Thursday, January 31, 2019

What will tommorrow bring?



 
What will tomorrow bring?
 Do you fantasize about writing a book?
Do you nurse an outrageous dream
to run your own company some day? 
Yet does it all seem foolish to dream big?
 Even impossible?  


Do you think Arnold Schwarzenegger got up one morning and said I am going to be Governor of California? Of course not. He began at the age of 15 as a body builder. To this day he is known as one of the greatest body builders of all time. But this was only phase one of his life.


 At the age of 37 he continued on, gaining world-wide fame as a Hollywood action film icon known as Conan The Barbarian and The Terminator. It was not until   the age of 46 that he was sworn in as Governor of California.

 He took on many careers and achieved numerous titles from Mr. Olympia, Conan The Barbarian, The Terminator, and the Governator. Add filmmaker, author and philanthropist to the phases of his life and you have to ask, “How did he navigate through the stages in his life?”  Arnold did not plan the life he led.   “Today I will be a world class body builder and then become The Terminator and then the governor of California.”
Arnold was malleable.

Malleable is having the ability to adapt.


Like Arnold’s journey, I never would have guessed that my life as a pet groomer would lead me to becoming a top-ranking author.


Dreams or no dreams, life is always moving, wherever we are today is not where we will be tomorrow, or the next day, or the next year.







Arnold Schwarzenegger’s achievements did not spring from a higher education, prestige, or riches.   The diploma for his achievements was borne from his own humble beliefs  and  simple values. These ideas and perspectives are not only free but are available to each of us. Try them out.

1.     Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths.  When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.            Never give up. Finish it.


.     
   

    
    2.What is the point of being on this earth if you are going to be like everyone else? If you are trying to be like everyone else, you are not living to your full potential.                                                
                 
                 Break the barriers, Ignore the limits.






3.     You must give 100% and NEVER stop believing in your dream. 
     Commit.







     4.     For Arnold everything is about reps and mileage.  It is the same for your dream. You must be willing to do the hard work, to learn and to practice. Find the time.





     5.     Positive thinking is contagious. You become what you think about most of the time and you are greatly affected by the five people you spend the most time with
            Run with the big dogs.







Today is a day like no other.
 GRAB IT, USE IT and FINISH IT. Get ready for tomorrow.  







ABOUT THE AUTHOR
The death of Judy Howard’s husband gave the author a wake up call. Life is short. Howard sold her pet grooming business, which she had operated since the age of eleven and engaged full throttle into her new passions of writing and traveling.
Judy Howard’s writing career expands across many genres, including memoir, romantic mystery, reality fiction, travel and young adult, and now with THE GRIEVING GIFT, an autobiographical novel.
In all of Howard’s books the theme is always the same - overcoming life’s difficulties.
Judy lives full-time in her Winnebago motorhome with her cat, Sportster,   traveling across the country as a motivational speaker and offering writing seminars.
When Judy and Sportster are not traveling, they spend their time in Sun City, California.






THE GRIEVING GIFT

Janice’s older sister, Margaret, wanted to believe that the L.A. doctors at Cedars Sinai Medical Center held a magical deck of cards, but after eight years of treatment they dealt their final card. The Hospice card. No miracles for Margaret. Janice reassures her big sister she will be there, holding her hand every step of the way.

On a death watch, you get to know things about a person you wish you didn’t. It is like a roller coaster ride. And like most rides, it brings us back to the place we began, reminding us of who we were and who we have become.

The twists and turns of Janice’s emotional journey transports her back through the repercussions of her teen pregnancy and into the present estrangement from her daughter, whom she has not heard from for the last sixteen years.

Coming to terms with the grief of losing her sweet Margaret, and dealing with her fear of a lonely future is too much for Janice to imagine. When Margaret’s soul goes to rest in L.A. heaven, how will Janice face the emptiness? Will there be such a thing as a Grieving Gift?

Click on the link below to find out more about Judy's books.





Oh, and don’t forget!! Readers’ reviews  keep writers motivated.

USEFUL LINKS 

Other books by Judy Howard: JUDY’S AMAZON  AUTHOR  PAGE


Click on the link below to find out more about Judy's books.






Safe travels!
                   







Wednesday, January 16, 2019

The Story Behind The Story


Happy New Year everyone!  What does this time of year mean to
you?

The new year brings  a chance for me to look back at  who I  was a year ago  and examine   and understand my journey up to this moment of time.  By  understanding  the past, we can open up  to the   future and  embrace   the next  exciting chapter of life.  

