Posted on

Join Me on My Next Adventure!

travel Maldives vicarious

It’s Sunday! What are you doing today?

Today’s the last day to enter my Before & After Contest. All you have to do is organize and clean something. Anything. It can be as small as a desktop, or a refrigerator, or as large as a whole room. BE CREATIVE!

Be sure to send me BEFORE and AFTER photos!

travel Maldives vicarious
Your Flat Stanley self won’t be underwater if you win this adventure, but water plays an important role in the trip!
This photo is from last year’s epic trip to the Maldives, where a Flat Stanley version of my nephew made his debut.

What do you win?

A Flat Stanley version of yourself that I can take with you on our upcoming adventure. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime trip for Kurt and me. I think you’ll want to come along!

By midnight tonight (your time), send me your Before/After photos of your project, however big or small. Tomorrow I’ll announce the winner and we’ll get a Flat Stanley version of you to take on our trip!

Submit to marla at marlasinkdruzgal dot com

Good luck and Happy Sunday!

Love, Marla

Posted on 8 Comments

Before and After Room Challenge

creative mind organization

I want to give you something: a postcard? a bookmark? a card? perhaps you want me to take a “Flat Stanley” version of you on our next adventure? (Thanks to my nephew for that last idea.)

You choose. I’m issuing a Before and After Challenge to my readers to join me in overhauling one room or workspace area.

Today is Manuscript Monday for me, but instead of writing, I’m finally ORGANIZING!

While creative people “boast” about our messiness (and truly I do actually know in which stack of “garbage” my essay titled “Tracking a Black Rhino” is, as opposed to my papers from Viet Nam, or my Mandela poetry) for me the burden of the mess has outweighed the allowance for creative organization.

creative mind organization
Are you “alternatively organized” like me? Join me in this challenge!

In other words, while I can find what I need, do I really want to continue the ongoing task of finding or making a slab of desk on which to write?

No. Something needs to change for me.

Today instead of writing or submitting, I’m spending all day sorting and organizing and hoping to create a better system. Those organizational shows have never worked for me, so it’s time to create a system of my own that meets the way I think about my work while providing an alternative to piles.



1-Take a photo of an area you’ve been wanting to clean up or organize/overhaul.
2-Clean/organize/overhaul it!
3-Take an “After” photo

Email me ( marla at marlasinkdruzgal dot com ) both your Before and After photos, no later than this Sunday, 02 November, 2014. Winner will be announced next Monday. I’ll also show my own finished writing space.

Have fun and good luck!

Love, Marla

Posted on

Caption Winner! (Soggy Lion Contest)

photo caption contest

Congratulations to Michelle for her winning caption of last week’s Soggy Lion Photo Caption Contest:

photo caption contest

Please email me with your information to send your new lion bookmark from Kruger!

Love, Marla

Posted on 7 Comments

Soggy Lion Photo Contest: Win a Lion (Bookmark)

travel South Africa lions

Another fun photo contest, readers.

I thought this was a rather funny photo of a young lion playing in the water on our recent bush walk at Ukutula.

Caption this photo and win a lion bookmark I picked up while in The Kruger:

travel South Africa lions

Deadline = Friday 04 April 2014 at midnight.
Winner will be announced Monday.
Good luck!

Love, Marla


Posted on

Lion Winners…It Was a Tie!

Thanks to all of you who entered. I was happily surprised to see how many captions were entered both here and on the Facebook page, so thanks!

Kurt was given all captions without names, to pair his favorite with the lion photo. He said it was a very difficult choice, and in the end, he chose two. Each will receive a fifty rand bill.

He wouldn’t stop laughing at the caption by this first winner, who he says apparently reads the blog enough and/or knows me well enough to understand just how obnoxious a photographer I am.

Congratulations, Amanda Hart, for the following caption:

travel South Africa

This second winner was similar to a few others Kurt liked but felt this one worked it through the best.

Congratulation, Elizabeth Dorssom, for the following caption:

travel South Africa

Thanks again, guys! I loved all your captions and hope to have another photo for you to caption sometime soon!

Love, Marla

Posted on 14 Comments

Caption This Photo and Win Fifty Rand

travel South Africa

I found a Fifty Rand bill.

After asking around if anyone nearby had lost money (amazingly, everyone had, but somehow they had all lost hundreds of rands, not simply a fifty) I decided to give it to one of my readers.

I don’t normally give away money, but in this case I think “found money” was meant to travel. You can win whether you’re international or local, whether you want to spend it or just collect it. I’ll put it in a nice little card with a note from me.

And it’s a perfect pairing, because the photo I want you to caption is of lions, and a lion is the animal on the fifty rand note:

travel South Africa
Fifty Rand Note. Republic of South Africa.

Would you like to win Fifty Rand?

Simply offer up your best caption for the photo, using the comments section. I’m going to make my husband choose the winner, since his sense of humor is better than mine.


travel South Africa
Caption this photo!

Deadline: Friday, 21 March 2014, Midnight

Enter multiple times. Comments can either be in the section below, or on the Traveling Marla Facebook post for today.

Winner will be announced next Monday. Good luck!

Love, Marla

Posted on 29 Comments

Caption This Photo and Win a Rhino Conservation Bracelet!

Lion and Rhino Reserve Krugersdorp South Africa

I picked you up a special surprise: a rhino conservation bracelet from Pilanesberg!

Lion and Rhino Reserve Krugersdorp South Africa

Lion and Rhino Reserve Krugersdorp South Africa
On one side is an engraving of Africa…


Lion and Rhino Reserve Krugersdorp South Africa
…the other is an engraving of a rhino. Doesn’t it just cry out “Win me!”

So…about that photo I want you to caption:

Lion and Rhino Reserve Krugersdorp South Africa
Because “lion sleeping after eating something” just isn’t as clever as I know you folks can do!

Have at it, friends!

Love, Marla

Posted on 3 Comments

Caption Winner, and “Ons is Oop”

South Africa cafe coffee latte dogs allowed

First, congratulations to the winner of Wednesday’s Photo Caption Contest…ALL OF YOU!

Okay, I know that’s the Kindergarten Teacher’s Copout, but I had already figured if there were a dozen or less, I would send one to each of you. But I will tell you a few of my favorites, and include a photo of the winning caption at the end of this blog. (In the meantime, those of you who contributed a comment to the caption contest within the deadline, please send me your name and address, either by FB message or by email to )

But first…

A few random photos from my experience around Pretoria, South Africa so far…

rhino orphanage protection conservation wildlife
Rhino Orphanage Truck driving around the area where we live.
imported trees South Africa golf courses
View from our room in a guest house in Silver Lakes, overlooking golf course and lake.
This view does NOT feel like Africa, but like southern California. Must be the imported palm trees.
breakfast quiche South Africa cafe black rice
A breakfast quiche and black rice at my favorite writing spot (so far) in Karoo Cafe
South Africa cafe coffee latte dogs allowed
Bob the dog. Okay, his name is not “Bob” but my new rule is that when nobody tells me a name, I get to make one up. This is my occasional cafe buddy at Karoo Cafe.
planting fully grown trees
Who plants a grown-ass tree? Residents of Silver Lakes, apparently. Followed this guy to his destination at a new house being built. Not that I would mind adding a few fully grown-ass trees to our house in the states for added privacy…
Welcome Welkom We Are Open sign Afrikaans ONS is OOP
No looking it up. Can you guess what this sign means?

So what about those captions, eh?

Well Kurt and I looked them over together and decided our favorites were these:

“Baby got back!” (submitted in video form from Leo, over at Doggy’s Style)


“No, I don’t think that stripe makes your butt look big”

“Ok, ok, I see the stripe now. It still doesn’t make you a zebra!”and our overall winner:

photo caption contest zebra waterbuck
I had a lot of favorites, but I thought this really hit the spot (pun intended).

Congratulations to Melissa Perry for this perfect caption!

Have a beautiful weekend, friends!

Love, Marla

Posted on 22 Comments

Caption This Photo, And Receive My Very First Postcard from South Africa!!

Lion and Rhino Reserve Krugersdorp South Africa

This funny photograph was taken by my husband while we toured the Lion & Rhino Reserve in Krugersdorp.

The best 3 captions (and maybe a couple more if you’re all just brilliant) will receive the very first postcards that I send from South Africa!

Have at it!

Deadline = 20 June 2013, Midnight (U.S. Eastern Time Zone)

Love, Marla

Lion and Rhino Reserve Krugersdorp South Africa
Because “Zebra staring at a waterbuck butt” just isn’t as clever as I know you folks can be!
Posted on 7 Comments

Name The Bird, Win a Candy Bar, or a Book!

Red Hen Press giveaway signed book Circle B Bar Reserve
Circle B Bar Reserve Lakeland Florida birds eating snails
Can you name this bird? (Or perhaps you’d rather name the snail in its beak?)

At Circle B Bar Reserve in Lakeland, Florida, we hiked 4 hours around the marshes looking for alligators (alligators coming next week!). Adding in our stops and photography, we spent 5-6 hours each day we were in the wetlands.

It was hard not to stop and watch everything, like this bird, who cleverly extracted a snail from the shell. (Om, nom nom…snail!)

Can you name the bird? Comment below with your guess.

Right or wrong, any guess enters you to win.

Two winners:

One of you will win Toucan Nest, a beautiful book of poems I’m currently reading, inspired by the Costa Rican Rainforest. This hardcover is signed for you by the author, Peggy Shumaker!

Red Hen Press giveaway signed book Circle B Bar Reserve
Author Peggy Shumaker will win you over with this beautiful collection of poems inspired by her time in Costa Rica.
Red Hen Press signed book giveaway Peggy Shumaker Circle B Bar Reserve
Pure Belgian Chocolate. Much better than snails (unless they’re covered in Belgian chocolate?)

The second winner gets a candy bar which promotes the book!

Deadline: tomorrow (Saturday) 5pm.

Love, Marla

P.S. Have you seen this bird in the wild?