The Creative Tribe: A powerful tool with a double-edge

I’ve recently taken a step back from my creative tribe. Still a card-carrying member (and officer in a few groups), but, after noticing unsavory patterns, I’ve had to reevaluate my expectations and dial down participation. Thanks to social media, the...

Continue reading →

The Cliffs of Insanity

I had high hopes for this month’s reading list. The Book Owls sent in their recommendations. I even bought one of the books new, which I rarely do, because I was excited (no spoilers, I’m reading it next month). I will...

Continue reading →

Writing Living Histories: The Memory Book

I believed my family was close. I grew up with both parents in the home and two brothers, near my mother’s parents who lived a few miles away. We talked about family history regularly. It wasn’t until I took...

Continue reading →

The Sandlot Principle: Which Team Are You?

On a sticky summer day, two teams shouted each other down on a scrubby sand lot. Insults flew between the little league pitcher in uniform and the scrappy catcher in shorts. The catcher had enough. His face flushed red, his eyes...

Continue reading →

Reading American History: A lesson in intention

I began this month reading about the American frontier. I realize my selections were about intention. The whole regional approach, focusing on the Southwest, shattered when I realized I had assumed the book I bought on Native American art and...

Continue reading →

Globetrotters, Comic Con, and Me

Stars came together this last weekend. Amazing things happening, and I’d chosen a piece of it. Two friends traveling Europe were having exciting new experiences and sending back pictures. One friend, Sam of the Book Owls, traveled with her husband...

Continue reading →

Bookmarking With Style

As a reader, I love a bookish things (of course, books best of all). But there are bookshelves to love and fuss over, which must be the right height, carry all the books we like, and have room enough...

Continue reading →

A Pudding By Any Other Name

Fiddling out the threads of your own ethnicity is a challenge when your historical roots generally prefer to keep themselves to themselves. In my experience, it’s not that smart to go looking for German ethnic clubs and it’s not that...

Continue reading →

What is Detail, What is Plot: Deciphering Writer’s Block

Planning a story should produce a strong outline. That outline, made up of interesting and interconnected scenes, ties your ideas together into a cohesive and engaging plot. Faced with a pile of potential scenes to organize into a story,...

Continue reading →

Used Pianos and Different Tastes

A friend of mine got a message from an out of state relative saying there was a piano free to a good home. The owner of the piano lives in the same city as my friend. Things worked out and...

Continue reading →