WOW Blog Book Tour for Karen Brown Tyson (The Interview)

Hello Bookworms;

Today’s post is day two of my participation in the WOW blog book tour for author Karen Brown Tyson’s latest work, Time to Refresh: A 21- Day Devotional to Renew Your Mind After being Laid Off, Fired, or Sidelined. 

In this post, I will featuring an interview with Ms. Brown Tyson. In it Ms. Tyson discusses her transition from working for Fortune 500 companies to writing and the lay-off that was responsible. She also discusses her and how she became a born again Christian.

Once again, make Ms. Brown Tyson feel welcome and feel free to comment all you like and ask as many questions as you want.

Here’s the interview:

Interview:

1. After 25 years working for Fortune 500 companies, you suddenly found yourself laid off. Can you go into a little more detail about the lay-off and how you came up with the idea for your present company, Constant Communicators?

The lay-off came as a surprise. One minute I was working on ten different projects and the next minute I’m being told that my services were no longer needed. But having been laid off previously, I knew that’s how layoffs go. Rather than dwell in anger and shock, I immediately thanked God and my supervisors for the time I worked at the company. I knew right then that if God allowed this to happen, then He obviously had something else planned for me. I was excited about the future.

I immediately started praying and asking God to show me what He wanted me to do next. Through prayer I realized I have so much experience to offer in the areas of corporate communication, writing, and public relations. I created Constant Communicators to help people get their message across to customers and employees.

2. Your biography contains details about your faith. Can you give us a short testimony about your conversion to Christ??

I grew up in two houses. I lived with my grandparents during the week because my father wanted my brother and me to go to a good school. On the weekends, I lived with my parents. I did this for ten years. I saw my grandparents not only attend church regularly, but they served in ministry. My father did not believe in going to church. When I was 10, father died. On the day of his funeral, I told my mother I wanted two things – one was to live with her full time and the other was to go to church. We started to go to church weekly, and I loved it. When I was 16, I gave my life to Christ.

3. What target does your company serve??

Constant Communicators aims to teach solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, and aspiring authorpreneurs how to communicate, write and create content to drive engagement with customers.

4. You use this space to give yourself a shameless plug.

In addition to running my own business, I am the author of, Time to Refresh: A 21-Day Devotional to Review Your Mind After Being Laid Off, Fired or Sidelined. The book highlights my journey through the Bible following my job layoff. I wrote the book using journaling to This explore the mindset issues I faced while sitting on the sidelines of life. Your readers can buy the book on Amazon or Barnes&Noble.

About the Author:

For the past 25 years, Karen Brown Tyson worked for Fortune 500 companies in the fast food, pharmaceutical, and telecommunication industries. Today, Karen is the founder of Constant Communicators, a lifestyle business that helps people improve their business writing skills. Time to Refresh: A 21-Day Devotional to Renew Your Mind After Being Laid Off, Fired or Sidelined was released in August 2018. Karen lives in North Carolina with her husband and son.

You can find Karen at –

Personal Website – http://www.karenbrowntyson.com

Blog: https://karenbrowntyson.com/blog-2-feed/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KBTWrites

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Write-to-Inspire-385353048666490/

Here are the rest of the dates for the remainder of the tour.

Blog Tour Dates:

December 8th @ A Storybook World

Visit Deirdra’s blog where you can read Karen Brown Tyson’s blog post about fearless writing.

http://www.astorybookworld.com/

December 9th @ Reducing Overload

Stop by Peggy’s blog to read author Karen Brown Tyson’s post about journaling and stress management.

http://reducingoverload.com/

December 13th @ Memoir Writer’s Journey

Visit Kathleen’s blog where you can read Karen Brown Tyson’s blog post about fearless writing.

https://krpooler.com/

December 13th @ M.C. Walker’s Blog

Visit M.C. Walker’s blog where she interviews author Karen Brown Tyson about her and her book Time to Refresh.

