Monday, December 31, 2007

The Last Blog of the "Year"

In honor of the New Year -- 2008, here are some facts about Leap Years:

Technically, non-leap years are not true years--they are 8 hours short.

After 4 non years, the calendar adds a full day to make one bonus or leap year of 366days

The year is not measured in chronological time, but in distance, the distance it takes to revolve around the sun is aproximately 364 days and 8 hours.

Golden Leapers are those born on February 29 who celebrate their 29th birthday (although they are 116 years old).

--Source: LeapZine

Monday, December 3, 2007

I'm It... A Blog Meme

Thanks to Hal Manogue, I've been tagged. Here are the "IT" questions:

Since Jan 2007. So not long at all.

The Writers Group as well as other professionals in the writing community.

Has to fun, because the money is in someone else's bank.

Developing a larger community of friends (the nice people are cyber-shy)
Keeping up with the latest technology
Fighting pop-ups, downloads, and sifting through the eJunk!

Meeting new people.
The speed with which news and information comes at you. never ends.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanksgiving: Facts from Myths

The first "thanksgiving" was a harvest feast held in October 1621. It was not a true day of thanskgiving in the religious sense of the word as the Puritans were unable to celebrate anything Biblical without an ordinance from their governor.

Thanksgiving was moved to the 4th Thursday of November by Congress in 1941.

Of the 102 Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth in 1620, only 50 survived to celebrate the harvest.

Native Americans (Massasoit and Wampanoag)outnumbered the Pilgrims almost 3 to 1 at the dinner. THe venison was courtesy of the guests.

If you play football or some sort of outdoor activity before the meal--you are continuing a Puritan tradition. Any festivity, religious or otherwise, always including games or sports. But only the men got to play.


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Happy Haunting!

The origins of Halloween are not nearly as gruesome or frightening as the movies would have you think. Below, a little trivia for Samhain lovers.

Halloween. A contraction of the title of the feast: All Hallow's Evening. The holy day was a early Church move to help assimilate the new converts. The ancient Night of the Dead honored deceased loved ones, but was rife with supersition about spirits and demons. Combined with the Celt's Samhain (sam-ween) to become Hallow's E'ven, then Halloween.

Jack o' lanterns. Carved out pumpkins with lights are a tribute to a myth about lazy Jack who lost a deal with the devil. Sentenced to walk the darkness he was given nothing to light his way but a coal from hell stuck in a gourd. His full title: Jack of the Lantern.

Candy. The undisputed best part of Halloween, the treats of trick or treat night were not always so sweet. Originally, the Celts believed the Night of the Dead was not complete without sacrificies of the harvest--fruits, vegetables, flowers, plants and herbs. Later, gifts of small cakes were left out on doorsteps. Called mumming, the little offerings were said to appease the witches, fairies and demons who wandered about with the souls of the deceased.

Source: Library of Congress, Catholic Update,

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Many moons ago...

Native Americans gave titles to the full moons. Here are a few worth viewing:

Wolf Moon. The first full moon after Christmas. In January, in the Northern parts of the US and Canada, the cold temps and frozen ground give very little for the wolves to eat. A full moon at night at this time of year helps their nocturnal hunt. Listen for the howls.

Worm Moon. The last full moon of Winter. In March, as the ground thaws worm castings make their way to the surface of the soil. Robins return and Spring is only days away.

Blue Moon. The name of the second full moon that falls in the same month. This year it was in the month of May. Despite what the poems and songs say, "once in a blue moon..." happens about every three years. Since the moon usually appears a whitish-blue, it's not so much the color of the moon but more the mood of the viewer.

Red Moon. Also called the Sturgeon Moon as the large fish are easiest to catch in the Great Lakes warmed by the summer sun. The moon appears to be a hazy orange-red and is larger than all other previous moons. This is because the moon (and earth) is close to the sun at this time of year. This is the last full moon before the kids go back to school.

Harvest Moon. The reason we have harvest dances (okay, a bit of stretch). The full moon that is closet to the Autumn Equinox -- usually the end of September or beginning of October. The corn, pumpkins and most summer crops are ready for harvesting. A great thing to celebrate.

Source: Joe Rao, Hayden Planetarium, New York. (

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Transatlantic crossings, the fastest and slowest

In honor of Columbus Day, here are a few facts about crossing the Atlantic. (Note: on his 4th voyage Columbus crossed in 21 days--from Spain to the Caribbean Islands--present day Martinique. Pretty fast considering he first went south to the Canary Islands then to the West Coast of Africa to catch the Trade Winds):

Fastest crossing (Eastbound) ship--SS United States, length--3 days, 12 hrs, 12 minutes in 1952

Fastest crossing (Westbound) ship--Master Cat, length--2 days, 20 hours, 9 minutes in 1998

Slowest crossing (Westbound) ship--Sea Wanderer, length--20+ days in 1957 (Her captain, Edward Alcard was circumnavigating the globe in 1957, so his recorded-keeping did not emphasize timeliness)

Humphrey Barton holds the record for the most transatlantic crossings: 20


Tuesday, October 9, 2007

UFOs are becoming more popular...sort of

In 1947 a U.S. government survey found that only 10% of Americans thought that UFOs were really spaceships from other planets. In 2006, another survey asked similar questions and found that 24.6% of Americans thought that UFOs were E.T.I.

Most Americans believe that those lights and strange sightings are a result of their government experimenting with (and hiding) aerospace technology. Credible sources (i.e. astronaut Gordon Cooper) make UFO phenomenon hard to dismiss.

Source: Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion - American Piety in the 21st Century – September 2006.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Mount Everest Mystery...

The first man to summit (reach the top) of Mt. Everest was Sir Edmund Hillary in 1953. He was later knighted by the British crown for his efforts. But Hillary was a New Zealander. The first documented Brit to summit K2 was Doug Scott in September 1975--only the 50th climber to succeed.

The first woman to summit the peak was Junko Tabei from Japan, months before Scott (May 1975).

To date 1,500 climbers have made it to the top.

The Mountain's Mystery surrounds deceased climber George Mallory. His body (well-preserved at frigid temps and nearly oxygen-less altitudes) was mistaken for his dead friend and climbing partner, Sandy Irvine. No one knows if Mallory and/or Irvine made it to the top or how they died. The theory is that Mallory died of unknown causes, while Irvine died from injuries sustained in a fall. Hard to clear up Mallory's cause of death without an autopsy. Unlikely to happen.


Monday, October 1, 2007

Praying mantids have...

ears. one to be exact but with 2 eardrums. this is theoretically for the "hearing" of their enemies.

they also have necks that allow for rotation of the head for 180 degrees--much like the human head and neck. this allows them to hunt more successfully.

--Colorado State University, entomology dept, D. Feldman

Friday, September 28, 2007

i'm 50!

today marks the 50th blog here at the quirky writer.

it's time for a change of format. every other day or so, i'll have an odd or little-known or fascinating fact. that fact will be backed up by a primary source to add to its credibility. maybe i'll have more--who knows?

the hope is that with a factual nugget you can create an article, story or maybe even a book. inspiration comes from the strangest places.

see you soon...

Monday, September 24, 2007

not today...

autumn was to have started (officially) yesterday. and yet the northwest is still having hot weather. east coast is just as summery and the south and midwest are fighting the heat.

there are times when things arrive and you say, no not today. even Kissinger once remarked: i can't have a crisis today, there's no room on my schedule. he knew the futility however of trying to say no to fate.

but not everything has to happen to today. bad news can wait, for one more day.

Monday, September 17, 2007

are you ready?

gifts are being handed to you daily. opportunities are at your door. do not be afraid. do not look the gift horse in the mouth. jump in, take the risk. make the call, send the e-mail.

there's nothing like today--don't waste it.

you see it's not so much about you, but about who you will inspire. someone needs to read your story. someone needs to know they are not alone. they need to see that you've made an effort. they need to know that someone cares.

if you wait, the person who you are fated to meet may give up and move on. the very best friend you may never know, may be ready for you. are you ready for them?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

we will never forget

for 9/11 friends and families--a wise woman said: "we can never get over the grief, only learn to live along side of it."

we're here.
we're learning.
we miss you.

