"...IF YOU FOLLOW YOUR BLISS, DOORS WILL OPEN FOR YOU THAT WOULDN'T HAVE OPENED FOR ANYONE ELSE." - Joseph Campbell

"SOMETIMES ON THE WAY TO YOUR DREAM, YOU GET LOST AND FIND A BETTER ONE." - Unknown (as seen on River's blog, "Drifting Through Life")

"IT IS POSSIBLE AT ANY AGE TO DISCOVER A LIFELONG DESIRE YOU NEVER KNEW YOU HAD." - Robert Brault


"IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO BE WHO YOU MIGHT HAVE BEEN." - George Eliot

"WE DID NOT CHANGE AS WE GREW OLDER. WE JUST BECAME MORE CLEARLY OURSELVES." - Lynn Hall

"GO CONFIDENTLY IN THE DIRECTION OF YOUR DREAMS! LIVE THE LIFE YOU HAVE IMAGED." - Henry David Thoreau



Sunday, January 29, 2012

* Nostalgic Sundays *

It's Time for Another Nostalgic Sunday



I'm very excited about today's Nostalgic Sunday, because it pertains to Handwritten Letters!

If you've been reading my blog for quite a while, you know how I feel about the lost art of handwritten notes and letters. Yes, I love technology and the wonder of it all, but isn't it delightful to receive some snail-mail that isn't a bill or junk mail? You open up your mailbox and there's an envelope with your name and address written on it? It's from a friend or relative and it's not even Christmas or your birthday?? Fabulous, dahhhling!


I first learned of this from my sweet friend, Lynn, over at Present Letters. Lynn not only writes letters, but she also makes lovely note cards! Check out her blog. Here is what Lynn said about herself on her profile: "My favorite form of writing is epistolary - I love hand writing letters to people. I also love to cook, garden and do anything creative."


After reading her blog post about The Month of Letters Challenge, I searched and found the website for it and immediately e-mailed Mary Robinette Kowaltelling her how much I loved her idea and that I AM IN. I told her she would be one of the first I wrote to and she replied that she would, of course, write back to me.

So, if any of you would like to receive a handwritten note from me, please e-mail your address to me. (Don't include it in the comment section, unless you want the entire world to know!) If you don't already know my e-mail, it is listed in my profile info.

If YOU want to join in, just grab the participant badge and post it on your blog.

I may not be able to write and send one every single day in February, but I'm certainly going to try. I won't feel like a failure if I don't, because it will be fun and rewarding, no matter what.  



"To send a letter is a good way to go somewhere without moving anything but your heart." ~ Phyllis Theroux

"What a wonderful thing is the mail, capable of conveying across continents a warm human hand-clasp." ~ Author Unknown



Thursday, January 26, 2012

Poetic Song Lyrics....Not!

