Tag Archive | bloggers

Lady Ba-Ba

Lady  BABAThe other day, I found a website called “My Web Face” and thought I’d play with the drawing tools. To the left is what I came up with. Not exactly a “real” likeness is it?

Since I was forced into “retirement” three years ago because I couldn’t find ANY good job, I’ve been wondering whether I should grow out the grey hair that has been accumulating at the roots for several years.

Unfortunately the picture to see what it MIGHT look like clearly failed.

So when does one own up to the fact that she or he is “old” enough to have gray hair when there’s plenty of chemicals out there to keep one’s appearance looking “young?”

After all, there’s no good way to hide the fine lines and wrinkles without having to rob a bank for a high quality “age defying” cream. And what about those ugly skin tags that seem to pop out wherever they want to? Worst of all, there’s “age spots” that show up on hands and face. And I won’t even get into the ugly white hairs that pop out of my chin! Wouldn’t it just be easier to accept the fact that I’m not a “spring chicken” and have become an old hen?

I don’t know which way to turn. When I color my hair, I seem to get the stuff everywhere –it has even ended up on the walls, when I am extremely careful. I would much rather be pampered in a saloon, but our meager budget doesn’t provide for such vanity. I need to spend the $40 or $50 for groceries instead. So, do I let vanity fly out the window the same way I’ve lost my waist?

So help me out here. Should I swallow my pride and let the grey grow out? OR, should I continue my vanity for a few more years before I hit old age–like 80?

Please vote. It’s your responsibility as blogger buddies. Make your voices known.

Another Blogging Award – This is REALITY

reality-blog-awardI want to thank Michael S. Fedison for nominating, “Author McCloskey Speaks” for a Reality Blog Award Michael is the author of the “Eye-Dancers” young adult novel and website. I know he’d love a visit. I am very humbled that he nominated me. Thanks so much, Michael!

One of the stipulations for this award is to let readers know a little more about the author. The nominees are asked to answer five questions, so you’ll find my answers below.


1.  If you could change one thing, what would you change?

I would take a chance as a young person. My life circumstances required me to grow up fast because of my father’s heart condition and my mother’s need to go back to work. I was the oldest child, and heaven help me–A GIRL–so I was expected to pick up the slack and and help my parents. When I was 18, my Aunt Mary in San Diego invited me to live with her. I have always been sorry I didn’t take her up on that offer. I’ve never had the experience of living any where other than “home,” and I think this is one of my shortcomings as a person.

2.  If you could repeat an age, what would it be?

If I could be 21 and know what I know now,–watch out world! I’d go back in a heartbeat!

3.  What is one thing that really scares you?

No one is going to like this answer, but the one thing that scares me the most is the apathy of so many young people. So many students  who have passed through my classes have had no desire to do their best, challenge themselves and have some kind of direction. Even worse, few have no curiosity about their world. They believe what they hear from media and never question its validity. In my mind, if a person loses his curiosity, it’s almost as devastating as dying.

4. What is one dream you have not completed, and do you think you’ll be able to complete it?

I always dreamed about getting a book published, and now that I have had four gone to press, I dream about getting a chance to travel to the all the places I’ve researched and imagined. I especially would like to go to Scotland, the homeland of one of my best friends.

5. If you could be someone else for one day, who would it be?

I admire many strong, brave and famous women, but I don’t know if I’d ever want to be one of them. I am a little afraid to walk around in someone else’s skin for fear I might discover some chink in their armor. I know they must be there because they are as human as I am, and I wouldn’t want to deflate my admiration of them. No. I don’t want to be anybody else, thank you.

Now, I would like to nominate the following blogs for the Reality Award.  I enjoy them almost everyday and would like you to have the opportunity. too. Please check them out and take a look around these wonderful websites!  They are all rich and diverse sites, with so much to offer.






Who am I? What is my Purpose? Where do I Fit?

compartmentsBlogging is an interesting activity. I’ve yet to determine what type of blog my blog is, and I feel pressured that I should do so.

I talk a lot about personal experiences , writing, teaching, and feelings about life. Selfishly, I admit I use it as a free-writing exercise to jump start my day of writing, except for Sundays when I give you a short story. (It’s kind of my day off.) But what is it I am creating? What do I offer my readers so they return? Who am I in the blogging world?

