When your cell phone crashes, do you?

I didn’t realize–I mean, really realized–how much of my life is attached to my cellphone until tonight when it locked up.

Friday, January 28, 2022:

I don’t know about you, but my phone is attached to my hip almost surgically. Texting is in my blood. Phone contacts are my life preserver. My calendar is my life reminder. Thank goodness I use a paper planner for some appointments, decorated with stickers. I use the clock as an alarm and a timer.  Just now, my phone froze and wouldn’t open or shut down.

To pass the frustrating time, I just put a load of laundry in the washer and thought, Let me set a timer for me to…oh, right, my phone isn’t working.

Of course, the fix couldn’t be easy. YouTube instructions went just so far. Online Apple support went just so far as well. “We need to send you a verification code. How do you want to receive: text or phone call?”

Neither, Apple, my phone is stuck!

Amen to us paying an obscene monthly amount for a landline. Lifeline.

Calling Apple Support got me to a human being in a brief moment of time, surprising and satisfying. John walked me though the steps, taking me beyond online support to phone backup. My life could not be that easy. After all the usual techniques, my only option: restore to factory settings.

Let that sink in for a moment. Factory Settings.

Thank goodness we own a family desktop computer–remember those?–in addition to our individual laptops. On a wing and a prayer, I mouse-clicked Restore.

I don’t even have my Spotify to listen to as my phone displays “Restore in Progress” as I flip out to iTunes on my desktop current displaying  “Restoring iPhone from backup…Time remaining: About 7 hours”. Like I’ll be able to sleep night until this completes.

Unfortunately, I do not (yet!) have an iCloud account with enough memory to backup, but I do backup to my desktop. Amen to physical hardware.

I backup my phone every 2-3 weeks, and always before updating the iOS software. My last backup was 1/4/2022 at 2:34am. Today is 1/28/2022 at 11:22pm.

I presume a month of my life will be lost when this is complete, still in “About 7 hours.” Reminds me of my awesome high school 11th grade English teacher. I adored him, partially because he constantly supported my writing.  On this particular day, my class was working on our individual essays in a shared computer room.

“Save after ever sentence. You don’t want to lose your work,” he said as a mantra. “Save after every sentence.”

Yeah, right, I thought, mentally rolling my eyes, as I expect most of my classmates did. That was excess and extreme. I saved after every paragraph. If I saved every sentence, I’d lose my flow of writing.

Suddenly, the room got dark. The computers hummed low. The lights snapped on and the computers hummed alive.

My teacher had turned the room’s power switch off.

“I hope you saved your document,” he said in a satisfying tone.

The room gasped and groaned as my classmates grumbled and growled. I lost a paragraph; some lost their entire document. Lesson learned.

Are you prepared if this disaster struck you?

Time remaining: About 6 hours.

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Easy Instagram Tips for Day 5 of the 12 Days of Christmas

On the fifth Day of Christmas, the blog I share to you is Jenn’s Trends.

Of all the social media outlets, I’m big on the Instagram format as dwhirsch.  I’m a scrapbooker.  I take an embarrassing number of screenshots daily.  I’m a visual person.  Using one square photo to describe an event, a moment, a past moment or a static text image appeals to me. Tell a story in one image with a short, snappy caption is a fun challenge.  For a format I enjoy, there’s a lot I don’t know about it.  That’s where Jenn Herman comes in.

Her blog posts are easy reads, short to digest, and highly focused on all the ways to maximize your exposure on Instagram. One post describes the strategy and her take on hashtags: 3-5 tags; 8-15 tags; or more than 30 tags?

I used Instagram Stories once to showcase my upcoming writing jaunts with Snufflet and Finse, my Office Guys.  The project was time-consuming and clunky.  Is it because I’m a perfectionist, or did I not know the tips and tricks for success? I know that before I use the Stories feature again, I’ll read Jenn’s primer on it.

If you’ve never explored Instagram before, wander over to the site and look around. Then go to Jenn’s blog and learn how to use it. Be sure to check out the hashtag #SnuffletFinse for my coffeeshop writing adventures.

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Travel journeys for Day 3 of the 12 Days of Christmas

On the third Day of Christmas, the blog I share with you is Pam Portland.

