In Praise of Consistency

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

I’ve just completed the second week of this year’s NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) journey. While I’ve been tempted to write well beyond the suggested 1,667-word daily count, I’m determined to pace myself. Rereading the following real-life account helps keep me on track.

In 1911, two explorers, Amundsen and Scott, embarked on a race against each other to become the first known human being to set foot upon the southernmost point of Earth. It was the age of Antarctic exploration, as the South Pole represented one of the last uncharted areas in the world. Amundsen wished to plant the Norwegian flag there on behalf of his country, while Scott hoped to stake his claim for England.

The journey there and back from their base camps was about 1,400 miles, which is roughly equivalent to a round-trip hike from New York City to Chicago. Both men would be traveling the same exact distance on foot through extremely cold and harsh weather conditions. And both men were equally equipped with experience, supplies, and a supporting team of fellow explorers. But what wasn’t certain is how each of them would approach the inevitable challenges they faced on the road ahead.

As it turned out, Amundsen and Scott took entirely different approaches to the very same challenges.

Scott directed his team to hike as far as possible on the good weather days and then rest on bad weather days to conserve energy. Conversely, Amundsen directed his team to follow a strict regimen of consistent daily progress by hiking exactly 20 miles every day, regardless of weather conditions. Even on the warmest, clear-sky days, when Amundsen’s team was capable of hiking much farther, Amundsen was absolutely adamant that they travel no more than 20 miles to conserve their energy for the following day’s hike.

Which team succeeded in the end?

The team that took consistent daily action.

Why?

Because what we do EVERY day defines us!

Source: Marc & Angel Hack Life


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Happy World Kindness Day!

First launched in 1998, World Kindness Day is honored in 28 nations worldwide. The mission of the day is to create a kinder world by celebrating and promoting good deeds. Individuals, schools, businesses, and non-profit organizations are encouraged to pledge acts of kindness.

Here are ten quotes to inspire you…

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” Aesop

“When words are both true and kind, they can change the world.” Buddha

“Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses.” Confucius

“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” Dalai Lama

“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.” Lao Tzu

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak but their echoes are truly endless.” Mother Teresa

Let us learn to live with kindness, to love everyone, even when they do not love us.” Pope Francis

“Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.” Princess Diana

“How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.” William Shakespeare

“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”
Mark Twain

If you need a few practical suggestions, watch the following short film produced by Orly Wahba and her organization: Life Vest Inside.


Inspiration from Matt Cutts

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

At the beginning of each NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) project, I listen to this short Ted Talk from Matt Cutts. Afterward, I feel reassured by Matt’s practical, easy-to-implement advice.


In Praise of Quotes

In my late teens, I started a quote collection. I would underline sentences (and sometimes entire paragraphs) in books and jot down inspiring thoughts from other print media. I would then copy these words of wisdom into a journal. When I joined Pinterest, I set aside a page—Words I Love— where I recopied these words of wisdom. To date, I have accumulated over 400 quotes.

Maintaining a personal collection of quotes has helped me immensely. Here are some of the benefits I have discovered:

• Quotes have the power to transform moods. While books and movies can accomplish the same goal, quotes do it faster. I don’t have to invest hours of my time to experience the same effects. Whenever I need a quick jolt of inspiration, I click on my Pinterest page or visit one of many twitter hashtags devoted to quotes, among them #Quoteoftheday, #Inspirationalquotes, and #quotes.

Continue on reading on the Island Confidential blog.


10 Favorite Dream Quotes

I’m happy to welcome Wild Rose Press author Christine Grabowski to the Power of 10 series. Today, Christine shares her dream quotes and her debut novel, Dickensen Academy.

Here’s Christine!

I released my debut novel, Dickensen Academy, last month. Without giving away the premise, the book deals with multiple variations of the meaning for dreams.

Today, I’m sharing my favorite dream quotes. (Some of these are used in so many places, the original author is unknown.)

1 – A dream is a wish your heart makes when it’s fast asleep. ~ Cinderella

2 – Cherish yesterday. Dream tomorrow. Live today.

