Little jot cards get around

Just when we thought I couldn’t find a smaller jot journal…

I received a bag of nifty little key ring language card packs as part of the loot I purchased from a local fundraising auction.

The previous owner used to teach English in Japan. Apparently, these STAD cards are popular and handy for writing, learning vocabulary in English and Japanese. There are places you can buy these online. Don’t ask me to convert the currency tho. 

STAD Word's World Language keyring cards

STAD Word’s World Language cards re-purposed

I gave a couple away to offspring and a workmate. I am re-purposing one as a purse-sized jot notes media. I have called the first collection “Little Blonde Jots”, which are low-tech affirmations or observations written in pen and maybe later enhanced with some illumination – or Crayola markers.  These will be much briefer than entries in the Deep Blonde Thoughts blog.

Let’s see how long this lasts…

As an international detour while searching, I tripped upon an interesting news link about Norway’s plans to build the world’s biggest shipping tunnel in Stad. That’s pretty cool!

On a related note, soon I will travel to the shores of one of our Great Lakes for a boat cruise, to get caught up with family members who are travelling from their current home and workplace in Norway. Small world. Thank you, Internet!

Thanks for dropping by. What low-tech tools are you using to capture thoughts, observations and inspirations?


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The travel jot journal

My recent writing activities have revolved around travel.

Whether I am touring about town on an artist’s date or travelling outside the city, I like to have a jot journal, a notebook of sorts to record observations and capture inspirations. I  may doodle my reactions too.

Jot journal spring travel

Jot journal spring travel 2017

I also like to take photographs that capture the moments and memories.

A colourful wet pathway in Victoria

A colourful wet pathway in Victoria

When I have time, I sit down at one of my chosen computing devices to type up a tale, to sort and select the most meaningful photographs. While writing (typing) I prefer a QWERTY keyboard.

Then I post the written result in one of my many blogs. Here’s a recounting of travel adventures to the west coast of Canada. There’s more to come as money, energy and good health allow.  I intend to dedicate my travels to places in Canada for now. There’s too much weird sh1t going on in the USA to warrant travel there.

Other writing, creative activities revolve around that children’s book idea. That’s where I can invite my inner artist child to express, to share a story with a lesson or inspiration. It’s still simmering on the back burner. Sometimes you gotta let your ideas sit and simmer for a while then come back to add a few ingredients and stir some more.

Thanks for dropping by. I hope your writing activities are going well.




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Why Being Nominated Is a Win – Guest Post by, Mike Martin…

Best wishes to a fellow Ottawa writer whose mystery series I have been following for years. Words of encouragement if and when I start on that next book…


Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Sometimes just being nominated is a win, at least it is for me. My book, A Long Ways from Home, just got shortlisted for the Bony Blithe Award.

The book was chosen from scores of entries to the Bony Blithe Awards which every year recognizes the best in Canadian light mysteries. The Bony Blithe Award (officially the Bloody Words Light Mystery Award) is an annual Canadian award that celebrates traditional, feel-good mysteries.

Now in its sixth year, the award is for a “mystery book that makes us smile” and includes everything from laugh-out-loud to gentle humour to good old-fashioned stories with little violence or gore – in short, books that are fun to read.

The award along with a cash prize of $1,000 will be presented at a conference and gala awards dinner on May 26, 2017 at the prestigious High Park Club in Toronto.

Wish me luck…

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Farewell to March! Hellooo, April!

Finally, we said goodbye to March. It seemed to stick around for-ev-verrrr!

In the Ottawa Valley, it came in like a soggy little lamb.

Drawing of a lamb

Soggy March Lamb

The days dragged on with waiting for buses in to the city and back for the day job. At least I got a lot of reading in or chatting with interesting bus buddies.

I was so happy to welcome the first day of spring.

Drawing of a rooster

Colourful rooster greeting the sunrise


Early in the day of March 31st, the weather seemed very subdued.

Drawing of a march lion

March 31st early morning lion

More snow came by the afternoon and into the dark night. Finally, though… we were able to bid it farewell.

Drawing of a march lion leaving some snow

Bye bye March

Yeah, those are my doodles. You like? You can see more in a Google Photos album I shared on the Internets. I’m playing with ideas for a children’s book and practicing drawing.

You like cats? You can see what the overly-helpful Google Photos Assistant has done with cat pictures I took with my BlackBerry. Visit this album I call “Animani-cats“, a nostalgic play on words from a quirky animation show my kids and I used to watch on TV.

You like time-lapsed photography? Drop by the Deep Blonde Thoughts blog for pictures and words I created while observing one spot of land during 2015 and 2016.

Thanks for dropping by and not disturbing the Tabby.

Have a nice, relaxing Sunday.


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Housework prevention duo

There are times when the cats have your best interests in mind.

They may be telling you that it’s okay to leave the laundry for another week.

cats in laundry baskets

They may be telling you to take it easy, let your inner artist playfully express your displeasure with the lingering winter weather in the Ottawa Valley.

Oh, we had some rain a few times; March came in like a soggy little lamb. Then it snowed and snowed again.

Drawings depicting feelings about winter

I did some cheery drawings. You can see them here. I’m practicing for that children’s book idea. All drawings were done in the SketchBook app on the iPad Pro with my $129 Apple Pencil 😉

You can follow more of the cats’ antics and mythological ponderings at my pen name’s blog, under a series of pages about Pampered Cats and Other Household Gods.

Do your pets prevent you from doing excessive housework too? Do share.

Thanks for dropping by.



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Caturday March 11th

So I was snuggled up in my little bed on this windy Saturday morning in March…

Since I had not activated the Zen Alarm Clock nor the alarm clock radio, I did not get up at the usual workday time.

The whiny boy soon fixed that at approximately 5:55 a.m.

Black cat on human lap with iPad drawing wake up

Snuggles the whiny boy

I wonder what it’s going to be like tomorrow after we turn the clocks ahead? Grumble. Grumble.

Do you have #Caturday stories to share?

You can view other drawings inspired by this boy as I play with ideas for a children’s book this year. I’m committing to one sketch a day on the iPad, to practice and hone my drawing skills. Not all of the sketches will be about cats. Some will be about Star Trek…

Sketch of Tuvok in Star Trek Voyager dreaming naked

Commander Tuvok in Waking Moments episode

Thanks for dropping by and not waking the Tabby.


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A possible recurring character

I have been consuming sufficient quantities of coffee this morning. I find that the caffeine gets my brain cells jittering around with wonderful, whimsical ideas. It also encourages  a good BM :-}


Lately I have been encouraging myself to do one sketch a day on my shiny new iPad. I have been inspired and motivated after reading The Vein of Gold by Julia Cameron.

I am open to inspiration for recurring characters and likeable themes in a children’s book.

This guy keeps coming up.


If Geneva doesn’t up the cuteness factor, Snuggles just may become my new inspiration and meuws.

What do you think?



Thanks for dropping by. Wander over to my pen name’s blog where she writes about the vanities of growing up Catholic.

And thanks for not disturbing the Tabby.



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