A Fresh Pair of Eyes

Barbara Ardinger is an editor I’ve used and trust. When I edit, she’s my go to person for questions because of her background and her extensive knowledge. I asked her to share some of her knowledge in a post. Here is one snippet of what she does.

Trying to finish your book or magazine article?

And you’re tired of staring at that blank screen?

Let Me Be Your Editor

When you ask me to be your editor, how can I help you? I’ve been working with smart people like you since the turn of the century. These are smart people who often have good ideas, but they are not (alas) very good writers. I’ve helped nearly all of them succeed.

I’ve edited more than 300 manuscripts. Most of these were for authors going to literary agents or to small, vanity, or on-demand presses. Nonfiction projects include memoirs and biographies, mind/body/spirit (mostly mainstream metaphysics and a lot of New Age), holistic health, science and technology, political tracts, business topics, Calvinist and Islamic theology and history, and ghost hunting. This is one reason I love my job! I learn something new with everything I edit. Fiction includes romance, action-adventure, science fiction, western, mystery, historical, speculative, noir, and horror novels. Other projects I’ve edited include screenplays (film and TV), children’s books, academic discourse (textbooks, doctoral and master’s theses in the U.S. and the UK), website text, and poetry. (Because poetry is so personal, I edit it very carefully.) I have also taught university classes in writing and public speaking and worked as a technical writer/editor in five different industries. And I earned my Ph.D. in English with straight A’s, which means I know what I’m talking about.

I can help you, too! As your editor, I’ll look at what you wrote with fresh eyes. I can improve your spelling, grammar, punctuation, English usage, sentence structure, and word choice. I know what “gooder English” is. I know how to punctuate dialogue. I know how to help you not write Tom Swifties or make other common errors like purple prose and just plain wrong words—like “a house built of troglodyte” (look it up)—that often lead to unintended humor and may inspire your reader to throw your book across the room. I know how to call out unsupported generalizations and lame exaggeration. I know about history and can correct cultural misconceptions. I also do a lot of fact-checking as I edit. What does this kind of work on my part add up to? You’re less likely to embarrass yourself in print. Together, we can also brainstorm for ideas and structure and then outline your chapters. I’ll help you prewrite, write, and rewrite. And I’ll hold your hand till the very end.

Why “fresh eyes” can help you. Because my fresh eyes have not seen the same sentences umpteen times, they read what is really there, not what is remembered or expected of what you thought you wrote. Fresh eyes catch simple, stupid mistakes that weary eyes swan right over. Fresh eyes see leaps of logic where weary eyes have blinked.

Yes, I’ll be your fresh eyes. That means I’ll see the details you miss simply because you wrote the sentences and paragraphs and think you already know what they say. In other words, I’m likely to catch things you and your spouse and your friends and your critique group missed and correct those often dumb mistakes for you. Especially if what you wrote is not quite what you intended. As I am forever telling my authors—most of whom become my friends—it’s important to remember that our readers don’t live in our heads with us. We have to show them stuff. We need to remember that clarity is everything.

That’s my goal: to help every author I work with write more clearly and more meaningfully.

Send me an email now or call me, and we’ll talk about your ideas and ways I can help you manifest your good ideas on paper……….or at least on your screen. Cheers!

Barbara Ardinger, Ph.D.




And you can find some of my books on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&index=blended&keywords=barbara%20ardinger

Barbara Ardinger

Barbara Ardinger and I met through a writers group which we were both involved with.  The group is long gone but I enjoyed Barbara’s directness and honesty so kept in touch.  When I decided to start these interviews, She came to mind first as an editor to interview.  She’s been editing for a long time and across a variety of genres. She’s my go to editing expert.

Tell us a little about yourself. 

I was born in St. Louis, Missouri. I wrote my first story, which was a birthday present for my father, when I was in the second grade. After an encyclopedia salesmen came to our door, and my parents bought The Book of Knowledge, I read all 20 volumes. In high school I was the only member of the Creative Writing Club with a new piece every month.

