Thursday, June 28, 2012

Thankful Thursday: 12 x 12 in '12 Blog Party

Blog badge by Linda Silvestri



I can't believe we're at the halfway point for the 12 x 12 in '12 Challenge. When the topic of a party bubbled up on the Facebook group, I offered a treat. 

A Peppermit Patty Brownie Cup
If you visit the link, you'll notice my brownie cup looks very much like the professional's brownie cup. They were yummy. The second time I made the recipe wasn't so photo worthy. 

Some of my 12 x 12 in '12 picture book drafts have had a similar fate. One month my draft turned out great (at least in my head). The next month, I'm not feeling it. 

Either way, I'm writing and on track with the challenge. I've written one or more drafts each month — eight in May as I participated in the National Picture Book Writing Week.  Thank you Julie Hedlund for organizing the 12 x 12 in '12 challenge.

My goal for the next half of the year is to not only write a monthly draft, but also revise one manuscript.  It's not a lofty goal, but it's a big one for me. I feel out of the submission loop, but I've also been busy with other things. 

My 2012 goals did not include being elected to my neighborhood's metro district board or enrolling in web and graphic design classes at the community college. Both have taken away some of my writing time, but also offer a bit of rejuvenation and challenge. As I learn new software programs and figure out how to survive a watercolor landscape drawing, I want to stay on track with class assignments, writing challenges and life in general. 

Many of you know I live in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Last Saturday, a fire began in Waldo Canyon. My family is safe. My neighborhood is on the east side of town more than 15 miles away. Here's a view as I mistakenly walked the dog on Monday. The air quality is horrible.
The fire's smoke cloud. 
Tuesday afternoon we were engulfed in a smoke cloud as thousands were evacuated as the wildfire — well, got wild. No injuries have been reported, which is a miracle, but more than 100 homes (some say up to 300) have been destroyed. Some area writers lost their homes or have been evacuated. 

Author Beth Vogt mentions her evacuation and so does Debbie Maxwell Allen. These two ladies (and many others) have occupied many of my thoughts in recent days. Agent Rachelle Gardner wrote about the fire. Her husband is one of the hundreds of firefighters working in difficult conditions to contain the blaze.

As writers, we are supposed to have words, but this fire has left me speechless. 

Words are slowly coming back to the city and its residents. 

We'll rebuild.

Let us help.

We'll return.

We're safe.

Thank you.

56 comments:

  1. Wishing you continued success as your reach your goals within the 12x12in2012 PB Challenge. Enjoy the ride!

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    1. Thanks Sheri. I am. The 12x challenge has been great.

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  2. I think you know I'm north, up in the Aurora area, & have been wondering where you were. I'm glad you're okay, Stacy, & sending prayers for all that are affected directly there, & everywhere. It's been terrible just watching! I have no personal connection that I know of, but I'm sure it makes it doubly hard for you with friends who've evacuated. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Linda, Yes. We are safe. It has been horrible to watch from any distance. Our entire state is so dry.

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  3. Life's challenges...they are constantly changing! Good luck with all the new projects. And best wishes to you and everyone else in the fire fight - that's scary stuff for sure.

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    1. Thanks Karen. We remain safe and the containment number keeps increasing! Woo hoo.

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  4. I will be sending helpful prayers and hope. It is horrible that people lost their homes. I hope your family stays safe.

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  5. Thank you for keeping the firefighters in your thoughts and prayers. I didn't know about Debbie Maxwell Allen, so I'll send her a note too. It does make you appreciate the bravery of people who don't hesitate for a moment to step in and help.

    It's been an honor to have you in the challenge, and I know you'll do just as well in round 2. :-)

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  6. That cupcake made me gasp out loud. It looks so incredibly beautiful and delicious! What a treat indeed.

    And wow to all your manuscripts even with all the other things that piled onto your plate (other than cupcakes, I mean.)

    Then your words about the fire -- I am so grateful that you're safe, and hope and pray you stay that way. The people of that area of Colorado remain in my thoughts. The words and phrases that you ended this post with brought tears to my eyes -- thank goodness people are resilient and determined in the face of these disasters.

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    1. Beth, One day perhaps I can make cupcakes for you in real life. :) Our community continues to recover.

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  7. Well, that cupcake looks delicious, but it's hard to enjoy chocolate in the midst of a crisis! (Still, I could try-;-)

    Y'all are in my thoughts and prayers!

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    1. Cathy, Funny you say that about chocolate. I ate too many Oreos (nervous eating) while watching the news coverage.

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  8. Stacey, I too want to revise more in the second half of the year!

    I have been following this tragic fire through daily FB updates. Thinking a lot about the firefighters and other helping evacuate people and animals.

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    1. Joanna, Yes. I must revise more this half of the year.

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  9. That cupcake looks so yummy! Thanks so much for your support. I hope you guys can breathe down there. Each time we have clear air, I feel guilty because that probably means the folks in the Springs don't. So far, our house is still on pre-evac, but Woodland Park is a ghost town!

    ~Debbie

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    1. Debbie, I believe last week was one of my longest feeling weeks in a while. I am relieved everything is improving.

