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.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Seven Colors!

I must thank Melissa - From my somewhat serious mind for passing along an award called "Seven Colors". Thanks so much, Melissa!!

This award requires the recipient to share at least seven things that make them happy.

Just seven, Melissa? Okay! This should be a piece of cake. After all, the glass is always half full in my opinion!



1. My religion makes me happy! I try to live each day according to God's word, and I rely heavily on his comfort and mercy to get me through the uncertainties in life. In times of discouragement, I am reminded that God is the Author of life who keeps his promises! Below is a picture of Millry Baptist Church, the place my family attends bible study and worship service.



2. My family! Even as a little girl, the idea of having a large family never frightened me. From my earliest memories, I recall prancing around my parent's home pushing a baby stroller and even sleeping with a dozen Cabbage Patch babies next to me each night. Perhaps this was the result of my father being the youngest of six, or my mother being the baby of twelve. Hmmm...I'm still not sure, but I know I enjoyed hearing stories of their "lively" childhood.

Soon after Trae and I were married, I quickly realized that society had pulled away from large families. In fact, having more than two or three children was ridiculed by many. But this didn't discourage me from wanting a house full of kiddos. After experiencing a perfect pregnancy and delivery with our firstborn, Catie, I never expected to feel so much love and compassion toward another human being. But this little bundle of joy simply captivated my heart! She was perfect in every way.

Four challenging years later, we were blessed with fraternal twins, Carlie and Conner. Though we lost a lot of sleep and our water bill basically tripled overnight, these "twinkies" certainly made us believe in miracles! But the fun didn't end there. SURPRISE! Courtney Erin joined our motley crew just three days after the twins celebrated their second birthday, and she was welcomed home by the sweetest, most fun-loving children in the world. So, yes! My large family makes me EXTREMELY HAPPY!:)



3. Nature! I absolutely love spending time outdoors in God's world. Each day I'm amazed at the beauty that surrounds our home in south Alabama. Just a few miles from our home is one of the best fishing holes in Washington County, The Millry State Lake. From the banks of this 90 acre lake, Courtney and I enjoy watching the sun set above the towering pine trees. It truly is a magnificent place to spend a summer afternoon!



4. Reading! In order to be a good writer, I believe it's necessary to READ. READ. READ. as much as possible. Fortunately, as I strive to become a published author, reading is something I've enjoyed since having my mother as my sixth grade reading teacher. But as you can only imagine, my reading time is limited! Therefore, when the kiddos are down for the night, I read as fast as my weary eyes allow. Speed reading at it's best. YEP! That's definitely ME!



5. Writing! Very similar to reading, when I'm in the mood, or when my creative juices race through my veins, it's extremely difficult (and frustrating!) to stop mid-sentence during a work in progress due to ___________ (Just fill in the blank; I'm sure it's happened!). The solution to this problem: GRAM'S SWIMMING POOL!



6. My Friends! 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 next Thursday), and Tarah is the one that Dana and I live through vicariously with her free-spirited 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, and I'm abundantly grateful for having these women in my life. Love you both!



7. Jogging! There's a familiar saying in the Minus household, "If Mommy's running shoes are near the carport door, then her nerves have shot through the roof, and she's in dire need of a nice, long run!" It's funny, too! Even Courtney understands when I place my sneakers near the carport door.:)



Well, this is me in a nutshell! I really hope I didn't bore you too badly w/ my response to "Seven Colors!"

Now, in closing with this ridiculous, "TOO MUCH INFORMATION!" post, I'd like to pass "Seven Colors" along to the following women:

Mandy at Chipped Polish
Lindsay at Home - Tiptoe Kisses
Julie at Home - Julie Loden
Heather at Gerber Days
Elizabeth at The Writer Revived

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Mr. Cinderella!

While surfing the Internet this past weekend for stories of inspiration, I stumbled across a fascinating article about a man who was determined to become a published author, hence the title for this post. Now, some of you may feel a bit nauseous at the idea of writing a 400 page novel, but hopefully somewhere in your inner soul there is a life-long dream that you wish to become a reality.

Before I go any further, I want to share the link to this amazing article in hopes you'll become as enthusiastic about chasing your dreams as I have: From Rejection Notes to the Pulitzer! http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/19/books/19harding.html?hpw



Okay! If you didn't follow the link, then you're really going to be clueless with the final portion of my post. So. Please. Follow. It. Now. :)

As a former elementary school teacher, and now, the mother to four young children, I rely heavily on my education background (Organizational skills are a fundamental necessity for being an effective school teacher!) in order to keep our motley crew on schedule and out of harm's way. So, yes! Goals and accomplishments are of major significance in my daily routine; whether I'm counting heads around the bathroom sink to make certain each child has brushed his/her teeth, or on all fours in the living room in search of a missing polka-dot flip-flop, the goal is usually the same: DO NOT lose sight of the main objective or everything else will dissipate like a sandcastle in a windstorm.

As you can see, my belief in goal setting is extremely important to how I work through the obstacles and uncertainties in my day. And just as Mr. Harding believed in himself and the stories he created, his journey to publication has given me confidence to know that what I do is more than just wishful thinking. Being able to use my talents in order to create stories that will hopefully brighten the lives of young readers is what motivates and inspires me. It helps me strive to be the best mother, friend, daughter, sister, wife, and person that I can truly be.

I believe Mr. Harding's journey is a true testament for anyone hoping to fulfill their dreams. What about you? Perhaps you'd like to share something about goal setting in the comment section below.

In closing, I'd like to leave you with a quote of inspiration:

The more intensely we feel about an idea or a goal, the more assuredly the idea, buried deep in our subconscious, will direct us along the path to its fulfillment.” Earl Nightingale,(US motivational writer and author, 1921-1989)

Have a great evening, everyone! Tory

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Weight of Our Words!


Tonight, as I sat on our soft and comfortable sofa watching Yo Gabba Gabba with my rowdy bunch, all I could think of were two important things. The first: I tried to escape from DJ Lance's obnoxious laughter by calculating when Catie needed her evening dose of antibiotic and pain medication (Yes! Strep throat has crept into our safe haven once again.), and two: Ultimately, I tried to convince myself that Gram's salt-water pool did a terrific job of cleaning the youngest three kiddos and this justified me skipping the half-hour screaming match of who has more bath bubbles than the other.

So, just when I was beginning to feel somewhat relaxed and proud of myself for all I had accomplished in one day (seeing my children cuddled next to one another on the sofa nearly made a few tears escape my eyes), Trae called and said he needed to spend the night in Gainsville due to a late customer ordering fifty-four bails of hay for delivery ASAP tomorrow morning.

Perfect. A-b-s-o-l-u-t-e-l-y perfect!

But instead of shrivelling up into a tight ball and rolling myself out the front door of our home, I thought back a few hours to the moment I bumped into Mr. Jan, one of the greatest supporters of my writing endeavor, at the Washington County Public Library.


Mr. Jan, I'm sure if you're reading this post, you're a bit confused as to why I'm namedropping you into this rabbit chase. Well, the reason is simply because it wouldn't be fair to exclude your contribution to my happy ending.

The point I'm trying to make is that while most of us never realize the impact or "weight" of our words until something spectacular, or in other cases, something disastrous occurs, there are some, however, that do notice, and they are better people for it.

Lucky for me, when I approached the lady from behind the information desk at the library, Mr. Jan and his wife rounded the corner of the media center and gave a cheerful, "Hello," that followed by, "We sure hope your book gets published soon so we can read it!"

Mr. Jan, it was almost as if you knew what to say with your kind words and thoughtful questions about the status of my querying to perk my spirits. Not only did you inspire the idea for this post, you also reaffirmed that folks are truly reading my words and even some look forward to hearing more about my journey to publication.

So thanks to you, Mr. Jan, I found reason to tear myself away from Yo Gabba Gabba and take note to my children cuddled so sweetly with one another on the sofa! Thanks to you, I found reason to sit in front of this computer and free myself from the stress and turmoil that wanted so badly to tear my sanity into shreds.

Now, I feel confident that my head will hit the pillow softly and all the chaos in my life will disappear. So THANKS. THANKS. THANKS. Mr. Jan, for being such an amazing person!

In closing, I'd like to know if your mood has been altered lately by the words of others? If so, please feel free to share in the comment section below.

Good night, everyone! Tory

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Illegally Blonde!

Today a special package arrived for me in the mail. No. Not an author/agent contract, but something grand, nonetheless.

This afternoon, I received Nelsa Roberto's debut novel, Illegally Blonde, and before I could return to our carport, I read through the first six pages! Yes! The writing is fabulous. Not only did I find the synopsis intriguing, the connection I felt with the characters was enough to make me race through the beginning pages in a matter of seconds. The best part - discovering the nicest inscription written to me on the inside cover. In that moment, I felt so lucky to have won Ms. Roberto's blog contest.

So, for tonight's post, I've decided to share the synopsis of Illegally Blonde and provide a brief bio of Ms. Roberto. She is definitely a debut author that everyone should keep their eye on!

When seventeen-year-old Lucy do Amaral comes home with bleached blonde hair she expects a major lecture and another grounding from her strict Portuguese parents. What she doesn't expect is the shocking news that her family are illegal aliens who've just been told they're being deported in less than a week. Lucy's furious at being forced to leave her boyfriend and miss prom to go live in some backwater village in a country she knows nothing about. But as Lucy discovers, intentions and reality are sometimes worlds apart - or an ocean away.


Nelsa Roberto is a Portugese-Canadian who was born in a remote logging community in northern Ontario, grew up in a farming community in southern Ontario, and now lives in Toronto with her husband, three children, and Golden Retriever. To follow Ms. Roberto on her blog, go to http://out-of-the-wordwork.blogspot.com/

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Independence Day Fun!



First and foremost, I hope you experienced a wonderful 4th of July surrounded by lots of family and friends and a tasty barbecue, of course!

Now, for those of you interested in how the Minus gang celebrated our star-spangled democracy, I present a recap of our day...


Looking back, I'm still surprised that I convinced our family to dress in patriotic clothing for morning worship at our church. I tend to go a little overboard when it comes to holidays, and this Fourth of July was no exception.

Catie was enthusiastic about our plans for the day. Her favorite: The outfit! For those of you familiar with JUSTICE, Catie and I visited this trendy store last week, so she was thrilled to wear her new shimmering top with an adorable royal-blue skirt to match.







Conner simply cared less about his outfit! He's a typical boy, after all, and basically looked forward to the big watergun fight with his older boy cousins than stressing over the red polo shirt and navy shorts I laid out for him to wear. Awww...one of the great wonders of raising a son - boys are usually too busy being adventurous to worry about the clothes on their backs.







Surprisingly, Carlie was not enthused about her smocked watermelon outfit! For some odd reason, she insisted on NOT wearing a dress to church, but after I explained how she and Courtney were going to match, it was a WIN situation for ME! WHEW!!! We were running ten minutes behind schedule, so I didn't have time for a melt-down of emotions. We all agree, this five-year-old will most likely grow up to become a fashion designer, so I must stay on my toes when it comes to dressing this child.







And last but certainly not least, there's Courtney Erin. She was the most excited of all this morning when it came to getting dressed for church. This spunky monkey impressed her father and me by being the first to brush her teeth and in her carseat before the others. While standing in amazement at the carport door, we listened to her chirp about the many red-colored sparklers she planned to pop at Gram and Pop's house. Yes, Courtney Erin is highly entertaining!







What about you? I'd love to know how you spent this 4th of July so please leave a message in the comment section below. Have a great evening, everyone! Tory