The Cleanest Windows

“Writers often have the cleanest
windows, floors, fridges, and toilets
the most up-to-date filing system
or the best record for returning calls or e-mails
because in the moment,
just about any task seems more palatable
than sitting down to write.”
Mark David Gerson, The Voice of the Muse: Answering the Call to Write

In response to WordPress Photo Challenge – Windows

Camera Lucida: Reflections

“There is, I believe, no person, however insignificant in the world, but, if an account of his life and adventures were committed to paper, would be entertaining in some degree: the follies of our own life, and those we are liable to be drawn into by others, will constantly afford matter for serious reflection.”
Henry Spencer Ashbee

Cohansey River Thaw- Photo: JoHanna Massey

If you are new to my website, Camera Lucida is a regular feature created by Julia at My Red Page where she inspires us to express our creativity through story and/or photo focused on a well chosen and often challenging theme. Camera Lucida is where the very hippest coolest of the bloggers are showing up to submit their work, enjoy,  and be inspired by their fellow Lucidites. I’ve been involved for several months now and it is not only great fun, but I have connected with so many talented people who support and encourage me to my best creativity.

This weeks theme: Reflections

It’s always interesting to look at reflections…are they really the same as the reality?

How many times did you look at your own reflection and wondered if that’s how the world sees you…?

This week’s theme is: Reflections…show us how we look at the world upside down…how we see ourselves from the other side…how water seems to be the borderline between reality and imagination…show us who looks back from the mirror…make this week your own and tell us a story that will make us reflect:)

This is the most perfect theme for me this week as I am sailing Sophia up the Cohansey River immersed in writing Connor’s Reach, and the images that are reflecting back at us from the breaking up of a very long novel writing freeze are exhilarating, and indeed hard work.

I’ll be over to visit with all the coolest of cool ones  soon to see what you have created for this week’s theme, and if you haven’t joined  Camera Lucida yet… we look forward to your arrival!


“Did you ever wonder if the person in the puddle is real,
And you’re just a reflection of him?”
― Bill Watterson

Today’s Music: In My Life- Beatles

Oh The Places You Will Go! Sunday Blog Visits

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”
― Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

Good Sunday Morning to everyone. Indeed, as Dr Seuss reminds us,  we all get to choose where we will go. Especially on the internet. Whether you are looking for thought-provoking, challenging, mouth watering, or inspiring ideas,  our fellow bloggers have much to offer.  Here’s a few gems I spent time with this past week:

Much chatter going on about Writing Conferences, and if you stop by 10 Minutes of Words : An Unedited Look Into The Mind of Hayden Trenholm,  you can hear his take on his recent participation in When Words Collide.  Titled  Conversation, he speaks with a succinct clarity about the similarities and differences in how we interact with one another when sitting elbow to elbow in person rather than screen to screen in  cyberspace. Another favorite of mine on his site was The Persistence of Vision, the story of his trip to The Tea Farm, where he meets a young couple who infuse him not only with their home grown tea and edibles, but with their enthusiasm and energy to embrace and make real their goal and vision. What I enjoy about Hayden Trenholm’s site is that he is keenly observant, has an abundance of insight and opinion about a big variety of topics, and he has mastered the art of the word count. Creating short and very succinct posts where not a word is wasted.

Ever wished you knew exactly where the Seven Sisters of Pleides are in all that wonderment of sky above you? Ever considered that you share that sky with anyone who ever lived on this planet and that many created stories and myths to explain not just the sky but life itself?  Get yourself over to La Audacia de Aquiles (Audacity of Achilles: Visible World is Only A Pretext.) Maybe your curious about Sigmund Freud, Centaurs or Zeus’s wife Hera.  This is a smart,  visually stunning, and wonderfully lush website. I enjoy  being there for the well written and researched text and the accompanying artwork.   The site has a wealth of  links and citations.  Literature, Science, History, it is all here and time at La Audacia de Aquiles is an adventure, an inspiration, and an opportunity to grow intellectually. Thank you Aquileana. 

Lynze has lived one of those lives that shouts movie material. She relocated from the Northwest United States to Saudia Arabia,  living with and without electricity, in luxury and out of  luxury. She cooked her way through life there for sixteen years, raising nine children, sharing recipes and skills with people from India, Morocco, and the United Kingdom. She is back in the United States now and has created Lynz Real Cooking. Sharing memoir, photos, and of course recipes. I made the Kufka which would have been a familiar meatloaf except by adding cinnamon, cumin, and allspice in Lynz recommended amounts, it turned the taste to something new. Think it is hot where you live? Read Weather In Saudia Arabia  from someone who lived there.

