Held Hostage….?


Hello world, although it was my intention to share a post on here a few days ago, I encountered some technical issues. Imagine waking up the day after Christmas, and discovering that you were locked out of your word processing software.

“Arrrgh,” I growled knowing that I had a couple of articles due the next morning for one of my cherished clients. I shook my head and cursed the day I upgraded from Microsoft Word 2010, to the new and improved Microsoft Office 365. It seemed like a good idea at the time since the upgrade was included with the NetBook I got as a gift from my brother last year for Christmas. Little did I realize that a year later my life’s work would be held for ransom.

I suppose that’s a little melodramatic but I am a writer and a good story requires a little drama doesn’t it? Yes I know that I can use Microsoft Office 365 Online for free, or I could use Google Docs, but what about those times I have no internet access? I often write at the beach, in the mountains or at a park because I find those places inspirational and there are limited distractions.

So what’s a free spirited freelance writer to do when his work is being held hostage? Pay the fee?

Hell no! Being the rebel I am, and being as angry as I am, I have decided to search for a word processing program that won’t charge me a monthly fee for the privilege of accessing my own work. Although I love Microsoft’s Word program, I don’t like the notion that I should have to pay a monthly or yearly subscription fee to use it even if that fee is less than what I pay for a couple of cups of coffee. What’s next a subscription fee to use my laptop?

So the search has begun, a simple Google Search revealed that there are a number of great word processing programs out there including many that offer the same features that Microsoft includes in Office 365. I don’t mind paying for the software in fact I paid for Word 2010 unfortunately when I upgraded I apparently lost access to that program.

After doing some research I realize that as a professional writer I may be swimming upstream as I try to get away from Microsoft’s new subscription service, but there are some great alternatives available on the market. I have narrowed the list down to three programs that were rated highly on TopTenReviews.com, Corel’s WordPerfect Office X8, SoftMaker’s TextMaker 2016, and Ability Office 6. I am downloading trial versions of the fore mentioned word processing software, and intend to give them all a fair shot by using each one to polish up a chapter of my latest manuscript.

Additionally there are a few free offerings that also look like they would be up to the task such as Libre Office which I just installed on my NetBook. Another promising possibility is Open Office Writer 4.1.3 which I am currently using to write this post on my trusty Lenovo laptop. What word processing software do you use?

How do you feel about monthly subscriptions to access your own work?

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An Immortal, a Sorcerer and a thousand years of love…


Jake exited the Lincoln Tunnel entering the urban jungle of concrete, steel, and flesh, the “Big Apple”. He turned onto Tenth Ave. abruptly slamming on the brakes just avoiding a collision with a redhead that had a body like Marilyn Monroe.

“Damn it” he cursed, as his coffee cup erupted like a volcano. He looked at the traffic signal making sure he had the green thinking; it’s suicidal for someone on foot to try to cross against the signal, during the morning rush hour.

What the hell, is she doing, he thought while searching for a napkin to clean up the murky pool that now graced the seat of his jeep ” Betsy”. He retrieved a napkin and looked up from the spotless consol to find the road hazard staring into his eyes as she walked towards him.
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The smell of overheating brakes, burnt oil and scorched tires wafted through the window assaulting Jake’s nose as he rolled it down “What the hell are you doing, are you crazy?” he shouted over the cacophony of horns, now blaring simultaneously, by the conductor- less, orchestra …the five lanes of stopped traffic that now surrounded him.

“I came to find you Jake; we need to talk, and you haven’t got much time.” She said before asking rather smugly.” Are you going to let me in or leave me standing here to get run over?”

“What are you talking about, do I know you?” Jake queered, as he pondered whether he should let her in or not. What harm could she do he muttered in his mind. She is half my size and doesn’t look like an axe murderer. Even if she is there was no way she is hiding an axe in that outfit. . She was wearing a perfectly pleated paisley dress which revealed her shapely body, and highlighted her auburn hair, and enchanting green eyes. He unlocked the door and told her “get in.”

