Thursday, July 19, 2018

Camping Creatively

The Creative Pile

Whenever I'm out and about, I always carry something from my creative stash shown above, wether it's my computer, a journal and a pen, or my blackout poetry bag. When the creative mood strikes, I want to be ready, and it keeps me being one happy camper. Sometimes I look forward to the oil change taking a little longer than expected, or a friend who's consistently late to coffee. My time isn't being wasted, it's still my own because I've got my stuff.

Currently, we're gearing up for a week of lakeside camping and part of my packing routine is to cobble the pile shown above into a nice, neat little package to stow in the trailer. Stuff meet the Tetris Queen.

PACKING LIST

1.) Writing - computer and journal
2.) Story time - audio books for the road trip, paperbacks, and my Kindle in case of insomnia 
3.) Blackout poetry - old book pages, colored pencils, sharpener, and an eraser
4.) Rock painting - acrylic paints, Mod Podge, and paint brushes
5.) Heart book marks - paper, glue, and scissors
6.) Editing - critiques from writing partners 

Portable Magic

Too bad the sewing machine doesn't fit! Lol. Regardless...if there is a burst of creative energy, I'm ready.
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"You can, you should, and if you're brave enough to start, you will." ~ Stephen King

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Sharing Books with Little Free Libraries

Road Trip!
Montana Bound

I took my kids on an adventure to the Flathead Valley last week, which was my first trip driving The Narwhal and pulling our little Jayco trailer. I packed several copies of Dealing with Blue and Riding with the Hides of Hell--now titled Burnout--to tuck onto free shelves as I found them, in a sort of quiet marketing kind of way. The first shelf I came across was in the office at the campground where we stayed. I asked if I could donate my books to their reading nook and they were all for it, so I was off to a good start.

LaSalle RV Park
Columbia Falls, MT

Free Library 
West Kalispell

When I came across this little house full of books, free standing on the street corner (above), I remembered reading about Little Free Libraries and decided to look up the Kalispell zip code 59901 to see where others might be located.

East Kalispell


East Kalispell

East Kalispell

I had so much fun searching for these little houses, tucking a book inside, and taking pictures that I wish I had a lot more books and a lot more time! It was like leaving Easter eggs filled with good vibes around town. 

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"Take a book. Share a book."~ Free Little Library

Sunday, July 01, 2018

July Reading Challenge: Independence

July Reading Challenge: Independence
Indie Authors, Indie Books

I don't have too many physical indie books on my shelf to take pictures of since most of them are on my Kindle. So for a good five-book photo layout, I shamelessly included my own books:

1.) Dealing with Blue by Stacia Leigh

and...

2.) Burnout by Stacia Leigh

The next book in the photo is a gift from my mom, a romance by a local indie-author from Oregon. Westerns aren't one of my go-to genres, but I'm willing to give it a chance:

3.) South of Wisdom by Edith Webster

Apparently, my mom is a big proponent of independently published books, because she also bought her grandkids a detective series for the young set. I read the first one and liked it...so onto number two:

4.) Blondie McGhee: Hidden in Plain Sight by Ashley Eneriz

And then there's the book with a man's chest on the cover and the word "naked" in all caps...color me interested:

5.) The NAKED Truth About Self-Publishing by The Indie Voice

Now, onto the digital world where I have a ton of books that I bought early on and have never read. The first two that popped up on my Kindle made it onto this month's TBR pile:


6.) Angelfall by Susan Ee


7.) My Heart for Yours by Steph Campbell

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"I didn't get here by dreaming or thinking about it. I got here by doing it." ~ Estée Lauder
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Friday, June 15, 2018

Business Card Stamp

I decided to make a business card stamp so I could use it to on various papers and incorporate my information into handcrafted corner bookmarks, which I will do *someday* soon. I went to Etsy and found SayaBell Stamps where the transaction couldn't have been easier. It shipped pretty quickly, too. 

Stacia Leigh
Teen stories with flirt, grit, and small town fun
www.stacialeigh.com

Say what?
SayaBell Stamps

The stamp details are engraved in the wood "handle" and came in a cloth pouch. Just wonderful. A great experience all around.

For a quick stamp test and photo shoot, I cut a couple of old Dealing with Blue proof covers down into 3.5 x 2" cards and stamped away. I love the recycled aspect of these cards! They have a nice feel to them as well.

Friday, June 01, 2018

June Reading Challenge: Leftovers

It's June! We're half way through the year, which seems like a good time to catch up on books that were in the previous reading challenges but never read. It's the month for leftovers.

June Reading Challenge: Leftovers

My reading list is to give a second chance to one book from each of the five challenges below:

1.) January: Make It Work
Read a career-oriented book - Creating Character Emotions by Amy Hood

2.) February: Wear Red
 Inspired by the 15th Annual National Wear Red Day - Love in Lowercase by Francesc Miralles 

3.) March: Shoes
Shoes on the cover - The List by Siobahn Vivian  

4.) April - The Kids' List
Middle Grade books recommended by the young team - Road to Paris by Nikki Grimes
5.) May: The Letter A
An alphabet book challenge -  A Totally Awkward Love Story by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

PNW Painted Rocks

After years of loading the car, making ice for the cooler, and tenting it...we were ready to upgrade our camping experience. The first step, buy a truck and the next, buy a travel trailer. Done!

184 BH Jayco
Or in my case...like a woman! Boom! Done.

The Dining Room

The Kitchen

The Bath
The Layout

Our maiden voyage for both rigs was to Battleground State Park for our annual camping trip over Memorial Day weekend. How fun and we had the best luck for travel and weather. Another bout of luck came when we found this painted rock on our first day:

A Good Omen
A Painted Rock by P. Gray

It was hidden at the base of a big tree and covered in sap. Written on the back of the rock was, "Post to [I think it says PNW Rocks] on FB when found. Keep or hide. P. Gray, 2018." It was legible until I used hand sanitizer to smear the pitch off, and then I guess I scrubbed to hard, which made the back difficult to read. 

First Voyage a Success!

I found two Facebook pages dedicated to painting, hiding, and finding rocks. Check out PNW Rocks and Pacific Northwest Painted Rocks (#PNWPR) We decided to keep Gray's art with our Jayco to remind us of our first successful voyage and to keep the good vibes close at hand. However, to keep the good will flowing, the kids and I will paint some of our own and start hiding. A fun Easter Egg hunt for the summer months. 

Keep your eyes peeled.

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"Everyone on Earth has a treasure that awaits him." ~ Paulo Coelho

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Annual "Thank you, Coach" Card

"Win or learn, never lose."

It's that time of year again, to make cards for the coaches, big fat thank-yous for the kids to sign. Coaching takes money, time, and a lot of positive energy, so HIGH FIVE to the parents that step up and volunteer for the job.

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"Coaches build teams; parents build players." ~ Charles Piazzi Smyth