Sunday, March 30, 2014

What I'll Miss When You're Gone

It's funny, I've had that song running through my head off an on for quite a while now. You know the one: "Cups (You're Gonna Miss Me)."

Then the other morning as I was feeling irritable at the toothpaste splatters on my bathroom mirror, I decided that mess wasn't anything to be cranky about; one day when my nest is empty, I will miss it. Later I read the writing prompt at Wordsmith Studio: "What You'll Miss."

I love synchronicity. And from it, the below (rough draft of a) poem was born.

Baby Bird Photo by Photo by Penny Bubar
Empty Nest Syndrome and a Clean Bathroom Mirror

Shells Left in the Nest

I strain through tired
eyes and toothpaste-
splattered mirror to understand
how you have grown
from toddling babbler to spilling
teen, tall with confidence
for all you have become,
then shying away from all you are
not yet. Oh, beautiful trail-
maker, paper scraps dotting
the roads you’ve traveled, stirring
up grumbles from deep within
me. But in ten, I’m pretty sure I’ll be
longing to pick up your messes,
attempting to hide
I’m a mess
that you are gone.


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Writer's Block? Six Tips to Stimulate Writing Ideas

Yes, Just Do It
It happens to most writers at least sometimes. You need to write a blog post, article, or story, but the old “idea tank” sits on empty. Don’t panic. Below are a few suggestions to help move your gauge up to full again.

1) Take a walk. Not just any walk. Stroll along with your senses. Start with the nose; what do you smell? Note all the tones in the air. What thoughts do they bring to mind? Does that dog doo-doo bring tears for your childhood best friend, Fido? Spin a story from it. Let your mind wander. 

2) Follow your dreams. The ones you have when you sleep. Get into the habit of writing them down every morning. Jot down images, words, or characters you remember. Turn them into a tale.

3) Read the news. Dig through small town community newspapers or Google “bizarre headlines.” You might unearth a story about a man skydiving with an umbrella. Look for odd or interesting stories and then write them all down, but give the stories a new twist. 

4) Eavesdrop. This is fun because you get to enjoy a coffee or tea, workout, or some other activity while you are doing it. I was once walking down the street in New York and I heard an old lady say, “That was around the time I met Stravinsky.” Wow. Seinfeld flashback. 

5) Throw your laptop. Okay, this may be extreme. Maybe you should just put it aside instead; grab a pad and pen and let your hand rip! Move the pen in whatever way you feel like. Big swoops, tiny random letters, hard, dark scribbles. Get it all out. Slowly turn those marks into words and then into sentences. Awww . . . release.

6) Write with a partner. Write down an assortment of nouns, verbs, and adjectives on pieces of paper, and then place them inside a container. Take turns with your friend, pulling them out one at a time and then put the words together into phrases to use as prompts. Umm . . . that's how I came up with an "undulating summer sausage." Sounds tasty, doesn't it? (Well, maybe not.)

These are only a sampling of methods for coming up with story ideas. If you still need help, there are plenty of books and/or websites that offer writing prompts. Google (or some other search engine) is your friend. (This "writing prompts" website came up at the top of my search results.)

Most importantly, loosen up, lighten up, and play, and hopefully, before you know it, you can just write instead of worrying what to write about.


[Please note: I had this on my old website before redirecting my domain name here. When I made the move, this post was lost, so I decided to re-post it.]


Sunday, March 2, 2014

You Can Do This with Your Blog! (How to Point your Blogger Blog to a New Domain)

Photo of clock by Markus Kammerer
How to Have More Time

It’s hard to believe it’s March already. I had some things in mind I wanted to accomplish this year, one of which was figuring out what to do about my blog situation.

I’ve been writing here on the whatnot shop since 2009, but sometime in the last year I decided to purchase a domain name to use as my official writer page, Linda G Hatton. In the meantime, I started a WordPress blog with that same name.

I had three pages going, plus Mouse Tales Press (which I also intend to redesign this year).

Finding inspiration from my friend, Carol (see below for her blogs), I finally redirected the whatnot shop (the header name of this page) to Linda G Hatton (the new URL).

Am I being confusing? 

Look up. Although my header is still the whatnot shop, if a visitor types in, they will be brought to

It’s so exciting! (I admit I’m easily amused.)

So how did I do it?

How to Redirect Your Blog

You need to redirect your blog to point to the new domain. Log into the website where you purchased your domain name. And although I learned how to do this . . . *cough* . . . years ago when I took web design classes, I needed to refresh my memory. So I followed the steps at this awesome page I found and that is where I am redirecting you. (Yes, click on "awesome page.")


If you have any questions, I’d be happy to try to help. Just put them into the comments section and I’ll see what I can do.

Cleaning up Your Blog Trails

For now I don’t have to worry about taking down my former Linda G Hatton site (which I had created using Weebly); it’s already gone.

My next step is posting an announcement on my WordPress blog that I am no longer posting there and to visit my new site (this one) for current updates.

I am thrilled to have my websites nearly consolidated. I already feel a weight lifted at the amount of time it’s going to save me.

And now I have more time for doing other things like writing, copyediting, and taking photographs. Here is one I took a while back:

Photo by Linda G Hatton
Going with the Flow

And dare I say it? Maybe even more time for blogging! 


My friend Carol’s blogs:

Carol Early Cooney - Musings on a Life
EPS Foot Docs - We Care for your Feet (Where she blogs about keeping your feet healthy)