Disappeared #storyaday

Julie peered into the dryer, wondering where it put the random socks it snacked on. It never gobbled whole laundry loads. Perhaps it sensed – it was one of those new-fangled “sensing” dryers, after all – perhaps it sensed that that would be unforgivable. A sock, now and again – probably worn and in need of replacing, anyway – would not be an offense likely to get it... read more

17 Things to Do on Twitter

NOTHING TO DO? by Shelley Silverstein Nothing to do? Nothing to do? Put some mustard in your shoe, Fill your pockets full of soot, Drive a nail into your foot, Put some sugar in your hair, Place your toys upon the stair, Smear some jelly on the latch, Eat some mud and strike a match, Draw a picture on the wall, Roll some marble down the hall, Pour some ink in daddy’s cap– Now go upstairs and... read more

6 Reasons Writers Should Use Twitter

When I first heard of, I could not imagine why I would want to use it. Several writers I know dragged me into it, and after a few weeks, I began to see its value. Here are just a few reasons why writers should use Twitter: 1. Train yourself to write a complete thought in a concise 140 characters or less. (Bonus points for correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation!) Ruthlessly pare messages to... read more

ChinUp Firming & Contouring Mask Kit

“Sure, I’ll make a fool of myself in the name of beauty!” Well, it’s better than my old ballet teacher’s maxim, “Beauty must suffer!” Suffering is for ninnies. We only get one life – enjoy it. That said – and this goes for you gents, too, because I know you’re reading this – if someone said you could lose 1-2cm of “chin fat”... read more

Dry Eyes and Fire-Breathing, Eyeball-Munching Bugs

About a month ago, I was violently roused from a deep sleep by a pain that, once imagined as “eyeball-eating, microscopic slug beetles rolling across the eyeball, defecating bits of ground glass,” was hard to think of as anything else. Certainly nothing as mundane as “dry eyes.” I told my doctor I was pretty sure I had pink-eye. In truth, I was pretty sure the glass-pooping dung... read more

A Hobo on the Writing Railroad: Laying Track or Meandering?

“Laying track.” That’s Julia Cameron’s analogy, in The Right to Write, for showing up, putting in the work, and letting whatever it is that wants to be written flow through you to the page. Is it really laying track or meandering? I figure if that’s how railroads were built, it’s a wonder they don’t look more like rollercoasters squashed flat by gravity. Channeling... read more

Too Busy Even to Lie About It

The next chapter in The Right to Write is “The Time Lie.” Basically, the time lie goes something like this: “Oh, if only I had more time, I would do that!” Or, “I keep meaning to do that, but I’m just too busy.” It’s not a question of time, really; we always manage to find or make the time for things that are really that important to us. Envy Julia Cameron... read more

Have You Looked at Yourself, Lately?

You look into the mirror every day, right? Is it really vanity to want to be sure your hair’s combed, there’s no toothpaste on your shirt, and you don’t have some weird hair sprouting from your face? Have you looked at yourself on social media the same way – that is, viewing yourself on each of the platforms you use, such as Facebook or Twitter, to see them as the rest of the world... read more

Lean Back and Listen

As children, we are constantly admonished to listen. To pay attention. Speaking as an adult, I think we are the ones in need of scolding; perhaps we ought to pay closer attention and listen to the children for a change.  Today’s chapter in The Right to Write is called “Let Yourself Listen.” What it deals with is whether writing is an act of taking or giving dictation – whether we... read more

Help Me Kick the Tires (the Not-a-Contest Contest)

I am evaluating as a possible platform for a future writing contest run by someone else. There are too many variables and roles, and so I am recruiting your help! This is not an actual contest, but a chance to learn the platform, kick the tires, sweep the nails out of the road, and ensure that – if it’s chosen, things run smoothly. So although it’s really not an actual... read more

Writers Are…

What do you think of when you think of “a writer”? What adjectives do you tack on in front of the term to somehow separate yourself from, say, Stephen King or J.K. Rowling? I think we’re all setting our sights way too low. The real goal should be to write a book, throw parts of the manuscript into a cave, and watch it become a worldwide bestseller two thousand years from now. Too high?... read more

Eradicating Edna

Eradicating Edna is an unfinished novel dedicated to all whose “inner critic” is a bitch.   Prologue Just so no one mistakes the Book Description for the book itself! The chapters are waaaaaay down there. I seriously thought about quitting. Then I recaptured the true spirit of NaNoWriMo. I remembered what it was all about: to write a truly hideous novel of 50,000 words in 30 days. “Nobody... read more

The Writing Journey: Where to Begin?

