the writing process blog hop

A big ALOHA to all who dabble in the written word…writers and readers alike.

A movement is afoot…The Writing Process Blog Hop! 

From what I gather it’s an effort to encourage more interaction among those who plug into the Internet. Writers like me hope our stories resonate with folks who seek inspiration, compassion, information, relaxation or just want a good laugh.

Claudia Anderson at provides all of the above in her blog, a perspective of life through the lens of middle-aged eyes. There’s a little something for everyone…soulful words…kindness and generosity…practical tidbits…bouts when she kicks back… and best of all…humor, both upright and downright. Let’s just say if you enjoy my writing, you’ll go crazy for Claudia’s. It was this goddess who  invited me to join others in stirring the pot, so to speak.

So let me get right to it…

What am I working on? 

At the moment? Nothing.

I’ve dabbled.

There’s a rather melodramatic memoir of life with my mother written before I began hugmamma’s mind, body, and soul, back in 2010. I mistakenly submitted it to an artsy magazine in North Carolina. Or was it South Carolina? Either way, I got my manuscript back with a nice note suggesting I send it to a more appropriate publication. A nice rejection, but still…a rejection.

A short article I wrote for an online magazine never got a response. I was incensed when my wittily crafted tale about financing my hairdresser’s retirement to Belize did not garner the editor’s immediate attention. “Her loss!” I thought to myself, and moved on.

Even a joke I sent along to that old tried and true, Reader’s Digest, drew a blank.

Throwing my hands in the air, I turned to blogging…first on Google, then Oprah, finally landing on WordPress where I’ve happily remained until now.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I’ll take a stab at this one, not having compared myself to other writers in my…genre.

I prefer reading and, therefore, writing…nonfiction stories. My best work comes from what I experience personally. Whether I’m reading or writing, I draw from my own perceptions and personal experiences. Much of it has to do with my upbringing and how it influenced my life as a child, and as an adult.

I’m pretty sure most nonfiction writers subscribe to my methods. Only a few, however, probably write with tongue-in-cheek humor like me. Claudia Anderson being one of them. No small wonder then that we’re ga-ga over each other.

Why do I write what I do?

Why do most writers write what they write? Because of their passion for it! That’s why.

When I began blogging it was as though the thoughts in my head were constantly on the march, warring to be free. Unable to contain them any longer, I finally gave in and allowed them access to the outside world. From the dawning of one day to that of the next, I felt gagged and hog-tied to my computer. Most of the 1,000+ posts I have written on WordPress were published in the early years of hugmamma’s mind, body, and soul. Only recently have I been able to return to the land of the living.

Just a few days ago, one of my sister-in-laws, a faithful follower of my blog commented…”You’ve not been writing much lately.” A sure sign that I’ve finally said most everything that’s been bottled up inside my head these many, many years.

How does my writing process work?

Simple. I sit down at my laptop whenever I can spare a minute and just…write!

I’ve no magic formula, no set schedule, no hard and fast deadlines.

Writing for me is…sheer pleasure! Whenever I can spare a minute or two…or 30 or 60…I sit and type. Words clamoring to escape confinement spill forth…like children let out at recess.

One day, however, I will set about to publish an e-book or two. Something that’s near and dear to my heart…my daughter’s foray into the professional world of dance…what it means to grow up Hawaiian in America…the ups-and-downs and downs-and-ups of growing old. 

My hope is that you’ll want to...keep reading what I write!

Jennifer Soames, a Kinesis Myofascial Integration specialist, has graciously agreed to join in The Writing Process Blog Hop. Having published an E-book on her specialty, I am certain you will find a lot of good information which she’s more than happy to share. Whatever the focus of our writing, we all have a story to tell. Jennifer’s is that of helping folks live healthier lives. A topic which affects all of us. See my previous post where I write of Jennifer’s having done wonders for me.

Jennifer Soames Bodywork Maple ValleyJennifer Soames, LMP, KMI/BCSI Is a Board Certified Structural Integrator, Licensed Massage Practitioner and author who has helped hundreds of people with chronic pain and limitations in their bodies. She is passionate about educating and empowering her clients to be an active participant in their own healing and transformation. (Photo/bio from her website.)

friday fictioneers: …finding home…


I’m taking a different path, and not settling.

It’s risky. I’ve bills to pay, a place to rent.

A friend once said “If you love where you are, you’ll find a job that you like. If you take a job and don’t like where it is, you’ll always struggle to make it work.”

Dancing is my passion. Happiness is my home.

Both are possible.

It’s mine if I remain true to what I want. 

There. Ahead. My oasis.


I dance. I thrive. of my favorite shots of my precious martin o'connor photography

…one of my favorite shots of my precious daughter…by martin o’connor photography

friday fictioneers: cinderella’s glass slipper

Copyright - Dawn M. Miller

As I was growing up, our small, $26 a month rental was jam-packed with mis-matched, second-hand furnishings.

