WOW (Women on Writing) Blog Book Tour for B. Lynn Goodwin

Hello Bookworms,

Sorry it’s been so long since my last post. I have a few live events/concert reviews coming up in March and a few book/music/art events, as well as more blog book tours like today’s.

That being said, today’s guest author is B. Lynn Goodwin, the author of Never too Late: from Wannabe to Wife at 62.

https://bookworm66.files.wordpress.com/2018/02/2f4d1-61oeqovtskl.jpg?w=203&h=305This book is the story of Mrs. Goodwin’s own personal of finding love and marrying after 62 years of singleness. I hope you find it as interesting as I did. In today’s post, Mrs. Goodwin discusses how important it is to tell your own story and how to develop the discipline to write about it everyday.

Enjoy 😉

Guest Post

B. Lynn Goodwin

Lgood67334@comcast.net

http://www.writeradvice.com

525-word blog – 100-word bio

“If you do not record your own story, your tiny bit of the history of the human race is lost. Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare’s vision. Dickinson wrote Dickinson’s. Who will tell your story if you do not?” –Pat Schneider, Author of (check YWMTDW?)

The Importance of Telling Your Story

Everyone has stories to tell. Sometimes people just don’t realize it. I once had a woman ask me, “Who would be interested in a Texas girl’s farm life?”

“Those who have not lived it,” I told her. “People in cities and suburbs. People who’ve spent their lives in schools and offices.”

Her eyes lit up as she began seeing her story in a new way.

No one can tell your story but you. Perhaps you’ve already told it out loud. Maybe you’ve shared it with family and friends. So why write it down?

There’s something about putting words on paper or a computer screen that creates a commitment to an idea. Got the words wrong? Use the delete key. Say what you really meant to say. The first draft usually involves spilling your story. Think of it as generating the clay you will mold. Each successive draft will make your writing more nuanced and you will get closer and closer to the truth.

And what will the truth do? Set you free from obsession over things you cannot control. Clear your head and your conscience. Give you insight. Broaden your perspective. Move you forward and maybe transform you.

Depending on how you tell your story and how objective and three-dimensional it is, you may help others to heal or embrace new ideas. Your story might inspire them to tell their own.

You might also help yourself to heal from whatever wounds are holding you back. It will allow you to move forward in your life. By telling your story you may begin to see your life as a journey. Our stories help us define who we are, the changes we’d like to make, and build our confidence.

If you share your story in any kind of group—therapy group, church group, or writing group to name three—it should help you connect with others. It will also help you connect with yourself on a deeper level. You’ll go from the whats—the events to the whys—the reasons behind them. Writing enables you to see your life in new ways. Writing your story can help you fix or accept the past and sometimes it helps you plan a more productive future.

Ready to start? Here are the first steps.

Write for 15 minutes a day for the next five days.

Each day after you finish, look for favorite lines. Those are places to explore further. Post the results here or on your blog or share with a group if you’d like to.

You might be surprised by how many people will identify with your story. Their encouragement will keep you moving forward until you have a rough draft.

I told my story in Never Too Late: From Wannabe to Wife at 62. Can a 62-year-old who’s never been married find happiness with a two-time widower seeking his third wife on . . . Craigslist? You’ll find out how by reading the book.

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B. Lynn Goodwin  B. Lynn Goodwin owns Writer Advice, www.writeradvice.com. Her memoir, Never Too Late: From Wannabe to Wife at 62 was just released by Koehler Press.

She’s written You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers and Talent, which was short-listed for a Literary Lightbox Award, won a bronze medal in the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards and was a finalist for a Sarton Women’s Book Award.

Goodwin’s work has appeared in Voices of Caregivers, Hip Mama, Dramatics Magazine, Inspire Me Today, The Sun, Good Housekeeping.com, Purple Clover.com and many other places. She is a reviewer and teacher at Story Circle Network, and she is an editor, writer and manuscript coach at Writer Advice.

