Category Archives: The Day To Day

Time To Pause

I don’t know if it’s the summer or the Olympics, or what, but I am having a problem producing good writing. I am taking a couple of weeks off in hopes that it remedies the problem. I am having the same problem with my artwork, so it’s a creative issue. I appreciate you following me,  and I hope you understand. Sometimes you just  need to live a little in order to create. I will see you soon.

Monique

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Dreams of Gold and Possibilities

The Summer Olympic Games 2012 have hijacked my life completely. No longer is my TV background noise providing a soundtrack of sorts for my various activities like writing, drawing and cooking. No, I am riveted to the television screen and cannot seem to get anything else accomplished while these games are on. I have mixed feelings about them ending in a week.

I have memories of previous games, going back to my childhood. But I have to say, I have never been as captivated by them as I am this year. Is it because the U S is so strong, and is garnering so many medals? Is it because my country is in trouble and needs a positive event to renew its sense of optimism and it needs an event to be patriotic in the face of adversity?  I am intensely proud of our accomplishments in London. It makes me feel good to be able to say we come from the same country, this Michael Phelps, Gabby Douglas, and this Ryan Lochte. We are countrymen with pride and patriotism unbounded.

A recurring thought I have as I watch the games is what is it like to be that good at something?  What must it be like to stand in the world’s eye and have your moment after years of preparation?

I am involved in several activities that are preparatory for the future. I am writing, and paying my dues on the road to publication. I am learning the art of drawing with colored pencil aspiring to be an artist. I am losing 150 pounds which will take years at 1 and 2 pounds of loss a week. So I am laying the ground work for accomplishments that while not as grand as Olympic competition are as important to me as that medal is to the athlete.  Someday in the future I will stand on my self-created podium and claim my prize, my own byline, a contest won, a new wardrobe, the sale of a drawing.

We all need to be pursuing goals and dreams. We need to work towards something greater than our present reality. It is what gives us a reason for waking in the morning. It provides us with goals to mark the passing of time and the rise in our accomplishments. We have a sense of purpose. We feel good when we hit a benchmark and we learn when we fall short; all of it to aspire to a better place in our life. Just like the athletes we are riveted to this summer.

These two weeks are like an intensive motivational retreat. We tune in, learn the athletes stories, watch them win, or not. We can extract life lessons from the experience, or we can choose to take it as an exercise in reality TV and not give it much thought. For those of us inspired, we are surrounded by challenges realized and the culmination of preparation with some luck thrown in, and we have something to aspire to. If we doubt ourselves following a dream, all we have to do is tune in and see that dreams can come true with work and perseverance.

For me, this love affair with dreams and goals came late in life. This year they are fueling a mid- life transformation. In four years, when the next summer games are played in Brazil, I will be enjoying a new body and a new life.

What about you, are the games making an impact on you? What do they mean to you? What fuels your goals and aspirations?

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My First…(What Are You Thinking? It’s Not What You Think…)

 

Smudge

I had always considered myself a dog person. My co-worker Angie was hell-bent on my adopting a cat. We debated for the afternoon, with no consensus. I was on the fence. Another heartbeat in my apartment would be nice, but a cat? You don’t know what you don’t know. I didn’t know cats.

I arrived at my apartment complex after the sun had set. I made my way to the mailbox station and I heard the distinct sound of a cat’s meow. It sounded sad. It sounded nearby. I looked out into the shadows and I saw two pencil thin white lines moving. They were the front paws of the thinnest cat I had ever seen. She meowed again and stopped. We looked at each other. I instinctively reached out to her. She came to me and meowed again. She wasn’t sad as much as hungry. She was beautiful, white with black spots and a spot on her nose.

I ran up to my apartment and brought down a can of tuna. I put it in the bushes for this poor, pathetic animal. I went home. The next day, I told Angie about my encounter with the stray. “THAT’S YOUR CAT!” screamed Angie. I stopped mid-sentence. “You’ve got to be kidding. She’s a wild cat who’s starving. She’s not My Cat” I said, defensively. “No, you don’t understand, cats don’t come to people easily when they are feral. They shy away from people. This cat has picked you out as her person. We have to get her tonight.” Now Angie is a force of nature and what she says will happen, happens. So I found myself looking for this elusive cat that night with Angie who was experienced at catching strays.

There she was. Unlike the night before, she ran away, Angie and I frantically trying to keep up with her. We split apart, each going a separate way around the apartment building. Angie yelled at me, “I’ve got her!” She turned the corner with the little white cat squirming in her arms and her fur was flying in clumps. “Why is her fur flying off her?” I asked. “It’s what cats do when they are really scared” she replied, struggling to hold her.

We took her up to my apartment, I felt unsure about a wild cat running loose in the small space, who knows what diseases she could have. We put her in the bathroom and closed the door. I made plans with Angie to take her to the vet the next day and get her checked out. Angie said “It’s wonderful to be owned by a cat, you’ll see!” I sat in the living room, amazed at what we had accomplished and feeling anxious about the entire unknown wild cat in my house situation.

