April 11 – Newspaper

newspaper.4-11-16Hi and Happy Monday.  Today’s writing prompt is Newspaper. I have loved newspapers for as long as I can remember so this is an easy topic to write about. I still like to read news from an actual paper, not online. I suppose I am still old school in that way.

I like the crinkle of the pages, getting ink on my fingers, and passing sections back and forth. I often skim a few sections and then go back and re-read the items that interest me.

When I was in high school, I wrote a teen column for the city newspaper.  It was a great learning experience for me and lots of fun. My love of writing and journalism grew then. While in college, I was the editor of our student newspaper and enjoyed that as well. My staff and I started a few columns and items of interest. Although it was a lot of work, we had a great time. Each issue was a major accomplishment to finish.

Then, after graduating, I had my first professional job at a newspaper. It was a small town paper started during the Great Depression. It was published once a week and later upped to two issues per week. A lot of people in town didn’t think we had enough news to fill two papers. That struck me as funny and charming.  And, we always managed to fill each issue and have plenty of advertising.

It was the best place for me to learn. I had an amazing beat and met fascinating people. I loved working there, learned about verifying facts, and listened to judges explaining things off the record. Both the newspaper publisher and editor took me under their wings and helped me soar. I can never thank either of them enough for guiding me on my journey.

I lived and breathed the freedom of the press for several years, made amazing contacts, wrote news articles without bias (as much as possible), conducted interviews with the new slate of county commissioners, and went to meetings regarding building a new county jail. I was so very fortunate to learn so much.

People in the community enjoyed talking to me since I was fair and accurate. That meant the world to me. I was a reporter and wrote articles about meetings, trials, and feature pieces. It was the era of clear lines between news and editorial/opinion pieces. These days are long gone but I am glad I learned when this was still the case.

The only problem was the salary was barely enough to live on. I later went on to work as a technical writer and finally in a public relations office. I was fortunate to work for almost 20 years in my field of writing. I know how rare that is and am thankful each day.

When I travel, I always buy a newspaper or two.  I love to find out the uniqueness of each community and its people.  It is a great way to learn about different parts of the country or other countries. My parents traveled recently to Paris and Monaco. They brought back papers from both places for me. Although I cannot read them, I can get the gist of what is being reporting.

A few quotes about newspapers:

  • “A newspaper is not just for reporting the news as it is, but to make people mad enough to do something about it.”– Mark Twain
  • “And so it is to the printing press–to the recorder of man’s deeds, the keeper of his conscience, the courier of his news–that we look for strength and assistance, confident that with your help man will be what he was born to be: free and independent.”– John F. Kennedy
  • “If you don’t hit a newspaper reader between the eyes with your first sentence, there is no need of writing a second one. ”  — Arthur Brisbane

I wonder if I will write again for a newspaper? I would truly enjoying doing so and will have to look into just that.

A few notes: I will try to write more regularly in the coming months. The last few have been extremely busy for me. Hopefully things will soon calm down.  Also, the image is clip art from Power Point. Take care and God Bless!

10 things I love

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAI often think of people when I say the word love, but there are some things and activities that I love to do and participate in.  And, some things that I am privileged to have.

Here is a list of 10 of them.  I will be writing another list again soon.

