TGIF – Gratitude Friday

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The top three things I’m especially grateful for this past week:

1.  My sweet nephew, a man of God, integrity and a heart patient miracle, sailing through a serious brain surgery, sense of humor intact. He’s my inspiration.

2.  Finishing the final revision of my novel, The Inheritance. OMGoodness! I’m not sure if I’m thrilled, scared to death, or relieved. 🙂

3.  Going on a long bike ride on a gorgeous, sunny, warm day with my husband, keeping my thoughts on prayer and gratitude as I cruised along the wooded trail.

May gratitude be contagious to others as you share what you’re grateful for this week. 🙂

Peace.

Farewell to a Phenomenal Woman

My heart was beyond heavy when I heard of Maya Angelou’s passing today. When I think of all she has accomplished in her young 86 years of age, I stand in awe. What an admirable poet, author, activist, and woman.

In her honor, here are ten of my favorite quotes by her:

10.  “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”

9.    “If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.”

8.    “Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.”

7.    “My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry, to get my work done, and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return.”

6.    “We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.”

5.    “You are the sum total of everything you’ve ever seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot – it’s all there. Everything influences each of us, and because of that, I try to make sure that my experiences are positive.”

4.    “One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind true, merciful, generous, or honest.”

3.    “Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”

2.    “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”

1.   “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Rest in Peace Lovely Lady.

 

 

Happy Memorial Day

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And I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free, and I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me and I’ll proudly stand next to him to defend her still today, ‘cuz there ain’t no doubt I love this land, god bless the USA.”   -Lee Greenwood

As we enjoy this day off from work, celebrating with friends and family, may we remember the real heroes of this day.  All those who have fought for our country, those still fighting, and the families keeping the home fires burning while their loved one is defending our freedom so that we may enjoy this life we live.

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Have a beautiful, blessed day!

Peace.

TGIF – Gratitude Friday

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Getting back to the Friday posts on gratitude that ended when the A to Z Blogging Challenge began. 🙂

The top three things I’m especially grateful for this past week:

1.)  Thursday afternoon off work to snuggle up with a light blanket and Roxie (my dog), a cup of tea and a good book while listening to the rain outside.

2.)  Lying in the warm softness of my bed with my pen and journal in hand, the house beautifully quiet, knowing everyone is tucked safely in bed, including Roxie asleep at my feet.

3.)  A caramel sundae from McDonalds, with extra buttery caramel. Yum! 🙂

Please share what tops your list for the week.

Peace.

Vacation Highlight

Last week I disappeared off of the blog radar for a spell while I went on vacation. When I went back to work this past Monday I had three people ask me what the highlight of my vacation was.  The same answer to all three people resulted in the same response from all three.

Clearly these were not writing co-workers who asked me the question.

As we were walking on the sidewalk in Taos, taking in the sights–and there are a lot of sights in Taos, many of which involve people–I saw a sign propped on the sidewalk in front of Brodsky Books bookstore – Natalie Goldberg was to appear there that evening from 4:00 – 6:00.  I stopped dead in my tracks,  grabbed my husband’s arm to stop him from walking any further and tried not to trip over my jaw that hit the ground. That couldn’t possibly be THE Natalie Goldberg, could it? The one who’s books Wild Mind and Writing Down the Bones offered validation to my love of writing?  And what about Old Friend From Far Away that is now assisting me in writing my memoir? Oh Man! I seriously could not contain my excitement! And thank goodness my husband knows me well enough to allow me a moment to catch my breath before expecting to know the reason for my “crazy.”

 

The rest of the afternoon I checked my watch every few minutes to be sure I wouldn’t be late, and when I got there I unashamedly squished myself into the already packed room. My husband, bless him, walked back to the lodge where we were staying and left me there to bask in the glow of the writerly atmosphere, surrounded by books, people who love words and story, and  listen to Natalie read her work.

After I floated dreamily back to the lodge–no joke–I thanked God for being with me on that vacation, because that was no coincidence.  That was a gift from my Father. And then I wrote.  I wrote with renewed passion and enthusiasm fueled by that blessing, hoping I was blessing my Father.

And Taos? The artistic vibe there was amazing. It bred creativity like no place else I’ve ever been.

