International Women’s Day: Inspiring Change

“Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.” Margaret Mead International Women’s Day: Inspiring Change Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Women Executive Director: International Women’s Day 2014 International Women’s Day Event on Advancing Women’s Economic Empowerment Timeline of International Women’s Day (IWD) 28 February 1909 – First observed in the USA as National Women’s Day in Chicago August 1910 – Attendees at the International Women’s Conference in Denmark propose the idea 18 March, 1911 – IWD was celebrated by over a ...

Reflections: Is Reality Half-Full Or Half-Empty?

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” Winston Churchill Reflections: Is Reality Half-Full Or Half-Empty? Laughter can shift our thinking... Is your reality half-full or half-empty? Is the picture of your life an optimistic or pessimistic one? When I first read the prompt, my initial reaction was to say, reality has shadings of both and that it depends on what day of the week we are talking about… But that is not the question. ...

A few interesting faces

A large centrepiece A confrontation A group of women These photographs were taken in the remains of a huge Roman villa in Southern Cyprus.  The detail in all the mosaics was utterly amazing, the workmanship unbelievable and the colours in some were still bright, almost vivid.

Memories of Another Life

I am feeling rather pleased with the fact that I have managed to post something BEFORE Friday. I also have a question that I have been meaning to ask for some time now. I notice the times that comments and stories are posted and it makes me wonder just where in the world all you  Fabulous Friday Fictioneers are; it would be really nice to know. I’m in Wales, land of song (allegedly) and rugby (definitely) and laver bread… but that’s ...

Weekly Photo Challenge: Sunset…

“When I admire the wonder of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in worship of the Creator.”  Mahatma Gandhi Weekly Photo Challenge: Sunset... Weekly Photo Challenge: Sunset... Weekly Photo Challenge: Sunset... Weekly Photo Challenge: Sunset... NYC Sunset... I love sunsets even though I used to wonder how photographers captured them.  Whenever I saw a magnificent sunset, I would sit in awe and watch it till it faded away. Sunset are mysterious and deep; often strewn with myriad colors ranging from ...

3200 Years Old – 247 feet tall and still growing!

What is 3200 years old, 247 feet tall, measures 45,000 cubic feet in volume, is 27 feet wide and has 2 billion needles? The President of course! Image credit: National Geographic This giant Sequoia is not only awe inspiring, it’s still growing! At the rate of one cubic meter per year he is one of the fastest growing trees in the world, despite his great age. There is only one place on the entire planet where giant sequoias grow; the Sierra Nevadas mountain range ...

Reflections: Ten Things To Be Grateful For Today…

“Learn everything you can, anytime you can, from anyone you can – there will always come a time when you will be grateful you did.” Sarah Caldwell Reflections: Ten Things To Be Grateful For Today... grateful for life, love and more... The gift of life ~ The gift of love ~ The gift of writing ~ Earlier this year, I wrote a blog post, on my Positive Kismet blog, that looked back at 2010 and then forward at 2011. The post which was based on ...

The 2012 Brussels’ Flower Carpet

It’s one of the most amazing sights in the world and it only happens every 2 years. 2012 was the year of the Brussels Flower Carpet. These photos don’t do it any justice. You really have to see the Carpet in person. The size and the detail will astound you. Unfortunately, you just missed this spectacular event and will have to wait until 2014. It took place this year from Aug 14-19th. The usually gray area in front of Brussels ...

Slowing Down in an Accelerating World

I don’t know about you, but I can get worked up about things very easily. Whether it’s the cares of life, pursuit of wealth or desires for other things – I unintentionally let external craziness mangle my attempts to maintain internal calm. So every morning, I try to read or focus on something that will help me keep my peace in place – for at least a little while. This morning I read a passage in a book by author Philip Yancey ...

Compulsory Voting

Have you ever heard of this concept of compulsory voting? I never had. It took a chance meeting and conversation in the gardens at the Palace of Versailles with a couple from Australia to educate me on this one. (Don’t you love it?) As civil servants in their country, both the man (fire department) and the woman (police department) were very much in favor of compulsory voting, which is not only a law there but an enforced law. You are ...

Soon at a Grocer Near You: $0.05 Bag Tax...

Plastic Bag in Creek One of the cool things about living near Washington, DC is that we’re so close to a cultural mecca that contains dozens of museums, historical landmarks and monuments which really add to the quality of life. However, one of the crummy things is that we’re also trapped in the vortex of a tax-and-spend polity that tends to test certain taxation ideas here before they spread to a larger scale, which really subtracts from the quality of life. The latest example ...

