New and Updated Website at DWHirsch.com

May 17, 2016

Hello everyone!

You may have noticed a lack of posts–or you haven’t because I haven’t written anything here to notify you of. The reason? I have moved my WolfHowlings blog over to a self-hosted site:

DWHirsch.com

At this time, this blog will stay open as a static history of me and all of you. I am posting new content at my other blog, and I will get in touch with all of you, my dedicated subscribers, to let you personally know of this change. This was a decision a long time in the making–and a difficult task in the transition. More on that there. The new site is still under construction, and sporatic updates will be posted here.

Come join the fun: all this site had to offer and MORE!!

I look forward to seeing you there.

Plants and kittycats for #AtoZChallenge

AtoZ-LetterB-2016AtoZ-LetterC-2016“It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy that makes happiness.”~Charles Spurgeon, British
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I’m combining Days 2 and 3 of the AtoZ Challenge today because, by pure coinidink, my “C” haiku relates to this week’s Haiku Horizons prompt, Cat.

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AtoZ meets Haiku Horizons #110 “Cat”

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I wrote my alphabet poem before I saw the topic, a match made by obvious telekinetic mental abilities…or else I’m just being mental. Believe what you will.
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I am not a gardener by any means. I am humbled by the lawn art my friends accomplish, but endless cycle of pulling weeds is not worth it for me. Houseplants are as green as my thumb gets, and I’m quite adept at keeping my plants thriving. Tree was once on life support–two or three times, actually, but we’re not counting–but she has been groomed and trimmed, and last year birthed the cutling, Sprout, who is pictured in Haiku B. Curious about their growth and transformations, then check out the Instagram hashtag #TheWritersTree to follow the amazing journey of life and death and life of my 18 year old tree.

Be sure to visit other blogs on the AtoZ Challenge to see even more delightful topics.

Party On! the first weekly #ThrowbackThursday bloghop

Who wants to PARTY…!?!?!

The newest blog party has hit the Internetosphere: #ThrowbackThursday Link Party. You can read all the fine print here on the Official Link Page, but I’ve summarized it below.

The three co-hosts of this adventure are:
Adventures of a Jayhawk Mommy, a woman who writes “about my life. I enjoy reading, cooking, and drinking way too much caffeine; basically anything I need to do to survive motherhood.”
Part-Time Monster, a blogger who is “a reader, writer, and observer, a lover of strange and impossible things, a feminist, and a pop culture nerd.”
The Qwiet Muse, a newish blogger self-described as someone who writes “about about life and love, the good and the bad, the serious and the silly to retain what is left of my sanity.”

What makes this bloghop so different from the rest?
This party is about sharing blog posts from our past…30 days or older. “You can shine it up so it sparkles again or just leave it as it is. You might want to include an update at the end or not. It’s all up to you.”

There is only One Rule:
1–The post you add must be at least 30 days old. The older, the better.

The party starts on…you guessed it!…Thursdays every week. Revisit a favorite post from your past and post your link here, anytime between each Wednesday through Sunday night.

Don’t forget to read and share some love to the other posts in the link up. 
My inaugural post is yet another example of what The Universe tells me is my February theme: revisit the little things.

What socks can teach us about life

“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.”~Frederick Douglass, American author

The conversation went something like this:

SHE (to class): “What three words describe you?”

ME (raising my hand): “Whimsical, charming, persnickety.”

SHE (to me): “‘Persnickety.’ That’s a good one.”
SHE (to class): “That’s for sure because I work with her. She’s persnickety alright, and she wears wild socks. Everyday we walk in and wonder and look, ‘What kind of fun socks is she wearing today?'”

Everyone turns to look at me. I raise one leg and show off my orange-and-black striped socks.

SHE: “There you go. Anyone else have three words about themselves?”

