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Glory Days

1funny693When was the last time a shark tried to have you as snack, or you were chased by a tiger, or kidnapped by aliens?

The scariest thing we usually face these days are: weather, bad customer service, horrible drivers, the internet, our own poor choices, and uncertainty.

Because of the rush and roar of society people feel like everything is a big deal…hint hint, not really true.

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1. Social media is designed to offend, like a raging tornado it hits people with so many different points of view, beliefs, feelings – it actually has to offend someone. So hunker down and give yourself a protective barrier it can tear away first. Stay safe.

2. Critical thinking helps us survive and thrive, makes us stay on our feet when trying to escape a mob or drop to the ground to crawl out during a fire. Doesn’t mean you can’t be positive, but be positively prepared.

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3. Bills, weather, time, money, love, life, death, illness, even worrying about what you say or do. You can’t please everyone, even on a good day. Worry is passive and you still have to move forward.

4. You get into bad situations, whether it be with overindulging in food, drink, gambling, anger, getting lost in the woods, swimming into shark-infested waters, investing in the wrong thing, etc. You can beat yourself up, wallow, get eaten, or you can figure out which way is out of the woods with a stick and the sun, punch the sharks in the nose and swim for it, or pick yourself up, dust yourself off, accept responsibility and don’t put your picnic blanket on a fire ant hill again. I always say, don’t worry about falling, there’s no time limit on getting back up.

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5. You believed when you shouldn’t have believed; perhaps you walked into a dark cave even when you heard growling because you read it was full of pirate’s gold. Humans should be skeptical, it’s a survival instinct. We’ve all fallen for things, for people. The internet is a seething mass of bizarre WTF moments. Being skeptical isn’t bad, it’s what kept us alive for thousands of years.

6. You wanted to believe that family, friends, government, corporations, etc. had your best interests at heart, but sometimes your life turns into a made-for-TV movie and you can’t change the channel. At times there are happy endings, other times it’s Murder, She Wrote – just make sure you’re Jessica Fletcher and figure out who are the good guys and whodunit.

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7. You stayed too long and put up with too much; you feel crushed, less, you’re questioning yourself. It’s not too late to remember that underneath those bootprints, you’re still you.

8. You see now your dreams were too big. You get lost in the mall, how could you explore the Amazon? You can barely stay focused on reading a book, how could you write one? You feel sick on at the top of a ferris wheel, how can you climb Mount Everest? Dreams sometimes have to be tweaked or modified, but it doesn’t mean they can’t come true, on some level.

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9. You got comfy, you settled, you forgot to be grateful, well, not forgot so much as put it to the back of your mind. Then you’re being confronted by a giant bear in the backyard and suddenly you’re very grateful for the walls, doors, and the phone to call for help.

10. You’ve been down so long you don’t remember your way up or the ladder is gone. Use your MacGyver skills to fashion a ladder out of dust balls (thank goodness you didn’t have time to sweep last week), a stick of gum, hair, and some spit, then climb out.

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Sometimes when you’re attacked, even by life you’ve got to smash it’s ears with both hands, kick it in the knee or the groin and run, but other times you have to understand, life is just trying to wake you up – it sure does a good job of that some days. Gee, thanks life.

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In My Life I Loved Them All

1funny629Of
lovers
and
friends
I still
can
recall.
Some
are
dead
and
some are living…
In my life I loved them all.
~The BeaTles

Why do we love when it hurts so much to lose those we love?
How would you answer this question, dear readers?
My answer is as simple and as complex as love itself.
I don’t know for sure, but I think because it feels so amazing to love and be loved, also, we need each other and love connects in a way that nothing else can.

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Love and loss haunt me these days.
I decided reading would offer it’s usual distraction.
As I read Love, Rosie aka Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern (Hachette Books), I felt like I was watching a long Friends episode.
Beyond wanting to swat the characters for being such annoying goofs, I was left with a nagging feeling about love and communication and their places in the modern world.

Lily Collins in Love, Rosie
This book and movie adaptation wouldn’t have happened if the two main characters even once had a simple, honest conversation. There, end of book and they lived more or less happily ever after.
But that’s the thing, isn’t it? We can communicate each moment of every day in multiple ways, yet our communication skills seem to be deteriorating. Does non-stop communication help if we’re not telling each other what we really need to know?
Ahern also wrote P.S. I Love You, a funny and poignant book, with the beautiful lesson of going on when you’re ready to go on, how you’re ready to go on, after any kind of loss, but I still liked the movie better – I blame Harry Connick Jr.

