Tag Archives: New Year

Random Sparks

“In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.”
– Albert Schweitzer

So, if you’re a regular reader of mine, you know that I start each blog out with a quote. And I’m willing to bet that a lot of you just skim right over it and get right to the meat of the blog post. Am I right? Do you do that? Ha! Busted! (You didn’t know I knew that, did you? Surprise! I know ALL…muhahaha).

rekindleWell, that’s all well and good…you just skip all the quotes you want to there, buddy.  But this time – well, this time, you’re not allowed to do that. I’m putting my foot down, by golly. This time I’m going to make you read the quote. Go on now. Go back up there and read it and then come back. I’ll wait.

Are you back?

Did you read it?

Okay, good. Now, I wanted you to read that because this whole blog post is going to center around the concept that it presents. I’ve seen the quote many times before and it never occurred to me (until today, that is) that those encounters with human beings didn’t have to necessarily be “deep” or earth-shattering, per se.  They didn’t even have to be personal. In fact, sometimes you don’t even need to have known the person at all.

Case in point.

I had to go to court this morning. Now, hold your horses. Don’t go spreading rumors that I’m a criminal or anything. It was just an old humdrum run-of-the-mill court appearance for a traffic offense. Ya know, my usual. (If you don’t know me personally, or you missed this blog, let’s just suffice it to say that I’m not the luckiest gal in the world when it comes to vehicles.)  So there I sat, reading a novel that I brought along and waiting for my name to be called, when the person beside me struck up a conversation.

Her – “Is that a good book?”
Me – “Yeah, actually, it’s great.”
Her – “I’ve heard a lot about it, but I haven’t read it yet.”

This polite conversation eventually lead to my asking her about the book she was reading. (We were the only two people in the building holding actual books, by the way, instead of playing on our phones.) She told me she was reading a book about writing.

Me – “Oh, are you a writer?”
Her – “Well, yes, I guess you could say that.”
Me – “That’s great. Me too. Sort of.”

(You’ll always find that in writers…that hesitation to call ourselves a “writer.”  What is it about that title that seems so distant? So unattainable? Why do we feel so undeserving? Sheesh.)

So, this polite chitchat ended up launching us into what was to become what I am now calling an hour-long best-friendship. Together, we discussed all things writing…from the way writers see the world differently (we made up so many stories about people in that courtroom that it would make your head spin) to the pros and cons of certain kinds of publishing. As it turns out, my new random friend who was afraid to call herself a writer actually makes her living being a writer. She quit her job and started publishing romance novels on Amazon six months ago. The income she has generated from doing so has actually been enough for her to live on. Wow!  (And incidentally…she hates romance novels. That’s just where the market is heaviest right now and she wanted to get a good, firm foundation before diving into the stuff she really likes – young adult and fantasy novels).

By the time my name was called, I felt so “recharged,” it was crazy.  I wanted to run out of that courtroom and plop down in front of my computer and write and write and write. (Of course, I didn’t. I had to go to work. Sigh. But you get the idea…)  My inner spark had just been “burst into flame by an encounter with another human being.” How about that!?

All of this lead me to remember something. I had a favorite uncle – Uncle Jeff – who passed away from heart complications when he was only 33 years old. Just prior to his death, he underwent a fairly new surgery that placed a machine inside of him that would pump his heart for him. Had he survived the operation, he would have lived a “normal” life except for one small detail…he’d have to actually “plug himself in” periodically. Yep, you read that right. Thanks to the marvels of medical technology, people are able to live normal, healthy lives all while being kept alive by a man-made machine pumping their hearts for them – and my sweet uncle was almost one of them. I remember having a conversation with him just prior to the surgery. He said something along the lines of, “All I have to do is make sure I’m near an outlet and I’ll be fine.”


Maybe my random hour-long best-friend was just that. An outlet. A power source. Something to re-charge me just when I needed it most.

So, as we bid goodbye to 2014 and say “howdy do” to 2015, I challenge you all to do just this…keep an eye out for those power sources. Got it? Recharge as often as you can…don’t miss a single opportunity. And, for heaven’s sake, don’t let a spark just pass you by without allowing it to do its job. Recognize it! Engage it. Talk to that stranger…spend time with that aging wisdom-filled grandmother…surround yourself with artistic friends…dive into those novels.  Let’s spend 2015 reigniting those flames, shall we?

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a novel to work on…

Happy New Year!