I had no idea my whimsy was noticed and appreciated; beyond myself, of course. Well, that’s not true. A woman in my writers group mentioned them once, but it was the first time I wore some funky orange patterned socks my husband gave me, so I thought her comment was a one-time thing. The socks which add a quirkiness to what could be a mundane day makes my coworkers smile, something I would not have know if she had not mentioned it. Who knows who else has noticed them in passing and not said anything?

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Chillin’ with my aptly-named skeleton, Socks, before Halloween

Far from lecturing here, tell people what catches your eye, whether it’s their socks, necklace, shirt, or whatever. Gals, we know that we often dress for other women, so let her know she’s amazing that day. Guys, a simple “That’s cool” to another guy or “(Pet name), you look extra-lovely today. That (clothing/hairstyle) looks great.”

I’m wearing my socks, crazy and non-standard as they are. In fact, now that I have a sock standard in my life, my feet tighty whities may be relegated to exercise socks, the kind I don’t mind if they get a hole in them…unless my WiiFit board says something about them. My WiiFit is the friendly sort, so who knows?

Be your extra-self today.

It’s all fun and games with a twist this Halloween

Welcome to the annual Halloween Blog Party hop sponsored by A Fanciful Twist. Come stay, play and eat for awhile, and then hop over to the other parties you’ll find.

For now, walk up to the door.  Don’t be scared by the warning.  The zombies just cross the sidewalk; they don’t come inside the house.

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Greeted on the other side by our host, Sehlat.

“Welcome to my 6th Halloween party here.  Tonight is just about fun and games.  Come in, come in….”

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“Are you hungry?” he asks.  “There’s a buffet table in the other room.  Help yourself to some finger food.”

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“The coffin dip is on the kitchen counter.  Don’t worry about the crypt keeper.  He just hangs around.”

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In the living room, there’s a furious game of Scrabble in progress.  Snufflet and Finse keep score, but they’re in third place.  Lasso is last for the moment.  Socks is winning by 9 points, and she is quite happy about that. 

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Blue places her tiles for a score of 6, and the fourth round begins.

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Snufflet and Finse study their tiles intently….

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On the other side of the room, a game of Jenga has just started.  Boo Peeps celebrates his skill removing the his block.  It’s Snuff’s turn, so he looks up and studies the tower.  Otter, Brownie and Frost offer suggestions as they pace around the structure.

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There’s a warm, smoky smell coming from the kitchen. Appetizers are out of the oven.

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“My famous homemade Mummitizers,” Sehlat says, straightening his shoulders as he sets the tray down. “There are two types: savory and sweet. The sausage wraps are ones are a tad smoky. The banana ones have a touch of hazelnut spread to them. Be sure to take a napkin because the mummies are known to leak the sauce out onto your fingers.”

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It’s tough to say “Thank You” with a full mouth, but a nod is enough for Sehlat. With a smile and nod back, he takes off the oven mitts, grabs a nutty mummy and wanders into another room to mingle.

In the parlor, Whiffer and Ploppers hover over a handheld game. They’re playing Nintendogs on the special pink paw Nintendogs Nintendo DS console, a unit that was a limited edition.

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On the screen, Rosie the dachshund has been fed, washed, and now decides between a nap or playing ball.

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Wades, Tuesday, Prickles and Ice start a game of Clue.

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“Clue is a murder mystery game,” says Wades.  “Does anyone object to a more appropriate setting? 

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“Not at all,” says Prickles.  “What did you have in mind?”

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“This,” says Wades, and with a click flick of her wrist, the black light turns on.

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“What do you think?” she asks.

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“Oh, this is much better,” says Prickles.

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“Spooky-eerie,” says Tuesday, smiling beneath his mask.

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“Indeed,” says Ice.  “Let’s roll.”

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“Desserts are ready,” says a booming voice in the kitchen. Frankenpudding with tart orange cider.

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Hyde has already wandered over to the freshly-dipped caramel treats. He’s a favorite of the nut covered ones, but the smooth caramel looks enticing tonight.

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“It’s a football Saturday,” Catnap tells new lion. “Before Penn State takes the field, let’s get in some practice now.”

