Love in Ten Lines – Simple Love

Some of my dear bloggy friends, Ivy at Uncharted and Christina and Tony at The Plagued Parent tapped me for the Ten Lines about Love poetry challenge (or whatever the actual name is).

I put it on my to-do list and promptly forgot about it. Then I wrote the poem and promptly forgot about it.  So finally, here is my offering. I generally prefer my poetry writing to be less proscribed, but I also find it difficult to resist a challenge.

Simple Love

I love that we

Have a simple love.

Love is homely things

Like clean sheets love

And chicken soup love.

It’s rainy day love

And quiet walks love

And bedtime secrets love.

I love the way

You simply love me.


And now I think I’m suppose to choose some others to write…and I have absolutely no idea because I think they’ve already done it. There are too many and I’ll feel bad if I forget someone, so if you want to write a ten-line poem about love, each line with only four words, and each line containing the word love, dive in! How about EVERYBODY do it and we can spread some love around?

Whoops! I forgot I’m supposed to include a quote about love. Everyone who knows me knows I’m a quote collector, so I merely had to go grab a favorite (or three…because I don’t do favorites).

To start us off, let’s go with Thoreau because you knew I would, right?

There is no remedy for love but to love more.

~ Henry David Thoreau

Next is a quote we have framed in our living room superimposed over a photo of a stack of books. I’ve tried to find the author, but the only answer I get is “anonymous.” So be it.

Every love story is beautiful, but ours is my favorite.

~ Anonymous

And finally, a few words from William Shakespeare. Because Shakespeare and I love him.

“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind,
And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.”
~William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream


Rotten Cat Wednesday

This is Cat One. When I took this photo, he was howling at me because the laundry basket was in “his” spot at the foot of our bed.20150412_213455[1]

And here he is happy after I removed the offending basket. After the photo, he immediately proceeded to lick himself enthusiastically. Nobody needs to see that.


Here we have Cat Three. He’s helping me clean the kitchen floor. He also hollers at me. He usually does it when he wants me to join him for a nap on our bad. Or in the middle of the night when he thinks I should wake up and play with him. Forget it, bud.

20150413_094626[1]And finally, our littlest cat, Cat Two. I have no idea what he’s doing. Probably just scooting around. He’s kind of bad at being a cat. But at least he doesn’t holler at me.


Want to know more about the Rotten Cats? Here are some of their greatest hits:

How a Self-Proclaimed Cat Hater Ends Up Living with Three Rotten Cats

Meet the Rotten Cats

The Tragedy of Three Rotten Cats

Top Ten Reasons the Three Rotten Cats Drive Me Insane

Rotten Cats are Good for Some Things

Household Uses for Rotten Cats

Descent into Rotten Cat Hell

Why My Cat is an @$$hole

The Tale of the Three Rotten Cats and the Very Bad Mask (or How to Scare a Rotten Cat)

Want more? Just hit the home page and click on the tag for “Rotten Cats.” I’m always kind of amazed how often they manage to sneak themselves into my blog posts.







Now Taking Center Stage – An Interview with Tamara Woods

Want to get inside the mind of a poet?

Today is your lucky day!

Making a stop on her blog tour and joining us for a brief interview this morning is Tamara Woods, author of The Shaping of an “Angry” Black Woman. If you have not experienced Tamara’s words through the page or through her videos, you really must. It’s gorgeous. Gorgeous! I’m a pretty discerning poetry consumer and Tamara’s work is the goods.

Banner for Tour

I’ve shared a couple of links for you at the end of this post so you can listen to Tamara talk about and read a bit of her poetry.

But first, go grab a fresh cup of coffee, get comfortable in your chair, and see what our lovely guest has to share with us while we chat her up!

Continue reading

1000 Voices Speak for Compassion AGAIN in April

The members of 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion are gearing up for another campaign!

This month, 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion is talking about nurturing. On April 20th, we will link up once again to flood the Internet with good and positive posts about nurturing.

1000speak March Nurturing

For my April post, I will talk about nurturing the Self. I’m sticking with the theme of self-compassion that I started with the initial campaign. It has become clear to me from reading other posts on compassion and reading the conversations in the comment sections that the concept of self-compassion is one many of us need to prioritize. Continue reading

TToT – Let’s Just Do This

Hello, Friends.

I’ve been flying only a bit above radar lately. I think I’ll be back to posting a bit in the week ahead. In particular, you should stop by on Tuesday, April 14th because I will be hosting a little virtual interview with the lovely Tamara Woods of PenPaperPad. Come check that out.

