Easter Craft

I’m really not much of a crafter, so the things I try are usually quite simple. I like Ink projects — making computer generated cards and such, but do try other things once in a great while.

My grandchildren live at a distance and are getting older. Even if they were young enough to get excited about an Easter basket, mailing baskets just doesn’t work well. So I  wanted to do something small, easy to mail, and different.

I’ve been saving items to re-purpose, which seems to be popular in crafting circles. Since we open our cans with an under-the-rim can opener, we have no sharp edges and the lids snap back on. So here’s what I did:

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You need: Some vegetable cans with lids than snap on, computer, printer, paper, photo for the label, scissors, glue – I used a hot glue gun. I made one can for each grandchild.

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The labels read:

FRONT – (over the photo) – Gramma’s, Pickled Chicks, Easter Delicacies, NET WT – unknown, Fat Free – not, Cholesterol Free – not.

LEFT SIDE – Distributed by: GRAM INK, Inc with love, City, State, email address, web site address, “A few treats and a healthy dose of love”, Expiration Date: The treats won’t last long. The love is forever!

RIGHT SIDE – Nutrition Facts, Servings per container: 1, Calories: 2 many, Total Fat: 2 much, Sodium: 2 much, Healthy Stuff: 2 little, Love: A Whole Lot, Happy Easter

Printing the labels: I made labels with the computer using Word. I used an unmarked photo I found on Pinterest. Thank you to the unknown photographer. Center the photo on the label leaving room for the “ingredients, nutrition, etc. on each end. Just make up some funny things for that information. I used text boxes to place the text, both on the photos and on the ends.

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This is to illustrate each end. There should be no split.

Trim to size: The total size of the labels I made were 41/8 inches by 81/4 inches. I had to trim the length on some of them to avoid gluing over any text at the joining. You will want to overlap a little but not over text.

Glue to can: After trimming to size and making sure they would not overlap the text, I hot glued at the joining.

Fill, close, and ready to mail: I filled with a few treats in a sandwich bag, added a little cash, popped the lid back on, and they were ready to package for mailing to the Grandkids.

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Editor at Heart

scrapbook (1961-62) scans 11-2010 016

Being an editor at heart, poor usage decreases the enjoyment I derive from certain books.

I heartily approve of self-publishing as it brings us many wonderful books that would otherwise never be offered to the public. Publishing companies no longer determine what we will or will not read.

In this age of self-publishing, however, too many people publish poorly edited books. Please, please, do yourself and your readers a favor and get someone who knows the language to read and edit. An author is usually too close to the work to see obvious mistakes, as they see what is intended rather than what is actually there. Even “just a friend” can help you find usage mistakes, but one of your former teachers or other knowledgeable person would be better. I’m sure almost anyone can find a beta reader or two to make suggestions and corrections.

Lacking those resources, set your work aside for a couple of weeks and then read it, not with love in your eyes, but critically. This is difficult. After all the effort and time spent in creating it, you won’t want to be critical of your baby. But a couple of re-reads and the resulting corrections will end in a project you can be proud to publish.

Edit, revise, rewrite, repeat before publishing.

A Blurb for Woman Chief

Woman Chief is a work in progress (for a very long time). This a fictional account of a woman who actually existed. She was a Gros Ventre who was abducted by the Crow. Little is known about her life; history records but a couple of paragraphs. She became a warrior chief of the Crow tribe and is known as such in history. She is mentioned in conjunction with Fort Union in Dakota Territory. I have no projected completion date for this work.

A Blurb for The Time Travelers

Published. TTHE TIME TRAVELERS - 2000ext version is available at Blurb.com (search Eunice Korczak).

Digital version is available at:

FREE at Smashwords (Nook & Kindle) 

Free at Barnes & Noble (Nook)

The Time Travelers: A Christmas Story – Five kids accidentally travel through time to see Grandma as a kid. They meet Grandma as a kid and even go Christmas fooling with her, but cannot reveal who they are because they “Must not disrupt the flow of time.” Grant, Will, Mady, Garrett,and Leyton accidentally travel through time to see Grandma as a kid. Grandma’s present house is on a magical node, which facilitates their time travel. They meet Grandma as a kid and even go Christmas fooling with her, but cannot reveal who they are because they “Must not disrupt the flow of time.” Grayson helps cover the deed.

