Musings and Amusings

Posts tagged ‘Blogging’

Is It Buck Naked or Butt Naked?

Heh, you couldn’t resist that title, could you?

That’s ok. I couldn’t resist this little gem of a book:

Hell in a Hen

Malapropism: a word or phrase that has been mistaken for another, usually because of its sound rather than its meaning.

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Living: Wide or Deep

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For as long as I can remember in my adult life, I have enjoyed columnists in my daily newspaper (before the internet silenced the presses). During the years I lived in Boulder, the Daily Camera carried syndicated columnist Ellen Goodman who wrote for the Boston Globe. On more than one occasion, I found myself taking time to handwrite Ellen’s entire column into my ‘Good Writings’ book.

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Coffee on Mother’s Day

Mothers day flowers

If we were having coffee, I’d say Congratulations and a Heartfelt Thank You to each of you Mothers undertaking the herculean task of raising children in today’s confusing and often contradictory societal norms.

Someday your children will thank you, too!

This I know because it took me years to understand and appreciate what my own Mother did for me. Not always what I wanted her to do, and I often wished I had someone else’s Mother for my own, but my Mother did her best and we all turned out ok in a relatively healthy and functionally, loving family.

Now I’m thankful she’s my Mom.

I’d also tell you this is why we don’t plant outdoors until after Mother’s Day.

Taken moments ago on Mother's Day

Taken moments ago on Mother’s Day

I’d tell you that my physical therapy sessions have ended successfully  … for now. I’m not all the way over the hump, and I fear a return to my ‘crippled, painful’ state, although the therapist assures me another 3-6 months of diligent effort on my part will be the most effective preventative.

It was time consuming to attend the sessions and do all the exercises multiple times per day at home, but my postural muscles have strengthened and realigned. My pain, although much diminished, returns if I stay in one position too long so I have to limit myself with seated activities or those like computer and reading that pull me forward. No more than 30 minutes without a readjustment. (Gravity, people. It’s not your friend!). Moving, stretching and changing positions frequently (as well as standing rather than sitting) are the key. In fact, I’m standing to write this with my laptop resting on a Swiffer Wets box to achieve proper level for arms and eyes. (I knew those Swiffer Wets would be good for something!)

The past few weeks, I’ve chosen playing keyboard and reading for my ‘lead to pain’ activities, rather than being on the computer, so my blogging frequency is still diminished. I hope to increase the frequency … time will tell. Usually it’s ‘you’re not good enough writer’s block’ that trips me up. Now I’m brimming with writing ideas and it’s my body dictating my productivity.

The ‘brimming with ideas’ synchs nicely with one of my 2015 Envisions – Mapping and Footsteps.

Not writing for so long, but continuing to read and mull has overloaded me with thoughts that are tangentially connected. If I’d been streaming all along, they wouldn’t be so jumbled. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it.

Today Hub left on a weeklong golf trip … the perfect time for me to immerse myself in sorting the jumble and experimenting with an organizational tool – Mapping. Many of you use various forms of manual or computer mapping. It’s new to me.

Visual mapping – not lists and outlines in notebooks where I can’t find what I’m looking for when I want it – but foam boards where I can pin or tape whatever seems to apply whenever I think of it. (Pinterest for Geriatrics …).

Where to start?

At the beginning!

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Notes left to right – progression of posts ideas.

Notes top to bottom – details for specific ideas.

Post-its – questions on where/how to fit, insert or connect.

Photos, trinkets, and other visual stimulants to remind me that if I want to practice art, I need to consciously incorporate it into my writing plans.

I have a second foam board, or can quickly rearrange this one, as the posts sort themselves out.

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These are all the books I am currently reading that support my Visual Mapping intentions or relate to my writing topics. I will write about specific books, topics and authors. I will pay tribute to a few of my blogging buddy authors as well as reflect impacts on my own life and values.

I hope this results in some worthwhile posts for you and me.

If not, we’ll commiserate over coffee.

Getting Creative With Creative Blogger Award

I’m woefully behind in acknowledging a few awards I’ve received. I truly appreciate the purpose of these awards and the generous support from my fellow bloggers.

As I’ve written, I have mixed emotions about accepting awards because the work can be quite time-consuming, and sometimes the thought of answering certain questions causes me discomfort. I’m responding to a fun one today while not officially following its rules.

creativebloggersaward1

Joey at Joeyfullystated nominated me for the Creative Blogger Award. Thank you, Joey!

