Living the good life. Advice to my daughter.

Advice to my daughter. Living the good life.

All of life is peaks and valleys. Don’t let the peaks get too high and the valleys too low. John Wooden

Living the “good life” isn’t that what we all want? Twenty-nine years ago today my wonderful daughter was born and our family was complete. When we bring children into the world we have to be optimistic about the future. We want them to have a great life, opportunity, and experiences. What happens in the world matters more because it matters to our children, grandchildren, and greatgrandchildren.

We may not agree on what better looks like in the short term, what political stripe gets into office, and what laws get passed. In the long term. however, I think we all agree we want our children, grandchildren, and greatgrandchildren to live in peace, prosperity, and a natural world alive with wildlife, fish, trees, and wild places.

When we look at our children and grandchildren (still waiting for that joyous, momentous event) we want so much for them. We want so much for them but we are afraid to watch them go out and take their place in the world. It seems so much less safe than when we went out there. We worry about them getting into the wrong crowd, getting involved with drugs, and depression.

When did we start thinking life should be easy? When I listen to Mom talk about the early days, life was hard. She said she and her first husband had their budget down to the penny. To get her a Christmas present when they agreed not to give each other Christmas presents, he quit smoking for a week to afford the gift.

We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give. Sir Winston Churchill

Housing is a big deal and we are all wringing our hands over how our kids will be able to afford a house. Has it really been that easy for most people to prosper over the decades and centuries? There is a lot of talk about money in the bible. Shakespeare said neither a lender nor a borrower be, and Charles Dickens gave the recipe for a happy life. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

What advice do I have for my daughter on this birthday? Love and live fully, don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today. Be grateful for what you have and you’ll get more. Live beneath your means and be kind to those you meet along the way. When you have children they completely take over your life, and will be the biggest blessing, and raising happy healthy kids is your biggest job, and where much of your joy will come from. Make time for your husband amid the chaos and enjoy together what you build together. Walk into the sunset of life arm in arm and enjoy your golden years. Time is the secret of a long marriage, there will be ups and downs, and you have to get through the downs to enjoy the ups. Don’t throw away good trying to get perfect – there is no perfect in relationships. Love is a verb, and happiness is an inside job.

A good life is when you assume nothing, do more, need less, smile often, dream big, laugh a lot, and realize how blessed you are for what you have. Unknown

Create a life that feels good on the inside, not one that just looks good on the outside. Unknown

Life is like a camera… Focus on what’s important, capture the good times, develop from the negatives, and if things don’t work out, take another shot. Unknown

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Secrets and Silence: What if your biggest secret became public? by [Belynda Wilson Thomas]

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The power of focus, perseverance, and practice. We overestimate what we can do in a year, and underestimate what we can do in ten.

We overestimate what we can do in a year, and underestimate what we can do in ten.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Your mastery depends on focus, patience, and practice. Not on luck. Robin Sharma

We are told again and again of the power of focus and perseverance. The other night I was watching Utube videos and one caught my eye. It was about the most important thing a Utuber learned. It was the power of focus. He was told by someone he respected he was too scattered in his interests. The advice he was given about his art was to draw the same thing every day. He chose to draw the Australian White Ibis every day and he says it changed the way he looked at things.

I think I understand where he might be coming from. By choosing to write a blog post every day until I got to five hundred blog posts and then cutting down to two posts per week it also changed the way I look at things. When we have to come up with something to say tomorrow, we look at what is going around us in a new way. We are more cognizant of our lives, interactions with others, funny things that happen, and incongruencies in the world. It made me think of questions that don’t have answers, problems that don’t have solutions, and the unintended consequences of what we intended for good.

How much we wish we could change others, but having it come home again that we can only change ourselves. The power of love, kindness, gratitude, and what works in people’s lives. Why are some people always happy? Can we choose to be one of the happy, grateful, optimistic, and encouraging people? Pondering the lives of successful people and how focus, perseverance, and hard work seems to play as much a part as talent and luck. Questioning what makes long, happy, successful marriages. How creativity adds to our lives in big and small ways. The power of books to give us the answers we are seeking.

