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Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 228

Today’s post is super late because I’m at a writing retreat in the NC mountains with my critique group, the Sisukas. This evening we had an exciting adventure. Rebecca Petruck is working on a middle grade book to be published by Abrams next year. It’s called WILL NOLAN EATS BUGS. It’s not even a spoiler to tell you that, yes, the main character does in fact eat bugs. 
 
Rebecca decided that this week was the appropriate time to finally eat her first bug as research. She also decided that the rest of us should eat some, too. Yay??? So tonight we had cricket tacos for dinner. And you know what? They actually weren’t that bad. 
 
The anticipation was definitely the worst part. Since the crickets were frozen, they had to be thawed out first, so they sat on the counter in a bowl all day. I kept staring at them and thinking about those legs and antennae getting caught in my teeth. 
 
Bowl of crickets
 
As the dinner hour approached, Rebecca started cookin' us up some crickets. I think seeing them sizzle in the pan made the freak-out factor even worse. 
 
Sizzling crickets
 
And then it was time.  
 
Time to eat crickets. 
 
Rebecca went first, gamely popping the first one in her mouth. She liked it enough that she quickly followed it up with a second one.
 
Rebecca eats cricket
 
So Kathleen was excited to try hers next. She said it tasted like bacon. She lied. 
 
And then it was my turn. See it for yourself.
 
 
Despite the expression on my regrettably makeup-free face, it really wasn’t that bad. It didn’t taste like bacon, but it was a mostly neutral taste. Rebecca had put salt and pepper on them and cooked them in butter, and that was pretty much all I tasted. I wasn’t a huge fan of the dry-ish crunch texture, but it was nowhere near as awful as I had imagined, since I had conjured sensations of prickly legs scratching my mouth.
 
Kami went next, and I didn’t get a video of her, but she added salt and lime like she was doing a tequila shot. Ha!
 
Kami eats cricket
 
After eating a cricket all by itself, it was no big deal to add them to our tacos, so we proceeded with dinner. Mixed up with all the other stuff, you couldn’t even tell they were there.
 
cricket taco
 
While I won’t be adding crickets to my regular meal rotation, it was definitely fun to step WAAAAAAAY outside my comfort zone to try them.
 
If you want to learn more about the benefits of eating bugs, click here for an interesting article.
 
15 Minute Tweet TalesAnd in honor of today’s adventures, this week’s 15 Minute Tweet Tales word is:
 
entomophagy - the practice of eating insects.
 
6/7 - She's thrilled when he cooks dinner for their first date. Then he reveals his fascination with entomophagy. She stares at plate in horror.
 
Play along and write a tweet tale for the above word. If you’re willing to share, post it on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add it below in the comments because I’d love to read your tales. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tale or #15tt word?
 

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 227

15 Minute Tweet TalesI hope everyone had an enjoyable three-day weekend. Tropical Storm Bonnie paid us a visit, so we had lots of rain. But it wasn’t too bad, and if this is our only visit from a named stormed this hurricane season, I’ll take it! Now on to this week’s 15 Minute Tweet Tales word: 
 
meliorism - the belief that the world tends to improve and that humans can aid its betterment. 
 
5/31 - As the bombs rained down on the city, she clung to her meliorism. After all, a forest always grew stronger after a cleansing fire.
 
Play along and write a tweet tale for the above word. If you’re willing to share, post it on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add it below in the comments because I’d love to read your tales. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tale or #15tt word?
 

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 226

Today was a big day because I had to wear ‘leaving the house’ clothes all freakin’ day. I ran errands in the morning, and if you know how I feel about mornings or running errands, you know my day was not off to a great start. Fortunately it got so much better. 
 
In the early afternoon, I attended the end-of-year party with my Reading Partner. I got her a bunch of books I knew she’d like, we ate snacks and chatted about our plans for the summer, and then she gave me this note. 
RP note
Sniff. The party was bittersweet because while I’m happy she’s moving on to middle school (hopefully better prepared!), I’m going to miss her sweet face and sunny personality.
 
Then later this afternoon, I attended a book signing for my friend Leah Rhyne. Her book is called Heartless, and it’s a retelling of Frankenstein from the perspective of a female monster. I’m so thrilled for her and can’t wait to read it. And look at the cool cake she had to match her equally cool cover!
 
Leah's Heartless cakeHeartless by Leah Ryhne
 
I ran into another writing friend, Becka Enzor, at the signing, and we decided to go to dinner to catch up. I haven’t seen her since she got her agent, so it was great to hear all about her exciting news. Plus we had super yummy food. 
 
