Rethinking Games from My Youth

When you’re a kid learning how to play games from adults, you latch on to certain things, depending on your personality and perspective. For me, in Scrabble, it was “Oooooo…7-letter word. Aaah…triple-word score.” I was a nerdy, dictionary-reading kid, so as part of my strategy, I also memorized the “q” words that could be spelled without a “u.” In my circle of family and friends, I was a very good Scrabble player. Fast forward about 30 years. I started playing Words with Friends online, and one of my pals was whipping my butt. The worst part? He was doing it…

I’m Alive…and 49 Pages Closer to “The End”

Another heavenly week has come and gone. This was year 2 of my Virginia Beach writing retreat with the Doll Babies. If that’s conjuring up images of sweet, little ladies popping bon bons as they write, well, the bon bons are not far off course, but sweet…nah. If you saw us coming, you might think we were a gang. We’ve got the thriller-writing motorcycle mama, and the tattoo-covered fantasy writer. Then there’s the one that sounds like My Cousin Vinny. Ahem. Throw in a former investigative journalist, a nuclear plant engineer, and a flamenco-dancing biologist. Don’t let the two southern…

7 x 7 Link Award

My pal over at Celluloid Zombie passed along this award, which led me to revisit some old blog posts. The rules to the 7 x 7 Link Award are simple: Tell everyone something about yourself that nobody else knows. Link to a post I think fits the following categories: Most Beautiful Piece, Most Helpful Piece, Most Popular Piece, Most Controversial Piece, Most Surprisingly Successful Piece, Most Underrated Piece, Most Pride Worthy Piece. Pass this on to 7 fellow bloggers. And we’re off. Tell everyone something about yourself that nobody else knows If not one person knew some deep, dark secret of…

Winter Status Update in Bullet Points

January and February are not my favorite months. I go into hibernation mode. I run less. I stretch less. My hamstrings tighten up. I eat comfy foods more. My love handles bulk up. My belly looks like Baby Roo has taken up residence. My back aches. The number on the scale increases. I don’t walk as much. I don’t get as much fresh air. I don’t get as much sunlight. My mind is not as sharp. I am reduced to writing in bullet points. My emotions are not as stable. I make the scary discovery that the state of my…

From Intention to Action: Turning resolutions into reality

It’s that time of year again. You’re either rolled up in fetal position on the floor or writing a list of New Year’s resolutions. Some of you writing resolutions might prefer to be rolled up in fetal position, and those of you on the floor wouldn’t change places with the resolution writers for a million dollars. What is this compulsion that drives us every January 1st? How predictable are we that gyms do much of their advertising in January and then again a few months later when our bright, shiny beginnings have tarnished and crusted over and there is empty…

On Writing: When Outlines Attack

Back in my early days of novel writing, I was addicted to reading how-to books. I raced through one after another with barely a breath between them, let alone time to apply what I’d just read. Eventually, I became disgusted with my lack of progress after eight years of working on the same novel and decided to read a book and actually do the exercises in it. That book was The Weekend Novelist by Robert J. Ray: “A dynamic 52-week program to help you produce a finished novel…one weekend at a time.” I can already hear the groans of the…

Ramblings on Running

This past Thursday, I set out for my regular run in good spirits, but within three blocks I just wasn’t feeling it. Knowing that those first few blocks are usually the worst for me, I told myself to run two more blocks and then decide whether I would be finishing with a walk instead. Somewhere during those two blocks my mind became engaged in other matters and when I noticed my surroundings again, I was almost at the 1 mile mark. I decided to do a 1.5 mile run and walk the rest of the way home. But when I…

Felix the Cat and MacGyver Picnic on a Purple Sarong

I’ve been on holiday in England the past couple of weeks. A travel blog post is on its way, but in the meantime, I was wondering… Do you have tangible items in your life that are symbols for your dreams and desires? You might remember that I attended a Writers’ Retreat in Virginia Beach back in May and, while there, visited the Edgar Cayce Center. In addition to several books, a purple tie-dyed sarong with fringes caught my eye. It didn’t match my bathing suit, and yet I knew I had to have that sarong. It was more than a…

Head Games

  I’ve been thinking a lot about mind, body, and spirit and how to integrate the three. The trouble is, well, just return to that word “thinking” in the previous sentence. I’m a thinker. In fact, my preference for thinking and overthinking is so strong, I should really introduce myself as “Hi, I’m Margaret, and I’m an OverThinker.” You get the point. In a recent conversation with a friend, I admitted that I see myself as a head sitting on a table—no body—my brain taking in information, processing it, and spitting it out in useful chunks. It’s a bit difficult…