Thursday, October 31, 2013

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Thoughtful Thursday: Why Do You Write?

"You write, then, not fundamentally for whatever fame and fortune it might bring to you, but for what the process does for you. And as you become concerned about the quality of the writing, you worry first not for the sake of the reader or the market, not for the sake of your own ego, but for the sake of the writing itself. What does the writing need in order to be complete and truthful? What must you remove that is less than the truth and thus unworthy of the writing? When you write for the writing, you are enriched by the process, regardless of any other outcomes... The ultimate goal of the writing, Ueland maintains, is nothing less than 'the enlargement of the soul' of the writer."

~ Marshall Cook, excerpt from Freeing Your Creativity: A Writer's Guide


~ A weekly post sharing a selection from a book I am currently reading ~
 ~ Feel free to let me know your thoughts in the comment section ~

*This will be the last post in this series until December because of NaNoWriMo*

A thoughtful quote can be the bridge that leads us farther
along the path of understanding ourselves and the world.

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Published 7:21 AM by with 0 comment

Wednesday Wanderings

Here is a varied selection of articles that I've found on my excursions around the web! I hope you enjoy them, or at least find them thought-provoking. Feel free to let me know what you think in the comment section, whether you agree or disagree. 

This is the last post for Wednesday Wanderings until December! All my writing focus and time will be taken up with THIS. Check it out!

What's the most intellectual joke you know? After reading this article, you'll have fifty of them under your belt for the next time you're at a party with a bunch of physicists. Or rocket scientists? There are some real groaners here....

Here's a link kinda related to Halloween! Did you know there was such a thing as a "ghost city"? It would definitely freak me out to walk around in one!

"Create first, consume second." This should be the mantra of every artist and craftsman!

Stories like this one are the reason I was proud to stand with other mothers, fathers, midwives, children, and doulas in my city at the Improve Birth Rally on Labor Day.

I drink tea almost every single day in cold weather. That's a lot of tea, so I was appalled to find out that those delicious, hot cups may not contain exactly what I thought they did.

It's so sad that our culture has come to a point where we say, "children are suffering a severe deficit of play". But it's true. We need to not turn a blind eye to this problem!

I am a firm believer in allowing children to eat as much candy as they want twice a year: their birthday, and Halloween. My sister learned moderation from her ventures into overindulgence; I learned that a tummy-ache twice a year was worth the fun of eating a bagful of sugar (I know better as an adult, of course.....).  However, if your child is not the candy-eating sort (does such a child exist?), or you as the parent are more firm about what is done with the gathered goods, then here are a bunch of great ideas to  use up left-over Halloween candy!

(source)

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Friday, October 25, 2013

Published 6:26 AM by with 20 comments

This Moment: Camping with Our Girl

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor, and remember. ~ Amanda

If you're inspired to do the same, come share your moment with me in the comment section!

Photo by my mother, Janette H.
Linking up with Soule Mama on this chilly autumn morning!

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

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Thoughtful Thursday: Turning an Omelet for the Love of God

"I turn my little omelet in the pan for the love of God. When it is finished, if I have nothing to do, I prostrate myself on the ground and worship my God, who gave me this grace to make it, after which I arise happier than a king. When I can do nothing else, it is enough to have picked up a straw for the love of God. People look for ways of learning how to love God. They hope to attain it by I know not how many different practices. They take much trouble to abide in His presence by varied means. Is it not a shorter and more direct way to do everything for the love of God, to make use of all the tasks one's lot in life demands to show him that love, and to maintain his presence within by the communion of our heart with his? There is nothing complicated about it. One has only to turn to it honestly and simply."

~ excerpt from Practice by Brother Lawrence, quote read in the book Ordering Your Private World by Gordon MacDonald


~ A weekly post sharing a selection from a book I am currently reading ~
 ~ Feel free to let me know your thoughts in the comment section ~

A thoughtful quote can be the bridge that leads us farther
along the path to understanding ourselves and the world.

