Contemplative thoughts that infiltrate the mind.
|My mind is always having conversations with me.|
|I am amped up more than anything this year. The last few years have been tough trying to survive physically, emotionally, and financially. I lost someone very close to me which hit me pretty hard. This caused me to go into a rut that I was having a hard time getting out of. I decided I had to look at my life differently.
This year needs to be different. Staying in the same rut isn't helping me accomplish anything. I have put my life in perspective like never before. I had goals I wanted to accomplish, but I got bored. I am no longer bored.
I am pursuing my creative endeavors with vigor. I submitted a query letter for my novel. My photography sites are about to get an upgrade. I'm writing with enthusiasm so that I finish my manuscripts. I'm going to submit a query letter for my next children's book.
Writing has given me an escape from any reality. Taking the plunge into copywriting so that I can find another income stream has been a good start. I am completing an online program that I'm half way through with. My next goal is to pick up clients. Sending inquiries as I write.
A new endeavor has opened up doors that I wasn't even thinking of. Starting a writing group here in my area was something I didn't have on my plate. I suggested doing that to a connection I made on Facebook. She suggested I become a founding member with her. I am now owner of my own writing group.
I am excited to see where the writing group is heading. We have a few interested members already. This writing group was started out of frustration due to the socialization of other local writing groups. I noticed that it became a coffee and donuts meetup. The craft of writing was never taken seriously.
I am mapping out a game plan for this group. It is very interesting how a new endeavor can put your goals in perspective. My goals have taken a backseat to a lot of daily activities. I am learning to balance everything that is on my plate. Everything seems to be taking shape.
This year has a lot in store. I look forward to see what doors will open. I can't stay on the same path as the previous years. I will never accomplish anything. I've got to push forward.
This year is going to be different. I want my books to be published. My photo sites will pick up more clients. My marketing is going to take a new road. I'm going to make this work.
I hope your goals will be reached. If you need a motivator I'm here. I will keep you going. Remember your goals. Keep the faith.
|Hello everyone, life has had its ups and downs. The new year is here and it is time to start fresh. My mind is dancing with all kinds of ideas and the goals are in place. I'm determined to complete them and not look back. I've stayed in the same routine and let things go flat. No more. Stay tuned and keep me in check.
| The pain was intense grabbing every vein, neuron, and synapse in my head. Every part was being overloaded trying to control the throbbing pulses. The intensity grew through the night with no relief. The activity going on inside my head incapacitated me during my twelve hour shift. Hours upon hours moved slowly with the pain increasing telling me this was no ordinary headache.
The headache started out in the center of my forehead like any normal pain. The pain moved to the top center of my head where the pain became more intense. I felt my head was being squeezed into a contortionist's pose. The pounding travelled into my Carotid arteries taking me to a point where I have never felt pain like this before. I knew this was serious, but had no idea what I was in for.
My shift was almost coming to a close, but the pain had not subsided. I wanted to go home and sleep, but a trip to the hospital was next. The shift seemed to drag on for the last hour, but it finally ended. I drove to the hospital after letting my wife know I was headed that way. My balance and vision were impaired, but I made it to the hospital.
I immediately was taken into the nurses station where they did their inquiries. The nurse was unable to understand what I was saying. My speech had started to slur and she noticed that the right side of my mouth was drooping. She wanted to know what was wrong with me, but I didn't know. I was calm, but definitely concerned.
They admitted me for a few hours to observe the situation. I was given two Ibuprofens to ease the pain and whatever else in order to make me rest. The irony of being in the hospital is that you don't get a chance to rest. The staff checked on me every hour, but there was no improvement. They sent me on my way home after a few hours with an explanation that I had some sort of a migraine.
I did go home with prescriptions for pain, but I'm not a fan of medicine. I realized that a Tylenol wasn't going to take care of the pain so I did go to the pharmacy and put the prescriptions in. I got my prescriptions and went home to go to bed after being up for about sixteen hours. Sleep never really happened due to the severe discomfort I was in. I tossed and turned laying in bed for quite some time.
I contacted my doctor the next day to set up a visit. He told me to come in immediately when I described my symptoms. I was feeling extremely nauseous and carried a bucket with me. My head was still in excruciating pain, and I looked terrible. When I walked into the doctor's office I'm sure those waiting took a second look.
I was finally called into the room where my doctor could look me over. He poked, prodded, and asked a lot of questions. When he poked and prodded I would yell out because every place hurt. He asked if I had taken any illegal drugs or alcohol thinking I was having adverse reactions. I had never touched any drugs or alcohol in my life so that was out of the question.
During the examination he must've asked at least a hundred questions. He was definitely stumped as to what was wrong with me. His next step was to put me back in the hospital. I was admitted to the hospital within the next half hour. My stay was going to be indefinite.
