Category Archives: Special Events

I experienced Devils Tower

IMG_0016There is no other way to describe the trip I took to Devils Tower, WY, except to say I experienced it – I experienced The Tower.

The pictures don’t give you the actual feel of the place, but I’ll share a bunch of pictures anyway.

 

 

IMG_0018

 

IMG_0019

IMG_0020

IMG_0021

IMG_0025

IMG_0026

Special thanks to Frank Sanders, Tina, and Stephanie at Devils Tower Lodge. Between the accommodations, breakfasts, and dinners, I wouldn’t stay anywhere else. I can definitely recommend Devils Tower Lodge, P. O. Box 66, Devils Tower, WY, 82714. 888-314-5267. If you go, stay here.

Franks's Place Devils Tower Lodge

Franks’s Place
Devils Tower Lodge

Advertisements

16 Comments

Filed under Personal Articles, Special Events

Uptown Funky Sharks

Are you familiar with the Mark Ronson/Bruno Mars video, Uptown Funk?

Here is the video if you are not familiar.

 

 

If the “embed” doesn’t work (sometimes on preview it does, and sometimes not), here is the link.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPf0YbXqDm0

Before the Word Sharks Writers’ Conference, I took the lyrics and made them my own. Listen to the video and try these words instead.

I bring you, Uptown Funky Sharks.

*   *   *

Doh

Doh doh doh, doh doh doh, doh doh

Doh doh doh, doh doh doh, doh doh

Doh doh doh, doh doh doh, doh doh

Doh doh doh, doh doh doh, (Aaaaaow!)

This bites

That cold fin

Hey Roy Scheider

That cold swim

This one, for them hood sharksIMG_1784

Them good sharks

Need a bigger boat

Stylin’, while in

Livin’ it up in the city

Got tail on with the dorsal fins

Gotta kiss my gills, so pretty

I’m too hot (hot sharks)

Called a police and a fireman

I’m too hot (hot sharks)

Make a great white wanna retire, man

I’m too hot (hot sharks)

Fish say my name you know who I am

I’m too hot (hot sharks)

Am I bad ‘bout that swimming

Break it down

Girls say we gonna bite ya (whoo)FullSizeRender 2

Girls say we gonna bite ya (whoo)

Girls say we gonna bite ya (whoo)

‘Cause Uptown Sharks gon’ give it to ya

‘Cause Uptown Sharks gon’ give it to ya

‘Cause Uptown Sharks gon’ give it to you

Saturday night and we in the spot

Don’t believe me, just write (come on)

Doh

Doh doh doh, doh doh doh, doh doh (Hah!)

Don’t believe me, just write

Doh

Doh doh doh, doh doh doh, doh doh (Hah!)

Don’t believe me, just write

Don’t believe me, just write

Don’t believe me, just write

Don’t believe me, just write

Hey, hey, hey, oh!

Stop!IMG_1794

Wait a minute

Fill my cup, put some fishies in it

Take a sip, sign a check

“Liz-beth, get the Stang!

Ride to New York, Mauertown, Boston, Harpursville,

If we show up, we gon’ show out

Smoother than a bunch ole hippies

I’m too hot (hot sharks)

Called a police and a fireman

I’m too hot (hot sharks)

Make a great white, retire, man

I’m too hot (hot sharks, hot sharks)

Fish say my name you know who I am

I’m too hot (hot sharks)

Am I bad ‘bout that munchin’

Break it downFullSizeRender 3

Girls say we gonna bite ya (whoo)

Girls say we gonna bite ya (whoo)

Girls say we gonna bite ya (whoo)

‘Cause Uptown Sharks gon’ give it to ya

‘Cause Uptown Sharks gon’ give it to ya

‘Cause Uptown Sharks gon’ give it to ya

Saturday night and we in the spot

Don’t believe me, just write

Doh

Doh doh doh, doh doh doh, doh doh (Hah!)

Don’t believe me, just write

Doh

Doh doh doh, doh doh doh, doh doh (Hah!)

Don’t believe me, just write

Don’t believe me, just write

Don’t believe me, just write

Don’t believe me, just write

Hey, hey, hey, oh!

Before we leaveIMG_1788

Let me tell y’all a lil something

Uptown shark you up, uptown shark you up

Uptown shark you up, uptown shark you up

I said uptown shark you up, uptown shark you up

Uptown shark you up, uptown shark you up

Come on swim

Swim on it

If you sharky, then flaunt it

If you sharky, then own it

Don’t brag about it, come show me

Come on, swim

Swim on it

If you sharky then flaunt it

Well it’s Saturday night and we in the spot

Don’t believe me, just write (come on)

Doh

Doh doh doh, doh doh doh, doh doh (Hah!)

Don’t believe me, just write

Doh

Doh doh doh, doh doh doh, doh doh (Hah!)

