Sometimes, the measurement of our day is not whether we gain or lose something, but whether we were moved emotionally and did our tears flow around a smile or slowly back to our heart.
If I could hand you happiness, I would do so every time you’re sad. If I had joy I could place in your heart, I would sacrifice it all to see you smile. All I want is for you to see yourself as I see you. Someone worth loving.
Sometimes, the only constant in our life is confusion. Nothing seems simple because we worry if we are making a mistake. Just be sure your worry is not more about what others will think than making the mistake itself.
Sometimes, the right decisions we make in life involve the greatest amount of sacrifice. In spite of the pain we endure, we know what must be done and, therefore, our heart and mind must learn to accept it.
You might not succeed in all your attempts. You may stumble somewhat through a task. Or, you may be criticized for doing something others would not. But, keep in mind, anything that became something happened because someone didn’t give up.
Some words we hear mean little to us. Others, we apply to our life. But, there are certain words, when we hear them, touch our heart so deeply we know they will be written into our heart the rest of our life. Inspired by words from Linda Clegg Workman.
I did not wait a year and a half this time to write another blog post. This time it's only been six months! I think I might be getting my writing groove back. How did I do that? Not really sure. Simply saying that I have more time isn't the total reason. I have had more time since last May when I retired. Several people told me that retiring and walking out that door isn't the golden bullet that enables you to do all those projects you have dreamed about doing 'when you had time.' They also said it takes a while to settle into your new reality and new schedule.
In my case, the new reality included selling a house and moving halfway across the country, as well as several health issues. Now that we have been in our new home for almost three months, I have a place to do my writing (the sitting room) and a place to work on my illustrations (a local wellness/senior center where they have classes),
and a place to walk when I need to get the kinks out (nice walkway in the community). Not a rigid routine, to put it mildly; many things tend to scream for equal attention, but it's getting there.
Getting in the groove is an individual thing. I suppose there are some who do it quickly and there are those whose life issues don't allow them that opportunity, or become the excuses to never getting that groove. I only hope that I always have at least a small writing groove I can continue to work in, regardless of what my situation is.
I do have to add a plug for NanoWriMo. Their various writing incentives have really helped this time. They do their big project in November, but do a couple of Camp Nano's during the year. I decided to join their April Camp and work on a story idea that had bounced around in my head for several months. With a Nano camp, you can set your own goal and I did--20,000 words. I have 15,000 so far and doing about 1,000 words a day average (don't do Sundays) for the month. I would highly recommend it. I might try the big November one this year now that I have my 'groove' back!
Quick note: Portals has become Realms of the Cat with a contract from my publisher. They will use my illustrations if I can send them in with white background. That is another issue.
Thanks for listening. And speaking of listening, I may get a voice recognition program so that I can't use any health issues as an excuse. Any recommendations?
We sometimes feel our life is about missed opportunities and unfilled dreams. But, actually it’s filled with jobs well done, acts of compassion, and moments of character & integrity envied by many. You’re far more successful than you think.
Never argue with someone who has no idea what they’re talking about. When you do, you’re giving them an audience they don’t deserve and consideration they have not earned.
If the challenges we face in life make us stronger and everything happens for a reason, I’m ready for that reason to become clearer while I’m gaining strength doing something challenging that I enjoy.
There are those in our life that touched our heart and left fingerprints that never went away. They may have been in our life only a short period of time, but it’s never how many memories we have, it’s the beauty of the few we hold onto.
Trying to make everyone happy in our life is not possible. Expecting to be something special to everyone is too much. We don’t need everyone to love us. We just need a few people to love us a lot. Randall L. Carpenter, Author.
The most appreciative things in life are not grandiose gestures that draw much attention. They are the thank you said to someone, the smile as you say goodbye, and the compliment no one expects to hear. These are what lift people up.
No one who ever made a difference in life did it from the sidelines. You must seize your opportunities and, more importantly, not be afraid to fail.
