Thursday, February 28, 2013

A New VeggieTales DVD Arrives in Time for Your Child’s Easter Basket! (GIVEAWAY)

If you’ve got a VeggieTales fan in your household, you’ll be pleased to know that they’re releasing a brand-new VeggieTales DVD just in time to tuck into your child’s Easter basket! In VeggieTales: The Little House That Stood, the Wise and Foolish Builders meet The Three Little Pigs in a hilarious veggie parable, featuring all of your child’s favorite characters, such as Bob, Larry, Junior Asparagus, The French Peas, and Madame Blueberry. For the first time, this DVD parodies beloved nursery rhymes, with a signature VeggieTales twist. For example, you can learn the Biblical story of the wise and foolish builders through the Veggie version of “The Three Little Pigs.” And the story of “Humpty Dumpty” is hilariously re-told around the good neighbor parable in “The Good Egg of Gooseville.” These beloved Bible stories, made understandable for kids, make the perfect Easter basket gift!

DVD Synopsis
When the Three Little Pigs roll into Cabbageville looking to build some new houses, they meet one builder with a plan and two without a clue! Larry builds with hay, Mr. Lunt with bricks, but only Bob builds his houses on a firm foundation -- following the wise plans from the “Master Builder’s Handbook!” Will the Little Piggies make the right choices when it comes to building their houses -- and their lives -- on solid ground? Find out in this parable that shows kids when they follow God’s blueprints, they can stand strong when the storms come!

PLUS! Ever wonder what happened before Humpty cracked? Find out in this very Veggie retelling of the classic Humpty Dumpty story, “The Good Egg of Gooseville,” where we learn that a good neighbor always “lends a little hand” to those in need!

Check out the DVD trailer here:



You can also find FREE printables based on The Little House That Stood on Pinterest! Just click on the links below to get them:
Characters: http://pinterest.com/pin/252342385343314978/
House: http://pinterest.com/pin/252342385343314989/

VeggieTales: The Little House That Stood is available on DVD at all major retail outlets starting March 5th for a suggested retail price of $14.99. I hope you’ll pick up a copy for your child’s Easter basket this year. Use the coupon below to get $3 off!


GIVEAWAY

One lucky winner will receive the new DVD, VeggieTales: The Little House That Stood! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and ends at 11:59 PM EST on Thursday, March 14, 2013.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

20 Great Audiobooks for Free from Ambling Books

With our lives becoming more and more busy, many people are finding less time to sit down and read a good book. It seems to take a major best seller, like Harry Potter or Twilight, to get any teens to even consider entering a bookstore or library. The convenience of Amazon and the invention of Kindle have helped somewhat, but there is another way for individuals to read books without taking up time in their busy schedules.

It is simple to download audiobooks online. Many individuals download them onto their mp3 players. If you have a smart phone you can use a specialized audiobook player application. As the graphic below shows, the most common place people listen to audiobooks is in the car. Whether it is on a road trip or work commute, audiobooks pass time and provide a way for people to gain knowledge. Much information can be gleaned from listening to books, and it can also help improve grammar and vocabulary skills.

There are many free audiobooks online. We have compiled a list of twenty available audiobooks, free! This is not a comprehensive list, but is a valuable list to get started listening to some of the most popular books ever written.


20 Great Audiobooks


Theming a Birthday Party the Simple Way!

Contributed by Liam P.


As a child, my birthday was my favorite holiday. Other holidays were fun, but birthdays are when everything centers on you. It’s hard to sleep the night before, and when the morning rolls around I was out of bed before the sun was up! As a kid, your birthday means you can get out of chores (sometimes even school, depending on the parents) and responsibilities for one day. It’s a day custom made for you.

That’s why a lot of time, effort, and money go into decorating for the day -- making sure everything fits the same theme. You can buy packages of premade, one-shot banners and napkins. There’s always a custom option for theming the items at your party. Simply start by picking your theme and picking up the standard fare from a party store. From pirates to ponies, you can find what you need for party favors, table cloths, napkins, cake toppers, and hats. These are all the cheap disposables that are saved for a few weeks and then thrown away (except for that one napkin you keep clean and scrapbook away with all the pictures).


And then there are the more personalized decorations -- the yard signs you put out with his name or the birthday banners with hers. Even better than that, there are plenty of online sign companies that outdo the traditional magazine personalized sign makers. You can match the specific theme with more than just a general named birthday banner. From the signs outside, to the backdrop banner behind the cake table, everything can have the same style and theme. For once, all the colors will match and everything will have the right names and characters on them.

