Links and bonds

Below is a “reblog” from the DailyOM.  Madisyn Taylor wrote this great piece about making connections within your community and as a gypsy soul with lots of experience in landing in new neighborhoods I can attest to the truth in her article.   Her words can be applied to any community we belong too – clubs, writing groups, business groups, – really anyplace that people come together.   Step outside of your comfort zone and reach out to those who surround you.  Create those bonds that nourish the need we all have to connect.

Links that Last: Creating Community            

 by Madisyn Taylor

  “Creating community is an important part of receiving the support we all need to navigate through life.”

“Since the modern Western lifestyle can isolate us from one another, it is often difficult to forge meaningful connections. Self-protection and mistrust prevent us from reaching out to neighbors and peers, and we consequently feel like we don’t truly belong anywhere. Yet creating community can be as simple as reaching out within our own neighborhoods. To form the bonds that eventually solidify into long-lasting friendships, we must first be willing to rise above the walls of suspicion and doubt dividing us from the individuals who inhabit our neighborhood, block, or our building. We are taught from childhood to fear those we do not know, but community is as much a part of survival as safety. When we take a proactive approach, we can harmoniously unite our neighbors and build a network of support that contributes to the well-being of all involved.
Your overtures of community needn’t be complicated. If you are new to your neighborhood, sending letters of introduction to your closest neighbors can ensure that their curiosity about you is partly satisfied. Consider telling them a bit about yourself and how you plan to positively contribute to your locale, even if it is something as straightforward as planting attractive flowers in your window boxes. Or if others have recently moved in nearby, schedule some time to welcome them to the area. By doing so, you can calm any misgivings they have while demonstrating that your neighborhood is a nice place to live. It is much easier to meet people while outdoors, so try to take frequent strolls or sit on your stoop or porch if you have one. Say hello to people who pass by, and you will likely get to know your neighbors speedily. And one of the easiest ways to build a sense of community is to organize neighborhood projects and events that bring people together in service or in fun! .
Even if you have little in common with your neighbors, your proximity to one another can offer a wonderful opportunity to pursue new friendships and working relationships. You may not see eye to eye on matters of spirituality, politics, or lifestyle issues, but each of you understands that community helps people feel connected. As you grow to know and then to like one another, the city or town where you reside will truly become your home.


Oh the things we will find….

Sun dappled water rippled in the pond.  Lilting laughter drifted over grassy fields while city dwellers took in the warmth, perched comfortably on blanket islands spread across the green slopes.  Camera in hand, a wandering we went…….

The purple puffs of Dr. Seuss dreams.

Can you hear Horton hearing a Who?

Long hop to nowhere….

Fish out of water.

Something Wicked has moved on…

This is the briefest of posts today because I will only be saying this:

Farewell Ray Bradbury, an incredible man whose mind took us, the readers, to the most amazing places.  Heaven’s gain is truly our loss.

Photo from the LATimes (6/6/12)   Below is a link to their article today.,0,5622415.story

Lovely Blog Award

One Lovely Blog Award

Thank you, thank you , thank you to Roberta Gordon, author of  “Gemini Witching: Elements 101“.   It is flattering beyond words when a fellow writer finds one’s work worthy of awarding recognition.   One of the great joys of blogging is the vast network of amazing creatives who inspire, encourage, and share the journey that is our craft.  I feel lucky to have found Roberta on this same path.  One click on Roberta’s name above and you will be magically transported to her realm for a visit with this debut author.

The rules of this round of recognitions are as follows:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to them.   Check.
  2. Share 7 things about yourself                                                    Check.
  3. Nominate 15 (or so) other bloggers you admire.                        Check.

Here are a few things about me:

  1. I have more notebooks than any one person should ever own.
  2. No matter where I move (and I move a lot), I end up with AWESOME neighbors.  It’s some sort of phenomenon for which I am very grateful.
  3. I cannot be part of a writing critique group because I will never stop editing my own first chapters.
  4. I am usually barefoot or in flip flops.
  5. I like the smell of mesquite.
  6. I throw a great party.
  7. When I’m outlining a story I only write with a black pen or a REALLY sharp pencil.  That’s right, I’m talking take an eye out sharp.