“And now we welcome the new year. Full of things that have never been.”
– Rainer Maria Rilke


“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.”
– Edith Lovejoy Pierce

I sit here overwhelmed with the feeling of joy and happiness that this first day of the New Year has brought me.

kiddos1I rang in the New Year with a group of friends that I am blessed and privileged to have come to know in the past few years.  We have shared a stage together, and now, we share our homes and our lives.  Our children have become friends, which warms my heart to no end.  In fact, after ringing in the New Year, we brought a group of them home with us for a sleepover.  As I type this, four teenagers are playing outside in the vast backyard of our new home (after promptly informing me, mind you, that my breakfast was awesome because they had to eat ‘healthy stuff’ at their homes.  Heh.  Oops.)  I finally live in a community where I actually know people well enough for our kids to have sleepovers together.  This may not sound like that big of a deal, but to a roaming nomad Army brat such as myself, finding a place that feels like ‘home’ is no small feat.  I have found it.

I also woke up to this email this morning:


My heart is full as I realize that something I wrote touched a heart in Saudia Arabia.  Saudia Arabia!  This world just isn’t as small as we think it is, is it?  Months ago, I sat with a cat curled on my lap and the man I love made a comment about it.  And now, because I took the time to turn that into written word, it has touched a heart across the world.


Really.  That’s all I know to say about that.  Just…wow.

Tomorrow, I will head in to a wonderful good-paying job that I worked hard to work my way up to.  I will then leave work, and I will come home to a man who loves me with all of his heart, and I’ll know that just by looking at his adorable little dimpled face and seeing that smile that lights it up when I get home.  I’ll also know it by watching him chop wood to bring in to build a fire in our wood stove.  I’ll know it by watching him tinker with my car to make sure everything is in working condition.  singing1I’ll know it each time he picks up a guitar and asks me to sing with him, and making me feel like I’m good enough to do it.  I’ll know it by accepting the glass of wine he hands me after a long, stressful day, or by sitting down to the wonderful meal that he has cooked for me.  I’ll know it by feeling his hand reach out across the table and slip into mine and squeeze it before we begin to eat.  I’ll know it by the kiss he plants on my forehead before we slip off to sleep in our big, warm bed.  I’ll know it because…well.  I’ll just know it.  Because I pay attention.  Because I look for it.  Because I believe it.

I am a blessed, happy, healthy woman.  And I intend to spend 2014 continuing to see and appreciate those blessings that surround me, and will try my best to not take a single moment of this precious life for granted.

Won’t you join me?

Happy New Year, my friends.


“Write on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

A Year of Quotes


“I love quotations because it is a joy to find thoughts one might have, beautifully expressed with much authority by someone recognized wiser than oneself.”   – Marlene Dietrich

So, it’s no secret – I LOVE quotes.  If you’ve read even a few of the stories on my blog, I’m sure you’ve figured that out.  And, as irony would have it, the above quote describes just exactly why I love quotes so much.  It’s just such a comfort to see someone put what I’m feeling into words.  It provides a sense of connection – a reminder that we’re really not all that different.  Whatever you may be feeling, someone else probably felt exactly the same thing, and had something wise to say about it to remind you that you’re not alone.

As I wrap up 2013, I have decided to go back through my blog and list the quotes that I’ve used over the year.  Beside the quote, I’ll post a link to the blog entry that I used it in.  Maybe you’ll see something that speaks to you, and then want to read more about what was said about the topic.  That’s my hope anyway.

I want to thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart for being a reader of my blog.  Thank you for coming along with me on this crazy journey that all started back in February 2013.  This blog has changed my life, no exaggeration – and I have you to thank for that.  Your feedback has given me courage.  And that is the best gift a writer could ever ask for.

I hope you enjoy these quotes as much as I have.

Happy New Year to you and yours!  Make 2014 the best year yet, my friends!


December 2013

  • “No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.” – Hal Borland [Seasons]
  • “Nothing lasts forever – not even your troubles.” – Arnold H. Glasow [Seasons]
  • “I have never felt more beautiful in a dress and I was denied the opportunity to wear it. Instead of leaving it to hang alone and dejected in my closet, I took it out and wore it. I wore the hell out of it.” – Vanessa Schilling [Vanessa]
  • “Four things greater than all things are, Women and Horses and Power and War.” – Rudyard Kipling, “The Ballad of the King’s Jest” [Vanessa]
  • “How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.” – Henry David Thoreau [Remember Me?]
  • “Either write something worth reading, or do something worth writing.”  – Benjamin Franklin [Remember Me?]
  • “We do not need more intellectual power, we need more spiritual power.  We do not need more of the things that are seen, we need more of the things that are unseen.” – Calvin Coolidge [Mike]
  • “Believers, look up – take courage.  The angels are nearer than you think.”  – Billy Graham [Mike]
  • “If animals could speak, the dog would be a blundering outspoken fellow; but the cat would have the rare grace of never saying a word too much.” – Mark Twain [Tattle Tail]