Of course, while you can find offset printers that do more exotic custom decorations, simple items like streamers and table flags just need to match the color scheme for the event. There are plenty of online color scheme guides online. To mesh everything together, pick your theme and a standard party favors pack. Then go online and find a few images you’d like to use for a banner. Take the color and run it through a scheme program like Kuler and pick a major color or two for the smaller decorations. It’s easy and almost all of it can be done without even leaving the house! Aside from actually putting the decorations up and cleaning afterwards, that is…


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Easter Bunny Love (with Linky)

I can't resist showing off these gorgeous bunnies from Teddy Bears Personalized that my boys are going to receive for Easter. Aren't they precious?!


**If you'd like the chance to win one of these adorable bunnies from Teddy Bears Personalized, CLICK HERE to enter daily through March 10th! (Or to guarantee you'll get one, head over to Teddy Bears Personalized to place an order today!)








The Bible Series Premieres on the History Channel! Countdown with The Bible Blog App and Enter to Win a $15 Walmart Gift Card! (GIVEAWAY) #BibleSeries

The History Channel is proud to announce the premiere of The Bible series on Sunday, March 3, 2013! From Executive Producers Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, this epic 10-part miniseries, airing on Sundays at 8:00 PM EST, retells stories from the Scriptures for a whole new generation. Breathtaking in scope and scale, The Bible features powerful performances, exotic locales and dazzling visual effects that breathe spectacular life into the dramatic tales of faith and courage from Genesis through Revelation. This historic television event is sure to entertain and inspire the whole family!

Where will YOU be 3.3.13?

To make the waiting fun, you can count down the days until this exciting series debuts with this exclusive Countdown to The Bible Blog App!



The Countdown to The Bible Blog App includes:

Bible-Scene Quiz! The Bible series brings stories from scripture to life for a whole new generation! The question is ... will you recognize your favorite characters when you see them for the first time in the series?
Clip Countdown! Countdown to 3.3.13 with a new clip from The Bible unlocked every day until the premiere!
Tell 10 Challenge! Where will YOU be 3.3.13? The Bible proves that when talent and passion collide, the outcome is spectacular! Connect with Mark & Roma by sharing their message! And help spread the word about the premiere of The Bible on the History Channel 3.3.13 to 10 of your friends!
Get Social! Tweet with the #BibleSeries hashtag to get your friends and family excited about the premiere of The Bible on the History Channel on 3.3.13!

Have fun with the features of the Countdown to The Bible Blog App, and be sure to mark your calendar for the series debut of The Bible on the History Channel on 3.3.13!

GIVEAWAY

In celebration of the premiere of The Bible series on the History Channel, one lucky winner on this blog will receive a $15 Walmart gift card! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end at 11:59 PM EST on Sunday, March 17, 2013.

How to Make a Quick Meal in Four Steps


By Dennis Weaver, The Prepared Pantry

Dinner is a challenge. It’s not that we don’t know how to cook but after a long day at work and with a dozen things to do at home, it just takes time and energy.

What do we fix for dinner? We could put something in the crock-pot before we leave for work. We’re not that organized (I’m not that organized) and the crock-pot is utilized for Sunday duty. I love stir-fries but Merri Ann doesn’t like them. There are other choices like casseroles (they usually take too long), tacos, and soups, but what to fix for dinner usually centers on four basic decisions. 

Just make four decisions!

Choose a meat for the main dish.
I’m looking for a meat to fry. The oven takes too long, I rarely deep fry, and the grill is a good choice but a summer choice. So I choose: 
  • Burger (either patties or crumbled).
  • Steak (either whole or sliced—lesser cuts lend to slicing)
  • Pork chops or other thin cuts of pork
  • Chicken (Usually, it’s chicken breasts) 
Choose one of these four, and you’re well on your way to dinner.

Choose a seasoning or sauce.
Once you’ve done it a couple times, gravy is easy. I keep a bulk gravy mix on hand so that I can mix up as much as I want even if I’m cooking on the grill. I keep a half dozen sauces in the refrigerator: a barbecue sauce or two, an Asian sauce or two, marinara (spaghetti sauce), and salsa. Thai Sweet Chili is an essential. 

Fried meat lends itself to seasoning blends. Several nights ago, I fried a pork chop seasoned with Ras el Hanout. I used two tablespoons of bulk gravy mix to make the gravy in the frying pan. The spices left in the pan after frying the pork chop were perfect to make the gravy special. 

