Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Holidays!

Well, it's Christmas Eve eve, or something like that....and I just remembered I have one more present to buy for the hubby. I was waiting until the last minute because I was running out of places to hide things and didn't want him to happen upon the gift by mistake. But of course, out of sight, out of mind, and as I slid home on icy roads this evening and cruised into the driveway, I suddenly remembered the missing gift. And it's his main gift. The most important one. The one that will make him the happiest. Dang it! After a few minutes of panic, I found out that the particular store where I can purchase the item is open tomorrow so hopefully the ice will be melted and I can make a quick trip to get it tomorrow morning.

But who in the heck wants to be shopping for presents on Christmas Eve?!?!? Not me, I tell ya!!! Honestly, I had firmly planned to be finished shopping by Thanksgiving weekend (after Black Friday shopping!) I was determined to be done. I planned, I plotted, I started early!! What happened to that plan anyway? How did it get so drastically screwed up that I have been doing Christmas shopping every single week since then...and will be going out again tomorrow?!?!?

Well these past few months have been a blur that it's no wonder that I'm a bit behind. Ok...more than a "bit." But tomorrow, by golly, come hell or high water, I'll finally finish up my Christmas shopping! Really.

I'm behind in my blogging also, but now I'm back with an innocent hope and good intentions to create some kind of order to my life and that in doing so, I will also develop a regular blogging (and writing) routine.

Keep your fingers crossed. In the meantime, here's wishing you a wonderful holiday and new year with family and friends. May your life be filled with happiness and a calm peace.


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Another Sunday morning...

...round up where I briefly comment on a few items that caught my attention this week. And here goes:
1. Michael Phelps is an incredible athlete, arguably one of the greatest athletes of all time. His breathtaking, record setting, and sometimes by-a-hair finishes are inspiring and a pure pleasure to behold. His excitement and dedication is contagious. But...after seeing an interview yesterday morning the news station did with his mom, I understand where he gets it. This is a family with its feet firmly planted into what's important and what really matters. Mrs. Phelps has done a great job, and Michael's closeness to her, the special bond that they obviously share is heartwarming and makes me like him (and her) even more. Way to go Michael (and Mom!)!!
2. All the USA Olympic athletes are inspiring. Those who win medals and also those who do not. All of them deserve our support, awe, and pride. What an impressive bunch they are!
3. Taking my little grandson out in the Sky convertible is a blast. He loves it!! He's only 2 so sat in a car seat as we cruised around this morning like two cool cats. Both of us in our sunglasses and with our hair flying. He glanced at me while we were stopped at a traffic light and said, "This is fun, Nana." And I said, yep it sure is.
4. Why is it that when a man drives around in a convertible sports car with his son or grandson sitting in a car seat by his side, it only magnifies his attractiveness. I mean, truly, what is sexier than a wonderfully sweet, handsome guy playing and hanging out with a baby. On his own!!! Without help!! But when a woman does the same, it only drags her sexiness down a notch (or three!). Oh it's still cute and sweet, but it really just serves as an alert that 1) she has a child (big red flag!) or 2) that she's old enough to be a grandma (bigger red flag!!).

Have a wonderful week!!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sunday morning round up...

On Sundays, I will be writing briefly about just a few things that caught my attention during the previous week. Some topics will be about me (are you surprised?), but most will be about the world around me. Some will be political, some news specific. Some will be about local events, some global. So, in no particular order and with no rhyme or reason, here are today's round up thoughts:

1. The Olympic competitions are a very special time. It's the one occasion, aside from national catastrophes, when every American comes together to root on their fellow countrymen and women. When we are all on one side. It's a feel-good time, a patriotic time, and time of pride and wonder. The USA athletes are glorious examples of mind-boggling strength and endurance, and of all-inspiring dedication and determination. So, to all the USA athletes who are competing, good luck to you....and win or lose, you make us proud.