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

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Wednesday Wanderings

Here is a varied selection of articles that I've found on my excursions around the web! I hope you enjoy them, or at least find them thought-provoking. Feel free to let me know what you think in the comment section, whether you agree or disagree. 

Our movie shelf is filled with Miyazaki films instead of Disney (except for Robin Hood, Mary Poppins, and The Three Caballeros), because we like everything about Miyazaki MUCH more than Disney around here. So I was drooling up a storm when I saw these art-nouveau inspired portraits of Miyazaki's characters! 

Speaking of Disney, what if they actually decided to draw their villains as beautiful instead of ugly? Evil people can be pretty too. 

If you are a fellow musician or music-lover, check out the fall 2013 edition of the I Care If You Listen Mixtape! You're sure to find a few gems. Definitely worth the free download!

All right, here's the serious part of today's links: this experiment convinced the former editor of a soft-porn magazine that porn is one of the most terrible threats facing CHILDREN today. Every person, whether you're a parent or not, needs to take a good look at this topic. 

This is one of the best articles I've ever read on Generation Y. Without giving away the main points, let's just say that it explains a lot about my generation.

Want to have a symbiotic relationship with your food? Wait no longer! The algae food helmet is here!

One of my favorite songs remixed by not one, but TWO of my favorite online musicians?! Bring it on!

Here are forty of the most powerful photos you'll probably ever see. I dare you to go through the entire list and NOT cry. Tears were rolling down my cheeks by the fifth photo. If you have a heart, you'll at least feel something!

(source)

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

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Becoming unGraceful

Ever feel like you've been knocked off the Path? Scratch that... ever feel like you've royally screwed up and floundered off the Path because you've become unGraceful?

Yeah, me too.

Continuing the Tuesday series of Cultivating Gratitude over at my other blog.


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Thursday, October 17, 2013

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Thoughtful Thursday: an Unfeminine Lack of Tact

"How they got the body there? Yes, I thought you'd be wondering that. I've been wondering, too. Uncle doesn't think it's nice of me to wonder anything of the sort. But it really makes things easier to do a little wondering, I mean, if you're once interested in a thing it makes it seem less real. That's not the right word, though."

"Less personal?"

"Yes; that's what I mean. You begin to imagine how it all happened, and gradually it gets to feel more like something you've made up."

"H'm!" said Wimsey. "If that's the way your mind works, you'll be a writer one day."

"Do you think so? How funny! That's what I want to be. But why?"

"Because you have the creative imagination, which works outwards, till finally you will be able to stand outside your own experience and see it as something you have made, existing independently of yourself. You're lucky."

"Do you really think so?" Hilary looked excited.

"Yes- but your luck will come more at the end of life than at the beginning, because the other sort of people won't understand the way your mind works. They will start by thinking you dreamy and romantic, and then they'll be surprised to discover that you're really hard and heartless. They'll be quite wrong both times- but they won't ever know it, and YOU won't know it at first, and it'll worry you."

"But that's just what the girls say at school. How did you know? ... Though they're all idiots- mostly, that is."

"Most people are," said Wimsey, gravely, "but it isn't kind to tell them so. I expect you do tell them so. Have a heart; they can't help it..."

"That [farm over there] is Mr. Ashton's place. He's quite a well-to-do kind of man, one of the churchwardens. I liked him very much when I was a kid; he used to let me ride on the farmhorses."

"I've heard of him; he pulled my car out of the ditch one day- which reminds me, I ought to call and thank him personally."

"That means you want to ask him questions."

"If you DO see through people as clearly as that, you oughtn't to make it so brutally plain to them."

"That's what Uncle calls my unfeminine lack of tact. He says it comes of going to school and playing hockey."

