WHERE’S SPRING?

Seasonal_Festivals

I looked all over for a special calendar and could not find SPRING, so this will have to do for now. As I sit at my desk, I can look out my windows and see nothing but grey clouds, trees waving their branches, and the only sign of spring is the green leaves and green grass. I want to see sunshine, hear birds singing, see and smell flowers in bloom, and know that May Day is just around the corner. Spring seems to get lost between the long winter months and the hot summer months.

Do you remember your ‘Spring Times’? As a child, I remember the opportunity to stay and play outside a little later, watch the flowers peek through the dirt, see squirrels scamper up and down tree trunks, chasing each other and having a good time. And now that we are so close to May, do you remember the May Days? We’d walk up to a friend’s house and hide our May Basket for that special person and run away before anyone saw us.

Guess, Spring Time brings back wonderful memories and yet gives us space to make new memories. Each season gives new hope and ideas to think about and try.

A couple of weeks ago, the Library in my neighborhood, held its first Poetry Reading Night. Great attendance and wonderful poems. I was impressed by all the presenters and their ability to share without any props, like a book, and their words gave music to our ears.

Yeah, I got up, but had to have my poetry book in my hands, my glasses on, and no dancing around. But, it was fun and they plan to do this every so often. Maybe I can get my act together and do this without my book. Doubt it, but hey who knows. So to end this post, I would like to share  MOODS OF MUSIC,

Music opens the windows of the soul creating many moods. Strings of violins being gently caressed sing of intimacy, soft flickering candle light. Rumble of the drums gives a dominating beat to life – slow measured steps or a fast-moving pace. A slide trombone can bring a feeling of melancholy, a sway to the music, a backward trip in memories. Reeds of the clarinet performing jazzy blues mixing the past and present together. Cymbals clashing awakens opportunities yet to be explored.  Moods of music, complacent, invigorating, dreamy. . . Open your soul and listen.

Happy Spring.  Happy Writing.

Patricia

WELCOME TO THE NEW YEAR

I don’t know about all of you, but this past year was full of surprises that crossed different avenues for me. I RETIRED!!! Never thought I’d give up my Silver Sneakers(R) Exercise Group, but after eight years, needed to let go and give the group some new instructors and new choices. They are still in full force and have added new members. Sometimes, it is the right thing to do and help the members grow and learn new moves/exercises.

Thought, this would give me an opportunity to dig further into my writing, which I have done, just not as much as I wanted to accomplish. The ideas are there and my fingers try to hit the ‘write’ keys. Some days are better than others.

Been hitting our little library a lot and going back over some of the old books again. Got interested in reading the classics and older books. Jeffery Archer had a new book out, “This Was A Man,” and I could not just get this without going back over his other novels. It was the seventh book in a series and I needed the background information. Still working my way through the series.

We had our annual meeting and good attendance. Found out our CMA, Office Manager, is being transferred to a new property and we have a new CMA coming in to keep our place in order. Will not know for a while, as he starts this coming week. New opportunities, I hope.

I find myself at ends, but not for long. It takes a while to wind down after working all your life and at times two jobs. Still, I find new avenues to travel and include my writing. I am thinking of doing some volunteer work with The Atlanta Humane Society. Since we have a “NO PET” rule at our Condo, figured this would give me something new to volunteer and give myself a pet for a while. I’d been there to an open house months ago, but couldn’t work and do this type of volunteering. I’ll let you know how this goes.

I had a quiet New Year Eve celebration and watch all the crowds gather at Underground Atlanta for the annual Peach Drop. It was cold, windy, and a little of the sprinkles falling down. NO, not the white kind that stick, only the wet, uncomfortable drizzle. Then learned this would be the last Peach Drop at Underground. Guess it has been sold, so have no idea where or what will happen–upset a lot of attendees.

My wish for you this new 2017 is to be happy and share your happy thoughts with friends, neighbors, and yes, even strangers. Be Inquisitive. Be Inspired. Be Kind.

I’ll see you in a week or so. Until then, keep yourselves busy and have fun.

PATRICIA

86,400 WHAT?

YouFirst question, is this money? Maybe mileage on an airline pass? Or a collection of items in a hobby? You have scratched the surface of your life. This is TIME, the amount of seconds you have every day of your life.

Now that you know you have 86,400 seconds each day of your life, how will you use them? As writers, the answer would be writing, but we cannot write every second of every day. Our well would run dry. Our fingers on the keyboard would not be efficient. Ideas would soon become a jumble and certain thoughts drained out of our heads. So what can we do with this precious gift given to us EACH day?

There are quite a few seconds we need to sleep and rejuvenate our mind and body with good healthy practices. Then we would need seconds to feed our family, like cooking, and getting groceries. We would need seconds to run errands and, of course, check the media part of our lives. We would need seconds to visit friends, go to meetings, and share our thoughts with other people/writers. There would be seconds needed to read for pleasure and research.

