Three Blind Mice…

The sun sets on another day…

Sunset was a little more than fantastic, and I enjoyed watching the sun fall behind the trees. As the days slowly warm, there is nothing you can do but enjoy every moment a little more.

I was with a small group today, talking about a little bit of everything. When you’re with a group, you have a tendency of listening and hearing what you want to hear. Quite often, as the group becomes more excited, the situation becomes more of a response than a practical conversation. The larger the group, the more chances this will degrade.

Today’s group was a little different. Three people from three different backgrounds enjoyed conversations about a little bit of everything. Some of the conversations were very pointed, and some were light-hearted. The interaction was positive and well-meaning, with three people enjoying their time together and smiling at the exchanges. We could have been three blind mice, but instead, the farmer’s wife missed, and we were a little more.

That’s just me, of course. There were two other viewpoints in the room, and they may agree or not agree. I hope they got the same satisfaction from our interactions and perhaps opened their minds as they opened mine. Every interaction with people is an opportunity to learn and grow. Today I learned a lot about two people, but it also offered me a path to consider my future and my growth as well. This is what good conversations should be.

I am pretty big on listening and hearing if you read much of what I write. It is an integral part of our existence and allows us the potential to grow more effectively. If we listen to respond, we do not offer ourselves the ability to process what is being said and instead focus on how we can interact in the conversation. People do both, but I hope we can get to a point in our society where people listen to hear and find far better responses.

So as the sun sets on another day, it was a good day. There was a whole lot going on and a lot of fun in between. I hope you enjoy every moment that you have and in the process meet new people and expand your horizons, no matter what.

Sleep sweet, love life, and listen…

Inner workings…

The sun sets on another day…

Sunset, well, it was sunset. IT came and went and there was sun everywhere, then nowhere, like a Ninja sunset that slides in and out, only to leave us baffled and wondering where it went. As I searched, colors spattered the clouds, and I enjoyed it anyway.

Tonight was bittersweet. It is a memory that I will hold for some time as dozens of authors and readers got together and had a little fun. There are a lot of people who watch television and get lost in reality shows as the nights go on. The month of February was a live action reality show and powerful peace of passionate interaction between people’s imagination and beyond. If you missed it, I’m sorry.

I’m sure many of you have seen improv groups where people are put on the spot and have to come up with solutions to situations in mere moments. A group of nine people we’re given minimal information about their characters and set loose inside of a mystery that first covered the theft of a book and later a murder. This was part of a book festival that had readers on the edge of their seats while authors read. For ten to 12 minutes each day the nine people interacted, and the result was hilarity that none could have predicted.

It is with this in mind that I find myself happy that this time has come to an end and that the mystery has been solved. At the same time, I am sad that I will no longer be interacting consistently with these fantastic people. It is not often that you find a group of people that are so entrenched with each other that they can respond with passion and emotion at the drop of a hat. I found the interaction to be more than fulfilling and as the group became more and more involved it was more than just an event, it created a small family.

In an old movie called April Fools Day it was said: “We cannot predict the precise moment when friendships are formed, as in filling a vessel drop by drop, there is at last one which makes it run over. So in a series of kindnesses, there is at last one which makes the heart run over.” It is with that in mind that I hope others felt the same spirit of kinship that I did.

So as the sun sets on another day, I hope your day was spectacular and that you too have found people willing to interact and perhaps a little more. And for all the people that attended the Pages Promotions Virtual Book Festival during the month of February, thanks for being amazing every day, no matter what.

Sleep sweet, love life, and the butler didn’t do it…

In my hand…

The sun sets on another day…

Today’s sunset was brought to you by the words wet and gooey. Water pooled everywhere as temperatures raised and a light rain fell. This was much better than the start of the day when the entire area was encased in a giant block of ice. I went out to my truck for a drive and could barely open the door. That convinced me to stay home and enjoy the day.

I spent a lot of time with my last German shepherd teaching her the difference between her paws and my hands. She understood a great deal; if I asked her to put something in my hand, she would probably bring it and place it in my outstretched hand.

Our hands are probably one of the biggest differentiators in who we are as a species. They allow us to carry and work with things that generally other animals cannot do. We carry stuff around daily without thinking; as we do, we often carry more in our minds.

There are times when the mind and the hand are one unit. I often find myself lost in those moments where my imagination runs rampant, and I see things in my hand and think about how it would feel to hold them. The mind is a powerful tool but can also be a difficult enemy. It is straightforward to drop things from your hands, but not so easy to drop things from your mind. That can be a problem.

I hope you can take a moment and drop the negativity you may carry. Please take a moment and hold on to the positivity. I know it is not as easy as dropping something from your hand, but it does offer the ability to do and be so much more.

