Trends in Writing, The Arts, Regional Events, and High Desert Living

Posts in category Entrepreneurs

3 Easy Steps to Change Your Mood

Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison

I’m sure that many of you have these seasonal mood swings that force you into introspection or shades of melancholy. Just when the end of the heat swarms and thunderstorms have badgered you down with tepid exhaustion, you want to bounce back in some way.

Since writers are typically driven by moods, whether they want to admit it or not, the feelings of inadequacy, self-doubt, and fruitlessness in creativity seem to take over. It’s just about this time that a friend calls you with a conversation tailor-made to perk up your spirits and save the day.

I’ll let Andrew Lock, business marketing and a pioneer in web TV, a guru, who I’ve been following for many years:

Let’s be realistic. Life doesn’t always go how we want it to, right? Does that mean that your life is doomed and you won’t achieve the success you dream of? Of course not. Everybody fails. Let me show you some pretty powerful examples to illustrate this point…

Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor because “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” He went bankrupt several times before he built Disneyland. In fact, the proposed park was rejected by the city of Anaheim in California, on the grounds that it would only attract “riff-raff”.

Andrew Lloyd Webber has had some dismal failures in the world of musical theater, yet no one remembers them.

Thomas Edison’s teachers said he was “too stupid to learn anything.” He was fired from his first two jobs for being “non-productive.” As an inventor, Edison made more than 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. When a reporter asked, “How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?” Edison replied, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”

Albert Einstein didn’t speak until he was 4-years-old and did not read until he was 7. His parents thought he was “sub-normal,” and one of his teachers described him as “mentally slow, unsociable, and adrift forever in foolish dreams.” He was expelled from school.

Charles Schultz, creator of Peanuts, had every cartoon he submitted rejected by his high school yearbook staff.

Just put a Beagle on this roof

Just put a Beagle on this roof

After Fred Astaire’s first screen test, the memo from the testing director of MGM, dated 1933, read, “Can’t act. Can’t sing. Slightly bald. Can dance a little.” He kept that memo over the fire place in his Beverly Hills home.

Decca Records turned down a recording contract with a band called The Beatles

Early Years

Early Years

with the fascinating evaluation, “We don’t like their sound. Groups of guitars are on their way out.”

A friend of mine in the music industry personally auditioned a singer by the name of Reg Dwight in the 1960’s. He unceremoniously shoved the singer out of his office for wasting his time. That singer is now better known as Elton John.

Imagine if any of these individuals HAD given up, believing they were doomed to failure, and that they would never achieve success.

Do you think they felt down or even depressed at times? Of course. But I can guarantee you that they didn’t allow a gloomy state to overtake them, to overpower their desire to succeed. And in every case they did succeed, in a HUGE way, far greater than their wildest dreams.

Bad experiences can be viewed as positive in hindsight. They can be viewed as stepping-stones rather than stumbling blocks. It’s your choice, but be determined to never ever give up.

Thanx, Andrew. He can be found at and he’s developed a video personality all his own with his unassuming, soft, English accent.

I can find myself staring at a huge pile of projects that need to be worked on and feel the overwhelming mood to run away. We all know that when you come back, the pile is still there. So, it takes some regrouping and a system to de-clutter and weed through the pile to find the priority projects. Your work is important.

3 Simple Steps to Manage Your Work Load

I give my priority projects an hour or two and move on to the rest. I try to break up the work in segments of 25-40 minutes at a time so I can enjoy mental breaks, then I give myself little rewards for accomplishing them. These are the easy steps to working alone in your home office. Whether you’re a freelancer, a entrepreneur, artist, author, or marketing guru, these steps are how the rest of the day can be managed when you work alone.

Is doesn’t help to allow your mood to take control because sometimes the moods become your all day attitude. That’s not productive for anyone, even highly skilled workaholics. We all have days that seem out of whack. So even a quick text, phone call, quick walk, or email can rejuvenate your spirits. And, it helps to have a network of friends or peers who can do just that.

Rusty LaGrange

High Desert Mailmax Postal Center in Hesperia, CA

Hesperia printing and mail center

Mailmax Postal Center
Hesperia, CA

High Desert Blogging is a blog focused on the community of Southern California’s Victor Valley, its people, businesses, arts and crafts, desert gardening, places to shop and eat, and events, etc. Introducing entrepreneurs, writers, and artists from the area is an important part of what our bloggers enjoy. When finding out information on local services offered by businesses, books written by authors, or art advertised for sale, getting to know the owners or individuals behind those products and services is appreciated by consumers.

