Sand dollars and Saltwater

My husband and I went to the beach today. We live half a mile from it, but don’t get there as much as we would like. Today was perfect. The tourists were farther down, the sun was shining brightly, and the water was a beautiful emerald green.

Neither of us are much for tanning (I’m a ginger and he doesn’t like to bake), so we went straight for the water. I like to float where I can’t touch; he likes to have contact with the bottom. So, we compromise. We go out to the point where I can still touch if I want, or I can go a few feet farther and float.

Today, we met a friendly lady who pointed out that there was a huge purse of sand dollars under our feet. I went under to investigate, and wow! They were everywhere! A little bigger than a silver dollar, there must have been 20 within sight wherever I looked. I picked one up, having never seen a live one before. Holding it in my hand, it felt like a mini-tens unit, vibrating softly in my palm. I put it back in the water, whispering, “Go home little guy.”

Sometimes we forget to notice the beauty that is so close to us. Even if it’s just the shade of green of the grass growing in your front yard, the little hairs on your cat’s chin, or a sand dollar purse in the ocean, take a look around you and find something new to appreciate. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Good. Now, try to do this every day. I promise it’s worth it.

Have a fantastic week!

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Catching up

I know I haven’t written in a while. I apologize. Last May I got married, and in June we went to our homeland (as in ancestors), Ireland. It was a whirlwind honeymoon, but we had a fantastic time, exploring castles, learning history, and getting to know the wonderful people of the most beautiful country I’ve seen.

I have been working on my latest book, but it’s slow going. I’m creating a whole new fictional town, characters, and plotlines. It’s not as easy to make pure fiction not based on real life. However, I just need to buckle down and get what’s in my head down on paper. Hard to do when I’m so busy! Trust me though. You’re going to love Laurel Falls! I hope you’ll check it out when I finish it!

Thanks for all your wonderful comments on my facebook page, and your patience as I negotiate new maps, create new characters, and research the early 1900s.

Have a great day!

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Creativity and Tragedy

(Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures)2016 has been a rough year for celebrities and for the world who lost them. Although the number is no more than those who passed last year, it seems like we’ve lost more in such a short time.

The biggest tragedy is that we lost so many creative people in the last few years. Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Heath Ledger, Paul Grey, Prince, Patty Duke, Robin Williams, Alan Rickman, Glenn Frey, just to name a few. They enriched our lives, and in doing so, changed the world in a way that made us happy. I had the pleasure of meeting or knowing a few of them, and I will miss them, just as I miss my aunt who passed last year in May, and other family members lost over the span of my lifetime.

However, they live on in our memories and through the work they did that continues beyond the grave. This is not to lessen the pain that many of us has felt through the deaths of our families and friends. Rather, the media covers them because they have achieved stardom. As a collective, we feel the loss and bond on a worldwide arena.

But their deaths are not meaningless, just as our family members and friends. Each person, famous or not, touched our lives in many ways and left us changed forever.

Honor their deaths by remembering them and appreciating who they were in life. We all need to do this to move forward in our own lives. Learn from their deaths and try to prevent other people from dying in such terrible ways, whether it be cancer, suicide, overdose, or other illness.

RIP to all who have passed out of our lives and into a new plane of existence. We love you and you will be missed.

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Splitting Staff

It is often hard to rise above challenges and people who disrespect oneself. These two things can be the same thing, actually. It is challenging to rise above the situation when someone you care about disrespects you, even if they don’t realize they’ve done it.

Some people are wonderful people who I love beyond words. Of course, no one is perfect, myself included tenfold. But I don’t like “splitting staff,” as we called it in a place I lived when I was young.

What splitting staff means is that if you don’t get what you want from one person you go to another team member. Children do this to their parents. If Daddy says no, go to Mommy. If Mommy undermines daddy, it becomes a problem. This results in eventual mistrust, breaking up the team, and creating a tense environment.

If you are a team, you stand by each other, not behind nor in front of. You make promises, but only those you can keep. And you trust the other to do the same. If they don’t, forgive them. But don’t give up on your ideals. Try to do everything you can to believe in them after they’ve broken your trust. Tell them honestly how you feel. Trust that they will try to understand and either apologize and never break that trust again, or continue to break your trust.

What would you do?

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Honor and Trust

Without trust, words become the hollow sound of a wooden gong. With trust, words become life itself. – John Harold

As an author, I have a different viewpoint on life, much like a photographer sees the world through a different lens. I can be driving down the street, see a kid on a sidewalk, squatting over something and poking it with a stick. Somehow, this scene replays in my mind, twisting and turning, until it becomes a story of a child poking a hole through the sidewalk to an alternate universe. What happens after that becomes a story.

Some say the art of writing is a blessing. Some, mostly writers, say it can also be a curse. Because we see things differently, sometimes it’s hard to convince others that what they think is not just. Not correct. Not fair. We tend to not want to argue. Debate is wonderful, because it’s a sharing of perspectives. Arguing is a game to win. I am certainly not a person who avoids conflict. However, I don’t feel that I should have to argue my point over and over. And, if I come to an agreement with someone, I trust that they will keep their word, just as I would. If they don’t, I’m disappointed and feel like they don’t value me enough to respect our agreement.

How do you feel about this? Do you count on people to keep their promises? How many times can you let it go before you give up? Do you confront the person who hurt you? Do you lose a little trust each time? Please comment below.

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Laurel Falls

Laurel Falls waterfallNestled in the heart of Missouri, four tribes shared a natural spring and lived in harmony close to each other. Legend says that an Indian girl who fell in love with a warrior from another tribe. Because their tribes lived in close proximity, the girl and her lover met at the mouth of a waterfall in secret, often at night or while her father, the Chief, was away from their village.

One night the Chiefs from the two tribes met and decided to put an end to this affair. During the confrontation, the girl became inconsolable and distraught. She turned away from her father and walked to the edge of the falls. Saying that she didn’t want to live if she couldn’t be with her lover, she stepped over the rocks and jumped into the river. The neighboring tribes could hear her screams as her body hit rocks and she tumbled into the chasm, reappearing at the bottom, her body a tangled mess of bloody clothes and broken bones.

The warrior was so heartbroken that he went to the falls every night with a bouquet of laurels, a symbol of immortality and his eternal love for the girl.

Eventually, the tribes moved on, but the legend remained, and the town was officially named Laurel Falls in the late 1800s. It is best known for the waters that spring from the ground just north of town, crashing down into a small pond, which feeds into a lazy river that flows through town into the Grand River farther to the south. A sense of peace flows over people when they visit Laurel Falls, in the same way some people are calmed by the tides and the sounds of the ocean.

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Editors, etc.

My new business is up and running. The great thing about it is, you don’t have to go anywhere to use my services, and turnaround time is quick! I can edit just about anything, and rates are reasonable. Discounts apply in some situations.

Please spread the word that Editors, etc. is open for business. Come in, stay awhile.

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