Saturday, September 21, 2019

Plots--Personal, Imagination, or Research? by Connie Vines #RoundRobin

Topic: In designing your plots what do you rely on most: personal experience, imagination, or research? 

Thank you Robin for another great topic!

I'm unable to select only one choice.  I must conclude that
I add all three choices into the my plotting when I am writing.

Obviously, when I am am writing an historical novel, short-story, or article my plot line will be heaving in the area of research.  However, odds are I've also visited the area, visited a museum, etc. so I can claim personal experience.  Where does the imagination fit in?
My characters' personalities and how he/she would react in a situation would be a product of my imagination.

The same could be said of writing a sci-fi or fantasy.  Science fact is Science fact.  However, the facts can be stretched or discarded (to a degree) in a fictitious universe or in a time-travel novel.  As for fantasy.  You must state the 'new' truth as to why you vampire can stand in sunlight and not dissolve.  Or as in the case of my zombie novel, Here Today, Zombie Tomorrow, Why my zombie (Meredith), a former vegan, only consumes chicken, etc., instead of human brains.

As for my romantic fiction/suspense/Gothic novels, my stories rely heavily on my imagination. My characters may have traits of people I have known (remember, not everyone has a positive influence in your life), or traits that work well with my plot-line.  I strive to make all of my characters to be living, breathing people with faults, challenges, and successes.  I have also discovered that true facts are not always believable in a novel.  Even if it is true, if it seems like a 'convenient plot-device' toss it out and start over.

Please visit the other wonderful writers who are part of this month's Round Robin Blog.

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Sunday, September 8, 2019

Poodle Talk Sunday # 7, #Doggie Birthday Party!

Chanel will be four years old in November. 

She may even be mature enough to have a birthday party this year.


Her first birthday she was totally clueless.  She was still jumping though the air like a demented circus poodle, grabbing a paper napkin from my hand and tearing into tiny pieces. Or, snagging a page of the newspaper and racing through the house which we, my husband and I, unsuccessfully tried to retrieve it before—you guessed it, she tore it into tiny pieces.

Her second year, she was a little less enthusiastic in her desire to destroy paper products, but she’d moved on to birthday cards and brightly printed note paper, along with the corners of a paperback novel or two.

During her third year, I made and purchased doggie cookies.  However, this was a poodle version of Goldie Locks and the uncooperative Toy Poodle, I’m afraid.

This cookie was too hard, this cooking was too big, and this cookie was too soft and I started to choke.

So, after that traumatic event, more traumatic for me (I’m still in panic-mode) than Chanel who is, you guessed it, gleefully caring around a piece of discarded wrapping paper.

I have months to plan this event, of course, but I’m not going overboard—no banners in the local doggie park, no inclusion of doggie-friends, this year it will be a low-key event. Afterall, her birthday is only a few weeks after Halloween. Everyone loves to dress his/her dog for Halloween.  (Though, I’m keeping Chanel’s face out of my popcorn bowl and/or glass of diluted punch.)

This year I may shop online for doggie-cake mix, or stop by PetCo or PetSmart for pet ice cream.

I located this recipe on  This looks simple, inexpensive, and no leftovers. I may give this one a try.


A dog friendly, single serving cupcake to celebrate the special hounds in your life! Grain free and no added sugar.
10 minutes
20 minutes
30 minutes
1/2 small/medium apple, diced into small pieces
3 tablespoons peanut butter** + more if desired for frosting
1 whole egg
1/2 teaspoon baking powder (optional)
bacon bits for topping (optional)

Preheat your oven to 180C/350F

In a small bowl mix together all of your ingredients until combined.
Spoon the mixture either into a cup cake sized ramekin or into a regular cupcake tins. You can make either one jumbo cake, or two average sized cupcakes.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Allow the cupcake to cool completely. You can leave it as is, or frost with peanut butter and sprinkle with bacon bits.

Make sure to use xylitol free peanut butter as xylitol is very poisonous for dogs! I purchase my dog peanut butter at the pet store (Connie’s note).


Do you throw birthday parties for your pups?

Does everything go as planned?

Have a Happy Poodle Sunday!

Luke 6:37
Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Poodle Talk #6 Is Your Poodle a Wild Sleeper or a Snuggler? by Connie Vines

As you know,  I belong to several fb poodle groups and poodle-fostering/rescue groups. 

We began a conversation about whether or not 'our' particular poodle, or poodles, had to 'touch' you while sleeping.

Of course none of these findings are verified by animal behaviorists,
or supported by any Random Poodle Polls. 

We had fun sharing the stories, (please post your personal poodle findings in the comment area, if you like 🐩🐩🐩 ).

  • Poodle #1 (apricot toy) had to be touching her owner at all times. She was label  the Wildest Sleeper.  She would wake up and change positions all through the night so she always had physical contact with her owner/mom.
  • 🐩
  • Poodle #2  (white toy) hogs the bed (taking 3/4s for herself). It's amazing how such a small dog can muscle a human to the edge of the bed.
  • 🐩
  • Poodle # 3 (white poodle-maltese mix) scootches until he rests against his human/mom's. tummy. He was given the 'gentleman's award).
  • 🐩
  • Poodle #4 (gray miniature) all 4 paws again his human's back.
  • 🐩
  • Poodle #5 (multiples) all three poodles sleep touching her.  If not, one will wake up the others to re-position the group.
  • 🐩
  • Poodle #6 (white/tan toy)  Yes, this is Chanel.  She sleeps (flying superman position) paws on one side of the bed, stretched out with her toenails touching me.  Or, sleeps with her head resting on the curve of my shoulder.
Of the 225 comments, pictures, etc.  Not one person stated the poodle slept in a 'dog' bed/ kennel,  or even at the foot of the bed.

Mind you, several poodles claimed a pillow to rest his/her head upon (probably from a now pillow-less human).

Several poodles snored, others were loud dreams, some twitched, while others complained when his/her human claimed more mattress-territory (me) after spending half the night trying not to slide off the edge of the mattress and land on a pile of discarded toys.

So is your poodle a 'Wild Sleeper", or a "Snuggler"?

  1. Image result for poodle in bed

Happy Poodle Sunday,

Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’” Hebrews 13:5.

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