Thoughts As I Start Blogging Again

The past two years I have been concentrating on raising my daughter and being a wife. Aside from having a child my husband and I moved across the country from the desert to the coast. It was a transition. Plus, I managed to tear two ligaments and stretch another in my knee two weeks before we moved. I am in the beginning stages of physical therapy for a knee that doesn’t want to support my weight let alone run while chasing a toddler around. It is an experience. I can testify to that.

When I started my blog I expected to have an agent and a contract for a book by now. I haven’t even sent out a query in two years. I barely have a chance to edit anything I write. Even when my husband is home I am either trying to figure out how he is not doing his job of watching our daughter, or I’m attempting to do physical therapy exercises. (Usually that involves a toddler deciding she can add her weight as resistance.)

Putting my dreams on hold has been a challenge. I have struggled with the “What Ifs” from time to time. However, I have gotten lots of enjoyment out of chasing my toddler around and watching her grow up. I really wouldn’t change it for the world.

Now that my little girl is big enough to start preschool I think I might start blogging again. It won’t be daily like it used to be, but it will at least be weekly. Hopefully, you will enjoy this new and improved blog enough to stick around and see what happens.


New Life

I haven’t posted in almost two full years.  Life with a baby was a little more exciting than I originally thought it would be.  I’m currently debating restarting the blog, but with the changes in my life it won’t be all about becoming a published writer.  I might even throw some of my new sewing projects onto the blog.  I haven’t decided yet, but I plan to decide in the next couple of weeks.

So if you were just following a wannabe writer, I would unfollow the blog.  I can assure you it won’t be about that anymore.  However, if you were following because of my crazy life, I can assure you it will be all about that again.


Timeline, Facebook, and My Fan Page

Alright, who is excited about the new Timeline format for Brands on Facebook?  I know I am thrilled.  I mentioned Friday that I’ve been busy fixing everything so it will be just right.  Well, let me give you a little tour of the new Amanda Nicole Trisdale Fan Page.

You’ll notice a banner now, along with a picture of me.  Before you ask, no, the picture isn’t in public domain.  It is a copyrighted picture.  No, I’m not going to get in trouble because I took the picture.  Anywho, I thought that it sums up what this blog and my fan page are all about; a journey.

You will also notice that everything isn’t in a list format.  There are now two columns.  If there is a post I really like, it’ll be pinned to the top of the page.  Say, if I win a contest or if I finally land an agent.  The post will be on the top of the page where you can’t miss it.

You can easily see the big milestones along this journey.  They are all over in the timeline selection.  I am slowly filling in all the important dates.  Going forward, all the dates – like when I enter a contest and when I query agents – will be added to the timeline.

Are there any other features you see that you didn’t know about?  What are your thoughts on the new format?

I’ll keep you informed of more changes.  Right now, I’m on vacation and my husband says I should get back to playing with my family.

Timelines Are Coming

Have you heard that Brands on Facebook are getting the new Timeline format?  Did you know that my fan page on Facebook is considered a Brand?  Wonder what I’ve been doing the last couple of days?
Facebook rolled out Timelines for Brands on Wednesday.  Since then I have been busy trying to make sure my Facebook page is perfect before the new format goes live.  And I have been so involved I have forgotten almost anything not named Cheekies.
Monday morning I’m going to write a post on all the changes to the fan page.  This is gonna make the page a lot more exciting for wannabe writers like me.  My favorite new feature lets me add important dates to a Milestone feature.  It makes it easier to see what I’ve done on this journey.
I can’t wait to show you all the new things on the fan page.

Vet Visit Today

If you’ve been around a while you might recall we lost one of our two dogs last year.  It was a sudden loss due to a horrific drug reaction.  Obviously, we all took it hard.  Well, maybe not Cheekies, but she’s young.
Shortly after Ammo’s death our mutt, Jet, put herself on a diet.  Jet was upset and eating wasn’t really her thing.  She’s a bit pudgy, so the vet said we should let Jet just eat what she wanted.
And don’t you know that’s when it happened.  I was petting Jet one fine December day when I felt a lump the size of my fist.  Needless to say, I freaked.  I called the vet in minor terror that I had another dying dog.  The vet very calmly ordered me to come in right away.
This is when I learned about benign fatty tumors that can be fatal.  The tumor is behind her leg, pressing on her ribs and a joint.  But, due to her age – Jet is almost ten – removing the tumor is risky.
Instead we’re doing quarterly vet visits.  This morning Cheekies, Jet and I are headed to the vet.  A few tests should show that the tumor hasn’t gotten any bigger.  And I really think my dog hates me after these visits.  But, that is another story.

Super Monday Sick Day

Like many of my fellow Americans I am calling in sick today.  Unlike many of my fellow Americans it has nothing to do with having a hangover.  I have been suffering an anemic flair-up. (I have a severe form of chronic anemia.)

Anywho, my doctor warned me that anything stressful would make me sicker.  That included watching the Super Bowl if it was a great game.  Well, the Giants and Patriots gave us a great game.  I am extremely sick.  And I totally loved every moment of the game, so I’ll take being ill.

Hopefully you enjoyed the Super Bowl, too.  Enjoy The Great American Sick Day.

Weird Time Warp

I had a great post about my horrible Monday on a Wednesday when it happened.  The post went away.  It vanished off my phone’s blog editing program.  Thirty minutes of work gone.
My week has gone this way for the entire week.  Actually a little longer.  One of my friends suggested that I am in Groundhog’s Day.  I think it is just a weird time warp.
Hopefully, I will have time this weekend to write a long post about this weird time warp that deleted blog posts.