Since "Keeping Secrets," the third book in the Boone series, goes on sale tomorrow, I thought I'd say a little about where Boone comes from. This is from my website housemountainviews.com:
If you know my history, both personal and professional, it’s easy to see where Boone comes from. I was raised in rural East Tennessee, like Boone. I have a younger sister, a little closer in age to me than Hannah is to Boone. I was (and am) socially insecure, just like Boone. The similarities start breaking down after that, and the rest of Boone’s personality and history comes from the hundreds of young people I worked with over the years.
I spent my professional career working with teenagers on the fringes of society — they were dealing with emotional problems, behavior problems, drug addiction, court involvement, often in combination. That was part of who they were, but only part. They were also kind and generous and funny and perceptive young people, but they didn’t show that to everybody. They had very little reason to trust anyone in authority and a lot to be angry about. Many of them had no idea of the sweep of American history or the beauty of the English language or the power of mathematics, but what they did have was a finely honed survival instinct. They could read situations and people, but frequently their anger and mistrust interfered with casual social interactions. They had limited choices available to them and were sometimes not aware of the choices they did have.
Boone lives on the fringe of society. His family history, anger, and overall stubbornness are all pushing back against any chance of him gaining entry into the world that Nancy and Tiny and Curt and Mark live in, and mostly he’s trying just to get by. Once in a while he learns something that sticks with him; once in a while he lets down his guard. He’s trying, as best he knows how, to do the right thing when he can figure out what that is.
I write about Boone because he and all the other folks in his situation deserve to have their voices heard.
Some of the most important things we do in life are not what we want to do or what we have to do, but what we feel we need to do. These are what show some of our greatest traits of compassion, empathy, and kindness.
Knowing what makes you happy in life is realizing what makes you smile, makes you laugh, makes you want to do for others, and gives you hope for the future. When you find those things, share them with someone else and enjoy the happiness.
Some of our best memories aren’t made over time but in an instant. They’re the images, sights, or sounds that burned themselves indelibly into our soul and now appear without warning as something today opened a door in our heart.
Here’s a nifty opportunity for a student or teacher interested in science and in writing – a 'science-inspired' poetry contest, with entry due-date at the end of April! The contest is sponsored by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, and offers some nice prizes in several academic-level categories. High school students and university students, right up though graduate students! Here’s a link to contest guidelines and the entry form: https://orise.orau.gov/stem/k-12/competitions-for-students.html
Do it today!
We're looking ahead to the season when we have more sales events, particularly outdoor fairs and festivals. These are great opportunies to talk to the public about our books and to enjoy one another's company. However, we need to have some rules so that these events run smoothly and everyone feels they've been treated fairly. Please take note of the following:
In order to maintain a consistent, professional look to our displays and to ensure that each participating author has a fair amount of space and equal access to customers, the Board has instituted the following protocols for all sales events, fairs, and festivals:
- Authors to pay the AGT Treasurer their share of event fee promptly. AGT will pay the coordinator’s share.
- Coordinator to secure sign-ups, make application for space, communicate with event organizers and authors, assign shifts to accommodate participants as much as possible, arrange for and oversee booth set-up, and be responsible for general management throughout event. In configuring space, preference to be given to having tables along outer edges of space with cloths pulled down in front far enough to cover storage materials underneath.
- Books to be delivered by or before opening of event to the coordinator in weather-proof plastic bins with lids. Bins will be used for extra books and for overnight storage, if necessary.
- Authors will be given a minimum of 24” in table width. Racks are suggested for expanding visibility, if desired.
- Authors to be trained on the use of the Square for all sales, cash and charge, and take turns acting as cashier/wrapper during shifts. All book titles and prices to be entered into tablet prior to the event, remaining unchanged throughout the sale.
- Authors working in the booth shall stand or sit behind the front tables. Visiting friends and family to be asked not to linger in front of the booth.
- Authors are to be considerate of one another in all respects, especially taking care not to interrupt one another’s conversations with customers.
- Authors are not to use aggressive sales tactics, such as calling out or waving to attendees walking by.
- Authors should promote one another’s books to the benefit of all.
- Authors should not be observed eating or drinking in the booth.
- Authors should encourage customers to leave email addresses for E-magazine.