Last weekend we went to see Jurassic World. I was not to sure about it. I mean really, how many time can you recreate a dinosaur and convince yourself this time no one will be eaten? Oh, but this one has something or should I say someone different – a hero that is funny and bad ass at the same time. And can ride a motorcycle like …well you have to see the movie. Just in case you need reminders of who Chris Pratt is – I have added pictures.
I really enjoyed it. But again I’m easy to please if you give me a little action, a hot guy with a little romance and a cute kid. There is a reason I’m a romance writer.
I do think one of the reasons this was such a hit was the star himself. How can you not love Chris Pratt? From chubby goofy guy to hot sexy guy that doesn’t take himself too seriously – when he found his chiseled body he didn’t loose the humor. He’s the kind of guy you want to have at your side if you have to run for your life. Even if you have to run in heels or protect the margaritas as you dodge flying dinos looking for a snack.
Here he is explaining how he has to warm-up for his action shots – Did I mention he was goofy?
A tweet from my editor is what actually sent me on a Chris Pratt hunt – Zookeepers are recreating the moment when Chris Pratt has to hold back his meat eating dinosaurs from making a meal out of one of the hired help. I just had to share. You have to check these out and tell me the one with the chickens did not make you laugh. Dare you.
As a writer, words are powerful. They create a world that didn’t exists before I put it on paper. Words have the power to give life to towns, cities and people that seem so real you want to sit at the coffee shop and have a chat. Yes, words can build worlds.
We have all heard the rhythm: Sticks and Stones will break your bones, but words can never hurt you. Ha! I think we can all agree that is a lie.
I bet if I asked you to tel me a time that someone tossed a negative word your way. It has created a scar on your heart. Maybe it’s scabbed over now, but I think everyone has those words that hang around, words that hurt.
I believe the spoken word has power. It can build someone up or tear them down. A carelessly spoken word can worm it’s way into the recipient’s brain and make a home there for years.
Being the voice that justifies fears and doubts. Silencing that voice can be difficult.
In education, research has taught us that for every one negative comment the human brain hears it takes three (some reports say four) positive remarks to balance the bad one.
Not overpower or wash away…just balance it.
As teachers we were challenged to make a paper bracelet and mark every negative comment that came out of our mouth. WOW! Even the most positive of teachers where shocked to find out much they focused on the bad.
Our words have power!
Do you use your power for good or bad? Do you use your power without thought?
I like doing word searches in the Bible – So I looked up Venomous Words. More verses than I bothered to count came up. Yes, the Bible has a lot to say about words we use. Here are my top 8 verses (I have one in twice- different versions):
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
Ephesians 4:29 ESV
I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak,
Matthew 12:36 ESV (Ouch – this one is scary)
But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.
Matthew 15:18 ESV
But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Colossians 3:8 ESV
We like to focus on the obscene and find fault with it easily enough. But what about the other, anger…slander I think are more socially acceptable. We have to watch all of our words.
Do you have a favorite saying or verse about the importance of words?
The United State of America…Home of the Brave…Sometimes they’re just words. Do you ever stop and think what they mean?
For many it was and is leaving everything you know for a hope of something better. In New York City the storyteller in me became enthralled, I felt the shadow of fear, hope and determination left by millions of immigrants. I could imagine them seeing the Statue of Liberty for the first time after a long grueling voyage.
On 9/11 the fear as they tried to flee on boats that were taking people away from the horrific destruction. The day we all turned to New York, helpless. Just like everything else on this small piece of Earth the 9/11 Memorial is overwhelming.
I walk the streets of New York, filled with people from around the world that now make America their home – the history, spirit and feel of America was in every stone, brick, window and steel frame that makes up the city. I have to say man’s ability to create a habitat beyond our imagination is awe inspiring and maybe a bit scary.
Here are a few of my favorite pictures.
The old reflected in the new.
Then there is the art…everywhere.
