Archive for January, 2017

Ten BEAUTIFUL Reasons To Be Happy!

Thursday, January 26th, 2017
  1.  Whatever  you can imagine can become your reality if you want it enough!
  2.   Each new day is a brand new opportunity to find your  passion in life!
  3.    If you have faith, you can overcome your problems… one at a time!
  4.    If you can think, you can reflect upon a memory,  a hope and a dream, and thank God for the many blessings he has already bestowed upon you!
  5. Your family loves you and would do anything to help you be happy!
  6. You’re blessed for every friend you have!
  7. As long as there’s life within your body, there’s hope!
  8. There’s always tomorrow!  (Even Scarlett O’Hara knew that!)
  9. If you feel you’ve reached the lowest rung of the ladder, the only way for you is up!
  10. The Bible promises a better tomorrow!  Keep reading it each day and never give up because your Heavenly Father is always there for you!!! Paradise is so close we can almost touch it!

Should We Pursue Our Passion in Life?

Tuesday, January 24th, 2017

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Today’s Update

Tuesday, January 24th, 2017

Stay safe during this nor’easter, especially  those friends living near the water.  There seems to always be a surprise from nature… usually an unpleasant one!   But with the help of Almighty God, we get through it all!

Getting back to my discussion of the conflict between fathers and sons, I want to continue with a brief discussion of a real-life conflict that I remember from my past.  It was not exactly a model for the conflict between Kent and Bruce Donovan,  but it was a relationship that haunted me…the one between Nick, who eventually became my first husband,  and his father.

From the first time that I was invited to Nick’ s home, I noticed that something was not quite right between his father and mother as well as between  Nicky and his dad.

Nick’s father, Pete, rarely smiled, and, as I soon found out, he drank heavily.  I had no idea how badly this  addiction with alcohol had affected Nick throughout his life.  I gradually found out!

There were unpleasant words between father and son.  Not profanities… just a choice of words that depicted dislike or forced tolerance.

I later found out that the relationship between Nick’s mother and father had gone sour a long time ago.  They were one of those couples who should have dated longer and, once they discovered they weren’t right for each other, they should have broken up! That might have been good for them, but then Nick and his younger sister would never have been born!  And I certainly didn’t want that!

Anyway, Nick had long ago begun to be overly protective towards his mom, especially the times that Nick’s dad was physically abusive with his mom.  He soon put an end to that and had some sort of control over his father once he told him that, if he ever hurt his mom again, Pete would have to answer to him!

Yes, that was some conflict between father and son!  It was like being a character in Emily Bronte’s “Wuthering Heights.”

In my novel, Kent was nothing like Pete, however.  Kent loved Bruce, although he didn’t understand his son. On the other hand, I don’t think that Pete loved Nick.  I don’t think that this troubled man loved anyone but himself.

Anyway, the intensity between the conflicts somehow locked them together in my mind, despite the obvious differences,  and it was that intensity that inspired me to include a father-son conflict in “Just A Kiss.”

 

 

Exploring Father-Son Relationships in My Novel, “Just A Kiss”

Saturday, January 21st, 2017

 


Since we are all imperfect, none of us have had an idyllic childhood.    I know that l had a warm and loving relationship with my father right up to his death in 1987.  But it certainly wasn’t perfect!  And, although there were some conflicts between my mom and me as I was growing up, most of them were resolved later in our lives, and I was given the chance to express my love for her on many occasions.  Another imperfect relationship, however!

But this blog focuses on Father-son relationships, especially as portrayed in my novel, “Just A Kiss.”  It will explore the poor relationship between Kent and Bruce Donovan and parallel it with the equally lacking relationship between my late husband, Nick, and his father, Pete.  Let’s begin the analysis and comparison of literature and life!

Kent is a dogmatic workaholic who seems to care about little but his affluent and prestigious advertising company, Donovan Advertising.  Perhaps, he wasn’t always this way, but when his wife died in childbirth when their only child, Bruce, was born, he turned  to his work as if it were a life raft, leading him away from memories that  might have destroyed him!

