Category Archives: Writing

All In! A to Z Blogging Challenge


A to Z Blogging Challenge

Blogging A to Z Challenge

I’m back! This time my challenge is the A to Z Blogging Challenge. This is to create a blog post daily (except on Sundays) suggested  by the letter of the alphabet.  This challenge has been around since 2010-Most of the time if you subtract Sundays from April, you then have 26 days–one day for each letter of the alphabet.  When April 1st lands on a Sunday you begin on that day which will be the only Sunday you would post during that month’s challenge.

Blogging Challenged

I’ve been very writing challenged, due in part to be being out of work in 2018.  Gainfully employed again, things are starting to settle down with an entirely new routine, both home life and work life. I’ve missed writing. I’ve been doing more art journaling-off line.

A to Z Challenge Versus NaBloPoMo

What’s the difference between the April A-Z Challenge and the November NaBloPoMo-aka National Blog Posting Month? The November Challenge is to simply post a blog post daily in November. The A-Z Challenge is a bit more difficult. Most writers will have a theme, and craft their blog posts around the theme.

What’s  My Theme?

My theme is “Out of the Comfort Zone”. The idea is to inspire people to try new things, drive to work down a different road, go to a meeting or coffee shop or bike shop by themselves-or with new people.  Stretch a little. You might be uncomfortable at the beginning. You might not like what you are doing. But maybe, afterwards, you find yourself proud of what you did, or you learned something,  or maybe you even had a GREAT TIME without even intending to!!

52 Challenge Art Journal


52 in 52 Art Journal Challenge

Happy Birthday to Me! I turn 52 this year. There are 52 weeks in the year, so you know what is coming…some sort of weekly challenge!

Art Journal Challenge

What to do? Something different each week? I turned to an art journal challenge. I’ve been dabbling in smash books the last few years. Smash books are free form scrap books, full of paper, pictures, other remembrances and souvenirs. I made one for both our New Zealand vacation and my CO-GAP bike ride last year. It was fun to create.

My C&O GAP Bike Tour Journal

My C&O GAP Bike Tour Journal

New Zealand Vacation Smash Book

New Zealand Vacation Smash Book

New Zealand Vacation Smash Book

The original idea was to use a different type of art media each week, but I realized I needed some ideas to create with the different form of media.

Create a new art journal page based on prompts each week

I randomly created these prompts.

52 challenge premise

52 Challenge Prompts

The plan is to just grab a pencil, close my eyes, and stab a prompt, that will be the prompt for the week. One week gives you plenty of time to work on the spread.

It’s My Birthday So I will Cheat

Except for Week One. Week One is my birthday week, so the prompt is “birthday cake”.

Art Journal Birthday Cake


No NaBloPoMo this year for me or is there?



It’s November! For bloggers and writers that means it’s NaBloPoMo  or National Blog Posting Month or National Novel Writing Month. That is where you either publish a blog post daily or commit to write your novel of 50,000 words by November 30.

I participated in NaBloPoMo last year. It’s not easy to do, especially when you go out of town. Of course, that’s where scheduling posts comes in handy.

NaBloPoMo 2016

One year I tried to do write 2000 words daily. I had an idea for a novel. Not an original idea. It turned how to be really stressful to find the time to just sit down and churn out some many words. So, since it was a hobby, I quit! Hobbies should not be stressful.

One point I have read about writing it, just do it. You need to establish a habit. The water won’t flow if you don’t open the spigot.




Maybe I will commit to *just write* every day, whether it’s a draft blog post, or a snippet for a future article.


Are you in for NaBloPoMo this year?

How To Choose Your Word of the Year

How to Pick Your Word for the Year Ahead


It’s a  popular activity to pick a “word” for your next year, to find one word that can be your focus, your mantra, the word that will guide you through the whole year.  I’ve been doing this for the last five or six years. Sometimes the word works, sometimes it does not.  My 2016 word was “Try” which was very fitting with my Project 50.  2016 has also become a “trying” year for me as I struggled to re-imagine myself as a different athlete.

I usually work through either Christine Kane’s document or Susannah Conway’s document.  I have a file folder called WORD and I re-use my print outs from previous years.  I found another good blog post from Elise Musele.

Word of the Year

I went through both Christine and Susannah’s documents on a long drive (I wasn’t driving) and I did come up with my Word for 2017.


I had originally adopted “accept”.  But that word is too passive for me. It just didn’t feel right. But now, embrace does.

hold (someone) closely in one’s arms

accept or support (a belief, theory, or change) willingly and enthusiastically.

an act of holding  closely in one’s arms.
an act of accepting or supporting something willingly or enthusiastically

It’s basically accept with enthusiasm. I’m sure I’m going to face some different paths and challenges in 2017, and I want to do my best to “embrace” these new issues.

What is Your Word for 2017?

Have You Ever Used a Typewriter?

This NaBloPoMo writing prompt brought back memories! Do they still have typing classes in high school?

This photo came from Briscoe Center for American History

I guess that would be a texting class now, but kids know how to text by about age eight. I didn’t attend typing class, but had an extra curricular class one summer and learned to type.

Being a budding writer, being able to get words on paper faster was awesome! I had several typewriters over the years. All my typewriters came from garage sales.


Manual means work. There was no electricity.


An example of the typewriter I used. Way back when we didn’t take pictures of inanimate objects.

In fact, if the zombie apocalypse hits, you could still bang out a newsletter to your group of survivors. You had to sit up straight and hit those keys hard! You got to slam the return lever also.

Thomas Edison invents electricity

Whoah! Then there was electric typewriters. You cautiously turned on this little switch, heard a little hum, and you were off to the races! I had a HUGE typewriter like this one Don’t let your finger hang on the key too long or you would end up wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwith too many characters! My electric typewriter was some used office model like the one above. It weighed about sixty pounds and was huge. There must have been some electric jet engine in that housing to be that big.

Correction Tape

Which leads to correction tape. Typing was forever. Therre was no going *backspace* to correct too many “r”s. You had to use a method or two to save your zombie apocalypse or resume writing.

White Out- the liquid stuff that smells, invented by Michael Nesmith’s Mom (you know, from the Monkees) You literally would roll up your manuscript, dab a bit on, hope you didn’t slop it on too heavily, and wait for it to dry.

Correction Tape Built In

These came later. ribbon for typewriter I think there was a key on the typewriter, where you would hit the “correct” key, which raised the white paper, then hit the “wrong” key again, then type what the correct letter should be.

The Digital Age Arrives

in 1988, my husband had one of these fancy Amstrad processors.


Example of an Amstrad Word Processor

Whee! Now we’re on a computer. I used to retype my college class notes on it, and then print it off on the dot matrix printer. Ah, dot matrix printer, that could be a post in itself! It doesn’t seem 5 minutes ago that I was printing on the dot matrix printer, and then suddenly here we are with things like the brothers pocketjet that can print things off wirelessly at the push of a button! Technology never ceases to amaze me.

Do you still use a typewriter? I am interested to hear if you do, how and why!

Reverb 14: One Word 2014

One word: What one word could describe your 2014?


Tough. The original word that came to mind was “sucked”.  But then I realized tough would work just as well.

To keep this not so much of a debbie downer, I will just give the brief overview of the suck:

My husband had some health issues the first two quarters of the year. Nothing life threatening or debilitating, but he was pretty miserable.


The trauma drama. The dog cut her pad of her foot in December. It wouldn’t heal, wouldn’t heal, got infected. The local vet was treating it, then it got real infected, we took her to Med Vets in Columbus.

alice february

Where she lived from the end of February to July. Trying to get this wound healed.


It did not. We visited her every three days, driving 100 miles to see her, 100 miles home. Where I also tried to keep up my with training. Ever run midafternoon 8 miles after a sushi lunch? In June?


Her leg was amputated mid August. Probably the worst day of my life. Yes, I know #firstworldproblem, but I felt like such a mom-dog failure.



The first nine month of the year sucked. With the husband being ill, trying to run, going off on a few scheduled races (feeling guilty for leaving home) trying to train, paying attention to the other two dogs-my stress level was about an 8 out of 10.  It was really bad.


Now the good news. I completed two 100 mile runs this year, TWOT in February, and Zion 100 in April. I’ve very proud of finishing TWOT-toughest thing I have ever done.


And the dog? She is perfectly fine.  Possibly faster than she was with 4 legs.  The husband is in good health, the dogs are getting along magnificently.  My stress level has returned to it’s normal 3-4/10 level.  After being so stressed, for so long, it just feels good to be this relaxed again.


three legged dog


I am looking forward to 2015 being the best year ever.

How to Make a Vision Board

vision board

I always called them Motivation Boards, but Vision board works well also. I think I started on my first one back in the 2000’s when I was focused on losing weight. Many quotes went onto the board: “A New Me in 2003!” and ““We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

How to Make a Vision Board

Grab a piece of cardboard. Cover it with fabric or old wrapping paper. I use an old marathon finishers medal ribbon to hang my latest.

For pics, quotes, I look at magazines, and randomly rip out words and phrases. Some as simple as “Outside”. I will also cut out pics that are meaningful or inspirational to me. I would add stickers that companies had sent with products to the board. Funny cartoons also made it to the board.

too busy

The website Pinterest has made it super easy to make yourself a digital vision board. My board, called “Training” is more or less a vision board. But I like to have the physical board here in “Real Life” to look at. I have found pins on Pinterest that I have printed out for my undigital vision board.


I started to change my motivation board over time with running and goals, and got to a larger board. I would cut out words and pictures that grabbed my imagination. Stickers from companies and friends (including some vsco girl stickers), favorite pic of me or friends, that went on the board. Pictures of trails were on the board. Funny cartoons were on the board.

This is the board that culminated in my first MMT 100 Finish. The handwritten note in the middle was sent from Gary Knipling, congratulating me on my finish. That’s me in the blue, finishing my first Reverse Ring.

vision board

On my boards I tend to just paste over other images. It’s not about covering up the old quote/saying/picture, it’s about adding freshness and more motivation.


I have continued to have vision boards. I tend to just “know” when it’s time to retire one, and bring the fresh clay out and begin again. That’s what I have right now.

latest vision board

After getting into Hardrock 2015, I immediately printed the Course profile for the CCW direction. There’s my VISION for 2015. The other visions will play around that.

elevation profile


Why do I think a vision board is valuable and why do I think you need one? I see my board daily. I look at it daily. It keeps my goals and motivation in front of me. I post tiny milestones on the board. I have printed out my “you lost 1.2 pounds this week” from WW Online. That only means something to me, and it’s a big deal, this tiny milestone. Right now I also have my 30 Day Plank Challenge. I’m kind of stuck on 90 seconds right now, it’s tough, but that’s okay. Having it on my vision/motivation board keeps it in the front of my mind, something to work toward.

So if you need some motivation for the new year, or are starting a new project or goal for 2015, why not make a physical board, to remind you and stimulate you to work toward this?