Ignoring the Obvious

When I was a child, my father had a gunite swimming pool built in our back yard. That pool is still in use today. In places, the coping is cracked, some tiles have a few chips, and the diving board is gone, but overall, our “cement pond” is in good shape for a 52-year-old. Growing […]

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Established Roots

This week I walked in a section of our yard where I don’t usually go and noticed an extensive root system snaking across the bed where one of our trees is located. The roots are thick and sturdy and more visible now that the pine straw in the bed has settled. Perhaps drought conditions in […]

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Creativity Catalysts

Have you wondered what inspires creativity in people? Is it an event, other people, challenging circumstances, an accumulation of knowledge, determination, heritage, or talent? The answer is likely a combination of all of these, plus more. In watching a documentary on Francis Scott Key and the writing of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” I saw some similarities […]

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Restoration is Worth the Effort

Over the last few weeks, I’ve watched the painstaking renovation and restoration of a 1905-era historic home in my town. The house has served several purposes since the original owners built it, including that of an event venue. At one point, the house was for sale for over ten years with no takers. Potential buyers […]

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5 Ways to Dial Down Wide-Open

At a recent family gathering, as the grandchildren zoomed through the room, our two-year-old granddaughter stopped in mid-run and announced, “I’m wide-open” before resuming her full-tilt forward motion. Not long after, she was clutching a blanket and staring, fighting the exhaustion that was steadily overtaking her. Often, we know we are over-extending ourselves, but do […]

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Enhancing Effective Communication

My 20-month-old grandson is a single word kind of guy—shoes, walk, hot, light, bird, tree, uh-ugh, EAT—yet he knows how to effectively communicate. He listens, makes eye contact, gets to his core message quickly, and then waits for a response. For adults, communication is often more complicated, especially in today’s world where statements and opinions […]

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5 Ways to Avoid Becoming Hard-Hearted

Have you ever known a person you’d describe as hard-hearted? You know, someone who is closed, non-communicative, devoid of compassion, unfeeling, stern. Behind the stiff exterior are probably many factors related to how and why the person reached this point, but you’d likely never be able to crack through the layers of protective shell to […]

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Writing Conferences and Life

I’m teaching at a writing conference in North Carolina this week. Attendees have gathered from across the country, and beyond, to learn and meet with editors, agents, and professional writers. Conferees come with hopes, dreams, and expectations. For some, hopes and dreams come to fruition; for others, expectations go unrealized. Writers are an interesting bunch. […]

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5 Benefits of Seniority

As I left the gym Saturday, the teen sitting behind the reception desk stifled a yawn while wishing me a good day. “Sorry for yawning,” she said. “I graduated last night and didn’t get much sleep.” After getting in the car, I thought about what it means to be a senior and how seniority has […]

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