Saturday, October 1, 2011

Back again!

Whirlwind Schedule:

Most of my blog writing time has been devoted to recently, but as the stories from that fabulous trip begin to wind down, I've decided to continue writing the blog with periodic posts about interesting U. S. destinations. Sharon, Laura, Marianne and I have discussed possible future European visits and placed London and Paris on our wish lists, but that won't be happening right away. So stay tuned....

In the interim, my luggage has frequently been packed lately and I've been on the road constantly. One destination was The Cloister at Sea Island, Georgia, which I will definitely write about in a travel blog post in the near future. This was such an amazing location for a refreshing break in the action. A truly hidden gem! I had an opportunity to tour the kitchen and wine cellar at this resort, which was fascinating. Be sure to keep checking on the travel blog periodically for details about this location, as well as other great getaway sites.

Never Say Perfect:

Still waiting to hear from the publisher to whom the manuscript was sent for review. Their site says to check back with them if you haven't heard anything in 12-16 weeks. Well, we're getting into that vicinity very soon. Will keep you up to date. This manuscript will not be buried--even if it is necessary to self-publish it.

Memoir Writing:

Here's a little tip from my upcoming book, 7 Easy Steps to Memoir Writing, for generating some of those long forgotten life events:

Listen to old favorite music. I visited, chose "Resources", then "Top 100 songs from 1950 to the present", clicked on 1969 (the year I was a high school senior, yipes...was it that long ago???), and up popped a list of the biggest hits of that year. Just reviewing them brought forth a flood of memories to my brain. I could hardly write them down fast enough.

You can also access to actually hear the music that will bring you straight back to any year of your choosing. While this method may not work for everyone, if you've spent as many years being a music lover as I have, many selections will paint incredibly vivid memories. Another resource for listening to the music is Your favorite selections may just be available to you with photos or video. Just type the name of the song in the "Search" area and see what appears.

From church hymns to popular songs, some of my earliest musical recollections are:

"My Happiness" by Connie Francis-During an overnight stay in the hospital following my tonsillectomy at age seven, I awoke in the middle of the night and heard this song being played on a radio located at the nearby nurses' station. I recall being anxious to get out of there and back home to familiar surroundings, but I'll never forget hearing this selection of music that entered my room from the hallway as I eased back into my state of groggy, nighttime slumber.

"Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini" by Brian Hyland-I was nine years old, it was about 4:30 a.m. in North Carolina darkness, and my Dad was leaving for a trip to Arizona, where our family would be moving once school was over for the semester. There was a radio playing this song in the background as he prepared to say goodbye, and I had extremely mixed feelings about his imminent departure. I'd miss him terribly for the next two months, but our upcoming move to Arizona represented an exciting adventure, filled to the brim with the unknown.

Choose a year and select three or four songs to see if some special memories formulate. Write them down, type them into a Word document or capture your thoughts on a recorder while the thoughts are fresh in your mind. Continue this process periodically, and before you know it, you will have built a substantial collection of stories!

Let me know if this works for you, and don't hesitate to share some of the recollections with us. We welcome your submission of special memories.

Inspiration for today:

This verse just jumped off the page at me the other day from Proverbs 14:30 NIV. A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. Wow! "Rots the bones" struck me as pretty major stuff. The more I thought about it, however, the more I realized that it is so true. When I am at peace in my heart, when I know my heart is in the right place and I am doing things for the right reasons, I feel a sense of comfort that I'm exactly where God wants me to be. If I'm wasting time being anxious or thinking about what someone else has or what they have achieved that I haven't, my insides feel as though I have swallowed rocks.

Have you ever known someone who didn't have one nice thing to say about anyone? Everything that flows from his or her lips seems to be coming from a negative position? I think that relates to envy as well. Perhaps he or she envies something about everyone else and that creates an evolving insecurity, translating into spouting negative comments so this person feels better about herself or himself. It gives them a feeling of superiority to point out what they perceive to be the negative aspects of others. Well, I do believe that an envious attitude rots the bones! I've seen it in the scowls on their faces that have long replaced the smiles.

Find something positive and encouraging to say to someone today. It will bring a natural smile to your face!

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