Archive for Uncategorized

Almost June…

CSUB dana martin Jaisyn hough
Filed Under: Uncategorized

In the midst of the busy, I get this. I have to share this. May is a busy month for my company–lack of sleep, working around the clock, my daughter graduated from college (my alma mater… see photo!), my other daughter is having another baby… and, well, LIFE. However, in the midst of all this, God always provides little happy moments that get us through what may be stressful, busy times. For me, it was a response we received to our 10-question survey we send out after each Schoolhouse Escapes …read more

May showers

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If April showers bring May flowers, what do May showers bring? Today was a good day; the sky was dark, and during my 4-mile walk, it began to sprinkle. I’ve been a sprint-walker for a while, but we don’t get much rain where I live so this was an unusual and welcome surprise. I liked the smell of the rain as it reacted to the dusty asphalt. It was electric. My Ray-bans were the perfect windshield. My hair stuck to my shoulders. For whatever reason, my walk was much easier …read more

Students and grit

A post from Schoolhouse Escapes

grit in students
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When I was in third grade, I can remember Mrs. Wagner making me repeat an entire cursive assignment because I looped the bottom of a lowercase “f” the wrong direction. I wasn’t the only one. She decided to stop the lesson and move to another assignment, promising we would work on “f” again the next day. And we did. (Today’s time-crunched teachers can’t usually repeat lessons, but that is a different blog entry.) I can’t say that my third-grade classmates and I learned grit that day, but looking back, I …read more

Mercy and grace

An open letter to all of us

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You deserve forgiveness. Stop beating yourself up. No one hates you. Everyone makes mistakes. You’ve done the best you could. You’re trying to do better. You’re a good person. You still deserve love. You deserve to be happy. Good things happen to good people, and you’re good people. Everything is forgiven. Who cares about money. Forgiveness is so easy. Understanding is my strong suit. Let it go. When we go through something bad, even if it’s of our own doing, we can’t help but think everyone must be thinking the …read more


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

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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

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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

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“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

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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

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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

Dana Martin Writing

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