Monday, September 3, 2007

thought for the day...

there are two words that catch our attention--death and sex. they cause emotional and visceral reactions. both are a part of life. one is the end, the other is the beginning. we schould treat each as such, rather than being fascinated by the macabre and the scandal they cause.

in the U.S. alone, 100 people die daily in traffic accidents, 269 will die in hospitals and about 50 people will die today of a drug overdose.

but today 291,000 new people will be born. there is no garauntee they will outlive those of us who exist now. but contrary to popular belief, even though we are having more sex than ever--the world is replacing its population at a very slow pace. fewer children are being born and live past their 5th birthday; wars, famine and disease are finally catching up.

who is going to take your place when you leave this world? no one can take your place completely or fill your shoes the can only pick up where you have left off.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

all gone?

is the summer finally over? technically it will be on Sept 22. but for those of you who mourn the loss of summer, take heart, there's glorious fall. which is, in many ways, even better.

fall marks the beginning of so much more. the beginning of school, college, new relationships, new jobs, of married life together. why is fall over shadowed by a season known only for its warm weather?

fall has warmth but also cooler evenings. fall has its share of festivals, gatherings and holidays. fall is not selfish but gives way to winter, snow and the end of the year.

summer will return in less than 10 months with all its heat and sizzle. enjoy fall and enjoy beginnings.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

alone at last...

even in the heat of the summer, one needs to find a shady spot of solitude. this sunny season is best known for bringing people outside to enjoy each other's company. beaches, picnics, games, reunions, yard sales, block parties--so many events where there are crowds.

and yet we still need to be alone. to reflect, meditate, daydream, write, paint, bake, nap. it is refreshment for the soul. silence can be peaceful, especailly after noises of crowds at an amusement park, the firework displays, roar of the ocean. time to find our "center."

you won't waste time if you spend time with yourself. the sun may be shining, the crowds beckoning and the water tempting, but keep a few minutes for you.

Monday, August 13, 2007

is it unlucky?

today is the 13th of the month.
for centuries the number 13 has been associated with bad luck. people fear it so much that there is no number 13 in horse racing. many buildings forgo the 13th floor. some people even avoid going into work on Friday the 13th.

upon closer inspection the number is no different "luck-wise" than the 12 that come before it and the infinite ones that come after it. many professional baseball, football and basketball players have worn 13 and had great careers (Rodriguez, Marino, Chamberlain). there are also a number of lottery winners who credit 13 for their winnnings.

perhaps the number became unlucky because of its connection with the Tarot card deck--the 13th card is Death. and since it is a prime number it is not easily divisible.

but our luck is what we make of it. today may be your lucky day. enjoy your good fortune.

Friday, August 10, 2007

shake up someone's world...

we become lured into the doldrums in our lives. it's easy. things are humming along and we become machines, executing our daily duties on auto-pilot.

but isn't it great when a letter comes to you out of the blue? a phone call or an e-mail from someone who wants know how you are doing or invites to you to a special gathering. these are the (good) things that shake up your routine.

there are of course the bad things. the big and small storms; the moves, the losses of jobs, finances, loved ones. things that alter everything we beleive.

today let us be the ones who positively shake up some one's world. challenge them to a tennis match, take them to lunch "just because." drop off flowers or just say "hi, thinking of you." shake them out of their doldrums in a positive way.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

did you say a prayer?

Yesterday and Thursday (Aug 6 & Aug 9) mark the 62nd anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. the US used the atom bomb on two Japanese cities to end the war.

it's estimated in less than 10 seconds over 100,000 people died. both times.

sudden death for many innocents. they never got a chance to prepare for that final moment. may they rest in peace.

and may we be spared the unprepared death. may we live our lives to the fullest every day as though we are ready to leave at any given moment.