So, as the sun sets on another day, hands can carry an awful lot, but minds carry even more. Let’s let go of the things we don’t need, like negativity and passive thoughts. Let’s embrace passion and positivity and find our way every day to something fantastic, no matter what

Sleep sweet, love life, and let go…

A matter of trust…

The sun sets on another day…

I sat watching the sunset for a moment or an hour, I could not tell which for just an instant as my mind scanned the entirety of today, and reread it a hundred times before shaking my head, and watching the day end. I was on an unfamiliar street, with unfamiliar people, but the world and the situations were all too familiar.

If you have read anything I have written, you will know I try to be a little more positive and lift people up. Forgive me if it takes a moment to get there today. It will happen.

I was at a funeral today filled with people. Some knew each other, and some did not. The people at the center of the service were warm and welcoming, and in such a difficult time, everyone attending was made to feel as though they were special and important, and it was as it should be.

I was very impressed with the person leading the service at the beginning of it all. There were complexities in the entire scope of what was going on. A series of families broken then melded back together, and some remained broken. Being who I am, I saw the emotions of everyone around me, and it wasn’t easy. Some struggled with the situation, some struggled with the past, some struggled with the future, and some struggled with themselves.

I watched as four people bared their souls and shared the life of a magnificent woman with the attendees. People nodded, people smiled, people laughed, and people cried. I thought to myself, “This is how people should be, sharing and feeling,” and then was lost for a moment as my sister spoke of love, passion, and everything in between. The stories were good, but there was still a complexity and uneasiness as two sides of an uneven coin lay separate and apart.

It was here that the entirety of this post sits. The leader of the service knew the person who passed away well, perhaps too well. At that point, they decided to deliver a series of words with good intentions. They gave a narrative they had been given and expressed it to a part of the family that may not have been familiar with it. They admonished a situation that they had not lived. They assumed that what they were doing was good, but in this particular case, they did not consider all the dynamics of the situation. If I were looking at this from above, I could teach that to give advice or determine a course of action. It is essential to have all sides of the equation filled out. It is even more critical when you guide someone’s life or hold their life in your hand.

You may not think words have an effect. Your comments may be right for a situation. You may be right. You may also need to be corrected.

In the grand scope of communication, the best communication is often silence. What follows for a second here is an opinion that often is the core of personal interaction.

In this situation, there was a divorce. The children did or did not understand the situation and were adult enough to make their own decisions. A rift was created between the children and the parent, and for over 20 years, the situation was strained or nonexistent. That is only what I know, but it is the tip of the iceberg. The leader of the service made a statement and assumed that they knew the situation completely. For them, it was real because what they had been made aware of was devastating, and there was no excuse for how things were. The question becomes, “was that reality?” and in that question lies my issue today. There were three people yesterday looking for guidance and growth. There were three people yesterday dealing with demons that they will never be able to excise now. There were three people that were near defeated, and a series of words were thrown out that was a literal coup de grace.

Is there an answer here?

There is an answer. If you do not know all sides of the situation, it is often better to remain silent. If you are standing with someone and they say they are at the edge of a cliff, your job should be to help them up, not push them over the edge. We often feel that we have a right to push our initiative based on what we think we know, and in the end, what do we really know? I know only one thing: I am on a journey, and I am imperfect. I learn and grow every day. I revise who I am daily because I am willing to open my mind and see beyond myself. I know that all of the things I see are different from what everyone else sees. I am sure many have no concept of what I see, and just as importantly, I cannot see the world through their eyes.

This is a long bunch of words just to say before you open your mouth. It’s important to understand what you’re talking about. It is important to know all situations. It is important to have compassion. It is important to be the person to others that you would like to address you.

So as the sun sets on another day, sorry about this ridiculously long post. I just felt it was important to push people out to the forefront and set aside our personal biases. With that, I leave you with something I used to say a lot, “be careful what you say and make your words sound soft and sweet, for you don’t know from day to day which ones you’ll have to eat.” Be the person that listens more than talks and be amazing every day, no matter what.

Sleep sweet, love life, and be you…


The sun sets on another day…

It was a spectacular sunset as the clouds closed in and created a cascading waterfall of fiery light. I enjoyed watching until the clouds swallowed the sun and plunged us all towards darkness.

I thought a lot today about allusion. In many writing techniques there are complexities and you have to know your audience well to apply some techniques. After all me talking about Marsha’s nose would be lost on most people today as it’s from a television show from long ago. Still there are things that easily are timeless. Things like the chains I bear being forged by me may always have refer to Charles Dickens and his work. A significant number exist but does this really help us communicate?

I remember an episode of Star Trek the Next Generation where an entire race communicated metaphorically. Although a metaphor is good to get a point across the episode showed very clearly that it does require that both groups understand the actual metaphor. It can make communication difficult and can quickly date stories and poetry and make them frustrating for future generations.

Who cares, right?

I continue to find over and over that communication skills are slowly degrading in our world for some. We have more and more ways to communicate but fewer and fewer ways that we can communicate effectively. This entire post is there simply to say let’s all communicate better. Let’s find ways of understanding each other and use metaphor and simile and allusion and any way we can to understand each other. In the end we want to understand each other, it may just take a little work sometimes.

So as the sun sets on another day, I hope your day is spectacular, and I hope you communicate well with everyone. Let’s take our time and let people understand us as we try to understand them, every day, no matter what.

Sleep sweet, love hard, and make every day spectacular…

An eagles cry…

The sun sets on another day…

Sunset was spectacular for a short time until the clouds swallowed the horizon and sprayed light for a moment across the horizon.

Years ago I wrote a story, the Best Picture I never Took. Today I had another. There are a few bald eagles living somewhere close to me. I am pretty sure it is on the property, but they are hard to track. I see them flying above from time to time, and in the summer they feed off the animals that invade the blueberry fields that are close.

Today as I walked down my driveway I heard an eagles cry above me and 2 adult bald eagles were flying rapidly at the edge of the tree line. I smiled at the barrel roles that Pappy Boyington would be hard pressed to repeat and laughed at the shrill cries of each eagle as they chased each other through the sky.

As I stopped and stood still the two flew over me at high speed and rolled no more than 20 feet from my head, chasing each other down the driveway clearing. It was an awe inspiring sight. My phone was charging, my cameras in the car, all I had was my eyes to stare in abject amazement as the scene unfolded and then was gone.

I smiled.

It is these little moments we should hold onto, and these little moments that make stories to pass on and enjoy. I will file this under “wow” and laugh as the night passes. Yes, sunset was spectacular, but the day is filled with monumental moments as well, and I enjoy all I can.

So as the sun sets on another day, enjoy the moments that sweep you off your feet. Be like a child and feel the wonderment of the world. Take each moment, and make your world complete, no matter what.

Sleep sweet, love with a passion beyond compare, and never let the world pass you by…

Trivial Triumph…

The sun sets on another day..

I thought about the sunset high above as the darkness closed in from both waning light and darkening clouds. If I hadn’t known the time of sunset I would not have been able to discern the subtle changes in the sky but I know that high above there was Beauty Beyond Compare.

I play trivia from time to time and enjoy racking my brain about all of the different categories and questions that are asked in the game. Tonight we won and I laughed a little because all of the Obscure questions about movies and more seemed to just fall in our laps. We didn’t get a perfect score but we did do quite well and answered 85% of the questions correctly. Not bad, not bad at all.

It’s kind of silly if you think about it. All of the ridiculous trivial questions that were floating around in my head and the heads of those others on my team. How do we spend our time and how much fun does the passing time create?

I have spent a good deal of my time in my life watching movies. There are people that don’t watch any movies and some that watch only a few. I have found myself watching mini movies while my family slept simply because I was awake. Each night would offer me the opportunity to either read books or watch movies and experience the imagination of others as I did so. It always fascinates me to read a book or watch a movie and experience a completely different world and a completely different set of rules. Along the way, you pick things up.

Tonight all those trivial items became a win for our team, and most of it is because my team has imagination and drive, and maybe we just wanted to have some fun. For you, have some fun each and every day. Make today yours.

So as the sun sets on another day, that trivial moment may be more than you think. That trivial moment may be everything a few years from now. Hold on to those moments, laugh and smile with them, and make the times the best they can be, no matter what.

Sleep sweet, love with passion, and live for the moment…

Piece of peace…

The sun sets on another day…

Ice pelted the trees and everything around them as night fell, and in a moment the world was covered with a crispy glaze, not unlike that of a donut. As the darkness tried to invade the world stayed lit by the sparkles of a thousand thousand thousand shards of snow and ice, and in that, beauty was there.

The world is often a chaotic mess, and it is easy to get lost in the mire and muck. Too often, everyone seems against us and does not guide us to the positivity or peace we need.

It is with that in mind that I say they do not need to guide you. We should all guide ourselves and take a piece of peace each day for ourselves. Some people will say that’s selfish, and some people will say they have no time, but I can say for certain that we are at the center of our universe, and for anyone else to benefit from who we are, we need to find peace.

That doesn’t mean we have to take hours upon hours lost in the mediocrity of meditative meanderings that some people experience. It doesn’t mean we must ignore responsibility or all of the people around us. Instead, it means that we need to find a few moments to ourselves to center and enjoy our lives.

