Guest Blog Post: “An Incomplete Family,” in Michael Kraus’ exact words

Have you penned a story you’d enjoy seeing published online for free? Blogger Michael of Storybuss has you in mind! His site features other people’s fiction, as well as his. Here’s one he wrote…

Photo of heterosexual couple's hands with weddingbands
Photo courtesy of Josh Willink, Pexels

My husband and I were never able to get a child after trying countless times.

But we really wanted to bring a new life into the world that we could call our kid.

He of course really wants a boy but I wouldn’t really mind a boy or a girl, but I guess I would prefer a girl.

My husband and I moved to a nice big house with a very big backyard. And we live in a neighborhood with many children. We both always looked with jealousy but also with happiness as the kids gun down their friends with their water pistols.

One day my husband said to me, “honey we could also adopt a child.” I looked at him and I thought to myself, ‘why haven’t I thought of that?’ So the next day we decided to go to an adoption centre. We saw many different kids, we checked in and they made an appointment with three kids for us to have a chat with. Two boys and one girl. The girl was already twelve years old and we had a chat, but we wanted to see them grow from a younger age so we decided to not take her. Then there were two boys, they were brothers. One of the boys was four and the other one was six and both had black hair. They talked about many things to us without us even asking them for anything.

One week later we came back to the adoption centre to fill in the legal papers for the two boys to join our family. And we have never been more happy, they are both soaked from gunning each other down with their water pistols.

About the author: Hi, I’m Michael (Storybuss) and I am a day-to-day writer.

Guest Blog Post: “Finish What You Started,” in Jeyran Main’s exact words

Does your ‘to do’ list often threaten to strangle you as mine does?

Consumer reviewer, book editor, book promoter, freelance book translator, and owner of Review Tales, Jeyran gets mega stuff accomplished, pus some! Here’s her tip for maintaining one’s cool…

Finish What You Started written over picture of a sky“Much of the stress that people feel doesn’t come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they started.” David Allen

There are many things in our lives that we wish to change. That may be getting rid of bad habits or implementing new good ones. We set goals, promise ourselves, get a planner, get a coach, set reminders but still after a few days or maybe weeks, we give up. We get distracted or do not succeed in seeing any results, and so we do not finish it.

All of these 30-day challenges, 45-day goals, accomplish your goal in 2 weeks headlines draw you into joining them. You are empowered and feel inspired with thousands of other people that are with you in these group chats, forums, and Facebook groups. However, again after a few weeks or many months, you stop and quit.

Another good example is when you purchase something like a book and promise to read it, then as your reading the first book someone recommends the second book and so you buy that too. Then you see the third book; you buy it. Now you have three books of which you have not finished reading even one.

All of these unfinished starters accumulate and end up as stress causing health issues in your life. Imagine all of these incomplete starters to be a small gray dot on your heart. As you continue these dots end up together creating a black hole. Once the black hole is created, it is very hard to go back and to fix it.

The closure is everything for the mental mind. The human body strives to complete goals instead of piling them on. The recommendation is to try and finish one thing at a time before starting another. Give your body the calmness and the stress-free lifestyle it needs.

More of Jeyran Main’ thoughts, reflections, and book reviews at Review Tales.

 

Guest Blog Post: “Beautiful Souls: Daal” in Patty’s exact words

Dear fellow blogger Patty’s kind words have me blushing. Please visit her site not just for this post, but for the tons of other lovely writings and photos to be found there! Enjoy…

Mimosa Pudica

Just published my first spoken introduction via You-Tube. Remember, it is the FIRST time I created a video like this. I don’t work with a script on purpose and I chose Daal to do the first introduction for, because I know she is a forgiving soul 😉

Blog Daal: HERE

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Lucy Cat and Mooshie Cat: a video

This Toastmasters speech required me to tell a story with a moral at the end. Hear ye now the tale of two cats: Lucy and Mooshie…

How do you think personality affects one’s life?

Guest Post: “Golden Gratitude. I’ve got this.” in Monika Strand’s exact words

Fellow blogger Monika Strand practices gratitude. Here she posts about the importance of mindful appreciation…

Photo of woman sitting atop a grassy hill, arms skyward
Photo courtesy of this post’s author, Monika Strand: Soaking in some creativity at Coyote Hills (from “Rock Star” Kelly Blog).

52. The number of weeks in a year. The age I turned in December. The number of people who have touched my life that I intend to write about this year.

Why 52? For me, this writing journey almost began when I turned 50. My intention? To write a book about 50 people that inspired me. It didn’t matter if it was a brief encounter or someone that I’ve known a lifetime. I wanted to dig deep into my memories and be grateful for the people who have given me hope in humanity. Or perhaps they nourished my soul and helped me blossom into the person I’ve become.

50 came and went. I didn’t write a word.

52 is different. It’s a year that my life is taking on new challenges. With everything changing around me, I’m finally writing. I find it hard to stop. I hate interruptions. I can’t wait to see how my stories will unravel.

Who helped create your story? Who made you laugh or cry? What moments in your life need to be shared?

Photo of framed ballerina poster with quote, "Believe in yourself and all things are possible."
Photo via this post’s author, Monika Strand: The plaque my mentor gave me (from Sylvia Nelson Blog)

You may think 52 is a big number to take on this writing challenge. Not really. I started jotting down the people I could possibly write about. Coming up with 52 people/memories was easy. Now I just need to write about them!