2. My husband is Canadian, and I'm awfully danged fond of the place myself, so I must add.... To all the Canadian athletes who are competing....good luck to you as well and if we don't win, I hope you do! :)

3. John Edwards is an embarassment and a disappointment. And I don't believe a word he is now saying regarding when his wife and family knew about the affair, when the affair ended, and about not being the father of the mistress's baby. After he lied about the affair itself for months while thousands contributed money, time, energy, and heart to his fruitless, now precarious and doomed presidential campaign, why in the world would anybody believe anything he says at this point. He is a rotten liar...it's as simple as that.

4. Birthdays are great!! So a very warm and happy thank you to my family, friends and co-workers who helped me celebrate my own birthday this week.

Enjoy the coming week!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Vacation was great but...

Well, we just finished a two-week vacation. Actually one week's vacation to hubby's family's cottage on Crow Lake in Ontario, and one week with his girls and two of their friends here at our house. I worked most of this past week, though, but still took some time off while they were here. And through it all, here's what I learned...
1. One week away is never enough (six would be more like it).
2. One week away is too much if you use the pile of work that backed up at your office while you were away as the gauge (thankfully, I don't)
3. Four teenage girls eat just as much or more than 4 teenage boys (and I have the empty cabinets andtwo week's worth of grocery receipts to prove it!)
4. Ontario, Canada lake country has BUGS, lots of them (and they bite. hard.)
5. Bugs or no bugs, vacationing on a lake in Canada is hard to beat (and the bugs can be controlled).
6. No matter how hard you try, you cannot diet while on vacation. (ok. I really didn't try very hard. But still...)
7. Watching a child cliff diving from a 50-60 ft cliff doesn't get any easier even when that "child" is almost 22. (I told him to get his butt down from there, but he wouldn't listen. I was not surprised.)
8. Spending time with family is one the most important things you can do. (and enjoying it makes it so much easier)
9. Teens are interesting to talk to (and heavens to Betsy, you never know what they're going to say next)
10. The house gets eerily and sadly quiet once they are gone again. (normally, I love quiet. Today it just seems too quiet.)

And that's it for now. The season finale of HGTV's Design Star is coming up, and I simply can't miss it. Hope you all had good vacations this summer, or will have a good one soon. They are worth every minute.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

A day to be lazy....

As if I needed an excuse, I'm still going to offer one. It's hot outside today...steamy hot. Like sticking-your-head-over-a-boiling-kettle hot. So I'd just as soon stay inside today and take it easy. Real easy. As in frozen-pizza-and-french-fries for dinner easy.

In addition to the three-day weekend that the 4th holiday provided, I worked from home on Thursday which allowed me to sleep in a little, and mosey around when I got tired of sitting at the desk. But it's been a busy few days so today I'm happily doing next to nothing.

Friday, I helped my daughter clean and put things away in her new apartment. It's a cute place, and she and my little grandson (the cutest kid on earth) will be comfortable there. The problem is that she and I have very different concepts of "clean" and "put away," and yes, I can admit it, I'm kinda anal about it. But we muddled through, and her apartment looks cute. And the two of them look very happy in it. And that's what really matters anyway, right?

Sunday, June 29, 2008

3 College Grads

Well...my youngest son graduated from Miami University in May. Three down. Three graduated. I feel proud of them. Very proud. Education is so very important--much more so than ever before. The days of lucrative factory jobs straight out of high school, without any post highs chool education, are all but over, especially in the area we live in. Plants like the nearby GM plant are closing and those $30/hour jobs are going with them. Education or specialized training is no longer just as option, it's a necessity.

My youngest daughter will return to complete a bachelors degree in early childhood education in the fall (she received an associates degree a couple of years ago), and I couldn't be happier about that. She'll be a wonderful teacher, and a teaching career will allow her plenty of time with my little grandson and any future family she may have.

And as for me...I don't just talk the talk. I'm a part-time student myself now and plan to finish a degree when I retire from the university in a few years. Even at this age, at nearly the end of a very satisfying and productive career, I realize how important education is. I'm excited about learning and I look forward to every class I take. In the fall, I'm taking a Short Story class and a Geology class. Can't wait.

If you're thinking about taking a class or going back to school, go for it. There's never been a better time.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Don't tell me how to vote...

