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Kritique Kritics: May 2008

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Writing Contest in Mrs. Woodward's Class

Announcing Mrs. Woodward's First Annual Writing Contest for her 5th Grade class.
Genre: All fiction
Length: 3,000 words or less.
Purpose: To get my students as excited about the writing process as I am.
Deadline: June 3, 2008
Judges: Kritique Kritic members.
All entries will get their names listed on the Kritique Kritics Blog. The top three stories will be printed as separate posts and will get a gift certificate from Barnes & Noble.
Happy writing kids!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Procrastination and Editing my work!

Why do I avoid editing my work? I can write a "creative non-fiction" piece in an hour sometimes. I have stories that are three years old and I haven't gone back and finished them. It would just take some editing to complete them. But, they just sit unedited and uncompleted!

I can think of lots of reasons not to sit down at the computer and finish a piece. I need to pay the bills, read, balance the checking account, clean the house, do the laundry, wash the dog, work in the yard, make dinner, shop for food, buy some plants, sew or mend a pair of pants and lastly work on the BLOG.

I'm retired. I should be able to fit everything in. Editing should have as much priority in my life as figuring out how to up the ranking on my website. Both of these are VERY important, yet they are at the very bottom of my "to-do-list".

Do I lack the skill--should I take an editing course? Am I afraid? OOPS, I THINK I JUST HIT THE PROBLEM! I'm afraid, no I'm TERRIFIED! If I edit my work and the story, any story gets completed, guess what? I then have to try to get it published. There in lies the problem. At least, I think that's the problem. I lack the confidence to market my work--I'm afraid to be rejected, especially over and over again. What does that mean--I don't think my writing is worthy of being published?

What if I am afraid, but not of being rejected--of being successful. Is it possible that I'm afraid of being noteworthy, outstanding, prosperous, arriving, famous. Maybe, out-shinning my husband and what the future would hold. Now, that would be sad.

I've wanted to be famous since I was in the eighth grade. There I said it and I didn't die. I WANT TO BE WELL-KNOWN, PROMINENT, CELEBRATED. Anyway you say it, I have to edit my stories to get it!

Debra Davis Hinkle

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

My Favorite Horse Videos

Debra's favorite horse videos:


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Being True to Yourself

Over the last several weeks as we have been preparing for the big standardized test I have found a change in my teaching style. Gone was the creative teacher who used art, drama, and poetry to bring concepts to life. In her place was the robot sergeant. And I didn't like her. This drill sergeant barked out formulas, quizzed them repeatedly, and shouted, "This is the most important test of the year! You have to do well!" Needless to say the smiles and warmth I'd come to know all year were replaced by furrowed brows and distance.
I had forgotten myself and the kind of teacher I wanted to be.
In today's No Child Left Behind Act climate it is frightening to be a teacher. Not only does California have the highest standards in the nation but we also have the most second language learners of any state. What does that mean? California's test is tougher. And the pressure is on.
And we pass that pressure onto our kids.
So today I decided to do things differently. I greeted every single one of my students with a smile and a handshake at the door and told them how proud I was of all the work they'd done so far.
Then, instead of shouting and cajoling, I cheered, "You guys rock!"
They really do. I knew that all along. And however they do on this STAR test won't change that.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Molly the Pony Romps to a New Role in Life…on Three Legs

I had to pass this very touching story on when a friend sent it to

"Click on the title."


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Field Trip

On the subject of Debra's Bird Nesting Season post:

We once had a bird nest in a vent of our camper. Not unusual, except we used the camper all the time to transport our large family to different gatherings.

We discovered the bird's nest after arriving at the parking lot of White Sox Stadium! Everyone piled out of the van, then stopped when they heard the tiny "cheeps." Poor baby birds, who knows what they thought after an hour of driving on Chicago highways!

Their frantic Mama bird was waiting for them when we got back. The next day, my Dad built a birdhouse right next to the van, then moved the little family into it. The Mama seemed upset and skeptical about the new digs, but she was soon at home.