Don’t believe me, just write

Don’t believe me, just write

Don’t believe me, just write

Don’t believe me, just write

Hey, hey, hey, oh!

Uptown shark you up, uptown shark you up (say whaa?)

Uptown shark you up, uptown shark you up

Uptown shark you up, uptown shark you up (say whaa?)

Uptown shark you up, uptown shark you up

Uptown shark you up, uptown shark you up (say whaa?)

Uptown shark you up, uptown shark you up

Uptown shark you up, uptown shark you up (say whaa?)

Uptown shark you up

Biiiiiiiiite!

karen sanderson fat

12 Comments

Filed under Branding & Platform, Special Events

The writer’s ABC exercise, with Pamela Wight

Pam WightPamela Wight, of Rough Wighting, introduced this writing-off-the-cuff exercise at the recent Word Sharks’ Conference in Newark, DE.

And what a great exercise it is! Start with a prompt – Pamela gave us the opening, “A little while ago…” – and just keep writing. Each new sentence must start with the next letter of the alphabet.

From Pamela’s notes handed out at the conference: keep your hand moving, lose control, don’t think, don’t worry about punctuation, spelling, or grammar, and be free to write the worst junk in America.

If you have about ten minutes, I encourage you to try it.

Here are my results from this exercise (I have edited a teensy bit, just to aid in the ease of reading).

*   *   *

A little while ago, I realized that I wanted to sponsor my own writing conference. Because I need attention, or because I wanted to get together with long-time internet friends? Crap, I don’t know. Don’t we all have self-doubts? Especially if we exist online only and never have to stand – in person – before these people. Friends – true friends – would never say, “Boy, was this a mistake.”

Good friends come together. IMG_1773

Have face-to-face conversation.

Imagine together.

Jump in.

Kangaroos jump in!

Laughing all the way to publication.

Maybe this is the start of something special for this small handful of friends. Never before has this happened, and never again will this first Word Sharks Conference repeat itself.

Oh, we might gather again – in six months or a year – but the original “yay, finally, we are here” will never again be the first time.

Perhaps subsequent emails and handwritten notes can help us reconnect and share and promote.

Quietly, quickly, we become our own little writers’ group.

Realistically, we may never gather in the same room again.

Satisfaction comes from this one conference, this one gathering. Tomorrow might never come, and glorious today, we sit in the small group sharing our feelings, insights, and ideas.

Until tomorrow, friends.

Very sincerely,

Word Shark

XOXO

Your friend…

*   *   *

This is where I finally got hung up – on the Z.

Can you finish the exercise with a good “Z” word?

 

23 Comments

Filed under Personal Articles, Special Events

First Ever Word Sharks Conference

I first thought about hosting my own conference years ago. I wondered, “Who would come?” I ruminated, I wondered, I worried.

And then I put the idea out there…on social networking.

I got a handful of responses. I thought, “Hmm, not much interest.”

And then I had another thought: perhaps this first Word Sharks Conference should be small, intimate, personal.

So, the first Word Sharks Conference was created. It will happen this June in Newark, DE, near my hometown. In the home of my brother (the cheapest venue I could find, and he makes awesome ribs).

I am pleased and proud to tell you about the first Word Sharks Conference attendees and presenters.

Prepare for future Word Sharks Conferences. If this one flies – er, swims – we may do it again.

Barbara Forte AbateBarbara Forte Abate –

Finding Your Right Editor

Barbara Forte Abate grew up in Millbrook, New York, and currently lives in a creaky old house in Pennsylvania, where she makes up lies, doses them with truth, and titles it fiction. She is long time married to a very fine man and is the mother of four fabulous children. Barbara is the award-winning author of The Secret of Lies, Asleep Without Dreaming, and newly released, Painted From Memories.

JJ BROWNJ.J. Brown –

Writing for Good – Turning Tragedies Into Tales

J.J. Brown is a health journalist and the author of seven books including short stories, novels, poetry, and nonfiction. Originally from the foothills of the Catskill Mountains of New York, she now works and lives in New York City. J.J. Brown completed a PhD in genetics and worked as a research scientist prior to turning to health education, fiction writing and publishing.

Elizabeth CottrellElizabeth H. Cottrell –

Connect With Your Readers: Strategies for Nonfiction Writers

“An effective nonfiction writer teaches, informs, and often persuades or inspires. Connection and clarity are essential elements to outstanding nonfiction content: connection with the needs and desires of your reader and clarity about what will meet those needs and desires.” ~ Elizabeth H. Cottrell

In this workshop, Elizabeth will share strategies for connecting with your readers so they find your nonfiction book more readable, valuable, and compelling.

For over 25 years, Elizabeth has been a technical and freelance writer with content expertise in the areas of small business/entrepreneurship, biology/medicine, and community banking. Since 1991, she’s owned and operated RiverwoodWriter, LLC, offering both writing and desktop publishing services to help others get their ideas expressed and published. She has helped produce regional and family histories, and has ghostwritten a corporate history, a memoir, and several other nonfiction books.