Do yourself and your family a favor and invest in a half dozen blends. You’ll create a whole new vista of possibilities for dinner. These are my cupboard basics: 
There are other seasonings in my cupboard. I’m getting to know the marvelous choices of our Teeny Tiny Spice Company spice blends

Choose a starch.
For us, that means choosing one of these:
  • Potatoes
  • Pasta
  • Rice
We live in potato country, Eastern Idaho. Most nights, I’m not going to take the time to peel potatoes. I’ll boil red potatoes; that doesn’t take long and they are better not peeled. You can eat them as a vegetable with butter and seasoning or add a gravy. You can make garlic mashed potatoes with the skins on. You can also oven roast them. (See Oven Roasted Rosemary Potatoes.) 

Increasingly, I choose seasoned and flavored dried potatoes. This is the quickest starch. They’re incredible, much better than I remember growing up. I love the flavors like garlic mashed and four cheese. I stick them in the microwave for just a few minutes. 

Pasta and rice do not have to be boring. We have a great selection: 14 different kinds of rice and rice blends and 12 choices of orzo and couscous

You can use a microwave rice steamer but I don’t bother. I set the rice to going in my Krona Multi Pot while I cook the meat and side dish. Here’s how: 
  1. Measure two cups of hot water, one cup of rice, and half teaspoon of salt into a saucepan for which you have a lid.
  2. Bring the water to a boil. I set the heat to medium high and set the timer for five minutes. (I wear an Everywhere Timer around my neck while I’m cooking or baking.) The timer keeps me from forgetting my rice and burning it. There is nothing magic about five minutes; it just works on my stove with my pan.
  3. After the rice comes to a boil, turn the heat to very low and set the timer for 15 minutes. Do not lift the lid.
  4. After fifteen minutes, fluff the rice with fork and set the lid back on the rice until you are ready to serve.
 
Choose a side dish or two.
Typically, this is where I invest the least time. Frozen vegetables work well in my house. So do bagged salads. But it doesn’t take long to steam fresh vegetables and I like them. 

Putting It All Together 
  • For the meat, keep a stock in the freezer. We prefer to choose the meat the night before and put it in the refrigerator to defrost. When we forget, we have to thaw it in the microwave.
  • For the seasoning, keep a selection in the cupboard. Keep several sauces on hand. Consider a bulk gravy mix.
  • For the starches, keep a selection of pastas and rice on hand. If you like baked potatoes, invest in a set of potato nails. Buy some red potatoes from time to time. Keep a stock of seasoned and flavored dried potatoes on hand.
  • For side dishes, pick up a bag of pre-made salad once a week and a couple fresh vegetables from the produce aisle. Stock the freezer with a selection of frozen vegetables.
 For us, it’s easier to plan meals if we break them down to these four basic choices and if we have the ingredients on hand to make what we choose.

The Prepared Pantry

Enjoy 20% Off at eShakti Where YOU Customize the Dress!

At eShakti, you get to be the dress designer! With their special CUSTOMIZATION feature, many dresses offer the ability for you to make adjustments to the sleeves, neckline or skirt length! Check out the dress below -- the same dress, but created with several different sleeves, necklines, and skirt lengths.

DISCOUNT CODE
From 02/26/13 thru 03/20/13, Susan Heim on Parenting readers can enjoy 20% OFF when they shop at eShakti.com! Just enter the discount code SUSANHEIM at check-out.

And stay tuned for my upcoming review of an eShakti dress!

The fine print: Code has to be entered in the ‘Promotional Code’ box. No Minimum Order Value. The discount code is not case sensitive. The code can be used any number of times until the validity period. This code can be clubbed with any other gift coupon or gift card in the same order. This discount code is not applicable on our Overstock category. Not applicable on previous purchases.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Celebrate Butterfinger’s 90ish Years of Awesome-ness! (GIVEAWAY)

Do you love Butterfinger candy bars? Then you’ll definitely want to help Butterfinger celebrate its 90ish anniversary*! Yes, it’s been more than 90 years since Butterfinger made its debut, and they’re celebrating with a 90-day countdown. On their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Butterfinger, you can share your favorite Butterfinger memories and check out some of Butterfinger’s best moments in history, including popular ad campaigns, little-known trivia, vintage bar photos, spokesperson spotlights, and more! For instance, I saw this little gem on their page today:

Proven Fact*: werewolves seek Butterfinger on full moons. (*this is not a proven fact)


I’m sure you’ve heard of the term “butterfinger,” which describes people with “slippery hands” who drop things. The term has been in use since the 1920s when sportscasters began to use the term to describe athletes who couldn’t hang on to a football or baseball. To celebrate this silly type of humor, Butterfinger has hired a roster of silly spokespersons over the years, from Bart Simpson to Seth Green and Jamie Pressly. Other humorous Butterfinger campaigns have involved a countdown to the end of the world -- described as BARmageddon, a comedy-horror movie called “Butterfinger the 13th,” and even several April Fool’s Day pranks, such as renaming the candy bar as “The Finger”!

