Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Digging Up Words

Nothing is like the taste of a fresh, vine-ripened homegrown tomato. Yum, yum. Although planted late because of the torrential, continuous Spring rains, and suffering under the harsh record breaking heat of Summer and drought, our vines have given us some of those wonderful fruit this year.

It has taken effort. We dug the garden with a shovel, smoothed it with a rake, planted the seedlings, fertilized, watered and nurtured the plants. Gaining the tasty reward took a lot of preparation, patience, persistence, and perspiration. We got the result we wanted.

Every time I bite into the juicy red fruit I know the work was worth the effort. I find this a metaphor for whatever goal you want to achieve in life. Each takes preparation, patience, persistence, and perspiration.

My current writing goals are to complete an essay and a short story for two magazine contests. The process is like getting the garden dug and producing.

First, there is all this excess to weed out--excess distractions.

Second, all the thoughts need to be dug up and words smoothed out so ideas can be planted, germinate, and grow strong.

Third, I have to persist in doing what's necessary to make the fruit grow, ripen and become worthy of enjoying.

All of this takes much preparation and perspiration. More perspiration and patience, too, will come in later while awaiting the results of submitting the harvest of words.

Whether it will be a prize winner or not, the fruit of my mental labors will be sweet because of my achievement in getting the work done. Tasty.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Workshop Update: Last Call to Find Your Treasure!

If you are interested in a creative form of goal setting / prosperity thinking then come to this FREE workshop on Treasure Mapping.  In the hands-on workshop, you will create a visual aid to help you focus on what you want in your life.

Treasure Mapping can also be of use in plotting and creating characters for those who have the writing urge

Please let me know if you can come.  Bring a white (or other color) poster board, glue stick, magazines to cut up, and scissors. It will be fun! :)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Workshop Announcement: Treasure Mapping

Hi All--

Ready for another fun workshop?  Treasure Mapping is the topic of this one.  And no, it has nothing to do with Will Sparrow or pirates of any ocean.  It simply is a way for us to sail the seas of life with goals in mind.

Treasure Mapping is a visual method of setting goals which seems to be effective. It is also therapeutic  and creative because you cut, paste, and put a collage of items together.

Cost: Free (or bring an item like antibacterial gel or wet wipes for donation for Joplin)

Time: Wednesday, June 29th, 6 p.m.-9 p.m.

Location: Santa Fe Room, Library Station, Springfield.

Materials Needed: White poster board (your choice of size), scissors, glue stick, magazines you don't care if you cut up.

This is fun and while it isn't just for writers, the method can be used to develop characters or plot, too.

If you know of someone who might be interested it would be great if you'd let them know about the workshop.

Please let me know if you'd like to come.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Little Cat Feet

Anyone out there fans of Lilian Jackson Braun’s The Cat Who…mystery series? I’m sad to have learned that she passed on.  Koko and Yum Yum will likewise be missed.

Here’s another question for you—what is it about cats that make them good to have in mysteries? There are other stories out there that feature cat sleuths or sidekicks.

Cats do look at one with all-knowing eyes, or so it seems. Do they see into the misdeeds of us humans?

Even Diamond and Smokey, the little 11-week old outside kittens, settle down and stare at me when I talk to them. Sometimes the stare is bored, sometimes a bit contemptuous, sometimes wise.  They are too young to keep their feelings a secret from their caretaker.

Momma cat, Charcoal, is a different story. She solved the mystery of finding a home when someone cast her out, young and pregnant. She might have the bored, wise stare, but doesn’t show the contemptuous part.  She is too smart for that.

By the way, anyone want to adopt one or two adorable, gangly, gray youngsters who can perhaps read your mind?  

Warning: Don’t agree if you contemplate committing a crime.   

Who knows…they might be the future sleuth kitties of the world, although I don’t think either have all the extra whiskers that Braun gave Koko to give him special abilities.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Character Workshop Tuesday

Hi--This is a reminder about the FREE WORKSHOP on characters which is on Tuesday, May 31st.  It is at the Library Station in Springfield, and is in the Frisco Room.  We will start at 6 p.m. and end before 9 p.m.

Topics to be covered include, but aren't limited to: Character Psychology; Creating Characters; Memorable Characters.

Please come and have fun.  RSVP to .

If you are interested in attending, but can't come this time please let me know.  I may schedule another one if there is enough interest.

Happy writing!


