Archive for October, 2014

I know it’s Halloween and everyone’s working for the weekend and all, but I couldn’t resist sending out a post today. I’ve been working hard on my blog(s) and I feel like things are actually starting to look pretty darn spiffy ‘round these here parts.


It may not seem like much to you, or maybe you’re like me and easily impressed, who knows, but trust me when I tell you it’s been one painstaking task at a time. I definitely cannot take credit for my graphics. It’s probably pretty clear I left those to a pro, but I have been tweaking lots of little things and it’s such a learning process for me. There is so much I don’t know and so much that I’m impressed I have managed to figure out and pull off. Before WordPress, the extent of my technical knowledge reached about as far as the end of my nose which, thankfully, isn’t really all that long. The most I could do was send an email and refresh a page.


It’s been a journey.


I even participated in a Skype chat yesterday. The same pro who so ingeniously conjured up my graphics is also trying to help me with SEO, also known as Search Engine Optimization. Now, when I say help me, I mean she’s telling me what I should be doing, not doing it for me, so whether I ever get there or not remains to be seen and if I don’t end up reaching star status it will be no one’s fault but my own.


Anyway, I intended to write a super long post explaining many things, but time has escaped me today and I will have to leave it a cliffhanger…to be continued, as they say.


Have a SAFE and HAPPY Halloween everyone, and may the force be on your side.



Hazy xOxOx

Yes, this is the extent of my Halloween costume.

Yes, this is the extent of my Halloween costume.

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Feeling like a donkey. Luckily, it's a cute one.

Feeling like a donkey. Luckily, it’s a cute one.

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I was born without fingernails. Eh, not really, but I bet I nabbed your attention and at least a split second of your sympathy. Admit it. You were picturing me thumping away at this keyboard with my nubby little fingers and their fleshy raw tips. Truth be told, I did come with fingernails. They were just nothing to speak of…or to show anyone for that matter. Ridged and wavy, they were thinner than paper and peeled easier than the fine layer of skin that flakes off after a blistery sunburn.


I was forever ashamed of them. Always finding reasons to have the tips of my fingers curled into the shelter of my palms or my hands hidden deep inside my pockets. Yes, there are worse things. Much worse things and we all know shoddy fingernails aren’t among them, but hey, they’re good blog material. (We won’t mention that that is probably a matter of opinion)


After trying vitamins, supplements and various potions over the years, I’d given up on my nails. They were what they were and when that wasn’t appropriate, at times like holidays or Christmas parties, I learned to cover them with esthetically pleasing plastic.


Alas, I’m veering off the path of this posting.


As you know, I managed to transfer 798 of you over to my new .org site and I’d really like to know how you feel about that. I need to know because maybe that will help me figure out how I feel. Right now, I’m not too sure. I was really looking forward to seeing you use the new plug-in “Comment Luv” (not allowed on .com) and to just having more freedom for things like that in general, but I’m second-guessing myself. Help me out. Let me know.


When I asked my “Wordpress Happy Engineer” Sam (we’ll call him Sam because well, that’s actually his name) if transferring you back is an option, he said that can be confusing for you guys and that multiple transfers lead to unhappy followers. I should mention that he also said that if I came to the conclusion that that’s what’s best for all of us, he’d do it in a heartbeat.


As for my nails, I decided that giving up wasn’t an option. That they still mattered. So I chose to try one last thing. And guess what? It worked. My nails became, by some miracle, long and strong. I’ve even had to cut them back or file them down a few times. I seriously can’t believe it.


I take it as proof that we need to keep trying new things. There’s something out there that will work for everyone. We just can’t give up.


MY nails!

MY nails!



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“This is the worst writing ever,” my husband says one lazy morning as we were lying in bed watching “Message in a Bottle” on the tube.


“You’re calling Nicholas Sparks the worst writer?”


It was that moment when Robin Wright is walking away from Kevin Costner and he says; “I don’t want to lose you,” and she replies; “Then don’t,” and keeps right on walking.


“Okay,” I prop myself up on one elbow. “But you know he’s like, extremely successful, right? He’s published seventeen novels and one super awesome non-fiction book.”


“Yeah, but this is garbage. It’s written for women. It’s just what women want to hear.”


I won’t lie. I get what he’s hinting at. Even I could almost smell the cheese while watching that movie, but does that mean it’s the worst writing ever?


Nicholas Sparks is clearly a massive success. Almost half of his books have been adapted to film and there aren’t many people out there who don’t know his name. So, the question comes to mind – if he’s not everyone’s cup of tea, does that make him an awful writer? Ugh, did I just say that out loud? Not a question. Never even should’ve come up because the answer is an emphatic no. We all write in different styles and different genres and there’s always going to be that doubt. Will people like it? Will anyone think it’s stupid? If Nicholas Sparks can’t woo absolutely everyone, how will I?