One of the joys of blogging is the  opportunity to connect with people from around the globe and learn about their lives, lifestyles, culture, and perspective. Between Two Tides offers poems, pictures, and stories from L’Entre Deux Mers France, done with such grace and attention to wide angle time thinking. In Forests of France you learn about the history of forestry practices and the  regrowth of France’s forests, and for me it was the moment of considering that learning to value ecosystems has been and continues to be the global learning curve. Golden Leo Days, offers up stunning photos of summer colors of haying and sunflowers, accompanied by intimate prose expressing universal experiences. Just a lovely, interesting, must follow website.

What unfolds when a high school principal, an Irish Priest, A Southern Baptist Minister, and  An Aspiring Writer play a golf Tournament as a foursome? I have no interest or knowledge of golf and adored The Perfect Game. Or how would your adult daughter feel if you tape recorded your conversation with her as a lesson on listening? Break the Silence says a lot about all of our listening skills.

You might think An Aspiring Writer , after 27 years in law enforcement, might have a difficult time with retirement. Not true.  Claiming that his new lifestyle reminds him of when he was a child having gone outside to play, when not  kayaking, hiking, traveling, this  Aspiring Writer has surrendered to his creative voice. Embracing WordPress wholly, whether with Flash Fiction,  Short Stories, or Photography, his blog flows smooth, entertaining,  and interesting. His  responses to the WordPress Prompts which he is using as warm ups before work on his novel, reveals so much of the light heart and keen mind of a life being well lived and shared.

Like lots of bloggers, Mark enjoys traveling,  taking photos and writing flash fiction. His mission on Coloring Outside of The Lines is not to show us all the popular places we have on our Life Lists, but to take stunning photos of out of the way places, and details of life that we will pass over. Often accompanied with some of his quirky and thoroughly smart  Flash Fiction. Mark wants other bloggers to succeed; creating and participating in Challenges, or through the re-blogging of some excellent reads he found.  And don’t miss his Health Phase.  Pop on over right now and enjoy a cup of his newest healthy brew.

I encourage you to stop in and visit with these interesting folks, and if you like what you find, support them by choosing to follow them and return often.  And let them know sent you!

Peace and blessings to everyone.

Today’ s Music: Boz Scaggs “Lowdown Live 2004”


Sunday Blog Visits

Sunday Blog Visits

These are just a few of the creative and innovative websites I have visited this week that inform, entertain, challenge, and inspire. Some I have featured previously.  Stepping out into new creative projects from their blogs, I find their new ventures to be incentives for me and I am sure others to consider the blog as a springboard, and for those new to blogging to see the different directions blogs can take.  A few I have included  are new to me and I encourage you to drop in for a  visit and see for yourself the high quality and diverse content being produced on these blogs.

James Clear writes “What I Do When I feel Like Giving Up.” A no surrender voice that will quickly get you out of any desire you have to quit any project or goal you are invested in.  His information and ideas are always backed by solid research and where to find it, and his writing is personable enough that you can identify with his situation, or  ponder how he knew exactly what you needed to hear.

I follow Andrew’s View of the Week largely because there is not one shred of pretense or pretend to it. He also  kindly encourages those bloggers he follows, which I am grateful to be one of.  The quality of his  post this week on his own personal General Writing Rules explains why he is celebrating his 500th  follower and being asked to write  a column for Today’s Author.  Congratulations Andrew.

It was surely a laugh out loud at myself moment when I received a response to a comment I had written to ElizaBerrie about                                                          ” And They Lived Happily Ever After The End”  a short story she wrote on her website Looking Back From 50.  She had written this very detailed slice of life recounting of a babysitting gig she had years ago and the wisdom of a six year old. When she replied to my praise with the news it was fiction..totally made up …I hit the follow button to her website. It is filled with so many stories and her site is so well organized and easy to navigate. She can and does personify the belief that fiction is the closest to truth and reality we can get!

Curtis Bausse is busy. Get yourself on over to Journey of a Blogvelist right now before you get left behind. He has his neighbor’s curiosity as he sports bloody knives, wine bottles and a determination to get the cover for his novel One Green Bottle to be truly representative of the tale within. You can read the first four chapters on his blog. It’s excellent. He also is now publishing the Bausse Gazette that you can subscribe to at Journey of a Blogvelist. Delivered by email, I read a few of the stories online and was so excited by the quality of them that I printed out the entire first edition and it is excellent bedtime reading.  Normal people having normal days that turn on a sentence in directions you never saw coming. Go now..and subscribe.

Spiral Sun inspires me because Kim has created a peaceful intelligent space and the quality of her writing and artwork keeps gaining strength and becoming more powerful and refined simultaneously.  Her musing, her book reviews, and her sharing her day to day efforts to explore and grow into the best person she can be are so heartfelt.  It’s a feminine space,  where Kim is asking the big how and why questions of our roles as humans on the planet and being genuine in her search for the answers. She is tracking down the good books, reading them and sharing what she finds. Her latest book review   ‘Zen and the Art of Making a Living’ by Lawrence Boldt offers up sound and soul based advice on what does and does not work when working for money, and her Meditations on Walking post is a mere sample of her ability to write in a genuine voice with photos to tease you into believing you took that walk with her, and enjoyed every moment.

