Where does inspiration come from? Neil Gaiman pretty much sums it up for most creative types, I think. Inspiration for me comes when I allow my mind to float and be free of all outside stimulus. I can be sipping java in peace or standing in a line up with chatter filling the room. Our lives have become so busy the traditional sitting down at the keyboard waiting for inspiration to strike is no longer the writers way. I catch myself in the moment, like Neil says, and grab onto it and literally take notes or it’s lost! Once the idea is identified I run with it, literally, allowing my mind to get to a meditative state where I can let my imagination run wild.
I ran yesterday for the first time in 5 months, after breaking my foot. I felt like I was finally balanced internally and externally. I was advised to let running go, but I need it to purge the daily fragments from my mind making room for creative ones that stir up what sits deep below the surface of who I truly am.
What inspires me? Passionate people…feelings…the ocean…music and the desire to stir up emotions with words that when strung together make your heart sing!
“Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!”
–White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland
“It’s a strange thing, but when you are dreading something, and would give anything to slow down time, it has a disobliging habit of speeding up.” –J.K. Rowling
Confession: I do not like to be told what to do, and more importantly when to do it. I can still hear my mom telling me “Clean your room!” and me saying “I will!” but thinking, when I’m good and ready to. The mood has to hit me first. I need to be inspired to clean my room and then watch out, I’ll clean the bee-jeebies out of that room, but in my own time. Ya, so that didn’t go over very well. The truth is that when I was a teenager, I rarely felt inspired to clean anything. I fought her every time, but I also lost every time.
The same can be said about writing letters. I was made to write people letters when I was young, usually to thank them for a gift. It’s the right thing to do of course. I liked to write, but not letters for some reason. I viewed writing letters as a chore, an expected chore, so I would dig my heels in and resist any way I could. This followed me well into my adult life. Years after my ex and I were apart and living on opposite coasts, I received in the mail one day a box of cute writing paper and envelopes from his mother. A box of 12. Each envelope was addressed back to her and had a stamp already in place. The idea was that I sit down with my son every few weeks and write a few lines to let her know how we were doing and what we were up to. A nice gesture? I’m sure she meant it as such. About 15 years later I was searching for something unrelated and came across that box of writing paper and envelopes, and you guessed it, all 12 stamped envelopes still waiting for their self-addressed journey that would never come. The combined postage probably couldn’t mail one letter today.
I can see the same thing happening with my gym routine. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays are the chosen gym days. Tuesdays, Thursdays and some Sundays are supposed to be run days. These were my rules. I decided on the schedule but as soon as my husband starts to suggest that perhaps its time to go I get really cranky. I immediately go into Don’t Tell Me What To Do mode and I start resisting. I know! I’m a petulant child. At almost 50 years old, I’m still just a petulant child.
This brings me to my commitment of post writing for this blog. When we started this little blog there were three of us. We divided the week up so that we each would write a new blog post twice a week and then do a combined post on the 7th day. That meant there was a new post up every day. We kept that up for quite a long time, then someone, and I think it was probably me, suggested we only write 1 post each and just leave it up for our 2 days. That worked for quite awhile too. Then somebody, probably me, suggested that we cut back the post writing even more, and we did. When one of our team of three chose to sign off indefinitely and we were down to only 2, we each took on some extra writing. That worked for a bit, but then somebody, quite likely me, decided it was too much so we cut it back again. Now, we have agreed to each write only once every two weeks and post on Monday. Simple. Lots of time to find some inspiration. We get to write about whatever we want to so the possibilities are endless, the time vast, the pressure is off and yet…
So there you have it. I’m posting this little confession in the form of my blog post…at this time, late on a Tuesday instead of first thing last Monday morning. Plus, as an added bonus, I’ve been working on it at 6pm on this Tuesday, despite, no precisely because that is our expected dinner hour. Not that my husband has that expectation, although I’m sure he’s hungry, but it’s my own self imposed rule and so I must for whatever reason, rebel against it occasionally too. Good grief! What is wrong with me?
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Flirting with Danger
It was early spring, yet it had been unseasonably hot for the past week. Preparing for bed she opened the window to let in some fresh air and hopefully force out the thick, stale air that had risen to collect in her second story bedroom.
