Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A FEEL GOOD THING - APRIL IS NATIONAL POETRY MONTH

Dancing the day away
Come on - everybody let's play
post a poem, you have all week - it's not too late
April is National Poetry Month - let's celebrate!!!

Watch this video for a quick smile

It was filmed at the Liverpool Street Subway Station in London Jan 15, 2009. Only the dancers knew what was happening; the general public didn't know what was about to unfold but many joined in and then they all went about their daily routine.



Remember to post your poem in the original entry HERE, in the comments section. Good luck!

Monday, March 30, 2009

POETRY CONTEST PRIZES




April is National Poetry Month and I'm offering prizes for people willing to play along in my first ever Poetry Contest.

Look at the photo above. These are some of the prizes. There will be a first, second and third place winner. Each winner will get to pick their prize. Some of these books are autographed copies.

So come on people post a poem on the original post under the comments: here - what have you got to lose - and you've got a pretty good chance to win.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

FUN SURVEY: Dining Out in the World

Check this out and see how savvy you are when it comes to eating out in the world.

Just click here.

But don't forget to come back and tell me how you scored.

I only got 6 out of 11 - guess I need to travel more.

EARTH HOUR IN PICTURES

BEFORE EARTH HOUR 2009:





DURING EARTH HOUR 2009:

Saturday, March 28, 2009

EARTH HOUR 2009 - Let's Answer the Call

Don't forget about EARTH HOUR

It all began in Sydney in 2007, when over 2 million homes and businesses switched off their lights for one hour.

The message grew and so did the momentum. 50 million joined in during 2008.

The goal on March 28, 2009, is 1 billion people. So come on, let's switch off our lights as part of a global vote. Unlike any election in history, it is not about what country you’re from, but instead, what planet you’re from.

VOTE for EARTH HOUR. It's a call to stand up and take control over the future of our planet. So, come on people let's answer that call.

Over 74 countries and territories have pledged their support to VOTE EARTH during Earth Hour 2009, and this number is growing everyday.

VOTE EARTH by simply switching off your lights for one hour, and join the world for Earth Hour.

Saturday, March 28, 8:30-9:30 p.m.

CONTEST: April is National Poetry Month - Let's Get Ready - With a Poetry Contest

April is National Poetry Month. And I thought I'd get us warmed up with a little poetry contest. So, be crafty and creative and win some cool prizes. Like a complete crafting package, filled with a cross-stitch kit, yarn, knitting needles, autographed books and more. Also, there will be many books to give away. The winners will be able to choose between some of the following choices:

The 2009 Writer's Market, 88th Annual Edition with over 3,500 listings of where and how to sell what you write
An autographed book of Cleopatra-Egypt's Last and Greatest Queen,
An Autographed edition of the grahic novel for kids: Babymouse, Beach Babe,
An Autographed edition of Heart of a Shepherd,
An Autographed Edition of the Award winning book by Carmen Bernier-Grand Frida, the art of Frida Kahlo; and
The Last Lecture, an inspirational story

Let's get ready for April by posting a poem in the comments section. Try to keep it to 10 lines or less. It can be any style, format and form.

I'm going to pick the winners on Sunday, April 5th. So, you'll have to come back on Sunday to see if you win. But take a chance, post a poem, and have a little fun.

Friday, March 27, 2009

GLOOM AND DOOM - In the Same Sentence as POWELL'S BOOKS???

Here's an article in the New York Times that talks all gloom and doom but I couldn't help but love it anyway--why? Because it talks about Powell's Books, which just happens to be one of my favorite hangouts and Portland too. Plus it plugs Intel and Nike. And, okay, Nike is in a suburb of Portland but close enough.

ANSWER TO THOUGHT FOR THURSDAY AND EARTH-FRIENDLY FRIDAY

ANSWER TO THOUGHT FOR THURSDAY: A PETROLOGIST studies rocks. If you'd like to read more, check it out here.

EARTH-FRIENDLY FRIDAY:

Did you know that the average person releases about 50,000 pounds of carbon dioxide every year? Check out this Time Article about an Earth-Friendly Home here and find out how to reduce your carbon dioxide output.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

TEST-HOW OLD IS YOUR BRAIN?

