Twofer Tuesday: bee tales

Yesterday, Zippy told Wildebeest a story from when we lived in Alaska (before Wildebeest was born). It was a summer night, and Zippy and our dog Packy were out in our large yard where there was a pile of branches and grass clippings left by the previous owners. (We, being basically lazy people, had left it there with the rationale that it provided wildlife habitat). Zippy noticed something white in the branches, something he thought was a volleyball.

Image by Tidy from Pixabay

He proceeded to poke at the “volleyball” with a stick. (I know, I know. Who arms themselves with a stick when approaching a piece of sports equipment?)

Well, you can guess what happened. BEES!

Zippy yelled, “Run, Packy! Run!” The bees swarmed them as they ran to the safety of the house.*

As I listened to his story, a memory tickled my brain. And then I remembered: Have I Got a Story for You. Read it and weep (with laughter).

*Zippy wasn’t stung and as far as we know, no stingers penetrated Packy’s thick fur.

The Tale of Two Talismans

Once upon a time there was a woman who experienced a ping when she came across the word PREVAIL, and adopted it as her personal motto.

But because she wanted and needed a constant reminder
that she would PREVAIL, she contacted  at Silver Freckles.

More than two years went by and the woman wore her beautiful bracelet every day, and it motivated her as she ran and wrote, parented, gardened, and lived her life.

Then one day not too long ago, the woman happened across a wise post from  that included this:

” . . . when I sit down to write, I need to do it with actual commitment.
This means a few different things. First, that I need to make the commitment
to sit down and do the work. Second, that when I sit down to do the work,
I need to be willing to really and truly go wherever it is that I need to go for that particular piece.”

Another ping went off in the woman’s head.
So once again, she contacted at Silver Freckles.

And now the woman has two shiny reminders of how she’d like to live her life:
COMMIT to what it is she wants to do and then PREVAIL in her efforts.

So that’s the tale of the two talismans.
And the woman? Well, she’s living happily ever after.

Friday Five: The Blogging Woes Edition

**Note: Copied and pasted from LiveJournal

1)  I’ve had this LiveJournal account since 2006 and have made many wonderful friends in the community but am increasingly concerned about the great possibility of the entire platform imploding so

2)  set up a WordPress site and blog in which I used the WP importer tool to import all my LiveJournal posts and comments (except the comments never came through and WP was supposed to fix that but hasn’t yet).

3) I tried not to get too stressed about the missing comments because I figured the WP techies would sort it out eventually, except they haven’t, and now there’s a problem on LJ’s end which makes it impossible to import my posts to my WP site.

4)  Yesterday I decided to just copy and paste those six missing LJ posts into the WP blog but then realized they’d all be dated January 19, 2012 which would totally mess up my archives, so did nothing.

5)  And now I find myself living in blogging limbo as I try to decide whether to continue posting here or there (where no one comments and if the import issue is ever resolved will result in duplicate posts), or maybe just shut-the-hell-up and take it as a sign from the universe.

Rant over.
Here are some fluffies:

image from

Friday Five: The Blogging Woes Edition


1)  I've had this LiveJournal account since 2006 and have made many
wonderful friends in the community but am increasingly concerned
about the great possibility of the entire platform imploding so

2)  set up a WordPress site and blog in which I used the WP importer tool
to import all my LiveJournal posts and comments (except the comments
never came through and WP was supposed to fix that but hasn't yet). 

3) I tried not to get too stressed about the missing comments because I figured
the WP techies would sort it out eventually, except they haven't, and now there's
a problem on LJ's end which makes it impossible to import my posts to my WP site. 

4)  Yesterday I decided to just copy and paste those six missing LJ posts into the WP blog but
then realized they'd all be dated January 19, 2012 which would totally mess up
my archives, so did nothing.

5)  And now I find myself living in blogging limbo as I try to decide whether to continue
posting here or there (where no one comments and if the import issue is ever resolved will
result in duplicate posts), or maybe just shut-the-hell-up and take it as a sign from the universe.

Rant over.
Here are some fluffies:

                                                                              image from


How’s It Going?


I’ve been neglecting LJ-land so Zoey and I are popping in to see what’s shakin’.

If nothing exciting’s happening make something up in the comments, okay?


The LiveJournal Band

Sometimes I wish I was in a band
so I’d have someone right there with me,
sharing the sweat and inspiration.

                                                                                                                                               image from

The ups and downs.
Complete with power chords and jarring chords,
and finally, that elusive record deal.

