Happy New Year!

A new year, a clean slate!  I don’t know about you, but there’s something so appealing to me about a “do over.”  I usually blame that on my Scorpio Sun Sign.  After all, Scorpio represents transformation and change.

But maybe it’s deeper than that.  I mean, who doesn’t love a good redemption story?  Don’t we always cheer for the hero who goes through the fire and comes out stronger on the other side?  Don’t we all applaud the man who falls down and then pulls himself back up?  Maybe it’s the “hope springs eternal” thing that is inside each of us.

2013 certainly had its share of challenges.  Lots of fires for us to go through.  Lots of chances to fall down.

But my hope is that we all learned at least a little something from those setbacks.  Every warrior on the path toward wisdom needs a nemesis or two, a hurdle to overcome, a hardship to test his mettle.  The key, though, I think, is to keep going through those obstacles.  Sure, there are times when we all want to give up, and times when we even do give up for a bit.  But in the end, it’s continuing to fight the good fight that matters.

So here, then, is my wish for 2014, expressed through the amazing genius of Donald O’Connor:

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Fa-La-La Friday Fun!

The holidays are rapidly approaching, and thoughts are turning to peace on earth, goodwill toward all, and New Year’s Resolutions.  It’s the time to reflect on the past year and visualize how we can make our own corner of the world just a little bit better.

When I am coaching, I will often ask my athletes to think about just ONE thing they can fix right then and there.  I ask them to do just ONE thing better on the next piece.

For today’s creative writing prompt, think about the one thing you can do better right now.  What’s one thing that brings you more joy, that brightens someone’s day, that gets you closer to achieving your potential?

Set your resolution down here, and do just ONE thing better!

Phriday Philosophy

I’ve been thinking a lot about forgiveness lately.  Forgiveness of self and of others.  Maybe it’s my Scorpio or maybe it’s the Italian in me, but for some reason, I have often equated “forgiving” with “weak.”  In some ways, forgiving feels like quitting or giving up.  I realize it’s not my best quality.

Not forgiving self or others can really put a crimp in your ability to move forward, though.  So how to shift my perspective on forgiveness?

Now, I am not qualified in tarot cards (check out Through the Peacock’s Eyes for great insights on tarot).  But sometimes I do use mine to help me clear my head.  One of the Minor Arcana, The Five of Swords card, can be interpreted to mean “the current course of action is a fruitless fight, and it is wiser to admit defeat than to continue to punish yourself.”

Hmmm. . . .

So, for today’s Friday Fun creative writing prompt, think about forgiveness.  How do you forgive self?  Others?  Does forgiveness ever feel like defeat?  Write a letter of forgiveness to yourself or to another.

Happy Writing!

Wanna Learn Some Stuff?

One of my resolutions for 2013 was to learn something new.  Well, as they say, be careful what you wish for.  This past year has been full of life lessons, mistakes, and do-overs.  I am grateful for all of the learning I’ve done this year, and grateful for the teachers.

I’d like to share two sites in case you’d like to learn some groovy stuff too.  The author is the same for both, and she is a wealth of information.  Stop by, learn, and enjoy!

Farm at Coventry

Homestead Herbalism

 

Social Media and the Age of Aquarius

A reluctant user to begin with, I am becoming even less of a fan of social media. 

I know that writers are supposed to have blogs and Twitter accounts and Facebook pages.  I know that self-promotion is part of the deal if you want people to buy your stuff.  But all the “look at me” stuff is difficult for me to take.

I was dismayed to see that “selfie” was recently chosen as the Word of the Year.  Bluh. . . .   Are we all really THAT self-absorbed?

As I am wont to do, I tried to put things into astrological terms.  Social media is very much a child of the Aquarian Age.  Aquarius rules all things social and all things electronic.  It is the symbol for friendships and groups and intellectual exchange.

So maybe we humans are just trying to figure out who we are collectively.  Maybe all this navel gazing is our way of understanding how each of us individuals fits into the group, which is, after all, a big part of what Aquarius means.

But we should also remember that Leo is the other side of the Aquarian coin.  Some of the challenging aspects of Leo include self-centeredness, arrogance, childishness, and look-at-me-ness.

Perhaps we humans just have a need to be a bit egocentric on our way to becoming evolved and enlightened.  After all, how can we know the creature we are trying to improve unless we examine it closely?

For me, I am going to try to fuse the best of Aquarius and the best of Leo:  social awareness (Aquarius) with a heart (Leo).  Unless it comes from the heart, I’m not putting it out there.

What do you think about social media? 

 

Bloodthirsty Friday Fun!

Happy Birthday, Bram Stoker!  On this day in 1847, the creator of Dracula was born, and so for today’s writing prompt, why not imagine your own dark creature?