The flowery spring like fragrance of her perfume preceded her entry, making him feel somehow lighter, and full of joy. He smiled as climbed in and sat next to him. “My name is Sandra; I have been a friend of yours for close to three thousand years.” She said as her full lips proclaimed, revealing her brilliant white teeth and creating a warm smile.

“What?’ exclaimed Jake” Three thousand years is a long time. In case you hadn’t noticed I am not that old, even though I am forty-three I don’t feel in any way ancient. You, my beautiful friend, can’t be a day over thirty, thirty five at the most.”

“Do you believe in reincarnation?”She retorted, then before Jake could answer she continued”We are spiritual beings, souls that have chosen to take a physical body.


The song just seemed to fit! “The Talisman of Immortality” coming soon to a book store near you!

Fiction with feeling.. My heart screamed.


Mike was sprawled out on the bench, a collapsed toilet paper box hid his head from the sun and those that passed by. I looked at him laying there his pants covered in vomit, frying like an egg on the sidewalk in the late morning sun. The empty vodka bottle he grasped with a death grip as his arm hung lifelessly over the side of the bench.

The stench that permeated the stagnant air was a mixture of vomit; body odor and shit made me want to gag. The only other time I recall my nose being so offended was when I made the mistake of taking a late morning walk down Fulton Street. Have you ever been to the fish market, after the fish guts, and waste have been rotting for several hours in the mid summer sun. I had to throw away my favorite shoes when I got home; there was no getting rid of that smell.

I wish I had a hose to spray mike down with and a bar of soap, I really wish I could have given him a place to stay that was equipped with a shower.

As I looked at him the Stoli bottle spoke to me, like a wine bottle with a message that had washed up on a beach. The message although unwritten told the same story. “SOS” I am lonely and alone, surrounded by the ocean, in Mike’s case it was an ocean of people that didn’t even see him.

My heart screamed, I wanted to help him somehow. I had spoken with him several times, he shared his story. His wife kicked him out a few years back; he couldn’t deal with his reality and had turned to crack cocaine. It provided a temporary relief and escape from the pressures of his job, his wife, his family and society that wanted him to fit their expectations.

I understood how he felt, I was going through a divorce hated my job and felt pressured to conform to the expectations of family and society. The 85 dollars left from my paycheck after the child support, taxes, and alimony were taken out of my check was not enough to pay rent on an apartment. The only reason I wasn’t sleeping on a bench next to Mike was I had a car. I also had a different attitude and I chose not to hit the bottle.

It was Wednesday one of the days I got to spend the evening with my children. I had left the shop I worked out of after learning there was no work for me that day. As a carpenter for a Union shop in NY work was sometimes spotty. I had been lucky for the greater part of twenty years working steady, times had changed.
No steady work meant even more arrears in my child support and less for me to live on. I was just a few dollars away from the bench next to Mike.

I reached in my pocket and took out the last of my cash a crumpled up five dollar bill and stuffed it in Mike’s empty hand. He fidgeted and dropped the bottle as he woke startled to have somebody touching him. The cardboard feel to the ground as he jumped up, he looked at me with bloodshot eyes and looked in his hand at the five. He smiled and said “thank you” before sitting up straight. I suggested he should get some breakfast and get moving before the morning police patrol arrived. Then I headed for the subway.
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An experiment and having some fun being creative as I prepare my contribution for this weeks Veterans writing group. A short story with a little punch, I have been working them over with my almost complete novel and thought they might enjoy something different.

What do you think? Certainly not what you expected is it? If nothing else I am becoming a better writer, thank you all for stopping by and for your much appreciated support. My next Novel may be a take off of this short story if it piques enough interest..lol

Namaste!

Taking the time to smell the flowers!


 

I wanted to share a few thoughts. It is my first post of the New Year; In fact it is my first post in a few weeks. I was reminded recently of my past, I lived a fast hard life during my twenty’s and thirty’s. Work consumed my time and money was all that was on my mind. So much so that I missed out on smelling so many roses… Have you ever stopped to think about and feel something that really brought you great joy? I have observed as I talk to people and help them step into the life they dream of that it is easy to remember the not so pleasant things that happen in our lives. I also have noticed as I step into my dream life, and implement the things I have learned and teach I had the same problem.

