Wednesday, February 24, 2016


I did it again! I went to Dollar Tree for approximately five items, and came home with twenty eight...SEVEN of those being hardcover books! (I just blogged about this same topic on February 8th)
I just cannot resist books. I almost walked right past the aisle, but then noticed the book section seemed to have expanded since my last visit. So,  my cart was magnetically pulled to the left. What could I do but hang on and go with it?
I've never been one to completely "judge a book by its cover," but if it's obvious it's something gory, zombie-like, science fiction, etc....I know I won't read it. Out of these seven books, I'm aware of two authors and their genre: Bill Geist and William Least Heat Moon, but the other five I chose for either or all of the following reasons:
1) I liked the title
2) I read a few of the blurbs on the back covers
3) I read the first few sentences of Chapter One
4) The cover did catch my attention


So...which book to read first?? What a decision to make...although I knew if I didn't like it, I'd try another one. I chose One For The Books, by Joe Queenan. I mean....look at that cover! A book, about the love of books, with lots of colorful books on the cover! One of the reviews on Amazon, by the Minneapolis Star Tribune, says this: "A passionate, at times hilarious, account of a life spent reading and rereading."
Mr. Queenan is definitely a fabulous satirist and humorist, and a true bibliophile! I've read about the first 50 pages and I'm loving it. Some of his opinions and experiences pertaining to books are laugh-out-loud funny. A few I agree with...and others I don't.
I'll post my final thoughts when I finish reading it.
What about you? Do you buy books very often? Where have you found some of your best buys? Did any of these random purchases make a huge difference in your life? I have one that immediately comes to  mind:
I bought this at the Army PX in a small German town in the 1970s. It changed my life! 

Monday, February 22, 2016


In 2013, Ron and I moved into our "first" of smaller, downsizing-homes. We rented because at the time, we weren't sure exactly where we wanted to live. It was a townhouse and had plenty of room and storage and I really loved it there. Ron...not so much... mostly because that's when his knees were finally causing him enough pain that he was almost ready to have knee-replacement surgery. I could've lived there forever, but as plans usually go...we moved, and ended up in a little condo that is almost perfect.

Some of you might remember one of the pictures I posted on my blog, shortly after we moved into the townhouse:

I'm posting it here again because of the paper wreath on the wall,
 and that's what has to do with "More Creative Passions"!

In my previous post, I wrote about creative passions, and my passion for writing. This post is about an artistic talent that one of my daughters-in-law has...about ONE of them, because she is multi-talented. I'll call her "M" and she made the paper wreath on the wall. You can click on the photo to see it much larger. She made lots of other 3D wall designs and I asked her around that time if she could make me a wreath, using pages from my book...when I finally got it finished, and published! After that initial conversation, I honestly forgot about it until just a few months ago, and I asked her in an email if she still made those wreaths. I never got a reply but didn't think anything more about it. She's busy, she forgot, whatever.

On Christmas Day, I was presented with the most beautiful, artistically unique, made with love and creative passion...a wall hanging, made from pages of my book. She even named it: Reading and Roses.

These are real, dried roses, and real the paper roses, obviously!



I think it's an amazing gift and one that I will cherish forever.

Thursday, February 18, 2016


The other day I realized that something was happening to me...especially as I wrote and edited, and edited, and edited my entry for the Erma Bombeck competition. And when I wasn't actually at my laptop working on it, I thought about it constantly...jotting notes at work, or in the car... I began experiencing the happiness and desire to write again and to blog more. And last night I felt the need to give that "something" a name - but, there were so many words to describe it that I couldn't choose just one. So, the following words convey how I felt last night and still do this morning!


How glorious it is to have a passion for something creative!
Below is from an article I came across online:
The Motivated Mind: Where Our Passion & Creativity Comes From
"So that feeling of intense creativity, or that feeling of euphoria when engaging in something that is truly meaningful to you — it is real and it is something physiological that happens within your brain. It is one of the least researched aspects of psychology, yet it has the biggest impact on our personal lives."


