A Guide to Carpe Diem (or How to Seize the Day)

Originally posted on Growing Ivy:

This week we are visiting my grandpa, and he was able to meet and play with his great granddaughter. As I watch a sweet family memory form before my eyes, it can be a complicated emotionafter my husband died earlier this year. My approach to life and living “in the moment” has radically transformed.

IMG_7742 - Version 2Carpe diem. Seize the day. I am sure you have heard this sentiment whispered, shouted, and pasted on the walls of waiting rooms and Facebook. I repeat it again here because truth never becomes cliche. Indeed, don’t waste time. It is not something you get back; none of us can afford to say “in the meantime.”

Last year, my husband was alive, and this year he is gone. This year, my husband was not here when I introduced our baby girl to my own grandfather. Ivy’s daddy no longer exists in that form, and now we…

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THE MEMORY BOX is on Bustle’s short list of Books that will Hook You till the Very Last Page

THE MEMORY BOX is on Bustle’s short list of Books that will Hook You till the Very Last Page.

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THE MEMORY BOX is on Bustle’s short list of Books that will Hook You till the Very Last Page

Originally posted on Eva Lesko Natiello:

7998412567_138e60a23f_b photo by Carrie Baughcum

Um, yeah, that’s nice and all, Ryan. But given the choice between hanging out with you and reading my book, THE MEMORY BOX, Bustle magazine chooses the latter. (Insert sloppy happy dance and fainting spell.)

“But then comes along a book so gripping, so enthralling, so utterly unputdownable that I suddenly find I’m totally awake. I’m talking about the kind of book that you’d stay up all night for even if you had an important meeting in the morning. The kind of book that would distract you even if a full-on earthquake started up. The book that could keep your attention no matter what. Ryan Gosling could wander into your living room and ask if you’d like to re-enact The Notebook with him and you’d be like, “Nah, I’m cool sitting here with my book.” Those books exist. And here are nine of them.”


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Claustrophobia and The Dangerous Type

Originally posted on horroraddicts.net:


by Loren Rhoads

The first time I went away to sleep-away camp, I was a junior in high school.  Michigan Tech, a university 500 miles north of my home, was hosting a weeklong writing program. I dragged my typewriter into my assigned dorm room and waved goodbye to my parents, excited to be a real writer for a week.

Almost immediately I met another high school girl there for the program. I really liked her at first.  She seemed sunny and competitive and dramatic. I thought we’d provide a good challenge for each other. I looked forward to reading her stories.

I’m not sure what set her off.  She and some of the guys from the program were hanging around in my room when I went into the large walk-in closet to demonstrate how big it was.  Once I was inside, Nicole slammed the door behind me.

I heard…

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I Have Loved the Stars Too Fondly to be Fearful of the Night

Originally posted on Writer's Cramp:


Moonless starry sky

peeks through a  lace cloud curtain.

Pleiades appears.

This is sort of an early ‘heads up’. Mark your calendars for August 12th. That’s my birthday and also the peak of the Perseids meteor shower. If God ordained that I should be born on the date of the annual Perseids meteor shower then the least I should do is give thanks and stay up to watch the show. I’ve been doing this every year since I was about twelve years old and I’m turning 67, if all goes as planned. That’s fifty-five years of watching falling stars light up the sky.  I have friends around the country and in other countries, actually, who go out to watch the Perseids for my birthday.  It’s sort of a gift that they give themselves for my birthday. I invite you to join in. Just let me know. This should be a good year.

I delight…

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Color-Blind, Thoughts on Harper Lee’s Novel

Originally posted on A View From the Hill:

First let me say that I had no second thoughts about reading Harper Lee’s previously unpublished first novel, Go Set a Watchman. I read To Kill a Mockingbird for the first time in high school. Mrs. Susan Peters did an outstanding job dissecting the novel’s theme and bringing out the finer points.

I’ve re-read Mockingbird many times as an adult, always recalling Mrs. Peters’ reminder of who narrates this story. That is an important point to remember when comparing Watchman to Mockingbird- both narrators are the same.

I want to recommend another book, The Mockingbird Next Door, (Marja Mills),  which gives an excellent background on Nell Harper Lee’s life, especially her time in New York and her eventual return to her hometown. Most Lee fans know she modeled Maycomb after her own hometown of Monroeville, Alabama. Lee’s sister Alice was partially the model for Atticus as was their father. Many…

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Off the Shoulders

Originally posted on From the Laundry Room:

For my father on Father’s Day.

I forgive you.  It’s okay.

I’m letting go because that is what is best for me.  The weight of it, the lack of story, tradition, history, has simply become too heavy for me to carry any longer.

I’m not sure when pain started attaching itself to me, when the missed, ignored and forgotten became a part of me.  It was somewhere between that Christmas and my wedding.  I’m sure I picked up some more around the time my children were old enough to ask, “Who’s your dad?  Do you look like him?”

Every now and then when I was growing up, usually when I least expected it, something would strike tender.  I’d realize I was different until what was missing seeped in and became anger, sarcasm, envy.

This isn’t a tragic story, in fact, it’s quite banal really. No drama, misunderstandings or wasted years trying, in vain, to get along, make it work.  The truth is there…

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On Charleston

Originally posted on A View From the Hill:

I’m sick to my stomach. I’m reeling from from the events in Charleston. It’s more than my brain can process, more than my heart can hold.

I was mediating on my yoga mat this morning. Another Thursday. Another Northeast Florida scorcher of a day. The gong sounded and I opened my eyes. Calm, peaceful and ready to face the day,  I did something I try to avoid before work- I checked Facebook.

Charleston, my husband’s hometown. A place I have visited often over the years, filled with history and beautiful churches. Now filled again with tragedy.

The internet exploded with opinions, conjecture and finger pointing. I had been mulling over a blog post for days in response to what I see as an overall disconnect many people have with our history.

Every generation feels that the world is going to hell in a hand basket. Throughout history we’ve seen what…

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How I Won My Battle with Fear

Originally posted on A View From the Hill:

I am finally at peace, I have vanquished the foe who has plagued me for years- Fear.

Fear has walked beside me, often hand in hand, for decades. Fear came to cast doubts on my gut feelings that my marriage was a sham. Fear sat with me and whispered to my soul that I did not deserve love, the love from someone who saw through fear and embraced the brave heart hidden deep within me.

Fear took up residence in my gut when I lost my job, and remained with me through all of the false starts and spirit crushing defeats as I slowly lost it all: my pride, my security, and my self-esteem. Fear never let me forget that I was older and was always being judged by younger superiors.

Job security? Not likely said fear. It didn’t matter if the expectations were inflated and no replacement was going…

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A new What-the-tuck trend?

Originally posted on nbsmithblog...random digressions and musings:

This pedometer geek has begun to notice what may be a new What-the-tuck (WTT) trend. I haven’t quite decided if it is coincidence or not, but the single tear down the cheek of characters, major and minor (mostly major, but I digress), has started cropping up in novels.

The typical WTT of tucking the hair behind the ear (hence the name), messy ponytails and/or buns, rich alpha males, green-eyed characters, and others still appear routinely in many books. They have not disappeared, but this may be a new one.

The trend of the single tear is one that I have noted in the last couple books I have read. Personally, I don’t admit to crying, but if I do, generally like potato chips, it is hard to stop at just one. How these characters manage to show that strong emotion in such a carefully controlled manner is beyond me. Is…

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