I fancy myself a writer.

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Tonight’s supermoon and thoughts on perspective

Tonight – August 10th – is seemingly the largest full moon of 2014. Be sure to check it out!

supermoon 2014

In the meantime, here’s some food for thought on perspective.

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Transformation is hard

Human shapes

Human shapes (Photo credit: mripp)

Transformation doesn’t happen overnight. It happens slowly, day-by-day, and often over the course of months or even years. If you are trying to transform your life, you can’t allow yourself to be discouraged a day, or a week, or even several months into the process. It isn’t going to happen just because you tell it to. Your new life must slowly become a habit before it can become a real and lasting change.

Don’t waste time worrying over how far you have to go or how little you might have accomplished by today. Instead, wake up each morning and ask yourself, “What can I do today to be a better person than I was yesterday?” Maybe that means you will eat one less cookie today than you did yesterday. Maybe that means you will write five more words today than you did yesterday. Or maybe you will decide to say one less curse word or be just a little less cranky with your kids. Whatever it means for your life, just think how far you will have gone a year from now if you continue to be a little bit better each day. Read the rest of this page »

Richfield Nature and Historical Park, Richfield, WI

Pretty creek at Richfield Nature Park

I love creeks and streams, and this was a particularly pretty one.

I love exploring. Last weekend, I was driving my older son to his girlfriend’s house in another town and happened to notice a sign for the Richfield Nature Park along the way. On the way home, I asked my younger son if he felt like exploring, and next thing you know, we are discovering a cool new local attraction that I hadn’t even known existed!

At first glance, Richfield Nature Park, in Richfield, Wisconsin, seems as though it’s not much to look at. We walked a small trail around part of the park and thought there wasn’t much to see. It was nice to get out in Nature for an afternoon, but it only took us about ten minutes to walk the trail. Then we noticed that that road we drove in on continued beyond the nature park and went past an old red barn. At first, it wasn’t obvious if the barn was part of the park, or if it belonged to a neighboring property. We decided to follow the road and see what lay beyond. Read the rest of this page »

National Poetry Month Collaborative Twitter Poem

Poetry

Poetry (Photo credit: V. H. Hammer)

Well, here we are. It’s April 1st, and once again time to celebrate National Poetry Month. I haven’t really been writing much poetry lately, so I thought it might be fun to do a collaborative Twitter poem challenge.

For this challenge, I am going to give you a one-word prompt/Twitter handle. Next, you come up with a poem – either one short poem that will fit into one 140-character Tweet, or a longer poem that you can split up, posting one verse per Tweet – and share it on Twitter using the provided hashtag. I am starting the challenge here today, and then I would love it if some of you would volunteer to host one or a few additional prompts on your blogs throughout the month of April. Read the rest of this page »

Another “damn rape poem”

I came across this on tumblr this morning and had to share.

“The Rape Poem to End all Rape Poems” by the Rutgers University slam team:

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How to write a book one blog post at a time

Let's Pretend

Parts of Jenny Lawson’s book, “Let’s Pretend this Never Happened” first appeared on her blog. | Photo credit: artbybernadette

The prospect of writing an entire book can be daunting. It’s a lot of work and can take a LOT of time to complete. All the while, you might find yourself wondering if you are good enough or if anyone will ever want to read it. One way to combat this anxiety is to write your book one blog post at a time.

Whether you write serialized fiction (like blogger/author Amanda Martin’s Two-Hundred Steps Home) or creative non-fiction (like The Bloggess’s Let’s Pretend this Never Happened – A Mostly True Memoir,) you can write the first draft of your book-length manuscript one blog post at a time.

There are many benefits to writing a book this way. Check out my list below and then feel free to add your own ideas in the comments at the bottom of this page. Read the rest of this page »

My PenMonkey Evaluation: Six Questions

REVENGE OF THE PENMONKEY: Wallpaper #2

REVENGE OF THE PENMONKEY: Wallpaper #2 (Photo credit: curious_spider)

Today I am participating in the TerribleMinds PenMonkey Evaluation. Here are the answers to my writing survey questions:

  1. What’s your greatest strength/skill in terms of writing/storytelling? –> Dialog. The voices make me do it.
  2. What’s your greatest weakness in writing/storytelling? What gives you the most trouble? –> Description. I touched on that just a couple of days ago here
  3. How many books or other projects have you actually finished? What did you do with them? –> Well, that’s a bit personal, isn’t it? Okay. Well. Finished? Can I count my one completed first draft that I’m still revising? I have several other first drafts that I’m still plugging away on, but that’s it as far as actually “finishing” a book. Unless you count my book of amateurish poems I slapped up on Kindle a while back. As far as other projects go, my blogs are doing awesome. Besides this one winning an actual award (as opposed to a Liebster or something like that,) I have been steadily gathering new readers each week. Read the rest of this page »

Leaving: A writing prompt from The Write Practice

Panther, a toilet-using cat, photographed in S...

If only my cats would use the toilet while I’m gone! | Panther, a toilet-using cat, photographed in San Francisco on 22 August 2005. He is ten years old and has been using the toilet since the age of six months. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This morning I decided to write a brief “Leaving” essay in response to a writing prompt from The Write Practice:

My ex-mother-in-law would leave town for the weekend, stumbling out of her house with an armload of disorganization, oblivious to the pile of stinking, half-washed dishes sitting in cold, slimy dishwater in her kitchen. She would walk away from the overflowing garbage as though she expected cleaning elves to take care of it while she was away.

She used to ask me to water her plants while she was gone, and I always wondered if she expected me to morph into a cleaning elf in her absence. Um, yeah. I didn’t. I just avoided the kitchen, filling a pitcher with water from the bathtub, and watered her flowers as fast as I could so I could escape the stench as quickly as possible. Read the rest of this page »

Describe something in ten different ways

Child Art Aged 2.5 Smiley Face with Writing Un...

Sometimes, I think my descriptive writing looks a little like this. | Child Art Aged 2.5 Smiley Face with Writing Underneath (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Chuck Wendig/TerribleMinds writing exercise for today is to describe one thing in ten different ways. I decided I needed to attempt this one since description is NOT my strong suit. I chose to describe description:

Writing description, for me, 1) is like pulling teeth. Yes, cliché is often my go-to strategy. Don’t most of our brains take the path of least resistance most of the time? It’s 2) like a traffic jam when I’m already late (HA!)

Okay, now that I’m done dating myself, let’s proceed, shall we?

Writing description 3) is hard for me. Once in a great while, 4) it pours out of me as though someone has turned on the rusty description faucet in my head, full-blast, if only for a few minutes. Read the rest of this page »

Books are full of treasures

A dollar bill bookmark I found in a library book

I found this hundred dollar bill bookmark in a library book last night.

I love it when people leave surprises in library books. Last night, I opened a recently checked-out library book and found this cute little hundred dollar bill bookmark that someone had left in its middle. Did someone leave it there on accident, or was it a gift? I wonder how many treasures I have accidentally left in my library books when I’ve returned them?

Once in a while, I will purposely leave a real dollar bill in a book before I return it. Imagine the look on the next reader’s face when she finds money in her library book! I think that moment of excitement you feel when you find money, even if it’s only a dollar, is worth so much more than the dollar itself. I don’t mind investing in someone else’s moment of happiness once in a while. Read the rest of this page »

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