Now, this gives you something fun to do and see how many things you can consider. Yeah, you hear the word list and this is a great place to start. Analyze your life for one day, or 86,400 seconds and see where you spend your time. Do you spend time or waste time? Do you give your time to someone else and watch transformations on the other person’s face. Do you volunteer and help others?

These 86,400 seconds are worth more than if there were a ‘$” sign in front. Money comes. Money goes. But the seconds are there each and every day. This is a bank that never runs dry. Yet, living a full life, happiness runs all over the place, and time does have a way of racing by quicker than we think.

When you get up each morning, decide how you will spend your 86,400 seconds. Live Life.  Love well. Stay Happy. Your writing will flourish, your friends become many, and the opportunities you may have overlooked, become plentiful. Have fun with your 86,400.

Until next visit,

Happy Writing.

DO YOU GOT WHAT IT TAKES?

unicorn danceThink of the word “SUCCESS.” Success comes in all different sizes and niches, but let’s look at life and writing. We all have different goals, but do you set them, keep track of where you are, and  are you willing to make changes to attain your success.

One pattern may not be enough. You may have to make alterations to your plans. Do changes throw you off track or out of kilter? Change is hard to master. Sometimes, even the thought of the word is enough to make one backtrack. Still, change can be exciting: new avenues to try, new ideas to grow, and new skills to learn.

Think of some of the mini-successes you’ve encountered. Some may have been small, quite small, and then you learned that these small successes led to bigger moments. What about all those query letters you sent out, waited and waited, and got rejected. Did this stop you from writing or more determined to continue. This is the grit we all need to keep us going. The big push to make us continue and work harder. Sure it hurts, but without pain success would not show its face.

Motivation moves us to visualization. Sometimes it becomes easier to reach up and out when we can picture what we want. Do you see your name on your book cover? Can you see yourself on television answering questions about your writing? Do you envision your first book signing? These are small steps you can conquer and get you ready for even bigger steps. We all crawled before we walked. (Well, most of us.)

Share your goals and your dreams.This will help you become accountable to yourself and others. Even your comments on social media can advance your success, when you share. No others will not always agree, but when you keep your emotions in check, you will show stamina, etiquette, and people relate to these standards.

If there are areas where you feel you’ve failed. Go back and see what caused these failures. Tear these failures into pieces and then put them back together in a different form. Use failures as a chance to do something different, to make changes, and keep your focus on tomorrow, not yesterday.

With every step toward success, you enlighten yourself, stretch yourself to learn, and the best part, you can help another person on your pathway. When you are warm, friendly, and  smile, people will return these gestures.

Now, ask yourself, do I have what it takes for success in my life and my writing? Of, course you do. We all get to the destination in different ways, but always go forward.

If you have encountered setbacks and survived, let me hear how you did this and what motivated you.

Happy Writing.

IT’S ALMOST CHRISTMAS, I THINK

ImageHow does this relate to writing? It does and it doesn’t. I got this thought in my head as I took a drive to a meeting. The Atlanta Writers Club’s guest speaker, Nicki Salcedo, a Georgia Romance Writer member, gave a presentation on “Budgeting Your Time.”

Back up a bit. I glanced at the clock – plenty of time – or so I thought. The cloudy skies gave way to a hint of rain. As I turned toward my route, all the peace and quiet came to a halt.

With the weather so warm, car windows had the down position. Construction noises over took the radio station,” 80’s, 90’s, and Now, playing a mixture of current songs and Christmas music. Horns blared, hands made different positions, and traffic crept. Sure, Atlanta is known for traffic problems, but this was crazy. Me and my little car inched ahead, little by little, from one traffic light to another.

Okay, think about a new story, and try to use all the commotion you hear as part of a new plot. Police were out on the corners waving their hands. Do I stop at the red light, or go with the green mittens waving me through? I went with the mittens, only to get stuck smack dab in the middle of an intersection, as the mittens went wild. Got the scene? You’re welcome to use this in any story.

To add to the distractions, Santa stood on street corners, a guy tights twirled a baton, while blowing a whistle very loud, bells, from Salvation Army, pealed through the air, and the homeless braved their way through traffic in hopes of a few cents. With the spring-like weather and the car windows, down a bit, the screams and cries of the children surpassed the horns.  “I wanna see Santa again. I gotta pee. I’m hungry. When can we go home? STOP. Santa’s on the corner.”

At the next red light, I notice the harried faces of parents, or just maybe mom or just dad. I hear no words spoken but the facial expressions give the full story. Frowns on the forehead, tight shoulders, fingers gripping the steering wheel, eyes forward, eyes sideward, and eyes glancing in the rear view mirror became the normal sight.

When did Christmas get so out-of-control?