3 – Don’t dream your life, live your dreams.

4 – Laughter is timeless. Imagination has no age. Dreams are Forever. ~ Tinkerbell

5 – If you can dream it, you can do it. Always remember this whole thing was started with a dream and a mouse. ~ Walt Disney

6 – All of your dreams can come true, if we have the Courage to pursue them. ~ Walt Disney

7 – Dream as if you could live forever… Live as if you only have today.

8 – Dreams don’t work unless you do.

9 – It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live. ~ J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

10 – If you work hard, your dreams may become your reality. ~ Josh from Dickensen Academy

Blurb

Dickensen Academy isn’t a typical boarding school. The faculty is hiding an unbelievable secret within their fine arts program. When Autumn Mattison receives an invitation to attend the high school, she yearns to escape her overbearing father yet remains reluctant to leave her mother and brother. Her doubts fade away when a vivid dream convinces her she belongs there.

Away from home, Autumn discovers a unique school environment that awakens her creative potential, and her new friends become like a second family. However, as she uncovers more about the dark side of the school and struggles with its curriculum, she questions whether Dickensen Academy is truly where she belongs.

When tragedy strikes, Autumn must learn to believe in her own power and stand up to her greatest fear or risk having her memories destroyed to protect the school’s secrets. Caught between secrets and dreams, can she find her true self?

Book Trailer

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Bio

After graduating from the University of Washington, Christine earned her MBA at the University at Albany. She honed her technical writing skills in marketing and consulting but attributes the creative part of the process to her passion for reading.

She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and the Pacific Northwest Writers Association (PNWA).

When she isn’t reading or writing, Christine can often be found running, skiing, or hiking. She lives in Newcastle, Washington, with her supportive husband, two avid teen readers, and their energetic wheaten terriers.

Where to find Christine…

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | BookBub


An Inspiring Passage for Cancer Warriors

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

Almost fifteen years have passed, but I can still recall feeling goosebumps as I read the following passage. It helped me survive and thrive during the most challenging season of my life.



Boots to Books

Welcome to my Second Acts Series!

Today, we have Soul Mate author KD Dubois sharing an inspiring reinvention story and her debut novel, Daughter of the South Wind.

Here’s KD!

Military service is for the young—by the time you hit forty your body’s broken, your “last nerve” numbed-up over a decade ago, and even though you mastered your field you can’t keep up with the new technology, new policies, new everything. After I’d given four years at a service academy followed by twenty-four-and-a-half years as a commissioned officer, I knew my first act was complete. No longer did I hop out of bed in the mornings eager for a day’s adventure. Instead I rotated my ankles so I could shuffle the four feet from bed to bathroom and worried more about helping my parents who lived on the other side of the country more than I cared if my deployment bag was in order. My priorities had deviated from those of my profession. So, at the age of forty-six, I retired.

Two-month’s shy of turning eighteen, my parents had handed me over to my chosen service. The military as a profession, the military as a family, the military as a way of life defined my adulthood. Anticipating a rough transition to civilian-hood I did one of the smartest things I’ve done so far in this life—I gave myself permission to put off a job-hunt for up to a year in order to find my new passion. Yes, I had the liberty to do that because I had saved enough to carry me through such a long period. But a certain drive to “do something” existed within myself which, if left unchecked, would prompt me to stay within the professional comfort zone from my military life. Deep down, I knew my happiness depended on escaping from the defense industry as well as staying far away from my career specialty of logistics and supply chain management.

So, I moved from the snow-filled winters of Pennsylvania to sunny San Antonio, Texas, and took a few adult education courses offered by a local school district. That’s how I discovered writing. Not only did I enjoy it, I kinda had a knack for it…especially when it came to plotting out story arcs. With the help of new friends and a mentor, I started a novel. A year later Soul Mate Publishing accepted my pitch, and they released it on July 30th.

