A Blog, a Platform, and the Fast-Paced World

The Fast-paced World of Web Design

Hello Everyone!  What a beautiful day–sunshine at last!  It’s hard to believe that it’s the end of April.  This month has f-l-o-w-n!  I’m busy editing my dystopian novel and don’t have much time to post, so I’ve decided to post the reason why I started blogging in the first place.

It really goes back to the late 90’s when I learned how to design web sites and wanted to have an online magazine of sorts.  The only problem was that the technology was moving so fast.  As soon as I learned one thing, the Internet had moved on to something else.  I’m not one to easily absorb new coding.  I was just happy to have a rudimentary knowledge of HTML.  Then they were on to XTML and JavaScript.  I kind of gave up for awhile.

picture of Stephanie

Back when I first started blogging.

What’s a Writer’s Platform?

Then I learned about blogging, and I was in!  WordPress handled the technology for me.  All I had to do was write and photograph–what I’d wanted to do all along.  Not only that, I read over and over again that writer’s needed a platform–a way to hang my the-doctor-is-in writing shingle, so to speak.  And I was all set.

Now, the Newsletter!

Everything I read tells me that potential publishers really look at numbers…followers, that is.  So I figured out MailChimp (well, kinda) and hope to retain some of you wonderful people all over the world by asking (begging) you to subscribe.  That’s the advertising part of this blog.  Industry folks call it a “call to action.”  I promise not to email you to death or try to sell your email to anyone–that wouldn’t be very nice, and I wouldn’t want anyone to do that to me.  All you have to do is subscribe.

Screenshot of how to sign up for my monthly newsletter.

My idea is to send a newsletter out once a month.  (I’d better get on that!!!)

Okay, well, I hope you all have a very blessed day!



the pond at Jachin

The pond behind our home in Jachin, Alabama. I lived in Jachin for 18 years!


A Visit to Alabama’s State Capitol

Lefty and I visited Alabama’s State Capitol while Princess Buttercup attended Alabama All-State for band this weekend. (Yayyyyyy! #proudmom)

I hadn’t been near the state capitol building since I marched in the Million Dollar Band for maybe Governor Guy Hunt in 1990. Wiki says he won the 1990 election, so it must have been for him.  Anyhow, it was a beautiful day, and the bright building stood out in stark contrast to the beautiful cerulean sky overhead.

Alabama State Capitol

Alabama’s State Capitol Architecture

My favorite part was the rotunda. (Go here to see a better photograph.) I wanted to take more photos, especially of the stairway and the Greek revival columns outside, but my phone was getting full, and I wanted to save my space for pictures of Princess Buttercup and her pals.

Lefty did take some fun pictures of me in the old legislature chamber. The Alabama State Historical Commission says that all 3 branches of the state gov’t met in the capitol until 1942. Then the SCOTUS moved off somewhere, and the 2 legislative branches moved in 1992.

I wouldn’t have.

I would have stayed put because who wouldn’t want to do all that legislation in a beautiful, old, historic chamber?

They painted the walls of one of the chamber with the trompe l’oeil effect. I would have n-e-v-e-r guessed! I thought they were wooden panels until I went up to them and looked really close after reading the sign that said it was trompe l’oeil! Amazing! I may have to try this at home.

Anyway, court is in session, and Lefty took the following goofy pictures of Judge Stephanie.  (Hey, who you callin’ ‘goofy??’)

Over-ruled, Counselor!

Order in the court! One more word out of your client, Counselor, and I’m holding him in contempt!

For Foodies

Lefty and I did some good-eatin’ while in Mont-g. We had good ol’ southern food at Cahawba House. I even had meatloaf, cornbread, and collard greens. I don’t think I’ve had collard greens since I lived at home. They put a cute, little cornbread muffin on top for garnish. Loved it (but Mom makes the best cornbread ever!)  I tried cabbage and hash for the first time at the Irish Bred Pub, a nod to my Irish roots.

Cahawba House

Geeking out with other Band Mamas

I’m a band geek through-and-through, and I was in my element as hundreds of talented young musicians stormed the Dunn Oliver Acadome. The top band played the “Star-Spangled Banner.” Absolutely beautiful!

