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Ready, Set . . . Write Your A** Off! June 11, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Word Play, Writing & Writers.
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Sharpen your pencils and your wit and join the New York Writers Coalition on Saturday, June 12th, for “Write Your A** Off “Day!

Here’s your chance to show the world that you have what it takes to spit 3,000 words out on paper (or screen) in the course of 24 short hours!

The New York Writers Coalition is offering an added incentive:

Everyone who completes the challenge and writes 3,000 words on June 12th will have the chance to enter a drawing to win a free private phone consultation about your writing project with Jennifer Belle!


Wait . . . who’s Jennifer Belle? 

Glad you asked! 

According to the bio posted on the New York Writers Coalition website:

Jennifer Belle is the best-selling author of four novels, The Seven Year Bitch,  published May, 2010, Little Stalker, High Maintenance, and Going Down.  

Her critically acclaimed novels have been translated into many languages and optioned for film and television by Madonna, Das Films, HBO and Fox.  In 1996 she was named Best Debut Novelist of the year by Entertainment Weekly. 

She lives in New York City where she teaches writing workshops and is proud to be on the advisory board of NY Writers Coalition.

For more details on the event or Ms. Belle, visit:  Write Your A** Off Day

So, there you go . . .

Now, stop asking questions and get ready to Write Your A** Off!   

This P.S.A. brought to you courtesy of My Life As A Writer And Artist: NaNoWriMo ~ Write Your A** Off!  . . . Thanks, Carolyn! 

If you have trouble signing up for the event, visit Carolyn’s site where she reveals a secret “back door” entrance to “Write Your A** Off!”  registration.

Just Leap . . . And The Net Appears June 11, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Magick & Mystery, Poetry.
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Our journey to Florida commenced when I wrote Palm Trees and Capris to describe how I would spend my last 24 hours on Earth . . . under the warm Florida sun, surrounded by family and friends.

That vision became reality in Self Fulfilling Prophesies.

Of course, none of us know how long we have before we exit this Earth.  Any day could be our last day.  It pays to make the most of the present moment.

“Life is uncertain.  Eat dessert first.”

After writing about my imagined last day, we decided to spend the holidays in Florida, soaking up some sun.  We rented a vacation home on Anna Maria Island, just south of Tampa, at a bargain price, and headed south a week before Christmas with our cat, Tigger.

Being on the Paradise Coast exceeded our expectations.

We loved being in shorts and flip flops, on the beach, on New Year’s Eve.

We loved being two hours from my sister and her family.

We loved the warm gulf breezes and the Florida sunshine.

We knew that this was where we wanted to be.

As the first week of our vacation ended, we resisted the idea of returning to the cold Northeast where our home on the Chesapeake Bay had languished on the market for 15 months.

We took a gamble and signed a short term lease in Bradenton, knowing that we only had enough money to cover both places for the duration of the lease.

After that, we would have to pack up our stuff, return to Maryland, and scramble to find jobs in an uncertain economy.

Despite our fears, we decided to do what we wanted to do, and keep our fingers crossed that our gamble would pay off.

Our fears hold us back
Spirit propels us forward
Listen to your heart

We returned to Maryland in early January to:

(1) relist the house at a lower asking price
(2) rent a moving van
(3) pack up personal belongings
(4) stage the house for sale with furniture and artwork
(5) allow BFF to resign from Habitat for Humanity and work two final weeks.

Mid-January, on a frigid day, with arctic winds blowing off the Bay creating  sub-zero wind chills, we pulled out of our driveway and headed south.  Two days later, we began unpacking boxes to settle into our temporary digs ~ a somewhat challenging task.

To conserve funds, we had rented a one bedroom, one bath apartment with a kitchen the size of a postage stamp.  We left most furniture in Maryland with the house ~ we had no dressers, bookcases, or hutches to store our stuff.

After unpacking what we could, we started to explore the area.  But, instead of enjoying the sun, surf, and sand, as we had on vacation, we worried about worst-case scenarios . . . visions of financial ruin swirling through our heads.

Instead of allowing life to unfold, a day at a time, we stressed ourselves with imaginings.

In early February, as we left an Arts and Crafts Festival, the Universe directed my attention to a book with a bright cover emblazoned with two words:


I picked it up, opened it to a random page, and found several quotes about not giving in to fear.

As I read the quotes, I felt the stress melting out of me, being replaced by happiness.

I found myself smiling that we had willingly embraced uncertainty.

I heard the Universe whispering, Don’t worry.  Be Happy.  Everything’s gonna be fine, fine, fine!  

As doubts resurface
The Universe reminds us
To sail without fear

The next day, we received an offer on the house.   A cash offer, with no contingencies.  The buyers did not need to apply for a mortgage.  They loved the house, and felt no need to delay closing for appraisals or inspections.  They wanted all the furnishings we had left, except a TV.

On February 14th, we received the best Valentine’s Day gift ever ~ freedom!

Our life is our own
When we embrace our freedom
Instead of our fear

Just leap . . . and the net appears.

Related posts:  Self-Fulfilling Prophesies * Live Your Life * A Beacon in the DarkBut I Might Die Tonight * Water Over The DamFree To Be . . . Me * The Roads Are Many * Winks, Whispers, and Nudges * Might As Well Jump

Self-Fulfilling Prophecies June 11, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Magick & Mystery, Mindfulness.
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Donald-DirectorThe Secret to living the life of your dreams . . . know what you want.  Not what others want for you, or from you, but what you want for yourself.