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I’m sorry, baby, I didn’t mean it. There’s also: Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Gerard Butler, and James Marsters. Oops, I’m sorry book, probably should have read you before I saw the movie. The characters didn’t give me what I wanted, I didn’t feel a sincerity or connection, or maybe I was expecting too much.

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Love comes into our lives in many ways, family, friends, lovers, partners; to fill, enrich, challenge, sustain, nurture, embrace, excite, thrill, comfort, cherish, and support us.
It also leaves in many ways.
How can love continue to breathe when it’s viciously torn away, crushed, betrayed, taken for granted, withdrawn, or ignored?
Because it once was and in some way, somewhere, will always be.
I lost someone I love very much yesterday.
I really can’t imagine a world without…but I must.
Gone from this world, but forever in my heart.

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Which weirdly leads me to Week 4 of my Changes/Happiness Project. I wanted to fall in love again with life, and despite the loss life has repeatedly pummeled me with, I want to keep loving. Here are the first 3 weeks of challenges, if you wish to follow along, or just read about it.

http://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/06/03/dont-worry-be-happy/
http://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/06/09/to-blog-or-not-to-blog/
http://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/06/15/rock-me-amadeus/

Week 4 (has it really been that long?):

1. Decide on 5 things I’d love to do today and just do them (within the limits of time, budget, circumstances, etc.)

2. New bedtime routine: think of 5 things that went well or I was grateful for today and 5 things to hope for, in days ahead.

3. Write down 10 things I want to change, but think I can’t…try to change them.

4. Avoid the cake stalking me. You give cake a bad name. It’s the power of cake. You’d think that people would have had enough of silly cake songs… Don’t know how much longer I can hold out.

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5. Reduce stimuli (mental and physical).

6. Remove a 100 calories per day (chocolate, I still love you, but there’s going to be a shortage of you soon and we have to get used to being apart…ok, that’s long enough.)

7. Construction begins on our street. Allow some time each day to admire the workers…work.

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So why do we love when it hurts so much to lose people?
You don’t turn down the greatest gift in the world just because you can’t keep it forever.


How To Get Your Book Published

1funny608As a writer I’ve read literally (that might not be the correct use of that word) thousands of articles on ‘how to get your book published’.

Then I noticed something strange about all of those articles, something they all had in common – they’d all been written by published authors.

What? This is a complete travesty! There are so many more of us, unpublished writers, looking for work and those authors are hogging the spotlight. They get books published, then they get articles published about how to get published. What a scam!

I’ve read enough self-help books to know what had to be done, those books (ironically, also written by published authors) clearly tell us that if you want something bad enough, you just have to imagine it, wish for it, and you’ll get it. Or was that a book about fairy tales?

Anyway…here’s my version of imagining it, wishing for it, my 12 easy steps to get your book published, I mean, how hard could it be, there are whole buildings full of books.

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How To Get Your Book Published:

1. Write a book.

2. Books or manuscripts (as they say in the biz) are generally typed on typing thingies. Some famous writers in history seemed to prefer typewriters, who knows, maybe they didn’t know about computers back then, I don’t have all the answers. I suggest going for a more personalized approach – handwriting your book. Publishers will appreciate your dedication and they’ll understand you really want this book deal.

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3. Go on a book tour. Don’t wait for your book to be published, the public is hungry for your words, bring them to the masses. Go to a book store and start telling customers all about your book. Sign books they’re holding or books on the store shelves – someday when you’re famous they’ll thank you for it.

4. Get an agent. As exciting as it might be, not a secret or special agent.

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5. You need a literary-sounding name. If your name isn’t already literary-sounding, change it to something like: J.K. Rowling, Dan Brown, Dr. Seuss, Jane Austen, Stephen King, Stephenie Meyer, George R.R. Martin, Shakespeare, E.L. James, Suzanne Collins, Agatha Christie – something really authory.

6. Writing for children is different from writing for adults. For example, don’t use the name Stephen King or anything he writes about…ever.

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7. Have family and friends write glowing book blurbs and reviews. If possible, have them use a well-known authory name, see #5 for examples.

8. People love pictures. You should totally get some of those.

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9. Have characters in your book. Characters is just a fancy literary term for people you write about, either made-up people or those you know (I doubt anyone will sue you).

10. People like when characters do stuff in books. Have your characters stay busy. I don’t want to tell you what to write, but supernatural, scary, science, and sex (or a combination thereof) fly off the shelves. Have fictitious people who don’t even slightly resemble your siblings, parents, children, boss, ex, celebrities, anyone, living or dead or undead, doing fictitious (nudge nudge, wink wink) stuff.

