Tag Archives: Guardian Angel Kids

Writing Wins and Woes: All About Monkeys

In my last blog I mentioned that I’d be “publishing” my own articles/stories in my blog that didn’t quite make it into other publications. When I try to get something sold, or published, I often have to try multiple venues. That’s just the way it is. What one person doesn’t like, another may, but often times I just write for a theme. I really don’t have any plans to publish this particular work elsewhere. Furthermore, I don’t really even know what other publication would have any interest in it.

That’s what these little articles are that I’m putting in my blog. I really enjoy writing about nature/animals so most of these that I’ll include are about them. The September issue of Guardian Angel Kids was all about monkeys. I sent in an article to them about an interesting species of monkeys called “Howler Monkeys” but it didn’t make the cut. I still think the article is interesting, though, so for your eyes only, my readers, here is my article.

The Loud-Mouthed Monkey

By Shari L Klase

What is the loudest animal in the New World? Bears are loud. Parrots are loud. Mountain lions are very loud, but the loudest animal is actually a monkey. This monkey is called a Howler Monkey. It is named for its howl that can be heard three miles away.

Howler Monkeys live in rain forests in Latin America. They are not only the loudest  monkey there but the largest. They grow anywhere from two to four feet tall. They have big necks and huge lower jaws to support their over-the-top vocal cords.

Why do these monkeys howl? The males howl to defend their territory. Different monkey families called troops holler back and forth to each other so they know where each other are at. They do this at the beginning and end of every day. Howler Monkeys eat leaves, fruit, nuts and flowers from trees so a protected food source is very important.

These monkeys have another interesting feature. They have a tail as long as their bodies that can grip tree branches. They hang from their tails while eating. That’s because Howlers live high up in the trees and rarely come down; not even to drink. They can get enough water from the leaves they eat. Sometimes they drink the water that collects on the leaves like a cup.

Howlers live in family groups of fifteen to twenty members and their leader is usually an old male monkey. There are nine different species of Howler Monkeys and their colors can be anywhere from gold to black. When Howler Monkeys have babies, several females will look after it and sometimes the males will, too, except for the very young males who may hurt the infants.

The Howler is one of the laziest monkeys around, resting 80 % of the time. They spend most of their time sleeping and grooming each other. But they don’t need an alarm clock to wake up. Their booming voices will do that every day!

****Side note: I’m very excited to be a part of a project from Knowonder! that has published readers for dyslexic children. Two of the four volume set have included a story of mine in them. They are not very expensive and they include delightful stories about dragons. Here is the link to those books if you know someone with a dyslexic reader.

dragon on a high hill  and  The Cloud Castle606

Writing Wins and Woes: Writing from the Heart

A famous writing saying is to write what you love. There is a lot of practical, common sense to this. If you are excited about the subject matter you are writing on, chances are others will be excited when they read about it. In fact, most of what I write is about something I am really interested in. That’s why I do a lot of kids writing.

My interests are: animals, kids, babies (not hard to figure that out right now), science fiction, fantasy, fairy tales, literature, spiritual things and cooking. As I look through the list of things I’ve written, I find that my first published work was  a short story about two kids and a dog, “Snow Treasure.”  It contains three of my interests: spiritual things, kids and animals. My one and only story for Daily Science Fiction, A Little Piece of Heaven, contains three of my interests also, animals, science fiction and spiritual things. I can go on and on with my list of published work and find that most contain at least two of the criteria for my interests.

It’s interesting to note that I succeed most at publishing something I’ve written when I’m most excited about the content. Can you write about something you don’t have as much interest in and get it published? Sure. I hate math, but I wrote an article that was very mathematical. In fact, I didn’t completely understand all I wrote. It was called “How many Petals on a Daisy” and it was published in GAK. From my research I developed an interest in the number of petals on different types of flowers. So I wrote the article. As a writer, you need to keep growing, even in things you may not initially have an interest or knowledge in, especially if you are writing a novel. Something will come up. Oh, there’s a fight in my story. I don’t like fighting, but I need to write a fight scene. There’s computer information in my story. I don’t know much about computers and how they work. I need to find out how they work. Sometimes research over the internet works, but often times you have to talk to somebody who knows their stuff. This is something I have trouble with. I don’t like to talk to people. I’m a loner. But a writer has to stretch themselves a bit when they want to excel at what they do.

