Blogging & Social Media Tips

A Google+ Alternative

19 Feb , 2019  

The reality is finally sinking in: the demise of Google+ is imminent. Google+ will be shut down on April 2, 2019. Not everyone is mourning the loss, but for some, it’s a loss of community and the loss of an alternative or adjunct to Facebook. Though the press pounced on Google’s erasure of its “Don’t […]

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Hell's Little Paving Stones, Journal

100 GOOD Things About Me

18 Feb , 2019  

It’s easy to write “100 Things About Me.” But almost nine years ago, I was challenged to write “100 GOOD Things About Me.” Let this serve as an introduction to newcomers, here, as well as a list of affirmations. If you prefer a visual intro, click here. 100 GOOD Things (in No Particular Order, Plus […]

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Generosity and Thankfulness

Share the Love, Save a School #HelpMithuSaveSchool

14 Feb , 2019  

Think back to the people who influenced you as a kid, and turned you into the person you are, today. Your parents, your friends, your neighbors, your teachers, and all the people you encountered, every day, in your community. Now, imagine that just a few thousand dollars can make all the difference to hundreds of children […]

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Journal

Consider the Source

14 Feb , 2019  

There’s a little game I refuse to play. It’s called, “You can’t be friends with me if you’re friends with [fill in the blank]!” My stock answer to that is, “Fine, I’m sorry you feel that way. I guess we can’t be friends.” I don’t care if the person saying it is my best friend […]

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Journal

Mother, Touchstone, Friend

14 Feb , 2019  

We mothers – we are merely rudders, guiding our children’s ships through the storms and over the turbulent seas of life – we guide them as steadily and as best we can, but we are not the only influence that determines the outcome of the journey… Who am I today? I am a woman, a […]

Blogging & Social Media Tips, On Writing, Op-Ed

I Write Like…Me. Or do I?

2 Feb , 2019  

My writing is identifiable – it is a redolent of Agatha Christie cookies, with a hint of Stephen King cake, and a healthy side Anne Rice. It is male, with a softer side. European female, maybe. Gender fluid, and ageless as time itself. That’s just a nice way of saying “AI is stupid.” Or maybe I really AM Stephen King…. How would YOU know?

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An empty grave

Fiction, Hell's Little Paving Stones

Civility

22 Jan , 2019  

“You could, at least, be civil about it.” “Why the fuck should I be?” Alex stopped in her tracks and glared at Gabe. “You talk a good fight about equality, but denying to others the ‘rights’ you claim for yourself is just everyday bigotry.” “That’s no reason to drop the f-bomb every five minutes. And […]

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The Wicked, Sickled Semicolon

Fiction

Grammar Nazi

21 Jan , 2019  

In a preemptive edit, I sought the annihilation of exuberance, indefinitely. There would be no negotiations; scholarly standards were strictly structured – some might say “cursed” – to ensure the disarmament of excessive excitement. Ruthlessly, I lined up the errant sentences, identified their bouncy little exclamation marks, their now impotent interrobangs, lined them up against […]

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K-Cup DIY Recycling

Outdoors, Technical & How-to

Caffeine is My Jet Fuel; Nitrogen is My Garden’s!

21 Jan , 2019  

We haven’t ditched the 12-cup drip coffee maker for our morning coffee, but the single-serve Keurig coffee maker lets us make less in the afternoon or evening, and lets me indulge my taste buds with a variety of flavored coffees while my husband sticks to his preferred brand of Columbian coffee. There’s just one problem: […]

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Kickerillo-Mischer Nature Preserve

Health & Wellness, Hell's Little Paving Stones, Journal

Reflections and Resolutions

30 Dec , 2018  

Reflections All in all, 2018 has been a good year – personally, professionally, healthwise, and otherwise. I’m too empathetic to say, “2018 has been a terrific year!” because it’s been awful to too many people, and politically, it’s been an absolute Dumpster fire. But I have absolutely nothing to complain about, and everything to be […]

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Humor, Outdoors, Travel, Visual Perspectives

Free to Be a Beach Bum

19 Dec , 2018  

Blissfully doing nothing while on vacation. Living the dream! Just kidding: swimming, eating, walking, taking photos, drinking mai tais, making nose hats – that’s not “doing nothing” after all, is it?

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Outdoors, Travel, Visual Perspectives, Writing

High in the House of the Rising Sun

15 Dec , 2018  

10,023 feet high, that is.

What better way to greet the sun than jet-lagged, well-caffeinated, half-frozen, and accompanied by someone you love?

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Health & Wellness

Hunger: A Systemic Problem #GivingTuesday (and Every Day)

27 Nov , 2018  

Learn more about the cost and consequences of food insecurity, and how you can help.

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Help Renu, a Sewing Teacher, Empower a Women's Sewing Circle

Generosity and Thankfulness

Why Give to Project Why? #ProjectWhyDelhi #GivingTuesday

26 Nov , 2018  

I am pleased and honored to help spread the word about Project Why, and specifically, the Project Why Women’s Centre at Madanpur Khadar, New Delhi (#ProjectWhyDelhi) A number of us bloggers learned about Project Why just a couple of years ago, through our friend Damyanti Biswas (@damyantiwrites). And now, we are helping raise much needed funds for […]

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Humor, On Writing

Choose Laughter

17 Nov , 2018  

Any time you have a choice between tears and laughter, choose laughter. Crying only adds insult to injury by giving you a stuffy nose. Dear Constant Reader, has it really been weeks since we had coffee and a chat? At first, I found the emails vaguely insulting: No fewer than four friends forwarded, to me, […]

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Poetry

Villanelle the Vote!

