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.

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April 1: Art and #AtoZChallenge

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“A sense of humor is a major defense against minor troubles.”~Mignon McLaughlin, American writer
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Welcome to Day 1 of the AtoZ Blog Challenge. Today I feel more Zzzzzz than Awake. April is just one of those busy months. And, really, how did it become the 4th month of 2016 already?

I chose an easy enough theme this year so I could actually complete AtoZ this year, and I totally forgot what April is. April is National Poetry Month. That I knew, but I wasn’t thinking about that at all when I decided to do Alphabet Haiku as my AtoZ Challenge.

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What I didn’t know is that this year marks the 20th anniversary of National Poetry Month. The social media hashtag #NationalPoetryMonth is exploding throughout the creative writing world.

Creating writing and catching up is just another theme with me this month, as I will complete the remaining letters of last year’s AtoZ Challenge: 26 Ways to Distract a Writer. Did you ever have one of those nagging things that you just can’t let go of, no matter how practical or useful it is to do that? For me, last year’s AtoZ is that. I’ll post those new links here as they get posted, which means you’ll have to come back every day if you want to find out how Jayne and her Writerself tale ends…for now.

If you want an idea of what Jayne is up to, read about her first day on the procrastination journey here.

Art is something I’ve struggled with lately, from Artist Trading Cards to Zentangle. I was an active member on ATCs For All, a delightfully creative online site for people to trade art with other artists. One of the most delightful events there was the monthly Bizarre Holiday Swap. Even my husband enjoyed seeing those cards! This is a mixed-media card I made from one of the those swaps:


Today’s Bizarre Holiday: One Cent Day. One cent and the 1st day of April. No April Fools here.

It’s been awhile since I’ve created art like that. I stepped back from that because I lost the interest and the thrill. I know when I feel the pull of it again, I’ll enjoy it even more.

For now, I’m enjoying my poetry journey. I hope you do, too.

Are you keepin’ it real today?

“With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.”~Eleanor Roosevelt, American First Lady

It’s only 1:36pm as of this writing, and I already want to file today in the Let Me Forget pile.

Yes, feelings are real, and as crappy as they may be right now, I’m embracing them. Heck, makes me want to break out Jimmy The Burglar: Thief of Socks and give him a cranky day. Not counting the day after he robs the sock boutique, that is. Some days I eat my emotions; today, I want to write them.

Read any motivational quote and you’ll get some version of “without bad days we’d never know good days.” Why can’t I just have all good days? I recognize them, trust me, I will. I’d appreciate good days because I’d always be in a good mood. Others might say, but where’s the drama in that?

Some days I don’t want to be a TNT commercial.

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But really, what’s real? It’s whatever we give ourselves over to, actually real or not. It’s the beauty of immersing ourselves in books. Of creating worlds. Of soaking into a deep movie. If we believe, then for that while and maybe a little time after, it’s real.

Right now, my coffee is cold, so it’s time for a second cup. I really need that, especially since the Starbucks I’m in just got chilly. Really chilly. So it’s really time for that Clover brew.

If you’re having a real day, share a comment with me. If you’re not having a real day, commiserate with me. Either way, we’ll share strength together. And coffee. Or tea; your choice of beverage.

Let’s try this #ROW80 thing again

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”~Ralph Waldo Emerson, American poet

It’s that time of year for resolution and Round of Words.

I didn’t keep up with ROW80 much last round. It seemed like a good idea, all that accountability, but I’ve set goals on so many sites that it was hard to remember to follow up and post there. Now it’s a new year and I’m still anti-Resolution, so you wont see any of that nonsense here. Goals, however, are a different matter….

My Detroit writers group, Motown Writers Network, starts each monthly meeting with a recap and projection of everyone’s 30-Day Challenge. Smaller bites, easier chunks, and three 30-Days equals one ROW80.

My next MWN meeting is this Saturday, January 9th. Pulling out my journal, my December goals were:

1–Publish Jimmy the Burglar: Thief of Socks.
2–New business cards
3A–Blog planning
3B–Blog self-hosting
4–Memoir/Scrivener
5–Heal fractured finger
6–Read blogs

These are my results:
1–Jimmy is not published. It’s just as well; I had enough activity in December with Christmas, holiday plans, and visiting family. As family members get older, spending time with them is not sacrificing writing. But it’s a NaNoWriMo story that I’m actually working towards completion, and I have a solid rough 2nd draft at the moment. I consider that success.

2–I still have old biz cards, and I have no idea what I want new ones to look like. It’s a rebranding of me, and something I will get to later in the year. I have other things to set in place first…like…

3A–YES! I am developing a system of blog planning, writing down a schedule and ideas and all that. Yes, I am all that, and more. It’s a work in progress, but I’ve started it. I expect by the end first quarter, I’ll have a good schedule to work from.

3B–I lumped this in with 3A initially, but it really is a separate step. It’s probably really simple, but it’s unknown; therefore, I have postponed it.

