Sunday, July 31, 2011

* Nostalgic Sundays *

It's time for another Nostalgic Sunday

I wasn't sure what I would write about today because I had quite a few ideas popping in and out of my head...which is an ongoing occurrence.
(courtesy: google)
But I finally decided to write about ironing. Yes....ironing.
I don't know if spray starch was available when I was a little girl, because if it was, we didn't use it.
I remember watching my mom and older sister take the dried clothes from a clothes basket, lay them flat out on the kitchen table, one at a time, and sprinkle them with water. They ususally used a plastic bottle that I assume was made just for that little task. Then after each item was dampened, it was rolled up like a jelly roll and placed to the side. This continued until every piece of clothing that required ironing was drizzled. All were placed inside a small plastic bag and put in the refrigerator for a certain amount of time, and then voile', they were ready to be ironed. 

*For any young readers, back in the Old Days, clothes were primarily made from cotton and needed to be ironed. Polyester and nylon either hadn't been discovered, manufactured, or used for clothing yet.*
Addendum: Thank you, Marydon for the info about nylon! I appreciate it!

(courtesy: google.)
(I'm assuming it's okay to use this, since Life Magazine is no longer around.)
I hadn't thought of that routine for eons until just this morning. (It's a long story why ironing popped into my head, so I won't bore you with that! Aren't you glad?!) Then, another long ago memory materialized....Soon after my parents split up, money was very scarce, and for a while my mother ironed other families' clothes. I think someone would drop them off at our little apartment and mother was paid 'per piece'. I know it certainly wasn't much. Probably something like 25 cents maybe? I think the term for that was "taking in ironing", and considered a lowly job. Does anyone else remember this?

One last thing. I LOVE to iron, but only a couple of things at a time. Then I'm tired and ready to quit! Unless I'm watching something really good on TV like the woman in the photo, then I'm okay. (Also, I much rather iron MY clothes, than The Ronald's because his are at least twice the size of mine!)

Also welcome to my newest follower: Randi! I hope you'll stop by often and always enjoy what you read and see! Thank you!
My second favorite household chore is ironing. My first being hitting my head on the top bunk bed until I faint. -- Erma Bombeck
I'm eighteen years behind in my ironing. -- Phyllis Diller

Friday, July 29, 2011


Today's "I Wonder" is all about writerly things!

First of all, the hugely talented Mr. Robert Brault has a special request. If you don't already know who he is or what he writes, then do not, hop & jump right over to his blog by clicking on the link below. 
 I Wonder: How many hundreds/thousands of letters can we generate?

On July 8th, I posted about trying to write two stories for Chicken Soup for the Soul books, and have them submitted by the 31st. I am very pleased to report that I have indeed sent two stories and have a third one that will probably be ready to submit before August 7th, which is the deadline.

 I Wonder:  How many of you will submit a story or more? If you're afraid....don't be! You can't be published, if you don't submit something!

Addendum: I just checked the website (7:20 am CDT) and quite a few new books have been added! I don't think they were listed yesterday, so the site has been updated with a few deadlines having passed.  Click HERE to go straight to the page of new books, new deadlines! Good Luck!

2nd Addendum: It's now 1:30 pm CDT and I recently received a new Call Out for Submissions e-mail from Chicken Soup concerning the deadline for the Caregiver book. It's been extended until August 31st. That is a good sign for those of you wanting to send something, because it means they haven't rec'd enough quality stories. So sharpen up those pencils, crack those knuckles and get going!!
I also noticed that Thin Threads  has Calls for Submissions on their anthologies. I highly recommend them, too. Look at the two books below with the nearest deadlines! Oh my gosh, I just have to write something for the Pets & Companions book! I'll be burning the midnight oil Saturday night, I think!

Thin Threads of Pets & Companions - July 30th, 2011
Thin Threads of Babies & New Parents - September 30th, 2011
 If you go to their website, you'll find other upcoming books that don't have deadlines yet.

I Wonder: How many stories can be written in a few days? It depends on the author! It takes me many drafts just to write a short 900 word essay! Others can think, type, and submit within mere hours!

