Time to Celebrate!

Tuesday’s Tips will return next week! It’s time to celebrate! Not only did I turn the big 4-0 this past weekend, but I surpassed 500 followers and this is my 200th post! 

I wanted to take a moment to thank all of you for following, reading and commenting on my blog. The Whispering Pen started in June 2014, and I have loved every minute of writing and getting to know everyone in the blogosphere.

As of late, I have had a difficult time keeping up with all the fantastic blogs out there, but, if you are reading this, please know that I think about many of you and your fun, entertaining, engaging, witty, clever, beautiful and educational blog posts!

This is for you…

Thank you haiku

Today’s Haiku

precious time you give
reading and commenting
I honor you


I am grateful for you! Thanks for reading!

Have a wonderful Tuesday!


Apostle Islands

In two months my husband and I are traveling to the Apostle Islands in Wisconsin. I am taking a creative writing class at the Madeline Island School of Art. The class is five days, and we plan to explore in the evenings after class.

There are lots of boutiques, fun restaurants, museums, kayaking, hiking, biking and sailing excursions in the area.

Apostle Islands Haiku


Today’s Haiku:

bright sun warms
ripples in Superior
paddle splashes


What are your summer vacation plans?


Sunday Sleep

Every Sunday the blog, Haiku Horizons, provides a haiku prompt. This week’s prompt is “sleep.”

When I think of sleep it makes me happy. I’m like a cat. I need lots of sleep. So, when I saw the prompt today I thought of one friend who could help me with this prompt, Garfield.

He was one of my favorite cartoon characters when I was a kid because we agree on something…sleep. I seriously love sleep, and I’m not a morning person…period.

I get anywhere from 8-9 hours of sleep per day during the week and sometimes more on the weekend. I have two alarm clocks that are set every week night. The snooze button is activated several time before I can bring myself to get out of bed.

Yes, it is difficult to get things done because I sleep so much. But, I need that time to rejuvenate, and plenty of sleep, exercise, healthy food and lots of water keep me going. I believe that if I didn’t do all of these things I wouldn’t be able to keep up with my busy schedule.

Garfield Sleep Haiku

Today’s Haiku:

sleep soothes so
I silence the alarm clock
rise when ready


How much sleep do you get every night?


Girl on the Go: Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture

Happy Friday!

For my Girl on the Go list, aka the bucket list, today I am adding another easy one. I want to tour/visit a Frank Lloyd Wright home. There is one in Spring Green, Wisconsin called The Taliesin. I believe that’s only a couple of hours from where I live.

taliesin frank lloyd wright haiku


Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin

Today’s Haiku:

cascade of sunlight
shadows dancing across
warm stones

Has anyone visited a Frank Lloyd Wright home? 

Have a beautiful weekend!



The Daily Grind

I want to share a podcast I listened to yesterday. The podcast is called Write 2B Read by Ani Alexander, and the specific episode is an interview with author James Altucher called About Life, Idea Muscle and Failure Porn.”

I love Altucher’s message, and Alexander’s for that matter. The podcast discusses how the interviewee, (James Altucher) has a job that he hates, and he literally walks out one day. His basic message is if you lose $20 you can always make that money back, but if you lose 20 minutes of your life,  you can never get that back. Essentially, stop doing what you hate.

There are many days when I feel the same way…

Give yourself a little time on this podcast. It’s about an hour, but it’s inspiring.

Don’t get trapped in the daily grind.

daily grind haiku

Today’s Haiku:

tick tock, tick tock
minutes and hours fade away
breeds monotony


Have you walked away from a steady paycheck to do what you love? How did it work out for you?

Happy Wednesday! We’re half way through the week gang!


Magazine Writing: The Lead

Tuesday’s Writing Tips 

Portable MFA in Creative Writing: Magazine Writing

The Lead: 

This is the most important part of the article. It must immediately engage the reader’s interest. It focuses the piece, acting as a guidepost or a road map as to where the story is going. The best leads draw a picture and actively engage the reader’s mind. Once the reader is hooked, then you have them for the rest of the story.

Many writer’s spend a good part of their time coming up with the appropriate lead. Once you’ve come up with the proper lead, the rest of the story comes more easily.

The lead can vary in length. It can be one sentence or one page. The articles that I write are often well below 1000 words. Most of my leads are about three to four sentences.

The lead does several things:

  • It sets the tone for the article.
  • It focuses the reader’s attention on what she is going to read about.
  • It gives the reader the author’s point of view.
  • It brings the reader into the “world” of the article.

Next week: 

We’ll visit the nut graph. This is what let’s the readers know exactly what the article is about. It reveals the focus.

I highly recommend The Portable MFA in Creative Writing. It’s on Amazon for under $13 right now. This book discusses Fiction, Memoir/Personal Essay, Poetry and Magazine Articles. The information I have been providing for the past several months has been from this book.

Today, I leave you with this brilliant quote…

Dr Suess Quotes and a haiku

Today’s Haiku

his wisdom profound
so everyone gather ’round
and listen right now


Does anyone have a magazine article coming out soon? Can you offer any tips?

Have a little fun today!


Girl on the Go: A Trip to Alcatraz!

Hey, Hey, it’s Friday!

For my Girl on the Go list, aka the bucket list, today I am adding one that will take a little more time to achieve. It’s a matter of taking time off work and purchasing a plane ticket.

My third item to add to the list is visiting Alcatraz.

Second and third floors of A Block in the cellhouse at Alcatraz, site of the exhibition @Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz haiku

image credit: www.for-site.org

I want to visit Alcatraz, located on Alcatraz Island in the San Francisco Bay.

Alcatraz, a prison used from the 1930s through the 1960s, held some of the most hardened crimials. Al Capone, George “Machine Gun” Kelly and Gangster Alvin “Creepy Karpis” Karpowicz to name a few.

Capone, who killed four people and ordered dozens more to be killed, was a sociopath and made millions in prostitution, gambling, bootlegging and extortion.

Kelly was an Irish-American gangster from the Prohibition era.

And “Creey Karpis,” he was known for kidnapping, robbery, burglary and murder.

Today’s Haiku:

trapped on the rock
horrific criminals
rest on a pillow

Has anyone visited Alcatraz?

Happy Friday! Live your life with a smile!