On Saturdays, I was Cinderella.

Dusting, polishing, and rearranging others’ cast offs very likely contributed to my love of vintage items.

However it wasn’t until my husband and I moved to New York’s Long Island in the 70s, that I realized my passion for antiques. It was probably triggered by our first major auction purchase, a massive, oak roll top desk.

Now a dinosaur, the roll top reminds us of the loving craftsmanship  rarely seen nowadays.

Builds character. Saves the earth.

Poverty’s silver lining…old stuff. 


…mirror mirror on the wall…

Reality shows, like biographies, fascinate me. They provide insight into real lives, real people. Fiction doesn’t captivate me the way non-fiction does.

English: J.K. Rowling reads from Harry Potter ...

I like to know what makes people, flesh-and-blood human beings like me, tick. Just as I don’t always know why I do what I do, it comforts me to know that I’m not the only one floundering around for answers.

Of course I can more readily identify with some reality show characters, and definitely not with others…like New Jersey housewife, Teresa Giudice. OMG! That woman needs to be locked up in a room with mirrored walls. She needs to take a long, hard look at herself. Maybe then she’ll find release from her permanent state of denial.

I’m more interested in author J.K. Rowlings than in her blockbuster series of books about HARRY POTTER. I can’t get past the fact that she was living in poverty while writing her mega-hit. God bless her!…is all I can say. God bless her! She deserves the life she now enjoys.

HGTV is one of my go-to channels, just as the FOOD Network is my daughter’s, and the HISTORY Channel is my husband’s. However, we have no problem sitting down to watch one another’s favorites. No problem at all. Thank goodness!

One reality show I happened upon while surfing the channels one day was home remodeling as a form of therapy. The designer/host is Jeff Lewis. He’s not my favorite TV personality because he’s pretty arrogant and condescending toward others. Unfortunately his attitude seems to be a huge defense mechanism. He looks as though he needs someone to give him a great big bear hug, and never, never let go. That’s how emotionally needy he seems to me. Although I’m certain he would never admit it.

How is it possible then that Jeff can dole out personal advice which gets homeowners out of the rut they’re in, so they can move on with their lives? I’m always amazed that his abrasive, “in-your-face,” hold nothing back, confrontational manner gets the right results…and the long-hoped for happy ending. EXCEPT. I repeat…EXCEPT that Jeff’s designs are always spot on.

It’s very likely that the new environment Jeff creates for his clients enables them to look at life with fresh eyes.

A recent example of Jeff’s success was with a couple who were most certainly headed to divorce court because of cats. Yes! Cats! Seven cats to be exact.

Our daughter's inherited my love of cats. Here she's with Sunkist who has since gone to join her sister Fudgie in heaven. We still think of them.

Our daughter’s inherited my love of cats. Here she’s with Sunkist who has since gone to join her sister Fudgie in heaven. We still think of them.

Now I love cats.  Always have. My husband, on the other hand, never grew up with pets. Probably because there were 12 children in his family…more than enough mouths to feed without adding a few furry ones to the mix. Four decades later, and more than a dozen cats adopted into our household during that time, our marriage has never come close to imploding because of our feline children. In fact, my husband now calls our dog…our daughter, our 2 cats…our boys, and our daughter’s cat,…our grandkitty. Actually, he calls them MY daughter, MY sons, and MY grandkitty. In turn, I call them HIS. Whatever! They’re ours.

...our grandkitty...

…our grandkitty…

Anyway, getting back to the reality show…

The reason the homeowners have 7 cats is that the wife has made it her mission in life to rescue abandoned cats. Those for whom she wasn’t able to find homes ended up in hers. According to her husband, his wife’s compassion for the poor animals was what he found attractive. That is until the cats took over their house, including the master bedroom…and the family’s life. The clincher for interior designer Jeff in his determination to right the wrong he saw in this situation, was that the couple’s infant son was allergic to the cats. Viewers witnessed the child’s breathing from an oxygen tank after an episodic reaction.

With the help of a rep from the local Humane Society and Jeff’s makeover in the garage where the cats would languish in the luxury of a space that was all their own, the wife was able to let go of her obsession and refocus her attention upon her human family.

Throughout the show I could see how, over time, a person’s obsession with something, could totally overtake his life…to the exclusion of everything and everyone. An intervention seems necessary to pull that person back from the brink of falling off the cliff, mentally and physically. What form that intervention takes needs to be confrontational AND rewarding. The person needs to be able to give up something to get something he wants even more.

Jeff was able to get his client to give up 3 of her cats, house the remainder in a comfortable environment for them and the family, and help her return to putting her son’s health, and her husband and 2 daughters…first.

…who said change was easy?…but it can be sooo worth it!


...time has its moments...cherish each and every one...

…time has its moments…cherish each and every one…