What about you? Do you have a passion that comes and goes, or is it always with you? What works or doesn't work for you? Please share!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016


Hello writer friends! How many of you entered the 2016 Erma Bombeck Writing Competition? I actually managed to get an essay written and submitted before the deadline...which was yesterday. Whew!

I don't remember when I first became aware of the contest, but I know I entered once or twice, way back when I was a novice at writing...I'm talking a real neophyte. Reading through one of those entries was downright painful & embarrassing, but it was also something else...a verification that I've grown as a writer. I definitely believe that being part of a good critique group(s), and writing associations, and having encouraging friends...writers and non writers both, has had a profound effect on me. All of those elements have helped make me a better writer.

Have I grown enough, though, to be a winner in such an eminent competition? Only time will tell....around March 17th, that is!

P.S. I just have to mention that one of my writing pals, Donna Volkenannt, was the First Place Winner (Global Humor Award) in the 2012 Erma Bombeck Writing Competition! I think I was almost as excited as she must've been! I wrote about Donna on my blog:
I can only hope that I, too, will become a member of such an elite group of writers.
Just one of my favorite Erma quotes:
“My second favorite household chore is ironing. My first being hitting my head on the top bunk bed until I faint.” - Erma Bombeck   

Monday, February 8, 2016


As usual, time is flying by and I'm behind in so many projects: writing blog posts, commenting on others' blogs, replying to emails, writing and mailing snail-mail notes and letters, and most importantly writing! I am excited to say, though, that I've been writing quite a bit lately...and most of it is for a piece I'll be submitting somewhere fairly soon. AND, on top of all that, I've also been reading...a lot! Three books in about three weeks time, which is an amazing feat for me!

That may not sound very amazing to most voracious readers, but it's been years (except for a couple of books here and there) since I've come across a book(s) that I just couldn't put down! Thinking about those last three books makes me smile not only because I liked them so much, but also because I found them quite by accident at Dollar Tree! (One of my favorite stores! You can't go wrong paying one dollar for a book, sometimes hardcovers. If I don't care for it, I take it to Goodwill.)

The first one I read: The Borrower, by Rebecca Makkai.  Loved it!
A librarian, a highly intelligent young boy whose parents are attempting to "change" him, a kidnapping.....Yes, it has its fallacies, as some reviewers point out, but it's FICTION, and I just could not put it down!

The second one was: You Belong to Me, by Marisa de los Santos. Liked it a lot!
Interesting look at suburbia upper class, marriages, friendships, with twists and turns.

The third was: A Beautiful Blue Death, by Charles Finch. Loved it! I can almost use the word "never" when I say I never read mysteries, but this grabbed me right from the beginning, and what shocks me the most is that it's a period piece (again, not my cup of to speak!) set in England in 1865! I loved the main character and descriptions of the era, etc. It had me guessing "whodunnit" all the way.


I learned a long time ago that if you want to be a good writer, you also have to read a lot, and not just in the genre you prefer. Following are two quotes I came across just last night from an author, writing coach, motivational speaker, and secret ghostwriter: Roz Morris

"If they don’t read, how can they write? My impulse to write comes from reading. Once I’ve been in the grip of a good book, it gets me to go and write my own." - Roz Morris

"Reading—the good and the bad—inspires you. It develops your palate for all the tricks that writers have invented over the years. You can learn from textbooks about the writing craft, but there’s no substitute for discovering for yourself how a writer pulls off a trick. Then that becomes part of your experience." - Roz Morris

So, reading and writing, writing and reading...they go hand in hand. Although I've been moving at a very slow pace on both until now, I feel I've escaped from under the cloak of excuses:
"I don't have the time" to read or write.
 I'm having "writers block."
"I can't find anything to read that I like."

Have a blissful week, wherever you are! Sing like no one is listening...I do that all the time! Maybe I'll try karaoke at the local bar one of these evenings! hee hee