Family Collage

Family Collage
Lots of Love in this Bunch!
*The compositions herein are not to be copied, reproduced, printed, published, posted, displayed, incorporated, stored in or scanned into a retrieval system or database, transmitted, broadcast, bartered or sold, in whole or in part without the prior express written permissions of the sole author Tory Williams. Unauthorized duplication is strictly prohibited and is an infringement of National and International Copyright Laws.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Lot Going On!

I've always loved the summer days in Alabama - especially July. This is the month when my family spends every waking minute either in Gram's swimming pool or in the front yard playing baseball. And the best part is you never know who is going to show up.

Now, with the Fourth right around the corner, I find myself wondering where May and June went. Last night, with tons of photos to upload on my computer, I flipped through the three-hundred images on my memory card and understood exactly how time has passed so quickly. These are some of my favorite summer moments thus far!

Surprising my mom on her 58th birthday in Jackson, MS was one of the best events yet! It was so difficult keeping this little secret from her - she's the perceptive one in our family, usually knowing everything before everyone else. Though somehow we managed to pull it off!

The Overstreet's gathered at Kim and Todd's house (our cousins that live in Flowood, MS) to celebrate this wonderful event! Needless to say, the children (and adults) had a blast!

Cousin Ray was our captain for the day, taking Nikki, Christy, and me and a bunch of children out on the Ross Barnett Reservoir in Jackson, MS. It was a beautiful day, not a cloud in the sky, and we enjoyed every second of touring the magnificent waterfront homes.

I think we all learned something new about boating and water safety after touring the reservoir with Captain Ray!

Back at the clubhouse, the little ones enjoyed splashing around in the pool.

A few weeks back, Trae and I took our children to Gainsville, AL for a fun-filled week of horse-back riding w/ cousin Susie and Vacation Bible School at his mom's church in Livingston.

Our children have fallen in love with Honeybun. He is the most gentle quarter-horse I've ever seen around kids, following Catie wherever she led.

Courtney loved showing Susie her new trick from the diving board!

So, as you can see, there's been a lot of fun and exciting events going on for the Minus family this summer. I'd love to know what's been keeping you busy so please leave a message in the comment section below. Have a safe annd happy Fourth of July, everyone! Tory

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

The relationship between father and daughter almost defies description. Nurtured with love, the relationship strengthens and brings out the best in both, softening the rough edges of fathers and providing strength and security for their daughters. - Gregory E. Lang, author of Why A Daughter Needs A Dad.

My Daddy holding me when I was approximately three months old. I have known from an early age that as long as my Daddy was physically able, I would be protected and loved. Over the past thirty-two years, he has made countless sacrifices for our family so none of us would ever be without.

On January 8, 2000, he walked me down the isle of our small-town Baptist church and gave my hand in marriage to my college sweetheart.

Ten years later...Trae hand-in-hand with our four precious children as they walk to check the mailbox at the end of our driveway.

Trae with our three daughters, Catie, Carlie, and Courtney. Not to worry, he has already purchased a mighty-fine Louisville slugger to chase the boys away.

Trae with our little boy, Conner, who loves John Wayne movies and eighteen-wheelers more than his Daddy.

In the comment section below, I'd love to learn about the male role model in your life or perhaps you'd like to share something special about the father of your children. Have a wonderful day! Tory

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!

Today my parents celebrated their 39th wedding anniversary! So, in honor of these remarkable people, I'd like to take this opportunity to post about my Mom and Dad.

Not only have I been blessed with patient, supportive and encouraging parents, I've been fortunate to have a Mom and Dad that truly love one another after thirty-nine years of marriage. Even though my parents have encountered countless challenges along the way, they have continued to grip hands tightly and forge through each obstacle, together, as one.

I love you both dearly, and appreciate all that you do for our family! You help make each day a brighter day!

How about you? Is there a special couple that has touched your life in a remarkable way? I'd love to learn more about them and see how they make your day a brighter day.

Have a great Saturday evening, everyone! Tory

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Another Road Trip for the Minus Gang!