I keep pursuing this quest, because I know one elements of a good blog is focus. So far, I admit, I haven’t found it, so I’m asking for help.

I know the world HAS to be compartmentalized in order to process the flood of information we receive each day. In my University Communication theory classes, this was one important concept that was frequently discussed. But the nucleolus of the program was the theory that REALITY IS SOCIALLY CONSTRUCTED!  Boiling this theory down simply means that because of our upbringing, socioeconomic status, experiences, and education, we all process the information that hits us daily differently.

Let me give you an example.

In December I posted a piece entitled, “Good By and Good Luck.” Most of my readers thought it was a very positive post about wishing my students a good educational future as they left my class.  I say “most” of my readers, because there was one–Markus–who was very angry with me. Clearly, I meant no disrespect for any of my students, but looking into my crystal ball, I knew they all would not make it through college. Markus blasted me for being a poor teacher.

“Don’t ever underestimate your students. Your just one teacher and this is one class… NOT their future.”

He had a point. From his world, I was an uncaring, untalented bitch who limited my students. NOT TRUE.  But because of my background, I knew his anger was more about him than it was about me, so I posted his comment and came back at him with one of my own.  I wrote several paragraphs taking his criticisms one-by-one with further explanation. (If he had been reading my blog, he would have known how much I cared about the students in my class–but it was clear this was his first time making my acquaintance.) I finished my reply with this:

“So, Markus — take your anger out on someone else. There’s a big, wide world out there that would appreciate comments such as yours. Just get all the facts before you spew your crap.

Luckily, Markus was brave enough to swallow his pride and comment one more time.

Mrs. McCloskey, I applaud your efforts to reach the world through your teachings and your books. I too stand to learn something from you as I periodically browse through. I can’t promise I won’t challenge you or you challenge me, but you won’t receive any angry unwanted rants or replies from me. Fair enough?”

His post did something very important for me. It helped me realize I can’t be everything to everybody. So, I will keep searching for a “category,”  as I post each day and wander through the blogging wilderness to try to find my niche. I’m in for a long journey.  But, I am a woman, and I do stop and ask for directions.


Words, Words and More Words–What is Really Being Said?

Shut upOne of the young bloggers I follow is a college student named Amelia. She suffers from Cerebral Palsy, but the girl has it going on. Like so many other people I’ve met through the blogging world, she’s amazing.

This morning I read one of her posts and found it almost poetic. It was about words. Here’s the link if you want to give it a read. It truly is brilliant. Go ahead and read it: http://lifeintheblueridges.wordpress.com/2012/11/29/reflecting-on-words/#comment-4636.   I’ll be here when you’re done.

Oh good, you’re back . . .

Amelia’s post got me to thinking about how many times in my day I even think about words.  Okay, okay, I think plenty about words when the “right” word is on the tip of my tongue, and I can’t spit it out into my manuscript.  So, for all the writers out there who are struggling with finding the “right” word, you are exempt from thinking about words because I know you’re exhausted. For everybody else, ‘fess up! Do we even give the words we speak a second thought?

In our hurried world, I don’t think so. Consider the sports casters who fill air-time with constant gibberish. Or how they babble prophecy about things that haven’t happened yet.  Or how about reporters standing outside in nasty weather and are telling us how terrible it is?  Or Congressmen and Senators on Face the Nation  and other programs like it, who “talk over each other” and rarely say anything?

Do you see what I mean? I truly believe people have become so accustomed to this constant blathering, they don’t know how to shut-up and words have become white noise. We must stop. These essential communication tools shouldn’t suffer this fate. We can’t let words lose their punch because we use too many of them.

Think before speaking. Rewrite what is written. Maintain word integrity.  Words praise. Words compliment. Words express love. And they spew hate.  They’re soothing, but vicious They build up; they tear down. They hurt. They heal. They wound and destroy. They guide our head and hearts. We can’t let over use dilute them.

Think about what Shakespeare said: When words are scarce they are seldom spent in vain.

I’ll shut up now.

