Saturday, August 20, 2011

Do It Anyway

I found reason to pause today, when I read this quote on a Facebook friend's profile page:

"If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway. If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway. For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never about them anyway."

The quote is a variation of a composition originally written by Kent Keith, and of another one often attributed to Mother Teresa. It is also echoed in the song, "Do It Anyway" by Martina McBride. In fact, during my Google search, I discovered many variations of the sentiment that we should  'do good, and be good, and live good.... anyway.'

It then dawned on me that I'd read something very much like this a long, long time ago... in a book that was written an even longer time ago. Perhaps you've heard of the author. He was a guy named Paul.

"Let us not grow weary in doing good.... As we have the opportunity, let us do good to all people." Galatians 6:9-10

There's a lot of 'ugly' in the world these days. We are bombarded with it on internet news sites, evening newscasts, and reality TV shows. We hear it on the radio, in the workplace and at the ballpark. But, we don't have to succumb to it.

We can be proactive and "do good... be good.. live good..." We can shake off the 'ugly', focus on what's good... and do it, anyway.

I'm game.

Are you?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Ode to Velma, the Cow-Bride

August 18 is National Bad Poetry Day. In the spirit of fun, I invited my Facebook friends to  get their rhyme on-- and participate in a free-flowing group-poem! I fed them the first three lines. They took it from there. One prolific poet would pick up where another left off. The end result is NOTHING like I'd imagined (thank you Scott, for 'steering' it in a hysterical direction) and is more hilarious than I'd ever anticipated. Is it the Really Rotten Rhyme I called for? Heck, no! It's actually pretty good! And a very entertaining read. Thanks to all my Facebook buddies for playing along-- you are credited below. Here is the end result (with slight editing, but with original intent in place.)  

Ode to Velma-- The Cow Bride

I woke up this morning, the sun was all yellow.
I went for a walk. I was feeling quite mellow.
But, when I rounded the corner, what I saw caused me fear.
A red cow named Velma was drinking a beer.
Her eyes were all blotchy, her hair was a mess.
She was wearing the top of an old wedding dress.
She looked up when she saw me and called me by name.
After that, my life was never the same. She said, “Scott, don't worry, I'm actually tame.
Come sit for awhile and let’s chew the cud.
Have a refreshment, and I'll call you my bud.”

Alas and alack, my day was not done.
As I backed away and started to run
I stepped in some droppings.
The cow’s.
And, not number one.
So I squished out of there, one step at a time
Thinking, "Steak for my supper. That cow, she is mine!"

Cleaning my shoes, my heart went to mush.
I thought to myself, “That cow's in no rush.
It seems to me that she’s pretty smart,
Let’s see if she can pick this algebra equation apart!"

Here's an equation, let's see how you do.
 (x+9=18-2x) can you solve for x in a minute or 2?
“Solve for x?” said the cow with a grin,
“If I can't, I'll seek help from a friend.
My friend named Drexel took Algebra in school.
 She's smart, attractive and REALLY cool.”

Then, that cow started solving math like a pro
I wondered aloud, “How far can this go?”
When, alas, that cow did step on my toe.
Did I step on hers, too…causing milk to free-flow?

Oh, Velma, my dear, what a mess we have made!
For your wedding gift, your tail I will braid!
You’ll be the best looking cow bride there can ever be.
The bull you are marrying will drop to one knee.

I suddenly realized how far I had veered
From my walk 'round the block.  I was lost, it was clear!
I bid my adieu to this bizarre bovine scene.
It was time to return to the real world, it seemed.

Alas, this adventure into poetry-gone-wrong
Has come to an end, so let's not prolong
The end of the Really Rotten Rhyme's brief stay.
I'll see you again, next Bad Poetry Day! 
**Thanks so much to Scott C., Jeff K., Kathy D., Lisa K., Lisa R., Susan F., Leslie S., Jan Mc., and Terri K.!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Road Trip!