"Failure? I never encountered it. All I ever met were temporary setbacks."-- Dottie Walters

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Contest & Susan Bono Interview Part 2

First of all, Happy Birthday to my son, Scott! If you've been visiting my blog since last summer, you'll remember that while in England on business last June, his appendix burst and he spent about a week in a hospital there. I was a nervous wreck, as you can imagine, until he came back home, although he still had problems for quite some time after he was back. So, I'm especially joyful to wish him another Happy Birthday! (Link below is from last June)

OKAY....Now promised in yesterday's post, below are the final questions and answers in Susan's interview.
Remember to read both days of interviews because you'll need to know information from them for my newest Contest/Give-Away! .....*Rules posted at end of this blog post.*

4)      Do you have a set writing schedule?
I wish! The only writing I am devoted to is my postcard-a-day project, which I’ve kept up with for 2 ½ years, and even then, I don’t write one every day. I usually end up doing 7 or 10 cards at a time. But I love that I’ve used up at least 800 postcards collected over the years. It’s a reminder that you can move a mountain one pebble at a time.

5)      How often do you participate in Open Mic events, seminars, etc?

Remember how I confessed to wanting to be a celeb? Teaching my weekly writing workshops in my office fulfills some of that longing to be a big shot. I also co-host a quarterly literary evening at a local coffee house, and am looking forward to introducing presenters at the upcoming Mendocino Writers Conference and Sonoma County Book Festival.  I will go just about anywhere to be on a panel!  I get to co-facilitate an annual writing retreat at Point Reyes every spring, and there’s a weekend at Spirit Mountain in Idyllwild with my friend Joan Zerrien coming up in October. I’m over the moon about pairing up with Sheila Bender and taking writers to Istanbul next May! Life doesn’t get any better than that!

6)      Are you a bookaholic? Do you have stacks and stacks of books in your home? Some you can’t part with?

Remember that I’m someone who managed to save over 800 postcards? I’m that way with books. My house and office are full of them, and I was seriously planning to build more bookshelves when my parents died and I suddenly had another house full of books to deal with. This got me thinking about the books I am holding onto so greedily. Am I really going to need them? What am I leaving for my kids to clean up? My oldest son Lucius and I talk about doing a variation on “The 100 Greatest Books Ever Written” (I have a set of those leather bound books from Easton Press that I inherited from a family friend). What if you made a collection of YOUR 100 greatest books? And any time you wanted to add a new one, you had to get rid of an old one. I don’t think I’m ready to do that yet, but I have started forcing myself to give books to new homes. I like the idea of growing less encumbered as I get older.
7)      What are your thoughts on how the publishing industry has changed in the past 10 years? 5 years? ONE YEAR?

The dinosaur stands blinking in her dying kingdom—I feel like nothing is the same as it was 10 years ago, or even a year ago. I wish I had recorded all the voices saying “There will ALWAYS be hard copy books!” because I know that isn’t true. I’m not sure how long it will take, and I’m in no hurry for it to happen, but like my grandmother, who saw the end of the horse and buggy and the gaslight and the gramophone, I’ve already lived long enough to see entire libraries that could fit into a shoebox. What hasn’t changed is people’s hunger for connection and story. I think the audiences are going to get smaller for every book out there, but those circles will be warm, loyal and loving—more tribal in nature. That’s what I keep trying to remember as I whine about having to change with the times—the thrill I got when my teachers praised me all those years ago—with the right audience, that feeling can always be mine.
Thank you again Susan for allowing us to get to know more about you! And readers, don't forget to check out the Tiny Lights website.

Contest/Give-Away Rules:  (note: although sometimes I don't require people to be followers, I am doing so this time.)
1)  Be a follower. If you already follow my blog, please remind me!
2) Leave a comment or question directed to Susan, pertaining to something specific she said. (It will be my decision as to if it's "specific" enough to apply.)
3) Post something on your blog about this contest.
~~ Sorry, open to US residents only. Postage is outrageous out of the country. Sorry! ~~
I think it's pretty simple, and hope y'all will, too. I'm not asking for you to post about it in a zillion places and then you get more chances, etc. Nope....Just all three are required for one chance in the random drawing on August 2nd. I'll post the one winner on August 3rd.
What is the prize, you ask? Well.... How ab out prizes? How about 20 things??
 The above photo shows everything the winner will receive! There are 12 colorful folders, a package of 2 magnetic list pads that coordinate with the folders, 1 set of pink floral note cards, 1 small hardcover book called "Tea Among Friends". It's adorable! It doesn't have any recipes, but wonderful little stories about tea and friendships. Then there's a small burgundy color mini notebook with pen (magnetic closure). Then a cute matchbox folder that also coordinates with the folders and list pads. And finally 2 paper back books: "Of Mice and Men", purchased at Main Street Books in St. Charles, Mo. And "Rosie" by Anne Lamott.....Yes, that same fabulous Anne Lamott, author of "Bird by Bird"....a book all writers should own and read dozens of times. (And yes I have it and yes I do....and no, it's not included in this give-away!)

