Saturday, December 31, 2011

Excuse Me While I Brag

What a great way to end 2011. My article, Spontaneous Human Combustion – Truth or Fiction? made the front page of Xomba in two places!

If you're a writer, you know how much that means to me. If you're not a writer, you probably can guess how much that means to me.

So I end this year on a high note. Though my asthma and other physical problems continue, my cancer is being well controlled. Though only 3 family members will be celebrating New Year's Eve with me, I know the rest of my family and friends are with me in spirit.

Happy New Year, all of you. "The world is moving to a magical place," and I hope you all will experience some of the magic.

If you would like to read other blogs or articles by this author, I invite you to click on any of the following links.

Thank you for visiting!

Friday, December 30, 2011

New Year's Resolution – Progress or Regress?

We all like to think we're progressing in life – spiritually, physically, emotionally, and mentally. So to chart my progress, I decided to read a blog I wrote last December. Sadly I discovered the only "progress" I made was that most of the broken things from 2010 were fixed. But now, in 2011, more items have broken and what I had hoped to accomplish I haven't.

In other words, for most of 2011:

• My Internet was still not functioning properly though it seems to be working fine now – except for the person who has hacked into my wireless router making writing a VERY SLOW PROCESS (if I knew how to make my router invisible or prevent him or her from using it I would, but I don't).

• My computer had been broken for all of 2011 and is still broken – AND my laptop broke (finally got that fixed);

* I had to replace broken bathroom and kitchen fixtures;

• I failed to meet my own expectations for writing my blogs;

• I still have trouble remembering things;

• My refrigerator finally started working well (after $$$$ repairs YAY!);

• I had to purchase a new vacuum cleaner (more $$$$);

• I had to buy a new (well 2002) car (LOTS of $$$$);

• I had to replace my leaky ceilings (LOTS more $$$$);


• I hoped to get the area under my kitchen sink repaired, but it's still broken.

So all in all, I seem to be pretty much in the same place I was when I wrote The Clone Blog.

However, my hair is growing – I now resemble a combination of Einstein and Bozo on acid – and I'm 42 months closer to ending my daily dose of chemo meds. The asthma meds will continue through to the end of my life, and despite the continued slap from the Universe knocking me down every time I try to stand up, I still hold out hope that ONE DAY, SOME DAY I will succeed in breaking through the invisible barrier that prevents me from making enough money to LIVE.

So – my New Year's Resolution is to sell a screenplay or come up with a fabulous idea that will pay me LOTS of money, have at least one of my blogs go viral, republish a book I wrote years ago, and travel to England, to Hawaii, and to Alaska. However, it's completely out of my control so I'm also praying for Divine Intervention!


Happy New Year, everybody! May you all be blessed with happiness, joy, and love!

If you would like to read other blogs by this author, I invite you to click on any of the following links.

Thank you for visiting!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

No More Writing for Yahoo

Over the past several months, along with experiencing computer and Internet problems, I've been away from writing – a lot – driving back and forth to Virginia three times over the summer, caring for grandchildren every week, and performing all the necessary tasks a home owner has to perform.

As a result of having little time to write, I've written very little ;)

But I have written. Many of my blogs are paid posts, and I take care to write them so that they will sound natural and will not appear forced. Other blogs I post are memories I don't want to forget or information I want to share, but when it comes to writing articles for Yahoo, I spend a lot of time researching and writing each article, and I pay attention to all the details that go into each article. I also strive to present a professional piece of work.

Seldom do I ask for upfront payment, but on those rare occasions when I have asked for it, except for those times I thought my chances of getting it were slim, I've received it.

Until now. After spending hours researching and writing, How to Report Internet Crime: Your Email was Hacked! Report it HERE! I asked Yahoo for an upfront payment. The article is packed with helpful information and the resources I used were from the United States government. However, I received no upfront payment and Yahoo told me that I wasn't an "expert" OR that I had "no personal experience with the subject;" therefore, I would not be allowed an upfront payment, which for me generally falls in the $3-5 range.

You may be wondering why I would even comment about such a small amount. My reason for being upset has nothing to do with the money. I'm upset because the Yahoo editor obviously didn't read the material before he or she squashed it like a bug. In two separate places I discussed my personal experience with the subject matter. Maybe whoever read it didn't understand that when the author uses such terms as, "I, me, my," she is relating a personal experience. And so, for me, I will devote my time to other pursuits.

One of those pursuits is Xomba. I spend a great deal of time researching and writing those articles as well. My most recent Xomba article put me on the most recommended list (as of today).  To read that article, please click Spontaneous Human Combustion – Truth or Fiction? I may not make much money from Xomba (actually, I don't know if I get ANY money from Xomba), but at least I get recognition. At least I feel valued there.

Another place where I actually get paid to write is Blogsvertise. You write blogs for their customers and you get paid for doing so! If you want to write for them, please click below:

Blog Ads

And if you want to read more from this author, please read any of the following:

Thank you for visiting!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Starting a Biz

Thanks for the post from Nora Mccoy

When we decided to start our business from home I had no idea it was going to become such a huge part of our lives. We happened to see online that there was a bed and breakfastfor sale in Kansas City and Mark’s parents lived there so we’d been talking for years about moving back. I can’t believe what luck it was so we bought the place and put in about 30K to make it what it is today. We of course upgraded all the rooms and got wireless internet providers Kansas City to install 4G in all the rooms and we even hired a great chef to come in and do breakfast every morning. There’s something to be said, though, for not having to answer to a boss and I think my husband would agree that now we’re happier than we’ve ever been. I love that the kids get to live so close to their grandparents and that my husband and I get to work together each and every day. It’s like a dream come true AND we’re making a living doing it!