I was reading the Cincinnati Enquirer this morning, catching up on the news of the recently-completely minicamp for my beloved Bengals. The Chad Johnson saga continues, but the rest of the team seems to be working hard and pulling their weight. One part of the article, though, quite irritated me. At the end of Coach Marvin Lewis's press conference, as he was leaving, instead of answering parting questions, Coach Lewis instructed the crowd to "Vote for [Barack] Obama."

Hmmm. Well now. What do you know? It's June and Coach Lewis is worried that I may not be intelligent or informed enough to make up my own mind about which candidate I should support come November. Isn't that nice? With all that Marvin Lewis has to worry about....i.e. spoiled, loud-mouthed players who don't want to play, players who gain notoriety not for their playing ability but for their embarrassing legal troubles, first-round draft picks who get suspended for a continual inability to pass a drug test, and coaching just one winning season out of his 5 as head coach....it boggles the mind that he has the time, not to be mention the audacity, to tell me how to cast my ballot.

Well here's a message to Coach Lewis. Stick to what you know best, sir. You seem to have enough on your plate without worrying about my vote. If it's all the same to you, I'll make my own decision about who to support this fall. Thanks anyway.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

OK, so it's been a while...

Yes, it's been a few weeks - 7 to be exact - since I last blogged. Most of April and the first two weeks of May found me working way too many hours and when not working, I was attending, studying, or doing homework for my logics class. Occasionally I'd sleep. :) In between all that, I was planning my parents' 50th anniversary party, trying to spend time with family and friends, and doing a unhealthy dose of stressful eating.

But now, I'm back to my normal workload and stress level, I completed (and received an A!) in my class, I've taken a week's vacation to rejuvenate, and finally am beginning to feel like my old self again. I've started walking in the mornings again and this week got serious about eating right. It's time to get healthy again. Time to shed those extra 15 pounds I'm carrying around. Time to alter my lifestyle in healthy ways that will make a difference in the way I look and feel now, but more importantly, will make a difference for years to come. I'm ready. I'm motivated. And I'm determined. Wish me luck! :)

I haven't been writing much lately, I just couldn't find the time or energy I need for it. But the two poems that had been accepted by the two literary journals were finally published and I have to admit it was very satisfying to see my work featured and my name in print. Very satisfying. That combined with the sixsentence publication listed below added some much needed excitment to a dreary few weeks.

But now I'm back. I've been jotting down ideas for poems and stories and will get busy on those as time and energy permit and I'll be back here blogging more regularly. I hope all is well in your corner of the world. Peace.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Formal logic and reasoning...or some such stuff

I haven't written much about the class I'm taking this semester other than to say that it is challenging. It's a Philosophy course, "Formal Logic and Reasoning," which sounded "reasonable" when I registered for it. It satisfies the Math/Reasoning requirement of my liberal education plan without me having to take Calculus or some other unspeakable, unthinkable math class. As I mentioned in a previous post, please keep in mind that I haven't had a math course since high school--nearly 28 years ago. And I didn't do that well it the subject then. So, the Formal Logic course sounded a little more palatable.

In a nutshell, I was mistaken. It's a form of calculus slyly cloaked in a deceptive cover of philosophical jargon. Grrrr! When my former boss, who is a physicist and incredily intelligent, told me upon finding out what class I was taking that Formal Logic had been his favorite class, I was certain that I was doomed. Yikes! But thankfully, I was wrong about that also. While I do have to work very hard in this class, it's not quite the castrophe that I imagined. I'm actually doing fairly well in the course and--hold onto your hats--I'm enjoying it. Whodathunkit, right?

Having a professor who genuinely wants everyone in the class to not only understand the material but enjoy the learning process has made the difference. I'm convinced that had I gotten a different instructor, one with less enthusiasm or patience for teaching a complicated subject to non-philosophy majors, one whose idea of teaching is just a monotone lecture and a directive to memorize the material, one who's actual teaching gets sidetracked by their own ideological opinions, that I would be struggling. I've had a couple of those latter instructors, and it's not been pleasant.

So, to Professor Yesh and other wonderful, dedicated, supportive, enthusiastic, and effective teachers out there, I thank you! To the rest of the teachers who don't fit that description--and I believe most of you know who you are--perhaps it's time to re-think your profession. Maybe sooner rather than later.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

It's April and raining...

