Because this has been one very long winter, I thought perhaps we could all use a shot of inspiration as we spring into March. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m excited to be leaving February behind us.
1.You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. ~ C. S. Lewis
2. A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others.~
3. Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.~ Norman Vincent Peale
4. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.~ Samuel Beckett
5. Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough.~ Og Mandino
6. It does not matter how slowly you go along as long as you do not stop.~ Confucius
7. Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead. ~ Oscar Wilde
8. You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.~ Christopher Columbus
9. Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. ~ Henry David Thoreau
10. Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.~ Maya Angelou
11. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover. ~ Mark Twain
12. The mind is everything. What you think you become.~ Buddha
13. You become what you believe. ~ Oprah Winfrey
14. If you can dream it, you can achieve it. ~ Zig Ziglar
15. I know you’ve heard it a thousand times before. But it’s true – hard work pays off. If you want to be good, you have to practice, practice, practice. If you don’t love something, then don’t do it.~ Ray Bradbury
16. Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.~ St. Francis of Assisi
17. Doubt who you will but never yourself.~ Christian Nestell Bovee
18. Every artist was first an amateur.~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
19. We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluble
problems.~ John Gardner
20. Happy are those who dream dreams and are ready to pay the price to make them come true.~ Leon J. Suenes
I love the wisdom and inspiration in all these quotes. I hope you read something here that will inspire you to greater heights.
Speaking of inspiration, author Syr Ruus has graciously agreed to be a guest on my blog next time. I hope you’ll drop in to read her inspiring post : PUBLISH BEFORE YOU PERISH or The Little Red Hen.
Posted by Laura Best on February 28, 2015
A few winters back while driving through Aylesford I stopped at The Wall and snapped some photos. I posted them here.
As you well know snapping photos along side a Nova Scotia road in winter doesn’t make for such wonderful photos, not when there are dirty snow banks in the way. But I promised myself I’d return one day and get some better shots. Today seemed like a good day to share the photos what with the weather we’re experiencing. I hope everyone on the East Coast is staying safe and warm today.
How’s that for taking a dull ordinary wall and turning into a thing of beauty? I think artist Larry Lee deserves a huge big thank you!
And since it’s January 27th I want to give a shout out for Family Literacy Day here in Canada. We all know how important literacy is! The experts say even 15 minutes a day can improve a child’s literacy skills dramatically and help parents improve their skills as well. So, with the weather being what it is, today seems like a great day to start flexing those literacy muscles.
What are your plans for Family Literacy Day other than staying in out of the storm?
Posted by Laura Best on January 26, 2015
“We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.” ~Cynthia Ozick
Today, the key word seems to be gratitude, gratitude for all the good things that are, that were, or will be. I’m sure every day we can find something to be grateful for, but do we always take the time to be aware of the good things in our lives? I hope so..
A lovely thank you card from the Homeschoolers group I read to last Friday arrived in the mail today. What a lovely added bonus to my day! It made me smile.
Today I’m over at Reading Recommendation. If you haven’t checked out Susan Toy’s site before you might want to give it a try. Hey, and you’ll even see yours truly. Find out how we connected years ago without my even knowing. Cool!
Earlier this week I had coffee with Jan Coates. We had some catching up to do as it had been awhile since we’d chatted. Jan’s new picture book “The King of Keji” is scheduled for release this spring. It’s in the spring Nimbus catalogue already! You can check it out HERE.I know some of you from Facebook have already seen it.
I also want to mention that Family Literacy Day is on January 27th. For those of you who need a gentle reminder:
Family Literacy Day is a national awareness initiative created by ABC Life Literacy Canada in 1999 and held annually on January 27 to raise awareness of the importance of reading and engaging in other literacy-related activities as a family.
I don’t have to mention how important literacy is to us all, especially to the new generation growing up.
Lastly, since I began this post with gratitude, I want to give a shout out to those of you who follow my blog. I appreciate you signing up! I wrote a blog post back in December about Supporting Your Author Friend and things went a little crazy here for a day or so. So, thank you! Also, a big thank you to those of you who recently joined my Facebook page. Well, not just those who recently joined. Whether you joined in the beginning or just recently, I appreciate all of you. Oh, you know what I mean! Saying thank you is something that often gets overlooked and something we kind of take for granted. I don’t want to take any of you for granted. I happen to think thank you are two words that should be said every day. Gratitude should not only thought about but expressed.
So, since I’m ending on a note of gratitude for all the wonderful things in my life, maybe you’d like to share something that you’re grateful for with the rest of us.
Posted by Laura Best on January 23, 2015
I love the start of a brand new year. I’m sure I say that every year around about this time, but it’s SO true. A brand new year is so full of possibilities, like a blank page just waiting to be written on or a field of unblemished snow where not a single soul has tread. Guided only by my imagination at this time of the year I feel as though anything is possible. It’s like starting all over again and there’s something most exciting about beginnings, especially for a writer.
I don’t make resolutions but I do like making a list of intentions, things I intend to accomplish, hopefully in the upcoming year, but if not, somewhere farther off into the future. For me, that feels doable without too much pressure, yet allows me to have some goal in mind at the end of it all. And I don’t fill my list up with far-fetched notions, dreaming only big dreams. While big dreams are wonderful, life is also made of up a lot of little dreams that in hindsight can prove to be just as important as the big ones. Aimlessly wandering through life can have its drawbacks. Applying just the right amount of pressure never hurts. At least that’s my philosophy!
So what are some of the things on my list? Below are a few of the writerly ones.
