What most bloggers don’t want to hear

write,writing,internet,social media,wordpress

Jeff Bullas has over 4 million followers at his blog @ Jeffbullas.com. He was ranked #8 by Forbes on their list of “The World’s Top 40 Social Marketing Talent” in 2014. He was the winner of Social Media Examiner’s “Top Social Media Blogs” in 2013.  He shares 27 blogging success factors in his post titled “What most bloggers don’t want to hear.”  21 of 27 (77%) hit home with me.

I started this digital platform built on passion, purpose and the beckoning of exciting new frontiers. It was invigorating. This portal to the world gave me a voice I didn’t know existed. It was a journey into the unknown. I created and crafted content, built connections on Twitter and published. I signed up for learning. It was time when Facebook was simple and organic. Content didn’t need images, screen shots and 1,500 words. It was the wild social west. When the excitement died down I realized what I had signed up for.

Read his 27 blogging learnings here: What most bloggers don’t want to hear.


Image: Karen Hurley Design

Your writings have fundamentally changed me. For the better, Marilynne. I believe that.

Marilynne_Robinson

She’s at the top of my list of favorite authors. Marilynne Robinson, the Pulitzer Prize Winning novelist (Housekeeping; Gilead; Home), was interviewed by Wyatt Mason in an article titled The Revelations of Marilynne Robinson. Her new book Lila is coming out this week. Here’s a few excerpts from a yet another enlightening experience with the author:

[...] For Robinson, writing is not a craft; it is “testimony,” a bearing witness: an act that demands much of its maker, not least of which is the courage to reveal what one loves.

[...] A photo of her granddaughter sits on the living-room mantle, adjoining a pop-up Christmas card from the Obama White House, where last year she received a National Humanities Medal. (In his remarks that day to the honorees, the president said: “Your writings have fundamentally changed me, . . . I think for the better. Marilynne, . . . I believe that.”)

[...] The novel (Lila) confirms many things, not least of which is how Robinson’s work is unified by her belief in a sacred world whose wonders we have difficulty opening ourselves to, both privately and publicly.

[...] “Being and human beings,” Robinson told me, “are invested with a degree of value that we can’t honor appropriately. An overabundance that is magical.”

Don’t miss the full interview here by Wyatt Mason: The Revelations of Marilynne Robinson.


Book reviews on Lila: A Novel:

  • The Independent: Lila: A Moving Journey From Poverty to Happiness. “…the human story dominates, resulting in a book that leaves the reader feeling what can only be called exaltation.”
  • The New York Times: “Lila: Moral of the Story.” “…is not so much a novel as a meditation on morality and psychology, compelling in its frankness about its truly shocking subject: the damage to the human personality done by poverty, neglect and abandonment.”

Robinson’s new book is scheduled for release on October 7th on Amazon: Lila: A Novel by Marilynne Robinson


Credits: Marilynne Robinson Portrait: The Independent

Word

black and white, photography

You are looking for the “right” word.

For a paper, an article, a story, a blog post, a presentation – – you’re trying to express a intense moment, a feeling, an emotion.

Words, sentences, paragraphs, a continuous stream flowing…your back and forth rhythm now rudely interrupted. You have hit The Wall. You can’t climb over without the Word.

It’s right there. On the tip of your tongue. Your mind is searching. You feel the Word. It’s Sizzling, Searing. The perfect Word to capture the moment, the feeling.

Yet, you come up Empty.

Your frustration grows. You use a substitute. You re-read the passage again, and again. The Word doesn’t fit. It doesn’t feel right. It’s an impostor. You go with it anyway. And it hangs, like an ill-fitting jacket or pair of oversized shoes.

Suppose we try to recall a forgotten name. The state of our consciousness is peculiar. There is a gap therein; but no mere gap. It is a gap that is intensely active. A sort of wraith of the name is in it, beckoning us in a given direction, making us at moments tingle with the sense of our closeness, and then letting us sink back without the longed-for term. If wrong names are proposed to us, this singularly definite gap acts immediately so as to negate them. They do not fit into its mould. And the gap of one word does not feel like the gap of another, all empty of content as both might seem necessarily to be when described as gaps. . . . The rhythm of a lost word may be there without a sound to clothe it; or the evanescent sense of something which is the initial vowel or consonant may mock us fitfully, without growing more distinct. Every one must know the tantalizing effect of the blank rhythm of some forgotten  verse, restlessly dancing in one’s mind, striving to be filling out with words.

William James, 1890

And, then you read a poem that captures this, all of this.

Magic.

She’s gone and done it.
[Read more...]

Blog is a slog?

blog-blogging-blogger

Excerpts from: When Blogging Becomes a Slog by Steven Kurutz, NYTimes.com:

The Petersiks’ trademark gung-ho enthusiasm seemed forced. And since the birth of their second child, Teddy, in April, they were increasingly voicing their difficulty in balancing work and family…the couple responded in a post titled “Feeeeeelings,” in which they confessed to “feeling off for a while” and missing the days when “we did this for the love.” Although they had scaled back outside projects to recommit to the blog, they were unable to shake the sense of “letting you guys down repeatedly.” They had decided to step away from Young House Love for an indeterminate period and explore other career options. The unexpected announcement has generated more than 4,000 comments so far.

Ms. Petersik responded in an email that “we really would like to clear our heads and refocus.” But they are not alone in their experience. Blogger burnout seems to be something that many of their colleagues in the world of home and D.I.Y. blogs, most of them in their 20s and early 30s, can relate to as well. Is the first generation of design bloggers aging out of the blogosphere? Or is this just a new twist on an old business story, updated for the Internet age?

…A tricky thing to avoid as a full-time blogger, considering that the Internet never sleeps, readers want fresh content daily and new social media platforms must be mastered and added to the already demanding workload.

…Pam Kueber…sees the Petersiks’ escalating stress levels and unhappiness simply as evidence of the latter: A passion turns into a hobby, which becomes a full-time career. “And in some predictable period of time, it consumes your life and sucks the joy out if it,” said Ms. Kueber, finishing the arc. “That last part of the Shakespearean tragedy is what you have to be mindful of not letting happen.”

Read full story @ When Blogging Becomes a Slog by Steven Kurutz, NYTimes.com


Image: Egozy

Happy Birthday Mimi!

Birthday-Cake-With-Candles-1

She showed up here with a comment in March, 2012. How? From where? No idea.

She rings the morning bell at the crack of dawn with a dash of wit or splash of insight – softening up the spillway for others to come behind her. Gentle. Grace. Light.

I’ve had a handful of guest bloggers post on my blog. Don’t miss: The Final Act of Love

Her post was recognized by WordPress as one of the best of the day in “Freshly Pressed“: An Ode to Entomology

Here’s an excerpt from her beautiful post yesterday on the Eve of a Big Day:

Perhaps that’s it – I still believe in wonders.  In fact I think I notice them more than ever before.  Wonder in the breath of the wind, the intangible, unbreakable connections that tie me to those I love.  Wonder at how much more meaning my days have now that they have fewer requirements to dilute the attention I might give to the sun on my face.  And while I marvel, I also realize how tightly I am holding onto this life.  How much I love the moments as well as the spaces in between, when I breathe in the absolute sweetness of being a part of it all.

Read more here: Suddenly Sixty

Happy Birthday Mimi.


Image Credit: calendar.org

 

Blog. Write. Share. Why? I’m an acolyte.

North-star-Polaris

From Steven Pressfield: Why, #3:

In many ways this blog is me talking to myself. What makes the thing work, if indeed it does, is that there are a lot people like me and they are dealing with the same issues I’m dealing with. So talking to myself in this public forum is, in its way, a meditation for those individuals as well. So I don’t ask myself, “What do I imagine others want to read in this space?” I ask, “What do I want? What issues are bothering me? What questions am I exploring?”

Don’t miss reading about “serving the muse” and “the irresistible gravitational pull of your Pole Star”

Is that an answer to the question, “Why am I writing this blog? Why are you reading it?”

May be. In asking myself these questions and publishing them in this public forum, I’m hoping a) to fortify and enlighten myself in this mysterious journey, and b) to tell you that you’re not alone, that your questions (which I can’t help but believe are just like mine) are not silly or fatuous or unworthy, and that at least one other person on this planet—i.e., me—is just as crazy as you are.

