Day D: Dilly-Dallying #AtoZChallenge

Yes, definitely running behind in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. No surprise, of course. If I were all caught up, I would worry.

Blogging with a theme would have helped. Instead of choosing topics, I’m wallowing around in a sea of them, waiting for one to come to my rescue.

April was a ready-made topic for Day A, because I planned to write about Texas bluebonnets anyway, and April is their peak time. But I could have published the same post on Day B, for bluebonnets.

Ben Hur, Day B’s official topic, appeared by chance–I checked the television schedule; I’ve always done my homework with half my brain trained on the TV–but about two paragraphs in, I remembered I had something to say about boo-boos, and say it I did. But instead of dropping Ben Hur, an any reasonable person would have done, I put Charlton Heston and Stephen Boyd on hold and wrote an extra post about boo-boos for a different blog, and then went back and finished Ben Hur. That was a big time waster. 

Day C? Before choosing contrariwise, I considered contractionCompositae, color, campfires, cats (of course) . . . chaos . . .

“Zither” by Ludwig Gruber (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
As I was explaining on Day C before I strayed onto Alice and Lady the Horse, I considered making contrariwise my theme for the entire challenge. Instead of blogging from A to Z, I’d have blogged from Z to A. The topic of the Day A(Z) post would have been zither, specifically the one from James Thurber’s “The Night the Ghost Got In.

In case you’ve forgotten, Thurber says it began this way:

I had just stepped out of the bathtub and was busily rubbing myself with a towel when I heard the steps. They were the steps of a man walking rapidly around the dining-room table downstairs. The light from the bathroom shone down the back steps, which dropped directly into the dining-room; I could see the faint shine of plates on the plate-rail; I couldn’t see the table. The steps kept going round and round the table; at regular intervals a board creaked, when it was trod upon. I supposed at first that it was my father or my brother Roy, who had gone to Indianapolis but were expected home at any time. I suspected next that it was a burglar. It did not enter my mind until later that it was a ghost.

He woke his brother Herman and they went to the top of the stairs and listened. The footsteps had stopped, and Herman wanted to go back to bed, but Thurber insisted something was down there–and as soon as he said it, the invisible something ran up the steps toward them. Herman ran into his bedroom and slammed the door. Thurber slammed the door at the top of the stairs and held it closed, then cautiously opened it. No none was there. That should have been the end of the story, but in the Thurber household, nothing is ever the end.

The slamming doors woke Thurber’s mother. She decided there were burglars in the house. Because the phone was downstairs, she couldn’t call the police, so she “flung up a window of her bedroom which faced the bedroom windows of the house of a neighbor, picked up a shoe, and whammed it through a pane of glass across the narrow space that separated the two houses.”

“Guinea pig eating a piece of apple” by Jg4817 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
After Mrs. Thurber finally made the neighbor, Mr. Bodwell, understand the burglars were in her house, not his–which wasn’t easy, considering he’d been awakened by a shoe shattering his bedroom window, and Mrs. Bodwell was in the background saying, “We’ll sell the house and go back to Peoria”–he called the police.

The police came and broke the door down (Mrs. Thurber wouldn’t allow her son to go downstairs to let them in because he was still dressed in a bath towel and would have caught his death of cold). A search ensued:

Downstairs, we could hear the tromping of the other police. Police were all over the place; doors were yanked open, drawers were yanked open, windows were shot up and pulled down, furniture fell with dull thumps. A half-dozen policemen emerged out of the darkness of the front hallway upstairs. They began to ransack the floor: pulled
beds away from walls, tore clothes off hooks in the closets, pulled suitcases and boxes off shelves. One of them found an old zither that Roy had won in a pool tournament. “Looky here, Joe,” he said, strumming
it with a big paw. The cop named Joe took it and turned it over. “What is it?” he asked me. “It’s an old zither our guinea pig used to sleep on,” I said. It was true that a pet guinea pig we once had would never sleep anywhere except on the zither, but I should never have said so. Joe and the other cop looked at me a long time. They put the zither back on a shelf.

Had contrariwise been the theme, that’s what I would have written about on Day A. What I’d have posted on Days B(Y) and C(X), I don’t know.

Nor do I know what I’ll write about today, on Day D. But by Day E, I’ll have something worked out.