Funny how other people’s story can remind us of our own story, the good the bad and the ugly. I read Stephen Kings memoir “On Writing” recently. I had been told it was the number one guide to becoming a better writer, to master the craft of writing this book is a must read. I agree it is a must read for any writer, as a writer you have to be a reader. Some of the characters in his story were very reminiscent of some of the characters in my youth.

One or two of his characters along with their situations, and experiences hit quite close to home for me. The truth is they would probably hit quite home for most of us. One of the stories he shared was about two girls and a boy that were in some of his classes while he was a teacher at a High School. They were not wealthy students; one of the girls wore the same skirt and shirt all year. By the time it was winter the skirt was faded, the shirt was stained and for the most part translucent. The kids all picked on those unfortunate students because they were basically stuck with what they had.

One of the motivating factors for my obsession with making money and having the means to buy my children the finest of everything materially was my own childhood memories. When I was in fifth grade I was given the nick name “K mart”. I had one pair of shoes to wear through the school year, plastic ones that were always a size or two larger than my feet at the start of the year so I could grow into them. One pair of jeans and a couple of homemade shirts completed my wardrobe. The shoes were what they used to call K Mart specials shiny patent leather knock offs. Most other kids I knew wore them on Sunday to church.

I got my first job at 13 so I could buy myself clothes that were more in style, and lose the nick name. I never wanted to hear the name” K mart” again especially if it was what I was being called. I was determined to make a million dollars and know my children would never be ridiculed for the clothes they wore. I would never again feel like I was poor!

Here it is 2015, I was speaking with a friend about a seminar we had recently attended. It was a Law of Attraction seminar and the speaker (A close friend) was talking about the visualization process. Find a memory of a time in your life when you had great joy and success. Feel that moment remember how you felt. Bask in that moment!

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It was that moment that I realized… How important it is to stop and smell the roses. I had the hardest time finding a moment that truly resonated with that feeling of joy. Not that I have not known or experienced joy, there have been many times in my life that I have. I was trying to think of a financial moment as it was again money on my mind. There was a time I got a check for twenty thousand dollars, I will remember that moment and the feeling I told myself. I suppose that is where I am going with this post.

I don’t remember the feeling, I don’t remember the joy, I don’t remember celebrating, I remember telling my former wife to deposit it. I remember going to work a fifteen hour day, coming home and checking on the balance in my checking account before I went to bed. Ten years later I can’t say how I felt about something that would have made “K mart” jump for joy, laugh, dance and sing.

I start this year with a great smile, and the intent to bask in each moment, find the joy and feel it savor it just like it was a rose. I have changed my life and path, choosing to do what I love. I am writing, painting and creating things with love and joy. I believe and know just like I did when I was 13 that I will make millions. This time doing what I love and savoring the moments, not neglecting the most beautiful part of life.

Do you live in the moment, do you smell the flowers? Can you recall the first time you felt love? The feeling you had when you had your first kiss? I had to dig very deep to remember those feelings. Isn’t that a shame?

I encourage you to stop and smell the roses, savor the moments in your life that bring you joy! Bask in those moments, and remember them when you start to think about the not, so pleasant things. That change of perspective will brighten up a cloudy day. The more you remember how beautiful that rose was to look at, the smell, and how it made you smile… The more beautiful your life will become!


Thank you for stopping by, thank you even more for being you!

Namaste

Become a better writer, LinkedIn.. Groups and critiques


Acrid smoke filled the air, the cast iron hook on the chain suspended from the iron tripod held the cauldron in the center of the well stoked fire. The cauldron now glowing red was all but empty its contents sizzled and crackled as they began to char and burn. The air was filled with the stench of burnt words.
cauldron2
What? Burnt words, stench, where does that come from? What are you talking about Joe?

Why writing of course! Have you ever asked for a critique of your writing? Have you ever asked a group of professional writers to critique a sentence or a paragraph from a first draft of your manuscript or article you may have written?

I recently asked for a critique in a writers group on LinkedIn. It ended up being quite an eye opening experience. I asked for a few thoughts as far as my original opening sentence that I had written for my novel.