It’s not hard to believe that Butterfinger has been going strong for more than 90 years. It’s chocolate-y, peanut-buttery, crunchy, and delicious! And, as you’ve just read above, Butterfinger folks don’t take themselves too seriously! Head over to www.facebook.com/Butterfinger today to celebrate their 90ish years of awesome-ness. And when you’re done laughing over there, come back here to enter an equally awesome giveaway for a whole box of Butterfinger candy bars!

GIVEAWAY

One lucky winner will receive a box of 33 Butterfinger regular-size candy bars! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end at 11:59 PM EST on Monday, March 11, 2013.

Mike and Ike Welcome Back Two Retro Flavors for a Limited Time!

Did you hear about the scandal that rocked the candy world? It’s tragic -- Mike and Ike split up! Yup, these iconic candymakers are splitsville for now, but fortunately their delicious fruity candy lives on. Not surprisingly, those who work for Mike and Ike are hoping they’ll reunite, so they’ve decided to bring back two “retro” flavors in the hopes it will inspire Mike and Ike to re-establish their friendship and business partnership.

For a limited time only (through April 2013), you can now find Mike and Ike Cherri and Bubb (a blend of Cherry and Bubblegum flavors first introduced in 1989) and Lem and Mel (a mix of Lemon and Watermelon flavors first introduced in 1991) at stores where Mike and Ike candies are sold! I’ve had the opportunity to try both of these varieties, and they are awesome. You can eat each flavor alone or combine them for a unique taste! I even took a Cherry candy from the Cherri and Bubb box and a Lemon candy from the Lem and Mel box and mixed them together. Yum! Make your own combinations!

These fruity combinations won’t last long at stores, so stock up on some boxes of the retro flavors of Mike and Ike candy today! You can learn more about Mike and Ike candy, the new limited-edition flavors, and the latest news on their tragic split at www.mikeandike.com. Follow Mike and Ike on Facebook and Twitter, too!




Saturday, February 23, 2013

New Easter Bunnies Have Arrived at Teddy Bears Personalized! (GIVEAWAY)

Just in time for Easter, you can find new adorable bunnies at Teddy Bears Personalized! They come in your choice of blue, pink, or pumpkin (my personal favorite). These super-soft plush bunnies are 14 inches tall (10 inches sitting) and, like all of the wonderful plush animals at Teddy Bears Personalized, you can have a special name or message professionally embroidered on the bunny’s sweater. They’ll even include a teddy bear greeting card, friendship rings and, for a limited time, a Russell Stover Caramel Egg (yum)!



These adorable bunnies are only $24.99, and shipping is always free in the U.S. (just $6.99 in Canada). Your children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews will be thrilled to receive a special bunny tailored just for them for Easter!

CLICK HERE to select your plush bunny, personalize it, and have it arrive in time for the holiday!

GIVEAWAY

One lucky winner will receive a personalized bunny of their choice (including sweater, personalization, Russell Stover Caramel Egg, card and friendship rings) from Teddy Bears Personalized! To enter, simply fill out the easy Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to residents of the United States and Canada and ends at 11:59 PM EST on Sunday, March 10, 2013.

Winners for the Week of February 17, 2013

VTECH DS6511-15 CONNECT TO CELL PHONE ($39.95 RV)


Congratulations to the winner: Steve S.!

LIMITED EDITION MASTER LOCK 1509DLOV LOVE LOCK


Congratulations to the winner: CherylS22!

FOR THE LOVE OF SWOON HOP: I’D TELL YOU I LOVE YOU, BUT THEN I’D HAVE TO KILL YOU, BY ALLY CARTER


Congratulations to the winner: Rin N.!

CLASSICFLAME CANNES MEDIA MANTEL ($799 RV)

WarmWinterWishesCannesBanner

Congratulations to the winner: Dora J.!

MY SNUGGLE BUNNY GIFT SET (PERSONALIZED STORYBOOK & PLUSH BUNNY) FROM I SEE ME!


