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It’s Not Just About the Destination

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“It’s not just about the destination” sums up my thoughts while traveling to escape the noise and fast pace of the city and my work-business life. It is not to escape who I am or what I love to do… my passion and commitment are firm, although, at times, I doubt the strength I have to continue on certain paths. Plagued by self-assessment, as anyone might be while trying to navigate the rough roads of every day, I often wonder if I should just run off on some other trail–change my direction–change my destination. Then, I remind myself… it’s not just about the destination because, in fact, we all end up the same place anyway. It is all about how you see your journey there and I am constantly reminding myself to stay in the moment without worry about what happens in the end. Therefore, I do realize that I see things somewhat differently depending upon my situation and location. This trip was about certain goals, but everything in between, before, and after is up to fate and fortune. What you make of a day is really what thought you put into it and the effort afforded to enjoy every moment. It will all be there when you return, so to worry about “what to do” or “what about” or “what if” is a waste of such a beautiful surrounding.

I am happy I am able to reflect on the time I take away–this time we were really tired at the end of the day and barely had supper and did a few mundane tasks before sleep claimed us. There is something about the mountain air and being out in the beauty of nature that fills you with enough that you are pleasantly exhausted. My knees couldn’t help but remind me that I did more than usual even though I try to do it on purpose, whenever I can, in order to claim every minute of the day in action. To bed early–one would think we’d stay up late writing… however, a tired body won out over a determined mind this week.

Day One arrival was nice and early and we could even check into our hotel room and then go exploring on Wednesday. We took a trip to the Beaver Boardwalk–my daughter recommended it last trip, but we didn’t make it there. Going this time was a treat. What a beautiful nature spot in Hinton! Yes, we have our ponds and walkways here at home, but sorry, Sherwood Park, the most obvious thing missing is setting… I sometimes (well, often) wonder why I still live here with so much soul/spirit connection to the mountains. This park was the perfect way to spend a couple of hours, wandering the boardwalk through the marshes and beaver habitat, traipsing some closer-in trails, and taking a look-out post in the tower to admire the view. I say closer-in because I am not one to wander onto the forest trails–hiking was a younger days sport for me due to my limitations, ones I have accepted, and am able to push to some extent enjoyment of the activities. Also, there’s the fact that we are in wildlife territory and bears and cougars just don’t excite me up close and personal. From the truck window, I am a brave soul – not on foot, however.

Trips away with my dear friend, Mandy, make me appreciate her even more because of the similarities we have –I don’t have to try to keep up and do things I feel out of my comfort zone with… we match in many ways–our appreciation for nature and its fragility to human invasion; yet, the strength and majesty and power of it awes us in the same breath. I could travel the same roads and see the same sights each day or weekend or whatever, and still be in wonder at the amazing embrace of nature–the bold colors of plants, the cuteness of a baby animal, the calming peace of water and wind, the warmth of sun–even if it only peaked through clouds throughout most of our mid-week trip.

We never lost sight of the reason for our trip, although it was in the back of our minds as we connected with the precious moments of each opportunity. The Beaver Boardwalk was more than just walking through a nature setting–it was about stopping and appreciating the finer details of plants, trees, the view, the colors, the sounds, smells, and feel of it all on your soul. Nature caresses one’s spirit with renewing qualities to create a mood of relaxation and connection. There was no sign of any wildlife–other than a couple of birds and fish in the ponds. I wondered about the lack of waterfowl on the ponds… Mr. and Mrs. Beaver must have been relaxing in the shade of their studious home–we saw signs of them being around, of course, but no chance sighting of the animals.

Impressions of the place are best in point form, because that is how they hit you when you are in the moment:

  • The song of the red-wing blackbird
  • The amazing arrangement of wooden walkways over water
  • The variety of flora with bursts of color that stand out so vivid against the greenery
  • The sound and tempo of the wind through the trees as it rises and falls
  • Sun peeking through the overhead canopy in an otherwise dull cloudy sky
  • The man who looked at me funny for taking an overhead picture… yes, look up, too!
  • Wire mesh protecting perimeter trees from industrious beaver clearing crews
  • Signs giving information about the place: make less noise to see more wildlife or be aware and cautious and informed of bears, cougars, wolves… :O
  • Picking up a couple of interesting stones from the rock pathway to commemorate
  • The lookout tower and amazing view of the nearby mountains through the trees
  • Patterns in nature–ripples on the water, long grass blowing in the wind, piles of drift-water-worn limbs

My thoughts may not match anyone else except for those who have the same appreciation for the beauty and magnificence of nature. But, even in that similarity, there are personal differences. The photos I take are not ones that another may take as I look for the shot that appeals to me; I don’t take people pictures; I don’t do selfies. I want the essence of the place where I am–what attracts me, what speaks to me. To each their own.

The take-away for this activity–always invest in the time to enjoy “every precious moment,” as a friend posted. The emotions that grab me in the mountains are awe-inspiring, captivating, yet overwhelming, at the same time. The thought that this glorious world we live in surrounds us for so short a time in comparison to its own life span is one for self-contemplation. No matter what you believe, it’s what adds to a beautiful life–it’s not just about the destination.

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The Road Ahead

It is the first day of a New Year. I feel good and with that feeling are thoughts of starting things afresh while remaining real in my good intentions. Resolutions. Promises. Whatever labels you might attach, they are part of the road ahead… This immediately brings to mind the saying and I had to look it up in order to get it right… to me “the road ahead is paved…” made just as much sense and, for the purpose of my post, was spot on. In fact, the “hell” part didn’t even come to mind, but it was an interesting read and the underlying meaning was apparent after doing so.

“The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” One meaning of the phrase is that individuals may have the intention to undertake good actions but nevertheless fail to take action. Procrastination, laziness, or other obstacles may be the cause of the failure. In any case, the saying is an admonishment that good intentions are meaningless unless followed by action. A different interpretation of the saying is wrongdoing is often masked by good intentions, or possibly that good intentions, even when enacted, may have unforeseen bad consequences (hence the “hell” aspect). (source: Wikipedia)

With all the projects going on I have neglected time for my own creativity. Lately, I have embraced the freedom the office gives me as I am able to leave the physicality of my company work in the office – I say physicality because my mind never turns off completely to the concept of publishing. I live for it. But, living it and then leaving it “at the office” has given me the time to do things at home that need to be done. It has also allowed me the opportunity to engage in creative actions that feed my soul – one of late is coloring my own sketches AND adult coloring books given to me by my sister. Throughout this trying year, my focus was on projects signed by Dream Write Publishing, and that is what made 2015 an amazing year – we published 15 new works!

In order to boost and infuse my own creative spirit, I shuffled ideas around in my head and challenged myself to come up with some plan that might keep me on track – for the day, the month, the year… There are those of you who know how well that goes for me! It’s all good – the putting to paper what needs attention – the infamous to-do list with its promise of organization and achievement – but I am embracing who I am and what I enjoy to make this year one that will bring happiness. If I want to color until 2:00 am… then I will. If I want to disappear into the mountains to track wild horses, I am going to do that, too. Slowly, one thing at a time, I am going to transform myself and my surroundings over the course of this year to embody happiness and health. I will support the people I love who mean the most to me and will love myself for who I am, not obsess about what I am not. It is in our own hands what we do with the time and talents we have.

I offer no resolution to fail. There is no “good intention” to go bad. There is no holding back because I intend to take the road that likes ahead. I left hatred and negativity on the midnight hour to fade into the nothingness of no longer important. The tank is full of passion and promise and that is all the fuel I need to work toward an amazing year of successes.

road ahead

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So wrapped up in words, none can escape…

Call the papers! There is a new blog post here on Wildhorse 33 … or perhaps, call the doctor, there’s been a breakthrough.

Of course, I am an extreme exaggerator and don’t need any announcement or help in any way. There was never a doubt that I’d be back to write – there was just speculation on when and the offering of excuses as to why I wasn’t here prior to now. I started out the year with a bang by posting most of the first month, having taken on the photo-blog challenge; however, I backed away since then. When I get caught up in my work as publisher I am driven by the need to complete jobs, while having to continue to solicit new business in order to grow; take on sudden jobs to bring in revenue; continue to work on ongoing projects. The old ways come to the forefront – my own work takes a backseat while I am trying to stay caught up, get caught up, or remain above water. Treading and dreading the outcomes. Overwhelmed with all that is going on around me and taken to withdrawal of words. My own words are necessary for the growth of my own creativity. I grow in skill and ability through the creativity of others – I relish their words and appreciate the opportunity to support and promote diversity.

Me. Mine. I – wait. It will come. I look forward to a writer’s retreat this upcoming long weekend and will commit to my own words and works for 3 full days! This little blog is just a way of stepping out, one step at a time, toward that bigger release. I welcome the escape. In the meantime, I work diligently to get more projects off the ground, crafting the wings on which they may fly.