I chose these items because I believe there's a little bit for everyone!
I look forward to reading everyone's questions for Susan!

Also welcome to my newest follower: Life's Beautiful Path! I hope you'll stop by often and always enjoy what you read and see! Thank you!

"Can you imagine a world without men? No crime and lots of happy, fat women." -- Nicole Hollander

(This quote doesn't really have anything to do with today's post, but I think it's hilarious and I had to post it!)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

* Interview with Susan Bono *

I am delighted to post my interview with the fabulous writer-editor-teacher-speaker Ms. Susan Bono.

I met Susan, online, through one of my favorite writers, Judi Ryan Hendricks. Judi's website listed Susan's as one of her favorite sites: Tiny Lights A Journal of Personal Narrative. To make a long story short, I checked out Tiny Lights, submitted something, Susan and I really hit it off......and the rest is history!

I'm dividing the interview into two parts, only because Susan gave such awesome answers. Today is questions one through three. (I particularly love her first few sentences in answer number one!) Tomorrow will be four through seven.

Thank you again, Susan, for taking the time to let us get to know a little more about you.

1)      When did you know you wanted to be a writer? Did you receive any encouragement from any teachers? Other mentors?

I’m not sure I ever wanted to be a writer! I’ve always just want to be a celebrity author, accepting major awards and appearing on TV talk shows, like Truman Capote and Gore Vidal did way back when. Writing is so much work!  On the other hand, as a kid  I ended up writing a lot, starting in 6th grade. A very artistic classmate of mine illustrated a story I wrote about a girl and a talking mouse. I was self-publishing in 1966! The book made a hit, even though I think it was really more about Peggy’s drawings. As the years went by, writing got me more praise in school than anything else I did. In 7th grade I even weaseled out of a mid-term math project by writing a bunch of bad poems about how much I hated working with numbers. 

Looking back, I don’t know if being allowed to avoid the hard stuff by running around trying to be a creative writer was such a good idea, but it kept me writing, mostly poetry. Fortunately, in high school I had some fantastic English teachers who forced me to think and write with some degree of precision.  I went on to major in creative writing at a time when there were only a handful of those programs scattered across the nation. That’s hard to believe, given the popularity of that major now! I had good teachers at San Francisco State, and I got good grades, but I knew I didn’t really have what it takes to be a serious poet or short story writer. I knew I could never write a novel, and there were no classes in creative nonfiction back then! The term didn’t exist, and I suspect that column-style essay writing wasn’t even offered in the journalism program.  No one ever suggested that I might look into editing or publishing, so  I began to think about using my love of literature and writing in a more “grownup” way by becoming an English teacher.

I ended up in a really amazing grammar class (Believe me, it had to be a nearly mystical experience to get me to pay attention to misplaced modifiers!), got into a challenging credential program at UC Davis, and ended up teaching high school  for about 7 years, if you include the agony of substitute teaching.  For some crazy reason, I thought staying home with my kids would be easier than teaching, so when my first son was born in 1985, I left the public schools and found out what real work was. I tried to write during those early years at home—but I really didn’t know what I was doing. I muddled along in a writing group for quite some time before  I answered an ad in the paper for a features writer for a wonderful local paper called the Petaluma Weekly News. Writing for them taught me a lot about having a point and sticking to it.   In 1994,   I took a Sonoma State college course on writing personal essays from Gerald Haslam and that’s where the picture shifted. I learned a lot more about essays, thank goodness, but what I really discovered was my talent for editing other writers’ work. I began to see teaching and editing as my true calling. Since then,  I’ve tackled many kinds of projects and teach various genres, but I really love memoir and personal essay.

2)      When and why did you create Tiny Lights?

