Sunday, March 04, 2018

Five Thoughtful Ways to Honor a Lifelong Reader

My mother passed away in December. She was a professor at Penn State University, an active member of American Association of University Women (AAUW), involved in several book clubs, and a lifelong scholar. One of her favorite sayings -- one I find myself repeating often because of its incontrovertible truth -- is "no education is ever wasted."

Several people who knew and loved Mom chose to honor her life in ways that supported her love of reading. All of them touched my heart far more than cards or flowers could have. If someone you love loves to read, here are some suggestions for passing that love on to others in their name:

1.) Make a donation in the Reader's name to First Book.

Every year, First Book provides books and educational resources to over 3 million kids who need them most. This non-profit organization is a leading voice in the quest for educational equality. In a little over 25 years, First Book has distributed over 170 million books and resources in 30 countries.

2.) Volunteer to teach someone else to read.
Contact your local library or school resource office to inquire about how you can get involved in local literacy programs. Yes, it's hands on. Yes, it will take some time. But you could literally save someone's life...

The link between illiteracy and incarceration is incontrovertible. In 2010, 85 percent of all juveniles caught up in the juvenile court system were functionally illiterate, as were 60 percent of all prison inmates. Inmates have a 16 percent chance of returning to prison if they receive literacy help. Those who receive no help have a 70 percent rate of recidivism.

Imagine the difference you could make if, in honor of the Dear Reader in your life, you gave someone the lifelong gift of literacy.

[Not up to the one-on-one interaction of teaching literacy? A donation to RIF, the United States' largest children's literacy non-profit, may be more up your alley.] 

3.) Donate a book to your local library. Or to the library closest to your Beloved Reader.
Everyone who knew Mom knew she believed in libraries. So it's fitting that her local library now has new books donated in Mom's name.

(Note, if you're involved with a local library and you're short on funding, consider holding an In Memoriam Book Drive. Books: the gift that keeps on giving.)

4.) Give beloved titles to hospitals. Or nursing homes. Or senior centers. Or Safe Shelters. Or homeless shelters...
Books love to be read. If you have to clear out a Beloved Reader's bookshelves, consider taking the titles to places where they will be able to gain a whole new audience.

5.) Start a book club in your Dear Reader's name. 
Make the Dear Reader's favorite book the first title you read and discuss.

What is your favorite way to keep the flame of literacy burning?

Monday, January 29, 2018

Start an Email Newsletter in 5 Easy Steps

I started a newsletter this year. It's nothing fancy: short updates on life here at Hendrickson House and cool stuff I think other people might find interesting.

Probably apocryphal. By about 100 years...
Like, for instance, the fact that Betsy Ross (born on New Year's Day) likely didn't make the first American flag, but she made plenty of other flags, started her own religion, outlived three husbands, and ran her own business till she died at the ripe old age of 84.

And how Jill Fredstone (another New Year's baby) has singlehandedly rowed over 25,000 miles -- more than the circumference of the planet -- exploring various Arctic coasts in several countries.

I talk about the inspiration I find from Major, our most recently adopted dog, my attempts at "intentional neighborliness," some of my awesome clients, and what projects I'm currently working on.

Having a newsletter was always something I meant to do... someday... in the future... when I'd met some never-specified milestone I felt would warrant such a thing. But as the new year approached, one of my resolutions was to stay more in touch with the people in my life. The newsletter allows me to do that.

I was amazed at the level of connectivity that resulted. People who have been known to take weeks to respond to emails -- if they respond at all -- responded immediately to the newsletter. Several forwarded it to others. And I kicked myself for not starting one sooner.

So, if you are knocking around the idea of a regular News-From-You missive, these simple steps may help you start:

The target audience is an inexact science.
1.) Identify your target audience. If you are a writer, what is your main genre? Who are your ideal readers? Craft your newsletter to appeal to that audience. Similarly, if you are a teacher, a speaker, a researcher, or a scientist -- or if you are developing a newsletter for an organization -- know who you most want to connect with.

Though I write in several genres, complex female characters are my forte. My ideal readers respect and admire women. My newsletter recognizes and builds upon that respect.

2.) Determine your topics. Your target audience determines your content. While a newsletter is your opportunity to tell others about what you're up to, beware of devolving into banging the drum of shameless self-promotion. People are far more interested in what you are doing than what you are selling.

A good way to avoid falling into the "Me! Me! Me!" trap is to identify a few general topics you know you can consistently write about, much like the different sections of a newspaper or magazine. Each new edition of your newsletter, then, simply involves adding new content to each of your pre-determined topics.

For instance, my newsletter generally begins with an opening note about something that happened recently and how it impacted me. Then I share one or two things I've discovered in my recent research, or in my reading, that I found interesting. (These are almost always off the beaten path. I never pretended to be a Pop Culture Maven. I'm more comfortable as the Odd But Interesting Aunt.) A short update on Major, and the rest of our vast menagerie, follows. I wrap up with a sort of highlights reel of what I'll be working on in the month ahead.

3.) Remember to Provide Value. Honor your reader's time and attention. Make it worth their while to open your newsletter. If you recommend a book or a movie, make sure you really *liked* it. If you talk about your latest research, make certain your reader has a clear takeaway. Strive to ensure that your readers are more informed, more entertained, or more inspired after reading your newsletter.

4.) Start Small. You may not have a massive mailing list. That's ok. I started with just family, friends, and clients. Tell "your people" about you're newsletter ask their permission to include them in your trial run. Most will agree.

A side note: Even if your friends and family aren't your target audience, I strongly advice including them on your newsletter mailing list. They already know you and love you. They want to know what you're up to. As your mailing list grows, continue to write for your target audience. But never forget about the ones who "knew you when."

5.) Hit "Send." I use MailChimp. It's free and easy to understand -- both critically important criteria for any new undertaking on my part. Do your homework to discover which email marketing service (industry jargon for "the thing I do my newsletters on") is best for you. Then, take the plunge and check "Have a Regular Newsletter" off your list of Things to Do for 2018.

My MuseLetter goes out at the beginning of every month. How frequently will you send updates? That's up to you, but try to keep to a regular schedule. You know what your schedule can handle. Sending too frequently fills up in-boxes and runs the risk of annoying readers into unsubscribing. Sending too seldom makes it too easy for people to forget they gave you permission** to contact them.

** Remember, you must have someone's permission to email them. Permission is a person's specific, verifiable consent to receive communication. Sending emails without permission is a perilous pathway to being reported as spam. Spam is bad. You can start with a list of your current contacts. Then, use a simple sign-up form to let people ask to join your newsletter posse. (See Exhibit A on the top right of the web version of my blog. Feel free to sign up. I'd be honored.)

Sunday, January 07, 2018

A Major Milestone

Today is a special anniversary. One year ago today, I adopted Major.

My perfect, pudgy pillow.
Major is, as far as we can tell, part Chihuahua, part Corgi. Probably. He looks a lot like the love child between Yoda and a loaf of bread.

Was I looking to add to my pack o' dogs? No, I was not. As people informed me, I needed another dog like I needed a hole in my head. I had lost Robert only a few short weeks earlier. Christmas, New Year's, and Cassandra's birthday had passed in a grey blur. I already had a menagerie of dogs, cats, horses, chickens, and sundry other animals to care for. Plus, I'm not a fan of little dogs.


I *was not* a fan of little dogs.

Major helped me see the error of my ways.

On New Year's Day, 2017, I went to the animal shelter with my neighbor. Her elderly cat had died and she wanted to try to fill the hole in the house he'd left behind. (I went, warning her that if she expected me to talk her out of adopting a furry creature, I was the wrong person for the job.) She came home with Bowser, an adorable tuxedo cat. And I, perusing the kennels, discovered Major.

My mom lived in an elder care facility owned and operated by one of my longest, dearest friends. Some time earlier, I'd broached the idea of having a companion dog at the facility. "Let me know if you ever find the right dog," she told me. Which is the equivalent of a divine quest, you understand.

When I got home, I called her and told her about the little dog I'd seen at the shelter. She consulted with the main nurse at the home. The nurse agreed that a little dog might be a good thing. So the next day, I went back to Animal Control and hung out with Major. He was perfect for a companion dog:

Self-assured without being snippy.

Small but solid.



Quiet but alert.


... All good things.

I sent my friend pictures from the pound, got the greenlight, and came home with the boy.

"You got a new dog!?" people said, doing little to hide their incredulity, because everyone knew acquiring a new mouth to feed was NOT one of my priorities.

"No, no, no," I assured them. "Just fostering him a little while. Going to take him to the vet. Make sure he's going to work out at Mom's elder care. Probably take a few weeks to get him completely introduced and assimilated. But we're not keeping him."

"mmm-hmmm," they said, unconvinced.

Couch potato.
I had the best of intentions. Really, I did. So when I took Major to Mom's home for the first time and he acted as if he'd lived there forever, I basked in the glow. Then the nurse saw him. And the glow faded.

"Ohhhh...," she said, backing away when Major went to say hello. "I didn't know he'd be so big."


Now, Ten-Pound Tiny Boy is many things. But "big" is not one of them. His ears are literally the biggest part of him.

This was when I discovered that the nurse in charge had not only never owned a dog before, but she was also legitimately terrified of them. And while this information would have been good to know before adoption, there was no way in the world I was taking Major back to the pound.

"I knew you'd never give him up!" friends crowed.

Meh. Let 'em crow.

Major is made of awesome. He literally made 2017 bearable. Plus, I love what happens when I look at the world from Major's point of view:

*  Every time I look at him, I laugh. Every time. He's so compact, so dignified, so utterly self-possessed. Yet he's got these novelty-store ears that crack me up whenever I see them. He is not trying to be funny. He's not particularly playful, and he's long past the puppy stage. But he is still freaking hilarious. Whenever I need a laugh, I can count on Major to make it happen.

*  He is a fraction of the size of my other dogs, who are between 50 and 60 pounds. Yet he doesn't shy away from hanging out with them.  He will wait till the girls are all asleep, then crawl on top of one of them for his nap. Through his filter, everything in the house exists for his comfort and convenience.

*  Major loves to be with people, but he isn't always thrilled about hands reaching out to pet him. He's especially not a fan of being picked up. When a someone reaches for him, he'll back away, the giant ears melt, and his entire body droops. I have no idea what happened in the little dog's past. He likes people -- on his own terms. His favorite thing to do (he's doing it now, in fact) is to curl up beside you on the couch so you can use him as an armrest. But he prefers to be the one to decide how the physical contact happens.

Watching the road for intruders.
*  He is small, but he is mighty. He has no idea how insignificant he is. When he's outside, he will stand up to anything. Doesn't matter if it's a tractor, or my Percheron gelding, or the UPS truck -- Major will stand his ground and bark to alert the world of the intruder's presence. While the other dogs are frivolously wasting their energy chasing squirrels into trees, Major is watching the road for trespassing vehicles. (His definition of a trespasser is anything he can see that moves and is big enough to crush him.)

*  Here's how to ruin Major's day: raise your voice and yell at him. Or sharply reprimand any of the other creatures in the house -- he'll take it personally. Then the whole-body-droop will be in evidence, and he will do his best "bread loaf" impression as he attempts to become invisible.

* Major celebrates every meal. Food of any kind is the highlight of his day. He will literally bounce off the walls. Then, in anticipation of eating, he will spin in circles. (Always counter clockwise... I don't know why. His tail hooks permanently to the left...) Sometimes the Dining Dance is accompanied by yips of sheer delight. The ears flap. The eyes sparkle. He derives such joy and such pleasure from a basic daily event.

Those are just some of the reasons why I'm celebrating the anniversary of having the little guy in my family. I cannot fathom the reason that made his former owners dump him at the pound. But I'm glad we found each other. I'm glad we had this year together. With any luck, I'm looking forward to many more.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The Annual Extra

From "Geoff Teall on Riding Hunters, Jumpers, and Equitation." P. 49
When I was helping hunter / jumper judge and trainer Geoff Teall write his book, he brought up the concept of the Annual Extra. The annual extra was one thing he determined to add over a year -- in addition to his regularly scheduled program -- thus making it part of his routine.

I love this idea. This year, I am going to implement an Annual Extra in several areas of my life.

* Professionally, I'm going to start sending out a newsletter.

I'll continue blogging, aiming for regular updates every Monday, because I like the longevity and permanence of a blog. I've met so many wonderful people through the magic of internet searches that bring them to my posts. (Of course, if net neutrality becomes a thing of the past, blogging probably will too. Guess we'll cross that rickety bridge when we come to it.)

Major, the MuseLetter Mascot
Blog posts are forever. But I want the opportunity to interact in a little more timely and personal way with people. Hence: the monthly MuseLetter. [You've signed up for it, right? If you're reading this on your phone, you may have to click "View Web Version" at the bottom, but there's a nifty MuseLetter signup form. It would be cool if you'd join me on this little adventure. I solemnly swear not to waste your time.]

