#WQWWC #23 Writer’s Choice: Blogging Challenges and Tips

#WQWWC #23 Writer’s Choice -My Choices Sunday Stills- Water Details, LAPC – Details, Cee’s FOTD & Sunday Poser from Sadje.

Today I’m leaving the Writer’s Quotes Wednesdays Writing/Photo Challenge topic up to you. Since you know I love challenges, I’m aligning my post this week with challenges and some tips for better blogging.

Insert quote made in Canva

Start with Details from #LAPC #146

Patti Moed of Lens-Artists Photo Challenge inspires us this week to look for the details in our photographs. While doing Becky B’s challenge, there were times I focused on details, and other times I tried to take a picture of the entire car, but I ended up cutting off part of the body when I squared the picture.

Photographer, Cee Neuner’s solution to that was much the same as Patti’s solution to photographing architecture – focus on the details. Armani suggests that even the smallest detail is important.

Prescott Bike Trail #1 Peavine Trail to Hwy 89A

We saw the most beautiful display of red flowers along the Peavine Trail two weeks ago, but we were on a roll to get to the end of the trail, and we didn’t stop. On the way back, Vince suddenly pulled over, got off his bike and started taking pictures. I followed suit, first taking the landscape view, the a little closer and finally a close up with lots of details.

These photos are also submitted for Cee’s Flower of the Day Challenge.

You can see at a distance how scrubby the trees and shrubs are, which is nice to know as a reference that they don’t look impressive. Up close, when you see the details of the flowers, they are quite beautiful.

Vince looked it up on an app on his phone called Picture This. The plant brought up several names: Desert Paintbrush, Indian Paintbrush, or Northwestern Indian Paintbrush. Further details reveal that the scientific name is Castilleja and believe it or not it is in the subclass of Magnoliids like Magnolia trees.

Wikipedia defines it as a “perennial herbaceous” plant meaning it doesn’t have a woody stem and you can’t easily get rid of after one season.

Sunday Stills Focus on Water Details

Before you get to the Hwy 89A cut-off on Peavine Trail, you come to Watson Lake. Of the four lakes within a five mile radius of our home, Watson, Willow, Lynx and Goldwater, Watson is my favorite because of the rock formations and the fabulous the fact that Peavine Trail is broad and flat – the perfect learner’s trail.

Riding or walking along the trail you are close to the water and can hike even closer if you like. The lake houses many types of wildlife. We see a lot of different ducks.

We walked when we took these pictures. We are not experienced stupid enough e-bikers to take pictures at 12-20 MPH.

Terri reminds us that May is Water Safety Month. Our neighbors took their kayaks out for the first time this week. Keep in mind that it almost snowed – I’d call it spitted on Monday and by Thursday the air temperature here was 80 degrees. The water is still COLD!

Sunday Poser Question: Which Human Trait Inspires You the Most?

I love the spirit of adventure. Maybe that is not a human trait, but it is an outcropping of curiosity, which is a human trait. When someone is adventurous, their spirit inspires me to learn, which is what I love to do most.

I appreciate it when my husband plans adventures for us. He bought me an e-bike for my birthday and took care of all the details to assemble it. He shopped for, bought the hitch, and got it all set up safely so we could travel with our bikes.

I love that he plans exploration outings so we can discover the wonderful sights around us. It is fun to be on this adventure of life with him.

Willow Lake, Prescott,
Vince spots a picture, shadow,

I also admire and am inspired by creativity and try to emulate it every chance I get. We can all learn to be more creative, and that is why I love blogging and why I loved teaching. Blogging, like teaching, gives me a chance to LEARN to be creative, to improve the details that define my creativity both in writing, photography, and graphic design – all by-products of blogging.

Blogging Detail Tips

Whether you are new to the WordPress Blocks, or an experienced in-a-rut block user, it sometimes pays to take a break from blogging and learn about blogging. This morning I discovered the detailed list of blocks you can use to make your blog more attractive and easier to write. The most interesting one to me, T.C. History Gal, was the TIMELINE block.

Whether you are a history teacher creating a post for your students, a student doing a portfolio assignment, sharing your family history, or writing a post about your latest vacation, this is the coolest block ever. You don’t have to create a line and try to add text boxes. It’s all done for you.

Once you experiment with that one, there are about 30-40 more blocks that you don’t see on your six choices when you add a block.

Thank you to last week’s participants

thanks for joining me this week in Writer’s quotes wednesdays? do you have any details you would love to share?

