Essential Tools For A Writer

NGK spark plug (type BP6ES).
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Just like you wouldn’t open the hood of a car with a vegetable peeler in your hand and expect to change the spark plugs, there are certain tools that are essential to your writing career. Sure, you might be able to get the spark plugs out and changed, but it would take a lot longer and you won’t do a good job. Here are some must-haves for embarking on a writing career:

1. Computer , website and internet access. Although this may seem like a no-brainer, the truth is the writing profession has undergone many changes as technology has erupted. It’s much easier to send articles and manuscripts via email; many places offer online submission; some won’t take them any other way. Often, employers will want samples of your work, and the easiest way to showcase these are on your very own personal website.

Investing in a state-of-the-art computer is a must. Get as much as you can afford — this is an investment that will pay off big-time. To start with, the only software you need is a good word processing package. Websites, or blogs, are easy to set up and can be done at low or NO cost. You’ll need a reliable internet service provider with an email address you can access several times a day.

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Everything You Wondered About Thanksgiving

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I am not a fan of holidays, for many personal and painful reasons. This one is particularly difficult.

However, I can be thankful for many things. I live in a country that encourages free speech; I have a roof over my head and a bag of Peanut M&M’s. A new episode of Top Chef is on tonight, and the final dance of Brooke Burke and Derek Hough brought sobs to my throat last night. I’m thankful my grandson and my children are healthy and happy, and I’m thankful Obama is the President-Elect.  I’m thankful for teh interwebz and the fabulous people I’ve met.

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Blogging For History

Illustration of a scribe writing
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One thing I’d like to emphasize is the need to document our lives for the next generation. Blogging has been ideal for this. In the olden days, before typewriters, computers and word processors, people actually kept written diaries. You know, like with paper and pen? Actual ink? I know, isn’t that wild?

Not only did people keep written diaries, they also wrote letters to each other. It was one of the only ways of communicating, especially over distance. I find this fascinating — we take so much for granted, these days. We are a society of instant gratification. Imagine writing a letter to a loved one asking an important question, and having to wait for DAYS…maybe even WEEKS for a response. The suspense would kill me.

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Not Here

I thought she would always be here.

She was there in the beginning, teaching me to speak, eat, to potty. She was there through elementary school, through the angst of the teenage years and the rebellion of high school. She was there during the first attempts at self-sustentation; providing advice, support, and a new set of pans from the Salvation Army when I moved in to my first apartment.

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And Where Have You Been, Young Lady?

La fine del giorno
Image by DanielaNob via Flickr

That’s a good question, and I wish I had a good answer.

The truth of the matter is, as some of you might know, I lost my momma in August and the world has not been the same since. I’ve been trying very hard not to fall into the Abyss of Depression, but it’s been a difficult battle. Words don’t come as easily now as they once did, and this causes me no small amount of angst.

I guess everyone deals with a Major Life-Changing Event in their own way, and I have to constantly do a self-check — and I have to stop being so hard on myself. Why is it so difficult to be as kind to myself as I am to other people? Dunno. A Mystery of the Universe, at least for right now, because it’s too damned early in the morning to do an intense self-examination.


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Veteran's Day

Helicopters played an integral part in the U.S...
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I know I’ve posted about  this video before, but it’s so appropriate to this day I have to post it again.

Letters Home from the Garden of Stone

This video and the comments left from people so affected by this war say it better than I ever could.


My father was a Marine. My uncle was in the Navy. My stepdad served time in the Army, as did my sister and my little brother. The love of my life spent two tours in Vietnam.

War affects each and every one of us, whether you know someone personally that has given of themselves in military service or not.

Today is a day to remember that, and to thank them. No matter what your politics are or your philosophy on world events, the truth is you are able to express these things thanks, in no small part, to the men and women who serve our country in this capacity.

Remember. Say thanks.

And get us the FUCK out of Iraq and Afghanistan, okay? Our people need to come home.

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Pet Peeves and Guilty Pleasures

A volcanic fissure and lava channel
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So, it’s the weekend after a quake in Netta Land registering oh, about a 6 out of 10 on the Netta Scale. Not horrendous, but still enough to cause fissures and some foundation-altering events. I’ve been trying to de-stressify and take it easy — you know, when you become older you don’t bounce back like you did when you were 20. I think I’m on the right track, and that’s a good thing.

In the meantime, I’ve come up with some Pet Peeves and Guilty Pleasures along the way I thought I’d share.

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Tagged, Memed and Awarded

Book cover via Amazon

If you didn’t know by now, I suck at posting awards and stuff. However, when a goddess like Lala at Coastal Commentaries takes the time out to honor me, I can do nothing less than bow before the goddess. 😉

First, the meme:

The rules are as follows:

1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Post a comment and then tag five more people.

But first Raoul had to finish clearing the mess he had left behind.

It meant another trip to Germany.

He waited for the Imperator to leave.

This passage is from “Map of Bones” by James Rollins. This is not normally a book I’d buy to read, but my sister’s partner is also an avid reader, and passed this book and about five or six others of his to read. The first one I read was “Black Order” and I really enjoyed it. “Map of Bones” has been favorably compared to “The DaVinci Code“, so we’ll see if that is correct or said merely to sell books.

For this meme, I tag the following five people:

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Personal Observations of a Political Nature

Barack Obama and Michelle Obama
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These were the high points for me:

** The way Obama is so loving with his girls and his wife. How he gave Michelle credit for being the love of his life. The first thing she said to him was, “I love you,” and his to her was, “Are you okay?” Amazing.

The puppy. Heh.

** The tears in the eyes of Jesse Jackson. I’m not a fan of his, but being a child in the sixties, I can feel what this election meant to him and to everyone who has ever suffered from racial prejudice.

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