Breckenridge’s Short-Lived Masterpieces – Photo Essay

breck snow sculpture

Last weekend the International Snow Sculpture Championship began in Breckenridge, Colorado. Sculptors from around the world came to compete. They all started with the same block of snow.

These were my favorites. Continue reading

When People Think You’re Crazy

You’ve seen them, disheveled and disoriented people who mutter or sometimes curse at no one in particular. They are upset by others, both invisible and only seen in their mind. Their conversation may have taken place years ago only to be acted out again and again.

I talk to myself all the time. I blame my kids. When they were babies, I talked to them all the time even though they probably didn’t understand much of what I said. I had read an article claiming this would improve their intelligence. I remember taking them to the store and asking them what kind of baby food they would like to eat or which tampons I should buy. I got all kinds of amused looks from strangers who thought I was out of my mind. Although I looked like a fool, my kids grew up to be very intelligent adults. People think you're crazy

When I became a writer, I discovered reading what I had written aloud helped me find errors and create realistic conversation. It works! I don’t think I had completely gotten out of the habit of talking to myself, so writing compounded the issue.

I would catch myself muttering, “Where’s my car?” in the parking lot, or “Man, this is way too much laundry,” or “Oh, my God. This line is going to take forever,” while waiting at Costco.

In the movie, Blue Jasmine, Cate Blanchett nails the role of an unstable woman who lives out her socialite lifestyle in her imagination. She takes talking to yourself to a whole new level. I realize there is a big difference between saying your thoughts out loud and being in an altered state of mind. I loved that movie, but it made me more conscious of my occasional habit.

Last winter, I drove to King Soopers grocery store late in the day. I ran into my friend, Jack, who works in the produce department. We chatted until I sensed that I had taken up enough of his time, yammering on about the weather and the price of beans.

I said goodbye and pushed my cart forward. Someone to my right muttered something unintelligible. My cart hadn’t bumped into to anyone, but I said, “Sorry,” just in case I had impeded their progress between the bins of potatoes and the mushroom display. Continue reading

BEWARE of Cyberspace Snake Oil!

Have you been bought?

Seduced by the glitz, the glam, attracting paparazzi like steel filings to a magnet, and for some, the bouffant hairdo their personal stylist creates, many are in a full-out sprint to the top. They don’t care what they have to do to get there. Nothing is comparable to feeling adored and having screaming fans shout out, “We want more! We want more!” They sneeze and fans applaud.

Beware of snake oil salesmen

 

Most of us, like 99.99%, will never experience this. But what if you could buy this feeling?

Would you consider buying people to like you?

Continue reading

Blogging Tips from a Wild Rider: How to Hook Readers

Blogging tips

I’ve been to spam prison and the school of ‘We’ll Knock Your Ass Down and See How Fast You Get Up, Sucker,’ but through it all I’ve been that long-lasting sponge that soaks up information without the nasty smell. So I will begin 2016 with a new series. One that will help you transform into “Super Blogger” without the unwieldy cape and tights. Okay. You can wear what you want.

Credentials:

Although I haven’t made a dime from this blog, not even a penny, I’ve learned a ton over nearly five years and writing 460 posts. Yep. If you disregard my lack of income, you could say I was something of a professional.

Where did I learn these valuable lessons I am willing to impart? Why through zillions of blog posts read online as well as the aforementioned ‘School Of Hard Knocks’ or SOHK. If you’ve been blogging for a while, you have probably been there too. It’s located in a war zone where IEDs explode all around you. You hide inside a windowless, bombed-out shelter in the middle of a sandy desert wilderness exposed in all directions. Afraid to step, you fear blowing your beloved blog to smithereens. You remain inside, trapped, naked and afraid, and with no way out until you solve the problem. I’ve been there many times.

I have a designated parking spot with my name on it.

Lesson #1 a.

