Saturday, May 28, 2011

First Blogger Award

With all the awful news of the past week . . . moving onto positive news.

 I received my first blogger award from my Big Sur buddy, Cynthia Cheng! She said she enjoyed reading my blog. I enjoy reading hers, too. Check it out at Read is the New Black. Don't you love her blog design? Here's yet another advantage of attending writing workshops and conferencesthe awesome friends you meet.

Thanks Cynthia!

So I'll pass this on to a few of my other favorite blogger friends . . .


If you are a blogger do you want to award some of your favorite blogger buddies, too? Here are the rules from Cynthia's blog:

1. Thank and link to the person who nominated you.
2. Share seven facts about yourself.
2. Pass the award along to buddies whose blogs epitomize said theme.
4. Contact those buddies to award theme.
5. Rules 1-4 are optional. You can adhere to them only if you wish to.

Below are seven random facts about myself. Probably more than you ever wanted to know. Right?

1. I've lived overseas for five years in two different continents and traveled to many countries.
2. I've taught English in South Korea.
3. My writing is sporadic. I don't have a set time or place. I like varied locations like the library, home, or at a coffee shop where I used to write with a friend. We chatted waaaay too much and never got much writing done, so now we just meet for lunch.
4. I don't like peanut butter. Yuck.
5. I (along with my hubby) was in a boat crash in Venice. Through a seriously thick fog, a tugboat emerged heading directly for our water bus. My hubby had a detailed plan of which window we would jump from if we collided and took on water. He told me to, "Get ready." When we crashed head-on, it sloshed our boat, jostled us around, and jacked up the front end of our boat. Luckily, we didn't have to leap into that scary, murky-green water.
6. I'm addicted to Riesen chocolate (that I hide) and caffeine free Diet Dr. Pepper in an ice cold can.
7. I once won an individual amateur curling competition on a ski trip in Austria. I really don't know how I pulled that off. It was definitely beginners luck.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend (if you live in the U.S.)  and be safe where you are!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Oklahoma Tornado Outbreak

I can't believe I'm blogging about tornadoes AGAIN. This time the tornado outbreak was in my neck of the woods in Oklahoma yesterday. It was a scary afternoon for sure.

Before the weather turned severe, I was at my hairstylist and was the last haircut of the day. They cancelled the rest of the days appointments due to the high risk or tornadoes. My hubby came home from work early since the meteorologists were telling people to stay off the highways during the late afternoon to evening hours. Then, we picked up our kids early from school. And it wasn't long until the weather turned violent and tornado sirens blared.

Our previous home had a tornado shelter. Since our current home does not, we headed to the kid's school (along with our neighbors across the street) that was opened up as a public tornado shelter. Many new schools built in Oklahoma are equipped with safe roomsreinforced above ground shelters able to withstand high winds.

As I type this, CNN is reporting a tornado on the ground in Sedalia, Missouri. This is just days after the F5 tornado tore a path of massive destruction through Joplin and, according to one report, destroyed seventy-five percent of the town.

Here are some stories on recent tornadoes:

Joplin Death Toll at 116 Making It Deadliest Tornado in Nearly 60 Years

Tornadoes, storms kill 6 in Oklahoma and Kansas

My prayers go out to everyone affected. There's a three-year-old boy still missing in the town of Piedmont. If you are a praying person too, please keep him and his family in your prayers.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Famous Writers on Failure and Success

Lessons on Failure from Joyce Carol Oates

The Fringe Benefits of Failure: J.K. Rowling Harvard Commencement Speech

J.K. Rowling on Fear, Depression, and Failure


"Talent is a dreadfully cheap commodity, cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work and study
–Stephen King

"When you have a great and difficult task, something perhaps almost impossible, if you only work a little at a time, every day a little, suddenly the work will finish itself."
-Isak Dinesen

"Failure is success if we learn from it."
-Malcom S. Forbes

Be responsible for your own success. "You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. You are the guy who'll decide where to go."
-Dr. Seuss

Stay the course, even when it feels like you aren't making progress. "One may not reach the dawn save by the path of the night."
-Kahlil Gibran

"Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience."
-Paul Coelho

"Success is blocked by concentrating on it and planning for it… Success is shy – it won't come out while you're watching."
-Tenessee Williams

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Tornadoes Across the South

As someone who lives in tornado alley, my thoughts and prayers go out to everyone in the south affected by tornadoes last week. This was the second worst tornado outbreak in U.S. history.

I've been through a few tornadoes myself. Although I've never lost my home, I know the fear of hearing tornado sirens blaring, having to seek shelter in a bathtub with my family, and wondering if a tornado would hit our house as we waited for a violent storm to pass.

In 2007, my story, A Safe Haven (about one of my tornado experiences and how our neighbors took care of us) was published in Chicken Soup for the Soul People Who Make a Difference: The Headlines You'll Never Read and was later reprinted in Hometown America.

For more information on the recent tornadoes:

Tornadoes Leave Destruction Across South

Obama ramps up recovery help for tornado-hit south

Some ways to help:

Seven Ways to Help Tornado Victims