Monday, February 3, 2014

Harry and Hermione?

Oh my gosh, really?  Well according to AFP (Agence France-Presse), JK Rowling admitted she made a mistake by having Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger marry and that the two would likely end up in marriage counseling.  "For reasons that have very little to do with literature and far more to do with me clinging to the plot as I first imagined it, Hermione ended up with Ron," Rowling says in an interview with Wonderland magazine.   

I know this is not earth shattering news but to writers it brings up all the choices that must be made in order to produce a story, especially a series.  Should I pair these two together?  Is it realistic?  Does it move the plot and in which way? Is it the right way? Is their relationship  strong enough to last three books? If not, how can I make it better? 

Oy, the decisions! And that's just a few of the questions. It's just nice to see even a well respected writer as Ms. Rowling can second guess her work. There's hope for me yet. 

Do you cling to certain parts of your story because it's how you thought it should flow when you first imagined it?

If you're a published writer and some time has gone by since the release of your book, have you ever wished you had done something differently in that story? 


I'm starting something new.  Every first post of the month will have an idea for recycling or up-cycling . I'll do a run for six months and see what everyone's reaction is to it and take it from there. Hope you find the ideas new and/or interesting. ~ Donna

Okay, so my first recycling idea is something I thought up and it has worked very well.  My eggs come in those Styrofoam cartons which I always feel guilty throwing out just so they can sit in a landfill for years and years.

My solution is to use them as packing material. I line the bottom and part way up the sides of the carton before I start placing my package(s) in it.  Then continue lining as more parcels are added and cover the last package with another layer.  It's almost like a protective foam box. 

If this was a real packing job, I would have cut some to fit on the other sides and fill in that empty space on the bottom.  But since it isn't, I didn't want to waste the cartons.

They're easy to cut to size.  You can either use the whole carton or the section where the eggs sit in. You can use them between packages for more cushion.  I have used part of the lid to cover bows so they won't get crushed.  The product is light, sturdy and not as messy as "peanuts". They also don't take up that much storage room if you open them and stack inside each other.  Hope you like this idea and give it a try.

Monday, January 27, 2014

What Do You Believe?

It is said we can change the way we are by how we think. In an article on the Mayo Clinic website it states, "Positive thinking often starts with self-talk. Self-talk is the endless stream of unspoken thoughts that run through your head every day. These automatic thoughts can be positive or negative. Some of your self-talk comes from logic and reason. Other self-talk may arise from misconceptions that you create because of lack of information".
If the thoughts that run through your head are mostly negative, your outlook on life is more likely pessimistic. If your thoughts are mostly positive, you're likely an optimist — someone who practices positive thinking."

 But can you turn those negative habits into positive ones?  

Carolyn Kaufman, a psychologist, writing in, says " A self-fulfilling prophesy is a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it is already true. . . Our expectation that we will see a particular outcome changes our behavior, which shapes the way others see us.  In turn, others provide the feedback we've set ourselves up to get, which serves to reinforce the original belief.

In her book, THINKING WRITE, Kelly L. Stone says we can program our subconscious with one line, declarative statements.  These statements are phrased in the present text so the subconscious will act on them now.  When you say "I will" the subconscious thinks that  action is for sometime in the future and will not respond with the wanted outcome. Some examples of these declarative statements are:
I write easily and well every day.
I am creative.
I meet my word count ever day.
I am a fast writer.

The results aren't instantaneous and it might be a while for the subconscious to take hold.  Also, they, the statements, need to be backed up by actions and desire to become true.

Do you feel by saying such things and backing them with positive action, you can change your habits? I'm not so sure it would work with everything.  I'm a slow writer because my ideas come slowly and feel no amount of desire or talking to myself will increase my speed.  Ms. Stone says make yourself write faster, but how can I do that if the ideas aren't there?  Maybe I should start with the first suggestion - I write easily and well everyday.  Hey , it's worth a try. : )

What are your thoughts about this? Is it really positive thinking or the action of positive changes and/or decisions?

I'll leave you with another little thing I found that I do believe in.

Watch your thoughts, they become words.
Watch your words, they become actions.
Watch your actions, they become habits.
Watch your habits, they become your character.
Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

First American Women

Time has a way of blurring events and shoving them to the back. We forget where we once had been and how we got to where we are today.  On the backs of others, our freedoms and choices were won. Here's a partial list of American women firsts whose small and large steps brought us to what we take for granted.

Anne Catherine Hoof Green takes over her late husband's printing and newspaper business, becoming the first American woman to run a print shop. The following year she is named the official printer for the colony of Maryland.

Anne Parrish establishes, in Philadelphia, the House of Industry, the first charitable organization for women in America.

Mary Kies becomes the first woman to receive a patent, for a method of weaving straw with silk.

Elizabeth Blackwell receives her M.D. degree from the Medical Institution of Geneva, N.Y., becoming the first woman in the U.S. with a medical degree.

Rebecca Lee Crumpler becomes the first black woman to receive an M.D. degree. She graduated from the New England Female Medical College.

1865, November 11
President Johnson signed a bill to present Dr. Mary Edwards with the Congressional Medal of Honor. She is the only woman to ever receive that award. 

