A Messy Situation

I met a friend for coffee and catch-up last week. At one point, she pulled out a pocket-sized notebook  to write herself a reminder for something she had to do later. “I just bought myself a fancy new notebook,” she told me, “but whenever I need to write myself a note, this is the one I always use.” She added that she doesn’t want to “mess up” her new notebook with notes and scribbles. She wants whatever she writes in it to be perfect. We [...]

By |May 21st, 2024|Columns, Family, Values, Writing|Comments Off on A Messy Situation

My Very Favorite Book

Although my college graduation was almost 50 years ago—but who’s counting?—I continue to go back to school on a regular basis. I enjoy attending classes, workshops, and seminars, whether they’re to learn something totally new, to get advanced training, or just for fun. I’ve been in junior college courses, community ed classes, Bible studies, and master-level programs. And now I’ve gone back to kindergarten. It was Pre-K, actually, and I wasn’t exactly enrolled in the class. Instead, I was taking part in a program developed [...]

By |January 19th, 2024|Columns, Writing|Comments Off on My Very Favorite Book

The Leader of the Banned

I was tempted to buy a t-shirt I saw advertised recently. It featured a row of books on a bookshelf, with titles that included To Kill a Mockingbird, The Color Purple, The Handmaid’s Tale, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The caption under the books said, “I’m with the banned.” I always enjoy a good play on words. And I’ve actually read most of the books that were listed. But the main reason this t-shirt appealed to me is how important the issue of book-banning [...]

By |August 8th, 2023|Columns, Values, Writing|Comments Off on The Leader of the Banned

Saving for a Rainy Day

It’s pouring rain as I’m writing this, although the weather may be sunny and dry by the time you read it – or even by the time I finish writing. But it’s been cloudy and gloomy since early this morning, and our weather forecast says it’s going to be that way all day – not that I go by the forecast when I’m planning my day. Still, I like it when I can stay home on rainy days, and not just because it keeps me [...]

By |June 12th, 2023|Achieving Dreams and Goals, Columns, Writing|Comments Off on Saving for a Rainy Day

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

Can you read this?

“Up until third grade, you’re learning to read. After third grade, you’re reading to learn.” I heard this statement for the first time last week, from the Executive Director of an organization that works with the entire family to help children succeed in life and fulfill their God-given purpose. I was at the facility to discuss a program that several members of my Toastmasters Club did for the staff a few years ago, and that we’ve been asked to do again. It was during a [...]

By |March 14th, 2023|Columns, Quotes and Sayings, Success, Toastmasters, Values, Writing|Comments Off on Can you read this?

A Different Way of Doing Things

The writing group I belong to used to meet weekly. That was before COVID. Then, for a while, we didn’t meet at all. Eventually, we started getting together via Zoom, although we didn’t meet every week. Like many people and organizations, we discovered there were pros and cons to Zoom meetings. They were better than not being able to meet at all, and allowed long-distance members to take part. But technical glitches were frustrating and annoying. When it was okay to start meeting in person [...]

By |January 16th, 2023|Columns, Toastmasters, Writing|Comments Off on A Different Way of Doing Things

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…

Giving Thanks from A to Z

How do you express your thanks on Thanksgiving Day? Many people say a special blessing as they sit down to their Thanksgiving dinner. Some go around the table and have everyone name one or more of the people and things they are thankful for. For others it’s more private, with meditation or prayers of gratitude on their own. I usually do some combination of this, and this year, I decided to add something new. I made a list of things I am grateful for, running [...]

By |November 23rd, 2022|Columns, Family, Health and Well-being, Holidays, Values, Writing|Comments Off on Giving Thanks from A to Z