4 Nov , 2018  

Villanelle the Vote! The lady holds her torch aloft, warm welcome beacon to us all. Her steady message, one of peace, within a world that’s gone berserk, But whispers, “Use your right to vote, lest our democracy should fall.” Some cower in the shadowed corners; others rise in sunlight’s thrall Where hope, ideals, and wisdom […]

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Fiction

After The Long, Hard Winter (Part Seven)

24 Oct , 2018  

Finish The Story After The Long, Hard Winter Part Six This is a Finish The Story prompt from Teresa (aka, The Haunted Wordsmith). Teresa started the story. Then she passed it to Michael, who tagged Di, who tagged Fandango, who walked it over to Iain, who sent it flying towards Stuart, at Tale Spinning, who chucked it over the transom to me. When I […]

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pizza and halloween treats by ▓▒░ TORLEY ░▒▓

Fiction

The Haunted Pizza

21 Oct , 2018  

Your writing prompt for Halloween is inspired by a post by children’s author, Dee Leone:  

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#Inktober2018, Fiction, Visual Perspectives

Killing Four Prompts with One Sketch #Inktober #Inktober2018

20 Oct , 2018  

Could’ve been five, with the soap bottle. I was so surprised to see diamonds dripping from the faucet, this morning, that I scorched the toast. Scorched toast is so brittle, so breakable; half of it crumbled into tiny bits that got washed into the drain, along with priceless diamond dust and a few good-sized chunks. […]

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The Wicked, Sickled Semicolon

On Writing

How Do You Use a Semicolon?

14 Oct , 2018  

I will never understand the hatred of the semicolon. It is a useful and correct punctuation mark, if ever there was one. It has saved me, many times, from being run over by a run-on sentence. A run-on sentence is like the grafting of a lemon tree and a lime, using nothing but a bit […]

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Cooking, Humor

Auspicious Eggs

2 Oct , 2018  

I really wasn’t planning to have three eggs for breakfast this morning, but as I widened the crack on the second egg, two yolks slipped into the pan. I’ve read that this is generally regarded as good luck. Unless you’re in the UK. There, it means imminent death. It could also mean someone in the […]

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Health & Wellness

Get Your Flu Shot!

15 Sep , 2018  

It’s important enough to public health that most of us can get one for free. It may inconvenience you, it may hurt a little, and it may even provoke a strong immune response that makes you feel like crap for a day. But it protects you, your loved ones, and your community from a deadly disease.

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Blogging & Social Media Tips, Op-Ed

Repurposing Content or Self-Plagiarism?

13 Sep , 2018  

You could call this post “mental compost,” wherein I throw the mental scraps about reusing content, self-plagiarism, and even propaganda into one post, shake it up, and hope it will fertilize new ideas.

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On Writing, Op-Ed

I Wasn’t Offended; You Were Being a Jerk

11 Sep , 2018  

The same folks who decry “political correctness” and clamor for the right to be rude and aggressively offensive are the same ones who whine whenever someone finds them…offensive.

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Blogging & Social Media Tips, Technical & How-to

How to Review a Blog #BlogCheckup

9 Sep , 2018  

Now and then, it’s a good idea to step back from the blog and take an objective look at its design and usability. Better yet, ask a few friends to do it! 

Here’s a checklist of things to look at when reviewing your blog, or a friend’s.

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IT Security Schloss vor Crypto-Hintergrund - grau - Kontrast by Christoph Scholz

Blogging & Social Media Tips, Technical & How-to

Time to Change Your Passwords!

6 Sep , 2018  

Just a few little reminders and housekeeping tips for my cyberfriends.

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barcelona market by Karsten Wentink

Blogging & Social Media Tips, Op-Ed, Technical & How-to

Words Have Meaning: Marketing vs Promoting vs Endorsing

6 Sep , 2018  

We needn’t contort every word, twisting bad to mean good, and sick to mean amazing. This is just obfuscation and lunacy. 

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Owner: Thai National Parks Link: www.thainationalparks.com

Poetry

Mind Like an Oyster

5 Sep , 2018  

I thought, not for the first time today, that I need a little sand and sun. It’s been too long since I went parasailing, upside down, while watching dolphins play ping-pong with a shark. Or since I floated, laughing, unable to sink, in the warm salty water near Miami, smooth as glass and clear enough to see my toes squishing in the sand. And as I re-read the question, I thought, How can I not write a descriptive paragraph about the beach? But what came out, like a tiny hermit crab from a tiny painted shell, wanted to be poetry, not paragraphs.

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Blogging & Social Media Tips

Geek Out Down the Rabbit Hole #MyOldNemesisAlexa

4 Sep , 2018  

I am resisting the urge to “metablog” as my friend Dave M once put it. Blogging about blogging. Writing about writing (or writers). Neither of those things are very interesting to anyone but bloggers and writers. It’s like all the backstage action at a theater: fun for the theater geeks, but not so much for the audience.

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Fiction

Gerald, the Grumpy Garden Gnome

4 Sep , 2018  

Gerald, the lawn gnome, had grown tired of being “cute.” He had looked it up, one night, in a dictionary Elizabeth had carelessly left lying on the front stoop. It did not mean handsome, or manly, or noble. No, “cute” was something whimsical and trivial and Gerald had been in a foul mood ever since he’d learned the […]

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