Dancing outside my comfort zone

Posts tagged ‘website’

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 https://heathersculinaryadventures.wordpress.com/ which can also be reached via my new website: http://www.shericonaway.com/. Feel free to leave comments or suggestions when you visit.

I’d also be delighted if you’d visit my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SheriLevensteinConawayAuthor?ref=aymt_homepage_panel. 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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January 5, 2015 It’s humbling to realize that our pets do far more for us than we see.

Today I noticed that my meditation began with a “cat scan”…and it wasn’t the first time!

As I settled in for my (almost) daily meditation today, one of my latest additions to the family, Scrappy Doo, took up his usual place on top of me, but he didn’t just jump up and plop down. First he stood on my lap and it appeared that he was trying to sense something. Suddenly, I realized what he was doing was scanning me to determine where he needed to lay down and purr. Now, there’s no question of the healing properties of a cat’s purr, but this got me to thinking.

A couple of days ago, he waited until I had completely settled before jumping up. This time, he went straight for my right shoulder which had been giving me trouble, settled himself down on it and began a very unusual, two-toned purr I’d never heard before. It alternated between a high frequency and a low one. When I finished my meditation, I realized that my shoulder felt a lot better!

Today, Scrappy settled himself on my lower abdomen which, initially seemed odd as I hadn’t noticed any discomfort. But shortly after he settled down, my stomach started gurgling and churning, though there was no pain or discomfort, just noise. When I came out of my meditation, Scrappy was stretched out full length between my legs with his head nearly resting on my feet, and my stomach was no longer gurgling.

It’s long been known that our pets have therapeutic properties.

Many pet parents have experienced the calming qualities of their pets or their tendency to get closer when we’re sad, tired, lonely or ill. Articles have been written about the healing properties of a cat’s purr for everything from healing of bones to lowering of blood sugar and blood pressure. But this is the first time I’ve actually been aware of a cat scanning me to see where he was needed!

I believe this phenomenon went unnoticed because the majority of the time, he just climbs up on my lap and curls up somewhere, purrs for awhile and goes to sleep. He clearly knows when I need to be scanned and when everything is fine. The only thing which makes sense to me is that before he jumps into my lap, he takes a reading on my energy field to determine whether his services will be needed. The rest of the time, it’s likely he restocks his own energy with that which I’m exuding during my meditations.

What we have here is a symbiotic synergy.

Today’s epiphany has given me cause to reevaluate the relationships I have with each of my cats. Just as each has their own personality, each has a completely different relationship with me. Dylan is definitely my heart. He watches over me and is the most likely to be on my desk while I’m working. Munchkin, the Princess is kind of a night owl like me and will often be sitting on my shoulder purring while I’m working into the wee hours of the morning. Toby, my Moose loves to drape his enormous body across my lap, successfully halting anything else I might be trying to do until such time as his attention meter is full again.

The launching of my website has been delayed, primarily for want of a topic. I think the search is over.

I had been bouncing a lot of ideas around, but none had really felt right to me. I had everything from cats to healthy living, to leaps of faith and the list goes on. I think I was just trying to find something a little less ordinary which would be of interest to other people, and I think I’ve found my topic. I’m going to do some thinking and a lot of research, but watch for the launch of SheriConaway.com in the near future!

My gratitudes today are:
1. I am grateful for epiphanies.
2. I am grateful for my healing cats and my regular, radiation-free cat-scans.
3. I am grateful for a productive day of problem solving, paperwork finishing, idea generating, writing and studying.
4. I am grateful for my ability to focus once I get started on a project, which even saw me getting a lot done today without closing social media or email or putting my phone on “do not disturb” (except during my meditation!)
5. I am grateful for abundance: healing, ideas, concentration, accomplishments, love, friendship, health, peace, harmony and prosperity. (I’m seeing checks with many zeroes in my meditations these days!)

Blessed Be

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