November 2013

  • “Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” – Eckhart Tolle [November 1]
  • “In the end, though, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. In the end, maybe it’s wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices.” – Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray Love [November 1]
  • “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” – Winston Churchill [Bus Driver]
  • “I must write it all out, at any cost.  Writing is thinking.  It is more than living, for it is being conscious of living.”  -Anne Morrow Lindbergh [Writing]
  • “Writers are like other people, except for at least one important difference. Other people have daily thoughts and feelings, notice this sky or that smell, but they don’t do much about it. All those thoughts, feelings, sensations, and opinions pass through them like the air they breathe. Not writers. Writers react.” – Ralph Fletcher [Writing]
  • “Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.” – Gloria Steinem [Writing]
  • “You know what your problem is, it’s that you haven’t seen enough movies – all of life’s riddles are answered in the movies.”  – Steve Martin [Movie Night]
  • “I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” – Flannery O’Connor [Movie Night]
  • “I believe that two people are connected at the heart, and it doesn’t matter what you do, or who you are or where you live; there are no boundaries or barriers if two people are destined to be together.”  – Julia Roberts [Movie Night]
  • “The obsession with running is really an obsession with the potential for more and more life.”  – George Sheehan [Mayberry Half Marathon]
  • “Running is not, as it so often seems, only about what you did in your last race or about how many miles you ran last week. It is, in a much more important way, about community, about appreciating all the miles run by other runners, too.” – Richard O’Brien [Mayberry Half Marathon]
  • “Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves. It teaches us to push beyond where we thought we could go. It helps us to find out what we are made of. This is what we do. This is what it’s all about.” – Patti Sue Plumer, U. S. Olympian [Mayberry Half Marathon]
  • “The willingness of American’s veterans to sacrifice for our country has earned them our lasting gratitude.”  – Jeff Miller [My Veteran]
  • “We never know the love of a parent, until we become parents ourselves.”  – Henry Ward Beecher [My Veteran]
  • “Stand up to your obstacles and do something about them.  You will find that they haven’t half the strength you think they have.” 
    – Norman Vincent Peale [Get Over It]
  • “Press on.  Obstacles are seldom the same size tomorrow as they are today.” – Robert H. Schuller [Get Over It]
  • “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it, is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” – William Arthur Ward [Grandma]
  • “For it is in giving that we receive.” – Francis of Assisi [Grandma]
  • “Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light.”  – Vera Nazarian [Books]
  • “It is the writer who might catch the imagination of young people, and plant a seed that will flower and come to fruition.” – Isaac Asimov [Books]
  • “I find the family the most mysterious and fascinating institution in the world.” – Amos Oz [Family Tree]
  • “If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.” – George Bernard Shaw [Family Tree]
  • “Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings.” – Samuel Johnson [Selfies]
  • “By seeking and blundering, we learn.” – Johann Wolfgang von  Goethe [Moving Forward]
  • “We are products of our past, but we don’t have to be prisoners of it.” – Rick Warren [Moving Forward]

October 2013

  • “Are you a good witch, or a bad witch?” –  Glinda, the Good Witch of the North [Off To See The Wizard]
  • “What a world, what a world!”  – Wicked Witch of the West [Off To See The Wizard]
  • “Where we love is home – home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.”  – Oliver Wendell Holmes [No Place Like Home]
  • “Actors do tend to get pigeonholed.  People want to know who you are so they can put you in a box.  It’s lovely to be known for such diametrically opposite roles.” – Tom Hiddleston [Roles]
  • “I’ve had disappointments and heartbreaks and setbacks and roles I didn’t get, but something always came along that either made me better or was an even better role.”  – Lee Majors [Roles]
  • “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”  – Ralph Waldo Emerson [Roles]
  • “Look at every path closely and deliberately, then ask yourself this crucial question:  Does this path have a heart?  If it does, then the path is good.  If it doesn’t, it is of no use.” – Carlos Castaneda [Chasm]
  • “Being excluded or ostracized is an invisible form of bullying that doesn’t leave bruises, and therefore we often underestimate its impact….Being excluded by high school friends, office colleagues, or even spouses or family members can be excruciating…When a person is ostracized, the brain’s dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, which registers physical pain, also feels this social injury.” – Kipling D. Williams, a professor of psychological sciences [Being Ignored]
  • “Our prime purpose in this life is to help other.  And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.”  – Dalai Lama [Being Ignored]
  • “As an athlete, when you least expect it, you may find yourself standing on the threshold of an accomplishment so monumental that it strikes fear into your soul. You must stand ready, at any moment, to face the unknown. You must be ready to walk boldly thru the wall of uncertainty.” – John Bingham [Journey to Mayberry]
  • “It’s important to know that at the end of the day it’s not the medals you remember. What you remember is the process — what you learn about yourself by challenging yourself, the experiences you share with other people, the honesty the training demands — those are things nobody can take away from you whether you finish twelfth or you’re an Olympic Champion.” -Silken Laumann, Canadian Olympian [Journey to Mayberry]
  • “The giving of love is an education in itself.” – Eleanor Roosevelt [Love Language]
  • “Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.”– Mother Teresa [Love Language]
  • ”Those with dementia are still people and they still have stories and they still have character and they’re all individuals and they’re all unique.  And they just need to be interacted with on a human level.”  – Carey Mulligan [Maw-Maw’s Smile]
  • “Love is, above all, the gift of oneself.” ~ Jean Anouilh [Braggin’ on the Hun]
  • “The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own.” – Benjamin Disraeli [Braggin’ on the Hun]
  • “Like most girls, Emily can’t take a compliment.  Around here, if you don’t show outward signs of hating yourself by the 5th grade, everyone calls you conceited.” – Brian Strause, from the novel Maybe a Miracle [Compliments]
  • “For once, you believed in yourself. you believed you were beautiful and so did the rest of the world.”  – Sarah Dessen, Keeping the Moon [Compliments]

