blog, Personal Essay, TTOT

Ten Things of Thankful – January 24, 2020

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Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

That’s right, folks! It’s January 24 and a FRIYAY! So time for Ten Things of Thankful or TTOT!! So, let’s do this!

1. Mom! This would be her 97th birthday year! WOW! On January 20, 1923 God brought this woman into the world and in 1954 I got to meet her! How lucky was I? The luckiest baby in the world, but I am partial to my mother. While she did not get to stay on this part of life long enough, I am grateful for having her for a mother, who I always called “Mom.”
mom

2. Paul, my cousin, who passed away this past week. I am grateful that when I was last back visiting in Iowa that we got to see him. He is now with his beloved Sally and the rest of the family on the other side. I am sure he is talking away as he loved to chat up a storm. Rest well, Paul, you were always one I could count on to make me smile.
Paul Niemann

3. Learning – I have been learning so much from fellow people in many walks of life, but this week I want to feature Deanna Martinez-Bey, a writer, cook and fellow blogger. Here is one of her blogs The Fiery Whisk Bakery. I am reading one of her books and it’s making me hungry!

4. Walking – I have had some difficulty with walking and weeble wobbles, so I devised a way to walk indoors. I am “trying” to increase my cardio without going kerplunk! I did get to the gym and use the bike on the weekend, but I am trying this in home walking routine and so far, so good. One day at a time, right? I am thinking of trying this video again as it helped me before:

5. This spot is for you!! That’s right! I decided to meet you in the middle, so why not take the steps to join the party? Here’s the link to join us! Even one thankful is perfectly fine!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

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6. Opportunities – I was having a discussion with my friend about how wherever you look, wherever you go, there are always opportunities to reach out and help others. We had that experience yesterday at the Dollar Tree, helping a lady who needed to find the right color flowers. And in the Living Poetry prompt “Service” was the theme. So, would you like to see the responses? you might see mine, oh yes you might or may… Living Poetry Monday Prompt

7. Glasses – I was at the blogger’s meetup and my friend and fellow blogger, Missy, had glasses to give us and I got a pair for my daughter. They are pink! Maybe she will model them when she gets them. Thank you, Missy!! Here’s Missy’s blog: Midlife Margaritas

8. Humor – So, I had a little fun this week with Medium. On Friday on post on the Friday Fix and respond to the prompt of the week. See what I did here and tell me if it made you giggle: Put the Seat Down

9. And many years ago I walked on water! Oh yes I did! It was ICE water, so there is that factor… Grateful I survived and that my partner in this did not fall in, that time… Here’s the story: Walking Across the Mississippi River

10. A Warm Bed – Not all people get to choose where they will live. Unless you call choosing between sleeping under the stars or in a tent a choice, then, there’s that, but I know I can lay my head on a pillow in a heated home. What made me think about this moreso this week was when I was driving and saw a tent pitched next to a fence. I am supposing that someone slept or was still sleeping in that tent. It is cold outside, even though in NC we joke about how that changes by the hour, it is cold and to have to sleep in a tent must be hard. Yes, I have slept in a tent on cold nights, but I was camping by choice. I had a campfire and I had warm sleeping gear, but it was fun for me. I cannot imagine that this person had a campfire or heat and yet they chose to pitch a tent and even take that risk near a busy road. I don’t know anything about this person. I don’t know their story. But I do know it is cold and I am grateful I am not having to sleep in a tent when I would not want to do so.

gray beddings
Photo by Andrew Neel on Pexels.com

blog, Personal Essay, poetry, short story

Writing Raw and To Prompts Opens up Possibilities for Creativity

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Writing Raw and To Prompts Opens up Possibilities for Creativity

Many times when we write it’s to some kind of theme. It could be from a prompt or thought finding a place on paper. Have you ever written raw? Writing raw is putting pen to the paper and writing whatever thoughts come to mind. When I took the course The Artist’s Way I found this technique to be most helpful. We wrote every morning in what they called the “Morning Pages” and there were no hard and fast rules. You just grabbed your notebook and wrote by hand (yes no keyboard) and wrote a designated amount of time. Then, you put it away and went on about your other life duties. In the course, you came back to the writings and from them could find things to further write about or learn from. It was very revealing to me about certain things needing focus and other things I needed to let go. It was a revealing and healing exercise. It also helped me to use this technique in other writing.

 

I am in an online group call Signs. It is a slow writing group where we write to a certain theme, but it’s not rushed. You take some time to write to the theme and just let it flow. No edits. Just flow with the theme and write whatever comes to mind. It’s another way of revealing to me, my innermost thoughts. It’s not completely writing raw as there is a theme or photo prompt, but it can end up being a piece that may not have one thing to do with the prompt. So, I would call this writing “Lightly Prompted.”

Another online group I belong to also has prompts and you write six sentences to reveal your thoughts around the prompt word. I have been a part of this group for a good while now. It has opened up for me to be more concise with my words and to tell a story with fewer words. Sometimes I write poetry to these prompt words and, one of my personal favorites is to do acrostics. The group supports each other with responses and it is fun to see what develops. Some have developed longer stories from their works on this challenge.

Recently, I started writing to a haiku/senryu online challenge where we have a picture prompt which we interpret and write to in the form of a haiku or senryu. This is a newer challenge and I am loving this. It is interesting to see what others come up with and is a lot of fun.

About once a quarter the Living Poetry group here in the RTP area has a Germination Workshop in which we write to prompts. This helps generate some rough draft poetry. You can develop poems from this and some have been published. The reveal, where we all share what we write is interesting as you hear so many points of view.

What do you write to? Are prompts helpful for you or do you prefer writing raw? I like to mix it up. When you are stuck or need a warmup exercise for your other writing, thinking long work report you must get done, try to write a haiku or short, short story just to get the brain warmed up before entering the demands of life. That is what I am doing right now. It’s gonna make for a much better day.

If you would like links to the online challenges please let me know. I am happy to invite others to join the fun.

blog, Personal Essay

E-Books and Print Books are Both Needed

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Frequently, there are posts about print books being the preferred method of reading and all the wonderful feelings elicited from holding, smelling and reading print books. Frankly, I am right there with these wonderful factors about print books. As I got older and had to wear bifocals. large print books became my go to books whenever I could get them. Then, I discovered from my friend who is visually challenged, that you can have your e-reader read your books to you. What a wonderful resource. I purchased an e-reader and discovered this was not only easy on the eyes, but it leant to relaxed reading.

What is the issue then? Well, because e-books are not universal, being up to the author or publisher, you can’t always get a book in this format. Then there is the library issue, where they may purchase e-books, but print books are still a priority. My friend needs to have books via e-books and I help her out by ordering them from the library. They can take a good while to have these available as there is always a budget to work with. They may not happen at all. My friend orders some e-books online, but that can get costly, if you are an avid reader.

There are other reading apps such as the audio books, but not everyone likes this method, for whatever reason. There are other resources such as phone readers and the National Library Service Talking Book Program. Searching online will bring up several choices. One of the easiest ways to reach folks is via e-books being published when print books are published.

This may open up a discussion of debate and is not meant to do so. It’s more my way of stating that there is a greater need for e-books to be just as available as print books. When I published my book, I first published it as an e-book and then followed right away with the print version. Most of my sales have been e-books, so I think the figures speak for themselves. Just something to think about.

blog, TTOT

Ten Things of Thankful – June 7

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Open Garden photo taken by me.

It is the 6th anniversary of TTOT and I am just a baby amongst this fine group of people. If you want to add to the party go to this LINK

  1. Open Garden – We went to the Open Garden event in here is Raleigh. They have this once a month during garden season. It was lovely to see so many pretty flowers and to watch the industry in action. Nice that they allow people to come in and take a look.  Here are some pics:

 

2. Health – We have been spending a lot of time at the pool and that always helps the joints and sleep! WOOHOO!! Also, I am still losing poundage.

3. The Kid – She is coming this weekend! Always cause to celebrate and make her favorites.

4. Writing – I am always working on projects and they are going well. My secret is almost ready to share.

5. Six Sentence Story – Here’s my latest one for this. No acrostic this week, so bear with me. Spaghetti and Meatballs

6. Poetry – So, I responded to this one, Go see if you can find me: Living Poetry

7. Getting Venues – As one of my jobs, I used to do community events for drug awareness and those old skills have come in handy as I am working on a project which requires finding places to meet.

8. Ten Things of Thankful! This is the SIXTH anniversary and I am thankful to have found this group through Wendy. Go see her blog at: Picnic With Ants I am grateful for Wendy. We met many years ago at a fibromyalgia group and have been friend ever since.

9. Fresh Produce – Most of what I cook is from fresh produce. As the crops of the country may be affected by all of the flooding, I have an even greater appreciation for having this produce. And I am super grateful for farmers for making this happen. Did I mention that local blueberries are available? Oh, they are so sweet!!

10. Summer Opportunities. Everywhere I look there is something going on for the summer. I go to Facebook events and can find something for about any day of the week and many of these things are free. If you want to find something to do, to get out of the house or a rut, I suggest checking calendars around as there is always something to do. Volunteering is also a good one.

 

blog, Book Announcements, North Carolina Finds, poetry, Short Fiction, short story, TTOT

Ten Things of Thankful – May 10

It’s that time again to share the Ten Things of Thankful. You can go HERE to see more and to join in!

This has been a busy week. I’ve been on a break, I suppose one could say, but it’s been a short feeling break. So, without further delay, here’s this weeks YIPPEES!!

1. Getting Away-We took off on a weekend to New Bern NC. It was lovely there. Here are some photos to tell the story:
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Tryon Palace – The first state capital for NC

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Handsome man at the gate of Tryon Palace

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Me playing peek-a-boo at the shuttle station

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Entryway to the stables at the palace

2. Art

There were all these beautiful statues in the gardens of Tryon Palace

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3. Nature and Gardens

Lots of beautiful gardens at Tryon Palace and Stanly House

4. Textures – this is a thing I have – I love to capture interesting shapes and textures. Things I saw in New Bern

textures

5. The Neuse River

I have several more photos of the trip, but I don’t want to overload!

6. Mother’s Day is coming up and if you are fortunate to have your mother in your life,you are blessed. I miss my mother, who has been gone for 31 years. In light of Mother’s Day last year, I did a post about my own motherhood. Take a look if you wish: Mother’s Day is Every Day

7. Remember the secret I have been talking about? Well, I can now share it. You have to go to this post to check it out: Simplicity Beckons

8. Six Sentence Story – it’s still going strong. This weeks is a rather sad tale and I may go back and visit it some more. Focus Lost

9. Weight is holding it’s own…Staying the same the past two weeks, but I did go away and that’s sometimes a challenge, although I must say that I probably ate less vs more and made healthy choices. It’s not easy on the road, so I am saying I am grateful for this WIN!!

10. Farmer’s Market

On the way home I got a hankering for local strawberries and we stopped at the Farmer’s Market and loaded up big time. Pretty much, I got produce for the week and lots of strawberries!

strawberries in white bowl
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