You may be unaware of this simple trick to bring readers to your blog. No. Not by using the word, ‘sex, boobs, or I’m cheating on my husband’ in the title. I’ll get to that another day. This trick is solved by simply pushing a button. NOT THE RED BUTTON! Continue reading

When Best Laid Plans Go Wrong

While waiting for my name to be called in urgent care, I thought about the last two days. No matter how much you plan, life has its own ideas. And why do they call it urgent care? There never seems to be any urgency at all.

me

It all started on Monday. Taking my own advice from A Tiny Tale of Terror, I purchased a planner and jotted down to-do lists for the week. It felt satisfying to cross off small steps toward my 2016 goals, but I was up in the air about Wednesday. Our mountain house is in the midst of a remodel and my husband, Danny, planned to drive up to check it out.

Angst formed in my gut. I considered going, but the round-trip drive would take four hours out of my day. “Why are you going?” I asked. “We’re paying a contractor to handle all of this for us.”

He shrugged and said, “You don’t have to go.” Unhindered by my concerns, he drove up. I decided to work at home. The angst in my gut twisted into a tight knot.

After working all morning, the Colorado warm before the storm drew me outside to take down Christmas decorations. It was another chore on my list and forecasters predicted snow to roll in late Thursday.

Angst evaporated in the afternoon sun. I made progress.

As I turned a corner to continue stuffing artificial garlands into a container, I slipped.

My brain went into s l o w  m o t i o n. That has never happened to me before. It’s always in hyperdrive. Talk about a crazy feeling.

One second slowed down to thirty.

THOUGHT PROCESS: Continue reading

How do you know if you’re ready?

The New Year is only days away, but how do you know if you’re ready? Don’t worry. I’ve made a list for you. If you can relate to five or more of them, then you are ready for 2016.

You are ready for 2016…

when your goals for 2015 are not only unattainable, but laughable.

laughing

when going to the gym next year seems like a lot more fun.

fun with balls

when 2K15 has been so overdone, you just can’t. Continue reading

My 50 Faves and How to Join!

After losing my dad in October, my poor mother had looked forward to coming to our home for the holidays. She hadn’t traveled since his heart attack in 2009 and thoroughly enjoyed her trip to our house over Thanksgiving.

She wasn’t feeling well last week, but packed her bags. My family had driven to ski Breckenridge when I got the call. She was diagnosed with shingles. GAH!

I had to go into hyperdrive to gather and send her gifts.

While preparing for a Wild day, I caught up on blog posts. Darla from She’s A Maineiac posted 50 Things to Be Grateful For. I told her that if there was a Christmas miracle and there was no line at the Post Office, I would post one too. What were the chances?

I scrambled to put together a package for her and my brother and then drove to the Post Office. As expected, cars lined both sides of the street. There would be a long wait. I sighed and grabbed my box.

When I entered, my eyes widened. A line did NOT exist! It was a Christmas miracle.

$28 later, I am praying for another one: That my package is delivered by Christmas Eve and my mom recovers quickly.

I’m setting my timer. Here goes nothing, Darla…

I Am Grateful for These 50 Things:

  1. My family. I know. It’s so cliché and yet I would be nowhere without them and that’s not because I’m directionally challenged.
  2. My husband. I held on tight through my health setbacks. (Sorry about those bruises, Danny!) He is my super fan and my rock. Mostly he rocks. Not literally. That would be weird.gapers cheat summer
  3. My dog Roxy because COMIC RELIEF and she is fearless.
  4. My friends. They have been there for me and continue to inspire.
  5. My blogging friends. I have been so lucky to meet some in real life. One of my dreams is meet many more of you! They lifted me up and saved me. I will always believe that.
  6. Coffee. Without it I wood meek alot more erors in comments then I alredy do.
  7. Chocolate because chocolate.
  8. Colorado because there are unlimited adventures right outside my door. I think Roxy read my mind.Roxy wants to go outside
  9. My health. For those of you who read my blog, I’ve had a few surgeries in the last few years. Yes. My boobs are bionic, but after two years, I am cancer-free. *happy dances around kitchen*
  10. My new knee parts. Yep. The cartilage in my left knee is metal and a plastic disk resides behind my kneecap. It’s all good. I went skiing yesterday.
  11. Our mountain house. We bought it during a fire sale. No. It wasn’t on fire, but they sold it like it was.
  12. Our remodel. After owning aforementioned mountain house for nearly twenty years, the first floor is gutted. It’s another big art project. Right now it’s riddled with landmines of nail heads. You have to keep your head down or YOUCH!
  13. Snow! Nothing gets my heart beating faster. Well that’s not true, but where there’s snow out here in the West, there is…
  14. Skiing! I found out yesterday, I started skiing earlier than Danny. Ha! Wait. How come I’m not as good as him? *scratches head* skiing breckenridge
  15. Hiking, biking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, sledding, tobogganing because more adventure.
  16. My Christmas cards, because they are done.
  17. Fleece jammies. Santa brought them last year and they are snuggly soft.
  18. My laptop. It is so much easier to carry around.
  19. Cell phone. No explanation needed.
  20. My home in Boulder County. I can look out any window and enjoy the views.
  21. Traveling. I really have enjoyed our trips around the US and hope to make it back to Europe one day.
  22. My friend, Wendi’s, cookie exchange because it wouldn’t be Christmas without it and I don’t have to spend a week in the kitchen baking. BONUS!
  23. Discovering my passion. I always thought of myself as an artist. Now I tell people I’m a writer. My happy place is sitting anywhere while typing.
  24. MUS – Making Up Shit, a term coined by my husband who indulges in MUS too.
  25. My Highlander. It is a beast in the snow.
  26. Driving in the snow. Yep. Love it!
  27. My lookout tower office. I had to move my desk to face the wall in timeout or I’d get nothing done but daydream out the window because it’s so beautiful and I can see the mountains and little rabbits hopping around and an occasional coyote and neighbors and dogs walk by and…. look at the time!
  28. My bed. There is nothing softer.
  29. A good book. I love being swept away into another world especially one with tons of suspense!
  30. Parties. Being a party girl, I always look forward to them. NOTE TO SELF: host a few in 2016.photo (49)
  31. The New Year. I love the do-over, starting fresh kinda feeling at the beginning of the year. I’m already pretty much over the top optimistic, but the first few weeks put me at a whole new manic level.
  32. Being spiritual. I was raised Catholic, but am open-minded about all religions. Hey, I could swear I was a ballerina in Paris in one of my past lives.
  33. My blog. I love my Wild Ride and having a place to spew my thoughts.
  34. CARBS! Should have been higher on my list. WHAT WAS I THINKING?
  35. Speaking of higher on my list – DANCING!
  36. My camera! Whether on my phone or my digital SLR, I love taking pictures.

     

  37. The Force Awakens! I was super pumped after that movie.
  38. Homeland. Carrie is the bad-ass I want to be without terrorism, guns, explosives or bi-polar disorder.
  39. Music from alternative to pop to classical to house.
  40. My imagination. My brain holds a pretty crazy environment, but it is so entertaining. Danny often hears me laughing and asks, “What are you laughing at, now?”
  41. My imaginary friends. I wrote half of Funeral Beenes then death happened. (That sounds very ironic.) I needed to quit for a few weeks. I was putting books away two weeks ago and BAM! An idea for a new novel popped into my head. I wrote the first chapter on my phone while waiting for a hair appointment. The main character doesn’t play well with others, but is hugely fun to hang out with.
  42. Drawing. Sometimes an illustration is the only way to convey the voices in my head. boy and girl fighting
  43. Challenges. I’m always up for them like trying to find an agent. Know anyone who wants to represent a Wild Rider?
  44. Going out for breakfast. That is my favorite! Bring on the tators, fruit and eggs Benedict and I am one happy girl.
  45. Sparkly things. Wait. What was I saying? See! There it is again!!!
  46. My out-going personality. I’ve tried to fit in as a writer and be an introvert. Wait. I can hear you laughing. I know. I only lasted 45 seconds. Okay. 15. OKAY. 5 SECONDS!mustachemarch
  47. My own or anyone else’s sense of humor. I hate cracking jokes and only hearing the sound of crickets. Lighten up people.
  48. Slang. Even if I have to use the totes adorbs Urban Dictionary to understand it. Slang is my bae. I even make some up every January. (see #24. MUS)
  49. Talking to strangers. I HAD to approach the costumed families eating dinner together before The Force Awakens. We made new friends in NOLA too! Why is my mouth always open in pictures?selfie on Bourbon Street
  50. My Wild Life. It keeps surprising me and gets WILDER every year!

