Things I've Learned

  • What I am Loving Wednesday!

    I discovered the What I'm Loving Wednesday! link on a blog I love to read, Ramblings of a Suburban Mom. She got it from a blog called, this kind of love. I think, in our very negative world, it's important to spend a little time focusing on things we love. This kind of exercise puts our mind in a positive place and - for me - puts me in a better place to work. Positive views, positive outlook, positive day. Give it a try!

    I'm Loving...

    Since we have been working on this renovation, I have been looking for good ideas on decorating small spaces, and I have been shocked by how much I've found. And Eldest daughter has been doing my weekly manicures, so I've been on the hunt for fun nails. Now today I'm planning a birthday dinner for eldest daughter and where do I turn? Yup, pinterest. Don't get me started on the ways to use Pinterest to build your brand and gain you readers. You just have to be careful or my dear friend, Pinterest, will suck up time before you realize it.

    I'm Loving...

    Over the past three years I have been very involved in community theatre in Rochester, NY. While I have wanted to move to Miami for several years, it's my theater family and just being around such artistry than I knew I would miss. We've been so busy with getting our new life established here, that I have had to accept that this will be the last piece I put back into the puzzle of my life here. This past weekend, though, I fed a little piece of my soul. I took eldest daughter to see one of my favorite shows, In The Heights, here done by the Miami Children's Theatre. Other than technical difficulties (the sound was atrocious), the show was fantastic. The young man playing the lead role of Usnavi totally killed. He easily rivaled the actor I had seen in the Broadway tour a couple of years ago. It was a wonderful evening - though I may have trouble adjusting to Miami time, when an 8 pm start actually equals opening the theater for seating at 8:05 - and I haven't stopped singing the soundtrack since.  

    I'm Loving...

    ...the creative process. Too often i just come in and clean and polish the creative process of others. I give my educated opinion on what works and what doesn't work, or I delete spaces and tiny errors and prep their creative processes for the world to see. I have a deep creative side, but I have found my niche in helping others enhance theirs. Then we get commissioned to do a cover, and my fun begins. I get to brainstorm with younger daughter on images and ideas that will best communicate what our authors are saying in their work. Though younger daughter does all the work on the computer, I do get a certain thrill when I see what she comes up with because I know that I was a part of the process. I know that I am seeing the physical manifestation of some of my ideas. It's really amazing.

    It's a good week, and I'm really just loving my life this week. How about you? What are you loving?

  • Grammar Terror Tuesdays

    Ok. I have long admitted it,  I am a grammar and spelling snob. But from this long held snobbery came the idea for Grammar Terror Tuesday. I now have a place to share examples of mistakes that make me cringe, headlines that cause me to toss the paper on the floor and internet flub-ups that have me slamming my laptop closed and screaming at my husband. Feel free to email me ( if you find something you think fits in here, and come back every Tuesday to see if it makes the cut. 

    That said, here we go...

    • I am guessing that creative kids software was all for creative spelling. One of the most common mistakes that grates on me (second only to the your/you're problem). Wouldn't you think a maker of educational toys could catch the simple errors?

    • A perfect example why you should slow down every now and then. Don' t you agree, Reebok?
    • This one has left me speechless. I mean, seriously? This one made it all the way to installation? An ad for a University, and no one noticed?
    • Last GTT I picked on our President and his staff for a tweet that made me cringe. In an effort to be fair - and because this is just too good to pass up - this week it's Mitt. It might be a good idea to check the spelling on the country you are hoping to run.
    • I love tweets. Usually the creative spelling is intentional. This time they got caught in my favorite grammar error  - and sent it out for the world to see. 
    Now, help a blogger out, would you? When you see these lovely errors in your day to day surfing, send me a link. They're out there, I can't find them all alone.
    Until next time...
  • Monday Musings

