Beware of the bunny who's chasing carrots.

Beware Of The Bunny

For many of you that are BlogCatalog members and for those of you who aren’t or just now tuning in.  You’d have to admit that this avatar …

Beware of the bunny who's chasing carrots.

Beware of the bunny who’s chasing carrots.

(the bunny with the black eye wearing the punching bag gloves), is not only a bit scary looking but also kind of cute.
I’ve taken the time to get to know him a little better as it’s always good to get to know the blogger behind the avatar.  Who is he really?  Well….let’s find out!

Mr. Bunny, a/k/a  user name:  PBScott on BlogCatalog.  I know you’ve been a member of BC since 2009 but how long have you been blogging?

PBScott:  I started my blog in 2009 as well.

AngieA:  Where you ever a member with Blogger before it went out of business?

PBScott:  I joined Blogger about the same time as I joined BC.  BC was of course the best blog network, even back then, but Blogger was also pretty good when I first joined it. Blogger degraded something terrible in the last year before it finally closed down, they blamed the poorer management on financial reasons caused by the huge changes most everyone was experiencing with the internet at the time.

AngieA:  What got you started blogging?  Were you influenced by other bloggers?

PBScott:  I used to read blogs and not really identify them as blogs, before I started blogging myself I just called everything a website. I did read some great writing back in the day, and I am sure they had some influence on me, just as everything else I read and experience in life does.

AngieA:  I’ve read that you’re originally from Vancouver Canada but live mostly in Asia. Why Asia?

PBScott:  I went to Asia on the recommendation of a friend of mine who was very well traveled, he had been to S America, N America, Europe, Africa and Asia all for a few years each.  So his recommendation of where to go in the world was pretty important to me, he was not wrong.

The more time I spent in Asia, the more ties I had to it. I eventually married a woman I met in Japan, who had grown up in Thailand. We had a son together, Nicholas. And the three of us settled into Canada for about five years, that was when the Tsunami hit Thailand, which destroyed my wife’s home town, and killed most of her relatives. She returned to Thailand at that time, taking my son with her. She did not want to return to Canada after she spent a few months there, and would not let my son come back to me there, so I was forced to move to Thailand if I wanted to see my son.

AngieA:  Gosh that sounds really tough, it couldn’t have been easy for either of you at the time.   Though it’s easy to see that you made the right decision as you and your 14 year old son looks very happy together.


In read your post “Mercenary For The Man” that you wrote six years ago, and read about how it was you started to travel the world. That really took guts to do that. What has been the greatest learning experience for you during your traveling adventures?

PBScott:  The biggest thing I learned from traveling was that no matter how much preparation I made for each place I visited, all the reading, video watching, talking to people etc, it never really prepares me for what things will actually be like. After a while, I changed from what I guess was a bit of a know it all, into a guy who knows he knows nothing.

AngieA:  What about the worst? Any regrets?

PBScott:  Traveling separated me from my friends and family back home for many years, causing me to lose touch with most people. That is my biggest regret. In hindsight, losing touch with those I cared about was not worth the cost of the adventure.

AngieA:  Maybe one day you will connect with them again.  I think most of the time our fears get in the way more than what’s actually real when it comes to getting  back (connecting) to old friends and loved ones.  I mean, if they were really old friends at one time or quite possibly more, don’t you think they’d love to hear from you?  Hummm…
Maybe a question for another time but certainly something to think about.

How did your parents react to this decision of yours?

PBScott:  Travelers is quite common in my family, my mother spent most of her childhood moving around on the Queen Mary, where my grandfather conducted the Queens Royal Band. My father traveled quite a bit on a shoestring when he was young, and my grandparents on his side also traveled extensively. My father had already passed away by the time I went traveling. My mother encouraged me to go.

AngieA:  Interesting indeed.
I know you’re a developer, what school did you go to learn your code? Or did you learn it on your own?

PBScott:  I first learned how to program on my own as a kid. I had a late 1979 Texas Instrument TI99 computer, and one of my school teachers sometimes gave me books of code to enter into it which made games. At the age of 28 I went to CDI college in Vancouver to study programming, I learned Assembler, C, C++, Java, and Visual Basic, CDI is the largest computer college in Canada, and I finished with the very top score in the nation at that time.

After finishing college, in my spare time, I built a ridiculously fast game engine in Java, and interviewed with quite a few game companies. The companies were slow to respond to the interviews, so after a couple of months, I assumed there were no positions for me, and flew off to Asia for a holiday. Later I found out that I got a couple of jobs offers from them, one from Rock Star, and one from Radical, but by that time I was off on a beach somewhere, far away from a phone. The game engine was unfortunately lost with most of my other possessions in a home robbery, and I have never been motivated to recreate it.

Though I don’t use any of the languages I actually studied in collage for my work, due to my background with programming, it was easy for me to learn HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP and parts of various other languages on my own.

AngieA:  So what’s next on your life’s agenda?

PBScott:  I am not sure where life will take me next, I certainly didn’t expect I would be where I am now at my age.

AngieA:  What about the Poetry on your blog?  I noticed you’ve only written poetry that pertains  to T-shirts you sell?  If so, I think that’s a great idea.  Why don’t you write more of them?  I think they add such a nice touch.

PBScott:  I only have about nine poems on my website, four of them are made for the shirts. I would like to write more, but unfortunately all my time is taken up with trying to make a living these days. I have probably another 100 or so poems in boxes back in Canada I need to dig out one day. is struggling, a year ago everything looked like it was going to be OK, but this year traffic is down considerably. We sell a high percentage of people that do make it to the website, but due to changes on the internet, visitors have become few and far between for us over the last few years.

I am unsure if my writing has helped sales.

AngieA:  Hey, …I think it helps, as I wouldn’t have noticed your t-shirts without the poetry description of one of them.  It then made me curious on what else you had on your T-shirt site which I then browsed through them and bought one as you know.  😉

By-the-way, What’s the number #1 seller these days?