~ Dorothy L. Sayers, excerpt from The Nine Tailors



~ A weekly post sharing a selection from a book I am currently reading ~
 ~ Feel free to let me know your thoughts in the comment section ~


A thoughtful quote can be the bridge that leads us farther
along the path of understanding ourselves and the world.
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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Published 7:20 AM by with 1 comment

Wednesday Wanderings

Here is a varied selection of articles that I've found on my excursions around the web! I hope you enjoy them, or at least find them thought-provoking. Feel free to let me know what you think in the comment section, whether you agree or disagree. Today's links are all about parenting!

Looking for a list of great books to read to 4-7 year old girls that don't make the female characters "say or do unkind things to get the upper hand", where the girls don't have to "stomp on the boys", and where the girls are "looking for something other than romantic love"? Check out these! 

When Chris and I begin home-schooling Harmony, I plan on printing out this list of what a four year-old should know so that I can have a constant reminder of what we're hoping our daughter will learn : )

I am literally writing this list down RIGHT NOW so that I can hang it on my fridge. Definitely something I need to read every day until I can read them written on my heart!

We are under no delusions that everybody who comes across Harmony will automatically love her, especially as she gets older. Conflict happens. Sadly, bullying occurs, even in churches and youth groups and Sunday schools; I've had it happen to me. We want to do all we can to help prepare our daughter to deal with children/teens who treat her badly. Here's one author's wonderful advice for parents on this subject!

Everyone wants to raise a mindful child. Here are eight tips on how to "gently encourage everyday actions that nourish and grow attention, empathy, and self-care". 

If my son (possibly in the future... no, I'm not pregnant) wants to dance, then we will help him dance. The end. 

Many people I know have attitudes that say, "oh, just wait until your kids are teenagers! You'll hate that time because they'll act like they hate you." I even remember one of my uncles asking my mom when I was twelve, "has Lyssa told you that she hates you yet?" When my mom, shocked, said no, then he laughed and said, "it'll happen, you'll see. She's just not a teen yet." I'm thankful to say that even though my mom and I have had our rough spots, I've never, ever hated her or even come close to telling her that! And I've gotta say, I'm really looking forward to my own children becoming teens. Come read about how to prepare for terrific teen years. 

This book "Flora" looks absolutely adorable. I'd love to get it for Harmony for her next birthday! 


(source)

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Friday, October 11, 2013

Published 6:23 AM by with 15 comments

This Moment: Can't Put My Guitar Down, Mama!

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor, and remember. ~ Amanda

If you're inspired to do the same, come share your moment with me in the comment section!


Linking up with Soule Mama on this music-filled Friday!

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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Published 6:49 AM by with 0 comment

Thoughtful Thursday: Why Should I Write a Novel in One Month?

"There are three reasons.


1) If you don’t do it now, you probably never will. Novel writing is mostly a “one day” event. As in “One day, I’d like to write a novel.” Here’s the truth: 99% of us, if left to our own devices, would never make the time to write a novel. It’s just so far outside our normal lives that it constantly slips down to the bottom of our to-do lists. The structure of NaNoWriMo forces you to put away all those self-defeating worries and START. Once you have the first five chapters under your belt, the rest will come easily. Or painfully. But it will come. And you’ll have friends to help you see it through to 50k.
2) Aiming low is the best way to succeed. With entry-level novel writing, shooting for the moon is the surest way to get nowhere. With high expectations, everything you write will sound cheesy and awkward. Once you start evaluating your story in terms of word count, you take that pressure off yourself. And you’ll start surprising yourself with a great bit of dialogue here and a ingenious plot twist there. Characters will start doing things you never expected, taking the story places you’d never imagined. There will be much execrable prose, yes. But amidst it, there will be beauty. A lot of it.
3) Art for art’s sake does wonderful things to you. It makes you laugh. It makes you cry. It makes you want to take naps and go places wearing funny pants. Doing something just for the hell of it is a wonderful antidote to all the chores and “must-dos” of daily life. Writing a novel in a month is both exhilarating and stupid, and we would all do well to invite a little more spontaneous stupidity into our lives."
~ Frequently Asked Questions #4, from the website National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo


~ A weekly post sharing a selection from a book website I am currently reading ~
 ~ Feel free to let me know your thoughts in the comment section ~


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Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Published 8:11 AM by with 0 comment

Wednesday Wanderings

Today's links are up at my other blog, Life is the Teacher. Want to read about the real answers to six myths about home-schooling, a school designed and implemented by the students themselves, a family's choice to not send their children to kindergarten, five important life-skill subjects that schools NEED to teach, and more? Come check them out!


