Monday, June 25, 2018

I want to keep the art of letter writing alive

I love receiving letters in the mail. The kind of letter a friend handwrites and is filled with news. Or maybe even not that full of news. I love writing letters, too, imagining the smile on the recipients face when they see something other than a bill or sales circular waiting in the mailbox. Though, like many of us, I often don't make the time to pen a note and mail it. 

Wabi Sabi Avo.
I want to keep the Art of Letter Writing alive. As part of that mission, I am creating cards. Simple, blank inside, only-needs-a first-class-stamp variety of cards. You can see them here. I find the process relaxing. Even when there is a hiccup, such as not waiting long enough for the paint to dry, and I have to start anew. My focus is on the process. 

There really is no rhyme to when I write a letter to someone. Birthdays are a good incentive. Also, if I see a magazine or newspaper article I think someone may enjoy, I'll tear it out and mail it to them along with a message. 

This post also is available on my better and improved Web site. Check out the new site: 

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

How to get your name in light

While some people make a mean martini, I write a mean press release. What can I say? It’s true. (And that’s no martini talking.) 

Want to know why the media releases I write have such a high rate of placement? Because I sat on the other side of the desk for so long. I know what editors, reporters, and news directors want, and I give it to them.

I'll share with you what those decision-makers are looking for:  
  • News, something interesting, a different take on a subject, an idea for a story. 
  • A press release written in clear and simple language.
  • Correct contact information. 
  • Familiarity with their magazine; newspaper; television, radio, or podcast show; and other outlets.
  • Suggestions for artwork, sample interview questions, or ideas (though don't push it).   
Here are some things they don't want:
  • Hyperbole, boasting, superlatives, and exclamation points.
  • A story already written with an accompanying assumption that it will run "as is."
  • Being pestered.
Want to know more about getting your name in lights? Please comment. 

And while I have you on the Internet, please check out my improved Web site:  

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Calico and Torties

The Catalyst for Cats newsletter arrived via U.S. postal service. Here's some feline education for you. Also, check out

Friday, May 25, 2018

Put this in your pipe and smoke it

Cannabis has taken root as the cash crop of the Carpinteria Valley. Read all about it in Carpinteria Magazine.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

... and I'm going to post more writing samples ...

For 2018, I promised to post more writing samples and to not be so self-conscious. I'm not going to make any apologies or belittle the writing, either.

This is from the Catalyst for Cats newsletter. I do volunteer work with this fabulous all-volunteer nonprofit.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Happy New Year! Happy New Chair!

Happy New Year! Here's to hoping 2018, aka the Year of the Dog, is the best ever.

Even with the ash of the Thomas Fire still evident, my 2018 is off to a fine start.

Example: On Tuesday, Jan. 2, I ordered (online) a new office chair, which was scheduled to arrive between 8 to 10 business days. On Wednesday, Jan. 3, the chair arrived late afternoon. I thought it best not to tackle assembling the chair after a full workday, so it sat, unopened, in its box until Thursday morning, when I figured I would get out all the parts and read the directions. Then start putting it together on Friday.

"Friday? Why wait?" you might ask.

Because I'm really not very good at this sort of thing. Nor is my husband. Definitely neither of us enjoy it. Furniture assembly is probably the closest we've come to divorce. Really and truly. Infidelity, nope. Fiscal fights, nope. In-law misunderstandings, a wee bit. Unfair distribution of labor in regards to household chores, more than a tad. Whose turn is it to be Designated Driver, sometimes ...

Well, you get the picture. So I figured, best to take it slow and easy. Maybe get some special snacks for Friday to associate the assembly with pleasantness.

Yesterday (Thursday) I took out all named 7 parts and 7 pieces of hardware (including supplied Allen wrench). The five steps of directions seemed easy enough, so I thought, "Go ahead, give it a whirl. You can stop anytime as you are so far ahead of schedule with the early delivery and assembling starting a day early."

Within 30 minutes, my new snazzy red leather-lookalike chair was ready for me to plop into and start working. And here I am telling you about my wonderful start to 2018.

Hope you have as nice a start to the Year of the Dog as I did.

BTW, the chair's official name is Dorado Office Chair. It comes in a choice of colors. I ordered it from Costco.

And, I must point out, as it's in my line of work, there should have been eight parts listed with directions of six steps. They forgot the thingee (black plastic) between the base and pneumatic cylinder   solely decorative in function, I believe. Even with that gaffe, assembly was a breeze. Sooo much better than IKEA!