In Gerry Haslam’s fateful class, I got in touch with my desire to teach, but with my own kids approaching adolescence, I did NOT want to go back to high school!  I wasn’t qualified to teach at the college level. What to do? Somehow I got it into my head that I could start a magazine (??!!?) and thus combine writing, teaching, and editing. And I would pay for its cost by running a contest with a $5 entry fee. This was in the days when you advertised for an event like this by making flyers and putting them up around town. I got very lucky and the Petaluma Weekly News did a story about my plan, so I got about 50 people to enter. I managed to cover prizes, printing and mailing costs, and I still think the material I got to publish was incredibly good. I got some other lucky breaks in the early years, too, like having a son who created a website for me at the dawn of the Internet Age, and a friend who has a bulk mailing house so I get a better rate for postage, which has gotten OUTRAGEOUS. I feel like a dinosaur these days, not having made the transition to electronic submissions and downloadable content, but I also realize that with the way things are now,  no ordinary individual can afford to start a hard copy magazine like I did. It’s just too expensive. I would never go back to the dark times before email—I typed every single word that went into the magazine and literally pasted the illustrations where I wanted them to go.  But I miss the slower, more meditative pace of editing and publishing back then. It was more like making a quilt, when now it’s kind of like an endless game of Sudoku.  

3)      How much time would you say is required to “put it all together”?

This question had me laughing so hard I almost fell on the floor! Tiny Lights keeps getting bigger, but I’ve never added any staff. So the work associated with the hard copy editions, the online postings and the monthly e-letter is mine, all mine! I stopped feeling like I had it all put together about 6 years ago! It’s just a rolling ball of semi-controlled chaos. I feel terrible when I fall behind deadlines (like now!), but I’m trying to see the situation as an opportunity to finally learn to prioritize.  I’m one of those people who puts out fire after fire, never getting to the true  source of the blaze. If I could gaze down at the whole scene, I’d probably end up laughing about that, too. Look! She’s dousing those teeny fires while the river’s rising, the sky is falling, and all the horses, cattle and sheep are running out the barn door and escaping to the next farm!

Please come back tomorrow to read Susan's other four answers. My upcoming contest will pertain to both days of Q&As!

 "I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars."--Og Mandino

Monday, July 25, 2011

Poetic Song Lyrics....Not!

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 these words either 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)
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!)

 *Also welcome to my newest follower: Peggy! I hope you'll stop by often and always enjoy what you read and see! Thank you! (Especially after tonight!)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

* Nostalgic Sundays *

It's time for another Nostalgic Sunday.
Meeting Pen-Pals in Person for the First Time!

On my July 10th post, I wrote about having pen-pals when I was young, and how I've begun sending snail mail letters and note cards to family and friends again. It's been wonderful, too. There's something magical about grabbing mail from the mail box, and finding something other than bills and envelope with my name and address handwritten on it! ☺

Well, when I was in the Atlanta area last week, I had the extraordinary opportunity to meet some "pen-blog-pals! I can't say enough about how much it meant to me for these wonderful gals to drive quite a distance to come and see me. And on top of it all.....they brought gifts! Whew...thank goodness I thought to do the same!
First I had lunch with Linda from A La Carte and Sandie from Chatty Crone.
I'm on the left, Linda is in the back right, and Sandie in the front right.
We had a marvelous time at Ted's Montana Grill (owned by Ted Turner).
We talked and laughed as if we'd known each other for years!

Sandie gave me this adorable Santa ornament! She remembered about my small collection of statues of people/critters holding books. How thoughtful! She also gave me a package of scrumptious Ghiradelli Twilight Delight! Yum! (I shared these with family, so there wasn't any to bring home!)

Linda presented me with a lovely journal on the left, and the book on the right.
I began reading "Lost & Found" while still in Georgia, since I'd just finished reading "Best Staged Plans" by Claire Cook. (very cute book and good summertime read!)
"Lost & Found" begins with a tragic event. That's about all I know right now! I've been in such a constant writing mode, I haven't taken the time to read. I'll have to start fitting that into my schedule!

