Tuesday, October 20, 2020

To Be... Or Not

 Today's new math lesson:

Allergies + Congestion = Bronchitis

Photo courtesy of Pexels

So I'm taking off this week.

Send cookies, chai lattes, and books.


Monday, October 12, 2020

Goodbye, Columbus....

 Happy Indigenous Peoples Day!

Photo by Artem Beliaikin from Pexels

No, I won't say 'Happy Columbus Day' anymore. Here's why:

Columbus didn't 'discover' America, he stumbled across it. If you go to a strange town and walk into someone's back yard, did you discover it, or merely come across it? So no kudos to a man who stepped onto a foreign shore and claimed it when he had no right.

Columbus' visit has brought about the death of millions, from the Native Americans living here then, and through our country's history. Nothing to celebrate.

While the same accusation could be tagged to Spain, France, Britain, the Netherlands, and Portugal (among other nations) colonizing what is now known as the American Southwest and California, and holds true for Central and South America, Canada, Africa, and various islands, no invasion should be celebrated. 

While the Native Peoples frequently had their own wars, mass killings, and slavery, that's no reason to celebrate the European version. 

It may be unpopular, but I have no problem with taking down statues of Columbus or Confederate generals. And since no human is perfect, and all have a darker side, how about no statues to any individual? That would be the most equitable solution, in my humble opinion. Put the statues in a museum, although how many statues of Columbus, Robert L. Lee, etc. do we need? 

And that's my thought on this day....


Monday, October 5, 2020

Help Needed: English Pros and Non-Tech People

 Sometimes I wonder who creates and checks the Microsoft word processing software. I'm not talking about making the software run or fixing glitches, I'm talking about their so called 'grammar' expert.

(Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels)

'Cause they ain't no expert. 


Those annoying underline dots where they insist that a semicolon is needed. Um, no. I put a comma for a reason. Like everything else in English grammar, there are rules that can, and sometimes should, be broken or ignored. This program does not recognize any digression. Even when warranted.

When I put in a rhetorical question, it demands a question mark. Ok, I'll give them that one even though there are instances when it is so obviously not a question. AI is only as smart as we make it (so far).

The thing that bugs me the most, other than the screwy way to add and modify headers? Insisting on commas where one isn't needed. I think I know better than you, Microsoft, about commas. No, I'm absolutely positive I know where to use commas better than you. I have an English degree and a journalism degree. I've had newspaper and magazine articles, and several books published. I write my own weekly blog and a monthly post for another. I'm in the middle of writing and/or revising several books. Your word processing software was created, most likely, by a techy person who writes code, not paragraphs or books. I think you're just going to have to trust me on this. Often times your program reminds me of those instructions that come with products from other nations where English is probably the last language they use, yet they print out directions that leave English-speaking people dumbfounded- and struggling to assemble or use the product. They need to hire someone whose native language is English to proofread.

I think, besides hiring a person with strong grammar skills, you need to hire a person like me. Very little tech skills so if I can't get the program to do what I want without screaming for my tech-savvy sons to help me, then you have a problem with the way the program works, or at least you need to simplify it. I wasn't born with computers and electronic games and such in my hands like the current generations, who are most likely writing your programs. To them, it's easy (unless we're talking about grammar). You have to give us 'more creative, less techy' people a break. And your 'help' button is mostly useless. Really. If it was easy to use, I could stop being afraid of my kids moving out, leaving me in a technological panic. 

There are other issues with the program, but I'll stop here, I think the message is clear. Hire an English major when you're working with the written language.  

Have a nice day.


Monday, September 28, 2020

The Gift of Motivation...

 Writers, like anyone else, sometimes lose motivation to do their job. We have to solve problems in marketing, public relations, communications, business relationships, balancing work-family, and creating new projects. There are times you need a little pick-me-up. Enter someone who says the right thing, or does something, that gives you that boost.


This was a gift from my Aunt Dolores and my Uncle Ed (love you guys!). They've been big supporters of me, my Evolution Revolution series, and my other books. I've been toying with an idea to write a fourth book about Jack, the exceptionally smart squirrel who learned to use simple machines- and is sharing that knowledge with other animals to fight back against humans taking over their habitat. I have a great twist in mind, so the timing of this gift is very... karmic? 

I'm working on a project currently that I need to finish (a trilogy- one book is done and subbed to agents, the next is about one third written, and the basis for the third has been scrapped and a new idea in place). I'm thinking I can use NaNoWriMo to write the next story in Jack's saga. 

But even if I don't get to Jack's next chapter for a few months, just looking at this little guy gives me motivation to not only finish my current project but to plan the details in Jack's story. 

Wishing you motivation and good people who give it to you-


Monday, September 21, 2020

The Tale of Two Roads....

 "The road goes ever on." (JRR Tolkien)

"...and I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." (Robert Frost)

Wishing you happy trails and discoveries in this journey we call life...


Tuesday, September 15, 2020

The Laws of Property

 I took Labor Day Monday off, and this post is a day late. With this pandemic, the days run into sameness- I can't appear at book festivals, go to music practice, attend church, meet up with friends at a restaurant- one day blends into the next. Plus, I tend to be a little inconsistent with my blogs. (My readers should really call me out on this so I know that someone's reading out there.... hello?)

Anyway, years ago I came across this poem and thought it highly appropriate. I'll tell you why at the end.

A Child's Property Laws

Photo by Pragyan Bezbaruah from Pexels

  1. If I like it, it's mine.
  2. If it's in my hand, it's mine.
  3. If I can take it from you, it's mine.
  4. If I had it a little while ago, it's mine.
  5. If it's mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way.
  6. If I'm doing or building something, all the pieces are mine.
  7.  If it looks just like mine, it is mine.
  8. If I saw it first, it's mine.
  9. If you are playing with something and you put it down, it automatically becomes mine.
  10. If it's broken, it's yours!
The credit listed is "Developed by James O'Quinn" so thank you, James.

Here's why I think this poem is timely: It sounds like the adults in governments, businesses, all around us. I don't think we've learned to share. 

From children we expect this behavior, they are following a survival instinct. As adults, we should have learned that the more we share, the better, happier, safer, and nicer our trible becomes.

Go share something today.


Thursday, September 3, 2020

I'm Dying to Know...

 We all have questions that can't be answered during our lifetime: what would have happened if I didn't do X? If I could go back in time, can I meet up with my younger self without destroying the world? If I disappeared, how would that affect the world?

Now I'm a Christian woman so I believe in an afterlife. When my time comes, and I can face God, I've got questions I want answers to. Here are my top 5 questions:

Photo by James Lee from Pexels

1. Did the Warren Report get it right- was there a 'magic bullet' from Lee Harvey Oswald that killed John F. Kennedy?

2.  Have aliens visited the Earth? 

3. Was it the Big Bang or Intelligent Design- or did You do it both ways?

4. Are ghosts/demons/evil spirits real?

5. Can Ouija boards summon evil?

Of course I have many more questions but for now, these are my top five. A few others I'd like the answer to are:

6. Ordained fate or predestination?

7. Has an angel ever interfered in my life to 'help' me?

8. When will life on Earth end?

9. Has there ever been an honest politician?

10. Can I meet up with Will Shakespeare?

What answers to YOU want?