Read more here: Why, #3


 

The Joker

face-eye-portrait-black-and-white

It’s the end of a (very) long day, concluding with a work dinner. I drag myself out of the car, pulling my briefcase behind me. My shirt tail is untucked. My tie half undone. My shoes, dusty and scuffed. A disheveled, sloppy mess.

I’m hopeful that I can slither into the house and get a few minutes to myself. I enter. The house is quiet but for the soft murmur of a TV running on another floor. I slowly strip my shoes and socks, with my bare feet cooling on the wood floor. I’m in decompression. Hose me down with pure oxygen. Let Solitude rain on me.

And then.

There’s Thunder. Four legs storming up the stairs. Zeke’s bounding down the hallway. Dad’s Home! He wiggles in and out of my legs. Kissing (licking) my suit pants, leaving white slobber dripping from my crotch. Well that’s nice. Ah, just forget it. It just adds to your ensemble.

Susan rounds the corner. My Hummingbird spewing nectar all over. She’s talking. I’m listening. (Sort of.) The subject turns.

SK: Do you want some feedback? [Read more...]

Miracles

internet
Back in June, I shared a post on how I had come to be reading books written by John Updike, John Steinbeck and other literary Titans. The post was titled: Lit Boy. My college Professor, John Vande Zande, is responsible. Sadly, I learned that he had passed away.

On Monday, two months after I had written the post, an email settles gently in my inbox among a stack of 30 or 40 others. I see the surname on the email address. My eyes lock-on “from Vande Zande.” My mind whirs back to the Lit Boy post. I read the email.

Dear David,

Thank you for the lovely tribute to my father, John Vande Zande, on your blog. I also had him as a teacher, but I’m not sure a son appreciates this the way a stranger does. Thank you for letting me see him through your eyes. It would mean a great deal to him to know that he inspired you so much. He was always skeptical of his role as a professor. He would say, “What business do I, a kid from Big Bay, have in being in front of a college classroom?” I think the best profs do doubt their business in being in front of a room of students. It keeps them humble and it keeps them trying. The worse profs are probably the ones who doubt the business of their students being in the room.

Thanks again,

Jeff Vande Zande
www.jeffvandezande.com

John Vande Zande had a Son. He’s a English Professor. He’s a writer. (A published writer). And a poet and a screenwriter. (How proud would his Dad be of him today.)

And as Paul Harvey would say, here’s the rest of the story:
[Read more...]

But my miracle was different

sunrise

“The way I figure it, everyone gets a miracle. Like, I will probably never be struck by lightening, or win a Nobel Prize, or become the dictator of a small nation in the Pacific Islands, or contract terminal ear cancer, or spontaneously combust. But if you consider all the unlikely things together, at least one of them will probably happen to each of us. I could have seen it rain frogs. I could have stepped foot on Mars. I could have been eaten by a whale. I could have married the Queen of England or survived months at sea. But my miracle was different. My miracle was this: out of all the houses in all the subdivisions in all of Florida, I ended up living next door to Margo Roth Spiegelman.”

~ John Green, Paper Towns

Or, let’s change up the last sentence with an alternate version:
[Read more...]

Like me. Like ME. LIKE ME DAMN IT.

do-you-like-me-2

Bruce FeilerFor the Love of Being ‘Liked’ – For Some Social-Media Users, an Anxiety From Approval Seeking:

Walking through an airport newsstand this year, I noticed a novelty…I quickly snapped a photo and sent out a tweet to my modest list of followers…Then I waited for the love. I checked the response before passing through security. Nothing. I glanced again while waiting for the plane. Still nothing. I looked again before we took off. Nobody cared. My little attempt to pass a lonely hour in an airport with some friendly interaction had turned into the opposite: a brutal cold shower of social isolation.

We are deep enough into the social-media era to begin to recognize certain patterns among its users. Foremost among them is a mass anxiety of approval seeking and popularity tracking that seems far more suited to a high school prom than a high-functioning society…

…it all begins to seem a bit, well, desperate.

…Time for a rewrite, Mr. Shakespeare. This above all: to thine others be true.

…“In a lot of ways, the addictive part is in the anticipation,”

…”I noticed I get in this puppet situation,” she said. “I get bored, and there’s something compelling about being able to put something online, and all of a sudden there’s instant gratification of ‘They like me!’

…Maybe Warhol needs a rewrite, too: Today, everybody can be famous for 15 retweets.

…A growing body of research indicates how deeply our brains are wired to seek social approval.

Read full (and excellent) article at For the Love of Being ‘Liked’


Notes:

Related Posts:

Love them. What do I do with them?

words,write,writing,vocabulary,writer,blog,blogging

The Lori’s, the Mimi’s, the Beth’s, the… (I can go on and on)…they weave words. Fine, beautiful, silky words.  Effortlessly sliding around rock. Floating on air currents on a magic carpet. Drifting upward with red Helium balloons.  And then. There’s me.  Chopping. Hacking. Slashing. Racking my mind to find just the right word.  Blow after blow of self-flagellation.  It can’t be due to a lack of depth in (of?) vocabulary. (Well, maybe it is.) I do have a short list of magic words. I love them. Yet, I find it impossible to work them into a sentence. (Note to Self: In time DK. In time. You will work this list. It might be 3 yards and a cloud of dust, but you will cross the damn goal line. Yes you will.  And yes readers, you will soon find these deep blog passages of mine “imbued with sparkle and élan.”* Oh, God. Help me.)

Bucolic In a lovely rural setting.
Conflate To blend together.
Demure Shy and reserved.
Ebullience Bubbling enthusiasm.
Ephemeral Short-lived.
Ethereal Gaseous, invisible but detectable.
Evanescent Vanishing quickly, lasting a very short time.
Gossamer The finest piece of thread, a spider’s silk.
Halcyon Happy, sunny, care-free.
Imbue To infuse, instill.
Incipient Beginning, in an early stage.
Ineffable Unutterable, inexpressible.
Inure To become jaded.
Lissome Slender and graceful.
Mellifluous Sweet sounding.
Panoply A complete set.
Petrichor The smell of earth after rain.
Propinquity An inclination.
Redolent Fragrant.
Scintilla A spark or very small thing.
Sempiternal Eternal.
Sumptuous Lush, luxurious.
Surreptitious Secretive, sneaky.
Woebegone Sorrowful, downcast.


Sources/References/Credits:


Top 20 reflections on 2013: A Blogger’s Retrospective

blogging,funny,

  • 2013 Regrets? Zero.
  • Take any 2013 posts back? No. (But I do grimace at a few.)
  • 2014 Goals (Resolutions)? None.  Marching forward headlong.
  • Blogging Challenges? Staying fresh. (Not good enough. This one feels tired. Who cares?)
  • Grateful for? Followers, Likes, Comments, Engagement, Community. Re-blogs.
  • Secret for finding High Quality Content? (1) Read. (2) A silent partner(s). (Thank you.)
  • Wish I Had More Time for? Reading and writing. (Especially Reading)
  • Few words leaving deep tracks? “Lately, I’ve been leaning toward kindness.” (Gillian Flynn)
  • Best blogging platform? WordPress. (Can it get any easier?)
  • Request for WordPress? Make customizing blog design easier. Enhance Search Function.
  • Best writing aids/apps? For me (an amateur): All a waste of time and money. Skip them.
  • #1 Blogging App? Evernote. For clipping, storing, saving, composing, everything.
  • Most useful Utility Apps? 1password. TextExpander. Snagit. Dropbox. Alfred.
  • Most critical Reading/Content apps? Feedly. Mr. Reader. Tumblr. Pocket.
  • Best blogs to follow? Authentic. High quality writing and/or content. Succinct.
  • Wish I knew how to? Photoshop images. Understand Adobe. (No time. Zero competency.)
  • Mac vs. PC? Mac/iPad/iPhone wins hands down. Syncing and stability worth price premium.
  • Google Chrome vs. Safari (for Mac Users)? Moved to Safari for integration/syncing.
  • Niggling Nuisances? Spam. Self-linking. Guest blogger requests unrelated to blog theme.
  • Why Blog? Why not?

Related Posts: Two Years and Counting

Image Credit.  Note: “Got Blog” is a spin-off from the “Got Milk” advertising campaign.

5:59 am. Inspired. (And Thankful)

sunburst-morning-sunrise

Here are my selections for the inspiring posts of the week, this Thanksgiving week:

Jeffrey Foltice @ Photo Nature Blog with his photo above titled Morning Sunburst: the sunrise is near Hudsonville, Michigan. Check out Jeff’s other amazing work here.

Greg @ Sippican Cottage with his post Thanksgiving 2013: “…I think the worst condition of man is loneliness. It is a terrible thing to be lonely, or worse, truly alone. No one goes crazy in general population. It’s solitary that eats at your mind. Even the craziest of men, immured in stone, unable to get even a glimpse of the bright, blue tent of the sky, scratch at the walls to leave a message; to tell another that they were there… I am not alone in this world, which is good, because I have a melancholy nature. I am married, and I have children to throw rolls over the table at one another. They are my name, scratched on the unyielding wall of the world, telling anyone that will bother to notice that I was here. My family makes me calm about many things…People don’t often appreciate things that come readily to hand. I’m a person… We will have enough to eat, and sit in a warm room, laugh and wonder at the dogeared cards we have been dealt, and I’ll try mightily to shed the light that is my true function, to make me more fit for my work. We will all pray over our plate like children. Thanksgiving is the only kind of prayer that you can be sure will work, because it faces backwards. I tap on the wall of the Intertunnel, too. I often feel disconnected from my fellow passengers on this spinning rock, moreso each day. I wonder if some other inmate, some fellow traveler, might hear my tapping, and be braced by the thought of a fellow internee. I often hear tapping in return, and it refreshes me to carry on.” Amazing post.  More here [Read more...]

5:07 am. And inspired.

pumpkins susan licht


Susan @ Licht Years  kicks us off with her pumpkin photograph above.  Check out more inspiring shots of Autumn in a post she has titled Orange Crush.

MJ @ emjayandthem with her post titled Beautiful People:Traveling this week for business, I found myself tossed into a sea of humanity. Rolling suitcases. iPhones & ear buds. Cell conversations continuing as doors are closed. Electricity charging areas in airport waiting rooms.  Subtle manners not consistently displayed. Standing in line, I noticed something consistent in every airport I waited: no one looked at each other, everyone looked down …thumbs moving.   All this technology connects us yet people seem more isolated than ever.  ~sigh~ And then there she was…” Read more at this link.  And if you liked this post, don’t miss MJ’s post titled “Like That.

Bonnie @ Pagekeeper with her post titled: You listen, is what you do: “What do you do, when you meet someone and walk away from the conversation and a little voice inside says, ‘we need to help her’? You listen, is what you do. And you talk about it with someone who is willing to listen to you. Listen to you share your feeling of being moved by another human being and their misfortune, difficulty, hardship, heartbreak. You risk feeling vulnerable about caring so much. You push past the feelings of uncertainty. And, you listen to those  who encourage you to not lose the moment, to not let it pass. And then, you do something about it. Get busy. Make something happen.” Read the full, moving story here.

Sheri @ The Other Side of Ugly with her post titled The Way You Love: “You continually focus on living comfortably, being preoccupied with your daily routines in life because they give the appearance and often the sensation of fullness…In so doing you regularly forget to focus on the “what” you are LIVING for. Work? Money? Possessions? I think not. Wait I actually know not.” Read more here. [Read more...]

2 years. And counting.

blog, symbol,hand symbol,blogging

It’s arrived. My two-year blogging anniversary.  On my run this morning, I decided to queue up FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) that have been posed to me.  Here we go:

Q: WHERE do you find your content?
A: Three sources, listed in order of contribution.  (1) I read. (A lot). (2) Susan (spouse). (3) 3F’s: Followers, Friends and Family.

Q: How do you decide WHAT to post?
A: Todd Lohenry recommended Evernote. (I recommend Evernote.) I let content marinate.  If it still moves me a few days or weeks later, up it goes.

Q: Do you think you post too frequently?
A:  I do think about this. Mostly from the seat of the follower/reader. Then I revert to the purpose of this blog.  If it moves ME, it goes up.

Q: What has most surprised you about Followers?
A:  The blogging community.  Period.  And, that so many in the Community take time to comment and share their insights and inspirations.  I look forward to many of you tuning in each morning.  When you don’t, I find I miss it.  You are ENABLERS.  Shame on you.

[Read more...]

4:05 am. And inspired.

White Mountain Hotel New Hampshire


Eunice @ My Portfolio – Taken With My Eyes Wide Open with her spectacular shot (above) which she has titled: White Mountain Hotel As Autumn Arrives.  (White Mountain Hotel is in New Hampshire.) Check out Eunice’s other amazing shots here.

Lauren @ Thanky with her post titled Aware: “I saw an owl tonight, and it was the most beautiful thing I’ve seen in a long time. The faintest bit of light remained in the sky, and in a matter of minutes the trees would be silhouetted against a dark night. But I could clearly see the treetops, and something was circling overhead. With a graceful spiral motion, it landed gently on a branch up high...” Read more here. Lauren writes about something she is thankful for each day.  Be sure to check out her blog.

Carol @ Radiating Blossom with her share of a poem by Jane Hirschfield titled When Your Life Looks Back:

When your life looks back—
as it will, at itself, at you—what will it say?

Inch of colored ribbon cut from the spool.
Flame curl, blue-consuming the log it flares from.
Bay leaf. Oak leaf. Cricket. One among many.

Your life will carry you as it did always,
with ten fingers and both palms,
with horizontal ribs and upright spine,
with its filling and emptying heart,
that wanted only your own heart, emptying, filled, in return.
You gave it. What else could you do?

…Read more at this link. [Read more...]

4:48 am. And Inspired.

photography,memorial,terrorist,attack


Good Wednesday morning. Here are my selections of the inspiring posts of the week:

Elisa Ruland @ South of Easton with her beautiful post titled Despairin memoriam to those who died on 9-11:  “Scouring the rusted steel edges I wanted to find an explanation for the madness, I wanted to feel something instead of going numb, to find beauty in the ugliness.  The pain, horror and confusion was palpable in the blast etched remains of the steel, and the need to walk away was overwhelming.  I left without any answers to calm the static...”  That is Elisa’s photograph above.  Read more at this link.  Check out her other wonderful posts and photographs at this link.

LouAnn @ On the HomeFront with her post titled “Beauty and Grace.” You are asked to write 6 words that describe what your future holds for you.  What are your six words?  Go to this link and read LouAnn’s story.

The Kindness Blog with a post titled: “Go Humans.”  I just began following this blog which posts and shares heartwarming morsels of humanity each day.  Check out this post at at this link.  Take a moment to fan through the other posts over the past week.  I’m convinced you’ll feel a change.

Cristi Moise @ Simple & Interesting his share: People Seeing Their Younger Self in The Mirror. “Tom Hussey is an award-winning lifestyle advertising photographer based in Dallas, Texas. In a series entitled Reflections, Hussey shows a series of elderly people looking in a mirror at their younger self.” Moving.  You’ll find one of Hussey’s pictures below.  You must see the others at this link.

Have a great hump day.

portrait,photography

 


4:04 am. And Inspired.

swimming in the rain


Good Wednesday morning. Here are my selections of the inspiring posts of the week:

Jon-Mark Davey with his post: Life Changing Moment: “Nothing changes your life like a life-changing moment. It may sound pretty obvious, but that statement doesn’t have real impact until a moment changes your life. One certainly changed ours.” Heartbreaking.  Read more at this link.

Make Believe Boutique (back again) with her share titled The Twinkling Stars Behind Our Sorrow: “…It is rare to meet a person whose life is full of gratitude. Even though the course of a single day may bring innumerable blessings to us, the few moments of genuine gratitude we experience are often overshadowed by our complaints, disappointments, sorrow, and frustration…” Read more at this link. [Read more...]

Note from a Follower. And a Friend.

walkaway_crop380w

Most of you reading this post are WordPress followers. I’m sure that you, like me, often wonder who the human being is behind the curtain for certain members of your comment “community.” Sonia is one of those followers for me. Except she’s not a WordPress follower, but an email subscriber. I continue to shake my head in wonder at the wonderful network that is established in blogging. I reached out to Sonia following a comment interchange and I asked her to share a bit with me about her.

In April, 2012, ~ six months after this blog was launched, Sonia signed up to receive email posts. Sonia, 25, is a Muslim. She is from Karachi, the largest city in Pakistan and the third largest city in the world. (Pop: 23 million.) Sonia is pursuing an MBA in Human Resources and is two courses and a thesis away from graduation. She also works as a Corporate Coordinator at a major multinational Health Insurance Company.

I asked Sonia how she found my blog.  She said that she “was searching the internet for articles and ended up in the world of Blogs. Now among the millions of bloggers, why did I subscribe to your Blog? A million dollar question! I used to have (write) conversations with life (in a childish diary that I have) and I was surprised to find you having a conversation with your Mind in one of your posts. I was awestruck because in last 5 years of my conversations, I never came across a person who did that. So I subscribed to follow your blog.

(Note to self: Someone halfway across the world types “Bloggers Talking To Themselves” into the Google Search box and on Page 1 of the Google Search landing page they find me.  Oh Boy.) [Read more...]

4:02 am. And Inspired.

portrait, girl,child


Good Wednesday morning. Here are my selections of the inspiring posts of the week:

Mona Howard @ Ramblings with her post titled: Practicing with my favorite model. That’s a picture of her granddaughter above. Be sure to check out Mona’s slide show at this link.  Children.  Miracles. (As is the photographer’s work.)

Marga @ Life As Improv with her poem titled Going It Alone (With Others): “…Going deep is a solitary thing. Aloneness is  guarded at my gate – Hours of no thing. I sew into my pocket by hand. I would gulp you silence in a chalice…”  Then she closes with a wonderful quote from John O’Donohue: “…Until you learn to inhabit your aloneness, the lonely distraction and noise of society will seduce you into false belonging, with which you will only become empty and weary. When you face your aloneness, something begins to happen…This is slow work; it takes years to bring your mind home.”  Read Marga’s entire poem and O’Donohue’s full quote here.

Yvonne @ MISIFUSA’s Blog with her post: Pink Post ~ Life After Breast Cancer: “…But it’s not all flowery after you’re through with the treatments.  As many who have endured disease and illness, the aftermath is often the hardest…Because what the hell do I do now?  There’s no one to tell you how to live after you’ve endured the ugliness of cancer, the treatments, the surgeries, the chemo,  the radiation, the humiliation, the poking and prodding by others.  Family and friends are weary from care-taking and the disruption to their lives.  All are ready for life to get back to normal ~ as are you…”  Read more at this link. [Read more...]

3:48 am. And Inspired.

Buddha, Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand


Good Wednesday morning. Here are my selections of the inspiring posts of the week:

kingdomany’s photostream with his shot (above) of Buddha in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.

Steve Layman @ with his share: More from the good old days………….:Here’s words you don’t hear anymore:…Wash your feet before you go to bed, you’ve been playing outside all day barefooted…Why can’t you remember to roll up your britches legs? Getting them caught in the bicycle chain so many times is tearing them up….Don’t you go outside with your school clothes on!…Be sure and pour the cream off the top of the milk when you open the new bottle…Open the back door and see if we can get a breeze through here, it is getting hot”…Read more @ this link. 

Brenda Knowles @ Space2Live with her video post titled: The Space We Need. “Something new for space2live… a short film (5 minutes, it’s worth it).  A visual to enhance the many words spilled on the pages of this site. Through filmmaker, Nic Askew’s, beautiful lens the experience, rather than the explanation, of an introvert is captured and shared in a soul biography. You’ll feel the honesty and vulnerability.  Enjoy.” Watch film at this link. [Read more...]

Seldom in doubt, often wrong.

funny

Yahoo Mail.

Date Established: July 13, 2007
Date Sunsetted: August 14, 2013
6 years, almost to the day.

18,022 emails sent.
9,035 emails saved.

Loved the clean interface.
Loved the familiarity.
Loved coming to the warm hearth of home with every login.

Didn’t love its inability to import all of my contacts.
(Man has 10 friends, including family, yet has 2318 contacts. And the question would be, WHY?)
And, deplored the recent freezing and lock-ups.

Before making a change of this magnitude,
Many would research, inquire, ponder, pause.
It would have taken a second or two to Google “Six.”
Six Years on Yahoo Mail.
Wiki would have told me
that God, who I’ve yet to find,
would have said “Seven stands for completeness.”
And “Six stands for things that fall short of God’s standards.”
It would have been a signal.
To slow down.
To pause.
To wait another year.
A flashing red light from above.

[Read more...]

6:34 am. And Inspired.

Logan's Pass, photography


Good Wednesday morning.  Late start today.  Here are my selections of the inspiring posts of the week:

Ivon Prefontaine @ Teacher As Transformer with his post: “Glacier Park Mountains, Glaciers, and Logan’s Pass.” That’s one of his shots above.  Be sure to check out the others at this link.  Inspiring…as is his blog…a daily stop.  (Ivon, this one made me home sick.)

Nancy Roman @ Not Quite Old with her post: “Shouldn’t I have this?….Shouldn’t I have all of this?” “I want to live in a little house with a big porch on the seashore. I want to live in an apartment in New York City with a geranium on the fire escape. I want crisp white sheets and gingham curtains. I want gilded mirrors and french porcelain…I want a peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich with a side of potato chips. I want to appear before sold-out crowds who laugh and applaud. I want to go for weeks without seeing another human being. I want to write poetry that makes people cry…” Wonderful post.  Read more at this link.

Michael Wade @ Execupundit with his post: Swamps.  Where he lists 20 “swamps” starting with “always keeping score.” [Read more...]

3:54 am. And Inspired.

7-27-13-sunflower-jpeg

Good Wednesday morning. Here we go with my selections of the inspiring posts of the week…

  1. Carol @ Radiating Blossom – Flowers @ Words with her sunflower photography up top.  Check out more great photos here.
  2. Anake Goodall with his share 62 of the World’s Most Beautiful Libraries.
  3. Sandy Sue @ A Mind Divided with her post: A Break in the Weather: “…Earlier in the week I had a Come to Jesus meeting with myself.  When the depression bottoms out, all my demons swell up like roadkill on a hot day—gassy and explosive.  Out trotted All the Reasons My Life is Shit.  I won’t bore you with details, just to say there it is an unholy pantheon of gremlins.  And when said pantheon gets gassy and explosive, the splatter perimeter is vast…
  4. Christy Boyce @ 77 Ways To Grow with her post: Car Crazies!: “So unexpected. Such a feeling of freedom in an unexpected place. I crank up the music and roll down the windows.  I am a Mom with NO KIDS in my car!…[Read more...]

3:59 am. And Inspired.

New Zealand-lake-mountain

Good Wednesday morning. Here we go with my selections of the inspiring posts of the week…

  1. Up top, you see a photograph by Nitzus, photographer extraordinaire who shares a shot from Mount Cook National Park in New Zealand.  I’ve never been to Kiwi-Land but this shot inspires me to do so.  Check out more great photos here.
  2. Letters of Note with a post titled: It’s a strange and confusing world: …In October 1974, as he lay on his death bed at the end of a battle with cancer and reflected on his past, Clyde S. Shield wrote the following heartfelt letter to his 3-week-old grandson and offered some poignant advice for the road ahead…If I could package (with ribbon) those gifts that I would most like to give you, I would. But how do you package integrity, how do you wrap honesty, what kind of paper for a sense of humor, what ribbon for inquisitiveness?…Read more of this moving post at this link.
  3. Michael Baer’s Stratecution Stories with his post (a letter to his son who is graduating from high school): Letter to A Graduate – Some Rules to Live By: slow and steady is a solid approach to success. You will enter into college, and into life, with a huge amount of enthusiasm and passion. You will be impatient for success and expecting speedy movement forward. But know that things can take time. And much of life is beyond your control – all you can control is how you deal with things. So keep plugging away, taking advantage of opportunities as they present themselves, and good things will happen…Read 9 other Rules at this link. [Read more...]

4:01 am. And Inspired.

mayne island - Terrill Welch


Good Wednesday morning. Here we go with my selections of the inspiring posts of the week…

  1. Up top, you see a photograph by Terrill Welch, photographer and painter extraordinaire from Mayne Island, British Columbia.  Check out her featured photographs here and her featured oil paintings here.
  2. Yoni Freedhoff @ Weighty Matters with a share that he describes as one of the most gripping, harrowing and tragic articles I’ve ever read.  < 500 words. I read it a week ago.  And still can’t shake it.  Read the article titled Fatal Distraction.
  3. Sandy @ Another Lovely Day with her post: report from my in-box: 6•27•13.  Our good friend Sandy had accumulated 20,000 emails in her inbox and has decided to finally deal with it.  My neuroses would have exploded.  She, on the other hand, is unfazed.  I am inspired.  Read on at this link. [Read more...]

4:50 am. And Inspired.

art, waterfalls


Good Wednesday morning. It’s been a long time in recognizing my favorite posts of the week.  Here we go…

  1. JT Weaver with his post titled The Last Visit:  “This was the last time I would ever be allowed to enter the home of my youth and I knew it…There was still a familiarity when we pulled in and parked the car in front of the garage.  The grass that I had mowed so often as a teenager and the driveway I had swept as one of my chores, all seemed so real and so current to me.  The garage door opened with that same squeaky sound I had known for 50 years…Just entering the kitchen I could feel and smell it.  Not the musty smell from years of neglect while the house was for sale, but those many meals that were cooked here.  I could feel the bustling of dozens of people around a holiday meal with the loud chatter everywhere…Read more at this link.
  2. A Busy Mind Thinking with her post titled A Day In The Life – When You Are Trapped In Your Body: “…Prior to illness this was my routine…I worked full time. I drove my children to and from school. I attended all school and sports related activities. Twice a month I would go dancing with my sister. I worked out in a gym 3 to 5 times a week…You would have to see my body to appreciate how it (now) appears. My fingers, hands and arms curl up. My legs are swollen and my toes are discolored. If I can walk a few steps I am significantly bent over. I cannot straighten myself up or be helped to do so. These are the facts. Sometimes, due to the paralysis nature of my illness, it affects my facial muscles and my neck on the right side. This in turn affects my ability to speak, to chew food, to swallow, to smile, to breathe, to not choke…WHEN YOU ARE TRAPPED IN YOUR BODY all sorts of things change. So here is my average day now…”  Read more at this link. [Read more...]

We are, in other words, one another’s virtual enablers

Word Press & Facebook Like Symbols

NY Times, Sunday, June 16, 2013: Facebook Made Me Do It (Excerpts)

…That feedback loop of positive reinforcement is the most addictive element of social media. All those retweets, likes and favorites give us a little jolt, a little boost that pushes us to keep coming back for more. It works whether or not we post the typical social media fodder of lush vacation pictures and engagement announcements or venture into realms that showcase our most daredevilish antics and risqué behavior.

…Our growing collective compulsion to document our lives and share them online, combined with the instant gratification that comes from seeing something you are doing or experiencing get near-immediate approval from your online peers, could be giving us more reason to act out online, for better or for worse.

…We are, in other words, one another’s virtual enablers.

…the vast amplification of the potential audience a single person can reach has raised the stakes for all online activity.

…“It’s performative.”


Source: The New York Times: Facebook Made Me Do It by Jenna Wortham, Technology reporter

4:22 am. And Inspired.

sunrise in the woods


Good Wednesday morning. Here we go on my ride of inspiring posts of the week:

  1. LouAnn @ On The Home Front with her post titled Remembering June:  “  Remember June when you were a kid? It was warm outside and the last thing you wanted to do was sit in a classroom.  Yet, you had to endure exams even if you wanted to be playing baseball, or skipping rope, or just doing nothing. Remember when exams were over, and it seemed silly to still be in school? ....Read more of this nostalgic post at this link.
  2. Sandy Sue @ A Mind Divided with her post Finding the Rhythm: “…We become mesmerized by the details of our lives, by our hardships, by our opinions and beliefs.  Our minds race to find evidence to shore up our convictions.  We suffer and claim the suffering of others.  But we can feel it, the offness of it.  We are out of sync, forcing a rhythm that is not ours.  We pile on more tasks, enlarge our circle of worry, to distract us from the discomfort.  It doesn’t occur to us to stop.  We slide over that notion, because to stop would be too painful.  To stop would threaten all we believe about ourselves and the world.  To stop might invite change…”  Read more of this wonderful post @ this link.
  3. Ray @ A Simple, Village Undertaker with his post: Point – Dad:  “…A teenage boy had just passed his driving test and inquired of his father as to when they could discuss his use of the car.  His father said he’d make a deal with his son: “You bring your grades up from a C to a B average, study your Bible, and get your hair cut. Then we’ll talk about the car.””  If you are a Parent, you’ll enjoy the rest of this story at this link. [Read more...]

5:33 am. And Inspired.

Foggy reflection of the rising sun


Good Thursday morning. Here we go on my ride of inspiring posts of the week:

  1. Diana Schwenk @ Talk to Diana with her post titled What Can Compare to Love?:  “…Ahh the beautiful things I have seen;  like sunsets/rises, the detailed design and brilliant colours on butterflies, the turquoise lakes in the Canadian Rocky Mountains…and the beautiful sounds I have heard;  like the waves crashing on the shore, the wind blowing through autumn leaves, the crickets’ song at night, a lone wolf howling at the moon…and the beautiful textures I have touched or been touched by;  walking barefoot on lush grass, feeling the warmth of the sun on my face, the cleansing coolness of water on a hot day…and the beautiful things I have tasted;  like a crisp and juicy apple freshly picked from a tree, bread fresh from the oven slathered in butter, a cold beer on a hot day...Read more of this wonderful post at this link.
  2. Katy @ k8edid with her post Stuck in the Middle (Age) With You: “…#4 Half the Distance Takes You Twice as Long:  I can no longer open jars by myself, my eyesight is failing faster than my vision insurance covers new lenses, and my teeth are wearing down.  I have fillings older than many billionaire CEO whippersnappers and they are working loose at an alarming rate (the fillings – not the CEOs).  My joints are achy and any rapid movements could land me in traction.  While I don’t yet need a hover-round, I am not exactly zipping about on foot, either.  I’ve traded sexy shoes for comfortable ones.  I spend 2 hours a day on exercise – an hour dreading it, half an hour trying to talk myself into it (by promising myself a bowl of ice cream afterward), and 30 minutes letting the dog drag me down the sidewalk”…Wonderful post (true and funny).  Read more @ this link.
  3. Dr. James Stratford @ Beyond the Call with his post: Finding our Bliss:  “We’ve all had them, those moments when we’re reminded just why it is that we love what we do…When we find our bliss we find what we love, we connect with it at a deep level, and through it we experience more of ourselves just as we also let go of any fears or doubts.”  Read about his Dr. Stratford’s specific moments of bliss at this link. [Read more...]

4:03 am. And Inspired.

sunrise over black sea


Good Wednesday morning. Inspiring posts were gushing over the dam this week.  Here we go on my ride of inspiring posts of the week:

  1. Sun Dog kicks us off with a photograph of a sunrise over the Black Sea.
  2. LaDona @ LaDona’s Music Studio with her post titled This One Hurts.  Short.  Picture is worth 1000 words. Yes.  I was moved.
  3. Ivon @ Teacher as Transformer with his post I Walked a Mile with Pleasure: “…Leave nothing behind and look back only at the good that came of it. Know you served well those you met on the path. Hold your head high…” Hit this link.
  4. Serenity Spell with her post titled A Heavenly Hardwood Swamp: “Earth’s crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God: But only he who sees takes off his shoes. — Elizabeth Barrett Browning”  Beautiful post.  A daily stop for me.  Read more at this link.
  5. Misifusa @ Misifusa’s Blog with her post titled Rest in the Clouds.  My Rachel shared this with me last night and encouraged me to watch.  You are going to say, you don’t have time to watch.  Yes you do.  Yes you do. Hit this link. [Read more...]

5:27 am. And Inspired.

sun,light,sun light, flower,yellow


Good Wednesday morning. I’ve been on a siesta the last few weeks with my inspiring posts of the week.  We’re back.