One thing that was suggested to us was to go to the website of The Metropolitan Museum of Art and map out what you want to see and go to those rooms first. This is a must or you might miss the art you really want to see – there is no way to see this museum in one day. They art they house is incredible so go with a plan and when you see the originals up close…well words can not do the emotions justice. I could do a whole blog on the art of New York.
To see the textures and colors up close is simply amazing. Even if you can’t make it to the museum, you should follow them on facebook. They share a piece of art each day.
This summer I get to go back to New York for the Romance Writers of America conference. I’m excited to go back to the city. Is there a place you would love to visit again? Have you been to New York? What is your MUST do when you are in the city.
There’s a rumor about Texas that we only have one season.
Some say we have two seasons..hot and hotter than hell.
I’m here to tell you it’s not true, not for the Hill Country anyway. We have football season
Then we have baseball season…
And the favorite in the Navarro household…Basketball season!
What? You weren’t talking about sport seasons? Well, than we do have hunting season….
Oh, you mean the seasons of weather? We do have more than HOT…let’s look at the evidence.
One of my Favorite seasons is fall or as some might call it autumn. A great deal of our trees and plants stay green but we do have some beautiful reds and yellows along the river.
Our winters are pretty mild. Ice is our worst enemy, but it never last past noon! LOL We have been known to get a few flurries of snow. Now remember, I’m central Texas, in the southern tip of the Hill Country. So West Texas and North Texas they have their own set of weather patterns. The hills must break up all that cold stuff that blows down from Canada. Poor Dallas. We do get all grey and cold looking but if it last more than a week we think something has gone wrong.
Aww..Springtime. Everyone loves spring , right? And it would not be a post about Texas If I didn’t include the Texas State Flower.
And then we have one of our most famous seasons and our longest…Summer. In Texas summer is best if you are on are by water.
I truly feel blessed to live in the Texas Hill Country. Just the act of driving to work and heading home at the end of the day can be spectacular.
The colors and lighting just makes me think how wonderful it is to be part of such a grand plan.
On Vacation one of my favorite activities is watching the sunrise and set. I got this from my father. He loved the rise and fall of the sun. When I see it, it helps me feel connected to him even though he has watching from the other side for almost 19 years now. Some of my best memories are sitting on a balcony or porch and just enjoying God’s work.
Most of these pictures where taken with my Galaxy 3.
I actually love to write while on vacation.
Do you have a favorite time of day? If you’re a writer do you write on vacation or take a break from the computer?
A fabulous group of authors invited me to add a short romance story and recipe to their collection: A Recipe for Romance. I was honored. First thought? What would make a perfect recipe to write a sweet romantic story around. Well, it had to have chocolate. So I went with Mexican Hot Chocolate!
Yes, I drink hot chocolate year round.
Mexican Hot Chocolate
4 CUPS of MILK
4-6 Pieces of chocolate baking bar
1/4 Cup Cornmeal
1/3 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Water
1-2 Cinnamon Sticks
¾ tsp Vanilla
Combine milk, sugar, chocolate baking bars and cinnamon sticks in pan over low heat until chocolate pieces melt completely. In a separate container, mix cornmeal and water and dissolve any lumps. Add cornmeal mixture to milk. Stir or whisk over very low heat for about 10-15 minutes. You will notice the milk will begin to thicken. Add pure vanilla extract after removing from heat. The more cornmeal thickens the milk, if you prefer it thicker add more cornmeal. Whisk it before serving to get a frothy topping. Grab a book and share a story while wrapped up in fuzzy socks, comfy blankets and a mug of the best hot chocolate ever.
In one of my literature classes in college I read A Room of Ones Own, by Virginia Woolf. I loved that short book, somehow it called to me, even before I thought I could be a professional writer. Before my brain could fathom making money as a writer. I mean come on those people were truly gifted, talented and mysterious and I bet they could spell. A shudder goes up my spine, they never failed a high school test because they spelled the answers wrong.