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The Family In Their Time Traveler’s Shirts

I wrote The Time Travelers for the grandkids for a Christmas present (in print format) a couple of years ago. The evening I gave them the books they spontaneously began reading it out loud and continued taking turns around the room until the entire book was read. No matter what I publish, no matter how many favorable reviews I may receive, no compliment will equal that!

 

This book was written about and for my grandchildren who have extensive vocabularies. Preteen with some big words. About 10,000 words.

Review from Smashwords site:

Review by: Nadia on Feb. 24, 2014 :
This was beautiful. I wanted to time travel myself lol.

If you’ve read it, you are welcome to leave a review in the comment area below.

 

Coming Back From the Dead

Coming Back From the Dead

Following is an excerpt from My Life Journal, a work in progress:

Reincarnation is not supported by Christianity, but some world religions do believe we are reincarnated after death. Albert Einstein, Ben Franklin, and Mark Twain also believed so. I wonder what they wanted to come back as. Each excelled in some way. Did they want to excel in a different way?

Do you think you will come back again?

Whatever your beliefs may be, speculating on what form people would be assigned if they come back is fun.

I know people who would make a perfect mad dog. Winston Churchill would have had to reincarnate as a bull dog as he so resembled one, a nice doggy if rather ugly. Or perhaps he was a bull dog who came back as a person.

Some would be a sweet, purring kitten. Or maybe an irritating cat who is all over you and won’t leave you alone.

How about the person who definitely will return as a snorting, pawing bull? And perhaps be more pleasant in that guise.

We’ve all been confined in a car or elevator with the person who will definitely make his next appearance in black with a white stripe down his back.

A gossipy, garrulous person would be a macaw or maybe a parrot, repeating all that they hear. That person who nods at everything you say, perhaps a woodpecker, a downy or a redheaded, or if that red hair is spiked, a pileated woodpecker.

And that slimy person? What else? A snake. We even call those types snakes (behind their backs, of course).

Using that criteria, the sly person would be a fox and the romantically forward person a wolf. And one who snaps at you could be either a fox or a wolf. Or a snapping turtle.

And the chauvinist, will he become a pig? Nah, he should come back as a female in a land that holds females as breeding stock and slaves without rights — and live a long life. That would be real justice.

That prissy person with lips forever pursed in disapproval? A fish, of course! Maybe a bottom feeder.

Go ahead, start speculating. I know you want to.

After deciding what others will be, look at yourself. What form would you like to come back as if you were reincarnated? What would be your choice? Similarly, what form do you think you have earned while in this life?

In my next life, I’d like to be a rich and famous author who can afford a housekeeper, butler, and gardener.

If I must come back as an animal, I’d like to be something beautiful and free. But considering the story of my birth, I’ll probably come back as a monkey. Please though, may I be spared the indignity of a red behind?

And what were you in a former life?

I have said many times that I was Woman Chief in a former life. She was a Gros Ventre girl who was captured and adopted into the Crow tribe. She adjusted and became not only a full-fledged member of the Crow tribe but a warrior chief. In a twist of irony, she was killed by a group of warriors from her Gros Ventre people. And unfortunately, not honorably in battle, but in a wicked betrayal and murder.

When I first heard about her, I just knew her story. Why do I feel such an affinity for that woman and know her story, although only one or two paragraphs have ever been recorded about her?

I’ve had other experiences of deja vu, where from experience, I could not possibly know what I know. There is a theory of a knowledge pool left by our ancestors (in the sense that all people before us are ancestors). This knowledge pool surfs the air currents, and like radio receivers, we subconsciously pick up the signals when the conditions are right.

Perhaps you are aware of the old soul/new soul theory, as well. This one claims that if you don’t get it right the first time around, you will be sent back into the world again and again until you finally do get it right. If you have been reborn several times, you have an old soul and may subconsciously recall things, making you “smarter” than a newer soul, and explaining intuition and deja vu.

