Do You Know Frosty Like I Know Frosty

While I honor and respect all the national and religious celebrations during this month, my holiday is Christmas. It’s been a bit difficult getting in the mood for all the pandemic and political and problems we face these days. So I thought I’d have a little Christmas fun. Today, Frosty the Snowman answers some questions from the personality test I use in character reveals. So, do you know Frosty like I know Frosty?

Frosty’s Life

Jack Rollins and Steve Nelson wrote the song “Frosty the Snowman” in 1950. Written to capitalize on the success of Gene Autry’s “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” it never reached that level of success. But the story persisted. Frosty lives on in the song, a Little Golden Book, Dell Comics, several animation television shows, and in a parade in Armonk, New York.

image of a snowman with blue eyes, a snow hat, and carrot nose. Do you know Frosty like I know frosty

Frosty’s Q&A

1. Who is your role model?

What’s a role model? Is it something you eat? Snowmen don’t eat.

2. Who knows you the best?

Why the children, of course. Especially Karen.

3. What would your friends say about you?

That I’m a jolly, happy soul. Though their parents often say I’m a fairytale.

4. What is the question people ask you most often?

What was that magic in that old silk hat?

Image of fake snowman with black hat red scarf and blue vest--do you know frosty like i know frosty

5. What is the thing you’d never say to another person?

I would never say anything sad or mean to anyone.

6. What is your greatest achievement?

That I’m as alive as I can be and I can laugh and play.

7. What is your greatest failure?

What’s failure? 

It’s when you try something, and it doesn’t work out.

Hm, that sounds very sad. I don’t do sad. But maybe I had a failure when I paused only a moment when I heard the traffic cop holler, “Stop!”

8. What did you learn from your greatest failure?

That traffic cops holler stop really loud.

9. What is the thing you are most proud of?

That I help children run and have fun before I melt away.

10. What would you like to change about yourself?

It would be wonderful if I never melted, but don’t cry. I’ll be back again someday.

a melting snowman with stick arms --do you know frosty like i know frosty

Do You Know Frosty?

I hope you enjoyed this interview with Frosty the Snowman. And now, you know Frosty like I know Frosty. Which character that we know from December holidays would you like me to interview next Monday?

When Your Motivation Needs a Boost

It’s November, and that means a lot of writers are taking up the challenge of writing 50,000 words in a month—this month. This is an annual challenge that many enjoy. And one that many “fail.” Rather, they don’t write 50,000 words within the month. But this, the eleventh month of the year, is also a time when the long-running pandemic is flaring, a contentious election is happening, and social outrage is high. Most people are worn out. Many are struggling to stay motivated to get through the day. Here are a few strategies you can use when your motivation needs a boost.

small olive branches above and below the handwritten words don't give up--a sign for when your motivation needs a boost

Know What Your Ultimate Goal Is

You may think this is obvious, especially a writer. You might say my goal is to write a book. Maybe it’s that simple, but in this case think bigger. Do you want to be the author of one book? Perhaps you want to have a retirement nest egg? Or do you want to move to a tropical island? 

Visualize your future self. You’ve accomplished your big goal. What does your daily life look like? What does it feel like? How do you feel about the road you took to get there? 

Journal or draw out these ideas. These will be important 

Your why is usually pretty simple. Why do you do the job you do? Remembering this is key to keeping you on task. Here are a few suggestions that may help you remember your why.

Remember Your Why

Monetary Gain—you will get paid. Maybe your goal is to keep a roof over your head, food on your table, and clothes on your body. 

A Sense of Accomplishment—it may be important to you to be better at something or to have reached a goal. 

Personal Gain — you’ll get the degree you wanted, you’ll learn something new. Be careful about this one. It can easily slide into something you have no control over (if someone else has to agree to give it to you—such as applause or a job promotion—you might influence the outcome but you have no control.)

A Step Toward a Larger Goal—you know your big goal and the steps needed to get there. Word your goal as a fraction of the way to the ultimate goal.

Other motivational discussions mention fear and power being reasonable motivations. They may be for some things, and they can definitely be positive motivations. But there’s a danger that they will become soul-crushing for you or someone else. There’s enough negative energy in the world right now. Try to find a positive energy motivation. It will take you further.

Whatever your why, write it down on a self-stick note or poster or white board and stick it about your workspace. 

Set a Goal

hand written message on pebbly brown surface for when your motivation needs a boost says "small steps are still progress."

There are the big goals, such as writing 50,000 words in a month. But it takes many little steps to reach that ultimate goal. Break your goal down into smaller steps. Smaller, until you get down to what you must accomplish in a day.