    • I've been reading a lot of e-books and I have to say this. Sometimes I feel like I've paid too much for a book, even if I got it for free. Seriously. Just because you can publish, it doesn't always mean you should publish. The sad part to me is that the problems are avoidable. If you are publishing a book that was previously published in print and you've had it scanned. READ IT!!! OCR translators are simply a computer program trying to read your work and create sense out of it. Things will be missed. It would take forever to tell you just how many things will be missed, just trust me, they will. And if you have an original work that you've finished up. Don't rush to hit the upload button. You need to give it a break for anywhere from a few days to a few weeks and then read through it again. And you REALLY need to have someone else read it. Someone who will be tough with you and help you to put out the best work you can. Make your work worth your readers time and money and they will be back for more!
    • The DH and I are doing a renovation on a great little apartment that is part of a friend's property. I should say that at this point the DH, two boyfriends of our daughters and eldest daughter are doing most of the down and dirty work. I'm picking out flooring and paint colors and Pinteresting lots of great decorating idea for little spaces. i am so excited about getting to the picture in my head but for right now i would settle for a working bathroom so we could move in and get out of temporary housing. It's going to happen. Especially when the help is willing to get this dirty...
    • I had a great revitalization this weekend. Eldest daughter and I went to see the Miami Children's Theatre's production of In The Heights. I love theater and, though I've only been here for a little over two months, I am already missing it a lot. At intermission, eldest daughter told me to buck up and stop getting teary. Can't help it. Theater feeds my soul and then I feel overcome with creativity and want to do more. What feeds your soul and inspires you?
  • Sunday Social

    I’m linking up with Ashley and Neely today for Sunday Social.

    This Weeks Questions:

    1. What is currently on your wish list?
    Right now there are three things on my list. My high reach item is a beautiful Michael Kors watch that I love. Next there is an item I've been wanting to feed my tea obsession, it's a beautiful hot water dispenser that has water always at the ready. Lastly, I've been a Vera Bradley fan for quite a few years now and a Disney lover since I was a child. So, when Vera came out with some special prints for Disney - I mean seriously - how could I not be craving one. Top of my list would be the Smartphone Wristlet. Ahh, a girl can dream...
    2. Share a new iPhone, droid, iPad app that you have recently discovered that we all need.
    Since moving to Miami, my DH and I have been wanting to learn some Spanish. Younger daughter recommended an app called Duolingo. It's really been building my vocabulary and it's fun to use as well. Loving this. 
    3. What is a new fall tv show that you have added to your dvr?
    Wow! I just spent a good five minutes and can't think of one new fall show I've even been watching. Wait. Younger daughter and I have been watching The Blacklist (though I am two episodes behind and didn't even remember it). Also, my girl friend has been trying to get me to watch Sleepy Hollow, but currently I have no DVR, so I guess that's that.
    4. Share your social media links so we can follow you. (Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, etc) Tell us which is your favorite and why.

    Instagram: deberichardson
    Right now, I'm loving Pinterest. We're working on a renovation as part of our move to Miami, and I'm really having fun looking for decorating ideas for our new small space.
    5. What is a tv show, movie, or song that you could watch or listen to over and over and never get tired of?
    Oooo. Good question. I have one for each. 
    TV Show - The West Wing or Ally McBeal
    Movie - Anything with Danny Kaye, but specifically The Court Jester, Hans Christian Anderson or White Christmas
    Song -  This one probably goes in waves. I'd have to say For Good from Wicked or Breathe from In The Heights (OK. I'll admit I am a bit of a Broadway Show nerd)
  • Five Question Friday

    I have been a long time fan of Inside the Actor's Studio, and my favorite part has always been the questionaire at the end. That is my vision for Five Question Friday. I have come up with a list of five questions, and I will have different guests answer them each week. As a new idea, you might see some tweaking - at least at first - as I try to come up with the right formula. Your input is greatly appreciated.

    Today, my friend, and author, Beth Ciotta has answered my five questions. Beth is extremely talented - and quite prolific these days - as author of The Cupcake Lovers series for St. Martins Press, has published two incredible steampunk novels (Her Sky Cowboy, His Clockwork Canary) and so much more. Visit her webpage to see it all! In addition, Beth is a part of a really exciting Christmas Anthology (The Keepers: Christmas in Salem) with Heather Graham, Kathleen Pickering and Deborah LeBlanc that is out today.

    That being said, here are Beth's responses to DRE&MS Five Friday Questions...

    1. What are you reading? Sizzle by Julie Garwood

    2. What do you do for relaxation? Walk my dogs

    3. What is playing on your iPod? Various movie scores

    4. What is your current guilty pleasure? Caramel popcorn

    5. What do you want to share? Stories that make a positive difference. Right now I'm focused on my Cupcake Lovers novels. A small town contemporary series with a big heart.

