Resilience Dispatch – March 28th – Day 10

sheep cartoonLaughter builds resilience. Not that there is much to laugh about these days if you watch the news, but I think it’s important to try. Watch funny movies, read cartoons, joke with your friends on FaceTime or Zoom. Or have a belly laugh all by yourself. You will have to fake it at first, but chances are you can create one.

In the meantime, I hope this cartoon gives you a chuckle.

Stay well, sweet readers!

Love,
Susan


Read yesterday’s post here.

Resilience Dispatch – March 27th – Day 9

Do you ever get a song stuck in your head? I keep hearing Alison Krauss singing Down to the River to Pray (from the movie, O Brother, Where Art Thou?). No matter what our spiritual beliefs, if any, if you’re like me this song will grab you by the heart.

The song also makes me think of Lily McAllister, a character I created for Lily’s Song, book 2 of the Wildflower Trilogy. For those of you who don’t know that Trilogy, Book 1 is The Secret Sense of Wildflower, Book 2 is Lily’s Song, and Book 3 is Daisy’s Fortune.

If you are familiar with this character, can’t you just hear Lily singing this? Maybe on the front porch with her family joining in?

Speaking of praying by a river, now is the time to send prayers or healing thoughts to your family, friends, neighbors, communities and the world. We have never needed those good thoughts more than we do right now.

Stay well!
Love,
Susan


You can see yesterday’s post here.

Resilience Dispatch – March 26th – Day 8

Why do you read books? What would life be like if you didn’t? For some of us it seems the perfect time to get to that stack of books we haven’t read yet, and how fortunate we are to even have such an abundance of books!

Gary Paulsen, award-winning American writer of coming-of-age stories, has created a list of why he reads books. Which ones can you relate to?

    • I just can’t help myself.
    • I read to learn and to grow, to laugh and to be motivated.
    • I read to understand things I’ve never been exposed to.
    • I read when I’m crabby, when I’ve just said monumentally dumb things to the people I love.
    • I read for strength to help me when I feel broken, discouraged, and afraid.
    • I read when I’m angry at the whole world.
    • I read when everything is going right.
    • I read to find hope.
    • I read because I’m made up not just of skin and bones, of sights, feelings, and a deep need for chocolate, but I’m also made up of words.
    • Words describe my thoughts and what’s hidden in my heart.
    • Words are alive–when I’ve found a story that I love, I read it again and again, like playing a favorite song over and over.
    • Reading isn’t passive–I enter the story with the characters, breathe their air, feel their frustrations, scream at them to stop when they’re about to do something stupid, cry with them, laugh with them.
    • Reading for me is spending time with a friend.
    • A book is a friend. You can never have too many.

–Gary Paulsen, from Shelf Life: Stories by the Book

For me, reading books revitalizes me. Reading supports my habit as a lifelong learner, and inspires me to keep writing novels. Nothing ignites my imagination more than reading a good story.

Why do you read books?

Love, Susan


Note: If you get these posts via email, and would prefer one weekly email instead of daily this is now an option. While this crisis is going on, I plan to post daily or every other day as a way to support my readers. To get just one email per week, simply click the “preferences” button at the bottom of the email, then click “all available” and a drop-down will appear with the two options. Uncheck the top list and check the weekly option, then click the “update subscriptions” button. Thanks!

Resilience Dispatch – March 25th – Day 7

isolated but not alone

In the New York Times this morning, I found this lovely cartoon that captures what many of us are going through. As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Alas, sometimes I wish I could draw like illustrator, Gracey Zhang. If you’re in the mood to comment, let me know what you think.

Stay resilient, sweet readers, and stay well!

Love,

Susan

(or comment on my facebook page.) You can see yesterday’s post here.

Note: If you get these posts via email, and would prefer one weekly email instead of daily this is now an option. While this crisis is going on, I plan to post daily or every other day as a way to support my readers. To get just one email per week, simply click the “preferences” button at the bottom of the email, then click “all available” and a drop-down will appear with the two options. Uncheck the top list and check the weekly option, then click the “update subscriptions” button.

Resilience Dispatch – March 24th – Day 6

sometimes you have to let goLike you, I didn’t see this coming. I thought my life would go along as planned. I would write my next book, go out with friends, socialize in groups, spend time in my beloved local coffee shop, etc.

It didn’t occur to me that a Coronavirus would appear and make all that go away for a while.

Now it seems our task is to calm our fears and make peace with what is happening. Perhaps our biggest challenge is to reach for any positivity and joy that may be hidden in the situation.

Are you finding anything good that is coming out of this crisis? If so, please consider commenting.

Take good care of yourself, sweet readers.
Love,
Susan

(Thanks to Helen Voris for posting the quote in a comment on my blog.)
______

Note to newcomers: I love my reader community here, so I am posting something uplifting on this page every day at 4 pm (Eastern) until we get through the Covid-19 crisis. See this post from March 19 for more info: https://www.facebook.com/454264521278316/posts/2923144251056985/?d=n

If you missed yesterday’s post, you can read it here.