You don’t need to.


Don’t listen. Keep writing. Be you. As much as I, as a general rule, feel that saying preachy stuff like “be your authentic stuff” is redundant, I think in this case it holds some meaning. Don’t change your voice because you think it may not appeal to an entire world. Doing so will lead you away from where you’re meant to end up and you will not be happy. And what is true success when all is said and done? Happiness.


Nick Sparks is a former full scholarship athlete so I’m sure being razzed about writing girly stories isn’t new to him. I’m also pretty sure he’s darn glad he didn’t stop.


After all, everybody has different tastes, but most people appreciate a little cheese with their whine.


*Message in a Bottle opened at #1 on the Valentine Days weekend of 1999 with an estimated $16.7 million. It grossed $52.8 million domestically with an additional $66 million overseas to a total of $118.8 million worldwide.[1] – courtesy of Wikipedia


*”Nicholas Sparks is one of the world’s most beloved storytellers. All of his books have been New York Times bestsellers, with over 97 million copies sold worldwide, in more than 50 languages, including over 65 million copies in the United States alone.”   – a snippet from Nicholas Sparks’ Biography.


Message in a bottle

Message in a bottle


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I blogged this post over on my new Hazy Shades of Me site and let me tell you, it’s all crickets. Granted, it was a Saturday evening, but there’s gotta be someone out there besides me with nothing to do on a potential party night, right?




I’ve managed to perform a magic trick. And, because I’m not a good magician, or a magician at all for that matter, I won’t be breaking any wizardish ways when I tell you what I did and how.


It happened, somewhat, by accident. I was just kicking back, playing my enchanted flute as one does and suddenly, you all stood up, as if in a trance, and followed me over to my new website. It was, after a few clicks, a couple of downloads, an export, an import and a generous dousing of fairy dust, as easy as rattling off a few spellbinding lyrics in the shower.


Now, don’t be shocked. As I said, it all just happened so quickly and sort of, unexpectedly. Oh, I admit it had been on my mind lately because, well, you may have read that I attended a Blogging Conference at the beginning of this month. That is where I sat in on a “microsession” with a WordPress expert and it was her advice that put the idea in my head. She told us that at .org we are much more in control of our site, much less restricted and, as a result, able to have a lot more fun. (This is yet to be determined)


So, as I say, the decision was definitely already brewing. My cauldron was bubbling and steaming, however things weren’t fully seasoned yet. But this is where the surprise comes in. The spell overtook even me. I became light-headed and when I came to, PRESTO KAZINGA & POOF, we were all under one roof, kneeling at the great org’s feet. (You should be taking notes, people. I just morphed from a magician to a witch right under your nose)


Anyway, that’s my big news. All of you are now following me on hazyshadesofme.orgunless you just followed me on .com in very recent days. That’s right. Eight of you were, through no fault of your own, a little late to the under-advertised party. Yes, there are eight stragglers left hanging all by their lonesomes over at .com

This is because you followed me post mystical import and, as we know, no good mamma wants to leave even one precious duckling behind. For this reason, I’d love it if you made the mortal (now that the spell has ended) effort to swim over to my (apparently) much brighter side.


I know it’s a lot to ask and if the mere thought of this is exhausting for you, I will look into stoking the fire under the now cold pot of water and see if I can’t conjure up another batch of magic to fly you over here myself.


Although hazyshadesofme.org is still in need of a good scrub and polish, I will be posting here from now on and hope we can all continue the pretty cool bond we currently have simmering over the coals.


And now, in case they have no idea they’re home alone, the last eight to make the leap are as follows:


Write With Warnimont

by Joe Warnimont

Affiliated Mindset

by Drew Iaconis

The Public Blogger

by Kendall F Pearson

Man of Many Thoughts

by Keith Garrett

Nutrition & Wellness

by Stephanie Eusebi

Business Solutions

by smilyking1976

The Amazing Adventures of Abigail Andrews

by Nickie Brooke

Remora Philippines

by Remora Philipppines


Bippity, boppity, boo!





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I dreamt all three of my children before they were born.


Now don’t click that little x. I am the most skeptical, non-hocus-pocus person you’ll ever meet. Promise. It comes standard with my RBF. (That was for a special friend, but I figure you may as well enjoy a laugh at my expense too.)


So, sanity aside, I did dream up all three of my kids before I ever met them. At three different stages of pregnancy, I had three different dreams about three different babies, at three different ages. My oldest was a newborn in my dream, my middle, three months and my daughter was just shy of a year.


