Sunday, November 13, 2016

17 Ideas for Dealing With Negative News

If times seem tough, it's because we're exposed to much more information than all our combined predecessors saw in their lifetime. Poet Thomas Gray once wrote, 'ignorance is bliss' and while that doesn't sound responsible in today's world, doesn't it sound tempting to act like an ostrich with his head in the sand?

How about these suggestions? Do you think they might work?
17 ideas for blocking out the negative noise 

Could you cancel your cable?
Hide your Smartphone? (Once you've picked the kids up from school)

Stop your wireless?

Toss the newspaper subscription? 

Move off the grid? 

Hike a giant mountain without cell reception? 

Start a photo journal using a real camera?

Fly to a remote part of the world? (Enticing, huh?)

Visit a senior center where Twitter refers to the sound of a pacemaker. 

Leave phone at home while feeding/cleaning up after the homeless?

Volunteer for the Thanksgiving Parade?

Join, or at least visit a monastery? 

Teach someone to sail and avoid busy ports?
Host a craft class--allowing only emergency interruptions?

Teach scuba or take lessons. It's so quiet down there. 

Hammer your own noise for Habitat for Humanity. 

Plant vegetables and watch them grow in a community garden?

The point I'm making is that by helping others we help ourselves and in the process we clear our minds. Of course, you could also go for one of my favorites, which is to just barricade yourself in a room full of wonderful books! 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Hart to Intangible Heart and My Introduction to a Bestselling Novel

Whether you’re a writer, artist or creator of crafts, the best validation is receiving recognition for your work. I remember walking through aisles and aisles of cakes and pies, all missing a piece at the county fair. Blue ribbons scattered throughout but unfortunately, white Honorable Mention ribbons were pinned on most of them. Drooling before heading back to the wafting funnel-cake smell and buttery barbecued corn waiting outside, I wondered what the judges didn’t like. Were some of the cakes too sweet or too tart? Maybe they went by eye appeal. By now, some of the desserts unappealingly slumped in the summer heat but most of them still looked good. The same thing happened over at the craft building, where lovingly crocheted afghan throws were on display next to pieced quilts, vests and tote bags. Most received Honorable Mentions and only a few were Blue Ribbon winners. I loved the intricate details and bright colors and thought they should all receive first prize. But no one asked me my opinion as I wasn't asked to evaluate anything. 

That’s why I love writing reviews of books that I read. It’s the least I can do to provide feedback and support to someone who worked hard developing a plot, characters and a story-line. It’s my way of saying thank you for entertaining me, keep up the good work. Anyone with an Amazon account can add reviews and they don’t have to be stellar just truthful. I always learn something from all the reviews I’ve received for both my novels-Penniless Hearts or The Fifth Commandment, while appreciating and swallowing the bad with the good. Some people are shy about it or something and I hope to encourage everyone to go to Goodreads or Amazon and perhaps start with something you enjoyed reading in school. It doesn’t have to be long. A couple sentences will do the trick and other readers will benefit from your input. I’ve also realized that I can’t wait for others to reciprocate. Everyone has his or her own timeline for reading. My Kindle is packed with wonderful stories and my bookshelves are overflowing. For some strange reason the cover of Becoming Moon drew me in. Like some of those cakes, maybe I went by eye appeal.

After I wrote a review of his book, the bestselling author contacted me to tell me that I really “got” what he was trying to say. Of course I did. Craig Hart wrote about a writer having struggles and temptations along the course of his life that seemed to pull him down into a watery hole, making him feel like drowning. There were so many intangibles he could have knitted a King-sized duvet! I had mentioned his book on my blog and even posted my review but now the writer of Becoming Moon asked me to expound on my analysis so he could put it into his book as the introduction. I thought he was kidding. After all, this author knows how to write and though I can relate to his story, I can’t come close to his prose. Honored beyond words I can only say that I am sure he wasn’t jesting as I’m holding a signed copy of it in my hands. Definitely a Blue Ribbon winner in my estimation and a book I hope you find time to read and review. Get your copy here:

My signed copy. The following photo is the
end of my written introduction to
Becoming Moon, with my fingers as proof
that little old me actually wrote the introduction
to a bestselling novel!