Her tagline is “a writer on a journey, without a destination,” but I feel her destination is that wandering. I met Pam through the weekly Twitterchat #writestuff. Her blog focuses and reflects on her moving journeys. I relate to her travel experiences. When I was a single 20-something living on my own a state away from my parents and all things familiar, I took random drives as something to do. They were my adventures: going to Asbury Park one evening to say I was there and walk on the beach while I was there; to drive across a covered bridge; to see where the “What if I turn left here?” took me.

Her recent post, Mousters Degree, speaks to memorabilia and freedom.  I’m a scrapbooker deeply attached to pieces of paper and photos, and I, too, worked at an amusement park one summer. Cedar Point in Ohio may not be the dizzy dream job of Walt DisneyWorld, but the behind-the-scenes experiences affect me even today.

Tip: If you ever want to go somewhere like backstage or the press section, walk with a purpose and act as if you belong there. You’re more likely to get through if people think you’re supposed to be there.

Her blog makes you think about your own life’s directions.

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How I’m celebrating the real 12 Days of Christmas with you

Did you that the Twelve Days of Christmas begin, not end, on December 25?

The Twelve Days begin on December 25–Christmas–and end on January 5–Epiphany, also called Twelfth Night. The 12 days before Christmas, often associated with the holiday song of the same name, are actually called Advent, a celebration dating back to year 567.

That’s enough of the Wikipedia history lesson. If you want to explore further, consider WhyChristmas.com for more information on worldwide traditions.

Each day traditionally celebrates a feast or other event. In the spirit of sharing joy, for the Twelve Days of Christmas, I’ll share in no particular order 12 blogs that I enjoy, one each day.

Travel along with me from Saturday, December 25, 2021 through Wednesday, January 5, 2022, and discover new sites of inspiration and enjoyment.

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You will find inspiration in these 13 writing books

It’s been a month now, and this chat still stirs me.

Tuesday Twitter #writestuff started the weekly chat with Question 1:
What’s your favorite book about writing (fiction or nonfiction?)

Tiffany Arnold mentioned On Writing by Stephen King.

A cult leader but for corgis suggested both The Emotional Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi; and Steal like an Artist by Austin Kleon.

Steven Capobianco recommended Wanderbook by Jeff VanderMeer.

Mark Gelinas mentioned Writing Magic by Gail Carson Levine.

LostMyHook suggested Bird by Bird by Annie Lamott.

Allie McCormack recommended The Complete Guide to Heroes and Heroines: Sixteen Master Archetypes  by Tami Cowden and Caro LeFever.

Wendy Roberts mentioned The Kick-Ass Writer by Chuck Wendig.

Chuck Rothman suggested Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight V. Swain.

Priya Sridhar also recommended On Writing and Writing Magic.

the_bearded_banfield mentioned Thrill Me: Essays on Fiction by Benjamin Percy.

Kevin Wayne Williams suggested About Writing by Samuel R. Delany.

Although not mentioned in this chat, Save the Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need by Blake Snyder is strongly recommended by my writing group.


The first inspiration I thought of was Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg.

Why? Gosh darn it if I know. Now that I’m an established writer and I know what I know,–and don’t know what I don’t know–how does that book inspire me? Now?

I pulled it off my self-help shelf of motivational writing books I don’t read anymore. My first reaction seeing the book was: How familiar.

I know I spent hours reading it, probably taking notes in a journal, but now I couldn’t remember a word. When I don’t know where to begin a book, I open it to a random page. That’s the page I was meant to read.

I flipped to Page 11 and read: “…your writing that is scary or naked, dive right into it. It probably has lots of energy.)”

That is exactly how my memoirs are, how I write them to be, as everyone in my critique group strives for. If a passage is uncomfortable to read it aloud, then you have accomplished your goal. “Naked.”

Page 40: “The ability to put something down–to tell how you feel about an old husband, an old shoe, or the memory of a cheese sandwich on a gray morning in Miami–that moment…you are free.”

What caught me was the specific cheese sandwich: sight (gray) and smell (I imagine grilled cheese). So slight and delicate. Those little moments–my moments, your moments–are the detail that brings writing to life, make your life authentic.

How does your writing make you feel?

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Who sends greeting cards anymore?

Just in time for MegaMeet tomorrow, I wonder: are Get Well cards extinct?