September 2013

  • “Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being “in love” which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two.” – Louis de Bernieres, Corelli’s Mandolin [Um, what?]
  • “There comes a time when you have to stop crossing oceans for people who wouldn’t jump puddles for you.” – Anonymous [Instigator]
  • “I never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude.” – Henry David Thoreau [Escape]
  • “Writing about a writer’s block is better than not writing at all.” – Charles Bukowski [Writer’s Block]
  • “Every person needs to take one day away.  A day in which one consciously separates the past from the future.  Jobs, family, employers, and friends can exist one day without any one of us, and if our egos permit us to confess, they could exist eternally in our absence.  Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for.  Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us.” – Maya Angelou [Writer’s Block]
  • “Biting my truant pen, beating myself for spite: “Fool!” said my muse to me, “look in thy heart, and write.” – Philip Sidney [Writer’s Block]
  • “Your intuition knows what to write, so get out of the way.” – Ray Bradbury [Writer’s Block]
  • “You cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you.”  – Stephen King [Liebster Award]
  • “I must write it all out, at any cost.  Writing is thinking, it is more than living, for it is being conscious of living.”  – Anne Morrow Lindbergh [Liebster Award]
  • “Any fool can have bad luck; the art consists in knowing how to exploit it.” – Frank Wedekind [Luck]
  • “Not many people have had as much bad luck as I have, but not many people have had as much good luck, either.” – Tig Notaro [Luck]
  • She was not one for emptying her face of expression. ” – J. D. Salinger [Fix Your Face]
  • “When you start to develop your powers of empathy and imagination, the whole world opens up to you.” – Susan Sarandon [Fix Your Face]
  • “A good snapshot keeps a moment from running away.”  – Eudora Welty [A Thousand Words]
  • “The Earth is Art, The Photographer is only a Witness ”  – Yann Arthus-Bertrand [A Thousand Words]

August 2013

  • “God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.”  – Voltaire [34]
  • “The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.” – Oprah Winfrey [34]
  • “Love is when you like someone so much that when you look at them, you just want to kiss their face.” – Riley, age 12 [The Kiss]
  • “A man’s kiss is his signature.”  – Mae West [The Kiss]
  • “This is the hardest of all: to close the open hand of love, and keep modest as a giver.” – Friedrich Nietzsche [One-Sided]
  • “Yeah, I’m a giver.  I’ve learned to be selective of the people in my world, because if I love someone, I will give them my blood, whatever they need.  In doing so, one can end up with little left for themselves.” – Brittany Murphy [One-Sided]
  • “We are here to awaken from our illusion of separateness.”  – Thích Nhất Hạnh [Chicken Soup]
  • “If you wish to be a writer, write.”  – Epictetus [Chicken Soup]
  • “I never exactly made a book. It’s rather like taking dictation. I was given things to say.” – C. S. Lewis [Muse]
  • “…Call it an angel, Call it a muse,  Call it karma that you’ve got comin’ to you / What’s the difference? / What’s in a name? / What matters most is never ever losin’ faith / ‘Cause it’s gonna be alright / You’re not alone tonight.” – Keith Urban lyrics [Muse]
  • “The race does not always go  to the swift, but to the ones who keep running.”  -Anonymous [Happy Badges]
  • “We humans have lost the wisdom of genuinely resting and relaxing.  We worry too much.  We don’t allow our bodies to heal, and we don’t allow our minds and hearts to heal.”  –  Thích  Nhất   Hạnh [Nothing]
  • The most valuable thing we can do for the psyche, occasionally, is to let it rest, wander, live in the changing light of room, not try to be or do anything whatever.” – May Sarton [Nothing]
  • “Nothing’s better than the wind to your back, the sun in front of you, and your friends beside you.” – Aaron Douglas Trimble [Cool Story]
  • “In union there is strength.” – Aesop [Cool Story]