These beliefs, of course, are not supported by the Christian religion either, but one can speculate. Why do I get migraines? Was I killed violently with a blow to the head in a former life? Why have I had this inexplicable pain in my arm since I was a child? Did I suffer a compound fracture in another life? Why do I have this irrational fear of fire? Was I trapped in a burning building in an earlier life?

How did I know a particular fact as if pulling it from a hat? Could it be that I have lived many lives? Have I messed it up many times and been sent back time and again to get it right? Being a bumbler, it actually seems possible.

I may not believe these ideas, but I think it only fair to warn you, treat me nice or I’ll come back as your colonoscopy doctor and it won’t be pretty.

School Days

School Days

The school year has begun and I know a young man who is beginning his first quarter at U of M. I’m sure it has been a less-than-comfortable week for him. Brings to mind some of my school experiences.

I can still remember my first year of school (yeah, I CAN remember that far back!). We lived in a remote part of northern Minnesota on a farm and seldom went to town. We didn’t see friends, relatives, or neighbors much, either. In other words, I was an isolated little ‘fraidy cat when it came to meeting people (brave about hanging in the uppermost branches of trees, though).

We did not have pre-school or kindergarten but were plopped right into first grade. I had the advantage, though, of an older brother attending the same elementary school as I. He was in a different room, but rode the same bus with me, and it was a comfort to know he was in the same building.

Before I started school, my older brother missed the better part of a year due to a severe illness. During that time, he was home schooled by my mom while I hung over her shoulder. I learned a lot, including how to read. So although socially I was far from ready for school, academically I was more than ready and anxious to learn more.

I survived the shock of my first days at school and predictably loved the exciting new world of playmates and classmates and regimented learning. Each summer was a great break, but I was ready to return to school long before the next term began.

Until . . . high school!

For high school I was even less prepared. My little three-room grade school ran out of grades after eighth, then we were bussed to a consolidated high school. Okay, I’ll concede the high school wasn’t very large, but after a three-room school and an eight-person class, that place seemed immense!

And as it always happens with me, everyone else seemed to know all the other people, where things were, and what was expected. I knew none of it! I was terrified! I was lost. I was alone.

Unlike grade school, adjusting to high school took a long time. But I survived and finally did become comfortable with it. I suffered only one discernible lingering effect – for at least twenty years after graduating, I wandered the halls and corridors of that frighteningly large school in my dreams desperately hunting for my locker!

Well, back to the young man at U of M. The University truly is a very large school, but he is so much more prepared for the transition. He has attended large schools all of his life and previously has made successful transitions between schools. He’s very talented academically and has experience with college courses. He’s braver and socially more adept than I’ll ever be. Although he may become lost or disoriented at first, I doubt he’ll spend the next twenty years wandering around that school in his dreams.

Excerpt from The Red Pearl (Excerpt 1)

Disclaimer – This is an unedited scene from The Red Pearl. It may or may not appear in the completed work.

Malik Awakens at Malgary Keep —

This is an excerpt from a longer story: The Red Pearl

Awakened by the sound of the door latch, Malik stirred. Without rising to his feet, he lifted his head and softly whined deep in his throat. Still after all this time, about a half-year by his reckoning, waking up in a dog’s body was a shock.

The door opened and a slight female servant slipped in. She always entered like a ghost, silently and almost floating, and exited with even more care, cracking the door slightly, peering out, then quickly gliding away. Malik wondered if the young woman had been forbidden to visit with him and if she feared reprisal.

Whatever the case, she was a bright spot in a lonely existence, and he was glad she visited. His golden brown eyes followed her movements as she checked his water dish. When she knelt beside him, wrapped her arms around his neck and buried her face in his ruff, his tail thumped on his bed mat.

“Maliya, my friend,” she whispered as her hand slid down his back smoothing his silky, rufous hair. While she silently continued to caress his back, Malik relaxed and half closed his eyes. Yes, he thought, a dog definitely did enjoy a few advantages.

