Tag Archives: Writing

The Old Trunk Or Creative Jewel?

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Here is a fun spot in Hood River, Oregon. Make sure to take your camera to search for all kinds of treasures. Bring money for the ice cream!

by Kimberly A. Cook

Creativity is a muscle that needs to be exercised. One of my favorite ways to get the imagination train moving is shopping antique stores and flea marts. Not only is it a photographer’s paradise, it is so much fun finding treasures hiding in plain sight.

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The vinyl mother lode! Actually, I have a cabinet full of vinyl myself, so feels like home. Notice the vintage radios and album carrying cases on top. I have one of those too.

Last week on our road trip we stopped at The Old Trunk in Hood River. This killer combo of antiques and soda fountain, plus fruit later in the year is a fun jaunt. I’ll admit we were lured in by the promise of huckleberry ice cream on their website; I’d go just about anywhere for huckleberries. Ice cream too.

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These are cameras before the one in your phone.  Upper left? No batteries, ran on person power.  Viewfinder in the middle with the round disks? Video games for Boomers. Bottom left, Polaroid camera only known to the young people now due to Taylor Swift. Round canisters in the middle? Real film! No digits! Vintage rules.

With the trusty camera along, my creativity gets inspired and things jog my memory or I marvel at items combined in a different way. Of course, seeing all books a buck about sent me into a buying spree. I controlled myself; my bookshelves are overflowing.

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Soda fountain! That red contraption in the middle is the soft serve ice cream machine. They mix Tillamook vanilla ice cream with fresh huckleberries, or other berries, and heaven happens.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t buy ice cream! One of the owners described the crowds they are seeing now and how crazy it will get as the season gets warmer. We lucked in between the crowds late in the day at 4 p.m. for a high ice cream, instead of high tea.

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Soft serve huckleberry ice cream. Fabuwonderfulfantabulous! Trust me.

Simple pleasures, good friends, good weather and ice cream. Living the dream!

Whether you wander on purpose or journey to a destination, take your camera along and prepare to experience some whimsy.

Exercise your creativity muscles!

 

https://www.oldtrunkhr.com/

 

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Writing, Cats And Glitter?

by Kimberly A. Cook

This week I’m determined to get the final edited copy of my military romance fiction book “Mission: Tinderbox” out to my beta readers. What are beta readers? Dedicated hardcore friends/readers/fellow writers who take a final look to make sure it all makes sense and perhaps find a typo or two.

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Spec Ops Cat helping me not edit my manuscripts. How could I move this cute guy? 

 

On my non-fiction book, I had eleven beta readers. They each found something different. Pretty amazing. Also amazing was taking the eleven printed manuscripts in binders on an editing retreat in the wilds of Goldendale, Washington to cat sit for my friends Gate Girl and her hubby. Three days, three cats, sixty acres, visiting deer and one biblical thunderstorm later I had all the edits compiled. Worked out great.

But it appears all those distractions I handled back then are nothing compared to the challenges of one Spec Ops Cat at home. Somehow he manages to show up at the right time to make the maximum impact on what I’m trying to do.

Whether he is napping on my manuscripts to edit, stepping into the bead box during play time or suddenly appearing from the mist to stand over my keyboard putting fur in my mouth, he arrives. Then he proceeds to actually step on a key and mess up the manuscript with a long line of zazazazazazazazaza that he did yesterday. How can one small cat be such a diversion?

With these challenges I’ve taken to rewarding myself before I complete goals these days, since that improved my motivation cleaning out the family home last month. I’ve discovered a new addiction too; glitter. So the glitter drawer is now full in the office/craft room and I still need to get this manuscript polished.

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Notice whose paws are in the craft container on my lap while I try to sort dice beads.  Fur gives him away.  Can’t even tell you how quickly this can all go bad… very bad.

 

Perhaps by confessing in public I can make myself grind it out. Bought the three-ring binders and mailing boxes yesterday, so now all that is left is the final read, edit work,  making copies and mailing.

Piece of cake.

Must be a glitter sale somewhere? Right?

 

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Curiosity Begets Creativity?

by Kimberly A. Cook                 (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

A couple Sundays ago I dragged, er invited my author buddy Cindy Hiday to go see author Elizabeth Gilbert talk abut her new book “Big Magic – Creative Living Beyond Fear” on her book tour.

My reading copy on the left, I take the dust cover off. My autographed copy on the right which lives on the special signed first editions keeper shelf in my office. Very "Big Magic" indeed.

My reading copy on the left, I take the dust cover off. My autographed copy on the right which lives on the special signed first editions keeper shelf in my office. Very “Big Magic” indeed.

I was so excited to attend even on a Sunday night in downtown Portland. On our way into the theater I saw piles of books. We were each given one. Seventh heaven. I’d already bought the book and had been reading it using pink highlighter and flag tags, but this one was autographed. Yeah!

Listened to Liz read from “Big Magic” and then she answered questions from a huge stack of audience question cards. It was a fun and brilliant evening which ended with everyone singing “Country Roads” with the help of John Denver piped into the theater. Perfect.

It’s so nice to hear an accomplished author speak about creativity as a good thing which everybody has and not some burden guaranteed to drive us all nuts. Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book so far.

“(because in the end, creativity is a gift to the creator, not just a gift to the audience).”

“You do not need anybody’s permission to live a creative life.”

“Possessing a creative mind, after all, is something like having a border collie for a pet: It needs to work, or else it will cause you an outrageous amount of trouble.”  