Kurt Harden @ Cultural Offering with his post titled You Sir at Pump 16….   I watched this clip three times.  Susan watched it.  The kids watched it.  We all loved it.  Do yourself a favor and start your day with a smile.  Hit this link.

Rian @ Truth and Cake with her post Forget The Blueprint, Ride the Mechanical Bull: “…Often, we’re so hellbent on getting it right that we miss the point entirely. The right career, the right school, the right spouse, the right restaurant, the movie with the good reviews, wearing the right outfit and snagging that just right opportunity and hopefully doing something really meaningful and perfect with our lives: these things obsess us.  I can look back on a (very large) handful of times in my life when I was given an amazing opportunity or experiencing something really great that, in retrospect, I stressed way too much over. Will I blow this? Will it work out? Where’s the next opportunity going to come from? What if people think I’m crazy?…Read more of this great post from a Freshly Pressed Blogger @ this link.

Seventhvoice with her post A Childless Mother, Is still A Mother. Though her arms may be empty… her heart never will: “Mother’s Day has always been an incredibly difficult day for me. Filled as it is with  mixed emotions but not for the reasons you might think. It’s not a difficult day for me because I have a son with Autism or a daughter on the spectrum. In many ways their presence here helps to counteract the whirlpool of emotions that this day normally stirs up in me. Mother’s day is hard for me because I am, or at least I would have been, had everything gone to plan, the mother of seven children. You see, four of my lovely ones never made it kicking and screaming into the light of this world…”  Read more of this moving post @ this link.

[Read more...]

5:02 am. And Inspired.

Florida, butterflies, orange


Good Wednesday morning. Here are my selections of the inspiring posts of the week:

Jon-Mark Davey, South Florida Wildlife Photography kicks us off with his photograph of a orange butterfly shot at Rock Springs Park, Apopka, Florida.  Check out one amazing shot after another at Jon-Mark’s site at this link.

Annabel Ruffell @ Journey For Earth with her post titled I am Enough: “But…Often in my life I have felt that I am not enough.  I am not being a good enough mother, a good enough friend, a good enough person…I am not doing enough, being enough, am just not enough…”  Beautiful post.  Read more at this link.

Bonnie @ Pagekeeper with a letter to her her son titled Not All At Once: You, growing up, is a long game and even though you and I both want it to all be ok for you right now, let’s both try to remember that you need to take your own time with things.  I want you to know that everything I do is for you – so that things are better for you.  So that your easy laugh and smiling eyes are always what people see first when they meet you...”  Moved.  Inspired by this post.  Read more at this link.

Coach Bill Moore with his share in a To Run – A Prayer for Boston: “I will take you…on in the street…Every breath of mine…I will consume your hate…I will run straight into you…as if you were a finish line of joy…picking up the fallen…along the way…you will never stop me.”  Wonderful.  Read full poem by Scott Poole at this link.

[Read more...]

4:14 am. And Inspired.

Tulips


Good Wednesday morning. Here are my selections of the inspiring posts of the week:

Anneli @ Words From Anneli kicks us off with her post La Conner Tulip Festival.  That’s her shot above.   Check out more great shots at this link.

Luggage Lady with her post titled We Can Never Go Back: “Every summer growing up, my family journeyed from Chicago suburbia to my grandparent’s farm in southern Illinois. They called us “city kids,” and we couldn’t wait to indulge in the expansive freedoms of country life…Woven into the daily demands were simple pleasures, like piling onto the front porch swing at the end of the long day. Grandparents first, followed by a layer of grandchildren, and topped off with the latest litter of purring kittens. The swing’s chains creaked in time with chirping male crickets claiming their conquests. An occasional freight train rumbled down nearby tracks as we kids marveled at stars not visible back home. Sometimes, a puff of cool air bored through the wall of humidity, teasing us with anticipation of a brewing storm…

Kurt @ Cultural Offering. with his post titled Friendly Advice where he shares excerpts from a Peggy Noonan interview with the “founder” of Singapore:  U.S. is still ‘a frontier society.’ ‘The American culture . . . is that we start from scratch and beat you.’ They would settle an empty area, call it a town, and say, ‘You be the sheriff, I am the judge, you are the policeman, and you are the banker, let us start.”  And then Kurt shares a wonderful story about Margaret Thatcher leading from the front among a group of men.  This post is titled: Margaret Thatcher R.I.P.

[Read more...]

5:00 am. And Inspired.

forest, woods, aspen, birch,trees


Good Wednesday morning. Here are my selections of the inspiring posts of the week:

Olive @ Olivethepeople with her post titled The Subway Samaritan: “He was crazy. At least I thought so. At least at first. You see…

Tina @ Practical Practice Management with her post titled Who Made an Impact on You. I’ve read similar iterations of this thought but it never seems to get old and always seems to leave me in wonder. “Name three friends who helped you through a difficult time…

Sedone @ Getting Better, Man. with his post titled Giving Happiness a Helping Hand aka Beware the Silent H*. “I’m dedicated to giving happiness a helping hand, although sometimes I want to give it the finger…And don’t miss the short video.

[Read more...]

Paying it Forward…with Sunshine

Lesser Flamingo by Tejas Soni

I’m red faced.  This post, and several other Pay it Forwards, are coming in the next week or so.  Thank you Ellie @ The Muse Is Working, Barbara @ 365Guitars and Sheri @ Theothersideofugly for your Sunshine Award nominations.  I’m paying it forward by nominating the following bloggers who bring a ray of light in my daily reading (with a slant towards photos and photo shares):

  1. Carol @ Flowers, Trees, & Other Such Gifts of Nature (Simple. Spectacular. Spellbinding. Shots of flowers.  Mixed with inspirational quotes.) 
  2. Anake @ THE WAY I SEE IT (Gets me thinking. Eclectic shares. Look forward to it each morning.)
  3. Seth @ SETHSNAP (Prolific photography of shots in and around Cincinatti and elsewhere.  Amazing.)
  4. Tom & Kat @ hovercraftdoggy (Mix of photography shares.  Can’t miss posts. Creative. Wondrous. Thought-provoking.)
  5. Cristi @ Simple. Interesting. (Wave upon wave of incredible city and scenic shares.)
  6. Maralee @ Through My Lens (Landscape and Nature shots in and around Oregon. Love her work.)
  7. Linda @ A Nature Mom (Nature. Family. Captured in awesome way.)
  8. Nitzus (Family. Landscape.  Dream-like shots of Australia, New Zealand. Two places on the top of my bucket list to visit.)
  9. Sylvia @ Another Day in Paradise (Amazing blend of family and nature. Warmth.)
  10. Val @ Seattle Inspired (See site.  Think imagination and creativity. Never disappoints.)
  11. David @ David R. Wetzel Photography (Potpourri of ordinary and extraordinary shots of life)
  12. Scott @ Scott Marshall Photography.  (Scotland.  Bucket List.  Incredible shots. What talent Scott has.)
  13. Patrick @ Canadian Hiking Photography.  (Simply Wow shots of home.)
  14. Inga @ Inga’s Angle (Spellbinding shots of NYC…)

To accept the award, the rules are: [Read more...]

5:06 am. And Inspired.

Inspired with Nature


Good Wednesday morning.  All of my inspiring posts of the week come from a single source.  Thank you Sandy Sue for pointing me to Peg-o-leg’s Ramblings who has started a series of guest posts called “Should Have Been Freshly Pressed.”  Peg awards the bloggers a “Freshly Pegged Award.”  Here’s some samplings:

Life In The Boomer Lane with her guest post titled Why I’d Rather Be 65 Than 5, 15, 25, 35, 45, or 55I hate that my body moves more slowly than it used to, that when I roll over in bed, my back hurts, that sex is accomplished in mostly one position, that photos of myself scare me, that I can no longer run up and down the stairs or sit in a pretzel position on the floor or reach way under the bed to grab something. I hate that reaching way down into the crib to pick up my grandson must be planned like a military operation . I hate that my memory fails at the oddest times, that I am beginning to lose a grip on pop culture, that I think a lot about being home in bed with a book when I am out in the evening. I hate that people in charge can look younger than my children…” Great post.  Read more here.’

Misty @ Misty’s Laws with her guest post titled The Last Straw…To My Heart. “I have an admirer.  I am being wooed on a daily basis.  I see him almost every day and he gives me what I so desperately need.  He satisfies my cravings and soothes the beast within.  He gives me the ability to face the day.  He provides me with the fix that I need before I can function every morning.  He is . . . the drive-thru guy at my Dunkin Donuts...” Read more here. [Read more...]

4:26 am. And Inspired.

baby, cute, inspiring, emotional, photography


Good Wednesday morning.  Here’s my selection of inspiring posts of the week.

  1. Thank you Megan @ Make Something Mondays for her post More Than Photographs where she shares the photo above and a collection of similar inspiring shots.  See more here
  2. Russ Towne @ A Grateful Man with his post: There is Greatness in Goodness.   ” I just flashed back to a scene in the movie where a man with many flaws who has wanted his whole life to be great and failed over and over again finally does something that is indeed great. The woman he is with says something to him that is profound. It went something like this: Yes, you were great. “But you were also something much better than that…Read more here.
  3. Julie @ jmgoyder with her post Gutsy9’s Growth: I look forward to each post (pictures and updates) on G9’s development.  G9 is a orphaned baby peacock which Julie has adopted.  And there has been an exciting new development.  “But guess what? I think he might…Read more here.
  4. Renplus @ for her post titled Cocoon Breaks Open. “The enormity of Monday’s layoff didn’t sink in until yesterday, and I allowed myself to grieve finally. It needed to happen, and I was proud that I could experience it, release the pain, and move forward. Some beautiful things that I never expected really touched me, though…” Read more here. [Read more...]

4:58 am. And Inspired.

Narvik, Norway, Arctic Circle, snowboarding, extreme sports, jump, sunset, sunrise, mountains


Good Wednesday morning.  Here’s my selection of inspiring posts of the week.

  1. Thank you olavstubburd for the photo which was shot in Narvik, in Northern Norway, inside the Arctic Circle.
  2. Colleen @ The Chatter Blog with her post When You’re Not Good Enough: “What do you tell yourself when you start facing the realization you are not good enough for something?  Not that you can’t do something.  But that you can’t do something well enough to excel, continue and progress. What Do You Do?…Without a doubt I am not good enough to test for master level…Can I accept that I cannot move ahead, test, progress…Can I do that? Is accepting that I have done “enough” a manner of growing?…
  3. Kurt @ Cultural Offering with his post A Life Well Lived. In Praise of RamseyEveryone has stories of the best dog in the world and we have ours – the story of Ramsey…Ramsey grew up with our children.  He played with them, watched after them, slept on and at their beds.  He was an incredibly good natured dog, friendly to most everyone…He never wandered or got in much trouble; instead he was content accompany anyone who might be going on a walk, playing or working in the yard.  His idea of excitement was running laps as fast as he could around the yard in a frenzied fit of joy.  He was that kind of dog…” Heartwarming story.  Read more[Read more...]

5:16 am. And Inspired.

black and white, photography, Luca Setti


Good Wednesday morning.  Here’s my selection of inspiring posts of the week.

  1. The photo above was taken by Luca Setti.  Check out Luca’s other shots at Luca Setti Fine Art Photographer. (See Galleries section.)  Awesome and Inspiring.
  2. Elena @ Live Simply, Travel Lightly, Love Passionately & Don’t Forget To Breathe with her post: Old-Fashioned. “In a town, that has so many healthy, but plastic-looking women, with ridiculous hair extensions, it’s truly empowering to be walking it, my way…knowing, that family of a sick child has to pay for a wig, according to that family’s income level, is more than enough reason for me, to donate my hair to an organization that gives it for free.  The family is going through enough pain and trauma as it is. I know, because I lost my father to cancer.  Authentic and inspiring Elena.
  3. Rob Biesenbach @ Act Like You Mean Business with his post Fewer Inspirational Quotes, More Original Thinking, PleaseThe Internet has ruined quotations for me.  I love inspirational quotes as much as the next guy…But enough is enough…Now some people may feel they’ve got no special wisdom or insights to share. Bull. You’re just not looking hard enough…”  Excellent wake-up call and post Rob.
  4. Steve Aitchison @ Change Your Thoughts Change Your Life with his post What on Earth is Stopping you? “Times are changing fast and more and more of us are realizing it’s possible to create a life for ourselves instead of life creating us. There is something more you should be doing. There is something waiting for you. There is a spark inside of you waiting to be lit. There is craving, a feeling, of something more important you should be doing. There has never been a better time to start…So, tell me this.  What is stopping you?[Read more...]

4:15 am. And Inspired.

Autumn-colored Sedges in The Enchantments


Good Wednesday morning.  Here’s my selection of inspiring posts of the week.

  1. The photo above was taken by Lee Rentz @ Lee Rentz Photography Weblog.  Check out Lee’s other shots in Washington State at a post titled When We Walked Through the Forests of Gold.  Inspiring.
  2. Sheri @ The Other Side of Ugly with her post No Small Thing.Existence is no small thing. To be alive and made up of the very particles of the universe that you live in is no small thing. To have eyes to see, hands to feel, ears to hear, mouths to taste, minds to think and hearts to love is no small thing”…Terrific.
  3. Ofe @ Tropical Spice Living with her post What Every Boy Should Know where she shares 20 lessons that Mothers should impart with their sons.  On point and heartwarming…I won’t be a spoiler.  Check out her post.
  4. Ed Batista with his post The Meaning of Life.  I’ve been thinking about this post all week.  Haunting. Eye-opening. Here’s an excerpt: “…The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day.  That is real freedom. The alternative is unconsciousness, the default-setting, the “rat race” — the constant gnawing sense of having had and lost some infinite thing…” Check out Ed’s post. [Read more...]

Keep Pegging Away

brainpickingsYet, another remarkable post from Brainpickings titled 9 Rules for Success where Maria Popova shares excerpts from an essay by British novelist Amelia E. Barr (1831-1919).  Barr, despite a devastating loss of her husband and three of their six children to yellow fever in 1867, went on to become a dedicated and diligent writer, eventually reaching critical success at the age of fifty-two.  I’d encourage you to read the entire post at this link as it is that good.  Here are a few of my favorite excerpts:

1) Men and women succeed because they take pains to succeed. Industry and patience are almost genius; and successful people are often more distinguished for resolution and perseverance than for unusual gifts. They make determination and unity of purpose supply the place of ability.

2) Success is the reward of those who “spurn delights and live laborious days.” We learn to do things by doing them. One of the great secrets of success is “pegging away.” No disappointment must discourage, and a run back must often be allowed, in order to take a longer leap forward.

5) We have been told, for centuries, to watch for opportunities, and to strike while the iron is hot. Very good; but I think better of Oliver Cromwell’s amendment — “make the iron hot by striking it.” [Read more...]

5:23 am. And Inspired.

photography, penguins, nature, inspirational,inspiring,paul Nicklen,photo contest,art,antarctica


Good Wednesday morning.  (Wednesday seemed to come in a hurry this week.)  Here’s my selection of inspiring posts of the week.

The photo above was shared by Canadian Art Junkie in a post titled Paul Nicklen’s World Press Photo Winning Shot of penguins in Antarctica’s Ross Sea.  Be sure to check out Nicklen’s other nature shots in the post at this link.  (Very inspired.)

And here’s more Paul Nicklen inspiration.  DK at Lead.Learn.Live with his December 2012 share of Nicklen’s Ted Talk on The Fear Leopard Seal.  Yes, shameless self-promotion of my own share.  But come on people – not 1 like? This is one of the most inspiring nature talks/videos you will ever see.  It’s a longish 18-minute clip and you need to hang in until the end.  It will be worth your time.

S.L. Hoffman at Eagle-Eyed Editor with the post Top 10 books you don’t want to miss in your lifetime.  Tell me it ain’t so.  I haven’t read one book on this list.  And no, I haven’t read To Kill a Mockingbird.  Check out the link to see how many you’ve read.

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4:01 am. And Inspired.

Ha Ling Peak, Alberta, Canada, mountain, sunrise, river, landscape, photography


Good Thursday morning.  (Yes, we’re mixing it up a bit.  Slept in yesterday.)  Here’s my selection of inspiring posts of the week.

That’s Patrick Latter‘s photograph above of Canmore Mountains in Alberta.  Be sure to check out Patrick’s blog, Canadian Hiking Photography, where every post is an inspiration.

John E. Smith @ The Strategic Learner with his post: Why We Have Social Media.  John’s post reminded me of the incredible virtual friendships that I have made on this blogging journey.  Thank you all for reading, following, commenting, sharing and joining me for the ride.  I’m grateful.  Check out John’s short post at this link. [Read more...]

A Blogger’s 33 Observations on Blogging

Baldur Bjarnason

Baldur Bjarnason @ Studio Tentra titles his post: 33 Observations On The Year 2012.  Terrific post.  Here are a few of my favorite observations:

#1) Doing good work is its own reward, while sharing it leads to suffering. Most of the time nobody will notice, so it’s hard to see why anybody should bother.

#5) The vast majority of those I encountered were incredibly nice and friendly, even when we disagreed.

#6) I have almost no readers but some of my work is read a lot. The number of people that will read every post of mine is miniscule. Most of the traffic comes from retweets or links. I have more than a thousand followers on twitter, but of those only about ten will click on a link to a post of mine to read it…No matter how hard I work, the best I can hope for is to catch the attention of somebody more influential who will momentarily lend me some of their traffic. [Read more...]

5:14 am. And Inspired.

desert


Good Wednesday morning.  Here’s my selections for the inspiring posts of the week:

Alex Jones @ The Liberated Way with his post titled The Little ButterflyAn hour ago an Admiral butterfly emerged out of nowhere fluttering about my head.  In this cold season it is amazing to come across a butterfly let alone in my own home.  In wonder I blinked at this amazing beautiful creature fluttering around the light, apparently it must have been hibernating and had awoken…Read more at this link.

New blood.  John Zimmer @ Manner of Speaking with his post: A Truly Heroic Speech.  Six year-old Benjamin Wheeler was one of the victims of the 14 December 2012 shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Recently, Benjamin’s father, David Wheeler, gave testimony at a public hearing before the Connecticut State Legislature’s Bipartisan Task Force on Gun Violence Prevention and Children’s Safety...  Read more at this link and be sure to watch the video clip.

Back for an encore. Ray Visotski @ A Simple, Village Undertaker with his post titled “That Was Us“… Oh, the simple life we lived…still seems like so much fun, how can you explain a game, just kick the can and run?…Read more at this link.

More new blood.  Let’s hear it for candor and a few laughs.  Lily Reed @ We All Shine On with her post “Failure“…The past two days, I’ve seen the internet full of FAILURE talk. I don’t mean cutesy memes…Hang on. Failure means that you LEARNED something, right? I mean, if you look at something and say, ‘Wow, that was @#$%%^ up!’ What was your next step? I’m thinking you inhaled. BAM! Another chance.  Read more at this linkAnd, if you liked this, be sure to check out Now I’m Complaining and Almost 4, Bobby’s Learning How to Ride.

And the Hump Day Inspiring Image of the Week comes to us from Bodhisattvaintraining who takes us to Umbria, Italy – with olive trees, pencil pines, sunflower fields and Lake Trasimeno. SIGH.  Another bucket list destination…

olive trees, sunflowers,pencil trees, Italy, photography

 


Image Source: Desert via Schmackebaetzchen.  And, thank you Stephen Edwards at LifeRevelation for pointing me to Lily.

6:53 am. And inspired.

Canola Field Shaun Lowe

Here’s my picks for the inspiring posts of the week.

Thank you Canadian Art Junkie for sharing the photo above in her post Shaun Lowe: Canola, Sunshine & The Sea.  See her post for more wonderful photographs of eastern Canada.

Steve Gutzler with his post titled 7 Keys to Building Irresistible Energy:I’ll be honest, one of my favorite compliments is when people take note of my energy and passion. But having such energy has been a life struggle of mine. When I was a young man in my early 20′s, I was diagnosed with a blood disorder. For over three years I woke up every day with a low grade temperature and lacking energy. I’d drag through my days. My attitude was good but my immune system was ravaged…Well, fast forward to today. I’m healthy with no hint of fatigue. I train 4-5 days a week and I eat like an athlete. I strive to get seven hours of sleep and I’m working most days by 5 AM. What I like most about where I am at is how grateful I am for what I have. I am fearfully and wonderfully made, not perfect but I’m sure grateful for what I have!”…Read entire post for Steve’s 7 Keys to Building Energy at this link.

Maybe It’s Just Me who describes herself  and her blog as “The life of a middle aged hippie on Maui, eating raw and vegan and staying healthy. I walked the Camino de Santiago in Spain in fall 2012 with my husband and son“…do we need more inspiration than this?!!  Her beautiful post shares her sensations as she returns home to the various places she’s lived.  The post is titled:  As We Relive Our Lives In What We Tell You and this excerpt is returning home to Maui: …there is no better feeling than coming home to a place that I love.  I went up onto the roof deck today to look at the clouds, the palm trees, and the volcano rising above, and again later on, to watch a glorious sunset over the ocean.  I was content to just sit and feel the warmth of the island air on my skin.  Skin that desperately cries out for sunshine and humidity, and that whispers “mahalo” every time I return home to Maui.”  Read her entire post at this link.

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5:28 am. And inspired.

David Tribby - Chicago Panoramic Skyline & Sunset

Thank you David Tribby for the inspiring panoramic shot of the City of Chicago. And, now, on to the inspiring posts of the week:

James Altucher, pro blogger, @ The Altucher Confidential with his post on his morning ritual titled The Six People You Must Find TodayOnce you do this, oxytocin will explode through your body, lighting up all of your pleasure centers. (1) Someone to love. Write the name and why you love this person. (2) Someone to thank. You must call them and thank them. If you can’t call them, just write their name down. (3) Someone to be grateful for…Read entire post at this link.

Judy @ petit4chocolatier with her post: Chocolate Cupcakes with Soft Blue Butter-Cream Icing with Little Chocolate Sprinkles.  She had me at her post title.  And then she stole my stomach with wave upon wave of delectable cupcake photos.  I wanted to come through the screen to get at these.  Pan through Judy’s other posts.  Amazing.

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Voting Booths Are Re-Open!

My voting booths are opening again to rename my blog. (Just kidding!)  Yet, if you missed this huge event (hyperbole squared) and can’t wait to learn more, you can find details here and here.

Anake Goodall shared this new Gapingvoid post with me and said that someone is sending me a message…and I need to listen up.

Disclosure: I have blocked my family members from commenting on this post.

live_learn_love - gapingvoid - hugh mcleod


Related Posts:

4:02 am. And inspired.

Red Sea, Sea, beach, sunrise, Egypt

Thank you Sandy @ Another Lovely Day for the amazing photo share of the Egyptian sunrise over the Red Sea.

And, now, on to the inspiring posts of the week:

Julie @ jmgoyder – Wings & Things from a retired dairy farm in Western Australia…with her series of posts on Gutsy9, an abandoned baby peacock that was adopted by Julie.  Start at this post: Tips on Raising a Baby Peacock and then pan forward to the photos and updates.  I look forward with anticipation to Julie’s updates on Gutsy9.  Here’s an excerpt: So I have been raising Gutsy9 myself and he and I are totally imprinted on each other now. He is a pied, so half white and half blue so it will be interesting to watch him grow up. At night he sleeps in a box in the veranda and during the day he sits on my shoulder. Read on for the 6 tips at this link.  And, don’t miss Julie’s Bio/About page.  You won’t be disappointed.

Linda Petersen @ Raising 5 Kids With Disabilities And Remaining Sane Blog rings the bell again with a wonderful post titled Life Is Like A Tiny Bag of Jelly Bellies.  Linda shares a number of little events that give “her a boost and make her happy.”  Here’s a few of her Jelly Bellies…”(1) seeing a grandfather walking along, holding the hand of his joyous granddaughter, all dressed up with coat and fancy hat, skipping happily along, ribbons trailing, (2) hanging a picture on the wall and having it come out straight the first time, (3) finding a $10 bill in the pocket of a coat I haven’t worn in a long time, (4) a hug from a child, especially if it is accompanied by and “I love you.”  Hit this link to read more.

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