My New Bubblews Approach Interact, Interact, Interact

 My 6-month Bubblews anniversary is coming up. So I'm taking that retrospective look you do at milestones. I'm trying some different things in my posts. Nothing kinky, I promise.

The site is dynamic and I want to change to fit it. I've been writing online since 2005. Adaptability to shifting trends is a skill that has served me well. So I following that pattern. My New Bubblews Approach Interact, Interact, Interact

My Bubblews Experiment is Paying Off

Yesterday, I bubbled about how I was trying something new on Bubblews Today, I'm here to report that it is yielding great dividends. I'm seeing more interaction on my posts. And that means one thing--more money! Read on My Bubblews Experiment is Paying Off

Essay for Advent Week One Skip Holiday Gift Exchanges and Donate

This is my annual Advent Week One (Hope) essay. Some might call my essays rants. So be it. If I sound more like Scrooge than Santa, it's because I'm sick of Christmas commercialism. Here's a non-traditional look at ways to spread hope by skipping the shopping rat race.

"Random gift exchanges are silly. I see no sense in trading gifts with extended family or people you're not close to. Many of us can't afford nor want to waste money on a meaningless token gift.

Some of us would prefer to donate gifts to those who actually need them. I long pushed for my extendeds to adopt a family or raise money for a gift to Heifer, International. That idea was nixed in favor of a gag gift exchange. Brilliant. Buy junk for each other that we don't need and will throw away, instead of doing some good. There's the holiday spirit." Read on Skip Holiday Gift Exchanges at School, Work

Choosing Website or Blog Layout, Colors

Yesterday's Bubblews-Upgrade gave me a fright. At first profiles looked denuded with the raw fonts and re-arrangement. Then I realized admin wasn't done playing yet. Now I find it's been smoothed out and looks very chic. I probably won't avail myself of some of the new categories--"anime" or "random" but the new banner colors intrigue me. And thanks to friends, I learned we can change colors. New toys please my OLSSS (Oh Look Something Shiny Syndrome). Here's a rag I wrote on the color options, plus tips on choosing blog layout colors.   Bubblews Banner Color Rag 

How to Deal with an Internet Stalker on Articles

I got hit by a serial disliker recently. On Bubblews, that's a person who goes on dislike sprees. I wasn't going to write about t till something I read about this incident set off red flags. Apparently the disliker claimed not to have been paid and was getting back at the site. RED FLAG. She (if it was a she-- all profile data on Bubblews can be faked or left blank) listed her profile password so users could access her account and remove the dislike. MAJOR RED FLAG. That's a huge violation on Bubblews. She's just trying to drum up as much drama as possible and suck in as many other users in it before getting banned. Here's how to handle dislike trolls safely.  How to Deal with a Bubblews Serial Disliker

Canon in Dark

The rain pommels the air conditioner, sounds like an endlessly-draining faucet.
Lightning scores the sky in a white-hot scar.
Thunder growls threateningly, boding I don't know what.
The elements are partying hard.

Read on for my tongue-in-cheek ode to a summer storm.
Rainy Day Musings or Canon in Dark 

Sample Essay for Students

Here's an essay I wrote for Bubblews. If you need sample essays to use in class, feel free to share this example. Please give me credit, though. Don't copy. I'm a retired creative writing teacher.

"I'm in a quandary. Our local school district allows a religious group to meet in various buildings, to proselytize students and come and go during the school day. The group is a cooperative of youth leaders and representatives of local Christian churches (some Catholic, mostly protestant)." Read on Should Schools Allow Church Sponsored Groups? - News - Bubblews

Printable Halloween Word Games, Search, Scrambles, Puzzles

Little ones look forward to Halloween, but older children do too. Got bored big kids who need to be kept out of mischief waiting for trick-or-treat? Print free Halloween puzzles and word games. Educational too! Use for classroom lesson plans. Use for story starters and writing prompts. Use for Samhain as well as Halloween. Word searches make fun homework; Halloween word searches just double the fun. Use these printables for filler activities, rewards for completed homework and competitive activities. Perfect for Halloween party games for young and old.   Free Printable Halloween Word Games, Word Search, Word Scrambles and Puzzles 