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  10. I am so thankful you and your family are safe. When I heard about the fires, I couldn't help but think about your little man. My thoughts and prayers are with Beth, Rachelle's husband, and so many others. *hugs*

    P.S. I'm drooling over that cupcake.:)

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    1. Tonia, Thank you! I've drooled over the digital version a bit too.

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  11. Stacy, I'm glad you are safe and have still managed to make it through the first half of the 12 X 12 challenge...here's to the next six months...

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    1. Donna, It's always fun to look ahead to the future. I'm sure there will be lots of fun stories ahead in 2012.

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  12. You have been very much on my mind and I was hoping you've been a distance from the fire. Sorry, I haven't been following blogs well because I've been busy and taken trips out of town. Stay safe! A lot of prayers flowing to your area. I have a number of friends there. Know some kids in the AF Academy too. Keep us posted.

    Congratulations on all your hard work in drafting so many manuscript. That's an accomplishment.

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    1. Patricia, Thanks. We remain safe and the fire continues to be contained more each day. I've been a bit behind blog wise too.

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  13. Glad to hear that you are safe. That fire sure is scary. You have had your plate full for this challenge but managed to pull through. Congratulations. And thank you for the delicious looking peppermint brownie cup!

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  14. Wish I could taste your cupcake! Love the analogy though. I'm glad your family is safe. Best wishes to you on continuing your goals!

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    1. Tina, Thanks. I wish I could share a real one with everyone.

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  15. I'm glad you are safe. I saw the smoke on my way up to my parents in Redstone, Colorado. I went west out of Pueblo (Tuesday morning) to Canon City and could really see the large plume. I have been keeping all of the folks near the fires in my prayers.
    Best of luck with your 12 x 12 goals!
    The brownie cups are making my mouth water. Look so yummy!

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    1. Penny, Hope you had a great trip to Colorado. Things are much improved this week.

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  16. Stacy, I'm so glad to hear you and your family are safe from the fire. How sad that so many people lost their homes. At least no one was hurt!

    Good luck with everything you're doing. Those college classes sound great. Web design is one of my passions!

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    1. Sheila, Sadly, there were two deaths in one of the evacuated areas. The city and its citizens did a great job of evacuating 30k people.

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  17. Hi Stacy! Those cupcakes look delish! I'm so wanting something chocolate. Will have to go through my raw food recipes and see what will satisfy the chocolate cravings.

    So glad to hear your family is safe from the wild fires! CONGRATS on keeping up with the 12x12 in 12 challenge!

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    1. Oops Susanne. The cupcake doesn't fit in with the raw diet too well.

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  18. Congrats. I'm sorry to hear about the fires.

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  19. Yummy. I'll have to try making these! Happy half way and good luck with the next half! Stay safe.

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    1. Cynthia, They are delish and worth the work.

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  20. All of you to our north are in my thoughts and prayers. We are surrounded by wildfire on three sides, but none of these fires are as broad as the one in CO Springs. Unfortunately, a friend of ours lost his home in the Stateline fire. Our air quality is horrid, too.

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    1. Susan, Three sides. It has been a horrible fire season this year and sadly summer is just beginning.

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  21. Oh, I do wish I can someday play with the cool kids in 12x12x12.

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    1. Mike, I hope you are writing a draft a month!

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  22. Oh, no! You had to put that brownie cup in front of me, and now I feel like I need a break. Just a little jaunt (that's exercise, right?) to the kitchen... Because we deserve it, after all, right? And I'd be letting you and everyone down if I didn't... Sorry, gotta go join your party!

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    1. Deb, A trip to the kitchen is always considered exercise in my book.

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  23. Wow! That peppermint patty brownie cup looks so tempting! While I would normally wish we lived closer, I am glad I don't live close enough to have gotten my hands on that cupcake! My healthy eating would have gone out the window! lol! Happy Halfway! :)

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    1. Moonduster, It's more of a once a year treat! I'll admit that and I'm a chocaholic.

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  25. Man, this is so not fair - reading the post just before dinner and that amazing looking cupcake is making me crazy! Okay, it's more like I am lacking a dinner plan! In any case I love your idea to write one/revise one for the next six months! Hope I can do it too! Congrats so far!

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    1. Julie, Thanks for your support throughout the challenge.

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  26. Congratulations on your finished drafts, good luck with your classes and future writing plans and I hope that your community recovers quickly from the terrible fires. That cupcake looks scrumptious!

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    1. Heather, I believe the community will. We are in such a different place just one week later.

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  27. All I can say is congrats on your accomplishments thus far, and I wish you all the best in every way in the coming days and months.

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  28. Great news on finished drafts. More importantly, so glad you and your family are okay.

    Also, omg re: that peppermint patty brownie cup.

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  29. Stacy...wow, didn't know you were so close to the fires. My prayers for all in that area and especially the fire fighters.
    Yes, life gets in the way...even if our recipes don't turn out looking good, the flavor is still there (that chocolate thing above looks scrumptious) and the flavor is the key. A little icing then, in revision, goes a long way. Like your additional challenge to yourself, and may adopt that as well. Enjoy your posts everywhere, good luck on the next 6 months.

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  30. I hope by now everything is under control. The fire has made me consider what is important in life, and what items I would grab on my way out.
    Congrats on your accomplishments, Stacy, and I look forward to more in the second half. The cupcake looks like at came from a bakery...yum!

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