That family grew up and left--and through the next few years, the birdhouse sheltered many more nests. No more field trips to baseball games. :-)


Kitty Heaven at Laurie's

Well, we finally got her. Jessica's birthday present. I arrived home from the last Critique Group to find this little grey and white ball of fluff in my daughter's arms mewing away. Jess had a beatific look in her eye as if she'd just returned from a vacation at the Pearly Gates. A corner of her bedroom was all decorated with a paisley cat bed, scratching post, and wine colored feeding bowls. But the kitty wouldn't eat. She hadn't been weaned yet. By the next morning she seemed weak and listless. I drove to the Feed Store and asked, "What should I do?" The gal at the counter suggested that we use milk replacement with a bottle, and slowly mix it into her food. We had a heck of a time with the tiny bottle. I didn't know how large to cut the holes in the nipple. So I first tried poking a few with a needle. Nothing. I tried larger holes with a bigger needle. Barely a drop. Finally I trimmed off a chunk of rubber with nail clippers. Now our kitten could drink. Jess propped this green eyed baby up in her lap and fed her with the bottle. Little by little the kitten got some white nourishment. Then Jess poured some in a bowl. It was lapped right up. "What are you going to call her?" I asked. "Apple, because she's the apple of my eye." I looked into my daughter's hazel eyes. Sure enough there was a shine there that would make any apple farmer proud.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Updated to "Living in the now".

The filly was a month old last Thursday. Isn't she MAJESTIC!

Bird Nesting Season!

It's a myth that a "mommy bird" won't come back to her nest if a human touches the nest, eggs, or baby birds, according to Pacific Wildlife Care of San Luis County. They also said that eggs usually hatch in two weeks and that baby birds are in the nest for another two-three weeks.

This is great information to know since my husband found a nest in our horse trailer last week. The nest is resting on a light above the tack room door. The nest had two eggs on Friday, four on Sunday and five today.

Our trailer wasn't the only prized nesting location. The trailer just South of ours had a nest resting on the light next to the back door hinges and that nest has four baby birds. On Sunday, Lynaia, the owner of the other trailer wanted to take her horse to the beach so we moved the nest in her trailer to ours temporarily. She moved it back when she returned from her ride. If we need to use our trailer in the next five weeks, Lynaia has agreed to babysit our nest. That sure beats waiting five weeks to take our horse out.

Debra Davis Hinkle

p.s. Maybe our birds will grow up to dance like Snowball:


Favorite Cat Videos!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mother's Day

This will be my sixth Mother's Day without my mother. Part of me will always miss her, the other part of me is what's her in me.

I'm comforted by our last conversation in the hospital, just two days before she died.

"I love you!"

"I love you, too Mom."

"No, I really, really love you Debby."

Debra Davis Hinkle
Grieving Daughter

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

My cat has a FOOT FETISH; what crazy thing does your cat do?

My cat, Buff Momma, has a foot fetish! No not a "pathological displacement of erotic interest" just an "EXTRAVAGANT IRRATIONAL DEVOTION" to my bare feet. She loves it when I place my bare feet on the wood deck in the morning--she comes running from the garden and starts to lick my feet. She does this every morning, except when it is too cold to go barefooted. On those mornings--she still comes running, but when she sees that I have slippers on she just looks up at me. This is when I start feeling GUILTY for just wanting warm feet.


Debra Davis Hinkle
The Cat Lady

Fetish Definitions source: Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Diectionary, Eleventh Edition

No More Eckhart and Oprah!

I watched the last webcast with Eckhart and Oprah. I WANT TO LIVE IN THE PAST--not in the NOW! Seriously, I will miss the weekly webcast with Eckhart and Oprah. I'm sure I'm not the only person who thinks the ten weeks went by rapidly and wishes they would continue.

I hope something has AWAKENED in me and that I can live in the "NOW"--now and the future.


Monday, May 5, 2008

Closer to 60 than 50!

My husband, Roland, took me out for lunch on Friday--our favorite sea food place--for an early birthday present. I turned 56 on Saturday and I know I got a new wrinkle Friday night.

My "birthday" day was ordinary--I went to the farmer's market in Arroyo Grande with a dear friend. Then I spent all afternoon making green salad, two kinds of fruit salad, pesto, whole wheat pizza, bread sticks and finally our dinner--stir fry. Then I collapsed from exhaustion--I really am closer to 60 than 50. And, I have wrinkles!