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Barking In The Write Direction

Friday, September 15th, 2017

Mom and I created Misfit Island four years ago when I moved from California to small-town Texas to care for her. We live in a community of 30K and have a college in town. We are on about 30 acres of family land in the Piney Woods of Deep East Texas.

To get along and share a project, we began adopting unwanted dogs. At one point, we had 20 residents. That was too many and our funds didn’t cover care for that many. Dogs get dumped in our woods and five of our residents came out of the thick brush.

I watch these dogs traverse Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. First, physical needs are met, then socialization and a feeling of safety develops. Finally, they let their personalities come out and they bark! At the moon. At a deer. While chasing a rabbit.

These discarded beings use their voices to let the world know they are still here. On the universal radar of life, they insist on showing up. That is exactly why I write. I study one subject to its deepest intensity each year.

On New Year’s Eve, I write a summary of the past 12 months and write goals for the new year. I also choose my annual topic; addiction was last year’s, natural healing is this year’s. Next year is open. After I study intensely, I reflect what I’ve learned in articles, columns and Q&A sessions with readers.

As a writer, my goal is to reflect people in a way that they mirror the current human condition. Sometimes my words are profile. Other times, I hope they educate. I made a pledge long ago to avoid creating pieces that reflect or exploit bad news.

With a journalism degree from SMU, I had no concept of what a news career would look like. I did a few months of on-air. Quickly, I was the ‘blonde.’ “Where did you get the earrings you wore last night?,” was the most in-depth question I was asked.

Off-air, it was strange to feel people staring at a restaurant. Odder when they approached with serious queries like “When is your birthday?” or “What’s your favorite food.” My constant thought was “Why did I go to college?”

Many times over the years, I generated income in other places to allow me to write. I earned little for my actual editorial work but always managed to stay in print since college. However, print is a dying business. Newspapers will one day be in antique stores, like the toys I grew up with.

One idea I have is to enroll in the local university for my Master’s. Maybe, I can incorporate an advanced degree with immersion into the electrical age of media. News has become instantaneous. Print will be for ‘think pieces.’

At 54, my voice is blooming and an audience is forming and giving me great feedback. People are starting to listen and respond. My readership is up in the thousands. I have a distance to go but I’m barking in the right direction. Finally.

3D Puzzles – It’s A Bigger Challenge Than Jigsaw Puzzles

Friday, September 15th, 2017

Jigsaw puzzles are fun, interesting, relaxing, and adventuresome as we assemble the pieces to create a whole picture. Puzzles are available for children and adults. Puzzles are used for hobby interests or professional careers.

Jigsaw puzzles are fun, interesting, relaxing, and adventuresome as we assemble the pieces to create a whole picture. Some people will look at the picture on the box cover, assemble the edge pieces, and then pursue filling in the remaining picture.

Other people like to match the pieces and create groups or sections and assemble edges and interior sections as they advance through the puzzle pieces.

The 3D puzzle pieces are built upward and outward creating a finished dimensional product rather than a flat creation. There are 100 to 3000 puzzle pieces; the greater the number, the greater the difficulty.

This concept was invented by Canadian, Paul Gallant in 1931. It was an overnight worldwide success and it continues to be popular with people who enjoy assembling puzzles which require more challenges than the standard jigsaw puzzle.

Multidimensional design

The 3D puzzle is a miniature replica of an object and it is available in three different variations. The pieces are interlocking or may require being glued in place during the assembling process. These puzzles have depth, height, and width.

The 3D puzzles are available as famous buildings, a variety of houses, city skyscrapers, towers, palaces, statues, ancient ruins, religious temples and churches, bridges, educational toys, animals, flowers, circus and carnival rides, ships, planes, trains, and other real items.

These puzzles may be do-it-yourself creations or purchased singly, or as kits. These replicas may be made with cardboard, poster board, wood, plastics, and metal.

The puzzle pieces differ from the traditional flat puzzle as they are thicker, stronger, and have sharper shaped pieces.

3D Puzzle Assembling Tips

  1. Beginners need to start with a 100-piece puzzle before tackling average to hard levels
  2. Read instructions and study diagrams
  3. Separate different colors, piece styles, or specially marked pieces
  4. Start building from the bottom with the flat square edged pieces first; same as the standard jigsaw puzzle. Outside pieces have square-cut notches.
  5. Assemble sectional areas
  6. Connect large sections to the foundation. (Follow detailed diagrams)

Puzzle Solving Benefits

Jigsaw puzzles and 3D puzzles offer a leisure time activity, relaxation and improving dispositions, logic, problem solving, increase concentration and brain activity, visual memory, improves memory, sparks brain chemistry, develops patience for details, and moving slower, dexterity assembling skills, develop spatial awareness, heighten creativity and imagination, and functioning pleasantly with self or others.

Puzzle Benefits

  1. Fun entertainment for individual, family, or group activity
  2. A leisure activity for relaxation and meditation
  3. Educational
  4. Many varieties of puzzles are available from simple to complex
  5. Puzzles are available for all ages
  6. Hand and eyes coordination, dexterity – larger shapes and fewer pieces for children, smaller shapes and more pieces for adults
  7. A variety of artwork to hold interest and determination to finish puzzle
  8. Increase brain activity, creation, and imagination
  9. Develop problem solving and spatial skills
  10. Career enhancement
  11. Tools for educators, teachers, medical professionals, architects, and engineers