One of the High Desert’s entrepreneurs is Angel Gonzales, a friendly face you often see when walking into the Mailmax Postal Center on Main Street in Hesperia.

High Desert mail and printing center

Mailmax Postal Center
Hesperia, CA

A Time Spent at Mailmax Postal Center

By Angel Gonzales, Mailmax Postal Center

A few weeks ago I had the blessing of my son’s visitation from the U.S. Navy for his annual family reunion, and like all the other times he visits, that thought of how quick the time will go still gnaws me to death. I was under the impression that perhaps something was wrong with me in feeling this way until my son began describing to me the very same feelings that I frequently had while he was home. In fact, he shared a story with me about a conversation that he had with a peer that worked in his department on how he communicated his feeling of not wanting to come because he hated the leaving to return to base in Georgia from his home in California. I do some serious soul searching regarding this phenomenon of mine, and what I came up with is two things.

  1. God really cares about even the smallest things that concern or move you
  2. He provides hope when all odds seem against you for God delights Himself in the impossible situations of your life to prove himself strong on your behalf.

Let’s start with the first. So here we are on July 15th, 2015 on a Wednesday at 12 Noon headed for the Ontario Airport to drop off my son and his girlfriend April to board their flight at 2:00 pm ending our two-week, fun-filled time together. My mind had played the scenario so many times during those fourteen days while he was with us. The heavy sadness would plague me as I would have to say goodbye for now, and now we were here on that day living it out. While driving down the 15 freeway headed south approaching the 10 freeway about to head west, and as we were passing the Ontario Mills Shopping Mall, I say to my son “Look, Dave and Busters, my favorite hang out.” I told him that the next time he visits, we would have lunch there. He simply responded with, “Yeah, Dad, next time.” The walk up to the terminal felt like someone strapped a 500-pound iron yoke to my neck, I was so heavy with sadness. As we approached the U.S. Airways counter, the lady at the computer terminal informs us that their flight was delayed a whole day and that they would not arrive on their military base until the 16th and very late at that. So after a short convening between the two of them, they decided to call the higher ups and explain the situation regarding their air flight which happens a lot in the military world. Their superior simply replied, “See you guys in a day or so.” I turned and looked at my son and say to him, “Dave and Busters?” He lets out a laugh, pats me in the back and we head back to our car to reload their luggage to our lunch destination to…well, you know where!

While walking towards the Ontario Mills, my wife along with my son and April followed about 10 feet behind me as I laughed and praised God exceedingly for removing the stigma of what I anticipated becoming a very sad day to a day of rejoicing and a good time awaiting us just one more time. In the midst of all this, I heard a still small voice speaking to my inner man that said, “I gave you not only this day, but the desire of your heart is about to come to pass.” It was as if the Lord did this one act to show me that he can and will, plain and simple.

The days that followed would prove my second point in that God moves the impossible for you. My son, being slightly determined to reenlist in the Navy, was pretty adamant about going international with his next move. It really felt like someone just knocked all the wind out of me. I will never manipulate the Lord for my will, but I will certainly make my voice and feelings known to him and with that said, before I knew it, my son sent me a text three days after he got home informing me that he put in for a transfer to San Diego, California Naval Base which is only a one and a half hour drive from our home. God surely moves mountains.

So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. (MATTHEW 17:20)



Mailmax Postal Center, 15555 Main St., Ste. D-4, Main Street in Hesperia offers printing services, faxing, mailbox rental, and is an authorized shipping center for FedEx, UPS and USPS. 
(760) 244-6867


How the Entrepreneur Can Learn How to Blog

Are you an entrepreneur who wants to learn how to blog?

High Desert Bloggers, Route 66 Molly Brown's

High Desert Bloggers at Molly Brown’s on National Trails Highway

Starting a small business can easily become overwhelming with lists of priorities and important tasks to keep up with. Add learning a blog to that list, and it will be put under the if-I-ever-get-to-it section. The High Desert has blogging and entrepreneur groups that are motivating to beginning and pro-bloggers. Whether new or experienced, all bloggers need motivation. Look online for a group like these to get you motivated. If there isn’t one, start one. Need help starting a group? Visit or for ideas.

