Tag Archives: writing


So, I have been busy. Submitting! Reclaiming old hard drives & finding out if I had any diamonds in the rough. I had a couple. Here’s one:

imageIt’s 10 years old, or so. Corel Draw–remember that program? It was powerful for its day.

Here’s another easy peasy envelope idea–just use decorative tape (Washi, Duct, etc…this example is duct tape–there is a bonus kitty in there, too! That’s Poco, our crazy old man kitty. He’s super imagesweet, though.)

Working on a new poetry project. Hoping to get it mostly first draft ready before NaNoWriMo begins, because I have a really cool adventure-fantasy novel in mind to write for November. I’m still not as far along with idea generating as I am in a normal year, but I have main characters fleshed out, some secondary characters and I know the general theme of the story. I still don’t have an ending in mind, which is somewhat troublesome, but…I think the story will be a TON of fun to write, and maybe I don’t have to have everything laid out beforehand. Maybe the ending will write itself once I get involved in the story. I am trying not to be too worried. I call myself a “pantser” because I don’t use a formal outline. I think though that I AM actually an outliner, only I keep it up in my head until it’s time to write. My brain has taken so many hits this year, I’m a little (lot) worried about relying on my memory these days. I really need to start writing all of my ideas down, so I can reference (and not forget) them.

I have let go of a couple of worries (mostly) so my head has not been as bad as it was earlier in the summer. We visited my Bebecita & her fiance this past weekend in Indianapolis. Had a great time! I miss my baby girl, though. 😦 We saw Oklahoma! at Beef & Boards which is one of our favorite Indy hangouts. Unfortunately, it was the weakest performance we’ve ever seen at Beef & Boards and also the weakest performance of Oklahoma! 😦 We were so disappointed, we left at intermission. We did get a birthday cake for the Bebecita, though! She’ll be 24 this Friday. So hard to believe!

Hubs and I also celebrated our anniversary this past Friday. #16 married and #21 since we met & started dating. His friend was in town from Texas, so we hung out with him for a while. Had dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. No disappointment there–the food was AMAZING! Hubs even danced with me, which was fun. We’ve been so busy lately, though, that we came home and CRASHED. So much work, it’s crazy.

Speaking of work…I have some to do tonight, so I need to jet–but I’m overdue on an update!






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Posted by on September 8, 2014 in Scribbles


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Mail Art: Just Do It! (A Non-Artist’s Perspective)

Mail Art: Just Do It! (A Non-Artist’s Perspective)

If you’ve ever received a very colorful, hand-embellished envelope from me, know that I am trying my hand at mail art. Mail art has been around since the advent of the postal service but it was made popular in the 1950s (known art exchanges have been documented with Exquisite Corpse, earlier in the century as well). It is making a revival, especially given the popularity of email, the decline of the economy which is affecting the postal service in every community world-wide and the love of nostalgia.

I’m a huge fan of mail art! Not only decorating envelopes, but participating in exchanges that are devoted to sending handmade goodies via snailmail.

I recently became involved in a mail art swap, and I had the best time! I lurked in the group for several months before I finally signed up for one of their every-other-month swaps (I don’t have permission to advertise the group, but if you search on mail art in Facebook, you will be able to find it & request membership of the closed group!) in June and mailed my creations out this month.

Mind you, I am not an artist. I can doodle and make some crafty things without feeling horribly embarrassed, but the reason I waited so long to join an exchange was because nearly everyone there is a true artist! The reason I joined a swap recently was because the theme was “Dinosaurs, Unicorns & Octopi” and I wanted to make an octopus. Like this:

yarn octopus

It was purely nostalgia & selfishness that drove me. I didn’t have any other plan than a dorky yarn octopus-one like the pink one that sat on the pink bedspread of “my” room at my grandparents’ house when I was growing up. There was one guy in the exchange…I waited with baited breath, just hoping I wouldn’t end up with the guy as my partner because I didn’t think he’d appreciate a cutesy yarn doll. Finally, I got a girl!! Alas, a non-frilly goth girl. Thus, the crazy, red button eyes and charcoal gray color of my doll! haha

This also afforded me the opportunity to start something I’ve been wanting to do for a few months now. I was the recipient of a 100 Post Card project last year, was honored to be involved & thought it would be really cool to pay it forward with 100 Haikus. That project has since evolved, and now I am planning to send 100 Poetry Broadsides (handmade) instead with my original poetry. Here is the broadside I sent for the exchange:


I drug my feet on this, actually. I had to freehand the mermaid tail and it terrified me! The deadline was looming though, and I just had to do it. I don’t think it turned out nearly as bad as I was thinking it could!

