START: Face the Fear & Just Do it Anyway

“There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth. Not going all the way, and not starting.” Siddhartha Gautama As humans, we experience a wide range of emotions, see Plutchik’s wheel of emotions above, and one of them is FEAR. I have my share of fears and have written about some of them here (flying & grace) and on my Positive Kismet blog (childhood & writing). The fear of dying, public speaking and the fear of failing are ...

Standing Still

Thanks this week go to Sarah Ann Hall for her photograph entitled “Aqueduct” and to the wordsmith Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for continuing the Fabulous Friday Fictioneers. Genre: Romantic fiction Word Count: 100 Standing Still …in the distance, the spectacular Pont du Gard, a reminder of the Romans’ talent for engineering, built centuries ago to carry water from the springs at Uzes to the Roman garrison in Nimes. I switch off my voice recorder. It’s early morning and hot, what am I doing here?  I should have ignored Sally’s advice to ...

Single Ply Miracle

Last Friday I got up at 6:00 AM to go swimming at our public pool. I usually celebrate this rare act of exercise by bringing home pastries from the Albertsons I pass along the way. Mrs. Chatterbox has Fridays off and sleeps in. She works for the local police department and is always telling me where crimes occur, such as the local swim center. She’s made me promise to leave my credit card at home before heading to the pool. Two ...

Fun Flower Facts: African Violet

Chances are you have heard of the African violet. It is a common houseplant found on windowsills worldwide. African violets, also known scientifically as saintpaulia, are known for their pretty purple flowers with yellow centers. Despite their name, the African violet doesn’t belong to the  violet family, the Violaceae. It actually belongs to the Gesneriaceae family, which includes other flowering houseplants like cape primrose. The plant is native to tropical rainforests in Tanzania, Africa. African violets can grow to 2 to 6 ...

Weekly Writing Challenge: The Inimitable Chinua Achebe…

“It is the storyteller who makes us what we are, who creates history. The storyteller creates the memory that the survivors must have – otherwise their surviving would have no meaning.” Chinua Achebe Weekly Writing Challenge: The Inimitable Chinua Achebe… Things Fall Apart “Then listen to me,’ he said and cleared his throat. ‘It’s true that a child belongs to its father. But when a father beats his child, it seeks sympathy in its mother’s hut. A man belongs to his fatherland ...

A summer beach in Cardiff Bay… and a little bit of history

According to statistics, the summer of 2013 is the best in the UK for seven years. Making the most of the lovely weather is the Cardiff Beach, a new attraction that has transformed Roald Dahl Plass in Mermaid Quay.  There are live bands, lots of eating places, traditional seaside rides and stalls, for the energetic amongst the crowds there is also beach volleyball in the specially created beach area. The atmosphere was fantastic the day we visited, everyone seemed to be ...

Happy New Year: Join the 365 Day Blogging Challenge for 2011!

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Lao-Tzu, author,Tao Te Ching ♫♥☼♪ ♫♪♫ Happy New Year To All! ♫♥♫ ♫☼♫ Happy New Year To You! ♫♥♫ ♫☼♫ Happy New Year To All! ♫♪♫ ♫♥☼♪ Happy New Year: Plant a Seed. Learn a Skill. Grow! I plan to post something inspirational every day in 2011! I’ve decided to join the WordPress challenge … by posting daily on this 2-year-old blog.  Rather than just thinking about doing it, I’m starting right now. I will be posting on ...

Inspiration: A Touch Of Hope & Humor…

“A sense of humor… is needed armor. Joy in one’s heart and some laughter on one’s lips is a sign that the person down deep has a pretty good grasp of life.” Hugh Sidey Inspiration: A Touch Of Hope & Humor... What I’ve Learned… Maya Angelou was interviewed by Oprah on her 70+ birthday… Oprah asked her what she thought of growing older. And, there on television, she said it was exciting… Regarding body changes, she said there were many, occurring everyday……like her ...

5 Famous Folks I Know (because of my blog)

If you’ve read The Daily ReTORt during the past few months, it’s difficult to hide the fact that I’m a HUGE fan and supporter of author, blogger, podcaster and nationally-sought speaker – Michael Hyatt. Michael is the former CEO and current board Chairman of Thomas Nelson Publishing – the seventh largest publishing house on the planet. Michael is also a multiple New York Times bestselling author, and an individual whom I deeply respect. My friendship with Michael began from a series of ...

They Can’t Have my Lingerie!!!

It was the morning of April first. I had just returned from a long week at work and was unloading my suitcase, when my cell rang. I was in an upbeat mood, it being Friday and all, and answered with a singsongy “Hello.” It didn’t take long for my tone to change to more of a doomsday march as the voice on the other end informed that my wages were being cut 27%.... affective that day! Initially I thought it ...

May I Have a Moment?

