For the Poetry Lovers
During Nora Roberts' Girls Night Out earlier this month I met up with friend and fellow writer/poet, Barbara Harrison. She mentions the night in her own blog, which you can read here.
I met Barbara from attending meet-ups of the Western MD Writers Meetup Group.
They're a very diverse group of writers and a nice bunch of people I haven't joined in awhile, but will have to start attending the groups again soon--maybe THAT'S what I need to jump-start this 4th book!
I have blogged about happiness and gratitude on here, and for me, simplicity goes hand-in-hand with those 2 qualities. So Simplicity is the topic for this blog post!
Last night I went out with some friends to a fun event, designed to generate sales for some authors. I didn't buy anything, because with Dave retired, I am trying not to spend too much on unnecessary acquisitions.
This morning I woke up thinking about Henry David Thoreau's Walden Pond experiment, and also the Buddhist principle that life is a state of constant suffering because we are never satisfied with what we have. We always need more money, a bigger house, a newer car, a better job....
And then in my emails was a mention of this book about making 2018 your best year. On Amazon the book was only about $14, and I felt that pang of compulsive need (yes, I do cave in to those spontaneous bouts of weakness from time to time!) but I didn't hit the infamous 1-Click Button. Especially after hearing the spiel for the book,(which only left me wishing I were that good with a sales pitch). I was reminded of this morning's earlier ruminations, and I thought, I already have my best life. There's really nothing I feel I'm lacking.
It seems to me we complicate our lives searching for fulfillment and we never find it. Maybe I'm just one of the lucky ones, who doesn't need a lot of material things. The other day we took Dave's wedding band in to get resized and the jeweler immediately launched into hard sell mode; "Look around! Make a list for things you might want for Christmas!" While I like to look at sparkly shiny objects like most primates, I am not gonna request Santa bring me diamonds and rubies for Christmas.
In my quest for simplicity, I am successful much of the time in not giving in to compulsive buying, which is especially hard to do nowadays with online shopping! Instead of a treadmill that will only take up precious space in our small living room and collect dust, a comfortable pair of walking shoes is all I need and we can walk in the park or in our own neighborhood FOR FREE. A lot of this mindset is surely due to being reared by parents who grew up during the Depression, but boy, life in the 21st century is full of temptations my folks couldn't even begin to imagine!
BUT, all that being said for simplicity, I do like to get my money's worth on, say, appliances or linens. I would rather pay a little more for a food processor that will last me 15 years or 500 - thread -count bed sheets that won't wear out in 5 washes. But that's just being practical.
As I conclude this blog entry, TV ads with their festive jingles are enticing me to SPEND SPEND SPEND! Go out and buy! Replace the old, even though there's nothing wrong with it.
No thanks. I'll wait 'til something wears out.
The Ripple Effect
No, I haven't been working on Book #4. One reason (besides the accursed Muses taunting me with just the slightest tidbits of inspiration) is that I need to work out how ALL the characters' lives are connected--I need a common thread.
Like ripples in water, our actions, no matter how slight, expand outward, bumping into other ripples. The individual ripple may weaken and eventually subside altogether, but the other ripples are no less affected.
At the center, the main SPLASH in this little analogy of mine, has to be Agnes Harper, the eccentric widow with the kleptomaniac tabby and the annoyingly chatty parrot. I really love this character and want to find her a worthy home among the pages of a finished novel, and it's so hard to be patient as I try to figure out how best to assemble this latest work. But I really want to flesh out Agnes and the rest of the populace of my fictional town of Berryville. So I have a feeling I'll be working on this project for years to come!
So MEANWHILE, my only outlet for writing has been this blog, and that's gonna have to sustain me until all these puzzle pieces fit together and I can figure out how to get all these ripples to harmonize.
And when I figure it out, it will make for a great novel!
With Thanksgiving looming in the near future, I'm all full of thankfulness and blessing-counting.
I tried keeping a Gratitude Journal a couple of times; supposed to list about 5 things a day I was grateful for. After a time it got a bit redundant and repetitious, and I put it aside.
But I often find myself counting my blessings anyway. And, all things considered, there's no such thing as a small blessing.
Just being able to bathe, dress and feed yourself are MAJOR blessings. Having a home. A working vehicle. A job. A really comfy bed. YOUR HEALTH! None of these are small on any scale.
The late Dr. Masaru Emoto did some fascinating work with water and how its molecular structure can be affected by thought and intention. Positive emotions like Love, Appreciation, Peace and, of course, Gratitude, caused the water crystals to form beautiful 6-pointed snowflake-like designs. Water crystals responded either positively or negatively to various stimuli. Depending on the source, the greater percentage of the human body is made up of water, so exposing ourselves to positive or negative thoughts, it stands to reason, greatly affects our well-being. I admit I can struggle with keeping positive sometimes, but I try to keep in mind the importance of my own attitude, and how very blessed I am.
There are lots of great articles online about Gratitude and how it is one of the highest vibrations on the scale of emotions, so I won't go into a lot of that here. I just wanted to take a moment to look back on this year, and how I am glad to have so many dear people in my life!
Reflections on a Successful Book-Signing
After last week's successful but exhausting book-signing at Turn the Page in Boonsboro,
I came away marveling at some of the other featured authors who are so much more diligent and productive than I--working a full 8 hours a day ON THEIR WRITING, creating fun (but questionably cost-effective) swag bags and having their spiel down tightly it comes off as second nature.
These gals mean business.
I would love to be that productive, but with productivity comes expectations and with expectations comes stress.
I don't do stress well.
I write when the Muses direct me. I write mostly for the love of writing; if others buy my books and enjoy them, that's a blessing and a bonus.
But I also thought up some promotional ideas of my own that, hopefully, will generate interest and sales in 2018.
I feel like I am really in my element at a book-signing. It was a lot of fun meeting so many nice people last weekend. And to those who purchased one or more of my books, I thank you a million times and hope you enjoy them!
Which leads to next week's post, which will be about GRATITUDE!