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30 Day Photo-Word-Blog Challenge: continued…

Day 15 main image

 

30-Day Challenge

Day 15… Silhouette

I love to watch from my fourth floor apartment window as the sun slides past the horizon for another day. Its progression is slow, at first, with a bright show of rainbow colors bursting at the edges of the distant rooftops. The upper expanse of deep blue is amazing as it stretches into the great beyond. Then, as it always does at this time of year, the day disappears in short time leaving us to late afternoon darkness. The orange pop of streetlights against the darkening sky is a cool contrast.

Day 15 slide show image


30-Day Challenge 

Day 16… A Good Habit 

Day 16 - A Good Habit image

Just click on the images to see them larger in a separate tab.

Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving your likes and/or comments.

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January 7th, 2015 – 30 day Photo / Blog Word / Freeing the Creative Spirit Challenge

January 30-day Photography / Blog Word / Freeing the Creative Spirit Challenge

Day 7 – Change to Come

“You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of…” ~ Jim Rohn

When I checked the list today to confirm my challenge, I just accepted the words as I would any other normality in my life. As I look ahead, I see 2015 as one of increasing magnitude in all areas of my life; hence change to come is inevitable and so appropriate. I have claimed over the years that I am not afraid of change… but, as I grow older the ability to implement some changes just takes a little more time. I know that moving ahead and leadership involve change all the time, whether in life, love, or business. Again, as with the other challenges that were not so obvious (i.e. clouds) I was moved to think of the options during the day. I came up with a couple of choices while assessing my own life – move to a bigger residence, move to sharing a residence, perhaps own instead of renting… hoping to focus more on my own writing while still coordinating the publishing dreams of my authors and valued clients.

Then! Oh, the humor hit me. Change to come. Change the channel. Change one’s attitude. And as I counted change for the set up shot, there in front of me was the pile of paper on my desk that might be change for everyone in Alberta. And the weather changed… swirling and blowing to just hit everyone. There are many changes in the works and I hope this little composition finds my readers well and entertained, sympathetic and supportive.

The day is what you make it… embrace the changes.

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January 3, 2015 – 30 day Photo / Blog Word / Freeing the Creative Spirit Challenge

January 30-day Photography / Blog Word / Freeing the Creative Spirit Challenge     

Day 3 >> Clouds

Oh, the irony…

Day 3 - 30 day challenge Clouds

It was a fluff of white against the sky, floating magically from west to east across my vision. I pulled the telephoto lens out to get a strategic shot from the balcony of my 4th floor apartment. The air was cool as the temperature dropped to winter norms overnight. The snow shone like glistening diamonds, little sparkles of bling in the bright mid-day sun. Now… if you have followed my photography over the years you know I am a big fan of clouds. And as I looked out over the distant sky, I laughed. Oh, the irony…

Clouds… they are so much more than just their scientific explanation. They can be amazing, overwhelming, poetic, artistic, frightful, or even downright scary. If one were to single out the little specimen above, it could be confused with fractus clouds developed readily in nature. Its apparent light form reflects light through the water droplets in its formation; it floats and moves with the air currents – its edges have been described as torn “cotton candy.” The irony of my assignment for today’s 30 day photography challenge was that there was not a cloud in the Alberta sky – at least, not from my locale and vantage point. The clear sky was mocking me – let’s see how you get out of this one without killing off your muse! The good thing about prompts is that no matter what happens there is always a way to interpret them – all it takes is a little bit of inspiration, some ingenuity, gnashing of teeth and guttural waling… and a lot of creativity.

January 3rd was colder, but the day shone bright and beautiful. There was no need to “seek the sun” as it displayed prominently throughout the day and it was followed up at sunset with an almost full moon. The series of shots today allow you to view my world as I determined the focus of my blog and camera. Sometimes things are not always what they seem. We can be mistaken in believing one thing even while we attempt to keep a clear mind and sharp eye. It is easy for our judgement to be clouded if we do not take the time to research and find the right answers to suit our assignment.

Carpe Diem ~ Life is what you make it ~ even while searching for clouds on an afternoon in Sherwood Park and finding only man-made industry generated doppelgangers.

 

 

 

 

   

 

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January 2, 2015 – 30 day Photo / Blog Word / Freeing the Creative Spirit Challenge

January 30-day Photography / Blog Word / Freeing the Creative Spirit Challenge   

Day 2 >> What You Wore

It is amazing the places the mind goes…

I guess that is the purpose of a prompt – to take you places you might not have gone on your own. To inspire new insight, to remind, to force creative outlook, to spark imagination, to create consternation and wonderment… I really love the idea of the list created by someone to whom I have no connection. The randomness of the challenges will allow me to go beyond the usual and will most likely ignite a whole new perspective for 2015.