Friday, August 3, 2007


as iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend...a proverb which means without friends we would lose our edge.

it happened just the other day when i ignored this blog. visitors stopped by and had to look at weeks old material. i should have updated. without their comments i would not have thought about the "freshness" of this content.

we are at the beginning of the end. the final month of a season called summer. time to fit things in--fast. just like my promise to update every other day. so when friends stop by they'll have a new thought to read on a nearly daily basis.

so i need to get on the ball. get sharp and fit in as many blogs in one month as i possibly can--i challenge you to do the same. and to visit the following friends:

Sunday, July 22, 2007

do you have it?

whether in business or in love, we all want to know -- is this the one? is this the idea that's going to make me millions? is the person with whom i'll happily spend the rest of my life?

it's nothing more than a feeling, a click of sorts. imperceptible, but real. did you feel it? sometimes it's hard to tell, sometimes we just know--love at first sight--it can happen.

but after the click we need the guts to keep going. whether we are rejected, broken, or full of doubt. perseverance is under rated in our 0 to 60 in five seconds world.

never forget the click. never give up.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

too hot for you?

in my neck of the woods we are under drought warnings--not enough rain, high risk of brush fires. it seems we get drier and drier and cringe as lightning strikes the ground.

but each and every summer it comes to this. one area church prayed for rain in 2005--and got hurricane Katrina. they now pray for its survivors.

heat is part of summer. it is also part of part of life. in the heat of our youth we are kindling waiting for the intrinsic (or extrinsic) lightning strike to ignite our passions. hopefully we use that flame to better ourselves and others.

as we grow older the lightning rarely strikes. we are more or less going with the flow. but some of us are dry as central Georgia. we need water or fire. fast.

can you handle the heat?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

as we are...

there's an exciting new website just for women called as we are. it gives women and men fresh perspectives from different women around the world.

it's not feminist per se, but it does explore issues related to freedom and equality for women.

it allows women to be honest about their bodies and minds. terrific podcasts, regular contributors, enviro-friendly products and much more...
check it out:

Friday, July 6, 2007

what have you lost?

J.K. Rowling admitted that she is devastated by ending her extremely successful Harry Potter series. though she knew it had to come to an end, it seems she's going to suffer some grief.

are you grieving? what have you had to let go of? a home? a career? a person? we are never prepared to lose. sorry to say, it is all about winning. losers do not get noticed unless it's for public entertainment.

we can support each other for only so long. it's human nature to move on to other things. we cannot live in Harry Potter land forever. that's a good thing and we can say goodbye fondly.

we can also herald the new literature that will follow in its path. so maybe it's not about losing -- it's about letting go and looking forward.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

declare your independence...

as the nation celebrates its 231st birthday, we must acknowledge that we are in some way dependent on something (or someone) else. this is not a bad thing unless the dependency is something that harms you.

are you dependent on chemicals, nicotine, alcohol? or perhaps it's thrills, danger, sex, gambling, being accepted. today is the day to be free from these things that enslave you. be dependent only on yourself. on the support and love of others.

let go. go on vacation. Happy Freedom Day.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

what are you taking to the beach?

summer reading is best done at the shore. no phones, no distractions, no one to turn off the lights.

best bets are the big books that won't be devoured in less than an hour or two. my list includes: I love you like a tomato, Bleak House and Along came trouble.

What's on your list?

Sunday, June 24, 2007

caught by surprise...

summer stole quietly in. it wasn't that things just got hot on June 21. it's been hot for nearly most of May. there was no fanfare, no celebration to mark its arrival. so now summer is officially upon us.

has it made you happy? have you planned a vacation? are you ready for the sun? summer is full of surprises. we are all out and about. we travel more during this time of the year. we may run into old friends, find a new favorite spot on the beach, and hopefully enjoy ourselves.

let summer happen to you. it will unfold day by day; full of food, smiles, good times. write in your journal, or in your blog how summer has changed you. believe me, it will.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

what do you believe in?

a recent forum posed the question: are there any sins God would NOT forgive? the debate was a stark contrast to what people percived God as. he was ultimate love and to others he was ultimate justice.

i think God is both love and justice. those two virtues can co-exist. i think God will not forgive the sins that we cannot forgive ourselves for. and i also think we need to make restitution for the things that we've done that have hurt others. that's justice. and it's love too because we say we're sorry to the ones we love.

perhaps our preception of God and mercy is a matter of deciding if we are worthy of love.

what do you think God can forgive?

