Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Why Do I Keep Finding Myself in a Twilight Zone Episode?

After my Writer's Digest win, I decided to join So I filled out all of the necessary information, got my user name and password and entered data into my profile.

As I worked on my profile, I saw the font getting larger and larger and larger until the fourth word completely consumed the third word, the third word completely consumed the second word, the second word completely consumed the first word, and I couldn't see the rest of the 200 words I'd written. I panicked. 

I spent the next half hour trying to fix the html code (after all, I am nearly a tenth of the way through my html dummies book – I could figure this out, right?). A half hour later, it was readable, but the spacing wasn't right. I decided, since it was now way past my bed time, that I would live with it.

Before I went to sleep, however, I decided that I owed it to myself to at least check around the site and see who else might be on there. That's when time warped. Every single person on the site signed up for it two to three years ago. The day they signed up was apparently also the last day they ever signed on.

Would this be my last day on Earth?

Or – did I sign up for a club where I was its only member? So I did what any tired writer would do – I went to bed – and prayed for my life.

The next morning, still alive, I looked for and and found a site that did NOT look at all like the site I signed up with the previous night. Time warps are so confusing. Somehow I signed up for an affiliate site that sits in cyberspace, alone – except for maybe in the Twilight Zone.

(photo above borrowed from

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Coming Up With Ideas and Losing Them

Coming up with ideas has always been easy for me. Remembering to write them down, however, used to be a problem. Everywhere I looked I saw opportunities for writing – an unusual phrase, a quirky look, headlines that took my breath away, a comedic twist on a serious issue, or a serious spin on a comical event. Everything became fodder for articles, blogs, books, screenplays, and more.

But, as is sometimes a problem for me, I get in the way of myself. Having been classified as a scatterbrain by more than one person, my amazing ideas would get scribbled into corners of envelopes that sometimes mistakenly got thrown away. If the only thing available to write on was the torn edge of a magazine, I used it. 

And a child ate it. 

Newspaper white space, coupons, and yes, even the beloved Post-It were items I used to scribble ideas. (I LOVE Post-Its – I usually decorate my computer with them – ideas, ideas, everywhere.) 

But a fierce wind would blow them away, and I would lose them.

Over the years, I learned to invest in tiny spiral notebooks where I recorded my thoughts and insights. I even placed my Post-Its in them. Eventually I amassed a trunk full of ideas.

My friend Kenny, the wizard of ideas, mastered the art of idea keeping long before I bought my trunk. He carries a huge notebook filled with ideas and drawings. Every time he hears something funny or odd, every time he witnesses an awesome sight, and every time he thinks of something profound or unusual, he records the ideas in his notebook. So organized! (He {along with his wife} would probably laugh if he heard me say that about him.) 

Because he shared his idea-keeping skills with me, I became more organized with my ideas. And now (long overdue) I would like to thank Kenny for helping me organize my ideas. So, my treasured friend, thank you!

If you google Kenny Haas, you will note that he was the script writer for the Disney's Aladdin Look and Find book. Very creative. Until Kenny told me, I never realized that Look and Find books required writers.

The photo above shows Kenny entertaining children with his stories.

Friday, April 24, 2009


This weekend, beginning tonight at 6 PM is
which coincides with the
Phone numbers, email addresses, and 
more information is listed HERE.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

One Creative Lady

Hand made artistic items have always impressed me. Whether they appear in the form of art, writing, music, or design, the people who spend time focusing on their talent inspire me.

Fortunately for me, is filled with creative inspirational people – the entire web site is dedicated to artisans who create everything from booties for babies to sketches of homes to exquisite jewelry. is tailor-made for the person who loves unique items.

As you search through items on etsy, every once in a while you find a creative talent whose artistry synchronizes with current events. Marcia Hellmuth, Penciled By Marcia, is one of those people.

When the housing market crashed into the basement, many people lost their homes – homes they treasured. Marcia’s artwork offers these people a way to hang on to the memory of their home. Her artistic renditions of the family dwelling give people who have lost their homes a heartwarming gift they can mat, frame, and hang in their new home or apartment. They may have lost the home they loved, but they can hang its memory in their living rooms.

Some people love their homes but have to move for financial reasons or job changes. A hand sketched drawing of their favorite home makes a lovely addition to the artwork in their new home.

You don’t have to lose your home to hang a drawing of it. Maybe you still own your home and love it enough to have a sketch of it hanging in your parlor or foyer.

Do you have a son or daughter who has moved away from home? A drawing of home will remind them of you.

