Writing Retreat Weekend in August

For the writers among us looking for opportunities to focus and get quality feedback, here is a writing retreat weekend being facilitated by Kathryn Kulpa, one of the original writers for Kmareka back when we were a quarterly, and a teacher and editor of superior talent:

Writing Retreat Weekend

Are you looking for a great way to relax, recharge, and devote a whole day (or two) to nothing but writing? Attend a Writing Retreat Weekend led by award-winning fiction writer, editor and teacher Kathryn Kulpa. Spark your creativity in a supportive atmosphere, with group mini-workshops and personal consultations.

The writing retreat weekend is scheduled for Saturday, August 16 and Sunday, August 17 from 9:30 to 5:30 in Somerset, MA (about 20 minutes from Providence). You may attend either day, or come to both sessions for a special price. The program includes delicious home-cooked food, group writing exercises, private free-writing time, a chance to share new work with peers for feedback, and a one-on-one editorial consultation. Write outdoors in a large, shady backyard or indoors in air-conditioned comfort.

The cost for this workshop/retreat is $90 per day, or a special price of $150 if you attend both days. Limited financial aid is available.

Attendance is limited to eight. Pre-registration is strongly suggested. Just email Kathryn Kulpa at kathrynka@yahoo.com with the date(s) you plan to attend. You can also pre-pay through PayPal.

Can’t make it that weekend? Other writing retreats are planned. Feel free to email Kathryn Kulpa with any questions.

Announcing the Campaign Coordinator for Cindy Fogarty

Perhaps you’ve been wondering about where I’ve been the past few days. Well, here’s your answer:


Contact: Kiersten Marek
Cindy Fogarty for Mayor of Cranston
(401) 744-8933

The Fogarty for Mayor campaign is pleased to announce that it has hired Kiersten Marek as its campaign coordinator. Kiersten is a Cranston resident and clinical social worker who owns and runs the blog Kmareka.com, which follows Cranston community issues, particularly issues related to education, finance, and zoning.

“In taking this position as coordinator for Cindy Fogarty’s campaign, I hope to bring more Cranston residents into the process of electing the best possible Mayor for our city. I firmly believe Cindy’s record as a city councilmember, business woman, litigator and citizen advocate are the strongest indicators of how she will lead Cranston in the right direction.”

Cindy Fogarty adds, “I have known Kiersten since my first days on the City Council. She was a volunteer member of the Cranston Financial Review Board and has been active on many school and community issues. Kiersten’s willingness to serve her city during a challenging financial period is indicative of her community commitment. She has continued to be involved on the major issues facing not only Cranstonians, but all Rhode Islanders.”

Kiersten lives in the Eden Park section of Cranston, is married to Kevin Marek, and has two daughters.

In the style of writer/campaign consultant David Sirota, I hope to keep blogging from time to time about the campaign as we move forward. I also hope to blog about other important campaigns and issues as we move toward election day this fall. These are exciting times to be community-involved and I look forward to working hard and being part of the changes that will bring about a better future for our city, state, and country.

Help with Travel Troubles

Just got back from visiting the in-laws in Louisville, KY. We got to see what a thunderstorm looks like at 30,000 feet, and feel it too. The weather was bad and we were shuffled among three different airlines.

We got home safe and sound, but our bags are lost. Perhaps even now, some thief is wearing my foxy Kmareka T-shirt.

I’ve called the airlines, and all three of them say it’s the other one’s problem.

Gentle readers, any suggestions?

More on Podcamp Boston

Yesterday was my first experience liveblogging an event, and as you can see from the skimpy blog post, it was a challenge — getting on wifi, staying online when I paused to listen more intently to presenters, typing on the small hand-held computer screen, shutting off my technology so that I could interact with the people around me. But overall, it was an amazing first experience.

For me, though, what rises to the surface after an experience is almost better — that’s the real grist for the mill. For me, reflection is as important as experience, since it allows me to comparatively assess the depth of new information received and how it will impact my own thoughts, plans, ideas and actions.

I’m not going to go into detail, but the bottom line is that attending Podcamp helped me further conceptualize some possibilities for Kmareka as well as some possibilities for how to use new media in psychotherapy. To that end, I will be doing a lot more research and writing both online and offline in the coming months.

I want to thank the presenters and participants I met at Podcamp who took the time to talk with me and share their ideas. Your listening ears and engaging responses have bolstered my enthusiasm for my work:

Philip Robertson, Oovoo

Susanne Sicilian, Marketingprofs.com

Cristos Lianides-Chin, Dexrex.com

Jim Spencer, JBS Partners

Deborah Block-Schwenk, Writing and Social Media Marketing

Larry Lawfer, Yourstorys

Robert H. Blatt, Audio Engineer and Podcaster for the New York Sun

Crystal King, Sr Principal, Communications and Global Marketing, Ca.com

I’d also like to thank the people at Utterz.com for the really cute stuffed cow! My younger daughter is enthralled with it.

Liveblogging from Podcamp Boston

I’m at Podcamp Boston, broadcasting live from my husband’s iPaq. At the moment, I’m listening to a panel discussion on social media and marketing. I’ll be updating throughout the day.

The discussion now is on how social media is giving us so many new choices for what to pay attention to, as opposed to the world of just TV.

Best Practices for social media and PR:

–engage the audience and let them talk about you — Obama’s approach incorporates this.

–consumers are now controlling vendors more because of social media.

–smaller innovators can work more quickly and nimbly.

–concerned comments about companies managing liability of employees producing work with social media.


I’m now listening to Larry Lawfer talk about successful video blogging.

— “Work hard to make new mistakes, otherwise you are not progressing.”

–facilitate conversations for others, help them connect with others, and you will rise in their estimation.

–make good sound, otherwise people will click off.

Learn to Love Sardines

I don’t mind them myself. Everything I read in the news leads to the conclusion that eating less beef, pork and chicken is good for health and good for the general welfare on a polluted planet.

But fish — always a good choice, right?

Nope. Not when factory fish farming has the same drawbacks as factory chicken farming…

— The wildly popular farm-raised fish known as tilapia may actually harm your heart, thanks to low levels of healthy omega-3 fatty acids and high levels of unhealthy omega-6 fatty acids. FRIDAY, July 11 (HealthDay News) Amanda Gardner

[Read the rest of this for good nutrition info.]

Tilapia is only ‘wildly popular’ because it is cheap compared to the increasingly expensive cod and tuna. The article goes on to says that farmed catfish isn’t great either, which doesn’t surprise me because tilapia and catfish both taste like mud. The problem is that the farmed fish are being fed cheap food, maybe stale potato chips or something, and the second law of thermodynamics says you can’t get something for nothing.

I see a frightening trend for the future in the increase in jellyfish recipes. (See ‘Return of the Blob’)

Sardines are still cheap and very nutritious. But the first law of Karma says that what goes around comes around. Pollution, overfishing and global warming may bring us to a point where we’re grateful for pickled jellies. Learn to love wasabi.