Tag: inspiration

Engineer Mark Keup: More Innovative Solutions

Engineer Mark Keup: More Innovative Solutions

What do computer chips, TVs, tomato soup cans, disposable diapers, root beer bottles, and chocolate chip cookies all have in common? They are all tracked, counted, or measured by Machine Vision, a software technology that performs inspections on thousands of products, from the electronics store to the supermarket. Mark Keup...Read More
Engineer Dan Dotson: Creating innovative Solutions

Engineer Dan Dotson: Creating innovative Solutions

Engineer Dan Dotson once did a high school book report on Thomas Edison. “He might have inspired me more than I know,” Dan says. "Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration." --Thomas Edison Edison knew all about that. He barreled through obstacles and never gave up. Regarding his work...Read More
We’re off to See the Wizard, Part 4: The Man Behind the Curtain, continued

We’re off to See the Wizard, Part 4: The Man Behind the Curtain, continued

Do you recall the resume in my last post? We left off with L. Frank Baum leaving Aberdeen--broke, disappointed, and disillusioned---with a wife and four kids to feed. Chicago---The Lean Years and New Beginnings (1890s) The Baums arrived in Chicago in time for the 1893 Columbian Exposition, a time of...Read More
We’re off to See the Wizard, Part 2: The Road to All Things Oz

We’re off to See the Wizard, Part 2: The Road to All Things Oz

The small town of Chittenango, New York is proud to embrace their hometown boy, L. Frank Baum. He spent his first five years in Chittenango, his birthplace. Later, he grew accustomed to seeing the yellowed hemlock plank road that carried salt barrels to Salina, possibly the inspiration for Oz’s Yellow...Read More
We’re off to See the Wizard, Part 1: The Wizard of Chittenango & the Magic of Oz

We’re off to See the Wizard, Part 1: The Wizard of Chittenango & the Magic of Oz

Recognize any of these phrases? • “Some people without brains do any awful lot of talking.” • “I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” • “I’ll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!” • “Follow the Yellow Brick Road.” • “Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!” •...Read More
Monday Metaphor Musings #4: Life

Monday Metaphor Musings #4: Life

I am participating in the writing contest "You Are Enough," hosted by Positive Writer. "Life is like a doughnut. It can be sweet and tasty, but there’s always a hole in the middle.” That’s just one of many ways people have tried to capture the essence of human life on...Read More
People Watching #4

People Watching #4

Have you done any people watching lately? The first time we looked at Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks. Then we examined a 1930s Charles Walton photograph. After that, we speculated about the dynamics of two girls and a guy at the dinner table. I loved reading your comments---the ideas evoked by those...Read More
Artist Rita Trickel: Beyond Here There Be Dragons

Artist Rita Trickel: Beyond Here There Be Dragons

Ahoy mateys! Ever see an old sea map where dragons marked dangerous or uncharted waters? Pictures of dragons, sea monsters, or mythological creatures warned sailors to stay away. No telling what’s beyond. Shiver me timbers! If sailors got too close to these areas, trouble abounded. Danger was at hand. All...Read More
Story Worlds: Places I’ve Been, Part 2

Story Worlds: Places I’ve Been, Part 2

What settings have inspired you? What stories do you associate with them? Which stories will you never forget? Earlier, I shared how authors thrust us into their story worlds, by mixing words together in such a way that we’re living and breathing alongside the characters. I’ve discussed where story ideas come...Read More
Elmer Sparks, Part 1: Spreading Happiness through Photography

Elmer Sparks, Part 1: Spreading Happiness through Photography

Only one photographer ever got my husband to smile for a portrait. Just one. And a genuine smile, not a fake smile-through-your-teeth “can we get this over with?” kind of smile. That man is Elmer Sparks. That was the year he took portraits of every family in our church for...Read More
Monday Metaphor Musings #3

Monday Metaphor Musings #3

What do you think of when you hear the word door? Or when you see a picture of a door? Does it make a difference which kind of door? Time for another word-association exercise. You did this before by brainstorming the word web and by finding the right metaphor to describe...Read More
Monday Metaphor Musings, #2: Are you a Tiger or a Turtle? A Hammer or a Nail? A Piano or a Piccolo?

Monday Metaphor Musings, #2: Are you a Tiger or a Turtle? A Hammer or a Nail? A Piano or a Piccolo?