I was 39 - Once

How old is your brain? Just click here to take the test.

The site instructions are in Japanese, so read below!
1. Touch 'start'
2. Wait for 3, 2, 1.
3. Memorize the numbers' position on the screen, then click the circles from the smallest number to the biggest number.
4. At the end of the game, the computer will tell you the age of your brain.
5. Forward the message and type your number in the subject line.

Forward it to your friends and include me.

Good luck ! http://flashfabrica.com/f_learning/brain/brain.html

THOUGHT FOR THURSDAY - THE TONGUE IS LIKE A TWO-EDGED SWORD

WORDS

Words can cut
Words can heal
Words can wound
Words can kill

Time is short
Time is fast
Life on Earth
doesn't last

So use them wisely -
words and time
work with them -
not just to rhyme.

THOUGHT FOR THURSDAY: What is a petrologist?

Come back tomorrow to find out

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

ANSWER TO WORD FOR WEDNESDAY

Answer to Word for Wednesday: Aegis: Is from Greek Mythology and means protection or support. It was Zeus's breastplate. Read more about it here.

WORD FOR WEDNESDAY and Portland, Oregon is the City of Roses

Romeo and Juliet knew that A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet



But words are what we use to define objects so choose wisely.

WORD FOR WEDNESDAY: Aegis

What's it mean? Boldly go where no words have gone before - come on I don't mind looking silly - you might as well play along. Take a guess. Then come back around 3:00 to see if you were right.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

CHEAT SHEET FOR WORD USAGE - thanks to John Potter

Usage

affect/effect:
Affect is a verb that means "to influence": Counsel's explanation did not affect the hearing officer's decision. The noun effect means "a result": The effect of her decision was financially devastating. As a verb, effect means "to cause to come into being": The new chief thought he could effect a needed change in morale.

among/between: Among is used for three or more entities: Many local runners are among those training for this weekend's race. Between is used when two entities are involved: There is an intense rivalry between the two schools.

fewer/less: Fewer refers to people or objects that can be counted; less refers to general amounts: Fewer technicians means less work will be done today.

its/it's: Its is the possessive form: The board forwarded its recommendations. It's is a contraction of it is: It's time for a party.

lead/led: As a noun, lead is a kind of metal. As a verb, lead means "to conduct." A guide will lead a tour of the ruins. Led is the past tense of the verb "to lead": He led the firm for twenty years.

loose/lose:
Lose is a verb whose past tense is lost: Did you lose your elevator card, again? Loose is generally an adjective for "not tight": I have a few loose screws.

maybe/may be: Maybe is an adverb: Maybe the negotiators will succeed this time. May and be are verbs: The rumor may be true.

passed/past:
Passed is the past tense of the verb to pass: Everyone passed the test. Past means "beyond a time or location": The band marched past the bleachers.

principal/principle:
As a noun, principal means "chief person" or "main or original amount": The principal of Waldorf's Feline Academy prefers titled cats. We paid only the interest on the principal. The adjective principle means "a basic truth": The parties have reached an agreement in principle.

who/whom:
Who is used as a subject or subject complement: Who is the new guy in administration? Call Jennifer, who I know has the answer [who is the subject of the verb phrase "has the answer"]. Whom is used as an object: Bill, whom we all know, has just retired [whom is the object of the phrase "we all know"].

Monday, March 23, 2009

SEATTLE Weekend - It Was Wonderful

We went to Seattle for a family wedding. Saw family, made new friends - it was all wonderful.

Crossing the river from Oregon to Washington, the Columbia was filled with boats - it must be fishing season.



In Seattle, we went down on the waterfront to get coffee at the first Starbucks.


We walked through Pike Place Market, forgot it was the beginning of Spring Break - WOW - was it ever crowded.



Played a few impromptu games of bball at my cousin's house.



Jake was playing in flip-flops but boy-oh-boy can those boys jump.

