A Positive Spin #writerslife #amreading

By Ronel Janse van Vuuren

I’ve had an interesting month thus far. Well, “interesting” is putting a positive spin on things.

Tony spent a week at the vet’s: he was listless and losing weight for no apparent reason. After numerous tests (mostly to rule out the really scary stuff like cancer), it finally turned out to be a rare form of Addison’s Disease. And it’s treatable. Yay! He still needs ‘round the clock care by mummy (I have to watch his temperature, make sure he eats, make sure that what comes out looks healthy, give him his meds, keep him calm, etc.), but he’s home and looking a lot better.

Here’s a pic from last week at the vet’s:

Yesterday he barked at the neighbours! Fabulous improvement. I can only hope that he gets back to being my mischievous boy who always asks “why not?”.

I couldn’t write at all, of course. So I read. A lot. (I have reviews for Goodreads ready until end of September…)

One of the best non-fiction books I read was Jane Friedman’s “The Business of Being a Writer”. I only gave it four stars, but the reasons are explained within the review (see link).

The reason I really like this book is because I learned something new about my own published works:

“Short story collections are distinctly literary work.” And literary work doesn’t sell as well as commercial work.

Wow. And here I thought I was just a dark fantasy author. But it does explain the odd sales, amazing ranks on the different Amazon stores during launch week and glowing reviews

The book also gave me hope for the future:

“Committed writers succeed: recognise that most careers are launched, not with a single fabulous manuscript, but through a series of small successes that builds the writer’s network and visibility, step by step.”

Though the month hadn’t gone as planned – neither did last month – I feel positive that things can only improve from here on out.

On a side note: Tony is actually currently as grumpy as a faery dog character I’d based on him. Seems I know my boy a lot better than I thought.

Have you had any surprising revelations about your writing?

Ronel Janse van Vuuren is the author of New Adult, Young Adult and children’s fiction filled with mythology and folklore. Her dark fantasy stories can be read for free on Wattpad and on her blog Ronel the Mythmaker. She won Fiction Writer of the Year 2016 for her Afrikaans stories on INK: Skryf in Afrikaans. Her published works can be viewed on Goodreads.

Ronel can be found tweeting about writing and other things that interest her, arguing with her characters, researching folklore for her newest story or playing with her Rottweilers when she’s not actually writing.

All of her books are available for purchase on Amazon and other online retailers.

Connect with Ronel:

Amazon : Twitter : Pinterest : Google+ : Goodreads : Ronel the Mythmaker : Instagram : Newsletter

 

Wedding Receptions in the You-Tube Era

 Posted by N. M. Cedeño

 

 

What’s going on with wedding receptions these days?

My husband and I were apparently married in a bygone era, the pre-YouTube era. Consequently, our bridesmaids and groomsmen did not choreograph dances, put on a ballet, or produce a Broadway musical during our reception for the entertainment of our guests. I would never have asked them to do so. And, it wouldn’t have occurred to them.

Now, the newly engaged search YouTube for what’s “traditional” at wedding receptions. Because if it’s “traditional,” it must be on YouTube, right? And, if the newly engaged believe the videos online, then an important part of the reception is the “Introduction of the Bridal Party” who are called out by name and title by a DJ, as if he were introducing contestants on the Price is Right.

“Introducing the Mother of the Bride! Mary Smith, come on down!” yells the DJ as music booms loudly in the background.

The members of the bridal party then enter the room in pairs or individually, dancing into the room possibly with props, to the applause of the gathered guests. Sometimes, the entire wedding party then gets together and performs a choreographed dance number for the watching crowd. Based on YouTube, this is a required duty of the bridal party and an important part of entertaining the guests. The bridal party had better be ready to put on a show.

cakeclipnmc
My wedding cake

Not having been involved in any weddings recently, I had no idea that this practice had become so ubiquitous. Back when I got married, the bridesmaids went to showers, paid for a dress, showed up at the wedding, and posed for pictures. The maid of honor and best man had a few other duties as well: giving speeches and planning parties. So, when asked to be a bridesmaid recently, I said yes, not knowing that I would be receiving instructions on choosing an appropriate song for my grand entrance, selecting props and/or costume items, and, of course, choreographing my dance moves.

