Eight Tongue in Cheek Reasons to Read Outside Your Comfort Zone

I’ve read dozens of books about heroes and crooks and learned much from both of their styles.–Jimmy Buffet

  1. Learn what your opposition thinks. Have you ever wondered why someone can support Trump or Biden or neither? Read a book to explore the other side’s point of view.
  2. Do well on a Jeopardy quiz. A recent show had a question about Colson Whitehead. The Underground Railroad is a book I might never have read except for a book club I joined.
  3. Discover a new favorite author or genre. I discovered Amor Towles (Gentleman in Moscow and Rules of Civility) from that same book club.
  4. You already know you are not a huge fan of a particular author. At my last library, several of the librarians were huge Carl Hiaasen fans so I read a few books too. While I found him moderately entertaining, I did not become a fangrrrl.
  5. You wonder what all of the hype is about. In the 1990s, J.K. Rowling had at least three Harry Potter Books on the Best Seller List. I read the first one and got hooked.
  6. Rediscover a new book format. Another blogger recommended Isabelle Allende’s Long Petal of the Sea. I listened to the first one on CD and have since listened to two more titles. To me, it brings the novel alive that reading it in print, might not.
  7. Decide which is better–the movie or the book. I loved the both the Lord of the Ring movies and books. I could never get into the Hobbit book but I loved all three Hobbit movies.
  8. You’ve seen the movie so you want to re-read the book. Little Woman has been remade several times as a movie. It is now for sale on the paperback racks. Don’t people know that they can read for free on Project Gutenberg?

Blog Themes DO Matter

blog themesWe each have our own theme preference.  Normally, I try not to judge someone’s blog theme,  however when:

  • Your graphics interfere with my ability to read the print of your blog post.  Splattering your portrait repeatedly is even more obnoxious than the selected graphics to highlight what you are writing about,  yet obscure the words you write.
  • Your blog automatically zooms to the top when I’m trying to read or write a comment.
  • Your blog will not allow me to go to the spot that the click here might indicate.

I have to really like your blog to want to bother with the inconvenience of navigating it .

Blog posts that are difficult to read or navigate are ranking up there with people who blog so frequently within a single day that they have become inadvertent spammers.

Please don’t be that person!

A New Way for WordPress to Make More Money from Us

Like many of you, I have just tried the new Gutenberg Editor and like most of you, I hate it.

I Googled how to revert to the old classic editor and because I am old, I printed out the directions. What the instructions fail to mention, is that you need to be at least at the Business Level ($300/year) before you are allowed to install Plug-ins which would include the Classic editor.

If I am missing something obvious, someone PLEASE tell me. I may be slow but normally I’m educable.

International Friendship Day-July 30

International Friendship Day seems like a good time to recognize the international friends we’ve made in the blogosphere.

Although we’ve never met
except in bits and bytes,
I feel we’ve met each other
in the blog posts  that we write

We sometimes bare our souls
and sometimes share the pain.
If it’s not a blog we care for
most  of us refrain
from acting like the trolls
who can drive us all insane.

I don’t have the memory or the capacity to recognize all of you who deserve mention (so if you are left off the list, please accept my apology)   Since this is International Friendship Day and I live in the United States, I hope my fellow Americans will not take umbrage at not being mentioned at this time.


Andrea  Stephenson (England) of Harvesting Hecate

Audrey Driscoll (Canada) of Audrey Driscoll’s Blog

Celia (Australia) of Fig Jam and Lime Cordial

Denzil Walton (Belgium) of Discovering Belgium

Francisco Bravo Carera (Spain) of Art, Poetry and Music:  This is Valencia

Kally (Kuala Lumpur and Singapore) of Middle Me

Laleh Chini (Canada, originally Iran)  of A Voice from Iran

Luisa Zambrotta (Italy) of Words and  Music and Stories

Moyatori (Canada) of Moyatorium

Ortensia (Ireland and Italy) of Truly Madly Ordinary

Paul Vincent Cannon (Australia)  of  Paralax

Roy McCarthy (Jersey, Channel Islands) of Back on the Rock

Attitude is Not a Platitude

attitude is everything.

On June 12, when I looked at my statistics, I realized I had published my 1,000th blog post.   I started on February 12, 2017 so it only took me three years and four months.

Quip–a witty remark. E-Quips (think e-book or email) is hopefully a witty blog.  Is it?

