To Find Oneself

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We learn to value life
and all its gifts
Being truly alive…
every day,
every hour, 
every minute,
every second
is a wondrous blessing
Our appreciation for
God,
loved ones,
family,
and
friends
knows no bounds
That is why…
we live each day
the best we can,
striving for
positivity,
laughter,
happiness,
love,
serenity,
and 
balance
Our light is restored, 
our heart becomes whole,
and 
we regain a sense of ultimate
completion.

Spreading Sunshine

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As you go through life

be there for the people around you…

loved ones,

family,

friends,

those in need

Be the foundation for their support,

lend a shoulder to cry on,

give a big, tender hug,

share a warm, caring smile,

bring humor to the table

Displaying your light

with unabashed pride,

that’s how

you make everything better…

by

“spreading sunshine”

11A

The Worst Thing About Writing

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Whether it be professional, recreational or therapeutic, being a writer can be the most exhilarating craft of all.  You get to expound your thoughts, ideas, dreams or fantasy onto paper for all the world to see.  You’re essentially the master of your realm; your creativity knows no bounds.  The inner voice inside of you takes over and the words you use to display your soul shines through.  It’s the best thing ever. 

However, the one dreaded thing about writing is when you hit a dry spell.  At some point we run out of ideas or struggle to think of something to talk about.  It can be one of the most frustrating things to experience.  You’d think that as a writer, you’d have a plethora of golden nuggets to pick and choose from.  Sadly, that’s not the case.

We wrack our brains trying to come up with something fresh, something new, the next exciting thing that only you could have dreamt up.  Alas that’s not the case.  We sit and stare at a blank screen; typing a word or sentence that is soon deleted a couple of seconds later.  It either sounded too ridiculous or something that was not quite our true thoughts. 

We look high and low for new inspirations or turn to a friend or family member to be our muse.  Sometimes we hit gold and other times we crap out.  But the greatest thing about getting writer’s block is that, we as writers will continue to search for that next thing that excites us into crafting our thoughts into the words of our soul. 

Writers are an eccentric and eclectic bunch that have a “Never give up” mentality.  That’s why we continue to do what we do.  It’s a love that can never be extinguished.  So the next time you have writer’s block, just remember that there are others out there staring a blank screen just like you.  We are writers, united in thought…united in passion.

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The Christmas Conundrum

Every day I marvel at the fact that I’m truly blessed to have such a wonderful family.  Yeah, we each have our faults, flaws and quirks AND we get on each other’s nerves, but at the end of the day that pales in comparison to the unwavering love and support we have for each other.  Why am I bringing this up you may ask?  At this time every year, I struggle to figure out what to get them for Christmas.  I wrack my brain knowing that I have no clue on where to start.  

So every year, I resort to doing what needs to be done.  The whole process boils down to me being a covert spy.  With a stoic expression, I nonchalantly ask them subtle questions about the things they look at in stores or online; narrowing down their top choices.  Hours pass, days even before I press on.  I ask them more questions without really tipping off my true intent; keenly watching their body language and gauging their emotions.  I take into account every word spoken, making mental checklists about their likes and dislikes.  And that’s usually enough for me to go on and buy their presents.

But there are also times when they don’t say much; even after asking prodding questions.  So in this instance, I resort to using each family member as an asset into retrieving the necessary information I need.  I endear them to my cause and then give them a set of questions to ask a family member.  They can ask however they want as long as they don’t reveal my true intent.  Surprisingly this tactic produces good results as well.

On rare instances when I end up with nothing, rather than buy them something that they won’t like, I’ll just sell out and give them money or gift cards.  I don’t usually like to do this because there is no personal touch but it’s better to give something rather than nothing at all.

The reason why I go through so much trouble is because I feel like I need to get them something really special to show my appreciation for all that they’ve done for me.  A simple hug or words of acknowledgement is usually the norm for most of the year, but at Christmas time, it’s the one time that I can really make them SMILE.  Even though they always say “You don’t really have to get me anything, I’m fine”, I still want to show them my gratitude.  Giving them something that they’ve always wanted really makes me feel good inside.  If I can feel that, then mission accomplished. 