It's not always easy to please six people, but we all had a good time.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Writing Links to Help New Writers

There are so many numerous FREE sites where new and experienced writers can find very valuable information. I thought I would share some of those sites with you.

LINKS FOR MAGAZINE GUIDELINES:


Pockets Guidelines

Guide Magazine

Skipping Stones

Imagination Cafe


Stories for Children


HAPPY WRITING!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

LIGHT BOX FOR ILLUSTRATORS - How to Make




Both my sons love art. They work together on an on-line webcomic. Jake got a degree in Multi-media design. And, they have all kinds of high-tech tools. But Jake was determined to have a light box to illustrate on. He went to the art store and they were $300-$400, which was way out of his budget. So he asked his Dad if he could help him make one.

"No problem," Lars said.

My husband is very handy and can build just about anything. So together my two guys built a light box.

The light is just a regular kitchen florescent light fixture bought for about $20.00 at Home Depot. The opeque white plastic cover was bought at Tap Plastics and you can get it any plastics store and it was about $20.00 as well. The light switch is about $3.00 at Home Depot. The electronic light switch enclosure was about $2.00 and the cord (loose end wiring) was about $9.99. You just wire it like a normal light fixture in your kitchen and you're good to go.






Jake's light box turned out so well that his friend Aaron asked him if he'd make one for him. So Jake and Aaron made another one. Now that they have the system down, they think they can build these boxes for about $60 in materials for 17 X 19 (which Jake wanted for professional comic book size pages), cheaper if they wanted to make them smaller. Pretty cool.

Friday, March 20, 2009

ANSWER TO THOUGHT FOR THURSDAY AND EARTH-FRIENDLY FRIDAY

ANSWER: Dutch.

Now, for

EARTH-FRIENDLY FRIDAY:

Here, in Portland, Oregon, someone had the idea of starting a bike registration fee. You can read all about it here.

I am absolutely opposed to a bike registration fee. I think we should encourage alternative forms of transportation, not make it more difficult for those people willing to reduce gas emissions, and pollution by powering their own energy by pedaling to work.

What do you think?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

THOUGHT FOR THURSDAY AND A MYSTERY

THOUGHT FOR THURSDAY: If the French speak French and the Danes speak Danish, what do the people speak in the Netherlands?

Take a guess and don't forget to come back tomorrow to find out the answer.

Plus, I just thought I'd share:

I love to read—duh—so I’m in a book club at work. And this is a mystery that was recommended by Kama:

Life Sentences: Digging Deep Into the Secrets of Life

Holly said, “I think Laura Lippmann's books are really good -complex character development and a great sense of place to them. Non-mystery people should enjoy them as well. Read the Review A Day here:

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

ANSWER TO WORD FOR WEDNESDAY


ANSWER: On my favorite Urban Dictionary, it says to be inundated with emails.

This one made me smile.

:)

WORD FOR WEDNESDAY

WORD FOR WEDNESDAY: Blackburied

Take a guess and come back around 3:00 to check it out.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

TO READ OR NOT TO READ

HAPPY ST. PADDY'S DAY!


The photo is of Hamlet's Castle

The most famous ghost tale of all time has more to do with greed than anything else. But the questions is, “How interesting can an old dead dude really be?” And how exciting could an ancient bookworm seem - even a well-known writer like William Shakespeare?

Listen and you might be surprised.

Shakespeare's stories are often tales of tragedy, murder and mayhem and they are still able to captivate young audiences. His stories are sometimes set in awesome structures.

What kid can resist a mystery set in a beautiful but haunted castle? Hamlet is just such a story.

Shakespeare weaves his web of deception in Denmark. It is here, where this tale of deceit, greed and betrayal begins. This story is the reason behind the famous saying, "There's something rotten in the state of Denmark."

Monday, March 16, 2009

Christian the Lion - thanks to MacKenzie

Just thought we should share a little love:

Sunday, March 15, 2009

OH BOTHER - a blustery kind of day here in the Seven Acre Wood

This is a fun little test. Take it, and let me know who you are: Pooh, Tigger, Eyeore.

Can you guess who I am? That's right. Pooh.


