Adventure, Friends, I-L, Writing

Imaginary Friends


Writers of fiction are those who never outgrow their imaginary friends.

We embrace them, coddle them and try to talk (write) them through their problems.

One of the delightful parts of being a writer is that you are never truly alone. The more you write your characters, the more they become a part of your life.

One of the more difficult parts of writing fiction is that your list of friends grows over the years. They get more demanding of your time and they compete with each other.

So now I’m scheduling playdates.

Redwood National Park

Today Jeremy will find out what jungle he’s lost in. Tomorrow Kel will finally get off that cliff he’s been clinging to for over a month. Perhaps on Monday, Sparky and I will figure out where we left off and what he’s supposed to do next.

If I’ve been absent for a while it’s because the fictional playdates run over. Sometimes they run over play time for the menagerie, but never for long. Dog, cats, and bunnies make sure they get their time.140412 -  - medium-13V__C8C4

Sometimes I see actual living people and do things in the real world as opposed to the ones I create.

One of my favorite groups for learning and doing is the Mountaineers. Totally cool people, doing totally cool stuff. I highly recommend them for anyone who wants some time away from the keyboard.

My imaginary friends find me flat and boring if I don’t constantly embrace experience, research and the learning of new skills. They’re always challenging me to take the next leap.

My “real” friends also want time. Since the “real” friends are totally cool, fascinating people, I make room for them too. Every new person I meet adds to the richness of my life.

I fall in love with all sorts of people all the time. I have found that life can be equally as fun away from the computer screen and the worlds that you control.

As for the imaginary friends, most of them have to wait in line. They are given a notecard, a short bio, perhaps a problem or two and then they go in the card box. Some are screaming to get out onto pages of their own.

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Perhaps when Kel is off his cliff and Sparky finds out who “Fire Guy” is, one of them will have their chance.

As to the rest of you who inhabit the “real” world, please feel free to call me friend. I won’t make you take a number or shove you in a box for I know in the “real” world each friend I have can touch my soul and make me fly. And that gives all those voices in the card file a better chance at life.


Bengal Cat Pictures, Exercise, I-L, Writing

I Want…


Wanting, needing, desiring are all part of human nature. From the time we are born, we want and need to be fed and sheltered. “Want” and “Need” intertwine.

As very young toddlers, what we want runs into a resounding “No”.

For most of our developmental years, we’re taught need and want are different.

You need to do your homework. You want a shiny new bicycle. Later…You need a job (to pay your bills), and you want a shiny new car.

There’s a general consensus of what people need, but when you ask people what they want you’re likely to get two different types of answers.

Answer 1: World peace, the end of genocide, the end of disease and hunger, eternal youth, the end of global warming, clean air and education for all.

Answer 2: Car, boat, diamonds, the newest game, the newest of anything, losing weight and looking better.

I propose taking this want down to a personal level, but beyond the material.

What I want should start with the question of who do I want to be?

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Yes, Who do you want to be? What do you value most? Are you living in harmony with those values?

Do you know what they are? Have you thought about them lately? Do you know the path you need to take?

If you aren’t already trying to attain them, are you willing to make the five minute commitment towards them? (See post of February 16, 2015 if you aren’t sure how the five minute commitment can propel you to success.)

There are many ways to clarify what is most important to you and many books written by many people on the many paths one can take to realize those goals. If you check your library or book store you will find a barrage of suggestions and ideas.

I have a few suggestions of my own, but first the traditional questions:

If you had a week, a month or just a few months left to live, what would you do?

How do you want to be remembered when you are gone?

For the religious: What accounting of your life do you wish to make to your god or religion? What would you like your divine judgment to be?

My own take on the long list of questions to ask yourself includes the following:

A pari of bengals

What do you value most? How do you do your part in what you value most? Make a list of the values first. Maybe you wish to live your life with integrity, authenticity, honesty, perseverance, living in accord with your religious beliefs, money, success, fame, or maybe you wish to find eternal life in what you pass on to the next generation.

What moves you? Inspires you?

When does time disappear for you and you enter “the flow”?

The next set of questions from the mundane to the exquisite inquires as to how you reach those goals.

If you want to scale to the top of Machu Picchu, how much exercise and fitness do you need to fit in to your daily life?

