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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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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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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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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#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

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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#Inktober2018, Visual Perspectives

Star #Inktober #Inktober2018

8 Oct , 2018  

Day 8. A star, eclipsed. I considered everything from a simple pentagram to a Hollywood star on a dirty sidewalk. But today’s prompt came on the heels of my first dip pen and assorted calligraphy nibs. I wanted to experiment a little with India ink, pens, water, a paintbrush, a shotglass… and that’s when this […]

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#Inktober2018, Visual Perspectives

Exhausted #Inktober #Inktober2018

7 Oct , 2018  

Nothing sweeter than a toddler, exhausted from imaginative play, watched over by her beloved bunny while she sleeps. Reference images: https://www.babycenter.com/ims/2015/04/xiStock_10749141_wide.jpg.pagespeed.ic.DAjjMhB2AL.jpg

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#Inktober2018, Visual Perspectives

“Chicken” #Inktober #Inktober 2018

5 Oct , 2018  

Cheeky chicken. Too tough to be called “chicken,” and probably too tough to be roasted. Truly, a chicken for our time. Reference image: https://goo.gl/images/HgBaSZ

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#Inktober2018, Uncategorized, Visual Perspectives

Spell #Inktober #Inktober2018

4 Oct , 2018  

For my son… He’ll know why.

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#Inktober2018, Visual Perspectives

Create-ation, an Extended Sort of Stay-cation

30 Sep , 2018  

When you’re fed up with the world, and with social media, but it’s still your “playground,” you have to do something. My “something” this month is #Inktober2018 (it is, to art, what NaNoWriMo is to writing). I don’t expect to rise, fully, to the 30 day challenge of #Inktober, nor do I expect too complete a NaNoWriMo […]

Reading

Celebrating Banned Books Week 2018

24 Sep , 2018  

Books expose us to ideas that are not our own, not our friends’, not our neighbors’, not our teachers’ or our ministers’. We are free to see books as sympathetic friends or challenging adversaries. But let’s make sure we’re free to read them, and to make those choices for ourselves.

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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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Outdoors

I Love the Smell of Decomp in the Morning

9 Sep , 2018  

She had a primrose path, a little wooded section, and far to the back, a compost heap that she turned regularly with a pitchfork. It smelled of earth and death and life, and it made rich soil for her wildflowers. She taught us not to waste things, but we were kids and we forgot.

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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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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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, […]

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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 […]

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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, […]

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