    Please check out Beth and all her great work and stop back next week for another Five Question Friday!

  • Thursday Thoughts

    It's time for another Thursday Thoughts. I link up through Ramblings of a Suburban Mom. Feel free to check her out and do the same. Here's what I'm thinking about today.

    • Boston won the World Series last night! It was really exciting and I loved seeing how much this team showed their true bond in every interview. Imagine truly going from worst to first in one year. Red Sox rock! My Dad and brother are probably in their glory. Just found out my brother and his family are going to make the drive from Rochester, NY to Boston for the parade this weekend. I do love the excitement sports can bring us even when we aren't playing the game, but feeling like part of the team none the less. 
    • NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow. I'm half tempted to give it a go myself with an idea that has been stewing for quite a while, but my work load is actually decent right now and I'm not sure I have the time. And if I were serious about doing this, I really should have done a lot more prep work leading up to November 1. Wow! Don't I sound like I'm full of excuses? Maybe I should take some of my own tips and just write. 50,000 words in 30 days comes out to approximately 7 pages (1,667 words) a day. Just write. Leave notes where things need to be researched further or double checked. All that can happen during the edit that happens in December the key is to write the book. Hmmm. I'm going to have to think about this.
    • I need to make a conscious effort to get out and talk to people more. Working alone, it becomes easy to lose track of time, and to suddenly realize that a day or two has gone by with no travelling outdoors other than to walk the dog. And I really think talking to the fur-baby, who doesn't talk back, probably doesn't truly count as conversation. (I have been talking to Siri a lot. How about that? Can I count that?) Add to this the DH working all day and then going to our future home to do the work needed to get us in there as soon as possible, and you can see how easy it has become for me to become a hermit. Of course this might just help me with my first thought...
    • Today is Halloween and I am officially in a place where no one will ring my bell and ask me for candy. Where we lived in Victor, NY no one ever came by because we lived on a busy street with no other houses around us, but there was always the potential for kids, so I always bought candy, "just in case". :) This year, there's no convincing the DH that I should pick up a bag or two of my favorite goodies. Ugh! Guess I'll have to stake out the after Halloween sales instead and work on convincing hime the prices were just too good to pass up. 

    That's it for me. What are you thinking about today?

  • What I am Loving Wednesday!

    I discovered the What I'm Loving Wednesday! link on a blog I love to read, Rambling of a Suburban Mom. She got it from a blog called, this kind of love. I think, in our very negative world, it's important to spend a little time focusing on things we love. This kind of exercise puts our mind in a positive place and - for me - puts me in a better place to work. Positive views, positive outlook, positive day. Give it a try!

    I'm loving...

    • Watson's new haircut. When you work alone, you take your companionship where you can get it. I get mine from Watson. We've been together a little over a year now and he's the best co-worker (even if he is often sleeping while I work. Yesterday he got a haircut and he looks amazing. My gray roots may very well have me slightly resembling a skunk, but the pup is fabulous! Got to love your furry friends.
    I'm loving...

    • Lemon Lime Kampai Tea from Teavana. Only problem with that is it's been discontinued! I bought it for the first time almost two years ago when I felt a cold coming on. I went into Teavana and asked what they recommended for someone with a cold and they gave me this one. Over the last year, every time I have felt a cold coming on, I would drink this tea all day long. By the next day - no cold. I kid you not. It has worked everytime, and I am someone who typically has one or two very serious colds a year. I bought a ton of it during the after Christmas sale last year. I swear by it and have told anyone who will listen to try it. And now it's gone?!?! I find I am rationing like a fiend. "Do I really feel sick enough to need the tea?" "Maybe I should take a hot bath and see if I feel better first." What am I going to do when I run out?? UGH!!!
    I'm loving...

