On Writing, Poetry

Distractio #AtoZChallenge

4 Apr , 2019  

Just poetry and wordplay, in a rhetorical sense.

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Cooking

Crystallized Ginger #AtoZChallenge

3 Apr , 2019  

When I was little, I discovered crystallized ginger in the spice rack. Crunchy, spicy, hot, and sweet, crystallized ginger became my favorite candy. My mother didn’t seem to mind; I’m not sure she’d ever found a better use for it. Traveling to Alaska, a few years ago, with my husband, son, and daughter, I indulged […]

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On Writing, Op-Ed

Bandwagon #AtoZChallenge

2 Apr , 2019  

While most parents do want their children to be outstanding in their talents, their academic skills, their job offers, few parents want their children to stand out as the class clown or the neighborhood oddball. Enter the Bandwagon Fallacy.

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Health & Wellness

Auditory Anxiety Alleviation #AtoZChallenge

1 Apr , 2019  

Many of us use music therapy intuitively, and that it is a very personal thing. Your mood-lifting, anxiety-reducing playlist won’t be the same as mine.

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Poetry

April’s Amorous Adynata – #AtoZChallenge

1 Apr , 2019  

And so it begins… the April A to Z Challenge 2019. I was fence sitting, but then realized this is the 10th anniversary of the challenge, so how could I resist joining in?

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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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Travel, Uncategorized, Visual Perspectives

Old Friends, Newly Met

28 Dec , 2018  

I have many friends who live in the little box under my desk. Now and then, I’m lucky enough to meet them, face to face, sometimes decades after cementing our friendships online. In 2016, I posted an interview by my friend Todd Kruse of artist Carl Yoshihara. Those two have taught me to appreciate abstract […]

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Hell's Little Paving Stones

Limitless #WOTY #WOTY2019

28 Dec , 2018  

I don’t like these games. There’s a carnival barker in my head, holding out an enormous deck of tarot cards: “Pick a word, any word, just one word to be your guiding light in the coming year…”  No! I sense a trap. Resist… yes, that’s a good word. The whole idea triggers an obstinate resistance. […]

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Reading

A Reading Resolution

27 Dec , 2018  

I talk a good fight, but have not been acting like an avid reader for far too long. I have many books waiting in the TBR pile, longing silently for attention. My husband’s convinced I buy the dead tree kind just to fill up the house, earn the nickname “Book Hoarder,” and annoy him with […]

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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

Sacrificing to Pele

18 Dec , 2018  

Molokini. Snorkeling, tropical fish, sea turtles – all that, the main attraction for most, was icing on the cake. For me, it was all about the volcano.

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Outdoors, Travel, Visual Perspectives

Finding the Needle (It Wasn’t in a Haystack!)

16 Dec , 2018  

I might be forgiven for moving it to a whole different island; after all, at nine, I was not in charge of transportation. I could drink it all in with my eyes; I wasn’t driving.

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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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#Inktober2018, Visual Perspectives

Unprompted Daydreams #Inktober #Inktober2018

26 Oct , 2018  

A tempest in a teacup… A volcano brewing in my morning coffee. Told you I wasn’t done. Just done with the prompts for a while. I’m enjoying the daily sketching. It’s relaxing. Especially since y’all are such a kind, easy audience.

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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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#Inktober2018, Visual Perspectives

It’s a Stretch #Inktober #Inktober2018

24 Oct , 2018  

It’s a long stretch of October, but I see light at the end of the tunnel. On the horizon, I see thunder clouds and a double jolt of lightning. But every dark and stormy night is punctuated by the promise of sunny days to come, as well. The earth turns, and none of us will […]

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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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