Sometimes, when something wonderful is happening, I become intensely aware of the moment—and that as it unfolds it’s also slipping away, becoming a faded snapshot destined to spend eternity filed away in my unreliable memory …neglected, and eventually forgotten. Time really is an illusion. There is only now. Yet, now is ever changing like the clouds and the shoreline, seemingly moving forward like a man in a blinding snowstorm whose footprints are erased by the driving winds, leaving him unable ...

12 Rules for Every Family

Every Friday and Saturday, there's an Amish farmers' market that occupies a large storefront at a local plaza near our home.  We visit a couple times a month to shop for produce and other goods. During a recent tour of homespun products from the residents of Lancaster County, PA we saw this sign titled "Family Rules" that my wife and I loved - it's pictured here as it's currently hanging in our home. Just in case the image quality isn't that great ...

7 Questions With an Author: Keith Ferrin

Speaker, author and blogger Keith FerrinThis post marks another installment of my “7 Questions With an Author…” series, where I ask published authors an unchanging set of questions and share their responses here.Today’s featured author is Keith Ferrin.Keith is a speaker in high demand, an author of several books, a blogger, communications coach and personal friend of mine. His latest book is 10 Tips for Liking the Bible as well as its companion study guide.Here are 7 Questions With an ...

Some Ignore the Truth... Even When It's True

No Bull - courtesy of copyblogger. The setup for this blog is important, so please bear with me. Our family recently attended a surprise 40th birthday party for a dear family friend. It was really a surprise since the wife of the unsuspecting honoree had arranged for their family (comprising four children) to be camping at an idyllic and isolated campground in a neighboring state. She then invited several out-of-state families, including ours, to join the surprise Bday jamboree at the remote campsite’s dining ...

What Was I Thinking???

Buying this shirt, one of many "What was I thinking..." moments Admit it. You’ve had one of those moments – we all have. We did or said something that seemed completely lucid, rational and sane at the time, yet in hindsight we ultimately shake our heads and ask ourselves, “What was I thinking???” I’m not talking about major life-changing screw-ups. No base jumping off the CN Tower in Toronto, or trying to knock off a Vegas casino or smuggling endangered animals into the Ukraine ...

My Guest Post on ProBlogger Today…

I’ve got a guest post today on one of the most popular blogging sites on the web – ProBlogger.  My piece addresses the topic of writing to deadlines. This guest post is by Tor Constantino of Thedailyretort.com. The old cliché, “time is money” is particularly true for any professional writer—especially when you’re on deadline. The consequences of missing deadlines are lost money, work, and credibility. As a former journalist (a.k.a hourly deadline writer) for more than a decade, I know that deadline writing is ...

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To my praying readers…

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The situation for Iraq’s Christians has been steadily deteriorating ever since the 2003 invasion, in part because the U.S. never acknowledged that Christians were being targeted by Islamists and did not prioritize protection of Christians or other minorities. But with the recent sweep through Mosul and other Iraqi cities by the jihadi group ISIS, Iraq’s Christians look to be on the verge of genocide. …

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International Women’s Day: Inspiring Change

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Today is International Women’s Day (IWD), also known as International Working Women’s Day and the theme for this year is – Inspiring Change. The premise for the 2014 IWD theme is that we still need to not only champion the social, political and economic achievements of women, but also to continue to fight for women’s rights and inspire change globally …

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Nelson Mandela: Madiba R.I.P.

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“As I have said, the first thing is to be honest with yourself. You can never have an impact on society if you have not changed yourself… Great peacemakers are all people of integrity, of honesty, but humility.” Nelson Mandela Nelson Mandela: Madiba Dead at 95, RIP 1918-2013. Photo via g987fm.com Utata Madiba, Ndilusizi… Hamba kakuhle! Enkosi …

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Oseh Shalom

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This is what Arafat did to his people. He left them homeless after leading them for more than 50 years with the hope to liberate the land and return to Palestine. He left his people in poverty, while his family continues to live with millions. Its too late to go back, and do it all again. Arafat thought …

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On Food: Hunger Steals The Memory…

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When a poor family has no food to eat, every bit of energy is spent on finding ways to stave off hunger. Hunger steals everything; our health, our memory, even our dignity. World Food Day, celebrated on October 16th, is a reminder that the global battle for equitable food distribution continues. Each year, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) picks a theme as its focus for World Food Day. …

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Growing Flowers in Slums Creates Jobs for the Young & Unemployed

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Flowers growing in slums? It’s almost absurd! For those living in slums, flowers are considered luxuries. In fact, flowers are the last thing on people’s minds. Survival is the only thing that matters. Slums are characterized by poor, sometimes inhabitable housing with barely any access to clean drinking water and other basic necessities. Slum dwellers live a …

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That’s One Way to Go

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Every week I look for interesting (?) unusual news releases for my Friday post. I struggle with which 3 or 4 make the cut depending on factors such as “is it too stupid to be credible?”, is it too disgusting to put in my post?” or ” is it so dumb that it doesn’t keep …

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