I remember going to stores early and putting items on lay away. We had a small, like really, small tree, but a live one. My son and I strung Bubble Lights, if you can remember back that far, all through the tree. We used home-made decorations, his, not mine, and strung popcorn, with a needle and thread, until it covered the whole tree.

Guess, at this time year, memories roll backward and capture all of us. Roll back and recapture those memories. Roll forward and see what memories, as a writer, you can give to a different generation.

Thanks for letting me delve inward and hope you can gleam some insights to a new story.

Until another post, I want to wish all of my readers, friends, writers, and everyone I know, Merry Christmas, in whatever language or religion you believe. It is not how we believe, but what we believe.

Blessings,

Patricia

THANKSGIVING DAY IS HERE

images_006I got up early to see the weather and saw only tents lined up around shopping center stores. I do not own a tent, would not know how to put one together, but the thought occurred — rent one out. Bet there would have been plenty of takers for the same ad.

This got me to thinking about “Black Friday,” and I did some research, as the photo suggests, except I used a keyboard and the Web. Here is a little history. The term, “Black Friday,” started back in the 1960’s as a kickoff to the Christmas Shopping Season. Sure, most of us know this, but black also refers to the stores moving from the “red” to the “black.” For some of you accountants out there, remember the balance sheets, income statements, and the old red and black pens? Red indicates a loss and black a profit.

Another thing I found out ….the modern Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade started in 1924, announcing the Friday after Thanksgiving as the unofficial start to a big holiday shopping season. Back in the 1960’s, police in Philadelphia had to put up with congested streets, clogged with motorists and pedestrians, a “Black Friday” for them. And way, way back in 1869, the stock market collapsed and stocks fell, set off by gold spectators.

All of this information is paraphrased from THE HISTORY OF BLACK FRIDAY on-line. This will have to be revised as they mention retailers opening up on Black Friday at 5 am to crowds waiting. Now, you’d better have Thanksgiving BREAKFAST as the stores open even on this treasured day.

Guess you could say, I am not a shopper. An article on television news, stated the shopping experience(s) give the shopper an endorphin high. The bustle of crowds, the rustle of paper, and the number of bags you can carry, get shoppers in a good mood. I enjoy purchasing presents for my friends, but at odd hours, less shoppers, time to think, and look at the special gift for a special friend.

Tonight, in Atlanta, is the lighting of Macy’s Christmas tree. The rain will hold off, the cold weather will not, but when crowds gather for entertainment and fireworks, kids and adults forget the cold and feel only the excitement.

May all your favorite football teams win; may the turkey be there for that last sandwich; may you and your family share a special time; may you know I wanted to remember all of you readers and share a few moments on this Thanksgiving Day, 2013.

Happy Eating. Happy Snacking.

WHERE’S THANKSGIVING?

Two friendsThis question has plagued me since Halloween. Yes, Halloween. I was in a small store and aisle after aisle had lantern, pumpkins, witch’s wands, scary masks all over. Each shelf stacked with costumes, candy, and bags to hold all the treasures from Hallow Night. Then, in another aisle, all the red and green of Christmas. Trees, ornaments, special Santa Clause figures, the big sound of HO! HO! HO! I searched and searched for a Pilgrim, a turkey, the fall colors of dried leaves. Nothing. The one thing I did find–announcements of Black Friday Sales.

My friends and I, along with the two in the picture, think of Thanksgiving as a special time and a special day. The kitchen warm with scrupulous smells slipping out of the oven door. The aroma of cinnamon spice in sweet potatoes and pumpkin pies. People congregated around the kitchen counter. Kids running through the house. More people arriving, and the television emitting yells and groans of football games

The big table, in the dining room area, set with the good plates and glasses. The silverware shined and wrapped in cloth napkins. Families impatient for the big turkey to fill the middle of the table or toward the end, where a chosen member would be the one to make the first slice. All the hard work of preparing the meal forgotten with the first bite, and happy, relaxed family members enjoying each others company. Kids graduated from the card table to the ‘big’ table as they grew in age and manners.

More football followed by manly snores filling the den. The women taking their time to clean up and leaving enough out for sandwiches and snacks. No one mentioned racing to the stores for shopping. The long day remembered in a special way for everyone. A day to be thankful for each other, the happy, healthy children, and the blessings of the day and the year ahead. There are times when being  with family is next to impossible. A phone call keeps everyone close and friends are the blessings of a family extension.

This year, look around your table at all your blessings: family, friends, and even strangers. Share your Thanksgiving memories to others and listen to their memories. We need to be thankful all year-long, but sometimes life gets in the way. This is one day we can STOP…LOOK…LISTEN.

Where’s Thanksgiving? In your heart, and remember to listen to your heartbeats each and every night. This way, you have Thanksgiving all year-long.

Many blessings to all the readers, followers, and everyone new.

Patricia