After college, I taught high school English, speech, and French for three years, then went to graduate school. I earned my M.A. and my Ph.D. with majors in English and minors in psychology, speech/theater, and French and earned straight A’s. I moved to California after I finished my Ph.D. I’m the author of eight published books (two of them are novels with mostly female characters) and more book reviews and blogs than I can count.

I live with two cats: a Maine coon named Heisenberg and a Turkish van named Schroedinger. I’m a spiritual feminist and honor the Goddess. What do I love more than almost anything else? Musical theater—the whole continuum from La Bohème to Rent and nearly every Broadway musical in between, plus Gilbert and Sullivan. And I don’t think I’ve ever met a pun I didn’t love.

What is your background for editing? 

I’ve been a freelance editor since the turn of the century and have edited more than 300 books including novels in all genres, academic theses and dissertations, nonfiction on many topics, children’s books, even some poetry. While I was earning my M.A., a friend asked me to edit his Ph.D. dissertation.

I was lucky to have really, really strict teachers in my literature and writing classes, so I know what good and correct writing is. Today, I give little lessons in “gooder English” as I edit. I stole that phrase, “gooder English,” from the singer Charo while I was doing technical editing for aerospace proposals. I’d just pat the engineer on the knee and say, “This is gooder English.” The guys always accepted my corrections. Nowadays, I also have a collection of books on English grammar, punctuation, spelling, and usage. I’ve read them all. When I’m editing and making changes, therefore, I know what I’m doing.

What are the most frequent errors you find? 

In addition to sometimes hilarious spelling errors (“wholly sh-t,” “a sand partical in a dessert”), I find innumerable errors of punctuation, syntax, and logical reasoning. When a Russian author recently began obsessing about commas and semicolons, I explained English punctuation to him. I have told a few authors that they’ve used up their entire lifetime supply of semicolons, i.e., they’re using too many and using them incorrectly.

Syntax is the order of the words in a sentence. Every language has its own idiomatic syntax: the way words go together is hard-wired in our brains. But sometimes I’ll run into sentences like these: “‘What is the matter?’ kept moaning with a cry Mary.” Or: “‘Senya is your brother,’ interrupted the story Sarah.”In idiomatic English, the subject comes first, then the verb, and adverbs usually precede their verbs. This author reversed the normal order. (And look—I’ve just given you one of my lessons.)

As much as faulty punctuation and syntax, I also see errors in reasoning and logic. I recently gave an author a lesson in paragraph construction because her reasoning wandered in too many directions. Your argument, or assertion, I explained, will make more sense if you open each paragraph with a topic sentence and then fill the paragraph with evidence (facts, figures, examples, etc.) to support that topic. I also find examples of faulty logic (abstract instead of concrete examples, unsupported generalizations, erroneous conclusions) and just plain incorrect facts. That’s why I do a lot of fact-checking as I edit—from the incorrect spellings of foreign words (I usually have to add the accent marks, too) to bad history and geography to incorrect references to persons, places, and events.

What’s the number one thing you hate to see in a manuscript?

Sloppiness. Sloppy thinking, sloppy spelling and punctuation, sloppy formatting. Neatness really does count.

What is something which has totally taken you by surprise when you’re editing?

After close to 20 years of editing, there’s not much that surprises me. Well, an error-free manuscript would be beautifully surprising. I’ve never seen one, though.

What resource materials do you recommend?

I always recommend The Elements of Style by Strunk and White. Yes, it was originally written in 1919 when E.B. White was William Strunk’s student, but what this little book teaches is still true today. Probably truer because texting, tweeting, and posting on the social media have made so many people so careless with gooder English.

I also recommend three books by Karen Elizabeth Gordon (you can look her up).

I often suggest to people writing novels that they read novels in their genre to find out how plotting, characterization, and general style work in that genre.

Finally, I sometimes suggest that an author buy a real dictionary, one printed on real paper and with covers. And use it.  

If you’re also an author, do you do your own editing?