Write Calming Pieces During Stress Times, Maybe Poetry

I've been writing online for eight years and full-time for three. From that, I've learned to write lighter pieces during times of stress.  When I'm already carrying heavy burdens, the last thing I need is serious or controversial topics. I can't take it. And that's the beauty of freelancing, and especially blogging. I have control over what I write. Sure, I have deadlines writing news. But I try to stagger them so that I can take brain breaks writing lighter topics. I might write about holidays, crafts, children or poetry--guaranteed to decompress. Freelance Tip Write Lite on Heavy Stress Days

Free Speech, Commentary, Opinion and Slander

There are some ignorant,potentially hurtful misnomers about "free speech." I've read some hate rants cloaked in that recently. It's not free if it comes at the cost of hurting others.
Some people need to exercise first amendment rights less and fifth amendment more. Here are definitions of freedom of expression vs rants vs hate speech, from eight years writing commentary and several decades teaching communication.

Slander vs Opinion: How often have I heard hate speech passed off as opinion.We do not necessarily have the right to say it. If your opinion involves name-calling, insults, profiling others, that's not opinion. That's slander and libel when it's in print (see, I watched Spiderman). Journalistic ethics prevents using derogatory words. I had to edit out the phrase "windbag" in reference to a Republican politician.   Free Speech, Undifferentiated Rants Vs Hate Speech

Ways to Avoid Violations, Problems on Bubblews

Bubblews has decided that I may keep this account after I inadvertently posted pictures of works of art deemed pornography. I still have missing payments but I'm back on track with my latest payment as of this morning. I'll be clicking the big green "redeem" button for the 17th time today. Here are some ways to avoid problems and potential violations. 17 Redemptions--Ways to Avoid Violations, Problems on Bubblews

My Best Social Networking Secrets for Article Sharing

I've never been one to share much of my content on social sites. I did for awhile and then it felt like I was spamming my friends. Or only interested in them for the page views they brought to my content. I've always shared my articles on my niche blogs, but that's different. Users come to my blogs specifically for information provided. Then I started writing for Bubblews and saw that social sharing was encouraged. I don't think we get paid for sharing on all the platforms available (I don't think sharing by "email this" counts, for example). And the Pinterest button doesn't work. This is good so there's less opportunity to exploit the system. But I do share my work on some sites. Here are my best social networking shares.   My Best Social Networking Secrets

Getting the Online Writing Hang --Less is More!

I bring almost a decade of online writing to Bubblews. I come from writing for a plethora of sites. I'm used to researching, rewriting, agonizing over every word (yes, lots of micromanaging). Reading other shorter, bloggier articles here, I feel anxious. Is an editor going to decline this? Have they gone through it with a fine-tooth comb 26 times? It didn't hit the word count! Gasp--there's a typo! The world will now spontaneously implode.   Getting the Bubbling Hang (Hint: Less is Okay)

On Girl Scouts, Grass Skirts and Growing Up--a Humorous Personal Narrative

This is a humorous personal narrative I wrote. Students and teachers, feel free to use this as a sample for creative writing. It could be used to demonstrate memoir writing, too.  (Photo is from Wiki Commons: User Frank Kovalchek)

When I was in 3rd grade, my mother was a single, working mom. This was pretty unusual in 1972. There were day care dramas and a slightly different lifestyle than my two-parent-household friends. It also meant she couldn't do the room mother thing at school, drive to field trips, etc. So I was really excited when she volunteered to be a Brownies troop leader. The other girls loved her and I was proud and a little possessive. But I never played on the relationship. Except once. Read more One of My Embarrassing Moments, Involving a Grass Skirt

My 8 Years Publishing Online--From Bloggit to BubbleWs and Beyond

I joined BubbleWs almost 8 years ago to the day I first started publishing online. I've tried many sites along the way. Content writers, join me for a trip down internet freelancing lane.


