Writing Prompt #160: The ABC Book Challenge (The Letter O)

The ABC Book Challenge - L


Memorable Books that Start with the Letter “O”:

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On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

  • This is by far one of my favorite memoirs, and writing craft books. I first found the book on a whim at the library. I loved it so much, I knew I needed my own copy. This book is staying on my bookshelf forever.

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One Hundred Years of Solitude

  • This was a hard book to read and digest in high school, but it was definitely magical.

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The Outsiders

  • I love this book. I read it when I was younger. Then, I re-read it, and fell in love with it. The movie adaptation (1983) is also quite good.

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The Odyssey

  • This was a whole unit in one of my high school English classes. I’d originally learned part of the story from Wishbone.

Books I’d Love to Read Starting with the Letter “O”:

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Of Mice and Men

  • I enjoyed reading Steinbeck in my American Literature class in college. We didn’t read this one then, but I tried after the class ended. I failed. I want to try again, however.

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On the Road

  • I became fascinated with Jack Kerouac, and the other Beat Generation poets, while studying history in high school.

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One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

  • I first learned about this book from Sesame Street! They did a “Monsterpiece Theatre” segment where they were discussing classic literature. A number 1 flew over a cuckoo’s nest.

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Ordinary People

  • I really should read this book. The movie adaptation (1980) is fabulous.

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Our Year of Maybe


What books have you read, or want to read, that start with the letter O? Let me know!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #159: “The Alphabet Post Challenge”

the alphabet post challenge

I saw this post on Kristian’s blog, Life Lessons Around The Dinner Table! I wasn’t tagged for it, but I wanted to do this because it looked like so much fun. I could see how much fun Kristian had with it. Her enthusiasm is contagious!

Here’s the link to Kristian’s post:


Guidelines

The post was created by Stuart of Stuart of Something to Stu Over

Acknowledge the blogger that challenged you.

Display the challenge photo or create your own. 

Link back to this post so I can read yours. 

Create one post or multiple posts, using a word that starts with each letter of the alphabet and share your thoughts on the word you chose and how it can be applied to our lives.

Be creative and have fun!

Nominate 5 -7  bloggers to participate.


Here we go!

A is for Al.

This was a no-brainer for me. Al is not only my husband. He’s an amazing friend, brother, son, secret-keeper, dog dad, and so much more. I love you, baby!

B is for Big Bird.

Those of you who know me well, and see me on Facebook, know that Big Bird is one of my all-time favorite characters. Sesame Street is one of the only shows that I have watched for forever. I had not one, not two, but THREE stuffed Big Birds when I was a kid. They were small, medium, and large. The small one was handmade by someone in my family, either my grandmother or my aunt. The medium one was bought for me at our local mall, I think at the KB Toys? The large one had a pull string that made him talk. There are many family photos where one of them makes an appearance. He was my “lovey” for so long. I think Mom and Dad still have at least one of them at their house. I sincerely hope that’s the case, anyway!

C is for Church.

I was raised in an incredible United Methodist church. I have so many memories from there – Sunday School, Confirmation class, youth group, volunteering, starting our blood drives, mission trips, retreats, communications committee, the media team, and more. I also married Al in the beautiful sanctuary on November 14, 2015.

D is for Dolls.

I grew up with Barbie dolls, and then a Bitty Baby. When I was nine, I received my special American Girl of Today doll for Christmas, whom I named Stephanie. Now, 21 years later, I have six American Girl dolls, including Stephanie. Al’s dad designed and hand-built this amazing display case, wardrobe, and double-sided shoe rack. I love it so much, and it’s in the perfect place in my Lady Lounge.

E is for Enthusiasm.

I’ve typically been described as enthusiastic, energetic, and excitable. All three of these personality traits go hand-in-hand!

F is for Forrest Gump.

This is one of my all-time favorite movies! If it’s on TV, I usually end up watching it until it ends. Tom Hanks became one of my favorite actors because of this movie, and Gary Sinise is top-notch as Lieutenant Dan. I know my interest in 20th century American history started because of this movie, too. It’s celebrating its 25th Anniversary in 2019, and I would love to go see it on the big screen.

