Monday, August 31, 2009

* Online Course: Writing for Children *

Online Writing Course:

One of my writer friends, Margo Dill, is teaching Writing for Children: Everything You Wanted to Know About Writing Short Stories, Articles, and Fillers.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This class will teach the basics of writing for children’s magazines, crafting short stories, nonfiction articles, poetry, and fillers. The student will come away with a short story and cover letter, nonfiction query letter, and a filler or poem. She will also have a list of potential markets, fitting her manuscripts. The instructor will also share an organizational tool for submissions and information on finding other children’s writers and networking.

STARTS: Wednesday, September 30 (Limit 15 students) COST: $200, which includes access to a Google group, ability to upload work to Google group for discussion with instructor and other class members, a free first-page critique from the instructor and a free query or cover letter critique from instructor, private email discussions with instructor as needed.

To sign up, go to this link:

To learn more about Margo, check out her blog:

Sunday, August 30, 2009

** I'm Feelin' Mellow Yellow **

This morning I decided I should try to find the actual name of the beautiful little yellow birds in my photo at the above right...... I really didn't look very long, though, because I got sidetracked gazing at more and more photos of beautiful little yellow birds on various sites.....

......which then reminded me of an old instrumental song I heard often as a young child: Yellow Bird. Then it all came back to old vinyl LP, played many times on our Hi-Fi. The album was recorded by, none other than...... Lawrence Welk.

My parents watched his weekly TV show unfailingly on our old black and white set in the 1950's.

My next thought was to see if I could find that song & add it to my End of Summer playlist. Surprised and pleased....I found it (by Arthur Lyman) and it's number 41 on my summer playlist. I may add it to my newest one, Beautiful Music, because it would cerainly fit right in.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

* A Lovely Saturday Afternoon *

It's been a relaxing day so far. I watched an old (1960's) movie on TV this morning.......maybe I should say it's been a lazy day so far......

Ron and I went shopping.....he to one store, I to another. I bought a couple of inexpensive, yet adorable and much needed little accent pieces that I've been searching for, for some time! I'm always thrilled when I find just the right thing, when I really wasn't even looking, and at a bargain price!

But my most treasured purchase of all is a teeny refrigerator magnet I came across and immediately grabbed. It's about a 2" x 2" square that says:

with deadlines

Nuff said!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

* End of Summer, continued.......*

Wow! I've already been contacted for 2 speaking engagements next month at local elementary schools. I love talking to students (of all ages) about my writing, and about going for your dreams in life, no matter what your age is.

I'm a pretty good example of starting later in life! I don't have any regret or sadness, either, that I didn't begin writing sooner, because I truly believe I had to live & experience all that I did, to be able to think and feel and write the way I do.

Life's great! No regrets here!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

** End of Summer **

For whatever reason, this summer has been one of the nicest ones in the St. Louis area for many years.....only a few days of very hot temperatures and high humidity. Unbelievably pleasant!

Yesterday I decided it was time to add a new playlist to my blog. Summer is definitely coming to an end, no matter how much we may want to hang onto it.

So, for a little while, my playlist is titled End of Summer and consists of only a few songs. I'm fairly sure you'll see (and hear!) why I chose these particular songs., as of September 6th, I've changed from summer songs, to just plain Beautiful Music.

Monday, August 24, 2009

** Gorgeous Necklace **

While down at "The Loop" Friday afternoon, I strolled into a jewelry store on Delmar called Jewels In The Loop. I just wanted to browse a little because I'd seen some pretty, dangly earrings in the window display.

While chatting with the owner, AJ, I mentioned that I'd been "sort of" looking for a necklace the past few months. I wanted a choker that I could wear with a variety of shirts and sweaters. I've been having a hard time finding the right necklace, and especially in just the right size. He went directly to a necklace that went perfectly with a short sleeved sweater I was wearing, and it took my breath away. It consists of multi-colored and multi-shaped beads. I put it on, looked in the mirror, and couldn't believe it. It was just right. So, I obviously had to buy it! I don't often splurge on things for myself, and especially when it comes to jewelry, but this necklace was mine!

This picture doesn't do it justice. It is just gorgeous!

Go see AJ and see what jewels he'll have for you!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Grade School, Girl Scouts & High School

What a trip down memory lane last night........literally!
Friend, Barb and I drove down many familiar roads.

It was great seeing familiar faces (and some, not so familiar) at a high school reunion that almost turned out to be more about our grade school and girl scout friends!

