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constant connections www.hispasturepress.com

Sometimes I wonder where we crossed the constant connection line.

I remember when my mother had a tan-colored phone that hung on the kitchen wall. It was a rotary dial. There was no answering machine. If people called while you were out, nobody got mad, and nobody got worried. The caller attempted to call at appropriate times. I remember my mother’s sister asking if she could call on Sunday’s after 5:00. When she called, my mother was usually relaxing and this became family connection time.

I also remember party lines. Folks had phones in their homes that did not have a dial. They called the operator to place a call. They also listened for a set number of rings before they picked up a call. I think I nearly gave my Great Aunt a stroke when I picked up her phone after it rang once. Her assigned number of rings was five. After the phone rang five times in a row it was a guaranteed call for that household, not for the next household down the dusty gravel road.

I miss those days to a degree. Life was more difficult because we had less conveniences, yet it was easier because we didn’t have electronics. The closest thing to an electronic was the big wood stereo that sat in our living room. Mom cleaned house to “long hair” music, which I now refer to as soft orchestra or band music.

We didn’t walk around with a phone stuck to our ear. We went out and did whatever we wanted and needed without staying connected, but then, we weren’t able to share our experiences instantly with our friends around the world.

Families actually enjoyed each other’s company. Have you seen couples or families sitting at a restaurant table together with each individual staring at their own phone? What about moms that walk and scroll on their phones, while dads tend to the kids, or vice versa?

I have visited homes where people were texting each other across the room. Talk about an uncomfortable situation. I do not worry over what people think about me, but the visitor would be dead to not wonder.

What do you think? Would you like to break away, or do you take a vacation from your cell phone deliberately? Do you feel safer with a phone within your reach? Do you go to bed reading on your phone, and do you wake and catch up on updates on your phone before you rise out of bed? I admit. I have a difficult time not reading the news (I know…bad times for that) before I read my favorite fiction books that I call my sleeping pills.

how to start writingSo, you love to write, yet you think you can’t?

Of course you can!

For starters, you enjoy or long to express yourself on paper. Right?

You may keep journals, and you may find writing to be therapeutic.

Writing has become one of your “happy places” in life.

If you have nodded your head “yes” to some of this, you may be a writer.

My advice is to write, and keep on writing. Read, and read a lot.

Write every day. Gradually build up to 100 words a day. Soon, you’ll pen 200 – 300 words in no time flat.

To get started, try writing about any topic or thought that you want to express. Do not worry about grammar or spelling. If you cannot think of a specific theme to write about, start with one sentence (focus on one thing from your day, for example) and build on that. Just start writing. It does not matter how bad you think your writing is, just write. Editing comes later, much later.

When you cannot think of anything to write about, try scrolling through graphics or photos. I usually write my blog posts first, and then I select a graphic or photo, but it also happens in reverse. Photographs inspire me to write.

Your writing will improve on its own when you purposely write every day, and especially when you combine it with proliferous reading. You’ll find your own writing style, and you will also notice differences in writing styles. You will learn to observe, and even work at picking up the writing style(s) that you love.

File or save everything that you have written. This is where journals come in handy. By hanging on to what you’re written, because you never know when you might want to write a book, or start a blog, you’ll always have a starting place.

Thoughts itching to be written are wasted, lost, vanished for good, when they go in the trash (or are never penned to begin with). Trust me, I have to grab a piece of paper, a voice recorder (my phone), or a sticky note when a fresh idea pops into my head. If I depend upon memory, the moment passes and it never gets written. Inspiration tends to dwindle once it is pushed to the back burner. My husband is very aware of this. He’ll toss a used envelope at me and say, “Write it down, now!” Your family and friends may not want to read your writing, but they will become your support system when they hear you say, “I feel writing coming on.”

Some additional signs that you might be a writer:

  • You dream about writing
  • Writing was a childhood passion of yours
  • You’ve dream of screen writing
  • Writing has been a hobby for as long as you can remember
  • You feel you cannot stop writing
  • You are a day dreamer, and it has to be put into words

If you want to write, I hope this post has inspired you. If you already write, then I hope you have found renewed inspiration.

Do you love to write? When did you discover your passion for writing? How did you get beyond doubt in yourself as a writer? What is your best advice for an aspiring writer?

 

dreamstime_m_17585533Sometimes a slap-stick moment comes out that reminds us that our marriage is improved by a serving of humor.

My husband goes to a pain management clinic for a back procedure every few months. This involves several processes, but always includes a steroid injection or two that develops into jittery goofiness.

Yesterday, after my husband’s post-procedure nap, we got into the car to head out for dinner. The outside temperature was 102 degrees, and the immediate hot air blasting out of the car vents was enough to make me want to jump back out into the much cooler heat. So I reached for the dial to turn the blower off.

My action was immediately intercepted, “Oh no, you have to have the blower going so the gate will open!”

Seriously, “Are you pulling my leg?” Either the meds had really done a number on him, which would have been understood, or he was pulling one of his pranks on me — which has been a part of our marriage.

“No, seriously, the compressor will not be exposed, so it will not kick in. The gate has to open.”

Was I suddenly on Mars? Was I having a brain spasm? At the 15-year mark in our marriage, I’ve learned to let some things go. Don’t make life more difficult by questioning.

So, I suffered through the death-inducing hot air and I drove through the apartment gate. Then I remarked, “There is no compressor in that gate!”

Well, we both laughed until we were crying. Pull me over officer, I am drunk (with laughter). Right? Apparently, as my refrigeration tech husband then explained to me, inside the air conditioning duct is a little door (which he called a gate) that remains closed when the blower is shut off. Cooling will not begin to occur unless the gate is open.

Life is full of humor. The book of laughter continues to fill.

The funniest moment we experienced happened in our first year of marriage. I was standing in the kitchen and heard my husband calling me from the yard, “Come here, you’ve got to see this.” So I walked out on the deck and looked down to see my man covered with chocolate-colored mud from head to toe, with white eyes glaring where his glasses had been on his face. Imagine it as if he had worn little round cups that had shielded his eyes as he fell. This in-grained image continues to bring on the best of belly laughs, happy memories surface, and relaxation follows suit.

I think humor is critical in marriage. We must forgive. We must take life as it comes. Life is hard, and marriage isn’t any easier. Living with our best friend helps, and thank goodness for laughter!

 

 

laugher best medicineYou don’t have to remind me about the value of humor, but sometimes laughter is like a nudge. After a good laugh…ahhh…there it is again, I’ve found that wonderful feeling, don’t sweat over small stuff, and it is ALL small stuff.

So, the other day I was scrolling through LaShonda Tyree’s Handmade Soap Coach site and stumbled across a photo with a caption that led me to laugh out loud, “Life is short, smile while you still have teeth.” Hysterical, and oh so appropriate at that particular moment in my day.

A friend at work loves to say, at the times we need it most, “It ain’t no thing,” and “It’s all good.” Don’t sweat the small stuff. Smile while you still have teeth.

Remember the movie The In Law’s from some year in the past (1970’s)? I could be dating myself, but who cares? I still laugh myself crazy over what I call the serpentine scene. These two men end up dodging bullets, literally, running around (serpentining, excuse my language, like idiots). One says, “Serpentine!,” the other asks, “Are you kidding me?”, and the response is, “We’ll never make it if we keep on lying here!” Good old humor, and with a twist…we’ll never make it if we keep on lying here (without our sense of humor). We’ll be dead, and without teeth, right?

Life is tough. Life is short.

A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down. Laughter is good medicine! (HelpGuide.org):

Laughter is good for your health

  • Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
  • Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
  • Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
  • Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.

There’s more…

Proverbs 17:22 A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirt dries up the bones.

Anyone for a good dose of slapstick humor? When was the last night you stumbled on your own feet, but managed to stay upright, and someone asked, “Did you have a nice trip?” Yeah, that sort of silliness. How about this story…I worked in downtown Indianapolis and we wore dresses and hosiery (a requirement), and slips as well. I lost my half slip standing at the corner while waiting for a traffic light to change. Seriously, girl. I stepped out of that slip and stuffed it in my coat pocket. When we walked into the office elevator a co-worker finally brought my special moment up. She said, “Way to go grace!” Ha! My name became Grace for several years after that. Tell me your story. We all want a good hearty laugh!
    

small business, bloggingI am participating in the  Indie Business Network Blog Your Brand Challenge.

This means I committed to publishing a blog post, one a day, for thirty days. Luckily, I own three blogs so I can spread out some of the topics that I will be writing about. To be crystal clear here, I panicked after I typed the challenge acceptance words “I am in!” It was a quick decision. A kick in the seat of my pants. The busy days of this season just got busier and I instantly felt the “I am short on writing topics” thud in the pit of my stomach. Shame on me for not having a list of topics on hand. This is a must for a writer!

Writing this blog is super enjoyable, though, specifically because this is where I spill my thoughts out. This is my writer’s blog, and every writer needs one (in my estimation). We need a place to write outside of our business, outside of our paid writing projects. THIS is that place for me.

This is where you get to know me. This is where I share my world through words. This is where I add kindle (words) to the fire, let the blaze burn down (enjoy my words, and challenge myself to add pizzazz), and relax in front of the warmth of the embers (freed from the words that were sizzling to get out).

Please jump in and comment as we, a group of small business owners, support each other in this challenge.

If you are an author, or not, do you also find your blog to be a place of enjoyment, beyond a place to work on your business? Do you find that this is where we combine work with pleasure? Or do you feel my thoughts reflects those of a person that loves to write, and writing is not enjoyable for you — blog or not?

PS. This is day 2, my first blog post of this challenge is published at my Mary Humphrey Coaching  site (here).

memorial day www.hispasturepress.comI brought my satchel of notes and planner with me. I had decided to turn a chair or two into office space as I sat in the waiting room in anticipation of a one-hour stay.

An elderly couple caught my attention as they helped each other walk into the room. When they sat down, the husband placed his hat, which displayed bright gold stitching “WWII,” on his knee. As a daughter of a father that was proud of the years that he had served in the U.S. Army, my heart swelled at the site of the mounted hat.

Moments later, another couple entered the waiting area. After they settled into their seats, I noticed the man was also wearing a similar hat. I thought it was only going to be a short matter of time before the veterans struck up a conversation. The first husband looked at his wife as he rose up, “I need to go pay someone a visit.”

The men patted each other on the shoulders and I heard places of war mentioned, one was Okinawa. My thoughts funneled down to one, this is the way it should be. Without a prompt, this was the unspoken understanding between two strangers — admiration, support, warmth, and love.

The dainty wife looked at me. With honor and respect in her voice, and with tiny tear-drops on her eyelids, “He’s found someone to talk to.” She knew why, and without a doubt, she was also pleased.

When her husband returned to his seat, she laced her fingers through his, “You found someone to talk to.” They both smiled and my heart melted. Time and space filled with unspoken words.

There, in that bland waiting room, one thing stood out – the image of love and devotion. Devotion between two men that had fought for all of our lives, and a woman and a man who had made it through the ups and downs of wedded life. They had bound their gnarled fingers together, held in peace as one.

My own lesson for the day, and one that should never fade from me, to remember and treasure these things. Love. Devotion. Support. Never forget to hold those that have fought for us in honor and admiration.

God's voice through colors, God's colors

It had been a trying week. After I arrived home from work I took a drive to a second-hand shop to peek around for a couple of small end-of-week rewards … a token to hold in my hands, and the other a gift of unwinding by myself.

As I drove back home with air conditioning blasting in my face and with my foot heavy on the accelerator I noticed other cars sharing the road had their windows down. They, unlike many city Texan drivers, seemed to be on a slow meander. I said, “What is up with that?” I eased off of the speed and followed suit as I pushed the button to roll down the glass. A glorious cool breeze wafted in, and then I saw it.

God’s pallet unfolded before my eyes. Sunset filled with a rainbow of colors. No need for sunglasses. The glare was gone, and in its wake were the most beautiful deep and profound colors that I believe I have ever observed.

It soothed my soul,  and I whispered as a tear escaped my eye, “Oh Father, I see your beauty. There is no other that could have made this. Your colors speak, and Father, I praise you. I love you.”

I find it to be no coincidence that man reports these colors to hold meaning and significance:

  • Gold – complete and pure
  • Orange – energy combined with happiness
  • Pink – unconditional love and nurturing
  • Purple – imagination
  • Blue – depth and stability

Whether it be through a rainbow after a storm pulls out, or through the promise of rest that follows the prism of sunset, God speaks his words of life.