Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Good Fight

Yesterday, Jess and I were talking about the never ending malicious behaviour of humans toward one another, in particular certain groups or societies against other groups or societies.  She asked me what I thought could be done.  I have no special qualifications to answer a such a question.  I’m simply a human, a mom, a wife, just like any other human living on this planet; from Sydney to Mumbai to Beirut to New York City.  I have the same hopes and dreams as anyone else.  But I’ve learned that when your 19 year old engages you in a discussion you cherish it and keep it going.  So I answered.  

Her main concern:  How do we fight against injustice among two groups of people? Is war/bombing the hell out of a place, the only way to stop the cycle of brutality and terror?  As a peace loving young adult she desperately wanted there to be another answer.  

Hmm.  As I write this, I realize I should have turned the question around for her to answer, to figure out on her own what could be done.  To have her really think about the problem and see what her infinitely creative mind could come up with.  But instead I had to give her my input.

I don’t think there is any one quick solution that will rid us of malicious behaviour of one group toward another.  No matter what is done there will always be people trying to gain power over another group, taking advantage of and using them for their benefit.  Magnifying differences among us to create inequalities.  Bombing or destroying “the enemy” only creates a new generation of  “enemies” to fight later.  

So is it a useless, Sisyphean task, of rolling the boulder uphill everyday only to watch it roll back down?  And do we even know which side is the “right” side?  We choose arbitrarily the side that aligns more with our own ideals and experiences, but there is not one group throughout history that has been totally innocent.  We all have a black mark on our record, so who is the real enemy?  

It is within ourselves.  It is the fears, resentments, jealousies, insecurities, and anger that we hold on to, the black spot within us all that is the real enemy.  Only when we defeat the cancer that is growing within can we look outside.  Is it an infinite task?  Sure, but each day as we strive to rid ourselves of darkness and do good in each moment, loving ourselves and one another, we bring ourselves and our world closer to a new and brighter dawn.    

What are your thoughts?

Kathy :)
Get out and make someone smile today!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

A-Z Reflections: Frenzy is Good!

It's the second week of May already and I think I've finally recovered from the A-Z Challenge!  This was my sixth year participating and as usual it was both fun and challenging!  I got the chance to meet a number of great new bloggers and there were a lot of posts I really enjoyed.

Every year I tell myself I'm going to write all my posts in advance and every single year I fail to do that.  Even though pre-writing would make the Challenge much easier for me, I think I've just come to the realization that part of what I love about the Challenge is the writing every day and the kind of frenzied pace that my mind is forced to work at in order to get my posts done.  I don't have time to second guess my topic for the day or to spend the day researching instead of writing, I simply have to go with my gut and write.

This year I had a lot of pictures that I needed to include in my posts to show the place or places I was featuring.  This took a lot of time and I wish I had at least planned out my photos well in advance, as that was more time consuming than the actual writing.  So that's my number one time saver for next year, take all needed pictures and organize them in advance.  

My biggest regret every year though, is that I don't get to visit enough people on the list.  I know there are so many great posts that I just don't have time to see.  The first year I joined, there were only a couple hundred people on the list, but now with over 1300 participants it's practically impossible to get to everyone!  When I come across a theme I like, I want to keep going back to read their next posts which makes getting to new people harder.

I'm thinking maybe next year I'd like to add links to my favorite bloggers' posts of the previous day to try to get the word out for more people to connect and find one another.  Because aside from the writing, the best part of the A-Z Challenge is to meet new people and experience life from their point of view for a moment.

Thanks to all of the Co-hosts this year for running a great Challenge!

Have a great week!

Kathy :)  

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

IWSG! Post A-Z Goals

It's the first Wednesday of the month, so that means it's time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group!  The IWSG is a place where we as writer's can express our joys, hopes, fears and most importantly lend encouragement to each other!  This great group was started by Alex J. Cavanaugh, come join us if you haven't already!

This month, I don't have too many insecurities.  The A-Z Challenge, though difficult, is always inspiring.  I've spent the month focused on writing and by the time "Z" rolls around I feel great!  The trick is to stay inspired the rest of the year and continue spending focused time on writing instead of letting too many other things get in the way!  

The A-Z Challenge for me is always a little bit like New Year's Resolutions.  It makes me think of what I want to accomplish in writing the rest of the year and encourages me to set new goals.  Every April, I learn that I really can spend time every day writing and not have my house fall apart, but by June somehow I seem to forget that!

So this year, I'm hoping to change that.  I've already taken some steps in the right direction.  This Monday, in the time I had been working on my Challenge posts, I took the final steps to send out one of my manuscripts.  And then...I actually hit "send"!  I don't know what will come of it, but at least I took the leap and I'm super excited about it! :)

Hope you all are having an inspired day!

Kathy :)