I’ve Become Super Noob

I started writing as Super Noob on Lindsay’s blog, Web Design for Idiots. Tonight I wrote the following as an introduction to who I am and why I’m someone who might have a reason to be writing there.

I’m posting this from my very messy desk with the TV on to my left and my nearly cold coffee at my right hand, in danger of wrecking my faithful little scanner. I’m a real woman. I’m a real, live, 40+, divorced Canadian woman, a writing legend in my own mind.

In June of 1996 I began on the Internet. I was an IRC diva for quite a long time. It was a lot of fun and most of it I really should not write about here. That’s what personal blogs are all about. I wrote for a zine first, a small print publication called The Crying Clown. From there it was all online. At one point I was producing my own newsletter for writers, InkSplatters, sent out through what is now Yahoo Groups. I was a web writer for HerPlanet, BackWash, BellaOnline, Suite 101, WZ-ard.com and other sites, forums and newsletters some still living and some not. I still write for Creative Fat Grrl on LockerGnome, a babbly blog more than anything seriously functional. Writing for a network is a different educational experience than writing for yourself. Which is one reason I keep doing it.

I’ve had sites and then blogs of my own. I didn’t begin online in the great time of blogging, I was here before that. So my first sites were put together with just HTML code as I learned and goofed it up. I’ve used software and I’ve cut and pasted code and I’ve hand coded my own pages. I’m not an expert, time alone isn’t enough to make you an expert at web design or development. I have learned however and as I learn I see how much more there is to be explored and discovered. But, don’t look to me expecting I’m a know-it-all. If I ever say that you can be sure I’m just laughing at myself.

I love creative things. I’ve done so many interesting forms of art, just to try them out. I made ASCII art for a few years. I continue to take digital photos of abandoned places here in Ontario, starting in 2006 when I bought my first digi camera. I’m also teaching myself to draw cartoons, some people even like them! This week I re-learned the art of cutting out paper doll chains so I could make them into a graphic for a blog. I really think it’s important to keep the creativity and free writing in blogging. It would be a real shame if the personal journal and creative element of blogging were lost in the rush for SEO and money making.

Anyway, I’m here to help the less experienced blogger with my experiences. I’ve got a stack of great books about web design on my bookshelf and I will be using them (finally) for more than a place to hide my dust bunnies. I seem to collect books with great good intentions and then not get very far. You can also find me writing about web writing and posting writing ideas and prompts on my blog, Word Grrls.


Completely off topic… did you know that a nail file works really well if you have an itchy spot on your back that you just can’t reach? I’ve been rubbing my back on my chair tonight wishing for something to work. Then I had the great idea for the nail file (not one of those treacherous metal ones, just some cardboard type) and that worked great!

The Writer from 2001

Thank you Wayback Machine. I found one saved link from an old site I had at Tripod. Worked a couple of hours to find old Blogger sites but, no luck so far. Well, I found one but not the one I was hoping for. Likely written soon after this site, 2001 some time. Blogger makes it pretty easy to find an old account but, you still need to have the email you were using at the time. They send a verification code to you there. But, my old email addresses are as old/ older than the site I hope to find. I tried to recover them but two of them are ISPs not in business for about 10 years. The other was at Excite.com, now Lycos and I could not find anything about recovering old accounts. Likely they are not kept that long. Google/ Blogger seems to be the only social network which does care about history. I won’t forget that Google took up the old newsgroups and still has them saved from the very early days of the Internet.

I may repost these old posts in order by date. Nice to see them pop up in the right place and remember how long I’ve been doing this.

The Writer
Writing and publishing online and still putting in time on my regularly scheduled life.
The current mood of Laura at www.imood.comI was born in the Year of the Dragon, more than a few years ago. 2000 was another year of the Dragon, in December I married Todd, moved to the US and became an expatriate. Spirit of the NightI work as a freelance writer online and in print. My favourite colour is deep, dark red. When I’m having a bad day going outdoors always makes me feel better. I’m reading the same book I started 6 months ago: Sarum by Edward Rutherfurd. I’m not especially musically inclined, I can turn on the radio and be happy leaving it in the background. Spirit of the Night



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Wednesday, October 03, 2001

“One who says it can not be done, should not interrupt one doing it.” Chinese proverb.

