Heads UP! Valentine’s Day Party ahead…

meteor Valentine's Day Party

Come to the Wild Ride tomorrow, February 14th, and #SharetheLove!

  1. Drop a link to your blog in the comments.
  2. Invite others to your place with a short hook.
  3. Check out other links.
  4. Hop to a few!

Be my Valentine and make some new friends. Maybe they will follow your blog.

Shout it out on social media with #Sundayblogshare #Weekendbloghop and #sharethelove!

See you tomorrow, February 14th! The party will start at 6:00 AM Mountain Time.

10 Ways to Win Like the Broncos – Parade Photos

The 2015 football season taught me a lot about life. The Broncos started out strong and then faltered. Their offense fell apart and their exhausted defense couldn’t win games on their own. After quarterback, Peyton Manning, threw several interceptions, he admitted to suffering with plantar fasciitis. Manning sat out and our back-up quarterback, Brock Osweiler, took the field.

Trophy, Manning

We thought we were doomed. Television commentators assumed the team had divided.

But that didn’t happen. The team supported Osweiler. The Broncos continued to win games while Manning healed and watched games from the bench.

After Manning recovered, he regained the #1 position. Osweiler showed a lot of class in quietly retreating to the bench. Our team supported both quarterbacks. Fans wondered who would start in the championship game, but Manning was back. With a supreme team effort, they won the Super Bowl.

Manning and trophy

So how does this relate to you?

I think there is a huge takeaway from this year’s season.

Learn from the Broncos and reach your goals.

  1. Surround yourself with people who support you.

Build a team of those with common interests or who will be there for you throughout your career. Continue reading

THINK BIG!

Think (1)

Monday morning, I drank my first cup of coffee of the day and alternated between checking blog stats and answering comments. Then a very loud voice shouted in my head.

“THINK BIG!”

I stopped what I was doing. What did you say? Think big?

“YOU’RE THINKING TOO SMALL,” the voice bellowed again.

I sat up and pondered this scream from my sub-conscious self.

It usually criticized and said cruel things like, “Are you ever going to stop surfing the Internet and get something done today?” Or “You are such a gimp. You wouldn’t have broken your wrist if you had gotten into shape after knee surgery last year.” Or, “You have no life. Make a plan.”

I immediately thought of how my voice was right. I was thinking too small. As part of my resolutions I had committed to blogging more frequently and have been working to get into a daily routine to finish old and new projects.

IDEAL SCHEDULE:

  1. Catch up on blogging and social media.
  2. Write new blog post.
  3. Hit exercise bike.
  4. Write a few chapters in my new book
  5. Work on querying first book series.

Like I said, I had been working on it, but hadn’t quite mastered the routine.

MONDAY’S ACTUAL SCHEDULE:

  1. Checked on blog and social media.
  2. Wrote new blog post.
  3. Checked on blog and Twitter.
  4. Postponed hitting exercise bike until afternoon.
  5. Checked on blog, Twitter and Facebook.
  6. Wrote one new chapter.
  7. Checked on blog stats and social media.
  8. Thought about hitting the exercise bike.
  9. Rewrote blog post.
  10. Checked blog stats and comments.
  11. Finally rode a few miles while reading a book.
  12. Watched The Bachelor while checking my blog stats, answering comments, live tweeting, and rewriting my blog post and then checked stats again.

Do you see a vicious cycle occurring?

Tuesday morning, I had a conversation in my head. Yes. I’ve embraced talking to myself:

ME: So how can I think bigger?

THOUGHTS: How about planning to hike Everest?

ME: Too big and I think you were talking about something more career related, right? 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

An Open Letter to My Left Hand

Dear Left Hand,

I am sincerely sorry for falling on you and breaking one of Wrist’s bones. It was painful. What might have been worse was the relief I felt when realizing your superior twin, Right Hand didn’t break, because it’s like my, never mind. You have been in a rivalry since birth, but that isn’t what I meant.

An open letLet me start by thanking you for not waking me up at night. It must be difficult while being restricted by the air cast. You’ve never complained, except for when you reflexively tried to grasp the lettuce box as it slipped from Right Hand. I felt that yelp of pain.

I’m sure you think I like Right Hand best. I use it a lot more often than you and the truth is I find it stronger and more dexterous. So I’ll admit that I am guilty of this favoritism.

I shouldn’t have been so insensitive when frustrated by your limitations in the past.

When I heard that it was good for you to be used, I let you blow-dry my hair. You missed my head altogether. Then you tried to brush it, but couldn’t get the angle of the bristles into the strands. The worst was when you bruised my gums when brushing my teeth.

I oftentimes have no idea what you are doing. 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 There Are No Words

I never have writer’s block. Words pop into my mind all day and all night in my dreams. They pop out of my mouth when I least expect it. Ask anyone.

Tell me to pick ONE word to symbolize 2016 and I go blank.

words

Diana S. Schwenk from Talk to Diana and The Bloggess brought the one word challenge to my attention. Diana chose “tenacity” in 2014, “service” in 2015 and “love” for 2016. The Bloggess chose “simple.”

Those were the words I was going to choose. GAH! Several other words crossed my mind and then swirled away in the wind like January snowflakes.

I’m pretty stoked for the new year, so “go” came to mind. It seemed a little too high energy. I don’t want to burn out by February.