Life never quite goes the way you plan. My fellow Missourians in Joplin experienced that in stark perspective last Sunday. For a time, my husband and I paced the floor and worried about the tornado reaching his sister who lives in nearby Webb City. Later that night she got through to us on her cell phone to let us know it hadn’t gotten that far.

Our family was one of the lucky ones because she and our nephew are safe. My heart and the hearts of my family go out to the ones who weren’t so lucky, their families and all the survivors. Bless you all.

The sky here in Springfield after that horrible event 60 or so miles away was absolutely, breathtakingly beautiful as the sun set. A double rainbow graced the storm’s end.

It’s all in the perspective.  Someone who hadn’t known about the tornado would probably have thought something about the sky being pretty.  My husband and I, aware of Joplin’s hard hit, stood in awe at the changing face of nature.

Today, I stand in awe of the many selfless volunteers who are helping Joplin’s survivors regain the perspective of their lives. No, life never quite goes the way you plan, but it goes on.  

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Mark Your Calendars: Character Workshop

Hello All!

Blogger hasn't been cooperating lately, but here I am finally getting to write in Vera's Version.  It's late and finding Blogger not bogged down boggled my mind. So I'll be brief.

I'm offering a FREE Character Workshop on May 31, 2011.  It begins at 6:00 p.m. and we will have the room until 9:00 p.m.  It will be at the Library Station in the Frisco Room.

Please spread the word--and let me know if you plan on coming.  You can email me at to RSVP or with questions.

Stay tuned for more details.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Spring Cleaning

My goodness, it has been a while since I’ve written in Vera’s Version. 

This week I’m afflicted by that most delightful of fevers -- Spring Fever -- and I’m sweating because of the nesting urge to do Spring Cleaning.  As I sit here typing these words I’ve already accomplished several Spring Cleaning tasks, including dusting off this blog.

A couple of others involve decorating.  If I were a bird I guess this would be feathering my nest to make it more comfortable.  Thank goodness I’m not a bird because I’d hate to eat insects, or lay eggs.  Though I’m positive I’ve laid many figurative ovals and I’ve heard that we all eat ‘x’ number of spiders and don’t even know it.  Do you think that happens while our mouths are open during a snore?

Scampering on, let’s talk about unfinished tasks that pile up.

For some reason I never could take time to paste two small paper waiters on the kitchen wall where a stark, painted division line occurs between the bright yellow kitchen and the almost-white dining area.  The border from which I saved the remnants and carefully cut out the two snooty waiters, who stand with their noses so far up in the air that their eyes aren’t visible, was put up years ago. 

Monday I carefully immersed the figures in water, then slid them into their places.  As I’d hoped they blended the two rooms together.  Clutter, de-cluttered; it feels good and I bet they (if they had real thoughts and feelings) are relieved to be on the wall looking down on us…that is if they had eyes.

A stack of blue curtains, which I’d bought for windows in the music/library/sunroom which we’d rejuvenated a couple of years ago, next did the guilt trip on me.  Much too long the pile of curtains had lurked in a certain chair; they had awaited cutting, hemming and hanging (they deserved it).  The problem is I’m not really a seamstress.  Actually, seams give me stress—so maybe I am! 

Defying my ignorance (trying to forget the horrid, putrid-pink blouse I’d sewn in Home Economics hmmm years ago), I unearthed a tiny sewing machine I’d purchased for necessary mending and had not yet used.  My thought on sewing is that ignorance is bliss; if I don’t know how to hem suit pants for my husband, I don’t have to do it. 

The sewing machine is perfect; small enough that I can easily hide it in a large drawer under something or put it on a closet shelf so that I never, ever have to think of using it.  And it was pristine, on the shelf like an old maid awaiting that special electric spark. 

Cutting off the curtains wasn’t hard, but did involve a big leap of faith in figuring out how not to cut off too much, how not to have the cut zigzag up and down, and how not to have all six end up different lengths.  I’m creative, but don’t really want my curtains to be like bar graphs.  At least, I’d not thought of it at the time and reserve the right to try out that decorating idea in the future.  I will let you know when.

Two more of my Spring Cleaning tasks were to arrange with the library to book a room for a couple of free Tuesday evening workshops I’ve been thinking about giving.  One will be on Characters (May) and one on Treasure Mapping (June).  Anyone interested?

Stay tuned—and try not to worry about spiders and snoring.  Remember, if you do all your Spring Cleaning you can get all those spiders before they get into you.  Now, excuse me while I get the vacuum and remove a few webs.