Tanka Tuesday: Constellation Trail #Haibun

Tanka Tuesday #224 Poet’s Choice; #Haibun

#Prescott Walk #11 Constellation Trail

Wide trails, narrow trails,
Missed trail? Never lost --- for long,
Perfect wandering

On a perfect February day, we were two of the few hikers wearing a coat. We found easy access to the Constellation Trail at the lower parking lot of the Phippen Museum in Prescott Valley, AZ. We thought that the trails we walked looked a little rugged for our new e-bikes.

Take your time, breathe in
Breathe out, Stretch your arms up high
Touch the sky with health.

The clear air deceives you. It is thinner and takes more effort to breathe for new comers and older hikers. There’s no need to rush. This is not a good trail for runners. Rock outcropping spring up in the middle of the trail. Main trails were marked with white dots.

See the dot on your right?

Blink and you’ve veered off the main loop. One wrong step, and you’re separated from your walking buddy, but not for long. Maps appear out of nowhere. Or use the app on your phone.

If you stay on the broad trails along the mail loop, you can walk it in only 2. 4 miles or less than an hour if you don’t take pictures. We couldn’t resist the views of the Granite Dells, scruffy shrubs, an area of new homes, with the Flagstaff Mountains in the background.

Endorphin blue skies
Daydreaming distant mountains
Cliff structures --- enjoy.
© 2021 Marsha Ingrao Haibun

One side trail that heads up to the top of the dells named The Lost Wall Mountain Biking Trail has only one review – “Not nearly as compelling as photos imply. All slow no flow.” Lost Wall Biking Trail

Vince and I were glad we left our bikes and took only our dog. Kalev enjoyed it.

Happy Blogging This Week.

Poet’s Choice today and Writer’s Quotes Choice tomorrow — It’s as simple as making a meme.

Constellation Trail - view of Granite Dells, Prescott AZ  Sample Meme for Writer's Quotes Wednesdays
Sample Meme for WQWWC Constellation Trail – view of Granite Dells, Prescott AZ

#Tanka Tuesday: #223 Pick a Flower

Poppies posed for a custom color shot.

This Sunday morning I wanted to welcome you to the week through Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday theme prompt – pick a flower!

Precious Poppies

Traditional Haibun © 2021 Marsha Ingrao

Golden beauties glow
Catching sunlight in petals
Close at night to store

We thought we’d have to leave behind our glorious California flower when we moved to Prescott, Arizona.

Lining the entrance
Gold poppies welcome us home
Beaming, cheery spring

The previous owners in our condo planted these carefree smile-makers. Their upstairs neighbors hated them glowing at the bottom of the stairs, and sprayed them with weed-killer.

Persistent joyful
Overcoming obstacles
to garner more sun.

“Who hates a flower?” said Mark, the new neighbor upstairs when he heard the grumpy story. The sour one is gone. Precious poppies survived to reign over the dry earth with the glee of victory.

Precious poppy is about to close for the night.

Also posted for Cee’s FOTD.

Why I Chose the Haibun

A journalist at heart, the Haibun gives me the chance to explain the back story.

Tip: Editing Pictures without Photoshop

This morning I read the list of block types. Editing pictures is a snap. Last month, for Becky B’s BrightSquare Challenge, I struggled to make pictures exactly square in Photoshop Elements 15. I would get between 1-10 pixels off unless it luckily snapped into place. With the block editor you don’t even have to try.

It did not add a watermark and when I cropped it, the old watermark was either cut in half or disappeared.

have a great week. enjoy spring!

Embarrassing and Dangerous Falls and Five Tips to Avoid Them

Three Challenges

Falls – My Most Embarrassing Moment

Sadje asks pertinent questions and even though I’ve told this story to some, it bears repeating because embarrassing to me can be funny to others. Right?

roller skating, living room 1960s Randy, Marsha
This photo submitted for Friendly Friday’s Hands and Feet

In the late 1960s our mother worked in Lloyd Center, the largest mall in the Northwest at that time.  We often went to work with her where there was more to do than at our house.  Our favorite recreation at the mall was ice skating.  

Lloyd Center still has a large ice rink at the center of the mall surrounded by shops and the largest department store in the city on the top floor.  A railing prevented people from hurling themselves from the top level onto the rink and getting a free skating session.  Shoppers stood around the perimeter of the high railing and watched the skaters whirling around below.  On the lower level, where the skating rink was, people sat in the upscale restaurant that lined the rink for better viewing.