The staff did all sorts of tests taking blood, urine samples and the other sample. I felt like a cushion being stuck with intravenous lines and needles. They put me through a spinal tap, but they were unable to come to any conclusions. They were all befuddled by the symptoms. My doctor decided the next option was to set me up with a Neurologist.
The symptoms had not subsided at any time waiting for my appointment with the Neurologist. I had been in the hospital for three weeks waiting for time to go by. My appointment opened up and we went down to him. His demeanor was cordial, but he believed that headaches were a symptom of constipation. I knew for a fact I wasn't constipated.
The next few weeks didn't resolve anything. His bedside manner was comparable to sour milk. My wife and I would go to his office for follow up appointments, but he would come in late from golf practice. We were getting frustrated and he could see that. He didn't really want to deal with us so his answer was to put me in the hospital.
I spent another week in the hospital in a pitch, black room which he said would subside any headaches. Needless to say that didn't resolve anything. My personal physician checked in on me to observe my prognosis. He definitely didn't like what he was seeing. There should've been some positive change in my situation.
He decided that I needed more specialized care. We started an intensive experience by travelling to MUSC, Medical University of South Carolina.to visit another Neurologist. This Neurologist was an amazing doctor, Aljoeson Walker. He did his preliminary questions, but he wanted to do some tests. We did a lot of running back and forth to MUSC due to scheduling conflicts.
I was put through a battery of tests like MRI's, EKG's, artery highlighting, brain scans, and more spinal taps. They inserted my system with a blue dye to highlight any blockages within my body and brain, but to no avail. They did notice on the MRI this time that there was a nodule at the bottom of my brain stem. They weren't sure at the time what it was. They were concerned.
The doctors consulted with each other over the nodule wondering whether it had cancerous properties. They discussed with me that if they had to do surgery it was definitely risky as to where the nodule was. They did further tests and concluded that the nodule wasn't cancerous which was a burden lifted for everyone. The nodule was just a calcified deposit.
Doctors were still concerned about my headaches. Dr. Walker did major research during my travels back and forth. He consulted with my personal physician to which they concluded that I had contracted Guillain-Barre Syndrome and Bilateral Bells Palsy. Guillain-Barre is contracted via bacterially or virally which is why my headaches were so severe. Bilateral Bells Palsy occurs due to an edema in the facial nerve.
This caused my mouth to droop, my speech to be slurred, my balance to be off, my vision to be impaired, and the right side of my body to have some paralysis. I endured months of facial therapy, physical therapy, and speech therapy. Facial therapy consisted of manual exercises to massage the muscles and nerves. I also had to have electrodes placed on strategic spots to wake up the nerves. The physical therapy consisted of strength exercises and balancing exercises to regain momentum.
Speech therapy consisted of trying to close my lips tight enough to pronounce my letters. I had problems with the letter B, M, and P. Presently I still have issues with side effects. I still have headaches, still lose my balance at times, and the letter B sounds like a P. When I eat food my eyes will water looking like I'm crying over my food.
My personal physician at the time said I would recover, but possibly not one hundred percent. My mouth isn't drooping which I'm grateful for. A lot of people would never know I had this issue. I don't have any signs that are blatantly obvious. The most part I've made a full recovery.
The recovery has taken time since this happened twenty-two years ago. I would love to have my personal physician see my recovery. Unfortunately he passed away a year after my diagnosis due to a heart attack. I was able to recover very well due to I was very young. If I had been older then the results may have been different.
I'm glad the headaches aren't as intense. I can put up with the effects that stick around. I found being positive has been the power behind the recovery. The road to recovery has been long, and there is still more to come. I know Guillain-Barre and Bells Palsy knocked me for a loop, but I have come full circle.
|We see products of all sorts every day. Advertising inundates us with items we use constantly. New products are invented every which way we turn. Some products are useful, and others are worthless. The products that stand the test of time are the right products.
The right product has to have a benefit. We love products like cars, body soap, clothing, and toilet paper. The latter product has a wonderful benefit which I don't have to explain at all. Without a benefit it won't solve the consumer's issue or dilemma. A product with no benefit will fail.
Every product has some benefit, but not all make it. McDonalds had the Mcpizza which had the benefit of being food, but the consumer didn't appreciate that product. We all know the demise of the Mcpizza. Coca Cola tried changing a recipe that worked for years, and found out the consumer liked the original recipe. They continue to put out a product the consumer is familiar with which is beneficial to the company.
Finding the right product is a win-win situation. The niche that works for the company and the consumer is having the right product. Having the right product is the foundation for continued success. The consumer will continue to purchase as long as the benefits are there. Keep the idea alive - keep making the right product.