July 2013

  • “We are not the same persons this year as last; nor are those we love. It is a happy chance if we, changing, continue to love a changed person.” – W. Somerset Maugham [Anniversary]
  • “If you meet somebody and they love you when you are your true, awful, not-ready-yet, boring, not cool enough, not handsome enough, not pretty enough, too fat, too poor self?  And if you love them back so much that it makes you calm? And they have flaws and you do not mind a single one of them?….If you found that, you found it.” – Augusten Burroughs [Anniversary]
  • “Tell me to what you pay attention and I will tell you who you are.” – Jose  Ortega y Gasset [Attention]
  • “A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events and outcomes.  It is a catalyst and it sparks extraordinary results.” – Wade Boggs [Attention]
  • Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi [Attention]
  • “Standing outside the fire / Standing outside the fire / Life is not tried it is merely survived / If you’re standing outside the fire” – Garth Brooks lyrics, Standing Outside the Fire [Through the Sunroof]
  • “Criticism is something you can easily avoid by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” – Aristotle [Criticism]
  • “Criticism really used to hurt me.  Most of these critics are usually frustrated artists and they criticize other people’s art because they can’t do it themselves.  It’s a really disgusting job.  They must feel horrible inside.” – Rosanna Arquette [Criticism]
  • “I got my toes in the water, ass in the sand / Not a worry in the world, a cold beer in my hand / Life is good today. Life is good today.” – Zac Brown Band lyrics [Toes]
  • “Into every life a little rain must fall / And that’s the way that it will always be / But you seem to think you can keep the hurt away / Just by pretending you don’t see.” – George Jones lyrics [Naked Eyes]
  • But these rose-colored glasses / That I’m looking through / Show only the beauty / And hide all the truth.” – John Conlee lyrics [Naked Eyes]
  • “People have told me ‘Betty, Facebook is a great way to keep in touch with old friends…’ At my age, if I wanted to keep in touch with old friends, I’d need a Ouija board.” – Betty White [This is one of the MANY quotes from the blog entitled Facebook.  Looking for a quote regarding Facebook?  This is your spot!]
  • “What a laugh, though.  To think that one human being could ever really know another.  You could get used to each other, get so habituated that you could speak their words right along with them, but you never know why other people said what they said or did what they did, because they never even know themselves.  Nobody understands anybody.” – Orson Scott Card [Me]
  • “Walk with me for awhile, my friend—you in my shoes, I in yours—and then let us talk.”  – Richelle E. Goodrich [Me]
  • “Before we can forgive one another, we have to understand one another.” – Emma Goldman [Me]
  • “The greatest weakness of most humans is their hesitancy to tell others how much they love them while they’re still alive.” – Optimus Prime [The Significance of Insignificance]
  • “Learning to trust is one of life’s most difficult tasks.” – Isaac Watts [Trust]
  • “The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.” – Ernest Hemingway [Trust]
  • “Take a rest.  A field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.” – Ovid [Burnout]
  • “”Sometimes in sports there are times when it is best to wait for another day and try again, at least for me. I see life as the race and I see no honor in reaching the finish and passing out or crawling across the finishing line. In Costa Rica, we have a saying: It’s not about being the first to finish, it’s about how you get there.” -Roman Urbina [Burnout]

June 2013

  • “All life is an experiment.  The more experiments you make, the better.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson [Warrior Dash (or, as I like to call it, “Hell”)]
  • “It was being a runner that mattered, not how fast or how far I could run. The joy was in the act of running and in the journey, not in the destination. We have a better chance of seeing where we are when we stop trying to get somewhere else. We can enjoy every moment of movement, as long as where we are is as good as where we’d like to be. That’s not to say that you need to be satisfied  forever with where you are today. But you need to honor what you’ve accomplished, rather than thinking of what’s left to be done.” – John Bingham [Time to Chill]
  • “Maturity is the capacity to endure uncertainty.” – John Finley [Uncertainty]
  • “The one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear – fear of the unknown, the complex, the inexplicable. What he wants above everything else is safety.” – H. L. Mencken [Uncertainty]
  • “Be courageous and try to write in a way that scares you a little.” – Holley Gerth [Writing Scared]
  • “Writing is painting your deepest thoughts, fears, insecurities, sadness, happiness, and everything else in between, onto a canvas of words – and then, turning it around to face the world, hoping someone sees that canvas as a mirror.” – Melissa Caudill [Writing Scared]
  • “A healthier way of thinking and acting is to allow yourself to receive the help and love you need.  You weren’t designed to live alone.  You have limitations on your strength and abilities.” – Michael Barbarulo [Help!]
  • “Yes, sometimes it’s tempting to think of what could’ve been. But what you really need to think of is what ‘would’ve‘ been. And that’s when you realize you’re exactly where you need to be.” – Richard Edmondson [Here and Now]
  • “I thought about one of my favorite Sufi poems, which says that God long ago drew a circle in the sand exactly around the spot where you are standing right now.  I was never not coming here.  This was never not going to happen.” – Elizabeth Gilbert [Here and Now]
  • “Everything happens for a reason.  That reason causes change.  Sometimes the change hurts.  Sometimes the change is hard.  But in the end, it’s all for the best.” – Rita Ghatourey [Writing Pays Off]
  • “Did you ever know that you’re my hero? / You’re everything I wish I could be / I can fly higher than an eagle / Because you are the wind beneath my wings.” – Bette Midler, Wind Beneath My Wings [Tomorrow] * The night before Annie! opened…with my baby girl as the title role.

