Make a Resolution to Read More

Make a Resolution to Read MoreMake a Resolution to Read More

You still have time.

You can still make a New Year’s Resolution to read more.

Maybe you could decide to read the newspaper more.

Maybe you could set yourself a book goal, like I have.

Maybe you could decide to finish the works of one author in a year.

Maybe you’ll read through a specific book list of the classics.

Maybe you’ll read a Wikipedia article each day and learn something new.

Maybe you’ll explore a genre you haven’t read much of.

There are so many ways to make resolutions to read more or better. You could just make a resolution to read serious magazine articles versus tabloid articles. You could resolve to read one so-called classic book each month instead of a romance novel.

You could even decide to read more to other people. Maybe you’ll read more to your children. Maybe you’ll read with your significant other. Maybe you’ll volunteer at a nursing home and read to the elderly.

A new year is coming, tomorrow, in less than twenty-four hours, and it’s brand new so we can make brand new decisions and brand-new endeavors.

This year is swiftly coming to an end and it’s time to hop into the new year with full force, just make sure you take a few good books along.

The Loss of Influential People

The Loss of Influential PeopleThe Loss of Influential People

The past couple of years has seen many losses in the world of famous people. The world mourns each time one of them dies. These people are lost from the world in ordinary circumstances. None of them have died in space trying to communicate with a new-found alien race. Each of these people have their lives stopped in a moment through ordinary circumstances– heart attacks, cancer, surgery complications, and even pneumonia. These are all ways ordinary people die.

Is it more sad if someone famous dies of cancer? No, it shouldn’t be at least. What’s sad about the whole thing is that we’ve lost this person from our lives, never mind that this person didn’t know we ever existed. We lose regular people from our lives, and those people know we exist, so why do we even care if someone we don’t personally know dies?

I think part of it is that we’ve lost their influence. Without this person alive we don’t have their influence actively in our lives. Does that influence really matter? Is it that important?

Does it matter who influences us? Does it matter whether the main influence in our lives is grandma or David Bowie? Influence is influence, right? So what if grandma taught you how to be a nice person and David Bowie influenced you to learn music? Both people influenced your life, doesn’t it make sense to mourn for both?

I think it does make sense, to a degree. You should certainly be sadder about people who actually knew you that were a good influence in your life, but I think it’s Ok to be a bit sad about David Bowie if he influenced you to like music, or Carrie Fisher if she empowered you to be a warrior princess.

If the person is gone who inspired you to write, or to make artwork, or to be generous, dies, isn’t it sad? Heck, yes, it’s sad. If we were talking about grandma that inspired us to do those things, you could bet your butt there would be crying and no one would make you feel bad about being sad for grandma. It’s not an ideal situation to be inspired by someone we don’t know personally, but it happens. Maybe without this famous person, we’ll never meet, we never would have been inspired to do the things that we do.

Wouldn’t it be sad if we never did those things? If Prince had inspired you to learn the guitar, when no one else in your family could inspire you in such a manner, is there really anything bad about it?

We are influenced in our lives by many people. Nowhere is it written that we have to be influenced by our family members and friends alone. Maybe the Pope influences you, or Ellen DeGeneres, or Ghandi, or Martin Luther King Jr., or the president–you don’t know any of these people, but if they influenced your life in a major way, you’d certainly be sad if they were not among the living.
Probably the saddest thing about a famous influence dying is the fact that we’re not going to get to show them how they influenced our lives. We’re not going to be able to sit down with Martin Luther King and tell him that he influenced us to treat all people equally. We can’t sit down with David Bowie and tell him that because of him music was a constant joy in our lives. We can’t tell that one dead president that he inspired us to go into politics or that one activist that she inspired us to speak up.

We worked so hard at something in our lives that the influencer will never know anything about. Our pride is a bit hurt because we can’t show off to them, but we also think that it would make a difference in this person’s life to know how they inspired someone else, to know that they did make a difference in the world. We sincerely hope that someone has told these people they made a difference because we never got to tell them ourselves.