  1. To laugh.  I have loved laughing for as long as I can remember.  I love to hear Kirk and Ian laugh as well.  Funny TV shows or a funny movie can make me laugh.  Also, jokes and stories from family and friends make me laugh. Earlier today we watched the movie, “Mom’s Night Out.”  It was silly, funny, and I truly enjoyed it.  When I was younger, my sister, two dear friends, and I created a club in which we loved to laugh and often did.  We knew the importance of being silly and for that, I am forever grateful.
  2. Having a garage on a cold and snowy day, or on a day when it’s pouring rain.  I have lived a few places with no garage but instead a parking space. That is fine on a sunny day, but when it’s 8 degrees outside, it is so nice to not have to wait for 5 minutes while the car warms up.  Earlier this week, we enjoyed the benefit of our garage. Our garage truly makes me feel spoiled.
  3. Cub Scouts and sharing that with Ian.  I have several family members who have been in scouting for a while so I was aware of it.  However, being involved has been more than I could have imagined.  Ian has learned a lot, has grown and blossomed, and made some great friends.  The first year the parents are required to be involved and I have really enjoyed it too.  Soon, we will be doing the Pinewood Derby Race.  That will also be lots of fun. The photo is a scouting outing to the bowling alley.
  4. Stories.  I can’t imagine my life without words and stories. I grew up listening to stories created by my grandfather and absolutely loved them.  He was an amazing influence on my love of stories.  He was also a great writer who I have learned a lot from.  I think my writing is similar to his and that makes me smile.  Ian is quite good at making stories up as well.  That makes me super happy.
  5. Writing. This is something else that I cannot imagine not having the opportunity to do.  As I mentioned when I started this blog, I didn’t write at all for about a year after Ian was born.  Then one day, I realized that something was missing.  So I starting writing again and that helped.  My outlet of getting my thoughts and feelings out there was again in business!  I have worked as a writer and now really enjoy blogging and doing other writing.  And, I am working on ideas for a few books.  It is one of my dreams to have a book or two published.
  6. Reading. My life has been so enriched by the love of books and reading.  I also like magazines and newspapers as well.  I am thrilled that Ian too loves to read.  We started him out very young and are so happy that we did.  Now seeing him read and listening to a special story is a great way to spend some special time.  Some of my favorite books as a child were “The Little House on the Prairie” series, “The Secret Garden,” and almost anything by Dr. Seuss.
  7. Watching TV – both current shows and classics.  I am a TV girl for sure.  I like a variety of shows and always watch the news in the morning and evenings.  I am one who follows a few shows very faithfully.  Some of my favorites are “The Good Wife,”  “Madam Secretary,” “Downton Abbey,” “Chicago Fire,” “Magnum, P.I.,” “Diagnosis Murder,” “Murder She Wrote,” “Hot In Cleveland,” “Hart to Hart,” “Scorpion,” and “Mike and Molly.”  I like a wide variety and enjoy tuning in.
  8. Soap Operas and magazine.  Okay, I will admit that along with reading and writing and liking PBS shows, I also like my soaps.  I have been watching “Days Of Our Lives” for years.  This show will celebrate 50 years of being on the air soon and that is cool.  Generations can watch the never-ending saga and drama.  It may be repetitive at times but I still like it.  And, 20 years ago, Mom and I got to visit the studio, so that was a lot of fun.  Now there are four daytime soaps left. I keep up with them in the Soap Opera Digest.
  9. Photography and photo gifts. I love pictures and enjoy capturing special moments. My sister has made me several fabulous photo books — one of the first year of Ian’s life and then from our special vacation spot.  My mother has made several great calendars — the most recent of our childhood home.   I always have my camera at family gatherings and also try to shoot nature and other things that interest me.  And, I love old photos of our family and friends.  It is so fun to look back at my grandparent’s honeymoon dessert photo, my sister and brother and I in our 70s or 80s finest, and a very old photo from childhood of us sitting on Grandpa’s lap for a special story.
  10. Singing and dancing.  Music has always been in my life and I love that.  I love to sing and dance.  Whether it’s the radio, singing hymns at church, or the choir, I love singing.  This season of “American Idol” has some good talent.  I haven’t watched this in a while but have enjoyed the first few audition shows.  For dancing, I like the 80s and 90s dance music the best — “Vogue,” “The Electric Slide,” and “Push It” are some of my faves.  I also like a few by Earth, Wind and Fire, Stevie Wonder, En Vogue, C&C Music Factory, Janet Jackson, and the list goes on.

Some of my listing may seem trivial or silly.  However, I have learned in life to find things that I am happy with and that I like.  And, I love what I love.  I hope that you do as well.  After all, we all have our favorites.  Some are sports fanatics, others like the soaps, some like reality shows, and others like talk radio.

What is on your list?  I would love to hear about some of the things that you love!  Please share them with me and our readers.

Homework and Quizzes

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA“Mom, first grade is hard work,” Ian told me yesterday afternoon.  He said that as he was finishing his homework.  “Yes it is Ian,” I said, nodding in agreement.

“I don’t like this homework, Mom,” he added.  “Ian, I understand, but you can do it and you are a smart boy.”  He seemed to like hearing that. “And, your job is to learn and part of that job is homework,” I explained.

Homework.  I remember it well from my days in school.  Some days the backpack was very heavy.  Speaking of backpacks, while we were eating dinner, Ian asked me, “Mom, did they have backpacks when you were in school?”  I told him, “Yes there were backpacks.”

He also informed me that a boy said he wouldn’t be doing his homework.  I told Ian that wasn’t a choice for him.  He will be doing the homework that is given to him.  I also said that boy will more than likely get in trouble with his teacher if he doesn’t do it.  “Ian, your homework helps you with learning and is part of your grade,” I told him. He seemed to get that.