ChaCha--okay so not a content site, but it was my first foray into paid online work. I was one of the original beta guides after hearing about it on GMA (prior to that I'd been taking surveys to make $). You had to babysit the request buzzer and jump like a Ninja to answer requests. There was a faction of kids who'd ask for dumb things, just for fun. Oy, memories. I laugh when my kids say they're going to Chacha something. I made about $125, I think. Read on my 8-year online publishing resume.
My 8 Years Publishing Online--From Bloggit to BubbleWs

Do You Write Seven Days a Week? Why Breaks Are Better for Productivity

Do you write on +Bubblews or others sites seven days a week? Or do you take breaks? One perk about writing online, you can do it 24-7. The internet never closes. That's also a drawback. Driven people like me often don't know when to stop. Here are reasons why you should write only 5-6 days a week, instead of nonstop.  Do You Bubblews Seven Days a Week? Why Breaks Are Better

How to Write an Awesome Graduation Speech Students Will Remember

It's that time again: time for cap and gown, pomp and circumstance. Time to bid farewell to the graduating seniors. Do you have to write a graduation speech? It's a great honor, but it can be intimidating, too. Here are tips to write a graduation speech that leaves them speechless (with admiration, that is).

Remember K.I.S.S - Keep is short and simple. Whether you are a professional speech maker, seasoned veteran speaker or novice senior making giving your first public talk, use this rule of thumb. Make your point. Don't belabor to fill time. With graduation speeches, less is more and more is boring.  How to Write an Awesome Graduation Speech

Google-Friendly Ad Revenue Sites to Earn Money Blogging

I don't fully understand the magic that earns money from blogging. With ad revenue, it's the sweet spot of online freelancing. Since 2008, blog ads have supplemented my income--not just a little, $200-$800 a month. Here are free ad sites to monetize blogging. These aren't click fraudsters. They're Google-approved sites.Google-Friendly Ad Revenue Sites to Earn Money Blogging

Step Out of the Job Hunting Market; Think Divergent Employment

Unemployment is decreasing. Jobs are being created and the economy is improving. Or so we hear. I think such optimism premature and fanciful. Personal experience has shown me the way solvency in this quicksand economy isn't job hunting, college or even working a traditional job. Survival requires proactive, divergent thinking.

Step off the job-chase grid. I left my job teaching adult education in 1996 to homeschool. I re-entered the work force in 2005 and had to take classes to renew my teaching certificate. I couldn't find a job. I subbed, earning at most, $400 a week, before taxes, no benefits. I worked on-call and only when school was in session. Most weeks, I got 2-4 partial days. Earnings barely covered gas, insurance, vehicle costs, required business wardrobe and child care. I couldn't recoup tuition costs incurred to keep my license valid. Job-hunting for a permanent teaching slot cost me and meant missing subbing opportunities. Working put us in a higher tax bracket. We barely broke even. Even in my wealthy community, many are in similar situations. Here's what I did instead.   Step Out of the Job Hunting Market; Think Divergent Employment

Iambic Pentameter to Mary-Therese Sachteleben, Born and Died 1/5/2000

her eyes, green-gray still waters, do not cry
not mirror nor window of soul's
dark spaces,
guardians hold prisoner, secrets shy
in soft tranquil deep and twilight traces
her skin, like dogwood blossoms translucent
rose petal fair and water-lily pale
heaven-bound as nimbus, storm-cloud spent
fresh as a lamb, nested quiet in vale  (read more at Waterlily Rose Maiden)

Free Printable Preschool Story Starters, Picture Cue Writing Prompts

March 21 is World Poetry Day and April is National Poetry Month in the U.S. Teachers, why not celebrate in school by hosting creative writer workshops with students? Parents, you can do with kids at home or make activities part of a homeschool lessons. Here are free printable preschool story starters and picture cue writing prompts to get the ideas flowing.  Read more