Therefore, he never took the time to get to know and understand his son’s interests and aptitudes.  Not caring about Bruce as a person, he groomed him for a  job in his  own company, which Bruce hated.

SO Bruce never tried to improve his performance on the job, but instead was satisfied with being mediocre at what he did.  For amusement, he became a playboy.  As a result, Kent never took his son seriously, and the father-son relationship just grew worse and worse … that is, until Carolyn Kahn entered the lives of the Donovans!

In the next blog, I will continue to discuss the relationship between Kent  and Bruce and then make a parallel between this father-son fictional relationship and a real one between my late husband and his late father.  I will only divilge enough biographical information to reinforce the parallel.  Not too much personal information!  Just enough to prove the point!

Until the next blog,

Cheryl

 

 

 

My Website Is Up and Running With Me alongside it…lol

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

I could never understand how some of my English students (back when I taught seventh and eighth grade middle school) hated to write. You see, I love to write, and even a day without communicating with others through the written word is an eternity to me. It’s fun to write on Facebook, yes, but to write on my very own blog to a multitude of nice people out there…like all of you…that is my glory and joy!

Certainly, I tried with all my heart to motivate my students to enjoy writing, but in the final analysis, some did and some didn’t, and there wasn’t much I could do to change attitudes. Sometimes, I think that a love of certain things is pretty much inborn.

Tonight, I want to write about my novel, “Just A Kiss.” As you regular visitors to my website and blog know, I enjoy telling anecdotes having to do with the motivation for writing my books or at least parallels between my life and my literature. So I’m going to tell you now how Mr. Kahn, the father of the female protagonist, Carolyn, is very much like my dad, who was also my dearest friend up until his death in 1987.

Mr. Kahn loved Carolyn just as much as my dad loved me, but both dads were overprotective, and now as a step-mom and grandma myself, I can understand that. Parents want the best for their children, and if they don’t feel they’re getting it, they kind of rebel, intervene, interfere…you know, get right in the center of their children’s lives, whether the children want that type of intervention or not.

Mr. Kahn had reason, I guess, to b e leery of Bruce Donovan. At the beginning of the novel, he had his daughter, Carolyn, come close to suing the young man for sexual harassment when Carolyn was working for him at a summer job at Bruce’s father’s company, Donovan Advertising. Carolyn refused to sue in the end, and she accepted a generous deal from Kent Donovan, Bruce’s dad and CEO of the company. Sparks began to fly between Bruce and Carolyn, even though Carolyn promised her dad she would never see Bruce again. But upstate, downstate, in Paris, everywhere Carolyn went, she would somehow run into Bruce. Their attraction kept escalating until they were in a serious relationship. Of course, you have to read the novel to find out if their relationship is strong enough to survive.

As for my real-life situation with Nick, my first husband who died almost thirty years ago, my dad disapproved of him because he was thirteen years older, too suave and overly confident in Dad’s opinion for a youngish naïve girl like me and, unfortunately , of a different religion. Fathers want everything to go perfectly for their children…as smooth as freshly made ice cream or churned butter….or cake batter when it’s been in the electric mixer for five minutes. But life isn’t like that. Nothing is that perfect or runs so smoothly. There are curdles and hard spots in the mixture of life, kinks, so to speak, and to get rid of all of them is really impossible.

Like Mr. Kahn and Carolyn, the more my father pressured me against Nick, the more I gravitated towards him…tenaciously, and in the end, we eloped when I was 24, and he was 37. We had our share of problems, but, for the most part, we were happy because we loved each other, and I do believe that love and faith can counter any obstacle and come out triumphant in the end.

So now when you read the conflicts in “Just A Kiss” between Carolyn and Mr.Kahn, you will think of my father and me. Of course, my parents eventually accepted my marriage to Nick and even came to like, if not love him, but it took time, patience and determination, which we all mustered up. Both sides had to give in a little, but compromise is good for all of us under the necessary circumstances.

I hope you enjoyed my analogy between literature and life and will come back for similar ones from this book and my others. So until the next blog,

My best regards,

Cheryl

Yes, we all can make a difference!

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

Some people feel that one person cannot make a difference-even a little one here and there.  I don’t  agree!

Those same people believe that, to make a difference, we need a great deal of power, brilliance, money, special talents and a scintillating personality that immediately attracts others !  I don’t agree there, either!

Here are fourteen little things that any  of us can do to bring a smile to the face of another and perhaps even highlight another person’s day!

  1. If a friend or relative is feeling down, give him or her a call and listen to what he/she has to say!  Venting can rid us of a lot of stress!
  2. Send a bright and cheery card or e-mail to someone who really needs to receive it!
  3. Learn how to tell a tasteful joke and encourage others to laugh along with you!
  4. Smile at a friend and give a hug!
  5. Treat a friend or relative to lunch or dinner!
  6. Buy an unexpected little gift for someone (flowers, perhaps, or chocolate) without there being a holiday or other special occasion!
  7. Don’t ever withhold a sincere compliment.  If someone does something really well or just looks great, tell him or her!
  8. For no special occasion, either bake or buy cookies or cake for a friend, relative or neighbor.
  9. Give someone who doesn’t drive a lift to a meeting you both attend, to the supermarket or some other chore.
  10. Invite an elderly friend or neighbor  to lunch or dinner at your home to spend some quality time with you and your family.
  11. Tell loved ones just how much you care about them.  They may not know or they may need to hear it often!
  12. In case of a disagreement with anyone, be the first  to apologize!
  13. Be charitable within your means!
  14. Remember to say “Thank you” to all those who have helped you and are very special to you!

And thank  you, my dear readers, for reading my blogs, visiting my website, and being so supportive!

More ways To Counteract Depression and Negatvity…

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

In yesterday’s blog I wrote about several coping mechanisms for counteracting depression and generalized negativity.

I talked about springing back after making poor decisions.   Also mentioned was the importance of confiding in friends, religious leaders and close, loving relatives.

Of course, I included the importance of prayer and asking God for Holy Spirit.   I even included crying.  After all, a good cry can be very beneficial except if we have sinus problems that leave us  badly congested afterward.(LOL)

But, seriously, there are several other things that we can do to distract ourselves, relax and connect with the part of us deep down that is ailing.  Let’s see what some of them are.

On my Community pages, I included some of my favorite art projects from my adult coloring book.  Drawing, painting and coloring are all relaxing activities that can distract us.

We can also sort out our ideas and write them down in a journal.  Until a person tries writing a journal, he(she) does not know how effective it can be

Listening to music helps.  I would think that soft modern  music or classical pieces would be most soothing.

I would suggest a nice, long walk in a beautiful and safe neighborhood with your dog or by yourself.  Stopping for a light snack at a cafe or a coffee shop might work, too.

Getting out and  being among people is extremely important.    Alienating ourselves  only makes things worse!

There are so many ways of dealing with a mild   depression and negative feelings!  If we keep practicing them and “pray incessantly,” (1 Thessalonians 5:17),  we can come to terms with our depression and negativity.

 

When ALL Else Fails…

Sunday, January 8th, 2017

I thought I’d write a blog today on what keeps me going when I get depressed!   Perhaps, some of my coping mechanisms will help you!

Unfortunately,  all of us experience hard times, but we react to life’s challenges differently.  Sometimes, we cry, and, you know, that’s not a bad thing. It helps us to relieve our tension and actually relax, but, in my case, crying affects my sinuses, (LOL) and I feel congested for the rest of the day after a good cry.  But in the long run, it still helps more than it hurts!

I pray when I’m depressed.  I know that sometimes, I’m responsible for my own sadness.  Like you, I have made some poor decisions, and there are ramifications that keep on coming for months and even years afterward.  It’s very difficult to make changes once the decision is made.  At times it feels like living the old saying,”You’ve made your bed.  Now lie in it.”

However, prayer brings us closer to God.  And when we draw close to Him, he draws close to us.  (James 4:8) We can ask our Heavenly Father to help us find peace, despite past mistakes!