Success comes from curiosity, concentration, perseverance and self-criticism. Albert Einstein

One of the reasons I was afraid to start a blog was what would I have to say? It surprised me that wasn’t a problem at all. I now have to accept that the reason I hadn’t gotten to writing all those years when I said I wanted to but didn’t, was because I didn’t, not because I couldn’t.

Many of us may say, I wish I’d kept up that interest, hobby, or skill. Why not pick it back up now? We may think we could have been a big-time author, singer, athlete, or whatever if we’d continued. What if being a big-time author, singer, or athlete is not what is important. What if doing something is what is important, not if we make a lot of money from it or not. The accomplishment of being able to play the instrument at family parties so everyone can have a sing-along is worthwhile. Writing down stories is worthwhile even if they never have a wide audience. Being athletic enough to be fit at every stage in life is worthy in itself. Singing in a church choir is a blessing to everyone that hears the choir, and may add a dimension to our life we didn’t know was missing. Drawing and painting add to our lives even if we never make money from our art. Using our creativity is a gift we give ourselves.

I’m going to try to take the same advice the Utuber got and make a drawing a day. I picked up a sketchbook and drawing pencils to keep in the den where I write so I don’t have to go down to my art room to do it. If we want to do things we can’t make them so big that we won’t do them. Going down to my art room seems like a commitment of hours and if I am going to fit drawing in every day it needs to be easy to do a quick little drawing.

Is there something we should bring back into our lives we enjoyed, or have always wanted to do? Is there a better time than now?

Successful people maintain a positive focus in life no matter what is going on around them. Jack Canfield

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit. Will Durant

Happy people plan actions, they don’t plan results. Denis Waitley

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Secrets and Silence: What if your biggest secret became public? by [Belynda Wilson Thomas]

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One step in front of another gets us to our goal. Then we need a new goal.

One step in front of another gets us to our goal. We need a new goal then.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

If it’s important you’ll find a way. If it’s not, you’ll find an excuse. Ryan Blair 

Yesterday I got an email from Amazon telling me that “Secrets and Silence” is now published in paperback. In Canada, we can’t get a proof before publishing. We have to wait until we have published and then purchase an author’s copy to see what it actually looks like in print. My husband purchased a copy and it should be arriving on September 5th-8th.  I can’t wait to hold a copy in my hand.

To be honest, I thought being published would feel different. There is a feeling of emptiness in releasing our work out into the world we might not expect. It is not ours anymore; we are not still crafting, editing, tweaking, and polishing. It is not still full of possibilities, it is what it is. It is done and all the time we spent tweaking, editing, and polishing we need to put into another project, our families, or something.

My two younger sisters and I have a pact that we will each publish a book next September. It is time to make things happen. Now that I realize how user-friendly publishing on Amazon is, and that an Indy author can be just that. We don’t have to pay other people to format it for Amazon Kindle Publishing, the tools provided are easy to work with.

There are many companies willing to work with authors to help them publish their work. If you have been wondering if you can publish your novel, children’s book, or cookbook, etc. without them you absolutely can. If we do it ourselves as Indy authors the quality control of our work falls squarely on our own shoulders. The point I’m making is it can be done and the publishing part on Amazon was not difficult. I was very intimidated by it, but in the end, it was very straight forward. I followed the formatting guidelines and used kindle create to produce the interior of my novel then uploaded it to Kindle. They even have a cover creator tool which I didn’t use.

A grateful heart is a beginning of greatness. It is an expression of humility. It is a foundation for the development of such virtues as prayer, faith, courage, contentment, happiness, love, and well-being. James E. Faust

In case you are like me, worried about this step in the process, don’t be. We need to write the best book we can and find people we respect to help us edit it. We can use Pro-writer as an editing tool, publish as an Indy author if we want, or look for a traditional publisher. Writing our book is the hard part, getting the words right, saying what we want to say eloquently, succinctly, and compellingly. Producing a good read is not about publishing.

