Weekly Photo Challenge: Water, Water Everywhere…

“Water is life’s mater and matrix, mother and medium. There is no life without water.” Albert Szent-Gyorgyi Weekly Photo Challenge: Water, Water Everywhere... Hakone, landscape and lake - view from an elevated cable car in Japan   Weekly Photo Challenge: Water, Water Everywhere... Punting/Boating in Cambridgeshire, UK Weekly Photo Challenge: Water, Water Everywhere... still waters in Caen Do you know that 70.9% of the earth’s surface is covered by water and 97% of it is ocean water? Water sustains life and without it, much of ...

Inspiration: Animated GIF Is Alive and Kicking…

“A work of art is the unique result of a unique temperament.” Oscar Wilde Inspiration: Animated GIF Is Alive and Kicking… Inspiration: Animated GIF Is Alive and Kicking… Newton’s Cradle via Wikipedia Inspiration: Animated GIF Is Alive and Kicking… Computer Love/From Me to You. Inspiration: Animated GIF Is Alive and Kicking… Kettle Can Wait. Cinemagraph via AnnStreet Studio/From Me to You. The Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) is a bitmap image format that was introduced by CompuServe in 1987[1] and has since come into widespread usage ...

Photos: Empire State Building In Successive Iteration

“He may be more potent than any other man. The damnable iteration day after day of earnest conviction wears like the dropping of the water upon the stone.” William Thomas Stead Empire State In Color collage EMPIRE STATE BUILDING IN BW COLLAGE A few years ago, I took my first shot of the Empire State Building. Then, last fall, I noticed that part of it juts out near a building by the Church I attend in Manhattan and so I took another one. ...

Orange You Glad to See Flowers at President Obama’s 2013 Inauguration?

We were! We love flowers! Tangerine was Pantone’s 2012 Colour of the Year, but it made another big appearance a few days ago at President Obama’s 2013 Inauguration. At the Inaugural Luncheon on January 21, 2013, bright, orange flower centerpieces decorated the tables. Even though tangerine was last year’s colour, the bright colour was perfect for the occasion, as President Obama was sworn for his second term.  Orange flowers are a symbol of  energy, enthusiasm, confidence and passion. Jack Lucky Floral Design of ...

A One-Day-One-Eye-Hacking Dog

With my bride at work but armed with her permission, I drove to the LA animal control facility where thousands of dogs waited for adoption. This would be our first pet as a married couple, and my first dog ever. Growing up, my parents only let me have pets small enough to flush down the toilet when they died. Try as I would, I couldn’t convince them it was possible to flush a dead German Shepherd. As I walked past an ...

Murder and Mystery on a Steam Train

I was looking for some inspiration for a gift for my husband’s birthday and whilst searching the web, I came across a company called Charming Events.  I read the list of different events they arrange and the Murder Mystery Evening on a Steam Train practically jumped off the screen! My husband is probably Agatha Christie’s biggest fan and also bemoans the fact that there aren’t any steam trains any more.  So with two of his boxes ticked, I sent off for more details. We travelled down ...

Musings: 10 Lessons On Being Present & Letting Go…

“Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness.” Thich Nhat Hanh Musings: 10 Lessons On Being Present & Letting Go… Dharma Wheel – Our Duty is to honor each other. ♥ If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today. ♥ People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar. ♥ If you breathe in and are aware that you are alive – ...

History And Other Lies

Last week while on vacation I managed to catch a bit of the Republican Convention. Whenever I tuned in, a speaker was describing the virtues of the greatest man in the history of our country. They weren’t talking about their nominee; they were invoking the memory of Ronald Reagan. As I listened I wondered, Who are you talking about? The Reagan being deified didn’t resemble the president I voted for back in the ‘80s. Reagan’s record was being completely distorted to ...

Uniting Church and State via a Sneeze

Students across the country are preparing to return to schools and colleges in the coming weeks. Whether you agree with it or not, the rights of faith-based student organizations face increasing pressure under the oft-touted shield that separates church and state in this country. Yesterday, I stumbled upon this story that I’d never heard before that provided a unique twist on the debate of church versus state. This excerpt has been vetted and verified by the fine folks over at snopes.com: ….the facts of ...

My SCL Guest Post: Nine Unsavory Bible Snacks

My SCL Guest Post: Nine Unsavory Bible Snacks

Today's a big day for me as a writer. No, I didn't win a Pulitzer or Dayton Literary Peace Prize - but it's almost as good. I've written a guest post that's being feature on Jon Acuff's outstanding web site Stuff Christians Like (SCL). SCL is a satirically irreverrant, yet always respectful, look at all things Christianity. Jon's observations and writing are sharp, witty, crisp, howlingly funny, spiritually provocative and often moving. He's kind of like a Christian John Stewart - that is ...