Resilience Dispatch – March 23rd – Day 5

two dogs

What would we do without our pets, especially during a time when we are asked to stay inside and not be around other humans? They help us be resilient.

Meet Jack and Charlie, my author assistants. This photo was taken in my office; you can see the arm of my writing chair. Jack (the bigger one) is 14 years old, kind of lumpy and half deaf, and one of the sweetest dogs I have ever known. Charlie is almost three years old and also sweet, but a little more attentive to every squirrel and deer in the yard. I wouldn’t know what to do if I didn’t have them with me every morning while I write.

notice to petsToday, I invite you to tell us about your pets. (If you don’t have pets, I understand that, too. I have gone through periods of my life where pets didn’t make sense because of small apartments, allergies, total busyness, etc.)

Feel free to share a photograph of your pets if you want.

Take good care of yourself, sweet readers.

Love,
Susan
(or comment on my facebook page.) You can see yesterday’s post here.

Resilience Dispatch – March 22nd – Day 4

flour sifter

Resilience Dispatch – March 22 – Day 4

To get through tough times, I often read poems. Not the hard-to-understand ones, but the ones that talk about ordinary things in a fresh way. See what you think of this one:

Sifter

by Naomi Shihab Nye
When our English teacher gave
our first writing assignment of the year,
become a kitchen implement
in 2 descriptive paragraphs, I did not think
butcher knife or frying pan,
I thought immediately
of soft flour showering through the little holes
of the sifter and the sifter’s pleasing circular
swishing sound, and wrote it down.
Rhoda became a teaspoon,
Roberto a funnel,
Jim a muffin tin
and Forrest a soup pot.
We read our paragraphs out loud.
Abby was a blender.  Everyone laughed
and acted giddy but the more we thought about it,
we were all everything in the whole kitchen,
drawers and drainers,
singing teapot and and grapefruit spoon
with serrated edges, we were all the
empty cup, the tray.
This, said our teacher, is the beauty of metaphor.
It opens doors.
What I could not know then was how being a sifter
would help me all year long.
When bad days came
I would close my eyes and feel them passing
through the tiny holes.
When good days came
I would try to contain them gently
the way flour remains
in the sifter until you turn the handle.
Time, time. I was a sweet sifter in time

and no one ever knew.

————————

Ways to respond:

  1. Share your thoughts about the poem (or comment on my facebook page.)
  2. Share what kitchen utensil you would be.
  3. Sit in your favorite chair and write a poem about a kitchen implement.

(You can see yesterday’s post here.)

Resilience Dispatch – March 21st – Day 3

may peace come into your heartAs we say goodbye to winter, let us be gentle with ourselves during this unprecedented and challenging time. We are all in new territory, and we are all on the same journey. In that respect, although we are more apart than ever – physically – we are more connected than ever emotionally and spiritually, like here on this page.
 
A crisis of this magnitude not only builds character, it reveals character. In reading all of your comments, I am struck by how kind and caring so many of you are. We are doing our part as citizens of the world to flatten the curve and protect our friends and loved ones.
 
Today, as we make the most of this time of social distancing and hunkering down, I send you peace. Peace in knowing that this, too, shall pass. Peace in knowing that you are not alone. Peace in knowing that your ancestors are here with you, providing resilience in your DNA. Take good care. Spring is coming.

Love, Susan

(or comment on my facebook page.) You can see yesterday’s post here.

Resilience Dispatch – March 19th – Day 1

Sally Ride quote Dear Ones. We are all in new territory. If you have read any of my novels, you know that I create resilient and courageous characters (Old Sally, Wildflower, Ida Trueluck, etc) who go through rough situations and ultimately persevere with insight and hope. We have built a community here, and I care about each of you.

With that in mind, it is my intention to post something uplifting here and on my facebook author page every day at 4 pm (Eastern) until we get through this crisis. It might be a quote. A photograph. A blog post. A question about your life. Or I may tell you more about mine. I may also answer questions from readers or share what I am writing. I invite you to participate and comment here or on facebook.

Let’s be here for one another as we explore this new territory. How does that sound to you? Do you have other ideas of what I might post? What would be helpful to you? Let me know in the comments section! ♥️xo

Resilience Dispatch – March 20th – Day 2

earthToday I’d love for you to share with us where on this beautiful planet you are located, and perhaps what your situation is, e.g. a teacher home from school, a health care or essential services provider, working from home, retired, taking care of kids or grandkids, etc.
Here’s mine: I live outside of Asheville in the Blue Ridge mountains of western North Carolina, and I continue to work full-time from home writing novels for my sweet readers. xo ❤️

(or comment on my facebook page.) You can see yesterday’s post here.

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