18 02, 2015

A Love Affair

By |2015-02-18T06:00:38-06:00February 18th, 2015|one word Wednesday|0 Comments

loveLove is in the air. It is, after all, February.

I must confess I’ve caught the love bug and I’m having an affair.

A love affair with words.

Long before I met my husband and shared my heart with him, words held me in their spell.

The affair goes way back to when I learned the alphabet and started to string letters into words. Then I learned to read words and instantly knew …

Words are powerful. Potent.

Words enchant. Entice.

Words stir emotions.

I listened to nursery rhymes, chants, and children’s poetry read from My Book House, a series of twelve volumes compiled and edited by Olive Beaupré Miller.

My book houseStories and poetry from My Book House opened worlds I’d never imagined. As I grew older and worked my way through the volumes, biographies of famous men and women down through history inspired me, folklore from around the world fascinated me, and poetry from Longfellow, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Song of Solomon inspired me.

Curled up reading through those volumes, my love for words grew stronger and blossomed into a love of books.?????????I doubt I’ll ever abandon my affair with words, but don’t worry my husband doesn’t mind. He loves books as much as I do. Thank heavens the supply of books is unending.

14 01, 2015

Blank Pages

By |2015-01-14T06:00:46-06:00January 14th, 2015|one word Wednesday|1 Comment

Every-Year-is-Like-a-New-Journal-by-Holley-Gerth-300x300

Love this graphic by Holley Gerth and so appreciate her willingness to share.

 I’m already writing as fast as I can to fill the pages of 2015 with good words and great things.  

Not dwelling on the past

or worrying about the future.

Simply taking each day as it comes. 

Moving forward.

How about you?

 

29 10, 2014

De-stressing the next 61 days

By |2014-10-29T06:00:46-05:00October 29th, 2014|one word Wednesday|0 Comments

Halloween is two days away. That can only mean Thanksgiving and Christmas are on the horizon.

Whatever calm and order in our world will soon disappear into preparations and participation for holiday festivities.

All those preparations are taxing. The family gatherings are too often trying. The constant busyness is tiring. Our to-do lists overflow and our schedules leave little room for relaxation.

Don’t get me wrong. The holidays are my favorite time of year.

At the same time I dread them because these sixty-one days been Halloween and New Year’s Day can be so overwhelming.

Problem is, I can’t stay ahead, and become stressed. I don’t think I’m alone. Most of us experience STRESS during the holidays and need to think of ways to De-STRESS.

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You’ll find lots of ideas on these sites:

~Woman’s Day offers 12 Ways to De-stress Amidst Holiday Madness

~Huffington Post suggests What Are You Doing for You This Holiday Season? 

~Focus on the Family recommends De-stressing Christmas

~ Shape.com proposes 3 Easy Ways to De-Stress Over the Holidays 

Chicken Wrangler Sara and I came up with our own idea to de-stress our hectic days during the holidays and restore our calm for the next 61 days.

We’re starting a new blog category called Sunday Sampler. Sounds like we’re adding, but we’re not. Instead of posting three times a week, we’ll be taking turns posting once a week.

We’ll let you know how our plan works.

22 10, 2014

SUPPORTING YOUR FAVORITE AUTHORS

By |2014-10-22T06:00:27-05:00October 22nd, 2014|one word Wednesday|2 Comments

Today’s book market is flooded. Don’t believe me check out the statistics…

According to Worldometers, so far this year 1,975,193 new book titles have been published.

In 2012, there were 3,500 books published each day in the US.

Btw, neither of these statistical sources include the number of eBooks published daily. Some sources estimate indie/self-publishing adds another 3,000 books per day.

That’s a lot of books. An author can get lost in such a vast sea no matter how much marketing they do. So what can be done to help your favorite author?

Buy their books.

Read their books.

Tell your friends about their books.

But most important, especially for Amazon books…

leave a review

Other ways to help an Amazon author:

  1. Add their book to your Amazon wish list, even if you already purchased it.
  2. Like other people’s reviews. You’ll see the question – Was this review helpful to you? – at the bottom of each Amazon review. Click yes or no.
  3. Like their author’s page.

Amazon uses algorithms, which I do not understand. I don’t think anyone does.

It doesn’t matter. The fact remains that every review and like on the author’s page raises an author’s rank on the Amazon charts.

Rank increases the book’s visibility among the vast number of books out there. Visibility can lead to sales.

None of my suggestions take much time to do, so please support your favorite authors.

And, just in case you want to help raise my rankings, you’ll find my Amazon author page here.

15 10, 2014

PINK – One Word Wednesday

By |2014-10-15T06:00:37-05:00October 15th, 2014|one word Wednesday|0 Comments

October is pink month. You see pink everywhere.

The designation of October as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM) began in 1985 as a partnership between the American Cancer Society and the pharmaceutical division of Imperial Chemical Industries, maker of several anti-breast cancer drugs.

Pink_ribbon_svgThe pink ribbon has been the international symbol of breast cancer awareness since 1992.

Due in large part to NBCAM and the pink ribbon campaign, two things have happened in recent years:

~a gradual reduction in female breast cancer among women aged 50 and older has been recorded.

~a decline in death rates from breast cancer

Still there are myths about breast cancer that persist. Below are seven such myths and facts to debunk those myths

  1. MYTH: Finding a lump in your breast = breast cancer.

FACT: Only a small percentage of breast lumps turn out to be cancer.

  1. MYTH: Men cannot get breast cancer.

FACT: Each year approximately 2,190 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 410 will die.

  1. MYTH: A mammogram can cause breast cancer to spread.

FACT: A mammogram is the current gold standard for the early detection of breast cancer.

  1. MYTH: A family history of breast cancer means you are likely to develop breast cancer.

FACT: A family history of breast cancer places you in a higher risk group, but ten percent of individuals diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history.

  1. MYTH: Breast cancer is contagious.

FACT: Breast cancer is the result of uncontrolled cell growth of mutated cells that begin to spread into other tissues within the breast.

  1. MYTH: The gene mutation BRCA1 or BRCA2 detected in your DNA means you will definitely develop breast cancer.

FACT: According to the National Cancer Institute, “not every woman who has a harmful BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation will develop breast and/or ovarian cancer. But, a woman who has inherited a harmful mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2 is about five times more likely to develop breast cancer than a woman who does not have such a mutation.”

  1. MYTH: Antiperspirants and deodorants cause breast cancer.

FACT: Researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) are not aware of any conclusive evidence linking the use of underarm antiperspirants or deodorants and breast cancer.

Material in this blog from the National Cancer Institute and the National Breast Cancer Organization.

Wearing pink or the pink ribbon identifies the wearer with breast cancer awareness and shows moral support for those with breast cancer. I’ll be wearing pink and debunking myths this month.

Will you?

8 10, 2014

What is COURAGE? – One Word Wednesday

By |2014-10-08T06:00:16-05:00October 8th, 2014|one word Wednesday|0 Comments

courage-2Courage — confronting a difficult, frightening, painful, or disturbing situation when our first instinctive reaction is to flee.

The word courage comes from root cour or coeur, which is French for heart. The essence of courage lies in our heart.

We find courage portrayed everywhere – in the Bible, in fairy tales, in books, in movies, in the news.

Courage is depicted as physical bravery, but being courageous also encompasses much more than physical strength and endurance. Courage involves mental stamina and innovation too.

Melanie Greenberg, Ph.D., identifies six different ways we are courageous.

  1. Feeling Fear Yet Choosing to Act
  2. Following Your Heart
  3. Persevering in the Face of Adversity
  4. Standing Up For What Is Right
  5. Expanding Your Horizons; Letting Go of the Familiar
  6. Facing Suffering With Dignity or Faith

cowardly lionThe Cowardly Lion in the classic film The Wizard of Oz learned courage must ultimately come from within.

If you find yourself confronted with a difficult, frightening, painful, or disturbing situation or you feel threatened, weak, vulnerable, intimidated, or terrified, call forth your inner COURAGE.

And remember what Mark Twain says:

“It’s not the size of the dog in the fight; it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”

1 10, 2014

The Hills are Alive with COLOR

By |2014-10-01T06:00:22-05:00October 1st, 2014|one word Wednesday|0 Comments

Today’s One Word Wednesday is COLOR.

Julie Andrews sang about the hills of Austria being alive with the Sound of Music.

???????????????????????????????This fall the hills and mountains of Western Colorado are alive with color. Streams of yellow flow down the mountain sides like veins of gold. ???????????????????????????????

My husband and I loaded up a picnic lunch and our two four-legged boys and headed out for a day trip of leaf viewing.

We always did the same day trips every fall when we lived in Connecticut to see the canvas of color on those hills.

On this trip, the rich yellows and reds and oranges and all shades in between were so vibrant that it almost hurt our eyes to look.

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red mtn

 

Bethany's tree

 

 

 

 

 

After our little excursion, I have to agree with Poet Leigh Hunt.colors quote

17 09, 2014

Beauty – One Word Wednesday

By |2014-09-17T06:00:07-05:00September 17th, 2014|one word Wednesday|0 Comments

Edie Melson’s graphic of Thoreau’s quote about heaven under our feet fits perfectly with today’s word – Beauty.

Heaven quote

Recently my husband and I have been out and about traveling to farmer’s markets and orchards to buy fruits and vegetables to store for the coming winter. ???????????????????????????????

As we’ve wandered the back roads to organic farms, we have seen beauty everywhere — truly heaven beneath our feet.

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Wouldn’t you agree God’s handiwork testifies to what incredible sights we’ll find in heaven?

 

 

10 09, 2014

Word-Magic – One Word Wednesday

By |2014-09-10T06:00:46-05:00September 10th, 2014|one word Wednesday|0 Comments

Webster defines word-magic as magic involving the use of words in a manner determined by a belief that the very act of uttering a word summons or directly affects the person or thing that the word refers to.

According to Christopher Vogler (one of my very favorite writing teachers):Chris Vogler and me

“Many cultures believed the letters of their alphabets were far more than just symbols for communication, recording transactions, or recalling history. They believed letters were powerful magical symbols that could be used to cast spells and predict the future. The Norse runes and the Hebrew alphabet are simple letters for spelling words, but also deep symbols of cosmic significance.”

Chris goes further to say, “When you “spell” a word correctly, you are in effect casting a spell, charging these abstract, arbitrary symbols with meaning and power.”

My spelling is so bad I’m not sure I have to worry about any words I write casting spells. Half the time, spell checker can’t even come up with choices for what I’ve typed.

I do believe, however, that once the words form into sentences and sentences into paragraphs another magic occurs – story magic. Vogler calls it The Hero’s Journey, a mystical path that readers sense on some level.

Don’t you have a sense of magic when you read or hear some stories?

It’s the incredible ability of certain authors to cast a spell and transport readers into an imaginary world with their word pictures.

But there’s another aspect of word magic, too.

Consider the adage, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never harm me.” As much as we might want, or wish, the saying to be correct, the truth is words have the power to hurt or heal us.

Whenever we speak, we should choose words carefully.

As writers and storytellers, like the shamans or medicine men and women of ancient cultures, we should recognize the incredible power we have with our words.

inspirational-pictures-quote_15159-2

Pearl Strachan Hurd was a British politician in the 1930’s whose sole legacy is this quote, emphasizing the destructive power language can have.

Atom bombs conjure images of death, violence, and war. Not a pretty picture at all.

Ms. Hurd’s quote very dramatically reminds us of the need to be cautious with our words and the power of word-magic.

3 09, 2014

Perseverance – One Word Wednesday

By |2014-09-03T06:00:54-05:00September 3rd, 2014|one word Wednesday|0 Comments

In case you don’t know what perseverance is, it’s the continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, discouragement, obstacles, or opposition.

Perseverance is a tenacious trait unlike perfectionism, which we looked at last week. One is an obstacle to progress. The other leads to success.

I believe perseverance can override perfectionism.

So does Holly Gerth. She says so in this lovely graphic.

Blue-Background-by-Rosaura-Ochoa-and-Quote-by-Holley-Gerth-294x300

If those words aren’t motivation enough to be persistent and persevere,   check out these links to see how perseverance can actually work.

 7 Entrepreneurs Whose Perseverance Will Inspire You

50 Famous People Who Failed at Their First Attempt at Career Success

 

 

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