G is for Glee.

Glee is one of my all-time favorite TV shows. I fell in love from the pilot episode in 2009. I own almost all of the albums. If I’m having a rough day, I know I can pop one in my CD player in the car, and singing along helps lift my mood. Also, I used their cover of Taylor Swift’s “Mine” to serenade Al during our rehearsal dinner in 2015.

H is for High-Fives.

I love giving, and receiving, high-fives!

I is for Ice Cream.

Ice cream is one of my loves. I don’t eat as much as it any more, but you can count on it being in the freezer during the summertime, and for any birthday celebrations. My favorite is chocolate chip cookie dough. Yum!

J is for Josh Groban.

My family fell in love with Josh Groban early in his career. My mom and I have seen him perform live twice in Norfolk, and I would love to see him perform again. Also, he’s quite the comedian, with several guest spots on late-night talk shows.

K is for Kermit the Frog.

Like Big Bird, Kermit is one of my favorite Muppets. When I was 15, my Florida friend Megan and I went to a fun game/arcade place called GameWorks in Miami. Together, we gathered enough tickets to get matching stuffed Kermits, and leopard-print plush mirrors that were flower-shaped. Also, Jim Henson was a genius, and many of us miss him. He was taken from this world too soon, dying as a result of pneumonia in 1990.

L is for Libraries.

Libraries are amazing. I’m been a proud card-carrier since I was four years old. I can’t wait to show Al the main branch of the New York Public Library when we go visit New York this summer.

M is for Michael Buble.

Another one of my favorite singers!

N is for New York.

I was born at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan. It’s right across the street from Central Park. Because of my premature birth, one of the things the nurses told my parents was that they wanted to see these kids, graduates of the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) do well and thrive. So, my parents took me back to the hospital every summer until I was 16.

We lived on Governors Island for two years, and then moved to Virginia. I have so many wonderful memories of New York. Seeing several shows, the World Trade Center before 9/11, all the sights and sounds, THE FOOD, the architecture, the subway, and more.

Central Park is one of my favorite places! Also, my Great-Aunt Sherri lives in the Tribeca/Soho area, and happens to live about a block and a half from the firehouse that was the Ghostbusters headquarters!

One of the coolest experiences was playing at Carnegie Hall with my high school orchestra in my senior year. The head nurse from Mount Sinai’s NICU, Doris, came to the performance with my parents, and brought me flowers. The orchestra also got to see The Phantom of the Opera at the Winter Garden Theatre. It was a ton of hard work – We prepared for nearly 18 months – but so incredibly worth it.

O is for Oreo.

I love Oreos! One of the best things my Grandma Grace taught me was that Oreos taste better when they’re frozen!

P is for The Polar Express.

The Polar Express has always been one of my favorite books. My parents have a gift set which includes the hardcover book, an audio cassette of the book reading, and a bell.

Also, the movie adaptation (2004) is one of my favorite Christmas movies.

Q is for Queen.

I discovered Queen’s music in high school. After football games, they would play “We Are The Champions.”

Their Live Aid performance (1985) is on YouTube, and it’s one of the most spectacular music performances EVER.

It wasn’t until Al and I were dating that I first watched Wayne’s World (1992) and their epic rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

If you haven’t seen Bohemian Rhapsody (2018), GO SEE IT. It’s one of the best movies that I’ve seen in the last several years. It’s also one of those movies that should be seen on the big screen. I can’t wait to get it on DVD.

Also, Rami Malek did an awesome interview with Terry Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air. I was captivated!

R is for Reading.

I started devouring books as soon as I could. I know my parents and relatives read to me, too, since there are several photos of that.

Reading is one of my true passions. I love books, libraries, collecting books, and more. I love writing Book Reviews here on the blog. Also, I’ve been writing a fun Awesome Authors series, where I research different authors, their lives, and their books.

S is for Swings.

As a kid, I loved the swings at the playground.