Becoming a published author is just like any other accomplishment. We then must look around for our next project, challenge, or goal. I have already started on my next project and I am so happy to have the next project to start. If I didn’t know what my next project would be I think I would feel lost and adrift.

We may wonder how prolific authors write so many books. They finish one and start another and they keep doing that until their library of work is impressive. They say we often overestimate what we can do in one year, but we underestimate what we can do in ten years.

The life we are building is our own and we have more control over what we want that life to be than we often think we do. Twenty-four golden hours each day is what we have to work with, and what we do with it, is up to us. Is it true, we can if we think we can?

Make each day your masterpiece. John Wooden

Every saint has a past, every sinner has a future. Oscar Wilde

People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily. Zig Zigler

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A good evaluation (comment) tells us what was done right, what can be improved upon, and what they loved.

A good comment (evaluation) tells us what was done right, what can be improved upon, and what they loved.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing. Aristotle

Goodreads which is now owned by Amazon was started by a couple who are now husband and wife, Otis Chandler and Elizabeth Khuri. It was launched in January 2007. It was founded as a way to see what is on other reader’s bookshelves.

I’ve been a member of Goodreads as a reader and now as an author. Some people aren’t happy with the rating system. I read a comment the other day a Goodreads member was complaining too many books have five stars.

I might be one of the guilty people. A five-star rating to me isn’t the best book I’ve ever read. If a book holds my attention and I finish it, spoke to me in some way, I remember it as a book worth reading, and I would recommend it, that’s a five-star book. The woman complaining was saying she thinks three stars is a really great book and reserves five stars for rare gems.

This is one of the things that happen in rating systems. We might consistently rate books but each reader has a different rating system. Some may focus on technique, others on story, pacing, imagery, emotion, or world-building.

We are in a very judgmental time and this is moving into every area of our lives. If someone reads my book, thank you very much. If they comment, thank you even more. I will try very hard not to take the comments personally. Good, on the nose criticism may help us improve way more than flowery praise even when it is hard to hear.

I’ve thought of putting a contest together to see who finds the most errors in my book. Then I can fix them. We don’t improve without seeing what is wrong and fixing it. When other people try to point us in the right direction we need to humbly realize we are not perfect and adjust accordingly.

One of the reasons many of us hesitate to put our work out into the world is because of the criticism we may get. We can’t help anyone through their struggle if we don’t share our own. One of the strengths of Toastmasters is our speeches are evaluated publicly. We are told what we did right and what we could improve upon. Everyone struggles with evaluations, giving and receiving them, but they help us improve and different evaluators give us different perspectives.

You can’t let praise or criticism get to you. It’s a weakness to get caught up in either one. John Wooden

I have never experienced it myself but I have heard that some Toastmasters did not come back after an evaluation. Was it particularly brutal or were they particularly sensitive?

One of the things I would love to do is attend book club sessions with members who have read my book. My book club did this with a local author, we loved it, and I believe so did she. Now over zoom, we don’t have to only have these sessions with local authors.

Writing and living is a growth opportunity. We learn by doing and getting feedback about what we’ve done. More is gained when an evaluator tells us we need more eye contact, effective gestures, use our voice to emphasize points, and write a better-organized speech than if they say that was lovely I don’t have any points you can improve on. We can all improve. As an evaluator, it can be hard to come up with something, but when we come up with what the speaker can work on, often the next speech is better.

If you read my novel please post a comment and tell me what was done right, what can be improved upon, and what you loved the most. I will try and make the next one better. Isn’t this what we all want, to see progress in our lives by doing something, and when we do it again, we do it better?

Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong. Neil Gaiman

The trouble with most of us is that we’d rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism. Norman Vincent Peale

The artist doesn’t have time to listen to the critics. The ones who want to be writers read the reviews, the ones who want to write don’t have the time to read the reviews. William Faulkner

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Balancing change and the glass ball of relationships. Can we make our dreams come true and keep our relationships strong?