Since then, I’ve expanded what I write about and feel more comfortable taking a stand on some issues.  As a Libra, I try to look at both sides of an issue before making a final decision.

Blogging (almost) every day is a personal decision.  I am retired and usually have the time to write.  I don’t feel the need to be long-winded in order to get a point across.  I also feel that many people cover a topic with more eloquence or authority than I do and the librarian in me wants to share those writings with you.

So I’d like to share my gratitude
For those who like my attitude
This is real, not platitude
Though it might just be a pat-itude.

Punintendedly yours,


Largest Book in the World

This is a reblog from Anika Perry’s Writing Blog entitled Not One to Read in Bed

Weighing 1,420 kilos (3,130 lb) and measuring a ginormous 4.18 m x 3.77 m (13.71 x 12.36 ft) this colossus book needs six people and special machine to open the pages.

Not surprisingly, the book gained the Guinness World Record at the time for being the largest book in the world.

In its 364 pages, the book explores the flora, fauna, caves and architecture of Szinpetri in northern Hungary.

I guess it does not come in paperback….

Giving Yourself Permission to Write

writing editing

When I lived in San Diego,  I used to take writing classes almost every quarter from the University of  California, San Diego Extension program because it was:

  1. Fun
  2. Convenient
  3. Had great teachers
  4. Offered a variety of classes
  5. Gave me a reason to permit myself to write

That is correct.  Unless I had a paper to write or a work assignment, I never gave myself permission to write just because I enjoyed doing it.

I had forgotten about that until Teagan R. Geneviene of  Teagan’s Books.,commented that

I let myself buy all sorts of paints and some canvases when I first moved, wanting to get back into that (after a decade long break), and I haven’t even done that. I’m “working on” allowing myself time for creativity and relaxation… working on it.

That was exactly how I felt about allowing myself time to write.

Fortunately, one of the last classes I took at UCSD Extension was a blog writing class–three years later, I’m still blogging.

It has become addictive and unless I have written something every day, the day feels unfinished, almost wasted.

On the plus side, I think that my writing has improved and it is easy to come up with  new topics (even before the ready made topic of Coronavirus).  I am old enough to have something to say and hopefully something worth sharing.

On the negative side, because writing is so easy for me, I know I do not push myself hard enough to improve. (I’m relying too much on the idea that practice makes, if not perfect, at least improvement.)

Do you enjoy doing something that you do not  give yourself permission to do?  Why are we like that?  Do we feel that we do not deserve to do something just because we enjoy it?

May 13 is National Frog Jumping Day

The  holiday began after Mark Twain wrote the Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,

From the National Day Calendar

In 1865, Mark Twain published his first short story, Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog. Later, he changed the name and published it as The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.  This same story also had a third title, The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.

The current frog jumping record was set in 1986 by Rosie the Ribeter, who jumped 21 feet, 5-3/4 inches.

Mark Twain’s story about a pet frog named Dan’l Webster and a casual competition between two men betting on whose frog jumps higher, is the origin of National Frog Jumping Day. The annual Frog Jumping Contest, which began in 1849 in Calaveras County, California is also an origin of this holiday. The international counterpart of this celebration is February 19.frog

Reblog: Are You a Hobby Writer?

Audrey Driscoll  takes a droll look at what  a hobby writer might be and  synonyms for hobby writer that produce a clever take of what different types of non-serious writers might  be like.

Do you take your writing seriously or is it just a hobby?writer with typewriter

Anyone who writes with serious intention may call themselves a writer. And those of us who publish our own works may even call themselves publishers.

Today is World Poetry Day–March 21

magnetic fridge poetryWorld Poetry Day was declared by UNESCO in 1999. Each year, UNESCO meets and focuses on some particular poet and his or her works. Often, the spotlight is cast on poetry written in a minority or even rare and endangered language. Poetry recitals and similar events may also be held in various countries in recognition of the day.


Have you read a poem that touched your heart

Or almost tore your soul apart?

Moved you to tears or made you think

Raised your courage or had it shrink?

Brightened you day or darkened your night

Leaving you shivering in abject fright.

If it made an impact, and you know it

Please remember to thank the poet.

It’s a great precursor for April which is Poetry Month.

Did you know that there was an  American Poetry Museum in Washington, DC?

  • It’s at 716 Monroe St NE #25th, Washington, DC 20017
  • Hours are Tuesday and Thursday, 5-8 PM and Saturday and Sunday, 10-4.