Friday, June 8, 2007

warm and warmer...

why do we fear risk? is it that we fear change? and yet we jump head first into love--the most monumental of changes. despite the warnings, we often go for the wrong person thinking that love knows what it's doing.

surprise. it does. we are the ones who get it wrong. we love the wrong person making love wrong. when we get it right love works. like putting the right key in the right lock. it works.

passion warms the heart, but true love warms the soul.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

ever been disappointed?

ever been let down? rejected? forgotten? it's a pretty common human experience. we can't all be liked at all times. and yet it makes us feel so alone; cutting us off from the rest of humanity.

in job hunting we all get the "not you" letter. the position was filled, thanks so much for your interest, good luck with your career. and an intangible sting accompanies the letter. the feeling of: you are not good enough. it's difficult to let that go, not to be hurt even for a moment. but it should be only a moment. the right job doesn't really exist--unless you are perfectly happy with what you are doing. that's rare. most of us have to work for happiness and sacrifice other things somewhere along the line.

as summer sweeps in, we have warm days to let all the little hurts slip away. we have opportunities to get outside and quell the loneliness. and we have time to be perfectly happy with the moment--regardless of disapointment.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

an unhappy so-long...

i am saying goodbye to May reluctantly. not so much that its end is the reminder that time goes quickly but because it was a great month. graduations, parties, birthdays, picnics and seeing old friends.

May had its downside too unpredictable weather, funerals, moves. but i feel these sad episodes in life more keenly because May is a month that is hard to cry in. once spring arrives, we all want to put our face to the sun and rejoice. but we can't cast off what it means to be human. joys and sorrows, wonder and woes, smiles and frowns.

if only May came twice a year. no, i take that back. spring is good once a year. or else we'd hate winter all the more and not enjoy summer or fall as much. so farewell May, a wonderful month. see you next year.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

the lure of summer...

the warmest months of the year are just about to begin. and with them, adventure. warmer weather must bring out the dare devil in all of us. we go places we've never been, play hooky from work, plan vacations, bare our body parts to the sun, fall in love.

summer flings are notorious. social animals, we find ourselves flirting and playing with those we meet. but what we don't do is realize whether or not these days of adventure are good for us. will we jump into the careless romance only to wait to deal with heartbreak in September?

this year use the warm summer months to fall in love with a sport, hobby, volunteer organization. we need interpersonal relationships, but maybe teaching a child to read is the adventure that will help us grow.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

is courtesy gone?

i have a neighbor who complains that she only gets bills in the mail--no private correspondences. and yet she sends letters, thank yous and answers surveys all the time. she says it's just no one understands courtesy any more.

think of all the times you have never answered emails, phone calls or text messages. society is so adept at "getting." we have been trained to receive and not to give. or give back. we expect. having no patience to extend ourselves beyond our own limitations.

i don't think courtesy is gone, but it is surely dwindling. today make it a point to reply, to give feedback, to answer the questions that have gone unanswered because you were busy, or just didn't like the person sending it.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

fascinated by love...

it is May. month of bridal showers, engagement parties, anniversaries and weddings. brides surrounded by flowers walk down the aisle to their grooms, surrounded by nervous-looking men.

weddings are joyful occasions. we celebrate love all year long but in May it seems to be at the top of our list. brides do love June weddings, but recently the trend has moved to earlier in the year. traditional church ceremonies have nearly been eclipsed by non-traditional weddings; on beautiful beaches, in Las Vegas, in mid-air and on mountain tops with amazing vistas.

though some may argue it doesn't matter where a couple is married, all they need is love. but what is love? is it the giggly feeling when a pretty girl sees a handsome man? is it the peace that best friends share? is it the creative collaboration between couples who fight on every successful project? is it the innate knowledge that there is no one else to share your dreams with than this one person? truly, love is the setting aside self-interst for the benefit of the other, but the trappings and the fanfare is too irresistible to ignore.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

the golden pig is now...

a very dear friend reminded me that i was living in the past. it is not the year of the monkey (duh!) that was a couple of years ago. but it is now the year of the golden pig...not just any pig, mind you, but a very beautiful element added to a rather peaceful but often-scorned animal.

the Chinese take this stuff pretty seriously. while the rest of us are reading our daily horoscopes, the Chinese are using what they've known for thousands of years to determine their now. unlike the predictive angst horoscopes convey, Chinese give the window to self-knowledge and practicality.

oddly enough, medical science bears this out. babies born at different times of the year are subject to daylight duration, environment, weather--all manner of influences earthly and heavenly. thus their behavior is also different. who knew?

let us live peacefully in the year of the golden pig.