You betcha I do! I usually start “writing” while I’m in bed at night, petting my cats and going to sleep. I’ve trained myself to remember what I “wrote.” (If I don’t remember, it wasn’t worth remembering.) Next morning, I go to my computer and write my first draft. Then I let it marinate for a day or two.

When I go back to it and read it carefully, I make corrections, often deleting redundant phrases or words (usually adjectives or adverbs). I recast sentences that don’t make sense. I double-check punctuation. I run a spell check. (But here’s some advice: remember that spell check dictionaries are usually written by engineers; sometimes we need to check the spell checker.)

Then I let my piece sit and marinate for another couple days. When I come back again, I spot things like “is” for “it” and “that” for “than.” Typos, missing words, and just plain dumb mistakes. I correct them, read the whole thing again, and finally take a really deep breath……and click on Send. (Note: I’ll let these answers marinate for a day or two before I submit them.)

What can authors do to better prepare their manuscripts for an editor?

(1) Make sure your formatting is consistent. (See my answer to the next question.)

(2) Use dialogue tags (he said/she said), especially in what is called stichomythic dialogue where two characters speak alternating lines. Without dialogue tags, the reader has to go down to the bottom and count back up to the top to figure out who spoke each line.

(3) Cite your sources if you’re quoting or using material from someone else. Going to the internet, selecting, copying, and pasting into your own work without citing your source is plagiarism, which is a crime. If you quote song lyrics or poetry or use long quotes, you need to secure permission from the holder of the copyright on the work.

(4) Pay attention to details. Don’t give characters names that are too much alike (in one book: Lyuba and Lyova) and remember what your characters’ names are. Where do the characters live? How is a character dressed? (I’ve “seen” characters change clothes, so to speak, within paragraphs in a single scene.)

(5) Do your homework. If you’re writing about, say, how quantum physics is like metaphysics or about a historical era, get your facts right. I once edited a book set in Bethlehem the night of Jesus’ birth. The inn where there was no room was run by a German family and there was also a Hungarian witch hanging around. But Germans and Hungarians did not live in the Roman province of Judea at that time.

(6) Type more carefully. Spell names and words in other languages correctly. Find your typos and correct them. I’ll usually find the ones you miss. (Actually, I think typos are examples of spontaneous generation.)

(7) Stay out of the thesaurus. Your reader will be happier if you write in clear, plain, direct English without huge, fancy words. I once had to change “demons with vacillating tails.” (Thoughts vacillate; tails wag.) And, yes, you can repeat a word if the repetition will make what you’re saying clear, so you don’t need to find and use endless synonyms for, say, “think” or “say” or “run.” The meanings of synonyms are not, in fact, identical; each synonym has a shade of difference. That’s what makes English the language with the biggest vocabulary in the world.

(8) Stay away from Grammarly. The people who run it have strange ideas about things like sentence length. They say sentences must be short, but that’s a foolish “rule” because a sentence needs to be as long as it needs to be to present the idea it needs to present. And stylistic sentence fragments are often acceptable and effective.

What format do you prefer?

I used to be really fussy and change everything to Times New Roman, 12 pt., but now I’ll work with any font that is easily readable. Either single-space or double-space is OK, but I always add paragraph indents and remove extra spaces between paragraphs. And I am forever changing two spaces at the end of a sentence to one space, which is modern practice. (We’re not working on typewriters anymore. We don’t need those two spaces.)

Do you look for a particular genre?

No. What I look for is good, correct writing. I’ve edited everything from Calvinist theology, a new reading of the Qur’an, and the travels of a female rabbi to a delightful children’s book about dinosaurs that came from outer space to establish the great civilizations. I’ve edited science fiction and romance novels and books about the Nummo, the Tarot, country music in the 1950s, the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, procedures to be followed by scientists in hospitals, sociological studies of the LGBTQ community at a major university in England, recovery from addictions, and the memoir of a movie star. That’s what I love about my job! I learn something from nearly every author I work with.

And I have worked on books I didn’t much like. One was soft porn. Another, by a Freudian psychiatrist, argued that women must be virgins when they marry. A third was a self-help book “for prenatal readers” written by a committee. Even though these books made me giggle, my job was to correct their writing, not judge their authors’ opinions, so I focused on spelling, syntax, and punctuation.

