Wednesday, May 30, 2012

May 30, 2012 - Napping Blogger Award


Napping Blogger Award


What a very cool surprise to be given the nod for this award!  This comes from Donna over at My Write Spot; she created this award and handed it out today.  I must also say thanks to Sadie, as it is her remarkable face you see in the award.  Did you know Sadie has her own blog at Sadie Speaks?  She’s one very hip dog.  It’s special to me coming from Donna, who is being a real friend and source of support and encouragement on my newly-announced path as a writer.  Another aspect that touches my heart is that it is from Sadie, too, as she’s the model in the photo.  I hope one day to meet them both in person, have a good yap session, share stories and laughs and compare tattoos.  Well, I don’t think Sadie has any tattoos . . .

Awards come with responsibilities, so I best step up to mine.  Here’s what I have to do:

  1. Link back to the source, which I have done above.
  2. Share with you what I do for me.
  3. Nominate five other bloggers who might need a nap  Sleepy smile or who seem to have very full lives and could use a prompt to take time for themselves.

Ready?  Here we go!

It’s All About Me

  • I wear ear buds and listen to tunes on my Blackberry while I mow the property.  Eccentric, but true.  As the barn swallows swoop and dance around me, my head is filled with Madonna, John Denver, Jackson Browne, the Eagles and others depending on my mood.  It’s very Zen-like, exhilarating and soothing all rolled into one experience.  My soul smiles.
  • Tucked up in bed at night, I may read or perhaps do a Reiki self-treatment or meditate.  Music again plays a part with the Reiki and meditation.  It may be my favorite Reiki CD or perhaps another CD with a guided meditation or music which enhances an altered state.
  • I teach.  What?  Yes, I teach.  While this is really about my students - sharing CPR skills or Reiki techniques for their benefit - teaching is a passion of mine.  Everyone benefits from the experience.
  • Lately it seems that writing is something I do for me.  Looking back to that Winter in Scotland, I suppose it really started then; I just never thought of it that way.  I find blogging and writing to be therapeutic and fun!

It’s All About Them

Here are the five bloggers to whom I’m passing along the Napping Blogger Award:

I hope each of you five will go to My Write Spot and choose the badge color you want to display on your blog.

Now while these folks do take time off now and then from work or looking after others, I am of the belief that a gentle reminder from a friend to do for oneself never hurts.  So there you have it – my nominees, all definitely worth a read.

Thanks for stopping by!  Now go write!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Beginning Again


An exercise from The Writer’s Retreat Kit 

Beginnings and Endings

“Write about beginning again.”

June 2005 was the end of one life and the beginning of a new one for me.  Having disposed of all my worldly goods excepting that which fit into a 6’ x 12’ U-Haul trailer and my Chevy Tahoe, I was about to make a solo road trip of 1500 miles to a state I had never been in, to an apartment I had never seen, engaged to a man 4000 miles away with whom I had spent less than one week. 

Tahoe and U-Haul hitched together those final few days, I stayed at home unless I walked to a destination or a friend came by to take me out for a meal.  There was a lot of that going on, lots of good-byes.  It was as if I were leaving this world.

About 24 hours prior to my departure, I began feeling “not right” physically.  There were no specific symptoms; no signs of an illness, per se.

Explaining my uneasiness to a dear friend and shaman, she laughed and told me everything was fine; I was simply dying.


Yes, it was the death of one life and the birth of another, symbolically, spiritually and physically.

Understanding this, I felt not only physically better but excited about my upcoming solo cross-country road trip.  Provided with some visualization exercises to help with the process, I rolled out of my driveway the morning of departure thinking of my walled driveway as a birth tunnel.  My three-day journey to northern Minnesota became an adventure with the promise of my new life ahead.


We all reinvent ourselves throughout our lives, sometimes by choice and at other times through circumstances presented to us.  Do you shudder and panic with the thought of major life changes or do you welcome them with open arms and the excitement of what Life has in store for you?   Do you look at each new day as an opportunity to reinvent yourself?

Thanks for stopping by!  Now go write!

Monday, May 28, 2012

May 28, 2012 - The Writer’s Retreat Kit

Quite some time ago, I don’t remember when, I purchased The Writer’s Retreat Kit by Judy Reeves.  This was years ago, so you see I have been dancing around the concept of writing my book for years.

I do not see myself as an ongoing writer with a goal of writing a series of novels.  I have one project (okay, perhaps there is a second)  in mind and heart, and that is my focused goal.

However . . .

That doesn’t mean I can’t have a wee bit of fun exploring other little projects like this kit.  I’m looking at it as a bit of fun, a bit of stretching my creativity and hopefully refining my writing.

If nothing else, it can be some posts for this site!

So stayed tuned; you never know when some little story might pop up here!

Thanks for stopping by!  Now go write!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

May 22, 2012 - The More I Write . . .

The more I write or do other things such as tweak this site, the more I think about writing.  I’m not talking about the act of translating thoughts into words but the other aspects of this project.

“Lordy, what have I gotten myself into?” she asks.

That’s just the first question that comes into my mind, not with panic or desperation but bemusement.

I have questions that will need to be answered; however, it is early days yet and not time for serious research.

You’ll notice a couple of new pages here, including “I’m Published!  Sort Of . . .”.  I had completely forgotten until last evening that I had been a guest blogger on a while back.

Thinking about writing . . . I have written my own press releases related to my Reiki practice and fundraising for the Lance Armstrong Foundation in the past.  Years ago, I wrote an article for the Houston Bicycle Club newsletter describing The Melon Patch Tour, a charity bike ride in Texas.   I don’t think I have a copy of that newsletter any longer and, heck, it looks like the ride is now defunct.  It was, however, an absolute hoot of a tour and a weekend I will always remember.

I will even admit that I “prostituted” myself a few months ago, doing copywriting for video ads.  Yep, got paid for it.  It was fun, creative, good experience and brought in a few bucks.

“Questions?  What are her questions?” I hear some of you whispering.  Just so I am not labeled a tease, here is my first priority, one which I would like to be comfortable with having an answer before I go too deep into the actual writing.

When writing nonfiction, a memoir, a collection of experiences in which the people, places and events are real, how does a writer naming said people, places and events, prioritized in that order.  Is there a disclaimer to be put at the beginning something like, “These are my personal opinions, views and recollections of people, places and events.”  I’m talking from a legal standpoint.  Do I dance around actually labeling people with names – “he,” “the person,” – or do I make up fictitious names?  Do I get permission from all these entities to use their names?

I won’t be slandering anyone with regard to illegal activities, immoral acts, etc., but recounting experiences from my perspective – both the positive and sometimes what was hurtful to me.

Well, you just had to ask . . .

Thanks for stopping by!  Now go write!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

May 21, 2012 - I Have a WIP!


Yesterday was rainy here in New Jersey, much like today.   In between snippets of this and that, including our job here as an on-site security team, I managed to find time to devote to my project.  I can actually call it a WIP, because for the first time since its conception years ago I am truly developing it.

A while back I researched different writing software programs and settled on Scrivener.   Although I am still learning my way about with it, using it is becoming easier.  Practice, practice, practice!  I do like the corkboard feature for notes and reference, among its other features. 

Having some of my project “living” in Open Office, I am transcribing it all into Scrivener as a working platform.  You might think that redundant and, yes, I could copy and paste.  Initially that was my intention, but I found that annoying and, well, boring.  Now I am typing in my OO pages into Scrivener.  In my heyday as a medical transcriptionist, my typing speed was 100+ WPM and remains not too shabby, so this does not take long.  Additionally, as I retype my original work, I am “reliving” the words and my work becomes fresh to me again. 

Additional sections and editing/tweaking ad nauseum is in my future, but at least I can honestly say that I have a WIP!

Whoohoo!  That’s a cool feeling!

More later, but that’s it for now!  Hey, I kept this post short!

Thanks for stopping by!  Now go write!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

May 16, 2012 - Tweet, Tweak, Twiberr . . . Um . . . Triberr

That’s either my bones creaking or the sounds emanating from my laptop the past few days. 

This writing path sure has proven to be a busy and crazy one so far.  Who knew?  And why didn’t you warn me??  Smile with tongue out

First off, thanks to everyone for your visits, your comments, your nudges, your Tweets, your everything! 

This week I have felt as if I have fallen into the deep end of the social media pool!  Where’s my floaties??  Actually, it’s all good, just a bit manic on my part as of yet.  I’ll get a handle on all this and into some sort of manageable system soon, before the pleasant men in their clean white coats appear with nets in hand.

That’s the Tweet and Twiberr – no, wait, it’s Triberr – part of today’s title.  The tweaking of this site has been going on in bits and pieces as I find time.  At the top there is now a link to my “everyday” blog, Phoenix Once Again, where one can find my Blogging from A-to-Z April 2012 Challenge entries.

Some of those posts are, I feel, some of my better efforts, including Baby’s Story (Baby my dog) and a bit about my cancer experience.   These may give you a hint at where my writing project is headed.

Again, thanks for all your Tweets, Triberr mentions, and so on.  I apologize for not reciprocating much yet, but that will change once I have a system and schedule in place.

Of course, said system and schedule is always subject to change depending on natural disasters and interruptions by that entity with a (warped) sense of humor we know as Life.

Thanks for stopping by!

Write on!



Monday, May 14, 2012

May 14, 2012 - I’ve Been Blitzed!


Random Acts of Kindness

Well, I’m gobsmacked! 

While some definitions of “gobsmacked” describes a person being appalled or confused, a common Scottish usage is that one is shocked, surprised, taken totally off guard – in a pleasant way. 

This was my state this morning on discovering I was the recipient of a Random Act of Kindness Blitz (#raokblitz on Twitter).  Sister writer and full-time RVer Donna McNicol (visit her at My Write Spot) really blind-sided me with this! 

I suppose I should have suspected something was up yesterday when she was encouraging me (with a sense of urgency) to have this site live by this morning.  (I decided over the weekend to move this site from WordPress to Blogger and was messing with it yesterday.)   Never even crossed my mind that I was going to be given a mention.   What a surprise!

If you have read some of Donna’s flash fiction, you should be ready for a surprise ending!  You can not only check out her work at My Write Spot, but also now on  I read Tagged the other day and thoroughly enjoyed it.  (Yes, Donna, on my “To Do” list is posting a review on Amazon.  Thumbs up )

Well, I certainly feel “tagged,” honored, surprised and  encouraged to pursue my writing project/dream.   “Encouraged” can also be translated to “swift, firm yet gentle kick in the hiney.”

That being said, I had best get other items off my plate for the day and week so I can spend some time with The Muse and tweaking this Web site.

Donna, you rock, lady!

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A-to-Z Reflections Post


Originally posted May 8, 2012

May 7th A to Z Reflections Post

First of all, thank you ever so much to everyone – yes, you!– who visited, commented and/or became a follower during April.  Your presence and comments were indeed appreciated and encouraging.

This was my first year to participate in the Blogging from A-to-Z Challenge.  A few minutes after I signed up, my thoughts ranged from “What was I thinking?!?” to “This is going to be fun!!”  As the days of April and the alphabet progressed, my emotions swayed to the mostly fun side, with a bit of “I’m on a mission” thrown into the mix.

My admiration and gratitude to the A-to-Z Team for their amazing feat of superhuman power and stamina for not only organizing the Challenge but staying with it and on top of it and for making their presence known on so many blogs during the month.  You guys and gals deserve a rest!

Thoughts on my Challenge experience:

  • It was great fun visiting other blogs (who knew there were so many blogs on such a variety of subjects?!) and meeting other bloggers and writers.

  • Please, please, please – turn off word verification on your blog.  ‘Nuff said.

  • It is indeed a small world.  Through the Challenge, I have reconnected with someone I met in my Reiki work while living in Brenham.  Is that awesome, or what?  You can visit Candy On the Trail to Publication.

  • Although I have written for specific topics as a guest blogger and as a freelance copywriter a bit, I learned that I can prolong that effort past one or two articles here and there.  Yes, the A-to-Z topics were of my own choosing but, by golly, I made it through the entire month and alphabet!

  • The personal “A-HA!” moment for me was the igniting of the writing fire and goal to write my book.  Okay, not only write it, but finish it and see it published, even if I end up self-publishing.  I’ll investigate options once the project is finished.  I realized that I am actually living my longstanding dream of full-timing in an RV, so why not allow this writing project dream to manifest itself?  After a few feeble attempts in the past, I finally have a format and focus that feel tangible and “do-able.”

  • Next year, I my intention is to be prepared with my posts written out in advance.  I was ahead of the game at the beginning of April, but ended up anywhere from 8 to 48 hours out from post time and still tapping keys on my laptop.  Oh well, I guess it was good practice, but I’d rather have more time prowl other blogs during the Challenge than be staring down a deadline.

That’s it for now, except to thank you all once again. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Welcome to My Neuk!


This blog was originally set up on WordPress; however, today I decided for various reasons to move it over to Blogger.  Thank you for being an “early days” visitor, and please keep in mind that this site is very much a work in progress.

What is a neuk, you ask?  “Neuk” is Scottish for “nook.”


Indoor Neuk

Blogging since November 2005 and with other Web presences, the focus of this site are my adventures into the world of writing with a purpose other than the everyday Life happenings found on my blog Phoenix Once Again.

What will I be writing?

Since 2005, when folks hear the story of my life experiences over the past decade, a very common reaction is, “You should write a book!”

I kid you not.  No, these were not paid endorsements.   Angel

At different times I would make an attempt, but it somehow just did not feel right and my efforts subsequently faded away.  

During participation in the Blogging from A to Z April 2012 Challenge, I found a foundation, a concept for my story’s format and, hopefully, the discipline to write on a regular basis.

It also dawned on me that since June 2010, I have realized a longstanding dream of living as a full-timing RVer.  If that dream can materialize, why not the dream of writing and publishing my story?


Outdoor perch

Like everything in my life, and my life in general, this site is a work in progress.   I hope you will find enough of interest and enjoyment here that you will return for a visit.

Thanks so much for stopping by and for your comments if you choose to give me a shout out.

Somehow I think this is gonna be some ride!

Thanks for stopping by!