Tag Archives: inspiration

The Living Church at Work

I get inspired when I go to church on Sunday.  The readings, homily, music, and traditions speak to me.  I am a part of something much greater when I’m at Mass.  Anyone who believes the Church is just a building misses the real truth that the Church is its people.  It lives solely through them and their works on Earth.

This Sunday, we had a guest priest, Father Paul.  He grew up in the area of Wisconsin where I live, but he has spent most of his life in Tanzania, Africa.  His mission is to bring healthcare to the Nkololo, Tanzania people.  The Songambele Health Facility serves a community of 250,000 people, who wouldn’t have access to quality health care without its existence.

Father Paul told us that when they created the site plan for the Songambele Hospital their road to get there seemed like a trek up Kilimanjaro Mountain.  Each year, he returns to the United States to speak to parishes about the  Roads to Life Tanzania, Inc. and raise funds for their ongoing projects.

They have been able through the generosity of donations to build a Reproductive and Child Health Facility, a Clinical Testing Center, and a Chaplain’s Office.  Still under construction are an Imaging Pavilion (Xray, Ultrasound, etc.), Latrine,  and Mortuary.  The Clinical Testing Center has been chosen as a site for an HIV testing and treatment program by Dr’s with Africa.

Plans for 2017-2018 include an Intensive Care Unit, Administration Building, Private 30 bed Ward and the first phase of a Nursing School.

To find out more about Roads to Life Tanzania, Inc.  98% of all funds collected go directly to Songambele.

This is the living church in action.

Kate Recommends…The Writer’s Path Blog on First Lines

by Morgan S. Hazelwood The title of this sounds pretty lofty, doesn’t it? For those of you who don’t have a finished manuscript, though, this might not be so useful. Write your novel, edit it, then see if you can cut the first chapter. Don’t count the writing as a waste, YOU needed to […]

via 3 Things That Make a Great 1st Line — A Writer’s Path

Rising with the Sun

I’m a morning person.  I wasn’t when I was in my 20’s, but I guess over time I’ve learned to appreciate the slow rhythm of early morning.  The windows in our bedroom face the river bluffs to the east, and as the sun begins to ascend morning light spills in.  I don’t set an alarm clock, but utilize Mother Nature and her lovely solar alert to rouse me.

I throw on my workout clothes and prepare to hit the trail.  The little village where I live sits along the Mississippi River and walking along its banks is invigorating in warm weather.  In winter, the winds coming across its icy surface are soul-chilling, so I enjoy my mild weather treks while I can.

I wave at neighbors and stop to chat on occasion, but my mind is focused on two goals–the miles I will cover and the creative process.  img_1961My best ideas have come to me on my walks.  It’s a solitary time for me and the voices in my head offering various possible plot points, dialogue, a twist or two and an idea for another potential book.

As soon as I get back to my home, I grab my story ideas notebook and jot my thoughts down before they are forever lost in the creative ether.  Physically spent at this point, it’s time for the nectar of the gods… Coffee!  This is typically followed by multiple glasses of good old H2O and a healthy smoothie.

My writing day begins after showering and getting into my writing uniform–cut-off jeans and a t-shirt.  I head outside with my laptop and notebook if the weather is nice or into the library to write, update social media and call my mom.  Writing outside is wonderful.  My old job required me to be inside 12 hours each day I worked.  In winter, I would leave for work in the dark and come home in the dark.  Bleek days, those were.

And, who isn’t inspired to write when they are surrounded by their favorite books?  Not me, for sure!  In the winter, it’s IMG_2555perfect to sit with my feet propped up on the ottoman and a cup of aromatic ginger tea next to me.

I try to write 1,500 to 2,000 words each day.  It’s a goal, but when the creative flow is there–it’s magical.  For me, it is essential like oxygen and nourishment.  The section of my brain firing off the impulses which become stories is another muscle requiring exercise each day.  If neglected, it will become lazy and out of shape like other areas (I will refrain from mentioning).

Some days are easier than others to stick to a routine.  I’m like everyone else.  I slack off more often than I should, but aren’t writers supposed to be whimsical?  During those days some of the best ideas come to the surface.  We have to entertain our whimsy or it will die and writing will become a chore, instead of a joy.

My inner whimsy is calling me to come out and play.  Gotta go…

 

Writer’s Open Forum–Great Fun!

I had a great time at this event. So many wonderful and accomplished veteran writers, publishers and editors. Newbie writers like myself and a crowd of book enthusiasts and writers who are just beginning their journey into publishing their own stories. 

I got to meet a fellow WriteOn member and One Million Project networker, Michele Potter.  

I look forward to implementing all of the useful info from the panels and reading the books I purchased from other authors. And I look forward to getting back together with Michele for lunch. 

Kate Recommends…

If you haven’t gotten a chance to read the One Million Project’s blogs, check out the links below.   Our bloggers write about the causes OMP supports, creativity, and writing books! I’d like to thank our OMP blogging team: Michele Potter, David Butterworth, John Nedwill, Melissa Volker, Patsy Jawo, Emma Thomson, and Akje Majdanek for their contributions of time and talent over the past months.  Please take the time to Like, Comment and Share. 

Stop Saying It’s About Feminism by Melissa Volker

Crickets by Kate McGinn

Loss of A Loved One by Patsy Jawo

Educational Inferiority Complex by Emma Thomson

Family Ties or Otherwise by Michele Potter

On the Nature of Being by John Nedwill

P.S. — Check out our cultural blog — The Cultural Bridge

Resolutions, Repentance and Rebirth

The promise of a new year brings the hope of happier times ahead.  The days get longer, the temperatures warmer, and Spring brings the birth of colts, calves and baby lambs.  The honking chorus of geese heading north can be heard over the Mississippi flyway.  Soon other birds will migrate using the Mississippi River to navigate their way to locations warming with the changes the new season brings.  Daffodils and tulips will push through the black dirt reaching for the warming sunshine.