Do you attempt to develop a writer?

I have made friends with nearly all of my authors and frequently give them ideas and make suggestions about how to write more logically or more emotionally, how to better develop plot or characters, or how to do better research. I talk to them about traditional publishers and relate my own experiences and those of friends who are authors. I talk about self-publishing and marketing. When appropriate, I refer them to a literary lawyer, to book designers and illustrators, to marketing and PR experts…whatever I think will help them succeed as authors of books that people buy and read. I even refer books I’ve read that may relate to what they’re writing. We talk via email and in phone calls about just about everything. My goal is always to help each author write the best book he or she can produce.

What advice do you have for authors?

Authors of how-to-write books and speakers at writers clubs say, “Respect your editor.” I agree. Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t argue or express your opinions when they differ from mine. It means you should be aware that I have a good education, hold a Ph.D. in English, and generally know what I’m talking about. But I’m always open to debate because I understand that your area of expertise is different from mine and it’s your book, not mine. We can respect and learn from each other.

My website: https://barbaraardinger.com/

My Amazon page, where you can see (and buy) my books: https://www.amazon.com/Barbara-Ardinger/e/B000APFYJC

Feminism and Religion, where my blogs appear on the first Sunday of every month: https://feminismandreligion.com/


I had reviews for Secret Past and Moon Affirmations.  I worked my bum off asking everyone to please write a review.  I got an Barbara Ardinger to write one for Moon Affirmations (Thanks Barbara!) and two other people to write reviews of Secret Past.

I was on Amazon the other day (okay I admit I’m there daily) and noticed the reviews were gone.  My first reaction was that something my be wrong with my computer or something I’m doing.  I checked back regularly.  They didn’t come back.  I emailed Amazon.  Their standard response was people take their reviews down all the time.

Of course people take down their reviews.  However, I find it hard to believe that all three of the reviews I had were taken down at once.  I told them this.  They came back with, these people know you – they should post in the discussion area.  My response was to explain that while one of the people who did the review I am close with the other two were not.

I talked at length how I asked Barbara to do a review because she is known in the community that I’m targeting the book to.  While I know Barbara, she isn’t a close personal friend.  Plus she gave an honest and insightful review (which is what I asked for) not a gushing “hey read this book it is fab” review.  They finally put that review back up.

The other review for Secret Past was by someone I know but it isn’t like we are close personal friends.  She’s a librarian and friend of my daughters.  When she was done reading the book I asked her to please post a review and to be honest.  She did so.  And now Amazon has wiped it away like it meant nothing.

I get they are trying to maintain integrity in the reviews.  Here’s the thing.  I’m a newly published author.  Every positive thing – like these reviews – I worked my ass off to get.  They count.  They make a difference in whether someone will buy or not.  I need them to help encourage sales.  If Amazon takes them away, it affects my sales.

I tried calling them and got the excuse that the reviews department doesn’t have a phone line which I call shenanigans on.  I’m going to give it till Monday and if the review isn’t back for Secret Past, I will try calling again to talk to the Author’s Central department and bitch again.

Here’s the thing – if you are reading this and you’ve read my books.  PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE go to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords or wherever and post a review.  Please be HONEST.  If there were things you didn’t like that is okay and normal.  I expect to be criticized.  It is the nature of being an author.  Please post a review on any of my books.  I could really use them and they all help a lot.

If Amazon is being a shithead about it, please go to the discussion area at the bottom of the page for the book and start a conversation about it.  I don’t know if that will help with getting sales but at least it will get information about the book out there and people’s opinions about the book out there.

New Reviews!

Moon Affirmations has its first review on Amazon!  Barbara Ardinger read and reviewed it.  She is a wonderful writer and the author of Pagan Every Day and Secret Lives of Crones.  Her website is http://www.barbaraardinger.com/. 

Secret Past has two wonderful reviews on Amazon!  Both people gave it a five stars!  I’m very excited about that. 