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WOW(Women on Writing) Blog Book Tour for Jennifer A. Payne’s EVIDENCE OF FLOSSING: What We Leave Behind

Hello Bookworms;

As you can see, BOOKWORM is participating in another blog book tour courtesy of WOW (Women on Writing). Today’s guest is Jennifer A. Payne, author of Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind. Today I’m posting an interview, Q and A style, that I conducted with Ms. Payne so that you can read  her thoughts about her calling, her choice of direction for her writing, and her thoughts about mindfulness. I’m also posting a review of her most recent work “Evidence”.  Enjoy.

Hi Anjanette.

Thank you for this opportunity to talk about my books with you and your readers!

  1. How long have you been writing/ what made you decide to write?

I don’t know if I had a choice, really. Writing is how I’ve always communicated with the world. My earliest memory is writing letters to my Dad when he was away on business trips when I was young.In grade school, I used to write short stories, but I also had a dozen pen pals I kept in touch with regularly. I wrote for my high school newspaper, and studied journalism at UMass. My first job was writing press releases and advertising copy, before I started my own business doing the same. I published a zine in the early 90s, and graduated to blog writing about 10 years ago.

I’ve been writing all my life!

2. What made you take this direction for your writing/this work?

I think those early days of communicating real-life stories and experiences to my Dad and pen pals have kept me pretty firmly rooted in non-fiction writing. You can see that on my blog Random Acts of Writing (http://randomactsofwriting.net). Over the years, it has hosted everything from my food writing, travel journals and book reviews, to photo essays, social commentary and poetry.In the past couple of years, I’ve been writing more poetry, mainly because that is how my muse has been talking to me. But also, I was invited to join a local poetry group, the Guilford Poets Guild, and they have inspired and encouraged me a lot!

Both of my books, LOOK UP! Musings on the Nature of Mindfulness (2014) and the new book Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind are direct results of my work on the blog. LOOK UP! includes essays, poetry, a collection of quotations by philosophers, naturalists, and famous writers, plus 100 of my original color photos. It’s a journal, really, that narrates my own journey from working 24/7 to reconnecting with our natural world, finding balance and mindfulness in the simple act of going outside. Evidence of Flossing is a follow-up to that concept. It features 73 of my poems and 80 original and vintage photos that continue a conversation about our divine connection to nature, and how important it is to find our way back to that.

3. What is it about mindfulness that interests/fascinates you?

By day, I run my own graphic design and marketing business. By night (really in the pre-dawn hours of the day), I do my creative work. My brain and I work at a very frenetic pace – as you can imagine – but somewhere in all of that, there has to be some downtime. Some quiet. Some peace.

I tried traditional methods of meditation – sitting on pillows, candles, oms, guided groups, recorded sessions. But nothing really “stuck.” I remember one group meditation…there were 10 of us in a small, candlelit room. We did some breathing exercises, and then the facilitator guided us on a meditation…down a path, into the treetops, up into the sky. I spent the whole meditation frantically running to catch up, because I couldn’t breathe right, couldn’t visualize right…couldn’t get out of my own way!

About that same time, I had started taking regular walks in the woods. There is a nature preserve near my house, and I can do a nice, easy 2-mile walk in a space that feels very far away from everything. I remember this one day very clearly. I’d been walking for about 20 minutes with lots of busy thoughts in my head. But then it was suddenly quiet. All I heard were my footsteps on the pine needle path. I wasn’t aware of my thoughts or my body, just the sound of footsteps, like a heartbeat, and breathing.

It was brief and wonderful.

I think of it now as my “ah-ha, so this is meditation” moment.problems, inspirations for my writing, connections to some mystery I wouldn’t have had time for if I wasn’t allowing myself to disconnect from busy and reconnect with nature. It’s that simple…and that complicated, I suppose. Perhaps that’s what so fascinating about it, and why I write about it. The difficult part of mindfulness is getting there—stepping away from our busy-ness, allowing ourselves that time to reconnect. But once we do, it’s really quite simple. It’s really quite amazing.
4. Use this space to give yourself a shameless plug?

I was at a workshop last week, and the hostess came over to me and pointed to a copy of my book on her coffee table. “I keep your book here,” she said. “In a place of honor. That way I can pick it up and read something from it whenever I want. Which is often. I just love it.”

She’s not alone. People seem to really connect with these books, with the writing and the photos. I think it’s because they talk about our collective concerns about our society in a way that is heartfelt and thoughtful. They’re smart books that you can skim for meaning, or dive into for a deeper understanding as they apply to your own philosophy and spirituality, your own experience. But they are both easy reads – you can read an essay, read one poem, open to a page and meditate on a photo or quote. They allow the reader to take that moment of mindfulness, to stop and consider…maybe…a better way to move about in this world? I hope.

Review:

Evidence is a combination of street photography and poetry. It’s actually a followup to a prior work of Ms. Payne’s called LOOKUP! Musings on the Nature of Mindfulness. Most psychology majors probably remember mindfulness as a Buddhist concept that is used in clinical psychology to help alleviate depressive symptoms. It involves bringing one’s attention to experiences that are occurring  in the present moment through meditation or other disciplines (like writing). Discarded dental flossers are featured in most of  Evidence’s street photography. To me they seemed to point to the commonalities of mankind. Even though there are differences between our global cultures, it is our humanity that gives us common ground. What’s is more of a sign on humanity that flossing? For the author they also ask the question “What is our legacy?” “What will we leave behind?”.  I like the way her poems are formatted because there’s no formal visual presentation (prose, haikus). So they force whoever’s reading them to ponder and meditate on their meaning. Her writing is definitely in keeping with the mindfulness concept. I look forward to reviewing even more of Ms. Payne’s work.

Evidence of Flossing  and LOOKUP! (as well as Jennifer Payne herself)can be found online at:

Website: https://3chairspublishing.com/

Blog: https://randomactsofwriting.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/threechairspub

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ThreeChairsPub

Live Jazz at the Idle-A-While: Urban Jazz Coalition

Here’s some footage from my Friday night at The Idle-A-While Bar and Restaurant. The name of the band is Urban Jazz Coalition. And here’s my summary….

I forgot to mention in my summary that the Idle-A-While has EXCELLENT FOOD as well.

Janet Jackson’s STATE OF THE WORLD TOUR: My Summary

Hello Bookworms;

Here’s the summary/review I promised.

As you can see everyone had a blast and the place was packed. I was unable to post any video footage (website act up) But here’s my summary (click here ) anyway.

I had fun. Pleased if you get the chance to get tickets and go if Janet comes to your city or near your city. You WON’T be disappointed.

WOW (Women on Writing) Blog Book Tour for Author Leona Stucky’s “THE FOG OF FAITH:MY IMPOTENT GOD

Hello Bookworms;

Welcome to another blog book tour with our friends from WOW  (Women on Writing). Today’s guest author is Leona Stucky. The work we are posting about today is her memoir,  The Fog of Faith: Surviving My Impotent God.  The subject for today’s post “Recognizing Evil-An Underbelly Job”. Ms. Stucky will be stopping through. Feel free to talk with her and make her feel welcome. Enjoy…

Leona Stuckey Blog Tour pice

Recognizing Evil – An Underbelly Job

Blog by Dr. Leona Stucky, www.thefogoffaith.com

Seldom can human evil be fully known before it slashes its wrath across the soft underbelly of human constancy. Evil causes immense suffering and yet it confuses us.

Evil is “gift” that keeps on giving. One patient told me that since terror struck her she thinks double and contradictory thoughts simultaneously. They circumscribe her mental and emotional movements. If danger persists, so does the anguish that surrounds it. The soft underbelly thickens. Evil has to be considered. We guess and re-guess. We are not free to set aside the slashes and live as if they had not happened and will not strike again. We are not free to banish troubling thoughts. They come unbidden. We think and fear them before we can consciously understand or attempt diversions.

Evil eviscerates the safe-harbors of our well-being and leaves scars that won’t allow our soft underbellies to stay placid and playful. We lose our innocence, trauma unfolds, and memory membranes, scattered asunder, must be recollected as if sense can be recreated.

Evil and Good Together?

Evil, it turns out, is ubiquitous, as is good. And it would be a mistake to fully separate those two characteristics. Usually human intentions are mixed, and the results of those intentions are also mixed, but when evil is imposed, suffering is the predominant result.

To find evil, we must listen deeply to any clarion cry for help, look intensely into suffering, and be wary of jumping on the bandwagon of public blaming – for many people will point the finger at other’s evil while practicing their own. Here, careful discernment is required.

  • Are the people pointing the finger the people who are suffering the most?
  • Where does our empathy find an authentic landing place?
  • In which position would we need to stand to feel the evil slashes across the soft underbelly of our constancy?

The first place to explore evil is within ourselves. If we can understand our own evil intentions and actions, often enacted against ourselves, we will know the fundamental essence of being human and will be able to grasp the magnitude of the problem of evil in our lives.

How We Deceive Ourselves

Ron, in my memoir, The Fog of Faith: Surviving My Impotent God, thought his needs and his divine right to subject me to his desires were justification enough. He was an ordinary guy, in his assessment, not an evil one. He felt entitled to his minimal pleasures and survival necessities, no matter what suffering his requisitions caused for another person —quite similar to first world inhabitants feeling entitled to the resources and means of production that leave a muted holocaust for millions of others working long hours without enough to sustain their families.

We can and should be enraged at the evil of many Nazis, who blindly did what they thought was right—followed orders without thinking for themselves about the consequences of their death-to-millions actions. Sometimes we might also wonder about our propensity to silently brush by the causes and effects of global warming or deadly militaristic answers, as if blindly following the dictates of capitalism is the only choice we can make. Many people have no trouble denying culpability. Some don’t empathize with those who suffer and seem oblivious to the anguish their beliefs and actions cause.        Our human minds quickly and naturally collude with others’ pre-rationalized dictums to avoid culpability. Compromised by political, cultural, religious or psychological diminutions of our responsibility for the sometimes devastating effects of our actions, we seldom recognize our own evil. In the instances when it ricochets and devastates our own lives, blaming others is a likely response. I know of no country or human who surpasses these tendencies, including myself.

Final Thoughts

Perhaps claiming full responsibility for who we are and how we act is a faculty we humans have not yet mastered, especially when the harmful effects of our actions are not directly experienced or observed by ourselves. Evolutionary biologists tell us that we have not evolved to care about distant others as much as we care about our own family or tribe. This is not offered as an excuse for people, but an awareness of how powerful a foe, cold and unthinking evolutionary forces, we must engage to learn how to operate differently than the format evolution has prescribed.

I guess we will live in an entirely different way, in an entirely different world, when and if humans learn the lessons of recognizing evil and imposing it on no one, including ourselves. I, for one, hope we don’t destroy ourselves before we learn those lessons!

Ms Stucky has a Facebook page, is on LinkdIn, and her book can be found on Amazon.com

 

 

Gospel Performing Arts Expo 2017: Second Night

Hello Bookworms;

Here’s the footage I promised you from night two of this past weekend’s expo.

Here’s some footage of a Gospel group called Identity .

I discovered a new feature on Facebook that will allow me save my live footage to my phone which will allow me to post it to my blog. Neat right?? Here’s my summary of night two’s events.

Anyhoo, have a blessed holiday weekend eat LOTS of turkey and don’t forget to hit the gym. Love you guys.

Gospel Performing Arts Expo 2017: First Night

Theme for Both Nights: “Return of the Levite”

Here is some video footage of the first night of this weekend’s Gospel Performing Arts Expo 2017.

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And here’s the audio for the Premium Showcase featuring Phil Smedley and his band and guest vocalists <—-click here.

And here’s my summary of tonight’s portion of this event <click here>