Describe your character, his flaws, his wants, his dreams, his motivation.  Have fun coming up with eye color, personality quirks, daily habits.  What does she keep in her pants pockets?  What would you always find in her bag?

Stick your neck out a little, and write a great character!

NaNoWriMo Friday Fun

Happy National Novel Writing Month!

NaNoWriMo challenges you to write 50,000 words during the month of November. . . in other words, write a novel!  You can get all the scoop here:  http://nanowrimo.org/about

In honor of this project, today’s Friday Fun challenges you to write your first 100 words.  No thinking!  Just write!

Pencils up!

NaNoWriMo

Image used courtesy of National Novel Writing Month

Writer’s Block and Mercury Retrograde

What do you do when you can’t think of anything to write?

More than likely, you’ve experienced writer’s block at least once in your life.  Perhaps you had a great idea but couldn’t think of how to start.  Perhaps you couldn’t even think of an idea, great or not.

Right now, we are in a Mercury Retrograde.  This astronomical event occurs when it appears to us, from our perspective here on Earth, that Mercury is going backwards in its orbit.

Mercury is the planet that rules communication, mental activity, and writing.  Symbolically, then, we interpret this retrograde phenomenon to mean a time for delays, interruptions, and reflection.

Perhaps, then, writer’s block isn’t all bad.  After all, isn’t reflection what writers do best?  Nothing wrong with some good old-fashioned deep thought.

Consider letting yourself relax into the retrograde for the next couple of weeks.  Go with the messed-up flow.  Chill out instead of freak out.  What’s the worst that could happen?  You might just find that you have a fresh perspective.

Astrological Symbol for Mercury

Mercury

Doomsday Friday Fun!

A void-of-course moon.  A Full Moon.  A lunar eclipse.  All tonight.  And if that weren’t enough, a Mercury Retrograde in 3 days….. sigh.  Hold onto your hats, y’all.

For today’s Friday Fun, use the following words to create the opening of your apocolyptic action movie:  sky, reflection, rock.

Set the stage!  Introduce a character!  Give us some exposition!

Happy Writing!

The Case for Bias

Today I saw an article that was about teaching children how not to be biased.  Now, I will admit that I did not read the article; rather, the title simply got my attention because lately I’ve been thinking a lot about judgment and tolerance.  And after a good long think, I’ve decided that bias is good, and the notion of equality is hooey.

Bear with me a sec.

First, understand that I’m not talking about hating certain groups or making different rules for different people.  So please don’t think that I mean that kind of discrimination.  What I mean is that we should learn how to be more discriminating, how to analyze things thoughtfully and carefully and make a wise decision.  And then allow others to do the same, even if you don’t agree with it.

In other words, the Golden Rule is dumb, and it’s impossible for us all to be alike or for us all to want to be treated alike.  Because we are NOT alike, and that’s okay.

Think about it.  Take any topic in the world: coffee, television, religion, clothing, dinner, politics.  I bet if you asked ten different people their opinions on any of those, you would get a hundred shades of grey.  Maybe I love strong coffee with cream and sugar, but you think coffee tastes like dirt.  Maybe nine out of those ten people like coffee, but this one only drinks organic, fair trade coffee, while that one gets his morning cuppa joe at the gas station.  Maybe you have five cups of coffee by lunchtime, but I only have one per day.  See what I mean?  The number of variables and possibilities is too endless to ever think that we’ll all be the same and agree on every point.

It really bothers me when well-intentioned but oh-so-righteous people try to argue or even make others feel bad just for having a different opinion.  You eat meat?!?!  Murderer!  You don’t go to church?!?!  Heathen!  You voted for which party?!?!  A-hole!

What if instead of trying to eliminate our instincts to judge and define and categorize, we learned how to understand ourselves and others better, and then tried to figure out how to be our own successful individual within the group?

Lemme ‘splain using some astrological evidence.  Right now we’ve got Saturn in Scorpio and Pluto in Capricorn.  Long story short, that represents the breaking down of old structures that aren’t working anymore.  We can apply that to social, political, religious, or any kind of structure . . . . pretty much to anything that’s outdated and no longer serving us.  And with the Age of Aquarius (that has either already started or is rapidly approaching, depending on which astrologer you ask), we really need to figure out what “New Age” looks like.

In my opinion, political correctness and the idea of holding hands around the campfire singing Kumbaya has not been and is not working.  We have been trying to stuff everyone into the same mold with no success.  Maybe instead of trying to bring everyone down into the same common denominator, we should instead recognize that we each have a different path, we each have different strengths and weaknesses, and we each have a different life purpose.  And that’s cool.  We don’t need to feel threatened by someone who has different beliefs or traditions or habits.  We can learn about our differences, feel happy and secure in our own choices, and go about the daily practice of “live and let live.”

What do you think?