Networking with a like-minded individual is motivating and encouraging. That’s why groups like High Desert Bloggers and High Desert Entrepreneurs meet. High Desert’s Small Business Development Center is another wonderful help to the entrepreneur starting out.

Blogging workshops are also taught by bloggers. Meetups are scheduled monthly to give bloggers a boost of inspiration and motivation and are usually free. Occasionally, however, paid workshops are offered. The workshop entry fees are reasonable.

Scheduled from August through October are poetry and entrepreneur workshops in the High Desert. Kicking off the poetry workshops, will host a poetry contest this month. Contact us for more information, and check our blog daily as the contest will soon be posted. Also visit our Events Page for upcoming blogging, entrepreneur, and community events.

I’m so happy to have you visit our blog and hope that you will take a moment to leave us a comment. Let us know what blogging and entrepreneur information you are in need of. If you have a community event coming up, do let us know so that we can publish it on our blog.

Enjoy your summer!

High Desert Bloggers Meetup






More Crafters Find New Customers at Santa Fe’s Craft Day

Newest vendor — Ursula McGrue

lthough the craft days with Santa Fe Trading Co. is over due to the excessive heat, crafters are always looking for new venues, shows, and cool places.


Garden of April Handmade soaps & Lotions

Garden of April Handmade soaps & Lotions

At the last event there, April Bracy showed her handmade soaps and lotions and creams. This health trend is growing and “Garden of April” is producing and marketing with her booth at different locations this summer.

Presentation of products is important

Presentation of products is important

Her line of products have been carefully researched and tested prior to selling to the public. If you’d like to contact her about the products she makes go to or call (760) 963.4793.



Lizzie Designs offers bulk gems and crystals to crafters

Lizzie Designs offers bulk gems and crystals to crafters

A regular vendor of quartz, crystal, gems, and unique stones are Janet and Mary Lou Flecher under the name of Lizzie Designs. Each time I run into them at Western events or craft fairs, their collection of gems are always fascinating. They carry the cabochons and beading findings for other crafters as well as large pendant crystals popular in statement jewelry.

Mary Lou’s artistry is featured in their necklaces and bracelets. You can find more about them at Email to Janet at Mary Lou can be reached at Give them a call at (760) 985.5432.



When I checked the products offered by Ursula McGrue, I found that she loves pink and black combinations in her jewelry creations.


Newest vendor -- Ursula McGrue

Newest vendor — Ursula McGrue

Although just getting started in crafting and selling to the public, she is a military wife and always on the move. This is her way to make a few new friends and some extra money while stationed in the High Desert.

She always has her Facebook page at to bridge the miles between customers. Contact her by phone at (913) 702.4986.


Variety of Styles

Variety of Styles









A wife and husband team, Candee and Bob Paredes, find that each can provide what’s needed to take a raw mineral specimen, grind, cut, or polish it to make it ready. That’s what Bob does.

Plumdragon Products with beaded jewelry

Plumdragon Products with beaded jewelry

And Candee takes it to the next level creating some awe-inspiring stones mixed with beading and weaving. With their unique artisan designs and creative concepts, Plumdragon attracts many admiring customers.

Another of their products is the highly praised wire-wrapping of fossils pieces into a variety of bracelets, brooches, necklaces, and earrings. Called amolite, these can be used in a variety of ways to show off their color and shape.

I asked where the idea of “Plumdragon” came from. Candee said it was her favorite color — plum — and collectible — dragons. I should have guessed. You can reach them by phone at (760) 617.7051 or by email


Vintage Designs by Angel

Vintage Designs by Angel

It seems that every crafter using gem rocks, crystals, and beads can develop their own unique design ideas. One that stands out is Liz Dyson who offers natural cut glass and naturally ground glass art pieces tumbled from the sea. She likes to collect glass that she can work into statement pieces with striking light and color.

Her designs caught the eye of other fine art artisans who recently asked her to join their guild. With recruitment like that you may see some of her designs in more shows in the future. Liz also likes to embellish wine bottles with woven bead overlays that really make a statement as a gift to a wine lover.  Making unusual designs is her forte. She can be reached by email at or by phone (909) 660.9128.

If you visited any of these vendors recently, let them know you liked what you saw by commenting here or contact them directly.

