Wednesday, October 28, 2015

PLEASE JOIN ME

I have made the difficult decision of moving on. I'm now posting at weatheredwell.wordpress.com. I hope that you will join me. 


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

MUSINGS - September 29, 2015

"It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer."

- E. B. White - 

I attended a literary conference this past weekend at Casper College. It was a delight to sit with other writers and artists and conceptualize what we do and the supposed reasons behind our doing it.


There is something to be said for conversing with people who "get" why I write, even if I'm not truly able to put it into words. They don't need my words to know why I write. They write for the same reason.


There is something powerful that happens when I connect with "my own kind" even if we write in different genres. I get filled up and inspired, and I leave with the fortitude to keep writing.


I am blessed with many friends, and I connect with them in different ways. For some our connection is writing, but with most of my friends writing is not the reason we connect. We connect in other ways, whether it be through yoga or playing music or healthy, yummy food or spiritualism.


With each friend, I find something to hold on to, to honor and love, and each connection motivates me to move toward who I can be as a person, because my friend's example of doing so inspires me.


But I have to say, I don't always get the opportunity to mingle with writers that are truly in it for the craft, to appease the compulsion in their soul to do it. Most writers I run into these days are more out for making money that writing can potentially bring rather than the craft. I'm not so inspired then.


I so appreciated the conference and the opportunity to meet other writers in my community, to broaden my circle.


Mostly, I'm continually grateful for those I cross paths with that write and love the craft of writing, whether it makes them money or not. And I definitely met some of them this past weekend. Thank you.



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Elwyn Brooks "E. B." White was born in Mount Vernon, New York on July 11, 1899 and left this world on October 1, 1985. He contributed writings to The New Yorker and Harper's Magazine. He worked at The New Yorker for close to sixty years, having begun his career there in 1925. He wrote children's books and co-authored a book called The Elements of Style. Most may associate his name to Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little. Of course there are many other books he wrote, such as: Is Sex Necessary? Or, Why You Feel the Way You Do; Subtreasury of American Humor; The Wild Flag; Here is New York; The Second Tree from the Corner; and The Trumpet of the Swan (this isn't a complete list).


Thursday, September 10, 2015

MUSINGS - September 10, 2015

"Everything passes. Nobody gets anything for keeps. And that's how we've got to live."

- Haruki Murakami -

In this moment, as I write, time passes. The inevitability of change is all around me: in my breath and the cells of my being; in the wind as it changes course; in the weather, as it doesn't do what it did last year or the year before; in the love I feel for my husband, because it's quadrupled since I first met him and keeps multiplying exponentially; in my writing. 

Hence, everything.

And what was a day or a year ago is no longer. It passes. And that's okay.

I used to have moments that were profound, dripping of happiness or love, and I would want to stay in that moment forever, milking that feeling for eternity.

And then the moment would pass.

I would be left with living life where things happen, like me not getting the job I wanted, or running out of milk, or having to show up in my effort to move forward in life, or . . . whatever it may be. In those moments I would feel stuck in the muck of mundane-livingthis will never end, I will always be here, this is too difficult, etc.

Whether I perceive the moment passing as something worthwhile or not, it will still leave me.  

Now, I attempt to stay with my moments, feeling them as they go, passing through my fingers like sand in the hourglass. I am not regretful of their passing, more accepting of what was to what is, until what is changes to was and so on. 

There is joy and grace in my days, a sense of honor and privilege to experience my life.

The question always is, "Am I truly experiencing my moment?"

Today, I can say, "Yes!"


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Haruki Murakami was born in Kyoto, Japan on January 12, 1949 and hasn't left this world yet. He is an international bestseller of contemporary fiction and non-fiction. He's won a plethora of awards, as well as gaining a steady collection of critical acclaim in Japan and elsewhere. Some of his works include, but are not limited to: Kafka on the Shore, A Wild Sheep Chase, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, 1Q84, and After the Quake.



Tuesday, September 8, 2015

MUSINGS - September 8, 2015

"Sometimes you can do all the right things and not succeed. 
And that's a hard lesson of reality."

- Donna Tartt -

The reality of living, in that nothing is permanent or necessarily a guarantee that x and y will lead to z.  

I have definitely had moments where I believed if I did this, then that, and so on, I would for sure get what I wanted. Of course, I was then greatly disappointed when the situation fell through and it didn't go anywhere near the way I planned. 