15 Minute Tweet TalesA busy day (in big people clothes!) has made for a very sleepy Jocelyn, so it’s time to get down to business with this week’s 15 Minute Tweet Tales word:
 
antiphialtic - something to prevent nightmares or distressing dreams
 
5/24 - The circles under her eyes grow darker as nightmares gnaw at her brain. She searches for an antiphialtic until she dies of fright. 
 
Play along and write a tweet tale for the above word. If you’re willing to share, post it on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add it below in the comments because I’d love to read your tales. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tale or #15tt word?
 

Tweet Tales Tue-- Wednesday Week 225

15 Minute Tweet TalesAck! For the first time in the four and a half years I’ve been doing 15 Minute Tweet Tales, I completely forgot to post a word or do a blog post yesterday. I feel like I’ve completely let myself down. I had this habit that kept me writing fiction no matter what, and I totally whiffed on it. It was easier to remember when I did it every day because it was part of my daily routine. Now that it’s only once a week, I find myself forgetting a lot. Although I usually do remember before the day is over. I guess I was in a complete fugue state yesterday because when I finally thought of it a few minutes ago, I truly thought today was Tuesday. I’m a mess, y’all!
 
Anyway, without any further ado about my mental state, here is this week’s 15 Minute Tweet Tales word:
 
kummerspeck - excess weight gained due to emotional overeating
 
5/17-18 - She runs a hand over her kummerspeck. She's always been alarmingly thin. Who would've guessed his dumping her would end up a good thing?
 
Play along and write a tweet tale for the above word. If you’re willing to share, post it on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add it below in the comments because I’d love to read your tales. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tale or #15tt word?
 

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 224

HUSH posterHave y’all seen Hush yet? I’d been hearing good things about it, and then I saw this tweet from Stephen King: “How good is HUSH? Up there with HALLOWEEN and--even more--WAIT UNTIL DARK. White knuckle time. On Netflix.” Whoa! That’s a major endorsement. 
 
Here’s the Netflix description: Deaf since her teens, Maddie Young has chosen a life of isolation in a remote woodland home. But when a masked stranger appears at her window one night, Maddie's peaceful existence turns into a terrifying cat-and-mouse game with a crazed killer.
 
I finally watched it last night. Awesome stuff, man! It’s a home invasion movie, and it gets pretty gruesome, so beware if that kind of stuff freaks you out, but I loved it. It was super tense, and although there was some ‘characters act stupid to move the plot forward’ stuff, it was pretty minimal. The script was tight, the acting was great, and you’ll never be able look at Jim from The Newsroom the same way again. Thanks for the rec, Mr. King!
 
After it was over, I looked Hush up on IMDB and discovered it was written and directed by Mike Flanagan, the same guy who made Oculus, another of my recent favorites. I’m definitely looking forward to watching more of this guy’s work!
 

15 Minute Tweet TalesAnd now it’s time for this week’s 15 Minute Tweet Tales word:

incalescent - growing hotter or more ardent
 
5/10 - As her fingers fly across the keyboard, she becomes more incalescent. She's fallen in love with her protagonist and so will her readers.
 
Play along and write a tweet tale for the above word. If you’re willing to share, post it on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add it below in the comments because I’d love to read your tales. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tale or #15tt word?
 

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 223

15 Minute Tweet TalesAck! I totally forgot today was Tuesday, so I almost missed posting my 15 Minute Tweet Tales word, but here it is and only a smidge past midnight:
 
fress - eat a lot and without restraint
 
This is actually the perfect word for this past week of staying with my sister. We’re trying all kinds of new restaurants, plus some old favorites, and we’re stuffing ourselves silly. Or I guess I should say, fressing ourselves silly!
 
5/3 - After he got fired, he began to fress. The more he ate, the less money he had, the more he ate. It evens out when he's hired to play Santa.
 
Play along and write a tweet tale for the above word. If you’re willing to share, post it on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add it below in the comments because I’d love to read your tales. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tale or #15tt word?
 

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 222

15 Minute Tweet TalesToday is my lil’ sister’s birthday, so we’ve all gathered at her house in Greenville to celebrate her big day. Of course we all brought our dogs, so that means there are five pooches over fifty pounds bounding around the house. That’s a whole heck of a lot of canine wrestling and roughhousing! Then once they’re all tuckered out, the floors turn into a doggie obstacle course with tails and legs everywhere. They’re a mess but awfully cute.

