Tag Archives: humor

My TOP 8 Writing Tips for Newbies

Here’s a quick Top 8 list of things to help you write anything!


  1. Don’t have any distractions (tv, kids etc). This means turn off your email, close all windows (on your computer, dummy, not the ones in your house, although that might be a good idea too.) Okay, scratch the dummy part. You can close all your windows if you want. It does after all get noisy out there sometimes. Come to think of it, that effin bird out there is making an awful racket. Perhaps I will just close mine…sorry about that, had to go out and ask my neighbour to mow his lawn after I’d finished writing this and we got to talking about bedding plants. Now, back to the list. Hey, what’s that buzzing sound? Oh, it’s my cell phone — I have it on vibrate so as not to get distracted.
  2. It is a good idea to have your phone on vibrate…damn! Who is so insistent that they phone right after not getting answered the first time? Do they think I am a bit slow and it takes me a while to figure out my effin phone is trying to get my attention…oh, fuck it, I better answer, it’s going off again… Well, that was an interesting call about why I need to switch my cell service provider. I told her when they can figure out how to schedule the phone calls so they do not occur when I am writing a blog post or when I am in desperate need for the bathroom, they got me for life! When I was in the afore-mentioned bathroom, I noticed my toenails were getting a little long so I got out the trimmers; and of course, then I noticed my legs hadn’t been shaved in a while. Wish I had more time to…
  3. Schedule a specific time each day to write. Even if it is late at night, or early in the morning before work. I have this friend whose husband used to get up at 6 am to write before work. I wonder how he is doing on his book. You know, I really should check online to see if he is on Amazon yet. I bet his book would be really interesting after all that work he put in…
  4. Do NOT get tempted to look anything up on the internet unless it directly relates to what you are writing about. I just spent over $50 and I do not remember exactly what I bought, but it definitely was not my friend’s husband’s book. He wasn’t on Amazon. I should shoot him an email to tell him I checked…Ah, no! Almost fell for that one! Just keep writing, just keep writing…
  5. KEEP WRITING — It is best to keep a document on your desktop to add any ideas to throughout the day so you can expand upon them during your scheduled writing time. Just highlight or delete as you use the content. Ooh, just remembered I had a list somewhere about staying on topic and pruning your work for efficacy and clarity. Hmm, it’s here somewhere…
  6. Stay organized. Just spent an hour browsing through files and getting lost in the mountain of images, photos and documents that do not seem to follow any sort of chronological order, or aren’t arranged in any conceivably organized way. Now I am very despondent. Perhaps a snack to make me feel better.
  7. Okay, no snacking until you finish. You should set a goal (say 500 words or 30 mins or writing if its a blog, or longer if you are working on a novel), and have a favourite snack or bevvy on hand for when you complete. Oh, just remembered, I ate the last of the Goldfish crackers with my red wine last night (thanks, Mandy, for that suggestion — delicious! Just like I had my own wine and cheese party) Anyway, I’ll just pop out and get some nibbles. You know, for when I finish this.

It’s ON, Baby! Blog Blitz Challenge!

Blogging Blitz

I attended social media seminars, watched tutorials on how to build websites (gave up on that torture for a while), perused posts of popular bloggers, and studied how to market myself (I am, after all, trying to sell a book and garner more writing/editing/social media clients). I have come to the conclusion that it is time to stop procrastinating with questions about how to blog and build a support system, and learn by doing. So, at the suggestion of many other bloggers, I set myself a challenge. But that wasn’t good enough for me. I also had to drag my sister into it as well. Misery loves company, and so do social experiments. Helen is also a work-from-home entrepreneur who finds little time for self-promotion and sharing stories and information on her website. The answer – bully her into it!

We challenged each other to a blog blitz for the month of July. You may join us if you wish! Here are the criteria:

  1. Starting July 1st (Canada Day) post 100-500 words about Canada Day. It can be a past memory, a funny story, or tips on how to BBQ the perfect wiener. Include picture and share on your social media channels.
  2. Note your followers and visits per day, and watch through the month. Notice when they peak and which posts are working best for you.
  3. Every other day in July, post 100-500 words on any subject you wish. You can share personal stories, but alternate with helpful tips about your specific business or hobby. Don’t forget to share on your social media!
  4. Directly after you publish each post, visit 2-5 other websites that relate to you or your business and comment, like, or share one of their posts. If they have a “Follow Me” button, make sure to click it if you find their content interesting or relevant.
  5. Make sure you respond to all comments and emails from followers. If someone liked your post, or followed you, make sure to visit their blog or website.
  6. Include invitations on each post. “Comment below”, “Share a link”, “Ask me a question”.
  7. If a reader does ask a question, try and answer question through another post.
  8. Use catchy titles. Some examples:
    • I was a Stripper Mom (Post was about me accidentally exposing myself after breastfeeding)
    • Before You Publish, Edit That Shit! (People get edgy when you swear at them, and might click just so they can reciprocate in kind)
    • Why I Don’t Worry About the End of the World (Fake Post – STOP clicking it! – but who wouldn’t want to know what you have to say?– Hey, I may have to actually do a post about this now!)
    • What Type of Omelette Are You? ( Helen and I spoke at length about how popular those info-gathering, time-swallowing, soul-sucking posts are, so why not jump on the bandwagon of insanity? Ooooh, another great post title!)