About an hour later, the bathroom door opened and out came the scrawny white cat who then ran onto my lap and she lay down. I was so surprised, I didn’t move. Was this the same cat I had chased downstairs? She was purring loudly as she lay quietly on my lap. How had she opened the door? The mystery would always remain. Transformed into the picture of domestic bliss; we stayed on the couch for hours. I forgot my caution regarding potential disease, she was purring, she was sleeping, she was on my lap. I knew then Angie was right, I had been chosen to be owned by this particular cat. I named her Smudge and realized at that moment that I was a cat person after all.

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Five Writing Blogs Worth Reading Part Three

After this post, I will update you as I come across blogs of note. (I’m always looking for new ones). Here are five more that have provided me with usable information and insights into the writing life.

C. Hope Clark Hope is a talented writer who writes about writing and is currently promoting her excellent book Low Country Bribe (which I will be reviewing this week). She also writes the next blog:

Funds For Writers Voted one of the ten best blogs for writers since 2001, this blog will provide you solid information and leads  that will result in a freelance job, a contest, a job, a grant, you name it. There are two versions of the blog. One is free (the one I get) and one is a subscription. I am thinking about getting the subscription in the future.

Men With Pens James Chartrand is a pen name for the owner of this blog.Shes (Yes, she) a copywriter author, business expert from Montreal. Again, an insightful and informative blog about wrining and blogging. It’s a Top Ten Blog For Writers for the past four years and a Top 15 Copywriting and Content Marketing Blog That Makes You Money.

The Well Fed Writer Peter Bowerman’s blog and website. He published the book The Well Fed Writer and has maintained the franchise for years. He specializes in copywriting and blogging. A top blog in 2010, he is well established.

Nick Thacker Writes about writing and blogging. He wrote Building a Blog For Readers (Which I will be reviewing soon). He is informative and provides a new spin on what others are talking about. He will answer your emails if you contact him. I’ve gotten a lot out of his book and blog.

I hope you get as much out of these sites as I have. Are there sites you would recommend?

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Five Writing Blogs and Sites Worth Following- Part Two

I hope you enjoyed the first five blogs I recommended in Part One. Here are five more to investigate. I hope these will help you achieve your writing and blogging goals. I find these sites and blogs informative, encouraging and enjoyable.

Making A Living Writing Carol Tice’s blog site. She is a successful freelance writer and she writes about writing. She believes a freelancer can earn good money and she offers tips and information to make that happen. She also has the next site:

The Freelance Writers Den Carol Tice has a membership site that features extensive education resources, boot camps, webinars, online classes, forums, weekly meetings and personal coaching. I got a basic membership for $25.00 a month. You can withdraw your membership at any time, and I got a lot out of my month membership. The Den is not always available, you have to wait till it opens to new members. This insures that you get attention and can attend the online events. I find the classes expensive, but that’s just me.

The Passive Voice An awesome daily feed of writing and publishing information. I’ve learned so much from this blog. They do have a slant towards self-publishing, but they try to give information from both points of view. Subscribe to this to stay current on the industry.

Jeff Goins, Writer Jeff writes about writing and is very informative and insightful. I see him coming into his own as a writer and I’ve learned with him.

Wow! Women On Writing Interesting and informative blog that not only informs writers, they will actively help you with your blog. Recently they put out an email inquiring into people wanting guest bloggers. I have a start-up blog so my numbers don’t support a guest appearance, but they have another vehicle to help me. I can review a chosen book and be scheduled for a mass announcement via their extensive network directing readers to participating blogs. My first review will be on July 27th. I’ll let you know how it goes. As a writer, you can buy into the promotions they can do.

Look for another five blog post soon. Until then, enjoy these.

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I Am Free

I am free.

Three simple words that carry such meaning and weight.

It’s Independence Day here in America, one of my favorite days, not because of the cook-outs, but because of the celebration of freedom. It’s a day that makes me stop and think about my country and all that it affords me. I am a free woman in the greatest country in the world. I can do anything I set my mind to here. I have been afforded a life free of tyranny, free of oppression, free of retaliation. I have made decisions in my life that have caused me to take the path less travelled, and it’s OK here. I am free to do that.

I love my country.

We have many faults, and we can be obnoxious, and there are many broken things in our country, but the freedom we enjoy supersedes all the negatives. On this day, the dissention we experience in Washington doesn’t matter. On this day the problems each family experiences in the wake of decisions being made in the government doesn’t matter. On this day the rivalry between presidential candidates doesn’t matter. On this day my life choices, mistakes and triumphs both don’t matter. All that matters is Freedom. As a country and as an individual, we are free and that is what this day is about.

I wish you a wonderful day and I hope your celebrations with family and friends bring you great joy.

We are free.

 

 

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The Lobster Shack Drawing WIP

 

Fence post sketch

I am excited about my newest drawing which does not have a proper name, so Lobster Shack is it’s working name. It’s a pen and ink and colored pencil piece. This piece is all me, none of my teacher is in it, which I am very proud of. My drawings take a long time, so I will post the WIP pictures as I progress, but don’t expect the finished project to be done quickly. I’m just not that fast.

Fence and shack and lobster trap

Shack and lobster trap

 

 

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