The answer to the never-ending question: okay, I set up this blog, now what am I supposed to do with it?
These are my random musings - some about writing and some about every day life. I fancy myself as having a bit of attention deficit so the challenge is to keep up as my muse runs free in a cloud of color, emotion and imagination. You can learn a little about me and I hope to hear from you as well.
|Posted by Tea Railene on May 13, 2017 at 3:50 AM||comments (0)|
I recently stumbled across such a wonderful opportunity. We were watching a news program which aired a story about a man named Ralph Carhart who had spent the last few years working on a project called The Hall Ball. The Hall Ball is a baseball Mr. Carhart has been taking around to all the members in the Baseball Hall of Fame, or their burial plots if they have passed on, and having them take a picture with the ball. He is hoping to have the ball added to the Hall of Fame once his project is complete.
My husband piped up and said, "You know my great uncle is in the Baseball Hall of Fame." I perked up. He went on to tell me his name was Tony Lazzeri. Since we both love baseball, the whole idea fascinated me and I got a crazy idea.
The next day I googled Ralph Carhart and found him on Facebook so I sent me a message letting him know about our connection to Tony Lazzeri and asking him if he would like an insider story for his website. He quickly replied and said he would love the help.
Long story short, I am now honored to be writing multiple bios for his project. Mr. Carhart has been wonderful about letting me 'tag along' and write more bios for the website. I feel so good to be contributing to the project. I am learning a lot about baseball and having a lot of fun. So far I have contributed Tony Lazzeri, Lou Gehrig and Reggie Jackson with more in the works. Check out the website!
|Posted by Tea Railene on January 27, 2017 at 8:40 PM||comments (0)|
Last night my usual daily routine came to halt when I noticed a television special they were airing about the life of Mary Tyler Moore. I am sure plenty of readers are too young to remember this wonderful lady and the impact she had on life back in the 70s and 80s. She was on the Dick Van Dyke show which was a little before my time, but I remember her as Mary Richards on her own show. She was an iconic mentor for independent women in those days and inspired a lot of us to follow our dreams.
Writing about her also made me contemplate this blog, as well as my journal. We use them to make a record of history as it is actually happening, not just a list of what happened but how it affected our reality. I write things that I hope will be interesting years from now when future generations read them. I hope to give an inside look into what life was like 'back in the day'.
When I hear about celebrities passing away, I remember 'back in the day' when I was a child. I remember what life was like, rushing home from school to watch the show because you couldn't just pull it up on Hulu and see it whenever you wanted.
I remember answering the phone without knowing who was on the line. I remember when the whole family had the same phone number, when it belonged to the house and not the individual. I remember when looking for services - a good restaurant, doctor, photographer - meant browsing the yellow pages, not Google. It seems funny that the little changes in life happen without you noticing too much, until you look back and realize that your reality is now completely different.
I look at my blog and journals and see how different life is now and how my life and decisions affected my children and grandchildren. I wonder if Mary Tyler Moore looked back at that simple, spunky character she created for a television show and realized the affect her grace and comedy and independent attitude had on the generation who grew up watching her. RIP Mary Tyler Moore.
|Posted by Tea Railene on December 19, 2016 at 9:20 PM||comments (0)|
Wow, I can't believe we are already to the end of 2016. It has been a challenging year but here we are with only two weeks left and we are still standing. I am gonna take that as a positive sign and get ready to make the new year that much better!
I am gonna give my life a good cleaning. First, give the house a good going over. Pick up the decoations and dust under them, vacuum or maybe even shampoo the carpets, freshen up the room by moving a few things around and getting rid of the extra clutter.
Dump out the purse and get rid of the loose change, scraps of paper and candy wrappers. Clean out the car and hang a new freshener to make you smile when you drive. Get all those photos in your phone filed away and the extra miscellaneous files on your computer cleaned up. Close the books in your budget and clean the no longer needed tasks off the To Do list for the new year.
While we are at it, let's take inventory of life. Time to highlight the good things, reach out and touch base with the good people around you. Walk away from the bad ones. Step back from negative energy and toxic people. They waste your time and emotional resources.
Life is way too short - so say you are sorry, admit when you are wrong, do and say what you have always wanted to, and above all else...EAT DESSERT FIRST! The sun is setting on 2016...and it's time to move forward with a NEW YEAR
|Posted by Tea Railene on December 8, 2015 at 2:15 AM||comments (0)|
Writing has always been easy for me, basically second nature. I was journaling before I barely knew how to spell, perched under the old cherry tree in the side yard of the farm. I wrote poetry, was the co-editor of the high school newspaper and had a poem published in my college newsletter.
As an adult, I decided to take my writing more seriously and work on getting my word crafts into the public eye. I was pretty thrilled when one of my poems appeared in the local newspaper, but I think every writer has a bucket list - their idea of the perfect market they have always admired and wanted their work published in.
Highlights for Children reigns the queen of children's magazines in my opinion. I think everyone has seen one and read them at the local doctors office. This magazine became my bucket list market, and in 2004 they published my article "Dirty Ol' Clothes". I remember seeing my words on the pages and thinking I had really made it as a serious writer.
Another genre I have written a lot in the past is the personal experience essays. If you know what these essays are, then you know the ultimate market would be Chicken Soup for the Soul. Well...I am thrilled to announce that in February they will be releasing an edition called My Very Good, Very Bad Dog, and my essay "A Birthday Surprise" will be among the pages. I am so proud and awe-struck. That is another check off my bucket list.
|Posted by Tea Railene on October 13, 2015 at 4:05 AM||comments (0)|
Great picture of my book, Monsters On The Farm, with my friend Laurie Borth Barreiro on the east coast. Wow, the story made it across the country! The feeling is almost surreal. After writing stories my whole life, I get to see people reading the stories and enjoying them. It makes the time and work spent creating these books SO worth it!!
Monsters On The Farm was inspired by a group of stories that I used to tell my kids when they were growing up. They would ask to hear them again and again, and I thought maybe if I wrote them down other kids could enjoy them as well.
Reading to kids is so important, and that bonding time of sitting together before bedtime laughing at a good story - those are precious moments they will not soon forget. Life is busy in this day and age, but before you hunker in for the night curl up with your adorable mini person and enjoy a good book. Maybe it will be Monsters On The Farm.
|Posted by Tea Railene on September 19, 2015 at 9:20 PM||comments (0)|
Today is a sad day in our little cave. My writing buddy, Goebbie, passed away yesterday. It was very sudden so we aren't sure what happened, but we are pretty sure she was poisoned by an obnoxious neighbor that she hated and would bark at when they wandered down the alley past our back fence.
I was never a dog person, but Goebbie came to us needing a home, and soon snuck into a spot in my heart as well. She loved to dance and loved to wrestle and even though her fur-sister is a rottweiler she was always the lil doggie in full command.
Grief has a strange way of processing. At first there was shock, sitting there in silence and reaching for her when she was not there. Then there were tears when family rushed over to help and comfort, and hubby got home from work with a huge supply of hugs. This morning there was anger and wanting revenge, but I can't even be positive who did it and I am not sure I want that negativity in my life. So, now this evening it is a little sadness but also a determination to just remember the good times and take care of her fur-sister, making sure she doesn't get too sad.
Just a dog? A few years ago I might have agreed. But Goebbie taught me a good lesson about their unconditional love and loyalty. She was not 'just a dog'. She was a friend.
|Posted by Tea Railene on September 17, 2015 at 2:55 AM||comments (0)|
Say hello to Tamara and Lizzy Tamara is a special young lady that I kinda adopted as a daughter...and Lizzy? Well, she is Tamara Junior. I sent Lizzy a copy of my book, Monsters On The Farm, and Tamara sent me back this picture.
There is so much I could say about how much this touches my heart. Bringing parents and children together through reading a good story and having a good laugh - I could not want more in the world. In my opinion, nurturing a love of reading in kids at an early age is just SO important. Being a good reader can help them in so many other facets of life, and reading just lets you ride your imagination anywhere you could want to go.
I hope you read to your kids, and I hope I can provide you with lots of fun words to share with them. It is such a great bonding moment and starts a love of knowledge for them. I know some parents just don't have the time to invest, so I have considered recording myself reading the stories so your kids could follow along. Would that be helpful?
|Posted by Tea Railene on August 4, 2015 at 8:30 PM||comments (0)|
|Posted by Tea Railene on June 12, 2015 at 11:30 PM||comments (0)|
The crisp pop of the pod, the sweet smell of those fresh peas inside. That scent brings me back to my childhood on the farm. We had an acre surrounded by an 8-foot fence for our garden. Now that we live ‘in town’, we don’t have that luxury but I did manage to plant a few crops in a flower bed the length of our driveway - peas, tomatoes, potatoes and zucchini.
Today I picked my first harvest of peas and, sitting on the porch with the basket full, I can almost look up to see my mom and siblings sitting on the grass around me each with their own pile. My sister would be chewing on a pod, claiming they taste good raw and my baby brother would be wandering around barefoot with a droopy diaper barely clinging to him. Awww…the things that make you smile!!
|Posted by Tea Railene on June 9, 2015 at 11:20 PM||comments (0)|
Lately, I have been focusing on marketing strategies for my writing. I have one book in print, one second edition almost ready to come out, a sequel drafted and so many more ideas to get into words. With all these waves of 'product' coming out, the next logical step seems to be learning how to market.
I joined a local group called AIM (Author Innovative Marketing) and went to the first meeting last week. I was a little intimidated by the idea at first, but I was so glad I went! There is so much to learn and it is wonderful to be networking with a group of authors who are all working on the same goal. We can swap ideas.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/AuthorsInnovativeMarketing/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://https://www.facebook.com/groups/AuthorsInnovativeMarketing/
One thing I have learned quickly is that there is an overwhelming amount of information out there to sort through. Hundreds of companies offer their advice...as a teaser to get you to buy their product. One of these teasers really struck me though.
I came across this video about marketing your work. It made the point that to attract attention to your "art", you need to have an interesting story. Consumers buy into the artist as much as they buy the art, and they love a good story behind the piece.
So what is my story? I was raised on a farm by my mom and step dad way out in the middle of nowhere. We didn't have money or means to keep up with the cool school events or television shows, so I was never very popular. I was painfully shy, quite the nerd, and definitely a weirdo - and you know what? That was okay.
I embraced the weirdness and grew up to take pride in being unique. I want to be like someone you've never met before. Let me know if I am "typical" or "boring" because I will change. I am a survivor - surviving loss, divorce, addiction, incarceration, abuse, homelessness and poverty. I don't say that to brag but instead to let those listening know that I have empathy and I know you can survive too.
So maybe that's my story. There is always good out there. It always gets better...and life is FUN if you let it be. Be weird, be you and let them wonder what you are up to