I've also started a project or job and believed I was heading in a particular direction to only find myself being diverted to another path, a path which I needed to be on. I can't always see that. I can get stuck in the two-year-old-response of, "Why aren't I getting what I want?"

Now, I'm more willing to go along for the ride, not in a passive, non-participant sort of way, but more of a gathering-information kind of way. When I do the latter rather than the former, I enjoy myself more, and I usually find that everything is just fine, even when I don't get what I want.


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Donna Tartt was born in Greenwood, Mississippi on December 23, 1963 and hasn't left this world yet. She's a novelist and writer. She's written three books: The Little Friend, The Goldfinch, and The Secret History. She's won awards, such as the WH Smith Literary Award and Pulitzer Prize. She was listed in TIME 100: The 100 Most Influential People in 2014. Her writing also includes novellas and short stories.



Wednesday, September 2, 2015

MUSINGS: Freedom from Grief

I began the week with one foot in grief and the other in the present, trying to stay centered with what needed to be done instead of sinking in the quicksand of what couldn't be.

The recognition of grief is profound, considering I used to not know when I was grieving, unless, of course, someone actually died then I could put two and two together.

What I didn't know was that grief accompanies any loss, large or small. And, as one dear friend of mine suggested, feelings are meant to flow in and then flow out. My feelings flowed in alright, but I wasn't big on letting them flow out—that might mean I'd actually have to feel them.
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My grief centers around the lost-plan of moving back to Montana. Now, me wanting to move back doesn't mean that where I live now is wrong or bad, because that couldn't be further from the truth. Which brings up the other realization I had: I can have multiple feelings, even conflicting feelings, simultaneously.

I used to think one feeling canceled another, or should, but that's not true. 

I have grief in not moving this year, but I also have gratitude for where I am.

When I dropped my boys off at school this morning and stopped in the Metro for a cup of coffee, I was delighted to be there. I appreciated every minute in the Metro, writing non-stop on a short story I'm finishing for a submission later this month.

And later in the day when I locked my keys and purse in Luna (our Landcruiser), I was pleased to know that I had friends that would come and help me out. And I got the added bonus of visiting with a friend while we drove all the way out to the airport to get my husband's keys.

In the middle of what is pleasant there is grief, right under the surface, not enough to pull me under the water, just enough to periodically poke me in the side. What I've learned, when that happens, is to let the grief flow in and then flow out, so I can feel it, as it is, without embarrassment or judgment.

Amazingly enough, the grief passes and then the pleasant I'm-okay-feelings surface until the grief flows in again, but with each letting out the grief is less potent, less consuming, and before long I begin to feel freedom from grief.

What a magnificent process.

Monday, August 31, 2015

LATE AFTERNOON LIGHT

Her heels clacked on the stone walkway, as she made her way home, her soft-cotton summer dress, a fading lemon in the late afternoon light, swishing against her bare legs. The fabrics caress reminded her of Antonio's hand, sliding over her knee as they watched the black and white movie in the park.

She smiled, wishing she were still with him, but she had to leave, get up early for work. His eyes lingered in her mind, the way they enveloped her, looked inside her, so deep.

She shook her head, grinning, trailing her index finger across her red-tinted lips, and then she felt as if she was there with him: the smell of honeysuckle so close, as they leaned against the mid-high brick wall, covered in purple and pink flowers, to better see the movie. And the kiss that Antonio stole when she'd left, his lips touching hers, and the taste of red wine on his tongue.


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An earthen chill permeated her skin as she entered the stone tunnel. She shivered and pulled her knitted champagne-colored sweater closer about her.

Her mind's eye swept Antonio's shape, his lean frame, his thick wavy hair hugging his ears, and his strength as he pulled her in so close she thought she could crawl inside him to stay forever safe and loved.

She cinched her sweater tighter about her neck as she walked, the tunnel's chill burrowing its way under her skin, unaware of the ever darkening shadows that collected around her.

She was so distracted with Antonio's vibrant green eyes, like emeralds immersed in clear spring water, that she didn't hear the footsteps following her. Or the metal click of a pistol's hammer being pulled back.


Friday, August 14, 2015

The End of the Dock


     Water lapped against the dock's sides, as if individual gloved hands played patty cake in the distance. Nothing else sounded except the occasional bird, a seagull he thought, but he wasn't sure. His mind was frozen inside his skull, sullen, as if the earth had slipped from under him. The wooden boards creaked beneath his weight as he walked the dock, a reminder of his existence in the world. He flinched at his own breath and wished they had taken all of himnot just his career and his family.   

    A soft breeze, smelling of salt and dead fish, cooled the tear tracks that streamed down his face. He shivered and pulled his jacket closer about him, forcing his hands to leave the warm sanctuary of his pockets. When he stepped to the end of the dock's surface, he paused for a few seconds, listening, remembering. Then he jumped, letting out all breath before hitting the cold, black water.


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Thursday, August 13, 2015

MUSINGS OF THE DAY - July 24, 2015

"Everything a writer learns about the art or craft of fiction takes just a little away from his need or desire to write at all. In the end he knows all the tricks and has nothing to say."

- Raymond Chandler -

The other day I was thinking something similar. How easy it is to get online and find all kinds of websites and blogs and think-tanks for writers on how to write. There's also the long list of ways to  figure out agents—what they want and what they don't want. Jeez, it's amazing anything is every written or published, or, for that matter, read.

And boy is there money in it. There's always some ad, book, or program that can give you the magic key to writing, to publishing, to being read, and let's not forget—to making money with your writing. I think the only ones making money are the ones selling how to do it.

I remember a time when I was so busy trying to "write well" that I was spending more time figuring it out than actually doing it. And all the while my fear increased. I can't do this. This is too hard. I'll never make it. I'm just not good enough. And before I knew it I wasn't writing but stuffing my writing in a drawer, pretending I never wanted to write in the first place.

Ugh!

So, enough of that mindless chatter that has nothing to do with writing. I decided to just write and have fun and stop trying to figure it out to guarantee a future outcome.

There's a balance point between learning to do something and doing it. 

Writing, for me, has to come first. Always. 

Then I can incorporate the tricks and gimmicks I've learned, if I want. I can keep learning about the craft of writing, because, truly, I love it too, but the learning of writing well can't replace the actual act of writing itself.


Raymond Thornton Chandler was born in Chicago, Illinois on July 23, 1888 and left this world on March 26, 1959. Chandler was a novelist and screenwriter. In 1939, Chandler's first novel, The Big Sheep, was published. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

MUSINGS OF THE DAY - July 22, 2015

"Hope is not a resting place but a starting point - a cactus, not a cushion."

- H. Jackson Brown, Jr. - 

Who can resist this one? Whenever I've been given hope, and I accept it as a true gift to utilize there is action to take. 

The action involved in changing from one thing to another is never comfortable and sometimes is downright annoying, but if I want the result of hope, then I must act on what hope tells me is possible. 

Simple enough. 

Not necessarily easy.

I've been traveling and enjoying the summer with my boys, but with all this playing there has been a lapse from maintaining my blog. I still wrote but nothing for the blog; all my writing was for other projects, which is great that I was able to keep on task with those.

My hope is that I will secure my routine for my blog, keep posting musings and stories, maybe even some poetry. My hope offers me possibility. The possibility of doing what I hope to do. 

Of course, to do what I hope to do I must act, so I am experiencing the cactus not the cushion. I cannot rest on my laurels, thinking the blog-writing will manifest itself. 

So I write.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Unwanted Fervent Love of Mosquitoes

While watering the yard this morning, hose in hand, spraying the green grass and wild flowers, I killed a mosquito who was sucking the blood from my arm. I truly dislike mosquitoes.

Every summer I wonder the same thing: Why are there mosquitoes?

I know the general "food-chain" reasoning, knowing that another bug benefits and so on down the line, but what the heck do they have to do with me and why do they keep pestering me?!

Why are some people tastier than others? Is "tastier" even the right connection? So my musings this morning stem from this need to know: Why me?

I found great information in an article by Joseph Stromberg,  Why Do Mosquitoes Bite Some People More Than Others. He specifies eight different reasons for the extra loving I receive from mosquitoes. Of course, not all eight apply to me, but I now have a better understanding of why my body is the ultimate love-fest for mosquitoes.


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Number One: Blood Type Anyone?