Free Poetry Writing Prompts, Poem Games, Activities

April is National Poetry Month. For online writers, it's NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writer Month). And what better month to celebrate than April with spring awakening, nature busting out all over and Earth Day nestled in? Want to join the poem-penning but don't know where to begin? Here are poem writing prompts, story starters and word games to call forth your inner bard! Perfect for homeschooler parents, English and creative writing teachers. Free Poetry Writing Prompts, Poem Games, Activities

Stations of the Cross Art, Writing Activity

Catholics observe Lent in preparation for Easter. Lent culminates with Palm Sunday and then Holy Week. Maundy or Holy Thursday of holy week marks the beginning of the Easter Triduum: the final three days of Holy Week. At this liturgy, commemorating Christ's last supper with His disciples, the Eucharist was instituted with Jesus's exhortation: 'This is my body; take and eat. This is my blood; take and drink?" Why not explore this most sacred holy season in writing and art? Here's an activity to make a set of stations of the cross from the Bible. As you recreate Christ's Biblical walk to calvary visually, I encourage you to write corresponding prayers or devotions for each station. It might be in the form of a poem or haiku, too. Here's an example for the first station: Jesus is Condemned to Death

Font of Life, you chose
a criminal's death to heal
peccata mundi

Stations of the Cross Art, Writing Activity

Writing Ideas from Nobel Prize Literature Laureates

The list of Nobel Prize for Literature laureate authors makes an superb required reading list for an Literature, English, high school reading and even history class. I've compiled this list of world renown authors who've not only won the Nobel Prize, but also written works that have become well-known outside of the more esoteric Nobel Prize circles. I've chosen authors and works that will be of especial interest to students in high school and college. That's George Bernard Shaw to the left. His "Pygmalion" gave us the Audrey Hepburn film "My Fair Lady." It's almost Shakespearian in concept. When I teach literature, I try to find parallels from classics to more modern books. Students like bringing older stories and themes into modern contexts. For example, when I taught Romeo and Juliet, I had students create Myspace profiles (more popular social network then). Now I'd use Facebook or Twitter. Using social networks helps kids understand character webs and story maps. Lesson Plans from Nobel Prize Literature Laureates

A Happy Freelance Writer Moment

Freelance writing, like any other profession, can feel thankless and go-nowhere sometimes. Negative feedback from online trolls, lonliness from work-at-home environment, scrabbling for assignments, having to write stultifying content for word mills, forgoing work in the magnum  opii, in lieu of writing for less-interesting, paid jobs--I've done all these. Sometimes I feel ashamed for not pursuing my higher writer calls. But then it might just be that it's a grey gloomy day and I miss when kids were little. At any rate, we all little celebrations and I got one this weekend. I write a regular beat about local events in a major nearby city. I'd included a symphony orchestra chorale event. I was delighted to be contacted by a PR rep asking me to cover an upcoming concert and offering me complimentary tickets to the event. It's to be hosted at the magnificent Detroit Symphony Orchestra hall. My husband, daughter and I will be able to visit with our son who lives there and take him to the ensemble production as well. I love these kind of exchanges--arts and culture for my work. And it honors and humbles me to know my work is read and appreciated and that I'm getting a name in the journalism field. It just reminds me that if I'm passionate about what I do, if I do it to the best of my ability, if I cast good bread upon the waters, sometimes it comes back ten-fold! Blessings to you in your endeavors!

Al-Anon Slogans for Coping with Stress: Easy Does It

I just had a major meltdown the other day. When I was a younger mom, I had them more frequently. I'd been doing so much better and it makes me mad that I had one. But I know now to look to the source of the problem. And I found it--pushing myself too hard. After talking to husband and kids (and apologizing profusely), they all said that I didn't rest enough. I'm trained as teacher but can't find a job, so I write online. Since I started this job we've been able to dig out of debt, thanks be the higher power I choose to call God. I'm glad we don't owe and I'm terrified of going back there. So I push myself--hard. As my oldest says, my reward to myself for a day of work is more work. Not good. I cracked. So I went back to my Al-Anon roots to see where I went wrong. Alanon and AA, or Alcoholics Anonymous have wonderful and witty slogans that I use to guide my life.