Continue reading

Blog post ideas for NaBloPoMo or WHATEVER

I thought NaBloPoMo was a new game of swimming pool tag.

“NABLO!” I shout with my eyes closed.

“Pomo,” replies a meek little voice while splashing away.

When I discovered it stood for National Blog Posting Month, where participants are expected to post something (anything), every single freakin’ day for one month, I knew I was out. I had looked forward to NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, and had planned to finish a couple projects. Well, that isn’t happening either. Last year I enjoyed riding the super soaker tidal wave of tireless typists. (Say that three times fast.)

I’ve noticed a few blogging friends huffing and puffing their way to the halfway point. Some have posted about how hard it is to come up with new ideas. Many blank out under pressure. The stage is empty as the restless crowd murmurs. Someone in the cheap seats coughs while the clock ticks away. Tick…Tock…Tick…

Nanowrimo 5

My problem is having too many ideas, which comes from having a creative, ADD mind and not enough time, so I thought I’d share a few links. I hope to fill your stage with self-effacing stories, snowstorm driving, swooping airplane jockeys, crazy dreams, imps, and wimps, but first things first.

Relax and click on the blue links. Let ideas flow onto your empty stage with a new storyline and cast of characters. Open your mind. Release the tension from your neck and shoulders. Feel yourself float above your computer as ideas rush into your head. …zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…..

*snort* What? Oh, you’re still here. *clears throat*

Here is a list of blog post ideas to make your last 15 days of NaBloPoMo a lot easier. You’re not posting? Sit back, relax and read on and try not to fall asleep:  

nanowrimo 2014 2

How about sharing your most mortifying moments? My list is long. I could add more embarrassments to it, DAILY. Here are My Most Mortifying Moments just for You! 

WARNING: With this prompt it is helpful to have no shame, but we’re all friends here. Right? Continue reading

Drop and Hop for New Followers, If You Dare…

Boston graveyard

Want new followers? The party starts right now. It will be fast and fun. Speed is good especially when zombies may lurk and your name is whispered by the wind. OooOOoooOOOoooo…..

DROP a link to your blog in the comments, including a pitch, describing what you write about.

haunted drop and hop

HOP to other blogs and check them out. Like what you see? Subscribe. Want them to know you came from the Drop and Hop Party? Tell them, “Susie sent me,” and they should click back to your haunt.

Blast this link on Twitter and Facebook or whatever flavor social media you prefer. The more that participate, the more followers you will gain.

The witch’s brew is bubbling and the finger sandwiches are fresh. The barista can make anything you like. The bar is always open.

The party will last as long as the ever living dead, so stop by anytime. 

Enjoy!

Please consider following my blog too, or else…. *insert cackle here*

 

Now Everyone Can Sing Happy Birthday!