Congratulations to the winner: Ronda M.P.!

TALISMAN OF EL BOOK BLAST: $50 AMAZON GIFT CARD OR PAYPAL CASH


Congratulations to the winner: Susan P.!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Super Saturday Giveaway Linky (February 23, 2013)

If you tried to view this website in the past day or so and got redirected to another site, I apologize for the inconvenience. I think I got the problem figured out, and everything should be working properly now (fingers crossed). Fortunately, it's just in time for this week's Super Saturday Giveaway Linky! Please share any giveaways you're hosting in the linky below, and be sure to hop around for the opportunity to win some great prizes! And don't forget to check my right sidebar, too. I'm always adding more awesome giveaways!





Start the Countdown to Easter with the Easter Countdown Calendar Game! (GIVEAWAY)

As Easter approaches, your kids will probably start asking the daily (or hourly) question, “When is the Easter Bunny coming?” With the Easter Countdown Calendar Game by Countdown Cal, Inc., they’ll know exactly how many days until those Easter baskets arrive! This calendar is SO cute! This is what the front looks like:


Starting 15 days before Easter (which is March 16 this year), children can open a little flap on the box each day. Beneath each flap is a piece of yummy foil-wrapped crispy chocolate candy, as well as an Easter mini picture! The number of days until Easter is also provided.


Kids can then flip over the calendar and find the mini picture they uncovered on that day’s flap. (I’m sure they’ll want to eat the candy, too!)


They can also mark off that day’s number on the “Countdown Pal”!


I love this adorable calendar. The Easter Countdown Calendar Game is a great tradition to start every Easter. My boys are so excited for March 16 to arrive so they can start their own countdown to Easter with their calendars. Head over to www.countdowncal.com and order an Easter Countdown Calendar Game for each of your children so they can begin counting down until the Easter Bunny’s arrival! Even if you don’t purchase in time for the countdown, the Easter Countdown Calendar Game makes a special treat in your child’s Easter basket.

GIVEAWAY

One lucky winner will receive an Easter Countdown Calendar Game from Countdown Cal, Inc.! Please enter through the easy Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and ends at 11:59 PM EST on Tuesday, March 5, 2013.

Gearing Up for Baby Blog Hop Sign-Ups

 
 
Hosted By:
Mommy's Favorite Things
&
Mama's Baby Cupcakes
"Gearing Up For Baby"
This Blog Hop giveaway is going to be items that are meant for 0-12 month olds. It's a baby hop! There are lots of options for finding a prize for this wonderful event. Your only mission is to find the perfect prize pack for your blog!
Because this is a blog hop, each blog will be responsible for securing their own prize on their own blog. Each prize must be a Minimum of $25. The Prize can be sponsored OR you can self sponsor. Each blog can have more than 1 winner, but each winner must win at least $25 in prizes. 
Joining this Blog Hop is FREE with Announcement.
When: 4/15-4/29
Who: Anybody with a blog can sign up for this one!
Sign ups close 4/8
Click here to find the HTML for the announcement post. You MUST post an announcement post in order to enter this hop! CLICK HERE to sign up by adding your name to the linky.
You can also join the Facebook Group for our events here.

Dawn Publications’ New Spring Books Have Arrived!

I love the children’s books published by Dawn Publications. All of them are nature-themed and contain gorgeous illustrations. This spring, they have two wonderful new additions to their catalog:

By John Himmelman
Illustrated by John Himmelman

In Noisy Bug Sing-Along, kids and their parents can make sounds like tree crickets (which “ring like a telephone”), a Dog-Day Cicada (which “buzzes LOUDLY high in a tree”), a grasshopper (which “snaps its wings”), and many other insects in the world! Kids will love the BIG bug illustrations by John Himmelman, too. One of the best features of Dawn Publications books is the additional information at the end of the book. In Noisy Bug Sing-Along, kids learn about sound waves and see how they differ for each insect. They’ll also find more information about the bugs and fun activities to do (such as how to make their ears bigger so they can hear like a bat)! And when you go to the book’s page at www.dawnpub.com/our-books/noisy-bug-sing-along, you can listen to audio files of what the bugs really sound like!



