Friday, May 30, 2008

I've Moved - Update Your Feed

NOTE: I've disabled comments because this blog has moved to its own domain at WordPress:

House moving
Photo Credit: taubus

Just a gentle reminder, I recently moved to WordPress to my own domain ( It's time to update your feed, thanks!

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If you haven't updated already, you're missing out on the latest posts! The most recent post at my new WordPress home is:

Speed the cyber highway and check it out!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

WordPress: Our New Home

NOTE: I've disabled comments because this blog has moved to its own domain at WordPress:

We have a new home (a big thanks to Goofy Girl Designs!). If you subscribe to Writing the Cyber Highway's feed, it's time to update it. You can do that by clicking on this link.

Yes, I've talked about it, teased about it, flirted with it, and now it's time to actually do it--move to WordPress, that is! Yes, we're moved in and just have a few last finishing touches to complete. This blog's new home is on the other side of the cyber highway. You know that big ole stretch of country called WordPress. The grass is greener over there, I hear. Thought it was high time to find out if it was true!

I'm still figuring everything out, but I'm actually loving it so far. I do hope you'll come and join me!

See you soon!

Don't forget, I'm still writing the cyber highway. I'm just living on the other side of Blogger!


Friday, May 9, 2008

Relief for Tired Eyes


Photo Credit: buboo_kt

Tired, Burning, and Itching

We've all been there, right? Our eyes are aching from staring at the computer screen but we have to write nonetheless. Sometimes there's just no way around it. You have to be in front of that bright screen, that window to cyber life.

There's hope! There's relief! No, really, there is.

I'm going to share with you what I do.

Here's what you'll need:

  • Cucumbers cut in slices
  • Small freezer bags

Here's what to do:

Place the the cucumber slices in freezer bags where they'll lay flat and not stick together. Lay the bags flat in the freezer. When your eyes are burning, itching, and hurting, go to the freezer and grab a couple of those slices. Let them thaw a little. Lean back or lay down in a quiet, relaxing spot - if that's possible! - and let your poor overworked eyes soak up all that cool goodness. Your eyes will thank you and you'll love that refreshing feeling the cold cucumber leaves.

I took my own advice and did this just today. It's great! I loved how my eyes felt afterward. Take care of your eyes; take a few minutes out of your day and reward them with this amazing treatment. You'll be so glad you did!

And, you'll definitely have a much nicer time writing the cyber highway!

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Thursday, May 8, 2008

Door to Your Dreams....

You probably can’t see the inspiring words on the front of this spiral notebook I bought yesterday.

Open the door to your dreams...

These six words jumped out at me and spoke volumes to my soul! I had no intentions of buying a notebook, but I couldn’t resist this one.

It’s true, the door to our dreams is right in front of us—just up a head a little ways. Like the rainbow we talked about in the previous post, it’s there, we just can’t see it yet. All we have to do is stay on the path that leads to it - no matter how rocky the terrain gets - and have the strength to open our door once we reach it. Sounds simple, doesn’t it?

Sometimes the only thing holding us back from our dreams is us. Yes, that’s right. Maybe we’re afraid of the unknown. Maybe we’re beating ourselves up, thinking we don’t deserve all the goodness that awaits us. Who knows? But the door is there, and we’re the only ones with the power – the key – to open it.

So, what do you say? Are you ready to unlock and open the door to your dreams? Do you have enough muscle to pull hard enough to yank that door open and flail it against the wall? Do you have enough ambition, faith, hopes and dreams to bust through with all your might? Think about it….

Keep watching for your rainbows, but don’t forget to keep an eye out for the door to your dreams; it will enable you to have much success writing the cyber highway!

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Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Writing, Storms, and Rainbows

Photo by pauel_0206

Looking around the world today, we see tragedy of all kinds.