Nothing makes me happier than finding a new science based website.        The Science of Illustration : All the Science That is Fit To Illustrate                    This site could well make science nerds out of everyone, something I believe is our best hope for saving our planet. Try out                                                         Vacancy at Emerald Ash Borer Motel .  There is a man walking down the street and he sees purple boxes hanging from trees. Aside from the humorous cartoon illustration is the story behind the box, of the millions of trees destroyed by this insect, written in language to make you care and links to verifiable science to back it up. Don’t like bugs? Try Fishy Art. Did you find yourself thinking about bats the last time you were buying bananas? There’s a reason for that. Matt Miller explains all on his well illustrated and most excellent diverse topic science website. Thank you Matt!

Looking for some very cool visuals about writing and words to match? Drop in on Smiley Like I Mean It. Smiley Yearwood received a                                          On Repeat Blog Tour Award and his response to it was just so much fun to watch, and his words ringing so true for anyone struggling to balance their 9-5 job life with their true creative calling.

That’s it for the Wednesday edition of Sunday Blog Visits.


Too Big For The Tub

One of the earliest people to show up at my website was                                           Journey of A Squvelisthttps.  Currently engaged in something that caught my interest and I thought I would participate in. Called Pick and Post, it goes like this:

Rules. A Pic’n’Post submission should contain:

  • A photograph you’ve taken
  • A brief (about 100 words) idea for a story prompted by the photo
  • A brief text explaining the true story behind the photo

To participate, simply publish a Pic’n’Post submission on your blog and send a link. This isn’t a contest, so there are no winners as such – all participants win the right to be inspired!

Upcoming deadline: Monday 9th March

This is my entry:


Fictional Idea:

Too Big For The Tub

Lewis was so cute and cuddly when  first found abandoned, or so we convinced ourselves, on an ice flow from a melting glacier. There simply had seemed no choice at the time but to take him back to the research station. He loved to cuddle, slept around with every one of us, drank the condensed milk and baby formula mixed with fish oil, and for several weeks he was our darling. We collected our data, filed our reports, took the last of our photos, and scheduled the plane to come and retrieve us out.

What about Lewis? I won the poker game and Lewis came home with me. He has outgrown the bathtub, the ice maker is broken, and I have yet to find a high stakes card game to lose.

Truth Behind The Photo

Excellent Day at the San Diego Zoo

Pic and Post

Forward March: Sunday Blog Visits

I am continually humbled and inspired by the quality of the websites I am visiting. There are days when I laugh at what a nascent  I am  compared to the degree of excellence I find.

Here is,  who figuratively opened their door to me this week. When you go for a visit, let them know I invited you.


TJ Paris and PhotoGallery:  This is such a classy website.  Is TJ Paris a famous photographer and I am the last to know?  Let’s all laugh with me and not at me.  Spectacular and insightful moments are held and gifted to you  through his camera lens. He also shares what camera he used, the aperture, focal lengths, and shutter speeds.   Living in Australia and loving all things French…..Take a deep  look for yourself at TJ Paris and Photo Gallery.  The galleries of photos and his  accompanying  narratives are a pleasure.         Start with  Rebel Without A Causeway.   Or perhaps Musee Rodin . Guaranteed you will return until you see all the galleries, then anticipate his next adventure and the gallery to come.


Look what  Lilly has done! First is a fairy tale, of a sweet little girl who loved cakes. Who eventually studied in Paris at le Cordon Bleu. This young woman knows how to bake, take photos and write! Lilli’s site is  filled with glamorous  photos of breads,  pastries and of course cakes. There are recipes and background information, and juicy cake gossip.   I suggest you begin your exploration with Cake Adventures and Culture.



I first arrived at Irish Investigations to take a look at a photo contribution Jim McKeever made to the WordPress Photo101 class. He is a long distance runner who writes about people who have left an impression on him, and whose stories he does not want to see lost.  Go read the story of Gertis McDowell, a man who marched with Martin Luther King in Birmingham, a person of deep faith known as the Mayor of Marshall Street in Syracuse New York. In his passing, Mr McDowell was first honored with a tribute piece in a digital outlet of the Post-Standard newspaper, and then publicly attacked and publicly vilified by internet trolls. Jim McKeever speaks in a clear strong voice about the issue of anonymous internet ridicule, an issue that all of us who blog should care deeply about too. Thank you Jim McKeever .