So, mourn a little, not a lot, if a famous person who was an influence in your life dies. They might have never known what they did for you, but you remember, and that’s a reason to feel loss.

Creativity Time

Creativity TimeCreativity Time

There’s an infographic going around, has been for some time, that breaks up the creative times of famous people throughout the day. Some went to bed late and got up late. Some went to bed early and got up early. Some went to bed late and got up early. Some took naps throughout the day.

I have thoroughly come to realize that the mornings are not my creative time. In fact the most I can do is get my posts published in the morning. Folgers may like to say that the best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup, but they’re full of it. The best part of waking up is hitting the snooze button and going back to sleep, better yet, the best part of waking up is waking up, and then going back to sleep, and not having to get up when the alarm goes off.

No, my creative time is generally the evening. While it’s true that I’ve already been through a whole day of work, if it’s a work day, or whatever, if it’s a non-work day, being creative in the evening is just easier. In the morning I hardly have two brain cells to run together. I’m surprised I can even get out of bed when the annoying alarm goes off. Getting up by alarm is not my preferred wake up choice. I’m not sure why it’s so bad though because I would get up in a while on my own anyway.

It’s easier to be creative when your daily tasks are done. I don’t have anywhere to be. I don’t have things to go out to do. I can sit in my pajamas, or workout clothes, and write, or draw, or whatever I happen to be doing. I don’t have to be presentable or put my mind on anything other than being creative.

I also feel it’s easier to be creative in the dark. Maybe it’s because there are fewer distractions in the dark. The world seems to have quieted. It’s just more peaceful. The dark is enveloping, unlike the day where you’re just out there amidst everything. The dark is closer and more inspiring, all you have is your own thoughts.

Of course being creative at night also means a person has to split their time between being creative and their family, which means there can certainly be some conflicts. Then there’s also workout time, which has to be factored into life as well. The good thing about my life now is that I have someone in my life who values being creative and values my efforts with reading and writing. I don’t have to feel guilty about taking time away from this person, whereas I had to in the past.

With all this being said, you won’t find me up first thing in the morning, writing or making artwork. Just know that my writing happens in the evenings when the sun is going down and the world is getting quiet.

Smoky Musings

Smoky MusingsSmoky Musings

My life has slowed down some, which is great, but there’s always something around the corner. Life is always ready to throw the next big, difficult, or strange thing at you. I recently moved to the mountains of North Carolina, go me, and the thing now is a forest fire, several in fact, but only one is impacting my daily life.

When I go outside, I smell smoke. I can see smoke. I can see smoke hazing up everything. The fire isn’t close enough to get to me. Something would have to go awfully, horribly, terribly wrong for a fire to get to me in the center of town.

The fire is currently burning near, and possibly burning up, two well-known movie locations. If you’ve seen Dirty Dancing or The Last of the Mohicans, you may be a bit saddened to know that the dock from Dirty Dancing and the mountain ledge from The Last of the Mohicans are both in danger from a forest fire. On last count, no buildings have been lost, but the fire is still growing, is less than twenty percent contained, and people have been evacuated.

Some of the pictures from the fire are quite sad. The beautiful mountain line above Lake Lure does not hold beautiful blue and purple mountains in the distance, it holds a flaming outline of what used to be mountains full of trees. The smoke is so bad that it goes all the way to Asheville. The picture to this post is a picture I took one day when the smoke was particularly bad. That big purplish haze towards the bottom of the sky is not clouds; it’s not the sunset; it’s not a storm. That purplish haze is smoke, all smoke. Usually at that point in my drive, waiting in traffic actually, I can see a beautiful view of the mountains as this piece of the road is fairly high and the view is long. Can you see any mountains? Me either.

While I know that this fire isn’t going to come close to me, as I have said, something would have to go horribly wrong for the fire to get inside the city, I still hold some worries over this. What if the fire did get so out of control that I had to leave? What if it burned up my house?