** This is a rerun of my July 25, 2011 post. I just came across it again and it made me laugh. Hope it brings you a smile or chuckle, too.

~~~~~~~~~

While driving to the grocery store this afternoon, with my list of fruits and veggies to buy, the following words popped into my head. I've mentioned before that I am not a poet, and don't y'all know it, as you can see below:

(Hint: Sing out loud or in your head to the tune of ♫♪ Back in the Saddle Again. ♫♪)

I'm back into salads again.
Burgers & fries won't make me thin.
I saw some gorgeous clothes at
the mall last week.
I must fight this war on fat and win.

(courtesy google)
Chorus:
I'm back into salads again.
Lettuce & broccoli are my friends
Also low cal dressing will help
Try to get rid of my chin(s)
I'm back into salads again.

(Forgive me Gene Autry!)



"The two biggest sellers in bookstores are the cookbooks and the diet books. The cookbooks tell you how to prepare the food and the diet books tell you how not to eat any of it." -- Andy Rooney

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

* Finding My Bliss *

This evening I needed a break from my usual activities of watching TV with The Ronald, blogging, e-mailing, and more recently trying to force a story out of my head that just wasn't happening. In fact, earlier this afternoon, I got a migraine headache, probably due to the stress I've been putting on myself. I decided it was time for a change in my routine, so here's what I did to reclaim my bliss.
Remember the beautiful flowers and "birthday cake" The Ronald gave me for my birthday on January 6th? I finally got around to baking that cake and he said it was delicious! (Don't worry, I'm sure I'll be having a slice or two.)

Then I took some pictures of a salt and pepper set I bought at Hobby Lobby last night. I "sort of" collect them, which means I don't have many. These just shouted at me to buy them and they were 50% off, so what could I do?! Just looking at them makes me smile from ear to ear.


Aren't they just adorable?? So cute and funny, and with beautiful spring colors! They remind me of cartoon characters from long ago.


And The Ronald and I played Scrabble this evening, which we haven't done in ages. I had all the weird letters: Q, Z, V, and Z. I trounced him, too, which hardly ever happens.☺


It was a very good evening, recapturing my bliss!


"Who could be so lucky? Who comes to a lake for water and sees the reflection of the moon." -- Rumi

Monday, January 23, 2012

* Writerly News *

Chicken Soup for the Soul has some new Call Outs. You never know when they will post them, so it's a good idea to check their site from time to time. After you get to the main site, click on "Submit Your Story" on the left column. Then click on "Possible Book Topics."

There are five books listed right now. Two of them have been there for quite some time: Parenthood and New Friends. The three newer ones are: Hooked on Hockey, Independent Woman, and The Power of Positive. Ooohhh, I think I can write something for 2 out of 3! (NOT the hockey one, though!)


Open to Interpretation is looking for stories and photographs. It's a very interesting and unique site. Be sure to READ all the directions CAREFULLY. I plan on submitting a thing or two.

Literal Latte': Another cool site I recently found. They have poetry and pose contests going on.

Nail Polish Stories: I received a nice rejection already for my 25 word story! So, I'll share it here with you. I really hope many of you will give it a try. Have fun and Good Luck!



Torrid

She wondered who the hell was really in control of her life, this horrid world she lived in. It obviously wasn't her. Was it Satan?



"Why do writers write? Because it isn't there." -- Thomas Berger

Sunday, January 22, 2012

* Nostalgic Sunday -- Not *

Nostalgic Sunday


(I deleted the actual video and posted the link, thinking it might help my blog from slowing down and acting weird. We shall see.....  2/1/2012

I know it's Nostalgic Sunday, but I just had to post this You-Tube video today. It's the newest E-Trade Baby commercial. I've watched it over and over and over....and it cracks me up every time! I hope you like it as much as I do! (if you click on the picture a time or two, you'll get a bigger view.)

(*Note: There is no cursing in this video!)

( And HEY...This is a little bit nostalgic....I was once a baby, and my two sons were once babies!)

Welcome to my newest follower, Rebeca Wise. Rebeca is a new writer friend of mine. She is a member of the critique group I attend on Tuesday mornings, and also the new Vice President of Saturday Writers.

I hope you'll stop by often and always enjoy what you read and see. Thanks, Rebeca!

"Pretty much all the honest truth telling there is in the world is done by children." -- Oliver Wendell Holmes

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Is It Thursday? I Still Don't Know What Day It Is!

Snippets of This 'n That:


I've been working on my entry for the Erma Bombeck contest. The deadline is February 14th. That should be easy to remember.Valentine's Day. Word limit is 450 words or less. Entry fee $15.00. Good luck to all the entrants!

I recently came across a fun writing site: Nail Polish Stories. I've submitted one story so far. Here are the submission rules: Each story must be exactly 25 words, title not included. The title must be a nail polish color. Intrigued? Hop on over and check it out.

Do you know of The Excuse Editor? If not, you're missing out on LOTS of info for contests and other market news. Tina Haapala does a fabulous job keeping us updated. Sign up now to receive her newsletters!


How about you? Are you writing anything? Submitting anything? Reading anything? I'd love to hear any suggestions you'd like to share!



"You become about as exciting as your food blender. The kids come in, look you in the eye, and ask if anybody's home." -- Erma Bombeck

Monday, January 16, 2012

Blogs and Books and Give-Aways

One of my favorite blogs is WOW! Women on Writing Blog - The Muffin. Today's post is about a new book (and interview with) Pesi Dinnerstein. I love the cover and title! A Cluttered Life: Searching for God, Serenity, and My Missing Keys. The interview is really interesting and Pesi seems like someone I'd like to have as my best friend!

The Muffin is having a give-away for Pesi's book and all you have to do is leave a comment, but be quick, because you must do it before Thursday, January 19th, at 11:59pm Pacific Standard Time!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Another new and innovative website & blog is: Celery Tree and Celery Tree Blog.  Also, check out: Coming Down the Mountain: A Writer's Blog, by Karen Gowen.

Here's what it says on the Celery Tree Blog: A website for authors to network, market, and sell your books. Leave the jungle. Join our village. Sounds awesome!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I'm excited to announce that I'm finally buying a memoir I've been so curious about. It's written by one of my wonderful writer blog friends - Ann Best. The title is In The Mirror and has received rave reviews on Amazon. I'm sending the check directly to Ann, though, so I can get a signed copy!


** Announcement ** 
I'll be having a give-away later this week or first of next week. Stay tuned for all the info!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Sometimes people say to me, “I want to write, but I have five kids, a full-time job, a wife who beats me, a tremendous debt to my parents,” and so on.

I say to them, “There is no excuse. If you want to write, write. This is your life. You are responsible for it. You will not live forever. Don’t wait. Make the time now, even if it is ten minutes once a week.” -- Natalie Goldberg


Sunday, January 15, 2012

* Nostalgic Sundays *

Time for Another Nostalgic Sunday



Memories and ideas (for my book) pop into my head quite often. And just as quickly as my mind attempts to grasp those thoughts and hang onto them, all too often they pop right out again, not even leaving a wisp of a reminiscence.

Because of those short-lived reflections, I try to have paper and pen everywhere. Two of the most recent scribbled notes have these words on them: Ball and Jacks, (and) Pop Beads. Oh my gosh, how I loved playing the game of Jacks, and creating jewelry with my Pop Beads!

Over the past couple of years I've thought about buying some Jacks, but the only ones I ever saw in stores were the huge, plastic ones.

Google/Ebay image

Nope. Don't like 'em. Gotta be more like I remember. So, eventually the Old Light-Bulb came on, I looked on Google and bought some from Amazon. And an extra benefit: I read many comments on the Amazon page from women of my generation who said they were great for hand eye coordination and improving motor skills.

Here's five of the jacks, the ball, and my palm. I actually got through Onesis last night!
How many of you played Jacks when you were little? And would you like to do it again?

* I know many of us are still having "issues" with trying to leave and respond to comments. It is quite annoying, but I decided I'm not going to make any changes on my blog, unless I absolutely HAVE to.

It seems that Maxine feels the same......

"Change is good as long as I don't have to do anything different." -- Maxine


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Eek, Yikes, Grrrr

♪♫   In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning  ♪♫

I tried to read and leave comments in blogs last night, way past midnight.....Grrrr.

I read horror stories of bloggers totally losing their blog information.....Yikes!

I found a blog with "explanations" to some of the problems, partly which I don't even understand....Eek.



So, I'm taking this as a sign to stay completely away from Blogger. (at least for today!) I'll be doing my "homework"....answering Natalie Goldberg's questions in "Old Friend from Far Away" & fueling my writing soul.

Welcome to my newest follower, Karen Jones Gowen. I hope you'll stop by often and always enjoy what you read and see. Thank you!
 

P.S. I'm VERY aware of my two biggest struggles with my writing; and because they are Procrastinating & Perfection, they certainly explain why I haven't gotten much accomplished.....And so with that, I leave you with today's quote:


"This morning I took out a comma and this afternoon I put it back again." -- Oscar Wilde

Friday, January 13, 2012

* What's Going On With Blogger? *

