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Friday, September 21, 2012

Magic at Work, Be Patient



Did you find magic last weekend? Perhaps this week? You were looking, right?

If you didn't find magic, keep looking. Magic is at work all around you. You'll find it.

If you did find magic, hold on to that sense of excitement you felt and keep looking. There is always more magic to be found.

And remember...
“It doesn't stop being magick just because you know how it works.”
― Terry Pratchett, The Wee Free Men


What magic did you find this week? What magic will you find this weekend?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Interview: Marla Stahl

Each Wednesday is Wonderstruck Interview day. Hearing other people’s stories is a great way to see things from a different perspective and perhaps find something new to apply to our own lives.

I'm so excited this week to have Marla Stahl as my guest. I've known Marla since I was a little girl. In all of that time I've never seen her without a smile on her face. She is one of the most upbeat, fearless women I know. Her blog, the Warm Sunshine Blog, is among my favorites.

What have you been wonderstruck by recently?

There was a sweet little angel-- a baby girl -- in church Sunday who was all dressed up in her little white gown before church, waiting to be baptized. She was plopped in front of the altar and just sat there with the most sweet, innocent, absolutely angelic look on her face! Everyone fell in love with her--there was a collective, "Awwwww!" She took my breath away! I was wonderstruck by her angelic-ness (is that a word?), her sweetness, her trusting soul, her innocence...she totally grabbed my heart. Babies, puppies, and kitties do that to me, but this little one was special for some reason!

What part of your day are you grateful for?

Coming home and being greeted by my adorable, loving, happy little pup! And playing with her with wild abandon. It's so nice to receive such unconditional love. She gets that excited to see me every time I come in, even if all I've done is take out the trash! : )

What part of your day is tough? How do you move through it?

Around 8:30 pm, I start running out of steam and my thoughts turn from their characteristic positivity to being somewhat negative or worried. I do two things: Sit on the couch watching HGTV , preferably House Hunters (it's almost always happy!) and if all else fails... go to bed! Nothing like a good night's sleep to improve one's outlook!

What do you wish your were more conscious of?

People used to always say I was a good listener, but I feel that recently, with lots of my own challenges in life, I've become more self-focused than other-focused. I want to regain the skill and practice of making each person I have a conversation with feel like I think they are the only person in the universe when I am listening to them.

How do you stay focused on what is truly important to you?

My faith plays a big role in just about every aspect of who I am and what I do. Being in a church band, I get a mid-week "fix" of positive perspective through the words we sing. Then I get another "adjustment" on Sunday!

About Marla:

Marla is a happy, energetic person who loves to learn new things, especially things most people don't do... like studying Russian and Chinese in college, learning to be a drummer at age 50, or becoming a tour guide for a major league baseball team. She likes to make life interesting! : )

Find Marla here:

Marla's Blog is called Warm Sunshine Blog. How could you not want to read that? Find it here: warmsunshineblog.wordpress.com

 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Missing

Yesterday was a weird day. I couldn't pinpoint why; it just felt weird- disconnected.

Throughout the day, several small but cherished things went missing. I'm not sure if the disconnected feeling was a result of that or if it was just all around that kind of day.

The first thing I noticed to be gone was my lotion. Sure, this sounds like a trivial thing, but I love that lotion. I bought it a month ago when LUSH opened in a mall near me. I've loved LUSH from afar for years, so getting one I can actually go to was an huge.

Since then their Karma Kream has been sitting on my bathroom counter for easy access. That's what makes this disappearance even weirder. How did it leave the countertop?

Later things turned worse as I sat down to update my list of gifts. Last month I started a master file on my computer to collect wonderstruck moments as I count to 1,000. My computer file held the first 87, which I had collected throughout the past year.

Yesterday I went to update the list (which took me to 102), but the list was gone. Poof. Nowhere to be found. I almost cried actually. It was such a special list of moments and memories. I know I typed it and I know I saved it, so where could it be?

And it wasn't just me. My husband became upset after realizing a recording of our son was missing from his phone. The Little One's little voice saying "uh-oh" and "boom," tragically lost.

I'm not sure what to make of all this. I don't know if anything will magically turn up. I hope so. Either way, I felt like it wasn't just these small things that were lost, but like I, too, was lost.

Have you lost little things that were special to you? Did you find them?

Friday, September 14, 2012

Magic



I took this photo at home. Are there fairies in my house? I'll never tell. But I will leave you with this simple thought...

“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”
― William Butler Yeats

Open your senses. What magic might you find this weekend?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Interview: Alina Sayre

Each Wednesday is Wonderstruck Interview day. Hearing other people’s stories is a great way to see things from a different perspective and perhaps find something new to apply to our own lives.

This week our interviewee is Alina Sayre. When she’s not correcting other people’s grammar or teaching 7th-graders to love Shakespeare, she’s probably working on her first book, a children’s novel for middle grade readers.

What have you been wonderstruck by recently?

Lately I’ve been blown away by the goodness of friends. The familiar quotation may seem trite, but I’ve found it so true, especially over the last few weeks: "Friends are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly." Sometimes it’s an anonymous bag of homegrown veggies on my doorstep; sometimes it’s the offer to listen without having to "fix" me. That people who aren’t related to me should care so selflessly, so disinterestedly for me touches me deeply.

What part of your day are you grateful for?

I’m grateful for the part of the day where my mom and I sit down and watch an episode or two of whatever British drama we’re currently into—right now it’s BBC’s “Downton Abbey.” A little time-travel and relaxing with loved ones can be an excellent antidote to life’s cares and leave me much refreshed to carry on.

