Archive for July, 2013

A Symphony of Human Comfort – The Magic of One in Many

The Antennae Galaxies are undergoing a collisi...

The Antennae Galaxies are undergoing a collision that will result in their eventual merger. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Have you ever gotten the right words of comfort when you needed them? Has the right book suddenly came into your hands when you were looking for answers or pondering an issue, deeply looking for some comfort? Somehow, it seems that we experience these occurrences when we seem to have lost our hope, or when our mind/heart is experiencing turmoil, and need to find a little ray of hope or “something” that will point us in the right direction, as our life compass has undergone a little interference. When we happen to find that ray of light, we feel comforted, as well as grateful. Grateful for the ones who have written the words that seem to make so much sense today, as sometime ago. It is like a symphony of human comfort that is as old as we are, that transcends time, space, culture, race … the right words at the right time. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” – John 1:1

We are part of everything, and everything in us, a concept that for some is difficult to grasp, and that is understandable. Many times, I see a connection in everything that surrounds me. It is in those little moments of serendipity that I feel that connection stronger. It is when the works of someone who lived many years or centuries ago, happen to touch my soul today, and offer insight – whether spiritual insight, or one of those “aha” moments, when my questions seem to have been answered. It is then that I understand that we are one in many. As if our collective knowledge comforts our collective souls. We are part of a greater process, each one contributing in perfect time and harmony, each one influencing one another.

I leave you with a poem that I wrote sometime ago – “One in Many”

One in Many

On this day I shall wish

many blessings, harmony

When the night gives in to day

and the day nestles the night,

we will be as one in many.

Shine your light for it will be

as the beacon one will see

Always seek your love to give

without measure, plenty and free.

As you give you will receive,

one in many it has been.

Me, You, It, one and the same,

Love, One Source, is One in many.

As you wish it will be done,

may you wish, joy, peace, and love

For it returns the wish to wisher,

two ten fold, as one in many.

7 Ways to Relieve Stress

I read this post from She’s Losing it! – a blog I enjoy, and I am sharing it. We all have different ways to deal with the difficult situations in our lives, and every little helps to aleviate the stress and turmoil, as we try to make the best of the situation. Enjoy!

She's Losing It!

A football game was on in the background and the announcer said that one player’s brother had just died that morning in a car crash.  The player was a wreck, crying on the bench between plays, but then went on to score a touchdown.  I remember thinking two things:  Why is this guy at work, and I don’t think I could ever focus that much while dealing with something so tragic.

But the more I thought about it, we do this type of grief compartmentalization in everyday life too, don’t we?  I have friends who have been downsized who have to go into work and train their replacement in India while managing to not go postal.  Other friends are dealing with incredibly stressful family situations, yet pretend nothing is wrong in front of their kids.  And recently heard my friend’s 23 year old daughter just got diagnosed with a rare…

View original post 483 more words

Watercolors Friday Giveaway!

Happy Watercolors Friday to all. Today, I want to announce that as part of Amazon KDP select promo for Ramblings of the Spirit (The Dinorah Chronicles, Book 1), I am giving away a free electronic copy of it, and all you have to do is go to Amazon and download it. If you would like to read it, this is my gift to you; I extended the promotion until tomorrow. If you so like, you may leave an honest review of it. You can find Ramblings of the Spirit here . Just click on the Kindle edition. You don’t need a kindle to be able to enjoy ebooks via Amazon, as you can download from Amazon a free kindle app to your computer, or any other apps for e-readers that they offer; they are free.

Cover for Ramblings of the Spirit (The Dinorah Chronicles) - Girl Image by Lunagirl Images. Design by Maria Antonia Diaz

Cover for Ramblings of the Spirit (The Dinorah Chronicles) – Girl Image by Lunagirl Images. Design by Maria Antonia Diaz

A bit about Ramblings of the Spirit – Dinorah Sandbeck, an introverted young librarian, resents her Human-Anarth origins and must find a way to fulfill her birthright duty, while keeping the secret.  As she learns the Anarth ways and follows the riddled teachings of an ancient tome, she falls in love and struggles to keep her secret. She must fight her archenemy Hael and The Other Side, but most of all, she must fight herself.  In this battle of Self, Love, and Duty, winning is the least of her concerns.



Doubting Your Path, Saving Your Step

In most cultures, education is important and regarded as primordial in obtaining a great job, and a better future/life. I agree that education is one of the greatest tools/steps a person can take to enrich his/her life, as well as to open doors to a good future (and present); however, at times, society blinds us to accept expectations that may not be our own. It is not unheard of the person who becomes a lawyer planning to earn a healthy income, when his/her heart is speaking art, and every cell of his/her body is aching to live creating art (whatever the form), but the mind is focusing on the material/monetary part of making a living, therefore he/she chooses the path of less resistance, a more secure path. Years later, despite a successful career and many achievements, there is a void that can be felt, despite futile attempts to fill it with —————– fill in the blank. What is that void, and why?

