Tag: inspiration


Never, ever ever ever ever…

I don’t know who needs to hear this but… Churchill didn’t quit. Neither did Ray Kroc. Need some more inspirational quotes on persistence? Here are 52. What’s your favorite reminder to never give up? Share a bit of inspiration here, on Facebook, or Twitter.

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Mystery in the Woods

I was roaming around the woods yesterday when I came upon this hole. Immediately I was intrigued. Perhaps a horse made it? But why would a horse be hopping on one leg, and in any event, there are no horses in the woods. That I know of. Then I looked more closely. The edges of the dirt were smooth. I imagined a rock had been there and someone decided to pull it out. But why? Happens I’ve been rereading my first Maggie Dove mystery (because it is to be published in paperback soon! But more on that later.) Maggie Dove had planned to throw a rock at someone, so it was possible that someone had read my book and decided to emulate her. Though that seemed unlikely. The track team runs on this trail, so I thought it possible that someone tripped over the rock. Got irritated and dug it up. But why then would you leave a hole that you could trip on? No, the more I thought about it, the more convinced I was that someone had done this with a purpose. I have a friend who paints on rocks. She could have chosen to pick it up. […]

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Twitter Tips

It is a truth universally acknowledged that an intelligent woman who turns to Twitter for information will soon find herself trapped in a sinkhole of despair.  (Hieronymus Bosch comes to mind.)  However, I’ve found that, by treading carefully, Twitter is actually entertaining. Bordering on inspirational. The key thing is to be careful about who you follow. Very careful! When I first joined Twitter, ten or so years ago, I was preoccupied with accumulating as many followers as I could. So I followed everyone. Everyone followed me back. Then I began getting really weird messages and I felt like I was hanging out with some very unusual people, and not in a good way. So I began to reevaluate. Cut back. Stop worrying about numbers and think about content. I winnowed down my list to people I liked. Some of my favorite tweeters: The Monty Don   He is the host of Gardeners World and his Twitter feed is filled with beautiful pictures of gardens. Reading his posts in the morning is like breathing in fresh air.  2. Deanna Raybourn She is the author of the Veronica Speedwell mysteries, which I adore. Her Twitter feed is entertaining and just a little bit […]

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Weird Facts (and how they help you write)

Weird facts about owls

One of the pleasures of being a writer is that it is my actual job to seek out weird facts. Sometimes I feel a bit like a jaybird, skimming through books and articles. Or eavesdropping. Or gossiping. Feathering my nest with all sorts of intriguing information. Will I actually use them? I just don’t know. When I least expect it, these facts pop out of my head. Or melt into my brain. For example, a weird fact about owls is that a group of them together is known as “a parliament.” According to chipperbirds.com, this is because owls are considered to be wise and intelligent. Like a parliament. Then there is the issue of the chocolate chip cookies. I was chatting with my son, who is living in London at the moment, and he informed me that when the French bake chocolate chip cookies, they don’t use brown sugar. (He sent me a recipe, so I can attest that this is true.) This weird fact stunned me as I have spent a good percentage of my life hacking away at brown sugar in a desperate attempt to make chocolate chip cookies. And more weird facts Then I was reading Midnight […]

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The Waldy & Bendy Podcast

On Sunday mornings, I’m like a little kid flipping on the television to watch Captain Kangaroo because it’s time for a new episode of Waldy & Bendy’s Adventures in Art Podcast! It sounds juvenile and while at times it may be silly, it is most definitely a podcast designed for grown-up art lovers. Here’s the link: Waldy & Bendy’s Adventures in Art Archives – ZCZ Films. Not just a Podcast! It’s not just a podcast – it is so much more. If you access the recordings on the ZCZ link, there is a page dedicated to each episode displaying the works discussed. So even as you hear what the boys have to say, you can see a high-definition image of their subjects. Listening to them on my headphones, it is like having my own two private experts revealing art to me as they see it. The experience is immediate and intimate. “Waldy” is Waldemar Januszczak, the (London) Sunday Times art critic, author, and BBC presenter of many documentaries including Impressionists Painting and Revolution (2011), Holbein: Eye of the Tudors (2015), and Big Sky, Big Dreams, Big Art: Made in the USA (2018). Several of his shows are available on Amazon […]

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Survival Tip #2 Inspiration

Due to a series of odd events, I’ve become chair of the Communications Committee at my church. I say odd because I know nothing about communications, beyond the fact that I know how to post pictures of trees on Facebook. But oh well. Part of my job is managing the church Facebook page. I assume that people who come visit are looking for comfort and inspiration, and so one of the first things I do every morning is try to find something inspirational to post. I read through Bible passages and look through various photographs and cartoons to find the right thing. This morning search for inspiration has become one of my favorite times of the day. I invariably wind up inspiring myself, which gives me a boost. There are so many inspirational stories coming out of this pandemic. I’m awed by the bravery of our health care workers, and all the people who’ve put themselves at risk to take care of us. Reading about these people, these heroes, I feel like I absorb just a tiny bit of their courage, I hope. Not to say I don’t panic every time I cough, but I believe that seeking out inspiration […]

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Survival Tips: Joy

I’ve spent much of the last twelve months trying to survive. First it was a cancer diagnosis, then it was a fairly harrowing course of chemo. Now the pandemic. In the midst of all this, I managed to finish a novel, chair an important committee for the Mystery Writers of America, and keep teaching classes at Gotham Writers. Sometimes I find myself quivering with anxiety, but for the most part I’d say I’ve survived. So far. People are always asking me how I did it, and I wonder about that myself, though, as you can see from the large picture below, trees are part of the answer. My mother, who had a difficult life, used to tell me, when I asked her for survival tips, that she coped because she had no choice. You either coped or you died. (You can only imagine how cheerful our dinner conversations were.) But she was actually a very cheerful person and she took a lot of pleasure in small things. Every week we would go to Nathan’s and get one of those huge sodden baskets of French fries and a hot dog covered in relish in sauerkraut. So my survival tip number one […]

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