7 Questions With an Author: Leon Hayduchok

Author, pastor, blogger and speaker – Leon Hayduchok It’s another installment of “7 Questions With Author…” and today’s featured writer is Leon Hayduchok, who recently authored his first book titled Dying to Control. Leon began his professional career as a CPA with Price Waterhouse, LLP before earning his ThM from Dallas Theological Seminary and founding Cornerstone Community Church in Utica, NY. After pastoring Cornerstone for 9 years, Leon along with his wife and three daughters, relocated to Houston, Texas, where he now offers his ...

Weekly WeightWatcher Whatssup....

It's Wednesday, so here's my weekly WeightWatchers weigh-in update.  Due to travel and unavoidable scheduling conflicts, I missed weigh-in for the past two weeks. So I wasn't really sure what to expect when I stepped on the scale during lunch break today.... I'm pleased to report that I was down - 2.4 lbs. for a total loss to date of -33.6 lbs. since I rejoined the plan this past December. The common sense theme of today's meeting was "me first." As selfish as that sounds ...

The Hunger Games Parody

Last week, the much anticipated  feature film version of The Hunger Games by author Suzanne Collins opened at a blockbuster pace earning $155 million in its first three days. I’m fairly certain that my blog post from last Friday – The Psychiatric Couch: The Hunger Games – was a significant driver for the movie’s third best opening weekend in history. You’re welcome, Ms. Collins! For the uninitiated, here is a three sentence summary of the popular book series: The Hunger Games trilogy is set ...

How Sin Mirrors HIV

Today I have an article featured on the Life section of Provoketive Magazine online. Provoketive is a great site that takes an unconventional look at issues of faith. My piece addresses the under-reported medical fact that HIV doesn’t actually kill people – it merely allows other bacteria, viruses or infections to do the actual killing. That pattern is ironically similar to sin. Here’s an excerpt from How Sin Mirrors HIV: ========================= Death Lives Within Us We all know there are bacteria and other microscopic organisms ...

Book Review: Quitter - by Jon Acuff

At any given time I'm reading five to seven different books, usually due to the fact that after chewing through several chapters in one book I need to cleanse my reading palette and pick up another as a mid-meal sorbet of sorts. The reason being is that some books get boring and need to be set aside then picked up at a later date. That was not the case with Jon Acuff's latest non-fiction work titled Quitter. I could not put this ...

Life Personified

A friend recently commented on my habit of personifying things. At first I wasn’t sure what he meant so I looked it up on dictionary.com: “per·son·i·fi·ca·tio [per-son-uh-fi-key-shuh n] noun, the attribution of a personal nature or character to inanimate objects or abstract notions.” He was right. I’ve been doing a lot of that lately. I think I do it because life has become so big and scary that humanizing things brings life down to my level. Living in a world where, amongst ...

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Underpainting

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Underpainting – what value does it have? If you have been following my blog for a while, you will have noticed my shift to underpainting most of my works now. Why do it? Well the main advantage is that it can give great depth to your work if it is covered by several thin layers of paint over the top. Underpainting is not only a rapid and economical way to envision and develop compositions, it also aids the artist …

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No Forks Needed

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No Forks Needed Genre: Crime Word Count: 100 Mary sat at her usual table, her laptop open and ready. The story she was writing was going well, but now she was stuck. Did she kill off the character giving her problems, or try to rework the plot? She was watching the street, waiting for her muse to return, when two strangers came in. One man went to the kitchen. She heard a …

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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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Creative Processes – Talking About Resistance

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You see, creative spirits need to be free. They cannot create within the bound confines of strangling political and religious systems. It is the work of creatives to push at the boundaries of human understanding. Which of course why so many of them are not recognized as a genius until after they are dead. Society takes a while to catch up and because it does, and for all the reasons stated …

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The Pain of Betrayal…

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“The Kiss of Judas” is a traditional depiction of Judas by Giotto di Bondone, c. 1306. Fresco in the Scrovegni Chapel, Padua. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Jesus walked the shores of Galilee, dispensing blessings, healings, and teachings of life. For these things his neighbors hated him. And they were filled with madness; and communed one with another …

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Waitete Revisited

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This is a theme that has been popping up a bit this year. A couple of weeks ago I was commissioned to do a painting to match one that one of my collectors bought earlier in the year. She requested a similar scene but with a more moody/misty feel to it. Which progressed to an under layer of colour and establishing the sky clouds. These clouds flowed really smoothly – such a pleasure to paint when it all works! …

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Grace and Poise on a Book Tour

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Lily King taught a week-long class I took in 2011 at the Stonecoast Writers Conference offered by the University of Southern Maine. (I blogged about it here and here.) Her students loved her. She shared personal pieces of herself alongside the professional, such that we could understand this important concept: Neither writing nor a life of writing is easy for anyone, but if it’s what you want to do, it’s yours to …

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