Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Discovery

As 2014 winds to a close and we embark on a new year, there is much to celebrate and remember in 2014 and prepare and look forward to in 2015.  Enjoy the holidays and time spent with friends and family in the upcoming weeks, get some rest and rejuvenate to hit the road running as January darkens your door. 

I read a quote by Alan Alda (any MASH fans out there?  I used to love watching that show:)) that really put into perspective the mindset I would like to foster moving into the new year...

"You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition.  What you'll discover will be wonderful.  What you'll discover is yourself."

Wow!  I think this is a beautiful thought for anyone, but I find myself really relating to it as a writer.  Leaving one's comfort zone and writing with intuitive abandon is so hard but, in doing so, one does travel down the road of personal discovery--a road from which so many can profit in reading the books and stories we create.

God Speed and be well.  May you discover all you desire in all areas of your lives.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Breathe

As I continue through this holiday season and my mission to balance all facets of life amidst the chaos (don't get me wrong...chaos implies something negative though my chaos centers on all good things, just lots of them), I thought this would be very appropriate to share with all of you as I'm sure you are in similar head swirling, holiday frenetic craziness...

"I will breathe,
I will think of solutions.
I will not let my worry control me.
I will not let my stress break me.
I. Will. Simply breathe.
And it will be okay...
Because I don't quit."  Shayne McClendon, The Good Girl

So, take a deep breath, center and forge ahead one thing at a time, moment by moment, and you shall prevail!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Balance

What, exactly, does the word "balance" mean?  Webster defines it as..."to bring into harmony or proportion."  Balance can be thought of in many different areas of life.  The one that is typically foremost in my mind is striving for balance, harmony per se, in my life as a whole.  The ability to balance family life, work life, church life and writing life.  I seem to be in constant upheaval in this quest and often read of others, many others, who have similar issues.

This morning, in my mission to balance my day, I rose early for an exercise class so I would have that part of my day finished and would be able to focus on the rest:  groceries (family life as I have kids complaining we have no food), Mass with my son (church life), paperwork for an upcoming meeting (work life) and blogging and working on my current WIP (writing life).

As I sat spinning my wheels (literally as I went to a cycling class), I was thinking of that ever elusive idea of balance and decided that would be the focus of my blogging this month as balance is hard to come by on good days and nearly impossible in the height of the holiday season.  My posts will be short and sweet in an ongoing effort to balance my time, but I hope you can gain some insight from the words and thoughts I post.

The first words of wisdom I found to bring about my sense of "harmony or proportion" in life are these...

"When you are in harmony with yourself everything unfolds with grace and ease."  Panach Desai

Very true, very true!  So, then, how does one get in harmony with oneself?  Therein lies the issue, does it not?  For me anyway.  It is often easy to "know" what one should do or what one needs to accomplish but how to do it? How to fit it all in in a given day? 

I had a major aha moment when I read the following words which I cannot attribute to anyone as there was no name associated. Drum roll please...

It's not about "having" time.  It's about MAKING time.

Well, yes, ma'am, it sure is.  No one has all the time he/she would like.  It is what one does with the time one carves out of the day that matters.  If writing is what will put your world in balance, then write.  If doing the dishes or laundry will calm the craziness, then so be it.  Or if, like me, you feel some good old fashion snuggle up time with the kids watching Christmas movies will bring some peace and harmony to your world, do it and don't feel guilty.  There will be another time to be more "productive."  Make the time to do what is needed for YOU and let the rest be for the time being.  You can tackle the dishes, laundry, writing, shopping, wrapping, etc., later.  It will still be there, and you will, most likely, be more efficient and less frazzled.

If you have wonderful ways to find and keep the balance in your life or strategies for making time when there doesn't seem to be any, I'd love to hear them.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving



As we give thanks and cherish the blessings in our lives today, I wanted to share a prayer I found with all of you as I wish you a very happy and blessed Thanksgiving holiday.  Be well and safe in your travels should you have to leave home.

Thanksgiving

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Contest Deadline Extended

Attention all children's writers, you still have time to submit to the Institute for Children's Literature's Kindergarten Story Writing Contest.  The deadline has been extended to November 21.  Find all the details here...

https://www.writersbookstore.com/sc/wbs_contest.htm

Get busy, folks, and submit!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Happy Veteran's Day

Today as we remember and thank all who give for us, I ask you to read the words of Ronald Reagan as he said it so well...


“Those who live today remember those who do not. Those who know freedom remember today those who gave up life for freedom.
 
Today, in honor of the dead, we conduct ceremonies. We lay wreaths. We speak words of tribute. And in our memories, in our hearts, we hold them close to us still. Yet we also know, even as their families knew when they last looked upon them, that they can never be fully ours again, that they belong now to God and to that for which they so selflessly made a final and eternal act of devotion.
 
We could not forget them. Even if they were not our own, we could not forget them. For all time, they are what we can only aspire to be: giving, unselfish, the epitome of human love -- to lay down one's life so that others might live.
 
We think on their lives. We think on their final moments. In our mind's eye, we see young Americans in a European forest or on an Asian island or at sea or in aerial combat.
 
And as life expired, we know that those who could had last thoughts of us and of their love for us. As they thought of us then, so, too, we think of them now, with love, with devotion, and with faith: the certainty that what they died for was worthy of their sacrifice -- faith, too, in God and in the Nation that has pledged itself to His work and to the dream of human freedom, and a nation, too, that today and always pledges itself to their eternal memory.
 
Thank you. God bless you.
 
- Ronald Reagan, 40th President of the United States (1981–1989), delivered at the Veterans Day National Ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia, November 11, 1988.



Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Choices

I was reading posts on Facebook this morning looking for something someone told me about and saw the following quote a friend shared.  It seemed so true of not only life in general but of writing specifically as we, as writers, often feel the need to get out of our comfort zone, so to speak.  The quote was shared from Toby Mac but was attributed to Abraham Maslow...

"in any given moment we have two options:  to step forward into growth or to step back into safety."

Wow!  This is so true of so many things and something I strive to help my kids learn as I am not always the best at it.  I know I produce much better writing when I take a risk and push beyond what is comfortable though it can be very difficult and scary to do so.  The same goes for life...one must have a passion (or multiple passions) that help create and define who he/she is in this world and strive to always be the best one can be at whatever those passions may be rather than taking the easy and/or comfortable way out. 

Do you have a difficult time taking a risk or pushing forward rather than falling back into the safe or comfortable thing to do?  I'd love to hear what works for you if you are inclined to share.