Being Nominated is the Best Award


This morning I got a real surprise. I was nominated for the “Beautiful Blogger” Award from http://frametale.wordpress.com THANK YOU!

Here are the rules I must accomplish to be considered (as I understand them):

1. Thank the person who nominated you and link them:

The thank you went out immediately. The link is: http://wynwords.wordpress.com

2. Paste the award on your blog (Done. See above?)

3. Nominate 7 bloggers and provide links to their sites :  My nominations include:

Amelia: http://lifeintheblueridges.wordpress.com/

Dianne Gray:  http://diannegray.wordpress.com/

Brad Stanton: http://bradstanton.com/

Sandra Miller:  http://writersandra.wordpress.com/

Mary Morgan: http://davidanaturephotography.wordpress.com/

Marlene: http://insearchofitall.wordpress.com/

BW:  http://bottledworder.wordpress.com/

4. Post 7 random things about you.

1. I hate winter, but live in Wisconsin.

2. I love pug dogs. Especially my faithful Ernie who accompanies me on my daily solitary journey into the written world.

3. I believe in the power of POSITIVE THINKING in an otherwise negative world.

4. My favorite channels on television are Smithsonian, The Science and History Channels.

5. I don’t have a favorite author – but hundreds I enjoy.

6. My circle of friends are closer than family. I can count on them.

7. I found happiness inside myself after I stopped searching for it.

That’s all folks. I just hope this isn’t an early April Fool’s Joke on this first day of 2013.

Curiosity is a Driving Force–Passengers Beware!

Every once in a while, my curiosity drives me nuts. Today was one of those days. I woke up with this curious drive to learn where the term “BLOG” originated.

Seeing it isn’t “cool” to just grab the dictionary any more, I warmed up my laptop, called up GOOGLE and summoned my request. Like an archaeologist, I dug around until I found what I wanted. I discovered web journals have been around since the 1990s and the term BLOG didn’t show up until 1999 when it was coined by Peter Merholz–a graduate from the University of California – Berkley. Supposedly, he was making a joke about the technology and put together the two words web and log = blog. Of course, I found this information on the Internet so it must be true, right?

Okay, I had my answer. But for a curiosity junkie like me, it wasn’t enough. Along with the where and when, I discovered a whole new language built around web journaling. Eureka!  Want to know what I found? Come exploring with me! (Otherwise, you may be dismissed.)

First, let us begin with the terms for specific types  of  blogs. With 100 million blogs in the Blogosphere there has to be some kind of organization, right?

  • ANONOBLOG is one written by an author who wants to remain anonymous.
  • An AUDIOBLOG is where you’d find posts of recordings.
  • A BIZ BLOG is a blog operated by a business.
  • A BLAWG is written by a law professor, student or law review.
  • (I’m sure there are many other categories, but let’s move on.)

With 100 million blog sites, there are equally as many bloggers. Here’s some terms for some of them.

  • A BLEGO is the self-worth of the blogger. (blog + ego); at first glance that one had me stumped, too.
  • Then there’s the ever popular BLOGEBRITY.
  • A BLOGSNOB who is a blogger unwilling to acknowledge comments from anyone outside their blog clique. There’s the BLOOGER who is an immature or boorish blogger acting like a teenager.

Again the disclaimer is in place –this is by no means an all-inclusive list; it only contains words I thought were hilarious.

I was concerned when I learned that a blogger can even be inflected by BLOG diseases. Here are a few:

  • BLOGSTIPATION, which is a fatal diagnosis of one being unable to think of something to post.
  • BLOGORHHEA when a blogger writes an unedited stream of consciousness.
  • BLOGOHOLIC who is addicted to writing so much that she/he destroys the rest of their life. (I wonder if they have a 12 Step program?)

That brings us to the BLAUDIENCE –people like you who read blogs. There’s the BLURKER who sneaks in, reads and leaves no trace of their visits behind, and  the BLOGROACH who is an obnoxious commentator who disagrees with rude comments on everything posted.

I could go on, but if I haven’t lost you yet, I will soon, and I would never want to do that. It’s my goal to entertain, inform, and once in a while give you something you can use for conversation around the water cooler.

So, carry on BLAUDIENCE!  Your day awaits you.