Rusty LaGrange


Networking at Santa Fe Craft Show Works for Entrepreneurs


This new network of High Desert business people gain information and workshop together about running a business through a popular Meet Up group site. They also meet face-to-face and this time promoted their wares with a shared booth at the seasonal craft show held at Santa Fe Trading Company on Seventh Street, Victorville.

Natural Art of Healing

Veronica, Sun, and Dayna each have their own businesses

Veronica, Sun, and Dayna each have their own businesses

Sun Yoo is an RN and promotes Natural Art of Healing within her Sun & Soul Retreat in Apple Valley. She provides classes and services in Energy Cleansing and Healing for professionals, Yoga Meditation including self-empowerment and grieving, and home care in healing. Being a reverend, she also performs non-denominational services. Call Monday – Friday for appointments at 949.228.3100. Check her website at: and contact her by email:

Turner Document Mobile Services

Healing Arts from Sun and Business Documents from Dayna

Healing Arts from Sun and Business Documents from Dayna

Also sharing the booth was Dayna Turner of Document Mobile Services. She can help with different documents that a standard household might need, such as probate forms, licenses, rentals and agreements, and soon with Notary Public mobile services. Many people are not aware that legal forms are available online. Dayna provides access to such documents. She can be reached at 760.900.8674 or at

Mary Langer Thompson

Mary is a published author, also shared the HD Entrepreneur’s booth promoting her latest book:  “Poems on Water,” published by Green Fuse Poetic Arts. Her book of poetry received National Indie Excellence Awards Finalist status. Her book can be found on just search for the book title. Mary’s subjects are thought-provoking, real, and often aimed at social reform and peering into the workings of social conflict.

Mary Langer Thompson's book -- Poems on Water -- now available

Mary Langer Thompson’s book — Poems on Water — now available

As a retired English and poetry teacher, Mary also hosts a critique group about poetry on behalf of the High Desert branch of the California Writers Club. Within that organization, she also became active with the a writing program for inmates at the federal correctional complex at Adelanto. You can reach her through her Facebook page at

High Desert Blogging and Angie Horn

Angie Horn developed the HD Entrepreneurs Meet-Up group to help promote people she met while selling her books. By sharing a booth at the Santa Fe Trading Company’s Craft Show, she was able to help new business folks just starting out to find an new audience. Marketing and exposure is one of the hardest parts to overcome, and sharing expenses is one way to help.

High Desert Blogging Members

Angela Horn

She first began High Desert Blogging while deciding how to publicize her first book: Phantom Seven: Secret Heroes of World War II and OSS, a book based on her father’s memories and six others who translated codes and messages for allies through a secret system of underground connections. She also has other books and one about cooking eggs.

You’re at High Desert Blogging right now, reading about how you can join the blogging community to share info about your business while getting wider exposure for what you offer. If you like what you see here, you can be a guest blogger, comment regularly, even buy ad space for your business. Without a network plan, you will be working harder to let people know what you do and how your business grows.

Rusty LaGrange

Share Your Event with our Blogging Network

Like a Pebble Dropped in a Pond

Like a Pebble Dropped in a Pond

Does your business have a new event to share or mile marker in its history? A celebration? An anniversary? Get the word out to hundreds of blog readers who follow on High Desert then tell them about your shop.

How long have you been in business? What is your specialty? Are you only online or do you have a storefront as well? What’s your address? Do you sell to a certain age group or specific interest? Do you have an active web site? Please share with us.

What days are you open?

What hours are you open?

Do you have sales days or use coupons?

Can shoppers use credit cards, debit cards, or gift cards?

What’s your shop’s telephone number, fax number, and do you have a toll-free number?

These are the basic questions that readers ask us.

Don’t forget to list all of your supported social media connections. Facebook. LinkedIn. Twitter. The list goes on …

In every case, you’ll find a new shopper, a new friend, and a new connection. That’s what blogging and networking is all about? Like dropping a pebble in a pond.

If you feel that networking and blogging are taking too much of your time, you can hire someone to do that task for you. Virtual Assistants and  business bloggers are all around. Let us know if you need some help.

Rusty LaGrange

Table Top Tablet for Your Dining Ease

 It had to happen. The electronic age of handheld games, PDAs, a cell phone that will let you purchase as well as communicate, these are all transforming faster than we can afford to upgrade.

Table Tech

New electronic waitresses sit on your table


Now the newer trend is to have an automated cashier at your table. I don’t mean standing at your table; I mean a small e-cashier sitting on your table.