After lunch was over it was time to say goodbye to Linda and Sandie, and meet up with my other two pals from the area: Miss Cathy C. Hall and Lisa Ricard Claro. We were to meet at the same place (talk about making it accommadating for me!) and Cathy arrived in time to meet L & S before they left. Unfortunately, Lisa was stricken with the flu and had to stay home. Although I was disappointed to not meet her, I certainly understood and was so sorry she was sick.  (I'll be down South again sometime, Lisa!) Cathy and I went over to Chik-fil-A and I had to have one of their luscious peach milk shakes...yummy! (Don't even talk to me about calories!)
Here is Cathy with her ever present, Cathy-on-a Stick!

Cathy's hubby, the Beneficent Mr. Hall, took some photos of us. These are the only two we didn't have to pose for. These are the real us.

And here we are....posing!

Cathy brought along a couple of awesome presents that were from both Lisa and her.
Who doesn't need and want a Redneck Dictionary?? I didn't have one yet and here it's Volume III already. Cathy inscribed it, "Becky, may you always talk (and write!) gooder than anybody!" Wow, Thanks, Y'all! Also, these lovely linen napkins are just perfect. They are hand-embroidered, too, not by a machine. I think I might display them on my dining room wall. I'm not sure yet.

I can't say enough about how wonderful these women are! Yes, you too, Lisa! ☺
I feel as if we've all been friends for years and I'm truly grateful to know them.
I'm feeling nostalgic already.... 

"Each friend represents a world in us, a world not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born." -- Anais Nin

Saturday, July 23, 2011

♪♫ Georgia, Georgia...♪♫

Because of this post, I have only one song on my Playlist today: "Georgia"

In the early 1960's I was introduced to Mr. Ray Charles. It was by way of record albums being played on our big, blonde, wooden hi-fi. (That thing weighed a ton. Saturdays were cleaning days, and I only dusted around it because I couldn't lift it, and besides.....there were records being played on it....mostly Ray's.)

My older sister, Jo Ann, loved his music. I mostly didn't. I was into The Beatles and MoTown. And I swooned whenever I heard Johnny Mathis, even though my crushes were only that....unrequited love.

As I got older, I first learned to tolerate, then kind of like, then enjoy, and finally love Ray's music, whether they were ballads or the ones you just couldn't sit still listening to.

Little known fact: For years, I thought "Georgia" was about a woman named Georgia. ☺

Why am I writing about this today? Because I just returned from the beautiful state of Georgia. Because some of my family and I had lunch at Wolf Mountain Vineyards on July 16th, which would have been Jo Ann's birthday. (It was also my niece Kate's wedding anniversary.) And because Jo Ann loved Ray Charles so much.

For years after Jo Ann's death, I couldn't listen to any of his songs, especially the ballads, without shedding tears. If one came on the radio while I drove to work, I usually changed the station right away. Other times, I felt the need to go ahead and let myself grieve.....Oh, the healing process...

I took this photo from the window of the plane.

Once I got started on this, I wrote more than I'd planned. SO, I promise that tomorrow my post will be about meeting my Georgia Blog Buddies...and the one I didn't meet!

**Oh, and what famous author did I see on the plane to Atlanta......Maya Angelou! I didn't get the chance to speak to her, but she was lovely and stylish and chic and unpretentious.

"How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!" -- Maya Angelou

Friday, July 22, 2011

* More Georgia Info *

All these photos were taken at Wolf Mountain Vineyards in Dahlonega, Georgia.

I'd totally forgotten there was any wine country in this part of Georgia.
The building in the photo below is where they have weddings and receptions.

Although it was a little overcast that day, I still got some pretty good photos. The one below was taken from inside the restaurant, thus some spots and glare in the window.

We were told the family who owns the winery and restaurant live in this beautiful home.

Tomorrow I'll post information and pictures about meeting my Blogger Gal Pals!

AND, here's a little tease for ya...... a famous author was on my flight to Atlanta!

"Friendship is the wine of life." -- Edward Young

Thursday, July 21, 2011

♫♪ So Much to Say ♫♪

I'm back from the beautiful state of Georgia. As my title says, I have so much to say about my vacation, but it will have to wait a while. I also have so much to do around the house, and some of it includes writing!

I'm refreshed, revitalized, and rejuvenated!

 North Georgia Wine Country

"More than just yearly rituals in which we connect with friends and family, vacations are also exercises in self-definition. In affording time away from the demands of everyday life, vacations disclose what people choose to do rather than are required to do." -- CINDY SONDIK ARON

Sunday, July 17, 2011

* Nostalgic Sundays *

Time for another Nostalgic Sunday

Even though I'm away on vacation, I just couldn't let Nostalgic Sundays roll by without writing something. Especially since blog friend Patti, of Fill My Cup with Beauty, also posted about feeling nostalgic today. Thanks, Patti!