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Here are some #AtoZChallenge blogs you might enjoy reading.

Iain Kelly  

Mainely Write 

Anne’s Family History

Poetry, Law and Something More

Lighter Side

For the Master List, click here.

For more Day D posts, click AtoZ.

Remiss but Not Missing

I have been remiss.

I haven’t posted here lately, probably because I’ve been posting more on Writing Wranglers and Warriors. I hope you have, or will, check out the blog. It’s currently second home to Cherley Grogg, Mike Staton, Neva Bodin, Abbie Johnson Taylor, S. J. Brown,  Cindy Carroll, Cole Smith, Debra Easterling, and Keri De Deo. Next week, Stevie Turner will guest post.

We write about everything from the U. S. space program, to tap dancing, to writing and editing, to wildlife photography, to obsession with elf ears–and more.

Changing directions now, I’ll mention few blogs I read:

Travels with Kaye
Kaye George is the author of four mystery series: Imogene Duckworthy, People of the Wind, Fat Cat (as Janet Cantrell), and Cressa Caraway Musical. I mention Immy Duckworthy first because it’s my favorite, drop-dead funny and unlike any other mystery series ever written (I’m sure of that). Last summer Kaye published a short story anthology she edited, Day of the Dark: Stories of Eclipse.  She has stories in many publications, including Austin Mystery Writers’ Murder on Wheels and Lone Star Lawless and was instrumental in getting four writers published for the first time. I shouldn’t mention this, but I will: Kaye is also Grand Pooh-Bah Emerita of Austin Mystery Writers. She was facilitator of AMW before she escaped for greener pastures, but the eyes of Texas were upon her. We gave her a title so she could not get away.

 

Contemplation and Elation and All Else

“Who am I?” the blogger writes. “I’m still discovering just who I am, I suppose.” She shares books and photographs. Her posts are brief, eye-catching, and–eclectic. I never know what she’ll post next, but I’m always glad I found out.

 

Abbie’s Corner of the World

Abbie Taylor Johnson was a registered music therapist and worked–and still volunteers–in facilities that serve senior citizens. In addition to writing about music, she posts about love and marriage, family life, holidays, vacations, her volunteer activities, and more. She also posts books reviews and recordings of her poetry. Her essays are personal, covering, she says, “my writing and other aspects of my life. It’s a life worth reading about. She also posts on Writing Wranglers and Warriors and has published several books, including the memoir My Ideal Partner and the novel We Shall Overcome.

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I blog occasionally on Whiskertips, mine until cats (like the one trying to lie on the keyboard) took it over. I also post on Austin Mystery Writers, which has been quiet for a while as members worked on their books. Laura Oles recently published her first, DAUGHTERS OF BAD MENAlthough my skin has turned a lovely Shreck green, I’m not at all jealous.

My stories are published in MURDER ON WHEELS, LONE STAR LAWLESS, and DAY OF THE DARK, and on the e-zine Mysterical-E.

My friends know me as Kathy, but I now write under the name M. K. Waller. The CFO of Coca-Cola is also named Kathy Waller, and she keeps coming up first in Google searches. M. K. fares better, at least when I look for her.

Bloggers: Interested in Writing Guest Posts? Joining a Group Blog?

Used with permission. © David Davis

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A group blog I write for is seeking bloggers to write one or two guest posts next month.

We’re also looking for bloggers interested in posting once or twice a month on a regular basis.

If you’ve published books or stories, or if you aspire to publish, blogging with us is a good way to publicize your work and to show readers what you do.  Other members of the group will share your posts on their social media, so there’s the potential for hundreds, maybe thousands, of readers to see your work.

We’re family friendly, but aside from that, topics are up to you.

If you’re interested, leave a comment and I’ll get in touch.

 

 

Friday Fictioneers: Used to Be

The Friday Fictioneers Challenge: Write a 100-word story based on the photograph.

 

PHOTO PROMPT – © Roger Bultot

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USED TO BE

“The convention center? Well, go about six blocks, to where the old movie house used to be–the one that burned in ’87–What’d you say, Fred?”

“It’s The Oaks now. Condos.”