Found some ornament making projects on a felt makers site. I really like to make Christmas ornaments.
Saturday, September 08, 2001
I’m still here in Ontario, Canada. Or back here. I went to Montreal for the MosaicCulture plant sculpture show. We also saw the botannical gardens. My favourites were the Canadian exhibits, although the Chinese dragons were great to see. I took pictures, as many as I could with the disposable camera. Its such a shame I forgot mine back in Illinois.
Friday, August 24, 2001
The Ex was good. Not as great as when I was a kid going down there with my brother and sisters. So much is commercial now and very little free stuff for kids or adults. I bought some things for the husband back in Illinois. Its his money so he should get something from it. 🙂 I bought a couple of small things for myself and a lovely angel/ fairy for the Christmas tree.
Wednesday, August 22, 2001
Its been awhile since I last wrote. I’m typing from my parent’s home in Toronto, Canada now. I’m here to get the dead zone computer fixed. IBM is still finding ways to do nothing.
Anyway, tonight I read a quote I liked from Evhead’s blog”To be an artist is a personality/ attitude/ spirit – not an occupation.” Evhead.I’m writing for BackWash now, 2 or 3 journal entries a week so far. I’m going to start a second one for BackWash Kids. The ASCII Art column for WZ.com isn’t going anywhere soon. They seem to be too busy to approve new entries. Todd has been waiting a long time for his to get off the ground. I write to the editor and get things done but its a very slow proces. Makes the prospects slim for promoting it. How can you go wild promoting something that isn’t there yet. Just the opposite of HerPlanet where its only because of me that the site isn’t already up and active. I’m looking forward to having that one (HerCorner) going. There is so much I can do with it and so many web writers I can help get the confidence to start.

Anyway, I think this will be it for now. I want to get to sleep for all that walking at The Ex tomorrow.