Anyway, I digress. Even back then, over twenty years ago, my heart loved the idea of being a writer. This little book touched that heart. Made me think of the women that were more servants than wives, women who never had the opportunity to read let alone write.
It a long essay that reads more like a letter to all women writers, well maybe society as a whole. Even thought by today standards I’m not sure I’m a feminist, but I believe every child has right to grow into the adult and fulfill a purpose only they can do.
A Room of One’s Own, covers her thoughts on society and art and sexism. Woolf, English writer and one of the foremost modernists and critics of the twentieth century, has an utterly entertaining conversational with us as she walks through the European history of women in writing. With humor and tongue in cheek she smoothly points out the success of the likes of William Shakespeare while lampooning the chauvinistic state of university education in the England of her day.
When she made the claim that to achieve their full greatness as writers women will need a solid income and privacy, Woolf pretty much invented modern feminist criticism.
There are a few things I need in order to write:
At times my quiet corner has been in my car as I wait in the pick up line or for volleyball, football or basketball practice to finish. I’ll write as I wait for a track event or a meeting to start. During my thirty minute lunch break I write dialogue. I make notes on my smart phone as I shop or drive. I have learned to create my own room wherever I am.
At home I do have an office I could write in, but I prefer to be close to the family. So I have made a creative corner at the end of my dining table. With my Beats and storyboard I’m good to go. The view is nice too.
I would also say that a writer needs a supportive community that understands the writing demons. I’ve been blessed to have a few of those too.
Do you have a corner or room that is just yours or a group that supports your dream?
Why are pirates so popular in romantic fiction? In reality he would make the worse boyfriend or husband but somehow many fantasize taming this ultimate bad boy. To be that woman he passionately loves above all else, gives up his ways. Well the ones she wants him to give up anyway.
Pirates have been around as long as humans have kept histories. If there is a wealthy establishment to rob from and freedom to be had pirates will be on a ship. For romance, the pirates might have stolen the …uh hearts of maidens heavily in the 90s.
The first pirate I remember falling hard for was James Malory in Johanna Lindsey’s, A Gentle Rogue
Yes that is Fabio.
Not really how I see James, but in the 90s you couldn’t avoid the long haired broad chested model.
Lindsay made a living with the Mallory men and women.
My favorite might be the one where Lindsay turned the tables and put the heroine as the pirate and what does she do? Tie him to the mast. LOL
You might be wondering why Lindsey’s pirates have shirts, but none of them are buttoned. The lady pirate took the shirt off of her man before she tied him to the mast. The other guys are smart enough to protect their shoulders from the sun, but leave them open so the salty breeze can cool their hot skin. Makes sense, right?
So from novels, movies started changing the way we look at pirates…well, maybe Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow has a great deal to do with that…
My new favorite pirate is Captain Hook in Once Upon A Time. The pirate can be the hero!
The twist is Pan is the bad guy…really bad.
Soon a new pirate movie will be hitting theaters, the untold story of how Captain Hook came to be…Hugh Jackman…Yes, my all Hugh Jackman will be Blackbeard. Do you remember a while back when he was sporting a weird beard and bald head? It was for this role.
So I think I have spent enough time thinking about pirates…do you like them or do you prefer another type of hero…cowboy, rich businessman, guy next door, athlete, doctor, fire fighter, lawman, soldier…so many to pick from. What about twisting old stories upside down? Do you appreciate the creativity or want things to stay the same…DON”T MESS WITH MY HEROES!
When my oldest daughter was born I would tell her alphabet stories. I was inspired by Graeme Base’s illustrated book Animalia.
As she started school the teachers worried that she wasn’t learning as fast as she should. They suggested that I read to her. I explained I did read to her, every night, during the day, we even made up stories based on alliteration from the time she was born.
If she was having a hard time learning sounds and letters they wanted to blamed it on her environment (aka mom and dad’s fault).
