No Excuses Aloud (sp), Only Written Ones

Blogger Leah Oviedo is a woman on a mission. She strongly believes that there is no excuse for not doing our part to create positive change in the world. Leah takes on this challenge in many different ways. She writes, teaches, and encourages others to follow her lead as she brings people from different backgrounds together through social media.

Leah has been following almost since its beginning. Her comments on my posts always bring a smile to my face, and I consider Leah a friend. She recently invited me to participate in her April Indie Author Read-A-Thon. How could I say no to someone who promotes Indie Authors and works in her community to empower women? These are two things near and dear to my heart.

I am honored Leah has chosen Summoning The Strength as one of the books featured this month. If you are on Facebook, check out the books Leah is promoting in the month of April here. You may also be interested in her blog. Check it out here.


Now for the remark I intended to publish Monday.

Please excuse my absence from I am unable to see straight due to an overwhelming amount of research for school. In the event that I make a staggering discovery which must be shared with the world immediately, I will be sure to blog about it. Otherwise there will be no posts published here until the end of the semester unless I have a prolonged bout of insomnia, which isn’t likely since I am exhausted most of the time.

Thank you.


What Has Happened To My Blog? OR Hey WP, What Gives?


This morning, after a month-long absence from blogging, I had an epiphany. It has been too long since I did any writing just for fun. So, I asked myself, why not purchase the premium upgrade to get rid of crappy ads and jazz up the site with some customized fonts?

Oh, and while I’m at it, go ahead and write a post today?

I had a great idea for a come back post, with a fun title even. “No Excuses Aloud (sp), Only Written Ones.” So, I logged in to WP, and low and behold I discovered my blog still exists! Howevah, I could not purchase the premium upgrade. It is not available. This made me curious. What is going on here? WP doesn’t want my money? Have I been banned from blogging due to using #ADSBELOWTHISPOSTARENOTENDORSEDBYTHISBLOGGER at the end of my posts? Thought to be dead due to inactivity?

What gives with this “upgrade unavailable for” business?

So, I send these words out into the ether in hopes that I’ve not been deleted from the blogosphere, left only with the shell of a blog now abandoned by all of its dear readers.

Happy Springtime to anyone out there still reading.



Fire In The Hole


Today I am confronting that blogger’s dilemma, to blog or not to blog; more precisely, whether to continue to blog. I should be doing the dishes or the laundry or my homework. Instead, I decided to light a fire and give some thought to my blogging activities.

This blog began as a way to help me process grief. You can read more about that here. I also wrote a book which helped me express my emotions during that painful time. You can read more about that here. While I was fumbling around learning how to blog, I began to discover that I enjoy writing. I also discovered that I needed to become better at it. That’s when I discovered Friday Fictioneers and my blogging world changed forever. Shortly after making all of these discoveries, I decided to go back to school.

Now I write ALL THE TIME.

Academic writing doesn’t seem much harder to me than blogging. Don’t get me wrong, it is challenging, but for the most part what I’ve been doing couldn’t really be considered that scholarly. Reflective essays are not the same as a dissertation. The closest I’ve come to that level of research was my grant proposal.

Now THAT was challenging.

From my novice perspective, creative writing here in the blogosphere does require a sense of purpose similar to academic composition. State your thesis (rant). Back it up with something more than, “because I say so” and throw in a few pictures here and there. Most of all, as my friend Rochelle has taught me, make every word count.

It seems simple enough. However, I often wonder if my regular readers are out there asking, “What have you done for us lately, HonieBriggs?” You know what I’m talking about. We question if our blog is fresh and relevant or if it is a bag of moldy bran muffins. Have I done a good job engaging readers? Should I take it in a new direction? I assure you this will not turn into a cooking blog. I don’t have the time to prepare and photograph beautiful food. Besides, I really don’t use recipes much. Yes, a pantster in the kitchen too.

I do think maybe I’m all over the place and perhaps I should pick a subject already. Nah!

Blogging has brought a great deal of joy into my life. I have shared photos, rants, personal challenges, poetry and prose, and made some new friends along the way. It is an affordable addiction, and one I’m not ready to give up on just yet. So, I am looking for ways to spruce up the joint. With any luck, this little blog of mine will get a new lease on life. Otherwise it will be blown to smithereens. Let me know if you have ever thought about making a run for it and how you managed to keep calm and blog on.


Times Are A Changin’

It has come to my attention that the world doesn’t stand still at my command. Days begin and end, as do semesters, without a care for how many things need to be crammed into them. While I’d like to think I could stop time and make it wait for me to catch up, I cannot. Damn the relentless tic-tocking!