Can we make our dreams come true and keep our relationships strong? Balancing change and the glass ball of relationships.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

You will never feel truly satisfied by work until you are satisfied by life. Heather Schuck

September always seems like the time to start something new. This is probably because the new school year starts in September. When we finish a project we need a new project to take its place. It has taken forever to finish this project of publishing the novel I started in 2012. I expect I’ll spend a lot of time wondering why it took so long. One reason is when I started this blog in 2018 it took time away from my novel. The big reason is I was scared to put my novel out there. It is with fear and trembling, I will push publish when I get my cover and finally finish the last edit.

Recently reading a blog by Daniel Steele she says she feels the same way about every novel when she releases it to her publisher. Will they think it is okay? If Daniel Steele still second-guesses herself, why would any of us think we would be satisfied and confident our own meets the grade?

The learning curve has been steep. Hopefully, the next projects will not take so long. If nothing else it has been a lesson in perseverance and determination to finally call it finished. It is time to move on to the next project. When our dog died I wrote a children’s story and it has sat on my shelf for years. It needs an illustrator and I have decided to see if I can learn how to do it.

Life is about challenging ourselves to achieve our goals. One of my biggest challenges has been setting goals. We can’t achieve them if we don’t set them. I can now afford the time for artistic and writing pursuits. There are times in our lives when all we can do is what makes us money and look after kids. It might seem like that phase will never end, but it does, and when it does it is good if we have pursuits to take their place.

Many young women seem to be better at goal setting than I was at their age. One of the challenges women face is prioritizing our life. If we focus on careers and put marriage and motherhood off, we may miss the chance for marriage and motherhood. Many of our dreams can come true after the heavy slogging of marriage and motherhood, but marriage and motherhood might not happen after the dream career is achieved.

Work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. The other four balls – family, health, friends, integrity – are made of glass. If you drop one of these, it will be irrevocably scuffed, nicked, perhaps even shattered. Gary Keller

We think we need balance but what we really need is to focus on what is most important and give it the time it needs while looking after everything else in our life at the same time. Life is a juggling act and we may only be able to juggle a certain amount of things at once. As long as we keep juggling the most important things and realize not all things have the same resiliency we can pick up and drop balls as our life requires. Hobbies and interests are some of the balls that can be set aside when there isn’t time for them.

Relationships can never be set aside without real consequences. Relationships are one of the glass balls in our juggling act. We may think they are tougher than they are because the relationships are long-standing but it seems they are as fragile as they always were. We can hurt the feelings of a friend we’ve had our whole lives and the relationship may never be repaired. We have what is called grey divorce; couples have built their lives together now going their separate ways. Will they find what they are looking for?

My oldest sister has been married for 59 years. This is an accomplishment. In 2011 they had an anniversary party I attended. They’ve built a life together, they each have their own interests, and they are still accomplishing things. Theirs is a well-lived life.

If we can figure out what is important from what just calls our attention we can have a well-lived life. Can we make our dreams come true and keep our relationships strong?

Don’t confuse having a career with having a life. Hillary Clinton

Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life. Dolly Parton

I believe that being successful means having a balance of success stories across the many areas of your life. You can’t truly be considered successful in your business life if your home life is in shambles. Zig Ziglar

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The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results Hardcover – Illustrated, April 1 2013

by Gary Keller (Author), Jay Papasan (Author)

Secrets and Silence: What if your biggest secret became public? by [Belynda Wilson Thomas]

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Searching for balance means learning to juggle and knowing what is important when it’s important.

Knowing what is important when it's important learning to juggle and searching for balance.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Living a full life, by giving time to what matters, is a balancing act. Gary Keller

Many of us are looking for balance and wonder why it eludes us. Would we even know a balanced life if we saw one? No one that I know and envy has a balanced life. We need to be like a ballerina who is balanced because of the counterbalancing she does. She looks weightless because of enormous effort. Making life look easy is an art that hides the hard work of real life. An easy life that doesn’t require effort inspires no one.