“Oh, that’s right. Well, just before the condos, turn right, and when you get to where the Masonic lodge used to be, there’s a–What’s that, Fred?”

“It’s the Hyatt–”

“All right, the Hyatt. Turn right again, and almost to where Milton Badey’s furniture store used to be–”

“The Omni.”

“Omni. One day they’ll knock down the diner and this’ll be where we used to be.”

 

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On my husband’s first visit to my hometown, I took him on a walking tour: There’s where Miss Blanche Harris used to live, and my great-grandmother lived there, and when my grandfather moved in from the farm he built that little house, and the house across the street was Uncle Carl’s, and that one belonged to Aunt Bettie and Uncle Maurice, and Rob and Nell’s grocery store was there, and right next door was where Dick Ward sold double-dip ice cream cones for a nickle, and next door to that was Earl and Lorene McCutcheon’s store, and that was the Masonic lodge, and across the street was Dr. Luckett’s office, and that was the cotton gin, and there are the scales where they weighed the cotton wagons, and there’s the old post office that was a bank before it was a post office, and that was the gin yard where they stored the cotton bales, and the skating rink was back there on the river before they moved it to Lockhart . . .

And when the tour ended, I realized everything I’d told him was history.

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(The the event pictured below happened before my time. And it’s Fentress Resort. That’s the skating rink in the background.)

Cottonwood School Reunion – Fentress Resort–Fentress, Texas–1930s (?)–Row 1, 2nd from left – Carl Waller; 4th from right – Jessie Waller Meadows (white collar); last on right – Ethel Waller (polka dots). Next-to-last row, from left: Maurice Waller (partially hidden); Bettie Pittman Waller; Pearl Daniels; Frank Waller; Barney Waller

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Friday Fictioneers Challenge

On Tuesdays, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields posts a photo prompt on her blog. The following Friday, writers post 100-word stories inspired by the photo on their blogs.

To read what other Friday Fictioneers have written, click the blue frog.

 

What Have I Done?: The #ROW80 Wednesday Report

“watermelon” by Harsha K R is licensed under CC-BY-SA-2.0
“watermelon” by Harsha K R is licensed under CC-BY-SA-2.0

My #ROW80 goals posted on July 10, plus progress:

  • Edit the AMW story for its last (I hope) critique;
    Not yet, but tomorrow I’ll get a critique from another partner. It’s better to have everything in before making changes.
  • Write and schedule the WWW post at least two days before the July 19 deadline;
    It’s finished, and SIX days before the deadline. I’m going to the doctor to see what’s wrong–I never finish a piece SIX days before the deadline. I’ll continue to change little things, but it’s polished enough to be posted today. So I’m putting this one in the Watermelon Met* column.
  • Draft the second half of the story “Texas Boss” and turn in to AMW for critique;
  • Finish a very rough draft of “Thank You, Mr. Poe,” the story I started last week;
  • Complete the piece for the AMW blog and schedule it to post before midnight tonight.
    I posted it. Not before midnight. At 3:00 a.m. But I met the AMW deadline, and that’s close enough. Watermelon Met.

Summary: I set out to meet two deadlines and met them. The three remaining tasks aren’t time-sensitive. They carry over. The first, polishing the story for the proposed AMW anthology, must be finished by August 1, so it’s priority.

I’m adding three new goals to the list. Then I’m going to take a nap.

  1. Edit the AMW story for its (I hope) final major critique
  2. Draft the second half of the story “Texas Boss” and submit to AMW for critique
  3. Finish a very rough draft of “Thank You, Mr. Poe,” the story I started last week
  4. By September 5th, read at least ten of the books on my 20 Books of Summer 2016 list. 
  5. Post #ROW80 reports on Sundays and Wednesdays. 
  6. Visit three new #ROW80 blogs a day.
  7. Take three naps a week.* 

*Start as soon as this has been posted.

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Read about A Round of Words in 80 Days (#ROW80)

Read posts by other #ROW80 bloggers–check the list on today’s #ROW80 Linky.

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Watermelon Met will be explained in my Tuesday, July 19 post for Writing Wranglers and Warriors.

