journal / journey


It's not a coincidence. "Journal" and "Journey" are derived from the same word root - "jour". It's French for the word "day".

And that makes sense, since both of them are a record of days of sorts.

A journal is a written record of the day.

A journey is the experience of where one travels in a day, or week, or month, or years.

Each day unique, even if there are routines involved. Each experience worthy of reflection, of thought, and of remembrance.

Writing things down, capturing them in words, is a way of preserving the roads traveled. It helps gain insight into things like personal development as well as a reminder of occurrences, of emotions, of milestones.

"What did you do today?"

"I journeyed..."

Best done without an eraser? I think so. There is a sense of the rawness of the moment, of memories without varnish; get it down, get it out, and then - if need be - post reflections on the reflection. Insights after the fact. Would have, could have, should have - reports without regrets. 

Deliberate. Unembellished. Constant.

How Do You Keep The Music Playing (tuneful tuesday)

Ahhhh… Old songs and old singers that still have that spark of greatness. I fell in love with this song by Aretha Franklin and Tony Bennett when I first heard it. The soulful sound of Aretha and the vocal smoothness of Bennett makes this one amazing song.  And keep your eye on Bennett's face just before the song ends ...


Continue reading "How Do You Keep The Music Playing (tuneful tuesday)" »

a million dreams (tuneful tuesday #11)

It was one of those musical gems that seemed to slip under the radar of pop culture except for those who actually watched the movie and enjoyed it's music and it's message.

Among The Greatest Showman's collection of toe-tapping songs is one that encourages the development of one's dreams regardless of how impossible they may seem. But here's a version of the song, created by Dixie State University and featuring Alex Boye' that puts a little different spin on the anthem. Enjoy!


no regrets


I remember learning many years ago that every day has a lesson. It's part of the beauty of being a life-long learner; you always find there is something new to learn about myself or the world around me - IF I take the time to consider, to reflect, to ponder. It's not that hard. Keeping a journal helps. Write it down. If it is part of living, it can be part of a journal.

brother, can you spare an idea?

All of us, to some extent, borrow from others, from the culture around us. Ideas are in the air, and we may appropriate, often without realizing, the phrases and language of the times. We borrow language itself; we did not invent it. We found it, we grew up into it, though we may use it, interpret it, in very individual ways. What is at issue is not the fact of “borrowing” or “imitating,” of being “derivative,” being “influenced,” but what one does with what is borrowed or imitated or derived; how deeply one assimilates it, takes it into oneself, compounds it with one’s own experiences and thoughts and feelings, places it in relation to oneself, and expresses it in a new way, one’s own.

-- Oliver Sacks, The River of Conciousness


TBTWhen I was thinking of what to enter for a "throwback Thursday" posting, I was coming up empty.

Then I remembered bumping into a friend, and like a proud parent pulling out pictures of their children, I started talking about my novel.

Yeah, I'm sure people are sick of me talking about it. I'm not. (Bill types with a big grin on his face.)

I try and work into my story that I had been working on that dang novel for over 10 years.

And what gave me the idea for the story in the first place?

Continue reading "inspiration" »

the blank page

BookpageI recently read this encouraging little story...


I’m supposed to write an article filled with biblical and practical wisdom that will inspire pastors to be better leaders, counselors and preachers, all the while knowing that I need to be on the other end of that article. I need to be the reader, not the writer. So I sat in my office, staring at a blank page.

Continue reading "the blank page" »

Whoo hooo! It's Friday

And it's the end of another week! Party with The Batman Lego Movie -- It's fun and awesome!

Update: I caught the movie at my favorite movie theater - The Alamo in Winchester.   I think it's every bit as good as "The Lego Movie" and the message about doing things as part of a team is well done. 

Even though the Alamo is my favorite theater, they have recently switched to all reserved seating - which now means that you can't just walk into the theater and sit down. No, now you could pick your seat and end up having someone siting next to you even though you might have selected one that was fairly free of other people at the time of ticket purchase. (Granted, it could end up like that anyway if the movie is popular and new and the theater gets sold out. But that happens after having purchased a ticket and you sit in a fairly unoccupied area of the theater. I know, I'm nuts, but I like my space.) So unless you're willing to purchase an extra seat to give you some space between yourself and whoever shows up beside you, you'll find yourself being invaded by whoever picks the seat beside you.  For me, that meant some guy in a long trench coat and a cowboy hat who was an open mouth eater. And beside him was a group of two men, two anklebiters, and a woman; the men were drinking Corona beers and ignoring their noisy children (one boy was constantly saying "Batman wouldn't do that...") and a mother who appeared as though she had checked out once the lights were lowered and the movie began.  So I'm guessing I'm going to have to look for another theater -- or just wait for the movie to appear on pay per view and watch it at home. 

the elephant man

The death of John Hurt reminded me of the many characters he portrayed in his acting career: the man who "birthed" the alien from his chest, Olivander in the Harry Potter movies, Oxley in the last Indiana Jones movie, and so many others.  But I remembered the one film where he was so totally lost in the recreation of an historical figure, that he seemed to become the person - John Merrick, the Elephant Man.

Hurt was one of those rare actors who made the characters he portrayed so memorable that when he appeared in the movie, you really couldn't see anyone else in the role.

downton abbey inspiration

I landed on PBS one evening - I'm not sure now what program I watched - but the one thing I DO remember is the advertisement that appeared after the program. 

It featured a young lady who suffered from Tourette syndrome who found that her love of the Downton Abbey series created a desire within her to read about Edwardian England. Her research led to her being inspired by the lives and times of that era. Despite the painful effects of her condition, she started to write her thoughts and stories down. Now, her inspiration inspires...

How many times do I give up because the way ahead is painful? What truly counts truly costs.


critical criticism

Sunday1CoverMy completed novel is still not published.

(Insert bored gasps...)

I know, I know. I keep telling myself to finish the dam thing.  And I want to. But one thing keeps stopping me.


Lately I've been looking into the reviews of books I've read and in particular I've been looking over the criticisms that appear within a book's listing on websites like Amazon and Good Reads:

  • "The novel just plodded; it was advertised as 'fast-paced', but that's false advertising..."
  • "I couldn't connect with the characters..."
  • "The book is full of barely sketched characters and the writing was so pedestrian that I was never drawn in..."

Ouch.  And it wasn't even said about MY book.

And there are many examples of now famous novels which were panned by readers and critics when they were first published - like "Brave New World", "The Grapes of Wrath", and "Catcher in the Rye".  My book isn't anything as life-changing as those classic writings - but it was never written to be anything more than a good story and a personal dare to see if I could finish something.

I realize that I won't be able to stop people from picking up my book and saying to themselves and to others, "What a load of crap."  And I never intended for it to be up there with Steinbeck or Hemingway. An idea popped into my head one day after reading a news article, I asked myself "What if...", and the story and the character seemed to evolve from there.

But now that I'm on the brink of publishing it, I find myself full of doubts, questions, and anxiety.

I don't know if that's normal for anyone who has gotten to the point of sending out their effort, but thoughts of my first novel effort not being worth anyone's time to read has grabbed me by the throat like a Harry Potter dementor - and seems to just suck the writing joy right out of me.

And so...there it sits. The manuscript is on it's final update, and I've told myself that after this current edit, I'll upload it to the self-publisher I've selected and move forward from there.

I had hopes that it would be ready for this Christmas, but it probably won't make that deadline.

Where's my dam patronus when I need it?