Posted in Authors, Creativity, How To, Learning, Thought, Words, Writing

A Writer’s Voice

I’m not a writer. Just an obsessed bookworm extremely interested in the creative process of writing. Having read over a thousand books through the last 3 years (See a writer’s voice is a new concept for me. I know about POV but this is entirely different. Follow the link at the end of this post for the rest of the story.

HANNAH BRENCHER: This is a blog for go-getters & do-gooders visit

“If the leaves danced then tell me they danced. If you slow danced in the kitchen then tell me the song. Tell me the tiny, delicate details that make this story your own.”

Hannah Brencher writes about a writer’s voice.

Posted in Learning

Fat Finger Find

From Atlas Obscura comes the unusual and awesome find which I like to call the Fat Finger Find.

Hercules Hands

“Towering over Amman’s modern skyline is the Temple of Hercules, located at the peak of a hillside in one of the ancient city’s oldest quadrants . . . From just three gigantic fingers, one elbow, and a scattering of coins, archaeologists have agreed these marble body parts likely belonged to a massive statue of Hercules himself. Therefore, the theory goes, the temple also must have been dedicated to the half-god known for his feats of strength and far-ranging adventures.”

More information and photos on the awesome archeological discoveries in this region can be found at:

Posted in Creativity, How To, Learning, Words, Writing

Package of Perfection

For those of us who have inherited very few creative genes, mental exercises that help improve the likelihood of creative thought are essential. I stumbled (it didnt hurt — much) upon the following blog on Huffington Post by Kathy Nimmer. She offers this as a way to brainstorm a brainstorm.

A Creative Writing Exercise You Should Try

Kathy Nimmer writes:

On a recent visit to Elkhart Community Schools in northern Indiana, I had the pleasure of conducting a writing workshop with students taking English electives at Elkhart Memorial High School. After sharing the story of my writing life with them, I led them through one of my favorite creative writing exercises. Based off of a concept called “packaging” that I encountered probably twenty years ago while skimming a writing text (title unknown) and modified for my classroom, the steps go something like this:

1. Brainstorm every word or phrase you can think have related to a particular topic; we used “winter.”
2. In the brainstorm, be sure to harvest words from various subtopics such as weather, activities, holidays, foods, and the five senses.

You can read the rest of Kathy Nimmer’s post here.

Posted in Authors, Creativity, Learning, Writing

Conflict and Trouble

Free writing tips? Who does that?
Jennifer Crusie is one of the best authors ever in my humble opinion. If you’ve read her books, you know what I mean. If you haven’t, you don’t know what you’re missing.


Heart Bomb HiRes copy 2

A lot of stories have slow starts because their writers confuse trouble with conflict.

Trouble is what happens to all of us, usually daily.  Things go wrong, we make mistakes, others screw up and we have to clean it up.  Trouble is part of life.

Conflict is a struggle between two people who both want goals and who are blocking each other.  Conflict is a battle, a war.  Conflict escalates because both sides push back.  Conflict is the fuel for story.

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Posted in Artists, Creativity, Great Quotes, Learning, Parenting

Fostering Creativity

Spider-Man by Matthew Denton

Creativity is the spice of life. As a mother of an artist and a judge I understand the need to allow kids to think differently even when it seems silly. Providing opportunities for kids to use their talents (gifts) whether it’s math and science-related or drawing or music is important. “Practice makes perfect” is true.

My “gift” is computer support. I know. Boring. But that is probably why the creative process is so intriguing to me. The illustration above was drawn by my son. Early on we knew he had a talent for drawing. We made every effort to provide the tools that he needed and opportunities to hone his skills. He is now a video animator and makes video games and movies.

The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination. – Albert Einstein

Apple’s commentary on people who draw outside the lines and think outside the box:

Here’s to the Crazy Ones.
The misfits.
The rebels.
The troublemakers.
The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently.
They’re not fond of rules.
And they have no respect for the status quo.
You can quote them, disagree with them,
disbelieve them, glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing that you can’t do, is ignore them.
Because they change things.
They invent. They imagine. They heal.
They explore. They create. They inspire.
They push the human race forward.
Maybe they have to be crazy.
How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art?
Or, sit in silence and hear a song that hasn’t been written?
Or, gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?
We make tools for these kinds of people.
While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.
Because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world,
are the ones who do.

Here are a few quotes from folks who couldn’t think outside of a box (or paper bag).

