Writing Adventures #6: The Ebony And Fire Writing Club – What Projects Are You Working On?

Welcome back!

Buckle up, friends. Expect a post about The Ebony and Fire Writing Club coming to you every week for the foreseeable future!

I’m so thrilled with the reaction and support that I received earlier this week when I announced that I was joining the club in my Writing Adventures #5 post. If you’re interested, contact Tiana or Phoenix!


Here’s the link to Tiana’s newest post: The Ebony and Fire Writing Club: What Projects are you Working on?

Here’s the link to Phoenix’s newest post: From The Ebony and Fire Writing Club: Tell Us What You’re Working On!

Also, here’s the link to the main club page: The Ebony and Fire Writing Club


Here’s my details!

My Current Writing Project

I’m currently editing my draft of “Experiences From Camp.” This is the novel that I started during my first-ever NaNoWriMo in November 2012. It took 6 1/2 years, but I finished the first draft on March 30, 2019. I’ve sent it to several people to read and critique since then, and I’ve received some really good feedback.

For Camp NaNoWriMo April 2020, I printed out the first draft, threw it in a binder, and went to town with a blue pen and hot pink Post-It notes. Now, coupled with the reader feedback I’ve received so far, I’m translating it into a second draft on the computer. Once the second draft is done, I’ll send it back to my readers. I have set a deadline of sending the second draft to my readers no later than June 30, 2020.

Writing Advice

You don’t have to write a novel! You may enjoy writing poetry, fan fiction, blog posts, short stories, or free verse. It doesn’t have to end up as a book or something published. As long as you’re writing, that’s amazing! You have a gift. And, since you’re on WordPress, you’re creating!

I recently wrote a short story for a contest, and I had so much fun! It was a great way to stretch myself and actually submit something.


What are you working on?

If you feel comfortable, tell me what you’re working on in the comments! I’ve always enjoyed supporting others and being a cheerleader.


Stay tuned for another Writing Adventures post, coming soon!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Adventures #5: The Ebony and Fire Writing Club

Image Credit: H.R. Phoenix

I’m embarking upon a new adventure! It’s been well over a year since my last Writing Adventures post, but this one is special.

Here’s the link to Tiana’s original post: The Raven Writer’s Accountability Club

Together with Phoenix, she’s starting a club of writers. It’s so exciting!


After her original announcement, they changed a few things. Here’s Tiana’s update post: Announcement! The Ebony and Fire Writing Club

Here’s the link to Phoenix’s post: New: Join the Ebony and Fire Writing Club Now


If you’re interested, click on either one the Ebony and Fire Writing Club posts, and comment with your name.

The idea is those who want to participate will do a weekly post about the progress they’ve made with their work.

Tiana and Phoenix are also setting up donation pages through Ko-fi (Please note: This part is completely optional, it’s not a requirement to join) to give club members special access to writing advice, tips, tricks, and inspiration.

I’m really excited to participate! I’ve admired Tiana since she started her blog, and I’m looking forward to getting to know Phoenix better, along with the other club members.


What about you? Have you joined any blogging clubs or groups? What abour on social media?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Tag #92: Spring Cleaning Book Tag

Image Credit: Fiction No Chaser

Thanks, Jenna, for tagging me! I haven’t done a tag in forever.

Here’s Jenna’s post, where I was originally tagged: Spring Cleaning Book Tag


The Creator & the Rules

The creators of this tag is Amanda @ Between the Shelves! The rules are …

↠ Link back to the original post.
↠ Tag as many friends as you want.
↠ Have fun!


One. Getting started: A book series you’ve been wanting to read

The Alpha Drive trilogy, Kristen Martin. I adore Kristen! I started listening to her podcast, That Smart Hustle, a couple years ago. I’ve listened to almost every episode. I read the first three chapters of Alpha Drive on Wattpad recently, and I’m hooked.


Two. Cleaning/organizing the closet: The best way to organize books

If I have multiple books by the same author, I organize it chronologically by release date. Otherwise, I categorize them by size.


