The Butler Did It

Rhonda:

An entertaining writing lesson. :)

Originally posted on Rachel Carrera, Novelist:

Writers, you have got to watch this!  Normally I am not a fan of Al’s (at all!), but this definitely kept my attention… and made me laugh.  Trust me.  The less than four minute investment will be worth it.

Time to talk:  Are you guilty of any of the crimes depicted in this video?  Which do you appreciate more: the lyrics or the graphic art that went into the making of this video?  Do you like anything by Al?

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The Present of Presence

Maya Angelou quote

The best lessons come from the most difficult trials, the most significant growth from when we’re at our lowest.

When we’re filled with pride, the inevitable fall is hard. And so painful. But with humility comes peace. Yet It never ceases to amaze me that like the monster it is, pride rears its ugly head time and time again.

I have found the one surefire way to stay humble is to be grateful. One cannot be grateful and filled with pride at the same time. It’s like being angry and laughing at the same time. They cannot coexist. The next time you’re angry about something, smile, even if you have to fake it, and see if it doesn’t change your perspective at that exact moment.

When I talk about being grateful, I don’t just mean about the big things that happen during the day. The in-your-face-can’t-miss-it blessings. I’m referring to the little, seemingly insignificant things that oftentimes go unnoticed unless we’re consciously aware of our surroundings. The hundreds of presents given to us daily waiting to be unwrapped, graciously accepted, and savored. All of the ordinary moments that collectively make the day extraordinary.

The birth of a new day.

That deep, long inhale, followed by a long cleansing exhale, feeling every muscle relax in the process.

The sound of laughter.

That smile from a stranger at that exact moment you needed a smile. And when you didn’t even realize you needed one until you received it.

A child’s belly laugh.

That one line in a book that speaks directly to your heart.

A vibrant red umbrella on a gray, rainy day.

red umbrella

That magical “I love you” from a loved one.

That out-of-blue phone call from an old friend, just calling to see how you’ve been.

The smell of a freshly opened box of crayons.

The feel of fresh, crisp sheets after a long day.

The soft hum of the furnace on a cold day.

Bright stars twinkling in a black velvet sky.

The comfort of slipping into yoga pants and a sweatshirt after a long day at work.

Kindness from a stranger.

That out-of-the-blue scent that transports me back in time to one of my very favorite moments, like the smell of Chantilly that brings my grandmother close again.

The scent of a balsam pine candle.

Sea salt caramel gelato.

Letters written in silver script.

The warmth of the clothes as they’re pulled from the dryer.

Christmas Present

Presents given endlessly, waiting to be discovered. And we can only receive them if we’re present in the moment. Presence. It’s the best present we can give ourselves this Christmas.

Back from the Land of NaNo

Winner-2014-Web-Banner

I’m back from the land of NaNoWriMo 2014. And what a trip is was! I’m already looking forward to Camp NaNo in July. There’s something about knowing your part of a tribe of writers from all over the world that are all together in this journey of reaching the destination of 50,000 words in a month that creates drive, motivation, and determination. And FUN! :)

I wrote the first draft of the first book in my Melanie Hogan cozy mystery series, Shear Madness, during Camp NaNo this past July, and during NaNo in November I penned (typed) the first draft of the second book in the series, Shear Deception. What fun to create characters and settings that will continue on, as well as plots bubbling up that can carry over into future books. My muse was very busy!

God willing, I will finish the edits on both and have them completed and out this year.

If any of you that are reading this participated in NaNoWriMo 2014 I would love to hear how it went. Did you reach your goal? What did you work on? Do you have any tips for those thinking of participating next year, or in Camp NaNo in April and July? What was your biggest take away from the experience?

Carpe Diem

 

 

Off to NaNo Land

For the month of November I’ll be off to the land of NaNoWriMo. What’s that you say? Click on the link to find out. Maybe you’ll decide to join me there next year.

Nano-summer

Okay, so where I live it looks more like this in November…

NaNo Land

NaNo Land

Sometimes even like this…

NaNo Land

NaNo Land

But regardless of what lies outside, I’ll be in my den creating my own the-sky’s-the-limit reality with 50,000 words of screaming fun for NaNoWriMo.

Have a beautiful, bountiful November, a blessed Thanksgiving, and a month filled with grateful hearts.

See you in December! :)

Carpe Diem

T.G.I.F. – Gratitude Friday

Gratitude-2

The Week’s Top Three:

3.)  A brilliant pink cloud hanging in the evening sky. God’s hand print.

2.)  Learning limits on what I can take on and how to say “no” so as not to take away from my family, writing time, or recovery maintenance.

1.)  Watching both of my boys working in my older son’s garage, interacting with each other, talking and laughing. My heart swells with so much love I think it will explode. :)

What’s on your list?

“As each day comes to us refreshed and anew, so does my gratitude renew itself daily. The breaking of the sun over the horizon is my grateful heart dawning upon a blessed world.” ~Terri Guillemets

Carpe Diem

Timeout Tuesday

As I prepare to take on the whirlwind joy ride of NaNoWriMo Friday at midnight, I’m finding joy in taking deep breaths of relaxation this week.

Zoey - Pumpkin patch 2014-3

Fall-MN-5

Fall-MN-2

“Keep your faith in all beautiful things. In the sun when it is hidden. In the spring when it is gone.”
— Roy Rolfe Gilson
Carpe Diem

Living with Intention

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Life is often lived in such a rush, as if we’re racing to get somewhere, that so many blessings go unnoticed. The only place we will get by racing through the day is one step closer to the end. I don’t know about you, but I want to experience all that I’m given, tasting and savoring every morsel of the day, every sip as if it’s the finest, most luscious cup of coffee (perhaps wine for those of you who partake).

I want to feel the cool breeze through my hair and the raindrops splash against my cheeks.

I want to feel that lingering stretch in each muscle upon awakening in the morning, right after I’ve lifted my spirit to my God and given Him my day to orchestrate as He will.

I want to feel the sweat bead on my forehead as I feel the invigoration of a good workout.

I want to hear the birdsong of early morning, the doves calling out peacefully.

I want to hear the crunch of the leaves beneath my feet as I drink in the beauty of the fall colors.

I want to hear the crackle of the fire in the fireplace and feel its warmth on a cold evening, snuggled beneath a fleece blanket and cup of herbal tea or sea salt caramel hot cocoa.

I want to feel my lungs expand with each breath, as my heart expands with gratitude for that breath.

I want to feel the arms of my husband circle around me unexpectedly as I stand at the kitchen counter preparing dinner, his lips warm on my neck.

I want to savor that first sip of coffee each morning as I revel in the stillness of morning, when all the world around me is peacefully asleep.

I want to feel the miracle of truly living each moment of each day.

I want to take nothing for granted, but swell with gratitude for each gift given, no matter how insignificant it may seem.

And for all this, I don’t have to do anything. I simply have to be. A human being rather than a human doing.

“Live with intention.
Walk to the edge.
Listen Hard.
Practice wellness.
Play with abandon.
Laugh.
Choose with no regret.
Appreciate your friends.
Continue to learn.
Do what you love.
Live as if this is all there is.”

– Mary Anne Radmacher

Carpe Diem