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My, How Time Flies!

Posted by gayingram on August 31, 2007 at 10:34 AM Comments comments (0)

Hard to believe I haven't posted a message to the blog since January. It has been a busy year filled with unexpected events. A lot of my time was dedicated to working with the editors at Tate Publishing to get Living With A Depressed Spouse into print. I've gotten my author's copies, sold a few and just got word that the audio version is now finished.

Last week I had a TV interview with Channel 19's Judy Jordan in Tyler. Never even got nervous. She had nice things to say about my book (see What's Hot page).

We went to Oregon in June for my oldest granddaughter's high school graduation (thanks to a niece's stand-by pass with Southwest Airlines.) We had a nice visit, spent lots of time together for those four days and survived the five-hour layover in Houston's airport because we couldn't get a connecting flight from LA to either Phoenix or Dallas. Interesting experience - spending a night in a deserted airport terminal.

Then there was the three weeks we had full-time care of our youngest granddaughter. She was a delight but really drained our energy and the whole affair didn't end so pleasantly. Carlie is now living with one of her mother's cousins and had two "bigger brothers." She's going to a Montessori school and just loving it.

Well, I could go one but need to sign off the internet so I can get a call from my brother in PA.

 

It's a New Year - Hurray!

Posted by gayingram on January 17, 2007 at 4:27 PM Comments comments (0)

Some time has passed since I last posted an entry. All the Christmas hoopla is over and done with for another year. The realities of winter descended like a heavy blanket this week. Temperatures, day and night, remain below freezing; heavy rain storms, sleet and possible snow have arrived and more is forecast. The little electric heater in my writing building is working hard to keep me adequately comfortable.

After a sluggish first weeks, I've returned to my writing with vim and energy. Perhaps the dreary weather has been conducive but I've attacked market research with a vengence, concentrating on markets for devotionals, inspirational articles and articles about writing. Could be making a couple sales in those genres had something to do with it.

As a result of my researching of possible markets, I've identified several that I hope will accept my work. I just hope this rush of enthusiasm will continue long enough to sustain me through the arduous  process of revising and refining and polishing necessary to tweat each submission to fit the requirements of each individual market.  

Latest email contact from my editor Hope Johnson at Tate Publishing reports edits are coming along well and I should receive her finished work by the end of the month. Occasionally it will hit me like a ton of bricks that I am actually getting a book published through a traditional publishing house complete with assigned editor, graphic designer, publicity program, etc. The whole shooting match! When that reality does sink in, I almost have to pinch myself to convince myself that it's really happening.

 

ANYONE FOR GOOD CHEER?

Posted by gayingram on December 8, 2006 at 12:56 PM Comments comments (0)

Christmas is just around the corner and whereever you are, you can get words of advise on how to enjoy the season. Store displays, newspaper pages, TV advertisements -- all are working overtime to make certain you have cause to feel good at this time of year. All it takes is giving to others, right?

 

I don't want this to come across as a bah-humbug sort of message. What I'm really getting at is why is everyone putting so much emphasis on this good feeling you get from giving right now? Why isn't it more popular to relay that message the rest of the year?

 

It's better to give than receive, right? Isn't that what your Momma taught you? So, why restrict it to just a few weeks in the year? Why not make it a lifestyle? Every day forget about getting and do some giving.

 

I recently heard of an unusual birthday celebration that illustrates this perfectly. Seems the lady had everything she needed or wanted and her daughter got real creative. Her birthday gift was an envelope of $10 bills. They weren't to be spent on herself; they were to be given away, one at a time and all in one day, to someone she saw doing something nice for someone else without expectation of a reward.

 

Now, isn't that a neat way of celebrating your birthday? From the way she described her day, my friend and her daughter had a blast. Sounds like an idea that should be spread around. And the giving doesn't  have to be in a monetary form. The best gift you can give is of yourself or your time. Lend yourself to another who needs an extra pair of hands; or maybe someone who needs transportation to some appointment.

 

When we were made in the image of God, He made sure to instill a hugh chunk of creativity inside each and every one of us. Let's make a vow to use this gift within -- be creative and show others a reflection of his Love by giving to someone else each and every day.

 

The neat result is that in the giving you receive back -- lots and lots of good cheer.

'Tis The Season

Posted by gayingram on November 12, 2006 at 6:12 PM Comments comments (0)

The holiday season is just around the corner and whether it's actual or not, people seem to falter, take a deep breath and plunge forward as if they were entering an endurance race.  I used to follow the same pattern, busy rushing about attending gatherings special for the Christmas season, exerting unreasonable effort and energy creating the proper ambiance in our home and pretty much wearing myself out "enjoying the holiday season."

