Sunday, May 30, 2010

Simply Sunday... on Real Living




"The great thing, if one can, is stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one's 'own' or 'real' life. The truth is of course that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one's real life -- the life God is sending one day by day: what one calls one's 'real life' is a phantom of one's own imagination. This at least is what I see at moments of insight: but it's hard to remember it all the time." ~ C.S. Lewis, The Letters of C.S. Lewis to Arthur Greeves

This quote makes me think of another well-known quote: Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.

It's good to be reminded that every breath we breathe and every moment we live is our real life, even when that includes life gone awry or situations that feel intrusive. Maybe we'll be more able to go with the flow if we do.

Our life is here,our life is now ... in every shape and colour it arrives in. I want to remember that as I start my new week. You too?

Wishes for a great day,
Brenda








Thursday, May 27, 2010

Blow On The Embers


I still feel a little startled when I see Brenda Ueland's name on her book If You Want To Write. Because with the switch of just two little letters, it could just as easily say Brenda Leyland, do you see?

It's still vividly clear in my mind when Carrie Wilkerson once asked her audience the pointed question, 'How many of you have a book in your head? And when they nodded or raised their hands, she sez, What's it doing in there? Get it out of your head and on paper; nobody can buy it or read it if it's still in your head!'

Which reminds me of something else she said. She says she must implement quickly or it doesn't get done. Oh boy, do I know that! That's exactly what happened with some of my book ideas, not to mention a gazillion other brilliant ideas.

Too often I allowed other assumed duties and responsibilities, not to mention menial chores, take priority. So often I felt unable to pursue the idea while it was 'hot'.Eventually the passion fizzled.

If I would have just pushed through when it was fresh and full of fire, I could well be looking at a finished book with my name at the bottom of the cover, just like Brenda Ueland. And maybe you'd be wanting to read it!
But wait, there's hope! Surely it's possible to fan dying dreams? Try this. Imagine for a moment that perfectly wonderful cruise or holiday you took once. Imagine yourself back in that idyllic time and place. Can you feel? Smell the air? Hear the sounds? Are happy emotions flooding you as you image it?

Couldn't we do the same thing with our dying dreams..... fan the flames by going back to those first few hours, days or weeks when we were dreaming, sleeping, eating about the possibilities?

Couldn't we let those memories flood back, filling our mind and re-igniting our emotions.

I can feel the excitement rising. Do you?







Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My Little Tree Swallows Just Arrived

2010 by Brenda Colleen Leyland


OH WHAT A DELIGHTFUL week it's turning out to be. And so much of the fun seems to be revolved around the joy of spring's calls in nature.

Last evening, it was Momma Duck and her duckling in my backyard. This morning the pair of tree swallows that come each year arrived. They soared through the backyard just a few minutes ago.

We hadn't put up any nesting boxes yet, otherwise those cheeky sparrows take them over. So Hubby went out and got two nailed back in place on the fence (sorry, the boxes not the sparrows). We found that if we put out two or three boxes, the sparrows can't sit on them all, so last year the tree swallows were actually able to maintain one box and raise a family.

Already the pair is checking out one box, one is sitting atop the roof and other peeking inside the opening. thurrp, thurrp. My guess is that it's Mrs. Swallow checking out the interior. Yes, yes, this will do very nicely for raising our brood. Roomy, not too big for pesky neighbours to squeeze into.

I just came back from visiting My Letters to Emily and today's she's posted the cutest photos of an encounter with a little fox and her puppy. You've got to go and see.

And now, I'm off.... here's wishing you a beautiful day.








PS. The bird box is just outside my study window. Looking out, Mrs. Swallow (I'm assuming) already has her sleeves rooled up and is already putting grassy twigs into the box. Talk about not wasting any time recovering from the trip north. Perhaps I should take a hint!





Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Mama Duck Comes Visiting



Found Miss Kitty with her face glued to the back door window one day. Wondering what had so captured her attention, I peered out and, to my utter surprise and delight, there was a momma duck and one little downy duckling bobbling through my garden.

We have a storm lake a few blocks over, but how they got here is beyond me; there are so many fences and yards between. There seems to be some consternation now as Momma wants to fly over the fence -- she probably knows which way the lake lies, but does the little duckling, who look like he can't fly just yet?

As I'm sitting here stewing on how they shall manage (and if I need to call wildlife services) it would appear Mother Nature has things in hand, for Momma has a duck-chat with Baby (she's sitting atop the fence quaggling). Then all is still and suddenly there's no sign or sound of either. Guess they found a way.

I love it when I'm allowed those exquisite moments in which to share my space with some of God's beautiful creatures. It's certainly one of those 'now this is the life' times.