Learning to cook

Guest post from: Mohamed Simon

I’ve been trying to learn to cook better. My husband grew up with all this wonderful food and extravagant meals and I think my cooking has been a shock for him. However, I have been studying a lot of shows on the cooking channel and I am trying to become a better cook. I have been amazed at all the different cooking shows on DIRECT TV. I was able to find a special by Paula Dean that thought me how to make the perfect banana pudding. I tried it for the first time last night and my husband was in awe. Banana pudding is his favorite dessert and he actually told me mine was better than his mom’s. That was probably the best compliment he could have given me. I am just thankful for the Food Network and the internet. Without those two things, I would still be making everything out of a box. I do have to agree that homemade is so much better than the box. I had no idea how big the difference was or that I was even capable of making something so delicious.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Math Manipulatives

Open your mind to possibility, and you can imagine everything possible. Theresa Wiza

Creativity! I have always loved that word. It pulls from one area and connects to another – or lots of "anothers" – in ways nobody ever imagined. Whether it results in the form of artwork, artistic forms of expression in other media, insightful thought processes, magnificent room designs, or culinary delights, the creative process allows us to use our talents and enrich our lives. 

An added benefit to our own creative endeavors is that we can enhance the lives of others as well. Creativity is magical.

We all marvel at the genius of musical expressions, entertaining movies, and sumptuous feasts. They stir our emotions. They excite us. When artists put two or more ingredients together to form a completely different item, sparks of delight gleam from our eyes.

That gleam is absent in many of our children, though, who learn from uninteresting or uncaring instructors. If only parents and educators taught more creatively, rather than through rote learning procedures, children would be more engaged in learning and they would think learning was a fun experience rather than a chore. 

And though you might not consider numbers to be creative, let me assure you that math manipulatives opened up my mind and allowed me to think in an entirely different way when I was only 12 years old.

Nobody called it Math manipulatives back then. My teacher didn't even call it algebra. She called it the New Math. What it entailed was thinking in "what if" terms. Instead of numbers increasing through infinity with the representation of each number appearing as 1, 2, 3, 4, etc., what if they went only to three, for example? How would the concept of higher numbers be represented? I don't remember the procedure, but I remember the concept, and if anybody remembers this type of math, please feel free to respond with the actual formula. 

In the previous example, if Number Four didn't exist, the way to represent the number four would be to work in "powers." Perhaps the answer for four was three to the first power plus one to the first power. Conceptualizing math in that manner at that age stretched the imagination. In trying to comprehend the New Math, I learned two enlightening concepts: possibilities exist everywhere and imagination is limitless.

The thought process involved in imagining a number system outside the familiar number system ignited in me a love for creativity. Word games, too, inspired me. Assignments that required me to pull five seemingly unrelated words together to form a cohesive paragraph stretched my imagination and required me to think beyond any preconceived notions about what the assignment was supposed to entail. 

My passion for creativity grew to include writing, crocheting, and design, and I encourage all of my children and grandchildren to pursue their own creative talents – whatever they may be.

Today when it comes to gift shopping, you can probably imagine the types of items I choose for my children and grandchildren – books, games, constructive play things – anything that inspires creativity, imagination, and fun. 

Remember, when you open their minds to possibility, they can imagine everything possible.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Love Surprises!

As a writer who writes and wonders if anybody reads my work, I love finding that people actually do read my words. Today, just a few minutes ago actually, I found this front page of Xomba.

If you look in the center under "Featured" for The Voices in Your Head: Hearing Voices, you'll see my article – but wait – it gets better! Look for "Most Discussed Article" and you'll see – The Voices in Your Head: Hearing Voices!

If you're a writer, you'll understand how happy I feel right now.

Want to read more from this author? Click any of the following links:

Thank you for visiting!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Impressed With Teaching Strategies

Yesterday I went to my granddaughter's school to celebrate her 7th birthday by bringing her lunch. When I arrived, I was a few minutes early. At the door to her 1st grade classroom, I noticed most of her classmates sitting at their desks, some of them with their heads down. Audrey wasn't among them.

Audrey's teacher told me that Audrey was outside playing with two other students from the class, because she had made good choices that morning. Everybody sitting at their desks, which included most of the class, was not allowed to go to recess, because throughout the morning, they had made bad choices.

Miss May's teaching strategies impressed me. Instead of punishing the kids for misbehaving or for not following directions, she was teaching them that the choices they made resulted in either a reward or no reward. She also placed the responsibility of their decisions upon the children themselves.

Critical thinking is an important skill that teaches students how to think independently and take responsibility for the choices they make. Teaching critical thinking skills is imperative if we want our children to start making good choices.

After thinking about the situation I witnessed yesterday, I wonder if my granddaughter's school used any of the guides offered at Mentoring Minds, a teacher education web site that includes, in their research page, a Critical Thinking Strategies Guide and a Critical Thinking Wheel, because I think that when students recognize that the choices they make result in consequences or rewards, they will make better choices

Monday, October 24, 2011

Mental Anguish, Physical Comfort

Over the weekend, my writing partner called to tell me that our screenplay was copyrighted. It was the first time I had heard her voice (though I had begun the screenplay years ago, the two of us had been working on this script only since last February).

