In my mind, I'm five years old having a high old time wandering and wondering. In reality, I'm now approaching my late 60s, wowza! I tell you a lot of creativity is still to be found in this old young self. In you, too, whatever your age. Welcome to my barefoot world!
Really? It's been almost a month since I posted a post. Wish I could say I was traveling or wandering in wonder lust. Nope. Just getting on with life. Dusting and vacuuming a bit more often to keep my facial eczema from flaring so awfully awful that my eyes become swollen. How swollen? The recessive epicanthic folds of my eyelids show themselves. An advantage for me. Nobody thinks anything is wrong with my eyes. Celebrating the husband's 60th anniversary of being born. Every 60-year-old child should have a birthday party complete with bubble wands, darts, and other games. And lots of his favorite food. Finishing a deadline and starting another one. Sigh. I'm boxed in until 12/12/12. So, by golly, the world better not end on 12/21/12! Working on my 40th high school class reunion. The husband doesn't believe me when I say this is the last time I work on a reunion. "Absolutely," I say. "Uh-huh," he says. So, that what has kept me me away from writing
I don't remember the last time I was outside. Just sitting. Just doing nothing. Well, okay, except for doodling words with a pen on a piece of paper. About, of course, nothing. I'm sitting on a beach chair on the front stoop. The mama is sitting in the back yard deadheading her pink daisies. The husband is standing in the front yard hand-watering the lawn. Uhmmm, that spray feels good. Me. I should be making dinner. And, I shall in a while. For now, I just want to enjoy a pause. I've been cooped inside spinning words and sentences into short, but clear and comprehensible paragraphs about stuff I have already forgotten. It's best to do that when you work on reference books. If I had retained everything I've written about in the last 13 years, my gosh... Ka-poosh! The sound of my brains exploding. Splattt. Splutt. Spposh. The sounds of my brains splashing on the walls and ceiling. Ah, yes. Imagination is good to have at any age. Now, I must go make dinner for the cre
I've held many thoughts so long that I hope one day they'll pass through my mind again. Especially the funny ones. One of my faults is suddenly interrupting the husband when he is reading or following something on TV to tell him something that bam! popped into my head. Let's just say he finds it annoying. Very. After blah-blah years together, I believe I've gotten better at holding my thoughts until he looks up or a commercial comes on. Alas, my brain has moved on to other thoughts. I wonder if that's what the vagueness is I sometimes feel going on in my head. Random thoughts that didn't get shared by either saying them aloud (to the husband) or writing them down for this blog. Yeah, I miss expounding about nothing and wasting virtual space with my verbiage. Do you think it's true that everything on the Internet is floating outwardly into the infinity of space? The waves must be pretty darn strong to break through the atmosphere and whatever else without f
Hello Dear Gentle Readers, I haven't been on vacation. I wish, though. I'm not sick. Knock on wood. The mama and the husband are doing well. Thanks for wondering. I've been blogging less because I'm not very good anymore at writing for work and writing for fun at the same time. I'm working on revisions for some career books over the next two years. If only blogging could pay the bills. So, alas, I'm down to blogging at least once a week—on Thursdays. Take 25 to Hollister As some of you know, I also do a blog about my home town. Take 25 to Hollister , for those of you who haven't seen it. I've stopped writing posts for that blog, too. But, not photos. Not just yet. I've challenged myself to post a photo every day. I'm up to day 61. We'll see how long I can go. Another Book Reading Challenge Really? Yes. Call me nuts. Many already have and do. This one is the annual Cozy Mystery Challenge . This will be second year. I couldn't resist. Cozy
There have been years where I've missed spring completely. I often started writing projects in late autumn or early winter that would have summer deadlines. I left the house mostly to go grocery shopping, run errands, and attend engagements. Not until May would I realize that I did it again. No spring. Sigh. The month of March is one of my favorite months. To me, March is the essence of spring. Plants giggle "Hello" as they pop up through the ground. Trees sing with blossoms and new leaves. California poppies, blue larkspurs, and other crazily colorful wildflowers smile above expansive fields of grass. The yellow mustard laughs through the orchards. The hillsides shout green, green, green. It was easy for me to forget when I lived in city settings with miles of concrete and canyons of buildings. And, as my freelance career took off, the rides and walks into nature became far and few. It's much differently now since the husband and I have moved to the town where I grew
