Category Archives: writer

Christmas Ice Storm 2013

The area where I live was hard hit by an ice storm on December 22nd 2013. It was like nothing we have ever experienced, and honestly I hope to never see again.

Saturday December 21, 2013 was the first hint I had that there might be an issue. I was watching the weather channel and getting ready for Christmas. The weather person said, “a 1-2 degree fluctuation in temp, once the precipitation begins could be the difference between freezing rain capable of reeking havoc on the area, or merely rain that  can wash away the accumulated Christmas snow. I looked out the window. A tree in the backyard had lost a branch.

The backyard:

SAM_0440“It’s only one branch, maybe the tree was dead,” I reasoned. Most of us are happier being complacent and taking on a “wait and see” attitude when it comes to weather predictions. I mean what else can you do with news like that, right?

I slept restlessly that night and kept waking up to vague noises coming from the park behind the house. I needed sleep as Sunday was going to be a very busy shopping day. Although the Christmas presents were ready to go, well most of them anyway, there was still a lot of fresh produce, meats and fishes to  purchase for Christmas Eve/Day festivities.

I awoke Sunday morning and stretched expecting to find a few downed trees outside the house. I sat up and looked out the window. Something was VERY different. Why was I looking at grey sky when I should be seeing the branches of the 50 ft Maples splayed just outside the windows across the horizon. Disoriented I got up and went to the window.

I started to cry as I tried to comprehend what I was looking at.  Each of the tall trees lining the back yard and those beyond in the park  had shed many of their large branches and were lying on the ground. Not just one or two , but most of them. Everywhere I looked the beautiful mature trees had lost many of their branches.

The park:

SAM_0451The Backyard:

SAM_0508I have a lower roof that obstructs the view of the backyard from our bedroom window. Feeling a little disoriented, I went downstairs to get a better view. What I saw when reaching the windows brought a fresh flood of tears. The backyard and garden I write about in a gardening blog was completely devastated. Large branches, the tops of the missing skyline trees I usually see from the bedroom, were lying across the yard creating an impenetrable barrier between me and the garden. Thankfully the house was spared from damage.

The Backyard:

SAM_0470“Oh no,” I thought. “What about the old maple tree on the front lawn?” I opened the door and peeked outside, not really interested in seeing a branch laying across the car in the driveway.
I experienced a moment of relief. Although caked in an inch of ice, the maple was intact. Its branches hung precariously under the weight of ice but were still attached to the main trunk.

The Front yard:

SAM_0529 We started calling around and checking on the kids and friends/family to ensure everyone was o.k. My daughter along with our granddaughter came over and we spent the day together as my husband went out with the rest of the guys to help with the removal of trees from roads and driveways. Honestly I was quite upset at the sight of the storms devastation and so happy to have them there with me. They are wonderful girls and I want to say thanks and “I love you and guys!”.

We had coffee and watched the news. Hundreds of thousands of people across the area were without power. No serious injuries or fatalities had been reported. I said a prayer for all to stay safe.

While we tried to carry on with some degree of normal routine it was impossible. Branches were crashing down outside, bouncing off roofs and hitting fences. With each thud, I jumped out of my skin. If I never hear that noise again it will be a blessing. It begins with a crackling of ice as the branch starts to give way under the weight, turns into the harsh sound of wood tearing as the branch separates from the tree. Next the sound of ice chunks falling and hitting the frozen snow, and finally ends with a sound I can only describe as similar to a traffic accident.

The Park:

SAM_0500 Each thud made my heart sink. I wished I could stop it, and knew that wasn’t possible. For a few hours the branches were breaking off every few minutes, and we just watched helpless to do anything about it. I was terrified one of the branches still clinging to the tops of tall trees in the backyard would come down on the house or car.

After a coffee we dressed and ventured out to see how neighbors were doing. We kept to the middle of the street avoiding trees full of ice on front lawns. I was amazed how much debris had barely missed several cars.

The Street:

SAM_0455SAM_0460People were outside shoveling and trying to clean up the mess. Everyone we spoke with was safe and had amazing stories to share about the storm.

Sadly we heard on the news the next day of several fatalities related to improper use of BBQ and generators during the storm. A result of those without power doing their best to keep warm. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those who lost loved ones due to the storm, or its aftermath during this holiday season ice storm.

We Canadians are for the most part a hearty bunch able to withstand and recover from Mother Nature’s quirky whims and furious temper tantrums.