Her three kids were spending the entire weekend with their dad in his condo across town. She had been looking forward to having this time all to herself, to do her favourite thing – write.
She had been toying with the idea of writing erotica for some time. Recently she’d written a few short erotic stories to post in her blog. The response was encouraging. Her “likes” on Facebook increased and her readership peaked with these types of sexy stories. Ah, Facebook. She loved Facebook. It had allowed her to reconnect with so many people from her past. Many were guys she had dated at one time but had long ago lost touch with. It was fun to see where they were in their lives now. She had even met up with a couple of them…to see if there were still any sparks between them. Why not? She was single again and so were they. No sparks. Not yet anyway.
Facebook was how she met her “friend” Devon. He was “friends” with someone else that she knew on Facebook. One day he followed a link she’d posted to her blog and read one of her stories; one of her erotic stories. He was immediately intrigued and started to read through all of her older archived stories. Wow, this woman is sexy! He went through every picture in her photo albums (what some refer to as “creeping” a page) and he was delighted to see that she was beautiful too. She was naturally photogenic and often flashed an amazing smile. He loved how, in many of the photos, she looked directly into the camera with what he perceived as a sexy glint in her eye. It made his pulse quicken. He had to find out more. He started sending her direct messages and was excited when she responded to him right away. They began emailing each other back and forth with long, long letters full of humour and flirting. She was so forthright and honest, it took his breath away. The emails became more and more intimate and before long they were talking on the phone with each other for hours on end. She desperately wanted to meet him in person.
He knew that could never happen. Never.
He always had a quick, believable excuse why it couldn’t work for him to meet with her in person whenever she led the conversation that way. It annoyed her a little but she decided to let it go. All in good time, she thought, and put it out of her mind.
He encouraged her writing. He liked to write himself he said. In fact, he had written down a dream he had, well more like a day dream, but it was a day dream featuring her. Would she like to read it? Hell yes, she’d said, so he emailed it to her. It was very erotic; his fantasy began with him watching her sleep. In his story her eyes were closed and she was unaware that he was standing over her – watching her. She mustn’t wake up.
This was her kind of writing. She loved it. She loved it so much she even felt inspired to write the next chapter of the story; the story from her perspective. She began her version with her female character also in bed, eyes closed, pretending to sleep. In her story the woman always knew what was happening. She was still in control and loving every moment of it. His story sparked her creativity. Not only did she feel inspired, she felt that the writing itself was pretty good. She could imagine them working together and creating something together in this format. Imagine. The same story but told from his perspective, and then told from her perspective. People will love it! She was so stoked.
She devoted the whole weekend while her kids were away to writing – writing erotic fantasies with the idea that he could write his male perspective to the same story. What a great writing exercise. Who knows where it might lead? The fact that she still hadn’t met him gnawed at her a little but she dismissed the thought and decided instead that it was probably better for their creative process not to meet at this time. There – rationalized!
She switched off her bed side lamp. It took her eyes a minute to adjust to the dark room but when the shadowy outline of her furniture came into focus she adjusted her position so she could look toward her open window. Her eyes felt heavy as she watched her curtain move gently, hypnotically in the breeze. It was a relief to feel cool air gently waft across her cheek. She would sleep better now. She always woke with a headache if her room was too warm. Her bed felt so cozy and she was utterly spent from a full day of writing. Her lips formed a small satisfied smile as she drifted off. Her breathing became rhythmic and deep. In and out. In and out.
She didn’t see his gloved hand slowly move her curtain all the way open. She didn’t wake when the street light shone directly across her face. He never made a sound as he moved towards her bed. While she slept he stood only a few inches away – watching her.
I was talking to a man-friend of mine about living life with no fear. We both agreed there is no other way to live. He believes “fear usually lives in things unfinished or never done.” I think timing can also play a key role in dreams or goals unfinished or never done. We need to stay tapped into our passion no matter how little time we have for it, keeping our dreams alive!
“Don’t dream your life, but live your dream” ~ Mark Twain
Do you ever wonder why you do certain things? Why do you connect so easily with some but not others? Why did you take Spanish out of the blue? Do you ever wonder how something you’re doing now is going to relate to your future? It’s all about connecting the dots. I often wonder what is the purpose of me writing? Its not for the huge paycheck. Here’s why ~
“Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else” ~ Gloria Steinem.
It’s about passion. I am passionate about love and life and write in hopes of keeping my passion for it alive. It’s all about sharing my passion and hopefully inspiring those around me while doing so. When you do what you’re passionate about you find what you are seeking in life, changing the energy around you. You can’t inspire others if you are full of regret because of things unfinished or never done. Even if your passion is a hobby, do it for the simple pleasure of doing it.
My life with no fear is pretty simple ~ live each moment open and honest sharing what life has to offer with those around me. I get inspiration from nature, in particular water. I can sit for hours in awe of its vast magnificence. It both calms and excites me. It has such power and peacefulness. Turbulent on top yet tranquil underneath where there is an entirely different world waiting to be explored if we just dip below its surface without fear. Dip below the surface of life and see what it has to offer. We often fear the unknown, yet our world is surround by it. “Fear is the thief of dreams” ~ Gandhi.
Music also inspires and stimulates my creative thoughts. Music opens me. It sends me back to where I’ve been and takes me to where I dream of being. It stirs my soul, balances my being and tunes my emotion.
Unique human beings also inspire me. I admire those who live outside of their comfort zone, very few have the courage to do so. I have only written about a few but there are many. I crave those who make me think and feel emotions that frighten me. I have the desire to write when emotions are stirred deep inside. Then is when I feel truly alive.
So if I were to be living my dream with no fear I would be gazing into a body of water with music in the air writing passionately about life and love, in the company of a man who stirs all of my emotions. Living your dream doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s about making memories and each moment count. It’s not about what you have, it’s about what you do with your passion.
When I saw the movie Romancing the Stone with Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner I wanted to be her. A romance novelist on an adventure, in the end she finds her own love and sails away living her dream. I want my life to be filled with adventure, love and passion worthy of inspiring me to write. I want to write about real romance, not harlequin romance, real romantic adventure.
That’s MY Dream!
Life is what you make it. If you do what you love I think everything else just happens. Follow your passion. Make your dreams a reality…jump!
I must be in tune with the Universe because this was the Postcard from Gusto this glorious morning…
Sometimes you just have a feeling about someone and before you know it you’re sharing stories and a coffee with them. There is an immediate connection. When this happens so naturally it’s meant to be. I connected with a friend from Facebook this week who I had never met in person. I have known both of her brothers for 20 years. I mentioned we should meet for coffee and within a week we did. Lots of times words are put out there but they never go further than words. Rhonda and I spent a couple of hours talking about life and love. We’ve had similar experiences over the years so we could relate to one another very easily. We both agreed that Actions in life speak louder than Words.
I am a woman who loves words. I’ve been caught up in them on many occasions; in writing and romance. Words spoken from the lips of the right man can be captivating. We all crave words. When the actions of those words are not present the meaning disappears. ‘Actions speak louder than word’ is as basic as ‘Do unto others as you would have others do unto you’. Words followed by the appropriate action or intent of the words is the ultimate combination!
When there is truth in words spoken actions naturally follow. Everything falls into place with no effort. Its like floating down a river with no paddle. The path of least resistance is chosen for us. It just feels right even if you can’t explain it. When you look back you can connect the dots of what got you there, ultimately it was because someone took action.
Words come from the surface of who you are or who you think you are. Actions come from being authentic with good intention. Conviction is the true test of whether or not your words match who you believe yourself to be. I think too many people release words without having thought about what the impact will be. Others articulate to manipulate. It’s the only way they feel they can get what they want.
When words are spoken purely to stroke ones ego they mean nothing. Ego can transform any word into meaningless jargon. If ones actions don’t eventually match their words we naturally start to lose interest. We all have our limit to how long we are willing to wait to see if any action will be taken. Word without meaning are simply random letters grouped together without purpose.
I am not saying you can’t change your mind once spoken words that come from the heart, it’s your prerogative. I am saying that when actions don’t natually follow words, perhaps those words should have been thought about more deeply before they are spoken.