Supposedly, those darn, pesky mosquitoes are picky on what type of blood they prefer. They have a favorite. Type O seems to be the one they most gravitate toward. Type B was their next favorite, and Type A was their least favorite. Unfortunately, as of this moment, I can't recall what blood type I am, so I'm not sure if this reason is a deciding factor for why they love me so much.


Number Two: How Much Carbon Dioxide Do You Blow?

As we humans breathe, we exhale carbon dioxide, and mosquitoes are attracted to how much we emit. Now they say that generally how much carbon dioxide any one person emits tends to depend on how large they are. I'm guessing for myself I'm sitting in the middle on that one, since I'm not large but not petite either.


Number Three: Are You Exercising? Increasing Your Metabolism?

Mosquitoes smell our sweat, which contains ammonia, lactic acid, uric acid, and other substances, which help them find us. They also like higher body temperatures, which makes sense they would zero in on us if we're physically exerting ourselves. Our warm bodies are attractive. I have to say, I am guilty of this. Hurray for exercise!


Number Four: Skin Bacteria. Say What?

Mosquitoes enjoy the bacteria on our skin, but they don't like a plethora of different kinds of skin bacteria. They like it better when the person just has a few bacteria friends. For myself, I've never taken the time to figure out what or how many bacteria adhere to my skin. Your guess is as good as mine.


Number Five: Had Any Beer Lately?

Mosquitoes love it when people drink beer. "Just a single 12-ounce bottle of beer can make you more attractive" to mosquitoes, though the scientists have no idea why that is. What's good for me though is I don't drink. Drinking beer is not the reason why they love me so much.


Number Six: Are You Pregnant?

This makes sense, considering what we've learned so far. Pregnant women are warmer and larger. Between the extra heat they generate and the more carbon dioxide they are sure to exhale, they are prime targets for a mosquito's love nibble. Great news for me—I'm not pregnant!


Number Seven: Really? The Color of Our Clothing?

Yep, the color of our clothing. Mosquitoes like their victims fashioning mosquito-trendy colors, like red, black, and dark blue. These colors are similar to glueing a bullseye on your back.


Number Eight: I Knew It! It's My Parent's Fault!

Genetics may be the deciding factor—a whopping 85%. 


As Stromberg points out at the end of his article, the benefit of some not attracting mosquitoes like the rest of us is scientists may be able to use "chromatography to isolate the particular chemicals these people emit" to create a bug repellant that us unfortunate ones could use. 

At last, there's hope.

Okay, now I'm informed, though I'm not sure any of it truly helps me feel better about the love-hate relationship mosquitoes and I have (they love, I hate). I guess I'm stuck with bug spray and covering up when the sun goes down and staying out of marshy areas with tall grass.



Tuesday, June 16, 2015

MUSINGS OF THE DAY - June 16, 2015

"I think that's what I love about writing, is the ability to try to, in a sense, take a vacation from yourself and try to enter the sensibility of another time, another character, another place."

- Ron Rash - 

Reading and writing are similar in that way. Both avenues take me somewhere other than where I'm at, the difference being that someone else wrote one piece and I the other. 



Ron Rash was born in Chester, South Carolina on September 25, 1953 and hasn't left this world yet. He's a novelist, poet, and a short story writer. His novels include: One Foot in Eden, Saints at the River, The World Made Straight, Serena, and The Cove. Here are a few of his short story collections and poems: The Night the New Jesus Fell to Earth and Other Stories from Cliffside, North Carolina; Burning Bright; Chemistry and Other Stories; Eureka Mill; Raising the Dead; and Waking.




Thursday, June 11, 2015

MUSINGS OF THE DAY - June 11, 2015

"A man can get discouraged many times but he is not a failure until he begins to blame somebody else and stops trying."

- John Burroughs - 

In this life, I've had numerous times where discouragement supplanted all thoughts of trudging forward, and I found myself wallowing in the failure of who I thought I was. I did blame others in those dark moments. I wanted someone else to take responsibility for my life, for who I was, for the possibility of me. I wanted the world to know how wrong it was for a girl like myself to have such a hard go of it. I wanted others to feel sorry for me, because then I believed they would fix what was broken in me - that is, if they truly loved me.

Little did I know that what was "broken" in me needed mending from the inside, and the inside was a place no one could venture. Except me. 

