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Month: July 2013

What’s a Noun Blogger to Do? Top 10 Things I Learned at BlogHer13

Okay, I’m a Noun Blogger. Now what? I could go on and on. But I won’t. Instead: My Top 10 take-homes from BlogHer13: Be brief. I churn out 850 and 1500 without looking up. Most blog posts are about 300 words. My first exercise to this end: split this post into three. In my head, I planned this post as an essay. what i learned, my vision, and my game plan. I can tease my readers a little. If the writing is good, they still might not come. I neet to network with other bloggers. Yes, I already have my…

BlogHer13: Desperately Seeking Clarity

 This is BlogHer Conference #4 for me:  Chicago, New York, San Diego, Chicago.  Each time, I’m blown away by the number of people, the sponsors, and most of all, the changing landscape of blogging.

Image representing BlogHer as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase


I focus on Monetization and “Blog to Book.”


I gotta get a platform before I write my book.  The book can’t be the blog.  Okay, I knew that.  I have two blogs, both promoting my writing in different ways.  I gotta get more active in Twitter, Instagram, get some buzz going, and keep it professionally personal.  Hmmm… I confess some overwhelmedness.

I met Gladys on Day 1 of BlogHer13.

“What do you like best?”  Gladys, a newbie asks.

I give Gladys a guilty grin:  “The SWAG.”

Gladys and I talked about blogging and life.  She’s a single mother of a 21 year-old daughter.  Gladys just finished a stint working on organic farms in Chicago.  Soon she will be moving to Boston to start college.  Gladys is here to figure out what she’s going to blog about, and how to do it.  She is quick as lightning and everything she hears gets translated into practical ideas for her next steps.  I am in awe.

Yes, I love the SWAG.  But the picture is here for symbolic reasons.  After three years of blogging, I can say I’m like this pile of swag.  There is some organization (look closer, there’s health, toys, tech, beauty, cleaning, coupons, and food; all in neat little sections of my dining room table. (There’s also a polar bear and a vitamin organizer, not from BlogHer13.  How’d that happen?)

But where’s the focus?

BlogHer13 Swag


Photo Friday: Anderson Japanese Garden

This week, after visiting Duckie’s doctor, we visited Anderson Japanese Garden. Soooo much fun. And sooo nice to get a break from the 90 degree heat. One set of grandchildren (5) and my other daughter, Beanie, joined Loved-One and me. We fed the koi, and the baby duckies. We walked the shady paths and “meditated” in the zen gardens. The kids’ favorite: the Fairy Butts. Mine: listening to children banter with each other, and Love-One making like Pinnochio. The pictures are quite dappled and shadowy. Shade can do that.

Down the Rabbit Hole and Back: Osteomyelitis Part 3

There might be enough for anyone to digest here.  If you are interested in reading Part 1 and Part 2 of this series please follow these links:  WWII:Osteomyelitis as Veterans:Duckie (Putting a Healthcare Puzzle Together) and Part 2:  Osteomyelitis, Solving a Healthcare Problem. Now Duckie is at the recovery side of surgery number 2, and readying herself for surgery number 3.  Not Dr. Bone, not Mayo Clinic.  A new doctor, I’ll call Dr. TraumBone.  Four weeks after Dr. Bone said Duckie needed an expert in trauma, we met Dr. TraumBone.  Why did it take so long? As I explained in Part…

Stay-cation 2013

Every summer, for as long as I can remember, I go camping.  For the past 10 years or more, that means a trip to Van Buren State Park on Lake Michigan.  See the background to this post?  That’s last year’s Lake Surf.  (Well, it will be until I change the background in September. )  I love the Lake. Grandchildren, children, Love-one and I camp for about a week straddling a weekend in July. Mom and my sisters and brothers and their families join us for the weekend.  Not this July.  Because of Duckie’s osteomyelitis, and the danger of her breaking…

Mediterranian Lifestyle: Food, Friends, and Fun

I asked my Physician’s Assistant whether it’s true that it’s normal for women to gain 10 pounds each decade of their adult life.

“Yes it is,” she said.  “You’re doing just fine.”

I never asked what “just fine” meant.  That said, on the plus side, I managed to hold off two decades of weight gain.  On the minus side, in spite of all my self-talk:

“It’s ridiculous to believe you should look like you did in your 20s.  That makes about as much sense as the pre-pubescent wish to never grow breasts or have a period.”

“It ain’t gonna happen girlfriend.  Stop fretting.”

“You need a little reserve.  Grandmas are supposed to be soft.”

“There are other numbers more important, like cholesterol, blood pressure, angle of mobility, heart rate, activity level….”

I wish to be thinner.  I have narrow shoulder, a size Small, and I just look and feel better if my hips are at least a size Medium.  So I watch my calories, I study the latest diets, I exercise, and I try.

Meet Jim Barfield, Lawyer, Judge, Family Man and New Author


Would you like a romantic summer read that is jam-packed with historical information?  Boxcars, by Jim Barfield, just may be the ticket.

Be sure to add a comment to this post and your name will be entered into a drawing to win a copy of Jim Barfield’s premier novel.

Boxcars tracks the adventure and epiphanies of two hunted Nazi outcasts, a young Roma named Elsa, and David, a teenage Jewish violinist, turned French Resistance fighter.  They see each other through the fog and smoke of a train wreck.   Detined to cross paths again, they begin to rely on each other and deepen their relationship.  David and Elsa find that despite their different backgrounds, they have more in common that their Nazi enemy.

How and why any author gets his start is intriguing.  Some authors know right from the beginning

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