Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thursday Potpourri - Funny

In the mix:

Humor, Sarcasm and Satire
No, not everything you needed to know about these topics. Just tidbits of each. That's why I call it Potpourri.

On Humor:

Honest Jon Blog

Joking about serious, even sacred, things is a tough gig. Kudos to "Honest Jon" for tackling it. Here's a sample. Visit his blog for more fun.

Here is the driest definition of humor I have ever read. Please ignore unless you don't want to laugh!

"Humor is the tendency of particular cognitive experiences to provoke laughter and provide amusement. The term derives from the humoral medicine of the ancient Greeks, which taught that the balance of fluids in the human body, known as humors (Latinhumor, "body fluid"), control human health and emotion."

On Sarcasm:

The Science of Sarcasm - Not That You Care

I try to avoid sarcasm, which can be hard to do when conversing with teenagers, or anyone who would still like to be one. But who knew that not being able to detect it says a lot about the health of our brain!

"The word comes from the Greek σαρκασμός (sarkasmos) which is taken from the word σαρκάζειν meaning "to tear flesh, gnash the teeth, speak bitterly".

On Satire:

How To Fool A Nobel Prize-Winning New York Times Columnist

I also avoid satire. Probably because I'm not good at it. And it can backfire, as is demonstrated by this article. Not that it isn't fun to say 'gotcha- just kidding' but something about playing in the dirt, it's hard to get rid of the smell.

"Satire is primarily a literary genre or form, although in practice it can also be found in the graphic and performing arts. In satire, vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement. Although satire is usually meant to be funny, its greater purpose is often constructive social criticism, using wit as a weapon."

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Work In Progress Wednesday

Most (99 %) of the time when I say Work In Progress - you know I'm talking about the book, my book, that I've written, rewritten and am now revising. Again.

Today I will try to address my other Work In Progress. Oh, 'And which one would that be,' you ask? Another novel? No. I'm referring to the WIP that is my life. I admit it is much harder to quantify my progress at anything (especially since I'm really not sure I'm making any). Whereas I can tally the number of pages written or words revised in a manuscript, I don't have a way to measure if I'm smarter, more loving or more patient in my day to day life. Then there is the matter of growing up, the concept of not simply gaining years but maturity, not only getting older but getting wiser. And does getting wiser have to be the goal? Of course not, but I ask, does old and foolish sound like a winning combination?

Which brings me to where I am today. Looking after my mom.
Stay with me here and lets see if I can say this...

I've reached that certain age where I feel like I know some things. Not a lot, but some. I've been married long enough to be able to measure in double digits, not the years but the decades. I've been a practicing mother for almost as long. I lived in a few different places and had my share of tests and challenges. And I've paid attention.

It was in that seductively secure place I found myself at the hospital accompanying my cute 80 year-old mom for (minor) surgery. I've been around a few hospitals. Even delivered my daughters in the very one where I was taking her. I was not intimidated, just anxious for it to all go well for her.

I didn't see it coming. The moment I held her hand in recovery, looked at her peaceful face and curled white hair and felt the freight train of mystery and wonder hit me full force. I could have been 10 years old sitting there for all the understanding I didn't have. How did we get here? She used to hold my hand as we crossed the street. She was the one to brush my hair and curl it for picture day. When did she get old and when did I grow up? And I thought I was paying attention. What did I know?

I knew by the time I left my mom resting comfortably in her room and drove home, I wanted to hug every person in my house a lot tighter, which is saying something since I'm already the resident hugger. And l knew I wanted to follow my mom's example, at least in one way, and stay focused on being there for the people I love.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tuesday Triumph - The Family

Triumph # 1 = figuring out how to add a new button to my blog without a needle mishap.

Okay, the real triumph is The Family Proclamation (click to read the whole text.)

I'm sharing one of my favorite parts:

"THE FAMILY is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed."

I love the description of the responsibilities that fathers and mothers have as SACRED.  And that they are obligated to help one another as EQUAL partners. Keep in mind that this was shared in 1995, years before the media began feasting on the intricacies of our faith and asking the same question in 501 different ways, "are women of the church oppressed-mistreated- or insert 
variation on the worn-out theme here?!"

Love the proclamation! What's your favorite part?

Want to read more blog celebration posts? Head on over to this cool blog (that you may already know about!)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Love Languages on Marriage Monday

Have you read this book? As a New York Times Bestseller, chances are you have. Or you've at least heard about it. Sometimes when a book has been around for awhile and gotten lots of recognition, some of what makes it great gets lost in the hype. That's one of the reasons I enjoyed re-reading it for this review. Another reason I enjoyed it is because in the sea of marriage-advice books, this one is like a lighthouse that can guide a couple to less rocky shores. Of course, no one book is a 'cure-all' but this one has my endorsement as a worthwhile read.

If you want to know what love language you speak, take the online test without the book here :
(This post also appears at Making Marriage Merry - an awesome marriage blog! Check it out!)

The Visual Aid:

TitleThe Five Love Languages
Author: Gary Chapman
Publisher: Northfield Publishing
Year: 1992
How I found it: Heard about it from a friend.
Available on Amazon - Click on title link above
Audience: Married Couples (of course it has application for pre-married, post-married folks, too.)
Paperback, 191 pages
      "WARNING: Understanding the five love languages and learning to speak the primary love language of your spouse may radically affect his or her behavior. People behave differently when their emotional love tank is full." p.24

Book Description:
"Marriage should be based on love, right? But does it seem as though you and your spouse are speaking two different languages? New York Times bestselling author Dr. Gary Chapman guides couples in identifying, understanding, and speaking their spouse’s primary love language—quality time, words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service, or physical touch.