I think it’s almost as sweet to be a band mama as it is to be in the band….Almost.

Hundreds of the best young musicians in the state.


A Little Introduction may be in Order

Sweetgum Life, A Little Introduction

Hi Everyone!

One of the Facebook groups that I follow suggested that I make an introduction of myself. So here goes…

quote by Jim Henson

Coffee board quote by Jim Henson, the Muppet guy.

Where in the World is Jachin, Alabama??

I am Stephanie L. Robertson and am from a little unincorporated town that may not be on the map anymore: Jachin, Alabama. Trust me, most peeps have never heard of Jachin or even the nearby town of Butler, population–oh, about 2,000 souls.

Jachin Grocery, Cows, and a Pony!

My parents took over my grandparents’ little country store, Jachin Grocery, and purchased some of the Lindsey family land behind the enterprise. Dad raised stock cattle (mostly black Angus, a Hereford or two, Brahman, and a Semmentol bull at one point that we named Semme.) He showed Tennessee Walking Horses (practically unheard of in south Alabama), and I eventually got every girl’s dream: a pony.

Roll Tide!

I went to the University of Alabama and then moved to Huntsville, Alabama to teach school.

coffee nook

FYI, I spilled coffee all over the place before I took the picture! ;-p

How I became a Professional Writer

I loved kids, but knew teaching wasn’t for me. After stepping back, I realized that I wanted to write and work in one of those shiny, sparkling R&D buildings in Research Park. Meanwhile, I met and married the love of my life!
I enjoyed work as a technical writer before I left to be a F/T mom. Still, I kept up my work by tutoring some of my Asian friends in English and then freelance writing.

To Write a Book

Back in–oh, 2012 or so, I decided to write a book, which I did. Next, I wrote a dystopian book…still working on it so I can “pitch” it at writer’s conference in May.

Secret Garden book and seeds

Secret Garden

What next??

And, as my daughter says, the future awaits!

Getting to Know You

Your turn! One of my favorite things about blogging is meeting new online friends and reading comments. I’d love to hear from you!

favorite things

My Work Space for April 2, 2018

Hello Everyone!  I’m here to describe my work space for April 2, 2018.  It’s up to you to guess where it is!

photo of Stephanie

My latest picture for my writer’s conference biz cards. Taken by my beloved husband.

Work Space Clues

my work space

First draft of Easter short story, written in long-hand and published on Good Friday.

So, I have to get out of the house and be around people in this work space.  It’s a place where you can find lots of literary work.

It’s a space for bibliophiles.

It’s quiet enough for someone who is easily distracted…that person, being your ol’ friend Steph.

I can sit there as long as I like, tapping away at my father-in-love’s Surface…Yes, he is nice enough to let me borrow it again because my computer keyboard’s space bar is stuck.

I have to pound it with my thumb or else all my words run together…very annoying when I’m trying to finish up my novel.

The work space if comfortably heated or air-conditioned–and in this crazy north Alabama weather in April, you never know what the temp is going to be from daylight to dusk.

Lots of people are there to get work done.

The people can be of any age, from toddlers, to school-age, to adults.

I can get help if I need it.

Can You Guess Where My Work Space is for Today?

I think my clues are too easy…Can you guess where my work space is today? I’ve got to go back there in a little bit and wait for Princess Buttercup’s band rehearsal to conclude.P.S…You can actually cheat if you visit my @sweetgumlife or #sweetgumlife on Instagram.

today's work space on April 2, 2018

Today’s work space.

Whoever gets the answer right, I’ll send them a virtual chocolate egg. (Sorry, but a real one will probably melt in the mail!!) Here are the rules to my Sweetgum Life work space April 2, 2018 guessing contest: No rules. Anyone of any age can enter because it’s a virtual contest with a digital prize (ahem, jpg!) Good luck!



last week's work space at Lowe Mill location of Piper&Leaf

Last week I worked at Lowe Mill‘s own Piper & Leaf.