PBScott:  The Last Cookie  The-Last-Cookie-Shirt-Closeup is doing well for us at the moment, it is a parody of The Last Supper, with Cookie Monster sitting as the guest of honor.

AngieA:  Can’t decide if I like it.  lol
BUT…I do think it’s funny.   Perhaps we should ask our audience?  What do you all think?   Screen Shot 2015-11-08 at 3.24.34 PM

AngieA:   Off the wall question.
If I asked you to pick a song that best described who you are, which one would it be? And why?

PBScott:  I am not sure of a song that would describe me. Maybe “That’s Life” by Frank Sinatra, because life also kicks me in the teeth from time to time, and then I pick myself up again.

Thanks for sharing, it was so nice hearing more about you! :)

Connect with PBScott on BC and make sure to check out his blog on his T-shirt site.    –   On Twitter 

And Beware of the Bunny Chasing Carrots! 



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BlogCatalog Launches Indiegogo Campaign For New Publishing Platform

“If you’re a blogger having a JURNL is for you. It makes blogging really great by making it super-easy to build a community. We took what we’ve learned from managing BC and thought how can we build a product that uses this knowledge and puts it in the hands of bloggers so that they can elevate what you’re already doing. For us the key is community. We want you to have that too and it’s the reason for creating JURNL. We’ve developed most of it and to get it complete are running a crowdsourcing campaign. If you are interested in being part of this please support JURNL and contribute or simply share what we are doing with your friends. Let’s make blogging better because any small to medium sized publisher can benefit from a JURNL” ~ Angie Alaniz, Founder, BlogCatalog

Here’s the Crowdsourcing page at Indigogo

Please read it and let me know what you think.

This is how great your JURNL will look

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We believe that JURNL will elevate your blog, and provide you with the tools to increase your blog’s exposure, traffic opening up new opportunities.

BlogCatalog one of the web’s preeminent blogger social communities has launched JURNL a social community builder. JURNL was created after reviewing close to 1 million blogs and seeing how challenging it is for individual bloggers publishers to create beautiful looking magazine style publications that harness the power of community.

“We’ve reviewed close to 1 million blogs on BlogCatalog and see that there is a difference between the “haves” that are investing $100,000s in their online magazines and the rest of us who either need to use a simple blogging tool or invest a bunch of money into building out a community publication in order to compete,” says CEO of BlogCatalog, Angie Alaniz.

The companies new publishing platform JURNL enables any publisher, whether business or individual, to create a powerful and beautiful online presence. It’s an elegant solution to address a challenge that many bloggers have, and that’s how to compete or stand-out in a web with so much content.

BlogCatalog JURNL platform builds community, something the company has specialized in for the past 10 years. “Our goal was to take this community experience and share it with smaller publishers that do not have access to the tools that the largest players on the web do,” reports Tony Berkman, founder of JURNL.

Tool’s that come standard on a JURNL start with making it simple to publish content. According to the company it’s the publishing of content that is the primary reason for most publishers giving up. Then there are the community building elements that provide publishers with a way to build a community of writers, so that there is a continuous stream of new content being created. The tools they’ve developed include invites after each post, email digests of top media and trending posts, discussions, polls, and features usually reserved for the largest sites on the web.

JURNL is about making it simple and worthwhile for anyone to build a community of writers and create a publication that will stand out. It’s somewhat a combination of Pinterest, Facebook and Tumblr. The major difference being that you get to own it.

Among the various tools that come with JURNL some of the interesting one’s include community features such as beautiful profiles that highlight writers, invites after writing, leaderboards to run writer contests, polls and share videos..

“Unlike current platforms we designed JURNL so that you rarely have to access an admin area. Writing posts, placing videos and photos in a gallery is a fun and happens instantly. It’s the first time in 7 years I’ve managed to keep creating,” says Tony Berkman, President of BlogCatalog. I

The company has built the JURNL that they do custom installs have just kicked off a a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to meet their next goal of turning JURNL into a self-serve, one click set up so that anyone has access to creating their own JURNL. For more on their campaign visit…

About Antony Berkman

Passionate about social communities, blogging, new media and how to use them to make a positive difference.

From Raising Drama To Living Her Dream

1“Raising Drama” is the title for the unfolding story of a woman who loves being a mom. Motherhood is one of the most demanding roles that is played out in a social context. The urge to fill this role has to begin somewhere and for us all, the starting line is from the time we are born. Just because you have the ability to go forth and multiply does not qualify you to be a good parent. Not everyone is cut out to be like the moms portrayed in family shows on television. Family shows like, “Leave It To Beaver”, “Donna Reed”, and The Huxtables, of the “Bill Cosby Show”, were shining examples for us to watch. But they are not real life. A lot of kids are fortunate to have loving parents and a pretty balanced home life. Unfortunately many kids are not so lucky. Too many are not raised in ideal situations.

The thing that Theresa Dodaro wanted most in her life was to be a mother, but it was also what scared her most.

Theresa explains she grew up in surroundings she describes as dysfunctional and with lots of drama. I’m certain many of us can relate to some familial dysfunction and drama … especially around the holidays. If you were fortunate enough to have a dependable upbringing it is sad to think that it isn’t so good for every kid.

2bThe blog “Raising Drama” is the story of an intuitive woman whose door has always been open to many of the children in her neighborhood and even to some from countries far from her home. She has seen the pain in the lives of these children and as much as she wanted to help them, she learned the environment that they had to go home to limited the help she could give them. So, she decided to reach out to the parents of those children in the hopes that she could show them that they may be “… packing the baggage that their children will carry for the rest of their lives.” In the event that she might not be able to reach those parents, she hoped that she could reach the children. She wanted them to see that although they cannot change the past, they had the power to change the future. She has written her first book and in these chapters, she allows herself to therapeutically release those things from childhood. Her thoughtful approach is one that can be appreciated by her readers, and we’re glad she decided to become a part of the blogging community.