What you wore… it could mean so many things and to each person a different meaning. It also produces different effects depending upon the context of the statement. Point of view is a major concept in writing. Is the list speaking TO me? Or, am I reading it as if I am speaking of YOU, someone other than myself? It provided much food for thought over the course of the day and even though I am not going to get all uptight about “what am I going to write” … it did give me ideas as my mind ran the gamut of memories, but what could I take a picture of for the challenge? Depending on when… what I wore varied:

  • yellow knit bonnet and booties on the ride home – April 1957
  • pink leather lace up walking shoes when just a year and a half – 1958 (I still have these)
  • leg-warming leg-covering colored tights in elementary – 1963
  • orange fish net stockings and brown fake leather mini in junior high – 1969
  • white tennis dress in high school – 1972 (I still have this)
  • matchy matchy ski outfit on the mountain slopes in my 20s
  • Satin wedding dress for marriage #1 – 1984
  • Satin western outfit for marriage #2 – 1990 (I still have this… somewhere…)

So you see my dilemma. Of course, if we turn the phrase around and point it at YOU, well then the concept of YOU depends, too, on who YOU are. If I base it solely upon one aspect, again it depends on who YOU are:

  • A black leather jacket
  • A grey suit
  • A western hat and boots
  • A shirt and tie
  • A t-shirt and jeans…

Day 2 - 30 day challenge What You WoreJanuary 2nd continued on with the momentum of winter as the snow fell overnight and well into the day. Eventually the sun broke through and it looked inviting even though cool upon embrace. I ventured out to clear the snow from Sunshine and plowed out onto the Sherwood Park streets. Nothing keeps us home anymore – there is never too much snow or too little traction to keep the determined from outside action. You could tell the weather was colder with the sun’s rays reflecting “sun dogs” in the ice crystal laden air. Traffic was heavy, but it always is on a Friday afternoon. I wore my down filled jacket, warm winter boots, and ensured I had my new gloves and sunglasses with me. I was ready to make the day mine.

I recall lying in bed this morning thinking of the waning vacation days and decided coffee was in order so I didn’t sleep away my time off. My thoughts immediately go to all the things I didn’t do instead of thinking of what I did achieve and the memories I acquired over the holidays. It is just natural to think of it that way – I must get into the habit of doing otherwise.

Life is what you make it.

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September’s Passing

In a whirlwind of fresh fallen leaves, the month of September slipped silent as we turned another calendar page. It was not quiet in its passing for it was as busy as any fall has ever been ~ and as most will probably always be. So many events start anew with schedules in September often the starting point for programs, projects, activities, and unfortunately, the increasingly evident reminder of colder things to come. We are embraced by fleecy warmth, donned reluctantly from the back corners of our closets, pulled close in the morning and, perhaps by day’s end, a burden over our arm or slung over our shoulder. This diversity in temperature, with its range of highs and lows, leaves us guessing, hoping, pushing, resisting, and sometime fighting against the ailments of seasonal change. The waning light heralds travel home will soon be in darkness. Frosty nights have us scraping early morning windshields. Protective shoes replace the much loved sandal with socks finally seeing the light of day after a summer of drawer arrest. The glory that is September is nature’s beauty, our respite after summer’s heat – a reprive before winter’s chilling hold. September, with its changing shimmering colors and moderate climes, is Alberta’s golden goddess…

I was so busy with everything during the month, I neglected to share my equinox piece, but here is the link from last year’s post: https://wildhorse33.wordpress.com/2012/09/20/autumn-equinox/

Fall Gold

(c) Photo by Linda J. Pedley (Glenwood Memorial Gardens #shpk)

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Where Inspiration Grows

awesome lights

We follow our journey through life – sometimes lost, sometimes exploring, sometimes determined and in a hurry to get to where we think we are supposed to go. Often we don’t even know where that is… but through trial and error we persevere and, by and large, we end up following the path we were meant to take all along. Choices along the way challenge us; some work and some don’t which is a testament to what was supposed to be all along. If it works, then it’s meant to be. If it doesn’t, we have a decision to make in order to get back on track. My journey has led to writing and the writing life, and I’ve been slowly inching my way to into the publishing industry – helping others while I help myself. I have been told I inspire others to follow their dreams just by being true to who I am and following mine. I have not done what I would classify as great things to change the world. I have not discovered a cure for anything; I hold no great wealth to attack poverty or provide homes for homeless or orphans or even stray animals. I sometimes barely stay afloat knowing my lot in life is not wealth; I do what I do not for fame; I don’t stand out as a beauty – based on common misconceptions. 

