Musings and Amusings

Posts tagged ‘creative writing’

Mighty Oaks from Little Eggcorns Grow

This post is Day Five of the 5 Day 5 Photo Challenge in which I feature malapropisms.


Language has historically been a written and audio tool to distinguish social classes. Authors and playwrights – think Dickens, Shakespeare and Moliere – used malapropisms in dialogue when those from a lower class wished to appear educated while speaking to a higher-up. Their attempts to use proper words and grammar often resulted in a mangled phrase or two. (more…)

Dear John

Clear Creek Trail

Restroom on Clear Creek Trail

Dear John ,

You are ‘privy’ to wearing one of my favorite doors. I don’t give you nearly enough accolades for the times I’ve been delighted to see your door.


Shootin’ the Summer Breeze

If we were having coffee, I’d whisk us to Berlin, Germany to Dimension Alley, billed as the first 3-D Printer café.

In D-Alley’s own words, “The café serves traditional English fare: Cornish pasties, pies, scones with Strawberry Jam and Cream, cakes and biscuits. We have tea imported from the UK as well as great Berlin coffee.”

That’s not even the fun part!

The café features a 3-D printer so you can design and manufacture your own coffee cup, or perhaps a superhero with the face of your coffee-mate!

Don’t worry. If Berlin is too far to go for coffee, these printers are coming soon to a coffee shop near you.


Will the Real Annie Please Stand Up?

Did any of you watch that 50’s-60’s show called ‘What’s My Line?’ where four people come on stage and say something like, “I’m Annie, and I’m an author”?

Only one of them was really an author named Annie but they all answered author-ish questions from a panel of celebrities (Dorothy Kilgallen, Arlene Francis, Bennett Cerf) who would then guess which contestant was the real Annie.

Finally the host, John Charles Daly, would say, “Will the real Annie please stand up?” and the audience would gasp at how cleverly the contestants fooled the panel.

That’s how I felt back in January when Elizabeth wrote about reading Anne LaMott’s book Small Victories.

The gist of our comments was:

Me: “I’m so glad you are enjoying Annie Dillard …

 Elizabeth: “Who is Annie Dillard?”


I’d done it again. Been flummoxed by the Annies.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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

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 !


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