The weather folks are calling for more rain tonight and tomorrow - up to two inches! A portion will likely be in the form of thunderstorms, "some severe" they said. But I love rain and storms; they're very calming and soothing to me. Even the most severe thunder and lightening brings with it a tranquil peace for me. It's a wonderful thing.

Hmmm....sounds like a good day to be inside, snuggled up reading, or better yet writing, doesn't it.? I agree with you, but unfortunately I'll be working instead. Schlepping through puddles and mud in my fancy pancy rain boots and cursing an umbrella that's just about ready to give up the ghost. After all, work duty calls on the weekdays. They are calling for a sunny, warm weekend, though, and since I have to be out in that torrential mess tomorrow, I'll gladly take the more hospitable weather on my weekend. I have a few to-do's on my list, and a couple of should-do's too, and hopefully I'll have time to write a little.

I do have a writing update to report. A short piece I wrote and submitted a couple of weeks ago was accepted for publishing/posting by Six Sentences. It should appear on the site on April 23. I am very pleased about this because I thoroughly enjoy the site. Six Sentences is on online literary blog dedicated to short stories or written pieces that are six sentences in length--no more, no less. The size, style, and topics vary greatly, but most of the writing is intelligent, crisp, and, quite often, thought provoking. A bonus is that it can also be a quick read for those of us with little time to spare. So if you have some time, please check it out at http://sixsentences.blogspot.com/ and perhaps try your own hand at it. As the site asks, "What can you say in six sentences?"

More later folks....stay dry, or cool, or warm, or wet....whereever you are.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Two in a Row

Well, what do you know? (Or as they say, Who woulda thunk it?) Here I am posting on my blog for the second day in a row. Go figure! I got quite motivated today at lunch when my best friend said to me, "Deb, I visited your blog site the other day and you hadn't made a new post since February." Ahem. I quickly informed her that she was quite mistaken. That I'd just posted a new entry just last night and that perhaps she should check again. She laughed. I think that was an indication she didn't believe me. I'm not sure. Either way, it was motivation. By golly, if someone is going to stop by every so often, then I want to reward them with new material. So, DeVona, this post is for you! :)

Speaking of friends, this past weekend my husband and I hosted the party for our friends and the Ladies Night Sleepover (mentioned in a previous post further down on the blog). We had a great time! There was more food than we could possibly consume (though we tried), strawberry daiquiris to die for, a hilarious version of the Newlywed game, and a postponed holiday re-gift exchange. A very fun evening with close friends. Then the fellas headed out, and we ladies donned our pajamas, dragged the mattress out into the living room floor, gathered pillows, blankets, comforters, and snuggled in to watch our movies. Well, we watched the movies after we finally stopped talking! Then, given that neither of us has the stamina of young chicks any more, we were asleep by 3:00 a.m!!

Wild women we were. Yesiree. Hey, I said it was a "sleepover" not a "stay-up-all-nighter!" We know our limits!


Monday, March 17, 2008

Treading water...

I do realize that I need to be more disciplined about blogging. It often seems that at the end of the day, though, when all else is said and done, I can't think of a single creative thing to "say." Imagine that! A writer with not one bit of interesting prose or muse to share. Well, that's not exactly true. I have lots of interesting and creative thoughts swirling around in my head, keeping me awake at night, but just not enough energy to formulate them into a blog entry.

A colleague has resigned to move on to a new job in another state. I am thrilled for her--it was a wonderful opportunity--and will miss her. But in the meantime, someone must take over for her until we hire a replacement. Yes, you guessed it. That someone is me. I'm not complaining. Much. :) It's a chance to learn more about the responsibilities of that position and to broaden my professional horizons. (Did that sound convincing?) There has been one big benefit, though. Juggling the two, very busy positions has forced me to be more organized and structured. And for me, that's a good thing!

