Ruby Bayan is a freelance writer who likes to share her simple joys.
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Notes from My Guests


Ruby,

I originally found the Inspiration/Motivation through Suite101 and so, had not been to your Web site. It's beautiful! I love your layout, your articles, the up beat feeling, your son's column. Really, I can't say enough about it. If you were ever at all interested, I'd be honored to feature any of your motivational/inspirational pieces on TotalLifeSuccess.com.

... Your site really shines, both in originality and in quality. Besides the wonderful content (the articles you wrote!) the design and layout are wonderful.

-- Mark Farmer
Founder
TotalLifeSuccess.com


Ruby,

I've really enjoyed reading your articles. You have a distinct voice that will add to the diversity of our site. . . .
After reading all of your material, I feel honored that you've allowed this personal view of yourself. You are inspiring, indeed.

-- Angie Parkin
The Foundation for a Better Life

Foundation for a Better Life
This non-profit, non-commercial organization is carrying many of my inspirational stories. Visit them for ways to help make the world a better place for everyone. Then pass it on.


Ruby,

Just wanted to let you know you've got a really well done website here. I just made my own site and it is still being developed, yours is really nice with all kinds of stuff and good links and info. Bravo!

-- Max Hartshorne
Managing Editor
Transitions Abroad


Ruby,

Very impressive!! I knew you were talented from the first time I read one of your articles. And your photo is beautiful. Good luck with everything.

-- Loraine Page
Editor
Link-Up NewsMagazine
Homepage: RhapsodyofWords


Hi Ruby;

I've been wandering around on your site and enjoying it thoroughly, and I must tell you that you've done a remarkable job! I can't imagine the amount of time you've devoted to this effort, hats off to you for the dedication.

I've enjoyed the site so much that I would really like to add a link to my own site. I'm in the process of creating a page of links that would be helpful to my writers, and if I could add a link to your site it would really start things off on the right foot.

-- Amanda Swanson
President
Burbage's


"What's New in This Writer's Life"
ARCHIVES - 2004

by Ruby Bayan

12/30/04 - My last entry for the year: HAPPY NEW YEAR to all! This season has been one of the most hectic ones yet. Post-hurricane repairs, new carpet (tantamount to relocating!), rush writing assignments, last-minute product orders, and the flu -- that nicely caps my 2004 for me. Looking forward to another exciting, if not more challenging 2005! Hope yours will be great, too!

11/23/04 - Santa came early this year -- because I dialed North Pole 911. My PC totally died on me last Saturday. Wouldn't even boot up. I couldn't sustain any sort of down time because I had a looming deadline, so, long story short, Circuit City made a record quickest sale from me (I walked in, went down the computer aisle, eyed the price tags, and said to the rep who followed me, "That one, I'll take it," before he could start his sales spiel). After months agonizing over a clunketty PC, I'm finally back in top form. Thanks, Santa!

11/12/04 - My Ruby Bayan Jewelry site is up! Check it out, folks. Would appreciate feedback.

10/23/04 - PC problem. Okay, it's not a problem -- just an issue that hasn't been resolved. After I moved my PC in a panic when the ceiling started leaking (I empathize with fellow Floridians coping with our recent rash of storms), it started acting up. Now it doesn't boot properly and it says my display drivers are not working.

I've tried everything a semi-tech-savvy would know (short of a reformat or an OS reinstall), but it wouldn't let me raise my screen resolution beyond 640x480. Everything else seems to work okay after a couple of reboots, but with this 16-color display, how I will be able to continue working on my jewelry site remains an "issue that hasn't been resolved." Argh! I need new gear. I should start drafting my letter to Santa.

09/24/04 - I've changed my e-mail signature to say "Writer, Editor, Artist" but the way things are going, I'm becoming less of a writer/editor and more of an artist. What am I talking about? I am gearing up to launch my "Ruby Bayan Jewelry" mini-site. I hope to get my act together before the holidays, and offer my handmade one-of-a-kind necklaces and bracelets to the online world! That is, if I don't end up giving them all away. So, stay tuned! Here's a preview of the site's banner:

Writing-wise, I'm meeting up with a publisher next week for a chance to work with her on a new magazine. To the future!

