Category Archives: Writing

And the Envelope Please…

Good morning everyone!

As you may recall from yesterday, I am working through the responsibilities I agreed to in accepting the Versatile Blogger Award.  (Did I mention that I won an award?  I did!)  Today, I get to give out awards!

The Envelope Please! (From PrintShop Professional 2.0)

Here are the blogs to which I have awarded the Versatile Blogger Award. However, because some of my nominees have won this before, most of them blog in their “spare” time and have other full time jobs as well, and most of them are parents or pet owners, I am changing the terms of the award. You don’t have to do anything to accept this award. Period.

If you have not won the award before, you might consider doing one or all of the following three things: 1) Link back in your blog to my blog; 2) Nominate other blogs, as many or as few as you like, for the award and let them know about it, or 3) in a post of your choosing, list seven interesting facts about yourself. If you are winning this award from me, but don’t recall checking out my blog, please feel free to do so. If you don’t feel like doing any of this, that’s okay too; you still deserve the award.

So, here are my nominees for the Versatile Blogger Award in alphabetical order:

1) Bassa’s Blog – Bassa is a Caucasian Shepherd dog exploring the world in Tbilisi Georgia with the help of her tall man, De, the little person and has an uneasy truce with Mr. Parrot. Her unique perspective on things always makes me laugh.

2) Belle of the Carnival – Belle’s blog (and Belle may not be her real name but is short than continually writing “Belle of the Carnival” over and over) is about different things that happen to her throughout her life. Her recent post, about an important lesson her grandmother taught her, was so funny that I couldn’t read it out loud to my Mom through the second paragraph without both of us laughing so hard I almost didn’t finish. You may find it interesting to know that she is a “domesticated clown.”

3) The Big Sheep Blog – Yes, Lisa, I know you’ve won this before, but as hard as I tried, I just couldn’t leave you off of this list. Lisa’s blog is extraordinarily funny, and she has a unique perspective on the world that, perhaps frighteningly, I relate to. She has her own business doing free-lance writing as well as her blog.  Her newest venture is a new web site,, meant to celebrate the vision and vivacity of women over 50.  I can’t wait to subscribe!

4) Born Again Brazilian – Born Again Brazilian is a blog written by an expatriate mother who relocated from New York City with her Brazilian husband and her young daughter to Sao Paolo, Brazil. Her blog is about her experiences in adjusting to, and loving, Brazil.

5) Brown Road Chronicles – Steve over at Brown Road Chronicles is another person whose posts are always very funny. He lives in one of the “M” states up north; Michigan or Minnesota or somewhere like that where the winters are ridiculously cold. His posts about his conversations with Julie at WordPress and the 911 operator in his city have been “laugh out loud” funny.

6) Conversations with Mary Ann Kempher – Mary Ann is a writer I met over at Twitter. She has completed a full length novel (I’m envious) and is in the throes of editing it and getting it ready to submit for publication. Her blog is about writing, and the writing life.

7) Just Ramblin’ – “Just Ramblin'” writes about her life as a working mom (although her human children are grown now) with two dogs in her house, including an 8 month Newfoundland “puppy” named Miss Stella. I relate to Just Ramblin’; our lives, except for the ages and numbers of children and animals involved sound a lot alike. She is an excellent writer and photographer, and her posts are visual and just plain fun. If you even love dogs just a little bit, you can’t help but fall in love with Miss Stella and Miss Sadie.

8  ) The Kitchen Garden – Cecilia is a New Zealander who married an American, lived in Britain for many years, and now lives in Illinois where she cooks and runs a self-sustaining farm. Her blog is about her life there and the recipes she cooks and memories from her time in New Zealand. She is an excellent writer.

9) Life With Briana – My cousin, Briana, is about three years younger than Kayla. Her parents, also my cousins, adopted her from China and she is absolutely adorable. The blog, written by her mother, Lisa, is a celebration of their life together.

10) Molly Greene: Worth Becoming – Molly Greene’s blog is about writing and her new adventure in life to make a living writing. Her posts are gentle, reminiscent and full of life. She often is able to tie in a unique and personal story about her past with advice about writing in a way that is marvelous to behold.

11) The Musings of a New Englander – Sharon is a writer also. She is a bird lover extraordinaire, and her life is dominated by at least five parrots of some kind as well as a finch.

12) The Roaming Naturalist – Nicole is a passionate conservationist with a knack for photography in an extremely photogenic state.

13)  Servant’s Life – Stacy’s blog consists of thoughtful and heartfelt discussions of various Scriptures. I never fail to learn something from one of her posts.

14) The Simple Life of a Country Man’s Wife – Country Wife’s blog is about her life on a farm in South Dakota. She is another young woman who has a knack for photography in a highly photogenic state and since she also helps her husband with their working form, she has a lot to write about. Her posts fascinate me and never disappoint.

15) St. Monica’s Bridge – Kristen is a Catholic mother raising 3 young children, one of whom has been diagnosed with an autism disorder. I am not sure where on the autism spectrum her daughter falls. Her blog posts are about her family, about the things she is grateful for, and she taught me about a word I didn’t know – “meme.”

