"Keep scribbling! Something will happen." Frank McCourt

Monday, May 18, 2015


You need to know this about me. I learned to type on a typewriter. Manual. In the classroom, there was one electric typewriter, and we all had one turn using it.
I subscribe to Grammar Girl (Mignon Fogarty) because, as we all know, my grammar and punctuation skills are lacking. I nearly had a breakdown reading a recent article on the spacing between a period at the end of a sentence and the beginning letter of the next sentence.
I take periods seriously.
Grammar Girl said, and I quote, I haven’t been tempted to type two spaces for decades. It’s not like quitting smoking. I don’t find myself in nostalgic typewriting situations and suddenly get hit by an unexpected urge to type two spaces.”
I knew about the rule, but I didn't realize we're talking "decades" that the rule has existed. Were computers even used two decades ago? Okay they were, but barely.I touched my first computer in 1982--a Tandy. The next time would be 1991. 

Now back to periods.
GG may not have the urge to hit her space bar twice, but I still do. I can’t help it. I’m an impulsive, grammarless girl with twitchy fingers.
Do you know why we did the two-space after the period? We can blame the typesetters of yesteryear for that rule. “The story of spaces after periods is often told as though monospaced typewriter fonts needed two spaces after a sentence for good readability, and that the wide availability of proportional fonts on computers led to the switch to one space." Grammar Girl (Source)
What’s next?
  • I let you into my personal space?
  • I read with my eyes closed?
  • We suck in each other’s used air?  
  • And…howaboutsentenceswithnospacebetweenthewords? How do you like that one?
That’s all, except, please help me feel older by telling me on which machine you learned to type: Manual typewriter, electric typewriter or computer keyboard. If you say your cell phone, I will ignore you. 
Read the entire entertaining article on spacing after periods at Quick and Dirty Tips, here.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Sunday Reflection: In the Know

When my daughter was a three or four years old, she said a bad word and was upset that I gently told her not to say the word again. The injustice to her (I believe) wasn't that I corrected her for saying the word, but rather that she didn't know she wasn't supposed to say it. That day, she asked for a written list of “bad words”, that she shouldn’t say even though she couldn’t read many words, at that time.

The world puts in front of me all kinds of glittering things--the newest and the greatest. Some things are not good for me. Some things could harm me long-term, but nevertheless,they remain a temptation. It would be nice to have a list, in front of me, of all things that could have an adverse impact on my future or health. 

Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law and obey it with all my heart.

Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight.

Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain.

Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.

It's not a crime to enjoy life, but not everything offered to us is beneficial or healthy. Thinking and praying before reacting, to those offerings, is the key.

My prayer: Dear Lord, I ask that you help me to "turn my eyes away from worthless things" so that I will experience less chaos and more blessings all of the days of my life. 


Scripture source: Holy Bible, http://biblegateway.com  

Monday, May 11, 2015

A philosophical question for you…

I waited all of April to ask you this important question: Are things that get stuck in your head better or worse than things that get stuck on your shoe?

Head stuck:

  • Song lyrics from grade school: Hon.es.ty no matter what the consequences be, it's the very best pol.i.cy. (I still hate that song.)
  • Phrases or quotes: Awesome possum, Keep calm and carry on.
  • Negative opinions.
  • The one awkward thing that happened in the past that you think is forgotten, then someone brings it up and now it's stuck in your head all over again.

Shoe stuck:
  • Worms that you can't see in the night and you step on.
  • Used Gum
  • Poo
  • Tar
  • Toilet paper
What do you think? Which is worse, stuck in the head or stuck on the shoe?

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Sunday Reflection: Beautiful You!

There could never be a more beautiful you
Don't buy the lies, disguises and hoops, they make you jump through
You were made to fill a purpose that only you could do
So there could never be a more beautiful you 
(A More Beautiful You)
Listening to Jonny Diaz sing A More Beautiful You” on the radio this week, reminded me about all the fussin’ people do to look pretty on the outside.  Sometimes I feel a bit counterfeit because of my hair color, my painted nails and makeup. I also wear clothes that hide my “real” body.

What are we trying to prove when we buy into the world’s standard of external beauty?