Take the 100 Acre Personality Quiz!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Time for a Laugh

The talking photo booth.

Friday, March 13, 2009

ANSWER TO THOUGHT FOR THURSDAY AND EARTH-FRIENDLY FRIDAY

ANSWER TO THOUGHT FOR THURSDAY: It's in Dillon, Colorado: The Arapahoe Basin, with a summit elevation of 13,050 feet.

NOW FOR EARTH FRIENDLY-FRIDAY: I thought I'd start a post with links to other sites that have some great information about living green. Here's one and here's another: who wouldn't love Eco-Women: Protectors of the Planet?

Please add some more links to my COMMENTS section so I can add a sidebar with linkage love.

Thanks to all who participate.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Portland, Oregon (Is it P.O. or BO 'cause that just stinks)

Thought for Thursday: What ski area is the highest in the United States?

Come back tomorrow to find out the answer. But first, take a guess.


And now, this is one of those things that makes you say, "HUH?"

I told you all how Portland is one of the top ten places in the country where you can walk around the city, well now they say Portland is the unhappiest place on Earth, according to Business Week. Huh???

How can this be? We have the riverwalk, the Esplanade. Portland is beautiful, an hour to the snow covered mountain, Mt. Hood, one and a half hours to the beach, 2 and a half hours to the desert, and we are smack-dab in the valley, with the Gorge being famous for windsurfing. How can anyone be unhappy here?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Answer to Word for Wednesday

ANSWER: Entropy is the dispersal of energy. Read all about it here. One of the ideas involved in the concept of entropy is that nature tends from order to disorder.

The second law of "thermodynamics" (therme=heat + dunamis=power) is the science of the power or energy contained in heat. Entropy is wasted energy.

Poetry Northwest and Word for Wednesday

My friend Jacqueline, me and my husband went to Happy Hour at the Blue Monk to meet up with loyal listeners (readers) of Poetry Northwest.

The Blue Monk has open mic poetry readings on Wednesday nights and the food is good too - which is always a plus in my chubby little brain. So we went to feed our minds with a little literature and our bellies with beer, wine and other libations.

It was a fun night out. If you're interested in subscribing to the magazine you can do that on-line or at Poetry Northwest, 4232 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97215

WORD: Entropy

Take a guess. I know there are a few of you who know what it is. Come back around 3:00 and I'll tell you.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

NATIONAL LIBRARY WEEK (April 12-19)

Book Lovers Unite! I know there are lots of you out there and to celebrate the upcoming event April 12-19, 2009 is National Library Week, I'm going to be offering games, prizes and fun features during this special week.

To celebrate and help spread the love of reading, I’d like to hear what your favorite book(s) of all time happen to be.

Please include your favorite book list in the COMMENTS section and I’ll compile a final list.


Remember:

"Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill."

Barbara Tuchman (Historian/Author)

Monday, March 9, 2009

2009 GAP Conference

The Oregon Commission for Women held an All-Day Conference at Portland State University on March 7, 2009.

I went to this conference on Saturday and thought it was invigorating: filled with people and panelists who are full of passion and creativity.

Portland State University in conjunction with the Oregon Commission for Women hosted the 2009 Gap Conference in Smith Memorial Student Union. This all-day conference was open to the public and admission was free.

The goal of the Oregon Commission for Women is to Bridge Gender Gaps in Education, Health Care, Employment and Leadership.

One way the commission is hoping to get more young women involved is by appealing to their interests in movies, theater and films.

Lana Veenker of Veenker Casting,

who helped with the casting of the Twilight movie last year in Portland, participated in a panel discussion, answering questions presented to the group with humor, passion and perspective. You can read her blog here.

Lourrie Hammack the President of Laika House, which produced the amazing stop-motion animated film CORALINE which was written by Newberry Award winning author Neil Gaiman was also on the panel together with Jan Johnson, also from Laika House.

The panel was rounded out by Ellen Bergstone Beer, who is involved with the Women’s Film Initiative and Film Action Oregon.

It was an eye-opening panel discussion moderated by Susan Castner from the Oregon Commission for Women.