I stopped in to see  Lotta Wanner and found a true and faithful example of what the characteristics of a ‘personal blog’ are. Lotta has worked as crew on a sailboat in the Bahamas,  backpacked in New Zealand and Australia, owned a cafe, and is in the midst of a reinvention of herself and is going to share the journey on her blog. I am new to blogging, and know many others are too.  Here is an example of someone who is kindly and gently moving forward in her life and writing about it in a very personal and positive voice. She also has a Swedish language version.



I read an amazing story called On A Train I’m Remembering. You can read it too at Angieinspired. 

Here is a few sentence tease:

“The white wooden church next door, has been condemned
And belongs to them. They are going to fix it up, get closer
To God; preach the gospel, bring in some pews. But all they
Manage to lug in is a TV set and a coffee table to rest their
Beer cans on.  Sweaty, they leave rings. And I’m too good for this.
Only I don’t know it yet.”

Angie really is inspired, and her entire website reflects it. I really look forward to visiting her website  often and reading her writing.


Great M. Herron is a lyric coloratura soprano, a cantor, has a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education, a Master’s Degree in Opera Performance, and a one woman cabaret show called “Soprano Smother.” You can find  a great piece of writing on Leonard Nimoy, Spock to those of us who enjoyed Star Trek and his character.


Thank you to everyone and have a great weekend!




Pop In: Sunday Blog Visits

Good Sunday Morning Everyone!

Shout out to Smiley Like I Mean It  for giving last week’s Sunday Blog Visit        a reblog on his website! Thank you.

Let’s go to British Columbia to visit Lardeau Valley Time. My spirits were lifted to know that environments overflowing with unspoiled abundance and beauty still exist on the planet. Imagine the gift of having retired there with an excellent eye and matching camera gear? Imagine the gift of a WordPress website created to share those photos and experiences with us? I sat mesmerized looking at close up photos of Grizzlie Bears, Salmon Spawns, and then I got to the Eagles and I caught my breath! The Last Hurrah is imposing and dazzling.


Broke’ n China is riveting, fast, often hard to read, I kept on reading, no choice but to keep on reading,  and I think often brutal honest.“How Facebook and social Media Saved my life in a country where they are illegal” is the descriptive phrase for the site. This young man is writing raw here. I read Naked and realized I had met men like him when I was young, and I had met men like him as an old woman, and it was interesting to finally hear it said out loud what their thinking process had actually been. I wanted to tell him that women can and often do think like that too. Written in spewing forth prose form. I do not believe that Facebook saved him. I think he is saving himself with his writing, even though he claims to hate the process.

 Writing Moose is written by Nicole Sharp. She says she ‘is  a writer who is trying, like Hemingway to write one good sentence.’  I think she wrote alot of good sentences in her piece called From My Bookshelf To Yours.  For the last year I have been sorting through a library full of books that goes back to Nancy Drew in 3rd grade, through my burning obsession with Sam Irwin years and charging right through until planning my retirement with Suzie Orman.  I am just humbled how well she captured the experience of what our friends the books are to us, and what it is like to let go of them. She takes us on the journey of reducing  herself to ten boxes of volumes.  I was shocked that she did it,  but hey, she is decades younger than I am!  She is an excellent writer, and whether you are downsizing your books and need someone to share your pain with, or you want to read about what a writers life looks like in this twenty-first century, Nicole Sharp is soooo good!

 Pacific Paratroopers is an aviation site full of Pacific War era information.       While my own piloting experience is limited to a Cessna Skyhawk 172, and sadly my education and knowledge of US history spotty…perhaps that is why I find this site so interesting is the very personal human face it  puts on the time frame and events.   There are first hand accounts, sections on the Korean War, Vietnam, World War Two, and my favorite which was           Letters Home.  There have been contributions to this site of knowledge, experiences, found items in trunks and scrapbooks, photos. The political and military cartoons provide an insight and perspective of such clarity to the various time-frame. And of course there is the Lake Boga Flying Boat Museum which is a great place to learning about the  planes. A great and important website.
On Jannistyles you will find a beautiful sonnet called Future.  I hesitate to comment as I believe you must read it with your own fresh eyes and heart.  Janni also has a book of short stories called One Part Good .  It is such a great pleasure to read a  fresh new voice. Go listen to Janni’s voice!



This is what Joefingas has to say for himself live from Niceville Florida:

I am a songwriter, poet, blues singer, and a boogie woogie piano player. I have a grandson but I have no children of my own. All my women have wised up and left me. I was a bum, a wino, a drug/alcohol counselor, a prevention/intervention specialist and a pretender. I have no more time to pretend.

You must go read White Flag Surrender  and let this lived and living in real  time performance artist speak to you.

That is it for this week. I thank all of you who are supporting my efforts here,  hope there is something here of interest for you.