Self Defense: Reclaiming Control

Self Defense: Reclaiming Control

My daughters along with 35 other family and friends had the privilege of attending Jai Johnson's self defense class last night. It was an evening that inspired hope and confidence to reverse the role as victim and to take back control. I'm going to share...

Writing Dialogue: Giving your Characters an Authentic Voice

Writing Dialogue: Giving your Characters an Authentic Voice

  Dialogue fills our world as we chat with family and friends. Often we recognize excitement, sorrow, or frustration in the spoken words or the tone of a voice. Dialogue plays an essential role in giving depth to writing. “Yo, dude, snag me a...

Preparing Our Children for a Different World

Preparing Our Children for a Different World

I live in rural Iowa where people still hold the door open for you, strangers wave from their passing car, and there is a sense of peace in the Heartland. When a college girl gets kidnapped and killed in a rural town only minutes away, and then a twelve-year-old boy...

Midlife crisis?

Midlife crisis?

So - it could be a midlife crisis? I am inching up on 50, and the thought makes me barf. The kids are back to school and they apparently grew up overnight. Today a freshman - tomorrow college visits. Where did these ten pounds come from? Goodbye metabolism. I know...

A short story – Cicada Song

A short story – Cicada Song

This short story was written in response to a writing prompt about "story endings". The challenge was either and open ending or plot twist. I have no clue why my fingertips led me down a dark path, but this story contains violence and a couple swear words. (I held...

Refusing to Get Old

Refusing to Get Old

  I’m getting older – obviously. But, I didn’t feel my age until recently. I’m 46 years old and but still convinced I can climb trees and do a cartwheel in the green grass - if I felt like it. But recently my body reminded me it has changed.   During a recent...

Picture Books Can Save the World

Picture Books Can Save the World

Picture books can save the world . . . I’m sure of it. I addressed this topic focusing only on anxiety in Pat’s Chat - May 2017, but it’s worth revisiting in more depth. Picture books are not just a sweet, innocent source of entertainment for children, but they can be...

Travel, adventure, and learning a new culture: Costa Rica

Travel, adventure, and learning a new culture: Costa Rica

PURA VIDA! It means “pure life” and is the motto of Costa Rica. My family recently returned from a Spring Break vacation to the region where the landscapes are filled with diversity of animal and plant life and a welcoming culture. When traveling, I try to do more...

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