https://seeminoltawrite.com/

December 14th @ Strength 4 Spouses

Visit Wendi’s blog where you can read Karen Brown Tyson’s blog post about having faith during difficult times.

https://strength4spouses.blog/

December 15th @ Jessica’s Reading Room

Visit Jessica’s blog where you can read her thoughts on Karen Brown Tyson’s book Time to Refresh.

http://jessicasreadingroom.com

December 16th @ 12 Books

Visit Louise’s blog where she shares her opinion on Karen Brown Tyson’s book Time to Refresh.

http://www.12books.co.uk/

December 18th @ Look to the Western Sky

Visit Margo’s blog where you can read Karen Brown Tyson’s blog post about parenting.

https://www.margoldill.com/

December 20th @ Strength 4 Spouses

Visit Wendi’s blog again where you can read her opinion about Karen Brown Tyson’s book Time to Refresh.

https://strength4spouses.blog/

December 20th @ The Faerie Review

Visit Lily Shadowlyn’s blog where you can read Karen Brown Tyson’s blog post about journaling.

http://www.thefaeriereview.com/

December 21st @ The World of My Imagination

Visit Nicole’s blog where she shares her thoughts about Karen Brown Tyson’s book Time to Refresh.

http://theworldofmyimagination.blogspot.com

December 23rd @ Look to the Western Sky

Be sure to stop by Margo’s blog again where you find out what she had to say about Karen Brown Tyson’s book Time to Refresh.

https://www.margoldill.com/

December 23rd @ Coffee with Lacey

Visit Lacey’s blog where you can read Karen Brown Tyson’s blog post about journaling.

http://coffeewithlacey.wordpress.com

December 24th @ Coffee with Lacey

Stop by Lacey’s blog again where she reviews Karen Brown Tyson’s book Time to Refresh.

http://coffeewithlacey.wordpress.com

December 27th @ The Frugalista Mom

Be sure to visit Rozelyn’s blog again where you can read Karen Brown Tyson’s blog post about change management.

http://thefrugalistamom.com/

Feel free to visit the other blogs for the remainder of this tour.

Love you,

Enjoy the interview.

WOW Blog Book Tour for Karen Brown Tyson

Hello Bookworms;

It’s time for another blog book tour from our friends at WOW (Women on Writing).

Today’s guest poster is Karen Brown Tyson, author of Time to Refresh: A 21- Day Devotional to Renew Your Mind After Being Laid Off, Fired or Sidelined.

I read some of it (I didn’t get a chance to read all 21 days but WILL be finishing it) and it’s very inspirational. It really makes you take time to pray, hear from God, and plan your next steps.

Today’s guest post is called “Balancing Career, Home, and Ministry “. Ms. Tyson will share he perspective on work/life balance and time management. I will also be publishing an interview with Ms Tyson on December 7th, so please come back to read and comment. Here’s the schedule for the remainder of the tour and as always, make Ms Tyson feel and feel free to ask her questions you like:

November 29th @ The Frugalista Mom

Visit Rozelyn’s blog where you can read her review of Karen Brown Tyson’s book Time to Refresh.

http://thefrugalistamom.com/

 

November 30th @ Amateur Twin Mom

Visit Jonelle’s blog to read what she has to say about Karen Brown Tyson’s book Time to Refresh.

https://www.amateurtwinmom.com

 

December 3rd @ Beverley A Baird Blog

Visit Beverley’s blog where Karen Brown Tyson talks about how to improve your writing life.

https://beverleyabaird.