This posting challenge should only take an hour a day, and once you are more practiced, should take less time. This challenge is not about breaking your spirit and filling you with self-doubt and denial, causing you to collapse in a puddle of tears (but if this does happen, please post pics); it is about empowering each other to celebrate accomplishments and learn from mistakes.

If you are techy at all, try and make a short video or podcast, adding it to Youtube and sharing it on social media. If you share a video/audio post, BONUS POINTS to you! That means you can skip a post day and wallow in your brilliant success.

Please share your stories, advice, successes and failures (Helen and I love a good laugh, and it would sooo boost our self-esteem). And please visit Helen’s site too and see what she’s got going on: www.armyofevilrobots.com 

Now, do YOU accept this challenge?

You Know You’re an Author When…

Oh, yeah...this is good. I'm awesome! Gonna make sooo much money!!
Oh, yeah…this is good. I’m awesome! Gonna make sooo much money!!
  1. You check hourly on how your book is doing since launching it a week ago on Amazon.
  2. You swear and throw things when you realize the manuscript file you loaded was the “test” one and not the final proofread copy.
  3. You obsessively scan the “right” book before hitting upload, terrified you may have missed something, or are accidentally uploading your mom’s favourite chocolate chip cookie recipe instead (hey, there’s a good blog post topic…actually, you think you have chocolate chips in the cupboard. You have time to whip up a batch!)
  4. You mix the cookie dough, then realize there are no chocolate chips (you ate them while checking on how your book was doing yesterday.)
  5. You eat the dough raw — because!
  6. You wonder how you ever got a book written in the first place.
  7. You congratulate yourself on actually writing a book, and forgive yourself for the upload error, ‘cos who’s actually gonna buy it and read it anyway?
  8. You spend the rest of the day looking up symptoms of food poisoning from raw cookie batter and promise yourself to fix the upload issue tomorrow.

Pod Sisters – First Pod chat!

And This Is How I Ruin Any Eventual Chance I Have For Grandchildren…

Ahh, more loony ravings of a mom who misses the good old days!

Fisticuffs and Shenanigans


In the wake of Mother’s Day, I’ve been contemplating the real lessons and sacrifices of what it takes to be a mother. Should someday, I lose my mind (read: get incredibly drunk) and tell my children the truth…I’m afraid that it’s going to sound painfully like the following list…

1. Kids, when you were babies, everything about your bodies was miraculous and beautiful, but now my biggest fear is that one of you will grow pubes, and that I might accidentally see them.  I’m pretty sure you harbor the same fear, so let’s all just be cool, and keep this from happening, okay?

2. Children…loves of my life…there is NOTHING I wouldn’t do for you…NOTHING…except let you drink out of my glass.  It’s fucking gross, and you’re old enough to get your own cup, so let’s make that happen, or I’m going to start backwashing on purpose.

3. The ten minute drive between your school…

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Fun and Somewhat Sane Family Activities

Are your kids begging for you to leave them alone? Do you need ideas to get the conversation going, or something going? Well, I can’t help you with that . . . you’re on your own. But I can share some of the weirder activities I have done with my kids that did keep their attention for more than five seconds. These days, with computers and smart phones constantly engaging and entertaining your kids (I know! Those pesky technologies!), parents who actually want to spend some time with their kids have to get creative . . . or crazy . . . both work.

Activities you can do with your Kids:

#1: Stalk your teenage neighbours


My daughter won’t walk with me anymore since our last outing. Let me explain . . . since my daughter took up drumming, I have been eager for her to meet other musical people. While on a walk one evening, I heard a rhythmic beat and crash of cymbals drifting out from under a garage door. As soon as I returned home, I asked my daughter to go back out with me, because I had something exciting to share. She reluctantly agreed – you see, she is still not totally convinced of my insanity, so I can still trick her into doing things she doesn’t want to do. I told her about the elusive percussionist and I suggested she introduce herself as soon as I could find the damn house. She stood staring dumfounded at me . . . ”What?” I kept backtracking because I couldn’t remember the exact house, and then the rain started. My daughter was not impressed. She told me how uncool I was. I suppose it isn’t like when she was three and I set up play dates for her. But, there’s got to be an easier way to meet other drummers; they seem to be as shy as Big Foot! Then I can arrange a “jam” for her. Won’t that be cute? Meanwhile, I shall have to come up with a devious way to get her out walking again; but you get the point . . . be creative!


#2        Enjoy a candy date


Love candy, but tired of watching my daughter sort her Nerd candies into groups based on size. OCD candidate or future Quality Control Officer? Don’t care as long as she shares with me!!

