A Penchant For Invention

I’m not a red head, nor do I have a Cuban husband or a best friend name Ethyl. However, I relate to how Lucille Ball relentlessly generated hair brained schemes. Lucy always had a plan and would stop at nothing to see it through to the awkward and often disastrous end.

My friends and family always tease me about my “big plans.”

There’s a distinct pause on the phone when I say, “I have this great idea. Want to hear it?” Invariably after they take a breath, they listen and offer words of patient encouragement (followed by a very faint snickering, which I can totally hear by the way!).

Admittedly, not all of my ideas are gems. My NiftySnail Craft & Activity Kits delivered to parents and grandparents via snail mail took off with snail like speed and then died a slow and painful death (and now I’m stuck with a ridiculous email addy that I can’t seem to shake).

My dry-erase freezer contents tracker system and its fancy digital version got freezed out. 

The crafting empire I started with my friend Sarah took off, but only for one half of the partnership. Can you guess which half? The half who is now a DIY style expert on CityLine, or the half who can’t paint within the lines and doesn’t care much for artsy stuff anyway unless it’s hanging on her wall all neat and tidy like?

The frou-frou shower caps were more Sarah’s idea than mine, so I’m pinning that flop on her.

And the ‘Dot Jots’ — an educational flashcard system for kids with an open-ended twist? I say that’s still a winner. Sadly, I’ve done nothing with it.

Then there was the idea I had nearly two decades ago when I first started teaching. After watching some of my young students struggle with reading, I came home and told my then fiance about an idea I had…a system where kids could point to text using a stylus which would read the words aloud. Brilliant right? Yes, Leap Frog thought so too and they actually hopped on it and made it happen.

My Chips, Chocolate & Chardonnay gift baskets never made it further than conception. The baskets for women recovering from some kind of heartbreak would consist of salty snacks, chocolate, wine, trashy mags and a custom card…. all hand picked online by a caring friend and delivered to their downtrodden sista’s door.

Oh, and the Bitter Beads. I’m going to write more about those another time. Gold, I tell ya. Outside of a few minor glitches, conflicts and a complete lack of direction…

And how can I forget the dry-erases “Jar Jellies” which allow you to write the date/contents of those glass food containers in your fridge or freezer? I was quite persistent with this idea, but got stuck at the prototype phase and gave up.

Instead, I decided to simply write directly on the glass containers with window writer markers.



Clever. For about ten minutes until THIS happened. 


Also, who the hell has coconut milk and yogurt cheese in their fridge anyway? Weirdos. That’s who.

During the Women In Biz conference held in Toronto last weekend, I jokingly tweeted, “Wish I was at #WIBM conference, but I have no business being there.” Get it, I have no actual business.

I don’t have a cute little store front with my name on the window where I sell some fabulous product. 

Then it dawned on me. I do have a product. Me. My words.

I write and so far I’m making a living. A little one.

It just sort of snuck up on me; this business of ghosting writing and editing and working in the realm of Social Media; it was a temporary gig until I went back to my career in teaching.

But, this small business {which I prefer to pronounce as biz niz} has allowed me to work from home, to make my own hours and has offered a level of flexibility that suits my family’s needs perfectly. Perhaps this is my business? 

Besides, this creative outlet is clearly fulfilling a need. It’s been weeks since my last hair brained scheme…

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