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Friday, October 04, 2013

Published 7:36 AM by with 12 comments

This Moment: Explorations in Music with Strange Folk

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor, and remember. ~ Amanda

If you're inspired to do the same, come share your moment with me in the comment section!




Linking up with Soule Mama on this musical Friday!

Pictures of a music-making wall set up for children at the Strange Folk Festival last weekend!

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Thursday, October 03, 2013

Published 2:04 PM by with 0 comment

Thoughtful Thursday: The Easiest Religion in the World

"We must realize that Christianity is the easiest religion in the world, because it is the only religion in which God the Father and Christ and the Holy Spirit do everything. God is the Creator; we have nothing to do with our existence or the existence of other things. We can shape other things, but we cannot change the fact of existence. We do nothing for our salvation because Christ did it all. We do not have to do anything. In every other religion we have to do something- everything from burning a joss stick to sacrificing our firstborn child to dropping a coin in the collection plate- the whole spectrum.  But with Christianity we do not do anything; God has done it all. He has created us and he has sent his Son; his Son died and because the Son is infinite, therefore he bears our total guilt. We do not need to bear our guilt, nor do we even have to merit the merit of Christ. He does it all. So in one way it is the easiest religion in the world.

But now we can turn that over because it is the hardest religion in the world for the same reason. The heart of the rebellion... was the desire to be autonomous; and accepting the Christian faith robs us not of our existence, not of our worth (it gives us our worth), but it robs us completely of being autonomous. We did not make ourselves, we are not a product of chance, we are none of these things; we stand there before a Creator plus nothing, we stand before the Savior plus nothing- it is a complete denial of being autonomous."

~ Francis A. Schaeffer, excerpt from The God Who is There


~ A weekly post sharing a selection from a book I am currently reading ~
 ~ Feel free to let me know your thoughts in the comment section ~

A thoughtful quote can be the bridge that leads us farther
along the path of understanding ourselves and the world.

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Published 7:48 AM by with 2 comments

Wednesday Wanderings: the NaNoWriMo Edition (late)

Whether you want to be a "pantser" or a "planner" this year, the web is full of online links that can be helpful for the aspiring novelist. Yes, that's right: National Novel Writing Month is a few weeks away! October is officially known as the planning stage for those who are interested in getting 50,000 words of a 1st-draft novel down onto paper or screen during the month of November. While you're not supposed to actually begin writing the story itself before November 1st, there is plenty you can do beforehand to help prepare yourself to leap into your novel. Here is a collection of links I am finding helpful!

Want to create a story that will keep readers reading?

Got thirty minutes? Outline the plot of your book!

Got sixty minutes? Outline the plot of your book!

Ask yourself these five questions when figuring out the plot of your story.

How about creating some characters for your story?

How about going completely crazy in-depth developing characters? (Warning: this way can make you a little bonkers, but it's very thorough!)

Ask your characters these forty-six questions to understand and develop who they are.

Ask your characters even MORE questions!

What are fifteen things a writer should never do?

Here's how to create external and internal conflict in your characters.

Want to write a story that will keep your readers completely captivated?

How will you start your novel when November 1st arrives? Here are a few things to keep in mind.

Here are some helpful ideas about writing real dialogue, not stuff that sounds like a robot is talking to Miss Manners.

We all want to write the next Les Miserables. Here are some ways you can make that happen!

Got writer's block? Follow this road map to get out of it and dive back in to your story!

Here is a bunch of reassuring, encouraging advice/tips from famous authors about writing a first draft of a story. Totally awesome.


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Tuesday, October 01, 2013

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Learning to Love Her Even When

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