Fires, floods, cyclones, and more. Lives and homes are being ripped apart. Hope for those futures seem bleak. Where will they live? What will they do? Why did this happen to them? We all know these are questions they are asking themselves, or that we ask ourselves as we see these sad stories flash on news channel after news channel. It seems no matter how hard we try to avoid depressing circumstances, they pop up everywhere.

Why am I talking (aka typing) about this?

One of my loyal readers, Julia, (love ya, girl!) commented on the previous post that I was a welcome light in her storm. I do believe this is the most beautiful phrase anyone has ever written about me. Thank you for inspiring this post! And, thanks for reading my blog in the wee hours of the morning when the storm's turbulence is often at its worst. I'm honored.

Writing Storms = Storms of Life

I think we've all been there. Something (or several somethings) is going on in our lives that is stressful, depressing, and/or we can't stop thinking about. Maybe you have received storm damage from a literal storm. Perhaps a special loved one is ill, passed away, was just diagnosed with cancer. Whatever the situation, it becomes hard to concentrate on writing, blogging, brainstorming for ideas. It's easy in times like these to lose focus and have difficulty finding even a hint of the inspiration you once had an abundance of. You might even think of giving up your writing dreams, asking yourself why you ever thought you could make it as a writer in the first place.

Our lives and our writing are intertwined like roses climbing an arbor. The vibrant, green petals cling to the strong anchor in the storm. They hold onto the lattice as the wind blows furiously and the rain pelts down hard. The thirsty little rosebuds flourish into huge blooms after the roots drink up all that nourishment from the sky.

Rosebushes are beautiful in the spring when they're green and full of new growth. In the fall and winter, it's another story. They wither away and become grayish brown. Depressing, I know. But that isn't the end. Those elegant roses aren't dead. The beautiful blooms are just "sleeping" for a while.

Where Rainbows Come In

No matter how much the storm rages, or how long of a dry spell you have in your writing (or your life), it will end. The darkness will fade away. The calm will come. The sun will shine. The rainbow will stretch wide, reaching far up to the heavens. You'll be able to breathe a sigh of relief, relax. A fresh, new confidence will emerge from a place deep inside--a place you thought had withered and died, but was only sleeping for just a little while. Your soul will soak up the nourishment it craved but couldn't receive.

Enjoy the rainbow. Revel in the sunshine. Cherish the beauty of a new day, new opportunities, ideas, moments to share with those you love most and to remember the ones who had a precious part in molding you into the wonderful individual you've become. Perhaps - like my grandmother - that person is no longer physically with us. In that case, honor their memory by adding bits of their wisdom into an article. You might also consider giving one of those characters that live inside your head the personality of your loved one. You know, the character you fantasize about becoming part of the novel that is selling on book store shelves everywhere!

Keep Looking for That Pot of Gold

Remember as a child when you actually thought you could find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? Find your inner youth, that innocence you still possess but is lost beneath years of the world beating you down. Close your eyes and picture yourself as that kid you once was, that kid who dreamed big, could jump out of a swing and soar as high as superman. See the rainbow? It's closer than you think...

Watch for the sunshine peeking through those dark clouds, and always, always keep writing the cyber highway!

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Monday, May 5, 2008

Free E-Course: A Month of Marketing

photo by judyyonkers

If you're looking to increase your freelance writing income, you'll probably enjoy following Mridu Khullar's advice. Don't tell me you don't know who Mridu Khullar is! Ok, so you really don't know? You've never heard of her? Have you been living in a cave? Ok, that was a little harsh of me *sorry!* For those of you who really don't know who she is, Mridu Khullar is a very successful, international freelance journalist from New Delhi, India. She's currently working in Accra, Ghana. Her impressive portfolio includes publishing credits with Elle, Time, Parade, Writer's Digest, and more. She knows what she's talking about people!

Mridu has decided to turn May into a month of marketing. What does this mean for us? It means that we can follow her e-course, which she's generously offering for free! She's already started posting the lessons.