Liebster Award

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I am truly honored and appreciative of the fact that I was nominated for the Liebster Award by Haylee.   I had stumbled across her log one day and was pleasantly surprised by her posts…most especially her poems.  They are simple, profound and touch on life experiences that we all encountered at some point in our lives.  If you get the chance, check out her site: stumblingaboutourworld.wordpress.com

You’ll be pleasantly surprised as I was.

Questions from stumblingaboutourworld:

1.  What is the most extreme thing that I’ve done?

When I was in college, I hiked along the entire ridge of Diamond Head.  Which I’m glad I did because now they do not permit anyone to do so because of the dangerous conditions.

2. Out of all the places I visited, which did I like the most?

I really like Hawaii (also known as the “Big Island”) . I got the opportunity to see an active volcano, walk on solid lava, got to go to the top of Mauna Kea, experienced the black sand beach as well as the green sand beach and saw many historical Hawaiian sites.

3. What is on of my favorite memories?

The birth of my daughter Chloe and my son Conor.  It truly was an experience that surpasses anything and everything that I encountered or will encounter.

4. Why did I decide to start my blog?

It was on the advice of my literary manager but in the end it was my passion for writing and sharing my inner voice for the world to see.

5. What is my favorite book or book series?

“Writing Movies For Fun And Profit or How We Made A Billion Dollars at the Box Office and You Can, Too!”  by Robert Ben Garant & Thomas Lennon

6.  Do I have a post (one of my own) that you favor over others?

The one that I liked best was a post called “Our Special Gift” :

midlifemaniacalme.me/?s=our+special+gift

7. If I could go anywhere in the world and take one person, who would it be and why?

I would go and see Japan with my wife because she is my everything – the love of my life, my best friend, the foundation of our family, strong, smart and a fighter.

8. If I were given $500 today, what would I do with it and why?

If given a $500 today, I would spend it on a dinner for my parents because of all they’ve done for me.  They’ve taught me the values of life, helped shaped the person into who I am today.

9. What inspires me to write?

It’s just a passion that I’ve had for the past 27 years.  The joy I get from writing anything totally frees me and lets my inner voice be heard and shared with both strangers and all of my blogging colleagues.

10. What is my opinion on the advancement of technology?

I think that it’s great.  A lot of what we do and see whether it be writing, seeing something is all instantaneous.  It’s truly convenient.

Nominees:

I had a hard time trying to determine what blogs I was going to nominate because I follow so many great ones.  The ones that particularly stuck out were the ones that touched me, inspired me, made me laugh and provoke thought.  These blogs are written by the people who provide encouraging words and have the gift of prose.  They really don’t need my help in sending people their way because so many people have found them already.  But on the off chance you haven’t stumbled across them, please check them out..you won’t be disappointed.

anotetohuguette.wordpress.com

comicallyquirky.com

peacefrompanic.wordpress.com

priyasingh91.wordpress.com

realtimelove.wordpress.com

Questions For The Blogs That I Nominate:

  1. What made you decide to start a blog?
  2. Which one of your own posts do you like the best and why?
  3. What inspires you to write?
  4. What have you learned from following other blogs?
  5. How has blogging affected your life?
  6. When do you like to do your writing – day or night?
  7. How do you decide on what blog you want to follow?
  8. Has your blogging experience been so far?
  9. Who is your biggest influence in your craft of writing?
  10. Would you recommend blogging to your family and friends?