To say the least, frustration would knot my stomach. From Kinder on the second grade I heard the same thing – “You need to read to her more. She needs to see you reading.” Really? I read all the time..some in my family might even say too much. My husband read. He loved reading to the kids. I knew something else was wrong. Finally we took her to a sociologist and neurologist husband/wife team. They changed her life in school. At that point she was too young to be diagnosed with dyslexia, but as it turned out she was severely dyslexia. We did discover that if we tied movement into the learning processes she did better. Having her move her finger in the air as she blended sounds, shooting a basketball as she went over her spelling list made it happen for her.
Unfortunately movement is frowned upon in school especially elementary. Especially when a teach doesn’t “believe” that dyslexia is a real thing and says she is just being lazy. That was a rough year.
I don’t know if it made it easier or harder that learning came without effort to her younger sister and brothers. One of my favorite memories is her reading to our youngest on his bedroom floor. She could read his picture books out loud without fear of being judged.
School years of struggling and working hard were ahead of her. Once she got in middle school and high school she did start enjoying school more. I think it was because of the sports and all the walking between classes. Secondary gave her more freedom and socializing opportunities. She wasn’t “pulled” out of class. She still had to work twice as hard as my other kids but she loved school and was always a favorite with her teachers. I think because they saw how hard she worked. She has prevailed and is getting closer to finishing college.
We tell all of our kids to keep moving forward, failure is just a sign that you are trying and working, don’t let it stop you. Every path is different and as long as you are working toward those goals you are progressing.Can you guess which one she if of our four in this picture?
There are many ways dyslexia manifest it self and some people just don’t understand how letters, made of of lines and shapes came move on people. If images shift on you can you imagine trying to figure out the difference between b, d, p, q? It has nothing to do with intelligence it is about decoding abstract symbols.
In college I discovered I had what is called dysgraphia. I could always read really well and fast, but I could not spell to save my life. One reason I waiting until I was forty before believing I could sell a story I wrote. Author’s like Jodi Thomas encouraged me.
I’m sharing one of our O stories: On the Ocean:
One overcast day an ocelot obviously hiding in the oat grass observed an Old English Sheepdog playing opossum next to the ocean. Offshore an odd sight was taking place. An octopus was overtaking an orca over the waves. The dog’s ordinary owner from Oklahoma was obsessing over the original and outstanding opera singer who originated from Oregon. He ordered two dozen orchids and gave her a standing ovation. She fell head-over-hills in love.
I love romance and traveling. With a long list of places I want to walk through and explore, I get excited when I get to mark one off. As a writer I want touch, smell, hear and experience the character of each place, the unique weaving of history and culture that can only be savored first hand. New Orleans was one of those places.
Well, maybe not so much the smelling — but if you stay away from Bourbon Street in the wee morning hours before they power wash the uh.. evidence away, you’ll be fine)
I was surprised how much I loved this city. I’m not a party kind of girl and when I thought of New Orleans I thought Bourbon Street and Madi Gras.
We stayed in the French Quarter and there is so much to do that doesn’t involve Bourbon Street that we spent hours walking around and of course you have to have a midnight snack at Cafe Du Monde.
Shops, restaurants, bars art galleries are all nested together in the French Quarter. Neat little areas that can get over looked are all over the place.
You don’t even have to go in most of the buildings to enjoy the art work.
There is enough in the French Quarter to make great memories, but how can you go to New Orleans and not explore the cemeteries? We walked to Canal Street and hopped on a Ttolley.
If you like more traditional shopping Canal Street (on the edge of the French Quarter and Downtown is full of shops.
We took the trolley to the Garden District and walked through the historical cemeteries. It’s like going through a museum. Which we did also. New Orleans has so much to offer we plan on going back.
It is worth staying in the French Quarter though…it is like stepping into another world.
Opposite of the trollies on the other edge of the French Quarts is the Mississippi River. It is worth the ride on the paddle boat as live music plays. (Skip the over priced dinner. Really,) As you head back to dock, the sun is setting over New Orleans – it’s beautiful.