Be realistic about the daily steps. To write 50,000 words in a month, you must average 1667 words for each of thirty days. But will you really write every single day? If you can, great. If you have a day job, a family, holiday or other commitments, that daily activity may be impossible. So figure the realistic number of days you can expect to spend on your goal. If you spend five days a week for four weeks, that’s 20 days. You must write a lot more words (2500 words per day). 

Whatever your daily goal — write it down. Put it up where you can see it.

Prepare for the Unexpected

If 2020 isn’t a crash course in this, I don’t know what it. But you know life rarely goes exactly as you’ve planned. Plan for the unexpected. Know what you’ll do if you need a temporary change of goals, if an urgent family or life matter interrupts and keeps you from your daily goal. How will you adjust? When writing a novel, have a digital or handwritten backup in case of mechanical failure. Hire help to deal with the other issues or order takeout so you have another hour of working time. Have a plan.

Prepare for Flagging Motivation

This may be where many of us are right now. It’s been an unusually tough year. Perhaps you’ll want to have some inspirational quotes on standby. 

If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.

Martin Luther King Jr

Find quotes that motivate and inspire you. The best source of quotes I have found is Brainy Quotes.

Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you’re doing the impossible.

Francis of Assisi

It always seems impossible until it’s done.

Nelson Mandela

When Your Motivation Needs a Boost

Don’t give up. 

You do what you can for as long as you can, and when you finally can’t, you do the next best thing. You back up but you don’t give up.

Chuck Yeager

Give your motivation a boost with music.

Don’t give up. 

You just can’t beat the person who won’t give up.

Babe Ruth

Try a different post and motivational quote.

Don’t give up.

Don’t give up.

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.

Thomas Edison

Remind yourself of your why. Remind yourself of your goal. Then remind yourself to boost your motivation and don’t give up.

Do You Need a Distraction?

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to step back from 24 hour roller coaster of Corona Virus News. Not that I don’t understand the significance and the scale of this thing. But my brain and my emotions need a break. I need a distraction—Do you need a distraction too? Music? Learn? Read on. I’ve distractions a plenty.

photo of rubiks cube--do you need a distraction? This might drive you to distraction

Up Beat Sing-Along

Long time readers know I love music. It’s my go-to stress reliever. Here are four songs and lyrics that will lift your spirits. Belt it out. You’ll feel better.

Que Sera Sera—Doris Day

Uptown Funk—Bruno Mars

Bob Marley – Don’t Worry, Be Happy

Mary Poppins (1964) – “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” 

Ear Worms

Your family won’t let you sing out loud? Sic these ear worms on them. You’ll all be singing.

Witch Doctor – Ooh Eeh Ooh Ah Aah Ting Tang Walla Walla Bing—David Seville

Call me Maybe—Carly Rae Jepsen

Living La Vida Loca—Ricky Martin

Shake It Off—Taylor Swift

Banana Boat Song–Harry Bellefonte

Parody

For those of you who want to laugh at the Corona virus, here are four parodies that I thought you might enjoy.

Do Not Go (“Let It Go” Corona Parody)

Hands washing Hands — Neil Diamond

Put a Mask On Your Face—Benny Benack III

My Corona—Chris Mann

Readings

Perhaps music is just noise to you. But you need a distraction still, don’t you? Try listening to these stories.

Shakespeare—Patrick Stewart

The Winds of Harmattan—LeVar Burton 

Three Science Fiction Stories by Fritz Leiber—Librivox

 Or check out my one of my story time reviews that link to stories read aloud. Try the one about a Japanese Fairy Tale or Operation Haystack.

Other Distractions

Check out my Pinterest Boards. Of course, I’m not the only one there. Search for your favorite author or artist or topic.

Here are some quotes that may help soothe anxiety and stress.

Don’t forget to check out TED Talks for topics you’re interested in.

Image of man fishing off a pier you need distraction--try fishing

And you don’t have to go online. What about that jigsaw puzzle in the bottom of your closet? Play a game of Old Maid or work a book of crossword puzzles.

The Need for Distraction

In uncertain times being frightened, anxious, or just plain emotional is normal. But it’s also exhausting. Take care of yourselves. Give yourself permission to do something fun or silly or creative. You need a distraction or two or three… I need some too. What have you found that helps you?

A Merry Christmas Wish and Music

It’s Christmas Eve as I write this, the twenty-fourth of December. Tomorrow is Christmas. A religious holiday for some. A pagan holiday for some. Part of a week or two or a month of holidays for some. And just another day for some.  Whether or not you celebrate a December holiday, my Merry Christmas wish is that you find a bit of charity, peace, and love on this day and each day for the rest of your life. In that spirit, here are a few of my favorite versions of Christmas carols. 