Photo provided by this post’s author, Monika Strand: The thank you card from my daughter when I taught her class music. She is 23 now and a music teacher! (from Alyssa’s 4th & 5th Grade Classes Blog)

child's thank you card drawing
Photo provided by this post’s author, Monika Strand: The thank you card from my daughter when I taught her class music. She is 23 now and a music teacher! (from Alyssa’s 4th & 5th Grade Classes Blog)

Take this journey with me. Consider a weekly blog post about your grateful moments inspired by others. I’m into week 6 and it’s been a gratifying experience so far. I’ve laughed and cried out loud as I reflect upon the last 5 decades.

I am 52. I will write all 52 moments to completion. I will have a book when I’m finished, that will offer a glimpse into my life for my kids to treasure. Golden Gratitude. I’ve got this.

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Monika Strand is a wife, mother, entrepreneur at heart, and currently a writer. Follow her Golden Gratitude writing adventure as she recollects inspirational moments in her life.

The Power of Stories: a Video

photo of da AL

 

Here, in another of my Toastmasters speeches, I talk about the importance of fiction. “The Power of Stories” is a subject that’s dear to me, in this time when people only read how-to. Fiction makes us more empathetic, smarter, and creative. It makes us better people …

 

Albert Einstein was asked how to make children intelligent. He replied, “Read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”

 

By intelligent, he meant beyond good grades and paychecks. He spoke of our becoming human beings, not merely human doings.

Imagine that in this video, my white sweater hood is red, that covering my head with it transforms me…

That an ordinary plastic bag is a wicker basket filled with fresh baked cinnamon rolls, and that when I hold my fingers to my lips, I’m licking the stickiness of honey. Under my feet, a forest of spicy pine needles and earthy wetness crunches to mingle with the sweet scents.

Imagine that beyond trees ahead, sound the yips of what might be new puppies that she’s adopted. The nearer we get, however, the more our skin tingles with panic.

Okay — a different scenario — when I rip paper into strips and place them before us on a pretend version of an oak table in an imaginary one-room log cabin, the scraps represent three sizes of bowls of porridge. When I toss paperclips about, they double as tufts of greasy brown fluff. The chairs we sit on are three varying sizes of them chairs, one broken to bits.

When we shut our eyes, warm steam rises from the bowls. We inhale the delicious scents of melted butter and hot maple syrup. Cold air rushes about our ears from an open door to the outside. We look around and discover that the prior inhabitants left in a rush.

Okay — now scratch both stories, and we’re back to reality.

Was either tale familiar to you? When you were quite young, did you hear, read, or tell the stories of “Little Red Riding Hood,” and of “The Three Bears”?

Imagining is a muscle — as essential to flex, deepen, and expand as it is to eat well, exercise, and think positively. Fiction helps us become better in every way.

If there exist cultures that don’t value the power of stories, I’m not aware of them. Most people I know barely read, and when they do, its non-fiction — spiritual, how-to, self-help, work facts, or textbooks. They say they don’t have time for novels or shorter stories.

If people understood the value of fiction, they would make time for it. As a former journalist, I know facts are important. As a reader and a novelist, I also know the unparalleled power of fiction. Facts help us become productive. Fiction helps us make sense of life. Fine literary fiction transports us into imaginary shoes, times, and places. We become more human. We take the time to value fun.

The best stories, it has been said, are those that make us cry as well as laugh.

Do you allow yourself time to read fiction?

Guest Blog Post: “Just Move It” in April Carter’s exact words

Want motivation to get up out of that chair? Blogger April Carter writes about how exercise makes her feel great …

Photo of couple walking along beach, titled Just Move ItMy wrist vibrates. I glance down, its reminding me to get up and walk. Little red dots indicate that I met the hourly 250 steps but one gray dot sits there in a line of red. I blankly wonder how I missed an hour since I’ve been conditioned like a lab mouse to get up and move at the insistent vibration. I get up to walk and King Julian’s song runs through my mind:

“I Like to Move It Move It…

…Ya Like To (MOVE IT!)”

Photo with exercise watch: Have You Moved LatelyMy granddaughter would be so proud.

After slapping the Fitbit Blaze on my wrist last month I’ve developed a love/hate relationship with the tracking device. Yes, I know, technically it’s so much more than that but I have an eerie sense that big brother is ALWAYS watching and tracking me and they kind of are. You see, the company I work for encourages fitness and, as part of their wellness program, provides employees a Fitbit of their choice. Just connect it the company’s wellness portal and start stepping towards a million steps to accrue points towards keeping health insurance. Yay for health insurance!

Like any good soldier I follow the device’s prompt and get to stepping all the while having mental conversations with the pushy little thing. I’ll keep that to myself. I don’t want to scare the children.

My EMPLOYER would be so proud.

Sneakers with motivational quote about benefits of walkingBut moving just a little bit every hour seems to be a huge benefit that has even hit the New York Times with an article by Gretchen Reynolds, “Work, Walk 5 Minutes. Work”.  She references a new study, which was published in November in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. The researchers decided to test several methods of increasing movement among office workers. This study basically found that moving, just a few minutes made the office workers feel better.

Yay for feeling better!

Photo of April Carter and websitePutting all fun aside, adding movement, whether walking, taking the stairs or playing with the kiddos, have proven health benefits.  The Mayo Clinic also cites 7 health benefits to exercise from controlling weight to having more energy to my very favorite bullet, “Exercise can be fun… and social!” Yes! Simply engaging in a walk with friends or by yourself in nature increases the happiness meter.

For me this is what it’s all about – BEING HAPPY.  So, get MOVING!

“I Like to Move It Move IT!

I Like to Move It Move IT!”

Cheers!