What part of your day is tough? How do you move through it?

Much as I love the quietness of mornings, sometimes getting out of bed is hard. Knowing there are so many challenges to meet in the course of a day, sometimes I just want to stay under the covers. Eventually a glimpse of daylight through my curtains, the promise of coffee, or focusing on something I’m looking forward to that day helps me to get up.

What do you wish your were more conscious of?

I sometimes wish I were more conscious of my own progress. Other people say, “You’re doing so well! You’ve come so far!” but when I’m in the middle of a big project or a long-term endeavor, like writing a novel, it can be hard for me to perceive myself accurately. Sometimes I just have to trust that other people have the clearer vision of how I’m doing.

How do you stay focused on what is truly important to you?

I really can’t help staying focused on writing. I adhere to Isaac Asimov’s words: "I write for the same reason I breathe: if I didn’t, I would die." I do get distracted from my life’s passion frequently, but after a few days of not writing, I get the definite sense that something is missing. I think that’s how you know when you’ve found your life’s calling. It also really helps to know other people who are involved in creative endeavors—a little support and accountability helps me to keep doing what I love doing.

About Alina Sayre:

Alina Sayre cut her teeth chewing on board books and has been in love with words ever since. She is currently attempting to forge a path as a freelance writer, editor, and English tutor without ending up living in a cardboard box.

Visit Alina Sayre here:

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Interview: Judythe Morgan

Each Wednesday is Wonderstruck Interview day. Hearing other people’s stories is a great way to see things from a different perspective and perhaps find something new to apply to our own lives.

This week we are visited Judythe Morgan, an author, an antiques dealer, a former public school teacher and one time Department of Army Civilian (DAC). When she's not writing, you’ll find her reading, browsing antique shops or walking her dogs--a very large Old English sheepdog named Tobias Bear (aka Toby) and an equally tiny Maltese named Buster.

What have you been wonderstruck by recently?

Every summer I am wonderstruck anew by the majesty and wonder of creation. Our summer home is in the heart of Rio Grande National Forest. As we walk the trails or drive the Silver Thread Scenic Byway, the rivers, the waterfalls, the steep passes, everything reminds me how awesome our world is.

What part of your day are you grateful for?

I’m up early every morning and out walking my dogs between five and six a.m. most days. Watching the sun come over the mountains, listening to birds, seeing the lights come on in homes, I’m so grateful for another day to enjoy God’s blessings.

What part of your day is tough? How do you move through it?

My “sinking spells,” as my dear Aunt Bick calls them, come mid-day. As I said, I’m an early riser and by noonish I’m sleepy and tired and ready to stop writing. To overcome the weariness, I grab a protein-rich lunch/snack and take a break. Aunt Bick always grabs herself a Dr. Pepper. I nurse a cup of Irish Afternoon Tea, but no Dr. Peppers from me. I’m a Coca-Cola gal.

What do you wish your were more conscious of?

You know, there are those who tell me I’m too conscious, too observant, and too detailed. Maybe a better question for me would be how are you tempering what you’re conscious of. I do work on seeing the forest instead of the leaves and insects. So to answer your question though, I wish I could see the big picture, the broad scene and not be so over conscious of the lesser things.

How do you stay focused on what is truly important to you?

I make lists, prioritize, and use sticky notes to remind me what needs to be done and when. Did you know there is a sticky note program for your PC? Those little notes on my desktop keep me on target when I have deadlines.

Yet life can still become a struggle to focus with lots of things tugging for attention. In those times, I focus on what is truly important – family and make necessary adjustments.

About Judythe Morgan:

I write because I’m utterly, totally miserable when I’m not. I not only enjoy writing stories I love to listen to other people talk about their dreams, fears, joys, sorrows, desires, defeats and victories. Their stories fascinate me, and because storytelling comes as naturally to me as breathing, ideas, what ifs and thoughts, jumble in my head and eventually flow onto the page. I do caution people when talking with me because, like the tee-shirt says, you could end up in my novel.

Currently, I am writing a Prequel to THE PENDANT’S PROMISE. It’s the story about how Lily and Alex met in 1966 in South Korea then the Vietnam War separated. LOVE IN THE MORNING CALM provides the reader with details to help understand how their deep commitment lasted until they met again in 1986.

I’m also happy to announce that my debut novel THE PENDANT’S PROMISE is now available in Paperback as well as on Kindle Nook Apple and at Smashwords for Sony, Kobo and other electronic versions.

Visit Judythe Morgan here:

Monday, September 3, 2012

Summer May Be Over, But Life Isn't

It's Labor Day here in the United States. Officially it's a day intended to celebrate the contributions of workers, traditionally by giving them a day off from that work.

Unofficially, it's the end of summer. School starts this week and for most people (at least those with children), it marks the end of vacation. Crowds at the beach will dwindle as kids and parents buckle down and focus on responsibility.

I bored myself just typing that.

Here's what I'll be remembering as we slide into the next season:

  • Life is not over. Sure, it will now involve homework and tighter schedules, but weekends aren't going anywhere.

  • For now the weather remains hot. Blech. But, that means I can still wear flip-flops.

  • The grill still works. It's brand new in my case. I've enjoyed cooking on it for the last few weeks and will continue doing so until it's too cold to stand outside.


My advice is to take those things you love about summer and keep working them in to your life. Keep a carefree sense of summer adventure.

Wishing you a wonderstruck Labor Day!