Today the word blame is no longer allowed in my vocabulary, at least when it comes to myself and my own life. And the keep-on-of-keeping-on is paramount for me on a daily basis, because sometimes that's what it comes down to, one day at a time. I know, very cliche and kind of sappy but so true.

I have to remind myself that taking responsibility for my own life and actions transforms my life from a prison that I endure to an open meadow where I'm free. I don't have to live in the constraints of waiting for somebody to live my life for me, and, beyond the simple restoration of my responsibility and dignity, I gain hope, laughter, ease, contentment, enthusiasm, connectedness, love, creativity, and much more.


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John Burroughs was born in Roxbury, New York on April 3, 1837 and left this world on March 29, 1921. He was a nature essayist and a naturalist. He wrote essays for the Atlantic Monthly. Hurd & Houghton published his first collection of essays, Wake-Robin. He was friends with Walt Whitman and was encouraged by Whitman "to develop his nature writing as well as his philosophical and literary essays." Here are a few of his writings: Winter Sunshine, Ways of Nature, Far and Near, Notes on Walt Whitman as Poet and Person, Whitman: A Study, and Under the Apple Trees.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

MUSINGS OF THE DAY - June 2, 2015

"Don't brood. Get on with living and loving. You don't have forever."

- Leo Buscaglia -

I spent most of my day on a small farm west of town pulling weeds. The sun was bright and hot and the sky a light blue, peppered with white fluffy clouds. A gentle breeze blew, which cooled the sweat against my skin. I listened to birds chattering with one another and bees buzzing; one bee considered me a flower because of the colors I wore.

Some would think that weed pulling would be an arduous task, unbearable maybe. I didn't. I reveled in the vast greenness of the farm and the silence that filled the air when the birds stopped twittering. I enjoyed the meditative time spent in pulling one weed after another and to then look back and see that progress was made and be glad of it.

I thought of the things I could do with my own garden, because these rows of veggies were not mine but a friend's. I savored the stillness in my surroundings, because where I live now is in the city, which has a constant bombardment of noise. I appreciated the opportunity to show up for my friend when they needed help.

And after several rows of weeds were dealt with, we sat on my friend's deck and played banjo and ate ginger snaps. Sounds like living and loving to me.


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Felice Leonardo "Leo" Buscaglia was born in Los Angeles, CA on March 31, 1924 and left this world on June 12, 1998. He had a PhD and was known as "Dr. Love." He was a professor at the University of Southern California (Dept. of Special Education), as well as a motivational speaker and an author. "While teaching at USC, Buscaglia was moved by a student's suicide to contemplate human disconnectedness and the meaning of life, and began a non-credit class he called Love 1A. This became the basis for his first book[.]" A few of his works are: Love, The Way of the Bull, The Fall of Freddie the Leaf, and Living, Loving, Learning.


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

MUSINGS OF THE DAY - May 19, 2015

"I want you to be everything that's you, deep at the center of your being."

- Confucius - 

Knowing what's at the center of my being is a journey in and of itself, and for some, maybe a long journey without an arrival date. 

Have I arrived? Probably not, because it seems there are more things revealed about my inner person on a regular basis. An important aspect of my journey is to open to what is shown, instead of averting my eyes in fear.

I use to avert my eyes, to the point of denying myself the opportunity of not only coring to the center of my being but even of limiting my life experiences to some of the most painful. I wasn't willing to think outside the box I had placed myself in. I remained stuck in what I didn't want, in a way of living that was unfulfilling and boring.

Keeping my eyes open to what may emerge requires faith of some kind; faith that I will survive whatever comes into the light.

The light illuminates many things about myself, some that are in need of changing or getting rid of completely (if possible) and others that offer me freedom and a lightness of spirit that is indescribable. 

Honoring my writing, regardless of the results, is one of my freeing and spirit-altering truths. 


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Confucius was thought to have been in born in 551 BC in China, or what was known then as Zou, Lu. He left this world in 622 or 623 BC. He played many roles: "Chinese teacher, editor, politician, and philosopher."


Sunday, May 3, 2015

MUSINGS OF THE DAY - May 3, 2015

"Education begins the gentleman, but reading, good company,
 and reflection must finish him."

- John Locke -

As I rode my bicycle this morning to visit friends, my mind wandered over the past years of my life, reflecting on the ebbs and flows of change and resistance that life seems to generate. 

I've learned a few things over time, educated one could say (I still have the student loans to prove it). Valuable time indeed.

I have also basked in the illumination of various books too, reading and writing and contemplating what's written and what it means to me. I have been privileged to sit with others and expound on those readings and my life experiences, as well as listen to them offer themselves in light of what confounded me at the time.

All of these, education, reading, and good company, have supplemented my own personal reflection, and so doing have availed me the opportunity to succeed in my own life, especially when there was a time I believed there was no way to succeed.

Now, I'm not talking about money, that's all fine and well but it is not at the heart of what success means for me today. Success is living life to its fullest, to the best of my ability. I know how to stop and breathe. And laugh. And love another. And lend a helping hand. 

My gratitude abounds to those who snipped time out of their life schedules to partake in coffee-drinking and conversation. And all those darn books that populate my home with their brilliant spines.


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John Locke was born in Wrington, Somerset (England) on August 29, 1632 and left this world on October 28, 1704. An English physician and philosopher he was, "known as the 'Father of Classical Liberalism'." 

Locke attended the Westminister School (London) in 1647. He obtained his "bachelor's degree in 1656 and a master's degree in 1658" and "a bachelor of medicine in 1674."

Some of Locke's works are Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Two Treatises of Civil Government, and A Letter Concerning Toleration. His writings influenced some of the Founding Fathers of the United States.


Friday, May 1, 2015

MUSINGS FOR THE DAY - May 1, 2015

"When you're green you grow, when you're ripe you rot."

- Kermit the Frog - 

Being green says to me that I need to remain teachable to grow. That is always a challenge for me, because to grow means to change; the transition of changing from one thing to another is not always pleasant or confidence inspiring.

This reminds me of something a friend of mine says, "Be willing to grow where you're planted." That's definitely easier said than done. I don't always like where I'm planted, and I don't always like the prospect of having to grow there either.

I sure love the results of growth though.

I love the freedom I get when I practice humility, love, and compassion in my life. I love the result of having shown up and done what I could with where I was at. I love the release of stress and worry when I stop having to be right about everything all the time and remove my paws off of other people's lives and thoughts and ways of living; I don't have to give my stamp of approval for another to have worth or value, or to be wrong or right.

The freedom that growth brings is abundant. I can stand up for what I believe and practice those beliefs in my own life. I can use my voice, balanced with quiet when needed. I can have courage to try something new I wouldn't have done two years prior, to not be so afraid of the unknown. I can love greatly and give freely, because I don't have to attach my self-worth to material-matter or people.

Remaining teachable offers me pathways outside my normal behavioral patterns that lead me to a better way of living, which in turn opens the door to witnessing those about me, to know people as they are not the way I want them to be.

Today, I choose a green life, one full of branches of possibility, not because I expect I'll attain perfection but because my attempt is well worth my time. A certain amount of fumbling is guaranteed.

What do I have to lose?


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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

MUSINGS OF THE DAY - April 28, 2015

"I think I was a shy kid. I grew up without television. I had a dog, and we lived up in the White Mountains in the summer, and I had no friends up there. And I would just go play hide-and-seek with my dog and probably had some imaginary friends."

- Dan Brown - 

I know I had some imaginary friends when I was a kid, and, in someways, still do. But lets not take me too seriously. I don't need the loony-bin snatchers to pay me a visit anytime soon. 

I didn't run with a dog. I was always more a cat person - Prissy was her name. And I didn't have any mountains that I ran through, at least, not without adult supervision, but I did have my special hideaways.

There was a cave on the other side of the hill our house was built on, before they built more homes. I used to ride my bicycle there and create all kinds of stories and characters, enough so I sometimes truly believed what I imagined.

The swing sets at the school a block or so from my house were a great place to go. I would swing as high as I could and talk to myself, tell myself stories and create a world I wanted to live in. I still love the feeling of swinging and getting high in the air; I feel free from the constraints of reality.

Another place was my room. I grew up as an only child, and my room was my sanctuary. I would build a bed in my closet with all my blankets and close the doors and read with a flashlight. I would write in my journal. I'd even leave quotes and passages on my closet walls. 


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Dan Brown was born in Exeter, New Hampshire on June 22, 1964 and hasn't left this world yet. His writing genre is thriller fiction, and he's best known for his novel The Da Vinci Code (2003). 