(Since I'm not on my own computer, I don't have my usual photo to post today, but I'm pretty sure y'all won't mind!)

Visiting my sister and brother-in-law, two grown nieces, a great niece, two great nephews, etc. tends to make a gal feel nostalgic! We've looked at OLD photos and reminisced about all kinds of things.

How have so many years gone by in such a hurry? Slow down, World! I want to savor all my memories and all my current adventures!

"I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself." -- Maya Angelou

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

* This 'n That on a Tuesday *

I'm leaving this Thursday for a little vacation in the beautiful state of Georgia, visiting relatives and friends! I'm not dragging my laptop along, mostly because it's not one of the lighter weight models, but also to take a break from blogging. I'll have my Blackberry, though, so I'll still be able to send and receive e-mails. I'll certainly tell y'all about it, and have pictures to post, after I get back!
On my Nostalgic Sunday post, I hadn't located the pretty note card that Patti mailed, so I couldn't include it. WELL, today I found it while going through items on my desk. It's amazing the things you can find when you're not even looking for them. It's like watching little Theodore Cleaver pull all the contents out of his pocket.'s the pretty note card. Thanks again, Patti!

I discovered Patti's card while rummaging around files and folders, looking for something else. I also came across some old quotes and jokes from years past that I'd printed to save. Some actually made me laugh out loud, with a genuine laugh, not a chuckle or smile, or a semi-silent, that's cute.
These are supposedly real questions and answers from the old Hollywood Squares game show. (Some might be considered off-color. I hope I won't offend anyone by posting them.)

Q. Back in the old days, when Great Grandpa put horseradish on his head, what was he trying to do?
A. George Gobel: Get it in his mouth.

Q. As you grow older, do you tend to gesture more or less with your hands while talking?
A. Rose Marie: You ask me one more growing old question Peter, and I'll give you a gesture you'll never forget.

Q. What are "Do It", "I Can Help" and "I Can't Get Enough"?
A. George Gobel: I don't know, but it's coming from the apartment next door.

Q. According to Ann Landers, what are two things you should never do in bed?
A. Paul Lynde: Point and laugh.

** Also welcome to my newest follower: Working Man. I hope you'll stop by often and always enjoy what you read and see! Thank you!

I'll "see" y'all when I get back home!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

* Nostalgic Sundays *

It's time for another Nostalgic Sunday.

Thanks to Toby Speed's blog post of May 19th, "Things I miss about the low-tech life", I've begun writing snail mail letters/note cards again. And, it was the inspiration for my Nostalgic Sundays, too.

When I was a young girl, I had lots of pen-pals. I loved writing and receiving letters. How exciting to open the mail box and find envelopes addressed to me. As an adult, I wrote to my mother, sisters, brother, friends, etc. when I lived out of the state or country. Shopping at a stationery store was one of my favorite things. The boxes themselves were lovely, and then all the varieties of beautiful paper: parchment, onion skin, papyrus, vellum....all with matching or coordinating envelopes. Some women love shoes. Some love purses. I love paper!

The note cards above are the three I've received in the past month or so. The one on the left is obviously a beach scene. Ahhhh, beautiful and restful. The one in the middle is Nurse J. Rosebeetle, a wheelchair and a cliff. It came from a box titled: Neglected Murderesses. (isn't that a hoot?!) And finally the one on the right is a handmade card with tissue/parchment paper art. (And Patti, I couldn't find yours at the moment. I apologize. I will blog about it later, ok?!)

So, on this nostalgic Sunday, if you would like to receive a handwritten note from me, just send me an e-mail with your mailing address, and I will be happy to write one! (my e-mail is on my profile page)

P.S. It didn't occur to me until recently that writing letters WAS writing! Especially since I write personal essays and memoir. So, I guess I have been a writer for many years...and didn't even realize it! And....although I did type this blog post and I do type 99% of my writing...I believe I can handle both centuries!

** Also welcome to my newest followers: septembermom and Jo W. I hope you'll stop by often and always enjoy what you read and see! Thank you!

“I can envision a small cottage somewhere, with a lot of writing paper, and a dog, and a fireplace and maybe enough money to give myself some Irish coffee now and then and entertain my two friends.” --

Lt Richard Van de Geer

Saturday, July 9, 2011

* Saturday Centus *

It's Saturday Centus time again.

In a nutshell, Jenny Matlock gives us a prompt from either herself or a guest submitter and then we have to write 100 words or less related to the prompt, (the prompt doesn't count toward the 100 words) in any style of story you choose. The only restriction is that your post must be PG! It's open until the following Saturday, so that means you have all week to participate by either reading or writing. The prompt this week is "..and the sign read..."

My take is below:

Wandering along a beautiful tree-lined trail, deep in my thoughts, I completely lost track of time. I realized though I should turn around and go back to my car. Ahead, though, a small sign caught my eye and I was curious about it. It appeared to be homemade. As I stepped closer I felt my knees get weak….and the sign read… Darling, I made a terrible mistake. I’m sorry. Please come home.
That was all it took. I literally ran back to my car and raced home. I wondered how many other broken-hearted lovers that sign had brought back together, even with no names.

(exactly 104 words including the prompt)

** Also welcome to my newest followers: Judi and joyful. I hope you'll stop by often and always enjoy what you read and see! Thank you!

Friday, July 8, 2011


Time for another "I Wonder" blog post.

I Wonder: Are any of you writing for any anthologies or contests? I mentioned this last Friday and I'm happy to say that I submitted a story on July 4th for Storm Country. That's kind of appropriate isn't it? Sending it in on our country's birthday.

I Wonder: Will I be able to write two stories to submit to Chicken Soup for the Soul before July 31st? I do believe I will. I've already begun one for the "Say Goodbye to Back Pain" book, and I have my eye on a couple of others. 

I Wonder: What books are you reading right now? I just picked up a book from the library ( more buying least for a while!) that I had to wait a couple of weeks to get. That's always a good sign when all the copies are checked out and on reserve, don't you think? The name of it is "Best Staged Plans" by Claire Cook. I happened upon Claire's blog and/or website last month (I have no idea how I arrived there.) She's having a give-away and other things going on. If you want to be inspired, you really must hop over and read about her. She has an amazing that sounds dream-like, but is real. *Hint: one of her books was made into a very popular movie! 

** Also welcome to my newest followers: Diane, Deb, and Harry Goaz. I hope you'll stop by often and always enjoy what you read and see! Thank you!

"Let go of the past and go for the future. Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you imagined."-- Henry David Thoreau

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Microfiction Muse #14

This is my first time to take part in a new microfiction blogpost.

(*Note: I realized my wording was kind of misleading here. I've written microfiction before, but just not on Diane's blog. It was on Stony River's Microfiction Mondays, and those have been discontinued for quite some time. So, I was so happy to discover Diane's!)

Microfiction means the shortest of short stories. Think Aesop’s fables, comic strips, or even jokes: complete stories that can be told in under a minute. 

You are invited to write a story about a select picture in 140 characters or less (including spaces and punctuation).

 It is hosted by Diane Estrella. Please stop by her blog if you'd like to participate, too.

Here is my take on the photo:

"You are getting sleepy. Very, very sleepy.  You will obey my every command. Got that, mister?"
(95 characters)

** Also welcome to my newest follower: Marsha. I hope you'll stop by often and always enjoy what you read and see! Thank you!

"My great mistake, the fault for which I can't forgive myself, is that one day I ceased my obstinate pursuit of my own individuality." -- Oscar Wilde

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Birthday, America!

We are not a perfect country, by a long shot, but we are free and have every opportunity to grow, learn, and enjoy a good life.

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

"It is easy to take liberty for granted, when you have never had it taken from you." ~Author unknown, sometimes attributed to M. Grundler

Sunday, July 3, 2011

* Nostalgic Sundays *

It's time for another Nostalgic Sunday.

(courtesy: google)
Who remembers this TV show and board game? I loved both! I thought it was so neat that the contestants could actually walk on the "game board" set up in the studio. And so, I just had to have the game. I think I bought it with my allowance!


(courtesy: google)

How about this game? Ever heard of or played this one?
The only times I've ever seen it or played it was with my cousins in Colorado. That was another one of our summer vacation destinations. They lived in the country and there wasn't much of anything to do but play card games and board games. This was my favorite because it has little plastic milk bottles, slabs of cheese, etc. What fond memories!