By learning the five love languages, you and your spouse will discover your unique love languages and learn practical steps in truly loving each other. Chapters are categorized by love language for easy reference, and each one ends with specific, simple steps to express a specific language to your spouse and guide your marriage in the right direction. A newly designed love languages assessment will help you understand and strengthen your relationship. You can build a lasting, loving marriage together."

The Gist & What I appreciate:
We all have a primary love language (one of five). We need to learn our spouse's language and choose to speak it--if we want to 'keep the love alive.' Those five languages are: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, Physical Touch.

Gary Chapman speaks from years of research and practical experience. He distills this into easily digestible chapters that have direct application to everyday married life. I appreciate the concept that we learn and speak a love language and that we can't assume everyone 'speaks' as we do.
This takes some of the mystery, and exasperation, out of a relationship and replaces it with a satisfying, efficient way to show love.
Quote from Chapter Three, page 37:
                "Where are the shooting stars, the balloons, the deep emotions? What about the spirit of anticipation, the twinkle in the eye, the electricity of a kiss, the excitement of --x? What about the emotional security of knowing that I am number one in his/her mind" That is what this book is all about. How do we meet each other's deep, emotional need to feel loved? If we can learn that and choose to do it, then the love we share will be exciting beyond anything we ever felt when we were infatuated."

 Quote from Chapter Ten, page 181:
               "Love is a choice. And either partner can start the process today.

My two cents:
                What else can I say? READ the book! 

               Okay, maybe to add that I vote for a "Marriage Language Training Center" where husbands and wives can enroll in multi-language courses. I know we have a primary love language, but I can't help thinking that the more love languages we speak, the more fun and variety there is in a relationship!

                I've also wondered if we have differing love language needs over the course of years, or if we can be shaped by different relationships?

Up Next:
           Strangling Your Husband Is NOT an Option/Merrilee Boyack

( Dear FTC, because I know you care, I bough the book all by myself. )

Friday, September 21, 2012

Friends Friday, Not Really

We interrupt the regularly scheduled programming . . .

Well, I don't have breaking news, but my regular schedule has had a few interruptions.
I think the Moms out there can relate, maybe some Dads can too, to what a little fever can do--throw in a sore throat and cough and you've got a child home for a few days, lots of soup and watching movies on the sofa. Hmm, doesn't lend itself to high productivity or even staying on top of everything. But it does come with the territory. That territory of being the Mom, and loving it, even on sick days. Even if it means I haven't written posts that match my catchy day-of-the-week titles. I know the awesome readers of my blog will forgive me. That's what friends do, right? And besides, this is only a blog--it's not like I'm messing with anyone's daily lunch specials right?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Marriage Monday

I'm still working on my next marriage book review. In the meantime, enjoy this blog post by Dr. Karl A. Pillemer, Ph.D.

According to his research, if we plan to stay married for a lot of years (as in all of them), we need to throw out the scorecard! I couldn't agree more.

If you take the time to read his article, please tell me what you think.

"For long-term success, couples have to orient themselves to giving more than they get. Both individuals are contributing to a relationship, the benefits of which transcend immediate interests on a given day. What couples must avoid -- if they wish to remain together as long as the elders we interviewed -- is keeping score about who is getting more and who is getting less. This kind of economic attitude works with a vending machine: If I put in my dollar, I will get a candy bar of equal value. According to the oldest Americans, this definitely does not work in marriage."  (emphasis added)

50/50 Marriage Myth

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Sneak Peek

WIP Wednesday

For a limited time . . . 

My pitch for The Keeper is up on Deana Barnhart's Blog and getting some attention. If you want a sneak 
peek at my query letter and the first 150 words of the book - head on over!!! You don't even have to be sneaky about it.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Marriage Book Review Monday - With a little help from my friends!

Another Monday - so you know what that means? Another marriage book review!

For today I have links. This first is to Bloggin' 'Bout Books. (If you haven't checked out and this blog - hop on over. Great reviews of lots of books.) This link is for her review of a new LDS book:

(I haven't read the book yet, but I really appreciate Susan's review of this book that tackles more serious/sensitive marital issues.)

This link is not a book review, but an article from Meridian Magazine that I came across (because you know, if it is about marriage . . . I'm gonna read it :)

Hmm...this article made me think. In fact I'm still thinking. (Don't want to scare anyone!) I may post a response/discussion to it. But for now, enjoy. 
And tell me what you think.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Playing Tag

I love making new friends! Especially when they include me in a fun game of Tag . . .

called The Next Best Thing

Thanks to Kelley Lynn - she has a fabulous blog and a book Fraction of Stone, to be released by Sapphire Star Publishing.

My book isn't hitting the shelves yet, but I can still tell you all about it . . .

What is the working title of your book?  
The Keeper
Where did the idea come from for the book? 
I'll resist the urge to wax philosophical and discuss the origin of all ideas and just say that I was thinking about one of my favorite Christmas activities and before I knew it I had a novel on my hands!
What genre is it?
Christmas (Inspirational) Romance
Which actors would you choose to play your main characters in a movie?

Do I have to have reasons for who I choose? They are who came to mind when I read this question...

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Mark Shafer inherits the family Christmas Tree farm, only he wants to sell it to pursue his career in music, until he learns the trees might be miracle trees.

Will your book be self published or represented by an agency?
I don't have a crystal ball, so I don't have an answer to this one yet!

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
6 months, but I only wrote during my daughter's preschool hours!

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
Escape to a cozy New England town for Christmas, meet The Keeper and discover the secret and miracle of the trees.

And Tag! You're It! 

Thanks for stopping by the blog today!!


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