Polls report that only one-third of us make new year resolutions, and that  the 70% of us who do, believe that our lives  next year will remain the same, neither  getting better, nor getting worse. No wonder our resolutions never come to fruition!

Life is too precious to only  exist, to be  static. I want to look forward to tomorrow. I want  more -- more adventure  and more excitement.  I want to give more,  meet more strangers and get to know them.  Most of all, I want  to make a difference.

 

Whether some one is a farmer , or barber or long haul trucker, we all struggle through life’s  challenges and changes. How do some of us learn to rise up and thrive while others only exist?  How did someone like me who worked as a pet groomer since the age of eleven, become the author of six books, to date?   

As I relate  my newest blog series, “The Story Behind  The Story,” it is my hope that we  all might connect on some level.


Enjoy my musings and “The Story Behind The Story.”  in the process, I hope you might gain understanding and encouragement for your own journey.








The Story Behind The Story
                   Coast To Coast With A Cat And A Ghost 

The Story Behind The 

Although 80% of the public have considered writing a book,  the thought never entered my mind.  I had things to say, but those jumbled ideas  swarmed  inside my head, like ping pong balls ricocheting  around in a lottery machine. Whatever kind of lucky number  destined to roll out in front of me, becoming  an author had never been a consideration.  2010 found me content with my life, contemplating  retirement from my pet grooming business. Anticipating  the free time,  I signed up for  a creative writing class.  I thought it would be fun.

 The  first exercise in my creative writing class was to write for ten minutes about the color red.  The task  perplexed me. What could any one  say about the color red for ten minutes? But striving to be a good student, I put my pen to paper and began.

 An amazing thing happened!  When I sat down to write, the words, the stories, the books  ---they had all been there in my mind, waiting for me to access them. They flooded  out onto the paper like a flash flood busting loose from its dam.  I was on my way.

Maybe it is not writing you dream about. Perhaps you have toyed with another passion which  seems just as foolish.  Sit down. Paint that landscape, or take a woodworking class or volunteer at your  child’ school .  What ever your  niggling desire, feed it. You will be inspired.

I intended  Coast To Coast With A Cat And A Ghost  to  be an adventurous  travel log,  a how to book of a widow woman traveling in a motorhome across country  with her cat.

.

A quiet  voice guided me as I wrote Coast To Coast With A Cat And A Ghost.  Today I  believe  the guidance  came from something bigger and  more knowing  than me.   The messages  come  in  a friend’s advice, “You ought to write a book about that,”  or from  a passerby who says, "You have inspired me," or sometimes it is a feeling. 

No matter that no one else hears, it only matters that I  hear the guidance.

The voice has grown  stronger, louder. It no longer  lives in my head but has taken  up residence   in my heart.   When I am afraid and  feeling too vulnerable  to pour out  my secrets on paper,  the voice assures me that the story I am writing  is not mine , but instead, it belongs to everyone. And so, I trudge on.


 When I wrote Coast To Coast   I had only  wanted the story to be a simple  travel log. Yet, this  driving  force in my head and now my heart,   insisted that the story was bigger than I imagined -- that it was  a story to  instill hope in others, a story to make the rough  road others  traveled a little smoother.  This passion which pushes me onward insisted that the story be one which will make a difference.

As I wrote,  the real story evolved. The tale did not focus on the negative aspects -- the physical  challenges of  a lonely  widow,  facing unknown obstacles.  Instead the message  zeroed in on  my reactions to the fears and doubts as I  confronted them.  

The message became, "Life’s challenges  mold us." If  we can find the fortitude to keep on, we  will survive and evolve courageous  and strong .

Today I have the faith and am encouraged   that tomorrow’s adventures will change me.   Nothing ever stays the same. There is no status quo.

 If I  express who I am, I  blossom. I  heal.  I  become more. And most important,  through my expression  I help others to find their way.



THE GRIEVING GIFT

Janice’s older sister, Margaret, wanted to believe that the L.A. doctors at Cedars Sinai Medical Center held a magical deck of cards, but after eight years of treatment they dealt their final card. The Hospice card. No miracles for Margaret. Janice reassures her big sister she will be there, holding her hand every step of the way.

On a death watch, you get to know things about a person you wish you didn’t. It is like a roller coaster ride. And like most rides, it brings us back to the place we began, reminding us of who we were and who we have become.

The twists and turns of Janice’s emotional journey transports her back through the repercussions of her teen pregnancy and into the present estrangement from her daughter, whom she has not heard from for the last sixteen years.