What about you? Do you have fond memories of board games? And were any of them just played during vacation, or just at certain homes?

Memories (sung by Elvis Presley)

Memories, pressed between the pages of my mind

Memories, sweetened thru the ages just like wine --Written by Bill Strange and Scott Davis

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Surrounded by Books

Have you ever seen that episode on "Two and a Half Men" where Alan totally loses it in the book store? He's sad and upset that his little boy is growing up and doesn't need him as much anymore. So, Charlie, actually trying to be helpful, tells Alan that now he'll have the time to do the things he really wants to do. At first, Alan agrees and is happy, thinking about reading....and then becomes unglued, thinking he doesn't have enough time left in his life to read all the books he yearns to read. He starts yelling as he pulls one book after another off the shelves, and finally slips down onto the floor, sobbing as he drops books everywhere. (I found it hilarious, but then I have a warped sense of humor.)
 (courtesy: Google)
Yesterday afternoon I was attempting yet again to de-clutter my loft. It's such a beautiful room, with large windows, a ceiling fan, overlooks our entry foyer. I also have my collection of CD's, a few books and knick-knacks on a shabby-chic bookshelf. But, since we really don't use the room, over the years it's become my "craft" room. I work on my homemade cards there. I stash old photos, magazines and books in there. All with the promise to myself that I'll get it cleaned up and organized soon. But, unfortunately, the minute I walk past it, going down the stairs, I forget about it...until the next time I come up the stairs, go down the stairs, etc.

So, yesterday, I said to myself, "Self, you are going to get a good start on this room. You have no excuses, particularly since you're in kind of a writing slump!"  Hmmm...KIND OF?!

First things first. Pull out all the books that are in the shelf with really deep shelves, and then dust it. OMG, I found all kinds of books that I'd completely forgotten I had! It was like first...but then, I began to feel a little like Alan. I have all these books I WANT to read. Some I even began at one time, but for some reason, just couldn't get into. Novels, memoirs, How-To books about writing (boy, do I ever need to start on those!)...

       (photo: courtesy The Overweight Bookshelf blog)

So, I began stacks of books.

One - books to definitely read asap.
Two - books to read after I read all in stack number one.
Three - books to donate to library
Four - books to use in my blog give-aways
Five - books to sell in our Saturday Writers Silent-Auction

I found myself completely surrounded by books and feeling overwhelmed. That's when the TV episode crossed my mind. I also felt a bit like the girl in the photo above, only I was sitting on the floor. How had this happened? Why wasn't I reading as much as I used to? I can think of two reasons: The time I spend writing my book, and the time I spend blogging. I need to make up my mind what the most important thing(s) are in my life (besides family & friends) and spend quality time on those. And reading is being pushed up to Number One for the month of July.

What about you? Do you have a task you keep putting off? Do you feel you are spending your time on what's really important to YOU?

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

"Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead." —Louisa May Alcott

Friday, July 1, 2011


Can it possibly be Friday again, already?

** Psst....notice my new graphic to the top right  →
The one that says: "The One-Minute Writer.You have 1,440 minutes a day. Use one of them to write."

Isn't that fabulous? And doesn't it go perfectly with today's post? Thanks to brand new blogger friend, Jo, of Memorable Meanders, because that's where I saw it!

 I Wonder: How many anthologies will I submit something to during the month of July? I plan to write and enter at least three. It's so unproductive and uncreative of me not to do so. (and rather stupid, I must say! Although I would never say "stupid" about anyone else, I can say it about me!) Why is that? Because anything I write for an anthology can most likely be included in my memoir. And, if I get paid for it along the way....well, duh!

I Wonder: How many of you will join me in writing and submitting something to an anthology or contest? Let's keep track of our progress. We can help, advise, and encourage each other. What d'ya say? Come on! Let's go for it!

*After I wrote this post yesterday (and then realized it didn't seem like Friday yet, because it wasn't!) I did begin writing a story for one of the anthologies mentioned above! Yay! I'm so proud of myself. ☺
I'm working on one for the Storm Country book. I hope to have it finished way before the July 15th deadline.*

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

"Never give up on what you really want to do. The person with big dreams is more powerful than one with all the facts."
~ Unknown