Nike’s own Phil Knight owns Laika House and his son, Travis, who is the CEO of the production company, which used to be Will Vinton Studios, here in Portland, Oregon and which became well known due to their advertising campaign for the California Raisins are taking Laika into new areas.

Laika House has recently done animated work for Dole, M&Ms, Soyjoy, Coca Cola, Carnation Breakfast Essentials, Apple, Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food, Nike, the Oregon lottery and more.

The Women’s Film Initiative is working to engage Portland Women in the film-making industry and has contributed more than $17,000 to help fund five different film-making projects: three documentaries and two narratives have been supported by these funds.

If you are interested in getting involved in this program, here is the contact information for the Oregon Commission for Women: 3218 Pringle Road SE, Suite 270, Salem, OR 97302, Phone: 503-378-2139, Email: oaco.mail@das.state.or.us

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Watchmen - The Minutemen

The Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbens

The family all went to see the movie Saturday night. Lars, Jake, Luke, Kara and I really enjoyed the show. MacKenzie, Luke’s girlfriend, came too.

I thought the cinematography was absolutely amazing. The angles of the camera made everything seem so rich and the colors were so vivid, that this film seemed full and deep.

This show was based on a graphic novel written in 1986.

One of my favorite lines was: “There is good and there is evil, and evil must be punished. Even in the face of Armageddon I shall not compromise on this.”

Also, I love the line, "Who Watches Over the Watchmen?" and I thought it was interesting that the superheroes were really The Minutemen not The Watchmen. But maybe the watch correlation came into the script with Dr. Manhattan's Dad being a Watchmaker...?

There were so many great lines, I’m going to have to watch it again—maybe when it comes out on DVD (because taking a family of six to see a show nowadays is crazy expensive—just one pop and one bucket of popcorn was over $12.00) to see them all again.

It was a beautifully written story and the movie stayed true to most of the graphic novel, which I find admirable.

The character I connected with the most is Rorschach—especially since he was the writer, with his journal. I also thought he was heroic because he tried to warn his “friends” that someone was trying to kill them. And, he was willing to sacrifice himself and die for what he believed in.

I thought it was a fun/entertaining movie. Of course there were a few things I didn’t like. There was a bit of gore (I had to turn away a couple times) and if you’re a parent thinking of taking your children to this superhero show, think again. You need to be aware of the sexual scenes plus Dr. Manhattan was always nude, which my 20-year old daughter said, “I don’t know why he never wore clothes.” That didn’t bother me because he seemed so comfortable “in his own skin” and he did have a perfect physique. Plus, he did wear a suit once or twice: like for the funeral and the newscast.

However, MacKenzie (who doesn’t come from our gene pool and has her own opinions that don’t seem to be so similar as ours) wasn’t that into the film. But she’s not that into action films or superhero shows. And, maybe she didn’t think it was so good because she didn’t understand why they (Dr. Manhattan and Lori) went to Mars and why they couldn’t just talk on Earth. Also she didn’t understand why no one tried to save Dr. Manhattan when he got stuck in the time-lock vault or what made him turn blue. Maybe it was the magical/mystical elements that took her out of the story so she couldn’t enjoy it like we all did. Somehow the superhuman aspects didn’t seem to bother any of us.

SPOILER ALERT: (Don't read further if you haven't seen the show)

Two things I didn’t like about the film:

1) The movie digressed from the actual novel in that Dr. Manhattan became the scapegoat rather than an alien Squid, which I would have been happier with; and,
2) I hated that Dr. Manhattan killed Rorschach, who was the moral superhero, even though some people might have thought he was totally crazy. He believed in doing the right thing no matter what and even if it caused a bad outcome. I’m a person who doesn’t believe in situational ethics so I really identified with that.

My son put a link on his web comic about The Watchmen from a spoofed comic: check it out here. Of course, remember it's only a spoof.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

THE BLOOM AWARD - writing contest

Blooming Tree Press is going to have a mystery contest in honor of Mildred Bloom. You can read all about it here.