MegaMeet starts tomorrow, and I am so excited to be playing with papers and glue sticks in public again I can barely write this.

My class schedule includes one card class: “Holiday Sparkle Cards” by Diamond Dotz. Holiday and birthday cards are expected at MegaMeet because “scrapbook” is a flexible word encompassing all paper arts. What about get-well cards?

I took an all-occasion card class a few years ago called This & That. Using a simple, repetitive pattern with a color scheme of yellow, white and two shades of blue, we made 10 cards: Birthday; Thinking of you; Congratulations; Get Well; Wedding; Love; New Baby; Thank You; Friend; and Hello.

Some of my fun writing supplies

I didn’t glue some sentiments on the card designs because I didn’t need them all, especially Get Well. How do I know someone is sick until they’re well? People only communicate their health status on Facebook. Unless you’re on Facebook every hour and happen to see that initial surgery or illness post, by the time you read about the event, it’s over and too late for a card. It’s quicker to click (Heart)emoji your friend’s post? It’s more convenient to comment on a photo. It’s quicker to retweet a tweet. Who sends card anymore?

As dinosaur as it sounds, I mail cards, and not just because it’s National Letter Writing Month or an Instagram challenge. I sit at my table, push my laptop to the side and pull out colorful, blank note cards. I have two 50-count boxes I bought at Michael’s Black Friday 50% sale two years in a row.

Now I put these boxes next to the table. If I had to think about standing up from my chair and walking the seven steps up to my office to rummage through boxes on a shelf or out of a closet, then my friends would never get a paper piece of cheer mixed in with their bills and roof gutters advertisements.

I discovered the This & That cards as I packed my papers and adhesives. My goal is to use them.

First, I will finish these cards, even if that means spending time during the Friday Night Crop to complete. Maybe I can find a flexible interpretation of the words “get well,” or maybe coloring the phrase in blue glitter pen will be enough.

Second, I will mail them. Most card classes are too skimpy to provided the envelopes, leaving me the inconvenience of buying my own. Purchasing standard envelopes should be an easy trip to a craft store, but I’ll buy a larger manila envelope at an office supply or dollar store.

Do you even have stamps in your house? I do, fun ones that include Wonder Woman, Batman, Harry Potter, Pixar and Star Trek. I bet you want a card from me just for the stamp. I decorate my envelopes with stickers and address them in color, glitter gel ink pens.

I hope I never have to send my Get Well card. I prefer Thinking of You cards with glitter unicorn stickers on the envelope.

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Yes, you are finished writing your book

One of the best phrases a writer can say is: Move On.

I don’t mean that in a crazed I-can’t-do-this-I’m-a-terrible-writer discouraged way. Those words are an affirmation of your hard work and progress and completion.

“What do you know about your writing?” was this week’s topic at Montclair Write Group‘s Zoom Support Group.

K.B. needs writing prompts. Every Saturday, the group’s Free Write Zoom meeting gives writers three prompts to write from for 20 minutes each. He said they keep him writing. He knows he is a good writer because people tell him he’s a good writer.

C.S. needs to write that cliché $hi##y first draft. He feels confident afterwards, and he continues.

G.L. knows her writing is strongest at her beginnings and endings.

Me? I am a good writer. Somedays I’m a great writer. Somedays I’m a fantastic awesome-possum writer. No matter, I am always a good writer.

My just-released memoir, Star Trek, Mom and Las Vegas: A Grand Adventure is independently published at this moment, only available on Kindle.

There are parts about this book that I feel fantastic about and some places that are good. Any writer can feel the need to write on and edit and rewrite and tweak and edit forever. Since I’m published on Kindle, I can upload new text at my whim. This gives me endless opportunities to rewrite and fix the parts I’m less thrilled with from good to great parts and then into fantastic parts.

If I gave into temptation, I would upload updates past my generation into Stardate 2377.

Nope. That’s what I know about my writing. It’s good writing, some of it fantastic-great, and I’ll never get anything else completed if I obsess over it. I hit the Publish button. That memoir book is done. Time to move on. My next latest and greatest awaits.

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Reflecting good and bad on #AtoZChallenge 2021

Every year, I tell myself that I will love the annual #AtoZChallenge, and every year, I’m disappointed in something.

