My Dear Old Dog

Astro is my first Yorkshire Terrier, my first Pocket Pup. He’s my dear old dog, the oldest dog I’ve ever owned. (My cat lived to a dignified 22 years young.) Astro will turn 14 next month. Our time together is running out. I have had dogs off and on for my entire life and I’ve loved them all. But Astro stole my heart. Dogs, heck most pets, give unconditional love. This tiny Pocket Pup has more love in his tiny five-pound frame than all my dogs put together. The breeder allowed me to visit Astro when he was six weeks old. I was smitten immediately. He was a tiny bundle of joy when we brought him home. We nearly lost him to dehydration when he got sick a week after he came home. Thanks to the emergency vet, he survived.   He loved his big brothers Nemo and Cosmo. Nemo crossed the rainbow bridge first. When we brought home a rescue dog, Gizmo, Astro cuddled right up to him. Astro loves his pack. He cries when one of his four-legged ‘brothers’ leaves to go to the vet or grooming or a walk. He was despondent when his older brothers passed. […]

Twenty-One Ways to Be Kind to Yourself

Have you ever thought about defining what it means to be kind? When you look the word ‘kind’ up in the dictionary it says of a friendly, warm, and generous nature. Do you think of yourself as a kind person? Is that how you treat yourself? Do you know how to be kind to yourself? Practice Practice kindness to yourself every day. If you normally do one thing per day, today do two. The following day do three kind things for yourself. Keep adding one kind act per day until the habit is your natural routine. Forgive yourself for not being perfect. Shut down negative self-talk. Take good care of yourself. Get enough sleep. Eat nutritiously. Get exercise. Respect yourself—honor your opinion, trust yourself. Tell yourself that “I am enough.” Invest in yourself. Spend 15 minutes reading or listening to inspirational talks or music. Smile at yourself in the mirror. Pay yourself a compliment. Buy yourself some flowers. Take a bubble bath. Write a letter of appreciation to yourself. Give yourself 15 minutes to induldge in your favorite activity. Treat yourself to a favorite food or drink or a small gift. Find one part of your physical self and praise […]

7 People Who Changed My Writing Life

In this month of Thanksgiving, I have reflected on some of the things for which I am thankful. Today, I recognize the seven people who changed my writing life. These people were generous with their time, their knowledge, and their encouragement. I hope this chronological list expresses at least a small portion of my gratitude for their gifts to me. 1. Madeline L’Engle. Shortly after it won the 1963 Newberry award, I read A Wrinkle in Time. I fell in love with Meg, the witches, and their world. Fast forward to the early 80’s. I was an aspiring writer and the mom of a three-year-old. I had the opportunity to go to a writer’s conference out-of-state. Ms. L’Engle was a presenter at that conference. I submitted one of my manuscripts for her critique. The appointed hour came and I was sick with nervousness. Ms. L’Engle was gracious, and kind, and talked about my manuscript for thirty minutes. She told me I should expand my story into a novel. What a shining moment! I thought my heart would explode! I hope Ms. L’Engle knew how grateful I was for her encouragement. 2. Warren Norwood. Warren Norwood is the second of the […]