Calm Before the Storm

Since I was at the NCW Writers Conference–which was amazing, by the way–and using every molecule of brain power trying to absorb everything I could, I didn’t post my last usual Gratitude Friday and Weekend Quote posts.  But rest assured, tomorrow begins April and the A-Z Blogging Challenge, for 26 posts in 30 days.  God willing. 🙂

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“See” you tomorrow. 🙂

A Writer’s Heaven

I’ve been waiting for this weekend since about this same time one year ago.  Why, you ask? If you didn’t, I’ll tell you anyway.  🙂  It’s my second NCW writer’s conference, and it’s less than three days away.

The first one gave me so much – ideas, motivation, inspiration, new writing friends, and time to re-evaluate the direction I wanted to take my writing. And, yes, it forced me to get out of my comfort zone which is my study with my computer and books, and to socialize with the other living, breathing beings.  By the time we all left the hotel at the end of the conference, our eyes were bulging, and our brains were jumbled, wires misfiring, from so much information being fed into it. But what beautiful sparks those misfires created!

Oh, and I can’t forget to mention the first one brought me close to none other than Andrew McCarthy. (Think Pretty in Pink, St. Elmo’s Fire, Weekend at Bernie’s, Mannequin…) I have to admit when he talked to me I was dumbfounded and speechless.  And I’m quick to say my husband would tell you that simply does not happen often.

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Here we are, a little bit blurry, as I believe the person taking the picture with my phone was likely as  giddy with “teenage heartthrob-itis” as I was, but here we are nonetheless.

Andrew McCarthy's Book

Uh-Hm…back on topic – Andrew is not only an actor but an amazing award-winning travel writer, and was at the conference as our keynote speaker.  Not only did he entertain, he taught me what writing can do to and for a person.  It can lead us on a journey one never wants to return from.  A journey of self-discovery, hope, pleasure, and even the greatest pain.  And yet, a writer can’t help but write.  It’s what we do.  It’s what makes us complete.  As insane as it can make us, it’s also what keeps us sane.

So “all my bags are packed, I’m ready to go”… Oh, wait–that’s John Denver, and he took a jet plane.   I’ll just hop in my car and head to writer’s heaven. And to listen to Chuck Sambuchino teach me from his infinite writer’s wisdom the scoop on literary agents, humor, and anything else my sponge brain can absorb.

Write on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekend Quote

“The way to happiness: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry. Live simply, expect little, give much. Scatter sunshine, forget self, think of others. Try this for a week and you will be surprised.”

-Norman Vincent Peale

Norman Vincent Peale

Have a Happy Day! 🙂

TGIF – Gratitude Friday

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Top three things I’m especially grateful for this week:

1.)   A good report from the Hematologist after more than a week of needless worry. Amen!

2.)  Taking a nature walk after said news, my heart filled with renewed appreciation for my health, and noticing the little things that bring me joy, like two prairie dogs (yes, I know they’re rodents, but so darn cute), one chasing the other, jumping on him and rolling together in one tangled ball, disentangling and starting the game over again.  And over.  And over… 🙂

3.)  After “studying” gratitude for as long as I have, coming to the realization it’s not a feeling, but a choice. And that’s GREAT news.  We have control over our choices, but not always our feelings.

Please share your gratefulness this past week in the comments section. 🙂

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Have a beautiful day!

Who’s Up For a Challenge?

The Blogging From A to Z Challenge, that is.

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Arlee Bird began this challenge, which entails participants to post something on his/her blog every day in April except Sundays. The fun gets even better – the topic for each day’s post follows the letters of the alphabet, meaning there are 26 letters in the alphabet for 26 days.
The topic for April 1st begins with an “A”…April Fool’s Day? Hmmm… 🙂

April 2nd’s topic begins with “B,” the 3rd will begin with “C,” and so on.

Content is left up to the blogger, whether following a theme or posting on random subjects while following the alphabet letter for that day.
The letter of the alphabet reminds me of one of my very favorite detective series, written by Sue Grafton. (A is for Alibi, B is for Burglar, C is for Corpse…)

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Knowing there are thousands of bloggers all in this together brings a sense of community, much like the NaNoWriMo community of writers, bringing the challenge to even greater heights. How awesome to know you’re part of a blogging community, supporting one another in something all of us equally enjoy–writing. Topics and support can be gleaned, not to mention exercising discipline in the writing process of writing every day. Complete with a break on Sundays. 🙂

Happy Writing, Reading–or both. 🙂

Weekend Quote

“It may take place in a foreign land or it may take place in your backyard, but I believe that we were each created to change the world for someone. To serve someone. To love someone the way Christ first loved us, to spread His light. This is the dream, and it is possible.”
― Katie J. Davis

Katie Davis2

TGIF – Gratitude Friday

Top three things I’m especially grateful for this week:

1.)  The act of service I’ve chosen to do for the Lenten season that enhances my prayer life and closeness to God.

2.)  The unexpected text message from my married son filling me in on my granddaughter and letting me know I was in his thoughts. What a blessing!

3.)  Laughter and joy shared with my husband.  Who knew marriage could be such an amazing partnership? 🙂

What blanketed your heart with warm gratitude this week?

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May you be aware of the endless blessings that surround you this next week.

All is Grace.

Rhonda

Women’s History Month

I could hardly believe it when I realized this is my 100th post.  Amazing!  🙂

I spent some time trying to think of some wise, witty, memorable ideas, wanting to make it a huge celebration.  But then in the back of my mind, I thought since March is Women’s History Month, why not pay tribute to women who have changed the course of history.  The women who have paved the way to where I am today.  The women who’s courage amazes and captivates the attention of other women who are trying to make it in today’s world.

I’ve decided to list my top ten, and encourage and invite you to list some of yours in the comments.  Maybe there’s a woman who has made a difference in your life that others haven’t heard of and by learning more about that person, could make a difference in someone else’s life as well.

So here’s my top ten:

10.) Marilyn Monroe – She was such a beautiful, talented woman, and yet so conflicted.  Sadly, Marilyn Monroe has proven that beauty truly is only skin deep and cannot buy happiness.

9.)   Amelia Earhart – Aviation pioneer – She has demonstrated that being a woman should never stop one from doing what one truly wants to do.  If anything, she has shown that one should try even harder, pursuing passion with gusto.

8.)   Oprah Winfrey – She has shown that no matter what we’re born with and what our past holds, it does not have to define and shape our future.  We have the power within us to do and be whatever we choose to be.  And, as with Amelia Earhart, passion and perseverance can move mountains.

7.)   Katie Davis – Katie has shown that we’re never too young to make a difference.  At 18 she moved to Uganda to work with the poor and has adopted 14 girls and made a difference to an abundance of people.  She radiates joy, love, hope, and the Spirit of Jesus.

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6.)   Anne Frank – Her statement, “Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart,” is astounding to me. She has shown that attitude really is 99% of what we become.

5.)   Kathryn Stockett – Wow! Talk about perseverance! After five years of trying to secure a literary agent and approximately 60 rejections, the author of the bestseller, The Help, never quit.  Thank goodness she finally caught the attention of just one, because it’s a book I would recommend to anyone and everyone.

4.)   Jane Pauley – I grew up watching her on NBC’s The Today Show, and her simple beauty and love of being a journalist fed my love of words. Recently she has spoken openly about her bipolar disorder, helping to overcome some of the stigma surrounding the illness.

3.)   Maya Angelou – A woman who has overcome childhood trauma and used it to help others overcome through words.  And the poem Phenomenal Woman? I need say no more. Simply phenomenal.

2.)   Mother Teresa – I don’t even know where to begin with explaining what this amazing Godly woman has taught me.  She was the most perfect role model of grace, humility, and demonstration of love. Her simplicity and selfless service to others knew no bounds.

1.)   The first and most influential woman in my life would be my mother.  She has taught me that hard work, faith, and dedication are the keys to success.  She has taught me that taking care of and being present for my own family is the greatest gift I can give, and that to serve and follow Christ, I need not travel to another country to do so, but it starts in my own home.  And she has taught me that laughter and joy are key to aging gracefully.

Mom-Princess

Weekend Quote

Mother Teresa

“Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.”
― Mother Teresa

TGIF – Gratitude Friday

Top three things I’m especially grateful for this week:

1.) The warm glow of lamplight and the soft flicker of candlelight on a cold evening.

2.) The soothing absence of sound and bright light after a period of sensory overload.

3.) My two grown sons on a trip together in Las Vegas, spending good quality time with one another. Makes my heart proud.

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Please share what you’re grateful for this past week. 🙂

Peace