Daily blogging is hard, which is why I don’t do it. Too often Life happens and writing does not. Can I do it one month each year? Every April: Sure, no problem. Every May: A lot of stress for a project I didn’t complete.

#AtoZChallenge 2021 banner

I fell behind publishing alphabet posts after Letter D, a disservice to both my readers and myself. My completed, published posts were irregular after that, and too many currently sit in my Drafts. I will finish these half-written works of art–which is easier to do since the posts aren’t blank pages–and publish them this month on the Letter Day they match. That’s the best I can do for April given that today is May 3rd.

Did I choose the right challenge theme? Alphabet Haiku, two years in a row, this year with a twist.  I forget how hard it is to write these. I love writing haiku. That’s the easy part.  The problem is everything else. 

I adore each of my #AtoZChallenge poems, but designing them in phone apps like Retype and InstaQuote takes time.  Each haiku took longer to write than expected.  I became obsessed with perfection and the Word Finder tab on  thefreedictionary.com choosing words that begin with [letter]. This is a FABULOUS site for finding anything word-related, and I don’t use all caps lightly.  You’ll find Scrabble words; grammar help; words that contain/end/begin with [letters]; oh, and definitions.

My goal this year was to pre-write my posts. By doing that, I could sit back and peruse other blogs and enjoy a carefree month of reading and commenting. I don’t mind leaving some of the April spontaneity out because any post is spontaneous when it’s written.  Besides, any Scheduled post can be updated to be more modern at whim. Each April, I want to find new readers and make connections. For me to pre-plan a month of posts, I need to start this process at the beginning of March not the beginning of April.

Yay!  Frappuccino time.

I chose three media outlets to publish on: my blog here, Twitter and Instagram. That was fun. 

Twitter’s #sixwordstory hashtag is something I’ve used more recently in 2021.  A tight six words creates a stimulating challenge.  My rule was to tweet any Letter on their specific day.  As such, I couldn’t tweet my Letter A and B stories on May 2nd; only Letter B, and A was lost. I wrote these stories everyday until around Letter R.  It’s a fun hashtag, but like my haikus, it became exhausting looking for words.

Instagram is where I engage the most.  This was the only outlet I completely achieved my daily letter goal.  Many of my outstanding AR photos on my PokemonGO Instagram account will show up on my year-end Top Nine. When it’s easy, you enjoy it; when you enjoy it, it’s easy.  Other #AtoZChallenge posts are clever and delightful; check them out.  There are at least two blogs I found to explore, plus three accounts I now follow.

I missed commenting on daily posts, but I’m making up for that. Without the daily posting pressure, and having almost-ready-to-publish posts, I have the #AtoZChallenge Master List to peruse topics and browse blogs. Now that other bloggers don’t have their daily posting pressure, replies and comments may come easier. The hype has died down; we can all relax and enjoy.  I’ll look for the #AtoZChallenge Roadtrip.

Will I do this again next year?  Probably; I’m stubborn about completing things. I like to think I know what makes #AtoZChallenge satisfying for me. If I start now, I can finish next April by April.

How was your experience?

Reflections 2021 #atozchallenge

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Your recycling is your memoir #AtoZChallenge

Your recycling is a snapshot into your life.

#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter Y

Tuesday was recycling night, “Brown Goods (Paper/Cardboard)” per the township calendar.

Tuesday, I took a nighttime neighborhood walk in the easy spring air. Intriguing items put out for pickup:

– Weight Watchers chocolate snack bars. I recognize the box design.

– Pampers diapers for Swaddlers. Several boxes. A new baby.

– Amazon Prime box. It took me a long time to realize that the logo is a smiling arrow.

– Mirror. I’ve never seen the Mirror close up, only in TV commercials. That’s why I know the logo. The box is shorter than I imagined it would be.

– Two Domino’s pizza boxes and 12-pack case of Sprite.

– Nespresso machine and natural daylight face mirror. Cushion chairs. This feels like someone’s new beginning.

– Bug zapper. I can’t read the brand, but the oversize picture of that stereotypical silver tube is all I need. Summer is kinda soon away; backyard gatherings, too, I presume.

– Corelle dishes. I wonder what happened to the old ones? Are these an upgrade? Are they a different pattern or style. Replacement? Addition?