The following day my husband told me to look out the window. I really didn’t want to see the devastation again. He coaxed me over to take a peek. What I saw was a beautiful, stunning and blinding sight. The sun had finally come out and its rays were hitting the ice covered trees turning it into something beyond a scene on a Christmas card or anything technology can mimic or cameras can accurately capture. It was absolutely glorious. Each and every branch covered in twinkling diamonds of ice. It was so brilliant we had to shield our eyes in order to see it.

The Backyard & Park:

SAM_0539There is beauty in everything, or so they say. The beauty of our Christmas Ice Storm 2013 is in the way community came together and supported each other and the stunning view the storm left behind in its wake.

After loosing December 22nd to the Christmas Ice Storm, we were still able to pull off our Christmas Eve/Day celebrations. We lost Sunday which created extra work, however Christmas arrived, storm or no storm just as it always does!

I want to wish friends, family, fellow bloggers/readers and all who stumble upon this blog a wonderful and safe holiday season and only the best this coming year has to offer.

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Debtless & Cheap – Dumpster Diving for Writer’s

In keeping with the cheap theme written in recent posts I dedicate this one to starving writers everywhere. To all of us who make a conscious choice to live on the cheap in order to support our obsession with the written word.

I think the average writer is like me, a dreamer. Logically we know how expensive a the craft of writing is. One needs to be rich or hold down a “real” job to pay for it. More often than not we are just working stiffs and after paying the bills there really isn’t much left
over for educational pursuits.

While our brains speak logic, our hearts speak passion.

“I love writing, it is my dream,” we say. It is the hope that keeps us going on those boring planet earth days. “I need this, I need the education, I need to become the next great writer,” our hearts tell us. So how on earth can you afford a University level education? The simple answer is you can’t. Or at least not at this time.

However, thanks to the internet you can continue to study aspects of the craft without investing a dime with the exception of an internet charge.

In my pursuit of becoming a better writer I have found some great online resources, all free. Several reputable colleges offer entry level literature and English courses free on their websites. A simple Google search can net a wealth of cheap and free studies. Also online there exists unpublished indie authors who write very well and share enjoyable stories free of charge. I have had the pleasure of reading some of these excellent authors and wonder why they
remain unpublished. Yes the stuff is that good.

Think of the internet search as dumpster diving for writers. Yes, you will have to wade through a mountain of garbage to find the gems, however if you are afflicted with the writing bug, you know you’re willing to do almost anything for the craft! So plug your nose
and dive in. Free stuff awaits!

Copy Cat – No really, copy the cat

I’m frantically typing a million new writing ideas over coffee this morning. The cat wanders over and plops herself down in my lap. I lift my arms so she can snuggle in and keep typing over her. She nuzzles my fingers clearly wanting attention. This is an
argument I am not going to win.

SAM_0223 SAM_0224I stop typing and pet her. She arches her back and laps it up. “I have so much to write about this morning,” I say out loud. Did I say that to the cat? She looks up at me  through lazy eyes. It reminds me to take a moment, relax and breath. My mind slows down, a sense of well being tingles up and down my spine, hunched shoulders droop and I am at peace.

She helped me let go for a minute, and I found focus again. Her little reminder to take a moment and share some affection in the midst of our busy lives.

This post is dedicated to our pet friends who remind us to be easy about it,
smile, relax and have fun.

Like Attracts Like. What are you like?

We are like magnets – like attract like. You become AND attract what you think. The law of attraction.

NaBloPoMo post #8

Yesterday I wrote a post on pulling up memories of great client discussions before making a challenging re scheduling call. Post here:  https://ariescottrell.wordpress.com/2013/11/07/nablopomo-post-7-law-of-positive-attraction/

Carrying forward with that theme I am interested in how we can use the like attracts like law in more and more powerful ways.

Here is an example of powerful:

Last night while watching a sports game an athlete who was interviewed by the commentator brought this very point up during his interview.

He had suffered a serious eye injury during a game and there was questions surrounding his ability to play again. The commentator asked the athlete how this news made him feel. He responded with, “I continued to do my regular work outs and allowed like to attract like. He is now back in the game.

Incidences of like attracting like are recorded worldwide. I have experienced it personally and accept the law as truth or reality. We are the commanders of our lives and experiences.

Having accepted this truth I live each moment, finding the best in others and myself. I follow through with thoughts that attract more positivity. Like minded individuals join me in the fun along the journey. They are supportive and caring people working toward creating more positive and prosperous existence for us all.

There is that one big question here. Is it only our thoughts emotions and behaviors that determine the quality of our lives? Or do those thoughts go out to the universe and come back to us through some filter known as god, energy, force. For the purpose of this chat it is unnecessary to enter that distracting debate. Ultimately the like attracts like law works for those who do and don’t believe in a higher power.