I want a place to share cool things I've discovered while researching my latest projects, odd or quirky books and movies that lie far off the beaten path, portraits of fascinating people I wish I'd learned about before, and more. I figure if such things inspire me, they'll likely inspire others.

* Creatively, in addition to the two books I intend to write, I'm going to finish "ANTHEM," a concept musical honoring American women.

This is a big stretch for me. My songwriting has always been something I've pushed to the back burner. Writing the songs is one thing. That's fun. Letting other people hear them -- that's way out of my comfort zone. But it's something I'm going to tackle this year. Because: growth.

* Personally, I'm picking up the guitar. Again.

Telling myself I'm going to learn to play it. Again.

Last year, I did fair-to-middling with this decision. Until about March. Then, erm, well, let's just say my good intentions became paving blocks on the highway to Hell.

But I mean it this time! I've trimmed my fingernails ("too long; can't practice" is relegated to the trash-heap of 2017). I've loaded GuitarTuna on my phone to practice chords when I'm sans instrument. I've re-searched and re-found and re-bookmarked the YouTube tutorials I need. I'm gonna do this!

Why am I telling you this? Two reasons: 1.) Telling the world of my plans makes me more accountable. And 2.) perhaps you, too, would like to join me in my Annual Extra extravaganza.

What extra thing do you want to make a regular part of your life in the next twelve months? What additional skill would you like to have? Do you want to write a novel? Make a film? Learn a new language? Maybe you'd like to keep a neater house, have a container garden, or learn ballroom dancing. Your Annual Extra could be "write an actual letter to someone every week and send it" or "take up watercolor" or "become proficient in C++." Whatever it is, here's your official green light. Make it happen. Blessings to you as you put another wrinkle in your brain in 2018!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

10 Free Gifts for Everyone on Santa's "Nice" List: 2017 version

Happy Holidays!
"Watch me make this bone disappear..."

Merry Ho-Ho!

Two years ago, I posted the first "10 Free Gifts" list. This year, I thought the time was ripe for an update.

Feel free to dispense these gifts to those you know and love. Spread the holiday cheer!

1. 2017's Best Jokes for Dog Lovers
Q: What kind of dog does a magician have?
A: A Labracadabrador!

Q: Why did the poor dog chase his tail?
A: He was trying to make both ends meet.

Q: What do you call a dog in the snow?
A: A chili dog!

2. Best DIY Noisemaker For Kids Who Do Not Live in Your Home
The "Popsicle Stick Harmonica" is the gift that keeps on giving. It's simple to make, so you get to spend some quality time with the Little Ones. It requires no glue or glitter (HALLELUJAH!). It makes genuine noise which is neither digital nor accompanied by flashing lights. And it's *fun.*

You'll need:
*  Two popsicle sticks that are the same size. (Used popsicle sticks that once held Dreamsicles work just as well as anything else. Just sayin'.)
*  Two small rubber bands.
*  A strip of paper the same size as the popsicles.
*  A toothpick, broken in half.

--> Place the paper between the two sticks. Wrap a rubber band tightly around one end.
--> Slide one half of the toothpick between the paper and the bottom popsicle stick, all the way to the rubber band.
--> Place the other half of the toothpick between the paper and the top popsicle stick at the free end and wrap with remaining rubber band.

Hold popsicle stick harmonica horizontally and blow through it. Voila!

3. A Real Classic for Lovers of Literature
During the month of December, the University of Chicago Press offers GALATEO as its free ebook. (This link will work through the end of 2017. After that, it will take you to a different, but still free, ebook. It's like freebook roulette!) Written in the early 1500's by Giovanni Della Casa, for the benefit of his nephew, "GALATEO, or The Rules of Polite Behavior," is both fascinating and funny. It's an acerbic look into the etiquette and customs of early Renaissance Italy.

4. Start a Painted Rock Craze
Painted Rock Hunting is a real thing, from Louisiana to Washington. Why not start your own hunt? First, find some rocks and paint them. (Yes, really.) If you've got a house full of family wondering what to do if they can't talk politics, set them to painting too.

Then, later, either go for a walk en masse and hide them (the rocks, not the family members) for strangers to find, or hide them yourself for the family to discover. Though especially intriguing for the little ones, this is a great way to get people off the couch and outside.