What does my recycling say about me?

Tuesday, our hodgepodge of boxes and papers is stuffed inside an old moving box.

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eXceptionally difficult letter, that X – #AtoZChallenge

Next to the letter Q,  X is an intimidating letter.

X is strong.
X crosses out.
X marks the spot.
X blocks entrances.
X crisscrosses threads that hold items together.
X adds hope through fingers and toes.
X begins Xe: a noble gas, an illuminating element.
X replaces Christ during winter holidays.

Why try to follow that? Y thinks it’s a good idea.

Wax unorthodox
soapbox mix.  Conflux transfix.
Redux?  Perplex?  Yes.

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Querying publications takes a strong soul – #AtoZChallenge

Queries go out; rejections return.
#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter Q

My writing is fabulous and should be published everywhere. That’s starry-eyed me. I know my awesome work is not appreciated by everyone nor suited for every publication, but editors don’t have to be so gosh darn rude about it. My latest rejection feels personal.

Dear D.W. Hirsch,
Thank you for submitting your haiku to [Publication] for consideration. Though we are honored that you chose to share these with us, unfortunately we are not going to publish them. We received a high volume of submissions, many of which were outstanding. We are unable to provide individualized feedback on your work, but we want you to know that this is not a reflection of its quality. We wish you the best finding another home for it.
Sincerely, [Editor]

The key line, which could have been left out, is: We received a high volume of submissions, many of which were outstanding.

I’m not outstanding? Ouch. I imagine a woman with a snooty upturned nose saying, “How dare she? This isn’t worthy of our magazine. Reply with our You Suck But We’ll Pretend That You Aren’t email.”

Of course it’s a reflection of its quality. If it wasn’t, I’d have a signed publication contract right now.

I could say, “It’s just some online publication, a specialty one at that. How many people actually read that thing?” Obviously enough people do, otherwise there wouldn’t be a need to seek submissions. I never dismiss a publication of any kind.  It may be small and targeted, but it’s valuable.  This publication accepts fiction, poetry, artwork and creative nonfiction. You’d think I’d fit in there somewhere.

I could say, “If you don’t like [this animal creature], you will never have an interest in reading this…unless you know someone who’s published a story in it.” Even then, I don’t know how many of my friends would humor me and read it without any interest in the subject material. They wouldn’t get my Star Trek as much as I wouldn’t get their Downton Abbey.

I do say, “Receiving a rejection means that you are sending material out into the world. Good job.” My focus is on productivity, because it’s too easy to procrastinate and watch YouTube videos rather than write.

Do your productive self.

Question quitting, quash
quandary, quiet quarreling,
quest quality, reach.

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Maybe you will write a letter today, or tomorrow #AtoZChallenge

My friends, how do I love thee? Let me count the stamps.#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter M

April is a month of showers before flowers, as well as other events:

In 2001, United States Postal Service designated April as National Card and Letter Writing Month, which is what I’m focusing on today.

“Compare sending someone a text message and getting a love letter delivered by carrier pigeon: No contest.”~Bryan Callen, American actor.

I discovered Letter Writing Month from write_on website, whom I thought  officially created that in 2014.  Somehow, years ago, I received a free package they mailed to me containing 10 note cards, a pen and a sheet of inspirational ideas.   I used one or two cards to write letters.  Then I stopped.  I always knew April Letter Writing Month was there, but I only thought about it in April, or maybe mid-March.

The website was static a few years, but now has current April 2021 posts along with cards for sale in a similar design ones with similar designs as mine were.a lot of promotion to buy note cards from eggpress and Hello!Lucky.  There’s a little too much promotion and selling for my taste.  The designs are similar to the cards I received, and I’m not a fan of the caveman-styled artwork, but the campaign is spot on.

These days, I don’t need another daily challenge.  The potential problem with anything daily is that skipping one day can make people feel soooooo bad about themselves, inadequate and sloppy.  The point of anything is to do something good that makes you feel good.