We, humans have made our resolutions with the promise of losing weight, getting to the gym more often and decluttering our homes.  I confess I seem to have forgotten my good intentions in the passing months.  My house looks like a war zone, and I don’t even want to talk about my lapses in the area of healthy living.

Christians around the world are entering a time of spiritual renewal and repentance.  We enter into the Lenten season showing repentance through fasting, prayer, and sacrifice.  The conversation in my family during this time of year includes declarations of what “I’m giving up for Lent”.  For forty days, we abstain from certain foods and give up something/s we enjoy in recognition of Jesus Christ’s sacrifices in the desert.

For many, including myself, once Lent is over I return to my pre-Lenten routines.  This year, I am thinking of this time as preparation for my personal rebirth.  Lent should be a time of making myself a better “me”.  If I only try to curb my bad habits during a period of forty days, I miss out on the opportunity to change over the next 325 days.

I’d like to think I’m strong enough to keep the promises I make to myself and others. Strong enough to recognize my failings and correct them.  Strong enough to celebrate the opportunity to change and evolve as I grow older.  I don’t want to become stagnant and fixed in the same routines.  I want to experience this world, bring joy to others and help where I can.

Resolutions, repentance, and rebirth–I believe are the three steps needed for self-awareness, accountability and self-actualization.  As an author, my characters go through a similar process over the course of their story.  We expect them to overcome their obstacles, learn from their mistakes and grow as a person.  It’s not unrealistic to expect the same from ourselves.

 “You can only run for so long before you have to fight back.”     Discover how Clare Thibodeaux overcomes her fears in Exodus

 

A Tableau of America

Ah, the quintessential sporting event of the year had the nation enthralled for the evening.  Super Bowl Sunday.  I know there’s also the World Series, Wimbledon, and the Masters, and they are important events.

But, the hoopla around the Super Bowl is different.  Million dollar plus commercials have some people just tuning in to see the unique, but always memorable marketing masterpieces.  Who can forget the little lost puppy and the Clydesdales?

They opened the roof for Lady GaGa and her army of 300 synchronized lighted drones dancing in the sky above her.  Followed by the entertainer rappelling off the roof and onto the stage far below.  I’ve never seen dancing drones at the Masters — only hideous green jackets.  It’s a tradition, I know, but who thinks those jackets are spiffy?

Last night was the first time ever the Super Bowl went into overtime.  At the half, the Falcons were ahead 28-3.  I’m sure some people thought the game was over.  I’ve learned the game isn’t finished until the final buzzer.  The momentum and the score can change quickly.  It can be won in the last minute as it was last night.   I’d like to extend my congratulations to the Patriots and the Falcons for making it to the big game and playing with heart and determination.  The only thing I would change is having the Packers playing.  Go Pack!!

Another surprise were the political statements contained in the commercials and performances.  I don’t remember seeing anything similar during the commercials in previous years.  Unless nacho chip eating in a laundromat and Betty White undergoing a transformation after eating a candy bar has political undertones I’m not aware of.

I can’t wait until next year!

 

Women’s March Reflections

I saw this post and had to share it.  Poetry, photos, and writings from participants in the Women’s March on Washington on January 21, 2017 are highlighted in this blog.

 

Millions of people marched on January 21, 2017, to oppose the new Trump administration in the US — and wrote about (or photographed or sketched) the experience.

via Why We March: Reflections from Women’s Marches — Discover

Thanksgiving Memories

It’s the time of year when fall ends and the Christmas season begins (although in retail stores, it began in October!).  Sweater weather is here.  In the Midwest, it’s been around for a couple months.  In Los Angeles, it has just begun.  Too bad I brought only one sweater with me.  I’m currently in LA visiting, and I’m certain the weather will warm up soon.  This is when I put an optimistic smile on my face.

pumpkin-1706702_1920Over the years, I’ve had many memorable Thanksgiving Days.  In my youth, we headed over the river and through the woods…Oops!  Wrong story!  We drove past open fields covered in snow with their crops harvested for another year.  We would arrive at my grandparents’ home.  It was a white cottage down the road from a country church where my mom taught Sunday school before meeting my father.

Anytime we went to Gram’s house was a special occasion.  Whether it was a Sunday dinner or a holiday feast, she would have put together a meal suitable for a crowd of hungry farmers after working in the fields all day.  Instead, she had a handful of little rugrats and their parents to feed.

Holiday dinners would always have two different types of meat, typically a large turkey and a ham.  Multiple side dishes strained the table with their combined weight.  Mountains of mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, corn, baked rolls, cranberry sauce, jello salad and a number of other treats were prepared with great care for her family.  I give thanks for Gram’s love.

After the meal, the adults would sit around with full stomachs and converse on the topics of the day — news, local gossip, the weather, and sports.  You would know they were ready for dessert when they began talking about food again.  I give thanks for my extended families — aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents.

In later years,  our celebrations were smaller when the preparations became too much for Gram.  We would stick with our nuclear families and visit Gram in her little apartment.  When we lived overseas, we would invite other Navy families and single sailors to our Thanksgiving Day dinners.  I give thanks for being privileged to have served my country.

On this Thanksgiving, my active duty son will be gone serving his country.  I am 2000 miles from my husband and eldest son.  I’m spending this Thanksgiving with my new daughter-in-law.  I give thanks for my lovely family and their health and safety.

New traditions will begin as our family grows and changes in the years to come.  This is why I give thanks.