Marketing is my most time consuming task right now.  I spend a lot of time sending out press releases saying my books have come out.  I send out review copies.  It is a lot but I try to do some each day.  At this point I’ve had small successes – Barbara’s review being one of them. 

I don’t have a huge budget so I can’t afford an ad in national magazines to advertise my books.  These are costly in the realm of hundreds of dollars per issue.  As I was looking for places to put my ads, I discovered one publication wanted $300.  Since I don’t make a lot on any of the books, I’d have to sell a heck of a lot of books to break even on that type of expense.

This is where I put on my business hat and have to weigh the cost vs the benefit of the expense.  Now a national magazine or publication can bring my books to the attention of thousands of people but how many of them would actually buy?  If it brought hundreds of sales then it would be worth it.  If it didn’t, I would have wasted my money. 

Part of it is targeting the right audience.  With Moon Affirmations that isn’t too difficult as it has a specific niche and a broader market but the other two books is more difficult.  It isn’t like there are romance novel bookstores only.  I could target women’s magazines but not all women read romance novels. 

As for the poetry book, it is even harder to find target specific places to send my marketing material to.  I keep researching and looking for ideas. 

This is why when I get accomplishments – like the reviews – it is wonderful news to me. 

Check out my books.  They are available:

Secret Past

Available on Barnes and Nobles:
Available for sale at:
Available on Amazon:

Moon Affirmations  Daily Meditations Using the Moon Phase to Focus Your Energy

Available for sale at:
Available on Amazon:
Available on Barnes and Nobles:http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/moon-affirmations-eileen-troemel/1119387496?ean=2940045859738

Moments in Nature

Available at Barnes & Nobles:http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/moments-in-nature-eileen-troemel/1119566668?ean=2940045940085
Available at:
Available on Amazon:

Writers Block – Barbara Ardinger

Because I’ve spoken to writers clubs on editing and appeared on two editing panels for the Greater Los Angeles Writers Society (GLAWS), the president of GLAWS and I had a conversation recently about doing a presentation on healing writers block. “It’s simple,” I told him. “You just start writing.”

I don’t think I’ve ever had writers block. Of course, there have been times in my life—like when I was a new mother or so besotted in love one time that I couldn’t think of anything else—that I haven’t been interested in writing, but even going through an M.A. in English and a Ph.D. in English, I never had much trouble with term papers, my thesis, or my dissertation. Like most writers, I suppose, I just walk around in the world with words spiraling in my head and building first lines of blogs, essays, stories, and poems. My challenge is finding time to write those lines down somewhere. Then I have to find more time to type them on my computer. Typing takes more time than thinking.

If you’re a writer, you write. If you think you can’t write or you’re afraid to get started—just write! Sit down with a pencil and paper or at your keyboard and start moving your hands and fingers. Although I love sports writer Red Smith’s famous quote—“There’s nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein”—writing is not quite that painful. I think it’s partly a matter of muscle memory. When I was learning to play the doumbek, I drummed the beledi rhythm (DOUM DOUM tek-a-tek-a DOUM tek-a-tek-a-tek—this is the most familiar belly-dance rhythm) over and over until my arms, hands, and fingers could do it without being directed by my mind. That’s muscle memory. I think learning to type on a QWERTY keyboard works about the same way. As I type this, I’m not thinking individual letters—A-S-I-T-Y-P-E-T-H-I-S, etc.—but whole words. My fingers know where to go. I don’t have to tell them. Of course, I’ve been typing for a long, long time. I learned to type on a standard, nonelectric typewriter. And I remember my grandfather’s typewriter, an ancient Remington with action so stiff you practically had to hit each key with a hammer. (His typewriter was like the one Hazel uses in Upstairs, Downstairs.) Electronic keyboards are certainly easier to use.