December 5th @ Break Even Books

Stop by Erik’s blog where you can read Karen Brown Tyson’s blog post about how to build your personal brand.

https://breakevenbooks.com/

 

December 5th @  Jill Sheets Blog

Stop by Jill’s blog today where you can read Karen Brown Tyson’s blog post about how to improve your writing life.

https://jillsheets.blogspot.com/ 

December 6th @ Beverley A Baird Blog

Visit Beverley’s blog again where she shares her thoughts about Karen Brown Tyson’s book Time to Refresh. 

https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/December 7th @ Bookworm Blog

Visit Anjanette’s blog again where she interviews author Karen Brown Tyson about her book Time to Refresh.

bookworm66.wordpress.com

 

December 8th @ A Storybook World

Visit Deirdra’s blog where you can read Karen Brown Tyson’s blog post about fearless writing.

http://www.astorybookworld.com/ 

December 9th @ Reducing Overload

Stop by Peggy’s blog to read author Karen Brown Tyson’s post about journaling and stress management.

http://reducingoverload.com/

December 13th @ Memoir Writer’s Journey

Visit Kathleen’s blog where you can read Karen Brown Tyson’s blog post about fearless writing.

https://krpooler.com/

 

December 13th @ M.C. Walker’s Blog

Visit M.C. Walker’s blog where she interviews author Karen Brown Tyson about her and her book Time to Refresh.

https://seeminoltawrite.com/

December 14th @ Strength 4 Spouses

Visit Wendi’s blog where you can read Karen Brown Tyson’s blog post about having faith during difficult times.

https://strength4spouses.blog/

 

December 15th @ Jessica’s Reading Room

Visit Jessica’s blog where you can read her thoughts on Karen Brown Tyson’s book Time to Refresh.

http://jessicasreadingroom.com

December 16th @ 12 Books

Visit Louise’s blog where she shares her opinion on Karen Brown Tyson’s book Time to Refresh.

http://www.12books.co.uk/

 

December 18th @ Look to the Western Sky

Visit Margo’s blog where you can read Karen Brown Tyson’s blog post about parenting.

https://www.margoldill.com/

 

December 20th @ Strength 4 Spouses

Visit Wendi’s blog again where you can read her opinion about Karen Brown Tyson’s book Time to Refresh.

https://strength4spouses.blog/

December 20th @ The Faerie Review

Visit Lily Shadowlyn’s blog where you can read Karen Brown Tyson’s blog post about journaling.

http://www.thefaeriereview.com/ 

December 21st @ The World of My Imagination

Visit Nicole’s blog where she shares her thoughts about Karen Brown Tyson’s book Time to Refresh.

http://theworldofmyimagination.blogspot.com 

December 23rd @ Look to the Western Sky

Be sure to stop by Margo’s blog again where you find out what she had to say about Karen Brown Tyson’s book Time to Refresh.

https://www.margoldill.com/

December 23rd @ Coffee with Lacey

Visit Lacey’s blog where you can read Karen Brown Tyson’s blog post about journaling.

http://coffeewithlacey.wordpress.com 

December 24th @ Coffee with Lacey

Stop by Lacey’s blog again where she reviews Karen Brown Tyson’s book Time to Refresh.

http://coffeewithlacey.wordpress.com 

December 27th @ The Frugalista Mom

Be sure to visit Rozelyn’s blog again where you can read Karen Brown Tyson’s blog post about change management.

http://thefrugalistamom.com/

Introducing Karen Brown Tyson:

Balancing Career, Home and Ministry

By Karen Brown Tyson

It’s a juggling act.

You have so many relationships to manage, so many work projects, so many ministry activities, so many commitments.

How are you supposed to prioritize? How are you supposed to get anything done?

One week, you think you have it all figured out, and the next, you’re confused again. It’s crazy! With so much going on all the time, you wonder if you will ever get a handle on everything.

I have news for you:

You are not alone. As a wife, mother, author, communications coach, blogger, and ministry leader, I know what it feels like to have a lot going on. In managing ministry, career, and family, I know exactly how to deal with everything.

Know your objective

In my role as a Christian leader, I have learned to take care of God’s business, while He takes care of my business (Matthew 6:33). When God sends ministry assignments my way, He supplies everything I need to ensure a balanced, peaceful, stress-free journey. But when I pile on unnecessary projects, that’s when life gets hectic.