Like we did about most things, my brother, Randy and I competed over everything, who got to sit in the front seat of the car, who was fastest, who could eat the most French Fries on the shared plate. You might know the scenarios.

The weirdest thing had happened to Randy that year.  When we moved to Portland, at 15 I stood a proud 5 feet 4.5 inches tall.  Randy topped out at 5 feet 3 inches.  (ha ha) The way younger brothers are supposed to be.  He started growing when he turned 14 or 15.  He stopped one year later at 6 feet 3 inches tall.  I didn’t make the adjustment immediately, I was still older and bigger in my mind.

On this particular night I prepared hurriedly, pinned my hair up, and hastily threw on a frosted gray, page boy wig which, for some STRANGE reason, must have been popular at the time.  No make-up and I was ready to go.  Mom didn’t want to be late to work!

We got out on the ice and I challenged him to a race. We were neck in neck all the way through the first corner.  Then he put his giant legs in gear and with one easy stride glided past me.  As I crossed my legs around the last stretch of the corner for just one more great push, part of my skate stayed cemented in the ice.  Just one little prickly pointy part of my skate refused to budge, and the rest of the skate decided to stay with it.

 Randy gracefully rounded the next corner before he noticed that his spunky sister was MIA.

He was the only one who didn’t see it, however.  The floor guard instantly sped to my aid, spraying ice chips in my red face as he turned to make the rapid stop to help me up.  “Are you OK?” he asked politely.

Of course I was OK.  I was mad and my wig was out of my reach. I ignored his outstretched hand to use both of mine to crawl invisibly over to my wig and get it on as fast as possible.  Which I did.  Even so, I could still see the guard bent over double laughing after he was sure I was all right.

My hair pinned back, I threw on my wig, jumped up and skated for the bathroom trying to get the hair out of my face.

The bathroom – at last –  I looked in the mirror.  My wig was on backwards. I never wanted to go out again.  I took it off and threw it in a locker.  I sat for a few minutes debating about what to do.  Mom would get off work at 9:00.  It was only minutes after 6:00.   The night was young.   I proceeded to unload my hair of bobby pins.  Style was a moot point.  Fine hair blows around anyway.

Fast Forward a Few Years

All my life I have been a faller, and it’s always been a joke in the family. Branches and rocks on the bike path caught in my inline skates causing me to fall on my face. fell in a parking lot three times, on a college campus in a puddle, going up stairs in high school, and those are just the memorable times when people saw, or might have seen me.

However, there were times in the last ten years it’s been funny because I wasn’t seriously hurt, but not a joke. I tripped on a landscape rock while running to take pictures of the night time Christmas Parade. An uneven sidewalk tripped me as I struggled with a purse in one hand and a glass of water in the other. I tripped on our own porch stair carrying an armful of something. Walking alone, texting I tripped on a rock and fell in the middle of a country road. I

Fortunately I always fall forward on my face, except when I’m sitting with my feet in the sink.

Tips to Avoid Falling at All Costs

Older people simply SHOULD NOT FALL. Since I have not fallen in a couple of years, I consider myself somewhat of an expert. LOL

  1. Wear good shoes if you fall a lot. Avoid heels, straps, flip flops and anything with slippery soles. I wear a stability shoe which looks like a running shoe but keeps your foot more stable.
  2. Don’t carry anything between your eyes and your feet. If you can’t see your feet, you could be in trouble.
  3. Be mindful. I am learning what this means, and I haven’t always been mindful. My right foot doesn’t come up as far as I think it does. I know that now, so when I go up steps, I am mindful of what my right foot is doing.
  4. Don’t walk and do other things at the same time – focus. If you are not going to practice mindfulness, then leave your phone in your pocket and camera behind. I’ve broken two cameras and one phone falling.
  5. Use walking sticks (or a cane I dread the day) I don’t use either, but I am holding on to my husband more on trails if I feel nervous about stepping up or down on uneven or slippery slopes.

Do you have a moment in time where you wished you could disappear forever?  I shared ONE of my many embarrassing moments.  Now fair is fair.  It’s your turn!

  • Two shoes, two different colors to an interview?
  • Something broke?
  • You fell off when you were standing on the table? (I did that, too in a school cafeteria after school.)
  • You were onstage when…

More Hands and Feet for Friendly Friday