About Me

I grew up in South Dakota but lived in Australia, Ethiopia, Wyoming and California before moving to Mexico in 2001. I have had various careers as an English teacher, working in a television production company and as an artist on the arts and crafts circuit for 13 years. My avocations include being the curator of an art center and editing and co-editing two poetry journals. I am presently the coordinator of a local reading series at La Rueda (The Wheel) in San Juan Cosala, Jalisco, Mexico. My poetry appears in a few literary magazines and anthologies, and since moving to Mexico, I have written for several online and print English language newspapers and have published four books, all available on Amazon in print and Kindle versions. Four more children’s books are completed and awaiting illustrations. My blog postings include my poetry, photographs, essays and stories. Other pages include information about and links to my books.

Thanks for dropping by my blog. I hope to see you here often. Please post a comment to let me know who you are and what you think about what you are reading!
— Judy Dykstra-Brown

201 thoughts on “About Me

    1. lifelessons Post author

      Dear PTP–Thanks so much for nominating me for the award. As for prompts, I, too, have done nearly all of the prompts–one of them 3 times! They have run a few new ones, but I’ve found a new prompt site I really like. It is here: http://jennifernicholewells.com/

      On her site, you go to the topic generator and it randomly matches an adjective to a noun. If you don’t like the prompt, you can hit the generator as many times as you wish to come up with a new prompt. I’ve found these prompts are strange but as a result, inspire more original responses that are more creative and less predictable than the WordPress prompts. This may not be your cup of tea, but just wanted to inform you about them. I’ve found as you did that it is a nice and supportive community. I never expected this but now I’m addicted to it and would miss it if I withdrew. I have taken to posting the posts not only on JNW’s site but also on the Daily Prost. Since they give us the choice of using prompts other than the day’s prompt, I figure this is warranted. And, I stay in touch with the same bloggers. Another way to do this is through the Reader. At any rate, wanted to inform you about this and to thank you again for the honor of your nomination…Best, Judy

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
      1. passion through poetry

        Thank you for pointing me to the prompt generator. I like the idea and it is original, so I may do those. It was nice to see a fresh prompt today, there are so many dedicated writers I can’t understand why wordpress are not more supportive. Blessings, Vonita.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. lifelessons Post author

        It is my understanding that they think mainly beginning bloggers use the prompts, but when you look at how the numbers answering the prompts have gone down, it seems to me that it is because established bloggers are no longer doing the prompts. I may be wrong, but look at the numbers and realize that they also include people who answered the prompt the first and sometimes second time as well as the ones answering it in the present. They don’t seem to be reading the posts and the number of people who are protesting.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. kerry baker

      Hi Judy, I live in Mexico and am working on a project. While I don’t think it would interest an artist/writer, you might know someone who would be interested. I was wondering if you’d consider e-mailing me 1)kerryinmexico@gmail.com or skypng kerry.baker68 so I could briefly present it. Thanks – Kerry Baker

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  1. bobmielke

    I’m always interested in other artists. My passion for photography keeps me very busy in retirement. I maintain four blogs that all pertain to photography. If you’d like to see just my best photographs check out my simple Tumblr blog at:
    ungawa.tumblr.com Thanks for visiting my Northwest Photographer blog earlier today. 🙂

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    Reply
    1. lifelessons Post author

      And you might have read my ravings about the complications of the Nat’l Geographic site…Sorry, but it was just impossible. I don’t know if my comments ever got through or not but your photos were wonderful. I’ll check out your tumblr. if I don’t have to spend another 1/2 hr. trying to register and get the comments to go through.

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      Reply
      1. bobmielke

        Your comments made it through. I left you a reply comment. Thanks for going through the application process. I’ve never had a non-contributing visitor go through that. Has National Geographic assigned you your own website yet?

        Like

      2. lifelessons Post author

        Are you kidding? I thought I was just getting permission to leave you a message. You are kidding, right? I am curious about whether you have ever traveled to photograph animals in the wild or if all of those fabulous shots are taken in zoos? Also, were you a photographer in your work before retirement or is this something you have turned to after another career? I just keep thinking of that photograph of the orangutan. There was so much personality displayed.

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      3. bobmielke

        I’ve been a photographer for 45 years. I was a professional wedding & family portrait photographer for many years before giving up the professional side. After turning to digital photography in 2006 I started photographing animals. I tal the vast majority of my animal portraits at the Oregon Zoo in Portland, OR. I do not travel on photo safaris but stick close to home.

        About your difficulty leaving a comment I’m serious. You will probably be assigned your own National Geographic website. Check out this program at: http://yourshot.nationalgeographic.com.

        Like

      4. lifelessons Post author

        Well that would be embarrassing. I’ve been looking at your photos on your WordPress site and the difference between your photographs and mine is like the difference between a child learning to walk and a ballet dancer. I am not a planner. I just love to photograph what I see and then to play with what I have captured to see what else I can do with it. I do it like I do my art–unplanned and intuitively. I was looking at the two birds of your protege on your blog site. They are really incredible–each separate strand of each feather…That kind of fine focus detail is as much a science as it is an art. Really lovely. It has been a surprise to me that having a blog has developed my appreciation of photography and given me a wonderful excuse to spend vast amounts of time playing in that area–probably as much or more time than I spend on writing, which is my lifetime pastime. At any rate, Love your photos and your writing and envy your success in simplifying your life! Mine just seems to get more complicated by the year…Ha.

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      5. bobmielke

        THe friend that got me into blogging is the same lady who will be my new landlord on October 3rd. She & her husband, Garry, have been friends for years. We met on a photography forum that fell apart so Marilyn suggested I try blogging. That was 3 years and 4,800 followers ago. I now maintain 4 blogs, all photographic, so so that my friends can share my experiences. I also teach photography. Liz, who shot the condor pictures you mentioned. She’s developed into a very good photographer in the past year. I’m very proud of her. We were together at the Oregon Zoo the day she took the Condor photo.

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      6. lifelessons Post author

        I have become very fond of Marilyn and Garry over the past year–all via blogging. In addition to photography and writing, we have bonded over the fact that they have a female Scottie and I have a male Scottie who look pretty much like twins! Small world.

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      7. bobmielke

        I was going to mention that you should upload a few photos to your new NG page. It’s fun getting responses from the photographer. There are so many talented people of all levels of photography. One of my favorite shoots sunsets and sunrises with a Canon Elph. Amazing!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Charron's Chatter

    I grew up in MT for a spell…a Kalispell (ho ho, actually Bozeman) and wendt a circuitous route via Switzerland and the Vegetables (!) to Kali–been here for my entire yout’ and middle age…agery…
    my point? (scratch–scratch–hmm…) nahh. We are soul sisters! Growing up (formative years for me) out thattaway makes you an automatically cool AND nice person; voted most likely to say “hi” to passing neighbors, and sometimes forget to lock the door…
    wanted to say: those bougainvillea look more crisp and lifelike than Life itself. Fine shutterbug’istics….

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    Reply
      1. Charron's Chatter

        no, it’s right on…I got to thinking as i typed how I now live in “Kali” (a nickname even) and I lived in MT for a “spell” (so works the old noggin) but here: here is a lovely wiki image of Kalispell, which looks as much like Bozeman as a twin shoe. A beautimous if freezin’ neck o’ North America…

        http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9c/Kalispell_MT_looking_toward_Glacier_National_Park_from_Lone_Pine_State_Park_January_27_2010.JPG&imgrefurl=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalispell,_Montana&h=2592&w=3888&tbnid=ABMYduE0Jw3fXM:&tbnh=160&tbnw=240&usg=__r4pnbher8LZgHt8ASLDLowAzVeU=&docid=BXOCtIk9bF1jpM&itg=1

        Like

      2. lifelessons Post author

        It looks beautiful. It also looks like you are right next to Canada. I fly into Billings to visit my sister and friends (and formerly my mother) in Sheridan, Wyoming, but I think that is the only part of Montana I’ve ever been in. What you say about people from the plains states having something in common for life is very true. Especially if they have actually left home for awhile-as you did or forever, as I did. I’ve noticed how people who grew up in the same type of place and who eventually wind up in the same place do have a natural camaraderie as well as a compatible sense of humor in spite of whatever other differences there may be. Thanks for the Kali info.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Dreamer of Dreams

    Dear Judy,
    You are an amazingly accomplished and multi-talented person, and I’m in awe. Looking forward to seeing/reading your work!
    Peace,
    Vijaya
    P.S. Thanks for visiting my blog and for your kind and thoughtful comments!