May 2013

  • “Tears streamed down my face as I crossed the finish line. I was a new person, a runner.” – Thomas King [The Wait]
  • “Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.” – Napoleon Hill [The Wait]
  • “Running is not, as it so often seems, only about what you did in your last race or about how many miles you ran last week.  It is, in a much more important way, about community, about appreciating all the miles run by other runners, too.”  – Richard O’Brien  [Community]
  • “The further you can get away from yourself, the more challenging it is.  Not to be in your comfort zone is great fun.” – Benedict Cumberbatch, actor [So Long, Comfort Zone]
  • “Magic is believing in yourself. If you can do that, you can make anything happen.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe [So Long, Comfort Zone]
  • “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” – T.S. Eliot [I Did It!]
  • “The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.” – John Bingham [I Did It!]
  • “There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.” – Beverly Sills [Now What?]
  • “A lot of people don’t want to make their own decisions.  They’re too scared.  It’s much easier to be told what to do.” – Marilyn Manson [Decisions]
  • “It doesn’t matter which side of the fence you get off on sometimes.  What matters most is getting off.  You cannot make progress without making decisions.” – Jim Rohn [Decisions]
  • “We could love and not be suckers. We could dream and not be losers. It was such a beautiful time. Everything was possible because we didn’t know anything yet.”  – Hilary Winston [Griffins]
  • “Never make your home in a place. Make a home for yourself inside your own head. You’ll find what you need to furnish it – memory, friends you can trust, love of learning, and other such things. That way it will go with you wherever you journey.” – Tad Williams [Griffins]
  • “It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.” – Edmund Hillary [The Bear]
  • “It is such a happiness when good people get together — and they always do.”  – Jane Austen [Destiny]
  • “We need a witness to our lives. There’s a billion people on the planet… I mean, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you’re promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things… all of it, all of the time, every day. You’re saying ‘Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness.’” – From the movie, Shall We Dance? [Destiny]
  • “A woman under stress is not immediately concerned with finding solutions to her problems, but rather seeks relief by expressing herself and being understood.”  – John Gray [Titles]
  • “Relentless, repetitive self talk is what changes our self-image.” – Denis Waitley [Self Image]
  • “I love working with an audience.  I love working with actual people who, you know, if they’re moved, you see it.  If you say something they’re stunned by, you see their jaws drop.  If they’re amused, they laugh – that kind of reinforcement, I totally adore.” – Jane Pauley [Reinforcement]
  • “Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” – Voltaire [Reinforcement]
  • “A photograph is usually looked at – seldom looked into.” – Ansel Adams [Dear Me]
  • “Beauty is simply reality as seen with the eyes of love.” – Evelyn Underhill [The Beholder]
  • “Changing our bodies isn’t as effective as changing our minds.” – Iman Woods [The Beholder]
  • “Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.” – Kahlil Gibran [The Beholder]
  • “Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes.  Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow.  Let reality be reality.  Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” -Lao Tzu [Winds of Change]
  • “When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills.” – Chinese proverb [Winds of Change]
  • “Endeavor to be what you desire to appear.” – Socrates [Dress the Part]
  • “I think I’m chronically exhausted.”  – Hilary Clinton [Some Days Suck]
  • “Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit.” – Peter Ustinov [Moments]

