The Sunshine Factor

where sunshine is a way of life

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March Issue of Stanton Sunshine now out!

Top of the midday to you all!  I am glad to finally announce that the new issue for my magazine,, has been published.

This month I am introducing a new category, Humor.  Let me know if you like it, and perhaps maybe you could consider contributing your own humor piece to the cause?  🙂  I also put a new spin on the picture gallery in the bottom right corner of every page except the home page:  I am asking for comments on which pics really tickle your fancy.

You will have to excuse both the tardiness and the possible inefficacies of the latest issue.  Things were slow moving around my home office, kind of like how the frigid weather around here is taking its good old sweet time in leaving Minnesota.  As far as mistakes, that is something I will blame on the gremlins in my computer, who are in cahoots with the leprechauns on my desk (they are nice leprechauns, but apparently they still need to have their fun!).  🙂

The good news is, for those of you who read a recent post, I am still on my new challenge, that of doing my tasks and chores before work, when I am the freshest.  In that is a time for writing, and I am enjoying the freedom of getting my writing needs met everyday!  🙂

As always, I will try to write more on this blog during the month, and I also look forward to you sending me your latest artwork or writings – I will consider them for future issues of the magazine.  Just write me at or read the Submission Guidelines over at Stanton Sunshine.

Happy March!




The Adventure of Debb’s Blog and Her New Trail: Part Five

In taking a hard look at my blog, I enjoyed having a mixture of posts – recipes, poems, stories, articles…but I wanted more.  I wanted artwork from children and adults filling up the blog, along with guest poems and articles.  I wanted to have (and give my readers) it all!  So the next question was:  so where can I get all this additional writing?  The answer came to me when I defined what my blog is.

I call this blog and its readership a community of people with the same goal and focus:  finding the sunshine in your life in spite of sometimes negative circumstances.  Hmmm….a community thrives on its citizens all contributing in their own special way.  Oh!  Oh!  Oh!  Our Sunshine community could do that – offer up their own kinds of sunshine to the community.  We could be enriching each other’s lives!  The extra photos, art, book reviews, stories, poems, articles would fit into that niche in a grand fashion!

If I could write for my blog two weeks out of the month, and write my various projects in the other two weeks, how fantastic would that be?!  I had been having a conflict within myself about writing the blog so much I was neglecting the other part of my writing life.  Here, my friends, was my answer.  If I created a new website with a lot to read, enough to keep people busy for a month, I could do all my writing!  AND get my friends involved in a great project, too!  🙂

Next up:  Where Debb’s trail ends up and announcement of The Great Launch – coming soon to a computer near you!



The Adventure of Debb’s Blog and Her New Trail: Part One

Being a breast cancer survivor was the first reason Debb started to blog

Being a breast cancer survivor was the first reason Debb started to blog

Have you ever wondered why I started this blog and why I gave it the name I did?  Today you shall find the answers.

Debb Stanton was used to “silent retreats” at her friend’s Catholic church.  Contemplative was another way of describing them, and Debb was hooked.   “Still waters run deep” had been said of her to describe her quiet curiosity and introversion.  She liked the silent retreats because she could be alone with her thoughts and her Lord except for a couple of worship services and meals with the other retreatants (meals which were also silent, a woman needing to smile and point at the salt shaker in order for it to be passed to her).  She could nap all afternoon in her tiny guest room, or she could pray, or journal, or whatever.  At this point in Debb’s life, she was very much a perfectionist who said to herself, “I’ve got to journal every day.  I must journal every day.  What kind of writer can I be if I don’t write every day?  I’d better journal every day…”  and with white-knuckled determination she would come home from a retreat and force herself to write — for a grand total of two, maybe three days and then -poof!- she’d ease up on herself and no more writing would be done for awhile.
In August of 2012, Debb was two weeks away from her third cancer survivorship anniversary, and she went on a women’s retreat with her church friends.  This retreat was not a silent retreat (in fact, anything but).  Debb brought her Kindle along, and she discovered a poet who had a blog on WordPress.  By the end of the retreat, Debb was convinced that her “assignment” was to start a blog, and to write on it every day.  She was very thankful for her cancer recovery, and she was in a hurry to let as many people as possible know that getting a cancer diagnosis was not necessarily a death sentence — she was living proof.
WordPress was the blogging platform Debb chose, and when it came time to name the blog, she decided on “Sunshine Factor”.   Sunshine because this described her personality and was the nickname she was called by many people.  The ‘factor’ part came because “inner sunshine” was a big part of her life, and it was one of the factors that helped her through her cancer and beyond.
When Debb found out that Sunshine Factor is also the name of a pet and bird food and medicine company, she added a disclaimer to her blog, stating that she and they were not the same.  In the last couple months she bought her own domain name; now the blog is “The Sunshine Factor”.  Even though she loves animals and birds, Debb was now her own entity, not part of a company about animals, and she had her own blog.
Next up:  Part Two, which discusses how the blog became something of a melting pot of ideas, encouragement and creative writing.   See you next week!


Versatile Blogger Award


My good buddy Tom from has given me this award.   I am almost speechless (and for me, that says everything!  LOL)  Tom, you were my first follower ever on Sunshine, and I credit you with half the enthusiasm I have for blogging!  I hope my readers look you up.  Thank you so much for this award!

I am supposed to pass this award on to 15 other versatile people.  Tom, hope you don’t mind, but that has to wait till later…

Next, I am to list seven interesting things about myself.  Well, they’re interesting to me, and hopefully they will be to you, too.


1.  I was married last December 12, 2012 — the same day that Tom Lucas introduced his new book, Leather to the Corinthians to the world.  From Florida to Minnesota, there was just one huge happiness party!  🙂

2.  One day when I was in kindergarten, I came home from school and told my mom this fib:  “Mom!  Ya know what I learned in school today?  The colors blue and red are best friends!”  Maybe I was born with this wild imagination!  🙂

3.  I was a profound sleeptalker and sleepwalker as a child.  As an adult, a medication I took rendered me totally forgetful about what my actions were the night before, so I might have walked (or did other things) in my sleep, and occasionally I still talk in my sleep.  Fortunately for me, the chemo side effect of insomnia has finally gone, and I don’t need any sleep aids.

4.  When I was in second grade and my sister was in fifth, our class got to see her class play.  But I panicked because I couldn’t see my sister on the stage.  I didn’t recognize her with her stage makeup on!

5.  I played “Auntie Em” in my 4th grade reading class school play of “The Wizard of Oz.”

6.  As a child, I won a trip on a helicopter for a new store opening.  But alas, the helicopter never showed up!

7.  I am now back to a normal, 5 day a week schedule at work.  I changed it because my writing career is taking off.  I am blogging, reviewing books, am a professional proofreader, and hope to enter writing contests and write articles – as well as write all the books on my long list of writing projects!  And I will write them all!   🙂




Waxing Sentimental

Hello dear friends,

Guess what? My blog Sunshine Factor turns one year old on August 18th! I’m already getting sentimental about it. I hold you all close to my heart, and this has been a really significant year for me. Hence, I give you a poem:


You’re far away

but you’ll always be near

how can this be so

when I haven’t even met you?SolitudeGolden Retriever


Hearts can transcend the miles

it matters not how far

it only takes two people

or a whole blogging community

to get your heart filled up

and bring sunshine to the shadows


You love to write

I love to read and write

so we’re a good friend match

Know that you’ll always be near

the miles don’t matter

hearts simply thrive

in the knowledge of each other


Thank you for being here for me

I’m so thankful I even can be

If ever you need me

remember I’m just a heartbeat away.


With gratitude, peace, love and laughter,




  • Alone (


Do You Ever…

Do you ever have a phrase or sentence in your head that you would love to see in print somewhere? Just curious. I’ve had the same sentence in my head for a long time now. I can even see it in my mind: the paper book is open. The last page of the chapter is on the left side. The paragraph only goes halfway down the page. Its last words are:

“And he was gone.”

We bloggers are encouraged to write so that each reader can read our blog and come away with something. So what is the take-away value of this particular post? I have no idea! But perhaps it can make you smile, or that you can know that you’re not alone? Or so you can be aware that I’m so glad you stopped by? 🙂


New/Revised Pages on My Blog


I now have a page called “Bloggers’ Books I’ve Reviewed”, with each review having its own sub-page.  (The sub-pages are in alphabetical order.)  Please check these reviews out regarding the wonderful books they’re written about!

I’ve updated my Blog Awards page so that the latest award is near the top.

Just doing some spring housecleaning, in a manner of speaking!  🙂

Have a great day!  Keep spreading that sunshine!  🙂




Super Sweet Blogger Award

Super Sweet Blogging Award

Super Sweet Blogging Award

Anyone who knows me well knows that when I am extremely happy and excited, I say “Eeeeeeekkkkkk!!!”  (it is not a case of seeing a mouse, ha ha).  Well, today I am shrieking in a good way,  because dear petrel41 of has nominated me for The Super Sweet Blogger Award.  Thank you so much, Petrel!  It is such an honor to receive this award.  I will thus list the rules for accepting a nomination:

  • Thank the Super Sweet Blogger that nominated you.
  • Answer the five super sweet questions.
  • Include the Super Sweet blogging award image in your blog post.
  • Nominate a Baker’s Dozen (13) bloggers for this award.
  • Notify your nominees on their blog.