Friday, May 4, 2007

missing life?

time to take a risk.
this year is 5 months old, have things gotten better for you? are you stuck in a bad job? still trying to lose weight? finish your memoirs? grinding through finals?

whether you know it or not, you are a success story. but because of the many excuses, feeling inferior, worrying about the competition, we set ourselves firmly in a deep rut. and we can't move forward.

so get unstuck. make a call to a new employer. take that walk for exercise. start typing your last chapter. study now.
it wll be over before you know it. let this year 2007--year of the monkey--be the year of your susccess.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

spring fever is contagious...

yesterday was the first day of May--a beautiful day to remember that spring is indeed here and summer is soon to be upon us.

but it made me anxious, too. spring is half over. there are still trips to take, gardens to plant and parties to plan. spring fever seems to be as much about tackling a to-do list as it is about shaking off winter depression. spring cleaning is a result of that as well. out with the old, in with the new.

what would make this spring extremely exceptional would be to slow down. trips are taken, gardens get planted, and parties happen. the best thing to do is forget the roses and smell the cherry blossoms. revel in the fresh new everything.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

i blew it...

i disqualified myself from a contest because i didn't read the fine print. i missed the crucial instructions. ever happen to you? in life we miss so many little things; the tiny cues and messages that people send us.

whether it's a job opportunity or the chance of a lifetime, there's a probability that it swam right by you. but that's okay, here's why: you are barraged by tiny extra-computer IMs every day. these are sent from different places, different people. would have happened if we could sense thess coming? we would take advantage of them any way we could.
so today and tomorrow, be on alert. read the fine print. take the different exit off the highway. flirt, feel, flow.

and don't blow it.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

inadequate words...

after speaking with and interviewing so many people touched by the tragic shootings at the Virginia Tech campus, it's clear we haven't the right words to describe the event.

English should be familiar, comfortable and accesible to us. yet with the horror of Monday, words become rough, strange and bitter on our tongues. there aren't words enough to describe a student playing dead to avoid being shot, a professor who held the door shut while his class escaped through the window, and nothing to erase the vision of watching a person die by a gun shot to the head. there's nothing in our language that can dry tears, console a grieving mother, to help humans get through this.

we are at the bottom of an Everest of emotion and words cannot help. we must simply climb and climb steadily.

Friday, April 13, 2007

who do you long for?

my dog has been howling at the moon for days. a certain someone has captured his heart. but she's miles away and he has to stay where he is. do you howl at the moon? long for someone miles away? want to change your situation to be near them?

maybe i can help. words are my strength. let's send an e-mail, a letter, write a script for a call. maybe together we can let them know how much you miss them and need them in your life.

Monday, April 9, 2007

refresh your soul...

there are some people who, with a word or a call or an e-mail can lift your spirits. they are the invaluable gems in your life. they are the friends who keep your soul nourished. they may not know their own worth. so, thank them--today.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

who's your April fool?

this month, it's okay to admit you're foolish. it's National Poetry Month and there's nothing more foolhardy than to write a verse or two about what your emothion. about what you love, what bothers you or about whatever strikes you today.

poetry is an arrangment of prose that looks more like a bouquet than a garden. no neat rows of plants, just an array of blossoms and leaves--they don't call it free verse for nothing.

the French have a saying: it ain't love, if it ain't foolish. be silly, fall in love.

National Poetry Month
Book Exchange

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

having trouble with the right words?

it happens to professional writers; the inability to put thoughts into just the right words. not just writer's block but a sense of dissatisfaction with what was written. that's when writers should do something they hate--share.

in a moment of helplessness reach out. writing is never a solo sport. there are those who will be honored to read your material and give you the feedback you need.

ask for help and then return the favor.