 

Over the years I've done a lot of simplifying and don't have as many commitments demanding my undivided attention now. My reasoning is if you have to spread yourself thin, meeting the requests and expectations of a whole lot of other people, how is it possible to remain sane enough to really absorb what all the hoop-la is all about?

 

So I've slowed down and given myself time to really consider the marvelous reality of the event we are supposed to be celebrating. Saying "no" has enabled me to have the time to concentrate my focus on those activities that give me the most satisfaction.

 

I really enjoy being able to hand-craft the gifts I give others although am not always able to do that. So, I allow myself time to peruse store aisles and catalogs, keeping in mind the particular ones I'm shopping for and seeking out something that I feel will really give them pleasure.

 

My home decorating has down-graded since the boys are now married with families of their own. But, perhaps this year for the first time in many, I will give in and decorate a table-top tree for the benefit of my grand-daughter who is almost three and reached an age where she can appreciate and enjoy the fruit of my efforts.

 

I try to remember that it's not about glittery lights and blown-up outdoor decorations. The event behind it all is a celebration of the gift of love. So try to remember to include huge doses of love in everything you do this holiday season.

Thoughts on Curiosity

Posted by gayingram on November 3, 2006 at 10:30 AM Comments comments (0)

What joggles your curiosity? Anything in particular seem to reach out and grab your attention when you least expect it, sending your brain waves scurrying in about the deep closets of your mind looking for bits and pieces of information?

In one of those odd moments, usually when I'm pre-occupied with making certain a sentence I just put down makes complete sense, some errant thought will invade and I'll be off into the blue yonder. Perhaps wondering about how difficult it was to communicate before emails, telephones or even international mail delivery systems were instituted. Or, how those early pioneer women survived the isolation in their grubby one-room cabins in the middle of a vast prairie where there wasn't another human being besides her family for miles and miles. Imagine not having another person, except perhaps a toddler or half-grown child, to exchange conversation with. How did they endure those days and days of not even hearing another human voice, much less another female?

At one time I got curious about the human foot and gave some thought to writing a book about the history of footwear and how it affects the shaping of a person's foot. Has anyone else ever spent time thinking about something like that? I found out when I began to research that there were plenty of people who had also given the human foot and the history of footwear more than a passing thought. I found numerous books already written on the subject. So that book idea was laid away on a shelf.

But curiosity is a good thing. Just think if old Ben hadn't gotten curious about the possible energy contained in a lightning bolt. What would this world be like without harnessed electricity?  Wonder what else God has implanted into His creation still waiting for us puny humans to discover?

Thinking about Risks

Posted by gayingram on October 6, 2006 at 5:42 PM Comments comments (1)

This essay first came into existence as I tended a deadwood fire last winter. For some reason I began to consider the word "risk" and decided to write down my thoughts.

There are may different degrees of risk. Just being alive is a risk. We take risks in every moment we live -- the air we breathe, the food we eat, the people we socialize with --each contains risk. Taking a risk means stepping into the unknown and trusting yourself to something beyond your limitations.

Some would say I put my life at risk each time I work at clearing and burning the trash on the back side of our seventeen acres. I sit here now, pad in my lap, and watch as flames leap and lick at the pile of deadwood as it burns, blue smoke wisps away with a breeze that gusts and then fades away. The mid-day winter sun creates a glare on the words I've written on the yellow page.

A fly that must have ignored winter's approach plays hopscotch with my pen as I write.

Which of us is at greater risk here? I, who choose to place myself in a potentially dangerous situation to accomplish a goal? Or this fly? Did that fly ignore its instincts and choose to stay with the familiar rather than risk the unknown?

Trust is as much a part of life as risk taking. We have to trust in something every moment of every day. Trust that the chair won't collapse when weight is put on it. Trust that pure healthy water comes out of the tap when it is opened. Trust that the oncoming motorist obeys the stop sign as I step off the sidewalk.

When I am in the "back forty', out of sight and sound of another human being, I take the necessary precautions to make my workspace as safe as possible. And then I have to trust that the fire will not get out of control, that I will not trip and fall and hurt myself, that I will know what to do if something harmful happens. I do what I have learned needs to be done to make the situation safe and then I trust My Heavenly Father to take care of me.

Maybe that's what the little fly did.