You may have seen these in the large franchise restaurants like Applebee’s, TGIF, Chili’s and Red Robin, among those in the High Desert. It sits unobtrusively at the rear of your table or right in your face, either way, you can even opt for a pre-paid game, the news, see the shop’s menu and specials, and more. You can even ignore it and pay the traditional ways of cash or card handed directly to the cashier as you leave.

I talked to several waitresses who will be anonymous, of course, and found that this trend creates mixed feelings. I figured the younger patrons would quickly grasp the ease of the unit and use it as masterfully as WarCraft. But not so. They’re concerned about someone losing their job.

The latest news is that Applebee’s started the trend and IHOP soon joined in.

From their web site:   For more than 30 years, Applebee’s has defined the casual dining experience in America, influencing food trends for more than 1 million guests every day and defining value and service for the industry. Today, Applebee’s steps into the future to redefine and enhance the guest experience through the installation of 100,000 E la Carte Presto tablets, powered by Intel, on every table and multiple bar positions at more than 1,800 Applebee’s® restaurants in the United States by the end of 2014.

DineEquity, franchisor of Applebee’s and IHOP® restaurants, announced the relationship with an aggressive schedule for installation throughout the Applebee’s system. The tablets, which enable guests to add to their orders, pay, and play games from their seats, will also be introduced at IHOP locations.

With the convenience of swiping your credit card down the edge of the screen, you have no need of talking to a cashier as you leave the restaurant. This topic alone, replacing some of the cashier staff, has caused patrons to bristle at the fact. The younger generation patrons under 50 feel pretty much the same as patrons over 50. They don’t like killing off another staff position. More unemployed or part-time staff. No good.

Some diners love the convenience but then wonder about its safety. Most franchises will have secure coding at the level of ATMs so the fear factor is reduced. Yet, if hackers can jump into The White House, Lowe’s, and Target, who is really safe? Others said that handing a credit card to a person can be just as dangerous when they duplicate the card behind closed doors.

Sometimes the restaurants with loud sports bars make it hard to hear a transaction at the table. Using a quick swipe of the table top tablet offers quiet, quick, and quality service. Units can offer their shop’s complete menu as well.

Discussion at our table centered on enjoying ambiance, conversation with real people, and the skill of a waitress knowing her menu and pricing much easier than scrolling through a menu on screen. One server stated with a grin, “You might as well get use to it. I think these are here to stay.”    

Missing the Arm of Casino Slots?

                                             Missing the Arm of Casino Slots?

 Is it the trend that we will just accept like the ATM, the smart phone, and slot machine with no arm? Perhaps.



Do “Moochers” Tie Your Sales in Knots?

Selling content, whether it’s in a book, CD, DVD, a training program, or content on a blog,  a case study, or for a large web site, has the same inherent problem of facing the “moocher.” You write a piece of advertising hoping to hook a buyer by offering little free goodies: an e-Book; a free article; a discount; an item sent through surface mail, the list is


The “moochers” seem to troll the streams of opportunity looking for freebies. And while that’s not illegal, it costs time and resources to others who are truly looking for advice or a product you have.

Moochers come in all sizes. They like free stuff. Never mind that the free DVD on raising worms in your backyard is furthest from their mind. They’re just little hoarders.

The problem is that a lot of people, who were not qualified  prospects for those services, would call and demand the free CD anyway.  This wasted the time and money it cost to fulfill these requests  for that free CD.

This is what happened to Bob Bly, a long-time guru in Direct Marketing for large clients as well as  selling his helpful how-to books to entrepreneurs. For him it was worse!

“I resented these freeloaders — big-time. It annoyed the bejeezus out of me, truth be told.

“Why?  These moochers knew I offered the free CD to get copywriting  clients.  They knew they were NOT potential clients — and yet they were  telling me to send the CD because, after all, I had advertised it.

“Recently I changed the offer from a physical audio CD to a  downloadable PDF e-book, so as to eliminate the expense of  fulfilling the requests.  But I had the same problem: non-prospects who had no intention  of buying my paid services mooching free stuff off me.

“This problem is not unique to me, by the way.  It is a universal flaw in the content marketing model:

“Namely, when you offer valuable free content as a bribe to get  response, you generate a lot of response from people who want  the content only but have no interest in your product or service. So, here is my easy solution for stopping these “content moochers”  cold.