“Life is not orderly. No matter how we try to make it so, right in the middle of it we die, lose a leg, fall in love, or drop a jar of applesauce.”
Natalie Goldberg

 

 

 

 

My Writing Process

I met the talented Rachel Carrera during the 2014 A to Z Blogging Challenge and was invited by her to participate in the Writing Process Blog Tour.  I’ve been reading the answers to the given questions by other bloggers who have participated and I have to say it’s been enlightening to not only read about other writers, but to see how their process works.

I don’t know about you, but I’m always open to learning something that may work better or enhance what I’m already doing.  I will be  the first to admit that I simply write because I love to write and never gave the rest of “the business” much thought until the past year and a half.  For me it’s a learn-as-I-go process.  And how I love to learn! 🙂

Be sure to check out Rachel’s blog. She is a brilliant ray of sunshine and has a contagious love of life. Thank you Rachel! 🙂

Here are the answers to my questions, followed by the links to three + other bloggers I have tagged so you can check out their answers on May 26th.

1.  What am I working on at the moment?

I’m currently working on the final revision of my novel, The Inheritance.  Through the years I’ve written a few first drafts that lay cozily tucked within a filing cabinet drawer, but this is the first I’ve chosen to carry through to publication.  Let me tell you, it’s given me a whole new respect for published authors as I realize all there is to do after the fun of getting the story down on paper–or to the computer.  The things I thought I was good at–like grammar–I’ve learned there is so much I didn’t have down like I thought I did.  However, now that I’m able to see the finish line, I’m getting renewed energy and enthusiasm to take my latest first draft, The Last Resort, through to the finish line as well.

2.  How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I’m not sure it differs from all others in my genre, or it would be in a genre of its own. But if I were to mention one area that I have noticed, it’s that despite it being women’s fiction and it has it’s share of relational content, it covers real life issues without the “drama mama stuff” that is exhausting in real life. I like to portray real life issues but also show hope–showing light in the darkness. I also try to avoid profanity and unnecessary crassness because I truly believe God blessed me with my ability to write and my love of writing.  That being the case, He is the One I want to please more than anyone with my writing. I choose to tell a story by honoring God rather than promoting what goes against Him.

3.  Why do I write what I do?

I write what I do because I love to read the kind of fiction I write – fiction that shares the joy of living a spiritual life without being preachy.  Although I love to read a lot of other genres as well.  And I have stories that come into my head that I can’t wait to share with others.

4.  How does my writing process work?

I don’t really have a tried and true process yet. I guess I could say it’s a work in progress to find what works best.  I work full-time in a job that pays the bills, I’m a mom to two grown boys whose lives I’m so fortunate to still be a large part of, grandma to one toddler and step-grandma to 5 , and wife to an amazing husband who I love to spend time with. Whew! So with all that, I try to write daily, but am not always successful with that goal.  With The Inheritance and The Last Resort I wrote the first draft in 30 days by participating in NaNoWriMo.  The revision process has been the biggest learning process and is what I’m trying to achieve with the least amount of pain. But the pain has also been my biggest motivator and teacher. 🙂  

Jacque @ http://godisms.wordpress.com

Marie @ http://writingwingsforyou.com

Angela @ http://authorangelachristinaarcher.wordpress.com

Amanda @ http://insidethelifeofmoi.wordpress.com

 

Clouds in my Coffee

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and having experienced Bi-Polar with my step-daughter, Becky, whose heart was so gentle and beautiful, I wanted to take this moment to re-blog this post from one of my favorites in the blogging community. 🙂

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For those of you who have never experienced mania, imagine your thoughts are 500 chipmunks simultaneously chugging a Venti 4 shot espresso, the rush in your brain takes off at turbo speed, all while you’re sitting quietly at your desk. Yes, I still can get squirrely, don’t get me wrong, but it’s my silver lassoed chipmunk power that get’s things done. That and a few cups of
“my precious “ Joe (my one and only vice) that fuels me.

Since being diagnosed with BP in Spring of 2013, I have learned to accept these manic moments when they come, and put them to good use. I form my plan of attack like the matador tames a bull, calming the fury with my silver lasso of clarity (step aside Wonder Woman) long enough to release that energy on a specific task. It’s very hard for many of us to contain those…

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