For coping with stress, worry and tension, I remembered 'Easy Does It'. Another version of this slogan says, 'Easy does it does it Best." If I'm constantly driving myself to achieve more, I'm hardly taking it easy! So writers, let's meditate on the wisdom of "Easy Does it" so we don't drive ourselves and everyone crazy, but most importantly so we can learn to say "well done" instead of "damn you, lazy person! You're a failure!" (those are my old self-messages--perhaps you're familiar with them. It's time you and I started being nice to ourselves, right? For more on this subject, click  Al-Anon Slogans for Coping with Stress: Easy Does It 

Free Printable Homemade Valentines Cards

Valentine's Day card exchanges are a rite of passage in preschool and elementary school. Homeschool groups, scout troops and religious education classes often exchange cards, too. Here are free printable DIY valentines to share. These free printable valentines come courtesy of Family Fun magazine. What's more fun than Valentine's Day card exchanges? Making your own valentine's that look completely different than everyone else's! Write special verses and spread the love!  Free Printable DIY Valentine's Day Card Crafts for Children 

Free Printable Romantic Poety, Cards for Valentines

Valentine's Day cards aren't just for children. We can all enjoy the fun of sending and receiving little greetings and notes or cheer during this cold, dark season of winter. Here are a variety of websites featuring free e-cards, printable poems and valentine cards for adults to share with each other. Many of the sites feature cards to send to sweethearts and lovers and are sensual or romantic. Free Romantic and Valentine's E-Cards for Adults

Octomom Nadya Suleman's Welfare Points to System Fails--Sample Op/Ed

"Octomom" Nadya Suleman, single mom of 14 including octuplets, is back on welfare. TMZ reports that the money she earned from masturbation porn and stripping is gone. Last year, Suleman declared bankruptcy and entered rehab. Those drained her funds, too. The State of California awarded her $2,800 a month in food stamps and emergency cash. She's getting Med-Cali (Medicaid) for dental and mental health help, too.
Octomom Nadya Suleman on Welfare Again--Downward Spiral

Best Free Online Spelling, Vocabulary Games to Boost Reading Skills

I have a confession to make--I love online word games. For all the articles I write warning parents and kids about the dangers of obsessive game playing, I admit that there are advantages. Playing word games helps boost my visual tracking, perceptual acuity and typing skills (or so I tell myself). Mostly, I use them as a brain break from writing and research. Here are the best word games I've found that are free. Free Word Games Online

Writers' Workshop, Reading Response Journal Lesson Plan

Do we agree that in school, teachers rely too much on paper-and-pencil activities? Students spend endless hours in rote memorization, fill-in-the-blank activities and pointless time fillers. Do we agree that worksheets are boring and meaningless?  In my 25 year teaching career, I have agonized about this waste not only of paper, but more importantly of student brain power.  I've explored ways to make schoolwork more real and less 'ditto-based' (Dittos are what we called worksheets in the medieval days of Spirit Master copy machines.) Here's a list of alternatives for Writers' Workshop and book reports that are anything-but-boring worksheet activities.  Read more

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Freelance writer, Top 100 Yahoo! Voices, Yahoo! News, Shine, Michigan, Detroit), blogger, teacher, mom of 4, happily married 25 years. Graduated GVSU 1986, psychology/general education and special education. continuing ed up to present. Certified MI teacher. Writing Michigan history mystery, children's Gothic fantasy. Areas of expertise: education, relationships, mental health, nutrition, history, world cultures. Passions: faith, Catholic church, sustainable living, interfaith initiatives, living simply that others might simply live. Working on MA in EI education. 

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