Finally, feeling a bit sub-par with my art skills (or lack thereof), I decided to make a mixed tape for my exchange buddy. I stalked her tumblr account to see what sort of music she liked & got a CD made with all sorts of dino-uni-octi-themed music & a handmade CD insert. You get to enjoy a song off of the CD too! I figure, she will at least enjoy the music even if she thinks the octopus is stupid & the artwork and/or poetry is lame.


I am pretty fearless with my attempts at art. Maybe because I know I’m not an artist (technically writing is an art, but the art that I have any talent in only involves WORDS!), so you might think I’m just a glutton for punishment, but…

I signed up for the next exchange too, which is an Alphabet exchange (think Dr. Seuss’s Alphabet Book). Plus, I invited my daughter, who truly is an artist to join the exchange too, because she LOVES typography. It was her favorite class in her college art studies. She is going to make me look really silly, but I am super proud of her, and I have writerly ideas in mind too. I can’t wait to find out which letter I will be responsible for (we will be assigned our letter in early August). I can’t wait to start on the newest chapter of my artsy endeavors! Carpe diem!

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Posted by on July 21, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Japanese Poetry Forms



I think this post is all my daughter’s fault. She has been fascinated with the Japanese culture since she was about seven years old–art, culture, society, etc. What once was an infatuation, has become a life thread for her, because she is engaged to a wonderful Japanese man and has been studying the language for years.

We homeschooled for several years, and because of her love of Japanese art styles (and because of my love of poetry) we did a haiku & tanka segment for English lessons. I loved haiku and tanka because at that time of my life, I was trying to break away from strictly rhymed and metered poetry, but was having a hard time finding my free verse voice. It was a win-win segment of study for us!

I actually found a website that says everything I want to say on the topic of Japanese Poetry Forms, but I noticed that there is a little word (Challenge) near the top of this particular page. Did someone just challenge me? Did they? Huh. DID THEY!?

Perhaps I will have to do another 100 [Poetry Form] challenge of some sort after the 100 Haiku(s). I have haiku in the queue (not intended to rhyme, but I’m a poet & I don’t know it–but my feet show it; they’re longfellows (a ditty my grandpa used to always recite to me since I was the family poet from a very early age! I sure miss that wonderful man (Grandpa)), but just started working on the actual cards themselves. I have homes for about a dozen cards so far…after that is anyone’s guess as to where I will send them!



Posted by on April 12, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Big A, Little A, What Begins with A?



Aunt Annie’s Alligator, A…a…A.

Actually, all sorts of writerly fun is going on in April! I’ve been assigned to a very quiet cabin at Camp NaNoWriMo, so I should be able to get oodles of writing done! This is a good thing because April is also National Poetry Month. Each day I will honor National Poetry Month with some sort of poetic justice. Not only am I attempting 25,000 words for my Camp NaNo project, celebrating National Poetry Month, but…

I also signed up for the A to Z Blog Challenge, which might seem insane, but well…I never have made any formal declarations regarding my sanity or lack thereof. Since today is brought to you by the Letter A, I will share some fun tidbits with you!


  1. A to Z Blog Challenge became a hit in 2010 due to a random blog post by the organizer, challenging her followers to blog every day in April except Sundays, using a different letter of the alphabet each day as the theme. She got tremendous support and feedback, and when I signed up at the eleventh hour of 2013, I became Blog Entry #1673. I kept seeing my writerly friends tweeting #atozchallenge and there were so many of them, I became intrigued. I was already planning a bunch of posts to show how I was honoring National Poetry Month because I needed an excuse to blog!

  2. Ann is my middle name. It’s a family tradition. My grandma, who was named Aracelia, gave her name to my mother as her middle name (Anny Aracely). My mother gave her name to me in the same fashion (Cheryl Ann–only bill collectors call me Cheryl, by the way). In turn, I gave my name to my daughter (Jolie Cherie). She’s engaged to a wonderful guy…I wonder if she’ll carry on the tradition.

