Thursday, March 22, 2012

I Absolutely Love This Idea!

According to an article on, John Locke, a New York City architect involved in the “Department of Urban Betterment” project, borrowed this idea from the UK and Los Angeles, where someone got the idea to try to turn obsolete phone booths (does everybody really have a cell?) into something useful -- a library. Some might call this a double entendre, or even a double negative, since books are following cell phones in going digital. However, there are still plenty of people out there who like to hold a book, turn its pages and browse its pictures, and what a great way to share books with other people: putting a mini-library on a street corner! Read this full article at, then pick up a book and start reading!

Please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon.

Check Your Grammar Here

Just found a great resource for having quick grammar questions answered: Grammar Girl. This is a terrific place for a refresher. We all speak -- and now write -- so conversationally that sometimes it's good to go back to the basics for a minute and remember our elementary school lessons.

Please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Americans' Work in Haiti Continues

Here is a story of a mission family who is still at work in Haiti. They are called the Taubl family. You might remember them from the second season of America's Got Talent. They made it to the Las Vegas round. The father, John, is a minister, and the family is a singing group, using their money for missionary work. I am on their mailing list and here is a recent email I received from the mother, Carol Taubl:

Sam returned from Haiti this past Wednesday for a three week time of refreshing and rest. His work is going well. He is spending a great deal of his morning time in 'the transition house' at the orphanage where he works (Child Hope International), helping the older children learn a skill so that they can transition into the adult society there in Port au Prince. His afternoons are spent teaching private lessons on cello, violin and guitar. He also helps out in the local feeding programs when needed and is leading worship at the local church. His passion for the people of Haiti is inspiring for us all.
Our family will be returning to Haiti April 15-25, once again to teach and to perform, this time in the Central Plateau region. Our goal is to purchase as many stringed instruments as possible to bring with us and leave with the children there. The instruments that we left in February of last year are being used by many children who share them and practice in shifts so that as many as possible are touched by the music. It is amazing how a small gift can impact so many. Thank you to all who contributed to make that possible. (Video from our first here)
We will be performing a concert this coming Saturday, March 24, 7pm, at Trinity Church in Woodbridge, CT (33 Center Road). It will be an evening of wonderful music, with a few very special guest artists as well. Please make your plans to attend, and share this info with any that you think might be interested. We would love to see you there. Admission is free - donations for Haiti gratefully accepted.

If you're heart moves you, take a ride to Woodbridge, CT this Saturday. If that is too far for you, you may just want to go to their website and make a donation.

Please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

March 22nd is World Water Day. Do You Know What Your Water Footprint Is?

March 22nd is World Water Day and Recyclebank -- an organization that gives rewards points for doing environmentally friendly things such as reducing your water usage and buying products that aren't made with harsh chemicals -- has a great video that talks about how we can all reduce our water footprint. Check it out, and while you're there, join Recyclebank and start earning points toward great rewards!

Please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

What Books I'm Reading

This is kind of a loaded question because at any given time I have four books going and three lying in wait.

THE BOOK I'M ALMOST DONE WITH: Annie Freeman's Fabulous Traveling Funeral by Kris Radish. This is the story of four women who honor their friend by spreading her ashes all over the country. My mom would have loved this! The women are a little whiny but I'm enjoying living vicariously through them in every place they visit, which so far includes Santa Fe, the Florida Keys and NYC.

THE PLEASANTLY SURPRISING BOOK: Enter The Zone by Barry Sears, Ph.D. He's not only the creator of the Zone Diet. Did you know he also invented the IV drip for cancer drugs and the AIDS drug AZT? Wow, I'm impressed and now clinging to his every word.

THE BOOK THAT GOES ON FOREVER: War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. I'm a hundred pages into it and you can't even tell. The book is 1,400 pages long. This is actually quite interesting.

AND FINALLY, THE BOOK I WONDER IF I'LL EVER GET TO: The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton. Picked it up off of a doctor's office coffee table thinking I would burn through it really quickly and return it for the next person. It's been six months and I'm on page 66. I put it on the back burner so I could read the other books. I guess I'll finish it some day.

Please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Taking Twitter to the 2.0 Level

I just read a great article about how to take Twitter to the next level. I realized after reading the article (which hasn't been published yet so I can't show it to you until it is) that simply following "people" is not enough. If we really want to get the most out of Twitter, we must follow "conversations". I'm excited to start doing this and to report back to you about my learnings. Stay tuned!

Please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon.

Delaware Has Most LEED Certifications

The U.S. Green Building Council recently released its list of the top 10 states with the most LEED certifications per capita (i.e., per person living in the state). The one on top? It's not even a state -- it's Washington, DC!

Please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon.

Seattle's Seadrunar is Hiring People in Rehab

What a great concept. Seadrunar Recycling, in Seattle, is a recycling center that hires people in rehab, and then donates all its profits to the Seattle Drug & Narcotic Center.

This is a great way to get people who have hit rock bottom back on the straight and narrow and give them their confidence and feeling of self worth back.

We should be doing this in every major city!

Please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Great Tutorial for Learning Software

I just discovered a great website for learning software programs -- It has easy-to-watch videos that are about 5 minutes each and the teacher uses very conversational language.

The site is a mix of both free and paid content, with the free content being used to entice people to sign up. Monthly subscriptions are very affordable -- just $25.00 or $250.00 for the year.

You can learn everything from HTML to InDesign to AutoCad and Android. This is a great resource!

Please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon.

Friday, March 09, 2012

The Backstory on the Word "Backstory"

When an actor becomes famous, or A list, where they came from and what kind of upbringing they had becomes intriguing and interesting and the audience enjoys knowing this information. The media calls this their "backstory," or the story before the story.

These are becoming extremly popular of late, and the word backstory is being bantied around like a new Baskin Robbins ice cream flavor that everyone just discovered. The word backstory has even spread beyond humans to cover inanimate objects or events, such as "The backstory on Valentine's Day" or "the backstory behind the invention of the cell phone."

Assuming this word only came into being a few short years ago, I looked it up in Merriam-Webster. It turns out, according to MB, that the first known use of the term goes all the way back to 1984. The AP Stylebook, which most writers access today as a guideline for ensuring they are using the correct spelling and grammar, had no record of the word backstory.

Wikipedia, on the other hand, provided a more detailed but similar definition to MB, and while no one seems to be able to say who first said the word, Wikipedia notes that use of a backstory as a storytelling technique goes all the way back to the days of Aristotle.

Well there you have it. The backstory on backstory.

Please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon.