Wednesday, March 30, 2016


Looking over many different thoughts on the topic of creativity, I discovered that it is so very true that to be creative there are rules that must be broken.  You need to be able to do it your own special way.  Perhaps this is why I cringe when I hear an adult tell child that the grass should not be colored purple because grass is green.  Or that child who does not color within the lines being told they must stay in the lines.  WHY?  

It really is ok to see things your own way.   Allow each human to experiment with their own creativity.  Do we want everyone to fit in “the box?”  Unfortunately, we know the answer to that question…my little touch of optimism is that we all do not hold that belief. 

As we grow older we know and are all aware that there is a ‘box’ somewhere out there.  Those that are more creative are able to think outside the box.  Then there are those who are the MOST creative of all.  These thinkers are able to see things in so many different ways, inside the box, outside the box and then just kick the box out of sight, out of mind and move on to their own levels of creativity.

Whether you are using words, movement, colors or textures, it takes special skills to be this kind of creative thinker.  I truly believe that each of us are born with certain natural skills.  What we decide to do in order to develop these skills is left up to us.  And included in these skills is also the ability to be the best kind of creative thinker.  This will be what helps each person develop their own artistic natural abilities.

For me this means not only as a writer that I must write, write, write and then write more.  As Twlya Tharp says, “Creativity is an act of defiance.”  This will happen through continuing to develop my writing skills.  In all of my notes that I have collected this rings true with different words from different people.  There is no one way for each and every person.  The most important thing is that you find your special talent and practice it in many ways.  Forget the rules!  Break the rules!  Stop trying to be someone else’s perfect.  As for all of you writers out there….”Don’t be a writer; be writing.”  William Faulkner

Monday, March 28, 2016

Just Do It!

The "Just Do It" marketing theme for Nike could be any one's mantra who wants to accomplish specific goals. A quote that was on my day to day calendar stated that the wish you make isn't going anywhere unless you do something about it.  Every day, if you do just one thing, at the end of six months you will be somewhere. Marlo Thomas was credited with saying these words.  This truly resonated within me.

The wish can be whatever you wish for yourself or for others.  As much as I believe in miracles and of course a bit of magic, the average person has to take some responsibility in order to help their wish or dream to come true.  For example, some of my wishes are things that I must take some responsibility for helping them along.  I can wish till the cows come home, and no matter what, I will not be wearing that size 10 dress again if I do not maintain a physical workout and watch portion controls.   My other wish is to become a published author.  And is not going to happen without me doing a little something each day toward that goal.

What seems to matter is exactly how much do you really want that wish or dream to come true?  The subconscious is still so very mysterious.  It could be the very thing that may be holding us back at times.  For me, it is very important to get my mind set on specifically what it is that I need to do in order to help a wish come true.  Also, for me, I do not tend to do well when all kinds of distractions come flooding my way.  Lucky for me, I am now more in control of what happens daily in my life. There is such a thing as writing down a "to do" list and being able to accomplish most of it.  Do I always accomplish covering off my list?  Not just no, but hell no!  The list is still there for me and sometimes priorities change and I must be flexible enough to go with the flow.

As I have started my blog and joined in on Twitter, my network is growing with writers who all have advice, suggestions and feedback,  Some are just starting out like I am, while others are very well known authors. The advice that I have been receiving almost always fits into the the quote about not just wishing for it, but do something, even if it is just one thing each day to help make it happen.

So let me say a really good piece of advice from Nora Roberts:  "You can fix anything but a blank page."  SO.................... Write.  Write each day.  Write something each day.  There are three rules to writing a novel according to W. Somerset Maugham.  They are:
.....unfortunately, no one knows what they are.

So............... WRITE!

Friday, March 25, 2016


Product Details

After receiving many messages about just how hard it is to write a book, yet even harder to get it published, I decided that my mantra for the day would be about thinking of failures as weeds removed from the garden of possibilities.  (I tend to need visuals)  This little mantra was in a small little Spotlight book titled Success.  No one was credited for saying it but it made me consider my optimistic attitude toward what I believe in as far as my writing and life in general.

There are facts that I know, some of which I am sure that I heard or read somewhere in my life, that are so very true:  such as if you have not failed then you have never tried new things, or that failure can be a good thing as long as it does not become a habit, and one of my favorites is that failure is only a bruise, not a tattoo.

All of this leads me to a few of the famous successful people who did not give up because failure inspires winners.  Let me remind you (as well as myself) of a few:

  • The Beatles were told by a major recording studio that they have no future in show business
  • Einstein's mom was told that he would never amount to much at age 4 due to the lack of  his verbal skills
  • Oprah was fired from a small TV station because they told her that she was not fit for TV
  • Disney was fired from a newspaper because they said he had no imagination
  • Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team

And on this note, Michael Jordan admitted that he went home, locked himself in his room and cried. My point being is that it is ok to have a moment to take in the failure that faces you.  There will always be people who will tell you that you can't.  YOU must look them in the eyes and say, "Watch me!"  And then come out swinging and pulling those weeds to make room for your own garden of possibilities.


Wednesday, March 23, 2016


"You are never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child," so said Dr. Seuss. What an incredible man he was!  He was able to instill a desire to read to so many of us and continues to do so through all of his literature.  All parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, guardians need to do at home is to pick up a book and read, read, read.

It is never too early to do so.  As soon as a mother knows that she is carrying a precious life, pick up a book and read or tell a story to the unborn child each night. (Daddys should join in also)  My belief is that this child hears the calmness of the voice at approximately the same time each day and as he/she/they are growing so does their awareness of a special time.  And this is all taking place inside the womb.

Once the baby is born, the reading or telling of the story must always continue.  As they become a little older, they will get the book for you to read to them.  This will continue through the stages of learning how to read.  An 18 month old can sit with a book and babble out words that they know what they are saying and reading as they are matching what they know you have read to them.  If you pay close attention to their sounds you will even be able to hear certain inflections that you made when you read it to them

Then, all of a sudden, they are repeating the lines of the story over and over.  Dr. Seuss was famous for using nonsense words and repetition.  He was able to introduce illustration, alliteration and rhyme to literary concepts at young ages without children even recognizing this fact. As a former Reading Instructional Facilitator of a school district, as well as a kindergarten and first grade teacher, my intervention students would read a book to me that had this kind of repetition and illustrations in it and they did not even know they were reading.  In fact, I made a comment to one little boy about what a great job of reading he had done and he looked at me with his big eyes and said, "I did read that and I don't even know how to read!"  They amaze themselves.  And parents need to become aware that this is most definitely a stage in learning how to read.

Each night when I was a little girl, my grandmother would tell me a story at bedtime.  She liked to tell me different stories and I did like hearing them all, however, I could listen to her tell me the stories of "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" or "The Three Billy Goats Gruff"  over and over and over again.  Why?  Because she always repeated the important lines with the way I imagined that character spoke.  "And who has been sitting in my chair?"  Or, "Trip,trap,trip,trap."

So for all children the importance of having grownups in their lives who will tell and read stories to them every day is vital them growing up and becoming a part of the literary world.  Exposing them to all genres and authors is crucial.  Dr. Seuss just happens to be on my mind today, although the picture above is one of me reading to my granddaughter, "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed the Fly."  She loves to hear it and then go off on her own and read it as only she knows how.  She is 3 and has it all together.

In closing this blog today, I did find two other authors who had a little something to say about reading for children,  G. K. Chesterton believed that fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but tell us that  dragons can be beaten,  What a wonderful positive thought to instill in a child.  Then let me end on the note of advice from George Bernard Shaw,  He said to make it a rule to never give a child a book you would not read yourself.

Monday, March 21, 2016


This past weekend I took the time to view a short video clip about emotional intelligence (EI).  This is something that I truly believe in and every time that I hear about it, I learn and understand more about not only the subject, but myself and those around me.  It is most definitely a positive behavior and one that so many people, including myself, need to constantly be aware of and work on improving for our own health and well-being (not to mention those around us).

Just to put a summary out there for anyone who is not familiar with the topic, you must know that it has nothing to do with your IQ.  Your EQ is what will take you where you want to go.  Those people who are "over-achievers" and the successful movers and shakers of today may have the smarts, however they will never keep the success going if their Emotional Intelligence is not being tended to and nurtured. We need to have cognitive empathy, which is knowing what you are feeling, social empathy, which is being able to give your full attention to what is being said to you, as well as what is happening around you, and a willingness and a need to be there to help with a deep empathetic concern.  People who have these three characteristics will have better interactions and relationships and will be the better leaders.

Everyone must have a time to reflect on their own self-awareness.  This does not need to take a long time, just a daily brief quiet time for self-reflection, sort of a meditation, if you will.  Every person is different as for when they need their time......... I will be the first to admit that there are days that I need more than one time a day!  And that is ok!

Mindfulness is noticing what you are doing.  It is giving full attention to what is going on around you and being aware of yourself in how you are reacting or responding with empathetic concern.  The more positive of the two words is to how you will respond.  Reacting is giving, by definition in the dictionary, a more negative behavior to something that has happened.

The example that was brought to my mind instantly is why can I not watch news on the TV?  When I do, I become drained and very discouraged.  To use an expression that my mother used to say, "We are all going to hell in a hand basket."  That is what the news sells to us.  Why?  Because that is what sells.  Negativity.  What scares us fascinates us because we have to think about it.  It is like a train wreck that you can't stop looking at no matter how hard you try. This is how I reacted to TV news.

So, you say to me then how do you get your news?  I have become mindful of my reaction to TV news and I choose to respond by allowing me to be in control.  I am in total control when I am scrolling on the Internet for news or reading a newspaper/magazine.  I can touch on what I want to know about and stop when I wish.  I am aware of when I have had enough when I am reading rather than being talked to. This is when I am in control.   Mindfulness!

There will always be gory news, hateful events and things going on in the world that we wish were not happening.  It is just that now I am in control of how much my mind can take at a time by being mindful of what I am doing.   Yet I know that there will be news that I must read to be able to carry on intelligent conversations and be 'somewhat' worldly.

We just need to remember that there is a lot of good news out there.  The bad news is disproportionately telling us that the world is spinning out of control  (and I won't even get into American politics at the moment).  Stories need to be hopeful and compassion begins with getting yourself in shape with what is really going on all around us.  To say yes to life you have to say yes to life experiences.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Fascinating Journey

Life should always be looked upon as a fascinating journey.  Sometimes the journey goes the way that you are steering.  Other times, not so much!  Surprises pop up and usually at unsuspecting times. Some of these can be good and some of them may be difficult to frame it as 'good.'  That is when one has to take control of the steering wheel and drive through some of the detours that we all must take now and then.  Plan on throttling full speed ahead.  The most essential thing to remember is to use the detours to learn valuable lessons on how to solve and work through future side adventures thrown into our paths.  Each and every journey needs to become an experience in our growing bank of knowledge.  History tends to repeat itself, even in our everyday life.

How else, except first hand, do we learn valuable life lessons.  Others can tell us from their own experiences or we may read about them from strangers in books.  The question here for all of us is, "Do we really sit up and pay attention and apply it to our own situation?"  I do not believe that I stand alone in saying that we all are guilty of thinking that it would never happen to us.

While recently scrolling through some reading material, I found some studies that stated being positive concerning events that happen to us is actually negative for the human brain.  This optimistic Sagittarian had to take a  discriminating look to read between the lines of what was being touted for all nay-sayer Nellies to wrap themselves around tightly and fully embrace.  And unfortunately, most of them are just plain too negative to move forward with anything else written in the articles.  The headline was all they could focus on and believe.

This is my blog and therefore I will state my own opinion which is to take what has been dealt to you (and some of it is not always happy or good or positive) and grieve with it, vent with it, talk about it with someone close to you and then put this 'happening/event' where it belongs and think of the ways that you can use the memory of it to go forward.  It becomes an experience in your life.  These side trips should be giving us the strength and courage to pick ourselves up and begin again.  We all have so much more to learn.  Allow life to always be a daring adventure.

Side-note:  Beginning today, my blogs will be updated three times a week.  My goal is to write one each Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  Also, very soon, I will be including now and then some little teasers from the novel that I am writing and welcome any feedback at any time from any body.  I have a very strong "marketing advisor" who is leading the way for me.  All I must do is to follow his advice to the letter.  He knows what he is doing!  And I thank him with all of my heart!  xxx    

Monday, March 14, 2016

Getting In the Groove

To me, I find it a bit amazing that those who know that I am working on a book ask me if my book is finished yet? However, let's think about this knowing that we live in the real world, a novel is not going to get written and off to be published in two months.  There are so many external factors involved, at least for me there seems to be.

First, there must be some time to get myself in an established routine after the kind of chaotic day to day routine that was once my world before creative freedom was given to me. Sleeping beyond 5:30 took some time to get used to.  Never did I want to sleep my day away and waste a beautiful day to be productive in some way; it just seemed that there was a more civilized time for one to wake up to an alarm clock.  Finding that time, the next step was to decide what I wanted to do with that waking up time.  The old way was to scurry to the bathroom, shower, dress and become presentable, all the while having my precious, loving husband continue to bring cups of coffee back to me.  And may I add, he does not even drink coffee, yet he made the coffee with fresh coffee beans each night for me so that I could function the next morning. Then, if all went right, there may be time to grab a protein bar for breakfast before scooting out the door.  (With a "to-go" coffee in hand)

Sadly, I would pass a half dozen or so people who were outside walking, running or biking -- just getting their morning exercise in for the day.  Plenty of people told me that I too could do this IF I wanted it bad enough.  No! I did not want to go to bed at 8 so that I could get up at 4:45 AM to exercise and then be able to shower and dress for work.  That is exactly what it would have meant if I still wanted close to 8 hours of sleep.  And I know that I needed that.  This was not a want; it was a NEED in order to be able to be a civil human being.

Then there was the calmness here at home to get used to instead of having an intercom, a radio, a telephone plus a text on a cell phone going off with each person telling me the problem that needs immediate attention.  Mind you, this does not count the people who came to find me in person with their needs.  There were days that I wrote in my journal about what I solved in 45 minutes without batting an eye.  Most people, even those that I worked with could not believe it.  So, though it may seem silly to some, I can attest to the fact that the calmness that was my world now did take getting used to.

No time clock (not that there was literally a time clock before) or bells ringing telling me where I should be as well as everyone else.  So do I start at an official time?  My answer to that question is of course not.  I start when I want to start.  I may read the paper first.  I may check e mails, go on facebook, check out research articles that I need for references.  In whatever order I want to. It was as if a key had been given to me to open the door to my whole new world.......... and it was!

This is what it is all about for me.  WRITE.  Just WRITE.  How ever my books are published in the future will be determined.   The one thing that is for sure.  NO ONE can stop me from being a writer except me.  All I have to do is WRITE.

For anyone who may be interested (and I am hoping that soon there will be a large number of you) my goal is to WRITE a blog once a week.  I hope to spread out and make it once a day.  IF that is too lofty of a goal then I can always scale back.  Let me just say if I start setting a goal of once a week, then that will be good for me.  Because, the blog is but one small part of my writing.  Every day in some way, I write and work on my book, the first of many I hope.