Let's about some Number One songs from 1967:

Groovin' -- by The (Young) Rascals
Happy Together -- by The Turtles
Light My Fire -- by The Doors

And.....Number One songs from 1971:
My Sweet Lord -- by George Harrison (The Beatles had broken up)
Maggie May -- by Rod Stewart
It's Too Late -- by Carole King (Her album, Tapestry, was a huge hit. I almost wore mine out!)

It was too bad more people didn't or couldn't attend, but we're already talking about our next get-together.....probably in 2 years,

which will be our 40th High School Reunion!!!

Acccckkkkk.....that number does not compute! I refuse to believe it!

Friday, August 21, 2009

** Life Is Wonderful **

While driving to meet a friend for lunch today, I listened to a Jason Mraz CD. One of the songs on it is one I really love: Life is Wonderful. I always play it loud and sing along at the top of my lungs. (it's included in one or two of my playlists. maybe I'll add it to the newest one, too....I think it would fit quite nicely!)

It was a beautiful day......
blue skies, white puffy clouds, 76 degrees
Awww.......Life really is wonderful!

And to quote Jason Mraz......

"la la la la la la la life is wonderful
ah la la la la la la life goes full circle
ah la la la la la la life is meaningful"

Thursday, August 20, 2009

* Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest *

Don't you just love the title of this humorous poetry contest?? It sounds like some of those goofy words that I like to make up!

I found this contest on the Erma Bombeck Writer's Workshop web site. It's from Winning Writers.

There is no fee to enter, the winning prizes are nice chunks of change and there's plenty of time to enter. Good Luck!


Wednesday, August 19, 2009 Year of the Piper Cub

I just discovered that I've been saying the wrong year for the Yellow Piper Cub airplane I took a ride in last month. I thought it was a 1949, but fortunately someone at the Iowa Aviation Museum corrected me.

It's a 1946 Piper J-3 Cub.

(I have corrected it on the post for Wednesday, July 22, 2009.)

Thanks, Lee Ann!

Writer Friend Published in New Anthology

Congratulations to Tricia Grissom!
Tricia has a story included in a new anthology:

Dirt is Good for You: True Stories of Surviving Parenthood.
Great title, don't you think?

It is due out on September 9th.

Go to Tricia's blog to find out more about the book and about Tricia herself.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

"Parks Today" Alumni News

I finally received my Parks College of Engineering, Aviation & Technology alumni newsletter today. I had checked my (snail) mail box daily for its arrival. I felt like a kid, waiting for a special present to show up, and was so disappointed every day when it wasn't there.

But it was definitely worth the wait. All I can say is: WOW! They did a fantastic job with my article about my dad's years there as a student and teacher. The layout with the photos I provided is just perfect. I will treasure it always.

As soon as the newsletter is available online, I'll include a link for it.

I've already heard from a couple of alumni, and I hope to hear from many more!

Friday, August 14, 2009


I scrolled through my blog posts and photos a few minutes ago and was reminded once again how much my writer-friends mean to me.

Not too many years ago, I lamented that I "had no talent". I always spoke of one sister as "the artistic one". She could paint, draw, sketch, sculpt, etc. My other sister could whip up clothes on her sewing machine that looked as well as, or better than, the ones in the department stores. My brother played the banjo, had a talent for comedy, and could take slabs of wood and make beautiful furniture out of them.....Then there was me. I hadn't discovered anything that I was really good at.....that I could develop a passion for.

That all changed when I realized I was a writer.....that I loved to write....I wanted to write.....I had to write. Writing has brought many new friends into my life. We encourage each other, we cheer for each other, we grumble a little together.

I can't imagine what my life would be like right now, today, August 14, 2009, if I wasn't thinking about writing continually, from the moment I wake up til I finally fall asleep at night......and speaking of falling asleep, I need to close up the laptop for tonight and.....zzzzzzzzz

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Here's a photo of my wind chimes that I've written about. They hang right outside the window over my kitchen sink......Lovely to look at, even lovlier to hear!


There's a song by Mike & The Mechanics called The Living Years that came out in the mid to late 1980's. It's about a guy who's at odds with his dad all the time. When his dad died, he wasn't with him, nor had he gotten around to telling him all the things he had to say..... (good things)

Every time I heard that song, it spoke volumes to me. It was during that same time that I had conflicted feelings about my dad. I wished things were different between us. I wanted to see him, but when I did, it was uncomfortable...for both of us. We didn't know what to talk about. We were strangers. We never reached the kind of relationship I so desperately wanted, but we at least reconnected the last couple of years he was alive. He knew I loved him and I knew he loved me.

