Life and Stuff

How to be Great at Anything

*This post is Part 1 of 3. Find Part 2 here and Part 3 here.

Road to Greatness
Greatness is somewhere around that next bend.

Have you ever thought about how someone becomes talented?

Notice I didn’t say anything about being born talented. Sure, a few folks seem born with a considerable edge over the rest of us. But I’m convinced the majority of folks that seem wildly talented only seem that way because of the vast amounts of time, attention, and passion they’ve put into honing their craft, whatever it may be. Any one of us could be great at whatever we chose if we were willing to do the same. Continue reading “How to be Great at Anything”

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Tuesday Toss-Up

Wishes for You

Christmas Tree

Here are my wishes for you this holiday season:

May you be warm. May you be welcome. May you be full of hope and peace. May you overflow with joy. May you be loved completely and love in return. May you be able to laugh at your mistakes and delight in your successes. Like a child, may you see something new and wonderful in what you see everyday. May you see the goodness in others and yourself. Wherever you are going, may your journey be bright and full of unexpected sweetness.

Merry Christmas!

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday Toss-Up

Are You Afraid of Falling Through the Cracks?

Facing a Big Project Turns Us into Little Kids Again

…in a Bad Way

pg pier by mike138 on FlickrWhen you were a kid, did you ever walk across a pier, look down through the narrow cracks between the planks to the ocean below and become convinced that, if you made the slightest misstep, you were going to fall through the cracks and drown? Or maybe you crossed a bridge, clinging to the side or staying steadfastly in the middle because it seemed like you might be easily swept over the side and plunge to your death, that you might even be compelled to jump over?

When we got a little older, we realized how irrational, how insane, those fears seemed. We could laugh them off because we knew, duh, people can’t fit through the cracks in a pier nor easily be swept over a bridge. But it seemed so real back then. Continue reading “Are You Afraid of Falling Through the Cracks?”

Tuesday Toss-Up

What Inspires You?

inspire – in-spire (verb):
1) to breathe life into
2) to motivate, influence or encourage

My wonderful hubby and I will shortly be celebrating 14 years of wedded bliss (just a few days shy of 15 years since the day we met). Through the years, he’s been such an inspiration to me. He doesn’t get my love for horror, but he always supports my writing. More than that, he inspires me with his generosity and faith. One of the greatest things he’s taught me is that everything pretty much comes out alright in the end as long as you keep on keeping on. This sense of trust and optimism buoys me in those times when my natural tendency to brood threatens.

And thinking of how he inspires me makes me think of all the people, places and things that inspire me everyday. Continue reading “What Inspires You?”

Tuesday Toss-Up · Uncategorized

How Far Would You Go For Your Kids?

It’s every parent’s nightmare to lose a child and most would agree they’d do anything to protect or save their children. And when we say anything, we usually mean we’d be willing to throw ourselves in front of a speeding bus, inflict grievous bodily harm on someone trying to hurt a child or  trade places with a sick child…or just give up sleep, clean up bodily fluids and say no when your kids just can’t understand why.

But would you give up government secrets, compromise national security, put innocent lives in danger or torture someone to save your child? Continue reading “How Far Would You Go For Your Kids?”

Tuesday Toss-Up

Is Patience Really a Virtue?

Merlin the Patient
I AM being patient. Now can I have a bite?

“Patience is a virtue,” I often tell my kids in a sing-song voice, like Rachel Weisz in The Mummy. When they’re asking if it’s time to go to the park yet or “are we there yet” on a long trip, patience is exactly what I need them to have they need. And they happily remind me of that virtue when I’m cursing the internet for being slower than usual or  when I’m telling the driver ahead of me (as if he can hear me) “the speed limit is 55 here, not 35.”

There are so many times in life when we can’t have what we want right when we want it. We have to wait on other people or for opportunities. We have to wait on ourselves to learn what we need to learn. We have to wait till the next season of Walking Dead to find out just how badass Rick has really become or for George R. R. Martin to publish that next A Song of Ice and Fire book already.

And yet the opposite of patience is celebrated far more often in our culture. Go-getters don’t  wait for opportunities, they seize them. Winners don’t let pain slow them down, they pop a [insert brand name over the counter painkiller here] and keep running. Heroes rush in where angels fear to tread. Continue reading “Is Patience Really a Virtue?”

Tuesday Toss-Up

Are You Your Own Frenemy?

The other day, I messed up.

It wasn’t really a big deal but I immediately started kicking myself in the mental butt.

Later on, that same inner voice talked me into junk food and procrastination instead of a healthy snack and knocking a big chunk off my todo list.

Later still, the inner voice followed up with a whole lot more mental butt-kicking (rather gleeful mental butt-kicking, I might add).

Then it dawned on me: I’m my own frenemy. Continue reading “Are You Your Own Frenemy?”

Tuesday Toss-Up

What’s the Worst Place for a Phone Call?

Mobile phones give us tremendous freedom. No more waiting by the phone or frantically leaving messages on somebody’s answering machine1. No more waiting in line for a pay phone2…only to discover you’re out of coins and nobody has change for a dollar. No more slogging along the side of a highway in the rain, looking for a callbox3. No more being chained to your desk.

Of course, being able to take calls anywhere has some drawbacks. Folks (including clients, bosses and nagging relatives) now often expect 24-7 availability.

And then there are those folks who are willing to take calls anytime, anywhere… Continue reading “What’s the Worst Place for a Phone Call?”

Tuesday Toss-Up

When is Getting Stuck the Best Thing?

I tend to write the way I live (or maybe I live the way I write), a sometimes-awkward hybrid between planning and winging it.

Writers often define themselves as either  plotter (planner) or pantser (that sometimes flaky person who considers herself spontaneous). While I’m no longer a die-hard pantser, I’m also not entirely a plotter. I’m somewhere between. A plantser, if you will. Continue reading “When is Getting Stuck the Best Thing?”