Or how much weight do you need to lose to comfortably climb into a raft and face white water, or ride a horse for a day or more without feeling guilty about the load the poor creature is carrying? I, personally, love both these activities, but have over the years have loaded on too much weight to enjoy those adventures. Five minutes a day and then another five. A commitment and a lot of thinking on how to get there, and for me there is a reward well worth the time and work. It’s hard and a large change in habits, but the five minute rule helps me move forward.

If you want to write a book, how much writing time or grammar review, or commitment do you need to make?

If you want to take the challenge of writing a book with the support and company of others dive into National Novel Writing Month

Or if you want to learn how to sail, what’s keeping you from achieving those goals? How do you remove those obstacles and follow your dream?

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If you want to make a difference in the climate, in the treatment of animals, in the dire plight of millions of needy people around the world, what small steps can you take to add your commitment to the wellspring of a movement of people who share that drive. Sometimes all it takes is a small step forward.

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It’s worth five minutes a day to ask yourself if what you are doing on that day takes you closer to your dreams. If your work is not what you love, is the pay or experience worth it or do you need to find another path?

It’s worth it to take an hour a week to review and plan and see where you can take those first few steps to launch a dream.

If your dream is already launched (congratulations), what do you need to do to see it through? And what after the celebration of one dream come true, what is the next one you’ll pursue.

I wish all of you achieve your dreams and desires, large and small. I also wish that once you’ve found your crowning glory, you move on to the next quest.

May you always dream.

~ lisa

For those of you who have graduated past the five minute rule. Try the 30 day Challenge. This Ted Talk by Matt Cutts is eloquent and encouraging. Give it a try!



June National Awareness Days and Observations

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Like so many other months there are many awareness and observation days in June.

Many of these designated months, weeks, and days are of vital importance to the world community and others are simple fun little larks.

I was surprised and rather skeptical to find a Duct Tape Festival The festival is held in Avon, Ohio and looks like an incredible amount of fun.

Remember to celebrate Summer Solstice on June 21
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June is the month when we recognize many under-represented communities such as Black Music, LGBT Pride, LGBT Books among others.

Jim Thorpe Native American Games

June 8th is Multicultural American Child Day.

June is the Health Awareness Month for: Migraines, PTSD, Canadian ALS, APS (Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome), Cancer From The Sun, Child Vision International, Men’s Health Education, National Aphasia, National Congenital Cytomegalovirus, National Safety, and Scleroderma. Links to all of these are listed below.

Have I left out any health awareness groups of June?

National Business Etiquette Week is held the first full week of June.  This looks like a self-promotion by the Protocol School of Washington, But I love the concept.

My favorite book on national etiquette is: Kiss, Bow, Or Shake Hands by Terri Morrison and Wayne A. Conaway. I would consider this a “must” read.

Father’s Day is just around the corner – June 15.

June 17 World Day To Combat Desertification and Drought

On the lighter side let us not forget to celebrate National Horseradish Days and National Lemonade Days.

Or National Yo-Yo Day on June 6:

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One of my favorite discoveries is Pink Flamingo Day on June 23rd. It is both a commercial day and, in Belcher Town Massachusetts, a very fun fundraising day. Would love it if we had something like this in the Seattle Area. “You have been flocked.
Fundraising fun

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June 17th is Eat Your Vegetables Day – Here’s a list of every website imaginable on the subject of the healthy practice of eating your vegetables. Go Vegetables!

Starting DinnerBroccoli, in detail

Yo-Yos, Pink Flamingos, and the start of summer. Who can ask for more?

National Health Awareness Sites
National Migraine Awareness Month
PTSD Awareness Month
Canadian ALS Awareness Month
APS (Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome) Awareness Month
Cancer From The Sun Awareness Month
Child Vision International
Men’s Health Education Awareness Month
National Aphasia Awareness Month:
National Congenital Cytomegalovirus Awareness Month:
National Safety Awareness Month:
Scleroderma Awareness Month:


I-L, Mythology

June is Here


 “June is bustin’ out all over.”~ Oscar Hammerstein II

Hi thereJune is named for the Roman goddess Juno. or

Peacock StrutWhile on the subject of Juno – here are two of my favorite stories about her and peacocks.

Aesop’s Fable of Juno and Peacock:

Then there is the peacock story of Argus and his 100 eyes told by Juno’s Greek counterpart, Hera.

I will, however, leave the Greek and Roman mythology for some month in the future.