Pregnancy Update – Home Stretch!

This may be one of the final pregnancy updates I’ll post until our baby boy arrives. My wife has crossed 38 weeks gestational age for the pregnancy – so he’ll be a full term. Things have moved so fast since we discovered our family was expanding and we decided to share it publicly here. We’ve provided developmental milestones via the awesome web site BabyCenter.com. Here’s what’s happening at week 38: Your baby has really plumped up. He weighs about 6.8 pounds and he’s more ...

Karen ‘Writes the Book’ on Bully-Proofing, Part 2

Almost ten months have passed since I posted Part 1 on this topic, on April 29, 2011. Time for an update! Cutting to the chase for the time period, I must announce that Karen and GW-1 (Ghostwriter 1) recently parted ways, and so for the moment this blog subject will take the form of a cautionary tale. I’ve only known two other authors who worked with ghostwriters, but both of those authors also needed to work with more than one before ...

Our Pregnancy Update – Week 18

Baby at week 18 - courtesy of BabyCenter.com As I’ve written about before, my wife and I are thrilled to be expecting our third child (whom we’ve affectionately dubbed “Junior Constantino”) in June of this year and this week marks the 18th week of gestational or developmental age for Junior. I work for a biotech company that manufactures medicines for pre-term infants as well as toddlers and children, so I’m keenly interested in the development of our baby while he/she sublets my ...

Ridiculously Funny Shopping Prank….

I’m not really a fan of practical jokes, because they can be cruel, but this video is harmless and one of the funniest things I’ve seen. Two guys decide to write a nonsensically absurd shopping list for each other. Then each of them must enlist the help of a retail worker to help them locate as many of the crazy items as they can. The hilarity ensues because neither guy knows what the next item on the list will be since each ...

Cosette's Tribe is Launched!

A very grateful writer;) Today, I want to thank all of you for your encouragement and support over the last two years as I worked to make my first novel, Cosette’s Tribe, a reality. So, it is without further ado that I happily announce that Cosette’s Tribe is finally available to the public through amazon.com! There will be more steps in the near future, such as listing on Barnes & Noble, the launching of my website: cosettestribe.com, and the release of ...

Please visit the authors blog by clicking on the link below!

Shirley McLain - Writing, Musings, and Inspiration...
February 22, 2012, 10:54 am

Apparently Your Never To Old. Yea!!!!!

Oxygen toxicity occurs when the lungs take in ...

I was reading an article last night on how the over 60 age set is partaking of an experience I absolutely loved when I was doing it. It created so many different emotions from pure delight to fright. I suppose I have waited long enough to tell you what I’m talking about, scuba diving.

I am an Oklahoma farm girl who got my first taste of a big city when I went to Honolulu to work at Kapiolani Woman’s and Children hospital in Honolulu. I absolutely hated it for the first two months I was there, but then developed a love for the state and my life there. I stayed a full year and didn’t want to leave then.

After I settled into my routine life,I decided I wanted to something different.  I became a PADI certified diver. What an experience that was for me. I took private lessons just so I would feel more secure in what I was doing. It was hard for me to let go of my trainers hand and actually go on my own.  As with everything else, I just needed the self-confidence that I could do it.

I loved the beauty of the undersea world. The beautiful colored fish and even those nasty eels with the big teeth.  Of course I had seen the movie Jaws, so that was always in the back of my mind.  When I looked down and couldn’t see anything but empty space, I would think about some creature coming up and getting me.  I quickly pushed that from my mind and went on exploring the sites.

I do have to tell you I bit my mouth piece in half once because I was frightened.  I was swimming along close to the  bottom observing everything.  My mind was concentrating on some star fish when all of a sudden, two white tip sharks came out of the sand and straight up in front of my face. That startle reflex did me in. I had to leave the water.

If you have the opportunity, learn how to scuba.  It will open up a new world to you. The beauty and tranquility around you can’t be described in words. Since I read that article that the over 60 crowd is doing their diving thing, I may have to grab my wet suit, flippers and mask and head back to the open water.

Image via Wikipedia

Shirley McLain - Writing, Musings, and Inspiration...

I am fairly new at writing. I started my book “The Tower” in March and it was published in November. I can say it was a learning experience from the start. I continue to learn all the time, from other people, who have published, or those trying to publish. I guess the bottom line is, I am always learning and hopefully improving my craft. I want my blog to be someplace that I can go to and write what I feel. Hopefully have some meaningful discussion on writing and everything it entails. This is a new world for me, and I am jumping into it with both feet. Ye Ha

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