A while back on my blog, I posted about having written 3,000 words on a writing project. Then I checked back later and said that I'd written 6,000 words.

I completed the project on June 11th (finally!) and it ended up being approximately 15,008 words. I'm so pleased!

TITLE: Piper Reed, Rodeo Star

AUTHOR: Kimberly Willis Holt


ORIGINAL PUBLISHER: Henry Holt and Company, LLC


PLOTLINE: Piper Reed gets a surprise one day: her parents are going on a second honeymoon to France! Piper and her sisters, Sam and Tori, will have to stay with their two sets of grandparents in the little town of Piney Woods, Louisiana.

Even though it might be lonely spending winter break---and Christmas---without her parents, Piper comes up with a surefire way to have fun. She’s going to have four adventures while she’s in Piney Woods.

It turns out that Piper and her family have several adventures together, not counting when they have to trek to Uncle Leo’s house to check their e-mail (why don’t their grandparents have a computer?)

But the biggest adventure of all comes when Piper’s parents arrive home with a surprise . . . and this time, it’s a good one!


“ ‘Zero plus five equals five,’ Sam said.

‘That’s right, Einstein,’ I said.” - Piper Reed, Rodeo Star

In the past week, I've sighted three hummingbirds in our garden. Two of them hardly ever come by, but one female bird has been quite busy in bee balm, lilac, and rosebushes.

I think she must be inspecting possible nest locations. I read in Birds's Nests, by Hal H. Harrison (Houghton Mifflin Company, 1975) that male ruby-throated hummingbirds do not take part in nesting activity, so it would make sense that this female hummingbird is searching for a spot by herself. She's been active in many places around here, I think this must be the case.

I'm very certain that she's not a rufous hummingbird, since she appears to have no spots on her chest, and the other birds I've seen her with have identical green coats. (Male rufous hummingbirds have reddish-brownish coats.)