Earlier this month I registered the completed script and she was supposed to copyright it, but the copyright process took a while because her computer was in the shop. Finally, though, and happily, on October 21, 2011, Edith and Ethel Go to Brown County was copyrighted. We are elated!

Our first step when the screenplay was registered and copyrighted, was to contact Jane Lynch and Joan Cusack to see if they would like to read the script. We wanted these two women, who would be hilarious in the movie, to read the script first. We haven't thought past that step though – we may enter it in contests if we don't hear from Jane and Joan within the next few weeks.

Busy all day Saturday, I decided to relax on Sunday while I worked on another screenplay, a couple of blogs, and some articles – after I figured out why my sink was leaking. I was hoping to also have time to hang the drapes that have been sitting on my bed for the past two weeks, because I couldn't figure out how to get the drill bits to fit in the drill. (Another problem solved after I brought the drill and the drill bits to the place where I bought the drill bits and learned how to install them).

NOT getting dressed yesterday would have looked lazy if anybody had dropped in, so I put on some medical scrubs and ran to the sink where, after careful examination, I found the source of the leak. You see, when my son-in-law and my daughter-in-law's sister's boyfriend (following this?) installed the sink, they tightened the "whatever-it's-called" (a bowl-type plastic attachment on the underside of the sink) too tightly. So for the past few months, it has been broken and, without my knowledge, leaking.

After researching and viewing several online article and videos, one of which was NOT how I wanted to fix my sink (the guy used some kind of foam that would have looked like I had fungus growing from under my sink), I decided the cheapest and easiest way to fix my fairly new sink is to put putty all around the whatever-it's-called. So another problem solved (once I get the putty).

When I discovered that mold had been growing where the water had been dripping, I realized the source of my illness for the past few months (I'm highly allergic to mold), so I feel good knowing I've solved THAT problem.

Thinking I had time to actually WORK yesterday, I went on to my next project. But then, as usually happens, another problem surfaced. Having crocheted a few scarves and hats I hoped to sell on eBay or etsy, I decided to take photos of them and download them onto my laptop.

iPhoto, which came with my laptop, stopped working though, and after several failed attempts – one of which was to try ImageCapture (another program that came with my MacBook Pro), and PhotoShop (importing didn't work), I discovered that the only way I could download photos from my camera was by using the Preview program, yet another program that came with my laptop.

After several hours of shutting off my computer, restarting the computer, plugging my camera in, taking my camera out, and trying different programs – Success! Preview worked!

So what it comes down to is this: I spent the whole day yesterday TRYING to accomplish my goals, but accomplished only making breakfast and lunch. Suddenly it was 7 p.m. so I closed my laptop, made myself some dinner, and turned on the television where I watched a delightful new program, "Once Upon a Time," words I used to use to begin every story when I was a child.

While I was mentally anguished for most of the day with numerous problems, at least I was physically comfortable all day solving them.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Love Laptop Computers

When I first began writing, I used pencils and fountain pens. I loved the fluidity of fountain pens and the control I had using pencils – sometimes the results were sharp; other times they were soft, slanted, and smooth. Reclining on a couch or sitting on my bed, leaning against a tree or lying on the carpet, I recorded my thoughts in notebooks and on three-hole-punch ruled paper.

Then one day, on a Christmas morning in my early teens, I found a typewriter under the tree and and fumbled, one finger at a time, page after page, to bring my words to life. When the ribbon reached the end, I manually rolled it back to the beginning and started over, using it until it ran completely dry.

My first computer was an Apple IIe, which I used for college classes I took. Better than pulling paper out of a typewriter and correcting with White-Out, I was now able to erase everything and print my college papers on a dot-matrix printer.

But the problem with computers was that I was tethered to a desk. I'd lost the freedom to sit outside and record my thoughts. I no longer was able to recline on a couch or sit back on my bed.

And then (open the curtains and listen to the applause) laptop computers arrived! My eyes opened wide – FREEDOM!

I'm not the type to sit at a desk all day. I have to get up and stretch my legs. I have to move around. I have to be comfortable. Laptops allow me to write from my bed or sit on the couch or at the kitchen table. VERSATILITY means that I can take my computer with me when I visit my son no matter where he is stationed or bring it with me to any of my grandchildren's homes so that I can work when I need to work.

It took me several years to save up for my MacBook Pro, dropping all of my change every week into a canister set. It was one of the best investments I ever made and I haven't regretted it for one minute.

(Post was written on the couch while waiting for my grandchildren to awaken.)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Nurse Ratched Could Be In a Doctor's Office Near You!

As she stood on the other side of the office with her arms folded across her white lab coat, she reminded me of Nurse Ratched (played by Louise Fletcher in the movie, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, starring Jack Nicholson).

I was in my pulmonary specialist's office having an attack of pneumonia (though I didn't know it at the time) and had to get an x-ray. I was told to call back later in the afternoon to get the results.

When I called back, Ratched told me that she wouldn't be able to give me the results because the doctor was gone.

"Can't you locate him? It's Friday," I explained, as if she didn't know.

She might as well have sneered, "yeah, so?" as I wondered, isn't nursing supposed to be a caring profession? "I need my results! How will I get the results if the doctor is gone?"

"You'll have to wait until next Tuesday (the doctor wasn't in on Monday)."

"But what if it turns out to be pneumonia? Can't you find somebody else to read the results?"

"You'll have to wait. There's nothing I can do about it."