“I humbly recommend it to you, too — if you, like me, don’t want to waste time and effort giving away valuable free stuff to people who are not potential customers and never will be.  To get my free e-book, you have to type into your browser the URL of a landing page where the book can be downloaded.

“The landing page copy used to say — “fill in this form to get your  free e-book” — which to me says anyone and everyone can get it.

“But a few months ago I changed the landing page copy to say —  “fill in this form to see if you qualify to receive this free  e-book.”  This clearly communicates that not everyone is entitled to it.

“You have to qualify. And who decides whether you qualify? I do — based on how you fill in the order form. Importantly, I believe the copy, as worded, frees me from the
obligation to send the e-book to anyone I don’t want to. And I don’t. It’s my call — at my discretion.

“It’s a small thing, but I came to resent the freeloaders who  wanted an e-book that regularly sells for $49 for free.

“So I don’t send it to just anyone any more. It’s only for  prospects I might consider taking on as clients — (or customers we might sell a book to) —  a very small subset of the universe.

“If you are using landing pages to give away free content, and you want to separate qualified leads from freebie seekers, here are a few tips:

** As stated, change “to get” for the phrase “to see if you qualify” — clearly indicating that whether they get the freebie is your  call, not theirs.

** Also have a separate check box they can use to request more  information on your product or service. If they only check the box for the free content and not for more information on what you sell, they are most likely a bad lead and you can act accordingly. Exceptions? Of course.

** Require them to give you their web site. By clicking on it you can instantly see whether they are a real prospect and a good fit for your services.

** If they disrespect you by filling in fields on the form with nonsense or gibberish — don’t respond or send them a thing.

** Make phone number and e-mail addresses required fields. If the information they fill in is fake, again they are not a good lead.”


Thanks to Bob Bly’s insight, we can tighten up the sales funnel and make more sales through prospects that are actually interested in the products, books, or services we sell.

Now that makes sense.

Bob Bly, Copywriter / Consultant and author of over 70 books, can be reached at or

Rusty LaGrange

If you like what you read here,
then you can

How can I…?

Innocent Labor

Innocent Labor

After lots of hard work, re-writes, and hysterics the finish line is almost in sight. The release of my book, Innocent Labor is right around the corner.

I’m so excited I want to scream…then cry, usually followed by the need for a glass of wine. Don’t judge me, I’m a writer. Being an emotional basket case is part of who we are. I saw it on Facebook so it must be true.

It’s interesting now that I’m releasing a book, I’m being asked “How does a person write a book?” A couple years ago, I was the person searching for a mentor and answers to my questions.

Over time, I’ve learned everyone, myself included has a different writing style. I don’t know if there is a guide for the “Ten Steps of How to Write” (I’m sure it’s been written, but I’m always asked for specific answers and not general guidelines). However, I believe everyone is different and should find their own way to allow their muse to speak.

This isn’t to indicate you shouldn’t implement a few rules to control the chaos that is your creativity. My first priority was to always carve out time to write (Best Advice Ever). If I didn’t schedule that time, the magic didn’t happen. When I was lucky the ideas would churn around in my head while I went about my daily tasks. The words and scenes pushed me out of bed, the characters becoming so real I’d forget they lived in my head and not in reality.

What's in My Head by Cynthia (aka MrsPeel) Love the words inside the silhouette here!But I couldn’t depend on those magical moments to write a book. It’s like waiting for a cool day during the summer months in the High Desert. If you want rain, you’ve got to make it happen. Dig deep within yourself. Watch movies similar to your story, make notes about the feelings a particular scene invoked. Go outside, describe what you see, feel, and smell. Even researching information can help form ideas, propelling characters forward in the story. (Again, great advice I received.)

Oh yes, the writing process can be an indescribable rush when a story has the writer clenched in its grasp.

I’m also the kind of writer who prefers music playing in the background rather than television while I’m writing. Creating a playlist to match the vibe of what I’m looking for in my story helped build a connection with my characters and the scenes. I’d close my eyes and picture what I was trying to put into words; the music taking me to that place emotionally where I wanted to take the readers.

But remember, writing a book is just the beginning. In addition, there are revisions, rewrites, professional editing, critique groups, book blog tours, marketing, networking, and creating a presence on social media.

