Monday, February 28, 2011

5 Ways to Bust Writer's Block - Stat

Confession time.
We all get writer's block at some point or another.
Some of us more than others.

Here are 5 quick ideas to bust writer's block.

1. Grab a photo - Use a childhood photo that prompts a memory or just go online and grab a free photo from Flickr Creative Commons or Wikimedia Commons.  Choose one that speaks to you and makes you want to say something about it. You can also go out with your own camera and snap shots.  There's nothing like a great photo to build a blog post around.

2. Read the newspaper - Often there are headlines and stories buried in the back of the paper that will make you want to share them, or inspire you to argue about something. You can find more newspapers online these days.  Real news is often crazier than fiction, you'll find.   And you'll be amazed at what you stumble across.

3. Eavesdrop at a coffee shop - This is a fun exercise.  Grab your journal and a pen...and sit near others.  You'll find lovers meeting, business being conducted, families sharing, etc.  Copy their conversations and then change it into something you can share...never use real names or identifying markers, but it's a great way to get words flowing to paper. Share a conversation with someone you had yourself or interview someone.

4. Read your TV Guide - There are a million TV shows on these days.  Read over their themes or synopses for the week.  This will spark exasperation or excitement. 

5. Read other blogs - Don't copy someone exactly, but reading what others have to write often jumpstarts my creativity. Reminds me of something I wanted to share or an idea I could write about from my perspective. It never hurts to give credit to that blogger for sparking your creativity either. A quick mention and a link isn't going to hurt you, and who knows, they may do the same for you one day.

Have you tried any of these methods?
Do you have any tried and true methods of busting writer's block that work for you?
Do share!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

They don't sign autographs; The Rabbits STAR in their first Video

My first attempt at a YouTube video.

I have a lot to learn, but here are the rabbits in action. 
They do weird sideways hops
and blur into high-speed action occasionally. 
They're strange.

Let me know what you think.
Should I try to make more videos? 

I'll work on my technique.

I was inspired by my nephew appearing in a Fred video.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My Dreams are not always Politically Correct

I don't think I slept well last night,
because I spent all night long running from a knife-wielding midget.

Trust me, that makes for a disturbing night and very stressful sleep.

Guess I have a new stress signal.  
Usually I'm running from tornadoes or snakes.
Or the one time I had a mermaid trying to steal my soul.

What about you?  
Stress indicators in your dreams?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

10 Great Blog Ideas: When You're Stuck in a Rut or all your creative bones have been zapped out of your body by aliens.

I get in a rut sometimes and find myself weighed down with bad writer's block.

I figure aliens have kidnapped me in my sleep and taken every creative bone in my body out through my...ahem. What I mean is, sometimes I don't have any ideas.

I try to write down ideas in the little blank journal I keep in my purse, so that when I am lost for words...I can turn to my own to help!

Here are some fabulous ideas for blog posts that I found on ProBlogger, a great resource for bloggers:

  • 1. Teach me how to do something - It may be easy for you to make awesome scrapbooks or whip up a fabulous meal...but not for me!  Show me how you do something and share the info. I shared how to paint rocks before.
  • 2. Review a favorite product or service -We all have favorite stores or products. Share! I might need it.
  • 3. Make a prediction -It's OK if you're not an expert. I predict you'll get a few good posts out of this subject.
  • 4. Have you overheard something you shouldn't? - I often catch snippets of conversations that make me stop and wonder what on earth that person was talking about!  Oh, to be a fly on the fall sometimes.
  • 5. Share an embarrassing moment - Boy, do I have plenty of these.
  • 6. Do a Top Ten list - Ahem.  I love lists.  As you can tell.
  • 7. Make me laugh - Do you know any funny jokes? I never remember jokes.  But, please, make me laugh, somehow. Everyone enjoys laughing.
  • 8. Introduce me to someone of interest - We all have someone in our life worth writing about.  You can always change up their identity to keep them secret.  My elderly father is a riot, and I write about him a lot. 
  • 9. Link to something that I need to see or read - I'm always looking for a good book or a new TV show to follow.  Review some! 
  • 10. Tell me your opinion - We all have opinions, and they can differ big time!  What do you think about Facebook?  Do you like the latest fashion? Steer clear of religion and politics unless you want lively debate...

Did this post help you at all?  
Which idea do you like best?  

Are you brimming full of great ideas  now,
or should I go back into my rabbit hole?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Frozen Moment

Here are pictures of a fountain where I work...

This is what it normally looks like:

And here it is during Snowmagedon 2011:

We rarely have frozen water around here!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Everyone Needs an Alien Invasion Escape Plan

As I drove my 9 yr old son to school one day this week, 
we somehow ended up discussing what he would do if aliens attacked his school.

Everyone should visit this subject with their child at one point or another, 
don't you think?

I mean, the schools have fire drills, tornado drills, and other safety drills...

so don't you think they need an Alien-Invasion drill?

I think so.

My son said he'd grab his best friend, and they'd head out of the school towards the woods and our place. He attached a compass to his backpack to aid his sense of direction.

He's going to prepare a water gun to hold anti-alien fortified water 
and toss out marbles to distract them while he runs away.

Such a smart kid. 
I'm proud!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Mysterous Case of the Missing Cereal

A few years back, my dad encountered a mystery in his home.
He lived alone in a condo, on the 13th floor, in downtown Austin.