I'm not usually a tattletale, but I couldn't believe what I was hearing, and I was afraid I might die if I had to wait until next Tuesday to find out what was causing my breathing difficulties. 

Nurse Ratched was apathetic to my situation, so after I ended up IN the hospital, because the following morning I drove myself to the emergency room where I was admitted, I made sure to tell my doctor about Nurse Ratched's behavior.

Doctors don't want their nursing staff to treat patients as horribly as Nurse Ratched treated me. He assured me he would attend to the matter.

We all come across people who hate us for no reason, but personal issues do not belong in a doctor's office. Maybe she was menopausal, maybe she didn't like me on sight (I never met her until that day), maybe she was just having a bad day, or maybe she was insane. Whatever HER problem was, she needed a slap of reality.

That was in June, and I'm glad I talked to my pulmonary specialist about my treatment, because I am again having lung problems, and I will be returning to his office tomorrow. If I see Nurse Ratched there, I will be tempted to give her a Cuckoo Clock.

By the way, the reason I haven't been online much lately is not only due to the fact that I have been sick for the past couple of weeks, but also because my youngest daughter gave birth to my newest granddaughter, and I've been away from the computer – a LOT!

Expecting twins

Contributed by Milford Woods

My husband and I found out we were pregnant a few months ago and were on top of the world. We knew we were going to have to make a few budget changes and cut backs to pay for the new baby, but we also knew it would be well worth it. Today we had our first ultrasound and we are actually having twins! Twins! That means double everything. While we are still excited, we are trying to figure out how to pay for two babies. Luckily after finding some great direct tv deals, learning how to coupon and making some major changes to our budget, I am confident we will be fine. It has taken a lot of work to go from crazy worry to calm worry, but I am proud of my husband for all his hard work. He is going to make a great dad and I am so lucky to have him in my life. He is able to take my crazy moments and fix them. He is a wonderful guy and I can’t wait to give him two precious, little children.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A Writer's Wardrobe

Today I write to you from my living room where I am still wearing my PJs and a robe – hours after I awoke. For the first time in DAYS, the temperature has dropped to a comfortable 66 degrees – which is fortunate for me considering my air conditioning went out yesterday when it was an uncomfortable 95 degrees. Today I am enjoying cool breezes wafting through my windows. Ahhh!

Though I like to feel comfortable, I should probably prepare for the possibility of somebody coming over (I am selling my home after all, and the "For Sale" sign on the front lawn has invitation written all over it). I probably should not be answering the door in my pajamas and robe. Even though I've been working for hours, wearing a robe and pajamas might make me look lazy.

As soon as I finish this blog, I will go to my room to grab my comfort clothes, my uniform, if you will. As most of you who know me know, I'm more interested in comfortable clothing than I am in fashionable clothing, especially if I'm sitting at home, because the more comfortable I am, the more productive I feel. Wearing nursing scrubs, while comfortable, looks more professional than wearing sweats all day. And, being comfortable while I work is one of my favorite perks about being a writer.

Check out the link below to find some comfortable working scrubs.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The First Writing Assignment

Because I have always wanted to be a writer, I enjoyed every writing assignment my teachers requested of me. Writing, as a matter of fact, was my favorite classroom experience.

I envisioned myself, Erma Bombeck-like, sitting in my garage with a typewriter and a cup of coffee (long before I ever drank coffee, long before I ever had a garage, and long before computers ever appeared on desktops around the world), spinning out tale after tale, column after column, screenplay after screenplay, and magazine article after magazine article.

My vision, however, lacked prophetic realism – I found myself instead seated in a hospital office where the only writing I did was scribble patients' names on name cards – until the day my boss came up to me and said, "Did you really mean what you said when you told me you'd love to be able to write something?"

In my head I was happy dancing, and, eyes widened with expectation, I said in my most gleeful voice, YES!

"Good," he said, "the annual report is due and I want you to write it."

I felt as I thought Rembrandt would have felt if he had been told to draw nothing but stick figures. What was worse was that I knew nothing of hospital policy or policy management. How would I write about hospital policies when I wasn't even familiar with them?

"Don't worry," he said, "we're going to use an old report I wrote five years ago and tweak it."

Great, I thought. My first writing assignment is a tweaked version of an old annual hospital report that somebody else wrote.

On the up-side, that hospital was a world-renown teaching hospital, and while my name appeared nowhere on that report, everybody in my office knew I contributed my writing skills to produce it.

If I had been working for that hospital today, I wouldn't have had to retype the entire document. I could have used PolicyMedical™, the leading hospital policy management software, to help me write annual reports and hospital policies. Policy software would have effectively streamlined my job and made it much more simple.

Those skills really helped me, though. Today I just blogged about that experience.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Blog Cancel

Sorry – Blog was cancelled. Nothing to read here!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Quest for the 100 Word Blog Story

Hidden under the keyboard were thoughts that had escaped from my head. I saw them run down the length of my arm and hide beneath the keys. I tapped ferociously at them until they screamed – Britney Spears-like – "Hit me, Baby, one more time!"

Was that a challenge or a threat? With Britney on the brain I knew that unless I got her out of my head, I would be stuck writing about her.

So I begged my thoughts to return to my head. They did, but now I've used up my 100 words.