And now for this week’s 15 Minute Tweet Tales word:

sciamachy - an act or instance of fighting a shadow or an imaginary enemy.

4/26 - Her dog always attacked the walls, so she thought he had a bad case of sciamachy. The cops found her killer living in the crawl space.

Play along and write a tweet tale for the above word. If you’re willing to share, post it on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add it below in the comments because I’d love to read your tales. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tale or #15tt word?

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 221

Reading Partners

Tomorrow is the last day of Reading Partners, and I’m pretty bummed about it. I have the sweetest student this year, an absolute doll with a huge, infectious smile. And she LOVES science, especially learning about the weather. She completely lights up when we read non-fiction books, which is the opposite of my previous two students, who were fiction gals like me. I’m going to miss her, although I still get to see her one more time because Reading Partners is having an end-of-year celebration at the end of May. I’ve already ordered several books to give her, and I’m sure my Amazon addiction will add more to the stack in the next month.  
 
Last week was National Volunteer week, so Reading Partners wanted to know about funny or inspiring stories we have from our sessions with our students. Here’s the one I shared from my first year of tutoring:
 
I was kind of terrified when I started tutoring with Reading Partners four years ago. I didn’t have any experience teaching or any kids of my own, so even with the training, I felt like a complete imposter walking into the classroom.
 
In my first session, I helped my student fill out a survey to gauge how much she enjoyed reading. For statements like “I enjoy reading during free time in class”, “I usually read at home” and “I like getting books for presents” the student picks a Garfield face ranging from a very wide smile to an extreme frown to express how they feel about it. My student’s page was full of frowny Garfield faces, and my stomach clenched even tighter. She was two grade levels behind and hated reading, and I was a clueless newbie – I’d never be able to make a difference in her life.
 
But the Reading Partners program is easy to follow, even for clueless newbies, and my student was super sweet and eager to learn, so we had fun working our way through lessons together. We read about Goldilocks and Gruffalos and tricky spiders. She conquered cause and effect, author’s message, and intimidating vocabulary words.
 
Fast forward seven months later, and my student wanted me to go with her to the school library to help pick out a book. On our way there, she started skipping and singing, “I love to read!” I managed to hold myself together until the end of the lesson, but once I got to my car, I started to cry. 
 
While reading scores and other statistics are important, I didn’t need any of those to know I’d definitely made a difference. 
 
I’m sure I annoy my friends on Facebook and Twitter with my constant promotion of Reading Partners, but it’s such a wonderful organization, and they get great results. If you’re interested in volunteering, check them out, or if you don’t have time, throw a few bucks their way. It’s so worth it!
 
15 Minute Tweet TalesAnd now for this week’s 15 Minute Tweet Tales word:
 
rantipole - wild, reckless, boisterous; a reckless person; to be wild, boisterous
 
4/19 - Sue was not rantipole person, but she played Truth or Dare to fit in with the popular crowd. She felt horrible calling her mom from jail.
 
Play along and write a tweet tale for the above word. If you’re willing to share, post it on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add it below in the comments because I’d love to read your tales. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tale or #15tt word?
 

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 220

15 Minute Tweet TalesI’m keeping my 15 Minute Tweet Tales post short and sweet this week, so here ya go!
 
pandiculation - a stretching and stiffening especially of the trunk and extremities (as when fatigued and drowsy or after waking from sleep)
 
4/12 - My cat's pandiculation is so extreme, he rolls off the bed. I know I shouldn't, but I laugh. Later, I discover a "present" on my pillow.
 
Play along and write a tweet tale for the above word. If you’re willing to share, post it on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add it below in the comments because I’d love to read your tales. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tale or #15tt word?
 

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 218

15 Minute Tweet TalesIt’s so gorgeous around here with the azaleas, dogwood, and wisteria all abloom. Although that also means there is a layer of yellow over everything. I got in my car to go to a meeting this afternoon and practically needed an ice scraper to clear off my windshield. But it’s worth it to see the beautiful pops of color everywhere. Hope your spring is off to a fantastic start! 
 
And now here’s this week’s 15 Minute Tweet Tales word:
 
mudita - sympathetic or vicarious joy; joy at the happiness of others (Sanskrit).
 
3/29 - When she has one of her days, she looks up videos of kids getting their first puppies, and the mudita helps her make it to the next day.
 
Play along and write a tweet tale for the above word. If you’re willing to share, post it on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add it below in the comments because I’d love to read your tales. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tale or #15tt word?