Our bags are packed and the countdown has begun...three hours before the Minus gang heads out into the wild blue yonder (week-long trip to Gainsville, AL), so my posting may be sparce for the next few days.

I hope you all have a wonderful week! Tory

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Drive In!

For me, The Millry Drive In is more than the only restaurant in town. It's a local landmark and home of the best fried chicken, Mr. Bacon Cheeseburgers, soft-served ice cream, and many more delicious treats. A few years back, it was the culprit that added seventy pounds to my weight gain during the pregnancy with our twins. Yes, that's our driveway leading straight into the parking lot of the drive in. Now you understand!

This legendary Mom and Pop snack bar is famed more for it's tradition...a sort of nostalgic mystique than anything else. Mr. Aaron and Mrs. Wanda (along with their soft-spoken daughters) greet their customers at the counter with a "Please pay when you order!" smile across their face.

Once you manage to convey your order, Mrs. Wanda tells you it will take approximately fifteen - twenty minutes for Mr. Aaron to fry up your food. On a busy day, you can expect one of two scenarios when placing your order: 1.) You call and call and call, but apparently the phone has been taken off the hook. Or, 2.) You manage to get through but Mrs. Wanda regrets to inform you that the local Masonic group has beaten you to the punch, ordering countless buckets of fried chicken and french fries.

But you don't give up!

Frustrating as this may be, however, you place your order and wait an additional twenty minutes for Mr. Aaron to cook your two-piece dinner. Once inside your vehicle, with dinner basket in hand, you realize it was worth this and so much more.

The evening this photo was taken, I had just returned from a two-mile run when I noticed the beautiful rainbow draping in the distance above the drive in. I couldn't help but run inside and grab my camera as the idea for this post came to mind.

Now, if only I can figure out the secret ingredient to Mrs. Wanda's delicious sauce on her burgers!

In the comment section below, I'd love to know about your favorite eating place. Have a great Humpday, everyone! Tory

Monday, June 7, 2010

My YaYas!

"If you have two friends in your lifetime, you're lucky. If you have one good friend, you're more than lucky." - S.E. Hinton

Many of you reading this post are unfamiliar with the women standing next to me in the photo above. These fabulous people have been my friends since Jr. High School; they are my precious YaYas! Dana Massey is on the left and Tarah Olewski is on the right. During the past fifteen years, we've been through good times and bad: boyfriend disasters, weddings, childrens' births, scary health issues, and unfortunately, lots of funerals. Both live in Mobile, Alabama (nearly 75 miles south of my home in Millry), and YES!, I get off beat if a few days pass without speaking to one or both on the phone.

Now, you may be wondering why I inserted this photo in my post. This is a snapshot of the foyer area in our home. Please note the beautiful plants beneath the window seal. These seven-year-old peace lilies are very special to Trae and I because they were given to us by Dana and Tarah after the funeral of our baby daughter, Sarah Margaret. Sadly, due to complications during my third pregnancy, "Maggie" was born 17 weeks prematurely. My life changed forever that day, but with support and encouragement from my family and friends, I found peace and moved on. Now, three miracles later, I find myself still begging for Dana and Tarah's support and encouragement! Our friendship is unique in many ways. We understand that life is full of disappointments and defeats, so we make every effort to be there for one another...through good times and bad. The older we get, and with more responsibilities on our shoulders, our time is limited for one another. But we do it! Somehow, we manage to work each other into our busy schedules, even if it's just a quick text message to vent about a bad haircut!

There's no doubt our lives are different! I'm an aspiring writer/stay at home Mom to four, Dana somehow manages a career and family (she's due w/ her second child in August), and Tarah is the one Dana and I live through vicariously with her free-spirit attitude and time-share in Spain. But I fully believe these differences are what make us mesh. You see, regardless the direction we go in life, we always find a way back to one other. Perhaps a result from what we've been through together over the years? Hmm...I don't know! I'm just abundantly grateful for having these women in my life. Love you gals!

Now, what about your BFF? Please share in the comment section below. Tory

Friday, June 4, 2010

Is It A Good Idea To Post Your Story Synopsis Online?