I didn’t know it would be so difficult to date when I became eligible. It’s much more complicated than I remember when I was younger. No wonder there is a relationship status on Facebook that states ‘It’s complicated’ because it is! I haven’t met anyone who has not been complicated! There are schedules to consider, kids, parenting styles, deal makers and breakers, dogs, jobs, sports, compatibility, life style differences, distance and timing has to be just right…or does it? It doesn’t help when your best friend is your last partner. Try to explain that one to a potential date. They can’t help but have suspicions about the two of you getting back together at any given moment! Everyone seems to despise their ‘X’, which is hard when you really like yours! It’s hard to get to know someone when you barely have time for yourself. It honestly amazes me that there are second marriages let alone relationships between singles who are either separated or divorced.
You have to trust someone with your heart! Not everyone has good intention so it’s hard not to get discouraged! Are you getting the picture, it’s not that easy to date! It truly is a minefield that’s hard to navigate. I am so thankful to have girlfriends to talk with, be advised by and to have a male perspective that knows me better than any man out there! Which hasn’t been yet, but could also be something hard to maneuver with someone who doesn’t know me very well!
On the bright side of dating, there are lots of intelligent handsome great guys out there, who understand kid schedules and appreciate truth and honesty and who are eager to experience life in the moment. I’ve learned you just have to stop looking. If you go about your day they will come into your life when the time is right. Dating in your 40’s is all about acceptance and going with the flow, baggage included because we all have at least a carry on, some have truck loads!
At the end of the day, it’s really just all about enjoying everyone for who they are and exploring those personalities that intrigue you. Honesty is crucial and necessary even if the other person needs time to chew on it for a while. It’s a gamble like everything else in life, but I think worth the risks involved. Not everyone is honest, honourable or interested in the same things. Sometimes he’s just not that into you, or you into him and that’s okay! Timing is so important, it can turn a potential hot love affair into forever.
I am not trying to paint a negative picture of what its like being single. The experience is as unique as each of us. I truly love being on my own…most of the time. I’ve said before that I don’t need a man in my life, but would definitely love the right one. Everything takes time and the most important part of being set free in the world is enjoying the journey along the way. Trust your instincts, follow your heart, explore the possibilities of what if…you might be surprised at what you find!
A learned behavior is a behavior that was observed by an individual that they find to be beneficial to them in some way. We have all been taught these learned behaviors by our parents, teachers, pastors, councillors or anyone of any influence in our lives. There’s a motivating factor behind it. A reward perhaps. The learned behavior is a conditioned response to a stimuli through either voluntary or involuntary intent. It is some type of action or reflex that you learn. For example tying your shoes, tantrums and interrupting a conversation is a learned behavior. Innate behaviors on the other hand, such as babies sucking their thumbs or crying is something we are born with.
We have developed automatic response to different situations, sometimes reacting because of the way we are conditioned to react. Not all learned behaviors are negative, but I do think we need to start trusting our own instinctual or innate behaviors a little more.
I think we need to shed some of our conditioning in order to live our most authentic lives.
We are conditioned to get married at a certain age. Not everyone wants to, or should get married. In many countries marriage is still arranged. I think it’s hard finding a partner you could spend the rest of your life with, imagine for a moment your parents picking who you will be with FOREVER! Maybe marriage is not meant to last forever. We are also conditioned to believe the end of a marriage is a failure, when in fact it can be the best decision for both people. I admire those who don’t conform to what society makes them believe is their path because of a preconceived timeline.
Although procreation is an innate behaviour, it doesn’t mean we have to. We are conditioned to believe we are meant to have children after marriage. It is the question every newly married couple gets asked days after they exchanged vows. If we can accept the marriage without the child, then we should be able to accept the child without the marriage. Women are often frowned upon when they consider having a child out of wedlock. We are conditioned to believe you need two parents and although I do think it is much easier and more balanced for the children, it’s not necessarily the norm anymore. Not all couples want children and go through a huge struggle to explain why they choose not to. Just as some women/men choose not to marry. I think those who choose what is best for them see through learned behavior and are living truthfully. When you love someone “unconditionally” it means without conditions. There is nothing better or more pure.