So the routine of homework each night begins.  It is taking some getting used to but I know that he will get used to it.  We just need a few weeks to adjust to this new routine. The nice thing is that his teacher is primarily giving homework from Monday night to Thursday night, so we will have a break on the weekend.  At least for now.  We will certainly do our best to enjoy that!

This week, he has one book to read each evening.  A piece of paper comes with the book, for the student to initial, a parent to initial, how the book was read (by self, with parent, or by parent), and how long it took to read it.  We read his book for school and were done very quickly.

Before he read the book from class, he spent 45 minutes reading a chapter book, Star Wars: The Clone Wars.  He had picked this out at the school library.  I helped him sound out words, but a lot of them he did guessing on. Clearly he loves to read and is doing very well with that.

I have to say I am very proud of him and love to hear him read.  It is an amazing gift that we started back when he was a baby and we signed him up for Imagination Library.  That is a program that is fantastic and provides books to children from birth to 5 years old, at no cost to the family. It was a great way to instill the love of reading.  We also regularly went to the library and have been reading to him ever since.

The thing that is new is the word study or spelling.  Each week, we will receive a list of words to work on with our child.  Then on Friday, there will be a quiz.  This week the quiz is a day early, on Thursday, so there isn’t as much time to prepare.  He is familiar with all of the words so he should do fine.  This afternoon, we will do a practice quiz.

Each evening we have been practicing and that so far seems to be working well. After school, he gets his snack and has a short break, and then right to the practice/homework time.  I told him we have to do that before time to play.  He may complain some but is understanding this is the way it will be done.

I wonder how the rest of our first week of real homework will go?  I think it will be fine.

5 Minute Friday – Write

5minutefridayHi and Happy Friday!

Today’s Five Minute Friday word is Write.

Here are the rules:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community…

No Go…

POD_July.31_Workspace.1I love to write!  Just absolutely love it!

Writing is something I have always done and still love it.  It is a passion and was also a vocation for many years.  It is something that I am at times driven to do and must do.

I enjoy writing blogs about things I think about, short stories, poems, and a variety of other items.  I have also written a play and wrote many news articles for the newspaper where I worked.  I have also enjoyed doing interviews.

My dream is to write a children’s book and I have some great ideas.  I just need to find the time to get my ideas down.  I also want to write a historical fiction novel.  That too is in the initial stages.

Some people say that writing is hard but usually for me it comes easily. There are days when nothing inspires me or comes to mind.  I suppose that is the time when it isn’t easy for me.  I suppose I need to try anyway and work through it.

My son is now learning to write letters and learning to read.  I am so excited for him and all of the new things that he will be able to do.  It is truly an exciting time that I am privileged to be a part of.

He has already written a few great short stories and has a great imagination!

I wonder what my next writing will be?  I look forward to finding out.


I wanted to add a few quotes about Writing:

  • “And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise.  The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt. ” ~Sylvia Plath
  • “Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.”  ~E.L. Doctorow
  • “A word is not the same with one writer as with another.  One tears it from his guts.  The other pulls it out of his overcoat pocket.” ~Charles Peguy
  • “If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”  ~Toni Morrison
  • “Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.”  ~William Wordsworth

To read other postings, please click on http://lisajobaker.com/2013/10/five-minute-friday-write/.

August 11 — I Love Doing This!

POD_August 11_I.love.doing.this!Hi and Happy Sunday.

Today is another lazy and rainy Sunday.  Time to read, eat a few good meals with family, rest, and watch television,

The photo challenge for today is I Love Doing This!  I have a ton of stuff that I could choose for this since I love doing so many things.

My picture shows a keyboard and my journal for my love of writing.  The books are for my love of reading.  These are two of my most favorite things to do.

I also like to spend time with family and friends, cook in my kitchen with my son and husband, watch movies, listen to music and dance, sing, take walks, watch the ocean, walk in the sand, color, play with my son, do word finds, enjoy a sunset, and hang out at the beach.

There are so many other things that I could list, but  instead I think I’ll get back to doing them.  How about you?

What things do you love to do?  I’d love to hear some ideas.  Hope you have a great rest of the day and weekend!

July 24 – D Is For… Darts

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAWell, just one more week left of July.  Where has the month gone?  It sure has flown by!!

This will be the first month since I started my blog that I have posted something each day.  It has been fun and has kept me on my toes.  It has been very nice to write a little bit each day and also practice using my new camera.  I am not sure how long I can keep this up but I have enjoyed it!

To you my readers, do you like reading something new each day?  Do you like looking at new pictures each day? I may continue the photo-a-day into August and see how it goes.

Today’s Photo-A-Day is D is For…  I chose darts.  I thought these made for a cool picture.  What do you think?

These are on the wall at my in-law’s house.  They are now more for decoration than anything.  You can see from all the holes on the dartboard that they weren’t just for decoration.  This board has seen some throws.

There were many things that I could have chosen from for today but this one just looked like a fun picture to me.

Hope you have a great Wednesday!

We Love To Read

“To read is to fly: it is to soar to a a point of vantage which gives a view over wide terrains of history, human variety, shared experience and the fruits of many inquiries.” — A.C. Grayling

“The habit of reading is the only enjoyment in which there is no alloy; it lasts when all other pleasures fade.” — Anthony Trollope

“If you can read this, thank a teacher.” — Anonymous teacher

“The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” — Dr. Seuss

“Children are made readers on the laps on their parents.” — Emile Buchwald

One of my favorite things to do is sit and read a good book. How about you?

A comfy chair or couch, or the beach, a good drink (depending on the temperature and weather, it could be a cold glass of water or hot cocoa), and a real book.  Ah bliss.  I like hard or soft bound books and ones with interesting art on the cover and a great story inside.  I still haven’t converted over the E-Books — at least not yet.

I enjoy being transported into another place and watching the characters deal with issues or learn something new about themselves. Some of my favorite authors are Carol Higgins Clark, Danielle Steel, David Baldacci, John Grisham, Wendy Corsi Staub, Jane Green, and Nora Roberts.  And, I have recently discovered Karen McQuestion and Jane Porter.

When I was younger, I loved Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “Little House on the Prairie” series as well as “The Chronicles of Narnia” by C.S. Lewis, and “The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett was another childhood favorite.

I also enjoy biographies of people such as Eleanor Roosevelt, Amy Grant, Julie Andrews, Susan Boyle, Ricky Martin, and Dean Martin as well as many, many other fascinating people.  And the story of Anne Frank is truly sad and moving. Finding out what makes people tick and their life history is truly fascinating to me.

I also enjoy reading my soap magazine to find out about the actors who tell the stories that I so enjoy.  And, it’s been fun that I have met a few of them through the years.  As you see, I have a wide variety of tastes.

And, now having a 4-year-old soon-to-be reader, I have enjoyed seeing his love for books!  He too enjoys pouring over a book and studying all about them.  And, once he hears a story read to him, he can then read it back to himself.

One of our favorites is Richard Scarry.  Ian can spend hours as I used to do looking at all of the animals on the page, the cool cars, and fascinating stories and characters.  And, he has recently discovered Dr. Seuss!  He loves “The Foot Book,” “The Sleep Book,” and “Yertle the Turtle” among many, many titles.  I think that these two are the best children’s authors.

Each month of his life, Ian has been getting a book as part of the Imagination Library.  God bless Dolly Parton for sharing the love of reading with so many people in Tennessee and other states!  Ian has looked forward to these books each month and we now have quite a collection.  His last book will be the month he turns 5 years old.  That will be sad but maybe Kirk and I can start our own collection for him.  Kirk too loves to read.

And, each month in the mail, Ian gets his High Five magazine which he really likes.  It is neat for him to be excited about a magazine and all of the great stories inside and funny things to look at!  Thanks to my parents for the subscription.

Each week we like to go to our city library.  Ian will often ask to go since he enjoys playing there with toys and puzzles, renting movies, as well as checking out a pile of books.  Right now we have three videos and 20 books checked out.  Among these are “Harry, the Dirty Dog,” “The Sneetches and other stories,” The Caboose Who Got Loose,” “Where the Wild Things Are,” and a few for me as well.

This summer our library will have its yearly reading program.   We signed up Ian a few years ago and read many, many books to him.  He loved it and the summer ended with a great party in the park behind the library.  A fun time, that’s for sure.

I have several friends who have published books.  It is an honor to know people who have been published since I know the hard work involved.  I hope to join this club one day!  In addition to my love of reading, I hope to be an author.  I really want to write a children’s book as well as a novel.  I am currently working on ideas and look forward to seeing what develops.

What books do you like?  What authors can you lose time with while being transported to another place and time?  Please share these with me and our other readers!

I Love To Write

Good morning and Happy Wednesday!  I was just on Facebook and wrote in response to some e-mails back and forth to my sister that I love to write and can’t imagine not writing.  And that is the truth. So I decided to expand on that in my blog.