Monday, March 19, 2007

it's all about the obituary...

rather than be depressed about death, write your obituary. it's better than a resume because you have to think of all the things you've done that matter. things like teaching someone to read, volunteering at a retirement community, organizing a fund raiser for a worthy cause.

take stock of all the lives you've influenced in a positive way. therapists are not the only ones who support people through tough times.

be a dream enabler--help your peers fulfill their fondest ambitions. now that matters.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

your success is waiting...

no one is entitled to success. it either happens or it does not. there are large successes and small successes.
success comes to the ugly and the beautiful, the worthy and the unworthy. it comes to those who labor in small towns or those who study in New York City.
what's your definition of success? One million in the bank, a happy family with kids, your own business, a career in music, a book, a political office.
or all of the above.

the secret (and it's really just common sense) is doing what you love, being happy in the moment.

success occurs the moment you achieve true happiness. what are you waiting for?

Thursday, March 8, 2007

where are you?

spoke to a great bunch of students today. and saw that a few were bored, a few were doing something other than listening, some were paying attention and a few were actually hungry; taking notes and asking questions.
everyone one of those students reminded me of where i've been at one point in my life. bored, busy doing other things, paying attention, and very hungry ready to work hard and make a difference.

where are you?

Reminder: Book exchange, Small Press Month

Sunday, March 4, 2007

believe in your dream...

If men were like chocolate

If men were like chocolate. We’d nibble on them from head to toe. Start at the ears and savor each bite. And proceed thusly from morning ‘til night.

We’d chew them in sorrow--the perfect comfort food. And save them for later; whene’r we’re in the mood. They’d listen, muted for once and there’d be no distractions.

They’d be as treasured as truffles. We give and receive boxes and boxes of them. Gifts to share with friends. A special celebration. Break out the chocolate men!

Dark or light, sweet and bitter. Sultry and soothing. Liquid or solid. Spiced with cinnamon. Plain milk with nuts. Gooey, crispy, melting.

Sipping men in lattes. Our hot mugs overflow with these sumptuous companions.
On our breath to exhale, the steam, the froth, the delicious male.

Yes, we would love them more, their cream fillings adore. They can’t hurt or cause pain wrapped up in gold cellophane. Just sweet men over and over again.

who will publish your poetry? small press month, a month for authors to dream and believe.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

which has more cholesterol: chicken or beef?
who's older: Hilary Clinton or Al Gore?
what's the nearest galaxy to Earth?
have the details in your writing got you bogged down? didn't find what you were looking for on Wikipedia? let me help. it's my job to find the odd fact, the missing pieces, exorcise the devil in the details. better yet, i'll tell you where you can find it.

don't forget:
the Book Exchange
Small Press Month
read & write and & share

Thursday, March 1, 2007

share something ....

today March 1 begins National Small Press Month. it is a celebration of all the authors who went to the little guys to publish their stories. some very well-known writers stick with the independent presses. why? as Alice walker said "As water to flowers ... independent publishing to democracy."
a free voice starts off small

and to celebrate small press i've a bunch of books by my favorite authors for the book exchange. Shortsleeves: A Book For Friends by Hal Manogue, Rider by Marian Wolbers, Me talk pretty one day by David Sedaris and so many more. share one of yours. may be your own work? i'd love to see it.

Monday, February 26, 2007

keep the faith...

last night at the Oscars a number of winners thanked people "who believed in them" even when they didn't believe in themselves.

talent is a good thing. motivation, determination, and plain old stubbornness will propel you towards your dreams.

but to succeed you have to surround yourself with people who care. because there's always going to be critics to tear you down, make your dreams seem silly or superficial. ever hear: "been there done that" ? or even: "forget it, it'll never happen" ?
you need the reasoned and seasoned advice of supportive friends.

who are you surrounded by? friends or enablers?

Friday, February 23, 2007

a challenging press release...

Writers Work Together to Challenge One Another
Professional and Beginning Writers Face Off to Market their Businesses and Help Each Other Succeed

The Working Writer’s Coach is at it again. After issuing and facilitating a 40-article challenge to several freelance writers in the last quarter of 2006, Suzanne Lieurance has partnered in a strategic alliance with freelancer writer-editor Kristen King for a New Year’s Article Challenge.

Twenty-five writers have accepted the challenge and are competing for the finish line to reach the goal of writing 30 articles between February 1 and March 31, 2007.