Have you ever found yourself describing people with these cliches? Do you know individuals like this? “That kid’s a tornado. He leaves a mess in every room he passes through.” “She’s as busy as a beaver.” “She’s the queen bee.” “He’s as relentless as a jackhammer.” “He works like a...Read More
Artist Marie Scott: Painting Glimmers of Hope for this Broken World

Artist Marie Scott: Painting Glimmers of Hope for this Broken World

******************** “Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.” --Henry Ward Beecher, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit, 1887 ******************** Two weeks ago, I discussed how the starving artist is not so hungry. I referenced impassioned honeysuckles and tulips. Here’s Mirriam-Webster’s definition of...Read More
People Watching, #2

People Watching, #2

Have you done any people watching lately? Last time we looked at Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks. [caption id="attachment_745" align="aligncenter" width="456"] Via State Library of New South Wales[/caption] Aside from knowing that a picture is worth 1000 words, a picture evokes 1000 stories. If I showed a picture to a dozen students...Read More
Are you Celebrating or Lamenting?

Are you Celebrating or Lamenting?

Did you ever read a book and wish you’d written it? Have you walked through a gallery and wished you had a better eye and camera for your own photography exploits? Have you found yourself envying the singer with the beautiful voice or the musician with such mastery of his...Read More
Barbara Britton: Perfume Pics, Coloring Pencils, and Records: An Author’s Unconventional Tool Box

Barbara Britton: Perfume Pics, Coloring Pencils, and Records: An Author’s Unconventional Tool Box

Have you wondered what it would be like living in Biblical Old Testament times? So has author Barbara Britton. In fact, she digs into O.T. history to create story worlds from 1000s of years ago. Her wanderings start with map-making and music. Last year I read the first book from...Read More
The Compulsion to Tell A Story: The Dog Ate My Glasses

The Compulsion to Tell A Story: The Dog Ate My Glasses

My husband Tim tells the story of when he was in 4th grade playing baseball with the neighbors. He had brand new glasses and was afraid of breaking them. He set them in a “safe place” in the grass nearby. A dog was snooping around. After he got up to...Read More
Interior Designer Kaysie Strickland: Home as a Haven of Healing, Part 2

Interior Designer Kaysie Strickland: Home as a Haven of Healing, Part 2

How has your home or your art been a healing place for you? Kaysie Strickland, founder and president of Homes & Havens, is an interior designer who has mastered the art of creating healing home environments for wounded women. Last time, she shared her philosophy of home as a healing...Read More
Monday Metaphor Musings #1: Web

Monday Metaphor Musings #1: Web

What comes to mind when you think of the word web? I teach writing students how to brainstorm ideas on paper, using a webbing technique that some call clustering. Many teachers use this. The rules are simple: start with a word, phrase, or concept in the middle of the page,...Read More
Artist Laura Fesser, Part 1: Inspired by Polymer, Playable Guitars, & Portraits

Artist Laura Fesser, Part 1: Inspired by Polymer, Playable Guitars, & Portraits

Laura Fesser wears two creative hats: artist and teacher. Her lively artwork brightens our community at the local hospital, library, and gallery, as well as numerous homes. Laura teaches elementary art at Heritage Christian School where I started the secondary art program years earlier. Later, she taught my four children,...Read More
Alison Sherwood, Part 1: Memory Maker, Memory Finder, & Memory Keeper

Alison Sherwood, Part 1: Memory Maker, Memory Finder, & Memory Keeper

Need inspiration? Need ideas for a party or craft? Look no further. This woman is overflowing with them! Non-stop. Alison Sherwood is a journalist turned stay-at-home-mom to three kids (Corban, 6, Mara, 4, and Haddon, 3). For nine years, she was a writer, videographer, blogger, and digital jack-of-all-trades for the...Read More
Author Liz Tolsma: Story Worlds steeped in WWII history

Author Liz Tolsma: Story Worlds steeped in WWII history

Unlike my friend Cathy, I cannot read and cook at the same time without drastic consequences. Spaghetti boiling over. Overcooked Chicken Divan. Burned biscuits. Have you ever been so engrossed in a novel that you forgot you were reading? Or didn’t hear the oven timer? And your smoke alarm went...Read More