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Showing posts with label inspire. Show all posts
Showing posts with label inspire. Show all posts

Monday, October 3, 2016


Fred Devito said, "If it doesn't challenge you it doesn't change you."   

Kelly Clarkson sings it this way, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger/a fighter."

Or for you Barbie fans, "If I wasn't meant to fly, I wouldn't have these wings."

We are meant to fly, to learn, to grow. We cannot know the joy if we never experience the sorrow. We cannot know our inner strength until it is tested.

What are some of your challenges from yesteryears? How did they help shape you? What challenges are you facing right now?

A couple of years ago, an author that I was following like a good fangirl does, posted that she was taking down her work and would henceforth write under another name because of all the criticism to the writing she had posted.

I was devastated. I thought her writing, though rough--as she stated prior to each posting, was brilliant. I particularly loved her extensive vocabulary, her strong female characters, and the witty dialogue. I still go back occasionally to her stories I have on my Kindle, and, yes, every blue moon I do a search to see if I can find her. Fractional success there.

We don't know another's path or challenges. Our criticism of the small part could be a tipping point.

My challenge to all of us is to encourage rather than criticize, to listen instead of ignore, to offer kindness and a smile rather than an obscenity.

I also know YOU have amazing gifts and talents to share. Sure, you may just be starting out, but don't give up.
Be a fighter. Learn what you need to learn and SHARE your gifts.

I'll end with a beautiful quote from Helen Walton, "It's not what you gather but what you scatter..."

Scatter sunshine.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Advice from Author of The Book Thief

It's easy to hand out advice, to play cheerleader, to pretend I know something about the craft of writing. But what if it came from someone who had actually published a best-seller, a book made into a movie? Enter, Markus Zusak, author of The Book Thief, in an interview by Sarah Kinson.

His advice

"Don't be afraid to fail. I fail every day. I failed thousands of times writing The Book Thief, and that book now means everything to me. Of course, I have many doubts and fears about that book, too, but some of what I feel are the best ideas in it came to me when I was working away for apparently no result. Failure has been my best friend as a writer. It tests you, to see if you have what it takes to see it through."

The secret to writing according to Mr. Zusak?

"The best ideas come to you when you're sitting down, working. That's when most of the breakthroughs occur--simply by doing the work. If someone wanted to be a runner, you don't tell them to think about running, you tell them to run."

So if you're gearing up for National Novel Writing Month (affectionately referred to as NaNo or NaNoWriMo), get your outline (even if it's a very rough sketch), your meal plans, and your calendar ready. If you're not, set a goal to write every day, even if it's just 100 words. This is a marathon, not a sprint, and you have to get moving if you want to reach the finish line. 

Write On, my friends! 

Monday, August 31, 2015

Perfection--Is It Worth the Effort?

Strawberry shortcake, Nadia Comaneci (1976), Randy Johnson (05/18/04), a 300 score in bowling... All signify perfection. Yes, strawberry shortcake is perfection. Ask my taste buds.

In church on Sunday, the speaker shared a story (and I tried to find it, but couldn't) about an experiment the military did. The test group first measured the strength of their individual grips. Under hypnosis, they were told they were weak and sick. Their grip strength was then measured, the results, predictably, were less than the initial measurement. Hypnotized again, they were told how strong they were. I'm sure you see where this is going: the results were considerably higher than the baseline measurement.

Do we choose to listen to the negative side of striving for perfection (it's not possible, so why try?), or do we continue to work hard to reach it and in doing so bypass our expectations and perceived abilities?

Which path will you choose? Learn all you can, strive to be perfect (even if it's just one area like grammar or time committed each day to perfecting your craft), and as always, Write On my friends!

Monday, July 20, 2015


As youth, we put up posters and quotes and pictures that inspired us. From music stars to sports teams, from mythical animals to movie sensations and sayings that we connected with. Our favorite things fighting for a space to breathe on our walls.

Red Gate at Miyajima Japan
As adults, do we surround ourselves with things that uplift and inspire? I love the concept of vision boards. It's the bedroom wall of our youth squashed into a much smaller space. Your board could be on a sheet of 8 1/2" x 11" card stock or a 12" x 12" magnetic board, or even a 3' x 4' poster. What would be on it?

Each of us is unique and has our own set of challenges and abilities. But know this, you, YOU are amazing in your own way. Believe in yourself. I believe in you, I believe you can overcome and achieve great things. Sometimes we need help and sometimes we need to extend help.

I hope through my writing that I might lift and inspire. May you also. Write On my friends.

Monday, June 15, 2015

The Journey of a Thousand Days

On our trip to Japan, we flew Hawaiian Airlines. (We love HA). The in-flight magazine, Hana-Hou, had an article titled Runner of a Thousand Days by Dave Choo.

It's an amazing tale of a Buddhist priest, Ryojun Shionuma, who lives in the mountains above Nara, Japan.

We meet him as a runner of the Honolulu Marathon. Although he has never run a marathon, he has completed the two most difficult tests of the Shugendo sect of Buddhism to which he belongs (Shugendo literally means, 'the path of training and testing'). The first--considered the hardest--is the Omine Sennichi Kaihogyo. It means, 'One Thousand Days trekking on Mount Omine.' It isn't a thousand continuous days as the trail is only open from May 3 to September 22. But it is continuous in that it is every single one of those days for the roughly nine years it takes to complete the thousand days. Completing this daily, thirty mile hike for this test of strength and endurance is equivalent to circling the earth one and a quarter times and only one other person has ever completed it. Wow. I was excited about the day we walked thirteen miles; I can't imagine going thirty. Daily.

Shionuma also completed another feat which I won't go into but will just say people have died trying to complete it. You can check out the complete article if you want to read about it. But for today, I just want to focus on the daily trek.

Writing is hard. Doing it daily for a thousand days. Harder. (For some of us it seems impossible). But we can accomplish difficult things. He didn't give up when he got to the middle and nothing made any sense anymore. He didn't give up when the scene didn't quite work out the way he wanted. He persevered and put one foot in front of the other until the journey was done.

Don't give up, keep writing, keep putting one word after the other--even if it seems like drivel. Keep at it, write good words, inspire greatness, and like Shionuma, there is an end to your journey (but it's just the beginning of the next one).

Write On my friends!

*I neglected to take the magazine which was the April/May issue of Hana Hou and the return flight was in June. You can check it out, but the article about Ryojun Shionuma didn't have a link at this posting (the link above is to another blog where the complete article is posted).

* Image from:

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