I love having great products. Providing products with great benefits is my goal. The future of my success depends on this goal. The future of your success depends on this goal. Keep this idea alive - keep making the right product.
| Why can't I cry? I have not seen my kids since Thanksgiving 2014 due to a separation between my wife and I. Thinking of my kids all the time puts a lump in my throat, yet I can't seem to cry. I don't know if it is because I'm a man and can't show emotions. My heart is very heavy, but I can't come to the point of breaking down.
I have come close many times, but something blocks it. There are moments when I would love to have a deep, crying time. I guess I don't want people to see that side. I'm a very affectionate, compassionate, and loving person, yet I hide my emotions. I see families everywhere having a good time and that brings a well of emotions.
I'm not a cold person so it should be easy for me to cry. I wonder if the separation has hardened me. Sixteen years of marriage never should have been thrown out like this. I never thought I would be one of the statistics. I would love to see my kids.
The unfortunate situation has left me with limited, financial resources. I have no way of retaining legal counsel in order to see my kids. Communication between my wife and I is zero. She won't answer any phone calls or texts from me. They recently moved out of the apartment where we were living so I have no idea where she has gone.
I'm at a loss as to what to do. She stated to me in a letter she wanted $500 dollars for the children, but my finances are limited. I was told she would have to go through legal parameters in order to receive any kind of monetary assistance from me. I don't know if I have any kind of parental rights when I have not been able to oblige her request. I want to see my kids and also want to give her monetary assistance.
I'm so lost in this situation. I miss my kids very much. There seems to be no end in sight or any rectification. I wish my wife would contact me in any shape or form. I never thought my wife would ever take the position she has.
This separation hasn't been easy. I know I'm not the only one who has gone through this. It is an unfortunate situation I hear about all the time. There has got to be a solution, but my wife doesn't want to come to a solution. I want a solution now.
I want to see my kids. They need me in their lives. I'm missing precious time with them. I don't want to miss those times of seeing them growing up. Each day that passes is one less day I miss those precious times.
I am tired of this situation. I need a time to cry, but it doesn't happen. Why? My kids are my life. I just want to cry.
| Life has many ups and downs which we have no control over. I wish I could say I’ve not seen any of those downs in my time. There are many who have it worse than me. The streets of NYC where I come from were inhabited by the downtrodden. I’m very humbled that my upbringing kept me from becoming captive to the other side of the tracks.
I got to know some of the homeless folks that stood guard over their prime real estate. They were determined to claim that corner of the concrete theirs. I guess not owning much anymore at their present state gave them that permission. Not owning much may be a little naïve because they seemed to troll around with packed shopping carts. I wonder if they had any cart alarms similar to what cars have for protection.
Those carts were mounded with bags filled with who knows what. There was one homeless veteran that I will call Nancy for privacy sake who had such a cart. She would pull that cart around with her dog sitting inside the cart. The rest of the cart was occupied with bags. I came to find out that she was a military veteran.
She had served in the Army and was honorably discharged. One bag carried her uniform. Another bag held her military documents. One bag held her pension checks which she cashed religiously. There was one bag that was very special that she held very dear.
This bag held a torn American flag that she said came from her time in combat. She said she took the flag off of a table that was using it as a table cloth. This bag was her prized possession. Her stoic composure would always get choked up when she talked about that flag. She said she would fight for the flag till the day she died.
I would salute her every day on my way to work. She would stand in the same spot every day. Saluting her gave me great pride and she appreciated the honor. The salute became such a ritual between us that she knew what time I would pass. She would stand at the ready with the flag folded under her arm while she slowly raised her hand to her brow.
I would return the gesture. This was the least I could do to honor her service. Even in her downtrodden state I considered her a hero. She never saw herself in the same light as I did. That was fine with me since I believed she deserved the respect.
This daily method of communication was so simple. The simplicity of the act gave us a bond that many who crossed her path never had. I was honored to give her that token of appreciation. It warms my heart to this day and that has been over twenty-five years ago. I have since moved to another state.
I still think of those days. There is never a moment that I don’t remember walking past her. I don’t know what happened to her. I always wonder if she passed away. She most likely did since she was in her sixties back then. I pray she got the burial she deserved.
I would’ve been there at her funeral raising my hand to my brow. Losing touch with her wasn’t expected. I thought I would always live in NY, but my life had other plans. I will never forget Nancy and our ritual. The bond will always be there.
I will never forget her. There are so many downtrodden in NYC and life has dealt them a hard situation. I wasn’t able to get to know all of them, but Nancy was a special person. She was dealt a different hand yet she had a good soul. May the salute never fade for her.
| You manually turn off the light, pull out a chair, and shake hands, but do you use the manual setting on your camera? The automatic
mode on your camera is fine for certain situations, but you are impeding your progress. Disregard the other modes on the camera and focus on manual
mode. Photographing a subject in manual mode will open up a whole new world. Learning how to shoot manually is scary if you always let the camera
decide what the image will look like.