#3        Reminisce about special toys


My kids had hobby horses when they were in kindergarten, named Puke and Vomit. I had no input into the name choosing, but they love to talk to me about them . . . over and over again, and come up with equally distressing and disgusting names. Parental participation level: Low (you just have to listen and have a high tolerance for crudities).

#4        Brother dot-to-dot

My daughter has always been gifted in art and I take all the credit. I would often walk into the living room where I had left Amy and Henry placidly watching TV, and catch Henry stripped to the waist while Amy connected the moles on his back with a marker. So creative, always a new picture; though I wish she’d not used the permanent marker from the kitchen drawer! Warning: This activity will not be popular after your kids graduate elementary school. Believe me, I tried. Sorry, but I thought it would be cute to take pictures of a mole doodle, but my fourteen-year-old son was horrified and called me a “Perv.” And that’s why you will not see many photos of my kids. They have to be vetted before I post them.

#5        Critique your favourite movie


I suppose a better word would be “criticize” your favourite movie. We spent a whole afternoon rewinding and pausing Harry Potter to see how many times Daniel Radcliffe does that strange double blink. No matter how much you love a movie, you know you’ve watched it too much when you start wanting to do shots every time a character blinks . . . and Harry blinks a lot! 😉 Can’t wait until my kids are drinking age . . . does that make me a bad mom?


#6        Create food art


My kids were asked to make food art when they were younger and a story unfolded…”The detective interviewed the mourning widow after she found her husband shot through the head…” Their favourite part was stabbing the toothpick through the head of the penguin. Then they ate the penguins. Twisted kids = great imaginations . . . at least that’s what I tell myself. I am sure your kids will enjoy this activity without the grisly murder scene.


#7        Search through Momma’s purse for receipts with amusing item descriptions


I had to explain what almond butts were. “You know, when you do too many squats, and your butt gets all wrinkly. That’s why momma doesn’t exercise,” I told my curious kids.

#8           Dance naked in the rain

Okay, I did not participate (you may if you wish), but I loved watching my little tykes skip through the garden in a summer rain shower with nothing but an umbrella and a smile. Eventually the umbrellas were discarded as they reveled in the mud, and the phone would ring and a nosy neighbor on the other end would say in a bored voice, “Your kids are outside naked again.”

#9           Butt painting

I seem to have a nude theme going here; but, what can I say? My kids hated clothes and it was easier on the washing machine and my sanity. I would fill paper plates with paint, spread rolls of newsprint on the floor and set my kids free. Inevitably, the body parts would be dipped, and the paper covered in suspiciously shaped prints.

#10         Create a Wall of Shame

Pick a family member, sort through photo albums, find the most embarrassing photos and create a framed collage. Who wants a poster of something pretty when you can be admiring your uncle in drag or your papa who always seems to be shirtless or pulling a face (we have several Wall of Shame collages featuring different family members).  Tip: You might want to switch out the collage for a Robert Bateman when the honoree shows up for dinner!



Your kind comments are welcome, and feel free to share your ideas!


Positivity: The ability to absorb the beauty in the world, and repel the negativity.

I read a short post recently by Christy Mossburg. It was a simple shout-out to the benefits of looking on the bright side and having the right attitude in life. I thought to myself, “There should be more positive posts out there, and less criticism.” I read so many negative comments and jaded remarks and often it is just people venting or trying to find a forum for their rant. There are so many problems in the schools with bullying, and so many diagnosed cases of depression, it’s time we all started to support the people who shine a light into a dark corner and breathe life into a deflated soul.

So, Christy, thank you for reminding me to focus more on what makes me happy and share that. Thank you for bringing more sunshine into the world. And, dear reader, please share your happy thoughts or positive comments. If you have anything negative to say, bugger off! No, wait, let me turn that negative into a positive: Go for a nice walk, find a picturesque bridge overlooking a deep ravine carved out by crystal-blue rapids and dive right in–enjoy that bracing swim!

I will strive to see the half-full glass, the light at the end of the tunnel, and the silver lining around every dark cloud. I will turn away from the negative, embrace the positive–always.

Humpy Sweat 10, Onny!

So, once again I’m up for the ‎Worst Mother of the Year Award. It was my daughter’s 16th birthday yesterday. This was the calendar of events:
1. Let her sleep in, but sent her off to school with no lunch.
2. Made her a cake, but it was Betty Crocker and the icing clumped in the tube dispenser, turning Happy Sweet 16, Amy into something that looked more like, Humpy Sweat 10, Onny (Hey, at least it was better than the fire-breathing dragon cake I made for her brother when he turned 4 – everyone thought it looked like a puking horse!)
3. Fed her salmon pie (my favourite) for dinner which she barely touched.
4. Kidnapped her and took her on an hour hike with my walking group (made up of men and women between 40 and 80 years of age!) Hey, this was just poor communication. She thought I was taking her to McDonalds – I mentioned a walk, but she heard, “Sorry for the crap meal. Let’s go buy you a burger!”
Not to worry! I have an opportunity to redeem myself! Fish and chips tonight @AustinFishNChip in Mission. They have a deep-fried Mars bar to die for!