I've been feeling muddle-headed lately. Too many brain lapses. Quite a lot of pressing of the delete button. Sigh. So, bear with me, dear readers, as I ramble forward to clear my mind with random thoughts. Random thought number one. Big birds (maybe the doves) splatted big time on the side of the car and the driveway. Very rude! Especially since we leave bird seeds out every day. Random thought number two. The husband got a surprise check for $100 yesterday. It was part of a cash settlement in a class action law suit against a large drug distributor that was alleged to have set drug prices wrongfully high. The husband had no idea it was taking place. The company settled rather than go to court because it would be cheaper to pay $350 million today. In settling, the company does not formally admit to wrongdoing. That part is what always astounds me about corporations that get away with crime. Random thought number three. I have publishing deadlines over the next two years. I hope I
When I'm good, I'm very good at doing stuff. Quite efficient, almost to the point of being annoyingly anal-retentive. When I'm bad, I procrastinate. That pile of stuff in the hallway that I see as I type away on the keyboard, for instance, has been there since October. That's when I moved the pile from the side of my table where I couldn't see it at all. I won't even tell you long it was there. Yeah, and the point is? The husband's and my latest book was published last month. I'm finally getting around to mentioning it. I ought to have started publicizing it a month or so before it came out. Anyway here I am to brag about it. Career Opportunities in Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources . A title I know you all want to go out and buy right now. Then, you'll know what's going on when Hollywood turns it into a spectacular film. Just kidding. About the latter, that is. Our masterpiece is a career guide book about 99 occupations that are availab
In several hours I'll be meeting a friend to talk about blogs. Writing them and reading them. She's thinking about dipping her toe into the blog water. She wants to know if she would ever leave her house again should she venture forth. I told her it would be the opposite. She'd be out and about, her ears and eyes continually open for post ideas. Fellow bloggers, what say you? If the friend decides to go for it, she'll be doing it through Wordpress. Until three hours ago, my experience with that blogging platform was zilch, nada, nothing. Three hours ago, I was very hesitant about getting a grasp of the Wordpress blog basics. But, how was I going to give the friend an idea of what she would be getting into, if I didn't find out. There is definitely a difference between Wordpress and Blogger, which I've been using for the last three years. The first thing I noticed was how overwhelming the instructions were to do this and that. But, once I figured how to publish a
Here's what this week looked like for a professional writer who hasn't been doing much writing lately. Be forewarned: You may fall asleep. That's okay. I may already have. Sunday The husband and I bought a Dyson vacuum cleaner. Although several friends had recommended it, I did not put it on our list of choices because of the cost. At the store, we got curious and looked at it. Then all of a sudden Jesus appeared. "Can I help you?" he asked politely. (Really, the sales guy's name was Jesus. Not Hay-soos, but Gee-sus.) Very long story short, with Jesus' confidence about the machine and the store's return policy, we decided to invest in the machine. Monday I vacuumed part of the house. Result: Three containers full of dust. The mama made a mistake on her absentee ballot, so I took her down to the courthouse for a replacement. As we headed up the stairs, she said, "I feel so ashamed for making a mistake." In all her 50 years of voting, this was
I'm feeling lazy today. No, that's not true. If I really was lazy, I wouldn't even be writing this. Ha! More precise is this: I'm struggling with words today. If cartoon bubbles could surround my brain cells right now, they would say "puff, puff, puff, fizzzzzzle." This morning a whole lot of sparrows were eating out of the feeders in the front yard today. My brain cells feel like how the sparrows looked as they scattered to the bushes, the fence, and the rooftops when a sharp noise spooked them. Seriously. I sound like a loony tune right now, I know. By writing about it, I'm a loony tune with a spotlight on it. Hmmm, which reminds me of the Bugs Bunny cartoons on Saturday mornings. Do you remember how Bugs and Daffy Duck began the show by singing "This is It!" Don't recall it? Don't know it? Well, then, have a look-see and enjoy. As for me, I'm heading out to the farm stand for some fresh apples. Maybe by the time I've come bac