Thursday, August 02, 2001
Found a weblog I like today, Poundy. She even lives somewhere in the midwest. I’m sticking the URL here so I won’t forget where I found the site. Doesn’t look like anyone is actually reading this blog. It doesn’t matter a lot. But it would be nice to have my moment of fame. lol
Talked to my Mom this morning. Graham, my brother, is on his way down here from Toronto. He is going to stay awhile, be here for Todd’s birthday this weekend and then I will go back with him and get my money back for the dead computer. I think that is the best way to do things, still not sure entirely. But if I get the money back there will hopefully be enough to buy another new computer here on the US side of the border this time. I went to look at a couple of sites. Gateway seems the best way to go, too bad the closest store is about a hundred miles away in St Louis. Maybe Todd would consider making a trip of it. Though it might mean waiting as long as my birthday, Christmas and wedding anniversary in December. Still, if I can access the net and my HerPlanet site using Todd’s computer that won’t be too bad. Of course its a pain not having my own computer. I fee like an online transient.Suite 101 is having a really great event now. I think they could have done better in picking links but that they did it at all is pretty impressive. Oddly enough, its the same idea I had for a column. Full-Figured Women: Healthy Mind & Body
The Coffee Ring is a blog from a Canadian woman planning her wedding. Nice to read about someone else going through all that, especially when its not me!!
Another site I’ve ben keeping an eye on is BackWash, the internet organized by personality. I’d enjoy doing a column there but I just don’t think I can handle the time commitment. You have to write a fairly good sized article and then add links (not related to your column or each other). Thats quite a chunk of time for something you don’t get paid for. I don’t begrudge them not paying I just think I should put that kind of time into something that pays or has prospects of paying.
SheBazzle: Julie’s Motherhood Journal. This is a good blog, anyone with a scanner or digital camera does have an edge in blogging. Todd hinted that he is getting me a scanner for my birthday/ Christmas. I’ll have to get all those pictures developed finally! I’d love to have a scanner.
I like the name Darla for a girl. Maybe its too girly but I still like it. I hope Todd and I have at least one kid. Two or three would be a lot better, at least two anyway. I don’t think Todd wants to, he certainly isn’t co-operating sperm wise. I don’t know what my life will be like if I never have a kid. It just seems to be the meaning of life, something I can contribute to my ancestors and life, the future and everything. Its important to me personally, I want to raise a child, a person. I want to pass on my thoughts, genes and good and bad times. I want to be part of the world and show another new person all that the world is. There is so much amazing stuff in the world. Not everyone can see it, sometimes they forget to look or forget how to look.
Friday, July 27, 2001
I’m having a creative day. I made two new ascii pictures and wrote book reviews for HerCorner. Still waiting for the ezine to be approved for the WZard site. The URL has my byline up already. The editor is just busy with a lot of other new WZards/ writers. Looking forward to seeing my site up and functioning.
The Zeal directory is a mess. I can’t see myself putting in any more time there. Its not listed by topics but by country. Which just makes no sense and is bordering on annoying since everything is listed under United States really. Just a little too US centric for this Canadian.
My computer died on June 27th. I just realized its been a month to the day. We finally found out that its the motherboard that needs to be replaced. I will have to take the computer back home with me when I go to Toronto for Sarah’s wedding. It will be great to have my computer back and working again. I miss all my files! Its been terrific of Todd to let me use his computer for checking email and the odd bit of stuff I can still do without my harddrive and its contents. Sarah came up with the idea of transplanting my hard drive into Todd’s computer but I can see that Todd is reluctant to allow this brain surgery. So it looks like I will have to hope my hard drive survives another trip back and forth to Toronto. Its about 17 hours on the bus, with a 4-5 hour wait in Chicago. Not a lot of fun. Also, for going there I will need to go to the INS building and get the advanced parole. I will be so glad when I’m finally free, or at least a bit free. The only time anyone is really free is when they are a baby. At the time don’t really know it and would likely laugh at anyone who said it. They likely wouldn’t consider themselves free, can’t do anything they see everyone doing. Must be boring being a baby. Time to get ready to go out tonight. I’m really hungry, skipped lunch. We planned to go to the Chinese buffet tonight so I won’t be hungry for long. 🙂
Friday, July 20, 2001
Still no computer for me. Todd doesn’t want to put my hard drive into his computer. He hasn’t said that but he hasn’t done anything about doing it. I would do it but its his computer and if he doesn’t want to do it, thats up to him.
Sarah put up pictures from her birthday bbq, online. Great to see everyone, wish I was there.
Here is something I wrote last night. Todd and I had a bad night. Not that he knows about it.
I feel like I’m in too deep and the little light at the end of the tunnel is just my imagination. If I try to get to it, it just won’t be there.I can’t feel motivated. I used to think it was because I was afraid of putting a foot wrong. But now I think its more than that. I think I’d rather do nothing than try anything. Its easier to put nothing, to invest as small a part of myself, my knowledge, talents, personality, etc into whatever the end result will be. Knowing its far more likely that I will hear I’ve done something the wrong way, not enough, etc.
I wish I could find my old backscratcher. My shoulderblades are almost always itchy. I’ve read that itchy skin is caused by dead skin cells needing to be scraped off. I’m not sure thats right. Why am I always itchy in the same spots then and not in others. Just another of those little things. I’m about to go make coffee and get dressed. Hopefully I will hear from someone with good news about my computer. The only thing we’ve made progress with is to find out that its the motherboard that needs to be replaced.
Today is the big day at Zeal. They launch the new site, merged with LookSmart. Once I have my coffee on the go I’m going to have a look and see if my login still works.

Fes Up Challenge from Facebook

This was posted by Bev. Here are my answers.

‘Fess up challenge!
-bath or shower? Shower
-straight or curly hair? Curly
-favorite movie? Not really.
-favorite holiday? St. Patrick’s Day
-Android or iPhone? Landline only.
– texting or calling? Email.
-Facebook or Twitter? Twitter
– favorite type of food? Mexican but not spicy and no cilantro.
– dream job? Evil villain or horror writer.
-favorite pizza? homemade with mozzarella cheese
– favorite cake? homemade cheesecake
– night or day? Very early morning.
-summer or winter? Winter
-wine or whiskey? Pass the coffee.
– favorite egg style? fried in butter on a toasted plain bagel.
-favorite TV show? Not really
-hair up or down? Got a shorter cut now I mostly just let it do what it wants.Or I tame it with a bandana when it goes too far.
-jeans or leggings? Sort of track yoga pants. I don’t want something clinging to my curves or showing my ass.
-favorite rock band? None.
-favorite color? Dark red, sometimes orange or blue.
-pullover or button-up shirt? Sack, with sleeves.
-flip flops or sneakers? Bare feet or clogs. Boots if there is snow.
-big pursue or small? Massive. I’m prepared for impulse travel.Plus, I always bring a book, a camera… other stuff.
-how many tattoos? None
– how many piercings? Five in my ear lobes have never healed over from a piercing accident in my youth.
-diamonds or pearls? I prefer Rhinestones with a lot of flashy colours.
– favorite animal? Cats, barn cats, feral or big cats.
– Rap or country music? Turn that down!
-Hiking or fishing? Exploring without harming worms or spiders.
– favorite place to shop? Second hand stores.
– best feature? My face. I’m 50+ and no one believes me. (They aren’t just being nice to the crazy, old lady).

Nudity in Ruined City Landscapes

Sasha Kurmaz is a Kiev-born photographer. In his 2013 book, Concrete & Sex, the artist reveals that his personal interest in architecture stems from his graffiti background, where he trekked the city in search of good locations for his art. “While walking, I kept looking over the city. This is the magic of these brutal shapes; functionality, and a frank expression of materiality,” he says. “During these trips I have always done pictures to remember the place and go back at night to paint – sometimes I just shoot the landscapes of the city.”

Via dazeddigital.com

Hybrid Vehicle Travels on Railways

There are so many unused railway tracks. I wonder how much of that could be repurposed (or still safe to use) if people began using it for personal transportation again.After nearly 5,000 miles of railway tracks were abandoned in Mexico and Ecuador 20 years ago, communities were left isolated without easy access to the world outside. Two artists want to re-open…

Source: Funky Aluminum Hybrid Vehicle Travels on Railways to Reach Abandoned Communities | Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building

Prompt for December 7 | Project Reverb

Victory Laps: What was your biggest accomplishment of 2013?

via Prompt for December 7 | Project Reverb.

This seems like a repeat question.

One big accomplishment (on a personal level) was getting rid of this fungus (or whatever it really is) on my face for a week. I’ve had it since the Spring this year. Got rid of is about a week and felt delighted. But, it has come back again.

Thinking about it doesn’t make me feel better. So I’d rather not put much time and energy into typing about it now. I have had it looked at, at least three times so far.

Atheists Think Differently

lightbulbearthAtheists don’t believe in any god or goddess or combination of either. It’s a bold choice. Like playing without a net when it comes to your beliefs about death and what comes next. Many people ‘get religion’ when death touches their lives. They become afraid and want something to believe in. Something that has power over them, something bigger than themselves, something that can give them possibilities rather than just an end to life.

I think atheists are brave or bold or angry or young or something… to stand out on that ledge and not believe.

Atheist beliefs are more than just not believing in god or following a religion. Atheists can be religious, they can be part of an organized religion. But they have a slightly different outlook because they don’t believe in the gods of the religion. This may seem complex or as if you are not really following the religion at all.

For myself, I would call myself a Witch, however I don’t believe in any gods or goddesses. This does not mean I don’t believe in something. I do believe in reincarnation. I believe there is some law of nature (something I don’t have the knowledge or experience to understand or define) which controls what happens to us after we die. Reincarnation makes sense to me, like recycling.

In this way, I follow the Pagan ways, share most of the Pagan beliefs but I have given them my own slant as a free thinker, not quite an atheist.

This free thinking changes my outlook on everything religions connect with a god or goddess. I don’t pray. But, I don’t think prayers are something wrong. Prayers give words to your deepest thoughts, emotions and needs. I also don’t believe in Adam and Eve. I believe in evolution.

People wonder why I don’t believe in god. It started when I began feeling religions hold god, heaven, devils, hell, etc over people – as a threat and a bribe to make them conform to certain standards. I began to feel I could not respect any god who would use such methods – or any god who needed or expected to be worshipped at all. Why would a god (something all mighty) need to be fawned over? It would seem to be empty praise, remote, automatic and even forced. What would that really be worth.

I started looking at other options, other beliefs. I began to merge my thoughts, feelings and values with what I found others believing.

My strongest connections were to beliefs which gave women power (rather than thinking them the ‘weaker vessel’) and those which focused on man/ humans as being responsible for their own actions rather than letting a god or devil be held to account for everything.

Through reading more about atheism I found the Free Thinkers. That’s where I will be exploring next. I like having the option to change my mind without having to change my whole religion every time.

Humanists, atheists, agnostics, non-theists, skeptics, freethinkers and other non-religious people

This post was originally written and posted to HubPages. I’ve cut and pasted the comments in because they added to the topic.

That Grrl

No one should be quick to pass judgement on another belief system/ religion until they have an understanding of it. Of course, once you begin to understand it that well, parts of it will make good sense and become worthwhile to you.


I think people have a need to worship something bigger than themselves because, deep inside the psyche, they feel inadequate and fearful. I believe that, once individuals have dealt with personal inner fear as it applies to their particular circumstances, the ideas you talk about here fall into place as options for forming a personal life philosophy.

I like your gentle approach to such a potentially contentious topic. We need more people exploring this important part of life with your open and genuinely inquisitive attitude.


I follow Frizbetarianism.We believe when you die your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck there…

The Real question we each need to answer is;Does self awareness survive death?Without it nothing else matters…seems to me…


That Grrl

It’s always good to hear there are others who think differently. A lot of people seem to carry on with beliefs without questioning anything or really appearing to think at all.


This is a very nice essay. I am, also, an atheistic witch. I apply the term “traditional witch” a lot, but then I have to define that term because it means so many things to so many different people. I hold that, historically, most traditional Western witches were atheists.

The only reason we have to talk about “god” is that so many other people are talking about it and these people are sometimes politicians and people who could have a negative impact on our lives.


Nice hub, Thatgrrl. I’m more of a Pantheist myself, which to the general masses is too close to Atheist for comfort. Oh well. I do believe that when you are not bound by the limitations of a religion that you are free to see the world in a different light.

Are You Sure You’re Pagan?

dark pentacleIs your Faith Misplaced?

One thing I seldom see in Pagan writing are posts about world news and current events from a Pagan perspective. (Unless the events actually relate directly to religion/ Paganism).

I also don’t see people talking about taking comfort in Paganism or Wicca or Witchcraft the way some other religions do. Is our religion a fair weather friend? Something we take out when we intend to, or want to, but other times it’s just not there.

These are the things I’ve been thinking about lately.

When you have a personal tragedy, do you turn to your Pagan beliefs for comfort?

I’ve seen people talk on and on about what they believe, defend it, teach it and promote it. But, is it still so personal to you that you could turn to your beliefs when you really do need something to believe in – not for a cause but for your own heart? You might perform a ritual because it’s the thing to do. But, is your heart really in it? Is this giving you real comfort? Or are you just doing what’s expected of you as a Pagan/ Wiccan/ Witch?

When did you last think of something in the news from a Pagan perspective? I don’t mean news about anything religious. When did you hear the news from the perspective of being Pagan and think to write about how this made you feel, as a Pagan?

Not all news is relevant to being a Pagan, yet, if you are a Pagan shouldn’t you see the news from the perspective of your beliefs rather than adding them in later?

Do you wear Pagan jewelry, collect Pagan tools and magical items? Does each one have real meaning to you or are they just part of your collection? Do you wear black because that’s what Witches do or because you actually like wearing black?

When you ‘Go Green’, do you stop and think about how you are helping the Earth or do you just recycle because that’s the right/ popular thing to do?

If you work with spells are you really taking into account “Harm’s none”? Or do you just like creating a spell because it makes you Pagan and special. Are you a Witch because spellcraft makes you feel special and important?

When someone talks about Pagans in a negative way do you need to spring up and rush to counter them? Why? It’s not for us to convert anyone and you are more likely to change their mind from your actions, not your words.

Do your Pagan beliefs reach right down to your soul? Are you satisfied with what you believe will happen when you die? Not about being gone and death itself, few would be satisfied to leave life. But, do you get comfort from the beliefs you have about what happens to your soul after your body dies?

Is being Pagan a fair weather friend for you or is it in everything you do and feel and believe? There’s no rule that says it has to be. Being Pagan is about making your own choices and decisions, finding your own values and ideals. Have you taken that to heart or are you following the popular path without really accepting it on that deep, personal level?

After reading this are you going to leave me a comment to prove how Pagan, Wiccan or Witch you are? Are you already listing your Pagan credentials, ready to type them all out? Stop and think about why you need to prove how Pagan you are.

Could you be Pagan and not tell anyone, ever? Could you be Pagan and not need to prove it to anyone?

Being Pagan, Wiccan or a Witch is a choice of religion, spirituality, beliefs and faith. Do you have faith in your choice?

Have you looked at enough of the other options? There are endless choices inside of Paganism itself. Find the one that really speaks to you, the one that reaches your heart and soul, the one you want to live and grow with. Don’t settle too easily for what looks shiny and new or popular.

Where the Wild Things Are: Talking About Being Pagan

Originally posted to ‘BackWash: Where the Wild Things Are’ newsletter, January, 16, 2003.

Staying safe, in your own safe little world. Is that where you are? Many of us choose our adventures, how far we will go depends on where we have our safety nets.

For instance, have you told anyone you’re Pagan? Have you told your family, friends, co-workers, boss? I’m not suggesting you rush out and do it. I’m certainly not daring you to tell them either. It’s a personal thing. Being Pagan is a personal thing in itself. A personal choice and something just for you.

It should not, however, be some dark secret. Something deep, dangerous and naughty. That’s not what Paganism should be. It’s not something you should have to hide from your family. Being Pagan is about caring for life, the Earth and old traditions. How can they really object to that? Still, you can find the safety zone. You can let them know you’re into nature, environmental issues and historical traditions. You can be Pagan without saying the word Pagan to them.

People don’t always get that. They think they have to hide being Pagan because others won’t like it or will be shocked by it. They turn it into a deep, dark secret. By doing that they make it become something dark, secret. No wonder so many people still think of Pagans as devil worshippers.

You have the power to find where your safe world is, set the boundaries and set the record straight if you choose to. Let people know you’re Pagan, if you can or if you choose to. But, don’t make it some dark mystery. Don’t let them find an altar, a book or a pentacle in your room without explanation. If you make being Pagan something to be ashamed of or fear you hurt all of us.

Instead be proud of who you are and be as honest about it as you can. For me, the only person I couldn’t talk to about being Pagan was my Grandmother. It scared her. She couldn’t think of it as anything but dangerous for me. She didn’t understand that it’s not something dark, but something light. She didn’t know what I made of being Pagan, for me. She only knew the stereotypes she had heard all her life.