Age also has conditions we need to shed. I don’t even ask how old someone is because I think age should not be a measuring stick or way of slotting someone. Kelsey was the first to teach me that lesson, she was way beyond her years when she was 8 years old. Age doesn’t no matter. I have a lot to learn from much younger wiser souls while I am here on earth. I am open to all they have to teach me. Older doesn’t always mean wiser, as we are conditioned to believe. It all really depends on the individuals life experience.
Kids don’t even need to leave the comfort of their own homes to learn their behaviors. Television is full of them. Pretty scary when as an adult you are completely aware of what’s out there. Don’t get me wrong there are lots of great television shows out there that are a positive expression of life, you just have to look for them. Kids are watching the drama portrayed in shows and what they get out of it is how they think they should react to a situation themselves. They start to shut off their own instinct of what feels right and by doing this they become conditioned. They have successfully learned their behavior. They have tuned out their innate behaviours they were born with.
We need to shed our conditioning and start trusting our own instincts of how to react to situations that arise. A positive, open mind and good moral fiber will help us make difficult choices in our path ahead. Trust your instincts not your conditioning! Follow your heart and keep a clean conscience and your on the right path to shedding some of the unnecessary conditioning we are all faced with each day.
Have you ever felt like you just wanted to escape from life in general, if even for a moment! You try desperately to tune out everything and everybody around you. You start to day dream of where you would much rather be ….it’s called your “Happy Place“. It’s the mental state achieved when one wants to avoid the unpleasant or uncomfortable. Everyone has a different happy place that usually consists of the things that make them feel warm and fuzzy.
Ahhhh My Happy Place…I have been trying to get there lately but it’s been like a bad dream, your running as fast as you can but you are moving in slow motion!! I have been literally running from one task to the next with absolutely no time to spare between for the last month and it is starting to take it’s toll. The balance in life can sometimes get away from all of us and I will go on record right now and say mine is OUT !! It is my own fault, I take on too much, have too many interests and my independent attitude doesn’t help! I have wayyyyy too many cool things I want to be working towards, Tara Cronica, Writing a book, Kids, Silpada Jewelry, Exercise, Running a business, Girlfriends, Making Jewelry. The list keeps growing ! I am taking a breath now~
My Happy Place consists of me sitting in a white wooden chair on the beach in Rarotonga, The Cooke Islands, completely alone with no one in sight. There is a panoramic view of just water, sand and palm trees as far as you can see. My chair is in the water so that my feet feel the warm waves slowly roll over them. I have no where to be, nothing to do but sit and contemplate. I have my ipod and I am listening to Enya or Enigma while my mind just goes far far away. I have been to My Happy Place in reality, and it was such a serene wonderful place to be. If I could fly there right now I would board the plane with no luggage, just the cloths on my back. When you have so many things on the go it’s not hard to have your world start to spin in circles. I need to take a chill pill and really try hard at least in my mind to get to my Happy Place! Wish me luck !
Bonnie aligns herself~
I have learned that when I find myself out of my “happy place” it is always because I’m out of alignment. What does that mean exactly? Well, for me it means that I’m not tuned in to Who-I-Really-Am; that bigger part of my Self that is connected to Source (God, the Universe, Allah, whatever label you choose). The disconnect happens when I’m not aligned with that source of joy and inspiration (which is, in fact, our natural state). It’s easy to let myself slip out of alignment, all I have to do is focus on something negative or something that makes me feel bad and then I see some more stuff that makes me feel bad and then I notice something else negative that I hadn’t noticed before,…and so it goes.
Start the night before: As you put yourself to bed find things in your immediate vicinity (your bed, your pillow, your sheets) to direct your appreciation toward. Set your intention to sleep well and to awaken refreshed.
When you wake up lie there for 5 minutes and think about some more things you appreciate.
After you’ve washed and eaten, sit for 15 minutes and quiet your mind. Allow resistance to fall away and feel your vibration rise.
Open your eyes and sit for 5 or 10 minutes writing a list of things you appreciate about your life.
