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:


I’ve never regretted anything so much

italo-calvino

“I would like this to signal the end of “wasted angst” in my life: I’ve never regretted anything so much as having particular individual worries, in a certain sense anachronistic ones, whereas general worries, worries about our time (or at any rate those that can be reduced to such: like your problem in paying the rent, for instance) are so many and so vast and so much “my own” that I feel they are enough to fill all my “worryability” and even my interest and enjoyment in living. So from now on I want to dedicate myself entirely to these latter (worries) — but I am already aware of the traps in this question and that’s why for some time now my first need has been to “de-journalistize” myself, to get myself out of the stranglehold that has dominated these last few years of my life, reading books to review immediately, commenting on something even before having to time to form an opinion on it. I want to build a new kind of daily program for myself where I can finally get into something, something definitive (within the limits of historical possibility), something not dishonest or insincere (unlike the way today’s journalist always behaves, more or less). For that reason I make several plans for myself: … to maintain my contacts with reality and the world, but being careful, of course, not to get lost in unnecessary activities; and also to set up my own individual work not as a “journalist” any more but as a “scholar,” with systematic readings, notes, comments, notebooks, a load of things I’ve never done; and also, eventually, to write a novel.”

~ Italo Calvino


Italo Calvino (1923 – 1985) was an Italian journalist and writer of short stories and novels. His best known works include the Our Ancestors trilogy (1952–1959), the Cosmicomics collection of short stories (1965), and the novels Invisible Cities (1972) and If on a winter’s night a traveler (1979). Lionised in Britain and the United States, he was the most-translated contemporary Italian writer at the time of his death, and a noted contender for the Nobel Prize for Literature.


Image: abebooks. Bio: Wiki

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.

5:07 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...]

Your Muse. She prefers sweat.

work, hard work,

“Is this magic? A miracle? No, it’s common as dirt.

It’s how creativity works. We show up. We do our best. Good things happen.

This is the intersection of Hard Work and Inspiration.

When we say “Put your ass where your heart wants to be,” this is what we mean.

This is what being a pro is all about. It’s why we practice self-discipline, self-validation, self-reinforcement…

We master all of those disciplines for one reason: so that we can be sitting there in the sweet spot when the Muse’s rocket ship passes by. That’s how the two sides work together. Hard work and inspiration.

Diligence produces inspiration because it shows respect to the goddess.

Genius and brilliance do not earn her favor. She prefers sweat. Get your butt in to the studio. Sit down at the piano. Boot up your iMac.

See yourself as the Muse sees you. You’ll know what to do.”

~ Stephen Pressfield, “You, as the Muse Sees You


Image Credit: Patrick Wilbanks


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...]

None

writer-writing

No pen,

no ink,

no table,

no room,

no time,

no quiet,

no inclination.

~ James Joyce (1882-1941) in a letter to his brother


Credits: Image – Thank you Sundog; Quote - Lapidarium

In search of the Holy Grail

monty-python-holy-grail-1-b-512x250

When I played, I was in an unrelenting search for a new driver, convinced that it would straighten out the vicious slices and softly land my ball on the Bermuda grass 300 yards down the fairway.  Did I find the Holy Grail? No. I quit the game. There’s perseverance for you.

Similarly, I search for a pen.  Not just any pen.  A Pen that would take me on a magic carpet ride to beautiful cursive, to decorative calligraphy, or perhaps to a less ambitious outcome, a product just neat and legible.

I have tried them all.
Ballpoints. Rollerballs. And Fountain Pens.
Nibs that are paper thin, standard and broad.
Pens that are cheap. Mid-grade. And expensive.
And I search.

So, last night, when I came across “The Best Pen“, my heartbeat slowed, I put my cookie down, and my eyes hungrily devoured the review.  I may have found the Holy Grail. [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...]

I’ll bolt the door

J.D. Salinger - A Boy in France

“I’ll read my books
and I’ll drink coffee
and I’ll listen to music,
and I’ll bolt the door.”

— J.D. Salinger, A Boy in France


The Saturday Evening Post, the nation’s oldest magazine, re-released in its July/August 2010 issue a rare J.D. Salinger short story, “A Boy in France,” first published in the magazine 65 years ago…The Post continues the magazine’s long history of publishing great fiction by re-releasing the story in memory of Salinger, the famously reclusive author of The Catcher in the Rye. Most of his earlier work, including the story in the July/August issue, has never been re-released. “J.D. Salinger’s ‘A Boy in France’ was originally published in The Post in 1945,” said SerVaas. “This evocative tale of a young solider struggling to maintain his sanity during the madness of war.” (Source: PRNewswire)


Credits: Image – Jdsalinger.livejournal.com.  Quote: Journal of Nobody

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...]

