Thursday, October 31, 2013

Something We Are Trying Out - Picture of the Day

This is a milk bottle full of topics for writing in a journal. My sweet friend and librarian from Hooker, Oklahoma - Carolyn, gave Sherrilyn Polf and I copies of these topics. (Sherrilyn has made some really pretty decorated canning jars with these topics in them and she sells them at book events. Be sure to get one as a gift to yourself or for someone special.) I made a copy of the pages and cut them apart. I have a bunch of milk bottles, so that was my choice of vessels.
The idea behind the topics is that there are a lot of people who want or need to write a journal and don't know where to start. There are 365 or more questions on these little paper strips. They range from telling about your first job to who your favorite aunt was and why. You take one strip of paper per day or week and glue the strip to the top of a blank journal page. Then, you answer the question either in depth or quickly. By the time the jar is empty, your journal is complete and you have a good representation of your life story.
I decided to take another step in this process. Since Terry and I have known each other for 39 years, bringing up a new subject for meaningful conversation at the dinner table tends to be a challenge. It occurred to me that taking a strip/question per day and talking it over would be something we would enjoy. After we each answered the question, I took notes and asked Terry if I could write his answers next to mine in a document on the computer. When the milk bottle is empty, I will publish the document and make a book of it for each of our sons. It might help the poor boys figure out why we are so warped and where we get our sense of humor.
In looking back over our lives, I want to focus on the good things. So many times I allow the sorrowful memories cloud over the many wonderful days in my life. I am anxious to learn more about this man who has chosen me to be his wife. You might want to use this tool to launch conversations and writing in a journal as well. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Still Getting Ready for the Satellite Arts and Crafts Show Nov 22 & 23- Pictures of the Day

This is the table for the Nashville Series, "Six Miles from Nashville" and "Christmas in Nashville". I purchased a plastic table skirt to go over the green fabric one to give the table a Christmas feel. It turned out to be very thin and see through. I think I will stick to the green tablecloth. I do like the red gift bags and bows.

 This is the green tablecloth.
Boxes of books are delivered and ready. I know it is early, but I have to start early to purchase a little at a time. The Satellite event is one of the highlights of the year for me. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

One of Those Days - Picture of the Day

Today is just one of those days. Nothing really exciting is going on except I am supposed to receive a book order and perhaps an order from Oriental Trading. Dull? Did I hear that word? Let's just say that sometimes it is good to have a 'down day' where there are no expectations going on.
I have been working on the book table set up for craft shows and other book events. It even came down to sewing! Imagine that! I do have a table set up just out of the camera view of one of the tables I will have at the Satellite Show this year. I would have taken a  picture of it only some of the main ingredients to make it special are in the Oriental Trading order. I will finish the set up and then take a picture and post it on here before I pack it away to take it to the event.
This is a time of reflection also. Thoughts about what should be included in the next book are rumbling through my mind. I have decided on a title, "The Restless Kansas Wind". It is inspired, although not word for word, from some of my grandparents and how they found one another. It will be amped up quite a bit because, like me, there were a whole lot of 'nothing much happening days' in their life as well. I take stories I have heard from friends, readers, family, and my imagination to construct a book with good action in it.
I hope you have a really good day today. Remember, sometimes an ordinary day with your Bible, a good book, some coffee or tea, and a nice phone call from someone you love is enough. Allow yourself some 'down time' so that the exciting times don't wear you out. (Man, I sound old!)

Monday, October 28, 2013

Getting Ready for Craft Show Season - Picture of the Day

This is a picture of a set up I used with boards going through for a shelving unit for craft booths. I have sewed up the slits on one and need to sew up the other one and add upholstery tacks around the edge of the second on like I did the first. I forgot I had the second one. I will use it as a backdrop for the table I am using for The Nashville Series. There will be more decorations when it is set up. I am getting excited about the craft show season.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

I Have Great Hopes for my Christmas Cactus- Picture of the Day

 My Christmas Cactus actually looks like it may have 'blooms' this year. (Unless I don't know what I am talking about... Which is the truth.) I have had it for several years and it never had blooms since the year I bought it. The edges of the plant are turning pink and I am doing all I can to resist loving it too much by watering it to much. I think these are a really cool plant and I am hoping I don't kill it.

