Archive for Uncategorized


Life is either a great adventure or nothing

Filed Under: Uncategorized, Writing

Adventure can find you anywhere. Case in point: I traveled last year to a haunted house convention and fell in love with everything “escape games,” and today, along with my friend, cohort, and amazing spiritual sister Robin, I have a business called Schoolhouse Escapes that brings super fun escape games to classrooms—games that are standards-based and common core friendly (and by “friendly,” I mean teachers can totally check-off any admin-required boxes to notate they’ve provided unit-culminating, hands-on, cooperative activities with their students). To learn more about it, you can CLICK …read more

E.T. Roberts, D-Day veteran, opens up about Normandy

Tribute to still-living local survivor of WWII

Filed Under: Uncategorized

It is Thursday afternoon, and Centennial High School’s baseball team takes the field for fall practice, playing a game of T-ball in order to hammer out kinks in fielding and give players a little batting practice. A few eager dads trickle in to the stands to watch, hoping to soothe the longing they suffer during baseball’s interminable off-season. Varsity T-ball? Isn’t that like being a spectator at competitive bird watching? Not so for one familiar face, who hasn’t missed a handful of games since Centennial High School opened in 1993. …read more

Frightening fall tradition opens this weekend

Talladega Frights gears up for guests with new attractions and DJ dance parties

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Talladega Frights gears up for guests with new attractions and DJ dance parties If all the new construction gets finished before opening night this Friday, the folks at Talladega Frights will feel relief from a great amount of pressure. “We like to make everything new. After our Friday the 13th event in June, we tore down seventy-five percent of the haunted houses and even built an additional attraction, so we have been feeling quite a bit of pressure to get all the changes done in time,” said Mike Wilbur, the …read more

Murder your own darlings, Darling

When critique groups go bad

Filed Under: Uncategorized

“Whenever you feel an impulse to perpetrate a piece of exceptionally fine writing, obey it – whole-heartedly – and delete it before sending your manuscripts to press. Murder your darlings.” ― Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch When I met with our WOK (Writers of Kern) critique group leaders last month to hammer out the details of our upcoming meeting on critique groups, I shared a story that I’d never told anyone else. It’s private. It’s about writing—my writing. I had a critique group experience that changed me, and I felt it was relevant …read more

The Great Send-Off

Attending a classmate's funeral taught me this

Filed Under: Uncategorized

I read a blog post recently by a woman whose personal philosophy on death is to “always go to the funeral.” It’s for the family, she said. I agree. Today I attended the funeral of a man my age, and as I watched the shell-shocked, grieving family scan the standing room only crowd, my heart was glad I went. They should know that their son/father/brother meant something to people. He mattered. I contend that the funeral served another purpose, too, at least a small one, for the high school friends …read more

“Z” is for… Zee End

Grateful April in the A-Z Blogging Challenge

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Grateful April in the A-Z Blogging Challenge I’ll admit. Ever since I wrote my “Y” post, I’ve been agonizing over a word beginning with Z that would be the thing for which I am grateful that begins with the letter Z. And you know what I came up with? Zilch. With this final essay, I tip my hat in fond farewell to the April A-Z Blogging Challenge, that self-imposed writing assignment that has weighed on me like a 300-pound dumbbell across my abdomen, leaving me gasping for air, waiting for someone …read more

Dreaming of “the bigs”

Parents play vital role in son's goal to "rub elbows" with Magic Johnson

Filed Under: Uncategorized

(Ed note: Bakersfield Life Magazine asked me to contribute a column for their January issue. It needed to be relevant to local readers. I am copying it here.) January is a time to celebrate… baseball. –I know, Christmas lights are still twinkling, resolutions are being professed, but preparations are already underway for Opening Day’s first pitch. Ask Bakersfield’s own “little leaguers” of Northwest and Southwest Baseball if January is too soon to talk about it — tryouts for the spring season are just weeks away. And all for what? For …read more

“Y” is for Yellow Cat

Grateful "April" in the A-Z Blogging Challenge

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Some people were born outrageous animal lovers. I was not. My parents granted my brother and me the obligatory pets: a poodle, turtle, parrot, rabbit, and cat. But when any of them died, they were replaced faster than we could dry the tears on our face. “Mom, what happened?” “The rabbit got out and the dog next door killed it.” “(Crying) Oh, no…. Redeye!” “Don’t worry. Here’s a new one.” I looked at the bunny my dad was handing me: it was white and also had red eyes. Huh. I …read more

“J” is for Jesus and Jean

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Grateful April in the A-Z Blogging Challenge I hope a new habit isn’t forming, but I really had to work today and did not begin writing this blog until 4:00. So if you aren’t reading this “J” post until the day “K” is due, forgive me. But if the truth were known, I did not even have my “J” word until after 2pm today when I met a dear friend for coffee. St. Patrick’s Day 2012 Jean is a gorgeous woman who has children my age but looks young enough to …read more

“I” is for Intimacy

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Grateful April in the A-Z Blogging Challenge I discovered this morning that it’s only 1/3 of the way through the A-Z Blogging Challenge, and I’ve already shirked about every real adult responsibility in my life. “Dana, did you take care of that insurance thing?” No, but I sure got my blog posted. “Hi… were you able to call the bank and get the new address to mail our house payment?” Seriously? Get off my back, I was b-l-o-g-g-i-n-g. Ahhh… the charming enthusiasm of a new blogger. Anyway, please forgive the …read more

Dana Martin Writing

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