Of course I dream all the time, but these dreams were different. They were tangible. In them, I could see, hear and taste as if awake. I could feel the hairs rise on the back of my neck as the downy silk of their cheeks brushed mine, I understood their dispositions and knew who I’d be meeting when the day finally came.


I would wake changed from when I’d gone to sleep. I’d come to know the tots forming in my belly. I’d been privy to what my future held. I’d been blessed with an extra day of their lives.


I can tell you there were no surprises. My first came early, slipping into our world as quietly as any living, breathing thing could. Our second, on his due date, with a head full of ebony hair and enough breath in his lungs to make up for his brother. The third, our daughter, swooped in on a magic carpet large enough to carry her and her big personality.


And I’d met them all before.


I am reminded of this because I was given another gift last night. Again, an extra day. Needless to say (I really hope it’s needless to say) I am not pregnant, but I had one of these dreams. Different, tangible, unmistakable.


Ava was about three years old. Her hair was cut into the short bob she used to wear and she wore a baseball cap. I could only see the back of her. Her squidgy little feet were covered in sand and she was struggling to get across a rocky patch. I asked her if she wanted me to pick her up and she said; “Could you, mumma,” in that tiny little voice she used to have.

Ava in her "Ash" cap

Ava in her “Ash” cap


My heart skipped and as I scooped her up, she melted in just like she was a part of me. It was one of those good holds. My arms wrapped under her teeny tushe and air could not have come between us.


“You’re the best mumma. I love you so much.” She whispered. And with the bubbles on her lips popping in my ear and the warmth of her comforting breaths, I felt the hair, once again, stand on the back of my neck.


I used to chalk my unique imaginings up to the whacky hormones of pregnancy, but after last night I know, dreams are just wishes your heart makes.





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Do I have to come out?


I admit I’m sort of comfy here in my hiding place. I mean, it’s soft and warm and I know that just outside of it lies the prickly and confusing.


I didn’t realize that’s what it was at first. A hiding place, I mean. Hiding wasn’t my intention. Honestly, all I wanted was to decompress. Absorb, grip and wrap…it all around my little finger.


But that hasn’t happened yet.


I attended a Conference the first week of October. My first one. Ever. I went with a friend to test the waters, be inspired and learn. Man, did I learn. It was for Blogging, much different, I imagine, than a Writing Conference. Writing was of course touched on, in the way of, no matter how much promoting is done, none of it will matter if a reader lands in on spelling mistakes and poorly structured sentences.


This, I knew.


What I didn’t know is how much promoting is possible. A blog can be saleable! Yes, I get that you’re all laughing right now, chuckling about my naiveté and rolling your eyes at my childlike misconception. Imagine. I’ve been using this platform as a simple journal. Silly me. Tsk, tsk!


At this point you’re probably hoping you won’t start seeing banner ads for preemie diapers and adult depends hovering above the short stories that have come to call my site home.


Heaven knows I support making money. I can even say I feel I should, in a world made of cotton candy clouds, be paid for my musings on this blog. And, why not? It takes me days or at a minimum, hours to compose a post. I even believe, that at the very least, I’ve managed to be somewhat entertaining. (Should you think differently, feel free not to leave a comment below)


But this seminar brought together two minds under one roof. Those that advertise loud and proud and those that either feel advertising is wrong or out of place on a personal blog.


Now that I know this dilemma exists, I can say that I don’t think it’s wrong.


If that opportunity comes your way, you should grab it. Obviously, I don’t display ads here, but let it be heard by the financial Gods, I’m open to it. I write for my heart and yours, and being paid for doing so does not make that any less sincere. I do think the ads you choose to place should be a good fit for your blog’s theme. So, if your blog is unfocussed, or, ahem, hazy like mine, I guess you’ve hit the proverbial pot of gold.


Money must be funny...

Money must be funny…


Really though, when we write a novel or paint a masterpiece, notice I said when, we’ll hardly be looking to give it away. Writing for unmonetized pleasure, and this does bring much, much pleasure, is wonderful, but deciding we’d like to pay for things with it, doesn’t make it tacky or low. It simply makes it lucrative.


I don’t know if I’ll ever run ads or make money from what I do, but what I do know is that every time the word writing was mentioned at that conference, my heart skipped a beat. That’s gotta count for something.


– – –


Post Script:


I’d like to mention that I really have been stuck for a couple of weeks, so if you’re still following me, bless you. And, if you’ve followed me in recent days, know that you are a big part of what dislodged the stick from my spokes and I’m truly grateful to you.


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