By Marianne Berkes
Illustrated by Cris Arbo

What’s in the Garden? is fun because children get to solve mysteries! Throughout the book are various rhyming riddles, and kids have to guess which fruit or vegetable is being described. They’ll find an apple, lettuce, blueberry, celery, and much more. And with each food is an easy recipe that kids can make with an adult using the fruits and vegetables. For example, they can make Ants on a Log (using celery), Garlic Mashed Potatoes, and Roasted Pumpkin Seeds. The back of the book includes more info on each food item in the book, information on how plants grow and reproduce, cooking terms, and a list of garden songs, books and websites. Parents, teachers and librarians can find more downloadable activities relating to Dawn Publications’ books at www.dawnpub.com.



For younger readers, Dawn Publications also has two new board books this spring: Jo MacDonald Saw a Pond and Jo MacDonald Had a Garden, both by Mary Quattlebaum. I encourage you to visit Dawn Publications at www.dawnpub.com to see their extensive catalog of beautiful and educational nature-themed books. There are books for all ages, as well as teacher’s guides.



This post contains my Amazon affiliate link.

Untangling the Knot Book Tour: Exclusive Article by Author Deanne Wilsted!

Untangling The Knot

Untangling the Knot, by Deanne Wilsted

“I did what?”

Twenty-eight-year-old Gabriella Bessu is St. Therese’s meticulous wedding ceremony coordinator. So the fact that she has mistakenly signed her newest couple up for an annulment, rather than a wedding, sends her Catholic guilt into overdrive.

But who can blame her? The groom is gorgeous and his two kids tug at Gabriella’s heart in a way that overcomes all her best intentions. Before long she’s in over her head, fixing her mixed-up plans and helping the children and dad come to terms with their haunting grief for the mother and wife they lost years earlier.

Can Gabriella untangle her own fears and accept the messy life that God has handed them?

NOTE FROM SUSAN: I know you're going to enjoy this wonderful article by Deanne Wilsted written exclusively for Susan Heim on Parenting readers!

Thank you so much, Susan, for inviting me to guest post today. As many who follow my blog know, I get to hear a lot of interesting things while doing my writing. I call these my ‘overhears,’ and they frequently offer a wonderful jumping-off point for my brain. This one was amazingly appropriate given what has been on my mind lately.

Overheard on… NPR

“When albatross take care of their chicks, the male and female both take turns feeding it, and they’ll forage about 1,000 miles from Midway to find food…”
NPR – All Things Considered, Feb. 6, 2013

As the parent of an eight-year-old, and a bit of a control freak, I can relate to this story. Searching out the right foods for my daughter and then tempting her to eat them has been a big part of my day-job. Thankfully, my writing has acted as a balance so that I never went as far as actually chewing her food and force feeding it to her like a bird.

And yet, writing is just as wholehearted an endeavor as raising a child. My new novel, Untangling the Knot, for example, has taken 8 grueling years from concept to publishing. And while often this has felt like a solitary endeavor, I really couldn’t have made it to this point alone.

This is something the albatross in my overhear must understand. She’s over 62 years old and has recently birthed a new chick, one of many throughout her life. Since albatross mate for life, this may be the same dad who’s helped with all the others… They might have been splitting their parenting workload for over half a century. Can you imagine?

Many years ago I was lucky enough to find Susan Heim’s book: Oh, Baby! 7 Ways a Baby Will Change Your Life the First Year. It is funny how much of the content can be applied to writing as well. Replace the words -a baby- with -writing- and the titles still make sense: Writing will challenge the way you see yourself; Writing will change you for the better; Writing will add challenge, change and chaos to your marriage; Writing will change your marriage for the better. Chapter after chapter, this holds true, so that the similarities between writing and having a child seem obvious.

In The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, a ship encounters bad luck when a sailor shoots down an albatross. As punishment, his shipmates hang the albatross around his neck, but the boat continues to be plagued by misfortune. It is from this that albatross came to be a metaphor for carrying a psychological burden.

Perhaps, though, it wasn’t the dead albatross that cursed the mariner; maybe it was the bird left behind, the one who had to shoulder the workload alone.

Deanne Wilsted

About Author Deanne Wilsted

With an English teacher for a mom, Deanne Wilsted grew up reciting conjugation instead of nursery rhymes. Now, forty years later, she’s sharing that special skill through her writing and her mothering. Her first book, a contemporary romance called Betting Jessica, was released October 2011. Her second novel, Untangling the Knot, was just published by Soul Mate Publishing. She is currently marketing her third book for publication and writing her fourth, fifth and sixth while blogging about the crazy stuff she overhears while writing.

Follow Deanne Wilsted
Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads | Amazon



Disclaimer from Susan: This post contains my Amazon affiliate link.