The Value of Time Out

Posted by gayingram on September 30, 2006 at 1:48 PM Comments comments (0)

I spent several days, working for long stretches at a time, completing a proof-reading job for a client. I always forget the intense concentration something like that requires. Once completed and arrangements made to deliver the manuscript, I sort of fell apart...found it hard to turn my attention to anything else. So, I gave myself a time out.

I hopped in the car and took myself to a nearby town, did a little shopping, treated myself to a Braum's burger and wasted a couple hours snooping around one of the two antique shops on main street. I had no intentions of buying anything. Heck, I've reached the stage where I need to un-clutter my surroundings, not add to the dust-catchers.

But it's fun to just look and let your eyes feast on some kletchy, some beautiful artifacts that were once a part of someone else's life. Removing myself from the familiar surroundings of home, computer and books accomplished just what I intended. It gave me spirit a boost and exposed me to real-live people going about their ordinary day's business. Something my isolated living situation doesn't include much of. Sometimes the height of my day's adventures is the five-mile drive toand back from the post office to pick up mostly junk mail.

My only disappointment was that I missed the unannounced visit of granddaughter Carlie and family. My husband says they had a nice visit. Oh well, can't have everything in life, can we? There's always the next visit to look forward to.

So...now it's your turn to tell me what you do to give yourself time outs.

Frustrating Situations

Posted by gayingram on September 30, 2006 at 1:48 PM Comments comments (0)

How do you cope with frustrating situations? Do you fuss and fume? Does your anger level flare? Or can you mentally take a step back and view the situation from someone else's point of view?

Right now I'm quite frustrated because the blog entry I just spent several minutes composing got swallowed somewhere before getting posted to the web page. So, I have to sit here and come up with something brand new to replace it.

So this time my frustration is with a machine's workings and those of you who spend any amount of time on a computer will agree that this modern invention is the source of much frustration.

But what about when it's another person's doings that cause you frustration? Of course, you already know not everyone is so concienscious as you are. There are some people alive who really don't give a hoot if something is done correctly or completed adequately to satisfy. So, when you find yourself confronting a situation where another person's lackadaisical attitude causes you to miss out, how do you handle it?

Fall Is Just Around The Corner

Posted by gayingram on September 23, 2006 at 9:13 AM Comments comments (0)

Yesterday my sister sent me pictures of snow they encountered in Idaho as they drove to their next campsite. Quite a shock to confront when the temperatures are in the high eighties.

But summer is coming to an end. You can feel it in the air. Maybe it's the shorter sunlight hours; maybe it's the shedding of leaves, arrival of pumpkins at the markets or bulging pots of chrysanthemums at the garden shops.

Anyway, I'm ready for it. Well, not really. Fall means those re-occuring activities to get ready for winter's freezing temperatures. Pretty hard to consider when you're just trying to stay cool. But the plastic covering on the green house needs replacing before tender plants can be moved inside. There are rooted cuttings to be transplanted into individual pots so they can take advantage of the greenhouse's sheltering warmth to grow.

There's very little clean-up to do in the garden's beds, thanks to the sizzling drought-stricken summer we've had again this year.In fact, what needs doing is taking inventory to see what has been lost in this battle of the heat. For the first time ever, there are azalea shrubs that have succombed and will need replacing next spring.

But, no matter the season...there are always chores that need doing, right?

 

A Change of Seasons

Posted by gayingram on September 1, 2006 at 11:42 AM Comments comments (1)

     Just like magic, the first day of September ushered in a major change in climate. I stepped out my back door, coffee cup in hand, to be greeted by cool, almost-crisp air. What a change from the stiffling, heat we've endured the last month. A little shower here and there this past week has helped restore the green to struggling plants but not before several azalea bushes succombed to those days of 100+ temperatures.

      As I do each time I sit at my desk to do some practice writing, I first lit the candle on the desk's shelf. Which got me to wondering about candles, wax, fire and honey. And all of that became part of my writing for this morning. My mind continues to wonder about what induced a human to conceive of the making of the original candle. Fortunately or otherwise, I'm not so curious as to invest real research time in seeking out the answer. Does anyone else ever have those kinds of mental wanderings?

     I'm beginning to understand the appeal of blogging. The president of our writing club, ETWA, recently established a blog site for our members. It's similar to writing practice as you just sit and begin to type whatever thought enters your mind at the moment. Hopefully other people become interested enough in what you have to say to check out the latest postings and respond with comments of their own.


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