Everything and everyone around me shapes my writing journey by molding it to their influences and the effects they have upon my life. I have 3 inspirational influences I want to share today. Unlike my obsession with William Shakespeare, these people are a real part of my life. The first is my late mother – feelings are still raw about this and no matter how much time goes by the differences are too noticeable to ever be the same. I am finding ways to deal with the emptiness her leaving created. I know she would want me to continue building my company and her acceptance of my own writing inspires me to do more. I will continue to see her life, and her death, as something I must weave into my work in order to heal and move forward.

The second is my dear friend – Mandy Eve-Barnett. As fellow writer and co-conspirator on many projects and events, she came into my life fairly recently if you look at the big picture; but as we all know, for a reason.  She is a rock of stability and reality in my dream-filled, high hope world. Not that she doesn’t have dreams and hopes of her own but it seems she is able to keep them grounded and does so in much the same way my mother did. Mandy’s writing goals are an inspiration to me and others- she is creative and inventive and meticulous in her plan. She has built in a short time a dedication some take years to develop. You can follow her blog (one a day from the beginning of this year!) at the following link: http://mandyevebarnett.com/

The third person I would like to acknowledge, but by no mean the last, is my daughter, Kelsey Hoople. My little dynamo will shock you with her life advice yet in a short time frame of life she is wise beyond her years – but as she would say “what’s age got to do with it…” It wasn’t a life planned, raising her as a single parent, but one that contributed to her journey and upbringing as well as mine as a person and a parent. Together, we have climbed many mountains and continue to deal with life as a pair. She recently started her own business and aspires to doing great things for those she is prepared to help and the community in which she lives. Her words are posted on her web site under the Let’s Talk tag. http://www.kelseyincorporated.com/lets-talk.html

There have been and are many others and will be many more ahead – people are the greatest influencers in our life. My reminder to this is the saying “a reason, a season, a lifetime.” Good, bad or indifferent, for a short time or forever – lessons are learned, shared, and our stories grow as we live. True inspiration comes to those who are good to one another while being true to who they are and respectful of the journey they travel. 

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Not a Bad Day

blogging wordleAs a writer, many moments surround me that have to do with words and the opportunity for expression exists even though I feel my own creative writing is not as frequent an event as I would like it to be – right now. Right now being a time when I am immersed in the promises and projects of my own publishing company while maintaining my full time employment status, balancing personal time and commitment with volunteer and public appearance. In addition to all these things – life goes on and I am still coming to grips with me and different feelings, processing my reaction to those emotions, and dealing with “how it is” since things have so dramatically and drastically changed. It is said time heals all and, although it is the catalyst enabling us to eventually move on – it does not hide, change, or even make things better. They are merely, different… The situation and all its affects remain constant to me even though the hurt is most often reduced to a dull ache; it is still there, always, reminding. Is that the pensive artist speaking? Or the lamenting poet bemusing? Is it the need to continually grasp that which makes me feel something since there are times when I feel nothing? I am yet unable to write the negative out of me… knowing that I must, in order to purge the inner infestation and ease my own healing. The days are roller coaster weeks of emotional and physical restraints, ups and downs, periods of calm and nothingness erupting into those of stress and tension.

 I recently experienced what I thought was “not a bad day” having felt no extremes of sadness or pain; it was a Monday and I embraced it, got up and ventured out into my work world. Then, having accomplished a productive day there I followed it up with attention to other business, and then I spent the latter part of the evening in relaxation and conversation. Imagine my surprise when my daughter countered my expression of “it was not a bad day today” with “why can’t it just be a good day?”

Why can’t it, I asked myself, perplexed with my own realization of how it was stated. We discussed the ramifications of declaring the negative over the positive. The only thing I knew for sure was it felt to be better than some days of late, having experience bad days. I feel that to have a “good day” might mean moving beyond that which I know does not truly exist for me. They are different days with some that are not as bad as others. Why can’t I declare it a good day? For the same reason I am not a “jump up and down exuberantly” happy person. I know I am allowed to feel good. I am entitled to be happy. I am willing to make changes, when and if I can… but I am also taking the time I need to move into that acceptance, allowance, and happiness. I am hopeful it exists in the future; in the meantime, I go on with “not a bad day” being those with the least amount of pain – emotional and physical.

 (I was, however, personally pleased and grateful with the offspring who exhibited beyond her years intelligence. She is truly my reason for being; as are my dearest and closest friends who give me reason and cause to smile.)   

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