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 […]

, , ,

een and yellow haired goofball by Bruce Guenter

Fiction

Blogging is Like Baton Twirling

3 Sep , 2018  

What was that hackneyed advice someone always trotted out, eager to prove they knew nothing at all about the process of writing? Ahh, yes: “Write what you know.”

, , , , , , ,

Fisher Body Plant #21 - Detroit, MI

On Writing, Visual Perspectives

Art & a Sense of Humor #WATWB

3 Sep , 2018  

The biggest threat to creativity isn’t rejection from publishers, readers, or art critics.

, , , , ,

Uncategorized

Summer Adventures!

3 Jul , 2018  

,

Journal

A Little Bird

29 Jun , 2018  

A mourning dove smashed against my living room window, the other day. I’d just been thinking about all the birds that had done the same, over and over again – they never seem to learn. It’s not as if the glass is so clean they can’t see it; by now, they have to know, too, […]

Fiction

Feet in the Sand #WriteBravely #WTFOW2018

25 Jun , 2018  

Ah, that Little Mermaid – what did she know? They say the sand is always more appealing on the other side of the water’s surface. I lay back on the little wind-surfer board and let my fingers trail in the water. There wasn’t even a hint of a breeze; I was just drifting with the […]

, , , ,

Fiction

Things that Go Thump #WriteBravely #Fiction

25 Jun , 2018  

“I’m sorry, ma’am, but this is the last car we have available.” The agent shook his head at the monitor and shrugged. It was a small, older car, and no one had a key to the trunk, it seemed. The family ahead of me would never get all their bags into it, clearly, and they […]

, , , , , , ,

Op-Ed

A Lesson in Leadership #WriteBravely #WTFOW2018

24 Jun , 2018  

One of the challenges of a blog challenge, blogfest, or writing prompt is to write about something that doesn’t immediately inspire you. This should be easy for someone who spent the largest part of their career, to date, as a technical writer, but that part of my career is in the past, and some part […]

, , , , , ,

Health & Wellness, Reviews

Little Weekend Adventures in the Face-Melting Sun

3 Jun , 2018  

If the mere idea of death makes you queasy, just skip this post. There’s really nothing morbid about the National Museum of Funeral History, but I know people who shudder at the thought and refuse to go explore it, despite death being a natural, inevitable part of life. Before I tell you about that, then, […]

, , ,

Health & Wellness, Reviews

A Walk in the Park

26 May , 2018  

Baby, It’s HOT Outside! I can’t believe it’s barely the end of May. Growing up in Ohio, that was the first of weather warm enough to hit the pool, and still far too chilly for 8:00 AM swim team practice. I remember the year it snowed on the last day of school, June 5th. I […]

, , , , , , , ,

Op-Ed

The Tear-Down Culture

26 May , 2018  

Controversy and debate keep life interesting. Ideally, they make us think – they make us examine our values and why we we hold them near and dear. They help us get to know others better, and maybe to appreciate how their life experiences have shaped their ideas. They may even persuade us to think differently, […]

, , , , , , ,

Blogging & Social Media Tips

Telegram or Smoke Signals?

21 May , 2018  

Since shuttering my Facebook accounts, including WhatsApp and Instagram, I have had time to explore alternatives. I’ve tried out Viber and Signal, but the only Messenger replacement I’m really enjoying – while trying to recruit more users to make it more fun and interesting – is Telegram. In terms of privacy and security, it’s much […]

Humor, Op-Ed

One Stitch at a Time (#MondayMusings, #CrochetInsights)

21 May , 2018  

Meditation There are natural nothing-thinkers in the world; I’m not one of them.  The directive to “make your mind a blank” tends to have the opposite effect on me, like, “don’t think of pink elephants sipping Cosmos on the moon.” I try to think of nothing, but it’s a half-hearted effort. At best, I just […]

, , , , , , ,

Blogging & Social Media Tips, Technical & How-to

Using Social Media to Complain

9 May , 2018  

Oh, the power of social media! Where once we might have been limited to telling 15 of our closest friends about our negative experience with BrandX, we now have the bully-pulpit of blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and a host of other channels by which to trash our least-favorite brand of the moment. Using social media to […]

, , , , ,

Blogging & Social Media Tips

Easily Resize Smartphone Images for Your Blog

4 May , 2018  

Most of the images on this blog are mine. The few that I did not take, myself, are used with permission, licensed under creative commons, or public domain images. But I prefer to use my own, and as digital cameras and camera phones improve in quality and usability, they also produce much larger files that […]

, , , ,

Blogging & Social Media Tips, Humor, Visual Perspectives

Scavenger Hunt May 2018 #Hunt4AFreshPerspective!

1 May , 2018  

It’s SUMMER! It’s a LINK PARTY! Remember summer scavenger hunts, running through the streets with a list of things to bring back from the neighbors? Only kids can get by with that sort of thing, I think! It was fun while it lasted, but just try asking your neighbor for a cup of sugar, a […]

, , , ,

Op-Ed

Hero Tammie Jo Shults Earned Those Wings (a #WATWB Post)

29 Apr , 2018  

She’s the kind of hero we hope and pray we never need and don’t like to think about needing while traveling in a tin can with wings, 35,000 feet above the planet. But to anyone who doubts that a woman has what it takes to fly a fighter jet or a commercial airliner, or who […]

, , , , ,

Technical & How-to, Uncategorized

Location Sharing: How and Why (Not)?