Using the other modes isn’t a crime. You don’t have to disregard them, but don’t rely on them all the time. Manual mode gives you the freedom to
choose the right aperture and speed to get the right image. Choosing the right aperture, which is the opening in the lens allowing a certain amount of light is
the best way to read the scene in front of you. You can study the photograph and gauge what will be needed to produce a similar scene next time.
When you print out your image, study it. Look at how the light falls on the subject, see where the highlights are. Check the shadow areas and study
the contrasting tones. Do this every time after you have taken a photograph. You will learn a lot by studying the image.
Your photography will take on a whole new process when you study the image. The power of manual mode will take your photography to a new level. You
will see your images in a different light. Your photography will change for the better. There will be a new appreciation for the art.
I believe the art of photography lies in manual mode. Don’t let the other modes on your camera take over the process. Keep the dial on manual
mode all the time. Be scared and shoot manually. Don’t just turn off the light manually, but do your photography manually.
| Chop up the character to get a better perspective on who he or she is. I’m not talking about finding some crazy person on the street and doing away with them. The character in your story needs to be pulled apart so you can understand what they are about. If you don’t delve into the inner mindset of your character they won’t be believable. Get to know them.
Live their life as though they are your closest friend. Give them emotions, faults, accomplishments, and eccentricities. The reader has many of the same traits that maybe the character has. The reality of a character that copes with the same issues that the reader has brings the story more meaning. There is a sense of purpose for the reader to bond with the character.
The character has to struggle to create the path that brings about the resolution. When a character has a perfect life the reader will be disappointed. Real life is far from a Utopia. The reader wants to cheer on the character till the end. The thrill of the struggle will keep the reader poised on the edge of their seat.
The reader wants to be scared when the character gets scared. There has to be a sense of urgency for the reader to continue reading the story. They want to cry when the character breaks down. The character will tug at the heart of the reader creating all kinds of emotions. Readers enjoy a character whom has issues.
Don’t disappoint the reader with a perfect character. Give the reader an opportunity to savor the character’s routine. The reader will dislike a character with no issues. A character with no flaws has no place in fiction. I will never have a character who doesn’t struggle in any of my writing.
A character needs to be torn in to little pieces. The little pieces that create the character will build a strong protagonist. Cutting up the character is the foundation of finding out what makes them do what they do. Your reader wants to know what the character is about. The reader wants to hold hands with the character.
Let the reader be led by the character. The reader will get to know the character. Don’t let the fans be disappointed in a transparent character. Pull that character apart, get to know them, and cheer them on till the resolution.
| Christmas is a beautiful time of the year when memories are abundant. Remembering everything that happened throughout the year is a beautiful
family moment. The past year had positive moments, but negative moments had their place. I'm not going to take the time to discuss the negative
times, but encourage everyone to focus on the positive times. You may find it hard to see the positive times, but they are there.
Everyone has had ups and downs throughout the year. The cycle seems to be a door with no end. Sometimes we endure the hardships
that get in our face, but it strengthens us. I'm not sure where the road is going to take me, but there are lessons to be learned. The lessons may open up
Doors may close which is something I will have to take in stride. I will continue to press on looking for the next adventure. There are plenty of
adventures I've yet to fulfill. When the door opens up I will be ready to jump. There is a risk with everything, but not taking the chance could be a
I have made plenty of mistakes. The year ahead will present new experiences, and I will continue to make mistakes. I will learn from everything that
may not turn out positive. The future is right around the corner whether it is positive or negative. I'm going to keep a positive outlook, and make the best of
the new year.
| Take out a piece of paper and write. Jot down anything that comes to mind. There are a ton of subjects that make interesting topics. Find a subject
that you are familiar with and write about it. If you choose a subject that you aren't familiar with then research the topic.
Make sure the topic you choose has enough material to have an engaging piece of writing. You want tight writing that will keep the reader focused to
the end. Value will hold the reader's attention. . The reader will be able to judge the strength of the writing in the first sentence. Don't let your writing become
a wasteland of useless verbage.
Flip open to a clean notebook page and jot down ten subjects that immediately come to mind. Look at your list and number them in the order of most
important to least important. Take the most important subject, and write down five important points. Guess what the five important points are? Who, what,
when, where, and why? Those are the basic elements of writing.
I find this formula to be a writer's great asset. These five points are the standard behind great writing. Readers always follow this method. We are an
extremely inquisitive group, and want to know as much as possible. Give the reader what they want.
Fill up that subject with as much detail as possible. Let the reader be informed without killing their interest. The information you provide will give
credibility to the writing. They will be engaged and satisfied. Create worthy writing and not a blob of waste.