I have never aspired to be on Broadway or dance in musical theater. I have two left feet and no sense of rhythm. The ballroom dance class I took in college taught me quickly that my ability to see a dance step and then copy it was almost nonexistent. Imagine my shock when I received my instructions.

So of course, I told the bridal couple that my husband wasn’t willing to do any of that stuff. He’s a required member of the wedding party, so I threw him under the bus. The bride was surprised, but understanding. Having carefully studied YouTube, she hadn’t realized that bridal parties haven’t always danced into the reception. It never occurred to her that we didn’t know that entertaining the crowd with a dance routine was a duty of the bridal party.

In days past, I remember the bride and groom being introduced as they came to do their first dance. No one bothered to introduce the entire bridal party. Bridal parties didn’t do choreographed dances and post them online in the pre-YouTube era, that bygone era, before 2005.

*****

N. M. Cedeño writes short stories and novels that are typically set in Texas. Her stories vary from traditional mystery, to science fiction, to paranormal mystery in genre. Her debut novel, All in Her Head, was published in 2014, followed by her second novel, For the Children’s Sake, in 2015. In 2016, For the Children’s Sake was selected as a finalist for the East Texas Writers Guild Book Award in the Mystery/Thriller category. Most recently, she has begun writing the Bad Vibes Removal Services Series which includes short stories and the novel The Walls Can Talk (2017).

Visit her at www.nmcedeno.com or find her books at her Amazon author page .

 

 

Post written (c) Doris McCraw

hhj spc 3

For those in the United States, September 5, 2015 is the celebration of Labor Day. For many it’s the last hurrah of summer, the time to get the last camping trip in. For others it’s a day of food, fun and in Colorado Springs, the balloon lift-off.

WEEKEND BLUES

According to the Department of Labor website: Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

On that same website they talk about the legislation: Through the years the nation gave increasing emphasis to Labor Day. The first governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances passed during 1885 and 1886. From these, a movement developed to secure state legislation. The first state bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887. During the year four more states — Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York — created the Labor Day holiday by legislative enactment. By the end of the decade Connecticut, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania had followed suit. By 1894, 23 other states had adopted the holiday in honor of workers, and on June 28 of that year, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories. https://www.dol.gov/general/laborday/history

AGATE GU;CH

I share this in preface to the Labor War in Cripple Creek/Victor Colorado of 1903-4. Here then is a bit about labor and one event with ‘Just the Facts‘ as they used to say in the show ‘Dragnet‘.

On June 6, 1904, twenty-seven non-union miners, having finished their shift, were waiting at the train depot at Independence, Colorado. This depot near the Independence mine, had a 2:15 am train that would take these men home. Just prior to the trains arrival an explosion ripped through the platform, killing thirteen of the men and wounding six.

Those are the facts of the incident, they can’t be disputed. Nothing can change the outcome of that night. While fiction writers can use the event as a starting point, historians have to work with ‘just the facts’. But those facts can and have opened a can of worms when trying to make sense of what and why it happened. The facts and events leading up to and after the tragedy are murky at best.

In 1903-04 the Cripple Creek-Victor, Colorado mining district was going through the throes of yet another ‘labor war’. Ten years earlier the miners had won the right to an eight-hour, day with a wage $3.00 per said day. This strike started out as with the miners striking in sympathy for their ‘brother’ workers at the smelters in Colorado City, Colorado.

Events leading up to the explosion had been building almost two years with no resolution between the mine owners and the striking miners. The owners had brought in non-union workers to work the mines and break the union. After the explosion on June 6, the sheriff at the time investigated the incident, but before he could act he was removed from office by the Mine Owners Association (MOA) and the Citizen Alliance (CA). Some people believe he was removed due to his sympathy to the miners. The MOA and CA, it is said, believed he could not be an impartial. This action eventually lead to a riot in the streets of Victor which added a more to the total killed or wounded. In this strike the mine owners won, and the union labor lost. The opposite results from the 1894 strike.
Some historians think the CA and MOA planted the bomb to bring about the outcome that occurred. There is evidence that this may have been the case.