Many of us aspire to more in our lives but we look down on those that get more without effort. We may buy lottery tickets wanting the big win with no effort but how would it be if we got it? All that makes life worthwhile might seem so unimportant and insignificant in the shadow of fifty million dollars.

I do think if we don’t have a pursuit worth pursuing how sad would life be. Growing up on a farm was a good metaphor for life. If we didn’t plant we didn’t reap. If we didn’t plant at the right time, and harvest at the right time all the effort was wasted. We couldn’t balance our planting and harvesting throughout the year. In planting time the focus was on planting. In harvest time the focus was on harvesting.

We need to do this in our lives no matter what we are pursuing. My time of raising children is over and even though I have more time now (it seems) giving them more time in their adult years is not productive. Now is their time for planting and reaping. It is their time for standing on their own two feet.

Balance in life, like in body, is not a given, we need to work for it. Unknown            

Now is my time to spend more and more time writing. Counterbalancing is still important. We can’t let everything else slide while we pursue something. A relationship still needs time and attention. Our bodies still need exercise. I was reminded of this as I’ve spent so much time behind the computer editing. My right leg(hip) started hurting. Not enough walking, maybe I’ve been eating the wrong things. It’s time to take notice, walk more, and eat better.

In “The One Thing” author Gary Keller tells us we need to figure out what the one thing is we can do that will make a difference. Can we figure out the one thing and focus on that before we let other things call for our attention and take our focus away from what we should actually do?

If we want to write, we need to write but there are many things we can do when we are pretending to write. Unless we are writing, we are not writing. If our job is to bring in more business a phone call may be the most important thing we need to do. Every day there is one thing that is the most important.  If we figure out what that is and do it we put ourselves in the position of building the life we want.

If we do this in every area of our life we can be effective. What is the one thing we could do today that would improve our relationship? What is the one thing we could do today that would improve our health? What is the one thing we could do today that would improve our business, finances, or job? What is the one thing we can do today that is the most important thing? There is one and if we figure it out our life will feel in balance even though it is probably counterbalancing and learning to juggle the important balls. We need to remember some balls are rubber and some balls are glass.

If we drop the work ball we can usually pick it back up. If we drop the relationship and family ball sometimes it shatters into so many pieces it is beyond repair. Often relationships may seem shattered beyond repair but with a little maintenance, time, and attention they can be repaired and may even be stronger in the broken places.

What is the one thing we can do today that will make the biggest difference in our life?

I’m not sure about complete balance. I think that’s an enlightened stage of life. For normal folks, balance really means counterbalance. Notice when life gets out of whack for you and correct it. Unknown

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. Albert Einstein

The creativity inherent in life is the counterbalance or tragedy, it affirms our belief that life is a good thing and provides a rich potential source of human meaning. Greg Graffin

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The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results Hardcover – Illustrated, April 1 2013

by Gary Keller (Author), Jay Papasan (Author)

Secrets and Silence: What if your biggest secret became public? by [Belynda Wilson Thomas]

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Secret ingredients in cakes, life, and friendships. Are we looking for the secret ingredient to a better life?

Are we looking for the secret ingredient to a better life? Secret ingredients in cakes, life, and friendships.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

The best love is the one that makes you a better person, without changing you into someone other than yourself. Unknown

On Tuesday evening we had our first in-person book club meeting in the back yard of one of our members. It was our first get together since March. The hostess baked a cake and said we had to guess the secret ingredient. We guessed everything we could think of, but the secret ingredient was tomato soup. This was an old recipe and tomato soup was used in place of eggs and butter. She thought it in keeping with the book we were reading written in 1915 “Of Human Bondage,” by W. Somerset Maugham.

Someone brought a bottle of wine, most of us hadn’t tried and it was delicious. One of our members we haven’t seen for a while came late. “I really missed you guys,” she said. We have really missed each other. We talked about all kinds of things some members have children going back to school and university. One member’s sister-in-law was starting to go into labor and she was being allowed in the delivery room. The lady who brought the wine asked her husband to come and get the car so she could drink. He and her daughter showed up to get the car and he brought more wine.

We sat in the fresh cold August evening air with shawls around us to keep warm, laughing, and talking.  Zoom meetings have been good but nothing beats meeting in person. No one finished the book so we are meeting again next month for the same book. Hopefully, it will be in someone else’s back yard, we have a volunteer to host.

Don’t stress about people copying you. Even if you give them the recipe, the sauce still won’t taste the same! You’re the secret ingredient!!! Unknown

What are the secret ingredients in our lives, friendships, and relationships? What is it that makes some relationships work, some friendships last lifetimes, and some people can put strange ingredients together and create masterpieces?

Our book club is a group of women who have come together over time. It isn’t a fit for everyone but those of us who have stayed find something in the book club we don’t find anywhere else. We can talk about things with the book club we might not feel comfortable sharing with others. Other people are too close to us, they are not close enough, or they aren’t interested. Somehow, the book club is perfect and it feeds our soul in ways no other relationship in our life does.

Groups are important in our lives. They support us in ways individual friends and family may have a hard time doing. If anyone is thinking of joining a group, join. Every group may not be the perfect fit. There is a group I’m a member of where I often feel like I’m on the outside looking in. Yet, I’ve remained a member and it is where the invite to the book club came from.

Groups support us in our growth, they encourage us in our struggles, and we learn things from other members. I watch my husband listening to online groups and I wonder what he gets out of it. If he sat in on my book club he might think the same thing. We need to find groups we feel we belong to, and of course, this can be dangerous if the group is not a positive one. A group gives us strength that what we are thinking is okay, if we aren’t thinking right and everyone agrees we can go down dark roads in groups being supported in negative thinking, behavior, and actions. We all need to be responsible for the groups we are a part of. We need to be willing to have a dissenting opinion in our groups or they might descend into something we don’t want.

Are the groups in our lives negative or positive? Should we join more groups or leave groups that are holding us back? Is there a secret ingredient other people are using in their lives that if we added to ours would make our lives better?

You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of. Jim Rohn

When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life. Jean Shinoda Bolen

The secret ingredient to true happiness? Decisive optimism and personal responsibility. Amy Leigh Mercree

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A Book About Love Paperback – July 25 2017

by Jonah Lehrer (Author)4.6 out of 5 stars 16 ratings

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Writing and the truth. Fiction is the lie that tells a truth.

Fiction is a lie that tells a truth. Writing and the truth.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Good writing is about telling the truth. Anne Lamott

I borrowed my book club pick from the library – an eBook, “Of Human Bondage” by W. Somerset Maugham. When I went to continue reading it, it was gone and I need to wait four weeks to get it back. This is one of the perils of borrowing eBooks from the library. On Tuesday I will show up for our book club meeting without the book being read and it is my pick.

It is hard to fit everything into our lives and reading a book club pick is one of them. I’m frantically combing my novel for errors and finding ones I can’t believe I’ve missed or did I create them when I was trying to have the chapters not have less than four lines on the last page of the chapter.

I picked up a book at Indigo the other day. “A Book About Love” by Jonah Lehrer he has an author’s note where he confesses a book he wrote in 2012 was pulled from the shelves because he included fabricated quotes by Bob Dylan and he relied on secondary sources that were not cited.

When there is so much information out there and quotes are attributed to people who did not say them it is very hard to know who said something. I know I find quotes that are attributed to different people and I have thought no one realized they weren’t original. As time goes on it will get harder and harder to know who said what, and when. These sound like easy mistakes to make. I love the book I picked up and I am happy that he didn’t curl up in a ball and never put his writing out into the world again.

All writing, all art, is an act of faith. Truman Capote

Writers for the most part are not putting out original ideas into the world. We are amalgamating ideas into something. When we listen to preachers preach they are not presenting new ideas, they find fresh and interesting ways to present old ideas and to show us how those old ideas impact our lives. There is nothing new under the sun. We often aren’t looking for new ideas when we read books. What are we looking for?