Theresa: I know you live outside of New York City, one of the most famous and exciting of places. Do you often travel in to shop, see Broadway shows, see the Fourth of July Fireworks, or ice skate at Rockefeller Center?

TheresaD: I have never been to the Thanksgiving Day Parade, or the Statue of Liberty, or the Freedom Tower. But my daughter and I enjoy going to Broadway shows together and I love the Museum of Natural History and the Tenement Museum near Little Italy and Chinatown. I worked in the city in Rockefeller Center for eight years at McGraw-Hill in the late 1970s and 1980s. Most of my time there, I was an Editorial Assistant in the College Book Division.

Theresa: How many children do you have and what are their ages?

2cTheresaD: I have a daughter who is 23 and a son who is 18.

Theresa: At what age did you start writing down how you were feeling about things going on in your life?

TheresaD: I had an English teacher in 9th grade that told our class that some people could paint while others had different talents, but that everyone could write. And that writing could be a way of expressing what was hidden inside, whether or not we decided to share it with the world or just keep it for ourselves. I probably started writing then.

6Theresa: Why do you feel your home was dysfunctional? Can you talk about some instances?

TheresaD: This is a difficult question. If you ask my siblings, you will get different perspectives. I was the fourth out of five children and there was an eighteen-year span between the oldest and youngest. My parents raised us the way they were raised, they didn’t know any better. They didn’t mean to harm us. There are levels of dysfunction and mine certainly wasn’t the worst.

4443_1129818212982_1313986_nMy father was “king of his castle.” He worked hard every day as a machinist and although he made very little money, he was frugal and provided for his family and was even able to save. We didn’t go away on vacations and throw birthday parties like the other kids in our neighborhood, but we had a roof over our heads, clothes on our backs and food in our bellies, which is more than Dad had when he was growing up. He had been a child of the depression era, which taught him not to trust the economy.

2aMy mother was a mother because she didn’t have any other choice; there were not many options for a woman in those days. She bore her five children over eighteen years. She loved babies, but she wasn’t very fond of children once they outgrew the baby stage. She had no vote about anything in our household because my father’s word was law. Instead she got attention by playing us children against each other. She did this long into our adult years and this caused a lot of hard feelings between us kids, but she never did it intentionally. She did it because she was child-like herself.

My father was the disciplinarian. He thought he was teaching us a lesson when he hit us with his belt. We feared him and at times we hated him, but we also loved him. He had a gentle loving side, too. By the time I reached the age of six our Dad had been diagnosed with cancer. My older brothers will tell you that this dreaded disease “mellowed” him. Both of my brothers left home when they were 17 or 18 to join the service, which left me, and my older sister, and our youngest brother still living at home. Cancer is a difficult thing for a family to live with and back then, there was no one to talk to about cancer. It simply wasn’t talked about. Our father suffered for fifteen years and when I turned twenty-one he died.

Theresa: What are some of the basic guidelines you have incorporated into your style of parenting?

TheresaD: I make mistakes and when I do I apologize. I believe in taking ownership of your part when things go wrong. You can’t control another person, but you can try to influence them. If they respect and care about you, you might hold sway over them. Think ahead to the years to come. What is cute when they are little becomes a problem for everyone when they become a teenager. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. When children are young and trying to gain control of the house, remind yourself that you are the parent. Indulge them but outline their boundaries. Encourage and reward rather than punish when you can. Be clear on the rules and enforce them. When you do punish them, make the punishment relative to the infraction. Never hit them or humiliate them.

Theresa: How do you feel about the struggles you experienced from early childhood and on into your teenage years? All of us face challenges and struggle somewhat as teens … did you have more than your fair share at that age?

TheresaD: Perspective is everything. Some people may think I have had more than my share, but to others it could seem that I may have had it easy. I’ve always been someone who watched the rest of the world, making a point of remembering particular moments. I found an interest in why people do the things they do because I was always trying to understand them. The struggles and experiences I had as a child made me who I am now. Not all struggles come from your family. Many come from your peers and your environment. Some even come simply from events beyond your control that are happening in the world. No one has a perfect life. It would be boring to live with total perfection.

Theresa: How challenging is it to write your first book?

TheresaD: I didn’t know if I could write a book, but it was what I’d always wanted to do. I took my first real job at McGraw-Hill because I wanted to understand book publishing in preparation for writing my own. I realized writing a book takes time and focus and I was busy living my life. I was very ill when my daughter was about to turn 11 and my son was about to turn six. I had strep in my blood system and was in renal failure, respiratory arrest, and congestive heart failure. Doctors put me into an induced coma and I was placed on a respirator. Given only a 20% chance of survival, well that changed my life. With a second chance at life there were two things I knew I needed to do, raise my children and write my book. When my daughter was fifteen, I finally knew what I wanted to write about. I told her that I didn’t know if I could finish a book, I didn’t know if it would be any good, I didn’t know if I could get it published and yet writing it would take time away from my family, from her and her brother. My beautiful teenage daughter looked at me and said, “Then write it for me, mom.” I did as she suggested … I wrote it. I loved my characters so much that one book has turned into a trilogy. The second book is half finished and the third is already begun.

Theresa: Do your kids sit down and discuss what their days were like? Do they often ask for your advice? Do they have friends who ask for your advice, too?

003TheresaD: Yes. My daughter is a Ph.D. student in Environmental Anthropology at Tulane University. She is spending this summer at a field school in the Amazon learning an indigenous language to prepare for the research she will need to start soon. During the school year, she doesn’t call me every day anymore, but she calls me once a week and texts to check up on me. I’m the one she calls if she is stressed or having a difficult time.

