I prepare food. And I had to quickly remind myself that these are kids, and life is an adventure. Let them have their adventure . . . for five more seconds.
I made it.
Then I explained about how happy those grasshoppers are to see them, but how much happier they'll be back in nature.
So my kind-hearted son grabbed the jar and headed for the door.
And then I heard a crash. You know those sighs that you never mean to have, but they just come, and they last forever? Well, I had one. Then I hollered for him not to move and step in the broken glass, and hopefully not-broken grasshoppers. I grabbed the broom. I grabbed the camera. And well, this is what you get.
Yup. You are my witness. No broken grasshoppers. They seem mighty hoppy - sorry - happy just hanging out on my door step. And door post. And door mat.
And (sorry about all the 'ands') when we're done sweeping up the mess, we might just join them.