Pride of Workmanship, a Ghost of the Past

This morning, while answering a comment, the same comment prompted this post.  I love vintage items.  To me, they speak of the pride in workmanship, which is hard to find in mass-produced items today.  Even the vintage Made in Japan items are full of detail if compared, and they were the laughing-stock in those days.  So when I am looking for something, first I look for vintage and then I search for handmade items.  Handmade items have that pride of workmanship that reflects in the object – same as yesteryear charm.  In the process I am helping the planet.

To put this into perspective, lets take luggage as an example.  I am a fan of vintage luggage, especially the old Samsonite.  It was strong, beautiful, and lasted forever.  You can still find this type of luggage from the 40’s in great shape.  Now, compare this to today’s luggage and you get my point – It rips easily, it is plain ugly, the zippers don’t last, and if you travel often, it can get expensive.  Today’s luggage lacks charm, detail, and quality.  It is true that we carry more stuff with us when we travel, and there are more pockets and compartments in today’s luggage; however, it seems as is functionality killed beauty and attention to detail.  Everything is so mass-marketed today, that it has lost enchantment – even books.

With all the technology we have today, things should be better, right?  Well, the opposite seems true.  I see it in many items – clothes, housewares ….  Let’s take books as an example.  Everyone is such in a rush to produce their books and put them out there (whether you self-publish or not) that the story is being sacrificed.  Now, it is all about what is selling in the current market.  So, before the crowds of readers ($$$) go into some other mode, we have to rush to get that story out.  Rush, Rush, Rush – it is all about Rush to get there first, before the market gets cold.  This is how we live today, how we teach our children to live, and how we promote living.  I for once am tired of it.  How do you feel about it?

Day 7 – Awesome WordPress Bloggers

Open book

Image via Wikipedia

The last day of the week belongs to As the Pages Turn what I consider a great blog, and therefore wanted to end this week with a special treat for you (although there is no order to my favorites, I love them all).  However, this blog if full of what I call “writer’s insight.”  Why? Because through each interview that is featured you get a glimpse of what each author’s challenges and blessings are.  You can read the interview, and you can read between the lines, as well.  You will also find book reviews, guest bloggers, and a great blog roll to keep you busy.

This blog is full of what’s new in the writing world and if you are contemplating a career as a writer, it certainly shows you what is out there as far as new releases and new authors.  Each writer is its own world, and this blog makes a good point of that.  You will enjoy the interviews and getting to know a bit each author, as well as some of the work they have put out there.  I think As the Pages Turn is worth a visit and for you to hit the follow button as well.  You will learn much from each interview.

This ends a week of Awesome WordPress Bloggers.  This was just a taste, a small sample of some of the blogs that I follow, although there are more that I would like to add; however, from time to time, I will bring one of those to your attention in a special post.

Day 6 – Awesome WordPress Bloggers

Writing utencils: stencils

Image via Wikipedia

Today’s spotlight belongs to The Short and the Long of It by Monique (Neeks).  This blogger is amazing; why?  Because you can give her any three words, even the weirdest and most difficult words (unrelated words too) you can think of and she will write a story using those words.  The issue here is that she  doesn’t just writes the story, she manages to make it interesting and the characters become alive.  But wait, there is more – the story is not too long or too short, it is the right length and it has an easy flow, with narrative and dialog, and a unique writing style.  And the titles, oh the titles to the stories are so creative.  Her blog is colorful and very welcoming, cheerful, joyful, that is the vibe I get from this blog.

If you like short stories and want to enjoy reading some very imaginative and creative ones, head out to The Short and the Long of It and don’t forget to leave the author your three words, because in no time you will be in for a treat.  Oh, and that is another thing, the author doesn’t take that long in creating that story – which is amazing on its own.  Follow this blog so you don’t miss the stories.

The Short and the Long of It is able to quench your thirst for creative stories.   Head out there and see for yourself.