I missed posting a story for Friday Fictioneers last week. It was written, but I just didn’t get around to posting it. So, if you will indulge me, kind readers, you will get two, similar but different, stories for the price of one this week.

Last week’s prompt, courtesy of Georgia Koch, inspired this story:

Copyright Georgia Koch
Copyright Georgia Koch

Sink or Swim

Madeline stepped off the train. She’d made the first decision solely for herself in more than twenty years. The crowd waiting to greet the other passengers with hugs, bouquets, and squeals of delight was almost more than she could stand.

She felt dizzy. She made her way to the bench at the end of the platform. There was no luggage to claim. She’d arrived with only the small satchel her mother had given her all those years ago when she was a young bride.

She wondered for a moment if it had been a good idea to rock the boat.


This week’s prompt, courtesy of Ted Strutz, yielded the impromptu recycled story below, entitled Adaptation. This word has been on my mind a lot lately. My life, each and every moment of it, is one continuous adaptation. The time for my mediation practicum is finally here. I am excited to reach this point and am looking forward to what’s in store next as I get closer to graduation. Much of my writing energy will be consumed these next few months by class assignments. In light of this, posts will continue to be limited. I hope you enjoy these stories. Thanks for reading. Be sure to check out more Friday Fictioneers here.

Copyright: Ted Strutz
Copyright: Ted Strutz


Madeline stepped off the train, her future a mystery. The crowd, greeting other passengers with hugs, bouquets, squeals of delight, was more than she could stand. She felt dizzy, powerless. Her energy drained, like someone had pulled the plug on her just as she summoned the strength to make the first choice solely for herself in more than twenty years. She made her way to the bench at the end of the platform. There was no luggage to claim. She’d arrived with only a satchel filled with odds and ends from her old life.

That life, dead to her now.



2015, I’m All Over It!


Another year, now what?

Recount the holiday hoopla and subsequent holiday hangover? Scratch out a feeble map for the journey through winter and poise for the herald of spring? Nah! How about we cut to the chase. Here’s the skinny, the straight dope, the bottom-line…

Kelsey Donovan wants more out of life. Her desires land her in a pool of excess every December, but by the time the last cork hits the floor on New Years Eve she’s had enough. She’s ready to turn over a new leaf, right the wrongs, restore her life to its former state of glorious potential. Yes, a new and improved Kelsey vows to take down her demons.

“This is the year, babe. My bad habits can go to hell for good.”

“To hell for good? Kels, sweetie, that doesn’t sound quite right. What are you sayin’? You’re going to try to find yourself? Again?”

“No. Yeah. I mean, this time it’s gonna be different. I promise.”

Every January the circus comes to town. First, it’s the closets, then the medicine cabinet followed by the pantry. Room by room, Kelsey tosses the previous year’s must haves into a box for charity, as though the impulse will catapult her toward what she craves. Of course, she’s not working without a net. Her husband, Brad, has seen it all. The cleanse calendar, the psychic who came to dinner, the year of Mother Theresa meets Martha Stewart. Brad has a memory like an elephant and, luckily, a sense of humor.

“My God, Kels, wait! Before you go all granola minimalist, let’s talk. Remember last Saint Patrick’s Day?  Have you forgotten what happens when cold turkey meets cold duck? Please, let’s not go through that again. Where is that drunken leprechaun outfit anyway?”

Kelsey and Brad are fictional characters, but their behavior is real. If you recognize it, even slightly, then you know what I mean. January sends people into spasms of self-improvement. Some get fit, some get real, and some simply get ripped off because they can’t give their money away fast enough to the promoters of every fantasy under the sun who are standing by at 1-800-SCAMMER.

What’s that you say? The world is full of people who want to help you succeed, find enlightenment, realize your dreams, publish your memoir. NO IT IS NOT! There are maybe half a dozen people on the planet who genuinely want to help us, and I can guarantee none of them are trying to reach us via pop-up ad.

Since mid-December I have been recovering from surgery. So, I’ve had LOTS of time to surf for all sorts of the things. Each time I found a site that looked promising and began to read an article, I was bombarded with ads. After a few days I began to notice some of the items I’d searched for were showing up in banner ads on totally unrelated sites. I mean seriously, what do grad students have to do with extra virgin coconut oil?…Nevermind.

In 2015, I hope to accomplish many things. One is to discover the answer to this one question. Who clicks on these stupid online ads?