The mythological and folktale focus of the next three months (summer 2014) will be African Mythologies. Africa is a vast continent full of many peoples, tribes and diverse mythologies. Three months can only skim the surface of the richness that resides on the world’s 2nd largest continent.

“Africa covers approximately 6 percent of the Earth’s total surface area and 20.4 percent of the total land area. It is also the second most-populous continent… made up of 53 countries, including Madagascar and various island groups.”

I will purposefully leave out Egyptian and Arabian mythologies as those will be covered in other blog posts.

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The font of the month is Calibri designed by Lucas de Groot for Microsoft and apparently the default font for almost everything. Why Calibri as default? The most common answer is “According to type reviewers, the new font designs were optimized for screen readability.  Older font designs were optimized for printing.”

“It is the month of June,

The month of leaves and roses,

When pleasant sights salute the eyes,

And pleasant scents the noses”– Nathaniel Parker Willis

In Iceland, folklore says that if you bathe naked in the morning dew on the morning of June 24, you are supposed to keep aging at bay for longer.

“In June, as many as a dozen species may burst their buds on a single day.  No man can heed all of these anniversaries; no man can ignore all of them.”  –  Aldo Leopold

140529 -  - medium-16It is surmised that the month of June is popular for weddings due in part because Juno was the goddess of marriage. There’s much more than that around the popularity of June weddings. This is a good website that examines this topic in depth.

In the UK June is also when the Nettle Eating Contest is held at the Bottle Inn in the village of Marshwood. This charity event attracts entrants from around the world.

June’s birthstones are pearl, alexandrite and moonstone. I don’t know why June deserves three stones, but will be exploring their meaning and myth in a post on June 19th.

June 1st is Heimlich Maneuver Day. Learn this valuable skill and possibly save a life.

The flower is the rose. There is an incredible amount of mystique and myth around the rose. I will be exploring this popular flower and its meanings in a post on June 7.

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Happy Oscar The Grouch Day

A grouch escapes so many little annoyances that it almost pays to be one.” – Kin Hubbard


I-L, Introduction

Intro 2 – Rainbow Hill Meanders

Rainbow Hills Meanders has finished its first month of publication!

I started this blog with the April A-Z challenge. It was an easy over-arching theme based on letters, fonts and eclectic interests.

Now Rainbow Hills Meanders is heading into its own destiny (direction).

The world’s favorite season is the spring.
All things seem possible in May.”
– Edwin Way Teale

The blog will still Meander (Rainbow Hill Meanders) through my various interests but here are the core topics:

First let there be Mythology & Folklore. I will have a mythology of the month in which I hope to achieve some depth as well as breadth. This month of May will devoted to Bulgarian Folklore & Mythology.

There will be tributes to Authors, Poets, Painters and other greats in the Arts and their works. My choices as to which to share will be arbitrarily decided by their birthdays (month and day). See Machiavelli on May 3rd.

Writing tips, tricks and my favorite writing advice plus a dip into the pool of the business side of writing (Queries, What a Synopsis Is and other basics). Plus Words and Names

There will be Quotes, Maxims, Folktales, Magic, Mythic Creatures, Seattle Tidbits and Links and Odes to the Month the blog is written in.

May is emeralds (birthstone) and lilies (birth flower).

I still love Fonts, but will only cover one font a month. I’m still fanatical about Bengal Cats, but will not include them in too many posts.

There will also be a wide range of Random Topics simply because my interests are eclectic and I love to share them and sometimes surprise both myself and readers with the things I find.

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know how excited I can get about the Cool Things I find in this world.

I might occasionally even write something serious and contemporary (See X=Xenophobia).

Finally this blog will not be published every day as I have a fair amount of fiction to write as I move my novels forward. I’m looking at posting about three times a week, though I do not plan on following a strict schedule. Sometimes there will be more and occasionally (though I hope not too occasionally) there will be less.

I always welcome suggestions comments and blog ideas of things you would like me to explore and research.

I look forward to going on this journey with you.

Bengal Cat Pictures, I-L, Mythology

L = Loki

L is for

Lucida was designed by Charles Bigelow and Kris Holmes in 1985. There are many variants including Lucida Console (the blue screen of death).


