Writing Prompt #238: “Imagination Plantation: European Vacation”

I was nominated for this writing challenge by Kristian, the lovely author of Life Lessons Around The Dinner Table. Thanks, Kristian, for nominating me!

Here’s the link to Kristian’s post, where I was nominated:

The challenge, Imagination Plantation, was originally created by Nova, the amazing author of Nova’s Namaste 365 Online.


4 Simple Rules:

Write me a short paragraph about what’s happening in this image.

Create a pingback to this image.

Tag three bloggers.

Reuse this same image 🙂 Let’s see how many stories can come from the same one.


Kristin shivered as the plane landed. As she turned off her iPod and listened to the final announcements of the flight attendants, she felt her right hand being gently squeezed. It was comforting.

“K? Are you okay?”

She smiled, squeezing his hand back.

“Yeah. I think so. My stomach always drops when planes land.”

Brennan smiled, hardly believing they had just landed in Germany. Their first time overseas.

As Brennan stroked her hand, Kristin’s thoughts drifted toward the cities and towns they would be exploring for the next 10 days. She was always nervous during plane trips, but for some reason, she was incredibly nervous about this trip. It was odd – She hadn’t felt this nervous around Brennan since the very beginning of their Camp experience. That was years ago.

She started to relax as their Uber left the Munich airport and headed toward the German countryside. The weather was absolutely beautiful, very unseasonable for the middle of August.

Brennan noticed Kristin had drifted off, her head laying on his shoulder. He smiled as his lips grazed her forehead. He caught a glimpse of a sleepy smile.

He took in the sights. It was about a 30-mile drive from the airport. There were so many trees – Far more than he’d ever seen in Texas. The amount of foliage and nature was rivaling Camp in Maine, and that was hard to top. He was in awe the entire drive. There were rivers, bridges, cathedrals, and stunning architecture. It was almost overwhelming. He was a little sad Kristin was missing this, but he thought it better she sleep. They had the next 10 days to take in everything. Germany was just the beginning.

The Uber driver easily navigated the steep, gravel-lined hill toward their first stop. Brennan’s smile grew wider. He remembered how excited, positively giddy Kristin was when she’d found it on Airbnb. It looked like a castle in the photos. And, in real life, unfolding before Brennan’s eyes, it was true.

“Hey, Kristin … Sweetheart?”

She groaned slightly, yawned, and opened her eyes.

“Yes, Brennan? What is it?”

He kissed her forehead, and then brushed her lips.

“Welcome to your castle, darling. Let’s start our European vacation.”


Nominations


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Tag #87: “3-2-1 Quote Me! – Happiness”

Happiness

Image Credit: Thrive Global

Thanks for tagging me, Kristian!

Here’s the link to the post where I was tagged:


The Rules:

  • Thank the selector
  • Post 2 quotes for the dedicated Topic of the Day, “Happiness”
  • Select 3 bloggers to take part in ‘3-2-1 Quote Me!’

best short happy quotes | happy quotes positive | happy quotes funny | happy quotes positive good vibes | happy quotes about life | happy quotes inspirational | short happy quotes simple | short happy quotes | short happy quotes positive thoughts | short happy quotes smiles | short happy quotes for instagram | short happy quotes love | #happyquotes #happymotto #quotes

Image Credit: Pretty Wild World 

It was hard to pick just two quotes!

happy life quote mother teresa

Image Credit: Country Living


Tag – You’re It!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

 

Tag #86: Traveling Blog Journal

I was tagged by the amazing, talented Kristian for this post. Thank you, Kristian! Check out her blog at Life Lessons Around The Dinner Table.

Here’s the link to Kristian’s post where I was tagged:


This post was created by Nova. Her blog is Nova’s Namaste 365 Online.

Here’s the link to the original post:

This is what Nova has asked:

“I would love to pass a blog post, as if a journal, around. For the person tagged, I’d like you to just introduce yourself and tell us from what STATE/COUNTRY you reside. I’d like you to write something interesting about where you live once you’ve identified that. Then you can add a couple of your own details, if you’d like.

Each person who is tagged, please tag someone at the end of your post, and create a pingback to this post

Most of all,

Have Fun! 💖💚🌼

Thank you!!”


This is me:

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, eyeglasses, stripes and closeup

One of my all-time favorite photos. This was taken by my husband, Al, on Christmas Day 2012.

Image may contain: Laura Beth Vardaro, smiling, closeup

This was taken after a fresh haircut in September 2016. I’m debating going back to this length.

Image may contain: Laura Beth Vardaro and Al Vardaro, people smiling

One of my favorite photos from our engagement shoot, July 2015. Credit: Stellar Exposures

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people sitting

One of my favorites from our wedding day – November 14, 2015. Credit: Drew Brink

Image may contain: Laura Beth Vardaro and Al Vardaro, people smiling, people standing

Dancing at Nick and Savy’s wedding – October 14, 2017.

Image may contain: Al Vardaro and Laura Beth Vardaro, people smiling, dog, eyeglasses, beard and outdoor

The day we adopted our two furbabies – December 2, 2018. Al is holding Phineas and I’m holding Ferb. They are our goobers!

I love so many things.

God, and my relationship with Christ.

My parents, Jim and Karen.

My wonderful, amazing husband, Al.

My in-laws, Bruce and Debbie.

Our miniature pinschers, Phineas and Ferb.

So many family, friends, family friends, and church members.

Nature – Flowers, trees, dogs, cats, turtles, frogs, rainbows, sunshine, thunderstorms.


Where I Live – Virginia, U.S.A.

I currently live in Portsmouth, Virginia, in the United States. I’ve called the Hampton Roads area my home for the better part of 26 years. This is the southeastern part of the state. We are also known as the “Seven Cities” – Norfolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, Hampton, Newport News, and Suffolk.

I’ve only lived in five other cities in my whole life – New York City (Governors Island), Alexandria in Northern Virginia, Chesapeake (where my parents still have the same house they purchased in 1992), Farmville in central Virginia to attend Longwood University (2007-2011), and a small apartment in Newport News (2013-2014).

My corner of Virginia gets a “taste” of all four seasons every year, but every year is different. There are years where we’ve had blizzards and nearly a foot of snow, multiple hurricanes, and brief hints of spring and autumn. Hampton Roads is surrounded by water on two sides – The Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean – plus multiple swamps, rivers, and creeks. To get most places, you have to cross at least one bridge or use a tunnel. We are about 45 minutes from the northeastern North Carolina border.

I enjoy living here for many reasons. One of the best is the rich history we have. Jamestown, Portsmouth, and Williamsburg are all part of the early settlers and colonial eras. Yorktown became famous during the Revolutionary War. Norfolk and Portsmouth have significant shipyards. All five branches of the military have bases or installations here – Air Force (Langley), Army (Fort Eustis), Coast Guard (Portsmouth), Marines (MAGTF), and Navy (Craney Island, Naval Station Norfolk, Oceana). NASA Langley is located in Hampton, and it recently celebrated its 100th Anniversary. I could go on for days and days. It’s a pretty cool place to live!


Thanks for this awesome opportunity, Nova and Kristian!

I invite Jenna, who is the author of Bookmark Your Thoughts, to continue this journal!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #237: “April WIP Writing Challenge: ‘Road Trip'”

Road Trip

Found through Didi Oviatt

Here’s the link to Didi’s challenge post:


As John finishing packing the Bel Air, Evelyn sat back in the passenger seat. She pressed her hands to my stomach, and sighed. She lost herself in her thoughts.

This is a good thing. I think. We both need to get away for a few days. Think about us. Think about the future. Our future child.

I know John’s been stressed about work. So have I. But, everyone needs a vacation now and then, right?

Evelyn’s thoughts were interrupted by the slam of the trunk.

John smiled at his beautiful fiancee as he opened the car door. Although he was an admitted workaholic, and recovering alcoholic, Evelyn’s idea to take a few days off felt good.

“Are you ready to hit the road, my dear?”

He leaned over to kiss Evelyn on the cheek. She smiled, and grabbed his hand. She moved it around her growing belly. The slightest butterfly kick startled them both.

“Oh, Evelyn! Wow. This is so neat. When did this start?”

She smiled.

“Last night. But you were sound asleep. I think this vacation is going to do some good. You haven’t slept well in months.”

John started the engine, and hung his head.

“Running a construction company is challenging. And we have lots of deadlines. But, for the next few days, we don’t have to worry about anything. Come on, darlin’, Let’s get out of the city!”

John carefully navigated the Bel Air out of Chicago. They didn’t really have a destination, just driving along Route 66 to see the sights. They both were long-overdue for some fresh air and R & R.

They played the radio for a while, but eventually encountered mostly static. Evelyn didn’t mind. She could see the stress slowly melting away from John, and that made her happier more than anything.

They both worked hard at John’s company, and they fell hard for each other shortly after Evelyn was hired. Several months ago, through a co-worker, Evelyn figured out she was pregnant.

Thankfully, John was a good man. He not only stuck around, but he’d proposed at the groundbreaking of their biggest project – A new, innovative, revolutionary neighborhood designed for everyone.

Evelyn was lost in thought again when the radio went from static to music again. She smiled, and reached for John’s hand. Her beautiful engagement ring sparkled in the spring sunshine.

“Do you have the map, dear?”

Evelyn leaned forward and pulled out the road map. It was well-worn. John had used it many times on his travels back and forth from Chicago to other architectural sights. His biggest “hero” was Frank Lloyd Wright.

However, taking this trip on Route 66 was different. And in the best way. John smiled, stealing glances at his pregnant bride-to-be. This trip would be legendary. A few days away on the surface, but one of the first trips with Evelyn, out of the city, and not on business.

As the sun started to set, she started to notice the colorful, painted billboards for a diner and a motel next door. Evelyn laughed, putting a hand on her stomach again.

“Our child is signaling they’re hungry, dear. And I am, too.”

John smiled and took her hand.

“We’re in for the adventure of our lives, dear. Let’s eat. And celebrate.”


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

 

 

Tag #85: Song Challenge

1980s Music

Image Credit: Pinterest

I wasn’t tagged for this. However, I love everything Kristian at Life Lessons Around The Dinner Table posts. When I saw this on her blog, I wanted to participate, too!

Here’s the link to Kristian’s post:


A Song Challenge from Laura Venturini

The original post was created by Laura Venturini. You can find her post here:

Weekly Song Challenge-Round 9

Rules:
Copy rules and add to your own post, pinging back to this post.
Post music videos for your answers to the musical questions.
Tag two people to participate!


1. Post a music video of a song by an artist popular in the 80s.

Rick Astley – “Never Gonna Give You Up”

2. Post a music video of a song that makes you wanna shake your groove thang!

Van Halen – “Jump”

3. Post a music video of an acoustic version of a popular song.

Eric Clapton – “Tears in Heaven” (MTV Unplugged)


Tag – You’re It!

  • I’m not tagging anyone specifically. But, if you want to participate, please do!

Thanks for sharing your post, Kristian! You inspired me to get back to the blog after a long 11-day hiatus. Thank you!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Blog Awards #26: Sunshine Blogger Award – Number Six!

sunshine1

Image Credit: Found on Bookmark Your Thoughts

Thank you, Jenna, for nominating me for the Sunshine Blogger Award! I’m so honored to have been nominated for this award six times. I really appreciate it!

Here’s the link to Jenna’s post, where I was nominated:


The Rules

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
  2. Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  3. Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  4. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award in your post/or on your blog.

Jenna’s Questions

  1. Have you ever read a book in another language? If yes, which one? *
  2. What is your best solution for a reading slump? *
  3. If you could only read one author forever, who would it be and why? *
  4. Which book do you think would make the best video game? *
  5. If the place you lived in could only experience ONE season forever, what season would you choose?
  6. If you could live in any sitcom, which would it be?
  7. If you could INSTANTLY become an expert in something, what would it be?
  8. If you were a member of a circus, what type of performer would you be?
  9. What’s your FAVOURITE book to movie adaptation?
  10. What type of literature do you prefer the most? Why (i.e. poetry, fiction standalone, fiction series, nonfiction standalone, nonfiction series, plays/dramas, short stories, etc.)?
  11. You are the main character in a novel — who’s your sidekick/partner in crime and why?

Laura Beth’s Answers

Have you ever read a book in another language? If yes, which one? *

spanish omg GIF by truTV

Image Credit: GIPHY

  • Never a full book, although I took Spanish for six years. So my answer is no.

What is your best solution for a reading slump? *

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Image Credit: Goodreads

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Image Credit: Goodreads

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Image Credit: Goodreads

  • Read something light and fluffy. For me, that’s a romantic book, or even something middle-grade. That’s helped me several times. I tend to be drawn to books set at the beach, if the images are any indication.

If you could only read one author forever, who would it be and why? *

  • Only one?
  • As hard as this was to pick, I’ll go with John Grisham. He’s a prolific writer, and most everything I’ve read from him is entertaining.
Image result for john grisham books

Image Credit: Medium

Which book do you think would make the best video game? *

  • Excellent question!
  • To me, I think Ender’s Game would be great!
Image result for ender's game book

Image Credit: Wikipedia

If the place you lived in could only experience ONE season forever, what season would you choose?

forest autumn GIF

Image Credit: GIPHY

charlie brown thanksgiving autumn GIF

Image Credit: GIPHY

  • Autumn!
  • I love the cooler weather, and the fall colors are just spectacular!

If you could live in any sitcom, which would it be?

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Image Credit: Entertainment Weekly

  • The first sitcom that came to mind was Full House.

If you could INSTANTLY become an expert in something, what would it be?

  • This was a really hard question!
  • I think I would pick forensic science. I love true crime! And, I’ve seen every single episode of Forensic Files.

If you were a member of a circus, what type of performer would you be?

trapeze GIF by Scorpion Dagger

Image Credit: GIPHY

  • A trapeze artist. I’ve had the opportunity to try it out once or two, and it’s such a rush. As long as I have a net under me, I’m game.