I suppose what I'm trying to say is....that's my excuse for sporadic blogging and, by golly, I'm sticking to it. I do have a couple of writing accomplishments to brag about, though. I learned today that a poem I submitted to a publication called fragments was accepted and will appear in the spring edition. And.... I've submitted three fiction stories to two separate contests. I submitted a short story entry for this month's Writer's Digest "Your Story" contest and this past weekend, I submitted two stories to the Dayton Daily News's Short Story contest.
So I feel fairly proud of myself. I'm writing. I'm submiting. And I'm getting accepted. Yes, I do realize that the acceptances may likely be few and far between, and the rejections letters will come all too fast and furious. So please allow me to gloat now while I can. I'll whine and pout later.

Have a wonderful remainder of March. Here in SW Ohio, it still feels like winter outside. Brrrrrrrrr! Here's hoping for spring....soon!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Back among the living...

Whew! I'm back. Finally. After spending the better part of the past 10 days either sick with that bad flu that's going around, or trying to recover from it, I've not been online much. I'm just now poking around and trying to catch up. I was off work a few days during this time, but attempting to read blogs or websites, or trying to actually do some writing myself was literally impossible. On the rare occasion that I did have the energy to come to the computer, the words quickly blurred on the screen and headaches soon followed. The only energy I could muster was just enough to get me through my work day. By the time I got home, the computer was the last thing I wanted to see. Yikes! This was a tough bout of something, folks!

But I'm back among the living and feeling more like myself today. And it's about time! I feel like so much time was wasted when I could have been writing, or reading about writing, or writing about writing in this here blog. :) Sheesh. But I did come up with several interesting ideas floating around in my head (and written down on paper!) for new stories, poems, and writing projects. Most of them may not come to fruition, but at least I don't feel that it was a completely unproductive, doing-nothing-but-feeling-sorry-for-myself week. I managed to have a couple of bright ideas and that's better than nothing.

I hope all of you can avoid that nasty virus, and that the remainder of the winter season finds you happy, productive, and germ free! Hang in there, spring is just around the corner.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Not enough time in the day....

Ok, I'm ready to admit it. Providing my writing the time it needs and deserves is going to be challenging. With a full-time job (and then some), taking a Formal Logic and Reasoning course (did I mention I haven't had any math or reasoning since high school?), keeping up the house (the laundry does not do itself!), and spending time with my family (yes, they also want a piece of me every once in a while), it's difficult to put together the blocks of quality time I need to write, to research, and to read. I'm not whining. I'm simply stating what has now become clear to me and in so doing, hoping it will not dampen my enthusiasm for and excitement about writing but instead will urge me to have patience and persistence instead.

Now that I have that off my chest, though, I would like to tell you what I have accomplished during the past couple of weeks. Writing may not be happening at the speed of light around here, but it is happening. I've submitted a poem to a university literary journal and will be submitting a short story to them this week as well. I've polished a short story written for my fall creative writing class to submit to a short story contest sponsored by our local big-city newspaper. I've revised two flash fiction pieces and will be researching some online literary journals for submission of those, and I've written another poem.

So, I am making headway albeit slowly. More importantly, I'm having fun and learning an awful lot about writing and writers. In the meantime, my job is secure, I received an "A" on my first exam in the logic course, my laundry is caught up, and my hubby still wants a piece of me. :) I'd say....so far, so good.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

From time to time...

Every once in a while we all need to just get away. To spend a couple of days doing only the things you truly want to do or that make you feel good, and to spend a bit of that time doing absolutely nothing at all. My hubby and I got away to do (and not do) just that this weekend. The occasion was our 4th anniversary, but after the typical stress of the holidays, getting back into the hectic swing of another semester at work and in my classes, and a sudden onslaught of frigid weather, it was the perfect time for a little breather.

We didn't go far. We didn't need to. Just being away with no agenda, no time constraints, and nobody expecting any work to be done, was far enough. We laughed, we lounged, we talked, we snuggled, we ate, we read, we slept, we shopped. Then we woke up and did it all over again. It was a wonderous weekend and it was just what I needed.

Tomorrow, I'll return to work and my class refreshed and tranquil. And I'm turning my attention again to my writing. I have a piece I'm thinking about writing to submit to a small literary publication put together annually by the university's women's center. I have a poem ready to submit, but would like to submit an opinion essay as well. I worked out a mental outline for the piece this weekend, made some notes in my journal, and am now anxious to get started on it.