  1. AMOM Day 1: Update Your Writing Portfolio
  2. AMOM Day 2: Letters of Introduction
  3. AMOM Day 3: Check in With Your Regulars

I think this is a wonderful opportunity. Readers can learn from her wisdom and experience. She's kindly giving us a sneak peek into how she has successfully marketed herself so we'll know what to do to get ourselves out there, make more sales, and add more publishing credits to our portfolio. Don't forget to keep your eyes open for new lessons!

Thanks, Mridu!

Enjoy the lessons. I'm sure they'll help you keep writing the cyber highway!

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Sunday, May 4, 2008

Dessert for Lunch?

iHealthTree Life-Time Coupon: $1 OFF

Yes, that's right! I feel like I had dessert for lunch today. In keeping with my "weekend healthy food for writers theme", I thought I'd share a photo and description of my lunch.

Although I still haven't tried the banana hot dog and fries I raved about in yesterday's post, I did have the ingredients on hand to try Kath's pumpkin pie yogurt. It really is amazing!

I strayed from her recipe a smidgen in that I didn't add the packet of Splenda. (I don't use that sweetener.) The organic vanilla yogurt I used was already sweetened with organic sugar, so after a quick taste test, I felt it was sweet enough for me. Notice the two cookies. They're organic gingersnaps--and, for this girl, a rare indulgence. I don't splurge on sweets often anymore but I did today.

I also thought sprinkling a little gluten-free trail mix on top would be a nice compliment. And I was right! The pumpkin seeds and dried apples in it made it almost taste like Thanksgiving. Strange for a lunch, I know. It did seem like dessert, but it was very filling. I actually only ate half of it. I put the other half in the fridge for later. Imagine that!

Hope you've been having a smashing and healthy weekend, taking a break from writing the cyber highway!

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Saturday, May 3, 2008

Healthful Food to Feed Writers' Minds

Spring Vegetable Chopped Salad
(photo by jjtasecky)

Since this is the weekend, I'm going to jump totally off topic and talk about.... FOOD! I have decided to share one of my all time favorite new blogs: Kath Eats Real Food. This blog is awesome! The author of this cheerful, nutritious blog is maintaining a 30+ pound weight loss. I'm sure you'll enjoy reading about her journey, nosing around her recipes, and seeing what kind of groceries she buys. One of my favorite posts is Banana Hot Dogs & Fries (not a traditional hot dog and fries, mind you!). Now, I don't eat traditional hot dogs anyway. I'm a vegetarian, so if I ever do splurge on a "hot dog", it's a veggie dog. Never heard of veggie dogs? Their delish! (Back on track... I haven't tried this super cool recipe yet, but when I do I'll let you know.)

Why am I so intrigued by this blog I discovered? Well, most of you already know I've lost over 100 pounds and anyone who has lost weight and maintained it, or who is trying to lose weight piques my interest. I know all too well what it's like to struggle with weight issues, always feeling like the fat girl, and being the biggest person at events. It's no fun! At least, I never felt like it was fun being overweight, ill, and not able to participate in a thing called... life. For anyone who is offended, I wasn't just a little chubby. I was literally morbidly obese and had a whole host of horrific health issues (and surgeries and medications) to go with it. At my highest, I was carrying nearly 300 pounds on my small, 5'2'' frame. Ugh. It was most definitely in my best interest and the interest of my loved ones, to get those pounds off.

Anyway, I love to read about weight loss, exercise, healthful recipes, and healthy lifestyles. I still have a few stubborn pounds to get off, but I've gone from busting out of a 3X--yes, like the Incredible Hulk! Remember that show? *snickers*--to enjoying a size 10 that is LOOSE!

Single digits, here I come!

Let's face it, if we're going to write productively, we need to eat--no, not just eat any ole thing that we can pop into the microwave or get at a fast food place or out of a vending machine. We need to make the best possible choice we can and choose nutrition over convenience as often as we can. Sure, there are times we just don't have time to whip up a salad or omelet or prepare steel cut oats or quinoa.

In those cases, here's a few tips that work for me.