    • Pretty nails. The other issue with working alone is you typically don't really care what you look like. I spend a lot of time in sweats (yes, even in Miami. Airconditioning keeps me wanting to be in my favorite VS sweats) and t-shirts and trying to remember when I last brushed (or colored) my hair. Not a pretty picture. But since moving to Miami, and closer to my girls, I have been indulging in weekly get togethers where eldest daughter does my nails. I can't see how bad my hair looks while I'm busy at the computer, but I do see my nails and she has kept them pretty. :) Tonight when she comes over we're doing Halloween nails... Follow me on instagram (deberichardson) and see what they look like!
    I think that about covers it for this week. What are you loving?
  • Monday Musings

    • I've been a little stressed lately as we are working on what will be our new home and we have had to stay in temporary accomodations a little longer than we had originally planned. But it has helped me to remember that life is as good as bad as we allow it to be. I could waste time being stressed or I could remember what my mother always tells me, "This too shall pass," and focus on what good lies ahead. It's all about the choice.
    • I decided to practice what I preach today so I packed up the laptop and the pup and took a walk to a local coffee shop (much easier getting a seat than last week). I sat there for a little over an hour, never tapped in to their wifi, and was amazed by the amount of work I got done. Besides that, it's nice to remember that afternoons like this were one of the reasons I wanted to move to Miami in the first place.

    • I've been thinking about what I can do to build my business and I keep getting emails from a printer in the area. I'm thinking about getting postcard sized handouts, but I am afraid it is a waste of money. I know I often toss things like that when I'm at conferences. What could I hand out that people would actually keep and, better yet, might help people contact me about working for them. 
    • Every day is a little better with some coffee ice cream. :)

    • Oh well, back to work...
  • Sunday Social

    I’m linking up with Ashley and Neely today for Sunday Social.

    This Weeks Questions:

    1. What was your favorite Halloween costume as a kid? This is pretty bad, but the strongest costume memory I have from my childhood was when my mother dressed my brother and me as a King and a Queen. Sounds pretty normal, right? Only my mom made these giant masks that we wore out of paper grocery bags. Yeah. Probably not my favorite, but it is my most memorable. It was weird.

    2. If you could go back to your childhood and dress up as something, what would it be? I think I would have liked to be the prom queen or the cheerleader. Something beautiful and totally different from how I saw myself. We grew up before the Disney Princess age.

    3. What was your favorite Halloween costume as an adult? Having said what I did in the last question, my favorite costume from the recent past is probably Snow White. 

    4. What is your favorite Halloween candy? Mini Take 5 bars and big Lemonheads. 

    5. What is your favorite Halloween memory? Actually my favorite Halloween memory is coming up with costumes for my children when they were young. Even if the cold could come and try to ruin our halloweens, I loved the holiday much more through the lives of my kids. This year, below, I had made younger daughter's Bunch of Grapes and boy child's Robin Hood, while eldest daughter had created her own clown getup. Still makes me smile. :)

    6. What is your favorite scary movie? You've probably never heard of this one, The Changeling. It came out in 1980 and starred George C. Scott. I loved it because it was really scary, but not at all gory. I hate gore, which usually keeps me away from scary movies. I'll have to try and find it and see if it's still scary, but I remember loving the feeling of suspense and fear. 

  • Saturday Sabbaticals

    The history of Sabbaticals goes back to biblical times. It has always been known that all work and no play is a bad combination. Unfortunately very few can take a year off of work every seven years to revitalize themselves, but it is vital to take some time. 

    For most writers, writing is not a full time job. It's easy to work your full time job and try to write in every free moment you have. The problem is you still need to feed your soul, re-charge your battery, revitalize. You need a Sabbatical. And to make sure you take one, it's a good idea to document what you're doing that takes you away from your computer. 

    Saturday Sabbaticals is my place to share some of what I do to re-fuel. Feel free to link up what you are doing to re-fill your tank.

    • I spent a night out, with a very good friend, singing karaoke. I know, it sounds a little cheesy to some, but it's fun to head out and sing like a rock star for a few hours. Lucky for us, it was a slow night for them, and sing we did. We each got up about five times. In addition we got some really good laughs at some very inebriated, not so talented, singers. Let me just say you haven't heard anything until you hear two drunk college boys singing Miley Cyrus' Wrecking Ball.
    • I set up my bloglovin account this week. It's been fun getting back into something I tell all my clients to do, reading and commenting on blogs. I'm learning, I'm inspired and I'm even laughing every now and then. check it out, and give yourself a few minutes every day to read a few blogs.
    • My DH and I are doing some work on a place we plan on moving into very soon. To be honest, I should say he and our daughters boyfriends have been doing most of the work, I'm doing the fun stuff. I've picked out paint colors and bathroom fixtures and flooring. I'm working my creative muscles in a way that is really getting me excited about a lot of other areas in my life. 
    What are you doing to keep yourself going?