Ever since Blogger announced its New and Improved commenting thingy....who can leave comments?? I  haven't been able to for about a day and a half.

Anyone else out there? AND if you can't answer in the comment section, because it won't let you comment....Send me an e-mail if you'd like!

Writergal53 (at) gmail (dot) com

Sunday, January 8, 2012

* Nostalgic Sundays *

It's Time for Another Nostalgic Sunday....Already??


Today I had a difficult time coming up with something for Nostalgic Sunday. Actually, that's not quite true. I had an idea, but after rummaging around four or five boxes of photos, and still not finding THE ONE photo I was looking for, it was time for Plan B.



This is what The Ronald gave me for my birthday this year. He's been down and out with some kind of cold or flu, but still managed to go to a store and bought the lovely basket of fresh flowers. (Carnations are one of my favorites because they last so long.) 

And then, his sense of humor shines brightly with the cake mix box (He didn't feel well enough to  make it...don't know why he didn't just buy one while he was out!) And of course, the numbered candles on top really made me laugh, because that's not how old I am this year, which he knew...but he said we didn't have a "9" in the cabinets! (another thought of why not buy one?!)  But, I was thrilled with his thoughtfulness!
Flash Back quite a few birthdays. This was during my contact lenses and perms phase. That is my baby boy, Mark, and myself on my 35th Birthday! Awwww... Very happy times!
Back to the year 2012 and reality! Oh, how I used to love to tease my mom about her flabby under-arms. Shame on me, but how was I to know I would have the same affliction someday?!
Welcome to my newest follower, Denise Covey. I hope you'll stop by often and always enjoy what you read and see. Thank you!


"Life is a handful of short stories, pretending to be a novel." -- Anonymous

Friday, January 6, 2012

* I WONDER *

♫♪ They say it's your birthday. It's my birthday too, yeah. They say it's your birthday. We're gonna have a good time. I'm glad it's your birthday. Happy birthday to you! ♪♫
by Lennon/McCartney

I wonder....how did I get this old??

Yes, today is my birthday. I'll be meeting my friend "K" for lunch again this year. She and I were both born on the 6th of January, but in different years. It's the only time we get together all year, so we really look forward to it.


(Here's some celebrities born on January 6th, too. Loretta Young, Danny Thomas, Carl Sandburg, Khalil Gibran, Capucine, Howie Long, Bonnie Franklin, Pepe Le Pew, AND, she may not be a celebrity...yet...but blog friend, Rachel Cotterill. Stop by and wish her a Happy Birthday, too.

I would LOVE to have a cake like this! How about you?!

Actually, I've had a couple of scrumptious looking and tasting cupcakes recently from Jilly's Cupcake Bar and Cafe in St. Louis, Mo.

Welcome to my newest follower, James Deagle. I hope you'll stop by often and always enjoy what you read and see. Thank you!



"A birthday is just the first day of another 365-day journey around the sun. Enjoy the trip." -- Author Unknown

Sunday, January 1, 2012

* Nostalgic Sundays *

It's Time for Another Nostalgic Sunday

I can't believe it is January 2012. Where the heck did 2011 go? Oh well....no sense wondering. 'Tis a new year and a new day and a new ME!

BUT, although I'm evolving, discovering, and achieving new things, I still love to reminisce. And so on New Year's Day 2012, here is my last Christmasy post for the season.


This is my brother and me in front of our tiny house in Illinois. Since the date stamp says January 1956, I'm not sure if this was actually taken in December or January. The ones I've posted lately seem to have been developed the month following the event. Either way, here we are enjoying a bit of snow during Christmas time.


My brother, Mike again. Looks like he helped shovel the sidewalk!



I'll have to dig out the original photo and see if there's a date on this, but it's definitely around the same time. Were we adorable, or what?!


 

This is another old ornament hanging on our 2011 tree. My mother bought a "collection" of these in the mid 1960s, when she worked at a downtown St. Louis department store called Famous-Barr. I'm sure she got them after Christmas one year, to save even more money in addition to her employee discount. Famous-Barr at that time was our version of Macy's. Very nice clothing, shoes, and notions...my favorite part of the store! (I don't remember everything in that section, but I'm pretty sure the beautiful stationery was sold there.) The less expensive clothes were in the Bargain Basement! Do you remember those days? The "Pay Toilet" also was around at that time.

~~~~~~
That's it for Christmasy Nostalgic Sundays until November and December of 2012!


Welcome to my newest follower, Accidental Writer...... my 280th follower!! That number doesn't seem possible, but I know many bloggers have thousands of followers, and they haven't even been blogging nearly as long as I have. The numbers really don't mean anything to me. It's just fun to see them add up and meet new people! Anyway, I hope you'll stop by often and always enjoy what you read and see! Thank you!

"We do not remember days; we remember moments." --Cesare Pavese