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If you’re looking for more games, there’s a pile in the corner, and there’s lots of Guys around to join in the fun.

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Sehlat calls the partygoers over for a round or three of group MadLibs.

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Friendship. Games. Chocolate. Makes for a good party. Hope you’ll be staying for awhile….

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My first events at an NFPW conference

“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”~Abraham Lincoln, American president

Scenes from the start of the 2015 NFPW National Conference:

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After the wedding–adventures in pictures

“Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eye.”~H. Jackson Brown, Jr., American writer

This weekend’s wedding adventure.

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August 7th in 7 photos

“Limitations live only in our minds.”~Jamie Paolinetti, American cyclist

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I’m (kinda) ignoring you this #WeekendCoffeeShare

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, do more, be more, then you are a leader.”~John Quincy Adams, American president

If we were having coffee today, I’d be mostly ignoring you. Don’t take that wrong way. I’m relaxing at the dining room table casually reading blog posts. My husband is on the couch, and he’s playing his newest jazz CD. He and I randomly throw a sentence at each other–“I’m going to have a salad for lunch,” he says–and then we get back to ignoring ourselves. We’re probably doing the same, sharing something we’re enjoying. I like to think that you are enjoying yourself with a book or tablet of your own. I’m sure you’ve had a busy week, so share in the quiet company of having someone nearby without the stress of having to entertain each other to feel close.

While he was gone, I spontaneously saw fireworks in a park about a 15 minute drive away. I registered for my NFPW Alaskan tours, and I’m re-editing–again–the wording for my upcoming GoFundMe campaign to get me there and accept my writing awards. My Deadwood Writers Group congratulated me. The group had a rousing critique session and saw some new members in the crowd.

My husband returned from his overseas business trip Thursday, and it’s been a gentle weekend.  He brought German chocolate home again, and it’s yummy.  Care for a piece?  See, there’s plenty here. 

Friday, we saw local fireworks, good, but not as creative as the ones I saw Monday. Saturday, we went into Northville to share a new old coffeehouse I rediscovered last week. I sat down and WROTE. Yes, we sat across from each other, savoring the fresh-baked peanut butter cookie, and I wrote and edited my memoir. Oh my gosh, that felt so good! I’ve ignored it for far too long, using everything else as an excuse to get that done so I had time to focus on that book.

Yesterday, I made the time.

He didn’t feel like driving 20 minutes to see fireworks again, so we ordered pizza and watched Live Free or Die Hard, taking a break from the yearly Independence Day marathon. At 9pm, the neighborhood exploded! I almost forgot how good the unprofessional fireworks displays were around here. Michigan has relaxed regulations, and the fireworks I saw from my backyard and at the corner down the street could not be outdone by professional displays. My head couldn’t swing around fast enough to catch ever blast occurring simultaneously to my left, down the road, across the street and behind the across-the-street fireworks. Please, stop I thought, something you should never hear from fireworks-loving me. That plea meant that the explosions are too awesome for me to keep up with.

Here’s a smidge of what I saw last night. Disclaimer: These are not professionals, but do not try this at home:

Highlights from your local neighborhood DMZ. #Canton #Michigan #fireworks #dwhvideo

A post shared by Diana Hirsch-Writer-Zentangle (@dwhirsch) on

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That’s why we’re chillin’ here. I began reading a book that is disappointing. It’s not grabbing my interest, but I feel an obligation to read since I blogged about it on my Writer’s Group website. I’ll give it maybe 20-30 more minutes of my time because it’s making me cranky. Ever have a book like that? Making time to read has been such a struggle these days that I refuse to waste it on a non-interesting book. That’s why I’m enjoying this blog time: un-stressful reading that’s fun and interesting. I may have even visited your blog today during this Coffee Share weekend. I’ll leave a comment if I do, and I hope you’ll do the same.

Have a second cup and relax. It’s good to just sit sometimes and be selfishly subdued.

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