16) Words by Stella DeLeuze – Stella DeLeuze is a writer, and has published a fun romantic novel entitled No Wings Attached, which I have read and enjoyed. Her blog discusses writing, as well as her pet iguana, Zorro. I don’t have a pet iguana, and don’t intend to ever have one, but I enjoy reading about Zorro. If you have even had the stray thought cross your mind that it might be fun to own an iguana, I highly recommend that you read this blog first!

17) WordSmith’s Desk – LeRoy Dean posts beautiful religious poems and observations supported by appropriate photographs on his well-read blog. He is unfailingly gracious to the new bloggers he meets on-line and is kind enough to read my posts and let me know what he thinks about them and also helped me to spread the word about one of my posts as well.

So there you have it, folks. These are blogs that I read and follow, and I am giving this award to them because I enjoy reading these writers and want them to know I appreciate their hard work. I hope you find at least one new blog on this list that you can enjoy too.

Happy Reading!

Have a great day everyone!


Poem posted on Yahoo – Need your help

Hi Everyone!

I posted a poem on Yahoo at the following link last night:

Winter Winds:  The Cycle Continues

I really don’t know what to think of it.  I was using a very rigid form called a villanelle, which requires certain lines and rhymes to be repeated.  I would appreciate it if you could read it and then let me know what you think.  I can’t decide if I like this or not.

Thank you very much for your help!


Dance in the Dark

Dance in the Dark

Hi Everyone!

I just wanted to let you know that Yahoo Contributor has allowed me to publish a short story at the following link:  A Dance in the Dark.  The assignment was to write a short story based on an image, and this is the image I chose.  The story itself is one where fantasy and faith meet.  I hope you enjoy it!

Have a great weekend!  


Blogging Lessons I Have Learned

Good morning Everyone!

This post today will be my 108th post.  I have been blogging since February 22, and this is as good a time as any to take stock of what I have learned since then.

1)   It is wonderful to be able to write something someone else reads and have them say, “I like that!” 

2) I have written approximately 54,000 words in 108 posts which have included 516 images.  Each post has taken (on average, unless lots of pictures are involved) 45 minutes or less to write.  That is equivalent at least to a novella! 

3) I can sit down every day and write.  In fact, I enjoy doing it.

4) SEO does not involve a corporation’s management structure, bounce rate is not a basketball statistic and “keyword” and “password” are not equivalent terms.

5) The “site stats” page on WordPress is addictive.

6) So is getting Freshly Pressed.  It happened to me once, (Rules I Never Thought I’d Need) and I still harbor a faint hope with every post I make that another one will get Freshly Pressed some day…

7)  There are lots of extremely interesting people from all over the world who read this blog.  I have had the chance to get to know some of them.

8)  My family and friends read this blog almost every day –  devotion above and beyond the call of duty.  Some people who didn’t know me originally read this blog almost every day, too, which is really amazing!

9) My daughter is an exceptionally good sport to let me write about her.  The dogs don’t really care what I write about them.  Mandy is much better at finishing her food now that I write beside her while she eats.  (Dog Rules)

10) Toasted bagels with peanut butter and typing on a keyboard are a messy combination. 

11) Someone out there keeps searching “husky-basset hound mixes.”  Whoever you are, I would be really interested to know why.  I thought we had the only husky-basset hound mix in the world. 

Mandy, Our Husky-Basset Hound Mix

12) No matter how many cameras you have, (I’m at 3 right now), you still can manage to forget to bring one when you need it.

13) Even the most mundane things are funny, if you look at them the right way.  (Light Switches.) 

Hall Light Switch

14) I love to hear from you, and am very grateful to every reader who has taken the time to comment on a blog. 

15) Pens continue to disappear at an alarming rate at my house.  (Of Waves and Pens.)

16) Life is beautiful and it is fun to share!

Have a great day everyone!


Shameless Self-Promotion

Hi Everyone!

I overslept this morning, and have been working all day, but now am waiting for a client who is late, so thought I would take a minute to 1) wish each of you a wonderful weekend, and 2) post the following links to my  prose pieces published on Yahoo Contributor and beg you to take a look at any of them you haven’t read yet.  I am at 776 total views, and need to make 100o to earn my first $1.50.  That is almost enough to buy a large soft drink at McDonalds!  Anyway, here they are:

1) Adventures of a Boston Tourist – A tale of wonderful misadventure among the narrow lanes of Boston

2)  The Model 3300 Robotic Clone Return – A short, funny science fiction story about a robotic experiment that went sadly wrong

3) Words That Let You Live – A discussion of several Bible verses and what they mean in my life

4) The First Fourth of July Fireworks As a Family  – The first Fourth of July we shared with our daughter

5) The War Begins  – A short story about a Belgian family on the eve of World War I

6) A Horse, Snakes and Scorpions – My recollections of the one trip I took to Girl Scout camp when I was a child. 

Please read them, and I think you will enjoy them!

Have a wonderful weekend!


P.S. Look out Monday for my post on “Star-Crossed Lovers.”