002My son is 18 and he has just finished high school. Every day he came home from school and sat with me in the kitchen while having a snack and telling me about his day. Last October, on one of those afternoons, he confided to me there was an exchange student from Ecuador who was living with a local family. They were not treating her well. He said the girl had gone a whole weekend with only cereal to eat and that the host mother yelled at her a lot and was making her clean her house.   When the girl tried to get her host parents to talk to her own concerned parents, they refused. Just the thought that one of my children could be in a foreign country and having a similar experience made me say, “Tell her she can live with us.” We contacted the proper representative and a few days later, we had an eighteen-year old exchange student living with us for the next eight months! We Skyped with her parents a week later, and they were both crying as they thanked us for taking their daughter into our home. Even her younger sister and brother were crying. It wasn’t long before she, too, came home from school eager to tell me about her day.

I enjoy talking to my kids and they trust my advice. Their friends are always welcome at our house. I have been the PTA President of my children’s elementary school and the Girl Scout Leader for my daughter. Their friends especially like when I read their Tarot cards. They come up with some very interesting questions that show what’s going on in their heads and their hearts. It’s an easy and non-threatening way to give them advice as I read their cards. I love when they come back to me and tell me that the cards were right. They don’t realize it wasn’t the Tarot cards it was really I giving them direction.

Theresa: Have you been enjoying the summer so far? Any plans to go to the beach or have family outings?

TheresaD: It has been a hectic summer. Our exchange student’s mother came to visit for a week before taking her daughter back to Ecuador. After she left, some of my family came to visit to be here for my son’s graduation. Meanwhile, our daughter left for the Amazon. This past week was college orientation for our son. Even though it has been chaotic we do try to find time to relax. We have a little place in the mountains upstate and when we go there, we get a chance to recharge our batteries.

Theresa: How long have you been blogging and do you enjoy socializing online?

TheresaD: I’ve been blogging since 2011, but my blog has changed over time. It started out as “Raising Drama” because unlike when our children were small, there was no place for parents to go to discuss how to raise pre-teens and teenagers. I wanted parents to know that the drama that their teenagers were exhibiting may be, in part, due to the way they raised them. If we don’t take ownership of our part in it, then there is nothing we can do to change it. It’s good when we take responsibility, because if we don’t then it is beyond our ability to enact change. There are things we can do while raising our children, from the time they are toddlers, to reduce the amount of drama that our teenagers will take part in. And I try to share those ideas in my blog. But as my children have grown, the blog has turned into an avenue for me to explore myself, and the changes that I am experiencing in my life as my children prepare to leave the nest. As life changes and I now find myself taking care of my mother, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s, I reflect on how that has impacted both of our lives. Finally, it’s also a platform for me to share my book and to develop a following that will be interested in reading it when it’s published.

Theresa: Who has been the most influential in your life … someone you found to look up to or emulate?

TheresaD: Mrs. Mullen. She was the mother of two of my closest friends when I was growing up. She was the mom that everyone in the neighborhood could talk to when they couldn’t talk to their own parents. I want to be for others, what she was for me.

Theresa: Do you plan on writing more books and if so, what topics would you like to write about?

TheresaD: My first book is about overcoming dysfunction in a family but it is also a love story, a historical novel, a mystery, and a journey with a ghost for a guide. The story is about three teenage girls growing up in 1968-1969 on Long Island. The girls find a tin box in a tree house that once belonged to one of their mothers. In the tin box they find a collection of letters. Those letters take them on a journey to 1912 in which secrets are revealed about the past, clues that indicate a possible imminent danger for one of them. As the girls grow and change, the world is changing. There is the Cold War, the Vietnam War, Civil Rights Protests, the First Landing On The Moon and Woodstock. By the end of the first novel, the girls discover a hope chest that sends them on another journey, this time back in time to the 1860s and the Civil War. The reader makes the discovery that some of the characters in the “The Tin Box” are reincarnations of characters in the prequel, “The Hope Chest.” The third book will take the original characters into early adulthood and the 1970s. My hope would be that someday these books are used in classrooms as part of the school curriculum.

Theresa: Tell us please some of the things you like to do to relax and unwind.

TheresaD: I research my family tree. I don’t read that much anymore because the books I want to read are the ones I’m writing therefore I write instead. I like to take walks and ride my bike. I’m a history buff and enjoy traveling to visit historical sites, especially Civil War sites. I enjoy going on Ghost Tours in every city I visit and hearing the stories behind the history.

Theresa: If you were not a mother, if your life had turned out differently, what might have you pursued as far as a career or dream?

TheresaD: I went to college to be an English teacher, but instead, I worked in publishing and marketing. I intended to continue working after having my children. But it took a long time to have them, and once I had them, I didn’t want to miss a minute. In being a mother I have been everything, so I didn’t miss out on anything and together with writing, I am living my dream. I am also very lucky to have a husband who supported my desire to stay home to raise our children and who also supports my dream to publish my novels.

Theresa: What do you like the best about writing?

TheresaD: Creating a story that entertains and educates at the same time. I slip back in time and make things right in the only way that I can and that is very therapeutic.

Theresa: Do you like to travel?

TheresaD: Yes and I will be doing more of that now that my kids are grown. I especially enjoyed going to Italy and meeting my cousins. An ocean had separated our family for the last 100 years.

Theresa: Where do you see yourself in five years’ time? I set little goals for myself and wonder if you do, too. Tell me what your life could be down the road.

TheresaD: I look forward to becoming a published author, traveling and talking to young people about my books and about life.

Theresa: What are some of your hobbies? Do you like to cook, grill or bake? If so, what are a few of your favorite recipes to make?

TheresaD: I cook Italian recipes and I bake. I enjoy keeping the traditions of my family’s ancestors and in Italian families that is very intertwined with cooking.

