Quote of the day 8/28/14


In April of 2013, I replied to a particular blog post. Unfortunately, I can not remember the name of the blog. However, the post related to making mistakes and trying to learn from them. I was feeling a bit snarky that day. The night before, I had screwed up a knife that I’d been making for a friend. It was the third time I had messed up the handle. But for whatever the reason, I made the following comment on the blog:

“We’re a product of our environment and experiences. mistakes are a hammer on the anvil of life. Good steel must be hammered repeatedly…”

I wasn’t really thinking when I wrote it. The words just sort of came out based on my reaction to the blog post I’d just read. I don’t remember whether or not I proofed it before I hit send. I just moved on to the next blog. A few minutes after I posted the comment, a blog/twitter friend asked if she could borrow it. Puzzled but not overly so, I said yes. The next thing I knew, she had tweeted my comment. It wasn’t until I read the tweet that I realized what I had said. I liked it and it fit my life at that moment. What can I say, even I can be profound once in a while. :-)

How about you? Have you ever made an off-hand comment that you later realized was profound in some way?


Posted by on August 28, 2014 in Musings and Odd Thoughts


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View of the Garden

Some of My Daylillies starting to bloom!

Some of my daylillies in bloom!

I have not blogged about one of my other passions, gardening. I can’t say why. It just didn’t seem to be right for this blog. Well, I’ve changed my mind.

Do you believe in magic? If you answered no, I want you to go outside and take a walk in nature. If you still don’t see it, find a gardener and ask them to show you. You see, magic is everywhere in nature. As a fantasy writer, if I need inspiration, I look outside and watch the daylillies change from bare ground, to little green spikes, to fountains of green leaves, to rockets of stalks that explode into glorious colorful displays. The idea of fireworks had to come from man’s trying to copy the splendor of daylillies growing to full bloom.

These were "throw aways" from the hybridizer.

These were “Throw aways” from the hybridizer.

Here are a couple of my favorites that were actually throw away plants from a local hybridizer. The colors and petal structure are normal for these plants. Throw aways, Really? Yes.

Still another "Throw away"!

Still another “Throw away”!

Do you want to be a better artist? Paint detailed gardens. The variety of textures created by the foliage will force you to perfect every type of brush stroke there is. When I designed my gardens, I spent more time thinking about texture than I did about colors. The reason is that most plants only produce blooms for a short time. The foliage however, is there all season. Even the textures of a hosta glade vary as each cultivar has unique shape and growth habit.

Textures of the foliage are overseen by the Watcher!

Textures of the foliage are overseen by the Watcher!

Then there is the magic of water. Moving water is best but any water holds magic. The sound of water splashing over boulders that are older than time creates a vibration within one’s body that is both soothing and invigorating. Cool water flowing over sun-warmed rock. Softly sliding over hard surfaces, the clear fluid continues to move toward the center, wherever that might be.

Mystic Waterfall (My Backyard)

Mystic Waterfall
(My Backyard)

And lastly, a sure-fire cure for writer’s block. Find a well-textured garden and get down on your hands and knees. Better still, on your belly. Get your eyes down as low as possible. Crawl forward until you are right at the edge of the foliage. Look into it and imagine you are a rabbit or chipmunk. What adventures await you as you enter into the jungle before you? What dangers lurk beyond the first few leaves. Get closer. Try to move through the leaves to the next layer. How does the view change? How does this affect you? Now you see how this change of perspective can stimulate the imagination and open up a blocked mind to allow the muse a chance to work again.

My gardens are a source of peace, therapy, and inspiration for me. What do you use?



Posted by on August 26, 2014 in Garden Walks


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Quote of the Day! 8/20/14


Many years ago, during an interview, musician Stevie Ray Vaughn was asked what he learned during his most recent stay in rehab. His reply:

“Life is a game to be played, not a puzzle to be figured out!”

Amen to that!


Posted by on August 20, 2014 in Musings and Odd Thoughts


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Quote of the day!



During a recent conversation with a coworker, I heard the ultimate reason for why we have semi-colons.

He said, “The reason we have semi-colons is, so people who normally write in run-on sentences can feel good about themselves.”

Have a nice day! :-)


Posted by on August 15, 2014 in Other Strangeness


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Why it’s so hard for writers to be discovered in the online world

Dennis Langley:

Here are some amazing numbers that I know you will find interesting. Matt’s take on the ramifications to aspiring authors is equally insightful.

Originally posted on M J Wright:

Ever wondered why you don’t get as much traffic as you’d like on your blog? Or why your book’s vanished without a trace of sales on Amazon? I did some checking. In this wired world, the web is one crowded place. Every second, people put:

23 posts on WordPress
463 posts on Tumblr
5700 tweets on Twitter
54,976 posts on Facebook
5757 +1’s on Google+
And over 3.4 million emails are sent.

Woah! That’s quite apart from the growth in those services over the same time-span. I only have figures for Twitter – which gains 11 new accounts a second. Doubtless some are bots, but that’s not the point. What this underscores, for me, is the key issue bedevilling activity on the internet – especially efforts by authors to get their cut of the 51 items sold in that same second by Amazon.

That issue is discovery. Being found…

View original 424 more words


Posted by on July 28, 2014 in Other Strangeness


Imaginary Friends

Apprentice meets his mentor

Writer meets his not so imaginary friend!

I saw a quote the other day that I thought was worth passing along.

“Writer’s block is a condition that happens when your imaginary friends stop talking to you.”

Talk about a sad, lonely experience! What would you have to do to your imaginary friends for them to abandon you?

Seriously though, the Muse can be a “fickle bitch”. One minute he can be hammering at your brain keeping you awake until you get up and scribble a few lines to pacify him. The next minute she gives you the cold shoulder, slams the door, and leaves you with a sink full of dirty dishes, a lawn that needs mowing, a stack of bills to pay, and no story ideas.

At times when my current imaginary friends abandon me, I have a trick to get them back.

Wait for it.

Here is comes.

I create new imaginary friends. :-) That’s the great thing about imaginary friends, you can create as many as you want.  Sometimes they get me thinking about another project. I have to be careful with this as it can lead me away from my current project so far that I never do finish it.

Other times I consider adding an additional character. The character usually gets scrapped later but it keeps the creative juices flowing. Once in a while the new character gets to stay as it fills a before overlooked need in my story. Whichever method I use, before too long, my imaginary friends get jealous and come back to me. We start working together and the story takes off.

Before you call the men in white coats to come and take me away, listen to the voices in your own head. They are probably telling you to sit down and write something. Listen to them. You’ll be better off if you do.


Posted by on July 17, 2014 in Thoughts on Writing


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MAVEN – update

Artists concept of the MAVEN Spacecraft - Courtesy of Wikipedia

Artists concept of the MAVEN Spacecraft – Courtesy of Wikipedia

Seventy-one days until the MAVEN spacecraft is placed into orbit around Mars. All systems are functioning as planned for the September 21st orbit insertion. Three days later, the MOM orbiter from India is scheduled to be placed into Mars orbit. That will bring the number of spacecraft from Earth occupying Mars to seven. It will be a busy September for Earth’s scientists.

To view previous posts on the MAVEN project, click here.


Posted by on July 10, 2014 in MAVEN


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