April 2013

  • “To lose balance for love is part of living a balanced life.” – Elizabeth Gilbert [April Fool]
  • “She’s got her freedom, but she’d rather be bound / To a man who would love her, and never let her down.” – Alabama [April Fool]
  • “Believe that you can run farther or faster. Believe that you’re young enough, old enough, strong enough, and so on to accomplish everything you want to do. Don’t let worn-out beliefs stop you from moving beyond yourself.” – John Bingham [10 Miles]
  • “A baby is God’s opinion that the world should go on.” – Carl Sandburg [Week-Old Miracles]
  • “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers.  You will always find people who are helping.’” – Fred Rogers [Helpers]
  • “You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” – John Bunyan [Helpers]
  • “There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be…” – John Lennon [Just Like That….Again]
  • “Here is the test to find out if your mission on Earth is finished:  If you’re alive, it isn’t.” – Richard Bach [Reflection]
  • “For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever that answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.” – Steve Jobs [Reflection]
  • “Running is a big question mark that’s there each and every day. It asks you, ‘Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?” – Peter Maher [Back in the Saddle]
  • “I run because it’s so symbolic of life. You have to drive yourself to overcome the obstacles. You might feel that you can’t. But then you find your inner strength, and realize you’re capable of so much more than you thought.” – Arthur Blank [Back in the Saddle]
  • “You can pour your soul out singin’ a song you believe in, Then tomorrow they’ll forget you ever sang. Sing it anyway.”  – Martina McBride / lyrics to Do It Anyway [Sing Anyway]
  • “Everybody is a genius.  But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein [Sing Anyway]
  • “The finest clothing made is a person’s own skin, but, of course, society demands something more than this.” – Mark Twain [Fully Dressed] **my first award-winning writing!
  • “Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak” – Rachel Zoe [Fully Dressed]
  • “My heart leaps up when I behold a rainbow in the sky.” – William Wordsworth [Rainbow]
  • “There’s a rainbow in the sky all the time – don’t be blind.” – Ziggy Marley [Rainbow]
  • “It is wise to direct your anger towards problems – not people;  to focus your energies on answers – not excuses.” – William Arthur Ward [Excuses = Fuel]
  • “If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl. But whatever you do, keep moving.” – Martin Luther King, Jr. [Boston]
  • “You need to let the little things that would ordinarily bore you suddenly thrill you.” – Andy Warhol [Little Things]
  • “Half the joy of life is in little things taken on the run…but let us keep our hearts young and our eyes open that nothing worth our while shall escape us.” – Victor Cherbuliez [Little Things]
  • “You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” – Mahatma Gandhi [And Still]
  • “The huge problems we deal with every day are actually really small. We’re so focused on what bothers us that we don’t even try to see our lives from a clearer perspective.” – Susane Colasanti [Problems?]
  • “Remember, if you are criticizing, you are not being grateful.  If you are blaming, you are not being grateful.  If you are complaining, you are not being grateful.” – Rhonda Byrne [Problems?]
  • “Be willing to be uncomfortable. Be comfortable being uncomfortable. It may get tough, but it’s a small price to pay for living a dream.” – Peter McWilliams [Uncomfortable] ** A shortened version of this one was published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Dating Game
  • “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” – Henry Ford [Brutal Beginnings]
  • “When you make peace with authority, you become authority.” – Jim Morrison [Authority]
  • “Men are respectable only as they respect.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson [Authority]
  • “I firmly believe that doing what you love involves doing what you once loved as a kid. That thing you were good at. That thing you’d sneak away from your chores to do. Your history tells you everything you ever wanted to know about living your dream.” – Catherine Hughes [I Am A Writer]
  • “The dream was always running ahead of me.  To catch up, to live for a moment in unison with it, that was the miracle.” – Anais Nin [I Am A Writer]
  • “I don’t remember deciding to become a writer. You decide to become a dentist or a postman. For me, writing is like being gay. You finally admit that this is who you are, you come out and hope that no one runs away.” – Mark Haddon [I Am A Writer]

