Ditching the website, still The Word Shark

Ditching the website

I’ve decided to ditch The Word Shark DOT com (and the cost).


Because most of my clients come from referrals or my blog, not the website. Most of the traffic on my website comes from “marketing professionals” and “sales professionals” who know the “sure fire way” to turn my site around and make a bigger profit.

Profit margin vs. website cost

Over the last few years, about 95% of the traffic on my website is from scummy, spammy spammers.

100% of my business comes from satisfied customer referrals.

Word of mouth

I don’t need a website. I’ve got a tribe of happy, satisfied clients to plump my pillows at night.

Still Shark

While I won’t be – officially via a website – The Word Shark, I’ll always be YOUR Word Shark.


Filed under Branding & Platform, Editing & Proofreading, Social Networking

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.










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


Filed under Personal Articles, Special Events




Stomach rumbles, a little erp

Should have waited on the buttery popcorn.



Mouth opens, roiling burp

Wish I’d passed up that Tex-Mex chili dog, y’all.



My clenching stomach is swilling greasy

Shoulda said no gracias on the empanadas.



Makes me green and sickly queasy

Nein on the brats and kraut would have been a good idea.



Stop this thing mechanized lightning bolt

Why didn’t I say paseo on the porchetta panini?



Screeching wheels jars me to a halt

I couldn’t think of kekkou desu, no thank you, before I ate the sushi.



Let me off, find a bucket

The international buffet is making a come-back.


Filed under Prose & Poetry

The Lost Arts – Being on Time

FullSizeRender-6I’ve had a list of “The Lost Arts” on my laptop workspace for months. The Lost Arts are those things Mom and Ang harped on constantly.

Even though I’ve made loads of mistakes, I have certain ingrained manners in my head. All those manners speak to me in Mom’s (and/or Aunt Ang’s) voice.

So, a while back, I posted The Lost Arts – The RSVP. What the heck is wrong with people who don’t think it’s important to RSVP?

Another while back, I found this article by Greg Savage on Vitabites –

You Are Not Running Late – about serial late people. I love that he used that word – serial.

To some people, that’s what this little tardiness is. A serial offense.FullSizeRender-7

I’m not talking, “I had a flat tire, I’m running late.” Or, “My babysitter had a flat tire, so I’m running late.”

I’m talking no matter what time you agree to meet the serial late person, that serial offender shows up late. I’m not sure if it’s bad time management…or your time means nothing to this person.

Growing up, I remember my Aunt Agnes telling me if I was late to anything, I was, in effect, saying, “My time is more important than your time.”

If we are having brunch at 10:00, I usually show up by 9:50. If I am supposed to meet you for dinner at 5:30, I’m gonna be waiting for you by about 5:20. Because I do not want to be late and make you wait for me.

FullSizeRender-5I do not need it tattooed on my leg.

I experienced a few recent instances of waiting on late people. And Ang is right. It ticks me off that the other person cares nothing for my time.

What really ticks me off is meeting facilitators who decide, at the appointed hour, “We’ll wait just a few more minutes for stragglers.” Why the heck should a room full of on-time people wait for late people? That burns my buns.


Do you have a serial late person in your life? Have you talked to him/her about it?

 How do you handle people who are late, consistently?

Are you a serial late person? Do you think it’s important to be on time?


Filed under Personal Articles

The Lost Arts – The RSVP

IMG_2169 (1)If you have ever planned an event, you know how important receiving the RSVP is.

Do you plan for 10 or 50? Do you spend $50 or $300 on food? Do you have seating for 15 or 150?

How hard is it to respond to an RSVP request?

It’s fairly simple actually –

You get an invitation. You check your calendar. You talk to your family.

Can you go? Yes – you RSVP. Can you go? No – you RSVP.

It ain’t rocket science.

But, apparently, to some people, an RSVP is beyond their skill set.

Why don’t people respond to an RSVP?

Are they waiting for sometIMG_2167 (2)hing better to come along to take up that portion on their activity calendar? Or do they just not care about the person planning the event?

My mother taught me better.

If we had something else planned that day, we would RSVP our regrets. And stick with it.

And for “yes” – Even if I didn’t want to go to Laura’s lame old 10th birthday party that day, I went. Because I RSVP’d I would be there.

An RSVP is an obligation. An RSVP is a promise.

Old fashioned? Maybe.

I think it’s just good manners.


Have you ever planned a party?