There are others who believe that the Western Federation of Miners (WFM) planted the bomb to get back at the non-union workers. Evidence shows this also may have been the case.

Historians need to weigh the facts, look at the sources. Even with all the ‘facts’ they may never get a definitive answer. The writer has the luxury of choosing a side and then proceed to tell the story.

There may never be an answer to this set of ‘facts’. Too many years and lost information make an answer an impossibility. We as writers and storytellers may use these ‘facts’ and create a story that might be closer to the truth. In the meantime, the historians are stuck with “just the facts”.

Labor Day, it can mean a lot, or just another holiday. Neither is wrong, but a bit of history never hurts.

Angela Raines is the pen name for Doris McCraw. Doris also writes haiku posted five days a week at – http://fivesevenfivepage.blogspot.com and has now passed one thousand haiku and photos posted on this blog. Check out her other work or like her Amazon author page: http://amzn.to/1I0YoeL

I’ve had two stories from anthologies released as singles. Enjoy!

Lost Knight cover
http://amzn.to/2bHg1Wq

never cover option

http://amzn.to/2bnlhh1

Angel Of Salvation Valley ARaines Web (2)

http://amzn.to/1P4JVV8

I’VE COME TO THE END…

 

Stephen Buehler CCWC2015 - 2by Stephen Buehler

I’m there. Just about ready to send my manuscript in. I have five small corrections and then it’s off to the publisher. I had sent DECTECTIVE RULES to this particular publisher before and she wrote back that she thought it was very funny and loved the PI’s POV, BUT, she didn’t like the main character that much. Say what?

She went on to explain that she understood that he was a new and inexperienced private investigator but she read him more as incompetent than inexperienced, doing things no PI would do. She thought it’s hard to root for a character like that. That was the first time I had received that note. Could she be right? I decided that since she felt this way, other readers, maybe not all, would agree with her.Detective Rules card

 

The publisher offered me a Revise and Resubmit.  She forwarded me detailed notes of her concerns and was most encouraging. I agreed and dove right in. As I made the changes she had suggested I found that I wasn’t happy with other scenes and chapters. I had written the draft she read 2-3 years ago and felt that I had become a better writer since then. (I have written a novella and ¾ of another novella, plus numerous short stories after Detective Rules.)

What I thought would be a quick fix became an almost total rewrite. Most of the action was the same but after reworking it, the dialogue became crisper and truer, not forced as it had felt before. The whole process took nearly a year. I sent the publisher humorous updates along the way to let her know I was still working on it. She sent back nice emails and kept saying, “No hurry. Send it when you think it’s ready. “Send button

Now it’s ready. With one click of a button it will be out of my hands. I don’t know if the publisher will like the changes, or even the rest of the story as she hadn’t read the whole book. But I do know that it’s a much better novel with her notes and inspiration and if she doesn’t want to buy it, there are more publishers out there. (But let’s hope she does.)

I’m glad I’m finally done with DETECTIVE RULES as I’m that at that point where I can’t read it anymore. I have my doubts that anyone will like it. All the negative thoughts have invaded my mind. Time to set it free.

What to do now? On to the next project…Convert my novella, The Mindreading Murders to a full novel.

Where are you on your writing project?

###

Stephen Buehler’s short fiction has been published in numerous on-line publications including, Akashic Books. Not My Day appeared in the Last Exit to Murder anthology and A Job’s a Job in Believe Me or Not An Unreliable Anthology.  His short story, Seth’s Big Move has been accepted in the LAst Resort put out by the LA Sisters in Crime in April 2017. He is expanding his novella, The Mindreading Murders about a magician into a novel. He’s just finished the latest draft of his mystery/comedy P.I. novel, Detective Rules. On top of all that he is a script consultant, magician and dog owner.  http://www.stephenbuehler.com

 

The Middle of the Road

IMGP6507by S. J. Brown

This past month, while catching up on blog posts it became obvious that I am really a middle of the road type of person. I became a middle child when I was 16. Maybe that plays a role in the type of person I am, maybe not.

I have seen lights in the sky I could not explain. UFO, well I don’t know. At the time I lived near an Air Force base. Perhaps it was an experimental plane.  But then again is it feasible that our planet is the only planet with intelligent life on it?  So like this Black Bear I am in the middle of the road on this one.

Bear

On the subject of ghosts, I waver back and forth. Having lived in an old Victorian house there were things that I couldn’t explain.  We had a persistent banging noise that could not be traced.   Also our dog at the time would sit next to the rocking chair, wagging his tail as if an old friend was sitting in the chair petting him. Things would disappear throughout the house, but eventually turn up.  So like this family of otters I have covered the left, right, and middle of the road on this subject as well.

Otters

It’s possible that I don’t have all the facts so I can’t make an informed decision on issues like these. It’s also possible I have other things on my mind. Some things people are adamant about simply don’t matter to me.  It doesn’t matter to me if the toilet paper roll is loaded so the paper rolls out or over, as long as it’s there when I need it.

When dining with friends some people want to split the check evenly, others want to pay for exactly what they ate. Since I am not a money oriented person either way works for me, again I’m in the middle of the road like this coyote.

Coyote

Long ago I learned to pick my battles. Does it really matter in the grand scheme of things, if not, I let it go. When my mother in law helped me set up the kitchen at our house she insisted glasses needed to go in this cabinet, cups over here and pots had to be near the stove.  I know it was my house I should really have had an opinion on this.  But wherever the glasses ended up that is the cabinet I would go to when I needed a glass.  If the pots didn’t work out well where she wanted them I could always move them later and tell her they just didn’t work well for me since I’m left handed.  So even on things like my kitchen I am in the middle of the road like this white tailed deer.

Deer

I am not a middle of the road type of person about everything. I do have opinions on a lot of things and I am not shy about sharing them. I recycle, buy recycled products and reduce the amount of trash that goes to the curb whenever I can.  I think it is our duty to protect this planet we call home for future generations.  When I am in someone else’s home I will ask them if they recycle before placing an item in the trash.  This is a subtle hint that maybe they should.

I plant trees with a local group; I think everyone should plant trees.   Why? When you plant a tree it will live and grow for years, even generations after you are gone.  They provide shade, oxygen and are esthetically pleasing.

Being cruel to children and animals is wrong; there is no wiggle room on this. So as I travel down the dirt roads of life you will find me mostly in the middle of the road. However when something gets my attention I will firmly plant my feet on the shoulder.

Fox

So where do you stand? What issues do you take a stand on?  Do you waver on other issues?

Thanks for stopping by.

Connect with S. J. Brown on Facebook and be one of the first to see what she has been up and view her Sunday Shares.

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S. J. Browns coloring books feature sketches based on her photographs.

CBCover Acover

Cover 3-26-23Back Cover 4-24-2013Close up and Close Encounters is available on Amazon  at

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=close+ups+%26+close+Encounters

Or get your autographed copy at S. J. Brown website http://www.sjbrown.50megs.com

S. J. Brown’s children’s pictures books are only available through S. J. Brown.

You can order your copies from her website S.J. Brown

Cover All the Birds I See Cover

Metaphors Are Fun, Creative, & Therapeutic by Cher’ley

 

This Blog  by Cher’ley Grogg

Metaphors Are Fun, Creative, and Therapeutic indeed.

     Lenny: Hey, maybe there is no cabin. Maybe it’s one of them metaphorical things.
Carl: Oh yeah, yeah. Like maybe, the cabin is the place inside each of us, created by our goodwill and teamwork.
Lenny: Nah, they said there would be sandwiches.
(Simpsons)

The use of metaphors enriches a writer’s story. Metaphors are the cherry on top of a banana split. Some people eat the cherry first, but many save it until last. The metaphorical cherry is the very last tantalizing bite of a delightful desert.

Hugh Laurie is the king of TV medical metaphors. “The liver is a cruise ship taking in water. As it starts to sink, it sends out an SOS. Only instead of radio waves, it uses enzymes. The more enzymes in the blood, the worse the liver is. But once the ship has sunk, there’s no more SOS. You think the liver’s fine, but it’s already at the bottom of the sea.” (Dr. Gregory House in the “Locked In” episode of House, M.D.)

The website Metaphorology speaks of some psychologists who have been using the term “metaphor therapy,” and they help patients choose better metaphors. For example, a dentist who felt timid, and was unable to express himself in a group was likened to soft clay.

With the therapist’s guidance, he questioned this metaphorical view and replaced it by seeing the clay harden into something else. Steel was the new metaphor he decided on; battleship steel, to be specific, and he even imagined the rivets in it. Within days, he went to a convention with hundreds of other dentists, and when an issue came up that was important to him, he spoke up. He never did this before, not even in a small group.

Metaphors speak for themselves. Aristotle describes a metaphor: Those words are most pleasant which give us new knowledge. Strange words have no meaning for us; common terms we know already. It is a metaphor, which gives us most of this pleasure. (Aristotle’s work on persuasion of the Rhetoric)

In other words, metaphors should strike up a memory, bring a smile, or add depth. A tool that is well used by many writers and overused by others. An overused metaphor is eating sugar by the spoonfuls. The sweetness coats the tongue and causes gagging sensations.

 

***Try one of these exercises and post your results in the comments section. Describe yourself using a metaphor. Describe your weather using a metaphor. Describe the dearest person/thing in your life right now, this minute, using a metaphor. What are some overused metaphors–How could they be made fresher? (I have written a small book on metaphors.)***

Cher’ley’s Books are listed below and on sale at Amazon and local bookstores.

Stamp Out Murder”.
 The Secret in Grandma’s Trunk” This is an especially good book for your Tween Children and Grandchildren
The JourneyBack 3The Journey Back-One Joy at a Time and the B&W Edition of The Journey Back
Boys Will Be Boys   The Joys and Terrors of Raising Boys-An Anthology
 Cowboys, Creatures, and Calico 

All About the Girls 5(3)

Fans of Cher'ley Grogg,AuthorAnd please join me on my Facebook Fanpage, that’s managed by one of my most faithful fans: Cindy Ferrell
Here’s a link to Cher’ley’s WEBSITE

 

 

 

WORDS & Women Poets

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Post copyright by Doris McCraw/Angela Raines-author

As promised, more poems and poets as a continuation of National Poetry Month.

We are writers, we use words. Words are our tools to make our imaginations come to life, be they prose, poetry or fiction. For many, poetry is not easily understood. Yet, for the poet, the picture story they paint with their words is golden. Poetry like painting is using brushstrokes of words to cover the canvas of paper. Also like painting, not everyone understands. But poets and poetry have been around almost since the beginning of time. Both women and men have used the form to tell their stories. Just look at the list of women poets and you will be amazed. Here is a list compiled on a Wikipedia site: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_female_poets It does not include everyone, but it is still pretty impressive.

Other than Helen, there have been women poets whose work brings out a corresponding response from me. I share with you some of these favorites and their works.

Leticia Elizabeth Landon – 1802 to1838. Google Books has her work “The Zenana, and minor poems of L.E.L” available for free download. She wrote in beautifully simple language, yet manages to touch your heart with her thoughts.

Sara Teasdale.gif
Sara Teasdale from en.wikipedia.org

Sara Teasdale – 1884 to 1933. Her poem “Soft Rains Will Come” speaks to the sadness I sometimes feel about humans. Twelve lines, yet the words so powerful.

There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;
And frogs in the pools, singing at night,
And wild plum trees in tremulous white,
Robins will wear their feathery fire,
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;
And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.
Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,
If mankind perished utterly;
And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn,
Would scarcely know that we were gone.

Dorothy Parker – 1893 to 1967 well known for as a founding member of the Algonquin Round Table. Also known for her caustic wit, a trait that is a double edged sword. Hitting the truth in few words, but sometimes that truth is painful as in her poem “Résumé”

Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you,
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren’t lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
Might as well live.

Emma Lazarus from en.wikipedia.org

The final poet I leave you with is Emma Lazarus – 1849 to 1887. Her poem “The New Colossus” is part and parcel of America in the nineteenth century. I’m sure you will recognize the words.