“I am curious is the following a good opening sentence for a book? As Jake was driving to work his mind raced, his heart ached, and he didn’t want to go to work.”

130 Comments later I smile and laugh at the scorched words in the pot! The wide variety of feedback and comments ranged from” yes that is a good first sentence” to” that sucks cliché, lazy, no creativity, work twice in the first sentence.. Really! You are obviously a rookie and have no imagination.”

“Feel the heat?” Oh my, as I went to a coaching session at the Community Writing Center I sat down with my friend and coach and mentioned the fact I had posted the sentence for critique in a group on LinkedIn. I was smiling and quite proud of myself for having done so even though I had already been working on my re write I did feel the original sentence had merit and legs of sorts. I wanted to get some opinions that may help me express the same sentiment in a more creative and artistic way. Did the sentence make the reader curious enough to read on?

I smiled big as I told her “I got a lot of feedback”

She laughed as she said”You got Mauled!”

We both laughed for a few minutes as she told me she had read the comments.. Being a connection my activity is on her news feed.

I am sharing this story for two reasons.. One, posting your questions in a writing group is a great way to learn and get constructive feedback. Two, I found it funny to see how many people judge a story, and the writer based on a few words.

“Do you judge a book by its cover or its title?” What about the first sentence or paragraph?

My revised first sentence and couple of paragraphs.. It may change again before I am finished with the re write!

Jake exited the Lincoln Tunnel entering the urban jungle of concrete, steel, and flesh, commonly referred to as the “Big Apple”. He turned onto Tenth Ave. and abruptly slammed on the brakes barely avoiding a collision with a redhead that had a body like Marilyn Monroe.

“Damn it” he cursed, as his coffee cup erupted like a volcano, spewing its contents like a river of magma flowing from hand to thigh. He looked at the traffic signal to make sure he had the green thinking; it was almost suicidal for someone on foot to try and cross an intersection against the signal, during the morning rush hour.

Do you want to become a better writer? Maybe posting some of your work in a writing group will help you along the way! You may find your words smoldering in the cauldron and laugh as your new ones rise like a phoenix from the ashes!
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Thank you for stopping by and thank you for being beautiful you! I am grateful as is our world that you choose to share your love and your smiles! It makes our world a better place for all we share it with!
Namaste 

Synchronicity, Carl Jung, Sir Isaac Newton, Blogging and the Emerald Tablet.. Off the hook and off the grid!


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Image of Emerald Tablet courtesy of Flikr


Synchronicity… A philosophical concept first described by Carl Jung, a Swiss psychologist in the 1920’s it is a term that has had great meaning in my life lately. Funny in a way as it brings me back to the one who coined the term in a very unique way. I suppose it was meant to be in my education and evolution that I would be at this point in time sharing thoughts about synchronicity and some of my experiences with the concept.

. It is only natural that for my own personal evolution, Alchemy is a part of my path spiritually. It is quite a gift that my time spent in the blog world in reading so many great blogs has been a treasure of knowledge shared both from the writers and those that inspire them and the knowledge over the ages that they are aware of and in turn make the rest of us aware of. It is quite synchronistic that I started blogging to share my thoughts and become a better writer and in doing so have added exponentially to my own spiritual growth and evolution by becoming part of a community of writers of which many are on a path of spiritual growth and evolution as well. I learn from every writer something that helps me become a better human being than I was before I read what they shared! Thank you all for sharing!

I thought I would share a treasure and a piece of ancient knowledge that has influenced many and been quoted in part by many that perhaps are not even aware of where that quote came from. I had not even heard of the Emerald Tablet yet have many times heard the quote; “That which is below is like that which is above & that which is above is like that which is below” I had the belief that was a quote from the Bible.. You learn something new every day. I also learned that Carl Jung was believed to have fallen asleep on the Emerald Tablet and even more interestingly Sir Isaac Newton translated it and studied it in depth. Isaac Newton was also one of the most known Alchemists of all time another intriguing fact I was unaware of until I read about the Emerald Tablet. It is his translation I choose to share the excerpt I share is from Wikipedia.

