This Is Me--2024 A to Z Theme

My A to Z Themes in the past have covered a range of topics and for 2024 the theme is a personal retrospective that I call "I Coulda Been" which is in reference to my job and career arc over my lifetime. I'll be looking at all sorts of occupations that I have done or could have done. Maybe you've done some of these too!

Monday, January 30, 2012

A Big Day!!! Blogging from A to Z April Challenge Sign-ups Are Open

       Today is a big day.  Because it's my birthday?  It is my birthday today, but that's not the big deal today.  The really big thing about today is that it's sign up day for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.  Are you ready?    Need I ask?

         For those who are scratching their heads about this A to Z Challenge I recommend that you go visit the official A to Z Blog for full details.  If you still don't get it, there is a CONTACT US tab that will take you to a page where you can ask any questions you may have.

         You'll be able to sign up any time between now and April.  The Linky List will be available on this post until Wednesday and then after that you'll find it by clicking the List tab at the top of this page as well as similar tabs on the A to Z Blog and the blogs of all of the other co-hosts.  In other words, the list will be all over the place so you shouldn't have any problem finding it.

          Even though you have two months to sign up, we encourage you to sign up now or as soon as you can.  Why so soon?   Well, because once bloggers start signing onto the list, the pre-Challenge party  begins.  Get yourself out there so others can find you.  Two months of mingling and meeting and greeting will allow you to get to know the other participants.   This will be favorable in helping you determine your April strategy.

          Between now and April you can start following other blogs and getting to know those bloggers.   They will likewise start following your blog.  So even though the blogging part of the Challenge begins in April, the really big part of the Challenge--visiting other blogs--starts now.  Are you ready to make new friends?  Your link on the list means you're ready to invite visitors to your blog.

           Let's go!

the linky list can be found at the tab at the top of the blog page that says it's the tab for the list.   That's where you can go to sign up for the Challenge.

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Friday, January 27, 2012

More Comments About Comments (A Continuation of a Post About a Post)

English: Comment iconImage via Wikipedia

          A Post About A Post (and the Comments It Generated) generated a positive response.  Thanks for egging me on.  I don't mind really.  I enjoy the challenge of creating something out of that which wasn't intended to go much further than the comment box.  Comment analysis may become a trend.  I'm going to milk it for all it's worth.
          For anyone who is just dropping in on my shenanigans, it all starts with a post at the beginning of January, Where Am I Now Anyway?.  I had been away on a trip at Christmas and written my posts ahead of time.   This particular post was an experiment or an exercise in absurdity, but dealing with a conundrum of sorts.  If you haven't read it yet then I encourage you to do so.  If you leave a comment on that post I may comment on that comment on an upcoming post about comments from that post.

           A bit wacky you say?  Of course!  I'm just tossing it out there for some crazy fun.  So on with the comments and my comments about those comments:         

 YeamieWaffles said...

I actually loved this post so much Lee, sorry to hear you're so cold though, that sounds kind of sucky. Interesting writing as per usual my friend, keep it up. You're definitely one of my inspirations around here on Blogger.

 Slamdunk said...

Clever post Lee--it makes one think. I am pounding keys and watching the morning shadows.

 Suze said...

Lee, you kinda blew my mind -- and with the fringe, esoteric, mind-bending reading I typically do, that doesn't happen often. Also, this 'I feel like I'm wearing snow shoes--and by that I mean shoes that are made out of snow.' made me smile.

 LD Masterson said...

Well, I think I'm here. But this is my here, as well as my now. Which will be a different now for you then. And my here is your there. These is only only thing I'm sure feet are cold.

 welcome to my world of poetry said...

I think I understand what you were saying, I am writing this at 4 06pm on 04/01/2012 so whatever time you read this heavens knows whay may have transpired. Yvonne.
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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Roller Coaster Ride Continues: a review of Stephen Tremp's OPENING

         Today I'm guesting at Stephen Tremp's Breakthrough Blog so make sure you visit there, but while he's busy hosting me I thought I might tell you my opinion of this new book Stephen Tremp is touting.