The Living Years is on one or more of my playlists....maybe I'll add it to this newest one..... I think both the music and lyrics are beautiful.

Don't wait until it's too late to tell people how much they mean to you. Do it in the living years.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

** Julie & Julia **

This afternoon my friend Sherry and I went to see Julie & Julia. I loved it! Meryl Streep was superb, as always, and Amy Adams has become one of my favorite actors. I thought she was perfect for the role of Julie.

Usually when I like a movie, it's because of one major theme......a great love story, a hilarious comedy, a tense thriller. I really enjoyed Julie & Julia for various reasons. It was funny, sweet, poignant, and it was thrilling when Julia received the acceptance letter from the publisher for her cookbook!

As well as, when Julie received numerous phone calls from editors and agents who wanted to speak with her about publishing a book......well...... I was right there with her, dreaming of the day when I might hear those fabulous words, myself!

Friday, August 7, 2009


I drove to Belleville, Illinois today to have lunch with some old friends....old as in how many years we've known each other. We met when I was in the 4th grade. We had a blast, talking about the past!

On the way home, I stopped off in Cahokia, Illinois to do more reminiscing. I drove past the house that had been home to my brother-in-law's parents for many years. I was pleased to see that it still looked nice, even though the neighborhood is deteriorating.

Then it was another mile or two until I turned into the lane that was home for my first seven years of life. What had happened? The street had shrunk and was way too narrow. The front yards were the size of miniature golf greens and the trees eclipsed the tiny bungalows. How in the world did we have so much room to run and play when I was young?

My house and most of the others had been neglected and looked different than the last time I'd taken this sentimental journey. As I slowly inched along, reading the house numbers, I recalled the names of the families I had known so well. The "so and so's" lived at 803, then next door had been the "J" family, and then my house at 807. I came to a complete stop and just stared for awhile, feeling sad. My brain accepts the fact that things change and sometimes in unpleasant ways, but my heart screams NO.

A brief moment did bring a smile to my face. I saw the original aluminum awnings on a house with the big "M" on them. They weren't rusty or aged looking. That warmed my heart, as if those wonderful people still lived there. And if they did, I knew if I parked my car in their driveway, walked up to the door and knocked, they would welcome me in with open arms.

While driving back home, thoughts and memories tumbled in my mind like clothes in a clothes-dryer. Going back to reminisce about those happy times during the 1950's is great fun, but when I'm back in reality, it's wonderful during a hot day like today, to have a/c in my car!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Aggie's Tea Room in O'Fallon, Missouri

Aggie's Tea Room has announced the opening of their Wine, Beer & Tapas Garden:
(Owned by my friend, Aggie!!)

We welcome reservations both for lunch, dinner, parties , groups or for any special occasions!
If you have any questions, please feel free to call!
Again, we would like to thank you all for your patronage in the past as well as encouragement in this new venture! Looking forward to seeing you at Aggie's

Aggie AND STAFF Aggie's Closet and Tea Room 9036 Veterans Memorial Parkway O'fallon, MO 63366

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Awwww.......a sweet, cute boy from a different decade!
What's that in the little cage he's holding?

Monday, August 3, 2009

** Love My Play List **

I just love the music I've chosen for this blog! I was surprised at how quickly, too, I was able to think of songs I liked and try to find them. Also, I'd hear an old song on the radio, jot it down in one of my many trusty notepads.....this would usually happen while I was driving my car, so it would most likely be scribbled and quite hard to read!...and then when I'd get back home, I'd add it to my play list. I also added songs that I have on CD's or albums. The best part, I think, is the "shuffle" option. I just listened to Celine Dion sing Ave Maria then it went straight to The London Beat singing I've Been Thinking About You, and then to Dion singing The Wanderer.

Right now, you're listening to my newest play list: Beautiful Music. All soft and lovely songs.....

What a great way to start my morning!......Hello Music!.. Coffee...Sunshine...Writing in my blog!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

* Compliments *

Recently, Theresa shared some information with Tammy and me that concerned the presentation we gave at the Kisker Road Library last month. Each of us had spoken about our writing, and then read one of our stories published in Chicken Soup for the Soul books.

Sometime after that, Theresa met a friend that had been there that evening. She said what impressed her most was our similarities in approach, but also the differences in our stories. She said I was an exceptional speaker, Tammy's story made her cry, and that she loved Theresa's descriptive reference about some "poo-poo towels" in her story!