Friday, March 6, 2009

On-Line Comic

My sons, Luke

and Jake

have been working on a graphic novel together even though Luke's away at school (the University of Oregon). Plus, the two of them put together an on-line comic strip. I just thought I'd share my sons' on-line comic link.

If you're not easily offended by boy humor, check it out here.

(P.S. I don't know why Luke's photo is so much bigger...honest)

ANSWER TO THOUGHT FOR THURSDAY AND EARTH-FRIENDLY FRIDAY

Answer to Thought for Thursday: To stop them from stealing pepper, it was used as currency at the time.

Now for EARTH-FRIENDLY FRIDAY: With the high price of gasoline and the recession hitting the economy and all of us pretty hard, why don't we try walking a little more? Rather than going for a Sunday afternoon drive, why don't we all go for a Sunday afternoon walk? It will be good for the heart, health and be Earth-Friendly too. We don't have to do a lot, if we all do a little, we can make a big difference.

And, if you happen to live in Portland, Oregon, you just might be in luck because my hometown is one of the top ten most walkable cities in the country. Check it out here.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

THOUGHT FOR THURSDAY

This one is for all you writers working in the historical fiction area/genre:

QUESTION:
In Elizabethan times, why did dockworkers have to have their pockets sewn shut while ships were being unloaded from the Orient?

Come back tomorrow and find out if you were right. ;-)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

ANSWER TO WORD FOR WEDNESDAY

Answer: To make mild or less severe, relieve, according to dictionary.com

WORD FOR WEDNESDAY

WORD: ASSUAGE

Okay take a guess, what's it mean? And just to let you know, it's not a typo and just missing the (m)assage, with a random (u). :p

Come back around 3:00 to see if you were close.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Techy Tuesday Tips

Okay all us writers need help every now and then when it comes to computers, Word, PowerPoint and here's one link I think you will find helpful: check it out here.

Monday, March 2, 2009

THE GRAVEYARD BOOK - by Neil Gaiman



I loved it. But I always love scary, creepy and mysterious books-and always have.

Some of my favorite lines: "Teeth so strong they can crush any bones, and tongue sharp and long enough to lick the marrow from the deepest marrowbone or flay the flesh from a fat man's face."

Sounds bad--doesn't it? But that is probably the harshest writing in the book, at least in my mind. It wasn't really a "bloody" book. Now I wouldn't let a 4-8 year old read the book, but I think others might think it's okay. But of course, only parents will know for sure what's right for their kids and what's not appropriate.

Another favorite part was:

"And there are always people who find their lives have become so unsupportable they believe the best thing they could do would be to hasten their transition to another plane of existence.

"They kill themselves, you mean?" said Bod. He was about eight years old, wide-eyed and inquisitive, and he was not stupid.

"Indeed."

"Does it work? Are they happier dead?"

"Sometimes. Mostly, no. It's like the people who believe they'll be happy if they go and live somewhere else, but who learn it doesn't work that way. Wherever you go, you take yourself with you. If you see what I mean.""

I loved those lines. There's a deep message there. And, to me I came away thinking there's power in positive thinking.

Another thing that hit me: my husband was reading the story aloud to me, 'cause I wasn't feeling well - home sick with a cold.

And, some of the words were difficult for him. He didn't know what a brooch was. I giggled when he said it like, "pooch" "brew-ch"

I explained the pronunciation to him and he said, "then why do you say "pooch" when you're talking about a puppy?

It was fun having him read to me - like I was a little kid again. And, he loved the story too.

Okay, so we're a couple of grown up kids - and nerds to boot.

;) Anyway, in my opinion, a very good read and worthy of the Newberry award!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

COMMENT CONTEST FOR $1,000 PRIZE

It's a COMMENT YOUR BUTT OFF contest

Okay, I can't make any promises. I mean who wouldn't want a smaller . . . butt, beware. If we comment it off... where will we sit to rest our weary bones?

Shelli's prizes sound fantastic though, one being a new website design. So, I had to share.

All it takes is a comment to be entered in the contest and who wouldn't want to win a prize worth $1,000?!!!

So, if you're interested, read all about it here.