So to cure your writers block, start writing. I can hear you protesting. “I can’t think of anything to write!” “How can I write if my mind is empty?” “But what do I write?” “I’ll never be able to write again.” Phooey. Type the first pages of War and Peace if you want to, or the opening of a novel by Charles Dickens. Type the first page of the first Harry Potter book. Type the first verses of the Gospel of John. (In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.) Type nursery rhymes. Type a lyric by W.S. Gilbert or Bob Dylan, type a poem by Emily Dickinson, W.S. Merwin, or Philip Levine.

But DO NOT COPYAND PASTE. Don’t copy and paste for two good reasons. First, you really do not want to commit plagiarism. Second, and more important, copying and pasting does not build muscle memory in your fingers. The reason you’re typing is to get your fingers moving, which should get your mind moving again. If you’re reading what you’re typing, you may also learn something about good writing, how words can be put together. It never hurts to read good writing.

Get those fingers moving! Keep typing. I’m pretty sure you will not retype all of War and Peace, but the typing will bestir your mind. It’s like sparks will shoot out from Tolstoy or Rowling or Mother Goose and smash through the make-believe barriers in your mind. Words will crash together. Strings of words will start marching across your synapses. Words will tap dance over your corpus callosum. Ideas will sprout out of your right brain and start flowering in your neurons and spread like green grass down your arms. You might even get imaginary flowers on your fingernails. (Have I taken this metaphor too far? You get it, right?)

When your own ideas start coming, as they inevitably will, hit enter two or three times and start typing what’s coming out of your head and flowing down through your arms. Don’t judge it. Don’t edit it. Don’t worry yet about spelling or punctuation. Don’t even read it very closely. Just type. YOU’RE WRITING.

After you’ve got a paragraph or a stanza or two (or more), then you may want to slow down for a minute. Go back to the top of the page and delete what you copied. Now, if you want to, read what you wrote. Maybe it’s just rough draft. Rough drafts exist to be changed. Edit a little bit if you want to, correct obvious spelling and punctuation errors, make notes about where this is heading. Can you keep going? A writing teacher I once knew said the best way to keep going is to stop in the middle of a sentence. You’ll be irresistibly drawn to complete that sentence the next time you sit down to write.

Finally, it might be useful to distinguish between procrastination and writers block. This may be almost a Jesuitical distinction, but let’s assume it’s valid. When you’re procrastinating, you’re just waiting to write because you’ve got other things to do. Feed the cats. Vacuum the living room. Wash the car. Buy this week’s groceries. But keep this in mind—even if you’re procrastinating, you can’t stop your mind from writing. As you walk around in the world, let the words keep forming paragraphs and stanzas in your mind. And be sure to take the time to get them down on paper or your screen.
Visit Barbara’s site at:  www.barbaraardinger.com.
Facebook page for my new novel, Secret Lives: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Secret-Lives/140993335978461
Here’s a list of Barbara’s books:
Secret Lives (CreateSpace, 2011), a magical realism novel about grandmothers who do magic. http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Lives-Barbara-Ardinger/dp/1466251786/ref=sr_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1316117982&sr=1-7  Available in trade paperback and Kindle editions.
Pagan Every Day: Finding the Extraordinary in Our Ordinary Lives (Weiser, 2006) a daybook with essays about religious holidays of many religions, ancient and modern, plus numerous other topics (like Miss Piggy as The Goddess of Everything). http://www.amazon.com/Pagan-Every-Day-Extraordinary-Ordinary/dp/157863332X/ref=pd_sim_sbs_b_1  Trade paperback.
Quicksilver Moon (Three Moons Media, 2003), a far-right extremist preacher attacks a coven, a realistic novel … except for the vampire. http://www.amazon.com/Quicksilver-Moon-Barbara-Ardinger/dp/097251645X/ref=sr_1_sc_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1327858917&sr=1-1-spell  Trade paperback.
Finding New Goddesses: Reclaiming Playfulness in Our Spiritual Lives (ECW Press, 2003), a pun-filled parody of goddess encyclopedias.  http://www.amazon.com/Finding-New-Goddesses-Reclaiming-Playfulness/dp/1550225243/ref=pd_sim_sbs_b_3  Trade paperback.
Practicing the Presence of the Goddess (New World Library, 2000), a guide to feminist spirituality (Goddess 101). This book is a revision and reissue of Rituals & Celebrations (below). http://www.amazon.com/Practicing-Presence-Goddess-Everyday-Transform/dp/1577311736/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1327858847&sr=1-1  Now available in a Kindle edition!
Goddess Meditations (Llewellyn, 1998), the first book of meditations on goddesses, including chakra goddesses, to be published. Out of print, but still available on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Goddess-Meditations-Barbara-Ardinger/dp/1567180345/ref=pd_sim_sbs_b_2  Trade paperback.
A Woman’s Book of Rituals & Celebrations (New World Library, 1992; revised edition, 1995 http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_25?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=a+woman%27s+book+of+rituals+and+celebrations&sprefix=A+Woman%27s+book+of+rituals%2Cstripbooks%2C301  Available in hardcover, trade paperback, and now in a Kindle edition.
Seeing Solutions (Signet New Age Book, 1989), a book of guided meditations. Long out of print. http://www.amazon.com/Seeing-Solutions-Signet-B-Ardinger/dp/0451160096/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1327859017&sr=1-1  Paperback. (Don’t spend $80 for a new one!)