While Marcia’s main request is for drawings of homes, she also gets requests for sketches of boats, farms, or even a favorite pair of boots.

Looking for a parting gift for a retired co-worker? Why not give your co-worker a drawing of the building where he or she spent every working day?

Or how about a drawing of your favorite vintage automobile or an antique table given to you by your grandmother?

All you have to do is take a clear picture (make sure the sun is at your back or that you have plenty of lighting – shadows in the photo will appear in the drawing) of your home or item, and send it to Marcia at

The drawings usually measure 8”x10” or a little larger, and she charges between $75 and $100. Penciled By Marcia accepts Visa, Master Card, Discover or Paypal.

The sketch above is one of Marcia’s.

Friday, April 17, 2009


The one thing writers want, other than the satisfaction of engaging in the process of writing, is recognition. I tend to whine about my invisibility in my wordpress blog, but today, the whining has stopped, because of this one thing that made all my hours of writing and researching worthwhile. 

Click on the link above to read about my win.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Back from Vacation

(photo: left to right Wes {my daughter-in-law's nephew}, Zac {my grandson}, Kaden {my grandson}, Taylor {my granddaughter}, Ayla {my great granddaughter}) 

Wow! What a trip. Literally – don't you just hate when people use that word? – but check out My Heart Blogs to You to find out how. I also posted pictures of my son and his wife, some of my grandchildren, and my great granddaughter (if you're interested).

Getting away from the repetition of my 11-hour a day daycare was amazingly refreshing. I feel GREAT! 

I've been blogging all day (well, in between taking care of little ones). With so much to do and so little time to do it, I find myself racing to the computer with thoughts I just HAVE to jot down. I'm also writing a children's book based on a story I tell the kids once in a while. It's the only one they ask me to repeat. I'd give you a sneak peak, but it's a jumble of words right now and it would look insanely ridiculous.

I've also been posting on my web site, so I've been really really busy, as always.

What has given me this extra energy, I think, is that for the first time in 28 years, I slept for six hours straight last night. It was Ahhhhhhsome.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Posting New Web Site

11-hours a day providing child care gives me precious few moments of "down" time. Those are the only times I can write, research, and read. These past several days especially have been HORRENDOUS with a capital H. Today's quiet time is the first time since last week that I have found one pleasurable moment of peace. 

In addition to writing my blogs and articles, however, I am also setting up a web site for incest survivors. With no background whatsoever in building a web site, I am constantly barraging the help desk with requests for HELP (another capital H).

So my time is scattered like the leaves on my lawn, left over from last fall when they fell through storms of torrential rains, waiting to be shredded in the newness of Spring. Oh, so poetic.

As far as the way the web site looks, forgive me for its appearance. I have been trying and trying and trying and trying and failing miserably to make it look the way I want it to look. I'm hoping eventually to work out the kinks, but in the meantime, if you know any incest survivors, I invite you to invite them to the site.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Tasers for Teachers!

Inspiration for these blogs comes from a variety of places. Yesterday, as I was mourning the empty space in my soul where the career I'm still waiting to call mine is supposed to reside, my friend Denise called. Just so you know, every time I type her name, it first comes out as Dense – not that I consider her dense. Denise is just funny.

Denise is also my former Beatles buddy. We attended a Beatles concert in August, 1965, where we jumped around like a couple of hysterical teenagers, and John Lennon waved at us. Yes, we are that old. And yes, Denise, I still say, he waved at US, because WE waved differently from everybody else and HE NOTICED US! There!

Yesterday, when I divulged my depressive thoughts to Denise, we talked about all of our depressing circumstances. Denise is an instructor at a college in southern Illinois. She's afraid she'll get fired, because the president doesn't like her ideas.

At their last meeting, where they discussed ways to manage their rude and unmanageable classes, and the president of the college asked for suggestions, Denise offered her own remedy for keeping her classes in line – tasers for teachers. 

Her president was not impressed. I, however, couldn't stop laughing after hearing her suggestion. I imagined all these prim and proper educators expecting miraculous remedies for unmanageable classes, and Denise suggested tasers. How could they not laugh?

OK, I guess I'll have to agree with Denise and file that in the "things not to say" drawer, even though I'm sure John Lennon would have written a song about it.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


I'll be posting blog connections here that I've made from my Associated Content article. One is already posted. The article is located here: BLOGGERS - Let's Share Blogs!

Also, view connections I've already made by looking at bloggers I follow. I hope to make even more great connections!

1,001 Ways to Avoid Writing: #15 Tackle spring cleaning.

1,001 Ways to Avoid Writing: #15 Tackle spring cleaning.



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