Elizabeth is a bank board member, community activist, Extra Class amateur radio operator (W4EHC), note-writing evangelist, and (from a former life) published leprosy researcher. She and her husband John live in Virginia on the north fork of the Shenandoah River, where every day she is inspired by her surroundings. Elizabeth blogs at Heartspoken.com about strengthening life’s essential connections—with God, with self, with others, and with nature.

Pam WightPamela Wight –

Exploring the Hidden Stories in Your Mind

“Writing is the act of burning through the fog in your mind.” – N. Goldberg. How do we lift the fog and discover our creativity? My creative ‘wighting’ for fun classes help students explore the hidden stories in their minds. In our Delaware explorations, I’ll share some of the writing exercises and tips I’ve used to encourage pens (or laptops) to flow with ease. All you need to bring (besides your writing accoutrements) is a zeal for the zany and poignant, a sense of humor, and a willingness to be open and honest as you write.

Pamela Wight has an M.A. in Literature and is a writer, editor, and teacher with a focus on adult fiction. She has published two books (The Right Wrong Man and Twin Desires) and writes a weekly blog called Roughwighting. Pamela’s career has included editing medical textbooks, writing medical articles for Advance newsmagazines, and devoting years as the managing editor of the journal Radiologic Technology. Pamela has taught creative writing classes for over 25 years in both the San Francisco and Boston areas.

Karen Sanderson (4)Karen R. Sanderson –

Editing and Proofreading Tidbits and Tricks

Karen will call on her years of research and work with writers to provide editing tidbits and proofreading tricks to help make your writing better and more concise.

Karen R. Sanderson was raised by a mother who wanted to be an English teacher and who worked for Merriam-Webster as a proofreader and an aunt who could complete the Sunday New York Times crossword in a day. Karen completed writing coursework through UCLA and University of New Mexico and was the winner of the SouthWest Writers 2009 Writing Contest – The Best Hook. She is currently pursuing her BA in English at Minot State University. Her short stories have been featured in The Rose & Thorn Journal, Every Child is Entitled to Innocence anthology, Valley Living Magazine, BewilderingStories.com, and WritingRaw.com. 

Stephen King –

He’s been invited but probably won’t show up.

And if his people tell him about the invitation I sent…I suggested he show up with a basket full of Maine lobsters.

17 Comments

Filed under Special Events

What can we do for our troops? 2015

FullSizeRender (4)

Are you wondering, “What can I do for the troops?”

Problem solved…

Soldiers’ Angels – Sign up and “adopt” a service member and send socks, baby powder, lip balm, flip flops, sleep pants, shaving cream, toothbrushes and toothpaste, books, and more.

Operation Paperback – This organization “collects gently used books nationwide and sends them to American troops overseas as well as veterans and military families here at home.”

Ebooks for Troops – Provides e-books to military personnel deployed overseas. You can also donate a used Kindle.

Books for Soldiers – You can donate books, DVDs, and games.

Send a cuppa joe to a Joe (or Jane)

Green Beans Coffee is so easy – it takes only a couple minutes – you can spend just $2 ($2!) and send a great cup of coffee to a service member overseas. Connect with Green Beans Coffee on Facebook.

Just send a note – zero dollars

The USO has a page that allows you to send a note, and it won’t cost you a cent.

Or you can Act Now to help with a monetary contribution.

Wounded Warriors

What a worthy cause. Helping our Wounded Warriors live a better life.

Copied from their site – “To raise awareness and enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members. To help injured service members aid and assist each other. To provide unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of injured service members.”

Make a one-time donation to Wounded Warriors.

Remember what our warriors have done for you. What will you do for our troops this holiday season?

Stock and Roberts, Iraq, 2009-2010

 

6 Comments

Filed under For The Troops, Special Events

Thanksgiving dinner

image-21[1]Holiday Dinner

Chicken runs round the farm yard,

Wishes he was the duck.

Duck runs round the barn yard,

Wishes he was the pig.

Pig runs round the pig sty,

Wishes he was the horse

Horse smiles, relaxes in stall.

Thanksgiving day, he’ll mourn them all.

19 Comments

Filed under Special Events

A first at the Taube Museum

IMG_1110

I’ve been painting and drawing for years – for my own pleasure, to give as gifts, to hang in my apartment.

This is a first for me. I will present art prints for sale at the Festival of the Season at the Taube Museum. In a museum, no less!

I have no idea how these prints will be received (or if they will sell), but as Mom and Ang said, “Nothing beats a try but a failure.”

Shark Bite Prints and Notecards coming soon, maybe.

IMG_1112

IMG_1109

IMG_1115

IMG_1107

IMG_1105

11 Comments

Filed under Special Events