Blog Schedule

I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Alternative, P. F. Sloan, Being Thankful

We now return to our regularly scheduled program.

Thanks for stopping by last week and leaving such loving, supportive, and understanding comments. I had to step back and breathe for a while, regroup, and remember to be thankful. 


Alternatives is a recurring post in which I give synonyms for an over used word. Click on the tab above for a "complete" list of over used words.

Today's word is:
So basically, to replace this word you might have to use another lesser used but still dreaded "ly" word. However, there are a few alternatives that don't require it, like, "at heart" or "first and foremost." But even then, these phrases seem a bit trite to me. To my mind there isn't an adequate or uniquely different word to use. So my advice would be to avoid it as much as possible.

Depending on how you use it, this list may come in handy for finding another way to say the same thing.

about, above all, altogether, approximately, at heart, at bottom, at the end of the day, au


broadly, by and large, by and large

chiefly, commonly


first and foremost, first of all, firstly, frequently, fundamentally



in essence, in substance, inherently, intrinsically


mainly, more or less, most of all, mostly

near, nearly, next to, nigh, normally

on the whole, ordinarily, overall

partially, partly, plus or minus, predominantly, primarily, principally

radically, rather, roughly

some, somewhat, substantially

the fact (of the matter) is, typically



well-nigh, when all is said and done

On the Sunday, the 15th, P. F. Sloan died at age 70 of pancreatic cancer. You may not know him, but I bet you know at least one of his songs, the protest anthem made famous in 1965 by Berry Mcguire called "The Eve of Destruction." What's incredible is that P. F. Sloan wrote it while still a teenager living at home. He was quite versatile and talented writing songs for groups Jan and Dean, (1965), The Turtles, (1965), Herman's Hermits, (1965)  The Grassroots, (1966 one of my favorite pop -rock groups) and The Fifth Dimension, (1967). He also wrote Secret Agent Man, recorded by Johnny Rivers in 1966.

"From a Distance" is from his album P. F. Sloan: Twelve More Times recorded in 1966. I was such a teenager and loved this album. You can hear influences from Bob Dylan and The Byrds. It's a fitting song to share at his passing. 


Being Thankful
Today I'm thankful for:


Even though she released pestilence and evil into the world and slammed the lid closed, Pandora had the presence of mind to heed the small voice crying from within the box and opened it a second time.
What she also gave us was HOPE.
Pandora's box (artist unknown)
There is always hope. 

What are you thankful for today? Is "basically" a word you use in your writing? Ever heard of P. F. Sloan? Recognize/know any of his songs?

Monday, November 16, 2015

A Moment of Silence

I'm not in the mood to blog today. My heart is aching for all the suffering going on, not just in Paris, but in the world. So much anger. So much violence. So much hatred.

I pray for compassion. I pray for peace. I pray that I can continue to be grateful.


Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Unicorn Hunt

Unicorn Hunt hosted by L. Diane Wolfe
How could I resist being a part of a Unicorn hunt? 

Here are the rules:
You are charged with tracking down the unicorns!
Every day the week of November 9-13, a new blogger will host a photo. (See Diane’s site for list of bloggers and prizes.) You will have to find the unicorns in the image, much like the famous “Where’s Waldo?” Leave a comment stating how many unicorns you find in that image. The most correct guesses out of five, wins. Grand prize include gift cards and books.
Five images - many unicorns - only one winner!

Realms Faire site:

L. Diane Wolfe site:
 How many unicorns can you find? Leave a comment and let us know. You to could win The Grand Prize!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Welcome to Karen Walker and Being Thankful

Today I'm pleased to have Karen Helen Walker take over my blog. 

She is a widely published essayist and author of the 2009 memoir, Following the Whispers. When she isn’t writing, you will often find Karen performing in nursing homes and retirement communities as part of the Sugartime or Sophisticated Ladies musical groups, traveling with her husband of 20 years, Gary, or relaxing with a good book at their home in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Visit the author’s website at or her blog.

For her latest book, a novel, called The Wishing Steps, I asked her where the idea for the story came from. Take it away, Karen!

Thank you, Bish, for hosting me today.
“This burial ground dates to around 2,000 BC,” said Hugh, our guide in Scotland. It was 2009 and earlier that year I’d published my memoir, the culmination of a ten-year journey to bring that project to fruition. This trip was celebrating that journey.
It was gently misting rain and we were the only tourists visiting Balnauran Clava Cairns (cairns are piles of stones). I wondered off by myself, leaving my husband and Hugh talking at the edge of the site. I stopped for a moment, trying to imagine the people who built the structure and what their lives were like. Suddenly I heard a voice inside my head say, “Tell my story.” At first I thought I was hearing things, but it repeated a few minutes later, “Tell my story.”
Now, I’ve heard my own voice inside my head all of my life, as well as the voices of my parents, teachers, etc. It took me years to learn to sort out those voices and let my own voice come through. This was different and it scared me. So I did what I always do when I’m scared. Retreat. I said, “Sorry, I’m on vacation,” and went on exploring the cairns.
A few days later we were at Blarney Castle in Ireland. On this day, it was pouring down rain and there were very few tourists out and about. After climbing the tower to kiss the famed Blarney Stone, I wanted to explore the forest surrounding the castle. The brochure said there were wishing steps, a witches’ kitchen and a druid’s cave -- my idea of a good time. As I stepped on the wishing steps, I closed my eyes and asked Goddess to remove my self-doubt. Well, I was on wishing steps after all. Why not ask for something important. I was filled with an energy that nearly knocked me off the steps and that pesky voice said, “Tell my story, tell my story.” Being me, I still tried to ignore it and succeeded for the rest of our vacation.
But when I came home, I couldn’t ignore it any longer. I had several sessions with my writing coach, Mark David Gerson (, who is very metaphysically oriented. His book, The Voice of the Muse, is one of my favorite writing books because it teaches you to go within and allow the story to emerge. Over the course of the next few months, I did the exercises in the book and worked with Mark David to discover whose voice I was hearing and what story it wanted me to tell. The Wishing Steps is the result.
Here’s the scoop on the story:
Three Women and a Single Story That Unites Them Across the Millennia
“Totally engrossing. A must-read for today’s wise woman!”Rev. Kathleen McKern Verigin, minister/priestess
Brighid, Ashleen and Megan: Bound through time by a curious light, a mysterious voice and a call they dare not ignore. Yet in obeying this strange force, the women must face soul-searing trials that call into question everything they know and believe — about themselves and about the world around them.
“Guaranteed to inspire you to a deeper level of spirituality and a new appreciation for Goddess.”Rev. Clara Z. Alexander
The Wishing Steps will be available for purchase on October 31 in both print and ebook versions You can also purchase it as an ebook on Kobo, I Tunes, and at Barnes and Noble.

Karen wanted to let you all know that she may be a little late returning comments today, but she will be here!
Being Thankful

Today I'm thankful for:
In Amsterdam at the Rijksmuseum viewing the painting below, by Vermeer.
The Love Letter - Jan Vermeer van Delft

Are you following Karen? Curious about her book? What the most famous painting you've seen live, up close, and personal?

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


Posting first Wednesday of every month YOU can sign up HERE to find out more about the purpose of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, the brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh.

Let's give our co-hosts  a warm welcome! 
Stephen Tremp
Karen Walker
Denise Covey, and 
Tyrean Martinson!

In an effort to keep these posts short and sweet, I'll be sharing an appropriate quote. 
F Scott Fitzgerald.jpg
"F Scott Fitzgerald". Licensed under 
Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.
Photo by Carl Van Vechten. 
Taken June 4, 1937.

F. Scott Fitzgerald said: 

"Writers aren't exactly people... they're a whole lot of people trying to be one person."

I suppose we're all a bit schizophrenic, making up our imaginary worlds and people. Some of us may be a bit more schizophrenic than others...

Anyone care to raise their hand? How schizophrenic are you? Does it come in waves or is it sort of a constant state of being?

Monday, November 2, 2015

The Listing Hop, Question of the Month, Being Thankful

The Listing Hop

Red Thank You HeartA HUGE BIG THANKS goes out to all who participated in The Listing Hop, but most particularly to Captain Ninja Alex Cavanaugh who volunteered to co-host. I mean I didn't even ask!