But I guess this community comes pretty close.

So, who’s got tambourine?


Springing into action


A new week, a new month.
Shiny new possibilities.

I have plans for September!

(Here I go again, another oversized photo.
This time I didn’t have trouble uploading it to LiveJournal,
but I can’t resize it; when I click on the corner, the photo goes blue.
Plus, I can’t put text beneath it.
What’s going on?!  And does anyone have advice?)

Just a while ago . . .

This is what I saw out my window a bit ago,
American Goldfinches against a backdrop of asters.


Can someone please explain what happened to Photobucket and 
LiveJournal image insert since I last posted a photo?

It took forever to get this photo here and I’m not even sure how I finally succeeded.
Plus, I can’t resize this photo which is why it’s of the ginormous variety.

I used to feel a bit savvy about this stuff but now I’m back to feeling confused.


Do You Have Book Order Memories?


I’m working on my From the Mixed-Up Files…of Middle-Grade Authors blog post
and wanted to tap into the collective memory here in LJ-Land.

I’m writing about the huge role Scholastic Book orders played in my childhood,
and I’m wondering if anyone here wanted to share a memory or thought on the subject.
I’m also including stuff about my kids’ book order days, so those kinds of thoughts are welcome, too.

You may leave your comments here or send me a personal message.
And unless you tell me otherwise, I’ll asume it’s okay to use your material and name/link in my post.

Thanks much in advance!

Update on Overall Wellbeing


I want to check in here since I haven’t been around much lately,
but don’t want to completely fall out of the habit of blogging
while I’m hunkered down in the revision cave.

So here’s where I’m at in my collective health:

Emotionally speaking, I’m feeling good about the positive changes I’m
making via my revisions and choices for my career.  I feel in control
of those factors I can control.

Physically speaking, I’m doing very well.  Last Friday I graduated from
PT after seven weeks of no running.  I can now run again on a limited basis
as I work back to where I was before.  I’m also able to hoop again!!
My daily plank routine is going well, and I just finished a three-minute plank. 
(I’m telling you, if you haven’t tried them, they’re a great way to firm up your core;
you see results very quickly). 

Parentally speaking, in this exact moment I’m doing a better job of remembering
I already navigated my high school years and that it’s up to my boys to do the same.
(But, oh, it would be so nice to have a magic wand to keep away the hurt and angst).

Friendly speaking, I miss everyone here.  And while I have glimmers of guilt for not
keeping up, I know you all understand.  You get why it’s important to keep my head
down and push on through.  But please know I’m thinking of you and sending good
thoughts your way.



Thank you so much for having my back.
The comments and emails have made a huge difference to my emotional state.

In the midst of all that angst, I realized I was missing something:
my PREVAIL bracelet.
The cord had worn out and I’d gone without the bracelet for several weeks.
On Friday night, Zippy and I found new cord and he put PREVAIL back on my wrist,
alongside another Laura Hamor creation:


Now I wear them together and the lovely clinking sound they make
reminds me of the beautiful, powerful Laura, and the many other friends who have my back.

Thank you, thank you.
This community is truly a life-saver.

Thankful Thursday: The LiveJournal Edition


I’m always grateful for this kind and generous community.
Today, however, I am exceedingly grateful.
And I offer this dapper little Western Scrub-Jay as a token of my gratitude.

                                                         © 2010 Tracy Abell

Live Journal Tag Management


I’m messing with my LJ tags today
and am wondering if anyone
has a magic bullet.

You know, some sure-fire method
to consolidate and organize.

For instance, how do you handle
all your writing-related posts?

I’m breaking down my Writing tag
into more specific tags
(for instance, Writing – plot),
and so far like this approach.

But then there are posts
here and there I can’t quite categorize.

This LJ project is beginning to feel a bit like
cleaning papers off my kitchen counter:
I usually make decisions and take action on most everything,
but never quite make the entire pile disappear.

I fear it will be the same here on the blog.

(Which makes me want to sing "Home, home on the blog…")

New kind of bravery

This morning I came across  ‘s post about trying new things.
Then I read  ‘s post in which she invited us to be brave in our lives.

And the wheels in my brain started to turn,
which, in turn, caused my heart to pound.
Because I knew what new thing I’d like to try.
It’s something that would require a great amount of bravery.
In fact, my heart’s pounding again as I write this.

I want to take hooping lessons.
There, I said it!

But just the thought of demonstrating
my clunky, flow-less hooping to a pro
causes me great panic.