I remember in high school and the first years of college trying to decide what my major would be and what I’d do for my life’s work.  Nothing really seemed like the right fit for me except for writing.  While in high school, I wrote a column for teens that appeared in the local newspaper once a week.  That was a lot of fun and gave me a taste of what was to be a lifelong love of writing.

I decided to pursue writing and had some great opportunities in college to continue this love.  I was the editor of the college paper my senior year.   That was an amazing experience.  After 4 years of amazing experiences, I received a Bachelor of Arts in Communications with an emphasis in Journalism.

Then it was time to find a job.  I applied all over the country and after a few months of frustration, received a job offer from a small weekly newspaper in our county seat.  I started as a very green general assignment reporter for The Courier-News.  I felt so blessed to start at a small paper so I was able to cover some amazing things — criminal trials, the county commission, the building of a new jail, and a day in the life of a paramedic.

The most amazing thing was learning first hand how to be a fair and accurate reporter from the man who founded this newspaper in 1930.  His name was Horace V. Wells and he was incredible.  For example, when the city’s high school was integrated, it was the first in the state to do so.  He was in favor of integration and told people if they didn’t like what he said about it, they should start their own paper.

For a person starting out her career, this advice and mentoring was amazing and something I will never forgot.  When Mr. Wells passed away, it was difficult to say goodbye to this man of such great integrity in a business where that is sometimes hard to find.

After three years of very little pay but amazing skills now under my belt, I went on to technical writing.  This type of writing could be boring at times but provided me with new opportunities and many new and lasting relationships.

My favorite tech writing job was in a communications office where I edited news releases, posted them to the web site, interviewed and wrote stories for the employee newsletter, and helped prepare presentations and speeches. There was never a dull moment, that’s for sure.

After years of doing that, I became pregnant.  So a new chapter of my life and my writing was to begin.  I went back to work at the end of my maternity leave and decided I couldn’t be away from our son all day and miss out on his young life.  So, my husband and I decided that I would be a stay-at-home mom and I turned in my resignation.

After I’d been home with Ian for a while, I realized that I had worked in the field of my major for nearly 18 years.  I felt so humbled and truly blessed at that idea!  It was amazing to think of since I never expected that.

The next few years after that, I didn’t write much at all.  I was so busy with adjusting to life with a new baby and very little sleep that I didn’t miss it.  Then one day, all of that changed, and I woke up and thought something is missing.  I hadn’t had my outlet of writing in ages.  So, I decided to make a change.

Last fall I started this blog and I am loving the chance to write again.  I truly appreciate my readers and followers and friends and family who have been so supportive. You all rock!

And, about a month ago now, I attended a Writer’s Conference which was another amazing experience.  This was all about creative writing and giving ideas to people for help in writing poems, fiction, memoirs, and other items.

I met some kindred spirits who will be friends for a long time I think.  It was great to meet people who have the same interests as me but a totally different experience and facet of their life. Now I am working on the first aspects of a novel, a variety of stories, and continue writing two to three times a week on this blog.

Again it is humbling and incredible to realize that for so many years, I was able to work in the field I truly had a passion for.  And, frankly couldn’t have imagined doing things any differently.  Thank you Lord for this blessing!!  I truly do appreciate it.

I would love to hear from you about what has been a passion or something you have enjoyed doing.  Please post them!

Practicing Numbers

Today Ian has been focusing on writing numbers.

He is doing a very good job! As you can see from this picture, he wrote the numbers 1-12.

We have flash cards that we have been looking at as well.  He told me a few minutes ago what each number from 1 to 10 was.  Then on the back of the card, there are that number of items (such as kites, frogs, alligators, and red wagons).

He is having fun learning new things but sometimes get frustrated since he wants to know how to do it correctly the first time.  We are doing our best to encourage him to practice and realize that since he is learning, it doesn’t have to be perfect at first.

The learning adventure continues! I wonder what else we will learn today. I can’t wait to find out.  If you have kids who are continuing to learn, I hope you enjoy that adventure as much as I do.

Writing his name

I just had to share something that is very exciting for a mom of a 4 year old.

My son Ian has been practicing writing his name this morning.

He is doing a great job but having some trouble with the n.  And, as a result he is getting frustrated.  He seems to think he needs to know how to do this right off the bat.

I am encouraging him to keep practicing and that it will get better.  And, I do hope that he believes me!

On one of his tries, he wrote the I and the a and then drew a picture of an angel. A great picture I must say.

And, a friend of ours is also working with him.  This should be a fun day!

I should get back to watch his amazing little mind at work.

I wonder if I can focus on much else today. Not right now at least!