To avoid being overly busy in ministry, know your objectives. Are you taking on an assignment God wants you to work on or do you have a problem letting other people pitch in to help? I always ask myself if what I am doing is what God wants or my attempt to please people. Instead of accepting everyone’s invitation to help, I look for opportunities to train other church members who are sitting on the sidelines.

Know your limits

Have you ever had to wrestle with an overstuffed suitcase? You either struggled to fit one more thing inside, or you took things out of your suitcase to lighten the load. Our schedules are just like the suitcase.

For example, when my son was in elementary school, I volunteered in the library after school; I helped the teacher make copies for the class; I supplied treats for the class; I went on every field trip. Sounds great, right? The only problem was I tried doing all of this within the same school year… while working a full-time job. I finally had to admit I had an over-packed schedule. I picked one assignment and resisted the urge to do everything.

Know when to set boundaries

When I worked in corporate America, I traveled for work every six to eight weeks for 13 years. But I set boundaries. For example, since I had flexibility around my travel dates, I usually left home on Sundays after church to avoid disrupting family time on the weekends. While I was away, I set aside time each night to help my son do his homework over the telephone. Setting boundaries allowed me to balance my work-life, ministry assignments and family commitments.

Know how when to breathe

Before I learned to unpack my schedule and set boundaries, I sometimes felt rushed and overwhelmed. Not a good feeling. So, I taught myself how to take a moment to breathe.

Every day, I take a few minutes to pray and express my gratitude to God. I reflect on what’s going well and remind myself that everything will be fine if I operate within God’s plan for my life. These few precious moments help me stay focused on what matters.

It’s important to remember that God calls every believer in the body of Christ to serve. But no one area of our lives can take up all of our time. We must take a balanced approach to manage our ministry assignments, family commitments, and career.

Karen Brown Tyson is the author of, Time to Refresh: A 21-Day Devotional to Renew Your Mind After Being Laid Off, Fired or Sidelined.

Karen works online, in person and by phone as a communication and writing coach. Karen helps her entrepreneurial clientele focus on business and nonfiction writing.

About the Author:

For the past 25 years, Karen Brown Tyson worked for Fortune 500 companies in the fast food, pharmaceutical, and telecommunication industries. Today, Karen is the founder of Constant Communicators, a lifestyle business that helps people improve their business writing skills. Time to Refresh: A 21-Day Devotional to Renew Your Mind After Being Laid Off, Fired or Sidelined was released in August 2018. Karen lives in North Carolina with her husband and son.

You can find Karen at –

Personal Website – http://www.karenbrowntyson.com

Blog: https://karenbrowntyson.com/blog-2-feed/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KBTWrites

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Write-to-Inspire-385353048666490/

WOW (Women on Writing)Blog Book Tour for B. Lynn Goodwin’s “Never too Late”Pt.2

Hello Bookworms;

   Here’s post 2 of my participation in WOW’s blog book tour for B. Lynn Goodwin’s Never too Late: from Wannabe to Wife at 62. In this post I’ll be reviewing Mrs; Goodwin’s work and posting the remainder of the tour dates so you can show our guest author some love.

The Review:

As I read Ms. Goodwin’s book, I was impressed with her willingness to be transparent about her romantic history (especially about her ability to poke fun at following advice from women’s magazines and feminist blogs/Facebook pages). I was also impressed at Richard being a pastor and her being a virgin. Virgins at an advanced age are more common than people think and feeling that one has to hide it lest someone “prude shames” you,  is horrible. Also, no one talks very much about the dating lives of the clergy.  Richard’s Craigslist post was heartwarming as well as very humorous. It shows his ability to be personable and likeable. And their rapport as they began to email one another more and. more was touching 

Some questions that I asked myself as I continued to read were “why does she seem to be ‘coming out of her pocket’ so much?”” Is he telling the truth about his future inheritance or dangling it as a carrot?” “Are her comments about being a “nice girl” who never pierced her ears and about the “loose woman” who “puts herself out there” a form of shade? Or are they a reflection of the insecurity that gets played out after the anxiety about ‘finally being chosen’ starts to fade” 