1.I intend to finish the novel I’m presently working on and start sending out submissions for it. There’s nothing more exciting that having several submissions out in publishing land awaiting a rejection or an acceptance, and nothing sweeter that having an editor email and tell you they want to publish your work. I recently had a short story published in Transition, a magazine put out by the Saskatchewan Mental Health Association. While it’s presently in hard copy it will be available on line and I’ll share the link on my blog when it’s available.
2.I intend to pen more short stories in the future. I’ve had several ideas come to me while working on this last novel and I’ve jotted things down just to make sure I wouldn’t forget. I’ve said before I miss my short stories so I need to remedy that.
3.I intend to say yes to writerly opportunities as they arise. Just recently I was offered the opportunity to read for a group in January. I’m excited about this and hopefully more opportunities will arise!
4.I intend to continue supporting other local authors. This has always been important to me. Nothing makes me happier than to help out a fellow author. I obviously can’t buy every book from every local author but, as I mentioned in my post here, there are plenty of ways to support our author friends.
5.I intend to continue blogging. Notice that I’m not vowing to blog every day or even every week, just that I will continue in some shape or form. I know there are some who say we should choose a schedule and stick to it, but that’s not realistic for me. It makes more sense for me to spend more of my time writing fiction than blogging. I’ve met some great people through blogging and made connections I otherwise would not have made so of course I plan to keep blogging.
So there you have a few of my writerly intentions for 2015. Perhaps it will inspire you to come up with a list of intentions yourself. I’m excited for all that 2015 will bring both on the writing front and on a personal note. The sky’s the limit!
Anyone want to share one of their intentions, writing or otherwise?
Posted by Laura Best on January 3, 2015
In this world there are talkers and there are listeners. A writer is both. Many may not agree with me, but here are my thoughts on this.
A few months back, a friend and I spent the afternoon together. About half-way into our visit she said, “I’m doing all the talking.” And it was true, I suppose. But seriously, I didn’t mind. I was simply enjoying listening to what she had to say. It had been awhile since we’d last talked. I knew what was going on in my life. I wanted to hear about hers.
What my friend didn’t know is that all writers talk and most times we’re the centre of the conversation, and…. monopolize? Oh yeah, we monopolize alright since there’s usually no one else around, we, and our characters, are the centre of our attention.
Writers do a good deal of talking in their heads. We talk to our characters and sometimes we talk to ourselves. We also do our talking on the page. We talk and we talk and we talk, talk, talk, talk. We say the same things over again but in a different way, and then the next day we start all over again—same conversation since we didn’t get it right the day before! So while the words may not come out so others can hear us, you can be sure we writers talk. My friend had nothing to apologize for. Sometimes with all the “talking” I do in the run of a day it’s simply nice to let someone else take over for awhile.
So with all the talking that takes place in a writer’s life I firmly believe that writers also need to be listeners. We need to fine-tune our hearing so that we can allow the story to come through to us from that place where stories reside before the writer breathes life into them. We have to be conscious of the wants and needs of the characters we write about. We need to listen to what they have to say even when they say things that are not to our liking. We need to listen to the hearts of our characters and find out what makes them tick. What are their likes and dislikes? Their biggest fear? We need to be their best friend or, in some cases, their worst enemy, and we do that by listening. An author who is a good listener learns to respect their characters and give them the freedom to tell their story in their own words, and in their own time.
So to my friend who thought she was being selfish and dominating the conversation all I can say is that sometimes there’s a time to talk and sometimes there’s a time to listen. Hopefully, we tap into that balance somewhere along the way. A writer is both talker and listener. We’ve mastered both of these arts and if we haven’t yet mastered them we’re constantly working to achieve it.
I’m taking a bit of a break from blogging until the New Year. My life will be much less complicated then. I’m looking forward to catching up on my blog reading and I’d like to check out some new blogs from the followers I picked up this past while.. Have a wonderful Holiday and I hope to see you in 2015!
Posted by Laura Best on December 21, 2014
The other day I referred to someone as being “common.” Okay, so that kind of sounds like a bad thing–to be common, I mean. But it’s not and I’ll tell you why.
In my little corner of the world we use the word “common” to describe someone who is down to earth, certainty not pretentious, someone who is just “everyday,” someone you can be yourself around, no matter who you are. No need to put on heirs when you’re around someone who is just plain old “common.” A “common” person has the ability to put others at ease no matter what the circumstance. I have some people like that in my life, and I think it’s a trul wonderful thing.
Sometimes people can feel a little awkward when they find out I’m a published author. I’ll admit that people have been nervous around me in the past, at least until they get to know me. That’s when they find out I’m just an ordinary person (no bells or whistles, no fancy clothes or jewelery) and, well, writing is just something I love to do. I don’t know why. I guess we all have to have something we’re passionate about and why we feel drawn to one thing over another will likely remain a mystery. Some things just are they way they are, no sense trying to analyze them to pieces. Acceptance is a wonderful peace-maker.
As a writer, I like to write about about ordinary people, those unsung people who perhaps never have their stories told, but nonetheless deserve to have them told. We’ve all heard the adage that everyone has a story. Most people seem to believe that about other people’s stories and not their own, as if their story isn’t one worthy of being told.
But we are all important, (and we all have a story, every one of us) yet unimportant at the same time. By that I mean, that not one of us is any more important than the other. What we do for a living isn’t who we are, but simply what we do. Perhaps that’s something we should keep in mind when we’re meeting someone whose work, or life we admire, someone we might even think of as being more important in the world. Deep down we’re all the same—common. What makes us different are our life experiences, and isn’t that absolutely wonderful? To be different, I mean, to be able to share with one another the things that makes us truly unique in the world.
And since words can have a different meaning for all of us, I’m a wee but curious. What are you’re thoughts on being common? In your world is it something good or bad or in between?
Posted by Laura Best on December 8, 2014