Now let’s get down to the business of being thankful… Continue reading

Confession Time

Friends, I’ve been hiding in a hole a bit.

I took a break from the Internet for a few days because I wanted to and needed to. And then I kind of didn’t want to come back to it. Ever.

I guess I’m going through a bit of an introspective period. Trying to figure things out. Trying to sort out some emotions. Trying to put things in their proper place and gain the proper perspective. Trying to decide which of my writing projects are worth bothering with, which of the ones I’ve stashed away from daylight should be brought out for some fresh air, and which just need to be scrapped. Trying to decide if I’m any kind of writer at all. Trying to decide exactly what career path I’m trying to create for myself and why none of the potentials seem to be gaining any momentum. Trying to figure out why the world is speeding ahead at full steam and I’m kind of stuck in the station.

I’m also still working through this latest bout of RA flare and trying to get my body to do what it is supposed to. It’s not cooperating. And that has me scared a bit about whether it means this is just a bad flare that needs help or whether it means I’ve hit a progressive stage. I’m getting very close to the point at which my doc says it’s time to call. I’ve never had to call before and I don’t want to now.

And then there’s regular life – the Hub, the Kidzilla, the Rotten Cats, chores, laundry, paperwork, holidays, every day life…

So I haven’t been around to read or leave comments very much. I haven’t entered conversations much. I haven’t responded to your chats or games. I’m trying to catch up because I don’t want to miss a word of what you have to say, but I’m afraid I may have to just hit that “mark all as read” button and start from scratch. It’s not personal; it’s just overwhelming.

So I’m just kind of here trying to figure things out.That’s all.


The Road to Starrdom – An Interview with Starr Bryson

Today I’m turning over my space to a new friend many of you already know – Starr Bryson. I met Starr recently through a pretty terrific bloggers group and the next thing I knew, I was helping out with blog tours for indie authors and loving every minute of it. 

As most of you know, I am in the process of reinventing myself in a number of ways so I decided to pick Starr’s brain a bit about her process of reinvention and how she arrived at the version of herself she is right now. 

What I love about Starr is that she is smart, funny, completely forthright, and delightfully easy to work with. Grab your coffee and listen in on our virtual sit-down…you’ll see what I mean.

Starr Bryson Blog Tour Interview April 7 2015

Tell us a little bit about your new business for those who may not know – what is it, why are you doing it, etc.? 

Starry Knight Word Slayers is the end result of the combination of two ideas. I have always wanted to have my own business (virtual and online) for my freelancing services. Something more than just a tab on my blog, an actual storefront to sell my wares, where I could keep a profile of my work and send my clients to.

Then I began doing book promotions and blog tours for local indie authors here in Pittsburgh, and I thought, “Now THIS needs a store!”

I love all things words. Writing. Reading. Sharing. I absolutely love helping authors to promote their books, it’s something I’m really passionate about.

What sort of career did you imagine for yourself when you were a child? In high school? College?

Oh, I always knew I’d be a New York Times bestselling author. *laughs* I did have stints where I wanted to be an actress and even a lawyer. But at the end of the day, I’ve always wanted to write.

This one has sort of an either/or to it – take either route. If your career IS what you imagined, what steps did you take along the way to arrive where you are today? If your career IS NOT what you imagined, what led you to end up where you are now?

My career is nothing at all like I imagined. I always thought I’d be writing novels. In this lofty dream of mine, I’d make a modest income. Fame is great, but I always said I’d be happy with just a handful of loyal readers. If I could make minimum wage writing books, I’d be happy with that.

Instead, I make more money than I ever thought I’d make tapping away at these keys, but I write everything ELSE. I write for other people, I write boring things. I can’t complain though, I do write for a living and I work from home.

This is why I really want to launch Starry Knight Word Slayers. I would be far happier and more satisfied if book promotions were my full time job. As it stands right now, I have a few clients, but not enough to hang up the freelancing hat.

The steps that led me to where I am are not happy ones. I’ve been through a lot of tragedies and made some really bad choices along the way, and sometimes even when I made the right choices, life dealt me some pretty hard blows. I sort of “fell into” the freelancing by accident after I had lost my job and started a blog.

What would you say is the most defining or important moment in your path to where you are in life right now?

As far as writing, I would say when my father brought me a typewriter home when I was 8 years old, and then paid for the typing classes to go with it. He always supported my craft.

The rest – well I’m not even where I want to be in life. I’m still trying to figure that one out.

Would you say that you have reinvented yourself at any point in your life? What led you to do so?