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11. Have your publisher help you promote your book. Sorry, did I skip that part? Get a publisher, preferably one who showers you with money, then get them to help promote your book (see #1).

12. Be prepared. Get ready, not only for fame and fortune, but to discuss and possibly explain your book, at length, on or in: TV, radio, podcasts, blogs, forums, bathroom stalls, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Skype, planes, trains, automobiles, restaurants, conventions, parties, family gatherings, fan sites, stalker fan sites, book signings (see #3 and don’t forget to bring a pen) – yes, everywhere and mostly to people who haven’t actually read your book.

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Now you’ve done all the hard work. Take some ‘me time’, relax in a bubble bath, have some tea or wine.

Let those royalties roll in and remember, show some love to those who helped you out. You’re welcome.

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Skeletons In My Closet #1000Speak

1funny583Woah-oh, woah-oh
Skeletons in my closet
Woah-oh, woah-oh yeah
Skeletons in my closet
Skeletons in my closet,
Skeletons in my shoes,
Skeletons I can only see,
Skeletons I can lose….
Skeletons in my basement, loitering on my streets, wearing my best pyjamas, sandwiched between my sheets….Donna? We want you! Donna, Donna! D-Donna, D-Donna, D-Donna, D-Donna?
~To paraphrase Alice Cooper (doubt he’d mind, he’s probably golfing).

The best thing about humans, we’re complex.
The worst thing about humans, we’re complex.

If we’re honest, we all have some skeletons in our closets.
Maybe not stuff you’d see on The Sopranos, Sons of Anarchy, Game of Thrones and hopefully nothing that would show up in a Stephen King novel. Just things we did that we wish we hadn’t done. Things we wish we hadn’t said. Things we’d like to hide away and forget ever happened.

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We should show some love for those skeletons. They remind us of: tough times, poor judgment, mistakes, moments of weakness, intolerance, indifference, cruelty. Mine remind me of how far I’ve come and how much I’ve learned. Why not just live with them, make peace with our poor choices and our demons? They’re a part of us.

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I know, I know, it’s more comfortable ignore the skeletons and think about, talk about, glory in the times when we did wonderful things.
When we showed kindness, empathy. When we built someone up and made someone feel better. Helped. Comforted. Supported. Cared. Loved.
But what about those times when we didn’t?

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Most monsters are born of pain, despair, sorrow, loneliness, neglect, abuse, greed, apathy, and horrors.
As you grow older, you begin to care much less about pleasing others and worrying about what people think.
They’re going to think what they think.
You can try and try, but you can’t please everyone.
If you’re controlled by the past, how can you enjoy the present?
I’d rather have my skeletons out there, dancing (hey, they’re not bad dancers) than judging others and being a hypocrite.

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It doesn’t matter who or where you come from and choices you’ve made, what matters is who you choose to be from now on.
We worry so much about skeletons while we have monsters to wrestle each day: pain, loss, hopes dashed, conflict, poverty, illness, loneliness, anger, disappointment, frustration, guilt. Make peace with the monsters so they don’t hurt others, even inadvertently.
One of my monsters is chronic illness. It fights to stop me from enjoying life and I do my warrior princess cry (in my head, it would be extremely disruptive to do it out loud) and fight back. I’ve lost a lot, but in the end, I show my monsters some compassion, they’re a part of me.
As long as no one gets hurt, invite your monsters and skeletons for a cup of tea and comfort…or wine…or coffee…or maybe something stronger depending on how long they’ve been in the closet. Don’t forget to offer them cookies, cake, and ummm, snow cones?

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I wake up every morning to a monster in my room.
I try to speak to it, but it runs away too soon.
It sneaks in while I sleep, to hide behind my bed.
I can hear it breathing; does it want me dead?
What is it doing? Is it playing games?
I sip some tea and finally see,
that lovely monster is part of…me.

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Rock Me Amadeus

1funny524No one ever talked or did stuff like they did in 80’s movies. Ever.

In the future, they’ll probably dig up 80’s movies and come to conclusions like: Ferris Bueller was a god, aliens could phone home from Earth, “wax on, wax off” was a common phrase, and paternity results were only told to your child in space, after you cut off their hand. They’re going to think the 80’s were even more messed up than they were.