We are MORE than outward beauty. We are:
  • Daughters and sons
  • Mothers and fathers
  • Friends and neighbors
  • We are touch
  • Laughter
  • Brain
  • We are heart
  • Love and loved
  • We are made in the image of God
“The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV)

Stop surrendering to the lies. Stop judging yourself through others' opinions. Be the beautiful you, God intended you to be.

“So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! “2 Corinthians 5:16-17 (NIV)

My prayer: Dear Lord, help me to never look at myself through the eyes of hate and criticism, but to focus on the things you see within me.


Monday, May 04, 2015

A Writing Schedule

Today, I am thrilled to host my guest Alex Cavanaugh. He has a new book release, Dragon of the Stars (more about that later). His topic today is about scheduling time to write--cause if you don't make time to write (or whatever your passion be), um, you won't. Deep huh?

A Writing Schedule That Works
by Alex Cavanaugh
Writers are always trying to cram things into their days. We have jobs, families, writing, social media, hobbies, and church or other obligations. Plus don’t forget maintaining the household, eating, and sleeping. It’s a lot to fit into one twenty-four hour span.

While we don’t have time to do everything, I think most people have time to do what they really need to do. Many things can mess up our schedule, but distractions are what do most of us in. Most of us haven’t really prioritized either.

I joke that I have clones to help me. While that would be nice, I really don’t have any. I don’t have a teleporter or time machine, either. I’ve just learned to prioritize my obligations and set aside blocks of time to get things accomplished.

So I’m going to outline what I’ve done to bring order to my life and be productive with my time.

First, I’d like to challenge you. Take one week and write down everything you do. Print out a grid with all seven days and all twenty-four hours. Note what you are doing every hour. Has it been a week? Great, we’ll continue.

Look at what you wrote down. How many unproductive hours did you have? (Not counting sleeping and eating – those are important!) Note where you basically screwed off and didn’t do anything worthwhile. And it’s all right to have hobbies and down time. We need that. But did you have down time before your down time?

Now list everything you need and want to be doing. Rank them in order of importance. Now, take another of those weekly grids and plan your week. What time will you allow for social media? What time will schedule writing? Plan out the whole week.

Now, no one can live by a set pattern every week. There are outside activities and unforeseen events. But you can get yourself into a rhythm and learn to set aside time for the things that matter regardless of what else is happening. If you have two hours set aside for writing on Wednesday night, then ignore the Internet and the television and write.

Can you do it? That’s up to you. All I know is that setting a schedule works for me. I don’t write all the time, but when I am working on a book, the writing is scheduled for two hours every single night. Sometimes three hours. And I budget the rest of my time to include working, practicing my guitar, blogging, time with my wife, and eating and sleeping. Plus even some down time. (Because I am a movie junkie.)

You want time to write? Find a schedule that works for you!

Dragon of the Stars

By Alex J. Cavanaugh
Science Fiction – Space Opera/Adventure/Military
Print ISBN 9781939844064 EBook ISBN 9781939844057
What Are the Kargrandes? http://whatarethekargrandes.com/

The ship of legends…

The future is set for Lt. Commander Aden Pendar, son of a Hyrathian Duke. Poised to secure his own command and marriage to the queen’s daughter, he’ll stop at nothing to achieve his goals.

But when the Alliance denies Hyrath’s claim on the planet of Kavil and declares war on their world, Aden finds his plans in disarray. Entrenched in battle and told he won’t make captain, Aden’s world begins to collapse. How will he salvage his career and future during Hyrath’s darkest hour?

One chance remains–the Dragon. Lost many years prior, the legendary ship’s unique weapon is Hyrath’s only hope. Can Aden find the Dragon, save his people, and prove he’s capable of commanding his own ship?

Purchase Dragon of the Stars at:

Alex J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design, graphics, and technical editing. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Online he is the Ninja Captain and founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. He’s the author of Amazon Best-Sellers CassaStar, CassaFire, and CassaStorm.

You can find Alex at:

Thanks, Alex, for stopping by and sharing your knowledge on writing!

Do you know Alex? (I know that was a silly question.) Have you read his books? When is your most productive time (writing or not) during the day?