08/30/04 - Exposure is always good. Since my freshwater aquaria articles are pretty much my way of "giving back to the community," when David Beart, The Pet Professor, asked if I could grant him permission to reprint a couple of my pieces, I gladly agreed. He said, "thanks for sharing some of your knowledge with our site." That's always heartwarming. So ye, if you're into pets, don't forget to visit The Pet Professor. I'm in the fish department.

08/25/04 - We're lucky to have had just a few water leaks and only five days of no cable TV/'Net access after Hurricane Charley plowed through us last week. Life goes on.

08/07/04 - Back from the boondocks. What a refreshing trip. The mountains always heals me somehow. What's interesting is, the skyline up at the Blue Ridge Parkway is so similar to the one at Mt. Pulag, the mountain I used to trek. I miss my trekking days. But there are things you give up for the chance to explore other joys in life. Ah, now that's an article idea.

07/31/04 - EMAIL PROBLEM!!! Sorry for the inconvenience, folks. If you've been emailing me at ruby@oursimplejoys.com, and not getting a response, rest assured, I'm not ignoring you. My email server conked out earlier today. If you have something urgent, please email me again at rubybayan-at-yahoo-dot-com (hopefully the robots don't pick that up). But if I still don't respond between Aug 2nd and 6th, that means I'm somewhere along the Blue Ridge Parkway getting my annual breath of mountain air, and not able to log on. Surely, I will be back on board by the 7th. Thank you for your patience.

Before I forget (again), let me plug in a call for submissions for the Cup of Comfort anthologies. They have new books in the making. Read their writer's guidelines.

And one last thing before I hit the road... my thanks to "whitepinek" of the WAHM boards for the very heartwarming plug. I followed her links to her site, WorkinginPJs.com, and her topic at BellaOnline. Thank you, Katelyn Thomas.

06/25/04 - No, I didn't fall off the face of the earth. I've just been "occupied." With a new hobby. I've been bitten by the bead bug! Yup, I have officially joined the ranks of creative folks who find stringing beads therapeutic and an excellent source of profound feelings of accomplishment. Read all about it (and check out the photos!) at my Blurty online journal -- where I aptly call myself "gemstone." My online journal (okay, weblog) primarily showcases... wait for it... simple joys. Mine and yours.

05/22/04 - Blank journals for the Pacific Northwest Leadership Girls Camp in Washington is ready for delivery. Here's the link to the website I built for them:

Pacific Northwest Leadership Girls Camp

05/10/04 - Spent Mother's Day finishing up the order for 80 handmade journals for a Girl Scouts camporee in California.


Managed to squeeze in a couple of small orders, one for 15 graduates in Ohio. Before I start on the third big order (for a leadership camp in Oregon/Washington), I need to attend to a few writing assignments. Panic!

04/23/04 - Something new again! I've launched my very own Photo Gallery featuring digital images of flowers, animals, people, scenes, and whimsy. Come and see what my digicam and I have been messing with.

04/20/04 - Whew! The first of three big orders for my handmade journals is out -- a full week ahead of schedule. Two to go! Here's a snapshot of the 50 mini-notepads ready for shipping:


And while flexing my fingers, I'm catching up on my "Idiot's Guides" book reviews. Here's the one I posted today: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Low-Carb Meals."

04/09/04 - I received a call for submissions that I'd like to pass on. It's from Matt Forck -- The Call Project.

About The Call Project: We are a word of mouth project working to collect Higher Power stories. Our book will look much like a Chicken Soup series book and feel even more powerful. While Chicken soup leaves the reader with a short term warm feeling, our stories of God's hand directly touching peoples lives leaves a long term 'faith' feeling.