  • Try a quick fruit smoothie. They really don't take long to prepare. Just pop some frozen fruit in the blender, add some powdered vitamins, a drizzle of honey, some water until it's the consistency you like, and perhaps even a spoonful or two of organic flax seeds (ground).
  • Keep small zip lock bags filled with salad, chopped veggies, and/or boiled (organic) eggs. On your way out the door, snatch one or two, pop them in a small cooler or eat right away.
Hopefully these tips will help you save time while making better choices. If you're the best you can be, your writing will be at its best too. Besides, if you eat well, you'll be energized, filled up, and feeling proud of yourself for being a health conscious individual. Oh, and don't forget to pick up some reusable shopping bags. We not only need to love our bodies, but the beautiful earth we're privileged to call home.

Have a great weekend, and remember: if you want to be successful writing the cyber highway, feed your body--not your sugar cravings. :-) Hey, you might even shed a few pounds! Imagine being the healthiest you can be so you can live longer, write longer, and enjoy all the amazing opportunities you'll happen upon....

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Friday, May 2, 2008

The Street-Smart Writer by Jenna Glatzer

If you're like me (and if you're a writer/reader I'm sure you are!) you love a great book, especially when it's free! Imagine my surprise when I stopped by Hot Diggity (Jenna Glatzer's blog) and found a post titled: Free! I mean it. The Street Smart Writer. I was really excited. I'd have been even more excited if I didn't already own it. (I bought my copy a while back from Amazon.) I've really enjoyed it and it's a purchase I'd make again in a heartbeat!

If you don't have this great book, I urge you to download it for free now. This is not an affiliate of mine. I don't get paid in any way for telling you about this awesome opportunity.

According to the author of this book, Jenna Glatzer, here's the description:


Veteran writer Jenna Glatzer teams up with publishing attorney Daniel Steven to expose the scams and unsavory deals writers are likely to encounter along their path to publishing success. The Street-Smart Writer is an essential reference for all writers to getting published without getting swindled.

This book will help writers spot an honest agent or manager, determine the value of vanity publishing, and avoid getting conned out of hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars when signing a contract. Sections on writing contests teach writers how to determine which contests are useless; other sections offer tips on avoiding costly conferences and shady seminars. A special focus on copyright ensures that writers protect their work from schemers who want to use creativity without paying for it. Appendices include sample publishing, agent, and manager contracts.


Enjoy the wisdom you'll gain from reading your free book. It will help you be wiser, smarter, and safer while writing the cyber highway.

Have a great weekend!

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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Pulling a Story....

As writers we pour out our hearts and souls onto endless blank pages. We share our talents, memories, wisdoms, adventures, research, vulnerabilities, and imaginations with the world.

It’s hard to let go sometimes (ok, most of the time) to let editors do what they do best. They are, after all, called editors for a reason. They do what they’re supposed to. They edit. Some of us take it in stride (without hurt feelings). Others get emotional and cry. And others become angry, defensive, and I’m sure there are some who curse the editor or stir up trouble in one way or another.

Why am I rambling about this? I just decided to pull a story that had been chosen to be published. I won’t share details. That’s not the point I want to make. Besides, that isn’t the type of gal I am. I don’t speak ill of others. It’s not positive or constructive to do that.

What is my point? It’s this: Don’t sell yourself out for a few dollars and a byline. Ever. If your heart isn’t in it, then you shouldn’t be either. I don’t care what magazine, anthology, website, business, brochure… whatever. Our words are a valuable part of who we are as writers. What we say and how we say it is worth more than any dollar amount. At least that’s how I feel about it. I choose to pull this particular story because it was edited until my memory and I disappeared. There was nothing of me left in it. It was someone else’s story –not my own – and I can’t let that happen. Sure, I lose a paycheck and this exact opportunity for having a story published, but I’m keeping my integrity intact. And that is important to me.