This was certainly an apt award for Joey to receive herself. I think of Joey as my RR&R blogging buddy (surprise, Joey). She Rants, Raves and Reveals – I never know what I’ll be reading when Joey scrolls into view, but I’m always entertained, educated and excited by her writing.

Ever think so much could be written about doors? Just see what Joey has to say.

According to the rules, I’m supposed to tell you five things about myself. I decided to focus on five creative things …

Hear the sound of that screeching halt?

I rarely think of myself as creative. Capricorns plod; we don’t create.

But here goes:

I was a child prodigy as a contemporary artist. Remember those springtime wriggly worms that so fascinated me? Mom tells me  when I was about three and she’d send me out to play, she’d look up and find me breaking off pieces of fresh earthworm and ‘painting’ on our front window. When a piece would dry, I’d just break off another and continue my masterpiece.

Look at that HUGE earthworm. I'm not gonna touch it. YOU touch it!

Look at that HUGE earthworm. I’m not gonna touch it. YOU touch it!

When I was a kid, Dad taught me to ‘laugh’ like a loon. I was good at it. Every time we passed a lake or a pond, my siblings would turn to me in the car and say, “C’mon Sammy. Laugh like a loon.”

Loon Laugher on the Right

Loon Laugher on the Right

When I was in the fourth grade, I won the $10 first prize at the American Legion Halloween costume contest dressed as a little old lady. Now I am a little old lady.

Not my Halloween costume, but OLD clothing!

Not my Halloween costume, but OLD clothing!

I owned and operated an Irish Pub with my first husband. Our pub offered Guinness Stout on tap and a menu of authentic Irish fare. Saint Patty’s Day – as you can imagine – was wild! As is so often the case, our restaurant venture was more successful than our marriage. I wonder how the Irish say “C’est la vie.”

Irish saying

Authentic Irish Patrons!

Authentic Irish Patrons!

I took my first dance class (jazz) at age 31 and performed onstage.

Once.

To a recording of Elvis singing Jailhouse Rock.

Hub proposed to me anyway.

In subsequent years, I took classes in ballet, African, modern and – most recently at age 62 – tap. I like jazz best and in my next life I will be performing in Cats during its Broadway run. When that happens, you’ll see a photo.

I’m pleased to pass this award to four bloggers whose creations I look forward to every week – rich offerings that enhance my life.

I do hope you’ll take a peek at their Creativity.

Katie is in the midst of art journaling for International Fake Journal Month, and she has chosen to travel to Italy. Her daily posts are so whimsical and delicious, I’m tempted to try this challenge next year.

Elen is participating in the A-to-Z Challenge for her first time, and her F made me laugh out loud

Raye’s paintings make me green with envy (even when I mistake her figs for eggplant). As if that skill wasn’t enough, her writing stops me in my tracks.

I discovered Sand, Salt, Moon a few weeks ago. She’s picked up a long-lost watercolor practice … paint me green with envy. Again.

Remember, there’s NO pressure with these awards. In case you like rules, here they are:

 The Rules

  • Nominate 15-20 blogs and notify all nominees via their social media/blogs
  • Thank and post the link of the blog that nominated you (very important)
  • Share 5 facts about yourself to your readers
  • Pass these rules on to them

Getting Organized: Brain, Blog and Bytes Between

“I really must get organized.” says Sammy D. every day of the week

I fear that will be my epitaph.

Actually, I’m Capricorn-esque Organized. Came out of the womb with a big ‘O’ on my forehead.

Nothing falls through the cracks. Taxes filed, library books returned, work projects completed? I ‘git ‘er done’ ahead of time. Keys, insurance policy, ID from college, photo from 1955? I can put my hands on it within five minutes.

But my blogging mind and blogging-related paper piles?

by Sammy D.

by Sammy D.

Utter organizational failure.

I am a paper person and information hoarder: scribbling notes, compiling lists, snipping magazines, printing online articles – a pen and scissors are my BFFs.

We bloggers discuss the difficulty some incur channeling our thoughts into cohesively constructed posts. I can’t tackle that challenge until I stop blocking myself by searching the same piles repeatedly.

Thus my 3-step mission:

  1. Categorize note taking and list making
  2. Create file/purge system for articles
  3. Design mapping schematic for constructing blog posts

After researching multiple ‘official’ note-taking processes, tools and apps – none of which appealed – I created seven categorized notebooks for recording and retrieving information.

