Things aren’t always what they appear . . .

SIDEWALK ART . . . WHAT’S REAL AND WHAT’S NOT! I tried to be terribly creative and ground these images to how I work as a writer. The whole ‘words are big and needed to be reduced to size to fit our page’, or ‘this is how I feel when I write my characters into a corner and need my muse to throw me a life-line’, etc. But how about this . . . I simply love sidewalk art. It speaks to the artist trapped inside me — the one who will never get free because I can’t draw a straight line without the help of a ruler. I’m always in awe at the images […]

Snap shots

Sorry to have been out of touch. My family is experiencing a state of emergency, and I haven’t been by the blogs in awhile. Promise to do better. However, I went through one of my ‘many’ journals yesterday and found a great writing exercise. Snapshot! Now, it can be done with any of our senses, but the point is to take a moment — one that you’re experiencing — and list sights, sounds, smells, . . . well, you get the picture. Two years ago, my son was admitted for an emergency appendectomy. They sent us home, then he developed complication and we returned to the hospital for another 72-hour-stay. While all was quiet and […]

Still learning . . .

As mentioned before, I substitute teach. Exclusively at the elementary level — I’m no dummy. If I’m running the asylum, I want to make sure I’m the biggest inmate in the group. Size does matter when teaching. This week, I reverted to 3rd grade. Amazing how I always learn something new, something I’m positive I didn’t learn the first time. Science is one of those subjects, being a total left-brainer, that is more difficult for me. It’s all practical facts, while I live in the world of make-believe. However, after my day with 9-year-olds, I believe I’ve found the correlation. The science lesson for the day consisted of MATTER. Yep, MATTER. Okay, I’ll be the […]

The Original Computer

Many of you have probably already enjoyed this tidbit. Me? I’m a little late to the party occasionally, and haven’t seen this before. However, I’m old enough to truly understand this bit of wisdom. Memory was something you lost with age An application was for employment A program was a TV show A cursor used profanity A keyboard was a piano A web was a spider’s home A virus was the flu A CD was a bank account A hard drive was a long trip on the road A mouse pad was where a mouse lived And if you had a 3 inch floppy… You just hoped nobody ever found out!?! Drop by the porch […]

Reading on . . . the literature challenge

It’s been awhile — quite awhile — since I’ve posted about my reading challenge. I’m still working through my TBR (to be read) stack and completely enjoying the opportunity to meet new authors and find more great reads to cherish. I’ve add 8 new titles since last I posted about this subject. My number is now up to 36 for the year. I haven’t calculated how many weeks I have to make in order to hit my 52, and frankly at this point, the number isn’t as important as the joy of reading each week. Did you forget why I challenged everyone to read? My post on ILLITERACY explains the epidemic trend of ‘non-readers’ in […]

Building Vocabulary . . . this week’s letter is E

As writers we often fall into the rut of using the same tired words over and over again. I understand if the story is compelling enough, readers don’t always notice our stuck-in-rut trend. Personally, I’m longing for more creativity. I considered my options for the bigger word trek. Several of my fellow writing gurus plop open the dictionary –yep, the old fashioned one with pages and everything — then pursue a particular letter. Sounds doable. Some of my friends increased the size of their language skills through higher academic degrees. A number of years ago, a dear friend obtained her MBA from SMU. When I asked what a difference the higher-priced degree made in her […]

To theme or not to theme . . .

It’s not really a question of ‘can I theme or not’. Because the bottom line for writers is they must possess an ability to craft their words around theme. I’ve posted before that themes and I don’t get along, see eye-to-eye, hey, we don’t normally exist on the same planet. I scandalously use my critique partners, my English Liter-major collegiate daughter, even my two kids still at home to grasp the concept of theme and shove it one more time — forcefully — into my brain. Image my delight, okay, it was more like downright squeals of excitement when I discovered while teaching (4th grade) today, an insider’s tip for building theme. Three simple ideas, […]

Memories . . . storms

Watching the radar is a frightening pasttime right now. Storms seem larger, more fierce than before, but perhaps that’s only my older eyes watching that swirl and determined path of the present hurricane. When I was a child, my family lived in Houston. During the summer of 1964, Tropical Storm Abby hit the area. Tropical storms pack sustained winds from 39 to 73 miles per hour. That is the ‘constant’ range; gusts can exceed these numbers. The power behind these storms can sweep a person from their feet and certainly awe or terrify a child. Even young, these memories have stuck through the years as though attached with the permanence of superglue. Our small three-bedroom, […]

Two days deep into school and what’s happened?

My three not-so-munchkin-sized kids started to school this week. Everyone hit the academic buildings on Monday morning — okay, the college student doesn’t start until noon on Mondays. That seems so wrong in the real world, but makes perfect sense in the college environment. So this year it was two high schoolers and one collegiate preppy. What changes when the kids hit that higher level of learning? Did I buy fewer supplies? The requirement is for fewer boxes of crayons, but more map pencils. The glue in the bottle stage has passed, as it’s on to the all important glue stick mania. School note: there is no such thing as too many glue sticks in […]