Texas #1! If Football Doesn’t Get You, the Turkey Will

American football line of scrimmage, prior to ...
American football line of scrimmage, prior to a play (Photo credit: Wikipedia) 

By No machine-readable author provided. Johntex~commonswiki assumed (based on copyright claims). [GFDL CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC BY 2.5 , via Wikimedia Commons

 

Remember when Murphy Brown and her colleagues cooked and served Thanksgiving dinner at a shelter, and Miles brought in a bunch of live turkeys in his BMW (nobody had specified they were to be ready for the oven, and on arrival the inside of the BMW was not in good shape), and the turkeys ran all around the kitchen, and no one wanted to kill them anyway, and the turkeys refused to stick their heads in the oven so Murphy could turn on the gas (her suggestion)?

I don’t know what happened next. I was laughing at the turkeys and couldn’t pay attention. All I remember is the whole thing slid downhill fast.

Well. It could have been a whole lot worse. To see how, read “When Turkeys Strike Back,” by K. B. Owen, historical mystery writer.

And, Texans, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

 

 

 

 

Other People’s Words

I stayed up late the past two nights and didn’t make up for the sleep lost. As a result,  my attention span hasn’t kicked in, and since an attention span is almost essential to my writing, today’s post focuses on what other people have written.

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Totsymae climbed a ladder the other day but came down by a different route. Read about it here. No one can tell a story quite like Totsymae. She illustrates as well.

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Yesterday marked my first post at Writing Wranglers and Warriors. There are nineteen bloggers in the group. When they asked me to join, I jumped at the chance. You might have seen my post about E-Impulse on the reblog here yesterday, but please stop in at Writing Wranglers and Warriors to see what others are writing. Today Erin Farwell, author of historical mysteries, writes about Keeping the Tradition. Two days ago, Doris McCraw posted Outside the Lines, about leaving the rules behind and making new traditions. Doris also blogs at fivesevenfivepage.

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Gale Albright posts memories of her friend Cinda Cyrus in Visions and Revisions.

VP Chandler outlines required reading for her prospective informal education.

Elizabeth Buhmann posts about a neighborhood in Richmond, Virginia that inspired a setting in her novel Lay Death at Her Door.

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I would express my opinion of the operating system that accompanied my new laptop, but if I did so, you would stop thinking of me as a truly nice person and start thinking something closer to the truth. The fact that four out of five critique partners agree with me would make no difference.

The laptop itself, however, is truly nice. So is LibreOffice, the free office suite I downloaded to handle documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and other functions I haven’t discovered yet.

***

The time has come to retire, lest the lose-sleep-lose-attention-span thing start all over again. ‘Night.

Vote for Kate! Now!

Vote for Kate!

Our friend Kate Shrewsday is competing to become a Wayfarer, walking–and writing, of course–across England. You can read her post about the competition here.

Her video has already made it into the top twenty. Our votes will help toward getting it into the top ten.

She’s a great writer, and her blog is filled with posts highlighting places she’s visited: Jane Austen’s house at Chawton; the platform where Charles I was beheaded; Dr. Samuel Johnson’s house and the statue of his cat Hodge, described by Johnson as “a very fine cat, a very fine cat indeed”; and Horsell Commons, the exact location where H. G. Wells’ Martians landed. To name only a few.

She also writes delightful pieces about Macaulay, the cute and often aromatic dog, which are located behind a tab bearing his name. She writes about the cat Clive as well, but Clive is young and, though a very fine cat indeed, doesn’t appear to have gotten his own tab yet.

Anyway, it would be a treat to read posts from Kate’s summer walkabout. But for that she must have votes.

Kate is British, and therefore polite. In her post, she says, “I wonder if you might consider voting for me?”

I’m a Texan, and a former teacher accustomed to giving orders, so I’ll say, “Just do it. Now.” (Please.)

To vote, click the link on her blog, or the one in the first line of this post, and look for her name. She’s the only Kate on the page.

Versatile Blogger Award: 1st Random Disclosure & 1st Nomination

A long, long time ago, I was nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award by two fellow bloggers: Pat Bean of Pat Bean’s Blog and Tracey at Snagglewordz.

Pat blogs daily about her travels in an RV with her dog, Pepper. For the past few days, she’s been writing about the Grand Canyon. A former journalist with a great sense of adventure, she’ll be moving on soon to wherever her fancy takes her. She posts beautiful photos.