I think we want to look at things in new ways and to see old things from a new angle. We want to be entertained, we want to laugh, be touched, and a tear or two is welcome as well. We want to learn things we didn’t know, be reminded of things we’ve forgotten, and think of things we haven’t thought about for a long time. We want to see the truth of life. We want to be helped to make sense of the world, we want to be challenged to be better people, and become more than we are.

All the truth in the world is held in stories. Patrick Rothfuss

There are times when I myself no longer know whether I said and did the things I report or whether I dreamed them up. Anyway, I always dream true. If I lie a bit now and then it is mainly in the interest of truth. Henry Miller

Truth is often better seized and louder in the silence of the written word. Ina Catrinescu

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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Secrets and Silence: What if your biggest secret became public? by [Belynda Wilson Thomas]

Secrets and Silence: What if your biggest secret became public? Kindle Edition

by Belynda Wilson Thomas (Author)  Format: Kindle Edition

If you want to write a book. Make it a habit, make it happen.

Make it a habit, make it happen. If you want to write a book.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

If you want to change the world, pick up your pen. Martin Luther

How many of us want to write a book, have thought about writing a book, or are in the middle of writing a book? It is a huge endeavor and it is only going to happen if we write daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly.

There are many experts who will show us how to write a book and become rich and famous. If we want to become rich and famous we might want to rethink our strategy. There are many ways to become rich and many ways to become famous but writing a book will not necessarily result in either. The average book doesn’t sell more than 500 copies so it is not a get rich quick scheme. There are writers who are very rich and no one says it can’t happen to us. Authors doing well usually have many books under their belt, not just one.

There is nothing wrong with reading books on writing, taking classes on writing, and attending seminars on writing. But, they are not writing and they will not lead to a book of our own unless we sit down and write.

We can if we sit down and write, produce enough words to make a book. If we want a good book that is a different matter.

What makes a good book?

A good book must be compelling enough that we read it to the end.

There must be some moments of wow, I’ve thought that too.

It may teach us something, surprise, or shock us, but at the very least it should make us think.

It should be discussable.

Have I written a good book? When you read it let me know by giving me an honest review on Amazon.

This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it’s done. It’s that easy, and that hard. Neil Gaiman

I’ve always wanted to write, but I haven’t always written. If we don’t write we can’t call ourselves a writer. In 2002 my husband brought home an old laptop. I sat down at the kitchen table and began to write in the evenings after the kids went to bed. This started my habit of writing. I kept a writing log of when I started when I stopped, and how many words I produced.

My son saw me writing and he began asking. Mom, do you want to publish your writing. At first, I shrugged, but over time I said, “Yeah, I think I’d like to.” Then he started telling me I should start a blog, “All writers should have a blog.” I shrugged my shoulder over that one also, until one day I saw the book, “1000 True Fans” by Kevin Kelly. He tells us if we can develop 1000 true fans we can create a market for our work. 1000 isn’t a million. 1000 might be doable and so with his help, this blog was started in July 2018.

On the long August weekend past, I faced another fear; formatting my novel for Kindle Publishing. All the reports on how hard it was intimidated me, but I thought I would try to format it myself. When I followed the directions it worked like a charm. Then my son asked what my publishing date was. When I realized we could pre-publish I picked the date September 5, 2020, and committed myself to call my novel complete.

If we don’t set an end date writing a book can take as long as we let it. Some authors never finish, because when is it actually finished? When we decide it is. For the next one, I already have an end date in mind.

Creating the habit of writing and setting goals will get us where we want to go. Everything in life becomes a habit that adds or detracts from our life. When we reach a goal or dream we need to have another goal or dream.  We never want to run out of goals. Prolific authors like James Patterson believe they will run out of life before they run out of ideas to write about.  Ideas are all around us if we look for them. We should never save something for another book, put everything we have into the one we are writing. There will be more to put into the next one.

Are we dreaming of writing, or writing about our dreams?

