Epiphany At The Pump

>> Saturday, November 19, 2011

While freezing myself silly at a gas pump the other day, I was reminded how much I hate winter. We had high wind warnings and arctic chill that would have made a polar bear feel right at home, yet necessity and my Honda dictated that I brave the elements.

I generally get back in my car while gassing (because I'm a wuss) but for some unknown reason, I decided to tough it out. Intent on passing the longest 60 seconds of my life, I found myself fascinated by a seagull.

No, my brain wasn't frozen.

The bird was struggling against Wizard-of-Oz-worthy wind, attempting to go north. He must have been confused: aren't birds supposed to go south this time of year? The elements kept pushing him in the opposite direction, sending him sailing. He would ride the wave for a while, regroup, and then return to his northward path.

He was determined to not give in and stayed focused even though the net result was nil. It was like the proverbial 'one step forward, two steps back' theory. But I could see he was making progress

As I got back into my toasty car, I let out a cheer of encouragement that earned me strange looks from the other customers. And as I putted on my way, I kept thinking about the seagull.

Was he annoyed that the wind deterred his mission? Of course I would never know, but I know what my response would be:

Oh, yeah.

I get frustrated when things don't go my way. (Not a big surprise to many.) I whine, cry, and carry on. Then I rant and ruminate, get depressed, and often fold up in failure. The end result? A puddle of defeat.

What a waste of energy.

Do I give up too easily? Or do I pull myself together and keep going? Do I persevere in the face of adversity, trials, and the normal annoyances of life?

Probably not enough.

Things (i.e. the enemy) come against us in an attempt to knock us off our square. Whether we allow it or not is up to us.

The Bible talks about this in 1st Peter 5.8:
"Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour."
(NLT)

This tells me I need to be on the alert. Not fearful, trembling, or cowardly. But strong and courageous enough to keep going. And if I do end up in that puddle, don't stay there. Get up and keep moving.

But I also need to remember the most important piece of the puzzle: I don't have to do it alone. God's here to help me, even when the updrafts of life spiral me into a nosedive. I need to focus on him and tap into the help he offers me. And even if I get pushed down or momentarily sidetracked, eventually the wind beneath my wings will lift me up if I keep trying.

And then I can soar.

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Guest Poster

>> Sunday, November 13, 2011

I should have known. There are some things you can just take for granted and this was one of them. And now I have to deal with it.

I have a friend that I've known for quite some time. She's another writer, but we were pals before we both discovered our passion.

We don't see each other often, yet pick right up where we left off when we do. The last year or so we've drifted, each caught up in our own lives. Until I started a blog. Then like a hound dog after a rabbit, she came out of the woodwork, wanting to ride on my coat tails.

But since I occasionally need someone to help me keep posting on a regular basis, when she approached me about guesting, I decided it wasn't all a bad thing.

This week, I'm going to introduce you to my buddy, Miranda DailyLife. Don't get me wrong: she's a scream. And tends to be a bit high maintenance, running on the drama queen side of reality. 

I'm sure I will have to reign her in sometimes.

Thank goodness I didn't give her the passwords to my blog!

The timing is good since I'm wrapped up with NaNo anyway (just passed 24,000 words and a couple of days ahead of schedule--WOOHOO. ) Might as well turn her loose. Feel free to comment: the good, bad, and ugly. She's got tough skin and it will make her a better writer.

Here we go...hope you enjoy, "The Adventures of Miranda DailyLife"

Livin' The Dream


Me (mouth open, as usual)


With a deep sigh, I glance around, unable to believe my good fortune.  I'm sitting outside, shaded from the sun's glare by stately maple trees, pounding feverishly on my laptop. Occasionally, I field anxious phone calls from my agent who is hounding me about deadlines. Apparently, there are just not enough hours in the day to keep everyone happy that is clamoring for my writing. I decide to let her get all stressed out if she wants but today, with the sun shimmering, birds chirping, and the smell of newly cut grass, I'm having none of it. The scent of a blooming lilac bush wafts in the breeze as I end the conversation with “Chill out- you can't rush art.” Hanging up with her voice is still ringing in my ears, I figure she'll get over it—that's why I pay her the big bucks.

Life just doesn't get any better than this. I've retired from my “regular” job and able to support myself in a modest manner without having to supplement in other ways. (The thought of standing for hours saying 'Welcome to Wall-Mart' just doesn't do it for me.) The cat ambles alongside my lawn chair and the dog is curled peacefully near. All is right with the world...I'm livin' the dream...

And then I wake up--literally. I've dozed off in my chair (again) and reality has come to call. Oh good grief! It's 11:30 and I have to get up in a few hours. Seven o'clock comes pretty early and of course, the coffee has to be made before I go to bed--can't get up and not have it ready(it's that instant gratification thing). By the time I finally hit the sack, of course, I can't fall asleep. As I lay there, contemplating the cosmos, my mind wanders back to the pleasant place I was earlier. I drift off with one a final thought..someday...

The next morning, I get up and it all starts over again. You know what I'm talking about:'It's the Daily Grind! Step up and be the next contestant....and maybe you'll win a prize!' My reward?

Just making it through the day- that's what it's all about for me.

 Of course, some days go better than others.Then when it's all said and done, I write. It's my way to escape reality and check out for a while. Eventually we all have to come back; however, for a short time, I can go anywhere I want and be anyone I care to. No one has a say and there is no wrong way to do it. Like a bird, I soar...OK, I won't wax poetic—you get the picture.

So how do I reconcile the two?  My existence and my dream?

By entertaining through the silliness of my life.

You may smirk, roll your eyes, or even let out a guffaw as I'm actually pretty funny (if I do say so.)  I've found the ability to laugh at myself and since everyone else already is, why not capitalize on it?  Believe me, there is plenty of material.

While my complicated reality may be mere fodder for giggle-fests, I know from personal experience that often when we turn our focus on others, our troubles don't seem quite as bad. With any luck, my misery will outweigh yours...geez, what am I saying? Anyway, I think you know where I'm coming from.

Hang on and enjoy: it's gonna be a bumpy ride! 

And make sure you let Kim know you want to hear more from me. For some reason, she seemed hesitant to let me guest for her.

She never did learn to play well with others...

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Y-Oh-Y-Oh-Y

>> Monday, November 7, 2011

Thought I'd do my "Y" post for A2Z4U&Me while I had a sec.


In case you're wondering "Y", here is the answer: because I don't want you all asking "Y...Y...Y...hasn't she posted lately?"
Because...

I was on vacation. Had a wonderful time in beautiful North Carolina, spreading a little TLC on my BFF who is recovering from surgery. She is doing well. We shared a few giggles in between recovery time, numerous naps, and daily walks. We always have fun and even though she wasn't totally up to par, I'm so glad I got to see her.

On the way home from the hospital



Credit: S. Harracharan
Also: I'm doing NaNo
For more on that, click here
Progress update: today is day 7. I have 15,641 words done. Need to average 1667 per day in order to finish by the end of the month and right now, I'm averaging 2234. I like to get a cushion going at the beginning because as time goes on, it's easy to stall out. It's going well and I'm pleased with my progress. My current goal with "Photo Finish" is to complete the story (finally!) and ship it off to my editor by the first of the year.



And of course, there's always work, life, responsibilities, etc. *blah*


So there's my explanations (excuses.) Your patience is greatly appreciated!
I may be a little BEHIND, 
but just BEAR with me. 
Eventually, November will END.


Thanks--You're the best!

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