Suddenly, Malik’s ears perked up and the servant froze, her hand halfway down his back. An audible, quickly-in-drawn breath and rounded eyes betrayed her fear as excited voices and running footsteps advanced from deeper in the caverns. After the noise passed and receded in the direction of the keep, her eyes relaxed and she began breathing again. Shakily she arose from the floor, glided to the door, inched it open, and carefully peered out. Apparently seeing nothing, she inhaled deeply and widened the opening just enough to allow egress. Just as she was slipping out, a faint voice yelled. Malik knew the sound came from a distance, even perhaps, from an upper level of the caverns, but the servant jerked and then sprinted away as though chased by the ghost she herself resembled.

Malik stood in the doorway watching the fleeing form and wondered what caused such fear in the young woman. True, in the half-year he had been here, he had neither seen nor heard such commotion in the tunnels, but why react with terror? As she turned a corner, he marveled at how quickly she had disappeared down the corridor. Corridor! He was looking down the corridor! She had left his cell door open!

In his excitement, Malik nearly barked into the empty passageway, then reined in the urge and quickly looked to his left. Good. No one there. He nudged the door leaving it just slightly ajar, trotted across the room to look at his geaster, and raised himself up against the wall. No. He mustn’t waste any time; he already knew he could not reach it. He dropped to all fours. Here was his opportunity, the chance he’d been awaiting, and now he did not know what to do with it. He needed time to think!

Coffee Break

I snagged this from between the walls. It dates back, waaay back. But here, shaken a bit to remove the dust, it is.

Coffee Break

Beverly sighed as she filled the coffee maker with water, closed the lid gently, and sighed again. Was it for this she had worked so diligently in college?

She hadn’t taken “Coffee Making 101.” Should have, though. Should have taken “Shopping for the Boss’ Relatives and Friends,” too. And what about “Running Personal Errands for the Boss?”

Apparently, she, an honors student, hadn’t gone to the right school. Seems all of the really important courses for succeeding in the business world, like coffee making, were lacking from her university’s curriculum.

Sucking her lower lip behind her upper teeth, Beverly grabbed the coffee can, pulled off the lid, scooped out some coffee, and dumped it into the coffee maker. There. Two scoops – the boss likes it made with two scoops. Releasing her lip, she dumped in another. Then with malice in her heart, she dumped in two more before setting the pot to perk.

Back at her desk, she fidgeted as she tried to concentrate. Soon she was interrupted by the inter-office phone. Picking it up, she made a conscious effort to moderate her voice before pleasantly inquiring, “Yes?”

“The coffee ready yet? I really need a cup. Oh, and run down to the bakery. I would kill for a Danish. Pick up a half dozen. When George arrives for our conference, we’ll have Danish and coffee. Give us a few minutes, then bring in the coffee and rolls. But first, bring me a cup right now.”

Beverly fought the urge to be sarcastic and won, merely answering, “Right,” and set the phone down.

Taking a cup from the little cabinet above the coffee pot, she slammed it on the counter and sloshed some coffee into it. Grimly grabbing a paper towel, she mopped up the overflow before it reached the edge of the counter. Placing the cup and a napkin on a tray, she carried it into the inner office.

The boss didn’t even look up, just reached for the coffee. Beverly turned on her heel to leave. She had nearly reached the door when she heard the boss choke and sputter.

“This coffee is terrible! Just awful!”

Beverly turned around and with wide, innocent eyes asked sweetly, “You don’t like the coffee?”

“It’s terrible! Awful! Dump this and brew another pot!”

“Oh, I don’t think I can do it any better,” said Beverly. “I just don’t think I can do it any better. Maybe you should make it. I’ll bet you make great coffee. After all, you are a woman, Mrs. Henderson.”

The Fire of Fall

Driving out on a bright and lovely fall day re-opened my eyes and mind to the great outdoors. The trees, even whole groves, were aflame with autumn colors. When had I last actually looked at the trees? Maybe at spring budding.

Seeing the trees afire with color reminded me of a poem I wrote some years back about walking through the crackling fallen leaves, thereby aurally rekindling the visual fire.

I have no idea where that poem is, but maybe I’ll dig it up one of these days and share it with you. Meanwhile enjoy the season. Fall is the best – but always too short.