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...]

“A” vs. “B” vs. “C”

Indexed,chart,free time,work,passion,writer,artist,


Two questions: Which one of the four below are you? (Assuming you are one of the four.)  Which one is optimal?

  1. “A” > “B” = No “C”
  2. “A” < “B” = No “C”
  3. “A” + “B” = Some “C”
  4. “P” =  “J” = No “C”

Where ‘A’= Time Spent On What You Love to Do.
Where ‘B’= Time Spent on Your Job.
Where ‘C’= Amount of Your Free Time.
Where ‘P’= What You Love To Do.
Where  ‘J’ = Your Job.


Chart Source: Great Work Done From 5 to 9Indexed by Jessica Hagy

I fully embrace my *&$# too!

handwriting


I love when “Research” validates what I’ve believed to be true for years.


Source: themetapicture.com

Seize the Moment

joan-didion-c-brigitte-lacombe-crop1

“I’m not telling you to make the world better, because I don’t think that progress is necessarily part of the package. I’m just telling you to live in it. Not just to endure it, not just to suffer it, not just to pass through it, but to live in it. To look at it. To try to get the picture. To live recklessly. To take chances. To make your own work and take pride in it. To seize the moment. And if you ask me why you should bother to do that, I could tell you that the grave’s a fine and private place, but none I think do there embrace. Nor do they sing there, or write, or argue, or see the tidal bore on the Amazon, or touch their children. And that’s what there is to do and get it while you can and good luck at it.”

- Joan Didion


Credits: Image & Bio – Biographile.  Quote – WhiskeyRiver

Related Post: Blue Nights

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...]

Millennials. Listen up.

skills-students-future-chart


#2: Writing Effectively.  My 10th Grade English teacher underscored this for me YEARS ago.  And I see too much today that hurts the eyes.


Source: Pewresearch

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...]

A Love Letter from Kafka

Fran Kafka signature in letter to Milena Jesenska

Franz Kafka’s signature in a letter to Milena Jesenská. It reads:

Franz wrong,  F  wrong, Yours wrong
nothing more, calm, deep forest

Prague

July 29, 1920.


In 1919, Milena Jesenská was working as a translator.  She discovered a short story (The Stoker) by Prague writer Franz Kafka, and wrote him to ask for permission to translate it from German to Czech. The letter launched an intense and increasingly passionate correspondence. Jesenská and Kafka met twice: they spent four days in Vienna and later a day in Gmünd. Eventually Kafka broke off the relationship, partly because Jesenská was unable to leave her husband, and their almost daily communication ceased abruptly in November 1920. They meant so much to each other, however, that they did exchange a few more letters in 1922 and 1923 (and Kafka turned over to Jesenská his diaries at the end of his life). Kafka is regarded by critics as one of the most influential authors of the 20th century.  It is generally agreed that Kafka suffered from clinical depression and social anxiety throughout his entire life.  (Source: Wiki)


Source: Journal of a Nobody

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.

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How much of human life disappears into oblivion like this?

D.G. Myers

“Vladimir Nabokov was wont to fall into a reverie over nail clippings, bitten-off cuticles, tufts of lint plucked off a sleeve, bits of food picked from between the teeth and spat out. After disposing of these tiny scraps of human life, no one thinks of them any more. Since matter is neither created nor destroyed, what becomes of them? They go on existing, but in a realm beyond human concern. Nabokov called them the darlings of oblivion.

After nursing two of my children through week-long stomach viruses and then watching them bounce off to school this morning as if nothing had happened, I’ve been thinking about how much of human life consists of events that are also darlings of oblivion—the stomach cramps, the headaches, the sleepless nights, the full glasses of milk that are knocked over and spilled across the clean kitchen floors, the flat tires, the dead batteries, the traffic jams, the appointments that are late. Entire days can be lost to these events; they can be, at the time, as absorbing as tragedy; then, once they have passed, they are forgotten. How much of human life disappears into oblivion like this?  These darlings almost never find their way into literature. And why is that?…”

~ D.G. Myers (Excerpt from May 9, 2013 post: Darlings of Oblivion)


From D. G. Myers blog: I am a faculty member in the Melton Center for Jewish Studies at the Ohio State University, I am the author of The Elephants Teach (Chicago, 2006) and coeditor (with Paul M. Hedeen) of Unrelenting Readers (Story Line, 2004). Educated in the public schools of Riverside, I earned my degrees from the University of California at Santa Cruz, where I founded the literary magazine Quarry (later Quarry West) with Raymond Carver; Washington University in St. Louis, where I wrote a masters thesis on Stanley Elkin under Stanley Elkin; and Northwestern University, where I held the TriQuarterlyFellowship and studied under Gerald Graff and Joseph Epstein. For twenty years I taught at Texas A&M University. Now I live in Columbus with my wife Naomi and our four children: Dov, Saul, Isaac, and Miriam (“Mimi”).

The spirit moves me every day

William Faulkner

“During his most fertile years, from the late 1920s through the early ’40s, Faulkner worked at an astonishing pace, often completing three thousand words a day and occasionally twice that amount. (He once wrote to his mother that he had managed ten thousand words in one day, working between 10: 00 A.M. and midnight— a personal record.) ‘I write when the spirit moves me,’ Faulkner said, ‘and the spirit moves me every day.’”

~ Mason Currey on William Faulkner’s work ethic


William Cuthbert Faulkner (1897 – 1962), was an American writer and Nobel Prize laureate from Oxford, Mississippi.  Though his work was published as early as 1919, and largely during the 1920s and 1930s, Faulkner was relatively unknown until receiving the 1949 Nobel Prize in Literature. Two of his works, A Fable (1954) and his last novel The Reivers (1962), won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. In 1998, the Modern Library ranked his 1929 novel The Sound and the Fury sixth on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century; also on the list were As I Lay Dying (1930) and Light in August (1932).

As a schoolchild, Faulkner had much success early on. He excelled in the first grade, skipped the second, and continued doing well through the third and fourth grades. However, beginning somewhere in the fourth and fifth grades of his schooling, Faulkner became a much more quiet and withdrawn child. He began to play hooky occasionally and became somewhat indifferent to his schoolwork, even though he began to study the history of Mississippi on his own time in the seventh grade. The decline of his performance in school continued and Faulkner wound up repeating the eleventh, and then final grade, and never graduating from high school. (Source: Wiki)


Image Credit: Popmatters.com.  Quote Source:  Mason Currey from Daily Rituals: How Artists Work via bakadesuyo.com.  Bio: Wiki

The days melt in my hands like ice in the sun

balzac

“Balzac drove himself relentlessly as a writer, motivated by enormous literary ambition as well as a never-ending string of creditors and endless cups of coffee; as Herbert J. Hunt has written, he engaged in “orgies of work punctuated by orgies of relaxation and pleasure.” When Balzac was working, his writing schedule was brutal: He ate a light dinner at 6:00 p.m., then went to bed. At 1:00 a.m. he rose and sat down at his writing table for a seven-hour stretch of work. At 8:00 a.m. he allowed himself a ninety-minute nap; then, from 9:30 to 4:00, he resumed work, drinking cup after cup of black coffee. (According to one estimate, he drank as many as fifty cups a day.) At 4:00 p.m. Balzac took a walk, had a bath, and received visitors until 6:00, when the cycle started all over again. “The days melt in my hands like ice in the sun,” he wrote in 1830. “I’m not living, I’m wearing myself out in a horrible fashion—but whether I die of work or something else, it’s all the same.”

— Balzac’s daily routine by Mason Currey from Daily Rituals: How Artists Work

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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.

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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.

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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.

Small miseries

Rudyard Kipling, Illustration

A post by Amanda Patterson on Rudyard Kipling triggered a stream of thoughts this morning.  Kipling was born yesterday in 1865.  I couldn’t recall ever reading anything by Kipling but I’ve certainly heard of him.  (DK. Mr. Contemporary. Always looking forward.  Never much for history.  Not much for looking back. What possibly could I learn from a life 100+ years ago? PAST IS PAST.)

Kipling, “born in India, was sent to England to live with a foster family and receive a formal British education at the age of 6.  These were hard years for Kipling.  His Foster mother was a brutal woman, who quickly grew to despise her young foster son. She beat and bullied Kipling, who also struggled to fit in at school. Kipling’s solace came in books and stories. With few friends, he devoted himself to reading. By the age of 11, Kipling was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. A visitor to his home saw his condition and immediately contacted his mother, who rushed back to England and rescued her son from the Holloways.”

Yet, here’s a man who survived this childhood and flourished.  He said:

Small miseries, like small debts, hit us in so many places, and meet us at so many turns and corners, that what they want in weight, they make up in number, and render it less hazardous to stand the fire of one cannon ball, than a volley composed of such a shower of bullets.

And said:

I always prefer to believe the best of everybody, it saves so much trouble.

And said:

This is a brief life, but in its brevity it offers us some splendid moments, some meaningful adventures.

And a man, who produced this poem in 1895:

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The Relentless Reviser

henri matisse-young-sailor I & II (1906)


The path to excellence.  Study the best in the field. Develop lifelong habits. Continuously revise and improve. (Kaizen.)  Practice.  Have a critical eye with your own work.  Be sure to focus on the process as it is as important as the output. Pursue your field of passion despite the views of your critics.  There are no shortcuts to excellence – it takes incredible focus and effort.  Same old, same old?  Yes.  It worked for Matisse.  And it will work for you and me.

Henri Matisse (1869-1954), along with Picasso and Duchamp, was regarded as one of three artists who helped define art and sculpture in the 20th century.  There is a Matisse show on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art until March 17th, 2013.  There is an exceptional review of the show in wsj.com titled The Relentless Reviser.  Below I share excerpts from the review that are applicable to many of us in our fields: [Read more...]

Blog of the Year…

Blog of the Year Award 6 star jpeg

Thank you to my friends for nominating me for this award: Carolyn @ abcofspiritalk, Sandy @ Another Lovely Day, Cristi @ Simple.InterestingDogdaz, Ivon @ Teacher is Transformer, Joyat60Kalabalu, Kim @ Tranquil Dreams, Melody @ Donkey Whisperer Farm BlogMisifusa, Renee @ Rendezvous With Renee, SarahPotterWrites, Tarasai @ Writerfield and Iamforchange.  I’ve been procrastinating in “paying it forward”…for fear of leaving out and disappointing so many exceptional bloggers that I follow.  (Anxiety remains.)  Yet, Renee’s words (subtle that they are…sarcasm dripping) have been ringing in my head: “Just pay it forward, Dave.” So here we go…

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The Power of One lives on…

Bryce Courtenay died yesterday. He was the author of one of my favorite books: The Power of One.  The Guardian writes the following about Courtenay:  He was born into poverty in South Africa and studied journalism in London.  He started writing late in life after a 30-year career in advertising.  He was known for his dedication to work and prolific output, often writing for 12 hours a day and usually producing one new book at year.  This short < 1 minute clip was produced by Courtenay a few days ago before he died.  Take a moment and watch…it is inspiring and moving.

And here are two of my favorite passages from “The Power of One“: [Read more...]

Avoid the “F-Word”

Yes, shameful.  Made you look.  It’s not THE “f-word.”  But, the word “FACT.”

  • The fact of the matter is
  • As a matter of fact
  • The fact is…
  • Actual fact
  • In fact
  • In point of fact
  • That’s a fact
  • Just the facts
  • Factually…
  • Due to the fact that…
  • Factoid…
  • True facts
  • Fact-checking…
  • Spurious facts
  • Fun fact

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He’s read 6,128 books…

Joe-Queenan, The-Wall-Street-Journal, ColumnistHe’s Joe Queenan, a columnist at The Wall Street Journal.  He started reading when he was 7 years old.  Fifty-five years later, he has read 6,128 books.  He “hopes to get through another 2,137 books before he dies.”

He often “reads dozens of books simultaneously.”  “(He) starts a book in 1978 and finishes it 34 years later.” 

He states that “a case can be made that people who read a preposterous number of books are not playing with a full deck.  I prefer to think of us as dissatisfied customers.  If you have read 6,000 books in your lifetime, or even 600, it’s probably because at some level you find ‘reality’ a bit of a disappointment.”

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1 Year. And Counting…

One year ago this weekend, I ventured out into the blogosphere.  In this Happy Anniversary to Me Post, here’s a few of my observations and reflections over the past year:

STATS: 882 posts. 215,946 views. 14,202 comments. (Can these be real?)

INSANITY. Doing The Same Thing Over and Over and Expecting a Different Result. My “Tags” have reproduced like rabbits. 1,946 Tags. (WHAT. AM. I. DOING. HERE? I have Tag addiction. I tried to create a Page and they all wouldn’t fit. Tags have become the drawer that you keep stuffing the “really important stuff” that you’re going to need later – the drawer is now impossible to open and close. And I have no idea how to unwind this monstrosity.)

I Just Don’t Get It. My “Categories.” I have 11 categories. I mark most posts with many categories. (So, exactly how are you helping your followers find a post if they all have the same categories?)

NAGGING at me.  Months ago, Joe C. had told me that I had my Blog Name (Lead.Learn.Live) backwards.  He believed it should be re-ordered “Live.Learn.Lead.” (As each day passes, I think he’s right.  Yet, I can’t do it.  I can’t change it.  I just can’t. NO. NO. NO.) [Read more...]