Do your prospective guests RSVP? 

Have you ever been disappointed by a party turn-out? 



Filed under Personal Articles, Uncategorized

Whole lotta liking going on

IMG_2116Have you like noticed that like when you are like talking to like most people, that they like use the like word “like” a lot?

I like know what you’re like thinking.

Karen, are you liking kidding me? Is this like what you like want to like write about on your like blog?

Like yeah.

What the like is going on?

Like think about it.

Like, really like think about it.

The like next time you like think about it, like, listen to like people you are likeIMG_2115 talking to.

You may like say, “Well, like, Karen, you are like spending a lot of like time with like lots of like college-age like kids. Like yep. But…

It’s not like just the like younger generation. I’ve like noticed it with like all ages, like all walks of life, like just about like everybody!

Before long, like, we are gonna like have to like change the vocabulary of like all walks of like life.

We’ll have …

Like Tahoe

L. A. Likers

Like Skywalker

Likey Charms

Are you liking kidding me?

That would like be so liking annoying, like, wouldn’t it?

No. I’m not liking kidding you.

The like next time you like have a conversation with like anyone, like, think about it.

And like count the times they like say like the word “like.”

Can you like think of some like “like” substitutions for like other words or like common phrases, that like would like change the like vocabulary of like conversationalists?IMG_2118


Filed under Personal Articles

My doctor nearly killed me

IMG_2076I don’t share my medical issues on social networking because they are personal. However, I recently learned that an online friend is going through a “mystery illness” that may be related to her heart.

I know my body better than anyone else, doctors included. Last summer I knew something was wrong, and I had to push and push and push. I finally left one provider (Trinity) and went to another provider (Sanford) because I was tired of being dismissed.

The following is my story, in letter form, because I sent this letter to my former provider’s CEO as a complaint letter. I’m sharing this story so that others don’t have to needlessly suffer for months like I did.

My letter to my former provider –


My story starts in early June and lasts through early October. Trinity’s lack of serious attention and concern for my symptoms could have killed me. Because of Trinity’s lack of attention and concern for my symptoms, I suffered physically and emotionally for those four months.

With Trinity – Because of high blood pressure, my doctor put me on Lisinopril. She also ordered blood work/labs since I’d never had them done at Trinity. I was told the blood work and labs all came back within normal levels.

I took Lisinopril for about a week, and I suddenly started to have chest pressure and chin tightness. I had several mild episodes while visiting my family in Delaware. During one serious episode, I had my brother take me to the emergency room. At emergency, I was given an EKG. I was told it was normal.

I called the Minot Trinity doctor’s office the next day and left a detailed message. I continued taking Lisinopril. I finally called the doctor’s office again, and was told the doctor never got my message. She told me to stop that medication, that I might be allergic to it. She prescribed amlodipine besylate. I took that for a couple weeks. My symptoms persisted. I was told to stop taking that prescription.

The doctor ordered an EKG. I was told it was normal.

The doctor ordered an echocardiogram. I was told that was normal.

The doctor then suggested Nexium, that possibly my chest symptoms were heartburn. I took that for two weeks. The symptoms persisted.

I called the doctor’s office again. The nurse suggested I talk to the cardiologist about my echocardiogram – I asked why since I was already told it was normal. She said something like “just to be sure.” Wasn’t the cardiologist sure the first time he looked at the echo?

The nurse set up an appointment with the same cardiologist. I called again and talked to the nurse, voiced my frustration, and asked why should I spend another $25 for an office visit when I was already told the echo was normal. I was terse and rather agitated.

The nurse later called me back (after talking to my doctor) and said that the doctor suggested that perhaps some Xanax would help calm me down.

I felt like I was being written off as a hysterical female.

I cancelled the cardiologist appointment out of frustration. I decided to go to Sanford.

With Sanford – Within one week of my appointment with Sanford, I took a stress test, was told I had a 90% blockage in a coronary artery and had a stent implanted. I have been told by numerous professionals that this was the first test that should have been conducted.

For four months, I experienced discomfort and pain, anxiety and worry. I had to keep calling and asking my doctor’s nurse, “What next?” I knew something was wrong. I counted on Trinity to help me and heal me. They did not.


So, if you know someone who is experiencing medical provider angst, tell them to keep at it, keep calling, keep asking questions. And if you are not happy with how you are being treated, go elsewhere!



Filed under Personal Articles