5. Make a Brown Sugar Mocha
Though the Clove Mocha recipe from the 2015 list is my favorite, this is a close second:

* In a drip coffeemaker, add 1/2 cup of good ground coffee or espresso, 1 Tbsp. quality ground cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg. Add 5 cups of water and brew the coffee.
* Meanwhile, mix 1/3 C hot water with 1/2 C unsweetened cocoa till smooth. (OR use 1/3 C dark chocolate syrup)
* In small saucepan, heat 1 C milk, 1/4 C dark brown sugar, and 1 tsp. vanilla extract over low heat till sugar dissolves. Add chocolate syrup to pan and stir till heated through.
* Pour 3 to 4 Tbsp. of brown sugar syrup in the bottom of a coffee mug. Fill with hot coffee. Stir. Mmmm!

6. Best Math "Gotcha" for the Brainiacs
The Challenge: Add "+" or "-" to the first 9 digits in sequence to make a total of 100.
The Solution: 12 + 3 - 4 + 5 + 67 + 8 + 9 = 100

7. Get a Great Night's Sleep
Because it's good to give gifts to yourself on occasion, here's one I highly recommend: Issue a Screen Moratorium for at least an hour before you go to bed. I mean it. Remove the TV from your bedroom. Banish the computer to the office. Leave your phone on the kitchen counter.

Fill the now screen-free hour by reading a book -- a real one, not an ebook. Listen to music. Pet your dog or cat or bearded dragon. Do a little yoga. Take a bubble bath. Find a way to give your brain a welcome break from electronic bombardment. Nighty-night!

8. Use a Furoshiki Gift Wrap
This Japanese wrapping cloth, which has been around since at least the 8th century, is a great green way to reduce the 4 million tons of wrapping paper and gift-related crap that ends up in US landfills every year.

"It's just a piece of fabric, like a teatowel or a bandana, right?"

Well yes... and no. Check out this video as a jumping-off place for the versatile Furoshiki. (Caveat: guard your time well. Furoshiki videos are a massive rabbit hole of awesome ideas.)

9. Make a YouTube Playlist and Share it With Someone Special
It's the 2017 version of the mixtape. Maybe it's a compilation of the Top 20 songs the year your parents got married, or a "greatest hits" version of your dad's favorite old-school standup comics, or replays of the best football game finishes your brother has never seen. (If you don't know how to create a YouTube playlist, here's a simple tutorial.)

Then, share your creation with the one who inspired it. Ideally, you can do it in person. But if distance separates you, let the internet bridge the gap between you -- at least for awhile.

10. Write a Letter
Not an email. Not a text. A letter. It doesn't have to be long. A short postcard or notecard will suffice. Say "Thank You" to someone who may not know the impact they've had in your life. Right an old wrong. Say "hello" to a new neighbor. Tell someone who is going through a rough time that you're thinking of them. Or reminisce with an old friend. Then -- and this is key -- mail that puppy.

It's true, it'll cost you the price of a stamp, so *technically* it's not "free." But it's a great, inexpensive way to spread some serious holiday cheer.

Here's hoping this season brings you warmth, wonder, and wishes that come true.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

A Widow for One Year

Just over a year ago, on December 3, 2016, I said "goodbye" to my WunderGuy.

I can't believe how quickly the time has gone. In addition to all the stuff that goes along with losing someone: planning a memorial service, spending interminable hours waiting at Social Security, and getting one's financial ducks in some sort of row, the year included a whole cycle of Normal Stuff. Christmas. New Year's. C's fourteenth birthday. Eighth grade graduation. Spring. Dad's birthday. Summer vacation. C started high school. Fall. My birthday. Thanksgiving. And here we are. Full circle.

The year included some memorably good things:

*  Thanks to the marvels of modern medical technology, and the blessing of the Affordable Care Act which allows me to have decent insurance, a routine test that showed some abnormalities turned out *not* to be cancer or anything else majorly devastating. *Whew.*

*  I finally signed with an amazing agent who gets what I write, who likes what I write, and who thinks we will be mutually good for each other's business. (The moral of that story: sometimes you've got to be bull-headed enough to plod forward, even in crisis. You can't get to "yes" if you quit.)

*  I spent a wonderful, carefree day in Chicago with some of my very favorite people, including my lovely daughter who is literally growing up in front of my eyes. We saw "Hamilton," which every single person should do at least once in the next 12 months, if you ask me.