March 2013

  • “Our running shoes are really erasers. Every step erases a memory of a past failure. Every mile brings us closer to a clean slate. Each foot strike rubs away a word, a look, or an event that led us to believe that success was beyond our grasp.” – John Bingham  [Secret Weapon]
  • “My runs always remind me of what life is; always putting one foot in front of the other, even when I’m exhausted. It’s about running up the hill, however daunting, and congratulating myself for not stopping. Life, like running, is about getting up and pushing on ahead, even if I’ve tripped on a pothole. It’s about keeping the rhythm and setting a pace. It’s about minding my injuries and allowing myself time to heal, but not letting injuries get the best of me. Running is like life; it is a glorious, albeit sometimes painful, act of always moving forward.”  – Luci L. Creery  [Secret Weapon]
  • “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” – Plato  [What If?]
  • “Either you run the day or the day runs you.”  – Jim Rohn  [Just Do It]
  • “It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else.” – Erma Bombeck  [1,000 views]
  • “Being raised as a military brat has a way of making things blur together, simply because of how often you have to move. Friends come and go, clothing is packed and unpacked, households are continually purged of unnecessary items, and as a result, not much sticks. It’s hard at times, but it makes a kid strong in ways that most people can’t understand. Teaches them that even though people are left behind, new ones will inevitably take their place; that every place has something good – and bad – to offer. It makes a kid grow up fast.” – Nicholas Sparks “The Lucky One”  [I’m a Brat]
  • “Never be ashamed of a scar.  It simply means that you are stronger than whatever tried to hurt you.” – Unknown  [Scars]
  • “Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” – Khalil Gibran  [Scars]
  • “You are stronger than you think.” – Leigh Cooper Wallace  [Stronger]
  • “As I get older I see that running has changed for me.  What used to be about burning calories is now more about burning up what is false.  Lies I used to tell myself about who I was and what I could do, friendships that cannot withstand hills or miles, the approval I no longer need to seek and solidarity that cannot bear silence.  I run to burn up what I don’t need and ignite what I do.” ~ Kristin Armstrong  [Stronger]
  • “Find a place inside where there’s joy,  and the joy will burn out the pain.” – Joseph Campbell  [Letter to My Shin…No Seriously]
  • “I was single-minded and I had tunnel vision.  Now it’s time for a change.” – Evelyn Ashford  [Tunnel Vision]
  • “Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power…You are free.” –  Jim Morrison  [Fear]
  • “Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” – Mark Twain  [The Gift of Forgiveness]
  • “He who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones first” – Chinese proverb  [My Rock]
  • “I ran and ran and ran every day, and I acquired this sense of determination, this sense of spirit that I would never, never give up, no matter what else happened.” – Wilma Rudolph  [Milestone]
  • “The woods are lovely dark and deep, but I have promises to keep,  and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep.” – Robert Frost [Milestone]
  • “Methinks that the moment my legs began to move, my thoughts began to flow.” – Henry David Thoreau  [Favorite Race…So Far]
  • “Hello world, how you been? /  Good to see you, my old friend /  Sometimes I feel as cold as steel /  Broken like I’m never gonna heal / Then I see a light,  a little grace, a little faith unfurl /  Hello world” – Lady Antebellum, “Hello World” lyrics  [Just Like That]
  • “Choosing to be in the theatre was a way to put my roots down somewhere with other people. It was a way to choose a new family.” – Juliette Binoche  [Life With Father]
  • “I love acting. It’s so much more real than life.” – Oscar Wilde  [Life With Father]
  • “And thou shalt in thy daughter see,  This picture, once, resembled thee.” – Ambrose Philips  [Ounce of Strength]
  • “I don’t believe in failure.  It is not failure if you enjoyed the process.” – Oprah Winfrey  [“Failure”]
  • “Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure…than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live life in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt [“Failure”]
  • “It is the still small voice that the soul heeds,  Not the deafening blasts of doom.” – William Dean Howells  [Still Small Voice]
  • “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” – Mark Twain  [Still Small Voice]
  • “If I were to remain silent, I’d be guilty of complicity.” – Albert Einstein  [Divisiveness]

February 2013

  • “Two are better off than one, because together they can work more effectively. If one of them falls down, the other can help him up . . . Two people can resist an attack that would defeat one person alone. A rope made of three cords is hard to break.” – Ecclesiastes 4:9 (TEV)  [Valentine’s Day]
  • “Life becomes easier when you learn to accept an apology you never got.” – Robert Brault [Apology]
  • “Write while the heat is in you. The writer who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with. He cannot inflame the minds of his audience.” – Henry David Thoreau [The Day After Valentine’s Day a/k/a Blah]
  • “…And you begin to accept your defeats with your head up and your eyes ahead / With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child.” – Veronica A. Shoffstall [Rejection]
  • “Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end.” Denis Waitley [Rejection]
  • “Once you’ve accepted your flaws, no one can use them against you.” -Unknown [Flaws]
  • “Keep your heart above your head / And your eyes wide open / So this world can’t find a way to leave you cold /And know you’re not the only ship out on the ocean / Save your strength for things that you can change /Forget the ones you can’t / You gotta let it go.” – Zac Brown Band lyrics [Follow Your Heart]
  • “One of the cruelest, most selfish things you can do to another human being is to use them to fill a void. Having learned this the hard way by being on the receiving end, I vow to never ever do that to anyone myself. The cycle ends at me. The next person I am with will get the full, complete version of me, and will not have to live in another’s shadow. This may take years to achieve. So be it. Until you are complete, you have nothing to give to anyone else. Remember that, and this world will be a happier place.” – Melissa Halsey Caudill [Here Goes Nothin’…(Literally)]
  • “Don’t be scared to walk alone; don’t be scared to like it.” – John Meyer [Here Goes Nothin’…(Literally)]
  • “When I was your age, we had to walk to school uphill both ways…” – Every Older Person There Ever Was [Uphill Both Ways]
  • “Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.” – Dalai Lama [Loyalty]
  • “It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: but it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.”  – C.S. Lewis [Allowed to Breathe]
  • “Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.” – Oprah Winfrey [Passion]
  • “Next time I’ll be braver / I’ll be my own savior / Standing on my own two feet.” – Adele, Turning Tables lyrics [Passion]


See you next year!