February 2017 Wrap-Up

What a busy month!

Along with my regular writing, I’ve been busy working on client websites and product photographs, editing a romance manuscript, critiquing and workshopping with other writers, and finishing up edits on DISARM: A Gun Sense Anthology.

#52essays2017 (Musings)
Quantity or Quality – When all else fails, write what you know.
Yet She Persisted – the tagline of womanhood
Soup, It’s What’s for Dinner – sometimes you just need a hot bowl of soup
Word over Weapons – words for change
Representation Matters – what we see affects who and how we are

Children’s Programming
Frozen – Sisterhood?
Secret of the Wings -another Disney flick about sisters that features ice and snow
The Pirate Fairy – Faith, Trust, and Pixie Dust

Less or Fewer – It may be easier than you think
A Part or Apart – Because spaces matter
Riff/Rift – what a difference a “t” makes
Good or Well? – It may not be as easy as you think…

Grammar Guide
Verbs – More than just “what you do.”
Adjectives – a look at how we describe them
Adverbs – their different uses
Pronouns – personal, possessive, relative, and more!

Other Writing
James McGarvey – February Updates
Meridian Photography – February in SoCal


January 2017 Roundup

Personal Essays:
On Grieving – thoughts on celebrity deaths
Typical Situation – when the words don’t flow
In the News – struggling with results and ramifications
How to Be an Ally – what I’ve learned about standing by people
Politics Is Personal – Rhetoric, fear, and exhaustion…

Kids’ Shows:
Tinker Bell – an origin story
Lilo and Stitch – a family favorite all about family
Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure – friendship, adventure, and responsibility
Transformers: Rescue Bots – Autobots, first responders, and gender representation
Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue – more friendship and adventure

Then vs. Than – a personal pet peeve
Focus – keeping our eyes on the prize
Ominous Hominy – misheard words
Alternative Facts – a special installment

Grammar Guide:
Get Ready for Grammar – an introduction
Nouns – looking beyond person, place, thing, and idea

Post Potpourri:
How to Utilize Your Facebook Profile – a top 10 for on your personal profile.
Meridian Photography: January 2017 – favorite photos
James McGarvey: Catching Up – looking back at 2016


Just Write

Don’t bother with platitudes, explanations, or background.
Just write out your thoughts, feelings, and fears.

Don’t worry about comparisons or what other people might say.
Just write what you need to: get the story out.

Don’t worry about fiction versus truth.
Just write the words spinning in your head.

Don’t think about the “what ifs” that come after you’re done.
Just focus on the “what ifs” that can make your story soar.

Don’t stress about the readers; they aren’t your why.
Just be true to what is bursting to be created.

Just write; the fear will fade.
Just write; the rest will work out.
Just write; that’s all you need to heal.
Just write; the words are all that matters.

Just write.

A version of this piece was previously posted on “Maggie Writes Stuff.”

Defining Passion

Elizabeth Gilbert is one of my favorite writers, and a huge source of inspiration to me a writer (and human being).

In anticipation of launching The Signature of All Things, Liz (who I’m sure will forgive the familiarity), has been holding a giveaway. Each month, she poses a question to her dear readers and picks the answer she likes the best.

September’s question “What is your defining passion?” As this has been long been a question I’ve tried to answer, I felt compelled to share my answer here.

“The idea of a passion of one’s life has haunted me for years. I got my bachelors degree because I knew I should and because I do like to learn. But now some eight years removed from graduation, I’m beginning to see that the “passion” I had for my studies wasn’t that intense, and it certainly hasn’t lasted.

“This may be due in part to the fact that English/Latin majors have limited career options if they’re going to live in New Hampshire and be the major breadwinner for their family, or maybe because while I love reading and writing (and dissecting grammar) I prefer to do it on my own time.

“So what now? I’m passionate about my husband and our son, and about keeping them healthy, happy, and safe. I’m very mama bear when it comes to my little family, and I’m overjoyed that my husband gets to pursue his passion for music. I love that we’re striving to teach our son (who just threw a diaper at me) that chasing after your dreams is both important and possible, but where is my passion?

“Liz, I can’t tell you how I’ve struggled with this idea since I was trying to apply to colleges in 1998: I can write, paint, take pictures, sing, make cool cakes. care incredibly for others, beg for money for fundraisers, and sell the crap out of raffle tickets.

“I make the phone calls no one else wants to, and I deal with the upset and frustrating customers when no one else wants to; although those last two are due more to my belief that “the buck stops here” than anything else.  

“I care about women’s rights, gay rights, the environment, and so much more.

“Am I a Jane-of-All Passions? Can that be a thing? I’m 32 years old and still haven’t found the thing that’s just for me, the thing that I won’t just be pretty good at, but the thing that I’ll be amazing at and love so deeply that I can’t not do it.

“I know I haven’t really answered your question, so let’s go with the thing I’m most passionate about right now is diving into another one of your books. Your writings have touched my heart & my mind. and I thank you for being a huge inspiration to me, by just being you!”

A version of this essay was previously posted on the blog “On Life and Other Adventures.”