This is the second time in my life that I’ve been worried about a fire getting me and my things. The first time was when my former across-the-street-neighbor, started a forest fire, on accident, because he wasn’t watching his burning pile of junk and it hadn’t rained in a while. There was a very real concern that part of my yard might catch on fire, then my house, and then everything in it. I could have gotten out for sure, and probably gotten the pets as well, but what about the artwork and the books? That would have been a hard blow. I can get more TVs. I can get more kitchen appliances. I can get more clothes, more jewelry, more linens, and so forth, but can I replace my artwork or my special books? I cannot.

It’s just so ominous to know that there’s this big horrible thing looming not too far away from yourself. What if it comes your way? I walk outside and I smell the smoke, from miles and miles away, and it’s worrisome.

Something I’ve thought about, while living with this danger right down the road, is the book The Big Wave by Pearl S. Buck. In the book, people lived near the sea. The sea was dangerous in its own right. There were big storms and even tsunamis that could come from the sea. Behind the people there was a volcano, which could erupt. There could be earthquakes that devastated the land or caused tsunamis. The people had to live with danger in the front and the back. They had to live their lives, knowing that at any time, danger could come from either, or both directions and they could lose everything or even die.

I cannot attest to what it’s like to live near a volcano, but I have lived near the ocean before. There were typhoons and there were also earthquakes. I never experienced one of either that was that bad, but it could have happened. There could have been a huge typhoon that came through and ripped up everything. There could have been an earthquake so bad that my building was knocked over. Everyday, I lived with this reality and I didn’t think about it all the time, but it was always there.

This fire will be extinguished at some point, maybe it will rain someday, but for the time being, it’s oddly strange to live so near to something so dangerous and go about a normal life despite of it.

Bookmarks of my Life-You’ve Cat to be Kitten me Right Meow

Bookmarks of my Life-You've Cat to be Kitten me Right MeowBookmarks of my Life-You’ve Cat to be Kitten me Right Meow

When I read books that take longer than one sitting to read, I’m usually using a bookmark. I love bookmarks. I have quite a few lying around, including Doctor Who bookmarks, Lord of the Rings bookmarks, specifically Aragorn and more. It’s always good to have extra bookmarks when you need them.

Some time ago, before a trip down to Georgia to see my family, I bought a book and some bookmarks at Barnes and Noble. I’ve since forgotten what book it was that I bought, but the bookmarks I bought were three magnetic bookmarks featuring various cat-related things, because I like cats. I did not realize that one of them actually said, “You’ve Cat to be Kitten me Right Meow.”

Hilarious.

My boyfriend actually pointed this bookmark out to me. I wasn’t aware that I had such a thing and was in a bit of disbelief when I found it, but it’s definitely hilarious and I love it. Right now said bookmark is helping me read the collected works of H.P. Lovecraft. It doesn’t exactly fit with the theme of Lovecraft, so far, except for maybe the story about The Cats of Ulthar, but it’s fun.

I have actually taken to saying this silly phrase every once in a while, generally to my boyfriend. I know the novelty of this bookmark, and the joke I feel I’m telling by using said bookmark, is going to wear off after a while, but I’m having fun with it right now.

I don’t know who came up with bookmarks. I know there is a why. The why is so you can keep your place in your book without turning down the corners of the pages. Once upon a time, I was one of those corner turning-down monsters. I am no longer. I also used to be one of those people who bent the front cover of a paperback all the way around while reading, but that was way back when I was in middle school or high school, there abouts anyway. I don’t know why, or when, bookmarks first came to reflect the personality of the person reading the book, but I think it’s a good thing. Why not have Doctor Who or your Lord of the Rings husband as a bookmark?

My current bookmark is woefully punny, which some may groan at, but I’m enjoying it. I’m happy right now and a silly bookmark to accompany somewhat horrific and odd stories is just fine with me.