Day 5 – Awesome WordPress Bloggers

Today’s spot belongs to Dr. Tom Bibey: Stories of the Bluegrass Music Road (Physician Bluegrass Fiction), and a very special blog it is.  Dr. Tom Bibey, a physician and a bluegrass musician, is also an indie writer.  His book The Mandolin Case came out last year in May.  Dr. Bibey (or Dr. B, as he is called by people who know him well) has a very special way to write his blog; when you read it, it feels as if he is talking to you, even if you don’t know how his voice sounds like – it is almost as if he is present in the page – and that makes for awesome blogging, in my opinion.  His blog tells his story, his work, and his passion.  I also like that the blog is easy on the eyes, well-organized and labeled – you know where everything is.

You will follow his experiences and book signings as well as southern insight, and if you love bluegrass you are in for a treat, because according to Dr. Bibey, it is the only physician bluegrass fiction blog around – so that in itself makes it very special.  If you enjoy a lighthearted and wise conversation on the page, with southern charm and great vibe, visit Dr. Tom Bibey: Stories of the Bluegrass Music Road .   Just as he calls it “Almost ‘Bout Perfect Life – find out from Dr. Bibey why is that so.  This one, in my book, is one awesome blog!

Day 4 – Awesome WordPress Bloggers

Today’s post is about Beautiful Desolation by Cliff Burns.  This blog is a great blog to follow, but if you are contemplating self-publishing and want to hear it from the best, head out here.  Cliff Burns went independent more than 20 years ago, when this was unheard and it was tabu.  He tells it like it is and he is not a fan of bandages or patches.  So if you want to see what the indie writer’s life is like visit Beautiful Desolation.

The blog is also visually attractive and well-organized, which I always like.  Cliff Burns takes pride on his work and takes it very seriously, as you can see by reading the blog.  The fact that he shares his expertise and years of work with us is a blessing, and even if you are not contemplating going independent you will learn much from the author.

This blog is valuable and more so inspirational in the sense that agents and editors don’t make you as a writer; it is not the end of your career if you get rejection letters – if you truly care about your writing strive to perfect it.  I have a long way to go  in my writing career, and I love to learn from someone who has walked the long road, and is kind enough to remove a few rocks and boulders with the information and example offered through  Beautiful Desolation.  Check it  out, it is an awesome blog!

Day 3 – Awesome WordPress Bloggers

A serene landscape photography

Image via Wikipedia

Today, I dedicate this post to Picture a Poem – Connetta.  If you love poetry this is one awesome WordPress blog, as you will find it a treat.  When you visit Picture a Poem, you are welcomed with a beautiful picture and a poem that corresponds to it, so not only do you get the story visually, but in beautiful and inspiring words as well.

I love this blog because it actually stimulates my senses and serves as therapy to me – I enjoy the visual part of it, the glorious scenery and creative pictures, but I am also touched by its poetry.  Connetta’s blog relaxes me and gives me a sense of peace and delight.  Its style is refreshing, serene, and simple.  I love the way the blog is organized, the colors, graphics, and the way you navigate through it.  If you ever need to get inspired and delight your senses, head out to Conetta’s blog and you will emerge not only inspired but refreshed.

If you like poetry, you will like Picture a Poem and even if you are not a fan of poetry, you will enjoy the visual aspect and simplicity of it.  This one is a winner in my book.

Day 2 – Awesome WordPress Bloggers


Image via Wikipedia

Today, I dedicate this post to C2C – Courage to Create by Ollin Morales.  This is one awesome blog that has many followers and in which you will find great information about writing, but also much inspiration to keep going.  A writer’s world is not an easy one, and C2C manages to give you the courage to continue in your writing journey.

I like this blog because it talks to the reader, it presents information and great tips, but also manages to make the topics personal and real.  It features writing topics, many writing guests, as well as great insight from the author.