Many of my dreams have portrayed some sort of swing – Tire swings, playground swings, porch swings, rope swings over water, and more.

That feeling like you’re flying while on a swing is indescribable.

T is for Taylor Swift.

Taylor Swift is magic. I love her voice, her presence, and her dedication to charity and her fans!

U is for “Uptown Girl.”

Billy Joel is another one of my favorite singers! This song, while not the first one I remember hearing, is one that I love. And it’s so catchy! I’ve practically memorized all the lyrics.

V is for Viola.

I played the viola for eight years, starting in fifth grade. We had the choice between the recorder in our music teacher’s class, Mrs. Brennan, or strings. I had taken piano lessons for several years, and just did not want to play the recorder! I originally wanted to play the violin, but the viola was a good compromise. It looks like a bigger violin, but has the strings of a cello.

Orchestra was one of my fondest memories of middle school and high school. Sixth grade, with Mrs. Glasco, at Western Branch Middle School was big and loud. For seventh grade, my house/neighborhood was part of the transition to the brand-new Jolliff Middle School. Jolliff’s orchestra class, with Mrs. Rice, in seventh and eighth grade was pretty small – I think there were only four violas, maybe six tops.

I was in orchestra class when I found out that I had been accepted into the brand-spanking-new International Baccalaureate (IB) program at Oscar Smith High School. I was the only student from my district, Western Branch, to attend the program when I started at OSHS in the fall of 2003. I started in the Concert Orchestra with Ms. Kringel (Yes, that’s really her name!), and then moved up to the Chamber Orchestra when I was a sophomore. As I mentioned in my New York entry, we had the ultimate trip of a lifetime when we were selected to perform at Carnegie Hall in the spring of 2007. I can’t think of a much better way to cap off my SENIOR YEAR of high school than that!

W is for Writing.

Writing has been one of my passions since I was in elementary school. I would fill journals, notebooks, and tons of loose-leaf paper with short stories and doodles about everything, but mainly stories about my Barbie dolls, and then my one American Girl doll, whom I named Stephanie.

As part of the “Young Authors” program in elementary school, kids had the opportunity to write and illustrate their own spiral-bound book. When I was in fifth grade, I called my story “Electro Girl,” and it was a simple friendship story about a girl and her new friend, a robot, set in the forests of Oregon. “Electro Girl” was selected as an honorable mention in the program, and I was able to attend the special ceremony with my parents and other kids from around the city. That ceremony is where my friendship with my best friend, Melissa, started to bloom!

I’m pretty sure I still have my copy of “Electro Girl” (I hope so), and my treasured dark blue three-ring binder with all of my childhood short stories. It’s covered with stickers from the doctor’s office, from craft stores, and birthday parties. I threw away many of the journals and notebooks as a teenager, and I’m so mad now that I did!

Fast-forward to January 2019. I’ve completed four National Novel Writing Months (NaNoWriMo), two Camp NaNoWriMo sessions, and began drafts of four novels. On New Year’s Eve, I hit a HUGE milestone. I crossed the 50,000-word mark on my first NaNoWriMo attempt, which I started in 2012. I made so much progress on this baby in 2018 alone. I’m almost finished, but I’m struggling with the ending!

Next up: Making headway with my 2013 WIP.

Also, I have this little blog of mine as a huge part of my life. Thank you to all my readers and followers thus far. I appreciate every one of you!

X is for Xeno.

I love Nick and Savy’s dog, Xeno! He has so much energy, and he always makes us laugh.

Y is for You!

Thank YOU for supporting this little blog of mine for many years. I appreciate every follower, like, comment, tag, and more!

Z is for Zebra Cakes.

I love nearly everything with a Little Debbie label, except for Oatmeal Cream Pies! Zebra Cakes, however, have always been delicious, and funky-looking!


Tag – You’re It!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #158: The ABC Book Challenge (The Letter N)

The ABC Book Challenge - K


Memorable Books that Start with the Letter “N”:

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Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America

  • I was introduced to Barbara Ehrenreich in my freshman year of college by way of this book. I plan to re-read it soon. It’s a powerful book regarding minimum wage, and how a lot of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, and sometimes not even that.