The book is in layout now. We need about thirty more book quality stories. We are schedule to begin the publication process in the fall of 2004. Deadline to be included in this first of many Call Project books is May 30, 2004. All proceeds from this book go to charity.

Called? -If you have had a Call experience we want to hear about it!

The Call Project is collecting Call stories and we want to hear from you. A Call can be, but is not limited to, a tugging or stirring of one’s heart, a faith-filled experience, a voice, a moment of grace, an intense moment of calm, a dream or event that can only be explained as God’s direct intervention. Please share your story.

All proceeds from this book go to charity including cancer research, hunger relief and pro-adoption efforts. We will begin the publication process in fall of 2004.

Send stories or inquires to matt@thecallproject.org or The Call Project, PO Box 731 Jefferson City, MO 65102. You can also visit our website at www.thecallproject.org. We collect stories via word-of-mouth, please pass this message on to others! Thanks.

04/08/04 - Reprints of my health, fitness, nutrition, and self-improvement articles are up at WildIndigo.com, an online dating site that just relaunched. Thank you, Brent MacKinnon.

03/26/04 - Want to win $100,000? Check this out: The Power of Purpose Awards: A Worldwide Essay Competition. Pass it on.

03/24/04 - In June last year, a representative of Worth Publishing emailed to ask permission to reprint part of my Suite101 article, "Thanks For Adversities," in a textbook by Professor Martin Bolt of Calvin College, Michigan. Today, I received a copy of the book: Pursuing Human Strengths: A Positive Psychology Guide. My thanks to Nancy Walker (Copyrights and Permissions Manager of Worth Publishing), Diane Kraut (DK Research Inc.), and most especially, author Martin Bolt.

03/23/04 - Brad Hill, author of "Google for Dummies" made my day! I discovered by accident that he quoted from my review of his book! Visit his website. So cool!

Speaking of reviews, stay tuned for my comments on a number of Idiot's Guide books!

03/21/04 - New graphics! The bamboo background is from my new portfolio of digital photos. I think I want to be a photographer when I grow up.

03/15/04 - I can't believe it -- my son has taken to wall climbing! What's uncanny is, his friend took pictures of him on his first climb up the wall that was also my first back in 1996! See photos in my Fitness page.

03/13/04 - You never really know when, or how, you'll become famous. Last week, I had my break, thanks to an orange foul-smelling thing jutting from the moss-covered trunk of a nearby palm tree. I had no idea what it was so I grabbed my camera and carefully approached it (I made sure I could back off quickly in case it leaped onto my face like the creature in "Alien"!). I searched the 'Net, and long story short, I discovered that it's called a Stinkhorn -- a mushroom that emits a nasty odor to attract flies that disperse its spores. I offered the photo to a mushroom expert, Michael Kuo, who immediately posted it on his site: MushroomExperts.com. He said, "Now your stinkhorn is famous!"

03/04/04 - At last! It's here! "How To Build A Writer's Website: Tips To Effectively Showcase Your Writing" is finally ready. It's a tutorial I've been hammering together on and off for the last can't-remember-anymore months. I've packed it with personal experiences and lessons, and lots of tips and "warnings" to hopefully save fellow writers from stumbling over the same blocks. If you're thinking of putting up your own site, or if your current site doesn't seem to work, this tutorial would be an excellent resource.

02/25/04 - Another book review up at Amazon. Google for Dummies by Brad Hill. Thanks to Wiley Publishing for the opportunity. The first one was The Complete Idiot's Guide to Landscaping by Joel Lerner, thanks to Alpha Books. If this becomes a trend, I may have to open a section on book reviews.

02/17/04 - Author and writer Peter Rennebohm says I did a "marvelous job" building his site. What a compliment! Check out PRennebohm.com and see how we worked together to translate--into HTML--the concept he had in mind. [Thank you, Peter! You are a pleasure to work with. I wish you all the best in your book projects.]

Meanwhile, Tery Lynne Brouwer, author, crafter, and owner of one of the sites I maintain, recently launched her Writing Critique Services. If you want someone to review your work, go to Tery.