I pondered this decision for days. I talked with the editor on the phone. This editor is a great editor, wonderful person, and successful in all areas of their life. We’re still on wonderful terms. There’s no hurt feelings, no bad vibes--just understanding on both our parts.

The editor told me the changes were made because that’s how it had to read in order to be published. I told them I understood completely. It’s not that I can’t take constructive criticism or have my work altered to be made better, more readable to the world, more polished. I thrive on learning from those who are more advanced than me. I love to absorb all the wisdom I can from anyone I can.

I’ve learned so much since I first started writing. It’s amazing to me how time and experiences change us so much. A year ago, I’d have been broken hearted to be so close to having my story printed at X publication. But now…. I’m fine with it. I’d rather pull my story than have my precious memories and treasured event tarnished with regret and disappointment. The editor could relate and even shared their own experience of pulling a story themselves for the same reason!

Writing isn’t about recognition, money, or even making it to the best seller list. Sure, most writers (those who dare to dream) fantasize about their name being on a best selling title, or becoming rich writers, being on TV shows, having their books become movies. Yada, yada, yada.

Writing, for me, is about spilling my heart—every fiber of my being—onto blank page after blank page. If I’m blessed, those words will fill up empty, hurting hearts with hope, inspiration, motivation, joy and peace. If I’ve done that for even one person, then I’ve become the writer I always wanted to be….

P.S. For those of you who feared I died or thought I’d fallen off the edge of the cyber highway, I assure you I’m alive and well. Life’s "chaotic adventures" just slowed me down for a while, but I’m back and I appreciate all of your devotion, kindness, and your considerate e-mails and comments have blessed me to no end! I know now more than ever that this blog truly is a genuine community and I appreciate each and every one of you who stop by to read, share your wisdom and friendship. I started this blog to be an encouragement. Imagine my surprise to find you all encourage me! Thank you!!

Spring is here! Hope your writing is blooming all along the cyber highway!

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

The New View

I’ve been meaning to talk about the new view here at Writing the Cyber Highway, so here goes….

New Design, by Goofy Girl Designs

I can’t believe how much positive feedback I’ve received (both in the comments and via e-mail) about the new header and design. I’m thrilled so many of my readers are enjoying it. I know I absolutely love it and couldn’t be more pleased with Heather, at Goofy Girl Designs, and how she pulled the ideas from my brain and incorporated them into what you now see online. Isn’t she amazing? I have to tell you, she’s a gem! She’s so talented, fun to work with, and really professional at the same time.

Go ahead, check out her services!

Template by
Goofy Girl Designs

Advertise Your Site for $1

I also decided to allow readers to advertise their sites by adding My Top Spots.

The way it works is you just click on the buy one link at the bottom and it will direct you to a page where you can purchase your ad by paying $1 via PayPal. Each time a new advertiser buys a spot, your ad will be bumped down. I can also make it show space for 10 advertisers though.

Entrecard, I'm loving it

Entrecard has brought me a lot of new readers. Overall, I'm pleased with the results. I have new subscribers and I've noticed new comments from some of them. It's fun (when you have the extra time) to surf the various categories for blogs you can advertise on. You'll also find blogs you've never heard of before that you don't know how you've lived without. While you're visiting these blogs, you'll notice you can drop your card by clicking on their Entrecard widget. (Goofy Girl Designs created mine!).

Getting more organized

I created links in the Pages category in the top, right corner to clean up the place a bit. You'll find About, Contact, my website, my portfolio, Writing Blogs, and Writing Resources.

Shop the Cyber Highway!

If you haven't done so yet, be sure to visit Writing the Cyber Highway's Store. You'll find an abundance of books, magazines, fun writing items, and more!

Looking for writing jobs?

You can also search for jobs from this very stretch of the cyber highway. How cool is that?

I do hope everyone has adjusted easily to the changes. (Keep in mind I'm viewing this blog with Mozilla Firefox). I'm honored to have each of you consider my humble thoughts interesting enough to stick around.

Thanks for stopping by, and have a great week!

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