Newton’s translation
A translation by Isaac Newton is found among his alchemical papers that are currently housed in King’s College Library, Cambridge University.[8]
1. Tis true without lying, certain & most true.
2. That which is below is like that which is above & that which is above is like that which is below to do the miracles of one only thing
3. And as all things have been & arose from one by the mediation of one: so all things have their birth from this one thing by adaptation.
4. The Sun is its father, the moon its mother, the wind hath carried it in its belly, the earth is its nurse.
5. The father of all perfection in the whole world is here.
6. Its force or power is entire if it be converted into earth.
7. Separate thou the earth from the fire, the subtle from the gross sweetly with great industry.
8. It ascends from the earth to the heaven & again it descends to the earth & receives the force of things superior & inferior.
9. By this means you shall have the glory of the whole world
10. & thereby all obscurity shall fly from you.
11. Its force is above all force. For it vanquishes every subtle thing & penetrates every solid thing.
12. So was the world created.
13. From this are & do come admirable adaptations whereof the means (or process) is here in this. Hence I am called Hermes Trismegist, having the three parts of the philosophy of the whole world
14. That which I have said of the operation of the Sun is accomplished & ended.

– Meditation and Alchemy are two subjects I have a great interest in on a spiritual level, embracing both Eastern and Western Philosophies It was a gift to go off the grid for a few days and sit in nature and just be with the natural world and contemplate as well as meditate after having learned about and read this piece of mystical writing shared with me through the world of blogging!

I thank you for allowing me to share a thought or two and thank you all for being you and sharing the thoughts and love you share in doing so! Thank you as well for being the positive change our world so needs as you share your smiles and share your love making it a better world for all we share it with! 
Namaste!  bows head and smiles deeply!

Quantum N.L.P. The Law Of Attraction, one of my new writing projects:)


Just wanted to share this post as it is the first of many in a new collaborative project with one of the most well known and influential Quantum N.L.P. Masters and an international presence in the Consciousness community Christiane Turner. Christiane is a very amazing and inspirational Human Being. I am honored to have been given such a wonderful opportunity.

http://quantumnlp.net/blog/

What exactly is the Law of Attraction?
Posted on August 20, 2014 by Christiane Turner — No Comments ↓

A warm welcome to my new collaborator Joe Bradshaw from iamforchange.wordpress.com
Together we bring you ideas, information and resources to help you live the life of your dreams in high consciousness.Enjoy.

One of the most common questions asked is “What is the Law of Attraction”

We attract whatever we choose to give our attention to–whether wanted or unwanted.
This Law is Universal because it does not matter who you are, where you live, what your religious beliefs are, what year you were born…the Law is true for everyone equally. It is as true as the Law of Gravity.

New scientific discoveries show us clearly that we are creating our reality through the use of our language. By teaching ourselves more effective language patterns, our brain automatically forms new neurological pathways which naturally lead to new behaviors and habits.

We humans are actually very powerful attractors and we can use this wonderful, god-given power to attract more of what we want in life-simply by paying attention to where we place our thoughts and desires.

The Attraction Principle

When you examine this phenomenon from the perspective of the “Attraction” principle, it implies that the experiences, people and things we want in our life can come to us versus us going out there to get them. We are literally drawing them to us. We are letting them come to us. It’s an outward/inward movement as we are sit back and act receptive. The actions taken in that energy concentrate on meditation, prayer and setting our intent. There is very little actual DOING associated with the “Attraction” principle.
All of these aspects perfectly align with the YIN, which stands in stark contrast to the YANG aspects, exemplified in the energy which we attach to the word “manifestation.” Again, just read the word and tap into your inner experience as you think about its meaning. Does “manifesting” sound more passive or active to you? Is it a principle that implies an inward/outward motion or is it more of an outward/inward expression? Are you sending out or drawing in?

By Christiane Turner, Quantum NLP
Featuring Joe Bradshaw with iamforchange blog

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I hope you enjoy the article.. Thank you for being you and I hope you all have a wonderful day. I also wish to thank you for making our world a better place as you share your love and share your smiles you are making the positive change our world needs and making our world a better place for all we share it with!

Namaste 🙂