My friend Steven dropped by my cubicle, while he was in town, and returned a book to me that I forgot I’d loaned him. It was Julia Cameron’s The Right to Write, which I’d enjoyed even more than The Artist’s Way. It decorated my desktop for a bit, then hitched a ride home in my backpack. I pulled it out, just now, and riffled through the pages. Hmm, I thought. Blog fodder. A... read more

Not All Shareworthy Images & Text Are Destined to Become Memes

We all want to “create a meme” or “publish viral content.” But it’s like creating “literary classics.” You don’t create “literary classics”; you write great stories and hope they stand the test of time. You hope that people like them enough to share them. You hope that a lot of people like them enough to share them with all their friends, who... read more

Facebook Creativity Challenge

This morning, I proposed a week-long Facebook Creativity Challenge, to begin Monday. Part of the challenge is to estimate, up-front and honestly, how long you’ll last. I’m guessing I can make it three days! At the end of the week, I hope you’ll come back here and share your results in the comments. The Problem Our Facebook friends are our friends because they like us, not because they... read more

Book Review: Life: It’s a Trip, by Rasheed Hooda

I first met Rasheed Hooda, author of Life: It’s a Trip, about a decade ago in a local CiCi’s Pizza, where he was entertaining children and adults by making balloon animals – and, for my son, a balloon sword. We talked about fencing, balloons, and blogging. We exchanged URLs, then quickly lost touch.  A few years ago, Rasheed’s picture popped up on my friend Mitch’s blog, in a... read more

Today’s Blog Metrics

No more chasing PageRank or Alexa. When I posted my goals for 2015, Mitch Mitchell spent a little while chuckling under his breath before mercifully informing me that PageRank had been dead for years. What do we do for blog metrics, now? Thanks to Sylvie of FuelMyBlog, I now know what to replace PageRank with: Page Authority. What is Page Authority? “Page Authority is a score (on a 100-point scale)... read more

Would You Rather…?

I’ve been tagged! Not by Banksy, more’s the pity – but by Mitch Mitchell in retal–er, in return for my tagging him in the Creative Blogger Award. When I first saw the title, “Would You Rather” Book Tag Tour – My Version, I thought it was going to be one of those, “Would you rather kiss an elephant’s trunk or a sweet little bunny’s butt?” things. No,... read more

Lake Tahoe, My Waterloo

Don’t get me wrong: Heavenly is Heavenly. But it is also my nemesis, my Waterloo – the mountain that may just be trying to shove me a little closer to Heaven, a little faster than I care to go. This year’s family reunion was held at Lake Tahoe – within easy walking distance of the face of Heavenly. About 30 years ago, I came here with my family – my grandmother, my parents, my... read more

Facebook Friends Unable to Share Posts

Since April or May, my Facebook friends have reported being unable to share posts from my personal profile to theirs.  At first glance, it makes sense: My default privacy setting is Friends of Friends. My Public posts – if I remember to change them to Public, after posting – are shareable. But when I visit other friends’ pages, I see a Share link on their Friends or Friends of Friends... read more

Relative Outrage, Speech, Consequences, and Compassion

I’ll admit that I don’t follow African politics closely enough to comment intelligently the political issues raised in Peter Wright’s post, “Values, Hypocrisy, Genocidal Presidents and Disgraced Scientists.” However, the failure to properly prioritize our outrage over various current events may be unfairly characterized, here, as “hypocrisy.” I was not referring to the... read more

Creative Blogger Award!

Roy A. Ackerman, Ph.D., E.A., and awesome blogger has nominated me for the Creative Blogger Award. Thank you, Roy! I am honored. Back in 2009, having answered for the 13th or 67th time what “5 things do most people not know about you” (until I was pretty sure there wasn’t a single mystery left, if ever there’d been one), and blogging “7 things you wish people knew about... read more

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