Rules for Nominees:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you, and put a link to their blog on your blog. Try to include a little promotion for the person who nominated you. They will thank you for it and those who you nominate will also help you out as well.
  1. Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”. (Note that the best way to do this is to save the image to your own computer and then upload it to your blog post.) At the bottom of this post, I’ve included a whole lot of images you can use for your 2017 Liebster Award.
  1. For the 2017 Liebster Award, I will be shaking things up! Write a 150-300 word post about your favourite blog that is not your own. Explain why you like the blog, provide links.
  1. Provide 10 random facts about yourself. (This year I’m making this optional. If you wish to engage with your readers it’s a great idea to include random facts about you.)
  1. Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award. (Note that you can always ask the blog owner this since not all blogs display a widget that lets the readers know this information!)
  1. List these rules in your post (You can copy and paste from here or simply link to this post.) Once you have written and published it, you then have to:
  1. Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post or mine if you don’t have all the information so that they can learn about it (they might not have ever heard of it!) (info)

 

You’re Grounded! Write Me A Story!

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The other day as I was walking through the local mall, I saw a mother unabashedly scolding her son.  He looked like he was about 9 or 10 years of age and completely embarrassed by the staring eyes of the mall’s patrons.

When the mother’s tirade ended, she forcefully grabbed her son’s arm and stormed away.  This scene was reminiscent of my childhood and all I could think of was what was in store for the boy when he gets home.

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I remembered whenever I did something bad, my parents would give me a good scolding and ground me.  “YOU CAN’T GO OUT AND PLAY AND NO TV FOR A WEEK!” is what my mom usually bellowed.  Back in my time, this was painful; I didn’t have the luxuries that the kids have nowadays.

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Being “grounded” meant just staying in my room doing nothing.  At that time there were no such things as cable TV, cellphones or video games.  All that I could do to pass the time away was listen to AM radio stations (because there weren’t any FM at that time).

Now whenever I did something “REALLY” bad, like playing with matches and burning things, I got a healthy dose of spankings.  My mother would get “the belt” and teach me an unforgettable lesson.

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Please don’t think bad of my mom; she’s the most kindest and caring person in the world.  Some of the terrible things I did as a young boy were REALLY BAD…trust me.  Remember, I grew up in a time when this was perfectly acceptable or “PC.”  Your neighbors and even teachers were allowed to do the same if you got way out of line…boy how times have changed.

As I was growing up, I wondered how I would discipline my children if they ever did something bad.  Well, cut to present day…as a parent of two, I decided to go the unconventional route.

When my children were young and did something bad, I made them write me a story and then read it to me and my wife.

“Don’t worry about grammar or spelling, just write me a story” is what I would tell them.

“What do you want us to write about?” my children would reply.

My answer, “Anything!  Just write me a story!”

For some unknown reason, this punishment really stressed them out.  Secretly I think that they would have rather been scolded or grounded.

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For the longest time, they would stare at a blank page and wrack their brains to come up with anything.  Their stories were simple at first but in time, they got to be more and more creative.  Their speaking skills improved as well.

Don’t get me wrong, they still got a good scolding if they did something really bad but I felt that I wanted to try and bring out their creativity at an early age.

This punishment benefitted them during their early school years and were recognized by their teachers whenever we had our annual parent-teacher conference.

Now that my kids are teenagers, this punishment is way too easy for them.  I need to come up with a whole new game plan.  Maybe I’ll make them come up with a dance choreography…yeah, I’ll do that!

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In The End, It’s All Good

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I’m always in awe every time I peruse the other blog sites; their writings are eloquent, articulate, beautiful, concise, humorous, lyrical and picturesque.  Even after all these years of writing, I sometimes feel like I’m not in their league.

Because of that, I tend to have a qualm with my writing style; doubts creep in.  Am I too wordy?  Is my writing clear enough to get the message across?  Am I too boring?  Not funny enough?  What are the other readers thinking?

Every time I sit at my computer to write, I always wonder if the words that I choose truly evoke what I’m feeling deep inside.  Because of that, my writing process is hampered.  A3

Often times I get stuck trying to figure out how to convey my thoughts into words.  Do I use simple words?  Are there more elegant ones that would make it sound more thought provoking?  If I use those words will I sound too flowery?  Or will it make me sound like an idiot for not using it the correct way?  A6

The plethora of words wage war and usually the victor emerges after a few minutes.  But even then, I still question as to how I’ll form sentences with it. A2

Writing shouldn’t be this difficult right?  It should be free flowing without any debilitating thoughts.  Or at least that’s how I envision it.  Why do I always go through this?!