Wishing you nature's best,
Brenda
xox














P is for Prompts

P is for Prompts
Those who write sometimes use prompts to prime the writing pump. When a person is stuck for an idea of what to write next, prompts can be a great way to prime the writing pump and get thoughts and ideas flowing again.

Here in Blogland, bloggers often use prompts as a way to give readers a glimpse into their lives... what they're doing, feeling, working on, reading, etc. There is a sense of fun in the writing and people tend to gather round, sharing their own thoughts as they read. A nice way of getting to know one another

I like prompts and enjoy creating my own sometimes. Sometimes the prompts follow a theme or they are randomly put together.

What fascinates me is how a prompt can release memories or ideas and suddenly you're thinking the most interesting things. And you wonder where that came from! One never quite knows what will pop out -- surprising the writer herself more than anyone.

Here we go -- my prompts for today....

I never thought... I'd want to be a writer. In fact, I didn't even have an inkling when I was growing up that I'd ever, ever consider it. Essay writing in school was a most dreaded exercise. It took me years to realize that my distaste for writing had less to do with the actual craft than the task of agonizing over the horrid list and choosing a topic might be the least painful to write about.

I don't really enjoy... eating liver or bean soup (yukky childhood memories are attached to having to eat these meals, although I don't 'mind' them quite so much and I quite enjoy Susan Branch's bean soup).

I really, really like... eat egg salad sandwiches (on fresh white bread - yep) especially when they are cut up into tiny triangles and a little lemon zest has been added to the ingredients.

I cannot... watch movies where animals or children are being mistreated in any way. That's also why I cannot read -- to this day -- the story of Black Beauty. The first time I read it as a child I was devastated for weeks. I've never read it since.

I have... been gathering my research for a workshop I'm presenting this fall on 'blogging and web presence' for a local writer's conference. I'm having fun thinking about what I want to share to get people excited and equipped to join this amazing community of bloggers.

I do not like... the smell of really overripe bananas. Yucky!

I'm going to... make raisin bran muffins for breakfast. The ingredients are all set out ready to go when I wake up in a few short hours. It'll be my special treat for hubby who loves freshly-baked muffins with coffee.

A book I'm enjoying right now...
If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland. I'm pondering what she says about learning how to live and write in the present, as that's where the inspiration will come to write. She goes on to say: "Sometimes say softly to yourself: 'Now...now. What is happening to me now? This is now. What is coming into me now? This moment?' Then suddenly you begin to see the world as you had not seen it before..."

Some advice I'm going to take is... from something Carrie Wilkerson at Barefoot Executive said in one of her teaching sessions. She asked the class, "How many of you have a book in your head?" Many responded in the affirmative. She then said, "Well what's it doing there? Get it out of your head and on paper. No one can read it, or buy it, when it's still in your head." How true. One book I started a couple of years ago, with most of it still in my head, is coming out of the cupboard...today.

I haven't figured out...
how to knit. I love the idea of knitting and have tried to learn many times over the years. But, in truth, this girl's finger have never quite figured it out. Finally, she got the message and said, No more, put away the knitting needles and give away the yarn.

Happy Writing,
Brenda

PS. You might like to check out the Clogged Pipes post too!




Saturday, May 15, 2010

Progress and Friends


I get some of my FREE graphics from Banner Haus.
And today I wanted to acknowledge Holly.
Click on the graphic to get to her site. She's amazing!



Oh, I've been missing you all! But I am excited about the progress I've been making on 'clearing the deck' of the old and making room for my new, right work. Which means that, as the excess and clutter of old projects, jobs no longer required or wanted, not to mention stuff in closets, files and cupboards are sorted and dumped, I now have ROOM AND TIME for work that is 'true, ardent, creative' (in the words of Brenda Ueland, author). And for me that means room and time (without guilt) to blog and share more in this wonderful community. Believe me, I am looking forward to being back on board on a more regular basis down the road.

Speaking of progress, I wanted to take a moment to share the link to a friend's newly-created blog I Am A Work In Progress. I'm glad Ruth has taken the plunge and is adding her unique voice to the mix. She's an avid reader and loves to share what's she's learning. She's got some good things to say.

I'd love for you to pop over and say hi.... maybe leave a comment to encourage her new endeavours. I know she'd appreciate it!

Still working,
Brenda







Thursday, May 13, 2010

Quotable...

2010 by Brenda Colleen Leyland

Expect to have hope rekindled.
Expect your prayers to be answered in wondrous ways.
The dry seasons in life do not last.
The spring rains will come again.

~ Sarah Ban Breathnach




Wednesday, May 05, 2010

LOL Moment!

2010 by Brenda Colleen Leyland



Had to LOL when I read this quaint quote
by Thomas Edison:


To invent, you need a good
imagination
and a pile of junk!



Mmmm....
I wonder what he'd invent with my pile!


Still chuckling,