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

As you can see, we may curse when we can’t find the correct word. We can shout for joy as the muse sends them to us, but words are our stock and trade. As these women have shown, words are powerful, use them wisely.

Enjoy my haiku and photos at: http://fivesevenfivepage.blogspot.com

Angela Raines is the pen name for Doris McCraw. Originally from the mid-west, Doris now calls the Rocky Mountains her home. Doris is a writer, historian, actor,and teacher. An avid reader Doris loves to spend time in history archives looking for the small, unknown pieces of history. Many times these pieces end up in her stories or poems.  Like her author page to stay on top of her work.  http://amzn.to/1I0YoeL

“One Christmas Knight” Medieval Anthology
http://amzn.com/B017Z2BLH6

“Angel of Salvation Valley”
http://amzn.to/1P4JVV8

“A COWBOY CELEBRATION”
http://amzn.to/1GzwJhw

HOME FOR HIS HEART
http://amzn.to/1GJhpSu

Is It Worth Saving?

Post copyright by Doris McCraw

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For those who wonder, the program went well in Victor on March 19. Great audience and I was gifted with the pleasure of meeting the grand daughter of Dr. Kate Yont, who may have practiced in Victor, Colorado prior to 1900. She had someone drive her from a little over 175 miles away. The experience drives home how important it is to not give up on your passion.

VICTOR COLORADO
Victor Colorado

I admit there are times when I wonder if telling the story of these women is worth the time and effort to find them. For those who haven’t been down that road, sometimes you hit pay dirt and other times you just bang your head against brick walls. While the internet has been a blessing, there are still many resources that have not survived or are in small museums that do not have the resources to save or make them available for researchers. They have become so delicate that to even touch them would cause disintegration.

INTERIOR GOLD COIN
Stairs of the  Gold Coin Club

The current doctor I’m researching is Dr. Josephine Paddock. I know she was born in Illinois, graduated from Cutler Medical School in Nebraska and practiced in Victor, Colorado from 1896 to at least 1906. I know she went to California and lived there for many years, some with her son, then went to live with a daughter in Nebraska. She is buried with her husband, who died in 1895. His death and her schooling don’t match. More digging is in the future, but without access to personal papers or even news stories it can be difficult to ferret out the full story. These stories, at some point, become educated guesses based on the information available at the time.

GOLD COIN CLUB
Gold Coin Club, program was on the second floor.

I realize it is not feasible to save everything, but the researcher in me cringes when I think of all the information that may be lost due to lack of funds for small museums, careless handling of old resources and a loss of the love for the stories of our shared histories. So when I wonder if the effort I’ve put into finding these women is worth it, I just remember, there are those who will know at least some of the story should they want to look. That is what keeps me going, along with the gift of meeting the relatives of these special women.

Angela Raines is the pen name for Doris McCraw. Originally from the mid-west, Doris now calls the Rocky Mountains her home. Doris is a writer, historian, actor,and teacher. An avid reader Doris loves to spend time in history archives looking for the small, unknown pieces of history. Many times these pieces end up in her stories or poems.  Like her author page to stay on top of her work.  http://amzn.to/1I0YoeL also make sure to check out her haiku and photographs at http://fivesevenfivepage.blogspot.com.

“One Christmas Knight” Medieval Anthology
http://amzn.com/B017Z2BLH6

“Angel of Salvation Valley”
http://amzn.to/1P4JVV8

“A COWBOY CELEBRATION”
http://amzn.to/1GzwJhw

HOME FOR HIS HEART
http://amzn.to/1GJhpSu

Mindfulness

propic11_1This post by L.Leander, Author of Fearless Fiction

Have you heard of Mindfulness? It’s a word that is being used quite frequently these days. Dictionary.com defines mindfulness as:

noun

1.

the state or quality of being mindful or aware of something.

2.

Psychology.

  • a technique in which one focuses one’s full attention only on the present, 2013-01-04 22.53.31experiencing thoughts, feelings, and sensations but not judging them: The practice of mindfulness can reduce stress and physical pain.

the mental state maintained by the use of this technique.

It’s a hurry-scurry world in which we live and taking a moment or two out of our day is a good thing. It helps reduce stress, thus making us more relaxed and aware of our surroundings. In a counseling class I’m taking, we are urged to stop at random during the day, think of where we are, what we’re thinking about, and focus on what we are feeling at that very minute. It does amazing things for the body, for putting oneself in the here and now, not worrying about the past or future; making one concentrate on the present and helps to clear the mind. Much like meditation, mindfulness lets you relax and forget about the busy world around you for a second. Even that minute amount of time is sufficient to place one in a happier, more relaxed mindset.

There is a lot of research on the Internet about mindfulness but I wanted to write a short post, so I’ll leave it to you to do that search yourself. Here are a couple of links I liked when I Googled mindfulness.

I like the Bell of Mindfulness because it gives you quiet music to listen to and suddenly a gong rings to bring you to attention. Very good for learning to practice mindfulness.

file0001052140987The Bell of Mindfulness

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUzBYkOJOqo

I read an article I found in Science Daily that says mindfulness has been shown to make the workplace more relaxing and less resistance is found between workers. Science Daily – Mindfulness in the Workplace

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/03/160310141455.htm

You can go to iTunes and purchase an app called The Mindfulness App ($1.99). I think I’ll give it a try.

The Mindfulness App: Guided and Silent Meditations to Relax

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mindfulness-app-guided-silent/id417071430?mt=8

No matter how you choose to do it, try to fit mindfulness into your day. We writers tend to get so involved in our work some days that we get headaches, tense muscles, etc. Stopping for a quick minute could help alleviate that..mindDo any of you practice mindfulness?  What does it mean to you?  Does it help you de-stress?  I’d love to know

Books by L.Leander

Inzared Queen of the Elephant Riders Video Trailer

Inzared, Queen of the Elephant Riders

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Old Stuff Day and a Cliche by Cher’ley

This post by Cher’ley Grogg

When asking someone “What’s new?” or “What’s happening?”, how often do you hear “Nothing really, same old stuff”.

According to Holiday Insights, today, is Old Stuff Day, in recognition of this all too common response. It is suggestive of a boring time period, or a boring life style. ….how sad.

Old Stuff Day is not a day to do the same old stuff. Rather, it’s a time to recognize the boring nature of your daily routine, and make some exciting changes. Find new and different activities, projects, and hobbies. Attend an event. Do something, anything, different. You will be glad that you did!

I didn’t know there was a Flower of the Day or a Recipe of the day, but here they are.

Flower of the Day: Lilacs

Recipe of the Day: Pumpkin Cheesecake

More Information if March is making you feel Springy, here are some projects:

Raised Garden Bed Frames – For serious gardeners.

GardenHobbies.com – where you can learn all about your favorite plant

Birthstones for the month of March are Aquamarine,

and Bloodstone. And people born in March are known for their Courage.

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Pest Netting – protect your trees from deer

 

 

 

I personally love Old Stuff, since I never seem to have a nothing day, where the same Old Stuff happens, I have to think about getting rid of more of my Old Stuff.

I guess we can apply this to our writing, especially in the form of Clichés, but don’t you just love an old cliché once in a while?

Who knows what each of these mean?

  1. “More troubles than Carter has pills.”
  2. “I’m tired of being a broken record.”
  3. “The cat’s pajamas.”
  4. “All is fair in love and war.”
  5. “What goes around, comes around.” (My favorite from my Mom)

***What’s your thoughts on special days or clichés?***
Cher’ley’s Books are listed below and on sale at Amazon and local bookstores. And she has a new one that is freshly published with 11 other authors.

Stamp Out Murder”.
 The Secret in Grandma’s Trunk” This is an especially good book for your Tween Children and Grandchildren
The JourneyBack 3The Journey Back-One Joy at a Time and the B&W Edition of The Journey Back
Boys Will Be Boys   The Joys and Terrors of Raising Boys-An Anthology
 Cowboys, Creatures, and Calico 

All About the Girls 5(3)

Fans of Cher'ley Grogg,AuthorAnd please join me on my Facebook Fanpage, that’s managed by one of my most faithful fans: Cindy Ferrell
Here’s a link to Cher’ley’s WEBSITE