*  My mother, who suffers from severe dementia and other physical and neurological issues, went on Hospice after dealing with pervasive pressure sores. Then -- in a move that stunned everyone -- she rallied! Her wounds healed, in direct contradiction to everything the medical pros expected. She even had a few good days where she knew my Dad and was able to communicate with him. We all know she is not long for this world. But her good days are a blessing.

Each of these events, in addition to other, smaller ones throughout the year, made me wish I could share them with Robert. For me, it's not the high holidays when I miss him most. It's lazy Sunday mornings, or hearing our daughter's handbell choir play his favorite song, or seeing something that references a family in-joke, or laughing at the antics of our dogs -- I miss him in all the little things that add up to make life richer, fuller.

Yet, I'm grateful. For friends. For family. For my daughter who graces me with drive-by "I love you's." For blue skies and orange leaves and fuzzy horses and fresh pumpkin pie and homemade sushi and YouTube videos of silly birds and political pundits. I'm grateful for the years we had together: though our time together was cut short, we had far more good years than many people do.

So, I marked the anniversary of losing Robert by doing the things I normally do. I directed the church choir. I wrote a little bit. Did some laundry. Made dinner. Watched a video with my kid. I was never one of those people who is defined by being married. Guess there's no point in being defined by what I've lost.

In case you needed it, here's your daily reminder to let the ones you love know it. Love may last forever, but people don't.

Friday, November 24, 2017

I'm Thankful For...

Happy Day After Thanksgiving!
Me: "I'm going to take a picture."
Dogs: "You're gonna kick us off the couch, aren't you?"

This was Cassandra’s and my first Thanksgiving without Robert. And even though it’s been nearly a year since he passed, every new day only underscores the importance of making the most of the moments we’re given.

Our Thanksgiving was a small, quiet one with just Dad, Cassandra, and me. We had several wonderful friends who invited us to share the day with them, but instead opted to stay home. I spent the greater part of the day hanging out with my dogs on the couch, watching videos when I should have been writing.

One of those videos included the great Thanksgiving PSA earworm of William Shatner “singing” about the dangers of deep frying turkeys. "Dingle dangle." You’re welcome...

Some things for which I am especially grateful this year:

  • My family. Dad lives just down the road and eats dinner with us every night. The other day he said, “I just realized how lucky we are that we all like each other. Not every family can say that.” True. True.
  • Caregivers. My mother is an elder care facility in the strange, gray purgatory of debilitation and dementia that requires Hospice care. She is surrounded by amazing people who make sure she gets three home-cooked meals a day and all the medical care she needs. Dad visits her every day for several hours. I am eternally thankful for those dear souls who are with her 24 / 7.
    Major: the Earred Wonder
  • Friends. After Robert passed away last December, my friends stepped up to the plate and did their best to fill the gaping hole in my life. We’re not guaranteed tomorrow. Today is all we’re given. Today, I am grateful for those who count me as their friend.
  • The animals that make up my extended furry family. This especially includes Major, of the tiny body and enormous ears, who was abandoned at Animal Control at the end of last year, and who came into our home in January for the sole purpose, I believe, of making me laugh.
  • Coffee. Pecan pie. Freshly laundered sheets. Thunderstorms. A hot fire on a cold day. And so much more...
Click to download the full-page .pdf file.
Last year, I had the amazing Karina Dale design a color-it-yourself mandala that I could share with my readers. It was such a huge hit, here it is again -- just click to download the full .pdf file. Enjoy!

Beginning in January of 2018, in addition to the blog, I’m going to send out a short monthly note.

(I don’t want to call it a “newsletter.” That sounds so... stuffy. I’m envisioning it as something more fluid, that shares some of the cool things I’ve run across, helping us stay better connected.)

If you'd like to join me in my monthly "Muse"letter, freshly delivered at no charge in your in-box, please fill in your information in the form provided. Let's stay in touch!

I'm especially thankful that there are things still unexplained and undiscovered. To illustrate: here’s my most recent favorite thing that makes me go “huh?”

May you find something every day to be thankful for.

(Updated 11/26/17: The newsletter sign-up is on the MuseInks blog homepage. If you have blog updates delivered via email, please click link at the bottom that says "You are subscribed to email updates from MuseInks." It will take you to the main page, with the aforementioned form. Thank you!)