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Joy Dare

I see that gratitude starts with what you look for–and with the effort you’re willing to expend looking for the good. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I have to close my eyes and first refocus mentally before I can see beauty with my eyes open.

I read about the Joy Dare here.
Today’s prompt is to find gifts in something written, something sung, and something painted.

  • A gift sung:

Listen to this and find peace in your afternoon:

  • A gift written:

By Henry Vaughan

I saw Eternity the other night,
Like a great ring of pure and endless light,
       All calm, as it was bright;
And round beneath it, Time in hours, days, years,
       Driv’n by the spheres
Like a vast shadow mov’d; in which the world
       And all her train were hurl’d.
The doting lover in his quaintest strain
       Did there complain;
Near him, his lute, his fancy, and his flights,
       Wit’s sour delights,
With gloves, and knots, the silly snares of pleasure,
       Yet his dear treasure
All scatter’d lay, while he his eyes did pour
       Upon a flow’r.
(Madeleine L’Engle’s A Ring of Endless Light led me to this poem when I was a teenager.)
  • A gift painted:

 

artist: Jill Marie This painting hung on the wall at Michael’s for about five years, and I wanted it from the moment I saw it. I asked if I could buy it when the store first opened, and was told that displayed art in the frame section was not for sale.  So every time I went in to Michael’s– (which was often; it is a crack den) –I stood and stared longingly at it.
One day I saw that the painting had been moved and there was a price tag for $39.99 on it. With some trepidation and a whole lot of wild hope, I found a salesperson and asked if the price was for the painting or the frame, and she said, “Oh, for the painting. You want it?”
I did not squeal, but I think my “Yes!” startled her.
This painting is, oh, yes, a gift.

Edited: March 26th, 2014

People who have lit my way

I recently decided to connect with other writers because I really need to mix with my kind. I need to be around those people who are obsessed with the craft–talking about it, writing about it, learning about it. And I need to connect with people who want to make a difference in the world in any small way. So I have been posting more regularly on Linkedin and Twitter, and one person made me realize that I was on the right path. She’s made me feel appreciated and valued, which has encouraged me to keep doing my small thing in this tiny corner of the universe.

Kristol, you’re a light in the darkness, and I thank you for nominating me for the Lighthouse Award. You’ve made a difference in my perspective in just the short time I’ve known you. Thank you.

lighthouseaward

Nominees, here are the sweet and simple rules:

  • Display the award certificate on your blog.
  • Inform your nominees of their award nominations.
  • Share three ways that you like to help other people.
  • There is no limit to the number of people you can nominate.
  • Don’t forget to have fun!

3 help-y things I like to do:

  •  I help people find short-cuts. (On the road, I know the route with the fewest stoplights or left-hand turns because I hate circuitous routes. This impatience leads me to find short-cuts in every arena, not just on the road.  This, I realize, is also a sign of laziness. And people do not always want to know these amazing short-cuts. lol)
  • I help people find their voices in writing. I am able to set myself aside–my opinions, my voice, my knowledge, all of that Stacy-stuff–and I help people express what’s inside them in their own words. I thank God for this gift, and I hope to develop this skill to its fullest potential.
  • I help people find THAT book. You know when you’re looking for a book that’s about that one thing, or that book that your sister read to you when you were in 1st grade, or any book that is about [insert your pet subject]? Sometimes I have the book (and give it to you via Bookcrossing) and other times I point you in the right direction, like I did in this post about romance authors’ pseudonyms.

Nominees:

Tammy, my critique partner for 18 years.  She inspires me and helps me stay focused.
And Mandy Eve Barnett. Oh, what a blog. Get your coffee or tea and go browse. Time well spent.

 

 

Edited: March 19th, 2014

Best Year Ever. Still.

Nothing like committing to do something in public to make you see your own flaws.

My best year isn’t done, and it’s still the best I’ve ever lived, and I’ve been busy living it. Eh, but I’ve been busy procrastinating about all sorts of things. Like posting here. Seems as soon as I give myself a rule it makes me want to break it. Makes me wonder if there’s an app that’ll impose deadlines that make you unable to post after a certain time. (I do this for my students on Blackboard, and as a fellow procrastinator, I understand the value of having a deadline with consequences.)

So.
Some of the best things right now:

  • I’m rediscovering Jesus. And praying every day that it doesn’t turn me into an annoying conservative twat. I’d annoy myself. Gag me.
  • I am learning a lot about my absentminded habits. Thank God my husband is so laid-back. Couple days ago he said, smiling, “Honey, do you not like bending over?” I gave him a wtf look and he said, “When you lay something down, it stays there.” I–ah–well. That explains a lot. What amuses me is that now, because of that tiny, indulgent smile of his, I catch myself when I lay something down, and I remember that my actions affect someone else. And I don’t lay it down.
  • I am writing! I am noodling about scenes, I am plotting, I am creating characters I love, and I am regularly in my writing corner.
  • I am actively growing as a teacher. This semester I’m implementing a couple of tools I developed last semester and the feedback I’m getting from students is helping me to make them more user-friendly. (A worksheet on thesis statements and topic sentences, and an online workshop on developing a solid thesis.) Geeky, yes, but fun for me.

From Notes from the Universe:
“The absolute, most sure-fire way
of physically moving in the direction of
your dreams, on a day-to-day basis,
without messing with the “cursed hows,”
is living them, now, to any degree that you can.

And you can.

My dream is not only to write, but to create a space for others to explore writing, so I’m committing to starting a group for writers here where I live. Instead of waiting to move to somewhere green and cool (O! Vermont!) I’m going to do something now.

Funny. No one really cares what you can do, only what you do.

 

 

Edited: February 16th, 2014

Best year ever: weeks 3, 4, and 5

Silence has been my project lately, and the hardest time for me has been over the last few days.  My original post had this:

  • Silence–Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.

I decided to do silence for week 3, and to focus on serenely shutting up.  Humility is its companion because staying silent means I’m giving space to the words of others.

Sometimes being silent means not saying what YOU need to say, but allowing space for another to speak. It means it is not your turn. It means that when you do speak, you speak love and grace and nothing else.

Do you know how hard that is?  Shutting up does not come easily to me.

Obviously, since I’ve been trying to do it for three weeks. Gah.

I am wearing an industrial-strength bracelet for this–it’s made of a rope material that, if unraveled, can be used as a survival tool.  I love the symbolism in that.   And I love that I’m learning to be a better person, even if the process makes me want to gnash my teeth.
In silence, of course.  lol

 

 

Edited: May 22nd, 2013

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