Coming to terms with the grief of losing her sweet Margaret, and dealing with her fear of a lonely future is too much for Janice to imagine. When Margaret’s soul goes to rest in L.A. heaven, how will Janice face the emptiness? Will there be such a thing as a Grieving Gift?

Click on the link below to find out more about Judy's books.





Oh, and don’t forget!! Readers’ reviews  keep writers motivated.

USEFUL LINKS 

Other books by Judy Howard: JUDY’S AMAZON  AUTHOR  PAGE


Click on the link below to find out more about Judy's books.






Safe travels!
                   














Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The floods of disappointment and heartache makes the soul reach for higher ground.


The floods of disappointment and heartache makes the soul reach for higher ground.

Like you, l have dates  in which I   take pause to remember, life changing  experiences, like my first love, the birth  of my daughter, and  the deaths of my family members.  
Today is one of those days.






Fourteen years ago   I said goodbye to my husband of twenty-five years.  A man who loved me more than words could say and hurt me in ways that made me stronger than I ever dreamed.  He was a man whose x-ray eyes melted my armor and taught me what love really is.
On this date, August 14,   fourteen years ago, I set out to learn how to survive.  I never expected to do anything more. To imagine more, seemed impossible.
For months I cried out, fighting   the heartache which had left the bedroom light on, preventing sleep. Somehow, through my suffering, I found the strength to shove the tear soaked pillow aside and I rose to the days’ challenges. And day by day the magical wonderment of a new life opened up, becoming a pageant beyond my imagination.
I died a hundred times from fear during my first solo motor home trip across
country from California to Florida, but in the process, but I found strength not just to survive but to live big and large. I created a life which many envy.

In life, there are always hurdles and challenges, some mundane, like a flat tire, and others devastating, like the loss of a loved one. Each one is life changing, the flat tire as much as the stabs to the heart. The flat tire may have allowed me to avoid a deadly car accident. the hurt to my heart healed, making me able to love even more.
 Time moves on. New heartaches and recent losses still come my way. Each new challenge trumps the one before, cutting deeper and lasting longer. I may cry night after night   from the injustice of it all, but   in the end, the experiences open my eyes wider, make my courage stronger and my amazement of life’s intricacies awe-inspiring.

And that is worth everything.

The last fourteen years have been one hell of a ride.  I am looking forward to the next fourteen. Bring it on!






THE GRIEVING GIFT

Janice’s older sister, Margaret, wanted to believe that the L.A. doctors at Cedars Sinai Medical Center held a magical deck of cards, but after eight years of treatment they dealt their final card. The Hospice card. No miracles for Margaret. Janice reassures her big sister she will be there, holding her hand every step of the way.
On a death watch, you get to know things about a person you wish you didn’t. It is like a roller coaster ride. And like most rides, it brings us back to the place we began, reminding us of who we were and who we have become.
The twists and turns of Janice’s emotional journey transports her back through the repercussions of her teen pregnancy and into the present estrangement from her daughter, whom she has not heard from for the last sixteen years.
Coming to terms with the grief of losing her sweet Margaret, and dealing with her fear of a lonely future is too much for Janice to imagine. When Margaret’s soul goes to rest in L.A. heaven, how will Janice face the emptiness? Will there be such a thing as a Grieving Gift?



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

The death of Judy Howard’s husband gave the author a wake up call. Life is short. Howard sold her pet grooming business, which she had operated since the age of eleven and engaged full throttle into her new passions of writing and traveling.
Judy Howard’s writing career expands across many genres, including memoir, romantic mystery, reality fiction, travel and young adult, and now with THE GRIEVING GIFT, an autobiographical novel.
In all of Howard’s books the theme is always the same - overcoming life’s difficulties.
Judy lives full-time in her Winnebago motorhome with her cat, Sportster,   traveling across the country as a motivational speaker and offering writing seminars.
When Judy and Sportster are not traveling, they spend their time in Sun City, California.


Oh, and don’t forget!! Readers’ reviews  keep writers motivated.

USEFUL LINKS 

Other books by Judy Howard: JUDY’S AMAZON  AUTHOR  PAGE


Sportster's Blog: The Cat's Perspective Of Reading, Writing And Life


Click on the link below to find out more about Judy's books.







Safe travels!
                   