Most likely, it is the crevices of the creative self, drying out and opening up, longing for a fresh start, and a bit of creativity.  It is the soul that starved for art for so many years and the creative spirit that has not died because it still has not fulfilled its joy. Some answer the call, changing careers and accepting a joyful way of life, while others ignore the call, deciding to stay safe, and sacrificing the experience of a more fulfilling journey. They have their own reasons, all valid, however costly.

The myth of the starving artist continues to keep the creative spirit at bay, preventing some artists to use education as a great and valuable tool to perfect their craft and create a satisfying pathway when they embark on the journey of their lives – selecting a career they love, loving what they do, doing what they love. Education enriches the journey. When you doubt your path, you can save your step, or a lifetime of steps, by using education to enhance your passion.

What if you doubt your path, even when you know that it is what you should be doing? You have listened to your heart, took a few steps in the right direction, and now, you doubt. You may have come to a halt, saving your step, and puzzled, frustrated at the lack of results, enveloped in exhaustion, saturated with the sweat of your hard work, dedication, and tears … collapsing almost, with every heartbeat that becomes faint, as you fall into your knees, looking at the dirt on the road, the dust that surrounds your creative self, and you see the drops that seem to kiss it, as they fall, the tears, the sweat … . I am so tired, you think, because you cannot utter the words. The lack of results (whatever your measure) rendered you mute, numb to creativity, desolated, angry. Angry with you and the entire world. Why? you think. I have done everything I should, and more; why? you whisper, why? you cry out! In your hands, the dirt of frustration you hold tight, squeezing every grain, until you open them, and slowly release the sand into the breeze, watching it go, lifting your eyes up, up from the dirt of the pathway, and taking in the same breeze that carries the sand. Then you notice the sky, the clouds, the birds … as if for the first time.  Because you have looked at your steps for so long, focusing on the pathway, hurried in your journey, dying to get there fast, you forgot to look up and take in all the beauty that looking up held for you. It is a new perspective now, and all it took was to save your step. Now, somehow your path seems anew, the journey seems full of possibility, and your creative soul, refreshed. Doubt? You don’t seem to find it. You breathe, you dust yourself up, you smile, and feeling grateful you happen to find yourself standing up, ready to take the next step. It is a new perspective, and all it took was to save your step.

The Vintage Office

If you have followed this blog, you are aware of my love for vintage items. I love the yesteryear charm of these things, the detail in workmanship, as well as the durability of many vintage objects compared to a similar object manufactured today. In addition, selecting vintage is my way of contributing to the planet by giving a second chance to things, and preventing some of these things from landing on our landfills.

As a writer and entrepreneur, I try to create a space that will inspire me during my working hours, but also that is environmentally friendly. Many times, before heading to the nearest staples, I try to plan purchases ahead of time, looking to see if I can find a vintage item instead of buying new. Sometimes, this action saves me money, sometimes it does not; however, it always helps the environment by preventing an item from going into the landfill.  Many times, I am buying new old stock (NOS) – new items from the past, never used or that have survived sometimes more than a 100 years and are still in great usable shape. Examples of these items are vintage pencils, hole punchers, metal pencil sharpeners, ledgers, paper, refillable pens, paperclips, card holders, heavy-duty Rolodex and refill cards, note cards … you get the idea. Of course, some things require new technology, which I buy new.

The trick here is to plan so you have time to look around; therefore, you don’t make a hurried purchase, which could end up being more expensive. However, Mother Earth is always grateful. As an example – if you know that you will need to buy a stapler in a few weeks, now is a good time to look. If you need to replace your stapler, the heavy metal vintage ones are excellent and perform well and you can still find original staples online, whether NOS or new replacements. I stress this point, planning a purchase, because let’s face it, if you need something right away, you will not have time to shop, compare, and most likely, you will rush to the nearest office supply store because you cannot wait for delivery.

Sometimes the detail in craftsmanship of these items is inspirational in itself – you see a well thought and designed item, proudly displayed, which may inspire you to reach for the same in your work output.  So there is an added benefit. If you are a techie who loves the latest gadgets, this post may not be for you, but you can help by organizing your work and schedule electronically, thus reducing much paper output, in a way, which is great too. And since we are in the topic of paper, if you alternate between writing your drafts on the computer and paper, you can use vintage journals or ledgers for that purpose. I have been lucky to find an entire box of NOS copy paper for three dollars. Other great writing materials are fax paper or the old printing paper with the removable sides. Just a few ideas.