Three. Getting rid of unnecessary things: Book/series you no longer need

I just donated about 5-6 books in my last thrift store drop-off. Most of them were one-time-read books that I don’t want to read again or were taking up space.


Four. Get some air: Your favorite light-hearted read

If I need a pick-me-up, I reach for something from American Girl. The entire top shelf of my bookcase is dedicated to these books!


Five. Clean out the kitchen cupboards: Favorite food-themed read

Because I feel like being literal, the first book that came to mind was The Hunger Games.


Six. Dust the shelves: What’s the fifth book on your bookshelf?

I have five shelves on my bookcase.

Shelf 1: Secrets on 26th Street (American Girl History Mysteries)

Shelf 2: All The Missing Girls, Megan Miranda

Shelf 3: The Journal of Jesse Smoke: A Cherokee Boy (My Name is America)

Shelf 4: Finale, Thomas Mallon

Shelf 5: Where The Sidewalk Ends, Shel Silverstein


Seven. Wishing for the end: A 2020 release you’re really excited about

The Best Laid Plans looks adorable!


Eight. Long but satisfying: The longest book series you’ve read

Like Jenna, it’s Harry Potter. I’m currently re-reading the series, the first time I’ve done so since I finished The Deathly Hallows in 2007.


Tag! You’re It! (No obligation to participate)


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Commentary #103: “The Elegance of Kindness”

Image Credit: Found on Gratitude and Trust

This post started with an email and a YouTube link. Thanks, Momma V.!

Al’s mom sent this link to me, asking if I’d seen it: Story Behind the Song: The Rainbow Connection


I hadn’t, so I clicked on it. It’s a bit dated now – It was posted in October 2016. However, what I clicked on and witnessed was nearly 12 minutes of magic and appreciation. It was an interview where Paul Williams discusses how “The Rainbow Connection” came to be. In the middle, Williams mentioned his website, Gratitude and Trust, along a post he wrote called “The Elegance of Kindness” about Jim Henson. I paused the video, grabbed a Post-It note, scribbled that down, and continued the video.

Visiting the website a little while later, I noticed that Paul posted it in September 2013. But, dates don’t matter.


As I started reading, all I felt was warmth when I digested Paul’s words. What an amazing life he’s had as a songwriter. He’s also a recovering alcoholic, a major feat by itself. And, to meet AND work with Jim Henson! Wow.

He told the same story in the video as he did in his blog post, about not wanting to throw any surprises at Jim when he and Kenny Ascher were beginning to produce the music for The Muppet Movie (1979).

Jim smiled, and reassured Paul with these words, “Oh, that’s all right Paul. I’m sure they’ll be wonderful. I’ll hear them in the studio when we record them.”

Hearing Jim say that immediately allayed Paul’s fears and worries. He also told this story in the liner notes when the soundtrack was re-released for the nearly 35th anniversary of the movie. And, in a way, this meeting paved the way for one of the most memorable and warm songs that has ever been created.


But the point here is “the elegance of kindness.” As I was telling Al about the video and the blog post, he immediately nodded and said, “Yes, exactly. That’s how many people have described Jim Henson. How kind he was.”

Jim Henson died in 1990. I wasn’t quite two years old when he left the world. But, I’ve learned who he was. And what an impact he has made! In his short 53 years, he became a legend. He created the Muppets, helped develop characters for Sesame Street, produced The Muppet Show, started the Jim Henson Foundation, and founded Jim Henson’s Creature Shop.


I made the same connection that Paul did about Jim. With kindness comes trust. With kindness and trust, magical things can bloom and grow. I don’t think “Rainbow Connection” would have been written if Jim Henson didn’t trust Williams and Ascher. There have been so many issues with trust, time and time again, with the world of entertainment. And it’s not limited to entertainment, either.

I write this post as the pandemic continues. I’m frustrated and appalled at the President of the United States and other leaders who have spouted clear lies, and they have incited great fear among millions of people. Millions of people who have gotten so many mixed messages at the worst possible time. No wonder I have trust issues! And there’s not a shred of kindness from the top. Sadly.