I’ve had to reinvent myself many times, unfortunately. When my oldest son died, I had to reinvent my entire life and figure out how to live in a world without him in it. Then I got a divorce. Then I became a mother again. There was another divorce. I’ve moved across the country and started over five times in my life. I’ve lost both of my parents – my father was especially a blow I’m still reeling from.  I’m adjusting to being a partial custody parent – which IS NOT AT ALL where I ever wanted to be as a Mother.  I had children so I could be a Mother, and not only half of the time.

I’m still figuring it all out and trying to make my life what I want it to be. Silver linings, lemonade and all of that.

What is your most memorable/favorite job or assignment as a writer?

I would have to say my current ongoing gig, writing entertainment journalism for The Web Graffiti. I get paid to write about movies and comic books, it doesn’t get much better than that. We’ve been on a hiatus for a few months while the e-zine underwent some changes, but I’m happy to say I’m back at it.

 What is the one job or assignment you wish you could forget?

*laughs* I can’t say that here.

Is there someone you would name as particularly influential in your past, someone who helped shaped your career now?

My father. He always believed in me and supported my writing. I remember he would take stories or poems I wrote to work with him to show his employees. He was always so proud of whatever I wrote. I miss him so much, every day. I still write for him. A collection of letters I like to imagine he’s still reading.

What advice would you offer someone just starting out as a writer or freelancer?

Don’t quit your day job! I’m only partially joking. I was thrust into this world when I lost my job, but if I had it to do over again I would have saved up a substantial nest egg and built up a client list before delving in full time.

Be picky if you can afford it.  Nothing will burn you out faster than churning out articles that are so boring you’d rather stick screwdrivers in your eyes. I actually lost the ability to write creatively, and dare I say it, the love of writing for a short while. I burned myself out by taking on all the jobs, even those I couldn’t stand.

Also, just because you work from home does not mean you should work 12 hour days and weekends. Give yourself a break. Get away from the computer once in a while. Set a work schedule, just like in the “real world”, and stick to it.

What advice would you offer someone just starting their own business?

Don’t do it. Ha, I joke.

Again, unlike me, don’t stumble onto the most fantastic idea you’ve ever had and land yourself gigs doing something you KNOW will make a great business when you don’t have a ton of money saved up. I’m having to run a crowdfunding campaign just to help me launch and I’m still working full time freelancing so I can pay the bills. I’m running book promotions, freelancing, running this crowdfunding campaign, and attempting to launch a business, all at the same time. (Never mind that I would like to SOMEDAY finish a book. *laugh*)

And I’m tired. I’m strung out, stressed out, burned out, and not following any of my own advice from above.

With perseverance and hard work, comes the fruition of dreams. I’ll get there.

If you’d like to support the business, head over and check out the Indiegogo Campaign. Donations are always welcome, but if you can’t afford to invest, please share with friends.  Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

Campaign LogoIndiegogo Campaign:



Bio Shot

Starr works from her home in Pittsburgh as a freelance writer.  Her professional work includes editing, Social Media marketing and management, ghost writing, content management and SEO for websites, entertainment journalism, and book promotion for self-published authors.  In the past, she has taught classes at writers’ conferences in Pittsburgh about freelancing as a career and the best practices for blogging and social media.

Starr’s creative writing ranges from humor laced snarkfests, gritty and painfully raw non-fiction all the way to the dark world of Erotica. The author behind The Insomniac’s Dream, she claims blogging was only the beginning of an amazing freelancing career.

In her spare time, Starr writes fiction and is working on a paranormal novel and companion serial.  In addition, she writes short stories and manages a local writing group.  When she’s not writing, Starr is kept busy by her two hilarious and fantastically disgusting boys.

Starr enjoys adult grape juice, reading in her non-existent spare time, the occasional Netflix binge, and connecting with other writers and her readers.  She loves Halloween, Zombies, and all things horror. She aspires to be a Vampire someday.

Her claim to fame is her caustic wit, copious swears, and an ongoing battle with insomnia.  You can catch up with Starr on her blog, Facebook, and Twitter.  You can see what Starr has published by visiting her Amazon Author Page.

Soup of the Week – Green Soup Surprise and a Side Car

Life is full of surprises, isn’t it?

Just about the time we felt sort of confident about the arrival of spring, temps dropped into the ridiculous range. Despite the warm temps today, the wind blew cold and the forecast says snow again. It may be just “a quick clipper,” but still.

No matter the temperature, though, there is always soup. I haven’t been sharing Soup of the Week too much lately because we’ve been doing a lot of repeats. I suppose I should find something to share in place of those. I’ll work on that. In the meantime, I have a double-feature for you today – a new spin on an old soup and a sandwich to go along.

Butternut Stoup 4


Let’s take a look… Continue reading