Deck the Halls

Pentatonix

I love a cappella music so it’s no wonder I’m a fan of Pentatonix.

Deck the Halls“ (originally titled “Deck the Hall“) is a traditional Christmas carol. The melody is Welsh, dating back to the sixteenth century,[1] and belongs to a winter carol, “Nos Galan“, while the English lyrics, written by the Scottish musician Thomas Oliphant, date to 1862. Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deck_the_Halls

Carol of the Bells (for 12 Cellos)

Piano Guys

This version is a clever use of technology to create a beautiful version of this old carol. 

 “Carol of the Bells“ is a popular Christmas carol, with music by Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovych in 1914[1] and lyrics by Peter J. Wilhousky. The song is based on the Ukrainian folk chant “Shchedryk“.[2] Wilhousky’s lyrics are under copyright protection (owned by Carl Fischer Music); the music is in the public domain. Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carol_of_the_Bells

Joy to The World

Von Smith & Tambourine Guy

An energetic and fun version of this old favorite presented by Postmodern Jukebox is sure to help create a Merry Christmas.

Isaac Watts wrote Joy to the World in 1719 based on Psalms 98:4.

As of the late 20th century, “Joy to the World” was the most-published Christmas hymn in North America.

Wikipedia

O Holy Night

Native American(Jana)

This YouTube video of one of my favorites sung in Navaho has become a new favorite. It gives me the chills. If you listen to nothing else, listen to this one. 

O Holy Night“ (French: “Minuit, chretiens” or “Cantique de Noël”) is a well-known Christmas carol composed by Adolphe Adam in 1847 to the French poem “Minuit, chrétiens” (Midnight, Christians) written by wine merchant and poet Placide Cappeau (1808–1877). 

Wikipedia

THANK YOU

It’s been a long and difficult year, but you have been a bright spot in that year. Thank you for reading, for your comments, and for your support. I value each and everyone of you. And no matter your circumstances or your religious and holiday preferences, I pray that you each have a wondrous and joyful day.

White and gold ornaments against a dark background with gold dots and the words Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas everyone!

A Musical and Literary Tribute for D-Day

Yesterday was the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the day that changed history. The Allies sent soldiers in a massive assault against the Germans. Thousands went into battle. Thousands died, thousands were injured. We honor this day and remember those who fought and those who died. There is little new to be said, but we mustn’t forget the men and women who sacrificed to stop the fascists. This musical and literary tribute for D-Day is a small attempt to honor those whose lives were forever changed because of World War II.

Photograph shot looking out of the boat with soldiers wading to the Normandy shore. A musical and literary tribute for D-Day
By Chief Photographer’s Mate (CPHoM) Robert F. Sargent – Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17040973

“I’ll Be Seeing You”

Billie Holiday, 1938

Billie Holliday sang this soulful song in 1938. In the lyrics she tells her love she will see him everywhere she looks (even though he’s gone away). It became the farewell anthem for soldiers and has been sung by many others.

The Diary of a Young Girl

Anne Frank © 1947

German-born and Jewish, Anne Frank got a diary for her thirteenth birthday. A short while later, she and her family went into hiding. Her diary shares details of her daily life, her wishes, and her desires until the Nazis captured her and her family. She died in a concentration camp at the age of fifteen. Her father, the family’s only survivor, published parts of her diary in her memory. 

The honest, raw story is a study of optimism in dire circumstances. 

Amazon.com/Diary-Young-Girl-Definitive/dp/0553577123

“We’ll Meet Again”

The D-Day Darlings, 2018

The British song, “We’ll Meet Again,” originally sung by Vera Lynn in 1939 became quite popular. This recent rendition revives the song of hope.

The Flowers of Hiroshima

Edita Morris © 1959

This tender story of Hiroshima illustrates the horrors and the aftermath of the atomic bomb. This story will haunt you.

https://www.amazon.com/Flowers-Hiroshima-Edita-Morris/dp/0670321907

The Shawl

Cynthia Ozick ©1977

The Shawl is a powerful story of the devastating physical, psychological, and emotional scars suffered at the hands of the Nazis. Its imagery and characters will stay with you for a very long time.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0679729267

The Shores of Normandy

Jim Radford, 2019

Sung by a veteran of Normandy this song expresses his memories in an effort to support the British Normandy Memorial. Its lyrics have touched millions and reached the top of the charts.

There have been hundreds of songs and thousands of stories written about or in reaction to the war. Read about another way to learn stories about the war in my post Remembering: Veterans History Project (not just WWII or D-day but all wars).

This musical and literary tribute for D-Day is small but heartfelt. The songs and stories have earned a spot in my heart and I hope you will sample them. Please add your favorite musical or literary D-Day or WW2 tribute in the comments.