If you would like to read more from this author, click any of the following links:

All Craft Connection
Your Weird Dreams
Your Blog Connection
Help For Single Parents
My Heart Blogs To You
Writing Creatively
Paranormal Minds
Product Favorites
Theresa Wiza's Blog
My Associated Content Articles
My Xomba Articles 

Thank you for visiting! 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Jim Carrey is the Black Swan

This guest post from Hong Alexander

Ever since I switched to, I find myself watching more television than I used to, especially on the weekends. I used to watch Saturday Night Live almost every single weekend, but I stopped watching once the cast seemed to have lost its humor. My favorite guest appearance on a TV show happened recently when Jim Carrey hosted Saturday Night Live. This is the second time I've seen him do this; even though the first time was probably the best, his appearance made the show much better the second time around. He always seems to steal the show, and I found myself laughing quite a few times.

His role as the Black Swan was exceptional and I thought I was going to fall out of my chair from laughing so hard. If I met him in real life, then I would probably suffer from stomach cramps because I would laugh at everything he said. The Black Swan skit went well and it worked because he really does know how to move gracefully -- that is if you consider an injured swan graceful. I've tried to watch the show several times since his appearance, but I just can't get into it as much. If he ever decides to come back, then I will be sure to watch.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Writers Need More MONEY!

If, like me, you are a writer (or even if you are not a writer) who wants to make more money, I would like to introduce you to one of the easiest methods ever for making money. You won't become wealthy, but if you read emails, fill out surveys, and read, you can make money doing what you do every day anyway.

InboxDollars is a site I discovered only yesterday, and already InboxDollars has put into my CASH account $5.77. Not bad for only 20 minutes of my life. If you would like more information about InboxDollars, click any of the links in this blog, click the ad itself, which is located next to this blog, or read MAKE MONEY with InboxDollars!

If you would like to read more from this author, click any of the following links:

All Craft Connection

Your Weird Dreams

Your Blog Connection

Help For Single Parents 

My Heart Blogs To You 

Writing Creatively

Paranormal Minds

Product Favorites

Theresa Wiza's Blog 

My Associated Content Articles

My Xomba Articles 

Thank you for visiting!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Research on Health Issues

As a writer interested in health-related issues, I visit a number of sites, including the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Mayo Clinic. I also subscribe to The Doctors Health e-Bulletin ( for breakthrough information on everything from the best foods to eat to exercises that improve brain function.

Advances in medicine are made every day and because doctors today appear to be more specialized than they were when I was growing up, it helps to know as much as we can about our own bodies so that we can make informed decisions when our doctors suggest a treatment plan.

In the "old days" people used to think of their doctors as gods. Today, we know that doctors are human and that they make mistakes. Going to the doctor with a sense of why we are experiencing problems helps our doctor care for us and lets him or her know that we are making intelligent choices.

As a result of my need to know as much as I can about my own body and about the current advances being made in medicine, I use as many resources as I can. The Doctors Health e-Bulletin is a good place to start. If you want to subscribe to The Doctors Health e-Bulletin, click any of the links in this blog or in the sidebar.

If you would like to read more from this author, click any of the following links:

All Craft Connection

Your Weird Dreams

Your Blog Connection

Help For Single Parents 

My Heart Blogs To You 

Writing Creatively

Paranormal Minds

Product Favorites

Theresa Wiza's Blog 

My Associated Content Articles

My Xomba Articles 

Thank you for visiting!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Writers – Let Others Know You Exist

With all the emphasis on social marketing using email, Facebook, and Twitter, we often forget that other ways exist to introduce ourselves as writers.

Lots of communities hold "After Hours" meetings where people get together to discuss what their businesses can offer the community. At these meetings, representatives from various companies pass out business cards to let everyone know what their specialty is.

Attending one of these functions with business cards in hand lets the community know that your writing skills can help them with their next brochure, report, newsletter, or whatever their writing needs are. Local companies might be looking for business bloggers as well. Hand them your business card.

Want even more recognition? Post a large magnet on your car or van to let the community know that your writing skills can help them. I recently purchased from VistaPrint business cards and automobile magnets for this web site, Writing Creatively. Their prices are incredibly low AND VistaPrint's business cards are often FREE!

Visit the VistaPrint web site by clicking on the link next to this blog for more ideas on how to market your writing.

If you would like to read more from this author, click any of the following links:

All Craft Connection

Your Weird Dreams

Your Blog Connection

Help For Single Parents 

My Heart Blogs To You 

Writing Creatively

Paranormal Minds

Product Favorites

Theresa Wiza's Blog 

My Associated Content Articles

My Xomba Articles 

Thank you for visiting!

What is White Smoke?

I've seen ads for White Smoke. I once put a White Smoke ad on one of my blogs without really knowing exactly what White Smoke was. At first I thought it was an ad for quitting cigarettes, but I was wrong. White Smoke is the "World's Leading Language Solutions" expert.

Comparing itself with Microsoft Word, White Smoke claims that it catches more mistakes than does Word. It also offers a multilingual dictionary with full text translations. With a comprehensive grammar, spelling, style and punctuation checker, White Smoke really does sound like a writer's best friend.

Ranked #5 by CNN among the Top 31 Business Ideas In the World, White Smoke helps writers correct grammar mistakes and, according to NBC, is "unequaled in its field."

Want to try White Smoke? Click the link I've provided in the sidebar. White Smoke even offers hundreds of professional templates for you to use.

If you would like to read more from this author, click any of the following links:

All Craft Connection

Your Weird Dreams

Your Blog Connection

Help For Single Parents 

My Heart Blogs To You 

Writing Creatively

Paranormal Minds

Product Favorites

Theresa Wiza's Blog 

My Associated Content Articles

My Xomba Articles 

Thank you for visiting!