Today, after visiting different writers' blogs, I noticed several authors had posted their story summary in hopes of gaining feedback from their followers. For the majority, the responses were great. There were even a few to receive comments from bestselling authors. This was nearly enough to make me follow suit, but something held me back. Okay, yes, I'm a scaredy cat when it comes to posting details about my story. In fact, no one other than my parents, husband and siblings know the title to my project. You see, I've had way too many nightmares in which a creepy book-thief-type-villain makes millions from stealing my concept.

So, my questions for you guys (veteran writers please speak up!):

1.) Is it safe to put your synopsis online, exposing it for the world to read?
2.) What if someone steals your plot? *gasp and cry for hours/days...*
3.) But what if an agent stumbles across your book summary and falls in love? *happy dance* Isn't this worth it?

I'd love to know your thoughts! Have a great Friday, everyone! Tory

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Amazing Contest & Humpday Reads!

As of 8:03 P.M. last night, I officially landed a spot at Querytracker's agent-judged query contest in which the super talented literary agent, Kathleen Ortiz, volunteered to critique the first 100 entries received.

Phew...I'm still stoked about this one!

You see, from countless hours of stalking Ms. Ortiz' blog ( and other social networks, I knew this contest would fill within minutes. So, with help from my ever-so-patient husband, I was able to sneak to my parent's home and complete the online form with nothing more than seconds to spare before the contest filled. Seriously, I barely had time to verify if I'd cut and pasted the first chapter of my YA novel successfully to the contest form.

But I did!!! *Cue confetti falling from the ceiling*

Now, to some of my friends reading this post, you may not understand what all the hoopla is about. Let me explain!

Anytime an aspiring writer *imagine ME waving a huge, red flag* receives feedback from a top-notch agent, the effort is worth this and so much more! As brutal as Ms. Ortiz' critique may be (she seems super sweet and very professional), I'm still hopeful she connects with the first chapter of my YA novel and asks for more. At this point in my writing career, any feedback is good feedback.

Okay, given that I hear little footsteps running around upstairs I'm going to quickly switch gears and list my book recommendation for this week's version of Humpday Reads.

I suggest: The Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr All her life, Aislinn has been able to see faeries, and they are everywhere, invisible to mortals except for her. And these are not your average cute Disney pixies -- they are the same size as humans, and can be very nasty, especially to those mortals who can see them. To survive, Aislinn has had to learn to pretend not to see them, and to live behind steel walls, which keep them out.
All Aislinn wants is to explore her growing relationship with Seth, finish high school, go to college, and lead a relatively normal life. But now she's being stalked by the faeries, especially one, Keenan, who is the Summer King and wants her for his Queen. Keenan is able to endure steel, and will have Aislinn whether she agrees or not -- if she doesn't, the power of his mother, the Winter Queen, will be unchecked, and winter will descend on the earth forever. (

I hope you enjoy! Tory

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Me In Threes!

My friend Heather over at inspired me with a wonderful idea for today's post. If you don't already follow her, run over and check out her fascinating site. This crafty chic is amazing, and her posts are both informative and entertaining.

So, in hopes you'll learn more about me, I give you: Me In Threes!

Three names I go by:
Aunt T

Three jobs I've had:
Nurses Assistant
Elementary school teacher

Three places I've lived:
Mobile, Alabama
Livingston, Alabama
Emelle, Alabama

Three places I've been:
New York City
Dallas, Texas
Poplar Bluff, Missouri

Three favorite movies:
Stealing Home
The Sound of Music
Pearl Harbor

Three favorite books:
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Three places I'd like to visit:
San Francisco, California

Three favorite hobbies:

Three things I'm looking forward to:
Taking our son to a Braves game and our daughters to the American Girl store in Atlanta, GA this summer.
Finding a home for my first YA novel.
Going on a weekend adventure with my ever-so-patient husband.

This was so much FUN! Now, three people I'm tagging in hopes they will complete a Me In Threes post on their blog. I'd love to learn more about the following women:

Julie Musil @
Charmaine Clancy @
Lindsay N. Currie @