However, my spirit has been renewed. There is kindness, still.

Some Good News with John Krasinski is AWESOME!

I’ve loved Steve Hartman since he started reporting with CBS News in the 1990s (Remember Assignment America? And throwing a dart at a map of the U.S.?). A while ago, he did a four-part series called Kindness 101. Not only are his kids adorable, but he’s sharing many of his stories, old and new, and reminding everyone who’s watching what the important things are in life. Character. Gratitude. Empathy. Optimism. Purpose. I’ve watched all of them, and I’m excited the series is continuing.

Just today, I read a father’s account of his daughter, Emerson, and her letters. Her handwritten letters and decorated envelopes. She wrote a letter to her mailman, Doug, expressing her appreciation for him to help her mail her letters. Now, it’s gone all over the country, through thousands of people and postal workers. I’m inspired to be a pen pal again.

And, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Sesame Street’s theme is now “Smarter, Stronger, Kinder.” The elegance of kindness can, and should, be embraced as young as possible. But, you’re not too old to start. You’re never too old to embrace something like kindness.

Enjoy a special performance of “Rainbow Connection” from Kermit that posted to YouTube last week.

Stay safe, stay well, friends.


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Blog Awards #28: The Sunshine Blogger Award – Number Seven!

sba

Thanks, Kristian, for nominating me!

Here’s the link to Kristian’s post, where I was nominated: The Sunshine Blogger Award from Rob

The Sunshine Blogger Award Rules

  • Thank the blogger (s) who nominated you and provide a link back to their blog.
  • List the rules and display an award logo on your blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions the blogger (s) asked you.
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers to receive the award and notify them by commenting on any of their posts.
  • Ask the nominees 11 new questions.

Kristian’s Questions

  1. What fictional world would you like to explore if you could?
  2. What is your idea of a perfect day?
  3. If you could be a professional athlete in any sport, what sport would you play?
  4. What is your favorite joke?
  5. What movie(s) can you watch over & over again?
  6. What are your New Year resolutions, and if you don’t have any, what are some long term goals you hope to achieve?
  7. Is there a meaning behind your name? If so, what is it?
  8. If you could master one skill, what would that skill be?
  9. What is your favorite Disney movie?
  10. In your opinion, what movie has the best soundtrack?
  11. What snack(s) can’t you live without?

Laura Beth’s Answers

  • Hogwarts!
  • A perfect day starts with a cup of coffee, cuddle time with Al, carve out time for writing (fiction and blogging), an hour or more for reading, a comfy blanket, and at least one episode of Law and Order: SVU.
  • I would love to play softball!
  • My favorite joke is: Helvetica and Times New Roman walk into a bar. “Get out of here!” The bartender shouts. “We don’t serve your type!”
  • I can watch Ghostbusters (1984), Dirty Dancing (1987), Forrest Gump, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and pretty much any movie with Tom Hanks over and over.
  • Here are some of my 2020 Goals: Complete the first round of editing of my first novel, pay off all credit card debt, de-clutter the entire house, and go on vacation with Al for our five-year wedding anniversary!
  • I was named Laura Beth after my great-grandmother, Laura Bethany Powers. She lived to be 102!
  • I would love to master flight.
  • My favorite Disney movie is Mulan.
  • The movie that has the best soundtrack is Star Wars IV: A New Hope.
  • I love popcorn, tortilla chips with white sauce, and Reese’s!

My Questions

  • If you’ve been to a Disney theme park, which one is your favorite?
  • What song is your favorite earworm?
  • If you could go to any school, real or fictional, which one would you pick?
  • If you could travel anywhere in the world for a week, where would you go? You can pick multiple destinations.
  • What is your favorite quote?
  • What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
  • If you could eat only three foods for the rest of your life, what would you pick?
  • Do you see yourself living somewhere else?
  • Where is your dream vacation destination?
  • Which three authors would you like to have dinner with?
  • If you could interview anyone, who would you pick?