When we feel like  giving up, we can ask Jehovah  God  for guidance and some Holy Spirit so that we can cope with the repercussions of the unwise decision.  Our Heavenly Father can either help us to live with the effects of our decision or to make changes.

When I’m  depressed about anything that affects me as serious, I often speak to a friend who, like me, believes in a merciful  God and in His  book, the Bible.  A good friend, whose beliefs are similar to mine, can help me think things through and even find humor in my situation.   A friend listens as I vent and doesn’t criticize me… only offers suggestions if I seem ready to hear them.

Being with family is so important, too!  For example, my sister and brother-in-law lend a sympathetic ear!  They listen to me when I’m in need, and I return the favor when my sister has  had a bad day.

I also speak to the elders in my congregation when life gets a little out of hand.  They are a tremendous help because they are kind and compassionate.  Also, they share my beliefs, but they are more learned in the Scriptures and more experienced in solving probkems or at least learning to cope with them!

Life is filled with problems! Sometimes, it seems as though the whole world is undergoing a melt-down or just going completely crazy!  At that time we  need faith, focus, love, compassion and resilience.

Some of the coping mechanisms previously mentioned have helped me, and I hope they will help you as well!  Until the next time, Cheryl.

 

 

A Lamp and a Light…

Thursday, January 5th, 2017
  1. P     Probably, one of the most beloved Scriptures is located at Psalm 119:105. I know it is my favorite.

“Your Word is a lamp to my  foot,

And a light for my path.”

What does this mean to me? So many encouraging, inspiring and wonderful things!

The Bible keeps us on the straight and narrow.   “All Scripture is inspired  of God and beneficial for teaching, reproving, for setting  things straight, for disciplining in righteousness…”

2 Timothy 3:16

The Bible gives us excellent advice with which to make our decisions.  The principles found in the Scriptures help us to decide what is right and wrong.   Listening to Bible truths transforms us.

Sometimes, it is hard to decide where to go and what to do with our lives.  These decisions are very challenging because young people are inexperienced, vulnerable and susceptible to other  people, certain tempting situations and to the various problems we encounter in life.

The Bible is an exquisite light in the darkness of life.  It radiates,not only the light of truth, but the brightness of God’s wonderful promises.

How blessed we are to have a lamp that leads us to the right path!

 

 

 

 

 

Jehovah’s Kindness, Helping Hand and Love

Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

“I well know, O Jehovah, that man’s way does not belong to him.
It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct His step.”

Jeremiah 10:23

Although we human beings have contributed greatly to society in so many areas, such as technology, education, law,  politics, industry, sports, etc., there are still so many limitations  that we face.  Our Creator gave us an amazing number of abilities, but we are still lacking in many areas.

Many of us have faith in God’s promise of everlasting life to obedient mankind after Armageddon, but that time is in the future.  So we still now have the sad prospect of death.

There are physical restrictions on man as well.  We need a certain environment with oxygen and a variety of gases,  just  in the right amount.  We need a certain amount of quality food.  We need to sleep 6-8 hours a day.  Reckless acts can impair our health or even kill us.  We are susceptible to all kinds of infections.  And we can go on and on!

Our days on earth (before Armageddon  and the Hope of eternal life as a result of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice) are very limited.  There are several Scriptures that tell us that mankind is usually limited to only 70-80 years, although there are various exceptions.

Look at Psalm 90:10.

“The span of our life is 70 years,

Or 80 if one is especially strong.

But they are filled with trouble and sorrow;

They quickly pass by, and away we fly.”

Another Scripture about man’s lifespan is found at another part of the Bible:  Genesis 6:3

“Then Jehovah said, ‘My spirit will not tolerate man indefinitely because he is only flesh.   Accordingly, his days will amount to 120 years.”

For the periods given, each life span is right, even though they are different.  If we asked about the human life span in King David’s day, it probably would have been somewhere in between.  But we can see that, by Genesis 6:3, man no longer lived hundreds of years like Methuselah.

So we humans are quite limited in various ways.   Let us learn about God and His Son through reading the Bible and being obedient to its message.