Away Message

The Tuesday after a long weekend should feel awesome.

But it never does, does it? It feels kind of like a super-Monday. Short weeks are tougher than regular five-day weeks, I think. And this week I have my hands full. For today, I’m giving you a bit of an “away message” because I know I’ll be off doing all the things I need to do so I don’t end up getting run over by my week.

Still with me?

Today (well yesterday, actually) I am honored (and more than a little nervous) to be sharing my words over at Sisterwives Speak. Please join us over there to talk about building castles in the air and getting to know your true self…

Next.

I’ve been running book stuff on Tuesdays for quite a few weeks – book reviews, author interviews, etc. This week I’m kind of between readings, but in keeping with my Tuesday book theme, please go visit Lizzi on her blog for the latest in her Slip of the Lit series. She has some really great tips on the care and feeding of your favorite newly-published author. It’s a great post and well worth the read.

The Rotten Cats are holding down the fort while I’m gone. Give them a little hello and a scratch behind the ears, would you? It makes them happy.

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XO

 

 

TToT – Simple Practicality

There is nothing quite so satisfying as practical wisdom.

While I suppose it’s presumptuous to call myself “wise,” I can at least admit honestly that I found several occasions this week that called for some practical application of knowledge and somehow I got it right!

And in the spirit of being practical, I need to be quick about this because I’m late to publish and I have a list of things to do yet after this post. So let’s be about the business of thankfulness, shall we? Continue reading

FTSF – Success Begins in the Grocery Store Checkout Line

Last week, we became those people.

I had my first inkling in line at the grocery store. As I waited for my turn, I thought about all the things we had going on that week. Appointments, classes, homework, meetings, events…plus regular school and work hours. The line moved forward and I reviewed my menu plan for the week. Certain nights can be new meals, others need to be intentional leftovers or something fast and easy…

Another customer finished and took his bags and we all moved up in line. While I scanned the recipe headlines on magazine covers, I realized there was one night on the horizon that was going to be complicated. Somehow we had managed to pull a schedule that would not allow for dinner. And I don’t just mean no sit-down dinner together as a family – I mean at all. Somehow, schedule changes occurred such that Zilla and I had to manage homework, an appointment, and a Scout event all on the same evening. Oh, and dinner. Somehow.

This was going to take some planning. Continue reading

1000 Speak – Reconciliation of the Self

“I suppose no man can violate his own nature.”

I would love to tell you those words are mine. I would love to tell you they fell from my consciousness onto the page and I breathed the wisdom of a lifetime into them.

I didn’t. They belong to the only mind they can, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and they are from my most beloved favorite of his essays, “Self-Reliance.”

It should be no surprise to you, dear reader, if my thoughts here are again on the topic of self-compassion. I have focused each month on a different aspect of self-compassion. For all forms of love and compassion spring only from love of self and compassion for the self.

Buddha Self Compassion

This month the individual voices of the 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion group are talking and writing about compassion as it relates to connection and reconciliation.

I knew immediately what I would write when this topic was announced. I would write about reconciling the person you believed you would be with the person you actually are today. Yes, of course, because that’s precisely what I have been doing personally. Continue reading

Book Review – Marcia Kester Doyle’s Who Stole My Spandex

Everybody has that friend.

You know the one. The friend you meet for the lunch date that ends at 5:00 PM when your husband calls wondering if you’re stranded in a ditch somewhere. The friend you can talk to about anything, because we all need to bounce those topics off of someone else for comparison’s sake. Just to make sure we’re not completely insane.

Marcia Kester Doyle’s Who Stole My Spandex is a lot like that lunch date. One story rolls seamlessly and hilariously into the next as Doyle shares the ups and downs of middle age and menopause. By the end of the book, Doyle is a lot like that friend with whom you can discuss absolutely anything, including all manner of bodily functions – yours and everyone else’s.

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A Mustache on Monday

I believe in full disclosure.

Translation: I was delighted to fall on the number in the TToT link-up Sarah designated as one to answer these questions because neither of the other two posts I’ve been working on are ready to go this morning.

I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling seriously behind the eight ball this morning and there’s only enough coffee creamer for one cup this morning. It’s going to be that day.

So here’s a little light reading for your Monday morning until the pace picks up a little tomorrow…

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Connecting with Compassion – 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion

1000 Voices Speak for Compassion is coming again!

I’m a bit behind in revealing my topic for the May link-up, but I’ve been working on so many things the date kind of escaped me.

But here we are, a mere four days away, so now is as good a time as any.

Our theme for this month is Connection – including re-connection and reconciliation. Our admin team has collected a list of topic prompts over on the 1000 Voices for Compassion blog – I’ll give you the link to that post right here. If you don’t already have your topic solidified, hop over and check out some of the ideas and suggestions on the blog.

