Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Giving Thanks - for the good people, good things and good events in our lives

Giving thanks = what's important.

The importance of the fourth-Thursday-in-November holiday is well known to a domestic American audience, but of course not so well known elsewhere. In Canada, the same Thanksgiving holiday is celebrated in early October, but otherwise the holiday is not recognized elsewhere in the world. There is no equivalent in Australia, or New Zealand, or the UK, or anywhere else. I’ve been fortunate to be part of large Thanksgiving gatherings in the US, and in Canada. I also had a singular chance to be part of a group of Americans and others celebrating on the other side of the world, and that was an enjoyable and meaningful experience.

In the US, Thanksgiving is most often known for gatherings of families, and the holiday creates the busiest travel days of the year. Of course, the holiday started a few centuries ago as a giving of thanks for a good harvest. What I most like today is a common practice where family members share what they are most thankful for. That includes all those present at the dinner table, from the youngest to oldest.

What to be thankful for?

I think the process of thinking what we are thankful for is important, and really, far too important to be left to only one day per year. Thinking about what we are grateful for should be practiced every day, and especially when we have a great experience. 

I have been fortunate, in recent years, to be something of a mentor to a younger family member, now a young teenager. When I’ve taken that person out to do fun or interesting things, they’ve remarked that they wish we could do it again, or more often. 

My response has been something like this. I agree, and this was really interesting (or a lot of fun).  And, I really enjoyed doing it with you. But the most important thing now is that we remember the moment. Remember how interesting it was (or how fun it was), and make that a highlight in your life that you want to remember. Think of this highlight, remember it, and give thanks for it. Make your life about remembering all of these good things, and be thankful.

The moments we give thanks for.

I often think about what I am thankful for, and try to appreciate those good or great moments in my life. Today, as I do many days, I give thanks for all of the good people, good things and good events in my life.

If you sit at a table on Thursday, and give thanks, good. If you don’t celebrate the holiday, that’s okay, too. Simply take this moment, right now, to think about whatever good things you’ve had in your life, and be thankful.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Relieving Stress - by reading and by writing

Arianna Huffington is calling it, 'Turning the Page on Stress' and I think she's really on to something here. Just looking at the supporting comments on the original Huff Post piece is an indicator that many agree.

For me, however, there's something that relieves stress better than reading.  I increasingly find that my writing is absolutely the best way of escaping the stress of my daily life and finding a place that gives me joy and peace. I've published 7 books (YA reality-based fiction) and have at least that many more on the go. I love that my books have been welcomed and positively reviewed by readers, but more importantly I love to write. For me, it's the best stress-reliever ever!


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Remembrance Day and Veterans Day

I've worn both the Canadian Poppy and the British Poppy in vastly different places and different years on November 11th. Whether you call it Veteran's Day or Remembrance Day, and whether you wear a poppy or not, it is important to remember those who served, and those who gave their lives for their country.

Lest We Forget.
What is often forgotten is the very young age of so many who served, and the very young age of so many of those who lost their lives.  In my own, small way, I remember them, by writing a book. It's fiction, but reality-based. I'm still working on it, but I've posted an excerpt on this site: Courage in Combat: The Flying Fighters.

Never Forget.


Saturday, November 3, 2012

Playing the Baseball Card leads my titles at Apple iBookstore

Playing the Baseball Card  is continuing to top sales of all my titles at the Apple iBookstore, and I'm more than pleased.  I would say that I'm excited, awed and humbled.  I know it's the right time of year for Baseball, with the World Series (go Giants!) just finished, so that makes a difference.  

But, there's a more important factor at play here. Good ratings with positive reviews.

Over at Barnes and Noble there have been 48 ratings with an overall average of 3.5 stars.  A reviewer at B&N called the book 'inspiring.'  One of the best things about writing is the ability to share my work, but when it inspires someone, that's a home run.

At the Apple iBookstore listing for Playing the Baseball Card, there have been 57 ratings with an overall average of 3.5 stars.  What's more, there is an amazing review at the iBookstore, and the review has touched me deeply. Here it is:

Father and Husband 
by Umpire 24
In my 53 years of living this may be one of the most emotional books I personally have read. Being a big baseball fan and a father of a son who played baseball this book was awesome. I would think any baseball fan and father would love to read this, I actually had a good cry for the first time all during this book. Any if you have time this is a must read book!!