I’ve been researching the publishing industry as is relates to children’s literature. I’ve written a children’s book and have begun the journey to find the best way to get it onto the shelves of a bookstore near you. It is a route that is filled with winding roads, hairpin turns, frustrating detours and plenty of dips and bumps.

Along the road, I ran across this quote from the book Rotten Rejections:

“After sixteen rejections, Irving Stone’s Lust for Life was finally accepted and published in 1934. It has now sold about twenty five million copies.”

I haven't been rejected--- yet--- but I know it's coming. It's inevitable. I see the lesson in this quote summed up as this: Never give up.

What’s your dream? Do you want to write, sing, build, paint, entertain, teach, learn, date, marry, lead, preach, speak, parent, design, create, compose, sew, dance, buy, sell… Or, do you have another dream? Do you have more than one dream? ( I hope you do!)

As a woman who is motivated and dedicated to encouraging you to pursue your dreams, goals, and ambitions, I say to you today—DON’T GIVE UP!

Don’t give up because someone tells you that you ‘can’t’, or doesn’t buy into your dream right away. If you have honestly assessed your dream… your vision... and if you absolutely know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that’s it’s real and worth pursuing… then trust your heart and keep on keepin’ on!

Work hard. Do your research. Map out your route. Take your vitamins. And, reach out to those who might be able to move your dream a few miles down the road.

On that note: Do any of you know of a publisher and/or agent who would like to discover the next bestseller in children’s books? Tell them to look for me at the corner of Patience Road and Perseverance Blvd. J

Friday, August 12, 2011

Who Says There Are No More Heroes?

A few weeks ago, I posted The Feature. It is the story of a courageous little boy who refused to let blindness stop him from pursuing his dream of playing Tee-Ball. It’s time now for an inspring update! If you haven’t read the The Feature, (posted July 11) please take a moment to do so before finishing this post. You’ll be glad you did.
Now… the update.
The pint-sized tee-ball player named Jacob, who stole my heart when he was just seven, is now a teenager. His accomplishments surpass those of many sighted children, teenagers, and yes.. even adults. This remarkable 14 year old young man approaches life every single day as if it was a gift to be enthusiastically unwrapped, passionately enjoyed and gratefully remembered.
A few years ago, Jacob decided he was ready to attend a residential, out-of-town school for children who are deaf and blind. It was a big step.  This would take him away from daily interaction with his wonderfully supportive family. Mom would now be several hours away, instead of just down the hall. But, Jacob is not one to let fear stand in his way.
Jacob is thriving at school and in life. He has not only conquered the baseball field. He also swims, rides horses, and has participated on the wrestling team and in track and field events. Just this week, Jacob learned he has made the basketball team at his school! On top of all that, he has brains to match that brawn. Jacob earned a ‘100’ on his first math test of the new school year. This teenager is hero-material.
Heroes sometimes need help.
If you were to ask Jacob to name his biggest helper, he would no doubt name his mom, Jessica. She has supported him every step of the way giving him a solid foundation to build on. That foundation includes a strong religious faith, a belief in himself and his abilities, and the determination to make the best out of whatever curve balls life throws at him.
This summer, Jacob’s mom drove him to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where he was treated following his retinoblastoma diagnosis. It was time for his annual checkup.  The doctors gave him a great report. He remains cancer free.
How in the world does a family give thanks for the gift of life?
If you are Jacob and Jessica… you give back. They are tireless in their efforts to support cancer research, prevention and treatment. This fall, they are participating in the St. Jude Give Thanks Walk. It will be held in 80 communities across the country on November 19.  Jessica is a local chairperson. It’s a big responsibility. But it’s something you would expect from her…and from her remarkable son. Because, although their lives were turned upside down by the loss of sight, they demonstrate to the rest of us the importance of seeing with our hearts… as well as our eyes.
                                           Jacob and Jessica… you are my heroes.
If you would like to help support Team Jacob in the Give Thanks Walk, you can find the Team Jacob page here:
If you would like to show your support by ordering a Team Jacob t-shirt, please email me and I will put you in touch with Jessica. Email: