Thursday, August 29, 2013

Looking For a Fun Way To Build Your Vocabulary Word By Word?

Remember all those vocabulary lists you had to memorize in elementary school? I know, it's a bad, bad memory for many.

If only our teachers had provided us with a fun way to build our word knowledge. Fun or not, if you're a writer or student, words are your tools. The last thing you want is to limit your ability to express yourself because your word toolbox is half empty.

Last month, I found, a site that tries to make building your vocabulary fun. I tried it, and liked it. One of my older children saw me playing on the site and got hooked, too.

So if you've been telling yourself you need to improve your vocabulary, then check out Maybe you'll like it.

Note: Every so often I will share links to sites I find interesting. I do this because mom always said it was better to share.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

5 Ways To Enjoy Creative Fun-Time With Your Kids

With only a few more weeks left of summer vacation the question on many parents' minds is: Now what do we do with the kids?

If you're like me, I don't want them glued to the television for eight hours, or stuck to the computer playing games or on Facebook. It's a huge challenge in my house because I have five children to "entertain." 

Being a writer and creative type has helped me come up with ways to stave off the dreaded sound of "Dad, I'm bored!" coming from the living room. Here's the first of five activities I have found to enjoy creative fun-time with my kids. Each of these five activities are inexpensive, too. 

Activity #1
Acting out our favorite book or movie. 

My kids really get into this - especially if there's a lot of action and cool costumes. Some faves have been anything Star Wars, Stargate, Harry Potter and Ice Age. The kids often will spend a couple of hours in their room planning out scenes to act out, setting up props, costumes, etc. Usually they do this in secret because they want to surprise mom and dad. We have a craft box with crayons, markers, cardboard and other materials for them to use, but we let them use the dining room chairs, bed sheets and whatever else they may need (as long as they don't ruin the furniture). 

If simply performing for mom and dad in the living room isn't exciting enough for the kids, we bring out the camcorder and film the entire production. Filming is usually the job my kids designate for me. We have relatives all over the country. So, I set up a YouTube channel where we can post these kids productions to share with family.
I keep it private allowing only family to access it. I recently found the My Kids' Adventures blog which gives parents ideas for having family fun. A recent post was titled: "How to Stage a Family Play With Your Kids." If your kids are anything like mine, acting out their favorite book or movie will provide hours (some times days) of free fun at home.

Next Post
Activity #2: Creative crafts with paper

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Writers Must Live...Like Hemingway

I'm wearing a baseball cap. Shot a boar!
Ernest Hemingway was a man's man. He went on safari. He was a deep-sea fisherman. He loved adventure. Writers are often told to write what you know. If you do not live, you don't know much. Adventure in life is a writer's best muse. 

Recently, I had the opportunity to go wild boar hunting. I did it. I shot on my first try a boar. Did I ever think I'd go boar hunting? No... but as a writer... I knew I had to embrace it. 

My advice... Try new things... 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Writing Prompt: Is Air Conditioning Making Us Weak?

Scanning the headlines today at and I came across this opinion piece: Is air conditioning making us weak? Well, What if it is? What's it say about our future as a species? Write a 1,000-word short exploring that possibility.

Quote Of The Day: The Surefire Way To Never Meet Your Goals

This one is attributed to hockey legend Wayne Gretzky: You miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take. This is so true. I have b...