Brown pursued a music career (singer-songwriter and pianist) for a time, starting his own record company (Dalliance). After not making much headway in the music business, he became an English teacher. He started writing in 1993, after being inspired by Sidney Sheldon's novel The Doomsday Conspiracy. The Da Vinci Code was his fourth novel.


Monday, April 27, 2015

MUSINGS OF THE DAY - April 27, 2015

"We all have our own life to pursue, our own kind of dream to be weaving, and we all have the power to make wishes come true, as long as we keep believing."

- Louisa May Alcott - 

I didn't know this was true for years. I floundered in what I believed others wanted for me, how they wanted me to be, what ways I needed to live my life for them to be proud of me. The idea of having my own dreams and pursuing them seemed novel at best, a dream I kept to myself in the late night when no one was awake to tell me not to dream that way. 

I remember when I realized my own truth, or the extent of my truth in that particular moment, because my truth has evolved. It was as if I sat outside myself and saw the world in a new way, a way that allowed me to be me and have reason and purpose in the world as I was not as someone wanted me to be. 

My life changed. I started to make different choices, and, as I grew in the undeniable truth of me, I began to learn more about myself and found I had quite a few things I wished to do. I began to live my own life, the one that fit me, the one that honored who I was as I was.

Writing is one of the ways I honor my truth. The caveat being that I remember to believe my truth, because I'm not immune to letting another's perception or idea of who I need to be filter in and alter me, and not necessarily in the best of ways.


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Louisa May Alcott was born in Germantown (currently part of Philadelphia), Pennsylvania on November 29 1832 and left this world on March 6, 1888. She was a novelist best known for her book Little Women, which was published in 1868. 

She was a nurse during the American Civil War.  She contract typhoid but recovered. She wrote for the Atlantic Monthly in 1860. She also wrote under another name, A. M. Barnard, and produced "passionate, fiery novels and sensational stories." 


Thursday, April 23, 2015

MUSINGS OF THE DAY - April 23, 2015

"There ain't nothing from the outside that can lick any of us."

- Margaret Mitchell - 

So true. Enough said. 



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Margaret Mitchell, an author and a journalist, was born in Atlanta, Georgia on November 8, 1900 and left this world on August 16, 1949. She was best known for her book Gone with the Wind. She won the National Book Award for Most Distinguished Novel (1936) and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (1937) for Gone with the Wind.

Mitchell was a reporter for The Atlanta Journal in a time when women were not encouraged or supported by family or peers to attempt such a vocation. 

Mitchell was an avid collector of erotica and books about sexology. 


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

MUSINGS OF THE DAY - April 23, 2015

"When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn."

- Harriet Beecher Stowe - 

The times when I'm willing to keep on keeping on are usually the moments when it's time for me to let go, and the other times when I'm all too willing to give up because it's too hard are the moments when I need to instill every ounce of fortitude I have and keep on.

I have a better sense of the difference between those times and am better able to stay grounded in what needs to be done than bulldozing through what needs to be let go of. 

When I practice yoga, I am constantly bombarded with the "give up" feeling. I know this of myself, and I remind myself to be willing to forge ahead. When those moments come of wanting to give up and give in, I hold on for another moment longer and then I release. Then I know I attempted progress instead of stalling out. Then I know I will hold the asana longer the next day, because I wasn't so quick to give up today.

When I sit to write, I am once again surrounded with the voices of my mind that tell me not to write. These voices are persistent, telling me of all the other things I need to be doing or that I'm not in the mood to write or I don't have time; they come up with all kinds of excuses on why I shouldn't fulfill what my soul craves. I sit anyway. I write anyway. Each day I write I gain experience and confidence in honoring what my heart needs.

Then there are those times where the hardest thing for me to do is to let go, to step away, and it usually deals with other people and what they're doing. I want to interject my opinion or my way or my experience. I want to lessen another's load by telling them how to live their life. When I need those voices in my head to convince me to stop, they're not there, which seems funny to me.

These moments are when I have to reassess why I'm charged to keep on with what needs to be let go of. What do I get out of trying to run someone else's life? Well, for me, it comes back to the distraction of it, from my own life. If I'm trying to live yours, I don't have to take responsibility for my own. I don't just do this with individual persons. I can do it with the government, the grocery store, the way people drive, the weather--pretty much anything.

