“Artists are people who are not at all interested in the facts—only in the truth. You get the facts from outside. The truth you get from inside.” --Ursula K. LeGuin

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

"I Write It and Take My Chances."--John Steinbeck

Hello fellow writers,

You are probably that, writers, as you have come to this blog. Thank you so much for giving this your time and attention. I am honored. However, I was wondering what to offer you.

I know I have been neglecting this site while concentrating on other blogs. 

I do love you writers, bloggers or whatever. You don’t have to be a writer to show up here, and since you are here I feel I can take you into my confidence.

While working my way through Dominika and Cedric’s course, Trailblazer. I thought I knew what I wanted, but you know how it is with INNER WORK, sometime you find things you didn’t know you wanted. I knew I wanted to blog, and to write books, but I found that another area lit a fire under me.

After taking more seminars, workshops, courses, and training programs than you can shake a stick at. (Words of my mother. Although I still don’t know what that means.) I decided to see what I had soaked up. And what’s the point if you don’t apply it, or share it?

So, I’ve been writing my own course, not to copy the others that have come before me, but my own, and to find, in the process of writing, how I can be of service to others, and how it also applies to me.

I have two sites under construction, maybe eventually I will settle into my knitch. Few people know about these sites, you are the first I have told. I’ve gotten a few hits, at random I suppose.


If you care to give them a look-see, great. No pressure, as I said, they are a work in process. If you care to give input, my email address is jewellshappytrails@gmail.com

By for now. Don’t be a stranger.

Monday, January 14, 2019

This is Only for Those Folks Who Want to Blog or Write or be Heard

All others may be excused.

This excusal is something like my Catholic obstetrician of long ago who said the Catholic students learning to be doctors were excused from the contraceptive lecture.

Seth Godin says that everybody ought to blog. He’s not far off considering the number of bloggers out there. Godin blogs EVERY DAY. That’s hard to imagine producing at that level, but then he doesn’t follow the adage that a blog ought to be some 3,000 words long. Good for Godin. Sometimes his blog is only a few lines, sometimes 4 or 5 paragraphs. That’s my kind of blog, Say it, get to the point, and get off. 

Someone caught me online the other day with a free Health book. Husband dear was listening to the audio for a while then abandoned me and it. I wanted to find out the catch. Thirty minutes later after (the doctor) told me, then retold me, then told me what he told me, I realized that his free book was signing up for a newsletter subscription. Of course, it was with auto-renew. Got ya!

Must we be tricked into buying something?

Offer me the book. I might buy it. But then an ongoing subscription would add up to a whole lot more money than a single purchase of a book, and people are reluctant to spend 20 bucks for a book. They will, however, spend $49.99 for a subscription that will go on and on. You figure.

This morning I learned via Godin that Amazon sells junk. Rats. Good old Amazon. They sell good stuff too, but it is more like buyer beware. The reason Amazon can sell junk is that they have no shelf space needed to advertise their wares. In a store, one must prove that their product is viable to gain a place on their shelf. After that it must sell, or it’s gone.

When I saw a Shark Tank where one of the sharks INVESTED in a pimple popper simulator, I was bowled over. The pimple popper site got something like a million clicks. Try to compete with that.

If I don’t sell 200 copies of my book, The Frog’s Song—coming out May 17, 2019, the publisher will drop me. Think I can do it?

Do you ever wonder what message you have to give? I remember and have quoted Richard Bach many times: “Here is a test to find whether your mission on Earth is finished: if you’re alive, it isn’t.”

Tomorrow would be Martin Luther King Jr’s 90th birthday. It looks as though it will be celebrated on the 21st, the third Monday of the month—when my first born child was in school, somehow it used to fall on her birthday which would be today.

 Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial

Shortly before King died, he talked about living until the age of 90. “You may be 38 years old, as I happen to be,” he said, “and one day some great opportunity stands before you and calls upon you to stand up for some great principle, some great issue, some great cause. You refuse to do it because you are afraid…well, you may go on to live until you are 90, but you are just as dead at 38 as you would be at 90.”

Here is an incredibly beautiful video and song, “Starry Starry Night.” Lyrics over Van Gogh paintings. A blog reader sent it in response to my last blog and comment about Vincent Van Gogh. 



We need some laughs, let's not get too serious.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

A Piece of Sky

This picture will make sense eventually--maybe.

Here I am sitting in my office on wheels, aka pickup truck, outside the grocery store. the day is gray, not like the picture above. My little dog is beside me licking her paw. I’m sipping a latte’ bought on the way here, and since I also carried a notebook from home, I open it.
This quote popped out at me: “We change what we focus on.”
No, that’s only half the story. We might manifest, or draw to us what we focus on, but change is another matter. It appears that sad, depressing, or hurtful stories get fixed in our gray matter waiting to be cycled and recycled over and over.
I left the house in an emotional slump, but now, having changed the scenery and meeting fun people at Dutch Bros coffee Kiosk, my emotional state is creeping its way up.
It’s been a trying week here in Junction City. 
On Saturday the 22nd, the mother of my brother died of Alzheimer’s. The following day, Sunday—strange as this is—my daughter’s mother-in-law Phyllis, died. On Sunday, Phyllis, just short of 92, a lady who lived a long life, was bright in mind, had a stroke on the eve of Saturday, and died Sunday morning. She had a long life and a short death. Well played Phyllis.
I awakened in the night, saddened that Phyllis was gone, then got mad, thinking, Shit, no happy endings. 
I want to throw rocks—not at anybody or any living thing, just throw rocks for the sake of alleviating frustration. I can hear them plunking in the water. 
I have endeavored to maintain a positive attitude here on this blog. However, what do you do when you feel slammed?
Do you keep quiet?
Do you crawl under the covers and pull the blanket over your head?
Do you turn to other humans that might understand, not to dump on them, but to seek guidance, and yes, for tea and sympathy?
I turn pen to paper…
I remember what Julia Cameron said in The Artist’s Way about writing morning pages. Writing out your thoughts and feelings is a way to release tension, to throw out the junk. It is putting a period at the end of a sentence, instead of the mind’s tendency to replay.
Your morning pages will clear the way for your creative endeavors. And don’t show these pages to anyone.
Am I breaking a code here?
No. My intention here is to release frustration but to also be of service to others.
I have a friend who, over the holidays season relives the death of her dog and other family members who died during this time of the year. She suffers over and over every year. That’s what I call fixing it in your brain.
Contrast this to another friend who says she is happy all the time, and since I know her history, I also know that she has slain dragons in her day. 
To take a spiritual journey is to grow.
You know how it is if we have a goal and once reached if we don’t set a new goal we stagnate, become despondent and glum.
Time to get out the warrior’s sword and slay—oh I like dragons—let’s slay demons instead.
After I said, “Shit, no happy endings,” a little voice spoke to me, “You signed up for this life this knowing full well the rules, birth—death. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to do something with the middle.  Besides, think of it this way, Phyllis will get to see her husband she has sorely missed for 40 years.

The Mystic, Annie Dillard in Pilgrim at Tinker Creek surmises that life “is often cruel, but always beautiful. The least we can do is try to be there.” 
“The emerging heroic ideal does not see life as a challenge to be overcome, but a gift to be received.” (From The Hero Within by Carol S Pearson.)
Remember, the hero is you. 
The world honors struggle, and wealth and celebrity. Heroes are—you know, those people, or animals, who have done courageous deeds, saved someone from a burning building or from other perils. 
Those rarefied events come few and far between. Life comes daily. 
Think of the quiet souls who take their journeys, face their fears, and daily walk through the fire of human experience. These are the heroes I am talking about
The increased complexity of life has caused many to feel powerless. Notice how bad deeds are winked at, or ignored. If an employee sees something amiss, his boss might call him into the office admonishing him: “We don’t need any heroes around here.”
Yes, we do — whistle blowers, people who speak up, people who live their lives and speak their truth. 
Let’s look at it this way; we have a 2 million-year-old brain that’s not designed to make us happy. It’s designed for survival—and it’s always looking for what’s wrong instead of what’s right. 
Happy is our job.
I’ve tried to place a guardian at the door of my mind, and it fights me. It brings up images I hate. They say we can control our thoughts, but what do you do when those thoughts go amuck?
Get out! Do something different! Get out of your own mind!
We do fall into an emotional slump sometimes, grappling with death is one, but  there are arguments, disagreements, disappointments—You know, life. 
“I wish you would get over this problem with death,” says the teacher Abraham. “You are forever beings.”
My daughter says, “Yeah, I wish we would get over it too.” 
It may sound simple, but everybody has fears. Everyone is concerned about death—we have been taught to fear it. Everyone thinks that they aren’t good enough, smart enough, rich enough, or know the right people. It’s the human condition. Tony Robbins says, “The quality of your life is where you live emotionally.”
Action works wonders. It changes the chemistry of the body.
Now, sit up straight, put a big stupid grin on your face. Don’t you feel better?
Dillard imagines that the dying prayer should be, not “Please,” but “Thank you.”—as a guest thanks his host at the door. The universe, she explains, “was not made in jest, but in solemn, incomprehensible earnest” 
I wrote all of the above yesterday.
Today is the dawning of a new age, a new year.  I see a piece of blue sky. 
Today I’m charging full steam ahead, and I just read something wonderful.
If you have ever had any thoughts, as I have, about young people and the constant play of video games, this will uplift your spirits.
In a genre that is often associated with aggression and violence, Jenova Chen, a video designer, called “The Digital Monk,” has designed a video game promoting peace, generosity, and compassion through a personal trans-formative video game called Sky. It will be released in 2019.
In 2006 a video designer said, “When a video game actually makes you cry, you know you have made it
Apparently, Chen has accomplished that.
Somewhere hidden among ancient writings, we find the Supreme Creator saying this: “In times of trouble I will send a comforter.” 
Controlling a group of heroic people is a bit like herding cats.”—Carol Pearson
A reader responding to Supreme Court Justice Ruth B Ginsburg’s recent fall breaking two ribs then having cancer surgery, said, “If you need a kidney, a lung or a liver, I’ll give you one.”
Thank you for being here. I know you could be doing any of a number of other things, so I totally appreciate that you sent time with me.--Jo