Elizabeth Cady Staton was the first woman to run for the U.S. House of Representatives as an independent from New York, even though she didn't have the right to vote.

Arabella Mansfield is granted admission to practice law in Iowa, making her the first woman lawyer. A year later, Ada H. Kepley, of Illinois, graduates from the Union College of Law in Chicago. She is the first woman lawyer to graduate from a law school.

Victoria Claflin Woodhull becomes the first woman presidential candidate in the United States when she is nominated by the National Radical Reformers.

Belva Ann Lockwood becomes the first woman admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Belva Lockwood, first woman admitted to practice law before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Sarah E. Goode, was the first African-American woman to receive a patent for a bed that folds up into a cabinet.

Susanna Medora Salter becomes the first woman elected mayor of an American town, in Argonia, Kansas.

 Alice Guy Blaché, the first American woman film director, shoots the first of her more than 300 films, a short feature called La Fee aux Choux (The Cabbage Fairy).

Juanita Kreps becomes the first woman director of the New York Stock Exchange.  She later becomes the first woman appointed Secretary of Commerce.

Susan La Flesche graduated  from the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania, making her the first Native American woman (Omaha) to receive a medical degree.

Nellie Tayloe Ross, of Wyoming, became the nation's first woman elected governor. She served for two years

1931, December 10
Jane Addams received the Nobel Peace Prize

Patsy Takemoto Mink, of Hawaii, was the first Asian-American woman elected to Congress.

Shirley Chisholm was the first African-American woman in Congress.

Sandra Day O'Connor was the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court.

Sally Ride first woman to go into space during the space shuttle Challenger's STS-7 mission.

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen became the first Hispanic woman elected to Congress

Dr. Antonia Novello is made U.S.  Surgeon General.  She is also the first Hispanic to hold that position.

Carol Moseley Braun is the first African-American woman elected to the U.S. Senate.

Mae Jemison is the first African-American woman astronaut

Janet Reno is the first female Attorney General.

Geraldine Ferraro is the first woman, on a major party ticket, to run for vice president.

Madeline Albright is sworn  in as U.S. Secretary of State.

Lt.Col. Eileen Collins is the first woman astronaut to command a space shuttle mission.

Condoleeza Rice was the first African-American woman Secretary of State

Nancy Pelosi becomes first woman Speaker of the House.

Sources: Rutgers, NASA,,,,,,, Fact Monster,

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

To All for 2014 - Thank you

What's with  New Year's resolutions? Maybe I don't care for them because I've never kept one throughout my life.  Why not do positive small changes that are obtainable, instead? The Huff Post had a decent article regarding this.  I don't know if I'll make a contract with myself but a few things I'll be doing this year is feeding my passion more - less goof off time, showing my appreciation for someone (especially family), write something I'm grateful for each day (hope I don't bore myself with any repeats lol) and to exceed my comfort zone.  I think these are doable.

What changes are you thinking of making?

                                                             #  #  #

According to Blogger, I receive views from all over the world. I kind of have my doubts about that because their stats never seem to match each other, but in case it's true, I want to thank all of you for visiting throughout the year and wish you a peaceful, happy, and enriching new year. Here's to a new start and better respect for each other and the earth which we depend on to live.

Wünschen Ihnen ein friedliches, glückliches, neues Jahr und bereichernd.

متمنيا لكم سنة جديدة السلمية، سعيدة، ومثرية.


Ik wens u een rustig, gelukkig en verrijkende nieuwe jaar.

En vous souhaitant une nouvelle année paisible, heureux, et enrichissante.

Σας ευχόμαστε μια ειρηνική, ευτυχισμένη, και εμπλουτίζοντας το νέο έτος.

מאחל לך שנה של שלום, שמחה, ומעשירה חדשה.

आप एक शांतिपूर्ण, खुश, और समृद्ध नए साल की बधाई.

Ar mian leat go síochánta, sona, agus a shaibhriú bhliain nua.


Życząc Państwu spokojny, szczęśliwy, i wzbogacenia nowego roku.

Желаю вам мирного, счастливого и обогащения новый год.

Le deseamos una pacífica, feliz y enriquecedora año nuevo.

Yang ingin anda yang aman, gembira, dan memperkaya tahun baru.

Желимо вам мирну, срећну и обогаћујући нову годину.

Бажаю вам мирного, щасливого і збагачення новий рік.

Toivotan teille rauhallinen, onnellinen, ja rikastuttava uusi vuosi.

Note: If I didn't give my wish in your language, I apologize. The Blogger audience list only goes up to ten entries and I can remember just a few of the others. If the translation came out wrong, it's Google's fault. It's suppose to translate into Wishing you a peaceful, happy, and enriching new year.  : )  ~ Donna

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas

Just want to wish everyone a warm, happy, memory-filled Christmas.  Please be safe.
~ Donna

Sunday, December 15, 2013

10 Tips for Handling Holiday Stress

Ah yes, the Christmas season is upon us and as the hustle and bustle increases so does the stress. Most of the time we can handle it, sometimes we can't. When those times hit there are ways to combat them.  Here are a few of the several ways I found on  that can be applied all through the year, not just during the holidays. 

First you must realize that "until you accept responsibility for the role you play in creating or maintaining it, your stress level will remain outside your control".  Know what you can and can't do.  If the church choirmaster asks you if you can make ten matching halos and wings for the children's choir and you really don't have the time.  Say no.  You won't go to hell for it.  If you’re child asks you to drive him/her somewhere and you’re really swamped with other things – say no. You won't be reported to the Child Protection Agency for voicing it.

Put the most important/necessary tasks of your to-do list on top and the least at the bottom. If it has very little importance you might consider not doing it at all. 
See if you can volunteer some of the others in your family to help with some of the special cleaning, decorating and chores that are a part of "getting ready".  I make a list of everything that needs to be done. I then tell my family members to pick a chore, put their name next to it and cross it off when it’s completed.  It works in my house, maybe it will it yours.

You don't have to be an angel, so if there's something bothering you, talk it out.  Don't let it come to a boil inside until it blasts out making you sound like a shrilling grinch.

Keep things in perspective.  If something is irritating you, ask yourself will it matter in a month?  A year? Is it really worth getting upset over? If the answer is no, focus your time and energy elsewhere.  

Think of things that are positive, that includes, besides rainbows, puppies and kittens; your own good qualities and strengths such as compassion, creativity, honesty, courage, and/or loyalty, to name a few. Also try to think more positively.  If you feel everything is going wrong, think, I can get through this if I take it one step at a time. Or I’ve been through this before, I can do it again.

No one's perfect, so don't demand perfection from yourself.  Even Martha Stewart makes mistakes, though she does use the word perfect a lot.

Don't try to control those things that you can't.  You can control how you will react but some things you don't have any power over, like Uncle Joe.

Get enough sleep. Studies have shown that people function best after seven to eight hours of sleep.

Try to exercise.  It helps to boost endorphins and reduce stress—and research shows that 20 minutes each day is all that is needed to experience benefits.

And lastly do something for fun once a day.  Throw in a CD or grab your i-pod and dance until you feel a smile coming on. Put together a puzzle with your family. Go to a park and take pictures. Do something silly either by yourself or with loved ones.

Another good site for tips is the American Heart Association

Hope this helps a little bit.  Have a wonderful and hopefully calmer holiday season.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

What IS Nora Roberts?

At our bi-monthly writing meeting, the discussion turned to the trials and tribulations, the angst, and the periodic hair pulling of putting together a story. Somehow the talk moseyed over to the topic of Nora Roberts. For those who don't know, Nora Roberts, with the release of Whiskey Beach in April 2013, has written two hundred and five books.  Thirty-seven of which were under her pseudonym, J.D. Robb.

"I heard she's not human," said Hanna, whose eyes were still red from her breakdown minutes before after telling us about the battle she's been having with her present work.  

She glanced around the cafe.  Her voiced lowered to barely a whisper as she leaned forward. "She's an experimental android spy made by the military. NORA is actually short for Natural Observational Robotic Agent.  But all her reports displayed such creative flair  everyone wanted to read them and were trying to sneak copies out.  Of course the military couldn't have that. "

"They tried reprogramming her, but it didn't work and decided to let her run on her own, monitoring how long she could operate before malfunctioning.  They never expected her to be this good for this long. Plus the Department of Defense gets a percentage of the book sales, so they're real happy."

"But she smokes.  She has to be real," said Mary.

"They added that for realism," replied Hanna.

"I don't think so." Mary continued, "I read Nora's an alien from a literary planet.  She has two brains that work independently from each other and has two sets of arms.  That way she can work on a couple of stories at the same time. She just picked up the smoking habit while on this planet."

"And where the hell did you read that?" asked Cyndi, whose voice whipped with disdain.

"From a reputable newspaper."    

"Yeah, well I wouldn't call The Backdoor Inquisitor a professional journalistic paper."

"I didn't say I read. . ."  

"Oh come on.  I  know you grab that rag every time you go shopping and that bit of info is just their speed."

Mary's fingers tugged at the buttons  of her blouse.

"Okay ladies, let's calm it down here," Keira, always the peacemaker of the group, said as she flipped her hands up in a crossing guard gesture to stop them. 

"You're both wrong," said Tawny.  "She has eight clones tucked away in a remote cabin, each turning out a different story.  Nora, herself, only writes one book every three years."

Cyndi quirked an eyebrow.

"Really! I heard it from a friend, who heard it from a friend, who was made privy to it by her  sister-in-law, who got it from her mother, who heard it from her hairstylist, who happens to be the same person Nora uses."

"Did you breathe at all through that whole sentence?"  Cyndi stifled a chuckle.

Tawny's eyes narrowed.  Her hands, resting on her lap, clenched into fists as she drew in a deep breath  through her nose.

"Admit it ladies, we're just jealous and wish we could be as prolific," Keira threw in before more could be said.  She sighed as she gazed at the sullen faces and nodding heads, then raised her coffee cup. 

"To Nora, whatever she may be."

We lifted our cups to meet hers.  "To Nora."