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And what was with romance in the 80’s?
Why sit on a table with a birthday cake and a cute boy? I can think of much better things to do…with that cake.
Everyone was dancing – dirty dancing, flashdancing, Kevin Bacon dancing (don’t know what else to call it).
A guy with a boom box and a trench coat outside your house…nowadays, restraining order, or it would go viral, or both.1funny560

Officers, gentlemen, risky business, funny business.
Adventures, in space or babysitting, as long as they were most excellent, dude.
Supernatural, psycho, science, time travel – sometimes all at once.
Where’d they get all the gremlins, goonies, vampires, muppets, and aliens?
Actually, that all sounds like the soundtrack to my 80’s.

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Know what also ruled in the 80’s? Political incorrectness. Who could worry about offending anyone when girls just wanted to have fun and boys wanted girls to have fun, especially with them?

I kind of miss it. Sure, political correctness is good in theory, don’t say unto others what you don’t want said to you, but has the correctness over-corrected? I don’t know if you can change human nature, people just say weird stuff.

  • “That’s the best kind of cancer to have.”  Let’s review that sentence. Nope, still looks weird. The best kind of cancer is no cancer.

  • “Don’t worry.”  Why are they telling me not to worry, is it because they know I should be worried and they don’t want me to panic?

  • “Do you have a bathroom?”  Did you mean to ask if you can use my bathroom, because yes, I have a bathroom, I don’t ‘go’ in the yard.

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  • “Money won’t make you happy.”  I think money and I would be very happy together, we’d make the perfect couple (couple of million).

  • “Time heals all wounds.”  Not true. Time doesn’t heal anything, it just passes.

  • “If you get lost in the woods, don’t panic.”  Of course I’m going to panic! I’m lost, in the woods!!! Surrounded by bears, badgers, and bugs, maybe zombies in the dark (when I picture being lost in the woods, it’s always dark), and with my luck, zombie bears, badgers and bugs (note to self, pitch a spin-off to AMC, working title, The Walking Bears, Badgers, and Bugs ).

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  • “Everything happens for a reason.”  Technically correct, but I’m not sure that’s how people mean it.

  • “I think therefore I am.”  Not true for everyone, have you been on the internet?

  • “I know you are, but what am I?”  This one is actually timeless.

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 Back to 2015, my Don’t Worry, Be Happy 365 day project enters Week 3, will I falter?
Week 1, amazing: http://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/06/03/dont-worry-be-happy/
Week 2, a revelation: http://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/06/09/to-blog-or-not-to-blog/

Week 3:

1. Remove 15 minutes or more per day of sitting time (replace with dancing, but with less enthusiasm to Falco’s Rock Me Amadeus, my knee will thank me).

2. Remove another 100 calories per day (Again, not veggies…perhaps cake, but not, like chocolate cake, right?).

3. Remove 15 minutes or more of screen time per day to read or research.

4. Do 1 thing I’ve put off doing.

5. Read a book I said I’d never read (doesn’t leave me the range you’d think it would).

6. Pay it forward, aka do something good and don’t tell anyone what I did.

7. Try a food I haven’t tried (I guess I can’t sneak cake in and pretend?).

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What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stranger?

1funny450I don’t think I fully understand the phrase, “the unexpected virtue of ignorance”.

I also don’t fully get, “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger”. Really? Does it? And does this clichéd Nietzsche quote apply to information as well?

Not knowing things can make us happier, but is ignorance really bliss, or just the illusion of bliss? Knowing stuff we don’t want to know could make us stronger, though, I wonder, would that make us consciously or unconsciously seek out or create adversity, to give us something to feel strong about, as we search for something to make us feel that we matter, or that we even exist.

Hmmm, perhaps all this deep pondering arose from watching the gracefully snarling interpretation of celebrities and society in Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance). Michael Keaton was nothing short of epic as an actor who once had everything, but made problems in his life to make himself feel relevant. Everyone in the film, his daughter, partner, friend, fellow actors, critics, fans were all seeking their own relevance while trying to ignore the consequences of being relevant.

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I suppose the unexpected virtue of ignorance is that not knowing things allows you to believe whatever you want to believe. For example, I believe:

1. Things I think will take 5 minutes often take 10.

2. I’m mystified and weirdly impressed that in this busy world people still seem to find plenty of time to pass judgment on others.

3. Labels, on clothes or people must be understood to be used properly.

4. There are countless ways to die, turns out, you can’t avoid all of them.

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5. My book of life might have a misprinted answers section.

6. If it seems too good to be true…read the first part of the sentence again, I wish I had.

7. Yes, the truth is out there, but we don’t always recognize it.

8. Some days you’re the seagull, other days you’re the coat.

9. The Earth has been here for billions of years. It doesn’t need humans, it’ll be fine without us, can we say the same?

10. The Secret is…they sold a lot of books by saying there was a Secret.

11. Even if someone offers you a lot of money, don’t build an amusement park with cloned dinosaurs, seriously…except if Jeff Goldblum will be there, yes, I’m that shallow.