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Success of a Triumphant Writer

The discovery of someone reading what I have written is an unexpected and wondrous gift. Theresa Wiza

The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that you've got it made.
Jean Giraudoux (1882 - 1944)

I may have been around 11-years-old when my eyes settled upon the unwrapped Christmas present that sat among all the other wrapped presents beneath our tree. It was a typewriter (yes, I'm that old).

That magical gift represented my destiny,  a destiny that included success, and I felt an immediate and profound connection with that typewriter.

With beaming eyes, I wasted no time typing story after story after story after story – until the ribbon ran dry. And when I discovered that my parents never had the time or the desire to replace the ribbon, I learned how to rewind it, so I could use that same ribbon again and again and again. 

Shopping for school supplies was exhilarating for me too. Pens, pencils, crayons, paper, notebooks all gave me a sense of pleasure as I smelled them and touched them, and then glimmered at the thought of what I could create with them.

Creativity has always been one of my favorite words, and I knew my success lay hidden within it, waiting for me to unravel its surprises.

But I knew nothing about how to break into the writing field, as you would discover if you read, Expectations of a Writing Career (a previous blog where I explain the merry-go-round ride of an amateur writer attempting to shatter the barriers that prevent writers – who just wanted to write for a living – from becoming successful writers).

Though writing never paid my bills, I continued to pen my thoughts and my stories, and I gathered my research as I awaited the day somebody somewhere might find within my words a treasure of sorts. In my dreams, when I looked upon the faces of my readers, faces that mirrored my happiness and joy, I would feel like the successful writer I knew myself to be. Their comments would assure me that I was offering them something they enjoyed reading.

Writing for a living has been a struggle though. I would like to say that I felt successful when the number of page views in my Associated Content from Yahoo articles exceeded the 100,000 mark, but I didn't. I would like to say I felt successful when the first person who read one of my blogs "followed" it, but I didn't.

I think I, like other writers, have set up a standard for myself that I aspire to meet, a standard that says, once you get "here," you will be successful.

But in order to get "here," I have to know how to recognize where "here" is, and I have to know how I define success. What happens if success slaps me in the face and I don't recognize it? What if I am already successful, but the world doesn't know it yet?

My mind wanders to a screenplay I am currently writing with a partner. I met her online and her personality fit in really well with the characters in the screenplay. I just knew she could whip it into shape and that together we would make a great team. What if that screenplay is already a success but neither she nor I know it yet?

Does that mean I'm NOT a success – yet? Or does it mean that I AM a success, but that I just don't realize it – yet?

That word – yet – holds a lot of promise.

I have always wanted to write for a living. To me, writing for a living has always meant "success." But in my dream of success, I am sitting on a screened-in porch, laptop in hand, looking out occasionally across the lake that stretches before me, finding inspiration in the undulating waters and the light breezes that rustle through the trees and through my hair. I watch my fingers fly rapidly over the keyboard as I create masterpieces with my mind.

THAT is my vision of success. THAT is my measure of success – living on a lake, writing from my laptop, making a living from writing.

Fake It Till You Make It. Those words, used by AA and Alanon, just occurred to me. AA and Alanon claim those words work. I think I'll give it a shot. Today, for this blog, I am pretending to be a success. Today I will fake being a success until I make it as a success. And I will dream of living on a lake and visualizing the scenery that is playing out in my head.

The gentle waves of the lake fuel my imagination. Soft breezes blow across my face. My fingers caress the keys on my laptop.

I can see success! I can feel it. I will triumph!

I am a success.

I am a success.

I am a success.

This post was written as part of a new Group Blogging Experience (or GBE), previously begun by a woman named Alicia. Today Beth, along with Marie Anne, continue the experience for bloggers to associate with one another, support each other's blogging experience, and hopefully expand their readership by providing a network for bloggers.

This week's topic: success.

Want to participate? Go to the new GBE 2 on Facebook (click the link) and join the fun!

If you would like to read more from this author, click any of the following links:

Your Weird Dreams

Your Blog Connection

Help For Single Parents 

My Heart Blogs To You 

Writing Creatively

Paranormal Minds

Product Favorites

Theresa Wiza's Blog 

My Associated Content Articles

My Xomba Articles 

Thank you for visiting!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Expectations of a Writing Career

Unfinished crocheted chokers and necklaces.
If you paint in your mind a picture of bright and happy expectations, you put yourself into a condition conducive to your goal. Norman Vincent Peale (1898 - 1993)

From the time I was old enough to hold a pencil in my hand, I knew – I expected – that I would be a writer. I held all kinds of non-writing jobs from cocktail waitressing to secretarial to graphics design, but ultimately I settled upon my true calling, writing.

So it was with great expectations when I moved to New York to live with a "friend" (excuse me if I get sick) who promised to introduce me to other writers, agents, and publicists, that I fully expected to meet other writers, agents, and publicists. I was ecstatic.

Until he told me, after I had moved in with him – with my daughter – that I had to sleep with him in order to meet those other writers, agents, and publicists.

In his dreams.

But while I was there, with the naivety of an emotional teenager (though I was clearly an adult), I thought, why not try to make it as a writer on my own? After all, if you can make it in New York, as the saying goes, you can make it anywhere, right?

And why settle for just any writing job? Why not aim high? So I CALLED (yes called) Saturday Night Live and offered my services as a comedy writer. I don't think I ever even wrote one sentence that was funny, but I loved to laugh.