Write about what you love? Sure. But try writing about something new, too. You might be surprised at the results and about what you learned in the process. 619

Writing Wins and Woes: Small Successes

Right now I am trying for small successes. I realized while replying to another blog lately that my writing successes were much higher in 2014 and have been in decline since then. What’s the difference? Well, for one thing I am writing a whole lot less. For another I am submitting a good deal less as well. Some of my original writing avenues have gone defunct, but in times past when that would happen, I’d find other means and ways to submit to places. I’ve had some emotional setbacks as well. Something akin to depression over empty nesting. It just didn’t set well with me.

When my world was turned topsy turvy two years ago, I re-evaluated my life. I began to think maybe writing wasn’t as important as family and frankly, does anybody even say frankly anymore?- well, it just took a lot of the joy away from my writing that I had before. I began to believe that all the writing successes in the world wouldn’t make me happy when I didn’t have the person in my life who made living worthwhile.

I’ve since had to move on. I had no choice. I didn’t want to move on. In many ways, I still don’t, but getting that old writing drive back has been no easy task. I lost the “oomph” if that’s a word. In other words, I lost hope.

So, I strive for small successes now. Any success is a big success if I’m enjoying what I’m doing and taking some kind of steps to re-invent myself. I have Guardian Angel Kids to keep me going. In some ways, that ezine has saved my writing sanity. I so like writing for kids and exploring the new topics for the stories and articles.  That said I have a brand new story in the August edition if you want to check it out. The theme is pets with disabilities.

What do I want to achieve most with my writing? I’d have to say getting my children’s book published. I hope I can do that someday. Until then I’ll move on with my small successes.melisa strolling Miles

Writing Wins and Woes: I Finished Something.

I think we’re probably about two-thirds through what is my summer because summer ends for me when school is back in session and I finally finished something. Yay! I did write a few articles over the summer for GAK but I’ve been working on a real story for a while and yesterday I finally finished it. It may need some fine tuning and it needs to be typed and submitted but it is written. I’m still so old school that I  often write my stories in a notebook. I can just write my story on a laptop but I like the feel of paper and pen. It’s just a preference for me.

Finishing things does not come easy for anybody. Starting projects is fun but after a while they can get boring or not work out the way we had hoped. Also, I tend to overthink. Well, this will probably be rejected anyway. Nobody will want to read it. It sounds kind of weird. When I was writing it, I thought it was great but now that I’m re-reading it, it’s kind of lame. On and On. I really do beat myself up quite a bit.

I really have to look back at what I’ve accomplished so far to spur me on to the next step. Our church has that motto: taking your next step. We all need to do that. Take the next step. We don’t have to make a giant leap, just a step.

Next week I will again be MIA. I am taking a little half week break to stay with my dear daughter and beloved grandson. Be back in two weeks. Until then, finish something.Miles smiling

 

Writing Wins and Woes: Moving Forward

I’ve had a brief hiatus from writing and my blog and I’m itching to begin my journey once again. For those of you who have been keeping up with my “new adventure” I’m now a grandma, and I spent a wonderful week keeping Miles and his mommy company last week. He had his first doctor visit and his first professional pictures and I’m so excited to add this bundle of joy to my life. I’m certain he’ll be in many future blogs.

I started writing again this week. I worked on an article for my favorite ezine, Guardian Angel Kids on Halloween pumpkins and if you are interested, you can click on the link, and read my article in July’s issue about Grandpas and Grandmas in school. It’s a very interesting concept and hopefully will be picked up by other preschools and homes for the elderly. Grandparents should never be obsolete. They have so much love to give.

I also was able to be published in Enchanted Conversation the mid-summer issue. This is a fairy tale magazine, and I love to write fairy tales. My story is the continuing saga of Sleeping Beauty. Check it out.

Last but not least, I have been interviewed by a good writing friend from the UK on her blog. I’m very excited to be included. Check it out here    The interview lists some of my hopes and dreams, reasons for writing, etc , etc.

So, lots of news. Hope to have some more good news in the future. This has been a good bunch of weeks for me. I’m finishing off with a plug both for early reading and my grandson, Miles. He’s a sweetie. Never to young to begin the reading journey.

reading to Miles

Writing Wins and Woes: Sundries

The old fashioned way. Typing.  The other day I was  talking to one of my best friends and she mentioned the word sundries. She thought it was a cool word and I did too, so I’m stealing it for my blog today, because it is all about sundries.