Everyone is different. Some people will need time to find that center, and some people will find peace in an instant. No matter who you are or somewhere in between, take a moment, listen to music, feel who you are, and take a piece of peace.

So as the sun sets on another day, I find a piece of peace each day. I hope you find a little respite and enjoy your evening, and make each day the best day ever, no matter what.

Sleep sweet, love life, and peace…

Fleeting flakes…

The sun sets on another day…

I saw the edge of sunset come and go while I was buried in other items. Still, I stopped for a moment and enjoyed a splash of color here and there and smiled. A few hours later, I was walking down my driveway in the darkness playing with my flashlight and shining it to the sky. As I did, I was rewarded with a few sparkles from flakes slowly drifting to the ground. I smiled for a moment as the light shimmered and faded away. After all it is still almost winter, or second winter, or third winter, or something like that.

I hate to quote the Time Warp, but time is fleeting, and each moment passed is a moment that is never regained. My, that sounds depressing. At the same time, each moment lived it’s a moment to be cherished, and perhaps if we think about it that way, we have a lot of moments before us. The world can be fantastic if we take our time and enjoy every moment. The world can be a more fantastic place if we make our moments better and better.

As I stared up at the flakes falling from the sky, I thought about all of the individual memories that we all have, and I smiled. Sure, it was just a couple of snowflakes, but if you remember, every snowflake is unique and so are you. So are we.

Take a moment and enjoy the day and enjoy everything that’s coming. Even the snow and ice storm that’s supposed to be coming tomorrow might be pretty to look at. I hope I continue to enjoy the snowflakes and maybe skip a little of the ice but it would be just as fun if I looked at it another way.

So as the sun sets on another day, next time you see a snowflake think about how unique it is. Then look at the snowscape and consider how many snowflakes are unique. Then remember that you are just as special and deserve to be happy, no matter what.

Sleep sweet, love life, and keep making your days amazing…

Not your fault…

The sun sets on another day…

I was in a parking lot with Pepper when I saw the sun starting to set. I took a moment and enjoyed it, then snapped a picture as clouds started battling with the evening light. As I drove home, the light was pulled from the sky, and darkness closed in on me; still, it was a great sunset.

It’s been a while since I’ve seen the movie “Good Will Hunting.” during the movie, there is a portion that focuses on the main character and their feeling of ownership of the problems in their life. A character says to them, “it’s not your fault,” and the scene becomes a powerful series of emotions as the main character realizes the heaviness they have been placing upon themselves.

I have always taken a different approach when talking to people and explain simply that it was my fault. It is my fault that a volcano erupted in the Pacific Ocean, it is my fault that there is a divide in the world, and it is my fault that some people are so afraid that they lash out at any kindness directed toward them. Depending on the conversation, I will blame myself for the woes of the world simply because it quickly points out that the situation is not correct. When people realize that I am willing to take the blame and they look at it away from themselves for a moment, they also realize that it’s not my fault, and it’s not theirs either.

It is so easy for many people to take the blame for anything. Years ago, I worked with a group of people that were very downtrodden, and they were convinced that it was always their fault. Sometimes this very idea that it was their fault created a situation that was dangerous to them and often others involved. They made the decision to take the blame for things that were out of their control or beyond anyone’s control. It is with that in mind that I ask you to take a step back from anything that is frustrating you and stop believing it is your fault. You should ask yourself a question each time you feel blame. Well, maybe you should ask two questions: could I have taken an action that would have changed anything? did my inaction change anything?

It is with that in mind that I can tell most people it is not your fault. Many of us have an illusion of control over situations and other people. It is a fact, however, that you cannot control other people, nor can you climb inside their minds and make them do anything. By the same token, most situations are out of your control, and the only thing that you can say for certain is that you were either aware or unaware, but you had no control and, as such, can take no blame. If you are treated poorly by another person, you cannot take the blame any more than I can take the blame for a volcano erupting in the Pacific. If you are in a situation that you have no control over, you cannot take the blame either. Under most circumstances, except the most direct issues where you are driving a situation, or you are the only variable, it is not your fault.

I know that it’s likely that you won’t believe me. I would love to put so much detail into this post that it would gag Godzilla. Instead, I can only ask you to consider well your position in the universe and what you can control and not control. I think you’ll find that in most cases, it is not your fault. Find the belief in yourself to believe those words and, in doing so, reduce a little stress.

So as the sun sets on another day, it’s not your fault. All those things you blamed yourself for are not your fault. It will be hard to believe, but maybe you should blame me and see how it sounds. If I am to blame, oops. Otherwise, it’s time to let go and realize you’re a pretty good person. Keep being you, no matter what.

Sleep sweet, love life, and its not your fault…