        Even if you missed my Monday post where Stephen was my guest, most of you probably are aware that he has begun a blog tour to kick off the release of his new book Opening.  I had an advanced reader copy of Opening so I've already read it.    So while Stephen's busy and can't hear me, let me tell you what I really think about his book:

       I am a big fan of BREAKTHROUGH, the first book of the Chase Manhattan series, so I was looking forward to OPENING.  Author Stephen Tremp has not only not disappointed with the the new installment, but also raised the bar in OPENING, providing a slick complex action thriller.

      The story continues where the previous book left off. The struggle between opposing factions of scientists trying to gain control of briefcases that contain what could be the fate of the world expands on a worldwide scale as statesmen and nations become involved in a tense standoff.  Powers and principalities may be leading the world toward a potential Armageddon.

     The scope of the story is breathtaking and the action is non-stop. Along the way I started to become concerned that Tremp was losing control of the story with too many things happening too quickly.  However, skillfully the pieces of the story are brought together into a climax that left me excited for the next installment of the series.

      All of our favorite characters from the first book are back in fine form as we are introduced to new and equally memorable players in the story.  The events are so plausible that at times I was nodding in agreement thinking, "Yeah, that could happen."  The story is cued directly from current world events and scientific breakthroughs.   There's nothing overly difficult to understand here since the technology comes across as clear and realistic.

      Although this book is written in such a way that it will stand alone, I would recommend readers who haven't read the first book to start with BREAKTHROUGH before reading this.  It's not a necessity, but starting with OPENINGS is something akin to climbing aboard a roller coaster in the middle of the ride--you'll miss a lot of fun.  The two books together provide a great ride, but on it's own OPENING is an entirely satisfying reading experience.

       I'll definitely be on board when the next book, ESCALATION, comes around. I think once you've read OPENING you will too.

        Don't tell Stephen I told you this.   Just go buy his books.

       Stephen Tremp is author of the recently released suspense thriller OPENING, the second book in the BREAKTHROUGH series. You can visit Stephen at Breakthrough Blogs For $1.99 Opening is available for download at:

Amazon for $1.99
Smashwords for $1.99

         Have you read Breakthrough yet?   Have you ordered a copy of Opening?  

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Monday, January 23, 2012

A Twist on Additional Dimensions: Stephen Tremp's Openings Home and Away Tour

      My guest today is Stephen Tremp, a blogger and author who needs little introduction to my blog audience.  Stephen is one of my earliest blogging friends as well as an A to Z Challenge co-host for the second year.  He is also an author for whom I have much admiration.  This is what brings him here on Tossing It Out today.   

       Stephen Tremp has released the second installment of his Breakthrough book series.and is starting his book tour today on my blog.  So I'm honored to present to you--Stephen Tremp:

A Twist on Additional Dimensions

Hi everyone, and welcome to the first stop of my Grand OPENING Tour! Thanks to Arlee Bird for helping me kick off this event on a most positive note. Arlee read an Advanced Review Copy (ARC) of OPENING and gave me invaluable feedback. Thanks Lee!

This post is on a topic that I’m very much passionate about. I think many others are too. Enjoy the post and I look forward to what other people think about people who seem to have abilities above and beyond that which we call normal.

Okay, getting back to my Science, CERN, and the Bible series ...

You’ve probably met someone who seems to have special “abilities” that are generally perceived to be above and beyond what we would consider normal by our five senses: seeing hearing, smelling, tasting, and touching. Every society since the dawn of mankind has had people they consider to have special “abilities.”

These people can “see” or discern things that most people cannot. These perceived abilities can be filed under various labels such as paranormal, prophecy, extra sensory perception (E.S.P.), gifts of the Holy Spirit (word of knowledge, word of wisdom, discerning of spirits), demonic possession, out of body experiences, or dreams that are more reality than fantasy. They are called seers, prophets, or mediums. Some would say people who claim to have paranormal abilities are frauds altogether, they are good guessers, they use the power of suggestion, or they’re just plain lucky.

How would you describe the ability to “see” beyond our five senses? One theory is that since the reality we live in is a three-dimensional spatial world (length, width, and height), our senses were created or have evolved within this reality. This is all we should be able to comprehend. We are not conscious of anything else.

Example: If you are hunting a charging bear to feed your family, you need to be able to look at the bear and judge how far away he is, how fast he is closing in on you, and the best moment to throw your spear at him. They say nature is very efficient and generally gives us only what we need to survive.