So, I hope this entry motivates you to take that day or two to get away, to relax and rejuvenate yourself. Like me, you probably need it and you, too, deserve it.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Right off the bat, I want to say how lucky I am when it comes to friends. I'm married to a man I consider my very best friend. I'd rather spend time with him then with any other person on the planet. But, when he's busy or I need girl time, I have a group of 4 friends who provide all the quality girl time and support any person could hope for. Four friends I can count on to be there for me, no matter what. My closest friend, DeVona is that female friend that everyone needs. Just by being my friend, she makes me a better person. She's much nicer than I am and she's content sometimes never getting a word in when I'm on a roll or tirade about something and I forget to let her talk during our conversations. A saint, she is. And then there are the other three -- Suzanne, Amy, and Melanie -- who provide me with literally hours even days of entertainment and general all-around female camaraderie. The five of us "get" each other. We recognize each other's faults, we understand our quirks, we realize that we are very different people, but we love each other regardless. And thankfully, because we all live and work very close to each other (in fact we met at the university where we work), we are able to spend lots of time together. We regularly "do" happy hour on Friday evenings to end the work week, we go shopping or out to dinner, we get together for a massage-and-pamper-us day, and we even boldly go to the local adult entertainment store (and that is a blog entry all its own!). With our spouses and families, we have picnics, Christmas, 4th of July/Canada Day, and birthday parties, and we often get together for no reason at all other than it's been a couple of weeks since we've done so. We even enjoy listening to each other karaoke. And none of us can sing.

And one night a year, we have a sleepover. A slumber party. A girls-only night of p.j.'s margaritas, chick flicks, girl talk, gossiping, and, well, female bonding. On those nights, we've compared breast sizes (I lost), complained about men, danced, and tried to sing the "You put the lime in the coconut" song in Chinese. Every year it's something new and fun, but every year I am also comforted to recognize the familiar friends I know. Mel continues to try to teach me how to use my remote control, Suzanne is the first to fall asleep, Amy brings the shrimp ring, DeVona spoils my pets, and I just enjoy the heck out of having all of them at my house.

After coffee (with Baileys), breakfast, and laughingly going over the events of the night before, my friends head home the next morning. And each time they leave, I am reminded of just how blessed I am. Folks in the know say that we are lucky to have one great friend in our lifetimes. I have four. Thank you, ladies. You're the best.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The overwhelming world of online writing sites

Per my resolution to read and learn about writing in 2008, I've been wandering around the internet google-searching writing topics and reading sites here and there. During my creative writing class, a recurring weekly assignment was to find, read, and write reviews on various online or print literary journals. This quickly became a favorite assignment as I stumbled upon many interesting and entertaining sites. On many online journals, the quality of the writing is astounding. Provocative, edgy, captivating. There are journals for every genre, style, and ability. These sites are usually a joy to read through. Of course I have a few favorites and still more are bookmarked. I continue to investigate sites not only for my own reading and learning pleasure (via duotrope.com or newpages.com), but to narrow down sites to which I may one day submit my own writing. The possibilities there so far seem endless.

Also, I've found several general websites dedicated just to writers and writing. The WritersDigest.com and Poets and Writers site (pw.org) are a couple of my favorites. The articles on the sites range from interesting (tips, advice, informative) to entertaining (interviews with successful writers, personal anecdotes from writers). A particularly useful part of both sites to me has been the forums--where other writers share the ups and downs, ins and outs, and the many ordeals and successes of the world of writing. Both forums are chockfull of writers in all stages of careers who ask questions, offer encouragement, provide advice and just generally support one another. It feels good just to be a member of each of those forums. I feel like a writer when I'm there even though I haven't contributed much to either except an introductory post in the "New Member" sections. But I'll be a force to be reckoned with on those forums before you know it. Well perhaps not a force. More like a nudge. There are many other good websites and forums for writers out there...again the numbers seem limitless....but I'm sticking with these two for now and browsing others when I have time.

