Category Archives: Writing 101

Early Bird Blues

Early Bird

Early Bird

Early Bird Blues

There once was a bird who needed his sleep
Morning came and his slumber was deep
He stayed in his nest
Dreaming his best
Waking late, no worm did he reap

*posted for writing101 with the day 17 assignment to search our old drafts for inspiration. I had wanted to post this picture before but beneath it had only written the old adage that the early bird gets the worm. As a night owl, I am no stranger to singing the early bird blues!

*photo posted to photo101rehab

Up and Down Mill Mountain

I went up to the top of Mill Mountain today to look down into the Roanoke Valley. Roanoke, my hometown in Virginia, is surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains and the view is beautiful from the mountain overlook. The distant mountain ridges have names like Brushy Mountain, Rich Patch Mountain, Read Mountain and McAfee’s Knob.

On a clear day, the view of downtown Roanoke is amazing. Landmarks familiar to local residents, such as the Wells Fargo Tower, Hotel Roanoke, St. Andrews Church, and the Taubman Museum of Art are showcased. Visitors notice the copper top of the tower, the tudor styling of the historic hotel, the two gothic steeples on the yellow stone church, and the modern design of the museum.

Locals and tourists alike are in awe of the giant star at the top of the mountain by the overlook. Visitors don’t expect it to be so big. The Roanoke Star (or Mill Mountain Star) is 88 1/2 feet tall (see more details in the pictured signage) and can be seen from all over town. At night, the neon star shines brightly.

The Mill Mountain Park is wooded with walking and biking trails, picnic areas, playgrounds and even a zoo. I have fond memories of family picnics, getting temporarily lost with my brother and cousins on the Loop Trail, and touring the small zoo.

I love living in Roanoke, where mountains can be seen in all directions. The views are spectacular across the seasons. It is a beautiful area of the world and I am happy to have roots here.

*posted in part for writing 101 with the prompt to write about a topic (Ups and Downs) that readers, like Pawcific Purrsea,voted for in my previous post poll. This may be a different approach to the theme than expected so I hope you enjoy the up and down views!

*photo posting in Lucile’s photo101rehab clinic too.

Truth Serum

In Vino Veritas

In Vino Veritas

Vineyard Vignettes

Michael reaches for his glass of wine. He takes a sip. The wine is firm and robust. There is a richness to it that he likes. He straightens his tie and takes another sip. He is encouraged by the boldness of the wine. Truth be told, he is afraid.

Alice reaches for her glass of wine. She takes a sip. The wine is smooth and seductive. There is a softness to it that she likes. She wraps her sweater tighter and takes another sip. She is embraced by the warmth of the wine. Truth be told, she is lonely.

Carla reaches for her glass of wine. She takes a sip. The wine is crisp and light. There is a dryness to it that she likes. She smooths her hair and takes another sip. She is calmed by the coolness of the wine. Truth be told, she is overjoyed.

*posted for writing101

A Thousand Words


When I’m not writing, I am still taking pictures! As someone once said, a picture paints a thousand words. When I am too tired or too stressed or too busy to write, I can still appreciate the beauty in my surroundings and take lots of pictures.

Sometimes, a picture says it all and no words are needed. Sometimes, a picture may inspire me to write a thousand, more or less, words! And, re-energized, I go back to the writing board. Sometimes, the written word inspires me to take more pictures.

I take pictures with my i phone because it is always with me. This summer, I stepped up to my Nikon S9900 camera so I would have a zoom lens to take pictures of my hummingbirds. It is an automatic, point and shoot, camera with the option for manual settings which I need to learn more about. I don’t think I am ready for a DSLR camera yet, but maybe someday. For now, I am happy with the camera I have.

Taking pictures brings me joy. Writing brings me joy. Pairing the two feeds my creative spirit.

*posted for writing101

Caffeine Smile

Caffeine Smile

Caffeine Smile

If we were having coffee, I would share the cream and sugar. I would tell you that the smooth and sweet parts of life dilute the bitter.

If we were having coffee, I would talk about the past. I would dream about the future. I would savor the present.

If we were having coffee, I would pour another cup. I would tell you that everyone deserves a second chance at happiness.

If we were having coffee, I would smile and hope that you smiled back.

*posted for writing101

Hummingbird Gem

Little Gem

Little Gem

I thought the hummingbirds had already headed south. When another blogger, suburbanferndaleark, posted an action picture of two hummingbirds, I made the comment that I hadn’t seen any of the tiny birds at my house for several days. I was missing the satisfaction of glimpsing their long beaks, glistening feathers and furtive glances through the camera lens.