I was totally blown away by the variety of lists; from humorous to serious to helpful to fact filled, from frightening to enlightening it was all good!

I made a valient attemp to visit everyone but I suspect there may have been a few I didn't get to. If that's the case please forgive me.

I believe I can safely say it was a resounding success and that it will become an annual October event to celebrate the anniversary of my blogging career.

Question of the Month

I decided to join this monthly bloghop because answering thoughtful/challenging questions is one way to expand one's mind. Hosted by Michael D'Agostino at A Life Examined ,  the question this month is: Are you an introvert or extrovert?

A classic picture of me being shy. I was just 
5 years old. I used to hide behind my mother's 
shirts or doors when people came to the house.

I think of myself as an introvert. In high school I was almost painfully shy and some people interpreted that as my being snobby. Despite that, as a young adult, I sang for a while in a jazz trio and I've been in plays where I sang and danced. But I think working with abused, neglected, and emotionally disturbed kids really helped to pull me out of my self-imposed shell. As an aging adult I still much prefer staying quietly at home to going out and being around people, especially people I don't know. But I've learned how to be outwardly friendly rather than socially awkward. I also push myself in small ways and will speak to complete strangers and say complimentary things. (But not every day and not every time I go out!)

Being Thankful

Today I'm thankful for rain. There are many parts of Texas that are suffering from too much. But where we are, the rainfall amounts have been quite manageable. There's been no flooding or damage. It seems we are in an El Nino pattern and may, at last, be coming out of a drought that's lasted almost six years. 

It's made the concrete hard dirt in our yard soft enough to weed which is something I like to do... yes, I like to weed! 

Of course I have to include this clip of the great Gene Kelly.

What are you thankful for? If you participated, did you have fun with The Listing Hop? Do you consider yourself and introvert or extrovert? Have you ever danced or sung in the rain?

Monday, October 26, 2015

The Listing Hop! Being Thankful

Today is the day!

Look at how many people have signed up! I'm thrilled, I tell you, THRILLED! And THANK YOU ALEX for volunteering to co-host without my even asking! You are da bomb... no wait, the Ninja!

The rules were simple. All you had to do was sign up in the linky thingy, grab the banner, and make a list. I suggested keeping your list to between 5 and 25 items long. The only restriction is no adult content. 

All right, lets get to it! 

I had to really think about what to list. So many possibilities! In the end I decided to return to some of my earliest writings and share names of characters and places that, until right now, have never been seen by anyone except myself.

These characters and places have been hidden in the dark drawers of my file cabinet and/or between the covers of my three-ring binder for more years than I care to recall.  They are from a time when I really liked to make up words and thought myself a fantasy writer.

Though their stories will never be completed, they still live inside my head. It's time to acknowledge them for what they are, the corner stone of my writing, the first baby steps taken by this wandering mind. I was so into it I drew maps, scenes, and sketched characters.

Now, without further ado, allow me to introduce you to:

Orland and Alanda meeting
for the first time.
From ORLAND an unfinished novel:
Orland: the Green Wizard, keeper of the Emerald Stone. He lived in Indramar.
Illand: Head Wizard of Indramar, keeper of the White Stone
Alanda: Orland's love

From WARMOCK, an unfinished trilogy:
Kassaya Kyshmalane: Queen of Lyanore
Warmock: Reluctant warrior/protector of Kassaya
Thrund: A river in Lyanore
Cariter: A race of winged horses
Fyming: The name of a winged horse

The crystal canyons of Xariah

From THE LAWS OF LIMLITHMAS, a short story:
Arzahanthia: A butterfly
Limlithma: A lizard

From KARAK, a short story:
Karak: The last living Martian

From XARIAH, an unfinished novel:
Xariah: A land of canyons made of shimmering crystal
Quastar: A mountain range in Xariah

Map of the Elsalon archipelago

Elsalon: An island archipelago
Loksing Olybon: A wise man and mentor
Mizpar: A mysterious stranger


Being Thankful

Today I'm thankful for ALL OF YOU! for participating in this hop. Without you it would never have been. Here's a big splashy THANK YOU bouquet.
Did you have fun? Would you participate again if I make it an annual event?