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    Reply
  4. Pingback: Update on Changes and New Challenge | Cee's Photography

    1. lifelessons Post author

      Duchess–First of all, congratulations on your nomination. Secondly, thank you so much. I am very honored by your nomination. Right now I have so much on my plate that I’m not going to participate, however. Just knowing that you enjoy my blog and take the time to comment is actually the best award I could receive anyway! xo Judy

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. lifelessons Post author

        Thanks, Duchess. I don’t like to post as a blog free site because I’m afraid it looks like I am belittling the awards. They are so exciting when you are starting out and necessary to help bring a new blog to the attention of readers, but they do take up so much time and it is hard to decide who to pass the honor on to once you know so many excellent blogs…So I just thank people like you for giving me the honor! Not to mention the honor you give every time you read my blog and comment or “like.”

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Photography Roundup Week 5 / My Music | Mars Gone Mad

    1. lifelessons Post author

      Hi Marty, Nothing really happened here. Only 4 inches of rain instead of the projected 20 inches and no 100 mph wind. An electrical power pole down in area where I went after evacuating my house was the worst problem–and having to walk up the hill to retrieve my belongings and dogs…luckily I’d driven my car out before they closed down the road. So, it was actually worse in the place I went to to escape the potential dangers of landslide at my house! They still have no electricity. But, couldn’t take the chance of staying here. We are back home with much activity going on re/ the construction of the new room. Sunny today although still a bit hazy. Everything turned out so much better than expected. Lucky Mexico! Thanks for asking. Judy

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
    1. lifelessons Post author

      Hi Danielle. I opened my blog to promote my book “Lessons from a Grief Diary.” Very quickly after that, I started doing NaPoWriMo and found out I loved writing a poem a day and posting. At first I only posted during April and then a year ago last April I decided to just keep on posting every day–to the Daily Prompt. Then I discovered Cee’s photo prompts and Nancy’s and started doing them. By then, I was addicted and I know do three to five prompts a day. Watch out! I may need a recovery program–Blogging Anonymous.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
    1. lifelessons Post author

      Ok. All is forgiven. I am a kidder and some people may take occasion to it but hope you know that I would never ever say anything with the intention of hurting or making someone look small. It is actually a sign of affection! I accept the start over, Bob–Judy

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  6. Wild Daffodil

    After your lovely comment on my blog, I popped on over to have a look at your retablos – I’ve not seen individual, personal, homemade ones before – they are fascinating and intriguing – i never knew their name before and now I want to make one!

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    1. lifelessons Post author

      Hi Silver Thread. Can you tell me how to send you a copy of the book? Do you prefer Kindle or Amazon hard copy and for either, where do I send it? I’m also unsure what you mean by a link to the book. Do you mean a link to where it can be purchased on Amazon and Kindle? Thanks, Judy

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. Silver Threading

        I understand. I wrote a post a while back about an author’s media kit. If you put that together as a “Page” on your blog menu, people will know where to find your books and information. I think that makes it easy to do some marketing. Every little bit helps. ❤

        Like

      2. lifelessons Post author

        I have a page entitled Book for adults that has that info but I’ve just noticed the links no longer work. I guess it is a good idea to check them now and again. Thanks for the pointers.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. janebasilblog

        Doyou mean you’re not accepting the non-nomination, or that you’re not not accepting it? I do wish you’d make youtself clear, although I suppose the result will be the same whatever – i won’t be looking forward to not reading your post of non acceptance, and your own non-nominations.
        Enough silliness already!
        This was the inspiration for the post:
        http://soulgifts.com.au/2015/12/12/dragons-loyalty-award/
        Raili has a handle on the true spirit of blogging awards.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Soul Gifts

    Well, I came here to look ‘cos of Jane’s non-nomination award to lifelessons 🙂 I also noticed you’d been for a visit to mine, so thanks. You lead a very busy life by the sounds. Just skimming through these comments has left me wondering about daily prompts and Na…. whatever it was, and other bloggy stuff that I haven’t heard of. So much to learn, and so little time, lol! I need a housekeeper.

    Liked by 1 person

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  8. lassymac

    Judy!
    Happy Holidays from the not-yet-snowy shores of Canada! We did receive your book (thanks again!) and Dot loves it. And now it is finally seasonally appropriate!!! I hope that all is well with you. I will take more time soon to wander through your blog as I’ve missed your wit and wonderful stories. Somehow I’ve managed to lose momentum in my writing (and wordpressing in general) but hopefully I’ll get back in the saddle in the New Year!
    xo

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    1. lifelessons Post author

      Well, I’m sure it is hard for moms to find the time. It is so good to see your name again. I didn’t recognize lassymac at first and was trying to figure out who I sent a book to!!! Is your “baby” three years old now? I have really missed your writing and thought of you just yesterday. The charm worked I guess. Send us a blog for old time’s sake. Don’t wait for NaPoWri Mo. Give Dot a kiss!

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      Reply
  9. Pingback: Three Day Quote Challenge: Day 3 – Worldly Words

  10. Patrick Slater

    Judy,

    How can I send you a photo of you reading at Monday night’s Story Slam?
    Loved your dog story. I too am a dog lover.

    Patrick
    slaterpf@gmail.com
    p.s. With a bright lamp perched beside the readers’ heads, lighting conditions were very difficult and I was further handicapped by not wanting to go prancing around in front of the audience to get a best camera angle.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. lifelessons Post author

      Ha… a friend had just asked if I took pictures and I had admitted I forgot to. I have a very sweet one of Joy taking a video of you at Open Mike, though. She has such a tender look on her face. I’ll send it.

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      Reply
  11. May J

    Hi Judy, nice to meet you! I stumbled in your blog through the daily prompt. I loved your entry on those red high heels shoes! And I’m loving everything you’ve written before! Nice to meet you.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  12. Jennifer Nichole Wells

    In case the email doesn’t come through. Here’s what was sent. Let me know if you need the interview questions.

    “Hello and thank you again for your contribution to felan.
    Attached are some interview questions. If you choose to answer them, they will be published with your contact information on felanzine.wordpress.com.
    For examples of past interviews click here: https://felanzine.wordpress.com/category/interviews/
    To see when this issue’s interviews will post, click here: https://felanzine.wordpress.com/artist-interview-schedule/

    Your selected piece(s):
    – Routes Laid Out by Heavenly Bodies (image and poem)

    Your contact information (please let me know if anything needs to be corrected, added or removed):
    Judy Dykstra-Brown
    San Juan Cosala, Jalisco, Mexico
    jubob2@hotmail.com

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  13. thehappymeerkat

    Hi, I just wanted to thank you for liking a blog post I made for the daily prompt ‘price’ the other day. It was the first time I’d done the daily prompt and also the first time I’d ever posted any poetry online, so it means a lot that anyone liked it :).

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. lifelessons Post author

      I read your poem again and still think you did an excellent job of it. Too often people think merely thinking up a rhyming word makes something poetry, but yours scanned, was clever and had a purpose. I too often dispel gloom or sadness or anger by writing poetry. It is so cathartic and bends the negative into the positive. Just forge ahead like the three billy goats gruff and forget there are trolls under that bridge!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. thehappymeerkat

        :). Thank you, indeed I really felt better and it helped stop me going into a depressive mood. Thank you again, you are very kind with your words to me, I’ll check out more of your blog soon :).