Theresa: Tell us about some of your relatives and ancestors. Where are they from originally and how have they influenced you?

9TheresaD: My grandparents came from Italy, as did my husband’s grandparents. My father’s parents were from Sicily and when I was a small child we spent a lot of time at their house. Some aromas in the kitchen or the sound of the Sicilian dialect bring me right back to my childhood. Each of my ancestors has a story and I tell their stories so that they won’t be forgotten. I research the family tree to put the missing pieces of the stories together so that the whole picture can be seen.

Theresa: What have your children done to make you thrilled to be a parent? How have they affected your life?

TheresaD: Knowing my children appreciate their lives is the best reward I could ever ask for. They have made my life worthwhile and through them, I have left a wonderful mark on this world.

Theresa: You mentioned your son is preparing for college. How difficult will it be to let go? The separation … what do you think it will be like?

TheresaD: I am not worried about him. He will be fine. But I have worried about me. I have my books and my family research, but I need to find a more social setting to get involved with. Too much time alone with my computer is not good. I am an activist (sometimes in spite of myself) so I will find something meaningful to get involved with.

Theresa: Do you feel that you have instilled in your kids the good common sense that most grandmothers speak of so bluntly? At least I know mine did!

TheresaD: I think they have a good foundation for common sense but that they are still developing it. We can talk to them all day long but sometimes common sense comes from experience and that part of it will come in time.

Theresa: Is there anything you regret or would change if you could?

TheresaD: I believe the most beautiful things in life are born out of pain and suffering. Can one appreciate achievements when one hasn’t struggled? We are dealt a hand when we are born and we need to learn how to play it the best way we can. I do not regret anything … because it’s all part of my journey.


Wow! What a great time spent with this young author. Theresa Dodaro has depth of character that stems from her early years and her ability to be a great wife and mother to her two almost-grown children. She relies on her positive outlook and caring personality in instructing her children and has helped them develop into kind and thoughtful people who will know first-hand how to raise kids with love, while setting a boundary of rules that are good for them, too. Love goes a long way in the structure parents need to have in their homes. Children are gifts from above and if you’re lucky enough to be a parent, then take in what Theresa Dodaro has laid out and see if it will help you, too. Her first book is due to be released in the upcoming months and we are so happy she has decided to use as a platform to launch her published works. We wish her the best!

Follow her on BlogCatalog and visit her blog “Raising Drama” today.

About Theresa H Hall

As a professional vocalist, licensed broadcaster, artist, published poet, lyricist, writer, animal lover and budding pastry chef, my blogs are intended to be conversational, thought provoking, interesting, mostly humorous and sometimes serious. Please join me on my quest to make "Sleeping Kitten - Dancing Dog!" (SKDD) a favorite of yours to visit. Read me on Half Hour Meals dot com and on BrooWaha dot com


Please Don’t Eat All The Cheetos

MeA Cheeto Named Larry is a fanciful name, born from the munching and crunching sounds made by a lady who loved eating the cheesy snack. Journey McGuire is the author and funny writer behind the idea of Larry (I’ll let her tell you this part), but I will let on that she made a snap decision in the creation, demise and resurrection of this orangey chap. I just love the way he looks.

LarryInanimate objects of affection have a way of developing personality traits. They can assume a life of their own even while remaining in the same position. Take a new stuffed animal, a soft really cute stuffed animal and give it to a child. Within five minutes it has been named. Proof enough that they’re irresistible, but it doesn’t end with stuffed animals either. Kids love their blankets and pillows and special clothing, too.

LarryinDragThe point is … A Cheeto Named Larry is a blog penned by a writer who can take the events in her life and turn them into something akin to tongue-in-cheek wit, bordering on a little stand-up comedy. Her perspective of her daily routine makes them amusing and fun to read. It’s a place where frank speaking is refreshing and when you leave you’ll be wearing a smile. Each time I see the BlogCatalog Banner for this site I cannot resist Larry. My eyes light up and I begin to smile back at him.

Theresa: Your name is cool and reminds me of the rock group. Who named you and is there a story to tell?

Journey: I’m not cool enough to be born with a name like Journey. My real name is actually very unfortunate and is the reason I drink. I’ve been mistaken for a little Mexican man, my entire life. But there is a story behind the name. Journey was actually the chosen name for my great niece, who unfortunately didn’t make it into the world. It was my way of helping her live on. I like to think she’d have the same sense of humor that the rest of us do so I don’t think she’d mind and I was given permission by her mother to adopt her name. Just a side note: if her name would have been Myrtle, I’d have instead suggested the planting of a tree in her honor.

Theresa: I know you’ve told it before but please share Larry’s history.

Journey: Ah, Larry. Well, one day I was screwing off at work, eating a bag of Cheetos, and I got to the last one and it just took on a humanesque-ish form. The Cheeto looked like a little man named Larry. I propped him up on my computer monitor and that’s where he stayed for years, inspiring a litany of idiotic blog posts. But then one day after four years, I went through some weird phase where I hated the writing and so I threw Larry in the trash and deleted my blog. I still can’t believe I did that.

Theresa: I enjoyed how you lost your “chi” even though during battle you had unfair advantage. Do you agree?

Journey: Hell no. Scrubbing Bubbles does not a murderer make. Besides, spiders have all sorts of advantages, like being quiet, being sneaky, being scary, and being little enough to BE ON you without your consent. The Internet claims they crawl in our mouths when we sleep. If I woke up while that was happening, I would immediately die. They clearly have the advantage.

Theresa: You mention you are a contributor for Humor Outcasts. What is this and how did you become involved?

Journey: Humor Outcasts is an awesome platform for humorists and a great place to spend your lunch break. It’s a site where you’ll find a variety of funny posts ranging from G Rated, all the way up to my kind of debauchery. I came across the site early in the year and thought I’d submit an article, not thinking they would actually like it. But they did and so my name gets to appear alongside all sorts of talented authors and bloggers. This site should be visited at least once a day for optimum happiness.