Participants come from all over the world. So far, writers from across the USA, Canada, and even Australia have become part of those to accept the challenge. Some are professional freelance writers who have taken the challenge in spite of their schedules being filled with paying clients. Others are newbies who are writing for article directories for the first time.To spark the competitive spirit of these writers, a progress report is given in weekly updates to everyone in the challenge as well as to those on King and Lieurance’s subscriber lists.

In order to boost the number of views the articles receive, the writers participating in the challenge “rank” and comment on one another’s articles at Lieurance and King also offer a free 21-day mini-course called Tips for Effective Article Marketing to help writers complete the challenge. Anyone can subscribe to the mini-course at or

After the 2006 challenge, the writers who participated compiled an eBook of articles they wrote during the contest. Each writer is using that ebook as a marketing tool and as a gift to subscribers of his/her newsletter.

You have to wonder if this challenge is really a competition or collaboration. It’s intended to be both. For more information or to be notified of the next challenge date, please contact Suzanne Lieurance at

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

hungry for books?

if you're hungry for the offbeat book or you're ready to try something new, let's do a FREE* book exchange.
sadly, the average book sells only 500 copies--seems unfair. blockbuster bestsellers don't always belong on the New York Times' list. so let's make sure our favorite works of literature get circulated--even better if it's your own work.

if there's enough of us, it could turn into a cyber book club. the possibilities are endless.

write a quick e-mail saying what you want to read or if you want to be surprised, and we'll work out the details. there's a good book in your future!

the address: (all correspondences will be kept private)
*postage is your only expense, unless you're mailing war & peace.

Friday, February 16, 2007

actions speak louder...

in the recent snow storms that have hit a major portion of the country, there have been countless acts of kindness. a free tow, a bottle of water, a ride to the nearest gas station, a push, a jump to get an old car started. but the only thing that makes headline news--the only thing aired again and again are the crashes, the horrible traffic, the unhappy burden of digging out and chipping away the ice. the downside of snow.
because we are not as captivated by good as we are by horror.
still, kindness will be remembered by those who received it long after the newsreels are archived.

Friday, February 9, 2007

fat, happy and pretty...

Anna Nicole Smith died yesterday, Feb 8. And the word being used to describe her end is "tragic."
so many used her as the proverbial "whipping boy." mocking her, barely concealing their jealousy. who doesn't want to live like a movie star? don't we all dream of doing whatever we want? no matter how outrageous, crude or otherwise tasteless we want that "freedom." Smith lived out a lot of our fantasies.
a friend joked that everyone we knew was on a diet and/or desparately trying not to grow old. "oh yes," she said, "we all want to die fat, happy and pretty."
Smith was surrounded by enablers, struggled with weight problems, addictions and unhappy relationships but she still smiled and joked and shocked her way into media front page. maybe she was just being herself.
are we sorry she's gone?
do we want to be fat, happy, and pretty (or handsome) at the end?

Thursday, February 1, 2007

gotta love quirky science...

science is truly a paradox. one year eggs are bad. the next, they're okay. one year Pluto is a planet. The next, it is not.
Some great quirky science stories:
--runners who wear high heels for several minutes a day may strengthen their lower leg muscles.
--going to the doctor can make you sick. the nasty secret: not all docs wash their hands in between patients.
--so-called enviro-friendly bug repellants are toxic to children.
--there are more carcinogens in dryclean clothing than lawn chemicals (and we dont wear our lawns)

Monday, January 29, 2007

the song within you...

nearly one hundred years ago a poet gloomily observed that many people go to their graves with their songs unsung. so sing your song, paint your picture and write your story.

the desire to sing, paint or write is always within. only you can create it. let me help. it won't take away from the uniqueness of your story.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

change is good...

Martha Beck once said: "any transition serious enough to alter your definition of self will require not just small adjustments in your way of living and thinking but a full-on metamophosis."

Martha was right, okay to change your thinking, not your perspective.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

a sunrise they've been waiting for...

today 23 Jan 2007, Barrow, Alaska will see it's first sunrise in 4 months. all those researchers who thought that light deprivation was the cause of depression and suicide are quite wrong. suicidal thoughts actually increase in the springtime.
being without sun is tough, but Barrow residents have virtually no skin cancer and very little damage to skin and eyes due to UV exposure.
so...the question is: when's the spa opening?