Thursday, June 30, 2011

My current wallpaper

I have a hard time remembering what I've used as wallpaper before, so I'm going to try to remember to post here when I change it (which is every month or so...I get bored staring at the same old thing). This way I'll have a nice searchable record of past wallpapers.


Shot last week at the Henry Doorly Zoo aquarium.

Anemonemonemones :) | Flickr - Photo Sharing! - It's CC licensed (Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike), so feel free to use it, too, if you like it.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

We'll remember this when she wants her license

We took LilGirl and one of her friends to Sempeck's for go-carts and laser tag on Saturday. This was her first time driving the go-cart by herself, and it didn't go so well. She crashed in the first turn (steering seems to be beyond her whether it's on a bike, a scooter or a go-cart, apparently) and drove like a little old lady most of the rest of the time.

Eventually she picked up some speed, but in the final turn she crashed into the barricade so hard about a third of the go-cart was on the wrong side of the barricade. LilGirl had to walk to the finish and it took the attendants almost five minutes to get the go-cart unstuck.

It's too bad the pictures came out so blurry (apparently shooting at a distance in low light is the thing that's beyond me) but you get an idea from the picture above.

Somehow, I don't think she'll be the next Danica Patrick, though she might have a future in the demolition derby. ;)

These make me want my own mailbox

Sometimes I think the utilitarianism of the suburban bank of mailboxes mid-block leaves a lot to be desired, especially when I see creative mailboxes like these: The Most Geeky Mailboxes Ever.

via @Etsy

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Time for stargazing at your desk

Here's an awesome video of the Milky Way as seen from the plains of South Dakota. If you've spent your whole life in the city, you don't know what you're missing when it comes to stargazing in the middle of nowhere. This will give you an idea. Watch it in HD, fullscreen, in a dark room if you can.

Plains Milky Way from Randy Halverson on Vimeo.

If you're curious, click through to Vimeo, where Randy Halverson gives some details on how he shot the video.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

New Blog: Creativity for Happy Endings

My friend *lizzie starr has started a new blog on creativity...

"How will this blog present creativity? Hopefully in a fun and delightful way. I'm gonna start out with a creative alphabet--words and concepts to define, describe and encourage creativity in all of us. And, no, just because I'm an author, it doesn't mean that's the only kind of creativity we'll talk about. I'll have guest bloggers with their own creative outlooks. I'll ask questions and… if you have questions, don't hesitate to ask! If I don't have a clue, we'll find the answers together. (If you build it, he will come.)" 
*lizzie is a great cheerleader who helps keep our local group of writers motivated. Check out the new blog and cheer her on!

Check out Christina Dodd's private stone circle

Author Christina Dodd has a STONE CIRCLE in her backyard. I'm so jealous! 

Check out her Facebook fan page for photos & the story behind it. 

Happy Solstice!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Amanda Huginkiss sighting at Seekerville

Amanda Hugankiss
Paparazzi photo of Amanda Huginkiss
Fabulously infamous author of over 3000 romance novels, Amanda Huginkiss recently took time out of her busy schedule to interview my friend Sherri Shackelford for Seekerville!!

I was privileged to meet Ms. Huginkiss a couple times, and let me tell you, she was fab-u-lous!! I'm so glad Sherri got the honor to be interviewed by her!! It must have been an amazing experience!!!

Did I use enough exclamation points? I don't know...WWAHD? (What would Amanda Huginkiss do?)

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Charm-ing Group!

I know I've mentioned before that I belong to a writers group full of awesome, supportive ladies. It certainly bears repeating.

Rainbow Rowell just did a lovely column about our group which ran in yesterday's Omaha World Herald, focusing on some of the ways we support and encourage each other. One of the more tangible signs of support are our charms. The column features Sherri Shackleford's charm bracelet and talks about how we earn charms (mine isn't nearly as full as Sherri's, which tells me I need to get my rear in gear), but the charms are just one of many ways the group inspires me.

At our meeting this weekend, our "Goals Guru" *lizzie starr handed out these little inspirational cards. I've gone mine planted firmly between my keyboard and monitor where I will see it (Where I NEED to see it):

Keep Your Button The Chair

It's not all just trinkets and feel-good stuff. Our members (and sometimes guest speakers) give programs each month on craft, the business of writing, or critiques and brainstorming help. We discuss issues ranging from  changes the publishing industry is facing to challenges in just getting our "button" the chair.

Sometimes life really does get in the way and I genuinely can't make it to a meeting. But there are often meeting days that I wake up feeling blah, tired, and worn down, and don't really want to leave the house (like any other Saturday morning). I consider not going, for maybe half a second, but I always always make myself make the effort to go, no matter how low I feel, because I know that I will come home inspired, energized and ready to burn up the keyboard. Heartland Writers Group is a drug like no other for me. These ladies get me and they never fail to encourage me.

Check out the World-Herald story, and HWG's blog and website! If you're a writer looking for a supportive group, check us out!

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Make music with Google's Les Paul doodle today!

Check out today's Google Doodle in honor of Les Paul's birthday (try it at
(This is just a screenshot, to play go to
It looks a little grey and odd and, frankly, dull...until you play with it. Then it gets addicting. It'll even let you record your work using that nifty button at the bottom. Here's what I recorded.

Update: The doodle has its own dedicated home page now.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Today in Random Songs That Pop Into My Head:

I haven't heard this one in years, but like a bolt out of the blue, there it was. Stuck. In. My. Head. Thought I'd share the earworm...

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Awesome tiny apartment

My friend Cheryl St.John posted a video on her blog recently about a family of three living in a 350 square foot house. It reminded me of this video I found via PC Weenies a couple weeks ago:

I love the idea of small-space living, and although I doubt I'll ever go to the extremes the people in these videos have, I always find an idea or two I can take away from them to use in my life.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Peonies of Doooom!

My poor peony

A week after I planted my peony plant in 2008, we had a horrible storm here in Omaha which tore the plant up so badly I was sure it would die. 

Luckily, it came back nicely the next spring, but about a day after it opened its single bloom, we had a hailstorm which tore it to shreds again. 

The next year it put out two or three blooms and within a day or two, a storm. Flowers, gone.

This year the plant produced four blooms. They've been opening one by one throughout the past week.

The last one bloomed earlier today...

Batten down the hatches.

Peonies of Doom