However, some proponents of M-Theory (ten actual dimensions along with time) think our minds can actually navigate through these additional dimensions (if they do indeed exists), yet our minds are construed to filter information through our five senses and emotions. This is why information and insights are partial rather than whole.

Could it be that there are some people who are more in tune with these additional dimensions and can thus get a glimpse of information that we would consider to be prophetic or of an extra sensory perception? Many people claim to be aware of angelic beings or demonic forces. Some can “read your mail” so to speak. Others have an acute sense of what an investment will do in thirty days and are very accurate in their predictions.

Questions: What are your thoughts? Do you think some people have abilities to “see” beyond our normal five senses?

Stephen Tremp is author of the recently released suspense thriller OPENING, the second book in the BREAKTHROUGH series. You can visit Stephen at Breakthrough Blogs Opening is available for download at:

Amazon for $1.99
Smashwords for $1.99

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Friday, January 20, 2012

7 people I'd like to meet

         Seven fictional or non fictional people I'd like to meet?  ...hmmm.  Probably real people.

        Oh--this is a topic that was asked a while back at Blissed-Out Grandma.   It was on one of those meme things, you know--tag you're next.  I looked at it and started to think about my picks and then just entered the idea in my blog composition list to think about later.  Well, later has come.

         What a great way to fill up a blog post.

          Here they are in no particular order:

           Jesus Christ -- This is almost a no-brainer.  Who wouldn't want to meet Jesus in person?   Where you could actually talk face to face with him?    I'd want it to be a time-travel thing too so I could see what things were like back then.   In fact that will be part of my criteria for the rest of the characters who are real or historical.  And also, I'd get to stay three days in each place.  Three days hanging out with Jesus and his disciples would be pretty amazing.

          Now, back to the list:

English: Oil painting of Franz Schubert, after...                     Image via Wikipedia           Franz Schubert -- I guess I'd need to learn German or have a translator, but three days with Schubert would be undoubtedly filled with music.  He's one of my favorite composers.  A biography that I read about him told about how he would perform a lot of intimate concerts and hung around with a rather arty group.  Vienna in the early 1800s sounds like a fascinating time.   Maybe I could catch Beethoven while I was there.

           Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson --He's a distant cousin and seemed like a very upright guy.  An American Civil War hero, he was also a teacher at a Viginia university.  From all I've read about him he sounds like a pretty serious guy.  I would be talking to someone who was very closely related to my ancestors who first came to the United States in the mid-1700s.

           Mark Twain--The guy was a literary genius and could say such funny things.  I wonder if he was funny all the time.  I'd say he must have been at least passably congenial since he was so popular.  Mark Twain would have some fascinating stories to tell.

Erik Satie (1866-1925) croppedImage via Wikipedia            Erik Satie--The French composer of eccentric impressionistic and minimalist music seems like a pretty strange guy and I imagine it could be entertaining to spend some time with him.  Add to my criteria the instant ability to speak and understand the language of wherever I was--I'd need this for several of my characters.

             Al Jolson--I want to know the real story about the guy.  This popular singer from the first half of the twentieth century would probably have some great tales to tell about the entertainment industry of his time.  He comes across as a pretty nice guy in both the fictional portrayal and in his films,   And if he's an ass then so be it.  It's only three days for crying out loud.

English: Jack Kerouac by photographer Tom Palu...Image via Wikipedia               Jack Kerouac--After three days I'd probably be pretty drunk hanging out with this guy, but it would be cool going to jazz clubs and hanging out with people he knew.  I could get more of a feel for the beat philosophy and lifestyle, and maybe get some kind of insight from Kerouac about his writing.  Maybe three days of a cross-country drive.  I can dig that for sure.

               Now wasn't that fun?   I had fun thinking about it.  You want to do it too?   I'm supposed to tag you here, so if you want to play--go ahead.   It's an easy way to fill up a blog post.  Or did I say that already?


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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Post About A Post (and the Comments It Generated)


English: Comment iconImage via Wikipedia

     Call me silly if you will, but I was moved.  Or maybe impressed.  No, I was both and more.  It was about my blog post Where Am I Now Anyway? that appeared on January 4th.  Your comments warmed my heart and uplifted my spirit--well at least they made me smile.