Several Aries horoscopes suggested writing down goals and checking them off lists to keep me grounded and feeling like I accomplish something this year. This was after my last post about the SAME THING! Great astrological minds think alike. Wait. I don’t have one of those... Anyway, “grounded” seemed too blah or like I would be in “time-out” for a year. Not good.

When driving down from the mountains took longer than expected, I tuned into the week’s Top 40 Countdown. 

And then this happened. Continue reading

What was she thinking?

Fierce Bichon1

We all can be impulsive from time to time. We don’t think before speaking or can behave recklessly. I size up most situations, but sometimes it’s difficult to anticipate the reactions to our actions.

I’ll never understand my dog, Roxy. She’s a Bichon who is pint-sized at a whomping fifteen pounds of fur and energy. She’s submissive to us although she can be “independent” like most dogs.

When a dog is about Roxy’s size, she will play for hours. The kennel workers love her since she is “gregarious” and “super friendly,” much like her owner. She shies away from larger dogs.

With coyotes she gets a Wild Hair. We have a pack who frequently sniffs around our yard. It’s a part of living in Boulder County. We live in their territory. I respect them and try to stay out of their way.

Roxy doesn’t see it that way. She thinks she owns this plot of land and God help anyone or thing that trespasses.

Fierce 3

My office is upstairs with the best views of the house. While typing yet another query letter late yesterday afternoon, Roxy sat in her usual spot up on the back of couch. She likes to keep a watchful eye from her perch.

She growled and then barked. I assumed someone walked by with a dog. I kept typing. When she flew off the couch and rocketed through the house with a frenzied howl, I knew it was trouble. That particular yap is reserved for coyotes. 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

What the WHAT? Signs of Life

After traveling to Wisconsin twice over the last three weeks for funerals and memorial services, I woke up with renewed energy and looked forward to “Birthday Week.” Wanting to catch up with writing and blogging, I planned to take care of a few errands first. Imagine my surprise when cleaning up the breakfast dishes. I discovered this in my garbage disposal.

plant in insinkerator

How could a plant germinate on the rubber shield? Three weeks ago, I donned rubber gloves and scrubbed that filthy thing with bleach. We don’t eat sprouts, so it had to be some kind of seed that stuck in the crack. A pumpkin seed? Continue reading

The House Sitter – 450 Word Flash Fiction

haunting house

After turning off the ignition, the wiper blades stopped their rhythmic beat and Megan stepped into the mist. She pulled the mail from the wrought iron box and then shook rainwater from the plastic sleeve covering the newspaper. Glancing at the Victorian home cloaked in a gray shroud, she shrugged uneasy feelings from her tight shoulders. The home was horror movie cliché with its peeling paint and saggy railings propped up around its wraparound porch. Taking care of the Friedmans’ house while they traveled through Europe was easy pocket money, but something about it creeped her out. One more week.

She avoided stepping in puddles on the uneven sidewalk and made her way to the front door under a canopy of ancient oak trees. Megan imagined they stood guard with watchful eyes hidden within gnarled trunks until their knobby and arthritic branched arms reached out with claw-like fingers to snatch a length of her long hair. She shuddered.

Tapping the number into the lockbox, she retrieved the skeleton key Continue reading

Played by Inspiration

Nantucket Pier

Inspiration is an ephemeral ghost shimmering over shadows, cloaking deep and empty crevices of my mind. She appears from dark recesses and cobwebbed chambers in a momentary flash only to hide once again. I have tried to seek her out, but I do not know the rules of this game for she keeps changing them.

Sometimes she floats into common conversation forcing me to shift my view to see the world in a different slant of light.

Other times she appears in Technicolor dreams where she becomes my muse and skips through fantastic Continue reading

Tales from Denver Comic Con 2015

Courtney's doppelganger

I was a Comic Con virgin. It has always evoked images of nerdy Treky fans and comic book geeks. Neither tickled my happy parts. I haven’t kept up with Star Trek since the television series ended and the one and only comic book I bought back in the seventh grade was Archie. So when my daughter, Courtney, called and expressed interest in going to Denver Comic Con 2015, I hesitated. Continue reading

NEWS From The Pike’s Peak Writer’s Conference

I attended my fourth writer’s conference. Although they are similar in format, this one always stands out in friendliness and inclusivity. A positive energy source emanates throughout the Colorado Spring’s Marriott. It must be built upon a special kind of bedrock. Agents, editors, and best-selling authors are willing to have conversations with people like me; the super fans of the conference.

Here’s what inspired me and what I learned:

If you write fiction: Your blog, social media presence, and overall author’s platform are meaningless to traditional publishers. The agents suggested focusing on writing books instead. After you’re published, they are grateful if you already have a blog since they’ll want to link you up.

If you write non-fiction: The polar opposite is true. You better have a successful blog with lots of social media followers as part of your author’s platform. You should be booked for public speaking engagements, interviewed on podcasts and in YouTube videos. Publishers look at anything and everything you’ve done to build your presence, following, credibility, and to show you’re a respected expert in your field.

Sign up for critique sessions. It can be unnerving, but the input is invaluable especially if an agent you would like to pitch is giving the critique. They are the experts who you are trying to impress.

Attend the agent panel. This is a top priority for me at every conference. They talk about their pet peeves, what’s new in publishing, etiquette, and include their individual stories. You get the most up-to-date info. Every one of them chose their career because they love to read books.

What I learned: Continue reading