I have all the elements to send my friends Happy Mail, which is anything not a bill or store coupon.  I have sets of matching stationary/envelopes including my childhood Hello Kitty and Japanese notepaper; you never outgrow Hello Kitty.  I have a stash containing Hallmark’s Lady & the Tramp plus a half-used sheet of Mrs. Grossman’s stickers, those original ones. I have Forever postage stamps from when the panic was real and postage rates were increasing in 2007.  Not the boring Liberty Bell, mind you, but Batman, Wonder Woman, Harry Potter, Jazz Legends and American Inventions.

I write about my day, as if my friend was next to me, as if this was an everyday conversation.  There is nothing elaborate or planned out, not necessarily interesting.  It’s my slice of life.

“I’m in a coffeeshop drinking Sumatra coffee”
“It’s 10pm, and Law & Order is on the background.”
“Today the birdhouse fell off the  rope”
“Tomorrow I’m going to buy a dishwasher because the heater broke on ours.”

I don’t need a properly-formatted salutation, because I often write too much and have to squeeze five words into the last inch of space, so I only have room for:
                                                   <3 Di
(which is a heart for those of you whose device doesn’t show emojis).

write_on is presenting Writing and Drawing Kindness at 2pm Eastern on this Saturday, April 17. Sign up for tickets. It looks like fun.

Mistress, Majesty,
Musician, Mentor, Model,
Maiden, Mermaid: Names.

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Kudos to words in #AtoZChallenge

“Kerfuffle” is not a word I use often, and I need to find a way to do that.

#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter KI adore fun words.  I bet you do, too.  “Percolate” is one I do try to mix in my writing, and not because I’m a coffee junkie. “Whimsy” is something I bring to my blog.  If you’re reading this, I hope you think so, too.

Elle Driver from Kill Bill: Vol 2 said it best: “I’ve always liked that word…’gargantuan’… so rarely have an opportunity to use it in a sentence”

When I grow up, I want to create names for paint colors.

  • .
    These could be writing prompts.

    Those are just the one-word names; the creative explosion is in the more descriptive, emotional two-word names.

    I do want to say that I painted my room “Bootie Time.”

    Of all the words I do like, I don’t like the word “palpable.” I don’t know why, but you’ll never convince me otherwise.

    How can I use underused words?  Thoughts and ideas percolate in my head.

    Knowledge keeps keyboard
    karaoke kerfuffle
    kindhearted.  Listen.

    Kerfuffle.  There you go.  What can you come up with? Color me curious.

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Journey along the #AtoZChallenge

Journeys begin with a thought.
#AtoZChallenge 2021 banner
“I want to publish a book.”
“I want to be healthier.”
“I want to travel to San Antonio.”

The first step is changing “want to” into “will.”

I will publish a book.
I will be healthier.
I will travel to San Antonio.

Knowing that, you can make things happen. Budget time; plan the steps; examine finances; consider options; and play with ideas.  Anything you want to do, and I mean really want to do, you can.  Sometimes challenging creativity is needed, and sometimes you need to creatively challenge challenges.

Jotter journals junk
jargon joins jabberwocky
jubilant knowledge

I will take a nap after writing this blog post.

What are your thoughts today?

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Haiku and having fun with #AtoZChallenge

Have you found a new favorite blog to read?

I have. I found two that are fun:

  • Marquessa Life is just a story. And I’ve got a pen
    She’s writing short posts inspiring women.  I’ve always had an affinity about the strong woman character, as in TV shows The Closer and Major Crimes.  I believe the phrase “Like A Boss” should not exist, because those words are found in planner stickers women use; you’d never hear a man say that phrase.  Not that men shouldn’t read this blog; it’s one insight into the thoughts of women.

I planned writing a list using the Rule Of Thirds, but I think two is a good start. I’ll share more as I explore and experience.

Horizon halo
hear howl harmony, hoot hiss
Habitat intro

Check out the AtoZ 2021 Master List of bloggers here and have fun!

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Flying high-ku for #AtoZChallenge

#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter F
Feel like flying today?

“Hello, how are you?” the coffee barista asks me.

“I’m fine” –which I am– “How are you?”

“I’m doing okay,” the barista replies.

Okay is not a fine thing to be. We can challenge ourselves to be better than okay. No one should be okay; we should all be fantastic and awesome and fabuloso. Right now, I need to be better than my fine, so I challenge him.

“Okay?” I ask. “Just okay? Come on, you gotta be better than okay.”