Back to the original question from the beginning of this post. How do we use Law of Attraction in more powerful ways? The athlete I mentioned above said it best. “Keep a regular workout routine”.

Translated that means there is no magic pill. Keep practicing like attracts like regularly and you will continue to bring those things into your life that you want. Or of course you can continue to practice unconsciously and get a random chaotic existence. Either way the law works.

For me the daily workout includes, meditation, studying Law of Attraction and holding my world and everyone in it to their highest potential and possibilities, myself included. It is practice, practise and more practise. Just keep going in that positive direction.

Do you have a regular routine you follow to flex those attraction muscles in the direction you choose? Please consider sharing them in the comment section. I believe we are all here to learn from each other. Let’s do it!

A Call From Dream Stealer Publishing

NaBloPoMo post #6

I was truly blessed yesterday to spend time with the writer’s very best friend. The one the only ‘dream stealer’ aka the realist. One of that lovely class of people I like to call the party pooper.

This is how the encounter went. It started off as a regular, mundane day. I had just finished writing a piece titled, “What Family and Friends Think of My Blogging.”

Over lunch this person whom I am close to and have extreme respect for broached the subject of my writing. He reminded me that writer’s are usually poor. I smiled and thanked him for reminding me of the obvious. As if after 6 years of writing regularly I hadn’t discovered THAT stunning piece of valuable information already.

With each word he spoke my emotions and defenses were going up. I was having a hard time hearing a word he said. But I did catch the odd “delusions of grandeur” and “none paying hobby” in the conversation.

I told him how keenly aware of the odds I am. Apparently the stats suggest I have a better chance of winning a lottery than becoming a successfully published author. Considering not one of the 6+  novels written is anywhere close to submission ready,
this really isn’t a problem for me at this time.

I guess my acknowledgement of reality wasn’t enough. The party pooper didn’t seem to feel that I got it and continued his discourse on how impossible it is to make money writing stories.

“Like really, am I not fully aware of the odds?” I fired back. By this time my e-motions were in full swing right along with my insecurities. I was starting to sound more like a whiny teenager than an adult. Maybe he just felt I needed to realize it MORE.

Anywayz… er, I mean, anyway. I reminded him that writing is what I love to do. Right along with reading. Those two activities are the the most pleasant way I have to spend my spare time.

Finally the emotional fog began to clear and I heard him ask if I had an interest in social media marketing. He even Suggested companies hire those who are adept at it and wondered if that would be a field I could make money from. I immediately started to shake my head. No I was not interested in sales, online or anywhere else for that matter. I am quite happy providing caregiver services and making a wage that way.

With a little distance between me and the conversation yesterday, I know his heart and questions were in the right place. I am very sensitive about discussing my writing, although I have gotten better. But in the above situation I allowed my fears and insecurities to get the better of me.

As for my writing. Of course I would love to be published, what writer wouldn’t? But take heart those who know me, there are no delusions of grandeur in my head. I live in a real world where I have real responsibilities to fulfil. Just please understand that I am
fully aware of the odds of getting published so not to worry.

If you really want to show your love and support please comment on the writing. I can handle constructive criticism and I am learning to ignore mean spirit comments without basis or critical value.

I am living the regular life and dreaming big. Writing is my hobby, my passion and my dream. Becoming a better communicator and translating imagination and creativity into enjoyable stories is my ultimate goal.

A final thought. I learn more from writing failures than I do from life mistakes and so I write on…

10 Things I Believe…

Here we are day 3 of the NaBloPoMo challenge. Yesterdays I wrote about my favourite character of all time. It can be read here: https://ariescottrell.wordpress.com/2013/11/02/my-favorite-character-of-all-time-a-vampire/ or from the side bar link. For today’s post I am using a writing prompt I found through a Google search on this site: http://www.kludgymom.com/idea-bank/

10 things I believe.

1. We live in an engineered world. Yes that’s right. I am a doubter of the evolution theory. The reason I doubt evolution? When I think of something as simple as vision I am unable to believe random chaotic evolution is responsible. Imagine the millions of optic nerves bundled together behind our eyeballs and leading to the brain. Each responsible for a tiny pixel of data we see. Now imagine the brain putting each fragment together inside the mind and translating it into an image. It is impossible for me to accept as a rational person that this complex system or any of the others inside the human body are a result of random evolution.

2. We can achieve our goals if we are willing to do the work and pay the price. This one’s a no brainer. We often believe due to circumstances we are somehow handicapped from realizing our goals built from dreams. That somehow we are fated, or destined not to succeed. My goal is to write enjoyable stories for others to read and make a living wage at it. In order for that to happen I spend every spare moment reading, writing and studying the craft. It is the only proven method writer’s use to realize their dreams. Doing the work and putting in the time is the only way for a writer to succeed. It’s more than a belief that’s a fact.