Coffee Problems

My Keriug is on the fritz.  I found this out when I went to brew a cup of tea.  (I still don’t have coffee in the house.)  There are some things you never want to hear in life.  The coffee machine isn’t working is really high on the list!  It isn’t a funny joke.  It really isn’t funny when it is true!

If you ask me this is on the same level as a busted water pump.  Truthfully, it might be even higher on the list of problems than a busted water pump in the Liberty.  Urg!  No coffee!  No way to make coffee!  No caffeine, and a baby!  Ack!  Try writing anything under those circumstances.

Well, I know what I am doing this weekend.  Pulling apart my Keriug to figure out what is wrong.  Otherwise, I will never write another word again.

New Direction for the Blog

I have decided to do some changes to the blog.  It will still be about my journey in life.  Hopefully, that journey still ends as a published author.  The only thing is that journey has found some new stumbling blocks.  The biggest stumbling block is my baby girl, Cheekies.  (Yes, that really is her nickname that her Daddy gave her.  Some day in the future there will be one very upset teen girl whining “Daddy!” as he calls her Cheekies in front of a boy.)

There is also the fact my husband, Lumpy (his former call-sign), is now an officer and going to graduate school fulltime.  Formerly, he was an NCO (non-commissioned officer) and only going to undergraduate course for his job.  Now, there is the actual job (which I really don’t know what it is) and graduate coursework.

So, this leaves me with a five month old baby, a house to keep up by myself, a dream I don’t want to let die, and a husband who is a bit busy.  I realized this is all part of the journey, too.  That means I am going partially mom-blog for the next few years.  The writing is still going to happen, but there will be more about the things keeping me from writing.  Not too much gross stuff like “Baby made a poopy.”  Because who really cares about that?  More of things like “By time the baby went down for her nap, hubby walked in the door wondering where supper was, and I still haven’t had a moment to edit a single word today!”  Hopefully, a few of you will still follow along.

Isabella’s Torch by Kristine Lowder

Today’s short story comes from Kristine Lowder of Roads Diverged: In A Yellow Wood.  Head over to her blog after you’re done reading her story here.  Don’t forget to show some love for Kristine by leaving a comment or two below.

Isabelle’s Torch

By Kristine Lowder

My Uncle Norm didn’t just like books.  He LOVED books. Devoured them.  Ate them up with a spoon.  If it came down to a choice between dinner and another chapter, you may not see Uncle Norm until after dessert.
Whenever Norm, his wife Dorothy and my three cousins headed south to San Diego from the Bay Area to visit, I took full advantage of his bibliophilism (that’s a new word I just made up).  To my delight, I discovered that Norm was a great believer in reading aloud.  He put heart and soul into every page, bringing characters to life with different vocalizations, gestures and facial features.  Reading a book with Norm was like having a front row seat at a private command performance.
Realizing this, I’d climb into his lap, laded to the chin with an armful of books.  Deep bass voice booming, Norman and I burrowed between the pages of Dr. Seuss, P.D. Travers, C.S. Lewis, Margaret Wise Brown or the Brothers Grimm.  We shared many summer hours with Stuart Little, Billy and Blaze, Peter and Wendy, Black Beauty, the March and Ingalls families.  So many others.
.  It was 1960-something.  I was in the second grade.  One November my mom bought me a book that I couldn’t figure out.  “It’s a Christmas book,” she explained.  “The holidays will be here soon.”  Lavishly illustrated with beautiful graphics, I could read the words just fine.  There was only one problem: they were song lyrics, and I couldn’t read music.
Figuring that Uncle Norm was omniscient in all other matters bookish, I pulled on his sleeve one November morning when the troops were visiting for Thanksgiving.  I thrust the dark blue book into his hands.  “Can you read this to me, please?”  “It’s a singing book.  I don’t know how it goes.”
We retreated into the living room, plopped onto the sofa and Norm opened Bring a Torch, Jeanette Isabelle.  He paged through, “ooing and ahhing” at scenes depicting a young girl with a torch, the Holy family, a village stable and lots of stars.
“Oh, this is a good one!” Uncle Norm said.  He always said that.  To a world-class bibliophile like Norman Naas, every book I offered was “a good one.”
“Let’s give it a try, shall we?” Norm said, perching his black-rimmed glasses atop his nose.    Norm started at the beginning and began to sing:
Bring a torch, Jeanette, Isabelle!
Bring a torch, to the stable run
Christ is born. Tell the folk of the village
Jesus is born and Mary’s calling.
Ah! Ah! beautiful is the Mother!
Ah! Ah! beautiful is her child.


A French Christmas carol that originated in the Provence region in the 16th century, Bring a Torch urges visitors to the stable to keep their voices down so the newborn Babe can enjoy his dreams. There’s a brief pause after each “Ah!”
I’m told that children in the Provence region still dress up as shepherds and milkmaids, carrying torches and candles to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve while singing the carol.  The doleful tune has also been recorded by Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians, Joan Baez, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, and Mannheim Steamroller, among others.
Uncle Norm and I never recorded Bring a Torch, but it seems we sang it over and over each holiday season for years.  I didn’t fully understand the lyrics for some time.  I just knew that my uncle chose to spend time with me.
I don’t know what happened to that book, but Uncle Norm passed away several years ago.  I think of him often, especially when prowling the stacks of the local library.  When trees shed their summer garb, cherry-cheeked winds scrub autumnal skies and November ignites the hills, I sometimes catch myself humming. And as autumn prances onto the calendar and the holidays knock on my door, memories of my Uncle Norm and Jeanette-Isabelle’s torch come home.

Kristine has authored several books and contributes to numerous ezines. Her short stories have appeared in a variety of venues including Heartwarmers, Mamapedia, A Long Story Short and Warm Fuzzy Stories.  Visit Kristine’s blog and website, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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