And every morning, he woke up to find that someone had eaten his cereal.

He would find a bowl sitting on the counter,
and there would be an empty cereal box and a carton of milk next to it.

He was baffled, but totally convinced someone was breaking in to eat his cereal every night.

The voice of reason said NO, this can't be so.  It doesn't make sense.

And then we realized, he was on the sleeping pill Ambien...
which causes people to sometimes sleep walk.
and sleep drive.
and sleep eat.

"nocturnal eating may be a side effect of the popular sleep medication, Ambien."

So, he solved his mystery. 
He was his own culprit. 

And he stopped taking Ambien.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Adieu to a Uterus

Someone close to me had to have their uterus removed last month,
and her friends threw her a party to say, "Farewell" to the uterus. 
They even made her a red velvet cake to commemorate the occasion.

I got her a gift.

It's a plush uterus! 
The pink arms are fallopian tubes, and the purple balls are ovaries.
The purple bit at the bottom of the uterus is the cervix.

How cool is that?!

Someone told me that they bought this same uterus for
their OB/Gyn when he delivered their third child.

I love the company, I Heart Guts, that sells these plush organs and T-shirts. 

If you are a woman about to have, or have had a hysterectomy,
you need to visit HysterSisters.
It's a seriously awesome site for female support.

This is a woman singing farell to her uterus.
It's hilarious.
(and has a few cuss words, just to let you know)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Guilty Pleasure # 563 - Jewelry

In the last few years, I've rediscovered my love of jewelry.

I can't buy expensive jewelry, and I don't need it.

I'm perfectly happy with the shiny and sparkly, colorful or classic, inexpensive stuff.

Have you ever visted Charming Charlie?

I have a serous addiction to that store! 
It's so much fun to browse.

Last time I went, I took some pictures, until a nice saleslady asked me to stop.
She was concerned I was tryng to take photos to copy their displays.

I was embarrassed to explain that I'm just a big fan...
and that I wanted these photos for my blog.


They arrange the jewelry in sections of the store by COLOR!

And the store is full of jewelry. 
I've never seen so much in one place.

The whole store is amazing.
It's a work of art.
A masterpiece.
A delight to the senses.

I have to buy something when I visit.

It's all reasonably priced...and there are lots of clearance walls...

These are all my own photos, taken with my iPhone,
and the necklace above, gold and pearl flower necklace?  
I bought it for under $10

I also bought this bracelet below with a matching necklace:

I could easily spend hours in this store.

I was not compensated in any way for this post. 
This is just a big fan geeking out a little and sharng a favorite place. 

Do yu buy yourself jewelry?
Where do you go?
Have you ever been in a Charming Charlie store?

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Furballs: Week 4 with the rabbits

The Vet recommended we not get rabbits as pets.
My mom thought it was a bad idea.
Actually, everyone we spoke to thought it was a bad idea.

But, we decided to do it anyway, after a little research
and a dab of stubborness.

And we have now been rabbit owners for a month.

They eat this stuff:

They live in this cage (in the boys' room):

We change their bedding monthly so it doesn't smell.
We've discovered the cedar or pine shavings are the best.


They drink water from here:

They're sisters and love to be together:

They are hilarious. 
They poop non-stop.
They can chage direction mid-air.
Sometimes they run around like wild animals at break-neck speed.
They scratch if they're startled.

They're adorable.

Have you had a non-dog or cat pet?
Good or bad experience?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

It died; F1 didn't work.

I didn't realize how old it was.
Or that it was reaching the end.

I'm devestated.
She's dead.

And now I'm using my teenage son's computer until I can save up for my own.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Party Crackers: Not to be confused with Poppers

I bought a bunch of British holiday crackers over Christmas. 

What is a cracker?

"Crackers" are decorative party favors
widely used in Great Britain
(since Victorian times) 
to celebrate
a variety of special occasions
and festive events.

It's a decorated cardboard tube
that you and a friend can pull on both ends,
and with a loud POP,
the tube breaks open
and a paper crown, a joke and suprise novelty gift
are revealed.

As we enter our 3rd day of being iced in 
during the North Texas 2011 Snowmagedon,
my restless 9-year-old son found a box of unused crackers.

And proceded to pop them all.

So, now I'm jumpy, and he has a pile of crap goodies to play with.

A tiny ruler, folded up scissors, a piercing silver whistle, a dolphin keychain
and colored golf tees.

Randomly strange.

And when I tweeted about this,
I accidently called them "poppers" instead of crackers.
And poppers are apparently drugs.


Have you ever seen these British Crackers before?
What was your prize?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

My Nemisis: The Science Fair

Every year my older son has to participate in The Science Fair.

And it manages to wreak havoc on our lives.
It raids our villages, steals our livestock and burns our crops.


We end up rushing to complete the science project the weekend before it's due.
It usually involves petrie dishes and liquids that smell...

Until this year.

This year I got smart.

We chose a project that wasn't messy...didn't cost much and was interesting.

We tested different scanning apps on the iPhone using common household items.

Did you know that you can download apps to your iPhone that turn it into a barcode scanner?

You can go out shopping,
see something you want, scan it's barcode
and see that the item you want costs less somewhere else...
it shows you.

Gotta love technology.

Take that, Science Fair.
You didn't get me this year.

But my younger son is almost reaching that mandatory science fair age...

and we'll meet again.