The American Poetry Museum (APM) is dedicated to celebrating poetry, promoting literacy, fostering meaningful dialogue, encouraging an appreciation for the diversity of the American experience, and educating local, national, and international audiences through the presentation, preservation and interpretation of American poetry.

Founded in 2004, APM is one of the first museums in the world dedicated to collecting, interpreting and presenting American poetry. We are committed to the continuation of poetry as a literary and performance art and the use of poetry as an active tool for education.

Reblog: Ways for Bibliophiles to Honor Women’s History Month


In Library School  I traced the publishing history of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.  One of Jane’s quotes I included

“the little bit (two Inches wide) of Ivory on which I work with so fine a Brush, as produces little effect after much labour.”

Jane Austen collageSix years later, When I saw how small her writing table (which is not to be confused her austen's writing table.travel writing desk) at her home in Chawton, England, I realized she did not have much space to write on.

From author’s homes to feminist bookstores, there are multiple ways to celebrate women authors.  https://noveldestinations.com/2020/03/08/5-ways-for-bibliophiles-to-honor-womens-history-month/

February 25 – Honoring Katherine Johnson — from Celebrate Picture Books

Katherine Johnson, a mathematician extraordinaire and savior of Apollo 13, passed away yesterday. This is a wonderful book review of a children’s picture book written about it.

Platform Number 4

If you’ve read the book, “Hidden Figures,” by Margot Lee Shetterly, or have seen the movie, Katherine Johnson was one of the featured “human computers!” In addition to the children’s book below, a picture book of “Hidden Figures” is also available. Such amazing women!       ~Becky

Katherine Johnson passed away yesterday at the age of 101. Recognized from an early age for her brilliance, Katherine went on to become a pivotal mathematician for NASA as the space race led to the first manned missions and lunar landings. She continued working for NASA on the space shuttle and other […]

via February 25 – Honoring Katherine Johnson —

View original post

Spamalot–A Better Parody than a Practice

Lovely Spam! Wonderful Spam!
Lovely Spam! Wonderful Spam
Lovely Spam! (Lovely…

spamI follow at least three bloggers who blog multiple times a day.  I have resorted to receiving their blogs once a day or once a week.  In the cases of two of them, I delete them without reading any of the content.  The other one covers a wide range of topics so I skim his titles and like without usually reading the blog content.   (Which makes me wonder how many of my ‘likes’ are people who don’t bother reading the content.)

Monty Python’s Spamalot is a musical comedy adapted from the 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Like the motion picture, it is a highly irreverent parody of the Arthurian legend, but it differs from the film in many ways.

While the musical comedy may be amusing, receiving blog spam is not.  Please be considerate when you blog.  I’d rather wish you would post more frequently than wish you wouldn’t saturate my inbox with too much incoming.  It’s like the girl in the bathing suit–make us wish we could see more rather than sorry that we did.


JeanMarie offers several good examples of why an author’s bio is important and helpful tips on what it should contain.

Words from JeanMarie

At the beginning of the month, I led a workshop for members of Living Poetry on how to submit poetry to journals. I felt that as a poet who submits my work, and as a poetry reviewer/editor on the other side of the desk for the Heron Clan anthologies, I had something to offer.

It was a very small group, but it’s been years since I’ve done this, so it was good practice. According to my friend, associate and provisional sidekick, Bartholomew Barker, L.P. Head Wrangler, I probably talked too much, so if we do this again next year, I’ll change it up a bit. But even with all that talking, I never got to the subject of Author/Poet bios, so let’s talk about it here.

Author bios serves several purposes. The first is to connect with readers and share a little of your personality. It’s also a marketing…

View original post 434 more words

Reblog: How Writer’s Map Their Imaginary Worlds

Writer's MapDo you like to look at maps and wonder who lives there, who drew the map, what world is this? This Atlas Obscura article is a true treasure trove of fictional maps created by some of your favorite authors.  From Thomas More’s Utopia through the Swiss Family Robinson and JRR Tolkien, fiction and fantasy books have taken readers to places they never imagined and only readers can explore.

One of life’s great treats, for a lover of books (especially fantasy books), is to open a cover to find a map secreted inside and filled with the details of a land about to be discovered. A writer’s map hints at a fully imagined world, and at the beginning of a book, it’s a promise. In the middle of a book, it’s a touchstone and a guide. And at the end, it’s a reminder of all the places the story has taken you.