  3. Asparagus is my favorite vegetable. Especially wrapped in Bacon. Mmmmmm. I’ve been low-carbing since January…so far I’ve lost 19 pounds! 14 more to go…I can do this! Bring on the asparagus!!

  4. Abecedarian – A poetic form using alphabetic order to guide the beginning of each line or stanza. (Great example here.)

  5. Acrostic – Another poetic form, a cousin to the abecedarian, if you will, in which the beginning of each line, when read top to bottom will spell out the theme of the poem. Write your own acrostic poem using your name at this fun website.

So many more “A”-listed writing tools to talk about, but I shall save them for another post. Ah, fare-thee-well for now, my amiable friends, Allegory, Alliteration & Analogy!


Posted by on April 1, 2013 in Scribbles, Uncategorized


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Early to Bed…Early to Rise

I don’t know if waking up early will make me any wiser, but I’m hoping it will make me more focused and organized.

I haz issues. Lots of them, apparently. After being diagnosed with CFIDS, chronic migraine, sleep apnea, severe dry eye, parotid gland infections, chronic sinus infections, chronic pneumonia & even hypochondria the past ten years, I think I was finally diagnosed properly. I have an autoimmune disease called Sjögren’s Syndrome and now that I know for sure what I’m dealing with, it has become necessary to change my lifestyle.

1. Insomnia. I’m a horrible sleeper. I go to bed late, toss & turn throughout the night & find it hard to wake up in the morning. Fatigue is a real thing, and it has been absolutely crippling the past four weeks because I have the shingles too. One of the things my rheumatologist, other Sjögren’s sufferers and the online research indicate is that I must develop better sleeping habits. Therefore, I think I shall be doing yoga right before bed followed by a shower and I should also set a bedtime of 10:30-11:00pm. (Trust me, this is way better than my usual wee hours!) I also find that I fall asleep easier to a couple of guided meditation CDs I have, so I’ll use those as well.

2. Medication. I hate taking medicine and vitamins. HATE. I am now dependent on medication to get me through day by day. And, I’m lousy at remembering to take it when I’m supposed to. I need to remember that my illness not only affects me, but it also affects my husband, daughter, co-workers and friends too. I’ve made up a little chart to help me remember to take my medicine and I’ve purchased moisturized eye drops to keep at work, just in case I forget to carry it with me. (EDIT: I am allergic to one of the new medications. Lovely. I now have hives on top of the shingles. I am one itchy owie grouchy mess. The medications will be adjusted soon…)

3. Stress. I know, it’s unavoidable, but my approach to life could use some improvement. In addition to yoga & meditation, I have another stress outlet: writing. Julia Cameron suggests writing 3 stream-of-conscious pages every morning, to get all the junk out of the way. All the whiney “I feel like dirt this morning,” “I hate my job,” “I have far too many things to accomplish today,” etc. Once those whiney thoughts are off your chest, it frees you up to look at life a little more realistically, not to mention it opens up your creativity (which is Ms. Cameron’s intent) and for me, it keeps me focused on my goals.

4. Diet. Now, more than ever, it is important to follow a healthy diet. Moderation in everything I eat and drink…no more binges! No more whiskey weekends, chocolate frenzies nor food comas. More veggies and fruits. More water. Less sugar & refined foods. I don’t eat horribly and I love fresh foods, so this shouldn’t be so hard. I’m already 18 pounds down for the year, and being more mindful of what I put into my body can only help get me all the way to my goal weight (I am about halfway there!).

5. Exercise. I’m somewhat limited in this arena because of a herniated disk in my low back, but there are plenty of things that I can and should do regularly. Walk my puppies! Hike (My dog Reno especially loves the woods). Dance. Yoga. Low impact aerobics. Swimming (which I am not a fan of, but maybe I can learn to like it more). Biking. I generally have a great walking routine, so now I just need to be even more diligent and incorporate all the other stuff too. Even though I have two left feet, I LOVE to dance! I’m also thinking of taking a t’ai chi class. I’ve never tried it before, and it looks like fun and something that would tie in well with the

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Posted by on March 25, 2013 in Uncategorized


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