Annual Journal Entry

For the last five years, around my birthday I’ve written in my annual journal.  I have a daily journal I carry with me which gets all the daily chaos of my life.  I write in it when I feel the need to – the busier I get the less I write in it.  I try to get a page or two in regularly but it doesn’t always work. 

I read about a birthday journal five or six years ago and started one.  It is supposed to have remembrances from the last year, from my childhood, or other big picture thoughts. 

One year I wrote about as many of my memories as I could jam into a single sitting from my childhood.  Another year I wrote about the conflict in our family.  Last year was all about politics. 

This year, I will have to see what moves me.  There has been a lot going on in my life in the last year so I’ll have to see about the big picture. 

I know my birthday was nearly a month ago but mostly I haven’t had time to think about this deeply enough to do the entry.  In the last five years I’ve written in this journal anywhere from March to May.  If I can get it done, only three weeks after my birthday that will be pretty good.

Now I just have to figure out what big picture I want to write about – or if I want to tackle all of them….
Monday March 26, I’ll be posting a blog entry from Barbara Ardinger.  You may have clicked on her link on this page.  She is an incredible author and editor.  She is funny and articulate.  I think you will enjoy her posting.  Come back on Monday to see Barbara’s posting!!!

Early Day

By Wednesday, I’m so ready for an early day and fortunately most days I get to come home early.  Class is done at 3:30 and I just come home after.  Today I was a bum and played games on the computer.  Now though I have to get down to work. 

I laughed hard when I read a couple of blogs this week.  Check out Speak!  Good Dog!  You should check out her commentary on the Rush Limbaugh and birth control issue.  Beware though there is a bit of sarcasm involved (okay maybe more than that – I think she might now be in hiding from the sarcasm police!)

Also a friend of mine is agoraphobic and she has started a blog called In Loving Memory of My High Functioning Self.  She has a great sense of humor and laughs at herself while she explores her fears and anxiety.  At the same time she isn’t letting her life fall apart.  I know she doesn’t feel like it but she is one of the most amazing people I know and one of my favorite people.  Check out her blog it is pretty good. 

Both blogs have a link below.

On another note I recently had an assignment to write a report on any topic.  My professor found out I was part of a writers group so she asked if I would ask some of the writers about their experiences with publishers.  Well Barbara Ardinger, Kelley Harrell, Donna Henes, and Elizabeth Hazel (she does the astrology stuff I post) all were very generous with sharing their experiences.  In addition some have agreed to write a guest blog for here.  Barbara has been wonderful quick with it so when I get a few moments I’m going to get that posted here.  In the meanwhile, check out her blog and her books.

I’m off to deal with mundane things like supper and maybe some crocheting.  I have homework but I think tonight will be a down night.  Though I have some transcribing to do so I guess I’ll have to see how I feel once my tummy is full (usually it involves a stint in the recliner with me inspecting my eyelids for holes… or something like that).