  • “Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons.” –Popular Mechanics, forecasting the relentless march of science, 1949
  • “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” –Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943
  • “I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won’t last out the year.” –The editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall, 1957
  • “But what … is it good for?” –Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968, commenting on the microchip.
  • “There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” –Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977 — bought out by Compaq which was bought out by Hewlett Packard.
  • “This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.” –Western Union internal memo, 1876.
  • “The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?” –David Sarnoff’s associates in response to his urgings for investment in the radio in the 1920s.
  • “The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a ‘C,’ the idea must be feasible.” –A Yale University management professor in response to Fred Smith’s paper proposing reliable overnight delivery service. (Smith went on to found Federal Express Corp.)
  • “Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?” –H. M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927.
Posted in Authors, Books, Learning, Writing

Growing As A Writer

As a reader I am curious about the creative nature of writing. So I follow several blogs and Tweets by those who create daily. One of those blogs is directed to independent authors. The following was tweeted this morning by the “IndieAuthorsNews”blog.

Evolving And Reaching More Readers

The game has changed, and so must you.

“We’re well into 2015 and the year is booming with new authors and books. Already my schedule is filled with authors pushing out manuscripts and setting publication dates with cover design briefs. I can honestly say I am overjoyed to experience this level of professionalism among authors!”

“So imagine my surprise recently when I heard that there are still readers out there who do not know HOW to find or choose indie books. This was very concerning as by now indie publishing should be a norm. Right?”

Read on . . .

Posted in Friends, History, Humor, Learning

Oh, Canada Day!


Canada Day occurs every July 1st. Why is this important? Due to the origins of both our countries we have a bit of shared history. Not only that but we also have a very long shared border. In fact, it is the largest international border in the world. It even has a name, the International Border which I would think adds to the specialness of Canada. (Incidentally, Detroit is actually north of Canada. (Just a little trivia for the geographically astute.) Detroit and Windsor, Ontario share the Detroit River over which the Ford Fireworks display wows the crowds on both sides of the border/river each year.

Our shared history involves being subject (and I do mean subject) to what was once the British Empire. As previously mentioned Canada Day occurs on July 1st. Personally, it seems just a little suspect that Canada Day occurs two days prior to America’s Fourth of July or Independence Day during which there are fireworks shows and shooting off firecrackers quite similar to our celebrations two days later.

Well, come to find out there is actually a good reason for choosing July 1st.

Canada Day, July 1st, was set aside to commemorate the joining of three British North American colonies into one nation by British Parliament. These three provinces were Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the Province of Canada (which was divided into Ontario and Quebec) creating four provinces in the country. This occurred July 1, 1867 when the British Parliament passed the North American Act. Today, Canada is a free nation requiring no British Parliamentary acts to amend its constitution. That would definitely be a bummer. It takes governments too long as it is to get things accomplished.

So what does it mean to be a Canadian and how are they different from their neighbors across the International Border?

I believe I’m something of an expert (at least in my own mind which possibly says something about my sanity) having lived most of my life in Southeastern Michigan just over the border with Canada. I’ve encountered a few Canadian idiosyncrasies which at times have been a bit puzzling to me. Also, I actually lived in Winnipeg, Manitoba for 4 months for job training.

Canadians have a dialect all their own often adding “eh” nearly every other word in a sentence. It’s cute! Quebec is a French-speaking province which explains why I’ve never visited. (I passed French in high school but I remember little of the language.) Another difference is they use the metric system which is confusing to us visiting Americans still stuck on using the English measurement system. (Hey! We had to keep something from our early British days.) Speeding tickets explain some of the confusion encountered.

Then there is sports. A definite game changer.

One of Canada’s favorite sports is curling which I always thought was something women did while fixing their hair. Live and learn.

Let me tell you, curling rates right up there as the most boring sport ever. (Obviously, that’s just my opinion. It’s an Olympic sport so someone must love it.) It involves brooms and heavy “stones” being swept down and ice rink. I was not swept off my feet watching the “action”. It’s not much fun to watch on TV (Trust me, I’ve done it.) and in person isn’t much better. Plus it’s extremely cold in the building in which curling occurs.

As many know, the national pastime is Hockey. If you think American college and pro football fans are rowdy and out of control, you haven’t seen anything until you’ve attended a hockey game in Canada. Canadians are fanatically fanatic about their hockey teams. And along with these national pastimes they put away a lot of beer. I suspect beer-drinking might be another national pastime.

So basically a description of Canadians is they may tend to copy certain American holidays including Thanksgiving and Independence Day. They love beer, hockey, curling and possibly more beer.

All kidding aside, when I lived in Canada for 4 months I met the nicest, kindest, most hospitable people who opened their hearts and homes to us visiting Yanks. It was definitely a home away from home.  I have a special place in my heart for the people of Canada. Still a little “sibling” teasing won’t rock the cradle too awfully bad. Right? Maybe?