Yes, I would own a personal rain forest if I had all the plants I have killed through the years. Three months ago the sweet little palm tree bit the dirt, as did the lily... This Christmas Cactus and a Rubber Tree given to me years ago by Sharon E. to commemorate our shared birthday, are the lone survivors of my 'love'

See the floral box on my radio/record player/cd player/tape player? That is the file where I keep record of the book purchases of everyone in the Elaine Littau book club. I use this file to send out cards for each new title as it comes out. Anyone can be in the book club.

If you have pointers about the care of Christmas Cactus, please post them. I need to know.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Gearing Up for "The Restless Kansas Wind" - Picture of the Day

Well, I am preparing to get back in the saddle again to write another book. This one will be Book IV of the "Rescued...a Series of Hope" batch. This series goes into the lives of many of the girls who were rescued from a life of slavery. When I began writing the chapter about these girls in the "Nan's Heritage Series", there was not a lot of press about human trafficking. I find it interesting that I am compelled to write about it in a  Christian Historical Western Fiction.

The action will take place after the rescue so that younger readers will not be exposed to the details of the horror the character lived through. The reader will see the aftermath and how she copes with it. In the original listing of names of the girls, this character's name was 'Rose'. Because there were so many of the girls and because I didn't think about writing this series until after I had written "Luke's Legacy", I named a girl 'Rose' in "Luke's Legacy".  This presented a problem, so I renamed this girl 'Lilly'.  Now you can see the struggles I put myself through before I learned to map out my characters better.

At the top of the picture is a journal where I have glued pictures from magazines and catalogs. Each picture is given the name of each character in the current book. I put age, location, character quirks, likes and dislikes. You know, the stuff tat makes them real.

 I also use  page in there as a timeline of the major events of the book. I don't really know where the book will go in it's meandering, but I know where I want it to land in the end. I also include a real history timeline so that I don't name towns, railroads, and events that didn't exist when the action takes place. This keeps the book historical and not just fiction.

The red book is one that I delve into many times to aid me in keeping my writing style in line and focused. It is "The Art of War for Writers" by James Scott Bell. It is my 'go to' book when I feel the writing is getting stale. I recommend this to students and writers everywhere.

The reason I am not actually writing on the book at this time is because I am preparing for the web challenge called the National Novel Writing Month. NaNoWriMo. The challenge is to write 50,000 words during the month of November. It takes a lot of determination, especially since this is a very busy month, but as my former pastor's wife used to say: "If you want something done, ask someone who is busy." (Barbara Waterbury)

Several of my titles have come from this challenge. Last year, I didn't get to the goal, but I did get 35,000+ toward the next book. That is a big leg up. I am excited about "The Restless Kansas Wind" and seeing what the readers have to say about it.

I am still researching many Kansas facts. The action will take place around and near Meade, KS. The history is rich and I am discovering that the research is one of the most enjoyable things about writing a book. Keep me in your prayers as I commit this work to God.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Canadian's Fall Foliage Festival Craft Show 2013- Pictures of the Day

October 19 and 20, 2013- Canadian, TX Fall Foliage Festival Craft Show.
Pictured here are Sherrilyn Polf, author of Christian Historical Fiction Books of WWII from Tyrone, KS,
Me, Elaine Littau, author of Christian Fiction from Perryton, TX,
Darlene Shortridge, author of Contemporary Christian Drama from Oklahoma City, OK.
We were located in one of the hallway booths between the cafeteria and gym. There were a lot of shoppers who stopped by to talk with us and purchase books.

This is another view and I had to ham it up a little. I suppose those of you who have hung out with me would agree that I just can't be serious for a prolonged time.

That is 10 titles shoved into 4' of space. lol...Next year, I hope to have 4 or 5 more.

Darlene turned her table sideways so she could stand closer to the people and talk with them. She has a really cool banner that tells all about her.

Sherry has a nifty booth that showcases her books, the WWII posters she sells, and the journal jars she sells as well.

This sweet gal, Susan G., stopped by to encourage me. She came back to the booth and asked if she could have a picture with me. I told her she could if I could have a picture with her on my camera. I love taking these kinds of pictures. It helps me put the face with the name I send cards to. This was a highlight of the weekend.
The weather was so agreeable even though the trees hadn't turned color yet. I really enjoy doing this event. I will be at the Perryton, TX Satellite Craft Show in the Expo. My booth will be along the back west wall. I hope to see you there.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Terry Can Still Stand on His Head. Pictures of the Day

Terry wowed Maci and Eli when we stopped by there on the way home from our trip by standing on his head. When we were first married, he would lean against the wall on his head and do push-ups from this position. It was impressive. Then he would just get in the middle of the room and stand on his head for more minutes. I think I was able to do this in Jr. High in gym in order to get a grade, but I didn't keep it going.

