Rip off the mask, tear down the walls. Show the world my beautiful, vulnerable self!

Posts tagged ‘abundance’

Oh, The Extraordinary Thinks You Can Think!

Thinking’s Missing Link

Dr. Seuss said it best, but Lewis Carroll had it right as well. We humans have incredible minds able to think extraordinary things, even 6 impossible things before breakfast! Humankind has made more advances in the last 100 years or so using that thinker, than in the rest of the documented centuries combined. And yet, we also keep repeating old lessons, never quite managing to integrate them into the structure of our world.

This ability has been called by many names in recent years: Laws of Attraction and Neuroplasticity just to name a couple. People are cashing on on our ability to think, and our inability to see it and take advantage of it. I, myself have spent thousands of dollars on webinars and books, trying to learn to harness my natural abilities. Crazy, right?

What Are We Doing Wrong?

We all manage to think, at least some of the time. What I think we lack is focus. And because we lack focus, we often fail to make the commitment to ourselves to see what we think through.

Take improving our health habits for instance. How many people have joined gyms, hired trainers, and bought all manner of equipment only to give up halfway through? How many of those expensive elliptical machines and treadmills are gathering dust or serving as clothes racks? How many self-help books and exercise videos are piled on a shelf or in a box, or even still in their shrink wrap?

Making a Commitment to the Most Important Person in Our Lives

The problem isn’t our inability to think. We can sit and do that for hours at a time! Our problem is our willingness to see a project through; to make a commitment. Not the kind we make to our kids, our spouse, or a job. This one hits much closer to home and is often the last to get our attention.

I’ve learned through painful experience that the hardest thing we can ever commit to is ourselves.

How many times have we said “I’ll do that when…” and “when” comes only after things like the kids growing up and getting through college. When comes after we’ve paid off this debt or that. When comes after we’ve honored commitments to our family, friends, jobs…in other words, when never comes. That is, unless we make it our first priority instead of our last.

So I’m learning to change the things that follow “when” to the ones that are for other people and things. I’m getting in shape now, because it’s what’s good for me. I’m writing more regularly because it’s good for me. I’m finishing some of the courses I bought months and years ago because…you guessed it. It’s good for me!

Committing to Yourself is Just the Tip of the Iceberg

All of this has given rise to an interesting side-effect. The more I concentrate on doing things for myself, the more time and energy I have to do other things which I’ve moved to the other side of “when”. Once I refused to allow myself to dishonor my self-commitment to working out 3 times a week, I miraculously found the time to write a blog post every couple of days. Desire resurfaced to complete the VA course I’d bought last year.

The whole thing is having a snowball effect. I’m cleaning out rooms and closets which have been dumping grounds for the detritus of my life for decades. GONE! I’ve cleared my desk and surrounding surfaces of clutter I swore I had to keep because I might need it someday. GONE!

When we make our commitment to ourselves first, we suddenly find we have an abundance of time for all the things we want to do. Why? Because we’re finally happy. We finally get to do things which satisfy our minds and our souls. Life isn’t a matter of getting through the tasks we have to do any more. It’s a matter of getting to do the things we love, so we’re happy to accommodate others and fulfill responsibilities to them as well.

If I Knew Then What I Know Now

If I could go back and give my teenage self a single piece of advice right now, I’d say Give yourself permission to do what you love, and commit yourself fully to doing that. Only then will you feel genuine pleasure in helping other people by doing things they ask of you. Only then will there be nothing you truly hate to do.

The light bulb went off for me when I realized I’d always dropped the ball when it came to committing to myself. Though I’m still very much a work-in-progress, I am certain I will continue to see positive changes and continued opportunities to live, learn, grow, and think the most amazing, fantastical things possible, the wildest and most impossible things, and then, make them happen. I hope if it hasn’t already, that light bulb will go off for you too. As I said to myself the day I finally decided to file for divorce: “Life is too short to be unhappy.” But only you can make yourself happy.

More and More Grateful Each Passing Day

My gratitudes tonight are:

  1. I am grateful for my epiphanies.
  2. I am grateful for all the lessons I’ve learned, and the ones I’m still learning.
  3. I am grateful for the commitment I’ve finally learned to make to myself.
  4. I am grateful for a refurbishment of priorities.
  5. I am grateful for the joy I feel that increases with each passing day.
  6. I am grateful for abundance; commitment to self, love, joy, happiness, progress, inspiration, motivation, productivity, prosperity, philanthropy, peace, harmony, and enlightenment.

Blessed Be

I invite you to visit my Facebook pages, Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author and HLWT Accounting. Please also drop by my website, and check out my Hire Me Page. I’ve created these pages as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” them or leave a comment! Thank you!

Lightbulb photo courtesy of Julian Santacruz

It’s Not Nice to Neglect the Blog

This is Where the Whole Thing Started

This blog is where it all started. Well, not quite all as I’ve been scribbling for most of my life,but it’s where my online presence really began when the writing of Life After Suicide: Healing and Forgiving stalled. Yet I realized tonight that I’ve been horribly neglecting it lately.

Of course, I have my reasons. I’ve been writing articles for my website as well as sharing a chapter or so of the aforementioned book every week. I’ve attended events and have been helping family members who are going through a crisis. All of those normal life things.

But I’ve also been doing some writing for other sites and even pitching a bit. (I know, that one is hard to believe!) All in all, I’ve been relatively busy, but in all honesty, more lazy than busy about writing something in my poor, neglected, red-headed step-child of a blog.

Tonight, that neglect and abuse ends as I once again give you a little taste of my ADD brain with or without mass quantities of caffeine.

Peaceful Days do not an Interesting Blog Post Make

In a random moment of uncharacteristic calm, I find I have little to really share. Life is chugging along rather splendidly at the moment. My daughter and son-in-law (along with my grandpuppy, Gwennie) have been here for the last few days which means I’ve been running around with them quite a bit. We’ve met some family members we didn’t realize we had, and found them to be amazing, compassionate, kind, loving people. We are so blessed to be able to include them in future holidays, laced liberally with our own particular brand of insanity and fun.

My cats aren’t entirely thrilled about sharing their home with a gasp! dawg! Especially one who, for all of her 45 or 50 pounds, truly believes she’s a cat and can’t for the life of her understand why these cats won’t play and cuddle with her the way her own three felines will.

Pyewacket did get locked in the bedroom with her one night, though he ended up hiding under the bed for most of it. Now, he uses the safety of the closed door to bat at her through the gap at the bottom.

Scrappy is walking around with a bottle brush for a tail from running away from a dog who simply wants to say hello. The older three are somewhat blase about the whole thing. They’ve seen it all before and know that she’s not allowed in my bedroom or the kitchen and there’s always the safety of one of the two cat trees, when all else fails.

At any rate, the household should return to normal in a couple of days, or at least to what passes for normal around here.

Do You Pokemon Go?

And how about that Pokemon Go? I swore I wouldn’t succumb, especially since I never played the game in the first place. But then I saw the potential for getting me out and moving, aka walking the neighborhood looking for those recharging stations where you can get more balls, potions, eggs and more, and for finding the little creatures (I got a Pikachu today and my daughter was NOT happy as she hasn’t found one yet!). Some of their stories are a little out there, and I kept bugging the kids to show me how something worked, but otherwise, I am having a good time with it. And because of our little side trips to find various things, I hit almost 10,000 steps yesterday (I’m writing this after midnight, so I guess it was yesterday now!)

The one thing which bothers me is how it perpetuates the face-down-in-the-cell-phone behavior I’ve come to abhor. However, I also see how it creates a talking point and strangers are chatting and sharing as they chase down more balls with which to capture odd little creatures or find an unusual guy to add to their collection. It also inspires a little healthy competition (I chose the same team as my son-in-law instead of my daughter) but also cooperation.

It makes you wander a little more off the beaten path to find things so you’re moving and exploring. I’m loving the stories of people who find and rescue abandoned animals they found will playing, and look forward to more heart-warming tales as the game continues to grow in popularity.

Do you have a Pokemon story? Please share it! I’d love to know how others are finding this new fad.

There is so Much to be Grateful For. This Barely Scratches the Surface.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for moving and grooving.
2. I am grateful for time well spent with my kids.
3. I am grateful for all of the new people who are coming into my life.
4. I am grateful for positivity in all the forms it is appearing.
5. I am grateful for abundance: love, positivity, friendship, family, inspiration, writing jobs, passion, working together, helping others, contributing, health, peace, harmony, philanthropy and prosperity.

Blessed Be

I invite you to visit my Facebook pages, Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author and HLWT Accounting. Please also drop by my website, and check out my Hire Me Page. I’ve created these pages as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” them or leave a comment! Thank you!

Featured Photo courtesy of Happy Come via Flikr


September 23, 2015 Expanding Our Horizons Intelligently

How do You Answer the Age-old Question: What do You Want to be When You Grow Up?

Figuring out our future begins when we’re very young. As a child we may have visions of being a surgeon or a fireman or an astronaut because those careers seem larger than life and our experiences are small. As we grow older, our aspirations begin to refine, though often, they are driven by our parents’ advice to pick something which will make us a good living.

As a result, many talented writers, artists and musicians become accountants, bankers and salesmen because the definition of a good living they were taught is to earn lots of money. Pardon my language, but that’s a crock of shit, and one I, myself bought into for over 30 years.

Yes, it allowed me to leave a bad marriage and still support my daughters. Yes, it has kept me off the streets and in the home I’ve owned for nearly 35 years, but if I’d started following my passion sooner, might I have made different choices which would have landed me somewhere completely different and even better? I’ll never know, nor do I really give it much thought because I know I’m exactly where I need to be right now. But at least I finally learned that preaching the same tired sermon to my daughters wasn’t doing them any favors.

Today, I work for myself making, for the moment, less money. But I also have less stress, more freedom, a happier life and am surrounded by my cats, my books and friends who understand me.

Passions Pro’s and Cons

There are down sides to living my passion. In the first place, I have to learn how to market my skills better, but thankfully, I’ve connected with some people who set an incredible example. Second, I have to hold myself in check, insuring that I actually finish projects instead of haring off to take this class or that one or begin yet another project that will join the queue of those awaiting completion. In the last year and a half alone I’ve signed up for:

  • AWAI’s Six-Figure Copywriting Course
  • Gina Horkey’s Freelance Writing Course
  • Holly Lisle’s novel writing course

I’ve also purchased dozens of paper books and countless e-books and papers on writing, many of which I’ve actually read! I’ve also participated in blog challenges and 3 NaNoWriMo’s so far. But I’ve had to curb my tendency to buy courses (even though Carrie Smith Nicholson seriously tempted me with a package for only $99 the other day) until I finish the projects I’ve already started. In fact, I am set to deny myself this year’s NaNoWriMo if I don’t finish the revision of my first novel before November 1. I’m my own harshest mistress.

My latest mind wander has taken me into my interest in herbal remedies and the temptation to search for a course in herbalism. Before I could even type the word into a search engine, my conscience kicked in and said What? Another side trip into something you may or may not finish? Sorry, kid, but there’s a novel on your desktop which deserves better. Add this to your bucket list and get back to work.

Thankfully, that little voice has gotten stronger over the last few months, fueled in part by my dwindling finances, but also by the desire to see more than my blog in print. When I worked for a corporation, I was good at prioritizing and completing multiple projects on time. Now, I have to set my own deadlines and believe deep in my gut that they’re not arbitrary.

Going back to the three courses, I ended up cancelling the first one, completing the second and playing hit-or-miss with the third (though I’ve already gained some insight from it which is helping with my latest novel revision). Fortunately, I stopped the downward spiral by taking myself in hand (with the help of a pep talk from a a friend) and setting both boundaries and goals. I’m also determined, whether I meet a goal or not, to refrain from beating myself up. Not only is it counterproductive and motivation killing, but it also wastes time which would be better spent doing everything I can to meet those goals.

Many Happy Miles to go Before I Sleep

It’s after 4:00PM and I could say I have nothing to show for the day. I haven’t worked on my novel. I haven’t done any client work. OK, fine. But instead, I got out of the house and attended a meeting for a local networking group, met some delightful small business owners, talked to two potential clients (and agreed to meet next week), tried out a new restaurant in town, chatted with a friend who is inspirational on so many levels and started a blog post much earlier in the day than normal, before any ideas I might have had fled my brain, leaving me with nothing to write about. Do I have anything tangible to show for it? Not yet. I do have inspiration, motivation and a blog topic. For me, that all adds up to a successful day. Besides, it’s not even 5:00 yet so I have hours of productive time left before I sleep.

The Student Becomes the Teacher, Or Has She Always Been?

My daughter was one of those who encouraged me to get out of the rat race and live my passion. She did so both with words and actions, and I couldn’t be more proud. She is studying Culinary Arts and plans to open a catering business. She’s taking business courses so she will understand both the creative and the mundane aspects of her work. And she’s another who can show me how to better market myself and my work. Better still, she didn’t buy into that dysfunctional mindset that says to be successful you must pursue the dollar and hope the fun and passion finds you. In truth, you have to pursue your passion and the rest will ultimately take care of itself. She is smarter than I as she trusts in the Universe to guide her, though she may not put it in those words. She follows her passion, treats people right and the doors she needs will open when the time is right. The student has, indeed, become my teacher.

My gratitudes today are:
1. I am grateful for the teachers who have come into my life now that I’m finally able to see past making money.
2. I am grateful for those who have been there for me with moral support, kicks in the butt and even a shoulder to cry on when I need it.
3. I am grateful for the freedom to live my life as I see fit, write until my brain freezes or my fingers cramp, be there for my friends and family at any time of the day or night without worrying about letting anyone down, including me.
4. I am grateful that I’ve learned to make a life instead of just making a living.
5. I am grateful for abundance: life, love, freedom, self, lessons, challenges, writing, reading, peace, harmony, kindness, compassion, philanthropy and prosperity.

Blessed Be

I invite you to visit my Facebook pages at and . Please also drop by my website, and check out my Hire Me Page. I’ve created these pages as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” them or leave a comment! Thank you!

August 9, 2015 Books, Books and More Books

Getting Lost Between the Pages, or Losing the Pages

I have what I would consider an impressive collection of books. booksSo many, in fact, that I don’t even know what I have sometimes. My shelves are overflowing despite the fact that many are stacked 2 and 3 deep and 2 high. My daughter took a lot of her books when she moved into her own place, including both sets of encyclopedias, yet still, my shelves runneth over. bookshelves-cornerBecause of my propensity towards obtaining more and more books, I have, on occasion, purchased duplicates. Which brings me to my next sub-topic.

Finding Lost Treasures

Many times, I will purchase a book, read a couple of chapters and find I’m not able to get into the book, at least at the moment. I’ll put it aside, often with a page marked with a sticky note or receipt as if, when I pick it up again, I’ll start where I left off instead of at the beginning.

A couple of days ago, I spotted one such book on what I’ve dubbed my Spiritual Shelf. It contains books on Tarot, all of my decks, Angel Oracle cards, books on Kabbalah, and various books on laws of attraction and the like. At one point, it also included some of my books on healing but when I rearranged my shelves to open one up for my growing collection of books on writing, some of the healing books ended up there as the Spiritual shelf was exploding.

But I digress. Looking up at the shelf which sits right above my monitor, I spotted Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now shining like the proverbial beacon at the back of the shelf, laying across my kabbalah collection. It was one of those books I’d bought on someone’s recommendation, read a chapter or so and just couldn’t get into it. But that was then and this is now. I removed the Starbuck’s receipt from the last page I’d read and started at the beginning…and could not put it down! Suddenly, this book I struggled with the first time around was resonating so strongly that I just had to devour the words as our local coyotes would devour an unattended chihuahua.

Not only did I consume the words, but the exercises just worked, resonated, blossomed inside me. Out of curiosity, I checked the date on my ‘bookmark’. It seems I’d purchased a venti latte to drink with my book on September 22, 2010, nearly 5 years ago! It isn’t as if the book has been hidden away, either. I’ve arranged and rearranged the shelf it was on numerous times in just the last year.

To Every Book, There is a Time, a Season and a Reason

I’m sure I’m not the only bibliophile who purchases books she doesn’t read for years. I’ve learned that I have to be in a certain mindset to read different kinds of books. Sometimes, I want something really deep and insightful, others, something light, easy and fun. Still other times, I want something suspenseful and filled with plot twists and edge-of-your-seat moments where I can’t read the words fast enough. There are also times when I want to lose myself again in one of my old favorites, which is why my collection grows. I don’t give my books away because I know that I will want to read many of them again someday, or share it with a friend who shares my taste (or one of them as I have so many).

There are authors I’ve read over a dozen times like Potok, Heinlein, McCaffery, Lackey and Roberts, and others who were just a phase and whose books I actually gave away like Danielle Steele and all of the Harlequin Romance novellas. I know just where to go depending on the kind of reading I want to do, though sometimes, it requires digging through my collection to find what I want.

That, in itself is an adventure. Many is the time I’ve found something I forgot I had and stopped searching for the book I originally wanted to sit and read a long-forgotten tale. I’ve tried to put all of my favorites in the front of the shelves where they are easily accessible, but to be honest, I just have too many favorites. I’ve threatened to catalogue my collection many times, but then I look up at the shelves and gasp in dismay. Just the idea of taking all of them down to see what I have is more overwhelming than facing a cluttered house worthy of a hoarder.

Allowing Old Ways to Reign

So I comfort myself that between my bookshelves and the ones I have on Kindle, I’m not likely to run out of reading material any time soon, yet still, I buy more. I can’t help myself. It’s a passion and and obsession, but one I don’t choose to cure. When the world gets too annoying or my writing is stuck or I just want to take a trip to someplace new, my books will take me there, even when my own imagination flounders.

Do you have a collection you wouldn’t part with? Do you add to it despite the fact that you already overflow the allotted space? What is it that makes your heart sing and your mind happy?

My gratitudes are:
1. I am grateful that my obsession is one that builds rather than destroys my mind.
2. I am grateful for new discoveries of old purchases.
3. I am grateful for the time to stop, listen and read.
4. I am grateful that my life has a balance of mental and physical energies.
5. I am grateful for abundance: books, love, friendship, dancing, brains, mental acuity, energy, meaningful work, generosity, kindness, compassion, peace, harmony, health, prosperity and philanthropy.

Blessed Be

I’d appreciate your taking a moment to visit my Facebook pages at and . Please also drop by my website, and check out my Hire Me Page. I’ve created these pages as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” them or leave a comment! Thank you!

March 4, 2015 Does productivity yield more productivity?

Here’s another chicken and the egg question: Which comes first? Getting lots of things done or being productive?

Today jump started itself with a morning webinar about writing hosted by Holly Lisle, whose “How to Think Sideways” writing course I began a week or so ago. After that the day seemed to just take off like a stone rolling downhill. By the time the webinar ended, I was ready to dive into the project I’d planned for today; making a giant pot of spaghetti sauce to add to my burgeoning collection of meals, ready to eat in my freezer. I cooked up a spaghetti squash last week and froze it in single servings, but needed the sauce to go with it. As I received another spaghetti squash in this week’s Harvest Box, I’ll likely cook it up and add it to my collection as well. After adding the sauce to my freezer and removing the tubs of frozen turkey stock, I find myself wondering just how I’m going to manage to fit everything in, not to mention, I’m running low on single serving size containers. How can that be? I bought a ton of them for my last freezer filling rampage.  I feel a game of freezer Tetris coming on.

In the last week, my freezer has gone from nearly empty to full once again with chili, the aforementioned spaghetti squash and a spicy chicken stir fry as well as today’s saucy delight. Yet to be added, the stewp which will utilize the four containers of turkey broth from Thanksgiving plus a plethora of fresh veggies. Now that Underwood has re-opened its Moorpark stand, hopping over to restock my larder has become easier and quicker.

But wait! That’s only half of the day!

The doubters will say “Surely you jest. That sounds like a full day to me.” But I merely left you with the sauce simmering busily on the stove, comingling all of the lovely ingredients and spices into a cohesive, tummy tingling bouquet of yummyness. The nice thing about throwing together a pot of soup or chili or spaghetti sauce is that I can go about my business while my latest vat of freezer filler finishes making itself, not to mention how it fills the air inside my house with the most delicious aroma!  All that is left for me to do is package it up, label it, move it into the freezer and clean up. What could be easier?

But again, I digress. As I said, this only filled about half of the day, leaving me hours to work some more on my writing class which encourages me to write down any and all random thoughts that skip aimlessly through my brain. I now have six sheets of printer paper taped together with all sorts of random thoughts scattered across it, yet I know I’ll pick it up again over the next few days and randomize all over it some more, adding pages as I run out of room. Sure, there will come a time when I have to make sense of the seeming randomness, but right now, my brain is delighted to have permission to run amok to its heart’s desire.

What could be better than a well-rounded day?

Achieving the ultimate in perfection means having just the right balance, and finishing my day meeting with an accounting client did the job quite nicely. It gave me lessons to work on, creativity to unleash both in my office and my kitchen, a lot of logical brain stuff to chew on and a freezer full of food.

In fact, I’m so filled with the bliss my perfect day evoked that I’m actually at a loss for words. I realize this is a rare occurrence, so please enjoy my version of brevity tonight, and spread the joy I have exuded all over the page as I bliss out on productivity.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful to be almost free of cooking for the next month.
2. I am grateful that the pudgy roll which resided on my posterior has miraculously disappeared and been replaced by lovely muscle. Those trips to the gym, even though they’re less frequent than I like, are certainly leaving their mark!
3. I am grateful for an extremely productive day and look forward to more as this week draws to a close.
4. I am grateful for another visit from my daughter and the installation of my white board. I already have things I want to attach!
5. I am grateful for so many new things to learn; technique, tools, corralling and coordinating all of my random thoughts and just motivation to write more and more and more.
6. I am grateful for abundance: lessons, meals-ready-to-eat (which aren’t ghastly like those dehydrated nasties), friends, activities, projects, processes, happiness, health, peace, harmony and prosperity.

Blessed Be

And now for some shameless self-promotion:
I’d love it if you’d visit my website at which contains a link to this blog and my Facebook page at I’ve created both page and website as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” it or leave a comment! Thank you!

January 30, 2015 Switching it up can sometimes be a good thing

Mornings: Bad, Night time: Oh so good!

I am not a morning person. I never have been and I never will be. My day starts between 8:30 and 9:00 AM and ends between 1 and 3AM. But every so often, necessity is a mother. This morning was one of those days. I had to take my cat to the vet very early which meant my alarm went off just after 6 or, as I refer to it fondly, O dark thirty. OK, so the sun was just starting to peek over the horizon, but nothing short of full daylight is morning to me.

I could have come home after finishing with the vet and tried to recapture my lost sleep, but things interfered with that as things often do. Instead, I found myself catching up on the week’s chores before going out to get the ingredients for what has become my annual Super Bowl chili. (little do they know that it is never the same from one year to the next. I always slip in some kind of change based on things I’ve learned over the year. But as it was specifically requested this year, I guess I’m doing ok). Thanks to my early start, I now have clean laundry, a vacuumed house and clean sand boxes going into a very busy weekend.

Sure, it crossed my mind to do this every Friday, but fortunately, the sloth in me stepped in to stop that from happening. Getting up early is ok now and then, but to do it with any regularity would screw up my schedule. After all, I do my best writing after 10 PM and I’d sure hate to cut a session short because I need to wake up early for some unspecified reason. For the foreseeable future, the sun will continue to see my smiling face only after the nine to fivers have embarked upon their morning commutes. It’s a dirty job but somebody has to do it!

Critiques are really an opportunity to learn how much your own writing sucks.

As I read through the pieces for tomorrow’s critique session, I found myself comparing them to what I do, and the result wasn’t necessarily favorable for me. The ugly head of writer’s insecurity reared up as I asked myself “Will people look at what I’ve written and find it dull, amateurish, too much description and not enough showing? Will they be thinking ‘she needs to find something else to do with her time”?” For me, I’m really trying to start out with the positives about each piece before launching into anything which might even resemble critical. I’m approaching this from the stand point that I may not understand why they are saying something in a certain way, but I may be alone in my lack of understanding. And just because I watch a lot of crime shows doesn’t mean that the dialogue on those shows is entirely accurate. I ask you, when you call the police, do they answer “Gotham City Police Department, Officer Greene speaking”, or is it more like Castle where they just give a terse “Beckett”? Although I have needed to call my local officers a couple of times, I never really noticed how they answered the phone. And while I’m on the subject, do detectives answer their phone differently than the rest of the force? Do police stations typically have a receptionist or does one of the officers answer the phones?

Clearly, I know way too little to write a police story. Maybe my critique is misguided and uninformed as well. Something tells me I’ll be sitting back and listening to how others critique before I dare to open my mouth tomorrow. To paraphrase an old saying, keep your mouth closed that people might think you’re a fool or open your mouth and remove all doubt.

The website is percolating.

In other news, I have stepped away from working on my website for a bit. I need to just let some things settle before I begin adding, deleting and tweaking again (not to be confused with twerking Ack!) I have some ideas about what I want to do but need to think about how I want to lay it out before I dive in with both feet. I also have the idea for my first article, but that’s going to require time and thought as well.

So for now, I’ll just leave you with my gratitudes as my eyelids are drooping and I still need to get things ready for tomorrow (aside from the coffee which is already set up. I do know my priorities!)

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for changes in my routine
2. I am grateful to be able to share my friends’ joys and challenges.
3. I am grateful for the ladies in my IWSG critique group. They’ve taken on what I consider a monumental task.
4. I am grateful for more opportunities to learn about writing. Honing my craft comes in many forms.
5. I am grateful for abundance: friends, family, love, lessons, joy, peace, happiness, harmony, health and prosperity.

Blessed Be

Please visit my daughter’s new food blog: and my new website:

I’d love it if you’d visit my Facebook page at I’ve created this page as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” it or leave a comment! Thank you!

January 29, 2015 Going with the Flow

Best laid plans often go astray, and I’m living proof

Today was definitely one of those “best laid plans” kind of days. I’d fully intended to spend time working on my latest novel. I did not intend to procrastinate. But in my defense, what I worked on was definitely related to my writing.

Yesterday, I started building my website including, prematurely importing all of my blog posts, all eight hundred and something of them. Today, I realized that was not my plan at all, so after figuring out how to link my blog to my website, I set about deleting all eight hundred and something posts from my web page. In my usual, ‘dive into the software and just start poking around’ manner, I spent today adding and deleting things, changing themes, and eventually discovering that I really did have access to more than the four rather boring themes they offered on the theme page. The trick was just to figure out how to find them.

After adding and discarding about five themes, I finally settled on one I could live with…for now. That’s when the fun began. I approached this as I’ve always approached new software. That is, with the idea that it has to be able to do what I want it to, I simply have to figure it out. My first challenge was linking both mine and my daughter’s blogs to the website as I really didn’t want to have to manually update it every time we wrote another post. At one point, I had hers working fine, but when I clicked on mine, it just wandered around the website, aimlessly looking for love in all the wrong places.

Eventually, I realized that there were at least three places which needed instructions on redirecting a hyperlink. Once all three were filled with the same information, Voila! The blog and website talked to each other. What fun! My next challenge will be finding out how to keep from getting a 404 error on the “Home” hyperlink. Stay tuned, as this may prove to be a rather humorous process.

Learning to follow my heart but listen to my brain (at least occasionally)

My Hermit side finds it very easy to get so wrapped up in a project that everything else becomes secondary and, in fact, dispensable. Everything, of course, except catering to the needs of my furry roommates. They tolerate a great deal, but empty food dishes and full litter boxes are non-negotiable!

With today’s small victories, I really wanted to stay home, work on the website some more and maybe tackle the writing I’d neglected. I knew, however, that if my missed one of my twice weekly dance nights, I’d be kicking myself by tomorrow. Nevertheless, I was feeling rather disconnected for the first hour or so until something clicked and it turned into an exceptional night. It wasn’t just the dancing, nor, to be honest, are the best nights ever just about the dancing. The energy was great, my friends just felt really good to be around. Conversations were lively and the camaraderie was something I found I truly needed.

A writer cannot write in a vacuum

Just as I did with the very first story I ever wrote, I need characters. What better place to find those characters than around people? As I build my characters, I know that some of their qualities will come from people I know or observe. But I can’t make those observations if I hole up in my house all the time. (As I sit here, I realize that at some point, I’m going to have to find a place for the girl with the rather ample derriere who somehow manages to twerk the line dances!) How often have I sat with friends, making up a story about someone at the bar? So why not turn it around and craft a character after someone I’ve observed? There was a guy tonight, with longish wavy hair sticking out from under a cowboy hat. He looked rather familiar, and in fact, smiled and waved at me when I was on the dance floor, but I can’t place him, other than the fact that he kind of looked like a youngish Barry Manilow, if Barry had ever been seen dressed in black cowboy attire. Just another one for my character file.

So there you have it. I can easily make a case for avoiding human contact, but I’m learning that there’s at least an equally good case for seeking it out. Both the human interaction and the people I see will help me make my characters more believable and individual as I write them. My next assignment will be to spend time observing how they demonstrate various emotions. I’m struggling with showing rather than telling what a person is feeling and am desperately in need of better word pictures right now.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for the lessons I learned today.
2. I am grateful that I know when to be alone and when to seek company.
3. I am grateful for so many people to observe and from whom I might gain insight into my characters.
4. I am grateful for a weekend of both work and fun with my friends, new and old.
5. I am grateful for abundance: ideas, lessons, new skills, people, friends, love, laughter, inspiration, peace, harmony, health and prosperity.

Blessed be.

I invite you to visit my daughter’s blog at which can also be reached via my new website: Feel free to leave comments or suggestions when you visit.

I’d also be delighted if you’d visit my Facebook page at I’ve created this page as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” it or leave a comment! Thank you!

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