28 Apr , 2018  

It’s not a new feature, but I stumbled across Google Maps Location Sharing almost by accident, one weekend, while walking in the park. It seemed prudent to share my location with a few family members and nearby friends, in case I dropped dead of heat exhaustion or got eaten by an alligator. I kid you […]

, , ,

Op-Ed

The Kind of Hero We Need (a #WATWB Post)

28 Apr , 2018  

No Time to Waffle I’m convinced that nothing good happens in the wee hours of the morning, and it’s not proper to leave the house before coffee’s brewed and in the cup. But it’s not that simple: In those early morning hours, sleepy cities start to stir; babies are born; darkness gives way to dawn, […]

, , ,

Poetry

Devilishly Dangerous: a Double Acrostic

7 Apr , 2018  

Face facts: some are ruled by hope and some by fear. All are mortal, even you. Yes, even you, Comrade, with your hundred smiling Facebook faces. Each keystroke, rat-a-tat-tat, fires gunshots Branding terror, while jaded papparazzi Offer bounties for another shot, a One-time deal, exceptional, American Killings as natural as apple pies. Mitchell Allen is […]

Poetry

April is Poetry Month

2 Apr , 2018  

Why on Earth in April? The poet T.S. Eliot famously declared: April is the cruellest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing Memory and desire, stirring Dull roots with spring rain. The cruelest thing about it was expecting restless high schoolers, too fresh-faced to have experienced life, death, and all the memories between, […]

, , ,

Op-Ed

I’m Not a Patsy for Russian Propaganda, YOU Are! :P

25 Mar , 2018  

Listening to people argue that there is no way they were manipulated by some foreign power’s social media propaganda machine is both amusing and disheartening. I can understand deep denial and the impulse to say, “Hey, even though I shared 79 posts from a known Russian bot, no way was my vote influenced by it!” […]

, , , , ,

Op-Ed

Deep Breaths… #DeleteFacebook

24 Mar , 2018  

It’s an addiction. Back in the 1980s, early 1990s, I posited the idea of “online addiction” and got nothing but funny looks. Now, the inclusion of “Internet Addiction Disorder” is studied and its inclusion in the DSM is seriously considered (though as of this writing, it is not a defined psychiatric disorder – you can […]

, , , , , ,

Uncategorized

Spring Showers MAY Bring May Flowers to the Garden

17 Mar , 2018  

Spring has sprung with a vengeance – flinging us from 40ºF to 84ºF in the blink of an eye. I have stare-downs from the kitchen table with the garden gnome. Is it just me, or has he moved since I last mentioned him here? I’m pretty sure he does that just to freak me out. […]

Cooking, Reading

The It’s-Not-a-Book-Report Report

11 Mar , 2018  

These are the books I’ve read or bought since I wrote “Curing the Reading Drought.” The cookbooks, Roger Ebert’s The Pot and How to Use it, and The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook by Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufmann will require a bit of creative adaptation; they have, in fact, inspired me to begin work, with […]

, , , ,

Blogging & Social Media Tips, Op-Ed

Reputation Matters: Beware Ad Servers

11 Mar , 2018  

Are Ad Servers Worth It? I have thrown in the towel and removed AdSense from my blog for the second time. In just over ten years, I’ve earned $96.37. Unfortunately, Google doesn’t have to cut me a check until I’ve earned $100. I thought maybe, just maybe, I could manage to earn that last three […]

, , , , , ,

Blogging & Social Media Tips, Humor

President? Bah! I’ve Been Declared QUEEN!

9 Mar , 2018  

Queen of the No-Niche Bloggers, that is! Rasheed Hooda, aka, “Mister Weirdo,” (never to be confused with Mr. Weirdo) –  the man who, at age 62, walked from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Barbara, California, has handed me the virtual scepter in his post, “My Favorite No-Niche Bloggers.” I have apparently fallen down on the SEO, […]

, ,

Keyboard in Purple

On Writing

Spun Up

1 Mar , 2018  

I read a student essay, recently, that I would swear was written by someone for whom English was a second (or distant third) language. The conspicuous overuse of a thesaurus was one red flag.  The more I thought about it, the more certain I was that it was written on Fiverr and spun through an […]

, ,

On Writing

Weird Words Make for Weird Spellings

24 Feb , 2018  

Is it jif, as in JIF brand peanut butter? Or gif, as in gift? Seems a strange thing for a giraffe to quibble over, especially if the inventor calls it jif. Weird words lead to weird arguments. Does the parent get to name the baby, or must he follow linguistic conventions? To say gif seems […]

, , ,

On Writing

Weirdly Competitive

19 Feb , 2018  

I am weirdly competitive. I thought it was just me, but my friend Allie mentioned being “highly competitive when it doesn’t count” and I just burst out laughing. Now I find that my friend Mitch has a little streak of it; he rose to the challenge of writing a whole blog post without commas.  Just […]

, , , ,