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Night

  • I first read this book in eighth grade. We were studying the Holocaust, and it left a profound impact on me. Everyone should read this book.

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Nineteen Eighty-Four

  • This book creeped me out for quite a while. However, I feel the need to read it again soon.

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November Blues (Jericho #2)

  • I really like and enjoy Sharon M. Draper’s books. I’ve gained a greater perspective of African-African teenagers through her fiction. The Jericho trilogy is one of my favorites.

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Number The Stars

  • I was assigned this book in fifth grade. Originally, I really struggled with this book. It was one of the first times that I read so fast that my comprehension suffered. Through this book, I learned to slow down in my reading, especially assigned books, and my comprehension improved. Also, Lois Lowry is one of my favorite authors!

Books I’d Love to Read Starting with the Letter “N”:

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The Night Circus

  • I’ve wanted to read this book for several years. The author wrote this book during NaNoWriMo!

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North and South

  • I’m part of a Facebook group called The Book Drunkard. This book has been recommended to me several times, so I need to find it at the library soon.

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A Northern Light

  • I’ve heard so many good things about this book!

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Northanger Abbey

  • I learned about this book from Wishbone! I know I have a greater appreciation for Jane Austen now than I did years ago.

What books have you read, or want to read, that start with the letter N? Let me know!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #157: “‘Celebration Party’ January WIP Writing Challenge!”

celebration party

Image found on Didi Oviatt’s blog.

If you haven’t checked out Didi Oviatt’s AWESOME, and, frankly, kick-ass blog, do it!

Here’s the link to her challenge post:


Before I got to the end of Didi’s post, I knew which characters I wanted to use!

So, without further ado, please enjoy my “Celebration Party” scene!


Fireworks weren’t illegal to purchase in Maine. Every summer, like clockwork, the camp counselors were able to fill their cars and SUVs at the ready. The closest firework stand to Camp was only ten minutes away.

Not everyone approved of the idea, however. Emily, the Camp nurse, was naturally uneasy. Belinda Barnes, the Camp director, never thought it was the best idea. But, as long as everything was done safely, that’s all she cared about.

The counselors wanted the fireworks to be a complete surprise. Most summers, the Bangor fireworks spectacular could be witnessed in full from certain areas of Camp. Sadly, this year’s spectacular had been cancelled due to severe thunderstorms in the area – The first cancellation in quite a few summers. Camp’s atmosphere on Independence Day was just as stormy, with disappointed and grumpy campers. It had rained and stormed five out of the last six days, and rainy-day activities were running out of steam. So was a lot of people’s patience.

July 6th dawned sunny and beautiful, and everyone’s spirits naturally lifted. The day was full of lake activities, nature hikes, and a bit of mischief. Kristin and Brennan bent the rules a little, and stole away to their secluded picnic table spot for some hanky-panky. Counselors Andy and Melissa almost went skinny-dipping in the lake. And Ashley and Stephanie enjoyed their first true romantic moment together, which felt like fireworks to both of them.

As the sun dipped below the horizon, one of the most spectacular sunsets stretched out across the sky. Everyone was in awe, which gave Andy, Melissa, and a few other counselors enough time to set up the surprise.

The crickets started chirping, and everyone tuned in to the bullfrogs along the lake. They knew a surprise was being revealed, and everyone waited with bated breath.

Andy and Melissa shared another kiss right before the fireworks show was about to begin. All safety measures were reviewed and checked. The spot along the lake shore was perfect, and they couldn’t wait to see the camper’s faces light up.

Andy, the oldest counselor, was in charge. The first three fireworks were disappointing duds. But, Emily, of all people, kept the crowd hyped. The fourth firework finally shot off with a brilliant burst, and hearing the crowd’s cheers and whistles made it all worth it.

Melissa, right by Andy’s side, winked. “Let’s give them the best show ever.”