"Have you ever had anything published?"


"Do you have an agent?"

Well, no.

"Do you belong to the Guild?"

No, but I'll belong – if that's what it takes.

I hung up sad, but not defeated.

My next call was to the William Morris Agency. As I said, I was aiming high.

"Have you ever had anything published?"

Not yet.

"Do you belong to the Guild?"

Am I on Candid Camera's audio version?

Well, as you might expect, my next call was to the Writers Guild of America.

"Do you have an agent?"

Shoulders slump. I know what she's going to say next.

"Have you ever had anything published?"


I guess I'd better get something published, I thought.

OK, still not giving up. I had a stash of greeting cards and the names and addresses of greeting card companies all across America. I would send them my unique greeting cards – they were unlike anything anybody had ever seen before. I was about to become WEALTHY!

Unfortunately I was way ahead of my time, because back in the 70s the only cards that existed were the sappy sentimental types. Mine were filled with sarcasm.

Of all the companies I sent my cards, the ones who responded told me "there is no market for these kinds of cards." And every time I received those letters, I screamed inwardly, I KNOW! I'M CREATING THE MARKET!

Interestingly, at the same time I was living in New York, two New Yorkers, who called their greeting card company, Bittersweet (I wonder if they still exist), designed a bunch of greeting cards similar to mine, but the two woman who started the company had the money to invest in their greeting cards and months later, after I had moved back to Illinois, they appeared in People Magazine.

Money. Why does it always take money?

Anyway, today, shelves of sarcastic cards line the walls in stores across the globe, constant reminders that if only I had had the money to invest in MY greeting cards, I might have had a career in the greeting card industry.

But did I really want to just create greeting cards? No. I wanted to write articles, poetry, books, and screenplays.

And then, one day, somebody invented the blog, a word that never even made it into my vocabulary until the last decade. Who'd have ever guessed that blogging would be a creative outlet for writing? And for so many people!

I'm still writing articles, poetry, and screenplays. I'm also using my creativity in other ways. Writing, by itself, is just not paying the bills. Illness, kids, life itself, and my scattered brain just keep getting in the way.

My expectations have not changed, though. I still expect to one day make it as a writer, but due to a myriad physical problems that have forced me to slow down over the past couple of years, I am looking for other ways to enhance my income. Some unfinished projects sit in the photo above. Etsy, here I come.

And when one of my screenplays transitions from words on a page to the Big Screen, you will know.

This post was written as part of a new Group Blogging Experience (or GBE), previously begun by a woman named Alicia. Today Beth, along with Marie Anne, continue the experience for bloggers to associate with one another, support each other's blogging experience, and hopefully expand their readership by providing a network for bloggers.

This week's topic: expectations.

Want to participate? Go to the new GBE 2 on Facebook (click the link) and join the fun!

If you would like to read more from this author, please see the sidebar and THANK YOU for visiting!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Blind Writing Creative Writing Game

What writer doesn't like word games like Scrabble, Boggle, Crossword Puzzles, Word Search, and  my favorite board game – Balderdash (because it allows me to form bizarre definitions for words most people haven't heard)?

As a writer, I wondered how a story game might work and that's when I decided to create a game that included sentences – a story writing game, if you will. I designed the Blind Writing Game for writers – and even non-writers – to give them an opportunity to build a story – blindly.

The story can be written with all players present, or the Blind Writing Game can be played online. The Blind Writing Game turned out to be more fun than I thought it would be, and I'd like to introduce it to you with the following instructions for both the In-Person Blind Writing Game and the Online Blind Writing Game.

How to Play the In Person Blind Writing Game

Sit a minimum of four people around a table with a ruled piece of paper (makes it easier to read), pens or pencils, and a couple of paper clips. Number the paper from one to forty (or more depending upon the number of players – sentences must be in increments of ten per player).

The First Player writes the Title of the Story, and passes it along to the Second Player. Players number 3 and 4 do not see the Title.

The Second Player, after seeing the Title, adds the First Sentence. The Second Player then covers the Title by folding the paper over the title and clipping the folds to cover the Title. The Third Player should see only the First Sentence.

The Third Player, oblivious of what the title says, sees the first sentence, writes the Second Sentence, making an assumption about the connection between the First Sentence and the Title. The Third Player then covers up all but the Second Sentence and moves the story forward to the Fourth Player who sees only the Second Sentence.

The Fourth Player then adds the Third Sentence and hides all but the Third Sentence for the First Player.

The game continues as paper clips move down the folded paper for the duration of the story until players reach #40. Each player knows only his or her contributions, along with contributions written by the preceding player.

IMPORTANT: In order for writers to succeed in writing an actual story, sentences must be descriptive. Each writer logically moves the story forward without knowing all of the details.

By the time players reach #40 (if four players), they know the story must come to a logical ;) conclusion. The First Player, or any other player who chooses to read the story, then reads the resulting story out loud.

Results can be VERY entertaining, because as stories go off on tangents, and as each player attempts to bring back what he or she thinks is the story focus, the Blind Writing Game produces some hilarious results.

How to Play the Online Blind Writing Game

A Moderator begins the Online Blind Writing Game. The Moderator is responsible for collecting all of the pieces of the story and contributes only the (descriptive) Title.