C2C has a light, realistic, and encouraging tone and manages to keep real but informative throughout the author’s writing journey.  I think it is also innovative in the way it approaches many writing topics, pointing not only to the writing tasks, but also to the whole that is the writer’s life.  So there, you will find the information you need but also great insight and perspective.  Visit C2C and see for yourself.

Awesome WordPress Bloggers Week

I am dedicating this week to writing about some of my favorite blogs.  I will feature one blog each day and tell you why I think they are awesome and worth reading.  I will start with Bardicblogger . This blog, just as its title suggests, is a place for “creative writing tips and advice.”  I like this blog for its down to earth writing tips, but also because its style flows easy on the reader.  It shares information, creativity, inspiration, and much more – I like its variety.  I recommend this blog to aspiring writers, as it does not complicate your writing life.  I have read many blogs for writers that actually manage so well to depict a very frightening writing world, scare you to death about writing, as well as making the issue so complicated, almost unattainable.

The blog has several sections in which it shares great writing links, tips and information, and much more from the author.  It is visually appealing as it is great to digest.  The tone is professional, but not stuffy or pretentious.  If you love writing and are not familiar with this site, check it out.  It is worth your visit.

Tomorrow I will share another great writing blog full of insight and inspiration.

What Happened to Common Courtesy?

"Rhodesian Cave Man" from Scientific...

Image by Wyoming_Jackrabbit via Flickr

I thought I had seen my share of rude and inappropriate behavior, but what I saw last evening puzzled and shocked me.  My husband and I decided to grab something quick to eat at the local McDonald’s, since we were trying to beat the time.  I was filling the cups with coke at the beverage dispensing machine, which is right across from the bathroom about 25 or 30 feet.  The coke dispenser is next to the water dispenser, and then the rest of the flavors.  I finished refilling one cup and set it aside to refill the next.  A woman who had finished eating, stood next to me, said excuse me, and proceeded to wash her hands in the drinking water dispenser (next to the coke) splattering all over and almost reaching my drink.  I was shocked, frozen in disbelieve at such inconsiderate and bizarre behavior.  It was not only rude, but also gross, and lazy on her part, since the bathroom was behind her – just a few steps.

What happened to common courtesy?  This was a grown up woman.  What happened to good manners?  Are they forgotten?  Are we becoming Neanderthal and uncivilized people living in a technological society?  Maybe some people may think about this post – what is the big deal?  And I say to that – yes, it is a big deal, and maybe that is the reason good manners at home and in public are forgotten – because we think of these things lightly and have become used to them as normal behavior.  Pardon me please, but there is nothing normal about washing your hands at the beverage dispensing machine using the water refill.

Well, all I can say is that I am still shocked, hence this post, and hope that one day, we start appreciating common courtesy and good manners in our daily living, and that future parents continue to make an effort to make time and teach their children basic acceptable social behavior and common courtesy – just so our species does not reverse to the glacial period and subdivides into the early Neanderthals, Cro-magnon, or Homo sapiens.  A little dose of good manners may save our species after all.

Monarch Butterflies 3 – The Mystery is Solved

This morning, I noticed more Monarch butterfly wings on the ground below the butterfly bush.  This only means that they died overnight.  I picked them up and decided to look at the tree to see if I could explain why this is happening.  It wasn’t until I was checking out the butterfly tree for a second time around that I noticed a green leaf move slowly.  I checked it out and there it was – the culprit, a Preying Mantis.  Although Monarchs are supposed to be poisonous, this little guy seems to have found a way around that.

I decided to  check this out and it seems that Preying Mantis have adapted to eat Monarchs.  I found this video in YouTube, which tells the story and it certainly happens at a blue butterfly bush.  Check out the link here

Here is a picture of my little guest (not so little) who is having a huge food fest.

It is a bit tricky to see the Mantis because she is perfectly camouflage.  Focus on the center of the picture and there it is, in a vertical position heads down.

So the mystery is solved, and although I still feel sad about the fate of the butterflies, at least I am glad that the Mantis is surviving – it is the natural course of things, the cycle of life.