Category Archives: General Thoughts

General thoughts and random ramblings

If We Were Having Coffee on the 7th of December, 2019


Hello and Welcome!  Come on in and I’ll get you a nice large mug of super strong dark roast, a cuppa tea, hot cocoa or other warm beverage.  Watch the ice!  Enough snow for you?  Here you go.  Oh, where are we?  Some of you may know by the photo at the top that we are in snow New Hampshire.

I didn’t have a coffee share last weekend because I was traveling back from Northern Maine.  I did a post about Maine if you want to know more. It was visiting in-laws.  We had six inches or so of snow on Thanksgiving morning, so I shoveled around the cars and such before the plow truck came.  It is beautiful up there, and the snow made it even prettier! Continue reading

The Weekly Smile Recap 11/18 – 11/25/2019


Hi all.  It’s time to look back at all of the smiles posted over the last week :)  If you need something to smile about, just click one of the links.  Or all!

Trent’s World
Poetry, Short Prose and Walking
Life Lessons from Around the Dinner Table
Tessa Can Do It! Positivity is Catching!
Nut House Central
Ruth Scribbles
Sagittarius Viking
Beckie’s Mental Mess
Change is Hard

Not the most smiles in a week, but still all great!

I will post this week’s smile in about an hour.

What made you smile?

Blogging Break…

windowI was planning on taking a blogging break over Thanksgiving, since I will be traveling, but I sort of started it early… I haven’t been able to read many blogs in the last few days and missed posting on Tuesday.  OK, I can start early, no problem :)  I will be on and off over the next couple of weeks, will try to keep up with comments and the weekly smile, but won’t be around as much as usual.

See you all in December!

The Weekly Smile for the 18th of November, 2019 #weeklysmile


Last week was a pretty good.  Nothing huge or super, but good.  Some of what happened sounds like it would make for a great smile, such as the woman we asked to speak to our Lions Club about time in Kenya, but I don’t want to go into too much depth since I didn’t tell her I’d blog about her. There was also the after effects of last week’s smile – hours in the studio playing and recording music, but I just talked about it last week so…  I had a couple of great runs, some of my best since summer.  There was the usual play time with the dogs, including running around a big field near the school – but I want some photos for a dog play post :) It was my six year blog anniversary (blogaversary) and I had a great blog-week. But not a big, I need to write about this event.

You know what? I am going to do another “it’s the small things” post.

It is the small things. We cannot be constantly ecstatic.  Life has ups and downs. There can’t be major events every week or those special events become just normal events. Life is not a series of great achievements but a continuous path.  Sometimes there are hard uphills, but there are also great views. Parts of the path may e lined with thorns, but sometimes there are flowers on those thorns. Biggest cliche in the Universe, but maybe we need to slow down, look across those views and stop to smell the flowers :) Continue reading

The Weekly Smile Recap 11/11 – 11/17/2019


There were a few glitches in my smile post last week, but we seemed to have gotten back on track after the WP mess was straightened out.  All of the smiles are great, as usual :) If you need a smile, click on one of the links below:

Trent’s World
Nut House Central
The Jesh Studio
Sagittarius Viking
Ruth Scribbles
Poetry, Short Prose and Walking
Colline’s Blog
Beckie’s Mental Mess
Tessa Can Do It! Positivity is Catching!
Change is Hard

This week’s smile will be posted soon!

What made you smile?

If We Were Having Coffee on the 16th of November, 2019

Coffee in NH with Moog

Hello and Welcome! Come on in and I’ll get you a mug of very strong Dark Roast (my personal blend ;) ), a cuppa tea or other beverage.  It is still a bit cold, but will warm up a little today. Right now it is sunny and beautiful!  We did have a cold and windy week.  In my state we saw down to -17 F with winds over 100 mph! Of course that was the top of Mt. Washington. It only felt that cold and windy here ;)  Where are we? I gave it away, but for those who didn’t guess or don’t know the photo at the top, I am in New Hampshire today.