Use Creative Visualization.  Ask questions to Access Your Inner Wisdom.  Listen to the answers.  For example:  Today’s your last day on Earth, what would you do? Who would you see?

It’s rather amazing how quickly our dreams manifest . . . once we know what we want and allow The Law of Attraction to work its magic.

In November 2008, while still living in Maryland, I envisioned how I would spend my last 24 hours on Earth (if I KNEW they would be my last):

Blurry-eyed, I sat down at my computer with a cup of coffee, noting the promise of another cloudy, wet, dreary, dismal winter day.  Ugh.

Before I jolted the computer awake, an e-mail flashed onto the screen:


You have only 24 hours to live.  Make the most of them!

See you soon, GOD

Shocked, but pleased to have 24 more hours, I ran down the hall, ”BFF, call Habitat and tell them you have a family emergency ~ we’re going to  celebrate my last day on Earth!”

To read the rest of the post . . .  Palm Trees and Capris 

Writing about palm trees and capris and a warm island breeze caused me to rethink our plans for the Holidays.

Instead of heading to New Jersey a month later, we migrated south, to Florida, for a 2 week vacation on Anna Maria Island.

* * *

Two months after writing the initial post, I shared a few magical moments from our sun-dappled vacation with others:

We had a wonderful time, just as envisioned . . . palm trees, and capris, with a mild Gulf breeze.   Bliss! 

It was sunny and warm virtually every day and we had a blast with my sister and her family ~ Frisbee on the beach, boating on the Manatee River, checking out quaint shops and restaurants, playing games into the wee hours with my nieces (Rummy 500, Yahtzee, and Scram Scrabble), and hanging out at the pool.  

As our time all-too-quickly wound down, we did something quite daring for us . . . we decided to extend our stay for the rest of the Winter.  

We signed a short-term lease on a small one bedroom apartment and came home to collect “a few” belongings which will quickly consume all the space in the apartment and spill out into the parking lot.

Hope your New Year holds enough uncertainty to add some spice to your life, but not so much that you end up with heartburn.  Happy New Year 

A month after relocating to Florida, our waterfront home in Maryland, which had been sitting quietly on the market for 15 months . . . like a sailboat stuck in a Dead Calm . . . SOLD!

And here we are . . . under swaying palms . . . with a closet full of capris
With boldness of action . . . our dreams became . . . self-fulfilling prophesies

Quote:  Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.  ~ Helen Keller

To throw a bit more synchronicity into the mix:

I read a comment by Milk Fever this morning on The Weirdness of Life:  “One of the strangest side effects from being a writer is that many of the things I write about come to pass in some way.  Just wondering if I’m the only one to experience this?”  Her comment there inspired this post.

After posting this piece, I ran around to Milk Fever’s Blog (my first visit) to tell her.  As the page opened, I stopped dead in my tracks at the title (and graphics) of her last post:  If You Were Stranded On A Desert Island.

Her post, written in the wee hours of the morning, long before I considered writing this post, describes her desire to head someplace warm.  Although her post mirrors this post, nothing in the comment she left on The Weirdness of Life hinted at its subject matter.

One Mind, One Muse? 

Related posts:  A Beacon in the DarkBut I Might Die Tonight * Water Over The DamThe Roads Are Many * Winks, Whispers, and Nudges

Living Green Tip ~ Schoolyard Habitats June 11, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Nature.
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Huey,-Dewey-And-LouieAfter you’ve set up a Backyard Habitat for Ranger Rick and his friends, turn your attention to the schoolyard!

To help reconnect today’s children to the outdoors, the National Wildlife Federation assists schools in developing outdoor classrooms called Schoolyard Habitats®,where educators and students learn how to attract and support local wildlife.

These wildlife habitats become places where students not only learn about wildlife species and ecosystems, but also outdoor classrooms where they hone their academic skills and nurture their innate curiosity and creativity.

To learn more:  NWF Schoolyard Habitats

Check out NWF Educator Resources including:  Schoolyard Habitat Resources and FUNDING resources! And don’t forget the Great American Backyard Campout ~ Saturday, June 26th.

Related posts:  Ten FREE Activities To Enjoy With Kids * Ten Almost FREE Activities For Kids * Top Ten BETs * Ten More Fun Activities For Kids

Wildlife Gardening with Kids June 11, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, Home & Garden, Nature.
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First, there was the No Child Left Behind Act

Then the No Child Left Inside Act.

What if we combine the two? . . . No Child Left Inside with a Big Behind Act

Catchy, eh?

Anyway, here are a few gazillion tips for getting out and going wild and native with your kids this summer: 

* 16 Tips for Wildlife Gardening with Kids

* A Sense of Wonder Grows in the Garden

* Get outside.  Be Out There.

* 10 Reasons Kids Need Fresh Air

* Trade Screen Time for Green Time

* Activities ~ Get Out for a Green Hour

Step away from the remote . . . it’s time to get down &  get dirty.

Have fun!

Related posts:  Explore the Great Outdoors * Ten FREE Activities To Enjoy With Kids * Ten Almost FREE Activities For Kids * Ten More Activities for Kids