Editing my Manuscript

I’ve been editing my manuscript:
Taking Off a Coat: Ruminations on Transitioning for the past couple of weeks.

Image from:
Pixabay
writing

Hence there will be no traditional column today.  I hope to have the final rough draft of my manuscript done by the middle of December.  I originally thought it would be complete at the end of the week. However, I need to have a BIT more time to go through the document and make sure that it is as complete as I can make it.  

 

My typical month long hiatus from Wisdom and Life is starting a couple of weeks earlier this year so I can devote more time to writing and editing my manuscript.  So, today’s column will be the last one until the middle of January 2017.

 

Be Happy! Be Well! Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

 

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

 

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying. For there truly is no end.

Leave Me Alone. I’m Writing!

Leave me alone. I’m writing.

Christopher Jennings Penders

 

My friend, Mike Allton inspired today’s column when he shared:
12 Things You Should Never Say To A Writer

 

Before I start this column, let me say, I’m aware that many of you may see the above quote and think:
Wow!  That’s kind of harsh.

Image from:
Pixabay
notebook:pen

Let me just say sometimes in order to create boundaries we need to be harsh.  To protect ourselves.

 

I’m sure writers everywhere have experienced interruptions with the person doing the interrupting saying something like:
Oh, you’re only writing and you can’t take a moment to talk?  Or something to that effect

 

It’s the only writing thing that disturbs me more than being interrupted because THAT ONE phrase trivializes what we do. It seems as if ALL artists are spoken to this way.

 

–Would you interrupt a lawyer in the middle of a trial?
–Would you interrupt a chef while they were cooking?
I think not?

 

Then why is it alright to do so to an artist?  Because art, ANY KIND of art is no longer taken seriously.  We consider it a hobby, something people do to pass the time; not as a vocation, not as something one does to get paid. This is also reflected in the world when someone asks if you can give your work away without compensation. There is an overall lack of respect for artists in general and I find it shameful that it still happens.  

 

Writers matter.  For without the written word, society would cease to exist. So the next time you consider interrupting a writer while they are working, AFTER they have already said as much (And YES. I said working) think about whether you would do the same to someone in another field.  It’s why when I write, I don’t answer my phone, or respond to texts or emails.  Most of my friends and family now understand that IF I don’t respond, it means that I’m working.  And on the off chance that I do pick up a ringing phone and say I’m writing and I can call back later, MOST people understand.  It took some conditioning to get the point across and yes there are STILL SOME times when I need to recondition.  For the most part however, people now respect me when I say I can call back later.  I even have an outgoing message on my phone that says I may be writing.

 

Anything we can do to get across the understanding that yes, for some of us, writing is much more than just a hobby.  

 

For me, writing was my first passion even before I picked up my first camera.  I’ve been writing since I COULD write.  So when someone, ANYONE disrespects my writing, they disrespect me.  

 

Am I the only one who feels this way?  Would love to hear from others in the comments below.

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

 

Once a Week

Hard to believe when I began Wisdom and Life I wrote columns five days a week.  Keeping that pace wasn’t difficult in the beginning as Wisdom and Life was the only blog I wrote.  Now seven years after its inception, W&L is one of three blogs I maintain.  The other two being:
Scranton Page Turner
CJP Photo News

 

There is no way I could keep the pace of writing five columns a week for W&L, three columns a month for SPT and two columns a month for CJPPN.  I cut back gradually at W&L.  It was in January, 2011 that I cut back from five days a week to three days a week:
Monday
Wednesday
Friday.

 

Image from:
Wikipedia
scissors

As I went back through Wisdom and Life to see where each cut back occurred, I found that they both happened in January.  

 

 

 

To three times:
January 2011.

 

To once a week:
January 2015

 

And it isn’t that I’m not writing as often because I now write three blogs.  I almost feel as if I’m writing more now then when I maintained only one blog five times a week.  I struggled both times I cut W&L, more so with the second cut because I enjoyed writing three times a week, however I knew I put too much pressure on myself to write something so often.  Now I’m much more relaxed and I don’t feel as stressed with W&L as I did before I cut back to once a week.

 

And the last thing I want is to feel stressed with something I love to do.  Cutting back was the best thing I could have done.  Not only was it the best thing, it was the RIGHT thing to do.

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end

 

Waking With Thoughts In The Night

My friend Jean Wise writes a blog called Healthy Spirituality.  In her latest column, she writes about Paying attention to the Sparks.  What do you do to pay attention to your OWN sparks?  I gave a response at her column that being a writer myself, I sometimes wake up in the middle of the night with thoughts flashing through my head.  I used to leave it to chance that I’d recall what flashed through my head during those times that I’d awake.

 

Not anymore.

 

Image from:
Pixabay
notebook:pen

I now do one of two things:
1.  I have a notebook beside my bed and my trusty fountain pen.  (The ONLY writing utensil I own)

2. My voice recorder on my iPhone.

 

One of these two things are ALWAYS by my bed so that IF I awake with a fabulous thought scurrying through my brain, I reach for one or the other.  It’s usually been my voice recorder so I don’t have to expel unwanted energy reaching for my pen and turning on a light.  I find this ritual works well for me.

 

There have been countless times when I wrote fiction that I’d have temporary writer’s block and I’d head off to sleep, only to be woken at some point with the answer to my issue.  I’d pull out my notebook and my pen as there were no smartphones in the early 1990s, i’d scribble the answer then go back to sleep comfortable in the knowledge that my answer had been recorded.

 

Writing has long been a passion of mine, whether it be the three blogs I’m now invested in, the occasional newspaper article I write, or dark fantasy I wrote earlier in my life.  It’s been my chosen way to communicate to a wide audience.  I’m grateful to have been given that gift and to have found a way to give back through the writing I’m doing now.

 

I still practice the ritual above to this day, because let’s face it, I’m getting no younger and we have yet to discover a way to increase the RAM in our own memory so anything I can do to help the process of remembering I will certainly do.  By keeping my voice recorder near my bed I’m helping myself.

 

I will repeat the question that Jean asks:
What do you do to pay attention to your OWN sparks?

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

 

Roadmap To The Future

How do you find your future?  It’s as I wrote at Wisdom and Life in April, 2013 with:
The Imagination Process.
You first have to imagine your life as you wish it to be.  The road map to your future is created in your imagination.

 

Image from:
Wikimedia
Road Map

Without a road map to guide you, you’re lost when you travel to a new location.  Your future will ALWAYS be a new location because you don’t know where it is.  That’s where your imagination comes into play.  If you could have anything you want, if you could do anything you want and there were no restrictions, what would you do?

Imagine yourself up on a stage singing.
Imagine yourself in front of a camera acting.
Imagine yourself in front of an easel painting a wooded scene.

 

Whatever it is that you desire, keep your mind’s eye on that prize.  Focus on your want.  Never stop thinking about that prize.  I’m reminded of Einstein’s quote about imagination:
Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.

 

Without imagination, nothing that now exists would exist at all.  Imagination is power.  Many truly know what they want.  But they don’t understand that you first have to imagine your success.

 

That’s what I’m doing now.  EVERY waking moment and who knows, probably EVERY sleeping moment, the ONLY thing I keep seeing is myself at my local bookstore signing copies of my soon to be published book.  (Another thing I’m imagining.)  I close my mind’s eye and can see lines down the street and a crowded standing room only area of my local bookstore, listening to me speak about my book.

 

Some may say, but Chris this is just a pipe dream.  To them, I smile.  Thinking:
Just wait.  I’m determined to make this happen.  Just like I was determined to get the job at my local library.  If you recall (those of you who have been following Wisdom and Life since its inception) I had people ask me what I was going to do with a Library Science degree when I returned to school.  My response?
I’m going to get hired at The Scranton Library in Madison.

 

No one believed it.  Well that’s where I’m working now.  It’s all imagination and determination.

 

It starts with imagining your success first.  However imagination can only get you so far.  You have to continue focusing on that imagination.  You have to follow that road map.  Nothing will happen unless you are determined to follow your imagination.  Don’t let anyone divert you.  If you truly know what you want, if you truly love what you are doing, then follow that bliss.  Follow that road map.  Keep chasing your imagination.

 

What are you imagining?

 

Remember:
Your imagination is your road map to your future!

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

 

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

 

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

 

Alignment With Source

I’m so excited with what’s starting to happen in my life at the moment.  All the effort I’ve put into everything I’m doing is beginning to bear fruit:
All the writing and sharing on social media.
All the photography I’ve been sharing.
All the efforts I’ve put into my social business.

 

is being recognized by people.
The stars are aligning.

 

I can feel something is sprouting.  I’ve tended my life garden and I’m just now starting to see that flower push its way up through the dirt.

 

Image from:
Wikipedia
Sprout

 

I’ve been sharing that I’m writing a book on death and dying, combining columns from Wisdom and Life and my own personal belief system.  I already found someone who wants to review it for possible publication.

 

Another friend recently contacted me about combining my talents and helping him grow his business.  He’s been following what I’ve been doing and he thinks we’d be a good match.

 

When I reach for something.
When I put my mind to it.

When I put all of my effort into creating the abundance I so desire, success can’t help but find me.  It’s why I never listen to the naysayers.  It’s why I ignored everyone who asked me:
How are you planning on making a living doing THAT?

 

I understand it was said simply out of fear.

But just like I KNEW I would be hired at The Scranton Library in Madison, Connecticut, I ALWAYS knew I would eventually find my success with everything I’m doing on the side.

 

I have something that many do not:
The Gift of Perseverance!

 

When someone tells me no, I say yes!
Everything in my life is finally in alignment with source.
Everything in my life is happening exactly on schedule.

 

And it is simply because I never gave up.  I never shrunk away from doing what I KNEW was my Divine Gift.  You do understand that we all are given gifts when we incarnate, don’t you?  It’s up to us to rediscover those gifts as we go through life.  It’s those people who:
A) Ignore them and chase financial abundance.
B) Listen to others and follow another’s dream for them

 

who eventually suffer.  It becomes an echo.  It becomes a ricochet.  Those who aren’t happy with their life choices do their best to change the cycle but because they don’t know how to change it, because they don’t know how to be happy, they don’t have the tools to help someone else.  The ONLY way to stop the ricochet is to NOT listen to the echo.

 

Do your own thing!

And don’t let the fear creep in.  If you’ve found your gift then you will eventually find success.

 

I can’t wait to see what happens next.
I can’t wait to see what’s around the next corner.

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

 

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

 

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

Grist For The Mill

One of the most common questions writers get is:
Where do you get your ideas?
What inspires you to write?

 

Image from:
Wikipedia
GristMill

 

A friend of mine asked me this VERY question a few weeks ago.  For myself, ANYTHING can inspire me:
–A conversation overheard as in: Lunchtime Conversations
–Something I read as in my Books category
–Even a conversation with a friend as can be seen from this VERY column.

 

Usually if I use a conversation I’ve overheard or one I have with a friend I will mask the person, either I won’t mention them by name or I will create a false name.  The ONLY time I have used someone’s real name is when I refer to them at Wisdom and Life as in:
Google+ Mentions and Several columns in Friendships.

 

In one case a street name in Madison Connecticut inspired me to write a short story that is in my eBook:
Random Acts: Stories of Redemption

 

There is no clear answer to what inspires an artist to create, whether that artist is a painter, a writer, a photographer.  Anything and everything can be grist for the mill.  I think it’s one of the reasons some artists find the question challenging.  It’s almost like asking them why do you breathe?  Being an artist is who we are and we can no more turn off the flow of inspiration then we can stop our breath.  Just like being a writer, myself, I simply cannot turn off the editor in my head when reading.  A writer is who I am, and my ears and eyes are always scanning my environment whether I want to or not.  I may not be consciously aware of my scanning, but when it comes time to put my fingers to the keys on my computer, my mind drifts back to my day.  And with Wisdom and Life I’ve said it before and I will repeat it now:
What I write at this blog is I’m CONVINCED divinely inspired.  I may be tapping the keys, but the words are emanating from the somewhere else.  Perhaps The Akashic Record.  Perhaps from the Divine.

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

 

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

 

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

 

 

Change in Plans

On Wednesday last, I wrote a column for Wisdom and Life that was scheduled to publish on Friday suggesting that I planned on cutting down to once a week.  However, I had a change in heart on Thursday night and reconsidered.  Just that I thought briefly about cutting back to once a week and ACTUALLY had a column scheduled to publish on Friday is telling.
Pencil

Honestly, though?
I think it was a momentary belief that I felt overwhelmed because I let myself fall behind in my routine.  I simply need to get back to the point where I stay at LEAST two weeks ahead.  I haven’t been able to do that recently because I’ve been playing catch up for over two months.  I’m hoping within the next week to be able to get back to that place.  Seeing as I have ten days off from work if I write consistently for a few days I SHOULD be back in step.

 

I can’t NOT write for this blog twice a week.  I still have positive news I feel a need to share; which is why I felt an emptiness, which is why I knew it didn’t feel right  when I THOUGHT I decided to cut back.

 

So have no fear!

My schedule will continue at twice a week:
Monday and Friday.

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

 

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

 

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

 

 

Blog Care

Something a bit different today.  This column is directed at bloggers.  One of the things I’ve started doing recently is doing an automatic backup of my blogs to Google Drive using UpdraftPlus.  Check Updraft out on G+.

Image from:
UpDraftPlus
UpDraft

With UpDraftPlus, you can schedule a backup to many outside sources.  I decided on Google Drive only because I use Google for just about everything:

–Mail
–Social
–News
–Doc Storage

 

Since I’m on Google ALL the time, it seemed to be the best tool to use.  I highly advise all bloggers to find an auto backup tool to use.  The LAST thing you’d want is to come to your blog at some point and find that it has been damaged, that you’ve lost it or parts of it.  If you can set up an automatic backup, then that’s one less thing to worry about.  There are many auto back up tools to choose from.  You simply have to search them out.

 

If you haven’t done so yet, what are you waiting for?

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

 

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

 

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

Water Wheels and Writing

Writing has become something I love to do again and I’m writing every day.  As a result, I’ve found that the editing process has dwindled.  I find that I’m not make grammatical errors and my choice of words has increased as well.  Some of the columns I write for all of my blogs now are written a few days before they publish.  I no longer agonize over the little things in my writing.  The only thing I STILL do worry about is the structure, where a thought will go, where a line in the column will go.  Not so much spelling or grammar anymore.  I can’t help but think of my friend, Jason and his analogy to a water wheel.

Image
From:
Chatfield Hollow/CJP Photos

chat wheel1

Jason used to tell me that when we write regularly, the wheel is always in motion, an easy flow.  It’s when go away from it that we have to expend too much energy to get the wheel moving again.  It’s that way with anything we do, the more we practice, the better we get, the looser we get.  It’s why when I began Wisdom and Life in 2010 I made sure to have something publish five days a week.  Doing so was my way of greasing the wheel.  I needed that extra effort to keep my wheel from freezing up, from rusting, from locking up again.  It seemed to have worked as I’m now at the point where I don’t spend as often editing anymore.  I may not be writing five columns a week at Wisdom and Life any longer but I now maintain three blogs, so I’m writing as often as I did when previously.

 

My wheel is in constant motion and I plan on doing my best to keep it that way.

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

 

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

 

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.