My notebook of choice is the standard 8 ½” X 11” lined, spiral. It’s the right size, right price, flexible to modify, and comfortable to use – like a pair of broken-in shoes.

In each notebook, I reserve the first 10 pages for Index. I number the remaining pages in the top right corner and complete the Index as I use the pages.

When I begin a page, I ‘guesstimate’ how many pages I should reserve depending on whether I’m starting a list, recording notes or writing a draft. (It’s a work in progress; ask me about a specific notebook if you have questions!)

imageMy Seven NoteBooks:

Blogger Reference:

  • Info on bloggers I follow – URLs, locales, interests, notes on our interactions. Enhances my blogging relationships.

Writing Resources:

  • Writing craft URLs; books recommended by writers; my notes on writing craft tips; info for online classes

Visits and Explorations to Consider:  

  • Upcoming calendar-specific or ongoing events, exhibits and activities
  • Shops, buildings, trails, neighborhoods, parks, towns

Drafts:

  • I handwrite a draft only after I have composed it in my head. Composing in my head is hard. So is trying to write it on paper without first doing so in my head. Hence my decision to experiment with mapping schematics (future post)

Snippets:

  • Future draft material I need to remove from current brain clutter.
  • Includes aspects of previously published posts I forgot to include or couldn’t rhythmically incorporate; musings about trends, technology or society; interesting websites or triggers from reading other blogs.

Thoughts:

  • Flash thoughts or questions occurring out-of-context. Again – get it on paper out of my head. I might research, ponder or simply cross them out at year end

Words:

  • Prompts, words I like, words I’ve never heard, active verbs, foreign phrases, ditties, clichés, slang, mis-used words, made-up words

In addition to seven notebooks, I’ve used this journal for years:

imageQuote Book with a beautiful antique Parisian-style cover and handmade paper pages. Along with the typical quotes, I record quotes from you or me – phrases from posts or comments that resonate (with proper attribution, of course).

One month after Notebook Launch, I’m very happy with my system.

I’ve gained significantly more focused bandwidth for composing mental drafts by using separate notebooks for Drafts, Snippets, Thoughts and Words.

Better yet, I use the Indexes to quickly retrieve previously recorded information.

What’s next now that I’ve organized my extensive note-taking?

A File/Purge System for my articles-hoarder-habit.

I know …   

It’s called Read Once to Recycle Bin.

Jamie’s Magical Modifiers

I’m in a re-blogging mood this week, apparently because you are writing posts I simply can’t resist.

I made the mistake of re-blogging this excellent post about adverbs and adjectives to my private ‘lessons’ blog (where I file teaching posts I want to save), only to discover I cannot now re-blog it here. Aspiring writers will appreciate this ‘lesson’.

I struggle with the whole ‘show; don’t tell’ concept – not fully understanding or embracing it. Of the many ‘expert’ posts I’ve read on the topic, Jamie’s is the most succinct and specific, and includes the best examples of how to use adverbs and adjectives to spice our writing.

I’ve wanted to give a shout-out to this group of professional writers  – New Hampshire Writers’ Network  – who blog at Live to Write – Write to Live.

While I enjoy all the writers on that site, I salivate every Saturday morning while reading Jamie’s regular Saturday post.

If you read today’s post, please use your time commenting there instead of here. Enjoy and learn !

Sunflowers for Tina

sunflowernew

 

“Turn your face to the sun,
and the shadows fall behind you”
Maori Proverb

I am participating in a memorial tribute to Tina Downey, a well-known and beloved blogger who recently passed away. Tina’s favorite flower was the Sunflower, and today we are all honoring Tina with our Sunflower Blogfest.

How fitting: Tina and Sunflowers

A flower whose face seeks the sun in all its vibrant warmth and blazing glory.

sunflower4

A flower that towers in the fields; whose stalk is sturdy; and whose face is perpetually open to the world.

Sometimes bent; rarely broken; swaying with the blustery wind; standing strong against the rages of crackling lightning, booming thunder and pounding hail.

Hearty souls dwelling on the high plains under crisp blue skies and towering Colorado mountains.

Tina and Sunflowers

Forever linked.

Singing their spirit chorus, blessing Heaven and Earth:

Life Is Good

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