Practice Writing

Everyone can use a good laugh. This Facebook post by Jesse Newton with his wife Kelly McQueen Newton brought laughing tears to my eyes. I had to share it.

Some people see this as a reason not to get a Roomba, but the response from Hammacher Schlemmer, the sellers of Roomba, makes me want to purchase one. They stand behind their product. I can’t imagine calling and telling them this story.  

Although I did reach out to Jesse Newton for permission to repost his story, I did not hear back from him. The title Roomba Poop is mine, the rest is Jesse’s including the art work.

Lastly, this is a good piece of humor writing and it’s National Dog Day! Enjoy! Continue reading


Most writing books and most writers say the key to success is discipline; sitting down every single day and writing. But no one tells you how to do it. You do it by forming a writing habit.

I am great at hitting daily word goals if there is a deadline with a paycheck looming over my head; but, if it is self-imposed, I’m not so good. I can promise myself any number of rewards and it has no effect.

Does this sound familiar? “I’m going to get up at 5 AM every single morning and write for 2 hours before I go to work. Starting tomorrow.” The alarm goes off the next morning and you hit snooze. It is a daily battle for many writers.

Have you ever seen the movie, “What About Bob?” It contains a good goal-setting technique that is helpful in forming a writing habit. It is also a hilarious movie and one of my all-time favorites. It is a great example of two characters pursuing their wants in direct conflict to each other. More on that in another post.

In, “What About Bob?” Psychologist Dr. Leo Marvin, played by Richard Dreyfuss; in order to get the world’s neediest patient, Bob Wiley played by Bill Murray, out of his office gives Bob a copy of his book, “Baby Steps.” He explains to Bob that baby steps are,

“Small reasonable goals you set for yourself one day at a time. One tiny step at a time.”

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Brilliantly done.

This is a great read. I was pulled in from the first chapter by the mystery of who sent the flowers. Then it got less urgent, but still interesting. The big question for me was how the two starkly different characters; finical reporter, Mikael Blomkvist and investigative researcher, Lisbeth Salandar; were going to come together or not? Continue reading

This post by artist Q. Rumbley struck a chord with me. Writers don’t talk about this enough. Read the comments. Can you believe she charges only $150 for an 8×10 commissioned portrait?

Carve & Draw

I don’t know why this is but there is this persistent assumption that artists of all stripes are happily willing to provide their artistic services for close to nothing, for exposure or just flat out free. So I’m not sure if people are aware of this but artists don’t have special abilities that allow us to make art supplies, food, housing and clothing magically appear. We have to obtain them through the same means that everyone else does; by acquiring money. Now I’m not going to sit here and go into a long spiel about the abuses many artists encounter while trying to make a living from their craft, all I really want to say is if you wouldn’t expect a painter to paint your house for free then please don’t expect an artist to paint the family dog for free or a designer to design your family reunion t-shirts…

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What is Scrivener?

Scrivener is a software program developed by a writer for writers to aid in the process of creating long texts. The company name is  Literature & Latte.  The “creating long text” is important and often left out when people recommend Scrivener. It is moderately priced making it accessible for most writers and now you can write across devices.  It’s more than a word processor, but it’s not one of those story writing systems that tells what to do and when to do it. Continue reading

Craving; brings to mind a pregnant sitcom character trying to sit in a chair while devouring ice cream and pickles. Don’t know why. Maybe because craving is TV lingo for, “this character is pregnant.” That’s not my craving.

Today I crave a thing that cannot be obtained by a walk to the fridge or drive to the store. Money cannot buy it. My craving is from the brain, from the soul. I want to do the thing I love best. Write; raw, unfettered, free. I want to write and complete.

The last few months, I have sought a job, edited my novel and searched for ways to generate more money. It’s hard to show the accomplishments on those things even to myself. I want the satisfaction of visible accomplishment. I need the boost to keep going.

Today I crave something I can point at and say, “I finished. I posted. People read.”

The job search met with a wall of rejection so tall and wide I can’t see past it. There are no jobs, where I live, that require my skills. I apply to jobs that require no skills at all; and still nothing. I suspect it’s because I have a bad credit rating. Every place I apply wants to run a background check and, because it’s easy with the computer, a consumer credit report. Why a job sorting parts in a warehouse requires a consumer credit report, I don’t know. But it’s either that or they look at my name and take instant aversion to it. ( I hope not.)

I have bad credit because I went to college and got a Master’s degree. Graduated Summa Cum Laude, but nobody asks me that. No. They judge me on my credit score. Ironic, isn’t it?

Substitute teaching is the one thing I can do where I use all my skills and get paid. I like it, but I’m unemployed during the summer. I could get my teaching certification. It’s only three classes, 12 credit hours, over a year and half because the classes must be taken consecutively. The cost is several thousand dollars. I can’t spend any more money on education. I don’t have the money to spend. Besides, I like the kids; don’t know if I can handle the parents.

Most of my blog posts are informational. Don’t get me wrong, I love writing them. It gives me a different kind of satisfaction to make a case for my approach to the problems of a writer. Informational, how-to text needs to be factual and clear. Writers strive for clarity, but how-to must state and not invoke. I love to invoke; to tap dance around the thing and allow the reader get to it on their own, controlled and yet free.

This blog is great practice for my writer head, not so much for my writer heart.

In New York, I never made a lot of money from my writing. Here in Michigan, that has dropped to 0. I removed the writing credits from my resume because, here in Michigan, they don’t know what to do with it. Now, if I wrote a car blog I may get an ad agency to take me on as an intern. I thought about it. I researched the competition.

I can’t write a car blog. There are to many people who mix motor oil with their yogurt for breakfast. People who write so eloquently, and lovingly about cars and the industry that makes them, that I want to stick my head in a hole and scream,  “I know nothing about writing!”

I’d have to come at it from the point of view of a person who can’t tell one car from another and is learning. I’ll put that in the idea file. The Rube Motor Head.

Since no one wants to pay for my writing skills in this corner of the world, I’m researching starting a business. Like I did in New York, can’t find a job; make one.

What am good at? Writing. Nix to that. I’m great with dogs. Grooming requires paying for classes and getting a certification. Nix. There aren’t enough people in my area willing to pay for dog walking or dog sitting services. Nix. Dog training, maybe? Nix. Requires paying for education and certification.

I can clean. This is a service people are willing to pay for around here and there are no certifications required; you can’t show your Master Bathroom Scrubber certificate from the The Bathroom Cleaners of America because it does not exist.  (Hmmm?) It takes time to build a business and I work on it everyday. Some days, though, I’m not happy with a little progress; I want to accomplish, and I don’t want to look at spreadsheets.

My novel is coming along, but it is far from being done and I can’t share it. Not Yet.  Not for a long time. And some days, I fear,  not ever. I try not to think about it. I work on it a little each day.

Writers crave readers. There’s no denying I get a thrill every time I hear the WordPress sound. Someone read something I wrote and hit the like button. If there is a comment, it is like a box left on the doorstep. It could be a bomb, but most likely not. It’s a little gift wrapped in shiny paper, “This post helped me…”

Today I crave finished, done, posted. I want my words to flow with no structure or form. I want to edit and make them clear. I want to send them out into the world. To be read. By people. Will they help or inspire? I don’t care. This is for me.


In response to The Daily Post prompt Craving.

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