That’s it. 30 minutes or less and I’m feeling good again. It’s all about choosing a positive point of attraction which not only yields to me activities and rendezvous with good feeling people, places, and things – but my ability to experience the delicious depth of them will be dramatically enhanced. “Getting yourself feeling good before you take any action is always the best process; and when you do not feel good, you cannot be inspired to any action that will solve the problem”. - Abraham
Jacquie knows it’s right where it’s always been~
I think I discovered the secret to my happy place a long time ago when I was a typical angst-ridden emo 17 year old living in Paris and dealing with loss, loneliness and betrayal. I spent a lot of time writing poetry…and teaching myself how to knit and crochet and design my own pieces. By focusing my attention on something positive and pleasurable, I found I was able to let go of the issues that were the cause of my unhappiness. For me, being actively creative is a form of meditation, and it allows me to stay connected to my true Self by providing plenty of time for reflection. This is the poem I wrote as a melodramatic teenager. I think the sentiment, though perhaps a little over-wrought, still rings true.
I hate to look forward
Because all I see is pain
And pressure and loneliness
And a hurt I can’t explain.
I’m living in a fairy tale
Without the magic wand.
This one’s filled with blackened dreams
That I can’t see beyond.
So by myself I’ve learned to move
And pass my time with me
When those around are cruel and dark
I’m my best company.
We are responsible for our own happiness. It’s up to us individually to find out the best way to stay in tune, or, as Bonnie put it, stay in alignment. The only way to do this is to regularly shut out all the noise that can cloud your judgment and distract you from your goals. When you feel that confidence returning, only then can you feel balanced and ready to tackle the next hurdle calmly, with a smile and an open heart.
Have you noticed the lack of proper grammar and correct spelling that surrounds us everywhere today? And yes, I know, you’ve read some good “moose steaks” here in this blog too.
I love the written word. I love that when words are strung together artistically and thoughtfully they can spark my imagination and invoke deep emotions. Over the years well written words have taken me on thousands and thousands of incredible adventures. I appreciate how difficult it can be to write and so I have always admired authors who can make a world out of their words.
I’m not suggesting we are losing our great writers. I don’t worry about that, but I do worry about the everyday writing I see. The newspaper articles, the billboard signs, personal blogs, etc. It just seems like everyone is trying to cut corners and over simplify things. I blame this on all the texting and twittering that we do so much of now. We have become a society that expects to send and receive blocks of thought in 160 characters or less. What’s worse, we don’t even use whole words anymore. I’m amazed at all the accepted abbreviation.
Y is WYS so MUBAR?
JSYK, I’m not HOYEW when you write like this.
OBTW, right now I’m JUADLAM. JK. LMAO.
IJWTS that TISL … IMHO.
Translation for those born before the late 80’s:
Excuse me. I have a question. Why is what you say so messed up beyond all recognition?
Just so you know, I’m not hanging on your every word when you write like this.
Oh, by the way, right now I’m jumping up and down like a monkey. Just kidding. Laugh my a** off.
I just want to say that this is so lame… in my humble opinion.
But what do I know!
Beyond the slaughter of our grammar and spelling habits is the real danger that texting can pose when it is done behind the wheel of a vehicle.
A driver is 23 times more likely to get into a car accident if they text when they are behind the wheel of their vehicle, according to research conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI). In fact, text messaging forced the driver’s eyes away from the road for the longest period of time — about 4.6 seconds over a six-second interval. “This equates to a driver traveling the length of a football field at 55 mph without looking at the roadway,” the study concludes. CTV.ca
I guess it can’t be all bad. A 13-year-old Pennsylvania girl won $25,000 after typing “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” from “Mary Poppins” on her cell phone in less time than 200 other competitors in a text-messaging competition. Morgan Pozgar typed the Disney classic’s “biggest word I ever heard” in only 15 seconds, beating out the former national text-messaging champ, 21-year-old Eli Tirosh of Los Angeles.
I came across an online article written by a college student for a research paper titled: Is Text Messaging/chatrooms Slang Ruining Academic Writing
Here is just one of the authors sentences that made me cringe: “But my question is why all those text messages when can easily dial the phone you have and talk to them like that? To me I think thats straight laziness right their no matter what angel you look at it.” I know we have spell check built in to everything now but even that won’t help correct angel to angle or their to there I suppose.