‘If you’re alive, you’re a creative person.”

“I’m talking about living a life that is driven more strongly by curiosity than by fear.”

That last one really hit me in the brain. Wow. I am a very curious person and I’m never more happy than following some research topic or article down the rabbit hole in search of something new. The act of discovery through curiosity is better than chocolate.

Plus fear sucks, so let’s all bypass it with curiosity. Liz Gilbert rocks! I am reading her book in little bits each night before bed, savoring it like a pint of Rocky Road ice cream. If you’re looking for a good book about the joy of creativity, this book is for you.

“Big Magic” is divided into six parts; Courage, Enchantment, Permission, Persistence, Trust and Divinity. There are topics ranging from road trips to fairy dust. Who can argue with fairy dust? Put it on your wish list for Santa or snap it up now for yourself.

Got curiosity? You’re creative!

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Skulls, Halloween Candy And Tiaras?

by Kimberly A. Cook          (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

This year is flying by and I realized I don’t have any Halloween decorations up at home. My last luncheon visit to my favorite antique store I stumbled upon this snappy skull dressed with a tiara. Now I’m not that thrilled with skulls, but I’m a big fan of tiaras so I had to take a pic. Decorating idea. In my case the tiara would be on a pumpkin. A baby pumpkin.

Skull with tiara. I was not kidding!
Skull with tiara. I was not kidding.

I won a pumpkin decorating contest at the day job one year with a miniature pumpkin decked out in a mini Santa hat and sunglasses. No carving even. I’m lazy. It’s all in the presentation folks.

Organizing the candy shelf at home this past weekend, it used to be a bowl but it grew, I unearthed some leftover candy from last Halloween. Not sure how that happened, but miracles do occur during the holidays.

The sunrises and sunsets are getting closer together now and all I want to do is hunker down with a book, bottle and blankie. My bottle would be filled with chocolate milk. I’m a wild one! With the urge to hibernate coming on, I focus on the holidays to distract me from the short dark days. Plus I look forward to staying inside and reading.

A member of my writer group mentioned there might be another pumpkin shortage. I went straight to the store and loaded up on Libby’s canned pumpkin and Carnation evaporated milk. Safe for another year. I may still have some pumpkin leftover from the last shortage scare. Might this be a marketing ploy at some point?

I also picked up a new pumpkin spice muffin mix I saw at the grocery store. Plus I’m on the hunt for my special pumpkin chips I can buy only at this time of the year. Which is another reason why the repair person will be installing a new motor in my treadmill in a week; I actually killed the motor. Heaven knows I cannot go into the holidays without a working treadmill. It’s the calorie grazing season!

Hope you all are enjoying your pre-Halloween test candy so we can all go out and buy the real Halloween candy for the treaters.

Happy Snacking? Got candy? Run for the pumpkin products too!

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Squirrel Shakes? Shake Squirrel? Who Knew?

by Kimberly A. Cook             (Twitter@   WarriorTales)

So it’s not just me. Even the animal kingdom knows it’s Fall and they’re stocking up on food. This little squirrel went nuts over a milkshake. I can’t blame him I have the same problem with chocolate shakes, including trying to get the lid off the dang cup.

Of course, I don’t think we need squirrels high on sugar too. Chaos! So people, finish your milkshakes. Save a squirrel from sugar.

Have a great weekend and Happy Quirky Friday!

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Time For A Gummy Dance?

by Kimberly A. Cook              (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

So I did my usual weekly weigh-in this morning and gack! Too many Easter treats, over my five-pound weight limit cushion. To be honest, I’d been flirting with the edge for weeks, but now it’s time to get serious.

At the time an image came to mind of one of my favorite YouTube videos below. If I keep eating like this my butt will look like Gummy Bear’s too. Since this video always makes me smile, here is an encore. And maybe I can do some cardio dancing like Gummy Bear. Couldn’t hurt!

Click off the ad and subscription tags so you can get the full Gummy Bear dance and music experience. Then let’s get moving! Have a great weekend and Happy Quirky Friday!

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Got Vinyl Records In Your Closet?

by Kimberly A. Cook                (Twitter@ WarriorTales)

Spent a busy weekend having Spec Ops Cat’s teeth cleaned, shopping and watching a ton of football. I even managed to get some housework done during the commercial breaks for the NFL playoffs. Those ad breaks are quite long.

See, a vinyl display! In the store!

See, a vinyl display! In the store!

But one of my favorite things was cruising the aisles of Barnes and Noble bookstore on Saturday. Was on a mission to pick up a cookbook my Mom wanted and a book I needed. Plus I found other things too. Always happens. Some things were half price on holiday clearance. Score!

Came around one aisle and ran right into a display of vinyl records. Wait one. Talk about an unexpected meeting. I did a double take and eventually took a picture. No one would believe this. Vinyl is back. I’ve heard whispers of this and read articles, but when there is an actual display in a retail store, time to pay attention.

Now, I confess I still have all my 33 rpm records from the old days. Also have the 45 rpm records and some 78s from my folks. For the digital natives among you, vinyl records are the prequel to the music cd. They are black mostly, vinyl, subject to scratches and bigger than a Frisbee. But they sit inside fantastic album covers.

With the age of steampunk parties, manual typewriters in vogue again and now vinyl, what are the possibilities? Maybe boomers will be cool one day too. Miracles happen!

Got vinyl?

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