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TToT – The One Hundredth!

It’s party time, kids!

This week we are celebrating the ONE HUNDREDTH Ten Things of Thankful link-up!

Ten Things of Thankful

Ten items every week…one hundred weeks…ten lovely co-hosts…plus everyone else who links each week?

That’s a lot of thankful!

I have been part of the TToT since almost the beginning – I pipped into the link-up at number eleven. This took a bit of digging and a bit of stalking Lizzi’s blog, but I found the first post I linked to the TToT, thanks to an invite from our lovely Dyanne. So there’s number one – I’m thankful for everything that has come from being part of the Ten Things of Thankful gang. Continue reading

The Truth Behind the Story – An Interview with Beth Teliho

Grab your coffee cup, friends, because we have a visitor this morning.

Today, I am thrilled to have Beth Teliho, author of one of my new favorite books, Order of Seven, join us for a stop along her blog tour. I reviewed Order of Seven not long ago. You can check that out here. Go ahead, the coffee is still brewing.

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Now that you’re back, let’s get comfortable and learn about some of the truths behind Order of Seven…and stick around for the very end because you can win a very cool prize!

TMoM: Your book has clear undertones (or maybe not so under-) of respect for the environment and protecting the world. There is also a strong message of connectedness to the earth, to other humans, to all living things, really? Where does that come from?

BT: It came from my bones. It’s everything I believe, so much so that it doesn’t even feel like a belief as much as a truth. That connectedness and my love for nature/science will most likely always make its way into my stories one way or another. That being said, from the very beginning I had a clear and deliberate intention to have it be the undercurrent of this particular novel.

TMoM: In what ways do you see Order of Seven as a vehicle for promoting ecological and environmental consciousness?

BT: I hope it plants a seed, or at least leaves readers with a feeling of positivity and connectedness. Other than that, I don’t have some big agenda. I just wrote the story I wanted to read, while threading it with things I love or that I think are important.

OrderofSeven_FC_BNG (1)TMoM: In my years as a high school English teacher, students would often protest when it came time for discussion, arguing that we should leave literature alone, just enjoy the story, and not try to find meaning. They would often insist that authors intended no meaning at all. What are your thoughts?

BT: As an author, it’s incredibly rewarding to have readers understand the meaning you worked so hard to embed, but I do understand from a student’s point of view how tedious this can be at times when all they want to do is read for the love of stories.

I do think discussion is important, though. I read Life of Pi with a college class and learned things I may never have picked up on had I read it on my own, and these details are what made me love the story. I also think these dissections also teach readers – and potential writers – how much more goes into the story than what meets the eye.

Plus, when you’re an adult you get to have these discussions with your book club. #wine

TMoM: In Order of Seven, Devi and her friends will certainly leave behind an important legacy. What legacy would you most like to leave?

BT: Deep thoughts, with Beth Teliho….  Haha Okay, seriously, I would love my legacy to be compassion. I don’t mean to sound cliché or obvious, but I really believe in compassion for others, for animals, for the environment. Be kind. Be helpful. Care.

Karma, dude. Now let’s hold hands around the campfire and sing Kumbaya….

TMoM:  What would you most like your readers to take away from this story?

BT: Positive feelings, a head-banging-cotton-mouthed book hangover, and an insatiable thirst for more.

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Now about that prize… When you read Beth’s book, you’re going to need a bookmark…enter here to win an autographed Order of Seven bookmark!

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 bio picBETH TELIHO is a writer, artist and tree hugger who lives in Texas with her husband and two adventurous sons. Restless in the mundane, she writes about the abnormal, paranormal and otherwise fantastical because that’s what quickens her heartbeat. She laughs at inappropriate jokes, and prefers spicy food and margaritas to almost anything. One day, she hopes to live in a treehouse, where she can be an eccentric introvert with at least seven cats.    

 

 

 

Want to know more about Beth and her writing? You can find her at any of her links below.

Blog: www.bethteliho.me

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/writerbisme

Twitterverse: @beth_teliho

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/bethteliho

Want to be part of Beth’s blog tour? Click here to get involved.

 

Book Review – Mandi Castle’s Dear Stephanie

I’m expanding my horizons.

I honestly don’t read much contemporary fiction. But maybe I have to stop saying that.

Given the opportunity to read an advance copy of Mandi Castle’s Dear Stephanie, I jumped at it. I read Dear Stephanie in two sittings – and that was only because I had to sleep. I can’t pull an all-nighter with a book like I used to.

But for those who can, I promise you will. I devoured every delicious word.

dear-stephanie Continue reading