         I'd been driving all that day and when I got home that evening I found something like 26 comments that were quite nice.  It's not a huge number of comments, but it's not all that bad either.  It was the nature of the comments that struck me.

          All I can say is that I've got some great readers and sometimes I just want to start another blog--a blog about the comments I receive on my blogs.  Now, don't worry--I'm not really going to do that but that's almost the way I feel sometimes.

          So here in the spirit of weird content concerning a kind of weird content blog post, I give you some reader comments and my comments about the comments and then in the comment section you can leave your comments about the comments I received or the comments I have left here about the comments. 

          Any questions?  Any comments?  If not, on with the weirdness:

Rachel said...
I'm not sure what this says about me or my state of mind, but this is one of the coolest blog posts I've ever read! *smiling*
shelly said...
I liked this silly post. It was time-machine-like with humor.
Miranda Hardy said...
Lee, this is one of the best posts. I'm sitting in my car, reading blogs and waiting on the person to open up the office. Is that specific enough? Lol I'm where I need to be at the moment. It may not be where I'd like to be (at my future mansion office), but it's on the road to my future.
Journaling Woman said...
I too am where I need to be at this point in time. I like when writers use their words to lead me somewhere and their are so smooth about it that I miss the real clues along the way and when I get there, I'm thinking how did I get here? I don't think they are deceiving me, but giving me what I want. Cool post.
Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...
Yeah but, more importantly, are your feet still cold?
Alex J. Cavanaugh said...
That was really deep, Lee! You may have just disrupted the entire time-continuum in just one post.
        So there you have the first installment of comments and comments about comments. Since there were 36 comments on that post, I can probably turn this into a six week series with one installment per week. Then again with greater analysis I could make a post out of each comment. I could probably drag this out the rest of the year. 
        Be watching for "My Comments about Comments I Received on This Blog Post About Comments and My Comments on Those Comments". Maybe I will need to start another blog.
Check out the A to Z Challenge Blog for new details about the A to Z Video Challenge.   Hope you'll submit your videos soon!

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Monday, January 16, 2012

Celery Tree Pays It Forward: Guest Karen Walker

        Nobody can argue that was a brilliant idea. To create an online bookstore, where, from the comfort of one’s own home, you can browse thousands of book titles, order them, and have them delivered to your home all with just a few strokes on the keyboard. And shelling out some money, of course.

        Karen Jones Gowen has taken that idea one step further. She created an online bookstore for authors to support other authors. To join, you simply agree to purchase a minimum of six books per year. In exchange, the book you’ve written is part of the pool of books others choose from.

        I loved the movie Pay it Forward, because that concept is so beautiful. I didn’t need any encouragement to support other writers I’ve become acquainted with online. I try to purchase their books when I can. But this makes it so much easier to do so, because now many of them are in one place.

        Please take a few minutes to check out the website:

        If you love books and love helping others and want to do so in a new and creative way, you’ll love Celerytree.

                                                                                 Karen Walker

One of the books available from CeleryTree is Karen Walker's Following the Whispers.
      In her poignant memoir, Karen Walker traces the effects of a cold, loveless home environment and an early sexual molestation on her growth, marriage, motherhood, and career. After freeing herself from a desert of a marriage, Walker loses custody of her child and then journeys to discover who she is and to find some sense of wholeness.
      The journey takes her from her old life to new friendships, new lovers, and new professions. From New York to Portland, Oregon, and eventually to Albuquerque, New Mexico, Walker seeks someone to love her as she is. She finds that and more -- a loving connection with her son. This fifty-year emotional odyssey ultimately leads Walker to a self who can look back over her life with a contentment and satisfaction that allow her to follow the whispers that the future may bring.

Karen Walker is a writer who has published essays in newspapers and magazines, as well as an anthology series. After a 30+ year career in marketing and public relations, she went back to college to complete a Bachelor's degree and graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2005 from the University of New Mexico's University Studies program with a major emphasis in Creative Writing. She lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico with her husband, Gary, and their dog, Buddy. When she’s not writing, you can find her doing international folk dancing, singing at retirement communities with her trio, Sugartime, hiking, reading, or hanging out with friends. You can also find her online at:

Karen Walker's blog can be found at
You can also find Karen at CeleryTree

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