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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#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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#Inktober2018, Visual Perspectives

Bottle #Inktober #Inktober2018

18 Oct , 2018  

A message in a bottle, washed ashore, probably on a deserted island, a short swim from the castaways. Or maybe it’s landed on a touristy beach, to be spotted by two teens on spring break, as they stroll awkwardly, arm in arm, along the surf’s edge. Will their curiosity about each other’s bodies be distracted […]

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#Inktober2018, Visual Perspectives

Swollen #Inktober #Inktober2018

17 Oct , 2018  

What do you think of, when you read the word “swollen”? Which of those things would you choose to draw, and post online? I was leaning towards a pregnant belly, but that isn’t exactly “swollen.” It’s normal and beautiful, large and fecund… But the thing most often swollen in pregnancy is feet. And fingers. Then […]

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#Inktober2018, Visual Perspectives

Angles #Inktober #Inktober2018

16 Oct , 2018  

I don’t draw humans. When I try, I scribble over their faces to save them embarrassment. But I think I got the angles right. Or maybe I’m just obtuse. Reference Image

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#Inktober2018, Visual Perspectives

Weak #Inktober #Inktober2018

15 Oct , 2018  

Trying new things doesn’t always go perfectly the first, second, third, or hundredth time. But you can’t succeed at anything if you don’t try. You can’t know if you want to succeed if you don’t try. Maybe you know that the potential cost of failure outweighs your desire to try. I was telling a young […]

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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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#Inktober2018, Visual Perspectives

Clock #Inktober #Inktober2018

14 Oct , 2018  

The kind of art I aspire to takes patience. Precision. The hardest part isn’t the sketching. And technique can be learned, practiced, and improved. But patience, particularly with myself, is not my greatest virtue. Tempus fugit. Reference Image

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#Inktober2018, Visual Perspectives

Guarded #Inktober #Inktober2018

13 Oct , 2018  

Thanks to my husband, J. J., for helping me to interpret today’s prompt in a way that wasn’t overly complicated! “It’s harder than it looks, drawing a brain. Easier than crocheting one, but not as easy as it looks.” “Just draw a walnut. That’ll get the idea across.” “You think it’s be any easier drawing […]

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#Inktober2018, Visual Perspectives

Whale #Inktober #Inktober2018

12 Oct , 2018  

I like this one. It’s a peaceful image, isn’t it? I have been craving a swim in the ocean. Maybe not quite deep enough to encounter one of these immense creatures, but I envy this smiling fellow, just a little bit. Reference Image

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