Tracy is “an aspiring novelist with an ‘excitable* brain'” and an “introvert (mostly),” two conditions with which I am familiar. Snagglewordz records her journey to publication, a route that takes her on the most interesting side trips.

In accepting the Versatile Blogger Award, I was to observe the rules below.

The rules

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you.
  • Add the Versatile Blogger Award pic on your blog post.
  • Share 7 random things about yourself.
  • Award 15 recently discovered blogs you enjoy reading.
  • Inform the bloggers of their award.
Although honored to receive the award, I was at that time going through a period of blogwhelm**–and a few other whelms as well–and postponed public acceptance. I think–I hope–I replied with thanks when the bloggers contacted me on my blog, but I’ve never thanked them on this blog or carried out the associated tasks.

Tonight I shall remedy that. But I’m going to alter the rules. Instead of nominating thirty blogs at once, I’m going to nominate one or two blogs per post over a period of days.

Okay?

Okay.

Thanks, Pat Bean’s Blog and Snagglewordz. I appreciate this gift from two such Versatile Bloggers.

1 Random Thing About Myself

I studied belly dancing but had to drop out after four classes because I was too tired in the evenings to walk four blocks to class, so when anyone tells you all librarians do at work is sit around and read, tell them to think again, or, better yet, give them a clop in the chops.

My  1st Nomination for the Versatile Blogger Award

Every Day I See a Cow

This blogger is a powerhouse, a mom of two small boys, who writes the blog Perfecting Motherhood and still manages to see a cow every day and to blog about it. Every Day I See a Cow was showcased by WordPress in 2011 as one of “10 Themed Blogs That Rock.” 

I hope you’ll visit and enjoy.

Note: On the sidebar is a picture of Olivia dressed in her cow costume. Olivia is a pig. If you don’t know her, you really need to meet her, especially if you have young children or grandchildren or students or acquaintances. 

cow
A cow, not Olivia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Another Note: Any nominee who prefers not to accept the Versatile Blogger Award should feel under no obligation to do so. We all have different aims, modes, and audiences, and such awards might not fit yours so well. Just know that I’m glad you’re blogging.
* Spellcheck wanted me to write a excitable, but I chose not to.
** Blogwhelm is a word coined by my friend Nita Lou Bryant. It’s such a fine word, so useful in the Blog Age, that it should receive more attention than it’s gotten so far. It should be in the OED.

ROW80 1.2.12 Goals & Boiling a Frog

English: A green frog on a palm frond.
A Green Tree Frog (Not Yet Boiled) Sitting on a Palm Leaf--Image via Wikipedia

A friend says resolutions should be brief. Her resolution for 2012 is Move.

Ten years ago, when she was into metaphor, she adopted, Boil the frog slowly.

The former refers to being more physically active. The latter might be phrased, Make small, incremental changes.

I admire her artistry, but deplore her lack of clarity. They’re her resolutions, however. If they work for her, that’s all that matters.

A Round of Words in 80 Days #5 begins today. I was supposed to announce my goals January 1, but didn’t get around to it.  Whether such tardiness portends good or ill remains to be seen. I’m pretty sure I’ll accomplish more than I did during ROW80 #4, when I met about 1% of what I’d set out to do. I offer no apologies for the lapse. I remember 2011 as one long series of lapses.

A medical professional, and my hero, once told me, “You can’t tell your hypothalamus what to do.” Unfortunately, my hypothalamus has no problem at all ordering me around.

Anyway, while good old HT and I are on speaking terms, I re-enter the challenge and state my goals:

1. Write about Molly at least 5 days a week.

2. See #1.

There it is. Simple. Measurable. Doable.

Concerning goals for the non-writing part of life, I haven’t made it beyond the one that’s topped every New Year’s list since I was fifteen. I’ll come up with something else before the end of the month. The process is complicated this year because I’ve gotten so many good ideas from other bloggers:

Ariana at Pearl’s Twirl introduced me to “The Anti-bucket List.” Those resolutions are no trouble at all to keep.

Totsymae helped me with both 2012 resolutions and my anti-bucket list in “Things You Should Admit to Yourself Before You Enter the New Year (or Positively Negative).”  Totsymae knows what she’s talking about.