This morning I woke up with a stuffy nose. The husband stirred beside me. The mama scraped a chair on the floor in the kitchen below. She was either about to eat breakfast or she had finished. "What time do you think it is?" asked the husband. "Time to dust the room," I answered. I got up, picked up my glasses, and headed to the bathroom. As I walked by the stairs, I glanced down at the clock in the living room. 9:30. The mama had slept later than usual. The husband had slept his eight hours. I was lacking again. Oh, well, what does it matter? The three of us have not had to answer to a boss's clock in years. Only our own. My self-discipline comes and goes. There is so much about which to be disciplined. House cleaning, for one. Writing, for another. Finding writing jobs, a third. Exercising, most indubitably, a fourth. And then there is downsizing our stuff that has been in storage for years now. The list of what I need to work on keeps growing rather than sho
My last dream was the best. I was playing the bass at a small outdoor gathering. (I don't play the bass in real life.) A pianist at a black baby grand was accompanying me. The dream began with me just standing before the noisy crowd, smiling and playing, and waiting for them to settle down. Soon, everyone was sitting. I finished that piece and started into another. The pianist and I had their full attention now. We moved into a samba. I danced with my bass as I played. Everyone got up and danced, too. Then I woke up. What a great dream to wake up from. Last night, I went to sleep asking myself, What shall I write next for this blog? Do I want to keep writing a blog? Where do I want to go from here, career-wise? When I have questions that make my head go round and round, I post them to my subconscious before I fall asleep. The solution sometimes works itself out the next day. Sometimes not. I don't know what that last dream meant. But, I like it. I love the idea of dancing the s
I feel like giving you, dear readers, a break from me today and possibly tomorrow. And, maybe the day after and the day after that. We shall see. In the mean time, I'd like to introduce you to a few writers whose blogs I like to read regularly because of the fun and joy they bring in many different ways. Maybe you'll find their blogs part of your own regular reading routine. Enjoy! Arrmac's Blog . Arrmac is the husband. When he left the 9 to 5 world, he pursued his dream of being a cartoonist. He hasn't drawn in awhile. Not since he started writing career books with me. Hopefully, he'll feel moved again to go back to his drawing board. Until then, he writes about the creative inspiration behind each of his cartoons. It's a great blog, especially for aspiring cartoonists. Ed Pilolla . Ed is a writer I met through the 2010 WordCount Blogathon, but I only recently began to find myself looking forward to reading his new offering daily. He is one kind of a poet. Yea
Senryu, what? It's a type of Japanese poem that is similar in format as the haiku. Haiku, huh? Okay, this is not English class, but I know you wish to be enlightened. If not, you will, by golly. Or, you can simply scroll down to the poems. My education of all things haiku came last night when I finally wrote the last line to my haiku-in-progress. I felt that it wasn't really a haiku. So, off to Google my questioning mind and tippity-tap fingers went. In short, the haiku and senryu are three-line poems composed of 17 syllables. The pattern is five syllables in the first line, seven in the second, and five in the third. Haiku poems are about nature; no mention of human foibles allowed. Senryu poems are about human nature; no reference to the natural world at all. Now, you know. It didn't hurt, did it? Here's a true haiku by Basho Matsuo, who is said to be the first great haiku poet. He lived during the 17th century. An old silent pond... A frog jumps into the pond, sp
Back on the first of May , I wrote: "Can I think up something to post everyday for the next 30 days? Will I miss a day or two because I've forgotten? Shall my slacker self balk at the discipline? Stay tuned." So, here we are, dear readers. Thirty-one days later. To sum up: I wrote a post a day in May. I almost forgot to write something for the 30th. The slacker self would've probably balked if the anal-retentive self hadn't written two or three posts at a time to stay ahead of the game. Now comes the big question: Shall I continue writing and posting daily? Here's my roundabout answer. Once upon a time I used to jog regularly and got to the point where I entered fun runs for the t-shirts. The longest run I did was the crazy Bay to Breakers. I ran, well jogged, all 8+ miles. It took me about 50 minutes, I'll have you know. Pretty good for a fat chick. When I crossed the finish line, I was exhilarated and numb. I just had enough energy to walk another mil
I used to iron a lot, but it wasn't because I had a lot of clothes to press. Well, there was that. I liked ironing because it kept my body busy and focused while my mind aimlessly thought away at nothing and everything. Nowadays I play a game of Jungle Jewels or some other game that destroys virtual bunches of jewels or bubbles. Unfortunately, I'm getting pains in my wrist and forearm from playing them. Bummer. But guess what? I found a mind easer that actually gets me back to writing sooner than later, and I can listen to the results of the game as I work. It is called the Raindrop Melody Maker by Lullatone.com. You click on different raindrops to create your own music. Here's the link .