In 1893, Patty and Mildred Hill composed the Good Morning Song and sang it to Patty’s kindergarten class. In 1922, the sisters published the Everyday Song Book containing the Good Morning and Birthday Song. The Summy Company bought the rights in 1935. For the next eighty years royalties have been collected for singing the popular tune. When Warner/Chappell bought the song in 1988, singing it in movies, restaurants, or any other paying venue, could cost up to $10,000. That’s why you seldom hear the song sung in movies. Restaurants like Red Robin composed their own Happy Birthday song to stay out of trouble. Customers could sing it in restaurants, but not the staff.

Happy Birthday Song

On September 22nd, after years of disputing the rights to the song, Continue reading

Singing my tune at Clay’s!

220px-Carole_King_-_TapestryLast Tuesday at Making the Days Count, I shared a little irony about the first record I bought. No, it’s not Carole King’s Tapestry, although my hair looked like that for a while. Stop by and check out what I used to illustrate at the VA Hospital and how six degrees of separation can become one. Read more…

 

Please, don’t pass the squash.

When watching contestants eat strange animal parts or bugs on the cancelled show Fear Factor, it seldom made me flinch. Bear Grylls boiled a mouse in urine and ate it. I nodded my head and said, “I could do that.”

But hand me a plate of acorn squash with its savory steam rising up to fill my nostrils and I gag.

fear factorWhen I was a kid and my taste buds were all fresh and new, a lot of flavors were too strong for my virginal palette. I’m an adult now. My tongue has gotten around. Years of burning out taste buds by accidentally eating hot peppers, or tasting hot soups and stews still bubbling in the pot, has made them less sensitive. About the only foods I won’t eat is something that tastes spoiled….or squash. Continue reading

Drop and Hop! A new way to gain followers.

DJ KSmash

Ready to gain new followers? The party starts right now. It will be fast and fun. It’s like speed-dating for blog followers!

DROP a link to your blog in my comments and include a pitch that describes what you write about.

Example:

“Susie Lindau’s Wild Ride” is about my wild Colorado adventures. You’ll find photos, humor and what’s it like to be a Wild Rider who has faced a few challenges. “Bring it on, life!” is my mantra. http://susielindau.com

HOP to other blogs and check them out. Like what you see? Subscribe. Want them to know you came from the Drop and Hop Party? Leave a comment on one of their blog posts or come back here and comment on their pitch.

Blast this link out on Twitter and Facebook or whatever flavor social media you prefer. The more that participate, the more followers you will gain.

The freshest bakery has been flown in from France and the tables are laden with buffet-style brunch. The barista can make anything you like. The bar is always open.

Enjoy!

My son, DJ KSmash, is in the house, so don’t forget to dance!

Free download:

Thanks for stopping by the Wild Ride! I hope you’ll follow my blog.

Click to follow my Wild Tweets here – @susielindau and Susie Lindau’s Wild Ride on Facebook. I post photos on Instagram at Susie_Lindau.

Heads UP! Something New for You.

head's up

So you’re a blogger and your stats are down, your regular commenters seem to be on vacation and your steady stream of followers has dried up to a trickle.

Two reasons why:

  1. We’re all busy. There’s a lot of competition out there.
  2. WP Engineers pulled the “You May Like” from alongside the “Blogs I Follow” in the Reader. This is the first crack down on Spam Following. There may be more to come. Lots of scalawags were abusing the system. Have you seen brand new bloggers with over a thousand likes on one post? I have. They “spam follow” thousands to get tons of views and follow-backs.

So how can I help you? Continue reading

How to Add Excitement to Your Life

Remember when you were a kid and you went out exploring, wide-eyed and full of enthusiasm? What happened to that childlike wonder? Are you so bored, you find yourself watching Bachelor in Paradise and realize you’ve hit a new low? Here are a few ideas to keep summer from becoming a yawnfest.

Take a stay-cation. Become a tourist in your own town. Check out new shops, restaurants, food, festivals, music, museums and events.

Pearl Street Mall

Check your city’s calendar. Many have summer events like outdoor movie night. Google: calendar of events for your city. Your local newspaper or Chamber of Commerce should have a website with a list.  Continue reading