Part three of the blog award asks that I nominate some fellow bloggers that I admire.  It’s hard to pare it down to a handful as there are so many incredible bloggers and I am finding more each day.  To be honest, many days it is a struggle not to get lost in reading all of the other blogs instead of working on my own projects.   My read list is growing faster than Santa’s naughty vs. nice checklist.

Some of these bloggers are fellow writers, photographers, business bloggers, and cartoonists. A few are those brave souls who “diary blog”,  putting their innermost thoughts and dreams out there into the blogosphere.   All are great people who share some part of themselves with the rest of us.

And now for (a sampling of) the blogs that I admire:

I pay tribute to the following as each maintaining One Lovely Blog   

 Vanessa Grassi

Brian Gaynor Photography

The Blonde Coyote

Maze a Day

Lea and Jay**  I’ve road tested some of their recipes – OMG.  You…must…go….there….and….cook!!!!!!

The Laughing House Wife

40 is the new 30

MoonWynd Studio

BA Expat

Kerry Stanley

Kathy’s Thoughts

Moths to a flame

The 4am Writer






What the heck? Photo Sat, Sun, and Monday too

 O beautiful for spacious skies…

 Adrift at sea.

 Doing time behind bars.


Okay – I have tried so hard to resist writing this post but I just can’t hold out.  I….must….talk….about…..Scanbox.  Or as I like to call it, Scambox.   It is one of those inventions that has you (okay, really me) rolling your eyes and saying, “Seriously??? People are paying for that?”  Well, yes they are and I think what irks me most is that I didn’t come up with the “Scambox” first.

In case you haven’t seen it yet, Scanbox is the brainchild of an Australian trio of app creators who figured out that if you create a pop up cardboard box and pitch it as a scanner, people will not just believe you but also send you money.  They have essentially created a stage for your paperwork.  Your iPhone can then be placed on top in the absolutely perfect position to best scan/photograph your item.  It’s that simple.

If you want fancy you can pay a few bucks extra for the battery operated LED lights to enhance your cardboard box experience.   Nathan Hurst over at sums up the invention in a  recent article with this catchy title: “Kickstarter of the Week: A Portable Scanner for Smartphones”

So why you ask is this  über simple idea driving me bonkers?  Do I have cardboard box issues?  Nope, I don’t think so.   It’s the sales pitch.

I watched the Scanbox video over at, a fantastic website that hosts a grass-roots fundraising bonanza for all things cool, new, and wacky.    Nothing says rockin’ Saturday night like a bunch of friends hunched over a laptop watching startup pitches but yes, that is how we pass the time over at my place.  Kickstarter is like Shark Tank but for regular folks.  We’re in it for the power.  But I digress…..

The Scanbox video pitch starts rolling and I immediately realize that I need to slap my companions.  They are oohing and ahhing over all the great things that this box can do.  Look, it’s a photocopier.  Look, you can scan images.  Wow!  You can do power point presentations with the Scanbox.  At this point I  found myself shouting (yes, I really was), “IT’S JUST A PIECE OF CARDBOARD!!!  THE PHONE DOES THE WORK! THIS IS NOT A SCANNER!  IT’S JUST A BOX PEOPLE!”

Alas it was too late.  Not even my not so pretty recreation of the Scanbox using a flashlight and beer box (don’t judge) could convince them.  It was at that moment that I realized – these Australian’s were brilliant and damn it, I will most likely be finding a Scanbox in my holiday stocking this year.

So, when you find yourself heading over to Kickstarter to watch this video – come on, you know you will in five seconds – and then whipping out some plastic to order one, I beg you to keep this thought in mind:  IT’S JUST CARDBOARD – IT IS NOT A SCANNER.   Don’t make me slap you too.