This week I tried to stay warm ;)  I worked.  I played with the dogs, as always.  I took long walks. I read. I wrote. I finished my studio reorg and played some music.  Last night I started to work on my first piece of new music in the “new” studio :) I ran and exercised. I went to Lions Club. We had a guest who talked about her 11 years in Kenya, which was interesting.  I have several African friends on the blog, but nobody from that part of the continent.  Continue reading

Six Years

Dabble - Sketch by Trent P McDonald

On Monday evening I received a notice from Word Press that it was my blog’s anniversary, “blogaversary”. It was on November 11, 2013 that I put up my first post. My first post was awful.  I thought of a blog like an online magazine with “articles” instead of as social media with “posts”.

I had no idea what I was going to do when I started. Over the years I have had many photo posts, “compassion” posts, smile posts :), posts with my original drawing and painting, music posts, personal experience posts, coffee-shares (starting in early 2014!), etc.  Just a wide variety of random things. An eclectic blog.

One thing, though: three of my first ten posts were book reviews.  Also in my first ten was an inspirational piece that pushed towards creativity. Between posts #10 and #15 there were three other posts about writing or creativity (total of 4 of 15) and post #15 was my first short story that I posted here. Posts 20 and 21 were also short stories. Little did I know that I would eventually post hundreds of stories, several serialized novellas and three serialized novels! OK, 3 1/2 including “Frank” ;) Continue reading

Silly Question on Blurbs


About two months ago I wrote a blurb for The Old Mill.  It wasn’t quite right, so I did a few changes.  Much better.  But then I noticed something.

The blurb was in present tense.

Even though most of my fiction is in past tense, I always write the first draft of my blurbs in present tense, though occasionally I have done an odd mix of tenses (ugh…).  One of the pluses about being in present tense, if I ask questions at the end of the blurb, they can be in present tense or future tense and seem fine: “With Amesbury entering a new “time of dying”, seemingly at the hands of the long dead Thomas Goode, the man said to be responsible for the first “time of dying” in 1821, will Gill succeed and perhaps drive off the black clouds, or will the evil forces streaming out of the Goode Mill, the Old Mill, win, destroying everything, and everyone, that he holds most dear?”. If the blurb is in past tense, can I ask such a question? You know, the action has already been resolved…

So a quick question for you: Should a blurb for a book written in past tense be in the past tense, or does writing it in present tense make sense?

After I write this, I will spend some time on Amazon and see what others have done, but I’d like to hear your opinion as well.

Guest author: Trent P. McDonald ~ The Mad Quest in Fiction

I was a guest blogger over on Sue Vincent’s blog yesterday talking about quests and inner journeys. Check it out!

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

Our way forward could only be half guessed across the almost vertical gash of loose dirt and stone, the aftereffects of a major landslide. The slide had erased what little path there had been and I couldn’t see a safe way across. Just a little way down the slide path from us, the loose stone stopped and the open air began. I sniffed the wind.

“What do you think?” Merla asked.

“I don’t smell or hear anything. What do you see?”

“The path is totally gone, but I can see a way across, not easy, but doable. Let’s go. But, please, be careful!”

Merla picked her way first. I followed close behind, trying to place my feet exactly where hers had been, knowing she had a sense of the path that I couldn’t match. It wasn’t easy and, with the sun beating down on me, I began to…

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If We Were Having Coffee on the 9th of November


Hello and Welcome!  Come on in and I’ll get you a nice large mug of a very strong dark roast, a cuppa tea or other warm beverage.  It is a little nippy out there, but it will warm up later.  And where are we?  I haven’t used the photo at the top often, but some of you may recognize it as being in New Hampshire.

I have to say I don’t have time for a long visit. I was just told that I had to go to an emergency School meeting for our town.  I have a hair cut appointment today. I haven’t been able to run in almost two weeks and today was the day I was supposed to run, but right now I’m not sure if I’ll have time. I hate that it is dark by 5! Continue reading