The 5 Super Sweet Questions:

  1. Cookies or Cake? I used to be the original Cookie Monster, but now my allegiance is to cake.
  2. Chocolate or Vanilla? Vanilla.
  3. Favourite Sweet Treat?  Pudding.
  4. When do you crave sweet things the most? Late afternoon or after dinner.
  5. Sweet Nick Name?  from my husband:  Sweet, or Sweet Peach; from my father-in-law:  Sweet One.

Here are my nominees:

1.  Lyn at

2.  Cindy at

3.  Aimi at

4.  Sophia at


6.  J. H. White at

7.  Shandra at

8.  Shawn at

9.  Harula at

10.  Jahan at

11.  Doris at

12.  Elaine at

13.  Heather at

These nominees are some of the sweetest people I know.  I hope you will visit their blogs!

And thank you to ALL of my “peeps” for sending comments and other encouragements.  They are really nice to receive!  🙂

Happy Saturday,




Happy One Week Birthday, Story Squared!

Today I feel like happiness in the flesh, like a proud parent of a wonderful “child”.

The story that Eric and I have created and add to every day (  has now been in the WordPress blogosphere for one week.

This is a big deal, for the joy in writing it is immense, and I want to cherish AND recognize each moment.

I can’t help but reread each entry several times, it amuses me so.

I need to thank each of its readers and followers — thank you for tuning in and liking our story.

Here’s to even more smiles and laughs and joy – cheers!



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I’m Now a Part of Blog Nation

I recently joined Blog Nation.  You can see my text badge for it in the footer.  (Those of you not on WordPress, bookmark my blog address for easy reference: )

The following information is taken from Blog Nation:


Blog Nation is a comprehensive network of blog directories that seeks to give recognition and viewership to the millions of fantastic blogs currently on the Internet. With over eighty different directories, Blog Nation is constantly expanding and looking for new bloggers to join. Each directory seeks to highlight a specific topic that allows bloggers to meet and interact with like-minded individuals. Expand your readership and reach by submitting today! Contact us with any further questions!”

Sunshine Factor is in the poetry directory.   Apparently you can help “boost” your favorite blogs in the directory by clicking on the Boost button for those particular blogs; you can also make comments about the blog and refer them to others.  I boosted myself today (I am allowed to do that once a day to my own blog), and here is the message I got.  It will further explain “boosting”:


We appreciate you taking the time to boost a blog. Now, take a moment and spread the word to your friends. If you like a blog, there’s no better way to show a blogger you’re a fan than by encouraging others to also boost it up. Tell your friends on Facebook, Twitter, and Google + to boost up the blog as well.”

What are the benefits of boosting someone’s blog?  It will move their blog up in the ratings and be seen by more people.   I hope you will consider giving me a boost (or more than one) or comment when you click on my badge.  I would like to have Sunshine Factor read by as many people as we can get!  Let’s spread the sunshine!  🙂  Thanks, friends.

By the way, to join Blog Nation costs nothing.  It also costs nothing to visit all the many directories and blogs therein.

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Networked Blogs

Sunshine Factor is now in the Networked Blogs directory.  You can find me and also follow me there at:   I am also following there, as well as here on WordPress.

To my fellow bloggers who are also “networked”, please drop me a line so I can follow you there too.



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Best Liker Award


The Best Liker Award

The Best Liker Award


To these people I present this award, in the hopes you will give them a big drumroll and cyberspace hug:

Susan Michaels


Thank you, folks, and may God bless you!




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I’ve Created Some Awards!

Hey hey, I decided there needed to be more awards on WordPress, so I came up with four, pictured below.   I had made a slide in Power Point (my very first time in Power Point and with absolutely no help), but somehow I couldn’t convert it into pictures.  So I got a bright idea of “painting” over regular pictures, and here you go!    I must say, though, that using my mouse in my non-dominant hand gives a kindergartener look to the writing – but that’s okay I guess.  I will post each award separately so the winners can pass on the award to others (that’s how we do awards on WordPress) with the Permalink.  Congratulations to the winners, and bear in mind I think all of you are “winners in life” in my book.

Best Liker Award


Creative Colleague Award


Conscientious Commentor Award

Precious Poet Award

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Where Does She Get Her Ideas?

Have You Any Ideas^^^ - NARA - 534177

Have You Any Ideas^^^ – NARA – 534177 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I wrote a post last fall, when Sunshine Factor was pretty young, about going for a walk and getting a lot of good writing ideas.

Today I found out that I can get a lot during my meditation time.

And yesterday as I was on my blog I got the words “wax bikini”.   Weird, huh?  But I decided to go with it.  The result was the limerick I put on my other blog for today’s post,   I figure, I get these thoughts for a reason.  🙂

Inspiration hits me through many venues, so I go about my life aware of the possibilities.

Audience participation segment:

How do you get your inspiration for what to write?  Or, if you are not a blogger but get ideas for other things, i.e. hobbies, how do the ideas make themselves known?  It would be fun to find out.


I’m Totally Delighted!

Many, many thanks go to my friend Marianne at for this award she gave me today.   Marianne, I’m sure you don’t realize how I needed a lift like this!  Planning a wedding that is coming up soon is fun, but I forget to relax and enjoy and appreciate! I sure appreciate your kind heart and thoughtful words. — Debb



What I Am Thankful For


Friends (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WordPress Logo

English: Diamond Engagement Ring with side sto...

English: Diamond Engagement Ring with side stones – In Platinum – 1791 Diamonds (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: pink ribbon

English: pink ribbon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today is a holiday in the U.S. that promotes thankfulness.

I wish giving thanks were on the forefront in other parts of the year too.

The holiday is known for feasting (and usually overeating).

Personally, I sort of gag on turkey and prefer other meats (if at all).

Back to the subject of giving thanks – here is my list of the past year (in chronological order):

1.  After dating a couple of years, my former husband and I decided we should marry again (see my countdown in the right margin).  It’s so much different, and better, this time around.  We wonder if it’s because of the difficult things we have had to go through the last five years that made us appreciate each other once again.

2.  I was in my first photo shoot in February; I saw my picture on a billboard on the way to work every day for 2 weeks in April.

3.  I found my new favorite author – Ken Barr of  – and I asked him if he blogged and if so, where.  He said “WordPress”, and I was immediately hooked into this wonderful community we call WordPress.

3a.  Having three different blogs has really been a blessing in my life.  I have hit my writing stride and feel so artistically complete (and dreaming of and working on other projects too).  Thank You, God!

4.  Last April Fool’s Day I marked my 23rd year of work at the same company.  They have treated me very well.   I also have them to thank for my cancer care and recovery!

5.  At my job I have been learning many new tasks.  It is an exciting time there for me.

6.  I am thankful for all the incredible blogs I have been reading and for all the friends I’ve made through them.  So, in other words, you are my #6.

7.  My first follower on this blog, my first blog, is a phenomenal person.  (You know who you are)  His support and enthusiasm is a constant.

8.  I live in the U.S., which has its problems of course, but I love it here.

9.  I serve a God who loves me and wants the best for me.

10.  Last but not least, I am so glad I have life in my body, that I am here to write to you.   It’s an amazing journey!

Thank You, God,

and thank you, friends,




Reality Blog Award

Thank you to mypenandme at: nominating me for this blog award.  I am very moved and appreciative of receiving this award.

To my nominees:  You can decide how you would like to participate.  Please take into consideration that  there are no rules for this award, so you can follow this pattern, create another with your own questions, or simply just accept the award and nominate a few other blogs that you like.  Mypenandme passed on five questions and because I liked them all, I chose to answer all of them.

My nominees are:

Likely many of these nominees do not accept awards, but that’s okay—this award lets them know that I have enjoyed their blogs and would like to recommend them to others.

Questions and Answers:

1) If you could change something what would you change?

I would somehow do away with all selfishness and replace it with compassion.  That would go a long way toward improving our lives and this world we live in.

2) If you could repeat an age, what age would it be?

Age 10.  My fifth grade year was the best year of my life.  However, to get back to my current age I would want to just get back here and not live through all the years after age 10 again.   🙂

3) What one thing really scares you?

Standing in the lake or ocean and being in water over my head.  I know how to swim, yet I think with two near-drownings in my past, I admit I get a little anxious.  I still love being in the water, and looking at it gives me peace.

4) What one dream have you not completed yet and do you think you will be able to complete it.

To have a publisher say to me, “We would like to buy your manuscript.”  I know I will be able to complete it at least once, and hopefully many more times.

5)  If you could be someone else for a day, who would you be?

I can honestly say, I’ve finally arrived at the place where I am glad to be me and just me.


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You’re My Family

Capt. Kate Gowel, bottom row, left, poses for ...

Capt. Kate Gowel, bottom row, left, poses for a picture with her siblings at her parents’ home in Lorton, Va. Gowel, a military lawyer, was the first of six siblings to join the military. See more at West Point grad, family bring new meaning to word service (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I enjoy looking at words and seeing if they can have additional meanings…the word that I have considered lately is “family“.

I was born into a family; that’s the automatic meaning of the word.  Yet, I am a member of many other families, and gratefully so:

  • the body of people I worship with
  • the people I work with
  • the people I love (which is practically everybody)
  • the family of God
  • those with interests similar to mine
  • cancer patients and our doctors and nurses
  • pets, past and present
  • writers
  • bloggers (I think WordPress bloggers are the coolest people around!)
  • and of course, this list gets added to as the days go by.

Who is in your family?  It will be interesting to hear from you.  I’m just fascinated by this topic!

I want to again thank you, my WordPress family, for letting me be a part of you.  I’m so glad we’re associated!



WordPress (Photo credit: Adriano Gasparri)