Tag – You’re It!

I’m not tagging anyone for this particular award. If you want to do it, then go for it!

Thanks again, Kristian!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Tag #91: “Cause I Love(r) Talking About Books – Taylor Swift’s Lover Book Tag”

Image Credit: Red Gal Musings

Here’s the link to Elizabeth’s post: Cause I Love(r) Talking About Books / Taylor Swift’s Lover Book Tag


alrighty, now to post the official rules for the tag. 

1. Link back to the original creator of the book tag

2. Thank the person that tagged you and link to their post. (who tagged me??? IDK! but i do know i saw Marie did this tag and that’s probably where i tagged myself)

3. TAG AS MANY SWIFTIES AS YOU WANT! (Or non-Swifties, maybe inspire them to listen to our Queen)


1. I FORGOT THAT YOU EXISTED: A BOOK THAT YOU WANT TO FORGET YOU EVER READ

Allegiant, Veronica Roth.

2. CRUEL SUMMER: A BOOK YOU TURN TO WHEN THINGS GETS ROUGH

Any of Nicholas Sparks’ earlier works.

3. LOVER : YOUR BOOK OTP

Katniss and Peeta.

4. THE MAN: YOUR FAVE KICK-ASS FEMALE PROTAGONIST

Tie between Hermione Granger and Katniss Everdeen.

5. THE ARCHER: A BOOK WITH GOOD MENTAL HEALTH REPRESENTATION

Mosquitoland, David Arnold. This is easily one of my favorite books of 2019.

6. I THINK HE KNOWS: YOUR FAVE FICTIONAL CRUSH

Michael Moscovitz.

7. MISS AMERICANA & THE HEARTBREAK PRINCE – FAVE ANGSTY ROMANCE

The Fault in Our Stars.

8. PAPER RINGS – BOOK WITH AN UGLY COVER THAT YOU ABSOLUTELY ADORED

Their Eyes Were Watching God. I was assigned to read it during my senior year of high school.

9. CORNELIA STREET – A BOOK OR SERIES YOU NEVER WANT(ED) TO END

Tie between Harry Potter and The Hunger Games.

10. DEATH BY A THOUSAND CUTS – A BOOK OR SERIES THAT DESERVED A BETTER ENDING

The Divergent trilogy.

11. LONDON BOY – YOUR FAVE BRITISH MALE PROTAGONIST

Karrion from Fallible Justice. I reviewed the book as an ARC, so I need to get my hands on a real copy at some point.

12. SOON YOU’LL GET BETTER – A BOOK THAT YOUR HEART WILL NEVER RECOVER FROM

The War That Saved My Life.

13. FALSE GOD – A CHARACTER YOU WOULD LEAP INTO THE BURNING PITS OF HELL TO SAVE

Alaska Young.

14. YOU NEED TO CALM DOWN – A BOOK WITH A POWERFUL MESSAGE

The Battle of Jericho.

15. AFTERGLOW – A BOOK YOU WANT TO GIVE A SECOND CHANCE

I eventually want to re-read Go Set A Watchman again.

16. ME! – BEST CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT

Margo Roth Spiegelman.

17. IT’S NICE TO HAVE A FRIEND – FAVE FRIENDS-TO-LOVERS STORY

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist.

18. DAYLIGHT – IF YOU COULD ONLY READ ONE BOOK OR SERIES AGAIN AND AGAIN, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

Harry Potter.


Tag – You’re It!

I’m tagging Kristian from Life Lessons Around The Dinner Table.


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Commentary #101: Sesame Street 50th Anniversary Special

The minute the 50th Anniversary Special was announced, I marked my calendar for November.

I was pleasantly surprised to find the full special posted on the PBS website for a whole week, from November 17th through the 24th. I watched it twice! And I experienced so many emotions!

I really enjoyed the story. Joseph Gordon-Levitt was a great host! And so many former cast members were a part of it. The songs were my favorite part, especially the performance of “Sing” at the end.

I’m planning to get it on DVD when it is released.

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