3. If we eat well and exercise regularly our bodies and minds are healthier. This needs little explanation. When I eat nutritious food daily and have scheduled exercise times it improves my brain and bodily functions. I have more energy and a deeper sense of well being. Enough said.

4. We generate love to ourselves when we share it with others. When we practise a state of loving and supporting ourselves and others, we generate that type of energy. Basically I believe if we share love there is an energetic response that comes from our mind and emotions. This energy translates into a magnet that will attract more of the same toward us.

5. Anything we tap into and pass around will come back to us, negative or positive. When I was younger I loved to ghost hunt. What I discovered from those experiences is tuning into that spooky paranormal stuff generates the weird and seemingly inexplicable feeling of being haunted. Now some would say it was just in my mind. The imagination working over time based on the information it received and in some cases that was true. However I have also had experiences where someone unaware of my spooky little hobby has seen things in my home after one of those trips. I don’t find those things as easy to write off.

6. People can change. I’ve known people who were nice and changed into someone not so nice. As well as people who were mean and learned to be kind. Don’t think I need to explain this one further. It is possible for us to change and it happens all the time, period.

7. Seeing the good in others at all times helps them see it in themselves, and us. This one goes back to surrounding ourselves with the type of energy we generate from thoughts and emotions. If someone is acting in a way that will create energy that is unlovable, we can choose to hold steadily the image of that person at their best. In this way we counter the negative effects of the unlovable state with the more pleasing energies of self worth, love and support. It has been done for me many times. When I was at my worst someone reminded me of the best.

8. We are stronger than we realize. This is an easy one to explain. If we keep going, that is strength. It is only in the choice to give up that we are weak. Real strength is a thought that carries us forward. We are all strong when we keep going.

9. We live in a world with a precise set of laws. This one also ties in with my belief that our thoughts and emotions generate energy. Loving supportive thoughts and emotions tap into that universal principle (law). Same thing with negative energy. The law is made up of many types of energies all at play in this world and available for our use.

10. Love and support is a two way street. Actually I no longer have this belief. Love and support is an ever flowing source. While it is nice when the person we offer those qualities to repays us in kind. It is just as nice to encounter a helpful and supportive stranger. It is an ever flowing river, not a rebound effect.

Those are some of my basic beliefs. I hope you enjoyed them and will share some of yours in the comments sections. Also feel free to debate, debunk and have fun with mine. My shoulders are broad, I rarely take offence and would love to hear from you.

Blog on!

My favorite character of all time – A vampire?

My favorite fictional character of all time lives on the pages of the vampire novels written by Anne Rice. His name, drum roll please, Lestat The Vampire.

O.k. take a deep breath. I know some may be scratching their head wondering how I chose  “him”.

Here’s my explanation:

Lestat is a lost soul (like most vampires) wandering the earth in search of the answers to life’s big questions. He is in fact more human than most of us would care to admit. At one time or another I believe we all wonder why we are here and what might be unseen in the universe that surrounds us. Lestat goes through this process in the same way do. The only difference, he does so on the pages of Rice’s novels.

His humanity like the rest of ours is a mass of choices dealing with fate. Sometimes he makes good decisions and at other times not so much. He doesn’t intentionally hurt others, well at times he does, but that’s another story, but he does make mistakes. He is driven to eat and feed off of the life force of those outside himself as we are driven to do. Then suffers guilt and conscience for following basic human instinct. Those wrong decisions have consequences and his life is not always pleasant. Lestat is a supernatural character however, the reality of his situation speaks to real life experiences. This makes the reads worth my time and appreciation.

The second thing I love about this character is his desire to ponder the bigger questions in life. He wanders through situations where he considers the existence of God. This is done on many stages both earthly and heavenly, as well as in different countries and cultures. He enters into dialogue with God, others and himself. The discourse mixes the serious with humor in a balanced and intelligent way.

Finally he has the courage to face the loss of loved ones through their death or departure. It hurts him as it would any of us and he must deal with those emotions and find ways in which to carry on. The books deal with loss honestly, it is far from sweet endings. Lestat’s heart gets broken just like the rest of ours. The situation of loss is real, painful and difficult. Much the same as we experience in life when someone dear to us departs from our
sphere for whatever reason.

I appreciate the character Lestat’s style. While I enjoy the supernatural antics he finds himself in, it is well balanced with realistic seasoning. Just enough so that I found myself loving this character when reading the books and wondering about him while doing other things. He is a hauntingly beautiful example of what I think a vampire should be.