Category Archives: World, near and far

All about places I visit or just happen by.

A Story in Quotes

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Quotes are my favorite means of encapsulating powerful ideas. Offering a snapshot into someone’s story. As writers, we are drawn to quotes, aren’t we?

Here are some that offer a tinny snapshot into the life of a towering figure.

 Elijah Cummings

 “I want justice, oceans of it. I want fairness, rivers of it. That’s what I want.”

 “I was in special ed, but I felt like I was a caged bird. I felt like I could do better,” Cummings told a a group of special-ed students. “I made sure I mastered my special-ed lessons. I made sure I listened to my teacher. I made sure I did my  homework.”

“Who do you think you are?” when being challenged on his career aspirations.

“Words that pain me to this day.”

“When I became a lawyer, no one asked me if I had spent some time in special ed. All they wanted was a good lawyer.”

“The same little boys that bullied me, the same ones that beat me up, they became my clients.”

On politics:

“When you’ve got integrity, you just do what you know is right.” 

 And when paraphrasing some of his favorites:

“The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today.”


Image: pixabay


The Vortex Where Time Slips Away


I haven’t blogged in ages, because … well, I’ve been sucked into the vortex above, where time begins to slip away then disappear.

Also known as life.

What else is new, right? 

It’s not like I’m working on some great, big project. It’s getting caught up in daily life, such as work — we just moved offices. Then there is the home routine, which though described by a dull definition (routine), refers to no such thing.

Here I was thinking that as kids grow into teens, parents have more time to themselves. Not in my house. Between activities, school, parental involvement in all sorts of things, orthodontist visits, chauffeuring, discussing the meaning of life (not really, but teens go from extra quiet to very curious), I find there is no period separating mornings from nights.


Is there?

Considering little renovation projects around the house — another time suck — maybe planning a vacation later this year. Oh, enough already.

How are you, dear friends?

Are you better at finding time?

Oh, wait, one thing I’ve been good at doing is reading. Sure, it helps that reading is a before-bed routine, but I’m hanging on to it like for dear life. Some would argue, reading is life.

I just finished a lovely literary mystery set in the hills of Tuscany, Italy.

I haven’t touched my WIP in a couple of weeks, though. Bad, bad, bad.

The main issue is, I can’t decide if I need a Prologue. Certain things develop later in the story that would benefit from a preamble of sorts. There was a time I thought prologues useless. What can be said in a prologue, after all, that can’t be incorporated in regular chapters?

So, how do you all feel about prologues?



Images courtesy: pixabay, shutterstock





What Does it Mean to be Good?


Now and then, particularly when there is so much going on around us, we take stock of who we are. We try to imagine how we can improve not only our lives but our wider world. How we can be good.

But what does it mean to be good? Scientists say we’re all born with some innate sense of morality and fairness, which makes us sensitive to the distress of others. But we certainly don’t all see eye-to-eye on the big stuff.

Do unto others …


Treat others as you expect to be treated, right? But who are these other people?

One glance at social media, for example, and we see people are good to those in their circles and to people they view as being like them, but not so good to people from different groups.

Are we good if we’re sweet to friends but rude to strangers? Are we good if we frequently give money to family but never to charities or the homeless?

Philosophers say good people are good to everyone — to family and strangers, to people in their group and those outside of it. Good people are particularly good to the underprivileged.

Self Reflection

Philosophers tell us any self-improvement requires self-reflection. 

Why do we love what we love or hate what we hate? Look at good things we’ve done and bad. Is there enough consideration given to those subjects, or are we falling into groupthink because it’s easier?

Busy lives offer little time to dissect issues, and I would think that creates the perfect conditions for distancing ourselves from our true nature — from that innate sense of morality and fairness we had in spades.

While writing this, I reflected on when I last made someone feel uncomfortable with something I did or said. My first reaction was, No way, I would never. But on deeper reflection … I did.  I’m sure.

So, I resolve to be good to myself and to others. As such, introspection must be a lifelong, constant exercise in self-awareness.

The good people we hear about and admire — human-right advocates, animal activists, the selfish neighbor — have done just that. They’d sparked or created or contributed to something good for themselves and the rest of us.




Images: Pixabay


Love Yourself First

Much of my day-to-day life is centered on making sure my family is okay. Hours of thinking go into worrying about what they need, and do they have it. If not, how can I get it to them as soon as possible.

It’s how love works, right?

Love for those close to us, but what about love for the self?

Sometimes, it seems easier to love others than it does to love one self. Yet, self-appreciation and love are not only important to our well-being but an important part of developing healthy relationships with others.  

Who wants to be around someone who forgets to love themselves? Yet, even though I realize how important self-love is, I’m guilty.

I forget to let things slide sometimes and don’t drive myself crazy. I forget to get more sleep. Or to just lie on the bed and do absolutely nothing, but stare at the ceiling if that’s what my heart desires at that particular moment.

I forget to spend more time pampering myself, doing that facial mask I’ve always wanted to do — you know the one with avocado and egg white and olive oil, and antioxidants, and all those wonderful, relaxing things mixed together.

I forget to push against negative opinions. To avoid perfectionism. To reach out.

I forget to focus on things I like about myself, and keep working toward my goals. I forget to be my own biggest cheerleader and work toward overcoming obstacles instead of calling myself names when I make mistakes. To embrace myself literally and figuratively, because … why not?

To love others as they need and deserve to be loved, we need to love and inspire and motivate ourselves. First.

Those are the things I need to work on. What about you?


Images: pixabay, dosti-sblog