        Like

    1. lifelessons Post author

      Ha. I saw this on your blog first and was pleasantly surprised as you are one of my favorite playmates and I’m nominating another! I take it we just post it without linking to any central blog.

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  14. Pingback: Today’s Flowers – Royal Poinciana Clusters – Blog of Hammad Rais

  15. miathelunatic

    Hi Judy,

    Thanks for following my petite petite blog! Your writing is soooo great. I am feeling honoured to be discovered by you, and I am super happy to discover your blog!
    Also, just a small question, do you have any tips for getting more followers? Because your blog is such a great community. Does having your own custom domain help?

    Thanks and sorry for rambling on so much, ❤
    Mia

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    1. lifelessons Post author

      Mia.. I got my custom domain because I ran out of room. I wasn’t reducing the size of my photos and they gobbled up all my free space very quickly. I think the best way to get followers who really read your blog is to read other blogs and “like” and comment on ones you admire.. Then follow them. Eventually, they’ll view your blog and if they like what they see, they’ll follow you. The other thing that caused my views to mushroom was to post at least two blogs a day and to make them ones people want to read. I am retired so I can spend the hours it takes each day. Since you are younger and going to university, I believe, I’m sure it is much harder to find the time to post each day, but your work is good and I’m sure people who read your blog will, as I do, continue to read it each time you post. There are people I have seen posting for years who write each day but who don’t really say anything. They are randomly talking as though in a diary..including spending a good deal of time talking about how hard it is to get into the topic or how they don’t have anything to say ….this goes on and on and if they ever do get to the topic at hand, they have already lost their readers. If you are writing primarily for yourself, this is fine, but if you are writing for an audience, be sure to jump right into the action without all of this prelude. I’m sure you would never do this, but now you have me up on my soapbox and I am bound to expound! Ha. At any rate. Just keep doing what you are doing. Your followers will come in time. I’m sure there are lots of tricks to get thousands of followers, including people you can pay to boost your numbers, but unless they actually read your blog, it seems like they are just numbers. Having a healthy number of blogging friends who read and comment on your blog and whose blogs you enjoy and comment upon seems to me to be the most rewarding part of blogging. Uh oh. My soapbox seems to be caving in.. Better end my sermon! P.S. When I started to add my own photos to every blog and to participate in a few photo prompts, my numbers of followers and viewers also greatly increased. Now it is one of my favorite parts of blogging. I suggest Cee’s prompts, and she also participates in some other good photo prompt sites.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  16. manqindi

    Gidday from Stralia! You have attracted a lot of comments, so i won’t say much save that a read of your grieflessons struck a chord. Maybe I can sit at your feet and learn for awhile.
    Tooroo

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  17. Susanne

    Hi Judy, I found you through Jan Wilberg. I just finished a tough read called “Telling: A memoir of rape and recovery” and am now onto something fictional called “Look who’s back”.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. lifelessons Post author

      Hi Susanne. Hope to hear more from you. The very big reward of the time spent on blogs is the time others spend in responding and passing on their own information. And you are a serendipitous event yourself as I came on to reblog Jan’s last post and then forgot what I came on to do. Seeing your comment jogged my memory and so here I go. Loved her last piece especially. You might be interested in an anothology just published that I am in, but so much good writing in it about the subjugation of women and their empowerment, that that is beside the point. It is “Veils, Halos and Shackles.” If you search with those words, you’ll find plenty of info on it. If not, comment to me and I’ll give you a link. Thanks so much for commenting.

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
  18. Pingback: The Black Cat, Blue Sea Award | Caboosemama Little Pleasures

  19. Greta Lamfel

    Hi Judy

    Thanks for the follow! How have you been and how’s your blog doing?
    I created a blogger tips group to connect with all my long last WordPress blogger friends, and to help all of us to learn from each other. I would love for you to share your knowledge in the group and connect with other bloggers. Here’s the link:
    Blogger Tips Group

    Finally, here’s a blog I thought you may find interesting:
    The Ripple Effect of Blogging

    Best regards,
    Greta
    Founder of Healthy Living
    http://www.healthyliving894.com

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

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