Photography – oops, I’ve been caught…

bird-on-rocks-1-e1568718773967.jpgThis was a funny and perfect photo. Beautifully captured; however, funny, because the Seagull was giving me a look like, “Hey, who said you could take my photo?”

And then a side angle. bird-on-rocks-2.jpgThe day was a bit gloomy, Fall is settling in. We both had the same intention and that was to enjoy the view of the Lake and the sound of the waves. It was a perfect day!

Attention Bloggers, “Are your posts being HARVESTED?”

Taking articlesI was not surprised when I read Jo Hawk the Writer’s post “Attention Bloggers and Writers,” about a website that is harvesting Blogger’s posts. I encourage you to read her post, where fellow blogger, The Haunted Wordsmith, has been doing research to try and stop this copyright infringement.

Lately, I have had a variety of new Followers. While that seems great, I have gone to visit them only to find they are bogus sites. Many of them have 4 posts they created with photos that seem legit until you scroll down on their home page to see that they keep rotating those same 4 posts.

I did visit this site that The Haunted Wordsmith mentions, www.tygpress.com. I typed in my blog name with quotes around it. Sure enough, it appears like they created a specific section for my Blog’s articles. Of course, it is frustrating to see someone else creating a website based on other people’s written work without asking or telling us they are reblogging our posts.

Fighting this harvesting takes a lot of time and energy away from our main reason for Blogging, which is love of writing. Let’s see if they Blog this post!

A daisy –> He loves me, he loves me not!

Lately, I’ve noticed that family, co-workers, strangers have been temperamental and on edge. Wasn’t there an eclipse lately? I don’t know much about astrology; however, sometimes it feels like there is a strong force taking place in the Universe making people super moody and setting us up for change in our lives. It’s very powerful, we KNOW when it is at work.

This week as I was dealing with a lot of temperamental people, I had a funny thought. As they were ranting and raving about their terrible life, others giving the cold shoulder, and a few just spewing angry thoughts, a DAISY popped in my mind.

As they were going on, I imagined myself with a vase full of daisys. For each person that was being mean or rude, rather than take on their anger, I “chose” to take a daisy out of my vase. For each petal I pulled off, I would say, “I love you, I love you not… I love you, I love you not…”

I was doing this in my mind while the person was ranting and raving. I found it to be very therapeutic, because I determined that when I got to the VERY LAST petal, THAT would determine whether I kept listening to this person OR politely terminated the hurtful conversation.

It worked! For the unhelpful Home Depot guy, he landed on a “love you not petal!” I politely moved on from him. For a family member, they got lucky, the petal landed on “love you,” so I listened longer. The clerk at the DMV got a “love you,” but a few people in line got a “love you not,” they were saying such mean comments about the clerk, angry that they had to stand in line. Finally, for the neighbor, they got a “love you NOT petal.” Same old dim conversation, nothing ever uplifting – I was DONE!

It’s amazing how we can change our day around with music, exercise, soulful thinking and just a great sense of humor. I could see Seinfeld having a field day with this topic. I miss that show!

Angry people, watch out, you are not ruining my day. I have a truck load of daisy’s to deal with YOU.

5K Mud Run in 90 degree temps

Mud Run 1I did it! I survived my first 5K Mud Run in 90 degree temps. Run started at NOON hottest time of day — insane. I ran the course, did some of the obstacles, not all of them. See the medal I received.

Mud run 3Sorry, I don’t have good photos of me climbing structures, etc. I didn’t have a GoPro camera, plus at 90 degrees with face bright red from the heat, I was LUCKY to make it to the end. Seriously, I have fair skin, we don’t do well in hot weather, let alone at NOON. Picture me during the Victorian era, strolling the park with my fancy umbrella, that is where I needed to be from 12-2 pm. In Italy that is when they take a siesta.

Questions, “Is it hard and how muddy do you get?”

It’s hard if you are not in shape and have a fear of heights. I was surprised that they didn’t have that many obstacles. You had to run the course twice to make it a 5K. Muddy, it depends on if you are rambo and embracing the mud or like me avoided the truly muddy areas and walked around. Ok, do I deserve my medal? Yes, the 90 degree heat made up for the “few” obstacles I walked around.

Mud run 2There were a few obstacles, like this one (Pixabay.com stock photo), where you see the lady climbing the wall. If it is overly muddy and there are a ton of people, why there is a chance you could fall and hurt yourself.

However, if you are looking for a quick athletic challenge versus a hard to train for triathlon, this would do it! Lots of nice fun people.

BONUS – How can you resist adding a medal to your wall of fame?!

Writing – Choosing a character’s name, go to the “Fantasy Name Generators” site

Fantasy Name Generator 1How do we come up with strong memorable character names for our stories? That’s the dilemma I was facing. Of course, I went to Google. My goal was to come up with a cute sheep name for my children’s book. Finding the right name, not easy.

My first searches were BORING. I pulled up names like “Billy Goat,” already used, “Andy,” not my idea of a cute little sheep name. Wooly, already taken. This wasn’t good. I wasn’t getting anywhere except frustrated, but I couldn’t give up.

Fantasy Name Generator 2

I kept scrolling down the search page and a miracle happened. I found a site called, “Fantasy Name Generators.” Now, we were in business. I typed in sheep names. The names this site generated were different, comical, and certainly memorable.

My happiness factor went from zero to over 200. However, as I read the name choices a different direction to my story would start to form in my mind. For example, see the name “Thunder,” I imagined my book taking a whole new direction with that name. My little “Thunder” sheep would be in a storm with an earthquake.

NO, NO, NO – I told myself, stick with the original story, THAT was not the right name, but I liked the strength in “Thunder.” Back to generating a new set of names. I clicked “Get male names,” and “Coffee, Smokey, Rowdy, Rock and Walnut” came up. Super funny. I would NEVER have imagined names like this on my own.

Fantasy Name Generator 3

I scrolled down by accident and found this “Pet / Companion Name Generators” section. NOW WHAT, do I add a pet companion for my little sheep? Again, I am a writer, my mind was all over the place (a bat, a cricket, a goat?). NO, NO, NO… I reminded myself, stick with the original story. No pet companion this time, maybe in the future.

Great site. If you need a character name, give it a try! It’s also good for generating story ideas. I’m still thinking about the name “Thunder,” there has to be a story there.

Italy – My thoughts brought me the “Leaning Tower of Pisa” – no joke

Leaning Tower of PisaI learned this weekend that the mind is very powerful.

For months, I have been thinking, “When will I have time to go to Florence?” Every day, I take a quick look to see what flight prices are to Italy. Usually, I try to fly into Florence.

This weekend I was focused on getting new tires for my car. I shopped around and found a place with a good price. As I was parking my car, I looked up and I could not believe it. Right in front of me was the “Leaning Tower of Pisa.” NO JOKE, see photo!

Now, I ask you… What would you think if you saw this? I chuckled to myself, maybe it was “a sign” to look for flights into Pisa’s airport.

Italy, I’m coming, soon – VERY SOON!