This week, I was elated to discover that hummingbirds were still coming to the feeder in my dogwood tree! I saw this little gem resting on a branch, preening its feathers between drinks of nectar. She would zip in, hover, flutter around the feeder and drink her fill.
She put on quite an airshow! I was happy that I was able to capture this picture!

As long as the birds keep stopping by, fresh nectar will be waiting, and I will be enjoying the show.

*posted for writing101 and photo entered into Lucile’s photo101rehab

Peace, Love, and Power



When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.- Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix had it right!

Love is the answer. We all know this truth. So, why can it be so hard to unclench our fists or to hold our tongues?

Call it human nature. Still, if we want peace, we must be committed to being peaceful ourselves. We must make a conscious effort to choose peace when we can. We must look for opportunities to share the power of love with others.

I would be remiss not to share, that for me, Jesus is love, and I try to follow His way of peace. Prayer brings me peace.

How do you stay peaceful?

Writing Space


Writing Space

I don’t have a writing room. Since I write my posts on my i pad, I don’t really need a large writing space.

I write while sitting on my couch in front of the TV. I write while sitting on my back porch admiring the nature around me. I write while sitting at my dining table listening for the oven timer to demand my attention. Sitting and multi-tasking seem to be the common denominators of my writing habit.

At times, I still think best with a pen in my hand. I make handwritten to do lists and jot down notes to myself. Sticky notes are my friends! Colorful note pads and notebooks are sure to make me smile. My number 2 pencils must be sharp. I get the shivers writing with a dull pencil. Any free promotional pen is my favorite until the ink runs dry.

Maybe I will someday consider having a set time and a designated quiet place to write, but for now, I will just go with the flow of my life.

The writing101 assignment that prompted this post theme also involved creating a poll at the end of the post to explore writing topics. So, what do you think I should write about in a future post? Comments are always welcome and I hope some of you will take a minute to answer the question in my very first poll below! Please vote!

Uncertain? Consider This



Uncertainty stalls decisions.

How will I ever decide? What should I do? What is the right decision?

I should do this; no, I should do that. Doubt and uncertainty set in.

I don’t like to make quick decisions, preferring to take time to analyze the situation. I think that is smart and works best for me. But sometimes, what should be the easiest decision seems to be the hardest to make. The choice becomes difficult to make. Why is it sometimes so hard to decide?

I have learned, that for me, the answer is that I sometimes fall into a mental trap called “complicating choice.” Researchers at Columbia Business School discovered that this tendency leads people faced with an easy answer to strengthen inferior options in order to make the decision’s difficulty match its perceived importance.

Even if the best choice seems obvious, I will complicate the decision if the situation seems important to me. Ultimately, the inferior options will be discarded, but not until I am convinced I have not made a hasty decision.

I may be over-analyzing the situation, but if I am ultimately satisfied with my decision, it seems worth it to me. Still, I try to consider the mental trap when faced with deadlines or decision stress.

Have you ever found yourself in the trap?

*Posted for writing101, prompt of uncertainty

Wildlife Lessons

Lazy Curtis Taking a Break

Lazy Curtis Taking a Break

Ten things I learned from wildlife while sitting on my porch:

1. Prepare for the winter.
2. Don’t hide all your nuts in one place.
3. It’s okay to relax when your work is done.
4. Blending in is safe.
5. Wear bright colors if you want attention.
6. Look around.
7. Move…run, climb, hop, jump, fly, and soar!
8. Claim your home but share your world.
9. Beauty is not only one thing.
10. Be yourself.

*posted for writing101, list made
To see more of my wildlife pictures and posts click The Backyard Bunch heading at the top of the page!

nancy merrill photography

capturing memories one moment at a time

Tourmaline .

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The Godly Chic Diaries



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Words Like Honey

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52 Weeks Photography Group

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Collect Life

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A Walk in the Garden

"How quickly comes the sun when first it sets its mind to rise." - - j. s. v.

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Thoughts Of An E'ville Woman

The secret to having it all is believing that you do!

It's a long story ...

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A Sawyer's Daughter

The Life & Times of a Sawmill Man's Eldest Child

Norm 3.0

Photography, fiction, humor, opinions, and whatever else I feel like posting

The Eye of a Thieving Magpie

My view of this wonderful and crazy life - as I travel and explore.

Trent's World (the Blog)

Random Ramblings and Reviews from Trent P. McDonald

photography, poetry, paintings

Minute Meetings with God

Meeting God Personally through his word

Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss

Welcome to the Anglo Swiss World

Gale Weithers

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If you aren't living on the edge, you're taking up too much space

Park Preview

A guide to Seattle area parks with an emphasis on accessibility, photography, and birds.

Jibber Jabber with Sue

Everyday Thoughts and Musings