Writing and re-writing.  authors.  writer quotes.  goals.  advice.  wisdom.  life lessons.

The Beautiful Part..

Writing can be a daunting task. And becoming a self-published writer can sometimes seem overwhelming. However, the feeling of satisfaction of having a completed and professional literary piece that you have created cannot be denied.

Would I do it again? Indeed, I would.

As a matter of fact, I’ve already started on a second project and I’m ready for round two.

For more information or to get to know Just a HD Mom you can connect with her on Twitter @MGEdwardsWrites and Facebook

Take a Road Trip With High Desert Bloggers

Happy bloggers from across the valley met at Molly Brown’s Country Café near Helendale for  a terrific breakfast on Saturday. It was the first stop on our vintage-themed road trip. We know that bloggers tend to stay at home blogging but once in a while we just gotta get out and meet the others who we may have blogged with in the past.


High Desert Blogging friends meet at Molly Brown's Country Cafe

High Desert Blogging friends meet at Molly Brown’s Country Cafe

“What a great idea,” said Beverley, who was one of the bloggers arriving from San Bernardino. She was curious to learn more about the High Desert and getting out with her new blogging friends was just the thing she was looking for. “This way I also get to see some new areas that I never would have tried on my own.”

Main gate to the Bottle Tree Ranch on Route 66

Main gate to the Bottle Tree Ranch on Route 66

She joined Patty and Josef, Natalie and Joan, and Angie Horn, our High Desert Blogging creator and me, Rusty. Our road trips are a new feature that the bloggers are enjoying for 2014. Sharing some creative ideas plus doing a bit of adventuring helps to develop more blogging focus. The exercise is good, too.

After breakfast we caravanned down the road to Elmer’s Bottle Tree Ranch, an odd feature along Route 66. Elmer’s been crafting iron tree shapes to hang discarded bottles on for more than 15 years.

Elmer greets the Bloggers -- a rare treat

Elmer greets the Bloggers — a rare treat

Each tree is a wonder of color, collectibles, and weathered antiques. Not one word can describe it — entertaining, whimsical, and recycled art — are a few that come to mind. You just have to see it to believe it. The Bottle Tree Ranch has been featured in numerous papers, magazines, and captured on countless video cameras from visitors around the world.




Recycling Wonder at Bottle Tree Ranch

Recycling Wonder at Bottle Tree Ranch

Our bloggers had a rare chance to meet him and ask a few questions. He was recently interviewed by an LA Times reporter. But you’ll read more about Elmer’s Ranch from our other bloggers. Keep checking back.

Since this was a road trip, we had to move on to our next stop at Linda Marie’s Enchanted Treasures. The roadside vintage store is outside as much as inside. Her crafty repurposed creations are clever, entertaining, and useful.


A nook full of chimes and wind catchers

A nook full of chimes and wind catchers

Patio kitsch, chimes, trunks, and re-imagined furniture cover the outside walkways that twist and turn. Inside, the little shop is “floor to ceiling” with Americana, handcrafted items, dolls, glassware, and ornamentals. It takes more than one visit to really “see” it. Enchanted Treasures has been featured on High Desert Blogging before but it’s a shop that changes with the seasons. Worth a stop.

Glass menagerie line shelves in a nook trailer at Linda Marie's

Glass menagerie line shelves in a nook trailer at Linda Marie’s


Our last vintage stop was the old-timer — Antique Station. It’s been an active antique store for many years. The old warehouse, L-shaped, building houses dozens of consignment nooks with different themes and collected items from various decades. A casual walk through time turns into extended hours of recalling historical events, childhood memories, and wishing that you had more money to spend. They do offer lay-away in some cases.

Our road trip came to an end but not our shopping time. Several of us stayed on to roam the entire building, others scouted the outside porches, while a few made their way home. We are now recharged with many blogging posting stories to share with you.

As we gain more guest bloggers and regulars on the site, the plan is to bring more benefits to bloggers. “We’ve updated some of the benefits for our group,” Angie noted. “Soon we’ll have memberships and discounts on services that bloggers and businesses will find in common.” Advertisers can extend their exposure to attract more customers and bloggers will be linking to other blogs through linking and marketing strategies.

Stay tuned for more road trips and inspiring stories to help your blogging become more creative and valuable to a wider readership.

Rusty LaGrange

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

iBlog Magazine for Professional Women Bloggers