CONTACT JUDY HOWARD

jhoward1935@gmail.com








Friday, July 27, 2018

USING NANO SECONDS WISELY


USING  NANO SECONDS WISELY

We are living in a brave new world in which we can no longer determine what life will be like in 20, 10 or even 5 years from now. For many of us  the struggle to make it in this fast moving, nano second world is overwhelming.
Our lives are controlled by algorithms.  What are algorithms really? They are a set of impersonal rules determined by a computer’s presumption that its calculations are the norm, the right way, and what is logical.
But that theory is exactly the wrench in the gears as we old timers would say. 
The trouble is we are human beings. 
I agree, Netflix does a darned good job of figuring out what movies I like, until I get in a mood and want something different. 
The problem is our souls are created to break the norm, to seek the less traveled path, and reach for the impossible. We cannot survive any other way.  
Not only are Facebook and Microsoft, and the stock market  reading our minds and our actions and telling us what we think and what we should want, what we should be afraid of and what we should trust, those rules are changing in nano seconds. How fast is that? A nano second is one billionth of a second. (And tomorrow it will be pico seconds which are one trillionth  of a second.)
So how do we deal with a world speeding by so fast? 

Stay true to yourself


When I stand at the edge of the flood swollen river rushing past, I see no reason to jump in and join the fallen trees and rubbish which has succumbed to its powerful force. 
Staying true to the voice which no one else can hear has been the scariest, craziest and hardest feat I have tackled  in my lifetime. Just telling you probably suggests you should be questioning my sanity, right? But consider this. 

We are the only species that finds it a monumental task to just be who we are.  

Why? Because we don't know who we are. I was lucky. My parents never warned me to be careful.  They never told me I had been a sinner but was forgiven, or that sex was bad or dirty.  My daddy once said, “You don’t have to call him God, but after observing this vast universe, the changing seasons, the billions of creatures, the stars and the moon moving across the night sky, and the complexity of the human body, surely you must believe there is something bigger than yourself who is running the show.”

So now I try to trust the voice that whispers to me at night when everyone sleeps or when I stand by a mighty mountain or a quiet stream. It is then I am grateful I didn’t covet the big screen TV, or freeze in the fear of the unknown, or bend to another’s approval.
Trusting and believing in the quiet still voice inside is the only way to survive in this nano second, soon to be pico second universe. I am not saying it will be an easy journey, it has not been for me. 

Many times I am left with doubt, fear, and yes questioning my own sanity, while the world rushes by like the river, only to disappear and merge into the sea losing the uniqueness it once had.
So my answer to living in this fast paced world is the same as Simon and Garfunkel’s suggestion in their song, Feeling Groovy,  “Slow down, you move too fast, you’ve got to make the morning last…” 

Be unique, because that is who you are.





THE GRIEVING GIFT

Janice’s older sister, Margaret, wanted to believe that the L.A. doctors at Cedars Sinai Medical Center held a magical deck of cards, but after eight years of treatment they dealt their final card. The Hospice card. No miracles for Margaret. Janice reassures her big sister she will be there, holding her hand every step of the way.
On a death watch, you get to know things about a person you wish you didn’t. It is like a roller coaster ride. And like most rides, it brings us back to the place we began, reminding us of who we were and who we have become.
The twists and turns of Janice’s emotional journey transports her back through the repercussions of her teen pregnancy and into the present estrangement from her daughter, whom she has not heard from for the last sixteen years.
Coming to terms with the grief of losing her sweet Margaret, and dealing with her fear of a lonely future is too much for Janice to imagine. When Margaret’s soul goes to rest in L.A. heaven, how will Janice face the emptiness? Will there be such a thing as a Grieving Gift?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
The death of Judy Howard’s husband gave the author a wake up call. Life is short. Howard sold her pet grooming business, which she had operated since the age of eleven and engaged full throttle into her new passions of writing and traveling.
Judy Howard’s writing career expands across many genres, including memoir, romantic mystery, reality fiction, travel and young adult, and now with THE GRIEVING GIFT, an autobiographical novel.
In all of Howard’s books the theme is always the same - overcoming life’s difficulties.
Judy lives full-time in her Winnebago motorhome with her cat, Sportster,   traveling across the country as a motivational speaker and offering writing seminars.
When Judy and Sportster are not traveling, they spend their time in Sun City, California.


Oh, and don’t forget!! Readers’ reviews  keep writers motivated.

USEFUL LINKS 

Other books by Judy Howard: JUDY’S AMAZON  AUTHOR  PAGE


Sportster's Blog: The Cat's Perspective Of Reading, Writing And Life


Click on the link below to find out more about Judy's books.







Safe travels!
                   
CONTACT JUDY HOWARD

jhoward1935@gmail.com