Kate Shrewsday, in “The Milestone Mirage,” reminded me that our small acts define us, and convinced me to write down my pebbles.

Pseu1’s Blog showed me how to record small stones and introduced me to River of Stones.

So. I’m off to tell ROW80 what I’ve decided.

And then I’ll visit Molly. She’s a delightful girl. If only she didn’t depend on me to choreograph her every move.

English: Frog
Frog (Possibly Boiled)--Image via Wikipedia

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To see what other ROW80 participants are up to, click here.






A Liebster Award!

Marcia Mayne, of Inside Journeys, left a note that she’s given me a Liebster Award.

The Liebster, she says, originated in Germany. It means “beloved.” And it’s designed to bring attention to blogs with fewer than 200 followers.

I appreciate Marcia’s generosity, especially considering what I did to her pie.

In May, I posted about making the Fresh Strawberry Pie Marcia had written about on her blog. It was delicious.

A few weeks later, I made it again, but this time I strayed. For whipped cream, I substituted plain Greek yogurt.

Less fat, you know.

Here’s the rub: Whipped cream holds its shape. Attacked with a knife, it yields slices.

Yogurt, on the other hand, weeps. Forget the knife. Go straight for a spoon.

And then there’s the taste: Yogurt just ain’t whipped cream.

So to Marcia, and to all competent cooks everywhere, I apologize.

Yogurt did not work, it does not work, it will not work, don’t try it.

But do try the Fresh Strawberry Pie.

Now back to the Liebster Award, which I’m passing along to five other bloggers. (I can’t certify the recipients have fewer than 200 followers, so I’m making wild assumptions.)

Here are the rules:

  • Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.
  • Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
  • Post the award on your blog.
  • Bask in the love from the most supportive people on the Internet.

I present the Liebster Award to these five bloggers:

  1. Ariana at Pearl’s Twirl
  2. Mary Ann at Loesch’s Muse
  3. Heather Justesen
  4. Nancilynn at Nancilynn’s Blog
  5. Andrea S. Michaels, a writer in Belfast

So long as the memory of certain beloved friends lives in my heart, I shall say that life is good. ~ Helen Keller

Now I’m off to tell these bloggers about their awards.

Regarding Studio Nita Lou

A friend pointed out to me this morning that I made a mistake in a recent post.

A mistake?

Moi?

Oh, yeah. Writing about The Help, I got the author’s name wrong. She’s Kathryn Stockett (not Karen).

Names are important. That’s an error I really didn’t want hanging around on the web for the rest of the millennium.

So many thanks to my friend for bringing it to my attention.

Said friend, whose name is Nita Lou Bryant, and I have been reading each other’s stuff, off and on, for six years now. We met in a workshop sponsored by the Writers’ League of Texas. Nita’s writing has won several awards, including the WLT Novel Manuscript Contest and the Mozelle Memoir Contest. Her work has also been published in the Austin American-Statesman.

Now Nita is exploring other aspects of her creativity at Sedbi Design Studio. Among her creations so far are scarves, camisoles, purses, pillows, wall hangings, Fabricollages, Fabricards, even a Fabrimandala. Her portfolio appears on video at her website.

But for a closer look—and for the adventures behind the art—visit her blog, Studio Nita Lou.

Because Nita still makes fine art with words.

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#ROW80 & a Star

A pleasing development: Story Circle Network has awarded a star to To write is to write is to write.

Story Circle Network is a nonprofit organization “dedicated to helping women share the stories of their lives and to raising public awareness of the importance of women’s personal histories.” It sponsors publications, workshops, writing contests, reading circles, writing circles, and other programs, many of them online. There are SCN chapters worldwide.


Membership is open to all women who have stories to share. No writing experience is necessary–just the desire to record life experience and to read about the experiences of others.

Over one hundred SCN members are bloggers. For a list and links, click here.

Regarding Kate Shrewsday

Nicolas Régnier: Allegory of Vanity — Pandora,...
Allegory of Vanity--Pandora, c. 1626. Nicolas Regnier--Image via Wikipedia

Kate Shrewsday blogs at http://kateshrewsday.wordpress.com. She has recently become part of the UK’s Huffington Post blogging team.