Here’s an aside: I love it when folks are in a good mood and share that. Whether it’s because the weather is nice or it’s 10 minutes before closing time, I want to know. Share your good mood, good experience so I can feel more than my reflex response of fine.

“Okay, I’m good,” he says. “Tomorrow’s my day off.”

“So you should be feeling great.”

“I’ll feel great in about an hour and half.” Closing time.

“Good enough. I’ll work on being great, too.”

I love it when a conversation comes together.

One of the best conversations I’ve had in the past year was with a convenience store associate. I asked her how she was and she said, “I am spectacular.”

“Wow. Spectacular?” It’s 10am, and I haven’t had my coffee yet, which I’m paying for at that moment.

“The sun is out, I woke up breathing, there’s gas in my car, I’m thankful to come in to a job I love and see people like you shining.”

I was breathless keeping up with her.

“I’ll work on being spectacular,” I said.

“You do that because today is a good day to be alive, and any day you’re alive is a good day.”

Finally found faith
from fifty fairies flying
forward facing glare.

Will you be spectacular today?

Are you already?

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Desire this haiku for #AtoZChallenge

#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter D

Does doing what you want always get you your desired end result?

I doubt it.

Do you know why?

I don’t.

As long as it’s legal, I’ll try it again. This time, I’ll do something different. Reaching for a goal by repeating your actions is useless.

Many times, it’s my outlook.  I have to remind myself not to say that “want to do” something, but that I “will do” that something.  Do you hear the difference?


Delicious Dirty
Dancing.  Decide dare defy.
Doing everyday.

What about you? Can you commit to yourself? Of course you can. Will you?

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Letter C: Chocolate-filled #AtoZChallenge

Chocolate can inspire almost anything, including haiku.

Tomorrow is Easter Sunday, and so many holidays these days involve some type of candy. Fourth of July has its S’mores. Christmas defines candy canes. Easter has chocolate bunnies, and Halloween has everything.

Last weekend was warm and sunny, so we drove into Denville for handmade ice cream at the Denville Dairy. Two doors down is Sweet Expressions, where homemade chocolate everything is their specialty, along with caramel-covered popcorn. Easter Bunnies lined the aisle as I entered. There were coconut and maple cream filled chocolate eggs. What I had never seen before was milk- and dark-covered Matzoh.


Continue craving
chocolate.  Creamy.  Crispy.  Chip.
Crunchy.  Delicious.

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Be a part of #AtoZChallenge in 2021

Beginning is often difficult, but continuing can be harder.

I started repainting my office/craft room in 2020. Maybe it was 2019; I lost track of time these recent 12 months. Oh, I can still use the room, move around, function in it, but painters tape is still around door frames, and at least one electrical outlet needs to be painted under.

Where’s the motivation? Moreso, what is the reward? Scrapbooker Tiffany Spaulding of Totally Tiffany talks about Big Benefits. Take your big project, break it down to smaller tasks and then reward yourself after each small task is done.

I watch her videos, half-interested and half-background noise; her voice is soft yet authoritative, in a kind way. I’m great about breaking tasks down to smaller ones, but I have lacked rewards. I used to think they were unnecessary, but to finish, I need to plan rewards as well.

If I finish one section or task, I get to watch a YouTube video. If I finish another section task, I can go out for coffee or make a second cup at home. I can binge-watch two episodes of something. I can read two AtoZChallenge blogger posts or one chapter in a book; finding out what comes next is the motivation to come back.

I can take a nap. That’s the biggest reward of all.

Begin by being
brave best buddies bright balanced
boundless continue

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Haiku: Day 1, Letter A of 2021 #AtoZChallenge

Welcome to Day One–or Day A–of the AtoZ Blogging Challenge 2021.
#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter A

Every day this month, excluding Sundays, bloggers challenge themselves to write posts using the corresponding alphabet Letter of the Day to inspire the posts. Most writers choose theme throughout the month: Horror Movies; Cat Characters; US Navy Ships; Home Crafts; Places Visited; and so much more.

Some of these themes sound blah, but some of them are wicked awesome. You gotta check out the Master List of participating bloggers and their themes.

Me, as announced in my Theme Reveal post, is Alphabet Haiku with a Twist.

Anyone always
absent allows anything
absolute begin

Join me here tomorrow when we begin.


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