Three Mondays ago, Brooke of Makin It Domestic presented me with a Sunshine Award for the post on my pancit recipe. It was the first award anyone has given me for a blog post. For that matter, I can't recall ever receiving an award in all my years of being an adult. So, yep, I was very happy and flattered to receive the Sunshine Award. Of course, me being the wary wort, I did a google search on "Sunshine Award bloggers." I was happy to see that all types of bloggers throughout the world were receiving them. The purpose of the reward is simple: The Sunshine Award is awarded to bloggers whose positivity and creativity inspire others in the blogging world. Totally cool indeed! Thank you, Brook of Making It Domestic , very much! As the recipient of the Sunshine Award, I am now asked to present this to twelve other bloggers. Hooo boy! I'm not into judging who deserves an award unless I've been employed to judge. My employer, who is me, says judging is not part of my
"Busy, busy," the husband said to me when I asked him if he read my latest Take 25 to Hollister, California post . "Yeah. But I'm not making any money," I said. "Well, you're not robbing a bank." That's why I love the husband. The mama's sewing machine is still good to go! We're two freelance writers, just minding our own business. Though lately we haven't been good at minding it. Yesterday, I did look at online job ads for freelance writers and bloggers. Is it so bad to say I'd rather earn nothing for writing a post to my blog than get paid moldy peanut shells for researching and writing a tight, comprehensive article? Well, at least for yesterday. I may just be disciplined today. Yesterday, I spent much of the afternoon checking out the various sewing and crafts giveaways being hosted by Sew, Mama, Sew! I didn't count, but I'm sure there were far more than a hundred bloggers who were participating in Sew, Mama, Sew
Isn't Tara hilarious? I hope you took a bit of time and checked out some of her other tales at Two Hands and a Roadmap . The random writing prompt generator that we used gave me this doozy to wrap my brain around: "You are a letter in the alphabet on your classroom wall chart. You are tired of being up on the classroom wall. Write about an adventure you could have if you were down for one hour." Yeah, I know. What? To read what I finally wrote, click on over to here at Tara's blog.
In fourth grade, one of my favorite books was the Scholastic produced joke book that had a joker on the cover. This joke has stayed with me through the years: What do you call the sun and wind? You call the sun rose and the wind blue. Ha! Long ago, I thought it would be cool to make a living off writing jokes, gags, and other ha-ha stuff. What happened? Funny-on-the-brain constipation. Turns out I am much too serious for my own good, like lately. Qué bummer! Yeah, I know this slang is dating me. For sure. Anyway, now and then, some good jokes (from my perspective) grace my mind. So, for today's post, I thought I'd share three of them. What do you call lanes that police race on? Bacon strips. Was that a groan I heard? What was the revolutionary soldier's favorite dish? Chicken Catch-a-Tory. Ba-da-bing! Miguel and his auntie were eating in their favorite Mexican restaurant. As his auntie reached across the table for a dish, Miguel noticed her ripped sleeve and asked, &quo