I mean, look at her:

This woman lives in my area and offers private lessons.
(Group lessons would totally overwhelm me, I think).

On the one hand, my new year’s resolutions included
learning to Beam Me Up (a cool hooping trick) and improving my flow.

She is so very good and I’m so very, um, what’s the word I’m looking for?


End of a Year and Decade

It seems fitting that Zippy and I
ended this extremely difficult year and decade
with a movie of hope:

Here’s to all of us stepping up for what we believe in,
and making the world a better place.
Channeling a little Harvey Milk.

I wish you all a wonderful 2010
filled with
and lots of light.

See you next year!



wrote about her run today
and inspired me to get off my butt
so I could also enjoy the relatively balmy December temps.

She included a fun post-run pic so I’m doing the same.
And if any of you are experiencing the almost-winter blahs,
I highly recommend a brisk run around the neighborhood.
You, too, could experience this kind of high! (And WTF with LJ formatting?!)

Warm Birthday Wishes for Two Friends


I just went into my backyard with a camera hoping to capture a colorful birthday shot
for Melodye ( ) and Laura  ( ).

There’s not much color out there.
Then I found this pincushion flower (scabiosa)
that a couple weeks ago was buried beneath about three feet of snow.

I realized this little flower-that-could perfectly symbolized two of the strongest and most vibrant women I know.

Melodye and Laura, here are my wishes for a happy day
and a coming year full of love and laughter. . . . .

Silver Freckles!

As you know, I’m a big fan of Silver Freckles. 
The talented Laura ( )made a bracelet especially for me.
Now Laura is having a contest that runs through HER BIRTHDAY, November 12!
The DRAWING is on her birthday!
Gifts for us!
How cool is that?

Here’s how you participate: this contest on your blog, including a link to (feel free to pull a picture of a bracelet from the site).

2. Then go to Laura’s NEW BLOG and comment on the giftaway post———

and put your blog address in these comments, so Laura knows where it is mentioned, then on NOVEMBER 12–LAURA’S BIRTHDAY! she will draw a name from OVER THERE and that person will win a bracelet from Silver Freckles!

The best part?  You do not need to have freckles to enter this contest.
(Although I’ve got lots of freckles if that helps my cause, Laura).

*** BONUS!! If someone pulls the contest from your blog and gives YOUR BLOG credits Laura will enter your name a second time!

***DOUBLE BONUS if you have previously purchased a bracelet from Laura your name is entered again and again for each purchase!

Laura is also on Facebook now and you can follow her at SILVER FRECKLES!
(She’s going to have a Facebook contest in December).


What could be more beautiful than silver freckles?

This sounds familiar


AGNES by Tony Cochran

For some reason, reading this reminded me of my blog.
Not entirely sure why
since I know for an (almost-absolute) fact
I’ve never mentioned ammonia.
And if I did, I never tried rhyming it.

It makes me wonder if I’m the Agnes of Live Journal.
Running amok with wild ambitions and a blatant disregard for reality.

Coming Back

Whenever I stop blogging
it’s hard to come back.
The pressure to edify, intense.

The longer I wait
for inspiration to strike,
the harder it is to believe
I can contribute anything worthwhile.

So I’m gonna make the leap 
and proudly proclaim this:

is a damned fine name for a band.

Wouldn’t you agree?


Turn your Live Journal into a book

I’m probably way behind the times here but in case there’s someone out there unaware of this great service, it’s possible to turn your Live Journal into a book (via pdf file).

It’s fast.  It’s easy.
You get a table of contents.
Your images are included along with click-able video links.
Comment threads in all their witty glory are preserved for all eternity.

The service is free but I made a donation because it’s such an awesome program.
I also recommend emailing the files to yourself so you have backup in case of hard drive malfunction.

Go, right now, and save your blog!


An LJ Confession

When I spend time away from LJ, sometimes it’s hard getting back in the swing of things.  There are days when I skim my Friends page but don’t write any comments because I don’t have time to comment on every journal and want to be “fair,” but then if a couple days go by without me commenting I get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of uncommented posts and I can’t figure out when/where to start commenting again in a way that won’t hurt feelings until more days go by without comments from me.  (And yes, I realize it’s my unique brand of neurosis to worry that anyone on LJ sits around keeping score on which person comments when/where).

Anyone else willing to admit to this kind of LJ Overwhelm?  If so, how do you handle it?

(And if not, please keep the ridicule to a low roar….)