Thanks for checking into my blog!

As a "recovering" middle school teacher with a unique outlook on life, I stopped active teaching in 2010 and moved into another career path... writing! Here goes! In addition, I am a travel buff, forever baseball addict, movie fan, music fan, foodie extraordinaire, NCIS devotee, gardener, and more.

Just love writing for kids, travel writing and basic journalism. Pretty unusual, since I taught Home Economics! But there's a story here too - a non-fiction one or more...

Thursday, October 22, 2015

What now, my Brain?

Rule #23 - So FOCUS, already!

     Here we are at the end of October - already. Where has this year gone? What have you done this year? Better yet, what have you done today? Self, you are a writer, right? When did you last "write"?
     I'll tell you what I've been doing, tonight anyway. I've spent the evening reliving a recent trip to Ireland. I'm manning the blog for Chesapeake Harmony Chorus (a Sweet Adelines Group that I sing with) called "Beer, Harmony and Shamrocks, Too". We saw so much in eight short days that I'm still mentally processing the whole trip. And - in true writer's style - I'm a bit blocked. Wine hasn't worked. Diversion therapy hasn't worked Now it's time for some serious self-talk.
     Ok, Self - here goes:
     You have a lot you want to do. You've got PiBoIdMo coming up starting November 1 - like, next weekend. Your work space looks like a travel agent barfed all over it. You have maps of Ireland, souvenirs, a toy bus, theater tickets, a CD "tutorial" of Irish drinking songs, notes, notes and more notes all over your desk. You need to move stuff to get to the key board. It doesn't help that your TV is in the same room. Or that you are a devout Candy Crush addict. Or that you spent the last two hours going through chorus members' Facebook albums downloading pictures (note to self: cite when using the pictures). All that paper... and electronics cords... and chargers... and stuff...
     Oh, and you should probably do some cleaning too... And it would help to decorate for Halloween. 
     Self, how did you let things get away from you? Was it because you wanted to stay in Ireland? Hmmmmm....
     Well, Self, you're back to reality now. Time to move some of the paper elsewhere... but wait... not too far... you are doing the Picture Book Idea Month... one idea per day for thirty days of November...
     Where does your five-year-old character need to go next? I mean, can he resist this scenery?
Blarney Castle - home of the Blarney Stone
Beautiful Killarney
Pat Cohan's Pub - Cong, Ir. where they shot "The Quiet Man" in 1950's
      And all this fun?

Blarney Bear helping Professors Lupin and Snape with Wolfsbain

Dog hitching a ride along the Ring of Kerry
How to train a border collie - at Kissane Sheep Farm
Sheep gets naked at Kissane Sheep Farm
Deputy Lord Mayor of Dublin shows off his personal Coat of Arms

Minstrels serenading before dinner at Bunratty Castle
Welcome to Bunratty Castle
The pipes are calling!
Guess what this is... and it works, too!
     Ok, Self. You have your colored note cards. Focus now... blue cards are characters, major and minor. Pink cards are story line ideas and titles. Yellow cards are story arcs. You can do this in 2015, Self.
     Clear off the desk of travel items - and write a picture book idea for each one you clear off.
      And get focused! You can do this challenge...

Challenge Accepted 

Photos by Marge McGugan. No reuse without permission.


  1. Looks like you had a great trip! And great idea with the colored coded cards. I might try that this year. ~JEN Garrett

  2. Lovely photos. I want to visit Ireland, too! I'm gearing up and getting organized for PiBoIdMo, too.