Books can truly change our lives: the lives of those who read them, the lives of those who write them. Readers and writers alike discover things they never knew about the world and about themselves. Lloyd Alexander

Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works. Virginia Wolf

The art of writing is discovering what you believe. Gustave Flaubert

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones Hardcover – Illustrated, Oct. 16 2018

by James Clear (Author)4.7 out of 5 stars 4,795 ratingsAmazon Charts #2 this week


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Secrets and Silence: What if your biggest secret became public? by [Belynda Wilson Thomas]

Secrets and Silence: What if your biggest secret became public? Kindle Edition

by Belynda Wilson Thomas (Author)  Format: Kindle Edition



Life is making decisions. The better we are at making decisions, the better our life will be.

The better we are at making decisions, the better our life will be. Life is making decisions.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

All my life, whenever it comes time to make a decision, I made it and forget about it. Harry S. Truman

It all starts with a decision. Most of our life is because of the decisions we have made. If we want a different life we are going to have to make different decisions. Nothing happens until something happens. We can spend our lives revising and editing but never actually do anything with our work. We can say we are trying to build an audience but unless we have something for people to experience there can be no audience. 

We can have all kinds of excuses for why we are not ready to do something. How many years can we tell ourselves and others we are still editing our novel? We are still practicing, we are still just dating, we still want to start that business but the time isn’t right.

There will be no perfect time to get married, have a child, publish a book, launch a band, start a business, or buy a house. We have now and there is a beginning, middle, and end-stage, and when we get to the end stage of something we need to get ready to launch. Once we launch whatever it is often we need to go back and repeat what we’ve done only faster this time.

Life is full of ups and downs, we think something is a good idea and then we rethink, and we can think ourselves right out of pursuing success. We are never guaranteed success but life is fuller if we have dreams and goals we pursue and see where they go.

If we have zero book sales, and we then publish a book it has potential. If we don’t publish the book it has zero potential even if it is the greatest book ever written. What would a flop look like? Most authors don’t sell more than five hundred copies. Being an author is not about becoming rich and famous, although a few will, and why not us?

Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen. Ralph Waldo Emerson

If we feel we must do something we must do it. If we sing, write, or create anything we need to do it because it feeds our soul. Once we have completed it, why not share it with the world? We may touch someone’s life and as long as we keep our day job what is the downside?

If we never finish our first project we will not move onto the next one. What if it is the tenth project we put out that will touch someone? What if that tenth project is never put out into the world? What if that person is never touched?

We need to utilize our potential. What good is unutilized potential? No matter how good and productive we are we will never use up all of our potential. We don’t know what we are capable of, and we won’t know if we don’t take a chance and do what we know we must do.

There is a still small voice that whispers to us, do we listen? What if no one throughout history listened to that voice and none of the discoveries or inventions were made? We have the lives we have because of the chances people have taken to try new things, make things better, and invent things that didn’t exist before.

In the middle ages, the thinking of the time was that everything that could be known was known. When we look around we may wonder what is there still to discover, invent, and create. We won’t know until someone discovers it, invents it, or creates it, but when they do it will be evident to us that it would be discovered, invented, or created.

The novel I have been working on for years is going to be published on September 5, 2020. It is pre-released on Amazon. I made a decision and I can now move forward.

Is the person we need to take a chance on, us? Do we have something we want to do, but we hesitate, waiting for… what?

Remember, a real decision is measured by the fact that you’ve taken new action. If there’s no action, you haven’t truly decided. Tony Robbins

Again and again, the impossible problem is solved when we see that the problem is only a tough decision waiting to be made. Robert H. Schuller

On the plains of hesitation bleach the bones of countless millions who, at the dawn of decision, sat down to wait, and waiting died. George W. Cecil

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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Secrets and Silence: The Truth Will Set You Free by [Belynda Wilson Thomas]

Secrets and Silence: The Truth Will Set You Free Kindle Edition

by Belynda Wilson Thomas (Author)  Format: Kindle Edition


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