What’s your FAVOURITE book-to-movie adaptation?

Image result for the hunger games movie

Image Credit: Wikipedia

  • The Hunger Games (2012)
  • I’ve read all three books, and seen all the movies. However, I love the first movie. I think it was the best at doing the book the most justice. Plus, Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss is kick-ass, and the book character-actress portrayal I never knew I wanted. The rest of the cast is well-picked, too.

What type of literature do you prefer the most? Why (i.e. poetry, fiction standalone, fiction series, nonfiction standalone, nonfiction series, plays/dramas, short stories, etc.)?

Image result for stepping on the cracks

Image Credit: Amazon

Image result for speak book

Image Credit: Amazon

Image result for fire from the rock

Image Credit: Amazon

  • Fiction standalone. I’ve discovered so many different authors this way! Plus, I always get sad when series end, so standalones are in a way easier, and more enjoyable, to read.

You are the main character in a novel — who’s your sidekick / partner in crime and why?

  • My best friend, Melissa. We’ve been partners in crime for over 20 years now!

My Nominees

  1. Fiction No Chaser
  2. Trisha at The Tea Reader
  3. Ashes Books & Bobs
  4. Lori at The Inky Saga
  5. ilona pulianauskaite – easydiet.blog
  6. Kristian at Life Lessons Around The Dinner Table
  7. Simon at Planet Simon
  8. Laura at lauravent69
  9. Destiny at Howling Libraries
  10. Xandra at Starry Sky Books
  11. Siobhan’s Novelties

My Questions for the Nominees

  1. If you could only listen to two artists or bands for the rest of your life, who would you choose, and why?
  2. What is your dream novel, or idea for one?
  3. Do you remember the first book you ever read?
  4. If you could live in any sitcom, which would it be? *
  5. If money were no object, where would you be living?
  6. If you could INSTANTLY become an expert in something, what would it be? *
  7. Who are three people, living or dead, that you most admire?
  8. Is there someone you would love to see live in concert?
  9. What was your favorite subject in school?
  10. It’s “Self-Care Sunday,” what are you doing?
  11. What historical time period would you like to visit?

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Tag #84: The Wanderlust Tag

The Wanderlust Tag

Thanks, Sara, for tagging me!

Here’s the link to Sara’s post, where I was tagged:


The Rules

  • Mention the creator of the tag and link back to original post [Alexandra @ Reading by Starlight]
  • Thank the blogger who tagged you
  • Answer the 10 questions below using any genre
  • Tag 5+ friends

Secrets and Lies | A book set in a sleepy small town

Bonfire

Bonfire, Krysten Ritter

I felt as if I was dropped head-first into Barrens, Indiana, and experiencing everything in this small town with the main character.

Salt and Sand | A book with a beachside community

The Runaway Maryellen

The Runaway: A Maryellen MysteryAlison Hart

Maryellen’s world is set in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Here There Be Dragons | A book with a voyage on the high seas

The Woman in Cabin 10 - Amazon

The Woman in Cabin 10, Ruth Ware

This book is primarily set on an inaugural voyage, so this one definitely qualifies.

Tread Lightly | A book set down in a murky river or a jungle

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Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad

I was assigned to read this in my senior year of high school. This was one book that creeped me out for a good while, long after I finished reading it.

Frozen Wastes | A book with a frostbitten atmosphere

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Christmas After All: The Great Depression Diary of Minnie Swift, Indianapolis, Indiana, 1932, Kathryn Lasky

Reading the fictional account of Minnie and her family during The Great Depression in 1932 made me shiver, in more ways than one.

The Boonies | A book with rough or isolated terrain

hunger-games-cover

The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins

District 12 is definitely rough and isolated. So are many other places in Panem.

Hinterlands and Cowboys | A book with a Western-esque setting

Image result for brokeback mountain book

Brokeback Mountain, Annie Proulx

Set in the Wyoming mountains, this is one of a handful of books I think of when I imagine the American West.

Look Lively | A book across sweeping desert sands

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Under a Painted Sky, Stacey Lee

I haven’t read this book, but I really want to.

Wild and Untamed | A book set in the heart of the woods

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Bridge to Terabithia, Katherine Paterson

If you haven’t read this book, it’s a good one. It’s an emotional coming-of-age story, but this book made my imagination run wild. I turned the city park behind my house into my own Terabithia for years afterward, creating stories in my notebooks.

Wildest Dreams | A whimsical book shrouded in magic

Fallible Justice, Laura Laakso

I received this book as an ARC (My first-ever ARC!) from the publisher last year. This book is a fresh perspective on magic, the paranormal, and mystery. I’m so excited this book is part of a paranormal investigation series!


Tag – You’re It!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