Maci almost got it and Eli is really interested in what is happening over there.

Eli has to tell Mimi all about it.

Now Eli is attempting it. He doesn't realize he has to use his arms to hold himself in this position. Of course, he is only 22 mo. old.

Terry told Maci to practice on the couch to make it easier on her head.

Now Eli has to try it.

Now Maci is showing off. We surely did have fun on that short visit. We headed home after a couple of hours and completed our week-long trip.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

We Took These Pictures Between Claude, TX and Canyon, TX. Combine City- Pictures of the Day

We found this display of old combines on the road between Claud and Canyon. It looks like a nod to the Cadillac Ranch on the outskirts of Amarillo.

There sure were a lot of combines planted backside first.
Have you seen these?

Here is a closer look.

We were almost to Mikey's house, so vacation would be over soon.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Dear Friend I Finally Met Face to Face - Picture of the Day

Kimberly Thompson has been a Facebook friend of mine for years. We met through the Christian Author's Marketing Strategies group I started with Laura Eckroat, another author friend of mine. Kim is a Louisiana native and I love her to pieces. She recommended me to share a speaking engagement in a town not far from her home. The educators group was amazing and very encouraging. I was blessed to meet Kim and also another member of the Facebook group who has become dear to me as we have had conversations on Facebook, Linda Niemeir. She was another speaker at this lovely event. Kimberly Thompson has written a number of books. Search her name on and it will bring up a list of her books. I especially love the legends of the swamp series. They are terrific love stories wound around historic detail as well as current times. You must read them!
Linda Niemeir and her mother wrote a biography of her mother's life in Louisiana in the dust bowl days. It is entitled "Sharecropping in Northern Louisiana". I recommend this book as well. The stories in this book are true and reminded me of stories my mother and dad used to tell all of us. Sometimes details of oral stories grow fuzzy, so I used this book to remind me of things that were done to survive in those days in some of my books. Terry has pictures from that event in his phone. We just have to learn how to put them on my computer. lol

This is Keith Thompson, Kim's husband and their sweet little granddaughter Raegan.

Kim, my friend and the author of some of my favorite books.

Terry playing with Kim and Keith's grands, Julian and Raegan

Being in Louisiana with Kim and Keith was relaxing and fun. We attended church with them on Wednesday night. Kim made file gumbo from scratch. It was sooooooooo good. I think she considered our non-Cajun stomachs and didn't add things we weren't used to. The flavor was the best. We went with her to look over her rabbits, garden and chickens. We laughed, told stories, and became forever friends. Isn't that the best kind?

Monday, October 21, 2013

Natural Bridge Outside of Clinton, Arkansas Pictures of the Day

Earlier this month Terry and I had a working vacation. You have seen some of the pictures from Arnett, OK and Baxter Springs, KS as well as Branson, MO. These pictures are from the travel across Arkansas North to South on our way to Louisiana.
Just outside Clinton, Arkansas we saw a sign that said "Natural Bridge". The sign indicated that it was located one mile off the road. Now Terry and I love the chance to see things like this.  Pictured above is the cabin where the host is who tells a little background of the place. He said a large family lived in that cabin years ago.
Some of the trees were just beginning to turn.

This is the front of the cabin in the first picture. Terry is on his way to look at something or else, he is reading a sign. (I don't remember.)

I always have to take pictures of covered wagons to keep in my mind the scale of how the pioneers moved from place to place.

Terry wants to make a well that looks like this for our garden. He is getting a closer look.

This is a sassafras tree. (The one with a sign on it...) I had thought that sassafras was a root or plant or something. I guess I am not too old to learn something that possibly everyone else already knows. 

I also learned from my friend, Kimberly Thompson, our hostess in Louisiana, that file (pronounced filly)  for gumbo is made from crushed and powdered leaves of the sassafras tree. This is another thing I did not know.

They reconstructed a still on the sight.

Look at the moss on the roof!

This was also a house where an entire family lived. We are so spoiled today!
Another view of this house.


This is the natural bridge. It is bigger than it looks here. Dirt eroded from under it and above it to reveal a natural stone bridge.

There is a little cave back in there.

This sphere is a natural stone. The host of the sight told us that they are called "pearls of the mountains". There are some in MO also. Google natural round rocks and there are pictures of other rocks like this. He said some of them are up to 12' diameter. We found this very interesting.