The first act of my life revolved around engineering studies, political-military strategies of nations, the movement of goods and people, and efficiency principles. Not since I gave up playing the clarinet as a high school freshman had I ever considered the arts as something more than a diversion. Now, I’m a writer, unashamed of my creativity—it’s as if one side of my brain lowered its volume and the other side finally came to life. For me, the second act is a whole new adventure because I get to discover something about myself as I put words into a manuscript, give life to characters, and build new worlds. I feel the energy from my youth again.

Not everyone can set aside work to discover a new passion. But, people can give themselves permission to seek out something to revive their spirit. Instead of saying, “that sounds interesting,” go ahead and and explore it. And if you’re looking for a new profession, don’t limit yourself to old personal paradigms. I took a writing class because I had always wanted to learn how folks created the novels I so loved to read. Never in a million years did I think I could do it, too, because, well, engineer geeks didn’t do words, just formulas. Oh, how wrong I was, and all it took was a little self-kindness, and trust in myself, to move forward.

In my book Daughter of the South Wind, a meteorologist must trust in herself, too, in order to find a hidden talent. I hope you enjoy her journey.

Blurb

As if grad school wasn’t hard enough, Dawn Wynham battles her bossy sister’s interference with her private life and resists divulging one secret—her very realistic dreams about tornados and the man who morphs out of them, Nino. After chasing twisters for her meteorology degree, why not indulge in a little sexy fantasy to enhance the adrenaline highs?

Nino’s visits tantalize Dawn, his mythological viewpoints mysterious yet familiar. When make-believe blends into real-life, she must choose between the practicality of her mind and the yearnings of her heart or else lose everything she holds dear.

The most desirable path holds the greatest danger. Dawn knows what feels right in the depths of her soul—and hopes her decision doesn’t cast Nino away from her forever.

Excerpt

As I spun back to the tornado, my dress coiled around me. Fear coursed through my veins, mirroring the emotions of the two who felt like parents. The face and funnel dissipated. A lean, muscular man emerged from its core. He ran to me.

The view narrowed to a small circle, my periphery non-existent. Life-force energy drained from my body in a rush. I crumpled.

Strong arms caught me. An almost complete golden disk of fire hung over the man’s shoulder. His black hair tickled my exposed skin. With great effort, I focused on his eyes. Different tones of gray swirled similar to the tornado which brought him to me.

I calmed. My soul knew he would keep me safe.

“Tira, I love you.” His rich baritone words carried over the thrashing gale.

Unable to fill with air, my lungs convulsed, causing my response of, “I love you, too, Nino,” to garble in an unrecognizable voice.

My sight pinpointed. Hot gusts mixed with a yellow-tinted cloud to surround us in comfort like a parental hug. The sun crested a distant hilltop.

A drop of water splashed on my cheek, a cool contrast to the heat of an invading force in my core. I concentrated again on those mesmerizing graphite eyes. Tears flowed from them.

“Tira, I promise you . . .” His voice faded as a power greater than my own tightened its grip and squeezed my essence into submission. Darkness overtook me while he uttered, “I will find a way to break the curse and bring you back.”

The world went black, silent. Balmy breezes converted to cold stillness. The struggle within to keep control of my soul ceased, and my tumult of emotions became nothing, empty in defeat. As if I didn’t exist at all.

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Bio

KD DuBois writes fantasy mixed with a touch of romance. Her current book delves into mythology, giving obscure gods and goddesses their own stories. It’s the first of a series in a world she created called The Immortal Dimension.

Twenty-eight years in a military uniform took KD DuBois to many unique places around the country and the globe. But a few choice assignments in year-round mild climates spoiled any inclinations to retire where even a hint of snow might fall. Instead of settling down in her home state of Kansas, she planted roots in the perpetual sunshine of south-central Texas.

With the opportunity to start a second career in front of her, KD took a class and got inspired to bring the ideas in her head to life. Now she spends her time typing away and takes an occasional break to ride her bike and enjoy the sunshine. Visit her website to learn more about her and what she’s working on.

Where to find KD Dubois…

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon Author Central | Goodreads

Joanne here!

I’m impressed and inspired by your reinvention story. Wishing you all the best on your writing journey.