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I do admit that I’m getting better at not having these hang-ups but the thoughts are there in my somnolent memory waiting to bust out unexpectedly.

But I’ve concluded that this is what I love to do.  So I just plow ahead, write it down and not fret!  The way I write is who I am and I should accept it.  Other writers don’t care.  We all do this because this is our passion.  We only care if we are inspired, entertained or informed about one another’s writings.

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So in the end, it’s all good.

 

Happy Father’s Day

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Father’s Day is once upon us again and I for one always look forward to this day.  Why you may ask?  It’s because I cherish the homemade cards that my children give to me.  Their words of appreciation and love are truly priceless and beats any material gifts that I receive.   a7

Being a father is by far one of the “BEST” jobs that I have.  When I’m not disciplining my children for something bad they may have done, I’m their adult buddy.

That’s my excuse for going to the toy store and perusing shelves of toys to my heart’s content.  It’s my chance to purchase awesome “action figures” (I call them that because calling them “boy” dolls are totally not cool at all).

I also am afforded the opportunities to do things like hip hop dancing, playing video games, being up on the most current social media app, learning how to navigate my phone, all the stuff that kids nowadays do.

Don’t let my “over the hill” appearance fool you; inside this battle-worn body is a goofy kid that’s willing to make a fool of himself as well.  There are even times when my kids join in my tomfoolery; more often than not, my kids are slightly embarrassed at some of the mischievous things I tend to do in public just for a laugh.  My wife often says that she has not two but three kids and the “oldest” one is the most immature.

Aside from all the fun things that I get to do with my kids as a dad, I’m also there to provide guidance and strength in crucial moments in their life.  I’m a father first and my family is my world…my everything.

I try my best to be the best father I can be and I can honestly say that it’s not that hard to do.  I had a good role model in my father; he took a vested interest in my well-being, gave sound advice and made me into the person I am today.  A4My father’s quiet strength, extensive knowledge, vast experiences, quirky sense of humor, gentle kindness and champion against all forms of danger belied his gruff, stern exterior.  No amount of thanks will ever be enough for what he’s done in my life.

Yeah moms are given all the honor and glory that they rightfully deserve but give dads the same as well.  So this Father’s Day, if you’re fortunate enough to still have your father around, spend time with him and cherish it with all of your heart.  If you’re a father, be with your kids and love them for all their worth.  Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there!!!

I Am A Writer

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Being a writer, professional or amateur, whether it be in screenplays, novels, short stories, poems, blogs, articles, is one of the greatest feelings to experience.  We proudly claim that title and revel in the pure joy of our creations.  We are the dreamers that have no limits and our imaginations are vastly unique.

We, as writers, follow our heart and passionately tell stories of love, inspiration, hope, despair, sadness, joy and humor; it can come from personal experience or it could be purely fictional.

Our urge to let loose our “inner voice” and send them into the world is quite courageous.  Our vulnerability is on full display.  We subject ourselves to complete and total strangers who will either love it, hate it, criticize it, berate it, praise it, be informed by it or be inspired by it.

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We learn from it, accept it and grow to become even better artists of our craft.  Regardless of the outcome, we persevere.  Writers love what they do; writing nurtures our artistic soul.  It fills a need that non-writers can’t understand.

Writers continue on with their journey because it’s never-ending.  The path will only end when our mind’s well runs dry.  But all my fellow writers know, that’ll never happen.

So to all my fellow colleagues, remember that you are a writer!  Don’t ever forget that only “you” can be the one to tell “your” stories.  You are the masters of your craft; it’s a lifestyle formed from countless hours of blood, sweat and tears with a heavy dose of passion and heart.

Write, write every day.  Follow your heart and always dream big.

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