“More ink has been spilled on Loki than on any other figure in Norse myth. This, in itself, is enough to show how little scholars agree, and how far we are from understanding him.” – Gabriel Turville-Petre

Cool note on Turville-Petre is his connection to J.R.R. Tolkien:

To know Loki, you must know the two Norse Eddas, the Prose Edda and the Poetic Edda.

The Prose Edda, also known as the Younger Edda, is attributed to Snorri Sturluson and is said to have been compiled around the year 1220.

The Poetic Edda, the Older Edda, is a collection of anonymous poetry from about the same time. These are the two sources that tell us most of what we know about the Norse gods.

Back to Loki.

Loki is the trickster god. In the Eddas, he works both for and against the gods. He is also a shape-shifter (salmon, fly, mare, etc).

Loki transforms to a “bad” or “evil” god when he helps kill his brother Baldr with mistletoe. A perfect re-telling of this legend can be found at

Loki is described as pleasing and handsome in appearance and capricious in behavior. It is said he has cunning and tricks for every purpose. He has a few different wives and many famous children.

It is said that Loki’s symbol is a snake.

My favorite story of Loki is when he and Thor visit Utgarda-Loki (Loki of the Outyards) in which Loki engages in what might be the first speed eating contest. Loki loses because he was pitted against the personification of fire.

Which in some ways makes it odd that Jacob Grimm thought Loki was the god of fire. Find out about Jacob Grimm at

Loki made his first pop culture appearance in Richard Wagner’s Ring of Nibelung.

Loki also appears as a Marvel Comics super-villain who is in constant conflict with his brother Thor, God of Thunder.

Most people now know Loki from the Marvel Comics movies where Loki is played most profoundly and masterfully by Tom Hiddleston.
My favorite quote about Loki comes from the movie, The Avengers, in which the character Bruce Banner says, “that guy’s mind is a bag of cats, you can smell the crazy off him.”

Some excellent sites on Loki:

Speaking of bags of cats, first and foremost in my mind, Loki will always be a cat, my cat, and he’s also a trickster.

Loki gets a hug-lisa


K = Kansas City

K is for Kalinga

K= Kokila, Kaiti, Kristen ITC & Kalinga. K is a letter where no particular font called out to me

Kokila was developed by Modular Infotech for use in displaying Hindi text in documents Kaiti font – original Simplified Chinese

Kristen ITC designed by George Ryan ITC Kristen is in the style of children’s handwriting and was inspired by a handwritten restaurant menu.

Kalinga  I have learned a lot about Kalinga. Kalinga is a province in the Philippines and Kalinga is font which supports Oriya script. What’s Oriya you ask? So did I. The Oriya script was developed from Kalinga which is handed down to us from the Brahmi script of ancient India. The province Kalinga sounds like a beautiful place: mountains, valleys, lowlands and tropical forest. Has anyone ever been there?

Kansas City, Missouri

K.C. is the largest city in the state of Missouri. It was founded on the confluence of the Missouri and Kansas rivers. Across the river from Kansas City, Missouri is Kansas City, Kansas. After you get there, it is not at all confusing.

The Liberty Memorial

KC was founded in 1838 as the Town of Kansas. On March 28, 1853 it incorporated as Kansas City, Missouri. It had a very rich and varied history. Far too much to cram into one blog. Besides music (blues and jazz) and a few shady characters, there are stories of so many strong and charismatic people who helped forge KC into the city it is today.  Kansas City historical society

The civil war played a major part in KC history.

And we can’t forget KC’s famous barbecue.”local”&qpvt=kansas+city+barbecue&FORM=SNAPST

Shuttlecock at the Nelson Adkins Museum in Kansas Cityhttp://kcmo.govShuttlecoks, 1994

If you’re interested in visiting KC these are great places to start: Graphs and more graphs and demographics.

The first reason I’m such a fan of Kansas City Missouri is its ballet. The Kansas City Ballet is near and dear to my heart. Because of the ballet company, I discovered the wonderful city of Kansas City. It is friendly, welcoming and beautiful. It is also where my son dances which makes it even extra special.

I’m looking forward to their presentation of Cinderella this May. They also have a very exciting season lined up for next year. If you haven’t tried the ballet, you should. If you can’t get to Kansas City try a ballet near you. You’ll be glad you did.

Kaufman Center from the Liberty Memorialinside the Kaufman CenterKaufman Center from the Liberty Memorial

Also check out the landmark which is also their beautiful performance hall:

For a general history of ballet try: