Best Thing To See On A Road Trip

Day Five: 2017 Novel Writing Road Trip Insights: June 2, 2017

What’s the best thing to see on your road trip?  Of course, we all know the answer.  The best thing to see on a road trip is friends!  (Note: this includes family members, especially if you have the kind of family like Mike’s and mine.)

So with that in mind, stifling any latent urges to veer off to Cawker, KS and take a look at the World’s Largest Ball of Twine, we kept zipping along east on I-70 yesterday (June 1st) and headed straight to our friends’ house in Overland Park, KS.

We’ve been friends with Carol and Gale since we first met them several years ago as they spent their winter at Newport Dunes RV Resort in Newport Beach, CA. Each season they visited, Carol and I would take walks around the Back Bay with my little dog Scooter, and Gale would play his banjo around our campfires. During one visit, we all went to see my daughter, Bethany Therese, performing in an Improv contest up in Hollywood.  (When friends support your children, it’s something more than special.)

A few summers ago, on a road trip similar to this one, we visited Carol and Gale in their home in Kansas when we still had our little Scooter. Scooter was always welcome at Carol and Gale’s because he and Carol had a very special bond.

As usual, this year’s visit at Carol and Gale’s place was like stopping at an oasis of homey-ness in the middle of a desert worth of stays at hotels and motels. Being in their home is like being in one of those gift shops where you want to stay all day. There is just so much to see – Carol’s own paintings on the walls, Gale’s instruments in the basement – his banjo, ukulele,  keyboard, and his brand new slide guitar – Carol’s garden with roses and hostas and hydrangeas and lilies, winding around stepping stones that Gale laid lovingly down. There’s the family room with tasteful collections perched on top of dark wooden ceiling beams – tiny green glass bottles, figurines each with special meaning to Carol and Gale – those kinds of homey things.  And then there’s my favorite room of the house, their sun room, a glass enclosed transition from the inside to outside with a lovely patio table and comfy patio chairs – wooden seagulls in the corner – perfect. Whenever we visit, we sit and talk like we’ve never had time apart.

There’s so much more to tell – the story of the orphan squirrel, Charlie, who adopted Gale, the mansions of Mission Hills, Carol’s insights to help me with my novel, how Gale in a blink of an eye, washed the front of our Prius before we started back on the road…but I’m typing this in the car and we have to get to Milwaukee by 1:00, so we’ll save some Carol and Gale stories for later.

Here’s wishing all of you the time to take a happy road trip and so many friends along the way that you’ll drive right past that old ball of twine in Cawker, KS.



Do You Stop Short of Success?

Do you tend to stop just short of success

Boycott “Shortstops”

Do you stop short of success? Funny I should ask! Today is March 15th. I’ve been working for two weeks on a St. Patrick’s Day marketing idea that would bring people to my website to buy my little children’s book, “Lucky, the Left Pawed Puppy”. I have left myself a whopping two days for promotion.

This article won’t be long because I do realize I’m writing this instead of doing my other work. But this is what I always do. I stop just this short of success, and maybe you do too.  But I’m not going to do that today. screenshot Irish Memory Match Game for St. Patrick's Day

Your Past May Be Present 

So where did this new discipline of mine (if it kicks in soon) come from? Google, of course, is the answer. I simply searched and found two wonderful articles that might help you if you’re a “stopper” like me. The first piece, “The Fear of Success” was written by Dr. Susanne Babbel for Psychology Today, resonated with me the most. Dr. Babbel discusses the surprising link between Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and fear of success. She addresses, as well, the avoidance of situations that might “get our hopes up. Sound familiar?

The second article, “Fear of Success: Do You Have One Of These 6 Symptoms?” will be helpful in identifying whether or not you fall into this “un-merry” band of brothers (and sisters). There are also insightful questions at the end of the article which just might propel you towards the success you really do want.

I’ll be off now tweeting my promotion because a St. Patrick’s Day marketing scheme just can’t wait until Easter.




“Presidential Solitaire” Buries “Patience Solitaire”

Presidential Solitaire coverWhat is this deck of cards with President pictures that’s as popular as “Hamilton” and that buries the trending online card game, “Patience”?

Well, you and I know that nothing is as popular as the Broadway smash hit
“Hamilton,” but an inventor can dream, can’t she? Yes, Presidential Solitaire is a game invented by the author of this blog – me. Maybe it’s because I’m left-handed that the question, “What if…?” comes often to me. “What if Solitaire had NO NUMBERS?” I found myself asking myself one day.  Of course, Solitaire in and of itself is fun just because we’re hoping the cards will quickly come our way and we’ll “beat the deck”. However, repeating “ten, nine, eight, seven…” in our heads is a bit un-challenging, don’t you think? So I thought, “What if the order of the Presidents becomes the order of the game? Challenging our brains to think   “Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon…” surely must be a super duper brain-building exercise, even more so than the popular “Patience Solitaire which merely requires extra patience! So around 1990, I took a little out of savings and went ahead trying prototypes, Continue reading “Presidential Solitaire” Buries “Patience Solitaire”

Question for Marketers!

So, here’s the app that anyone can download FREE for Android from the googleplay store. (RESIZABLE on the phone!!!) We’re working on getting this little app into the Apple store, but we’re having trouble. (Blog to follow).

 screenshot of memory game
Our next plan is to re-publish this app, but with a Christmas game. That app will have the OPTION TO PURCHASE our complete game app for children for $1.99. The upgrade will include “Sentence Scrambles” for developing reading skills, more memory matching games with niche themes, and Fill-in-the-Blank games that are now featured on “The Awesome Game Page” in the kids’ secton of our website at languagerocks.com. 

Marketers: We could use any constructive ideas for our little company regarding our games for kids. We need to know if we should: A. Stop what we’re doing? B. Keep on going in this direction? C.Go on to something else? We have been creating educational software and games and other products for 25 years and are at an impasse. Let us know YOUR thoughts the comment section below. 

Will a Custom Game App Rocket Your Small Business?

We at Language Rocks believe a custom game app can rocket
your small business to new heights, get customers to interact with your product line, and keep customers coming back.    That’s why we created our newest app, a Halloween memory matching game for Android phones, tablets, online (soon to be in the Apple Store as well.) We called it Concentration-Halloween Haunt“. 

For ANY type of Business
The Halloween App makes sense for OUR educational website, but what about YOUR company? Does having a game make sense for YOUR products?  You might have heard of “The Secret” which was popular several years ago. A game on their website seemed to have made sense for The Secret. Playing the game reinforces concepts the book contains. Imagine the interactivity of a customized game on YOUR website or YOUR business app. (We would suggest fewer squares, of course, with YOUR product or content. You then can add sales banners, links, or affilitate information.)  But when you think how often a player would be interacting with your products, the benefits are obvious.
How to Order a Customized Game for YOUR Website: What Will Your Custom Game Look Like: How Can You Order A Game To Be Created for You:


What Will Your Custom Game App Look Like?

Our software division at Language Rocks has created a memory matching game for the Texas State Historical Museum in Austin, Texas.  This game features Texas state symbols and is in the children’s section of the museum on a kiosk which plays interactive computer games.  The screen shot here illustrates the game according to color and other specifications of the museum.  A game such as this can easily be converted into an app as we did with our “Concentration-Halloween Haunt” app described previously. 

A completely different look to the classic memory game was designed for comedian Bethany Therese so audiences would interact with the name of famous and rising female comedy personalities.  Just click here to view the Comics Game. 

To promote our own publication of the children’s book, “Lucky, the Left-Pawed Puppy” we created “Lucky’s Match”, a delightful game for children to play online which we can add to our Concentration Series app in the GooglePlayStore and Apple Store in the future.


What Will Your Custom Game Look Like
Whether you sell houses, jewelry, or power tools – whether you want to advertise your blog or your website, we can customize the memory game to match your specifications and promote your products, information, or concepts. We are able to deliver that game for your website and/or as an app submitted to Google Play Store or the Apple Store. Because we are a small business working with other small businesses, our prices are meant to accommodate modest budgets. 

How Can You Order A Game To Be Created for You
If you are not a software developer and need our services, we can deliver a game to you for your website for $79.95. If you are a software developer, you can purchase our copyrighted code for only $49.95 to use in your projects.  For details on how we can deliver and help create and load your app in the Applestore for Apple devices and Google Play Store for Android devices.  Call us at 763-442-0781 or email us at games@languagerocks.com for details.

Motivating Reading Game for Christmas

The goal of Windmill Works at www.languagerocks.com has always been to make reading and language development motivating.  What could be more motivating, we thought, than colorful Christmas images to improve reading skills?  Of course, being a teacher of the deaf, the focus of our products has always been visual and NON-phonetic.

We’re hoping that our remarkable sale of the DOWNLOADABLE “Johnny Rock’s Christmas” for only $3.99 will be a great holiday success.

We’ve focused on little blurbs in the parent groups, speech/language pathologists, teachers of the deaf and hard of hearing, and special ed. teachers on linkedin.  Tonight, we’re hoping to add an online sample of “Johnny Rock’s Christmas” to promote our lovely Christmas sale.  Read more about the classic matching games with the exciting Christmas vocabulary at www.languagerocksproducts.com where you’ll find great screen shots of content and testimonials.  We’d love to hear how your little wide-eyed reader does with matching “Johnny’s” fun reading and language building games.  Happy Holidays!