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What we want, what we need

It was in the middle of a recent writers workshop that a line from a Rolling Stones song popped into my mind. The line, and the song, is “You can’t always get what you want.” This happened as the workshop leader was talking about some of the nuts and bolts of writing a novel. While describing the development of character and plot, he said that the main character – and there should almost always be just one main character – must have a want and [...]

By |May 15th, 2023|Achieving Dreams and Goals, Columns, Success, Values, Writing|Comments Off on What we want, what we need

Choosing a Favorite

“So—Which place that you visited was your favorite?” I was expecting – and dreading – that question once my husband and I returned from our vacation in Italy. The only accurate and appropriate answer I could give would be the cliché response: “That’s like asking me which child is my favorite,” especially if my children numbered more than a dozen, instead of just two. I was planning to go on a pilgrimage to Italy with my church a number of years ago, but because of [...]

By |March 3rd, 2023|Achieving Dreams and Goals, Columns, Travel, Values|Comments Off on Choosing a Favorite

Just a little time

A friend of mine commented on last week’s blog about my New Year’s Resolution to spend an hour, first thing in the morning, writing. He suggested that one hour might be too big of a commitment at first, and that it would be better to start with a shorter amount of time – 15 minutes, perhaps, or even just 10. I’m sure many people would question how long it would take to write a book – or accomplish anything, for that matter – in 15-minute [...]

By |January 9th, 2023|Accountability, Achieving Dreams and Goals, Columns, Writing|Comments Off on Just a little time

I firmly resolve…

I’ve decided that 2023 is going to be the Year of the Book. This is no relation to the Year of the Tiger, Rabbit, Ox, Dragon, Snake, or any other animal celebrated in the Chinese New Year. Instead, it’s related to my New Year’s Resolutions. I’ve realized for a while now that I’m not spending enough time, on a regular basis, on any of the books I’m writing. I have four that are in various stages of completion, from great-idea-and-outline-done to basically-finished-but-needs-a-bit-of-tweaking. And none of [...]

By |December 31st, 2022|Accountability, Achieving Dreams and Goals, Columns, Health and Well-being, Holidays, Writing|Comments Off on I firmly resolve…

A Leading Question

The graduation ceremony for my Putnam Leadership class was last week. No ”Pomp and Circumstance” or caps and gowns, but it included speeches by the leaders of the program, announcements of our activities and achievements, and presentation of our graduation certificates. Plus a nice dinner and a gift bag. In addition to the graduates and instructors, several city and county officials attended the event. I always find occasions such as this to be bittersweet, representing both an ending and a beginning. They bring an end [...]

By |May 2nd, 2022|Achieving Dreams and Goals, Columns, Quotes and Sayings, Writing|Comments Off on A Leading Question

Together Again!

I spent the weekend in Duluth – Georgia, not Minnesota – attending a Toastmasters District Conference. It was our first live conference since Spring of 2019, and it felt wonderful to be there again, live and in person. Numerous safety measures were in place, including mask and social distancing rules and recommendations, and a requirement for proof of a negative COVID test taken 24 hours before the start of the Conference. A testing station was set up near the registration table at the hotel, for [...]

By |April 25th, 2022|Achieving Dreams and Goals, Columns, Making a Difference, Toastmasters, Values|Comments Off on Together Again!

A Bright and Sunny Forecast

It was gloomy and rainy here for most of the past week – to the point where we had some lakes forming in the low spots in our yard, and the storm was regularly knocking out our satellite TV reception. When the sun came out briefly toward the end of the week, it looked so strange I almost called the authorities to report seeing a UFO. Gloomy weather usually doesn’t put me in a gloomy mood, but it was definitely heading in that direction, especially [...]

By |October 10th, 2021|Achieving Dreams and Goals, Columns, Gifts and Talents, Making a Difference, Values, Writing|Comments Off on A Bright and Sunny Forecast

A Wish for the Wall

I know what I want for Christmas: a magic wall. Like many Americans, I’ve had difficulty tearing myself away from election news coverage this past week. I’ve watched split screens of four different television stations at once in order to see different predictions, projections, and perspectives, as well as the latest up-to-the-minute ballot counts in each of the battleground states. One of the things I’ve been mesmerized by is a “magic wall” –  the name given to a giant computer monitor showing a map of the [...]

By |November 8th, 2020|Accountability, Achieving Dreams and Goals, Columns, Health and Well-being, Success|Comments Off on A Wish for the Wall

A Champion for Change

“Champions for Change” is the name of the feature, and I can’t begin to tell you how excited I was when I saw one of the champions being showcased – a young man named Lual Mayen. He was born as his family was fleeing South Sudan, and has lived more than 22 years in a refugee camp in northern Uganda. The first time he ever saw a computer was in 2007 during a refugee registration, and after he told his mother he wanted to buy [...]

By |September 18th, 2020|Achieving Dreams and Goals, Columns, Gifts and Talents, Making a Difference, Uganda, Values|Comments Off on A Champion for Change

Where were you that day?

If you’re old enough to remember it, I don’t need to say any more than that for you to know what I’m talking about. Yesterday, on the anniversary of what we now simply refer to as 9/11, everyone remembered exactly where they were, what they were doing, and how they found out about the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in 2001. Most of us remember other things about that day, too. How surreal it felt. How we knew instinctively that the world had [...]

By |September 12th, 2020|Achieving Dreams and Goals, Columns, Values|Comments Off on Where were you that day?