For some reason I can add sidebars, but not new posts. Please check back later. I have been working on a variety of things including switching my blog soon from this one, which was set up with my now-defunct West Wisconsin Telcom account. I hope to have my new blog through Gmail up soon. I will provide a link and announcement when I've got everything straight. 7/2/11

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Literary publication markets looking for submissions

I’ve run across some literary journals and magazines that are actively looking for submissions—and some even pay! Some of these are fairly new publications and some have been around longer. Either way, it’s always good to expand the markets where you can get your work published. Check them out:

Palabra: literary magazine of Chicano/Latino writing is looking for fictions, flash fiction, poetry, novel excerpts, experimental/cross-genre work and short plays. See

Cave Wall Press: journal of poetry and art looks for new writers annually between February 1 and March 15. See

Tiferet: a journal of spiritual literature publishes a variety of works. See

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

New class blogs

A wordle: see to create your own

This quarter I’m teaching two classes at Globe University: Business Communication ( ) and Business Writing ( ). Check out the postings and student responses. This is a wonderful tool for teaching. It gives the class practice presenting themselves professionally in a public forum (as opposed to the discussion board feature). It also breaks the monotony of essays and reports . . . not to mention being much shorter, as one of my students pointed out with pleasure!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy Chinese New Year—the Year of the Ox

This is the Chinese word for “Spring,” by a master calligrapher who lived 600 years ago. The New Year’s celebration is also the Chinese Spring Festival.
Picture is courtesy of

January 26, 2009 is the start of China’s lunar year 4707. This year is the Year of the Ox. If you were born in 1937, 1949 (like Carl), 1961, 1973 or 1985, you were born under the sign of the Ox. According to their zodiac, people born under this sign are patient, yet once crossed, your temper shows.

In 1977 (a Year of the Snake), I was living in the East Bay area. We crossed the Bay Bridge and braved the crowds in San Francisco’s China Town. It was splendid and scary as firecrackers went off everywhere, even in the midst of the crowds, dragons pranced and roared, and fantasy floats rolled past. It was, however, also when I realized I had Enochlophobia, which is the fear of crowds. Now I celebrate it the way I celebrate most everything now: with friends at a restaurant with fine food and wine, and perhaps a bit of brandy or a gin & tonic . . .

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Wikitree: the online tool for tracing your family tree

Who are these people? Could they be Great Aunt Theodora and her step-sister Phoebe?

I received a comment from one of the people who created this web site stating that I was one of the first to find it and link to it. Because it was one of my “Links of the week,” I don’t usually keep the previous ones when I update the section. I decided to post this so there is a permanent note of it. Here is the permanent link:

Friday, January 23, 2009

Recently read: Charles Todd’s A Cold Treachery

Todd’s books are an excellent British detective series with a couple of twists. One is that the books are set just after World War I. The other is that the series has a paranormal twist: Inspector Ian Rutledge’s dead friend accompanies him on all his cases, adding his own caustic comments to Rutledge’s thoughts. In this book Rutledge battles snow as well as the silence of a small rural community which closes ranks when a family is shot to death in their kitchen. A young boy is missing, outsiders act suspiciously, and Rutledge prowls at night. Well worth reading.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Writers write: Kenton Whitman

Two friends of mine never cease to amaze me. Kenton and Rebecca Whitman are a Renaissance couple, whose interests and talents seem unending. Their website, is a delight. They have recently launched their writing and design business that provides everything from professional business cards to grant proposals. The web site is Check out , where Kenton posts clear, illuminating essays on Zen, Advaita, Buddhism, Enlightenment, Awakening, Non-Dualism, and discovering the Now. And if all those aren’t enough creative and literary endeavors, Kenton’s memoir will be published in 2009—I’ll keep you posted.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day

This week America has an inauguration worth celebrating! There’s no doubt in my mind that yes, we can change the damage that’s been done here at home and around the world. Pause today, however briefly, to salute the new president.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

InfoStar: a good source for writers and everyone else

InfoStar is virtually located at and physically located in Madison, WI. Owner Peter Greene is an expert on all things (well, I suppose there are SOME things he doesn’t know) computer- and Internet-related. Carl and I listen to him regularly on Wisconsin Public Radio. Some things of note are his Top 10 Lists of Useful Web pages found here: where you can find an array of fascinating sites like locating graves and online health information for that mysterious pain in your neck. Other things that interest me are the ebooks, guides, and eclasses listed along the left-hand side of the page. I’ve been mulling over the idea of ebooks, and will start looking into the matter as soon as things settle down at bit for me. I’ll keep you informed . . .

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Recently read: Sue Grafton’s T is for Trespass

Who doesn’t love reading Grafton’s witty and wonderful books? I adore her characters, often laughing out loud at Kinsey’s comments. The writing is consistently well done and the plots are always fresh and suspenseful. In this, a predator of the elderly manages to sidestep Kinsey’s careful investigation. The two of them match wits, with even Kinsey starting to worry that she’ll be out-maneuvered, and the stakes are high. Too many lives have already been lost to the predator, and now not only Kinsey, but her neighbors may be next. As usual, every time I read Grafton’s latest, it becomes my favorite—until the next one comes along.

I’ll pause here to muse on women detective books. As the genre developed in the early 20th century, women detectives were gentle Miss Marples or dashing upper class women who could ride their horses chasing a crook as well as a fox. Men detectives were upper class men—ditto—or hard-boiled loners ala Chandler’s Philip Marlowe. By the end of the century, there were hundreds of excellent books with women detectives, of whom Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone is one. Others were created by such authors as Sara Paretsky and Patricia Cornwall, to name a few. Then I began to notice what I call the “You Dumb Bitch” Syndrome (YDBS) developing in women detectives. YDBS became more striking as the male detectives became more sensitive, self-aware, and unashamed of their inner angst. YDBS is when VI Warshawski or Kay Scarpetta receive a phone call at midnight from a muffled voice asking the detective to meet them in an abandoned warehouse or deserted factory and, by golly! Off she goes alone to scale the chain link fence while the reader is thinking, YDB—are you stupid or what? Even my beloved Anna Pigeon by Nevada Barr is starting to show the first symptoms of YDBS. Today’s male detective, on the other hand, is bright enough to notify a whole army of police. He also pauses long enough to get wired so there will be evidence that will hold up in court, and he always remembers to leave a romantic voice message for his latest love.

I am pleased to say that never ever has Kinsey exhibited even a hint of YDBS!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Googling for writers

Check out this excellent article titled “50 Useful Google Apps for Writers” by Laura Milligan at

I am a Google-addict, much as I was (and still am) an addict of rooting around in library shelves.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

February contests

I'm starting to post the February contests in The Money Corner. Plus, there are a number accepting entries through the end of January. Scroll down to check them out. And good luck!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Recently read: Michael Connelly’s City of Bones

I like Connelly. He’s always a good, solid, exciting read. I also like his L. A. detective, the anguished Harry (short for Hieronomus—I love the sense of humor and his knowledge of art that made Connelly pick that name!). This book takes us to a remote corner of Laurel Canyon where a dog and his walker find the bones of a boy. The facts turn even more brutal as the bones reveal there had been cruel abuse during the boy’s short life. A call gives them the key to the boy’s identify and his possible abuser. As the plot twists, Bosch starts to fall in love. And soon the consequences of bad decisions spread their effect over a widening pool of deaths.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Today is . . .

Today is . . . quiet sage green, timid with the cold, clear and scented with long gone roses and lilies, decked with ice crystals that are gone by nightfall like memories of old love and melting dreams, a mournful jazz note breathed by a saxphone.
See September 21, 2008 for the genesis of my “today is . . . ” postings.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Writers write: Raina Clark

Raina and I met shortly after she moved from California to Wisconsin. I’d just started the Writers Guild, and she was looking for a local writing group. Since then, she has completed more than half of her memoir about her experiences in the Coast Guard on St. Paul Island (that would be in the Bering Sea off the coast of Alaska). Her love of all things maritime has recently resulted in her new job as the managing editor of Marine News. Check out her site at

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Council for Wisconsin Writers

The Council for Wisconsin Writers has nine contests this year. Entries are being accepted through January 31, 2009. Awards are $500. Entries must have been published between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2008.

The nine contests, open to Wisconsin writers, are:

  1. Larry and Eleanor Sternig Award for Short Fiction

  2. Posner Poetry Book Award

  3. Kay Levin Award for Short Nonfiction

  4. Tofte/Wright Children's Literature Award

  5. Kenneth Kingery/August Derleth Nonfiction Book Award

  6. Anne Powers Fiction Book Award

  7. Ellis/Henderson Outdoor Writing Award

  8. Lorine Niedecker Poetry Award

  9. Essay Award for Young Writers (new category,open to all Wisconsin high school students to encourage student authors of literary nonfiction and help them develop their writing skills)

    For further information, including application forms, see