4–Laziness = No. The holidays are over, no travel or big projects loom ahead, so now it’s time to read the email and fix what I may or may not have screwed up back in September.

5–YES, mostly. I’m exercising the muscles, I have a lot more motion, but the swelling is still there. I’ll keep this on my list because it is ongoing.

6–No. This is now part of #3A. My “blog planning” includes social media activity, and I’m fitting that into my schedule slowly. I’ve caught up; now the goal is to maintain.

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How could I NOT buy this eternal shirt?

Which brings me back to A Round of Words in 80 Days. By the end of the first quarter–or ROW80 Round 1 dates of January 4-March 24, 2016–these are my ROW80 Round 1 goals:

1–Polish and publish Jimmy the Burglar: Thief of Socks. Possibly I’ll find an editor along the way.
2–Find and do a blog self-hosting site. Two folks from my critique group, Deadwood Writers, have offered assistance. Just sit down with them or read their emails and as the shoe company says, just do it.
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3–Blog planning. Besides planning and drafting posts, this includes developing a regular schedule for:
…..3A–Twitter
…..3B–Instagram
…..3C–Facebook Author Page (shudder; I dislike FB)
…..3D–Amazon Author Page
…..3E–Reading more blogs
4–Update my blog: About Me; Resources; all that and any new tabs. This may be ongoing, but start somewhere, woman!
5–Fractured finger, heal thyself.
6–Make progress on memoir My Father, My Friend using Scrivener. What do I define as “progress?” I’m breaking the rules here, but I’m leaving that vague for now. Anything I do is more than I’ve done at this moment of typing.
7–Make time to play. Be it scrapbooking, playing in my blog-planning planner, mixed-media art, massages, whatever…make time for me.
8–Do some fun writing. Whatever that is!

Let’s start there and see where the first quarter takes me. What about you? Where is your first 3 months taking you…or where are you taking your first 3 months?

Cover myself in a haiku

“The secret of getting things done is to act.”~Dante Alighieri, Italian poet

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Haiku Horizons week 96 prompt: “cover”

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Sometimes you feel like a nap; sometimes you don’t.

What that means is sometimes you feel like two naps.

Examining the moon in haiku

“Be a yardstick of quality.”~Steve Jobs, American businessman

This week’s Haiku Horizons theme is Under. That poetry prompt reminded me of the full moon I saw last night. It’s the year’s last supermoon which coincides with yet another full moon. This one is called the Hunter’s Moon.

I’ve always been fascinated with the moon. There’s something so dark and sexy about the night’s light. “Diana” is the Roman goddess of “the hunt and the moon,” also known as the Greek goddess, Artemis. I’ve always felt a kinship to that sky lust.

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A quick Google search of Wikipedia and http://www.behindthename.com pulled up some interesting facts. “Diana” as the 297th most popular name in the United States; the highest ranking is currently #15 in Portugal. I’m a princess, a teenage hurricane, and a branch of Wicca I’m a character in: the 1980s sci-fi show V, the animes Sailor Moon and MAR; the children’s novel The Moon Stallion; the animated Acrobat in Dungeons & Dragons; and the Shakespeare play All’s Well That Ends Well. Following goddess and princess, I’m most pleased with the alter ego for DC Comics superhero Wonder Woman.

Back to the moon…Hunter, goddess…regardless, I am enthralled with its mystery. That’s where my haiku comes from.

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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A Storm-y haiku on the horizon

“We can only learn to love by loving.”~Iris Murdoch, Irish author

There are a lot of phone apps out there to make writing more fun and creative. My current favorites include There’s Notegraphy, which adds different styles to the text you write. InstaQuote allows you to alter font style and size as well as backgrounds and emoji. Use Your Handwriting translates the text that you write–print or cursive–to create a specialized style that adapts to your handwriting the more you use it.

These are free, or mostly free, in the iPhone app store, but I’m not sure what is available for Android phones. Can you Android users add to this list?

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There are many more apps to combine words with photos, but that’s a creative exploration for another day. I’ve been using the three listed above to play with my poetry I place on my social media accounts as well as on this blog. I love using them for the Haiku Horizons weekly challenge. This week we’re up to Week 85 with the theme “storm.”

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One app I played with is HaikuPopper. It’s a random word generator game, giving you 60 seconds to create a 5-7-5 haiku from the words that scroll down the screen. I’ve created some fun, silly, stupid, unintelligible, confusing and clever haikus using that. Today I tried to create something representing the sense of storm, and on my second try, I came up with something that conveys the idea without using that specific word. “Storm” just did not pop up in my list.

What are your thoughts on my poetic creations?

Between haiku and illness

“No one can save us but ourselves.”~Buddha, Indian spiritual leader

It’s my weekly inspiration to post my haiku poetry. If you enjoy haiku, be sure to check out the ever-growing Haiku Horizons link site. There’s some amazing poetry there. The site’s been active for 84 challenges. It’s worth the hop over.

This week’s theme: Between. Yes, I am still struggling to get over my bronchitis.

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