Here are pictures of some items in my writing/working space. By the way, the desk was a Craigslist buy for $10.00 (no zeros are missing here).


Roll Top Desk - photo by M.A.D.

Roll Top Desk – photo by M.A.D.

Heavy metal Rolodex, 7 position industrial hole puncher, industrial stapler (takes three sizes)

Heavy metal Rolodex, 7 position industrial hole puncher, industrial stapler (takes three sizes)

017 018   Photo by M.A.D.

Vintage Camera Case - fits perfectly my Canon Powershot. Photo by M.A.D.

Vintage Camera Case – fits perfectly my Canon Powershot. Photo by M.A.D.

Journal Ledger - Photo by M.A.D.

Journal Ledger – Photo by M.A.D.

002 004El Dorado pencils and metal sharpener

So there you have it; all these items are vintage, some more than 50 years old, some new old stock, but all ready to give many more years of service. I hope you enjoy this post, and that it inspires you to give a second chance to vintage items to help our environment.



Watercolors Friday – Celebrating Words

"Study drawing shows the allegorical figu...

“Study drawing shows the allegorical figure of Romance nude. She bends her head to read a book on her lap. Romance was one figure in a painting, The arts, in the north end lunette of the Southwest Gallery in the Library of Congress’ Jefferson Building.” Graphite drawing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last week, I took a few days off, needing to unplug a bit, and decided to spend most of my time just reading. If ever the time comes when machines take over and we are reduced to sources of energy, as in the movie The Matrix, just plug me all over within a virtual library, and I will be happy, yielding an entire grid of energy source. I am also a junkie for inspirational and self-help books. Although I always prefered to read from an actual tome, mostly due to an engagement of the senses – touch, smell, visual – (too bad taste is not involved, as I would devour the book as well, but I have to agree that in a way ,the auditory is present in a physical tome, as characters talk and evolve in the ears of the mind, and maybe so the palate), I have found that I can read faster and consume more books using an electronic device, in this case a Nook. I read over 19 books, some shorter than others, and found myself in a delightful state, surprised as well that I have taken so much liking to e-reading.  Propped myself at the same chair, I wonder if my new neighbors would question if I am a manequin or a real person, as it happened that everytime they came home, there I was, in the same position.

I read all kinds of topics, mostly inspirational and self-help ebooks. Some I liked more than others, and a few I loved. Those, I want to share in this post, therefore celebrating words, whether printed on paper or electronic devices. The medium might evolve, however words will always remain. So as part of Watercolors Friday, I celebrate these ebooks.

  • The Beach Misses You by Steve Rhode
  • Attack Your Day Before it Attacks You by Mark Woods and Trapper Woods
  • The Path to Happiness and Wealth by Steve Rhode
  • As a Man Thinketh by James Allen (finally I crossed this one off the list, believe it or not, and so the next one.)
  • Acres of Diamonds by Russell Herman Conwell

Those are excellent in my opinion and worth celebrating today – HAPPY WATERCOLORS FRIDAY!

The Comfort Cup of Coffee

I love sci-fi and monster movies, not so much people killing people, but more the fantastic kind – werewolves, mummies, aliens, vampires …. One thing these movies have in common is the cup of coffee that the desperate people who have run for their lives decide to have once they have found shelter, a safe place for a brief time, until the ordeal starts again. It never fails, whether in an abandoned building, a hut, the middle of the forest, or a cave, they manage to make that cup of coffee that seems to bring comfort, somehow. This is one of my favorite moments in a movie, so much, that sometimes, I run to the kitchen and make a cup of coffee for myself, as if I too, am being comforted, and inside the movie. Besides, I happen to love coffee so much, that any excuse is good enough to have that extra cup. Why am I writing about coffee? Well, because we all need that moment, or what I call “the comfort cup of coffee.”

We need to have that moment of peace, of feeling safe, of stopping all the running we do and coming to a halt – to meditate, ponder, and reassess our direction. We need that cup of coffee (whatever that may be for you) to help us reenergize and keep going. One thing I have understood is to take that moment when I seem to need it – it makes a difference in what follows next. Whether your cup of coffee is time alone for yourself, a much-needed vacation, a weekend or day off, a sabbatical, a walk in the woods or the beach, or time well spent with people you love and have not seen for a while … it doesn’t matter what it is, because it is personal, and the result is always “feeling better,” “re-energized,” and “strong.” Timing is also different for everyone; you will know when it is time for that comfort cup of coffee.

Food for thought – What represents that cup of coffee in your life? Have you ignored the need for it? Why? What happened as the result of not having it?