As I continued to read though, I start to notice the emotional transformation that starts to take place as the reality of being in a committed relationship with Richard becomes a reality to her.  Especially, when she begins to elaborate on how even though she’s always been fiercely independent, she feels “softer” as she spends more time in Richard’s company. There’s also a transformative moment when she thinks she lost the engagement ring and accidentally calls it “her ring”, indicating a realization that makes the ring hers is that it is a gift to her from her intended that’s meant to symbolize his love and commitment.  

I won’t spoil the ending (like many reviewers do) by giving away the ending. I’ll just say despite some of the “red flags” that show up, Richard turns out be a pleasant surprise. A man of his word, in all actuality. Never is a really encouraging read that reminds us to pay attention to “red flags”, to also watch and pray. Everything may not be what it seems.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

About B. Lynn Goodwin

 

B. Lynn Goodwin

B. Lynn Goodwin is the owner of Writer Advice. She’s written You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers (Tate Publishing) and Talent (Eternal Press). Talent was short-listed for a Literary Lightbox Award and won a bronze medal in the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards and was a finalist for a Sarton Women’s Book Award.

 

Her manuscript, Never Too Late: From Wannabe to Wife at 62 was published by Koehler Press on December 20, 2017. Goodwin’s work has appeared in Voices of Caregivers, Hip Mama, Dramatics Magazine, Inspire Me Today, The Sun, GoodHousekeeping.com, PurpleClover.com and elsewhere. She is a reviewer and teacher at Story Circle Network, and she is a manuscript coach at Writer Advice. She always has time to write guest blog posts and answer questions. She loves working one on one, trouble-shooting, and helping writers find what works.
She can be found online at:

Website: http://www.writeradvice.com/

Blog: https://blynngoodwin.com/blog-page/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lgood67334

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/Lgood67334/

 

Here are the remainding tour dates:

February 12th @ Madeline Sharples Blog
B. Lynn Goodwin will be visiting Madeline Sharples blog and discussing one of my favorite activities in her post, “Need a Venting Partner? Try a Journal.”
February 14th @ Beverly A. Baird’s Blog
Blogger Beverly A. Baird will be reading and reviewing B. Lynn Goodwin’s book Never Too Late and sharing her thoughts with us.
February 14th @ Bookends Review
Come by and check out the review of Never Too Late at Bookends Review.
February 15th @ Mommy Daze: Say What???
Ashley Bass over at Mommy Daze: Say What??? will be sharing her thoughts about Never Too Late. 

February 16th @ Words From the Heart
Rev. Linda Neas will be reading and reviewing Never Too Late and be sure to check out her insights on this amazing book.
February 17th @ Memoir Writer’s Journey
Make sure to come by the blog Memoir Writer’s Journey and read about Lynn’s insight in her post, “The Authentic Writer.” Also, blogger Kathleen Pooler will be reviewing Never Too Late as well.
February 19th @ Strength4Spouses
Visit the blog Strength4Spouses to catch Lynn’s post called, “Craigslist Dating.”
February 20th @ Bring on Lemons

Nancy Cramer, yoga lover and retired schoolteacher, will be sharing her thoughts about Never Too Late on the blog, Bring on Lemons.
February 22nd @ Food Diary of a City Girl
Make sure to catch Cecilia over at Food Diary of a City Girl and her thoughts about the book Never Too Late.
February 23rd @ Strength4Spouses
Make sure you come by the Strength4Spouses blog to catch their insights into Lynn’s book Never Too Late. 
February 24th @ Becoming Zen Again
Shell LeBlanc will be telling us about what she thought about the book Never Too Late.
Keep up with the latest stops by following WOW! Blog Tour on Twitter: @WOWBlogTour

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.jpgThis 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.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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.

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

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.