Theresa: You had me shaking my head and gurgles of laughter burst forth as I read your post “You’ll Die. Period”. The photo you included was priceless. I’m certain a lot of parents never got around to talking about things before they happened. Do you have anything else to add about how parents could be avoiding topics relating to their children and growing up? Are there any more that happened to you?

Phone Pics 1186Journey: I don’t really know why any parent would want to avoid those discussions. I rather enjoy them. It’s fun to embarrass your kid, and it’s your right as a parent. I tell my ten year old everything he didn’t want to know and more. I don’t want him being surprised when his wiener starts doing funny things. I live for the times he asks questions like, “what’s a period” and “what’s an erection”. I get to make a special and lasting memory, like my parents did with me. And yes, there were many more like the period one for me.

Theresa: I love animals especially cats. Do you have any pet members of the family?

Phone Pics 1009Journey:
My husband won’t let me have a cat. He says he’s allergic but I think he’s a liar. We have two dogs, a Labraheeler and a Jumbo Yorkie. The Yorkie was supposed to be my consolation prize for not having a cat. She was also supposed to be four pounds fully grown but that didn’t work out either. I’d like to own a miniature donkey one day.

Theresa: I read your husband looks like a rugged Ben Affleck and a story of a fish hanging out with another fish in the fishbowl. Tell us more and how many kids, too.

Phone Pics 471Journey: My husband does look like Ben Affleck. That’s why I’m willing to live life without a cat. We have one son. He was pre-baked for me, and while some would call that a stepson, to me he’s just son. I never wanted kids so this has been a very interesting experience falling in love with a midget. He provides lots of fodder for the blog. I like him. And … my son has fish that routinely fornicate in front of him.

Theresa: Can you share how you met your husband? Was it love at first sight or friendship first?

Journey: You ask all the hard questions. Initially, we worked at the same place and a friend tried to set us up. At the time, my husband was rather friendly with the ladies, if you catch my drift, and wasn’t interested in giving up that lifestyle. I was good with that but we did become friends and hung out pretty regularly. When I started dating somebody else I think that bothered him more than he thought it would, because when I broke up with the other guy he gave up his philandering ways and vowed to only philander with me.

Theresa: Do you like to travel? If so where are some of your favorite destinations?

Journey: My favorite destination is to the wine store. I’m sure I would love to travel if I ever got the opportunity but so far I haven’t been so fortunate. And by travel, I don’t mean in a car. I get panicky in heavy traffic. I’ve been to places like Colorado and the beaches in Florida, but nowhere super sexy. I have a thing for the mountains and I really want to visit Alaska, Switzerland, and go drink in Ireland. I also want to go somewhere that I have a legit chance of meeting Big Foot. I hear Texas has some but they don’t live where I live.

Theresa: Do you live in a large city, a suburb or in a rural location? What do you enjoy the most about the part of the country where you reside?

Journey: I live in Waco, Texas, famous for its fiery massacre. The population’s only about 120,000, which is big enough for me. I think the best part of living in Texas is that the weather September through May is kickass. But during June, July, and August, you will wish you were dead. I wish I were dead right now, as a matter of fact.

Theresa: Have you been funny from early on or did this develop, as you got older?

Journey: Funny looking maybe. People say I’m funny but I would classify myself more along the lines of weird. And I think the people who think I’m funny are weird like me, so that makes me feel better. I was a really messed up kid but I found the humor in that later in life, just not at the time. So I guess I’m glad of how I grew up because it really does make me laugh looking back. I would never categorize myself as funny as a child, though, scary maybe, but not funny.

Theresa: Who are some of your favorite comedians?

Journey: Louis CK for sure! He calls kids assholes and I like that. Jim Gaffigan cracks me up. Melissa McCarthy – she can make me pee my pants. There are too many to name. My husband and I sit in the garage and listen to comedy on Pandora all the time. It’s important to laugh. It kills cancer.

Theresa: If you didn’t write, and I know you’re crazy about it, what else would you do in order to share yourself with the world?

Journey: I would probably be a hooker. If not that, I think I would like to own a cat farm and save stray cats. Or, it would be really cool to own a bookstore and just sleep there in the middle of the floor with my bookstore cat. Maybe I would like to be a soap opera star, but then I don’t know how I’d feel about kissing strange men. I guess that would disqualify me as a hooker. As you can see, writing is the only option.

Theresa: Tell us something we can read in order to know a little more about you. Things like … do you like to stay home or go out to movies, plays, bookstores, restaurants, the park, go bike riding, and take long walks on the beach. We really enjoy learning those goings on behind the scenes of our members.

Journey: I don’t like to go places, as a general rule. It’s because I don’t want to put on makeup or wear sensible clothing. The other day I decided I should get in shape so I ran down to the stop sign and back. I haven’t done that shit again. I love the beach, and the mountains and trees, or any place with water really. I tell my husband all the time I want to go live in the woods. I would wash our clothes in the stream and beat them on a rock, but he doesn’t seem down with that. I like to camp and do nature things that don’t require a lot of effort on my part, like sit and drink wine and look at something pretty. My dream would be to live in a mountain town with say, a population of 1000 people. I could dress badly and maybe even meet Big Foot.

Theresa: Are you an only child or do you have siblings? What was it like when you were a kid? Give us a for instance around the family dinner table.

Journey: I have four sisters and a brother. I was the youngest, or the caboose, as my dad calls me. My four siblings are all older than I, so I didn’t really grow up with them. That leaves just me and my sister, Kansas, who’s almost three years older. I was a really odd kid so I didn’t have friends other than the ones I made up. I had big thick glasses and bucked teeth so I was a foxy one, as well. I even had to wear headgear. To school!