The Moderator assigns numbers to each player. If the Moderator chooses four players, for example, the Moderator will write down 40 numbers, assigning numbers 1, 5, 9, 13, 17, 21, 25, 29, 33, and 37 to the First Player, 2, 6, 10 14, 18, 22, 26, 30, 34, and 38 to the Second Player, 3, 7, 11, 15, 19, 23, 27, 31, 35, and 39 to the Third Player, and 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, 24, 28, 32, 36, and 40 to the Fourth Player.

The more players (with a minimum of ten sentences each), the longer the story will be.

After the Moderator chooses the players, the Moderator writes a DESCRIPTIVE Title. The Moderator then emails the Title to the First Player, who writes the 1st Sentence and sends the 1st Sentence back to the Moderator.

The Moderator then sends only the 1st Sentence to Player # 2, who sends the 2nd Sentence to the Moderator. The game continues until Player # 4 sends back Sentence #40. All players are blind to all but their own and their predecessor's contributions. The Moderator then sends the complete story to all of the players.

Each player can then publish the story in a blog if they wish. Be prepared for laughter and lots of fun.

Writing Creatively grants permission to you if you want to post online the Blind Writing Game and the accompanying graphic, as long as the instructions and the graphic for the Blind Writing Game link back to this blog.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

2 Great Links from 2 Great Writers

I have two GREAT links to offer writers today – one from Donna Cavanagh – the other from Marie Anne St. Jean.

Humor Outcasts

The first one is for humor writers who may have been ejected from different writing sites for various reasons. Comedy writing isn't for everyone, and as comedy writers know, even though comedy writing looks easy, writing comedy is one of the most difficult of all genres to write. And now you have a venue in which to showcase your comedic talents – Humor Outcasts.

Are you one of those writers who can make people laugh? If you have a talent for comedy writing, I invite you to visit Donna Cavanagh's Humor Outcasts site. And if you would like to read my showcase article about Humor Outcasts, please click THIS BLOG.

Write, Wrong or Indifferent

The second site I would like to direct you to is Marie Anne St. Jean's site, Write, Wrong or Indifferent. In particular I'd like you to read her latest entry, Practice Your HTML With Practiceboard.

If, like me, you visit sites that include HTML codes to use in your blogs and articles with directions that say, "just change it," you may be as confused as I am about how to incorporate HTML coding into your blog or article. Hearing "just change it," tells you absolutely nothing.

With the link Marie Ann provides in her blog, though, you can see how the changes you make will actually work. Click Practice Your HTML With Practiceboard or just visit her site at Write, Wrong or Indifferent.

If you would like to read more from this author, please see the sidebar and THANK YOU for visiting!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Boost Your Creativity – Halt Writer's Block

To launch my new website, Writing Creatively , my first OFFICIAL  Writing Creatively blog – this blog – is dedicated to  Writing Creatively .

The blog itself will be short, because the links I am providing are valuable to writers who want to boost their creativity and deal effectively with writer's block. The links, visible below, also appear above this blog post.

May you always write creatively and may you never experience writer's block.

The Creative (Writing) Spirit: Exercises to Boost Your Creativity

Writers Block – the Key to Unlocking the Block

If you would like to read more from this author, click any of the following links:

Your Weird Dreams

Your Blog Connection

Help For Single Parents 

My Heart Blogs To You 

Writing Creatively

Paranormal Minds

Product Favorites

Theresa Wiza's Blog 

My Associated Content Articles

My Xomba Articles 

Thank you for visiting!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Networked Blogs on Facebook

Today's blog will appear in two places, My Heart Blogs to You (for the A-Z challenge) and Writing Creatively (formerly Writer of Blogs), because the information in this blog is intended for writers.

Anyone who has a blog, unless the blog is a personal diary, wants somebody, other than family and friends, to read their blog(s). And, if you're like me, with a family the size of a small city, where only two of the residents read your blogs, you'll want to know how to reach more people.

The way to get people to read your blog is by networking. And one of the best places to promote your blog, other than Twitter, is through Networked Blogs on Facebook.

I have eight blogs registered with Networked Blogs, and I like being part of a community that invites readers to read, to share, and to comment. I would like to extend an invitation to you as well. All of my blogs appear at the end of this paragraph, along with links to my Associated Content from Yahoo! page and my Xomba page.

Your Weird Dreams

Your Blog Connection

Help For Single Parents 

My Heart Blogs To You

Writing Creatively

Paranormal Minds

Product Favorites

Theresa Wiza's Blog 

My Associated Content Articles

My Xomba Articles 

To register your blog(s), click HERE.

Let me know where your blog is located. I will follow you!

And that completes Day #14 from the A-Z Challenge. Brought to you by the letter, N. 

Previous A-Z Challenge blogs:

Amazon Hates Me – Day #1 from the A-Z Challenge

Bored – Why? – Day #2 from the A-Z Challenge

Craziness – Day #3 from the A-Z Challenge

When Your Daughter Develops, DON'T DO THIS! – Day #4 from the A-Z Challenge

Ellen – Day #5 from the A-Z Challenge

Family and Friends – Day #6 from the A-Z Challenge

The Grownup Table – Day #7 from the A-Z Challenge

Happiness & Joy – Day #8 from the A-Z Challenge

Idiots in the Attic – Day #9 from the A-Z Challenge

Jokes Accidentally – Day #10 from the A-Z Challenge

The Kid That Wasn't Named Ker – Day #11 from the A-Z Challenge

Living Out of Suitcases – Day #12 from the A-Z Challenge

Misunderstandings – I KNOW You Didn't Say What I THINK You Said




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