Be A Warrior

Be A Warrior! © serhiibobyk – stock.adobe.com

Anyone who has walked the Creative Path knows it can be rocky. We struggle with the pitfalls of the road.

  • Lack of Inspiration
  • Bouts of Self-Doubt
  • Failure to Finish
  • Failure of Our Art to Inspire

Now is the time when you must be a warrior!

Tough times demand absolute faith in your journey. Know you were chosen to share your art with the world. Someone needs to be inspired by what you create. Don’t give up!

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

On Building A Better Human

Be a Better Human Being © denissimonov stock.adobe.com

Welcome to 2020. It’s a new decade bursting with opportunities. Show of hands. How many of us actually thought we’d make it this far? Many of the older SCI/FI stories didn’t paint a rosy picture of our chances. Other, more hopeful authors imagined we would advance to levels humanity has not achieved as of yet. I admire their faith and would love to walk in the world they’d envisioned for us.

Don’t get discouraged. We still have time to grow! Let’s get started.

Building a Better Human (Inside Ourselves)

Human Beings are complex creatures with aspects of the Dark and Light inside our hearts. It is our capacity to monitor our intent and choose appropriate action that provides us with the opportunity of enlightened growth. But where to start? Here are a few basic suggestions to target for 2020:

Be Kind– Don’t strive for Sainthood. Kindness means thinking of other creatures who walk the world with us. Do the little acts of giving and thoughtfulness without expecting personal gain

Be Trustworthy– Be a fortress of integrity and honesty to your friends. Keep hurtful gossip from your lips

Be Forgiving– Don’t forget that others are walking life’s path without a handbook just like you. Be patient with their frailties and understanding of their falls

Be Loving– Perhaps the greatest gift humanity as to offer the world is our capacity to love

We can do it, fellow travelers! Let’s help each other grow.

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

 

Get Your Holiday Hygge On

#christmas2019

Hygge Christmas © almaje – stock.adobe.com

Hygge (Noun)

“A quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture)”

 

Folks who live in the frozen North experience cold Winters. The days and nights can be long and unbearably gloomy. December’s holiday glow helps, but the chill can still spoil our mood. When Winter’s chill gets me down, I look to the Danish for examples of beating the gloom.

Our Danish friends have the Hygge lifestyle. They embrace Winter with fun outdoor activities and take indoor comfort to a whole new level. Here are some tips from the Danish to make your Christmas brighter:

Four Ways to Achieve Hygge This Christmas

Christmas goodies © mizina – stock.adobe.com

Be Warm: Light a fire in the fireplace. Have plenty of pretty candles around the room

Be Fuzzy: Put your fuzzy “couch socks” on and wrap up in a warm blanket

Be Festive: Enjoy eggnog, spiced tea, mulled wine and other favorite seasonal treats

Be Light: Read a good book or enjoy a favorite holiday movie. Play board games with friends. Do an activity that will lighten your mood

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

 

Bah Humbug! Who Scrooged It Better?

Christmas Performances © BillionPhotos.com – Stock.adobe.com

If you asked me to list my favorite stories, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens would be in my top two. We have a wonderful tradition at our house. On many a December night, I’ll curl up under a blanket and listen to the classic tale on audiobook performed by two of the world’s best actors – Patrick Stewart and Tim Curry.

A Christmas Carol narrated by Patrick Stewart (Simon and Schuster – 2006)– I love this performance. It’s Patrick Stewart, Shakespearean actor, Captain Picard, Charles Xavier…the list goes on. He actually played Scrooge in a film version (1999). Did I mention Captain Picard reading Dickens?

A Christmas Carol narrated by Tim Curry (Audible – 2010)– Tim Curry is one of my all-time favorite actors. Stage performer extraordinaire and star of two of my favorite quirky movies: Rocky Horror Picture Show and Clue. His unique voice is beyond cool. Listening to his spin on Scrooge is awesome.

So, who Scrooged it Better? Patrick Stewart or Tim Curry? Who do you think makes a better Ebenezer Scrooge? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

P.S. – Am I missing an outstanding narrator you believe gives these two performers a run for their money? Let me know!

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

My Top Three Classic Movies to Get You into The Holiday Mood

Christmas Tree © Africa Studio – Stock.adobe.com

Pine and cinnamon fill the house. Sweet flavors of peppermint tingle your tongue. A wonderful sensation of excited anticipation warms the soul. It’s Christmas time. I typically look forward to Holiday Bliss the moment Jack Frost nips at my nose, but I wasn’t feeling it this year. My new book came out in October. I picked up another client for my business. Rush, rush, rush. That special Christmas feeling couldn’t penetrate my busy mind. I needed inspiration!

If reality is too real, I turn to a magical world where anything can happen. The inhabitants inspire excitement, fear, sadness, and joy. Don’t worry though. Most of the endings are happy. Am I hinting at BOOKS, you may ask. Well. Yes. BUT that’s the entrance next door. For a quick infusion of Holiday Cheer, I enter the cinematic universe.

My Top Three Classic Holiday Movies

Christmas Spirit – © gustavofrazao – Stock.adobe.com

The Polar Express (2004) – Tom Hanks at his best in this classic Christmas story about a boy who

journeys to the North Pole trying to find proof Santa is real.

A Christmas Carol – Any of them, but my favorite is the Disney version with Jim Carrey (2009) – Dickens’ wonderful tale of three spirits who visit a selfish old curmudgeon to save his soul. This story of transformation will inspire joy.

White Christmas (1954) – How can you beat the music and costumes in this Hollywood spectacular?! Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera-Ellen at their best. Watch this and you’ll be tapping your toes in no time.

What do you do to get into the Christmas spirit? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

Top Five Reasons Indie Authors Have to Be Grateful

Thanksgiving, Give ThanksThe Publishing Industry is a harsh place to build your dreams – especially if you’re an Independent Author. Writing the book is a lonely business. Pouring over all those red marks of grammar death from the editor is painful. Marketing the book once published is a nerve-wracking affair. Ask any Indie Author, and they will tell you all the heartaches are worth it. Why? We are creating our art.

In this season of thanksgiving, I wanted to reflect and remind Creatives about the good things.

Top Five Things Indie Authors Are Grateful for This Season

  1. Technology: Thank you, Internet! Technology has revolutionized the way we read with ebook and audio formats
  2. Book Distributors: Amazon, Ingram, Smashwords, and others have made it possible for more authors to publish their own work to a global audience
  3. Independent Bookstores: No offense to big book chains like Barnes and Noble, but I want to give a special shout out to my local indie bookstores. They love supporting local authors. These wonderful folks host book signings and other author events to connect local authors with the community
  4. Goodreads and other book sites: These sites offer opportunities for authors to connect virtually with their readers. And for readers to connect with other readers
  5. READERS: We are grateful to all those readers who support Indie Authors by buying and reading our books, leaving reviews and spreading the word

May your celebrations be full of food, fun, and family. Happy Thanksgiving

 

My Top Three Favorite Halloween Traditions

Spooky Halloween Traditions – © JenkoAtaman – Stock.adobe.com

Halloween boasts fun traditions: scary costumes, yummy candy, spooky stories, and pumpkin spice. Based on the sacred celebration of Samhain, our modern parties have given this ancient custom a pop culture flavor. Simple masks to ward off evil have been replaced with “Sexy Nurse” costumes. Soul cakes will no longer do for 21stCentury kiddies. Now we buy $15.00 bags of assorted sugary candy to appease the little boys and ghouls.

I may sound nostalgic for the old days, but I’m not. Give me my scary movies, a pumpkin spice latte, and some Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. I’m ready to be entertained.

Top Three Favorite Halloween Traditions

Jack O’ Lanterns

Glowing pumpkins line our streets every Halloween Night. These orange guardians against evil weren’t the original food medium. That honor belonged to the lowly turnip. Carving and illuminating the little root vegetable began in Ireland to shoo away Stingy Jack. This mythical man, known as the stingiest man in the land, is believed to have outsmarted the devil. Jack hated to spend his own money. He tricked the devil by convincing him to turn into a coin to pay for their drink. Jack then pocketed the coin next to a silver cross, preventing Satan from turning back into his original form.  He freed the devil sometime later, but the tricks didn’t stop. Jack convinced the devil to climb an apple tree, then he carved a cross into the bark and trapped Satan again. This time the devil agreed to leave Jack alone.

Stingy Jack, however, was too clever for his own good. He died and went to Heaven, but God wouldn’t give him entry. Jack had been too stingy and wicked during his life. Then he traveled to Hell, but the devil had made a promise not to take Jack’s soul. Satan sent him packing with a single burning coal to light his way throughout eternity. Folklore tells of a bobbing light moving aimlessly across the open land. It is Stingy Jack or Jack of the Lantern still wandering the Earth. People in Ireland and Scotland carved and illuminated turnips, potatoes, and beets to keep Stingy Jack and other evil spirits away.

Trick or Treat

Our tradition of Trick or Treat dates back to the Middle Ages. There is evidence this custom may have originated to the pre-Christian Celts. People dressed up as ghosts, spirits, and witches to scare away evil on Samhain. They’d dance around the bonfire and partake of treats to appease the spirits. The Celts and others celebrated their sacred Samhain to honor the dead.

America’s Influence – Halloween and Trick or Treat Traditions were Americanized into our Pop Culture in the 1950s. Peanuts and Disney firmly established Halloween as the Kid-oriented holiday it is today with their cartoons.

Ghost Hunts, Haunted Houses, and Graveyard Tours

Halloween season is a popular time to seek out the scary. We, against our wiser nature, join other thrill-seekers inside graveyards after dark in the hopes of spotting a prowling ghost. It is the Spooky Season, and we want to be scared. Why? Maybe we want to feel the thrill of terror in our otherwise mundane lives? Or perhaps like our Celtic ancestors, we want to connect with the dead? I go on ghost tours to catch a glimpse of the supernatural. One day, I might see a bit of real magic.

Bonus – Bobbing for Apples

I ran across this little tidbit while researching my blog post. Did you know bobbing for apples was part of an ancient Roman celebration of Pomona, goddess of agriculture, and abundance? The Romans brought the festival with them when they conquered the British Isles. Bobbing for apples stuck and is still played at Halloween Parties today.

Don’t Forget Your Jack O’ Lantern! © yellowj – stock.adobe.com

Happy Halloween!