At the dinner table, my parents would sit there and talk about something really boring, like politics, and so Kansas and I would generally just make fun of them the whole time under our breath. For instance, if my dad said, “You know what that jackass Jimmy Carter did?” We’d finish his sentence for him with something like, “He made us eat poo poo. And then we’d just laugh and laugh, because poop is always funny when you’re little. And my parents would be none the wiser. Hey – we didn’t have many options.

Theresa: What are your plans for Larry? Is there a book or a film in the future for him?

Journey: I’m in the process of writing my book now. It’s about growing up weird and awkward and antisocial. Writing this book is a blast because I lived it all. Some people think it’s arrogant to write about your life when you aren’t even famous, but I really think it’s something everyone will be able to relate to in some aspect. It’s pretty funny so far and I’m really excited to get it finished and published. I hope to have it completed by the end of the year so I can start on some other ideas. And to think, it all started with one Cheeto!

Thanks so much for featuring me. This has been a lot of fun!


LarryinDrag2It’s been a blast hanging out with you and I appreciate your taking the time to let us peek behind the scenes. You have a wonderful sense of humor and you’re right about the Cheeto. While Larry looked cute, it was your initiative to spare his life (you were probably full?), and this magical decision on your part, instigated the believable animation and Larry instantly sprang to life. I wonder if he did a little song and dance for you atop your monitor. Ha! We’re so glad you have resurrected his personality and hope you’ll hurry up and complete your book.

Visit A Cheeto Named Larry and you’ll find yourself laughing over the words of a lady who has good timing and knows instinctively how to turn the everyday routines into enjoyable reads. She has moxie, spirit and sharp wit … along with those pajamas and fluffy house shoes. Follow her on BlogCatalog.

And … Journey … You’ve got a great smile!

About Theresa H Hall

As a professional vocalist, licensed broadcaster, artist, published poet, lyricist, writer, animal lover and budding pastry chef, my blogs are intended to be conversational, thought provoking, interesting, mostly humorous and sometimes serious. Please join me on my quest to make "Sleeping Kitten - Dancing Dog!" (SKDD) a favorite of yours to visit. Read me on Half Hour Meals dot com and on BrooWaha dot com

Lita Burke Pub Photo

Close Your Eyes For A Fantasy Surprise

1This is how legend says it began. A long, long time ago … a little girl decided to let her imagination run ramped. Throughout this ever-evolving process she mixed and mingled legends of adventures and inserted many of her own characters, I’m sure will stay with us long after her stories have come to an end. You know, those memorable personalities who unexpectedly pop into our thoughts … pure reflections of the tales she weaves with seeming artlessness. Her characters come alive to merge, appear, vanish and they strengthen their bonds of friendship along the way. Sometimes it is a quest to explore one of the many places Lita Burke has created. It’s thrilling to read about a dashing rescue in order to save the day.

Visiting her site is akin to slipping down a rabbit hole and landing where you never dreamed you’d be. It’s a wondrous chance of fantasy fate, when you look about to realize you’re surrounded by the complexity of her creatures and in discovering the magic that makes you never want to leave. The artwork and graphics are fresh, intriguing, and the lands of which she speaks are far from the world in which we live. She’ll take you on a journey only to make you wait for the next installment of that continuing story. It’s enchantment and romantic and bone chilling, too, with dashes of this and that, to keep us hanging on until her next reveal.

The other day I sent out a Tweet, which read:

@LitaBurkeWriter I don’t know where to start! It’s like entering a candy shop. All I can think to say is “Lita Lita Lita … You R Amazing!”

Tumbling down that rabbit hole might be the best thing you do all day. There’s such range of variety to read and best of all, you might not want to stop.

Theresa: Lita, at this point I really need to know how you think up all this stuff? The descriptions of these fantasy places are incredible. Where do your ideas start?

5Lita: For me, the process is as natural as breathing. I have always been fascinated with how and why things work. If no one else knows, then I fill in the holes and make it up as I go along and tell myself “maybe things work this way…”

Theresa: How long has it taken you to create a whole new language complete with little glossary terms?

Lita: The glossary is the result of creating consistent rules for fantasy worlds in my stories. Fantasy fans delight in the absurd as long as the author doesn’t contradict the rules.

Theresa: I looked up the word novelettea short novel, light, romantic or sentimental in character. I suppose it is born from ebooks written for Kindle or Amazon. Am I correct in my deductions?

Lita: At 7,500 to 20,000 words, the novelette is longer than a short story, but not as long as a novella. Its length is well suited for ebooks. I find that a novelette has plenty of room for a reader to step into one of my fantasy worlds, meet some folks, and snoop around.

Theresa: I assume there are many bloggers who would like to understand the process of being published online. Can you give us some pointers and a few of the most commonplace rules to guide us?

Lita: The most important “rules” about blogging are choosing whom you are writing for, and what you want to say to them. I suggest you pick a theme (my blog’s theme is about the scary and fascinating delights of fantasy worlds). Also pick a writing style (I am a humble scribe for wizards and enchanters).

Theresa: How long have you been writing ebooks and was it a complicated process or a relatively easy one? Any more tips?

Lita: I’ve written and published ebooks for over two years. The mechanics of producing ebooks is straightforward—paperbacks too. I have two tips: first, research before you buy any author services and ask other Indies for suggestions. Second, improve your writing craft by learning how to plan plots, write riveting dialogue, and master scene description.

Theresa: This is excellent advice. Lita do you draw your own artwork or do you work with an artist?

Lita: I humbly admit that my talents lie with words, not images. I use stock photography for my blog and hire professional book cover artists.

Theresa: “Lita’s Worlds” … places like elsewheres. This is major fantasy speak. Please describe where elsewheres are located. I’m assuming there is more than one.