And then there are blogs. Oh my Gosh! Blogs and blogs and more blogs. You can find blogs with subjects ranging from anything to everything.... and blogs about nothing at all, or the equivalent of nothing. I'm concentrating on writers' blogs, though, and am just now scratching the surface. A quirky blogger habit seems to be listing the blog sites of other like-minded or interesting bloggers on your blog's homepage. So when I find an interesting blog, generally on the right side (although some are on the left) is a rather long list of several other blogs. You literally can blog jump for hours on end. The problem I've found that I want to warn you about is that a couple of times I have moved from blog to blog then forgotten to bookmark a particularly good one along the way only to lose it in the string of blogs visited. A couple of those that I really seemed to relate to I've managed to find again. A couple more are still lost out there. I'll continue looking for those though. Once I narrow down a few blogs that I believe stand out significantly from the others, at least for me, I will begin my own right-side list of favorite blog sites. I know--you can hardly wait, huh? Just please take heed of my warning above.

So, that's where I am so far. This is a long post, so I'll provide more info (and my opinions) about some of the writing sites, forums, and blogs I've found in future posts. Until then, keep warm (they are predicting zero temps in SW Ohio for this weekend) and have fun.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

About me...

A couple of years ago, I decided to go back to school and earn a degree in anticipation of retiring from my regular job in 4-5 years. I have a great job and love the university where I work but I have wondered what would I actually like to do if I could pick anything….much like “what do I want to be when I grow up?” I enjoy writing and I do various forms of it in my current position (proposals, speech writing, business writing, etc), so being a writer was my first thought. I doubted, though, that it could be a serious career option.

This past semester , I gave in to my inner voice and took a creative writing class. Simply put…wow! I now know (and can admit) what I want to be when I group up. To say I was overwhelmed but excited is an understatement. I can now actually envision myself with a writing career. So, while a large part of me now seems in a big hurry to learn as much about writing as fast as I can, the rest of me knows that I have plenty of time….and a full time job and part-time education to concentrate on too. The writing course last semester created the habit of writing regularly and simply writing for fun (a very new phenomenon to me!) I’ve started keeping a writing journal and (per a requirement for the course) submitted two pieces of work to a literary magazine…one of which was accepted! So soon I can actually proclaim to be a published writer.

I'm very new at writing poetry--and not very good at it yet. The poem below was part of an assignment for the creative writing class. Obviously it's personal in nature, butI thought very appropriate for my first creative piece posted to the new blog. Enjoy....or at least offer only thoughtful, gentle criticism. I'm still working on my writer's thick skin. :)

(Sorry - I removed the poem I had placed here. I've tweaked it a little and hope to submit it to a literary magazine. Amy - thank you for your feedback!)

Friday, January 4, 2008

A new year, new goals

"We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives...not looking for flaws, but for potential." Ellen Goodman (Boston Globe writer)

I saw this quote this week and it gave me pause. Like most folks, I’d given myself a thoughtful critique, made a few resolutions for 2008, both personally and professionally, and most with an eye for how to get better, do better, be better, etc. Ellen Goodman’s quote caused me to re-think those resolutions and goals and revamp them in a more positive light or to create a few new ones based on the capabilities I have, and the attributes I possess (or at least I THINK I possess them!), particularly my goals as a writer this year.

I have many goals for my writing this year and I’ll list them here for posterity. Right now, no one sees this blog except me, but putting them in writing out on the net for anyone to be able to stumble upon gives them significance and a permanency that will keep me on the right path. (Yes, I know they aren’t actually permanent as I can erase and change them at any time…but don’t burst my bubble!)

1. Read, research, and learn from books, articles, websites, and blogs about writing, writing opportunities, and writing career options.
2. Continue writing on a regular basis and expand my writing horizons with genres, voices, and styles that are different than my comfortable norm.
3. Continue adding to my expanding “List of Interesting Words to Use in My Writing” list. I’m a fan of new, different and/or interesting words and am always on the lookout for one to add to the list.
4. Learn the very necessary skill of revising, putting aside, revising, putting aside and revising.
5. Be a writer. I don’t have to wait to actually have the degree in hand to be a writer. I am a writer now and I’ll be a writer next week…and next month. I’ll just be a better writer then.
6. Enjoy my life...all parts of it.

Happy New Year to anyone who stumbles in. I hope the quote above is beneficial to you also.