Andy nodded. The next 30 minutes felt like Camp had their own fireworks spectacular. Fireworks of every shape, size, and color were shot off in rapid succession. The noise across the lake only increased, and the counselors felt incredible. It was a great celebration all its own.

Minutes after the grand finale, through the hazy smoke the counselors could still hear the cheers and whistles. Kristin and Brennan were dancing in ankle-deep water of the lake, and so were Andy and Melissa. Ashley and Stephanie shared a kiss, not caring who saw. Everyone was celebrating in their own way, and it felt great. The atmosphere of Camp that night turned completely around. All thanks to roughly $1,000 of fireworks.


So, there you have it!

Thanks, Didi! Looking forward to February’s challenge!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #156: The ABC Book Challenge (The Letter M)

The ABC Book Challenge - L


Memorable Books that Start with the Letter “M”:

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Macbeth

  • We studied Shakespeare in high school. This one was significant to me.

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Madame Bovary

  • I believe this was assigned reading when I was a senior in high school.

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The Man in the High Castle

  • I’d wanted to read this one for quite a while, and finally did in the summer of 2017. It sparked my interest in not only the author, but in alternate reality, as well.

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Mansfield Park

  • I need to re-read this, but I’ve read most everything that Jane Austen wrote.

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Misty of Chincoteague

  • I read this one several times as a kid. I live about three hours from Chincoteague!

Books I’d Love to Read Starting with the Letter “M”:

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M. C. Higgins, the Great

  • I remember seeing this book in the school library, but I’ve never read it.

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The Minority Report

  • I knew this short story was adapted into a movie (2002) and a TV series (2015), but I didn’t know until much later that it was written by Philip K. Dick.

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Les Miserables

  •  Despite having seen the most recent movie adaptation (2012), I’ve never read the novel.

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Misery

  • I vaguely remember parts of this book, so I think it deserves a re-read.

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The Mosquito Coast

  • I’ve been interested in this novel since I heard about the movie adaptation (1986). I haven’t seen the movie yet, and I don’t plan to until I read the book.

What books have you read, or want to read, that start with the letter M? Let me know!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #155: The ABC Book Challenge (The Letter L)

The ABC Book Challenge - L

Here’s the link to Tiana’s post:


Memorable Books that Start with the Letter “L”:

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A Light in the Attic

  • Shel Silverstein is a household staple.

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Little House in the Big Woods (Little House #1)

  • I absolutely loved Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books when I was younger.

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Little Women

  • I had to read this for a project during my freshman year of high school, and ended up falling in love with it.

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Lock and Key

  • Each one of Sarah Dessen’s books has made an impact on me.

Looking for Alaska

  • I was introduced to John Green by way of this book, in my Young Adult Literature class in the spring of 2011. It’s one of my all-time favorite books.

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The Lorax


Books I’d Love to Read Starting with the Letter “L”:

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Life As We Knew It

  • I’ve read other books by Susan Beth Pfeffer, but not this one.

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Little Children

  • I want to read everything that Tom Perrotta has written.

Little & Lion

  • This book’s cover looks beautiful. Plus, I’m always interested in books that have mental health representation.

Little White Lies

  • Like Tiana, I don’t know much about debutantes, but I really want to read this book!

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Lolita

  • I’ve always wanted to read this!

 


What books have you read, or want to read, that start with the letter L? Let me know!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #154: The ABC Book Challenge (The Letter K)

Here’s the link to Tiana’s post:


Memorable Books that Start with the Letter “K”:

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Keeping The Moon

  • Sarah Dessen is one of my favorite authors!

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Kristy and The Snobs (The Baby-Sitters Club #11)

  • I loved everything Baby-Sitters Club (BSC) when I was younger!

Books I Wish to Read that Start with the Letter “K”:

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Kids We Were

  • I want to see if my library has this!

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The Kitchen House

  • This looks so interesting!

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The Kite Runner

  • I’ve heard really good things about this one, for years!

What books have you read, or want to read, that start with the letter K? Let me know!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