Lita: Ooh, I love visiting fantasy elsewheres. Let me name a few: Hogwarts, Oz, Middle Earth, Narnia, and down the rabbit hole. Where are they located? Just follow the second star on the left, and straight on ‘til morning. Or you can just pick up a fantasy book and find one inside.

Theresa: How many books have you written and at which age did you realize you wanted to become an author?

3Lita: I have published five books. I am currently drafting two more novels that I plan to publish within the next year. I have about seven manuscripts that need quite a bit of work to make them presentable. I was about five years old when I figured out that people wrote the stories in books, and I wanted to be one of those people. Of course, at five years old I had to learn my ABCs first.

Theresa: How cute! Tell us something about where you grew up and what you did along the way to present readers with the gift of your imagination.

Lita: My family lived in a rural area and childhood friends lived too far away to visit unless our parents took us in a car. My siblings were quite a bit older, and I didn’t have much in common with them. I entertained myself with reading everything in the grade school library. I didn’t share my stories until high school, when I found a kindred spirit in one of my English teachers.

4Theresa: If you could turn into one of your own characters, which one would you become?

Lita: I’m rather fond of Wizard Kadmeion, but of course I’m female and he is not. There is probably an elsewhere where that conundrum would not be an issue.

Theresa: Who are some of your favorite authors?

Lita: Steven King, Douglas Adams, J.R.R. Tolkien, Ray Bradbury, and Terry Pratchett.

Theresa: Have you ever set up a story in modern day? If so, which is it?

Lita: I have a complete manuscript of a woman-in-jeopardy thriller set in modern day about a gal who solves a decades-old murder and is tangled up in the killer’s revenge. My husband stayed up all night reading the manuscript so he could find out how it ended. The plot therefore has spousal approval, but the story needs rework before I’d foist it on my readers.

Theresa: Where do you live? Do you enjoy traveling? Apart from writing what are some of the things you enjoy doing?

Lita: I live on the edge of a large metropolitan city. I’m so-so for traveling, but I do love vacationing at the beach and in the mountains. When I’m not working my day job or doing my fantasy writing, I like to play poker or go camping.

Theresa: Who has most inspired you to follow your obvious passion for your fantasy worlds?

Lita: My mother was tolerant of my introverted ways and encouraged me to write down my visits to fantasy worlds.

Theresa: Have you ever shaped a person or entity that later you could not like?

Lita: When I was in college, I wrote a novel about the Enchanters of Sye (one of my current fantasy worlds) that had a bad guy that was too nebulous. Yuck. I kicked him out of my Sye fantasy world and instead dreamed up a proper controversy between the sensual Enchanters and the strict moralistic magicians of the Church.

Theresa: What is your idea of having a good time?

Lita: I enjoy going to the carnival and marveling at the dazzling lights and dark fun. Kids shriek on the rides and act terrified of the clowns. Teen sweethearts emerge with guilty flushed faces from the Tunnel of Love. Cotton candy is no more than pink-spun spider webs. I love it.

Theresa: You seem right at home on social media and are noticeably engaged with the people with whom you connect. Are you naturally relaxed in these venues or did it take time to be at ease?

Lita: It took a few months to figure out what to say on social media. I’m a very private person, but I’ll bore my family to tears chatting about my writing. On social media, most folks want to hear about my writing-related matters.

Theresa: Are you a moviegoer? What’s the last one you watched?

Lita: I enjoy going to the theatre and seeing movies. I love fantasy and science fiction flicks, and will consider case-by-case other types of films. The last movie I saw at the theatre was The Hobbit.

Theresa: What do you expect from yourself? By this I mean have you reached most of your goals in life and if not, would you consider sharing some of them with us?

Lita: I am very satisfied with my career goals in my day job. For my writing, I have many more things to do. I’d like to publish 100 novels before I die. I want to collect five hundred thousand blog followers and a million Twitter followers. I would like to sit down with Steven King, drink a couple of beers, and talk about how fun it is to write stories that scare the bejesus out of people.

Theresa: “6 Critical Elements For Fantasy World Building”, is a series of posts you wrote. What is the main purpose for these instructions?

Lita: These posts are the most successful for my blog—they still get many hits each week. With them, I took a different angle on a very popular writer’s craft topic and described what I thought was critical as a fantasy reader.

Theresa: What are you plans for the remainder of 2014?

Lita: I plan to release the next Clockpunk Wizard story, called Glitter Ponies, by the end of the year. In Glitter Ponies, Lady Luck’s daughter helps Wizard Kadmeion discover the cause of a mysterious unicorn illness.

Theresa: What do you want our readers to know about you that you haven’t shared before?

Lita: Although I sometimes write about fantastical and scary things, I am an insufferable optimist. Why? Because now is a terrific time in all of human history to be an author. With little more than a computer and connection to the Internet, anyone can compose scribbles (or words of wisdom) and give them to the world.


Lita Burke has a fascinating imagination and describes herself this way …

“I am a humble scribe for wizards and enchanters”.

Lita, I thank you for spending time with me. I’m getting my Kindle next month!

As an avid reader and kindred spirit I certainly appreciate that she recognizes herself as an instrument in channeling the creative universe. Her characters almost jump off the pages of her books, and once read they are personalities to remember. And when you do visit her site it matters not which direction you take to land in her “elsewheres” … or do what I do … fall down the rabbit hole.

She is a master storyteller. I like how she thinks and she loves her readers to snoop around. Hurry on over to Lita’s World and remember to bring some cotton candy.

About Theresa H Hall

As a professional vocalist, licensed broadcaster, artist, published poet, lyricist, writer, animal lover and budding pastry chef, my blogs are intended to be conversational, thought provoking, interesting, mostly humorous and sometimes serious. Please join me on my quest to make "Sleeping Kitten - Dancing Dog!" (SKDD) a favorite of yours to visit. Read me on Half Hour Meals dot com and on BrooWaha dot com