Of course, this doesn't mean I can't be passionate about things and have opinions, because I can. And I do. The clarification that is important for me is whether or not those passions, to the extreme I'm feeling them, are a detriment to my life. For example, if I'm so consumed with other drivers that I'm stressed and cussing and in road rage, maybe it's a passion not worth having.  

As a dear friend of mine says, "A person who is truly confident in themselves doesn't need to judge others."

Mind my own business and have some business to mind. Eventually, the "tide will turn" and I will be where I need to be, in my own life, cultivating my own self-worth and self-confidence. 


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Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote over thirty books. The one she's best known for is Uncle Tom's Cabin, about anti-slavery. I remember reading Uncle Tom's Cabin when I was young. There were moments I cried, wishing I could change the past so that slavery had never been in our country. 

Stowe was born in Litchfield, CT on June 14, 1811 and left this world on July 1, 1896.

Monday, April 20, 2015

MUSINGS OF THE DAY - April 20, 2015

"Those who lack the courage will always find a philosophy to justify it."

- Albert Camus -


Camus is one of my favorites and reminds me of a time when I was desperately searching for courage to do what I did not want to do, because I was afraid, but I knew I couldn't keep living my life the way I was living it.

Now, I'm living my life, participating, cultivating happiness and peace, but I can still have moments of falling into this, lacking the courage to change and justifying it, so I can stay mired in the muck that keeps me stuck.

Denial is part of my justification. If I deny something, the truth of a situation, I can stay clueless to the truth and what needs to change. Also, by denying the truth I deny myself the opportunity of freedom: freedom from what stops me, from what limits me, and from what ultimately gives me joy.

Today, I open my hands to what is and keep moving forward, because "courage is fear that has said its prayers . . . " (Note: This last quote is not Albert Camus's but Joyce Meyers.)


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Who's Albert Camus?

Most people may know of Albert Camus, maybe not. Here's a list of his novels: The Stranger, The Plague, The Fall, A Happy Death, and The First Man. He also wrote short stories, non-fiction books, plays, and essays. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Camus)


Now, if any of you out there listen to The Cure, you may know their song Killing an Arab.  Killing an Arab was Robert Smith's poetic rendition of a scene in Albert Camus's The Stranger. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Killing_an_Arab)

Quick Facts:


Camus was born in Mondovi, Algeria on November 7, 1913 and passed on January 4, 1960. In 1957, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. He was a philosopher, playwright, author, and journalist. He was described as an existentialist, but he never labeled himself as such. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Camus)


Camus played soccer, loved it really, but tuberculosis ended this endeavor when he was seventeen. He published his first book (a collection of essays), The Wrong Side and the Right Side, when he was twenty-four. During World War II in 1941, Camus "joined the Resistance and wrote for the underground newspaper Combat." (Source: http://www.legacy.com/news/legends-and-legacies/albert-camus-51-facts/426/)


Friday, April 17, 2015

MUSINGS OF THE DAY - April 17, 2015

"Two hours of writing fiction leaves this writer completely drained. For those two hours he has been in a different place with totally different people."

- Roald Dahl - 

I'm laughing. Yes, this is me. I do feel drained after writing fiction, after I've been submerged for a few hours. I also feel rejuvenated, as if I survived a perilous journey into deep space without a guarantee of ever getting out alive.


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Who is Roald Dahl?

Some may already know who Roald Dahl is, and others, well, they may not remember who he is unless they know what books he's written.

Do these ring any bells? James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, My Uncle Oswald, or The Witches. These are just a few of his works, which I'm sure we've all come in contact with. 

I remember two in particular from when I was young: James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Now, Matilda is on my radar because my boys love that book, or did when they were a bit younger and interested in reading more so than playing music and soccer.

Quick Facts:

Dahl was born in Wales on September 13, 1916 and left this world on November 23, 1990. He was a WWII veteran, serving in the Royal Air Force. It wasn't until the 1940s that he became a best-selling author for both children and adults books. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roald_Dahl)

There's more to Dahl than one would suppose, or at least from this prospective of him being dead and not currently in the media spotlight. As in this article, The religion and political views of Roald Dahl, one might want to chuck his books into the river. 

I'm more of the mind of finding what is useful and letting go of what isn't. I am not in agreement with him from a religious standpoint, or a political one for that matter, but I do relate to his quote above, which I can take as it is without including his personal views with it.