Her posts are interesting, entertaining, thought-provoking, always witty. She ranges widely in choice of topic: family, pets, art, science, history, philosophy, sports, vacuum cleaners.

Kate’s special talent is the ability to make connections: What does Greek mythology have to do with quantum physics? Read “The Pandora/Shrodinger Paradigm” and find out.

While you’re there, rummage around. Take particular care to read the posts about her dog, Macaulay, who looks just like my Tramp.

Furthermore—and this is important—seek her out on Huffington Post UK. Here’s a link to her page: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kate-shrewsday

And after reading, take time to comment, or like, or tweet, or something.

We know Kate is an extraordinary writer. We should let HP know that we know it.

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Here are links to other of Kate’s posts I’ve enjoyed, including several about Macaulay.

Philistine
Telekinetic Dog
Clear Water
Sniff
More Haste, Less Speed
Ten Thousand Years Old
Something in the Air
Tuppy
Proposal
Extension

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FTC Disclaimer: This post appears as a favor to my readers. Kate had no idea I was posting it, and she may not know to this very day. Consequently, nothing she has said or done, or could say or do, has influenced what I have written. Inclusion of this disclaimer may not be necessary here—that rule may apply only to reviews of books and not of blogs—to stay on the good side of the Federal Trade Commission, I’ll gladly write the extra paragraph.

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Allegory of Vanity–Pandora media file is in the public domain in the United States. This applies to U.S. works where the copyright has expired, often because its first publication occurred prior to January 1, 1923. See this page for further explanation.




Clicking hopefully

Little do ye know your own blessedness; for to travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive, and the true success is to labour. ~ Robert Louis Stevenson


In April, I received the Silver Lining Award from writer and freelance editor Helen Ginger. Her blog, Straight from Hel, offers advice and information about writing and writers, books, publishing–there’s “God’s plenty” here for the writer, aspiring or experienced. Helen posts daily, and she also contributes to The Blood-Red Pencil, another blog I follow.

The Silver Lining Award was a surprise. I couldn’t wait to display it on to write is to write is to write and to pass it on to other bloggers.

But I ran into an obstacle. I didn’t know how to display it. I knew to use a widget, but how to grab or capture or whatever to get the proper code to put into that widget was outside my realm of experience. I knew I had to get the image to my computer. I knew I wasn’t supposed to link to the image on Helen’s blog. I knew I had to have its URL. Actually, all of this was inside my realm of experience, because I’d done something similar a couple of months before.  I had just forgotten what and how.

The obvious thing to do in such a situation, after googling for instructions and increasing the confusion, is to ask for directions.

I don’t ask for directions. Anyone who has ever taken a road trip with me will vouch for that. When I get lost, I drive around until I find what I’m looking for. When lost in cyberspace, I click around.

So I clicked for a couple of hours. After engaging in mind-clearing activities, I clicked some more. I took a break and wrote a blog post about silver linings.  I reminded myself this was not rocket science; it was a simple procedure. The next day, I clicked again. After skipping a few days, I clicked some more. I went to a conference. I spent a week recovering from the conference. I clicked. I fell into the Slough of Despond and decided I would never write again. I crawled out and decided I would. The entire time, both clicking and non-clicking, I was straining to dredge up the technical details of that brief moment of competency only sixty days past.

And all the while, the still, small voice was whispering, “Ask.”

But the truth is–and now I’m exposing my darkest secret–I like clicking around. I have such a feeling of accomplishment when things fall into place. I bump into all kinds of serendipities along the way. And I’m too ornery to give up. I can’t help that last thing. It’s genetic.

Sometimes it’s also a failing. I’m working on it.

Anyway, I finally discovered how to display the Silver Lining Award on my blog. Laboring along the road to discovery was an accomplishment. It was, in fact, a silver lining.

To Helen, a belated public thanks for giving me the this award. I’m supposed to pass it on to five other people. I nominate the following bloggers for the Silver Lining Award:

1. Susan Ideus

2. Linda Hoye

3. Sharon Lippincott

4. Gale Albright

5. Nita Lou Bryant

Ladies, thanks. You’re all silver linings to me.

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Helen Ginger blogs about The Name Game today on The Blood-Red Pencil. On Straight from Hel, she interviews author Jean Henry Mead.