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12. You’re not going to need a bigger boat, just a smaller shark.

13. Media and even social media seem to care more about when an actor dies than alive children being beaten, starved, raped, or used as slaves…to be fair, those children never played Saruman, Count Dooku, or Dracula. RIP Christopher Lee, but let’s have some perspective.

14. It’s awkward when someone asks you how you are and you forget they don’t really want to know.

15. That people used to take drugs to make the world look stranger, and now they take drugs to make the world look less strange.

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16. All the world’s a stage and I can’t afford an acting coach.

17. You’re not responsible for anyone else’s happiness. People may tell you, in many ways, you are…you’re not.

18. People say love is all you need; oxygen’s still my number #1.

19. I wouldn’t mind being poor, if I just had more money to do it with.

20. Sometimes that light at the end of the tunnel is a huge truck whose driver is texting…sigh.

21. Some people will believe just about anything they see on the internet is true, but if you post a ‘Wet Paint’ sign, they’ll have to touch it to make sure it’s actually wet paint.

22. Last but never least, I believe you should enjoy the here and now…

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To Blog or Not To Blog

1funny452I have always been me and despite many attempts to make me not me, I still seem to manage to be me.

That’s not always a good thing.

Read some of my stuff, comment, critique, praise, ignore, puzzle, or just do whatever you want.

That’s my blog bio…everything else you’ll learn in my posts or you don’t care.

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Every time I think I understand, even vaguely, how the world works, it tilts on its axis, spinning me right round, baby right round, like a record. Turns out, the blogging world is no different. Like everyone else on the planet (that might be a slight exaggeration, overstatement was never my strong suit), I have a blog. If I had a cat it would have a blog about sleeping, eating, and occasionally chasing a mouse lurking around the property. The mouse would have a blog about his adventures trying to escape the cat that bothers him while he’s trying to lurk around the property. And so on.

August 2013,  I started this blog to relax, to practice writing, and to be more concise, with varying degrees of success. My Very Me-ness doesn’t always translate well, but no need to worry (hear that brain, no need to worry…forget it, it’s not listening), I’ve been embraced by readers, bloggers, etc. and I feel snug as a bug in a virtual rug.

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Blogging has been difficult in many ways, but has made me fall in love with writing again, which guided me to start a year-long project to add even more happiness (Or contentment? Peace of mind?) to my life.

I more or less doubled my 7 goals in my first week http://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/06/03/dont-worry-be-happy/, even giving up 4 TV shows, but then I added 2, drum roll please, ok, I really only gave up 2 (math rules!).

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This week’s goals:
1. Remove 15 minutes or more of screen time per day and play a game with my son (I want chess, he wants Pokémon, maybe we need a Pokémon chess set).
2. Remove 100 calories per day (No cheating, it can’t be veggies…Step away from the cookies).
3. Remove 15 minutes or more of screen time per day and just write, doesn’t matter what.
4. Remove 15 minutes or more per day of sitting time (replace with Yoga and Tai Chi).
5. Spend 15 minutes or more per day submitting articles and manuscripts, especially knowing they might be rejected.
6. Change 15 minutes of internet time to relaxation and rest.
7. Give away, use, or get rid of 1 or more items a day.

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1funny433Blogging myths busted and wisdom learned:

1. Blogging is solitary. Wrong. Blogging, my friends, is social and addictive, like sugar, and as the song by Maroon 5 says (I’ve tried to get it out of my head, believe me), I need a little sweetness in my life, your sugar, yes, please!

2.You need to have something to say to have a blog. How snotty and daft was that assumption? Everyone has something to say.

3. Blogging is simple. Wrong again, complicated, yet worth it, despite the intricacies that sometimes make you feel like your head might explode. Mistakes have been made and more shall be made; it’s all part of learning.

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4. Success! I thought I needed to be a world-famous writer, then I saw comments that said I’d made people laugh, smile, and think. Anything else that comes along would be the icing on this delicious, chocolatey cake of a blog experience thanks to you, dear readers.

5. Blogging is constant. Wrong. As with life, the only thing you can count on in blogging is change.
For example, I believe the WordPress motto is: If it ain’t broke, fix it a few times a day.
Twitter seems to have a midlife crisis every few weeks and I don’t know what happened to Facebook.
There are: trolls, traffic, topics, taboos, privacy issues, time, concentration…what was I saying? Oh yes, so the question today is, to blog or not to blog?
For now, the answer is…why not?

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