01/26/04 - I truly believe that kindness begets kindness. I came across some very nice people today -- total strangers, no less. I thank them for their kindness -- and they thank me for mine, too. Gives you a warm feeling inside.

Let me post a couple of special requests from my writer friends:

* A new anthology has just been released: "The Simple Touch of Fate": real people, real stories; co-edited by Arlene Uslander and Brenda Warneka. One of the stories in that collection is mine -- "Norman" -- a story about how one of my classmates became a "guiding angel." Here's Arlene's plug for the book:

A fascinating collection of stories revealing compassion, mystery, humor and warmth, written by people from various walks of life as they tell about their personal brush with FATE. A computer engineer experiences the touch of the unknown as he learns that the plane he was scheduled to be on has crashed into the World Trade Center. A father and daughter, trying to escape from war-torn Egypt, lose something very precious, but find it in such an incredible way that they are sure Fate has favored them. A woman from India relates the strange way in which she is given a Genasha God statue that has been blessed by a revered Swami. The stories evoke the texture of life in an elegant yet gentle mosaic that confirms the unseen hand of fate touching all our lives. This book is about all different kinds of Fate. The common thread is that each story raises the question: "Was that just a coincidenceor was it meant to be?" Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and IUniverse (877-288-4737).

* If you haven't answered the ongoing call for submissions for "Living Stupid: Dumb Things Smart People Do" you have until March 15 to write that anecdote! Read the press release off my 10-21-03 "What's New" entry. Author Stephanie Marston says, "You can write your story anonymously if that's more comfortable!"

01/16/04 - I hope the year kicked off nicely for you as it did for me. I'm designing a new website for an author in Minnesota, and working on feature columns with the owner of a new magazine in Virginia. And I just delivered a bunch of handmade corporate calendars to an executive in Oregon. Is that fun or what? So much to do, so little time!

Meanwhile, let me share a few words from some very good friends...

Marcelline Santos-Taylor is announcing the release of her new book [and I quote from the XLibris site]:

"Missing Mangoes—For Filipinos and Those Who Love Us is composed of selections from Marcelline Santos-Taylor’s weekly column, "Manila Girl," published in the Filipino Express. A compilation of coming-to-America insights peppered with Filipino pop and folk culture tidbits and quotes, the book’s enticing flavor is as Manila as the fruit celebrated in the title—a touchstone for all Filipinos transplanted to foreign lands, where the succulent taste and texture of the authentic Philippine mango is so elusive it holds almost the same kind of mythical quality as an Elvis sighting." [Get your copy at XLibris.]

Arlene Uslander is also letting us know of her latest release:

Children's Gems for the Heart (I Wonder When God Will Get Tired of People and Put Dinosaurs Back on Earth), a wonderful new family book, is an endearing collection of reflections and quotes collected by Arlene Uslander (author of 12 previous books), during her 25 years of teaching Family Living. Divided into three sections, "Moms, Dads and the Rest of the Family," "Really Serious Stuff," and "Really Cool Stuff," the discussions come alive through introductory anecdotes which envelop the readers into the scenes. We learn that "the best dad is forgetful" because he forgets that he already gave the kids their allowance; we wonder "who God prays to," and "if there is a God for God," and puzzle over "how the first people learned to make babies." Enhanced by children's illustrations, the uncensored and spontaneous views of the world are portrayed through the innocent eyes of children. Children's Gems for the Heart truly has something for everyone in the entire family, including the kids! You'll read it from cover to cover and then want to pick it up and read again.

Children's Gems for the Heart is available at www.PublishAmerica.com, www.Amazon.com, www.Bamm.com, and www.Bn.com.

01/04/04 - Wow. A brand new year. When I was a lot younger, I pretty much took the New Year for granted. Now, many moons later, I celebrate each new opportunity to continue to breathe, marvel at earth's beauty, and bask in life's countless blessings. I guess I'm getting old. A marvelous New Year to everyone!

Go to the 'What's New' Archives - 2003.

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