WIN_20160610_08_57_25_ProMy first Sundry is this poem I wrote about my Grandma. It was written a long time ago in memorial of her life. She was always laughing and smiling. She had 12 living children and still managed to laugh. If I had that many children my laughter would be from insanity.

I wrote two poems about her and this was the second. I am sharing the first one also.

This poem reminds me of the importance of family. I love Christmas but when I lost the person I loved, Christmas did not seem so appealing. In fact, it was downright depressing. I’ve found this to be true not only with death but when someone I loved moved away. I had a hard time finding any joy in my life after that.

So those are my first two sundries. My next sundry is good news and bad news. The good news is my fairy tale story about Sleeping Beauty was accepted at Enchanted Conversation. Yay. I’m so happy to be getting good news.  Because last week I got bad news. Although my story for Daily Science Fiction had been short listed, which is truly amazing, it ultimately was not picked. They added a little note to the rejection, A difficult decision. It made me feel a little better, but it was still hard.

My third sundry is my story for Guardian Angel Kids is in the June issue. It is also about grandmas, so it fits in well with this blog post. My poem talks about angels in Heaven and the story is about angels and grandmas. How cool is that? With writing, you have to take the good with the bad. Although I was disappointed and it had me depressed thinking about my story for Daily Science Fiction, I just told myself that there will be other opportunities. Keep on keeping on.

Text of poems:

Christmas without Grandma

Christmas without Grandma

Seems more than I can bear;

The something special about

Christmas is that

Family is always there.

Christmas without an evergreen tree

Would be so very sad…

But Christmas without Grandma?

She’s the only one I had!

Christmas without presents

I wouldn’t really miss;

Besides, I’d trade them in a moment

For the warmth of Grandma’s kiss.

Christmas without stockings

Hanging in a row;

Christmas without holly

and leafy mistletoe…

Yes, Christmas things are lovely,

As lovely as can be;

But lovelier far is the sight of

My dear Grandmother to me

I know Grandma wouldn’t trade

The blessings of her resting place,

But I’d trade all the joys

of Christmas for a glance

at Grandma’s face.

Oh, the angels up in Heaven

Are the luckiest of all,

Because at Christmas time in Heaven

They’ll be hearing

Grandma’s call!

****

Grandma’s Smile

I see Grandma’s smile everywhere,

I see it in a winter’s night,

Or in spring’s day so fair.

I see Grandma’s smile everywhere,

Her features are so fine!

I see them in a sunny day,

And in the stars that shine.

Sunny, laughing daffodils

Can’t match her laughing face

I hear her bubbly laughter

In every kind of place.

Grandma’s face was always

So sweet, so kind, so good;

Grandma had just the kind of laugh

A Grandma always should.

She always brought some sunshine

Into every dismal day.

You didn’t question how or why,

Because that was Grandma’s way.

I see Grandma’s smile everywhere,

In flowers, lakes and trees.

Grandma was as soft and sweet

As a cool and gentle breeze.

Many things I miss about Grandma,

But some things I’ll always see.

Grandma’s laugh and her smile

Will always be here with me.

By Shari Lynne Klase

In loving memory of Sara Kriner

WIN_20160610_08_56_55_Pro

Writing Wins and Woes: The 5 Minute Challenge

Do you feel like your writing life is lagging? Inspiration is needed. I certainly do. I’ve decided to take the 5 minute challenge. If any of you have ever seen the movie, “What About Bob” you’ll understand what I mean when I say, Baby Steps. You can’t always take giant leaps of faith. It gets overwhelming and daunting and you give up. I know I do. So you start small. Baby Steps.

I had a lousy writing week. I had legitimate excuses. Due to a tragedy at work, I had to take on extra hours. I worked day shift one day, which is prime writing time. Then I worked every day this week. Excuses aside, everybody manages to make time for what they really want to do. I didn’t write.

So I am starting the 5 Minute Challenge. I’m going to write 5 minutes every day. It’s laughable, I know. What do I expect to accomplish in 5 minutes? I don’t know. I may write more than 5 minutes. I may not. I encourage any reader I have out there to take this challenge with me. Write anything. Write a poem. Write a letter. Write in a journal. Just write.

Next week I’ll let you know how I did and what I wrote. Then I’m going to add another challenge; maybe increase the time or something else. Whatever I do, I hope you’ll join with me and challenge yourself to write.

And please read my article, published today in Guardian Angel Kids on River Horses. What is a river horse? You’ll have to read the article to find out.

044